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"'The Angels have the phone box.' That's my favourite; I've got that on a T-shirt!"
Lawrence Nightingale, Doctor Who, "Blink"
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I Described Fun T-Shirt Here and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.

A T-shirt with a funny phrase or image. People in fiction and Real Life love to wear these.

The Law of Conservation of Detail dictates that there be a clear reason for having it on a character. Often, the shirt is there just to draw a comment about the shirt. It is also a shortcut characterization for the person wearing the shirt as a person with a sense of humor, particularly about their appearance. Or just, plain Rule of Funny. For maximum cheese, make the shirt promotional merchandise.

A Super-Trope to And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt. A Sister Trope to Goofy Print Underwear. Compare "Kiss the Cook" Apron. See also Comical Coffee Cup, often used to a similar effect.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Act-age's protagonist, Kei Yonagi, sports quite a few. One has a frog sticking its tongue out... in a way that looks like it's puking. Which is not a good shirt to wear if you've just puked on set. Another is mostly featureless, save for the word "bland" on the front. Which provides a great canvas for her co-stars to autograph their names on.
  • Air has Gao Gao Stegosaurus. And a picture of stegosaurus.
  • Arakawa Under the Bridge: ORE NO T-SHIRT (translation: "My T-shirt", imagine this being said in the most Mundane Made Awesome way possible)
  • Tomo of Azumanga Daioh is at one point seen wearing a T-shirt reading "Wild". Yes. Yes, she is.
  • Characters in Bleach occasionally have humourous or interesting slogan shirts. A good one is one Ichigo's wearing in an early chapter; an angry face with "Speaking is NOT communication" in the mouth.
    • In addition, whilst in his Gigai, Renji often wears a shirt saying 'Red Pineapple', a not-so-subtle reference to his oh-so-spikey hair.
    • And let's not forget Ichigo's pink shirt with the words "Nice Vibe" on it.
  • Cromartie High School: The slogan on Mechazawa's shirt changes with every cut practically, to something apropos.
  • Dragon Ball: Vegeta's vibrant pink "Bad Man" shirt.
    • It doesn't make any sense, but there is also a random unnamed man who appears from time to time wearing a T-shirt that says "The Super Saiyan" on it- where the heck did he get that?!
    • From one of the filler episodes Piccolo wears a yellow t-shirt that says "POSTBOY".
    • More odd than really funny, but in Dragon Ball Super Krillin spends a significant amount of time wearing a red shirt that just says "TACOS".
  • Great Teacher Onizuka wore some fairly awesome T-shirts, ones that the artists' assistants would complain in their omake comics about how complicated they were to reproduce by hand.
  • Hinata from Jewelpet Sunshine often wears t-shirts with a "I heart (something relevant to the situation)" slogan.
  • K-On!: When Yui is hanging out at home, she almost always wear t-shirts with various words written in katakana on them, ("Honeymoon", "Champion", "Celebrity"...). Plenty are available through the official TBS store.
  • In The Love And Creed Of Sae Maki Misao occasionally wears some not-so-fun versions of these when around Sae, her Psycho Lesbian tormentor; like one that reads "victim" and another saying "Help".
  • Lovely Complex has a prequel/Where Are They Now? collection of stories called Lovely Complex Plus, in which Yoshi is seen wearing a shirt with a very interesting phrase on it.
  • A Once a Season Running Gag in the Love Live! series. The protagonist will usually be seen wearing a shirt with something written on it, typically of some significance to the character.
    • Honoka Kousaka (Love Live!) wears a shirt with "ほ。" on it, the first character of her name in hiragana.
    • Chika Takami (Love Live! Sunshine!!) wears a shirt with "チ", the first character of her name in katakana. She also has a "Mikan." shirt, making it easy to tell what her Trademark Favorite Food is.
    • Yu Takasaki (Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club) isn't seen with one normally, but during a particularly drama-heavy scene, the camera cuts to a photo of a younger Yu wearing a shirt with "ぱ" on it, although it's not clear what this one stands for.
  • In the Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch anime, Rina has a shirt with a cute little penguin on it that reads, "It's cool." Might have been more appropriate for Caren, but hey, who can complain?
  • Minami-ke has Kana's "I Am Boss" T-shirt.
  • Midoriya wears several T-shirts in My Hero Academia with kana on them spelling out other types of clothing, like "t-shirt," "polo shirt," and "flannel." It's up in the air whether these are joke shirts in-universe or a running gag by the author to show him in various clothing by just putting him in t-shirts labeled with the clothing he's supposed to be wearing. The white "T-Shirt" was officially defictionalized for pre-orders in August 2019.
  • One Piece:
    • Fisher Tiger's "Frog? No. Hippo." shirt, which features a picture of a hippo the top half of which looks like a frog (although we later learn that the reason he wore it was not funny).
    • A minor Running Gag that shows up from time to time is the fact that in big enough crowd shots, when something is happening, a character will be seen wearing a shirt with an astonishingly appropriate Japanese phrase as a Funny Background Event. For example, in the Dressrosa arc, as everyone rejoices after Doflamingo is defeated, one guy's shirt reads "Yatta", which means "hooray" in Japanese.
  • Saitama and his "Oppai" t-shirt ("boobs" in Japanese) from One-Punch Man have resulted in a number of real-world versions.
  • Leon from Pet Shop of Horrors wears some truly tacky t-shirts throughout the manga, including a bizarre fish shirt with the phrase "MANBOW" on it.
  • Shugo Chara! has Tsukiomi Ikuto and his "Free Hugs" T-shirt.
  • Sid Barret of Soul Eater often wears zombie T-shirts, because he's a zombie!
  • The title character of Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! regularly wears a white-with-blue-sleeves "Sugoi Dekai"note  shirt, and has claimed it is, in fact, her favourite shirt. Which is quite telling, considering her proportions...
  • Welcome to the N.H.K. has a Satou wearing a T-shirt with a misspelled obscene Russian word.
  • In chapter 58 of Why the Hell Are You Here, Teacher!?, Watanabe is wearing a T-shirt that says "UST".

    Comic Books 
  • Animorphs:
    • In The Invasion, Marco wears a T-shirt with the phrase "I heart naps" on it during their first raid on the Yeerk Pool. He says that he doesn't want to ruin any of his good shirts.
    • One of the rednecks in The Visitor complains about the Animorphs making him spill soda on his "good shirt". It's a shirt with the word "GOOD" on it.
  • Timmy in Associated Student Bodies wears a shirt that displays a different slogan in each frame he appears in. All of them are gay-related jokes; for example, "Parking in rear", "Yes I suck", and "I'm not gay but my boyfriend is"
  • During Mark Waid's run on Daredevil, when Daredevil's secret identity was leaked but not confirmed, Matt Murdock (who at this point had no damns to give about the matter) showed up at a Christmas party wearing a red sweatshirt bearing the words "I'M NOT DAREDEVIL".
  • The eponymous Harry from Haagse Harry usually wears a shirt with a different text in every panel. Often they're political satire.
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac has a shirt that changes every time it's in the panel.
  • The Mighty Thor:
    • During Walt Simonson's run, Volstagg the Voluminous spent several issues wearing an "INY" T-shirt, over his traditional Asgardian attire.
    • Similarly, when his travels take him through Heathrow, Young Loki of Journey into Mystery (Gillen) picks up an "ILondon" T-shirt to wear over Asgardian garb.
  • A cover for Mockingbird had her wearing a shirt saying “Ask Me About My Feminist Agenda”. Backlash by those triggered by this kind of thing ensued, but it has become an enduring image, worn even by Bobbi's live-action portrayer.
  • In an early issue of Marvel Comics' Thunderbolts, the team was trying to infiltrate an evil organization's base by pretending to be new civilian recruits. Moonstone used her Unlimited Wardrobe power to make an "I'm With Stupid" T-shirt whose arrow kept pointing to different people.
  • The cover to Web Warriors #9 shows Spider-Ham standing next to Spider-Ham 2099 in an "I'm with stupid" shirt. Piguel snarks "Are you sure about that?" since the arrow is pointing away from him.
  • In West Coast Avengers (2018), Kid Omega wears plenty of them, such as "Quire Happens", "Future Phoenix", "I Brake for the X-Gene", "Bring Cyclops Back", and "I de-vamped Jubilee And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt". This is a continuation of a gag from his X-Men appearances, beginning with his first appearance in New X-Men when his attitude to the Xavier Institute was clearly conveyed by a t-shirt that declared "Magneto Was Right".

    Comic Strips 
  • Ur-Example: Towards the end of the 19th Century, and before comics started using word balloons, The Yellow Kid wore a nightshirt that displayed his commentary.
  • Shelf-Life in Zippy the Pinhead has a constantly changing shirt.
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    Fan Works 
  • In the Animorphs fanfic Akira, Tom sees T-shirts on eBay with phrases such as “Join the Sharing - you have nothing to lose but your brains!” or “Come for the volleyball, stay because you have no choice!” written on them.
  • "The Avengers and Their Favorite T-Shirts" Series. Thor's shirt says, "I shook my family tree and a bunch of nuts fell out."
  • Casey Steele: The bus driver has one:
    The bus driver, well apart from the 'Your village called, their idiot is missing...' T-shirt seemed to be a mixture of anger and amusement,
  • In the Harry Potter fic Do Not Meddle In The Affairs Of Wizards, Harry gets sent to Azkaban but when he kills Voldemort after V reveals he had gotten Harry framed, he is forced to go back to Hogwarts. Harry decides to wear several of these T-shirts at Hogwarts both because his clothes had been burned by his schoolmates before his imprisonment and as a way to rebel against having to go to Hogwarts. They range from "Don't piss me off, I'm running out of places to hide the bodies" to "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups", passing by the tried and true "Your village called. They want their idiot back."
  • Doing It Right This Time: In the "Mari and the Literature Club" sidestory, Mari owns one that says "Give Geeks a Chance", which she wears when she goes to the club meeting along with Kensuke. It works on more than one level, because not only is she really hitting it off with Kensuke but the slogan (and the trope) is a pun on a song by John Lennon, and in this fanfic Mari grew up in Liverpool.
  • Paul in The Keys Stand Alone often wears an illusory T-shirt with something fun or meaningful on it (and can change it in a second to say something else fun). Slogans include “Eat Your Veggies” and “Carrots Help You Read,” complete with cartoons, while once he put a big target on his shirt in response to Spectrem attacking his Nigh-Invulnerable carcass unprovoked.
  • In The Potioneer's Assistant Rebrewed Hermione has one that says "I'm allergic to stupidity. I break out in sarcasm."
  • In Cristy and Mel's Warped Mirrors story, at one point Duo needs to get knee surgery. Among the (custom printed) oversized shirts he buys before going under the knife, Duo gets one that roughly says, "Patient gown? We don't need no !@#$%*& patient gown!"
  • In What Did I Do In Another Life To Deserve This? Harry's T-shirts include "What doesn't kill you disappoints me" and "The chains on my mood swing just snapped... run."
  • In What Tomorrow Brings, Tobias has to wear an oversized T-shirt that says "I'M WITH STUPID" after he accidentally wrecks his morphing outfit.

    Film 
  • In Birds of Prey (2020), Officer Renee Montoya wears a T-shirt that asks that eternal philosophical question... "I shaved my balls for this?"
  • Bring It On has a character called Missy played by Eliza Dushku. Her first scene has her wearing...well, this.
  • In Clerks II, Randall modifies his uniform to say "Porch Monkey 4 Life" after he learns "porch monkey" is a racial slur and decides to "take it back."
  • Cold Turkey: One scene shows a teenager with a shirt that says "Iowa is a four letter word."
  • In End of Days, Satan is pleased when he runs into a teenager with a "Satan Rules" t-shirt. The guy tells him to go screw himself and wasn't a true Satanist in any case, so the Devil literally throws him under a bus.
  • Brad Pitt's T-shirts in Fight Club.
  • Grizzly Park: Bebe shows up at the camp wearing a shirt that says "They're called ta-tas."
  • There was that shark-eating-a-kitten shirt from Pineapple Express, which turned out to have been stolen from an independent designer without his knowledge.
  • Chad Danforth wears a lot of these in High School Musical movies, many of which the actor, Corbin Bleu, designed. Most notably "I Have My Own Background Music", which he does. The audience could even vote on a shirt of his for the second film.
  • In How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, the protagonist comes to work on the first day of his job wearing a T-shirt that says "Young, Dumb & Full of Come". His boss is not amused.
  • In Jurassic World, Lowery is wearing a shirt with the logo from the original Jurassic Park. Claire feels this is rather inappropriate, given the deaths of the first film.
  • Mean Girls 2: The promiscuous Chastity wears t-shirts with phrases like "Tackle Me" (which she wears while attending a football game) and "This is not a photo opportunity."
  • Adam Brody wears a Fight Club T-shirt in Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), both of which star Brad Pitt. This is a Celebrity Paradox.
  • At the beginning of Notting Hill, the main character's sloppy flatmate tries on shirts to wear on a date. "I love blood." didn't work. Neither did "Get it here." with an arrow pointing down. "You're the most beautiful woman in the world." seemed to work ... until he turned around. "Fancy a fuck?"
  • In One Crazy Summer, the Stork Twins (they aren't really) wear a matching set of shirts. One shows "I'm With Stupid" and an arrow to the side, the other says "Stupid" with an arrow pointing up. The idea is that the stupid one stands to the left. However, this twin is so dumb he stands on the right. The smart one tells him he's gotta be on the other side for the joke to work. Cue the dumb one moving to the other side and facing the other way.
  • In Once Upon a Time in Mexico Agent Sands, a corrupt CIA assassin, wears several stupid t-shirts in the film. One has "CIA" written in large block letters, with "Cleavage Inspection Agency" written in tiny font beneath. Another one has "I'm With Stupid," with the arrow pointing downwards, which actually belonged to Johnny Depp.
  • Python: In the final scene, after helping defeat the monster, Theresa gets a shirt saying "I helped kill a giant python and all I got was this lousy t-shirt".
  • In Ralph Breaks the Internet, once the Disney Princesses meet Vanellope, they decide to create casual wear inspired by hers. They all wear shirts with Mythology Gags to their movies, such as Aurora having "Nap Queen" and Elsa with "Just Let It Go".
  • Val Kilmer's Chris Knight in Real Genius is a quintessential example. Among his wardrobe are shirts with such messages as "Surf Nicaragua," "International Order of Gorillas," and "I *heart* toxic waste."
  • Sabretooth:
    • Zoology grad student Kara wears a t-shirt that says, "extinction sucks."
    • Lola often wears a fun tank top that has a stop sign and the words "Danger: Hottie."
  • In Shaun of the Dead, Ed spends the whole movie with a shirt bearing a log of timber with the caption "I Got Wood."
  • This is a lot of Peter's wardrobe in Spider-Man: Homecoming, when not in the Spidey suit; almost all of them are science-themed, including one reference to The Big Bang Theory: "The physics are theoretical, but the fun is real!" In the final scene, Peter is wearing a T-shirt referencing the classic chemistry joke: "I lost an electron!" "'Are you positive?''"
  • Priestly from Ten Inch Hero is very fond of these. The ones he wears read: "Tip me or die", "Cat, the other white meat", "It's tourist season - shoot them at will", "You know what your problem is? You're stupid.", "Surf naked", "Orgasm donor - ask for your free sample", "Save a tree - eat a beaver", "I sell crack for the CIA", "No one knows I'm a lesbian", and "You can read!"
  • Bill Murray's needy character in What About Bob? travels unbidden to his psychiatrist's vacation home, and spends much of the time in a t-shirt that reads "DON'T HASSLE ME, I'M LOCAL."
  • Owen Wilson's titular character in You, Me and Dupree (he's Dupree) wears a T-shirt with a picture of a gnome and the caption "Say Hello To My Little Friend."

    Literature 
  • In the Cut and Run series, Special Agent Ty Grady has a very large collection of these T-shirts. He gets a new one every couple of months from his Force Recon teammates. Most of the early ones revolve around his status as a law enforcement officer.
  • Discworld:
    • Deconstructed in Thud! which suggests that "fun" is a horrible over-stimulated experience completely unrelated to actually enjoying oneself, and says one of the signs is a shirt reading "I Want It!"
    • Ask Me About Pins!
    • Ponder Stibbons in The Last Hero wears one that says "Actually I Am A Rocket Wizard".
    • CMOT Dibbler invents slogan-ized T-shirts in Soul Music, although it's the Dean's "Born To Rune" leather coat that actually gets laughs.
  • Doctor Who Expanded Universe:
    • The Also People, riffing off the Doctor's tendency to introduce himself with the sentence "Hello, I'm the Doctor and this is my friend [companion's name]", mentions that on a previous adventure the Doctor's then-companions bought a matched set of shirts from a custom screen-printing stall saying "Hello, I'm Ace and this is my friend the Doctor", "Hello, I'm Benny and this is my friend the Doctor" and "Hello, I'm the Doctor and this is my friend [delete where applicable]".
    • In EarthWorld, Anji thinks about getting a t-shirt that says, "I'm a Main Character, Don't Kill Me", in the hopes that it will help her survive her unwanted adventures in time and space.
    • In The Tomorrow Windows, the Doctor gets involved in an election and Fitz gets a shirt made that says "I'm Voting for the Doctor" with a picture of the Doctor's face.
  • Maeve, the Winter Lady of The Dresden Files, gets one in each of her appearances; the first reads "Off with his head" and the second reads "Your boyfriend wants me". Both of them are very tight.
    • Thomas (a White Court vampire) showed up as a second in a human vs. vampire duel. He wore a Buffy the Vampire Slayer shirt to the event.
    • Harry Dresden himself is really fond of these: "Invest in America—Buy a Congressman", "Eat it? I wouldn't sit on it" (worn by Susan in Fool Moon, but it was Harry's), "Pre-Fectionist", "Come to the Dork Side. Do not make me destroy you.", and Molly got one too: "If you can read this, you’d better have bought me dinner" in really small letters and maybe even Michael: "John 3:16" "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Not very funny, but beautifully in character.
    • In the comic version of "Storm Front" we see "Easter has been canceled / They found the body" and "Magic Man".
  • In The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Lisbeth Salander has a few; one reads "Armageddon was yesterday. Today we have a serious problem."
  • The Lotterys Plus One: Sic, the oldest of the Lottery children, tends to wear these. They have sayings on them such as "Free Shrugs" and "Bad Spellers Of The World, Untie!".
  • In The Magic School Bus, Ms. Frizzle always wears a dress Foreshadowing what the theme of the next book will be. (In the cartoon (see below) it's the theme of that episode, though.) In the final book, her dress is covered in question marks.
  • In Night Watch (Series), the comic relief wears a T-shirt that depicts a Russian marine cutting the throat of an American soldier with the caption: "We can remind who won World War II!"
  • The Percy Jackson novels are filled to the brim with funny t-shirts/hats/what have you.
  • In Scenes From A Poisoners Life, Henry's cleaning lady wears a T-shirt which says "I can put on a condom. Can you?"
  • Under the Dome: Volunteers nurse Harriet Bigelow, a teenager too embarrassed to say the word vagina out loud, has a t-shirt saying "U.S. Olympic Kissing Team" in one scene.
  • Wearing the Cape: Hope has a dream where her childhood friend Shelly visits her wearing a shirt that says "I killed myself origin chasing and all I got was this lousy t-shirt." Later Hope discovers it wasn't just a dream, Shelly has returned as a quantum ghost who can appear to Hope. Shelly often wears more interesting t-shirts, especially once she discovers that some magical types can in fact see her. One common one is just "if you can read this, you're awesome."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis did a bit on their 1990s BBC sketch show about T-shirts that included suggesting that the 'Adolf Hitler: European Tour 1939-1945' T-shirt should be set as part of History GCSEs (as it's "tasteless but historically accurate").

  • 30 Rock, except it's the hats. Oh, then there's the "Problem Solvers" episode where Tracy and Jenna decide to solve problems together and get t-shirts with one saying "Solvers" and the other "The Problem". After switching shirts, they both end up wearing shirts saying "The Problem".
  • H.M. Murdock from The A-Team wears sloganized T-shirts all through the series, that may or may not relate to the plot of the episode. Of note was a set of two T-shirts indicating the imminent end of the series ("Almost Fini", "Fini"). Sometimes they tended to be covered by his brown leather jacket, but other T-shirts Murdock wore include a tuxedo T-shirt, "I STAND FIRMLY BEHIND THIS," and "Whatever happened to the Baltimore Colts?" (The Colts ended up moving to Indianapolis).
  • Tate from American Horror Story: Murder House is introduced wearing a t-shirt reading "Normal People Scare Me". This became The Merch, but the design doesn't look quite like what did in the show: Tate's shirt uses a handwritten-looking font, while the official licensed version is in the same font as the show's logo and credits.
  • Ditto The Big Bang Theory, and there's even a Web site that keeps track of them (as well as the Fun Non-T-Shirt items, including a shower curtain). The "Rock–Paper–Scissors Lizard Spock" segment spawned its own Fun T-Shirt, as well. Sheldon is fond of superhero logos, including some that are rather obscure or at least take a moment to place (such as the symbol on the Greatest American Hero suit). One episode had Raj wearing the "Personal Soundtrack T-Shirt"note . He enters the comic book shop to the Imperial March and, when he hears good news, starts dancing to the Pointer Sisters' "I'm So Excited".
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Xander and Oz of are commonly seen wearing various funny T-shirts. They even seem to own some that are identical, unless they borrow each others' clothes...
    • Willow in Season 1. While she wears sweaters with tights and skirts, she also wears graphic tees like a white shirt with a realistic rubber ducky and a Scooby-Doo shirt.
  • Dexter Season 5, episode 3, "Had to borrow this from you, hope you don't mind". The apron he borrowed from a killer, to wear whilst killing him? Says Natural Born Griller.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Entourage has an indie film director show up to a budget meeting wearing a shirt that says "SUITS SUCK" to show his attitude toward the businessmen that are present.
  • The Taco Tuesday shirt Tyler wore in Everything Sucks!.
  • Tom from Father Ted wears a t-shirt with the phrase "I Shot JR''.
  • Firefly: Jayne Cobb's t-shirt collection. This becomes a plot point in Serenity. Alongside the famous hat, his shirts have become a major part of the Firefly merch (and not only the Blue Sun one, but it is the most popular).
  • On The Flash (2014), Cisco Ramon's wardrobe (in the page photo) is composed almost entirely of these. Hartley Rathaway (whose idea of clothing is much snazzier and more "professional") disdainfully remarks on his "Keep Calm And Han Shot First" shirt as being inappropriate for the first day of work at a "billion dollar research facility", metaphorically firing the first shot in antagonizing Cisco.
  • Friends, "The One with the Tiny T-Shirt": "Now I'm going to do what Frankie says and Relax."
  • The title character in the live-action version of Great Teacher Onizuka had several fun t-shirts, the most popular ones being the black shirt with a white star and another that said "Born to Lose".
  • Paul Merton has worn a few on Have I Got News for You.
  • Carly of iCarly wears some t-shirts that are somewhat less wholesome than one may expect on a children's show, including 'Peanut Butter Love' and 'Parole Baby'.
  • Many geek jokes and references in The IT Crowd came from Roy's t-shirt collection, featuring such things as the Atari logo, a big number 42, the 256th level of Pacman, one that just said "RTFM" in big letters, and one of Diesel Sweeties indie rock t-shirts, among others. Here's a full list of Roy's shirts over the course of the series.
  • In It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mac usually wears a T-shirt with some design and/or funny writing.
  • Gentoku takes to wearing t-shirts with fun slogans on them after he joins Team Build in Kamen Rider Build and often times wears shirts that contain what he's thinking on them (like using a T-shirt that says "agreed" to show he agrees with something). This leads to Sawa getting annoyed when he uses a T-shirt to communicate what he's saying instead of words.
    • By the end of the New World: Grease V-Cinema, Sawa has also taken to wearing funny T-shirts after becoming an Official Couple with Gentoku.
  • Leo from Lab Rats is the CEO of geeky graphic t-shirts.
  • In an episode of Life, our heroes examine the body of a Zen master wearing an "I'm with stupid" shirt—except that the arrow is pointing up. Charlie thinks it's some sweet Zen.
  • Ella Lopez from Lucifer (2016) is an embodiment of this trope. When she first meets Trixie, Chloe's nine year old daughter, they immediately bond over the fact that they're wearing the same t-shirt.
  • In season 4 of The Magicians, the Monster wears blood-spattered t-shirts that say things like "This is my happy shirt" and "Taco cat spelled backwards is taco cat."
  • Married... with Children had two examples:
    • In the episode in which Marcy and Steve lose their house (after Peg mistook a wrecking crew looking for a "Steve's Roadhouse" as looking for "Steve Rhodes's House"), Steve is given one of Al's T-shirts to sleep in. The T-shirt reads, "I'm Married. Shoot Me!"
    • In the episode in which Marcy realizes that she got drunk and married a man named Jefferson, the T-shirt she has on reads, "I Went To Clyde's No-Blood-Test-Needed Wedding Chapel and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt".
  • This was a shtick of frequent Match Game panelist Fannie Flagg. This may have led to the time Richard Dawson appeared wearing a sweater that said, "Fannie Flagg Wears Falsies".
  • Oh, MythBusters and your crazy T-shirts, mostly worn by Adam and mostly showing quotes made popular by him.
  • The Nanny: In "Schlepped Away", Fran Fine, the Sheffields, Niles, and C.C. Babcock get Snowed-In while stopping at Fran's parents' apartment. So, as they spend the night there, Niles wears a "World's Greatest Lover" T-shirt belonging to Fran's father Morty.
    Niles: I hope no great expectations accompany this outfit.
  • In the New Twilight Zone Deal with the Devil episode "I of Newton", the Devil wears a T-shirt with a slogan on it, and the slogan changes whenever the camera isn't looking.
  • Noah's Arc: This is a standard part of both Noah and Ricky's wardrobe, seen at least Once per Episode.
  • NUMB3RS has Charlie frequently wearing 'nerd' shirts, (in case we weren't certain) including one with the pi symbol made up with the digits of pi.
  • Pim Diffy of Phil of the Future is quite fond of the snarky ones.
  • Debbie wears one of these in every episode of the U.S. Queer as Folk that features her. And she's in 79 of them!
  • In Riverdale top cheerleader and resident mean girl Cheryl wears a white t-shirt to practice, like all the girls. Only hers says HBIC on the back, which stands for "Head Bitch In Charge".
  • Scrubs: Incredibly white J.D. once wore a shirt that said "Black By Popular Demand." He was called a "cracker" and took it as a compliment.
  • Naomi Campbell from Skins has one that reads, "I ♥ CRAP".
  • On Stargate Atlantis, an episode in the first season has McKay wearing a T-shirt reading, "I'm With Genius", with an arrow pointing upward.
  • On Stargate Universe, Eli wears a "You Are Here" T-shirt. And he's stuck with it because of the Limited Wardrobe.
  • Stranger Things had Dustin, who is much more of a t-shirt guy.
  • The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: In "The Fairest of Them All," Tyreesha, the pageant contestant who quits, wears a shirt that says "Star," presumably picked by her Stage Mom.
  • Mr G on Summer Heights High wears shirts from his previous musical productions, one being "Tsunamarama" - a musical about the 2005 Asian tsunami set to the music of Bananarama.
  • Supernatural: Charlie Bradbury tends to wear nerdy ones.

    Music 
  • From Gorillaz, fictional vocalist 2D has a tendency to this, drawn to him by artist Jamie Hewlett. Shirts with words and pics, like T-Virus (a nod to his love for zombies), Shoot To Ill, Tazar Yoot, Captain Howdie (a nod to The Exorcist), a Spider-Man shirt, Orphan, a kitten with the word Kinky under it, Killer Look, and even just the number 3. The list goes on and on.

    Video Games 
  • The 100% Completion bonus in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is a shirt that says, "I Completed Vice City and All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt".
  • The Jackbox Party Pack: Tee K.O. is a game built on making these. Players create shirts by combining pictures and slogans created by other players, then vote on their favorite shirts in a series of showdowns. The shirt that wins the final showdown is declared the winner. Players can even order custom shirts based on the designs they create.
  • Travis Bell in Killer7 wears a variety of muscle shirts throughout the game, usually bearing one-word slogans that sometimes tie into the plot. The one exception is a powder-blue tuxedo in a church. However, if you look closely, he's still wearing one of the shirts underneath.
  • In NetHack, you can actually read T-shirts. You can check out the list of T-shirt messages here.
  • No More Heroes: Travis Touchdown's shirts. Reward for the most appropriate one goes to "You say PSYCHO Like It's a Bad Thing" (PSYCHO being in pink letters). You can even unlock more of them for him to wear in Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, each one referencing a different indie game.
  • Hiroyuki Akiyama is a love interest in the BL game No, Thank You!! He sometimes wears a T-shirt that states "SWING. I go out with boys, I go out with girls, so I don't have to play with myself." According to his character introduction on Mangagamer's official blog (which is not safe for work), "Hiroyuki is straight (he has no idea what his shirt says) and he’s not really one to fool around with people casually––or at all even: he's still a virgin."
  • Persona 5:
    • Your team's dorky Big Guy, Ryuji Sakamoto, wears a yellow T-shirt under his blazer with the word "ZOMG!" printed on it for his winter uniform, and a red one with "NO MO' RULES" across the chest for his summer one. His winter casual wear includes a black shirt with a goofy yellow face, and his summer casual wear includes a sleeveless yellow shirt with two red shoeprints and the phrase "ON UR MARK".
    • Your nerdy Mission Control, Futaba Sakura, also has several. Her casual winter outfit includes an off-shoulder white top with five asterisks (***) as in a password prompt, while during summer, she wears a black top with a print of a disadvantageous Tetris screen with the phrase "NO WAY!!" printed underneath. Even her nightwear gets in on this, with a black T-shirt reading "JLMK!", an acronym for "Just Let Me Know!" and probably a reference to her role on the team.
  • These shirts are common as part of the Virtual Paper Doll aspect of the Saints Row games. In Saints Row: The Third, Pierce founded the "Planet Saints" clothing chain just to sell off a warehouse of shirts with the gang's Catchphrase "Saints Row, Bitches!".
  • In The Secret of Monkey Island, the "Treasure of Melee Island" Guybrush needs for one of The Three Trials turns out to be a shirt reading "I found the legendary lost treasure of Melee Island and all I got was this lousy T-shirt". After beating Carla the Sword Master for another trial, she awards Guybrush a shirt that reads "I beat the Sword Master!"
  • Hecatia Lapislazuli, the goddess of Hell in Touhou Project, gets her attitude across with a very hot-topic-ish get-up, including a black t-shirt covered in red blotches that reads "Welcome ❤️ Hell".

    Visual Novels 
  • As a part of her casual attire, Misha from Katawa Shoujo wears a bright pink shirt that says "BUSH CHENEY 2004".

    Web Animation 

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • In Episode 6 of the TV Tropes original show Echo Chamber, Tom wears a shirt that depicts the Hindenberg crashing into the Titanic and is captioned "This is why we can't have nice things".
  • In the Season 3 finale of The Tabletop Battlefield, a video podcast discussing, well, tabletop gaming, one of the presenters gave another a T-shirt that read, "All the Dice Hate Me," with a bunch of dice all showing 1s.
  • In Kickassia, in the scene leading up to Spoony's transformation into Dr. Insano, he's wearing a shirt that reads "When I play doctor, I play to win."
  • One of Thomas Sanders' T-shirts has one of his Misleading Compliments split in two; "They'll never find your body..." is on the front; "...more beautiful than I do!" is on the back.
  • David Murray, aka The 8-Bit Guy, often wears t-shirts highlighting his favorite TV shows, movies, and video games. Occasionally, he'll wear shirts of his own design, such as "I Love My (Commodore) PET" and "I Like My Chips with D.I.P."

    Western Animation 
  • Attila the Hun in Clone High wore a shirt that read, "Tibet Sucks!"
  • In the action figure line that spawned C.O.P.S. -— but not in the cartoon -— Berserko wore a T-shirt saying, "BAAAD is Good!"
  • Never seen, but in Codename: Kids Next Door, Numbuh 1 managed to get past Toilenator, when his only disguise was a T-shirt that said "I'm Not Numbuh 1"
  • The main character of Dan Vs. is always seen wearing a shirt that says JERK. You can't accuse him of false advertising.
  • DuckTales (2017):
    • In "The Impossible Summit of Mt. Neverrest!", the tourist trap at the base of the titular mountain sells "I Survived/Didn't Survive Mt. Neverrest" shirts. In a bit of Black Comedy, when the Duck family finds the skeleton of the man who got the furthest up the mountain, he's wearing a "Didn't Survive" t-shirt, implying someone decided to put it on him when they found him.
    • A Running Gag in "The Rumble for Ragnarok!" sees Louie creating and selling t-shirts based on the titular events almost instantaneously. Pretty much all of them mock his family.
  • In the Apocalypse episode of Family Guy Peter, after being declared mayor of New Quahog is seen wearing a shirt that says "Mayor This" with an arrow pointing to where his manhood should be.
  • In an episode of Futurama at the tourist trap on the moon, they were selling shirts that said "I'm With Stupid On The Moon."
  • On Gravity Falls, Mabel has an Unlimited Wardrobe of silly sweaters that she makes herself. Sometimes they relate to the plot of the episode, but usually they're just there for humor and/or characterization.
  • On The Magic School Bus, Ms. Frizzle's dress always reflects whatever the episode's lesson is going to be (though see above under "Literature").
  • The Patrick Star Show: In "Klopnodian Heritage Festival", Cecil wears a "Kiss Me, I'm Klopnodian" shirt even though he isn't actually from Klopnod. This results in a group of women kissing him, which he complains about because he's married. He takes the shirt off and throws it on the ground, and the people start kissing it instead.
  • Pinky and the Brain: Brain once created a papier-mache version of Earth and planned to convince everyone to move there by offering free t-shirts with "I love Chia-Earth" on them to anyone who agreed so he'd rule the original Earth. It worked. Brain soon found out how lonely it is to rule a world where he and Pinky are the only living people. Then a meteor destroyed Earth and Brain decided to spend "every night" trying to take over Chia-Earth.
  • This was the main gimmick in Hanna-Barbera's old Shirt Tales Funny Animal Who Fights Crime cartoon. Don't ask why a giant panda is the same size as a raccoon, and living in New York.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Fat Man and Little Boy'', Bart started making and selling a range of subversive or offensive slogan T-shirts, which proved incredibly successful for about 22 minutes. This may have been a reference to the fact that many schools banned Simpsons T-shirts when the show was young, but this episode came much later.
    • In "Hurricane Neddy", Ned Flanders' house is destroyed by a hurricane, so he and his family end up in the church shelter where his sons get some clothes.
      Todd: We got new clothes from the donation bin! [wearing a Butthole Surfers shirt] I'm a surfer!
      Rod: [wearing a T-shirt with "I'm With Stupid" on it and a pointed finger] Look, Daddy, Todd is stupid and I'm with him. [walks to Maude] And now Mommy's stupid! [chuckles]
    • In "When Flanders Failed", Homer helps get Flanders' Leftorium back in business by telling people about items they should purchase there. Barney gets a T-shirt that reads, "Kiss Me, I'm Left-Handed", noting it's quite the icebreaker while two women kiss him.
    • In "Smart and Smarter", Maggie was believed to be smarter than Lisa. Lisa won a t-shirt saying "I'm with genius" and Maggie got one saying "I'm with jealous".
    • In "The Springfield Files", the town is in a frenzy when Homer apparently gets footage of an alien. When everyone gathers at the time and place where the "alien" would arrive, Homer goes up to a stand selling "Homer Was Right" t-shirts.
      Homer: (to Bart) You don't see any "Homer Is A Dope" t-shirts, do you?
      Vendor: We sold those out in five minutes.
      Homer: D'oh! (sees Marge and Maggie wearing those shirts) Marge, how could you?!
      Marge: These shirts are 100% cotton. And look at the fine stitching on "Dope".
    • In "Worst Episode Ever," Comic Book Guy wears a t-shirt saying "My Other T-Shirt Is Clean" under a fancy sport coat for his date with Agnes Skinner.
    • In "Saddlesore Galactica", Comic Boy Guy spends the episode noting that the story's using several plot threads seen in previous episodes, at one point showing up wearing a "Worst Episode Ever" T-shirt saying "Hey, I'm watching you...".
  • Solar Opposites: Terry wears a bunch of graphic t-shirts with designs and logos like "Welcome Back Otter", "Butterbeer Inspector", and of course, "Dick Wolf".
  • South Park:
    • Kenny's mom has a T-shirt that reads, "← I'm with this idiot".
    • The Star Trek nerds wear corresponding shirts with one's reading "Resistance is futile!" while the other's shirt says "Yeah, resistance is futile!"
  • SpongeBob SquarePants and his best friend Patrick once bought matching "best friend" t-shirts with arrows that point to each other. Hilarity Ensues when SpongeBob inadvertently lets the arrow point to someone else.
  • Early Cuyler of Squidbillies is anatomically incapable of wearing T-shirts, but he does have a different slogan on his cap every episode.
    Early (while defending himself in court): ......because you would see that my hat clearly reads "Gynecologist, Saturday Nights only". *elbow nudges the Judge* Hehehe, 'at's funnier than hell, I got that sumbitch at a truckstop in Ellijay.

    Real Life 
  • T-shirts with witty sayings, often accompanied by cartoon-style drawings, became a huge fashion trend — especially among teenagers and young adults — starting in the early 1970s and continuing into the 1980s.
  • A lady wearing an "I Heart Crystal Meth" T-shirt got arrested for exactly what you'd expect.
  • Bruce Vilanch has a long history of wearing these.
  • The "Choose life" shirts Wham! used to wear, commemorated in the "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" video.
  • ThinkGeek, a nerd merchandise Web site, has a delightful collection of shirts. Everything from the "+20 Shirt of Smiting" to the interactive shirts: battery-powered shirts which allow even more hilarity to ensue.
  • The number of Web sites that offer T-shirts for sale is staggering, but woot.com stands out because the designs are made by site participants, the shirts change every day, and the designs themselves are usually pretty funny or artsy, not to mention unique.
  • In a somewhat less-fun turn, there's a whole cottage industry of sites that use algorithms and bots to scan popular art online, then put them on T-shirt designs without paying or even crediting the original artists. It loops back around to fun when you see (NSFW warning) what some artists have done to combat them.
  • Underoos now sells the T-shirts in adult sizes, complete with the logos looking like the paint cracked.
  • Filmmakers:
    • Film crews have occasionally used these to make barbs about directors. During the filming of Blade Runner, the (American) crew reacted to an impolitic interview comment by Ridley Scott about preferring British crews for their "Yes Guv'nor" attitude; their T-shirts read "Yes Guv'nor MY ASS", Scott and some of the production staff shot back with "Xenophobia Sucks". James Cameron (a Prima Donna Director which is a lightning rod for Troubled Productions) has been the target of several, including "You can't scare me. I work for James Cameron", "Life's Abyss and then you Dive", and "Terminator 3? Not with me!".
    • Also on set for Alien cast members wore shirts saying "Will Rogers never met Ridley Scott", playing off the famous humorist's famous line.
    • For an actor example, Christian Bale described his Batman Begins suit as "It's hot, dark and sweaty and it gives me a headache". The crew emblazoned this in shirts since it works well as a Double Entendre.
    • George Lucas wearing a "Han Shot First" shirt.
    • Ben Burtt has said that the sound crew for A New Hope had t-shirts with an image of a Tusken Raider holding a boom mic over his head and the phrase "It's sound people, or worse!"
    • Kevin Smith tells a story about the making of Dogma where then junkie Jason Mewes fell asleep during shooting. On being woken up his retort of "They just keep saying the same shit over and over" was so lauded as a perfect summation of the filming process that it became the crew t-shirt slogan for the production.
    • Charles Dance was cast in Last Action Hero because Alan Rickman's asking price was too high. When he found out, he wore a t-shirt saying "I'm Cheaper Than Alan Rickman!"
  • Before the release of her album Enchant, Emilie Autumn tried to get a mainstream contract, but the recording company man acted so condescending towards her that she snapped and wrote in the white T-shirt she was wearing "Sorry, was I thinking again?". She later made a photo session wearing that particular t-shirt, and released versions of it with her other merchandise.
  • Another making jabs at the media: Danica Patrick made a lot of news with her rookie performance in the 2005 Indianapolis 500; her fourth-place finish seemed to overshadow certain other items in the race, to the point where two weeks later Buddy Rice and Vitor Meira were seen wearing shirts reading 'Danica's Teammate' and 'Danica's Other Teammate'. Dan Wheldon got in on it; his was 'Actually won the Indy 500'.
  • Backstage at Doctor Who:
  • Terry Pratchett liked his custom T-shirts. For example, after it had been announced he was one of two authors who had five novels in the Big Read Top 100 books, he arrived at the 2004 Discworld Convention in a shirt reading "Less Dead Than Dickens".
  • There are t-shirts for this very wiki.
  • The stage crew for the San Diego Comic-Con Masquerade event have been known to wear black t-shirts reading "Stage Ninja: You Can't See Me."
  • Ben Goldacre's Bad Science website sells a number of t-shirts. One is downright meta; it bears the phrase "I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that", which he uses a lot while demolishing pseudoscience (and is also the title of one of his books), but he says its true power is revealed when you stand next to someone else wearing a t-shirt with a slogan.
  • Victor & Rolf's 2019 "Fashion Statements" collection put common sarcastic t-shirt slogans on extremely unfitting dresses.


 
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Alternative Title(s): Fun Shirt, Funny T Shirt

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Dr. Havoc's Diary

Havoc goes out of his way to have made fun family vacation shirts, much to his wife's and daughter's chagrin.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

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Main / FunTShirt

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