After excessive amounts of Ms. Fanservice throughout the years, women being used for Fanservice has become a given. A large part of Fanservice involves wearing very little clothing, whether you like it or not.
So with all of these factors, many expect that women being near-naked is just part of fiction, not of any relevance. This is different for male characters. As you would expect, male fan-service usually requires some form of plot value, and in this case, the value is in being played as a show-off.
Men shown wearing very small underwear are usually used as show-offs. There may be a reason for this: as mentioned above, the only time someone wears very little clothing in fiction is when they get played for Fanservice, and because men are played for Fanservice less, they tend not to show very much skin. So writers think that men showing skin around the legs area would just be showing off something. Mr. Fanservice will often wear briefs.
Some note on criteria: Examples must have some form of boasting or masculinity to them, otherwise you have one of the other underwear tropes. See Real Men Wear Pink, Man in a Bikini, and Goofy Print Underwear. A part of any good Muscle Beach Bum. Contrast Uncool Undies.
- Free!: The Mikoshiba brothers notably use swim briefs while all of the other characters wear jammer-type swimsuits (although Rei used briefs for a short while... a pretty goofy set with a penguin), and the both of them are lovable dorks. Nagisa, the most shameless (well, willingly shameless) of the Iwatobi Swim Club, also shows off a pink Speedo when he and his teammates are shopping for swimsuits in one episode.
- Played with in Komi Can't Communicate. Absolute narcicist Naruse does bring a sexy swimsuit to the beach to show off his figure, but it's T.M.Revolution's skimpy "Hot Limit" costume rather than just swim briefs.
- One Piece: Franky is rarely, if ever, seen without his infamous swim briefs and nothing else covering his bare legs, causing bystanders to call him a pervert. Even when the Straw Hats are off exploring in the extreme cold, he never covers up his legs.
- Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf features a tiger named Brother Tai whose only proper clothing is a pair of blue brief underpants. He's also quite proud of his muscles and will often proudly flex them for others to look at.
- At the start of Enter the Dragon, Bruce Lees character Lee faces off against an unnamed opponent (portrayed by Sammo Hung) while dressed in black wrestling briefs, shoes, shin coverings, and gloves.
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show: In stark contrast to the dorky Brad, whose wearing tighty-whitey briefs serves to emphasize his nerdy nature, the muscle-bound and highly sexualized Rocky is wearing nothing more than a pair of quite tight golden briefs throughout the entire musical. This is invoked on Frank's part; he designed Rocky to be little more than a masculine sex object, and the choice of underwear emphasizes that, making his otherwise constant nudity more comedic and blatant.
- Super Sentai:
- Hikari Sentai Maskman has an episode where four of the Maskmen go for a swim, and Takeru (Red Mask) and Kenta (Black Mask) don swim briefs for it.
- In an episode of Choujin Sentai Jetman, Gai AKA Black Condor is briefly shown in his swimming briefs while hanging out with some non-Jetman friends at a pool.
- A beach episode of Chouriki Sentai Ohranger shows red ranger Goro wearing a somewhat color-coded briefs-style bathing suit as he relaxes.
- On My Block sees Jamals hunky father, Dwayne Turner, in a scene wearing an open bathrobe and only his white briefs underneath. Likewise, Jamal has the same taste in underpants, as shown by his pantless appearances.
- Fernando Vera, a villain in Mr. Robot, is encountered by Elliot in Shaylas apartment wearing only his briefs. Vera doesnt get fully dressed until after hes done waxing philosophical about self-hatred (upon seeing Elliots somber demeanor), all the while creepily attempting to bond with him.
- Community episode "Cooperative Calligraphy" has all of the main cast strip down to their undies, and Troy (Donald Glover) in his red and white briefs does not disappoint.
- Chau Presley (John Cho), in an earlier episode of Off Centre, strips to his briefs in anticipation of a three-way.
- This segment from the Australian news program From This Day Tonight with reporter Sue Faulkner.
- WWE wrestler Angel Garza incorporates this as part of his gimmick; at the of the match, he's wearing tearaway wrestling tights, and always during the match, he rips them off revealing (briefs-style) wrestling trunks, much to the delight of the female (and male!) crowd members.
- At UFC 133, welterweight fighter Dennis Hallman surprised spectators by eschewing the usual trunks (that extend to a few inches above the knee) in favor of Speedo-like shorts. When Hallman's opponent Brian Ebersole won by TKO in the first round, UFC president Dana White expressed his appreciation by awarding Ebersole $50,000 for "getting those horrifying shorts off TV as soon as possible". Hallman later explained that he had worn the shorts after losing a bet.
- Men's swimming, diving, and water polo.
- Contestants wear bikini-style posing trunks when they compete in bodybuilding and physique contests.
- In general in Dead or Alive franchise, the fanservice is a main element to the story, not just for men but for women too, with their characters having desirable bodies and dressing skimpy outfits as alternate costumes. Saying this, male characters usually have outfits for female fans where they show a lot of skin, like speedos and briefs, being Jann Lee and Brad Wong some of the most show-off male characters of the series which fit with this trope.
- Final Fantasy VII: During the mission to infiltrate Don Corneo's mansion, Cloud can be given a pair of tight-fitting bikini briefs as a keepsake if he chooses to spend time with the bodybuilder Mukki at the Honey Bee Inn. Although never actually shown being worn by Cloud himself, many of the musclebound men are wearing briefs of the same kind.
- Heroes of the Storm has Starcraft character Tychus Findlay in a very skimpy pair of blue and orange swim briefs for the Suns Out, Guns Out summer event, complete with Pec Flex animations.
- Draven is the only male character in League of Legends so far to wear swim briefs for his Pool Party skin, fitting for his flamboyant and showboating personality.
- Leisure Suit Larry is not a very muscular or attractive man, but he sure believes himself to be; in Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out!, he needs a bathing suit before he can go swimming, and creates a very tiny "European style" one out of a piece of cloth and some dental floss. It doesn't provide much in-universe fanservice, but fits Larry's ego quite well.
- Most boxers from the Punch-Out!! series wear boxing shorts appropriate for the occasion, but Super Macho Man wears briefs that show off more skin than the rest of the cast save Donkey Kong. Super Macho Man is an egotistical Hollywood casanova who is introduced in the wii game by flexing his muscles and then his butt. Soda Popinski also wears one, because he was a Head Swap of Super Macho Man in the NES game.
- Zangief from the Street Fighter games is a Husky Russkie wrestler who sports colorful, usually red briefs.
- Lee Chaolan from Tekken franchise is an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy who's the step-brother of Kazuya Mishima and wants to get revenge to him and the whole Mishima family for the humilliations he suffered in the past. However, he has an arrogant personality and he loves his body, at the point of being seen with a tiny speedo just to show-off in public as well as his alter-ego, Violet, and usually wearing a bowtie and sunglasses... and nothing else.
- Godbert Manderville from Final Fantasy XIV is typically seen wearing nothing but pure white satin briefs. Everywhere he goes. Even in public? Especially in public. The Original Manderville Man only modifies his wardrobe for formal occasions: he adds a snazzy white coatee. And changes into black satin briefs.
- Yakuza 0 features the NPC Habu, AKA Sotenbori's Mr. Libido AKA Walking Erection. He has a very toned physique, and shows it off by never wearing more than his underpants (full-rise briefs), shoes... and a smile. This is in sharp contrast to the teenage boy encountered in the Rise of the Dragon substory in the same game, whose Bontan pants (and those of other high school students) have been stolen (by none other than a young Ryuji Goda, no less!) and is mortified to be seen in public in his tighty-whiteys, as Majima calls the poor kids briefs.
- In Fire Emblem Heroes, Lorenz is the first male character to wear a speedo during the 2020 summer event. Fitting for a Casanova Wannabe, he also combines this with the frilliest shirt he could find.
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas protagonist Carl Johnson AKA C.J.s default underpants are white briefs, as seen in any wardrobe changing room in a safe house, which may be swapped for colorful boxer shorts found in the games clothing shops. Meanwhile, there is nothing stopping the player from stripping CJ down to his briefs in a safe house and doing gameplay dressed that way. In point of fact, there are numerous online videos that capture that occurrence.
- Family Guy: Quagmire is often shown wearing a pair of leopard print briefs. This seems to emphasize his status as a sex fiend.
- King of the Hill: Likewise, ladies' man Boomhauer is often seen wearing leopard print briefs as both underwear and a swimsuit.
- The Simpsons, "The Springfield Files": When Agent Mulder flashes his FBI badge, there is a picture of him posing in a Reclining Venus position in black underwear. It is a reference to the red speedo that Mulder wears in "Duane Barry", an episode of The X-Files.
- In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, the human counterpart of Dumb Muscle bodybuilder pegasus Bulk Biceps wears red speedos at the beach.
- X-Men has a short glimpse of Gambit in swim briefs alongside Rogue in her swimsuit in an early episode.