Created By: VampireBuddha on September 20, 2011

Not Even Bothering With The Uniform

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Schools, armies, and some workplaces have uniforms, and wearing them is an unfortunate fact of life. Some seek to circumvent the rules and express their individuality by customising it, but for the true rebels, there is only one true solution - don't wear it at all!

Yes, the best way to mark a character as rebellious and badass is to show them refusing to wear the uniform at all. Instead of just adding a few stickers, they'll show up wearing whatever they please, thank you very much.

This can go one of two ways:
  1. Establishment of rebellion: Someone shows up one day without the uniform, to much shock and surprise. They then face a battle for the right to wear what they wish.
  2. Nobody cares: This character doesn't wear the uniform, but nobody gives a damn. It establishes that this character is so badass it's not even worth trying to get them to follow the rules.

This trope is absolutely not Truth in Television. As about 1/3 of tropes are well aware, not wearing one's school uniform is a very good way of getting sent home.


  • Neither Billy nor Irwin are ever seen in uniform in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. While tempting to shalk this up to lazy animation, Mandy always wears her uniform in school; make of what what you will.
  • The title character of Minnie the Minx also doesn't wear her uniform to school. This may be to make it easier on the artist, though it is entirely in character for her.
  • Inverted in The Bash Street Kids: The only members of the class who do wear the uniform are Cuthbert, who is a Teacher's Pet, and Fatty, presumably because his parents can't afford any more clothes.
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • September 20, 2011
    Many characters on MASH don't bother with the uniform. Rules regarding uniformss seem pretty lax at the 4077, considering how people frequently run around in everything from Hawaiian shirts to evening gowns.
  • September 20, 2011
  • September 20, 2011
    Actually it can be a Truth In Television (I myself knew a few people who simply didn't care to the point that the teachers gave up stopping them, and at least a few cases were circumstances legitimatly prevented people from wearing the uniform).
  • September 20, 2011
    It could also be seen as discipline just being generally very lax in whatever organization. Depending on the setting, this could be due to a particular mission focus (the MASH doctors probably get away with a lot because they are all medical professionals first and soldiers to a varying secondary degree, at least a few of them having been conscripted into duty), lack of supplies (can't wear a uniform you were never given), or just the organization as a whole being unable or unwilling to enforce its own rules due to low morale or lack of focus.

    If everybody does this, then it becomes Mildly Military, and could be typical of the Home Guard.
  • September 21, 2011
    • Glory: the Massachusets 54th isn't issued any uniforms for quite a long time.
    • Roseanne: When Roseanne and a couple of her friends open a diner, one thing they decide on is no uniforms for waitresses (themselves). But then one of them realizes the reason for uniforms - to give the place a professional air, not to mention the fact that you don't stain your own clothes.
  • September 21, 2011
    The titular character from House MD never wears a doctor's overalls to work. They put up with him because he's phenomenally good at his job.
  • September 21, 2011
    Web Comics
    • El Goonish Shive. Susan rebels against the school uniform policy imposed by the principal by refusing to wear the uniform.
  • September 21, 2011
    @Nate: Hmm, that does look like what I'm proposing, though the title is wrong.

    Any objections to renaming Custom Uniform to Not Even Bothering With The Uniform, merging its description with this one, and making Custom Uniform a redirect to Non Uniform Uniform (as it bloody well ought to be)?
  • September 21, 2011
    ^ Take it to TRS, this is not the place for fixing existing tropes.
  • September 22, 2011
    Unfortunately, TRS has an embargo on new threads until some of the older ones are sorted out.
  • September 22, 2011
    Any movie where a cop who isn't a Detective isn't wearing their uniform on the job would count.
  • April 19, 2016
    This seems different from Custom Uniform. Rather than wearing an altered uniform, the character just breaks the rules and doesn't wear one period
  • April 19, 2016
    ^ Custom Uniform IS not bothering with uniform period.

    Customizing uniform is actually Nonuniform Uniform.

    Crappy titles, I know. Trs?