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Escalation overload

Related to Defeat by Modesty, this trope refers to when a victim, often one already captured, is stripped or has their clothing damaged as a form of humiliation. May not include any more serious sexual assault, merely exposure — though frequently Come to Gawk is involved. It's especially cruel if the victim is forced to self-strip, symbolizing their complete loss of freedom. The temperature will often be quite cold as well, causing the victim to shiver.

May also happen if the police or other security forces do a strip search on a character.

Female reaction tends toward Luminescent Blush and plans to use "special interrogation techniques." Male variants can involve humiliation, defiance or causing the male guards to feel shame and inadequacy. Fan Service for many people - although some instances of this are so cruel that even the easily titillated are likely to be offended.

Contrast with Go-Go Enslavement, in which the captured is given clothes, though the clothes given are either scandalously revealing or utterly humiliating in some other way (too modest, it's women's clothes for a man, it's a cartoony outfit, etc). Accidental happenstances go into Wardrobe Malfunction. If the person loses their hair instead of their clothes, it's Traumatic Haircut.

Examples of Shameful Strip include:

Anime & Manga

  • In an episode of Inu Yasha, Kagome is knocked unconscious by the villain-of-the-week and wakes up naked in a big cooking pot. From the time Inu-Yasha rescues her until she retrieves her clothes, she wears his fire-rat-hair kimono.
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni: After Battler surrenders to Beatrice in the second arc, he is found stripped completely except for a chain around his neck that Beatrice uses as a leash. Sadly that dumb railing got in the way.
  • In Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force, when the Huckebein captured Tohma's group, they proceeded to strip them of all the equipment they could remove. Unsurprisingly, while Tohma was able to keep the Instant Armor that came with his Black Knight form, Lily and Isis were left completely naked while their enemies interrogated them. A justified precaution, though, since in the Nanoha-verse, almost anything can be turned into a weapon, including articles of clothing.
  • In the second episode of Desert Punk, Rain Spider makes short work of two thugs who tried to rob him. After defeating them, he makes them strip naked below the waist and sends them to walk in the hot desert back to the rest of their band. They initially protest that this is so humiliating that they'd rather die, but after Rain Spider takes out some "toys" (various weapons and bondage gear), they decide to walk.
  • Played for horror during Berserk's Eclipse when Casca is captured and stripped naked by demons, a prelude of worse things to come for her.
  • In Trigun, Vash is once told to strip naked and bark like a dog. He does so. . . and the mix of Fan Disservice and Body Horror that follows has his captors scream "Please Put Some Clothes On!"
  • Features in the Fujiyama Gangsta Paradise arc of Black Lagoon. After Yukio Washimine is captured by Chaka and his group, her captors play strip bowling: for every strike, they remove a piece of clothing from her. By the time we see her she has lost her shoes, socks, skirt and bra, but can still cover herself with her unbuttoned shirt (probably to avert further censorship). Given that they were planning on selling her as a Sex Slave, this would probably have gone further had they not been interrupted.
  • Whenever an antagonist in an episode of Gun Frontier gets the upper hand, odds are his first action will be to rip off Sinunora's dress.
  • Black Butler: Alois forces his maid Hannah to strip for him, partly to Kick the Dog and partly to use her dress as a disguise.
  • Hentai tends to do this all the time. i.e., Seito Kaichou Hikaru has the lead character and her friends Yuki and Seira captured by the Big Bad Barmus, who forces them to strip down naked in front of their brainwashed peers during an assembly, before raping Hikaru into insanity and forcing Seira and Yuki to witness it.
  • In Evangelion, this happens to Ritsuko Akagi in episode 24. For worse, the old men of SEELE are the ones forcing her to stand naked in front of them as they verbally harrass her.
  • Gen's older sister Eiko in Barefoot Gen, when she's accused of theft.
  • Yukino of the Sabertooth Guild from Fairy Tail is forced to take off her clothes in front of the other members while her Master berates her for losing one fight. He then proceeds to kick her out.
  • Both of the Asuka siblings in Blue Comet SPT Layzner fall victim to this: Eiji is thrown nude into a cell by Mad Scientists, while Julia has her clothes taken off by Gosterro when she refuses to follow his lead.
  • In Goblin Slayer's Downer Beginning, Fighter is stripped nude before being gangraped by goblins and Female Wizard is subjected to a similar "treatment" (sans actual rape, though not for lack of trying) before the titular character appears and starts slaughtering the goblins.
  • In Hametsu no Oukoku (Kingdoms of Ruins), the Ice Witch Chloe Morgan is on the run from the Lydian Empire's witch hunts. She's is transported to the capital of the Empire with her apprentice Adonis via teleportation by the Empire's science; she attempts to use magic to fight back but the Magic Photon Inhibitor Sdam-2 nulls her powers. Now at the mercy of Emperor Goethe, Chloe is stripped of her clothes before the public who then begin to jeer at her humiliation.
  • In Unemployment Concentration Camp, those in Japan that are unemployed for more than six months are shipped off to a secret facility that turns them into members of a Secret Police. One of their initiation rituals is stripping all the men and women brought to the camp and have them stand naked in the cold.
  • In Bleach, as Numb Chandelier controls Tatsuki, Chizuru and other students to beat up Orihime, she says that she'll force her to commit suicide. The second prospect scenario for it involves forcing Orihime to strip nude and then hang herself.
  • In the Owari no Seraph light novels Seishirou Hiragi appies massive Clothing Damage to Sayuri Hanayori as during their fight, then punches the poor woman to have her blouse to fall open, and last but not least he verbally humiliates her. All in front of a crowd that yells at Seishirou to fully strip her nude.
  • Happens more than once in Redo of Healer. In example, the women from Keyaru's Doomed Hometown were subjected to it and implied to be raped by soldiers as the place was set on fire... And for added cruelty, one of them not only had her clothes ripped off her by force (in the anime this begins with her blouse, which reveals her very large breasts), but was subsequently raped to death by the leader of the culprits, in front of the few survivors. And said woman was Keyaru's Cool Big Sis and First Love Anna. This causes him to go into one HELL of a Roaring Rampage of Rape and Revenge.

Comic Books

  • Seen in the Vertigo Comics limited series Proposition Player, where a villain discusses the finer points of this technique — when to strip the captives by force, and when to make them strip themselves.
  • In Lady S, after capturing the heroine, the bad guys (including a woman) order her to strip so she won't try to run away in the streets. It doesn't work, she's a Shameless Fanservice Girl (she doesn't try to cover herself while running away). Some still wonder whether she would have run away if they forced her to strip completely rather than allowing her to keep her underwear.
  • War Woman from Worldwatch, ends this way when she is manhandled by a villain who starts removing her skimpy hero suit which is composed of nipple covers and a crotch cup before the public street.

Fan Fiction

Films — Animation

  • Heavy Metal: When Taarna was captured by the Barbarian Leader, he had her stripped.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame: During the climax, when Judge Frollo and his guards are preparing to sentence Esmeralda to death by being burned at the stake, before the execution even took place it's actually implied that all but one of Esmeralda's outfits were destroyed by Frollo so she can be executed properly, and the only outfit Frollo didn't destroy? A white dress. Guess where she was hiding that dress all along!
    • Unless you think that said white dress could be a sort-of underwear. Meaning it can be seen as her being executed while in her undies. Then again, it's most likely that the dress was a standard clothing for women who are about to die at the stake, so it was forcibly put on her.

Films — Live-Action

  • In The Dark Crystal after the death of the emperor, SkekUng confronts SkekSil and issues the challenge for supremacy. The Chamberlain responds by declaring the challenge be a Trial by Stone. After the battle, the Chamberlain is stripped of his clothing and outcast by the High Priest as punishment for losing to the new emperor, SkekUng.
  • Lampshaded in the opening scene of The Evil That Men Do (1984). The torture specialist is lecturing a room of army officers with the 'help' of a male prisoner.

 You have seen, gentlemen, how a woman must be made to remove her own clothing, depriving her of her dignity. With a man, it is the opposite. STRIP HIM!

  • In Cobra, he does this to a gangster who was harassing him.
  • Meatballs 4, Camp North Star is being harassed by a rival that wants to buy them out. It begins vandalizing the camp, even harassing its campers. On one occasion two men from the other camp ambush two couples riding on heir dirt bikes. Using a shotgun they force the teens to strip to their underwear and panties. The teens ride back in front of the Counselor demanding a refund for the experience.
  • The Man with Bogart's Face (1980): a woman is humiliated by being made to join a restaurant's bellydancers, then take off her dress and continue dancing. She's further directed to remove her bra, but as she unhooks it, the titular character keeps her from showing more by hitting a large guard to create a distraction.


  • Happens twice in Redwall; The vermin captives of the Bark Crew are stripped of their uniforms and forced to walk back to the fortress naked (and neck-deep in the sea, just to make matters even worse), and Flinky and Crinktail are "stripped to the fur" when captured by Raga Bol. May not have entirely the same impact as with humans, considering the Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal phenomenon, but given that in another book a vermin Mook is embarrassed when Big Bad Badrang cuts his kilt off, maybe it does.
  • The fantasy parody novel Heroics for Beginners features the Big Bad's "Evil Assistant" tearing open the captive princess' blouse, on the grounds that exposing a female prisoner's body makes her feel more vulnerable. She's very surprised to encounter a chainmail bra underneath.
  • Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's Oath of Fealty: at the end of the novel, the captured ecofanatic saboteurs and some common criminals are stripped naked, painted, tattooed and left for the police to find.
  • Discworld
    • In Jingo, Carrot orders a captured squad of enemy soldiers to be stripped for humiliation purposes (though to their underwear, not completely naked), except for the officers, because you don't do that to officers. Good old Captain Carrot.
    • Also occurs in Monstrous Regiment where NCO Jackrum has the captured soldiers including the officers stripped nude, chained up, and left to hop home.
  • In Jack Chalker's Flux & Anchor series, this happens to Cassie twice. The first time, she's been caught spying around a temple and is placed naked in a cell, told that if she resists, there'll be chains and a gag, too. The second time, she's been abducted by the male-dominated society of New Eden, waking up from unconsciousness to find herself naked, gagged and handcuffed. The abduction is a prelude to an extended period of "re-education."
  • Appears in some versions of Little Red Riding Hood where the wolf forces Red to throw all of her clothes into the fire.
  • This happened twice in Orlando Furioso. First, Princess Angelica is captured by Pirates Ebuda, who strips her naked and expose her to a Sea Monster. Second, princess of Holland, Olympia, is stripped naked by the same suspect, and tied to a tree instead to a rock. Both girls cannot conceal their modesty when their rescuer approaches them.
  • Done to Kahlan by Emperor Jagang in the Sword of Truth series while she was his captive. Like with most other things he did, Jagang got a two-fold benefit. Not only did he get to see her naked (a substantial prize in itself), but the purpose was to march her around his army's camp that way. At that point, a spell had made her an Unperson who was forgotten before her presence was noticed by 99.99% of humanity. By marching her around the camp, Jagang found the .01% who noticed the naked, beautiful, and unclaimed woman in their midst and rounded them up to be Kahlan's personal guards, the only ones who would actually notice if she tried to escape. During the event itself, though, Kahlan wisely tried to downplay the "Shameful" aspect as much as possible. Jagang's intention was in humiliation as much as anything, so rather than muck about and stall by moving slowly, folding her clothes, etc. and giving him the satisfaction of her discomfort, she simply shucked everything off like pulling a band-aid and played it off as no big deal.
  • A subversion in the Legend of Lady Godiva. She has been pleading with her husband to lift oppressive taxes on the peasants in their village, and he agrees... on the condition that she ride through town naked. She agrees, and uses the nudity as a symbol of the peasants' tax-related plight. He does actually hold up his end of the deal.
  • A recurrent theme in the romance novels of Bertrice Small, but especially in A Love For All Time, where four English girls are carried off by Muslim slave traders midway through the novel. Their clothes are taken during a preparatory bath and all four are made to march through the streets of Algiers naked before being auctioned off in the same state.
  • In Spellfall by K. Roberts, Natalie, a 12 years old girl, is captured and drugged by an evil wizard Hawk and his female assistant. When she wakes up, all her clothing (and glasses) have been removed, and replaced with a short shift, allegedly to make it harder for her to escape. It is also implied that Hawk was also involved in the clothing removal, as he later is interested in seeing Natalie change back.
  • Happens a couple times in A Song of Ice and Fire. In A Clash of Kings, King Joffrey strips Sansa Stark publicly as punishment for her brother's rebellion before Tyrion intervenes. (It's implied that this was at least as much because Joffrey is a horny 13-year-old boy as for humiliation value.) Cersei Lannister later goes on a naked stroll through the streets of King's Landing as an alternative to imprisonment. This is ostensibly a voluntary move to atone for her sins and show humility before the gods as opposed to for pure humiliation, although the loss of face is the real political reason why it was allowed.
  • In One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, MacMurphy does this to Nurse Ratched when he assaults her for Billy's suicide.
  • Genus Homo by L. Sprague de Camp and P. Schuyler Miller has gorilla hunters capturing the last remnants of humanity. Bringing them back to their settlement they strip them of their clothes and place them in a zoo.
  • The Prisoner of Zhamanak by American writer L. Sprague de Camp, an alien king wishing to see if different of races of humans can create viable young, cages two humans in his private zoo. To give them further incentive he has them stripped believing they will give into their desires.

Live-Action TV

  • Life On Mars. Happens to Sam Tyler after he's slipped a mickey by a prostitute in a frame-up. He wakes up tied to a bed with Gene Hunt kicking down the door accompanied by WPC Anne Cartwright. Considering Annie's embarrassment and Gene's quip of "it's not all golf and badminton in Hyde, eh?", it's fairly safe to say Sam was naked.
  • Numb3rs: In an undercover assignment, to spot bugs. Blatant Fan Service, what with the promos advertising the strip and the random lingerie she just happened to be wearing. The shame bit's still there, though.
  • Firefly. The episode "Trash" had YoSaffBridge order Mal to get naked and ditched him in the desert. Her interest wasn't prurient; it was out of revenge and spite.
  • In Game of Thrones a would-be assassin is stripped and forced to walk behind a horse until he drops.
    • In season six, Dany is stripped of her dress and made to change into traditional Dothraki garments when she is brought before the Dosh Khaleen.
  • In the pilot episode of Rome, the Gaul leader, Vercingetorix, when defeated and captured was forced to strip and kiss Caesar's golden standard. As was the custom.
  • In Kamen Rider OOO, when a Greeed is stripped of its Core Medals it is also stripped of the clothes and armor they are wearing.
  • In 24, Nina tries to go to the bathroom to change but Jack refuses to let her out of his sight so she gets naked in front of him.

Professional Wrestling

  • Andre the Giant emphasized how serious he is in challenging Hulk Hogan for the WWF championship by tearing apart his shirt.


  • In The Time of Your Life, when Blick interrogates Kitty, who claims to have worked as a burlesque queen (an obvious lie), he forces her to put on a striptease for him on the spot. This is played for tears, not laughs.


  • This happens to the Pandavas after Duryodhana and his uncle Shakuni lead Yudhishthira to gamble away his kingdom, his brothers, and finally his queen Draupadi on a game of dice. Duryodhana orders the brothers to strip since he now owns all their possessions including their clothes but crosses the line when he orders Dushasana to forcibly disrobe Draupadi. Realizing no one can save her, Draupadi prays to Krishna who performs a miracle which causes her sari to keep extending.

Video Games

  • This is actually an aspect in Super Robot Wars Original Generation starting from the OVA, and goes as far as nakedness. The autonomous system ODE captures humans to become the core of their units. In the process, they strip their victims naked, tie them with cords of the machine, and make their life force be the fuel of the Bartoll robots, until they die from loss of blood. Of course, the peak of the Fan Service / Fan Disservice of this scenario was when they happen to capture the protagonist group member with the biggest melons of all, Lamia Loveless. She's not spared of the treatment, so off they go stripping her naked. Imagine that you see her unexposed breasts while she's being forced to fight the team! She managed to live instead of dying from loss of life force, thanks to her unorthodox inner structure of her body.
  • Fallout 3:
    • It is possible for the player to do this to NPCs. When you are given the Mesmetron, you can use it to hypnotize characters, give you time to attach a slave collar. However, you can also use that time to take all their clothes (leaving them in their underwear). Or even more amusingly, the player can give them Lingerie, which they will automatically equip.
    • This also happens to the Lone Wanderer. He/she is captured by the Enclave, knocked out, and... wakes up in a stasis field wearing only their Pip-Boy and their unmentionables. Even more uncomfortably, he/she wakes up just in time to be interrogated by Colonel Autumn.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, the party is captured and imprisoned, and the lead characters are tortured by the Sith. All of their equipment is confiscated and locked away (conveniently near the torture chamber) including their clothes, leaving them in their underwear. However, no one ever calls attention to this.
  • Something similar (but without the torture) happens in Dragon Age: Origins, if you get captured and imprisoned during a certain quest. Perhaps slightly ironically, the fact the female Warden is only wearing underwear can help her escape if she can convince the guard that she's feeling lonely and get him to open the door. Rather amusing considering Alistair is sharing the cell with the Warden. Male Wardens can play the "I'm lonely" card too. On the male jailer.
  • Madison from Heavy Rain is forced to strip and dance at gunpoint. Of course, this also gives her an opening to strike back when the sleazeball with the gun gets a little too interested in what's going on.
  • Saki from Ar Tonelico 3 is forced by Sarapatra to strip in front of her assembled citizens in exchange for freeing her people who are kept hostage. Afterwards, she is practically disposed because her citizens have lost all faith in her. It should be mentioned, though, that all of this happens in Saki's mind and Sarapatra is actually another aspect of herself. Sarapatra's aim was to teach the overly naive Saki that the world is a harsh and cruel place and help her steel herself against it.
  • Variable Geo the has waitresses fight each other in a tournament to determine who is the strongest fighter. The loser of the fight has to strip themselves naked in public, or receive other forms of punishment.
  • Happens to Jessica Haggar when she's kidnapped in the first Final Fight game. When Damnd contacts her father Mike, poor Jessica is seen on the monitor tied up and wearing nothing but her white underwear. That scene was cut from the English version of the arcade game, and the SNES version redrew the scene to depict her in her traditional red cocktail dress.
  • In Yume Miru Kusuri, one of Kyouhei's love interests (Aeka Shiraki) is cornered, stripped nude, deprived of anything she carries on her person aside of her clothes, and stranded on the rooftop of the main school building by the Alpha Bitch and her Girl Posse. The poor girl is so stunned and traumatized by such a thing that she tries to throw herself off...

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • On The Simpsons, when Homer destroys the Sacred Parchment of the Stonecutters, he is forced to "walk home naked, dragging the Stone of Shame". Until they spot a birthmark on his rear marking him as The Chosen One. They then remove the Stone of Shame, and attach the Stone of Triumph (about twice as big) instead.
  • The Venture Brothers - in a fixed game of strip poker in a shady Tijuana den, Brock is made to go naked - all the others are so dumbstruck at the sight that he has no problem brutally subduing them all.
  • Parodied mercilessly on Drawn Together, with Xander weeping prettily as he strips for a Japanese businessman (played by Ling Ling).
    • A first-season episode has Captain Hero forced to to a striptease and sexy dance for Foxxy Love in exchange for food. He's later seen weeping in the shower before the two end up in a twisted BDSM relationship.

Real Life

  • Reportedly, during the lead up to The American Revolution, one colonial was stripped naked and forced to walk home - by his peers - when he tried to attend a public protest of the Tea Act. Why? He had tea in his pocket.
  • In Medieval Spain (more exactly, the city of Valencia), if a Christian man has a Moorish lover and they were found out, the punishment for her was being stripped and forced to walk around town naked.
  • It's said that Saint Marina of Omura was stripped nude and paraded around like this, only "covered" by her long black Rapunzel Hair, before being burned alive for being a Japanese Christian in Isolationist times.
  • Happened more than once to women who had been Les Collaborateurs in World War Two.