A true Scotsman will never tell you what's under his kilt But given any chance he'll be more than glad to show you.
— Fred MacAulay
Men in The Kilt (the plural of A Kilt is The Kilt, not Kilts) are often considered sexy, especially if they have "good legs." This a form of fanservice but it isn't always intentional; as Most Writers Are Male (and straight), they usually don't include and might even deliberately avoid fanservice aimed at women.
On occasion it is intentional though. We'll be listing both examples of intentional and unintentional Kilt Service here. It is worth mentioning, however, there are examples of this definitely not being fanservice, when the Kilt is worn by a not traditionally attractive man... then again, different strokes for different folks and all that.
Often if a Man in a Kilt appears, someone will suggestively ask if is he "a real Scotsman", i.e. is anything worn under the kilt? If he's a "real Scotsman" he might say nothing is worn under the kilt: it's all in very good condition. (Historically, this is a case of artistic license; since the "nae trews" style of kilt-wearing originated with a single British Army regiment; we also understand that it is permissible to wear underpants with a kilt at present, since there is a lady on the Scottish throne. And The Other Wiki notes that participants in traditional Highland events like the Highland Games or country dance contests are generally required by the rules to wear something under their kilt.) A typical answer to "what are you wearing under it" if the man in question is feeling a little mischievous is, "Good girls don't ask, bad girls find out for themselves" and, if he just wants to be a total wiseass, "Shoes."
The kilt is also invariably the Scottish tartan Great or Wee kilt, despite the kilt being considerably Older Than They Think.
Furthermore - in Scotland, the kilt is part of Highland dress and not universal to the entire country. Lowlanders (including historical figures like John Knox and Robert Burns) would never have worn kilts as they are the mainstay of the 'Teuchter' (or Highlander). This being the subject of "Donald Where's Yer Troosers?" by comic singer Andy Stewart.
Compare Shirtless Scene.
Oh, and... it's probably best not to tell a Scotsmanhe's wearing a skirt.... because if you do, you'll get kilt.
Scotch Whisky purveyor William Lawson's "No Rules" ad campaign featured kilt-wearing, well-built, and typically shirtless men. Pushing the fanservice content as far as they're allowed (and occasionally farther, as one advert demonstrated), the kilts are invariably raised or lost completely.
Another one portrays the pre-game of a Scotland - New Zealand rugby game. The New Zealanders perform their traditional pre-match haka (the one performed in the ad isn't the actual All Blacks haka, but it's close enough). The Scots stand around in kilts, unimpressed. Then it's their turn. They just stand there, and then they lift their kilts. Faces of New Zealand team: 0.0. Cue Crowning Moment of Funny. Well built, indeed. (Oh, don't worry, that bit is off-screen.)
William Wallace (Mel Gibson) in Braveheart even though, like most of the film, this was unlikely. Wallace was not a Highlander - he was an upper-class Lowlander.
The kilt in Braveheart was an anachronism. During Wallace's time, the most common battle dress was a long, heavy tunic waterproofed with bear or goose grease. The plaid wool wrap, which would evolve into the Great Kilt about a century later, was too valuable to risk damaging, and would have been set aside before battle.
Also worth noting that at the time, the great plaid didn't exist and wouldn't until over a century later. In dress, Wallace and his men would have looked no different from the Englishmen they were fighting.
Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) in Highlander. Along with many others in the Clan McLeod.
Mr. Pool wears one in an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, he's of Scottish ancestry. It isn't played for Fanservice, as it just confuses Sabrina, and the principal yells at Mr. Pool for doing so.
Flynn, the Blue Ranger from Power Rangers RPM, for formal occasions as well as part of his childhood school uniform. When he was fighting off Wedding Smashers, there were even some "lifting the kilt" visual gags.
Parodied in an episode of The Detectives where they were called in to an attempted murder during a battle reenactment. The only clue the almost murder victim could give was that his attacker was wearing purple Y-fronts. Cue the detectives walking round with a rear view mirror on a stick to check what EVERYone was wearing under their kilt.
The Avengers once visited Scotland. To make sure the audience knew they were in Scotland, everyone — John Steed included, of course — wore the kilt throughout. Ironically, the only person wearing trousers was Emma Peel.
Montgomery "Scotty" Scott in Star Trek: The Original Series wears a kilt onscreen twice, in the Scott black & white tartan, both in the third season. He also wears a different Scott tartan in The Wrath of Khan.
On an episode of McMillan and Wife, Rock Hudson wore a kilt and his wife (Susan Saint James) had to give him some pointers sotto voce on sitting while wearing a skirt-like garment in public ("keep your knees together, dear").
In Tin Man, several of the Oz resistance fighters are wearing kilts. These were made by the Seattle-based Utilikilts company (see Real Life)
Glee's Kurt Hummel wears a very traditional (but home-made) formal kilt and jacket to his prom in "Prom Queen" - though with a pair of skinny jeans underneath, and knee-high boots (justified in that Kurt is canonically rather averse to showing skin).
Duncan MacLeod in the Highlander series, along with others in the flashback scenes.
Legend Of William Tell Will consistently wears two strips of tartan hanging from his belt, one at the back, one at the front, along with a sporran. Sadly, though, he's wearing trousers underneath.
Finnish folk metalers Finntroll often adopt black kilts, in tune with their paganised aesthetic, much to the apparent delight of their female fans.
Scottish singer Kenneth McKellar sported a kilt when he represented the United Kingdom in the 1966 Eurovision Song Contest.
Despite being recorded in a pre-music video era, Andy Stewart's Donald, Whur's Yer Troosers which is about the humourous misadventures of a Scottish man wearing a Kilt in England contains an example of this trope when women drop money on the ground on at his feet just so they can bend down to pick it up...
Steampunk band Abney Park's guitarist/violinist often wears a tartan kilt as part of his stage look. Rumor has it that some female fans do indeed try to get a peek from the front row at concerts.
Bryan Bowers' song The Scotsman: A drunk Scotsman passes out alongside the road and two girls decide to take a peek under his kilt. It turns out that he isn't wearing anything underneath, so the girls tie a blue ribbon around his... little friend. When he wakes up and goes to pee, he sees the ribbon and says "Lad, I don't know where you've been, but I see you've won first prize."
The Irish (with one Scotsman) group Celtic Thunder will don kilts for their finale "Ireland's Call." The male members of their band will usually wear them throughout, and at least once they mentioned, if the venue was too warm, they might wear them through the whole gig as well.
In the Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation episode "How To Be A Woman In The 21st Century", Jeremy asks Gordon Kennedy if it's true what they say about the kilt. Gordon's reply is "Personally, I don't risk it. A kilt only comes down to the knees, after all. Could be embarassing."
Shamans and Druids in World of Warcraft often get kilt-like pants as part of their raid set or as single equips. They are not gender nor race specific either. One of the funniest (and in some cases, the most awesome) things to see in this game is a 8ft, musclebound orc guy pummeling enemies with his axes and/or fists while wearing a kilt. It's even more hilarious to see Tauren (a Minotaur-like race) walking around in the kilt.
Kil'jaeden is sometimes depicted with a gladiator-style kilt.
Lampshaded by one of the female dwarf /flirt lines: "I'd like to see you in a kilt." Ironically, until recently, male dwarves were unlikely to wear kilts in-game.
One of the random bits of starting encouragement dialogue in London in Midtown Madness 2 is a Scotsman saying "If you can't feel the wind under yer kilt ye aren't going fast enough! Whaddaya mean yer not wearin' a kilt?!"
In Team Fortress 2 the Demoman has a kilt (the Cool Breeze) as a cosmetic item. Even before that, the other team's Soldier had a domination line where he shouts "Scotland is not a real country, you are an Englishman in a dress!" and in a tie-in comic, Demoman wears a kilt in a family photo, as do as his parents.
Cool Breeze description: Forget coffee, lad. THIS'll wake ye up on a cold winter morning.
Believe it or not, Duke Nukem himself wears a kilt in the Medieval levels of the spin-off game Duke Nukem: Time to Kill (an Easter Egg even has him lifting it to moon the camera, Braveheart-style), and a tunic in the Ancient Roman levels. He's actually only wearing pants for about half of the game.
Cortes in Skyland used to have a kilt in his early character design, but it got replaced by pants, but seems to have survived on in the form of a strip of tartan around his waist. Needless to say, the fandom has taken on the task of drawing him in a kilt. Shirtless, too.
Groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons has been seen wearing one on a few occasions, including once when Bart tied balloons to the kilt as a prank.
In the Loch Ness episode of Inspector Gadget, Brain wears a kilt most of the episode, and you can see up the kilt many, many times. He's not wearing anything, but he is a dog.
The male Smurfs in The Smurfs Season 9 episodes that take place in Scotland are all seen wearing kilts, as their clothes would change depending on what time period and/or geographical location they would wind up in.
When he once went to Scotland as a result of another Wrong Turn at Albuquerque, Bugs mistook a local man for a woman. Once learning it's a man, Bugs provided a barrel. Once learning he's in Scotland, Bugs adapted his catchphrase by asking "What's up, MacDoc?"
DuckTales: Flintheart Glomgold wears a kilt to show he's not an African like his comic book counterpart. Scrooge also occasionally wears a kilt. During his first day in Duckburg, he was arrested for wearing a 'skirt' in public. The judge, who was wearing a kilt under his robe, felt so insulted by the cop who dared call it a skirt he sentenced the officer to 30 days in skirts.
When Scrooge took Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby to visit his family's chalet in Scotland, Webby saw a photograph of Scrooge as a kid wearing a kilt. Webby thought it was a girl.
A lot of weddings will have the groom and groomsmen in the kilt, if there's Scottish or Irish ancestry: Truth in Television, as well as fictional examples Sex and the City (Kyle McLachlan), Four Weddings and a Funeral and Made Of Honor (Patrick Dempsey, he tried to be like a "real Scotsman" but his bits were attacked by midges).
John Barrowmanin a kilt (at his civil ceremony, one picture involves him flashing Eve Myles - we don't see anything though - just her enjoying the view).
He also mentioned wearing them for major holidays, such as New Year's Eve. Apparently, when he and his partner Scott are kilted up and drunk, hilarity ensues.
David Tennantin a kilt◊, apparently DT once said he wanted the Tenth Doctor to wear one. I think he was joking though.
In the realm of fanart- putting a character of Scottish ancestry- or not- in a kilt is apparently the next best thing to an all out shirtless scene for sheer squee factor. A certain artist on deviantART has at least two sketches of CarcerDun- Psychopathic Knife Nut Carcer Dun- in the appropriate Dunn tartan. He looks very nice. Very nice.
A great many men in Scotland wear the kilt for special occasions, though seeing them used for casual wear is a bit odd.
However, many Scots gleefully don one at the first hint of a trip abroad, particularly if they are to represent their country in some way. A Scottish international rugby or football game will typically see more than a few of the fans kilted up.
This may, however, simply be The Coconut Effect. The Scottish man knows the first thing he's going to be asked is (even if it's in jest) "Where's your kilt?" simply because he Scottish.
Patrick Norton, co-host of "The Screen Savers" pre-G4 takeover, occasionally sported a Utili-kilt. It never became as iconic as his sledgehammer.
The Nac Mac Feegle, in Discworld. When you're six inches high, but have enough muscle to lift a cow, your legs are not going to be attractive, and artwork of them reflects this. They dislike being asked if anything's worn under the kilt, but eventually say "Not necessarily."
Probably not intended as fanservice (though of course some people will see it that way) but a fair number of the male characters in the Redwall series wear kilts, Rakkety Tam MacBurl and Wild Doogy Plumm probably being the most obvious. They're not necessarily of the traditional Scottish design - Ferahgo wears a fur one.
On Are You Being Served?, menswear was once asked by a Scotsman for assistance... right on the day when Miss Brahms was temporarily allowed to work therenote in order to avoid proximity to Mrs. Slocombe's cold, given that she'd just been vaccinated. Fortunately for her fear of "the unknown", they were informed that their inside legs are taken from the outside.
Another episode featured Mr. Lucas taking care of a Scottish customer in a kilt and trying to figure out how to take the man's inside leg measurement (the man had never worn pants in his life and didn't know his measurement).
Another episode had Mr. Humphries assisting a man in a kilt who wanted to buy a raincoat - one that wasn't too noisy. It turned out the man was a tabloid photographer and had his camera hidden in the sporran.
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper. A few called him "sexy"; these days, with several years and several pounds added, most of the charm is gone. Also, he's thankfully not a True Scotsman, and wears standard issue wrestling trunks underneath his kilt.
In the Infinity miniatures game, the Ariadna faction can field troops from the 45th Glaswegian regiment, which are stereotypically Brave Scots with kilts and giant claymores. Unstereotypically, they also pack heavy autocannons.
Haggis Macmutton, "of the clan Mac Mutton", in The Curse of Monkey Island, complete with exaggerated Scottish accent. At one point he tells an impatient Guybrush "keep yer skirt on, laddie", and during a storm at sea is shown holding down not the rigging, but his tartan.
In the Total War games, many Scottish units wear kilts. If it's a unit with the word "Highlander" anywhere in it, expect to see full-body kilts. Highland Noble units actually wear chainmail kilts with plate armor if they've been upgraded.
Armies in Europa Universalis are represented on the map by soldiers in attire reflecting their general tech level and with some regional/national variation. Pre-gunpowder Scottish units wear the kilt, making them immediately recognizable from other European powers.
Duff Killigan in Kim Possible, wears a kilt, isn't traditionally sexy.
Groundskeeper Willie in The Simpsons, when not wearing overalls at work, will sport a kilt, and being a true Scotsman, has nothing underneath. When he recreates the leg crossing scene from Basic Instinct in "Who Shot Mr. Burns, Part 2," it causes the opposite reaction that Sharon Stone got. When Bart pulls a gag by lifting his kilt in front of a crowd during "Scotchtoberfest," people weep and faint, with Willie dismissively saying "'tis naugh' bu' wha' Go' gae meh ya Puritan pukes!" When he played basketball in one, the other players couldn't bring themselves to get close to him. Oddly though, he's gotten several Shirtless Scenes.
The shirtless scenes are because Willie's level of attractiveness is subject to Negative Continuity.
He's ugly above the neck and nobody wants to look beneath the kilt. In between is all right. Like a male Butterface.
Home Movies - Coach Mc Guirk reignites his passion for Scottish Highland Dancing in full regalia...he gets a cramp and lands sprawled out, horrifying his team with the view.
Scrooge McDuck, despite not being human and therefore having duck-legs, does quite well in tailcoat and kilt. He also has a nice accent.
Only in animated works such as DuckTales, though. There is no sign of the accent in the comics, but Don Rosa's works seem to imply that he lost it during his cowboy years. Actually, Rosa made Scrooge wear a kilt in the ninth part of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.
Scrooge once told that, during one of his earlier days in America when he still was poor, a police officer once arrested him for wearing a 'skirt' in public. Fortunately, for Scrooge, the judge was also Scottish (or at least Scottish-American) and felt so insulted he sentenced the cop to thirty days wearing real skirts.
In order to avoid the Unfortunate Implications of featuring a South African in a cartoon made during the Apartheid era, DuckTales retconned Flintheart Glomgold as a Scotsman and gave him a kilt.
The Scots-Canadian hermit in Chilly Beach decides to give the curling ice one final polish before a crucial game... so he lift up his kilt and pees on it. When someone reminds him that it's traditional to wear something under the kilt when there's a woman on the throne he sheepishly admits that it was laundry day.