Mooning

You call me a cheeky monkey.

Mooning: The time-honored tradition of pulling down one's pants and displaying one's buttocks. The term "mooning" has been in the English language for over 400 years, it wasn't until the late 1960's that it gained its modern slang usage.

Mooning is typically done for sheer, pointless defiance, to taunt an enemy, or simply for laughs. The general idea is to do it within full view of people who don't expect or want to see a pair of bare buttocks. Cheek Copy is a cousin of this trope that's less direct and can have the perpetrator be a safe distance from the victim with the same net result.

While this is often a male-oriented behavior, it's not unheard of for a woman to do the same. Of course, when a woman does this, it's often more for Fanservice than shock or offense, although for some people this can end up as Fetish Retardant.

Performing the act from the window of a moving car is perhaps the most common form in modern America. This solves the problem of a quick getaway while one's pants are undone.

In more unfortunate situations, the act of mooning may be followed by an Ass Shove.

Don't try this in real life, particularly in public. The resulting charges can range from public indecency to second-degree sexual assault, especially if children are nearby, and there's nothing like being on a registered sex offender list.

Examples:

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     Advertising 
  • An ill-advised prank advertising the Melbourne Comedy Festival.

     Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Hercule threatens to do this to Cell in the manga, but it is never shown. In the anime, he smacks his butt at Cell.
    • Kid Trunks to Broly in all of the Dragon Ball Z movies.
    • It was also done by Kid Goku in GT, and his descendant Goku Jr. in his movie.

     Comic Books 
  • A cartoon in MAD had a group of teenagers mooning a passerby who turned out to be a werewolf and who is transformed by his exposure to a 'full moon'.
  • Would you believe that this once happened to Batman? Guy Gardner may have a glass jaw, but he still has balls of steel.
  • The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers have a '50s nostalgia party, but Franklin doesn't dress up, declaring the decade "a drag". Fat Freddy incredulously cries "Whadd'ya mean? Remember cruisin'? Chopped Deuce coupes? Submarine races? Moonin'?" (his emphasis)
  • In Hack Slash Vs. Army of Darkness, Ash convinces Cassie to take part in a great American tradition: Mooning passing motorists.

     Fanfiction 

     Film - Animated 
  • Used in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit: Victor's pants get caught when stuck on the weathervane, and the vicar cries out, "Beware the moon!"
  • In Brave, when Lord Dingwall's son hit the bull's-eye in the archery competition, Lord Dingwall does a victory dance that ends with him mooning the other lords. Made easier by the fact that he's wearing a kilt.

     Film - Live-Action 
  • Braveheart has this with the entire Scottish army.
  • There's a "we have to change our clothes while the car is in motion" sequence in Johnny Dangerously that results in a mooning.
  • The Gamers: Dorkness Rising: How do you worship a Moon God?
  • In the film version of Grease, the Headmistress announces that the FBI had experts examining images of the young men who did this on live television. During Blue Moon, no less.
  • The Alpha Beta fraternity in Revenge of the Nerds does this to the Tri-Lambs. Yes, the whole fraternity shows their hairy buttocks, among other things. While singing "Old MacDonald".
  • In Zapped, a group of guys from the rival high school do this to Scott Baio's character after he hit a home run to win the baseball game. They would regret it.
  • In the final scene of the 80's movie Private School, the graduating class of the titular all-girl school do this.
  • In Slapshot the entire team and their followers do this out the windows of a bus in one town.
  • A rare female example takes place in American Graffiti, when a high school girl flashes her backside at nerd character Toad.
  • Prom Night movies:
    • Vicki (Pita Oliver) moons the creepy school janitor in Prom Night (1980), and gets scolded for it.
    • Jeff in the fourth film moons the prom attendees as he and the other characters are on their way to their own party.
  • In Twelve Monkeys, Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt) does this to the security staff at a mental institution while acting up.
  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, the good Captain gets mooned on stage by a soldier who was unimpressed with his USO performance.
  • In Austin Powers in Goldmember, this is Mini-Me's statement to the World Council's sentencing him and Dr. Evil (who is quite amused by the display.)
  • In Easy Virtue Philip makes a joke about his performing the can-can naked to Larita and she responded that she would do anything for him. After hearing this her sister-in-law Hilda decided to perform the dance without panties, and the result was her reputedly mooning the audience during the dance
  • In Wish You Were Here when Lynda was reputedly yelling “up ya bum” her neighbor asked what she was doing. She replied that she was just looking for a cat. The girl then bent down and lifted her nightshirt giving the grouchy woman an eyeful.
  • In Dirty Work Mitch gets Sam to do this to a waiting line-up at a movie theater. He then parked there, which Sam notes kinda misses the point.
  • Forrest Gump. The title character, at one point, gets Shot in the Ass. Later, Lyndon Johnson jokingly expresses interest in seeing the wound. Forrest, of course, takes the request literally and moons the President of the United States.
  • In The Smurfs 2, when Patrick Winslow says, "Is a Smurf's butt blue", Grouchy is seen bending over and preparing to flash his own butt, saying "You tell me".
    • And this is coming from the same Smurf who in the previous movie taunted Patrick Winslow with "kiss my smurf".
      • There would have been a "blue moon" in this film as well if Grouchy was allowed to pull it off.
  • In Problem Child, Ben Healy's father Big Ben moons his audience without realizing that the camera is on.
  • Captain Sabertooth And The Lama Rama Treasure has one of the antagonistic pirate mooning the protagonists from the other ship. Incidentally, this scene made it into the first trailer.

     Literature 
  • According to Dave Barry's Guide to Guys, one of the immature activities which constitute the "business meetings" of the Arcola Broom Corn Festival involves
    a man climbing up a ladder and, using props, presenting a dramatic rendition of a song while the Rangers attempt to guess the title, which is not difficult because the song always involves the word "moon"
    • In the same book, he also states that mooning is one of the two things invented by guys, the other being Pez.
  • Alison moons her unsuccessful suitor Absolon through a window in the dark in "The Miller's Tale". . .while leading him to believe she's sticking her face out the window for a kiss. He "kist her naked ers", and Squick ensues. He then comes back with a red-hot iron, asks for another kiss, and shoves the iron "amidde the ers" of Alison's lover.
  • Mulch does this in the Artemis Fowl series.
  • In Angela's Ashes, Malachy Jr frequently moons Oliver and Eugene to try to make them laugh.

     Live-Action TV 
  • The first instance of visible mooning on network U.S. TV was on St. Elsewhere where Dr. Westphall, who had quit in disgust, was offered a new job by his replacement. His response was to bare his backside and say "You can kiss my ass, pal." The action and the line were very risque for 1987.
  • On an episode of Roseanne, Arnie laments that the only thing he and Nancy used to fight about was "who drives and who moons."
  • Penny Marshall had a cameo in the Taxi episode "Louie Moves Uptown", where she tries to get a nice apartment. However the application board rejected her because she was an actress, and she responded by hiking up her skirt and sticking her tongue out at them.
  • In one episode of The Wonder Years, Kevin goes out with his friends who moon an older couple in the next car at a stoplight, but Kevin himself ducks down upon realizing the couple is his parents!
  • On The Bob Newhart Show, Bob's old college pal, nicknamed "The Peeper", reveals that Bob's nickname was "The Mooner." Bob hastily claims it was because he liked the "Moon Mullins" comic strip, but then smiles as he remembers an old Studebaker they used to drive...
  • Night Court had a rare female version where Billie pulled her skirt up and mooned out the window of Harry's chamber.
  • On That '70s Show, Eric invents the "Moon & Trench" which involves him "trenching" his teacher's lawn with the Vista Cruiser after mooning him at the door
  • On The Jeff Foxworthy Show Jeff is the king of mooning in his hometown since at a major ball game his mooning attempt got caught on the jumbo-tron. Later that episode he and his son moon a car with three women in it. It turns out the women were his wife, sister-in-law, and brother's girlfriend.
  • In the "Take Me to the Ball Game" episode of Good Luck Charlie, Uncle Ted moons the baseball players and is shown on the Jumbo screen. Of course, Teddy and Ivy cover him up with foam fingers, but don't forget this is a Disney Channel show! Later:
    Teddy: Then the police officer told us to please leave, then Uncle Mel told him to kiss something that was on the jumbo screen.
  • In the Big Bang Theory episode "The Pants Alternative", Sheldon gets drunk before his award acceptance speech and ends up mooning the audience and being put on YouTube:
    Sheldon: Now, for the astronomers in the audience, get ready to see the dark side of the moon. And here’s Uranus.
  • In a home video contest in the Chilean Cult Classic show Maldita sea!, one of the videos featured a guy hallucinating after sniffing on his smelly tennis shoes. One of his hallucinations features him facing a warrior who warns him about his "body power" and then moons him as an attack. Then he kills him, but as said above it was All Just a Dream.
  • In Whos The Boss, Angela relates how, as a teenager, she mooned a guy who stood her up.
  • In 1990s TV series Drexell's Class, when the title character expects he is getting a better job, resigns his teaching position, and, as a final Take T Hat to his boss, moons her. This comes back to bite him when his new job goes bust and he has to beg for his old one back.

     Music 
  • The Toy Dolls song and album, "Bare Faced Cheek", the cover of which is shown above.
  • Perhaps not too surprisingly, Eminem is known to have done this at some of his concerts.
  • Long before Eminem, DC guitarist Angus Young would moon the audience at the end of stripping down to just his schoolboy shorts. Nowadays, he wears boxers printed with the flag of the country they're performing in.
  • The cover of Iron Maiden's "The Best of 'B' Sides" shows Eddie The Head mooning the viewer from behind a windshield of a bus.
  • Keith Moon's solo album, "Two Sides Of The Moon" had a picture of Keith and a lady sitting in a limo on the cover photo, but inside there was an alternate picture of Keith mooning out the window of the limo.
  • The title of Frank Zappa's instrumental composition "A Pound For A Brown On The Bus" from Uncle Meat was inspired by two of his band members who placed a bet for a pound on the tour bus that one of them wouldn't dare to show his behind on the bus. Before his words were cold one of them was already pulling down his pants and showed his behind, thus winning the bet.

     Newspaper Comics 
  • This Far Side cartoon shows us why it's a bad idea to moon people who are armed with projectile weapons.
    • There is another one featuring sheep having a night on the town.
  • In Calvin and Hobbes Calvin mentions he had no choice but to do this to the class when he accidentally ripped the seat of his pants and Miss Wormwood, not knowing what had happened, made him go up to do a math problem on the board (he was too embarrassed to tell her why he didn't want to go up). He then comments to Hobbes that he ended up getting to go home early from school because several teachers and the principal couldn't restore order afterwards.

     Pinball 

     Professional Wrestling 

     Recorded And Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Jeff Foxworthy claims he was an "all-state" mooner his senior year of high school.
    "Wasn't mooning a great sport? Nobody ever got hurt, you didn't have to be in shape to play. Hell, the fatter you were the more you brought to the window!"

     Theatre 
  • In RENT, during the lines "We raise our glass/You bet your ass" in "La Vie Boheme," Maureen gets up on the table and moons Benny and his associates.
  • There's a character in the stage play Grease who is known for this. The song "Mooning" is a Double Entendre.
  • The King's wives in The King and I, who at one point wear Gorgeous Period Dresses that did not come with undergarments, accidentally did this to some visitors from England. One of the visitors unintentionally scares them with his monocle, causing them to lift up their skirts and run away.

     Video Games 
  • In the second entry of The Spellcasting Series, Ernie Eaglebeak has to moon the Queen of Peloria as a fraternity initiation prank. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Commander Keen does this as an Idle Animation in the Temple of the Moons when you leave yourself standing on a moon symbol.
  • In the very first Spyro the Dragon game, there are Gnorcs in the second hub who do this to you. Charge your big, pointy horns right at their big yellow posteriors!
  • Joe Higashi's infamous Taunt Button animation from the Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters series. So infamous that it beame his winning portrait in KOF 2001, and the Alternate Universe manga KOF: G showed him performing it in public too.
  • A rather easy-to-miss example in FreeSpace. If you look closely at the rear of the Ra-class Vasudan Escape Pod, you'll see a Vasudan's rear end in the window.
  • In the Duke Nukem spin-off game, Duke Nukem: Time to Kill, Duke wears a kilt in the Medieval levels. An Easter Egg has him imitating Braveheart by mooning the camera.
  • Brain Dead 13: One of Lance's cool dance moves in the final confrontation. Except that his hairy butt is just... squicky.
  • In Conkers Bad Fur Day, Conker gets mooned by cavemen twice: first by the muggers on the hoverboards, and then by the soldiers in the arena (though the second one was removed from the Xbox version).
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition Sera is quite fond of both the in person version, which she does frequently to Vivienne (who doesn't care) but also the indirect version by defacing Inquisition documents with drawings of butts.

     Webcomics 
  • In one Nodwick comic, Yeagar decides on a gesture of defiance after proving unable to answer the Riddle of the Sphinx. Fortunately, it turns out that the answer to the riddle is "Moon".
  • An old Goblin Hollow arc involved Ben and the gang mooning people from the back of his van. Sheldon, the turtle, refused, and was accused of being jealous "'cos you ain't got no butt". It ended with Ben explaining the never-seen resulting Disaster Dominoes to Lily:
    "So then it was my turn. I gave Sheldon the wheel, dropped my britches, and slapped my butt against the window. Naturally my belt got caught in the door handle just as we got stuck in traffic. Then that squad car pulled up ... You know, this confession would be a lot easier if you'd stop laughing."
    "Tell her the bit about the bus full of Japanese tourists!"
  • In Drowtales, during his recounting of the previous council gathering, Phani'nath depicts this happening in an Imagine Spot. The actual mooning probably didn't occur, but Quain'tana's response is still very much in character.

     Web Original 

     Western Animation 
  • In Infinite Realms, a pigeon mooned Team Phantom (Sam, Danny, and Tucker) while perched on top of a frozen Vlad. Team Phantom's response sells it.
  • This one of the many forms of torture that Eddy does to a grounded Kevin in Ed Eddn Eddy ep "A case of Ed"
  • The Simpsons:
    • Bart does this to the Australian government, having written "Don't Tread On Me" on his cheeks, as they attempt to punish him with a booting.
    Marge: I'm glad you're all right, honey, but I wish you'd chosen a more tasteful way to be patriotic.
    Lisa: I'm impressed you were able to write so legibly on your own butt.
    • Homer does this in an ill-considered comedy performance for Mr Burns' birthday. It doesn't go down well.
      Homer: I'll never bare my ass in public again.
      Lisa: I'd like to believe that this time.
    • Nelson does it as a distraction to allow Bart to steal the PA microphone from Skinner's office.
    • Mel Gibson and Homer moon a group of studio executives in one episode, with disastrous results when Homer is hit by a car. Homer got the idea from Braveheart, but mistakenly thought the mooning was how the heroes in the movie defeated their enemies.
    • Another moment leads to Bart's accidental mooning on the US flag causing him and his family to be branded as traitors to the country. When actually his shorts were eaten by a donkey and bends over to cover his privates and a photo was taken with a large flag behind him.
    • After egging his house, hoodlums Jimbo Jones, Dolph and Kearny moon Principal Skinner and his mother.
    • In "Bart's Comet" Bart manages to rig a weather balloon to make it look like a mooning Principal Skinner.
    • Homer dismisses Florida as "America's wang" and is told "They prefer the Sunshine State." It's a double meaning- a "sunshine" is a "moon" from the other side of the body.
    • In probably one of the earliest examples in the series, the episode "The Way We Was" features a flashback to when Homer was on the debate team (trying to get Marge interested in him) in high school. His idea of a rebuttal involved showing off his butt.
  • South Park:
    • The boys plan to do this to their new teacher, Ms Choksondik. However, on the first lesson she appears to be a Drill Sergeant Nasty, which scares all of them except Cartman out of doing it.
    • In the "Starvin' Marvin" episode, to keep with the Braveheart parody in the scene, Kyle proceeds to moon the turkey army.
    • When the parents visit the network headquarters to protest the Toilet Humor in Terrance and Phillip, the network executive delivers a brief, defiant statement followed by a mooning.
  • Futurama had a hilarious example followed immediately by Hit the Retaliate Button.
  • Occurred in King of the Hill when Bill, Dale, and Boomhauer tricked Hank into mooning the lobby from the hotel glass elevator (by saying they were all going to do it). Worse when former governor Ann Richards was in the lobby. Bill took the blame and apologized in front of her which leads to the plot of the episode.
    • Dale moons out the window of a moving truck, but quickly regrets it when he sideswipes a bunch of shrubbery.
  • Beavis And Butthead do this a few times in their movie.
    • In the back of a school field trip bus they moon the cars behind them while slowly going up a mountain road.
  • In Hey Arnold!, Sid, Stinky and Harold moon their principal. This leads to drama when Arnold, who knows they did it, refuses to rat them out and instead does 30 days of hard time in detention.
  • Done literally on The Amazing World of Gumball when the Sun gets mooned by... the Moon. With 3D butt cheeks.
  • Another quite literal example in Dexter's Laboratory. Dexter accidentally pulls the moon out of orbit, which causes it to fall on his house and crush his lab, burning his clothes in the process. Deedee comes in a few seconds later and sees her brother's backside, and tells her mother that Dexter is mooning her. All the while the moon itself is still clearly visible in the background.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb elseworld episode "Doof Dynasty", during the song "The Way of the Platypus" Bufford moons the audience to show he has no beaver tail. Fortunately for the viewer, Perry the Platypus quickly covers it with a a fan.
  • In season 2 finale of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Twilight Sparkle meets her old foalsitter Cadence and tries to greet her with a childhood Secret Handshake that ended with both participants shaking their rumps together. Since Cadence doesn't join her, however, Twilight ends up waving her backside right in Cadence's face.

     Real Life 
  • In The Beatles song Maxwell's Silver Hammer, Paul McCartney laughs for no reason during a lyric. Rumour has it that John Lennon was mooning him from the studio.
  • There's a similar story about Bob Dylan, who laughs for no reason at the start of "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" allegedly due to Allen Ginsberg mooning him from the studio. Officially the laughter was because Dylan started playing before the rest of the band, but it's become a piece of song lore.
  • A very common technique used in Photo Bombing.
  • During the week leading up to Super Bowl XX, Bears quarterback Jim McMahon got tired of being asked about his rear end which had been injured earlier in the season and decided to literally show one reporter that it was okay.
  • In 2003, the Minnesota Vikings' receiver Randy Moss "fake mooned" Green Bay fans after scoring a touchdown against the Packers. Moss claimed it was in retaliation for a group of Packers fans who mooned the Vikings team bus the last time they came to Green Bay.
  • During the Vietnam War, when U.S. troops were forbidden to fire upon Vietcong soldiers until being shot at first, a Marine Lieutenant named Gordon Evans tried to provoke an attack (so he could take out a group of soldiers he saw) by flying his plane extremely low to the ground, making a good target. The Vietcong response? They dropped their pants and mooned him as he flew by.
  • When Guns N' Roses went to Chile in The Nineties, Slash "greeted" the fans who came to the band's hotel via jokingly mooning them from his hotel room's window.
  • For whatever reason in Laguna Niguel, California, mooning Amtrak passenger trains has been a tradition every year on the second Saturday of July since 1979.