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The Distaff Counterpart to Dodgy Toupee. From the existence of the Bald Woman trope, you know that if a woman is bald then there's obviously something not right and she'll likely try to hide this lack of hair with a wig. Whatever wig she's chosen is apparently very flimsy as it'll inevitably get ripped off, exposing her naked head to the world. She will shriek in embarrassment and try to cover it up while the person who ripped off the wig will apologise endlessly. This is always Played for Laughs and the woman will typically be just a random extra or if she's a developed character, she'll be a nasty person so this wig reveal is her getting some kind of comeuppance. The woman doesn't actually have to be bald as the wig could just be covering up a bad dye job or the woman just felt like wearing a wig for some reason. Another variation can include a girl wearing hair extensions to get them ripped out. See also Gag Haircut.

Examples of Hairstyle Malfunction include:

Comic Books

  • In Batman: Dark Victory, Sofia Gigante pulls off her wig to embarrass Batman for accusing her, a wheelchair user due to an accident, of aiding a crime. She doesn't need the wheelchair at all, and the baldness and wheelchair is largely to give her an alibi.
  • Happens to the school teacher Miss Grundy in Archie Comics.


  • Louise in House Arrest wears a hairpiece that accidentally gets pulled off by one of the other moms. Her hair isn't that much shorter so she goes without it for the rest of the film.
  • Happens in the ballroom scene in Don't Lose Your Head.
  • In Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession, when Bunsha's wife goes crazy, she suddenly takes off her wig and we find out that she's not quite bald, but has a really short cut
  • The Party - during a sit-down dinner, Bakshi is trying to cut into his cornish hen, and in the struggle it flies off his plate and lodges, unnoticed, onto a posh woman's tiara. Horrified, Bakshi whispers the situation to the waiter, who by this point is staggering drunk - he discreetly weaves his way to the woman and pulls the hen off - along with the tiara and hairpiece she's wearing.


  • In The Princess Bride, a potential bride for Humperdink visits, bringing along her hugely famous collection of hats. Unfortunately for her, a breeze blows through the castle while she's there, her hat comes off to reveal her (heretofore hidden) baldness, and Humperdink is ready to go to war with her country because of the embarrassment he suffered seeing her.
  • Harry Potter refers to an embarrassing incident when he was in primary school and turned his teacher's wig blue by accident.

Live Action TV

  • An episode of Kenan and Kel had a rat loose in Rigby's and Kel found it crawling around in a woman's hair. He goes to grab it...and reveals she's wearing a wig.
  • Happens twice in an episode of The Suite Life where Mr Moseby knocks the same woman's wig off by accidentally hitting her with a pillow. She's wearing a different wig the second time and turns around to exclaim "you again!"
  • In The Brothers Garcia Lorenna gets to meet her favourite actress but said actress is a complete diva and insults her whole family. Lorenna throws a head of lettuce at the actress and ends up knocking her wig off. The actress's co-star has this to say:

 Actor: (sternly) Little girl, come here.

Lorenna sheepishly comes over to him.

Actor: I've wanted to do that for so many years. You've finally put that wicked wicked woman in her place.

Assistant: She's not a very nice person.

  • During a Cat Fight in a club in Raw JoJo accidentally rips a girl's extensions out, adding insult to injury for unknowingly making out with her boyfriend.
  • Happened in an episode of Misfits to Kelly, who'd run afoul of a person whose power was to depilitate people around her when she was upset. Kelly had been wearing a hat and a bad wig, which got knocked off.
  • A variation in an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch where molecular instability causes Sabrina's ponytail to come off. She explains it away as extensions coming loose.

Professional Wrestling

  • Molly Holly had her head shaved at WrestleMania XX and wore a wig for the next several months. There was a Running Gag of her losing matches when the wig would get ripped off, embarrassing her.
  • Natalya and Alicia Fox currently seem to love doing this to each other. Alicia first ripped a chunk out of Natalya's weave in a match on Raw. Six months later Nattie returned the favour on Superstars and she did it again in another match. Alicia got her revenge a few weeks later. In that case the malfunction helped her win the match.

Western Animation

  • An episode of Rugrats had a news reporter who the others kept referring to as "the one with the hair". When an avalanche of rubbish pours out from the garage, the force of it knocks the reporter's wig off on live TV.
    • Inverted when Tommy and Chuckie are horrified to find out that Aunt Miriam wears a wig (they think she's an alien). She however isn't bothered by them seeing her without it.
  • Rapunzel in Shrek the Third is revealed to be bald when the Gingerbread Man uses her hair as a bungee cord.
  • In Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World ,during the "What A Day In London" musical number, one random woman sings [about Pocahontas] "I wish I had her hair" just as someone behind her with a mop accidentally lifts her wig off.
  • In American Dad Hayley's head had been shaved by Stan, and while she's working as a pole dancer her wig accidentally comes off, provoking cries of revulsion from the crowd saying "that's the only place you want them to have hair!"
  • Happened in an episode of Mega Man to a one-off crook working with Willy.
  • Yzma in The Emperors New Groove is enraged when Kronk enters her tent at night and finds out she's bald.

Real Life

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