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Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains

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Come winter, neither's going to be sensible.
Kabal: Whaddaya think? Friend or foe?
Stryker: Foe.
Kabal: Dressed like that?
Stryker: Definitely foe.
Upon sighting Mileena, Mortal Kombat 9
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Just as good and evil can be Colour-Coded for Your Convenience, you can also tell them apart as heroes dress sensibly (more or less), and villains dress in skimpier outfits.

Although it's not that common nowadays, this likely started as a form of Getting Crap Past the Radar. "It's okay if they dress immorally. They're the bad guys! (wink)"

This trope doesn't require the good guys to dress like prudes, nor to never put on revealing clothing (because, you know, Fanservice). It's just that their regular outfits are significantly less skimpy than what the villains wear (and the heroes can dress like that with an Evil Costume Switch).

The exact way an outfit is skimpier can vary. It can be anything from being more form fitting to outright Stripperiffic.

This often overlaps with Evil Is Sexy, except this doesn't require the villain to actually be sexy, just dressed skimpily (there can be a difference). Furthermore, that trope often has the villains dress just as sensibly as the heroes, or the heroes to dress just as sexy as the villains (most Super Hero comics). Neither of those is this trope.

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As this trope is mostly found with female characters, it can also overlap with Slut-Shaming and Madonna–Whore Complex, as in the bad women are promiscuous, and their clothes show it.

A Sub-Trope of Dress-Coded for Your Convenience. A Sister Trope to Make-Up Is Evil.

Compare Good Eyes, Evil Eyes, Obviously Evil, Good Colors, Evil Colors.

Contrast Minidress of Power, Stripperiffic (since good girls can wear both). Also contrast Straight Edge Evil for villains. Another contrast is Armored Villains, Unarmored Heroes (with the inversion of the hero being in fewer clothes or less armored, while the villain is in full armor covering most of their skin). Also contrast Shabby Heroes, Well-Dressed Villains, although that trope is usually used for males while this trope is usually used for females.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Inverted in Black★Rock Shooter, where the eponymous hero is dressed in the skimpy outfit (likely due to the author's tastes), and the villain wears something more sensible. And played straight when she becomes Insane Black★Rock Shooter.
  • Zigzagged in Bleach. Although shinigami wear far more conservative outfits than the arrancar, the most standout stripperiffic baddies (Halibel, Mila Rose, Grimmjow, and Lilinette) are some of the most sympathetic ones. By contrast, Loly Aivirrne, who has a schoolgirl-like skirt, thigh-high boots, and a shirt that reveals her midriff and half of her breasts, remains one of the most unpleasant characters in the series' run (in the manga at least; the anime actually gave her a good measure of redemption). However, Neliel wore a pantsuit as an Aizen-affiliated Espada, only to wear torn-apart rags upon regaining her memories as an Espada. The others, like Szayel Aporro, Nnoitra, Aaroniero, and even the Shinigami-born Aizen wear more clothing than any of the others ever do. Although Matsumoto may be presented with more overt sexuality, other than a low-cut top, she's still wearing much more than the others mentioned.
  • Captain Earth: Moco usually wears a revealing bra-like top, hot pants, and not much else. Her battle uniform is even skimpier, and her male counterpart's version shows a lot of skin, too. The heroic women and men have relatively normal clothes, though Hana often plays the Innocent Fanservice Girl.
  • In Cross Ange this trope gets inverted. All the main characters wear clothing that covers less than a bra and the antagonists wear a lot of clothing. This is justified as nudity is used as a way for the racism and harassment considering the Norma's are the main characters and the antagonists are the sexists.
  • Played with in various ways in Fate/stay night. This is first played straight with Saber and Rider, one of whom who wears a fully-covered Battle Ballgown, and the other a Stripperiffic mini-dress, and then averted with Saber and Caster, both of whom are fully and totally covered. However, later on, Rider turns out to be actually good, and when Saber becomes corrupted and turns into The Dragon, her clothes cover her even more. During the final fight between Servants, this trope is actually inverted with Saber Alter and Rider, who have their roles reversed.
  • In the first half of Fresh Pretty Cure!, Eas, the sole female in the evil Labyrinth organization, wears a Stripperiffic black outfit complete with a bared midriff and short shorts, while the heroines wear comparatively modest frilly dresses when transformed. When Eas makes her High-Heel–Face Turn and becomes Cure Passion, she gets a modest frilly dress of her own.
  • In Genzo, we have Princess Kiku, who dresses like a Samurai, and Genzo as sensible heroes, while the Evil Redhead Maria Kurusu wears only a black corset, a long skirt, and boots.
  • Very much apparent in the Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics episode "The Iron Stove". The princess wears a long green dress with long sleeves and does not have any cleavage showing. The witch, on the other hand, wears a very short blue dress with virtually nonexistent sleeves, and visible cleavage.
  • Zig-Zagging Trope in Heat Guy J: Daisuke wears a sensible and breezy-looking white outfit that covers most of his body, and his android partner J wears a long trench coat. Meanwhile, their long-time enemy Clair wears tight-fitting leather pants and a shirt that opens all the way down his chest. However, Clair isn't the real Big Bad of the series—the real one is Shun, Daisuke's Knight Templar Big Brother, who mostly wears a sensible business suit.
    • The manga gives us a somewhat straighter example: Motherly Scientist Antonia, who works for Daisuke and J, always wears a full-body (if sexy) dress, while Mad Scientist Trinity, who works for Clair, wears nothing but skimpy underwear under her lab coat.
  • Inverted in Kill la Kill, wherein uniforms are used as a tool for subjugating the "clothes-wearing pigs" of the populace. Thus La Résistance that combats the (reasonably dressed) fascist regime is known as Nudist Beach, and its members care very little for indecent exposure laws. It turns out to be extremely justified, after The Reveal that clothing is an alien conspiracy to subjugate and eventually devour humanity. As almost all clothing on earth contains traces of alien Life Fibers, going skimpier means less direct skin contact and weaker mind control.
    • The inversion is also apparent in the Life Fiber-powered Goku Uniforms and the vastly more powerful Kamui, which are pure Life Fibers. Protagonist Ryuko's Kamui, Senketsu, is downright Stripperiffic, while Satsuki's Elite Four wear Goku Uniforms that almost completely cover their bodies. Satsuki herself, meanwhile, plays this trope straight with her own Kamui, Junketsu, which is just as skimpy as Senketsu. Well, it would have been played straight, were it not for the fact that Satsuki was Good All Along.
    • Particularly inverted in episodes 20-21, when Satsuki and Ryuko fight while Ryuko is Brainwashed and Crazy and they have exchanged Kamui. The villain's outfit is comparably less skimpy than the hero's, which makes sense given both because more clothes equals more Mind Control, and Ryuko is not entirely human.
  • The girls in Lime-iro Senkitan and Lime-iro Ryukitan X, while their casual and military outfits are form-fitting and on the short-skirted side, compared to the villains, who dress in barely-covering-anything black leather, they look positively modest.
  • The first season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. The Hero wears a long-skirted uniform for her combat outfit, and her allies are either dressed casually or garbed in full military uniform. Meanwhile, The Dragon is wearing what's basically a black swimsuit with a short skirt and interestingly placed red belts, her Familiar wears even less, and the Big Bad shows Absolute Cleavage. This trope stops applying in later seasons, once Nanoha starts befriending people.
  • While the females in Naruto all dress modestly no matter their alignment, the male villains tend to reveal their torso far more often than the heroes. The best examples are Zabuza, who only wears pants and Sasuke's infamous long-sleeved shirt which reveals most of his torso.
  • One Piece demonstrates a rare example of this trope demonstrated for both sides on the same character. Kalifa from the CP 9 arc initially has a short skirt and shows a little cleavage, but when she drops her cover she adds some fishnet stockings and additional cleavage.
  • Project A-ko has the initial villain, B-Ko, wearing a plate bikini power armor when she finally faces A-Ko directly (instead of just using one of her numerous combat robots). She continues to wear it for the attempts they both make to recover C-Ko from the aliens (including D, who comes at them both with a sword, after ditching her trenchcoat to reveal a plate bikini). They also land in a laundry storage room at one point that contains nothing but panties. That seriously needs to be washed. B-Ko, meanwhile, spends the entire film wearing her school uniform (albeit slightly worse for wear after a while).
  • Present to some degree in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Kyouko's non-magical outfit is basically just short shorts and a sweater—everyone else wears school uniforms when not in costume—and she's by far the most belligerent character. Homura appears to be the antagonist, yet has the most conservative magical outfit. This is a clue that she's Not Evil, Just Misunderstood. The Movie gets considerably less subtle when Homura goes full villain and gets a borderline-Stripperiffic outfit to match.
  • In Saint Seiya: Saintia Sho it's emphasized the dichotomy between the Saintia - chaste, pure and virginal - and the Eris's follower, depicted in attitudes and poses sexy along with her servants.
  • Kinda inverted in Senki Zesshou Symphogear. Chris is introduced as a mostly clothed villain with a visor (she still has underboob showing, though.) In the episode where she begins her heel/face turn, she switches it out for a cleavage, shoulder, and thigh exposing costume.
  • Silent Möbius, where the AMP wears police uniforms (and one Miko outfit) or suits and the villains wear very little leather. When Katsumi gets possessed by a demonic weapon, she also adopts the leather.
  • Star Driver. Almost all evil characters have openly Stripperiffic uniforms, while good guys usually dress modestly.
  • Generally in all the Time Bokan series the heroines wear more modest outfit compared to villainesses. In Yatterman for examples, the heroes wear jumpsuits while the main female villain wears a revealing leather outfit. Her ugly cronies also have their midriffs bared at all times.
  • Yaiba, where the moon empress Kaguya dresses like a Playboy Bunny (she's apparently an anthropomorphic rabbit, actually an Eldritch Abomination, possessing a human), while the heroes dress sensibly.
  • In Saber Marionette R, the heroes dress more modestly than the Stripperiffic Sexadolls. This and the sexually aggressive nature of the Sexadolls also serves to mark a contrast on how Junior and his marionettes are children while Star-Face and the Sexadolls are adults.
  • Inverted with Goku and Goku Black in Dragon Ball Super, Goku's outfit has no sleeves and shows his neck in contrast to Goku Black's outfit having a turtleneck with sleeves covering his arms.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel's Hellfire Club, (most associated with the X-Men sub-franchise, although they occasionally tangle with non-mutant heroes) a gentlemen's club (in both senses of the phrase) for old-money evil mutants, where the ladies dress in fetish gear and Sebastian Shaw likes to bare his chest for action.
  • In Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose, the dark witch's outfits are even skimpier than those of her good sister, and that's really saying something.
  • Parodied, along with most of The Dark Age of Comic Books, in Grant Morrison's one-shot Doom Force. The villainess first shows up dressed fairly sexily, which her brother finds disgusting - because she's wearing too much clothing. She obligingly switches to exotic lingerie. The brother, meanwhile, later shows up in a speedo and pasties. The parody comes in that her brother basically tells her to wear more revealing clothing because it's supposed to make her more empowered as a woman. Her response:
  • In DC's Young Justice, Arrowette lampshades this when she fears she's turned evil. "I'll have to get a tight, skimpy black leather outfit that shows off my cleavage. Oh God, I'll have to get cleavage!" Turns out to be a Brick Joke: the payoff comes in a later story, World Without Young Justice, in which Bedlam has managed to Make Wrong What Once Went Right so the three YJ founders don't exist. This universe's "Dark Arrowette" is indeed wearing a skimpy black leather outfit. And has cleavage.
  • The Unfortunate Implications of this trope are lampshaded in an issue of Avengers Academy where the Avengers confront Cyclops' post-Schism X-Men team. Hawkeye (IIRC) says of Emma Frost, "I knew someone who dresses like that couldn't stay a good guy!", to which Tigra responds, "What does that make me? Doctor Doom?"
  • The comparison shows up when a DC or Marvel good gal gets brainwashed or possessed or simply chooses to be bad. Some examples from Marvel comics: The Phoenix (Jean Grey?) as the Hellfire Club's Black Queen in The Dark Phoenix Saga, the Invisible Girl (as she then was known) turning into skimpily and spikily dressed Malice in Fantastic Four #280, and Madelyne Pryor when she became the Goblyn Queen. Meanwhile, when Emma Frost became a good guy, she started wearing a slightly less skimpy costume in Generation X... although the trope was then subverted in New X-Men when she stayed a good guy while wearing one of her most outrageously sexualised costumes ever.
  • Inverted with Starfire, whose costume is essentially a skimpy swimsuit, and her sister/dark counterpart Blackfire, who wears a full bodysuit.

    Fan Works 
  • This trope is evident, in The Hunger Games fanfiction Some Semblance of Meaning, in the outfits that Vale and Amber wear in their interviews (an elegant knee-length white dress and a "barely there", strapless crimson dress, respectively).
  • Attempted in Forbiden Fruit: The Tempation of Edward Cullen, where Lauren and her evil cheerleader friends are repeatedly insulted in the narrative for dressing like sluts. On the other hand, Atlantiana's goth outfits are described as pretty skimpy, themselves.
  • Once he gets his body back in A Very Potter Musical, Voldemort wears nothing but a cape, tight pants, and tap shoes for the rest of the play. Evil Is Sexy, indeed. His outfit is actually far more revealing than Bellatrix's (who dresses modestly except for a pretty high slit in her skirt).
  • Lampshaded in Amazing Fantasy. While giving Izuku dating advice, Peter mutters about how female supervillains always wear outfits that are way too skimpy or have way too much leather. He goes onto to tell Izuku to specifically avoid morally ambiguous cat burglars, referencing his old flame, Black Cat.

    Films — Animation 
  • Inverted in Fire and Ice with the two most prominent female characters: while the heroine Princess Teegra is clad in a tiny bikini all the time, Queen Juliana wears a long purple dress that is far more modest than Teegra's outfit. The same goes to the heroic male characters like Larn, Darkwolf, and Taro having more skin exposed in contrast to the fully clothed Nakron, but gets subverted by the time Nekron removes his robes to battle Larn and later Darkwolf.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • Awoken takes this almost to the point of Slut-Shaming. Miss Epistola is described as being dressed in skimpy clothing in nearly every scene — even when working as a substitute science teacher, she's wearing a slinky dress under her lab coat. She is, of course, the Big Bad of the story, and during the climax, her outfit gets downright stripperiffic; the protagonist Andi compares her to a video game character. Andi herself, meanwhile, often expresses shame when caught with little clothing on. Given that the book is a Stealth Parody of Twilight and other YA Paranormal Romance novels, it's more a mockery of this trope than anything else.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Tin Man Sci-Fi Channel original film with Neal McDonough and Zooey Deschanel, the evil sis had some costumes. Let's just say there was a reason why the flying monkeys in this version were nicknamed "boobmonkeys".
  • The Mirror Universe in Star Trek did this right from the start:
    • In "Mirror Mirror", the Terran Empire has female uniforms based around Bare Your Midriff and male uniforms with no sleeves and slightly more chest.
    • Varied in the Mirror episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with the two Kiras; while Mirror Kira's black leather catsuit shows even less skin than normal Kira's red uniform it's still a lot more openly sexual.
    • Played to the full in Star Trek: Enterprise, where the female Terran Empire uniforms consist of cropped jackets and low-waisted trousers that leave absolutely nothing between the bust and upper pelvis, reminiscent of contemporary Three Minutes of Writhing pop video looks.
    • Averted in Star Trek: Discovery, in which the Mirror Universe costumes are not particularly revealing. According to Word of God, the showrunners were deliberately trying to avoid Sex Is Evil.
  • One gets the sense that Charmed was trying to use this trope, only the female lead characters were so Stripperiffic that it would have been hard to make the female demons even more so; therefore, the Charmed Sisters are only marginally less sexy than the female demons. Male demons would seem to be a straighter example of this trope, at least in the later seasons, when you had fellows like Zankou using leather outfits as a symbol for their status as evil demons.
  • Compare Colonel Deering (good) with Princess Ardala (bad) in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • A controlled example with vampire/human Willow, while Impersonating the Evil Twin. Upon discovering how tight her vampire self's corset is, human Willow comments, "I guess vampires really don't have to breathe." She later delivers the gem: "I'm a bloodsucking fiend! Just look at my outfit!"
    • This is also beautifully phrased in this iconic, Foreshadowing line:
      Willow: This is me as a vampire? I'm so evil, and skanky... and I think I'm kinda gay.
    • Subverted with Dark!Willow, who sports an outfit far more conservative than the saddest shirt in the history of television.
    • Vampire!Xander is also a Rare Male Example of the trope. He sports a sleeveless wife-beater tank, while human Xander (at least at this point of the series) was never shown in a sleeveless shirt (save his single Fanservice moment on "Go Fish", which was explicitly out of character).
    • There was also Faith, who, while not exactly Stripperiffic, tended to show a lot more cleavage than Buffy (and wear generally tighter outfits).
      • Averted in later seasons. After she became good, she wore the exact same clothes she normally did.
    • Human Drusilla, who was very religious, was a lot more chaste (as Angel's puts it) than her vampire self, or say, the outfit Darla wore at the same time.
  • Stargate SG-1 played with this trope a bit. While Carter and Dr. Frasier were always well covered up, the female Goa'uld were generally pretty Stripperiffic.
    • Although the same was true of the allied female Tok'ra - notably Anise, who's rubber top barely avoided bat-nipples.
    • In the episode "The Warrior", a lot of the males wore similarly skimpy outfits when not in the uniforms they were made to wear by their former masters.
  • As with the anime, in the live-action series of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, it's hard to miss Queen Beryl's generous chest. It's especially noticeable compared to the scouts' modest street clothes and Sailor Fuku.
  • This happens in some seasons of Power Rangers: compare the suited heroes and heroines to villainesses such as Divatox and Vypra.
  • A male example in Good Omens (2019): the angel Aziraphale is always primly and properly dressed, in contrast to the demon Crowley, who walks around with his shirt open in virtually every scene (outside of flashbacks). Not that Crowley is all that evil, other than by virtue of working for Hell.

    Music Videos 
  • In the video for "You Belong with Me" by Taylor Swift when the nerdy girl takes off her glasses and reveals that she was Beautiful All Along at the High-School Dance, she is wearing a modest white dress. The Alpha Bitch character, also played by her, is in a skimpy red dress.

  • In Music/Miserable, all the members of Music/Lit are fully clothed, with the only real skin showing coming from Allen (the drummer) in his blood red shorts. Meanwhile, Pam/Vallery, the woman making them miserable, is only wearing a bikini and platform stripper pumps.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Back when she first debuted in 1999, Stephanie McMahon wore tasteful formal and semi-formal outfits. When she first turned heel to join up with Triple H and DeGeneration X, she switched that look for tank tops and leather hot pants. Exemplified with her 2003 Heel–Face Turn and she was wearing business suits and modest clothing.
  • Sable may have had skimpy outfits occasionally as a face (The Slammys, her infamous hand-print bikini) but in the ring, she almost always wore fairly modest gear. However, after her Face–Heel Turn, she frequently wrestled in just short-shorts and a very revealing bra. Her trademark Spy Catsuit also made a lot more appearances when she was a heel.
  • Inverted with Ivory when she joined the Moral Guardians Heel Power Stable Right To Censor.note  Ivory wrestled in a non-flattering blouse and bow tie and a very impractical ankle-length black skirt. Thus her opponents would always be more exposed than her. At Survivor Series 2000, announcer Jim Ross compared her to Lillith from Cheers.
  • Downplayed with Kana vs her arch nemesis Syuri Kondo. While Kana does dress "sexier", she also wears face paint, sometimes to the point of clown makeup, so while not as sensible Syuri's karate, kickboxing, shoot boxing or mixed martial arts style gear, doesn't necessarily come off as sexier. On the other hand, Syuri's non-athletic Apple Tale sell music albums, and sing and dance at concerts while Kana's Evil Counterpart alternative The Triple Tails make their non-wrestling money as Fan Service Models.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Eldar. The good-ish Craftworld Eldar tend to wear long robes and full body armour. Their evil cousins, the Dark Eldar, wear comparatively little to show off their lithe bodies and combat prowess: this is especially true for the Wyches.
  • Warhammer's Elves exhibit some degree of this. The noble and good High Elves tend to wear long robes, cloaks, silk trousers, and ornate armour, and while most of their evil Dark Elf cousins often wear just as much (albeit darker, and with more spikes, blades, and chains), many Dark Elf Sorceresses and the frenzied Witch-Elf cultists tend to wear very little indeed. The Wood Elves tend to fall in the middle, as their morality is mercurial, shifting and occupying a middle space between their High and Dark cousins, and, while their leaders and rank-and-file soldiers are fairly well covered up, many of their wilder warriors — especially the Wardancers — wear just as little as the Witch Elves.
  • Dungeons & Dragons gets in on it sometimes, especially with the more humanoid Always Chaotic Evil races and monsters. Heroic characters get depicted on the more-or-less sensible side of things (with exceptions, of course), while evil ones like the succubus or especially the drow are downright Stripperiffic bondage fantasies. Justified for succubi, who trade in temptation, and with the drow - a spellcaster covering up is like saying she doesn't trust her own abilities to protect her, and is admitting to weakness.
  • Magic: The Gathering: A justified example on the plane of Innistrad, which is basically Gothic Horror Plane. The human heroes wear lots of clothes and high collars, both to keep out the perpetually chilly weather and to provide an extra layer of protection for their tender flesh and blood. The werewolf villains wear next to nothing because their clothes rip up every time they transform, while vampires deliberately wear skimpy costumes as a way of showing off their immunity to cold and their lack of fear of other vampires.
  • 13th Age: Of the female Icons, the good and neutral ones — the Elf Queen, High Druid and Priestess — have at most a low neckline or bit of midriff on display, but the evil Diabolist is clad in a sort of bikini thing to show off her runic tattoos, and two of the Three — the Blue and the Black — wear nothing at all, but then, they are dragons.
  • In Sentinels of the Multiverse, Fanatic dresses in full armour (most of the time, anyway; technically the swimsuit-clad Xtreme variant is from a different universe) while her Fallen Angel Arch-Enemy Apostate is a Walking Shirtless Scene, Setback wears a full spandex suit while his villainous ex Kismet prefers a bare midriff, and Bunker wears a mech suit while Fright Train goes shirtless. Averted with Ra and the Ennead, however, since neither Ra nor his archfoes reliably wear much (in Ra's defence, shirts are flammable), and with Tachyon and Friction, who wear basically the same suit (although Tachyon has at least one more sensible variant). Inverted with Expatriette and Citizen Dawn, though, since the former has at least one outfit with a bare midriff while Dawn is generally shown in a full top

    Video Games 
  • The Final Fantasy series is a fan of this.
  • This also carries over into the spin-off Dissidia Final Fantasy. Just compare the Cosmos and Chaos female characters. Terra wears a fairly normal outfit, albeit with a miniskirt, though she is wearing tights underneath. Shantotto, as someone (marginally) on Cosmos's side, wears a full uniform. Cosmos herself is wearing a long white gown. Meanwhile, the Chaos side only has two women - and they're Ultimecia and the Cloud of Darkness.
    • It gets a little amusing in the Prequel game, Dissidia 012, where we see that several heroes were on Chaos's side in the previous war. Terra loses the leggings and skirt in favor of a white leotard and a hip scarf, and Tidus seems to have developed an allergy to shirts. Cloud actually gains more clothing with much fancier armour, but also adds more jewellery, and Jecht is exactly the same despite being a good guy.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: Inverted, as your Light Sider female party members (Mira and the Handmaiden if the player is male) expose a lot more skin over the course of the game than the Dark Side pair (Visas and Kreia). The Twin Suns, two female Twi'leks that are minor bosses on Nar Shadda, play this trope straight by wearing less than any female party member, except for the Handmaiden in her underwear.
  • In Luminous Arc series, the first stripperiffic female antagonist character you meet WILL Heel–Face Turn. Subverted with the second female antagonist that appears will have a much less revealing outfit e.g. Priel, Elicia and Yorg. Valerie will switch to a much more revealing outfit when she reveals her true identity.
  • Mass Effect:
    • In the original, the player's teammate Liara wears a perfectly ordinary tunic of the sort many female NPCs are comfortable wandering around in public wearing. Her mother Benezia, suffering from a case of More Than Mind Control, has an Impossibly-Low Neckline to show off her huge... tracts of land.
    • Mass Effect 2 plays with this. Amongst Shepard's crew, their nicest female allies (Tali, Kasumi, and Liara) run around in sensible clothes, the more morally questionable ones (Miranda and Samara) have extremely close-fitting outfits (with Absolute Cleavage in Samara's case), and the only thing the psychotic Jack wears from the waist up is tattoos and a leather strap that's only just wide enough to cover her nipples. Further, when Jack mellows in the next game, she shows considerably less skin.
    • Male crewmembers show shades of this. Thane shows off a strip of bare chest (for medical reasons), Grunt has bare arms, and Zaeed has one bare arm to show off his tattooos. The three of them are amongst the most Renegade members of Shepard's team.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Played with in Dragon Age: Origins with Morrigan's. Her Absolute Cleavage outfit contrasts with the nice modest Chantry robes Leliana shows up wearing. While Morrigan is a bit mean and a ruthless anarchist, she is still one of the heroes. While one of your clues that Ser Cauthrien can be reasoned with is that she wears perfectly ordinary heavy armor, almost everybody is dressed sensibly if you ignore the pure fanservice-y skintight robes that every woman not in armor wears.
    • Likewise played with in Dragon Age II: you have the sweet Fish out of Water Ingenue Merrill wearing a plain, practical Dalish outfit and the sexy Good Bad Girl pirate Isabela wearing a tunic and not much else, but both of them are among the heroes. The villains wear mage robes, Chantry robes, or in Meredith's case, full plate armour.
  • In Metal Gear Solid, Solid Snake wears a skintight Spy Catsuit. His Evil Twin, Liquid Snake, walks around only in tight trousers and a coat undone at the front. He has no shirt. The game takes place in Alaska.
  • Lunar: The Silver Star.
    • Luna wears a peasant dress at first, then practically nothing after her (apparent) Face–Heel Turn.
    • While all the women of the Vile Tribe shown in Silver Star Story Complete and beyond wear skimpy clothes, it should not be a shock which one of them chooses to make a Face–Heel Turn later in the game considering that she's the most conservatively dressed of the three.
  • I-NO of Guilty Gear is...improperly dressed. Works for "That Man", who appears to be The Man Behind the Man. Although the heroine, Dizzy, is wearing even less, Dizzy doesn't have a win pose where she takes her clothes off.
  • Downplayed with the player characters in Champions of Norrath. While they're all technically good guys, you can play as a Dark Elf Shadow-Night, and the female version of that class is one of the two most covered female characters. The most skimpily dressed one is the Desert Mage, who is the only one with Absolute Cleavage.
  • While every female in BloodRayne is some degree of Stripperiffic, Rayne's costume is somewhat protective compared to Ephemera's skin exposure and Feral's animated tattoos. In the first, Rayne's mentor, Mynce, shows more leg, and later is revealed to be a traitor. Subverted, however, at the end of the game as Mynce is not actually a traitor but reveals herself as a Double Agent just before she's killed by the Big Bad.
  • Golden Sun:
  • While the Mortal Kombat franchise as a whole tends to have all females wear skimpy clothing regardless of alignment, Mortal Kombat 9 has Stryker invoke the trope by immediately assuming Mileena is a foe thanks to her very Stripperiffic outfit. Note that while Mileena is, indeed, evil, her outfit seems to be standard attire for female warriors of the Outland, and a few of them like Kitana are decent.
  • League of Legends plays around with the trope:
    • While quite a few of the females are Stripperiffic on both ends of the spectrum, all the well-dressed female champions are good. Compare the morally good, armored from head-to-toe Kayle and sensibly dressed Riven, to the evil, battle bra touting Morgana and Elise.
    • Inverted with the male characters. Good male champions can range from armored-like-a-tank Garen to pleasing to female gaze Yasuo and Varus. Nearly all of the amoral male champions such as Darius and Viktor are almost fully covered
  • Played with a bit in La Pucelle. Princess Eclair normally wears a Battle Ballgown, while her Superpowered Evil Side wears revealing black lingerie. However, the circumstances where Dark Eclair first shows up seems to suggest that that's just Eclair's normal sleepwear.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog, Rouge, the vain, selfish Anti-Hero, dresses in clothes that show off everything she's got to maximum effect, and Harmless Villain Wave has a bared midriff and may not even wear a shirt; while Amy, Cream, and Blaze dress up modestly, and Tikal, being undead, doesn't even have anything to show off. Shade is evil but is fully clad in armor.
  • Inverted in Star Fox Adventures. Resident Action Girl Krystal is the Stripperiffic Ms. Fanservice in Chainmail Bikini, while Big Bad General Scales normally dresses in full uniform or armour.
  • Mostly inverted in Tomb Raider: Anniversary. Lara Croft's default outfit consists of a tank top and short shorts, while Natla's clothing is much more conservative and does not show her legs. That is, until the final boss battle, where it is played straight.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, female members of the Fiends gang dress like pole dancers. Your companions Veronica and Cass dress like they might have to work outdoors in a harsh climate.
  • In Immortal Souls, Isis Corporation Agents wear Badass Suits, John and Raven wear skintight but fully concealing clothes, and the Templars wear full-body Powered Armor. Meanwhile, the Black Witch and Juliet are Stripperiffic via Clothing Damage for the former and Of Corsets Sexy for the latter, as well as Juliet's female gang members also dressing equally sexy.
  • In Brain Dead 13, this is played straight in Vivi's Funeral Salon in that Lance, the bumbling hero, is fully clothed, while Vivi is a big-breasted villainess in a black, skimpy, midriff-baring outfit.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword, all of the female villains with the exception of Limstella show some amount of cleavage in their artwork. On the heroes' side, all of the player's female units are modestly clothes and aren't (with the exception of Lyn) too well-endowed with the potential exception of Vaida, who starts off as an enemy anyway.
    • Would seem to be the case in Fire Emblem Fates: Princess Hinoka of Hoshido wears a modest dress with practical armor and only shows a small amount of leg as a Pegasus Warrior, while Princess Camilla of Nohr wears black lingerie to display her ample assets. Then it's subverted twice: Hoshido has Orochi, Rinkah, and Rhajat (the former two show quite a bit of skin while the latter wears Sensual Spandex), while Nohr has the modestly-dressed Flora, Selena, and Beruka. Secondly, either side can be hero or villain depending on which path you take and neither in the Revelation path.
    • In later games, dark mages (who are mostly villainous and tend to be played for Heroic Comedic Sociopathy if they end up on the heroes' side) have very skimpy outfits consisting mainly of underwear worn over sheer bodysuits. This is mostly gender neutral (behold, Fates' generic dark mage portrait), but it's worth noting that most of the named dark mages are women and the sole "sensible" dark mage (Henry) is a man.
  • Splatoon:
    • The playable Inklings (both male and female) wear a mix of shorts and whatever top they are equipped with, all of which are sensible for both genders. The Evil Counterpart Race Octolings, on the other hand, are only female and wear shorts along with a tank top armor that shows quite a bit of navel. To drive this point home, the unlockable Octoling Armor doesn't show nearly as much skin when worn by an Inkling of either gender.
    • The sequel has the final battle being Evil Callie vs you and Marie. Callie in this form wears a revealing black and purple outfit that shows a lot of skin while Marie and The Protagonist are covered up. It's also averted with Marina, the first good guy Octoling who wears an outfit even more revealing than the villainous members of her species.
  • Bayonetta is an inversion: The titular heroine wears a skin-tight outfit made of her hair, the same material she uses to channel her spells/powers, which means she tends to flash much skin, if not going all out naked, in combat. Her oppositions, meanwhile, are usually fully-covered from the neck down (And in fact, moments before her Heel–Face Turn, Jeanne strips down to the same hair outfit that Bayonetta wears). The same holds true for the sequel, where her main enemy, the Masked Lumen, shows absolutely no skin until he finally gets unmasked.
  • Overwatch:
    • The very first trailer and the "Alive" animated short featured rivalry between fully dressed, heroic Tracer against cleavage-baring evil sniper Widowmaker.
    • Normally, Mercy is fully covered and definitely on the heroic side. However, in the Junkenstein's Revenge mode, where she was the Greater-Scope Villain, she wore a Hot Witch costume with exposed cleavage and thighs.
  • Inverted in Pokémon Sun and Moon, Kukui is one of the main characters and sports a Walking Shirtless Scene, the main protagonist as a Male can have a Shirtless Scene when surfing and the female can show off her stomach with custom outfits. Lusamine, on the other hand, is completely covered up. Plumeria at first play this trope straight but then it's revealed that she was Good All Along due to her actually being really friendly and only followed orders from Guzma because she had too as she never wanted to do any kidnapping. Wicke is played straight as she's actually one of the kindest characters in the game and while her outfit is slightly aimed for Fanservice it covers up a lot of skin.
  • Valkyria Chronicles: Villain Selvaria's outfit has a high neckline, but it shows enough of her back for us to see that she can't be wearing a bra. Heroine Alicia wears a jacket that gives full coverage in the front and back.
  • Chrono Trigger: Inverted, as the female villain dresses quite conservatively, while Ayla wears the furs of some unlucky mammal and nothing else (and if you bring her to meet Crono's mom, she gets called out on wearing such unladylike attire). Marle and Lucca dress normally, with Marle ditching her princess clothes at the first opportunity.
  • Persona 5:
    • Shadow Sae, who represents the more "villanous" side of their counterpart Sae Niijima, due to their distorted desires and thoughts corrupting their mind.
    • Inverted with Shadow Futaba, who's actually the hidden good side of Futaba but dresses in a skimpy pharoh garb due to the level's Ancient Egyptian themes.
  • In The Legend of Zelda game Hyrule Warriors, the majority of the female heroes of the Hyrulean Forces are sensibly dressed. The sole exceptions are Midna and Ruto, who are technically naked but get a pass since both lack certain human attributes and the latter's Ocarina of Time 3DS design makes her look like she's wearing a dress of sorts, and potentially Lana's Bare Your Midriff outfit depending on one's values. On the dark forces' side, though, Cia is dressed in a very Stripperiffic outfit.
  • Total War: Warhammer II: As with the source material in Warhammer, the noble High Elves tend to wear a lot more than their cruel Dark Elf cousins. This is especially visible in The Queen and the Crone DLC, focusing on Alarielle the Everqueen, Crone Hellebron and a number of units associated with them. Alarielle wears flowing robes that only leave her arms bare, while her Handmaidens and the Sisters of Avelorn wear full-body leather-and-metal armor as would be expected from dedicated soldiers. Hellebron, High Sorceresses and the Sisters of Slaughter, on the other hand, stride into battle with little beyond greaves and Chainmail Bikinis, and the all-male Doomfire Warlocks aren't wearing a whole lot more. This is best shown with a contrast between the Dark Elf Sorceress, who runs around half-naked with little more than a loincloth, and the High Elf Mage, who wear flowing robes that cover their bodies entirely.

    Web Comics 
  • The Order of the Stick: While the main female character, Haley, usually gets by with nothing sexier than a bare midriff, her Evil Counterpart Sabine is prone to do things like engaging in battle wearing a schoolgirl outfit (granted, Sabine is a succubus). Other female antagonists, notably Tsukiko, also dress skimpily.
  • Homestuck: compare White Queen and Black Queen's harlequin outfits: White, Black
  • At Arm's Length: The main characters wear reasonable shirt and pants combos into battle (save for Kiley, who wears a tube top), but their arch-nemesis Temujin looks like she bought her outfit from the barbarian section of Victoria's Secret.
  • In Misfile, Ash's good angel wears a toga, while her bad angel...
    Ash: W... What the hell are you wearing?
    Bad angel: This is the traditional evil conscience female uniform. It's supposed to represent your feminine sexual inhibitions unleashed...
  • In Ensign Sue Must Die, Ensign Sue wears the normal Enterprise uniform for a medical officer, which is pretty all-covering (of her top half, at least — it still has only a miniskirt for the bottom part), and her mirror universe counterpart Empress Sue wears a navel-exposing tank top and short skirt.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Transformers:
    • Transformers Animated: Compare Arcee and Blackarachnia's designs and see which parts of their bodies resemble exposed skin.
    • Applies to Blackarachnia all by herself in Beast Wars. Compare her original body to her post-Heel–Face Turn Evil Costume Switch and try to spot the "skin". And then there's Airazor, who seems to be a fairly modest Maximal from the get-go.
  • Strangely enough, Teen Titans is an inversion. The female villains are usually dressed more conservatively than Starfire, who flies around in a midriff baring shirt and a short skirt, and Raven, who wears a ridiculously tight looking leotard underneath her cloak. Starfire's appearance, funnily enough, is actually more modest than her original comic counterpart, where she'd even appear naked on occasion.
  • Winx Club actually inverts this with the Winx Girls and the Trix, though in the first season, it was played straight with the girls' civilian clothes.
  • Inverted in the Justice League episode "A Better World": fascist Wonder Woman has short hair and wears a full-body suit, in contrast to normal Wonder Woman's luscious locks and leotard.

Alternative Title(s): Skimpy Villains Sensible Heroes

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