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Red Sock Ruins The Laundry

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A single sock can ruin your whites.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
LadyJuse on Aug 10th 2015 at 11:14:45 PM
Last Edited By:
BoukenDutch on Jun 27th 2018 at 2:19:07 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/red_sock_laundry.jpg
"Put one red thing in a load of whites, now everything's pink"
Mr Incredible complaining to Edna Mode, Incredibles 2

Ah; fresh laundry. Nothing's better. Crisp and clean, colors bright and whites white.

Unless a red sock ended up in the wash. Now you have pink.

Used to be Truth in Television (and in some cases still is), and the reason why this trope happens is a fairly simple one: coloured clothes can have excess dye on them (especially if they're new or aren't washed very often), and even small amounts of dye become obvious in lighter clothes. If the two are washed together, there's a risk that some of the dye will be washed off and stain the lighter clothes.

Although this can happen with any combination of darker and lighter colored clothes getting washed together, the 'red clothes staining white clothes pink' example is by far the most frequently used and well known version. Mainly because Pink Is for Sissies, much to the horror of the macho man or tomboy owner of the recoloured garment (especially if they already got themselves in this mess by "reducing" themselves to doing their own laundry).

Is quickly becoming a Dead Horse Trope due to both the invention of better dyes and colour-fast detergents (to the relief of fans of striped clothing everywhere), and the fact that wearing pink isn't as much of a big deal anymore.

Compare Shrunk in the Wash.


Examples:

Advertising

Comic Strips

  • Foxtrot: Peter's sweater once ended up in the laundry with Paige's stuff, turning it from grey to pink... and making him popular with the girls for Real Men Wear Pink reasons. Too bad it was on the very last day of school.
  • In one Get Fuzzy strip, Bucky's "lucky red sock" got in a load of Rob's whites, even though he doesn't wear socks normally, being a cat.
  • In one Garfield strip, Jon accidentally dyes his underwear pink in the wash. He then gets an idea to leave it in the wash again with blue clothes to make purple underwear. Garfield sarcastically remarks Jon as a genius.

Films — Animation

  • Incredibles 2: The page quote comes from a scene where a very tired Bob drops off Jack-jack at Edna's house, and begins to lament about the many blunders he made while trying to be a House Husband.
  • In Despicable Me, Gru's spacesuit turns pink after he washes it with the Margo, Edith, and Agnes's ballerina tutus.

Films — Live-Action

  • A throwaway scene in Spider-Man 2 has Peter Parker ruin his whites by washing them in the same load as his Spider-Man costume.

Live-Action TV

  • An episode of Lois & Clark had A Day in Her Apron for John and Martha. Clark ended up with a pink shirt after his dad washed it with his Superman cape.
  • The first episode of Tracy Beaker Returns has Liam arrested by the police after he pulls a scam where he offers to do someone's laundry and the clothes get turned pink after he sneaks in a red sock.
  • The show Life with Derek has the family's whites turn pink when Derek tosses his red sweater into the dryer to get it warm.
  • In one episode of House of Anubis, Mara does this to Mick as a spiteful prank for him thinking she's boring. She also turns it onto high, making his shorts not only pink, but too small for him.
  • Sam does this to Freddie once on iCarly, in an effort to tricking him into thinking he was cursed by an internet chain letter.
  • An episode of The Dumping Ground has Frank sneak his red Manchester United shirt into Rick and Faith's laundry. This results in Rick and Faith's laundry being turned pink and it is not discovered Frank was the culprit until Jody notices the ends of Frank's shirt have been turned pink.
  • Hunter Street: In one episode, Daniel's white shorts end up in the same load as Anika's red jeans. Of course, they came out of the washing pink.

Video Games

  • Street Fighter: The reason Dan Hibiki's dougi is pink is that it used to be white, but it got mixed with some red clothes in the laundry.
  • In Spongebob Squarepants Battle For Bikini Bottom, its mentioned that a villain named Prawn did this to Mermaid Man. For some reason, it's treated as some big deal.

Western Animation

  • The Simpsons in "Stark Raving Dad", Homer takes out his shirt from the laundry, only to find it has been turned pink because Bart put his red cap in there. Since he's now the only one at work with a pink shirt instead of a white one, his boss Mr. Burns mistakes him for a free-thinking anarchist.
  • An episode of Peppa Pig has Peppa put her red dress in with Daddy Pig's white shirt, which ends up turning the shirt pink.
  • An episode of Mona the Vampire has Mona with her friends putting their clothes into a washing machine. Charlie asks Mona if they should separate the reds from the other clothes, to which Mona replies that Charlie shouldn't believe everything he sees on tv. This leads to everyone's' clothes turning pink (not just their whites, their clothes which aren't white as well).
  • In the Futurama episode "Bendin' in the Wind", Fry, Leela, Amy and Zoidberg are following Bender (who is now a folk singer) on tour, when they stop at a laundromat. Zoidberg puts his shell in along with their laundry, causing it to look tie-dyed.
  • Dexter's dad from Dexter's Laboratory went through this during A Day in Her Apron plot. When trying to do the laundry, he ended up dying Dexter's lab coat pink because he thought it was a good idea to wash them alongside Dee Dee's ballet tutus.
  • Rugrats: In the episode "Accidents Happen", Dil's onesie gets washed and ends up pink.
  • Invoked in Courage the Cowardly Dog. In "Ball of Revenge", Katz puts colorful clothes and white clothes together in the washing machine to torture Muriel.
  • In the pilot episode of Apple & Onion, Onion has to get his boss's jacket cleaned after he accidentally smeared melted ice cream on it. While at the laundromat, Onion lets another customer wash his team's red uniforms along with his load. Unfortunately, this causes the boss's jacket to turn pink, and poor Onion gets fired.

Feedback: 52 replies

Aug 10th 2015 at 11:38:42 PM

Live Action TV

~One example deleted for violation of site rules -shimaspawn

Aug 11th 2015 at 6:09:11 AM

Live Action Television

  • The first episode of Tracy Beaker Returns has Liam arrested by the police after he pulls a scam where he offers to do someone's laundry and the clothes get turned pink after he sneaks in a red sock.

Are we only accepting socks?

Live Action Television

  • An episode of The Dumping Ground has Frank sneak his red Manchester United shirt into Rick and Faith's laundry. This results in Rick and Faith's laundry being turned pink and it is not discovered Frank was the culprit until Jody notices the ends of Frank's shirt have been turned pink.

Western Animation

  • An episode of The Simpsons has Homer take out his shirt from the laundry, only to find it has been turned pink because Bart put his red cap in there.
  • An episode of Peppa Pig has Peppa put her red dress in with Daddy Pig's white shirt, which ends up turning the shirt pink.
  • An episode of Mona The Vampire has Mona with her friends putting their clothes into a washing machine. Charlie asks Mona if they should separate the reds from the other clothes, to which Mona replies that Charlie shouldn't believe everything he sees on tv. This leads to everyones' clothes turning pink (not just their whites, their clothes which aren't white as well).

Aug 11th 2015 at 6:15:37 AM

<Mod Hat>

We do not trope hardcore porn.

Aug 11th 2015 at 7:16:22 AM

  • In one Get Fuzzy strip Bucky's "lucky red sock" got in a load of Rob's whites, even though he doesn't wear socks normally, being a cat.

Aug 11th 2015 at 8:35:39 AM

It can be something besides a sock. It's just that a sock is so small; it causing that much sticks in the mind. If anyone has a better trope name; please suggest it

Aug 11th 2015 at 4:44:52 PM

  • Foxtrot: Peter's sweater once ended up in the laundry with Paige's stuff, turning it from grey to pink... and making him popular with the girls for Real Men Wear Pink reasons. Too bad it was on the very last day of school.
    • Roger, Bumbling Dad extraordinaire, once managed to shrink everyone's laundry to Barbie-doll size. And to comfort a hysterical Paige...
    Roger: Calm down. You don't hear your brothers screaming.
    Peter: (with the sweater around his neck like a choker) Only because we can't breathe!

Aug 11th 2015 at 4:57:38 PM

^ That violates Example Indentation In Trope Lists terribly, and the second bullet isn't even an example of this trope.

Do we want to expand this to general laundry mishaps? Often to show that someone is domestically incompetent.

Aug 11th 2015 at 5:20:25 PM

In the Futurama episode "Bendin' in the Wind", Fry, Leela, Amy and Zoidberg are following Bender (who is now a folk singer) on tour, when they stop at a laundromat. Zoidberg puts his shell in along with their laundry, causing it to look tie-dyed.

Aug 11th 2015 at 8:22:01 PM

  • In one episode of House Of Anubis, Mara does this to Mick as a spiteful prank for him thinking she's boring. She also turns it onto high, making his shorts not only pink, but too small for him.

  • Sam does this to Freddie once on iCarly, in an effort to tricking him into thinking he was cursed by an internet chain letter.

Aug 11th 2015 at 9:09:56 PM

^^^ Maybe; depending on the examples; if there's few we can expand, but shrinkage might have enough examples to warrant it's own trope

Aug 12th 2015 at 1:37:38 AM

Jokes

  • The Ku Klux Klan member, who turned up at a rally and caused a stir by wearing a pale pink robe and hood. Everyone else tried to ignore him but his presence caused such a commotion that the Grand Dragon himself stomped over angrily and yelled
    God-DAMN-it, Billy-Bub! Y'all ain't been payin' attention, huh? What did I say to you'all over and again, about NEVER, EVER, mixing the whites with the coloured?

Aug 12th 2015 at 4:28:07 AM

Film:

  • A throwaway scene in Spider Man 2 has Peter Parker ruin his whites by washing them in the same load as his Spider-Man costume.

Aug 12th 2015 at 4:51:49 AM

Wasn't this yk discarded a few days ago?

Aug 12th 2015 at 5:01:11 AM

  • Examples section
    • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
    • Namespaced and italicized work names.
    • Moved both Webcomics examples under Newspaper Comics.

Aug 12th 2015 at 7:06:29 AM

The reason for this trope is a fairly simple one: coloured clothes can have excess dye on them (especially if they're new or aren't washed very often) and even small amounts of dye become obvious in lighter clothes. If the two are washed together, there's a risk that some of the dye will be washed off and stain the lighter clothes. Red clothes staining white clothes pink is a classic because Pink Is For Sissies, much to the horror of the macho man or tomboy owner of the recoloured garment (especially if they already got themselves in this mess by "reducing" themselves to doing their own laundry). This is becoming a Dead Horse Trope with both the invention of better dyes and colour fast detergents (to the relief of fans of striped clothing everywhere) and the fact that wearing pink isn't as much of a big deal any more.

Compare Shrunk In The Wash.

Aug 12th 2015 at 8:19:15 AM

^^^ I accidentally made two; so discarded one

^/^^ thanks

Aug 12th 2015 at 11:14:07 AM

^ Depends on how manyrecent examples parodying this trope there are

Aug 12th 2015 at 3:10:29 PM

  • Dexter's dad from Dexters Laboratory went through his A Day In Her Apron, and when trying to do the laundry ended up dying Dexter's lab coat pink because he thought it was a good idea to wash them alongside Deedee's ballet tutus-

May 20th 2016 at 7:47:27 PM

  • Street Fighter: The reason Dan Hibiki's dougi is pink is that it used to be white, but it got mixed with some red clothes in the laundry.

May 30th 2016 at 8:50:14 AM

There was a Happy Days episode ("The Apartment") where Potsie and Ralph rent an apartment. Tasked with doing their own laundry, apparently for the first time, when a green garment spills over to the whites, one of the guys complains that he now has a "wardrobe like Peter Pan".

May 18th 2017 at 5:18:41 AM

  • Hunter Street: Daniel's white shorts were in the same load as Anika's red jeans. Of course they came out of the washing pink.

May 18th 2017 at 5:42:12 AM

  • Capitalized the title.
  • De-capitalized Laconic.
  • Corrected punctuation (commas, periods at the ends of sentences).

May 18th 2017 at 8:03:59 AM

Description's gonna need rework.

May 18th 2017 at 12:37:19 PM

Rugrats: In the episode "Accidents Happen", Dil's onesie gets washed and ends up pink.

May 18th 2017 at 2:55:48 PM

Western Animation:

  • Invoked in Courage The Cowardly Dog. In "Ball of Revenge", Katz puts colorful clothes and white clothes together in the washing machine to torture Muriel.

Mar 28th 2018 at 6:23:54 AM

Edit: It's already been mentioned.

Mar 28th 2018 at 8:15:39 AM

Dave Barry got quite a few jokes out of both the male phobia of washing machines and the female disbelief that men can do the laundry without messing it up:

A typical reaction came from my research department, Judi Smith, who gave the following statement regarding her husband, Tim, a Ph.D. college professor: "I don't trust him to do my laundry at ALL, unless I've sorted it first and given him strict instructions before each and every load, because otherwise everything we own would be mauve or gray . . . He puts his clothes away damp. He can't put away anyone else's clothes, because he can't fold. I mean, the man can't fold a TOWEL for God's sake. Somehow, he can't get the corners to match up. A HAND towel, even."

Mar 28th 2018 at 9:57:21 AM

  • Foxtrot also has a few times when Roger tried to do laundry, once he not only turned Paige's white sweater pink but shrank it, another time he went the other way and bleached all her clothes white.

Mar 28th 2018 at 11:13:59 AM

  • A strip in '"Garfield'' has Jon accidentally leaving his underwear pink in the wash. Fe gets an idea by leaving it in the wash again with blue clothes to make purple underwear. Garfield sarcastically remarks Jon as a genius.

Mar 28th 2018 at 1:58:56 PM

In the pilot episode of Apple And Onion, Onion has to get his boss's jacket cleaned after he accidentally smeared melted ice cream on it. While at the laundromat, Onion lets another customer wash his team's red uniforms along with his load. Unfortunately, this causes the boss's jacket to turn pink, and poor Onion gets fired.

Mar 29th 2018 at 10:37:15 AM

Foundation: A throwaway scene, meant to help show just how overworked the servants are now that so many youngsters are being Chosen, involves Mags overhearing another Trainee complaining that his gray uniform got mixed in with the Guard's laundry and wound up stained blue from dye bleeding.

Jun 13th 2018 at 3:02:34 PM

In Spongebob Squarepants Battle For Bikini Bottom, its mentioned that a villian named Prawn did this to Mermaid Man. For some reason, it's treated as some big deal.

Jun 17th 2018 at 12:51:14 PM

Tweak it to become Red Sock In The White Laundry and you've got something.

Jun 17th 2018 at 1:09:13 PM

Incredibles 2 includes that as one of Bob's many blunders in his wife's absence.

Jun 17th 2018 at 5:52:51 PM

There are many unadded examples.

Jun 18th 2018 at 5:16:10 AM

Fixed the wording on the CN City example and put it in the Advertising section.

Jun 18th 2018 at 10:09:26 PM

Added an image. I think it's ready for launch now.

Jun 19th 2018 at 4:26:26 AM

Also added all the unadded examples.

Jun 20th 2018 at 10:15:48 AM

^ Kindly ask the OP or the mods first.

v Thanks for the clarity.

Jun 20th 2018 at 2:45:52 AM

^ There is no point in asking the OP Lady Juse, for two reasons.

  • Their last post or edit here was back in August 2015, shortly after this proposal was created. According to Up For Grabs, it became available for anyone to take over in October 2015 and has been that way ever since. They clearly forgot about this proposal years ago.
  • Lady Juse was last active on TV Tropes back in February 2018, so they're long gone.

In this situation, it is not necessary to ask the moderators for permission to add valid examples in preparation for launch.

Jun 20th 2018 at 5:52:53 AM

Does that also mean anyone is free to launch it now that this trope has enough examples and enough hats?

Jun 20th 2018 at 7:37:28 AM

I guess it might be to polite to ask if anyone has any objections to not launching now.

Jun 20th 2018 at 9:02:06 AM

Alright then. Let's give it another week or two to see if nobody objects. After that, the trope will launch.

Jun 20th 2018 at 10:50:05 PM

In Despicable Me, Gru's spacesuit turns pink after he washes it with the Margo, Edith, and Agnes's ballerina tutus.

Jun 21st 2018 at 1:46:52 AM

Maybe call it "Red Sock Ruins The Wash"?

Jun 24th 2018 at 7:09:11 AM

Well, it did say that this used to be Truth In Television; to an extent, it still is.

Jun 22nd 2018 at 10:41:10 PM

^ has there been any out of universe examples? I doubt it...

Jun 25th 2018 at 12:13:31 PM

Doesn't need to be in Paint The Index Red, though; it can apply to any color.

Jun 27th 2018 at 2:19:07 AM

@4tell0life4; thanks for the suggestion, I combined it with the previous title to "Red Sock Ruins the Wash".

to the admins: as pointed out by Arivne, the OP of this suggested trope, Lady Juse, hasn't edited this page since August 2015, and hasn't been active on TV tropes since february 2018. Therefor, I claim the Up For Grabs and will launch this trope, seeing that it has enough hats to do so.

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