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Dancing Pants

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Then I was deep within the woods
When, suddenly, I spied them.
I saw a pair of pale green pants
With nobody inside them!

Clothes can do a lot of things when worn by people. It can keep them warm, it can make them look cool, it can give them super-powers or turn them violently evil.

There are some weird articles of clothing that don't have to be worn by anyone to do things: somehow, they can move around with nobody inside 'em. For some reason, the disembodied clothing is usually a pair of pants. note 

Compare Animated Armor.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Senketsu, a living Sailor Fuku in Kill la Kill is shown to be able to move at least somewhat on his own, such as when he forces himself onto Ryuko.
  • Doraemon have a gadget in the form of a Wind-up Clockwork Key, that can be attached to anything, even articles of clothing. At least one Doraemon comic involves Doraemon and Nobita having an impromptu tea-party with a bunch of animated clothes.

    Comic Books 
  • Iron Man has had at least one suit of his Powered Armor become sentient (and start acting disturbingly like an abusive boyfriend).
  • The first issue of the Roger Rabbit comic books featured as a villain a sentient set of "fancy pants," which talked like a gangster most of the time but got eloquent when wishing it would meet a pair of "female pants" to end its loneliness. This was pretty much par for the course.
  • Azzarello and Chiang's Doctor Thirteen backup in Tales of the Unexpected featured a pile of superhero costumes attacking the obscure band of characters as a statement about how the company ignores the stranger heroes in favor of big-name heroes that are ultimately nothing but sales icons.
    Doctor Thirteen: No father wants to see his daughter become a fashion victim.
  • One Bronze Age Superman story had the Man Of Steel dealing with his entire Clark Kent disguise having a life of its own. He finds out that he passed through a cloud in space consisting of microscopic sentient beings that got attached to his clothing and he ends up taking them home.
  • Judge Dredd was issued a new uniform for on-street evaluation that came with an onboard AI that could detect criminals more easily and act as a sort of Powered Armor. However, the fashion designer who created the uniform gave it a personality similar to his own and began executing perps for "crimes against fashion." When Dredd disagreed with this, the uniform removed itself from Dredd's body and went on a rampage until Dredd was able to bring it down.

    Comic Strips 
  • One Calvin and Hobbes strip had Calvin's clothes jump him and put themselves on him in odd combinations. His mother then scolds him for dressing improperly, to which he responds, "You think I wanted to dress this way?"
  • A walking pair of pants appeared in The Pajama Diaries, with Jill Kaplan telling husband Rob, "Looks like it might be time to wash the yoga pants."

    Fan Works 
  • Later, Traitor: Maloof's mental world is a big city run by a mafia that works for him. These mafia members are all animate suits with nobody wearing them. According to Word of God, this is representative of the fact that Maloof internally dehumanizes people because everyone he knows is either a jerk or works for his parents, so they're not important to him. This dehumanization extends to his bodyguard Mikhail because Maloof sees Mikhail as a tool to get back at his tormentors with and not as a person.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic A Route Obscure and Lonely, Spike enters Rarity's dream and finds is populated with dancing clothes. They try to prevent Spike from passing by entangling him, then they get more violent when he finds the key that can wake up Rarity.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • One of Mike Jittlov's demo reels in The Wizard of Speed and Time.
  • There's a full magic suit in The Movie of My Favorite Martian.
  • Plenty of clothes, including pants, danced in the Walt Disney movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks, thanks to the Substitutiary Locomotion spell.
  • The movie Legend (1985) had a dancing (and possibly evil) dress. When the princess danced with it she ended up wearing it.
  • The Cloak of Levitation from Doctor Strange (2016) doesn't dance, but it is sentient and can move completely separately from its owner. It — among other things — protects Strange from getting his throat sliced open, drags him over to a trap he can use to subdue the Big Bad, fights a mook by wrapping around his head and slamming it into the ground, and wipes Strange's tears.
  • Slaxx is a Horror Comedy about a pair of killer, possessed jeans, so naturally, there's a scene of them doing this when they hear Shruti listening to Bollywood music. It's actually plot-relevant, as it foreshadows that the ghost possessing the pants is originally from India and connected to the sweatshop labor that went into making them.

  • Named for a Shel Silverstein poem in Where The Sidewalk Ends.
  • The Pale Green Pants With Nobody Inside Them from the Dr. Seuss story What Was I Scared Of? Scary-looking, but quite harmless.
  • In Reaper Man, the surplus life force causes clothing and other inanimate objects to get up and walk (or, more accurately, run) around on their own. In particular the wizards notice a full suit running off, followed by another pair of trousers, chased by a man shouting "I paid seven dollars for you!" Ridcully is astonished by this; he didn't know there was a tailor in the city who'd include a spare pair of pants with a seven dollar suit.
    "If it comes round again, trip it up. I want to see the label."
  • There is a Japanese children's picture book about a little boy who dawdles getting dressed, so his pants run off without him and he has to chase them. Basically, a silly story about not being late.
  • The villains of Larklight's second book are aliens from near the end of time called Moobs, which disguise themselves as clothes (mostly hats) and can take control of or telepathically communicate with people who wear them.
  • In ch. 197 of the second "year" of Tales of MU, Steff enchants Mack's jeans with an undead animation spell. Once off her, they try to wrap around her head and are eventually destroyed.
  • In Warbreaker, Vasher at one point animates a suit of clothes to grab a sword and fight beside him. Works quite well.
  • In the Nintendo Adventure Books entry "Pipe Down!", part of the plot involves the Mario Brothers trying to find a pair of magical self-propelled boots.

    Live-Action TV 

    Music Videos 

    Tabletop Games 
  • There's a Dungeons & Dragons monster named a ragamuffyn, which is usually a cloud of sentient magical clothing. It also comes in varieties that are made of rags or weapons.


    Video Games 
  • One level in Monster Party has pants that are (of course) trying to kill you.
  • Ghostbusters: The Video Game includes a collectible object in the form of a pair of patched jeans that walk about with faint disco music playing in the background. After the player collects them, they can be seen (and heard) wandering about the firehouse. The note on your Paragoggles reads: "These bell-bottoms keep on truckin'...WITH NO-ONE INSIDE THEM!"
  • The titular hero of Plok is a being made up of clothes who can fire out his arms and legs at will.
  • One of the most dreaded monsters in Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening are the horrifying schleets, which look like ordinary pairs of pants. When you get close enough, they jump up and tear out your eyes in order to lay their eggs in your eye sockets. At least, that's what Oghren's heard.
    "What kind of moron do you think I am? Schleets don't lay eggs!"
  • Fallout: New Vegas: The intended function of the Y-17 trauma override harness was autonomous casualty recovery, physically walking for its operator should he become incapacitated. Unfortunately, the prototypes had several design flaws: if they don't have a home base, they unpredictably wander; they cannot detect if the occupant is still alive; and they can replicate their users' fighting ability to effect a fighting withdrawal, but lack IFF protocols. Two centuries after the Great War, Y-17 harnesses still wander Big Mountain as mobile coffins.
  • The arcade and Turbografx-16 CD versions of Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair have Sunglar, the boss of Stage 6, who is basically a cloak, fedora, and pair of sunglasses with Raymanian Limbs.

  • In Adventurers!, Ardam randomly encounters one pair of evil pants. The sheer stupidity of an article of clothing apparently trying to kill him sends him into shock.
  • In one Sluggy Freelance storyline, Gwynn enchants a pile of laundry and clutter to become a Clutter Monster which would force Torg to clean up their apartment. It died when they put away some of the clothes that it was using for vital organs.

    Western Animation 
  • This happened in the pilot episode of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, "When Pants Attack".
  • One of the Arthur episodes had a humiliating incident in which Arthur's pants fell down at school inspire a dream where his pants were trying to eat him. Go figure.
  • In the Batman Beyond episode "Lost Soul", the Batsuit is taken over by a hostile AI. Terry goes up against it equipped only with one of Bruce's old utility belts and Nightwing's old mask to conceal his identity, and wins.
  • In the Betty Boop short "The Old Man of the Mountain" Betty escapes from The Old Man by slipping out of her dress which then slaps him in the face and runs off after her.
  • Darkwing Duck had an alien planet of mind-controlling hats (a literal Planet of Hats, if you will).
  • Eek! The Cat has a character named Clutter, a living pile of laundry.
  • Greenbeard's gloves in Jackie Chan Adventures, which can move under their own power and force whoever's wearing them to steal things.
  • An episode of Johnny Test had Johnny's genius sisters create a pair of pants that increased his intellect called Super Smarty Pants. It developed sentience as well as Yandere traits towards Johnny, including trying to kill a love interest (whom he repeatedly denied he did have feelings for).
  • One Looney Tunes short involves Porky Pig getting sentenced by the Leprechauns to "The Wearin' o' the Green Shoes"!
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Rarity's dream from Do Princesses Dream Of Magic Sheep unsurprisingly enough features a myriad of dresses, some floating through the air like jellyfish and other dancing about. She's enjoying it until the Tantabus shows up and turns them into nightmares.
  • In an episode of Phineas and Ferb Doofenshmirtz attempted to create a ray that would dry his clothes after his dryer broke, but instead made one that made anything hit with it dance... which includes his clothes. "Still sopping wet..."
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Procrastination,", Spongebob gets to his desk, and realizes his pants are missing. They taunt him and run out the door of the Pineapple House, screaming "FREEDOM!!!" It's All Just a Dream, though.
    • In the episode "Ripped Pants", SpongeBob keeps ripping his swim trunks for a laugh, but eventually the others get tired of the gag, until even the pants themselves have had enough and leave off on their own.
  • Steven Universe: In "Frybo", shattered gem shards bring clothes to life. This includes Steven's pants, which he has to chase down. Later, Steven uses one of the shards to bring a Goofy Suit to life; when it goes berserk, he brings all his clothes (including his underwear) to life to defeat it.
  • The Techno-Trousers from the Wallace & Gromit short "The Wrong Trousers".