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Limited Wardrobe / Western Animation

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Steven and the Crystal Gems doing his laundry.

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  • Many of the western animation examples that follow below are of programs that originally aired on Saturday mornings, where children are the primary audience. The reasons vary, but one example can be what's stated in the explanation: children find it easier to identify a character by keeping what the character's wardrobe identical from episode to episode (along with hairstyle and other identifying characteristics remaining consistent). The trope is typically broken only when it relates to the plot, such as the characters going to a formal party (for instance, a pretty college-age girl who always wears a green T-shirt with her high school's name printed across the upper chest and blue jeans would not be acceptable, so she wears an evening gown to the party). Even beyond that, it's just cheaper and simpler on the production pipeline to have as few model sheets as possible for each character.
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Straight Examples:

  • All characters in The Amazing World of Gumball, whether they even wear clothes or not, always don the same outfits, except only when they partake in swimming classes, or very few other instances when clothing actually denotes meaningful differences (e.g. in a flashback to when the character was a lot younger, or on Christmas). Anais, one of the smartest characters (who's only a four-year-old), also acknowledges the fact that her family's been wearing the same clothes for the last three years in an episode. In "The Gi", Nicole does not suspect one bit when her sons unusually wear coats, hats and scarfs, only to realize that they were hiding their gi under those, but, for some reason, by seeing the gi under the coat in slow motion in a flashback after her sons have already gotten away.
  • American Dad! usually plays this straight (except for Roger's many disguises) but there was a one-off exception in "Stan Time". In the first scene, Hayley bugs Stan to drive her to the headband store. This isn't mentioned again, but in one later scene she is wearing a white headband (as opposed to her usual green) without comment.
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    • Lampshaded and subverted by Hayley in "Not a Particularly Desperate Housewife" after locking Steve in her closet:
      Steve: Let me out, or I'll rip up all your clothes!
      Hayley: Go ahead! In case you hadn't noticed, I only wear this one outfit. [cut to inside the closet, where several different tops and coats are seen hanging]
    • Inverted by Roger, one of whose defining character traits is his vast wardrobe of costumes and wigs.
  • American Dragon: Jake Long: Virtually all the characters wear the same outfits from episode to episode, unless the episode specifically calls for something else (wearing a formal outfit to a dance, for example.) Jake Hangs a Lampshade about this in the episode "Breakout", when he inquires (on what to wear to his date with Rose), "Should I wear my red jacket, or mix things up, and wear my other red jacket?"
  • Played with in Archer. Lana always wears the same turtleneck sweater dress (unless she's on a mission), but she owns red, tan, brown, green, and light green versions of that dress (among other colors). Ditto with the rest of the cast and their respective uniforms. They do have more formal clothing for special missions, though.
  • This is done in Archie's Weird Mysteries, which contrasts with the Unlimited Wardrobe of the comics. This was likely done due to financial constraints.
  • Characteristic of Arthur:
    • Arthur is almost always seen wearing a yellow shirt, blue jeans, and the same pair of shoes. D.W. wears a pink vest over a white/pink-striped outfit (though the pink stripes are only present in the books and in the film Arthur's Missing Pal.) All other characters generally have standard outfits as well.
    • In an episode where D.W. is imitating Arthur, she gets an outfit that looks exactly like his, leading Arthur to ask whether she already has clothes like that because they "look familiar".
    • The entire cast is this, but they also have summer and winter clothes, which are also always the same. Arthur's blue short-sleeved T-shirt with a darker blue stripe in the middle is the most memorable of the summer clothes. They do occasionally change outfits for plot related reasons but their outfits are mostly the same.
  • Beavis and Butt-Head only have two outfits each: the MTV look (Metallica and AC/DC t-shirts) and the merchandising look (Skull and Death Rock T-shirts).
    • Lampshaded when watching AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" video.
      Butt-Head: These guys always wear the same thing.
      Beavis: We always wear the same thing! I've been wearing this shirt for six months!
      Butt-Head: I've been wearing this shirt for seven months.
  • Ben 10 is extremely guilty of this. Not only do the three main characters of Gwen, Ben, and Grandpa Max always wear the same outfit, but in a time travel episode, Grandpa Max still wears the same outfit 20 years later. (At least Ben and Gwen got new outfits after the Time Skip, and Ben at least takes his jacket off quite a bit). Lampshade Hanging did occur in the Live-Action Adaptation.
    • Although the lampshade hanging implies he only has one white shirt with black vertical stripe, but other episodes show him with lots of identical ones.
    • Apparently, whatever Ben's wearing gets deconstructed every time he transforms, and when he transforms back, it gets reconstructed as clothing he was wearing when the transformation doohickey last booted up. He acknowledges that he could probably figure out how to upload new outfits into it eventually, but the one time it seemed prudent to do so he was rather busy with more pressing matters.
  • Boo Boom! The Long Way Home: In the first episode, the protagonist finds an old army uniform that some soldiers left behind, and it ends up becoming his sole wardrobe for the rest of the series, regardless of the season or weather.
  • Kevin in Captain N: The Game Master always wears one outfit of a red varsity jacket and jeans. He doesn't have access to his real world wardrobe while in Video Land. Simon Belmont, meanwhile, is portrayed as such a vain peacock that one would think he'd have multiple outfits, but we don't talk about that particular portrayal of the character much.
  • On The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, Sally is normally outfitted in a pink dress with white undershirt and a pink hairband, Nick in an orange sweatshirt and blue jeans. Cat, of course, always wears his signature red-and-white striped hat and red bowtie.
  • Apart from seasonal changes (winter, summer), nightwear, disguises, and other special occasions, the characters in Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers always wear the same. Chip always wears an aviator jacket and a fedora hat (with the exception of "To the Rescue" part 1 and half of part 2 before he finds the hat), Dale always wears a red Hawaiian shirt with yellow "flower" prints, Monterey Jack always wears a coat, a green turtleneck, an aviator cap, and a pair of matching goggles upon said cap (in one episode, he actually wears a second pair of goggles over his eyes in addition to the ones on his cap), Zipper always wears the red sweater, and Gadget always wears her trademark lavender coveralls with a purple belt, a pair of blue lab goggles, and a white shirt (which keeps disappearing, though). Apparently, Gadget also owns only one dress, specifically the red one from "Double 'O Dale" and "Mind Your Cheese & Q's".
  • Code Lyoko is guilty of this as well, but from the beginning of the fourth season onward, the main characters all get different sets of clothes... which they still wear day in and day out. They do have different outfits for specific situations, like gym clothes, swimsuits, pajamas, etc but their main attire rarely changes. Lampshaded in "Ghost Channel", when a "bug" in the Matrix-like simulation makes Sissi wear a yellow shirt.
  • On Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, most of the characters always wear the same set of clothes; Daniel has three sets of pajamas, though it feels a bit odd if the show opens with them wearing pajamas, given that he was just shown putting his shirt and shoes in the show intro. No Red Sweater for Daniel shows that Daniel actually has sweaters in blue, purple and green as well as his trademark red sweater; it's just that the red sweater is his favorite and so he always wears it. At Mom Tiger's urging, he wears the blue one because You can change your hair, or what you wear, but no matter what you do, you're still you. This doesn't explain, though, how he can normally be wearing a red sweater every day if he has to wear a different sweater just because ol' red got thrown in the wash. Additionally, while all the characters have standard clothes, they also tend to dress for the weather or specific situations, such as bathing suits, snow-clothes, a painting smock, etc. There's even a song about this too: "Think about what you're gonna do / Then pick the clothes that are right for you."
  • The three main characters of Dan Vs. basically wear the same clothes almost every episode, and sometimes when Dan switches up, he's wearing Chris's clothes.
  • In Daria, characters pretty much only change clothes for plot reasons. It's even subtly lampshaded in one scene - when Jane Lane is packing a suitcase to head off to a family reunion, and every shirt she puts in the suitcase is the exact same as the one she's wearing. The Fashion Club members actually get new main outfits during the last two seasons, but even then they only ever change them if we see them on a date or similarly special event, despite how many jokes we hear about Quinn's massive clothes budget. It's also discussed by Sandi, when she claims that "I would never tell Quinn that she looks cute in that "thing" she always wears.", following which the existence of "a thing she always wears" is denied by Quinn.
  • The characters of Detentionaire all have exactly one outfit each, not counting disguises and costumes.
  • In Dilbert, like the comics, everyone always wears the same outfit.
    • This was also lampshaded when Dilbert was testing to see whether his male co-workers could remember what they were wearing — they couldn't, despite Dilbert telling them that it's the same outfit they wear every day.
  • Doug of Nickelodeon's Doug always wears the same outfit: white t-shirt, green vest, khaki shorts, and sneakers. In one episode, a character in a popular Show Within a Show started wearing the same outfit, and Doug had to convince everyone that he wasn't following a trend since he'd always dressed that way, ultimately revealing his closet lined with the exact same outfit.
  • The characters of Ed, Edd n Eddy all had only one outfit for the first four seasons, although they each got a new one for the colder seasons. In the case of some characters, their warmer outfits were the same but with a long-sleeved shirt.
  • The Fairly OddParents! is guilty of this. Timmy: pink shirt and hat, dark blue streachpants. Wanda: yellow shirt, black streachpants. Cosmo: white suit, tie, black streachpants. While clothes change when needed, they're usually in these.
  • The cast of Seth MacFarlane's other shows, Family Guy and The Cleveland Show, also qualify, although they do dress up for special occasions.
    • Lampshaded in a Family Guy episode, where Peter says that he would like to get new clothes, but he thinks people would be confused if he wore more than one outfit.
  • The cast of Fanboy and Chum Chum, the titular duo being the guiltiest. They never take their superhero costumes off, even for bathing. This is because they have secret identities and taking them off would reveal them.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: "Setting a President" features a bit of Lampshade Hanging. When Frankie runs against Mr. Herriman for president of the house, Herriman eventually resorts to a smear campaign in his efforts to win. One of the resulting ads counters Frankie's promises of "change" by pointing out that she wears the same green jacket every day.
  • Almost every recurring character in Freakazoid!. Even on special occasions, such as Freakazoid's birthday and Cosgrove's date, said two characters wear the exact same clothes.
  • Futurama:
    • Lampshaded when Fry initially moved into Bender's apartment, which an area of roughly three square feet, not counting the closet. He asks where can he hang his clothes, and Bender responds, "Listen, you've only got one set of clothes, and you're not taking them off while I'm around."
    • In another episode, Leela tells Fry that she's meeting someone for brunch, and is thinking of wearing this... "this" being the same white tank-top and black pants she always wears. Fry says it looks nice.
    • In another episode, Fry asks Amy why does she always wear a tracksuit if she's so rich. She says she's rebelling against her parents who want her to be more ladylike.
    • In a season one episode Bender becomes a chef, and Leela points out that he has no sense of taste, to which he responds that she can't talk wearing a lime green tank-top. This is striking since this may be the first time we ever see Leela wearing something other than her standard white top.
    • Subverted in one episode where “Bender” is wearing a variety of neck-covering outfits, leading the crew to believe he’s actually the bearded Flexo in disguise. Turns out it actually was Bender, he just felt like dressing nice.
  • In Garfield and Friends, Jon Arbuckle almost invariably wears the same outfit except for special occasions, interestingly enough, since his comic counterpart wears a number of differently colored shirts.
  • Gargoyles:
    • Elisa Maza almost always wears a red bomber jacket, black shirt, blue jeans, and black shoes.
    • Multi-billionaire executive David Xanatos wears his black Armani business suit in almost every appearance where he's not sporting the Steel Clan body armor. Or his wedding. Or practicing martial arts.
  • In G.I. Joe, Cobra Commander either has a metal face-guard helmet or a cloth mask, with no particular pattern to when he changes them. He's even been seen to flicker between the two in the space of a single CCTV transmission.
    • The helmet is supposed to be for battle, the cloth mask for non-combat situations. The comics were fairly consistent about it, the cartoon animators often forgot the rule.
    • Nearly every character in all iterations of Joe only wear their signature outfit, unless they're going undercover or the rare scene of them in civvies off-duty. Even then they seem to sometimes go on RnR in their Joe outfits.
      • Quick Kick was a stunt actor who became a Joe, he wasn't a military member like most of them. His trademark outfit was the costume he was wearing shooting a Frozen Fudgy Bar commercial. Why he never decided to wear anything else is a mystery (or why he never returned it to the wardroom department of that production company...thief!)
    • The same could be said for the Cobras, as they are wearing their "uniforms" for combat.
  • Goldie Gold and Action Jack: Goldie is supposed to be the world's richest girl, and her outfits can be counted on one hand. Perhaps she's just really attached to her gold lamé pants and white fur coat.
  • Hey Arnold! characters rarely dress in anything but their standard sets, which is funny considering Rhonda is such a fashionista and often makes snide remarks regarding other people's clothes... but never her own never-changing style. Though in one episode she claimed to be wearing brand new designer boots, they just looked like the ones she regularly wears.
  • Almost everyone in Huntik: Secrets & Seekers. The four protagonists only change their clothes for a couple of missions, but other than that, they're always seen wearing the exact same outfit. It is stated on-screen that Dante has a closet full with copies of his trademark trenchcoat.
  • Each and every character on Jimmy Two-Shoes is limited to one outfit unless there's a special occasion (needing to perform in a band, snow days, etc). Lampshaded in the episode "Snowrilla", in which Jimmy confesses that he wears the same shirt everyday, followed by a Gross-Up Close-Up to show how tattered and filthy the shirt actually is.
  • Kaeloo: Pretty (despite being The Fashionista) and Eugly, the only characters who actually wear clothesnote , have only one outfit each (apart from costumes).
  • Kim Possible is an interesting case in that it played this trope straight for the first two seasons and later on subverted it. Everyone wore the same outfits. As the quotes page shows this was lampshaded at times. But in the later seasons Kim started wearing different outfits, although other characters still wore the same thing.
  • Despite being set in a realistic world, King of the Hill has this and it's never lampshaded nor explained in-universe.
  • The Life and Times of Juniper Lee:
    • This is parodied in "Take My Life, Please": Ashley compliments Ray Ray on his shirt (a red shirt with a picture of a fist on it).
      Ray Ray: I am never taking off this shirt again! Monroe: Hate to break it to ya, lad, but you never do. You're like Charlie Brown.
    • In another episode, Jody walks in, wearing her usual outfit, and says, "That new boy is so cute, I changed outfits for him!" Everybody stares at her, and she adds, "twice!"
  • The Little Rascals wear the same clothes in most episodes, with the following exceptions:
    • In "Yachtsa' Luck", the boys are dressed for the beach from the time Waldo meets Darla until Darla and Waldo leave the yacht.
    • In "The Irate Pirates", the boys are again in swimsuits, and Darla wears a purple bikini.
    • In "Darla's Dream Dance", Darla is wearing a formal gown for the school dance.
  • On Llama Llama, it's clear that the characters in the animated series have other clothes, since "Llama Llama Shopping Drama" shows Llama Llama modeling a number of reasonable outfits for Mama Llama and he's also shown selecting his shirt in the morning from a stack of several differently-colored shirts. Despite this, each of the characters has a standard outfit they wear when not specifically dressed for the weather.
    • Llama Llama - A bright red shirt underneath a green jumpsuit with gold buckles.
    • Nelly Gnu - A purple shirt with a bright yellow flower over pink shorts going down to her knees.
    • Luna Giraffe - Lime green shirt and bright purple bottoms, and pink glasses with flower accessories
    • Euclid - A business blue button-up shirt with a light yellow undershirt, red tie and pen in the pocket over brown pants down to his knees, with plain black glasses
    • Gilroy Goat - A light green shirt with yellow stripes and a white collar with black buttons over short blue pants
  • The titular character of Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil seemingly only has one outfit: a black T-shirt and a pair of hiphugger blue jeans.
  • In The Magic School Bus, everybody except Ms. Frizzle wears the same outfit every day. Even when the bus magically makes them clothes appropriate to whatever situation it is the kids are in, the outfits are all color-coordinated to what the kid would ordinarily wear. One episode (where Arnold turns orange from eating too many carrots) has all the kids in formal wear for a fancy event. Their outfits are just dressier versions on their everyday clothes.
  • On Milo Murphy's Law, Milo goes to change into some dry clothes and comes back wearing an identical outfit. "I have like, thirty of these."
  • In Miraculous Ladybug, despite one of the main characters being a fashion designer and the other being a fashion model, they both (along with all the other characters) wear the same clothes every episode. A minor exception was the Christmas Episode, in which many of them wear winter coats instead (but still of the same color schemes as their normal outfits). Of course, if they wore more varied outfits the show wouldn't be able to use Stock Footage for their Transformation Sequence.
  • The Burners and the other recurring Motorcitizens always wear the same outfits in Motorcity, and the citizens of Detroit Deluxe always wear a mandatory DD spandex uniform.
  • In the first of the two specials preceding the movie, the ponies' human ally Megan wore a cowgirl outfit that never made it to toy form, and in the second she wore a generic outfit with a pink polo shirt and dark pants followed by the dress that came with her toy (its sole appearance). From My Little Pony: The Movie (1986) onward to My Little Pony 'n Friends, Megan's default outfit was a pink shirt with a white collar and cuffs, a set of aqua blue overalls with frilly straps and a pink heart sewn to the front, and a pair of pink shoes. She did not wear socks. This was a loose interpretation of the separately-sold "Country Jamboree" outfit. She rarely wears anything else on-screen, apart from the "Sweet Dreams" nightgown (normally we don't see her up in the middle of the night, this presumably gets plenty of wear off-screen) and the "Ice Princesses" outfit in a couple of episodes. Otherwise she wore the overalls and pink shirt come hell or high water. And no, that's not figurative.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The series tend to avoid this, as most of them don't wear clothes much (with the exception of Rarity who, being a fashionista and designer, is often wearing a variety of designs for various occasions), but those who do tend to have very iconic wear: Applejack is almost never seen without her hat, Big Macintosh wears a horse collar even though it's not attached to anything, and Applebloom is always wearing her red ribbon. Despite her limited appearances, Trixie's magician hat and cape became so eyecatching that it's hard to find any fanart of her without it, and when she showed up in "Magic Duel" with a dark cape and evil amulet combo, everyone knew that something was amiss. (Once she loses the amulet and regains her sanity, the magician outfit is back on.)
    • Applejack's house was revealed to have a "Hats and Bows Closet" filled with identical Apple Bloom bows and Applejack hats. No sign of Big Mac having multiples of the collar.
  • Everyone in Ned's Newt. One episode lampshades this by having Mrs. Flemkin tell Ned to change his clothes; he proceeds to pull his orange shirt and blue pants inside out, somehow turning them into a blue shirt and orange pants, and wears them for the rest of the episode.
  • Yet another Lampshade Hanging: in The Oblongs, conjoined twins Biff and Chip appear to wear green shirts that are specially designed to fit two people at once. Then their mother tries giving one shirt away as a hand-me-down. The bare-chested twins emerge and yell at their mom, "Hey! That's our only shirt!"
  • The characters on O'Grady each wear the same outfit every time (Abby is always in pink, Kevin in the same shirt and pants, etc.) and did the mandatory closet gag, plus one more. When Abby gets a (female) stalker, she's unsure how much she should worry — until she sees the stalker wearing one of her [Abby's] pink outfits.
  • Pat and Mat have a pair of trousers, a pullover and a Nice Hat each. All their money probably goes to buy tinkering supplies.
  • Lampshaded in The PJs when Thurgood and Muriel get approved for credit cards, bringing up the fact that Muriel is only ever seen in the outfit in question.
    Sharique: The best part about having a credit card is that you can shop on line... now what do you like to wear? Muriel: Oh my goodness, so many things but mostly pink sweatshirts that say Paris. Sharique: Hmmm... oh, I know just the site! Muriel: Ahh... "Pink sweatshirts that says Paris dot com"!
  • In Ready Jet Go!, all of the characters always wear the same outfits. Although, Sean, Sydney, and Mindy wear space-suits whenever they go to outer space. In fact, this trope is often so extreme, that the characters (save for Mindy) wear their signature outfits when they go to sleep. However, "Mars Rock for Mom" reveals that all this time, Jet was wearing a white shirt underneath his signature jacket.
  • The kids on Recess - even the fashionable Ashleys - only change their clothes when it relates to the plot. Examples: picture day, Spinelli dressing up for the pageant, TJ and Vince dressing as boy detectives "The Barnaby Boys".
  • Rocko's Modern Life: Rocko always wears the same blue shirt with purple triangles, Heffer always wears the same red overalls, Mr. Bighead always wear the same suit, etc. The episode "Unbalanced Load" centered around Rocko doing his laundry (a pile of identical shirts) while wearing his "lucky shirt" (another identical shirt.)
  • The cast of Scooby-Doo may be the archetypical set of examples; their standard costumes are so identified with them that the outfits were faithfully reproduced for the live-action films.
    • In What's New, Scooby-Doo?, they acquire new outfits, and even change them occasionally, but consistently maintain the same colour schemes as the original series.
    • There has been a lot of back-and-forth on Fred's ascot. By the 1980s, it was considered a completely goofy item for a man to wear, most iterations of Fred until Mystery Inc. dropped it. Nowadays you could justify it as a very hipster-ish ironic item (although in the show Fred just thinks they look classy).
    • Shaggy and (obviously) Scooby didn't actually change notably. Velma's outfit is identical; what's changed is that now she's got a figure (compared to the original series, when her body could be described as "boxy" at best.) The change probably had something to do with the fact that Linda Cardellini (who played Velma in the live-action movies) is hot and looks really good in a bikini.
    • In some of the newer animated movies, all of the human characters but Shaggy wear a variety of updated clothes, although Daphne still always wears something violet and Velma still looks nerdier then Fred and Daphne. They lampshade their previous consistency in Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase when they get sucked into a video game a friend of theirs made of their adventures. The computer versions of them are all wearing traditional outfits. Daphne says that they must not have seen their friend often enough because he hasn't noticed their fashion changes. Then everybody stares at the two Shaggys, who are identical except for the color of their T-shirts, and the real Shaggy says, "Why mess with a classic?"
    • Funnily enough, present-day Shaggy's outfit was identical to his original one with a green shirt; the virtual version was wearing a version from the 1980s movies with a red shirt. You know, the ones with Scrappy.
    • Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island took more than a few shots at Lampshade Hanging this, including Shaggy (who had the same outfit as always) opening a suitcase full of green shirts and then pondering what to wear and Fred (who had a new outfit for the movie) secretly posing in a mirror with his old scarf before discarding it in disgust.
    • Used humorously in a Cartoon Network promo, where Mystery Inc. is waiting for someone in the van. It's Velma, barefoot, shuffling through drawers of socks trying to find orange colored ones.
    • Subverted in Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins, the newest version of the Origin Story, where everyone wears things that would be consistent with their role in a modern-day high school. See for yourself.
    • Shaggy even lampshades this in Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery when he and Scooby were chided for not bringing luggage along. This leaves Fred saying that he has a point.
  • Known from Die Sendung mit der Maus, Krawinkel (Keepvogel) always wears a red anorak (and his dog a yellow blanket).
  • The Simpsons does this and has done many Lampshade Hangings about it, most notably the episode where Homer found that his blue pants were discontinued by the maker after wearing out his last pair.
    • When Bart wonders in "Bart's Girlfriend" why Jessica Lovejoy doesn't like him, he asks Lisa if it's because he's "worn the same outfit day in and day out for the past four years."
    • When Marge was away, no one was doing the washing. Lisa complains "I feel like I've been wearing this same red dress forever!"
    • When her coral necklace is stolen, Marge claims it was a family heirloom. Homer comments that she likely has a drawer full of them, which she does. Later parodied when the burglar returns the lock of MacGyver's hair to Selma, and she adds it back to the rest.
    • Another episode shows Marge doing Bart's laundry, which is several pairs of blue shorts and orange tees. She then shuffles them together like a stack of cards.
      Marge: There, Bart is set for the week!
    • Bart finds a rack full of the same dress Marge wears at the 33¢ store. She buys several more, though one dress she pulls off the rack she rejects immediately.
      Marge: [disgusted] Blue?!
    • In "Mr. Lisa's Opus", Lisa wakes up on the morning of her seventh birthday and plans to wear her favorite blue dress. However, as she takes it off a coat-hanger, one of its sleeves tears off. Discarding the idea, Lisa then reaches into her closet, saying, "I'll wear red, just for today," before pulling out her classic red minidress.
    • Weirdly enough, the only two characters who consistently subvert this trope are the two “sideshows:” Mel and Bob. This is because their “default” outfit was originally supposed to be the grass skirt number they wore on Krusty’s show, and the artists never apparently bothered to create a standard alternative. Bob hasn’t worn his grass skirt since his first appearance, and tends to wear different polos, slacks, or suits in subsequent appearances. His prison jumpsuit could be considered his most consistent outfit these days, but even its look tends to change from episode to episode. Mel still wears his grass skirt on Krusty’s show, and sometimes in public, but increasingly he, like Bob, wears different polos and slacks in different episodes.
    • Some of the characters who have "work uniforms" tend to wear different things when not on the job and have no standard set outfit. Examples would include Principal Skinner, Chief Wiggum, and Smithers — though even then, they've been known to wear work clothes in weirdly inappropriate settings. Smithers is often depicted wearing his Power Plant nametag at movies, concerts, church, etc.
  • Les Sisters: All of the characters wear the same outfits everyday unless the plot calls for different clothes. In one episode, it's even lampshaded when Marine spills something on Wendy's shirt and when Wendy goes to change it, she opens her wardrobe to reveal that it's full of the same shirts.
  • Just a hat and pants for most of the male Smurfs in The Smurfs.
  • The boys of South Park are defined almost entirely by their clothes, and this is parodied in "How To Eat With Your Butt", which features the boys without their caps on Picture Day. In another episode, Kenny is unrecognizable without his orange coat. In the episode "Super Best Friends", all of the people of South Park had shaved their heads and were wearing the same clothes, which made it impossible to tell them apart (Stan had to find Kyle by using their Catchphrase). Kenny also removed his coat in the SP movie, revealing he has blond hair. Cartman is probably the major exception because he's visibly fatter regardless of clothes. Exploited for The Un-Reveal in "The Coon": when Mysterion takes off his mask, everyone gasps and comments on how they never thought it would be him — but the viewers have no idea who it is. The creators have stated that at the time they did not have a particular character in mind for Mysterion; however, the following season, they would reveal him to be Kenny.
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, nearly every character is guilty of this. The only time much of the cast changes out of their clothes is for a High-School Dance or the Halloween party.
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series had an excuse since its characters all wore uniforms, but being a Filmation product, it still needed to cut corners further — Uhura's earrings never changed, and at least one Trek professional has complained about it. They also created force-field belts for this purpose, so that they could only slightly modify stock footage for those scenes, instead of having to animate the crew in the full spacesuits (which themselves only appeared in live-action once before The Motion Picture).
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: With the exception of Padmé Amidala, the only time most characters change clothes is if the plot requires it. Since most of the characters are Jedi and clone troopers, this could be said to be justified. Indeed, Padmé and her fellow politicians provide most of the series' costume changes.
  • Star Wars Rebels: Again, the main characters usually only change clothes for plot-related reasons, such as Dressing as the Enemy.
  • Star Wars Resistance: There are only four characters shown wearing more than one outfit:
    • Kazuda Xiono wears his grey-and-green outfit almost all the time, only wearing his New Republic uniform at the beginning of the pilot, as well as disguises during two instances of Dressing as the Enemy.
    • Poe Dameron is the only character who changes clothes on a regular basis, swapping between his civilian clothes and his Resistance pilot's jumpsuit, and he's only a recurring character.
    • Tam Ryvora's change of wardrobe is an Evil Costume Switch after joining the First Order at the end of season 1. Apart from said costume change, she doesn't regularly change clothing at all.
    • Neeku Vozo's only costume change comes when he goes undercover as a First Order technician along with Kaz.
  • Richie Foley in Static Shock especially, but probably many if not all of the characters. Richie is always wearing a green shirt with an orange stripe across it. He wears it so often its hard to notice that it changes to a hoodie eventually. What's incredible is that we're shown the inside of his closet once and see some other colored shirts, and he still picks the green-and-orange one. Even when he becomes a superhero, he's still wearing green. Virgil/Static at least wears an outfit in the first episode that's never seen again; when he's not wearing his Static uniform, he's usually wearing the same T-shirt and jeans unless he's dressed for church or visiting a grave. The villains always wear the same thing, though Ebon and Rubberband Man have the excuse that it looks like their clothes have become part of them. Especially since Rubberband Man can morph his purple jumpsuit to look like any kind of clothing and Ebon could be naked and the audience probably wouldn't notice, he's so much of a black and purple morphing blob.
  • While already noted in the video game section, this trope is taken Up to Eleven in the animated USA version of Street Fighter. Low production values, combined with Viewers Are Morons, results in every single character always being in their game outfits, no matter how out of place it would be in the scene. This results in numerous scenes where people are invoking Guns in Church, No OSHA Compliance, and Stripperiffic, among other tropes. At one point, Ryu and Ken can be seen walking down a New York city street in a ghetto with bare feet, and Cammy regularly walks around in her Delta Red leotard regardless of the situation, Balrog (Boxer) always has taped-up boxing gloves on, no matter what, Vega is always shirtless and wearing his claw no matter what.
  • In Superman: The Animated Series, except for one single scene when he is undercover with Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen wears the same outfit for literally every scene in the entire series. This includes when he is working his day job, going out on a date, and even when taking photographs during an alien invasion. Clark Kent predominately wears the same blue suit, but there is some variety depending on the situation (He is seen wearing pajamas when getting ready for bed, casual clothes with his family, etc.). Lois has the greatest variety; there is a common Palette Swap on her daily clothes, and she wears numerous evening gowns for dinners, workout clothes when jogging, pajamas, and other outfits depending on the situation.
  • Team Umizoomi:
    • This is taken a few steps further and mixed with Magic Pants. The main characters with clothes, Milli and Geo, will add face-plates, flippers, fur (Milli only), scarves, and/or just switch the palette of their usual clothes, with a few additions or alterations for protection or warmth. In some cases, they just alter their usual costume slightly, like in Haircut Hijinx with the pictures, or largely/change the outfit entirely (like this pic)
    • DoorMouse is another example. He will mostly wear a yellow jacket with blue sleeves and a light blue shirt underneath, blue pants, red boots and a stop sign badge but slightly alter the outfit depending on the job.
  • The main characters of Teen Titans are almost never seen in anything other than their superhero costumes. They even sleep in them. In fairness, Cyborg technically doesn't wear clothes. One noticeable exception had Robin and Starfire dressing formally. Robin did wear a tux to prom and Starfire wore a hot pink dress, but Robin's tux was custom made to be instantly removable, and Starfire was wearing her uniform underneath it and not wearing her dress at the end of the episode.
  • On Toot & Puddle, the main characters are almost always seen wearing the same clothes, at least those that wear clothes anyway. Toot is identifiable by his bright yellow shirt and brown/khaki shorts or pants. Puddle normally wears a white shirt with black stripes and a blue jumper. Opal wears a mostly pink dress.
  • In The Transformers, Spike and his father, Sparkplug, wear construction worker style clothing throughout the series, and Spike's girlfriend, Carly, wears the same blue outfit and white collared shirt until the post-movie era. Spike and Carly's son, Daniel, typically wears an outfit with a monogrammed 'D', a la Laverne DeFazio.
    • The same in Transformers Animated, Sari Sumdac is always in her trademark orange dress, and her father Prof. Sumdac is similarly always wearing his research smock. Even when Sari upgrades to a teenager she is merely wearing a more mature version of the dress.
      • Captain Fanzone also is only ever seen in his cop uniform.
    • The humans in Transformers: Prime are only ever seen in one outfit.
  • The Venture Bros.: All of the characters except Brock have a standard outfit that they're seen wearing most of the time. Some specific lampshading and aversions include:
    • Brock has three different outfits he rotates between.
    • In the episode "Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean", when Hank Venture complains to the Monarch that his clothes feel dirty because he had to sleep in them. The Monarch replies, "You're kidding, right? That's the only shirt I ever see you wear!" Hank's answer: "Doesn't mean I don't wash it."
    • In "Escape to the House of Mummies (Part 2)", Dr. Orpheus comments that he assumed his daughter Triana's wearing of the same shirt all the time was just a "phase" she was going through. In truth it was because his use of her closet as a portal to the netherworld made her scared of her own closet. Interestingly, Brock is regularly seen in two or three different shirts.
    • Later seasons take place several years after the show began and feature some Character Development, so Hank and Dean look slightly different and start wearing different clothing. For example, Hank starts wearing Brock's denim jacket.
  • In Voltron: Legendary Defender, most of the paladins appear exclusively in the one of two outfits: everyday wear and paladin armor, with Coran only having one outfit. The ones from Earth left pretty abruptly and thus didn't have time to pack.
    • Occasionally, someone will wear something different (i.e., Lanece's pajamas, Allura's formal dress, etc).
    • A very popular trope among the Galra. The Empire, the Blades of Marmora and Team Lotor all wear uniform 24/7.
  • Xiaolin Showdown:
    • The three male protagonists wear the same thing nearly every episode (especially Omi, who we almost never see out of his red and black robes). However, Kimiko has a new outfit and funky hairdo with each episode... Which reverts back to her usual ponytail when in "combat mode".
      • Gets a bit of cover when the team goes to meet Kimiko's father: she tells them to dress nicely, and Omi appears to be wearing the exact same robes. But, as he points out, "they have a slightly higher thread count!"

Lampshaded Closet Gag Examples:

  • American Dad!: In the episode "Stan Goes on the Pill", Stan turns into a woman after taking an experimental pill from the CIA. With his wardrobe full of size 42 suits no longer usable, Klaus and Roger buy a warehouse to try and sell Stan's many suits.
  • As Told by Ginger, with Hoodsey.
  • Bojack Horseman
    • In the Christmas Special, Todd steals BoJack's credit card to buy himself a new hat. BoJack is quick to point out that the "new" hat looks exactly like the one Todd always wears.
    • One episode of season 4 shows Diane getting dressed, and she fishes through a closet filled with identical copies of her green jacket.
    • This is stealthily lampshaded in "Ancient History", where Diane has stacks of boxes each dedicated to one piece of her wardrobe: Glasses, jackets, boots, and jeans. Only her white top is left out.
  • In Cats Don't Dance, Darla Dimple's closet contains identical outfits.
  • Danny Phantom is another show that only lampshades this a few times, but uses the trope consistently. One time, Danny remarked on how Dash owns an entire closet full of the same letter jackets, despite him (and most of the other characters) wear the same clothes every day. Dash once had an entire costume party where the theme was "geek chic", so everyone came dressed in the same wardrobe Danny and his friends normally wore.
  • On Daria, Jane gets two: a subtle one in "The Teachings of Don Jake", when we see her packing multiple red shirts for a trip, and another in "Life in the Past Lane", when she goes through several retro styles and at one point complains how much easier it was to just wear one outfit.
  • Dexter's Laboratory did it with both Dexter and DeeDee. Noticeably lampshaded in the "Average" episode, where Dexter's only non-scientist clothes were his old baby clothes.
  • In an episode of Dilbert, we can see Dilbert's wardrobe, which is all black pants, white shirts and ties. In the comic though, we can sometimes see him in track suits.
  • Doug
    • While wearing his usual attire of white t-shirts, green vests, khaki shorts, and sneakers, some other kids accuse Doug of copying the style of Dylan Farnum on "Teen Heart Street". During a visit to Doug's house, one kid marvels, "You have the entire Farnum line!" and accuse him of "showing off" upon seeing Doug's closet—full of nothing but white t-shirts, green vests, khaki shorts, and sneakers.
    • In "Doug's Derby Dilemma" Skeeter imagines what the mystery prize could be. He thinks it might be a whole new wardrobe, all his usual outfit.
  • In The Flintstones episode "Fred Strike Out", while taking a marriage test in a newspaper, Betty asks Wilma if her husband notices if she buys new clothes. Wilma replies "What new clothes?"
  • In Huntik: Secrets & Seekers, Dante Veil has a closet full with copies of his trademark trenchcoat, as he likes the style but he tends to get it damaged or destroyed frequently on the job. The same episode in which it was stated implied a similar situation for Zhalia: her outfit had been damaged and ripped by an explosion, but after the scene of Dante's trenchcoat she has a new outfit identical to the previous one.
  • In one episode of Invader Zim, Dib opens his closet to reveal a rack full of the same outfit.
  • On KaBlam!, we've seen clothing racks with multiple blue t-shirts with light blue smiley faces and red pants for Henry, and multiple red-orange sweaters, yellow t-shirts, and dark green shorts for June.
  • The titular character of Kick Buttowski lampshaded this on several occasions, one of them was the standard closet reveal. In another episode he gets all the kids (and adults) on his street to dress up like him... he's of course able to provide everyone with his standard outfit.
  • Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return has the Jester, who literally cannot take off his silly outfit because of a curse placed on him by his older sister.
  • Lloyd in Space, with Lloyd.
  • The Loud House: Lincoln Loud and all his sisters have this. In Lincoln's case, several shots of his room reveal that the only clothes he has in his closet are orange shirts and blue pants.
  • In an episode of Mike, Lu & Og, Mike asks Lu which of two identical red shirts (in turn identical to the one Mike always wears) looks better. She replies "The red one." The only other alternatives on the island being grass inspires Mike to create a fashion contest. Hilarity Ensues.
  • My Friends Tigger & Pooh
    • "Pooh Loses His Shirt" has this, with the gag being that there's only honeypots in the closets. When Pooh loses his signature red shirt and it becomes the mystery of the day, Tigger says that he has an easy solution. They'll just search Pooh's closets, since surely Pooh must have a bunch of them. Wrong. It turns out that Pooh only has the one red shirt and washes it every evening then hangs it out to dry before going to bed. Later in the episode, when it's suggested that he wear a different shirt, Pooh comments that his red shirt just "feels right" on him.
    • In "Piglet's Wish Upon a Star", however, Piglet is shown doing laundry having hung up five identical copies of his standard pink jumpsuit on a clothesline, with several additional ones in a laundry basket nearby.
  • Pepper Ann, with Pepper Ann in the opening sequence.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Lampshaded in one episode, when their mother tells them to pick out new clothes for the coming school year, and they enter and exit the store in less than two seconds because, as Phineas notes, "We have a pretty standard look." Then they each pull out the other brother's outfit from their bag, look at each other for a beat and switch them.
    • While she's occasionally seen in other outfits, Candace usually wears a red blouse and white skirt. This is lampshaded in "Monster from the Id", where they go inside Candace's mind and one of the self-doubts that can be heard at the Waterfalls of Anxiety is "Is it okay that I only wear one dress?" Though, unlike everyone else on the show, she actually has another outfit she's worn on multiple occasions (other characters have worn different outfits for particular events or songs, but no one else seems to have more than one everyday outfit, except Candace) as seen in "One Good Scare Outta do you Some Good" and "Comet Kermillion" (in the former case she's dressing up to go over to Jeremy's house, in the latter on a date with him.)
  • Lampshaded in The Proud Family by Penny. In "Don't Leave Home Without it," she comes from a shopping trip with her mom and complains about not being allowed to choose her own clothes. She shows what her mom brought for her to her dad...and it's two copies of the same outfit she's always wears. Penny also makes a comment that no one wears that outfit but her.
  • All of the characters in The Replacements generally wear the same outfits; Dick at least has been shown to have a closet full of red-white-and-blue jumpsuits. Sometimes he wears a jumpsuit over his jumpsuit!
  • Rocko's Modern Life does this with Rocko. In this case, it's only shirts.
  • Another The Simpsons Lampshade Hanging: in "Tis The Fifteenth Season", Homer announces he's given his old clothes to the homeless. Cut to a group of homeless people, all wearing white shirts and blue pants.
  • Smurfette from The Smurfs had a closet gag... in the same episode as her origin story. To put things in perspective, she started out with ratty short black hair, a rather plain white dress, and standard Smurf shoes. But then Papa Smurf gives her a makeover into her current form, and after three scene fade transitions, the Smurfs are running out into the forest while Smurfette stays at home already having trouble choosing outfits completely identical to her own.
    Smurfette: No, this one's too long. I wore that this morning. Oh, this one's too plain. I've seen that for the night. This one? No. That one? Nah-uh.
    • In Spain, this trope is known as "Smurfette's closet".
  • Sonic Sat AM: In "The Odd Couple", it is discovered that Antoine's wardrobe contains multiple copies of the same outfit.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series, when Peter Parker opens his wardrobe, and it contains nothing but multiples of the same shirt and pants.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants has been revealed to have many copies of his standard clothing in several episodes, though he occasionally wears other things. Lampshaded in the "Boating School" episode, when Patrick was hiding in SpongeBob's closet, SpongeBob opened it and inside were multiple pairs of his square pants.
    • Likewise in "Christmas Who?" when Squidward is rushing around his house being Santa, we see the inside of his wardrobe, which is practically nothing but brown shirts.
  • Most characters in Star vs. the Forces of Evil, with Marco discussing this trope in regards to his trademark red hoodie. This is in direct contrast to the titular Star, who has six recurring outfits, plus over a dozen one-offs.
    Marco: I like red. I like hoodies. So I bought like a dozen of them.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Gems create their clothes with Voluntary Shapeshifting, so they only change their outfits for specific tasks or when they have to regenerate their entire bodies.
    • Steven himself wears clothes normally, but puts on the same red/pink shirt with a yellow star and blue jeans unless the weather or plot dictates otherwise. "Story for Steven" implies Steven is wearing many identical shirts that used to be merchandise his former-rock star father would sell at concerts. One episode had Pearl planning to dismantle the washing machine to salvage parts for an anti-robot device.
      Pearl: Steven, you might have to wear the same shirt for a while.
      Steven: No problem! [takes off shirt to reveal an identical shirt]
    • With the other human characters, whether they have multiple outfits varies a lot from person to person. Some, like Connie, are seen wearing multiple outfits. Others wear mostly one outfit, but that makes sense because it's a work uniform — Kofi and Fryman are always wearing aprons, and Lars and Sadie always wear their Big Donut t-shirts while they're at work, and have been seen wearing several other shirts while not at work. Some of the humans are always wearing the same thing, though — Ronaldo almost always wears a t-shirt with flames, cargo pants, and sandals (sometimes with an apron over the shirt while he's at work), for instance.
  • Similarly, everyone in Teen Titans; one episode had the other cast members dressing up in Robin's spare uniforms while he was out. Seen here.
  • In The Venture Bros., when the Monarch kidnaps (and later invites to his wedding) Hank, Dean and Brock, Hank demands a change of clothes. Monarch calls out that he's always wearing the same clothes anyway. Hank points out that while it's true, he does wash them. The Monarch agrees and Hank spends the rest of the episode in a Monarch mook outfit, which is itself a straight example of the trope for the mooks.

Exceptions

  • Adventure Time:
    • Marceline wears a different outfit in every episode she appears, while other characters follow this trope.
    • Princess Bubblegum was shown in three different dresses, but she mostly wears the hot pink one. The newer episodes show Princess Bubblegum changing clothes and hairstyles more frequently, though always pink.
  • All Grown Up!. Like The Weekenders, the characters changed clothes once in a while, but still only wore a few outfits.
  • In the An American Tail series this trope is for the most part followed, the only exceptions are in Fievel Goes West when Fievel's iconic blue hat is turned inside out and made into a cowboy hat, plus he later dons an off-white trenchcoat. And Tanya averts the trope in every movie, though only in Fievel Goes West does she change wardrobes mid-movie.
  • Animaniacs. The clothing would change (sometimes repeatedly in the same sketch), but all of the characters that wore anything had 'usual outfits'. Necessary with Yakko and Wakko, who look practically identical if dressed the same (practically, since Yakko is taller.)
  • On As Told by Ginger, the boys wear the same things, while the girls have an actual wardrobe: you can see the girls' varying fashions at the show's official website).
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender is also in the middle ground. The first season everyone had a basic appearance with some mild changes depending on the situation (cloaks, costumes, etc). Sokka and Katara had heavy winter coats as they left the South Pole and arrived at the North Pole but had lighter robes in between. In the second season Zuko and Iroh changed clothes often, accompanied by hairstyle changes including Zuko's hair length and Iroh's beard. Aang got some significant Clothing Damage in the second season finale and was forced to find a new wardrobe in the third season, which followed with everyone getting a wardrobe change as they went incognito in the Fire Nation. Aang changed again to a considerably more badass version of his monkly gear he apparently made from a school uniform and torn up robes. It was significant when everyone changed back into their regular attire for "The Day Of Black Sun."
    • Zuko and Aang both had new clothes in the end, befitting an appearance of something custom made for their position (Fire Lord and Air Nomad Avatar), after suffering massive Clothing Damage during the Final Battle, and everyone had new clothes when they were in Iroh's tea shop.
    • For some reason, Nickelodeon has a habit of using only the outfit the characters debuted in for promotional material.
    • They are also shown mending tears in their only clothing in at least one episode, and all the time they spend swimming implies that they try to wash their clothes often.
  • Averted with Mabel from Gravity Falls - she wears at least one different sweater for nearly every episode. Everyone else plays it straight, though. Lampshaded at least once when Robbie mocks Dipper for wearing the same shorts every day.
  • Although the Histeria! kids had casual outfits that they'd often be seen in (i.e. Loud's green shirt and blue shorts), they would always wear an outfit that would correspond to the time period of the sketch they were being featured in.
  • In Jem, the Holograms and the Misfits have a large number of outfits over the course of the series.
  • Kim Possible is in the middle ground.
    • Kim and Ron have several situational clothes changes (mission wear [black shirt, black gloves, cargo pants; Kim's shirt shows her midriff], winter gear, cheer/mascot uniforms, default school/casual clothes [Kim: green tummy-baring top, blue pants; Ron: red shirt, brown cargoes]).
    • The villains almost never change clothes, except Shego into swimwear.
    • Starting in roughly the middle of the second season and continuing through almost all of season 3, Kim wore one or two different "civilian" outfits per episode. Even Ron wore a few new outfits. By the time season 3 ended, Kim's original outfit of green top/blue cargos hadn't been seen for so long it was viewed with a slight nostalgia.
    • In season 4, an entire episode is dedicated to Kim's search for a new mission outfit. (After her usual outfit gets damaged, and Shego says, in a Lampshade Hanging, "you wear the same thing season after season after season.")
    • KP did another Lampshade Hanging - in one episode, Kim is undecided about what outfit to wear for picture day.
      Kim: What do you think? (holds up the ubiquitous green/blue outfit) Ron: Seen it too much!
    • In another episode, Bonnie notes "You wear that stupid outfit everyday!"
    • Also of note was one episode where a fashion designer launched a new line called "Kim-Style", based on Kim's mission clothes. At the end of the episode, a "Ron-Style" line was launched, based on Ron's red shirt and cargos look).
  • In Littlest Pet Shop (2012), Blythe, an aspiring fashion designer, has a different outfit and hairstyle in every episode. Other characters play this trope straight.
  • Partially avoided in My Life as a Teenage Robot; the Crust Cousins (Brit and Tiff) wear different outfits in virtually every episode.
  • Princess Ilana from Sym-Bionic Titan wore a different outfit in every episode, Lance wore basically the same clothes when out of uniform, and Octus wore the same outfits as Newton and "Dad".
  • One of the biggest exceptions to this convention is Totally Spies!, in which the three central characters have a variety of unique outfits (when out of their uniforms).
  • The Weekenders, where the main four characters change clothes often; not just from episode to episode, but day to day. Additionally, they seem to have a pre-determined wardrobe at home: if you pay attention, you can see them mix-and-match clothes from previous episodes. Neat.
  • As in the original comic book, the animated adaptation of W.I.T.C.H. has most of its characters have signature styles, with the few that don't tending to be aliens.
  • Kimiko from Xiaolin Showdown would wear a different outfit (and sometimes hairstyle) in every episode. The male characters got a slight costume change in the final season.


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