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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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In settings populated by funny animals and other non-humans, there are many varieties of Appropriate Animal Attire the work may decide to use, and one particular attire scheme — the trope in question — stands out. In works where said scheme is in effect, boys and girls appear to differ in not just what they wear, but the mere state of dress itself.

Many male characters seem to be content with wearing minimalistic outfits, either leaving cover up either half their bodies exposed or going about in nothing at all save for accessories. In contrast, female characters' standards of dress are much higher than the guys; rarely will you see one in anything less than a complete outfit, whether barefoot or not. note 

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Character design conventions concerning anthropomorphism are common justifications for this trope, since males tend to be less anthropomorphic in appearance and are unlikely to have any visible explicit attributes, removing the need to cover them up; meanwhile, females tend to be given breasts and curvy figures even if the animal they're based on lacks them, meaning their designs can appear awkwardly lewd for viewers if left unclothed. Unless the work doesn't mind the latter sex showing off some Barbie Doll Anatomy, expect it to play it safe by having most, if not every gal covered up alongside their exhibitionist male counterparts even if nothing which counts as explicit nudity is expected from either sex. Other times, simple social conditioning may also be a factor behind this trope, assuming any clothed female character is female precisely because they always have something to cover up 24/7.

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Conversely, females are more likely to avert this trope if either their physical feminine attributes are downplayed, or their designs are just as anthropomorphic as the males (often in the same vein as Talking Animals, Nearly Normal Animals, or Partially Civilized Animals) note , while males with their masculine traits played up are more likely to go as fully-dressed as the females (Usually in the case of beast people).

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


Examples

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     Anime & Manga  
  • Most of the males in Anisava only wear a shirt, while almost all of the female are fully-dressed.
  • 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. However, 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 Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog didn't follow this trope as rigidly as the game series. note  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 (most notably Sally Acorn, whose previous minimalistic getup was The Artifact at that point) while the males only wear shoes and gloves.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW): Averted by Alopex, a mutant arctic fox, who 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 only wears a coat, but no pants. His love interest, Doddeltje, wears a 19th century style dress and bonnet.

     Fan Fiction  

     Film, Animated  

     Film, Live-Action  

     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 human-like 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.
  • 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.

     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.
    • In a behind-the-scenes unlockable in Sly 2, one developer comments that Sly is "a universe in pantsless-ness".
    • There was also a Fourth-Wall Mail Slot video in which Murray, Sly's pantsless hippo friend, answers the question of why he doesn't wear pants. Murray claims that he's too big to find a pair that fit. This might explain him, Mz. Ruby, Contessa and Miss Decibel's pantslessness, but it sure didn't stop Panda King from finding a pair that fit.
  • This is the standard design scheme for all non-human characters in Sonic the Hedgehog; all but two males (Charmy Bee and Imperator Ix) wear nothing but shoes and gloves, and all females are fully clothed without exception.
    • Sonic Forces at first plays this straight as always with the Avatar, as the default outfit for the male has him wear only gloves and shoes, while the female wears a mandatory bodysuit. However, it's entirely possible for the Avatar to invert this trope thanks to the wide variety of unlockable outfits and cosmetics, in a first for the series. The male Avatar can dress beyond the usual accessories with both shirts and pants; meanwhile, it's also possible to truly undress the female Avatar without having to resort to Nude-Colored Clothes, as some of the bodysuit options actually replace her default one with body tattoos instead, which can be the same color as her fur if you really want to go streaking.
  • In the third Spyro the Dragon game, Spyro: Year of The Dragon, Hunter wears nothing at all, whereas Bianca wears a robe.
  • Crash Bandicoot is always shirtless but does wear pants, as most male animal characters: Tiny, Dingodile, Crunch... Coco, a female character, on the other hand, wears full clothing.
  • Seen in the Donkey Kong games, at least with Donkey and Candy Kong. Candy wears a normal amount of clothes (well, "normal" might be pushing it a little, but she's covering the essentials), DK wears nothing but a tie.
    • Subverted 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 - a franchise full of Funny Animals - Krystal 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 and a loincloth with nothing beneath the loincloth.

     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.
  • Invoked in this Dork Tower comic.
  • 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 is completely averted).
  • This trope is mocked at twice over in Nerf NOW!!, particularly in the case of Sonic The Hedgehog:

     Web Original  

  • Homestar Runner. Lampshaded multiple times as he goes berserk when it's pointed out he's not wearing any pants and that whenever he loses whatever one might call the red-starred article of clothing he wears, he's covered in a censorship mosaic.
    • Also lampshaded in a Strong Bad E-mail where SB creates a mass pants-removing device and plans to use it to disrupt a dance. After he presses the button, he realizes that he's the only one in the room wearing pants.
  • The Blockbuster Buster notes that Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel Averts this trope with the Chipettes, which he finds this disturbing. He censors them until they put clothes on.
  • So This is Basically...: In an episode covering Sonic the Hedgehog, Brendan hangs a lampshade on the series's strict adherence to this trope, theorizing that this is because everyone has to cover up the sexiest part of the body: the toe.

     Western Animation  

  • Bugs Bunny from the classic Looney Tunes (who was created in the 1930s) is clothed in his fur coat and White Gloves, but Lola Bunny of the modern Looney Tunes (who was created in the 1990s) wears at least shorts and a tank top over her fur.
    • 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.
    • Porky Pig is pantless, but Petunia Pig is fully dressed.
    • Tina Russo from The Looney Tunes Show is fully dressed (except for being a Barefoot Cartoon Animal) while Daffy Duck is naked.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • Buster and Babs Bunny (no relation) wear a shirt and a blouse and skirt, respectively. But, Babs sometimes wears panties and sometimes she doesn't.
    • This is for the most part averted with many of the main animal characters anyway. Shirley McLoon is another female character who doesn't wear pants (or even a skirt for that matter). Fifi la Fume is an even more noted example; other than her accessories, she's completely nude.
  • In Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, all the male rangers wear shirts but no pants (actually, 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.
    • An exception would be the Beach Episodes with the guys in trunks.
    • Most of the other bipedal animal characters play this straight, including famous one-shots like Tammy and Lahwhinie. The only exception on the female side would be Foxglove who doesn't wear any clothes. Besides, a few villains are fully clothed including shoes.
    • There was a bit of Lampshade Hanging in one episode: When Dale and Gadget swap bodies, she says, "Is it drafty in here?" and quickly makes a skirt out of a paper cup.
    • Robot Chicken lampshades the hell out of this in one skit, in which Gadget decides to simply walk around with just her jumpsuit top, pointing out the Double Standard. All of her male friends 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.
  • 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. Also averted in most of the Classic Disney Shorts, where 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.
  • 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.
  • In Regular Show, Mordecai and Rigby are naked, while Margaret and Eileen are fully clothed.
    • Although it's actually Mordecai and Rigby who are the weird ones. Apparently most animal...people (?) do wear clothes, but 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.
  • 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.
  • Not a complete example, because whether any given Imaginary Friend wears clothing or not is an idiosyncratic choice that has little to do with gender, but lampshaded in an episode of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: Mr. Herriman, who normally only wears something like a tuxedo jacket, vest, shirt, monocle, and top hat, is called out at one point by Mac to distract him: "Guess you're right ... Pantsless Joe." Herriman is shocked and profoundly embarrassed by this, and rushes off to find pants (they turn out to be plaid and much too large, but he wears them for most of the rest of the episode anyway).
  • 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 wear similar amounts of clothing, most commonly none.

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