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Skinny Dipping is swimming, but without the swimsuit. In the nude.
Usually, this is used in fiction for several reasons:
- Fan Service, of course. Because nothing turns people on more than water! Sometimes it's a way to get away with a nude scene without being too erotic.
- Naked People Are Funny and Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen, of which the latter is a sub-trope. Together, they can make a humorous situation.
- Sometimes a common element in Slasher Flicks, where a female skinny dipper is usually killed by the murderer.
- Samus Is a Girl. A great way to reveal her secret, right?
- To be Truth in Television.
As mentioned above, Skinny Dipping is Truth in Television. It was a common practice back before the 1950s or so, when swimsuits were impractical. It is still done today, though.
Related to Naked People Are Funny. Often the prelude to a Two-Person Pool Party. Can result to Outdoor Bath Peeping or Naked People Trapped Outside. Super-trope to Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen. Contrast Non-Nude Bathing. For anime, see also Furo Scene (which is not always naked, only often).
Don't try this in real life in places where this is not explicitly permitted. The resulting criminal charges could range from public indecency to second degree sexual assault, especially if children are present, and there's nothing like spending the rest of your natural life on a registered sex offenders list.
Anime & Manga
- In G Gundam, Argo's beautiful parole officer Natasha does this in the Guyana Highlands. Then Sai Saici peeps on her. Cue to Natasha grabbing her gun and shooting at him.
- A Gundam Wing artbook has a picture of Relena waist-deep in a spring in the forest, with no clothes on.
- In Gundam X, Tiffa Adill goes skinny dipping with some dolphins. Super intelligent Newtype Dolphins.
- In the first episode of Turn a Gundam, Loran Cehak goes skinny dipping in a river and gets swept away by the current. He's rescued by the Heim sisters, Sochie and Kihel, who also happen to be skinny dipping downstream.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam The 08th MS Team, Shiro meets Kiki when he accidentally steps on her doing this. Like Natasha, she's displeased and shoots at him.
- Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho is all about the female lead doing this. It’s both funny and full of fanservice.
- Kagome from Inuyasha pulled this more than once at the beginning. Usually, Hilarity Ensues. She eventually wises up and starts bringing her swimsuits to avert any troubles.
- In El Hazard the Magnificent World, Fatora and her girlfriend Alielle go skinny-dipping for Fan Service.
- In Genesis Climber Mospeada (part of Robotech), Marlene at one point dives nude into the lake. This is unexpected since she is normally very shy.
- In Cage of Eden most of the female characters enjoy doing this bathing in the streams of a prehistoric island.
- In Kyochuu Rettou to avoid being infected with giant ticks, Oribe Mutsumi has her classmates strip their clothes and bath nude in the sea to wash themselves.
- In Zero no Tsukaima, Luctiana enjoys bathing nude at her oasis. Later, Tiffania intends to do this when bathing with Saito.
- In Anatolia Story, Princess Nefert does this once and pulls Yuri into it. It was deliberate: there was a spy around and she did it to throw him off.
- Free! has Nagisa stripping nude to join Haruka in the pool in the first episode.
- In Freezing, Elizabeth likes swimming nude in the older students' private pool. Her fellow students seem to be used to this.
- Darling in the FRANXX has Zero Two doing this... right when she meets Hiro.
- Elf Quest has had one or two scenes where the elves swim and sunbathe in various states of undress, including total of course.
- Happens a couple of times in Bone, once off-screen with Fone Bone and Thorn, and once on-screen with Smiley Bone. Humorously, Thorn doesn't care if Fone Bone sees her naked (telling him that he never wears clothes anyway), but when Fone walks in on Smiley skinny dipping, Smiley embarrassedly tells him to turn around until he's put his vest on.
- In an issue of Teen Titans, Ravager goes skinny dipping in the pool in Titans Tower. In Teen Titans #50 (4th or 5th volume) Ravager invites Kid Devil to come in with her.
- An issue of The Simpsons comicbook ends with the townspeople getting drenched in mud and going skinny dipping to wash off
- In Brazilian comic Chuck Billy, a bunch of hillbilly boys have this habit. A particular comic has the protagonist and his girlfriend swimming naked... and later, he gets blushed at her dress, saying it's too revealing.
- A frequent occurrence in Modesty Blaise.
Films -- Animation
- Mulan has the title character taking a bath in the middle of the night so as not to reveal her identity. Hilarity Ensues when she discovers that some of the other Chinese soldiers had the same idea.
Films -- Live-Action
- The first victim of the Shark in Jaws is a woman skinny dipping.
- In Nineteen Forty One, a woman goes swimming naked off the California coast during World War II and winds up in a close encounter with a Japanese submarine. She's played by the same actress who was eaten while Skinny Dipping in Jaws.
- Forbidden Planet: Commander Adams visits Altaira while she's swimming by herself.
Altaira: Come on in!
Adams: Didn't bring my bathing suit.
Altaira: What's a bathing suit?
Adams: Oh, murder!
- Freddy vs. Jason begins with a girl skinny dipping.
- Tommy Boy features a woman skinny dipping in a hotel pool while David Spade has A Date with Rosie Palms.
- National Lampoon's Family Vacation has Clark swimming naked with another woman in a hotel swimming pool, only to be caught by his family.
- In Wild Hogs, the four main characters do this but then are interrupted by a family with young children who don't realize this, and then things turn awkward really fast until the Straight Gay police officer shows up....
- In Dragonslayer, there is a skinny-dipping scene between Valerian and Galen, which also has a nice helping of Samus Is a Girl for good measure.
- Tanya Roberts in the title role in Sheena, who has No Nudity Taboo.
- The infamous skinny dipping scene in Child Bride.
- Indulged in by the hero and heroine of Sssssss, leading the heroine's father to turn the hero into a snake. Yeah, you read that right.
- In Australian horror film Primal, the first character to catch The Virus gets it from skinny dipping.
- Logan's Run: Jenny Agutter's buttocks in all their glory.
- Jenny Agutter (again) in the 1971 Australian film Walkabout.
- A German Film, Die Wolke ("The Cloud"), based on a book by Gudrun Pausewang, features two girls doing this. This is presented as carefree time, contrasted with what happens later when a nuclear plant explodes, making swimming in any natural water source extremely dangerous.
- In In Time, Will and Sylvia break away from her boring party to swim in the ocean (her mansion is next to the beach).
- In City of Angels, Nathaniel Messinger (an old, fat guy) does this. Seth follows him into the water, but keeps his clothes on.
- Meatballs Part II has Flash taking his girl out for a romantic night in the water in the lake. He takes off all his clothes but ends up getting captured by the opposing boxing team.
- Wild Wild West, has James T. "Jim" West doing a stakeout inside a water filled watertower to view a party of ex-Confederates. While on the job is nude later joined by a female companion.
- In The Great Brain, all the boys go skinny dipping in the local pond on a regular basis. One summer it was so hot even the grown men went, crowding the boys out. (Girls and women had to stay at home in their large heavy period dresses and sweat the summer out.)
- In Robert A. Heinlein's Time Enough for Love, Lazarus Long, 2,000 years in the future, has to explain to his daughters / sisters / clones that people in the 20th century actually wore clothes while swimming. They don't understand why anyone would.
- Another Heinlein: Jubal's pool in Stranger in A Strange Land is swimsuit-free.
- The book series Soup: the narrator and the title character skinny dips in the book Soup and Me. However, their clothes are stolen and they are forced to "borrow" dresses to cover themselves up.
- In the Newbery book On My Honor, this is an important plot point, because the hero, Joel, loses his friend Tony, who drowns (since this is a Newbery book).
- In the book Echo by J. Nagibin, a major plot point is that the girl the protagonist befriended does this. The protagonist is forced into a Sadistic Choice when a group of bullies he fears (while trying to be accepted by them) starts harassing the girl.
- In Trial By Journal, one character does this in the hotel pool at night.
- Bella and Edward in Breaking Dawn. Justified as they were 1) alone on a private island and 2) on their wedding night preparing to consumate their marriage.
- The Fountainhead starts with this.
- Fiddleback by Elisabeth Honey has a chapter named "Skinny Dipping or Free Willies II". The chapter is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- A minor plot point on When the Windman Comes by A. Michelis. The protagonist (an 11-year-old boy) discovers photos of a girl in a bathing suit and thinks the girl is Pareidolie, his friend (who is also 11 years old, just like on the photos). But Pareidolie replies that she doesn't even have a bathing suit. Her mother doesn't want her to swim together with other kids as this would be "unsafe" and to enforce this, Pareidolie is obliged to always swim in the nude. At this moment Patrick realises that Pareidolie's mother is not completely sane.
- Happens very poignantly in Pictures of Adam, where Lisa (a girl fromn a rich family) challenges Adam (a boy from a poor family) to skinny dip in the nearby lake. When they do, she explains to him that "I am not my clothes, or my house... I am what is now in the pool... and so are You", bringing the point across that class differences aren't unsurmountable. Being Genre Savvy, Lisa is aware of dangers (stranger-related or otherwise) in such undertaking, so as soon as they get out, she puts her clothes back on.
- Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle has the astronauts from Earth interacting with the humans of Sorors in a pool playing like seals.
- Firefall by Marcus Malon has the Lily People, a tribe of nudists wading through a small lake to drink the nectar from the lily flowers and clean it of pollutants.
- Veronica Mars: Veronica does it in one episode.
- White Collar has Alex making Neal skinny dip with her to prove that he wasn't wearing a wire. It should be noted, Neal is played by Matt Bomer.
- On Smallville, Clark has a fantasy about Lana and him skinny dipping in the epsiode "Slumber".
- The opening of Petticoat Junction shows the girls skinny dipping in the water tank. In fact that's how that particular location gets its (unofficial) name, from the girls' petticoats draped over the side of the tank.
- In Modern Family, we learn that when she was a teenager, Claire was caught by the police skinny-dipping in a neighbor's pool.
- The Young Riders: The Kid discovered that Lou was really Louise, when he decided to join her in the pond she was bathing in, over "his" objections.
- Doogie Howser, M.D. ep. “Look Ma, No Pants” has Doogie skinny dipping in the family pool with his mother’s new boss…until he gets caught by, guess who?
- That 70s Show ep "Hyde Moves In" had the gang skinny dipping in the Cold Open and lead to Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen situation. In "Graduation", Eric and Donna went skinny dipping, only to get lost and Eric seeing his sister naked and Fez to walk in on Donna.
- The CSI episode "Fracked" opens with three teenagers skinny dipping in a hot spring. They discover a dead body floating in it.
- Crazy old man Leonard does this in "Advanced Criminal Law" of Community.
- Canadian Eve Kelly made a six part miniseries, Skinny Dipping, were she got people to go skinny dipping in far off locations.
- Xena: Warrior Princess, has the episode "Altared States" where Xena and Gabrielle are skinny dipping.
- Baywatch, has "Lines in the Sand" where nudists led by a frigid lawyer take off their swimming suits and go into the water.
- Legend of the Seeker, has two thieves use a magic to disguise themselves as the Seeker and Confessor. When the female thief uses the magic, turning herself into Kahlan, she seduces Richard into skinny dipping in the water.
- "Skinny Dipping" by Ramona Brooks and covered by Cheryl Ladd.
- "Nightswimming" by REM.
- Dungeons & Dragons Ed. 3.5 has the homebrewed flaw "Compulsive Skinny Dipper", which gives a character the compulsion to swim nude when encountering large enough bodies of water. Some circumstances (like cold, the likeness of monsters in the water, or onlookers) make it less likely to happen, though.
- One of the possible things to do as a teenager in the life simulation game Alter Ego is go skinny dipping. Depending on your choice, you either throw off your clothes and jump straight in (only to discover you're the only person who actually did it, and are thus naked in front of everyone), or, after taking your sweet time getting in, end up being the last person to get out, and are thus naked in front of everyone.
- As of Late Night, The Sims 3 has a skinny dip interaction with pools and hot tubs.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, some of a Heel-Face Turned Aversa's quotes all but state that she likes doing this.
- School Bites has a skinny dipping scene. Ironically, it only leads to an awkward moment for the one girl who is not done undressing.
- In Fite, Lucco and Guz go skinny dipping in a river together.
- In Flaws, a fan webcomic in the style of The Order of the Stick, a female barbarian has the aforementioned flaw "Compulsive Skinny Dipper" (as seen in this strip). Naturally, the party's Halfling has the flaw "Pervert".
- From the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, aquatic superheroine Calypso, being from the undersea kingdom of Atlantis (a society with No Nudity Taboo), has a hard time figuring out why the surface dwellers insist on wearing clothing when above the water, much less when they are in it. Her default mode of dress when swimming is total nudity. This is her default mode of dress while out of the water 70% of the time, as well.
- On The Ren and Stimpy Show, Stimpy invites Ren to go skinny dipping while camping. Since they were already naked, this involves taking off their furs. They are then joined (to their great horror) by a whithered old man who just loves skinny dipping. And then by the man's wife, to their even greater horror. The old man later appears through the episode, practicing such activities as skinny stomping and skinny slapping.
- One episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender has Katara taking a bath in the nude for really no important reason. She overhears a conversation held by Sokka and Toph, which, in theory, she could have done while doing some other, fully-clothed activity...
- A right of privilege on Freedom Day in Futurama.
- In The Simpsons episode "500 Keys", Homer remembers going skinny dipping with Duff Man. This might be how he ended up with the key to the Duff brewery.
- This is the main plot of the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "A Bacon Strip", where Plucky dares Hampton into skinny dipping in Montana Max's pool, only for Hampton's clothes to be stolen.
- In the "Looney Tunes" episode "Foghorn Leghorn Goes Skinny Dipping", Foghorn Leghorn has an idea that he'll go skinny dipping while camping. Since he was already naked, this involves taking off his feather suit and his lavender underwear with yellow flowers on them and placing them on a tree branch during a hot summer day.
- Foghorn Leghorn: Skinny, I say, skinny dipping in the lake is fun! I just love swimming naked! That dog, I say, that dog will never see me nude like this. (laughing)
- Before the 1960s, it was a common practice for boys in the YMCA to swim naked in the pools, because swimsuits were impractical back then.
- Similar to the above, it was a common practice for high school swimmers to swim nude during swimming practice, including Roman Catholic high schoolers.
- Even some U.S. presidents were avid skinny dippers. Some of them were John Quincy Adams and Theodore Roosevelt.