In fiction, an animal's natural markings, such as a tiger's stripes or a leopard's spots, are often depicted as being removable. They can either be pulled off or washed off like paint, yet the rest of their fur stays the same.
In Real Life, these markings are part of their bodies and can't be removed any more than the rest of their fur or feathers can. note
- There is a Garfield strip where one of his stripes comes off while Jon is bathing him.
- During the soccer game in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, King Leonidas roars so loud it blows the spots off a cheetah.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In the Goofy short "Tiger Trouble", Goofy's elephant sits on the tiger. When the tiger gets up, he finds that all his stripes are gone; they are now stuck on the elephant's behind.
- The titular Ferocious Beast from Maggie and the Ferocious Beast sometimes loses his spots.
- In one episode of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Tigger loses his stripes during a bath. With his stripes gone, he is convinced he is no longer a Tigger.
- In the Tex Avery MGM cartoon "Slap-Happy Lion", a lion's roar scares a zebra right out of its stripes, which stay in place. Another roar and the stripes themselves run off.
- Deer are born with spots, but lose them upon reaching maturity.
- From Wikipedia's article on tigers:
A tiger's coat pattern is still visible when it is shaved. This is not due to skin pigmentation, but to the stubble and hair follicles embedded in the skin, similar to human beards (colloquially five o'clock shadow), and is in common with other big cats.