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Hitchhiker's Leg

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The limb is mightier than the thumb.

Female hitchhikers on the side of the road will often be tempted to show a little leg in order to attract a ride. Made famous by Claudette Colbert doing a leg flash in the 1934 movie It Happened One Night but has become a Dead Horse Trope since and is rarely played straight these days.

Not to be confused with Show Some Leg where this kind of Fanservice is used by Alice to impede Bob or to distract him enough to get something past his radar.


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     Anime & Manga  
  • Dash Kappei: During the trip (of the basketball team) in the USA, Miss Kaori try this, but she fails. However, in the following episode, her panties achieve better results on some bikers.
  • Pulled once in Eyeshield 21, when the team's truck runs out of gas during a trip across America, and the group tries to get a car to stop so they can siphon some more. After several failed attempts from the men of the group, Mamori and Suzuna accomplish the task by donning skimpy outfits and posing, causing a male-driven car to slam their brakes for a better look, after which Hiruma "borrows" some gas from the hapless guys.
  • Used in an early episode of Gasaraki by two female JSSDF soldiers in a war-torn country when they need to borrow a set of wheels to find their missing comrade, and a couple passing Americans are more than happy to oblige after seeing them posed on the side of the road. Ataka is amused, while Kaburagi is visibly embarrassed afterwards.
  • In the Love Hina manga, when Kitsune, Motoko, and Mutsumi are trying to get a ride to the airport, Kitsune lifts up Motoko's shirt to entice travellers... and promptly causes a 20-car pileup.
  • In episode 9 of My-HiME, the main Power Trio of girls are stranded by the roadside. Natsuki loses the draw. Hilarity Ensues as she tries to use her femininity to get a car to stop.
  • Deconstructed in My-Otome: In an attempt to hitch a ride with a passing van, Nao slices off Natsuki's pants. The soldiers in the van promptly arrest them for indecent exposure.
  • In the D-City Rock music video from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, there's a segment where the girls get stranded in the desert and are unable to hitch a ride - until they strip down to nothing but signs that say "Go to D-City".
  • Subverted in Strike Witches, when Erica poses in order to induce an approaching truck to stop and give her, Minna, and Gertrude a ride, and the truck doesn't even slow down. Considering that the "no pants" look seems to be popular in Britannia, maybe the driver was simply too jaded to fall for it. Which just goes to show that fanservice is relative.
    • Subverted again by Gertrude after her Jeep breaks down in an episode of 501st Joint Fighter Wing Takeoff. This time Erica is the driver of the oncoming truck, and she doesn't stop and heads back to base. Once she gets there she informs her superiors about the pervert soliciting drivers on the highway, and they send out an alert.

     Comic Books  
  • Parodied in a Sergio Aragon├ęs cartoon (in MAD #120). A pretty girl tries to hitch a ride by pulling up her skirt. A car stops, the driver gets out, takes a picture, then gets back into his car and drives away.
  • Done once by Cinzia Otherside in Rat-Man to find a ride. As Cinzia is actually a very muscular crossdresser, it causes a dozen car crashes.
  • In Transmetropolitan, Channon, Spider Jerusalem's female bodyguard, goes straight to flashing her boobs to hail a cab in the pouring rain. This being the City, home of every weird fetish imaginable, it takes Yelena joining in, and both stepping into the street, to get the driver to stop.

     Films — Animation  

     Films — Live-Action  
  • 1941 (1979). Maxine gets Wild Bill Kelso to stop his motorcycle for her and Stretch despite being less attractive than usual for this trope, however Kelso soon tires of his passengers and detaches the sidecar, sending them crashing into a truck laden with eggs.
  • In Cannonball Run II, the Mafia gets The Sheik to stop his car so they can kidnap him by the simple expedient of having a showgirl open her blouse as he drives past.
  • Clue has Miss Scarlet do a Foot Popping version of this to get Professor Plum to stop for her when her car's broken down.
  • Parodied in Euro Trip: at some point, the girl of the group tries to get a ride in the highway flashing the drivers, but since it is in Europe (where they have lesbians selling orange juice in TV commercials) nobody stops (even when she's completely topless and jumping up and down repeatedly)... until someone makes the Butt-Monkey of the group show some ass.
  • In possibly the most famous example, a hitchhiking Claudette Colbert picks up a ride by flashing her legs in Frank Capra's It Happened One Night. This one has been parodied so many times that many people now don't realize this is where the gag actually came from.
  • Invoked by Julia Roberts's character in Mystic Pizza. She's not successful. Her date decides to give it a try, prompting a woman to pull over when he drops his pants.
  • Hilariously subverted in Rush. Marlene's car breaks down with Niki Lauda in, and Marlene tries to attract passing drivers. Drivers stop, but only because they recognize Lauda.
  • In Slums of Beverly Hills, Marissa Tomei's character gets a ride from a trucker by standing in the middle of the road and opening her bathrobe. The headlights shining through the robe suggested nothing underneath.
  • Parodied very soon after in Laurel and Hardy's Way Out West when Stanley shows some leg to stop a passing stagecoach!

     Live-Action TV  
  • In Stargate SG-1 episode "1969", O'Neill has Carter try to get someone to pull over; she doesn't show any leg, but O'Neill does insist that she go out and do it alone. This is subverted, however, in that it doesn't work. Teal'c observes that "This method appears to be ineffective" and gets a ride by walking out into the middle of the road in front of a van.
  • In Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle is heading home, but she can't stand walking anymore and tries hitchhiking. After the traditional thumb attempt gets her nowhere, she shows some leg and is very annoyed when it doesn't work. An attempt to spice it up further results in her slipping and falling over. She ultimately has to resort to pretending to be pregnant. This almost doesn't work, either, but the first cart driver to see her like this is someone who had given her a ride in a previous episode, so he doesn't mind helping her along.

  • The cover of Roger Waters' "The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking" shows a woman who has taken this a bit far. She's nude but for a tiny backpack and trying to flag down a ride.

     Video Games  
  • In Adam Cadre's I-0, a sketchy guy will pull over and offer you a lift if you actively try to hitchhike — but he'll also do so automatically at random intervals if you're not wearing a shirt (or not wearing pants).

     Visual Novels  
  • Averted with Lily in Daughter for Dessert, who uses a childlike attitude rather than sex appeal to get a ride from the protagonist and Amanda.


     Western Animation  
  • In American Dad!, when Roger is trying to get a ride with Stan. It didn't work, so Roger flung himself at a car to get it to stop.
  • In "Once Upon a Dime", a Whole Episode Flashback of DuckTales (1987), a young Scrooge McDuck is shown having trouble hitchhiking after arriving in America, until he lifts his kilt, drawing a young lady's coach over.
  • Pinky and the Brain: Parodied in "Brain Storm", as the Brain attempts to hitch a lift while wearing a Verkimer Suit by hitching the metal on its leg. Unsurprisingly, it fails.
  • In the Superman: The Animated Series episode "World's Finest", The Joker, of all people, pulls this off while acting like a hitchhiker to stop Lex Luthor's car driving by. It helps the vehicle had already been commandeered by Harley Quinn, who made a remark about it.
  • One Woody Woodpecker cartoon set in The Wild West has Woody Disguised in Drag as a Miss Kitty expy so as to get a ride aboard a passing stagecoach. Woody pulls up his dress's hemline to reveal a mannequin's shapely leg, which causes the stage driver to stop on a dime and invites Woody aboard for free.

     Real Life  
  • In modern women's hitchhiking, this practice is considered a big no-no because it encourages molestation on part of the driver. The modern woman who hitch-hikes and wants to avoid rape or molestation behaves as unsexual as possible.


Video Example(s):


She-Hulks Catches A Ride

Jennifer shows off her legs to make a car stop.

How well does it match the trope?

4.71 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / ShowSomeLeg

Media sources: