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Shirtless Scene

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No shirt, no service. Except for one kind.
"I'm too sexy for my shirt,
Too sexy for my shirt,
So sexy, it hurts!"
Right Said Fred, "I'm Too Sexy"

So, you thought fanservice was only targeted towards straight men?

A hunky man (real or animated) goes shirtless (or completely nude) or wears a revealing top that shows off his pectorals (in a sort of Spear Counterpart to Navel-Deep Neckline). Saves the crew a fortune in wardrobe (or ink) for Mr. Fanservice.

A less fleshy version of this would be his wearing a t-shirt pulled back over the back of his head or his leaving the shirt totally unbuttoned. Also a practice of slender Bishōnen in Japanese media. Western shows may play around with this by having the female characters ogle the "pool boy".

Despite applying mostly to young, hairless types such as Bishonens, some men will occasionally sport a Carpet of Virility. Of course, their pants will always stay on. (Well, almost always...)

"Beefcake" poses for male performers probably date as far back in human history as skimpy outfits for female performers. One of the standard props of certain kinds of "Strongman" performers in circuses and such is a "tear-away" shirt that can be pulled off during a performance and then easily sewn back together in between shows.

This type of gratuitous semi-nudity is also called a Shirtless Jackman Scene, named after muscular Australian actor Hugh Jackman whose film contracts allegedly contain a clause that demands the presence of at least one shirtless scene, even when the plot does not require it. It's not proven, but the majority of the films he has appeared in are strong evidence. Legend has it that some people are not able to recognize him with his shirt on, and X-Men (2000) established him as the pioneer of the current generation of topless male actors.

This trope is among the Always Male tropes because... well, you know. The closest female equivalent would usually be a Lingerie Scene, a midriff-baring outfit, or a Swimsuit Scene. Or, if it's more important to have a female character shirtless In-Universe but not necessarily to show everything to the viewers, then of course the answer is Toplessness from the Back and/or Shoulders-Up Nudity.

See also Shower of Angst, Slipknot Ponytail, Final Battle-Induced Shirt Loss, Man in a Kilt, Sexy Soaked Shirt, Forging Scene, Shirtless Captives, After Action Patch Up, Intimate Open Shirt, Lingerie Scene and Distracted by the Sexy.note  If the character's everyday attire is conspicuously lacking a shirt, he would be a Walking Shirtless Scene.

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Other Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • Neal Adams would draw Bruce Wayne shirtless in the cave, although he usually had a lot of bandages covering him. Additionally, Adams popularized the "pants and mask without a shirt, cape or belt" look.
    • Neal Adams was also the first person to draw Batman villain Ra's al Ghul, who is a Walking Shirtless Scene half the time. Naturally, the first time Batman and Ra's fought, they were both shirtless.
    • Most male members of the Batman Family appear shirtless frequently, especially Mr. Fanservice Nightwing. He always ends up parading around shirtless or in his underwear, and he has a tendency to get tied up... often while shirtless or in his underwear.
  • In issue 115 of Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner wakes up from bed in nothing but his undershorts to find a mystery box.
  • Since he's Made of Diamond but wears ordinary clothing Brit from Brit is usually stripped naked by energy blasts about halfway through his fights.
  • In Circles, men take their shirts off quite often.
  • The comic adaption of Storm Front has one scene where Harry, who just got out of the shower, has to fight a demon. He didn't have much time to get his clothes on. Not that anyone's complaining; especially his kind-of girlfriend, who just drank a love potion by accident and is trying to have sex with him.
  • Among others, ElfQuest's main protagonist Cutter's everyday outfit does not include a shirt.
  • The Incredible Hulk: Bruce Banner always has his clothes conveniently ripped away when he transforms into the Hulk, meaning that when he turns back into Bruce we get lovely scenes of him wearing nothing except for a pair of baggy purple shorts which he has to hold up to stop them falling down. Of course, his trousers never tear off completely.
  • The Sandman's title character, goth pretty-boy Morpheus, frequently went shirtless. Indeed, one of his most frequently seen items of clothing is an ankle length robe that nevertheless exposes his skinny but toned midsection, allowing him to present the image of the authoritative King of Dreams while still providing the expected fanservice. And people think Sandman's biggest selling point was its sophistication. Not to mention that he's buck-naked in his first appearance.
  • Michael Turner apparently received constant requests to show Ian Nottingham with his shirt off.
  • Violine: Oddly enough, the titular character. Violine spends one comic book in nothing but panties and an open shirt.
  • Spider-Man has one issue (#69, appropriately enough) where Spidey uses the shirt from his outfit on a decoy to trick the Kingpin's men, which gives him a lengthy fight scene where he takes on Kingpin and his goons shirtless.
  • Star Wars: Kanan: Kanan ends up in his underwear in a bacta tank after getting stabbed in the back, which acts as a framing device for a flashback to the final days of the Clone Wars. He then bursts out of the tank and fights off a squad of storm troopers in said state of undress.
  • The Jungle Line: When Superman jolts up in his bed after having a nightmare, his bedsheet slides downwards, lying bare his muscular torso.
  • Animorphs: The books mention that Jake's morphing outfit includes bike shorts; here that seems to be all that he wears. Whether Marco wears a shirt after morphing varies (sometimes within the same scene).

    Fan Works 
  • In The Dragon That Will Pierce the Heavens, Zoro is more prone to this trope, since protagonist Hikari has a tendency for Clothing Damage and a lack of care for whatever people see, and he would prefer if not everyone got an eyeful.
  • In Tangled Up In You, when Marinette is about to take Adrien's measurements for a Ladybug onesie, he takes his shirt off before she tells him that he doesn't need to strip for this. He apologises and says it's a habit he's picked up from his photoshoots.
  • With Strings Attached has several instances:
    • John, who has been made physically awesome and given wings, often goes around shirtless, if not nearly or completely naked. Fanservice for straight women and gay guys!
    • The others get naked or nearly naked on occasion. Paul actually can't wear clothes any more, though he covers up with an illusion most of the time. The illusion is conspicuously absent in Ehndris after he gets mind-controlled.
    • As'taris is never more than half-dressed in Ehndris (and is fully naked in his last appearance).
  • At one point in the 8th entry of the Tales of the Undiscovered Swords, Kiwame Sasanoyuki stands topless in front of a mirror contemplating his life before deciding to slit his throat with his own sword form.
  • Paul and John also spend time shirtless (and in Paul's case, naked) in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World. Ringo ends up teleporting to the mesa wearing only underwear. And George hulks out of his clothing at one point.
  • Rare female example in the Doki Doki Literature Club Loops that isn't (solely) played for fanservice, as the girls Awaken for one loop and discuss what kind of game DDLC is, specifically whether it's an H-game as they are four girls revolving around one male otherwise-unremarkable Player Character. Yuri test this by taking off her shirt and looking, concluding that DDLC is not an H-game because there's just a blank space where her chest should be, i.e., there's no data about their appearance. Or at the very least not a full-fledged H-game, because there is data about where they are exactly and how they feel when touched.
  • In Strut Harry teases Ginny by going without a shirt. She retaliates by reminding him of the time he walked into a tree while ogling her swimsuit.
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, airborne Witch Irena Politek has reached her middle thirties and seen at least three of her closest friends settle down, marry and start families. She has remained single by choice and inclination, having never encountered a man who has been of more than incidental interest. But as she gets older and having seen her friends' children born and grow up, she is starting to get restless. One day, when a junior Air Witch known for mischief leads her to an emergency landing in a backwater of Rodinia, saying she knows a man who can do an emergency repair, they land just where local men are dancing and play-fighting. With their shirts off. And she meets Vitali for the first time. With his shirt off. Things begin happening after that as the normally cynical and sardonic spinster Witch realises spinsterhood might not be that great a deal, having been shown the alternative. Soundtrack provided by Otava Yo.
  • Guys Being Dudes: Spark spends a good portion of Go Fest Day 2 shirtless after giving his hoodie to Arlo.
  • Parodied in the blooper reel for Glitter Force: Into the Glitterverse; Majorina bursts into the bathroom, then freaks out because she didn't expect Joker to be a bath.

  • Robís shirt in An Outcast in Another World gets destroyed in the beginning and ending chapters of Book 1. In the latter instance, he ends up unwittingly giving some fanservice to women who were passing by. He doesnít particularly mind.
  • In Dragon Blood, Ward is in love with a woman who is rather reluctant to enter a relationship (despite being in love with him). He deliberately takes off his shirt during a training fight she's watching to invoke this trope. As this takes place outside, in the middle of winter, with snow on the ground everywhere, his intentions are quite obvious, as the lady later mentions.
  • In Shaman Blues, when Konstancja knock on Witkacy's door, he's just finishing taking a shower, so he opens the door with only a towel to protect his modesty. She notices the fact.
  • In Everworld, April goes to see David, and he opens the door without a shirt. April's narration repeatedly reminds her to not stare at his chest. Incidentally Senna, his evil girlfriend and a master of More than Mind Control, was in the room with him; when she lessens the degree of control it mentions that David suddenly looks like he's wondering where his shirt is. There are a few more scattered throughout the series, such as David during a Forging Scene and Christopher while playing basketball.
  • Animorphs:
  • In Touch, Caleb takes off his shirt a few times to show people the Restraining Bolt tattooed on his back. He's amused to notice that Tasha, who hates him, stares when he does it in front of her. James always looks away, possibly because he seems uncomfortable at any hint of nudity and possibly because he's starting to think that he's gay.
  • The Witchlands:
    • Merik's first meeting with Safi and Iseult has him shirtless. Safi snarks about his inability to work a button even as she's checking out his bare chest.
    • In Windwitch, Iseult startles Aeduan while he's trying to wash his bloodied shirt. He's mortified to be caught in such a state of undress and dives into the stream in search of his shirt the moment Iseult turns around and walks away.


  • When Frank and Ethan in the Cool Kids Table game Creepy Town dress up for the torture cabin room they aren't wearing shirts, with Frank as the torturer and Ethan as a sexy doctor. Walter tries this, but people complained because he was too pale and glowed in the blacklight.

  • It's common for at least some football (soccer) players to remove their shirts after scoring and before leaving the field at the end of a match. In the former case, this is mostly just a demonstration of excitement, though it's sometimes a method of conveying a message through a slogan tee underneath of varying solemnity (Andres Iniesta, for instance, used it to pay tribute to a friend of his, who had tragically died of a sudden heart attack during a match), and it invariably attracts a yellow card (caution) from the referee. In the latter case, originally, this was done to honour the long-standing tradition of swapping shirts, particular after international or high-profile games. Although there's still an element of this, nowadays it's more of an excuse for physically fit, tired and overheated young men to show off their bodies from time to time. A few players (Cristiano Ronaldo and Lewis Holtby, for example) strip off after every match as a matter of course, for no reason other than habit or a bit of mild exhibitionism.
  • Brandi Chastain famously stripped off her shirt after winning the 1999 Women's Football World Cup. It wasn't overly revealing, since like many female players, she was wearing a fairly heavy duty sports bra, but it was an iconic shot.
  • 2007 World Men's Champion in figure skating Brian Joubert has a tendency to wander around shirtless backstage at competitions, and ESPN has a tendency to include a clip of it in their broadcasts of every competition he's in. These days they even lampshade this piece of fanservice turned Running Gag, with comments such as "And there's your obligatory shot of Brian Joubert shirtless," or montages. He may claim that he takes the top of his costume off just because he likes to, not because he wants to show it to everyone, but when you consider he's deliberately posed shirtless for magazine photos and the state of even further déshabillé he's appeared in on TV in his native France, one must wonder...

  • The Aerial Straps act in Cirque du Soleil's Varekai. Also has an aura of Twincest.
  • Cassius from Julius Caesar, ecstatic about the conspiracy to kill Caesar, bares his chest to a thunderstorm one night and, according to the script, appears with his shirt unbuttoned. As the manipulative Cassius could easily be considered the villain- and is also described as being quite lean- this can cause some happiness among female Shakespeare geeks.
  • Riverdance
  • Chris in Miss Saigon has two. He's post-coital in one scene and pre-coital in the other, so it's not as gratuitous as most examples.
  • Terrible Advice, a black comedy play by Saul Ruibinek of 'Warehouse 13' fame, featured a certain Scott Bakula in nothing but board shorts for the first 15 minutes. Ummm.
  • The BBC's Henry IV, Part 2. Surely Shakespeare was thinking of Tom Hiddleston when he titled Act 2 Scene 2 "The Sauna Scene." Oh, wait...
  • Arthur Miller's play "All My Sons" has Chris shirtless at the start of the second act.
  • In the William Inge play Picnic, as well as the 1955 film adaptation, Hal's willingness to be shirtless, especially in mixed company, marks him as both more virile and lower-class than his college roommate.
  • In the Met Opera's new (2016) production of Bizet's The Pearl Fishers, after the storm, Zurga takes off the looser shirt he's been wearing until that point, on stage, and changes into a tight black t-shirt for the rest of the opera.
  • Radames in Aida, following the Sexy Discretion Shot between him and the titular character, to make it obvious that they slept together.
  • Colloredo in Mozart! was making out with a paramour when Mozart forces his way in, so the Archbishop receives the composer clad in jeans and a dressing gown with the front open.
  • Emanuel in Schikaneder was in bed with a woman when Benedikt interrupted with the news that the woman's very angry husband is arriving soon and out for Schikaneder's blood. He had to flee, holding his shirt, through the window.

    Web Animation 
  • Broken Saints. Big time. Oran spends half the series shirtless, Kamimura and Raimi join him in shirtlessness for Chapter 20. Gabriel goes completely nude early on and later on goes shirtless for the Grand Finale.
  • RWBY: In Volume 3's eleventh episode, General James Ironwood leaves the wreckage of a ship with most of his shirt and some of his pants torn/burned away. It reveals that the right half of his body is biomechanical, and there is burn scarring where it's attached to his body.

    Web Original 
  • Daichi greets Sasha and Iphigenie wearing nothing but a towel in Greek Ninja.


    Web Videos 


You're next, stud

C'mon dude. You're makin' us look gay, bro!

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