A sequence where a character somehow ends up with one or more small live animals in their clothing. Naturally they're going to go crazy over it, twisting, squirming, and grabbing to get whatever's in their clothes out. This trope often appears as ants in one's pants.
Occasionally, their movement and gyrations to get rid of it makes people think that they're dancing. Sometimes, the onlookers join in.
In the North of England, people do this on purpose as performance art. No, we don't get this one either.
This trope is also commonly used in Fanfiction as a form of revenge or pranks against others.
Compare to Friendly Tickle Torture, since some cases of this causes its victims to laugh. Compare Colossus Climb due to the similar nature of the trope. Sometimes overlaps with Groin Attack if the said animal is harming or used to harm the person. May be an example of Victoria's Secret Compartment if the animal decides to use a woman's cleavage for this purpose.
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A Motorola Cell Phone ad for the Super Bowl featured a man sitting in a jungle when a snake climbs up his pants. He rapidly scans through his phones internet to find out what kind of snake it is and if it is harmless. He gets the results of the harmless Milk Snake, or the dangerous constrictor.
Ai Yori Aoshi: In episode 8, Tina's new pet ferret manages to find its way up Taeko's dress and then Aoi's kimono in short order. Taeko doesn't show much reaction beyond shock, but Aoi starts squirming and saying that it tickles.
Subverted in the Hentai Alien from the Darkness. Hikari has a pet ferret that crawls into her shirt, making her fidget around saying that it tickles.
In one of the earlier episodes of Fresh Pretty Cure!, Chiffon pulls a playful trick on the heroines by having magical erasers fly into their shirts. This tickles them.
In Fruits Basket, Tohru is making her way back to the house from Yuki's garden when she spots some clothes on the ground. She crouches down to examine them, and just as she realizes that they must belong to one of the Zodiac, said Zodiac — the snake — slithers up her dress.
Watanuki from ×××HOLiC has had the pipe fox hide in his shirt on a few occasions.
During Adam Warren's run on Gen 13, a telepathic C-List supervillain induces Let's You and Him Fight between the team and a similar Secret Project Refugee Family, the "Mongolian Barbecue Horde". After much property damage, Grunge and his counterpart Boisterous Bruiser decide to settle the matter by "Ferret-legging": sticking live ferrets into their pants and closing the legs and waist — first one to let their ferret out loses. Grunge wins by turning his naughty bits into metal to avoid damage. The supervillain retreats; this was too much for him to handle.
Fin Fang Foom tried to invoke this in Nextwave by putting Tabitha Smith in his pants. Take note: even if you are a gigantic monster, it's a very bad idea to put a person who can psionically create explosives in your pants.
The Calvin and Hobbes strip quoted below has a subversion in which Calvin simply has a hole in his pocket, causing some of his pennies to drop down his leg.
Calvin: You never know when some crazed rodent with cold feet might be running loose in your pants. Hobbes: Another reason not to wear 'em.
In one Garfield comic strip, Jon gets a gopher up his pants leg and runs around screaming
In Remember How to Smile, one of the stories from the Mellon Chronicles series of Lord of the Rings fanfiction, something like this happens. Legolas's pet ketrals get loose in King Thranduil's throne room and make an unholy mess. Thranduil catches Aragorn and Legolas trying to round them up again, and one of the ketrals, in mortal fear of him, hides in Aragorn's pants. Obviously, uncomfortable squirming and embarrassment ensues.
Films — Animation
Max from A Goofy Movie, to his eventual embarrassment, gets a possum in his pants. By the time he gets it out, the dance is already in full swing.
The exterminator from The Ant Bully is subjected to this trope when some flying insects slip up his pant leg during their defense of the anthill.
The Iron Giant: Done with, indeed, a squirrel. (In fact, the character in question actually says the trope name while he's at it, perhaps making this film the actual Trope Namer.)
Dean McCoppin: Excuse me! I'd like to apologize to everyone in advance for this. (zips down his fly to let the squirrel out, which cause a loud commotion)Check Please.
Happens during the musical number "I'll make a man out of you" from Mulan, when Ling slips a beetle down Mulan's outfits, making her dance around smacking everyone with her staff.
In The Nut Job, at least one of the film's many rodent characters briefly ends up inside a bank robber's pants.
Happens briefly in Pinocchio. While looking for his father underwater, Pinocchio encounters a massive group of fish, following him and Jiminy. The first one he meets, swims into his shirt sleeve and out the other one, which tickles him.
Happens in The Princess and the Frog, when one of said frogs hops right into Charlotte La Bouff's dress-much to her dismay as she dances around.
Used early on in Ratatouille, earning the victim some very funny looks. In this case the "victim" put the rodent in there on purpose.
In the Get Smart movie, Maxwell Smart ends up having a sewer rat crawl up his pants in one scene. It doesn't lead to anything resembling dancing, but the scene in question does take place in a room full of deadly, skin-destroying lasers...
Happens in Grind with a lizard when the group was left alone in the desert.
Jackson was the first to invoke this trope by smuggling the family ferret into the dinner party in his shirt. Hilarity Ensues when the ferret starts moving around
The second time happened to the dinner host after the family ferret escaped from Jackson and crawled up his pants. Lets just say that almost everybody was laughing when he pulls down his pants revealing his underwear. Cue an odd look from some of the female guests
No one was dancing, but in the movie of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, when Draco gets turned into a ferret he gets put in Crabbe's pants. There is a song about this by the wizard rock group "Draco and the Malfoys" called "Goyle's Pants". (The song gets it wrong about whose pants ferret!Draco went into.)
All right, the puppets in Hobgoblins never actually make it into the pants of the teens they're attacking, but they do dance and writhe to try and make it look like they're being attacked. It's probably better than the awful '80s dancing they were doing before.
"That looks like a new dance! Kinky!"
Occured in the movie How to Eat Fried Worms, when Billy and Joe both had to put worms in their pants. Joe for losing a bet against Billy, and Billy for messing up on one worm that Joe did not know about.
In the Direct-to-TV film National Lampoon's Thanksgiving Family Reunion, Harley Snider has a penchant for putting spiders down his pants
Harley: If you can handle spiders on your sack, you can handle anything
In the short film Night of the Hell Hamsters, A demonically possessed hamster darts up the pants of the male character and experiences a bloody Groin Attack and also gets his finger bit off by the hamster. The hamster is removed by his girlfriend when she kicks the man in the crotch, where the hamster was at the time
Near the beginning of The Nutty Professor (the one with Eddie Murphy), a lot of hamsters escape their laboratory custody, wreaking havoc on a university campus. For a short scene, perviness ensues when... well, let's just say that what it looks like is played for laughs.
Brutally invoked in River's End, when Clay was held down by two other people while another puts a poisonous snake in his pants.
In the silent film Safety Last!, a mouse crawls up the pants of Harold Lloyd's character as he climbs up the a sixteen-story building. He dances on a ledge and nearly falls. The crowd below applauds, thinking he's showing off.
Happened in the The Smurfs 2011 movie when Neil Patrick Harris tries to sneak the Smurfs who followed him to work into his office and eventually runs into his female boss — and then starts squirming from them tickling him.
In Teen Wolf Too, the protagonist, Todd Harper, is subject to this with ants as a prank by his other classmates
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three has a scene of a sniper watching over a meeting in the subway, until his duty is botched by a rat up his pants leg, which causes him to shoot one of the hostages on the train.
One of the earliest being "Ants in the Pantry" with a mouse down the back of somebody's shirt, usually leading the Stooges to start doing That Russian Squat Dance to the rhythm of the victim's hopping.
One instance was in Hoi Polloi when a dancer tries to teach the Stooges how to dance proper, until a bee flies down the back of her dress, leading to hilarity
Happens in the 2012 film of the same name, with a lobster.
It is frequently mentioned that a popular rural entertainment is a man with weasels (or ferrets) down his trousers. In the novel I Shall Wear Midnight, there is terrible dissapointment when he doesn't show up for the fair one year.
In Taltos, Vlad carries baby Loiosh around everywhere with him, tucked into his shirt where it's warm. Luckily, Loiosh is sentient and has the sense to subvert the "uncomfortable squirming" part of this trope.
In Austin & Ally, Dez accidentally hypnotized himself while trying to hypnotize Ally, and Trish states to him that whenever anybody says song, he has to jump around like there is a mouse in his pants. Dez also states to Ally that he used to carry rodents in his pants
Also occurs in the spin-off Cory in the House, when Lionel is shipped to the White House and Sophie lets him escape, leading to Lionel climbing up the president's pant leg during an important press conference. Hilarity Ensues
Dad's Army: In "Room at the Bottom", Corporal Jones gets ants in his pants and, while trying to remove them, accidentally signals the platoon to advance into an ambush.
The ant variety (red ants, to be specific) happened to Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs when he was in Louisiana raiding alligator nests. Ants like to live in alligator nests. He ended up having to take off his pants on camera (behind the airboat, of course).
In one of the early episodes of Drake & Josh, a girl Josh liked left a snake for him in his jacket that he left behind at a restaurant, which leads to a "trouser snake" situation.
In Eerie Indiana, Marshall gets a lizard put down his pants by Simon's brother when he is not paying attention
El Chavo del ocho: When Dońa Florinda's restaurant became rat-infested, she and La Chilindrina each jumped into a chair for safety while El Chavo chased the rat with a broom. When El Chavo unwittingly touched La Chilindrina with the broom, she thought the rat went up her legs. Dońa Florinda later experienced the same.
In the show Kenny vs. Spenny, the punishment for losing the challenge based on a rodent race was to put a rat in the loser's underwear
Murdoch Mysteries. During an investigation, Crabtree brings a ferret to follow a bood trail (as he couldn't find a bloodhound). It works, but not before the critter shortly slips inside the leg of Murdoch's pants.
An entire episode revolves around an unseen character, Old Man Sedgewick, getting a badger caught in his pants, so the lodge members do everything they can (and then some) to get rid of it.
Two separate scenes of the same episode also revolve around this trope. First, Red shows how to trap animals using a pair of men's pants. Second, Bill tries to trap a snake, only to get it caught in his pants. In all cases, Hilarity Ensues.
In "Footloser", Cody unintentionally creates magic tricks while dancing with Max in the competition, one of these acts involve not a bunny in the hat, but a bunny climbing out of his pants leg, scaring and surprising the judges and Max
In "Can You Dig It", Zack literally gets ants in his pants after a possessed Bailey buries him after finding the Crown of Zaria.
In "Snakes ona Boat", Zack had a snake crawl up his pants and bite him, knocking him unconscious.
Zack: Ow! Yeah, something definitely just bit me.
Pip, a baby hedgehog on an exotic-pets episode of Too Cute, crawls up into peoples' trouser cuffs at every opportunity. (Bristle-side out, fortunately.)
Tour of Duty. One of the soldiers is suffering from the runs, and has to keep going off into the bushes while on patrol to drop his pants. While he does so, a large toad jumps onto his dropped pants. At the same time, he happens to see some Vietcong slipping out of a tunnel to evade the American soldiers; the soldier quickly yanks up his pants and Hilarity Ensues.
In That's So Raven, a bloopers sequence is shown on the season 1 finale, with a goofup of Cory accidentally letting his rat Lionel climb down his shirt
Cory: He's in my shirt!!! (Offstage & Eddie laughing)
Although not an animal, this trope was invoked in Wizards of Waverly Place when a trophyman was charmed with the Murrieta Animata spell uses this trope to escape from Max.
In Zoey 101, Zoey and the others get revenge on Logan for lying about dating her by putting a rat in his pants while he is asleep.
1000 Ways to Die has a few examples, which, given the nature of the series, are typically fatal:
"Pissed Off": An Irish golfer, while on the rough, gets a rat up his pant leg, which scratches him and pees on him; the rat's urine seeps into the open wound and causes a fatal case of leptospirosis.
"Eel Effects": After graduating from their sushi chef school, two students decide to stick a live eel down the head chef's pants after he passes out drunk as payback for his abusive punishments (one of which was threatening to shove an eel up their butts). The eel slithers up his ass and eats its way out, killing him.
"Critter In The S***er": A man in a ferret-legging contest starves the ferrets he uses so they'll become docile and not try to squirm or crawl out. In the process, however, an internal hemorrhoid pops in his rectum, with the resulting blood sending one of the ferrets into a feeding frenzy. The end result: the ferret burrows up the poor sap's bum and feasts on the hemorrhoid, killing him from blood loss.
The day the squirrel went berserk In the First Self-Righteous Church In that sleepy little town of Pascagoula (Pascagoula!) It was a fight for survival That broke out in revival They were jumpin' pews and shoutin' Hallelujah!
The Chenille Sisters, a contemporary folk band with no actual familial relations, has the "Ants-in-Your-Pants Dance", which is much more annoying once you outgrow it.
On his album "Late Last Night", which is full of songs designed for children to dance along to, Joe Scruggs has a song called "Ants in My Pants" about various dances brought on by difficult or dangerous situations (such as the "I-Can't-Move Boogaloo" and the "Up-To-Your-Chin Save-Yourself-Swim"), including, of course, the "I Got Ants in My Pants Dance".
I was driving down the freeway in the fast lane With a rabid wolverine in my underwear
In Muppet Treasure Island, Gonzo observes at one point that his pants are filled with starfish. This later becomes helpful when he whips out the starfish during a fight scene and uses them as shuriken, but at the time of the comment, it only serves to weird out Rizzo.
Rizzo: You and your hobbies!
In the "Last Will and Testament" sketch, the lawyer gets a rabid Tasmanian devil in his trousers instead of a boot to the head.
There exists a Game BreakerDungeons & Dragons build where a character that benefits from being poisoned purposefully puts snakes down his pants to grow stronger.
Sylvester McCoy got his stage name from a character he played in Ken Campbell's Road Show who stuffed ferrets down his trousers; before becoming The Doctor, his performing this act was his major claim to fame.
When Larry in Leisure Suit Larry 3: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals has sex with Tawni on the beach, he suddenly stands up after a while and squirms because a crab has climbed up his pants. Strangely, Tawni is not amused. Mostly because he announces that he's "got a terrible case of crabs".
Tiffany has a tamed mouse, Crackers, which she trained to distract vampires. Except when she tries to sic it on Kade, a werecat, the mouse instead hides in her cleavage. And then Kade retrieves it... with his mouth.
In Hamleto the Hamster, the eponymous character once wriggled into Alice's pants, causing a burst of ticklish laughter.
In the origin story of Fey, ordinary high school frosh Nick Reilly is slowly turning against his will into a hot redheaded babe who also happens to be a powerful mage. He gets confronted by a school bully who rips Nick's shirt off, stressing out Nick so much that he accidentally unleashes dozens of hobgoblins who happen to appear as psychedelic-colored squirrels. Two of them go straight up the bully's pants legs. Hilarity Ensues.
And of course there's Aquerna's combat final. The girl's power and personality have made her friends with every squirrel on campus, so it was practically inevitable.
In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Refund" the store manager, who turns out to be a tiny puppet does this to Richard while attacking him.
Jake Long from American Dragon Jake Long is subjected to this trope while doing his test of wisdom in battle at the Isle of Draco. The chancellor assigning him his test of wisdom in battle chose brownies as the enemy. Hilarity Ensues.
Animaniacs: Happens to Dr. Scratchensniff twice in "The Monkey Song" first after Wakko pours a bucket of bugs down his pants, again when Pesto and Squit fall down into his clothes while fighting.
In an episode of the original Ben 10, when Ben (as Fourarms) catches a cold and fights against bug tamer Clancy, he uses Ants to battle Fourarms. The result is Fourarms scratching and throwing himself around an abandoned apartment, inevitably destroying it with Ants in his Pants
In the Catscratch episode "Go Gomez,Go" Waffle's pet lizard gets loose then Tad finds out he went into his pants.
In the Mickey, Donald, and Goofy cartoon "Moose Hunters", Goofy and Donald are disguised as a female moose in order to lure one over to Mickey so he can shoot it, after they meet a male moose and Goofy pretends to flirt with it Donald who is in the bottom of the costume accidentally sits on a bee, this makes the bee mad and it dives into the bottom of the costume and stings Donald, while he hops around in pain and tries to get rid of the bee it makes it look like they are doing a Samba dance.
Despite that he doesn't wear pants, this happened to Donald Duck in 1942's Donald Gets Drafted, in which he's standing over an ant hill, and the ants start climbing all over him. Despite his commanding officer, Pete, telling him not to move, he naturally squirms uncontrollably.
Happens to Eustace in an episode when he tries to crush Courage (after the latter had been turned into a fly).
Happens again in "The Macpherson Phantom" when a ghost puts lobsters into Eustace's trousers.
In an episode of Dexter's Laboratory, Dexter becomes stupid from overloading his brain. One of the actions he does while acting stupid is strip down to his underwear and drop a fish inside of it, making do a mambo-like dance.
In "Flea Bitten Ed" Rolf's bunnies jump into Ed's jacket and squirm around.
Happens to Eddy in "Urban Ed" when Ed asks him to hold a worm he found, then puts it down Eddy's shirt.
In "Dueling Eds", after Rolf curb stomps Eddy in a duel for insulting his cultural traditions, Rolf decides to celebrate with the Eds by dumping "the Eels of Forgiveness" in his and their pants.
Futurama : Fry once caught a badger in his "lucky pants" after tracking it down and then receiving them back from Zoidberg.
In the Goof Troop episode "Come Fly With Me" a bunch of flies attack Goofy by doing this.
In Gravity Falls, one of the gnomes is seen bathing in squirrels. The same gnome later whistles to his squirrel friends and lets them jump in his pants when running from Gideon
In the British show Horrid Henry, Henry gets a frog put down his pants by his brother Peter to cure his hiccups
In Jackie Chan Adventures, Tohru gets attacked by the Rat Talisman controlled Gnomekop like this because of Jade sticking a rival toy to Gnomekop up his pants
On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Jimmy deliberately invokes this trope to help him win a dance contest in "Dance Jimmy Dance". An earlier short had Jimmy appear to be dancing, but it turns out a bee was stinging him.
In the episode "Enter the Chipmunk" of Johnny Bravo, Johnny accidentally invents a powerful fighting style which relies on the fighter letting a live chipmunk into his pants.
In Kid VS Kat, Coop's dad was transformed into a rat due to a misfire of Kat's ray gun, and while in this state, he runs up Coop's pants to hide from stray alley cats
Happens sometimes in Kim Possible because of Rufus or any other factors.
In "Crush", this was invoked because Ron couldn't find Rufus until Rufus appeared in his clothes.
In "Mind Games", where it was useful because it unlocked an elevator door hidden behind a furnace.
In an early episode, Tommy attempt to bring a lizard to a costumed performer of Reptar at an ice show (It Makes Sense in Context). When he hides it in his diaper, it doesn't quite make him dance, but it does make him make weird facial expressions. The same happens to Chuckie later on but the parents think they're "antsy," of course.
In the later seasons once Dil is introduced, he hides a duckling in his diaper. But his dancing is more like fidgeting since the duck is tickling him from inside it.
Chuckie at one point supplements this with actual lyrics: "I got sand in my pants! This is not a dance!"
"Cape Feare": Marge visits the police to get them to stop someone sending Bart threatening letters. Wiggum claims there's no law against it, at which point Lou hands him a book saying there is - and it's also illegal to put squirrels down your pants for the purpose of gambling. Cue Wiggum telling some cops in the next room to knock it off.
"Love Is A Many Strangled Thing": Bart places a rattlesnake in Homer's pants while in a therapy session. The therapist takes it out and tells it to go back where it belongs, cue the snake jumping back into Homer's pants.
In Superjail!, an army of rats controlled by the rat that ate the birdman's larynx attack one of the inmates by doing this.
In the short "Baby Puss" from Tom and Jerry, when Tom's friends harass him for dressing up like a baby and changing his diaper. Shortly after changing him, one of his friends tosses a fish into his diaper, forcing him to fidget around and lead everyone into doing a congo-like dance.
Yogi Bear has a scene where Yogi is practicing ballet for an upcoming show. After a round of practice, Yogi sits down to rest. The dancer pulls him off the chair to continue dancing. A bee flies in and lands on Yogi's chair. Yogi then notices his shoe is untied and sits right back down. By the time he figures out there's a bee down there, he's stung and jumps around the room. The dancer takes this to be world class dancing. See here.
The story at the bottom of this page has a guy that this happened to, with a JELLYFISH.
Sans the squirming, tucking a small pet into one's shirt (not pants) can sometimes be the safest way to carry them, if it's cold out and you don't want to risk them escaping in transit.
There is a story that a construction worker found something in his shoe, and started kicking vigorously to shift it while leaning on electrical equipment. A coworker saw, him, though the jerking was due to electrocution, and hit him with a shovel to get him away, breaking his arm.
The entertainment which periodically comes up in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels has its real-life basis in "Ferret Legging", a largely extinct British sport in which the competitors stuff two ferrets into their trousers and attempt to keep them there for as long as they can, harkening back to the time ferrets would be secretly carried by poachers to catch rabbits. The world record is over five hours. Ouch.
In areas where dangerous critters such as venomous snakes or scorpions might be encountered, it's prudent to take a look at one's clothes (particularly shoes/boots) before putting anything on.
Anyone who has ever owned a ferret can tell you that, as incredibly curious burrowing animals, among their favorite places to be is inside anything vaguely tunnel-like in size and shape. And they're just as happy to climb up your pants leg while you're still in them, as if they were lying in the dirty clothes pile on the floor. And women in low-cut tops is an open invitation to dive right in.
"Wow, she had actual squirrels in her pants!" "We just got served!"