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Godiva Hair

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It's comfier than a bra.
"It was a mermaid. She was beautiful. Hair covering her breasts... every fucking time...."

A woman is topless or fully naked, and the writers don't want to (or can't) stick an object into the scene to cover her up. Fortunately, her hair is somehow just long and thick enough to preserve her modesty. Sometimes Nipple and Dimed is at play, with the hair only being enough to cover the nipples.

Named for Lady Godiva, an eleventh-century Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who rode a horse through the city of Coventry to protest an oppressive tax. Legend has it that she rode naked; whether that means literally nude or "stripped" in some metaphorical sense is academic, since most artistic representations show the lady covered only with her long, flowing hair. (Never mind that the real Lady Godiva was, at the time of her alleged ride and taxes being lifted, rather an elderly woman by medieval standards.) note 

Mermaids and similar half-human beings are typically depicted like this if the writer doesn't want to use an Organic Bra or Seashell Bra.

The rare male example uses his facial hair to cover his naughty bits. (The sheer length of beard required generally restricts this use to old hermits or shipwrecked castaways.)

Not to be confused with Peek A Bangs. A character with Prehensile Hair might do this on purpose. May be combined with Censor Shadow, Censor Suds, Hand-or-Object Underwear, or Scenery Censor. See Shoulders-Up Nudity if her hair is covering her nipples, yet her waist is left bare but unseen by the camera. Related to the Theiss Titillation Theory (after all, what will happen if she turns her head just a bit too far, or the breeze picks up...?)


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  • This banned commercial featuring a gay Adam with a straight Eve has one. Somewhat subverted, because, at one point, you could see one of her nipples.
  • Then there's this French ad for a body cream (along with Scenery Censor).
  • The logo for Godiva Chocolatier shows a nude woman riding a horse, with one arm tucked across her chest and strands of hair falling down the other side of her chest and covering her crotch.
  • A Joe and Petunia PSA about obeying flags indicating whether or not it was safe to swim had Joe observe a topless mermaid whose hair covered up her nipples.
  • Several female celebrities who pose naked in PETA's anti-fur ads do this.
  • The woman on the Starbucks logo, depending on how you look at it. The logo is based on a 15th-century Norse woodcut of a siren, and hasn't always been so SFW. The Pike Place Roast bags have the original logo.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Played with in Ayakashi Triangle: Mei is shown fresh out of a bath a strand of hair draped over each bare breasts, but it's pretty clear the (serialized) manga's usual Barbie Doll Anatomy is the actual reason you don't see nipples... except in one side view that partially does show it.
  • In Casshan: Robot Hunter when Luna is being prepped for execution her bodysuit is torn half off, leaving one breast exposed. In most of the close-up scenes, her hair perfectly covers the nipple, though one shot does have the wind revealing it.
  • Lafiel pulls this in one episode of Crest of the Stars during her Bath Scene. When her hair's not strategically covering what needs to be covered, it's either camera angles or reflections of light.
  • The Puma Sisters of Dominion Tank Police make deliberate use of their long manes of hair to better entice watchers during their striptease in OVA 1.
  • Dropkick on My Devil: Jashin is a lamia whose upper body is almost always uncovered. Her hair covers her breasts.
  • In Fairy Tail, Mavis Vermilion's Human Popsicle physical body, as Lumen Histoire is completely naked, with only her hair to cover her up.
  • A promotional image (probably not work safe, though you obviously can't actually see anything) for Fate/hollow ataraxia showed both Rin and Rider with Godiva Hair. A bit more justified in Rider's case since her hair is practically long enough to trip over.
  • In the Fruits Basket manga, Rin's nipple is just barely covered by a thin strand of hair.
  • Miaka and Soi have Godiva Hair in Fushigi Yuugi, and in the former's case, we've also got Godiva Vines. Yui, whose hair is much shorter than the other two, is less lucky.
  • While GaoGaiGar's regular series had very little fanservice, being meant for kids, apparently someone's mind changed when it came time to make the OVA conclusion, and both Mikoto and Swan are depicted nude with Godiva Hair at least once each. There's a lot more breast bounce and clothing damage, as well.
  • Parodied in Gintama, the Shinsengumi's Victory Goddess appears before Hijikata, Okita and Kondo in this appearance... only to be promptly handcuffed by Hijikata for public exposure.
  • One "How to Draw Manga" book called Girl's Life Illustration File has a section about tactfully rendering nudes. This is given as an option.
  • Taken to an absurd level in the Grenadier manga. Someone tries to sabotage Rushuna's participation in a swimming contest by giving her a dissolving bikini. She still wins, and as she gets out of the water we see she's tied her hair into an improvised sling bikini.
  • Gunslinger Girl: Triela in a flashback when she first meets Hilshire in the hospital after having her traumatic memories wiped by the Social Welfare Agency. Something of a Fan Disservice moment as she's seriously underage, though her nudity is probably meant to portray her child's innocence, which is subverted as unknown to Hilshire she's been programmed as a cyborg killing machine. A contemporary Shower Scene plays the fanservice straight.
  • Most long-haired female characters in Hell Teacher Nube, but especially Kyoko, Ritsuko-sensei, and Hayame. Notably, Yukime has short hair, but for very thin strands that run down her temples and are just barely enough to cover the interesting parts.
  • Highschool of the Dead got away with showing the girls naked in episode 6, by having them walk past the screen in profile and using carefully placed locks of their hair, to preserve their modesty as they were headed for the bath. They also used a combination of lather and the girls' hair while they were bathing.
  • In Katanagatari, considering the sheer length of Togame's hair, it's actually harder to not use this trope when she's naked.
  • This is a trait of any Ken Akamatsu manga (Love Hina, Negima! Magister Negi Magi, etc.). The character's hair will usually cover where her nipples would be. Strangely, sometimes his characters DO have nipples when wearing clothes or hair. They just disappear when exposed. There is a rare example of it happening with braids in chapter 251 of Negima! Magister Negi Magi.
  • Leiji Matsumoto uses this several times across various works, and he even admitted that the origin of the long hair that eventually became his Signature Style when drawing women was initially to cover up nudity.
  • Used in the anime adaptation of The Little Mermaid, as Marina and her sisters are topless, although Marina's nipples can be seen at some points. The rest of the mer-race avert this apparently, since in one scene that shows not only Marina and her sisters, but their father, grandmother, and various members of the mer-court, Marina and her sisters are the only mermaids topless while every other mermaid and merman wears some kind of robe that has an open slit for the tail and fins to stick out of.
  • In the series Marine Boy, the mermaid Neptina wears nothing; her breasts are concealed by her long hair.
  • Doppel the shapeshifter from Monster Musume uses her long white hair to create the clothes for her disguises. Being a Technically Naked Shapeshifter, she makes it so that her naughty bits are always covered by her hair from every angle. Since she's actually an Eldritch Abomination masquerading as a girl, this proves easy for her.
  • Used in Naruto when Kabuto makes a naked manifestation of Tayuya of the Sound Five protrude out of his body when using her jutsu.
  • Played for horror in episode 24 of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Asuka is lying in a destroyed house's bathtub naked after having crossed the Despair Event Horizon and ran away from home. Her breasts are covered by hair while the lower regions are submerged in murky/bloody water (it's implied that she cut her wrists).
  • The manga version of Neptunia: In one chapter, Nepgear, Rom, Ram and Uni are accidentally regressed into babies, so when they turn back to their normal ages, they're obviously naked. Fortunately, all of the girls' sensitive areas are hidden, including part of Uni's hair hiding her breasts.
  • When Boa Hancock met Luffy in One Piece, she spends a lot of time naked or topless for plot-related reasons. Causing her to be covered up like this pretty much whenever her back isn't turned.
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt takes this to rather goofy extremes, since Panty uses her underwear as a weapon. So she fights several battles while bottomless, and somehow her hair manages to keep everything censored.
  • Melona in Queen's Blade unusually combines this with Prehensile Hair. While her hair is covering up her naughty bits, it also has a pair of hands on the end, meaning she's groping herself. Weird.
  • Happens on and off in Ranma ½, mostly with Shampoo. This isn't surprising, considering how much nudity is in the series. What is surprising is that it's Shampoo, the least inhibited and most sexually aggressive of the female cast (sometimes even beyond the not-so-Innocent Fanservice Gender Bender) who is allowed this modesty. On the other hand, among the girls that play Ms. Fanservice most often (mostly female Ranma and Akane), Shampoo is the only one with hair long enough to pull it off (at least until a dead-ringer for female Ranma, without her hair in a pigtail, shows up for a couple of pages).
  • In Restaurant to Another World, Arte the mermaid's hair stays in place even when she's swimming underwater.
  • Near the end of the Rosario + Vampire season 1 opening, Moka is seen floating upside down naked underwater, modesty preserved by her long hair.
  • In the Sailor Moon R movie, there is the Kisenian Flower villainess whose hair perpetually covers her otherwise naked chest.
  • Used a lot in Shattered Angels. Since female characters are often naked in the anime and seem incapable of bathing themselves (they require another naked female to bathe them), their front fringes serve the useful purpose of barely covering their nipples.
  • Sword Art Online: In the first half of the Alicization arc, Quinella fights Kirito, Eugeo and Alice completely nude. Her long hair is used to cover her naughty bits.
  • In the "Blues Notes Blues" chapters of Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee, Niche's sister does this with a twist. At Lag's request to Please Put Some Clothes On, she wraps her Prehensile Hair around her bikini style.
  • Tenchi Muyo!:
    • Ryoko of does this quite often when depicted in the bath. Every so often, they'd actually show her chest completely, and she just wouldn't have nipples. Ryoko's hair isn't even all that long, especially compared to some other characters in Tenchi Muyo!, but she has rather conveniently-placed long sidelocks that fall right on top of her breasts.
    • Averted in the DVD version, at least, of the Tenchi Muyo! OVA, in which Ryoko's nipples are indeed visible in scenes in which she is naked.
  • Yoko Littner from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann does this in the movie, in a suitably epic battle against Adiane the Elegant. Hint? The hair's not just for decoration.
  • To Love Ru makes full use of this, with the amazing frequency the girls in its cast have to get naked. These scenes were dialed back (dialed up?) in the tankobon, as well as the manga's relaunch To Love Ru Darkness where if you go one chapter without seeing a nipple something is amiss.
  • Welcome to the NHK does it with rays of moonlight. Also with actual hair in the anime.
  • The girl whose tears turn into a crimson pearl in ×××HOLiC which Watanuki intends to give to the Spider Lady turns out to have Godiva Hair when her clothes fall off and she begins crying.
  • In the original (unedited) version of Yu-Gi-Oh!, there are a few female monsters that are naked, covering themselves with their hair (like Water Omatics and Dreamsprite). The dub version covers them with swimsuits.

  • Older Than Steam: The famous 1486 painting The Birth of Venus (Botticelli) is a strong early candidate for this trope, with the nude Aphrodite gathering her hair to cover her groin. (She could have covered her chest too, but hey, this is art).
  • Pretty much every depiction of Eve in the past couple centuries.
  • The myth of Lady Godiva was a popular subject for painters and sculptors for centuries.

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU:
    • Starfire uses this every so often, particularly when Dick Grayson discovers her in the shower.
    • There have been three women who went by the name "Godiva" — and only one of them, an enemy of the Teen Titans, doesn't fit this.
      • The first was a member of the Global Guardians. Like the before mentioned Medusa of the Inhumans, she had Prehensile Hair.
      • The third appeared Superman/Batman as one of the enemies of The Maximums (an Ultimates parody), more specifically, she's a parody of Enchantress (the enemy of The Mighty Thor, not the Suicide Squad and Shadowpact member) and like the legends about the real Godiva, she is depicted as nude except for her ridiculously long hair, which manages to keep her bits covered, even when she's fighting.
    • Knockout of the Secret Six once emerged from a shower completely naked, with only with a few strands of hairs covering her nipples and groin.
    • One issue of Wonder Woman (2006) opens with Diana waking up to Ares paying her a visit in her bedroom (no, not like that), and because Diana apparently sleeps au natural she only has Godiva Hair covering her. Oddly, despite having the God of War and major Jerkass Ares right in front of her, she doesn't make any attempts to cover up, though that could be her Amazonian upbringing.
    • Batman '66: "Chandell's Chanteuse" has Siren expose Batman to a hallucinogen, which causes him to see Siren as a topless mermaid with her breasts obscured by her long hair.
  • Timmain in ElfQuest qualifies when she's not being a wolf. From time to time, so does her polar counterpart Winnowill.
  • Empowered also has long hair. Good for her, as often as her super-suit rips.
  • The Fox Hunt's Dream Demon wears nothing except a makeshift skirt. Her green hair is just long enough to cover her "naughty" bits.
  • Parodied and lampshaded in the French comic book Trolls de Troy (a spin-off of Lanfeust): the (human) heroine is once changed by magic into a (nude) mermaid; the villain points out that she doesn't need any Seashell Bra, since it is a "genetic trait" of mermaids' hair to automatically cover their breasts. And it is actually always the case — even when she's hanging upside-down.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • X-Men's Storm, not caring for most people's silly nudity taboo, is frequently hair-clad (but more frequently wind effect-clad.)
    • In the first issue of Secret Invasion, Reed Richards is performing an autopsy on the Skrull who'd posed as Elektra. An overhead shot gives a full view of her body, with a convenient light blocking her crotch and Godiva Hair over her breasts.
    • Referenced in Exiles. During a discussion about nudity, Morph turns into Godiva herself, horse and hair and all.
    • Venus from Agents of Atlas, being rather... liberal, spends a few issues like this, but eventually puts on some clothes to "help blend in with the rest of the team".
    • Medusa of the Inhuman Royal Family does this. A lot. She has really, really long prehensile hair.
    • In Thor 485, Lorelei, younger sister of The Enchantress, seduces magically Ben Grimm (like part of a plan) using a vision of her naked with just her long red hair to cover.
  • There was an unpublished The Powerpuff Girls comic story titled "Powerbuff Girl" (illustrated by Christopher Cook), which featured the Powerpuff Girls getting nude (Bubbles was willingly going naked as a phase, while Blossom and Buttercup lose their clothes to a swarm of moths and are forced to fight a trio of naked criminals called the Mean Streaks in their birthday suits). Blossom's nudity is covered up by her long hair after Buttercup takes her bow to use to cover up her own nudity.
  • The Guardian of Keys in Thorgal appears wearing only this and a golden belt with an oversized buckle. Somewhat subverted later when some nude females do appear in the series. This is mostly due to the publishing in weekly format in Tintin, which was a Catholic magazine. The restrictions were dropped when it switched to hardcover albums.

    Comic Strips 
  • Martine, a French Resistance fighter in the World War II flashbacks of 9 Chickweed Lane is covered by her long hair when she goes skinny dipping. Her hair seems much shorter on dry land.
  • The Wizard of Id. The Spook is a rare male version, being covered in excessive hair as he's been in prison for so long (and has probably worn out his clothes too). He's said to have tried to make a rope out of his own hair to climb out of his cell, but by the time he'd finished there was nothing left to escape!

    Fairy Tales 
  • In The Brothers Grimm's "Mary's Child," the heroine uses her very long hair to protect herself from the elements after her clothing falls apart.
    When the sun shone warmly again she went outside and sat in front of the tree. Her long hair covered her on all sides like a cloak.
  • In "The Nix in the Mill-Pond", the nixie's long and flowing hair cascades down her shoulders and conceals her naked body.
    Turning around, he saw a beautiful woman rising slowly out of the water. Her long hair, which she was holding above her shoulders with her soft hands, flowed down on both sides, and covered her white body. He saw very well that she was the nixie of the pond, and he was so frightened that he did not know whether to run away or stay where he was.

    Fan Works 
  • In Chapter 52 of Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, there's a scene of Misty, Iris and Anabel having a night talk in their bedroom. Both Misty and Anabel are wearing their sleeping clothes, while Iris is only covered by her hair (which implies she Sleeps in the Nude), and the narration states they locked the room's door just as a precaution.

    Films — Animation 
  • The goddess Hecate, in the Hellboy film Blood and Iron.
  • This happens in The Last Unicorn after the Unicorn turns into Princess Amalthea.
  • The Little Mermaid was going to use this, and did use it through the storyboarding and the initial pencil tests. It was only abandoned when the colour tests showed the concept to be unworkable without redesigning almost every underwater shot. Seashell Bra were used instead.
  • Peter Pan: One of the mermaids who live at Mermaid's Lagoon (more specifically, the redhaired one who is bathing at the start of the sequence the mermaids show up in) sports this. The others have either seashell or starfish bras, and there's one who uses a white flower necklace to cover her chest.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 68 Kill: Violet has her long hair hanging down over her breasts when she's topless and seducing Chip.
  • In The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Uma Thurman in the The Birth of Venus scene (based on the painting referred to under Arts, which is also referenced on a playing card later in the film). Subverted in that her hair doesn't hide anything.
  • The film version of Aquamarine shows the eponymous mermaid with her long hair covering her modesty whenever she's in mermaid form. Even more surprising in that this is a PG-rated kids' movie.
  • Batman: One of the pictures in Alicia's Shrine to Self has her posing topless, with her hair draped down over her chest.
  • Brooke Shields' hair was apparently glued to her breasts during some scenes of the 1980 film The Blue Lagoon in order to satisfy censors.
  • The naked Virgin Sacrifice strapped to the altar in Curse of the Crimson Altar has her modesty protected by her long blonde hair covering her breasts.
  • The PG-rated Date with an Angel uses this technique when the Angel bathes in a forest lake.
  • Australian swimming champion Annette Kellermann in the 1916 film Daughter of the Gods. This caused a great deal of controversy at the time. The film is now lost and only publicity photos survive.
  • Down with Love: The topless beatnik girl at the party who seduces Catch has her modesty preserved by her long brown hair.
  • Subverted horribly in From Dusk Till Dawn with one such vampire.
  • Mina, when she and Hansel go Skinny Dipping in the healing pond, in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.
  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword: The eldritch creatures' hair artfully clings to their breasts just enough so their nipples have a covering.
  • Naturally, the 1955 film Lady Godiva Of Coventry features this: Maureen O'Hara as the eponymous noblewoman wear tresses long and luxuriant enough to cover her body entirely.
  • Land of the Lost: Cha-ka's wives, who are nubile savages, have only brief loincloths and long black hair which covers both of their breasts on either side.
  • In Liane, Jungle Goddess, Lianne is introduced topless, with her long blonde hair flowing over her breasts. However, it often does a less-than-adequate job of concealing them.
  • The Love Witch: Elaine wears a long wig over her natural hair (which doesn't reach down this far) that manages to cover her nipples while she's topless (mostly-they do show once briefly). Another female Wiccan also has this with her long hair once.
  • Lindsay Lohan after she wakes up nude (in a church!) in Machete.
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian: Judith has her long hair covering her breasts when Brian's mother discovers them after they have sex.
  • The Mummy Trilogy: The Scorpion King has a scene with Cassandra the Seer popping up out of a pool of water in a Godiva Hair moment.
  • The Paranormal Diaries: Clophill: Late in the movie, the crew come across a bunch of cultist preparing to sacrifice a naked woman. Said woman has her hair covering her nipples.
  • Pharaoh: Part of Kama's nonstop Fanservice routine is wearing nothing but bikini bottoms and an elaborate wig with two strategically placed hunks of hair. She's a Honey Pot meant to get the crown prince of Egypt to be more friendly to her Phoenician countrymen.
  • Syrena and some of the other mermaids in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides have this. Except for when they have Barbie Doll Anatomy instead.
  • In Robin Hood: Men in Tights, when Marian steps out of the bath. The camera's primary attention may be on her chastity belt, but her Godiva Hair coverage for her breasts.
  • Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger : when Princess Farah (Jayne Seymour) and Dione (Taryn Power) have finished bathing in a natural pool, Farah is nude and brushing her long hair, with it covering all of the important bits.
  • Sound of My Voice: When Maggie tells the story of how she woke up in a bathtub with amnesia, she's seen walking around the hotel room with her long blonde hair covering her breasts.
  • In Space Mutiny, one of the Bridge Bunnies has such long hair and such a skimpy uniform that Mike and the Bots immediately assume she's nude.
  • In the Disney+ version of Splash, hair covering Madison's privates is used via CGI for censorship and to keep a PG rating.
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines: When the T-X arrives naked in the present, its breasts are concealed by its hair.
  • Izanami in The Three Treasures, who is completely topless (but not completely naked; she has a pair of shorts on) and her hair covers her breasts.
  • Alyda in The Unnamable II spends a good portion of the film like this due to the fact that she hates/fears clothing.
  • Zorro: In The Mask of Zorro, Elena is left clad in pajama bottoms and hair when Zorro slices her nightshirt off.

  • A 1930's sci-fi pulp The Beetle Horde by Victor Rosseau had a variation where a Nubile Savage wore a garment woven from her own hair.
  • Marlowe remarks upon a stained glass window featuring a woman with long and convenient hair in The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. See Mary Magdalen under Myths and Religion below.
  • It also features in a photography session in Andy Looney's The Empty City. Chapter 95, to be precise: Link here.
  • Subverted in Everworld, as Christopher discovers that the mermaids' attempts to use Godiva Hair are not always successful.
  • Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid. However, the famous statue in Copenhagen, which is one of the city's main tourist attractions, noticeably does not: she has her hair in a braid on her back.
  • Appears briefly in The Remarkable Life And Times Of Eliza Rose by Mary Hooper. Eliza is dressed as a mermaid for the Midsummer Fair in London and wears her hair like this.
  • The Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok: To fulfill Ragnar's request of meeting him "neither dressed nor undressed", Kraka goes to him covered only in a fishnet while her long hair makes sure that she is nevertheless "bare in no place".
  • In H. Rider Haggard's She, She's hair is long enough and thick enough that it doesn't just cover her nipples, it covers everything. She fastens a belt around her hair and wears it like a dress.
  • Holo from Spice and Wolf has long hair with front bangs long enough that they usually cover her breasts.
  • The Spirit Thief: The Powers all have hair long enough to cover them completely, so Benehime often wears nothing but it.
  • Rhythm of War (fourth book of The Stormlight Archive): Lezian the Pursuer is, for all practical purposes, a demon with a nasty strategy based on Teleport Spam. He can't teleport anything but himself, so the only clothes he wears are his own hair.
  • Subverted in The Wheel of Time, when one of the main characters is traveling through a rather rowdy festival and notices that a number of women attempting this don't have long enough hair to pull this off. We (obviously) don't get to see anything.
  • Played straight in Where's Wally? of all things. Made even better by the fact that this is the place Waldo chooses to "hide".
  • Played straight and made into a pun all at the same time in the Xanth series with Godiva Goblin. Her hair has a special talent of covering up exactly where it needs to in order to not violate the "Adult Conspiracy" (who keep children from learning the secret of "Summoning the Stork").
  • In some illustrated children's editions of The Bible, Eve is portrayed with this to preserve her modesty.
  • In the Thora books, Thora's mermaid mother Halla is illustrated as having this.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Used in several photo shoots on America's Next Top Model.
  • Charmed: In "The Bare Witch Project" the actual Lady Godiva is magically summoned to the present just before she was about to start her ride, so of course she's "dressed" this way. At the end of the episode Phoebe decides to protest a restaurant's policy on breastfeeding by doing a ride of her own using a long blonde wig to mimic Godiva.
  • An early David Copperfield magic special included a trick in which he removed a bikini top from a poster of Loni Anderson. Loni (on stage) then removed the hair clips from her poster, causing a Godiva effect on the poster.
  • Defiance: Stahma has this frequently in her bathing or sex scenes, either with her long hair covering her nipples, or strings of beads that she wears.
  • House of the Dragon: One scene of Mysaria in the nude has her hair cover her breasts.
  • iCarly: A non-nude version was used for Sam in "iQuit iCarly", when she wore a purple skintight bodysuit, as part of their usual attempt to hide the fact that the actress is a female and actually has boobs now. Carly however, wasn't required to do this.
  • Legend of the Seeker: Salindra in "Wizard" when she's gone into the underworld has her long hair falling down over her breasts.
  • Lucifer: In one episode Lucifer and Ella Lopez have to go undercover at a nudist resort. Ella uses her long hair to cover her breasts while walking around and some handy Scenery Censor covers up the rest of her.
  • Another non-nude version is used in Modern Family with Alex Dunphy. The character's hair is always worn down over her chest in an effort to hide her actress's developing figure.
  • The "nude lady" at the end of the Monty Python's Flying Circus motor insurance sketch.
  • The first elimination challenge of season three of Shear Genius was ALL about this trope.
  • This promotional image for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
  • Apparently averted in The Vicar of Dibley, when Gerri asks what did they do for village fête the year before her arrival in the village... to clarify: they were disappointed because this trope wasn't invoked; the sight of the elderly Letitia Cropley naked probably required the application of copious amounts of Brain Bleach.
    Owen: We reenacted Lady Godiva; everyone was so disappointed.
    Gerri: What, Lady Godiva in a body-stocking?
    Frank: No! She was completely nude!
    Gerri: Wow!
    Cropley: Well, I didn't have time to grow my hair long enough, you see...
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Whenever Xena finds herself on the receiving end of a (often hilarious) Shameful Strip, her hair is generally long enough to cover her breasts. Not that it makes her sexual humiliations any easier to endure.
  • In the episode "The Jersey Devil" of The X-Files, Claire Stansfield (who played a Neanderthal woman) was required to have her hair tied over her breasts in many shots to keep the Fox censors happy.

  • ESPN the Magazine recently ran a Body Issue featuring athletes of both genders in nothing or almost nothing along with articles on what makes some people genetically inclined to be successful athletes. Not surprisingly, two of the female athletes had this.
  • Playboy playmate Debra Jo Fondren was known for her extremely long hair, which allowed her to appear fully nude even on the cover of the magazine with this trope in effect.

  • The cover of Ayumi Hamasaki's album LOVEppears (she even used to provide the page image for some time).
  • Peter and Gordon's 1966 hit "Lady Godiva" has the title figure's nude ride witnessed by a porno director, who subsequently offers to make her a star. In the final verse it's revealed she's gotten her hair cut, "now she can afford her clothes".
  • The cover of Ruslana's Wild Dances album has her topless, wearing only gauntlets and a rag for a skirt. Naturally, her long, black hair is covering her breast (in fact, you have to look pretty hard to even figure out that she is indeed topless). Probably done to go with the whole "wild" theme.

    Music Videos 
  • Evillious Chronicles: The music video of "Flower of the Plateau" has the spotlight character, Mikulia Greeonio, naked but kept modest by her teal hair. Oddly enough, later down the video, her lower bits are shown, albeit mutated into a flower, making this a selective example of censorship.
  • A dancer in Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" seems to only be covered by her hair.
  • The music video for Alanis Morissette's "Thank U" shows her completely nude, with her long hair covering her breasts (her lower nudity was digitally blurred out). According to Pop-Up Videos, the lower nudity was already covered with a latex codpiece, but that just wasn't enough for the censors to let slide.
  • Used in the Britney Spears music video "Everytime".

    Myths & Religion 
  • The trope is named for Lady Godiva, the 11th-century Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who, according to legend, rode naked on a white horse through Coventry, England, to get rid of the unfair taxes imposed by her family. The first description of the story comes from the 13th-century chronicle Flores Historiarum, which states that her hair "covered the whole of her body like a veil". However, the paintings made in medieval times portray her with more graphic nudity and normal, shoulder-length hair, with the Godiva Hair paintings not coming around until centuries later. Some scholars have speculated that there might have been some confusion in the telling of the tale — that the original story might have said she went out without her clothes, that is, dressed in a shift like a religious penitent, rather than naked (which would not make much sense as a protest). On the other hand, there's little historical evidence to support the story having happened at all, naked or not. Note also the 200-year gap between the historical Godiva and the first appearance of the legend; most scholars do not regard the event as actual history.
  • Akka Mahadevi was an Indian poet from the 12th century with a similar legend.

  • The Pinball FX 3 version of Cirqus Voltaire alters the appearance of a particular female performer on the backglass such that her hair obstructs cleavage as a censorship measure to maintain an ESRB rating of Everyone 10+.
  • The killer mermaids of Fathom all have long flowing hair that conveniently keeps their breasts covered.
  • One of the scantily-clad groupies in Data East's Guns N' Roses is shown with Godiva Hair to cover herself, having lost her bikini top.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The cover of F.A.T.A.L. has this for just the boobs of the random slave-woman on the cover. If you saw said cover and didn't come to a few conclusions about this game's attitude towards women, you have no-one to blame but yourself.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • Jacqli/Mir's Miros costume in Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica has this. The conversation point about the costume focuses on that aspect.
  • Azur Lane: One of the loading screens shows several of the girls in a public bath, with only their tresses covering their nipples.
  • Bayonetta turns this trope on its head. The title character is a witch whose default wardrobe consists entirely of her own magically manipulated hair. Not surprisingly, she uses her hair for other things sometimes, which in turn makes this both an inversion and an aversion of the trope. And when she's doing some serious witchcraft, not much is left on her person nor to the imagination. The trope appears in its more "traditional" form when Bayonetta uses a Wicked Weave in her outfit from the first game, where her outfit is down to a breastless leotard held together by her hair. The Queen costume in the first game allows players to play as her in that "Summoning" outfit, with some pieces from the Umbran Elegances.
  • Berserk and the Band of the Hawk: Farnese is topless throughout the "Night of Miracles" level, but at least her nipples are always hidden by her bangs. For comparison, her toplessness was explicit in the original manga, while the broadcast version of Berserk went with Barbie Doll Anatomy instead. Mocked a bit on the Jimquisition:
    Jim Sterling: I'm impressed with her hair — in fact, all of the women's hair in this game. Really good at sticking to breasts like flypaper. I've never seen human hair that can actually do that in real [life], but in video games, it seems to happen a lot. I'm always impressed by that, must get the name of their stylist.
  • One of the provocative pictures Catherine sends Vincent in Catherine has her hair covering her boobs.
  • Chaos Witch Quelaag, one of the bosses from Dark Souls, is a naked woman/lava spider hybrid rocking the Godiva Hair. Her sister has it too, but it's less noticeable.
  • Darkstalkers:
    • Felicia manages to combine this concept with Fur Bikini. Her "outfit" is just her fur in thin strips. Her promotional artwork for Resurrection has a censored version where her proper hair covers her chest as well.
    • Rikuo's Midnight Bliss form is a nude mermaid covered by hair in this fashion.
  • Anna Graham after she's found dead and nailed to a tree in Deadly Premonition.
  • The topless Hot as Hell demoness Nevan from Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening only has her hair covering her breasts, which doesn't move from there even when she's fighting. This is on top of wearing a skirt made out of bats.
  • The Lady of the Forest in Dragon Age: Origins appears naked with Godiva hair, as well as strategically placed vines and branches; not quite Scenery Censor or Hand-or-Object Underwear as it's not a trick of the camera angle nor an overt action on her part, and she has nothing to hide anyway (she lacks nipples).
  • Epic Battle Fantasy 5: The 8-bit arcade miniboss CORALIA is an always-naked mermaid whose green hair covers her chest. This is likely stylistic as part of the Game Within a Game she's from, as nudity in the seriesnote  is otherwise handled with Censor Boxes.
  • In Hades, Aphrodite is depicted as wearing nothing but a few pieces of jewelry, with her long hair just barely covering up any naughty bits.
  • The Great Fairy in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess wears a sash around her waist but nothing but hair to cover her breasts. Said hair can actually be moved through hacking or in model viewers, but her breasts lack nipples.
  • Yuzuruha from Muramasa: The Demon Blade appears nude in one of the bath scenes, with hair long enough to cover her breasts and her nethers.
  • Eve in Painkiller. Her hair still does this, even after her assets are covered up in the expansion. When the camera is at the right angle, this trope fails to achieve its goal.
  • The Rusalka in Quest for Glory IV — even teasing the players when a lock of her hair is needed as one of the steps to free her. Naturally, it apparently comes from the back of her head. She does make a crack about how she would look with short hair.
  • In Riviera: The Promised Land, there's a pair of bath scenes that use Godiva Hair to cover up female characters — at least, those that have enough hair. The ones that don't are covered up in other strategic ways.
  • The Japanese and European versions of Robo Aleste have this in the cutscene with Astaros bathing.
  • A good number of female demons/Personas in the Shin Megami Tensei series; while the hand-drawn artwork in their profiles shows them in various (and detailed) stages of nudity, the actual character models have seemingly glued their hair to their chest.
  • Irui Gan Eden, who debuted in Super Robot Wars Alpha 2, has long, wavy, nearly ankle-length hair covering her nudity in this manner.
  • Terraria: The Nymph and Lamia enemies are both nude, but their chests are covered by their hair. Lower nudity is not an issue with the Lamias, being Snake People, and the Nymphs just have Barbie Doll Anatomy downstairs. The player can get a Lamia-based costume, but on female characters it comes with a set of wrappings.
  • In the first Valkyrie Profile, after defeating the evil necromancer Lezard Valeth, Lenneth finds a number of homunculi—artificial bodies of half-elves in his laboratory which look suspiciously similar to her and proceeds to destroy most of them. They all have the same incredibly long silver hair as her, which conveniently obscures their nipples. Presumably, Lezard made them be anatomically correct since he's a sicko, but their genitals are never shown. It is one of the scenes rendered in FMV for the PSP remake.
  • The Witcher:
    • The dryad Morenn in the American release uses Godiva Hair and a loincloth to satisfy the censors. (These, along with other censoring added to the American release, can be removed with the Director's Cut patch if one is so inclined.)
    • The Lady of the Lake has hair like this in all versions of the game. Her hair is long enough to wrap around and provide modesty even below the waist.
  • Therazane of World of Warcraft does this, but considering her skin made of cracked rock and a smile of razor-sharp, purple crystals, it's easy to overlook.

    Visual Novels 


    Western Animation 
  • Francine in American Dad! episode "Daesong Heavy Industries II: Return to Innocence" where she and Stan wash up on a deserted island and (with no memory of who they are and the clothes ripped) begin to bond as the new Adam and Eve.
  • A scene in the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Runaway" where Katara was bathing made use of her hair covering her body to enable the show to keep its TV-Y7 rating. That and staying mostly underwater.
  • In the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: A.R.C.T.I.C.", after the KND are hit by a "Nude Torpedo", Numbuh Three manages to cover herself completely with her long hair, like a cape.
  • The Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop episode "Pirate Parrots" has a scene where Zitbag encounters a pair of topless sirens who have their breasts covered up by their hair.
  • Family Guy:
    • Used (and lampshaded), providing us with this quote:
      Peter: Oh my God! She's got hair growing out of her boobs and up to her head!
    • The episode "Lois Comes Out of Her Shell" has a scene where Lois seduces Peter wearing only her panties and with the hair (she adopted a different hairstyle) to cover her breasts.
  • The Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Camp Keep a Good Mac Down" had Madame Foster end up going naked after communing with nature, her body covered up by her hair being worn down.
  • One episode of King of the Hill had Hank and Peggy visiting a nude campsite where they met two female nudists. One of which had long, straight brown hair that conveniently covered her breasts.
  • The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show invokes this when the title characters visit Lady Godiva herself. Playing it extremely modestly, her hair doesn't hang over her naughty bits as much as it wraps around them like she was wearing a bikini made of hair.
  • Apple Bloom's sculpture from "The Cutie Pox" episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is basically a pony version of "Birth of Venus" (see above) and uses both Godiva mane AND Godiva tail.
  • One episode of Sabrina: The Animated Series does this in a scene in which a woman is streaking.
  • The Simpsons:
    • When Marge is Eve in a dream sequence. And whenever she's showering.
    • There was also the episode "The Last Temptation of Homer" where Homer fantasized of Mindy as Venus in the aforementioned painting The Birth of Venus.
  • Spy Groove gives us Windy La Tete, who plays nude Marco Polo in the ocean of Malibu, with very long hair to cover her enormous chest.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: In the season 3 finale, Star goes to the Realm of Magic to find her mother, Queen Moon. She discovers Moon has lost her memories to the Realm and is running around carefree... and completely naked, with her long hair the only thing preserving her modesty.
  • The Hunter has this in some sequences in Superjail!, although she has Barbie Doll Anatomy underneath (although originally, she was intended to have detail and her hair was to be shorter).
  • Subverted with Lady Godiva herself on Time Squad. Rather than use her long hair to cover up her breasts, two black censor bars are used instead.

    Real Life 
  • Lucy Pinder, former Page Three Stunna and still "steaming hot" nude model, started the recent "Hairkini" trend in England, with women covering up their nips with long, long hair.

Male variant

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Films — Live-Action 
(The hermit was played by the film's director Terry Jones who apparently directed the rest of the cast totally forgetting he was stark naked)

  • Shel Silverstein once wrote a poem about a long-bearded nudist who takes advantage of this trope. The illustration is very much not fanservice.
    My beard grows to my toes.
    I never wears no clothes.
    I wrap my hair
    Around my bare
    And down the road I goes.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, the wild dwarves do not wear clothing, instead allowing their long beards (and copious body hair) to cover them. The one in the illustration appears to be wearing furry pants. He's not.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
    • The Ice King has once an Out-of-Clothes Experience. Thankfully, his beard is inexplicably longer during that scene.
    • The Naked Wizard in "Memories of Boom Boom Mountain" and "Wizard Battle" also has his torso covered by his beard.
  • Dudley Do-Right: Dudley once lost his uniform, and so he couldn't be a mountie any longer. He lived in the woods until he grew a beard long enough to cover himself. ("Lucky for him", says the Narrator.) Also lucky for him, when Nell finds him and brings him his uniform, she also brings him a razor.
  • The Stone Age version of Maestro in Il était une fois... appears to have this. Later incarnations definitely have sleeves and pants legs sticking out of the beard.
  • The Tak and the Power of Juju episode "This Bites" has the Log Hermit left naked after a zombified Jibolba eats the tree stump he wears, his genitals covered up by his beard.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Hair Bra


Zorro Cuts Elena's Dress

Alejandro relieves Elena of her night-dress with a few precise sword slashes without touching her skin.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (23 votes)

Example of:

Main / LudicrousMeleeAccuracy

Media sources: