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Chainmail Bikini

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Rico: Why would they give her such skimpy armor that can only protect such a small portion of her body?
Bron: How would I know? Maybe those are the only parts of her that are vulnerable!

Usually when you include sexy characters in a work, you want to put them in revealing clothing for maximum fanservice. But what if these characters are warriors who are expected to wear armor into battle? Whether the technology of the setting calls for mail shirts, full plate armor, ballistic vests, or Space Marine suits, most types of practical armor hide all the "good parts" under layers of protection. Alas, what's a creator to do? Well, if you aren't particularly worried about realism, you can dress them in something that kind of looks like armor, but is designed to show off the wearer's skin and secondary sex characteristics with seemingly no concern for safety or defensive usefulness.

For females, the full-blown version looks like a bikini bathing suit—albeit one made of some armor-like material such as metal or leather—that leaves the whole body naked and exposed to danger except for those parts which cannot be shown on network TV: namely, the breasts, butt, and groinnote . Even if the skimpiness isn't that extreme, there will usually be skin showing at the neckline, shoulders, midriff, or thighs. They don't seem worried about being Exposed to the Elements, or that someone might stab them in the belly or shoot an arrow at their sternum: the Cleavage Window in particular makes you wonder if they're trying to get shot there. Additionally, armor materials that are stiff or bulky in real life will be implausibly stretchy and skin-hugging in drawing or animation, thus showing off the character's figure more.

Most Writers Are Male may lead to instances where only females get the Chainmail Bikini treatment, while the guys are dressed in regular, non-sexualized armor. The creators' rationale may be that men need full armor to look menacing and professional (which may carry Unfortunate Implications that a male character can be liked by the audience purely because he's a great warrior, while a female warrior isn't worth including unless she also looks sexy), or that having Female Gaze fanservice in addition to the Male Gaze is unnecessary because the show is only catering to a straight male target audience. One of the most notorious and oft-parodied uses of this trope is in RPG video games, where a suit of armor will look conventional on a male character, but will somehow morph into metal lingerie the moment a woman puts it on, even if it's literally the same suit transferred from one party member to another. And of course protective ability isn't compromised even though half the material is missing.

Despite the preceding paragraph, this trope does indeed have male examples, particularly when the goal is to portray male fighters as super-macho and/or 'uncivilized'. Barbarian Heroes and post-apocalyptic tribe members tend to be depicted as Walking Shirtless Scenes: you might add one big pauldron, a pair of forearm bracers, and an armored belt or loincloth, but nothing that would obscure those chiseled pecs and abs. At the downplayed end you can have an armor version of Sleeves Are for Wimps to show off their muscular arms. There is debate about whether half-naked male warriors in fiction are sexually objectified in the same way as female ones, or whether a heroic, muscular body is merely part of the power fantasy that the male audience is encouraged to vicariously live through. It does seem, however, that at least some male examples are intended as legit fanservice.

The question of how a character can stay protected while wearing this stuff can be answered with protective runes in the form of tribal warpaint or tattoos, their actual armor consisting of invisible Deflector Shields, a Healing Factor making armor moot, or the "wearer" simply being a Screaming Warrior with no sense of self-preservation. Another Hand Wave is the idea that the character comes from a hot climate or a culture where less clothing is worn, or that they're a Fragile Speedster who doesn't like to be burdened with a lot of armor. If Played for Laughs by The Loonie, it's usually "justified" by a distraction bonus. All of this is related to the idea that Armor Is Useless, or at least that there's little correlation between how useful it is and how much it visibly covers. However, skimpy armor can potentially be justified if it was designed in-universe mainly for ceremony or entertainment, such as in Gladiator Games (this actually happened in Real Life; Roman gladiatrixes wore the same outfits as their male counterparts, i.e., nothing above the waist).

Of course, if viewed from a gender-flipped perspective, some real-life warriors, such as the Celts of Europe and Zulus of Africa, are known for going into battle wearing next to nothing, but they carried shields for protection. This means it's plausible that a female warrior could wear next-to-nothing, and still be an effective warrior, if they are equipped with a decent shield. Realistically speaking that should tend to lead to some gnarly battle scars, though.

A downplayed feminine version is the so-called "boobplate", which is a breastplate that doesn't expose flesh but is shaped with individual breast cups. As sometimes depicted—with deep cleavage and no room for protective garments—this could be an impractical design. In combat the deep cleavage would transfer some of the impact of a heavy blow to the breastbone, potentially wounding the wearer (though much of the force would be lost, with the strike being deflected to the center chest instead of heading directly there—much like how a projectile loses force on a ricochet). Less extreme examples make this unlikely as long as there is enough space and/or padding behind the metal, since plate armor is very tough even without a glancing shape.

Men in history have worn decorative armors with similar "shot traps" and it's been proposed that the real reason there are no historical examples of a "boobplate" is that there were nowhere near enough women buying bespoke armor for themselves that a new style would be created for them; most women who donned armor had to make do with whatever they could get their hands on, and the very few professional women-at-arms who purchased bespoke armor could use the male template just fine as long as it was tailored to their measurements. Many medieval breastplates had a dome-like shape with plenty of empty space over the chest, so an average-sized bust would fit with no problem, while a larger one could be accommodated by just increasing the globose shape or shifting it upwards. And it's not even that uncomfortable—boobs can be compressed quite a lot thanks to them being mostly fat. Of course, there's a real-life parallel in the form of armored codpieces, or "schlong armor" as some jokingly call it, so maybe it's not implausible for a "fancified breastplate" to be made in a fictional society where female warriors are more common and more assertive about their sex than they were historically.

A mainstay of Speculative Fiction. Form-Fitting Wardrobe is a sister trope describing any outfit that's depicted as more form-fitting than its real life version. Stripperiffic is another supertrope, encompassing any skimpy outfit worn in action whether or not it’s supposed to be armor. Thong of Shielding, and Cleavage Window are possible components of a chainmail bikini. It may or may not be worn as 24-Hour Armor. A Battle Ballgown tends to incorporate more cloth and coverage, but if it has risqué features like being backless or having a cleavage window then it could also qualify as a chainmail bikini. Not much of a concern, protection-wise, if Armor Is Useless. For people who fight completely naked see Full-Frontal Assault. A chainmail bikini is a common look for a Nubile Savage. Not to be confused with the Web Comic called Chainmail Bikini, ,though it naturally features one.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Somewhat justified in 009-1. Mylene is an Action Girl with missile breasts, so she gets one slapped on her if she's captured by a villain.
  • In Assassination Classroom, Irina had initially suggested a sexier, more revealing look when coming up with the design for the female students' new P.E. uniforms. The students complain that the skimpy design would've reduced most of its defensive capabilities to zero.
  • Ayakashi Triangle:
    • Parodied when Suzu takes up Reo's offer to wear some gear. Suzu asks for a "cute" set, not really understanding Reo's tastes until she's already wearing it. The "Sexy Gear" is a very heavily modified version of Matsuri's armor that exposes the lower third of her breasts, part of her crotch, and essentially all of her thighs, butt, abdomen, and back. To make it extra ridiculous, is does cover her arms below the shoulder and legs from the knee down.
      Reo: An ayakashi would go down so easily with this seduction trap!
      Matsuri: Why would you seduce an ayakashi?!
      Suzu: Just hurry and put me back in my own clothes!
    • A Beach Episode has Reo turn her and Matsuri's battlesuits into Barely-There Swimwear and Soga's into swim trunks with no shirt. Suzu then turns her own outfit into a less revealing bikini. Despite covering far less of their bodies, all their outfits continue to protect them the same, at least from heat.
    • On Matsuri's birthday, Reo's present is "updating" the suit into another Sexy Gear. It has similar bottom parts, an even skimpier top, and covers Matsuri's arms and shoulders more than the regular outfit. Matsuri doesn't find this out until going into battle, but true to Reo's expectations, it saves the day by seducing a swarm of ayakashi. Matsuri has it changed back anyway.
  • Played straight in Bikini Warriors the Fighter and Paladin in particular wear very little actual armor, while mostly wearing bikinis. In the first episode, they complain to a shopkeeper how useless their gear is. They're sold similar-looking gear but imbued with attributes that protect them from physical and elemental attacks, and the team noticed the difference.
  • Justified in Black Clover. Noelle Silva's Valkyrie Armor — Mermaid Form is a bikini top and mermaid tail made of water that's meant for underwater combat.
  • A Centaur's Life: Chapter 50 shows Hime, Nozomi, and Kyouko adventuring in a fantasy dungeon wearing bikini armor, with Nozomi lampshading how chilly it is and Hime acting embarrassed. Things only get naughtier from there, up to and including a slime monster that dissolves all their clothes. At the end of the chapter this all turns out to be taking place inside a story that Akechi wrote and is currently letting everybody read. While Kyoko's critiquing everything about the story, including the fact that it's just based on a bunch of inside jokes, Nozomi adds that there’s no way they could wear bikini armor. By that she means it’s impractical, but Akechi takes this a different way:
    [Akechi looks at Kyoko and Nozomi's flat chests]
    Akechi: [cheerfully insensitive] You’re right.
    Kyoko: [annoyed] What’re you looking at?
  • Digimon Adventure 02 provides an example intended more for stylization than titillation, but the armor worn by Flamedramon, his super mode Magnamon, and several other Digimon of his type barely qualifies as armor at all, leaving their torso, crotch, arms, and legs completely exposed. This is especially ironic, given the entire theme of this style of evolution revolves around especially protective armor.
  • In Fairy Tail, Erza's everyday armor covers her torso entirely, however she has a seemingly endless number of armors that she can transform into that often leave little to the imagination. She summons a literal plate armor bikini while at the beach. Erza is one of the few justified examples in anime. She's a Magic Knight, and while her base armor (which covers her entire torso) is just plain metal, the other ones have magical abilities. She doesn't wear most of them to deflect attacks (in fact, one of the few times she took a truly life-threatening injury, she was wearing her Flight Armor that traded all defense in favor of pure blitzing speed and was caught off-guard and poisoned by a foe that could still predict her movements), and the ones she does wear to deflect attacks are fully-armored as one would expect.
  • This kind of armor exists in Goblin Slayer, a setting where not wearing enough armor could be (and often is) fatal. Justified, as those armors are stated outright to not be for battle, but rather to attract male attention outside it. Even after being told this, Goblin Slayer himself doesn't recommend it. Amazon is pretty much the only character who actually wears it into battle, because she is fast and skilled enough that it is almost impossible to hit her. Priestess owns a set of robes that arguably fall into this category as well, but they're explicitly stated to be a ceremonial outfit for ritual dances, not something for regular wear. She does fight in them once, but only because the battle came to her when she was already wearing them and she didn't have time to change into something more practical. (Not only are her usual robes more modest, they have a chainmail foundation garment that's saved her life on at least one occasion.)
  • In .hack both male and female swordfighter classes can go very light on actual armor (Bear and Orca famously sport only a shoulder guard, man-skirt, and boots, and are covered more in ink than in clothing). Wavemasters, the mages, are typically fully covered in robes or dresses, while other classes fall somewhere in between - comfortable clothes that bare the chest, navel, a low neckline, or whatnot. This may be an invoked trope given that dot hack is a series of anime and video games about playing a video game.
  • In Hetalia: Axis Powers, Hungary is shown in both official and fan works as wearing revealing and form-fitting armor similar to the ones she wore as a child. Which also show her breasts rather prominently.
  • How to Treat a Lady Knight Right has its heroine Leo Cornelia, who wears nearly full plate armor except for a naked midsection, an exposed left shoulder, and no helmet. She thinks that her muscular, scar-covered body is unattractive to men, and it's unclear why she'd bare her midriff like that if not to show off, but it does lead to an Amazon Chaser magician named Houli Dent confessing his attraction to her in the first chapter. Despite her initial disbelief, he insists that he fell for her at first sight because she carries herself so bravely, and he loves everything about her including her shredded six pack abs. After he begins traveling with her he heals a cut on her abdomen, and later finds out about a huge scar on her lower back from an old fight. Perhaps abdominal armor would have been a good idea.
  • Exaggerated in Kill la Kill. Ryuko's magic super-uniform exposes her entire torso, with gratuitous Underboobs, and comes with a Thong of Shielding, yet it somehow shields her from almost any attack—including ones intentionally aimed at the uncovered areas. It turns out there's a reason for the skimpiness - if you have to wear a potentially mind-dominating parasite to get your powers, you're not going to want a lot of it touching your skin.
  • Agito's Barrier Jacket in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, which consists of a bikini and a strange mishmash of skirts and belts that barely cover the bottom part. She gets a Barrier Jacket that covers more of her body in the installments after StrikerS to match her new master, Signum. Being a Unison Device, she would normally spend about 99% of a fight fused with her master (meaning that she is, for the most part, untouchable), so the bikini is actually better in terms of efficiency. note 
  • The Neneka Corps from Mobile Suit Victory Gundam is a squad of bazooka-toting bikini girls sent by the Zanscare Empire to distract Uso, except the intended psychological effect backfired by sending Uso into a Heroic BSoD instead and Neneka herself received the health effect of a human body hit by a beam saber. She also makes a cameo appearance in Tokyo Gunpla Collection fashion show of Gundam Build Fighters Try.
  • The Dressrosa arc of One Piece gives us the female gladiator Rebecca, whose scale bra and loincloth leave her cleavage uncovered, and sometimes give a clear view of her buttocks when her cap doesn't obscure them. The coliseum rules limit how much weight you're allowed to wear into battle, but she strangely decided to only put plate on her head and from the knees down. The males don't wear much, either, though their clothes aren't so revealing. Rebecca's fighting style is also "dodge everything", since she isn't nearly as strong or tough as her opponents. More armor would just be a drawback.
  • Otona no Bouguya-san is an ecchi comedy manga about a shop in an RPG Mechanics 'Verse that sells this stuff. A young man named Kautz comes into town from the country looking for a job, and sees a shop door with a "help wanted" poster on it. Upon going in he's highly flustered to find a man in a compromising position with a pretty girl who's wearing an extremely revealing "armor", but they turn out to be the shopkeeper Naden and his salesgirl Lilietta. Naden was just using Lilietta to test the fit on one of his items of merchandise, and he explains to Kautz he started this shop purely because it's his dream to get every female adventurer to wear such "ero-armors". In fact Naden's store is on the brink of going under because he just wants to sell sexy things to women, and priced everything to sell at a loss while neglecting any sort of accurate or responsible bookkeeping. Out of a combination of wanting to fix this miserable state of affairs and being immediately infatuated with Lilietta, Kautz takes the job and the hilarity begins.
  • Overlord (2012):
    • Clementine wears a fairly modest scale armor version, though it still shows off her cleavage and midriff. The appeal is somewhat offset by the fact that the scales are actually the plates of adventurers she killed.
    • Albedo is a Mighty Glacier, and so goes into battle wearing a suit of full plate armor that covers her from head to toe. It was actually slimmed down for the anime and still makes her looks like an imposing Black Knight, though it's at least a downplayed example with its overall curvy shape, boob plate, and Combat Stilettos. The fact she can move in it the way she does shows off how strong she is. Amusingly, she actually wishes out loud her battle armor was more revealing, since Ainz can't see her while she's wearing it.
    • Shalltear is another aversion, also donning full plate when she gets serious. Like with Albedo, it shows how dangerous she is, as most vampires can't use armor (it gets in the way of feeding).
  • Project Ako:
    • Also famously lampshaded in the first film when B-ko throws off her school uniform to reveal a skimpy armor bikini underneath. She is met with laughter from the student body, and A-ko's famous response; "Ain't it cold in that?"
    • And then hilariously parodied further and subverted in the second movie, where B-Ko's father wears the exact same suit.
    • Not to be outdone, D—who is the size of an American football linebacker—also wears a skimp armor bikini when fighting A-Ko on the Alpha Cygni spaceship. To her credit, however, she also has a really big shield to compensate for her uncovered skin.
  • Queen's Blade:
    • Leina fits rather snugly into hers. Seems like there would be painful chafing involved. It's a 1-inch thick slab of steel worn directly on her skin, barely covering her breasts and abdomen and leaving her sides and much of her back exposed. Her sisters aren't much better — their only armor is metal bras barely covering their breasts and the rest barely covering their crotch, legs, and/or arms, depending on the artist.
  • Reincarnated as a Sword: Teacher gets angry when Gallus provides Fran with armor that exposes her belly. Gallus placates him by revealing it protects her vitals with an invisible force field.
  • The page quote comes from this trope's parody/Shout-Out in Robotech/Super Dimension Fortress Macross; being totally unfamiliar with any aspect of culture that doesn't involve fighting, two Zentraedi spies are baffled when they view the mysterious broadcast from the "Micronian" ship (an accidental leak of their new TV station and its debut show, a beauty pageant) and behold a model wearing a bikini. They naturally come to the conclusion it must be a form of armor, as it clearly doesn't cover enough to be a uniform.
  • Cecily Campbell of The Sacred Blacksmith wears one that's literally shaped to fit her form precisely, including her chest (and it's rather fragile). And apparently she doesn't wear padding underneath. On the other hand, her fellow male knights wear a costume with similar plate coverage.
  • The Bronze and some of the Silver Cloths of Saint Seiya are suits of armor that cover only a few bits of their owner's anatomy, leaving entire areas (such as the whole abdomen, thighs, face, neck) exposed to the elements. However, the Cloths of the two known female Silver Saints (as well as Grus Yuzuriha in The Lost Canvas, who wears less clothing under her armor than Marin or Shaina) are even worse, tending to be more like lightweight metal bikinis, with even less protection, and breast-shaped breastplates. Justified with the Bronze Saints, due to the fact that their Cloths are supposed to be in the lowest hierarchy (thus they protect less and are weaker than the Silver Cloths), while for the two female Saints it's implied they never got their Cloths repaired, during which the Cloths receive additional pieces (the Ophiuchus Cloth is even confirmed to be a recent one in Saint Seiya: Next Dimension, as it was recently declassed and reforged from being a Gold Cloth that covered much more).
    • The inhabitants of Athena's Sanctuary also wear leather armor that basically amounts to this all the time. Shaina, Marin, Aiolia and Aiolos, who are Saints, wear ones with metallic parts as their casual wear, on which they put their Cloths when they expect to go in combat (leather armor being basically useless for the kind of battles fought by Saints).
  • Mew Zakuro of Tokyo Mew Mew wears a crop top and shorts in her transformed state, unlike her teammates who wear leotards and dresses. To balance it out, most of the men that fight wear short-shorts and/or have exposed navels like she does.
  • UQ Holder! has a non-combative version. When entering in a hoverbike race, everyone is wearing swimsuits rather than protective gear (though they do wear helmets). Kirie points out how dangerous that is, only for Mizore to inform her that, due to the use of magical protection in clothing, the current trend is to see how skimpy people can make the outfits and get away with it. Plus, if the outfits fly off, it'll just boost the popularity of the race, so the sponsors are all for it.
  • In Urusei Yatsura Benten, an alien girl, regular outfit is an armor red bikini.
  • The Witchblade transforms Masane completely, skimpy armor included. And that's not including all the reproduction Witchblades... Justifiable in that it's the Witchblade's power, not the armor itself, that protects her. She's taken tank rounds to her unarmored stomach and gotten right back up.
    • Witchblade Takeru exploits the trope even further: basically, the titular heroine's Witchblade form covers just enough to protect her most basic modesty, leaving almost nothing to the imagination, as seen here and here.
      • Takeru's second Witchblade form takes it Up to Eleven by reaching a virtually NSFW level.
  • Played out beautifully in Wolf's Rain. Yes, Jaguara does wear armor that clearly displays her "assets" to anyone she might allow to be in her presence... so guess where Darcia finally skewers her?, granted she was trying to seduce him, but she also anticipated a battle with the wolves.

    Comic Books 
  • Lampshaded in The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius. A temporal anomaly unleashes characters from different dimensions and time periods in Barry's basement. One of them is an Amazon wearing this, prompting Jeremy to ask her if it chafes.
  • X-23 gets a boob plate variant from Muramasa in All-New Wolverine #29. It's forged from pieces of the souls of herself, Daken, and Gabby, and its purpose is to protect her from bullets crafted from the Healing Factor-nullifying Muramasa Blade, so it's a less egregious example than most.
  • A metal bra and panties are all the armor Angela needs to fight.
  • The Animaniacs comics had Minerva Mink wearing this Xena-inspired outfit, cleavage-baring leather with a short dress showing bare thighs.
  • In an issue of The Avengers, the team entered a city that had been transformed to an ancient version of itself by Kulan Gath (a frequent tactic of his). Their clothes transformed as they entered the city, with She-Hulk ending up in a chainmail bikini reminiscent of Red Sonja's. (This was probably a direct homage, given that Kulan Gath is Sonja's arch-enemy.)
  • In the first few issues of Artesia, the heroine wore full armor on her upper body - and nothing between her tassets and greaves, showing off a lot of leg as well as leather "panties." After the Art Evolution, Artesia buys armor for her legs. She (and other female soldiers) has angular projections formed into her curaiss that obviously represent breasts - but otherwise female warriors wear more or less the same armor as their male counterparts.
  • Black Moon Chronicles: Feydriva and Pilou both wear armor that exposes quite a lot of their well-formed bodies. Although Pilou at least has the excuse that he's also a thief, so carrying less bulk is a plus.
  • Parodied in the comic series Cerebus the Aardvark: when 'Red Sophia' tries to seduce Cerebus by removing the top of her chainmail bikini, he snidely retorts that the swelling ought to go down eventually if she'd stop wearing it.
  • Exoristos in Demon Knights. Lampshaded when a young child tells Exoristos that she dresses like a tart note , which Exoristos takes as a compliment, while wondering if it is some kind of pastry.
  • Worn by the Amazastanians (a warrior race that consists solely of stunningly attractive women with physical ages of 18 to 20) in Doctor Who comic strip "The Green-Eyed Monster" in Doctor Who Magazine (although this entire adventure might just be a delusion of Rose's).
  • Lampshaded and subverted in an issue of Dork Tower, where Igor is running a Dungeons & Dragons game for Gilly and Kayleigh. He gives them both pre-generated characters, which has both of their characters attired in the stereotypical fantasy armour. Kayleigh immediately remarks on the ludicrous impracticality of their outfits; and promptly has her character make for the nearest armourer to purchase more practical gear for them both.
  • Taken to extremes in Earth X by Iron Maiden, who's of the molded plate variety. It makes sense to a point, since her power is to shape the metal that encases her, but a concept drawing featured in issue #4 shows not just breast-plate but navel-plate and what looks to be cameltoe-plate. Ouch.
  • Helga in Garfield: His 9 Lives. It's literally just a metal bikini; it doesn't even have shoulder straps.
  • Worn by the original Halfshell and her replacement in The Hypernaturals. The armor consists of a metal bikini, boots, gloves and helmet, leaving the thighs and midriff exposed. When Deedee Cadiz takes over for her missing predecessor, she claims she didn’t get the job originally because her more voluptuous figure would be too provocative. In reality, Deedee didn’t make the cut the first time because she had problems with authority.
  • Parodied in L.E.G.I.O.N. 007, a Tuxedo and Martini spoof. Stealth, the Girl from L.E.G.I.O.N., is outfitted with a bulletproof bikini. Sure enough, when two graduates of the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy start shooting at her, we see bullets bouncing off the bikini, and apparently not hitting her anywhere else.
  • Lampshaded by the bank-robbing aliens in one of Jhonen Vasquez's Meanwhile strips, pointing out that the tiny plate of armor on Lady Sexhole's forehead is protecting the last thing she should be concerned about.
  • Lampshaded in Princeless. The blacksmith Bedelia tries to sell several suits of very skimpy armor to Adrienne, the protagonist. Adrienne proceeds to point out how useless the armors would be in an actual battle, and ends up getting jeers and catcalls when she is forced to wear one of the suits in public.
  • Red Sonja:
    • Marvel Comics' Red Sonja is the original chainmail-bikini wearer.note  In an interview when she began writing for the series, Gail Simone said she didn't view it as armor at all, and was surprised that people did.
    • In "Gerd's Story" by Rhianna Pratchett, from Dynamite Comics' Legends of Red Sonja series, Gerd describes her first meeting with Red Sonja, when Sonja is dressed in heavy armour. Gerd tells her that the main advantage a woman fighting men has is agility, so being weighed down is not the way to go. And if your opponent is Distracted by the Sexy, that doesn't hurt either.
    • The Queen Sonja series tells a different backstory than the above, revealing that her bikini wasn't even intended to be armor either, it was a slave girl disguise given to Sonja by her late boyfriend Kain which they used to infiltrate a temple and rescue their allies. He died in action and ever since she kept the outfit as a Tragic Keepsake.
    • Yet another different version is told in Red Sonja: Ballad of the Red Goddess: the Goddess empowers Sonja and grants her a mighty sword, but as she announces that Sonja will also receive a full-clad armor. Sonja rejects that, because she wants every evildoer she battles to know that she is a woman. The Goddess clads her then on the iconical chainmail bikini. This story was written by Roy Thomas, Sonja's creator, and drawn by Esteban Maroto, the first artist to draw her in chainmail lingerie, so it's as close as we could get to a "canonical" origin for the outfit.
  • In Requiem Vampire Knight, Claudia wears literal lingerie armor in a tournament fight. Also worn by the Sisters of Blood, but they are more creepy than sexy, and in a dark take, as prone to disfiguring injuries as anyone else.
  • Equina, a well endowed criminal centaur who fought Robin and Blue Devil, wears a form-fitted strapless boobplate and helmet in place of any reasonable clothes or practical armor.
  • Tarot's "armour" in Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose. The way Jim Balent draws it, it amounts to little more than a rigid thong bikini held on with pen-line-thin straps. And she's got a relatively high amount of coverage compared to most other characters. Her sister, Raven Hex, for example, wears "armor" that effectively consists of spiked pasties and dental floss. Then again, Raven Hex's breasts probably weigh more than the rest of her torso.
  • Lampshaded in the second Van Von Hunter book, wherein Stripperiffic villain Adonette is shot by a rather... distracted archer, who is promptly berated by his brother:
    "Bloody hell! The woman's practically half-naked over there and you go and hit the ONE piece of armor she IS wearing?!"
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Hippolyta's most iconic Golden age outfit had a "top" that consisted of two conical metal cups over her breasts and some straps to hold it on.
    • Occasionally, someone will claim (in-universe or out) that Wonder Woman's swimsuit-like outfit is supposed to be armor.
    • Every once in a while people will write her actually putting on real armor, but it never seems to stick. Alex Ross introduced her plate armor in Kingdom Come, partly because it was the biggest battle in the history of the world, partly to make her look angelic in keeping with the story's theme, but mostly because Ross likes making up new costumes. Since then, writers occasionally have her don the "Screaming Chicken Armor" as a sign that a particular issue's fight is a much bigger deal than usual.
    • Various attempts including the late 2000's and the New 52 eventually gave a similar but different redesign of the costume so that she was wearing more than a leotard, at least giving her pants or a skirt. Fan outcry has resulted in continuous changes to the costume in an effort to reflect changing attitudes while appealing to the classic look of the character.
    • A rather hilarious version of this occurred in Justice League Unlimited, where Hephaestus tells Diana that he "made that armor" for her mother…but that Diana has a fuller figure so he thinks he should be allowed to rework it at some point. Meanwhile Ares and Hades both have fully covering scary armor, hinting that Hephaestus agrees with this trope.
    • Gundra the valkyrie wears a breast plate over chainmail, suggesting she just wants to remind people she has boobs.
    • Nubia's original costume was a fully covering suit of armor, though the breasts were impractically molded to her form. Her subsequent costumes and armor tend to cover as much or less than a bathing suit and either have a random hole over her stomach or have the metal there be so tightly molded to her that it's astounding she can breath or move at all.
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Queen Clea and Zara both wear what are essentially strapless metal bras for tops. Clea seems to be going for armor, while Zara is just using the fashion to bolster her scam cult.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Medusa's armor is rather lacking in coverage, essentially consisting of some molded boob cups and a segmented strip down the middle of her torso. You'd think someone whose been killed by having her head cut off and is still furious about it would want at least some kind of neck protection.
  • Jena Pyre and her sister Madelyne in X-Men: Phoenix – Legacy of Fire wear nothing more golden bikinis, with only tiny red jackets covering them.
  • A common variant in superhero comics, particularly during the 90s, is for female wearers of Powered Armor to wear suits that are stylized to make it very clear that the wearer is female, similar to the "boob plate" iteration of this trope.
    • Minor Spider-Man villain Leila Davis, as "Hardshell", looks like she's wearing a skintight bodysuit made of red-and-black metal, complete with armored bustier and high heels. Ironically, she would later switch to the borderline Mini-Mecha Mk 3 Beetle Armor, which is completely sexless.
    • Janice Lincoln, another Spidey villainess, wears a slightly more practical suit, but still with a visible bustline and wider hips that prompt the nickname "Lady Beetle".

    Comic Strips 
  • SnarfQuest: Some of Telerie's choices for combat attire are questionable; such as a chainmail shirt that just covers her breasts and a Lady Legionnaire Wear skirt, leaving both her midriff and her legs bare.
  • One What's New? with Phil and Dixie strip discussed this trope, with Dixie modeling it and Phil pointing out its flaws. Phil eventually outfits her with a still somewhat sexy but far more practical outfit; Dixie then declares that "it's [his] turn", strips him down to nothing but a loincloth and a dagger, and pits him against a dragon.

    Fan Works 
  • In Ambition of the Red Princess, Malty tries to get the skimpy two piece armor she had in canon, only for the blacksmith to remark such armor is designed to look good and attract suitors on hunting trips. She ends up getting more practical leather armor instead at his insistence.
  • Naturally, this is lampshaded, discussed, and averted with Lady Bug's armor in the Worm/TheGamer fanfic Co-op Mode. James even comments on the fact, lampooning on how impractical such armor is, and Taylor specifically designs her clothes to avert both this and Battle Ballgown:
    James There’s a golden breastplate done in a vaguely organic style next. The… ah… chest… is a little bigger than I think Taylor is naturally, but still done in a sensible single-breasted, high-coverage style. None of that pseudo-bodice lift-and-separate, guide-swords-to-the-center nonsense you see in fantasy games. Or on most armor-wearing female capes. The entire piece also extends down to her belt, instead of leaving room to show off abs and ask to be gutted.
  • Crazy Irken and ? (Invader Zim-based crossover fic anthology by D_rissing and nightmaster000. note ): When Gaz is sentenced to being a gladiator in the Total Drama chapter after Zim and Courtney Take Over the World, it's mentioned that she's wearing what's described as an "armor bikini".
  • Parodied/inverted in one decidedly NSFW D&D fanfic. Paladins of the goddess of love wear full plate that covers everything except the privates.
  • The elderly and very male Huang Gai wears one at the battle of Red Cliff in Farce of the Three Kingdoms. It comes in handy when he falls into the water.
  • Game and Bleach: Both Ichigo and Tatsuki put on some ogre armor they find in a dungeon only to learn that it's basically a leather bikini for her and some straps and a pair of chaps for him. They both lose several minutes staring at each other.
  • A Growing Affection plays with this trope; Hinata is shown multiple times wearing a scale armor bikini, but she wears it under her normal uniform. Word of God claims that every kunoichi wears armored undergarments, unless her uniform is too Stripperiffic.
  • Inverted in Imaginary Seas. Percy finds himself in his father's armor after being summoned into the Atlantic Lostbelt. To his embarrassment, it's terribly gaudy and covers him more like a metal bra than an actual breastplate. He's thankful that it at least has pants, but it essentially leaves the entirety of his chest and abs exposed, prompting him to find a shirt to cover himself with.
  • Mass Effect: Human Revolution: Invoked by Subject Zero in Interlude 3, who has a hardsuit cut down into a belly button-exposing corset. Her reasoning is simple: because her Psychic Powers render her immune to bullets, she doesn't really need the full body coverage, and the fact that their weapons are completely ineffective against a mostly-exposed girl utterly terrifies her opponents.
  • In Jack Cayless' NSFW Dungeons & Dragons fanart/guidebook Mundainia, it's actually Justified. Magically knitting bone hurts so badly that most people would rather deal with an Agonizing Stomach Wound for five minutes than deal with healing a broken limb for one minute. Most adventurers wear Heavy armor on their limbs, and very little if anything at all on their torso. It also includes an optional rule for Barbarians called "Scars Get You Laid," which gives a Comliness bonus for each battle scar they gain.
  • The Night Unfurls:
    • The supposedly "armoured" fighters of the Seven Shields (Alicia, Claudia, Luu-Luu) are dressed in "armour" designed with revealing skin in mindnote . Special mention goes to Luu-Luu, a Cutesy Dwarf who wears a two-piece "armour" made of animal hide, all underneath a green cloak. Averted in the remastered version due to Adaptational Modesty.
    • In a couple of her scenes in the battlefield, Olga wears scaled armour that shows off a hefty bit of cleavage. Also applies to her servant Chloe when she is wearing chest armour made of scale and mail.
    • For a specific example both inverted and lampshaded, half-ling commander Shalala, who wears a regular chestplate. Kyril internally remarks that it's "sensible unlike some female fighters in Eostia".
    • Gender-inverted for Chieftain Raus, chieftain of a group of Cat Folk tribes named the Wild Ones. His bulky furs do nothing to hide his intimidating physique (aka chiseled pecs and abs).
  • In Off the Line, any armor the Viera wear turns into this. Its impracticality is lampshaded twice: when Rainstorm fights a monster he gets whipped in his vulnerable bare mid-section. Rainstorm kills a woman by piercing her heart when he steps on her because all she wore on her mid-section was a corset. Red XII notes that most Viera tend to be long-distance fighters like archers and mages which tend to negate the inherent disadvantage.
  • Zigzagged in Overlady. Most villainesses wear extremely skimpy outfits (Louise notes that one increased the fabric she was wearing by two orders of magnitude by wearing a cape), but Louise wears a sensible full plate that only leaves her mouth exposed. Henrietta's get-up combines this trope with Skeletons in the Coat Closet such as having a bone corset with "cupping" hands.
  • Ruby Pair: Discussed and defied in "Gaols & Ghouls", where the fantasy adventurer costumes that Tenn and Gaz are placed in when sucked into the titular game are much more concealing than this trope, which Gaz dismissively describes as male fantasy fulfillment.
  • Invoked in Son of the Sannin. Fu considers baring her midriff to be an intrinsic part of her being and deliberately leaves it exposed when she gains the ability to summon chakra armor. Of course, it's not like she really needs it covered. When Naruto points out that doing that is a good way to get yourself eviscerated, she dares him to try to make her recoil with a punch... and he ends up breaking his hand.
  • Water Aerobics for the Aquaphobic: During a poorly-planned Hogwarts field trip to Jusenkyo that resulted in most of the students being cursed into various forms, Hermione falls into the Spring of the Drowned Warrior Goddess. Among other things, this means that whenever she transforms her current clothing is permanently turned into a chainmail-and-leather bikini and a pair of leather boots with four-inch heels. She's less than thrilled, especially since the armor is completely unsuited for things like the Scottish weather or, as Snape points out, sitting in front of a bubbling potion cauldron.
    Hermione: He's right, you know. I'd be safer frying bacon in this getup!
  • In With Strings Attached, John and Ringo encounter one of these while going through the Idris' attic, prompting the observation, “Christ, it'd rub your nipples right off.”
  • Wolf in the Streets, Sardine in the Sheets: Desco suggests that this is the reason why Fenrich doesn't wear a shirt under his jacket:
    Desco: Normally it's female armour that shows off more skin as it gets stronger, but Mr. Fenfen's jacket must be a rare case of strong and sexy male armour!
    Fenrich: What.

    Films — Animation 
  • Kida was actually seen wearing this kind of armor during her introductory scene in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, with the only protection being a single shoulder plate (located where her armband would normally be), a pair of wristbands (a metal one on her left arm and a furred one on her right), and furred knee-high boots (though she is still barefoot, with the one on the right concealing her anklets underneath. Fortunately, she can pull her mask down (it's the same size as her body) to protect the rest of her body.
  • Taarna's get-up from Heavy Metal. What scant clothing she wears seemed to be modeled on various pieces of armor, despite being made of cloth. The only parts that appear to actually be armored are her right arm and her boots.
  • Julie in Heavy Metal 2000 changes into a swimsuit-like combat outfit (which is little more than straps covering her nipples and crotch) for the final battle, leaving most of her skin vulnerable to attack. Julie Strain also wore this for a promotional photoshoot.
  • In How to Train Your Dragon, Stoick gives Hiccup his very own viking helmet to keep him safe in the ring, only to tell him that it was half of his mother's breast-plate, Stoick wearing the other half as his helmet to "keep her close".
  • In Kaena: The Prophecy, the title character wears basically some scraps of leather. This wouldn't be nearly as noticeable if all the male human characters didn't wear more covering than the women. Yes, even the children. Later on, when she gets armour, she's told that it's for her "protection". She steps into the light, and the armour covers roughly the same amount of her as the leather did. Even more infuriating is that the alien who made her the armour is male, and he has a suit that fully covers his body.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 300, the Spartans go into combat with bare chests and bikini briefs. This is taken from the original graphic novel, where the Spartans wore nothing at all aside from their cloaks, which itself draws from classical Greek "heroic nudity" in art. In actual history, of course, they would have been some of the most heavily-armoured soldiers in the ancient world.
  • The ABCs of Death: In the "W" segment, the warrior woman fighting the giant walrus is clad in a bikini made of leather and metal.
  • In Batman & Robin, George Clooney's Batsuit comes complete with Batnipples. Batgirl's costume on the other hand, lacks nipples, though that might have caused some issues with a PG-13 rating.
  • Proving that the trope is not female-only, classic films such as Conan the Barbarian play up the image of the muscular warrior who wears less than many professional wrestlers — loincloth, boots, and nothing more — despite fighting many opponents with bladed weapons.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons (2000), the elven ranger sports a formfitting breastplate. With nipples.
  • Towards the end of the 1981 Arthurian legend film Excalibur the witch Morgana appears to be dressed in nothing more than a sheet metal corset.
  • The Gamers 2: Dorkness Rising:
    • A heated discussion between a Power Gamer and his Ex about "Bikini Mail," Allegedly the best armor a female could wear but, in her words, "That looks like it chafes." She didn't wear it.
    • Astropia had a similar conversation during character creation/introduction. "I'm Hildur, and I refuse to look like this." The scene cut to the gamers' table with Hildur pointing to her character sheet, clearly not amused.
  • Ironclad: Played straight and then for drama. Lady Isabel's impractical Battle Ballgown is obviously designed more for Fanservice than defense, as it exposes the bare skin of her neckline and shoulders. Unsurprisingly, despite her cutting down several foes, she gets wounded in the shoulder and has to be rescued.
  • In John Carter, full suits of armor still expose legs and midriffs (on both genders, averting Bare Midriffs Are Feminine). John Carter's own armor amounts to little more than a dinner plate strapped to his chest and a loin cloth.
  • Star Wars:
    • Despite Return of the Jedi's titanium bikini being one of the ur-examples of this trope, it is averted in the sequel trilogy. Captain Phasma (played by the illustrious Gwendoline Christie) wears completely functional stormtrooper armor. Made of silver metal rather than white plastic, in fact.
    • This trope is defied by the creators. When a fan posted a complaint on Facebook about the fact that Gwendoline Christie wasn't wearing visibly "female armor", the creators of Star Wars responded saying "It's armor. On a woman. It doesn't have to look feminine."
  • Sucker Punch - Sweet Pea's costume in the fantasy sequences is the most medieval of the girls', resembling a sort of cross between a nun and an avenging angel. Befitting her religious inspiration, a long strand of prayer beads hangs from her belt. Her costume features a one-sleeve, faux-leather hooded jacket with long tails and a lace-up front. Her left shoulder is protected by a piece of armor, and she wears black fingerless gloves. Sweet Pea's also features skimpy back shorts and black thigh-highs. The third fantasy sequence is based around High Fantasy, but she wears it in the other ones too. As it's a fantasy where her imagination can make anything happen, it's pretty justified.
  • Warcraft (2016): Notably averted, especially considering the source material. Human women wear the same big bulky armor as the human men, which makes it easy to miss that half of Stormwind's army is female. Garona is given a reasonable breastplate when she joins the humans. Orc men and women universally wear very little armor.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): While the Wonder Woman outfit costume utilizes Adaptational Modesty, it still leaves a lot of skin exposed. Building off her appearance in Batman v Superman, she at least is given a shield in most of her action sequences. In conjunction with the armored appearance, she looks more like a gladiator than a dancer in a leotard. An article analyzed the armor and compared it to previous live-action adaptations of the character, with the final conclusion being that the movie has the advantage because it was designed as armor instead of as something sexy.

  • Azure Bonds: At times, the heroine wears a suit of chain mail that exposes her cleavage. However when an enemy goes to attack it they find out that it's enchanted chain mail that projects a force field over the "exposed" area. Not too surprising, as this piece was provided by a Vain Sorceress who just could not resist flaunting the body that resembled her own so much. However, in the first book Alias mostly wears a plate-based armor (despite what the cover would tell you). She was dressed in that one in the very end and only in the third book does she start to regularly wear "Cassana's armor". She apparently kept it because with the enchantment it protected her better than her mundane armor while being less bulky. Her bodyguard (paladin) complained at how unmodest it was, but he gave up after year or so.
  • In Babylon Steel: Dangerous Gifts the First-Person Smartass title character, a sometime sellsword and madam of a high-class brothel, mentions that she has worn chainmail underwear and boots, but only in the bedroom. "Exposed flesh is strictly for non-lethal situations."
  • Invoked by Queen Ce'Nedra in David Eddings's The Belgariad. Her plate armour looks functional, dramatic, and obviously feminine, but is a decorative prop for the Jeanne Darchetype image she uses to gather an army and would actually be a liability in battle. She even forces the blacksmith to 'enhance' the breastplate beyond her actual, petite figure, because she needs people to know she's a grown woman and not somebody's page-boy.
    Blacksmith: Anything to get you out of my shop — but not clear out to here.
  • In the Belisarius Series of alt-history/time travel novels by David Drake and Eric Flint, Belisarius' wife Antonina finds herself in the position of being the commander of a military unit, due to her close friendship with Empress Theodora. Although she originally tries to wear ordinary armor, the weight of it soon makes her switch to a custom-made ceremonial cuirass and accessories instead. Ironically, although Antonina's figure is anything but petite the blacksmith still put in "enhancements", to the point where things bordered on the ridiculous. Characters in the series routinely joke about Antonina's "obscene cuirass", to the point where it verges on Lampshade Hanging.
    Antonina: My tits are not that big.
  • Brimstone Angels pokes fun at this one. Cute Bruiser Havilar usually dresses practically, but when she sees a "suit" of armor like this on display in a store, she decides she absolutely has to have it purely because it would look great on her. Her adoptive father Mehen promptly puts his foot down, citing the impractical nature of such armor and how it's only worn by wannabe-adventuresses with more fashion sense than common sense. Havilar doesn't get to buy it, and she and all subsequent Action Girls portrayed in the books wear armor that actually covers everything important.
  • An entire series of short-story anthologies lampshading and parodying the concept: Chicks in Chainmail, edited by Esther Friesner. A story in the first anthology, "And Ladies of the Club" by Elizabeth Moon, revolves around a king's decision to levy a tax on the armored bras worn by female warriors, and the Loophole Abuse the ladies employ in response.
  • A modern Conan the Barbarian story had Conan teaming up with a woman in a chain-mail bikini who explains that she knows that opponents are going to attack the bare areas and her fighting style is to counter those attacks. With this attire the exposed areas are more or less everywhere which seems like a problem, but Conan spend plenty of his time fighting with little to no armor so it obviously isn't too much of a handicap.
  • The Death Mage Who Doesn't Want a Fourth Time: Saria and Rita. Justified in that they aren't the bodies underneath the armor; they are the armor. They're capable of manifesting spirit bodies underneath the armor that mirror their appearances from when they were alive, allowing them to trick enemies into aiming for their non-existent, unguarded vitals in a fight, while the garments that actually contain their souls are hard to hit. Their similarly undead father actually asked for this setup as a precaution, only to realize what he signed off on, after his daughters become strong enough to manifest said bodies.
  • Discworld:
    • There is some humor on this subject when the City Watch in the novels starts recruiting female members and needs to find uniforms that fit them. This eventually becomes a running joke as the City Watch starts including members of all shapes and species, so being "in uniform" means wearing whatever parts of a uniform one can. Although in this case the breastplates are not actually revealing and skimpy, just modified to accommodate cleavage. There had been no women in the watch before, and the breastplates were all forged centuries ago to a standard pattern...
      "The main difficulty that Angua presented was that someone was going to have to take a, well let's be honest, a breastplate down to the armourer and get him to beat it out really well here and here."
    • The trope is further referenced with regard to Watchwomen in Thud! when a skimpy skirt and papier-mache armor outfit is found in a collection of stripper costumes. The stripper explains that sometimes men like to see a pretty girl in armor. Angua is confused, as men never seem happy to see her.
    • Previously, the introduction of a barbarian heroine in The Light Fantastic caused the narrator to muse, "Now, there is a tendency at a point like this to look over one's shoulder at the cover artist and start going on at length about leather, thighboots and naked blades," before acknowledging that, like the later female members of the Watch, she was wearing sensible chainmail. (The cover artist in question, Josh Kirby, always drew Discworld heroines to fit the trope anyway, because it's Traditional.) The TV adaptation does invoke the trope not only with the barbarian heroine and an earlier character who Rincewind has to fight (although Liessa Dragonrider actually wears less in the book). Well, it'd be humanly impossible for Liessa to be wearing less than she was in the book. Not because of the Moral Guardians, but because the average pet dog is wearing more than Liessa.
    • The skinny, flat-chested witch Magrat, on the other hand, borrows the fearsomely bosomy breastplate of the mythical Queen Ynci the Terrible to go and battle elves, and as a result ends up much more fearsome herself. Because no one told her it's just a decorative "remake" made from a washbasin — it looks impressive.
    • There's also Vena the Raven Haired in The Last Hero, a Xena pastiche who, like Cohen, is pushing retirement age… and still wears her old form fitting adventuring outfit.
    • Also there's Sergeant Colon, who fits his Roman-Centurion-esque breastplate "like jelly fits a mould", and Detritus, a massive troll who can't fit all his muscles into his armor. And, it should be mentioned, his armor was originally fitted for a war elephant.
    • It's made a bit more practical in Unseen Academicals with the advent of "micromail", chainmail made from many, many small links that, as is repeatedly stated, doesn't chafe... and it's later demonstrated that a pair of boxer shorts made from the stuff can literally deflect a blow from a sledgehammer. While this trope is a possibility, its intended use is as dwarf underwear (since they refuse to wear anything but leather and metal).
  • Any Martians in John Carter of Mars, whether they are male or female, will go into battle wearing only leather harnesses and ornaments and nothing else, as armor is unheard of in Barsoom.
  • Kings of the Wyld: The pretty female "mercenaries" Clay sees in Conthas (in contrast to the actual female mercenaries) are wearing armor that not only barely covers any skin, but is clearly too fragile to protect the skin it does cover.
  • The Lightlark Saga: During a duel early in the Centennial, Isla dons an outfit that - while not as hugely revealing as some examples - is more fashionable and fanservice-y than practical, including thigh-high metal plated boots, "chain metal tights", a breastplate that "accentuated her figure", metal shoulder pads and not much else.
  • Maureen Birnbaum, Barbarian Swordsperson: Of course Maureen simply has to wear a skimpy leather-and-gold bikini once she embarks on a career as a barbarian swordsperson. What else would you wear? Of course, it's a little embarrassing when she returns to present day Earth for one of her quick visits, but that's a small price to pay.
  • In Mogworld, it's stated you can tell an adventurer from a bandit because adventurers aim for armor plates (no matter how small), and bandits aim for squishy bits.
  • Lampshaded in Phyllis Ann Karr's A Night at Two Inns, in which a sensibly dressed warrior woman watches a scuffle between Captain Ersatzs of Conan and Red Sonja, and is appalled by "Sonja's" impractical attire.
  • The River of Dancing Gods trilogy by Jack L. Chalker literally has a magically-enforced law that "weather and climate permitting, all beautiful young women must be scantily clad". This means the female barbarian character must compromise between protection and conforming with the Rules, which have been written into the physical structure of that universe by powerful wizards. The whole series is a parody of fantasy tropes, which is why such bizarre things are written into natural law.
  • Saintess Summons Skeletons: The "doppletopper" is a piece of Living Clothes that forces this trope on the wearer. It's simply a loop of material to go around the chest, which can consume other clothing, then apply the properties of what it ate to the wearer's entire body. Unfortunately, it doesn't like to remain under other clothes, so using it means you stay warm (by feeding it a sweater), and safe (by feeding it armour), but also exposed.
  • Schooled in Magic: Emily sees a group of women wearing them outside Whitehall, protectors of their virginal sisters. She speculates it's merely to make a statement of their femininity, rather than offer actual protection.
  • The female warrior in Sonic the Hedgehog in Castle Robotnik "wore various flimsy garments made out of leather which were obviously two sizes too small for her. It was plain to see she was rather chilly too."
  • The Supervillainy Saga: Specifically, Tales of Supervillainy: Cindy's Seven. As an Expy of Red Sonja, Red Sindi apparently wore one of these during the Hyborian Age. Cindy briefly becomes obsessed with acquiring it so she can wear it as part of her supervillain costume. It apparently is enchanted to be better than actual armor.
  • Lampshaded in John Ringo's There Will Be Dragons where Bast the Wood Elf, asked why she runs around in a Fur Bikini, asks "Do you know how many men I've killed who froze looking at my tits?" The character in a later novel wears a skin-tight suit of "carbon nanotube", effectively impenetrable, and effectively transparent.
  • This Is Screwed Up, but I Was Reincarnated as a GIRL in Another World!: Ren is smart enough to wear a chainmail bikini under her clothes. It is made of silk mixed with mithril, so it is lightweight, comfortable, and tough enough to protect her vitals.
  • Played with in the Thraxas series, where Action Girl Makri wears a chainmail bikini for her job as a barmaid. The outfit is intended to get her tips, not protect her in battle. She's escaped from her previous career as a champion gladiator, and tends to deck customers who annoy her. She switches to more serious armor when she expects a fight.
  • Trapped on Draconica: Justified. Zarracka wears a 'strip down version' she made because she didn't want to wear the full version in a desert. The other solders are completely covered and Gothon asks why she doesn't look like them.
  • The Warslayer by Rosemary Edghill starts with filming of a fanservice-overloaded Heroic Fantasy TV show titled "Vixen the Slayer". Then the lead actress is summoned by extra-dimensional magicians to save their world. She spends most of the book in her Vixen's "leather armor" just because it makes her feel more assertive. The impracticality of her outfit is lampshaded at every opportunity, but fortunately her strength and agility sufficiently protect her. In the end she decides to switch to a more practical chainmail suit.
  • In The Wheel of Time books by Robert Jordan, Elayne's personal bodyguards wear such armor precisely to make people think they are less dangerous than they really are. Also, in the last book, Mat wonders about why female armor isn't shaped with curves in the chest section. His smiths react in a confused way when he asks them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Jessica Steen, who played Pilot on Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, jokes about the improbable bosom sculpted into her Power Suit's chestplate. On the other hand, at least it was a full chestplate with no holes in it, providing identical coverage to any other Soldier of the Future's powersuit sans the fully-armored Tank. Then again in the early episodes she doesn't wear a helmet, only eyeglasses. Probably to better distinguish her from the rest of the team. But starting from an episode set in poisonous atmosphere, everybody wore helmets with face-covering visors.
  • The Valkyries in Charmed dress in revealing leather outfits. And of course, when the Charmed sisters have to rescue Leo from being captured by these Valkyries, naturally the plan they come up with involves Dressing as the Enemy.
  • Somewhat justified in Cleopatra 2525, where the heroines had force fields for protection.
  • At one point in the Community episode 'A Fistful of Paintballs', Annie, wearing little more than a shirt and hot pants for gunslinging combat, says she wishes she were wearing pants.
  • Stella Bonasera and Calleigh Duquesne from the CSI-verse wear low-cut versions of the Bulletproof Vest.
  • Most of the female warriors in Game of Thrones wear reasonable armor, from Brienne of Tarth's full plate to Ygritte's furs and leathers. However, Cersei Lannister, who is decidedly not a warrior by any means, wears two corset-like gilded armor pieces for personal defense during a siege and for intimidation purposes.
  • Hawaii Five-0:
  • Power Rangers: Many of the old-school series had the "obviously human" villainesses wear Breast Plates, the most notable being Astronema. Trakeena's outfit/armor might be more conservative and effective than Shelinda but still have holes. Averted with her Insect Armor which completely cover her entire body except her eyes. Divatox's movie outfit is noted for its stripperifficness that rivals Zonnette's. Since she's a Non-Action Big Bad (sort of), this is justified.
  • Played with in Reno 911!. One episode had the female police officers getting specially designed (and low cut) bulletproof vests, which they all liked until one of them asks another officer to test her vest by shooting at it. Surprisingly enough, even the armored parts of the vests wouldn't stop a bullet.
  • Found in, of all places, Scrubs. The episode "My Princess", a fantasy retelling of the show, features Carla and Turk mashed together into a single monstrous creature that wears armor, the female half of which falls under this trope. Complete with a nipple.
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation Female Klingon warriors wear the same armor as the males, except with a Cleavage Window (Kleavage?). More justified than most, since Klingon armor is purely decorative anyway.
  • While villainesses of Super Sentai in general tend to dress more revealing than the heroines, they hardly go far than little cleavage or midriff. Shelinda of Seijuu Sentai Gingaman however, pushed this by dressing as skimpy as possible; Seashell Bra, Underwear of Power and that she wore no stocking of any kinds and was a fit for the Buxom Beauty Standard. It was no wonder why she didn't get adapted into Power Rangers Lost Galaxy. Subverted that by mid-story, she was slashed by Hayate/Ginga Green not on her reveal parts but her chest armor.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess, of course, though Xena's own armor is not a particularly heavy offender. Xena's regular outfit isn't very skimpy (though it does wonders at enhancing Lucy Lawless' modest bust), but most of the alternate armors she would end up wearing in different locales (such as when she goes to Japan) definitely fall into this trope. It's played straight with the leather armor worn by the shorter-haired, sai-wielding Gabrielle later in the series, and with most secondary female characters, e.g. Callisto (someone who is that Ax-Crazy might want a little more protection before going into battle...)
    • In 'A Day In The Life", Xena and Gabrielle discuss how men are attracted to Xena's leather outfit:
      Gabrielle: You could try wearing chainmail.
      Xena: Nah. That'd just attract a kinkier group.

    Music Videos 
  • Kate Bush in "Babooshka", dancing in a literal chainmail bikini. The cover of Bush's 1983 compilation EP Kate Bush also features her in her "Babooshka" bikini.
  • Lady Gaga in "Paparazzi", specifically one scene in which she wears a skimpy robot-like metal costume while staggering around on crutches.

  • The backglass for Black Rose shows Captain Rose going into battle wearing only a cape and a blood-red corset that leaves her arms and legs exposed.
  • Downplayed in Dungeons & Dragons (1987); the Valkyrie's chainmail armor actually covers her well — except for her arms and upper chest area, which remain bare.
  • In Seawitch, the witches enter battle wearing nothing but very skimpy two-piece chainmail bikinis.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Battlebabes in Vincent Baker's Apocalypse World RPG can have an ability called Impossible Reflexes that protects them from harm when unencumbered; the actual rules are Armour +1 when wearing normal clothes, and Armour +2 when naked or nearly naked.
  • Barbarians Of Lemuria has the Battle Harness boon, allowing male and female adventurers in the bare minimum of armor to treat it as medium armor without the weight and hassle.
  • Chaotic: Downplayed with Aivenna's armor, which covers her arms, legs and part of her chest but leaves her stomach area exposed for the sake of showing some skin.
  • Chronopia has the Black Sisters who are an all-female elite force for mostly the Firstborn faction and the Tribe of Dawn from the Sons of Chronos faction. The Sisters are Barbarian Heroines wearing leather halter tops, loincloth and thigh-high boots plus massive armored pauldrons. This is a huge step-up for them - among the Sons of Chronos where these women emmigrated from, they and the men of the tribe fought in the nude.
  • The Dark Eye has introduced a chainmail bikini as a Joke Item. Played straight with amazons, whose body armor only reaches from waist to breast as a matter of religious tradition.
  • Card game Dungeon Dwellers caught a bit of attention for the pronounced difference in armour coverage between the male and female characters — the former is in full plate covering everything except their head; the latter has a top baring much of their cleavage and one with their legs also partially exposed.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • This trope was ubiquitous in early product art, frequently with men wearing practical armor and clothing and women (if any) wearing clothing generally baring their arms and/or legs (or more), and continues to this day, albeit somewhat less gratuitously. Between all that and the memetically infamous "female characters suffer a penalty to Strength" rule, 1st Edition is kind of an Old Shame for Wizards of the Coast.
    • In some settings one can get the ultimate variant: armor not even "revealing", but completely transparent. This doesn't mean the outfit is stripperiffic without a lot of fiat; see note. note  A suit of glassteel (enchanted glass) is expensive, but as strong as steel with only half the weight. note 
    • Drow elves seem to be incredibly fond of this trope, wearing little outside of what covers their naughty bits; then again, the typical drow is usually a Femme Fatale more often than not. Usually explained as the point being that it doesn't protect well. It's supposed to show off your confidence in your magical power.
    • Alias from the Forgotten Realms novel Azure Bonds (see above) and its related computer game Curse of the Azure Bonds is depicted in artwork with a plunging v-neck chainmail top. It worked much better than it looked, though. note  The novels themselves have her wearing a normal breastplate in book 1, and the v-neck chainmail in book 3. It's magical and so weapons just bounce off if they hit the 'unprotected part'.
    • The reason why AD&D 2 Dark Sun setting switched from planned frozen to scorched world — hot climate allowed cover art with more skin. Dark Sun also included "scavenged armor" tables, so you could assemble a suit piecemeal... and basically make your own Chainmail Bikini.
    • Parodied and lampshaded in the "Boom's Garden" chapter of Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue, a spin-off Forgotten Realms product which gave detailed game statistics for loin guards, corsets, spiked collars and the proverbial chain-mail bikini. (Most cause penalties to movement and/or attacks, rather than enhancing armor class). The Boom's Garden's corset's stats even include the following: +1 Charisma when dealing with creatures with less than 9 Intelligence, the opposite if they're above 13 Intelligence. (One should probably add another rule for further realism: that the +1 part won't work at all on lizardfolk, kenku, and other non-mammals...)
  • Also parodied in an April issue, where a joke article on minor secret societies included the Wizards of the Black Teddy: an all-female offshoot of Krynn's Black Robes, who dress like dominatrices in defiance of High Sorcery's usual dominance by stuffy old men.
  • Parodied in an old cartoon where the female fighter's Chainmail Bra is littered with arrows and the rest of her untouched.
    "Good thing I had my armor on!"
    • And in another cartoon showing a comely female barbarian wearing a full trenchcoat, with her remarking in the caption that it was +3 and also prevented her from becoming "cheesecake".
  • The D&D 3.5 supplement Dungeon Master's Guide II gave us templates for weapons and armor constructed on different planes of existence, which embody the properties of those planes. In particular the "gloryborn" items from the Heroic Domains of Ysgard always look extremely impractical, but function just as well as normal items. You can guess what the armor version looks like.
  • There is an available enchantment called "Glamered" that makes armor look like other clothing without losing its protective properties. Theoretically it could be used to make practical armor appear impractical. Maybe looking Stripperiffic can give you a bonus to diplomacy checks?
  • In 5E, Barbarians are given the Unarmored Defense ability at first level, which lets them add their Constitution modifier to their AC when they're not wearing armor. Since Barbarians are more focused on melee combat than any other class in the game, they tend to have pretty good Constitution modifiers anyway, so when combined with a halfway decent Dexterity modifier they'll probably wind up being able to run into battle stark naked and still have an armor class equal to a fighter who's wearing plate armor.
    • Monks also have Unarmored Defense (though they use their Wisdom score instead) alongside Unarmored Movement, gaining a bonus to their movement speed while unarmored. They, too, can wear pretty much anything (or even nothing) into battle.
  • The latest version of the d20 sourcebook Portable Hole Full of Beer ("The Book of Neurotic Fantasy") features chainmail bikinis as actual items. Among such things as poodlemancers, weapuns and Awaken Bellybutton spells, they don't even stand out. That would be why the company made Chainmail Bikini; feats shown on sample pages include Exotic Armour Proficiency, Improved Naked Defense and My Face Is Up Here.
  • The D&Dwiki (the one that has all of the non-OGL stuff) also entertains a love for homebrew, such as hideously overpowered... Chain Bikini Chick Feat, which gives a bonus to a woman's armor class if they wear little more than a bikini into battle.
  • With the release of Tasha's for 5e, it's possible to get Barrier Tattoos, which, depending upon the version of the tattoo, will grant one the same sort of protection as Studded Leather Armor, Half-Plate Armor, or Full Plate Armor, and still get the protective benifit of a shield and other such things. One doesn't even need to be proficient in the wearing of the equivalent armor, and doesn't suffer disadvantage on a stealth check. Useful in situations where one can't obviously wear armor, and yet wants protection, just in case.
  • GURPS:
    • It has, since at least the third edition, included a sidebar option called "Bulletproof Nudity". It's noted as being suitable only for cinematic or silly games, but includes armor bonuses ranging from 1 for a few strategic patches of skin to 8 for complete nudity... but only for attractive characters!
    • The GURPS 3rd Edition Magic Items books included the Chainmail Bikini "for body-proud barbarianettes" in two forms — a suit of chainmail with Invisibility spells on parts of it to make it look like a bikini; and a true bikini with magical-force-field-style protection on the exposed areas (they also had a male version, the Macho Leathers, which was a jockstrap and some other straps that provided the same protection as a full suit of armor — Equal Opportunity Fanservice ).
    • 4th Edition retains this with a few modifications. It applies only to characters with above average Appearance and limits the bonus to + 2 (+ 3 for a topless woman). For some reason it also makes the characters run and swim faster.
    • In 4e actual chainmail bikinis got stats in Dungeon Fantasy along with chainmail loincloths.
    • GURPS being GURPS, this is actually handled logically: such "armor" is cheaper than normal armor, but only has a 50% chance of protecting against any given torso or vitals hit, and useless otherwise. The Barbarian template has the Gigantism disadvantage, making their armor twice as expensive as that of normal-sized characters, meaning that starting Barbarians who don't trade points for cash will need the discount buying partially-covering armor provides.
  • The fantasy role playing game Hackmaster spoofs this trope with an item called the "chainmail bikini of remote eye-gouging." This bikini is not only enchanted to provide actual protection, but the wearer can say a magic word that causes it to cast an eye-gouging spell on anybody ogling the wearer's body.
  • Kings of War mostly avoids this trope with female soldiers, but the Forces of the Abyss feature the Succubi, a skirmisher unit wearing loin cloths and some strategically placed spiky bits. Surprisingly Realistic Outcome occurs when they're attacked, as their defense rating is, ahem, abysmal.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Largely barred due to the rules set by WOTC. However, cheesecake style art and female armor users are both fairly common, it's just that they are rarely mixed to make metal undergarments. However, the Mirrodin setting has plenty of examples of the trope, for example Vulshok of Mirrodin are technically topless with the metal patches on their skin strategically placed. As sheet metal is a natural occurrence on Mirrodin there are more then a few pics.
    • This is especially obvious in a couple of angel cards from the Commander product. Note Basandra, Battle Seraph's choice of "armor" (merely a top, armored thong, and boots, and almost nothing else) as well as the Battle Thong of Valor on Archangel of Strife. It should be noted, of course, that in the Magic multiverse, angel skin is as tough as any armor, so actual armor is strictly cosmetic. Angels could wear anything they want, or even nothing at all, and be just as protected.
    • Interesting to note that in the Greek myth-inspired Theros block, this trope is more prominent in the male art than female. Sure, Hero of Leina Tower is wearing a Xena-like outfit, but that's more than the poor Phalanx Leader gets.
    • Some female characters are borderline sexualized (almost sexualized, but not quite because they sill have quite some coverage that doesn't immediately draw attention to the cleavage or the thighs). But, for example, the character in the art of Angelic Destiny, still gets pointless, artistic-license-based armor plates only over her elbows, breasts, hips and knees.
  • The much-maligned "Chainmail Bikini" ended up in the Munchkin card game, with the expansion Clerical Errors.
  • Pathfinder avoids extreme examples, but Amiri does run around in midriff-baring leather and Imrijka's hauberk shows more cleavage than is strictly practical. But in general, armor for Pathfinder women is more likely to be improbably form-fitting than skimpy.
    • The Pathfinder: Worldscape comic includes Pathfinder stats for Red Sonja. Apparently, her chainmail bikini doesn't give her any armor bonus at all (her only armor bonus comes from Bracers of Armor +4), but she does have an ability that lets her add her Charisma bonus (18, for a +4 bonus) to Armor Class when not wearing armor, as opponents are distracted by her boobs "confidence and personality".
  • Princess: The Hopeful: Since the protection provided by the Barrier Jacket charm is magical, it doesn't actually have to be reflected in the Princess's Regalia. So you could have a character who is wearing nothing but a bikini and panties, but is protected as if she were wearing full plate.
  • Rifts:
    • Rules for a Rune Bikini show up in Palladium Books' Rifter #9 1/2 (April Fools' Day joke issue).
    • Some of the Coalition Mark II armor's get to have their cake and eat it too. The underlaying armor is a matte body suit of flexible megadamage material and then the female suits get boob tooling to invoke the trope without actually falling prey to it.
  • The Savage Worlds setting Legends Of Steel has a "Sexy Armor" feat, meaning that sexy armor (chainmail bikini for women and loincloth for men, or an equivalent) protects as well as full chain or plate, depending on how many points you sink into it. The idea is that Legends Of Steel is a pulp fantasy setting, and penalizing people for wanting to play Conan the Barbarian in a setting designed to let you do that would be wrong.
  • The Shadowrun 4th Edition supplement book Attitude has a picture of an attractive woman holding an assault rifle while wearing what appears to be halfway between a vest and a bra that gives her Navel-Deep Neckline on the cover. It's immediately lampshaded inside the book with several Shadowrunners having an in-universe conversation about her and pointing out that she's obviously not a real 'Runner because he outfit is all about looking sexy rather than practical- real 'Runners get shot at far too regularly to ever show that much skin.
  • One of the items in the Tabletop RPG Teenagers from Outer Space is a battle bikini. Inspired by the ones worn by the Dirty Pair, it also comes with a BFG, built-in mini-missile launchers, jet boots, and a force field to compensate for the limited protection one would normally get from an armored bikini.
  • Warhammer:
    • Dark Elf Witch Elves, who fight nearly naked apart from loincloths, the occasional pair of fishnet stockings and some items of stylised metal armour such as shoulder pauldrons, vambraces, anklets and, yes, leather and metal breast-coverings. Though the lack of armour is deliberate on their part - what they do wear is decorative, not functional - given that they are part of a bloodthirsty murder-cult (which isn't particularly particular about where said blood comes from) and rely on speed and skill in combat to protect themselves insofar as they care about protecting themselves at all.
    • Chaos Marauder Mooks are a male example, usually depicted as wearing little armor or clothing compared to the proper Warriors of Chaos, despite hailing from Norsca and the Chaos Wastes.
  • Warhammer 40,000 is on both sides of the fence.
    • Aversions:
      • Female Imperial Guard soldiers wear the same uniforms and armor as their male counterparts.
      • The Adepta Sororitas (Sisters of Battle) wear power armor that keeps them fully covered, but is designed to mimic the female form, including sculpted breasts. However, the latter may be intentional since the Ecclesiarchy cannot by law maintain "men under arms"; so emphasizing the Sisters' female attributes makes it quite clear to outside observers that their troops do not violate that law.
      • The Aeldari (craftworld Eldar) troops can be either male or female, regardless of what aspect warrior armour they wear; with no noticeable differentiation between gendernote . The only exception being the Harlequins, who do not wear armour, but skin-tight theatrical costumes.note  The Howling Banshees are a special case of this, as their armour features "boob plate", despite the fact that they may be either gender. This is purely out of tradition, as the aspect's founder was female; but has led to the mistaken assumption by humans that they are an all-female fighting force.
    • Played Straight:
      • Unlike normal Sisters of Battle, the Sisters Repentia fight wearing nothing but tattered rags (and sometimes, in nothing but purity seals and parchment sheets) due to their trying to atone for their misdeeds, which usually involves death in battle.
      • Drukhari (Dark Eldar) Wyches are so vain about their combat prowess that they consider it cowardice to armour more than half their body, with bragging rights awarded to the Wych who wears the least coverage into combat. They also fight to appease the Chaos God Slaanesh, the Prince of Excess, who likes his ultraviolence sexy. Also, in a rare case of Gameplay and Story Integration, Wyches have ridiculously low Armor saves.note 
      • Slaaneshi Daemonettes, if they go into battle wearing anything at all, are likely to have armor that intentionally exposes one or both breasts (if not more) as part of their twisted meld of female and daemonic forms. In gameplay terms it provides no defense whatsoever (as daemons, they don't wear anything anyway, any "armour" is simply part of their body). That they're wearing anything at all exists entirely as a tease that they could be wearing even less; appropriate for minions of the Lord of Excess.
  • The Witcher: Game of Imagination defies it. This trope is actively mocked by the authors. Not only is armour made as unisex and oh so Boring, but Practical; any body part that is not covered doesn't receive any armour rating, so this suffers a nasty case of Surprisingly Realistic Outcome when it comes to blocking hits. To drive the point even further, all pictures showing some Action Girls have them in proper, functional sets of armour. They still look awesome.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! features some monster designs whereby a female character wears pieces of armor selectively over certain parts of her body, while leaving others exposed, usually her waist and thighs. Examples include:

    Video Games 
  • Julia in the game Age of Wonders. Her armor covers most of her body, but its shape is rather fitting. It's most likely meant to be comfortable though. Julia's armor is lampshaded twice during her storyline in Shadow Magic. Once by The Big Guy and once by The Vamp.
  • The box art of Arkistas Ring shows the protagonist in a metal/chainmail bikini. How did they get this past Nintendo's radar?
  • The Avernum series has one male and one female Player Character graphic wearing very skimpy armor.
  • The Battle Bikini is partly justified in Bikini Karate Babes: Word of God says that the ladies get their powers from having blood of their enemies on their skin.
  • The armor of Mu-12 the Cyborg living weapon from the BlazBlue series leaves large areas of her body exposed, including her almost flat underboobs (which her Secret Identity Noel Vermillion is self-conscious about), her belly, her back, and as shown with in-game sprites and one magnificent sample pose, her butt cheeks.
  • Bloodborne: Compared to the Souls series, this trope is generally averted. Although you can invoke this on purpose by only wearing Cainhurst Gloves and Cainhurst Legging, leaving the helmet and armor slot emptied.
  • Parodied in Borderlands 2 in DLC Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep. One of the sidequests has you trying to get armor for the rather large Ellie. You're given two options: A breastplate that you might see the fat lady wear in an opera or a replica of the Princess Leia bikini. Ellie makes it clear that she would much prefer actual armor than something that won't even cover "half a tit", and the mission objectives advise you to "find less atrociously sexist armor".
  • Shanoa in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia is shown in art wearing a full breastplate and some overlapping plates to protect her hips, but otherwise has a skirt and Stripperiffic high heel boots (not to mention the Sexy Backless Outfit). Somewhat justified in that the exposed areas of Shanoa's skin are, essentially, her weapons. She sports glyph tattoos that provide her with weapons or spells, and the biggest one is on her back. That tattoo is how she acquires these glyphs in the first place - the "absorb" animation involves her lifting her hair to expose her back, then sucking any nearby glyphs into it.
  • Princess Solange from Code of Princess, having actual armor only on her hands, neck and nipples, the rest of her... "clothing" consisting of thong, high heels and some frilly accessories is probably one of the most objectifying examples out there. It's Played for Laughs when a pair of guards mistake her for a prostitute early in the game.
  • In Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath, the Zone Raider infantry is introduced; it's a Distaff Counterpart to the male Zone Troopers from C&C 3. The Trooper armor is bulky and boxlike. The Raider armor is significantly more form fitting. The Raiders are also mentioned to be an all female unit.
  • Corruption Of Champions, a sex game, definitely includes this and other battle-unworthy gear like ballroom dresses and rubber suits. They protect you about as well as your default shredded clothing, but enemies in this game can be charmed into a state of surrendering lust, so the fact that you're sexy AND defenseless turns them on, which can be used along with stripteasing/ elf-foreplay to tease them into becoming so horny they can't think and surrender to their urge to masturbate.
  • In Crush Crush, Luna says that she used to wear this kind of armor until someone shot an arrow through her navel.
  • Darkest Dungeon: The Vestal and the Arbalest both wear otherwise sensible-looking plate with very obvious breast cups. Averted by the Hellion and Grave Robber who wear light, but otherwise sensible-looking armour as they emphasise agility in their fighting styles, and the Plague Doctor whose gender would be an unknown if the game didn't mention she was a girl. In a somewhat amusing inversion of this trope, the Leper's plate armour is ornamented with a very visible six-pack.
  • Dark Souls:
    • As all of the armor is now unisex. You're only going to see boob-curves if your character is wearing something flexible and form-fitting like leather armor (even then, it's still sensible). The major exception to this is the "Hollow Warrior" armor set, which really doesn't cover that much at all. The pants/shoe component is just one shoe (and no pants!) and the chest armor covers just the shoulders and upper chest. It doesn't look that skimpy on a zombie, but on a healthy human female it's hilarious.
    • With the freedom to wear different armor parts together, it is quite easy to stack up a revealing combination. However, it's worth keeping in mind that these are usually just as revealing on a male character as a female one.
    • The Hollow Soldier Armor along with Hollow Soldier Legging are considered revealing if worn onto female characters, revealing their belly and legs, heck, the Balder Legging even shapes like panties.
    • Xanthous Set is another set considered revealing if worn onto female character, although in the sequel it's less revealing.
    • Generally speaking this trope is averted however - most armor types look basically the same on men and women.
    • Though in the strangest example, the Thief Hood is remarkably more revealing on female characters compared to male characters... Of their head. The male variant covers the neck, mouth, and provides a large hood to hide the entire head, while the female variant only gets a mouth-mask, exposing the majority of the head.
  • Dark Souls II:
    • This trope goes even further with the Desert Sorceress Set, the description even states that the Desert Sorceresses wear enchanting clothes to catch people off-guard even when the people realised the plot, they still fall into their seduction in an alarming regularity. Notably, the top is different depending on whether it's being worn by a male or female character, with the male version having a strap that runs up over his left shoulder (while the female version is strapless) but not covering his right nipple. Additionally, a female character wearing it will be given enlarged breasts.
    • The Smelter Demon Armor fully reveals the belly of the wearer. In the case of female characters, the bottom of the breasts is also shown, with the nipple covered only by the chainmail underneath.
    • Bone King Robe combined with Executioner's Trousers is an example of revealing armor combination.
    • Retainer's Robe with Agdayne's Skirt are another revealing clothing combination.
    • The leather bikini's role is replaced by Prisoner's Tatter and Prisoner's Legging.
  • Dark Souls III:
    • This trope is generally averted, there is nearly no revealing clothing, however, there is a borderline example resembling the aforementioned Prisoner's Tatter. The Master Set worn by the Sword Master is essentially a tattered clothing with a loincloth.
    • The Slave Knight Set's legging provides the wearer panties similar to the aforementioned Balder Knight leggings.
    • By the time when the Ringed City DLC was released, the Desert Sorceress Set makes a return, under the name of "Desert Pyromancer Set". There's also a new loincloth for the Antiquated Plain Set, which shapes likes panties as well.
  • The Dark Spire has an item that is described as such, although it's never actually seen in-game.
  • Demon Hunter: The Return of the Wings: Perna's "armor" cover the sides and the shoulders, but everything else is almost completely bare.
  • Lampooned in the Discworld adventure game, where Rincewind meets a busty amazon sporting a bikini chainmail top, and asks her how it manages to stay in its place (to which she replies: "By pressure"). She also addresses the sexualisation of women in games, and has a magic sword that immediately cuts any man who looks at her lustfully into pieces.
  • In Diablo III this actually gets refreshingly averted for the female Crusader. The fact that she's the most modestly dressed playable female in the bunch, with armor sets and designs which are all for the most part actually appropriate for a knightly warrior waging war on evil bearing no skin at all through any of them (unless you use Invisible Dye on a helmet which makes her head visible) ...did not go unnoticed by the fandom. Many comments were made about her not having the bikini armor everyone expected her to have, most are in good jest, with the majority actually being rather happy that she's properly outfitted for her job unlike so may others of her type in other games. In the case of the female Barbarian, most let her slide since her male counterpart isn't exactly heavily armored either comparatively speaking, and the nature of what they are gives them a pass for going around without the all the heavy armor; although late-game armors for the class (for both genders) are equally full-covering in nature as the Crusaders' sets.
    • The enchantress sidekick starts out with a bikini and upgrades to thin clothes and a half plate whose only purpose appears to be to protect her two giant weak points.
  • A staple in Disgaea and other Nippon Ichi titles:
    • Female Warriors are often depicted wearing full plate armor on their legs, but only an absurdly wide belt across their chest for modesty.
    • Males don't get of much better.
    • Though it is justified in the description for the class, where it states that Warriors wear light clothing to increase mobility, and can harden their bodies instantly.
    • Also the female samurai wears a fairly standard samurai hakama, except that the top is reduced to little more than sleeves so you can see her Sarashi bound assets and uncovered stomach.
    • The Magic Knight class fits the armored breastplate trope as her clothes are so form-fitting that it's likely that there isn't a single inch of room left in her top, and her bottoms are a skirt with an entirely open side and a loincloth.
    • It should be noted that like most RPGs, Informed Equipment trope is in play.
  • Elves, in Divinity: Original Sin II wear rather skimpy armor, whether male or female. For example, armor worn by female elves tends to consist of a bra, loincloth, headdress, bracelets, and anklets, leaving about as much skin as the page picture exposed while suffering no ill effects.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Applies to some of the light armor in the game. Equip a piece of Dalish armor on a male character and it's your traditional leather armor. Equip it on a female, and their midriff is exposed, along with a good amount of thigh below the leather miniskirt. The Chasind Robes look absolutely ridiculous on either gender. Thankfully, heavy armor doesn't suffer from the metal bikini syndrome.
    • The Chasind robe (and its variants) is basically a swimsuit with Navel-Deep Neckline and furry shoulder pads when equipped on a female character.
    • Played straight with Isabela in Dragon Age II, who wears a 'tunic' that basically looks like a swimsuit with a flap of material at the front and back. Her thong is frequently visible.
    • Averted entirely in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Not only does armor look exactly the same on women as it does on men, but Iron Bull praises Cassandra's practicality while explaining exactly why shaped breastplates are a bad idea. It's somewhat hypocritical of him, since no matter what armor he's wearing he refuses to put on a shirt.note 
      Iron Bull: Some women get ornamental crap with tits hammered into it. One good hit to the sternum, though, and it's a mess.
    • Lampshaded beautifully with the Victim of Fashion Amulet which can be crafted with a Fragment of Inadequate Chain Mail, where upon wearing it, you gain +1 Cunning, but lose all of your Magic, Melee and Ranged Defenses. Guess where you find it? On a corpse near a dragon's nest.
      • Made even better with the amulet's description: "An astoundingly bad idea."
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest III:
      • The game had a swimsuit armor that actually changed the pixels of a female character who wore it. Its armor class is terrible though. Fortunately, there's a randomly dropped "Magic Bikini" that provides the same stunning 8-bit resolution "fanservice" with armor for those willing to engage in Level Grinding for it.
      • Made even more hilarious when worn on a jester. Since they didn't think you could get much more Stripperiffic than a Playboy Bunny costume, they decided to clothe them in complete dominatrix gear — complete with mask and whip.
      • That's not all. Just take a look at the female warrior/soldier's outfit, little more than a plate bikini, helmet, pauldrons, boots, and nothing else. Made even more ridiculous by the fact that her class can wear the heaviest armor, but no matter what you put her in, she'll always look like Red Sonja. This look has actually become quite popular, and further games often have this female warrior as an NPC.
    • Dragon Quest IV:
      • The male Hero wears long sleeves and pants, while the Heroine looks like she's wearing a swimsuit under a off-the-shoulder short tank, one detached sleeve, and a Detached Pants Legs/Tights... thing. Also, one reason to pick the female hero is that she can equip the female-only gear... including a bikini, among other things.
      • Belly dancer and fire mage Maya fights in her dancer outfit.
    • Dragon Quest VII had a 'Battle Chemise' for Maribel that functioned the same way. Decent 'armor' that distracted the monsters and made her look like she was wearing a frilly pink nightie. As for the trope itself, Aira wore one along with a cropped jacket and a Showgirl Skirt as her outfit.
    • Dragon Quest VIII had not only the Magic Bikini, but a wide variety of revealing outfits for Jessica that actually changed her model's appearance, unlike her other armors. Furthermore, this armor is made available to you at the last town you visit before your party ventures into the Arctic.
    • Dragon Quest IX continues the tradition in egregious fashion. You can see the male and female outfits for some of the core classes here. Most of them are comparable, but while the male Warrior is wearing a full chain shirt and padded tabard with greaves, gauntlets and helmet, the female Warrior... isn't. Particular mention must go to the wrap-around mail miniskirt that's open at the front, meaning her only protection to any frontal attack between the midriff and knees is her underwear.
  • Armor in Dragon Saga can be used by both genders but the midriff portions of torso pieces tend to magically shrink or disappear when transferred from a male character to a female.
  • The Amazon from Dragon's Crown wears one. A step up from some of her tribeswomen, who are generally topless (though they cover up just enough in the few pictures of them). In fact, the Amazon's "armor" item is boots.
  • Played with in Dragon's Dogma. You can deck out your female Arisen and Pawns in hulking suits of non-revealing plate armor if you wish, but on a few articles of clothing, the Silver Chestplate, what is a breastplate on a man, literally becomes a Chainmail Bikini on a woman. Also, many players outfit their Pawns with Silk Lingerine in little more than a Thong of Shielding on purpose.
  • Dream of Mirror Online:
    • The MMORPG has very different appearance for the same armour settings, based on sex and race. While humans and Sylph (sort of hovering elves) are decently protected, and Sprites (eternal children) even more, female Felins (or Shura, it depends on language) are almost naked on the crotch all the time. While wearing a full heavy armour set, there will inevitably be no pants other that a colored thong, and metal breast will bounce while running. Metal breast, bouncing. It helps a lot that female Felins are humanoid vixen. The Dancer outfit is commonly referred by players as "Whore dress". Note that male Felins, that are ugly as butt (should be humanoid dragons, and are usually flat-faced with big mouths) wear the very same outfits, but with black tights under the armour, or long gown instead of mini pants.
    • There's also the option to purchase costumes that make even the most modest character look slutty or make the sluttiest character modest thereby giving players an option of adverting this trope or play it straight regardless of race or career chosen.
  • Well and wholly averted in Dungeons & Dragons Online. While stat wise identical pieces of armor may look different, that single piece will look the same on any character (accounting for size differences, of course), be they male or female, elf or orc.
    • Later played straight with the item shop's cosmetic armours, which show a lot more skin when applied to female avatars.
    • Also played straight some earlier D&D computer RPGs, in particular Curse of the Azure Bonds, with the character "Alias". This was purely cosmetic, and did not actually affect gameplay.
  • Earth Defense Force 2025 manages to have this trope, avert it, and justify it all in one go:
    • The game's Fragile Speedster class, the Wing Diver, wears a high-tech version of the Chain Mail Bikini...
    • ...Which is then averted by the Wing Diver having the lowest starting Armor (health) and slowest Armor growth rate of all the classes, despite what armor she has looking heavier than the full-body covering her male counterparts beyond the Mighty Glacier class wear...
    • ...And is finally given a justification in the form of the Wing Divers being a special unit using reverse-engineered Ravager gear who choose to sacrifice nearly all pretense of defense in favor of speed. A Wing Diver squad leader reminds her troops in an early mission in the game that "speed is life."
      • Further justified by them also having excellent attack power, some of the weapons hitting so hard and so rapidly as to give them an "Instant Death" Radius against most units.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Generally Downplayed throughout the series. Many armor types have different models when worn by a male or female, and the female models are a bit more revealing, often having plunging necklines and more areas of exposed skin. Individual game exceptions can be found in their entries below.
    • Throughout the series, this is the case for the Aureals (aka Golden Saints), a form of lesser Daedra in service to Sheogorath. Downplayed but extant, in that while female Aureals wear more armor than most examples, it still tends to leave some vulnerable areas (including their upper chests) exposed.
    • Morrowind:
      • Morrowind initially averted the trope, with armor having the same model whether it was equipped on a male or female. A patch (as well as an add-on and, if you didn't download either of those, the Tribunal expansion,) would change certain armor types to Gendered Outfits, fitting the general series trend of Downplaying the trope as mentioned above.
      • The "LeFemme Armor" add-on adds the titular armor, which appears as a feminine-cut set of golden armor. It retains this appearance even on male characters.
    • Oblivion:
      • Less flagrant in Oblivion than in most games, but still present for the few armors who have different models between male and female (like the Iron armor). Compare this and this. It's the same armor, on the other sex. The same applies to Oblivion's chainmail armor. On a male, it's a standard chainmail shirt. On a female it's a tank top. Check it out.
      • However, the difference is visible on the lowest-level armor; Daedric or glass armor has almost no difference on men and women (Daedric has a slight expansion for the bustline).
      • As seen in the Shivering Isles expansion, the female Mazken (aka Dark Seducers) wear skimpy, Stripperiffic armor which leaves large portions of their bodies unprotected. Justified in that, being daedra, they have Resurrective Immortality so it doesn't actually matter.
    • Skyrim:
      • The trope zig-zags. Lighter armor (cloth, leather, other non-metals) tend to wrap more around female models, but the heavier bits (Daedric, Dragonplate) tend to look more or less identical regardless of sex. Though steel plate and ebony armor seem to show off a woman's figure pretty well while not showing any skin.
      • Amusingly, the lowest level of light armor (Fur) shows more skin on males than females. While it consists of little more than a form-fitting and cleavage-lifting bodice for women, for men it's more like shoulderpads and straps.
      • Thoroughly averted by Dwarven Armor, which covers the entire body of both men and women in such a thick layer of metal that it looks like you would stand a reasonable chance against armor-piercing bullets.
      • However, the Forsworn armor follows this trope to a tee, with the female version being little more than a hide bikini that can be upgraded to be on par with other light armors. Of course, the male version is just as exposing as well.
      • It goes without saying that a huge number of Skyrim's Game Mods feature this trope in full force. That said, a number of them avert it, to the point that there's a "Practical Female Armors" mod that completely redoes the meshes and textures on all in-game armor to eliminate unnecessary breast protrusions and shapes to make it more in line with realistic armor sets.
  • EverQuest II:
    • 'Formal Wear' for females in EverQuest II consists of belly-baring, panty-showing, crotch-and-butt-caped dresses. The armor style forces bare feet on the models. In recent years, this style of outfit has been made into 'Gi' for female Bruisers or Monks (and sometimes Mages) with great stats (for the era) attached to them. The dresses would logically be a hindrance for a martial artist as it would tangle the legs.
    • Male Gi, and some Mage armor is often chest-baring with weird showing-nipple-only aesthetics.
    • These appearances go for all races, including the dragon-like Sarnak and Troll. Nothing says 'sexy and dangerous' like an 8-foot tall female Troll in a lacy garment.
    • These outfits are frequently used in the roleplaying community in lieu of wearing armor everywhere.
    • Queen Antonia Bayle was part of this trope once, but she has since been given a full-length dress and some rather fetching sandals instead.
  • Fallout:
    • Used and averted, although raider armour is pretty skimpy, everybody else wears more practical attire. Throughout the series, women in full Powered Armor are indistinguishable from their male counterparts. Most armors in earlier games just had some bumps on the sprite instead of cleavage. Many of the original (non-power) armors in Fallout: New Vegas are also indistinguishable between genders, to the point that a female character looks like a man with a woman's head tacked on, if the head isn't covered up as well.
    • The Ordnance Armor from The Pitt, the most stripperiffic armor in the game, uses Mini-Nuke tips for the bra cups.
    • The female White Legs from Honest Hearts are also rather skimpily dressed, but are just as durable as some properly armored enemies.
  • The Final Fantasy series, as expected, uses this trope a lot.
    • Dressing in a one-piece swimsuit and some shoulderpads was practically standard for the SNES era's female characters.
    • Even the male characters weren't safe from this. Look at the artwork for Guy, a character from Final Fantasy II, who bares his arms, legs, and midriff. He may have even pioneered the style.
    • Final Fantasy IV:
      • The Kingdom of Troia has an all-female army, who wear leotards as their official uniform. The sprite used to represent them is identical to that of the dancers in other places, resulting in this reaction when the player speaks to one of the guards in the castle: "Dance for you!? How dare you! I am a shieldmaiden of the Epopts, not some two-gil performer!"note 
      • The original Nintendo Power artwork for its Final Fantasy IV feature for its SNES release depicts both Paladin Cecil and Kain in these, accompanying Guy for Stripperiffic male Final Fantasy designs.
      • The elemental archfiend of Wind, Barbariccia, wears nothing more than a bikini. Then again, she might not need armor seeing as she's more of a force of nature and forms a protective whirlwind with her own hair.
    • In Final Fantasy VI, Terra and Celes (the strongest characters in the game) wear something akin to battle swimsuits/leotards according to the sprite art (Celes, in particular, wears a strapless green swimsuit with shoulderpads, a cape, and a belt. Terra's is red and doesn't even have a cape.) In-game, the strongest suit of armor is the Minerva Bustier (which may be the reason that Relm, the Token Mini-Moe, couldn't wear it).
    • Final Fantasy VII: Jessie, one of the AVALANCHE members in the first part of the game, wears an armored vest that features cups for her bust. It's seen in her original artwork, but will actually be seen in-game in the 2020 remake.
    • Final Fantasy X: Dona, one of the other summoners in the game, wears a very revealing outfit that consists of a bra, detached sleeves, a Showgirl Skirt, and panties all somehow held together with a large amount of string.
    • Final Fantasy IX:
      • While the male Knights of Pluto get to clank around in plate armour, the Queen's all-female guard tends to invest in helmets, boots, and one-piece swimsuits. Not often where 'show some leg' meets 'oppressive imperial army'.
      • There's also Kuja, whose outfit consists of a puff-sleeved vest, sash, thigh-high boots and a Thong of Shielding. Justified in this case since armor wouldn't help him much.
    • Final Fantasy XI:
      • The game includes a number of Harness/Subligar armor sets which, while varying a bit depending on race and gender, consist of body armor that covers some places and exposes others, and leg armor that covers only the crotch, leaving the legs almost entirely exposed or covered in skin-tight material that is usually flesh-toned (though one set in particular has navy blue material covering the legs). One particular piece of leg armor, the Republic Subligar, is the best equipment available to almost all melees over a wide range of levels, and thus is extremely common, even though players frequently express disgust and horror at witnessing Galka, male Elvaan, and male Hume models in this gear.
      • A more blatant example of this would be the Fighter's Lorica, a Level 60 piece of artifact body armor. It is literally a breastplate with metal skirt but sans mid-riff coverage. Comes with an extremely high +Enmity rating for its level that Japanese players have questioned whether the bare mid-riffs was the reason for it (as the relic version of this piece covers the mid-riff but lowers the enmity rating bonus)...
    • Final Fantasy XII has several examples:
      • Fran appears to wear armor with all of the actually protective bits cut out. Not to mention that it's predominantly black, with nothing discernible underneath, and that she goes traipsing about in it rather extensively through deserts and frozen mountain passes. Forget enemy attacks. Ouch!
      • Nearly all the Dalmascan characters wear piecemeal plating over thin leathers or clothing, but this is quite deliberately contrasted with the heavily-armored Judges and Imperial soldiers. Considering the Archaedian Empire is a northern realm, while Dalmasca is almost entirely desert, there's a surface sort of logic (try fighting in armor in temperate weather for long; it's not easy; imagine how much worse it'd be in a desert).
      • It also contains one of the oddest subversions to this trope, as one character actually is shot fatally in an unprotected area due to wearing this kind of armor... and it's a male character. Still, the gap was notoriously small, so kudos to the archer.
      • Another male example is Vaan, who wears a decent amount of plating on his legs, but his upper body is mainly protected by a very skimpy metal vest. It actually covers his back pretty well if one overlooks the midriff and arms; from the front, however, its main defensive utility lies in making its wearer very careful about getting hit.
    • Final Fantasy XIV normally averts this. Heavy plate armor will look the same on anyone regardless of gender or race, although cloth amour varies between being identical and much more revealing on females. Of course this just makes the few examples more egregious: The stand out is probably the Dragoon artifact armor which on males completely covers them from head toe, to the point where only their mouth and chin are visible. The female version leaves small bits of bare skin at the collarbone, elbows, and, oh yea, a massive hole that shows off their midriff. One notable early-level example is the Subligar/Harness combination for physical classes, as it's skimpy for both genders.
    • Most female Jobs in Final Fantasy Tactics wear armor and/or clothing appropriate to the occasion, usually covering them entirely —from the full set of armor worn by female Knights, and Dark Knights, Squires, Meliadoul, and Agrias, to the elaborate robes of Oracles and Mediators. However, Geomancers and Mimes wear an overshirt and boots, Dancers wear a skirt and a midriff-baring top, and Monks wear a strapless leotard.
      • Though in a flip of how this trope usually works, male Monks and Geomancers are practically shirtless and male Mimes wear a similar outfit. Dancers, however, are a female-only class and the male counterpart (Bard), while still wearing clothes, does show less skin
    • Ritz's artwork in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has her wearing two individual cups attached to her shirt.
    • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time: here's an experiment you can try. Take a female Clavat and a female Selkie. Put them both in, say, a suit of Dragoon armour. Note that the Clavat's is relatively sensible and the Selkie's is backless. Kinda-sorta justified in-universe; Selkies are noted for being extremely agile, hence the reason they are the only race able to Double Jump, and they most likely cut down any armour they wear to make it more flexible.
  • Fire Emblem usually zig-zags this. When a female character wears armour, it's usually just as practical as their male equivalent's (with most of the fanservice reserved for unit classes who don't wear much armor regardless of gender). Even though the 3DS titles (Awakening and Fates) have moved to more fanservicey designs in general, male and female units of the same class still generally wear the same amount of actual armor (though the latter sometimes have more revealing clothing underneath). There are also Pegasus Knights, but that issue is less the light armornote , and more that they forgo pants for aerial combat, in spite of being units riding horseback on a saddle.
  • The Enchantress Emily from C-64 game Fire King falls into the "no armor at all" category. It's stated as the reason for her low defense, since "the armorer has given up fashioning a breastplate for her".
  • God Eater doesn't feature a set of real armour on any active God Eater, but the girls are particularly bad. Poster girl Alisa is known for an exposed midriff with lots of Underboobs showing, for instance. It's actually a Justified Trope, as the enemies they fight are Grey Goo colonies that consume all matter and all a God Eater's protection come from the Oracle Cells enhancing their body, so how protective or not their clothing is becomes a non-issue. As for why some of them wear so little, woven cloth is a luxury After the End and a God Eater's clothes have to be treated with Bias Factor so their own attacks don't melt it (not a cheap process) so most of them are stuck with whatever they were issued.
  • The main character in The Guardian Legend wears very little in the way of body armor. Being a cyborg built specifically for combat, it doesn't matter quite as much, since she uses a personal force field to absorb the shock of enemy attacks.
  • Guild Wars:
    • Eye of the North features a Breast Plate-wearing Norn woman named Jora on the cover; she features in a few of the quests for the expansion pack. It's notable that early concept for the character was mostly identical to her final design, except that she gained about two and a half cup sizes. It should be noted that male Norn don't even bother with the Breast Plate.
    • Aside from that, the game features both female armor that would be completely suitable for battle and is not more revealing than the male version, and several variants of chainmail bikini, ranging from "slightly revealing" to "underwear."
    • A good example can be seen here, where we see the pictures for the elementalist armors. One can't help but wonder why the female version cost the same amount of crafting materials as the male versions, given that they have about 30% of the fabric.
    • The same question could certainly be asked about certain female mesmer armors, particularly the "Elite Enchanter" set, which is basically a nightie accented with choker, Zettai Ryouiki stockings and knee-height go-go boots.
    • Most Ranger sets are similarly less armoring for females, most notably in Prophecies. There is an "Elite Studded Leather" miniskirt and the "Elite Druid" set that has less cloth than the undergarments you would have while "naked."
  • Gyee, being a game targetted towards gay men, have a lot of men in skimpy outfits. That said, the Shadowhunters, an ancient organization dedicated to fight the Always Chaotic Evil Shadow, somehow always seem to get the skimpiest armors.
    • Yan is basically shirtless on his upper half, while his lower half consists of pantsless chaps, exposing his underwear, which is armored for some reason. Egregiously, this guy is supposed to be a Tank. In an optional conversation, you can have him recommend an armorsmith for your player character.
    • Takashi is considerably more armored than Yan. Still, his upper clothing basically consists of an undershirt that leaves his pecs and abs exposed.
    • Kong wears even less than Yan. His upper half is completely exposed save for a scarf. Not even with random bits of armors thrown in. His pants, if you can even call it that, only covers the outer parts of his legs, leaving his inner legs visible.
    • The furry characters get it the worst. While it can be justified that their beast bodies offer more protection than their human counterparts, you'd think the can afford to wear more. Bernard leaves his upper body exposed save for a single breastplate. Hachi wears random pieces of armors, a jock strap, and nothing else. And then there's Morgan, who almost wears nothing but a thong.
    • Knight Captain Izumi isn't a Shadowhunter, but he still wears an armor that doesn't cover his abdomen and thighs.
  • In Halo, the female soldiers pretty thoroughly avert this trope. The female marines and Spartans wear armor that is very close to identical to their male counterparts. While it is possible to distinguish some minor differences in build, it's virtually impossible to tell the gender of anyone in face-covering armor unless they talk, leading to more than one Samus Is a Girl surprises across the franchise.
  • Hellgate: London had the female Paladins wear a helmet, breastplate, gauntlets, and then what appeared to be a skintight leather onesie all the way down to their thigh-high high-heeled boots. And this is an organization that supposedly came out of the Catholic Church.
  • The otherwise quite sensible Queen Catherine Ironfist of Heroes of Might and Magic III wears armor like this.
    • In Heroes of Might and Magic V the dark elves makes for much worse. The trope is averted, however, with the completely armor-clad Isabel and Freyda, and the rest of the Haven faction.
    • The Might and Magic series, on the other hand, mostly averts it. Your female characters will be realistically covered by their armor.
    • However, VI in this series possibly lampshades it (as you can find a few corpses of women who are wearing these, implying that's why they are dead).
  • Kingdom of Loathing mocks this with the Chain-mail Monokini.
    It'll completely protect you from injury, and by 'you' we mean 'your crotch and 40% of your backside.' Because, really, what else matters?
  • In Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the acquirable armor and robes are unisex - the leather armor is just as form-fitting on males as it is on females, for example. That said, one of the NPCs wears Too Many Belts almost literally.
  • Despite the name, the title character of King's Bounty: Armored Princess is not very well armored. That, however, only applies to the mage version of Amelie, featured on the box art. The warrior and paladin are more realistically armored.
  • Played straight on an unbearably literal level in this ad for Knights Fable — it's all chain covering her breasts and crotch area and nothing more. But she wears a cape.
  • Knights of the Old Republic, its sequel, and Neverwinter Nights 2 avert this with all armor and clothing for males and females (including underwear in Neverwinter Nights 2) covering everything except for the hands and head.
    • In KotOR 2, there is the slave Leia outfit (which can be enhanced by underlays, wonder where they go...) and Mira's ballistic jacket which has an AC bonus on par with medium armor, despite being midriff-baring. There is also Handmaiden, who is wearing black underwear when not having any clothes equipped. In KOTOR 1, a female scout character starts the game in bra and panties.
    • Even more interesting is that not only does everyone have underwear, everyone actually has two completely different KINDS of underwear. Try dressing a character entirely in Sith gear, then take it off...
  • Freemium game Legend of the Cryptids: While all over the place, Dark Queen Guinevere probably has the most excessive, since not only is she sporting bizarre and impractical metal underwear (including one bit that appears, from the front, to be held on by willpower alone), but she decided to make up for it by putting all the decoration you'd normally get from a full suit of armour on that metal underwear, meaning that not only is it useless, it would also have taken some poor smith quite some time and a lot of reference pictures of bats to make.
  • In Lineage 2, the armour on the female characters is particularly revealing (and silly). Possibly the most ridiculous is the starting armour for the female Dark Elf — a halter top (open in the middle) mid-thigh high-heeled boots and a thong. All in black leather, of course. The most silly of this is how the Dwarven female character is covered head to toe in full plate armor with one set but the Human female gets a metal miniskirt.
  • Lost Odyssey's Ming wears a leather corset with Navel-Deep Neckline and a pair of trousers with the crotch cut out so that you can see her matching leather panties. Not a very queenly attire, but then again, when you're both the founder AND the first and only leader of a thriving thousand-year kingdom, you can wear pretty much anything you want.
  • The second The Lost Vikings game has the Valkyrie, appearing in the game over scene, whose armor is hardly proper for the harsh Scandinavian climate.
  • In Luminous Arc 2 Ayano's "armor" is barely anything but metal bra and and panties, contrasting the armor-clad Roland, Rasche, Gaston and Richter.
    • In Luminous Arc 3 the female Ashley wears bare-midriff and thigh armor while the males Levi 's Ragnarok form, Glen and Arnogia wear full armor neck to toes and in Glen's case helmet as well.
  • Celestine from Magna Carta 2 parades around in a tight fitting crystal-bikini-thing for the duration of the game, and is first introduced with a generous glimpse of her breasts.
  • In Mario Strikers Charged, Peach and Daisy wear a set of armor that bares the midriff and exposes a bit of the thigh. The most prominent bits of plating covers the chest, and the other pieces cover the shoulders and lower arms.
  • Jack in Mass Effect 2 wears a pair of baggy trousers and combat boots, but her chest is only covered by a leather strap over her nipples, and a copious amount of tattoos. If her loyalty mission is completed, she gets a tight leather tank top... and then wears the straps over it. In the third game, she explains that the strap was only there because "it's kind of a bad idea to show off your rack in a high-security prison", but decides to invest in a more practical outfit nonetheless. Most protection in Mass Effect is provided by kinetic and biotic barriers, while the armor and clothing is typically constructed of high-tec "ballistic cloth" that can deflect bullets and shrapnel, which is why many combatants can get away with only wearing form-fitting clothing underneath their shields.
  • With a few exceptions, somewhere around half of the MMORPG ads on this site use/fall prey to this. Not that the other half are much better — they're just not wearing armor, period, leaving the only question a matter of how Stripperiffic the outfit in question is. Examples include, but not necessarily limited to: Flyff, Perfect World, Shaiya, Last Chaos, Legend Of Mir 3.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • The Kirin armor is one of the strongest armors you can get early on in Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, despite baring arms, thighs, and midriff. "How does so much skin deflect so much damage?!?"
    • Overall for the series, it varies depending on the individual armor set. The female Renoplos armor for example is only identifiable as "female" by the fact that few men would willingly wear something painted that cute, The Urugaan set is partially form-fitting with the only skin exposed being the face and Zettai Ryouiki covered by a heavy armor skirt, while the Barioth set is almost as skimpy as the aforementioned Kirin. On the other hand, the Bone armor set is skimpy for both females and males.
  • Mortal Kombat: Depending on what realm you're from, a female could wind up with something conservative (Earthrrealm) to downright Stripperiffic (Edenia).
  • Frequent in Namu Amida Butsu! -UTENA- despite the cast's being Cast Full of Pretty Boys – many Buddhas go into battle nearly or completely shirtless, donning little more than a few straps or bits of cloth in the former case.
  • Neverwinter Nights:
    • The base campaign actually has its central NPC, Aribeth, The Paladin Who Doesn't Do Anything, wearing a suit of armour cut so low as to be positively dangerous, a literal breastplate that leaves her upper chest and back exposed. Made more egregious because literally every other part of her body below the neck is fully armored.
    • In Hordes of the Underdark, the game's second expansion pack, the would-be drow empress known as the Valsharess has a similarly heaving bosom to Aribeth, and even less armor around the rest of her body, such as spider-leg bracers around her arms that leave most of the skin visible. Player companion Deekin comments about the impracticality of such armour — since the base game and the expansions were made by the same people, this may have been Self-Deprecation. You can also use Item Crafting to change the look of any armor to this.
    • Community Expansion Pack has not only "Aribeth Armor" (description: A suit of armor strangely reminiscent of a controversial lady's...) but also "Chain Mail Bikini" (Because what fantasy RPG would be complete without one, if only to uphold stereotypes and running jokes...). Though the female variant of the "Warrior Monk's Outfit" is more Stripperiffic anyway (top part looks less like a narrow cloth and more like a very wide shoestring).
    • This gets even worse in some other community-produced modules. The Aribeth's Redemption series gives us the "Armor of Impossible Cleavage," which grants a bonus to Charisma and Persuade in addition to its armor bonus and leaves a completely exposed foot-wide strip down the center of the torso (it is also limited to female use only, and unfortunately (for story reasons) you can't play that module with a female character).
    • The A Dance with Rogues series has a hakpack that turns every possible suit of armor or clothing into one of these. One of the most infamous examples is the "Armor of Lolth," encountered in the middle of the second chapter, which on female characters looks like a dark reddish bra and panties (though on male characters it looks like an ordinary suit of black and red plate armor) and provides more protection than most suits of plate armor. If you wear that armor, all conversations with male characters (except for the psycho pervert character) begin with them stuttering at you.
  • There was one straight example in Neverwinter Nights 2: the starting Warlock armor showed quite a bit of skin on both genders, with the female version showing more. The first expansion pack, which added new races with new skin colors (and changed how they were rendered), replaced the bare skin with black fabric rather than deal with every permutation.
  • In Ninety-Nine Nights the main female character, Inphyy, wears an armor shirt that covers everything but the tops of her breasts. And better not speak of the wings.
  • Mostly averted in Pathfinder: Kingmaker: all armors cover male and female characters equally. The exception is party barbarian Amiri's default appearance, which consists of hides and leather that for some reason leave her abdomen exposed from her breastbone (complete with underboobs on her character portrait) to her bikini line (which is clearly visible).
  • Persona 3:
    • The High-Cut Armor (for females only) is essentially this (although you only get to see the avatar change in the FES expansion), but your party members will be embarrassed and only reluctantly agree to wear it.
    • Lampshaded some more in the PSP rererelease, where they are renamed Battle Panties.
    • You can also find a piece of armor named "Spiked Bra" which causes the same reaction from female party members, but doesn't change their model.
  • Played with in Planescape: Torment: Annah wears a Stripperiffic outfit which basically consists of a strategically slashed leather bathing suit... but it is only because her demonic heritage gives her a body temperature significantly above human norm, and she would overheat if she wore anything heavier or more concealing. There's actually a scene where the Nameless One points out that if she's going for this, she should shift it a bit...and she didn't realize what she did!
  • Prince of Persia: Warrior Within suffers this with Shadee, who wears a metal thong-type getup that redefines Stripperiffic. Penny Arcade covers it quite well, in addition to the Prince's generic rage.
  • The Princess Maker series:
    • Princess Maker (Refine): Bikini Armor, Flavor Text of:
      "Fashionable" armor designed specifically for women. May chafe.
    • Lampshaded in Princess Maker 2. When you go to the armory and try to buy a very stripperiffic piece made of silk (?), the vendor tells you that it may raise your daughter's Charisma, but it covers and protects so few that it's not worth the gold you have to pay for it. You can still buy it, of course, but it DOES offer much less protection than the others.
  • Quest for Glory V puts Elsa von Spielburg in a chainmail bikini. It's an especially stupid example because not only is she a tough-as-nails warrior and a capable swordswoman in her own right, but she's spent her entire life struggling against sexism. It's worse when you realize that in the first game, she is the well-clad and deadly Brigand Leader.
  • The official artwork for Ragnarok Online is progressing in this direction. Nearly all of the female classes except for the Acolyte, Swordswoman and Merchant love showing their legs, their cleavage and their waist. To the extent that the two heavy melee classes, the Rune Knight and Royal Guard, sport actual armour bikinis after progressing from bases classes that were completely covered up.
  • Rappelz lampshades this in their ads:
    Image: [Cleavage, bare midriff]
    Text: Like what you see?
  • Rift: Asha Catari's armor is basically a plate armor bra with Shoulders of Doom.
  • Runescape originally had 'female' versions of plate armour that bared mid-rift and cleavage (Although females could also wear the ordinary/male version). Since the upgrade to Runescape 2, however, female plate armour no longer exists, and the standard armours display the same on PCs of either gender. Plate skirts exist but can be worn by either gender. Of course, in RS3, it is possible to use Customisations that can mimic this effect, with some making it look like the character is wearing next to nothing - but it's more of an illusion, as their real outfit is hidden underneath, with all the strengths and weaknesses they entail.
  • The armor of Ryzom is largely this trope, though it's justified with Light Armor, which is largely reserved for casters and doesn't offer much protection in the first place.
  • Samurai Shodown has Charlotte (one intro quote is actually yelling at someone for mocking her having a breastplate). She has the breastplate, what may be gloves, and what once looked like armoured (if heeled) boots that seem to turn a bit sexier in later games. Neinhalt Sieger is a more masculine example, bearing one (HUGE) gauntlet as well as greaves and kneepads. Torso protection? His big bare Teutonic chest.
  • While Samurai Warriors usually plays this straight (when the female warriors wear armor at all, that is), it's subverted with Ginchiyo Tachibana. While the plate parts of her armor would be a classic Breast Plate, She has the good sense to cover everything but her head in (admittedly very well-fitting) chainmail.
  • In Scarlet Blade all female classes wear skimpy high tech armor that reveals a lot of skin. It's taken to a new extreme with their Mini-Mecha; heavy mechanized armor that presents torso, pelvis and upper thighs right out front, exposed except for Censor Steam.
  • In Secret of Mana, one of the female-specific bits of armor is the Tiger Bikini (and it actually has better defensive stats than any other armor you can buy.)
  • In the same vein, Tecmo's Secret of the Stars has a piece of armor called the Bunny Suit, which makes anybody who dresses in it look like a cute, scantily-clad Playboy Bunnyeven the guys. It also has the male-exclusive Loincloth, which provides better defence than most full suits of armor available at that point.
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero: Although she's never depicted wearing it in-game, one of the relics you can buy in the Item Shop is literally called "Bikini Armor" and its icon depicts a bikini with metal parts. It reduces damage Shantae takes by half.
  • Several of the female character in Smite wear these. Most notably Aphrodite, Isis, Neith.
    • This may be either inverted or played with, because quite often the models are wearing more than the original depictions of the deities. Kali is a perfect example of this.
  • Soul Calibur 4. The Soul series of fighting games is legendary for its female character's costumes, most of which offer little protection from sword, hammer, or ambient temperature. By contrast, new character Hilde in Soul Calibur 4 wields two weapons and wears full plate armour, making her an oddity not only in SC4 but also fighting games in general — the armour does not, however, appear to give any more protection from damage than a cotton dress. This is to show off the new system, where armor can get blown off! Even when the armor is nearly completely removed, she manages to avert the trope by wearing a formal suit underneath which - miraculously - doesn't show any skin.
  • Soul Nomad & the World Eaters:
    • If you play as a male Revya, he'll be wearing relatively modest leather armor. Female Revya, however, goes shirtless aside from pauldrons and a metal bra. See for yourself. Their Sprites, on the other hand, both wear the same midriff-baring chest armor.
    • To say nothing of the nereids, although in this case it's somewhat justified, as they're an underwater race, and one really can't move around underwater very well in heavy armor.
  • In Star Fox Adventures, Krystal wears skimpy, tribal "armor" that leaves quite little to the imagination, as it's just a bra and a Loincloth that doesn't cover her belly. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate went even farther by showing that she doesn't wear underwear, leaving her pubic area fully exposed'' as her loincloth flaps about as she fights.
  • Star Ocean: The Last Hope has Myuria and to a slightly lesser extent Meracle. Of course Myuria is also a Black Magician Girl while Meracle is an Action Cat Girl.
  • Orion female armor in Star Trek Online. All but one of their possible outfits qualify (and that one is shredded cloth). As noted above, the Klingon women get this a little bit too, but compared to the Stripperiffic Orion outfits, it's almost unnoticeable. On the Federation side of things, the Terran Empire costumes from the TOS era are just as tiny, and even come with Zettai Ryouiki to boot. This all applies if the body armor is made not to show; the armor can be toggled so it's visible, and almost all of it falls in the "Tight show-off-the-curves" variety. It's worth noting that since the main type of weapon is of the Energy Weapon sort, the only protection that they really need is a Personal Shield, so it's somewhat justified. Less so when dealing with the Klingon Bat'leths, of course.
    • Note that Orion females can go around in less stripperiffic armour (they get access to most of the uniforms/costume-armour female Klingons do. This includes the somewhat-revealing variant of the Klingon armour-uniform). It's just that they also get access to several costume pieces other species and genders do not, all of which show off a lot of skin.
  • The Sword Art Online PSP game has a promo item called "legendary swimsuit armor." In other words, a School Swimsuit. Standard female armor in both the game and the anime is less ridiculous, but often includes Zettai Ryouiki and/or boob windows for no apparent reason. However, this is all justified when one remembers that in-universe the characters are in a VRMMORPG, and all the equipment comes with various stats. It doesn't matter how Stripperiffic the outfit is if it has the high stats to justify wearing it (and the wearer has strength of will to wear it in spite of the appearance).
  • Much like in Final Fantasy Tactics above, this is mostly averted in Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together. The female Knight & Terror Knight are as heavily armored as their male counterparts, though they do walk on a pair of thin Combat Stilettos and the female Knight lacks a helmet as opposed to her male counterpart. However, the female Beast Tamer is more covered than the male and has pauldrons he lacks, and both the male and female Dragoons are covered from head to toe in gold & silver armor that is sleek, stylish and just plain awesome.
  • Tales Series:
    • It's more surprising when a character wears actual functional armour, regardless of gender. Nanaly Fletch (Tales of Destiny 2) and Judith (Tales of Vesperia) fit this trope to the letter. But the ultimate grand prize goes to Rondoline E. Effenberg from Tales of the World: Narikiri Dungeon X, who bears the most skin out of any (human) Tales Series character, managing to wear nothing that could accurately be described as "protection".
    • Made even more laughable with Judith, who wears a full suit of androgynous armour when the party first meets her, but then changes into this for the rest of the game (unless given a different outfit). The extra costumes in the Japanese PS3 version also features actual bikinis for Judith, Rita and Estelle to wear into battle. Battle swimwear is also available for Yuri, Raven and Karol.
    • Worth noting that Informed Equipment is usually in play with the Tales games. Usually, the only pieces of equipment visible in gameplay are the weapon and shield, if the character is using one.
    • QQ Selezneva from innocence could give Rody a run for her money in her outfit as well.
  • Trials of Mana:
    • Riesz is depicted as wearing an extremely low-cut chest-plate and a skirt.
    • Angela. Not only is she wearing a strapless leotard, miniskirt, boots and her staff, she's also Going Commando, and she hails from the snowy land of Altena. The first time she leaves the magically protected castle onto the aptly named Sub-Zero Snowfields, she almost freezes to death.
  • The Vagrant: Played straight, averted, then played straight again. Played straight in that Vivian's onscreen appearance portrays her in one, no matter what kind of armor you have equipped on her, which are mostly rather form-covering from their artwork. It's then averted and parodied with an armor set you can buy in the final dungeon for a hefty cost, which is literally called a bikini, that only has a base defense of 1. The item description reads "provides exactly as much defense as you'd think". However, if you fully upgrade it, the trope gets played straight again as it ends up having a total defense of 150, making it one of the best armor sets in the game.
  • Valis:
    • This might be the main point of the series. Yuko's armor has consistently been illogically skimpy, being pretty much a bikini and (if it counts as armor) a skirt. Cham/Char in the third game has slightly less impractical armor.
    • Averted by Valna in the third game; she is a magic user is dressed in a full robe.
    • Also strangely, in the fourth game, Lena starts off with more modest clothing, even if it's still impractical as battle armor. However, when she gets special armor that grants her temporary invincibility (until it takes enough damage), that special armor turns out to be as skimpy as (or possibly skimpier than) Yuko's.
    • This whole thing was parodied in the Super-Deformed Syd of Valis, where the Invincibility Power-Up is a bikini.
  • While the Valkyria Chronicles games mostly avert this trope, a few of the "armor" sets worn by the Valkyria play it quite straight. The first game also has a minor example with Rosie, who has a barely noticeable cutout in the front of her otherwise fairly conservative uniform that exposes her belly button.
  • Valkyrie Profile and its sequel frequently features the second type; many of the female warriors are heavily armoured except for the thighs and sometimes the breasts (either normal fabric or actual exposed cleavage), and several wear armoured high heeled boots. On the other hand, some of the male warriors also have somewhat questionable weakspots...
  • Vindictus: While all characters have plenty of realistic armour, especially at lower levels; female characters Evie, Fiona, and Vella have their share of unrealistic fantasy styles at higher levels. These include mini-skirts, see-through mesh dresses, hotpants, low-cut necklines, and so on. Interestingly, this is actually explained in-universe. Nearly all of the less-practical armour is made by NPC tailor Clodagh, who is obsessed with fashion and appearance, and not terribly concerned with practicality.
    • Similar, there is Fiona's Shining Will set, which consists of helmet, see-through miniskirt, backless Breast Plate with plunging neckline, and armoured boots and gloves. This is even less excusable, as Fiona is the game's Tank, emphasizing defensive skills.
    • All of Vella's unique armour invokes either this or Stripperiffic; and she's considerably better endowed than either of the other female characters (and more prone to Jiggle Physics). Word of God is that Vella was intended to be Ms. Fanservice.
  • Justified with Sacriers in Wakfu. Their character art has them wearing very little, but since pain and injury are the source of their power...
  • Warhammer Online:
    • Age of Reckoning has the scantily clad Witch Elf class. Body armor pieces include the "halter" and "corset" series. Dark Elf Sorceresses also get hit with this. Averted with nearly every other class, as the female and males both wear practical armor. Particularly noticeable with the Dark Elf Black Guard class; the lack of feminine contours on their armor makes it impossible to tell the genders apart. The reason, of course, being that the models for the particular professions in the original game are like that.
    • Witch Elves and Sorceresses are lightly-armoured and very fragile and their armour (such as it is) exists for the sake of decency, rather than to provide protection. Male Sorcerers are equally squishy because the difference in armour value between cloth and bare skin is pretty much negligible. For the more heavily-armoured careers, appearance is uniform between the sexes: a female character in heavy armour is every bit as well-covered as a male character, which is a contrast with many other games, in which plate leg armour magically becomes a Thong of Super Durability on females.
  • Played ridiculously straight in Wartune, the higher level a Female Knights armor, the more skin it shows. Made egregious by the fact there is one model for female knights, a blonde, that EVERYONE uses. Male Knights wears full covering armor from day one. Females also have built-in stiletto heels, and serve the role of Tank.
  • White Knight Chronicles II includes Kara, who disguises herself as a man by wearing a suit of plate armor... which stops short at waist level to reveal a skintight fabric highlighting her curvy figure. Huh?
  • Saskia the Dragonslayer from The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings wears no helmet and armor everywhere but her cleavage. Although only some of it is showing, the plot takes place in a dark fantasy setting where even the protagonist, a monster hunting mutant, can be killed by a single arrow. Saskia is the leader of a rebellion, so she should be wearing a full suit of armor. That said, her virginity and sexuality are part of why she is followed at all, so it is likely to inspire her followers.
    • That, and she's secretly a dragon taking human form, complete with a Healing Factor and supernatural durability. A single arrow wouldn't do much more than inconvenience her.
  • D.W. Bradley seems to enjoy playing with this concept in the Wizardry series and Wizards & Warriors. Armored bras of cloth, leather, chain, and plate varieties can be found in the latter game, while in the former, characters that begin the game in the Valkyrie class (only open to females), have a fur halter and chamois skirt in their starting equipment, the Stud Cuir Bra + 2 is a recurring item wearable only by women (and actually one of the best pieces of armor for female thieves and rangers for quite some time in Wizardry 6), the Amazulu of Wizardry 6 go into battle wearing fur panties and anklets (period), and the Helazoid of Wizardry 7 wear jackets consisting of sleeves and not much else.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Much of the mail and plate armor from the vanilla game makes female avatars look as if they've just come from Victoria's Secret. Some of them appear equally brow-raising when worn by males, while others mysteriously transform into imposing suits of full armor.
    • A detailed guide to the looks has remained a popular topic on the forums, especially after the Transmogrification feature enabled players to change the graphics of their gear to any item of the same armor/weapon class. While players are now free to subvert this trope or invoke it intentionally, as of recent expansions, Blizzard has been implementing skimpy armor very sparingly, thus making the bulk of revealing armor in the game look comparatively low-resolution. Warlords of Draenor expansion, with its Barbarian Hero theme, is an exception: it has introduced several suits of revealing gear for the first time in years.
    • The wiki provides pictures for applying the trope to some of the male characters.
    • It is interesting to note that textures, while technically the same for all races (within the same gender) are mapped to accentuate the anatomy differently. As a result, the same armor can appear much more skimpy on human-esque female characters (Human, Orc, Night Elf, Blood Elf, Draenei) than on races with unconventional proportions (Goblin, Gnome, Dwarf, Tauren and Worgen (wolf form)).
    • The tendency of players to seek this sort of appearance by players was lampshaded with a flavor NPC wearing an outfit that matched the page diagram perfectly, aside from a covered midriff. Her name is Ryii the Shameless.
  • Played straight by Sharla in Xenoblade Chronicles 1 but inverted by Reyn, a big muscleman whose various equipment models except a few of the heavier ones also show loads of skin. Inverted by Fiora who's speed armors are very revealing and her defensive armors are not that revealing at all.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X also plays with this a lot, and not always in ways that make sense(for this trope, anyway). The most common "offender" is the Sakuraba Industries Medium Armor, which features a Cleavage Window for female BLADES just because. Then there's the Candid & Credible Medium and Six Stars Heavy, which both feature Navel-Deep Neckline even though the other classes in their line are all more normal. On the other hand, Meridith & co. Light Armor leaves males almost completely bare-chested (and overall makes you look like a roman Gladiator). It also gets lampshaded by multiple Non Player Characters, one human female questioning why the standard BLADE uniform is revealing as it is, and a Ma-non not understanding why his suggestion to make their company's male armor as revealing as the female armor to improve sales was promptly shot down by his human associates. The Candid & Credible line at least has an explanation: the Ma-non got all their ideas on what human armor is supposed to look like from Anime. The rest of the companies have no such excuse.
  • Both played straight and (!) averted in Gaia Online's MMORPG zOMG!!.
    • The straight example is Lin in the Otami Ruins, who wears a low-cut breastplate and not much else. Arguably justified, since she is a Winged Humanoid and presumably wouldn't present a whole lot of target when flying (her brother doesn't wear much, either).
    • The aversion is the female members of the Barton Guard, who wear armor almost exactly like that of their male counterparts. Gaia users have at times been surprised to find out that Alma is a girl.
    • The main site has an item called Very Protective Fantasy Armor. It's... not very protective. The item poses available are "Panties", "Bra", "Hand Plates", "Foot Plates" and "Headpiece".

    Visual Novels 
  • Subverted in certain suits of Shia from the eroge Bunny Black by Softhouse Chara: she actually gets to wear a realistically generic one for males (with no separate breast plates).
  • Both subverted and adhered to with the suits of Tooru from the eroge Drapeko! ~Onedari Dragon to Oppai Yuusha~ by AliceSoft: she has a full body suit that's a realistically generic one for males, and a slim bikini one that functions as both underwear and casual wear.
  • Voltage, Inc.'s Samurai Love Ballad Party has a rare male example: Maeda "Inuchiyo" Toshiie's breast plate covers only the top half of his chest and leaves his midriff completely exposed. What makes this choice of armor even more bizarre is that all other characters in the game wear much more sensible armor.
  • In Walkure Romanze there are supposedly male knights, but we never see any apart from Julianus and Takahiro, both of whom wear reasonable enough armor. For the girls it's apparently standard to have armor that covers the upper torso but then is form fitting to the breasts of the knight in question, which is a terrible idea for deflecting blows. The only exceptions are Akane, who is very modest and reserved and Lisa, who doesn't really have breasts to begin with. Supporting character Bertille takes it one step further with armor that is almost skin colored and then completely ignores leg armor or pants altogether because it's not a legal strike area for jousting anyway. It does technically reduce her weight and make her faster than properly armored knights, but the protagonist Takahiro has no idea where to look when talking to her. Besides, the gains are minimal.
  • An almost literal example in the Furry Eroge My Pig Princess when the characters go to the beach for the yearly festival and the boar-girl blacksmith Bronwen shows up in a bikini that literally blinds the protagonist with the sun shining off it when he turns around and first lays eyes on her. Bronwen had wanted to come to the beach as well but needed a swimsuit and the local tailor was all out of ones in her size, so Bronwen pragmatically grabbed a few spare scraps of leftover mail and some leather straps and literally forged herself her own skimpy-armoured swimwear. The only reason it's not quite a literal example of this trope is that it's actually scale mail, not chainmail.

    Web Animation 
  • This trope is discussed by Extra Credits. For purely cosmetic purposes in games, they're actually fine with it, chalking it up to allowing players to customize their characters however they want - their objection comes when the skimpiness comes hand-in-hand with the gear level, and players can't opt out of it.
  • RWBY generally follows Rule of Cool with its Animesque character and costume designs, so despite the rarity of huntsmen and huntresses wearing armor it's never limited by practicality when it does appear.
    • Pyrrha Nikos has an outfit reflecting her talent as a warrior, but her costume puts as much or more emphasis on sexiness and style. The lower half features boots with Combat Stilettos, bronze plate armor for the legs up to mid-thigh, Zettai Ryouiki, and a black mini skirt. On the upper half she wears a leather overbust corset that bares her shoulders and cleavage, a bronze gorget around her throat, an elaborate circlet in her hair, and a bronze left forearm bracer, together with various other accessories including her shield. For what it's worth, the coup de grâce she recieves from Cinder is an arrow that pierces her sternum and exits out the back without encountering her corset. Though sadly, changing that alone wouldn't have saved her.
    • Jaune Arc has a more downplayed form. His first costume features a set of relatively small chest, back, and shoulder plates over his hoodie, which looks like it's only designed to cover the absolute vitals and isn't really worth nitpicking. However, when he gets a more full-coverage cuirass at the start of Volume 4, it has a built-in V-neck that exposes just a little bit too much skin around his neck and upper chest. His Volume 7 breastplate gets rid of that gap in coverage.

    Web Comics 
  • In Bruno the Bandit, "Warrior Hotties" typically wear what amounts to a leather leotard, cape and thigh-high boots. Which looks both comical and pathetic on Bruno's mother, an ex-Warrior Hottie who can still kick butt with the best of 'em.
  • Subverted in Chainmail Bikini, wherein the set of armor of the title is described as "+ 1 to AC, + 2 to charisma". Its wearer was killed off early into the comic's run, resulting in an Artifact Title.
  • Played with during a dream sequence in Cheer!: when Gamer Chick (and apparent munchkin) Lita loots a fallen Orc of his armor and equipment, what was a full breastplate on him becomes an armor bikini on her.
  • DMFA: Clan Leader Taun's armour, which is moulded and leaves her midriff and one arm bare.
  • Errant Story scores a trifecta with this trope in a single strip, outside Mandi's bar. First it's lampshaded by Meji; then it's averted, when she accuses Sarine of using an illusion of a chain-mail bikini to charm/mind-screw Jon; and then the aversion is averted, as it turns out Sarine hasn't been tampering with Jon's perceptions at all.
  • Parodied in Exiern (even though it's otherwise heavy on nearly naked people) when the gender-swapped heroine is buying "girl clothes" and gestures to her midsection, pointing out to the armorer that all her critical organs are "right around in here." Doubles as Hypocritical Humor when you consider that when she was a man, her idea of a good outfit for combat was a loincloth and a sword.
  • Flaky Pastry:
    • Nitrine's powered armor is a shining example of trope subversion — cleavage is an absurd weak spot! It is also implied Nitrine found the cleavage useless when she wore the armor because it only attracts men, not women.
    • When Morganae acquire's Nitrine's powered suit, Nitrine actually attempts (unsuccessfully) to insert a stake into her heart through the hole
    • Zintiel the elf warrior, a statuesque Amazon, wears all sorts of armour at various times, including a chestplate-and-shoulderpads combination that looks like an American Footballer's pads.
  • This Full Frontal Nerdity points out that the wearers of Chainmail Bikinis are exposed to the elements as well as attack.
  • Done relatively tamely and self-consciously in Get Medieval when Rylede gets her armor made — it is a real suit of armor over maille, but it is contoured and has a low neckline. It hardly matters, as her opponents are all so unnerved by fighting a woman that they never even come close to hitting her. A lampshade is hung on this as well: When Canter asks how she planned on getting a suit of armor made in a society where women are forbidden to fight, she explains that the blacksmith agreed because it fulfilled a lifelong fantasy of his.
  • Girl Genius has Zeetha — her usual outfit is midriff-bearing but practical, but when it's time to pick out armor she goes for a bikini top and pants. According to the flashbacks, all the warriors in her country, including her mother the Queen, wear a similar level of clothing, if not less. Though what few flashbacks of Skifander we see imply it's a jungle nation, so armor may just be too hot to wear.
  • Worn largely without irony by the title heroine of Glorianna, with gold domes on her breasts and gold crotch guard.
  • Justified in this page of Grrl Power. When a sentient suit of plate armor wraps itself around Dabbler to protect her, she uses her illusion powers to make it look like it's a revealing chainmail bikini outfit since she runs on Rule of Sexy and doesn't like covering herself up.
  • Subverted and lampshaded in Guilded Age. The fighter Frigg gets into a tussle with a bunch of razor-ruler wielding psycho nuns and while she wins, afterwards she is covered in bruises and lacerations. The first things she does is swear to get some plate as "the spring break look is for tards".
  • Hazard's Wake has this exchange involving a leather-and-plate bra:
    Kevinsky: [holding "armor" so Fatima can see it] I found the BEST ARMOR EVER
    Fatima: Then why don't you wear it? [turns her attention to an actual suit of plate armor]
  • Gertrude & Brunhilda in The KAMics. The author did put them in full armor once, much to the displeasure of his readers.
  • Parodied by comic artist Stjepan Sejic (a.k.a. nebezial) in this comic from October 30th 2013, featuring a red-haired adventuress in a scale armor bikini who shows why aiming for the unprotected areas is useless.
    Archer: Aim for her abdomen, for it is nude and insufficiently protected against the elements and injury!
    [a symbol of Venus shining from inside her abdomen produces a force field against which their arrows break]
    Woman: Hah! You ignorant fools. You know nothing of the secret womanly powers of the uterus! Its effects are greatest when exposed!
    Archer: Alas, ye gods! We were woefully misinformed of the true power of a woman's exposed belly! Surely a far more powerful force resides in their cleavage!
  • This episode of Nerdcore: The Core Wars explains that the Geneva Conventions "made it a war crime to injure a female anthropoid in the area of the cleavage, stomach, or thighs. Thereby making it unnecessary for women to cover those areas in armor."
  • Nodwick complains of henchman/woman fashions trending towards this in one of the Dragon comics, even using the exact phrase "chainmail bikini".
  • All the female ninjas in No Need for Bushido wear very little clothing in order to distract their opponents. It works for the most part, although one in particular nearly gets killed when she gets a sword through her unarmored abdomen.
  • Oglaf gleefully runs on Rule of Sexy and Rule of Funny, and so has a number of gags involving this. (Though only SFW strips will be directly linked.)
    • Parodied in Breastplate. Note the chest armor of the scowling woman beside him averts this trope.
    • Played straight in The Glamazon Way.
    • Justified in the NSFW strip Appeal to Heaven, where warriors (male and female) wear slutty armor to gain the favor of a goddess of war and sex.
    • And treated as the logical conclusion of Armor Is Useless in New Model Army. By a tribe of orcs.
      "All the no protection of full plate at a fraction of the weight. Tits up front to distract or offend the enemy. Ass in the back to inspire morale in our troops!"
    • Zigzagged in "Golf". A male knight with a dick window in his armor is concerned he will be shot there, only to be reassured by a female knight with exposed cleavage that the enemy army is really respectful of it. The male knight is immediately shot in the dick... twice. Although the referee (of a battle, yes) forces the enemy army to surrender as punishment, implying that attacking such windows is a war crime.
  • In Okashina Okashi, the Evil Overlord's groupies go on strike because he requires them to wear metal coconut bras.
  • In The Order of the Stick....
    • A shopkeeper explains to Durkon that women's armor consists of any attractive outfit with at least one piece of the material the armor is supposed to be made of.
    • Haley once bought a set of this because she was being mistaken for a boy due to losing most of her hair in a previous battle and decided "some flaunting" was in order.
  • Tina Warrior Princess from Pewfell wears an actual chainmail bikini.
  • Discussed and defied in Room of Swords where one of the male protagonists hands one of the female protagonists a set of what he claims is powerful armour, but it's actually a bikini. She tells him to wear it himself if it's so good. There is a full-panel shot of how the male protagonist would look wearing it (as imagined by one of the female protagonists), and in the end nobody takes it.
  • Schlock Mercenary:
    • Lampshaded in one strip where female carbonan armor suits come with huge "torpedo bays" — bigger than what they are supposed to contain. But at least "it does have a certain "distraction factor" going for it."
    • Averted by Ensign Para Ventura who despite having the general physique of a 12-year-old, wears baggy dungarees over her carbonan armour suit.
    • Subverted by Kaff Tagon's father, who makes various jokes about Tagon's crotch-hugging armour - to the point that Tagin has a NEW set made which doesn't have this feature, at least to the same extent.
  • This Secret Lives Of Mobs comic parodies it, with an overweight man in said bikini.
  • Thoroughly averted in The Senkari — everyone wears historically accurate armor, usually hauberks. With the notable exception of one of the female PC's in the in story RPG, who wears a coconut style chainmaille bikini.
  • The Cerberus from Spinnerette wears a chainmail bikini. The heroine even comments on how expensive it must have been. The trope is also lampshaded when Heather asks Sahira if her new costume can't have a cleavage and plunging back. Sahira points out that putting a hole over the heart in an otherwise bulletproof costume is probably not a good idea.
  • Pella Brightwing in Twice Blessed wears a somewhat conservative leather version of this.
  • The title character Vixine from the Vixine webcomic is always shown in a barely fitting armored thong bikini and having an argument with her armorsmith at one point when she'd ordered something more realistic, only to reveal after she's left that her male allies have been bribing him to stick her with the bikini and claim it was the only thing possible he could manage for her.
  • Attempted justification in Wayward Sons: Hestya's fire powers burn off her own clothes, but render her impervious to conventional attacks. The only substance that resists her flames is the local flavor of Unobtainium, and due to its scarcity, they can only spare enough to cover her bits for modesty's sake.
  • A certain comic strip shows a lady knight in what appears to be a pink micro bikini. When her boyfriend tells her that armor isn't actually going to protect her, she shows him that it's skintone-painted full plate with moulded jubblies and remarks "I don't see why not."

    Web Original 
  • In Cracked:
    • This tendency is one of "5 Prejudices That Video Games Can't Seem to Get Over" — specifically number 3, where men's armor gets more "cover" and more intimidating, while female armor gets skimpier and more sexualized.
    • Played for laughs in their "Why Shopping in a video game universe sucks". The female armor that gives 20 defense points bares the midriff and when asked for something more substantial the shopkeeper holds up an even skimpier 50 point metal bra that is held up "by magic" (it then promptly falls down the shopkeeper).
    • One of 31 Life Lessons You Can Only Learn From Video Games is that "the less it covers, the more it protects."
  • A DeviantArt artist shows exactly why this trope should never be used for real. The graphic image shows that the warrior in bikini armor was savagely cut up around her midsection, leaving grievous wounds.
  • Female Armor Bingo is a more or less complete list of offenses against practicality and common sense when it comes to protective gear for women.
  • Lampshaded on Hero Forge, a site to order custom figurines for gaming. The description for the "Plate Bikini" clothing reads, "Chest armor which inexplicably leaves the stomach exposed."
  • Parodied in this Pixiv entry, where an actual bikini is put on a full set of plate armor, calling it "Bikini Armor".
  • The "Repair Her Armor" blog attempts to fix numerous egregious examples of this trope in various media with more sensible (and less obviously Stripperiffic) outfits.
  • In "Shagahol", a nsfw fantasy game by Rapscallion Games', this is given two justifications. Using magic to heal flesh actually feels rather nice (Though the feeling for bone is horrible, necessitating good limb armor), and due to a combination of the various races and just how large body parts can benote , mass-producing armor is basically impossible. Conversely, Dwarves, who don't use magic healing and make armor for just their own people, make full-plate armor.
    Practically naked Dwarf Woman:"I always thought the armor up here sucked compared to our stuff, but if I had to make armor for centaurs 'n' dragonkin, I'd probably half arse it as well.
  • Skimpy Armor for Dudes by humon very much averts this trope. The only woman is completely covered up. The nearly naked man is posing for the camera, and the others are no more dressed. Of course, humon mentions that everyone, male and female, would wear barely anything in the society she had created for that, so who knows where else the woman came from.
  • This tumblr, and its handy RSS feed, collects aversions of the trope and gives credit where it's due. The blog went inactive in April 2012, unfortunately. It was briefly revived for a few months in 2013, but has gone back to being inactive.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • The superheroine Beach Bunny wears a titanium bikini as her costume. She is a speedster brick with heat powers, and tends to burn up normal clothes and supersuits. Lampshaded when speedster Scrambler admits she tried a metal bikini once and got really bad chafing when she ran.
    • Because of Tennyo's tendency to end up completely undressed at the end of her battles (as no imaginable clothing could possibly survive what she can), Phase buys her a chainmail bikini made from strips of Adamantium to wear under her costume. It isn't too comfortable, but at least it protects her modesty... sort of.
  • Parodied in this picture, where a woman looks like she is scantily-clad, but the "skin" is really a fake bodysuit covering her (more practical) clothing.
  • This comic presents a mail bikini enchanted such that the exposed skin between the armour pieces repels weapons - better than the armour itself. The wearer then realizes that her armour also includes bracers, boots, and a headpiece, and takes it to the logical conclusion.
  • A certain Tumblr user sates that they want all fantasy games to have the option to swap all armors between "ptactical" and "sexy" because they think that being able to gender flip this at will would be funny.

    Web Videos 
  • AFK: Steven wears an outfit like this as part of his female character. It's really impractical in a real world, and he steals pants at the first chance, which get remade by Maybel to fit, along with a vest.
  • CollegeHumor has an uncreatively-named parody of this trope here. In it, both of the male warriors were given viable armor that covered everything while the female was given a simple bikini. When she complains, the male warriors make increasingly bizarre excuses to justify its use that come off as more All Men Are Perverts, such as mobility. One of them even tests the armor by swinging a sword and deliberately targets a small protected area, to which she rhetorically asks what would happen if an unprotected area was hit.
  • Whenever Britt is cast as a player character in Epic NPC Man, this trope usually comes into play in some way or another, much to her character's chagrin. The trope even got directly called out once when she almost got her hands on some real armor.
  • Gronkh discussed this in an early Let's Test:
    "Female characters in MORPGs can be distinguished by the fact that the better their armour is, the more skin is shown off."
  • Rooster Teeth (of Red vs. Blue fame) produced this parody of the trend, having two women in SoulCalibur cosplay gear duke it out and see how well their costumes held up. They couldn't go for so much as 3 seconds before something fell off.
  • Shadiversity (who discusses the topic here) has gone so far as to suggest that if there had been a lot of women buying themselves armor, they might have cared more about fashion and eventually asked for feminine details such as breasts è la the "boobplate". After all, men really did get armorers to make them unnecessary masculine ornamentation, such as metal codpieces and muscle cuirasses. Your audience will still be divided on whether it looks silly, especially if all the women are wearing such armor.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: In "Blood Under the Skin", the Armor of Zelderon turns out to be a golden boob-plate with matching horned helmet with fake blonde braids. Finn can't bring himself to wear "lady armor", even one that will protect him "from anything, even ghosts."
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Barring their midriffs seems fairly common among Fire Nation women. However, the two-part episode "The Boiling Rock" applies it to female prison guards, which seems somewhat unsafe.
    • When Sokka studies swordfighting under Master Piandao, he and the master’s butler spar together with wooden swords while wearing some kind of sparring armor. They wear helmets, shoulder guards, shin guards, forearm guards, and some kind of odd narrow breastplate that only covers the abs and the middle of the chest, but they’re shirtless underneath and show a lot of skin. It isn’t played for fanservice or anything, and just looks unnecessarily dangerous to anyone who actually practices full contact fencing. The sensible thing would be to wear some sort of jacket as the base layer, install a grille over the helmet face opening, use a breastplate that covers the whole front of the torso, and add rigid plates for the throat and groin.
  • Green Lantern: The Animated Series: Aya the AI has this in her physical form. Justified as she's made up of green will energy and the "Bikini" parts hold both her programming and allow her to physically interact with objects. She just puts herself together in such a way that it comes across as bikini armor.
  • The blue-skinned space babe bounty hunter on Megas XLR has armour that covers most of her body, except for the top of her breasts.
  • In Ronal the Barbarian, the shield-maiden Zandra doesn't wear much more than a leather bikini, and she's among the toughest characters in the film. The female barbarians wear leather bikinis, too, but with thongs. Think that's just Fanservice? Well, the male barbarians wear their thongs pretty much topless. So Zandra actually covers comparatively much of her body.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: In "Pawn of Shadows", the Obliteratix's battle costume consists of a mask and strategically placed leather straps.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: When Voluntary Shapeshifter Double Trouble reports to Catra in S4: E4, they make fun of Bow's cuirass by taking his form and doing a mocking routine.
    Fake Bow: Oh, no, the new weapon! It's firing. Aargh! It got me in the abs. The most vulnerable part of the body that I refuse to cover, because I don’t own real shirts.
  • Xcalibur's Djana has an exposed patch of skin right above her breasts, and her suit of armor fits along the curves of her body.
  • While Young Justice does pretty well for a comic-book adaptation by having the vast majority of their female characters adequately protected, the Badass Normal Artemis's main costume has an inexplicably bare midriff. Sure, her stealth, arctic, motor-cycle riding and Tigress costumes are all perfectly armoured and conceal all squishy bits, but her default one is basically a huge target for her belly. She is primarily a ranged fighter, but her chest also has a big green arrow on it that would also make a nice target, and her arms are also mostly uncovered.

Alternative Title(s): Battle Bikini, Breast Plate, Bawdy Armor