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Adaptational Skimpiness

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"How do you like my new uniform? Pretty hot, huh?"note 

Amazing Alice finally gets her big-screen debut. She's always been known as a heroine with a rather conservative dress-style. However, when the trailer for Amazing Alice comes out, she's wearing... a lot less. Her pants are replaced with shorts stopping just below her butt, and her jacket and shirt are replaced with a midriff-baring tanktop. What happened? Well, it looks like Alice has been hit with a case of Adaptational Skimpiness.

At times when adapting certain characters to different mediums either due to more creative freedoms, less restriction on ratings, to show off Adaptational Curves or just because Sex Sells, they'll be often given a makeover in the form of new clothes... well, less clothes.

This trope occurs across mediums or continuities. When this happens within a series, see Fanservice Pack (which isn't always about clothes).


While this is a subtrope of Hotter and Sexier, this trope usually doesn't require the whole work to fall under such a change. This usually only applies to a single character.

The trope is usually done for Fanservice, but there are examples where fanservice isn't a factor. However, these are rather rare.

Compare Hotter and Sexier and Adaptational Attractiveness. See also Sexy Whatever Outfit. Contrast Adaptational Modestynote  and Tamer and Chaster.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Birdy the Mighty: While Birdy Cephon Altera always wore revealing uniforms, her uniforms in the original manga and subsequently the OVA tend to look more like backless swimsuits. In the remake manga, its sequel Evolution and Decode, the torso section of her uniforms don't even cover the sides. Later in Evolution She gains a new outfit that implements Navel-Deep Neckline as well.
  • Bungo Stray Dogs kept Yosano in her regular clothes while treating her patients. The anime had her strip her blouse off before treating Atsushi and Tanizaki, with a Sexophone playing in the background.
  • Campione!: When Duke Voban kidnaps Yuri Mariya to make her his slave, in the light novel, she is in her regular clothes, but in the manga and anime, she wakes up in the skimpy tunic that he normally makes his slaves wear.
  • High School D×D: Raynare only wore normal clothing in the original light novel (and the manga adaptation), but in the anime she switches to an incredibly skimpy dominatrix-style outfit when she reveals her true nature as a Fallen Angel.
  • How Not to Summon a Demon Lord; Rem Galleu has her belly exposed in the anime adaptation.
  • KonoSuba: In the light novel and manga versions of the story, while Silvia's dress does get damaged in the centipede transformation, it remained mostly intact. In the anime move, the dress gets destroyed, leaving her with several scales covering her larger breasts in the form of a halter top and goes up another level in skimpiness in her next transformation with each of her breasts being just covered by one scale, in addition to them being further increased in size.
  • Pokémon:
    • Misty in the original games wears a strapless bikini while The Electric Tale of Pikachu had her wearing what can be charitably called a wetsuit sling bikini (she beans Ash with a Cloyster when he becomes Distracted by the Sexy, complete Male Gaze closeups). This design became infamous because when Viz released the manga in North America, they applied a Digital Bikini retouching to make it a full-body wetsuit.
    • In the anime, Sabrina wears a miniskirt with thigh-high boots, whereas her original sprite had her with a t-shirt and pants.

    Comic Books 
  • 300: Although the real life Spartans fought their wars in full armour, Frank Miller had Leonidas and his men completely nude except for capes and sandals, this was to reflect Greek pottery which usually depicted its figures naked. The film adaptation for sake of modesty and minor protection gives the Spartans leather underpants.
  • A peculiar example in Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension, in which Bill is for no apparent reason put into an outfit that is massively more sexualized than anything she wore on TV or in other Titan comics (an elaborately strappy bra top, completely transparent mesh T-shirt, and tiny denim shorts). At the beginning of the story, she seems to be just having a normal study period in the library, without any intent to seduce anyone.
  • The Incredible Hulk is the Trope Namer for Magic Pants as Banner nearly always keeps his pants even when Hulking Out. In The Ultimates however Hulk is more realistically completely naked when he first transforms with some merciful shading covering up his Gamma-monster junk.
  • Harley Quinn:
    • Harley Quinn has been hit with this a lot in The New '10s. It started with the Batman: Arkham Series having her in skimpy outfits, such as a "sexy nurse", and evolved from there. In the comics specifically in the New 52, Harley goes from a conservative jester suit to wearing a corset that barely holds her breasts and bares midriff, some hotpants, and stockings with combat boots. Her solo series sees her wearing some more conservative outfits, but they'll usually be showing off her legs, midriff, cleavage, or some combination of the three. See the film section below for Suicide Squad and the video game section for the Arkham games. The in-universe reason for this outfit change is that Harley is no longer attached to the Joker and she's trying to assert herself as an individual by ditching the matching jester outfit.
    • Justified with her DC Comics Bombshells look since the whole work's style is inspired by 1940s pin-up art. She only wears a Bomber jacket, some shorts, combat boots and a bra that matches her color scheme.
  • Starfire's debut in the New 52 comic Red Hood and the Outlaws has her wearing even less than she already did. She only has some pieces of what appears to be latex covering her nipples and acting as a sort of underwear. They managed to make an already skimpy character even skimpier.
  • Warlord of Mars: The White Martians surprisingly. The books state they are the most modest of people on the planet by wearing long robes, while the comics depict them as scantily-clad as everyone else.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Almost every adaptation of Wonder Woman is showing way more skin than her creator intended, her original outfit included flowy culotte shorts and while her top was strapless it was mostly to show off the musculature of her shoulders and back rather than cleavage. She's been put in a swimsuit with a low neckline and high leg cut for most subsequent appearances.
    • The original Zara wore an A-line dress or long loose pants and a strapless crop top in all her appearances, while the version that shows up in Wonder Woman (Rebirth) wears a loincloth and a low-cut crop top.
    • While Wonder Girl Cassie Sandsmark had a number of midriff revealing outfits prior to Flashpoint and a few artists drew her tank top outfit with a very low cleavage revealing collar, what she's wearing in New 52 Teen Titans appears to be painted on, especially as her breasts are popping out of the top and the lack of any straps or sleeves means there's no way they'd remain contained at all in any clothing material known to man while she's jumping around fighting.
    • Ares occasionally is a rare male example of this trope that crosses over with Truer to the Text. He's traditionally depicted covered in layers of armor that obscure all but his eyes but recent comics (Wonder Woman (Rebirth) and Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons) have him opt for little clothing as his preferred dressing style, closer to how the Ancient Greeks depicted Ares as not a big believer in clothes.

    Fan Works 
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Momo Yaoyorozu's already Stripperific costume becomes a Sexy Backless Outfit with a Cleavage Window at Izuku's and Inko's suggestion. This keeps the costume from being torn to shreds when Momo makes larger items. Mineta approves wholeheartedly.
  • In Boop the Snoot for Critical Damage!, Blake Belladonna's main outfit is a bikini with a sarong, as well as a multitude of belt pouches. In canon, she was mostly modest, with Bare Your Midriff being the most fanservicey she ever got. In fairness, she lost most of her clothes when she was trapped on an island full of killer animals and plants and it was either the bikini or the somehow more revealing outfit Adam got her. She mostly wears the swimsuit out of sentimentality since Ilia got it for her.
  • Unbreakable Red Silken Thread: Scarlett'ss outfits she wears when dancing compared to her regular outfit. Mainly, her skirt is much much shorter, barely covering her thighs, her top is much tighter and pushes up her bust a bit more, she lacks her glasses and her stockings are swapped out for a pare of knee-high socks.

    Films — Animation 
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham: Harley's outfit now consists of pants, combat boots, and a crop top that exposes her arms and a large amount of midriff.
  • In The Snow Queen, the Snow Queen has a long, elegant white dress and a "fur" cloak and hat made of snow. As a part of her Character Development, Elsa of Frozen ditches her conservative coronation attire for a shorter, looser gown made of ice.
  • Esmerelda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame goes from being The Ingenue to a Hot Gypsy Woman who at one point does a sexy dance to entertain the crowd. Of course this is just one scene and her regular clothes are less skimpy.
  • The folktales that Son of the White Horse took inspiration from don't describe the characters' clothes, but they presumably wear standard garments befitting their status, which is how they appear in most book illustrations. The movie changes things up:
    • All three brothers wear one piece of clothing each: Treeshaker has a kind of leotard, Stonecrumbler a pair of baggy pants and Irontemperer just an apron with his butt out. Their regal outfits are more akin to full-body armor, though.
    • The Copper-Haired Princess, befitting her role as a symbol of fertility and lustfulness, is mostly nude, only carrying around a see-through robe or veil that doesn't hide anything. Her formal regal clothing isn't any less revealing, it's a cape that still allows full frontal nudity, and even when closed, her breasts are out.
    • The Goblin doesn't have any clothes, only his immense beard that coils around him, though since he's made from shape-shifting clouds, he doesn't have much to hide.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola has a ton of this. The Brides are clothed when they appear to Jonathan in the book, they’re topless in the film. Lucy being Purity Personified is covered up modestly in the book, in the film she has multiple revealing outfits and a Wardrobe Malfunction that exposes her breast, all to go along with her sultry attitude. Even Dracula sleeps and emerges naked in his box full of earth, in the book he was clothed.
  • Dragon Ball Evolution has Chi-Chi in much more revealing and hotter outfits than she does in the source material where her wardrobe is always modest after her initial Age-Inappropriate Dress. Being played by model actress Jamie Chung is likely a factor in this. Inverted ironically with Bulma who has numerous Ms. Fanservice outfits in the manga and anime, but dresses modestly in the film.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The locket scene; while in the movie the illusions of Harry and Hermione are clearly naked, no mention is made of how they're dressed in the book.
    • Hermione's dress at Bill and Fleur's wedding. In the book, it's purple and presented as a She Cleans Up Nicely moment. In the film, it's a sexy red dress and Ron is seen staring at her with a rather lustful expression.
    • In the fourth film when Harry takes a bath in the Prefects' Bathroom, he's described as having foam up to his chin in the book. In the film, it's only to his waist — allowing Daniel Radcliffe to turn it into a Shirtless Scene. Moaning Myrtle is also far more obviously flirting with him in the film than she is in the book.
    • Downplayed with Ginny in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. She's given a scene in a Little Black Dress that wasn't mentioned in the book, and it's implied Harry may have been given a boner by the sight.
    • Ron gets a Shirtless Scene in the second Deathly Hallows film that isn't mentioned in the books.
  • In Romeo and Juliet (1968), Juliet has some cleavage and bare arms on display during the famous balcony scene, unlike most versions when she’s pretty well covered up. Later on during the post-coitus bedroom scene, both Romeo and Juliet are naked with the latter briefly baring her naked breasts, in most other versions (barring Baz Luhrmann’s) they’re clothed.
  • Similarly Macbeth (1971) has Lady Macbeth (who’s been given a Age Lift) wandering around nude during her hand washing guilt-induced madness. In pretty much all other versions, she keeps her kit on and isn’t really a Ms. Fanservice.
  • The Phantom of the Opera (2004) noticeably had a lot of the cast in more revealing attire than the book or Broadway musical. Christine in particular not only has a visible garter belt during “Music of the Night” but also frequently has Impossibly-Low Neckline outfits, which becomes tonally confusing and anachronistic when she visits her father’s grave with her cleavage showing, not to mention it’s Paris in winter.
  • Male example with Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In The Mighty Thor, he usually (especially in modern comics) has armoured sleeves, but in most of the films he bares his arms and only covers them up with scaled armour when he’s in/or about to go into battle.
  • An inadvertent case (and one not played for fanservice) is the loincloth-clad Gollum in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (and in the cartoon adaptations - and in most illustrations and fanart, come to mention it). The original books only once mention that he has a "ragged garment," while Tolkien's notes to illustrators indicating that he wears a significant amount of clothingnote  aren't widely known. Given how impoverished he is and how much time he spends in or around water, if you have no other guidelines, it makes sense to put him in something very scanty.
  • Another non-fanservice example in The Chronicles of Narnia: In the first book Mr. and Mrs. Beaver apparently wear some clothes, which is a bit of Early-Installment Weirdness. In the film they're naked like every other Talking Beast.
  • Similar to the aforementioned non-fanservice examples, The Lizard in The Amazing Spider-Man is depicted as completely naked (he does briefly wear a lab coat before a SWAT team shoot it off with More Dakka). In the comics Connors keeps his lab coat, top and pants even when transformed.
  • The Thing gets this in Fan4stic. In the comics, he wears shorts or underpants whilst in the film he wears neither and has his rocky bits (which admittedly don’t remotely resemble human genitalia) on full display.
  • Downplayed In-Universe in Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession. Zina in Shurik's hallucination wears bright makeup and bright clothes and is rather flirtatious. Zina in Shurik's real life wears little makeup, dresses modestly and is calm and serious.
  • Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City does this to Jill Valentine. In RE1 she’s wearing a tactical S.T.A.R.S outfit complete with shoulder pads, very modest compared to her more famous tube top and miniskirt outfit. In the film, Jill wears a vest with that bears her arms and reveals a fair amount of cleavage.
  • Suicide Squad:
    • Harley Quinn's live-action film debut has her in some glittery hotpants, fishnets, stiletto-sneakers, and a form fitting T-shirt, giving her a neon-colored punk rocker look. It is shown that she wore her jester outfit in the past, though, and she's had more skimpy alternative costumes in the comics themselves.
    • The Enchantress is barely wearing any covering other than a metal bikini and some chains. The comics usually have her covered head to toe. A rare example of this being used in combination with Adaptational Ugliness. When she reaches full power after getting her heart back, she assumes a more modest, regal appearance.
    • The Joker himself undergoes this, often being seen either with shirt not completely buttoned-up or even completely shirtless.
  • In the X-Men Film Series, while Mystique is typically a Technically Naked Shapeshifter, most versions have her wearing clothes by forming them out of her body while in her default blue form. The films went all the way and just had her completely naked in her natural state with only some scales to serve as Monster Modesty.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Margaery and her handmaidens' costumes are more revealing than in the books where some standard cleavage and exposed shoulders are regarded as "revealing" attire during a royal feast.
    • Daenerys is nude in her first scene with Viserys - where he strips her off to admire her breasts before she's to be sold as Khal Drogo's bride. She was not nude in the book at this point.
  • Ms. Marvel has a In-Universe example with popular high schooler Zoe cosplaying as Captain Marvel and wearing a more revealing costume than what the MCU Carol Danvers wears at AvengerCon, of which Kamala’s friend Bruno exclaims she’s being inaccurate. This is a Mythology Gag, as Zoe is actually wearing a very similar costume to what Carol wore when she was Ms Marvel in the comics and it was Brie Larson who requested her character not wear any of the more revealing costumes she was previously known for and have the modest Captain Marvel suit be her default. Meaning Zoe’s cosplay comes off as tacky Rule of Sexy within universe, even though it is genuinely accurate to what Carol wore for years.
  • Once Upon a Time:
  • Shadowhunters:
    • Isabelle's outfit in the nightclub when she kills the demon is quite modest in the books. In the show it's much skimpier, and she does a sexy dance to distract the demons too.
    • Clary gets an Age Lift to become a confident young adult instead of an awkward teenager. She's also much better endowed than her book counterpart and gets several outfits that pay attention to that.
  • The Snow Queen (2002) - the Princess from the original fairy tale gets an Age Lift to become a sexy adult woman, with flattering strapless dresses. In this adaptation, she's the Anthropomorphic Personification of summer, so the more revealing clothes make a bit more sense.

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