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Invisible Streaker

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"An invisible must always be able to disrobe in an instant, or his power is useless!"
Millard, Hollow City

Not all invisibility methods are created equal. While many works Hand Wave away the problems with invisibility — being able to see being the main one — one specific form of Invisibility with Drawbacks frequently comes up. Namely: you may be able to become invisible, but that doesn't mean things you interact with can become invisible. That includes your clothes.

This can be explained in multiple ways. Invisibility as a drug or innate ability may only affect the natural body, leaving clothing and other external objects out of luck. A person's original clothing may have turned invisible as well, but that's no guarantee that they will remain intact. A Literal Genie may make the person invisible, and just the person.

Ultimately, if this trope is in play, expect the Mundane Solution to come up — by definition, nobody can see the invisible person, so going around naked is an acceptable solution to being unable to make other things invisible. This will probably be Played for Laughs the first time it's brought up, since the insinuation of nudity as well as the reactions to such is classic comedy. There's also an inherent sexiness to the concept — oftentimes, this trope is averted specifically because the producers want to avoid risque situations.


Actually using the power afterwards, on the other hand, can often be anything but funny and sexy. After all, being naked doesn't just mean being indecent, it also means being completely unarmed and vulnerable. And if going outdoors, then add Exposed to the Elements on top of that. Even beyond the nudity itself, the same rule that prohibits wearing clothes also prohibits carrying things. In general, an invisible streaker is probably going to be susceptible to as many of invisibility's Logical Weaknesses as the author is willing to acknowledge, so the streaker will have to be extra careful to avoid doing even a minor thing that might get them spotted, and especially anything that might render them a visible streaker, since a Defeat by Modesty is sure to follow. (Or, if it doesn't, then they get to continue sneaking around with modesty on the mind, which is hardly better.)


On the other hand, for characters who are always invisible, this apparent downside is flipped on its head and usually ends up being pretty convenient for them, since they can avoid all the awkward situations that always-invisible characters with always-invisible Magic Pants tend to get into—for an always-invisible streaker, being visible is as as simple as getting dressed (though they might have to wear a burqa or similar clothing).

As a final note, if you think about it too much, you might stumble upon a problem with this trope: at any given time, a person will have bacterial colonies whose members come and go, viral invaders being fought by their immune system, food being digested or excreted, dirt and dust falling on their skin, cells falling off their body, etc. — What exactly counts as being part of an invisible person's body? There's just no hard line. Whatever the source of the character's invisibility, the Required Secondary Powers that this trope supposedly averts may not be so "secondary" after all. The few Real Life attempts at invisibility use the inversion of this trope, which is the Invisibility Cloak.

Compare Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing and Can't Take Anything with You.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Translucent, Translucent Syndrome, as a physical disorder that causes invisibility, does not affect clothes or makeup.
  • Doraemon have a gadget which makes Nobita invisible, sans clothing, which he used to pick on Gian and Suneo for picking on him. It works, but because Naked People Are Funny, the gadget then lose it's effects when Nobita is in front of Shizuka and two other girls.
  • Ghost in the Shell had a type of camouflage — essentially invisible spandex — that couldn't be worn over anything and was ultra-skin tight. Once the anime series went more mainstream, the camo became "invisible clothing" as it had been in the manga. Note that this typically only applied to The Major, while male characters using the camo were able to wear less-revealing outfits.
  • In I'm Gonna Be an Angel!, Noelle's older sister Sara is invisible, and uses clothes and bandages to simulate visibility when needed. The trope in question was established in a later episode when, after everyone but protagonist Yuusuke started taking her for granted, she managed to regain visibility through sheer emotion... and flashed everyone in the area with her nudity. Fortunately, only her family were present, but her brother managed to comment how she'd grown a lot since he saw her last, before he passed out from nosebleed.
  • Done in Alabaster by the father of manga, Osamu Tezuka. The normally lethal invisibility ray hit Ami Ozawa while she was still in the womb, leaving her permanently invisible. Alabaster, the main villain, kidnaps her and breaks her will, and she helps him perform several jewelry heists by simply doing them naked. What finally causes her to do a full blown Face–Heel Turn, however, is the FBI agent raping her, then covering her in hideously colored paint stripes that she can't remove.
  • In Rumiko Takahashi's The Samurai, the titular samurai descendant is stalked by his rivals, twin female ninjas who only differ in that one Really Gets Around and the other Does Not Like Men. They make use of this type of invisibility spell in order to further their goal, but the hero's perverted friend figures out what's going on when he accidentally gropes an invisible breast. Just to compound things, it's the man-hater who's invisible. Cue beatings.
  • In Demon King Daimao, Kena Soga can turn invisible, (not that anyone knows that she can). However, since it's just her that turns invisible, it requires a lot of stripping or being caught naked after she materializes.
  • Bouquet in the anime adaptation of Blue Dragon has the same power and drawback as Kena above.
  • Lucy has to do this in a filler episode of Fairy Tail. The show being what it is, a group of children run into her on accident and proceed to prod her naked butt out of fascination. When she finally gets to the guild to ask for help, Natsu, who locates her more intentionally, finds a much more standard area to grab her.
  • In an early chapter of Doctor Slump, Senbei turns himself (but not his clothes) invisible, then starts undressing... but decides to leave his underwear on, just in case. This results in a pair of floating boxer shorts running around the town.
  • Suehirogari's adult manga Moonlight Exhibition features a girl who can become invisible with the standard "no clothes" rule in play. Years of sneaking around nude in public to use her powers has lead to her gaining a serious exhibitionism / public nudity fetish. The plot is kicked off when one of her classmates sees her outside being "self indulgent," which confuses her to no end — however, as established earlier dogs can see her just fine, which apparently includes... werewolves. Les Yay proceeds to occur.
  • Played for Laughs in Assassination Classroom. Koro-sensei uses his invisibility to avoid scaring a group of train passengers during a class trip, but his students point out that a random set of floating, disembodied clothing is just as unsettling.
  • In Is This a Zombie?, Ayumu gets turned invisible after drinking a potion he mistook for a drink. He strips down to sneak into the gym during the girl's physical examination day. Being the Butt-Monkey that he is, the invisibility starts to wear off while he's still inside and he's forced to run and hide. Taeko catches him, but kindly loans him some clothes instead of turning him in.
  • Misaki from Brynhildr in the Darkness has this restriction, though it oddly doesn't seem to apply to her glasses.
  • The 1978 Go Nagai manga Supeope Chuugaku features an invisibility potion at one point in the second volume that works like this. Notably, the first thing the perverted main character uses it for is tricking his sister into thinking she's invisible (by drinking some himself to show her that it works and then using sleight of hand to give her a fake bottle) so that she'll strip naked in front of him and his friends.
  • Played for Laughs in My Hero Academia: Toru "Invisible Girl" Hagakure can usually be "seen" as either a floating school uniform, or in her superhero outfit, which is just a pair of shoes and gloves. To be truly effective with her powers, these come off when she needs to get completely stealthy. She usually doesn't mind having to go naked, but feels embarrassed if people watch her undress. Also, on one occasion, a character accidentally bumps into her when she's naked as she freaks out as if he did it on purpose. Later chapters of the story hint that Hagakure has some sort of light-manipulation ability, with one side effect of that being constant invisibility.
  • Adam and Eve, a manga series created by Ryoichi Ikegami and Hideo Yamamoto, features an invisible man and an invisible woman (only their shoes and gloves are ever seen) who attack the Yakuza. The last panel of the first volume shows wet prints left by bare human feet.
  • The titular Akira from Toumei Shounen Tantei Akira can turn invisible under his clothes and strips them off to use his power. The clothes also seem to include a mask.
  • Defied in BNA: Brand New Animal. Michiru develops Chameleon Camouflage powers when she realizes she needs to infiltrate Sylvasta's medical labs, but they don't affect her clothing. Rather than strip, however, she simply folds her arms and tail over her clothes, hiding them just enough to evade notice.
  • Vermeil in Gold: To sneak past a Cerberus with a cold, meaning it lacks its sense of smell, to steal a special flower it is guarding, Lillian drinks an invisibility potion and strips. Even though Alto and Vermeil can't see her, she is incredibly embarrassed. The potion wears off just as she returns with the flower, giving them an eyeful.
  • Fully averted in One Piece, where Absalom's power, given to him by the Clear-Clear Fruit, explicitly extends to everything he is touching, with him even being able to control what is and isn't affected. Case in point, he had a pair of bazookas strapped to his forearms and kept them invisible to make it seem as if he could make things explode just by pointing at them.

    Comic Books 
  • Classically averted in Fantastic Four. Sue's always been able to extend her field to whatever mundane outfit she has on (and much further if she so chooses).note  However, it's played straight a few times in the movies for Fanservice.
    • The Marvel 1602 version of Susan Storm has no unstable molecule costume, but this isn't much of a problem since she can't turn visible. Until the first time she activates her forcefield...
    • The original script for The Fantastic Four said that Sue would be permanently invisible, and unable to make anything else invisible, so she would have to strip down every time she wanted to disappear. Stan Lee commented in the script that this might be too sexy for comics.
    • What If? #34, a Self-Parody issue, has a one-off joke of Reed Richards not inventing unstable molecules. Sue is visible as a suit of clothes because of modesty. There's also male Fanservice of her brother, who finds himself naked when he flames off.
    • And playing with this trope and The Nudifier, Susan can turn clothes of other people invisible while the people themselves stay normal.
  • Infamously inverted in Wonder Woman — her plane was invisible, she wasn't, so in general, it just looked like a mysterious squatting woman shooting through the air. The plane is later retconned to make its contents invisible, too (in Wonder Woman 1984 as well).
  • Milo Manara's Butterscotch is an example of pornographic use of this trope. It features, among other things, a woman giving the invisible character a blowjob while other characters, unaware of the invisible man's presence, look in bafflement at her "lewd mime act."
  • The Invisible Man (an alternate version of the original one) in Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen must strip down to best take advantage of his condition. He was originally found wandering a girl's dorm nude... impregnating several of the girls (which they took as miracles).
  • Inverted in The Bod, a short three-part miniseries in Image Comics. The story is about a rising supermodel whose body gets turned invisible due to an industrial accident shortly after she arrives at Hollywood to have her big break as an actress. She wears lots of very form-fitting clothing to show off her beautiful body as she tries to use her new, incurable condition as a gimmick to further her career. The rest of the trope — that of the woman's invisibility not extending to her clothing, is played completely straight. Unfortunately, so are the True Art Is Incomprehensible and Small Name, Big Ego tropes — the series quickly degenerates to a series of Take Thats about how horrible Hollywood's culture is.
  • Inverted in Empowered: the suit of the eponymous heroine can turn invisible. Just the suit — the wearer remains completely visible. Given that Emp gets her powers from her suit and loses them when it's damaged, it can actually be useful.
  • In Sturmtruppen, at one point the Medic believes to have drunk the Potion of Invisibility, and boasts about it in front of his underlings. When they say that they can still see him, he assumes that is because he's still wearing his clothes, so he strips naked and boast again his presumed invisibility to the now stunned assistants. From that strip on, he firmly believes that he has to strip in order to become invisible.
  • In the Italian comic book La Donna Invisibile, the heroine, Nadine Roland, is given a formula for pills that make her invisible for 15 minutes. In order for the pill to work, she has to be naked, and on at least one occasion she's still naked when the invisibility wears off.
  • In Cyber Force, Sly could make herself almost completely invisible, but had to be naked to do so and could lose her invisibility if her concentration was broken.
  • In Archie Comics' Sabrina at Gravestone Heights 91313, Sabrina is friends with a perpetually invisible girl named Cleara Glass, whose clothes and makeup are always visible. In one story, Cleara wears a mask to appear as a redhead girl.
  • In Le Petit Spirou, Spirou and Vertignasse offer Suzette to try the invisibility machine for some candies. But they can still see her because her clothes are visible, so she begins stripping. Then she has an "Eureka!" Moment when Spirou is definitely too excited for seeing flying panties.
  • The second issue of the Harvey Comics Monster in My Pocket comic book has the Invisible Man decide to go without clothes due to enjoying the freedom and realizing that he's more use to the good monsters when no-one can see him.

    Comic Strips 
  • Done repeatedly in Calvin and Hobbes. Of course, Calvin isn't really invisible in any of these Imagine Spots...
  • Yenny had an arc lasting from October to November 2005 in which Yenny mistakenly drinks her friend's invisibility potion. She decides to walk around nude and spy on Kelso and Margot.

    Fan Works 
  • Paul in With Strings Attached and other stories. That's because he wears an illusion for clothing anyway, so he just switches his clothing illusion for invisibility.
  • Taylor in the Worm fic First Witch can shift into a parallel dimension, becoming invisible for everyone in the "normal" one, but can't take anything with her, forcing her to move around naked. Another power allows her to act as a cape.
  • The plot of this Invader Zim fanfic revolves around Dib discovering a spell that turns the user invisible, but excludes their clothing. He's too aware about the potential downfalls to use it, but Gaz is more willing to take the risk. As thus, Hilarity Ensues.
  • One of the stories in Do the Gasmask Shuffle–about a potion-based game of Russian Roulette–has Sheen gain this type of invisibility. His friends immediately dissuade him from taking his clothes off, but he ends up doing it at the end of the story.
  • In Toward A Bright Future, Class 1-A teaching assistant Y/N averts this for the above-mentioned Hagakure Toru, as she figures that if the support department can make a super-suit that works with an Intangible Man like Togata Mirio, they can make one that works for an invisible girl. They eventually succeed and come up with some armor for her so she doesn't have to walk around a battlefield unprotected.
  • The Secret Return of Alex Mack: After becoming permanently invisible through an experimental serum, Klar has to play this straight at first, which becomes a real problem in winter. Eventually he's able to administer the serum to some sheep and collect invisible wool from them.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Igor, Carl Cristall is an invisible talk show-host who can be detected by his floating shirt and hat — but no pants. His hatred of pants becomes a Running Gag up until the end of the movie.
  • Griffin the Invisible Man of the Hotel Transylvania franchise. He mostly goes nude except for a pair of floating Eye Glasses, and the one time he wears clothes is for the sake of a gag where he gets his pants pulled down and claims shrinkage. In Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, he's finally made visible, confirming once and for all that he's nude, horrifying his friends Wayne and Murray. Once he's made invisible once more, his friends beg him to keep his clothes on.
  • Averted in The Incredibles: Violet's powers don't normally affect clothing, but she gets a super-suit rather than having to take this option.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • This trope was played straight in the campy 1940 science fiction satire The Invisible Woman, as the title heroine, while able to turn invisible, was naked when she did so as her clothes could not turn invisible along with her, making many audiences at the time regard the film as slightly risqué.
  • In the 1941 comedy The Body Disappears, the Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter injects herself with her father's invisibility serum to rescue her boyfriend, who was also made invisible. While nude and invisible, she gets into a convertible and Drives Like Crazy, to the horror of a man who had been hiding in the back seat.
  • Invisible Boy from Mystery Men, whose clothes apparently just fall off him when he uses his power (which works only when he's not being watched by anybody, making it good only for fooling purely mechanical surveillance).
  • The martial arts fantasy flick The Enchantress has a charm which makes it's wearer invisible, sans clothes.
  • In the 1980s comedy The Invisible Kid, the boy heroes have to sneak around nude and invisible, partly to steal back the invisibility formula and, given that this is a Teen Sexploitation Comedy, partly to peep on the cheerleaders.
  • Mostly averted in Memoirs of an Invisible Man: Chevy Chase's outfit was hit by the same invisibility beam. Understandably, he occasionally has trouble finding his invisible clothes, and any outfit other than the one he was wearing when he became invisible remains visible after he puts it on.
  • The Man Who Wasn't There (1983) did this as well. More the female character than the male character, mind you.
  • Ditto from 1983, The Invisible Woman. In a Special Effect Failure, you can tell that Alexa Hamilton is clothed after she gets Covered in Mud.
  • Similarly, in The Invisible Man (1933) while the character is implicitly stated to be nude, he leaves shoe prints in the snow. This is an interesting Special Effects Failure.note 
  • Hollow Man, being a by-the-books use of invisibility, has this in it. Of course, the "mission" in this example is, er, rape, but... yeah. The CG of the character walking through smoke or entering water clearly shows the penis, in case there was any doubt in your mind.
  • Invisible Mom does this. In the sequel, Laura's invisibility wears off while she's walking around naked.
  • Fantastic Four (2005): In Susan Storm's first attempt to use her invisibility to sneak past a crowd, she finds her clothes don't cloak with her and reluctantly starts stripping down. Unfortunately, she's not yet in full control of her powers and they wear off while she's down to her underwear... and still in said crowd. A later gag has her being chased by reporters, who round the corner and find only a pile of shed clothing. Luckily for her and the other three, her blue bodysuit she was wearing during the shuttle flight where she gained her powers underwent the same reaction and so changes along with her.
  • Rodney Skinner, the invisible man, in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. He lampshades this in one scene where he's performing recon in frozen Mongolia.
    Skinner: May I remind you, I am standing naked in the snow? I can't feel any of my extremities, and I mean any of them.
  • In Amazon Women on the Moon, the "Son of the Invisible Man" thinks he's this, but he's not actually invisible, so he just ends up making everyone around him uncomfortable.
  • The title character of Paul can stay invisible only as long as he holds his breath, so he does get caught naked in public a few times. It's not really an issue though, since people are too caught up in his being an alien to care that he's naked.
  • In Bradley's Summer, the invisibility potion doesn't make clothes invisible, so Bradley has no choice but to take them off when he uses it.
  • A Japanese film whose title translates to Oh! Invisible Man: Invisible Girl Appeared!? concerns a man and his teenage daughter who become invisible after ingesting pills made from salmon roe.
  • Michele in Il Ragazzo Invisibile, at least until he gets his costume.
  • The Major in the 2017 movie adaptation of Ghost in the Shell can cloak her cybernetic body, but needs to disrobe before she can actually make use of it in combat (which, since she's played by Scarlett Johansson, is definitely a good thing). Certain full-contact actions like jumping through a window disrupt her nigh-invisibility even so.
  • The alien visitor in Phantom from Space is invisible and can move unseen outside his spacesuit, but being in contact with Earth's atmosphere long enough makes him visible eventually.
  • The Russian film Super Bobrovs is inconsistent about this. This trope usually applies to the invisible woman, but sometimes only part of her body (such as her arms, her legs or her head, neck and chest) is visible along with her clothes, and sometimes her clothes become invisible with her body.

  • In The BFG, a boy's dream is that he can make himself invisible by pressing his tummy-button. He discovers this in the bath, so he is naked anyway, but later he puts on his dressing gown and slippers and walks in the streets, scaring people.
  • The Trope Maker would be H. G. Wells' The Invisible Man, who hides from the rioting peasants by stripping naked. In winter. One of the few examples to take into account the elements, as well as other things such as being unable to walk in a crowd (people would step on him and hit him with waving arms/purses/packages/etc.), having to avoid mud (it sticks to the feet), etc., etc. Fridge Logic suggests that Griffin was holding the Idiot Ball when his actions created this trope, as the original novel's invisibility-induction process also worked on white fabrics. Griffin was always a bit of a nutcase, so his failure to create a suit of invisible clothes may have been a simple oversight. (Later adaptations avert this problem by making the source of his invisibility a drug, effective only on living things.)
  • The ultimate subversion is Memoirs of an Invisible Man (later turned into a mediocre Chevy Chase movie). The accident that turns the titular man invisible affects everything in a sphere roughly 100 feet across: him, his clothes, the building structure, and a number of objects that happened to be nearby. When he eats and drinks, until it is digested fully, the food/beverage does not become invisible. His invisible clothes suffer wear and tear. His invisible gun will eventually run out of invisible bullets. And, with the government after him, it's not like he can just live at his old house or sneak into places at will. The author does quite well at thinking out the rules and limitations of the premise.
  • Things Not Seen:
    • Bobby sneaks over to the library to research his condition. In a slight subversion, a blind girl, Alicia, notices him. This is how Alicia finds out that something's not quite right with Bobby; after touching his bare arm, she finds it odd enough that he's supposedly in a short-sleeved shirt in cool weather, but when she bumps into him at one point and feels his bare chest, she gets furious at him being shirtless and starts making assumptions about what kind of person he is and what his intentions are, which ultimately leads to the quote.
      Alicia: So... so you're really...
      Bobby: Invisible.
      Alicia: ... naked?
      Bobby: Yeah. That too.
    • Another person with the same condition is said to wear a burqa all the time so that nobody will know she's invisible.
  • In The Trouble With Moonlight, the heroine, Lusinda Havershaw, her skin turns invisible when exposed to moonlight, but her clothes don't become invisible with her. Works out well, since she's a gentlewoman thief. Getting the loot out is kind of a complication, however, since in order to stay invisible she has to remain in the moonlight. See she needs to absorb a certain amount of moonlight in order to turn invisible in the first place, and she can remain invisible if she absorbs enough of it, but if she's away from the moonlight for too long she gradually becomes visible, leading to a few Naked People Are Funny moments as her glorious body is glimpsed however briefly by the public a few times when she is cut off from the moonlight for too long.
  • Mostly averted in Invisible Inc: Chip fell into the magic spring while fully dressed, and has kept that set of clothes safe ever since. Of course, once he grows a bit... Played straight in the first volume, at least in the first printing. Chip's invisible clothes don't show up until the second book of the series, probably due to complaints from Moral Guardians. The Retcon is hardly noticeable because the first book was silent on the subject. Apparently it was the reaction to the implication that Chip was naked in the first book that convinced them to explicitly state he wasn't in the second.
  • In Smoke by Donald Westlake, a small-time crook accidentally gets turned invisible after getting turned into a guinea pig by two Camp Gay (yes, it becomes relevant) skin cancer researchers. Westlake obviously did his research, as the titular character has to deal with all of the troubles of invisibility including exposure to the elements, having to fast to avoid having half-digested food showing, and being noticed at one point by a blind man.
  • In the short story Hersheys Kisses by Ron Goulart (contained in The Mammoth Book of Comic Fantasy II by Michael Ashley et al.), a young man in trouble with his (young, hot, female, hates him) new boss runs into a wizard. He ends up trying to save his career by doing this, breaking & entering, and kissing the magic tattoo on her butt three times as she sleeps. It wears off prematurely: It turns out she'd hired the wizard in a gambit to get him to her apartment, naked, as he failed to recognize her previous hints. They find out about the other gambit when the camera crew bursts out of the closet.
  • In the Torchwood novel Pack Animals, Ianto Jones is invisible for about half of the book. At one point he must sneak into a secret facility and is forced to do so nude, since his invisible clothes were ruined. His teammates also bar him from eating anything beforehand, as a floating blob of digesting food would be noticeable (not to mention disgusting).
  • Averted in the Goosebumps book My Best Friend Is Invisible: the protagonist awkwardly asks the invisible boy if he's wearing any clothes. He is.
  • Double Subverted in one of R. L. Stine's Ghosts of Fear Street books (Go to Your Tomb — Right Now!) Magic allows two friends to turn invisible for twelve hours; it causes whatever clothes they put on to turn invisible with them, then turn visible when they undress. Unfortunately, the two decide to sneak into the community pool when it's closed and go swimming in their underwear. Two people who run the pool show up, the friends can't find a way to escape unnoticed...and of course, that's when their times expires.
  • Played With in Neal Shusterman's The Schwa Was Here: Calvin Schwa is The Nondescript, where you basically won't notice him unless you're trying to. Once he goes through two and a half periods of the school day before anyone notices he is present and only wearing a speedo.
  • Wild Cards:
    • Played with: Wraith is a Classy Cat-Burglar who turns semi-transparent and intangible. However, as she can only do so while holding on to a certain amount of mass and she'd actually like to get away with some of her stolen goods, she performs most of her heists in a mask and bikini.
    • The series also features an inversion similar to the Vanishing Man example listed below — Chrysalis, a Joker whose invisibility is always on and only applies to her skin and hair.
  • In one of The History of the Galaxy novels, the book's protagonist finds a Lost Colony whose settlers have gained strange powers after landing. One of these groups calls themselves Shadows and have invisibility powers, along with empathy and healing. While averted with the inhabitants of the City, who don't walk around naked and generally avoid turning invisible if they can help it, many colonists went mad after the mutation and live in the wild. The wild Shadows almost never become visible and run around naked.
  • Averted/Lampshaded in the fifth book in the Flat Stanley series, Invisible Stanley, where Stanley's clothes explicitly disappear when he puts them on and reappear as soon as he takes them off. His family tries handing him a balloon, and the string disappears when he touches it, but not the balloon itself. (He touches various other things without them turning invisible, though.)
  • In Invisible! by Robert Swindells, the main characters turn invisible with the use of a ring called a fairy ring. This invisibility doesn't affect their clothes. It also should be noted that the main characters are invisible but they can still see each other in this state.
  • In The Accidental Superheroine, this seems to be the first stage of Mira's and Giancarlo's powers. They become completely invisible (including things that they've eaten, but not clothing) and unable to turn it off. The government forces trying to capture them utilize spray-cans and hoses of blue paint to place them. It's later hinted that their transformation also removes any smell to them unless they remember to do things like sweat.
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: Millard Nullings, whose peculiarity is invisibility. He's constantly being chastised by Miss Peregrine for loitering around naked.
    Miss Peregrine: How many times must I tell you, polite persons do not take their supper in the nude!
  • In Natalie Whipple's Transparent, the heroine, Fiona McClean, was born invisible, and dropped on her head the moment she was born because the doctor couldn't see her. Her bodily fluids are invisible, and she is capable of making other things invisible, so food turns invisible as she chews it, and makeup and sunscreen only stay on her skin for a short time before getting absorbed by her skin/sweat. Her clothing is not invisible, so she takes off her clothes if she needs to hide.
  • The Lord of the Rings: This actually applies to the Ringwraiths — Gandalf notes that they're invisible because they mostly inhabit the spirit world, and their dark cloaks are just there so that they can interact with normal people. The One Ring affects clothes and weapons, though, so presumably the Ringwraiths' original clothes and ornaments went to the spirit world with them.
  • One Fat Summer: When Bobby Marks told his friend Jodie about his fantasy of making an invisibility potion that let him fight crime and sneak into the girl's locker room, she asked him a question that made him realize he would be this. That was enough to kill the fantasy for the body shy Bobby.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Averted in Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the episode "Gone". Buffy is shot by an invisibility ray which also turns her clothes invisible too because it was within the blast radius.
    Buffy: Don't strain yourself looking, Xander. I'm invisible girl.
    [Xander holds his hands out]
    Buffy: Uh, Xander?
    [Xander quickly pulls his hands back]
    Xander: Sorry! Her clothes are... invisible... too.
  • In the Round the Twist episode "Linda Godiva", Linda uses an enchanted perfume spritzer to become invisible and tries to help her brother Pete win a race by riding a horse nude. Of course, her brother accidentally deactivates it at exactly the wrong time.
  • Clara from Sanctuary is unable to use her invisibility while she's being observed, and she uses it to steal and spy at first. When Will and Druit come to recruit her, the "no clothes" is lampshaded, and they turn on the sprinkler to find her. When completing her mission, she persuades Will to strip so she's not alone (he doesn't have the power of invisibility). She's the granddaughter of Nigel Griffin, the original invisible man, who was one of the Five who injected themselves with a vampire-derived serum. And yes, Griffin used to strip to fully use his power, such as when infiltrating German camps during World War II.
  • The Invisible Man, a 1970s NBC series, had this come up — until the hero gained Magic Pants.
  • Averted in the 1958 British Invisible Man series, where Dr. Peter Brady had a set of invisible clothes from the beginning: the clothes he was wearing during the accident (and since the show averted No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup, he could make more if needed). Like him, they were permanently invisible.
  • The 2000 The Invisible Man TV series:
    • Averted for the hero, who turns invisible by secreting a light-bending substance from his skin granted via a gland surgically implanted in his brain. Naturally, this substance also covers his clothes. This was revealed to be a nice side effect that the creators of the gland didn't know about. They didn't realize he could consciously secrete Quicksilver on any object.
    • Recurring villain Arnaud plays it straight when he implants himself with his own version of the quicksilver gland. He altered the gland to remove the rather unpleasant side effect of "quicksilver madness" (easy enough, since Arnaud had created that side effect in the first place), but accidentally made it so that his body is permanently invisible in the process.
  • The 1998 ITV drama Vanishing Man played not only this trope but also Just Add Water — the title character has to be wet to be invisible. This led to some funny moments when he dries out. For example, when he's following someone in a car by clinging to the roof rack, said car overtakes a lorry, much to the lorry driver's shock he is overtaken by a car with a naked man clinging to the roof rack; thankfully it starts to rain before the car reaches its destination.
  • In an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, Justin is turned invisible by Alex's careless wording of a wish to a Literal Genie. Justin strips off his pyjamas so his parents won't notice him, leaving him naked in a room with his parents and his sister. Hilarity Ensues as Alex attempts to prevent the parents from accidentally sitting on him, etc.
  • Played with in an episode of The X-Files. Two moronic brothers find an actual genie, and begin asking for wishes, with typical results. One brother asks to become invisible. He immediately strips down and goes out to have fun with his newfound power. He has a great time for about five minutes, then gets hit by a truck. Scully has to fingerprint-dust the entire body just to see it, and is completely flummoxed by being confronted by something that is clearly physically impossible.
  • On an episode of Big Wolf on Campus, a longtime rival of Merton develops abilities for sorcery and uses them against him by (no surprise) gradually turning him invisible. Merton is reduced to a "floating" head hiding inside Tommy's backpack and, to Tommy's disgust, admits his nakedness. Shippers swoon.
  • The Doctor Who serial "Planet of the Daleks" mainly averts this with the Spiridons but plays it straight with Wester's first appearance, or rather, the lack thereof, so to speak. Then subverted when the Doctor & Co. try to pass themselves off as Spiridons, by covering themselves with Spiridon garb, but a Dalek notices that the party's feet are clearly visible.
  • There was a Japanese TV drama series in the 1990s (does anyone know the title?) about a photojournalist who had special pills that made him briefly invisible. In one episode, the photojournalist's girlfriend takes some of the pills and becomes invisible. While nude and invisible, she pulls pranks such as pushing a couple off their bench into a swimming pool.
  • In the Supernatural episode "Wishful Thinking", this is how the invisibility of one of the users of the magic wishing well works.
  • In the Wicked Science episode "Catch Me if You Can", Elizabeth invents an invisibility gel that doesn't work on clothes, so she walks around school in the nude to spy on Toby's date with Nikky for much of the boy's embarrassment when he realizes it. As the episode ends, however, she is locked outside the shop where she put her clothes and the rain makes her visible again, leaving her totally exposed.
  • On The Flash, this is how the Earth-2 version of Linda Park/Dr. Light escapes her capture by the heroes. Her cell seems empty except for her helmet and suit, and then she escapes when people investigate.
  • Invisibility not affecting clothes is played straight with Translucent in The Boys.

    Music Videos 
  • The French band Neïmo use this trope in the video for their song "Hot Girl".
  • In the video of I'm The Urban Spaceman from The Innes Book of Records, the singer is invisible but his clothes aren't. He's never seen (or unseen) completely nude, but when he gets out of bed he's clearly not wearing anything below the waist.

  • In Sequinox, Hannah suggests doing this in the monster world since she's an invisible woman. The others shoot it down.


    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Even Princess Peach gets in on this one. In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, she has to sneak into the X-Naut leader's office by using an invisibility potion. Of course, she doesn't realize until it's too late that her clothing won't be affected. She does remember to dress back up before she drinks the potion that will make her visible again; it is an E-rated game, after all.
  • In Microforum International's mobile phone games The Invisible Man and The Invisible Lady, the player character is nude and invisible, and must collect clothing and four antidote ingredients to become visible again.
  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin and Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia feature an enemy called "Invisible Man", who is wearing a trenchcoat, hat, and pants when you enter the room, but he quickly drops them and charges at you, naked and invisible. (You can still make him out by his blurry outline.)
  • Invisibility in Minecraft is useless if the player insists on wearing their armor. While undressing from armor may not be a problem for a player, some mobs have natural "armor" that makes them visible whether they are inflicted with the status effect or not.
  • Adventures in the Galaxy of Fantabulous Wonderment: Hole, the communications officer, is invisible except for his eyebrows. He's sometimes called upon to get naked for stealth purposes, but he's very much not happy about it.
  • The residents of Raincliff in the Mystery Trackers installment Raincliff's Phantoms are all afflicted in this way, and cover themselves from head to toe in order to conceal their invisibility.
    • This carries over into Detectives United, a Crisis Crossover spinoff, in which one of the eponymous detectives is Agent Brown. He's a native of Raincliff and has been invisible since childhood. The series doesn't call much attention to the streaking aspect, but it's there.

    Web Comics 
  • Averted in Enjuhneer: Kaji, the invisible roommate, gets offended early in the series when someone assumes she's walking around nude (she later wears a Santa cap to show where she is). Possibly averted, however, as later she insists that she "even bothered to put on pants" when she was forced out into public.
  • Played with in Alien Loves Predator, where Preston's cloaking device doesn't affect his clothes or glasses, but he doesn't notice, and can't understand why people can see him.
  • The Young Protectors plays this completely straight. While Kyle is on a date in Hong Kong with Duncan, two vigilante heroes crash the restaurant to take out Duncan or pretend to do so, on Duncan's orders; Kyle is instructed by Duncan to leave and promptly gets a bag of invisibility powder tossed on him. Unfortunately, his clothing is still visible, prompting him to frantically strip as he (blue and naked for our viewing convenience) runs through the streets of Hong Kong. When it wears off, naturally, he's standing in front of Duncan.
  • We only see the aftermath, but this strip of German webcomic Notfunny Cartoons (mildly NSFW) shows two old scientists waiting at a bus stop stark naked, with their dialogue implying that they were field-testing some kind of invisibility experiment this way when it ran out on them. Here's a rough translation:
    Scientist 1: All right, you were right. The invisibility machine only makes you invisible for two hours.
    Scientist 2: [happily] I WAS RIGHT!
  • In Grim Tales from Down Below, Manny's first thoughts after learning about his invisibility powers is to do this, even though he can turn his clothes invisible along with himself.
  • The Invisible Naked Man in Basic Instructions uses this to his advantage.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • Mr. & Mrs. Invisible is an ongoing sci-fi/comedy story about a couple who become invisible after they drink an exotic herbal tea.

    Western Animation 
  • South Park: The episode "Good Times with Weapons" has Cartman trying to do this. Which turns out badly — he got so caught up in the mission that he forgot he and his friends were only pretending to be ninjas with superpowers.
  • Skinner Boys: In "The Curse of Invisibility" the magical artifact the kids find is a bracelet that allows the user to turn invisible, insert The Lord of the Rings joke here. Except the person who uses it has to be naked to be at their most effective. Did they mention that this person is a child?
  • Invader Zim: Inverted, much like the case of Wonder Woman's infamous invisible jet, when the cloaking device on the Megadoomer makes the vehicle invisible but the pilot can be seen floating in the air as the transparent mecha stomps down the street. Hilarity Ensues.
  • On SpongeBob SquarePants, SpongeBob and Patrick buy an invisibility spray and take off their clothes before using it because the spray stains clothes. Of course, being the imbeciles they are, they end up spraying their clothes anyway.
  • Totally Spies!: The villain in "Evil Boyfriend" does this after consuming an invisibility formula. However, for some reason, he is clothed when he turns visible again.
  • The Big Knights: The Knights use magic invisibility hats to go spying in a neighboring kingdom, and have to remove their armor and underwear to remain invisible. It's not terribly effective, as they aren't the brightest pair and still stomp around bellowing and waving their swords, even doffing their hats to a group of shocked nuns.
  • In Courage the Cowardly Dog, Eustace is forced to strip when he has to turn invisible to save Muriel from the government in the episode "Invisible Muriel". He keeps wearing his hat and glasses though and the guards don't think anything is strange. Oddly enough, when Eustace gets turned into a gold statue, he's wearing boxers.
  • The Replacements had Todd become one in the episode Todd Busters, when he used Agent K's invisibility hat. For unexplained reasons the hat itself does turn invisible along with the wearer, but the rest of his clothes don't, so he has to take them off. In the end, he loses the hat and is exposed nude to an audience.
  • Sid the Invisible Kid from Gravedale High apparently doesn't wear pants, as all the rest of his clothes are visible.
  • On The Cleveland Show, Rollo is told he's invisible and spends the rest of the episode running around naked, trying to play pranks on people. It's unclear whether he thinks he has to take off his clothes to remain unseen or whether he just wants to do it, given that supposedly no one can see him.
  • The writers totally screwed this up in one episode of The Jetsons where George is turned invisible by one of Mr. Spacely's inventions and needs to fix it to turn visible. At first, it doesn't work on his clothes, and he has to take them off to sneak around invisible. However, at certain times in the cartoon the effect wears off, and in a couple of scenes, he's naked (only the top half of his body visible, of course) while in others he's fully clothed, wearing his usual outfit.
  • In The Addams Family episode "Hide and Go Lurch", one of the ways Gomez and Fester attempted to prevent Lurch from finding them was by turning themselves invisible. The invisibility formula didn't affect their clothes, so they had to disrobe, only for Lurch to again succeed in finding them.
  • Both averted and inverted in the DuckTales (1987) episode All Ducks on Deck. The navy is planning on unveiling a new fighter jet that can turn invisible. Admiral Grimitz explains as the plane lands that the engineers knew that the pilot would be visible like Wonder Woman's invisible jet and so they had designed a special flight suit that made the pilot invisible too. Later on, Scrooge and Launchpad steal the jet back from the Phantom Blot and are on their way back to Donald's carrier when Launchpad accidentally activates the invisibility function, and since neither Scrooge nor Launchpad are wearing the flight suit they look like two ducks flying through the air in a sitting position.


Video Example(s):


Why Does This Happen To Me?

Susan finds herself in many fanservice situations during the Fantastic Four movies, much to her distress.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (41 votes)

Example of:

Main / ReluctantFanserviceGirl

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