A wedgie occurs when a person's nether 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.
On the January 9, 2014 multiple news sources reported the first confirmed death by atomic wedgie. Brad Lee-Davis, a 33 year old Oklahoma native, is alleged to have drunkenly fought with his stepfather 58 year old Denver Lee-St. Clair. During the altercation Lee-Davis grabbed Lee-St. Clair's elastic waistband and underwear, pulled it over his head, and suffocated him with the waistband. Oklahoma Medical Examiner spokeswoman Amy Elliott said the cause of death was asphyxiation and blunt force trauma.
A female receiving a regular wedgie
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 of the wedgie.
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 Bra-Connection Wedgie is a wedgie where a girl gets a wedgie and her underwear is attached to her bra. The bra straps connect via the legholes, keeping the wedgie intact.
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 by giving the 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.