Follow TV Tropes


Fur Is Skin

Go To
L - R, top to bottom: Michiru Kagemori, Roddy, Hedgehog and Chocolat Gelato.

In some animated films, shows, and video games, the characters - anthropomorphic Funny Animals or zoomorphic Beast Men - have fur, feathers, scales, feathers, etc. that is either solid colored or look like human skintones while the less/non-anthropomorphic animals (Civilized/Talking/Nearly Normal) resemble more typical animals you find.

One variant is to have a character (usually a Beast Man) have fur, feathers, or scales that look like or practically is human-like skin, as well as a normal head of hair atop it (sometimes facial and body hair is added), in contrast to non-anthro/less anthro animals, which do not. In this variant, the non-anthro or less anthro animals can either have markings or be solid-colored without seeming human-skintoned. This variant is a popular choice when designing Beast Men in juxtaposition with "normal" animals.

Another variant is for anthropomorphic animals to be solid colored, but without it looking like a human skintone. The non-anthro/less anthro animals in this variant tend to have various markings on their fur, feathers, scales, skin, etc. This variant is sometimes used when designing Funny Animals in juxtaposition with "normal" animals.

Yet another variant is to have the more anthropomorphic version of one character to have fur, feathers, or scales that look like human skin or actually just have human-like skin, and the less anthropomorphic version to either have makings or be solid-colored without looking like human skin tone.

This trope is part of a tendency for animal characters to be drawn with less colors, complex markings and patterns the higher up the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism they are.

Sometimes, the anthro animals have a head of hair, either regardless of gender or depending on gender (or if they are not mammals), but non-anthro or less anthro animals lack one. Sometimes, the anthro animals lack a head of hair just as much as the non-anthro/less anthro animals.

It gets really funky when Beast Men (or any animal regardless of anthropomorphism level for that matter) wear makeup or get tattooed.

Subtrope of Funny Animal Anatomy. Related to Through a Face Full of Fur, Furry Baldness, and Tuft of Head Fur. Contrast Fur Is Clothing.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • One shot in Aggretsuko shows Retsuko's light-brown fur-covered hand red and blistered from trying to play a guitar.
  • Delicious in Dungeon: Unlike the average Little Bit Beastly Cat Girl, Izutsumi is furry all over. However, she doesn't look like it at first because large parts of her fur are flesh-colored (or possibly transparent). It's only clear in close-ups that these skin-like patches are as furry as the rest of her.
  • Cheadle Yorkshire of Hunter Hunter appears to either have flesh-toned fur, or human skin and a dog's snout and nose. She also has paw-shaped markings on her otherwise human-looking hands.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Fausticorn and Bonniecorn are My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic OCs based on Lauren Faust and Bonnie Zacherle, the creators of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and My Little Pony respectively. They're depicted as having cream or white coloured coats.

    Film — Animation 
  • The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad:
    • Badger from the Disney adaptation of The Wind in the Willows is furless with a light human-like skintone and a white beard, but still has the facial markings of a badger. Badger in the original story and and in other adaptations, on the other hand, looks slightly less anthropomorphic, had a tail, and was furred like a normal badger.
    • Also, Mr. Toad's skin looks sort of human skintone except the back of his head.
  • Similar to The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad example, Friar Tuck the from the World of Funny Animals Disney adaptation of Robin Hood (1973) is furless with a light human-like skintone and a white beard, but still has the facial markings of a badger.
  • An American Tail:
    • Any Native American mice will have reddish fur that echo the typical skin color of their human counterparts. The rest of the mice have brownish fur for the most part.
    • Occasional characters, such as Bridget in the first movie and Nellie Brie in the 4th, have Caucasian skintones and don't look like they have any fur at all (or very little fur anyway).
  • The animal looking characters in Treasure Planet do not have fur. It could be justified in that they're aliens.
  • The rats from Flushed Away are all depicted with fur that is colored like human flesh. Exceptions would be two of the evil Toad's henchrats, Whitey, who has white fur due to him being an albino rat; and Thimblenose Ted, a zombie-like rat with a thimble on his nose, who has gray fur.
  • Peg from Lady and the Tramp is little more than a dog version of Peggy Lee. This is complete with baggy ears like Peggy's hair and a blonde fur tone similar to Peggy Lee's hair colour (that also doubles as being similar to her skin tone).
  • Oliver & Company:
    • The Artful Dodger character, Dodger, is white-furred except for splotches of reddish brown (including a spot on his head, similar to hair).
    • The Mexican-American Chihuahua Tito has light brownish fur.
    • Rita has brown fur with even darker brown ears (acting as hair).

    Video Games 
  • Many characters from the Sonic The Hedgehog series play with this trope to some degree or another. Many of the characters have apricot human-skintone looking muzzles, bellies, and arms. Rouge the Bat for instance has an apricot human-skintone body and muzzle, and a white head. It's left vague if Sonic has peach colored fur or if that's his skin, though certain models imply the latter.
  • Leo and Mauri from Lunar: Eternal Blue appear to exhibit this trait, though it's more apparent in the Sega CD original. In the remake, it looks more like they have human skin with animal noses, and in Leo's case, patches of fur.
  • The Caninu and Felineko of Solatorobo: Red the Hunter have both body fur and a full head of hair. Notably, females tend to have peach fur and shorter muzzles, while males tend to stick to one or two colors (though from a larger palette containing greys, whites, oranges, and other colors that wouldn't make much sense for a human skin).
  • Poodles Galore from Spy Fox: Operation Ozone has caucasian fur, save for her ears.
  • Starting with Crash of the Titans the titular protagonist of Crash Bandicoot has had tattoos on his fur. They were removed when he appeared in Skylanders.

  • In an early Ozy and Millie strip, Millie implies that tanning is basically the sun making ones fur a slightly darker shade of whatever color it is.
  • In an El Goonish Shive filler strip, Nanase lampshades the weirdness of her and other characters being drawn as largely non-anthropomorphic cats but with hair on top of fur.

    Western Animation 
  • Arthur:
    • Sue Ellen the Funny Animal cat has red hair and solid peach fur over the rest of her body, but Nemo the normal pet cat is black and white with a bicolor pattern.
    • Almost all the anthro animals are human skintone colored or otherwise solid colored, whether or not they have a head of hair, facial hair, or human-like body hair. It's left vague if fur color signifies what color their skin would be as humans or if they're supposed to closely resemble what kind of animal they're supposed to be based on, as the series does a bit of both. For example, the Brain is a brown-furred bear who is explicitly African-American, but Arthur (aardvark) and George (moose) are both tan-furred and are implied to be white; Buster, being a rabbit, is literally white-furred. Sue Ellen's pen pal from Tibet is an exception as he has markings on his face that make him look panda-like.
    • Subverted with Arthur's pet dog, Pal, who is solid colored.
  • The Funny Animal bears in The Berenstain Bears are all light brown furred, but the normal animals tend to have various markings.
  • The Funny Animal pigs in Olivia are pink or have various human-like skintones, but no head of hair, but the normal animals (except Edwin the black furred pet cat of Olivia) tend to have various markings.
  • Gadget Hackwrench of Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers is peach-colored and has no real hints of fur on her body at all, whereas Chip 'n Dale and Monterey Jack have markings on their fur. But she does have a full head of strawberry-blond '80s Hair.
  • At the end of one episode of Rocko's Modern Life, the eponymous wallaby ends up getting a sunburn after an afternoon at the beach, which makes it bizarre considering the fact that he's from Australia.
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks:
    • In the first two cartoons, the Chipmunks and the Chipettes are both peach colored, but the Chipettes look like they just have peach colored skin and have human-like head hair. The Chipmunks still look like they have fur, however. Contrast that to the two live action movies where they are less anthropomorphic and have fur and markings more like that of normal chipmunks.
    • ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks mixes the classic designs with the movie's designs. The chipmunks look even more anthropomorphic than before, but they aren't human sized, they have tails, and they have stripe markings on their faces that make it more obvious that they have light colored fur.
  • I The Simpsons could be considered an inversion, since the human characters have skin that is, in many cases, the same color as their hair and treated interchangeably. In particular Bart, Lisa, and Maggie's hair are all colored like their skin.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The Periphery Demographic had this as one of their biggest questions. The ponies do indeed have manes, though they're treated as human hair, but it's generally unmentioned as to whether they have purple, blue, orange, etc. body hair/fur or they have no body hair and it's actually their skin. It gets a little weirder when talking about one of the most well-known elements of the show: the "cutie mark", a symbol of some sort that appears on a pony's hindquarters when they discover their greatest talent or purpose in life. Whether it's just a pattern of differently-colored fur or the mark appears on the pony's skin remained unclear for some time. It was, however, addressed in the episode "Ponyville Confidential", after Snips and Snails get themselves stuck together with bubble gum. Later we see their fur was shaven off in places to get them apart, and indeed, the part with their cutie marks was shaven off as well.
    • Cheese Sandwich is pretty much "Weird Al" Yankovic in pony form, and as such they gave him peach-colored fur and curly brown hair to better match his actor (since there's only so much one can do to make a My Little Pony character into an Ink Suit).
    • Similarly, Sunset Shimmer and Flash Sentry, who were both created for Equestria Girls and get far more screen time as humans than ponies, have peach colored skin/coats.
    • Saffron and Coriander in "Spice Up Your Life" are Indian inspired ponies. They have orange and brownish fur respectively, and dark colored manes.
    • "Hard to Say Anything" has Feather Bangs as a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Justin Bieber. He has a peach coloured pelt.
    • My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) features a pony played by Sia who looks exactly like Sia and has a light-coloured pelt.
  • All of the Thunderians from ThunderCats (1985) and ThunderCats (2011) have this trait. The Continuity Reboot takes more care to show "tufts" of fur at places like shoulders and elbows, and occasionally shows facial or bodily fur bristling with anger or surprise, though Through a Face Full of Fur still occurs.
  • Inverted with the Whos in the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas!; their hair is the same color as their skin.
  • Averted in Peppa Pig. Two of the main pony characters clearly have spots while the zebras stripes are clearly displayed on their faces.
  • In the Tom and Jerry short "Little Quacker", Quacker's dad Henry has a tattoo on his upper arm/wing.
  • Brandy from Brandy & Mr. Whiskers got a tan in at least one episode despite being a dog.
  • Harvey Beaks applies lotion to himself as if he doesn't have feathers. He has a tuft on his head that makes it clear he doesn't have blue skin.
  • While the characters in Max and Ruby clearly have fur, most characters are solid toned. At least one character has been shown to have patches but almost everyone else has either completely white or brown fur.
  • Most campers in Summer Camp Island have facial fur that is peach or otherwise light-toned. Alice is the exception and Pepper has black fur around his eyes (because he's a panda). Despite their fur looking like skin, it's been shown to be fur (such as when the elephant character Oscar's fur became messy).
  • On Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, characters like Daniel Tiger and his family apply sunscreen on hot, sunny days despite being covered in fur, which would imply that their fur is skin.