Well, at least there's a complete outfit between them.
"You know, Donald Duck never wore pants, but when he comes out of the shower, he puts a towel around his waist. I mean, what's that about?"
While characters having inexplicable collars
is an animation cheat, one might think a character who wears a full outfit might be easier to draw.
But if your characters are Funny Animals
, you are bound to run the gamut of animals until you hit unfamiliar ones. A full outfit
has a high chance of obscuring what species a character is, so you're bound to find just enough clothing to make it quirky to that character without covering up the most basic cues, with the major exception of White Gloves
. Characters with distinctive tails might not get pants, and ducks are rarely given shoes. Some half-dressed cartoon animals wear shoes, but others do not. Also, shirtless ones are more likely to wear shoes than pantless ones.
Half-dressed cartoon animals often, but not exclusively, come in two variants,
- Pantless or Bare-bottomed: wears a shirt, coat, vest, or some other kind of top, but no pants, shorts, or overalls, or a skirt and very rarely with any underwear on.note This also refers to characters wearing dresses or skirts (even long ones) with shirts but without underwear. This variant is more common in male animals than in female animals.
- Shirtless or Bare-chested: wears pants, shorts, overalls (which often border on fully dressed), or a skirt, but without a shirt or any other kind of top. Some characters wearing skirts without shirts are not wearing any underwear. This variant is a lot more common for female characters than the pantless variant. Overlaps with Walking Shirtless Scene.
Very importantly, this does not
mean a character without an outfit is automatically regarded as "naked". Most animal characters from The Golden Age of Animation
wore no clothes whatsoever, but acted denuded only when random comic violence rendered them featherless or furless, with their underlying bare skin (and occasional Goofy Print Underwear
) revealed. Hence, feathers and fur have long been grandfathered in as an acceptable animal analogue for clothing
. Strangely, if a half-dressed character loses their shirt they will suddenly realize their crotch is exposed.
In general, they generally
won't wear any footwear as it has the issue of not communicating the "animal" part of their name/species and also being something more limited to the more human Petting Zoo People
type of cartoon animal.
Female characters are likely to be depicted wearing a skirt, but that's mostly a gender clue. So it's a good thing that most of them lack primary and secondary sexual characteristics anyway
A form of Lampshade Hanging
involves having the character wrap a towel
around themselves (which kinda makes sense, as wet fur/hair is as form-fitting as a wet T-shirt). Sometimes further Lampshaded by having the towel fall off.
The majority of half dressed cartoon animals are on the Civilized Animal
tier, but half dressed cartoon animals can range from Nearly Normal Animal
to Petting Zoo People
on the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism
See also Pantsless Males, Fully-Dressed Females
. Related to Barefoot Cartoon Animal
. Subtrope of Appropriate Animal Attire
Oddly enough, this is something of a Truth in Television
: people who dress their pets in costumes, or just to protect them from extreme cold, tend to leave off pants so the animal can relieve itself without making a mess.
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Anime & Manga
- Tony Tony Chopper from One Piece, although he does wear full outfits in a few arcs. Is 100% full-clothed after the time skip
- Excalibur of Soul Eater only wears a shirt and top-hat, though he's not an animal. This is lampshaded in his first appearance when Black Star immediately asks what he is and why the hell he's not wearing any pants.
- Played with in Alice In Sexland. Cheshire is a catgirl covered in fur who only wears a collar, which would usually qualify for this trope. However, due to the type of story this is, you can see everything.
- Toyed with in Servant × Service. Kenzo works from home and uses a stuffed bunny rabbit fitted with a camera as his proxy at the office, and Megumi ends up pointing out that since the rabbit has no clothes, it technically constitutes sexual harassment on Kenzo's part.
- Panther Lily and Lecter in Fairy Tail.
- Early cinema's Le Cochon Danseur, a 1907 short film based on a popular French vaudeville act. The pig even uses a Modesty Towel when his waist coat is pulled off.
- Back when Star Wars: A New Hope was in production, there were executives worried about Chewbacca not wearing pants.
- This was rather hilariously lampshaded in the third Robot Chicken Star Wars Special when Han Solo met Chewbacca's family for the first time, and they were all fully clothed. "You mean you've been naked all this time?!"
- The Phantom Menace suggests droids view their outer coverings as clothing with C-3PO embarrassed about being "naked".
- Halfway through Alvin and the Chipmunks, the chipmunks start to wear just sweaters/sweatshirts, though Simon wears glasses.
Internet Puppet Shows
- In 1959, there was actually a group called the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals or SINA, a hoax perpetrated by comedian Alan Abel until 1962. Buck Henry played its president, G. Clifford Prout, while Abel played the vice president, and its goal was to clothe all animals. One of its mottos was "A nude horse is a rude horse." Apparently, lots of people fell for it and tried to donate money for the cause.
- Many college mascots are animals clad only in a sweater bearing the school's initials.
- Likewise, a good chunk of fursuiters either wear a shirt or shorts/pants. Sometimes the article of clothing is part of the costume, as in the costumer never bothered to make legs or a complete torso for it (both to keep costs down and make it less hot to wear), letting the clothing hide this fact.
- As with the Trope page quote, Dutch comedian Harry Jekkers mentioned the fact that Donald Duck wears no trousers during one of his shows in the early nineties. In fact, he points out that a Duck, while walking as a normal human being, wears no pants. What follows is his outrage when he points out that when this same Duck is in his natural element — swimming in water — he suddenly starts wearing swimming trunks. Cue laughter from audience.