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Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal

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"You know what's weird? Donald Duck never wore pants. But whenever he's getting out of the shower, he always puts a towel around his waist. I mean, what is that about?"

While characters having inexplicable collars is an animation cheat, one might think a character who wears a full outfit might be easier to draw.

But if your characters are Funny Animals, you are bound to run the gamut of animals until you hit unfamiliar ones. A full outfit has a high chance of obscuring what species a character is, so you're bound to find just enough clothing to make it quirky to that character without covering up the most basic cues, with the major exception of White Gloves. Characters with distinctive tails might not get pants, and ducks are rarely given shoes. Some half-dressed cartoon animals wear shoes, but others do not. Also, shirtless ones are more likely to wear shoes than pantless ones.

Half-dressed cartoon animals often, but not exclusively, come in two variants,

  • Pantless or Bare-bottomed: wears a shirt, coat, vest, or some other kind of top, but no pants, shorts, or overalls, or a skirt and very rarely with any underwear on.note  This also refers to characters wearing dresses or skirts (even long ones) with shirts but without underwear. This variant is more common in male animals than in female animals.
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  • Shirtless or Bare-chested: wears pants, shorts, overalls (which often border on fully dressed), or a skirt, but without a shirt or any other kind of top. Some characters wearing skirts without shirts are not wearing any underwear. Some characters of this type wear vests in such a way that the chest isn't covered, which can border on fully dressed. This variant is a lot more common for female characters than the pantless variant. Overlaps with Walking Shirtless Scene.

Very importantly, this does not mean a character without an outfit is automatically regarded as "naked". Most animal characters from The Golden Age of Animation wore no clothes whatsoever, but acted denuded only when random comic violence rendered them featherless or furless, with their underlying bare skin (and occasional Goofy Print Underwear) revealed. Hence, feathers and fur have long been grandfathered in as an acceptable animal analogue for clothing. Strangely, if a half-dressed character loses their shirt they will suddenly realize their crotch is exposed.


In general, they won't wear any footwear as it has the issue of not communicating the "animal" part of their name/species. Female characters are likely to be depicted wearing a skirt, but that's mostly a gender clue. So it's a good thing that most of them lack primary and secondary sexual characteristics anyway.

A form of Lampshade Hanging involves having the character wrap a towel around themselves (which kinda makes sense, as wet fur/hair is as form-fitting as a wet T-shirt). Sometimes further Lampshaded by having the towel fall off.

The majority of half dressed cartoon animals are on the Civilized Animal and Funny Animal tier, but half dressed cartoon animals can range from Nearly Normal Animal and even Beast Man on the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism. However, as Beast Man are more humanoid than they are animal, they can look very unnerving to some (Especially if they are nearing Little Bit Beastly tier). As a result, pantsless and shirtless Beast Men aren't very common.

See also Pantsless Males, Fully-Dressed Females. Related to Barefoot Cartoon Animal. Subtrope of Appropriate Animal Attire.

Oddly enough, this is something of a Truth in Television: people who dress their pets in costumes, or just to protect them from extreme cold, tend to leave off pants so the animal can relieve itself without making a mess.

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Other examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Tony Tony Chopper from One Piece, although he does wear full outfits in a few arcs. Is 100% full-clothed after the time skip
  • Excalibur of Soul Eater only wears a shirt and top-hat, though he's not an animal. This is lampshaded in his first appearance when Black Star immediately asks what he is and why the hell he's not wearing any pants.
  • Panther Lily and Lector in Fairy Tail.
  • Luna from Happy Happy Clover is the only character who is seen wearing clothing, at least in the original manga. In the anime, Clover & Friends are seen wearing red and blue hoods during the winter which wasn't present in the original manga.

  • As with the Trope page quote, Dutch comedian Harry Jekkers mentioned the fact that Donald Duck wears no trousers during one of his shows in the early nineties. In fact, he points out that a Duck, while walking as a normal human being, wears no pants. What follows is his outrage when he points out that when this same Duck is in his natural element — swimming in water — he suddenly starts wearing swimming trunks. Cue laughter from audience.

    Fan Works 
  • Zany To The Max:
    • Zak (when separated from Ko), Pakko, and Makko all wear shirts but no pants.
    • Takko and Jakko Zarner also wear shirts but no pants.
    • Averted with Jot, Zot, Sikko, Coach Nurse, Sekoila, and the Yarner twins. They are all Barefoot Cartoon Animals.
    • Subverted with Dot, who is revealed to wear a black shirt in the first episode ("The Blue Dot" segment), making her a Barefoot Cartoon Animal as well.
  • Averted in Family where the Warners actually wear clothes, only taking them off when they’re filming Animaniacs.
  • In Hail to the King, the unnamed protagonist is a human who wakes up in Equestria in King Sombra's body. He comments on how he has an awesome armor and cape, but no pants.
  • In A Sly Encounter, a Sly Cooper and Sonic the Hedgehog crossover comic plays with it, when Sally is confused why people would need privacy when dressing, with Sly insisting on her wearing pants and a shirt. He squicks himself out when thinking about Murray without pants, and (as he is a hippo) without fur.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Halfway through Alvin and the Chipmunks, the chipmunks start to wear just sweaters/sweatshirts, though Simon wears glasses.
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks: In this Disney live action animated movie. Miss Price, Professor Emilius Browne, and the 3 children accidentally go visit, underwater in the ocean by the isle of Naboombu. There they see half dressed fish underwater, when their bed gets pulled up by a fishing hook, they arrive on the Isle of Naboombu and they meet a sailor bear who wears a shirt but no pants or shoes on. They go visit the Lion King Leonidas who has a soccer match. Most of the animals at the game wears both a shirt and shorts but only one doesn't wear shorts such as the alligator. Also the Cheetahs shorts fall down before he pulls them right back up. Some of the Animals sitting in the Bleachers only wears a shirt but no pants.
  • Early cinema's Le Cochon Danseur, a 1907 short film based on a popular French vaudeville act. The pig even uses a Modesty Towel when his waist coat is pulled off.
  • Kangaroo Jack Charlie and Louis run into a kangaroo with their truck. Louis then puts his red lucky jacket with the $50,000 in the jacket on the kangaroo and take their pictures. The Kangaroo then wakes up and takes off with Louis red jacket and they go on a wild chase after the Kangaroo wearing only the red jacket with money in it.
  • The 2018 film adaptation of Peter Rabbit features the main character in his iconic blue jacket. Contrary to the books, this trope is also applied to most of the supporting talking animal characters, wearing only a shirt, blouse and/or jacket.
  • Star Wars: In a variant, The Phantom Menace suggests droids view their outer coverings as clothing with C-3PO embarrassed about being "naked".
  • Roger Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit wears red overalls, and a blue and yellow bowtie. Only one of the weasels wears pants, and for some reason he hikes them right up to his chest. (Possibly because weasels have low waistlines and short limbs, so this is the only way he can reach the pockets.)


    Puppet Shows 
  • In the episode of The Muppet Show hosted by Crystal Gayle, when a group of prairie dogs steal Kermit the Frog's collar (the only clothing he wears) from off his neck. Both Scooter and Kermit himself are shocked and refer to Kermit as being naked. Kermit eventually dons a feather boa to cover himself for the rest of the episode.
  • Referenced in The Funday Pawpet Show Theme Song - "Pawpets, Pawpets/We will sing and dance/Pawpets, Pawpets/We're not wearing pants"
  • Daniel Striped Tiger from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood wears a wristwatch.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner does not seem to wear any pants, but he does wear a shirt, shoes (that look exactly like his feet, but with blue soles stuck to them)Proof  and a propellor cap (he calls it his "buzzer"). Also, Marzipan's ancestor, Old-Timey Marzipan, seems to wear a skirt... but it's actually her body. Strong Bad lampshaded this on one occasion.
    Strong Bad: You've gotta be kiddin' me! I'm the only one that wears any pants!?
    • In one Strong Bad E-Mail, Homestar claims that he always wears long white pants. Strong Bad also lampshades the apparent "soles stuck to the bottom of his feet".
      • Whenever Homestar is shown shirtless, his entire torso is censored via pixellation, with two exceptions: In Strong Bad's fan fiction in the Strong Bad Email "fan club", Homestar is just wearing a fig leaf, and in the 2014 Halloween cartoon "I Killed Pom Pom!" Homestar dresses up as Tobias Funkë, wearing nothing but cut-off shorts and blue skin paint.
    • It gets even weirder when Strong Sad, who doesn't seem to wear any pants (or anything for that matter), is rather concerned about buying his favorite underwear back from an online auction in "Bug and Mouth Disease".
    • Coach Z seems to be naked, but on a few occasions it's implied that he's actually wearing a green jumpsuit. That he never removes or washes.
    Strong Bad: Hey, I always wondered, is your skin green or are you wearing a green body suit? Y'know with footies and sockies.
    Coach Z: Oh, I got footies alright... athletes' footies.
  • The Annoying Thing/Crazy Frog is often depicted with only a leather jacket, helmet, and goggles. This is a bit of a subversion in that unlike almost all others the Crazy Frog has visible naughty bits.note 
  • In Minilife TV, Vince and Zach's boss, Kegan Kubrick, is a faun who wears a tuxedo without pants, which is lampshaded by Chris and Ian.
  • Played With by Eric Shwartz in his "Amy The Squirrel" Amiga-made animation. Amy goes out for a walk to work wearing only a skirt, prominent breasts covered only in fur, and no underwear either. Unlike most cases of a Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal, Amy's walk instead causes a large number of accidents as every guy on the way turns to gawk at her, then runs into something, implied to be because she's half-naked.

    Real Life 
  • In 1959, there was actually a group called the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals or SINA, a hoax perpetrated by comedian Alan Abel until 1962. Buck Henry played its president, G. Clifford Prout, while Abel played the vice president, and its goal was to clothe all animals. One of its mottos was "A nude horse is a rude horse." Apparently, lots of people fell for it and tried to donate money for the cause.
  • Many college mascots are animals clad only in a sweater bearing the school's initials. Likewise, a good chunk of fursuiters either wear a shirt or shorts/pants. Sometimes the article of clothing is part of the costume, as in the costumer never bothered to make legs or a complete torso for it (both to keep costs down and make it less hot to wear), letting the clothing hide this fact.
  • In at least one case, Winnie the Pooh's half-clothed nature was considered Serious Business when a conservative Polish council opted to exclude him from a playground on that basis.
  • Goleo, the mascot of the World Cup 2006 doesn't wear pants.

Alternative Title(s): Half Dressed Funny Animal


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