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Vapor Wear / Live-Action TV

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  • Sue Ellen Mischke, the "Braless Wonder" from Seinfeld.
    • When Sue Ellen is first introduced in the episode "The Caddy", Elaine goes off on a rant about how her old enemy from high school has never, ever worn a bra. In her first scene she is noticeably braless, and Elaine makes a face at the sight (internal monologue: "Look at her — she's totally out of control!").
    • The trope is inverted when Elaine gives Sue Ellen a bra as a gift, and she starts wearing it as outerwear. This causes whiplash and car crashes on the streets of New York, and leads to at least one lawsuit.
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  • Played for laughs in an episode of the prison-based Brit Com Porridge. When Fletcher's daughter, Ingrid, pays him a visit (in the open-plan visiting room), he is outraged that she's not wearing a bra and all the other prisoners can see it. Next time she visits, she puts a bra on, and just to make sure he knows it, she lifts up her t-shirt to demonstrate.
  • Kelly Bundy on Married... with Children very seldom wears a bra and usually dresses to emphasize that fact.
  • In the "Dollhouse" episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, when Alex hugs Justin, she is noticeably not wearing a bra.
  • Servalan from Blake's 7. It's more obvious in motion, but still...damn.
  • Doctor Who embraced this trope whole-heartedly in its classic days. Professor Amelia Rumford in the story "The Stones of Blood" wore a silk blouse without a bra when the air was a bit chilly; companions Romana (especially the Lalla Ward incarnation), Tegan, Nyssa and Ace were seen bra-less more often than not.
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  • 30 Rock: Liz Lemon counseled her assistant Cerie about wearing revealing outfits and going braless at the office, despite protests from the male staff.
  • Friends:
    • In one episode Monica's decision not to wear a bra results in embarrassing consequences when she chooses to sing at Mike's piano bar and the stage lighting causes her breasts to become very visible to the cheering male audience. She thinks they like her singing.
    • Rachel never seems to wear one.
  • Leverage:
    • In several episodes - including "The Nigerian Job," the first episode of the series - the need for a quick costume change requires Parker to strip off her top on-camera, revealing in the process that she is not wearing a bra.
    • Nate's ex-wife Maggie tends to end up in formalwear that would be impossible to wear a bra with, such as the plunging neckline of the gown she wears in her introductory scene in "The First David Job" and a silky blue gown with a cutout window in the lower chest in "The Zanzibar Marketplace Job."
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  • About half the time the main cast of Charmed are on screen, they don't seem to be aware of the existence of bras.
  • That '70s Show:
    • In the episode "The Third Wheel", Eric refers to Hyde's Girl of the Week as "Little Miss Can't Find a Bra".
    • In another episode, Eric and Kitty go to see a movie. We're treated to their Internal Monologue as they watch, and each one notes that the main female character isn't wearing a bra.
  • Brittany and Santana went on a date with Finn during the first season of Glee. Brittany later informed Sue that they tried everything to seduce him—Brittany, for example, didn't wear a bra. And asked management to turn up the air conditioning. Ahem.
  • Jaime Sommers in The Bionic Woman wears quite a lot of barely legal dresses with no bra, which, in reruns, are slightly startling to modern sensibilities.
  • Shamelessly employed on the Tremors series, when Rosalita taught a self-defense lesson to Burt's survival class, apparently without realizing her white T-shirt was soaking wet. Not that the guys in the class were complaining, mind you.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The first Slayer's costume seems to be nothing but strategically-placed cheesecloth.
    • Let's not forget the slayer's own aversion to bras in seasons 3-5. note 
    • Faith is no stranger to this, either, though she usually seems to be wearing powerful push-up bras. When she sleeps with Xander in "The Zeppo", she takes off her shirt to reveal that she is not wearing anything underneath.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In her first scenes in the series, Daenerys Targaryen wears a flimsy silk dress that can barely pass off as clothing with nothing on underneath. Justified, as she is being displayed to her new husband, Khal Drogo.
    • Seen when Theon Greyjoy pays the whore Roz to show him one last time what's under her skirt as she's leaving Winterfell. At least she has an excuse, given her profession.
    • While the noble ladies of Westeros wear corsets under their dresses, most women don't seem to wear any kind of breast support.
    • And as we are shown on many and numerous occasions, nobody ever wears underpants in this world, despite various references to 'smallclothes' in the novels.
  • Susan Sullivan in the pilot movie of The Incredible Hulk (1977) was wearing a see-through black shirt with twin breast pockets. While it would be difficult to say for certain while watching, the DVD commentary specifically states she was braless and the pockets were the only reason they got away with it.
  • Fiona Glenanne in Burn Notice is rarely seen with a bra and at times it's blatantly noticeable.
  • Frequently seen on Rome. Cleopatra in particular, with that transparent dress. Yikes.
  • Played for Laughs in a sketch from The Tracey Ullman Show, wherein Tracey plays a Salsa dancer whose panties are stolen right before her routine. Hilarity Ensues, mostly resulting from her efforts to communicate her predicament to her partner, Dan Castellaneta, while trying not to reveal it to the audience. This is a reworking of an older Benny Hill sketch and may well be a direct copy.
  • The prime minister of Serbia, Ivica Dačić, once fell victim to a prank involving this trope, perpetrated by hidden camera show Nemoguća Misija (Mission Impossible). The show's producers invited the Prime Minister for an interview administered by a very attractive young woman in a very short minidress (who was in fact a glamour model). Shortly after the alleged interview began, the model/interviewer shifted her legs, revealing a distinct lack of underwear, in order to capture the Prime Minister's resulting downward glance and goofy grin on video. When the (censored) trailer hit the internet, the government instructed the show not to release the full episode.
  • When Penny on The Big Bang Theory slipped and dislocated her shoulder in her shower, she has Sheldon help her put on just a pair of shorts and a top, justified since she needs to get to the hospital as soon as possible. She insists that he help her with his eyes closed leading to:
    Penny: Just help me get my arm in the sleeve.
    (Penny's eyes go wide)
    Penny: Is that my arm?
    Sheldon: It doesn't feel like an arm.
    Penny: Then, maybe you should let it go.
  • On a Spring 1994 episode of the French children's variety show Jacky Show, singer/actress Mallaury Nataf performed her single "Fleur Sauvage" and caused a bit of a scandal thanks to this. As clearly seen in a brief video, she was wearing a very short dress, twirled a bit too energetically and ended up performing a Marilyn Maneuver that flashed both sides and showed she wasn't wearing any panties under her tights. Miss Nataf herself, however, claimed some years later that the video in question is not from the live broadcast but a separate performance after the show.
  • Space: 1999
    • In one episode, Sandra suffers Clothing Damage that exposes her back — and the fact that she is naked under her uniform. Unfortunately, the effect is ruined by a continuity error: in the previous scene, you can clearly see the outlines of her bra and panties under her tight jumpsuit.
    • As can be expected in a show from 1975, many of the women don't wear bras under their uniforms, and those that do wear "no-bra" bras designed to imitate the braless look.
    • In Maya's first appearance (in the first episode of season 2), she wears a dress that appears to be backless with Absolute Cleavage, but actually has a top part of nude fabric. That fabric is so sheer, though, that it's obvious that there is no undergarment beneath.
  • Trudy, one of the female detectives in Miami Vice, never wore a bra and usually wore tops that made this quite obvious. Didn't Miami P.D. have a dress code in the 80's?
  • In an early episode of Farscape, Zhaan takes off her robe in front of a captured alien soldier to demonstrate her lack of cultural taboos. This leaves her completely naked as she is not wearing any undergarments.
  • Debralee Scott had a wardrobe malfunction on the game show Password that revealed a braless breast.
  • Charlie Dimmock, the female gardener in the BBC's semi-cult garden-makeover programme Ground Force, didn't like wearing bras, and didn't mind if her nipples showed through her T-shirt. This was exacerbated by the fact that, being a British show, a lot of time she was outside in the rain. References to "Charlie's dimmocks" abounded for a while. She was well aware of the attention, and appeared flattered by it. When a US version of the series was shot, the producers made her wear a bra.
  • The Angels in Charlie's Angels are well-known for not wearing bras, and usually wear shirts that make this quite obvious. This was one of the two major selling points of the show (the other one being the at the time unusual concept of having strong, active women as protagonists).
  • Just Shoot Me!: Dennis Finch convinces Maya to go braless to a red-carpet function. Her blouse is opaque — until the harsh lighting at the scene renders it transparent. Yes, Dennis expected that.
  • In UFO the crew of the Skydiver submarine wear fishnet shirts that clearly show off the men's nipples and chest hair. The female crew members wear the same shirts but are filmed at such angles that nothing ever shows. The intention is obviously to hint at Vapor Wear but in the few close-up shots there seems to be nude-coloured lining and/or undergarments under the fishnet.
  • Hill Street Blues:
    • When the attractive gangster widow Gina Srignoli is being fitted with a wire, detective Mayo explains that the microphone will be attached to her bra.
    Gina: Well, we'd better get me a bra then.
    • At roll call one morning, desk sergeant Esterhaus mentions, with his usual Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, that the request by female officers to dispense with supportive undergarments because of the ongoing heat wave has been denied. This is met by boos and catcalls from both male and female officers.
    • Subverted by Fay Furillo when she tells her ex-husband that she has joined a radical feminist group: she explicitly mentions that she will not burn her bra. Captain Furillo shows somewhat exaggerated relief.
  • Police Woman:
    • The titular character, detective Sgt. Pepper Anderson, wears a bra in her official role as a police detective (presumably following the department dress code), but in her spare time and when she is going undercover she very obviously follows the braless fashion of the time (the series is from the mid-70s). This is played for fanservice in many episodes, especially in the first season.
    • At the start of "The Melting Point of Ice", Pepper is impersonating a street walker, wearing a skintight jumpsuit with open sides that makes it quite obvious that she's not just braless, but not wearing any undergarments at all. When she's called to investigate a murder scene, she has not time to change, and wears the same clothes while interviewing an elderly robbery victim whose colleague was killed by the robbers.
  • On Good Girls Revolt Patti goes noticeably braless quite often, specifically under her red jumper in the very first episode.
  • In this scene on Average Joe: Hawaii, Larissa isn't wearing a bra.
  • In the Hunter episode "Overnight Sensation", an investigative TV reporter is depicting Hunter as a dirty cop. When Sgt. McCall visits the reporter to try to persuade him that he's on the wrong track, she wears a thin, white sweater with her nipples and areolae clearly showing through. Unfortunately, it doesn't help in winning over the journalist.
  • In this scene from the Made-for-TV Movie Deadly Care, Cheryl Ladd's character Anne Halloran isn't wearing a bra, as shown by how her boobs are bouncing and jiggling.
  • On the Albanian network Zjarr Television, it's the style for female news anchors wear open blazers without shirts or bras.
  • Marlo Thomas stopped wearing a bra on That Girl when the braless look became fashionable. When the subject was brought up in an interview, her response was, "God created women to bounce, so be it. If I bounce, I'm glad to be a girl."
  • Many female characters on Starsky & Hutch are clearly not wearing bras, as was fashionable in The '70s.


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