Many home improvement shows where the carpenter works without his shirt on.
On the local news during a heat wave, young lean and muscular shirtless men with smooth, hairless chests are sometimes among those asked how they deal with being outside during a heatwave.note Case in point: during a heatwave in the summer of 1992 during the 5:00 broadcast, Washington D.C. general news reporter Wendy Rieger did a Vox Pops interview with a shirtless, twentysomething male who was playing soccer on the National Mall. He told her that the black shorts and T-shirt combo he was wearing matched perfectly but that the shirt was soaked with sweat and became unwearable, so it had to come off. Rieger ran her index finger along his near-smooth chiseled chest and told the strapping young man she thought that his black shorts-and-sweaty bare chest combination was a good style for him by saying that "It looks like you're well matched here."
Many physical-competition shows such as American Ninja Warrior have some or many of the men topless as they run the courses or dodge the obstacles. Since being physically fit is the top requirement, they're all very well built and sculpted.
In "Rm w/a Vu" Angel comes to the door of his apartment wearing a towel and nothing else. In the episode commentary by writer Jane Espenson, she notes, "I put that scene in there because, frankly, I knew there wouldn't be a woman on the planet who wouldn't enjoy seeing David [Boreanaz] shirtless and dripping wet." The series is absolutely full of shirtless scenes for the titular hero.
The season 5 episode "Hellbound", where Spike ends up naked.
Lindsey goes shirtless during the fight scene in "You're Welcome". For no apparent reason, while making a penis euphemism.
Average Joe: Shirts vs. Skins basketball and dodgeball were played. The Joes were always the Shirts team and the Hunks were the Skins team.
Battlestar Galactica (Classic): The original series: Starbuck and Boomer each have one shirtless scene (in "The Young Lords" and "The Hand of God", respectively).
Most notably Lee Adama's towel-dropping scene.note Apparently yet another favorite trope of actor Jamie Bamber, who has a handful of these sprinkled across his TV appearances as well as in a print ad for PETA—the photo of him that adorns this page is actually the least revealing of the series of pictures that it was selected from.
Helo had a nice one late in season three.
Subverted in the season 3 opener "Occupation". Though Fat Apollo does seem to have a fewfans.
Used dramatically in other as the elder Adama studies his surgical scar and (now healed) bullet wounds in the mirror.
Britain's Got Talent: Featured a martial arts duo called Strike in its second series, who took their shirts off during their audition and went rippy in their semi-final and final performances. Amanda Holden got reduced to fangirl level.
Spike during the last two seasons. Sometimes even his pants came off. James Marsters has, in fact, referred to his costume in season six as "pretty much a sock." Lampshaded by the First Evil (using Buffy's appearance) when she uses Spike's blood to open the Seal. "She" mentions that the original plan was to use Andrew, "but you look better with your shirt off."
Angel didn't wear a shirt at all during the third season. If Marti Noxon is writing the episode you can be assured that Angel will take off his shirt at some point. Or be shown partially stripped. And dripping with sweat. During a torture scene. Whilst shackled to a bed...
In "First Date" Xander gets a shirtless scene. And he wears nothing but a red speedo in "Go Fish".
Oz is shirtless for a good amount of time in "Wild at Heart".
Californication: It would be quicker to list the episodes where David Duchovny's character Hank Moody doesn't take his shirt off.
The minor character Devon (better known as Captain Awesome) is regularly shirtless, apparently because that's how the character wants to dress. For Halloween, we saw him costumed as Adam, in flesh-colored briefs with a large green fig leaf.
Generally averted with Chuck himself who is rarely shirtless, which is probably because the actor is better built than the character.
We do get an extended shirtless Chuck sequence in the third season.
Every spy love interest for Sarah goes shirtless at some point: Bryce and Cole at least have the injury excuse. Shaw walks around in a towel just because.
Community: Jeff, and to a lesser extent the rest of the study group, have found themselves stripping down in some rather bizarre situations. Possibly the weirdest was being involved in a game of pool that to prove a point was being played naked.
Cops: Watch any episode. Chances are at least one of the suspects will be shirtless.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: The men tend to get shirtless: Warrick Brown, Nick Stokes in the wedding episode, and Greg Sanders in the shower scene....
Now has been done with both the Cherkovskiy brothers, even in the same week (the week, incidentally, when the celebrities had artistic control of the routines).
Dante's Cove: Very frequent. Even when people aren't having sex, they have a tendency to leave their shirts unbuttoned or off altogether (possibly justified by the tropical setting), and Adam only actually seems to wear a shirt three times, twice unbuttoned. Lampshaded by Grace once.
Grace: Aren't you with that other one, now? The one that says "dude" and appears not to own a shirt?
"He stands, arms akimbo, a... hell of a lot easier to take with his shirt off."
The Third Doctor gets a shower scene in his first episode.
The Fourth Doctor comes very close to getting a shirtless scene in 'The Deadly Assassin'. He spends the entirety of the episode wearing a loose, low-necked, partially see-through white shirt, which gets torn, dirt-stained, blood-stained, AND soaking wet while he's in the mind matrix world. Alas, he is never seen completely without it. Not even when he's being TORTURED —- they passed up a lot of good opportunities in that episode.
Peter Davison sort of got one in "Mawdryn Undead". Although it turned out it wasn't actually Fivey. It was Mawdryn, who had somehow managed to take Fivey's form.
Eleven gets another in "The Lodger". It's actually a Shower Scene. There were many ways they could have done the scene. They opted for the sexiest option. The Matt Smith fangirls rejoiced.
In the Made-for-TV Movie, Eight has three scenes where you get to see his chest. His smooth, pale, hairless, well-muscled chest... The second one is rather Fan Disservice-y, involving something on the milder end of Body Horror.
Ballard has had several quite extended such scenes (a show on the brink needs all the help it can get), including a fairly pointless scene of him sparring in a boxing ring in the re shot pilot, which did little else but show he is ripped. It is worth pointing out Ballard is played by Helo from Battlestar Galactica and really rocks the shirtless look.
Elementary: Has Sherlock Holmes shirtless in his very first scene. He's shirtless again two episodes later while looking through a case file. In the latter case, he remembers wearing a shirt when he started, but can't remember why he took it off.
Farscape: John appears shirtless a few times to the delight of fangirls.
Joss Whedon points out how happy female viewers probably are about Simon Tam's shirtless scene in the commentary of the "Objects in Space" episode.
Captain Malcolm Reynolds spends some time completely naked in "Trash".
Jayne Cobb is shirtless at the start of "Jaynestown".
In commentary for The Movie, meanwhile, he apologizes for having Mal only shirtless in one scene and then only showing him from his neck up for most of it.
FlashForward (2009): Both Demetri and Mark have gotten shirtless scenes. The fangirls are not complaining one bit.
Flash Gordon (1954) (1950s TV series): Steve Holland (as the title character) always had a mandatory scene every episode where he'd enter the cabin of his rocketship while still changing his shirt, revealing a well-muscled chest.
The scene where Dr Mark Sloan, AKA Mc Steamy, walks out of, appropriately, a cloud of steam, wearing the smallest amount of coverage possible to avoid the censors. Fanservice if ever there was one.
One episode in the sixth season features a plot for Alex Karev that seems designed mostly to have him shirtless for most of the episode.
Grimm: Renard has had shirtless scenes in at least two episodes, much to the pleasure of fans oriented toward being attracted to men.
Happy Endings: Of the three male cast members, only Brad doesn't get a shirtless scene. Dave has a few, but Max has the most less out of sexiness and more because he's just that lazy. The girls invoke one with Max's boyfriend Grant, 'accidentally' spilling soda on him.
Max: Why do you have a picture of me in my underwear?
Jane: You're always in your underwear. Its hard to find a picture where you're clothed.
Hercules gets several of these during the series, but is exemplified in the episode "...and Fancy Free", with both the Girl of the Week and a cross-dressing Iolaus (playing another character) watching the hero do some heavy lifting, then douse himself with a bucket of water, filmed in slow motion and deliberately sexy camera shots, all to a nicely-done song called "Hunk O' Herc".
Even as a teenager, Hercules got one shirtless scene. And he wasn't the only one. Iolaus (played by the lovely and talented Dean O'Gorman) had at least three, and Jason (played by the equally-if-not-moreso lovely and talented Chris Conrad)...well, it's easier to find episodes where he isn't shirtless, really.
Heroes: Every major male character has gotten at least one shirtless scene (save for the Haitian, depending on your definition of 'major').
Teasers for Season 3 that included a shot of Mohinder's bare torso were met with fangirlish screams of, "About damn time!"
Peter Petrelli and Sylar are infamous for this; they've been seen without their shirts on at least once every season. They even got one together in season three (fine, so Sylar was wearing an undershirt, but close enough to count).
Hiro gets a shirtless scene in season four when he steals a t-shirt in order to cover up the hospital robe.
Hex: Quite a bit, apparently. Some of the male cast members manage to take them on and off every other scene.
Horatio Hornblower is shirtless or almost shirtless a lot. He takes off his shirt when he dives in "The Even Chance" (he later walks shirtless and wet!); he runs about the ship shirtless in "The Examination for Lieutenant" when he stresses about being properly dressed; and he loses all clothes when he decides to get a shower on deck in "Mutiny". And we got to see him a lot in his sleeping clothes.
Captain Pellew has some 'loose shirt scenes' when he's getting dressed or undressed. Fan girls wished the shirt went off completely...
Archie Kennedy was shirtless a lot, or had scenes with his shirt open. Sometimes it was clouded by his being seriously ill or injured, but he still looked mighty attractive. Fan webpage Archieology 101 kept counting scores.
Mr Bush gets 'open shirt scenes' and 'shirtless scenes' in "Mutiny"/"Retribution" when he and Hornblower practice firing cannonballs, or when he sleeps in his cabin (sadly only open shirt), or when he gets injured and treated. The wound makes it a bit disservice-y.
We get at least one shot of Hugh Laurie shirtless per season.
Chase also had one.
How I Met Your Mother: Thanks to his womanizing ways, Barney Stinson gets his fair share of these scenes. Hell, one episode (episode 10 of season 4, for those of you taking notes) is all about getting naked. (Since he's played by Neil Patrick Harris, it's very much appreciated.)
Hustle: Danny Blue used to appear shirtless on a pretty regular basis (as well as going completely nude a few times). It also happened a couple of times with Mickey Stone, including a scene in season 3 which featured both boys being dropped off in the middle of London completely naked - perhaps unsurprisingly given their respective track records of onscreen nudity, Mickey was the first one to find himself something to wear.
iCarly: Gibby. He shows up without a shirt, or removes in his scenes more than he ends up with it still on. It does not matter where it is. School. A party. A restaurant. On a live webshow. The shirt comes off. Rawr. Played straight with some of the guys Carly dates, such as Griffin in one of the extended episodes, using a motorcycle accident as an excuse.
The Inspector Lynley Mysteries: This show wasn't exactly known for its fanservice, but even then Nathaniel Parker (yes, the same one from Merlin), playing the title character, got a chance to whip his shirt off a few times. The most notable was in "One Guilty Deed", in which he was dripping wet and wearing nothing but a towel. It was precisely as glorious as you would expect.
In one scene, Jen tries to distract an office full of women by telling them that a builder outside the window has taken his shirt off, "just like in ads" (a reference to the Diet Coke Hunk). It's true — but the builder is not hunky.
Roy loses his T-shirt because of Moss's trick (he spilled coffee on it), and he had to lend his jacket to a lady who was cold (an emergency situation). He ended up running crazily in the premises. He's just an average geeky guy — not an extremely handsome Mr Fanservice, but it's not Fan Disservice either.
JAG: Harmon Rabb got quite a few in earlier seasons.
Just Shoot Me!: Parodied. Maya dated a guy who liked to take off his shirt a little too much. She finally breaks up with him when she found him shirtless in public. Turns out he just saved a little girl who fell into the sewer.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Common for Chris Meloni as Elliot Stabler. Olivia Benson once walked into "the crib" as he was changing out of a ripped shirt and commented, "I like that shirt." More likely she enjoyed seeing it off.
When Tutuola and his partner bust a meth lab, they're both exposed to toxic vapors. Cue some Fanservice of the partner stripped to a skin-hugging undershirt that's transparent from the decontamination shower.
Legend of the Seeker: Craig Horner gets into a lot of shirtless action (well, not like that) as Richard Rahl in this TV series. Probably for good reason.
Leverage: Eliot goes shirtless in the boxing episode. TNT.com, while listing their top 10 Leverage episodes, includes the shirtlessness as a reason for "The Tap-Out Job" making it.
In the episode with the lich, Hale ends up getting vomit onto the front of his shirt from the girl he's supposed to watch, forcing Kenzi to take it off. Straight women and gay men were never more grateful for vomit.
Mad Men: Has too many to count, mostly involving Don.
Still along BBC lines, this show just doesn't seem to be Merlin these days without Arthur popping up shirtless at least once every couple of episodes.
Case in point: "The Lady of the Lake" in season 2, where the future king is quite stunningly naked, save a towel, for the sake of a bath which he never takes and which serves the plot in no very obvious way.
Arthur can't seem to lock/unlock his dresser drawer with a shirt on.
In 3x08, Arthur beats all his records, showing up shirtless at five seconds in! It's pretty much the first thing you see. He also had a shirtless scene in the previous episode.
It has reached the point where Colin Morgan and Bradley James are now mocking the gratuitousness of this on the commentaries.
In season 3 we met Gwaine. Wibble.
As of Lancelot du Lac, Lancelot has one too.
How do we know Merlin's the main character? He was the first one to get a Shirtless Scene.
Likewise, Leon's role as a series regular is cemented when he gets to go shirtless for the first time. It's like a Coming of Age ritual on this show. Ditto for Mordred (though he's partially wrapped in torso bandages).
In series 5, Percival and Gwaine spend the entire first two episodes sans shirt (they were enslaved by Morgana and forced to work in a mine - naturally this involved a lot of pick-axing and heavy lifting. It was practically an Excuse Plot built solely around giving them a semi-justifiable reason to whip their shirts off).
The Middleman: When Sensei Ping prepares for battle, his shirt spontaneously flies away from his body, apparently propelled by sheer badassery. The fact that the Middleman himself is in a bicep-baring tank top by that point just makes the scene all that more delightful.
Mork and Mindy: Mork in the episodes "Mork's Seduction", "Mork In Wonderland", and "Putting The Ork Back In Mork". He also wore a Denver Broncos Cheerleader uniform in "Hold That Mork", which isn't totally shirtlessness, but it doesn't cover a lot of his torso....
Mortal Kombat Conquest: While this show focuses mostly on female-based fanservice, there are a number of shirtless male scenes. Shang Tsung doesn't even wear a shirt, he just goes around in a vest most of the time.
Mr. Show: The opening of one episode features Bob and David removing their shirts, believing they're catering to their all-female audience. This leads to a feminist group trying to kill them.
The Muppet Show: Some of the guests got a chance. The late Rudolf Nureyev would be the standout here, performing a duet with Miss Piggy clad in only a towel.
Ryan Atwood. That dude has big arms, for an alleged 16-years-old, so half his wardrobe is, naturally, tank tops.
Also done in the second season with DJ the pool boy. And then in season three with all of those surfer guys. Okay, pretty much anyone Marissa was ever involved with, except (fortunately) Oliver and (unfortunately) Alex.
Psych: Lou Diamond Phillips gets one of these at the end of one episode. At first the scene is played as an Imagine Spot of O'Hara, who has been ogling the guy throughout the episode, fantasizing but then we see that the character is actually walking around with his shirt off.
Quantum Leap: Has Scott Bakula shirtless in every other episode, as well.
Queen of Swords: Captain Grisham got several shirtless scenes, one of which was used in the opening credits montage.
Queer as Folk: Brian Kinney adores the living hell out of this trope. He goes shirtless and pours a whole bottle of water on himself in slow motion twenty minutes into the pilot episode. In fact, there doesn't seem to be a single character on the show who hasn't gone shirtless, or even full frontal, at some point - including Emmett's 70-something-year-old boyfriend.
Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares: Strangely, there's a scene with Gordon Ramsay putting his shirt on in almost every single episode. He really doesn't have the build for it. It's the excessive confidence that compels him to take his shirt off so often. Gordon Ramsay definitely calls out his own name during sex. The title sequence of Ramsay's The F Word is a protracted sequence of Gordon taking off his civilian shirt and putting on his chefs coat, showing off his bare chest in the progress. Ramsay's definitely a fan of this trope.
Red Dwarf: Chris Barrie went to the gym for his two shirtless scenes in series 5. Craig Charles also gets a few, which are definitely Fan Disservice.
Revolution: Neville gets one in "Soul Train", as he and his men are in the Noblesville bar boxing. Predictably, he takes the opportunity to vent his frustrations on Danny.
Robin Hood: Became something of an art-form. Every single male cast member (except, tragically, Will Scarlett) had a shirtless scene. Of course, this was a double-edged sword: although Robin, Guy and Allan had their shirts off, so did the Sheriff, Little John and Tuck; as did Much. Equally artistic were the reasons for their shirtlessness: most of the time it was because the men were getting tortured or tied up in some way, though there is a priceless scene in which Guy is putting on armour over his bare skin.
Sanctuary: Had a very nice one with the male scientist protagonist, Will, where he strips to his skivvies so the Invisible Girl won't feel self-conscious when she has to take off her clothes to become invisible and complete a task. "Why would a scientist be that ripped?"
Turk, Dr. Cox, The Todd and JD have gotten Shirtless Scenes.
JD's chest isn't as delicious. In S8 he has a couple, in one instance repeating a fantasy with him and Turk but with the shirtlessness reversed, explicitly (when dream Turk questions this) because he has been working out a little.
Jordan: We all got it, you love your body. Now put a shirt on.
The Secret Circle: Nick. Lampshaded by Cassie when she wonders if he even owns a shirt.
Seize The Day: Robin Williams in the PBSGreat Performances production of this show. Probably not intended as Fanservice, but compared to shirtless JerryStiller....
Sharpe: Usually at least once per episode. At one point, Sharpe attempts to improve his squad's firing rate while he has his shirt off. Not completely gratuitous because he does it to show the soldiers the whip scars on his back which attest he came up from the ranks and has no pretensions on being better than them and that he knows exactly what they are going through and isn't demanding anything he hasn't done himself.
Skins: At least in the first season every guys have shirtless scene.
Smallville: Is there any male character on that show that hasn't had a shirtless scene?
Tom Welling has not only gotten his fair share of shirtless scenes as Clark Kent but wet T-shirt scenes.
Clark Kent's shirt comes off, too, after he's so conveniently thrown in a furnace and all his clothing is burned away.
There were a few shirtless scenes with Michael Rosenbaum as well, which were most definitely appreciated.
Hot-Doomsday DAVIS when he was stabbing himself in the chest which apparently requires shirtlessness.
So Random!: Parodied in a Wheelof Fortune skit: "Jacob" is suddenly shirtless inbetween shots. "Pat Sajak" asks why he took his short, and "Jacob asks the same thing. We go back to "Pat" to see him suddenly shirtless.
So You Think You Can Dance: Began to embrace this trope with Season 3 contestant Pasha and it has since become a staple in subsequent seasons. Lampshaded in earliest instances by judge and exec. producer Nigel Lythgoe with jokes about costume department issues/budgets.
Poked fun of in Galaxy Quest when Jason, an obvious stand-in for Kirk, manages to lose his shirt during a battle, leading to a Lampshade Hanging where Alexander snidely tells him, "I see you managed to get your shirt off."
Parodied in the Futurama episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before", where William Shatner specifically tears his shirt before getting into a fight due to the power of the trope in Star Trek fandom.
Had Sam show up in just a towel in "Hell House". Good times.
Because the writers are twisted, the shapeshifter taking Dean's form in "Skin" takes his shirt off (Fantastic!) and then takes his skin off, with his teeth falling out, turning it into Fan Disservice.
Castiel got a very quick shirtless scene. He lures four angels who are about to kill him, and opens his shirt revealing Blood Magic Angel-Be-Gone sigil, using it to banish the four angels and himself.
Speaking of Castiel shirtless scenes, in the aptly named episode, "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here" (Season 9, Episode 1), his clothes get damaged, leading to a shirtless (and pantless!) scene at a laundromat where Castiel strips down to his boxers to wash his clothes.
The third episode of season six opens with Sam working out with no shirt on. It's so distracting that the prostitute he just slept with nearly walks off without him paying.
Jason and Tommy both went topless in a two-on-two martial arts competition in Mighty Morphing Power Rangers in the episode where they had to learn how to work together and which also introduced Titanis the Brachiosaurus carrier Zord.
Teen Wolf: This series on MTV has taken shirtless-scenes past gratuitous and into pure art-form. Every episode, hell, every scene, there are better than even odds that one of the male stars (who are all ridiculously attractive) will take their shirts off. If you made it into a drinking game, you'd have alcohol poisoning by the end of the first episode. And you'd probably be paralytic before the first break.
Derek Hale seems to get it the most. Every episode gives us either Derek shirtless flexing, Derek shirtless working out, Derek shirtless captured, Derek shirtless injured, or Stiles using Derek shirtless to goad a gay character into helping him. When the Argent family of werewolf hunters capture him, the very first thing they do is remove his shirt, for no apparent reason. Although he is played by Tyler Hoechlin, and that's probably reason enough.
Stiles is the only male character to have kept his shirt on for the entire first season. It's become something of a meta Running Gag, with Stiles pulling his shirt off in the locker room... only for the entire view to be blocked by Scott's locker door.
Terra Nova: Several scenes in the first few episodes have Jason O Mara taking of his shirt. As a result, I have nicknamed the Jim Shannon character as Abs-daddy.
Tinsel: Kwame Mensah showed us just what he'd been hiding all those scenes he spent in the wheelchair. Yum!
"The Tomorrow People" - Robbie Amell has his shirt off almost every episode. When he keeps his shirt on, Luke Mitchell has his shirt off. Only two episodes in the entire season run was neither shirtless. It was often gratuitous, such as Robbie Amell coming out of the shower or Luke Mitchell exercising. The one time it made sense for Mike Pellegrino to be shirtless, in bed with his girlfriend, he wore a tank top. Only the young male leads got to be shirtless for the fan girls.
Torchwood: Captain Jack Harkness again, along with Ianto: Jack in both "Small Worlds" and "Adrift," Ianto in "Adrift." Technically, both are naked in "Adrift," but there are some conveniently placed plants.
Jason Stackhouse spends most of his onscreen time naked. Even when he wears clothes, the shirts almost never have sleeves.
Chris Meloni gets to take his shirt off as Roman.
There's also Bill, Eric, and Sam, who have all gone butt-naked at some point in the series.
The Vampire Diaries: This show must have a "one shirtless scene per episode" clause in, um, all of its male actor's contracts. Because the two male leads are played by the gorgeous, hunky, and ripped Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder, this is very much appreciated by the large female fanbase. Damon and Stefan aren't the only ones running around sans shirt on the show either; Elena's younger brother Jeremy (who is suspiciously ripped for a ostensible sixteen-year-old) is frequently shown shirtless, as is her good friend Matt. And most male characters run around in tank tops when not completely shirtless. Responsible for keeping many a fan watching until the show grew its beard and became more than just eye-candy and melodrama.
Veronica Mars: Several of the male characters get a shirtless scene: Weevil, Cassidy ("Not Pictured"), Sheriff Don Lamb,... There was a moment in "Welcome Wagon" when Dick Casablancas, wearing only Union Jack underwear and a balaclava, dances with a blow-up doll dressed in a French maid's uniform.
Warehouse 13: Agent Pete Lattimer will accept more or less any excuse to take his shirt off. Get in a fight? Oops, all the buttons gave way. Dangerous VR video game? I'm playing the gladiator! Learn your new colleague his gay? Strip off so he can enjoy the hotness. Body-swap with your female partner? We get to see him walking around half-naked holding his hands over his nipples.
The West Wing: The teaser of the episode "The Crackpots and These Women" features a handful of sweaty male staffers playing basketball with the President. It's notable that while Toby and Bartlet are dressed in humorous alumni sweatshirts to underline their interactions in the scene, Charlie happens to be in a nearly transparent t-shirt, and Josh in a ratty wife beater which reveals the most Perverse Sexual Lust-inducing arms ever sported by an overworked political operative.