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Plumber's Crack

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"Hey, could you get that? Thanks a lot."

Ramos: The pipes in our bathroom froze again. Why don't you deal with that?
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. Characters are often far more disgusted by the sight than similarly being "mooned". Compare Wardrobe Malfunction and Mooning.


Examples:

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Comic Books

  • 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.)

Film

  • Straight out example in the beginning of Happy Gilmore showing one of the titular character's jobs as a plumber.
  • 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 down to pick up fresh police files and his pink thong is exposed. Steve runs out of the building awkwardly.

Music

  • 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.

Live-Action TV

  • 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 (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.
  • 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.
  • 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:
    Brett Michaels: We know there's been a lot of cracks about plumbers.
  • A subverted 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.

Theatre

Video Games

Web Original

  • 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.

Western Animation

  • 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.
  • Seen on the Rugrats after Cynthia gets flushed down the toilet.
  • In the Recess episode "To Finster with Love," Hank the Janitor displays one while fixing a door hinge, much to Ms. Finster's delight.
  • 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.
  • The Fairly Oddparents: In "That Old Black Magic", Timmy's Dad was so afraid of the bad luck associated to 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.
  • Being the kind of cartoon that turns Fat Slob into an art form, it's easier to count the amount 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 it's butt-cracktastic peak whenever a Lummox is around.


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