Caught with One's Pants Down Idiom

A surprised Santa with arms up, pants by his ankles and boxer shorts showing: Santa was caught with his pants down when the kids saw him taking gifts instead of leaving them under the Christmas tree.

Caught with one's pants down idiom

Can you guess the meaning of the idiom "caught with one's pants down" by looking at the comic above?  

Catch with one's pants down: 

  1.  to surprise someone in an embarrassing situation;
  2.  to find someone while they're doing something wrong.


The verb 'catch' has an irregular past tense:  caught.

This is a figurative expression—it does not mean the person was literally caught with their pants down by their ankles!

Example sentences

— When I came home early I caught my son with his pants down, smoking one of my husband's cigars with his friends.

— My parents caught me with my pants down stealing beer from the keg in the garage.

— I've tried to think of every possible question the board could ask me—I really don't want to get caught with my pants down at the meeting.

— My coworker was caught with her pants down today. She tried to print out 25 personal photos on our high-quality color printer but the machine jammed.

— I caught my girlfriend with her pants down at the mall. She was exchanging phone numbers with an older guy, so I can't trust her anymore.

— We were caught with our pants down when our client asked us why we were charging her $50/hour more than another client.

— My professor always catches me with my pants down when I don't do the reading but never calls on me in class when I do my homework. 

— We caught our nanny with her pants down sleeping during the day when she was supposed to be watching the kids.

— We're trying to make sure our boss is up-to-date on the legislation so he won't be caught with his pants down when he debates his opponent.

— Yesterday, I caught my husband with his pants down singing and dancing to my Taylor Swift CD while holding my hairbrush as a microphone.

— We caught the manager with her pants down taking lots of office supplies home.

Get our free idioms in pictures ebook

Also, check out the list of idioms related to "pants" that I created.

Would you like to know when I add new idioms to my website? Click here to sign-up for my free newsletter and you'll also be in the loop to learn about other updates to my website.

You might like these other idioms

  1. Home
  2.  ›
  3. Main Idioms List
  4.  ›
  5. Idiom: caught with one's pants down