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[[quoteright:200:[[WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tan_lines.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:200:How he keeps those tan lines when [[LimitedWardrobe he always wears that tank top]] is a question for another time.]]

Tan Lines occur when the human body gets tanned in areas of exposed skin but the places previously covered during the tan look noticeably lighter. They are usually seen as a way to make a character look funny after a bad or flawed tan job. Other forms include the farmer's tan (face, neck, and both arms, from being out in the field while wearing a T-shirt or overalls) and the trucker's tan (face and one arm, from the sun shining through the windshield on the face, but with the pale arm inside the cab and the tan arm out the window).

There are some who find tan lines, especially if the contrast is strong, to have an erotic edge, though tan lines rarely seem to be used much for Fanservice.

See also EmbarrassinglyPainfulSunburn and SuntanStencil.



* The girl on the Coppertone suntan lotion bottle has a white butt but tan everywhere else.
* A man on the "Bud Light Cruise" commercial has tan lines that indicate he'd been wearing a woman's bikini.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In the obligatory BeachEpisode of ''Anime/TenchiUniverse'', Kiyone develops a classic farmer's tan while working as a life-guard. When she shows off her swimsuit at the swimsuit contest later in the episode, she's initially embarrassed by the farmer's tan -- until the crowd goes wild, all of them finding it sexy.
* ''Manga/{{Is}}'' has a moment where Ichitaka heads to the [[BeachEpisode beach]] and wanders around in a T-shirt and pants for a while. As a result, the next few chapters show him with a very tanned head, neck and arms. The rest remains pale.
* Kagura of ''Manga/AzumangaDaioh'', during the summer arcs (she's on the swim team and wears a one-piece for the rest of the year, so it shows up when she wears a bikini; she also shows Osaka, but not the audience).
* Chika from ''Manga/AiYoriAoshi'' normally lives at the beach, so she has them following the bathing suit area.
* ''Manga/KOn'': This happens to Azusa everytime there's a BeachEpisode. It's [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by every one.
* Momo from ''Anime/PeachGirl'' got tan lines along with her bleached out hair from swimming for school.
* After returning for the beach during an episode of ''Manga/{{Beelzebub}}'', Oga admires the nice tan he got... only for him to discover the Beel-shaped tanline on his back.
* ''Anime/RioRainbowGate'': Linda has tan lines around her chest that are displayed by her skimpy top. Given that she's a RidiculouslyHumanRobot [[RobotGirl Girl]], one can only presume that they were deliberately designed to be there.
* Ryoko Tachi in ''Manga/NanaToKaoru''

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In part of the ''ComicBook/XMen'' "ComicBook/CurseOfTheMutants" storyline, the technology protecting the vampires from sunlight apparently also protects them from ComicBook/{{Dazzler}}'s powers. We see a flashback of ComicBook/EmmaFrost talking to her, Frost admonishing Dazzler for having given her tan lines.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* That fat man who constantly loses his ice cream cone every single time in ''Disney/LiloAndStitch''.
* The guards on the island in ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'' have tan lines visible on their faces when their visors get knocked off.
** [[https://firewireblog.com/2018/03/28/check-out-the-new-tan-fastic-incredibles-2-poster/ This]] poster for ''WesternAnimation/Incredibles2'' makes a gag out of the family having tan lines where their {{Domino Mask}}s would be.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsForgottenFriendship'': On the beach, Snips and Snails are shown to have a lighter skin tone where their clothes usually cover them. It proves that yes, even with an AmazingTechnicolorPopulation, tanning does happen in this world.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/PoliceAcademy 5: Assignment Miami Beach'', Harris is tanning on the beach. Nick writes "DORK" in sunblock on his chest. When he wakes up and walks on the crowded beach, HilarityEnsues.
* In ''Spencer's Mountain'', Clayboy goes up the mountain with his girl-friend for a picnic, and comes back with a sunburn on his back. His father helps him put lotion on the burn, which goes much further down past his waist line than it would have if he had kept his pants on.
* In John Waters' ''Film/CryBaby'', a character "tans" the initials CB into her thigh. The letters are the white part she covers with tape and then tears off to show him.
* In ''Film/FinalDestination3'', when Ashley and Ashlyn are getting into the tanning beds, Ashlyn questions why Ashley is still wearing underwear. Ashley replies that her boyfriend [[FetishFuel "gets off on tan lines."]]
* In ''Film/BlameItOnRio,'' the topless extras at the beach mostly have tan lines, thus showing that they aren't usually topless.
* Used as a plot point in ''Film/PointBreak1991''. Pappas pegs the criminals as surfers because of their tan lines, shown when they [[{{Mooning}} mooned the bank security cameras]].

* Literature/BloodyJack in ''Rapture of the Deep'' PirateGirl/heroine "Bloody" Jacky Faber has these from her rather anachronistic bathing suit (In a series set during UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars). Her intended cannot help but comment.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Detective shows like ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' will often use tan lines as clues. For instance, in the ''Sherlock'' serial "[[Recap/SherlockS01E03TheGreatGame The Great Game,]]" Sherlock deduces that a rental car agency owner is lying about not having been to Colombia recently because of his tan.
* An episode of ''Series/CSIMiami'' uses Greek letters tanned onto the back of a victim's neck as a clue.

* Mentioned in the chorus of Music/KennyChesney's "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy".

[[folder:Print Media]]
* There's a classic ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'' cover where two boys are showering and have the usual tan from swimming, i.e., white butt and tanned everywhere else. Alfred E. Neuman's tan, however, is reversed.
** Another Magazine/{{MAD}} article of one and two panel [[BeachEpisode Beach Gags]] included two young boys rigging a glove on a stick to give an older girl an embarrassing untanned handprint in the middle of her back.
* ''Website/TheOnion'' had a picture showing a woman with tan lines zigzagging over her body in nonsensical patterns. The online version is linked in the WebOriginal section below.

* The Shulamite in the ''Literature/SongOfSongs'' says "do not gaze at me, because I am dark, because the sun has looked on me," fearing that people are going to see her with these on her body.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/File:Black_2_White_2_Marlon.png Gym Leader Marlon]] in ''VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2'' is very tan above the waist, and very pale below. So much so, in fact, that the average new player will actually believe him to be black until his pale feet are pointed out.
* Homura from ''VideoGame/SenranKagura'' has these as her signature look. Because they are formed around a ''{{sarashi}}'', you have to use very skimpy underwear to fully see them.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'':
** In the WebAnimation/StrongBadEmail "suntan", Strong Bad tries to get a tan to accentuate his (non-existent) abs. He not only stays out too long and gets a sunburn, but he fails to get an even tan because "Who wants a tan on their back? There's no abs to accentuate."
** In "keep cool", Strong Bad inexplicably has a farmer's tan while serving as a lifeguard, even though he doesn't normally wear a shirt.
** In "Somber Vacation", Strong Sad gets a {{moonburn}} that inexplicably makes him look like he was wearing a bikini top ("Shut up! It's a skin condition! It's just how I tan!")

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* It is possible for milk teeth to get burnt as ''Webcomic/MyMilkToof'' proved in the BeachEpisode.
* A strip from ''ComicStrip/ThePerryBibleFellowship'' shows a guy getting a white silhouette of his secret girlfriend where she's blocked him from getting tanned. I think you know where I'm talking about.
* [[http://www.lukesurl.com/archives/1534 A strip]] of ''Luke Surl'' has tan lines shaped like [[VisualPun trigonometric curves]].
* The subject of [[http://buttersafe.com/2007/11/27/shirt-tan/ a comic ]] from ''Webcomic/{{Buttersafe}}''.
* When Webcomic/{{Spinnerette}} got a tanline around her mask, her roommate Sahira initally laughs at the panic the former was undergoing, until it's pointed out that this would undermine her SecretIdentity. Sahira then offers to help her with using makeup to cover it.
* In the BDSM-themed ''Webcomic/{{Sunstone}}'' this appears in the most embarrassing way possible: Lisa visits the beach only to notice everyone is staring at her. She discovers that she has tan lines from her previous rope suspension session with Ally. ''Including lines left from a gag.'' Poor girl.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Literature/TheSagaOfTuck'' the protagonist ends up with some nice tan lines caused by strappy swimsuit. "He" has to go to lengths not to let others see them.
* ''Website/CollegeHumor'' [[http://www.collegehumor.com/article:1735099 presents a few other variations]]...
* From ''Website/TheOnion'', "[[http://www.theonion.com/articles/womans-tan-lines-dont-make-any-sense,9547/ Woman's Tan Lines Don't Make Any Sense]]"
* Other Girl-sempai/Sunglasses from the ''WebOriginal/{{Creamsicle}}'' [[MemeticMutation internet meme]] has tan lines around her crotch.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' is notorious for having almost all the white male characters having untanned portions of skin when they take off their shirts. Boomhauer, on the other hand, consistently has a dark tan (he has a tanning bed in his bedroom).
* In ''WesternAnimation/RocketPower'', former new guy Sam had one when he moved to Ocean Shores, even though his body should have evened out by now.
* In the episode ''[[WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom "Eye for an Eye"]]'', we learn Danny has these when Vlad's vultures reveal a naked, showering Danny to the entire school.
--> '''Tucker''': A ghost kid with tan lines, who knew?
* Owen and Harold from ''WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland'' have tanned arms, legs and face, but has pale upper arms and stomach. Ezekiel has much of the same, except his legs are pale.
* Hawkeye from ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'' has a farmer's tan while he sits out in the sun in episode 20. That episode marked the first time in the show when he wears something ''other'' than his superhero costume.
* Howie, the lead character of ''WesternAnimation/AlmostNakedAnimals'', combines this with FurIsClothing. Like the entire cast, he wears only underwear and has most of his fur shaved off, but there are tan lines on his bare skin.
* Eddy from ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' has tan lines around his eyes, those these are fairly small and difficult to see. He most likely got them after trying to tan (which would also explain his pink skin as "tanning").
* On ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse,'' Greg is a weird example: he usually wears a tank top and pants with torn off legs, which reveals the kind of farmer's tan that comes from wearing a T-shirt and long pants. Also, when barefoot, you can see tan lines in the shape of his sandals.
* On ''WesternAnimation/DanVs,'' the already sallow [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Dan]] is basically white under his shirt and pants.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In the early 1950s, a [[http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/people-oddities-pic-circa-1946-syria-the-syrian-gazelle-boy-news-photo/80752184 story began to circulate]] about a boy in Syria who had allegedly been [[WildChild raised by gazelles]]. The story was debunked partly because photos of the nude boy showed him with a farmer's tan.
* Movie critics and commentators will often point out the common mistake of actors and actresses forgetting to get rid of their tan lines before appearing in a role where these would be improbable, like bikini tan lines on a character from Ancient Greece or Rome.
** Although the Romans did have a bikini-like set of garments that appear in surviving frescos and wall paintings. It took the form of what might be called a bandeau top with a minimal modesty-covering loincloth.
** This can be seen midway through ''Film/GangsOfNewYork''. When Bill the Butcher is seen lying with a nearly naked prostitute, the character has a thong-underwear tan line in a story set in the 1860s. Thong underwear didn't become available until the 1980s.[[note]]Although there is a thong-like Erench garment called ''le cache-sexe'' which has certainly been around for a lot longer than the 1980's: literary references go back to the 1930's at least. Whether it was part of "French Fashion" used in American whorehouses in the 1860's would be for a clothing historian to advise on![[/note]]
** Also seen in the 1983 film The Wicked Lady, which is set in medieval England; one scene shows a young woman with 'French bikini' tan lines.
* Partial tanning on otherwise clothed people explains the derogatory term for dirt farmers - in pre-Civil War times, poor white farmers who couldn't afford even a single slave and so had to do their own heavy labour. Bending over a plough or to pick/tend crops caused sunburn on the back of the neck - hence ''redneck''. (''Rooinecker'' in South Africa, for those whites who could not afford to pay black labour).