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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 
  • Pokémon:
    • Misty in the original games wears a pretty tomboyish bikini. The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga, however, 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 somewhat 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 now wears a miniskirt with thigh-high boots, whereas her original sprite had her with a t-shirt and pants.
  • 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.
  • While Birdy Cephon Altera, the title character of Birdy the Mighty, 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.
  • Rem Galleu from How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord has her belly exposed in the anime adaptation.
  • Raynare in High School D×D 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.

    Comic Books 
  • 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 really 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.
  • 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 a A-line dress or long loose pants and a strapless crop top in all of 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.

    Fan Works 

    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.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • An inadvertent case (and definitely 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 the majority of 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.
  • 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.
  • Suicide Squad:
    • Harley Quinn's live-action film debut has her in some glittery hotpants, fishnets, stiletto-sneakers and a form fitted 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.
  • 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.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 


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