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Open-Fly Gag

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Suppose you're in a hurry, or just leisurely came out of the bathroom. However, you feel a breeze in the most unusual area, and you can't help but notice people snickering and/or looking down at your crotch. Either you see for yourself what's so funny, or worse, someone tells the predicament to your face. The end result is zipping your open pants fly up while your face flushes, and probably mumbling something.

This trope will mostly happen in comedies to male characters (sometimes to females as well), or when serious moments need to be lightened up a bit.

Very Truth in Television. It can happen to anybody. Compare Wardrobe Malfunction and Comedic Underwear Exposure.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable, when Rohan uses Heaven's Door on Hayato to find clues related to Kira, he comes across an entry stating a man will walk by with his zipper down as nearby pedestrians quietly laugh.
  • One chapter in Yandere Kanojo is dedicated purely for this. Reina notices Tanaka's zipper is open, but she's too embarrassed to tell him directly. So she asks one of her friends to text him about it. Needless to say, that friend tells another friend to do it... and so on. The chapter ends with pretty much everyone knowing Tanaka's fly is open.
  • In Psychic School Wars, early on, Natsuki nicknames Kenji "Mr. Open Fly". It isn't the last time.
  • In one episode of Yo-kai Watch, this happens to Nate thanks to being inspirited by Pandle.
  • Akame ga Kill!: Tatsumi makes a speech towards the team, only to be pointed out by Su that his fly is down. Everyone minus the chief makes fun of him.
  • Jewelpet Kira☆Deco!: In a scene, this happens to a male office worker.
  • Osomatsu-san: In the Season 2 premiere, in the Bad Future where the Matsuno brothers are wealthy Fat Bastards, Osomatsu, Choromatsu, and Todomatsu all have their flies open if you pay close attention.

    Comic Books 
  • Red Ears: There's a comic that uses this gag when a man flirts with an attractive waitress who passes him several notes. It says that his "fondness" for her was apparent because his fly was open and asks him to zip it up. The second note adds when her shift ends.
  • Shade, the Changing Man: Issue 23 of Peter Milligan's run has a bit where Lenny informs Shade that his fly is open. Strangely enough, the open fly is letting out stars, flowers and rings rather than Shade's member.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side has a speaker addressing the giggling workers of a zipper factory, when another worker comes up to give him a note reading "Bob, your model AA-12 is open!"
  • The August 3, 2008 Garfield strip has Jon look down and see that his fly is down after repeatedly telling Garfield that he isn't so smart, much to Garfield's amusement.
  • Crabgrass: This happens to Miles in this comic. Kevin wasted no time to tell Miles' girlfriend about it.

    Films — Animation 
  • Big Hero 6: After Hiro's presentation, his brother Tadashi informs him that his fly was down the whole time. Cue Hiro embarrassingly zipping it up.
  • Near the end of The Spongebob Squarepants Movie, SpongeBob brings up that there's something he must say when he is finally given the job as manager of the Krusty Krab 2 that he wanted, but states that he doesn't know how to put it. After Squidward suggests that SpongeBob is trying to say that he's realized he didn't really want the job after all, SpongeBob denies Squidward's assumption and explains that he was actually trying to tell Squidward that his fly was down, which is odd considering that Squidward never wore pants in the first place.
  • On the teaser trailer for Zootopia, Nick is introduced naked, as a voiceover explains the concept of the movie. When the narrator talks about animals being fully clothed, clothes appear on Nick, who then turns around to zip up.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Early in American Adobo, Raul (Paolo Montalban) shows up to a gathering with his zipper down - he had just left from a sexual encounter.
  • In The Fugitive, A cop does this to Richard Kimble in an instance of Hey, Wait! Viewable here.
  • In Just the Way You Are, Susan and Frank attend a party with Frank's boss Earl. When Susan notices that Earl's fly is open, neither of them wants to mention it, so Susan pretends to drop food in his lap and then zips his fly while picking it up.
  • An extra in the bleachers of Teen Wolf is caught on camera completely unzipped, hastily covering the calumny with a knit sweater. At first, it was speculated that this was a guy over-appreciating the young men on court; however, it was later revealed to be a woman who'd squeezed herself into too-tight slacks so as not to seem fat on set. This shot is a staple of Blooper reviews.

  • There's an internet joke where a strict class teacher whose students were caught Passing Notes in Class will be forced to recite the note's contents aloud, and repeat it ten times at the top of their voice in front of the entire classroom. One girl caught by said teacher complies, and reads her note aloud:
    "Check it out, our teacher's fly is open! Check it out, our teacher's fly is open! Check it out, our teacher's fly is open! Check it out..."

  • There is a Hope Vestergaard Toilet Training Plot book Potty Animals: What to Know When You've Gotta Go, in which some preschooler-aged Funny Animals named Wilbur the hedgehog, Wilma the pig, Arnold the crocodile, Freddie the rabbit, Helga the duck, Benji the lemur, Roxanne the hippo, Stanley the tiger, Sukey the raccoon, Georgie the bear, Farley the anteater, Agnes the mouse, and Ziggy the fox each have their own lesson they need to learn in bathroom etiquette. Ziggy's lesson is "check [his] zipper", which is this trope.
  • In Snuff, there's a scene at a dinner party where the narrator talks about how long-married couples tend to have code phrases to subtly warn each other about problems such as "exposed in the crotch department" or, in the case of Sam and Sybil Vimes, "You're getting on people's nerves again, Sam." The scene ends with one of the other ladies at the dinner turning to her husband and giving him the "exposed in the crotch department" code.
  • Universal Monsters: Subverted early in book 3. Nina gets back at Captain Bob (who's being his usual irritating self) by telling him his fly's open. Captain Bob promptly looks down and makes a face as he realizes she just tricked him — he's wearing sweatpants and therefore doesn't have a fly.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Friends: "The One with All the Poker".
    Ross: Your money's mine, Green.
    Rachel: Your fly's open, Geller.
    [and later...]
    Rachel: [chanting] I have got your money, and you'll never see it, and your fly's still open. [Ross looks] Ha! I made you look!
  • In an episode of Even Stevens, Louis' friend Twitch comments on a photograph of the Stevens family on vacation, pointing out that Louis' zipper was open. Louis scoffs and denies it, but Tawny points it out too. Luckily, Twitch changes the subject before Louis embarrassed himself even more.
  • Kamen Rider Build: At the end of the first episode, Sento assures Ryuuga that he can't be as dumb as he thinks he is. Then he informs him that his fly has been open the entire time (which viewers might spot even before it's explicitly pointed out). The gag is repeated in the final episode.
  • The Almighty Johnsons: In "A Bit Like Buses Really", Axl deduces that Anders got sidetracked during his mission due to his open fly.
    Axl: "You got distracted, didn't you?"
    Anders: "I resent what you're insinuating Axl. There were complex negotiations to be negotiated and to achieve a happier result, for all concerned, well it takes time."
    Axl: "Ah, okay. Your flies undone."
  • In Home Improvement, a late episode has Tim make a Badass Boast, only to undermine it since he was unzipped.
    • Referenced in another episode, when Randy worries that he's The Unfavorite since Brad and Tim share interests in things like sports and tools. Tim assures him they're not that different and have similar personalities, with the example that if either one is caught with a fly down, they're not going to miss a chance to make a quip about it.
    Randy: Well, you gotta make a fly joke.
    Tim: That's right, you gotta make a fly joke! "Hey, buddy, you know your fly's down?"
    Randy: "Cheaper than air conditioning!" "You know your fly's down?"
    Tim: "No, but if you hum a few bars..."
  • The Goodies: Bill Oddie dresses in blackface and starts channelling Louis Armstrong.
    Bill: Zip-a-dee-doo-dah!
    Tim: Sorry, I didn't know it was undone...
  • Frasier shows up for a job interview with his fly unzipped and his shirt sticking out. The interviewer tries to discreetly point it out but Frasier thinks the man is commenting on the belt he chose to wear. It isn't until he looks down that Frasier realises what the interviewer was actually referring to.
  • Super Store: In "Cereal Bar", after the video call with Kira Moon, Marcus notices his fly was down and hopes she wasn't able to notice it.

  • Michael Jackson did this during the controversial "Panther Sequence" of his "Black Or White'' video. Right in the middle of a fierce dance routine, he suddenly zips his fly up.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, while setting up the class photo on the school's steps Mrs. Krabappel is going around correct various students' appearance issues and tells one student under her breath to "hoist his flag."
  • In The Legend of Korra, metal manipulator Lin Beifong suddenly makes a flicking motion as a zipping sound is heard. She then tersely explains to Bolin that his fly was down.
  • Johnny Bravo: In "Did You See a Bull Run by Here?", a matador walks up to Johnny. Johnny looks down and tells him his zipper is down. The man cries, zips it up, and runs away still crying.
  • King of the Hill: In one episode, Dale Gribble standing in his doorway catches the attention of two old ladies. He asks what they're staring at, and one of them points out that his fly's down, prompting him to say "It's my yard."
  • Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon": At one point in "Onward and Upward", Ren and Stimpy's flies are open, and they zip each other's up.
  • One episode of The Critic had Jay make an obscure reference that has both Duke and Doris start laughing mildly, then Duke leans in:
    Duke: "Do you know what he's talkin' about?"
    Doris: "No, but his fly is open."
    <Duke glances down, then begins laughing harder>
  • In the Danny Phantom episode "Doctor's Disorders", Jazz tells Tucker that his fly is open after he catches the jar containing her amorphous state.
  • The Oh Yeah! Cartoons short "Kid from S.C.H.O.O.L." has Jake Slade distract Simon Cerebellum by telling him his fly is down.

    Real Life 
  • The anecdote attributed to Sir Winston Churchill and the imperious Lady Astor:
    Lady Astor: Winston, your trousers are gaping open!
    Churchill: [glances down briefly] So they are, madam. But the dead bird never falls out of the nest!
    [or variably] No point in closing the stable door, madam, the horse has already bolted!
    • Also told about the Yalta Conference of Allied leaders during World War Two, when Stalin catches Churchill passing the 'dead bird' note to Roosevelt and is convinced they are plotting against him, until Churchill shows him FDR's original note telling him that his flies are open.
  • British comedian Alan Carr once did a whole nine-minute BBC-televised stand-up at the Hammersmith Apollo with an open fly. About seven-and-a-half minutes in, an audience member on the balcony called out to him, but in the embarrassment and audience cackles, Carr discovered that his zipper was broken. The routine he did about pairs of jeans about two minutes before the commotion had now become Hilarious in Hindsight (for the Hammersmith Apollo audience, but Harsher in Hindsight for Carr).
  • A common (albeit multiply-contradicting) story from the set of Bringing Up Baby is that Cary Grant's open fly was either broken or caught on someone's fabric, which led to the script being rewritten to include the gag of Katharine Hepburn's Wardrobe Malfunction and Cary Grant walking behind her to spare her embarrassment.


Akame Ga Kill

There's something Tatsumi needs to know...

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