Bullet-Proof Fashion Plate
Clothing Damage seems to actively avoid him. A tornado doesn't even muss his hair. He laughs as he gleefully skips through The End of the World as We Know It, confident that if he dies, he will die with perfectly creased pants. Closely related to Beauty Is Never Tarnished, which is more about the person being damaged than the fashion. Compare Improbable Hairstyle and Magic Pants. Such people are often a Badass in a Nice Suit. Variation: This guy's tidiness may become a barometer of how completely to hell the situation has gotten. If he looks good, we'll be okay. His hair is messed up? We're all BONED. Has nothing to do with indestructible illustrated ancestors of FashionMagazines.
Examples:Anime and Manga
- Uryuu Ishida in Bleach. Possibly justified in that he's a ranged fighter, but NOTHING TOUCHES THIS GUY in a series where male characters suffer Clothing Damage all the time. Justified by him keeping spare capes and cloaks on his person and likely uses his Super Speed to sneak in some stitching/pinning.
- Justified in The Five Star Stories. The fashions worn by Fatimas literally are bulletproof, being made of several layers of space-age polymers & alloy mesh over silk or cotton. When they suffer Clothing Damage you know things are getting serious.
- Hellsing plays with this trope with Alucard. His clothes always appear to take damage, but they regenerate when he does.
- In an episode of Pokémon Jessie, James, and Meowth find Giovanni after Mewtwo destroys Team Rocket headquarters, which Giovanni was inside at the time. Giovanni was covered in rubble, but when he gets up he's totally clean. Even his Persian is fine.
- Noticed and is a plot point in Hunter × Hunter: Hisoka becomes suspicious that his opponent, Kastro, never seems to suffer any damage. Hisoka correctly deduces that what he's fighting is just a projection of Kastro and not the real thing—Hisoka figuring it out ultimately leads to the end of Kastro's long winning streak of battles.
- This is actually one of Superman's many powers; any clothing that touches his skin is as impervious as he is (and in an episode of Lois and Clark, shrinks with him). Only the part that actually touches, though, which is why his cape always gets shredded. In the comics this is a result of a nearly skin tight forcefield. During the Silver Age it was because everything from Krypton was as invulnerable as Superman.
- Samuel Steele from Hearts of the Yukon by Don Rosa. A superintendent of the North-Western Mounted Police does not get... 'Muddy'. Nor, for that matter, 'blown-up'. Sam Steele was a real person, incidentally, and would probably have given his right arm for this ability.
- In the Mouse World The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen pastiche The League of Extraordinary Gentlebeasts, Mr D'angermouse travels the London sewers in a white suit. At one point, he notices a single speck of dirt has fallen on it, and brushes it away.
- Most old westerns did this. The Lone Ranger never got mussed, despite the fact that his shirt was light blue and his pants were tan. Neither did Gene Autrey or Roy Rogers. John Wayne never got mussed, either. In fact, it was so pervasive in westerns that it was parodied in The Villain—Arnold Schwarzenegger is dressed all in white and he still never gets dirty.
- The Blues Brothers have full black suits and crisp white shirts that NEVER get dirty or damaged. Until they become coated in mud. That's when you know they're in trouble.
- Taken Up to Eleven by Tony Curtis in The Great Race, who survives the biggest pie-fight ever filmed without even a single dollop of cream to mess up his perfect white suit. Until the very end.
- Steven Seagal used this rather often—it's most noticeable in Under Siege 2, where he kills dozens of armed terrorists and escapes an exploding train without ever getting a stain on his suit. Despite the fact that at one point he actually gets shot by a sniper rifle.
- In the olden days, James Bond also fell into this more often than not—but not so much anymore.
- This is parodied in the Jackie Chan movie The Tuxedo. The tuxedo not only can fight, but it's impossible to damage.
- Legolas in the The Lord of the Rings films, especially when you compare him to Aragorn, who gets suitably filthy repeatedly. This is brought up in Martin Pearson's comedy show The Unfinished Spelling Errors of Bolkien:
"Legolas, meanwhile, still has perfect hair — still braided — and appears remarkably clean, yet he has no backpack. Where does he keep his brush?"
- Played with in Men In Black. They get dirty a couple of times but are always fresh as a daisy in the next scene.
- Played with and lampshaded in Last Action Hero, in a scene where Jack Slater falls into a tar pit and emerges completely covered. The camera cuts away briefly as he begins wiping himself off, and when it cuts back a few seconds later he is completely clean. His sidekick remarks that tar sticks to some people.
- Semi-subverted in Twister—clothing sometimes gets dirty, only to appear clean again in the next scene even though the characters have no time or opportunity to clean their clothing.
- Occurs at the end of Ghostbusters. After the explosion of the marshmallow man, three of the Ghostbusters struggle back to consciousness absolutely COVERED head to toe in marshmallow. Enter Venkman, stage left, almost pristine with a couple small marshmallow spots.
- Seems to be a trait of Kingsman agents in Kingsman: The Secret Service, the only one to look even slightly dishevelled is Harry when a Hate Plague causes him to get into a brawl with upwards of 70 people. Even then, the result is his hair being a little mussed up.
- The dress of the Mother Confessor in Sword of Truth is long and white and trails behind the wearer. And can be worn while running for your life through the woods without smudging it.
- The cape of a warden cannot be stained with blood in The Dresden Files, and Clothing Damage is far rarer than direct injury (particularly in the case of Harry's magically armored leather duster). Muck, bruises, cuts, and any gunge on the skin itself, on the other hand, tends to avert this with a vengeance for anyone who's not a high-level magical being (especially Harry). For said high-level magical beings, the rule that "if his/her hair is mussed, we're all boned" still holds, and thus plays the entire trope straight for them. One of the less-well-known properties of putting spell defense on clothes is that if they get muddy or gunked up, you can throw them in the fire and then scrape off the dried gunk.
- Rachel from Animorphs appears to have superpowers along these lines. Other characters frequently comment on it in their narration.
- Explored in the Coldfire Trilogy. Smug Snake Gerald Tarrant is always impeccably neat in beautiful clothes, no matter how much mud or char or fire they have to slog through. It soon becomes obvious that he is using magic to maintain his appearance, as he's incredibly vain. There's even one instance in the second book where he's half-dead from overextending his powers, but he still pauses in the middle of enemy territory to use his almost-drained powers to clean himself up.
- Codex Alera discusses this trope in relation to the cleanliness and grooming of legion officers; after suddenly finding himself The Captain right as all hell breaks loose, Tavi is reminded to shave. He thinks this is hardly the time for that, but gets reminded that the captain he's replacing was never seen unshaven, and it's important for troop morale that their commander at least looks like the situation is so well-in-hand he can spend time making himself look the part.
- Shows up in Jason Cosmo when early on it's noted wizard Mercury Boltblaster looks immaculate (after a day's ride through dust and mud) - despite having very good reasons to restrict his personal spellcasting. It turns out his clothing is top-of-the-line product from the kingdom Raelna's advanced magical textile industry; it self-cleans (and gradually self-repairs) while adjusting color, weave and cut to suit its wearer's immediate preference. After passing through Raelna as guests of the ruler, the same applies to the rest of the party.
- Miami Vice was so egregious in this respect that it was parodied by both The Simpsons and Doonesbury.
- Fraser from Due South. Vecchio once ranted to him: "Does dirt not stick to you? Were you Scotchgarded at birth?!?"
- This is kind of how Power Rangers works, for both men and women. The rangers will go through hideous-looking fights, either in street clothes or in very thin spandex bodysuits. There are usually guns, swords, lasers, and every other weapon imaginable. Yet they never get scratched, bruised, or end up limping. Hell, half of the time, after a fight, they're not even sweating or breathing hard. There are aversions for dramatic effect though; the Lost Galaxy and Time Force Red Rangers both had their visors shattered, for instance.
- MythBusters' Jamie Hyneman regularly works with oily, greasy, filthy machines in a white shirt and beret and ends each episode spotless.
Adam: (watching Jamie paint) Look at that. White shirt, black paint.
Jamie: That's what being fearless is all about!
- Niedermayer on Backstrom examines crime scenes for a living yet his very expensive suits never get any gunk on them.
- In the original Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), Hopkirk (Deceased) had the standard in-universe ghost's outfit, a pristine white suit. Since it had to be kept clean to indicate his ghostly nature, the actor—Kenneth Cope—was forever having to change suits when he got marks on them; at the end of the series, he apparently amused himself by jumping, in-costume, into a pool of dirty water, changing, and then doing it again, and again, and again, until he'd messed up every last one. Trash the Set is an established trope; but is this the only case of Trash The Costume?
- In The Sarah Connor Chronicles Catherine Weaver always looks composed, even when a warehouse has just exploded on her. This is mostly because her hair and clothing are made of shapeshifting liquid metal.
- The host of The Quiz Broadcast (remain indoors) in Series 4 of That Mitchell and Webb Look is sharply-suited and impeccably groomed despite the show's post-apocalyptic setting in a world destroyed by "the Event". By the sixth and last sketch his hair is ruined and his suit is more or less rags, showing how desperate his situation has become.
- In the Supernatural episode "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part One" (S02, E21), Ava has been in a ghost town, presumably without a change of clothes or running water, for 5 months, but her clothes appear clean and undamaged.
- Those in Purgatory don't seem to suffer any noticeable Clothing Damage, despite many having battled there for decades or centuries with only the clothes they died in. Aside from blood splatter, Dean's neatly-trimmed hair and clothes survived just fine for a year, and he doesn't even have the excuse of being dead.
- The "Never Look Mussed" talent in Pulp Hero (5th edition Hero System) lets your character stay pristine even when you've just been pulled out of quicksand or fought an entire gang.
- GURPS has a few ways a character can have the trait they prevent a character from looking messy but not much else.
- One of the examples for what the Shtick Perk can do.
- In higher tech worlds a character can also buy special fabrics that shed dirt and sweat instantly.
- There is also the No Visible Damage perk, which lets a character appear unharmed no matter what happens to her body. Combined with the Supersuit perk, it's possible for a person with no other powers to stand at ground zero from a nuclear blast and leave an immaculate corpse fifteen miles away.
- In the Diana Warrior Princess universe, one of the powers of royalty is that they never get dirty.
- Tales From The Floating Vagabond has this as a trainable skill, "Look Good at All Times".
- Exalted brings us the Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style, a fighting style that allows you to look refined and dignified at all times, even in the midst of combat. There's also an artifact that makes it so dirt never clings to you and you stay perfectly groomed. It gives a bonus both to social rolls and to rolls to resist disease and the like.
- Space Marines in Warhammer 40,000 almost always have immaculately clean armor. Justified, as they regularly have legions of chapter serfs polish it so that their heraldry is easily visible.
- Adventure has an implacable trait that the Badass Normal can take that makes him immune to clothing damage, mud, dirt, and stumbling or looking foolish. It gives him Bond's level of never looking foolish.
- Due to technical limitations, this trope affects most video games in general, as rendering wardrobe damage would require considerably more art assets. Therefore, characters can swim, trudge through mud and muck, get burned, shot, or blown up, and still look pristine. More modern games avert this to varying degrees through blood stains, clothing becoming wet or torn with damage, and the like, as technology advances and makes these visual features more feasible.
- The Suffering series uses this as part of the moral barometer. Good Torque stays clean and his family photograph he was carrying perfectly intact despite the lack of any carrying case and the fighting he's involved in. Neutral Torque which is still pretty bastardy but not psychopathic, given the backstory ends up dirty with some photograph damage. Evil Torque looks less healthy on top of that and the photograph majorly degraded.
- Leon S. Kennedy from Resident Evil maintains his hair to pretty boy perfection even in the midst of a desperate struggle for survival against hordes of zombies.
- Yo-Jin-Bo has you and your team of bodyguards running through a forest and fighting ninja. Both Sayori/Hatsuhime and the guys remain equally clean, with untattered clothes, despite the amount of bloodshed the guys cause. Even when they're said to be injured in text, it never shows up in the art.
- The Rocketeer in Red Alert 3: Paradox fights in full dress uniform and flawless hair, yet is considerably tougher than most other infantry.
- In The Zombie Hunters, Charlie rocks a Badass Longcoat, the impressive Dirt Forcefield of which is lampshaded in this gag strip. However, in a particularly tense moment, he was forced to befoul his coat when he had to punch a zombie's head in.
- Apparently Vulcans know the secret too.
- Justified Trope in The Incredibles. Edna, the FABULOUS fashion designer for supers, made the costumes for each superhero bulletproof, rocketproof, fireproof, and adapt to each user's superpower (for example, Violet's costume became invisible when she did). Plus, they're machine-washable.