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Foot Popping

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Woo! Look at that girl showing some boot!

"When kissed for the first time, a girl should close her eyes. The second time, she should give an ecstatic back kick, clutching her sweetheart by his coat lapels."
— "An Outline of Motion Picture Etiquette", October 1923 issue of Screenland

Traditionally, when a woman and a man kiss, the woman tends to lift one leg to show just how hot and heavy it's getting or to demonstrate how much she trusts the man to hold her up.

A somewhat Discredited Trope nowadays, and mostly crops up in parody (though the alert viewer will still sometimes see it played straight, mainly in romantic comedies), as often a man will do this to emphasize his effeminate side, or both people will do it at once. The Trope Namer is the film version of The Princess Diaries.

Though the trope originated earlier, one of The Hays Code's dumber demands required that women, in love scenes, at all times have "at least one foot on the floor" (in other words, no love scenes in bed). It may even be an example of Getting Crap Past the Radar, suggesting as it does that Something Else Also Rises. However, this euphemistic meaning has become mostly forgotten over time, to the point where it can be used without a single raised eyebrow in children's programming, or conversely, seen in pornographic movies, where the need for euphemism is lessened, to say the least.

According to some commentary on the topic (including several actresses from The Golden Age of Hollywood), this trope was/is also intended as a way for starlets to draw attention to their shapely legs. This is borne out by numerous posed "cheesecake" photographs from the 1930's through The '60s where the model is striking a Foot Popping-style pose without actually kissing anyone (generally she's the only one in the picture). Many old hosiery advertisements (stockings and pantyhose) also used the trope in this way, to showcase their wares by calling attention to the legs wearing them.

Often used as a Modeling Pose.

Not to be confused with your Foot Popping off. For that, see Agony of the Feet.


    open/close all folders 

  • Older Than Television: A magazine stocking advertisement from the 1920s features this trope, suggesting that it developed as soon as skirts became short enough to show off female legs.
  • This trope used to show up frequently in pantyhose and stocking commercials (and some shoe commercials as well) in the 1960s and '70s. See the comments above regarding how this maneuver is intended to show off a woman's shapely legs, or, in this case, the product adorning said legs.
  • In the '80s, commercials for Big Red chewing gum would occasionally show this trope, sometimes spoofed, sometimes played straight. Example here.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Done straight in chapter 22 of Little House with an Orange Roof when Natsumi and Shoutarou embrace for the first time.
  • In Sachiare, Sachiko is so short she often has to do this on a stool to kiss her husband. Unless he just picks her up, of course.
  • The kiss between Stefan Levin and Karen in Captain Tsubasa World Youth Cup has this, with the variation that only their feet are shown.
  • Same thing with Ash and Serena at the end of Pokémon the Series: XY, although in this case she was raising her feet up a little because the escalator she was on was also pulling them apart.
  • Kashiwagi appears to be doing this in chapter 98 of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War when she gives her boyfriend a french kiss, but it's hard to tell due to the camera angle and she might simply be leaping into his arms. Kaguya also does this during her and Shirogane's third kiss immediately after their Relationship Upgrade.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Babysitter (2017): Done by Cole's 12-year old neighbor, Melanie, when she gives him A Kiss For Luck right before he leaves to confront Bee. The camera shifts to a close-up of Melanie's barefeet as she pops the heel of her left foot during the kiss.
  • National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 had a scene where both the man and the woman stick one foot in the air as they kiss. Then each puts the other foot in the air at the same time. They just sort of hover there.
  • The Princess Diaries:
    • In the first movie, protagonist Mia's life dream is to meet a guy, fall in love at first sight, and kiss him like this. She expressly specifies the foot pop. Subverted three times and then played straight.
      • First try: Daydream sequence, when Mia is kissing the boy and she can't pop her foot because it's cemented to the sidewalk by used gum.
      • Second try: Mia and boy are hiding in a shed. Kiss is attempted, foot gets caught in fishing net and she falls over.
      • Third try: Guy forces Mia into a kiss with paparazzi surrounding them. She starts to do this, then takes off her sandal and beats the guy over the head with it.
      • Fourth try: Mia is (finally) kissing the boy she likes outside, her foot pops properly. Her foot pops such that it turns on the fountains in the garden as well as all the lights, demonstrating that when one kisses the right person, foot pops go perfectly.
    • Mia indulges in Foot Popping again in the second movie on two occasions:
      • First attempt: Mia gets smooched at a garden party and she does the foot pop.
      • Second attempt: Played straight. Mia encounters her true love (the same guy who kissed her earlier) and kisses him in front of the throne; she lifts her foot as the camera pulls back out of the room. Heck, she picks up both feet on the second one.
  • Spoofed in The Naked Gun when Frank Drebin and his Love Interest do this at the same time.
  • In the 1932 Jean Harlow film, Red-Headed Woman, the protagonist and her boyfriend go behind the cupboard in a bar, so we only see their feet. She lifts one of their legs, showing that they're kissing — quite scandalous in a public place back then.
  • Go Naked in the World: Giulie pops her foot when she and Nick are passionately kissing—but she is also kicking a ringing phone off its cradle. (The phone is ringing because unbeknownst to Nick, Giulie is a High-Class Call Girl, and a customer wants her services.)
  • This was subverted in Date Movie. Julia pops her foot while kissing Grant, and Grant pops his foot also — the wrong way.
  • Seen and played straight in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, when Ferris (Matthew Broderick) greets his girlfriend (Mia Sara).
  • Also played straight in Working Girl at a key romantic moment between Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford's characters.
  • Faye Dunaway's character does this briefly in Network as part of a montage of stereotypically romantic scenes — it's kind of played straight, but also satirical as she spends all of these scenes talking nonstop about work.
  • Me and My Gal: Helen and Danny kiss, and she is shown popping her foot—then the camera cuts to show Danny also popping his foot.
  • In the Dean Martin/Tony Curtis/Janet Leigh movie Who Was That Lady, the movie opens with a scene showing Leigh arriving at her husband's (Curtis) office and catching him in the act of kissing a foot-popping girl.
  • Played straight by Brigitte Bardot in La Parisienne.
    • Also in Contempt, but she lifts it the other way.
  • Martine Carol strikes a Foot Popping pose in her movie Nana during an onstage scene, though she doesn't actually kiss her male opposite number.
  • Done in So I Married an Axe Murderer by Mike Myers' character, kissing his bride at the altar, dressed in a kilt.
  • Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster has one between Shaggy and Velma played entirely straight.
  • Some Like It Hot: when "Sugar" Kane kisses Joe as he's lounging on a couch, one leg stands up straight in the air behind her back.
  • In & Out contains a male-on-male example, when openly-gay Peter cuts off inadvertently-outed Howard's "you've got the wrong man" protests with his lips, giving the audience its first solid indicator that, no, in fact, he doesn't.
  • The Professional. When Léon rescues Mathilda from corrupt cops at the DEA office, she throws herself into his arms; naturally as she's only a little girl the subsequent Foot Popping closeup shows her feet hanging a foot above the floor.
  • The last kiss in OSS 117: Lost in Rio.
  • Something similar to this happens in the 1996 film Michael, during Archangel Michael's (John Travolta) dance with hippie waitress Anita (Joey Lauren Adams). After catching Anita in a hug and lifting her up before playfully spinning her around, Anita's shows her enjoyment by her big grin and also by both of her legs doing some foot popping (although this differs from normal as neither of her feet are touching the ground).
  • In The Family Way we can only guess what's going on by the heroine's foot popping, as the camera focuses on the feet.
  • In La La Land's Dream Ballet, Mia does this as she and Sebastian share a kiss, after she passes an audition for a movie filming in Paris.
  • In Netflix's Rim of the World Alex, the 13 year old hero, get's his first kiss and his foot pops.
  • Thor: The Dark World has a case with the man's foot lifting, showing Darcy was very grateful about being rescued.
  • Clue has Miss Scarlet do this as a form of Hitchhiker's Leg when her car's broken down on the way to the mansion.

  • In the photo-novelization of the 1980 Village People movie Can't Stop the Music, there is a picture of Valerie Perrine Foot Popping while she kisses Bruce Jenner. In the actual movie, Perrine and Jenner are shown only from the waist up.
  • In a Magic: The Gathering novel of the long-running "Weatherlight Saga", the Weatherlight crew is fighting a group of Mooks. One of them tries to get a jump on Hanna from behind. She turns her head, kisses him and does a foot pop. The mook goes down clutching himself.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Smallville:
  • Scrubs did a gag in which J.D. and Kim both lift their legs while kissing.
  • In Heroes, Isaac's prophetic painting of Peter and Simone kissing under an umbrella in the rain has Simone with her leg up.
  • Pushing Daisies has an Daydream Surprise from Olive Snook where she is literally swept off her feet.
  • Happy Days
    • In one episode, the boys watch a kissing scene involving an actress with whom they might have a chance to win a date and discuss how much they'd like to raise that foot up.
    • In another episode, Potsie observes Fonzie kissing a Foot Popping girl and comments that Foot Popping is a signal that the girl is "worldly".
  • In the episode of Living Single where Overton and Sinclaire finally Spit It Out, they both pop their feet when they finally kiss.
  • Sarah does this in the "Something Ida This Way Comes" episode of Brothers & Sisters.
  • Mork & Mindy: Mork does this while kissing Mindy in the episode "Mork the Prankster".
  • In the movie version of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode "The Double Affair", The Spy with My Face, Senta Berger disrobes, enters a shower and kisses Robert Vaughn. Only their legs are seen, and hers take a sort of Foot Popping pose (actually, more like her bare foot caressing Vaughn's bare legs) accompanied by suggestive dialogue.
  • Amor e Revolução (translation: Love and Revolution) had this occur during the first lesbian kiss in a Brazilian soap opera.
  • Tracker: After Daggon/Cole rescued Tina - a homeless teenager who ran away from her mum - from a pair of alien fugitives, he later reunites her with her father. Tina is shown briefly doing a foot pop as she and her Dad hug each other.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Time Heist", the Doctor is so pleased with himself for exhausting Clara right before her dinner with Danny Pink ("Robbing a whole bank. Beat that for a date!") that he does this in the last shot.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise. T'Pol does this while sharing a Shower of Love with Trip Tucker.
  • On My Name Is Earl, Billie does this in Earl's coma fantasy, where the two of them are protagonists in a Dom Com.
  • In Jane the Virgin, Jane does this when kissing Rafael for the first (or, technically, second) time.

  • The cover of the old Carmen Cavallaro record, For Latin Lovers, shows this trope.
  • The cover of the 2007 compilation album, The Departure Lounge: Love also shows this trope.
  • In the video for Eddie Money's early-1980s song "Shakin'", the Latina beauty driving the blue "lowrider" strikes a Foot Popping pose as she kisses the hood of her car after winning a street race.
  • The music video for Josh Turner's "Your Man" plays this trope straight as his lover lifts her foot while kissing in an elevator.
  • Taylor Swift does this near the beginning of the "Wildest Dreams" music video.
  • At the end of the music video for the Coldplay song "Strawberry Swing," there is a rare example of both the man and the woman doing this. After Chris, dressed as a superhero, saves a princess from a giant, evil squirrel, they kiss, and both lift their foots.

  • Not kissing anyone but The Usherette does the pose before walking offstage at the end of "Science Fiction Double Feature" at the end of Rocky Horror Show Live.

    Video Games 
  • In Bully, once a certain level of suavity is achieved, the protagonist can kiss girls For Health(tm) and there will be foot-popping involved. Of course, then the leg-pop progresses to more intense making out, so it's not so much a "cute" move.
  • In the video game GoldenEye on N64, the ending has James Bond and Natalya kissing, and she does this. It's sort of distracting because the whole credits sequence is just orbiting around them for several minutes.
  • Sophia does this in one ending of LucasArts adventure game Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis while she and Indy kiss on the submarine after having watched the volcano sink into the sea. Probably a throwback to the Hays Code-era adventure serials that inspired it.
  • In Love & Pies: Amelia raises one of her feet when she kisses Joe during their date night after her sisterly bonding with Edwina.
  • In Mortal Kombat, Kitana raises one of her feet while delivering her Kiss of Death Fatality.
  • In Runaway 2: The Dream of the Turtle, when Lokelani kisses Brian, she raises her right leg.
  • In the game adaptation of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Knives does this whenever she kisses Kim (once again, For Health(tm)).
  • The The Sims 2 expansion pack, Apartment Life, includes a kiss called "Suck Face"; the receiver's foot pops if the interaction succeeds (regardless of the gender of said Sim).


    Web Original 
  • Gender-inverted in the KateModern episode "The Hen Night", when Lee kisses Sophie. He is in drag at the time, though (because he's attending a hen night, so obviously he had to dress as a woman... well, It Makes Sense in Context).
  • In RWBY, played straight as a Cupid's arrow when Jaune and Pyrrha finally kiss, though the circumstances themselves aren't entirely romantic; it's Pyrrha's way of saying goodbye to Jaune before she traps him and goes off to fight Cinder on her own, and she perishes in the following battle.
    • Later on, in Volume 9, Blake does this when she and Yang FINALLY kiss.

    Western Animation 
  • In the final episode of Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), the titular character kisses Princess Sally, whose foot "pops" off the ground.
  • Futurama:
    • At the end of the episode "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back", his wife does this as he kisses her. The Obstructive Bureaucrat does this earlier in the episode while kissing Fry.
    • In the episode "When Aliens Attack", the title character does it in the fictional show Single Female Lawyer.
    • In the episode "Leela and the Genestalk", when Fry reassures Leela he still loves her even if she's become a writhing mass of tentacles, he kisses her and she pops about six tentacles.
  • Beast Wars: Blackarachnia does this when she kisses her Maximal Boyfriend Silverbolt in "The Agenda." The immediate cut away, and Silverbolt's reaction to a remark by a suspicious Rattrap later on, suggests it didn't stop there.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Homer Simpson has done this a few times while kissing Marge. It was even lampshaded once, when Marge became a cop. He popped said foot right after Marge assured him that he was the man of the house, wearing the pants in the relationship (even if, under those pants, he wore ladies underwear).
    • In "Lisa's Wedding", college-aged Lisa gets engaged with her charming English boyfriend Hugh from university. She pops her leg when Hugh and she passionately kiss after she says yes to his proposal.
  • Done by Sam in the last episode of Danny Phantom when Danny finally kisses her.
  • This happens in ReBoot during Bob and Dot's first and only kiss (unless you count Dot kissing the fake Bob several times over the course of the My Two Bobs movie).
  • Total Drama:
  • The Alchemist pops a foot in the fourth season finale of The Venture Bros. when Shore Leave kisses him.
  • Actress!Katara in Avatar: The Last Airbender, "The Ember Island Players"'.
    • In the sequel The Legend of Korra, in a rare male example, Kai does this while hugging Bolin after seeing him again for the first time in years.
  • In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Black Widow does this as she and Hawkeye share a goodbye kiss.
  • In the Adventure Time episode "Death in Bloom", Death uses the Kiss of Death on Jake (on the lips) to give him his memory back, Jake does a quick foot pop.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "The Deep End", Mabel does this after having her First Kiss with Mermando the merman.
  • Gender inverted in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "The Disappeared Part 1". After being reunited with his old love Queen Julia of Bardotta, Jar Jar lifted one of his legs (and his ears), when kissed by her.
  • In the episode Sanctuary of Gargoyles, Demona does this while pretending to be in love with MacBeth.
  • The ZhuZhus "Cave Frankie" does this when hugging a giant "Cave Zhu" Pipsqueak in Zhurassic Park.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: Marco Diaz's parents in the episode "Raid the Cave". Not just Angie but her Mexican husband, Rafael, does this too in a surprise cameo as Star accidentally spies on them through the All-Seeing Eye as they are posing together and they are about to lean toward each other to kiss leaving Star in disgust.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): Raphael does this in "The Moons of Thalos 3" when he and 'Mona Lisa' kiss (or possibly rub noses. Their heads are out of frame).
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls doesn't have any kissing (although there was almost one between the Human Twilight Sparkle and Timber Spruce in Legend of Everfree), but the Shipping Fuel-laden special My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rollercoaster of Friendship has Rarity pop her foot at least twice when hugging her "best friend" Applejack.
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode, "Terror in the Sky", Francine Langstrom accidentally gets infected with the same mutagen that previously turned her husband Kirk into a mutant bat creature. After she's cured, Francine nearly falls off a bridge in her dazed state. Fortunately, Kirk and Batman are able to save her in the nick of time. Francine then lifts her foot, as she and Kirk lovingly embrace.
  • Young Justice (2010)
    • In the Season 3 premiere, Miss Martian does a foot pop after accepting Superboy's proposal and they share their first kiss as an engaged couple.
    • In the Season 4 episode, "Needful", Miss Martian does this right before she and Superboy share a dance in the air, celebrating their upcoming marriage in a few short days.

    Real Life 
  • The VJ Day Kiss features a nurse Foot Popping with the sailor kissing her. It's funnier when you realize that the two are strangers, and the latter was kissing everybody.
  • Fergie did a Foot Popping kiss with her husband Josh Duhamel in Las Vegas on 12/31/2009 that got written up in a number of celebrity blogs.
  • This giant statue at St Pancras International Train Station, London called The Meeting Place.


Video Example(s):


Donatello gets kissed by April

Donatello is reduced to mindless babbling after April kisses him on the cheek.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (19 votes)

Example of:

Main / GibberishOfLove

Media sources: