aka: Skirt Over Shorts
Panty Shots while wearing one. This is where Modesty Shorts come in. They let a girl or woman run, jump, tumble, fight, climb ladders, or even fly without anyone catching a glimpse of her underwear. Other common variations are large puffy bloomers in non-period pieces which are used as a bit of a fancier version normally on more gothic characters. In Western works, spankies are worn for this purpose under cheerleading outfits, or sometimes tights or leggings. This trope is common in anime, as School Uniforms are almost always extremely short. It is often worn by Kick Chicks, Cheerleaders, Action Girls, Tomboys or anyone else with an active lifestyle. Compare Skirt over Slacks, which are visible when a woman walks normally and tend to be used more as a fashion statement, though sometimes they can serve the same practical purpose. May be combined with Zettai Ryouiki. An alternative solution for this problem (in fiction, at least) is the Magic Skirt.
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- In a commercial for The25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, the Asian chick does a kick revealing that she wears shorts under her schoolgirl skirt.
- Hersey's Air Delites animated ad.
- A male version is found in this Lycos seach engine ad here (It's in French with English Sub). A man in a kilt is having a hard time keeping his kilt down while playing the bagpipes. The dog in the commercial brings him some of these shorts so all is safe from being seen.
Anime & Manga
- Mikoto Misaka of the A Certain Magical Index franchise has this trope as her fashion calling card, much to Kuroko Shirai's dismay. Also, Shizuri Mugino does it once. Mikoto's clones wear striped panties instead, which often helps Touma determine when he's speaking with one of them, rather than with the original.
- Bakemonogatari: Suruga Kanbaru wears this, in conjunction with her school uniform. Of course it's left unclear whether or not she's actually wearing anything underneath them.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!:
- Setsuna wears cycling shorts under her skirt, and has a bit of both shyness and tomboyish traits. Akamatsu did this to show that she was a less sexual character than the other girls. She later ditches these, but wears long-boyish underwear instead.
- Asuna dons in later chapters, too. Although in her case it's less about tomboyishness and more about not wanting to flash people whenever she fights in a miniskirt after a certain Going Commando incident in the Kyoto arc...
- Hayate the Combat Butler:
- Katsura Hinagiku wears a skirt over her bicycle shorts.
- Izumi also wears these in the first season of the anime for a quick joke/censorship reasons, but in the manga she is shown not to, at least on some occasions. She was wearing them when Hayate needed to use his special attack on Yukiji and feared the side effect would lift Izumi's skirt.
- Satsuki Miyanoshita of Ghost Stories wears them in one episode, after getting tired of Hajime flipping her skirt and revealing her panties.
- Eureka of Eureka Seven wears a pair under her very short dress.
- Ai Nanasaki from Amagami SS wears her School Swimsuit under her clothes, leading Jun'ichi to think he got a view of her panties when... he didn't.
- Suzuna of Eyeshield 21 wears biker shorts under her cheer uniform. This is partially because she's the Token Mini-Moe of the cheerleading team and partially to reflect her Short Tank personality.
- A common Running Gag in How to Read Manga is "don't you dare wear bloomers/shorts": basically, a man gets so angry when the Panty Shot he anticipated is ruined by the girl in question wearing shorts or covering bloomers that he slaps her.
- Crystal, when she's introduced in Pokémon Special, drops her skirt to take on some Slugma, revealing that she's wearing bike shorts underneath.
- With all of Sapphire's impressive physical feats, it was really quite thoughtful of Ruby to make her bike shorts along with the skirt.
- An episode of Pokémon where we see May changing into a swimsuit confirms that that strip of white cloth over her shorts is indeed a skirt, rather than an extension of her undershirt.
- Korrina, the Shalour City Gym Leader, is a lot more free to show off on her rollerblades knowing she has a pair of these.
- Kaname in an early chapter of Full Metal Panic! wears gym shorts under her skirt to prevent panty shots.
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: Vivian Wong does this in the 4kids dub—but ''not'' in the original.
- Wendy Garret of GUN×SWORD wears black bike shorts underneath her trademark yellow dress: probably a wise choice for someone who plans to hike across a whole continent in a short skirt.
- Bakuman。: In the Show Within a Show PCP, Annojo Mai has these. Mashiro and Takagi were very deliberate about this.
- A teacher in Urusei Yatsura gave Lum a pair of shorts to wear underneath her uniform after noticing that she was flashing other students as she flew around the school.
- The title character in Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne wears these with her Magical Girl outfit in the second season. In the first season, her outfit had no shorts underneath and was more following the Magic Skirt example.
- Isanami from Brave 10 wears cycling shorts under her miko open attire. In 1599.
- Fabiola Iglesias from Black Lagoon wears black shorts under her full length skirt. And she does still need them when she busts out her capoeira moves.
- Plotpoint in Ultimate Teacher where the resident Cute Bruiser Hinako can only fight when she's wearing Lucky Kitty-gym bloomers, brand that she's worn constantly since childhood so that she could fight without getting teased about showing her panties.
- The extras in one volume of Fruits Basket examined the school uniforms. It notes that if your skirt is as short as Tohru's, it's a good idea to wear shorts underneath.
- Arisa Bannings' battle outfit in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT, which is a pink Mini Dress Of Power and jacket combo worn over a pair of cycling shorts.
- In All Rounder Meguru Kamiya explains that everyone wears gym shorts under skirts these days. Cue Big "NO!" from two upperclassmen.
"What's with them?""That's the sound of their lecherous dreams being shattered..."
- Kiki's Delivery Service uses the bloomers variety to avoid inappropriate upskirt shots of the often-flying heroine.
- In episode 9 of Tokyo Mew Mew, Bu Ling is shown to wear her regular clothes, shorts and all, under her maid uniform.
- Kodomo no Omocha's Sana Kurata is revealed to be wearing a pair when her school's gang of bullies shred her skirt with box cutters.
- Variable Geo: Jun wears a black pair of bike shorts with her waitress uniform. Which prevents any peeks up her skirt during her high flying specials, like her signature finish: the "Kubota Special".
- Bleach: During Renji's flashback to how he and Rukia met, he is wearing a very short kosode, but clearly visible underneath are the skin-tight shorts he's wearing, which come further down his legs than his kosode does.
- In the manga version of Azumanga Daioh, the girls hang Chiyo upside down from a window as a good-weather charm. She's wearing shorts under her skirt.
- Kashima, the resident Bifauxnen of Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, is shown to wear shorts under her uniform's skirt in her official profile.
- SOS Pretty Cure: "Sorry to disappoint."
- Cure Dragon wears this in Futari Wa Pretty Cure Dragon; Rica Watson also wears this with her school uniform.
- In the semi-genderbent Sword Art Online story, The Kirita Chronicles, Kirigaya Kazuta wears shorts underneath her skirt in the real world prior to the beginning of the Death Game.
- In the first Resident Evil film, Alice wears black shorts underneath her red dress.
- In A League of Their Own the female baseball players uniform includes skirts and shorts. Also in the Real Life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League upon which the film is based.
- The players originally wanted to wear slacks, as they had always done when playing baseball. They are at first horrified and disgusted to find that their uniforms will include skirts, with the catcher muttering: "I have to squat in that thing."
- In The Poseidon Adventure, all of the women except Stella Stevens were wearing shorts under their evening gowns, for some reason.
- Go Go Yubari in Kill Bill.
- In the Live Action Remake of Blood: The Last Vampire Saya wears short under her already long skirt to avoid Fanservice, this is in tone with the original film, where Panty Shots are averted.
- Firefly: River wears black bike shorts under her dresses. There's a couple times where she skips the skirt part and just wears the shorts with a top, as well.
- Highlander's Duncan MacLeod is a rare male example: In flashbacks to his long ago youth in Scotland, Duncan inevitably wears biker shorts under his kilt, often visible in action scenes.
- See a female in a skirt on Power Rangers? There's a really good chance that they have either black or Ranger colored shorts on underneath. Kimberly has gone even further by wearing shorts over shorts.
- While Super Sentai typically loves the Magic Skirt trope, there are some exceptions.
- Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger: Umeko and Jasmine even went as far as to wear shorts under a Qipao.
- Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: Ahim, being a Badass Princess, wears shorts that match her dress.
- The note for Tori from Power Rangers Ninja Storm applies to her counterpart Nanami in Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger. It's not apparent as often as in Ninja Storm, but the Modesty Short/Panty Shot was definitely brought over from Japan.
- Austin and Ally has Ally wearing short dresses in almost every episode, and she usually has black shorts on if she does something that flips her dress up. It's usually just a shadow, since it IS a Disney show.
- Shake It Up had Rocky wear this at least once. She wore biker shorts during a spotlight dance, and for good reason since the skirt spent almost as much time up as it did down.
- That's Just Me had an episode where Elizabeth wears a jumper-dress to gym class because it's the last week of school and they won't be doing anything. Her mom doubts this, however, and makes her put gym shorts on under it.
- In the first episode of the sixth season, ''Do I HAVE to Go to High School?!', she's been told her class will be active, so instead of dressing nicely but casually, she shows up in a super fancy 50's style outfit with shorts under the skirt. The activity was later revealed to be dancing, so she never needed shorts, but her feet hurt from her diamond flipflops.
- Friends : When Rachel is trying to impress a guy, she puts on her old high school cheerleader uniform. When she turns a cartwheel, we see she's wearing shorts.
- The "Caramella Girls" are shown wearing shorts under their short skirts while they're dancing the Caramelldansen.
- Kpop idols wear safety shorts under their skirts and dress and be seen in music videos while dancing and twirling like in f(x)'s "Electric Shock" and "Rum Pum Pum Pum" as well as Girls' Generation's "Visual Dream".
- Persona 4: Chie wears shorts under her skirt, perfectly justificable because she is a Kick Chick.
- Lightning in Final Fantasy XIII and Serah Farron in Final Fantasy XIII-2 both wear black bike shorts under their miniskirts.
- Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth with Kay Faraday — official artwork shows that she is wearing a pair of shorts under her skirt.
- Bloomers are prevalent in Touhou fanart due to the Lolita-style outfits and highly-acrobatic depiction of the game's Bullet Hell fighting. Also canonical for at least some of the characters in the spin-off fighting games.
- Street Fighter
- Chun-Li wears tights beneath her short qipao.
- Sakura Kasugano wears her gym shorts underneath her uniform. Though given how short they are, the effect is mostly lost on most western gamers.
- Street Fighter Alpha 3: Karin Kanzuki wears a red schoolgirl outfit over her biker shorts.
- Super Street Fighter IV: Ibuki and Makoto's alternate outfits are their school uniforms, with bike shorts under their skirts.
- Aika from Skies of Arcadia wears black shorts under her mini.
- Ling Xiaoyu◊ from Tekken commonly wears a qipao with shorts underneath; if not for these, she'd be bare all the way from the hips downward. And for extra modesty points, when wearing her bonus schoolgirl uniform in Tekken 3, one of her victory poses note is disabled to prevent her from blatantly flashing her panties.
- In a male example, classic depictions of Castlevania's Simon Belmont had him wearing small shorts under the "skirt" plates of his armor.
- Kid Icarus' Pit's redesign used in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Kid Icarus: Uprising features black shorts under his toga (smart move, with all the flying around he does).
- Super Smash Bros.:
- After fighting with her bare legs under her dress in Melee, Zelda was given a set of leggings under it from Brawl onwards.
- Peach wears large puffy bloomers under her dress in Melee and Brawl. In the fourth game, this was changed to a black void past her lower legs.
- Palutena wears them too. In version 1.0.6 of the Japanese version, they got even more modest.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- Most of Link's incarnations have given him either a set of green shorts or, more commonly after the release of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a set of tights under his tunic.
- In Hyrule Warriors, where Zelda takes the role of a fighter, she dons modesty shorts. A smart choice, given that her outfit is open in the front, kind of like a Showgirl Skirt.
- Almost all of the Cartoon Doll Emporoium dress-up dolls, since they're made for kids, will have shorts when you strip them instead of normal panties, although while a few games have normal panties, they are usually black. The Dress Up Dream dolls, which usually share ties with CDE, do this same thing.
- Unless they are wearing a full-body costume, female Miis in Mario Tennis Open wear shorts under their skirts.
- Played with by Kick Chick Serina Leaf of Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars, as her skirt is so frilly on the underside that it's impossible to see above her knees. Illustrated perfectly in her official art, which is an upskirt shot.
- The playable Inklings always keep the same shorts on regardless of what outfit they're wearing, making them work like this for outfits with skirts such as the female variations of the school uniform and the Squid Girl tunic.
- Marie of the Squid Sisters wears a pair of black shorts under her dress and over her leggings.
- In Rusty and Co., Madeline is sensibly wearing (anachronistic) biker shorts under her leather skirt in her first appearance. (In the second, she's wearing winter clothes, making the matter moot.)
- A Dumbing of Age story has Joyce go on a date with Joe, and wear a rather fetching yellow dress. After the date goes south, Joyce goes home and changes, revealing that she had pajama shorts underneath the whole time.
- According to Word of God in the commentary of this El Goonish Shive strip, Elliot's Cheerleadra form wears these. This was mentioned due to reader response to the previous comic where it very much looked like Mr. Tensaided got a bit of an eyeful as Elliot flew away.
- In Worm, Glory Girl's superhero costume (a white dress with cape, boots, and tiara) includes a pair of these.
- Called "activity shorts" by Cat Davis from Cat on the Prowl.
- On Recess, Upside-Down Girl wears shorts under her jumper to avoid any panty shots when she's hanging from the monkey bars.
- Subverted on King of the Hill. Hank sees Luanne wearing an oversized T-shirt and apparently nothing else. When he asks her to Please Put Some Clothes On, she raises her arms to reveal "I'm wearing shorts." Hank is disturbed by just how scanty the shorts are.
Hank: Six A.M. and already the boy ain't right.
- Another subversion occurs moments later, when Bobby enters the kitchen wearing an oversized shirt of his own. Without lifting its hem, he removes the underwear he has on underneath it and puts on another pair fresh from the laundry, eliciting the following response:
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Passionate Sports Girl Rainbow Dash (the human version) wears shorts under her skirt, as does Human!Diamond Tiara.
- Junior high school girls in Japan typically wear their gym shorts (knee-length) under their (calf-length) uniform skirts. This is a practical necessity when they have to switch to their P.E. clothes two or three times a day, in schools which lack changing rooms. Most boys wear their shorts under their uniform slacks for the same reason.
- This also applies to elementary school girls: many of them, especially in the older grades, wear shorts to keep their modesty.
- The majority of schoolgirls around the world wear shorts under their school skirts, whether it's for warmth or modesty.
- Skorts (skirt + shorts), also known as culottes, which are Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Cosplayers dressing as sexy/scantly dressed characters can choose to wear underwear underneath the costume to prevent breaking city codes or harassment.
- Cheerleaders typically wear a type of shorts that are a bit of a cross between large panties and tight shorts. They would basically have to since most routines seem at least partly designed to flip up their skirts as much as possible.
- Medieval Icelandic women wore pants — women's pants — under their skirts.
- Many idols wear them in performances, to keep their pants from showing in dancing numbers.
- At Scottish cultural festivals, male athletes and dancers are required to wear black shorts under their kilts.
- The dread gym knickers. Old-fashioned (still current into this millennium in some private schools) British school uniforms kept girls in short, pleated skirts for sports. For modesty, there were matching knickers which you wore over your normal cotton pair, in the same heavy fabric as the skirts. They were as sweaty and abrasive as they sound, and you still ended up with muscle injuries from bare legs in freezing temperatures.
- British Newspapers covering Wimbledon and other tennis events used to salivate about skimpy knickers worn underneath short skirts. At one point even respectable broadsheet papers were competing to get the most embarrassing upskirt shots of the women players (together with any Nipple and Dimed wardrobe malfunctions). Most women tennis players today wear a variation of a theme of Modesty Shorts as well as better-fitting sports bras, which has caused this old newspaper tradition to wither and die.