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Same Clothes, Different Year

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"I guess our clothes are magic fabric, they grow with us."
"No, our moms just made bigger ones as we got older. 'I want one just like this only longer!'"
— Commentary on the dub of Soul Eater, Episode 23

Limited Wardrobe taken to its logical extreme. This is when a character flashes back to their childhood (or just their "younger days"), or the work shows a scene from the character's future, and they're wearing the exact same (or almost exact) style of clothes that they wear in the present.

Can be Truth in Television for some individual items of clothing, if they're expensive and durable and/or have some sentimental value. Compare Weapon Jr.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Suzu of Ayakashi Triangle usually wears some combination of a (usually white) hoodie and shorts outside of school. While most flashbacks show her in a variety of different clothes, the first time Matsuri saw her, she was wearing a black version of her current outfit.
  • Occurs with Goku in Dragon Ball. Whenever there's a flash back to events far earlier in the story, Goku will always be wearing, barring a few detailsnote , the exact same outfit. This is the case across the three decades shown in the series.
  • In Hidamari Sketch, Yuno's parents show a photo of her from kindergarten and she has the same crisscrossed Bobby pins in her hair.
  • Kagerou Project:
    • Semi-justified examples in Kido and Kano, who are shown wearing the same hoodies, between their early childhood and the present day, ten years later. Given they received them from Ayano (Seto got one too, but he gave his to Mary), the considerable sentimental value (particularly after she dies) is why they're still wearing them at 16 years old.
    • The flashback sequence during Episode 8 of Mekakucity Actors also shows that Shintaro has worn a black hoodie like his Route-XX self since he was a baby.
  • In Pokémon Adventures, if there is a flashback of any of the main characters, s/he will be wearing an outfit similar to his/her first outfit provided by the games.
    • Though, Sapphire had a different outfit as a child as a plot point.
    • A flashback shows that White wore a dress as a child, though this is probably due to the fact that she was attending a musical at that particular moment.
    • A bit ridiculous when it comes to X. He starts his Pokemon journey in his pajamas, as Team Flare burned his house to the ground. Y somehow finds and buys him an outfit that is exactly like the one he wore as a little kid years ago.
  • Maya in Occult Academy has apparently had the exact same white dress ever since she was a kid. If it wasn't for the fact that the titular school required her to wear its uniform, she probably wouldn't wear anything else.
  • Present most of the time child versions of the Pretty Cure protagonists are seen. This is particularly so in episode 38 of Smile Pretty Cure! and the flashback portion of episode 33 of Doki Doki! PreCure.
  • In Soul Eater, Stein and Spirit had similar clothing in their youth as they do in the present. Their dub actors provide the page quote.
    • Crona also seems to wear the same robe/dress from the time he/she was a child. Given how Medusa treats him/her in general it might well be the same garment.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds: Yusei apparently hasn't changed his outfit much. Once during a flashback, even though the other characters were wearing different clothes with a similar color scheme (Jack's white hoodie and Crow's yellow T-shirt) Yusei was wearing the exact same outfit as his usual attire, minus the orange 'bubble' guards. Though where he got exact replicas of his outfit in a child's size in a literal wasteland is beyond me.

    Comic Books 
  • One comic strip in Asterix and the Class Act, as well as the book How Obelix Fell into the Magic Potion When He Was a Little Boy, depict Asterix and the other male Gauls as children. In both cases, they wear smaller versions of their normal outfits.
  • One Futurama comic has Fry reveal that he got given his red jackets for Christmas as a little boy. His parents gave him adult-sized jackets so that he'd grow into them.
  • The Loud House licensed comic shows that Leni, Lynn, and the twins wore very similar outfits as one-year-olds as they do now. The only exceptions are that Leni didn't wear shoes, Lynn didn't wear pants, and Leni and Lola didn't wear earrings.
  • The pre-Crisis Superboy wore the same costume from his childhood debut through his Superman era adulthood. It helped that the costume's material was capable of stretching over the years, allowing him to keep using it over all that time. A 1980s story showed Superboy once tried to subvert this by changing his costume to an all-yellow one (Clark wanted a more up-to-date look). Unfortunately, the costume's heavy amount of yellow material (versus the small amount on his usual costume) wound up reflecting the yellow portion of sunlight that gives him his powers, thus causing power failures/reductions.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peter from FoxTrot got this twice, due to his having the unchanging outfit of the cast. An example most in line with this trope was when Andy and Roger were sorting baby photos and Peter was wearing his usual hat even then. A similar take has Jason wearing Peter's clothes from fifth grade, which are exactly the same as his current clothes.
    Jason: It's high time someone asked you a question...
    Peter: Lookin' good!

    Films — Animation 
  • In the 2001 animated Disney movie Atlantis: The Lost Empire, the outfit Kida wore as an adult is actually a Stripperific version of the very same outfit she wore as a little girl at the very beginning of the film. Averted at the end, however, where she actually ended up wearing a long, flowing dress (as a queen, she is not allowed to wear skimpy clothing), which is colored like her princess outfit, but with the color arrangements reversed (the bodice and train is now colored light blue instead of dark blue with pink and gold stripes like her sarong, and vice versa for the sash, which was originally the same color as her bikini).
  • The movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs opens with A Minor Kidroduction, showing the main character, Flint, wearing clothes that are similar to the ones he wears in the rest of the film including gaining the spray-on shoes (that don't come off and presumably the same ones all these years) and lab coat that he wears from then on. Played straighter with young Brent, who wears the exact same kind of monogrammed tracksuit and flipflops that he wears as an adult.
  • In Meet the Robinsons, Cornelius "Lewis" Robinson's future self is actually revealed to be wearing the exact same outfit as his younger self near the end, as is Bud. Averted by Lucille and Franny, however.
    • Played With and Justified: the villain, Lewis' roommate Goob, wears his older outfit underneath a black cloak, which he throws off for a dramatic reveal of his identity. And in this case, it's literally the same very old, unwashed clothes, demonstrating his refusal to move on from the past.
  • In The Swan Princess, Prince Derek wears almost identical dark blue, white, black and gold outfits throughout both his childhood and his adulthood. Bromley's childhood and adulthood outfits are similar too. Averted with Odette, who wears different outfits throughout her childhood and only gains her signature white and green dresses as an adult.
  • In Toy Story 3, the garbage man can be identified as Sid Phillips, the main villain of Toy Story, because of the skull on his shirt.
  • In Turning Red, the clothing Mei and family wear for their family's annual New Year's photo is the exact same every year except sized differently to fit for Mei. In the novelization, Priya even comments on it.
    Priya: It’s like you photocopied the original nine times and pasted in a bigger you.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Live-Action Adaptation of Dudley Do-Right opens with the main characters as kids, with Snidely Whiplash dressed in his trademark black hat and cape.
  • In Gun Crazy, Bart's childhood friends Clyde and Dave remain recognizable as grown-ups, as they are still wearing Nerd Glasses and a leather jacket in the style of the ones they wore as kids respectively.
  • In Half Baked, when Thurgood has a Flash Back to the first time he and his friends got high (many years ago), they are all dressed in the same style as in the present day.
  • The Flash Back opening of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back features an infant Jay and an infant Silent Bob who are both dressed in baby-versions of their usual wardrobes.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 30 Rock character Frank wears a trucker cap with different words on it every episode. In one episode, a twelve-year-old Frank is recognized from a newspaper photo by his trademark thick-framed glasses, long hair, and a cap with "MY FIRST HAT" on it.
  • Exaggerated on a Season 15 episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Most of the episode is a Flashback to 1999 (22 years before the episode's "present day"). The flashback ends with a fade-to-present, after which it is remarked that Charlie is literally wearing the same clothes he was wearing on that day.
  • Three promos done for series 13 of Top Gear (UK) show the presenters as children; they all have hairstyles and outfits conspicuously similar to their adult selves. There is also a mini white-clad Stig.


    Puppet Shows 

  • In the original production of Les Misérables, Valjean gives Young Cosette a fancy new black dress and bonnet when he adopts her. After the Time Skip, she wears a nearly identical dress and bonnet as a young woman.
  • In most productions of Elisabeth young and adult Rudolf both wear the blue Austro-Hungarian military uniform - similar to his father Franz Joseph, who wears the same thing throughout nearly the entire show.

    Video Games 
  • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, as well as most sports spin-offs that feature the characters' younger selves, depict them wearing more or less the same type of clothes that they wear as adults.
  • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World has the original cast looking exactly the same as they did two years ago, including Genis and Presea, who were only 12 (at least, Presea was 12 physically.) The only real exception to this is Regal, who starts off wearing his original outfit from the first game when he's in jail in Izoold, but then changes into a fancy suit when he gets out.

  • Lampshaded in Concerned, where Gordon is seen wearing the default male jumpsuit of Half-Life 2 in his flashback during the time of the original Half-Life. He quips that he expects it to to become fashionable.
  • The Petri Dish: Downplayed for Thaddeus. He didn't start wearing the lab coat until he got into science, but he's always worn polo shirts, as seen in one flashback.
  • Something*Positive has a few examples, like Davan's shirt with the red dot (though apparently he just has several copies of the shirt) and Aubrey and her choker-and-blouse outfits.

    Web Original 
  • Exaggerated in this Drawception game that shows Velma from Scooby-Doo wearing the same sweater, skirt, and glasses in utero.

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball:
    • Darwin's Origins Episode ends with Gumball giving him the same style of shoes he wears in the present, which he's still wearing in every other flashback set after.
    • Flashbacks don't show Nicole and Richard with the same clothes they have now, but each does have one set of clothing they're wearing for scenes from when they first started living together (over twelve years ago) to as recently as Anais' birth (four years ago).
  • Arthur:
    • "Arthur's Baby" and "D.W.'s Baby" show the Read siblings a year ago. They (with the exception of Kate) are wearing the same outfits.
    • "Arthur's Eyes" shows Arthur and his classmates at age five (or six in Binky's case) and they're wearing the same outfits.
  • Blue's Clues: In "Blue’s First Holiday", the episode which shows how Steve got Blue as a little boy, he's still wearing a striped shirt.
    Joe: "Guess he always liked wearing stripes."
  • In Clerks: The Animated Series, Dante tries to get Randall to remember the time they first met when they were children. In the flashback, the two are dressed the same as they are in the present, with the only notable difference being Child!Dante doesn't have a beard.
  • Danny Phantom episode "Maternal Instincts" shows a picture of younger Danny wearing the exact same clothes as his present self, only with shorter pants. However, this is completely subverted in the Christmas Episode where he gets a number of different outfits (Jazz, however has a slightly altered outfit version of her current counterpart's wear).
  • Not only did Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory have an entire wardrobe filled with black boots, lab coats and purple gloves, it was shown in the Made-for-TV-Movie original series finale Ego Trip that he would continue to wear this attire for the rest of his life.
  • Dorg Van Dango: In the flashback to young Dorg trying his mother's "olive surprise" for the first time, he still has his trademark glasses and orange sweater.
  • Doug wore the exact same outfit he does now when he was a little kid.
  • The Flintstone Kids: They stayed together as kids, they remained friends as adults ... and all through the years the main foursome — 10-year-olds Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty — wear the same outfits as as adults. Fred in his orange and black diamond-spotted shirt with blue tie, Barney in his dark brown pullover, Wilma in her white dress with pearls and bow-tied Betty in her light blue dress.
  • Little Princess: One family portrait on the wall shows that the Princess wore the same white dress and yellow crown when she was somewhere between eighteen months and two years.
  • The Loud House:
    • When Lincoln is shown as a six-year-old in "The Whole Picture", he's wearing the same orange polo as he does in the present. Downplayed in that he's wearing different pants and shoes.
    • Lori is shown in several flashbacks of her at a younger age wearing the same outfit as she does in the present (albeit with sneakers and socks instead of slip-ons).
    • Lynn wore a very similar outfit to her present one when she was seven, as shown in "Deal Me Out".
    • Also in "Deal Me Out", Lana is shown wearing the same outfit as she does now as a toddler. She and her twin sister Lola also wore the same outfits they do now when they were four, as shown in "Strife of the Party".
    • In the opening "Life Is Better Loud" sequence from The Loud House Movie, as well as including all of the examples above, Leni is shown to have had her sunglasses since she was a baby. Luna and Luan's outfits haven't changed much since they were toddlers either.note 
    • Averted with Lynn Sr., Rita and other characters who are adults in the present, whom are always seen wearing different clothes in flashbacks to them at younger ages. In the aforementioned "Life Is Better Loud" sequence, Lynn Sr. and Rita even change their outfits with the birth of each Loud sibling, regardless of how many years passed between each birth.
  • Martha Speaks:
    • When we see T.D. in flashbacks, he's usually wearing the same tomato shirt and orange pants as he does now.
    • While Helen wore a different hoodie when she was six in the episode that explains how the Lorraines adopted Martha, she had identical tights and skirt. When she was a preschooler, she wore the exact same outfit she does now, as shown in another flashback.
  • In a flashback sequence from the Mike, Lu & Og episode "Flustering Footwear Flotsam", a younger Mike is seen wearing a similar red shirt, skirt and sneakers. The only difference is that she wears a red hat, something she doesn't wear now.
  • Averted with most of the Muppet Babies (1984) characters (some of whom don't wear clothes at all as adults), but Baby Fozzie wears his spotted necktie, and Bean Bunny wears exactly the same outfit he always does (see above under Puppet Shows).
  • In Muppet Babies (2018), in addition to Fozzie's tie, Gonzo wears his chili pepper shirt under his overalls. With the recurring characters, Scooter has his green jacket, Bunsen and Beaker wear labcoats over suits, the Swedish Chef has his full chef outfit and bow-tie, and Rizzo has his red and yellow jacket.
  • Peg + Cat: Downplayed in "Peg Meets Cat", which takes place four years ago. The Teens (then Tweens) wear outfits just like their current ones but with different numbers as they're younger. Peg also wears the same hat and tights, but she wears a onesie instead of a dress.
  • Peppa Pig: When Peppa and Susie are shown as toddlers in a flashback episode, they're wearing the same dresses and shoes as they do now.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • During the song "Little Brothers", Candace flashes back to her younger days and is wearing the exact same outfit, as are her parents. Phineas and Ferb themselves are more subtle: when shown as babies both wear overalls the same color as the pants they wear in the present (blue for Phineas, purple for Ferb). Both wear plain white shirts, though, while Phineas' present shirt has orange stripes.
    • In the Distant Finale episode "Act Your Age," teenage Phineas is wearing a different but similar shirt than usual, mostly yellow but with one orange stripe (as opposed to multiple pale-yellow and orange stripes), as well as pants instead of shorts. Ferb, meanwhile, is actually wearing a far more normal outfit than usual, including black pants, but his purple vest recalls the purple pants of his present-day outfit.
  • The cast of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo are wearing little kid-sized versions of what the teen cast of the original Scooby-Doo wear (with the exception of Daphne, whose outfit is pink instead of purple, and Velma, who wears a dress instead of a sweater and skirt).
  • Used with some characters in Recess when they were younger (the flashbacks show them from kindergarten to second grade). T.J. wore the same thing, though he used to wear his hat forwards in his early kindergarten days and also didn't have a jacket, Vince wore the same thing in second grade, and wore a slightly altered version of his shirt in kindergarten, Gretchen wore the exact same thing in kindergarten, but wore a pink sweater with it in the second gade, Spinelli wore a completely different outfit in kindergarten and didn't wear her jacket in second grade, and Mikey used to have buttons on his shirt in kindergarten.
  • Rugrats: In flashbacks to the previous year, Phil and Lil are shown wearing the same outfits as they do now.
  • The Simpsons: In "Hurricane Neddy", Ned Flanders is seen as a little boy wearing an outfit very similar to the one he does now, but with blue pants instead of grey.
  • In the Sofia the First episode "Through the Looking Back Glass," Young Cedric and Cordelia are seen wearing outfits similar to the ones they wear as adults.
  • When the 9-year-olds on South Park flashback to when they were 4, they're wearing the same style parkas, though with some of their hair visible, unlike their current designs.
    • Also invoked in the episode "My Future Self 'n' Me," where actors are hired to portray older versions of kids, usually wearing the same kind of clothes.
  • In the episode "Freeze Day" in Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Marco's five-year-old self wears a red sweatshirt and blue parts and his middle school/early teen self has his red hoodie replaced with a red sweater.
  • Subverted in Totally Spies!: When Jerry was younger, he wore loud shirts and a ginormous afro, whereas these days he's always in a suit.
  • What's New, Scooby-Doo?: In "A Terrifying Round with a Menacing Metallic Clown", the gang are shown at ages five (Velma), six (Daphne) and seven (the boys). All of them, with the exception of Velma, are wearing the same outfits as they do now.
  • Work It Out Wombats!: A flashback in "Zoom In Zadie" shows that Mr. E has been wearing the same glasses, bowler hat, and purple shirt since he was little.


Video Example(s):


Martha Speaks

T.D. and Helen wore the same outfits when they were around three.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / SameClothesDifferentYear

Media sources: