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"The center of the Boob is the source of its power. It is so powerful in fact that society does not permit its public display for fear of widespread anarchy, and mass headsplosions."

Though media can safely display 99% of the female breastnote  and every part of the male breast, female nipplesnote  almost guarantee an R rating from the MPAA. The sight of it is so Harmful to Minors that you must click a release to see it on the Internet. (Never mind that mammalian nipples actually help nurture minor children instead of harming them.) The United States Supreme Court upheld an ordinance requiring strippers to cover it under a pastie. note  Indeed, the very sight of the female nipple is so damaging to the male psyche that the cost of healing their psychological damage is $550,000 if you let one slip at halftime during the Super Bowl.


What exposure counts as indecent is a product of a society's mindset more than any underlying human cause. Different cultures certainly have different nudity taboos, and one sometimes gets the feeling in the United States that people from other regions are laughing at the prudery behind our backs, especially Europe. This works the other way round as well; in the western world, a woman can show her legs without legal problems, but in some other cultures this is as taboo as the nipple is for the US (and it used to be taboo in the Anglosphere too—see the Old-Timey Ankle Taboo).

When it comes to prepubescent girls, it's a bit complicated. On one hand, since the breasts aren't present and children's features are androgynous, female babies and toddlers can be considered non-sexual. On the other hand, since the female nipple is so sexualized, the practice of covering the female nipple from infancy onward might still be in place. The producers may think it better to play it safe than be slapped with child pornography accusations. Cultures vary on this view.


Quite often, covering up the nipples, even in otherwise sexually explicit productions, is done at the request of the actress in the belief that some modesty is still preserved by doing so.

For some strange reason, men are completely exempt from this trope at all ages, even overweight men whose breasts would be much larger than a petite woman's. However, philosophizing on the reasons for this age-old Double Standard is the topic of dissertations and goes well beyond the scope of this wiki.

See also: Thong of Shielding, Godiva Hair, Seashell Bra, and Barbie Doll Anatomy.


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    Anime and Manga 


  • Inverted with Rumiko Takahashi, who has no qualms against displaying nipples on most female characters in her series, prominently Ranma ½. It's her male characters that inexplicably don't have nipples. The manga of Inuyasha similarly shows Kagome bathing nude in the sixth chapter, though the anime is bowdlerized. Urusei Yatsura similarly has an early scene where Lum's nipples are glimpsed briefly after Ataru rips off her bikini top. The anime version ran into some trouble with Moral Guardians over this scene, which Mamoru Oshii had reportedly refused to censor despite broadcaster Fuji TV's requests (Oshii would later deny being asked to censor the scene).
  • Same goes to Masami Kurumada, he has no problem giving his female characters nipples while his male characters don't.

Individual series

  • Ayakashi Triangle generally follows the same rules as the artist's previous work To Love Ru, where nipples are shown in the volumes but not the magazine. However, the serialized version has them airbrushed and/or lightened instead of entirely erased, sometimes leaving a surprising amount of detail.
  • B Gata H Kei is an interesting example. The anime, rated TV-MA, could probably get away with all the nipples it wanted, but most of the series employs various forms of censorship to keep things PG note . This was probably the right call, as the focus of the show is on comedy (which the censorship sometimes aids), not titillation. The only exception occurs in the final episode, wherein main characters Yamada and Kosuda come the closest they ever get in the series to finally having sex. The reveal of her uncensored chest after a slow pan is particularly brilliant because the unexpected lack of a Gag Censor not only lends a sincerity appropriate to the intimate moment, but also coincides with Kosuda's first clear look at her naked form.
  • A Centaur's Life shows nipples regardless of the characters' age.
  • Claymore involves Eldritch Abomination women with nipples.
  • In a single panel of the pilot chapter of Miki Yoshikawa's manga A Couple of Cuckoos, the female protagonist is shown as a baby, and her nipples are clearly visible. This is changed in the edited first chapter so that her swaddling clothes are covering her nipples. Apparently, Yoshikawa's editor objected to even a baby's nipples just because they belonged to a girl.
  • The localized version of Cross Ange added Censor Steam to Bowdlerize the not-uncommon bath scenes, which was completely pointless because the female cast had been drawn without nipples anyway.
  • Cowboy Bebop: While the series has its share of fanservice (courtesy of Faye Valentine), actual nudity comes up very rarely, and is mostly limited to covers of porn maganizes or posters of nude women In-Universe. The models in the photos are never drawn in any level of detail beyond Barbie Doll Anatomy, and the audience is never given a closer look at them.
    • In the beginning of "My Funny Valentine", Faye is briefly shown in a flashback to be nude as she slept in a cryogenic capsule. Her breasts are obscured by conveniently-placed reflections of light on the glass casing of the capsule.
    • The only time this trope ever gets averted is a Shower Scene during the two-part episode "Jupiter Jazz", where Long-Haired Pretty Boy Gren Eckener is revealed to have undergone gynecomastia as a result of drug abuse in the past. Since Gren is still a male character rather than female, his fully-developed breasts in said scene are shown completely bare without any censorship.
  • A couple of episodes in the 80's series of Doraemon show Shizuka taking a bath naked with no use of Barbie Doll Anatomy. There's absolutely nothing else sexual about the scenes (starting with the fact that Shizuka is an elementary schooler), but regardless, the remake series added in Censor Steam. The English dub aired on Disney XD included one episode where "Sue" visits a hot spring and digitally altered all bathing scenes so that she wore a swimsuit.
  • DARLING in the FRANXX avoids showing female nipples mainly via camera angles, Hand-or-Object Underwear, clingy Godiva Hair, or Scenery Censorship. However, the Hotter and Sexier manga adaptation (by Kentaro Yabuki, the same artist as To Love Ru below) ignores this.
  • In Dragon Ball, men who don't look too alien have nipples. Early in the series, Bulma's nipples were reveals a few times (when Yamcha was accidentally peeping her in the bath, and when Kuririn/Krilin flashed her boobs). The anime version of Bulma in the shower does censor Bulma's nipples through a light reflection on a window.
  • Elfen Lied is famous for its nudity, Moe and Gorn elements.
  • In Fairy Tail, male characters have nipples. The female characters do not (even though these non-existent nipples are still sometimes covered up by steam or hair). One exception, though, is the fifth OVA where Flare gives Lucy a nipple twister in an Imagine Spot. You still don't see Lucy's nipples, but it's quite obvious from the way Flare's holding her that it is a nipple twister.
  • None of the male characters of the Kyoto Animation series Free! have nipples. This is made blatantly obvious since every episode involves the boys stripping half naked (for the sake of swimming! Or track! Or... or something!).
  • Hevn-san from Get Backers is a curious case—when she wears a shirt that covers most of her breasts (okay, part of) her nipples are clearly outlined under the cloth...yet when she wears more revealing shirts, the part of her breasts where the nipples were before are now somehow blank. The mangaka's notes mention that he was allowed to get away with drawing exposed boobs so long as he didn't include nipples.
  • Ghost in the Shell:
    • In the original Ghost in the Shell manga, the android inside which the Puppeteer escapes from custody is a female model and is shown with all secondary sexual characteristics visible. However, the liner notes for the second manga volume, Man-Machine Interface state that Shirow Masamune stopped drawing Motoko's nipples for a while in the third act (when she spends a lot of time diving) to save time. Her actual body appears once as a Human Popsicle and is drawn fully nude with nipples and pubes.
    • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
      • The show gets rather creative when it comes to not showing nipples, to the point where one begins to wonder if the Major even has them. For example. (borders on NSFW.) Confoundedly, they'll show pretty much everything else, and nipples on androids are A-OK. Ostensibly this is because Motoko is a living character in the show. The nipples shown during the construction of androids is ok because they are not animated yet. Think of it like old Greek art sculptures. They don't move or aren't moving yet, so society has no problem with showing it.
      • They really stretch the limits in the show, sometimes. In one episode you see a crook being questioned watching porn while answering the questions; you see the reflection of the screen on his sunglasses, which just barely avoids showing the entire act, and does show the female actor's nipples. But since it's just a vague reflection, it's still OK.
  • Elfen Lied's Spiritual Successor Brynhildr in the Darkness averts this in the manga by censoring nipples. The DVD and Blu-ray version of the anime plays it straight.
  • Golgo 13 has always gotten away with exposed nipples.
  • You see nipples everywhere in High School D×D, but no genitals.
  • In the Dark Continent arc of Hunter × Hunter, Kakin's king, Nasubi Hui Gu Ruo, is guarded by a grotesque Nen beast that's a combination of insect body parts and has several breasts with long, erect nipples.
  • In one episode of Hitotsuboshi-ke no Ultra Baasan (Ultra Granny of the Hitotsuboshi Family), a now-very obscure Knack Productions show from 1982, grade-schooler Yukiko is despondent about being flat-chested - especially after she sees what a nice figure (nipples and all) her teacher has - and gets the titular Ultra Granny to try to help her increase her bust size. The episode features a Fantasy Sequence in which Yukiko pictures herself as a mermaid with a fully developed chest, nipples and all. The whole wacky business can be seen on Youtube.
  • Ikki Tousen, being a fairly deep retelling of Romance of the Three Kingdoms masquerading as softcore porn, dips into this all the time.
  • Kanokon's OVA and Omakes have no problem showing nipples.
  • In the sex scenes of Kasei Yakyoku, female nipples are clearly shown. Specially obvious in the third OAV, when Taka and Sara spend a whole night of sex and we clearly see the naked Sara's nipples. When she puts on a robe and keeps it open after they do the deed, there are shots when she's a little more covered and others when she isn't; there's even a close-up of her left nipple as Taka buries his face on her breasts.
  • Played with in Kill la Kill. The males have their nipples clearly visible (Mikisugi's actually glow for no stated reason), but the girls do not. Usually this is justified by convenient Censor Steam and Scenery Censors, just like with the other part of the male anatomy, but in the very last episode, everyone is stripped naked, with the girls' nipples being noticeably absent when the boys' aren't.
  • Lupin III show several times nipples with Fujiko naturally as primary examples, especially in the movies and special as the movie Lupin III: The Secret of Twilight Gemini that has many naked scenes. And not forget the series Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine where she is naked almost once an episode and nipple are always visible.
  • As though celebrating its move to a magazine with presumably laxer censorship guidelines, the first chapter of Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force has nipple shots of new character Lily. Note that the supplementary manga for previous seasons, which were released in another magazine, used Barbie Doll Anatomy all the way. And nipples appear again in later chapters.
    • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid also features nipples outside from transformation sequences, unless the characters in question are or look too young.
    • The Movies are extremely inconsistent with this. The first movie gives Nanoha nipples for her transformation sequence, but Fate's chest is blank during hers. In the second movie, both Nanoha and Fate get to show their nipples, but Hayate and Reinforce do not. And for both Reflection and Detonation, Barbie Doll Anatomy is in full effect. Note, this only applies to the DVD and Blu-ray versions; the theatrical release of all four movies employ Barbie Doll Anatomy.
  • Mahoromatic has no objections to showing female nipples. They're shown at least once every 3 chapters, and in every episode. The series has a LOT of Clothing Damage, so much that in some cases the only thing left on the girl is an almost non-existent scrap of cloth covering the vagina.
  • In Miss Machiko, Machiko's nipples are openly visible, even in the opening.
  • Sayaka in Mazinkaiser when her bikini top is pulled off; brief scene with very prominent nipples. Same for when the three androids from episode 3 are destroyed.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi. Due to the incredible amounts of Clothing Damage, this has practically become one of Ken Akamatsu's stylistic signatures. Although he has an excuse, as the magazine that published Negima wouldn't allow nipples to be shown. They're okay now, but it would be weird if everybody suddenly gained nipples halfway through the manga.
  • Anko in Naruto wears a fishnet top. Apparently she has no nipples.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion always resorted to using Barbie Doll Anatomy (except in the director's cut versions of a few episodes). End of Evangelion was the first instance of a nipple drawn, on Rei no less - it was a horror film not intended for minors. The Rebuild series however, don't shy away from the matter anymore (since it's shown in theaters): in the two films that came out so far, Rei flashed us no less than four times and even Asuka got a few frames of accidental exposure.
    • Asuka was exposed as well in End of Evangelion when Shinji shook her too hard, but it was offset by the fact that she was comatose.
    • The manga adaptation, on the other hand, had nipples drawn on nude female characters from the start.
    • Also, the Shinji Ikari Raising Project manga showcased nipples on female characters as well, though the lower regions of their bodies were either covered up by someone else or via Censor Steam in full frontal shots.
  • Himari from Omamori Himari manages to show nipple before the fifth chapter is over. Then again, you'd expect no less from that series.
  • Male nipples are fair game in One Piece - they are usually drawn, and Franky even has a technique outright called "Nipple Lights". When Robin is strip-searched by the dwarves in the Dressrosa arc, it was originally the plan that they would mention searching her "Zone B", which is, in Japanese, pronounced almost like the Japanese word for nipples. But apparently, the editor thought even the mere mention of female nipples was too obscene, so another word for "zone" ended up being used that eliminated the pun. Still, the fact that they search her boobs isn't hidden.
    • In One Piece Film: Gold Episode 000, you actually see Robin's nipples as seen here.
  • When Outlaw Star's previously unaired "Hot Springs Planet Tenrei" episode was finally shown on Toonami, the only censorship applied was the airbrushing of Aisha's nipples.
  • Paprika: Atsuko's nipples are visible for several seconds after Osanai tears off Paprika's skin to reveal the naked Chiba beneath. Konakawa eventually covers her up with his jacket.
  • The main character of Pretty Face is male, but has to assume a female identity. One chapter revolves around his acquisition of fake breasts. When the fakes are first shown, they're completely uncensored and the nipples are drawn. However, as soon as the (again, male) hero puts them on, they're magically censored and remain such for the rest of the chapter. Apparently, anything resembling a woman's nipples is verboten.
    • Made even more confusing in a later chapter where the main character is at an onsen wearing said breasts, with no censorship whatsoever of anyone's nipples, real or otherwise.
  • Queen's Blade generally has no shame about nipple exposure (getting attacked often leads to the fighters' tops coming off, just for starters), but then there are also times where they go out of the way to avoid it for some reason. Melona, for instance, toys with Godiva Hair by having her hair morph into hands which generally keep her nipples covered, or are used for her acidic lactation attacks. Pirate Queen Lilliana from Rebellion has tiny starfish on her nipples that only come off in a bath scene. And Menace generally just has Underboobs with her short metal necklace, but the DVD release of one of the ending themes actually has her nipples visible every time she takes a step.
  • Rosario + Vampire once has an originally male Doppelgänger masquerade as the extremely well-endowed Kurumu, and he flashes Tsukune and the readers in mid-battle. Though in the American release the Doppelgänger inexplicably acquires a bra.
  • In Stop Hibari Kun, Hibari's nemesis Kaori and her Girl Posse, after noticing that Hibari seems unusually standoffish whenever she changes for P.E., begin to suspect that Hibari (who was born with male organs) is actually a boy. They get the shock of their lives when Hibari takes off her bra in front of them to reveal a fully formed bosom complete with nipples. It's actually Hibari's sister Tsubame, disguised as Hibari.
  • Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie is famous for showing of Chun-Li's nipples during her Shower Scene.
  • The final battle of the second Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann film decided to show Yoko and Nia's breasts uncensored in several shots from the Tengen Toppa Ganmen sequence onwards; amusingly, Yoko's clothing (minimal though it was) seems to completely disappear just for the sequence. Considering how badass and Hot-Blooded the sequence is, you'd be forgiven for not noticing them.
  • Averted in Tiger & Bunny. Whenever Barnaby or Kotetsu is shown shirtless they do in fact have nipples; in a fairly realistic portrayal, no extra attention is given to this fact.
  • Applies to all the Time Bokan series, especially to the villainesses that regularly end up half-naked.
    • Doronjo from the classic Yatterman series and OVA is the most famous example; special mention to episode 54 where there is a very detailed close-up of Doronjo's nipple. Averted in the 2008 remake and live-action movie.
  • To Love Ru:
    • The first manga almost completely erases nipples in the magazine version, but has them fully drawn in the volume version. Darkness, the Hotter and Sexier sequel in an older-skewing magazine, fully shows nipples in both versions.
    • For some bizarre reason, the second anime avoids this with one exception: Mikan and Yami lack nipples. Even though the even younger-looking Nana has them.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, the standard rules of male nipples being shown but female nipples concealed by various means is generally followed. However, the opening scene of the anime stands out as unusual for having Rize completely naked, and concealed in shadows. Which seems silly, since the outline of her erect nipples is plainly visible when she stands in profile.
  • Torture Princess: Fremd Torturchen:
  • Usagi-chan de Cue!!: Not even slightly. There are four main female characters: Miku, Inaba, Mimika and Koshka, and all four bare their breasts at some point. For those taking inventory, all eight nipples are accountable.

    Eastern European Animation 
  • Fairy Tale Sits on the Doorstep has a scene where the main character meets a mermaid braiding seeweed, who's wearing ABSOLUTELY no clothing at all, not even a Seashell Bra. Naturally she is this trope.
  • Hungarian Folk Tales:
    • In "The Princess Three Pigs and Three Birthmarks", the protagonist asks the princess to show her stomach and breasts in exchange for selling her the dancing pigs. Two of the three birthmarks depict the moon and the sun, and they're right over her nipples.
    • In "The Mayor's Clever Daughter", the titular character is given a riddle by the king: she must come to honor him, but she may not come on foot, ride on an animal, or sit in a coach, she must bring tribute and must not, and she must not come either dressed or naked. As if trying to mock the trope, she solves the last part by dressing down to her undershirt on top, and nothing below the waist, showcasing her buttocks and pubic hair. When the king asks why she chose to hide her bosom, instead of her private parts, she answers that her privates were gifts from God, while it was her who grew her breasts, so she's ashamed of them.

    Comic Books 
  • Dark Horse Comics's Aliens: Colonial Marines is a glaring example of this trope. Strategically placed shadows, comically gravity-defying sheets, and other such Austin-Powerisms were used all to avoid showing the female nipple - even during gratuitous sex scenes. It was even jokingly mentioned by a fan in the letters column in a early issue - "It would seem in the future no one has nipples?"
  • Black Canary was the first DC heroine to have her nipples exposed on panel in The Longbow Hunters but this apparently got a pass since she was being tortured at the time and was therefore not intended to be titillating.
  • Empowered is technically ecchi, but we never see her nipples, thanks to Godiva Hair and other tropes. Ninjette wears shuriken pasties.
  • Raven Hex, sister of the title character in Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose usually goes topless except for a pair of pasties with a long spike protruding from each one. She, and occasionally other similarly-dressed characters, still appears on the cover of the book from time to time, because, hey, her nipples are covered. (Another character, Boo Cat, actually appears on the cover entirely naked sometimes, but the jack-o-lantern pattern of her fur/skin (guess where the "pupils" are!) makes it not-entirely-obvious that she's naked to someone unfamiliar with the book.)
    • Also in "Tarot," the vampire Licorice Dust is often shown wearing live spiders as pasties.
      • This leads to a somewhat amusing incident in one issue where, as a distraction, she gets a canister of insect spray fired at her, dislodging the creatures and baring her nipples; her reaction is to cover herself with her hands and indignantly shriek "You killed my boobie spiders, you jerk!!"
  • Danish comic Valhalla generally does not shy away from showing female nipples, though sometimes it goes into Scenery Censor territory. Freya in particular switches back and forth between the two — she gets a few nude scenes in the comic, where she'll on some pages cover up with Modesty Towels or Modesty Bedsheets, and in others proudly display her naked breasts to the reader — to the point that you can't help but wonder whether she's trying to make some kind of statement about this trope.
  • In the Yoko Tsuno album "On The Edge of Life'', young Magda spends most of the album floating around in a life-preserving tank wearing only a diaper, but her nipples are entirely obscured by the devices attached to her chest.
  • During his tenure as the artist on Uncanny X-Men, John Byrne sneaked in panels on which Jean Grey's nipple can be glimpsed pushing up inside her Phoenix costume when starting to let loose with her powers, implying that Phoenix's power releases gave her sexual turn-ons.
  • Vampirella: Feary Tales puts the eponymous character - whose regular outfit is already risque in a costume that consists of a cloak, pasties, thong and boots.

    Films — Animation 
  • Fantasia:
    • The female centaurs are shown bathing bare-breasted, although they have no nipples. The flower necklaces they wear often don't help either.
      • During the live action Disney Studio tour sequence in The Reluctant Dragon, Robert Benchley takes a considerable interest in maquettes (reference statuettes) of the topless centaurs - including the offensively-sterotyped black centaur Sunflower.
    • The "Night on Bald Mountain" sequence has several split-second shots of harpies with visible nipples. It's interesting to note that when footage of this segment was used in the Disneyland show Fantasmic!, it was carefully edited so as to avoid showing the harpies.
  • The PG-13 The Triplets of Belleville features an animated version of Josephine Baker, a black entertainer in the 1920s whose costume consisted of little more than a skirt made of bananas.
  • Subverted for the first time ever in a Disney film in Moana, as the toddler Moana in the opening sequence isn't wearing a top, and thus her nipples are clearly visible. This is apparently only acceptable for the very young girls on the island, as those who appear to be over 6 or so wear tops like the teenage girls and women.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A Fine Mess: We see the top of Claudia (Maria Conchita Alonso)'s breasts and the side of her right breast on top of Spence (Ted Danson) but nothing more.
  • Avatar covers nipples most of the time with necklaces and hunting paraphernalia, but a glimpse of blue nipple can be seen occasionally when the necklaces are moving around. It walked away with a PG-13/12A due to them being not sexualized but just there, as with African tribeswomen.
  • Referenced in the Eddie Murphy film Boomerang where a perfume commercial (featuring a character played by Grace Jones) is being edited and the main characters go to great lengths to figure out whether a shot of her bare chest features a nipple. Eddie Murphy's character insists it's just a shadow. Eventually, the editor does a close-up and declares "It's a nipple, 'cause I'm drooling."
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula has Dracula's brides topless when they molest Keanu...err...Jonathan Harker. But they get tops on in the broadcast TV version. It is also noticeable that there are five major female characters in this movie: the three brides, Lucy, and Mina. Of these, only Mina doesn't have a topless scene (she does have a transparent nightgown scene, though); incidentally, she's the only character played by an American actress.
  • Lina Esco's film Free The Nipple tackles this trope head-on, which is about feminist activists protesting the double standard at hand with going topless in public.
  • Double subversion in Mallrats. Brodie talks T.S. into visiting Ivannah the topless fortune teller for obvious reasons. She duly disrobes, revealing a very conspicuous third nipple which utterly disgusts Brodie while T.S. becomes fascinated with her fortune-telling abilities—complete with lingering close-ups of her unusual "fortune." After they leave, she reveals the third nipple as fake and pulls it off.
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian played with this nicely when showing Judith the morning after, with her appealing body unclothed except for strands of Bible Hair (Godiva Hair as worn by Eve) neatly covering her nipples while her voluminous shrubbery is fully exposed (this is seconds after Male Frontal Nudity).
  • Monty Python's The Meaning of Life: The narrator warns you within the first minute that there's "lots of tits and ass", so... well, they warned us...
    • "The End of Life" sketches include one where a condemned man is executed by being chased to his death — specifically, run off a cliff — by a horde of attractive women wearing nothing but boxing helmets, footwear, and g-strings.
    • The closing musical number "Christmas in Heaven" features an assortment of female angels with cut-outs over their breasts. According to the DVD commentary the Pythons originally planned for them all to be fully topless, but the actresses balked.
  • The nude swimming scene in Oblivion (2013), showing off pretty much everything they could of Andrea Riseborough and still have a PG-13 rating - including light shining through her thigh gap.
  • Scrooged had a Solid Gold Dancer in the Show Within a Show live Christmas special, whose areolas were "just barely" visible over her neckline— "And these guys are really looking!"
  • There are a couple brief moments of toplessness in Return of the Jedi: two of the dancing girls performing for Jabba the Hutt, Oola and Lyn Me, shimmy a bit too vigorously and have nip slips. This was not noticed in the editing room and has been left in all airings since, including the high-definition rereleases.
  • The Iron Lady received a PG-13 rating from the MPAA despite a brief clip of topless women in the form of Stock Footage.
  • In the X-Men Film Series, Rebecca Romijn and Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique have either no nipples or they are covered by their natural "scales".
  • The first TV screenings of the war film Zulu cheerfully screened the film in its entirety, including the mass wedding sequence near the start where several hundred Zulu warriors dance their way into wedlock with a line of several hundred very exuberantly bouncy Zulu maidens. On the hitherto mentioned African tribeswomen principle, this protracted scene of southern African pulchritude was always left in, regardless of the time of day of screening, throughout the 1970's, 1980's, and 1990's. Yet in the early 2000's, all this abruptly changed and British TV adopted a strictly censored version with all the bouncy toplessness left out. There was no clear reason given for this change of mind on the part of the broadcasters, and it was noticeable that later graphic scenes depicting mass slaughter of Zulu warriors under concentrated British rifles were left in.
  • Similar revisionism on the part of the ITV network saw edits to the nudge-nudge double-entendre-laden movie Carry On Camping. The film opens with sex-starved leery Sid James and Bernard Bresslaw taking their girlfriends to the screening of one of those 1950s nudist movies. Their intent is to soften the girls up to visiting a nudist camp. For most of the period 1975 — 2010, TV screenings of this film shrugged and allowed the extracts from the nudist film to be broadcast uncensored, on the grounds that this is about as sexually arousing as a cup of cold tea. But in December 2013, ITV abruptly censored out these extracts, leaving the early part of the film somewhat lopsided. You see the character reaction, but not what they are reacting to. When approached to explain, ITV explained that as a family network, they had obligations to a family audience. They did not explain why previously they had let the scenes stand, and felt no such obligation then... The scene where Barbara Windsor's bikini top flies off and a nipple is briefly exposed was allowed to stand, though.
    • It isn't just Carry On films: big-screen tie-ins to TV series featuring British comedians of The '60s and The '70s took advantage of cinema being more liberal than television, and invariably added a few moments of gratuitious nudity that ITV and the BBC would never have permitted on the small screen. When these came to TV later, mores had changed and initially the nudity was allowed to pass without comment - largely on the "about as arousing as cold custard" principle. However, in the 2010's and into 2020, not just the two big players, but also the smaller nostalgia-based TV stations, have either edited out the nudity completely, or else edited in some large and intrusive censor bars.
  • Happens with Columbia during a few scenes in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. When she's in pajamas, during the scene where she confronts Frank, she has a hole in her top and one nipple makes a covertnote  appearance. During the "Rose Tint my World" and "Don't Dream It Be It" scenes, when she's wearing a corset, her nipples are intermittently visible above the bodice. Richard O'Brien and Patricia Quinn discuss it on the commentary as a form of exhibitionism on the actress' part. O'Brien had always assumed that she did it by accident but Quinn tells him that Nell Campbell would practice it in their trailer.
  • Surprisingly averted in Clash of the Titans where Perseus's mother is shown topless while she's breast feeding — her nipple clearly visible — and the film was rated PG. Then again it was the 80s (and the PG-13 rating hadn't been created yet).
  • The Woman in Red: Charlotte is never shown topless from the front, which is balanced by the scene of pubic hair when Charlotte frantically gets out of bed when her husband comes home. There is a shot of her butt as well.
  • The Blue Max: Despite Ursula Andress seemingly being topless for real in several shots, a skimpy Modesty Towel never completely comes off her breasts even with all her moving around.
  • Psycho: While Alfred Hitchcock famously denied viewers any glimpse of real nudity in the iconic scene, he actually snuck in an out-of-focus glimpse of exposed breasts (of body double Marli Renfro, not of actress Janet Leigh) in the shot when the girl's hand grasps the curtain.
  • In Napoléon, the bare breasts of several dancing women at the Victims' Ball are seen.
  • Adrift (2018): At one point, Tami is shown seemingly meditating naked on the deck from behind when it starts raining, prompting her to roll onto her back, giving a brief flash as she does.
  • In The Day the Earth Caught Fire, there's a short view of one of Jeannie's nipples (in a mirror) as she is drying off after a shower.
  • The Mummy (1999) after shooting the scene where the protagonists come out of the river, it was found that Rachel Weisz's wet nightgown had gone completely transparent. In order to keep a PG-13 rating, they had to digitally cover it up.
  • Carrie runs into this with its famous shower scene:
    • The 1976 film had full frontal nudity from most of the actresses. But whenever it aired on TV, the girls either had clothes digitally added or lots of steam to cover up the nipples.
    • The 2002 film avoided showing any nipple, since it was a Made-for-TV Movie. Carrie is fully naked but lies face down on the floor for the scene to avoid showing nipples.
    • The 2013 film puts Carrie in a towel for the whole scene, because she was played by the then-underage Chloë Moretz.
  • Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County - Emmanuelle Chriqui had originally agreed to appear nude in the film. She then changed her mind, worried about what her father would say. As a compromise, the director gave her pasties to cover her nipples with. And as this is a found footage film presented as a TV report on the reel event, they are pixellated out - to make it appear as though she's topless.
  • This was initially played straight for a scene in Cabin Fever - where Marcy would be wearing a robe and then lower it to check her back in the mirror (while still covering her breasts). Cerina Vincent found that too unrealistic and volunteered to do the scene topless. She was appearing topless in several other scenes as well.
  • Averted by The Abyss. Despite the PG-13 rating Lindsay Brigman's breasts are fully exposed, with no attempt to block her nipples, while she's being resuscitated after drowning. The scene was probably allowed because the context was not sexual or erotic in any way.
  • Romeo and Juliet (1968) has a nude scene between the titular two. Juliet is covered by Godiva Hair for most of the scene, but there's a brief flash of nipple as she sits up in bed. This sparked a certain urban legend that can be found in the Real Life folder.
  • Darling Lili:
    • The film contains a scene with the protagonist doing a striptease. She ends the routine by unzipping her corset and tossing it aside as the lights go out. However if one pauses the film at the right time, her nipple is briefly visible as she steps aside.
    • There's another striptease scene that's much more sexualised - and the stripper has her breasts covered with her Nice Hat. She then leaves the stage through a beaded curtain that conveniently covers up the nipples.
  • The family movie Aquamarine is about a mermaid who forgoes a Seashell Bra for when she's in tail form. So they resort to Godiva Hair to cover everything.
  • Summer of '42 in the eventual sex scene, Dorothy is only given Toplessness from the Back as a compromise for Jennifer O'Neill - who was reluctant to do nudity.
  • The Blue Lagoon featured a fourteen-year-old Brooke Shieldsnote  appearing nude. To appease the censors, they actually glued her hair in place to avoid showing any nipples.
  • Brooke Shields did appear topless two years earlier in the film Pretty Baby, which controversially depicted a child prostitute being groomed to lose her virginity. She was twelve. The film did receive some minor edits, but those were unrelated to her nipples; pubic hair was digitally added to a nude scene (although Susan Sarandon claims she was wearing flesh-coloured panties) and a brief shot of her standing up in a bath was cut out.
  • Sandra Bullock did a nude sex scene in Fire on the Amazon, and put duct tape over her nipples so she could be sure they wouldn't be seen on camera (shadows and Godiva Hair cover the rest).
  • The Fifth Element skated with a PG-13 despite a full second after Leeloo is reconstructed From a Single Cell where one of Milla Jovovich's nipples is visible from the side, and a later topless scene where most of the view of Leeloo is blocked by two characters standing in the foreground with the actress out of focus.

  • Averted in Indiana Jones and the Peril at Delphi, when Indy spots the nipples of Professor Dorian Belecamus as she is taking a bath.
  • Lampshaded in Kitty Goes to Washington, where a female werewolf is forced to stay in a cage on live television during the night of a full moon. She gets an FCC fine for the few frames between fully clothed human and fully furred wolf while trying to save her t-shirt.
    • She's in almost as much trouble over this, as her kidnappers are for having kidnapped her... which sounds about right for this trope.
  • Played with in Philip K. Dick's The Zap Gun: It's mentioned that in the future society, family-friendly media may freely display naked female breasts (and even animate them in titillating ways), as long as no more than one breast is visible at a time.
  • Fritz Leiber has taken the mickey out of this in several stories, where women may fully expose their breasts without attracting comment, but failure to wear sufficiently concealing face masks attracts verbal abuse, police brutality and legal sanction.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: Nina was always nude after reverting from werewolf to human.
  • In Breaking Bad, in one scene, Jesse and his friends are getting lap-dances from explicitly topless women, save for pasties glued over their nipples.
  • One scene in one episode of Good Luck Charlie shows Charlie totally shirtless and wearing a "shirt diaper." Since she is a toddler, she gets off with a G or Y rating. However, Amy occasionally provided some serious Parent Service, due to wearing bras that weren't padded well enough to prevent this trope. What's really amazing is that it happened frequently. Surprisingly, no Executive Meddling occurred, and the Moral Guardians never complained.
  • In long-running soap Coronation Street, actress Sally Dynevor (Sally Webster) was renowned for her sensitive nipples and thin tops, which could detract from the drama. Now her character is a middle-aged housewife, this doesn't happen so often.
  • Roots and Shaka Zulu featured African women walking around top-free in a completely desexualized atmosphere. They were also made in 1977 and 1986, respectively. Roots followed the National Geographic Nudity rule that women in Africa could be shown topless, but the same women brought to America as slaves had to be shown clothed.
  • In its first episode, Mad Men features a stripper, who ends up taking her bra off — to reveal pastie-clad breasts.
  • In a particularly Squicky subversion, the second-season episode of CSI, "Slaves of Las Vegas," goes to great lengths to position a naked female body just so, so that her limbs cover her bits appropriately when she's found buried in a sandbox. Then, when it's time for the autopsy, no attempt is made to hide her nipples or derriere, and then the show one-ups itself by doing a TMI Cam into the breast via the nipple to show the saline implants.
    • This episode was broadcast on free-to-air television in Singapore completely uncut. If you know how strict Singapore is about things like this (Playboy magazine and its website are banned), then that's especially shocking.
  • Related: Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie didn't have a navel, or more accurately, featured a pastie-clad navel. Apparently, navels were pornographic back then.
    • Only Barbara Eden's was pornographic. A scene set on the beach shows dozens of young ladies in two-piece bathing suits, navels exposed; Barbara Eden wears a much less revealing one-piece.
    • Given the context this may have been a way to emphasize her "magical-ness". As a genie, it would stand to reason that she wouldn't have a navel - having never seen the inside of a womb.
      • Jeannie had seen the inside of a womb because she wasn't born a genie. Still, she might have lost her navel when she was turned into a genie (for refusing to marry a Jinn).
    • Star Trek: The Original Series had this problem come up as well. When they finally removed the restriction Roddenberry made a Green-Skinned Space Babe with two belly buttons as a response (he felt he was "owed" a bellybutton).
  • Parodied in Arrested Development, when Kitty flashes Michael to make a point, and a censor cloud comes up over her nipples. Then Tobias flashes Michael because...he's Tobias...and the same censor cloud comes up.
  • This is one of the various topics that Bill Maher was talking about when he was defending France from the likes of Conservative American Politicians. When Bill was going over the good parts about what France has over America (let alone in general) he mentions on Nude Beaches are much more accepted in France than in the US and in his words "Because they are not a nation of 6-year-olds who scream and giggle at pee pee parts!"
  • On an episode of Heroes, Claire is "killed" and wakes up naked on the autopsy table. They have no problem showing her opened ribcage with all her internal organs on display, but as soon as she puts herself back together, cue the camera cutaway until she puts on the Modesty Bedsheet. Hayden Panettiere was underage at the time of filming.
  • The National Geographic Channel was criticized for this with their show "Taboo". When covering non-European cultures where nudity was socially acceptable, women were shown nude. However, white women were always censored, even in contexts and societies where female nudity was not a taboo, such as public beaches in certain European nations, European media, and nudist colonies.
  • Many of the women on The Benny Hill Show wore thin shirts that clearly showed the outline of their nipples. However, in scenes featuring actual toplessness, there was always some Scenery Censor that prevented fully exposed nipples.
  • While it doesn't top Heroes for sheer Squick, Sanctuary is more audaciously spineless, if you'll pardon the oxymoron. It's apparently not okay to show nipples on mermaids, but it's okay to show the shredded bodies of hundreds of said mermaids. While they aren't exactly mammals that actually just makes it worse.
  • The Scenery Clause is blatantly illustrated in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was pushing the limits in later seasons to have fully clothed risque situations and a Modesty Bedsheet a quarter inch thick in the later seasons, but three years earlier and they're allowed to have a life-sized, full-color, three-dimensional wall hanging in the Magic Box of the top quarter of a woman, goddess, or demoness with visibly erect nipples, which at points takes up the entire screen for multiple seconds.
  • When Monty Python's Flying Circus was first broadcast on ABC, the cast sued to have it run without changes. ABC removed the nude scenes, among other controversial items. The courts said "not this time," but granted that in all future broadcasts, the cast would have creative control.
  • Nip/Tuck has a couple of rather bizarre examples. In one episode, a male reporter is trying to understand what breasts are like (related to his wife having breast cancer), and he is shown with a set of female breasts, but apparently since they're attached to a male head, it's okay to show them. In another episode, a woman is trying to become a human Barbie, and wants her nipples removed, and her breasts are only shown after the nipples are gone.
  • Humorously, British gardening show Ground Force garnered a huge cult following among people with no interest in gardening because its star, red-haired Earth Mother Charlotte "Charlie" Dimmock steadfastly refused to wear a bra, as she thought it was uncomfortable. Week after week she gardened in a thin t-shirt often with a loose sloppy neck, which made her presentation style rather compelling in the rain or cold conditions. Her cameraman soon learned the optimum angles to screen her from, and an educative time was had by all.
  • Long-running British science documentary show Tomorrow's World tried to predict future applications for cutting-edge science and technology. It ran for twenty-odd years and possibly thousands of inventions, and the most anyone can remember about the science is that it successfully predicted sat-nav fifteen years ahead of time. Well, maybe that and presenter Judith Hann's nipples while she was explaining some scientific advance, whilst standing in a rather cold swimming pool..... for a fourteen-year-old boy at seven on a Thursday evening, this was like bonus time. Way back in the 1970's, Judith could out-Dimmock Charlie...
  • Blue Peter presenter Anthea Turner once did a feature about training with Great Britain's high-diving hopefuls. Anthea allegedly has a reputation for being difficult and rather perfectionist with backroom staff such as cameramen and sound recorders. On this day, the cameramen took delight in filming her from unflattering angles, such as climbing the ladder to the dive platform in a one-piece bathing costume that was rucking up around her nethers in the classic "camel-toe". She was also filmed shivering in the cold with both visibly erect nipples making a very obvious point about the air temperature.
  • On Parks and Recreation this trope is Invoked by Leslie. When Jerry paints a picture of a topless female centaur (with Leslie's face) to put in a museum, a local Christian group is outraged and wants to burn it. Leslie gets Jerry to paint a male topless centaur and gloats that nobody would be offended by that.
  • ITV's relatively short-lived answer to the BBC's Blue Peter was called Magpie. This magazine show for kids screened around 4:30 twice a week and was co-presented by Susan Stranks, another resolute non-bra-wearer with temperature sensitive nipples and thin tops. Young lads and their fathers, if present, were suitably entranced.
  • Star Trek:
    • On Star Trek: The Original Series, costume designer William Ware Theiss became highly creative at wrapping women's chests vertically, horizontally, and diagonally, but lamented that NBC would not let them show the underside of the female breast. He speculated that they thought a fungus grew there.
    • Star Trek: Discovery, which is rated TV-MA, has a blink-and-you-miss-it shot of L'Rell's breasts visible from above, nipples and all. It's Fan Disservice, as it happens in the context of Ash Tyler having a PTSD flashback to L'Rell raping him. Sort of. "Ash Tyler" turns out to be an assumed identity of L'Rell's lover Voq with his memory erased, so it's possible he's flashing on L'Rell and Voq having consensual sex. Still decidedly unsettling.
  • An episode of Frasier has Niles going into raptures about a fuzzy, ill-defined photograph that he thinks is a picture of Daphne Moon's breast and nipple. Niles' fantasies grow and swell out of proportion... until it is revealed that Martin was trying to photograph Eddie (the dog) but had the camera backwards. The nipple is in fact that of Martin. Niles' father. It is strongly implied Niles has been having active sexual fantasies over the photo...
  • Charmed:
    • Part of Phoebe's nipple actually made it on the air in the episode "Sight Unseen". In a scene at the club, the dress she's wearing fails to cover her up and part of the nipple is visible.
    • When Paige is turned into a wood nymph in the fifth season, she's given a tight green dress where her nipples can be seen poking through.
    • Likewise when Phoebe is turned into a mermaid, the show forgoes a Seashell Bra and gives her a set of scales that just about cover up her nipples.
  • In American reality TV game show Survivor, some fairly strenuous physical competition takes place among women dressed in bikini tops or skimpy shirts. On occasion breasts and nipples have been exposed. As this is American TV, such wardrobe malfunctions are visually bleeped out by blurring or pixillating the screen. This is even done on versions sold to Europe, much to the perplexity of local viewers. Especially when the womens' arses are also visually bleeped out, despite the fact they are clearly wearing bikini bottoms. This appears to be prudery taken to a ridiculous extreme.
    • It is also noticeable about Survivor that during a game involving women contestants bobbing for items in a tub full of gloopy brown mud, several bikini tops were dislodged exposing breasts and nipples. But since the women involved were by then slathered from head to waist in a coating of mud, the bared breasts were not visually bleeped out and left in full uncensored camera view.
  • A weird example from RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 4 featured the queens participating in a wet t-shirt contest wearing large breast plates. When the plates were shown unworn in the work room the nipples were unpixilated. While worn (by men) during the actual contest the nipples were obscured.
  • Game of Thrones: The show usually doesn't have this problem. In fact, it's beginning to look like most of the adult actresses have clauses in their contracts that require them to appear at least partially, if not fully, nude at least once. However Daenerys' scenes in Qarth did not depict the book's fashion for women, which involved entirely exposing one breast, as the directors thought it would be too distracting for the audience.
  • On Dexter it appears that the actresses playing Rita, Hannah, and Deb are uncomfortable with their full nudity during sex scenes. Both Hannah and Deb have scenes with really awkward arm and hand placement to try and cover up. Rita is shown in silhouette.
  • This was discussed during one "behind the scenes" interview on a retrospective of WKRP in Cincinnati. Loni Anderson described a flurry of memos complaining that Jennifer's wardrobe was too clingy and revealing, her nipples clearly visible. What made it doubly odd was that the docu/bio-show bleeped the word "nipples" when she said it.
  • There is now a TV competition show called Skin Wars, where body painters compete to be crowned America's best. As you would expect from US TV, when the models are introduced topless and unpainted, their breast areas and nipples are visually bleeped out. Yet the very same breasts and nipples are still in plain view under a coat of paint later in the show and are not pixilated. Work that logic out!
  • Subverted in the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Transitions" where the detectives barge in on Hailey, a teenage trans girl, while she's in her room changing, resulting in her being shown topless with visible nipples for half a second. Presumably, it passed standards and practices because the character was played by a teenage boy.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Zig-Zagged with the pilot episode "Children of the Gods". In the original cut, Sha're has a scene of full frontal nudity with plenty of nipple shots to go around. Senior Airman Carol Weterings (the Air Force enlisted woman kidnapped in The Teaser) is dressed in similar translucent clothes through which her nipples are visible, but isn't shown fully nude. In context, it's Fan Disservice: both women are being evaluated by Apophis as potential hosts for his queen Amaunet, with Sha're getting implanted and Weterings executed. The showrunners insist this was mandated by Showtime in order to mark the show, which is usually considerably more tame, as being "for adults", and the relevant shots are cut out in syndicated airings and in its re-release as a TV movie.
    • In the episode "Singularity" the character Cassandra has her left nipple visible for a few seconds during the episode. What is odd is that the character is an 11/12-year-old girl, as is the actress herself. It is possible that it passed censorship due to the scene being medically related (she was being defibrillated), the shot being reasonably short and/or the actress' breasts being not yet developed.
  • Lost Girl was a sexually explicit series about a succubus. During the course of its run there were dozens of sex scenes, yet the lead actress always wore nipple tape during those scenes.
  • There was an old series called "Beggars and Choosers," about running a network television station. One episode featured this as a subplot, with two characters trying to figure out whether or not an actress' nipple was peaking out the top of her Naughty Nurse Outfit. Ironically, this aired on Showtime, which was still famous at the time for its abundance of softcore skin flicks.
  • Doctor Who:
    • According to Elisabeth Sladen, the female companions of the '70s were often prevented from wearing bras by Costume in apparent hope of getting in some Parent Service. (According to Tom Baker, he occasionally mistook Lis for a Dalek.)
    • The scene in "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" in which we see Leela's nipples apparently went down with very little controversy at the time. This may be because the scene is non-sexual in tone, with neither Leela nor the Doctor acting differently, and the camera not leering at her; it might also be because the show was already being criticised in general for being too violent and sexualised such that a particular shot didn't cause any more annoyance, even to Mary Whitehouse.
  • Luke Cage (2016): Shameek Smith takes the money he stole from Cottonmouth to celebrate at a strip club, where a stripper is wearing only a thong and nipple covers.
  • In the French TV sitcom show Les Nouvelles Filles d'à Côté, full-body massages are introduced in the Health Club and sure enough, there is at least one brief moment of toplessness involving one of the second-generation Girls Next Door.
  • Betty: Honeybear has star pasties covering her nipples, but otherwise usually has no bra. This seems to just be the character's and actress's style, as it's actually legal in New York City for women to go topless completely.
  • On The Drew Carey Show, Oswald agrees to have "removable" breast implants for 30 days to earn some extra money. He also participates in a calendar shoot of the subjects of the test program. When the gang takes a look at his month's page, his chest is covered by a censor bar.

  • The cover art of Daniel Lanois's album For the Beauty of Wynona is a work by photographer Jan Saudek, showing a naked woman holding a knife. It proved too strong for American tastes, so a big "American Edition" — in a much larger typeface than the artist's name and the title — is overlaid on the cover.
  • The left half of the cover of the 1966 album Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer contains a close-up shot of a near-naked female torso, complete with a necklace and tassled pasties.
  • Wings Of An Angel has an album cover which averts this, showing a single naked female breast. Appropriately, the album was titled Sexuality As The Birth Of Sublimation, meaning the cover and the album title had something in common for once.

    Music Videos 
  • Two versions of Alice Cooper's music video for "Poison" exist: one where the model wears a corset and full-backed panties, which was the version shown on TV, and one where she wears a thong and goes topless, which was only available on video tape albums. Interestingly, a pair of shots from the topless video were inserted into the TV video, but since they are shots from the back and you don't see and breast, no Moral Guardians raised a fuss, which must have been amusing to the controversy-loving Alice Cooper.
  • R.E.M.'s 'Pop Song 89' music video features three pairs of nipples: those of singer Michael Stipe and those of two female dancers (a third dancer appears to be wearing pasties). This is probably an attempt at subverting the Double Standard. Significantly, Stipe becomes a backing dancer himself at the end of the video, while the women take turns in the foreground.
    • And when the Moral Guardians complained, R.E.M. stuck black bars over every set of nipples in the video, saying that a nipple was a nipple and they got rid of all of them.
  • Duran Duran's "Girls on Film". 'Nuff said
  • The video for Radiohead's single "Paranoid Android" featured cartoon nipples which had to be covered up for US release. The band seemed confused that the censors balked at the cartoon nudity but had no trouble at all with the scene in which a man accidentally cuts his own limbs off.
  • Britney Spears released two versions of the video for "Gimme More", while both have glimpses of her painted-on pastie-covered nipples, the "uncensored" version shows slightly more.
  • The Russian band t.A.T.u. also made two versions of the video for their song "Beliy Plaschik". The censored version is quite PG although in the uncensored version there are many topless shots of the then pregnant Yulia and full nudity from Lena.
  • Liars' music video for "Plaster Casts of Everything" has two versions. The uncensored version featuring full frontal nudity of the female kind, and the censored version where the breasts are still shown but the nipples have been removed and the genitals pixelized
  • "Who's Your Daddy," by Benny Benassi, comes in two versions. The censored version is a series of exploitation film parodies centered around sexy women. The Uncensored version is similar, but pretty much has various tits on full display for the duration.
  • Sabrina's "Summertime Love": that top will NOT come off.
  • Rihanna feat. Young Jeezy's Hard shows her like this, which is funny considering a while back she had proclaimed she would never pose in the nude.
  • Ghost zig-zags this in their videos, at least on YouTube. In the video for "Year Zero", as the women are changing into the Nameless Ghoul outfits, their bared breasts are covered with censor bars. However, the women being baptized at the end of the video for "He Is" are clearly not wearing anything (at least from the waist up) under their robes but their breasts aren't censored. Also, topless women can briefly be seen during the industrial imagery accompanying the instrumental in the video for "From the Pinnacle to the Pit" with no censoring.

  • Zig-Zagged in Arkon Automaten's Sexy Girl conversion kit for Bally's Playboy pinball machine; it replaced the original game's Playmates with female nudes, some of whom revealed everything but their nipples, and others going completely topless.
  • Xenon features a nude and topless red-skinned woman on the playfield, but she has no visible nipples.
  • The merwomen of Barracora have exposed breasts but no visible nipples.
  • Averted in Viper, as the naked Fembot has faint (but visible) chrome areolas.
  • Played straight with the backglass art for Iron Maiden, where the only things keeping the woman acceptable are two metal pasties over her nipples.
  • It is possible to avert this in Stern Pinball's Playboy, as the game includes clothed, topless, or fully nude photos of Real Life Playboy playmates for operators to install onto the playfield elements. The operator can also set the game to display or omit topless images on the display.
  • The American release of Zaccaria's Farfalla covered up the butterfly fairy's see-through robe with a modest red-and-green short dress.

    Print Media 
  • Loaded depended on candid photo-shots of C, B, and very occasionally A-list celebrities. In an age where the Internet was only beginning to become widely adopted, it popularized the genre known as "nip-slips" and "downblouses", accidental unposed shots of celebrities accidentally baring a bit more flesh than they thought. Even in a posed shot and even if the subject had stipulated "no nudity", they were not above printing any shots from the shoot where a nipple might have escaped. A famous front cover showed celebrity Ulrika Johnnson in what was apparently just a standard cleavage shot: close examination revealed a nipple had escaped and was peeping above the top of her blouse. This was no error or oversight - and added to the mag's notoriety.
    • Note that Loaded is a British magazine, and nipples do not count as "nudity" in Britain. Magazines like Loaded and newspapers featuring Page Three Stunnas are not "top shelf" material; that classification is reserved for such as Playboy and Penthouse which show actual minge.
  • Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit issue will show pokies, nipples through wet clothing, nipples that have been painted-over, and occasionally the edges, but never the whole thing.
  • US lingerie sales catalogs from outlets such as Victoria's Secret or Frederick's of Hollywood routinely airbrushed out any visible nipples or genitalia, leaving the models with Barbie Doll Anatomy.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Jazz tore off Francine's blouse during the ECW World Heavyweight Title Stairway to Hell (Ladder match with a roll of barbed-wire hanging above the ring) match between Justin Credible and Tommy Dreamer at ECW Heat Wave 2000, but Francine, who was braless, had black tape over her breasts. She, of course, covered herself up as best she could and bailed.
  • WWE did get away with showing bare breasts and nipples a few times during the Attitude Era - but it was almost always on PPV. And most of those were shows exclusive to the UK, where censorship laws were a little different. Any time breasts were accidentally exposed on normal TV, the nipples were always blurred out with a censor box.
  • Miss Kitty's infamous flashing at Armageddon 1999 was meant to play this straight, but accidentally subverted it. The plan was for her to do a striptease (and her lingerie was padded to avoid being see-through due to wrestling in a pool beforehand) - and when she pulled the bra off, the camera would be to her back. If Sgt Slaughter missed his cue to cover her with a towel, only the live crowd would see anything. Due to a mistake in the production room, the camera going out live was instead at the front, and Miss Kitty had no idea the entire broadcast saw everything - until she came backstage to a round of applause from the locker room.
  • Dawn Marie flashed on an episode of Smackdown, but her nipples were covered by the ring ropes to buy into this trope.
  • Tori once tried to walk to the ring topless, but the referees refused because of this trope. She was only shown from behind until a man gave her a shirt to wear.
  • Brie Bella suffered a Wardrobe Malfunction on an episode of Raw when her breast fell out of her dress while she was applauding. No one in the production room noticed and the nipple made it to the air. Brie had to issue a public apology, blaming it on double-sided tape coming loose.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Tribal female cat warriors from Magic: The Gathering still properly cover their human breasts, even though you'd think their thick fur alone would do. Noticeable postnatal swollen nipples in real life cats are probably a thing, so this one isn't that off.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Slaanesh Daemonette figures used to have nipples, but out of all the GRIMDARK in the setting, this detail was considered a little too mature. Come on, it's the god of squick; if anything, they should have shitting dicknipples!
    • The Slaaneshi mount figure still has exposed breasts with nipples (six, in fact), and the Forge World Keeper of Secrets has exposed breasts with (pierced) nipples as well.
    • Oddly enough, the far more human-like Dark Elf Morathi miniature has prominent bare breasts.
  • In the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Monster Manual, there's a dichotomy: The harpy and the dryad are alien enough to be shown topless with nipples, but the nymph is inexplicably shown with some sort of covering. Which is almost completely transparent.
  • The cheescake art in Malifaux sometimes reaches ridiculous levels of this trope. Perdita Ortega's top is low-cut to the point that even a large areola would be fully exposed on a real breast.
  • The annual Euro Militaire expo and competition awards medals for excellence and achievement in a wide range of modelling topics - standard military, civilian, sci-fi and fantasy models and figures. The one form of figure modelling and painting specifically prohibited in the entry rules is "glamour" - nude, semi-nude or provocatively posed female figures. which is interesting, as the sponsoring publication, Military Modelling magazine, can always be relied on to advertise these models for sale in its back pages.

    Video Games 
  • Bethesda Softworks found themselves in the middle of a minor controversy when a fan-made mod was released for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which removed the default underwear tops for female characters and revealed their blurry but anatomically correct upper bodies. In response to this, Bethesda delayed the release of modding tools for Fallout 3 until after the holiday buying season (which hardly made the game impossible to mod and also why they also removed the "details" from the female body texture). Perhaps as part of trying too hard to avert this, Bethesda ended up going a little overboard in Fallout 3. The base character models had both briefs and a white T-shirt for both sexes. One may notice if you take the armor (consisting mostly of scrap metal and leather straps) off a female raider, she's actually wearing more on her upper half now than she was fully clothed.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • The Daedric Prince Azura has played with this significantly in her appearances throughout the series. In Daggerfall, her appearance is actually topless and anatomically correct (pixelated though it may be). In Morrowind and Oblivion, her statues are topless but lacking detail, playing this trope straight with some Barbie Doll Anatomy. (Her avatars, which appear in both Morrowind and its Tribunal expansion are much more modestly dressed.) In Skyrim and Online, her statue has Absolute Cleavage instead.
    • Daggerfall has no real issue showing nipples in some sprites. Azura (as mentioned) and the sprites for Nymphs are both topless with nipples depicted.
    • In Skyrim, statues of Dibella (one of the Nine Divines and goddess of art, beauty and sexuality) are nude, with visible nipples and an artfully draped cloth covering the lower region. This one probably gets a pass, as it's considered artistic nudity In-Universe.
  • The statues in Wizards and Warriors for the PC were topless but had nippleless breasts. However, the lake nymphs (who looked like female satyrs) and mermaids had completely exposed breasts, and these breasts had realistic nipples. Also the female vampyres had such breasts, but they wore a top made out of a black see-through fabric. It's possible that it went under the radar because the game was frustratingly buggy, making it impossible for the censors to reach the point where these characters appear.
  • The Grand Theft Auto games include strip clubs with dancers who never expose anything "indecent". This in a game depicting a wide variety of destructive and violent acts.
    • The tops come off in Grand Theft Auto IV, but the strippers wore pasties instead.
    • In Grand Theft Auto V, strippers do dance topless, nipples and all. Also, a female online protagonist always has a black bikini top on if you remove her clothes or get into a shower, despite the shower camera being glued to the character's back. What makes this especially odd is that GTA Online does contain nudity; if one goes to the Playboy Mansion-expy at night, you can find topless women hanging around, nothing covering their nipples.
  • Gwent: The Witcher Card Game: Several cards push the Fanservice as far as possible but conceal the all important nipples. A few female vampires, such as Alp, simply appear not to have any nipples despite full frontal nudity.
  • In Saints Row 2 you can go streaking causing mosaics to show up on your crotch (and breasts if you're female). Since everything else in the game is so over the top, it's probably intentional.
    • Not just on you. Sometimes you can see NPC's streaking through the streets. The same Mosaics show up on them, even as they go cartwheeling through the air after you ran them over.
    • All the same is true for Saints Row: The Third, and it's obvious that the developers weren't happy about it. They rebelled by allowing you to wear pasties that you can color to look just like nipples.
    • Oddly enough in Saints Row IV, while having the Boss be nude anywhere else in the game does also result in naughty parts being covered by mosaics, BUT... in Johnny Gat's rescue mission, however, you can go into the Game Withina Game mission completely naked and not be covered in mosaics.. but you'll be presented with Barbie Doll Anatomy instead.
  • The Witcher in three of five chapters has an NPC you can interact with (and even have sex) that is completely naked, but predictably she is censored in the US release of the game. The official site now has a "Director's Cut" patch that removes all censorship added to the North American release, restoring nipples to NPC (and monster) character models and "sex cards".
  • In the Shadow Hearts: Covenant manual, the puppet Gepetto uses in one page of the manual is wearing a shirt light enough so that you can see her nipples. The game was rated T for partial nudity in the US, but this probably isn't the reason.
    • There is one outfit for the puppet in the Japanese version that cannot be obtained through normal means in the U.S. that has this costume, presumably because of the above. (Midway basically wrecked the wine cellar dungeon in order to get rid of the sidequest needed to get it.)
  • In Duke Nukem 3D, you could walk up to the strippers, give them some cash, and they'd flash you, revealing extremely pixelated pasties.
  • In Giants: Citizen Kabuto, the sea reaper Delphi was initially rendered topless with visible nipples in the European release. In a (failed) bid to avoid the M rating from the ESRB, several design changes, including giving Delphi a bikini top, were done in the US version. However, gamers found out that simply deleting a specific file from the game's installation folder removed her top.
  • God of War was the first mainstream American video game to avert this trope.
  • An odd aversion occurs in, of all places, a licensed NES game called Castlequest. The faeries in this game are not only completely naked, but have visible nipples. Keep in mind this was at a time when Nintendo was very much into their draconic censorship policies. It's rarely mentioned, however, partly because 8-bit nipples aren't really that detailed, and partly because Castlequest was a really bad game.
  • Heavy Rain features a female playable character whom the player can have take a shower. Not only are her breasts on full view, but so is her backside; the only thing denied a viewing is her crotch. Though a man taking a shower in the game's very first scene also obeys these rules, too.
    • Later in the game, she is made to striptease at gunpoint. A trophy is awarded if you can get her out of the situation without showing nipples.
  • Dragon Age: Origins plays this straight, and similar to Fallout 3 above, actually covers up some characters more when their clothes are off; Morrigan's default outfit comes with the works; Absolute Cleavage, Underboobs and Sideboob, but when her clothes are off during romance scenes, she has a bra on that covers more than her robes do. Desire demons appear with metal bikinis that cover only their nipples, and the Lady of the Forest has strategically placed hair. However, it seems to follow the same mindset that dungeons and dragons does; going beyond Fan Disservice, the broodmother's breasts are fully exposed. All eight of them.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition averts this with some of the romances. Sera's is especially notable, as it features Sera and the female Inquisitor naked from the waist up and facing the camera with absolutely everything visible.
  • In the arcade game Gauntlet Legends there was an easter egg; if you used the blue Valkyrie with the player initials NUD and passcode 069, your character would be nude with black censorbars covering the naughty bits.
  • Parasite Eve featured a Big Bad who had nipples during gameplay, but in the higher-definition FMV sequences she reverted to Barbie Doll Anatomy.
  • In The Sims 2, if the censor blur is removed without any other mods installed the women don't have nipples, however men do. Of course this has been corrected in various game mods.
  • The Sorceress Adel was topless in Final Fantasy VIII, but they could get away with this in that her chest was completely flat, like a man's chest. Could be considered a rare worksafe female version of Walking Shirtless Scene.
    • The trope has also been played straight a few times. Notably, Ultimecia's Absolute Cleavage and more importantly, Siren is completely naked but strategically placed feather hide her nipples and crotch... though the crotch ones look exactly like pubes.
    • There's a more blatant aversion of this trope as Ultimecia's final form showcases completely her breasts, including her nipples. Then again in this case, you probably don't really want to see them.
  • L.A. Noire has full frontal female nudity. Of course, all of the nude women are corpses at the time. With signs of being brutally beaten.
  • Princess Maker zig-zags this in the games.
    • The unreleased SoftEgg version of Princess Maker 2 added a Digital Bikini to the beach vacation images that originally had the daughter swimming or sunbathing in the nude. The Refine version left the nudity intact, which showed that the daughter had Barbie Doll Anatomy. Played straight with some NPCs, like the naked fountain spirit, who is shown to have indicated nipples.
    • The first game, Princess Maker, had absolutely no qualms with showing that the daughter had nipples, both in the final winter vacation image, where she's enjoying a hot spring, and the prostitute ending images.
  • Diablo had several female corpses that were completely stripped. The Succubi, who became increasingly frequent enemies towards the end were wearing little more besides thongs, and showed quite a few detail. This was mainly averted in the second game, where the corpses had Barbie doll anatomy, and all female enemies were wearing bikinis at least, with the one exception of Andariel, who while having her chest exposed, wore pasties with chains attached to them.
  • Iskai in Albion have four breasts. Many females wear diagonal bras at most that leave two of them exposed. All details are visible, on all sprites and cutscenes.
  • Mandragora contains at least two head-and-upper-torso depictions of female NPCs clad only in Godiva Hair.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect's love scenes depict the female partner fully nude from the side with her arm placed to hide the nipples.
    • Mass Effect 2: Jack's default outfit has nothing on her upper body except for a rope... bra... thing. One that only covers the nipples, really. It is possible to imagine that she'd need to wear something to prevent uncomfortable bouncing, but a rope bra? One would imagine that very uncomfortable and not quite functional for that purpose. Other outfits and her appearance in the third game put her in a proper shirt.
    • Mass Effect 3
      • Most of the sex scenes in feature the male (human) characters in their boxer shorts and all the women wear the same set of black lingerie. Samantha Traynor even keeps her underwear on when taking a shower! The only exception here is Liara, though you don't actually get see anything; partly because of the camera angles and subdued lighting, and partly because they simply didn't put nipples on her nude model.
      • If Ashley is the Vermire Survivor and you visit her in the hospital on the Citadel, her nipples will be incredibly visible through her hospital gown.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda goes Hotter and Sexier, showing both Cora and Sara Ryder fully nude for some love scenes, bare breasts fully visible.
  • BloodRayne's eponymous leading lady's costume covers up all the important parts - however, the shape of her erect nipples is still rendered under the leather corset, so it begs for topless fan mods. The modders were happy to oblige. Rayne also was drawn topless in the October 2004 issue of Playboy.
  • In the Shin Megami Tensei franchise, Kazuma Kaneko's hand drawn demon designs often display their nipples when topless —whether female or not, or whether human or not. Older sprite based games lacked the detail to show this, but all polygonal models and modern sprite games go with featureless breasts. The Compendium in the Persona games still shows the fully detailed Kaneko artwork, however. One of the more notable examples is Diana, who is wearing armor made out of breasts. It's more gross than sexy.
    • In Persona 5, Kali's nipples are extremely apparent through her shirt, in sharp contrast to all other female characters in the game. And Satan, who's got four breasts and looks like something from the Alien movies.
  • Averted in Nier, where close inspection reveals that Kainé's nipples are just visible through the slits in her nightie.
  • Done liberally in the Senran Kagura series. Anytime the series comes close to fully exposing a character's chest, it will apply Scenery Censor appropriately (and the few times it doesn't, nothing is seen anyway). This trope is only made more obvious by the fact that, despite wearing outfits that (generally, depending on the character) cover their chests effectively, some characters' nipples can still be seen through them.note  However, this is notable averted in the Estival Versus OVA and season 2 of the anime, which show them in full detail.
  • Female characters in The Secret World don't wear bras by default (though, as appropriate for a game set in the present day, you can buy and equip bras). Normally this isn't obvious since you always have to wear something in the shirt slot, but sometimes, due to bugs or lag, character clothing fails to load, leaving women topless apart from smiley-face pasties covering their nipples.
  • Even though some female outfits in World of Warcraft are clearly worn without undergarments (featuring Absolute Cleavage, bare backs, high side slits, or a combination of this), when you take them off, the "naked" character will be wearing a bra and panties that couldn't possibly have fitted underneath her clothes.
    • Trope is played very straight with the Naga, some of whom have bare breasts: but with scales where their nipples should be. Also played straight by female demons seen via Cursed Vision, a Demon Hunter class ability. The red silhouettes show the outline of the character models, which do not feature nipples.
  • Presumably for this reason, The Movies didn't have any nudity costumes for the actors - resulting in scenes of characters taking baths and showers wearing bathing suits. Mods created nude options, but a video would be taken down from The Movies Online if there were any shots of nipples. As a compromise, the famous 'Suds' mod was employed - covering nipples and genitals with foam.
  • The boss monster of Chapter 3 in Icewind Dale, a Maralith demon is completely topless during her fight (technically she's completely naked, but below the waist she's a giant snake). You can barely see that yes, she has nipples. And quite a bit of jiggling when she makes a melee attack.
  • Shantae: Risky's Revenge: Shantae's mermaid form is topless, but lacks any objectionable details due to the low-resolution graphics. Then you find an item that lets her shoot explosive bubbles, which is represented by a miniature figurine of her. Said figurine has two pixels that have absolutely no business being pink in an E10+ rated game.
  • As a very, very heavily breast-focused Fanservice series, that still must be rated M in the US Nintendo E-Shop, Omega Labyrinth Life has this to an absurd, hilarious degree. No matter how many times the characters risk having their increasingly massive breasts completely exposed, something will always manage to keep them decent (enough for their rating). This is especially egregious with their bras come K cup and beyond, where they're audibly and visibly ripped in two from the strain, yet still cover their nipples.
  • InSecond Life, this is the default for female characters. This however is so that texture-based clothing won't distort or show nipples illogically, rather than any prudishness on the part of the creators, Linden Labs. Players can purchase mesh bodies which have visible nipples, or nipple additions which also have scripts in them (so that the nipples will do stuff, like become erect, leak milk, or attach to a "baby").
  • In Street Fighter X Tekken Ibuki's swap outfit was based on Tekken 4 era Yoshimitsu. In that game he was shirtless, as female nipples are bad along with some other changes such as showing her hips the outfit was modified to give her a skin tight top that showed her chest better than her other outfits yet still covers her breast. The thing is that despite nothing appearing to be underneath the top she still has no visible nipples.
  • Red Dead Redemption plays up a lot of western tropes, such as ladies of the evening hanging out at saloons and the rancher's daughter Bonnie being kidnapped. But John can't even interact with the prostitutes, who are dressed rather conservatively, and even though Bonnie suffers severe Clothing Damage, her underwear remains resolutely intact. So it's something of a surprise both for the player and for John when a mission in Nuevo Paradiso begins with John walking in on Abraham Reyes having full on sex with one of his fangirls, complete with visible nipples on the woman.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic has a number of "topless" armor chestpieces, for example the Relaxed Jumpsuit. Male characters are modeled bare-chested with visible nipples, while female characters are given a bandeau bra.
  • Shortly after Horizon Forbidden West was released, a Spanish streamer uploaded a video showing that in Photo mode, when Aloy wears the Tenakth Scout armor, she had fully modeled nipples and areolas. Sony quickly issued a copyright claim and had the video taken down from most major hosting sites, and developer Guerilla Games later issued a game update which removed the textures from her model.

    Web Comics 
  • Blaster Nation had a single instance of bare breasts appearing, and were forced to go back and censor it under threat of advertising cancellation.
  • Subject of a story in Octopus Pie, about a brief history on the legality of bare breasts in New York.
  • Completely subverted in The Meek, where the main character's naked upper half is fully visible for the entire first chapter. Despite the fact that it isn't sexualized in the least, people generally agree that her chapter is Not Safe for Work because of her nipples. Ironically, in the fourth chapter when she appears again, her nipples seem to have completely disappeared.
  • Zig-zagged in one page of fantasy webcomic The Green Knight with a fairy who has stripped naked to dry her clothes after falling in a river. In the first panel, her naked breasts and nipples are completely exposed, but in all following panels, Scenery Censor applies (first a fried fish she's holding, later her own arms and Godiva Hair).
  • Even robots are subject to this, as seen in the first gratuitous shower scene of Freefall. Helix sees black stripes across Florence's chest due to a PG filter in his vision system.
  • YU+ME: dream featured a page with bare breasts and nipples, with an alternate version featuring underwear drawn on.
  • Censored, barely, by flying papers, pain stars, and Censor Steam in The Whiteboard.
  • Originally played straight in Ménage à 3, then averted when the creators evidently decided that this was silly, with some of the old strips changed in the archives to remove the more gratuitous cases of Scenery Censor. However, later strips started avoiding bare breasts again, in an acknowledged attempt to avoid severe loss of advertising revenue. Funnily enough, not only did the nudity remain in the archives and in print volume bonus strips and suchlike, but the comic's frequent (and sometimes mildly unconventional) sex scenes carried on appearing more or less regardless — just with careful selection of viewing angles. Moral Guardians have simple standards.
  • Inverted in Intragalactic in a strip where Censor Steam covers a man's nipples but leaves the woman's exposed.
  • Averted in this page of Pastel Defender Heliotrope. The author even says in her comments that she was going to cover Hannya's nipples, but then decided that hiding hers while showing Ransei's was a Double Standard (and was ashamed that she considered it in the first place). It was already averted earlier in the comic, so it would have been pointless either way.
  • Parodied in this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal strip:
    Mother: Give me all your wallets, or I'll expose my nipple to this baby!
    Crowd: NO! He's innocent! You monster!
  • Despite being squeaky clean for the most part, Footloose features a (very important) female nipple in a single panel about 200 pages in.
  • In El Goonish Shive, when Grace transforms into a male while shirtless, Sarah notes that it's finally okay for Grace to be shirtless (and therefore no longer a need for the living Gag Censor). This prompts discussion about the double standard in the following strips (and confusion for the aforementioned Gag Censor).
  • Played straight in Sluggy Freelance, but a couple of things are still worth mentioning.
    • As a certain Guest Strip by Clay Yount starts loading, it shows Zoë naked and looks like there's no way her nipples will not be shown as soon as it just loads a little further. Then it's revealed to be not the top of a real strip loading but an April Fools' Day animation, and you get to see no more.
    • There was a bit of confusion when Pete Abrams announced that he had a sketch where he had had to draw a female character's breasts entirely to get the part of the picture that was seen right, and the whole sketch had been added among the content available for viewing by paid subscribers of the site. Somebody in the discussion board implied that there was nudity to be had, and Pete had to come forth and clarify that this picture still had Barbie Doll Anatomy.
    • Spying with Lana routinely portrays almost 100% of women's breasts, with the sole exception of the nipple (except for a few times in silhouette or through tight outfits). Nipples are invariably subject to Hand-or-Object Underwear and Scenery Censor (frequently, the object or scenery is another woman's breast smooshed against it).

    Web Original 
  • This ''Onion'' article satirizes the whole Janet Jackson thing and the question raised here beautifully.
  • Loreffrey Photography studios explores this in Nipple Non Grata, a series of photos of topless women with their nipples photoshopped out.
  • Lindsay Ellis
    • When doing her Loose Canon video on the goddess Aphrodite, the segment on God of War blurred out the nipples on Aphrodite's breasts.
    • Her first video on Game of Thrones briefly discusses the gratuitous nudity the show used early on, but any clips with nudity are Toplessness from the Back.
  • Paw Dugan's review of The Wicker Man (1973) gets to the scene with Willow's song - where she performs the whole thing topless. The nipples are then covered with various graphics.
  • Can lead to bad blood (pun semi-intended due to a common victim) on eBay when even the slightest trace of nipple gets a censor box...and the buyer feels snookered since he expected something more raunchy. (It doesn't help that Da Rulez are either unclear or inconsistently followed.)
  • Lampshaded by CollegeHumor with "Why Are My Nipples Pixellated?", featuring Heidi Gardner as a woman consulting her doctor regarding her newly-pixellated breasts. His suggested remedy is to replace her sexy female nipples with male ones, though doing so on an anatomy poster still resulted in pixellation.
    Doctor: The female nipple on a very flat chest is still pixellated. But! A male nipple, next to a logo we did not get clearance for - well, the logo is pixellated, the nipple is fine. And consider also, this big, bloody bone jutting out of a woman's chest. Now, the nipple is pixellated, but the horrible, gory gaping wound is not. I don't get it either.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy, they do a brief joke on the TV Show Entourage. This trope is basically the punchline.
  • In the Æon Flux shorts featured on Liquid Television and in the 30-minute episodes alike, male nipples are twisted, suckled and toyed with in other sexual manners but it is Aeon's Stripperiffic costume that is the most problematic there.
  • Batman: The Animated Series was drawn in a style designed by Bruce Timm, who is heavily influenced by '50s pin-up art. Even when the nipples of his female characters are not fully visible under their clothing, their breasts still come to a peak. This is notably toned down in the later DCAU entrants, when compared to Timm's usual comic book cover and interior illustrations.
  • One episode of Metalocalypse shows the band watching what is obviously porn but there's a bar covering up the woman's nipples so it's awwright.
  • Ren & Stimpy:
    • In an episode where Ren and Stimpy they switch places with a couple of babies. The Faceless parents fall for the Paper-Thin Disguise and eventually take a bath with them. The mother's whole boob is visible in several shots during the bathtub scene.
    • Played Up to Eleven in the Adult Party Cartoon episode, Naked Beach Frenzy with the big breasted girl in the beginning taking off her top. It continues with two women taking a shower, tits shown and everything, and Ren & Stimpy are "shower attendants".
  • South Park:
    • The creators decided that showing breasts on TV is ok, as long as they aren't attached to a womans body. The result was the Heavy Metal parody Major Boobage, where literally EVERYTHING was made of breasts or had breasts on it with no censoring. Except, of course, the Hot Chick.
    • Subverted if the "woman" in question is an undeveloped child, as evidenced by Wendy Testaburger's uncensored breast implant surgery in "Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society".
  • In the Beavis and Butt-Head episode "Butt Is It Art?", the duo steal nude paintings of women from the local art museum and cut out the "boobs" (as well as the "butts"). Surprisingly for the show's basic cable airing, the nipples on said paintings are uncensored. This occurs again in "Figure Drawing," in which the boys draw crude stick figure doodles of a nude model during a figure drawing class. The stick figures are drawn with unrealistically large breasts and uncensored nipples.
  • In an episode of The Venture Bros., The Monarch, his wife, and henchmen break into the Venture compound. Dr. Mrs. The Monarch was striking a sexy pose on Brock's bed in anticipation of him walking in on her. One of her nipples is briefly visible as she adjusts her outfit. (But only on DVD.)
    • However, when Sergeant Hatred develops gynecomastia, his nipples are shown uncensored onscreen even though his boobs are very very womanly. However, when Hunter Gathers had breasts, the network stopped the show creators from showing a "nipple silhouette" under bandages.
  • Danish Children's cartoon series Thomas & Tim had the pervert member of the titular duo grope a topless mermaid, with nipples fully visible, in one episode. There was a comment from a concerned parent on this episode in a newspaper during a later rerun, but the issue was not about how dangerous it is for the kiddies to see nipples, but rather about the mermaid not rejecting said groping any more forcefully than slapping the guy's hand away and expressing mild annoyance with his actions. The series was intended for kids aged 4 and up, and aired following Sesame Street and similiar shows.
  • A second or two of the top of Callie's nipples in one episode of Ugly Americans (appropriately lampshaded, of course).
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Beefsquatch", Linda delibately invokes this In-Universe when she flashes her beasts for two minutes straight to get Chuck and Pam's show cancelled.

    Real Life 
  • It's actually a law when shooting nude scenes on set that actresses in the scene have to be given pasties for the option of covering their nipples if their breasts aren't going to be seen.
  • Lil' Kim's infamous "dress" for the 1999 MTV Music Awards, which exposed all of her breast except for a small nipple covering to keep it legal. L'il Kim's dress outraged Diana Ross: She JIGGLED Ms Kim's exposed boob and demanded "Just what do you call this?" and walked away in high dudgeon: Ms Kim just stood there open-mouthed for the whole evening; when she could eventually say something, all she could say was, "She jiggled my booby!". Diana Ross has form for grabbing boobs.
  • When showing the results of plastic surgery on a transgender woman on a medical show, the before shots were masculine nipples uncensored, but following breast augmentation the feminine nipples were censored. They showed much of the swell of breast and the only part censored was the nipples which hadn't actually changed. That we had already seen. The reverse is true of transgender men. Before breast-removal surgery, their "female" nipples are covered, but once the fatty tissue is removed, the flattened chest is now suitable to be shown in its entirety. Indeed, the freedom to go topless is often a personal milestone for trans men.
  • Pasties are breast coverings that work only as nipple censors.
  • Andreja Pejic used to be a model with a very androgynous (leaning on feminine) appearance. One time, she appeared on the cover of a magazine, in which she was shown opening her shirt as though she were baring her breasts... which are totally absent. Nevertheless, Barnes & Noble actually refused to display the magazine publicly, and ordered it to either change its cover or agree to be sold in a paper bag, on the grounds that the picture was too reminiscent of a topless woman. As it turned out, B & N was just ahead of the game. Andreja Pejic now uses she/her pronouns, being one of the most well known transgender models in the world.
  • Go to Las Vegas and collect those escort calling cards they hand out on the Strip. Most feature pictures of completely nude prostitutes staring provocatively at the camera while posing in a highly suggestive fashion, perhaps with one or two "friends" — yet their nipples and other unmentionable parts are always covered by little stars or starbursts.
  • The only part of British broadcast television that retains American-level sensibilities concerning female nudity is the advertising industry. This makes British TV advertising more prudish and conservative in comparison to Germany or France or Spain, but makes it more pragmatic for the advertisers, who can run American TV adverts for shared products with no or little post-production needed. This leads to two notable things:
    1. Adverts for bath or shower products, where a comparable European advert would just cheerfully show everything from the start, are tortuously and severely edited to avoid any hint of female nipples or pubic hair. There is a suspicion that editors compete among themselves to see who can get away with revealing the most bared flesh possible without exposing the two taboo areas - thus making some adverts even more erotically charged than before, which defeats the object.
    2. On the one occasion where an advertiser tried to screen a shower advert in which the woman bared a single nipple (and then only after the Watershed) howls of protest about "indecency" caused them to withdraw the advert. This even though the TV programme to either side of the commercial break, after nine pm, would have been likely to show more naked flesh in a sexualised context.
    • Bottoms are allowed, however, but even this caused protest from Moral Guardians.
  • An urban legend claims Olivia Hussey was forbidden to attend the premiere of Romeo and Juliet (1968) wherein she played the female lead, because of the nude scene. This was brought on by papers mistakenly reporting her as being only fifteen at the time. But she had turned sixteen, which meant she would have been allowed in. What's more is that she could legally have viewed the film while underage if a parent or guardian accompanied her. The whole idea was especially dumb considering that it's her nude scene in the movie - she was somehow going to be corrupted by herself.
  • Due to Denmark's general policy about nudity, it's allowed to show female nipples on TV, even the news. Beaches also have no problems about women walking topless with bare breasts.
    • There was a tiny controversy that sparked with waterparks. Women were not allowed to go and swim in the pools at the waterpark if they weren't wearing something to cover their breasts. They protested by going to waterparks without tops.
  • Facebook strongly disapproves of female nipples, but also gets very unhappy about breastfeeding, too. Of course, video clips of violence, images of abused women and (best of all) a guy being beheaded are absolutely fine. Their censorship policies are allegedly changing.
    • For an example of the Double Standard in action, somebody posted a picture of a topless woman to Facebook, which promptly got removed. The person who posted it then messaged Facebook and claimed that the woman was actually a transgender man, so it should be okay. Now, there's no confirmation as to whether or not this claim was true, but Facebook obviously wasn't willing to take the risk of looking like bigots, so they just-as-promptly put the picture back up and apologized.
  • In the middle 1980's, British Newspapers and TV went into a feeding frenzy of prurience concerning a strapless blue ballgown that Princess Diana wore to a diplomatic reception. The gown had exposed an awful lot of the former Miss Spencer's decollétage, and ITV's flagship news show News At Ten devoted a long slot to debating whether or not it had slipped down far enough to expose a royal nipple (the right one). After frequent replays and slow-motion close-ups, NaT decided it was just a piece of the gown's decorative edging causing a shadow that seemed like an exposed nipple.
  • The reason women's shirts usually have two breast pockets, while men's shirts only have one, is to provide some extra opacity for women who choose not to wear anything underneath.
  • In 2015, the Free the Nipple movement (inspired by the 2014 film with the same name) inspired many women to invert this trope by wearing tops with printed-on nipples that made them look like they were topless. Actress Rumer Willis made the headlines by wearing a shirt with three nipples at an event. Others went even further by wearing completely see-through tops that showed their real nipples, or, were laws so allowed, by going topless.
  • The right for women to go topless in Ontario was a controversy in the early 1990s. In 1991, then-student Gwen Jacobs took off her top in public on a hot day. She was arrested and fined but ultimately acquitted (five years later), and the laws changed. It's legal for women to go topless in public in Ontario and various other places in Canada, but it's rare, due to this trope and the continued sexualization of women's nipples - you mostly won't see it outside of Pride celebrations and at actual nude beaches. At the time, a picture of a topless Jacobs appeared in many news sources, usually uncensored.
  • One of the charges on the original Dodge family coat of arms was a hanging breast with drops of milk falling from it (possibly a pun on the term "dug"). Eventually it evolved to a top-down view which looked more like a roundel than a mammary gland, which probably served the Dodge Brothers Company well when they used their family arms as hood decorations starting in 1941.
  • An underwear sales presentation for the shopping channel QVC showing two very attractive women wearing hideously unflattering undergarments went viral on YouTube. When the British sales pitch reached QVC viewers in the USA, it provoked lots of complaints. The reason is apparently that both models had very visible erect nipples under their vests. This highlighted the gulf between British and North American social attitudes to visibly erect female nipples under clothing; it's no big deal in the UK but is apparently almost as bad as toplessness to the USA.note  Strangest of all, this American website ran an edited excerpt from the show but still considered it necessary to run a Censor Box over the chest of a woman who was otherwise fully covered! Link is presumably NSFW in the USA but OK everywhere else....
  • On December 3, 2018, Tumblr announced a site-wide ban on NSFW content that began on December 17. Disregarding the backlash and mass exodus of users that this statement caused, one of the contents which is described as explicit to them is "female-presenting nipples" which quickly became the source of site-wide derision from nearly the entire userbase and the source of millions of memes playing with the terminology and twisting it around (with the most common example being a woman displaying a photo of a male nipple, which is still, in a literal sense, female presenting). Even celebrities like Misha Collins have joined in the joking.
  • Janet Jackson's half-second single nipple slip at Super Bowl XXXVIII caused a media firestorm and received over 500,000 FCC complaints, while Adam Levine's topless performance at Super Bowl LIII, with both nipples exposed for over a minute, was a non-story. The FCC did receive 50 complaints, though most were tongue-in-cheek comments about the gender double standard.
  • Tyra Banks, like a lot of supermodels, zig-zags this all over the place. Sometimes she will play this straight with Hand-or-Object Underwear or Godiva Hair. Other times she'll go strutting down the runway braless in see-through outfits.
  • In April 2019, comedian Whitney Cummings shared an Instagram story of herself in the bath that accidentally exposed her nipple. She quickly deleted it. Later that year, someone who had taken a screenshot of the story tried to extort her. Cummings responded by tweeting the photo herself, saying "If anyone is gonna make money or likes off my nipple, it’s gonna be me. So here it all is, you foolish dorks."
  • In May 2021, transgender actor Elliot Page note  posted a picture of himself to his Twitter account prefaced as his very first set of swim trunks, which was simply a picture of himself posing with no shirt and men's swim shorts. As this was post-operative (with the preexisting female fat and tissue removed from the breasts and leaving them with a typical male level of volume), there was nothing scintillating about it. However, news outlets took an unusual amount of glee in spreading the picture much farther than expected in celebrity reporting, simply for their audience's fascination in seeing seeing a "topless" picture of someone who was once considered an attractive female actress.
  • There is, throughout Western Europe, another Double Standard when it comes to women's nipples. In painting and sculpture, it is completely allowed: and such paintings and/or sculptures are allowed to be shown uncensored in the classroom. This is in spite of many such works being deliberately quite sexualized (such as Jacques Louis-David's Woman in White). However, photographs and videos featuring topless and/or nude women do need to be censored: even when the content is in no way sexual (such as scenes from concentration camps).
  • Many drag queens, particularly those of the "genderfuck" variety, take pleasure in posing topless, owing to the fact that they're still men.

Alternative Title(s): Nippled And Dimed