In media, there are two sorts of people who wear labcoats; scientists, and medical doctors. As such, a character wearing a lab coat is a good indication that they're involved in either science, or a medical field. This is despite the fact that in real life doctors and scientist do not normally wear such coats unless there is a reason that they need to keep their clothes clean. In media, this coat is almost always white.
Supertrope to Dressed to Heal
which also requires a stethoscope and a head mirror.
Anime and Manga
- Proffesor Tomoe from Sailor Moon wears one of these in all of his appearances, even in his own house. It's meant to emphasize his Mad Scientist status.
- All the regional professors in the Pokémon franchise wear these coats.
- In G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, where the scientists working on a particle accelerator all wear lab coats. In real life, particle accelerator operators dress less like movie scientists and more like this◊.
- Back to the Future : Doctor Emmett "Doc" Brown wears this until he returns from the future.
Live Action TV
- Invoked by Dr. Sandrisson in Grand Central Arena, whose usual outfit is a white suit of which the coat is tailored to resemble a lab coat.
- Practically every character on a CSI series at one point or another, for the scientist version. And sometimes it's a double, with characters like Doc Robbins and Ray Langston on regular CSI or Dr.Hawkes and Sid Hammerbeck on CSI NY.
- Dr. Crusher, from Star Trek: The Next Generation, is rarely seen without her blue lab coat.
- Averted by House who regularly refused to wear his lab coat. In Princeton-Plainsboro, labcoats are the biggest visual indicator that any given character you're unfamiliar with is a doctor and not a nurse or an orderly as their policy is that doctors need to wear labcoats.
- Doctor Steel is almost always seen in a somewhat comical-appearing PVC labcoat. His "doctorate" is never really specified, but he shows aptitude in a multitude of disciplines.
- The titular Dr. Horrible of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog who has a PHD in horribleness. Of course, when he goes truly evil at the end, his white labcoat is traded in for a blood red one.
- Nostalgia Chick introduced us to Doctors C. Block and C. Tease. They have had a few recurring appearances, and even crossed over to other That Guy with the Glasses review videos.
- Doctor Hojo of Final Fantasy VII is never seen without his labcoat. His rival, Doctor Hollander, wears an identical coat in the prequel. It's used to establish their Mad Scientist status and highlight the madness in their scientific endeavors.
- In The Last Remnant Rush's parents both wear one of these. The pair are some of the most well-known scientists studying Remnants in the Academy.
- Bowman Jeanne of Star Ocean: The Second Story wears one when in his pharmacy, and retains it if he joins the party. His special attacks are also themed around pills and medicine to further illustrate his association with this field.