Many men have a lot of trouble unhooking women's bras from the front.
Humiliatingly enough, it often turns out these guys' worldly, swinging compatriots are able to unhook a girl's bra blindfolded, upside-down and with their teeth in two seconds.
Truth in Television
for a lot of guys. While most bras really are easy enough to undo one-handed, it's understandable why some have difficulty. When you consider lack of experience, understanding or the proper technique, worrying about this trope
, being unable to see what they're doing and either so nervous, excited, embarrassed or eager that shaking uncooperative hands aren't out of the question, it's not surprising that many people may have experienced this, particularly their first time. Maybe she could just do it herself. Or, perhaps, buy a bra that hooks from the front.
Interestingly, while most women soon learn to unhook their own bras easily enough, when it comes to manipulating the bra of another
woman, or the hooks of a bra still in its package, they often have more trouble. Some women can only do it with their eyes closed, working by feel alone.
In fiction, this frequently proves to be a Moment Killer
, because people are incapable of laughing off minor embarrassments
That said, it is actually fairly intuitive (bra manufacturers would go out of business if they weren't), so No Real Life Examples, Please!
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Anime and Manga
- Brain K. Vaughn's The Escapists features the fictional character "The Escapist", who is capable of picking any lock, in #2, he boasts of finally being able to unhook a girl's bra.
- American Pie 2: Michelle teaches Jim how to take off a bra one handed, and keeps slapping him away when he tries to use both hands.
- In Animal House, Larry Kroger has trouble unhooking Clorette DePasto's bra, though that's not nearly as much trouble as when he finds that Clorette is underage.
- The 40-Year-Old Virgin had this.
- Parodied in Hot Shots! Part Deux where a woman's bra turns out to literally have a lock on the back.
- Bull Durham has a variation when Annie Savoy tries to teach Nuke LaLoosh to unhook her garters from her stockings (to "improve his hand-eye coordination"). Nuke has just as much trouble with it as the trope standard has with bras.
- Related to the American Pie 2 example, it should be noted, since Annie expected Nuke to be able to do it one-handed. Later in the movie, when she finally gives in to erstwhile suitor Crash Davis (Kevin Costner), the nonchalant ease with which he's able to do this appears to be quite the turn-on for her...
- DEBS provides a rare inverted example of a female character having difficulty unhooking her partner's bra.
- A guy in The Last Picture Show is having a hard time opening Jacy's bra. Eye rolling incorporated.
- Dave Barry's Guide to Marriage and/or Sex:
You cannot casually unhook a bra strap. The bra-strap industry sees to this. Scientists over at the Bra Strap Research Center in Amarillo, Texas, work night and day with volunteer males and lifelike female dummies coming up with newer and more complicated fastening devices, devices where the first hook actually re-hooks itself after you go on to the second one, such that nobody can get these bras off, especially not a lust-crazed male in a dark room. Many priceless jewellry collections are now protected solely by bra straps.
- An article in an Australian girly magazine reminisced on the difficulty of removing a girl's bra in the back of a movie theatre in The Fifties, noting that it was good practice for National Service training, when you had to strip and reassemble a Bren gun in the dark.
- A book about the history of bras was held shut with a bra hook, as well as instructions on how to un-hook a bra one-handed.
- One of the minor problems of Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye:
Take this girl that I just missed having sexual intercourse with, that I told you about. It took me about an hour to just get her goddam brassiere off. By the time I did get it off, she was about ready to spit in my eye.
Live Action TV
- Inverted in Rin's route in Katawa Shoujo. The bra comes off easily enough, but getting it back on is another story entirely. Rin can be forgiven for not being much help, though, given that she has no hands.
- Inverted in If My Heart Had Wings. Aoi has absolutely no trouble removing Kotori's bra in the dark.
- In Futurama, Professor Farnsworth is doing this and mutters "so many hooks" (there were two). Granted, he's quite elderly. Halfway through he contemplates admitting defeat.
- In King of the Hill, Bill is seen fumbling trying to remove a bra from a display mannequin. Boomhauer, annoyed from how long he is taking, just simply walks up and unlatches the bra in a simple motion.