Follow TV Tropes


Digital Bikini

Go To
She had to cover up those sea-cups.

When a naked character is given a computer-created bikini or underwear, often at the censor's request, as actually cutting the scene would leave a major plothole (or piss off purist fans who hate it when scenes get cut for content) and cropping the nudity with pan and zoom effects would make the scene look awkward as hell. This is also used to make risque clothing more modest (i.e., a female character who originally wears a thong now has on a mild version of a Thong of Shielding, booty shorts, or granny panties on a "safe for air" version of a movie or cable show that was brought to free-to-air TV). A close relative of Censor Steam. Sometimes this does occur with Barbie Doll Anatomy (or Non-Humans Lack Attributes) involved, though lack of certain... um, elements should technically make it less egregiously nude it doesn't lessen the overall perception that there's a lot of skin on show in places clothing should be. Other times, though, it can have the opposite effect entirely and merely look kinky without said attributes, so it's easier just to cover it up.

This of course stems from consideration of intended audiences, standards and practices departments, and mainly pressure from Moral Guardians who can easily sink something if they mean to.

Compare with Family-Friendly Firearms, when real-life guns and weapons are digitally altered into more censor-friendly fictional weapons.

Not to be confused with bikinis made of electronic components (if there is any such thing... yet).


    open/close all folders 

  • The creator of Ménage à 3 also features more explicit images of the characters through Menagé à 3 Showcase on the paysite Slipshine. One advertisement for this on the Ma3 website features Zii in a black bra which she's not wearing in the actual image.
  • Depending on the target audience, holiday brochures available from travel agents in Britain are routinely photoshopped to put digital bikini tops on women who appear on photographs from resorts where topless sunbathing is allowed. Identical photographs might appear in a holiday brochure intended at families and older people - with bikini tops airbrushed in - and in brochures of the "Club 18-30" type aimed at young singles - where the nudity is allowed to stand, possibly as a sales point.
  • An egregious example was done with a photo originally in an ad in an adult publication, showing a female with her back to the camera on a beach, peeling off a wet shirt, the only piece of clothing she had on. The picture was used in a later ad; not only was a bikini bottom painted on, but her entire butt-crack was airbrushed out. The effect was...unsettling.
  • An advert for tights for use on the Transport for London network had to have one added before being allowed, as the original photo fell foul of its "no topless women" rule... even though the woman was seen from behind and her breasts were not visible.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Tenchi Muyo! became the Trope Namer when it was aired on Cartoon Network's Toonami, pioneering the technique to avoid cutting the many plot-critical scenes set in hot springs or baths. The best part is seeing the bathing suits painted on characters wearing tightly wrapped towels around them. These days, the digital bikini isn't used as much to cover nudity in anime series. They mostly use Censor Steam, digitally remove offending body parts, or cut/shorten scenes of nudity. The last anime series on Cartoon Network/Adult Swim to use digital clothes to cover nudity was Blue Gender, where Marlene was seen with a digitally-rendered towel around her naked body in a locker room scene (while the towel she actually had in her hand was digitally removed for continuity reasons — and a naked man sitting on a bench when Marlene and Alicia go to their lockers was completely digitally removednote ). Even Kill La Kill, which features the main character in a skimpy, superpowered uniform, didn't use digital alteration to cover up upskirt and underboob shots (those instead were either left in, cropped out of frame, or replaced with another shot).
  • In the very first chapter of Dragon Ball, Goku goes Skinny Dipping while fishing. In the 1995 BLT dub of the anime, underwear is added on to him in his swimming scenes, while other scenes of him naked use a Scenery Censor. This edit was reused by Funimation in their re-dub for the Toonami broadcast.
  • In Inuyasha, in the very first chapter, the Centipede Demon who drags Kagome to the past via the well was supposed to be bare-chested (but with Barbie Doll Anatomy). When it aired on [adult swim], the monster's breast lines were digitally erased, which was not even done consistently in all scenes.
    • In Latin America she received a blue bra, which was even less consistent.
  • In Mobile Fighter G Gundam when it was aired on Toonami, a bikini top was put on Rain when she's forced to "pilot" the Devil Gundam. Making this especially silly is that the character in question has Barbie Doll Anatomy but is also completely silver and looks like a statue (due to DG Cell infection).
  • The English dub of Zatch Bell! apparently put underpants on the title character (in the original Japanese he walked around with nothing under his dress — yes, he wears a dress) because in Japan, nudity on young boys isn't frowned upon (this also happened with young Gohan in Dragon Ball, though in the dub they just cut the scene). This led to a few confusing scenes where he's doing stuff like holding his boxers while wearing boxers and swimming with them while his clothes — including the boxers — can be seen on the bank.
    • One episode has Fulgore get the back of his pants burned off, exposing his butt. The English dub gives him a pink, frilly heart-printed speedo...which actually fits his flamboyant nature.
  • Sailor Moon episode 119 (from the Sailor Moon S series) features a Daimon called U-Chouten who basically wears large star-shaped pasties over her nipples. This was too much for Cartoon Network censors as you might guess for a kid-aimed show and the episode was sent back to Cloverway so they could draw a green bra over U-Chouten's semi-naked breasts to make the star pasties look like a design on her bra. As a result, Cartoon Network skipped the episode in its initial run — despite it being a pivotal episode wherein the identity of Sailor Saturn is revealed. Even though Cartoon Network eventually made good by airing the episode eventually, most fans were angry that it took them so long to do it and the reason why the episode was banned was for something so minor (in their opinion, Moral Guardians and most parents might differ).
    • The Korean dub edited any characters with revealing outfits, like the members of the Amazoness Quartet and the Sailor Starlights, to make their outfits completely cover their body. On a similar note, Usagi was given a white body suit instead of being naked in episode 200.
  • The American broadcast of Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team had these added when the male and female leads took an impromptu hot springs dip.
  • Outlaw Star put a Digital bikini on Melfina when she went into the water tank to control the ship, never mind how she was just covered behind her crossed arms and part of the tank already. The same goes for when she is first "discovered", which is a popular comparison shot — the fetal position just didn't cover it.
    • As for the "Hot Springs Planet Tenrei" episode, Cartoon Network just refused to air it, even when Outlaw Star aired on [adult swim] after midnight on weekends, as it would have been too much time, effort, and digital paint to clothe/cover up the female nuditynote , including the breast outlines on the body suits of the mascots seen earlier in the episode. This isn't to say editing "Hot Springs Planet Tenrei" would be impossible, just really, really challenging. In fact, the episode finally aired on Adult Swim in 2018, with the only edit being airbrushing Aisha's nipples so she would have Barbie Doll Anatomy. There also exists an edited version of the episode that does have the nude characters digitally clothed with bikinis (and is drastically cut to remove other objectionable content, making it run noticeably shorter than usual), but it only aired once on the short-lived CNX Channel in the UK. The bottom line is: find a way to watch the uncut DVD version.
  • Numerous humanoid monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh! were originally depicted as being naked (though with Barbie Doll Anatomy), but in the 4Kids dub, clothes were digitally painted onto them. Likewise, monsters (and even certain human characters) who were depicted with very risqué clothes had their clothing modified digitally to be less revealing.
    • A notable example is Vivian Wong from the first Konami-run series (not including the Toei one). Given her high-kick style of fighting, it was probably necessary to get it on the air.
    • A scene in an early episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has Asuka and her friends in a hot spring-like area of the Obelisk Blue dorms. In the dub, swimsuits are digitally painted onto their bodies, though said bikinis vanish when they are in their towels. A much later episode features Misawa taking off all his clothing and running across part of the island naked. The dub gives him a pair of underpants, and the ones he originally threw aside are painted away.
      • The sexier female monsters such as Asuka's Cyber Angel Idaten and Judai's Elemental Hero Burst Lady got censored because of just how skimpy their outfit are. However, Yubel's left chest is also censored, which is actually quite ridiculous, because they are a hermaphrodite monster whose male left chest needs no censoring in the first place. However, they are in love with Judai and became an Official Couple with him later on, so this change was to make them a full-blown woman and would be easier to deal with when it came to the Moral Guardians.
  • Mew Mew Power, the 4Kids dub of Tokyo Mew Mew, gave Zakuro/Renee underwear before her clothes form during her Transformation Sequence, even though it goes by so fast it's almost impossible to tell. Video comparison here.
  • In one scene in Rosario + Vampire: Season II, a male doppelgänger transforms into the very buxom Kurumu Kurono and flashes her breasts. In the English version, the doppelgänger inexplicably has on a bra.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica has the second Compilation Movie put frilly tunics on Madoka and Homura in a scene that was an Out-of-Clothes Experience in the actual series.
  • The Saban dub of Digimon Fusion painted over any shot of cleavage, which must have been a lot of work when recurring characters include Lilithmon and Mervamon.
  • Doraemon's U.S. dub for Disney XD had this trope done multiple times. Noby (Nobita) was given a pair of shorts in "Mystery of the Haunted House" and "Rub-a-Dub Dub, See the World From a Tub!", and Sue (Shizuka) was given a swimsuit in "The Horizon Line" and "Rub-a-Dub etc.".
    • In "What's on the Robo-Catwalk?" Big G (Gian) is given underwear when Doraemon and Noby mess with the Instant Wardrobe Cam and he (originally) ends up naked during a fashion show.
  • Yo-kai Watch had similar edits in the Disney XD dub, however for even milder scenes (fairly modest two-piece bikinis were repainted into one-piece bikinis on one occasion and a dress on another, and in one episode comic shots of a boy's rear end got either covered by his shirt being lengthened or by digital underwear).
  • In My Hero Academia, Himiko Toga's Quirk allows her to turn into other people; however, this also destroys her clothing, and though she can imitate her transformation target's clothing, they vanish once she turns back to normal, leaving her naked. In certain airings of the anime, this is changed so that she's left wearing a skin-tight bodysuit instead.
  • The original late-night airing of the Sakura Diaries OAV cut some scenes of nudity. At one point Urara is trying to seduce her cousin Touma with a Naked Apron, but panties were added to the scene where Touma stares at her ass. While the original 4-disc DVD release of the series was produced from this version, a later 2-disc rerelease included the original uncut episodes.
  • One episode of Naruto features Team 7 trying see under Kakashi's mask while unknowingly being pursued by a trio of ninja who want revenge on Kakashi for a past humiliation. At one point, the trio spy on Kakashi while in a hot springs and are completely naked. The Cartoon Network dub put them in swirly-print boxers. Oddly enough, the scene already employed Scenery Censor to cover their most sensitive areas, but apparently their bare butts were still too much. It also made one scene, where they're carrying wooden bowls to cover their groins look weird, since with the boxers, they'd already be covered.
  • One issue of Bakuten Shoot Beyblade had the central characters in a hot springs. Takeo stands up at one point, completely exposing himself. The English translation redrew the scene so that it looked like he was wearing briefs.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • So frequent in Francoist-era Spain, that the dictator's death was immediately followed by a period in which there was little besides female nudity in most Spanish films, known as El Destape ("The Uncovering").
  • When Amélie was shown on the satellite channel Ovation TV, a bikini was photoshopped on the topless dancer Nino asks to cover for him at work.
  • In the TV version of The Birdcage, Hank Azaria's character now has on swimshorts instead of a butt-revealing Speedo.
  • In The Boat That Rocked, Midnight Mark is found with dozen of naked girls, noticeably topless. In the trailer, they all wear digital bras.
  • Some TV airings of Carrie1976 applied a bra and panties to Nancy Allen, who is fully nude in the theatrical cut. Others just used Censor Steam to hide the rest of the nudity from the girls.
  • A lightly censored version of Crank on a free-to-air channel had a topless masseuse suddenly clothed in a computer-made bra top.
  • When ABC aired Diamonds Are Forever, they put black bra straps across Plenty's back in one scene, and colored her tan briefs to match.
  • The poster and print ad for the 1981 James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only showed a leggy woman in a rear shot, from the waist down, wearing boy-short type panties that are tight enough to draw attention to the butt (the model for the photograph is rumored to have worn a pair of conventional women's panties backwards to achieve that look). The newspapers in some communities, such as Arizona's Republic, carefully drew in a pair of more modest shorts.
  • Inverted in Machete, where Jessica Alba wore a bikini while filming a shower scene which was digitally removed later to make it a "nude" scene.
  • The Mummy (1999) had to digitally hide accidental nudity from Rachel Weisz when her wet nightgown (after the river boat scene) was left completely see-through.
  • Anck Su Namun in The Mummy Returns had a digital bikini over her nude body (which was already covered with Body Paint).
  • In My Father the Hero, a father (Gérard Depardieu) takes his 14-year-old daughter (Katherine Heigl) on vacation to a beach resort. At one point she wears a butt-revealing thong one-piece swimsuit. The edited for television version has digitally added panels to her cheeks, making it less revealing than the average one-piece swimsuit. Her father's freaked-out reaction seems incongruous, although the new interpretation could be that it's skintight on her ass.
  • The Indian theatrical release of Oppenheimer had a black dress CGIed onto Florence Pugh during her nude scenes, in particular the one where her character has Oppenheimer quote Bhagavad Gita while they have sex. Notably, due to Christopher Nolan's insistence on Practical Effects throughout the movie, this led to jokes about how the censors had defied Nolan's wishes.
  • In Polish HBO's 1998 promo for the Howard Stern's movie Private Parts, Jenna Jameson's bare breasts were masked with a crude bikini that looks like it was done on Microsoft Paint (and probably was).
  • In the TV version of Pulp Fiction, in the scene where Butch is getting out of the shower, the towel is digitally elongated to cover more skin.
  • In the Australian film release of Quantum of Solace, a woman is sexually assaulted by General Medrano (Joaquín Cosío) in the ready-to-blow-up hotel. She is thrown on to a bed, showing her pubic mound/outer genitalia in an upskirt shot. On the Region 4 DVD, the woman's bare genitals were digitally covered with some CGI panties.
  • Jennifer Lawrence is nude in Red Sparrow's torture scene. In the trailer a CGI bra is added.
  • Showgirls on a non-PPV channel (like VH-1note ) has all the female nudity covered with obvious computer-rendered bras and panties. Although there are many other edits to the film's content besides this (it did get an NC-17 rating, after all!), this is so pervasive that fans of the movie often refer to it as the "Digital Bra" cut.
  • The 2020 Disney+ version of Splash digitally extended Daryl Hannah's hair to cover more of her butt while she's running on the beach.
  • Stardust: The scene where Tristan cuts off a lock of Yvaine's hair as she sleeps was originally shot with him shirtless to imply that they'd had sex during the night. It was eventually decided that this was too racy and a shirt was digitally added to cover him up. As Yvaine is still implied to be naked under her Modesty Bedsheet it turns the night into a case of Did They or Didn't They?.
  • The original version of Superman: The Movie had Clark walk around stark naked after his landing. These days, he is wrapped in some kind of blanket.
    • In the reboot Man of Steel, when Kal is in the escape pod and being imbued with the Codex of Krypton, the beam of light flows down on top of him, and the baby-actor is sitting there in all his glory. During television playing, the light is flared up and covers his private parts.
  • The TV verson of Swordfish has a bikini top digitally inserted onto Halle Berry's breasts during her nude-sunbathing scene.
  • Rare Male Example in Van Helsing. The title character was originally nude in the scene where he transforms back from being a werewolf - not explicitly so however. As it's a sad scene with him crying over his dead love interest, the filmmakers realised audiences were getting Distracted by the Sexy, and added pants digitally.
  • In Israel, the poster for The World Is Not Enough was altered to add sleeves to Sophie Marceau's dress and create space between her and Pierce Brosnan.
  • Natalie Portman in the green band trailer for Your Highness. The red band version, as well as the scene in question in the actual film, has her wearing a barely-visible thong.

  • The video for Rascal Flatts' 2003 country hit "I Melt" gained notoriety for becoming the first video in the genre to feature nudity. Scenes include guitarist Joe Don Rooney's bare buttocks, and model Christina Auria taking a shower in the nude. After conservative groups complained, an edited version, with pixelated "bikinis" on each, was released for airing during daytime hours on CMT. Great American Country, a competing country music-oriented network, however, insisted on a new video ... and when Rascal Flatts refused to release one, GAC pulled the plug on the song.
    • CMT's daytime airings had a short feature in front of them from one of the hosts explaining the reason for the censoring. Then turning and walking away from the camera, wearing only a censor blur from the waist down.
  • The European cover art for Queen's double-A-side "Fat Bottomed Girls"/"Bicycle Race" had a picture of a nude girl on a bicycle, taken at a nude bicycle race held to promote the single. However, when the single came to America, the record company painted a bikini on the girl.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • A 1988 feud between Jake "the Snake" Roberts and "Ravishing" Rick Rude involved an incident that was Played for Laughs and Subverted. The feud itself was sparked when Rude (who had a post-match routine where he would kiss a pre-selected woman in the audience) was spurned by Roberts' real-life wife, Cheryl. To agitate Roberts, Rude began wearing tights with Cheryl's likeness spray-painted on them, prompting Roberts to warn him to stop wearing them or he would come to the ring and take them off himself. Roberts held true to his promise when Rude wore them to the ring ... and he indeed tore them off Rude, causing him to flee in terror and embarrassment from the ring completely naked ... with Rude's groin area digitally pixelated. Rude indeed was "nude" — or so the home audience was led to believe; the crowd saw Rude wearing a flesh-colored thong, and the pixelation was done to create the illusion that Rude had been stripped of his skivvies.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! CCG (the international version of the card game), most female monsters have some sort of digital editing, whether to add clothes or to reduce their bust sizes. This became less common starting in the GX era, though a few exceptions remain. Though Avatar of the Pot was one where this was more than welcome.

    Video Games 
  • The Witcher:
    • The Witcher: The original European version of the game had a lot of female nudity for fanservice, including a dryad appearing fully nude in conversations with Geralt up to and including pubic hair. The collectible "sex cards" had clothes (or suds in one case) drawn over them in the US release and the dryad was made to put clothes on, though there's a "Director's Cut" patch available that removes the censorship.
    • Gwent: The Witcher Card Game: Some of the card art in the Chinese client has had this treatment due to local censorship policies.
  • Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception: In the scene where Munechika spanks Anju, in the original Japanese version, the former pulls down the latter's pants completely. In the English version, however, not only is Anju's butt still covered up, but Munechika has her raised right hand erased. The original scene vs. the toned-down edit.
  • The introduction movie for the PlayStation version of Soul Edge has Sophitia interrupted whilst bathing by a god appearing from the water. In the Japanese version she's naked, but everywhere else she's wearing a white swimsuit. Although to their defense, at very least the swimsuited version is playable.
  • In Metal Gear Solid, Johnny Sasaki is seen bent over with his butt in the air in his underwear in the Japanese version. In the US version, on the other hand, the underwear is removed and replaced with a pixelized censoring. The pixelized version did NOT make it into the US release of MGS4, and you can see what they were trying to cover up in the original PS1 version anyway by crawling right next to his ass and using your binoculars to zoom through the pixellization.
  • In the PC game Princess Maker 2, you can take your daughter Olive on a vacation as a way to build your relationship and decrease stress. How old she is and what season it is — as well as where you're vacationing — determines which of the photos you'll be shown. Most of said photos are innocent by the game's standards, but the translators for the SoftEgg version decided to slap MS Paint clothes on Olive sunbathing and swimming naked. To be fair, she's supposed to be 12 or 13 in the sunbathing photo. In fact, the four beach summer vacation photos had this. The "sitting on a pool" and "resting in a quiet beach corner" ones had Olive actually wearing more see-through shirts/dresses, so these were slightly altered to not look so transparent. The second translated version used the original pictures.
  • Odd example: the pre-release box art for the Western release of Disgaea 3 depicts one of the game's kunoichi in her usual cleavage-baring top about to operate on a Prinny. In the final release, the middle of her top is filled in with black.
  • Inverted: In the Japanese version of Riviera: The Promised Land the girls wear bikinis during the bath scene, but in the US version they do not (certain parts are hidden by Godiva Hair). Same goes with Yggdra Union.
  • Delphi in Giants: Citizen Kabuto — but only in the US English version. The game comes with both US and UK English as installation languages, rendering the whole exercise moot for anyone who realizes that the original UK version is uncensored.
  • Castlevania's Werewolf has turned into a naked human since Rondo of Blood, but in Order of Ecclesia, they added a pair of boxer shorts. A closer look reveals that the boxers spontaneously appear between frames.
  • Final Fantasy VI localization follows Nintendo of America's guidelines with depiction of nudity. The Esper Siren was originally shown with a bare butt, but was edited to wear shorts in the US SNES version (released as Final Fantasy III). PS1 version retains the original. The GBA port had her partially covered, not as much as the SNES version.
  • In Abadox, the princess Floating in a Bubble was naked in the original Japanese version. The U.S. version painted some clothes over her body.
  • When the PC-88 RPG Cosmic Soldier: Psychic War was brought to Western computers by Brøderbund Software, clothes were painted on the originally very Stripperiffic Robot Girl whose form dominates the top-right corner of the interface.
  • The Sega Genesis version of Stormlord covered up the naked fairies this way.
  • Asuka from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters is given a pair of bloomers in localized versions to cover up the thong she wears in the Japanese release.
  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and Pokemon Heart Gold And Soul Silver edited the sprites of male swimmers so they were wearing swim trunks instead of a speedo.
  • Shadowverse tends to get some provocative female outfits covered up in the western version of the game. The most notable censorship is Isabelle's cleavage.
  • Played straight and then subverted with the remake of La-Mulana. When it was being designed for the US WiiWare a strip of cloth was added to the topless statues in the Tower of the Goddess. These were later removed in future updates of the PC version.
  • Duke Nukem 64 has strippers removed with the original sprite edited with more clothes to be used as regular dancing girls. Cocoon women are also given some clothes to cover up their nudity.
  • The main promotional art for the arcade Double Dragon II depicts Marian wearing a flesh-colored tank top and a torn skirt exposing her thighs and buttocks. When the art was used for the cover of the NES version, her tank top was recolored red and her skirt became longer.
  • In Evil Zone, Erel Plowse's original outfit included a Thong of Shielding, but the North American release stretched the texture of her top to cover her to the knees.
  • One of the wearable clothes in the original Xbox 360 release of Dead Rising is a black sleeveless top emblazoned with a black-and-white photo of a topless woman. The PC port of the game gives the woman a modest bikini top, likely because of the improved PC graphics, the nudity would be more noticeable this time around.
  • Glam's Incredible Run: Escape From Duhka: Official artwork shows Glam in a pose exposing her undergarments. Store pages use an alternate version of this where she has red Modesty Shorts on.
  • More Dark's cover image shows the Devil's daughter in a black bikini, her default outfit. Certain sites such as the Nintendo Switch eshop page draw a black leotard over it.
  • The Arcade Archives port of the Namco arcade game Yokai Dochuki (known as Shadowland internationally) has had all instances of female nudity covered up in this manner due to CERO rating restrictions. These include the goddess bathing in the river in stage two, the smaller dancing mermaids in stage three (who are given Seashell Bras to match the larger ones who've always had them) and the four bathing women in the game's Heaven ending.
  • Bayonetta 3 adds a "Naive Angel Mode" which covers up the more sexually provocative designs in-game so you can, as they put it, play it in your living room without having it be awkward. It's also played for laughs in true Bayonetta style. Rodin's cigar is replaced by a chocolate frosted pretzel and when Bayonetta pulls out her own heart to power up her demons, it's replaced by a Tomato.

    Western Animation 

  • For Drew Barrymore's birthday, her Godfather Steven Spielberg gave her a copy of her Playboy spread with this effect applied by ILM.
  • There was a LiveJournal blog dedicated to both complaining about Stripperific artwork and encouraging readers to submit fan edits that censor it.
  • There are Playboy covers and ads which add this to make them less objectionable for public display.