A trope in comedy, pornography and nearly any source of fanservice
, Naked Apron is the practice of wearing an apron over a scantily clad or outright nude body
The trope's popularity comes originally from the pin-ups American soldiers brought with them during World War II
; a common motif were titillating shots of women in otherwise normal domestic situations, such as cooking or cleaning. These pinups were emulated by Japanese artists around the same time Manga
began to develop as an art form in the years after the occupation of Japan (1945-1960). In Japan this trope is called "Hadaka
The appeal of the trope (outside of the obvious) is due to it allowing for the character to appear with modesty preserved from the front
, but with a risqué surprise awaiting the viewer.
In a somewhat meta sense it is just as frequently used as a surprise for the audience. Examples can be split between a character holding a perfectly casual conversation
with another character who, upon turning around, reveals that they were in fact, nude; and the character being fully aware of it but the audience not seeing it until a certain panel — a Reveal Shot
of a very revealing shot.
Frequently mixed with other such risqué Japanese tropes, such as bloomers and school swimsuits
, or more generally, lingerie or a bikini (for when the character wants to pull this off, but is too modest). This trope is extremely popular amongst couples in Japan, as it is considered a traditional form of foreplay between newlyweds. As such, it comes up extremely often in anime
, especially in Harem Anime
and Magical Girlfriend
A traditional outfit of Ms. Fanservice
and The Vamp
when attempting to attract a more innocent target, or when attempting a more long term relationship. The Innocent Fanservice Girl
also might end up dressed like this, because she doesn't understand you're supposed to wear something under an apron — in which case the viewer will have to explain it
before any misunderstandings
occur. The Shameless Fanservice Girl
might choose to wear this, because it's technically required wear for cooking (splatters hurt
), but has no qualms about how technically risqué the ensemble is.
All in all, a frequent source of nudity as comedy
— often without actually showing any nudity!
Very similar in theory and practice to Theiss Titillation Theory
; whereas Theiss's Titillation Theory states that the higher chance of a Wardrobe Malfunction
causes an outfit to be sexier, a large portion of Hadaka Apron's appeal is the fact that it's a nude body that's "covered, but only technically", and any number of poses or gusts of wind would cause a Wardrobe Malfunction
. The fact that almost all shots of Naked Apron
are also examples of Vapor Wear
(almost invariably due to Sideboob
and "Sidehip" being shown) also adds to the Theiss Titillation Theory
Can also be worn by men, in which case it's usually played up either for laughs or for Ho Yay
— sometimes both.
Compare and contrast Theiss Titillation Theory
, Body Paint
, Godiva Hair
, Scenery Censor
, Barely-There Swimwear
, Toplessness from the Back
, Vapor Wear
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Anime & Manga
- Empowered features this, when the title character is cooking blueberry pancakes for ThugBoy. With a "Piyo Piyo"-imprinted apron straight out of Maison Ikkoku.
- Io of the Amazons makes armor for Wonder Woman. She wears a leather blacksmith's apron but not a shirt (or bra) under it. She still wears pants so it's not a literal example of Naked Apron, but it's close.
- Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire. A catgirl can be seen wearing one while Buck Godot is hiding at The Velvet Fist.
Films — Live-Action
- In a deleted scene of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Ron fantasizes that Veronica is married to him, and works in an apron — and nothing else.
- In Empire Records, Gina puts on a MusicTown apron with nothing but stockings on underneath and dances around, saying "I think MusicTown is torn on the revealing garments issue".
- Happens in Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.
- In The Quiet Earth (a 1985 sci-fi film from New Zealand), Joanne serves Zac breakfast in bed, wearing an apron. When she turns to leave, we (and Zac) see that she is not wearing anything else below the waist, causing him to spill hot coffee on himself.
- In Gazon Maudit (released in Britain as French Twist), Victoria Abril's character is seen wearing an apron while otherwise naked. It's a turn-on both for her husband and her butch lesbian girlfriend.
- Leah Cairns' character in 88 Minutes does this at the beginning to cook for Al Pacino's character.
- Done in McVicar, a mostly-true story of a prison escapee, by a woman who wants to make sure the on-the-run lead character doesn't leave the house.
- Jane March's character in Color of Night surprises Bruce Willis's character by showing up unexpectedly at his home and is cooking him dinner while wearing only an apron. It becomes very apparent when she turns around to retrieve an item from the oven and then feigns modesty by covering her rear with a potholder after she exposes her backside to him.
- Pauline Lafont in Chabrol's Poulet au vinaigre.
- An episode of Bewitched, "Bewitched, Bothered, and Baldoni", features a statue of Venus being turned into a real woman and ending up as the Stephens' maid. Samantha hands her an apron and asks her to put it on. When Venus comes out of the bathroom, Darrin gawks and Sam is shocked.
Sam: When I said, "Put on an apron", I didn't mean just an apron! Now why don't you be a good girl and go out... (Venus starts to turn around) backwards! And we'll make sure you get a uniform to go with that apron.
- The current popularity of this trope in Japan may be traced back to the aforementioned Gilgamesh Nights, wherein a pornographic actress named Yuki Hitomi would do a cooking segment wearing nothing but an apron.
- In Highlander, Amanda once did this while crashing in Duncan's place. Duncan was not pleased by this. (The fans, on the other hand...)
- There was a Cooking Show, Cooking Naked, who featured this with their (rotating) hosts.
- The Canadian cooking show Barely Cooking did the same thing, hosted by a couple (a man and a woman) who wore nothing but an apron.
- In an episode of Wings, Joe and Helen, having kicked Brian and Casey out of the house, decide that they will celebrate their newfound privacy by being "all nude, all the time" while at home. This later leads to an argument when she comes out of the kitchen wearing an apron, but nothing else. (He's covered up by a newspaper he's conveniently reading at arm's length while walking down the stairs.)
Joe: Helen, what is with that apron? I thought we agreed, all nude all the time!
Helen: I am not cooking bacon naked.
- Technically, it could be said that Chewbacca's wife wears one about 5 minutes into The Star Wars Holiday Special, but it's just confusing — like the rest of the show.
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
- Played sadistically in the episode "Authority". The manager of a fast-food joint receives a phone call from a police officer, who tells him to bind, gag, and strip-search a female employee until police arrive, leaving only her apron on. He complies, then the police arrive... to arrest him for sexual assault. The call was a fake.
Ripped from the Headlines: The Strip Search Prank Call Scam.
- The episode "Sacrifice" had the detectives crash the set of a porno that seemingly involved this.
- In AdventureQuest Worlds Harvest Festival Feast event, Oishii looks like she's wearing one of these. At the very least, she's wearing it over a Stripperiffic outfit of the same color.
- Equipping an apron but no other top on a female created character in Soul Calibur IV and Soul Calibur V results in their usual bikini top disappearing. Oddly, if the apron is broken, their bikini top reappears.
- World of Warcraft has a similar look when equipping a tabard (and optionally a belt) with nothing underneath it. Notably, since tabards (unlike most armor) aren't damaged when you die, this is used to give some semblance of dignity to "corpse runs". However, since you do not lose your gear when you die, and anything you have in your bags is also damaged when you die, the practicality of this is somewhat suspect. It also makes you look NAKEDER, since the tabard looks accident prone, and covers your underwear.
- For Double Points: there is actually a tabard that is explicitly an Apron, its part of a cooking set including a frying pan and a rolling pin.
- Tyria from Ar Tonelico 3 wears one over a swimsuit in her true ending.
- In SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 equipping an apron results in female's characters bikini top disappearing.
- For some reason or another, Toy Chica from Five Nights at Freddy's 2 seems to be doing this. She's an animatronic meant to entertain children, at a children's restaurant.
- In Knights of Xentar Luna — the female lead — appears this way in "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue (cooking for her husband). The game doesn't come any closer to showing her naked.
- An episode of the German/Dutch series School For Vampires has the main cast go trick or treating. One scene has the kids trick or treating a woman who's handing out candy while wearing a topless apron as a costume.
- This outfit appears on Gerald's mother in the Perfect Hair Forever episode "Woke Up Drunk".
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, this is Mrs. Cake default state of dress. Not that it matters, being a Funny Animal show for children. Her husband also dresses like this, too.
- A British TV advert featured a man warning his male housemates to be on their best behavior when he brings his girlfriend home for the first time. As soon as he leaves the room the housemates leap into action, and the girlfriend walks in to find them all cheerfully performing domestic duties in nothing but aprons. The man quickly ushers her out.
Anime & Manga
- The statue of Vulcan on Red Mountain in Birmingham, Alabama, was built to symbolize the city's thriving steelmaking industry. From most viewpoints, Vulcan looks majestic with a big blacksmith's apron and a raised hand. However, for decades the neighborhoods behind Red Mountain enjoyed the sight of a giant iron butt on top of the mountain, since Vulcan is only wearing the apron and it doesn't wrap around. Recently, the statue was taken down, and repaired. The iron moon is still shining, but it's not aimed at a residential area now.
- Mister Mxyzptlk once made Superman powerless and dressed up in only an apron so that a super-powered Lois Lane could rescue him.
Films — Live-Action
- The male version happens in Free Enterprise.
- Also in Mamma Mia!, where it's not obvious until the character turns around and walks away. According to some commentary online, the actor did this on his own as a prank.
- Richard E. Grant does this in How to Get Ahead in Advertising as part of his nervous breakdown and disgust with his advertising career. It Makes Sense in Context.
- Appears as a Funny Background Event in the second Naked Gun movie.
- In an infamous scene in the classic Woody Allen film Sleeper, at one point protagonist Miles Monroe finds himself in an apartment where some gay men live. Enter the butler, clad only in an apron.
- Buzz Hauser (Jason Alexander) at one point in Love! Valour! Compassion!
- In Monty Python at the Hollywood Bowl, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, and Terry Gilliam perform "Sit on My Face" in waiter outfits and aprons. Once the song ends, they turn and walk offstage, revealing their naked buttocks.
- Shown in a montage during The Five Year Engagement. Jason Segel is serving Emily Blunt a homemade breakfast in a long sleeve shirt and an apron. We assume he is fully clothed but he turns around to show his behind to the camera and his on-screen fiance.
- Rather alarmingly, Blackadder's Bumbling Sidekick Baldrick does this in Blackadder: Back and Forth. Tony Robinson is gifted in the body hair department.
Blackadder: Baldrick, why are you dressed like that?
Baldrick: Do you want the long answer or the short answer?
Blackadder: Mm, the short answer.
Blackadder: "Whim". And the long answer?
Baldrick: It was a whim, my lord.
- In an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun, Harry decided that clothes were a scam and spent the episode naked. He decided to put on an apron while frying... bacon or something, but frequently had to turn around, exposing his back to the grease. He turned back very fast.
- Wally from The Brady Brides (a spinoff of The Brady Bunch) did this.
- Walt does this (well, except he keeps his underwear on — thankfully) in the first episode of Breaking Bad.
- In the Bravo reality show Chef Academy, contestant Emmanuel volunteered to serve a birthday cake to another contestant while wearing nothing but an apron (and a smile, and some body oil!). Since Emmanuel was very, very attractive (he'd had a previous career as a porn star), this was definitely Fanservice.
- In an interesting inversion/twist, House starts out an episode making breakfast while naked at his and Wilson's place (when he was supposed to be away on a business trip), where Wilson's latest girlfriend runs into him. This is combined with Naked First Impression and Please Put Some Clothes On when she hands House an apron. (Which he does.)
- Fringe: In Back to Where You've Never Been, Peter has a dream that he is back home, which includes his father wearing nothing but an apron while making him breakfast.
- Happens in the Midsomer Murders episode "Destroying Angel". Barnaby arrives to question a middle-aged, male suspect only to find him doing a spot of baking wearing nothing but an apron.
- Manchild did this once for laughs with Anthony Head's character. It was also a naked body apron in another sense, depecting a nude male body with a fig leaf in front.
- An episode of Orphan Black has Felix do this while painting.
- Monty Python did this in one of their live performances during the "Sit On My Face" number.
- Not done for fanservice, since he's a Funny Animal character in a cartoonish everyone-rated game, but Tom Nook from Animal Crossing is wearing just a blue apron while he's running Nook's Cranny. Likewise, hedgehog seamstresses Mabel and Sable Able wear only aprons.
- Clear from DRAMAtical Murder does this while cooking breakfast for Aoba. Mind you, Clear is still wearing his gas mask despite being naked (aside from the apron, of course).
- The trope shows up in Goodbye Chains. We won't spoil how, but fangirls will appreciate it in full.
- Ménage à 3 puts naked aprons on male as well as female characters:
- Pet Homosexual Dillon wears one as a favour for his friend Zii (strip #154, May 22, 2009, NSFW).
- Another strip (#191, August 17, 2009, NSFW) has Matt wearing one for Sandra, though the badminton racket might be a partial motivator there too.
- See also the entries for the spinoff comic Sticky Dilly Buns.
- See the Beauty Man Garden busboy (or at least dishwasher) uniforms from Okashina Okashi.
- In Sticky Dilly Buns, female and male characters Amber and Dillon use naked aprons in a joint attempt to determined a new neighbor's sexuality (January 18 2013 and January 25 2013 strips, borderline NSFW).