Are you thinking Tara Reid's left strap is about to fall right off? You're right
is when clothes get torn off during combat. This type of Fanservice
is more generally when clothing rips or falls off in non-combat related situations.
The Theiss Titillation Theory
says that outfits which "merely suggest the imminence of revelation" are teasingly sexy. If it looks like Victoria is one stiff breeze away from having all of her secrets revealed, it will certainly get your attention, if only out of morbid curiosity. But the allure is all in the teasing: it looks like we'll see something, but we never do. When the hinted-at revelation accidentally comes to pass (universally to the embarrassment of the victim and the amusement of everyone else), the tease is over. And you get this trope.
When caused by some machine or magic
specifically designed to achieve that effect, see The Nudifier
A Super Trope
to Popping Buttons
and Slippery Swimsuit
. Compare Defeat by Modesty
. Contrast Sexy Coat Flashing
. May cause a Naked Freak-Out
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Anime & Manga
- A Certain Magical Index
- Touma accidentally disrobes Index at the beginning by touching her magically-generated clothes with his Imagine Breaker. Index had actually told him to do it, not believing him when told about his ability, but she clearly wasn't expected her clothes to disintegrate.
- Happens again later in the second season to free a nun from magic-restricting clothing. Which then leads to a flashback (from another character) of Touma's hand being used to free other nuns while Touma was unconscious. He still gets in trouble.
- During a Beach Episode in Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl, Hazumu's swimsuit top almost falls off.
- Yoko's bra falls off◊ while she is jumping vigorously in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
- When Nel in Bleach goes back to being her adult self, the outfit she was wearing as a child doesn't fit as well anymore.
- Mysterious Girlfriend X: Identical Stranger Mokona, posing as Urabe and wearing her clothes, accidentally gives Tsubaki a free show when she bends down because her breasts are two to three sizes too small for Urabe's bra. When she realises this after he asked her to do it again... boot to the head.
- Ghost Talkers Daydream: Kadotake trips and grabs Misaki's dress while falling down, causing it to rip off and reveal her sexy lingerie underwear.
- Kemeko Deluxe has probably the most unbelievable malfunction that happened in Anime history. It's also the most awesome.
- Miria experiences a Wardrobe Malfunction in Baccano! when Jacuzzi falls and tries to grab something to hold onto — which turns out to be the front of Miria's strapless dress. And Miria doesn't even care.
- Sheryl Nome in Macross Frontier ends up subverting the Impossibly-Low Neckline of her one-piece tube dress. It does fall off, all the way to her waist with conveniently placed hair.
- Keroro Gunsou: Whenever Natsumi gets hit with the age ray in the manga, she always gets a wardrobe malfunction. Whether reverting back her regular age, and suddenly finding herself topless in front of a crowd of nerdy guys, or losing her ski suit to an explosion, it's pretty much a given.
- Ukraine from Axis Powers Hetalia has a button pop off her shirt. Several times.
- The DVD versions of Queen's Blade allows any nipple flashes that would naturally happen from those outfits to take place. Most noticeable with Menace's version of the second season ending, where she exposes her breasts with every step she takes.
- At the prefectural swimming tournament in episode 8 of Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho, Momoko gets coerced into making a bet with Nanjou, the other team's captain, that the loser of the 100-meter freestyle has to have a "nip slip" in front of the crowd. Momoko wins, and while she's rubbing it in, the crotch of her swimsuit snaps. Nanjou then pulls her own swimsuit down to show off, Amuro offers to strip as well, and Captain Ikariya apparently already has, again. In the next chapter/episode, Momoko confiscates the pictures that Takeda took that day... and gives them to the school newspaper.
- Roughly 75% of the jokes from Maicchingu Machiko Sensei invoke this trope.
- In Mazinkaiser's Beach Episode, Sayaka starts marching angrily towards the Iron Masks (apparently to give them a piece of her mind) and Kouji tries to stop her by grabbing her shoulder, only to slip and accidentally undo her bikini top. When the Iron Masks get completely distracted on Sayaka's bare breasts, Kouji decides to weaponize it so they can escape.
- In the first chapter of the manga Idol Pretender, an idol contest is interrupted by some Knife Nut, angry that his Gonk daughter hasn't made it past the pre-audition screening. When the creep takes Love Interest Yuika hostage, Gender Bender Chinami snaps and sends him flying with a mighty kick. Unfortunately, they were at the swimsuit competition phase, and Chinami's string-bikini bottom unties and flutters away as a result. He/She still wins a special prize nonetheless.
- The central character of the highly obscure manga Buraburabanban (loosely cognate with "brass brass band band" via use of shortened loanwords) suffers one of these when, while conducting a performance of the school band, her motions become so vigorous that her shirt flies up, revealing to the audience that she forgot to wear a bra that day. Much later, in the final pages of the last chapter, a Call Back strikes during an even bigger and more public concert: her baton catches on the strap of her dress, which completely falls off. And this time she isn't wearing panties either.
- Kiriko Aoi◊ in the 5th episode of Shinkon Gattai Godannar!!
- Ryoko invokes this towards Ayeka in the fourth episode of Tenchi Muyo!. The princess had just realized Tenchi was now in the girls bath (again, thanks to Ryoko), and is caught in something of a daze by being in the baths with him. Realizing how prim, proper and utterly boring she's being, Ryoko livens things up by undoing the tie on Ayeka's towel, exposing her in front of Tenchi.
- Downplayed in a skit in episode 3 of Servant × Service. Lucy has all hooks on her bra broken, and the tension was about how her coworkers get to resolve the issue while tiptoeing around the issue itself. Eventually Yutaka claimed Lucy had a fever because of her blush and should "go back to rest;" the others immediately got the hint. No fanservice was even intended in the skit as she wears conservatively.
- Episode 7a of Sakura Trick promises one in the title, and delivers: Mitsuki's bikini top falls off.
- Happens all the time to Super Sonico in the many manga adaptations; about two of every three times she's wearing a bikini, her top will snap at some point. To make things worse for the poor girl, it usually happens at the worst possible moment, such as in the middle of a photoshoot, when she's in a stage giving a concert for millions, or when she's at the beach with everyone staring at her as she rides her savior dolphin back to the coast. Official artworks tend to chronicle her many wardrobe malfunctions as well; one of them even shows her bikini top and bottom snapping at the same time.
- Invoked in Haunted Junction. When the very sexy Cute Ghost Girls Yamiko and Hanako get into a competition with lives at the stake that has sexiness as one of the requirements, Yamiko cheats by either intentionally dropping one of her uniform straps to bare her Gag Boobs (manga) or by replacing a swimsuit she has to wear for the swimming contest with dissolving body paint (anime).
- Archie Comics:
- A story in Veronica volume 201 had the girls discover a collection of old-style bathing suits and try them out in the water. The boys didn't really appreciate the cover-everything styles... until it became clear that the old fabric couldn't stand up to water anymore and disintegrated, leaving Betty, Veronica and the rest naked in the ocean. Heck, this even happened to Mrs. Lodge who tried out one of the suits at a pool party.
- In another Archie comic, Cheryl stole a dress that Veronica designed and wore it to a party just to laugh in her face - only to find out at that point what a bad seamstress Veronica was. The whole dress ripped apart in front of everyone. (Of course, as humiliating as that was for Cheryl, the story didn't quite end on a high note for Ronnie either...)
- A very similar incident happened with Lynn in the Alf comic, when Alf, in order to stop Willie and Kate from going down the girl's throat about her new bikini being too revealing, sews a new, stylish and more modest swimsuit for her out of the seat-covers from his spaceship. Crisis averted — until Lynn and her classmates go to the seaside and it turns out that the Melmacian fabric can take fresh water without any problems, but dissolves completely in salt water.
- In the second Lady Rawhide mini-series, Lady Rawhide's breast does actually pop out of her costume for a panel. There had been jokes ever since the character debuted about how she managed to stay in her Stripperific outfit.
Films — Live-Action
- In The 40-Year-Old Virgin, a woman at the speed-dating session has a wardrobe malfunction when her top slips to the side just enough for a nipple to peek out. She's completely unaware of it and oblivious to Andy's resultant discomfort and repeated subtle hints to cover herself.
- Barbara Windsor was made famous by one of these in Carry On Camping, as a boarding school girl doing aerobics. Her bra not only fell off but flew across the field into the face of the (male) aerobics instructor.
- In the 1983 film Class a college boy has a disastrous date with a girl who he meets in an official meeting the next day. In front of various officials she shoves him over backwards, he grabs on to the nearest handhold which is her shirt.
- The musical biopic With a Song in My Heart had an overhead shot in which Susan Hayward's dress accidentally slipped off her left breast.
- Wild Wild West. The rear flap of Rita Escobar's (Salma Hayek's) pajamas falls open. Will Smith and Kevin Kline are apparently quite... cheered at the sight of her bare ass.
- During the final musical number for The Rocky Horror Picture Show, near the end Columbia's breasts slip out of her top. Little Nell did this on purpose and you can play a drinking game out of how many times she gets her nips on screen.
- An in-universe variant: In Repo! The Genetic Opera, Amber Sweet's face falls off while she's performing on stage.
- Part of Torrance's Catapult Nightmare at the beginning of Bring It On is that she somehow loses the top of her cheerleading outfit during the pep rally in which she is introduced as squad captain.
- Happens repeatedly to Baya, the lead female character of The Names of Love, but she's so absent-minded that she barely even notices when her breasts spill out of her clothes in public. On one occasion, she suffers an extreme case of Wardrobe Malfunction, by forgetting altogether to put any clothes on when going out of her flat.
- In the B-Movie Lost Continent (made famous by Mystery Science Theater 3000) Sid Melton's pants slip down his butt in one scene (causing the other actors to crack up). The fact that this shot was left in the final movie suggests another trope...
- In the movie Devil Fish, we're treated to an upwards shot as a male character descends a ladder, giving us a look right up the leg of his shorts. The MST crew censored it with their logo, but the "Greatest Hits" montage that the staff used to screw with Mike, Bill and Kevin while filming Danger: Diabolik had it uncut.
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Happens to Oola, the green Twi'lek dancer. And to Carrie Fisher's golden bikini during the filming. Both were unintentional bloopers that were edited out but can still be seen with a quick eye and pause button.
- Happens to both Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn in a early scene in Bringing Up Baby.
- The even more obscure film adaptation of the obscure manga Buraburabanban features a variation upon the example mentioned above. She loses her dress during the band's first performance (with no help from the baton this time), and gets through the climactic major performance without incident... only to have her skirt pop open and fall off during a rehearsal later.
- In Good Luck Chuck, among the many mishaps happening to accident-prone Cam (Jessica Alba), she rips off her skirt by exiting Charlie's car, revealing penguin-adorned panties.
- Played for Laughs in Psycho Beach Party when Marvel Ann (Amy Adams) gets her bikini bottoms ripped off by her ex-boyfriend. On the beach. In broad daylight. Leading her to have a Naked Freakout.
- At the second BIG4 concert in Seoul, the lead singer of the group SeeYa had her breast exposed when the strap on her costume broke. She continued to dance uninterrupted, eventually using her hair to hide the exposure.
- While performing in Central Park in August 2011, Nicki Minaj's dancing was a little too energetic for her costume to handle. As it happened, the show was being aired live on Good Morning America, and despite a five-second broadcast delay, the censors failed to notice until it was too late. ABC issued an apology for the oversight.
- The "daring" Dominique Auxilly dress that Adrienne Bailon wore to a March 2012 concert is a perfect example of how the Theiss Titillation Theory can backfire spectacularly to cause one of these. She was posing for photographers on the red carpet when a gust of wind suddenly revealed that she wasn't wearing anything underneath.
- Ryu Hwayoung of the South Korean girl group T-ara suffered a malfunction during a live performance of the single "Lovey Dovey" on a music show when the non-seethrough portion of her costume slipped down just as the camera zoomed in for her solo.
- Idina Menzel's breasts became nearly exposed during a June 2014 concert at Radio City Music Hall.
- Kacey Musgraves had her panties fall off just before she performed with Loretta Lynn on the 2014 Country Music Association awards.
- The video for Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach" has a blink-and-you-miss-it moment (during the first chorus, when she sings "I'm keeping my baby") when she throws down her hands and sticks her chest out at the end of the dance sequence. The action causes her one of her breasts to become partly exposed just before the shot cuts away. Evidently, it was such a quick moment that no one ever bothered to censor it.
- At the 10-diva tag match at Survivor Series 2007, Michelle McCool has an unfortunate Nip Slip and actually wrestles for a whole minute with her nipple exposed. The DVD doesn't actually edit it out.
- While a Diva losing her clothes is often planned, at Judgment Day 2004 it certainly wasn't as Dawn Marie's tights literally ripped right open, though she was wearing a thong.
- During an in-ring promo between Eve Torres and Beth Phoenix, Eve shoved Beth down and she ended up flashing her panties to the back row of the audience while trying her hardest not to flash her top area to the front row.
- The ladder match at WrestleMania X had Shawn Michaels getting the top of his tights pulled down, flashing the crowd a full moon. He then delivered an elbow drop off the ladder with his cheeks exposed.
- In his second-to-last WWE pay-per-view match, Ric Flair (who, like all old-school male wrestlers, wears a pair of bikini briefs in the ring and nothing else), got pantsed by Mr. Kennedy just before he (Flair) managed to get a pinfall — making him a "Nature Boy" in more than one sense of the word!
- Awesome Kong suffered this in TNA during a over-the-top Battle Royale included on the Bonus Disc for the Video Game. As if the name wasn't enough of a clue, she is a giant black woman whose role is the Monster Heel and is as far removed from the Ms. Fanservice role as a woman in wrestling could be.
- In a Triple Threat match between CM Punk, Kane and Daniel Bryan, Bryan was up on the turnbuckle set up for a Superplex and Kane and Punk were pulling each other down... until Kane grabs Punk's trunks and pulls them down, exposing his ass to half the arena in the process.
- At ECW Holiday Hell 96, the Heel team of "The Franchise" Shane Douglas and "The Head Cheerleader" Francine d. "The Innovator of Violence" Tommy Dreamer and Beulah McGillicutty. At one point, Dreamer had Francine set up for a piledriver and was turning around to each side of the ring so everyone could get a glimpse of what was about to happen, which was Dreamer hitting the piledriver and Francine's breasts falling out. Raised to funny because, right when Dreamer grabbed Francine's hair to set her up for the move, announcer Joey Styles said, "And Dreamer has seen enough of the Head Cheerleader."
- The October 6, 1997 episode of WCW Monday Nitro opened with a graphic memorializing the wrestler Brian Pillman, who had died the day before. The show then went into the arena, the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN, to start the show off with a Nitro Girls dance number. During the routine, Chae's left breast briefly bounced out of her top. This event became known as the "Nitro Nipple."
- On the 20th Anniversary of Monday Night Raw, John Cena is fighting Dolph Ziggler in a Steel Cage match. Cena tries to stop Ziggler from going over the top, but accidently pulls down Ziggler's trunks, exposing his ass to everyone watching at home.
- In her autobiography The Fabulous Moolah, Lillian "Moolah" Ellison (who was one of the first, or at least second, generation of female professional wrestlers in America) recounts one night in Oklahoma City in the early 1950s when a man lurking in the crowd tried to stab Ellison for kissing a male wrestler who was clearly non-white (apparently not knowing or caring about Ellison's own Native American heritage). He succeeded only in ripping off her bikini top with the knife, leaving her topless, before he was tackled by arena security. To calm down the crowd, Ellison immediately remarked: "Well, he saw what he wanted to see, didn't he?"
- In a 2013 Raw segment promoting the new Reality Show Total Divas, Brie Bella's breast is briefly exposed. Due to her immediate public apology mandated by her superiors, it's believed that it possibly would have gone unnoticed had they not said anything.
- Batista's jeans suffered a rather large tear after he speared Randy Orton during a 2014 Monday Night RAW argument with Orton and Stephanie Mcmahon. The torn jeans later became autographed by Batista and put up for auction.
- This can be invoked in multiple cases, the most common is when a wrestler grabs their opponent's tights to claim a victory by making it harder to kick out. Another common variant occurs during the Sunset Flip: a wrestler somersaults over his opponent and grabs his legs to dry and pull him down with him. If the opponent is too stable to be pulled down, pulling the tights and exposing their ass is an easy way to get him off balance.
- The incident with Sophie Marceau's dress at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival was repeatedly mocked on Les Guignols De L Info, each time implying it to be less and less accidental.
- Competition swimsuits, particularly the Jaked brand, have been infamous for ripping in the posterior area.
- At the 2009 European Figure Skating Championships, during the compulsory dances, where each ice dance couple does the exact same routine, Russian ice dancer Ekaterina Rubleva's dress strap snapped, causing her breast to be exposed on international TV. She and partner Ivan Shefer were then obliged to finish the dance that way to avoid losing points, which they did.
- Something very similar happened to the East German figure skater Katarina Witt at an exhibition in Paris in 1988, when her costume slipped during a long spin. Apparently she hadn't had a chance to test the new costume before the performance. note
- Italian Olympic swimmer Flavia Zoccari was disqualified from an event at the 2009 Mediterranean Games when her full-body swimsuit split open just before the race and exposed her rear.
- Something similar apparently happened to Ricky Berens at the 2009 World Swimming Championships, although he was not disqualified.
- Bobsledder Gillian Cooke had the back of her suit split open at the 2010 championship race... with a live camera directly behind her... while wearing a G-string. She completed the race anyway, and the video was briefly very popular on YouTube.
- Women were not allowed to watch the ancient Greek Olympics, and tradition holds that this ban was defied only once, when Pherenice of Rhodes disguised herself as a man in order to watch her son compete. When her son won, she rushed to congratulate him and her disguise slipped off. The authorities decided not to punish her out of respect for her family's Olympic achievements.
- In the last scene of The Women, a recent victim of this makes a bit-part appearance, desperately seeking a safety pin to mend the broken shoulder strap of her dress.
- There's more than one kind of wardrobe malfunction◊.
- There are entire softcore porn websites dedicated to the phenomena, including an entire subgenre for "Nip Slips", which is when an actress's dress slips just enough out of the way that some of her nipple can be seen, but it doesn't shift so significantly that she feels it happen. And Vapor Wear upskirts. Another common occurrence is when thin dresses unexpectedly become revealing when under the blaze of lights and flash photography.
- Disney animated shorts saw this happen to Donald Duck on several occasions:
- Bellboy Donald (1942): Donald loses his entire bellboy uniform as a troublesome child sticks part of it between an elevator door...and the elevator moves, completing the deed. Hand covers crotch and deep blush immediately follows.
- Tea For Two Hundred (1948): Donald digs for food stolen by ants inside their hole. Rather pull the food out, they pull his entire outfit in, leaving him above ground completely naked. Moment of embarrassment follows.
- Hook, Lion, and Sinker (1950): As Donald is cooking in his kitchen, two lions steal fish stacked on the windowsill, one at a time, bucket brigade style. Having run out of fish but assuming there is more to steal, the next items blindly grabbed —in order and sequentially — are his chef's hat, matching bib, his entire outfit, Donald himself, and the gun he was holding before being tossed out the window. Cartoon logic in this backward order; after the brigade is out of items, Donald, once again fully clothed and armed, greets them on the far end.
- Family Guy has David Hyde Pierce's scrotum falling out during the Emmys, in a thinly disguised parody of the Trope Namer.
- The same episode directly parodied it during a rapid-fire montage at the end of the "Freakin' FCC" song with a clip of Peter flashing his nipple.
- In the South Park episode "Good Times with Weapons", Cartman walks onto a stage stark naked, believing in his (imaginary) power to turn invisible. When put on the spot about this "scandalous" display, he replies, "I told you, it was a wardrobe malfunction!"
- The Simpsons:
- SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob rips his pants accidentally while trying to lift weights; he then does this intentionally because it makes people laugh.
- In the Futurama episode "A Clockwork Origin", Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Hermes, Leela, and Amy's clothes get shredded by Farnsworth's nanobots.
- Robot Chicken has a cloth-ripping incident happening during a chase scene... for the funeral of Benny Hill, fittingly.
- There is the famous incident when Justin Timberlake "inadvertently"note exposed Janet Jackson's breast at the 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show. It revealed a touch of Double Standard — Jackson was accused of corrupting youth with a half second of her bare breast, but very few (if any) people complained that Timberlake managed to cause it by, effectively, pantomiming a form of sexual assault. Additionally, Janet gets more blame than Justin due to the rumor that, although it was planned, all that would have been seen was her bra... had she agreed to wear it. Finally, the offending moment transpired so quickly in Real Time that many people didn't notice it until the news media replayed it over and over. Purely to show their disapproval, of course.
- A strap of Sophie Marceau's dress slipped off at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, baring her breast.
- Tara Reid, who provides the trope picture, was at P. Diddy's birthday party, and while on the red carpet, her Little Black Dress fell right off one shoulder, and she had no bra underneath so the whole breast was shown (and her white mink jacket didn't help, since she wore it off her shoulders). She says she didn't even notice it until her publicist ran over and put her dress strap back on.
- In 2001, the snap on Carla Sanchez's top broke while she and her New York University dance team were performing in a national competition. She continued to dance, topless, believing her team would be penalized if she broke ranks to cover up. (The judges later said they would not have deducted points.) The NYU team won its division. The incident was referenced in a 2002 USA Today article on cheerleading as a sport and industry.
- During the Rio de Janeiro Carnival Angela Bismarchi's "tapa-sexo" (tiny piece of material covering the genital area) fell off, leaving her fully nude.
- Cosplayers sometimes have these. Most commonly these happen when their costumes fall apart, although there have been some more classic examples.
- During Garbage's performance at the 1996 VH1 Fashion Awards, Shirley Manson had one.
- It happened to author J. K. Rowling during a public appearance. A gentleman friend nobly covered up with an improvised hand-bra.
- During the very eventful final of Britain's Got Talent, judge Amanda Holden offered her left breast to the world when her dress failed. No eggs were involved in this live blooper. Screen-grabs went almost as viral as the egg-throwing.
- When Amanda Palmer inadvertently exposed a nipple during a concert in Glastonbury, she was annoyed that the Daily Mail reported solely on the wardrobe malfunction and neglected to discuss anything else about her concert. So she wrote a song to them, which Deconstructed the trope's misogynist subtext, then proceeded to outright Defy the trope by stripping completely naked on stage. (Link NSFW).
- A little-known Korean actress named Yeo Min-Jeong (여민정) briefly made headlines following the 2013 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival, after her dress slipped down and exposed her chest twice as she walked the red carpet. A brief flurry of speculation ensued regarding whether the entire incident was intentional on her part, since footage clearly shows that she touched the strap in question a moment before each slip, and she was wearing flesh-colored tape over her breasts at the time.
- At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, speed skater Olga Graf, after setting a personal best time in the 3000 meters, unzipped her suit to the navel, at least partially to help with cooling off, revealing nothing underneath. She zipped back up as soon as she realized.
- Bai Ling, being moderately endowed and fond of wearing extremely loose and low-cut outfits with nothing underneath, has experienced so very many of these over the years that one might easily surmise she is either quite careless or else doing it on purpose.
- Shortly after winning Miss Universe, Miss Australia Jennifer Hawkins appeared at a fashion show where her high heel caught on the hem of her dress and ripped it clean off her. She laughed it off, apologized, and joked that she wished she'd worn better underwear.