When did Barbie first get a belly button? Teresa:
What's a belly button?
It's a fact of life—no matter how placental a mammal is, clones don't have belly buttons. It's a common plot device used to distinguish those inferior, artificially created creatures from natural, unique human beings. Makes those knowledgeable of human physiology wonder just how these people developed, not having ever been attached to placentas before.
Natural clones such as identical twins don't count. They get to keep their navels.
if the process for creating the beings somehow
has nothing to do with fetal development, or if the species isn't even placental in the first place. It is common in magical constructs such as homunculi too, and of artificial beings in general.
Anime & Manga
- Youkai in Tokimeki Mononoke Jogakkou lack bellybuttons, so Arare has to keep hers hidden to avoid being found out as a human.
- An early chapter of Dr. Slump has Robot Girl Arale worried because she lacks a navel and her classmates find that weird, so she wants one. Except her creator Senbei thinks she wants something a bit lower, which he's never seen because of Japanese censorship. Hilarity Ensues.
- Superboy never cared for this until a crossover with Icon, when he saw Rocket's navel and noticed he didn't have one.
- In the Doctor Who New Adventures, Time Lords are constructed by machines and so lack navels. The Doctor is an exception.
- Dejah Thoris from John Carter of Mars, being Martian, an egg-laying species, has no bellybutton.
- In The Barsoom Project, Martin Qaterliaraq is an Inuit shaman character in the Fimbulwinter Game. His lack of a navel is an early indication that his character was crafted from molded lava by the Raven, not born.
- Though not a clone, and though the story isn't science fiction, the character Pilate Dead (the sister of the second Macon Dead) from Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon is said to be born without a belly button (her umbilical cord shriveled up and fell off, leaving smooth, hairless, scarless skin).
- Half-demon half-human warlock Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments saga has no bellybutton.
- Strong Sad from Homestar Runner has a belly button... ...but it was created by Strong Bad's power drill.
- Blake in RWBY. Though one was put in in fan art.
- An episode of The Simpsons involves Homer's life being invaded by an army of clones of himself. The clones, predictably enough, lack belly buttons.
- An episode of American Dad! involves Steve and Snot cloning their high school's most popular girls so they can go with their clones to the prom. Stan only realizes that the girls are clones when he tells one of them to get a belly button ring and she responds that she doesn't have a belly button.
- There is an old joke:
Q: If you go to Heaven and look for Adam and Eve, how will you know which two people are them?
A: They're the only two without belly buttons.
- Czech Model Karolina Kurkova (somewhat) famously has no navel. She's never disclosed exactly why, but her lack of a natural belly-button has given rise to accusations of over-airbrushing when she appears in photo spreads. Ironically, this has caused some photo editors to Photoshop one onto her photos, in order to avoid accusations of over photo-editing!
- Some laparoscopic surgical procedures use the belly button as a point of entry to keep any resulting scars from being conspicuous. Later overgrowth of skin as the entry-point heals may cause the patient's navel to shrink to almost nothing.
- Likewise, surgical repair of an umbilical hernia, or a rare congenital defect in which an infant's belly wall is incomplete at birth, may require the abdomen to be sutured shut, leaving a scar rather than a navel.
- Alfred Hitchcock had no navel due to surgery.
- Depending on anatomical configuration, parasitic twins may lack an independent umbilical cord during gestation, relying on their intact twin's bloodstream for survival.