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[[quoteright:350:[[Series/{{CSI}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/labcoat-of-science-and-medicine_csi_3499.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[Series/MythBusters "Trope confirmed."]]]]

->''"Fear not, lab coat fans! This comic isn't the last we've seen of lab coats and the wearing thereof. There are of the utmost importance in a lab / basement where they have yet to be seen ever working with hazardous chemicals."''
-->-- TheRant [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2012-04-10 here,]] ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive''

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 (and/or [[MadScientist Mad Science!]]), or a medical field. This is despite the fact that in real life doctors and scientists 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.

A subtrope of the Labcoat of Science and Medicine is the Mad Scientist Lab Coat which is typically the Howie-style lab coat with the asymmetrical front panel and the high, stiff collar. This style of full-coverage lab coat, designed to minimize pathogen contact with street clothing, has long been associated with [[MadScientist esoterically-minded scientists]] from [[Franchise/{{Frankenstein}} Dr. Frankenstein]] to Dr. Horrible, and is pretty much a clear sign that its wearer doesn't care about such silly things as medical ethics boards while he Gets Shit Done. Another marker of ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder is when the coat (Howie-style, or otherwise) is particularly ragged, tattered, stained with unknown substances and full of holes burned by acid, lightning or god knows what else; this is a clear sign that the wearer experiments with dangerous stuff, doesn't care about either safety or appearance. [[note]]In RealLife, scientists tend to replace damaged coats with new ones as soon as possible. However, if the coat is only stained with a non-dangerous substance, it can remain for quite some time.[[/note]]

Supertrope to DressedToHeal which also requires a stethoscope and a head mirror. Compare EinsteinHair, another classic visual cue that screams "Science person!"


* [[http://www.travelwithpetmeds.com/wp-content/themes/travelwithpetmeds/images/mascots.png Max and Molly.]] the FemaleFelineMaleMutt mascots of 1-800-PET-MEDS, wear labcoats... and [[BarefootCartoonAnimal nothing else]].

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* Hokuto , the token labcoat guy of his team from ''Anime/BtX'', is a person who actually does BOTH science and medicine.
* Shinra from ''{{LightNovel/Durarara}}'', who is noted even by the other characters for not taking that coat off, ever.
* Icchan from ''Anime/KidouTenshiAngelicLayer'', who really ''is'' a scientist, but most people associate his outfit with "pervert/weirdo."
* Proffesor Tomoe from ''Anime/SailorMoon'' wears one of these in all of his appearances, even in his own house. It's meant to emphasize his MadScientist status.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'': [[HotScientist Ritsuko]] wears one, being in charge of NERV's medical facilities, alongside being the local OmnidisciplinaryScientist. Naoko and Yui apparently wore them as well, both having high qualifications in meta-physical biology.
* All the regional professors in the ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' franchise wear these coats.
* Kakei of ''Manga/DrugAndDrop'' runs a pharmacy and has the lab coat to match. What's less clear is whether he is an actual pharmacist [[BackAlleyDoctor or not]].
* In ''Manga/{{Nichijou}}'', the ChildProdigy Professor wears an oversized lab coat and tie. Science teacher Kana Nakamura simply wears one over her regular clothing.
* Okabe Rintarou ([[DoNotCallMePaul or rather HOUOUIN KYOUMA!!]]), the [[LargeHam hammy]] protagonist and self-proclaimed MadScientist of ''VisualNovel/SteinsGate'', naturally always wears one of those.
** So does Makise Kurisu. When seeing her wear a lab coat, Okabe decides that they make a [[BackToBackBadasses pose]] and it was EPIC
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'':
** Resident LargeHam MadScientist and ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'' BigBad Doctor Jail Scaglietti is rarely ever seen without one. [[spoiler:At least, until he was finally arrested and imprisoned]].
** This became part of [[WhiteMagicianGirl Shamal's]] uniform after she became a medical officer for the TSAB. Fellow TSAB personnel Mariel Atenza also wears one as part of her uniform, although in her case, she's the head of the precision engineering section.
* Just to remind the audience that he's a scientist as well a [[LaResistance resistance soldier]], ''Anime/KillLaKill'''s Aikuro Mikisugi will occasionally don a labcoat. [[NoShirtLongJacket An open labcoat]]. And ''[[ShamelessFanserviceGuy nothing else]].''
* ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'':
** Early in the series, a scientist who was giving a lecture was shown wearing one.
** Germany wore a white lab coat when he was researching a substitute for coffee.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/{{Daredevil}}'' #324 Dr. ComicBook/{{Morbius}} puts on a labcoat specifically because it helps him thinks like a scientist he says. In ''[[ComicBook/ThePunisher Punisher]]'' v7 #11 he wears a Mad Scientist Labcoat when stitching back together Frank Castle who had been chopped to pieces by Daken, and turns him into a FrankensteinsMonster.
* Another Creator/MarvelComics example: This is the standard attire of ''ComicBook/SpiderMan'' villain The Lizard.
* Not only do Dr. Sivana and his children, Professor Edgewise, and most of the other myriad good/evil scientists in the original ''[[{{ComicBook/Shazam}} Captain Marvel]]'' comics wear these, they're bizarrely never seen taking them off.
* Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle of ''ComicBook/ResidentAlien'' wears one when on-duty.

* As Nathan Shumate (of the now-defunct ''Cold Fusion Video'') noted in his review of ''Film/TheInvisibleManiac'', the scientists at the supposedly big and important symposium where protagonist Kevin Dornwinkle fumbles his demonstration of an {{Invisibility}} serum "must be the best of the best of the best in the scientific community, because this entire international symposium is comprised of maybe a dozen people (who didn't even bother to take off their labcoats)." Dornwinkle himself proves to be much more relaxed about this himself later on when he's shown perfecting his invisibility serum at home in his apartment in his civilian clothes.
* In ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra'', 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 [[http://genevalunch.com/files/2009/11/cern_lhc_controlroom1109.jpg this.]]
* ''Film/BackToTheFuture'': Doctor Emmett "Doc" Brown wears this until he returns from the future.
* The Tooth Fairy from ''Film/TheSantaClause'' wears a dental lab coat.
* Dr. Cockroach from ''WesternAnimation/MonstersVsAliens'' wears a lab coat, as any respectable MadScientist would.
* Jumba wears a labcoat in the opening scenes of ''Disney/LiloAndStitch'', when he's on trial for creating Experiment 626. He ocassionally wears one in [[WesternAnimation/LiloAndStitchTheSeries the series]] when he's working at his lab.
* ''Film/{{Flash Gordon|1980}}'': Both Dr. Hans Zarkov and his assistant, Munson, sport traditional white labcoats in spite of them not actually being in a lab of any kind.
* The Film/{{Ghostbusters|1984}} wear blue lab-coats in their first commercial.
* ''Film/{{Skyfall}}''. Lampshaded when Bond meets the new (and very young) Q.
-->'''Bond:''' You've got to be joking.
-->'''Q:''' Why, because I'm not wearing a lab coat?
* In [[Film/TheLivingDaylights another Bond film]], TheDragon infiltrates an SIS safehouse [[DeadlyDelivery disguised as a milkman]]. He gets out by hanging a stethoscope around his neck, so with his white clothes he now looks like a doctor evacuating a wounded man.
* [[spoiler:The Twilight Sparkle native to the human world]] from TheStinger for ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsRainbowRocks'' wears one, [[spoiler:indicating a parallel to the original Twilight Sparkle's proficiency in magic]]. She got dubbed "Sci-Twi" as a result, to distinguish the two.

* The standard uniform of every Technician, the caste who keep society's machines and computers, and thus, society, functioning in Creator/RobertWestall's ''Literature/FuturetrackFive'' is the classic white labcoat, buttoned in different ways to differentiate between grades of Tech.
* Invoked by Dr. Sandrisson in ''Literature/GrandCentralArena'', whose usual outfit is a white suit of which the coat is tailored to resemble a lab coat.
* In ''Literature/HeartOfSteel'', Alistair wears Howie-style lab coats almost exclusively until he very end, when he has manufactured exactly one steampunk-style suit for a formal dinner, plus another to visit the grave of his beloved.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Practically every character on a ''Series/{{CSI}}'' series wears a labcoat 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 ''Series/{{CSI NY}}''. Sort of. Although they *are* [[NotThatKindOfDoctor that kind of doctor]], and have been known in some cases to treat colleagues, they aren't actually practicing medicine.
* In ''Series/KamenRiderExAid'', all doctor characters wear white coat. Anyone (but one person) who does not has some reason like guilt or EvilCostumeSwitch.
* Dr. Beverly Crusher, from ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', is rarely seen without her blue labcoat.
* {{Averted|Trope}} by Dr. Series/{{House}}, who regularly refused to wear his lab coat. In Princeton-Plainsboro, labcoats are the biggest visual indicator that any given character with whom you're unfamiliar is a doctor and not a nurse or an orderly, as their policy is that doctors need to wear labcoats.
* ''Series/NoahsArc'': When Ricky wakes up in the hospital, he sees Junito (who is wearing his labcoat for the first time). The presence of the labcoat lets Ricky know that Junito's there as a doctor, not a visitor, and something serious must've happened to him.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'': Agent Dana Scully wears scrubs and/or a labcoat whenever she performs an autopsy. She's the scientist and sceptic of the Dynamic Duo.
* ''{{Series/NCIS}}'' has forensic scientist Abby Sciuto (science sub-type) and Chief Medical Examiner Donald "Ducky" Mallard (medicine sub-type).
* In an episode of ''Series/RizzoliAndIsles'', the detectives are dealing with a witness who claims he can't remember faces. To test this theory out, Jane (having interrogated him earlier) borrows Maura's lab coat and puts her hair up to pretend to be a forensic scientist. [[spoiler: The theory proves correct - he eventually only recognizes her by voice).]]
* Dr Cox and Dr Kelso in ''Series/{{Scrubs}}''. One episode involved JD starting to wear a labcoat, and Dr Cox declaring it was now devalued and wearing a hockey jersey. It didn't help that the Janitor started wearing one as well.
* ''Series/{{Elementary}}'': Played with in one episode; several witnesses assume a woman is a doctor because of her white labcoat. Sherlock and Watson both immediately realize that something is wrong, since doctors never wear labcoats outside of a hospital in case they get dirty and bring pathogens back. Turns out the woman worked for an upscale perfume boutique, invoking this trope to make the place feel more scientific than it really was.
* Dr. Clayton Forrester of ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' wears a modern-style laboratory coat, but its unconventional color -- lime green -- immediately marks him as a MadScientist.

* Music/DoctorSteel 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.

* [[MadScientist Dr. E. Shock]] of ''Pinball/StrangeScience'' is always seen wearing one of these.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000''[='=]s Fabius Bile wears a lab coat as an obvious marker of his nature as an EvilGenius MadScientist. Given that he spends much of his time involved in gruesome surgical experiments or mixing up dangerous alchemical elixirs, it's also of practical use. Of course, this being ''Warhammer 40K'', and Fabius being an amoral monster in league with the Infernal Powers, said labcoat is made from [[GenuineHumanHide stitched together human skins]].
* [[LargeHam Leonardo de Montreal]], of ''TabletopGame/ChuubosMarvelousWishGrantingEngine'', usually sports one to make it clear to the ''[[InsufferableGenius intellectual peasants]]'' surrounding him that he is the ''[[MadScientist master of nightmare science]]''.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'', the technologically-oriented Men-Rall race adopted these after a human soldier gave one to a Men-Rall as a lighthearted joke.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/HalfLife1''/''VideoGame/BlackMesa'', ''Blue Shift'', and ''Opposing Force'', almost every scientist you see is wearing a lab coat. Then, in ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'', there's a photo of some Black Mesa employees, and again, everyone in the photo is wearing a lab coat. In the same game, Kleiner is always wearing a white jacket, though it's not quite long enough to necessarily qualify as a lab coat, ''per se''. When you arrive at Black Mesa East, Eli says, "We'll get you out of that hazard suit and into your lab coat where you belong." Black Mesa scientists really like their lab coats, it seems. Though, to their credit, Eli, Judith, and Magnusson aren't wearing them in the ''Half-Life 2'' games but Magnusson's assistant, Uriah, is wearing one.
* Doctor Hojo of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' is never seen without his labcoat. His rival, Doctor Hollander, wears an identical coat in the [[VideoGame/CrisisCore prequel]]. It's used to establish their MadScientist status and highlight the madness in their scientific endeavors.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLastRemnant'', Rush's parents both wear these. The pair are some of the most well-known scientists studying Remnants in the Academy.
* Bowman Jeanne of ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory'' 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.
* In ''VideoGame/DayOfTheTentacle'', when Hoagie hires himself as Red Edison's assistant, he is told to "grab his labcoat and get to work", even though the only thing going on in Red's lab is simple mechanic work and Red himself isn't wearing one. (The labcoat figures into a puzzle where it's used to make a kite.)
* Naked Snake in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'' gets one in order to infiltrate the soviet's weapon laboratories. Guards will be completely fooled by it as long as Snake doesn't start doing suspicious things like crawling around, but other scientists will immediately trigger the alarm if they see his face.
* Labcoats in the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' games give bonuses to your Science skill, and some Medicine-boosting apparel has the same look. Both ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' and ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' have unique labcoats which boost both skills.
* The Medic in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' wears one. In "Meet The Medic", we see him put on his coat while preparing for battle (AFTER performing open-heart surgery on The Heavy).
* Q in every ''Franchise/JamesBond'' game between ''VideoGame/AgentUnderFire'' and ''VideoGame/EverythingOrNothing''.
* ''VideoGame/BravelyDefault'' uses this along with [[SmartPeopleWearGlasses red glasses]] as the job outfit for the Spiritmaster, an advanced WhiteMage class.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' has a labcoat as the unique armor of the Alchemist crafting class, invoking this trope.
* Dr. Mario ditches the hat and overalls for a labcoat in his [[VideoGame/DrMario own games]] as well as ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros''
* The coroner and forensic experts in ''VideoGame/CriminalCase'''s police department wears white labcoat when they are performing analysis.
* In ''Anachronox'', practically every scientist on Sunder, the planet of science (and on several other planets as well) wears a white lab coat. In order to board the Brain Train (the shuttle taking you to Sunder), you need to wear one yourself in order to look like you belong.
* In the Classic ''[[Videogame/MegaManClassic Mega Man]]'' series, Doctors Light, Wily, and Cossack sport them; they are the foremost authorities in robotics in their world.[[note]]Cossack the lesser of the three.[[/note]] In artwork, Wily sometimes has his unbuttoned so that it [[BadassLongcoat billows out in the wind]].
* ''VideoGame/MoshiMonsters'' has a scientist named Tamara Tesla, who wears a labcoat all the time.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Ema Skye from the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series always wears a white lab coat whenever she appears, befitting her dream of being a forensic scientist.

* Dr [=McNinja=] of ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'' is either a ninja in a lab coat, or a doctor with a ninja outfit (with mask) under his labcoat.
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'': Agatha dons an awesome long labcoat with the arms burnt off while [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20090828 setting up the crazy device to fix up Tarvek.]]
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', Tedd, Dr. Germahn and his staff often wear labcoats when working in their respective labs even though they are never seen working with hazardous chemicals as pointed out in the page quote.
-->'''Tedd''': (in a shirt) [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2012-06-11 Hang on a sec.]] These theories are ''totally'' lab coat worthy.
* Parodied in [[http://xkcd.com/699/ this]] ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}'' strip.
-->Did you know you can just ''buy'' lab coats?
* In ''Webcomic/{{Life}}'', [[http://www.cha0sden.com/Life.php?comic=46 Felicia puts one on when she starts brainstorming comic ideas on her whiteboard.]]
* ''Webcomic/AMiracleOfScience'': The wearing of labcoats, especially the high-collared sort, is a symptom of ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder. When [[spoiler:Benjamin]] begins to relapse, he steals one of Virgil's and puts it on.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The titular Dr. Horrible of ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'' has a doctorate in horribleness. Of course, when he goes truly evil at the end, his white labcoat is traded in for a blood red one.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick introduced us to Doctors C. Block and C. Tease. They have had a few recurring appearances, and even crossed over to other Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses review videos.
** Though their doctorates are [[MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate morally ambiguous]] at best; ''WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee'' reveals that at least one of them got their degree from a cereal box.
* Labcoats are standard gadgeteer/deviser uniform at [[Literature/WhateleyUniverse Whateley]], due to the convenience of the pockets and hardpoints that make it easy for them to carry what they need with them.
* In ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale'', [[HotScientist Carlos]] the obsessive OmnidisciplinaryScientist even has a casual weekend labcoat that he wears on dates.
* WebAnimation/HomestarRunner: Invoked in the WebAnimation/StrongBadEmail "stupid stuff", when Strong Bad gives Homestar a lab coat and NerdGlasses in order to make him seem smarter. It fails to make any impact on Homestar's intelligence, but the first word out of his mouth when he attempts to say something smart is "Science!"
* ''Literature/{{Twig}}'' is centered around an AcademyOfEvil focused on [[MadScientist Mad Scientists]], so naturally labcoats are common attire. White is worn by students, to indicate they're still learning. Black is worn by professors, so that the stains don't show.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Dr. Doofenschmirtz of ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'', the origin of whose doctorate may not have been revealed yet. PlayedForLaughs as everyone who's not familiar with him [[GenreBlind thinks he's a pharmacist]].
* Dexter from ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' is a young MadScientist in training. He might not have the formal education, but he certainly has the intelligence.
* Dr. Scratchensniff from ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' wears one, despite supposedly being a psychiatrist.
* Dr. Five Eyes from ''WesternAnimation/SkysurferStrikeForce''
* Viceroy from Randy cunningham 9th grade ninja wears one, though his is lavender instead of the traditional white.
* Clyde Crashcup and Leonardo from ''WesternAnimation/TheAlvinShow''.
* A pair of scientists who often show up to give Daggett and Norbert some trouble in ''WesternAnimation/TheAngryBeavers'' always wear white lab coats. No matter what they do, it's ForScience!
-->''Being a scientist means never having to say you're sorry.''
** In one episode, they see Daggett putting on a labcoat and realize he's cured Norbert.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', this is Doctor Princess's usual garb. PB often wears one when she's doing something science-y.
* Susan and Mary Test in ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyTest''.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Various kinds of doctors and scientists do, of course, use white labcoats in their professions, just not as widely as in fiction. They're fairly practical for protecting regular clothes in a chemistry lab or hospital, while not being nearly as useful for (for example) astrophysicists, who seem to lean more toward [[UsefulNotes/NeilDeGrasseTyson cool vests decorated with celestial objects]] or [[Creator/CarlSagan iconic turtlenecks]].