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File:NomadTrip 7091.png
I will not wear long, heavy cloaks. While they certainly make a bold fashion statement, they have an annoying tendency to get caught in doors or tripped over during an escape.

Ah, capes, the ultimate accessory. Whether they're the mark of a hero or an indicator of evil, they're always badass, right?

Wrong.

A somewhat postmodern take on capes; that they are Cool but Inefficient. Not only that, but they're a liability, with a nasty habit of getting tripped over, snagged on things, caught in jet turbines or grabbed by pragmatic enemies during a fight, leading to inconvenience or worse.

Often shows up during Superhero deconstructions/parodies, specifically with regards to the Superheroes Wear Capes/Badass Cape tropes.

See Also: Not Wearing Tights, where the characters refuse costumes entirely, and Killer Outfit, when it's the rest of your wardrobe taking you out.

Examples of Cape Snag include:


Comic Books

  • Even Batman has had this problem. In the Batman/Superman crossover episode, Batman gets his cape caught in the Daily Planet's printing press while fighting a robot drone. The cape and cowl are pulled off, revealing his secret identity to Lois Lane.
    • In the typical DC universe, Batman's cape clasp has a quick-release mechanism that automatically detaches his cape from his cowl if it gets caught in something specifically for this reason. A version of this feature is shown in Batman the Animated Series when his cape becomes trapped in the grip of a robot Joker henchman - Batman quickly detaches his cape and spends the rest of the episode capeless.
    • Of course he'd have a detachable cape, this is Batman we're talking about! Anything a crook might try to use against him, he's already thought of and planned for.
    • Of course, for all of this, it helps that the cape has (in many versions) a practical function: as a glider, or at least a parachute (since Bats is of course a Badass Normal with no actual superpowers).
  • In the Marvel Universe, Taskmaster has admitted he recognizes the problems with wearing a cape, but wears one anyway because of Rule of Cool.
  • Watchmen: In the Backstory, the corporate hero Dollar Bill was ordered by his sponsors to get a cape as a part of his outfit, in order to increase his marketability. However, one day, when he tried to stop a bank robbery, his cape got caught in a revolving door, allowing the bank robbers to shoot him to death.
  • The page image is from a time when Captain America briefly operated as the superhero Nomad.
  • Subverted in All Fall Down. Wearing a cape is what saves Paradigm's life.

Film

  • While filming The Dark Knight, the creatives were worried that the cape might get caught on the batpod's rear wheel, so they came up with a concept by which the cape would fold up into a little backpack using the same electrical current tech that makes them bat wings. However, when they tested it out, the cape flowed freely, and it looks fucking awesome.

Literature

  • In Soon I Will Be Invincible, supervillain Dr Impossible admits that his cape gets in the way during the inevitable fight scene, and is uncomfortable in hot weather, but feels that the psychological advantage imparted by a dramatically billowing cape outweighs the disadvantages.

Live Action Television

Professional Wrestling

  • The pro wrestler Ultimo Dragon usually wore a cape to the ring. But at Wrestlemania 20 he humiliatingly tripped over it during his entrance to the ring (which, if you watch WWE, is pretty much the worst possible time you could have an accident like that).

Web Comics

  • In one page of Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures this is addressed, showing someone in a cape getting sucked into a jet.
  • Evil Inc researched 'the cape gun', which is fired at the hero. If it hits the cape, it spins and winds up the cape, strangling the hero (or the intern they were demonstrating it on).
  • Homestuck features a minor incident in which an ally of the caped hero gets caught in it while they were grappling over a mix of cabin fever and culturally incompatible conceptions of a reasonable romantic setup. The guy with the cape had to suplex the guy caught in it to free him.

Western Animation

 Edna: November 15 of '58! All was well, another day saved, when... his cape snagged on a missile fin!

Bob: Thunderhead was not the brightest bulb...

Edna: Stratogale! April 23, '57! Cape caught in a jet turbine!

Bob: E, you can't generalize about these things...

Edna: Metaman, express elevator! Dynaguy, snagged on takeoff! Splashdown, sucked into a vortex! NO CAPES!

    • Given an Ironic Echo of sorts when Syndrome's cape gets caught in a jet turbine, leading to his death.
  • In Mulan, Shan Yu is defeated when Mulan stabs his cape with his sword holding him in place so Mushu can shoot him with a rocket.
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