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Ring Around the Collar
He's not wearing pants, either.

Low-budget cartoon characters always wear neckties (if male) or necklaces (if female). Or collars, even if they don't have shirts (see illustration). Or have some outlandish costume that obscures part of their neck.

This is because if a character's standing and talking, it's cheaper to just animate the head while using only one drawing for the body. A collar makes a nice dividing line to let animators do this while making it easy to keep the body parts together.

Often serves as Tertiary Sexual Characteristics. Overlaps with Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal if the character is otherwise naked.

Hanna-Barbera TV cartoons abused this most egregiously while Anime employed it with devices like the All-Encompassing Mantle.

The advent of digital animation has rendered this a largely Discredited Trope, used mostly as a tribute to the classics - although, the equivalent is still utilised in 3D animation for digital games - characters are built out of multiple, non-connected models, with things like collars, watches, and the like, being used to hide the seams, akin to traditional 2D.

Examples:

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    Video Games 
  • They don't hide the entire neck, but this is apparently the reason for most or all of the female characters in Dragon Age: Origins having some kind of neckwear. Almost all of the female leather armors go with dog collars for some reason. Men too, will always have necklaces even when otherwise naked. In Dragon Age II, the majority of party members wear some sort of high collar or fancy scarf around their necks for the same reasons.
  • Mass Effect characters, for the most part, have a neck cover to hide the fact that the background NPC's are just head-swaps with an occasional change in skin color. The characters that avert this are rare but when it does happen there's a noticeable change in texture quality where their neck meets the torso.
  • Klonoa's original design had him wearing one in the place of a shirt, big enough to fit around his shoulders.
    • He gets a more reasonably sized one in the webcomic.
  • As many modders can attest, the heads and the bodies for Final Fantasy XI characters are animated separatedly, so in order to make the separation between the neck and the torso smooth for armor that doesn't end at the neck, all the official textures have some kind of neckwear. Some modders have created custom skins and models without them, to various degrees of success.
  • Mount & Blade tends to take advantage of this; several forms of armor have neck cover of some kind, in theory because it's a good idea to protect a location as vulnerable as the throat, but mostly because everyone in the game is a Head Swap or Palette Swap of each other and this additional detail hides the swap. It's especially noticeable in the practice arena Mini-Game, where you are unarmored and functionally naked—heads and bodies are clearly two separate models, rendered simultaneously to give the impression of a whole person. This fact is why the fan-made decapitation mod even works at all.

    Western Animation 
  • Most of Ed Benedict's character designs for early Hanna-Barbera's shows.
    • Yogi Bear. Also, his pal Boo Boo wears just a bowtie.
    • All the men in The Flintstones wear collars. The women tend to wear necklaces.
      • Also, for formal occasions, the men wear cuffs despite their clothing being sleeveless.
  • Models constructed for stop-motion animation (example: Chicken Run) often have this or some other similar method used to disguise where the head was joined to the body.
  • In the 1970's Hanna-Barbera adaptation of Tom and Jerry, Jerry was fitted with a bow-tie.
  • The Simpsons family are all designed like this. Pearls on a little girl? That's why. In an episode where Lisa loses them, she breaks down in tears and admits that without them she's nothing but a big Maggie.
  • Cool Cat, the last new starring character of the original Looney Tunes shorts, wore a necktie, which was bound to make people mistake him for a Hanna-Barbera character.
    • Speaking of Looney Tunes, this is averted with Daffy Duck, whose distinctive white collar is based on the ring stripe found on many actual ducks (though given the white ring on black feathers, it does resemble the collar found on most clergymen, particularly deacons and reverends).
  • In Dragon Tales, all of the dragon characters (of both genders) wear a ribbon with a pendant around their neck.

By the Lights of Their EyesLimited AnimationStock Footage
Right Through His PantsCostume TropesRing of Power
Rainbow LiteLazy ArtistRotoscoping
Accessory-Wearing Cartoon AnimalImageSource/Western AnimationYounger and Hipper
Recycled IN SPACE!The Dark Age of AnimationSaturday Morning Cartoon

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