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Loafing in Full Costume

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Sometimes a Superhero (or villain) will be doing completely mundane things like fishing or shopping or just hanging around the house, but he'll still be in full costume. In some works, particularly in comedies, this is a form of Limited Wardrobe: the hero has no other identity, and thus no other clothes. Fans who put a lot of thought into it, though, will wonder why the hero doesn't at least change into civvies when he's trying to blend in with the other guys in the food court. If the hero actually has a civilian identity, then there is of course no excuse.


This can also apply to certain kinds of uniforms, provided that they don't too-closely resemble civilian clothing to the point where it's not at all impractical to leave them on. If it's a school uniform, that's its own trope.

Very common in animated series, as new animation models are expensive.

Compare Limited Wardrobe and 24-Hour Armor.


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  • In American Express ads, Superman (in costume) has lunch with Jerry Seinfeld, himself a lifelong Superman fan, in a diner and walks around with him in public.
  • A DirecTV commercial featured a city overrun with crime and disasters. The next cut is a superhero in full costume watching TV and ignoring the telephone.

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Tentai Senshi Sunred, the hero characters always wear at least their masks all the time, if not their whole costumes.
  • In Ratman, the evil organization's mooks, the Jackies, spend all their time in skeleton costumes. They even bathe with them on!
  • One-Punch Man shows Saitama wearing his costume while grocery shopping.

    Comic Books 
  • Mini Marvels: Anyone who has a costume wears it full-time. Spider-Man somehow manages to work in the Daily Bugle in full costume while J. Jonah Jameson does not recognize him. Same applies to Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote.
  • Pre-Crisis Superman was a big offender. In War World, he's lounging in his home, in costume, when Mongul shows up.
  • Post-Crisis Supergirl had no secret identity for over one year since her arrival in Earth. She spent all of her time wearing her costume and performing heroics, to the point her cousin grew concerned and talked her into creating her own secret identity in order to avoid a burnout.
  • This was common in The Dark Age of Comic Books when creators seemed to give up on having characters with secret identities and so all costumed heroes were shown in costume all the time. See early Youngblood for one example.
  • This happens often in Marvel Comics, since, even though many heroes' identities are common knowledge, it's still more or less their official jobs. Seen here, when Spider-Man had lost his Spider-Sense, in the lead-up to Spider-Island.
  • In the first issues of the New 52 Aquaman series, the title character is quickly established to not really have much of a secret identity, to the point of going to a seafood restaurant with his girlfriend in full costume, to the extreme embarrassment of the restaurant workers.
  • Booster Gold at one point had to deal with living with his ancestor, Daniel Carter, who took to lounging around all day in the Supernova costume. His lifestyle of nothing but junk food and video games on the couch would ruin his athletic physique if the suit wasn't an advanced time machine that time looped his body (which makes the aforementioned junk food eating redundant).


  • A Russian Urban Legend tells about an actor who played Stalin and liked bar-hopping in his Stalin costume.

    Live Action TV 
  • Very common in Star Trek shows, where crew members wear their uniforms when off duty, on leave, even asleep on some occasions; this sometimes makes it jarring when they do dress to lounge (like Uhura in "The Tholian Web"). This was at least partly from budgetary concerns—TOS was famously strapped for cash, and even on Star Trek: Voyager they sometimes only had the money for one futuristic set of pajamas. However, the next gen shows did avert it when appropriate, as often as they could. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine had plenty of scenes in civvies as not all main characters were Starfleet officers, and Star Trek: Enterprise managed this because their civvies were things like slightly-futuristic polo shirts.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. Captain Janeway does this a lot (there are exceptions) to show her workaholic nature. Budget was still a factor - a scene involving B'Elanna Torres and Captain Janeway having a discussion in their pajamas had to be dropped because they could only afford to create one 'futuristic' set of pajamas. Usually they downplay this trope by having her wear her undershirt. And there are never any people in civilian clothes strolling in the corridors (unless they're coming directly from the holodeck) like you'd sometimes see in TNG and the Original Series. Ronald D. Moore complained about the latter, as he felt it worked against the premise of Voyager being stranded in the Delta Quadrant, as opposed to being just a place of work.
  • Angel. Played for Laughs in "The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco", about a vigilante team of Masked Luchadors. A flashback scene shows them in their glory days chilling out, lifting weights, or romancing women with their masks on.
    Angel: Wait a second. So you guys always wore your masks?
    Numero Cinco: What you are failing to see, my friend, is that we had to be ever-vigilant, ready for action at a moment's notice.


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • On The Tick, superheroes wear their costumes all the time.
  • In the Teen Titans animated series, the creators didn't want the characters to have secret identities or alter egos, so the heroes were in full costume all the time. Robin was also never seen without a mask or dark sunglasses to cover his eyes, even when he was in disguise. Hell, they're even shown sleeping in full costume. In one episode in particular, while Robin is away trying to be trained by the "True Master" of martial arts, the rest of the Titans raid his closet for outfits. It's nothing but his costume.
  • The ¡Mucha Lucha! kids — and their parents — were in luchador regalia all the time. One episode had Rikochet lose his mask and act as if he were naked without it.
  • In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Batman (as well as most of the other heroes) is in costume almost all the time, but it's justified because he's on the job all the time and the show simply doesn't deal with his secret identity. However, when he underwent a Literal Split Personality, even "Slacker Batman" elected to keep the Batman persona, and lounged around the Batcave in full costume eating nachos.
  • Freakazoid!. Early on in the show he went back and forth between his civilian and superhero identities, but as time went on, he spent more time as Freakazoid and less as Dexter Douglas.
  • Mini-example: In a Superman theatrical cartoon, a baddie was going around pretending to be Superman while committing robberies and such. We see him at one point slouching in a chair in his hideout, smoking a cigarette, in full Superman costume.
  • One episode of The Spectacular Spider-Man begins with Peter sleeping in his costume, sans mask. Aunt May knocks and starts to open the door, causing him to freak out, throw the comforter over himself and sputter that he's "not decent."

    Real Life 
  • Inevitable at pop culture conventions. Pictures of cosplayers eating, drinking, having a smoke break etc. in costume is practically a subgenre of cosplay photography.
  • Military Service. On bases where personnel are stationed full time, it’s not unusual for off-duty service persons to stay in their uniforms.
  • There are certain types of fetishization that revolve around clothing, including superhero costumes and various uniforms. In those cases, the clothes staying on is part of the appeal.