3x3: favorite wardrobe malfunctions

We’re talking literal wardrobe malfunctions, not Janet Jackson nipple-slip silliness. Or…er…not just that. We discuss our favorite wardrobe malfunctions in movies at the 54-minute mark of the Qt3 Movie Podcast of Oz the Great and Powerful.

3. The Untouchables: Malone’s top button
2. Die Hard: “Nine million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister.”

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark: Truck Nazi loses his hat

Kelly Wand
3. Showgirls: fat stripper squeezes her armpits and it doesn’t work one time
2. There’s Something About Mary: zipper

  1. It’s Pat: Meat hook. Ween fans know.

Tom Chick
3. Killer Joe: Gina Gershon pulls a thread on the shirt of Thomas Haden Church
2. The Incredibles: Syndrome’s cape

  1. Brave: Merida’s dress at the archery competition

Now for yours. This topic is one of those that is pretty much wide open so we look forward to some interesting takes on this one. What are your favorite wardrobe malfunctions?

As usual, we had some cool listener picks, so please listen to the podcast for those, and send in your own to [email protected].

  1. The Ladies Man: Buddy Lester’s hat. Yes, it’s a Jerry Lewis movie. Shut up, it’s awesome.
  1. For Hitchcock fans: Fry’s coat sleeve in Saboteur.

  2. Peter Parker loses his mask on the el train in Spiderman 2.

  3. The most famous of all wardrobe malfunctions: Marilyn Monroe on the subway grate in The Seven Year Itch.

  1. Nightmare before Christmas: Oogie Boogie getting “skinned” by his loose thread.
  2. Aliens: the struggle to get the acid-soaked armor off of Hicks in the elevator.
  3. Mrs Doubtfire: the hazards of cooking.
  1. Watchmen - Dollar Bill shot dead after getting his cape caught in a revolving door.
  2. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - The mine overseer pulled into a rock crusher by his sash.
  3. The Incredibles - Syndrome’s cape (and the earlier montage).

That almost made me think I should watch a Jerry Lewis movie sometime!


“I don’t like it that way.”

I’m still not totally sure I get this topic even after listening to the podcast, so I’ll throw out a modified pick: my favorite wardrobe malfunction that isn’t a wardrobe malfunction. I really love Wrath of Khan, pretty much everything about it. I thought the characters were most solid in this one, the story was great, and the designs were really cool. From the version of Enterprise in this movie to the Reliant to the costumes, even. But there’s a quirk to the costumes that I recall striking my mind a little odd when I first saw it. There’s this flap on the uniform the Enterprise crew wears, and to this day I’m not really sure what its purpose is. But I remember Kirk undoes this flap during the fight with Khan and I just assumed it had torn or was starting to come apart or something but it appears to be intentional. Here’s a picture:

So I guess it’s there for a reason and not actually a wardrobe malfunction? I guess?

You put your weed in there.


I think the entire purpose of that silly flap is so that we can see the bloody handprint of that kid from Witch Mountain.


“The order is given?”

Rebel Without a Cause. James Dean bails out of his car in a chicken run over a cliff, and his rival has a strap on his leather jacket catch on the door handle and goes over with his car.

The scene on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7hZ9jKrwvo

  1. The Hudsucker Proxy. “Pants!” Paul Newman’s pants came very close to critical overload.

  2. Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension. I don’t know if a fashion no-no counts as a wardrobe malfunction. But my favorite part of the movie is Jeff Goldblum’s character so intently trying to fit in with his heroes. That is why, for some reason, this dancing brain surgeon likes to dress up like a dude. None of the other Hong Kong Cavaliers look like cowboys.

  1. That part of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe where the little kid looks in the back of the wardrobe but instead of finding Narnia, there’s just fur coats and Victorian erotica.

Honorable Mentions: Django, after being Unchained, gets to pick out his own duds. He goes for the Little Boy Blue look. A slave takes in the sight and asks him skeptically, “You chose to dress like that?” A Senator is fighting a tiger-rat thing when it claws at her guts. It doesn’t tear off her small intestines but does tear off her midriff. Then there is an Attack of the Clones.

I see what you did there.


I, personally and seriously, think every film fan should watch Ladies Man. There are plenty of unfunny moments, but all of those are mitigated by some beautiful bits of humor and surrealness. Also, the film set is gorgeous, some of those crane shots are wonderful and it’s one of the first movies if not the actual first movie to use video assist.

This is a great pick, even if it’s more of a ‘wardrobe quirk’ than a malfunction. It always struck me as similar to leaving one’s top button undone. Throughout the movie, it seems clear that the uniform is disliked by those told to wear it, and it’s more comfortable to leave that flap undone. It’s a brilliant detail that mirrors real life. Uniforms and equipment throughout military history have been famously and infamously altered by the users. I have a vague memory of Kirk even buttoning it up at one point just before he appears ‘on screen’ with someone.

On a side note, the conversation during the podcast about ill-fitting boots and looking for replacements made me think immediately of Book of Eli. Maybe that’s what you (was it Tom?) were thinking of. I distinctly remember Eli checking the boots on a dead body against his own to see if they were similar in size.

I considered that, that opening the flap is kind of like opening your collar button and loosening your tie. But you still have that turtleneck thing and the loosened flap still looks kind of restrictive. But it may feel looser, and your answer makes more sense than pretty much anything else I can think of.

I assumed it was just a visual reference to gun/storm flap on modern trench coats.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles: John Candy geting his arms stuck while attempting to remove his coat while driving.

As Good as it Gets: Helen Hunt showing up at Jack’s door. You know the scene. I’ll say no more.

Isadora: Strangled to death when her long, flowing scarf became entwined in the spokes of an open-wheel roadster. Saw it when I was a kid, and it still haunts me.

Arnie’s face/eye getting fucked up in Terminator 1.
Catching that glimpse of Vader’s un-helmeted head in Empire Strikes back.
All of humanity seeing reality (particularly the lady in mid coitus) when the alien mind control signal got destroyed in They Live.

That was always my thinking. It was to show that they were relaxed or disheveled. The closest thing they ever had to that visual signifier with the newer uniforms was when Picard had the red outer jacket in the later seasons and would wear it unzipped over the gray shirt.

While we’re stretching the topic…

In The Longest Day’s last scene, it is observed that the dead German officer had put his boots on backwards.

Sheriff Woody rips his sleeve in Toy Story 2 (is that the one where he loses his hat, too?), which as we all know causes ones arm to go limp.

The first shipment of masks in Batman Begins has a material defect, causing shattering, which prompts another order of 10,000, because there’s nothing conspicuous about that.