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Pants-Positive Safety

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Mitch Henessey [singing]: Putting the keys in my left pocket. Hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm. Gun in the right-hand side.
Samantha Caine: It makes a bulge, people can see.
Mitch: Ya want me to stick it in my pants and shoot my damn dick off?
Sam: Now you're a sharpshooter?

When a character stores or conceals a weapon, typically a gun, in a place that is not suited for such a purpose, typically the waistband or sometimes pants pocket. There, or loose in a civilian briefcase. Anywhere but a holster. Often as not, the safety isn't on and the gun is loaded, too. Perhaps it's another source of the term "going off half-cocked".

Although aversions aren't uncommon, the weapons rarely fall down the pants leg (provided you are wearing a belt or pants at least as sturdy as blue jeans), and only occasionally will the weapon accidentally discharge and injure someone in an intimate place. As of the 1950s, the actions of firearms sold to civilians are required to be "drop-safe", so the not going off part is Truth in Television. Even when the weapon is drawn suddenly, like for combat, and leaves the pants with the user's finger on the trigger, it typically only happens for comedic purposes. Because what's funnier than someone shooting themselves in the foot? That's right.

Subtrope of Artistic License – Gun Safety. See also I Just Shot Marvin in the Face, Hidden Weapons, Trouser Space, Unorthodox Holstering, and Victoria's Secret Compartment. May be combined with Phallic Weapon.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The front of his astoundingly tight leather pants is the favourite holster for Mello of Death Note.
  • On multiple occasions in Heat Guy J, Clair has produced (variously) a gun or hand grenades or an icepick from his pockets. (And, like Heero mentioned above, one would never guess that Clair has anything stored in his pockets, let alone guns, grenades, and the like!)
  • In the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, Edward Elric spends an entire arc with a borrowed handgun shoved into the back of his belt. There are no mishaps, although it's so clotted with blood by the time he gets out of Gluttony's stomach-dimension that Hawkeye has to take it apart completely and clean it. In retrospect, this may at least have helped prevent misfires.
  • Amuro in the original Mobile Suit Gundam keeps his gun in the front waistband of his jeans with his finger on the trigger, even earning the admiration of a veteran enemy soldier who really should know better. Once he gets over being 15 and having barely touched a gun, he back-carries in a holster for the next two productions.
  • Heero in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing usually keeps a pistol tucked into the back of his bicycle shorts. Oddly, although the top half is often visible, the barrel rarely makes a visible bulge in the tight material.
  • Jun spends a few episodes of Bokurano with his mother's pistol stashed in the back of his pants. Justified in that he doesn't exactly have anywhere else to keep it.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind, Mista keeps his revolver down the front of his pants.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman shows a bad guy quite painfully why this is a bad idea — namely, by kicking him in the hand and making him pull the trigger while the gun's still in his pants. OUCH.
  • Similar to the Leverage example below: In Blacksad: Arctic Nation, some thugs try to intimidate the title character in a grocery store. As the leader gets up in his face, Blacksad grabs the gun the guy is keeping tucked in his belt and holds it there. Rather than get a bullet in the gut, the thug calls his goons off.
  • Shows up in The Boys, where a gangbanger tries to scare off Billy Butcher with the ol' "lift your shirt to show them the gun shoved down your pants" trick. Unfortunately, Butcher has the reflexes and the grit to do the obvious thing: snatch it right out of his pants (which is very possible, since there's nothing holding it there, like most holsters would), and then smash it to bits with one punch.
    "Glock's a wanker's gun, son."
  • Behold the cover of SpyBoy #3! The cover of the Spy-School Confidential trade is similar but with Spygirl and a sai instead of Bombshell and a gun.
  • The Wild Storm: Trained hitman Michael Cray and former black-ops director John Lynch show a worrying fondness for stuffing loaded handguns down their pants. With Lynch, there's the possibility that, as a noted paranoid bastard, he's keeping it out of sight in case he needs it.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 11:14, Duffy arrives at Lloyd's with his revolver shoved so deeply down the front of his pants that the handle is barely showing above his waistband. And, yes, it is pointing at his groin. Given everything else that goes wrong with the robbery, it is a miracle that he does not shoot himself in the nuts.
  • In .45, Big Al makes Kat carry a pair of automatics thrust into the waistband of her miniskirt so that he is not caught carrying by the police. Later, the hooded figure who steals Big Al's .45 stuffs into the front of their jeans.
  • 8 Mile uses the same bit as Scary Movie 4 (see below). This time, though, it's not funny. It does come up as a joke later in the movie.
  • Barbarella: Barbarella hides her spent laser gun in Pygar's loincloth, probably because there's no space in her own skin-tight outfits.
  • In the 1959 version of The Bat, John Fleming shoves the pistol he intends to use on Dr. Wells down the front of his pants.
  • The Joker pulls a revolver with a ridiculously long barrel out of his Trouser Space to shoot down the Batwing in Batman (1989).
  • In Better Luck Tomorrow, Virgil comes running out of a hotel room in just his underpants, with his gun shoved in said briefs, after he had pulled the gun on a prostitute.
  • In Bet Your Life, Dark Action Girl Alex carries an automatic shoved down the back of her extremely tight jeans.
  • In Beverly Hills Cop, Detective Foley, Detective Friedman, and Inspector Todd all carry their pistols in their waistband with no holster. It is especially surprising to see Todd carry a pistol in this manner, considering he is played by Gilbert Hill, who was a police detective in real life. You'd think an expert like him would know better. Axel at least has an excuse, as he often poses as a criminal.
  • Big Jake: In the first, Wayne's character casually shoves a pistol into the front of his pants; it probably wasn't loaded, but he doesn't even bother to check first.
  • Rocco from The Boondock Saints stores his revolver shoved in the front of his waistband. Given the generally incompetent portrayal of the character, it's a miracle he never ends up losing something important.
  • This video, which appeared in Bowling for Columbine, was made to further scare school administrators. It shows an average-looking kid pulling twelve guns out of his pants. This includes a submachine gun and a full-length shotgun. The video never shows him walking, nor does the audio track hint at the clanking that would occur even in the Extended Disarming scene shown. One person tried to actually walk with that load out. (All unloaded, disarmed, or props.) Not only did the guns spill out, but the person also immediately fell on their face as they couldn't even bend their knees.
  • Most of the low-level thugs carry their guns stuffed down the front of their pants in Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman. The Machine Gun Woman uses holsters.
  • El Camino: In the confrontation with Neil and Casey at the end, Jesse stores a handgun in the front of his trousers. That said, it's so they don't notice the other gun he's hiding in his coat pocket.
  • City Heat: In the final shootout, Speer and Murphy keep producing larger pistols in an attempt to both shoot the mooks and one-up each other. Speer naturally has the biggest gun, an absurdly long-barreled revolver which he pulls out of his trousers.
  • In Cold Pursuit, Speedo keeps a gun stashed in the waistband of his pants. He flashes it at Coxman as a warning. However, thinking he has scared Coxman, he makes the fatal mistake of turning his back on him.
  • Colombiana has a nice bit of fanservice with Zoe Saldaña dancing with a Beretta Px4 Storm shoved in the back of her short shorts.
  • Copycat: After he murders the cop in the prologue, Callum takes the officer's gun and shoves it into the waistband of his jeans.
  • Die Hard: John McClain initially has a shoulder holster for his Beretta M9 service pistol, but he inexplicably leaves it in the bathroom when he initially flees from the robbers in the building. He spends the rest of the movie carrying his pistol in his pants, which would be highly impractical for a large bulky gun like the M9
  • Die Hard with a Vengeance has McClane puts his pistol in his waistband instead of in the shoulder holster he is wearing! It takes a little longer to draw a gun out of a shoulder holster than from the hip; given how his day had been going thus far...
  • In Dobermann, Mosquito keeps his Hand Cannon shoved in the waistband of his pants and never goes anywhere without it.
  • Dr. No: After shooting Strangways' secretary, one of the Blind Mice shoves his pistol down the front of his trousers while he searches her body for the keys.
  • Forty Guns: When Griff first goes to face Brockie, he has just got out of the bath. Not having his holster, he shoves his revolver down the front of his pants. Fortunately, he does not need to draw it till he is close enough to Brockie to pistol whip him.
  • A variation in From Dusk Till Dawn, when one character reveals a revolver with two... oddly shaped and placed bullet cylinders. If it gives you a clue, he's called Sex Machine.
  • Fun with Dick and Jane heavily mocks this trope. When Dick tries to draw the gun he's hidden in his pants, his fumbling causes the convenience-store clerk he's supposed to be robbing to think he's trying to buy condoms.
  • In Ghost Town (1988), Langley does this after he is given the sheriff's gun as he does not have a holster for it. Interestingly, he does this the 'correct' way (as a trained lawman should) by thrusting it through his belt and not down his pants, and having the barrel angled away from his body and not pointing down his leg (or worse, towards his crotch).
  • Lampshaded in The Godfather when Michael Corleone asks to go to the toilet in the middle of his meeting with Sollozzo. Dirty Cop McCluskey is immediately suspicious and does a pat-down of Michael's groin to see if he's got a gun hidden there. There is a gun, but it's been hidden in the toilet.
  • Gunless: Before their duel, Sean shoves the Navy Colt through Jack's belt because Jack does not have a holster. Sean advises Jack not to thumb back the hammer before he draws the gun, or else he'll blow his nuts off.
  • When gearing up for the final battle in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, Hammer loads six revolvers into various holsters and one more he tucks into his waistband. Unfortunately he slips on a few bullets outside...
  • In Inception, Cobb keeps a pistol in the waistband of his pants. Even after he's washed up on a beach.
  • Infamous (2020): During the final Blast Out, Arielle pulls a large pistol she has tucked down the back of her extremely short denim cut-offs.
  • Jane Got a Gun: When the first outlaw approaches the farm, Dan tucks his revolver down the back of his trousers so he can walk out to meet him while appearing unarmed.
  • Joker (2019): Arthur starts carrying a revolver in his pants for personal protection, even when he's performing as a clown. During one gig at a children's hospital, the gun slips out of his waistband and falls out of his oversized trouser leg, clattering onto the floor in full view of all the kids.
  • Gay Perry in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang hides a tiny firearm near his crotch. He's gay, so he figures that homophobic guards wouldn't check there.
  • Riggs and later Lorna are guilty of this in the Lethal Weapon series.
  • Let's Get Harry: A group of construction workers, financed by a gung-ho businessman and advised by a mercenary, go down to Columbia to rescue a colleague. The mercenary, who's given them strict instructions not to try bringing guns into the country, walks into their hotel room, grabs the businessman by the crotch, and says, "I want you to give me this." While the others are gaping at this apparent Ho Yay, the businessman gives a shamefaced grin and produces a 9mm pistol from his underpants.
  • The Long Kiss Goodnight uses this trope in reverse. Charlie's spymaster-handler tells her that his hideout gun is always stashed at his crotch in front because it's a place few bad guys search. The ploy doesn't do him any good, because he gets killed right away. However, it works for her because the body is tied up next to her, as she's being tortured, and she's able to retrieve the gun to use on an unsuspecting Mook. Not to mention Mitch defying the trope for the obvious reason.
  • Looper: Joe has a gun in his pants while meeting with his future self in the diner; unfortunately, Old Joe knows that his younger self would carry a gun this way and kicks him in the groin when he tries to draw it, both trapping the weapon in place and inflicting pain on Joe. As Old Joe mentioned he never had kids, I guess he wasn't worried about permanent injury either.
  • Jay from Men in Black keeps his pistol in a holster, it's just that he keeps the holster in the front of his pants and covered up by his jacket, so while it at first looks like this trope it's actually not. When he puts away his gun, after seeing that the pawnshop owner is an alien, the holster can be seen before Jay adjusts his jacket to hide his gun.
  • Mitchell: The titular character does this while answering a door in his apartment. It turns out that it's his "new best friend" Greta. He invites her in with the gun still concealed. The hilarious part is that at one point, the gun actually slides down his pant leg and drops out.
  • The Mountie: During their final showdown, both Olaf and Grayling are drawing guns from their waistbands: Olaf is going for his holdout weapon, and Grayling had lost his holster earlier.
  • Cheng uses this to his advantage in New Police Story when he wins a fistfight by pulling the trigger on a handgun the mook had visibly stashed in the front of his waistband.
  • This happens to Maxwell Smart when tucking his gun into his pants in The Nude Bomb. Fortunately, the bullet "missed it by that much!".
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Elizabeth pulls an extremely large gun out of her pants (it was big enough that it should have prevented her from walking), when she has to disarm completely before entering a pirate lord's hideout. Even Barbossa looks surprised, and looks down at her pant legs like "What the hell else do you have in there?!"
  • Predestination: The temporal agent we know only as The Bartender is issued two revolvers for his trip to The '70s, and tucks one in the front of his pants and the other in the back.
  • In Pulp Fiction, Vince and Jules both carry their guns in their waistbands after having to lose their suits to blood splatter. Vince's in particular can be seen pointing straight at his crotch in the final scene of the film. However, it is very in-character for Vincent. There's a reason he's the trope namer for I Just Shot Marvin in the Face...
  • In Q: The Winged Serpent, a main character objects to being made to carry a pistol in his belt.
  • In Raiders of the Lost Ark, as Indiana Jones says to Brody "You know what a cautious guy I am", he tosses his unholstered revolver casually into his suitcase.
  • Justified in The Rock. Frank Hummel puts his sidearm in the back of his pants instead of his holster when he prepares to tell his remaining men that he was bluffing the entire time and the mission is over, already suspecting that some of them aren't going to accept that. When they do turn on him, he is able to surprise the one trying to disarm him.
  • Ronin (1998): When doing an exchange for the mysterious suitcase, the East German mercenary pats down his Russian contact, only to have the latter produce a gun anyway.
    East German: Where did that come from? [Russian just grins in response] I should have had you strip.
  • Played for Laughs in Scary Movie 4. A character puts a gun in the back of his pants, and it fires ("My ass!"). He then tries with the front of his pants instead, with the same result ("Penis!") before giving up and just carrying it in his hand.
  • In Seven Ways from Sundown, Flood hides his stolen gun inside his shirt. As he and Seven ride into Buckley, he transfers the pistol to the waistband of his trousers in preparation for his escape.
  • Sharky's Machine: Sharky is being tortured by Dirty Cop Smiley, but suddenly he slams the table up against Smiley's face, grabs the gun tucked into the front of Smiley's pants, and shoots him in the stomach with it.
  • This backfires in Shoot 'Em Up. Mr Smith takes a Beretta off a mook and tucks it into his pants because he doesn't have a holster. He realises someone is following him, so hides in a public toilet. As he's standing on the toilet bowl to peek over the stall divider, the gun slips out and falls into the water. Despite a rapid Gun Stripping and cleaning, the Beretta misfires.
  • In Snatch., Turkish points this out to Tommy. Then again, the gun turns out to be useless.
    Turkish: What's to stop it blowing your bollocks off every time you sit down?
  • The defacto manner of carrying a gun used by nearly every non-LEO in Strapped that's armed. Largely justified by the fact that they're purchasing their pistols illegally, living in the 'hood, and most are in need of killing someone.
  • Taken to extremes in Tropic Thunder when Jeff, who is wearing nothing more than underwear, can be seen reaching into it to pull out a full-size pistol... and fire a bunch of blanks.
  • Extremely painfully averted in Unlucky Monkey (Anrakkî monkî) when a hitman stuffs his loaded gun into the front of his waistband. When he trips going up some stairs and hits the ground, the gun goes off. The result is an extremely graphic depiction of exactly what you think would happen.

  • In Anansi Boys, Grahame Coats keeps a number of unsheathed knives in his belt. He eventually gets a Groin Attack, falls down, stabs himself, and bleeds out.
  • In Another Fine Myth, when Skeeve is cornered by muggers at the Bazaar, he reaches for the knife tucked into his belt, and it slips down the back of his pants. Luckily, he's still got his magic and his new pet dragon to even the odds.
  • Almost gets Waxahachie Smith killed in Cure the Texas Fever by J.T. Edson. While in Chicago, Smith is unable to carry his revolver in a fast-draw holster the way he normally does, so he sticks it in the back of pants under his jacket. When attacked, his reflexes cause him to reach for the holster he is no longer wearing.
  • Battle Royale: Some of the students with guns end up sticking them into the waistbands of their skirt or pants, often without even putting the safety on. However, this is a measured risk in a situation where easy access to a gun is often the difference between life and death.
  • The Dark Tower
    • Roland Deschain is kept from shooting Marten/Walter/Flagg when the Ruger he kept in his waistband catches by its front sight on his belt buckle.
    • Eddie Dean also makes use of the trope, stuffing one of Roland's revolvers down his pants as he and Susannah try to escape from a band of Pubes in The Waste Lands. Lampshaded, as the narration describes Eddie as "feeling like a cut-rate Superman" as he tries to manage both the gun and his underwear while dodging a dozen or so armed lunatics at a dead run with a bilateral amputee riding on his shoulders.
  • The Dresden Files: Harry Dresden once had to warn Billy the werewolf that keeping a gun in your pants pocket is a good way to sing soprano. Billy was smart about this and had already emptied the gun of any bullets.
  • Invoked in The Fifth Elephant, where Vimes reflects that while a "springgonne" could be concealed in your trousers, you'd need nerves of steel. And possibly other parts of steel as well.
  • In Fifty Shades Freed, Ana Steele, who is preparing to go to the bank and get some money to ransom her sister-in-law Mia, shoves a loaded handgun into the back of her jeans—despite having stated repeatedly that this type of gun has no safety catch to prevent it from going off and despite knowing that she's pregnant. Although there have been numerous setups throughout the series establishing how dangerous guns can be if treated carelessly, which might lead the reader to conclude that Ana will be injured by the gun, nothing of the sort happens.
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry gets yelled at by Mad-Eye Moody for storing his wand in the back pocket of his jeans.
    Mad-Eye Moody: Better wizards than you have lost buttocks, you know!
    Tonks: Who do you know who's lost a buttock?
  • In the Horatio Hornblower series, it's fairly standard for Horatio et al. to shove a pistol through the waistband largely because there's nowhere else to put it. Lampshaded in one Midshipman story, when Horatio only just remembers to put his gun on half-cock before doing so.
  • James Bond:
    • Commented on in Icebreaker. Bond remembers that his instructor told him to store the gun in his pants so that its barrel is sideways, not pointing down his leg.
    • In Win, Lose or Die Bond also remembers the instructor's warning that doing this improperly could result in what the instructor called "testicide". Yikes.
  • Patriot Games, by Tom Clancy, features Jack Ryan absentmindedly shoving a loaded handgun down his waistband, with the safety off and the hammer cocked.note  Gunny Breckenridge takes the gun out, puts the safety on, and gives it back.
  • In the Riftwar Cycle novel Silverthorn, Jimmy stores a looted dagger this way and ends up with a nasty gut wound later on because of it.
  • In the Sabina Kane series Sabina typically keeps her sidearm stuck through her back waistband. It should've occurred to her that this is not smart, considering that the apple cider rounds she uses make vampires like her explode, but she turns out later to be immune to apples because of her mage half.
  • In Silicon Wolfpack, Murgatroyd carries his pistol in his waistband with an empty chamber for safety reasons.
  • In the Heroes "R" Us series Soldiers of Barrabas a CIA man notices that one of the men kidnapping him has a cocked Colt .45 with the grip safety taped down shoved in the front of his pants. He later gets kicked in the crotch, causing the gun to discharge with inevitable consequences.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Star Wars: Allegiance has Han Solo's blaster confiscated by the Hand of Judgment. A chapter or so later Luke gives him a tiny hold-out blaster. When they confront the Hand of Judgment again and Han doesn't feel like shooting, largely because he's outnumbered by stormtroopers who have much bigger blasters, he starts to slip the hold-out into the usual holster but realizes that it would get lost in there and he'd have to fumble for it, so it goes into his waistband.
    • Another book mentions in the narrative that gang-bangers, in an effort to look macho, will sometimes modify their blaster pistols to be deliberately unsafe by doing things like removing the trigger-guard—and how much of a Too Dumb to Live move this is, especially since many of them carry their guns in their waistband instead of a holster.
  • The Takers by Jerry Ahern. Gun writer Jeff Culhane tells his girlfriend, reporter M. F. Mulrooney, that their latest adventure might be somewhat dangerous. She replies, "Hey, I'm prepared" and then takes a minute rummaging through her huge purse for her .38 pistol. Culhane replies, "Yeah, and I like that quick draw too."
  • John D. MacDonald's recurring character Travis McGee mentions in one book that he actually has a pair of pants with a spring-release holster hidden in the right front pocket.
  • In Jon Steele's non-fiction War Junkie, he's covering a war in Georgia and encounters a militiaman with an RPG warhead stuffed down the front of his pants. The soldier smirks at the sight of Steele's camera, and the others agree that the soldier's "explosive erection" means that "his is definitely bigger".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Justified in Adam-12: Malloy and Reed always stuff the perps' guns in their own waistbands, but they have to free their hands to cover the bad guys with their own weapons or pat them down while still retaining control over the confiscated guns. On the other hand, the guns were usually confiscated from the perps' own waistbands.
  • 'Allo 'Allo!. Rene gets alarmed while smooching an Action Girl from the Communist resistance group.
    Rene: What is that I feel between us?
    Louise: (removes a Luger from her trousers) Oh, it's only my pistol and a couple of hand grenades.
  • Hoobler in Band of Brothers had been trying to get hold of a Luger for months. He was pretty excited when he finally managed to commandeer one, only to go and shoot himself in the leg with it a bit later and bleed to death. While the series was based on true stories, it is more commonly believed that the real Hoobler died when his service rifle snagged on barbed wire.
  • The Barrier: The item that looks like a gun with a silencer turns out to be subcutaneous chip implanter, but the scene in which the user puts it in the waistband in back of his pants still happens when the audience still has every reason to think it's a gun.
  • Battlestar Galactica. In "Valley of Darkness" Dualla tells Billy (a civilian) that sticking a pistol in his pants with the safety off is a bad idea. Later Billy has an accidental discharge when taking the safety off, giving away their position to the Cylons.
  • In the second episode of Black Mirror one character hides a large shard of glass down his trousers, secured by the elastic waistband, you can just see it poking out the rear. What's interesting is that he then does a very vigorous dance routine and it stays perfectly in place.
  • All three of the main characters in Burn Notice are guilty of this trope, but to be fair, they are trained spies and can't exactly carry openly. One assumes that they're intelligent enough to turn the safety on when they put their guns in their waistbands. And Michael has lampshaded the necessity of turning the safety on when you have a gun near any part of your body.
    • The "trained spy" thing makes this less justified, not more. There are choices beyond carrying openly and sticking a gun unprotected into one's pants. A trained spy would know how to carry a concealed weapon safely.
    • Nate puts the gun in his waistband as well when Michael gives him a gun (as in S3 E 13).
    • The smuggling pilot that knows the location of where he dropped off a Russian that wanted to kill Michael did this. Fionna then calmly walks over to him, grabs his gun, and orders him to come with her or "you will lose your two closest friends". It worked.
  • Averted in an episode of Cheers when Sam takes a gun off an enraged husband and then shoots himself in the butt while trying to put it in his back pocket.
  • Played straight in Chuck. Sarah, a highly trained CIA spy, keeps her full-size S&W 5906 in the rear waist of her shorts/jeans. Shots of her reaching for this weapon (about half the time false alarms) are too numerous to count, but none of these shots involve a holster.
  • Cold Case: In "Shore Leave", a dock worker threatens the Victim of the Week—a marine in a navy bar—by pushing back his jacket to show a pistol tucked into his waistband. However, this turns into a Threat Backfire as it unites all the sailors in the bar behind the marine. They may have been ready to pound his head in a few minutes earlier, but they're not going to stand by and let him be threatened by a civilian.
  • On The Colbert Report Stephen breaks every single rule of gun safety (whispering sweet nothings into the barrel, etc.) with Sweetness. This trope gets subverted in one episode when the gun goes off in his pants. Fortunately, the bullet ricochets off his Balls of Steel and kills an audience member instead.
  • In the Community episode "Remedial Chaos Theory" the 'loose in a bag' variation turns up when it is revealed in one of the alternate timelines that Annie, who lives in a really bad neighbourhood, has taken to carrying a loaded concealed firearm in her purse for protection. It then goes unnoticed in several of the following timelines until one where Annie accidentally trips and drops her bag — and the gun goes off, accidentally shooting Pierce in the leg. Unusually, the expected comedy in this example is later completely subverted; the tag reveals that in this timeline Pierce died of his injury and Annie consequently went insane with guilt as a result.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Bad Wolf", Captain Jack Harkness produces a concealed blaster while stark naked. This item must have a very effective Orifice Positive Safety. This must be part of a Temporal Agent's training.
  • Justified in an episode of FBI. O.A. goes into a hostage situation to negotiate. The hostage taker orders him to set down his service revolver, which he does — but he's hiding a second one in the back of his waistband, just in case.
  • In addition to the example noted above under Film, From Dusk Till Dawn has both Gecko brothers running around at various points with guns crammed into their waistbands for concealment purposes.
  • Get Smart: Max puts his gun in his pants. It goes off, he turns around, you hear the sound of him pulling his zipper down and up again, and he then turns around again with his Catchphrase "Missed it by that much".
  • An episode of Justified invoked and then subverted this trope. Colt is a former military policeman and he knows his gun safety. When he sees a drug dealer with a gun tucked in his waistband he points out that it is a stupid thing to do. However, he knows that the drug dealer is a former Marine who would also know this. He concludes that the gun is primarily to intimidate junkies and the dealer has the safety on and no bullet in the chamber. This allows him to tackle the dealer before the dealer has a chance to take the safety off and chamber a round.
  • Kojak kept his service pistol in his suit jacket pocket and the method became so iconic that it became known as "Kojak Style" or "Kojak Carry".
  • In the Leverage episode "The Miracle Job", Eliot and Hardison confront some local gangsters and one of them pulls back his shirt to intimidate our heroes. Eliot just grabs the gun and flips the safety off without ever removing it from the guy's pants.
  • Multiple characters on Lost keep guns tucked into the back of their waistlines, including Jack, who has no in-story excuse for knowing how to use a gun.
  • My Name Is Earl:
    • Crab Man says he doesn't want guns in his house around his kids. One might suspect that he just doesn't want his wife to have them. She experiences an accidental discharge at the end of the episode while shoving a gun into her back pocket.
      Joy: It's alright, everybody! I just grazed my stinker.
    • Earlier, she mistook someone dropping a pool cue at the Crab Shack — she brought out her gun, and so did everyone else, briefly resulting in a Mexican Standoff before Darnell called it off — when Joy re-holstered her gun, it went off (the holder was slung across her chest), briefly resulting in another standoff before she informed the crowd that it "grazed her boobie".
  • Joked about in Mystery Science Theater 3000 while watching Girl in Gold Boots, when the gangster Buz briefly unzips his jacket to reveal a pistol he'd shoved down the front of his pants.
    Mike: What the— a gun! So that was the loud report and the burning sensation in my groin!
  • MythBusters: Jamie Hyneman knows how to handle firearms, but during the Pinball Projectile test, he's clearly seen on-camera with the test handgun shoved in the back of his waistband. Hopefully we can blame the director for that one.
  • In the Netflix show Series/Narcos and its spinoff Narcos: Mexico, everyone from traffickers and local police to DEA agents shoves their pistols in their belts and pants. Especially obvious in enforcer characters like La Quica and Ramón Arellano Felix.
  • Frank Castle sticks a handgun into the front of his pants while interrogating somebody in an episode of The Punisher (2017), despite being a trained Marine who should really know better... which he does. He knows the gun is empty and he's putting it there as Schmuck Bait for his victim.
  • Played for laughs (of course), in The Red Green Show. Bill pulls a hunting rifle from his pants.
  • Dr Watson in the BBC's 2010 Sherlock sticks the gun he keeps in his desk drawer in the back of his waistband. He's an army doctor apparently recovering from a gunshot wound... really, he should know better. Later Sherlock puts it in his trouser pocket. The original Holmes and Watson regularly carried guns around in their pockets, but you'd expect things to have moved on a bit since the 1880s.
  • In the pilot of Something Is Out There, Ta'Ra has her Ray Gun tucked into the back of her jeans. As she's loading stuff into the trunk of a car, the women she's with sees it, removes it, and while examining the gun inadvertently shoots several bystanders (fortunately the weapon is set to stun). Ta'Ra's shown to be a fan of at least one human cop show so she probably learned this bad habit there.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise. In the Mirror Universe episode, Captain Archer is boarding a vessel from the Captain Kirk-era and comes across a dead Redshirt. He picks up the man's phaser and Lt. Reed instantly offers to hold it for him. Archer gives him a suspicious look and tucks the phaser's grip into the equipment belt of his spacesuit.
  • In Star Trek: The Original Series, some of the later seasons had characters with phasers tucked into their pants instead of attached to an equipment belt (first season) or the outside of their waistband (later). William Shatner remarked in a book that this had been to show the characters getting accustomed to the weapons.
  • In Supergirl (2015), Alex usually keeps a gun in the back of her pants when maintaining a civilian appearance, cocked and loaded.
  • Sam and Dean of Supernatural never seem to wear holsters and when they opt for handguns instead of shotguns, they tend to just tuck them into their waistbands as can be seen in the episode "Skin" (S01, E06).
  • Veronica Mars: Two notable examples in season 4: one is a Mexican sicario who puts his gun down the back of his pants when he answers the door; a none-too-bright hillbilly does the same thing a few episodes later, only he shoves the gun down his crotch.
  • In The West Wing, Secret Service agent Simon Donovan sticks his recently fired weapon in his waistband... and immediately pulls it back out, as it was very hot.
  • A lot of characters regularly keep their guns concealed down the front of their pants on The Wire. One episode in particular features Omar Little, having to go out first thing in the morning but unwilling to go to the effort to get dressed, attempting to conceal a handgun in his baggy, silk pyjama pants, before apparently realising that this won't work, and deciding against bringing his gun at all. And while preparing to confront a rival gang, Avon Barksdale is seen tucking a handgun into his front waistband.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Trope Namer is the perk Pants Positive Safety in the High Tech supplement of GURPS. Any character without the perk gets hit with detailed rules for accidental discharge.

    Video Games 
  • In The Last of Us, both Joel and Ellie carry their pistols loose in the waistband of their jeans. Joel can craft holsters enabling him to carry extra combat-ready pistols, but his waistband remains the spot for his primary handgun.
  • Takaya in Persona 3 keeps his revolver slung in his belt, pointed right at his crotch. Which makes little sense, as guns are illegal in Japan, and you'd think someone would notice whenever he's not walking around in the Dark Hour.
  • In Red Dead Redemption Irish walks around with his gun in the front of his pants, pointing directly at his crotch. It is later revealed in the last newspaper that Irish died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound while drunk. One can only guess where he shot himself. The real funny thing is that the single-action revolvers in that time period still lacked much in the way of safeties, so that was actually fairly normal. Cowboys would open the loading gate on their revolvers and stick it in their pants, for example. The only way to shoot yourself is if you carried it around with all six rounds loaded and the hammer over a loaded chamber, which was a huge no-no at the time.
  • Zaveid from Tales of Zestiria uses the back of his pants to store his gun.
  • Trails of Cold Steel IV: For Musse's Limit Break "Pentashot," she produces a pistol from under her skirt.
  • In The Walking Dead, game characters store loaded firearms in the waistbands of their pants on a routine basis.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Spirit Hunter: NG, when facing off against the spirit Kubitarou, Seiji brings along an automatic pistol that he keeps tucked in the back of his pants. He modified it with a special safety that only he can turn off, so that at least alleviates some of the inherent danger of stowing a gun that way.

    Web Animation 
  • Defied in Episode 2 of Dr. Havoc's Diary; Dr. Havoc insists that if he were to store a ballpoint pen gun in his shirt pocket, he'd shoot his nipple off.

    Web Original 
  • In Pay Me, Bug!, the protagonist does this during his escape from the hospital on Tyrelos Station. He didn't have the chance to steal the holster when he stole the gun, so there's really no place else to put it.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad! CIA man Stan does this on a regular basis. He hasn't shot himself yet, though.
    Stan: Cold, cold! Yet flattering.
  • In the second episode of Archer, Archer refers to the Chekhov pistol as his "underwear gun" and first shows it off by pulling it from the front of his briefs.
    Cyril Figgis: When would you even need an underwear gun?
  • Lamilton carries his grandmother's gun in the front of his pants' waistband on The Boondocks, but he manages not to shoot himself (or anyone else he doesn't intend to).
  • The Simpsons: In "Sex, Pies, and Idiot Scrapes", Homer becomes a bounty hunter and starts carrying a taser, which he shoves down the front of his pants because it looks cool. The results are predictable.

    Real Life 
  • This article. Try not to snicker at the description of the incident as an "accidental discharge".
  • NFL player Plaxico Burress famously shot himself in the leg after storing his unregistered gun in the waistband of his sweatpants. It slipped down his pants leg and he accidentally pulled the trigger when trying to catch it. He was in a crowded New York nightclub and he didn't notice he'd shot himself until he could feel the blood a few minutes after. He even ended up spending a year in jail for carrying a concealed firearm without a permit.
  • An officer of the Polish Anti-Corruption Bureau shot himself in the ass with his service pistol, because he carried it in the back of his pants instead of a holster.
  • According to one story on 4chan, a thug walked up to a guy and tried to rob him. When the guy asked "with what?" the thug pulled up his shirt and showed him the gun in his waistband. The victim simply reached for it, pulled the trigger, and left the thug screaming as he walked off.
  • This dude tried to shoot somebody, missed, and then accidentally shot himself while putting his gun back in his pants.
  • Wild Bill Hickok, in his famous duel with Davis Tutt (which helped solidify the image of the Wild West Quick Draw), apparently invoked this. While warning/threatening Tutt, Hickok cocked his pistol, then shoved it back into his waistband.
  • There was a guy who went to see The Bourne Legacy not long after the infamous theater shooting in Colorado. He decided to carry his pistol in the back of his pants. The gun went off, putting a bullet in his ass. He apologised to everybody else and then drove himself to the hospital.
  • A shooter at the North Harris campus of Lone Star College in Houston attempted to put his gun in the back of his pants after trying to use it to settle an argument. Predictably, it discharged.
  • The book "The World's Dumbest Criminals" tells a story of a man who robbed a bank with a sawed-off antique shotgun that had no trigger guard. Upon getting his money, he then shoved the barrel in his pants as he prepared to leave. And then the trigger caught on his waistband.
  • A man in Plano, Texas got shot by his dog when he left his gun in his pants and picked up the dog, causing it to accidentally put a paw on the trigger. Fortunately, the bullet went straight through his thigh without hitting anything major, and the local police department used the incident to educate the populace on basic gun safety.