Right Out of My Clothes

One moment a character is wandering through life, oblivious. In the next, some or all of their clothing is drifting to the ground like fallen leaves.

Unlike Empty Piles of Clothing, this method of clothing loss is usually Played for Laughs, and is seen most often in slapstick comedy or animated cartoons.

Gags that often set this trope into motion include an impact strong enough to literally smack the victim's clothes off (as in Getting the Boot, or the Plank Gag), or said outfit getting snagged whole by an obstacle along the way, like a tree or briar bush. If a nearby object or character is Off Like a Shot, its field of effect may carry the victim's outfit along even if the character is not.

This can also be self inflicted by the effects of a Pain-Powered Leap, Wild Takes, a Slippery Skid, or other equally acrobatic clumsiness. Off Like a Shot, can can leave a character's own clothes behind, if the character dashes off fast enough.

Sometimes the victim's clothes will float for a few seconds in their original position before falling to the ground, fall neatly around the character, or simply fly offscreen piecemeal to be absorbed into Hammerspace or the next scene over.

A variation where clothing a character wears doubles as a costume and is lost in this manner can lead to The Reveal, or a Dramatic Unmask.

May cause combinations of Comedic Underwear Exposure, Goofy Print Underwear, Partial Nudity, or Defeat by Modesty, and Fur Is Clothing if clothing lost includes - or is - a character's fur or feathers. Naked People Are Funny is a frequent, but not guaranteed, destination. If the clothes snap back to reappear on the victim without particular explanation, then Magic Pants has taken effect.

Compare with Dress Hits Floor, All Cloth Unravels, The Nudifier, Clothing Damage, Wardrobe Malfunction, and Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing.


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  • The Trix Rabbit frequently fell victim to this trope as his disguises to get Trix cereal are foiled by his excitement in having the bowl in his hands at last. Whether by The Pratfall, Facefault, or Wild Take, this would result in anything from the Rabbit's headgear to his entire costume falling off, making his not-a-kid identity plain. "It's the Rabbit!"

    Anime & Manga 
  • The first opening for Lupin III (Red Jacket) features the main character leaping out of his clothes to get into bed with a naked Fujiko.

    Comic Books 
  • A Running Gag in Astérix, with Romans getting punched right out of their armor by one of the Gauls - usually Obelix - and ending up in underwear.
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: When Superman hears the nuclear missile headed toward Corto Maltese, he takes to the air so fast that he leaves his civilian clothes and glasses hanging exactly where he had been wearing them while sitting in a Jeep.

    Films — Animation 
  • Pinocchio, in a scene on Pleasure Island, in which bad boys turn into donkeys after misbehaving. The Coachman interrogates a boy turned donkey wearing only a blue hat, shirt, and shoes as to his name. When the boy can only answer with "Haw!", the Coachman rips off the boy's shirt, then kicks the donkey into a crate, knocking the ill-fitting shoes and his hat clean off him.
  • In An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, Cat R. Waul does a Pain-Powered Leap out of his suit.

    Live Action TV 

    Newspaper Comics 
  • A Running Gag in Peanuts is that whenever Charlie Brown pitches for his baseball team, the opposing batter hits the ball back at him so hard it knocks him right out of his clothes, usually accompanied by a frame with socks, shoes, shirt, etc. flying through the air. He is otherwise completely unharmed.
    • There's an arc that implies he's doing this on purpose. He gets hit by a ball and is actually injured by it, forcing the team to find another pitcher (who is actually much better) and causing Charlie Brown to worry that he's losing his reflexes. He's nervous during his first game back, but on his very first pitch he's bowled over with his socks, shoes, etc. flying like normal. When Schroeder comes over to see whether he's okay, Charlie Brown smiles up from the ground. "See? I've got my old reflexes back!"
  • Attack Hello, as seen in Calvin and Hobbes when Hobbes pounces Calvin when he comes back from school. Calvin's shoes are nearly always sent flying off his feet. Socks, a jacket, hat and a backpack (if he's just come back from school) have also been flung off at one time or another, by the force of Hobbes's pounce.
    Calvin: Seriously, you could never have done that if my taunts hadn't boosted your adrenalin.
    Hobbes: *walking towards Calvin with his discarded clothing in hand* I can only find one of your socks.

    Real Life 
  • The specific case of "Knock your socks off" (encompassed in this trope) was tested by MythBusters. Their conclusion: Busted. The kinetic energy from a battering ram, let alone a punch, could not knock the socks off of Buster by pure force alone. The team WAS able to remove socks off of dummy legs with a shockwave generated by high explosives, but the explosion would be fatal even at the maximum distance required for them to be blown off.
    • Note that one shot of the vertical pneumatic cannon did knock his shoes off and the shoes pulled the socks halfway off. Unfortunately the socks were not completely off and the cannon was far stronger than any boxer.
    • In a revisit of the myth, the team even redid the same tests, including a new set of tests using the best set of variables possible (smooth, shaven legs wearing loose-fitting woolen socks) to see whether they would get knocked off and were still unsuccessful with the original tests. However, while they ultimately were able to knock the socks off Buster (as well as his hands and his entire left leg), it required hitting him with a vehicle-mounted battering ram at 65 MPH, roughly 10,000 times the kinetic force of a human boxer.

    Video Games 
  • In The Bizarre Adventures Of Woodruff And The Schnibble, if Woodruff steps into the acid river without boots, he leaps out of his clothes (and then falls back into them).
  • When an Inkling is defeated in Splatoon, his/her clothes and weapons fall to the ground while the ghostly squid flies away. They quickly respawn with their clothes back on, however.


    Western Animation 
  • In the Dave the Barbarian episode "Beauty and the Zit", Dave encounters the monster zit for the first time. Dave asks for the monster's hat before being roared at and landing in a large pile of hats. His clothes and Lula the sword float in the air for a few seconds before falling to the ground.
    • In another episode, "The Cow Goes Moon", Princess Irmaplotz disappears for the second time, leaving behind only her dress. (She then takes it back.)
  • Donald Duck has been on the receiving end of this several times in golden age Disney shorts.
    • Mickey's Birthday Party (1942), Donald loses his shirt to an overzealous dance toss.
    • Bellboy Donald (1942), owing to one of Mickey's mischievous nephews snagging Donald's bellboy outfit in an elevator door.
    • The Clock Watcher (1945): Donald, working as a gift wrapper, has a huge number of gifts to wrap sent down a conveyor, passing him. The pile speeds by so quickly that his hat and shirt are sucked clear off him in the direction of the gifts.
    • In The Three Caballeros, Donald is chasing after bathers in Acapulco when he is yanked right out of his bathing suit, which continues the chase on its own.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • In the short The Prize Pest (1951), Porky scares Daffy with a monster costume. When Porky sees himself in the mirror, he leaps up in terror out of the costume, clinging to a chandelier.
    • In the short Case of the Missing Hare (1942), when Ala Bahma notices the "boy" is really Bugs Bunny in disguise, Bugs flees leaving the disguise behind.
  • Literally Once an Episode with Spongebob Squarepants as it happens during the title sequence (not to mention being a frequent gag during the show itself).
  • The Timon & Pumbaa episode "Kenya Be My Friend?" has Pumbaa leaning a little too close to a sleeping Timon. The resulting close up causes Timon to jump right out of his skin.
  • The 1935 Disney Silly Symphony The Tortoise and the Hare uses variants of this several times as the lighting fast rabbit zips past spectators...a smartly dressed owl and stork lose their snappy outfits AND feathers; a tree is stripped of its leaves in what passes for arboreal nudity.
  • In the Pixar short For the Birds, after the large bird is pecked off of the telephone wire, all the little birds lose their feathers as they are shot up into the air by the recoiling line.