A wedgie occurs when a person's underwear or other garments are wedged between the buttocks. While a wedgie can be created naturally, the term is usually associated with a prank or as a form of bullying. When a person is on the receiving end of a wedgie, his or her underwear is forcibly pulled up by a second person.
Wedgies are commonly featured in popular works, either as a form of low comedy or as a behaviour representative of bullying. In such works, briefs are usually the type of underpants that are worn by the victim.
Wedgies, especially when performed on males, can be dangerous, potentially causing testicular or scrotal damage. An incident in 2004 involving a ten-year-old boy required reattachment of a testicle to the scrotum.
As a prank or form of bullying, there are a number of variants to the normal wedgie. It is impractical to list every variant, as the names and processes can be rather subjective; however, there are a few better-known variants.
- The Melvin is a variant where the victim's underwear is pulled up from the front, to cause injury, or, at least, severe pain to the victim's genitals. The female variant is sometimes called a Minerva.
- The Atomic Wedgie entails hoisting the waistband of the receiver's underwear up and over their head.  This form is the title character's signature prank from The Mask: The Animated Series.
- The Hanging Wedgie is a variant in which the victim is hung from his or her underwear, elevated above the ground.
- On April 6, 2006, Fox News reported on an Albany, New York teacher who was arrested for endangering the welfare of a child for giving a 10-year-old student a wedgie.
- In 2007, eight-year-old second graders Jared and Justin Serovich came up with "wedgie-proof" underwear at the Central Ohio Invention Competition 2007 where their invention got them into the finals.
- Wedgie. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. Accessed 30 November 2007 via Dictionary.com.
- No More Bullies, School Counselor Resources.
- "Emergency operation after school prank - Local stories". Yorkshire Post. 2004-12-02. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- Curran, David (2007-01-04). "Gwyneth And 'The Atomic Wedgie'". www.sfgate.com (San Francisco Chronicle). Retrieved 2009-07-07.
- Krysis, B. M. (2004). The Angry Plumber and Other Woefully True Bathroom Calamities. Trafford Publishing. p. 72. ISBN 978-1-4120-2359-7. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
- Stuever, Hank (2002-09-02). "At School, a Most Uncomfortable Subject". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-07-07.
- Hume, Brit (2006-04-06). "Charges for Giving a Wedgie". Fox News.
- Greg Tananbaum and Dan Martin (2005). Atomic Wedgies, Wet Willies, and Other Acts of Roguery. Santa Monica Press. ISBN 978-1-59580-000-8.
- "Twins, 8, invent 'wedgie-proof' underpants". MSNBC. 2007-11-02.