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Pantsing or depantsing is slang for the forcible pulling down of pants, shorts or skirt when the wearer is caught unaware. It is a common schoolyard prank or practical joke. In Britain, it is known as debagging (from "Oxford bags", a loose-fitting baggy form of trousers).

Pantsing is also a form of humiliation related to forced nudity and can thus be not only an offense but also a form of punishment. Occasionally a depantsing is followed by a playful spanking of the individual.

A pantsing attempt does not always succeed. There are many examples of failed attempts (e.g. when the person notices the attacker in time, or when the pants are too tight-fitting to be pulled down).

Pantsing provoked by exhibitionists[edit]

Pantsing usually involves an attacker and an unsuspecting victim. Only very occasionally, the victim might be said to have provoked it, acting on juvenile exhibitionist desires. An episode of The Simpsons deals with such an incident. One of the characters – Martin – brings about his own unbreeching, as he frankly admits to himself.

Martin wears 22 pairs of bathing suits to the pool, of which Bart manages to snatch 5. What happens next reveals something about Martin’s hidden motives.

Bart: [coming up for air] Look, Liz, I snatched five bathing suits - all Martin's!
Martin: Take your best shot! I'm wearing seventeen layers.
[Tough kids surround him and tear at his bathing suits] Ha ha ha — [gasps, notices his layers are gone]
[quietly] I brought this on myself.
At the end of the episode, the school bully Nelson rips off Martin’s last bathing suit, leaving him standing alone, but strangely composed, by the pool. As he feels the breeze on his naked bottom, he sings a little song:
Nelson: [rips off Martin's bathing suit] Ha! Ha!
Martin: Oh. The gentle caress of the summer breeze…
[sings] The summer wind
Came blowing in
From across the sea...

A brief screenplay of the episode can be found here.

Pantsing legal issues[edit]

It was cited in 1971 by Gail Sheehy as a form of sexual assault against grade school girls, which did not commonly get reported, although it might include improper touching and indecent exposure by the perpetrators.[1] The United States legal system has prosecuted it as a form of sexual harassment of children.[2]

See also[edit]



  1. [1] Sheehy, Gail, "Nice girls don't get into trouble." New York Magazine 15 Feb 1971, page 28. Retrieved 25 August 2009,
  2. [2] Martinson, Floyd Mansfield, "The sexual life of children." Bergin & Garvey, 1994, Page 136. ISBN 0-89789-376-X ISBN 978-0-89789-376-3. Retrieved 25 August 2009

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