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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.
  • 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


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

Web Original

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).

Real Life

Nutritional NightmareHigh Fat IndexPost-Stress Overeating
Plot PantsCostume TropesPost-Apunkalyptic Armor
Popcorn On The CobComedy TropesPopulation: X, and Counting
'Not If They Enjoyed It" RationalizationImageSource/Anime & MangaPsychotic Love Triangle

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