You Can Leave Your Hat On
A striptease. Depending on the tastefulness of the scene and the point in their career, it can either make or destroy an actor or actress.
Because someone disrobing on camera has a tendency to do that. Can go all the way; use of Scenery Censor
and other camera hiding techniques is optional; may be played for comedy or pure weapons-grade Fanservice
In the days of VHS rentals, this could cause technical difficulties, as that small section of the tape would get an inordinate amount of wear.
Many scenes like this (especially those that take place in clubs) have the stripper perform to music with a costume (initially) and whatever props the situation calls for.
The trope name comes from the 1972 song "(You Can) Leave Your Hat On" by Randy Newman
. Sung by Joe Cocker
in the movie 9½ Weeks
, as well as covered by other singers. Made popular again by Tom Jones's version in The Full Monty
. Made ridiculous by Troll 2
If an unwilling subject is forced
to disrobe, it falls rather into Shameful Strip
See also Best Known for the Fanservice
. Has nothing to do
with Please Keep Your Hat On
, despite being extremely similar in name.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Sin City has a character who is actually a stripper. In fact, she is sometimes depicted wearing nothing but a hat, invoking this trope to the T.
- Jack Faust has Promethea strip for him at the start of their sexual encounter/magic lesson.
- Omaha the Cat Dancer. The story is about a stripper and, well, actually involves striptease.
- Joker features Harley Quinn doing a reverse striptease, coming out naked and then putting on her costume.
- Both Sara and Bob's characters end up stripping in an attempt to earn cash to continue the mission in Dave's game in Knights of the Dinner Table #201.
- In Origin Story, Jennifer Kale performs for Alex and Louise while simultaneously giving them information. The reason for this was that she was working at a strip club at the time and they needed the information ASAP. The fact that she was tipped $100 helped, but one gets the feeling she would have been happy to do so anyway.
Films — Live-Action
- Metropolis (1927). Robot Maria.
- The Spy Who Came In from the Cold. Nipple and Dimed, but leaving you wondering how the BBFC gave it a PG rating.
- 9½ Weeks, memorably. Even the many US and UK critics who hated the film loved the scene.
- True Lies - Helen thinks she is a spy pretending to be a prostitute. Her "client" is really her husband and he asks her to perform a striptease for him.
- Dogma features Salma Hayek bouncing around to "Candy Girl". The scene is mesmerizing.
- Rita Hayworth removes her gloves in Gilda (they're one of those long ones), 1946 being the era of The Hays Code. Her character ends up becoming one of the best known Femme Fatale characters in history. In-story, she would've gone further, but was stopped by her jealous husband.
- And she does the Dance of the Seven Veils in Salome (1953).
- Troll 2, which even used the trope naming song. And some corn.
- Watchmen, and in some circles the scene has been not-so-affectionately dubbed "the porn scene".
- Sophia Loren has a great one in Vittorio De Sica's Ieri, oggi, domani (Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow).
- Striptease. It's not actually about a stripclub, but just about 1/4 of the movie is spend watching one of the girls in the club — usualy the main character — strip.
- The opening scene of Barb Wire.
- Les Chevaliers du ciel features a strip-tease atop a gorgeous Vought F4U corsair.
- In Working Girl, Tess comes upon Mick knocking boots with Doreen Dimucci, both naked and yet figleafed. It's less than two seconds though.
- Showgirls, of course.
- Jane Fonda taking off her spacesuit in zero gravity constitutes the entire opening credits sequence of the movie version of the aforementioned Barbarella.
- Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily? has a woman doing a striptease over the end credits, as Allen lounges on a couch eating an apple — at the end he turns to us and says "I told her I'd get her in the picture... somewhere." The movie itself begins in a strip club, where one man remarks of the stripper "I liked her better in The Sound of Music."
- In Coyote Ugly, Violet slowly strips for her boyfriend Kevin as part of an explanation of how she feels when she tries to perform on-stage. Kevin also performs a partial striptease during a Bachelor Auction, but only gets as far as removing his shirt and is in the process of removing his pants when the auction is called to an end.
- Takin' It Off and Takin' It All Off with Kitten Natividad are all about this trope.
- Party Plane is about stewardesses doubling as in-flight strippers.
- Any movie by Ed Hansen is this trope, really.
- Xuxa's character does a strip dressed as a teddy bear in Amor Estranho Amor.
- In Hasta El Viento Tiene Miedo, Norma Lazareno's character (Kitty) does a strip for the other girls before seeing the ghost. The 2007 remake goes a bit further to topless nudity.
- In Private Lessons, Sylvia Kristel's character strips for Philip, the young main protagonist.
- In Sabato Italiano, Francesca Neri's character (Marina) is hired by a group of boys to perform a strip for them.
- In Flodders 2, Kees (Tatjana Simic) performs a strip wearing a traditional dutch outfit.
- Plucking the Daisy, one of Brigitte Bardot's first movies, has her performing in an amateur strip contest to earn money to pay for a rare book she mistakenly sold. It's mostly tease but the strip performed by the contestant just before her (in the uncensored version) goes all the way to full nudity.
- Another of Brigitte Bardot's movies, Viva Maria!, has her and her companion inadvertently inventing striptease while performing in Mexico.
- In the Canadian movie Le Party, Alexandra (Charlotte Laurier) performs a full strip for the prisoners in jail.
- In Doctor in Trouble, Dawn (Janet Mahoney) performs a strip for the passengers on a cruise ship.
- In Varsity Blues, the boys go to a strip club and are suprised to find out the performing stripper in none other than their Sex-Ed teacher, Miss Davis (Tonie Perensky).
- In How to Beat the High Co$t of Living, Elaine (Jane Curtin) performs an impromptu striptease to distract the crowd and security from the ongoing heist.
- In Delusions of Grandeur, Alice Sapritch's character performs a strip after one of the main protagonists mistakenly declares his love for her.
- The Nude Set has an interrupted strip by the main protagonist, Sophie (Agnes Laurent), a strip by a cancan dancer earlier in the movie, a strip dice act, and a few more.
- In Nashville, Sueleen (Gwen Welles) is pressured into doing a strip for an all-male audience after failing to impress them with her singing.
- In One Night Only, Chantale Perron's character performs a strip at the party.
- In Vive les femmes!, Viviane (Catherine Leprince) does a strip on top of the table at the New Year's dinner party.
- In Prunelle Blues, the eponymous Prunelle (Valerie Steffen) does a strip on stage at the very beginning of the movie.
- Escape to Athena (1979). The POW's put on a variety act for their German guards, the climax of which is a strip show by an interned female USO performer. While the Germans are busy leering over her performance, the Greek Resistance sneak up and take them all prisoner.
- Sunset Strip (1993), as the name suggests, has many strip acts throughout.
- In The Playbirds (1978), Penny Spencer and Mary Millington's characters must perform a strip to qualify for an undercover job.
- In Blaze (1989), the title character played by Lolita Davidovich performs a few burlesque stripteases.
- In the House of Wax (2005) remake, Paris Hilton does this for her boyfriend...right before she's planning to tell him she's pregnant. Well played, Paris.
- In Carl Hiaasen's most famous novel, Strip Tease, Erin is a stripper and he describes her stripping fairly graphically at times. Much like bowling in The Big Lebowski, however, stripping is incidental to the plot of the book, only used as a setting and occasionally a source of the action.
- 1001 Tales of Arabian Nights has one particularly rowdy tale where three gorgeous sisters pick up a porter, get ridiculously drunk and then each strip in succession for the porter, who then returns the favor. Can't remember any of the other 1000 nights....
- Spellsinger features a stoat performing an elaborate exotic dance in a bar. The human hero Jon-Tom is horrified to find himself attracted to her, as he's not used to anthropomorphs.
- Otherland features a Brain Bleach Fetish Retardant subversion in a virtual strip club catering to, shall we say, a more perverted clientele. The girl disrobing for the slavering customers isn't taking off her clothes, but her skin.
- Joe Cocker's 1972 "You Can Leave Your Hat On" is naturally the Trope Namer.
- The whole subject of Tom Waits' "Pasties and a G-String" from Small Change.
Strip tease, prick tease, car keys blues
And the porno floor show, live nude girls,
Dreamy and creamy and brunette curls
Chesty Morgan and Watermelon Rose
Raise my rent and take off all your clothes
With trench coats, magazines, a bottle full of rum,
She's so good, make a dead man come
- Deconstructed in A Perfect Circle's Magdalena, where a man becomes so obsessed with a stripper he uses religious imagery to describe her as a "Magdalena" (aka Mary Magdalene) and a "moving temple".
- Liv Tyler has a striptease scene in the Aerosmith video for "Crazy". Somewhat squicky in that it's the lead singer's daughter and all.
- Kylie Minogue's video to "Put Yourself in My Place". She starts off floating around wearing a spacesuit...
Myths & Religions
- This one even appears in the Fanon of The Bible.
- The relevant part of the Gospels merely state that Herodias' daughter "danced" and got the head of John the Baptist. The fanon (specifically Oscar Wilde's Salome) has it as something called "The Dance of the Seven Veils", where she wears precisely seven veils over her body and removes all seven of them.
- A non-fiction book about the Second World War mentions in passing that dramatizations of Bible stories were popular at the time, some, this one for example, more so than others.
- Similarly in the book of Esther the Persian king summoned his queen Vashti "wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at" (which she refused to do, and he banished her for it). This has been interpreted by some to mean "wearing only her crown".
- At ECW Hardcore Heaven 96, June 22, 1996, the ring had been damaged during the "Weapons Match" between Tommy Dreamer and Brian Lee. In order to give the crew some time to fix it for the Sabu vs. Rob Van Dam match, Paul Heyman sent Kimona Wanalaya, who Raven had found working at a strip club where he had a side gig as DJ, up to the stage to do a strip dance wearing only a teddy and a towel. Heyman told her it wouldn't be taped - and then he taped it and released it on the Extreme Warfare Volume 2 VHS tape. She left ECW after that.
- Jeff Jarrett lost a match and as a result, his valet Debra had to strip. She was initially embarrassed but got into the groove and started to enjoy it.
- Something Chick Magnet Punk has long since stopped doing but he had done lap dances early on in his career.
- Randy Orton held a contest of this when he hosted Raw for one week. Featuring Maria Kanellis, Melina Perez, Christy Hemme, Candice Michelle and Stacy Keibler. The last one became his onscreen girlfriend for a few months after this.
- Rayna Von Tosh of SHIMMER played this up as her gimmick was a burlesque dancer. As it's a family friendly show, all she did was remove her Opera Gloves...and yet still got massive pops from the crowd.
- "Whatever Lola Wants" in Damn Yankees. Amazingly, Joe decides to Ignore the Fanservice.
- Gypsy shows Louise introducing her act to a burlesque joint and gradually metamorphosing into Gypsy Rose Lee.
- "Ah, But Underneath" in Follies (used in some productions to replace "The Story of Lucy and Jessie").
- The dance of the seven veils in Salome. In some productions, it goes all the way to full nudity.
- "Take Back Your Mink" in Guys and Dolls, in which the Hot Box Dolls observe no distinction between "take back" and "take off."
- Well, if the guy who gave it to her is supposed to take it back, she's pretty much got to take it off, right? The song also either has a double entendre, or it's a case of Slang Marches On, as they sing "I may be flat [broke], but I'm not as flat as all that." By that point in the song, the audience should have no remaining doubts as to their flatness or lack thereof.
- When you visit Votowne a second time in Anachronox, a reporter wants to schedule an interview with you, complete with a photoshoot. If the active member is Stiletto, he'll point out that he wants her to wear her beret for the shoot... and only her beret. If you have an other character active, the line is changed to include some other item that person wears, such as Sly's trenchcoat or Paco's cape.
- There is a rather entertaining scene in A Dance with Rogues, in which the character can make a show of it while stripping for a minor character who won't help her unless she pays him or screws him. If you make a show of it, he "goes off" prematurely and performs the teleport you wanted him to in a fit of rage.
- Heavy Rain: Madison is held at gunpoint and forced to strip tease for a skeezy nightclub owner.
- In Persona 4, Rise's shadow kind of does this. She forgoes stripping in favor of turning into a psychedelic pole-dancing monster with a satellite for a head and attacking your party, but her dungeon is even called "Marukyu Strip Tease." (It makes sense in context, we swear.)
- In Mortal Kombat 9, when Jade wins a match without successfully performing a Fatality, she doesn't actually take her clothes off (although, by then they're usually half torn to shreds anyway) but she does suggest a striptease by using her staff to do a pole dance while smiling suggestively at the player.
- Girl Genius: This trope was referenced in the background of the Jäger Bar in Mechanicsburg, where the Jäger impersonator girls are seen dancing on-stage without their trousers on, singing "But I've still got my hat!" This is a bit culturally significant, due to the importance of hats in Jäger culture.
- The Web page for the Bonobo Conspiracy featured a "Site Traffic Strip-O-Meter". The more traffic the site received, the more clothes the cute girl removes, as explained in the FAQ.
- Flipside: When Maytag has sex with one guy she does this.
- The Web newscast Naked News has stripping news anchors.
- Stripperella. 'Nuff said.
- Fablio le Magicien, an old animated series illustrating La Fontaine's tales (adapted from Aesop's) with anthropomorphic animals, had two episodes featuring a striptease (one by a female rat and one by a female bird).
- Il giro del mondo degli innamorati di Peynet has a striptease performed by a girl in a series a psychedelic images accompanying a song, in the scene set in Britain.
Anime & Manga
- Mercilessly teased in Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu with Sōsuke. Due to losing a bet he made with a Camp Gay trio from the music club, he ended up having to keep his end of the promise and swim naked in a lake while they watch. He slowly unbuttons his uniform and starts slipping his jacket off his shoulders. And despite the fact that he was, in no way doing it sensually (in fact, his whole attitude is pretty much trying to get it over with), coupled with how he didn't even get that far into it, the whole scene still seemed something that would definitely whet the appetite of fangirls (or fanboys). For Sôsuke, him publicly stripping is about as erotic as you can get him. Kaname's intervention was something of a Moment Killer, unfortunately.
- Kill la Kill turns this into a character trait for resident Mr. Exposition/Fanservice, Aikuro Mikisugi, as the man is incapable of delivering exposition without accompanying it with a striptease.
Both Sara and Bob's characters end up stripping in an attempt to earn cash to continue the mission in Dave's game in Knights of the Dinner Table
Films — Live-Action
- The Full Monty: It's also, in a way, about this trope — the plot concerns a group of poor men who decide to do what no other male strip act does and "go the full monty", i.e. full-frontal nudity. It's a comedy, BTW. In fact, the last scene of the movie is set to "(You Can) Leave Your Hat On". And the final piece of clothing they toss off, to go the "full monty" is naturally, their hats.
- In The Transporter 3, Valentina makes Frank do one of these in exchange for his car keys.
- In Dostana, Kunal (John Abraham) strips down to his underwear. In a cab. In front of Sam (Abhishek Bachchan) who nervously steals glances at him.
- Jay in Clerks II strips while imitating Buffalo Bill's "Goodbye Horses" dance in front of the Mooby's restaurant out of boredom, complete with suggestive chapstick use.
- Pennies from Heaven has a Christopher Walken striptease. Must be seen to be believed.
- 13 Going On 30 - Jenna's future boyfriend does one for her. She's more squicked out as she's only thirteen years old in her mind.
- The Anita Blake books occasionally go into detailed and often lengthy descriptions of male strip acts. Given the number of professional strippers in Anita's harem, it's surprising how well she manages to avoid more of these. (The female strippers Anita encounters are almost invariably disposable sex workers who've already been disposed of.)
- Invoked a couple of times in the Discworld series. A wizard's costume is his robes and his pointy hat. Various wizards (always and exclusively male, with one exception in Equal Rites who's never heard from again after that book) seem to feel that in very pressing circumstances the robes may be optional, but the hat never. In a bit of a lampshading, it's pointed out that they don't have to wear the hat on their heads, necessarily.
- Usually used humorously, as the wizards are not the kind of people you'd want to see wearing only hats.
- The Monty Python's Flying Circus sketches "Taking Your Clothes Off in Public" and "Secretary of State" have male stripteases, both performed by Terry Jones. In the second, he plays the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs, who twirls his nipple tassels while making a political speech, and is followed by a belly-dancing Graham Chapman (as the Minister of Pensions and Social Security).
- In the season 2 premiere of Ashes to Ashes, Chris enjoys watching ladies strip off in a Soho nightclub. His girlfriend Shaz is rather annoyed at this. To make it up to her, seemingly on Alex's suggestion, he puts on a police uniform of the time and does the Full Monty, to Gene and Ray's huge bemusement. Not, however, having rip-off trousers, when he moves over to kiss Shaz after dropping his Y-fronts, he trips over the trousers around his ankles.
- On an episode of The Drew Carey Show parodying The Full Monty, Drew and the boys form a strip act in order to earn enough money to replace a dog they accidentally had neutered. (It Makes Sense in Context.) Lampshaded when the show ends and Drew gives the money to the audience, and the guys from The Full Monty are there. "Sorry you had to see me naked... sorry you had to see me naked... hey, I saw you guys naked and I didn't get anything out of it!" He then takes back the money he gave them.
- In the Friends episode "The One Where the Stripper Cries", Monica and Rachel hire a male stripper for Phoebe's bachelorette party, but he isn't exactly what they expected (he's played by Danny DeVito).
- Well, The Full Monty certainly makes the rounds. In The Vicar of Dibley, one of the parish talent shows features Jim (Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, no) doing the full monty dance and (apparently) ending up naked (at least from the back).
- Mocked several times on Saturday Night Live. Once with a sketch that had Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley as the final contestants to join the Chippendale's dance troupe.
- Castle, as a cop show, was pretty much guaranteed to have a Strip Club Episode sooner or later. None of the main cast actually stripped (although Detective Ryan was encouraged to audition), but there were a lot of professionals. Including Hans von Manschaft.
- In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will and Carlton take jobs as strippers after the two of them lose money in a failed investment. Carlton does the performance in a memorable scene, which is then brought to a screeching halt by his mom.
- Yoshiki Hayashi of X Japan does this at least four times: his NUDE photobook, the Standing Sex and Longing commercials, and a set of fliers passed out for Yoshiki Mobile at the 2008 concerts....
- Angus Young of AC/DC always strips down to his underwear in concerts.
- Robbie Williams goes far beyond the skin in "Rock DJ", finishing up as nothing more than a dancing skeleton. The naughty bits are blurred, but not very much.
Myths and Religions
- According to Bible fanon, King David himself is so overcome with joy at the recapture of the Ark of the Covenant and its return to Jerusalem that he is moved to do a Chippendale in the street, to strip down to his royal loincloth and dance for joy — an action that earns him the Queen's reproof and criticism.
- The Full Monty is also a Broadway musical. Yes. Being a Broadway musical (that is to say, live theater), if, say, the lights should malfunction during even one show, then the audience might see what it's not supposed to. Worse yet, should an actor feel a little cheeky (no pun intended. Well, maybe a little) during a performance and jump ahead of the light cues, the audience gets more than they bargained for. Or less, depending on the actor in question.
- In the Vic Mignogna's Real Fans of Genius, this is inverted in the Yaoi Fangirl tribute: the hat will come off, but nothing else.
- In a DVD extra, The Nostalgia Critic stripteases out of a soaking wet Ghostbusters uniform while Rob (Doug's brother) films it and hums stripper music.
- In one episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy a boomerang changes everyone's personalities to their near-polar opposites. When Edd gets hit, he suddenly becomes something of a stripper (though really he seems to just be complaining about heat and he has no nudity taboo). The only thing he has on by the end of the episode is his hat.
- Happens to Baloo in the TaleSpin episode "Vowel Play".