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When a person covers up their nudity using their hands or an object. Unlike Scenery Censor, this is intentional on their part.

Can be done with men or women. Typically related to Sex for Product and Public Exposure. See also Godiva Hair and Improvised Clothes. Among photographers the breast version is sometimes known as the "arm bra."

Examples of Hand or Object Underwear include:


Advertising Edit

  • Keira Knightley's latest advert for Coco Mademoiselle, which involves her covering her breasts with a hat.
  • Strangely enough, the bear in Orangina's first CGI commercial is wearing a leaf over his groin. It is strange because the other men are wearing trunks.
  • Sophie Dahl did this for an advert, covering her breasts with her hands and crossing her legs to cover her groin.
  • A UK TV ad involving an old man covering his groin with a full shopping basket.
  • They did this in an ad campaign for Wireless computer products with monitors and towers covering the naughty bits.
  • A recurring theme in PETA advertisements, since they've mostly turned to pictures of pretty women, willing to pose naked and declare that they don't eat meat.
    • Or, as they often declare, "I'd rather go naked than wear fur".
    • An Italian(?) ad featured a variation: The model adapted a pose that actually gave a clear view of her pubic hair, with a caption to the effect of, "The only fur I am not ashamed to wear."
    • Parodied by The Onion. "I'd rather be raped by an animal than wear fur."
  • A FedEx advert has two naked models on a catwalk. The rear one is covering her bits with fanned out tickets, while the front one is using a flowerpot- the pot covering her groin and the two lots of attached flowers covering her breasts.
  • A recent Curry's ad did this, with customers and staff covering up with electrical appliances such as kettles and toasters. It also included a sly visual gag of having a concealing TV display a large cockerel on its screen.
  • Virgin Atlantic used this trope, in the form of a generic burlesque act, to promote discount fares with the slogan "We've Taken Loads Off".
  • The promotional posters for Caprica feature Alessandra Torresani (who plays Zoe Graystone) in a variant of this, combined with How Do You Like Them Apples? and Over-the-Shoulder Pose. Ummm...
  • The Stereo Warehouse in Seattle, WA has advertisements for their annual We've stripped our prices naked sale featuring the male sales staff hiding their shame with various car speakers and boxes
  • aussieBum - JackpotNSFW


Anime & Manga Edit

  • Melfina does the hand thing whenever she's in the tank that lets her navigate the ship on Outlaw Star. The Toonami edit gave her a bikini, which makes this kind of needless.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: In the Bathhouse Episode, Kamina uses Boota to cover up his naughty bits. In the same episode, Simon's parts are often covered up by his drill, which drops by about a foot and increases in size by a factor of three or so.
  • Ranma One Half: Although Female!Ranma's male mind (and, therefore, complete lack of feminine modesty) make an Innocent Fanservice Girl out of her more times than not, she usually covers her breasts and crotch when in the presence of people she does NOT want to see her naked -- such as Kunô, Happôsai, or public bath patrons.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima does this a lot, given the amount of Clothing Damage in the series.
  • Keiichi, from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, does this in the pool OVA after he finds out he isn't wearing a swimsuit. Sadly, all four of his friends, a seventeen-year-old, a fifteen-year-old, and two nine-year-olds, saw him for a good half a minute. Two of those girls are his love interests, and one of those two girls fawns over how cute his "sea bear" is.
  • Full Metal Panic
    • The last episode of Full Metal Panic Fumoffu. HALF THE SCHOOL loses most of their clothes thanks to Sôsuke and Ono-D. Everyone covering the-- no, it HAS TO BE SEEN TO BELIEVED Look at 2:12 for maximum lulz.
      • The female half, that is.
    • In a non-comedic example, during "The Second Raid" Kaname is being chased by an assassin while only wearing a robe and her underwear. She distracts said assassin with her removed robe and shoots her with a stun-gun while covering her breasts with her arm.
  • Tsukasa in Tokyo Crazy Paradise is forced to assume the Botticelli's Venus pose when she is temporarily Taken for Granite.
  • Hanaukyo Maid Tai
    • Episode 11. Taro does it after Ryuuka intrudes into his bath area while he's naked.
    • Episode 14. Taro, while bathing with Konoe in the natural hot spring.
    • La Verité episode 1. Taro does it when several maids manage to disrobe him without his knowledge. Several maids (including assistant Security chief Yashima Sanae) do it after one of Ikuyo Suzuki's gadgets rips off their clothing, leaving them naked.
  • Queen's Blade does this for both tops and bottoms: the ends of Melona's hair form hands that are her only covering for her breasts at any time, and the Elves never wear panties. Alleyne uses leaves for panties, and Echidna uses a live snake.
  • This shows up in bath scenes in Hayate the Combat Butler.
  • Bleach anime episode #229. Ikkaku is in the bathroom about to take a bath, with only a towel around his waist. When Keigo's sister walks in, Ikkaku's towel falls to the floor and he has to cover himself with his hands.
  • In Evangelion, when Shinji first sees Pen-Pen, he runs out naked into the living room. The only thing blocking his crotch is a can of beer on the table. Shortly after, Misato picks up the can of beer to reveal... a even smaller box of toothpicks. It's at this point she says to Shinji that he forgot his clothes, so he then covers himself with his hands and exits off camera.


Arts Edit


Comics -- Books Edit

  • Excalibur's Genoshan member Freakshow covers himself with a stop sign after demorphing from his monster form the first time we see it. (However, he still has underwear, which doesn't really make sense... and is unnecessary, because of the stop sign.)
    • That's a trope itself in Marvel Comics (Exiles did it nigh-constantly)... Characters who've had their clothing destroyed will regularly be shown in underwear -- usually underwear at least as modest as some teammates' outerwear -- yet have dialog indicating they're stark naked. Yeah, there's a history of Marvel editors realizing that, ye gods, there's too much flesh, and demanding the artists put the character in Y-fronts or a one-piece.
  • In Secret Six, they first encounter the Mad Hatter sitting on a throne of skulls wearing nothing but a hat over his genitals. Turns out, it wasn't just to cover them.


Films -- Animation Edit

  • In Over the Hedge, Verne covers himself with a cookie after he loses his shell.
  • The lead character in Chicken Little loses his pants on his way to school and has to make a pair out of his homework.
  • Toy Story 2. Bullseye covers his privates with his hooves after his saddle (and Woody) fall off his back.
  • Ariel actually does this with Flounder after she's been turned into a human by Ursula in The Little Mermaid, and is immediately swimming up to the surface.


Films -- Live-Action Edit

  • Uma Thurman as Venus makes her entrance in a re-creation of the Botticelli pose in Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
  • An American Werewolf in London. "Mummy, a naked American man stole my balloons!"
  • Hilariously parodied in The Jerk, when Steve Martin leaps from the bathtub and goes charging outside naked but covering his groin with his small pet dog. Once outside, he picks up another small dog to cover his backside.
  • During A Fish Called Wanda, Archie uses a vacant apartment to seduce Wanda. However new tenants arrive during his nude dance, so he fumbles to retrieve the closest object to cover his privates. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a portrait of the apartment's owner.
  • In Rush Hour 2, Inspector Lee and James Carter end up running through the streets of Hong Kong completely naked after a fight at a massage parlor. A short time later, Carter is using two garbage can lids to cover himself and Lee is using two old newspapers to do the same.
  • The above is a deliberate Callback to Jackie Chan's earlier movie The Accidental Spy; a hilarious fight scene starting in a Turkish bath has him fighting in the nude against a couple of Mooks, in a busy Istanbul market, all the while trying to cover up using newspapers, hand brooms, bowls of spice and other objects.
  • In the underrated musical movie The American Mall, during the "The New You" song, two of Madison's back-up dancers rip off Joey's clothing and he covers his groin with his hands... even thought he was already in his boxers.
  • Innocent Fanservice Boy George of the Jungle (played by Brendan Fraser) has this scene with Ursula grabbing things for him to cover up with. It does spur an amusing comment from Ursula's friend Betsy: "... See why they made him King of the Jungle..."
  • The... er... climax of The Full Monty shows the men use the caps of their policeman stripper outfits to cover their naughty bits before tossing them away to general cheering.
  • Inadvertedly funnily done in one of the Friday the 13 th movies. A girl gets out of the water from Skinny Dipping, and finds her clothing missing. She then covers up her chest calling out to the guy who stole them. Funny in that she does not cover her groin (which was out of frame).
  • Likewise, during the first death scene from the original Halloween, Michael's sister covers her breasts with her hands as she's being killed. Apparently, keeping her nipples from showing up on camera is more important than either hiding her groin or fending off a knife attack.
    • She reflexively covers her breasts when she sees her little brother in the room to avoid exposing herself to him (in the split second before he begins attacking her), then continues to keep them there in a futile attempt to defend herself.
  • In Bedknobs and Broomsticks, the Secretary Bird does this after his clothing (minus his necktie) gets blown off of him by King Ledonias' yelling. Though, he didn't really have anything to cover up in the first place...
  • Done with Uma Thurman and a speaker stack in The Truth About Cats and Dogs.
  • A Shot in the Dark invokes the trope when Inspector Clouseau visits a nudist colony to question a suspect. He borrows a guitar just so he can hold it front of himself, and has a pool float on his back.
  • In The Proposal, Sandra Bullock goes after a towel, fighting the dog, with only her arms to cover herself.
  • Happens in the first Police Academy, when Mahoney schemes to get Harris' Yes-Man Procter naked and trapped outside. He winds up at the Blue Oyster Club.
  • In Fantastic Four, the first time Johnny Storm flames on, he vaporizes all of his clothing and spends a considerable amount of time awkwardly prancing around naked with his ski instructor's jacket around his waist (after doing her of course). Considering he was played by Mr. Fanservice himself, Chris Evans, there was much squeeing.
  • Often in Carry On movies.
    • In Carry On Dick, Dick Turpin (Sid James) robs the clothing off the Police Inspector (Kenneth Williams) and his wife. She has only her big hat in front of her.
  • In Airheads, Pip (Adam Sandler) uses his cap when he's caught making out with station employee Suzzi.
  • In the first part of the film version of Till Death Us Do Part (set during the Second World War), Alf Garnett is having a bath in front of the fire when the National Anthem is played on the radio. Being a patriotic Englishman, he stands up -- then realises he's facing a photograph of the King and Queen which is hanging on the wall. He's forced to cover his groin with his hands until the anthem finishes.
  • At the end of Journey to The Center of The Earth (1959) Pat Boone ends up a tree completely naked, trying to hide his body from a group of Italian nuns. After being suddenly deposited on the ground, he grabs a sheep and runs off clutching it to his groin. Insert joke here....
  • Danielle De Luca does this in Naked Fear when she initially wakes up naked and a little while after when she's walking around looking for someone, despite being in the middle of the wilderness and having no one around for miles.


Jokes Edit

  • There was a man who saw a lake and decided to go swimming on a hot day. He didn't have a bathing suit, but since he was alone, he took his clothes off and jumped right in. Suddenly, he heard female voices and giggling, and quickly covered up with the nearest object he could find: an old discarded bucket by the shore. "Hello, ladies," he said, rather embarrassed. "You know, I can read minds," one of the women said. "You can?" asked the embarrassed man. "Yes," she replied. "You're thinking that old bucket has a bottom."
  • A vicar was entertaining a visiting bishop, and the two decided to go swimming in the nearby lake. They had no swimwear, but decided it wouldn't matter since there was no-one in the vicinity. After awhile a group of women from the village suddenly appeared, and the vicar quickly covered his nether regions with his hands and ran to his clothes in the bushes. The bishop did the same, but instead covered his face. When the vicar asked why he hadn't covered his privates, the bishop answered: "Most people recognise me by the face".


Literature Edit


Live-Action TV Edit

  • Harriet Hayes of Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip gets caught topless in her dressing room by some of the men and covers up her breasts with her arm.
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar and Will Ferrell ("Not too much, though. This ain't no queer magazine.") spoofed this in a Saturday Night Live sketch for "Holding Your Own Boobs" magazine. SMG was actually topless during rehearsals. A couple photos made their way to the Internet.
  • In one episode of Mr. Bean, the title character got locked out of his hotel room naked, and is forced to navigate the building wearing signs. Amusingly, the sign he wears over his genitals reads "Private" and the sign over his bottom reads "Exit". In the same episode, he loses those signs later, only to replace them with "Out of Order" and "No Entry" respectively. And beforehand, he covered his front with a fire extinguisher.
  • Mash
    • A very early episode has Hawkeye bet Trapper that he could walk stark naked into the mess tent and everyone in camp would be too bored to notice. Hawkeye manages to cross the compound wearing only a hat and boots via a creative camera setup with soldiers carrying long planks between Alda and the camera. Once in the mess tent he manages to stand in line and get some food before someone notices and drops their tray. He then backs out using an army tray to cover himself.

 Trapper(laughing) Pay up! 50 bucks!

Hawkeye(covering himself with the tray) You'll have to wait, I left my pockets in the Swamp.

    • Once, Hawkeye manages to get B.J. good: Beej wakes up in the nurses' tent, surrounded by women, and completely naked in bed; he tries to grab the sheets, but they're nailed in place. Finally, he gets a pillow and covers his more interesting bits with it, then backs out of the tent... to a full waiting audience.
    • Another episode has Margaret stealing Hawkeye and B.J.'s clothes while they are in the shower. They have to leave the shower tent with "Their heads held high, and their hands held low".
    • One of the film's most famous scenes was of a showering Hot Lips doing this when Hawkeye and Trapper exposed her in full view of the entire base. Without that bit of history, the TV series simply painted Burns and Houlihan as intolerant. Which they were, but in the film their bitterness was somewhat justified.
  • Saturday Night Live had a series of sketches starring Rob Schneider as the "Sensitive Naked Man". The basic plot of each sketch is Rob, holding an object or objects fitting the situation over his nether regions, trying to get some other character to open up to him so he can figure out why they're so uncomfortable. Of course, it's never just because he never wears clothes.
  • In The Young Ones, Neil runs into the room wearing a T-shirt and holding a strategically placed flowerpot to angrily confront the others. It escalates until he is about to hit Rik with a kettle held in both hands overhead, when Rik says, "Neil! How are you keeping that flower pot up??" He drops the kettle, grabs the pot and flees for the stairs.
  • Chris in Skins does the hand variant when he gets locked out of his own house naked.
  • Being Human:
    • George does this after stripping naked before his werewolf transformations. The Real Life reason for this is that George is Jewish while Russel Tovey... Isn't.
    • Mocked in the second season:

 Daisy: Ah, that's sweet. You might tear someone's throat out but God forbid anyone should see your winky.

  • Scrubs
    • J.D. is caught doing the naked chicken dance by Dr. Cox. Instinctively, he grabs the nearest object he can reach to cover up his privates -- which unfortunately turns out to be a picture of Cox's son. Given Cox's (understandable) anger, J.D. switches it with a different picture... that turns out to be of Dr. Cox.
    • A subversion occurs in another episode with the guest-character Molly Clock; she covers her breasts with her arms even though she's wearing clothes, because she wants the men to whom she's talking to pay attention to her words, not her body.
  • The Naked Trucker And T Bones Show would serve as one of the best examples of this, were it still around. A fine case of Exactly What It Says on the Tin, it's a show about two guys, T-Bones (played by David Koechner) and the nameless Naked Trucker (played by the incomparable Dave "Gruber" Allen, everyone's favorite guidance counselor). Naked Trucker is never seen wearing more than a baseball cap, boots, and a guitar.
  • Will Truman of Will and Grace got to do this with a book and a sofa pillow in an episode when Grace has temporarily moved out of his apartment but keeps dropping in unannounced. ("Remind me to buy you a bookmark.")
  • Teri Hatcher does this with a potted plant in Desperate Housewives. Rumor has it that she started out with the idea to "just get this one out of our system" and went naked before the cameras started rolling.
  • On NCIS, a stray iguana startles Tony awake, and Gibbs and Kate come running, guns drawn, at his startled outcry. As soon as they realize it's not a threat, the others turn to Tony (who'd been sleeping in the buff), and he grabs a chair to invoke this trope.
  • Angel: In the episode I Will Remember You, during his day as a human, Angel uses a tub of ice-cream to hide his groin as he's returning to bed with Buffy.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Spoofed in "Go Fish" when Xander struts into the pool area having secretly joined the swim team, only to be confronted by the female Scoobies staring at him in surprise and some rather frank appreciation. Even though he's already wearing speedoes, a suddenly embarrassed Xander grabs a float board and a tube of lotion to cover the same region.
  • Highlander the Series pulled a pillow version with Duncan in one episode as well. Only it was apparently not his doing, a female immortal bounty hunter had him tied to the bed.
  • One later episode of Red Dwarf has Lister and Rimmer being marched into see the captain after getting accidentally infected with nano-tech that disintegrates their clothes and hair. They use both hands to cover themselves as they are marched once again down that long corridor.
  • A Halloween episode of Psych, with David Naughten as guest star, paid homage to the above scene in An American Werewolf in London by having Sean and Gus find a self-proclaimed werewolf in their garage, wearing nothing but a bunch of balloons.
  • In Merlin Arthur walks out from behind a modesty screen in the buff, only to be confronted by Guinevere who has rushed into his chambers to rescue him from a Brainwashed and Crazy Merlin (long story). Arthur grabs a pillow to cover himself as Guinevere tries to explain herself. What makes the scene is that Gaius, the elderly court physician is also present, trying to hide Merlin behind a curtain and clearly struggling not to laugh.


Music Edit


Music Videos Edit

  • The opening shot of the Aerosmith video for "Livin' on the Edge" features Steven Tyler naked and covering himself with just his hand.


Print Media Edit

  • Demi Moore, very much pregnant, on the August 1991 cover of Vanity Fair.
    • Spy Magazine shortly thereafter parodied the cover using her then-husband Bruce Willis.
  • Janet Jackson on the September 1993 cover of Rolling Stone.
  • The January 2009 cover of GQ features Jennifer Aniston wearing only a necktie, but she is posed in a way that no naughty bits are shown.
  • Lucy Pinder practically made a career out of this, before finally appearing topless. There were two good reasons why this was much awaited.
  • The Other Wiki even has a page for this trope: Handbra
  • Every model has struck a handbra pose.


Video Games Edit

  • In the Arcade Game Rampage, your character is a human who's been turned into a giant mutant animal. If your Life Meter empties, you turn back into a (naked) human, and your character hastily covers their naughty bits and scurries off screen.
  • The "Naked Raiden" sequence in Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty. If you have Raiden stand against the wall in just the right place in the examination room where he first wakes up after losing his clothes, you'll see him without his hands over his genitals...only to find that HE HAS NONE. He's like a Ken doll! No wonder he's embarrassed.
  • In Elite Beat Agents, failing the first section of one song results in Mr. Virus, the rival, ripping off the clothes of Cap White, the person you're trying to help. She promptly covers her breasts with her hands (by the way, this is essentially the closest thing to nudity the game allows, but it's still shocking coming from Nintendo, a company infamous for their strict rules of censorship in the early 90's).
  • When standing still while playing the streaking minigame in Saints Row 2, the player character will stand with their knees together, shivering and covering his/her privates with their hands.
  • In Dead Rising 2, you can play Strip Poker, and the women will keep playing until they're down to their panties. Once they're topless, they cover themselves with their hands.


Web Comics Edit

  • One Sluggy Freelance arc has the main characters use this trope when Gwynn got drunk and accidentally summoned a swarm of clothes-eating moths. A good thing Torg had Emergency Pants.
  • Florence Ambrose from Freefall has done this from time to time. Unfortunately for her, since she has multiple sets of mammaries thanks to her nonhuman nature, even with the help of her tail it leaves some of her "naughty bits" uncovered. Her fur thankfully covers anything she has on her chest unless she's nursing or in heat (former has never happened, and the latter is unlikely to happen in such a nonsexualized comic) -- but she still covers the same area as human ladies would due to cultural conditioning.
  • City of Reality has an arc where a character is seeking to undo a series of involuntary transformations caused by an evil magician. Naturally, the people so reverted frequently come back sans clothing, leading to some interesting moments.
  • Ménage à 3
    • In a sequence that begins here, Gary uses in sequence a cushion, a live cat (fortunately very briefly) and finally his hands.
    • Matt needed to improvise when being kicked out by Dillon after having sex.
  • Used in this strip of The Whiteboard.
  • Shown in Shifters here where Ferrah shows up Naked on Arrival but preserves her modesty through Hand or Object Underwear.


Western Animation Edit

 Belle: Are you wearing a grocery bag?

Homer: I have misplaced my pants.

    • A similar incident happened on "Summer of 4 ft. 2", where Homer uses the welcome mat from Flanders' beach house as a bathing suit, and ends up getting arrested for indecent exposure when he steps outside.
    • From The Simpsons comics, Lisa had to wear a Titanic Squishee bucket in place of her standard clothes. Cue the Squick.
    • On "Selma's Choice", Lisa had to wear a towel home after she got high off the hallucinogenic water on "The Little Land of Duff" ride and went skinny-dipping in Duff Gardens' Fermentarium.
  • King of the Hill: Hank Hill was once forced to make an on-the-spot choice between a potted cactus plant and the Texas flag for this purpose. He went with the cactus.
  • On the Mission Hill episode, "How to Get Head in Business Without Really Trying", Andy covers his crotch with a cactus plant as he's running from his boss (whom he thinks is out to get him for sleeping with his fiancée, but was really going to ask Andy if he wanted some sliced grapefruit for breakfast).
  • Total Drama Island
    • Happens to DJ in Total Drama Action and later Owen in the theme song for World Tour.
    • In the first season, Harold even had to do this with a pillow. His cabinmates hid all his clothes and moved his bed out to the dock (where all the girls were swimming the following morning) to get back at him for leaving his dirty underwear lying around.
  • Teen Titans
    • Toyed with: when Beast Boy removes Raven's cloak, she covers her chest as if she were naked, even though she isn't.
    • Also when See-More uses his X-ray vision to stare at Starfire, she covers herself with her hands as though she was naked.
  • Futurama
    • The Planet Express crew is having a barbeque and Nibbler is begging for a burger, but no-one gives him one. Then Amy's falls out of her sandwich and lands in her cleavage. Seeing his chance Nibbler leaps onto her chest and devours it along with her bikini top, forcing her to cover up her breasts with the buns.
    • Done later in an Adam-And-Eve homage with what are noted to be "strangely sticky" leaves.
  • Wakfu. In the second season's Gobbowl arc, there is a magic potion allowing females to gender-bend into males, but which unfortunately cease to have effect if the subject says the word "Gobbowl". Thus, a Fanservice Extra trying to sneak in the stadium under the guise of a shirtless male has to cover her chest with an arm when she return to female form. Later, the same thing happens to a topless Amalia, who grabs a gobbowl shield to hide herself.
  • In the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: A.R.C.T.I.C.", after the KND are hit by a "Nude Torpedo", both Numbuh One and Numbuh Five manage to cover their bodies completely with both hands, thanks to the art style (giving them thin torsos and very large hands).


Real Life Edit

  • As a body language signal: When she's in front of a man, a woman either crossing her arms over her chest, or placing her arms or hands in front of her chest while topless is a sneaky way for her to draw attention to her breasts as Cynthia Brimall demonstrates (NSFW). It's alleged to be a gesture of sexual anticipation laced with anxiety.
    • Of course, there are many other body-language experts that say crossing one's arms is a gesture of rejection, defensiveness and/or hostility, so, take all such research with a grain of salt.
  • There is a bit of a legend at Oxford. As a formerly all male institution, there is a short section of the Cherwell that has been fenced off for men to bathe in the river. Naturally, only the oldest and most esteemed professors, still quite fond of the old traditions, use these facilities. When the fence came down in a flood one day, the professors were too busy to notice. However, when a boat carrying several young female students went past, the professors flung their hands to shield the ladies from their most private of parts. One professor flung his hands to his face and claimed, "I don't know about you all, but I'm known by my face around here."
    • The same story has many versions around the world, often involving clergy. Look to the jokes for an example.

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