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Stripping Snag

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In accordance with the Rule of Funny and/or sometimes the Rule of Sexy, fictional characters suffer from a disproportionately high chance of ending up naked, or at least mostly naked, as a result of a piece of clothing getting stuck in a car or elevator door, snagged by a nail, or perhaps simply stepped on and subsequently ripped off. Often leads to a Comedic Underwear Exposure, Hand-or-Object Underwear or a Naked Freak-Out.

Subtrope of Wardrobe Malfunction. Compare Giving Them the Strip, wherein a character intentionally removes a piece of their clothing to escape from someone or something holding them back by it. Sometimes this is caused by a Rod-and-Reel Repurposed. Also compare All Cloth Unravels.


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Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • In this Citroen advertisement, a girl gets her dress stuck in the car door, causing it to be ripped off.
  • In an ad for Tena incontinence underwear, a woman's dress is snagged by an elevator while it is going up. Unlike most examples here, though, the skirt is apparently strong enough not to be torn, however, the lady is dragged up with the skirt, flashing her underwear.
  • Happens in this Wicks Red Energy Sweets ad. While using the vacuum cleaner, a woman accidentally sucks the product, powering up the vacuum so much that she loses control of it and it goes berserk. While trying to run away from it, the vacuum is strong enough to pull her back, tearing off her clothes in the process.
  • In this Becks Beer ad, the woman has her dress caught on the door and ripped at the end.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the final chapter of Love Hina, Naru ends up getting stripped by Keitaro when he accidentally steps on the train of her wedding dress. None of the onlookers (barring newcomer Ema) are shocked by this.
  • In the The Anime of the Game Super Robot Wars Original Generation The Inspector has this happen in episode 3 when a Modesty Towel clad Excellen takes Bullet's portrait of his girlfriend and teases him about it. When he demands it back, she puts the portrait in her cleavage and dares him to take it. He nervously attempts to, but trips and ends up falling to the floor, snagging away her towel in the process. She just laughs it off while he runs away from the room blushing.
  • In episode 52 of Mazinger Z Shiro accidentally snatches Sayaka's Modesty Towel with a fishing rod while he tries to retrieve his toy that ended in the bathroom.
  • In episode 4 of Mazinkaiser, Kouji tries to stop an angry Sayaka from confronting a group of Iron Masks who captured them but accidentally grabs the string of her bikini top.
  • In episode 7 of season 2 of Rosario + Vampire Tsukune is taking a bath when he's interrupted by Kurumu, who is only wearing a Modesty Towel trying to seduce him. But she also gets interrupted by other girls, including Yukari, who bursts into the bathroom and slips on a bar of soap, accidentally pulling off Kurumu's towel as she falls. Tsukune gets a violent Nosebleed at the sight as Kurumu has a Naked Freak-Out.
  • Hanaukyō Maid Tai: In episode 1 of La Verite, Ikuyo Suzuki's gadget rips off the clothes of several maids in this manner.

    Comic Books 
  • The heroine of the World War II-era British comic strip Jane kept accidentally losing her clothes due to various accidents, including getting her dress caught in car doors and elevators.
  • There is one instance in Archie Comics when Archie goes to the beach with Veronica. He tells her to go ahead while he parks the car, but her dress gets stuck on the door and when Archie drives away, it gets ripped off.
  • In Crimson, when the vampires Alex and Joe break-in into Scarlet's apartment they find her stepping out of the shower wearing only a Modesty Towel. A fight quickly breaks out since she's a Vampire Hunter and she assumes they're hostile. During the struggle, Alex swings at her and she dodges but he ends up accidentally snatching away her towel, causing the fight to end since he's too distracted by the sight to continue.
  • In The Darkness, Jack is wounded during daylight and his Darklings can't help him so they bring him to one his acquaintances Dr. Kim Fang. She's showering when they arrive and opens the door in a towel and ask them to put him in the bed while she gets dressed, but one of the Darklings tries to help Jack by using her towel as bandages while she's walking away, causing it to come off and leaving her naked in front of the cheering Darklings.
  • In the Eros Comic Domino Lady miniseries, Ellen has to jump up a broken staircase to escape a dinosaur. As she jumps, her already damaged gown snags on the staircase and is ripped off.
  • In the very first Justice Society of America story in All-Star Comics #3, Red Tornado gatecrashes the JSA meeting. The members invite her to come in and take a seat at the table, but she hurriedly makes excuses and leaves. As the others wonder what was up with that, the Flash reveals that she has snagged her longjohns on a nail climbing in the window and ripped them off; leaving her naked from the waist down.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • This is Older Than Television: Jean Harlow's dress gets caught in the car door in the 1929 Laurel and Hardy short Double Whoopee.
  • In Innerspace, Tuck gets into a fight with Lydia and runs after her onto the street only wearing a towel. The towel then gets stuck in a cab door and he ends up standing naked on the street as the cab drives away.
  • In Used Cars, a woman in a live TV advert gets her dress caught on a car's hood ornament and (surprise) has it completely yanked off when the hood pops open.
  • Adventures of a Plumber's Mate opens with a leggy woman being given a lift on a motorcycle. She gets in an argument with the cyclist and gets off the bike. As she does so, her dress gets caught on the bike. As the bike rides away, her dress gets ripped off.
  • Animal House: The scheming sorority girl, Babs, who hates the guys at Delta Tau Chi Fraternity gets her comeuppance at the end of the film. She is pushed off a parade float and clothes tear off, leaving her in her publicly humiliated amid the busy street.
  • Happens in In The Good Old Summertime during the Meet Cute moment between the female lead and her male counterpart. The heroine gets her skirt unwittingly stuck in the hero's bicycle chain and when he rides off, her skirt goes as well, leaving her behind in her underwear.
  • In Should a Schoolgirl Tell, this happens to main character Josefine when she enters the courtroom. Her skirt gets snagged on the door, baring her underwear, and causing the jury to laugh. Hilariously, she does not realize it until pointed out by the judge.
  • In It's a Wonderful Life, George steps on Mary's robe by accident while walking home from a school-dance-turned-swim, and she needs to hide in the bushes, naked, until he gives her robe back to her.
  • The title character of Roxanne gets locked outside with only her bathrobe, which is caught in the door, forcing her to run outside naked for help.
  • In the opening scene of Blue Ruin, home invader Dwight has to jump out of the bathroom window but his towel gets snagged on a nail, leaving him naked outside.
  • In Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Alan loses his trousers and underpants when he squeezes out through a narrow window, leaving him naked from the waist down.
  • In New York Minute, when the Olsen Twins characters are sneaking out of their hotel, Jane's Modesty Towel is caught in the scaffolding and she ends up falling naked into a dumpster.
  • In 1987 comedy movie Off The Mark, Terry Farrell character has her shirt ripped off when one of the competitors trips and grabs it, leaving her topless.
  • In Good Luck Chuck, Cam has her skirt ripped off when it gets caught in her date's car door, exposing her penguin-adorned panties.
  • In It's a Boy Girl Thing, Nell's pajama top is ripped off when it gets caught in her window, causing her to flash her neighbour by accident.
  • In So Close during their playful bathtub fight, Lynn manages to throw Sue into the bathtub, but Sue grabs Lynn's Modesty Towel as she's falling, snatching it away with her. Lynn then skillfully wraps herself with the shower curtain before Sue can recover and walks away victorious.
  • The Thai action film Chai Lai (Dangerous Flowers) features a lengthy fight scene that breaks out while the five heroines are getting a massage, forcing them to fight still wearing only their towels. During the fight one of the thugs accidentally rips off the towel of one of them, causing her to freak out prompting the other girls to tighten the knots on their towels.
  • In Marley and Me during the sequence where Marley is tormenting his house sitter, we see him following her out of the shower pulling on her towel until it finally comes off.
  • Space Jam has Sylvester cast a fishing rod to snag the shorts of Monstar Pound. Suddenly denuded, Pound cannot continue upcourt, instead of sitting in place and pulling his jersey as far down as possible.
  • The Myth has this happen when Jackie Chan and Samantha are trying to escape from some thugs and end up in a chase sequence in a Rat Glue factory's Conveyor Belt o' Doom that is sticky and gets their clothes stuck in it. A lot of Clothing Damage ensues for everyone via either Giving Them the Strip or Stripping Snag.
  • In Charlie's Angels this tropes actually manages to save Dylan's life. When she discovers Knox is the Big Bad after she slept with him he shoots her making her fall off his apartment window. Later is revealed the bullet didn't hit and she just threw herself backward and the Modesty Bedsheet she was wearing got caught in one of the window shards, leaving her hanging outside his window. Eventually the sheet does get ripped off causing Dylan to tumble down the hill naked and into someone's backyard where she quickly finds some Hand-or-Object Underwear to cover herself.
  • In Jumpin' Jack Flash, Terry is sneaking around a secure area of the British embassy when she gets her cocktail dress caught in a paper shredder. Cue Terry trying to hold up the front of her dress to avoid exposing her breasts while simultaneously trying to retrieve the bottom half while there's still anything left to cover her legs.
  • City Hunter: The Cupid's Perfume: At the gala, the tip of Kaori's dress gets caught in an elevator door as it is going up. She avoids getting stripped at first by stubbornly clinging to her dress, which results in her being lifted from the floor. Then Poncho tries to help her, but the elevator is stuck and he has to go up one floor by the stairs to make it move down. Of course, he mucks it up by going one floor too low, and this time Kaori's dress is ripped off her body, leaving her in underwear and garter belts in the hallway.
  • Idle Hands: When Molly is tied to a car that's being raised to the ceiling, Anton tries to get her free but only manages to snag away her dress, leaving her in her underwear.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Desperate Housewives episode "Pretty Little Picture", Susan follows Karl to his car where her towel gets stuck in his car door. He drives off and leaves Susan stripped naked. She panics and runs back to her house but the door is locked.
  • Danny on Blue Bloods once got his suit jacket caught in a fleeing suspect's car door and frantically ran after the car while trying to get out of the coat.
  • Happens to Miranda Hart on a crowded street in London, leaving her racing after the car in her underwear trying to get her dress back. An arresting sight on a six-foot comedienne whose shtick relies a lot on the visual humor inherent in her height and build.
  • The classic scene in Monty Python's Flying Circus where resident Smurfette Carol Cleveland is playing the heroine of a very bad film, pursued by a monster and running into cacti which persist in snagging into her clothing and stripping her to her panties.
  • In a How I Met Your Mother episode the gang is stricken by the curse of the Blitz, which basically means that while the cursed person is not present everyone else experiences awesome adventures. In the second half Barney has the curse, but at the end of the episode he enters an elevator with an attractive woman in a long dress. When the elevator goes down her dress gets stuck in the door and you hear textiles ripping. At that moment you know that Barney is freed from the curse.
  • A downplayed version in Arrested Development episode "Afternoon Delight". GOB rides up in a cab wearing a banana costume and on exit gets part of his outfit stuck in the cab door. With the help of Michael he is able to free himself before any clothing damage could ensue.
  • A common happenstance on The Benny Hill Show, usually accompanied by an exaggerated Stock Sound Effect of fabric ripping. For example in one sketch, some coppers (male and female) are giving chase to Benny, and have to go past a barbwire fence. After struggling for a bit, they go through but all of them snag their uniforms in doing so, ripping them off at the exact same time and leaving them in their underwear.
  • Playfully invoked by Mycroft in Sherlock's episode "A Scandal In Belgravia" when he steps on the sheet Sherlock is wrapped in at the Buckingham Palace which almost renders the latter naked.
  • Gilligan's Island: In "Beauty Is As Beauty Does", Gilligan accidentally hooks and reels in a swimming Mary Ann's bathing suit while fishing.
  • In Spanish series Bienvenidos al Lolita this is narrowly avoided when Violeta rushes after her dog that escaped in a towel. The door closes and locks behind her, catching her towel but she stops just in time for it to not be snagged off... but she still gets stuck outside in a public street with a small Modesty Towel barely covering her. She stays like this until her Love Interest passes by and decides to take pictures of her predicament, but she manages to snatch his phone and threatens to destroy it if he doesn't help her, which he does.
  • Rules of Engagement: Happens in "Harassment" to Audrey who gets her dress stuck in her office's elevator. When the elevator rides up it ends up pulling her dress and flashing her panties to the entire office (including a disgruntled employee who had just filed a sexual harassment claim against her).
  • In Brazilian Soap Opera I Love Paraisópolis this occurs when Margot pisses off her ex-Love Interest after one of her Relationship Sabotage plots is found out, he expels her out of his apartment while she's bathing, throwing her at the elevator in just a Modesty Towel. When she leaves, her towel gets stuck in the elevator, leaving her naked in public and having to resort to Hand-or-Object Underwear to make her way home.
  • Modern Family:
    • In "My Funky Valentine" Claire and Phil meet up at a bar to celebrate Valentine's Day. Claire decides to take off her clothes and put on only her coat to seduce Phil but while leaving her coat gets stuck in the escalator and they run into a few acquaintances, including Gloria and Jay who all suggest her take off her coat, unaware of her predicament. Gloria eventually realizes and covers Claire with her own coat so she can take off the one that's stuck. Gloria comforts Claire by telling her "It has happened to me before."
    • In "Las Vegas" Gloria dressed in a Modesty Towel, goes into Claire and Phil's room to borrow Claire's hair products but her towel gets stuck in the door between their rooms. While she struggling to get it free, Phil and the leader of the secret magician's society (Patton Oswalt) walk into the room. She abandons her towel runs into the closet before they see her and Phil places a French Maid Dog Statue named Rebarka in the closet, not knowing Gloria is hiding in there. Phil then performs his magic trick, but Oswalt isn't impressed. That is until Phil accidentally causes smoke and Gloria pops out dressed in the French Maid Outfit she took from the statue, making Oswalt believe that it was all part of the trick.
  • The Mick: "The Baggage" ends with Mickey riding away in a motorcycle in a bathrobe, but her robe gets caught in the wheel and is ripped off of her when the bike starts to move and she rides off into the night completely naked.
  • In Neighbours, Izzy is sitting in the sauna enjoying the steam when Paul walks in and sits right beside her. He asks if it's hot enough in there for her. "I could go hotter," she breezily replies and as she gets up to turn the heat dial her towel catches under Paul's hand and is snagged off of her entirely.
  • In Degrassi: Next Class, a rival school pranks the girls by stealing their clothes in the lockers and sounding the fire alarm, forcing all the girls out of the school in her towels. Frankie's towel gets caught in the door as she's getting out, leaving her briefly naked outside the school as her friends quickly hurry to help her.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In this early Peanuts comic strip, baby Linus is wearing pajama bottoms that are a little too big on him. Snoopy sits on them, and when Linus tries to crawl away, Snoopy manages to pull them off.

    Web Animation 
  • In the Smosh Babies episode "The Honey Dew Balls", when Mrs. Hecox drops Ian and his friends off for their first day of Kindergarten, Ian's diaper gets caught in her car door. Isla tries to tell him about it, but he silences her. When Mrs. Hecox drives away, the car door tears Ian's diaper off, leaving him naked from the waist down for the rest of the episode.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • In the Rejected Princesses site, Zelia Nuttall's entry mentions how when two young men came to visit this happened to her and without missing a beat she continued introductions. In the illustration, a maid can be seen frantically running off with the torn dress in the background.
  • Happens to Michelle Phan in the skit of her "How To Fix Broken Makeup" video. A thief invades her home to rob her but bumps into her while she's fresh out of the shower in a towel. They get into a chase where he accidentally takes off her towel, which distracts him long enough for her to sucker punch him.

    Western Animation 
  • Bugs Bunny:
    • In "Mississippi Hare", Bugs dresses as a Southern Belle to escape Colonel Shuffle, and tricks another man into tossing the Colonel off the steamboat. Bugs' skirt then gets snagged on a gate, stripping off the back half. The man takes one look at the "lady's" exposed cottontail, throws a fit and jumps ship. "Aw, well. We almost had a romantic ending."
    • The same gag is used in "Hare Trimmed", with Bugs pretending to be a widow that Yosemite Sam wants to marry. They are halfway to the altar when Bug's train gets caught in a nail, and Sam notices just as he's about to say "I do."
  • In the prologue to the The Looney Tunes Show episode, "Peel of Fortune", Bugs and Daffy are at the mall, where Daffy wears a pair of "Mall Pants". Daffy's mall pants get caught in the escalator and sucked off just before the opening credits run.
  • Happens to Lincoln in the pilot of The Loud House, wherein he gets his clothes sucked into the vacuum his sister Leni is using.
  • In the My Life as a Teenage Robot episode, "The Price of Love", Sheldon pays Pteresa to date him to make Jenny jealous so that she will notice him.note  Sheldon ends up having to sell everything but his underwear at a Garage Sale to pay Pteresa back. After Sheldon confesses to Jenny that he paid Pteresa to date him and make her jealous, A furious Jenny walks away from him. Sheldon tries to catch up with her, but his underwear gets caught in the front door, which ends up ripping it off and leaving him naked.
  • Happens to Madame at the beginning of Pet Pals, where her bodyguard accidentally closes the car door on her dress, tearing it off and exposing her underwear to a group of photographers.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In the episode "Homie the Clown", Homer rides a tiny bicycle to attempt a stunt done by Krusty. His baggy pants snag on the bike's back wheel which starts to rip away and reveal his bare butt. Shown here.
    Krusty: Eh, burn that seat.
    • "Treehouse of Horror III", Homer strides into Bart and Lisa's Halloween party in a toga... which catches on a nail and leaves him in his tighty whities before an entire crowd of laughing kids.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In the episode, "Pre-Hibernation Week", SpongeBob runs away from Sandy when all of the extreme sports she wants him to do with her before hibernation cause him great pain. He decides to hide under Patrick's rock but gets his pants caught on a reef. The reef pulls them off, leaving him in his underwear. When Sandy finds SpongeBob's pants on the reef, she overreacts as she assumes something terrible must have happened to him, and she forces everyone in Bikini Bottom to form an unnecessary search party for SpongeBob
    • In "Hooky", SpongeBob's pants are caught in a fishing hook. He tries taking off his pants, but the hook is also caught in his underwear. Eventually, the hook is reeled in, tearing off SpongeBob's briefs, leaving him naked in front of Pearl and her friends.
  • In the first Total Drama season, Heather is riding a fast-moving vehicle and loses her top when a passing tree branch slips under it and rips it off.
  • 6teen: In "Wrestlemania" Nikki has her dress caught in an escalator and it gets torn off, leaving her standing there in her underwear just as her ex bumps into her.

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