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Pervy Patdown

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"I'll let you have thirty more seconds. But you're enjoying this too much. When I think you've had enough fun to realize I don't have a weapon, I'm going to step back, and you'll take your hands away. If you don't, I'll break your neck."
Catherine Ling, What Doesn't Kill You

When a character uses a pat-down as an opportunity to grope another character. Often times done by a Dirty Cop or a Mook who has a character, usually female, in a position where it seems unlikely they would fight back, usually because they're tied up or in the case of a Dirty Cop doing the pat-down, the character is likely to get in more trouble for assaulting a cop.

In Real Life, various law enforcement officials and workers need to frisk people, including police, prison guards, airport guards, and security guards, to search for hidden weapons and illegal items. In some jurisdictions, police try to get a female officer to search a female suspect, but this is not always feasible.

Related to I Have You Now, My Pretty and Creepy Physical. See also Victoria's Secret Compartment.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the first episode of Angel Links, Meifon tries to negotiate the release of two hostage from some Space Pirates. Before exchanging the ransom for the hostages, the leader of the pirates compliments her good looks and decides he needs to frisk her first, but oddly not her two tougher-looking crewmates that came with her. He feels up her body, but when he tries to grope her breasts he gets attacked by Taffei, Meifon's catlike pet that lives in her cleavage.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Stone Ocean: When arriving at Green Dolphin Prison, Ermes gets held down by a guard as he attempts to sexually assault her while checking if she's got money hidden somewhere. Jolyne swiftly uses Stone Free to slice the guard's ear off.
    • The JoJoLands: Jodio and Dragona getting pulled over by some Dirty Cops, with one insistent on patting Dragona down as a cover for molestation, and the other cop enabling his groping. It gets even worse when the cop feels Dragona's thong after assuming they were a girl and saying that it makes things even better, with him only being stopped by Jodio's interference using November Rain.

    Comic Books 
  • In V for Vendetta, Alistair Harper discusses an instance of Off Screen Villainy in which he arrested a married couple, beat up the husband, then performed a strip-search of the woman and took the opportunity to feel her up.
  • She-Hulk has this happening to her post-Civil War, when a Jerkass agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. forced her to undergo a strip-search with him being the searcher in question and various other male SHIELD agents witnessing the event.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Chronicles of Riddick, the prison guards of Crematoria corner Keyra, an agile Action Girl. One of them slowly pats her down to find any concealed shivs, enjoying himself while doing so. She makes a surprise attack in response.
  • In the 2004 film Crash, Officer Ryan pulls a black couple over and gives the woman, Christine, a groping patdown in front of her husband.
  • In Double Impact Danielle Wilde uses her employment in Griffith's company to search for a document the twins need. She's caught by Griffith's assassin, the muscular Butch Lesbian Kara, who puts her up against a wall and suggestively frisks her. Kara suggests that Danielle frisk her, but Danielle disgustedly runs out as Kara laughs at her.
  • Foxy Brown: When Foxy approaches the main villain for their final confrontation, the bad guys frisk her for weapons. They pay special, very thorough, attention to her breasts and crotch area (but miss the gun hidden in her hair).
  • The 1968 British-French film The Girl On A Motorcycle (AKA Naked Under Leather). At the French/German border, two customs officers are rather appreciative when the title character turns up. She thinks in voiceover, "I've heard all about the way they search. God, he'd do it too, the randy sod" as the black officer strokes her thigh and pats her behind. When she has to go through the same customs station later on she comments, "That black man had better not try touching me up again" only to be disappointed when she sees the customs officer is an elderly white guy.
  • Inverted in The Naked Gun, where Lt. Frank Drebin is legitimately frisking various ballplayers in order to find which one of them is going to try and carry out an assassination. Unfortunately, given that he's posing as an umpire, he looks like a pervert trying to feel them up.
  • Les Miserables: Chris the Dirty Cop is firmly established as a bad guy when he harasses a teenaged girl at a bus stop, and sticks his hand down her shirt, supposedly to check if she's carrying marijuana but really to feel her up.
  • SAS: Rise of the Black Swan. A female mercenary grabs Dr. Hart's breasts and crotch while searching her for a mobile phone. Rather than being played for fanservice they come to blows and Hart is on the verge of being shot when the mercenary commander intervenes.
  • In the 2004 version of Taxi, Lt. Marta Robbins gets one prior to being taken hostage by the Brazilian thieves, their excuse being she might have a wire.
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, when Judge Doom tells his henchmen to frisk Jessica for Marvin Acme's will, Greasy Weasel reaches down her ample cleavage to do it and to cop a feel. But all he gets is his hand caught in a Bear Trap.
    Eddy Valiant: Nice boobie trap!
  • Done on the nameless assassin girl at the beginning of Naked Weapon, probably to show the audience the nature of the film.
  • In Death Warrant an undercover attorney named Amanda posing as Jean-Claude Van Damme's wife (himself an undercover cop investigating corrupt officers in a prison) has to go for a full and very gropy strip-search in order to see her husband.
  • Done by a Butch Lesbian deputy principal on the protagonists of witches' film 5ive Girls.
  • Done in both versions of The Getaway, when a criminal's wife comes to visit a crime boss in the hopes that he can get her husband out of jail. While his mook technically does not do anything improper, it's obvious he enjoys the chance to put his hands on a beautiful woman, especially considering that her skimpy outfit makes it quite clear that she isn't carrying a weapon.
  • Once Upon a Spy: When Chenault arrives at Valorium's corporate HQ, he is given an extremely intimate patdown by his bodyguard Greta; extracting some very strange noises from Chenault. If Valorium hadn't called them into his office, it seems like she might have tried to jump his bones there and then.
  • John Wick: Chapter 2: When John Wick turns up for a meeting with Santino, his mute female enforcer gives Wick a thorough pat-down, then reaches between Wick's legs to grab his ass and check his crotch, much to his annoyance.
  • Damage: A man attempts this on Frankie with a metal detector before John Brickner's fight with Jaime. She tells him "touch my breasts and I'll kick your teeth in", and he backs off.
  • In Clue, Colonel Mustard and Miss Scarlett are preparing to search a dark room. When Mustard wonders what could be in the room, Scarlett replies, "Search me". Mustard proceeds to do so, and Scarlett warns him off before he can get to her chest.
  • Jonah Hex (2010): Implied when the title character and his prostitute girlfriend are taken prisoner.
    Jonah: You still got that derringer in your bustle?
    Lilah: No, he took it.
    Jonah: What about that knife in your garter?
    Lilah: Took it.
    Jonah: What about that—
    Lilah: Took it all, Jonah.
    Jonah: Well, searched you pretty darn good, didn't they?

  • A classic joke: attending a conference, a woman called Patricia is checking in and is given a stick-on name label. The security guard writes a label in the form "PAT" and attaches it to her left breast...

  • In Catherine Ling: What Doesn't Kill You, Catherine has this done to her by The Dragon, who is actually gay and is doing it because he doesn't like her and doesn't like his Depraved Bisexual boss' near-obsession with her. She tells him to cut it out or she'll break his neck.
  • Honor Harrington:
    • In Honor Among Enemies, the titular heroine is to be given a patdown by a pirate whose expression makes it obvious that he intends to cop a feel on her. She lets him know in no uncertain terms that doing so would be very ill-advised.
    • In Crown of Slaves, one of the Massadans that had captured the slave freighter Felicia gropes Berry Zilwicki (who they think is Princess Ruth) while searching her for weapons. Later, when Berry is to be moved into the "cargo" area, Cachat warns the Massadan given the task that if he molests her again, the Massadan will wind up very painfully dead.
  • This happens to Wren in Mortal Engines: A Darkling Plain. She boards Harrowbarrow with the intention of meeting Wolf Kobold, and one of his minions insists on searching her for weapons before the meeting takes place. Afterwards, she wonders to herself what sort of weapons he expected her to be concealing in her bra.
  • In the RCN novel When the Tide Rises, a local magnate's thug does this to Adele Mundy and her sociopathic Battle Butler Tovera. Adele doesn't object at the time because she needs his help in a hurry to rescue Daniel, but once the balance of power shifts, Tovera shanks the guard with a writing stylus, then castrates him.
  • In Soldiers Of Barrabas by Jack Hild, the SOBs make an illicit technology sale to the Soviet Union and are subjected to an unpleasantly thorough search by the KGB guards. However, when the guards take a lot longer to search The Squadette, Nile Barrabas gives them a choice of finishing now or watching them get back on the plane. As the KGB needs the SOBs' help to understand the US technology, they comply.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In a sketch on The Benny Hill Show where Benny plays a wrestler, the referee tries to pat him down to check for weapons and he flinches away.
  • In Blackadder Goes Forth, Blackadder accuses Captain Darling of this during HQ's search for the spy.
    Darling: I'm only doing my job, Blackadder.
    Blackadder: How convenient that your job is also your hobby.
  • Come Fly With Me has an episode where a security officer is seen doing pat-downs and touching people in inappropriate areas. We then learn that the man is not even a genuine security officer as he is seen scarpering when he is asked for ID.
  • Happens to Max at the hands of a Mook in the first episode of Dark Angel under the "searching for weapons" excuse.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Praxeus", Gabriela insists on patting Ryan down for weapons as a demonstration that she can trust him. It isn't initially intended to be this trope, but becomes it briefly when she touches his chest and ask him if he works out.
  • Echo (2024): In the first episode, a security guard checks Maya for weapons and uses the opportunity to grab her butt. In response, she grabs him by the scruff and slams him into a wall.
  • Subverted on Family Matters when hall monitor Urkel pats down a random student. The pat-down wasn't necessarily pervy, but he still did like patting the kid's hair and ultimately confiscated the boy's bag of chips.
  • Los Hombres de Paco: Pepa does this to Silvia after the two have a misunderstanding; while Silvia loads up a car, Pepa "arrests" her on the grounds of neglecting and ignoring her, and submits her to a frisk, which includes caressing Silvia's upper arms, rubbing and massaging her thighs, and practically fondling her as well, leading to a brief make-up make-out session.
  • One Married... with Children episode has Kelly, then employed as the superhero exterminator "The Verminator", subjected to this. At one point after passing through a metal detector, she is given this first by the principal, then the school nurse and then the principal again as the school nurse watches.
  • Orange Is the New Black: In the first season, Piper has this done to her by Mendez.
  • Ultimate Force. While posing as a mercenary, Henno uses the opportunity to 'demonstrate' the correct way to search a female journalist coming to interview the warlord he's working for. The journalist is actually a female member of Henno's unit, so while his pat-down is entirely professional there's a definite subtext.

  • From "Fuck Tha Police" by N.W.A:
    I don't know if they fags or what
    Search a nigga down and grabbing his nuts

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Patting down wrestlers for concealed weapons is not commonly seen in major post territorial promotions, even though only those dedicated to garbage wrestling like ECW or with a predetermined honor code like Ring of Honor have any excuse for doing away with it. It is still standard procedure in some independent enterprises though and ODB invoked this trope at Pro Wrestling Bushido, telling the referee there was nothing worth checking on Christina Von Eerie and commanding him to "check out these".

    Video Games 
  • Abia's Establishing Character Moment in HuniePop 2 is giving one of these to Lola with barely contained nervous glee.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots introduces the ability to pat down enemies you hold up at gunpoint for items, then knock them out by crushing their balls. It's possible to do this to the Haven Troopers, in which case they'll either get turned on or get angry. Attempting the ball-grab knockout, however, will cause Snake to grope them, and get kicked in the face as a result.

    Web Comics 
  • Defied in Schlock Mercenary. The extremely well-endowed Dr. Bunnigus (who paid her way through university as an exotic dancer) is threatened with this by the border guard at Haven Hive entry port. Rather than allow her colleagues to respond with violence, she shows the would-be groper what she's not hiding, and what he'll never, ever get his hands on, in a way that leaves him a shuddering wreck.

    Western Animation 
  • In the King of the Hill episode "Lupe's Revenge", a female officer that Hank unintentionally seduced pulls him over and doesn't let him go until she can frisk him. Which she uses as an opportunity to grab his butt.
  • One Robot Chicken sketch has an attractive woman at an airport getting swarmed by TSA agents to pat her down. Once she gets away, a heavyset woman comes through and attempts to get the same treatment, but the agents just wave her on.