In most animated works and comics featuring an ensemble cast, particularly a Five-Man Band
, the male characters will have a wide range of body types — The Smart Guy
will often be small and slender
, The Big Guy
will be either huge and muscular or endearingly pudgy, and The Hero
will typically be somewhere in between.
Female characters, however, tend to have almost identical body shapes — typically standing one head shorter
than the hero, relatively slender build, very little muscle definition. Breast size varies depending on the work, but in many cases, all the women in the cast will have the same cup size. Surprisingly, this even applies to works with an all-female cast.
This often applies to most supporting characters, too. Occasionally a Fat Girl
may appear as a minor comic-relief character, but she will never join the main cast.
This, of course, has a ton of Unfortunate Implications
in that men come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, while for women, there is only one "normal" body type and if you don't fit that, there's something wrong with you.
For the face equivalent, see Only Six Faces
, Generic Cuteness
. Related to the Most Common Superpower
. Contrast Amazonian Beauty
, Big Beautiful Woman
. See also Heroic Build
for when this trope applies to superheroines.
Anime & Manga
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Justified, as Greg is a teenage boy who doesn't really understand girls yet and considers them all to be pretty much the same.
- An interesting example is in the background of The Incredibles, Edna Mode's design studio has three body type mannequins to model her clothes on: huge buff dude, medium-sized buff dude, and woman.
- Most of Barbie's friends have the exact same body shape as her, which is especially odd since no real women do.
- It even carried over to the animated cartoon. To the point that when one of the male characters disguises himself as a girl, he has exactly the same body shape as the female characters.
- All the females in BB Senshi Sangokuden are the exact same build, regardless of age, while males come under regular, Toutaku, and Ryofu Tallgeese.
- Initially played straight with Monster High (although the dolls did have different face molds) until the release of Nefera De Nile's doll, which has a taller mold as she is older than the rest.
- Inverted with the 4th generation My Little Pony "blind bag" toys. Initially 5 female molds and 1 male. More molds were made later on for both genders, and female molds still outnumber males.
- Initially, there was only one Pegasus mold. Thus, Fluttershy ended up as a Palette Swap of Rainbow Dash.
- The old Mego toyline had exactly three body sculpts: Average Male, Muscular Male, and Female. As an even further cost-saving measure, the "Muscular Male" mold was made from the exact same amount of plastic as the "Average Male" one; this means that the Mego Hulk is shorter than Mego Spider-Man (and, for that matter, Mego Luke Duke and Mego Captain Kirk).
- This has been a consistent complaint over World of Warcraft character models; the alpha builds, while rough, often had the females look like counterparts to the males of their race, but when it came time for final builds (after receiving yea many complaints about being ugly) it was like the developers threw up their hands and said "screw it, let's make them all barbie dolls".
- In Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas even the old wrinkle faced women will have young shaped bodies. There are also apparently zero fat people in the post-apocalypse.
- Dragon Age: Origins is pretty bad about this. Morrigan is a twentysomething whose good looks other characters comment on. Wynne is a mage in her sixties. Put them in the same type of armor, and they're identical from the neck down.
- Though it must be said the same is true for male bodies; there are only two body models for human adults of both sexes, "normal" and "fat." Alistair, a warrior in his early twenties also described as attractive and muscular, has the same body model as the much older and ailing Arl Eamon, the elderly Bann Ceorlic, and sundry Squishy Wizard mages of all ages. The "fat" model is used for Lloyd the innkeeper and several extras (the female one shows up only on extras and Arl Eamon's cook).
- This is generally true for almost all BioWare games, which tend to have only one male and one female models, used for all NPCs regardless of age or sometimes even species (for example, human body models are shared among other things by Twi'leks and Zabraks in Knights of the Old Republic, and by asari and batarians in Mass Effect). Jade Empire, however, averts this, as there are fat, short or skinny NPC men and women.
- You can only play a female human, elf, half-elf, or half-orc in Arcanum because Troika only had enough time/resources to make one (medium-sized) female model. They try to Hand Wave this by having the females of the other species be hidden (as with the dwarves) or missing. The reason you don't see female half-ogres is that they are all held in a containment facility for breeding purposes.
- True of almost all female champions in free to play MOBA game League of Legends. Despite the large number of playable women, they have only one Barbie-like body type with the exception of a few chibi-style dwarf/imp/child characters. Male champions' bodies vary significantly, though a large portion is dedicated to the muscle man type.
- Parodied and exaggerated in Sluggy Freelance's World of Warcraft parody. At one point, Riff complains to Torg that he has a Twenty Bear Asses quest that requires killing only female slime blobs and he can't figure out how to distinguish them. A little later when Zoë is trying to create a character, she complains to Torg about the difference between the way the male and female characters look — all the female versions are scantily clad and have the same exact generically sexy figure with a different head, even the ugly Jigants (and the females still have the same Jigant face). Upon realising this, Torg becomes Genre Savvy enough to be able to advice Riff, and after hearing his advice, Riff wonders why the hell he didn't notice it sooner that while most slime blobs are just blobs, some of them have that blob for a head atop the same old bikini'd sexy female body.
- Masters of the Universe:
- He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) and She-Ra: Princess of Power used pretty much the same body and face types in nearly all the adult female chacters, particularly the Action Girls, to the point where the best way to tell them apart was by their clothes and hair.
- This was also true of the male characters; there really was only one body mold for each sex in the original He-Man and She-Ra toylines (with a few exceptions). This means that virtually every male character shared He-Man's exaggerated muscularity, especially if they had a toy.
- As it happens, subverting this trope was part of the undoing of the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) cartoon and toyline. It was just too expensive for each character to have a completely new sculpt, especially with the level of detail those toys possessed. Mattel learned its lesson and went back to basing every toy on the same handful of body sculpts in the Masters of the Universe Classic toyline.
- Similarly, the DCAU's character designs come in two flavors, generally speaking: Male and Female. This was at its most pronounced throughout Justice League, particularly the JLU seasons. There's a subset of the "male" character design that is basically "skinnier male", which isn't seen as often. Females mostly have the same face, with different hairstyles keeping them distinct.
- Every girl in Winx Club has almost exact same body shape, what sets them apart from each other are their different hairstyles and skin color. Tecna is slightly shorter than the other girls which makes her slightly different from them. The same goes for the males.
- Michaelangelo didn't have female models readily available, and so used his own body as a template for most of his paintings and several of his sculptures.