Tacky Tuxedo

"Bloody Hell."

Part of Hollywood Dress Code:

It's Prom Night! Or it's a wedding! It could be Shlomo's bar mitzvah, but no matter what kind of an event, Weirdo McGeek is invited as well. And what kind of garment did he choose to show up wearing?

A frilled shirt, a bowtie, a cummerbund and a tuxedo in baby blue.

It's a disco-style tuxedo John Travolta could barely look good in, but the Hollywood Nerd usually comes dressed up like this to a fancy event. Usually an over-the-top exaggeration of the schizoid styles used in the Real Life 70s, falling out of fashion as disco music died downnote . Frilly shirts and big ties in particular made a comeback during most of The '90s and The Oughts until the very early 2010s, although suits had more conventional schemes.

A Sub-Trope of Impossibly Tacky Clothes.

Contrast Sharp-Dressed Man (where the tux and the guy look good). Often found in a Lounge Lizard's wardrobe.


Comic Books
  • In Issue #12 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, which is set in Equestria's version of The '80s, Shining Armor's high school dance tuxedo is the epitome of this trope.
  • It seems to be the case for a moment in Superman: The Wedding Album with Clark's wedding costume, but when he protests, he's told that the tacky costume was just to test his size and shoulder broadness, and then he's given a better tuxedo.

  • The title character in Angus wears a particularly hideous purple one. He had his heart set on a "normal, socially-acceptable" black tux, but the shop had nothing else big enough to fit him.
    Angus: It's purple.
    Attendant: It's plum.
    Grandpa: It's classy!
    Angus & Troy: It's plum.
    Attendant: It's your size.
  • Tom Hanks' character Josh in Big shows up to a black-tie cocktail party in a white sequined tuxedo. The party is so shocked by his appearance that he tries to surreptitiously check his fly.
  • Dumb and Dumber: Lloyd and Harry show up to a formal charity event in orange and blue tuxedos, respectively, complete with gloves, top hats, tails and walking sticks.
  • Barry Fife (Bill Hunter) wears something very like this in Strictly Ballroom.
  • In My Cousin Vinny, Vinny shows up to court wearing a particularly hideous old maroon tux he had obtained at the last minute from the thrift store. Not like he had much of a choice; the judge had ordered him to wear a suit, and the local dry cleaners were closed due to a flu outbreak, so it was either that or his leather jacket, which he already knew that the judge disapproved of.
  • The Mask's banana yellow zoot suit, which became his Iconic Outfit.
  • In Father of the Bride (1991), Steve Martin's character pulls one of these out of mothballs in the attic, to the amusement of his wife and daughter. Then, for the actual wedding, he dons a knockoff Armani tux which (as he discovers when it's pointed out by other characters) is actually navy blue.
  • In Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, a mix-up at the tuxedo rental place causes Anthony's tux to be given to someone else. The only tux they have left in his size is a hideous powder blue one with a frilly shirt and a huge bow tie. He doesn't really mind this however and ends up wearing this to the prom.
  • Carrie: The prom-shopping montage is made of this.

  • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, poor Ron Weasley gets stuck wearing an old-fashioned maroon dress robe to the Yule Ball. It clashes horribly with his date's hot pink dress.
  • A three-piece suit version of this appears in Rocket Boys when Homer runs into his oddball friend O'Dell while shopping. They both find something that they think is great and is eye-catching enough to get him noticed by a campaigning John F. Kennedy. It's only after that when Homer reveals that the suit is bright orange. (His friend Emily Sue forces him to swap it for a normal blue one.)
  • Harry Dresden incorporates one of these into his vampire costume from Grave Peril, as he intends to thumb his nose at the actual vampires at a costume party by dressing as a cheesy version.

Live-Action TV
  • Home Improvement: Al and Tim wear these.
  • Bubbles on Trailer Park Boys skipped the disco ensemble and wore something even tackier to a wedding: a T-shirt with a tuxedo design on the front. Then again, this is Trailer Park Boys.
  • Glee
    • Apparently Burt Hummel wore a deeply regrettable-sounding powder-blue tux with ruffled shirt and floppy bow-tie to his prom. It's probably a good thing that this is only described, not shown on-screen. What's even more mind-blowing is how Burt can admit to this and then get up nerve enough to criticise his son Kurt for planning to wear a very elegant formal kilt to his junior prom...
    • And apparently Artie takes fashion advice from Burt, because the cherry-red outfit he wore to the junior prom made him look like Austin Powers.
  • The one-off special Canned Laughter had a stand-up comedian dressed a extreme parody of the styles of the time (it was made in 1979).
  • On Boy Meets World, a nerdy guy who mistakenly thinks Topanga agreed to go to the prom with him shows up at her door wearing one of these.
  • In Fringe, Walter has one of these.
    Walter: Purple never goes out of style!
  • The Big Bang Theory: When Penny takes Sheldon suit-shopping, one of his choices is a white tuxedo with tails.

Newspaper Comic
  • Jon Arbuckle of Garfield has also been known to wear pink and purple suits as well.
  • Zits: In an attempt to persuade Sara to go to the prom with him, Jeremy borrows a tuxedo that used to belong to Hector's grandfather. Only when Hector gives it to him does he discover that Hector's grandfather had been in a mariachi band.

Web Comics
  • Wil in Questionable Content once went to a job interview in a suit better suited to the Regency. (Apparently the only other option involved a blazer that looked even weirder.) Fortunately for him, his interview was at the Local Hangout, which had a previously-established Running Gag about dressing up in old-timey outfits.

Western Animation
  • American Dad!: Steve's friend Snot
  • The Angry Beavers: Daggett
  • Batman Beyond: Willie Watt wears an orange version to the spring dance in the episode "Golem". Made worse by the fact that other episodes show that future formal fashions are even more streamlined than those of today, meaning it was really, really out of date and it wasn't actually a formal occasion (the only guys are wearing pretty casual clothes).
  • Ron Stoppable wears one of these in Kim Possible, saying he borrowed it from his dad.
  • The Simpsons: Homer wore a blue version to his high school prom in "The Way We Was".
  • Grojband: Kin Kujira

Real Life
  • Harpo Marx, during a vacation on the French Riviera, constantly wore a tuxedo made out of green felt. He later learned that he'd become widely known as "that American in the pool-table tuxedo".
  • Richard Cheese usually wears a tiger-striped suit. And then there's this.