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Action Dress Rip

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"Great for dancing, not so much for cross-country."
Abby Maitland, Primeval

Action Girl Alice enjoys getting dressed up for the night, but alas, the one time she puts on the polish, she will find herself in combat. Needless to say, Alice can't fight while wearing a tight-fitting top and a voluminous skirt that hinders the motion of her legs, but there's no time to change and modesty restrains her from just taking the whole thing off. So she grabs a knife off the nearest carving station and tears her beautiful clothes (usually by raising the hem or cutting a slit in the side) so that she can move freely. If she really means business, she'll ditch the high heels too, though not always.

Some Fanservice occurs, as this is a combination of Clothing Damage and Leg Focus.

A minor form of Battle Strip.

Compare Rip Tailoring (a non-action version), Minidress of Power, From Dress to Dressing. Contrast Kicking Ass in All Her Finery, Ballroom Blitz and Battle Ballgown. See also Real Women Don't Wear Dresses.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Charlotte does this during the Griffith Rescue Mission arc in Berserk.
  • Saya in Blood-C does this to give herself a makeshift Eyepatch of Power.
  • Saya and Diva of Blood+ rip their dresses during their final confrontation.
  • Done by Galatea in Claymore in the fight against Clarice and Miata (chapter 74).
  • Happens to Euphemia in Code Geass when she begins her Geass-induced massacre.
  • In the third episode of Dirty Pair after defeating the giant guard in the villain's mansion, Yuri rips off the bottom of her dress to make it easier for her to run from danger.
  • Engage Kiss: While trying to chase a demon she is after, Ayano, in a formal dress, rips part of it before shooting off the rest.
  • Lucy in Fairy Tail did this when she fought Juvia.
  • Azaka does this in the sixth The Garden of Sinners movie, since her school uniform is essentially a nun's habit and pretty restrictive.
  • In the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex episode "Meme", Major Kusanagi is in her skirted (and rather tight) military uniform when a situation arises. She tears it herself so she can run in it.
  • In Highschool of the Dead, Saeko does this to the school doctor. Her response is an angry "That was Prada (manga)/Christian Dior (anime dub)!"
  • In episode 5 of Kiddy Grade, "Day / Off", Eclair's Super-Strength suddenly activates while at a fancy restaurant with a friend. She accidentally starts a fight, in which her dress is torn immediately. "Aw, and this was a new one!"
  • In one of Lupin III movies, Farewell to Nostradamus, Fujiko did this when she regains her memory.
  • The eponymous Murder Princess has to make some quick modifications to her gown whenever kicking some ass. Which is to say, often.
  • One Piece:
    • In the Alabasta Arc, Nami tears the skirt of her dancing girl outfit in order to fight better against the assassin Ms. Doublefinger.
    • Also happens in the 10th movie: One Piece Film: Strong World, where Nami tears off the bottom part of her evening gown in order to better fight Shiki's forces.
  • Project A-Ko: This happens to A-Ko's skirt by the end. Not by her choice, though. It was cut by a sword during her fight with D.
  • In the last few episodes of the anime adaptation of Pumpkin Scissors, Alice goes to a fancy ball with her fiancé, Lionel. She dresses up very nicely for the event, but when a mob shows up, intending to kill a certain philandering Lord and the other guests too, she challenges that Lord to a duel to keep the bloodshed to a minimum. He calls forth two assassins as proxies instead of fighting her himself. After fighting for a while in her fancy dress and heels, the hem of her skirt is cut/torn by her opponent, and she pauses long enough to tear it shorter and more even, so as not to trip on the ragged end.
  • The flashback chapter of Sgt. Frog that shows how Momoka and Tamama met shows Momoka doing this alongside Important Haircut as she rushes to save Tamama from an alien attack dog.
  • In the first season of Slayers, Lina and co. have to disguise themselves to sneak onto a ship to where the Big Bad was waiting. Along the way, they bump into a dragon. So, she does this just before fighting. Since this was episode 17, Gourry has to do this as well.
  • After waking up after being drugged and kidnapped, and then to her annoyance learns she was kidnapped again alongside one of her kidnappers while still unconscious the eponymous heroine of Snow White with the Red Hair tears the elaborate ball gown she was wearing as the representative of the kingdom of Clarines and ties it in order to move about more freely to escape.
  • Soul Eater Not!: When fighting a Brainwashed and Crazy Meme, Anya rips off the bottom two-thirds of her dress, to improve her range of motion.
  • In Symphogear, Hibiki quickly learns that her Combat Stilettos are holding her back from fighting properly. Her solution? Stomping her feet so hard that they break.
  • Rikka of SolidS, in his cosmetics commercial with Dai, where he plays a princess and Dai plays his knight. Paired with their song "Venga Overcoming Destiny", the effect is intense.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Yoko tears her long skirt when she needs to rescue a child stuck in a tree.
  • Yuuki performs a minor one in chapter 88 in Vampire Knight.
  • Pai does this in the Virtua Fighter anime.
  • The Vision of Escaflowne: Hitomi did this Millerna puts her in some Gorgeous Period Dress and immediately thereafter, a situation arises when she needs to run really fast. The skirt is still short in the next episode and eventually, she goes back to her school uniform.
  • One of the female reporters does this in the H-anime Weather Girl.
  • You're Under Arrest!:
    • The movie has Yoriko do this to her skirt during a hostage situation so she can move better.
    • Natsumi did it once in the TV series when she needed to find a hidden bomb... placed in a huge clock.

    Comic Books 
  • When Batgirl and Red Robin team up to protect Dr. Leslie Thompkins at a charity ball Steph has to modify her dress a bit for better mobility.
  • Black Canary:
    • She did this in the first Birds of Prey comic, a one-shot.
    • She did again with her wedding dress when the wedding ceremony with Green Arrow is interrupted by Deathstroke and his gang.
  • The Black Widow does this in Issue #2 of the Kelly Thompson run before engaging some crooks that have accosted a woman in an alley.
  • Edge of Spider-Verse (2022): Spinstress has to tear her own dress when fighting the Mysterious Empress, since ballgowns are not really designed for acrobatics.
  • As shown in this strip of the French comic Game Over (a spin-off of Kid Paddle), it is best to warn beforehand your female companion when you're about to do this to her dress.
  • Lady S once has to climb on the roof, and she wears an impractical dress. So she could have used this trope. But she subverts it by removing the dress instead, proving she's a Shameless Fanservice Girl.
  • In Superman, Lois Lane did it with a wedding dress while shooting up a church at her undercover wedding to a drug lord. And then storms into the Daily Planet like that to re-accept Clark's marriage proposal. No-one at the Planet really notices, because Lois has a certain reputation for pulling this kind of crazy shit twice a month, and Metropolis is wild and crazy like that. Hell, their high schools' PE classes probably teach the art of the action dress rip regularly, in case Superman and an army of Nazi mecha-ninjas suddenly fall through the ceiling during your black-tie prom and you find yourself in need of throwing around some kung-fu. It's just basic common sense.
  • X-Men:
    • Uncanny X-Men #98: Jean Grey is in an elaborate ankle-length evening dress, not designed for running from Sentinels as they are doing. When Jean tries and fails to tear the dress, Logan volunteers and rips a substantial chunk off, leaving Jean to do battle in a ragged micro-mini skirt.
      Jean: Hey! Not so blasted short!
    • Another story subverted this: When the Fury starts to attack the X-Men, Logan points out that Storm's dress isn't really suitable for fighting in and makes the appropriate adjustments with his claws with just as much glee as before. Storm looked rather annoyed, and then switched off the holographic image inducer she was wearing, revealing that she was actually wearing trousers, which are now shorts.
  • Young Avengers: Kate Bishop made her debut by tearing a slit in her bridesmaid's dress when some goons stick up her sister's wedding and helping the Young Avengers take them down.

    Comic Strips 
  • Modesty Blaise has invested in a skirt with Velcro instead of stitches on one side so it can be removed quickly. If she happens to be wearing something else when the mooks of the day surround her and ask her to step into their car, she'll do an Action Dress Rip and (sometimes) complain that she just bought it later. Modesty Blaise ditches both her skirt and her high heels before the fight in several episodes. She could have named this trope... except that, as noted, she typically removes the skirt entirely rather than just rip it open.

    Fan Works 
  • Coby's Choice: Unlike in canon, Nami doesn't bother changing out of her wedding dress on Thriller Bark, instead just ripping the hem so that she can join in the fighting right away.
  • In one story of the Danny Phantom series Facing the Future Series, Danielle was brainwashed into a maiden. When she came out of it, she was so angry about the dress she was wearing that it was shredded to ribbons when she transformed.
  • Exploited in the notorious Ranma ½ Fanfic Girl Days, the characters find a store which specializes in Fighting Skirts: skirts which, thanks to conveniently placed fabric fasteners and snaps, can open on the sides and give the wearer more freedom of movement without having to rip the clothing. The discovery leads to the following exchange:
    Ranma: What the heck gave anyone an idea like that?
    Clerk: Miss — this is Nerima.
    Ranma: Good point.
  • A Man of Iron: When Ironborn raiders attack the tournament being held for her and Jon's wedding, Natasha rips off the bottom of her dress in order to give her more room to fight with.
  • In the Mobile Suit Gundam Wing doujin OZ, the cast enters a virtual reality game which, due to a programming bug, is putting every newcomer in Relena's body briefly before giving them a new role. When Wu Fei shows up, he rips Relena's school uniform skirt for mobility. Heero chews him out, saying that Relena wouldn't do that even in a fantasy world and that he won't allow it. This strong reaction is what clues Wu Fei into Heero's feelings for Relena.
  • In Narcissa's Chance Bellatrix uses a cutting curse on the skirt of her wedding dress when Death Eaters crash her and Harry's marriage ceremony.
  • In Raven Child's The Smurfette Village series' second story, Toughette does this to Valvette's borrowed blue dress when she and a few other female Smurfs escape from the trolls that captured them. Needless to say, Valvette isn't very pleased about it.
  • In Tones of Gray Daphne cuts her ballgown to knee-length right before leaving to retrieve Neville's parents from the ongoing battle.

    Film — Animation 
  • Brave: Merida does this so she can shoot during the archery contest. Not the skirt, but the back, shoulders, and sleeves... by flexing, quite realistically.
  • Charlotte Pickles does this at one point in Rugrats Go Wild!.
  • The Princesses in Shrek the Third rip their skirts when they decide to rescue themselves. As for shoes, Cinderella is seen sharpening hers.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The eponymous American Ninja does that early in the 1st film. He rescues a young woman from kidnapping and needs her to move through the jungle quickly. He breaks heels off her shoes, then cuts her tight skirt and ties the shreds to create less constricting shorts.
  • In the classic suspense movie Arabesque Gregory Peck tears open the side seam of Sophia Loren's tight skirt so she can ride a horse.
  • Jane in Austenland has been riding sidesaddle, but needs to ride astride to outrun a rainstorm. In this case, the dress is ripped vertically. (She still has some kind of long underwear to conceal her legs.)
  • In Beauty and the Beast (2017), Belle rips off her iconic yellow ballgown and discards it on the ground when she rides to protect the Beast from Gaston, wearing only a chemise and petticoat throughout the final battle.
  • A variation happens in Dreamgirls. When Curtis hires Michelle to be his secretary (out of a parking lot full of people hoping for a record deal), he sees her long, manicured nails and wonders how she'll type with them. She nonchalantly breaks them all off and is good to go.
  • A male version in The Hunted (1995), in which a 20th-century samurai rips off his own shirt sleeves half-way through a fight with a band of ninjas, in order to give himself proper freedom of movement.
  • One of Rachel's first action scenes in In the Line of Duty III: Force of the Dragon have her ripping open the short skirt of her police blouse to pursue a criminal before kicking his ass.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Helena rips both sleeves off her top (one of them already having been damaged in the altercation in the hotel) to free her arms before she attempts a High-Speed Hijack by leaping from the tuk-tuk on to the back of Voller's car.
  • Played for Laughs in Jurassic World. Owen Grady tells Claire Dearing she can't come along with him into the jungle as she's hardly dressed for it in her corporate dress suit. Claire puts on a determined look, rolls up her sleeves, and ties her shirt in front, just like Dr. Ellie Sattler in the original Jurassic Park. As she reveals a lot more skin doing so, Owen just gapes and asks what she's doing. A Death Glare in response gets his brain working again.
  • A variation occurs in Licence to Kill, where Pam's evening gown zips off at the knee.
  • In The Lone Ranger, Rebecca tears the bottom off her dress before crawling along the outside of the train.
  • In Machete Kills, Miss San Antonio draws a switchblade apparently to fight another Action Girl...then stabs it into her own dress, slicing a long line down her skirt so she can move freely. She then throws aside the knife for some hand-to-hand.
  • Occurs in Night of the Living Dead 3D as Barb attempts to flee from a horde of zombies. She doesn't ditch the high heels, though.
  • In Octopussy, Magda whips off her sari to use as a weapon against Kamal's goons. She doesn't put it back on, thereby keeping the fetish appeal burning.
  • In Pistolera, Angel yanks the skirt off her flamenco dress to chase after one of the thugs who hits Rodrigo's restaurant.
  • The Princess (2022): When she gets a moment to rest, the Princess tears off her dress to knee height and pulls off one of the sleeves before she's interrupted.
  • Combined with Giving Them the Strip in Prom Night (2008). When Fenton steps on the hem of Lisa's dress, she escapes by running so the bottom of her dress rips off.
  • In Ready or Not (2019), Grace has a moment when she's alone after Alex reveals that her previously friendly in-laws are trying to hunt her down and kill her. Her tearing off the bottom of her wedding dress seems to signal that she's accepted the (admittedly ludicrous) situation and realized she needs to get serious.
  • Indiana Jones ripped off part of Marion's dress in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • Occurs in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow before Polly starts running away from the robots attacking New York City. She carefully rips the side hems of her longish, straight skirt — but leaves on the heels.
  • In Snow White & the Huntsman, the Huntsman does this to Snow White's dress when they're trekking through the forest.
  • Stripped to Kill: While performing in Amateur Night at Rock Bottom, the zipper on Cody's dress gets stuck. Because she needs to win the contest, she rips the entire dress off her body to continue her routine.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: After switching places during time travel, April O' Neil wears Kenshin's samurai outfit in feudal Japan. Later, after escaping from the dungeon with the Turtles, we see her ripping part of the samurai clothing off by the lake while Leo and Donatello are looking.

  • Chronicles of the Kencyrath. In "Seeker's Mask", Jame does this while being hunted by Shadow Assassins, and she's hobbled by the skirt that she's been forced to wear as a Proper Lady. Unfortunately, she doesn't know her clothes once belonged to Aerulan, the deceased lover of Brenwyr, who is horrified when Jame rips the dress in front of her (though she accepts the necessity).
  • Dawn of Steam: Sam Bowe has does this when assassins intent on killing the French Monarch attack a ball she is attending. Since she hates wearing the dress in the first place, she takes great pleasure in destroying it over the course of the battle until she is left in nothing but her underclothes by the aftermath.
  • Creel of Dragonskin Slippers is forced to rip her heavily embroidered dress (a showcase of her talent in order to get a sponsor) in order to ride dragon back, and thus save the kingdom. She is able to save most of it, though, by simply slitting the sides. However, in Dragon Spear, Creel is forced to utterly destroy her wedding dress in order to save Veilkca's eggs from falling into the sea this time it doesn't get better.
  • Heralds of Valdemar:
    • In By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey, the heroine Kerowyn tells her brother's betrothed (whom she had just rescued from a mage and a large leech creature) to slit her skirts so she can ride home (the only horses available have conventional saddles). The latter is horrified at being so "unwomanly" until Kero gives her a prod:
      "That leech-thing might not be dead, you know."
    • Defied in the Arrows trilogy, where Queen's Own Companion Talia (who might have to conduct a ceremony one minute and defend the Monarch at knifepoint the next), has formal wear which is specifically made to be practical to fight in — ankle-length, no train, and detachable sleeves, among other modifications.
  • In Andre Norton's Ice Crown, the kidnapped Princess Ludorica borrows the heroine's knife, and calmly and pragmatically slash-tailors her long nightgown into a serviceable coverall (she not only slits it, she cuts strips to bind the fabric to her legs) so she can move more easily while they escape from the Mooks guarding her.
  • Used as a Noodle Incident in The Immortals by Tamora Pierce, referencing a fight where Queen Thayet rips and ruins a gem-encrusted dress in a fight.
  • Journey to Chaos: Ataidar must have many ladies of war because both Kasile and Hailey have dresses designed with this in mind. The long and/or layered skirts can be quickly removed without tearing them through clever use of cords. In less urgent situations, like an impromptu duel instead of a life-or-death fight, Hailey also removed her high heels.
  • In Phillip Reeve's Larklight, Ulla doesn't stop at ripping off the hem — she rips the entire skirt off. However, the book being a Steampunk fantasy, she's still wearing knee-length underwear.
  • Akroma does this in the Magic: The Gathering novel Legions.
  • In the first book of Mistborn: The Original Trilogy, Vin rips away the entire dress when in a hurry. Later she gets a dress designed for Mistborn who wish to avoid doing this and loves it.
  • Modesty Blaise: Modesty has skirts that are designed to tear away, leaving her legs free for action. If she's unexpectedly caught in a normal skirt, she'll sometimes remove it entirely (despite her name, she'll go for practicality over modesty every time).
  • Done preemptively in one book of The Seventh Tower; when, at one point, Tal and Milla need to disguise themselves. Milla puts on a dress, but cuts a long slit into the skirt so she can run if necessary. Naturally, running becomes necessary.
  • Averted in a Tortall short story where Kylaia has to challenge a man to win back her sister's honor. Rather than rip the dress, she just takes it off and fights in her underwear.
  • The Twilight Saga: In Breaking Dawn, newborn vampire Bella goes out for her first hunt in a tight evening dress that Alice put her in. As she gets ready to jump the river, the dress rips. Bella then rips both sides in order to get the mobility needed to run, much to Alice's chagrin. Prior to this moment, she also ditched the high heels.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
  • On Burn Notice, Michael's ingenious plan for escape involves ripping Fi's very nice and expensive dress, much to her dismay.
  • Played with in the Russian miniseries Catherines Musketeers, where the dresses of the protagonist Action Girls are specially designed to be easily convertible.
  • In the Chuck episode "Chuck Versus the Ring", Sarah Walker does this to her bridesmaid dress as she prepares to take on Fulcrum agents.
  • Community: Implied. Annie spends most of the second paintball episode in a corset and not much else. Flashbacks show that she was originally wearing a modest skirt to the Western-themed festival when the game was announced without warning. Presumably, she ripped it off at some point.
    Abed: Jeff wants to talk to you.
    Annie: Yeah, and I want pants. We all want a lot of things.
  • In the Crisis on Earth-X event, when Nazis from Earth-X invade Barry and Iris' wedding, all hell breaks loose. Having spent the previous night together, Sara Lance and Alex Danvers do a tandem dress rip. They even pause to briefly admire each other before wading into the fight.
  • Miu from Kamen Rider Fourze does this to her own prom dress as she and Shun race off to help out the other members of the Kamen Rider Club.
  • Zev does in the pilot episode of Lexx.
  • Izzy, in her debut episode on Power Rangers Dino Fury, straight-up rips the skirt off her ranger suit, both establishing her as an absolute badass (not that the episode didn't already do that anyway, introducing her practicing javelin throwing) and addressing the fact that her costume in the Sentai footage has no skirt due to her counterpart, Towa, being male. She quips "skirts aren't really my thing".
  • Almost Once per Episode on Relic Hunter Sydney will find herself in a tight dress which she will later have to tear before kicking someone in the face.
  • Sometimes happens on RuPaul's Drag Race during the "Lipsynch For Your Life" segment. If the queen(s) lipsynching have on an overly-tight or bulky dress, they'll sometimes remove the skirt to give themselves more freedom of movement during the performance. This may involve ripping the dress if it's not made to come apart; there is $100,000 at stake.
    • Tragically subverted in the season 12 Ball Challenge. Rock M Sakura tries to rip the rigid panniers of her dress apart but the outfit is too well constructed, literally hanging by a thread at one point. By the time she's free she over compensates with splits and spins but it's still not enough to keep her in the competition.
  • In the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Precious Cargo", Princess Kaitaama deliberately rips her dress before getting into an escape pod with Trip Tucker. It should be noted that no action actually occurs in this episode.
  • In British comedy-drama series Waffle The Wonder Dog, (which is actually about more than just the titular dog - it's about a blended family), Jess, a mom who's a vet and owner of the titular dog does this in the pilot episode of the show, ripping off her wedding dress to reveal her vet's scrubs uniform underneath. This being a Dramedy aimed at kids, the situation was Played for Laughs.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess:
    • In an episode which has Xena and Gabrielle reincarnated in the modern-day, the reincarnated Xena does this, signaling the moment that she's stepping into her previous incarnation's shoes and is about to kick serious ass.
    • She also did this in Season 1 episode "Chariots of War".
    • She does this any time she has to dress nice, like the time she and her princess lookalike have to "Freaky Friday" Flip because princess lookalike is being hunted by assassins.

    Pro Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Castle Falkenstein, the heroine does this to a Worth of Paris gown when attacked at a ball (and it is mentioned as a standard tactic for female characters who are attacked at formal affairs).
  • World of Darkness Armory mentions this as a required tactic for any female characters who feel like using an inner thigh weapon sheath/holster.


    Video Games 
  • Toko Fukawa's school uniform dress is tattered and has one in Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls, which reveals Kill Tally marks on her thigh representing her Split Personality Serial Killer Genocide Jack's victims.
  • Cuphead: Exaggerated with Sally Stageplay, as she tears away her entire wedding dress before the start of her boss battle to reveal a second dress she's wearing underneath. This outfit then explodes at the end of the second phase to reveal that she's wearing a third outfit, her angel costume.
  • In Granblue Fantasy, this is the essential gimmick of Therese's SSR version. She's helping Fille commemorate a major Gem Domain holiday with a performance duel... and Fille got her an outfit that is several times too fancy and poofy to effectively fight in. She ends up having to rip the dress up a bit in order to move freely and win. Unfortunately, she then realizes backstage it just makes the outfit more revealing...
  • Calista does so in The Last Story when the Gurak attack Lazulis Castle during her engagement announcement. Though five minutes later, you pass by her room and she can duck in to change into something more appropriate. You also get to keep the torn dress as a piece of armor exclusive to Calista. Its stats are actually pretty good, but it can be upgraded only in one place, which can be inconvenient. At least it keeps its Fanservice appeal and can even be dyed different colors!
  • Naomi in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. In order to run from incoming Gekko, she rips her stockings and gets rid of her shoes in order to move faster. Other than being somewhat sexier (she wasn't wearing a bra, in the first place, and left her lab coat unbuttoned. Plus if you got a stocking foot fetish well...), it doesn't have anything to do with the plot.
  • Unfortunately averted in the "Dreamcatcher" module for Neverwinter Nights, in which your Love Interest (be she Anera or Teira) will trot ahead back to your bedroom to change before going into action.
  • Joanna Dark in Perfect Dark, when a reception at the Carrington Institute has some unwelcome visitors.
  • In Star Ocean: The Divine Force Laeticia wears an elaborate dress during her (pretended) marriage with prince Ger'rard, but ends up tearing it and ditching some accessories during scene transition when the party shows up to rescue her. She then spends the following battle in this getup.
  • This happens in Tomb Raider: Legend when Lara Croft visits Japan in a very fetching Little Black Dress. The Yakuza show up, and Lara dives for cover behind the bar so she can strategically rip her skirt and strap gun holsters to her thighs.
  • Red of Transistor wore a floor-length gold dress as a singer. Once the game proper starts, she tears it off at the thigh.
  • Downplayed in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana. During her sidequest, sister Nia stumbles over her dress and almost gets trampled by a monster. After that she tears off the skirt and ditches her habit — not in order to fight, but to avoid tripping again. After this sidequest she starts to actually help the Castaway Village, and retains this look for the rest of the game.

  • Knell in AntiBunny performs one here.
  • Earthsong plays with this when Beluosus invades Haven during a ball. Nanashi simply detaches her long skirt to reveal trousers beneath—she had stipulated that in the design, just in case.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Susan does it to her tight long skirt in preparation to fight bandits.
  • Played with in Exiern when Tiffany's ball gown resists her best efforts.
    Tiffany: [rucking up her skirt] What is this thing made of?
  • Fey Winds, Kit ditches her fancy dress when the fighting begins. Inexplicably, Nigel also strips.
    Sid: Why did Nigel take off all of his clothes, too?
    Larina: I... don't know. Solidarity?
  • Officer Hipbone in Girly doesn't destroy her dress, but when a below-the-knee hem rises way above the knee, she thanks the attacker and does a ludicrously high kick to destroy him.
  • Madame Outlaw: Before she makes her great escape, Estelle tears off the bottom of her white wedding gown.
  • Done by Irene Adler in Mayonaka Densha when the lights go out in the museum while chasing a criminal. Subverted by Jessica Queen who manages to kick some ass and keep her dress intact.
  • In RPG World, Cherry wears a pimped out dress to a ballroom dance. But when the bad guys attack, she rips the thing down to a miniskirt and breaks out the crossbow.
  • Averted in Sluggy Freelance when Torg and Gwynn, out on a pseudo-date, have to run when the cops show up. Gwynn responds, "Like I'm going to run in this dress." She then proceeds to slowly shuffle away.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: The Gender Flip episode "Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake" features Action Girl Fionna attending the ball in a Pimped-Out Dress, only to need to rescue Prince Gumball. Fortunately, Ice Queen's attack tears the hem of her dress so that she can jump to the retractable sword in her purse.
  • Blue Eye Samurai. In "The Tale of Ronin and the Bride", Mizu tells her husband how she learnt to use the sword, so he invites her to spar with him. Things start heating up when you hear Mizu's kimono tear and then she really starts to cut loose.
  • Bump in the Night: The episode "Comfort Schmumfort" (not to be confused with the Karaoke Cafe segment of the show by the same title) has Molly Coddle rip off a portion of her skirt and wear it as a headband when she prepares to rescue Bumpy and Squishington from Sleemoth and Gloog.
  • In the first and only canonical episode of the third season of Gargoyles, Elisa is dressing up for Goliath when the Quarrymen jumps in and ruins their date, forcing them to flee across rooftops. When Goliath takes a wing injury, Elisa tears part of the hem of her dress to use as a bandage, making the skirt of the dress visibly shorter. She also kicks off her high heels, since from this point on their escape isn't going to involve gliding.
  • In the Justice League episode "Maid of Honor", Diana alias Wonder Woman rips off the hem of her dress in order to rescue the captured Princess Audrey of Kasnia.
  • In the Kim Possible episode "Trading Faces" Kim is in a gown in which she can barely walk, much less catch up with the escaping Camille Leon. However, one appropriate tear later, she's free to move about.
    Fashion Designer: I love It!
    Kim: Me too!
  • In ReBoot, Dot did this after tripping in Morticia Addams's dress. Then used the torn-off cloth (showing her fishnet-stocking clad legs) to tie her hair back.
  • Samurai Jack Episode XXIX "The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful": Josephine tears off the hem of her Gorgeous Period Dress to not only better attack Jack, but also to access the two six-shooters she had holstered to her bloomers.
  • Chun-Li did this once in the Western adaptation of Street Fighter. Extra fanservice involved because the ensuing fight scene had quite a few panty shots.
  • Done in Totally Spies! to sari. They even ditched the shoulder sashes, causing them to bare their midriffs.
  • A variation happens in the What If? episode "What If Hela Found the Ten Rings?" Hela wears a beautiful hanfu dress to dinner with Wenwu, but when it's time to fight, it's not the hem that gets in her way but the oversized sleeves, which she promptly rips off.


Video Example(s):


Anya vs. Meme

While fighting a brainwashed Meme, Anya rips off most of her dress to improve her range of motion.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ActionDressRip

Media sources: