Matthew McConaughey did this so often in the years before his Career Resurrection that he became the personification of the Walking Shirtless Scene. Sahara (2005); Surfer Dude; Fool's Gold...a cornucopia of shirtlessness. In Reign of Fire McConaughey willingly takes his shirt off twice—the second (and last) time being when he throws himself at a dragon, which eats him. Though the amount of protection provided by his shirt against the dragon's teeth is debatable, he nonetheless had little reason to take it off apart from showing off his tattoos.
Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This qualifies because in the book Harry sinks until his entire body up to his neck is underwater so Myrtle can't sneak a look at him. In the film, he's not so prudish, but does make an effort to cover his more delicate regions with bubbles. Censor SteammeetsHand-or-Object Underwear! Though saying that, he doesn't seem to mind Myrtle looking at him when he's underwater with her.
There was also an audible response from certain members of the audience when he strips to his underwear to retrieve a sword in a frozen pond in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In Part 2 after the trio escape from Gringotts and fall in a lake, Ron and Harry promptly strip off their shirts to change into drier clothes. Unfortunately for the straight males/lesbians in the audience, Hermione does not do the same.
Related: Daniel Radcliffe played a mentally atypical boy in the play Equus. One scene calls for him to strip onstage and stay that way until the end of the play.
Comes up several times in Stomp the Yard. The training sequence that occurs just before the climactic championship faceoff ends with the hunky protagonist and his equally ripped team members jogging up a mountain in nothing but their shorts. When they reach the top, the team stands on the peak staring off into the sunrise for a good couple of seconds, to give the audience a moment to fully enjoy it.
During the climax of 28 Days Later, Cillian Murphy is topless and bloodstained. Of course, this is comparatively a blessing, because he also gets completely naked for no good reason in other scenes.
Help! has a scene in which The Beatles, taking refuge in a bathroom, get attacked by a hand-dryer that conveniently sucks up most of their clothing, George's shirt in particular. And that's not even getting into the part where Paul shrinks and his clothes don't...
Film and stage performers were doing the shirtless scene long before the invention of television. The ur-example of modern times has to be Clark Gable in the 1934 film It Happened One Night. Gable's rugged good looks and rough charisma had already made him a star. Here, he is wearing the standard garb of an early 20th century middle-class male: white shirt, suit, tie, and fedora. When he "takes it off" in a motel room in front of Claudette Colbert, the audience learns that, beneath those mundane clothes, Gable is... not wearing an undershirt. Gable in an unbuttoned shirt with his buff, manly chest showing has been claimed to have caused sales of men's undershirts to crash in America. (Snopesdoubts it.) It allegedly took World War II and/or the acceptance of T-shirts as outerwear for the T-shirt industry to recover.
In Hands Across the Table, Ted needs look like he was in Bermuda, so Regi gets a tanning lamp from the barbershop. Hes then shirtless for a long period. However, Regi doesnt seem to mind.
In the film featured in the MST3K episode "Future War", the male lead takes off his shirt while he's about to kill the a bad guy near the end of the film. This is so strained and awkward that one can't help but think he would be better off waiting until the evil cyborg about to kill him was disposed of...
He tugs on it for a second or so while making a constipated face.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King has Frodo shirtless during his capture in the Tower of Cirith Ungol in which Sam rescues him - where you can see some of the horrific injuries he's received throughout the trilogy such as the stab-wound from the Morgul blade and the very recent paralysing sting from Shelob.
In the book, he was completely naked.
Then there's Gandalf being resurrected in The Two Towers, though we don't get to see much of it.
Hoot has one of these featuring then-teen idol Cody Linley.
Both combatants of the climax fight of the martial arts movie Undefeatable suddenly turn the whole scene into a Shirtless Scenefor no reason at all mid-combat by tearing their shirts off in a hilariously inappropriate over-the-top macho manner while growling bestially. The narm this causes must be seen to be believed. (TROPER'S WARNING: NSFW and probably not good for your sanity either.)
In Way of the Dragon before their iconic showdown at the Colloseum, Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris both take off their shirts and then start pulling off martial arts stances. Not one to be outdone, Bruce Lee starts cracking his back and shoulders which also helpfully causes his pecs and delts to pop out.
Actually every single Bruce Lee movie has at least one of these, and we would be sorely disappointed if there wasn't.
In Working Girl, Harrison Ford gives his stenopool an eyeful when he changes shirts without closing the blinds on the glass separating his office from theirs.
Disney's Swiss Family Robinson has the four Robinson men - including the youngest son - shirtless several times throughout the film. Fritz and Ernst almost go into Walking Shirtless Scene territory during their time exploring the island.
Lucky Number Slevin has Josh Hartnett spend a large portion of a day wearing nothing but a towel. Convenient that the gangsters had time to spare for a chat, but not enough time to let the poor guy get dressed.
Not that anybody's complaining about that particular plot hole...
The Monkees' film Head features a long (and awesome) scene with Micky Dolenz shirtless in a desert; also a scene with Davy Jones as a boxer fighting Sonny Liston.
In Mulan, Shang takes his shirt off just before the Training Montage for apparently no reason other than fanservice. The gratuitousness of this is lampshaded by Yao: "I'll get your arrow, prettyboy. And I'll do it with my shirt on."
The scene was deliberately added by the production team in order to give Mulan some fanservice to look at.
The sixth rule of Fight Club is "No shirts, no shoes."
Parodied in Walk Hard when Dewey and Darlene had sex for the first time. She didn't know he was so buff.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine took this to an extreme, much to the delight of Hugh Jackman fangirls. During a dramatic escape scene, not only does he erupt from a tank of water completely shirtless (and indeed naked, muscles + dripping water...), but he then proceeds to escape, running and fighting his way out of the building. Viewers get a lovable full-body shot (in which censorship is barely provided by his leg from a mostly-side-shot) when he jumps off a waterfall.
The body Apocalypse is transferring himself into at the beginning of the film is wearing nothing but a loincloth.
Angel is bare-chested when Apocalypse transforms him into Archangel.
Wolverine is seen shirtless when he escapes the Weapon X facility.
Hugh Jackman in Christopher Nolan's The Prestige (2006). A quite unexpected and totally gratuitous shirtless scene. He's in the bedroom pondering about some magic trick, while his girlfriend is fully clothed.
In fairness, doesn't like nearly every student get one earlier in the film?
The film adaptation of The Outsiders had two gratuitous shirtless scenes: One is Dally in the hospital, laying in his bed after stating that "The nurse gave him a dress but he didn't want to wear it" and a strictly Fanservice moment of Sodapop getting out of the shower, just barely after he got a Modesty Towel on.
Lowriders. In the film when Theo Rossi's character lets in his brother to his house, he isn't wearing a shirt. For the rest of the scene he walks around shirtless, revealing his toned, tattoed body.
Youngblood Rob Lowe walks to the locker room wearing a towel which drops to the floor and Cynthia Gibb gets an eyeful.
The 1936 Flash Gordon film serial has many, many scenes with Flash shirtless (or nearly so), especially while fighting, being whipped/tortured, or working up a sweat olive-oil coating. Basically, the whole series seems built on pulp sci-fi, Yellow Peril, and multiple varities of Fanservice.
In Escape from New York, Snake is stripped to the waist before engaging in a Blood Sport with a huge guy (you also briefly glimpse him shirtless in the sequel), revealing the upper part of a large cobra tattoo on his stomach. Makes you wonder what the rest of the tattoo looks like...
Will Ferrel seems to almost insist that every movie he is in have some shot of him shirtless, at best. In worst case scenarios, he's flaunting around in wet bikini style briefs. Always assume you will see the latter in a movie starring him.
Used to great effect in American History X. In the flashbacks showing Derek Vinyard during his stay in prison and his time as a gang leader he is often shirtless or in a tank top to show off his Nazi tattoos. During the scenes set in the present and after his renouncing of his Nazi ways he's always wearing a shirt that hides the tattoos, which combined with the different haircut and the usage of black and white in the flashbacks disassociate him from his past. After he tells his story and officially rejects his former gang he steps out of the shower, the audience sees his tattoos and the disassociation is shattered, driving home the point that no matter what he does in the future he will always have been a skinhead, will always be that man and will always carry the scars of his past.
Tim Allen has a shirtless scene in Galaxy Quest. Of course, like most of the film, this is meant to lampoon Star Trek (where Kirk frequently went topless). In case it wasn't totally obvious to everyone, Alan Rickmanlampshades it at the very end of the scene when he comments "I see you managed to get your shirt off."
Will Smith's character Del Spooner in I, Robot has two which were a blessing to fangirls (and some boys) since he was in probably the best shape of his career. And he also had a Shower Scene. He has some nice shirtless scenes in various other movies, too.
If it stars Bradley Cooper, there will always be a reason for him to take his shirt off.
Only after Sendhil Ramamurthy had joined It's A Wonderful Afterlife, Gurinder Chadha wrote a completely gratuitous shirtless scene for his character. "When I signed up for the movie, that scene was not in there. My mother was thrilled: Can't you keep your clothes on in something?"
The original TRON gives us Jeff Bridges taking his shirt off when he walks into his office with his best friend and his best friend's girlfriend (who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend). Other than "Flynn was really working up a sweat from playing video games," no explanation for shirtlessness is given.
And given a FanserviceShout-Out in the sequel when Alan shows up to tell Sam about the page. Of course, Sam does explain it by saying he smells "like jail." There's a second where the Armory Sirens strip Sam to his shorts before fitting him with a gridsuit.
The opening credits of the 1993 film adaptation of "Much Ado About Nothing" features much of the male cast washing up before meeting with Leonato and his household.
In Walk Like A Man, there's a deleted (?) scene where Colleen Camp is in the backyard being pampered by two smooth chested, blonde and buff young men while three other smooth chested, blonde and buff guys next door look on.
Sebastien Guy doesn't wear a shirt for longer than 10 seconds in Close Enough to Touch.
The film of Master and Commander has one midshipman going shirtless while in sickbay. And there's Dr. Maturin going shirtless as he operates on himself to remove a bullet.
In Withnail & I, Paul McGann seems to lose his shirt (and trousers) every couple of scenes. This comes back to bite him when he attracts unwanted attention.
A lot of Arnold Schwarzenegger's movies. Notable is Commando where he dons a tactical vest on the beach before leaving to attack the compound in Val Verde, but he of course sheds it in the first few seconds of the fight for no particular reason.
Raleigh is seen without his shirt a couple of times in Pacific Rim. His first Shirtless Scene in his introduction is justified, as he and his brother have just been woken at 2 a.m. by a kaiju alert. His second one is more gratuitous - he is changing his shirt in his room while the door is wide open - but it is used to build up the Unresolved Sexual Tension between him and Mako, who is shown Eating the Eye Candy.
The Lightning Thief: Remember those two scenes with Percy swimming, which was the first thing shown in the commercial? It wasn't in the book.
Vlad gets a few in Dracula Untold. After turning into a vampire, he gets a partial one, waking up in the river with his armor now missing sleeves, exposing Luke Evans' well-toned arms.
Count the number of times in Beyond The Lights that Kaz removes his shirt. Special shout out to the time he rips his clean white shirt off to tend to Noni's bleeding arm and hand.
A nasty version in the original Die Hard, where McClane loses his undershit because he uses it to bandage his lacerated feet after running over broken glass.
Assassin's Creed (2016): In Cal's third Animus scene, he hooks up to the machine without his shirt. It is not clear why. He also fights bare-chested during the Assassins' revolt at the Abstergo facility.
In Ant-Man, Scott takes off his shirt during a training montage, leaving Hope to gaze upon his body.
Captain America: Civil War is the first (and until Captain Marvel three years later, the only) MCU film that completely averts this trope, but it still makes sure to give the audience plenty of sequences in which Steve and Bucky get to show off their muscles.
In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor has yet another shirtless scene when he's brought to the Hulk's home on Sakaar.
In Black Panther, going shirtless is a standard part of ritual combat - meaning T'Challa, M'Baku and Erik / N'Jadaka all get a turn. We specifically see Erik removing his shirt before facing T'Challa, and the sight of his pecs made one girl in the audience snap her retainer.
Ant-Man and the Wasp has a brief scene of shirtless Scott Lang getting ready for a shower while killing time during his house arrest.
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith has a similar scene of a shirtless Anakin awakening from a nightmare, this time standing up and walking out of the bedroom, partially covering himself with a loose robe.
The Last Jedi shows Kylo Ren shirtless while communicating with Rey across the galaxy, though this is Played for Laughs as well as Fanservice, as he's not thrilled to be having a conversation while half-dressed, and she frustratedly asks him if he has anything he can put on. Snoke's the one establishing their Force Bond, so Kylo can't simply not turn it off or avoid establishing the Bond to begin with.
Othello (1995) was notable for being a Hotter and Sexier take on the Shakespeare play, giving the titular protagonist a few shirtless scenes. The poster even features a sexy makeout between Othello and Desdemona.
Brandon finds his friend Steve dealing with PTSD from Iraq by digging a fox hole in his front garden. While also shirtless. When he wakes up the next morning, he only puts pants on.
Brandon gets one, but it's more Fan Disservice, as Michelle is helping him stitch some wounds together.
The 1996 film adaptation of The Phantom offers a nice long scene early on the Skull Cave with a buff and shirtless Billy Zane, under the pretext of his manservant treating a recent minor stab wound. The scene is long enough for him to have two separate conversations. After that, it's up to your imagination.
Director Simon Wincer: Before every scene he'd be there with weights and push ups, while legendary actor Patrick McGoohan [who played The Phantom's ghost father] would just roll his eyes.
Siren (2010): Ken spends much of his time on the island shirtless and, when he does put a shirt on, he usually doesn't button it up.
In The Deserter, all of the squad expect Kaleb are shown shirtless when Kaleb orders them to strip so they can experience the direct heat of the desert sun.
The Martian has a decidedly fanservice-free example early on when Mark Watney has to perform some emergency Self-Surgery.
Ekipazh (Flight Crew): You'd think the very handsome and hunky star of this adrenaline-packed airplane action thriller, Danila Kozlovsky (as maverick ex-military pilot trainee Alexey), would get at least one of these, especially with all the heat generated by that erupting volcano; but he remains firmly encased in his increasingly battered pilot's uniform shirt for the whole film. Instead it's the heroic flight attendant Andrey (Sergey Kempo) who gets to show his defined torso toward the end. It's while they're patching people up and he's a bit battered, but it's there, and it's the only skin in the film.