And let's not talk about Ange, whose skirt is even shorter and who is often pulling off various stunts, most apparent in the manga. Beatrice also wears one in human form, and she takes less than elegant poses with it.
The characters on Noir are always covered by their skirts, even when upside down.
Apparently, the animators learned the lesson and gave Madlax and Nadie hotpants. And Ellis, who wears a loose tunic, is a telekinesis-capable witch, to boot. Evidence indicates that she doesn't wear anything under it, so the Magic Skirt is an absolute necessity.
Kyou and Tomoyo in CLANNAD as well, which is quite surprising, considering all the high kicks they do. (Though they aren't shown to the viewer, Kyou's flying high-kick does end up giving Sunohara a fleeting glimpse at one point.)
InuYasha: Intentionally invoked by the author herself who point-blank told the animators to never reveal Kagome's underwear no matter how rough the action became. This author-originated taboo extended to other characters as well. As a result, Kohaku's very short kosode never reveals anything and neither does Kouga's very short fur kilt.
An [adult swim] bump played with this at one point where a viewer asked how this was so. They responded with "TV-14, behold it's awesome power!"
With all the powerful magic spells used in Magic Knight Rayearth one has to wonder how Hikaru, Umi and Fuu don't get any panty shots at all.
There were some comments about Yuki Nagato's fight against Ryoko Asakura in Haruhi Suzumiya about how her acrobatics never actually led to any panty-flashes. Likewise, Haruhi's dropkick of the Computer Club President also fits this trope. Averted in that both characters have powers that cover this.
In Futari wa Pretty Cure, not only there's the Cure Black shorts-under-skirt example above, but also her partner Cure White has a skirt that only ever flies up either to the side or in the direction you're not looking. This is even seen in her civilian form in the second opening, where her skirt actually seems to lengthen for this purpose.
Cardcaptor Sakura Sakura; despite short pleated skirts of both the schoolgirl and cheerleader variety and dozens of fanciful battle costumes, Sakura remains covered.
In the same fashion, Juri's skirt in Digimon Tamers flaps around freely when standing but is magnetically attracted to her knees when she sits or kneels (and she spends a long time crouching on the ground towards the end of the series).
In Keroro Gunsou, despite getting attacked and spun around at least once an episode, Natsumi's skirt manages to conceal the goodies. That Vacuum cleaner in the first episode tried its best, though. She also holds her skirt up after getting trapped in Sgt. Frog's snare, causing her to hang upside down by one foot.
Not in the manga however. Panty shots (and occasional nudity) abound. That would be because the anime is supposed to be more kid-friendly.
Hinoki of Betterman, despite sporting a pleated skirt that's an inch away from being reclassified as a belt.
Hikari/Dawn in Pokémon has a short skirt, but she remains covered throughout the series.
Seras Victoria from Anime/Hellsing wore a tiny miniskirt, and yet only had one Panty Shot in the entire series (the final chapter) despite numerous occasions of her kicking and crouching.
Bleach: This is almost always played straight for any male or female characters that either wear short skirts or short kosodes. The one exception occurs during Renji's flashback to how he first met Rukia, where we clearly see the high-kicking Rukia is Going Commando and the adult she's tripped up is blatantly wearing fundoshi
All the characters in the Pretty Sammy series. It looks sort of silly at times, such as when Sammy gets slam dunked into a basketball hoop rear first and her skirt just happens to maintain itself.
Chiko from The Daughter of Twenty Faces. Admittedly, her skirt is oftentimes more like a dress in length, but still, considering all the insane acrobatic stunts she does...
The entire cast of Lucky Star — especially during the OP animation.
Except for the high kick done in the cheerleading routine which gives us a split second shot of everyone's panties.
Shinosuka from Gad Guard. Especially evident since the camera is frequently behind her while she's flying through the sky on the back of her Humongous Mecha and it's still stuck to her legs.
Most of the girls in Petite Princess Yucie wear magic skirts — which is even more amazing if you consider their shape.
Chen Agi of Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack wears a mini skirt as part of her military uniform. Not so bad, until you see the scenes where she's bouncing around IN SPACE and she doesn't flash any of the males in the process!
The girls from Windy Tales manage to never flash their panties even once, despite the shortness of their school uniform's skirts and all the wind that blows around them, often caused by themselves. Sure, their fairly unique character designs might have something to do with it, but still...
Hinamori Amu's "Amulet Heart" form from Shugo Chara! features a cheerleading skirt, which is usually a magic skirt... except for the third opening, where Heart gets panty-shotted several times in 10 seconds (you should never wear a skirt while using flying roller-skates). Her other two usual transformations don't fall under this. Some of the Shugo Charas themselves seem to wear Magic Skirts as well, especially Ran, who is the source of Amu's "Amulet Heart" transformation.
Averted in the manga.
In Record of Lodoss War, Deedlit would sometimes fly around with a lot of dramatic wind. The wind would blow her hair and cape around, but not her skirt.
Ran and Midori from Telepathy Shoujo Ran have these, and they tend to wear rather short skirts throughout the series.
Soul Eater: In the anime version, Maka's skirt might as well be glued on. No amount of tumbling or backflipping will budge it. In an early episode however, Maka ended up dangling by one foot, and she had to hold her skirt with her hands. In the 3rd ending, nearly all the angles and camera views are prime territory for a panty shot of Maka's; however, you never see anything.
The manga version, to the point it's just ridiculous. Subverted in Code Name Sailor V, when the resident Game Otaku pulls Minako's skirt just to see her panties (or if she's a girl). Of course, taking in consideration that Sailor Moon and Sailor V were serialized in Nakayoshi (a really strict shoujo manga magazine), Naoko had to take such precautions to avoid Panty Shots. What's even more fun is that the souls of the senshi also wear skirts. Just skirts.
The first anime threw out the magic skirts in favor of normal ones, probably because the fight scenes would be nigh-impossible to animate otherwise. Of course, the girls are wearing Leotards Of Power when transformed, so it makes sense that they wouldn't mind as much.
Ogata Rin of Rideback has this. She has a long dress, but the stunts she pulls should've flashed many people already. Although in the first episode, as she rides Fuego for the first time, a man she passes yells, "I can see your panties!" Presumably she flashes lots of people, just not the viewers. There's actually some flashing in the last episode.
Parodied in the "toxin purging" episode of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei — the theme of the episode was the girls losing the "toxic" parts of their personality that made them THEM after a detoxifying soak in a hot springs... so when chronic Panty Shot character Kaere trips and her bath-towel comes off, she is shown wearing a full-body wetsuit that would, of course, been impossible to hide under that towel. Fujiyoshi even outright states "we were expecting fanservice for the viewers, but they didn't even use a swimsuit!"
Happens to Moka (only Moka) of Rosario + Vampire in the manga version only. Inverted in the anime, when Moka has many panty shots just walking in her regular school uniform.
Shampoo's Chinese minidress in Ranma ˝. Nevermind that it's scandalously skin-tight, it's also unbelievably short. This is even spoofed in her introductory arc, when she hangs upside-down from a tree and she has to tuck the hem of her dress between her thighs. Otherwise, the manga and anime aren't really shy about this. Kodachi's first appearance involve a backflip and an obvious panty shot, despite her wearing a long skirt.
Similar to the InuYasha example above, animators for The Vision of Escaflowne were specifically instructed not to let Hitomi's constant leaping or running show her unmentionables. This is quite a feat, as the girl is a top track runner and long jumper and enjoys displaying these skills often.
The lead girls from Dennou Coil never get any panty shots, despite all all the jumping, crouching and climbing they do while wearing short skirts. Kyoko gets one briefly, but even that one is only to show that she's just a little kid.
Lampshaded in one episode of Nerima Daikon Brothers: with Mako planted headfirst in the dirt by Yukika, Hideki wonders if her skirt will succumb to gravity, giving him a peek at her panties. Ichiro tells him not to get his hopes up about what the animators will show.
Saki Even though the characters wear these short skirts and the series uses angles that should normally give a Panty Shot, no panty shots have ever been shown.
In Mahou Sensei Negima!, Fate's girls get Magic Skirts after losing their panties to Jack Rakan. It's worth noting that besides this one incident, the manga typically averts this as much as it possibly can. Regardless of whether the girl in question has panties on or not.
In Fruits Basket, Tohru wears a very short skirt as her part of her school uniform (apparently one can decide on the length, due to the fact that Uo and Hana's skirts are longer.) Even though it would barely cover her underwear in Real Life, nothing is ever seen, even if she falls down. The artist once mentioned that Tohru wears shorts under her skirt.
The two high-kick-to-the-face happy female leads of Angel Densetsu manage not to flash the reader every other panel without any kind of Magic Skirt. It's all done by skillfull camera angles. It's lampshaded a couple of times when someone flashes some other character.
Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne wears one of these. Despite being a Kaitou who does a lot of impressive acrobatics, we never catch a glimpse of her panties. Maron, too, in the Transformation Sequence that involves her jumping from a high place and transforming in mid-air. Apparently the skirt is turned off when Chiaki is around, though, as their very first meeting involves her falling on the floor and him commenting on the "great view". The skirt is mostly active only when she is moving. If she's sitting holding her knees, then the magic magically disappears.
Subverted in her second transformation, where she now wears Modesty Shorts, so the magic of her skirt disappeared again.
Eureka's dress, as well as Talho's skirt. Though Talho later gets an Important Haircut and corresponding clothing change that does away with her old Stripperiffic outfit.
Although some pieces of art show that Eureka wears a pair of short shorts underneath her skirt. Additionally, the dress appears to be some sort of pleather.
Interestingly enough, this trope is mostly averted by Anemone from the same series, although she does wear shorts underneath.
Kuniko Hojo from Shangri-La. Her anime-length skirt never flashes anything (at least on camera), despite her acrobatic moves. It's widely confirmed she wears polka-dots, though.
Miki and Megumi from Muteki Kanban Musume never once flash their panties, despite all the high-level martial arts moves they pull off. Megumi has the excuse that she's usually wearing long dresses, but Miki's skirt is fairly short.
Asuka (Alexis) in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX (as well as all the other female students) wears a ridiculously short blue skirt for a uniform. It's more tight-fitting than most anime skirts, but this trope certainly applies, as it never seems to move in the slightest, no matter what she does.
Reiri in the Princess Resurrection anime sure seems like a panty shot waiting to happen, but in practice, her skirt does an excellent job of being in the right place at the right time. Hime's skirt has an easier job since she doesn't fly around — and let's face it, no one would dare to peek anyway.
Shiranui's introductory episode in Seto no Hanayome features a magic skirt as Shiranui meets Saru. He bows down to kiss her feet and swear fealty to her, but she takes it the wrong way and starts kicking his face. The camera drops to beside Saru's face and the front of Shiranui's skirt magically jumps in between her legs.
Chrome Dokuro of Katekyo Hitman Reborn! must have some of these as she never has a panty shot no matter what the skirt's length is, and the one time we DO get to see her bottom she's not even wearing any panties, much less a skirt.
As opposed to several of the girls of Hayate the Combat Butler, stating that they wear bicycle shorts to avert this (and once in the background Izumi was facing away from the audience during a kick and the guys who ended up seeing lampshading that they saw), Nagi is given a literal Magic Skirt that's somehow attached to her kicking leg to avert the panty shot while she's facing the audience in a promotional picture.
It would seem that part of Mami's magic is keeping her skirt up when hung upside down.
Madoka herself is shown from below more than once. Since she is wearing ten thousand petticoats, all we see are legs poking out of a sea of ruffles.
Homura's pleated mini-skirt also possesses magical properties, as it covers her up completely... even when falling feet-first from a skyscraper in the final episode.
In Hidan no Aria, even as Aria is dangling upside down from a parachute while pulling guns out of garters that are well below the hem of her skirt, it stays up no matter what.
A variation in Cowboy Bebop with Ed's magic shirt. At one point, Ed is hanging upside-down with her arms over her head, and her shirt doesn't go down much further past her navel.
Merry Nightmare of Yumekui Merry has a skirt like this. The manga actually manages to reveal what kind of panties Merry wears without ever giving away a Panty Shot — in one scene, a villain slides across the floor and winds up between her feet, and there are stripes reflected in his eyes when he looks straight up.
Lucy Heartfilia has this same problem despite the fact that almost all her outfits include a short skirt. Then, as of the second half of the Edolas arc, this is averted.
This happens with Erza Scarlet in the anime.
Ironically, Fairy Tail generally keeps playing this trope straight despite having lots of panty shots in later arcs. Instead, the girls are just drawn from an angle that reveals their panties, but when they fight, jump or it's blowing, the skirt stays down.
Ben-To's Ice Witch and the other female combatants. Lots of thigh focus though.
The Idolmaster: Despite all the dance routines, there's not a single Panty Shot during the whole show. Maybe justified since the stage outfits are, well, stage outfits and therefore made to be this way. The only time this is almost averted is with Azusa in episode 15 when she's wearing the same clothes as the workers from the daycare center they're filming at.
The video game isn't nearly as modest though, especially since you can adjust the camera angle.
Still, despite how short some of the skirts are, panty shots in the iDOLM@STER games are very rare unless you purposely adjust settings to see them.
The DVD box art for B Gata H Kei has Yamada in a pose just like the Trope Namer's. Her skirt is much shorter than Yuno's, yet it still manages to defy gravity just enough to cover everything.
The most impressive display of magic in Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker is the enchantment Cassandra uses to keep from flashing the audience while she jumps around killing ogres and dragons in a battle skirt.
Agiri from Kill Me Baby has this when she uses ninpo to stand from the ceiling. It's even lampshaded.
Princess Tutu has a magic...something-to-cover-the-boobs...thing. Seriously, the only possible way for it to stay up is by magic. Princess Kraehe wears a backless tutu with no sleeves and Absolute Cleavage. Since when does two strips of cloth attached to a ring of feathers constitute an outfit?
This sort of thing is quite common on ballet / dance outfits in reality, by having the "skin" parts be actually skin-coloured fabric (the outfit is actually a completely-covering suit). As for outfits in magical fairy-tale land... eh, a Drosselmeyer did it.
Haruka from Noein often wears a very short skirt, but the viewer never even catches a glimpse of what is underneath, even though she is often presented in positions when it would be near-impossible not to show anything, like running, crouching, climbing, sleeping or being carried.
Parodied in Bakemonogatari, specifically Nisemonogatari. The series is usually not shy with the Fanservice, but one scene has Karen doing a handstand in a short skirt. The skirt stays up in apparent defiance of gravity, then slowly begins falling, stopping just short of revealing anything, then Karen switches to a one-handed handstand so she can hold it up.
Sonic X: Cosmo's skirt always covers her nethers no matter what position she happens to be in. Varies for Cream and Amy.
At the end of Fractale's credits sequence, Nessa falls off a rock, landing upside-down. Her dress hovers inexplicably around her knees until the scene ends.
The opening sequence for the Noucome anime has multiple female characters in short skirts doing handstands, angled so the camera would receive an upskirt look. Not only do their skirts not flip up once upside down, they perfectly mask their panties mid-flip.
Similarly, in a Fantastic Four story where Annihilus breaks out of the negative zone and attacks FF headquarters (around issue 250). He attacks frequent love interest Alicia Masters and hangs her by her heels from the ceiling. When discovered, she is suffering from what one reader called "the world's worst case of static cling" as her knee-length skirt sticks to her legs.
In the 1940s back-up comic Ginger Maguire, Sky Girl, the title character was prone to showing her panties and being seen in them frequently. In a splash page of a story, her male pal is holding her upside down by one foot over the side of a plane engine so she can do some sky-writing (with a can of spray paint against a cloud), and Ginger's skirt remains properly placed.
Supergirl is an interesting case: for most of her career, she had a Magic Skirt when she wasn't wearing short-shorts in The Seventies. Then the 2000s Kara Zor-El lost that ability due to artists going for "realism", until the editor decided to give her Modesty Shorts instead. Finally, the New 52 version had a costume redesign and wears a Leotard of Power with no skirt.
Watchmen. Two examples: the second Silk Spectre (but not the first one; her skirt is too short to even qualify) and The Comedian with his dressing gown, which appears to have these abilities even when he's being tossed out a window. Given Dr. Manhattan's lack of clothing throughout most of the book as well as various other explicit scenes, you can probably chalk this one up to artistic flair rather than censorship.
An issue of Trina Robbins' Go Girl has the title character holding her skirt in as she is held upside down by her feet.
In the original ElfQuest series, there's a brief appearance by the human girl Selah, who wears only a loincloth, and a shell necklace that manages to cover her nipples at all times. Oddly enough, Selah had previously appeared in a related strip "Homespun", where her necklace always conveniently avoided covering anything. This might be explained by the fact that "Homespun" was originally published in Epic Illustrated, where nudity was virtually compulsory whether called-for or not.
This has been demonstrated with Doctor Doom a few times.
This trope is usually followed with Darkseid. Usually.
In the comics version of W.I.T.C.H., Hay Lin's skirting in her original Guardian form was a lot more risque than her animated variation (double high-cut slit skirts, stockings and a pair of Mary Janes vs. a single high-cut slit skirt, leggings and boots) and a lot of poses she does in the comic conveniently cover her unmentionables.
The Indian Lotsa Luck in Tumbleweeds has a Magic Loincloth that stays in place even when he is standing on his head.
A circa-1938 Dick Tracy comic strip presented Tracy clinging to a collapsed window-washer platform. A lady acrobat hears Tracy and runs off from the police office (where she's being held for questioning) on the same high level. She jumps out, grabs the platform rope, wraps it around her foot and swings upside down to affect a rescue of Tracy. The lady acrobat's skirt falls only as far as her thighs in long shots, but in a medium close-up it falls far enough to show her panties.
Films — Animation
In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Jessica Rabbit wore a dress with a long slit up the side that, in one scene where she's thrown from a crashing car, briefly flashes her naughty bits. Once Disney had caught on to what the animators had done, the scene was changed, and it thus came in line with this trope.
Disney's Alice in Wonderland has Alice hanging by her feet from a tree branch but her skirt stays where it is (yet earlier we see her tumbling down the rabbit hole and we see her calf-length pantaloons).
Disney's Pocahontas. Even when she jumps down a waterfall, her little dress still stays down.
In Monster House Jenny's skirt manages to barely budge despite all the acrobatics.
Crysta in FernGully. Same problem as Tinker Bell, only even curvier, with a shorter skirt, and dancing with jazz spins.
For Peter Pan's Tinker Bell, this trope is played straight in the sequel Return to Never Land, and the current (2008-) CGI Tinker Bell films. It is averted in both the original film or Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep .
In the animated Batman movie Sub-Zero, Barbara Gordon (a.k.a. Batgirl) is wearing the same early '60s loose dress through the episode. In a chase scene through Mr. Freeze's lair, we see a ground shot of her leaping up to grab an overhead pipe and swing over. The drawing where we should have and could have seen something was deliberately left out. Later, Barbara rides a pully down a wire and her skirt goes only as far as her thighs.
The blue cocktail dress Roxanne is wearing when Titan is tossing her through the sky in Megamind.
Disney's Hercules gives a rare male version of this trope. The title hero's armored skirt doesn't even reach his knees, and despite all that he gets into, there's never any shots of what's underneath.
Another male example is Tarzan who wears a loincloth that never flies up even when he's leaping from branch to branch or hanging upside down from one.
In the opening few minutes of Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, Supergirl wears nothing but a loose trench coat. While flying for the first time, she turns upside down moving upwards and the coat continues to cover her Kryptonian privates.
In Resident Evil: Damnation in a fight between Ada Wong and President Svetlana you never see anything despite the crazy flips Ada makes.
In Wreck-It Ralph, the title character meets a little girl, Vanellope Von Schweetz, who is hanging upside down by her knees from a tree branch. Vanellope's skirt remains in place. Which makes sense since it's made from a pair of giant, upside-down (well, right-side-up at the moment) peanut butter cup wrappers.
In the 2002 live action Scooby-Doo movie, Velma falls off a scaffold and gets her foot caught in the scaffold's chain, making her hang upside down◊ when it goes taut. Her skirt does not fall over as the studio wanted to maintain the "family film" sense. Word is that Linda Cardellini (who played Velma) had her skirt taped to her legs so it wouldn't flip over as she hung upside down. In the 2004 sequel, Velma jumps into a boat vent funnel and for a couple of frames, this trope is averted.
In the movie Troy, Achilles' (Brad Pitt) leather skirt somehow manages to completely obscure all private parts, despite Achilles leaping into the air with his legs spread apart.
In Ghostbusters 2, the lawyer representing the district Attorney's office is captured by a ghost, and is held upside-down by one foot (with the other kicking around) and carried out of the courtroom by it. Her skirt stays completely on her legs the entire time. (The novelisation of the movie says that she was struggling to keep her skirt from rolling over.)
Zig-zag: In the print ad for the 1989 movie "Parenthood," the little girl being held upside down by one foot (Alison Porter) avoids a panty shot by wearing pink tights and having the front of her skirt tucked between her legs.
Aversion: Some print ads for the 1976 movie Nickelodeon had a picture of Jane Hitchcock's character in a hot air balloon's tow rope dangling by one foot, and her skirt is completely draped over her face, showing knee-length pantaloons over black stockings.
In Lauren Henderson's Freeze My Margarita, sculptor turned reluctant sleuth Sam Jones is inspecting the workings above a stage where her sculptures will be fitted, when a friend calls from below that he can see up her skirt. She calmly shouts back that it's much too tight and he's lying.
It is later revealed to be this trope explicitly by its designer Shiroyasha as a work of art in a Take Our Word for It kind of way; art is equal parts what is seen and what is left to imagination, hence the Magic Skirt. Once this is explained, Izayoi admires her thought process.
In the Doctor Who serial "The Invasion", Jamie was required to climb into a helicopter. The crew followed the example of Elizabeth II below and gave him a Magic Kilt by sewing weights into the hem.
Echo on Dollhouse wore a skirt while dancing during the first episode which, to the naked eye, would suggest it's so short it shouldn't cover so much as half of her butt. Magic is really the only logical explanation. However, in some bar-heavy neighborhoods that sort of skirt is nothing unusual on a Friday or Saturday night.
Renee O'Conner, the actress of Gabrielle from Xena: Warrior Princess, had her skirt taped down by staff before she'd do fight scenes.
Spoofed in The Benny Hill Show, where a "murder victim" can be seen rearranging her skirt in the background.
Power Rangers, despite being a huge fan of Skirt over Slacks, has choreographed fight scenes that play this trope straight. They are in a very small minority, though.
In Drake & Josh In the episode Grammy, Drake gets pulled upside down by one of Megan's pranks. His yellow jacket falls to gravity, but his blue undershirt stays up.
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus has an act (most recently in their Zing Zang Zoom circus - 2010) they sometimes do where two people walk upside-down (with harnesses, one supposes) above the audience in an upside-down room setting suspended from the rigging. The female of the two's hair hangs down following gravity, but her skirt hangs "down" relative to her body, thus being a Magic Skirt.
Final Fantasy VIII allows the player to cast Scan on their own party members and rotate their models up and down, and around. However, Selphie can only rotate around, not up or down, and thus, her panties remain safe. At least as far as Scan is concerned.
Lightning has what appears to be a short skirt but she remains covered throughout. Somewhat justified. The box art for the game revealed that she's wearing what appear to be very short biker shorts underneath the skirt.
Serah's miniskirt also appears to be magical, as it manages to cling to the back of her legs as she jumps onto a platform in a flashback cutscene.
Averted for a split-second when Vanille's l'Cie brand explodes before her Eidolon Battle, and you can see she's not wearing anything under there.
Final Fantasy XIII-2, Serah wears a dress of some sort in the second game. You can actually see up it in the ending, but there is nothing to see, because she wears modesty shorts. Strangely enough, her dress has holes on the hips, showing pure skin so... how can she be wearing Modesty Shorts if she supposedly is going commando underneath that sheet of cloth called a dress?
Occasionally crops up in fighting games. Disregarding the question of why you're in a fighting tournament wearing a long slit skirt and high heels, Anna Williams in the Tekken games doesn't have any wardrobe failures if, say, turned upside down for a friendly Tombstone piledriver. Then again, in the same game, Ling Xiaoyu's skirt (if in a pleated schoolgirl one) may or may not follow this, depending on the mood of the game engine. It also seems to vary per character. In Tekken 6 for example, Lili's and Anna's skirts seem to be magically glued, but Xiaoyu's and Asuka's school uniforms easily avert this trope.
Any BioWare game in which anyone wears a skirt of any sort. The skirt appears glued to the character's legs, and in the case of longer skirts stretches to accomodate a normal walking motion.
Especially blatant during the animated Sacred Ashes trailer for Dragon Age, where Leliana's skirt stays on regardless of how many acrobatics she does. The strange miniskirts that form the bottom half of leather armor on male and female characters in Dragon Age always remain in place, though at one point Alistair does get a nice view.
However the trope is hilariously affirmed in Mass Effect 2 when playing the female Shepard after completing the DLC loyalty mission for Kasumi, after which a Little Black Dress becomes optional wear on board the Normandy. Engage a crewmember such as Miranda in any conversation that involves Shepard sitting down and you're treated to a view of a gaping black void (due to the animation being the same as that for a male Shepard, meaning sitting down on a chair with legs wide apart).
This, however, is an artifact of how the models are rigged and animated. There's no physics modeling for clothing in many 3D games, so if you want something to move, it has to have a bone attached to it and given an animation.
In a commercial for Guitar Hero: World Tour, supermodel Heidi Klum recreates the iconic "Old Time Rock And Roll" scene from Risky Business, but the shirt she wears stays firmly at waist-level, not even revealing whether or not she's wearing the requisite boxers. The trope is immediately subverted in a sequel commercial where Klum ditches the shirt altogether and cavorts in her underwear.
Peach and Zelda must buy their magic dresses from the same place. Maybe Zelda uses her own magic on hers, but it still doesn't make much sense. You can see what is in them by rotating the camera though.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, if you do Peach's taunt when in one of Donkey Kong's stages (the vertical climb one) when the wind is blowing... surprise!
On that note, Link in Twilight Princess. He spend a fair portion of the game walking on the ceiling (magnetic walls + iron boots), yet the skirty portion of his tunic stays firmly in place, gravity be damned. His hat, however... Ironic since this is the first time that Link wears actual pants so it wouldn't be indecent.
Ilyana, a playable mage in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (and later, the sequel, Radiant Dawn), has a ridiculously short skirt. While she has plenty of panty shots in the first game (almost every attack!), the only thing that results in one in the 2nd game is attacking through a barrier (barriers you can attack through are only in a handful of levels).
Freya of the Valkyrie Profile series has a skirt that's about as short as can be without showing anything in a normal pose. Everthing somehow remains hidden as she flies around the battlefield, while the camera draws attention to her hips. Depending on the game, she's actually wearing a combination of a leotard and a skirt.
In the Ash the Archknight sidegame of Dragon Fable, the first story has a bit where a princess in a long dress, with a slit up the side no less, is being held upside down by a monster. Her dress is, presumably, held up by magic.
Subverted in Persona 4. Yukiko's summer outfit seems to use the "lots of shadow" variant, but she's actually wearing black short shorts.
Played straight in Persona 3 for Yukari and Mitsuru. Zig-Zagged with the PSP versions female MC, who only has the "lots of shadow" variety when the camera peeks up while preparing for a Combination Attack with another party member and provides a Panty Shot when falling down from missing an attack or during her critical hit animation when she spins around in the air before making a third strike with her weapon.
In Arcana Heart and Arcana Heart Full, none of the all female cast will have a panty shot, no matter what the circumstances are. Except with Petra in Arcana Heart 2, where one of her supers causes one.
Lampshaded with Shii from AdventureQuest. The PC even refers to it as her "impossibly short skirt."
Baiken in the Guilty Gear series is one of (if not the) only character not wearing pants that doesn't show her panties at any point despite raising her leg well above her head when doing her tatami mat special. Possibly justified in that it's entirely possible she might not be wearing panties at all, if her lack of a sarashi is any indication. Baiken's outfit doesn't flip up when she kicks or uses the tatami mat because it hangs open at the front, almost all the way to her hip — one of her legs is completely uncovered even when she's standing still◊. Still, her opponent must be getting an eyeful...
Newer games in Japan are stricter with upskirt shots than usual, the CG usually has some means to cover up any potential panty shots and Panty FighterIkki Tousen only has upskirt shots on the sprites, not the CGs. Agarest Senki, a game known for fanservice, has all upskirt shots covered. Total undergarment exposure is fine, though.
Dead or Alive games usually avert this, treating viewers with a ridiculous number of panty shots, but one of Kokoro's costumes in Dimensions has a skirt that never flies up. It's short enough that you may catch a few glimpses up it, but you can't see anything, likely because the area is shaded in or possibly because she's wearing Modesty Shorts the length of the skirt.
Heather from Silent Hill 3. I mean, come on, she's going to Silent Hill and she's wearing a miniskirt!
Played with in Atelier Totori. In an interview about a scene where Totori is subject to being harassed by an octopus, people thought it was her panties, but the producers said they were bloomers.
And once again in Senran Kaguya where the female cast wears swimsuits which are impervious to clothing damage
Though they DO happen, considering how crazy the dance moves and short the skirts are, panty shots in The idolm@ster are surprisingly rare unless you purposely set the camera settings to a low angle.
In the second vision games such as iDOLM@STER 2 and iDOLM@STER One For All(which has more detailed graphics and physics) it's justified. Some skirts are really close fitting, some appear to be held in place by hoops, some have Modesty Shorts and some skirts aren't magic at all.
The King of Fighters. If indeed he has a wang (of black stone pulsating with golden light, no doubt), Mukai's... cloth... thing thankfully keeps it in check every time he raises his leg above his head to deliver a special attack (which is often). He kicks high.
Played straight with Blaze Fielding in the original Streets of Rage... for the Genesis/Mega Drive. For some reason, even though her sprite is scaled down (very much so in the Game Gear version) the artists for the 8 bit versions decided to add a flash of white to just about every Blaze sprite that wasn't standing or punching.
The international versions of Streets Of Rage 2/Bare Knuckle II redrew a Panty Shot jumpkick for Blaze, changing the placement of her legs to hide her crotch.
In World of Warcraft, many characters, both male and female, wear robe, dress or skirt-like clothing. Any action the character might undergo that would move the character upside down though does not lift up the hem of the garment above the basic position, however, due to limitations in the game's models. Looking up the garment while a character might be floating will just reveal hints of the ankle and blackness. As result of how their feet look, Draenei, Worgen, Tauren and Troll players don't even see footgear on below the hem of the garments.
The skirts in some Professional Wrestling games would follow this style, too. Makes picking your panty design almost redundant.
All skirts in City of Heroes function this way, at least in the "never fall over" department. With all the flips and such that certain characters do, panty shots are frequent, but very hard to catch.
In Skies of Arcadia, characters' clothes flutter whenever they use magic. Fina's skirt only goes up to her knees. (Aika's skirt goes up all the way, but she's wearing shorts, and it's questionable if that's really a "skirt" anyway.)
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: Yuriko Omega's Obligatory Schoolgirl Skirt goes back and forth. On the one hand, she can hover, do random spins, and flip tanks around without showing the camera anything. (But then, it's a 3/4ths overhead camera, so it's not hard. No word on what the guys on the ground see...) On the other hand, it's pretty easy to get a Panty Shot — when she dies. (For the record, it's pink.) Yes, this means Yuriko panty shots cost two thousand credits each — Worth It?
Amy Rose in the Sonic the Hedgehog series post-Sonic Adventure. Interestingly, while in the 3D-based games, she plays this straight and the players'll get a little too much of it, in the 2D-based games, jumping animations go out of its way to have Amy hold down her skirt while falling. Even in Sonic Advance, her falling pose in the ending has her holding down her skirt.
In the Harry Potter video games, all the female students at Hogwarts wear skirts which sometimes seem like they could qualify as very long miniskirts. Starting with The Order of the Phoenix, you learn the spell, Levicorpus, which hangs your opponents in dueling upside-down by the ankles. When you duel a girl, her skirt still covers her underpants even when this spell in cast! (At around 2:14). However, in The Half-Blood Prince, Expelliarmus will knock opponents over and occasionally their legs will be apart. If this happens with a girl, everything starting from a certain point under her skirt will be strategically shaded.
Golden Sun's first installment avoided this trope. Mia wore ankle-length skirts, and Menardi wore leggings beneath hers. In the second installment, heroic girls wore knee-length skirts (Jenna) and/or trousers beneath (Sheba), but on the villainous side we had Karst in a black leather miniskirt which somehow never rode up in the heat of battle.
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn gives some player characters the "mysterious blackness underneath" version, even though they're also wearing leggings/tights... and then there's Chalis, whose "skirt" amounts to two short panels hanging freely in front and in back (and the high cut of the sides indicates there's a good chance she's Going Commando). Chalis is a Dark Action Girl. "Psynergy" is the only possible explanation.
Despite the number of panty shots in Space Channel 5, there's one particularly weird instance of this trope when Ulala squats with her knees together and then opens her legs up and her skirt flaps down like an apron before we can see anything.
One CG in Little Busters! features a shot from below image of Kud jumping up to grab a frisbee. Her skirt mysteriously falls in precisely the right way to not reveal anything, and the game seems to assume Riki can't see anything, even though the skirt would presumably be flapping all over the place. It's a little odd given that in other CGs the game have no hesitations whatsoever about showing Panty Shots.
The skirts in MMO Pirates of the Caribbean Online are all knee-length, but when a female pirate in a skirt jumps or is knocked prone, her legs seem to just stop at her knees at a solid block of color matching her skirt.
In Saints Row games, even when the Boss wears tiny miniskirts, it's very difficult to get a pantyshot.
Averted to the nth degree in Leisure Suit Larry III in which Ms. Fanservice Passionate Patti has to remove her skirt (and literally everything else) in order to complete a series of adventures.
Any skirt-wearing character in the Panel de Pon series has their upper thigh exposed at the most. One aversion exists in a CG from the Nintendo Puzzle Collection sequel, which features Modesty Shorts instead.
Katara, in How I Became Yours, displays this when executing a sort of somersault to dodge Mai's knife attacks.
Anne of The Wotch, whose skirt might very well be magic — except for one time, where the readers find out that the throwaway gag about Wonder Woman undies made several years before was accurate. A male friend who's present at the scene can't seem to keep his eyes on the mortal danger that's dangling them both upside down.
The girls (and women) in Kevin & Kell are more often than not wearing skirts and dresses, so they end up featuring this when the scenery gets physical. One example is Lindesfarner upside down and stopped by getting stuck to a tree; her skirt stays rigidly in place.
Several characters in MegaTokyo have demonstrated this effect, including Yuki, Ping, Miho, Kimiko and Junko. However, whenever the characters are "in game," when clothing, including skirts, reacts as it should, providing much pantsu (or stockings, in Miho's case) for the audience.
In El Goonish Shive, Elliot's super hero form has a skirt as part of the costume (the form has certain downsides). This skirt stays in place even when Elliot is falling out of the sky. It is worth noting that the whole costume is part of the spell, so it is also a literal magic skirt.
Melissa Thayer in Outworld has a skirt that stays up when she's hanging from a tree.
Lady Lumps VS Boy Bumps generally does not shy away from upskirt shots, but in Sonik Kombat, Amy's dress seems to become magic after she loses her underwear. Until the penultimate scene, anyway, where it goes back to not blocking anything. Amy is a Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal, though, so ironically, that scene is less perverse than it would have been if she still had her underwear!
In RWBY, this applies to all characters. According to its creator:
Monty Oum: RWBY will be tasteful clean and responsible. I implemented very effective ANTI UPSKIRT TECHNOLOGY! for this show.
The Powerpuff Girls' dresses cling tightly to their bodies even while they fly around and fight monsters. It's more a stylistic choice than a censorship trope, because due to their young age and simple designs they're already shown in their underwear from time to time.
Kim has the good sense to not go looking for a fight in a skirt, but trouble occasionally finds her while in an evening gown, or a cheerleading outfit. When she does get physical in one, this trope applies in all cases but two: a first-season incident that somehow got into the Title Montage for the first three seasons and a somewhat less subtle incident from the fourth season.
There's an episode where Ron and Kim switched bodies. Whenever this trope wasn't in effect, Ron (in Kim's body) could openly be seen holding the skirt down.
Ron (in Kim's body):"Hey! I'm in a skirt here!"
She-Ra: Princess of Power: Despite having a skirt shorter than most tennis players, and She-Ra's main offensive move being a roundhouse kick. Well, there is a panty shot that made it into the Christmas special.
In the Legion of Super Heroes cartoon, Triplicate Girl's underwear are never shown, despite the skirt's short length and all the high kicks she does. Shrinking Violet later swaps costume to a dress in season 2 and the same occurs, even when she is a giant compared to them in one episode.
Lois Lane's short skirt has to be some kind of Kryptonian Imported Alien Phlebotinum or some such. Realistically, the entire cast would be familiar with Lois' unmentionables by the end of any episode, especially when you consider how often Lois is seen falling from high places. Doesn't matter if it's straight down legs-first, or end over end, or how she lands when it comes to falls that don't require superheroic intervention, Lois's Super-Skirt will remain glued tightly to her legs.
Spryte the fairy from the old cartoon, who should rightfully have flashed Link every other time she moved. Averted at one point in the first episode. When Spryte fell over due to the earth shaking, it was revealed (in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene that flew a high-speed night mission under the radar) that she wears nothing at all underneath her skirt.
Link too. In the series, there are several occasions where he is forced to fight wearing only a turquoise shirt and it hides his shame despite him doing flips, kicks and jumping around. This is most prevalent in the first episode. In a later episode this is slightly subverted when his tunic falls down and we see that he is wearing boxer shorts, but these would have been fully visible in several of the previous shots and yet they aren't until that point.
In the original Doom Patrol's appearance in Teen Titans, Elastigirl's power, despite her name, is actually to grow and shrink. (This is consistent with comics, though the comics version can expand or shrink individual limbs.) She also wears a very short skirt. How does a giantess with a short skirt never flash anyone down below, including the viewer? Gotta be magic.
However, her appearance in Secret Six had a character deliberately looking up her skirt and remarking on the view.
The same goes for Giganta in Justice League. Probably why she switched to catsuits in the comics. This was averted in the television show, where Shade makes a remark on how the job just keeps getting better when Giganta grows.
Gwen is capable of executing karate kicks, flipping, getting caught in a tornado and whisked into the air, sliding down an ice slide to escape from said tornado, and sitting cross-legged in a miniskirt without trouble. Granted, she wears some sort of pantyhose under it, but...
Julie Yamamoto plays tennis in a short skirt, but when she plays it flutters so slightly (in direct contrast to the same skirts in real life).
In the 1951 Mighty Mouse cartoon Sunny Italy, Pearl Pureheart is seen dangling by one foot◊ and wearing a very short, loose blue dress. Her skirt flips over only partially, keeping her panties concealed. Similarly that same year, a human Pearl Pureheart-type girl in a cartoon called Better Late Than Never is wearing the same type of dress and plummets from a building feet first. Her skirt flies all the way up, showing her matching lacy panties. So according to Paul Terry, hanging upside down constitutes a magic skirt but falling feet first doesn't.
Despite having four characters with skirts of some sort, the main heroines of W.I.T.C.H. always have Magic Skirts, even to the point where one episode has a monster holding a transformed Hay Lin (who has the worst of the designed skirts) upside down, yet the skirt is still up right!
An episode of What's New, Scooby-Doo? has Velma and Daphne get caught in a chain in midair with the others. Their skirts stay hanging upward.
Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword: Daphne's friend Miyumi, wearing a short, pleated school dress — check. Does backflips and jumps during battle with sensei Miss Mirimoto — yepper. Panty shot — bzzzzt! But thanks for playing.
Scooby-Doo Where Are You! episode "Haunted House Hang-Up": Shaggy, Scooby, and Velma all fall into a well feet first, and Velma's pleated skirt never goes up.
An upper body variant. Sam in "Totally Spies!!" when hung up to wall with shurikens attached to her upper shirt over her shoulders. Her shirt hardly lifts enough to bare her midriff just a tad more than it already previously did. Realistically, the shirt being hinged would have lifted a great deal and shown a larger amount of midriff.
In one episode of Codename: Kids Next Door, Numbuh Three is in a wedding dress, tied at the ankles, with her dress staying firmly in place. Because they couldn't have her dress tied as well, thus holding it up. No, they had to make it obvious and fake.
In the Batman & Robin episode "Love Is a Croc", Killer Croc grabs Baby Doll's foot and holds her upside down long ways up from a HVAC fan. Baby Doll's skirt stays firmly in place, only giving a shot of her panties◊ from an aerial view as we see the giant fan below.
Often Subverted in Betty Boop cartoons, where the animators would repeat a motion over and over using the skirt, only to have it fail ever so often. Also in the Cartoon Betty in Blunderland, the lack of a Magic Skirt means Betty has to hold it down while falling down the rabbit hole, until she passes a clothesline and grabs a pin to keep it in place.
In Futurama, Zapp Brannigan wears a skirt so short that it should not be as all-covering as it is. One can only assume nebula!God intervenes to keep it in place. Worse, in one early episode, it's implied that he's going commando under there.
In Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures, Jeremiah Surd's female Dragon Julia regularly wore an extreeeemely short skirt, and fought with a high-kicking kung-fu style. There was never an upskirt shot, ever.
Katana in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. In "The Malicious Mr. Mind", Mary Marvel performs a straight-ahead attack with her foot, but her skirt never goes up. Likewise, when she lands or is flipped head over heels.
Kimberly on the "Space Ace" segments of Saturday Supercade. Which is ironic because in the original video game, practically every other shot of her is a Panty Shot.
In the Josie And The Pussy Cats episode "All Wong In Hong Kong," Alexandra jumps on a trampoline and falls feet first towards a toy bucking horse. As she falls, the front of her skirt stays in place while the hem in the back flips up ever so slightly.
In a 1969 episode of the Archie cartoon, Big Ethel averts this. She shown in a sequence hanging upside down in a snare she intended for Jughead, showing knee-length granny bloomers.
An episode of Atomic Betty has this Canadian cutie superheroine swinging by her knees on a trapeze (rhyme unintended). Her skirt flitters with the force of swinging but never flips over to her face.
The Alice in Hanna-Barbera's 1967 special Alice in Wonderland, or What's a Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This? simply averts a panty shot by holding her skirt and slip down as she slowly falls feet first down the rabbit hole.
In an episode of KaBlam!, June is seen wearing a dress, and then during her musical act, she's flipping on a bunch of hurdles, yet her skirt is always in place (this is probably due to Nickelodeon standards).
Also, in an Angela Anaconda short, one of Angela's fantasies involve Nanette Manoir falling off a cliff and her skirt doesn't flap up. In the same short, Angela herself almost has a Panty Shot, but it wasn't on-screen.
The loincloths that the Gargoyles wear seem to do an unusually good job of keeping their naughty bits covered.
Phineas and Ferb is one show where all the girls have magic skirts in many notable episodes. Examples are:
In "Backyard Aquarium", despite being thrown multiple times by whales and squids, Candace was covered up.
In "Swinter", Candace is falling down into the backyard but her skirt stays in place.
In "Isabella and the Temple of Sap", Isabella's skirt only flutters so lightly in the wind.
In "Let's Bounce", when Candace is made lighter than air, it apparently affects her clothes as well. Then it turns out she's wearing a skort.
In "De Plane! De Plane!", the music segment has the Fireside Girls standing on each other in a big, vertical human circle. Their skirts flutter in the wind, but they're otherwise going straight towards their feet.
A rare male example: the 1960's era cartoon The Mighty Hercules has the title character in a short robe that barely covered his essentials. But, even when jumping off Mount Olympus and falling feet-first toward the plains, it did little more than flutter around his legs.
Amalia and Evangelyne from Wakfu, despite being both quite active, have magic skirts whether in their normal clothes, nightgowns or even cheerleaders outfits. With the latter, during the Gobbowl match, they perform a "body letters" routine with Yugo to spell "RUEL STROUD", and the skirts stay glued to their backsides even when doing the two "U" with their legs.
Haley Long in American Dragon Jake Long. Despite spreading her legs out while sitting on a railing and turning into a monster two times bigger than her, she has no shot — and none of her clothes ripped. Also notice that in one episode, she jumps with her knees to her chest and it looks like they put her leg through her skirt so that they don't have to open it up.
Total Drama Island does this often with Lindsay and Gwen. May be justified by the blocky, simplistic drawing style — if the clothes moved like regular fabric, it'd look odd.
An early 60's syndicated animated special called Return to Oz has a scene where the Wicked Witch of the West holds Dorothy upside down by her feet outside a castle window. Dorothy's skirt falls just barely enough to show the lace legbands of her panties.
Used somewhat ironically in the 1934 French animated short La Joie de Vivre, since moments later we see the magic-skirt-wearing characters naked anyway.
Kimiko on Xiaolin Showdown. Lots of flips and tumbling in a short skirt and no show of skivvies.
The Simpsons: Lisa's trademark red sundress; especially egregious as it's a dress with no waist, which should logically fall all the way down to her shoulders whenever she's upside down.
An episode of Superjail! has the flying prison robot arresting a little girl in a hospital gown. It attaches a chain to the girl's foot and carries her off, dangling her upside down. Her hospital gown stays where it is through the flight.
Played straight and literally with Milli from Team Umizoomi. For the "literally" part, Milli's dress can change colors.
In "The Poltergeist" episode of The Amazing World of Gumball Nicole Watterson spends a good part of the episode hanging upside down in one of the traps Richard has set for "the ghost" (Which turns out to be a depressed Mr. Robinson as revealed early in the episode). Her gray pleated skirt doesn't move an inch.
Ilana does this quite a bit in Sym-Bionic Titan, as well as the other cheerleaders in "Showdown at Sherman High", except for Kimmy at one point.
Gravity Falls: In Irrational Treasure, Mabel lies on a bench UPSIDE DOWN. Her skirt stays defiantly upright. Gravity must work differently in Gravity Falls.
Queen Elizabeth II has skirts with special weights sewn into the lining to prevent them from rising in the wind. Sadly, this tends to be mostly useful for getting in and out of helicopters, rather than superheroics.
Victorian-era women's bathing suits had a similar design.
For the men, the Utilikilts come with a modesty system for this purpose. It's a button and loop system that tether the front and back halves of it together. It'll keep it in place in a strong wind, but if you're ever upside down, good luck.
Similarly, part of the purpose of the sporran worn with the regular kilt is to provide weight to stop the front of the kilt from blowing up and displaying everything at the slightest provocation.
Skorts tend to stay down better than a skirt, due to being sewn to a pair of shorts underneath.