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Removable Animal Markings

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In fiction, an animal's natural markings, such as a tiger's or a zebra's stripes or a leopard's spots, are often depicted as being removable. They can either be pulled off, washed off like paint, or fall off, yet the rest of their fur stays the same.

Can also apply to the markings on hands and feet, whether white, lighter colored, darker colored, or black, that look like socks, gloves, boots, stockings, slippers, and mittens.

In Real Life, these markings are part of the animals' anatomy and can't be removed any more than the rest of their fur or feathers can. note 

An unremovable animal marking that looks like an article of clothing is a Clothing Appendage.

Sister Trope to Removable Shell and Fur Is Clothing.


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  • There is a Garfield strip where one of his stripes comes off while Jon is bathing him.


  • The children's book Put Me in the Zoo features a leopard with colorful spots that are removable. In fact, he does many tricks with them, like putting them on other things and changing their color.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Downplayed in Sesame Street with Abby Cadabby's freckles. They're mostly normal, but in one episode, she gets a disease that makes them fall off.

    Video Games 
  • Downplayed with Mabari warpaints in Dragon Age: Origins: your Mabari warhound can equip different warpaints, changing patterns on its back. This does not just change the aesthetics, but gives it different stat boosts.

    Western Animation