Created By: Merlo on August 28, 2011 Last Edited By: Arivne on February 3, 2013

Cyborgs Are Nudists

Cyborgs don't wear clothes.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
In fiction, many cyborg who are mostly synthetic don't wear clothes. This makes sense if they don't have any visible genitals or other parts of the body that are taboo to show. This often has a dehumanizing effect on the character, showing how far on the machine side they are on the human-machine spectrum. For this reason, cyborgs whose artificial parts are limited to Artificial Limbs generally stick to clothes, as they're still mostly on the human side of the spectrum.

On a meta level, the lack of clothes means that the audience can easily identify the character by their mechanical parts. If the character does wear clothes, this is usually to set up a Robotic Reveal down the line.


Examples:

Anime
  • Major Motoko Kusanagi of Ghost in the Shell. This is most likely used as a dehumanizing factor, although there are also justified reasons, such as her cloaking not applying to clothing, and requiring to be nude during repair and maintenance. Though Mokoto is a relatively human character, no amount of reverence appears to be given to her cyborg body. Dehumanization portrayed through apathy-towards-nudity generally extends to other cyborgs.

Film

Literature
  • Averted in Soon I Will Be Invincible, where the female cyborg has her mechanisms inspected by the Batman analog. Averted in that, while she has to strip almost naked, she feels quite self-conscious about it, while Batman-ish affirms the trope by appearing to view her as technology and not A Woman.

Live-Action TV
  • Cybermen from Doctor Who, given the level of integration.

Video Games

Western Animation

Community Feedback Replies: 27
  • August 28, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    • Major Kusanagi of Ghost In The Shell. This is most likely used as a dehumanizing factor, although there are also justified reasons, such as her cloaking not applying to clothing, and requiring to be nude during repair and maintenance. Though Mokoto is a relatively human character, no amount of reverence appears to be given to her cyborg body.
  • August 28, 2011
    ZombieAladdin
    Robocop. Does he even wear any clothes?
  • August 29, 2011
    Arivne
    Spelling Nazi alert!

    It's Major Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost In The Shell.
  • August 29, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    I hereby grant you permission to edit my spelling in the future :P Thanks though, I'll just fix that now.
  • August 29, 2011
    Earnest
    Aversion, Cyborg Superman.
  • August 30, 2011
    aurora369
    General Grievous from Star Wars wears a cape and... and... err, that's all.
  • August 30, 2011
    Duncan
    The Terminator generally wears clothes when he isn't time-traveling; he even steals some so he can be dressed.
  • August 30, 2011
    Merlo
    So should we list aversions as well?

    Also, I know I mentioned clothes sometimes being used to set up a Robotic Reveal, but I think those examples specifically should go under that trope probably.
  • September 1, 2011
    Merlo
    bump?
  • September 1, 2011
    RocketDude
    The Nod Cyborgs in Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun do not really wear clothes, but they do not need them to begin with, being heavily augmented.
  • September 1, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    I should add that the dehumanization portrayed through apathy-towards-nudity extends to other cyborgs throughout Ghost In The Shell.
  • September 2, 2011
    Lavalyte
    Averted in Soon I Will Be Invincible, where the femail cyborg has her machanisms inspected by the Batman analog. Averted in that, while she has to strip almost naked, she feels quite self-conscious about it, while Batman-ish affirms the trope by appearing to view her as technology and not A Woman.
  • September 5, 2011
    TheBlankMage
    Ziggy from Xenosaga doesn't wear pants. And now I have ruined that game for myself.
  • September 5, 2011
    RegShoe
    Cybermen from Doctor Who, given the level of integration.
  • September 5, 2011
    NateTheGreat
    This trope title just doesn't seem like it's worded right. It sounds like cyborgs are exempt from social requirements to cover up their bodies. In reality this trope is "cyborgs don't need clothes; their robotic parts replace or cover up their private parts."
  • September 5, 2011
    Merlo
    ^ I was going for "exempt from social norms" at first, I noticed it was odd that in-story characters seem to have different standards of modesty for cyborgs. I speculated in the description that they're exempt because the robotic parts renders the taboo issue moot most of the time. But if you feel the other definition is more appropriate (it is more inclusive) I'm open to title change suggestions.
  • September 13, 2011
    AP
    Compare to Monster Modesty.
  • September 13, 2011
    CrownClown
    Aigis and Metis from Persona 3 don't wear clothes (save for the occasional school uniform).
  • October 31, 2011
    Merlo
    Not sure if this is a better title. Anyway, do you think this is covered by Nonhumans Lack Attributes?
  • January 30, 2013
    doorhandle
    Could be a sub-trobe, I'll leave the specifics up to you.
  • January 30, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    ^^^Not sure if Aigis and Metis count, since they're full-fledged Robot Girl and not cyborgs.
  • January 30, 2013
    Arivne
    Namespaced (where possible) and italicized the work names in the OP examples.

    Robocop is a Zero Context Example and needs more information to be valid.
  • January 30, 2013
    ShadowHog
    Data from Star Trek The Next Generation was this in his very early years, according to a conversation in Season 7 episode "Inheritance". The young Data had correctly deduced that, as an android, he was more impervious to the elements than humans were, and therefore clothing was redundant. In response, his creator, Dr. Noonien Soong, added in a "modesty subroutine", which changed this line of thinking.
  • January 30, 2013
    Earnest
    Ur Example, in Metropolis the robot that is used to impersonate Maria starts out and stays naked post transformation. What's more, she just wants to stay naked. Her first "job" to prove how lifelike she is is at a strip club.
  • January 30, 2013
    IsaacSapphire
    I remember reading a scify manga where this was inverted (? I think I'm using the correct term) with nonaugmented people all wearing extremely reveling outfits to show off that they were 100% natural.
  • February 2, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Film-Animated
    • Averted with John Silver in Disney's Treasure Planet. Most of Silver's right side is mechanized, but he dresses much like any other spacefarer.

    [[Live Action TV]]
  • February 3, 2013
    ArcadesSabboth
    I think Nudist Cyborgs would be a better name.

    ^ Also, if this isn't a Universal Trope in scifi, don't list aversions.
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