Popping Buttons

A character is getting ready for a date with a beautiful girl or a party with his friends. He has just finished showering and has just put on some cologne, but when it comes time to put on his clothes, he puts on his pants, but when he puts on his tuxedo, he finds that he is having problems trying to button it. Just when he finally gets the suit all buttoned, the buttons suddenly pop off after a few seconds and fly in different directions. Apparently, the character has either gained weight, or the suit is not as big as he remembered it to be.

This is a Comedy trope in which a character has trouble buttoning his shirt or pants, because he has either gotten too fat or the clothes are too small for him. Of course, there are also some cases where when the shirt is buttoned, the buttons don't pop off, but the shirt is completely stretched out at the buttons. It's also happened with belts as well as it also happening at the breasts. You can see this trope pop up in most forms of media.

Can go hand in hand with either Breast Expansion, Hulking Out or Balloon Belly.

Also Truth in Television.


  • A few Subway commercials use a variant where burst shirts, pants, (chairs, etc.) (to the tune of the 1812 Overture) are used to imply overweight/obesity caused by other fast foods. It's taken Up to Eleven in the very last shot of one ad, with a driver being handed a bag of food by the person at the drive-through window and the car instantly blowing out its tires.
  • An old Lee jeans commercial had this happen to a father, whose jeans button popped off and ricocheted around the living room before eventually finding itself caught in the mouth by the family dog.

Anime and Manga
  • Happened to Tubby in the very first episode of the Little Lulu anime.
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia, Ukraine's boobs cause a button on her shirt to pop off. She's later seen sewing it back on.
  • In the 5th episode of Shinkon Gattai Godannar!!, Kiriko Aoi does this, and her shirt stays that way for the rest of the episode.
  • In one chapter of Keroro Gunsou, Natsumi tries to brush off having put on a few kilograms over the winter by pointing out to herself that it doesn't really show... then a button tears off her skirt as she's getting dressed. Cue Keroro discovering Natsumi doing aerobics in her room with the heater turned up.
  • In an episode of Koma Theatre for Fullmetal Alchemist, this happens to Olivier in an opening. She gets annoyed by this and demands that the show start.
  • In D-Frag!, Takao usually doesn't bother zipping her gym jacket up, due to her breast size, but wanted to prove she wasn't just too cheap to buy a new uniform when she outgrew her old one. She managed (to great applause), but later popped the zipper with enough force to knock Kenji out.
  • At the beginning of episode 6 of Seikon no Qwaser, Tomo tries to squeeze her massive breasts into a maid outfit. All the buttons pop off and hit Miyuri right in the face.
  • This happens to Kanako in Maria†Holic Volume 7 after gaining a lot of weight off of eating/drinking nothing but mayonnaise.note 
  • Balrog does this in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie(yes, with pure muscle) in response to Zangief's challenge.

Board Games
  • The entire premise of "Pig Goes Pop!" The player who causes his belt to snap off is the loser!

Comic Books
  • In a non-clothing example, Gaston Lagaffe once made a very stylish leather sofa with the covering held down by buttons. Unfortunately, he emphasized how taut the thing was by putting his hand on it, turning the sofa into a machine gun nest, buttons flying everywhere as the onlookers ducked for cover.

  • In Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Tom Kitten, the protagonist named Tom Kitten is seen trying to fit into his new clothes his mother made him. His mother tells him to suck up his stomach in order for his clothes to fit in fear of having one of the buttons popping off.


Live-Action TV
  • On Just Shoot Me!, Maya is dating a Chubby Chaser and thinks he's fattening her up. Jack dismisses it until her pants button pops with such force it embeds itself to the wall.
  • Referenced on The Beverly Hillbillies:
    Granny: Ellie May done popped the buttons off her shirt again.
    Jed: Ellie May carries herself proud with her shoulders throwed back.
    Granny: It ain't her shoulders that have been poppin' these buttons.
  • On Modern Family, a pregnant Gloria refuses to admit that she needs maternity wear, until her shirt pops open in public.

Music Videos

Video Games

Western Animation
  • The TaleSpin episode "Gruel And Unusual Punishment" had Baloo getting ready to go to the Pilot's Ball with Rebecca, but when he gets his old tuxedo all buttoned up, the button pops off and ricochets all over the room. It was a sign that Baloo definitely needed to go on a diet.
  • The Super Mario Bros. Super Show episode "Do You Princess Toadstool Take This Koopa...?" has Koopa squeezing into a tuxedo only to have a button pop off and hit Mouser in the face.
  • In an episode of The Critic, Jay tries on some new clothes and makes a whole song about popping the buttons off of his shirt. I'm, too tubby for my shirt (pop), too paunchy for my shirt (pop), so bloated it huuuuuuurts (pop, pop).
  • In The Fairly OddParents episode "Just Desserts" the now fat Trixie's belt snaps off as she's eating a big cookie.
  • In Three Little Pigs, when the Big Bad Wolf starts to huff and puff, he pops the buttons on his suspenders, causing his pants to fall down.
  • On the Merrie Melodies short "Daffy Duck In Hollywood", director von Hamburger puffs out his chest as he screens his movie, popping the buttons on his shirt.
  • This happens to Caitlin in the 6teen episode "Girlie Boys", when she gains weight by gorging on too much chocolate (note: just the one button on her skirt).