An Ode to Tighty Whities
From Zac Efron in ‘The Paperboy’ to Tom Cruise dancing in ‘Risky Business,’ see actors in their undies.
Tom Cruise, Risky Business
In 1983’s Risky Business, Joel Goodsen (Tom Cruise) has been left home alone while his parents are on vacation, so he does what most teenagers would do in that situation: takes off his pants and dances around the house in his undies. In arguably the most famous scene to feature a pair of tighty whities, Cruise rocks out to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock & Roll” in nothing more than underwear, a T-shirt, and a pair of socks. The infamous clip has been re-created and parodied countless times—and is always a popular last-minute Halloween costume for college students on a budget.
Christian Bale, American Psycho
Christian Bale puts on a convincing performance in the 2000 thriller American Psycho as Patrick Bateman, a wealthy investor who tortures and murders people as a hobby. In the film’s opening scene, we get an eyeful as Bateman walks around his apartment in his underwear while giving us a very detailed description of his daily workout routine and diet. He then goes on to do some stretches in his briefs, undoubtedly a pleasant surprise for some moviegoers.
Tim Robbins, Bull Durham
In the raunchy 1988 romantic comedy Bull Durham, minor league pitcher “Nuke” LaLoosh (Robbins) is having a hard time concentrating on the mound. Luckily, his girlfriend Annie Savoy (played by the lovely Susan Sarandon) has a simple solution for him: wearing women’s underwear under his uniform. The garter belt seems to help Nuke’s pitching but leaves him understandably self-conscious, giving him a nightmare in which he is on the pitching mound in nothing more than his undies.
Jeff Goldblum, The Fly
As mad scientist Seth Brundle in the 1986 horror movie The Fly, Jeff Goldblum experiments with teleportation pods of his own invention. When he first tries the pods for himself, he fails to realize that a fly has made its way into the other pod. The scientist starts noticing some strange side effects from the mishap and quickly learns that becoming half-man, half-fly does great things for your body. Brundle wastes no time showing off his new muscles to his love interest Veronica (Geena Davis) as he struts his stuff around his apartment in his tighty whities.
Jesse Eisenberg, Adventureland
Jesse Eisenberg has made a career out of playing the timid, misunderstood teen who somehow always manages to get the girl, and his role as James Brennan in the 2009 comedy Adventureland is no different. James takes a job at the Adventureland theme park and works with a crew of misfits who love to drink and get stoned on the job. One night at a party, he finds himself alone with his crush, Em (Kristen Stewart), when she decides to jump in a pool in nothing more than a T-shirt and her underwear. When she asks James to join her, he reluctantly strips down to his briefs and jumps in with her. Unfortunately for James, all of his friends come outside as he’s emerging from the pool, just in time to notice he’s pitching a tent.
Rhys Ifans, Notting Hill
Rhys Ifans’s hilarious performance as Hugh Grant’s crazy flatmate, Spike, is one of the most memorable things about the 1999 romantic comedy Notting Hill. After spending the night with actress Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), Will Thacker (Grant) answers his door only to be greeted by a mob of photographers. Thacker warns Spike not to go outside, but naturally his curiosity gets the best of him, and he walks outside in his tighty whities (which are, disgustingly, not very white) and finds himself half-naked before the paparazzi. After striking a pose for the photographers, Spike retreats into the house and checks himself out in the mirror to make sure he was looking good for his close-up.