Marilyn Maneuver

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Note the subway vents she's standing on.

"Creating a tempest whirling at speeds of a hundred kilometers per hour around the target, whilst the target herself feels nothing but the soft touch of a gentle breeze! Truly the ultimate wind technique for granting the dreams of men!!"


A female character's skirt or dress being lifted by the wind; sometimes it can instead be done with a Man in a Kilt. May or may not result in a Panty Shot, depending on the presence or lack of underwear, the angle it's seen from, and the victim's reaction time (for some reason, they always tend to be quicker on the draw when it's seen from the front). Bonus points if the wind is sudden and unexpected, causing the woman to shriek and try to push the skirt back down. Oftentimes the woman actually enjoys the experience, which sends this trope into (non-violent) Too Kinky to Torture territory. Rule 34 most definitely applies here, as the subject serves as Fetish Fuel for a fairly wide audience.

The iconic example, of course, is Marilyn Monroe's white dress in The Seven Year Itch. However, Kelly LeBrock's scene from The Woman in Red is also well known, and is frequently parodied in Europe (particularly Italy), perhaps because The Woman in Red itself is nearly a shot-for-shot remake of the 1976 French film Un éléphant ça trompe énormément, also known as Pardon Mon Affaire.

Examples of Marilyn Maneuver include:


  • A male kilt example with this Sierra Mist commercial, featuring Patton Oswalt stepping out of a St. Paddy's Day parade to do The Marilyn Maneuver. Quoth an onlooker, "That's just wrong, Dad."
  • Sometimes seen in commercials from the 1970s, 80s, and 90s for products like pantyhose (back when a lot more women wore them than do today), Nair (see Image Links above), or any other product designed to make a woman's legs look nicer.

Anime and Manga


Rakan: Creating a tempest whirling at speeds of a hundred kilometers per hour around the target, whilst the target herself feels nothing but the soft touch of a gentle breeze! Truly the ultimate wind technique for granting the dreams of men!!

    • Yue accidentally does it to herself once when she's trying to demonstrate some wind magic.
    • Also used early in the manga as a side effect of Negi's sneezes when they don't cause Clothing Damage.
  • At least once in Love Hina, too—when they're returning from Pararakelse.
  • When Shamal from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha uses her magical device Klarer Wind to heal the protagonists, her dress does this.
  • Natsuki in the fourth episode of My-HiME. And she wasn't wearing panties.
  • Happens to Ling Ling in Steam Detectives, providing Narutaki with a valuable clue to a recent string of robberies. Unfortunately for him, she interprets his comments completely differently...
  • In the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, this is parodied on one of the Omake pages, where Al's loincloth blows up.
  • Subverted in Hayate the Combat Butler when Hayate is worried about this happening at at least two different points, both girls cheerfully announce that they are actually wearing shorts underneath their skirts so if he makes some wind that is okay!
    • But also played straight when he does this to Maria while demonstrating his new Finishing Move.
  • Shugo spies two female PCs in the middle of this in .hack//DUSK. Someone on the dev team for The World must have done quite a bit of research, as Shugo is quite enamored with the "bump mapping."
  • It happened in an Imagine Spot to Ash's mother Delia in Pokémon when walking to a movie premiere on a windy day.
  • And an accidental one occurs in Ah! My Goddess Chapter 5 when Sayoko pressures Keiichi date her and boy... does the System Force responds!
  • Happens to Haruko in Slam Dunk, when Sakuragi is running around like the Large Ham he is.
  • The indirect cause of the entire plot of Bakemonogatari.
  • Yuuji's bright idea in Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, complete with the white dress, at least in Yuuji's head, that is.
  • Happens to some passing schoolgirls in Chobits, just as Chi happens to be on a quest for underpants.
  • Seen in a chapter of Keroro Gunsou, when Momoka is shown doing this as part of her "sex appeal" training.
  • In Spirited Away, this is what happens when Haku is trying to keep Chihiro from being discovered.
  • There is a Once an Episode gag in Maicchingu Machiko Sensei where the main character's skirt if flipped up one way or another. She always ends up in this pose.
  • At the end of an otherwise serious episode of Case Closed, where Kogoro discovers one of his old friends resorted to murder, he cheers himself up by looking out the window of his second floor office during a gusty day.


  • Forever Marilyn, a twenty-six-foot-tall steel and aluminum statue of the Trope Namer in her iconic moment by Seward Johnson. It's been displayed in several different parts of the United States since its creation in 2011, but as of this writing (Fall 2019) appears to be in storage between showings.

Comic Strips

  • This happens to Fanny in De Kiekeboes album "De Medusa Stichting".
  • An old "The Lighter Side Of..." cartoon in Mad Magazine featured men reminscing how much fun it was to let the ventilator lift up women's dresses when they were younger. Nowadays they consider it to be less fun, since women's skirts gradually became smaller.

Films -- Live-Action

  • Marilyn Monroe's scene was copied in Pulp Fiction, by a Marilyn impersonator. Since she was a waitress at a Fifties-theme restaurant, this is presumably a regular occurrence. Unlike Marilyn in her movie, the impersonator lets her skirt go all the way up.
  • Kelly Lebrock in The Woman In Red.
  • Darkly parodied in the film Insignificance, in which Marilyn Monroe's The Actress's skirt billows up in response to a nuclear blast and catches fire...
  • Parodied - gruesomely - in The House Bunny, where Anna Faris' character tries the Marilyn Maneuver while standing over an open manhole... and gets scalded. We then see her recovering from her injuries with a male companion in a restaurant, and her legs are heavily bandaged with gauze - and those areas that aren't bandaged have ugly welts on them. It's as if the filmmakers wanted to guilt-trip the audience by saying: "You bastards! You were laughing and hooting at this!"
  • Happened near the beginning of the 2001 movie Tart starring Dominique Swain, but wasn't that good. The video cover was better than the actual scene. She wore a mini Catholic school skirt and was already walking halfway out of frame by the time her skirt went up. You need Widescreen or to zoom out to even see it properly!
  • In Wrongfully Accused, Leslie Nielsen ends up in this situation while infiltrating a Scottish drill routine, complete with kilts. His legs are suspiciously shapely.
  • Bruce from Bruce Almighty uses his new God powers to blow up a woman's skirt.
  • In the second The Italian Job, Lyle talks about a stereo "so loud, it blows off women's clothing." We see him actually use this at the end, but the results of the blaring stereo are avoided through a Sexy Discretion Shot.
  • In The Awful Truth, a nightclub singer does a tasteless number called "My Dreams Are Gone With The Wind" in which her skirts are disturbed by blasts of air from below every time she sings "gone with the wind."
  • In the 1982 Scott Baio comedy Zapped, a Fanservice Extra at the prom does one by climbing on a table while a strong wind blows through the gym. She ends up getting more than she bargained for when her dress is then blown completely off of her. NSFW (the woman ends up topless)
  • Leslie Ann Warren does a dance routine in Victor/Victoria in honor of Chicago (The Windy City!), where wires simulating the wind lift, and eventually pull off her dress.
  • The Covenant: the boys use their powers to settle a bet on what kind of panties a waitress at the bar is wearing by blowing up her skirt. The boy who bets that she is Going Commando wins.
  • Danger: Diabolik has Valmont's mistress doing this, while standing stupidly close to an airplane's trap door.
  • The 1986 Italian comedy Grandi Magazzini has a scene where two Fanservice Extras dance on a ventilation grate and offer up Panty Shots for our viewing pleasure. One woman is a Kelly LeBrock lookalike wearing the red dress from The Woman in Red. The other is a long-haired blonde wearing Marilyn Monroe's iconic white dress. See Image Links above or this borderline NSFW 40-second video.
  • During the opening credits of the 1995 film Panther (which is a fictionalized account of the uprising of The Black Panther Party), there are scenes in which a boy riding a bicycle notices a woman in a green hat and dress named Bernadette is at a bus stop. The boy peddles toward her checking her out and sees a bus driving across the street, heading in their direction. The boy anticipates the draft from the passing bus to blow up Bernadette's dress, which evidently does, she gasps and is mortified. When her dress gets lifted, rather than holding that down, she holds on to her hat to keep that from getting blown away and raises one leg, knee bent forward, to hide part of her unmentionables, which are white panties with matching girdle (or corset). The boy enjoys the view and gets a snicker out of it.
  • Also happens in Torque (2004) to show just how fast they're driving... among other things.
  • Appears in The Smurfs when Smurfette has the vent blowing up air into her skirt.
  • In another racing movie, Driven from 2001, the draft from a speeding race car causes a blonde's (who's standing in line) skirt to lift up, she lets out an abrupt shriek and she turns around while trying to pull it back down in place.
  • In the 1998 film, Woo (the eponymous character portrayed by Jada Pinkett Smith), a breeze blows under the helm of her loose-fitting, pink mini dress as she walks down a sidewalk, nearly high enough to show her goodies. A bicyclist ogling at her gets so distracted he doesn't watch where he's going, crashing into the side of a sewer pipe and falling off his bike.
  • In 2000's 2001: A Space Travesty, a flight attendant (Stephanie Dumolin-Shaw) climbs up a ladder on a space shuttle and her dress blows up from behind, showing off her nearly nude booty that can still be seen through clear pantyhose (she doesn't seem to be wearing any panties), due to a lack of grravity and Marshal Dix (Leslie Nielson) checks her out.
  • Christine gets a big one at the end of Romy and Michele's High School Reunion thanks to the downdraft from a helicopter.


  • Ginger dreamt this scene in Moving Pictures (which contains innumerable Shout Outs to classic movies).
  • Intentionally invoked by Maureen Smith, Lazarus Long's mother (with all that implies), in Robert A. Heinlein's Time Enough for Love, complete with Vapor Wear. Interestingly, the time period in which this occurs significantly predates Marilyn Monroe, but Maureen was always ahead of her time.
  • Featured on the cover sleeve to a book by Joan Rivers called "The Life and Hard Times of Heidi Abramowitz" where she imitates Marilyn on the front cover... and intentionally hiking up her dress on the back of the book!

Live Action TV

  • One of Russ Abbot's sketch shows played with this trope. A Scotsman walks over a grating and is disconcerted to find the air blowing his kilt up. The next grating he comes to, he's ready for... except that it's an air intake, and pulls his kilt clean off.
  • NCIS did a homage when Abby dressed as Marilyn Monroe for the Halloween episode.
  • Some of the miniskirted female members of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In had this occur.
  • In the mid 1970, Angie Dickinson was dressed in a Marilyn Monroe outfit in an episode of her series Police Woman. A publicity photo showed her skirt blowing all the way up, showing she had on a flesh-colored body suit underneath.
  • One of the games on the Spanish Game Show El Gran Juego de la Oca featured each member of the dance squad wearing a Marilyn-style dress and a different colored garter on one leg. After all eight took turns dancing on a wind machine, the contestant then had to slide a colored garter up each girl's other leg that matched the one she was already wearing.
  • Bud Bundy rigged an air vent to do this to his date at a school function. It worked perfectly...except Marcy ended up the victim.
  • Shirley Brahms for three times (twice her undergarments can be seen) in one episode ("The Club") of Are You Being Served. Mr. Lucas pushes a button on a wall and a draft from a floor vent causes her skirts (she's seen in two, different outfits when this occurs) to billow up due to her being near it as a joke, and put her white bustier/corset with matching knickers on display.
    • The secretary Miss Belfridge tries to keep down her pink dress and avoid flashing her white panties when it flows up from an electric fan in a different episode.
  • Happens to Carrie in Sex and the City, where it's played for laughs- after being surprised by a gust of wind that lifts her skirt, she then gets drenched in a sudden downpour of rain.


  • And one really strange Fan Art of Link, printed in Nintendo Power magazine. Kirby's reaction in the drawing pretty much said it all.


  • The cover of the Aerosmith album Just Push Play depicts a FemBot doing this.

New Media

  • In the latest Kelly video, one of the party members does this.
  • Don't think that The Eighties did not have a couple these happen...
    • Here at 04:00—When you're dancing on the ceiling in a long evening dress, watch out when those wily A-C vents start a-blowin'!
    • And though the late Jermaine Stewart had a couple of hits, this video features a blown skirt at 02:25.

Newspaper Comics

Professional Wrestling

  • One of the best examples of this trope I've ever seen occurred at WWE's Cyber Sunday pay-per-view (their final one by that name) in October 2008. Since the event took place just before Halloween, the Divas held their second annual Halloween Costume Contest. Candice Michelle (who had missed the previous year's contest due to a neck injury) was prominently featured as Marilyn Monroe from The Seven Year Itch, complete with a blonde wig and a copy of the famous white halter dress. Not about to miss a golden opportunity, WWE had an air jet installed under the entry ramp to the arena to blast Candice's dress as she came down to the ring for the final judging - and the resulting Panty Shot revealed that Candice was wearing the exact same cut of panties that Marilyn had had on in the 1955 film. Candice obviously did her homework.
  • And then there was the case of another Diva wearing the white halter dress (which didn't involve the Maneuver, but I just can't resist mentioning it here). D-Generation X were scheduled to compete in a tag team match with Vince McMahon one night in the summer of 2009, but Shawn Michaels and Triple H worried that Vince just wasn't "angry" enough to make an effective combatant. They spent the whole time before the match trying different strategies to goad him to violence, and one of them was sending the atrocious singing Diva Jillian Hall into his office wearing a Seven Year Itch costume and performing Marilyn's birthday song for President Kennedy in her hideous voice (though Marilyn had not been dressed that way when she sang for Kennedy). Vince screamed "GET OUTTA MY OFFICE!" and became steadily more filled with rage as the night wore on, until he was finally ready to compete. (This incident culminated in a Crowning Moment of Funny when commentator Jerry "The King" Lawler noted that Jillian looked a lot "like Monroe"....and then, a moment later, clarified that he meant James!)



Western Animation

  • Male example from Avatar: The Last Airbender: Aang uses airbending to blow up Long Feng's dress to reveal the scar left by Apa's teeth.
  • This was played with during the Fairy Godmother's Song in Shrek 2.
  • Parodied in the Simpsons episode "Home Away From Homer", when Ned Flanders' moustache is blown around. (He's refusing to bow to pressure to shave it off.)
  • Lois Lane in Superman: The Animated Series, due to a wind blown up from Superman's hasty departure. She comments that she needs to start wearing pants (but never does).
    • She does! In the episode which aired next!
  • Spidey uses webs to build a slingshot to get to Oscorp faster and a young woman in a skirt happens to be in his wake resulting in this in The Spectacular Spider-Man's "Reaction"
  • Coop speeding in Megas XLR has caused this one more than a few skirted women.
  • The Seven Year Itch's instance of this was parodied in a Robot Chicken sketch, wherein the person standing over the vent was "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.
  • The Real Ghostbusters episode "Janine, You've Changed" shows Janine doing this (in mid-air, no less) at one point in her rapidfire outfit transformation sequence.
  • In the Disney Acid Sequence "Round My Family Tree" of The Tigger Movie, a Marylin Monroe version of Tigger does this only to be blown straight up and across the horizon.
  • In the What's New, Scooby Doo? episode "Recipe For Disaster," Velma and Daphne have to hold their skirts down when a high-powered floor dryer is activated.
  • Happens to the constellation of Virgo near the end of the song "Zero to Hero" from |Hercules as Herc and Pegasus fly through the night sky, causing a nebula surrounding the constellation as if it were wearing a dress to fly up, causing Virgo's dress to blow off as the two fly away.
  • Rocko on Rocko's Modern Life posed for a photo while doing this with his shirt. Like it makes a difference when he almost never wears pants.
  • Leela in the Futurama episode "Attack of the Killer App" during her humiliating montage after her singing boil is exposed online, she attempts to hide her appearance only for her dress to fly up and the paparazzi group take pictures.

Real Life

  • In less gender-sensitive times, many American amusement parks featured hidden boardwalk vents for this very purpose.
  • One anecdote from the 1914 Christmas Truce tells the story of a Scottish regiment and a German regiment starting an impromptu soccer game...and then the wind comes along and reveals the Scots are Going Commando...(the Scots won the game).
  • Taylor Swift suffered this during a recent concert when a wind machine blew her skirt (the linked article called it a Wardrobe Malfunction, which it clearly isn't).
  • At the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, Kosovar actress Arta Dobroshi posed for a photocall to promote the upcoming Trois Mondes. A very ill-timed gust of wind that struck just as she did a little pirouette sent her (normally quite modest) blue skirt flying a bit too high, just as all the cameras were going off. Some publications couldn't resist the chance to use the term "Marilyn Monroe moment", and as if that wasn't bad enough, Miss Dobroshi did not happen to be wearing panties at the time.