Too sexy for my shirt,
So sexy, it hurts!"
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 bishonen in Japanese media, especially Yaoi Guys. Western shows may play around with this by having the female characters ogle the "pool boy".
"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, Bare Your Midriff, 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, Man in a Kilt, Sexy Soaked Shirt, Forging Scene, Shirtless Captives, After-Action Patch-Up, Intimate Open Shirt and Lingerie Scene. If the character's everyday attire is conspicuously lacking a shirt, he would be a Walking Shirtless Scene.
- The Diet Coke Hunk (from the infamous commercial featuring an office-full of women leering at a shirtless construction worker) is pretty much the epitome of this trope.
- One ad for Smirnoff Ice, basically a line of flavoured beers, features several shirtless guys.
- This Jordache commercial has a group of young women watching and videotaping a male neighbor as walks around his house wearing only a pair of white bikini briefs.
- An Israeli commercial for the lottery shows a woman who hires some help with a construction project, and gets way more in the bargain. (The slogan? "We can't make *all* of your dreams come true...)
- Bod body spray commercial
- See also Hot Men at Work on this wiki.
- Hello Ladies."Look at your man. Now back to me. Now back at your man. Now ''back to me.'' Sadly, he isn't me..."
- "This is Shirtless Cole."
- "Easy on the eyes as it is on the road" Subaru Forester
- The Xtra-Pine Cleaning Hunk(mildly NSFW) quickly gets his top off.
- aussieBum swimwear
- Kim Kardashian's personal trainer in this Skecher's commercial is shirtless for his parts of the full minute.
- Coty Wild Musk
- this Zoosk commercial
- The Give A Shirt for Climate Change PSA
- The Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister models
- This Watch ESPN commercial.
- Promo for The Young and the Restless.
- The actual number of times this has happened to various superheroes is too many to list, especially including characters with nothing but shirtless scenes (Namor, Hulk, etc.). It's safe to say that every male hero and villain has had one of these. Except the Blob, of course.
- Shirtless Superheroes covers a lot of instances in which male superheroes appear shirtless or in other states of undress.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cutter actually does get to wear a shirt, for a while at least. But then...
- Bruce Banner in every adaptation of The Hulk always has his clothes conveniently ripped away when he transforms, 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.
- Well, sometimes they do, especially in the Ultimate universe.
- 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.
- In Violine, Violine, oddly enough. It is played as innocent, though, but it might still be Values Dissonance for some cultures. She spends one comic book in nothing but panties and an open shirt.
- Spider-Man has one issue 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Animorphs: in one book, they cut up Marco's shirt to make armbands so that they can blend in among the Elite Mooks.
"No looking," he warned. "There's no telling what the sight of my naked torso might make you do." Marco turned to me. "I'm lethal at the beach."
- 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 soccer players to remove their shirts before leaving the field at the end of a match. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Daichi greets Sasha and Iphigenie wearing nothing but a towel in Greek Ninja.
- 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.
- Jonas in lonelygirl15 is very often shown without his shirt. This aspect of his character is eventually lampshaded during Sarah's rant in the season 3 episode "Adios Amigos".
- Benzaie is prone to these. Also, there was that time that Spoony was on pain-meds for dental surgery...
- Cracked explains why so many boyfriends were dragged unwilling to see Twilight 3.
- Shirtless Anonymous
- Parodied by CollegeHumor in their Call Me Maybe Parody. Like the music video, an attractive guy starts lawnmowering a backyard, but when a girl takes note of him and he takes his shirt off, he's revealed to be a Neo-Nazi on account of the huge swastika tattoo on his chest.
- The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: Downplayed in episode 11. Mr Rochester has loosened his shirt and a tie, and he has rolled up his sleeves, revealing his geeky tattoo. Fangirls approve.
- The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: Lydia stages a shirtless scene when she spills water on George's T-shirt. That soaked T-shirt was nice enough, but she managed to convince him to take it off.
- Jake in Midnight Screenings decided to take his shirt off in their review of Smurfs 2. Brad joined in, and insisted that Irving follow.
"Dude, you're making us look gay, bro!"
- In RWBY, there's a brief scene where Jaune asks for romantic advice from a shirtless Ren.
- In episode 54 of Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Vegeta is seen shirtless when Perfect Cell makes a crack about his mother when he was wearing a shirt just mere seconds earlier. Krillin asks "Why did you take off your shirt?"note
- The Music Video Show had a few episodes in season five where Laine has his shirt off for now reason.
- Tom Fawkes of The Derp Crew recorded a playthrough of Catherine on Halloween, and dressed up as the main character during the dream sequences, meaning no shirt and a ram's horn headpiece. He also occasionally records parts of his weekly vlog shirtless, usually when he's recording after working out.