"Wardrobe malfunction" phrase EVER used before Super Bowl?

Was the phrase “wardrobe malfunction” EVER used before the infamous Super Bowl? Anyone have LexisNexis to check it out?

Lexis-Nexis gives no hits prior to 1/31/2004, then 129 in February 2004 (the Super Bowl was the first weekend of February).

If it was used prior to that, it never made the papers.

Google groups gives 0 hits up to Jan 2004 and then 826 in Feb 2004.

Thanks! I was hoping that was the case.

Well, I am sure it was- but not in a public or memorable way, which I think is what you wanted to know. Which I see RealityChuck and ftg have done an excellent job of answering. :slight_smile: :smack:

I’m pretty sure I heard it long before the SB incident, also during football games when a player would lose a helmet or shoe, or a shoulder pad would come out of the jersey and have to be reinserted. Occassionally, while repairs were being made, an announcer would mention something about a wardrobe malfunction being tended to.

Would they use the word “wardrobe,” though? Wouldn’t they say “uniform,” “equipment,” or perhaps “clothing”?

They would use the word “equipment”.

In show biz, the people responsible for keeping track of changes of outfits for each scene/take/number are called “the wardrobe department”. People in charge of the lights are the “lighting department”, of the soundstage the “sound department”, etc.

So someone in show biz who’s used to referring to lighting problems as a “lighting malfunction” and problems with the mics as a “sound malfunction” might well try to describe a showtime sartorical disaster as a “wardrobe malfunction”. If they were pressed and frantically trying to dodge blame anyway.

Right. It is just that this “wardrobe malfunction” was the first to be significant enough to hit the news media worldwide. Only with a live broadcast would a “wardrobe malfunction” be news. With a movie, the director would just yell “Cut. Fix the wardrobe malfunction on the actress”. Where the scene would just be reshot. Such a wardrobe malfunction would be as unnewsworthy as a sound malfunction during a filming.

Malfunction? Malfunction implies that the whole thing was an accident. They meant to show off JJ’s boob. I think ‘judgment malfunction’ is a more appropriate term.