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So, our spy with blonde highlights is chasing someone through a major European city. She's wearing a white blouse, without a jacket. She ends up being knocked into a fairly deep fountain, for some rather contrived reason.
She comes out of the water. Her white blouse is now not only rather clingy, it's gone see-through, revealing that, yes, she shops at Victoria's Secret (or, if this is a high-rated movie, that she went braless today). The see-throughness is optional.
The name is from Bollywood, where it's pretty much a cliche. If an attractive woman is wearing a sari, expect her to get soaking wet at some point in the movie (getting soaked in the rain is considered especially romantic). India has a legally enforced nudity taboo, so this is Fan Service without the nudity (even if you do see breasts- but not nipples).
A large scale sub-trope is of course, the "Wet T-Shirt" contest, although this tends to get referred to rather than seen.
This is also a common Music Video thing, when the artist performs in a "rain storm", or writhes around in a large water container (often some huge drinking glass).
Naturally, it can be done with men too.
Anime and Manga
- In Nagasarete Airantou, Suzu sleepwalks into a barrel of water. Ikuto wakes up and tries to help her out of the barrel, but when he lifts her out he utters "It's translucent" and then passes out from a massive Nosebleed.
- Full Metal Panic: Second Raid has a scene where Kaname is soaking wet, wearing nothing save for a bathrobe and panties as she is trying to outwit whoever is spying on her.
- Happens early on in Elfen Lied when Nyu gets soaked in the rain.
- Although its not seen, a similar example happens early in Negima while walking through a body of water. Makie suddenly complains that her panties are soaked.
- In Jikanme 2 for the Play Station 2, there's an option to see any of the girls in their sports wear while soaked.
- Saeko gets this twice in one episode of Highschool of the Dead (though only the first time is see-through). The second time she asks "Do you enjoy getting girls wet?!"
- This happens twice in to Keira Knightley in Atonement in the same manner over a span of about twenty minutes. Since the film is an example of The Rashomon, it's not entirely out of place.
- In Dirty Dancing, we have the 'lift' scene.
- Helen Hunt walks several blocks through the rain to Jack Nicholson's house in As Good as It Gets. She knocks on the door, and notices what her shirt is doing half a second before the door opens, forcing her into some emergency arm maneuvers.
- James Bond:
- Played straight in Casino Royale with Vesper Lynd. Who was not wearing a bra when things went clingy. A male version happens earlier with Bond and Vesper in the shower.
- And in Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond and Wai Lin end up under a shower during their Chained Heat sequence. Equal opportunity fanservice.
- In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Bond fights Mooks on a beach while wearing a very fitted tuxedo shirt.
- Someone commented that the first Spider-Man movie featured two elements of teenage boy wish fulfillment: A. Being a superhero, and B. Kirsten Dunst being rained on. She gets soaked in the climax of the second movie as well.
- The Eddie Murphy film The Golden Child has Charlotte Lewis kick a houseful of thugs' asses without getting mussed-- and then gratuitously walk through a spray from a broken pipe so her white shirt can get sheer and clingy.
- And to give an actual and particularly obviously gratuitous example from Bollywood, one song from Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham features both the hero and the heroine dancing in the surf - which they've been conveniently transported to after dancing in front of the pyramids of Gizeh just seconds before.
- In Mujhse Dosti Karoge! -- Everyone at first goes "oh crap it's raining!" and heads back inside, but the hero decides to pull the heroine out into the yard and sing a soaked, steaming, sexually-charged ballad in front of everyone including HIS fiancee and HER soon-to-be-fiance. It's awkward for all of ten seconds and then everyone's like "YAY! RAIN!" and they all dance together like nothing happened.
- Another Bollywood example comes from Main Hoon Na. Shah Rukh Khan and Sushmita Sen spend the last half of one of the songs dripping wet. SRK's shirts are so hilariously see-through that they were obviously sheer even before they got wet.
- Shah Rukh Khan is quite the man when it comes to those scenes, considering that he also ends up drenched by torrential rains in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, Veer-Zaara and Asoka, among others.
- Om Shanti Om:
- Shah Rukh Khan's character emerges from a pool which seems set in LSD-Land and jumps around in slow motion while the camera focuses on water dribbling down his back. Then he opens his arms and someone off screen throws a bucket of water at his chest.
- Dil Se and the leading lady end up drenched in the opening scene. He is in another song with the other love interest where they dance in a river and get very wet.
- The female lead in the last half hour of Jumper.
- The Deep, with Jacqueline Bisset going swimming in only a T-shirt, is a notable early example and probably a trope maker here. The producer would comment that it made him rich.
- Katie Holmes' shirt at the end of Batman Begins.
- Ziyi Zhang toward the end of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, in a decidedly non-erotic scene that underlines her vulnerability.
- In the third Police Academy movie, Callahan is training the new cadets on pool safety, so she jumps into the pool in a white shirt, with no bra underneath. All the guys jump in to "rescue" her.
Callahan: "Okay, who wants to rescue me?"
Everyone else: "Oh, yeah!" [all dive in]
- In Coyote Ugly, the showy bar-dancers pour water over their fronts and over the main character's head as part of their act.
- The Quiet Man has John Wayne getting soaked in the rain while wearing a silk shirt.
- The previews for 17 Again always seem to feature Zac Efron in a wet suit.
- Trisha in Varsham. She has an entire song/dance number in the rain in her langa voni. The end result is a mix of Manic Pixie Dream Girl and Ms. Fanservice.
- The Sound of Music has Liesel (Charmian Carr) going into this trope in the "Sixteen Going On Seventeen" scene; particularly afterward when she climbs in Maria Rainer's window.
- Barbara Hancock in the Finian's Rainbow "Rain Dance Ballet" scene.
- In the 1954 French film Monsieur Ripois (by René Clément), the hero, played by Gérard Philippe, falls from a boat for no particular reason the very second he appears on screen, then climbs back on board and stays on all fours on the boat for a moment or two, dripping wet.
- The Washing Women in O Brother, Where Art Thou? sing seductively while dousing the clothes on their bodies with river water, before stalking down the twitterpated protagonists.
- The movie adaptation of Prince of Persia features a scene where both our male and female lead jump into a fountain and end up soaked head to toe while making an escape, a rare instance of a unisex application of this trope.
- Interesting case in The Mummy 1999: After the boat sequence, everyone crawls out of the river. Evie (Rachel Weisz) is in a nightgown and is soaking wet, but it seems oddly opaque. It turns out that this is because the scene was digitally altered - in the footage as shot, the nightgown had gone completely transparent, which would have made getting a PG-13 rating difficult. So director Stephen Sommers had the effects team alter every frame. He described it as "the least popular special effect in the movie."
- The climax of Yesterday Was a Lie features the two female leads soaking wet in a rainstorm (see also Lingerie Scene).
- A written example: Temple has one, though since the narrator for the relevant part is a monk, he's more embarrassed than turned on.
Live Action TV
- For an example with a man, see Mr Darcy diving into a pond in the BBC's adaption of Pride and Prejudice. Also, the book has Elizabeth walking a distance in the rain to visit her sister, and given Darcy's somewhat pleased reaction, that scene qualifies as an example of this.
- The Colin Firth scene (and the fangirling) is so well known that it was referred to in Lost in Austen: Mr Darcy asks the heroine, a fan of Pride and Prejudice who is trapped in Bookland, if there's anything he can do for her... Cue him getting out of the pond.
- This also occurs in Love Actually, when Colin Firth's papers end up in the pond. His Portuguese housekeeper jumps in to save them, and he soon follows.
- Another Colin Firth example involves his character in St Trinian's.
- In the second part of the 'In The Shadow of Two Gunmen' episode of The West Wing, during a flashback C.J., who has lost both her contact lenses and her glasses, accidentally stumbles into a swimming pool, much to the amusement of Toby, who has witnessed it. While the floral dress is not see-through, she peevishly orders him to turn around so that she can attempt to un-cling it before realizing it's a lost cause.
"Avert your eyes!"
- In CSI New York, Lindsay goes for a walk in the rain for some reason. Not see through in this case.
- Kate's "Wet T-Shirt Hall of Fame" picture is a Nipple-and-Dimed version of this trope.
- Justified, of all things, on NCIS: Los Angeles when a spy asks a woman he's meeting to take a dunk in the water to prove she doesn't have any concealed weapons. It manages to short out the wire she's wearing as well.
- In the TV adaptation of Johnny and The Bomb Kirsty ends up in a fountain, which gets her frock wet.
- In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Surprise, Buffy ends up soaking wet after her escape from the Judge because it's pouring outside. Her shirt isn't see-through, but the scene ends with Buffy making love with Angel. The soaking aspect is used to underline Buffy's terror and vulnerability.
- The opening credits of Friends had all six characters playing in a Central Park fountain.
- The Backstreet Boys video for "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" is an example. What starts with all five members sitting around on an abandoned basketball court ends up with the group in wet button-down shirts singing in the middle of a sudden downpour.
- The above video is parodied, like lots of other boyband videos, in Blink 182's infamous "All the Small Things". You think they're in the rain? No, they're wet coz of a well-placed hose!
- Pretty much the entire point of Alizée's "J'en ai marre!" video. To quote The Other Wiki: "Throughout the video, water is poured into the cubicle, making Alizée wet".
- The Beach Boys' promo video for "Sloop John B" shows them all trying to climb, fully clothed, into an inflatable raft in a swimming pool, naturally falling all over each other and into the water in the process.
- And of course there's the classic video for Duran Duran's Girls on Film , which involves wet t-shirts and cat-fighting in a wrestling ring. MTV wimped out of showing the full version. But this is frely available out on the Net.
- In Once Upon a Mattress, Princess Winnifred makes her entrance having swum the moat. Then she falls right back in. After she changes into a dry dressing gown, Lady Larken tears her still-wet dress up into rags for cleaning.
- Uncharted takes many, many opportunities to douse Nathan Drake in realistically-rendered water.
- Ar Tonelico 3, Soma the professional assassin always dresses this way under her heavy and uncomfortable clown suit, which makes her sweat a lot.
- Although it's tricky in a written medium, Survival of the Fittest manages this by describing the effects a gout of rain has on Maxie's shirt.
- Gaia Online's 2007 Summer Festival and Water Balloon Fight featured a picture of NPC Jinx in a white t-shirt and a bikini bottom. There was also a picture in which she'd been nailed with a water balloon, and was covering her chest with one arm.
- Lately, The Nostalgia Critic has a Running Gag of throwing water on himself in response to... something crappy happening in the movie he's watching.
- The King of the Hill episode "Luanne: Virgin 2.0" had Luanne getting baptized in a lake as part of her born-again virgin initiation. She was wearing white and had on underwear. Hilarity Ensues when she runs out of the lake screaming, "I'm a virgin!" and getting the attention of two Frisbee-playing college guys.