Thong of Shielding
The Ranger: It's... It's original those elfin huuuu... panties. With some kind of... string behind...Nipple and Dimed for the backside. Provided that the gluteal cleavage (that's the bit between the buttocks) is covered, you can show a massive amount of rear and get away with it. So, you could say that it's the bare minimum?... we'll get our coats... Often a feature of the Barely-There Swimwear. Not to be confused with Chainmail Bikini.
The Barbarian: Yeah, yeah.
The Ranger: Must be nice... to get a tan...
The Barbarian: Yeah, yeah.
The Ranger: Must be nice... to get a tan...
— Le Donjon de Naheulbeuk, episode 17
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Anime & Manga
- Naga from the Slayers prequels is never told to put some pants on, even though she runs around in a purple leather thong.
- Shirow Masamune seems to have a deep love of this trope. The Major in the original Ghost in the Shell manga frequently shows her rear off. Although she's far more modestly dressed most of the time than in any of the adaptations. Motoko Aramaki in the sequel manga Man-Machine Interface, on the other hand, seems to be lacking pants more often than not.
- Shirow Masamune's other heroine, Deunan Knute from Appleseed, whenever she is piloting a landmate in that manga.
- Two of the over-the-top super-fanservice outfits in Daphne in the Brilliant Blue (Rena's and Shizuka's, to be specific) are either C-Strings (just picture a snap-bracelet for your crotch) or Maebari. Maebari deserves special mention, as it's a Japanese "clothing" fetish that revolves around bikini bottoms made out of tape. So pick your poison — strapless thong made out of a snap-bracelet, or strapless thong made out of tape.
- Fairy Tail
- The manga generally used the this trope a lot in its early days, but the series and its creator has become more bold in later chapters, showing the girls' stark naked butts several times and thus averting the trope.
- Mirajane has this in her demon form.
- Kyouka from the Tartarus Arc has a combination of this and a Leotard of Power.
- Lampshaded in Gintama, when Gintoki is revealed to be wearing a Fundoshi under his boxers during the Popularity Poll arc to prevent his rating from being lowered by the same underwear removal tactic that was initially used against Yamazaki. He gloats about Kondo's failed attempt to expose him, which prompts Shinpachi to point out that it's covering so little of his butt that it's barely any different from not wearing anything at all.
- Nonon Jakuzure from Kill la Kill wears a C-string thong as part of her final Goku uniform, leaving her backside completely exposed and covering only her crotch.
- Athena and Clara from Uchi No Musume Ni Te O Dasu Na both wear the same thong leotard superhero outfit. It does come with a long cape though.
- Given the reputation of some comic book artists, and the fact a considerable number of female superheroes wear leg-baring leotards, it's quite common for the back of the suit to show off far more cheek than would be practical. In a possible justification, in real life leotards tend to ride up when gymnasts do their routines until they look like thongs, so it's quite possible that it's not that they're wearing thong-back uniforms, but rather just suffering from a really bad wedgie.
- Psylocke from the X-Men. Sometimes her costume covers her behind completely and just shows off her thighs. Other times, it could generously be called a g-string. It doesn't help that almost every panel she's in has her striking a pose like something out of a Hip-Hop video.
- Some modern comic book artists depict Wonder Woman's shorts (often referred to as "star-spangled panties" by fans) as this, most notably Ed Benes and Mike Deodato◊ (who drew Wonder Woman between 1994-1995).
- Green Space Babe Gamora's costume is depicted this way in the early issues of Nova v. 4 (and to a lesser extent in Guardians of the Galaxy).
- Eva Procorpio in Shakara rarely has anything more than a miniscule thong between her belly and mid-thigh.
- Ms. Marvel's leotard is sometimes depicted as a thong. As does Mockingbird's second 'gymnastics' outfit. Moonstone, when she was taking Carol's name during Dark Reign actually lampshaded this by complaining about the costume, even questioning the oddity of an outspoken feminist wearing something so revealing.
- Despite being a robot (and functionally naked), Arcee◊ from Transformers has occasionally been depicted with one of these.
Films — Animation
- In Ralph Bakshi's Fire and Ice, all of the men's Loin Cloths bare a fair amount of buttock, but the most guilty (unsurprisingly) is Princess Teegra. Not only is her thong very narrow, but it's partly see-through, and a bit of buttcrack sticks out over the top. Plus she spends a lot of time with said ass pointed at the camera. And since this film came before the PG-13 rating, it's only PG.
- In the egregiously stripperiffic Danish CGI movie Ronal The Barbarian, more characters wear thongs than not, even the female barbarians who aren't shown that often. The General wears a lot more than the barbarians, but even he prefers his buttocks bare so he can whip them. Unfortunately, Zandra keeps her butt covered.
Films — Live-Action
- In the 1999 A Midsummer Night's Dream, which features topless fairies and a mud-slinging Hermia and Helena, when the nude lovers are awoken in a field by Theseus, a strategically placed blade of grass hovers perfectly between the camera and Christian Bale's bare derriere. That could not have been accidental.
- Anck-Su-Namun in the opening flashback of The Mummy sports this as we get a rear shot of her walking into Imhotep's chambers. PG-13 movies seem to be able to get away with this, though the shot can't really linger.
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (featuring Megan Fox) shows one of the actors in a thong. It's John Turturro.
- In My Father the Hero, there's a scene where the father meets up with his daughter poolside with her in a white one-piece swimsuit. Imagine his surprise when she gets up and it's revealed to be a thong bottom.... In one version, a much more modest suit is digitally superimposed, which makes the entire scene farcical as the father character overreacts to a perfectly normal swimsuit.
- In the 1980's action series SOBS, two members of the Heroes "R" Us unit strip off to follow the villains into the water. When the chase ends up back on land, one of them realises his colleague is effectively "bottomless" as he's just wearing a thong. When the embarrassed colleague asks for help covering up, he replies, "And deprive all these tourists of a chance to see the Eighth and Ninth Wonders of the World?"
- Two examples from Britain's Got Talent. The first was "The Deans of Magic", described by Simon Cowell as "a bit Readers' Wives'' (that's a UK porn mag).
- Three or four recurring competitors on Ninja Warrior. All male.
- Pants Off Dance Off would censor out the backside of any nude dancers; but not if they had a thong, and sometimes the dancers could get away with showing even more than that uncensored by intentionally covering only the smallest possible amount of skin.
- The Man Show was once told by the Comedy Central censors that they were allowed to show three-quarters of someone's backside. So, naturally, they featured one of the Juggys in "three-quarter ass pants" which were cut so low that only the very bottom of her buttocks were covered. Adam Carolla later reported that he himself also had to wear the pants in question, and that it was disgusting.
- Crossed with Toplessness from the Back: On the August 26, 1999 episode of WWE SmackDown!, Tori (Terri Poch) was scheduled to face Ivory in an Evening Gown Match. Michael Cole, still a neutral character, attempted to interview Tori backstage before the match as she walked away from the camera. Tori pulled down her evening gown, saying that there was no way Ivory was going to humiliate her, and, with her back to the camera, walked around backstage wearing only a thong and shoes until she was stopped by a group of referees and Road Agent Tony Garea, who gave her his shirt to wear. Tori won, of course, in 57 seconds.
- Ayla in Chrono Trigger. How her skimpy Cat Girl outfit provides any protection against, say, a magic lightning bolt or a machine gun is the same principle that lets her beat giant dinosaurs and robots to death with her fists.
- And on a similar note, Sira from Albion. 100% catgirl-mage who can't even be equipped with decent armor. If it weren't for her serious Magikarp Power and magical items, she'd be little more than furry eyecandy. At least the rest of the party can shield her (and other mages) from direct physical attacks, unlike in many other RPGs.
- Promo material for StarCraft: Ghost.
- Then there's Ashley Riot's infamous "assless chaps" in Vagrant Story — basically a huge set of trunks (or even bermuda shorts) that are missing a vital square of fabric precisely over the gluteal area.
- Prince of Persia: Warrior Within has one worn by Shahdee in combination with a serious case of Chainmail Bikini. Shown most prominently in her introduction with a six-second close-up of her ass while she simply walks up a set of stairs.
- Lara's ridiculous legless wetsuit in Tomb Raider Underworld. Which is more of a leotard than anything.
- The final boss from Final Fantasy Tactics features this in its first form. Thankfully it doesn't have it for its One-Winged Angel form, a massive flying skeleton.
- Nearly every single Viera in Final Fantasy XII, but Fran is the most noticeable due to more screentime. Some of the Viera in the village were even less covered.
- Ivy's costumes seem to show more and more of her buttocks with every new game in the Soul Series. And her boobs. Don't be surprised if by Soul Calibur V her costume is simply drawn on with a purple Sharpie. Oddly enough, her default costume in SCV is surprisingly modest, with less skin showing and not much more than a Cleavage Window.
- Cammy from the Street Fighter series. In Street Fighter IV, every battle she's in begins with an ass-shot. In Street Fighter II, roughly half of the battles she wins end in one.
- Felicia from the Darkstalkers series fights other denizens of the dark in barely anything at all. Her fur bikini doesn't cover much, there isn't any fur covering her butt, and it barely even qualifies an outfit. The kicker is, her fur bikini is part of her natural form. She's technically fighting naked. The Darkstalkers series itself averts this by showing her whole ass in some attacks, but animations in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 have her carefully censoring her butt whenever she kicks with one leg, and the model as a whole covers her backside a little more.
- The Papillon Suit in P.N.03 features a thong and assless chaps. Also a subversion as it provides exactly as much protection as one would expect it to, turning Vanessa into a One Hitpoint Wonder.
- Early in World of Warcraft this trope was played depressingly straight — many of the early plate armor sets gave female characters a metal bikini. There were so many comics pointing this out to the point where Blizzard forbade any more on the subject. Partially due to the fan outcry, modern day generic armor is better, but the trope is not completely averted. However, the endgame "sets" that people get at level 70 and 80 do completely avert this trope — they mostly look the exact same regardless of gender.
- Alexstrasza, the Red Dragon queen, wears the most prominent example of this trope in her high elf form.
- A curious case are the succubi in Diablo, because they seem to wear only a "low-cut" thong when you look at them from the front, but are clearly butt-naked when you look at them when they turn around.
- Promotional art for Dragon Quest IX shows one lady in this, and brandishing a sword.
- Tales of Symphonia: Sheena's unlockable bathing suit costume is dangerously close to this.
- Female Malkavians in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. Their range of armor seems to be stolen from a porn set. The "heavy clothing" armor is a cowboy hat, vest, buttless chaps and a thong. And combat scenes are shown in third person from behind, so...
- Buki's armor upgrades in Sudeki get progressively skimpier. In the end, she's wearing a thong leotard made from scales of steel.
- Kitana, Jade and Mileena all wear a similar thong outfit in Mortal Kombat 9. An odd clothing choice, considering these ladies often fight fully-armored opponents who have no qualms about breaking bones and crushing body parts.
- Played straight or averted, depending on the armor in question, in Vindictus. There are a few female-only outfits that seem to focus on sexuality, but these are nearly always cloth armor, which are meant for mages and not really focused around defense power in the first place. In general, the actual heavy and plate armors cover you completely and look the same on either gender.
- Infested Kerrigan/The Queen of Blades/The Primal Queen from Starcraft II. Depending on which parts of her alien body count as clothes and which as skin, she's either covered neck to toes in a skintight bodysuit, wearing a corset with open breast holes and a thong (with high heeled boots and pasties), or walking around a battlefield completely naked like all the other Zerg.
- Ayumi from X Blades has this. Her unlockable alternate armors actually do cover her rather properly, Cleavage Window notwithstanding. Amusingly, the Japanese PS3 version censors her thong and replaces it with a bikini bottom instead◊, which ends up making her subjectively sexier, in a Theiss Titillation Theory sort of way.
- Penny Arcade parodies Prince of Persia: Warrior Within's version in a particular strip that is Not Safe for Work:
Shahdee: I'll tell you what. This steel thong? I'm having second thoughts. It'll take a team of spelunkers a week to get this thing out of my ass. Do you hear what I'm telling you? It will be an ordeal. Canaries will go in first. Accidents will happen, and men will die.
- The Noob features a literal version with "G-string of protection". While it's never shown, as character wears skintight pantaloons, HE frequently offers to show it to people.
- Bikini bottoms usually expose some or most of the buttocks, including the gluteal folds, and that's all fine and normal on a beach. But when the bikini bottom exposes just a bit of the ass crack, it is instantly considered a Wardrobe Malfunction and becomes either Fanservice or Fan Disservice depending on the woman.
- Coco Austin tends to have this happen a lot, since she's a swimsuit model with quite a lot of junk in the trunk. One particular picture (taken by her husband, Ice-T) was shot from an angle where it really did look like she was naked and, according to Conan O'Brien, the censors would only allow him to show the picture on TV for three seconds.