Luschek: I'm not a plumber!
Ruiz: Our mistake. You've got that whole ass-crack thing going on, so...
(Luschek self-consciously pulls up his pants)
The Plumber Crack gag is a classic comedy staple. It is a situation in which a plumber or other blue-collar worker of similar ilk (in British English it is more often called a "builder's bum") bends to do some task and exposes their butt crack in the process to onlookers.
Common stereotypes of the Blue-Collar worker are their apparent lack of hygiene and personal fitness. Keeping in mind the principle of Show, Don't Tell, the (usually) overweight and hirsute character bends down to take a look at something, and their pants fall or get pulled below their waistline.
The Reaction Shot of the other characters is typically Played for Laughs. They might even use the opportunity to give a wedgie. Characters are often far more disgusted by the sight than similarly being "mooned". Compare Wardrobe Malfunction and Mooning.
- Liquid Plumr's "Plumber in All of Us" commercial.
- Duluth Trading Company's "How to Un-Plumber a Butt" commercial advertises longer T-shirts to cover cracks from above.
- A French fashion designer created higher-rise underwear that builders in jeans can wear so that this trope can save them from embarrassment.
- A Korean commercial for Puma fashion uses angle measuring to advertise a variety of sports clothing. It invokes a subversion of this trope when it advertises a t-shirt, showing that if you bend over as you sit down the shirt will rise at the perfect angle to expose the waistband of your Puma underwear peeking above your jeans. Amusingly, the advert defines it as (in Gratuitous English) "sensual", "sexy" and "chic".
- The third episode of Yo-kai Watch features a gag where Kanchi note is crouched down◊ with his entire butt crack showing. This was notoriously censored in the English dub (which aired on Disney XD) by covering the crack with his white underpants.◊ Interestingly, Kumanote still points out that Kanchi's butt is exposed, that—while true—doesn't give off the same effect.
- In the second episode of Over Drive, Yuki catches Mikoto's exposed white briefs◊ when he excitedly turns around in a fetal position. She is disgusted and snaps "Who wants to show their underwear?!" Mikoto explains that he is following a trend, but then blushes as he thinks back to a train journey when two girls sitting behind him were giggling to each other about how they could see his underwear as he held onto an overhead handrail opposite them.
- In this screencap,◊ Rin in Free! is shown to wear his pants low for fashion, secured with his belt. Makoto's pants, meanwhile, show his underwear waistband because they are simply low rise, to begin with.
- In Garfield: His 9 Lives "The Vikings", when the Vikings end up in Minnesota, Smitty gets a job as a plumber. The scene of him at work shows this. (In addition, his Viking outfit comprises a loincloth that slips down enough to show some crack even when he isn't bending over.)
- In the fan made short story "Secret Santa Lynn," the main antagonist Lynn Loud from the TV show The Loud House is forced to dress up in a Miss. Clause uniform in order to make Mizuki (the child that she is babysitting ©Rokku-D) believe in Santa once more. However, due to the size of the uniform this lead for Lynn's buttcrack to appear and accidentally moon Mizuki.
- Two downplayed examples appear in the second Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. When Alvin is being chased by jocks, he diverts them to a bench, making them assume that he is hiding under it. The boys frantically bend over and search around it, exposing both their white underpants as their jeans rode down, and Alvin jumps off a bannister nearby and gives them both wedgies. A few seconds later, the two jocks are seen limping after (where they assume is) Alvin's direction, implying that Alvin does not know his own strength if he could wedgie two humans to the point of making them walk funny (remember, he and his brothers were the size of a human's foot).
- The comedy Are We Done Yet uses a closeup of a builder's one as an establishing shot.
- Teen comedy Picture This features Alpha Bitch Lisa noticing the frequently picked-on Mandy is attracted to her boyfriend Drew. When Mandy walks past, Lisa trips her up and records her struggling to collect her school books off the floor, zooming in on Mandy's Goofy Print Underwear thong above her low-rise jeans.
- Deck the Halls uses a subversion this trope as an Establishing Character Moment for the chief of police. Steve goes to report Buddy to the police for one of his tit-for-tat crimes. The police chief is revealed to be a Wholesome Crossdresser when he crouches in front of a cabinet to pick up fresh police files, exposing his pink thong. Steve runs out of the building awkwardly.
- In Whata Girl Wants, Daphne Reynolds is sitting in a kitchen eating Cocopops when Henry Dashwood enters the kitchen, he is startled by Daphne sitting in her pajamas in the dark and we get a camera shot of Daphne with her buttcrack showing.
- One of the bits in a Bob Rivers song "The Buttcracker Suite" (parodying music from The Nutcracker) is about a customer grossed out by the plumber showing his arse while hunched over the sink.
- In Castle Hangnail, there's a plumber who comes to help with the castle repairs, and it's mentioned that his trousers have a tendency to ride down at the back and display more of him than most people would prefer.
- The opening titles of Benidorm features a shot of numerous men wearing board shorts and swimsuits sitting in a row, exposing all of their cracks.
- In an episode of Married... with Children, Al hires a beautiful woman to fix the refrigerator so he can ogle her butt as she is bending over. When the fridge breaks again, he is forced to hire an overweight man with prominent plumber's crack to fix it properly.
- A Saturday Night Live sketch had nerds Todd and Lisa cracking jokes over the Norge repairman (played by Dan Aykroyd).
- This happens when Dan Aykroyd (again) makes a cameo appearance on The Nanny as a refrigerator repairman, leading to this exchange:
Niles: I think these people all shop at the same place.
Fran: Yeah... The Gap.
- Parodied in the B-plot of the Hannah Montana episode "Mascot Love". Robby and Jackson are trying to fix the garbage disposal/sink in the kitchen which leads to Robby betting $50 that Jackson couldn't do it on his own. When alone, Jackson pauses and says to himself that if he's going to be acting like a plumber then he should look the part, so he steps back and pulls down the back of his jeans to show off his underwear, and carries on. Played straight later in the episode when a plumber comes by to fix the sink after Jackson's attempts end up backfiring, with both Jackson and Robby pointing it out.
- It's a borderline character trait for Stiles in Teen Wolf, whose underwear is frequently exposed whenever he bends over or crouches down because he neither wears a belt nor wears pants that rise higher than his underwear.
- One game on Whose Line Is It Anyway? involved guessing a character's former occupation. This trope came into play when the character had previously been a builder.
- In an episode of The X-Files, one of these becomes a major plot point after Mulder sees a plumber with a spot where a tail once was, while investigating an epidemic of babies in a town being born with tails.
- On the CBBC reality series Only in America, a Running Gag in an episode is that Reggie's stunt acting instructor is telling him off for his underwear showing. At one point, he says, "You don't want to look like a plumber."
- One task on The Celebrity Apprentice involved recording radio spots for a maintenance company. They specifically asked the teams not to make any jokes about plumbers and especially to avoid this trope. Instead:
- A downplayed running gag for Adam on Friday Night Dinner. He never wears a belt and whenever he bends over, his boxers are exposed. It often comes to an advantage for others whenever they are angry with him; his uncle once drags him across the floor by his trouser legs and taunts him about his underwear showing. There was also an entire episode with a running gag of Johnny giving Adam a wedgie whenever Adam bent over and his jeans sagged down.
- A The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode once opened with a scene of Uncle Phil trying to fix a sink. He defies the trope because he's wearing higher jeans with a belt but it doesn't stop Will making jokes.
- This Alas Smith and Jones sketch starts with imagery of sweaty curvaceous flesh being fondled in full porn movie style... And then the camera pulls out to downright traumatic effect.
- One gag in an episode of Even Stevens features a subverted underwear-showing version of the trope, in which Louis gets wedgied by Beans with a fishing rod when he is crouching down next to his closet, exposing his underpants.
- A similar effect (played for drama) is used in an episode of How I Met Your Mother. After Ted wakes up from a memory-wiping hangover, his friends notice a sudden tattoo on his lower back near his underwear waistband when his shirt slides up his body as he reaches to a kitchen shelf above his head.
- One of The Man Show's many fake ads was for "Crack Spackle", a product aimed at helping to combat this phenomenon.
- Taskmaster has some notable examples:
- During Mel's choreography of a ringtone dance in "Friendship is Truth," this happens to Alex as he and Mel are depicted dancing in a back alley, and it is captured by the overhead camera. In the studio replay, Noel comments that he's imagining a miniature Mel and Alex also dancing in Alex's "back alley."
- Nish's buttcrack pops out when he is getting Alex to shore "as elegantly as possible" in "Dignity Intact." Alex shields him from the camera with his notepad.
Nish: I can feel the wind on my buttcrack.
Alex: I can see the wind on your buttcrack.
- This is parodied in French sketch comedy show Vous Les Femmes. The plumber called out to fix the sink in Olivia Cotê's kitchen is wearing dissappointingly covering trousers that avert this. But Olivia fancies him. To make this clear, she crouches down next to him on the pretence she wants to see the problem for herself. Sure enough, the back of her jeans gapes and she is wearing the skimpiest possible thong. The plumber makes his excuses and leaves.
- Discussed in-depth on Designing Women with the ladies noting that many of the plumbers and construction workers they deal with all suffer from the same problem, with one recurring maintenance man named Rusty revealing his repeatedly through the show. At one point, a recurring character named Vanessa that feels self-conscious about not being as cultured or book-smart as the other ladies, reveals her street smarts when the ladies are discussing how seemingly every handyman in America suffers the same problem and nobody knows why, only for Vanessa to reveal she knows why... their toolbelts weigh their pants down.
- ANNO: Mutationem: During Sigrid's Surprise Santa Encounter, when "Santa" attempts to pull out his bag of gifts from the chimney, his behind displays a viewable crack.
- Ratchet & Clank: The Plumber technically averts this. Didn't stop Ratchet from commenting on it though, or "the plumber's back" from becoming a Running Gag in the series for a period of time.
- Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare: The Engineer zombie's pants are hanging down low enough to show off a distinct amount of butt-cleavage, which is particularly noticeable to the Engineer's player when they use his Jackhammer Attack.
- Featured in this parody of those infamous late-night Girls Gone Wild commercials.
- Yes, there actually has a been a genuine porno based on this premise, with the amply-bottomed Caroline Pierce as the plumber.
- Humza points out Dexter's one in Diary of a Bad Man when he is watching Dexter being attacked by Asif.
- Robotnik's vehicle breaks down in this parody of a Sonic level by Dorkly Originals, so he finds a replacement tyre and crouches down to fix it, exposing his butt crack to the viewer in its pixellated glory as Sonic and Tails become impatient waiting.
- Ryan George: "When People Assume Stuff About Your Dog" starts with someone informing a plumber he could see his butt crack the entire time he was fixing the dishwasher, with the plumber assuring him it was a little bonus they like to offer their customers.
- Dexter's Laboratory: In one episode where Dexter is curious about an electrician visiting the house, he uses his lab's camera to spy on him, getting a view of the man's butt crack.
- Rocko's Modern Life:
- In the episode "Canned," Rocko takes on a new job as a plumber's assistant. He is dismayed, however, to find out that his sole responsibility is to pull up the plumber's pants whenever they fall over due to his position.
- This gag also appears with the plumber who appears in "Pipe Dreams" to fix Rocko's clogged toilet.
- In "Seat to Stardom", Rocko, Filburt, and Heffer are part of a crowd waiting to get an autograph from Really Really Big Man and other celebrities, but they're stuck in the back. All Heffer can see is the back of a bunch of heads, all Rocko can see is a forest of ankles, and as for Filburt...
Filburt: (deadpan) I got a bird's eye view of the Grand Canyon.
- The Rugrats episode "Down the Drain", in which a plumber has to be called to the house frequently because the children keep blocking drains.
- In the Recess episode "To Finster with Love," Hank the Janitor displays one while fixing a door hinge, much to Ms. Finster's delight.
- South Park's episode "Basic Cable" depicts the entirety of the cable repair's workers with these.
- Phineas and Ferb: Perry once disguised himself as a plumber wearing nothing but a plumber's hat and a plumber's belt. Doof felt the natural disgust during the few seconds Perry actually did some plumbing.
- The Simpsons: Marge once became a carpenter but nobody would hire a woman to do that kind of job. As she commented to Homer that it seemed people expected carpenters to be overweight people with visible buttcracks, she immediately thought about using Homer as a facade.
- In the My Gym Partner's a Monkey episode "Pride And Pixiefrog", when Pixiefrog is being interviewed by the press, a cameraman's crack is on display in a Funny Background Event.
- The Fairly Oddparents: In "That Old Black Magic", Timmy's Dad was so afraid of the bad luck associated with stepping on cracks on the floor he dedicated himself to sealing all cracks at the amusement park he took his family to. That included the crack of a repairman working at the park.
- In American Dad!'s season 8 episode "The Scarlet Getter", Steve realises that if he wears his sister's thong, they act as a lucky charm for him until he takes them off. Unfortunately for him, he would've gotten away with it for another day if best friend Snot hadn't seen them show above his pants as he bent over to search through his bag on the school bus.
- Being the kind of cartoon that turns Fat Slob into an art form, it's easier to count the number of men in The Ren & Stimpy Show who DON'T have an entire grand canyon's worth of crack exposed at a given moment. This trope reaches its butt-cracktastic peak whenever a Lummox is around.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy:
- A subverted version used as a Take Our Word for It gag in "One of Those Eds", when the neighbourhood kids are trying to remove a quarter that's stuck on the sidewalk. Eddy loudly declares that he can see Sarah's underwear as she is hunched over the coin and trying to pull at it with her teeth. The viewer is left in the dark about whether Eddy was telling the truth because Sarah is facing the "camera" as she is attempting to win the challenge. The rest of the children waiting with him laugh as if Eddy had pointed out what they were all thinking, making Sarah stomp away in red-faced embarrassment, but they were as competitive as Eddy so they could've easily been lying as well.
- Ed and Edd's were out after Kevin hung both of them by their underwear in "Brother Can You Spare An Ed".
- In Transformers: Animated, the Constructicons have butt cracks, despite being robots.