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Pantsless Males, Fully-Dressed Females

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Women not wearing pants (or skirts) would be a little looney.
"You know a character is female in Sonic if they use clothing. Males have nothing to hide, literally."
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A variant of Appropriate Animal Attire where, in a setting populated by Funny Animals or other non-human species, the only characters present who appear as either Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animals or Half-Dressed Cartoon Animals are male characters, whereas female characters — barefoot or not — always wear a full outfit or at the very least one that covers all the essentials by human standards.

This trope is largely a consequence of design conventions concerning anthropomorphism in fiction, particularly the frequent use of Humanoid Female Animals. Males often fall along the "Animal" side of the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism, with less anthropomorphized designs and a general lack of explicit Secondary Sexual Characteristics which allow for looser standards of clothing; meanwhile, females tend to be humanized to a greater degree in comparison, being given physical traits such as womanly figures and breasts (or at least the vague suggestion of breasts). In this case, it would more awkward and risqué — or outright unsettling — for a sufficiently curvy female character to not be depicted as a Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal, and even the lack of explicit attributes may not be enough to excuse this in the eyes of the audience.

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In essence, however, the trope is a projection of most cultures' societal standards of modesty for men and women; since when have you seen the latter go topless in public without people, especially Moral Guardians, raising a fuss? Another common reason for works to employ this design scheme is that relying solely on Tertiary Sexual Characteristics may not be enough to better distiguish the two sexes visually, so for this purpose they will use the very presence (or absence) of clothing in a character's appearance to invoke the aformentioned societal standards. In downplayed cases, our reactions are codified to a certain extent by expectations of a female character wearing something that covers at the very least her bottom half where breasts aren't a concern, due to silent through golden age animation setting that bar through a certain pair of mice.

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Exactly why the Funny Animals/non-humans in question abide to this trope is rarely addressed In-Universe despite the Fridge Logic questions it poses, usually being treated by the work as an unspoken rule from a Doylist standpoint. Said work may lampshade the guys' state of dress and/or their utter disregard for clothing, but don't expect it to call attention to why they don't share the same sense of modesty as the gals or viceversa, let alone why the gals should have to wear clothes in a setting where No Nudity Taboo or Fur Is Clothing are in effect.

Subtrope of Appropriate Animal Attire. See also Tertiary Sexual Characteristics, Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal, and Humanoid Female Animal.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Fairy Tail: Happy is a male cat-like being known as an Exceed who only wears a satchel around his neck, while his Distaff Counterpart Carla is always fully clothed. Later subverted, as the Edolas arc shows that Happy is practically a streaker even compared to other male Exceed.

    Comic Books 
  • For most of its run, character designs in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) didn't follow this trope as rigidly as the game series; the latter always featured fully clothed females, with males wearing only gloves and shoes barring certain characters like Charmy, but the cartoon that the the comic was originally based on didn't follow a strict dress code for either gender at the time. Not only did some male characters wear more than simple shoes and gloves, but quite a handful of females could be seen wearing just as little, if not half-dressed, as the guys typically wear in the games. Towards the end of the comic's run, a Cosmic Retcon redesigned all of the Canon Foreigners from the original cartoon to resemble the style of the modern game series, with all females wearing complete outfits once again, while the males only wear shoes and gloves.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW): Averted by Alopex, a mutant arctic fox, who only wears a sarashi over her bust. Granted she's so fluffy that you can't make out any fine details.
  • Tom Poes: Olivier B. Bommel wears a coat, but no pants. His love interest, Doddeltje, wears a 19th century style dress and bonnet.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Literature 
  • In Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Peter just wears a blue jacket (and loses even that). His mother wears a dress and an apron. His sisters, however, avert the trope by just wearing shawls.
  • Averted by The Moomins - two of the three female main characters (Moominmamma and the Snork Maiden, the third being the humanoid Little My) are routinely naked.
  • Inverted by the magically engineered genets in The Blood Ladders Trilogy, which are all female because "male parts would break up their outlines", and they don't need clothes do they? When Kelu is turned into a male he comments that he needs pants.
  • A rare human example occurs in Robert E. Howard's Queen of the Black Coast: Bêlit is the only female in her pirate crew and the only who doesn't go Full-Frontal Assault, even if she still wears just a loincloth.
  • Downplayed and Subverted with the Mr. Men and Little Miss as Mr. Bump and Little Miss Whoops are the only ones that wear some sort of clothing. The rest of them are limited to one or two accessories.

    Video Games 
  • In the Sly Cooper games, most of the male characters are routinely pantsless, but almost all the female characters are fully dressed. The exceptions are Mz. Ruby in the first game, an alligator who only wears a pink tank-top with no pants, The Contessa from the second game, who's a spider-centaur-thing with no humanoid legs, and Miss Decibel in the fourth game, an elephant who only wears an open fur coat.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    Jari-Thure: You underestimate the dangers of this land. How come you have gloves on but nothing else? You some kind of weirdo?
    • Sonic Forces features the only exception to the rule in the form of the Avatar. Thanks to Character Customization and the wide assortment of unlockable clothing, shoes, and other accessories, it's actually possible to have your custom character invert the trope both ways despite the default outfit for both genders comforming to this trope as usual. The female Avatar in particular can achieve this without having to resort to Nude-Colored Clothes by equipping certain body tattoos, which cause her default bodysuit to be removed due to being under the same category as the latter, leaving her just as naked as the guys.
  • In the third Spyro the Dragon game, Spyro: Year of The Dragon, Hunter wears nothing at all, whereas Bianca wears a robe.
  • Crash Bandicoot's title character is always shirtless but does wear pants, as most male animal characters: Tiny, Dingodile, Crunch... Coco and Tawna, the two female animal characters, are fully clothed.
  • Played straight in the Donkey Kong games, at least with Donkey and Candy Kong. DK wears nothing but a tie, while Candy wears a normal amount of clothes by human standards (well, "normal" might be pushing it a little, but she's covering the essentials). Averted with Dixie Kong, who wears as much clothes as Diddy does; a hat and shirt, but no pants.
  • While Pokémon don't actually wear clothing, and the ones mentioned can be either gender, both of the Fire-type starters introduced in the 3DS Pokémon generations seem to be a play on this. Gen 6's Delphox is a feminine-looking Pokémon and the fur of most of its body is red and designed like a robe, giving it a Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal look. Meanwhile, Gen 7's Incineroar is a masculine-looking Pokémon and its torso is colored gray and resembles a wrestler tank top, while its head is black on top and red on bottom, resembling a wrestler's mask. The rest of its body is red with some black stripes, making it look like a Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal.
  • The Koopa Troopas in most of the Super Mario Bros. games are generally "clothed" if one counts their shells as clothes. Super Mario World, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, and Paper Mario do show Koopa Troopas without their shells, where it's revealed they're wearing just a T-shirt underneath and lack pants. While the T-shirt rule applies to the males, the rare females that do appear in the games are never seen without their shells.
  • In Star Fox Adventures — part of a franchise full of Funny AnimalsKrystal and Fox McCloud are a rare case of "Fully Dressed Males, Pantless Females". Fox is fully dressed from helmet to shoes, while Krystal doesn't wear very much at all: just a bra, a loincloth and sandals, with nothing beneath the loincloth. At the end of the game, Krystal joined Fox's team and started to be fully clothed like everyone else, though her clothes tend to be tight Future Spandex.

    Web Animation 
  • So This is Basically...: In an episode covering Sonic the Hedgehog, Brendan hangs a lampshade on the series's strict adherence to females being fully dressed while males are barely dressed, theorizing that this is because everyone has to cover up the sexiest part of the body: the toe.
  • Inverted in Happy Tree Friends as Giggles, Petunia, Flaky, and Lammy don't wear pants while Russel and Disco Bear are Fully-Dressed Males. Even then, these guys are outliers since the majority of the main characters (both male and female) either wear accessories only or are half-dressed.
  • Zig-Zagged with Eric Shwartz' Sabrina Online and Amiga Short films' furry animation as:
    • Inverted Clarissa the Cat wears a shirt at best while most of the males wear full clothes.
    • Also played straight with Flip the Frog wears only a jacket while Sabrina wears her skunk fur.

    Webcomics 
  • In Ozy and Millie, Ozy wears a top hat and vest as his default outfit, while Millie's is overalls (albeit without a shirt). Averted with the secondary and minor characters, where there's little to no correlation between amount of clothing and gender. Though whenever Ozy is shaved he has to wear pants, was actually the subject of one mini-arc. And there are numerous occasions where Millie dances naked in the rain.
  • Dork Tower: Susan, a female muskrat and Carson's long-absent college sweetheart, lampshades the prevalence of this trope among their species during their first meeting in years. Once pointed out to him, Carson promptly realizes this and panics at his state of undress.
    Carson: There were so many questions I've had since you left!
    Susan: Like, why do girl muskrats get to wear clothes, but boy muskrats walk around starkers?
    Carson: No, like... wait, what? AIEEEEEEEEE!
  • Inverted in Dragon City where male dragons usually wear a loincloth or shorts, but females are almost always stark naked. Partially justified as their genitals are differently arrayed (and Non-Mammal Mammaries was initially completely averted).
  • This trope is mocked at least twice in Nerf NOW!!, particularly in the case of Sonic The Hedgehog:

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Bugs Bunny is usually clothed in nothing but his fur coat and White Gloves unless he's pulling one of his famous crossdressing shenanigans; Lola Bunny, making her debut in the 1990s, is never seen wearing anything less than a full outfit. The same generally tends to apply with other characters and their respective love interests/Distaff Counterparts, such as with Daffy Duck and Tina Russo, as well as Porky Pig and Petunia Pig.
    • In an classic cartoon, Hare Splitter, Bugs and his romantic rival only wear gloves, while Daisy, their love interest, is in sweater and skirt. What's more, she lives in an above-ground bungalow, and they live in holes in the ground. Perhaps she just has more style.
    • Inverted with Penelope Pussycat and Speedy Gonzales.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures plays this straight with Buster and Babs Bunny, the former wearing just a shirt without pants and the latter wearing a blouse and skirt. Other Funny Animals are somewhat adverted to this trope as much; for example, Shirley McLoon doesn't wear pants, while Fifi la Fume is completely nude barring her accessories.
  • In Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, all the male rangers wear shirts but no pants - Chip doesn't even have a shirt, just a coat. Gadget wears a full jumpsuit. While this is partly justified normally since she's a mechanic, even when the Rangers wear something other than their usual outfits, Gadget is always fully clothed. This is lampshaded in the episode A Fly in the Ointment, where Numnul's invention swaps Gadget and Dale's heads. When she realizes what has happened, Gadget screams and quickly improvises a skirt for herself.
  • One Robot Chicken skit lampshades the trope; in a Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers parody, Gadget decides to simply walk around with just her jumpsuit top, pointing out the Double Standard when Chip gawks at her lack of pants. All of her male friends then feel a sudden urge to quickly leave the room, much to Gadget's confusion.
    Chip: Gadget, you're not wearing pants!
    Gadget: And none of you wear pants. How come it's okay for you boys, but when a woman — Chip, what are you doing?
    Chip: [having A Date with Rosie Palms on the spot] I, uhhhhhhhh, I'll be in my room with the door locked!
  • In the movie and most episodes of season 5 of Oggy and the Cockroaches where the humanoid animal characters get to have clothing other than their own fur, Oggy, Jack, Bob and various other male animals are often seen pantsless, whereas Olivia is usually fully clothed in a dress.
  • In The Backyardigans, all the male characters except Austin are wearing less clothing (Tyrone is pantless and Pablo is almost completely naked) than the female characters (Tasha and Uniqua), who are more or less fully dressed. All five of them do seem to at least dress themselves up more during the episode while playing pretend.
  • Rebecca and Molly Cunningham from TaleSpin are fully dressed (except for being Barefoot Cartoon Animals), but Kit Cloudkicker and Baloo are pantsless. Averted in that most male characters in the show are fully dressed.
  • Mickey and Minnie Mouse follow this trope in more modern appearances like in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, where Mickey remains shirtless but Minnie is wearing a full dress. In the Classic Disney Shorts, however, Minnie was every bit as shirtless as Mickey. She reverted to this look for most of the shorts produced for Mickey Mouse Works, and generally anything that apes the Inkblot style of the black-and-white shorts. This is only in regards to their "classic" looks; they're fully dressed in every other costume.
    • Their friends Goofy, Donald, and Daisy Duck seem to apply this trope more often, as Donald Duck reamins pantsless while Goofy is fully-dressed (except in the Mickey Mouse (2013) TV series, where he is seen pantsless, too). However, depending on the situations, Daisy can either be as pantsless as Donald or wear any kind of dress to contrast him.
  • On T.U.F.F. Puppy, Kitty Katswell is fully clothed, but Dudley Puppy wears only a shirt. However, this trope seems to change Depending on the Writer. Whenever they're at a pool or beach setting, Dudley will put on shorts and Kitty will wear a swimsuit but there was also an episode that called for them to shave off their fur, with Kitty shaving hers into the shape of a one-piece swimsuit while Dudley shaved his into a bikini, meaning that the two of them were still technically nude.
  • Averted with Mrs. Puff in Spongebob Squarepants, whose underside is always visible because she wears a skirt with no pants.
    • Squidward is the only male who doesn't wear pants, and this is often lampshaded.
  • Played with in Regular Show. Mordecai and Rigby are naked, while their respective love insterests Margaret and Eileen are fully clothed, but the reason the former pair go out like that is revealed to be because Rigby started a naked trend as a child and all his friends followed suit.
  • Minor reversal in Darkwing Duck; while most of the women follow suit with this (Morgana, Binky, Sarah Bellum all full; Darkwing, Honker without), Gosalyn herself is as dressed as her father (plus shoes), while Launchpad is fully dressed including boots.
  • Zigzagged in DuckTales (1987):
    • Webby Vanderquack the female duckling is as half-dressed without pants or a skirt as Scrooge McDuck's nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie are.
    • Mrs. Beakley dresses in a full outfit with shoes while Scrooge dresses only in a half outfit with spats and without pants.
    • Launchpad McQuack and Gyro Gearloose dress in full outfits with shoes however.
  • Downplayed as Cindy Bear is a Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal, whereas both Yogi Bear and Boo Boo are Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animals (though you could make a case for Cindy's tutu being too insubstantial to be considered anything but an accessory).
  • Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Daniel Tiger and his dad wear sweaters and shoes without pants, but his mom wears pants along with her shirt and shoes. Margaret, his baby sister, wears a full onesie.
  • The Adventures of Puss in Boots features Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal male cat Puss in Boots, who only wears a hat and his trademark boots and Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal female cat Dulcinea, who wears a long dress with sleeves and boots.
  • Inverted in the Courage the Cowardly Dog episode, "Heads of Beef." The male pig, Jean Bon, wears a full outfit with pants, while his wife wears a dress without any panties.
  • Gumby: When Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffed the episode "Robot Rumpus" the fact that Gumby and his father appear nude, while Gumby's mother appears fully dressed, is pointed out.
  • Like their main game counterparts, the male main characters in Sonic Boom usually wear only a shirt at best while the girls wear full outfits. This is lampshaded in one episode when Amy makes a bet that the loser must do the winner's laundry for a month and Sonic points out that it's unfair since he and Knuckles almost never wear clothes. Most male characters tend to follow the same pattern, though full outfits do show up on special occasions.
  • Adverted in The Amazing World of Gumball: On top of some Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism, the Wilson family have Jackie and Rachel fully clothed while Harold and Tobias only wear accessories (Harold has a tie, Tobias a sweatband). Otherwise, male and female characters wear similar amounts of clothing, most commonly all or nothing.
  • Pound Puppies (1980s) and its movie both follow this trope to a T, with males wearing nothing below the waist while females all wear skirts. The 2010 remake, however, averts it by virtue of the entire cast being Talking Animals at the "Animal" end of the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism.
  • Downplayed with Woody Woodpecker since the 1999-2002 series. Woody still only has white gloves for clothing, but his girlfrind and Distaff Counterpart Winnie is changed from being fully dressed with shirt, pants, and shoes to wearing a simple skirt with nothing above the waist. The same applies to Woody's nephew and niece, Knothead and Splinter respectively.

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