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"Risky Business" Dance

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A character who is home alone dances around like a fool, singing into a hairbrush and dressed in only his underwear or, if the writers are directly parodying the signature scene from Risky Business, then it will be the button-down dress shirt, "tighty-whitey" briefs, and socks. (Note that parodies often include the character wearing sunglasses, but while Cruise's character wore sunglasses elsewhere in the film and on the poster, the actual dancing scene does NOT feature sunglasses.) Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll" (or a parody/soundalike of it) can be used, but not always. Usually a celebration or declaration of freedom, but sometimes just a way of showing that a character is having goofy fun. Very common right after a character has scored a date with their longtime crush. Named for the famous scene of Tom Cruise dancing in his underwear in Risky Business. A frequent addition for comedy is for someone to walk in on the person re-enacting the scene or for the character to slip and fall while trying to slide into frame.

See also Dancing with Myself, and Happy Dance (and contrast Angry Dance, which is more likely to pastiche Footloose).


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  • A 2020 Domino's ad features a man (Jordan Fisher) doing the dance set to "Old Time Rock and Roll" while he waits for the pizza he ordered to arrive (getting dressed again just in time for the pizza to arrive at his front door).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The trailer for the first Garfield movie has Garfield wearing a pair of sunglasses and doing this in the living room.
  • In the climax of Johnny English, the eponymous character tries to show the DVD featuring the Big Bad explaining his Evil Plan, but he apparently mixed up that DVD with one featuring him doing this.
  • Innerspace: After getting drunk Jack starts a crazy dance around the room to Sam Cooke's "Twistin' The Night Away". Watch the scene here.
  • Love Actually: UK Prime Minister David (Hugh Grant) dances around to the Pointer Sisters' "Jump (For My Love)" at 10 Downing Street as he gets ready to finish up with his work. He is caught by a staff member but doesn't react in embarrassment.
  • Mrs. Doubtfire: Robin Williams' titular character does a fully-clothed version with a vacuum cleaner.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) opens with Starlord dancing around to Redbone's "Come and Get Your Love", complete with slide.
    • Later, viewing the scene in Avengers: Endgame, Rhodey and Nebula watch him dancing towards the Orb's hiding place, but without the music.
      Rhodey: So he's an idiot?
      Nebula: [hanging her head down] Yes.

    Live-Action TV 
  • At the 2000 MTV Movie Awards, Ben Stiller, as Tom Cruise's stunt double "Tom Crooze", recreates the opening slide, sliding hard against the wall.
  • The ALF episode "Looking for Lucky" features ALF dancing around the house in a parody of this scene.
  • Arrested Development, "Development Arrested", Ted is dressed like Tom Cruise (sunglasses, collar up, no pants) under the "Risky Business" banner. He can be heard saying "I couldn't see through the glasses and I slid into the ladder", implying he (unsuccessfully) attempted to re-create the famous "sliding in front of the stairs" scene from the movie, in front of the ladder.
  • In a sketch on The Ben Stiller Show Stiller plays Cruise doing a one man show highlighting many of his most beloved film characters, obviously including the dance from Risky Business. This time Cruise is wearing a black leotard under his shirt & underwear.
  • The opening scene of The Flash (2014) episode "Mixed Signals" has Barry sliding into the kitchen to "That Old Time Rock'n'Roll", except because he's the Flash, he does it faster and with lightning effects.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air In one episode, Geoffrey throws a house party with his fellow butlers and maids all singing and dancing to this trope.
  • In Living Color! did a Black Comedy version, where the Menendez brothers do the dance while wielding rifles.
  • In an episode of Friends Rachel celebrates having the apartment to herself for one night by dancing around, unaware that Ross can see her from his own apartment across the street. To add to the embarrassment, rather than dancing around in her underwear...she chose to dance around completely naked.
  • Done on Glee by Sam, Ryder, and Jake during a mash-up of "Old Time Rock and Roll" and "Danger Zone", during the movie-themed episode.
  • Al Bundy tries to do this in the Married... with Children episode, "Breaking up is Easy to Do, Part 2" after he and Peg go through a trial separation, only to crash into the wall when he attempts to slide across the floor.
  • The Nanny: At the end of "Canasta Masta", Niles does it (lip-synching to a tape and using a feather duster as a makeshift microphone) until C.C. walks in on him.
    Niles: You realize of course now I have to kill you.
  • On Newsradio, Jimmy James does it at Dave's parent's house where he is hiding from the police.
  • The Office: Michael Scott, making reference to Risky Business, instructs an employee to "take your pants off, run around."
  • In Riverdale, Betty is elated to make the cheerleading squad and dances and sings in her room, posing in front of the mirror-its played completely straight and works as a scene of pure joy for her. Until her mother is standing in her doorway and promptly forbids her from the squad.
  • Saturday Night Live:
    • Recreated pretty much shot-for-shot on a 1986 episode when Ronald and Nancy Reagan go out and leave Ron Jr. (that week's host) alone in the White House.
    • During Nicole Kidman's host monologue she gets one too many questions about being married to Tom Cruise, which she finally cuts off by doing this dance.
  • In the Saved by the Bell episode "House Party," Screech's parents go out of town for their anniversary. Zack, Slater, and Screech take advantage of the empty house and plan a guys' night. The girls are curious about their plans, so they sneak in and find the boys dancing in their shorts to The Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann." All three do the slide-into-the-frame move, but no one falls. (Well, until Zack spots the girls and falls off the couch).
  • Parodied in Scrubs, when Jordan is out of town for the weekend, and J.D. wondering about Dr Cox's plans leads to an Imagine Spot of Cox doing the opening slide, in underwear and shirt. Followed by J.D. himself dressed identically. While Cox is trying to throw J.D. out, Turk slides in, and J.D. has to tell him Cox isn't letting them join in ("I assumed he would say yes!"), and then The Todd slides in just wearing a thong ("I did not invite The Todd!") Back in reality:
    J.D.: Sometimes you just got to say "What the fudge."
    Eliot: That's not the line.
    J.D.: I saw it on a plane.
  • Ray attempts it in the Speechless episode "B-I-Bikini U-N-University", but gets a splinter on his foot from sliding on the floor.
  • Tracker: Nestov, dancing around in his underwear to 'Old Time Rock And Roll' after tying up Mel and Cole. He gets interrupted by an annoyed Zin and his mooks.
  • Lucifer (2016): When Lucifer rushes off to Las Vegas on the same day as Chloe Decker's birthday, Chloe and Linda go to his apartment to find out where he is. When they realise he left and, annoyed he did so on her birthday, Chloe elects to just get drunk and have fun, then realises that she has access to Lucifer's very fancy penthouse. Cue her sliding in, wearing only one of Lucifer's shirts and some panties, dancing while Linda plays on Lucifer's piano. By this point, she's also gotten incredibly drunk, so she does indeed fall.

  • Another of those parodies was played during the NCAA Basketball tournament in March-April 2009. It included coaches Mike Krzyzewski, Rick Pitino, Roy Williams, and Bob Knight as the lead singer - all dressed in the standard pink shirt and underpants.

    Video Games 
  • The ad campaign for Guitar Hero: World Tour, which features different variations including one with Heidi Klum.
    • The ad for Guitar Hero Metallica starts out this way, but no one appears to dance. They were tied up by the members of Metallica, who announce "Not in our commercial" before blowing up the house.
      • Used again for the ad for Band Hero nonetheless.
    • While the ad campaigns for Guitar Hero World Tour had the song featured, it didn't come out as DLC until well after the game was released. Needless to say, many shouts of joy were heard when players saw the lead singer slide across the stage to the microphone when playing the song.

  • Rudy does it in this Kevin & Kell strip... except he forgets he isn't quite home alone.

    Western Animation 
  • On Dexter's Laboratory, Dexter's Dad does this while the rest of the family aren't at home.
  • The Simpsons: In "Homer The Heretic", Homer does this when he stays at home from church, but instead of "Old Time Rock 'n Roll," he sings "Short Shorts" by the Royal Teens.
  • In one episode of Dilbert, the titular character dreams of dancing in nothing but his underwear and shoes if he ever got his own office. It does come true when the main office has to move to another one due to a mutagenic virus going around and Dilbert becomes the head designer of the building in exchange for his own office. However, once he gets it, his Pointy-Haired Boss informs him they can't afford the building's rent and will have to move back soon. Dilbert is crestfallen that he won't keep the office, but decide to fulfill his dream while he has the opportunity.
  • Spoofed in King of the Hill: Bobby slides in in his underwear just as Luanne is watching the scene on TV. Turns out he hasn't seen the movie.
  • Boba Fett does this in the stinger to the third Robot Chicken Star Wars special, with the Weequay on piano(-thing).
  • Kyle of South Park does this when his parents are arrested for child molestation, leaving him to take care of himself.
  • In the Ultimate Spider-Man (2012) episode "Me Time," Peter does this after getting the house to himself, even dancing on the ceiling at one point.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Three's A Crowd," Discord briefly does this in jubilation after successfully getting Twilight to go to the ends of Equestria to find a cure for his fake illness (even wearing the same shirt and shorts from the movie).
  • Doug does this in one episode when he gets the house to himself for the evening after his parents go out to chaperon Judy's dance, but with royalty-free friendly music.
  • The Loud House: In "No Such Luck", Lincoln does this when he spreads a rumor among his sisters that he's a bad luck charm, making them ban him from their activities and giving him all the free time he wants. The scene is repeated the next day, only now, Lincoln is bored because he realized his plan worked too well and misses spending time with his family.
  • In the episode "Lost Louse", Jacob Two-Two imagined doing this when he learned he would be alone at home for the first time in his life. The ending of the episode implies he carried it out.
  • In Justice League Action, Booster Gold ends up doing this while wearing Batman's outfit when he thinks everyone is gone (he ends up crashing into the wall when he slides across the floor), then in Superman's outfit... and then in Wonder Woman's.
  • In The Fairly Oddparents episode "Freaks and Greeks", Timmy starts to do this when he has the house to himself while his parents are at a party. He only has time to slide into the hallway before realizing his parents hadn't left yet.


Dance Party of One

Milo dances and flexes in front of a mirror as he gets dressed.

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