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Giving Them the Strip

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"He does realize he left his wallet in his breast pocket, doesn't he?"

"He pushed past me into the house, then turned and grabbed me by the shoulder.
'Now then!' he said.
I disengaged myself coldly. I had to wriggle out of my pyjama jacket to do so, but I managed it."

Narrow escapes make for big thrills, and elusive heroes slipping free of the grasp of doom is a classic. Grabbed by an enemy too powerful to fight, the overmatched hero may need to sacrifice fashion or dignity — possibly even modesty — for survival's sake. When you're snagged by your coattails, remember that it's better to need a new coat than a new incarnation: You can always slip out of your sleeves, and leave your attacker with a secondhand garment as a consolation prize.note 

Most commonly, this trope is employed when a hero or intended victim is grabbed by the bad guys, usually by the jacket, sleeve, or cape, and discards or destroys all or part of the outer garment to escape. Footwear can also be shed in self-defense if an attacker is trying to drag the victim off a high perch, or if the subject of this trope is wading through deep mud or quicksand for that matter. If a fleeing character's clothing becomes entangled in briars or barbed wire, baring skin may be their only means to free themselves in time, while providing a handy excuse for Fanservice. Hastily removing a garment because it's on fire, doused in acid, or trapped in the gears of some heavy machine that would otherwise crush the wearer are also variants.

Depending on how much the hero or heroine strips off to escape, this trope can be either the opposite of or synonymous with Defeat by Modesty. If discarding one's clothes isn't enough to win freedom, circumstances like these may force a Life-or-Limb Decision. Sometimes combined with the Ninja Log trick, Ankle Drag, Cape Snag, Pinned to the Wall, or Sticky Situation. See also Losing a Shoe in the Struggle, which may occur unintentionally. Battle Strip is a deliberate aversion.

Not to be confused with discarding one's garment to mislead a pursuer (Outfit Decoy or Throwing the Distraction) or removing a garment to fight someone off with it (Improvised Weapon), as these are used to avoid being grappled in the first place. Contrast with the (ominous) Empty Piles of Clothing, or the (humorous) Right Out of My Clothes. Compare with Stripping Snag, which deals with less deliberate examples of people losing articles of clothing when trying to flee, and with Bedsheet Ladder, where some instances may have the character sacrificing pieces of their clothing to complete the ladder they're using to climb to their escape. Can overlap with Defiant Strip in situations where the person has ended up naked to escape, but doesn't care that they had to sacrifice modesty for freedom.


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  • A Heineken beer commercial full of Shout-Outs to James Bond films uses this trope, when its spy protagonist is grabbed from behind while boarding a train, but slips away leaving his winter coat in his pursuer's hand.
  • There is an ad for Levi's jeans where a woman is chased up a tree by a dog and forced to avoid being bitten by removing her jeans.
  • A McDonald's commercial has Ronald McDonald pursue the Hamburglar through the Playplace to recover a plate of cheeseburgers he stole. At one point, the Hamburglar disappears down a slide, just before Ronald makes a grab for him - only managing to get ahold of Hamburglar's underwear.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Happens in the fight between Byakuya Kuchiki and Espada #7 Zommari Rureaux in Bleach episode 196. Rureaux stabs Byakuya, only to discover that he already Flash Stepped out of his captain's cloak and left an afterimage as a diversion, leaving said cloak as the only "casualty". It's especially notable for the fact that Rureaux was attacking from both front and back simultaneously at a very close range via a Doppleganger Attack that caught Byakuya by surprise.
  • In A Certain Scientific Railgun, a minor villainess causes the asphalt to become like quicksand and suck Mikoto in. Mikoto slips out of her shoes to escape. After defeating the woman, Mikoto complains about her now ruined shoes.
  • Gyo:
    • In the animated adaptation, Kaori steps onto an empty set of walking-legs, and must slip out of her tennis shoe to free herself from its gripping spines.
    • Erika finds herself rapidly stripped down over the course of one scene, during the first shark's attack. First, she becomes trapped when a shark's metal legs pierce her skirt to the floor, and gets ripped out of it when Kaori pulls her free. Immediately after that, Aki panics and grabs her leg, causing her to kick Aki in the face until her stocking comes off. Finally, immediately after that, her top falls off as she runs for cover, leaving her in her underwear.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple has Niijima use this tactic repeatably both as a means to escape his pursuers and to serve as a trail for his allies.
  • Lupin III:
    • Happens during the opening of Lupin III: Crisis in Tokyo. Zenigata manages to cuff Lupin after a botched escape-by-jet... only for Lupin to ditch all his clothes save his underwear.
    • Similarly, an episode of the "Red Jacket" series features Lupin using this technique to rid himself of a different Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist when he grabs on to the thief's legs while he's escaping; Lupin pushes the buckle on his belt, causing his pants to loosen and fall away with the the inspector. In the English dub, he even calls them "ejector pants".
  • Maken-ki!: Done by Azuki in chapter 83, when Sorano uses her stretching ability to snare Azuki by her left ankle, then hardens her body to immobilize her. Azuki escapes by leaping out of her boot and uses her bare foot to kick Sorano.
  • Nagasarete Airantou: Tohno and her friends simply wants to ask Ayane about the time when she encountered a Kappa a long time ago. But as it was a traumatizing event, she desperately runs away from the Kappa with her following. Being the Iron Butt-Monkey, she goes through a lot of physical punishment losing a piece of her clothes each time, and yet nothing slows her down. By the time she's finally caught and tied up, she only has her underwear left.
  • One Piece has this in the Alabasta arc during Usopp's fight with Miss Merry Christmas when she readies her finishing move; proudly declaring how many of her previous opponents were severely injured or killed by it. Usopp manages to escape this fate by slipping out of his boots, causing Miss Merry Christmas to crash.
  • One-Punch Man: Speed of Sound Sonic escape the grip of the Sea King this way, discarding his Institutional Apparel (he'd just escaped from prison) and leaving him completely naked.
  • Ranma ˝:
    • During Ranma's first duel with Mousse, the latter has the former completely entangled in ropes, chains, and yo-yos. This is when Ranma, as a ploy to pass off his (mode locked) girl form as a magic trick, blows up "his" entire costume (bindings included) and emerges as a Playboy Bunny.
    • Happens again in the anime when Mousse and Ryōga are (failing at) double teaming Ranma. Mousse trips Ranma's curse and pins her to a tree with knives. Ranma slips out of her shirt, and Ryōga suffers an inverted Defeat by Modesty, begging Ranma to Please Put Some Clothes On before he resumes the fight. She doesn't.
    • During Akane's battle with Mariko, the former is encumbered by a full suit of Kendo armor (sans faceguard). When Kuno embraces her, inadvertently pinning her arms, Mariko takes the chance to dive in to smash her in the head with a baton — but Akane slips out of the armor at the last second, leaving Mariko to strike the empty suit.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds: Sherry LeBlanc tries to attack Jose after finding out his group killed her parents, but he overpowers her and lifts her by her shirt. She frees herself by ripping her shirt, exposing her bra. Naturally, this scene was cut out of the English 4Kids Entertainment dub and her ripped shirt is edited to look intact, so she instead somehow pulls herself free.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, during the Rescue Yukina arc, Botan escapes from an ogre's grip by slipping out of her jacket.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Astro City story "A Little Knowledge", low-level Mook "Eyes" Eisenstein gets tied up to a fence by Jack-In-The-Box's entangling confetti. He manages to escape by twisting out of his jacket, leaving it still tied to the fence.
  • In Bat Lash #2, Bat flees from a Shotgun Wedding. His would-be bride tries to keep hold of him as he jumps out the window, and Bat winds up leaving behind his coat and his right boot in her grip.
  • Batman:
    • Batman's famous detachable cape clasp, designed to let him quickly shed his cape in situations that require this.
    • Batman: Black and White: Exaggerated (like many other things) in "The Black and White Bandit". When Commissioner Gordon collars the disguised villain, Roscoe Chiara, he shrugs out of his entire costume in a single move, leaving Gordon holding the disguise while Chiara makes a break for it dressed in his normal outfit.
    • During the Joker's Last Laugh crossover event, Robin left behind his cape and tunic in order to get away from Croc. Tim Drake's Robin suit has been extensively designed for his safety in mind. Detaching his cape is actually a normal tactic for Tim, he even modified it so he can send a current through it that will cause the detached cape to wrap itself around whomever is holding it.
  • In Bone #37, Phoney panics and runs from the Old Man's Cave leaving his infamous star T-shirt behind, because the Hooded One and the Rat Creatures want "the one who bears the star" and the villagers want to kill him for the same reason. Ingenuously, Phoney thinks that everyone would be safe if he wasn't around, but that just makes him get caught by Roque Ja.
  • Code Name: Gravedigger: In Men of War #16, Gravedigger is tied to the front of a tank as Human Shield. He manages to free his hand, but his feet are still tied and he is now being dragged face first over the desert. He escapes by dragging his feet out of his boots; leaving them tied to the tank.
  • In DC Rebirth #1, the elderly Johnny Thunder is attempting to get out of his nursing home. The orderlies grab him and he escapes them by slipping out of the bathrobe they have grabbed hold of.
  • In an early issue of Excalibur Shadowcat and Phoenix (temporarily de-powered) are bound upside-down, by their legs. Shadowcat shows off her ninja skills (last seen in the Kitty Pryde and Wolverine mini-series) to slip out of her boots and free herself. Phoenix comments that she couldn't do that even if she knew how, since her costume is literally one piece and goes up to her neck. Kitty comments that she could probably still pull it off, if not for embarrassment.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Mr. Stone, one half of a B-List merc team, tried to slow down the wall-crawler by using his Swiss-Army Weapon to coat the entire floor in glue so as to give his life-draining partner Mr. Styx a chance to use his touch of death. Spider-man easily leaps out of his boots onto the ceiling.
    • Also, Phil Urich, the only lucid man to take the identity of the Green Goblin, did this the first time he encountered Spider-Man, simply discarding his glove when Spidey snagged it with his webbing. (Clearly, Sanity Has Advantages, even when taking on the identity of a villain who's usually Ax-Crazy.)
  • The pickpocket in Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, leaving one of the Thomson Twins shrouded in his jacket. A tailor's mark in the lining proves to be the clue that tracks him down, though.
  • In Wonder Woman Vol 1 #11, Wonder Woman jumps onto a fleeing getaway car and grabs hold of Hypnota's servant Serva. Serva dives out of the car, leaving Wonder Woman holding her cloak.
  • Young Justice: The JLA Jr. one-shot tie-in to the "Sins of Youth" arc had the de-aged Justice League ensnared by their base's security system, with Steel escaping some robotic tentacles by leaving behind his armor.

    Fairy Tales 
  • "The Golden Phoenix": As the mystery thief tries to steal the apple from him, Petit Jean manages to grab the figure, but cannot hold him. The phoenix flies away, leaving Jean with a few of its feathers.

    Fan Works 
  • In Follow the Spiders, or Was It Butterflies? Tonks removes her robe when it gets stuck in a giant web while she and Harry are running from the Acromantulas in the Forbidden Forest.
  • In Little Insane Gudako, Rider runs away from the heroes, but Gudako lunges and grabs her dress, which rips off. Rider keeps running and makes a new dress out of mana. Gudako then takes the old dress to use as a summoning catalyst.

    Films — Animation 
  • In 9, 1's cape is caught by the bird-machine and he must undo it to avoid being dragged to his death.
  • Barbie in Princess Power: Baron von Riverdale grabs Super Sparkle by her cape, but she escapes by unbuckling it. The Baron growls and incinerates the cape with his powers.
  • A Goofy Movie has a scene where Pete tries to get a toddler girl to sit still while taking her picture by velcroing her to where she's sitting. When Pete isn't looking, the girl has escaped by slipping out of her diaper.
  • The Great Mouse Detective: When Rattigan's cape gets caught in the gears of Big Ben, he (narrowly) escapes being crushed by ripping off the cape.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World: When Hiccup and Grimmel fall off the Light Fury, Grimmel is holding onto Hiccup via his prosthetic leg. Hiccup undoes it and Grimmel plunges to his death.
  • Oliver & Company: Dodger manages to slip out his bandanna when one of the Dobermans catches it in his teeth during the climactic Chase Scene.
  • The Rescuers Down Under: Not a clothes example, but Cody does slip out of his backpack to escape from McLeach.
  • Trolls: As King Peppy leads the Trolls through tunnels to escape the Bergens, he strips down to his underwear laying down clothes to cover puddles. A Bergen's shovel comes down and snags his underwear. After the others are safe outside, King Peppy emerges unscathed, and naked, having slipped out of his skivvies.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 12th Man: The laces of Jan's boot get stuck while he's trying to Abandon Ship with his comrades and he has to ditch the boot to dive overboard into the Nordic lake. The frostbite from this event (and an avalanche and multiple snowstorms later on) ultimately force Jan to amputate nine of his toes to avoid dying of gangrene.
  • In Airplane!, as Ted Striker is going through the airport, he's grabbed by a religious panhandler. He slips out of his jacket and continues on, leaving his jacket in the panhandler's hand.
  • Aliens:
    • Ripley tries to haul Newt up by the sleeve of her leather jacket, but since it was Ripley's jacket it's way too big and Newt unintentionally slips right out of it.
    • Hicks must quickly shed his acid-blood-spattered body armor before the corrosive stuff can penetrate to his skin.
    • The Xenomorph Queen tries to pull Ripley into space with her by grabbing onto her leg after the airlock is opened. Ripley shakes it free by slipping loose from her boot.
  • During the Take My Hand! finale of Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies, the male lead winds up dangling over certain death, desperately clinging to his Love Interest's hand, while a zombie hangs onto his snowboard beneath. Rather than let him fall, his girlfriend passes him her crowbar weapon, and he uses it to unlatch the board from his boots, letting the zombie fall and lightening the load enough for her to haul him up.
  • In Avatar, Jake loses his communication gear because when the Thanator attacks, it grabs hold of his backpack and he has to unhitch its straps to escape, leaving the pack's comm-unit and locator beacon behind.
  • In Big Ass Spider!, After Lieutenant Karly Brant gets webbed by the spiders, she removes her shirt while trying to escape.
  • In Black Site, Abby Trent jacket is grabbed by Tessa during a fight between the two, leading to Abby to slip out of her jacket as she tries to take Tessa down.
  • In The Blob, a fleeing kid gets the hood of his jacket caught in a heavy door which he and two others just slammed on the pursuing Blob. His companions have to struggle with a stuck zipper to get him out of the jacket before the Blob seeps under the door.
  • In Broken Arrow, park ranger Terry removes her jacket and shirt after they become soaking wet, then put them back on, and finally ditches her jacket, when it is set on fire.
  • Cool World: When Holli is being chased up the casino stairs by Frank, Frank reaches out and grabs her jacket. The jacket rips, allowing Holli to escape and almost causing Frank to topple down the centre of the stairwell.
  • At the end of D.C. Cab, when the cabbies haul Albert from the kidnappers' van in mid-Car Chase, the baddies keep a grip on his father's cowboy boots. Recalling how his co-worker's inherited boots were too large for Albert's feet, Tyrone swerves the rescue cab sideways, slipping his friend out of his footwear and leaving the boots behind in the villains' hands.
  • In Die Hard, Hans grabs Holly's wrist as he's about to fall to his Disney Villain Death. John saves her from being dragged down with the villain by unhinging her wristwatch, which looses Hans's grip.
  • In The Door, Jess gets grabbed by a man but she manages to get out, but her shirt falls off in the process, while she does get it back, she discards it after seeing it got torn.
  • In Eden Lake, Jenny's sleeve gets snagged on the inside of the door when she is reaching into the hut in an attempt to grab the radio on the desk. As she is struggling to free herself, she sees the gang approaching. Unable to free the sleeve, she winds up pulling off her hoodie and leaving it in the doorway as she escapes.
  • In Excalibur, Sir Percival is thrown into a river and is forced to remove his armor to be light enough to swim to the surface.
  • In Fantastic Four (2005), Sue Storm is hounded by Paparazzi shortly after she gains her powers and is forced to strip so she can use her powers to shake them off.
  • In From The Dark, as the creature begins to chase Sarah and grabs her by her jacket, she manages to escape by removing her jacket, remaining in her dirty tank top.
  • In the original script for Ghostbusters II, Ray would've been the one wearing the cable-reel on his belt, which he'd have removed to avoid being dunked in the "mood slime". In both the original and finished versions, Egon narrowly averts a fistfight between Winston and Ray by persuading them to remove their slime-soaked outerwear, thus reducing its evil influence over their actions.
  • In The Golden Child, a beggar takes a $100 bill from Chandler Jarrell (Eddie Murphy) instead of a $1 bill. Chandler grabs him and tries to make him give the $100 bill back, but the old man disappears, leaving Chandler holding his clothes.
  • In Hardcore Henry, Slick Dimitry would've been caught on the escalator, had Henry not tripped over a young woman, allowing Slick to slip out of the raincoat Henry was clinging to.
  • The Hazing: The possessed Marsha kills the lights and then sneaks up behind Tim and lays her hands on his shoulders. Panicked, Tim takes off, leaving Marsha holding his vest.
  • In Hooded Angels, Hannah wakes to find that Wes has bound her hands and feet. She is able to get her feet free by working her boots off.
  • Inspector Gadget has Gadget himself almost fall off the upper-reaches of the Golden Gate Bridge, but saves himself by grabbing Robo-Gadget's tie. Then Robo threatens this and sure enough, the tie does come off a few seconds later.
    Robo-Gadget: Hey, Gadget! It's a clip-on.
  • James Bond:
    • In Octopussy, Magda uses a combination of this with Bedsheet Ladder to escape from Bond: she ties one end of the sari she's wearing to a balustrade and jumps off the balcony, "riding" the garment down to safety as it unravels.
    • In A View to a Kill, Stacey Sutton sheds her coveralls to escape from May Day while climbing out of Zorin's mine shaft.
    • In The Living Daylights, Necros grabs hold of Bond's boot while they are fighting on the cargo net dangling out the back of the plane. Bond gets rid of him by cutting the laces on his boot, causing Necros to fall to his death still clutching the boot.
    • In Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond escapes from Stamper just before the missile launches by cutting his way out of his vest, which Stamper is holding him above the water by.
  • In Jeepers Creepers 2, the Creeper hurls a harpoon back at the pickup truck and pins Jack Jr.'s jacket to the seats, forcing him to slip awkwardly out of the jacket to get back behind the wheel.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • In Jurassic Park III, Eric loses his jacket, while trying to escape a nest of baby Pteranodons who were trying to eat him alive.
    • The Lost World: Jurassic Park: A velociraptor pounces on Sarah Harding from behind in the worker village, shortly after a scene in which virtually all of the hunters hired by InGen were attacked and killed by raptors. Her lucky pack saves her, though: the raptor only latches onto that and she manages to get away.
  • Happens to Ann Darrow in an blink-and-miss moment in King Kong (2005), when giant bats start attacking Kong after he startled them, when he tried to kill Jack Driscoll. One of the bats tries to take Ann off Kong's hands and attaches its claw by the sleeve of her dressing gown, but as Kong had a good firm on Ann, the bat only manages to tear off her dressing gown, leaving Ann in just her slip.
  • In The Last Winter, Pollack falls through the ice into the river and his foot gets wedged between two rocks. Hoffman tries to pull him out, but he can only get out by taking off his boot.
  • In Magical Legend of the Leprechauns, one of the Fitzpatrick brothers tries to catch Seamus Muldoon to make him tell where is his pot of gold. However, the latter being a leprechaun, he simply disappears, leaving just his green vest in the human's hands.
  • The title character in Memoirs of an Invisible Man does this to his primary antagonist when he is chased on foot.
  • One of the modern-day action scenes in The Myth have Jackie and Samantha being chased by cultists into a glue factory, resulting in Jackie, Samantha, and a few mooks accidentally stepping into a Sticky Situation. Jackie and Samantha gets themselves out by removing their shoes, trousers, shirt, with the latter providing some obligatory fanservice.
  • In The Old Dark House, the killer throws a meat cleaver at the hero and flees. The cleaver pins the hero to the wall by his jacket, which he removes so he can escape and rescue the remaining characters.
  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu: While being chased by R-affected Aipom, Tim ends up losing his shirt and pants and runs onto a public street. When the drug wears off, the Aipom cheerfully return Tim's pants to him.
    Pikachu: I think they're attracted to your increasing nudity!
  • Prom Night: When Lisa is being chased by Fenton on the construction level, he steps on the hem of her dress to prevent her from running. Lisa escapes by just running, tearing off the lower part of her skirt in the process.
  • In Raptor Ranch after the lead character Abbi Whitecloud gets cornered by a Dinosaur, the dinosaur grabs her by her jacket, thus she slides out her jacket , as the dinosaur tears her jacket.
  • As Emma runs towards the US Embassy to escape Ilya in The Saint (1997), she sheds the coat he grabbed.
  • Happens to Carmen Electra's character in Scary Movie. While trying to escape from Ghostface, she first loses her sweater and then her skirt. It still isn't enough, as Ghostface eventually catches her. (Not before she runs through a sprinkler in slow motion, though.)
  • In Restricted Area, After Becky finds herself caught by Atticus Smith, she manages to escape but ends up losing her shirt while doing so, which Atticus keeps holding into for a while after she escapes.
  • In Serving Sara, Elizabeth Hurley's title character gets a leg of her jeans caught in a roller while riding a conveyor belt, so Matthew Perry tears them off to free her.
    Sara: Jesus Christ! I said, "help me", not "undress me"!
  • In The Shallows Nancy uses the remaining sleeve of her wetsuit to hang from the bouy she's stuck in order to retrieve some flare ammo that are floating in the sea, but when the shark attacks the buoy, since her wetsuit is still attached to the buoy, Nancy is forced to remove her wetsuit in order to survive and combat the shark. Also qualifies as a Battle Strip.
  • Cybil in Silent Hill has to ditch her police helmet and jacket after the Armless Man sprays corrosive gunk all over them.
  • Spider-Man Trilogy:
    • In Spider-Man, Mary Jane Watson has her coat taken off when trying to get away from a group of criminals that were after her.
    • A variant occurs in Spider-Man 3 when Eddie Brock hastily takes his sweater off when a piece of the symbiote lands on it.
  • In Spiders, Marci and Slick fall into a Giant Spider's web. Marci Eyre escapes by removing her shirt, but has no choice but to leave Slick behind to be eaten. Before that, Marci was seen discarding her denim jacket for no apparent reason, so it also counts as Fanservice.
  • In Star Kid, the Brood Warrior grabs a kid by his foot, but the shoe comes off and he escapes.
  • In Strange Days, the villain grabs Lenny's necktie as he's about to suffer a Disney Villain Death from a balcony, and Lenny cuts his tie to avoid being pulled down with him.
  • Talon Falls: Lance really like shocking the guy in the electric chair, going back to do it a second time when everyone else moved on. Guess who's in the chair next when Lyndsey and Ryder get there late in the movie.
  • The Ten Commandments (1923): At the beginning of the story, when Mary is a starving waif, Dan catches her stealing his hot dog. She escapes by letting him have her cloak.
  • Terminator:
    • Terminator Salvation: A Terminator without legs grabs John Connor by the foot as he's trying to crawl away; John ditches his boot to escape, before gunning it down.
    • In Terminator Genisys, some acid drips on Sarah's jacket, forcing her to ditch it. She never bother to grab it back or get another one.
  • Terror Train: When the killer grabs Doc's ankle, Doc crawls away leaving his boot in the killer's grip.
  • In Transformers, Sam has his pants taken off while trying to escape from the Decepticon Frenzy; he later is able to grab another pair.
  • Tremors:
    • In the original Tremors, Rhonda becomes ensnared in barbed wire as she flees a Graboid, and gets free by stripping down to her panties, leaving her slacks tangled in the wire.
    • Tremors 6: A Cold Day in Hell: Defied. When one of Dr. Simms' legs is grabbed by a Graboid's tongue, Travis tells her to unzip her pants, but she point blank refuses because she's been Going Commando underneath her jeans.
  • In Twist (2021), the police chasing Oliver grab onto his jeans in an attempt to catch him while he's climbing onto a roof; he slips out of them and escapes in his boxers.
  • Underworld: In Underworld: Blood Wars, when Marius grabs Selene in the final battle, she escapes with a Flash Step, leaving him holding her jacket. He stares at the jacket in his hands in disbelief for a few seconds before angrily throwing it to the floor.
  • In Violent Night, the female mercenary codenamed "Candy Cane" removes her boots after accidentally stepping some kind of glue while chasing Trudy Lightstone in a Home Alone-esque scenario.
  • In WarCraft, after Lothar climbs onto and attacks the clay golem, it attempts to crush him against a wall. Lothar's boots have sunken deep into the clay by this point, requiring him to unfasten them before he jumps off.
  • In When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, Sanna becomes trapped by a Man-Eating Plant, and cuts off a portion of her hair in order to escape. As Tara goes looking for Sanna, he finds her hair trapped beneath the plant and assumes she is dead.
  • In Zathura, the rampaging robot snags Walter's foot with its claw, but the boy slips his foot out of his athletic shoe and escapes.
  • In Zombie Fight Club, while they try to get the car on to escape, the zombies attack the car. As Jenny tries to defend herself from the zombies, she loses her shirt to them.

  • In An Acceptable Time, Polly leaves behind everything except her bra and underpants so that she can escape captivity by swimming across a wide, cold lake.
  • Brother Cadfael: In A Morbid Taste for Bones, a girl impersonates a risen saint, draped in a shroud, to trick her father's murderer into a confession. When the killer catches on and grabs the edge of the linen shroud, she spins around to unwind several feet of its fabric from herself, placing her body safely out of reach of his dagger.
  • At the end of Robert E. Howard's "The Frost-Giant's Daughter", Conan the Barbarian tries to grab Atali, but the gossamer cloth that is her only clothing comes off in his hand, and she runs away naked.
  • Dragon Fall (1984): Gabe escapes the dragons by sacrificing his jacket.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • In Fool Moon, the loup-garou pins Harry's duster to the ground with its paws. Harry escapes by abandoning his coat.
    • Also happens to several characters' footwear when they're grabbed by the foot or ankle. Faith Astor loses a shoe to a troll in "A Restoration of Faith", Murphy loses another to the chlorofiend in Summer Knight, and the loup-garou previously ate one of Harry's cowboy boots when it chomped on his foot.
    • In a supernatural variant, Susan attempt to grapple with Ortega in Death Masks, but his ectoplasm-generated flesh mask rips open and he slithers out of it to escape.
    • In Blood Rites, when Murphy crawls on her belly under the infrared laser that's the trigger to a lethal booby trap, her upper body fits underneath it but her buttocks protrude a quarter-inch too high to slip below it safely. Nor is she able to reverse course, as crawling backwards instead of forwards would require lifting her shoulders and elbows high enough to trip the beam. One of her companions has to remove her pants to allow her to fit her rear end through the gap.
  • Dying Earth: When Ulan Dhor investigates the controls of an ancient air-car in half-ruined Ampridatvir, he accidentally causes its cockpit dome to snap shut (trapping his gray cloak) and the engine to start. Caught by the snared cloak, he sheds the garment just in time to avoid being hauled into the sky... which nearly gets Dhor and his companion stoned to death, as it exposes his green trousers to the Gray faction of locals, who believe green clothing is demonic.
  • Forest Kingdom: In the Hawk & Fisher spinoff series' book 4 (Wolf in the Fold), a spy Hawk is pursuing throws a dagger at the Guard and pins his cloak to the wall. Hawk isn't hurt, but the few seconds it takes him to unfasten the cloak's clasp gives the fleeing spy a head start. Later, the Guard Commander berates him for losing the spy and his cloak, which he'd left behind still pinned to the wall.
  • Fragment: In Pandemonium, Nell must flee a greater threat by running through a tunnel in which deadly ghost octopuses are clinging to the ceiling. They drop down to try to catch her as she passes, and one snags the back of her blouse, but she's able to shed the shirt before it can slither into position to immobilize her joints and bite through her upper spine.
  • Garrett, P.I.: In Deadly Quicksilver Lies, Morley gets his brand-new shirt caught on something when he and Garrett climb down a wall. As Morley's such a clotheshorse, it causes him real pain (and Garrett, immense amusement) when he has to cut the cloth to get loose.
  • Heart of Steel: In the climax, Julia's psycho-ex-turned-homicidal-cyborg has taken her hostage, holding onto the back of her shirt. When The Cavalry arrives and distracts him, she wiggles out of her shirt and runs to safety in her bra.
  • Humanx Commonwealth: Subverted in Mid-Flinx, when Flinx unwittingly steps into a "pool of water" that turns out to be alive and tries to dissolve him. He's about to remove his boot to escape when the pool/creature decides it dislikes the taste of its synthetic material and expels his foot.
  • In the Distant Prologue of Lords and Ladies, the dwarfs who originally discovered the very magnetic meteorites had to wriggle out of their chain-mail trousers to free themselves.
  • In Lyndon Hardy's Master of the Five Magics, Alodar helps Cynthia slip out of her robe when the pursuing wyvern sets her garment on fire. This not only spares Cynthia from being burned, but also helps Alodar realize that Initiates like Cynthia have a token implanted under their skin to let them pass the Guild wards, because she doesn't set off the alarms even though she's stark naked for the rest of the chase.
  • Mercy Thompson: In Frost Burned, Mercy is jumped and pinned to the ground from behind by a half Fae assassin. Mercy escapes from the assassin's grip by transforming into her coyote form and slipping through her own clothes. She doesn't get far, though, because she ends up tangled in her own underwear as a coyote.
  • The Murderbot Diaries: In Rogue Protocol a robot claw has grabbed hold of a woman wearing an environmental suit by the head and is trying to drag her through a hatchway, until Murderbot hits the emergency release on her space helmet (the atmosphere is breathable; she's just wearing it against possible contamination).
  • Oliver Twisted: When Fagin grabs Dodge's arm with the aim to devour him, Dodge slips out of his longcoat to escape and fetch him an appetiser so he wouldn't be one instead.
  • The Supernaturalist: Stephan Bashkir gets hit by an entrapment projectile that rapidly expands and covers the target's body in a kind of thick cellophane/fiberglass cocoon. He narrowly escapes by shrugging off his jacket the moment it impacts.
  • In Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Peter winds up abandoning all his clothes in the course of escaping the garden.
  • In The Thief of Always, Mr. Hood grabs Henry by the back of the jacket, so Henry slips out of his jacket to escape.
  • Jem Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird has to leave his pants behind when he gets stuck slipping under a fence. He later has to go retrieve them in the middle of the night so his dad won't wonder what happened to them and lead to the whole story coming out.
  • In Troubled Range by J.T. Edson, Belle Starr has grabbed Calamity Jane by the waistband of her jeans. Calamity escapes by unbuckling her belt and grabbing the leg of a table, causing Belle to pull her jeans right off her.
  • In Roald Dahl's The Twits, a group of boys get stuck in a tree because Mr. Twit has coated the tree limbs with glue to catch birds for dinner. When he threatens to eat the boys instead, the only thing they can do to escape is slip out of their pants.
  • The Waste Lands: Jake has to go through a Haunted House to reach a magical doorway that will take him to the others in Mid-World. When the house comes alive and tries to eat him, Jake slips out of his jeans to, at least temporarily, escape from the house's clutches.
  • Young Sherlock Holmes: During the sword fight in Death Cloud, Baron Maupertuis pins Sherlock to the wall by thrusting his sword through the shoulder of Sherlock's jacket and into the wall, and then comes at Sherlock's face with a spinning saw blade. Sherlock escapes by slipping his arm out of the jacket.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Subverted on 30 Rock: Pete gets his arm stuck in a snack machine while trying to get a dangling treat. He realizes that he's stuck because his jacket is caught on a sharp piece of metal, so he starts slipping the jacket off. He successfully removes himself from the jacket, but finds that he is still stuck.
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark?:
    • The show contains a surprisingly tragic example in the Back Story of "The Tale of the Frozen Ghost". A little boy caught his neighbor's farmhand hiding the gold from a bank robbery. He ran, but the robber caught him in the woods. The kid managed to get away when the guy ripped off his coat... and subsequently froze to death that night in the woods.
    • "The Tale of the Unexpected Visitor" contains a more typical version. Two boys are caught by the Monster of the Week in giant spider webs. When the third backs into one, he's able to slip out of his jacket, leaving it stuck to the web.
  • Arrow. In "Broken Hearts", Oliver Queen tries to grab Cupid only to find himself holding her gauntlet as she uses a grappling-hook arrow to escape. Felicity Smoak then cuts up the gauntlet and puts it into a gas chromatograph to find out where it was made, giving Team Arrow the location of Cupid's hideout.
  • Happens in an ending chase scene of The Benny Hill Show, where Benny as an escaped prison inmate evades two bobbies by stripping off the jacket and pants of his Institutional Apparel. Finding new clothes to replace it proves problematic, however.
  • Discussed in an episode of Big John Little John, a sitcom about a man who, thanks to a sip from the legendary Fountain of Youth, sometimes changes into a little boy. In one episode, "Big John" is arrested and put in jail. While in the cell, he changes into "Little John". When the sheriff returns and finds the man he arrested gone and a little boy wearing too-large clothing in his place, he concludes that "Big John" stripped naked and used soap from the wash basin to make himself slippery enough to squeeze through the bars. He couldn't figure out why he left a small child in his place, though.
  • The Bill: In "Someone Personal", PC Tony Stamp attempts to grab a burglar who is disappearing over a wall and ends up holding the offender's trousers. The look on Tony's face is priceless.
  • Blue Bloods:
    • Danny chases a suspect who dives into an accomplice's car, slamming the door on the corner of his pursuer's raincoat. The car starts driving away, and Danny, unable to keep up running, has to struggle out of the coat to avoid being dragged off his feet.
    • Witnessing a man throwing acid at a controversial reporter, Frank chases the attacker off and then helps the victim take off her coat before the corrosive can soak through to her skin.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. When Buffy is Brought Down to Normal in "Helpless", she escapes a vampire by slipping out of her red coat when he grabs it. Unfortunately the vampire uses that same coat to trick Buffy's mother out of the house by wrapping himself up in it and lying on the ground outside as an apparently unconscious Buffy.
  • Chouriki Sentai Ohranger: Juri does this in one episode. Bara Clothes tries to take control of her via her outer clothing as he'd done to her team-mates, so she casts off her swimsuit and fights in her underwear.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Five Doctors": The Second Doctor waltzes into UNIT headquarters like he owns the place in order to visit The Brigadier. An officer tries to stop him and grabs his coat, only for the Doctor to spin around so that he has just handed the coat to him, and thanks him for taking it.
    • "Flesh and Stone": The Eleventh Doctor is being held by his coat. He talks through his plan and leaves the Angels with his jacket and a last parting piece of wisdom.
      The Doctor: Never let me talk!
    • "The Time of the Doctor": The Doctor and Clara are naked and wearing holographic clothes, and a Weeping Angel grabs Clara by the ankle. The Doctor asks if she can slip off her shoe, forcing her to remind him she isn't actually wearing one.
  • Done with a spaceship in The Expanse. In "Leviathan Awakes", the Rocinante (disguised as a civilian gas freighter) is under Lock Down preventing them from fleeing Eros Station. However the docking clamps are locked onto the mock gas cylinders strapped on the outside of the hull, so they simply eject them and slip away.
  • Father Brown: After being pinned to a target by a crossbow bolt in "The Lair of the Libertines", Father Brown escapes by taking off his cassock.
  • In the show Freddy's Nightmares, on a episode called "Sister's Keeper", Freddy is attacked by twin girls, one in front to distract and one in back to attack. When she swings her bat to attack Freddy, he vanishes and his clothes drop to the floor.
  • Gilligan's Island:
    • In the episode "Beauty Is as Beauty Does", the group holds a beauty contest between the three women. During the talent portion Mary Ann is to perform a dance routine, and Mr. Howell tries to sabotage it by pouring glue onto the stage. Mary Ann, of course, steps right in it, becoming instantly stuck and loses her shoe (which is still stuck in place in a later scene).
    • Earlier in the same episode, Gilligan accidentally hooks and reels in a swimming Mary Ann's bathing suit while fishing.
  • On M*A*S*H:
    • In "Requiem for a Lightweight", nurse Margie Cutler runs from the showers covered with just a towel, running into Hawkeye and Trapper. After a few moments, she runs on, leaving Trapper with the towel.
    • Klinger got his skirt caught under a fallen school-bell when he and Father Mulcahy were retrieving some stolen medication hidden underneath it. One of the thieves started taking potshots at them, so he let the skirt tear away from him and ran for their jeep in his undershorts.
  • Modern Family: In one episode, Claire and Phil are roleplaying as strangers flirting in public, which ends with Claire undressing in the bathroom to present her dress to Phil, leaving her naked under her trench coat. On the way out of the mall, her coat gets stuck in the escalator. Everyone suggests this trope to her, and she has to come up with excuses not to strip naked. Eventually, Gloria shows up and manages to wrap a second coat around her, allowing her to ditch the first one while maintaining her modesty (apparently, the exact same thing had happened to Gloria previously).
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus parodied this trope in the "Making of Scott of the Antarctic" skit, as the starlet on the run loses one clothing item after another on cactus plants she could have easily avoided going near.
  • New Tricks: In "Dark Chocolate", Gerry gets his jacket caught on a Conveyor Belt of Doom and is almost dragged into a chopping machine. He escapes by taking off his jacket.
  • In Power Rangers Dino Supercharge, when Iceage is hunting down and freezing the recently retired Rangers, he attempts to freeze Koda, who escapes by sliding out of his jacket before the ice traps him. Later, Tyler and Koda trick Iceage into freezing their suits so they can free the other Rangers while Iceage and Snide are distracted.
  • Scream Queens: In "Pilot", after Chanel knocks down the Red Devil, he grabs her from the floor. She escapes by taking off her housecoat and fleeing.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise: Hoshi is the only one who is small enough to achieve an Air-Vent Passageway escape after bad guys take over the ship and lock everyone in their rooms, and then her top gets caught on something in the vent, leading to Fanservice.
  • During the "Heroes vs. Villains" season of Survivor, the first challenge pitted Sandra against Sugar trying to wrestle an object from each other. Sugar was almost free with the object when Sandra grabbed her by the top. Given her self-described status as a pinup model, Sugar had no qualms about using this trope to secure the point for her team. note 
  • The Thundermans: In the episode where Max Thunderman creates a clone of his sister Phoebe, the clone has the same tanktop as the real Phoebe, but wears a jacket in order to tell them apart. After the clone becomes dumb and start causing antics, the siblings try to capture her, but while Max distracts one of Phoebe's friends, the clone manages to break free from the real Phoebe, losing her jacket in the process. This causes Max to confuse the clone for the real Phoebe, thus accidentally allowing the clone to continue with her antics.
  • The Twilight Zone: In the episode "What You Need", a man's scarf gets caught in an elevator's doors. He is nearly strangled, but cuts the scarf with scissors just in time.
  • Pulled off his feet by a grasping walker, Carl from The Walking Dead narrowly escapes getting bitten when he manages to slip out of the shoe it's clinging to.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • In the Book of Genesis, Joseph escapes from Potiphar's wife by ripping his own clothes. She later uses the torn garment as evidence to accuse him of rape and to have him imprisoned.
    • Mark 14:51-52 tells of a young man who witnessed the arrest of Christ. They grabbed him, but they caught his garment and he fled naked. Some theorize that the young man was Mark himself (because he's the only one who mentions the incident in his gospel).
    • Suggested with the Seven Sons of Sceva (Acts 19:13-16), who tried casting out demons in the names of Christ and Paul. The Bible describes them fleeing naked and bleeding.
  • Likewise pops up in mythology and other ancient stories from time to time. For example, Pyramus & Thysbe, that inspired William Shakespeare on a couple of different occasions. Thysbe is waiting for her lover in a forest by moonlight and is attacked by a lion, dropping her shawl which the lion mauls.
  • Pops up in medieval legends of "Black Colleges". After the Devil shows the students whatever books they ask for, they all rush out of the room, with the slowest student being caught by the cloak and dragged back inside as the Devil's payment. If they're smart they'll toss their cloak just as they get to the door and be home free.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Mark Henry once tried to assault one of The Undertaker's druids. The lights turn off, and when they turn on, the druid is gone and Mark is left holding his cloak.
  • In Ring of Honor, Eddie Edwards, deciding he wasn't going to hit a girl, even if she was Mike Bennett's, recruited Sara Del Rey to help him out with Maria Kanellis. Sara's intent was to break Maria in two, all she got were Maria's clothes.
  • At WrestleMania 20, Eddie Guerrero escaped from Kurt Angle's Ankle Lock by removing his shoe.

  • In the National Football League in the 1970s, several players — most notably Houston's Earl Campbell and Cleveland's Greg Pruitt — wore "tear-away" jerseys, which would rip apart when pulled, allowing offensive players to escape tackles. Players like Campbell and Pruitt would go through several jerseys a game. The NFL banned tear-away jerseys in 1979.
  • Enforcers in hockey back in the '80s favored loose-fitting jerseys that could be quickly shed once an opponent grabbed onto them. Since fighting on skates requires pretty good balance to begin with, removing anything that an opponent could hold onto was considered a major advantage. As a result, it was not uncommon after a line brawl to see a good two-thirds of the combatants wearing next to nothing above the waist. The NHL reacted by mandating tie-down jerseys, with untied jerseys being an automatic game misconduct if discovered.

  • In the first act of The Playboy of the Western World by John Millington Synge, Michael James Flaherty attempts to strong-arm his son-in-law-to-be, Shawn Keogh, into a plan that Shawn wants nothing to do with, and Shawn abandons his jacket to get away.
  • In Sherlock Holmes, Billy escapes from one of Moriarty's men this way.

    Video Games 
  • In Full Throttle, Miranda escapes from Bolus by slipping out of her vest.
  • In King's Quest V, Graham (wearing a cloak) escapes from the roc chick by taking off that cloak. Rosella in King's Quest VII, while wearing a veil to disguise herself, escapes from the werebeasts in a similar manner.
  • Price and Yuri in Modern Warfare 3 are forced to escape from their Juggernaut Armor to avoid burning to death when a crashing helicopter sets the suits alight.


    Web Original 
  • Omega Guardians:
    • About to be tossed over a cliff by Count Dracula's Familiar (who's holding onto him and slowly pulling him over the edge), Leo has to have his shirt cut off to get out of the situation alive.
    • Later in the same episode, the poor guy has to sacrifice his pants to make sure Dracula stays down after he's defeated.

    Web Videos 
  • In IGN's Not Another Zombie Apocalypse, as the group is running away from the zombies, Alexis Cozombolidis comes across a zombie who grabs her by her overshirt. The zombie tries to pull Alexis towards it in an attempt to eat her, but in doing so it accidentally removes her shirt, allowing her to escape.

    Western Animation 
  • The Action Man episode "Fountain of Youth" had Knuck accidentally step on a pressure mine and remove his boot before outrunning the ensuing explosion.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: In the episode "The Flower," a jealous Gumball, believing Leslie (a potted plant) is dating Penny, decides to Murder the Hypotenuse by super-gluing Leslie to a park bench and then releasing a slew of plant-eating snails and bugs on him to eat him alive. Leslie manages to escape because, as he points out, Gumball only glued his pot to the bench.
  • Avengers Assemble: Nick Fury pulls one on Attuma while the Cabal is invading the S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Helicarrier. Held by both arms, Fury activates a gadget in his hand that blows smoke in Attuma's face. When the smoke dissipates, all the villain is left holding is Fury's vest, while the latter is doing an Air Vent Escape.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • In "Christmas with the Joker", Batman attempts to grab the fleeing Joker, only to end up holding the Joker's cardigan, complete with a false set of arms.
    • In "The Last Laugh", the robotic Captain Clown snatches Batman's cape and attempts to reel him. Bats is forced to ditch the cape and is seen without it the rest of the episode.
    • In the "World's Finest" crossover with Superman, Batman's cape gets stuck in some gears and he's forced to remove cape and cowl to save his life. In front of Lois Lane, who isn't thrilled that her latest love interest Bruce Wayne is a vigilante dressed up like a bat!
    • In "Heart of Steel", a mook grabs Bruce Wayne, who removes his jacket to escape.
  • The Beany and Cecil episode "Spots Off a Leopard" has a scene where Cecil attempts to capture the Spotted Leopard by hammering down his claws after he punctures them through a tree. The Spotted Leopard escapes by slipping his paw out of the glove.
  • Ben 10: Omniverse: In "An American Benwolf in London", Kai is grabbed by a Forever Knight and escapes by slipping out of her jacket, leaving it in the knight's hands.
  • In the Betty Boop episode "The Old Man of the Mountain", when the titular Old Man grabs Betty, she escapes by slipping out of her dress. The dress then slaps him in the face and runs off after her.
  • Danger Mouse: In "The Duel", DM and Penfold find themselves stuck to the seat of a rollercoaster car after Greenback coats it with glue. They extricate themselves by removing their trousers.
  • Darkwing Duck: In "Beauty and the Beet", Dean Tighbill is grabbed by one of Bushroot's tree monsters, and manages to escape its grasp by slipping out of his suit coat.
  • The Deep: In "Beware the Sentinels", Ant is attempting to escape the tomb. He reaches the exit to the chasm when the stonefish spear through his flippers. He manages to ditch the stonefish by taking off his flippers.
  • Dragons: Riders of Berk contains a particularly high-stakes example in the episode "Midnight Scrum", as the item Hiccup has to discard to escape his captor is his prosthetic leg.
  • Played for laughs in the Family Guy episode "Love Thy Trophy". Stewie is put in a foster home after Meg lies her way into a waitress job by saying that she's an unwed mother with a crack-addict baby (Stewie) and Stewie becomes addicted to pancakes, which plays off as an actual drug addiction. When Peter tries to take him back, the foster parents point a gun at him, and he shields himself with Stewie. Stewie tells them, "Don't shoot!", then takes off his overalls, leaving them in Peter's hands. He then runs away and says, "Now shoot!".
  • In Ed, Edd n Eddy when Johnny supposedly gets pranked and is hanging from a tree by his only article of clothing, a diaper, while the Eds are looking the other way and look back they see that Johnny is gone but his diaper is still there.
  • In Gargoyles, during MacBeth's introduction episode, Goliath lifts him up by his coat. MacBeth slips out of it and jets under Goliath's legs, who rips his coat apart before chasing him.
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero:
    • In "Grey Hairs and Growing Pains", Lady Jaye gets turned into a child, and in a fight she's forced to drop her pants because they are now too long to run in (strangely, the two guys who got turned into children didn't have this problem). Afterwards, she uses her now over-sized shirt and jacket like a dress. She gets turned back to normal and awkwardly covers her panties with her hands.
    • In "In the Presence of Mine Enemies", a monster grabs Slipstream's foot, but his boot comes off.
    • Proving that COBRA members aren't always dumb, during the five-part series where Dr. Mindbender created Serpentor, Zarana (that would be Zartan's sister, in case you didn't know) breaks into a tomb to steal the DNA from a mummy, only to fall into a temple trap that grabs her foot with a stone vise, then triggers a Descending Ceiling that threatens to crush her. She eventually slips her foot out of her boot to free herself and escape.
  • House of Mouse:
    • Baby Shelby does a variant; he escapes from Donald Duck by unhinging his shell and running about in just his diaper. Sometimes he slips out of that, too.
    • In the Mickey MouseWorks short "Mickey's Mechanical House", Mickey escapes from a robot holding him by escaping though the dropseat in his pajamas.
  • In Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama, during her attempt to kidnap toymaker Nakasumi, Shego grabs him by his coat with a mechanical claw, only for him to slip out of it when Kim pulls him to safety. Upon returning to Drakken's lair with the coat, the mad scientist tears it apart in a rage, only for a doodle of toy design (which is the reason Drakken wants Nakasumi in the first place) to fall out in the process.
  • The Looney Tunes Show has Yosemite Sam slip out of his Modesty Towel to escape from the police in "Off-Duty Cop".
  • In the My Life as a Teenage Robot episode "The Legion of Evil", Jenny is encased in a pile of explosives, which she escapes from by carefully sliding her robotic endoskeleton out. She then proceeds to pat her still-trapped exoskeleton, causing the explosives to go off anyway.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Sidetracked", while Perry and Lyla fight the magnetic robots of the episode main antagonist, one of the robots grabs Lyla by her jacket, so she manages to get freed from the robot by slipping out of it.
  • Rupert's escaped from more than one enemy who tried grabbing him by his iconic scarf.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Subverted in the "Treehouse of Horror X" segment "Desperately Xeeking Xena". When the Collector (Comic Book Guy) uses a magnet crane to kidnap Lucy Lawless at a comic book convention by snagging the top of her Chainmail Bikini, she at first starts to undo it to escape; then she realizes everyone is watching and are about to take pictures, and changes her mind.
    • Played straight in "The Dad Who Knew Too Little". When Homer refuses to pay the detective he hired to spy on Lisa for information, the detective angrily threatens Homer with a gun while grabbing him by his shirt and demanding a charge of $1,000 with a $40 steak he wanted to eat. Homer then wriggles out of his shirt and jumps out the window to escape, leaving the detective still holding the empty shirt.
  • The Smurfs (1981): In the episode "Hefty's Heart", Gargamel has Papa Smurf and four other Smurfs stuck to the table with glue, and then proceeds to pull Papa Smurf off the table so that he could give him a shave when Hefty, who was affected by the Hate Plague, breaks free of the plague's control on him and rescues Papa Smurf and the four other Smurfs from Gargamel, pulling the Smurfs still on the table out of their pants so that they could flee back to the village. By the episode's end, the four Smurfs are wearing barrels and waiting for Tailor to finish up with their new pants.
  • The Counter-Earth version of Green Goblin loses his pants to escape a symbiote blob monster in Spider-Man Unlimited. He lampshades this by mentioning that he's the only superhero on the planet that would consider doing this. He has purple Goofy Print Underwear featuring bats and pumpkins underneath.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In one episode, while running away from Sandy, SpongeBob gets his pants stuck on an coral. As he tries to get out, he comes right out of his clothes, leaving him just in his underwear.
    • In another episode, SpongeBob's pants get stuck on a fishing hook and he removes them, only to find that the hook is still stuck on his underwear. Not wanting to remove his underwear too, he desperately tries clinging to trees and other objects to prevent the hook from pulling him away but his underwear eventually rips anyway, leaving him alive but completely naked.
  • SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron: Morbulus does this in "The Giant Bacteria," although it's closer to Throwing the Distraction (but without any actual throwing involved).
  • ThunderCats: In "Mandora the Evil Chaser", Mandora sheds her jacket to escape the Living Ooze's grip.
  • A Fur Is Clothing example; in Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation: Elmyra visits the ACME Wild Safari Zoo, where she sneaks out of her parents' car and grabs a cheetah by his tail. The cheetah tries to run away from her, but loses his fur in the process, which Elmyra ends up wearing. In a later scene, the furless cheetah is wearing a censor bar over his groin.
  • In the Totally Spies! episode "Creepy Crawly Much?" the girls get trapped in a human-sized roach motel. After Alex is taken away, Sam gets the idea to use Clover's grappling belt to latch them to the ceiling and force themselves out. The girls make it, Clover's shoes do not.
    Clover: Those were limited edition Vespuccies! WHOOP better replace them!
    Sam: I'll tell you what: first, we get Alex, then we save the world, then we think about getting you some new boots!
  • Wild Kratts:
    • Harmless example: When Chris refuses to leave Madagascar without seeing a fossa, the others try to drag him back to the Tortuga by his heels. He unties his bootlace and slips away with just a sock on that foot.
    • In another episode, a gila monster locks its jaws onto the toe of Martin's boot. Koki and Jimmy (who don't realize its jaws failed to penetrate skin) wrap Martin in bandages and haul him off to the Tortuga for an anti-venom injection, leaving the boot behind in the stubborn lizard's mouth.
    • In "Musk Ox Mania", Zack gets menaced by Baby Tooth's pack of Arctic wolves. Aviva suggests that he take off his thick fur coat, which makes him look like a musk ox, the wolves' favorite prey. Zack does so when Baby Tooth gets a grip on his coattails, forfeiting both his coat and the stolen item he'd placed in one of its pockets.
  • The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends: In the TV adaptation of "The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck" the fox escapes from the dogs chasing him, but not without losing his clothes first — presumably to make it easier for him to throw the dogs off him and escape.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television — while specific examples are too numerous to list, this isn't an unheard of lesson in martial arts of self-defense to escape someone who grabs you by your jacket or shirt.
  • Many long-tailed rodents' tails are designed to lose their outer skin if grabbed, so they can escape a predator's clutches by leaving some skin behind. Blood flow to the "degloved" portion of tail shuts off by reflex, and the skinless part drops off and heals over within a few days. Several lizards also do this, and are known to regrow their tails.
  • Birds that get grabbed by predators or ensnared by sticky materials can sometimes escape by leaving some feathers behind.
  • As anyone who has lived in places like Arizona or New Mexico (a place with lots of cacti) can tell you, this is not unheard of for people to have to do this.
  • The French Resistance leader Marie-Madeleine Fourcade was taken prisoner by the Nazis twice. The first time, she escaped to Britain, then returned to France and continued running her network. She was captured again and locked in a cell, and only escaped by stripping naked so that she could squeeze between the bars of her cell window. She survived the war and lived until 1989.
  • Stripping naked is standard procedure for someone who gets accidentally drenched in hazardous chemicals and must hastily wash off the corrosives under a laboratory safety shower.
  • Getting one's shoe or boot stuck in mud or deep snow, such that slipping one's foot out of it is the only way to escape, is something many tropers reading this example have experienced for themselves.


Video Example(s):


Tendi Pinned to the Wall

When Rutherford accidentally pins Tendi's arm to the wall, she easily wiggles out of her uniform top to get free.

How well does it match the trope?

4.88 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / GivingThemTheStrip

Media sources: