Adaptational Modesty

Crafting a quality adaptation can be a tricky process, one that often brings with it many things to consider. Between media, there are not only different techniques, but also different standards about what is acceptable for certain audiences, especially when it comes to nudity or otherwise sexual content.

This is where Adaptational Modesty comes into play. It can involve things like making the revealing outfits of the resident Ms. Fanservice slightly less revealing, or reducing what was a lengthy and detailed sex scene in the original work to a Sexy Discretion Shot. Other times, it can be something as simple as putting clothes on a character in scenes where the character was actually naked in the original material.

It is most problematic if the clothing in question is heavily associated with the character. Taking away or changing it too much leaves them as not having their iconic look. Wonder Woman has had a long history of trying to stay true to her classic look while making the outfit look more practical and protective.

This trope often comes into play with film or television adaptations of literature or comic books, since ideas about what is generally acceptable tend to differ among these media. This usually overlaps with Pragmatic Adaptation. The human body cannot usually replicate the impossibly perfect shapes of a drawing. Some outfits are wildly impractical, simply would not stay in place in a live-action context, or would simply look silly if replicated exactly. Excessive Fanservice can be distracting and take away from the intended artistic merit of the production. Also often invoked when working with child actors, because of laws regarding minors in show business, and the disastrous effect on viewership and the creators' careers in most of the world that would happen if a work got a reputation for sexualising children.

See the inversion in Adaptational Curves.

Compare Bowdlerization, which is applied to edits applied to the original work. Related to Lighter and Softer and, on a career level, Bleached Underpants. A very specific inversion of Hotter and Sexier.


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     Anime & Manga 
  • The anime adaptation of Basilisk censors some of the scenes where the manga which it was based on featured bare breasts. The most prominent example being a scene in which female ninja Akeginu covers her breasts with a scarf whereas she was topless in the manga. Strangely, a later OP, and a couple of scenes featuring a character naked are redesigned so that we see slightly less of them than was shown in the manga.
  • The anime version of Bleach removed Harribel's Underboobs and made Nelliel's torn-up rags a little bit less torn up so that her breasts and undersides weren't as exposed as they are in the manga. Likewise, Yoruichi and Soi-Fon's Shunko outfits are given an undershirt so they don't show off sideboob, and a couple of scenes featuring a character naked are redesigned so that we see slightly less of them than was shown in the manga.
  • Sarada's design in the Boruto anime doesn't match her design as shown in the Distant Finale of the manga, despite the fact both depict her as an academy student. Her clothes are instead based on her design from the Boruto manga. Sarada's manga design is very controversial amongst fans due to being Age-Inappropriate Dress. Sarada's design in the anime was edited to add a shirt, instead of sarashi, and include pants.
  • Fairy Tail is full of fanservice in both the manga and anime version, but the anime is somewhat tamer as it leaves out things like panty shots, naked asses and some sexual actions like Natsu grabbing Lucy's bare boobs. It also cuts longer fanservice scenes (unless they're very plot-relevant) from the broadcast episodes and use them for OVAs in which the series can get away with riskier things.
  • Gate:
    • In the anime, the citizens of the Empire wear Medieval-style clothing instead of togas. Some started appearing in togas in episode 11. In the anime, togas and such seem to be formal wear instead of everyday wear.
    • In the anime, Bozes' nightgown is not see-through.
    • Princess Piña's formal dress is not as revealing and Delilah's waitress uniform does not expose her cleavage as much in the anime. One scene where Delilah removes her clothes and takes a nap while naked is changed to her just taking her shoes off before taking a nap.
    • Zorzal's Sex Slaves wear rags instead of being naked.
    • In the anime, the prostitutes are still dressed indecently, but they wear actual clothes instead of see-through togas.
  • Motoko Kusanagi's outfit in Ghost in the Shell: Arise is far more conservative than what she wore in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. In fact, Motoko's Arise look is arguably her most subdued design in the entire franchise.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Lupin Family All-Stars: A 10-minute animation based on a story in the second manga volumes.
    • Goemon just slices Lupin's chair apart; in the original, he did both the chair and the sexy puppet show Lupin puts on.
    • There was more Fanservice in the original manga story, especially on Fujiko and Goemon's part; Fujiko wasn't wearing any underwear when Jigen shot her disguise apart, and Goemon spent most of the story in his Fundoshi.
  • The first anime adaptation of Mahou Sensei Negima!, added clothes (usually swimsuits) to nude scenes and reduced all the Clothing Damage the series is known for to almost nothing.
  • Several characters in Pokémon are given more modest outfits compared to their video game counterparts:
    • Brock goes from a Walking Shirtless Scene to an orange shirt and green vest in the original series, followed by a green shirt under a brown jacket with orange accents in Advanced Generation and an orange-and-gray vest and green shirt in Diamond & Pearl. While this design choice would influence Brock's appearance in both Gen II and the remakes (particularly the latter), Brock's battle with Kiawe in SM043 has him remove his shirt right before he Mega Evolves his Steelix as a nod to his original sprites, complete with Brock posing in the exact same manner by crossing his arms in front of his chest.
    • Misty goes from a bikini top and swim trunks to a Shorttank. In the games, she's rarely depicted far from her Gym, which has a pool, while in the anime she travels around and thus wearing a swimsuit wouldn't be suitable. Her design was later updated during Chronicles and later again for Advanced Generation to cover her up more, instead of Misty baring her midriff. According to Episode 42 of Sun & Moon, Misty wears her original blue swimsuit underneath her clothes. Misty also reappeared in her original outfit in that episode.
    • Inverted with Sabrina, however, who now wears a miniskirt, albeit with thigh-high boots, whereas her original sprite had her with a t-shirt and pants.
  • In the manga version of Seikoku no Dragonar, Avdocha the Executioner wears nothing but a metal snake-thing that's coiled around her to hide her naughty bits. In the anime, she wears a sort of tribal bandeau and skirt.
  • Sgt. Frog is very fanservice-y in the manga, even down to the art style and how the female characters are portrayed. The anime tones down the fanservice since it caters to a younger audience.
    • In the manga, the platoon invents a gun to zap Natsumi with that leads to her wearing a skimpy oni-girl outfit. In the anime, the outfit is still skimpy but the bottom is changed from bikini briefs to a pair of shorts.
    • An episode of the anime from season 1 shows Koyuki hanging upside-down, where the skirt part of her ninja uniform flips over and we see her wearing a black pair of shorts. Had this happened in the manga we would have had a view of her panties.
    • In the manga chapter where Keroro gets ill, Angol Mois transforms into a different, more revealing outfit in order to destroy the Earth. In the anime version of this episode, she stays in her regular outfit.
  • The Soul Eater manga gives main character Maka Albarn many, many panty shots, all of which were removed for the anime. Although by the time the anime was made, the manga had basically stopped doing this.
  • In Toriko, Bei's speedo was lengthened into shorts for the anime.

     Comic Books 
  • In Batman Noel, Robin's classic costume was modified to replace the shorts with long pants.
  • The New 52 reboot did this for a number of female superheroes with normally skimpy outfits:
    • Zatanna briefly ditched her trademark fishnets for a pair of leather pants. This new design was quickly ditched for one closer to her classic look, fishnets and all.
    • Black Canary kept her stockings but was given a more segmented, armored top meant to seem more practical than her usual leotard. In Birds of Prey #19, she says that they might look like fishnet stockings, but they're actually kevlar-mesh leggings. She eventually went back to her classic look when the Black Canary solo book launched, with the outfit rationalized as a stage costume designed for her career as a rock singer.
    • Power Girl was given a new costume that not only gave her pants, but also removed her iconic Cleavage Window. Like Zatanna, fan outcry resulted in the new costume being done away with in favor of a return to her classic look.
    • Carol Ferris, one of the Star Sapphires, now wears a fully clothed uniform with black cloth where her exposed skin used to be.
    • In a partial reboot in 2015, Starfire finally got an outfit that better lines up with her outfit outside of comics (see Western Animation and the page image) as part of an Author's Saving Throw to show they've moved away from her infamous Red Hood and the Outlaws portrayal.
    • Prior to this, Wonder Woman had been given a complete overhaul in J. Michael Straczynski's short-lived Continuity Reboot. The new Wonder Woman outfit featured a leather jacket and a pair of pants to make her seem more "modern", but both of these elements were ditched for the New 52 relaunch of the series.
    • Going back to the New 52, Wonder Woman was supposed to have her bikini bottoms replaced with a pair of pants, however, general grumbling about all the changes in so many of the costumes led to DC caving and reverting Wondy back to her original look. This, in turn, annoyed another group of fans, who felt like Diana was a little too dignified to run around in such a skimpy outfit. It didn't help that the first image was from her Justice League look, which wasn't as well received as how she would have looked in her solo series.
  • Perhaps to better sync up with her more modest film counterpart (see below), Gamora from the Guardians of the Galaxy was redesigned to sport a suit of black and white body armor after the Marvel Now relaunch. Prior to that, she was well known for her Stripperific outfits.
  • Marvel Adventures sees Black Cat's uniform modified to get rid of her Absolute Cleavage and Tigra trade her biniki in for a one-piece.
  • Both Madelyne Prior and Emma Frost got hit with this in the Inferno and Age of Apocalypse tie-ins to Secret Wars:
    • Maddie's outfit as the Goblin Queen in the original Inferno is legendary for her underboobs, putting her one deep breath away from a wardrobe malfunction of epic proportions. In the original solicit cover for the Secret Wars tie-in, this outfit was faithfully reproduced. However by the time it actually went to print the artwork both on the cover and in the book was changed, putting her into a slightly-more-modest crop top that was still revealing but kept her breasts completely covered. Suffice to say, it generated a bit of controversy among fans for censoring a classic costume.
    • Likewise, on the solicited covers for the Age of Apocalypse tie-ins, Emma's outfit could generously be described as a G-string, in keeping with the reference to the 90s-era artwork, right down to her being drawn in a Boobs-and-Butt Pose. And once again, by the time the final art was released it had been altered to completely cover her backside.
  • Downplayed in Warlord of Mars. While nobody is ever full-blown nude like in source material (where males wore only leather harnesses and females wore jewelry and nothing else), Martians don't cover up much for that matter. The White Martians surprisingly invert this trope: the books state they are the most modest of people on the planet by wearing long robes, while the comics depicts them as scantily-clad as everyone else.
  • The Witchblade usually destroys its wearers clothing, essentially leaving them in little more than a metal bikini. In the Lighter and Softer High School A.U. Switch (2015), this aspect is wisely omitted (since unlike Sara, Mary is underage).

  • Misty, already mentioned above, takes this one step further in Pokémon: Clefairy Tales by wearing flesh-colored tights under her default anime outfit.

     Films - Animation 
  • Both GoGo Tomago and Honey Lemon is Big Hero 6. In the comics, GoGo's costume consisted of a black bodysuit, a metallic corset which had no purpose other than propping up her breasts, and a thong made of the same material and Honey's outfit in the comics includes a crop top exposing her cleavage and her midriff with skintight pants, as shown here. In the film, both wear more practical armor and Honey never shows more skin than anyone else.
  • Final Fantasy VII depicted Tifa Lockheart wearing a tight white t-shirt and mini skirt, with her Boobs of Steel on prominent display. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children gives her an outfit that covers more skin — also being worn looser, de-emphasising her breasts.
  • In Greek mythology, Aphrodite is commonly depicted nude. Hercules gives her a long dress to wear. Though a statue of her (or rather Venus) is depicted fully nude.
  • In The Little Mermaid story, mermaids are depicted the way they traditionally are—topless. In the Disney adaptation, Ariel and the other mermaids wear Seashell Bras, with an exception being Ariel's daughter Melody in the sequel (who wear a shirt because she was transformed from a human into a mermaid).
  • The New 52-based DC Universe Original Animated Movies:
  • In the Disney film Pocahontas, the title character is depicted as a nubile young woman wearing a buckskin dress. When she met John Smith in real life, she was a child and she was wearing, well, nothing. In her society, children customarily went about nude, weather permitting, until they reached puberty (and while we're at it, their heads were shaved bald too). And if she were the age which she's depicted as in the film, she would have still been topless.
  • Though he does spend a lot of time in his iconic outfit (which is just trousers and red boots), Astro is mostly fully-clothed in the Astro Boy film. This is in-part due to him pretending to be human for much of the film.
  • In the Rainbow Magic books, the goblins wear loincloths. In the movie, they wear shirts and pants.
  • In Ultimate Avengers, The Hulk still has Magic Pants. In the Ultimate Marvel comic, he did not.
  • Goes both ways in Dreamworks' Trolls; pretty much all of them wear clothes, save for the glitter-farting ones, who are buck naked like their doll counterparts.

     Films - Live Action 
  • In 300, plenty of people found something to joke about with the Spartans wearing leather speedos, but that was a step up from the original graphic novel where often they were completely nude (reflecting Greek art in depicting warfare).
  • In Ćon Flux, Æon's Spy Catsuit is fairly sexy, but nowhere near the unbelievably Stripperiffic costume she wore in the animated series. The animation costume would probably not just have been rejected by all taste-and-decency policies, but would never have stayed in position in real life, even if adhesives were used.note 
  • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Scarlet Witch, traditionally one of the most notoriously and frequently Stripperiffic superhero comics characters, wears a knee-length long-sleeved dress (albeit with some Zettai Ryouiki). Both Joss Whedon and Elizabeth Olsen have stated in interviews that it was established early on in casting that Olsen would not be required to wear any of the character's less modest comic outfits.
  • Very delicately played with in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, regarding Wonder Woman's appearance. Strictly speaking, it's a very close approximation of her iconic outfit, except with different coloration and looking more like armor. But several key differences make it into this trope. Her actress, Gal Gadot, has a much more modest bust than the comic version and that leaves the costume as not looking like she is being "strapped down." Instead of a skirt or leggings she still has a swimmer's cut on her legs, but with flayed strips of fabric to hide the seams. And instead of putting on shoulder straps for the bustier she is wearing a sword sheath on her back that wraps around her, creating a similar look while not changing the core appearance.
  • The Big Sleep has Phillip Marlowe interrupting a porn shoot and finding a naked girl. Obviously this wouldn't fly on film in the 1940s, so the movie gets as daring as it could by putting her in a nightgown.
  • In Black Panther, the outfits of the Dora Milaje show far less skin than they do in the comics. Nakia and Okoyoe are also aged up to adults around T'Challa's age, whereas in the comics, they were both teenagers.
  • In the first adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie the titular character is fully nude when she gets her period in the school showers. In the 2013 remake she has a towel covering her modesty - as she was played by an underage actress.
  • Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away has the Water Bowl segment from Zumanity, an adults-only show, which is made safe for a PG movie via 1) dropping the nudity and 2) changing it to a turn for a solo female performer, whereas onstage it's performed by a female duo.
  • In Greek mythology, Andromeda was to be sacrificed to the sea monster Cetus while fully nude. In both Clash of the Titans (1981) and Clash of the Titans (2010), she is wearing clothes. Likewise, Aphrodite is commonly depicted nude but appears clothed in both films.
  • In the 2004 live action film adaptation of Cutey Honey, the heroine's main outfit looks more like an armor than the skin tight unitard of power that she wears in the original manga, and the few portions of visible skin are covered with a flesh colored undershirt. It's somewhat jarring considering that the original suit wasn't that revealing (only her shoulders and cleavage are exposed) and the actress playing her, Eriko Sato is a swimsuit model and even appears in some parts of the film wearing only underwear. Another change is that Honey is given an Age Lift so that she's no longer a teenager like she was in the manga and TV show.
  • The cinema adaptation of Ian Fleming's Dr. No had this problem in filming the iconic scene where Honey Ryder comes up out of the sea and walks up the beach. As generations of short-changed Bond fans have pointed out, in the novel she is stark buff naked. In the film, Ursula Andress has to wear a bikini to meet the social conventions of early 1960's movies.
  • In the book Ender's Game, the kids are frequently casually naked, though it's devoid of any sexual context. This includes Ender's introduction to Petra (who he doesn't notice is a girl), meeting the slobby Rose De Nose, and Ender's fight with Bonzo (who specifically strips because Ender is naked from showering, so Bonzo will make the fight even.) In the film of the book, all the nudity was cut out, along with the kids being made older.
  • Flowers in the Attic:
    • Chris catches Cathy admiring herself in the nude in the bathroom. Specifically they're both noticing that she's finally got breasts. The TV film has her just wearing her underwear (probably because actress Kiernan Shipka was the same age as the character while filming). Likewise Chris's rape of Cathy is changed to a kiss and implied consensual sex.
    • The 80s film is technically this as well. Cathy is merely in the bath and Chris is only sitting in the room with her, not notably checking her out. Their actual Brother–Sister Incest is left out of the movie completely.
  • In Darren Aronofsky's accompanying graphic novel of The Fountain (which was released at the same time as the film, but started before it), Tommy and Izzy are both naked when they're seen together in the spaceship, and their sex life is depicted in a bit more detail than it was in the film; in particular, Brother Tomás is explicitly shown making love to Queen Isabella in the scene where she gives him her ring, and there's a flashback scene to the first time that Tommy and Izzy made love that didn't make it into the movie.
  • Amongst the changes to the Gor series for the films, the Beautiful Slave Girls go from naked (or very revealing clothes) to wearing bikinis.
  • In the Guardians of the Galaxy comics, Gamora is a Green-Skinned Space Babe who was known for usually wearing what could best be described as the space equivalent of Red Sonja's gear. In the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, her costume was heavily redesigned to incorporate a pair of pants and more covering on her torso.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:
    • Mantis wears fairly conservative outfit with leggings, a far cry from her original costume from the comics, which had a grass skirt and a shirt that showed off a lot of cleavage.
    • Likewise, Ayesha sports a very regal-looking golden gown, in contrast to her comic costume, which is a Leotard of Power that also shows off a fair bit of cleavage Depending on the Artist.
  • Harry Potter:
    • In the final book, Harry's naked when he wakes up in the Afterlife Antechamber at King's Cross and doesn't get clothes until some materialize for him out of nowhere. In the film, he's already wearing clothes. Inverted with the locket scene; while in the movie the illusions of Harry and Hermione are clearly naked, no mention is made of how they're dressed in the book. Subverted in the scene where Harry dives into the lake, where he wears boxers in both the book and the film.
    • Inverted with Hermione's dress at Bill and Fleur's wedding. In the book it's purple and presented as a She Cleans Up Nicely moment. In the film, it's a sexy red dress and Ron is seen staring at her with a rather lustful expression.
    • Another inversion in the fourth film. When Harry takes a bath in the Prefects' Bathroom, he's described as having foam up to his chin. In the film it's only to his waist - allowing Daniel Radcliffe to turn it into a Shirtless Scene. Moaning Myrtle is also far more obviously flirting with him in the film than she is in the book.
  • In The Hunger Games Glimmer is described as wearing a translucent gold dress when she goes on Caesar's talk show. In the film she has a more modest white dress with a poofy skirt.
  • In the John Carter of Mars novels, Mars has a nice climate and the inhabitants don't bother with clothes much; visual adaptations (including John Carter and The Asylum's Princess of Mars) always give them at least enough clothing to avoid trouble with the censors. In John Carter, Deja even feels the need to state that she feels that the skimpy wedding outfit she wears wasn't her idea and that she considers it vulgar...even though it's not much more revealing than the armor she wore in other scenes.
  • In the book Life of Pi, Pi is Lost at Sea for several months. As time passes, his clothes degrade and he's naked by the time he's rescued. In the film, he loses his shirt and shoes, but not his pants.
  • The Lovely Bones:
    • Before Susie is murdered, she is raped by Mr Harvey - in graphic detail. The film omits the rape completelynote  - apart from one line about another of Harvey's victims "he had only wanted to touch her", which could imply some form of rape. But it's left ambiguous.
    • Also just before Harvey disposes of the safe with Susie's body in the sink hole, Ruth allows Susie to inhabit her body and have sex with Ray before she moves on. The film changes it to just a kiss between Susie and Ray.
  • In Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, when ymbrynes transform into birds, they don't take their clothes with them. This was changed for the film. Justified in that, while Eva Green often gets naked in her movies, it is a family-oriented film.
  • The film adaptation of One Touch of Venus tried to avert this with the statue at least; one was constructed, modelled off the star Ava Gardner, accurately nude as Venus would have been in art. The Hays Code insisted that the statue be wearing clothes.
  • Perfect Pie has a much larger Rape Discretion Shot, the scene in the movie cutting away with the gang of teenage boys walking over to surround Marie as she started to panic; in the play, the scene only ended when they'd shoved her to the ground and were undoing their zippers as she began to have a seizure.
  • Planet of the Apes (1968) had the wild humans wearing loincloths, while they were nude in the book.
  • The costumes in the live-action Science Ninja Team Gatchaman movie are mostly faithful to the original anime, albeit with a more armored look. The major exception is Jun the Swan, who now wears pants like her male teammates instead of a skirt.
  • Sin City:
    • Exotic dancer Nancy Callahan does not dance with bare breasts and vulva as she does in the graphic novel, at the request of Jessica Alba, who plays her.
    • On the male side, Cardinal Roark, Dwight, and the Yellow Bastard all have clothes added to their nude scenes from the graphic novel (mostly to avoid Fan Disservice).
  • In-universe in Sirens. Norman Lindsey is doing a painting of the Sirens from Greek mythology, who are usually portrayed as naked seductresses. One of his models Giddy prefers to keep her clothes on, so her siren is to be wearing a dress. She later decides to pose nude afterall.
  • In Street Fighter, Cammy's outfit actually has pants this time.
  • In Thor: Ragnarok, Valkyrie's outfit is redesigned to include pants. According to interviews, this was a conscious decision to avoid having the movie's female lead fighting in what was essentially a metal swimsuit.
  • Vampirella: They had to rework Vampirella's famous slingshot bikini costume for the 1996 movie to something slightly more modest because of its known propensity for Wardrobe Malfunction.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • In the original trilogy the main team wear black leather costumes that, while maybe tight, are generally covering the entire body. Other mutants tend to wear either casual street clothes or punk attire. This is all in contrast to the spandex, leotards and/or stripperiffic outfits that many characters use in the comics.
    • The exceptions are Mystique, who is actually less modest as they made her technically nude (naughty bits covered by her mutation) under the concept that she couldn't shapeshift her clothes, while her comic/cartoon counterparts typically wear something skimpy (interestingly, in the comics, her clothes even in her true form are also just made by her shapeshifting), and Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class (in which her classic look is almost restored; she wears what looks like lingerie in most of her scenes).
    • Storm is especially notable since most of her costumes either resemble leotards or bikinis, while her movie costumes rarely show any skin.
    • Averted with X-Men: Apocalypse, where Psylocke wears a variant of her classic Jim Lee-designed thong from the 90s, while the X-Men themselves receive costumes with numerous nods to Lee's designs in the final scene. It would have been the case with her too, Bryan Singer planning on giving her a more modest black outfit. Her actress Olivia Munn, a huge fan of the character, insisted on having the famous Leotard of Power.

     Live-Action TV 
  • Arrowverse:
    • Arrow
      • Black Canary's trademark fishnet stockings are replaced with a pair of leather pants. The second Black Canary takes it a step further, taking the original Canary's cleavage baring corset top and replacing it with something more like a turtleneck.
      • Huntress is given a more modest outfit as well. This is hilariously lampshaded when she poses as a stripper... wearing the costume from the original comics.
    • Legends of Tomorrow gave Hawkman and Hawkgirl costumes that were much more modest than the usual costumes worn by the original comics versions, who tend not to wear more than the bare minimum above the waist.
    • The Flash (2014): Taken Up to 11 with Savitar. While his comic counterpart was a shirtless man covered in muscles, the Savitar of the show not only wears a conservative black jacket and trousers but spends all but a few episodes sealed in a giant suit of Powered Armor.
    • Supergirl:
      • Supergirl's costume covers more. In-universe, Kara was not comfortable with a Bare Your Midriff costume. Her skirt covers the calves until near the knees and she wears Stocking Filler to avoid Panty Shots.
      • In the comics, Reign the Worldkiller wears pants, boots, a bra, and a shoulder pad and gauntlets. In the show, she wears a black variation of Supergirl's costume.
  • The original Scandanavian series of Bron|Broen had Stefan naked in his apartment, with everything shown. The US remake's corresponding scene had Steven wearing a pair of jeans.
  • In Daredevil, Elektra's outfit has pants and some more covering on the torso, in contrast to the leotard/bathing suit-type costume she usually wears in the comics. In The Defenders, Elektra gets her iconic comics costume upon her resurrection, and often wears a long black coat over it for modesty.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • In-universe example. In Storybrooke, everyone's cursed personas wear far more modest clothes than their Enchanted Forest counterparts, with the exception of Ruby/Little Red Riding Hood. Ursula, Maleficent, Zelena and Regina all have form fitting dresses that emphasise cleavage in the Enchanted Forest - but rather modest clothes in Storybrooke. The fairies as a whole show plenty of cleavage in the Enchanted Forest, but in Storybrooke they're nuns (and not that kind).
    • Ariel is naked when she transforms from mermaid to human (save for her Seashell Bra) in her film. Whenever she transforms in the series, her tail turns into a skirt.
    • Inverted with the Evil Queen. In Snow White, she has rather modest clothes. In the show she's famed for her Absolute Cleavage on most of her outfits.
    • In Peter Pan Tinkerbell wears an off-the-shoulder mini dress with a very short skirt. In the TV show she has sleeves and a higher neckline, though the skirt appears to be the same length.
    • Sirens in Greek mythology are commonly depicted nude or as scantily clad Cute Monster Girls. The one that appears in the series wears a long dress.
    • Megara has a very sexy dress with shoulder straps that are always on the verge of falling down. In the show, she's dressed more modestly (presumably as she's now a teenager rather than adult).
    • Aladdin is also more covered up in the Agrabah scenes on the show than he is in the film. Jasmine is a borderline case, as she's given a variety of outfits and cloaks that she wears while out and about - as opposed to her famous Bedlah Babe outfit. She does however appear wearing the Bedlah Babe costume towards the end of the episode - amusingly enough applying this trope to another part of the movie; she gets trapped in an hourglass by Jafar. In the movie she's wearing an even vampier red costume (per Jafar's Go-Go Enslavement), but is wearing her original costume on the show.
  • In the j-drama adaptation, Miki from Life works at a more average cafe instead of a bunny cafe.
  • In Power Rangers, though they're People in Rubber Suits and not very sexy to begin with, characters like Jellica from Power Rangers Jungle Fury often have more boob-coverage than their Super Sentai counterparts. Necrolai from Power Rangers Mystic Force almost always has her arm in front of her chest. However, human villain Nadira from Power Rangers Time Force has a more revealing outfit; mostly the same but with midriff bared, and bare legs instead of stockings, whereas her counterpart, Mirai Sentai Timeranger's Lila, was designed with an eye toward not being as Stripperific as recent past villainesses.
  • Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon:
    • The skirts of the Sailor Senshi are much longer than the ridiculously short mini skirts the Sailors wear in the manga and anime.
    • Queen Beryl has Absolute Cleavage in the anime and manga. The costume here covers things up a little more, as well as giving Beryl a cloak that she wears over her gown.
    • The anime and manga featured a lot of villains that were really just Cute Monster Girls. Not many of them appeared in the live action.
    • When Luna is turned into a human in the anime, it's that of an attractive woman in a flattering princess dress. She gains a human form in the live action too, but instead it's of a little girl.
  • In the Generation X TV-movie, Emma Frost wears an almost-modest white strapless corset-like top, and usually has white suit jacket over top of that.
  • In the Sky1 adaptation of The Colour of Magic, Liessa Wyrmbidder is basically wearing a leather halter top and shorts. Not very modest, but more so than the book, which calls her "almost naked save for a couple of scraps of chain mail".
  • The live-action Witchblade series did away with the Clothing Damage aspect of the titular Instant Armor.
  • The failed Wonder Woman pilot for NBC originally had the heroine wearing a pair of rubbery blue pants, but outrage from the fanbase led to the inclusion of a more comic-accurate version of the iconic costume. A third option, a pair of pants that were darker and not as rubbery was received a lot better from several groups (both those that disliked the first pair and those who want Diana to have a costume that's a little more dignified than her typical swimsuit look,) but clearly sticking with that made too much sense.

  • Zigzagged on the Three Graces, on how they were portrayed over time. For instance, they were initially nude during the Classical Era, then they were covered with sheets in The Middle Ages, then Botticelli's Primavera portrayed them with transparent underwear, and finally nude again by the 17th century.
  • Poked at with the mock Saturday Morning Cartoon of Watchmen, where Dr. Manhattan (typically nude in the graphic novel and movie) is given some briefs to wear. It's all part of the absurdity of trying to make a famously dark story Lighter and Softer.
  • It's commonly believed among biblical scholars that Jesus was naked on the cross. But just try to find a painting that depicts him that way, even from the permissive Renaissance period that gave us Michaelangelo's David. Averted in the highly controversial Die Kreuzigung Christi (1888-1891) by Max Klinger.
    • When Adam and Eve are depicted (especially in children's media), they're usually covered by leaves, Godiva Hair, or convenient trees and shrubs.
  • In Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book, Mowgli goes about naked in the jungle, as is made clear not only in the text but also by some illustrations, including the early ones produced by the author's father, John Lockwood Kipling. However, in many later illustrations and pretty much all adaptations into comics, animation or live-action film he is shown wearing a loincloth.
  • For the Super Hero Squad toyline and related media, any female character wearing somewhat revealing clothes had their costumes modified to cover them up more (mainly a layer of bodystocking to cover bare thighs - Ms. Marvel and Storm are notable cases).
  • For MTV's Spring Break broadcasts, some women who come to the beach/concert wearing particularly skimpy bathing suits note  are variously given a bathing suit with more coverage, edited out of footage, or covered with a Digital Bikini.
  • Mermaids were commonly depicted with bare breasts or else Godiva Hair in art. Starting in the 20th century, mermaids received either a Seashell Bra or Organic Bra in later media.
  • Zigzagged with Aphrodite and Venus. The most famous artwork of them depicts them fully nude. Numerous films based on classical mythology - Hercules, Clash of the Titans (1981), One Touch of Venus, Xena: Warrior Princess - feature her fully clothed. But some works will have her nude, though usually as a Shout-Out to Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" - The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Coraline.
  • In the aftermath of The French Revolution, Grecian-influenced sheer gowns became the thing for women's fashion, the trend lasting through The Napoleonic Wars and Regency England. By the Victorian era, this fashion was looked back upon as a scandalous Old Shame, which presented a problem for painters and artists wishing to depict the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The result is Victorian art in which the women of the Napoleonic era are given anachronistic clothing more suited to Victorian standards of propriety. An example is Vanity Fair, which was illustrated with the characters wearing contemporary Victorian fashions because the author didn't have "the heart to disfigure my heroes and heroines by costumes so hideous." Another example is the 1868 painting Before Waterloo.

     Video Games 
  • This happens in Age of Mythology with the Greek heroine Atalanta: in classical vase paintings she was Ms. Fanservice and was commonly depicted wearing tiny hunting dresses and skimpy bikinis (lest you think the trend of dressing heroines in impractical revealing outfits is a new thing). The game's version of Atalanta, while being well-endowed, is dressed much more conservatively.
  • In LEGO Harry Potter, Harry wears underwear when taking a bath in the Prefects' Bathroom, while he is naked in the book. Justified because in this version, Myrtle shows up before he undresses rather than surprising him when he's already in the water.
  • Kingdom Hearts II does this with YRP. In Final Fantasy X-2 their outfits were quite Stripperiffic, but are slightly more modest when they appear in Kingdom Hearts. Notably Rikku wears a bikini top in the former but it's a more modest midriff top in the latter. Additionally, the girls are changed to fairies, making their appearances more cute instead of sexy. The same game has Tifa appearing in her Advent Children outfit rather than her vampier Final Fantasy VII gear.
  • Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U:
    • The female version of Corrin in Fire Emblem Fates has an outfit that leaves her inner thighs exposed, but in Smash they're covered up.
    • Bayonetta's outfit is toned down by having the diamond pattern on the back of her legs be a different weave pattern instead of holes, and by making her Wicked Weaves and Infernal Climax attacks leave her somewhat less covered while performing them instead of in a stripperiffic bodysuit and naked, respectively. Other than that, her playful and flirtatious Ms. Fanservice attitude and mannerisms remain fairly untouched.
  • Between their initial appearances in Fate/EXTRA CCC and Fate/Grand Order, Meltlilith and Passionlip both got alterations to their outfits that make them less risque, such as Meltlilith's bottom half appearing to be an actual garment now (albeit still a bikini bottom) instead of a c-string while Passionlip actually gets a shirt as opposed to two thin straps (barely) holding in her massive Gag Boobs.
  • Satsuki and Valerie Rose both cover up a lot more in the move from the card game Yomi to the video game Fantasy Strike. Satsuki puts on an actual pair of pants, while Valerie dons a much more typical strapless gown.

     Web Animation 
  • DC Superhero Girls does this with several characters. Starfire is even more covered up than in Teen Titans, wearing a long dress that only slightly shows skin. Wonder Woman wears jeans and Poison Ivy wears a dress with pants underneath. The design changes are justified considering the characters are high schoolers.

     Western Animation