Follow TV Tropes


Uncool Undies

Go To
"Oh my God, Donna's wearing granny panties!"

"Of all the days to wear the underpants with the little rocket ships..."
Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes

It's bad enough for someone to be ridiculed for what they're wearing on the outside, but it's somehow more insulting to be teased for what you're wearing underneath.

This trope is when a character is teased for the kind of underwear that they are wearing, causing much embarrassment. There's any number of ways how what they're wearing under there can be known publicly, but it's usually revealed in a Pants-Pulling Prank or when their pants split. This is usually Played for Laughs, as the character teased just walks away with a bruised ego most of the time.

Types of underwear that end up being the target of this include:

  1. Goofy Print Underwear, usually of any style especially if they have a childish print, such as cute cartoon characters.
  2. Men’s white briefs/Y-fronts, known colloquially as "tighty-whiteys," are often designated "nerd" type underwear; though they're commonly used as "default" underwear for men in much of media.
  3. "Granny panties" are the female version of tighty-whiteys.
  4. Underwear in bad condition, and/or ill-fitting.
  5. Skimpy underwear for men, unless they have strong muscles and nice butts, as well as skimpy underwear for women if it makes them seem perverted.
  6. Men wearing what is considered to be women's underwear, as well as vice-versa (unless a Double Standard is in effect).
  7. People writing their names on their underwear.
  8. Surprisingly girly underwear worn by girls and women known to be tomboys that ruin their "tough girl" image.
  9. Underwear with things written on it like "Lucky pair".
  10. Old-fashioned underwear that a kid is being forced to wear by their parents.

Like all fashion styles, this is also subject to the Popularity Polynomial, depending on what was in style when the work was released. For example, briefs made a small comeback in the Turn of the Millennium as the skinny fit jeans/pants rendered boxer shorts almost useless (and possibly helped by one Walter White) and character-printed underwear has come back with the rise of nerd culture in The New '10s. They even make underoos for adults now, we kid you not.

See also Comedic Underwear Exposure for general tropes about underwear being exposed, uncool or cool. Contrast Briefs Boasting for characters who wear the brief-cut proudly.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Hidoku Shinaide: Nemugasa, like the Stereotypical Nerd he is, almost always wears the classic white briefs. The uncoolness of the tighty-whities is subverted however, because Maya, who Has a Type for nerdy looking people in general, develops a bit of a fetish for Nemugasa in tighty-whities later in their relationship, which gets explored in a side chapter.
  • In Inazuma Eleven, before going to training camp in episode 24, Endou's mom gave him a pair of underpants that she wrote his name on (so Endou wouldn't mix it up with someone else's, including Kabeyama) which he finds embarrassing.
  • Fujiwara mocks Ishigami when she discovers that he wears briefs in chapter 70 of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War. The volume release has an extra page where he's then shown buying boxers.
  • In Lycoris Recoil, after Chisato finds out Takina is wearing male boxers, she takes her underwear shopping.
    • Later in the episode, Chisato tries on some of Takina's boxers, discovering that they're much more comfortable than panties. She immediately gets discovered and ridiculed by Mizuki.

    Comic Strips 
When the teacher calls him up to the board, he tries to delay as long as possible, but eventually goes up and moons the whole class.
Hobbes: That's why you're home early?
Calvin: Three teachers and the principal couldn't restore order.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse: Just before Gwen portals into Miles's room, the dimensional energy causes several items to float around, including a pair of tighty-whiteys. Miles immediately hides them from view from Gwen.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Bridget Jones, Bridget has to decide whether to wear skimpy panties which will look good when she undresses or control-type undies which are more likely to get her undressed. (She’s good-looking enough, being played by Renée Zellweger, but Zellweger had deliberately put on a few pounds so as to convincingly play a woman with some insecurities about the amount of junk in her trunk.) She chooses the latter but in a surprising aversion, despite some initial alarm at the size of the panties, her date is actually turned on by them.
  • F the Prom: Cole is subjected to a Pants-Pulling Prank by a fellow student, revealing his white briefs, earning him the nickname "Tighty". Despite that embarrassment, he continues to wear them as a senior.
  • French Fried Vacation: When The Casanova, Popeye, removes his pants in front of a new conquest, she can't stop herself from laughing because he wears large briefs.
  • I Love You, Beth Cooper: Denis wears a pair of Spider-Man briefs, which he considers his lucky underwear.
  • In the direct-to-video film Deal Of A Lifetime, an agent of the Devil is trying to take revenge on a teenage boy named Henry Spooner by finding ways to humiliate Henry and make his life miserable. One of the ways he does this is by casting a spell that causes Henry to lose all of his clothes, except for his tighty-whities, in the middle of the school hallway. As dozens of students file into the hallway after class, Henry is at first oblivious as to why they are all staring at him and laughing, until he looks down and realizes that he is wearing nothing but his underwear, forcing him to run away in complete embarrassment. Oddly enough, Henry is seen in boxer shorts in other scenes of the film, but just so happened to make a "nerdy" underwear choice on the day that he would end up losing his clothes in front of his classmates.
  • In Scary Movie, when Greg/Buffy and Ray/Brenda are making out in the back seat of the car. Greg enthusiastically removes Buffy's lacy thong panties from under her skirt. Ray does the same to Brenda, only to find himself holding a huge pair of white cotton underwear. Brenda is defensive:
    "It's laundry day!"
  • Romeo Must Die: While escaping Trish's apartment, Han pantses one of Maurice's men, revealing a rainbow thong.
  • In The Suicide Squad, during a rest period for a mission, the team is suddenly woken up during the night and it's revealed that Peacemaker sleeps only in his tighty-whiteys. Bloodsport is incredulous and calls the briefs by the "tighty-whiteys" moniker, to which Peacemaker says it's a "racist" term. Downplayed in that Peacemaker was not embarrassed at all to be seen in them, and the whole moment appears to just be a fanservice moment to get the attractive and muscular John Cena in as little clothes as possible, as there's a close-up of his crotch in the underwear. Also seems to double as Briefs Boasting.
  • In Zack and Miri Make a Porno, a couple of punks video Miri changing outfits while wearing "granny panties" and post it online. She is horrified when, at the high school reunion she was dressing for, Brandon reveals that the clip has gotten two hundred thousand views in just a few hours.
  • In Le Comiche 2 (an Italian movie from the 90s) a man is stripped to underwear revealing he is wearing a bra due to the fact he accidentally had a breast augmentation earlier in the movie. Since he is risking to fall from the plane, a flight attendant tries to help but in a few moments starts to grope his breasts. Unfortunately he will fall from the plane but will end up in a hospital, here he is mistaken for transgender because of his bra/breasts.
  • In the American remake of LOL, a scene in the girls’ locker room reveals Emily is wearing a pair of light blue granny panties with multi-colored flowers on them. Her friend Janice notices and tries to pull Emily over by her underwear to get a better look as she teases her, mistaking the flowers for Care Bears.
    "Shut up, ok? It’s all my mom will buy. What am I supposed to do about it?"

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley is given a pair of Wonder Woman-themed underpants that he is too ashamed to ever wear. However, after running out of clean clothes to wear, he is forced to wear them to a birthday party where his pants end up slipping down and revealing the underpants to everyone.
  • Ellen and Otis: Early on in Ellen Tebbits, Ellen is fearful that the other kids will find out her mother makes her wear long underwear, so she takes care to get to ballet class ahead of time so she can change early without her classmates noticing. One of the catalysts for her friendship with Austine is that Austine's mother also makes her daughter wear long underwear.
  • In a flashback scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, James Potter bullies Snape by doing the magical equivalent of a Pants-Pulling Prank, levitating him by his ankle so that his robe flips over, revealing what's described as a pair of "grey and sagging Y-fronts."
  • Patricia Fisher series by Steve Higgs:
    • The Missing Sapphire of Zangrabar: Half-drunk and distraught, Patricia drops one of her three suitcases while hurrying to board a cruise ship at the last minute. It pops open, her clothes all spill out and a teenage boy, egged on by his father, teases her about her Granny panties.
    • The Couple in Cabin 2124: A series of odd circumstances leads to Patricia and Barbie being forced to audition at a strip club in Japan. As she removes her clothes, Patricia is embarrassed to realize she got dressed in a hurry that morning and the white Granny panties she threw on don't match the nude bra she's wearing.
  • The Order of the Poison Oak: Russel gets pantsed in front of his crush, revealing his white briefs. Russel alludes in this book and in Geography Club that briefs are his preferred choice in underwear but feels somewhat self-conscious about it since the popular jocks wore boxers. Expanded upon in the Soul Sucking Brain Zombies Duology where during Min's section of the book trashes men who wear briefs and thinks boxers are manly, but that was part of a fake rant to appease her girlfriend in front of her straight friends. Long story.
  • In The Queens Knickers, the narrator is a schoolboy who somehow knows about the fact that the Queen is wearing her everyday knickers to school and he says to her, "Your Majesty, don't worry about your knickers. Nobody can see them anyway."
  • In The Terrible Underpants, Wanda-Linda has to wear a pair of underpants that she hates because they're too big and there's a cordial stain on them.
  • In the short story "Wunderpants" by Paul Jennings, the schoolyard bully makes fun of the main character for wearing underpants with fairies on them and calls him "Fairy Pants" (it's unknown whether this is a Double Standard and he'd be fine with a girl wearing fairy underwear or if he just thinks fairy underwear, in general, is silly).
  • In the children's novel Who Ran My Underwear Up the Flagpole?, Eddie is mocked by some bullies when they find out he wears Superman underwear, and a pair even become an Underwear Flag, as the title says.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Comedienne Miranda Hart makes a career out of being a six-foot-tall woman with what she describes as an "inelegant" body shape. Her eponymous comedy show Miranda (2009) revolves around situations where she is "Queen Kong" among petite friends, standing out a mile for her size and making herself even more conspicuous by being socially gauche and awkward. Her outer clothing is regularly torn off in bizarre and unlikely accidents revealing serviceable and unflattering underwear.
  • That '70s Show sees Donna getting pantsed by Eric in a basketball game, exposing her granny panties, which Hyde delightfully makes fun of. The episode is even titled "Donna's Panties."
  • Red Dwarf: In "Krytie TV", Kochanski goes on a date with an old boyfriend, to Lister's dismay. Kryten suggests that they sabotage the evening by planting in the former boyfriend's quarters (among other things) "tragically unfashionable underpants", showing off a pair for reference. Rimmer irritably points out that said underpants are his.
  • In the Zoey 101 episode "Webcam," the boys sneak a webcam in the girls' common area in order to spy and learn their embarrassing secrets; one of which is that Nicole wears panties with a "Hello Bunny" print on them. She angrily says that they were on sale.
    • In "Miss PCA," Zoey and Lola walk in as Chase is folding his white briefs.
  • In one episode of Family Feud, one of the questions is "What color underwear is Steve Harvey wearing?" One contestant guesses white, and Steve is very quick to point out that while he does indeed have underwear in lots of colors, not a one of them is white.
  • House of Fools has a scene where Vic, Bob and Beef compare underwear. Vic's are a tiny sparkly thong, Bob's feature the name of his favourite celebrity, David Dickinson, while Beef's are just surprisingly disgusting for someone with his reputation:
  • In Breaking Bad, Walter White's tighty whiteys, which are exposed more than you'd think due his stripping down to cook meth in an RV, add to the general sense of emasculation surrounding him at the start of the series. Jesse also finds them funny during their first cook, saying they make him look like "maybe only the world's second biggest homo."
  • Friends: During Chandler and Monica's Secret Relationship Joey covers for them by claiming the underwear Chandler left between Monica's couch cushions is actually his. Once he gets Chandler alone Joey yells at him for, among other things, his choice of underwear.
    Joey: Oh, and tighty-whities? What, are you 8?
  • In the My Babysitter's a Vampire episode "Friday Night Frights", Ethan is pantsed by the ghost of Coach Ed while wearing space-themed boxers. Sarah sees his underwear and laughs at him, mockingly saying she would've guessed he wore Spider-Man underwear.
  • In the Austin & Ally episode "Filmmaking & Fear Breaking," Austin twice has his pants ripped off because of a mishap with an umbrella, once in a flashback when he is in 4th grade and once in the present day. Both times, he is seen wearing identical, childish boxer shorts with race cars on them. Later on in the episode, Dez reveals that he knows that Austin only ever wears race car-themed boxers.
  • In the Leverage episode "The Experimental Job", a frat initiation is held in which one of the hazing rituals calls for all pledges to strip down to their underwear. Most of the pledges are wearing boxer shorts, but one pledge strips to reveal that he is wearing tighty-whities. He is mocked and ridiculed for his underwear choice and is subsequently thrown out of the frat house and disqualified from pledging.

    Web Videos 
  • In a video released in May 2022 by "Barstool Sports," the intern Billy Football has the back of his khaki pants ripped off by "Pardon My Take" co-host PFT. Billy is wearing white briefs with black polka dots on them. PFT laughingly and mockingly asks Billy "You're wearing tighty-whities?" to which Billy defensively replies "No, they're boxer briefs." Despite Billy's claim, it's clear that he is wearing briefs. Simultaneously, Billy begins sheepishly trying to pull the underwear down his leg in an attempt to make them appear longer and perhaps make them look more like boxer briefs, emphasizing his embarrassment at wearing regular briefs.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Lance Storm found himself on the end of a Pants-Pulling Prank from Edge, revealing a pair of Power Rangers underoos, which got huge laughs from the crowd, as well as a zoom-in from the camera.
  • Kurt Angle has been pantsed in the ring several times, revealing his skimpy thong, much to the crowd's delight. One pantsing incident added insult to injury as after he was pantsed, the ridiculous hairpiece he was wearing was snatched off his head, revealing his baldness (long story). It's one of his character's Running Gags as he would be flustered and struggle to pull his pants up while wrestling.
  • Then WWE Tag Team Champions MNM (John Morrison, Joey Mercury, and manager Melina) were busy berating Jillian Hall from the ring, but it turned out to be a trap - Challengers London and Kendrick then attacked them from behind and pantsed Morrison and Mercury, revealing tiny blue bikini briefs, causing the crowd to laugh and the commentators to actually corpse during the segments. Melina gets pantsed for good measure, though it was mainly for fanservice purposes.
  • Molly Holly, who then had a Sour Prude gimmick, had her granny panties exposed by her then-rival Trish Stratus in a Pants-Pulling Prank. For weeks afterward, Molly would be teased by the commentary as well as the fans in the arena would bring in signs mocking her underwear.


    Western Animation 
  • American Dad! season 6 episode Brains, Brains and Automobiles had Steve, Barry, Snot, and Toshi immediately picked on by the other guys at summer camp, because they were wearing "whiteys of tight" which designated them as geeks. They go off to purchase boxer shorts, but then get tricked by a shady salesman selling bikini-type underwear called "culos." They then wear the culos and think they'll be the coolest kids at camp. It... doesn’t go as well as they expected.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: Operation: B.U.T.T. has the Delightful Children use robot crabs to snap a photo of Numbuh 1's bare butt and use it to blackmail him. Later, they summon an army of robot crabs and one of them rips his pants off revealing Rainbow Monkey underwear. His teammates come in and rip off the Delightful Children's pants and skirts while Numbuh 5 takes a photo of them to negate Numbuh 1's butt photo as they run off covering themselves chased by their own robot crabs.
  • The Cramp Twins: In "Tattoo Boy," Lucien gets pantsed by Wayne, revealing his weird underpants choice (organic undies made out of hemp that he received through the mailbox without his mother knowing), which repulses Wayne. He also threatens Lucien to tell their mom about his choice of underwear if he tells the parents about Wayne's tattoos. At the end of the episode, she finds out by herself and has the expected reaction.
  • Darkwing Duck: In "Star-Crossed Circuits", at one point, the spurned D-2000 strips most of Darkwing's clothes off for a bath and then starts a painful "massage." When he escapes, he's down to heart boxers, which Gosalyn says are super dorky. Darkwing tries to recover by claiming they're very popular in Europe.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: In "Home Cooked Eds", while going through Eddy's stuff, Marie finds a pair of leopard skin underwear. All the Kankers and Ed laugh, while Edd states "That's quite a statement Eddy". Eddy tries to pass them off as his brother's, but Marie states that his name is on the tag.
  • Phineas and Ferb: In Bubble Boys, Doofenshmirtz gets his plan foiled by Perry the Platypus again so he tries to escape with a jetpack, but it flies off with most of his clothes revealing his boxers have Perry's face on them which he claims he had before he met Perry.
  • In Shrek 2, Pinocchio needs to come up with a lie to make his nose grow. Donkey suggests that he should say he's wearing ladies' underwear, but when Pinocchio says it, nothing happens. When they ask him whether he's actually wearing ladies' underwear, he vehemently denies it, which does make his nose grow.
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, Spider-Man is fighting in the middle of winter when his suit gets ripped, exposing Goofy Print Underwear. He immediately starts defending himself before bystanders can even comment.
    "Okay, the thermals with the hearts were half-price, and do not reflect my very high macho quotient!"
  • In the "Have Time, Will Travel" episode of the Wacky Adventures Of Ronald Mc Donald video series, King Murray inadvertently has his clothes torn off in front of all of the other characters. Everyone laughs at him for wearing tighty-whities, and one of his knights orders everyone to turn away and stop laughing, commanding them to "peak not at his majesty's royal tighty-whities, as it were."
  • In "If You Can't Take The Heat..." from Total Drama Island, Duncan, Geoff, and DJ steal all of Harold's pairs of pants and underpants to teach him a lesson about leaving his dirty underwear everywhere. After DJ pours a bucket of water over his pants, he goes to the cabin to change himself and comes back to the challenge set in a skimpy thong and no pants, as it was the only thing he had left (other than his pajamas). When the others see him, Courtney and Chris are disgusted, while the other Killer Basses laugh at him.
  • In The Simpsons episode "Wild Barts Can't Be Broken", Milhouse is revealed to wear Teletubbies underwear.

    Real Life 


Video Example(s):


It's Been Done Before

MatPat, in his defense video of the Try Guys, brings up how their infamous video of them wearing women's clothing (one that various people always bring up) is literally a trope that's been done in other shows, citing Friends as an example.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / UncoolUndies

Media sources: