Not Wearing Pants Dream
aka: Not Wearing Pants
Quite an example you're setting for your niece dressing like that.
"No, Fire Lord Ozai, you're
not wearing pants!"
"I was up at the front of the plane, and I said, 'Listen, I don't think this is a real plane crash, since I happen to notice that I'm not wearing any pants, and when I'm not wearing pants, it's probably a dream.'"
A stock dream where the subject finds themselves in a familiar social institution (usually school or the workplace) wearing only their underwear, or sometimes nothing at all. This is often coupled with a high-pressure task (such as an examination or a deadline), and the thought that you have somehow forgotten
to get dressed this morning.
Usually, this trope is invoked to simply indicate that the person is dreaming. When played straight, it is simply embarrassing, and not in the least bit erotic
. And it will never, ever be prophetic
...although in comedy, it's occasionally subverted by having the "bad dream" turn out to not be a dream at all
. This is definitely Truth in Television
A Sub Trope
of Anxiety Dreams
. See also Fully-Clothed Nudity
See also Out-of-Clothes Experience
. Not to be confused with Pants Free
(a specific sight gag where someone is revealed to be partly undressed Behind the Black
); the everyday attire of a Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal
; or a superhero who is Not Wearing Tights
. Also not to be confused with Going Commando
The subversion is Nude-Colored Clothes
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- Jeremy in Zits has a dream where he is naked at school and can't decide whether the most disturbing part is that he's naked or that no one notices.
- Jon in Garfield once had a nightmare, where he was about to address the assembly of the United Nations, with millions of people watching by television... and he forgot to wear pants.
- Played with in The Far Side, where a professor realizes to his horror that he has come to a seminar without his duck.
- In Little Ego, Ego has a dream where she ges to a party only to discover she had forgotten to put her dress on under her cape. While hiding from her hosts and the other guests, she meets a man who had forgotten to put on anything other than his bow-tie.
- In a variaton, one Calvin And Hobbes story arc has Calvin rip his pants on the swings right before he has to present a math problem on the chalkboard. Hilarity Ensues.
- In Batman, Tim Drake once commented that normal people have nightmares about accidentally heading to school in their underwear. He doesn't. His nightmares involved accidentally going to school in his Robin uniform.
- A cartoon in Punch shows a man, naked from the waist down, riding the bus, while explaining cheerfully to a horrified elderly woman that this is simply a recurring dream of his in which he always wakes up before reaching a particular stop.
- In Tintin, the captain has such a dream. He's in the opera, a parrot-version of the Castafiore sings, and the whole audience consists of parrots in black suits, looking disapprovingly at the naked captain.
- Loriot once made a strip with this as a spoof of etiquette guides, recommending for this case that you should try to wake yourself up by pinching yourself - even in case you like the situation.
Films — Animation
- The Live Action Show Within a Show dream sequence Ozzy watches features Frank appearing in his daughter's classroom and getting called out for being in his underwear...and getting laughed at by everyone, from the kids, to his coworkers, to his rival in the chicken-wing-eating contest he plans to attend.
Films — Live Action
- In Bull Durham, Nuke LaLoosh had a nightmare about playing naked. When he wakes up on the team bus, wise veteran Crash Davis tells him "it's OK, I have that dream all the time too." Writer/Director Ron Shelton really did play minor league baseball, and this is one of the many parts of the film that are evidently Truth in Television.
- A High School Musical 3: Senior Year blooper had the entire basketball team somehow forgetting their pants.
- The live-action part about Frank's subconscious (a movie theatre) in Osmosis Jones featured a dream in which Frank was in his daughter's class taking a test he didn't know about or study for...in his underwear and getting laughed at by the kids, the buffalo-wing-eating champion, some bullies from work, etc. and berated by Mrs. Boyd.
- In New York Minute, Jane has a nightmare that she gives a speech naked.
- Chris Van Allsburg's storybook The Sweetest Fig involves self-centered Parisian dentist Monsieur Bibot receiving two figs as payment for a tooth extraction. The lady who gives him these figs says that all of his dreams will come true. Not believing so, Bibot eats one of the figs. The next day his preceding dream comes true; among other things, he walks his dog Marcel in his underwear without noticing.
- In Bridget Jones' Diary, Bridget has a nightmare where she has to take A-level French while wearing nothing but her Domestic Science apron.
- An Older Than Radio example: The Dream of Councillor Popov (1873), a satire in verse by Aleksey Tolstoy (a cousin of Leo Tolstoy and himself a famous Russian poet, novelist and playwright)
Live Action TV
- Sam Axe in Burn Notice seems to have a thing for pantslessness, especially in season 1.
In Episode 2 of Season 1 while Sam is detailing Michael on a cover ID:
Michael: Not bad for a man in his underwear.
Sam: Hey, you think that's good? You should see me without em.
- EUReKA uses this... in the same episode everyone winds up sharing dreams.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- A Star Trek: Voyager episode about dreams begins with Tuvok having one about being naked on the bridge.
Tuvok: It appears that in my haste to get to the Bridge, I neglected to put on my uniform.
- Referenced in the "Cabin Fever" episode of MythBusters, wherein Adam recounts a dream he had about piloting an airplane, in which he said it must be a dream because he wasn't wearing pants.
- Malcolm in the Middle:
- In the episode with Dewey's chicken pox and the dominoes, Hal has a dream that starts with his wife on a white horse, and transitions to him having a test in school for which he didn't study... and suddenly he's in only his underwear.
- The actor who plays Hal appeared in a video acceptance speech for an award the show won, wearing a tuxedo. It wasn't until he stood with a mirror to his back that it became apparent he was only wearing a tuxedo(or indeed, anything) from the waist up.
- One episode of Night Court has Bull come to work in the buff. "It's okay, I'm just having that nightmare where I go to work naked." "...Bull, this isn't a dream." Cue the slow burn, the girly scream, and the title.
- Referenced in iCarly when Sam was having a nightmare and Gibby ran into the classroom in his underwear. Sam told him to "Get out! This is my nightmare!"
- In an episode of Power Rangers RPM, Ziggy reveals that he once dreamed that he had gone to school in just his underwear, only to realize that it wasn't a dream. Apparently there was a rash that had spread down the back of something too... Later on, he tests out a teleportation ability. Well, his suit teleported, he didn't; leaving him in just boxers and a helmet.
- Babylon 5 used this with Ivanova in one episode. She dreamed that she was on the bridge but forgot to get dressed. When she mentions it to Sheridan by saying she dreamed that she went to work feeling vulnerable and exposed ("totally... unprepared for my work"), the Captain responded by saying that at least she didn't dream that she went to work naked.
- On How I Met Your Mother, Ted has one of these dreams right before starting as a professor. Not only is he missing his pants, but he doesn't even have his hat and whip. Barney comments on it, telling Ted he should have had sex with the hot student in the front row because he already had his pants off.
- In an episode of Angel, the hero dreams that he comes to work but forgets his shoes.
- On The Drew Carey Show, Drew told his not-quite girlfriend about a dream he had involving her:
"You were on fire and I was squirting you with a giant hose. Then you turned into my mother and my pants fell off."
- Played with in series 3 of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica when Baltar is imprisoned on the Cylon basestar. He's mostly naked or in just a robe, while the Cylons are clothed, and this adds to the dreamlike and surreal quality of his experience. But when he's actually dreaming, he's usually fully clothed.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch has Sabrina enter Valerie's dream to find her taking a test on which her entire future depends. Then she looks down and all her clothes are gone.
- Pixel Face: Referenced by Rex in "Mrs Dynamo's Son":
Oh no! Is this a dream? Am I going to have to sit an exam with no pants on in a moment?
- In the Red Dwarf episode "Thanks for the Memory", Lister looks in on what Rimmer is dreaming. Rimmer is doing a tap dance in a top hat and tails, but no pants.
- Happens in the beginning of The Longest Journey when April sees a "dream" about Arcadia. Justified, as she actually did unconsciously travel to Arcadia while sleeping in her bed (and she didn't sleep fully-clothed, naturally). It happens again much later, when she has to flee after being awakened at night and arrives to Arcadia in just her undies.
- Dreamfall does this again whenever Zoe arrives to Winter (she gets a brand new suit of clothes upon every arrival to Arcadia, though). And no, this time it isn't justified by anything, so it must have been an Author Appeal all along...
- Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. Due to appropiately-programmed cutscenes it's quite possible to have the main character attend any number of serious situations, such as a business meeting with his sister, in his underwear. Or any other clothes one can acquire, including a gimp suit.
- Dragon Age: Origins: If you nominate Alistair for King of Ferelden, his response is "This is where I wake up, usually. Or everyone points and laughs because I've no clothes on."
- A comment snarky-Hawke can make to Merrill before the final battle of Dragon Age II when she asks if it all feels like a dream: "In a moment, I'll look down and see that I have no pants on."
- Implied, but ultimately subverted, in one Sam & Max game. Various characters are living out their worst nightmares, and one is the paranoid Bosco, who is naked, on a stage, and has everyone looking straight at him. Later turns out that it was the "everyone looking straight at him" part that he disliked; he actually doesn't mind being naked in public.
- In Catherine, the protagonist Vincent is forced to run around in nothing but white boxers with pink polka dots during the puzzle sections, which take place in his dreams.
- Discussed in The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal.
Amal: So what are you dreaming about?
TJ: I'm on Wheel of Fortune... and I'm naked.
Amal: Oh, the naked-in-public dream, that's a classic.
TJ: Yeah, but it's okay, 'cause Vanna White's naked too.
Amal: Vanna White's, like, seventy years old!
TJ: Hey, this is my dream, so she's still bangin'.
- One of the types of dreams Luna shows in And That's How Equestria Was Made! is 'being naked in front of a crowd', complete with victim on stage staring at the audience in terror. But what do ponies normally wear ...
- In an episode of Aladdin, Iago and Abu are magically transported to the land of the dead, which gives them the ability to visit living people in their dreams. They manage to convince Aladdin and the Sultan that they're dreaming by pointing out that they aren't wearing pants.
- In Futurama, Fry has a dream about being in his old underpants in front of his Ancient Egyptian Algebra class. The dream then turns into an advertisement for Lightspeed Briefs, a much cooler brand of underpants. He then learns that advertisements in the 31st century can be beamed directly into people's brains.
- Avatar The Last Airbender, the series that gave us "Pants are an illusion... and so is death." and "Where we're going, you won't need pants!"
- In "Nightmares and Daydreams" Aang dreams that he faces the Firelord while pantless, then inverts it at the end by declaring that the Firelord is the pantsless one. Complete with the line "My royal parts are showing!"
- Hilariously, Aang also has a nightmare that he faces the Fire Lord, who then whips out a maths test that Aang hasn't studied for! Wait a second...
- Ron Stoppable's reveals to Kim Possible that his worst nightmare is to being in school without wearing any pants. And this is a guy that drops his pants, a lot. And Kim pointed out he actually did come to school with no pants.
- The Simpsons:
- In one episode, this it isn't a dream, leading to this exchange:
Judge Snyder: Mr. Hutz, do you realize you're not wearing any pants?
(He's not even wearing any underwear.)
- In Bob And Margaret, Bob's nervousness about giving a speech at a Dental convention culminates in him having a dream where he's giving the speech naked.
- American Dragon Jake Long:
- The eponymous character ends up in his underwear on a bridge in front of a reporter, his little sister and his home economics teacher who turns out to be another dragon. He figures he must be having a bad dream because of all the stress of his job and begins acting crazy. However, he was not dreaming and pictures of the event were eventually published.
- Played straight in another episode where Jake dreams that Rotwood points out that he's wearing his underwear to school.
- The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: In "I Dream of Jimmy", Carl is seen having one of these just as Jimmy is about to travel into Carl's dream-scape.
Carl: I'm in my underwear, at the mall!
- In an episode of Extreme Ghostbusters involving nightmares, this was Egon's nightmare. Subverted in that he doesn't have a Naked Freak Out over it.
- In the My Gym Partners A Monkey episode "The Hyena and the Mighty", Adam had a dream that he came to school in his underpants. Jake informed him that it wasn't a dream.
- Referred to in the The Amazing World Of Gumball episode The Responsible, where Richard and Nicole have gone to a Parent's Meeting, and Richard is in his underwear.
Richard: This is just like one of those dreams where you go to school naked!
- In an episode of Jackie Chan Adventures, Jade enters Jackie's dream, and has to point out Jackie isn't wearing pants to prove that he's dreaming.
- In the G.I. Joe episode "Nightmare Assualt", Lady Jaye says that she had a nightmare that she was forced to sing the national anthem for the Super Bowl. Hawk asks what was so bad about that, and she blushes and says, "Let's just say I wasn't exactly in dress uniform."
- In the memoir Reading Lolita In Tehran, the author remembers some women discussing dreams of appearing outside without their veils.
- Pants-less or fully-nude nightmares do occur in real life and are fairly common (as far as nightmares go). The general consensus among health experts is that such dreams are the result of anxiety in the dreamer's waking life. For instance, people preparing for a wedding often report such dreams.