Created By: SaraJaye on April 21, 2013 Last Edited By: rcmerod52 on November 14, 2013

Shorts Boy

Young boys in RPG games favor shorts.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
I like shorts! They're comfy and easy to wear!
—Youngster, Pokemon

When you're going on an adventure, you want light, easy-to-wear clothes. And little boys tend to favor shorts because, like the page quote says, they're comfy and easy to wear. Especially when it's warm out and pants are just too confining. This is meant to portray younger male characters as innocent and lighthearted, as opposed to the more "serious" adult characters in long pants or heavy armor.

Boys in shorts is also Truth in Television as in the past, the mark of a boy reaching manhood was his first pair of long pants.

Examples:

  • Rolf, Ewan, Asvel, Nils and Lugh of the Fire Emblem series
  • The boys in Earthbound
  • The Youngster class of the Pokemon franchise. Oddly, this is averted by all the male protagonists except Nate and the original Gold.
Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • April 21, 2013
    Koveras
    I'd say this is an Eastern RPG-specific tropes, since the cast of Western RPGs is usually much older.

  • April 21, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    • Ken Amada from Persona 3 is still an elementary school student while others are high-schoolers, and he always wear shorts.
  • April 21, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    Calvin And Hobbes - Calvin wears short parts, but annoyingly short pants touch his feet.
  • April 21, 2013
    randomsurfer
    • In Peanuts all the boys (and Peppermint Patty) normally wear shorts. It's hard to tell because their legs are very short anyway, but if they crouch you can see they're shorts, or if the characters have to bundle up for winter or dress in a suit with long pants you can tell the difference.
    • All Monsters Attack focuses less on the monsters and more on an 8 year old who wears extremely short shorts.
    • In the play Auntie Mame for the first act Patrick Dennis always wears knickerbockers. He's given long pants as a rite-of-passage on his 13th(?) birthday by Mame. "Long pants at last! Thank you, Auntie Mame!" A call-back late in the play has Mame returning from a trip to Germany and giving Patrick a pair of Lederhosen (traditional German leather short pants). "Short pants at last! Thank you, Auntie Mame!"
  • April 21, 2013
    lexicon
    Is this the male equivalent of Short Tank? Anyway the examples need context to say how they fit with the description. The title (and examples) looks like "boy who wears shorts" which would be People Sit On Chairs, but the description looks like shorts signify that he's adventurous. Is that what this is?
  • April 22, 2013
    Arivne
    Anime and Manga
    • Future Boy Conan. The title character wears shorts all the time, which is a good thing because he's constantly getting involved in high-action adventures against tough opponents.
  • April 23, 2013
    SaraJaye
    lexicon: This is just a pattern I've noticed in RP Gs. All boys under the age of 16 seem to wear shorts, possibly as a means of portraying a playful/lighthearted childish male as opposed to the heavily armored "mature" males. This doesn't have anything to do with Peanuts or non-video game examples.
  • April 23, 2013
    lexicon
    Okay, if that's the case the examples should say what makes each one a playful/lighthearted childish male. Is there a reason the same thing can't include non-video game examples?
  • April 24, 2013
    Melkior
    It seems to me that this trope is "let's denote this character as a little boy by showing him wearing shorts". If I've misunderstood, please correct me. If I'm correct, this will probably be tropeworthy.
  • April 24, 2013
    SaraJaye
    Yeah, pretty much.
  • April 25, 2013
    MetaFour
    This isn't just an RPG thing. In many English-speaking countries prior to World War I, boys always wore shorts in the summer and knickerbockers (which didn't reach to their ankles) in the winter. They would switch to wearing long trousers at about the onset of puberty, and the switch to long pants was regarded as an important rite of passage.
  • April 25, 2013
    GilvaLepista
    Perhaps this should be re-named Little Boys Wear Shorts to make the intention more clear. Shorts Boy sounds like either an insult, the title for an art film, or a euphemism for something dirty.
  • April 25, 2013
    acrobox
    you should note that the Pokemon example is the Trope Namer, as the trainer class Youngster is called 'Shorts Boy' or 'Shorts Youngster' in the original Japanese version
  • April 25, 2013
    yogyog
    I will just point out that the phrase A Boy In Short Trousers is already an established phrase, and points outt howw booys tended to wair shorts at least till pubatyt in a lot of countries around 1900-1970. Vote A Boy In Short Trousers for trope name. (no - search that exect phase - it's quite a comon phrase)
  • April 25, 2013
    lexicon
    The examples need to stop being Zero Context Examples (seriously, ZC Es aren't allowed) and this should say how it's related to Short Tank.
  • April 26, 2013
    SaraJaye
    Um, it was never intended to be related to Short Tank? It's about how boy wearing shorts = youthful and innocent: Rolf, Ewan, Nils, Lugh and Asvel are all childlike young males (Nils slightly less than others). So are the Youngsters in Pokemon, and the boys from Earthbound. This ties into the "little boys wear short pants until they mature" trope from the old days.
  • April 26, 2013
    Thunderforge
    Adding to the Pokemon example, another Youngster exclaims "Hey! You're not wearing shorts!", which apparently is reason enough to battle you.
  • October 23, 2013
    nlpnt
    YKTTW Bump. I had been thinking Do We Have This One for a while.

    Leave It To Beaver had an episode where Beaver's elderly, old-fashioned and very posh aunt bought him a suit with "short pants" and gives an example of how this was considered something of a British/European and by extension East Coast preppy affectation in late '50s America.

    I'd also put in the page heading that teenage boys who wear shorts are usually the Hollywood Nerd (see the Nerd page's mention of the implication that such characters are still styled by their mothers).
    • Milton in Kickin It is a classic example of that.
  • October 23, 2013
    DAN004
    How about Young Boys Wear Shorts?

  • October 26, 2013
    nlpnt
    That would work. I wonder if the original sponsor clould chime in or is this Up For Grabs?

    • Derek "Derrington" in The Clique books wears shorts year-round on a bet which irks the series' narrator (his fashoin-forward Alpha Bitch girlfriend) far more than it should.
  • October 27, 2013
    Arivne
    ^ The OP Sara Jaye hasn't posted in or edited this proposal since April, more than two months ago, so this is definitely Up For Grabs according to the rule on that page.
  • October 27, 2013
    DAN004
    So who wanna grab this?
  • November 1, 2013
    nlpnt
    I'm leaning toward Boy In Short Trousers as a title since it is an existing phrase and the trope seems to encompass personal preference as well as school uniforms and general cultural expectation.

    Neatened-up examples below, better trope description pending.

    Anime And Manga
    • Future Boy Conan. The title character wears shorts all the time, which is a good thing because he's constantly getting involved in high-action adventures against tough opponents.

    Film
    • All Monsters Attack focuses less on the monsters and more on an 8 year old who wears extremely short shorts.

    Literature
    • Derek "Derrington" in The Clique books wears shorts year-round on a bet which irks his fashion-forward Alpha Bitch girlfriend (the series' narrator) far more than it should.

    Live Action TV
    • Leave It To Beaver had an episode where Beaver's elderly, old-fashioned and very posh aunt bought him a suit with "short pants".
    • Milton in Kickin It is a classic example of the teenage-nerd variant. Sometimes they play this up by having him wear his shorts with a cardigan while the other guys are also wearing shorts but in a more dressed-down/warm weather style.
    • Summer Heights High boys have free choice of pants or shorts with their uniform; Sebastian consistently wears shorts, perhaps to play up how much younger he is than Ja'mie.

    Newspaper Comics
    • In Peanuts all the boys (and Peppermint Patty) normally wear shorts. It's hard to tell because their legs are very short anyway, but if they crouch you can see they're shorts, or if the characters have to bundle up for winter or dress in a suit with long pants you can tell the difference.
    • Calvin And Hobbes - Calvin wears short parts, but annoyingly short pants touch his feet.

    Role-Playing Games
    • Rolf, Ewan, Asvel, Nils and Lugh of the Fire Emblem series
    • The boys in Earthbound
    • The Youngster class of the Pokemon franchise. Oddly, this is averted by all the male protagonists except Nate and the original Gold.
      • Another Youngster exclaims "Hey! You're not wearing shorts!", which apparently is reason enough to battle you.
    • Hope from Final Fantasy XIII is the youngest male party member and wears shorts.
    • Ken Amada from Persona 3 is still an elementary school student while others are high-schoolers, and he always wear shorts.

    Theater
    • In the play Auntie Mame for the first act Patrick Dennis always wears knickerbockers. He's given long pants as a rite-of-passage on his 13th(?) birthday by Mame. "Long pants at last! Thank you, Auntie Mame!" A call-back late in the play has Mame returning from a trip to Germany and giving Patrick a pair of Lederhosen (traditional German leather short pants). "Short pants at last! Thank you, Auntie Mame!"

  • November 1, 2013
    randomsurfer
    • In the backstory of Blackadder II Prince Ludwig the Indestructable wore them.
      Blackadder: Were you ever bullied at school?
      Prince Ludwig: What do you mean?
      Blackadder: Well, all this ranting and raving about power, there must be some reason for it.
      Prince Ludwig: Nonsense, no, no, at my school having dirty hair and spots was a sign of maturity.
      Blackadder: I thought so! And I bet your mother made you wear shorts right up to your final year.
      Prince Ludwig: Shut up! SHUT UP! When I am King of England, no one will ever dare call me Shorty Greasy Spot-Spot again!
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