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.
- This Australian advert takes the piss out of what are colloquially known there as "budgie-smugglers".
- Bruce Lee's character Lee in Enter the Dragon faces off against an unnamed opponent (portrayed by Sammo Hung) while dressed in black wrestling briefs, shoes, 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 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.
- 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 the revealing 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.
- 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 (as the latter being the main image).
- 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.
- Family Guy: Quagmire is often shown wearing a pair of leopard print briefs. This seems to emphasize his status as a sex fiend.
- 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.
- Vitaly from Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is a circus tiger who wears blue briefs and used to be a showy, proud acrobat until he lost his mojo due to an accident.