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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 that covers all the essentials.

It's very easy to see where this trope comes from; we are used to men having less of their bodies to hide, and we expect women to cover up more in comparison. Thus, its presence in a work is often a deliberate attempt to better distinguish both sexes by emulating our own gendered standards of modesty note , or it may be simply a projection of said standards, with the artist feeling more comfortable with having female characters dress "appropriately" even when there is No Nudity Taboo in the work's setting. It may also be a reflection of society's expectations of men as being the wilder and more "savage" sex — hence the male characters' lack of clothing — and women as being the more civilized and "refined" sex — hence the greater amount of clothing in the female characters' designs. In general, the trope serves to bring a greater sense of familiarity to such fantastic settings, while still allowing the work to claim that the characters are not human and thus do not share our ideas of decency (or indecency).

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This also applies to audience reactions towards the work in question; seeing a male Funny Animal appearing pantsless or clothesless alongside a fully-dressed female counterpart (or even other fully-dressed males) usually isn't at all weird to us, because we tend to interpret it as being analogous to a man walking around shirtless. But it can be jarring to see a female Funny Animal shown "naked" in a work where full outfits are the norm for gals, and especially alongside a male counterpart who is more clothed in comparison.

Most of the time, however, the trope serves to address the potential issues of featuring Humanoid Female Animals in a work where accessory-wearing or half-dressed characters are common, and these two tropes indeed go hand-in-hand for obvious reasons. Males are often portrayed as humanized animals, 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 depicted as animalized humans, being given physical traits such as womanly figures and breasts (or at least the vague suggestion of breasts). In this case, it would be more problematic and risqué 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 or the Media Watchdogs. note 

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In any case, expect this trope to be treated as an unspoken rule from a Doylist standpoint. Due to the Law of Conservation of Detail, exactly why female characters are exempt from the tropes that commonly justify the male characters' "nudity" In-Universe — such as Fur Is Clothing — is usually left unexplained outside of Fan Wank. Don't expect any explanation for the guys' blatant lack of modesty compared to the gals, either. If the trope ever gets lampshaded in a work, it's usually but not always the latter scenario that gets poked fun at.

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 
  • Of Mice and Mayhem: The webcomic plays with the way Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers itself handles this trope.
  • Satirized in the Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) one-shot fic Princess Sally's Revolution, written by Pony POV Series author alexwarlorn. After a disgruntled Sally Acorn unleashes a mass brainwashing event in an attempt to defy this trope on a grand scale, many of the male characters are left flustered and/or utterly bewildered by their female peers suddenly walking around in the buff for no explained reason, despite most of them wearing nothing but shoes and gloves themselves. The gals, having unknowingly adopted Sally's attitude towards clothing as a result of the brainwashing, aren't bothered by their state of nudity in the slightest, and respond to the guys' protests by pointing out the double standard.
    Sonic: Amy! You're not wearing your dress?
    Amy: So?
    Sonic: And you're hugging me!
    Amy: So? Tails hugs you without wearing a dress.
    Sonic: Tails is a guy!
    Amy: Yeah so?
    Sonic: Girls wear dresses!
    Amy: Says who?
    Sonic: I mean girls wear clothes!
    Amy: I am wearing clothes. As much as you!

    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.
  • In the Frances The Badger series, Frances's father goes naked, while her mother usually wears a dress, though sometimes just a skirt. Averted with Frances and other little girl badgers, however, who usually go naked and only wear dresses to school or to parties.

    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 custom characters of both genders invert the trope despite initially playing it straight with their default outfits. The female Avatar in particular can achieve this without having to resort to Nude-Colored Clothes by equipping certain body textures such as fur patterns, which cause her otherwise mandatory bodysuit — also a texture — to vanish upon being equipped.
  • In the third Spyro the Dragon game, Spyro: Year of The Dragon, Hunter the cheetah wears nothing at all, whereas Bianca the rabbit wears an entire robe.
  • Crash Bandicoot's title character is half-dressed from the waist up, along with most male animal characters barring Ripper Roo (who wears a straitjacket as nothing else). Coco and Tawna, the two female animal characters, are fully clothed from neck to toe.
  • 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 clothing. 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.

    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. The other Funny Animals avert this, however; Shirley McLoon doesn't wear pants, while Fifi La Fume is completely nude barring her accessories.
  • Camp Lazlo:
    • This plays straight as some of the Bean Scouts (like Edward, Chip, Skip and Samson) wear no pants, while the Squirrel Scouts are fully clothed, though wear nothing under their skirts.
    • This also inverts the trope as Lazlo, Raj, Clam and some other Bean Scouts, as well as Scoutmaster Lumpus and Slinkman are fully clothed, while Jane Doe wears nothing below the waist.
  • 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 Nimnul's invention swaps Gadget and Dale's heads. Once she realizes what just happened, a visibly uncomfortable Gadget — trying to pull the bottom of Dale's shirt below her waist — remarks "It's kinda breezy in here, isn't it?" and quickly improvises a skirt for herself.
  • One Robot Chicken skit parodies the trope; in a Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers skit, Gadget decides to simply walk around with just her jumpsuit top (all the while she flaunts her bare curves as Sexophone music plays), 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.
  • 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 alike 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, though nothing underneath. 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.

 
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In "So This is Basically Sonic the Hedgehog", Brendan brings up how the male animal characters in the Sonic universe wear little more than gloves and shoes while females are fully clothed.

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