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Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing

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I ducked around a corner into the mouth of an alley, then kicked off my slippers, the only parts of my dress that weren’t spun from fox-magic. (Magical garments never lasted beyond a seduction. My mother had remarked that this was the fate of all human clothes anyway.) I loved those slippers, which I had purloined from a rich merchant’s daughter, and it pained me to leave them behind. But I could get another pair of slippers later.
Foxfire, Foxfire, by Yoon Ha Lee

Items of clothing have a way of sticking around unchanged, even if their wearer is shrunken, transformed, or outright disintegrated in front of the viewer's eyes. This presentation is usually used as a visual cue to drive home the extremity of what's just happened to the victim. Simple gravity may pile the clothes into a heap, or convenient magic scatter them a moment later, to Hide the Evidence. In other instances, the clothes are ripped apart during the transformation, leaving them in tatters. Popping Buttons may occur at the very least.

In Shapeshifting, this can be an effect of Animorphism, or as simple as Just Woke Up That Way. Shapeshifting excludes clothing. Naturally. Also a frequent pairing with the Baleful Polymorph or Incredible Shrinking Man. Since the clothes stay where they are, if the victim has survived the event, it's likely to lead to Naked on Revival. However, works unwilling to depict nudity may nonetheless ignore the effect on reversal, in favor of returning the character to human form fully clothed. In some forms of shapeshifting, in fact, the character must get his hands on the original clothes to change back.


This is also seen in Sizeshifter gone wrong, ascending to a higher plane of existence, or the effects of a Fountain of Youth.

Typically onscreen; in any case, the cause of the loss of clothing is revealed to the audience and characters present in the scene. May trigger a foreboding Empty Piles of Clothing moment if discovered later by a character, without this context. In more comedic situations, characters obliviously transformed into larger forms may initially assume their clothes Shrunk in the Wash. Two characters who know they're about to go through a "Freaky Friday" Flip or a Physical Attribute Swap may preemptively exchange outfits to avoid any issues.

An inversion of Technically Naked Shapeshifter. Compare Invisible Streaker (aka "Invisibility Excludes Clothing") Empty Piles of Clothing, My Suit Is Also Super, Morphic Resonance, and Dress Hits Floor. Contrast Magic Pants.


Notice: As it can be used as a possible DEATH TROPE, there can be SPOILERS here. Beware!


    open/close all folders 

  • In the Axe Anti Dandruff commercial called "Dusted," three lovely young women are instantly reduced to dust in the presence of a certain young man, leaving their empty clothes to flutter to the ground.
  • In a commercial for Japanese fashion brand G.U., Kyary Pamyu Pamyu appears as three vampires rising from their coffins and striking scary vampire poses. One of the Kyary vampires accidentally kicks off her shoe, which hits a switch that opens a window. The sunlight pours in and poof, they vanish in a puff of smoke.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In AKIRA when Tetsuo loses control over his telekinetic powers he mutates into a giant blob, his clothes are destroyed in the process.
  • In Baccano!, immortals leave these when they are eaten.
  • In one work submitted for serialization in Bakuman。, about a survival challenge in which anyone who tells a lie dies, the people who are killed in such a manner disappear, leaving only their clothes behind, while a voice comes from their clothes and announces the truth.
  • Happens in the first season of Birdy the Mighty Decode, where the world-destroying parasitic weapon, Ryunka, spreads to the Greater Tokyo Area, petrifying any person into a glasslike substance that shatters into dust, leaving behind nothing but piles of clothing. The death of Nataru's (one of Birdy's childhood friends and fellow Altarian) buddies from the Ryunka's destruction is what prompts him to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge in the second season against the criminals responsible for releasing it.
  • Vampires that get staked in Black Blood Brothers usually leave behind a small pile of dust and a pile of clothing.
  • Bleach:
    • Yoruichi is naked whenever she transforms back from being a cat.
    • When Nelliel is transformed from a child to an adult, her dress is torn apart, leaving her barely covered by the rags. Strangely, when she's turned back into a child, her dress is intact again.
  • In an episode of Maeterlinck's Blue Bird: Tyltyl and Mytyl's Adventurous Journey, the animated adaptation of The Blue Bird, the titular children are regressed to infancy. Because their clothes didn't shrink along with them, this left them as naked babies frolicking to and fro innocently. When they're returned to normal, Berylude wastes no time giving them their clothes back via magic.
  • Buso Renkin: During her manga-only fight against Madoka Maruyama, Tokiko gets shrunk to eight inches tall, leaving behind the clothes she was wearing in a pile on the floor and forcing her to improvise some new clothing out of bandages until she can find some doll-sized clothes.
  • In Claymore, armor breaks when a warrior transforms into an Awakened Being. But even the awakened, who are transformed back from their monstrous form into their human form, are then naked.
  • Played with in Dark Cat. The only time we see one of the titular magical were-cats switching to human form, we see his nude human body before clothing appears on him, implying that only his body changes and that clothing has to be magically summoned.
  • In Devil & Devil, one of the first enemies is a tentacled monster that can suck the life and time out of people, deaging them to infancy. Because this doesn't include their clothing, this lead to confusion when the monster attacked a female teacher, leading to the strange discovering of a baby girl "wearing" a young woman's clothes.
  • Akira's transformations in Devil Man destroy his clothing when he becomes Devilman. He ends up completely naked everytime he turns back into his human form.
  • Goku and Gohan's clothing in Dragon Ball is shredded whenever they turn into giant apes. Vegeta's armor stays intact, but it was designed with the transformations in mind, explained as being extremely elastic.
  • In Fruits Basket, none of the cursed Sohmas' clothing transform with them whenever they turn into the animals from the Eastern Zodiac. The fact that they're naked whenever they transform back into humans is usually played for comedy.
  • Used in Fullmetal Alchemist when Alphonse Elric's body is destroyed when he and his brother Edward attempt human transmutation. When Edward sees Al's clothes on the floor empty he knows his little experiment has truly Gone Horribly Wrong.
    • Mainly subverted by Envy, although played straight on at least one occasion. While fighting Lan-Fan, Envy wears a coat which flies off while they shapeshift, and they are seen picking it off the ground after the fight. Fridge Brilliance when you realize the coat was probably a souvenir from Ishval.
  • Mostly averted in Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics since the baleful polymorphs of the stories tend to be normally dressed when they return to human forms, but played straight with Rudolf from "Brother and Sister". Probably because Rudolf/Brother is a pre-teen when he's released, while the others tend to be older teens or adults.
  • Inuyasha:
    • Inverted with Sesshomaru, who is a demon and transforms into his monstrous figure without affecting his clothing. This just transforms with. This seems to be the case with all demons, who can assume a human form.
    • The half-demon Gyu-oh is an Involuntary Shapeshifter. And when he assumes his demonic form at the beginning of the night, he prefers to take off his clothes. This implies that otherwise it would rip.
  • Played with in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure with the stands Yellow Temperance and Khnum. Both Stands are bound to their users, Rubber Soul and Oingo respectively, and both have similar abilities but differ in major ways: Yellow Temperance can imitate people's clothing while allowing Rubber Soul to still wear is own clothing underneath while Khnum allows Oingo to change his appearance, down to his weight and smell but he can't imitate clothing, the closest he could do is change his hair to look like Jotaro's Nice Hat.
  • Throughout Kaiju Girl Caramelise, Kuroe Akaishi's transformations lead to frequent clothing damage. The initial and common Partial Transformations (such as sprouting dorsal spikes or a tail) cause all sorts of tears, compelling her to wear overly baggy clothes to prevent such tearing and to conceal the changes from her classmates. But when she goes into full Kaiju form, her outfit gets completely shredded, leaving her naked upon turning back human. The first time she became Harugon, when she initially thought she dreamed the whole incident, her mother bragged about having washed her uniform until it was like brand new to obscure the fact that it was brand new.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, the first indicator we see of Fabia Crozelg attacking the characters are their empty clothes floating in zero-g as she picks them off one-by-one by shrinking them and trapping them in a bottle.
  • In episode 5 of the Magic User's Club TV anime, Akane starts to hiccup, causing various strange things to happen. At one point, she shrinks, leaving her clothes piled on the club room floor.
  • Dragons in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid are normally Technically Naked Shapeshifters, but Ilulu has very poor transformation skills and has to rely on regular clothing if she wants to wear anything other than her cloak (not that she really wants to wear anything). Of course, since her transformation skills are so poor, she has trouble finding anything that fits her properly given that her human form is really short and has Gag Boobs.
  • In Monster Musume, the ninetailed fox, Ils Nineta can't transform her clothes so she has to use her powers cautiously or risk ending up naked.
  • Moshi Monsters: When the Super Moshis use the Morph Stone to turn into another shape, they're still wearing their capes and masks.
  • My Hero Academia:
  • The dreaded Third Impact in Neon Genesis Evangelion reduces everyone in the world to puddles of orange fluid and a pile of their clothes, even if that person was already dead at the time. Much earlier, after Shinji was absorbed into Unit 01 the only image on the camera from inside was his empty, floating plugsuit, and after the pod opens Misato is shown clutching it desperately and screaming for him to come back, at which point Shinji (offscreen) re materializes completely naked a few feet away.
  • In a chapter of the Japanese-only Neptunia manga, after Nepgear, Uni, Rom and Ram are accidentally turned into babies, they are seen swimming in their oversized clothes. Because said clothes don't magically reappear when the girls are returned to normal, this leads to a minor Naked Freak-Out from them.
  • Himari of Omamori Himari changes to a regular sized cat at one point, and is naked when she changes back. She ends up fully clothed shortly afterwards, but that's because she had stashed her kimono close by and can dress quickly.
  • One Piece:
    • In One Piece Film Z: During the Straw Hats' first fight against the villains, Nami and Chopper seemingly disappear after Ain hits them with her power, leaving their clothes behind. However, it turns out they have just been deaged into kids.
    • As far as the main series goes, Jewelry Bonney's age-altering powers are among the few Devil Fruit abilities that don't affect clothing, which explains the Stripperiffic outfits she and her crew wears: they need fitting clothes for when they have to turn into children.
  • Piccolino no Bouken: The final phase of Pinocchio's transformation into a donkey rips all his clothes off. They come back when he changes back to normal in the water.
  • Princess Tutu. A girl called Duck, because she was originally one, turns back into her original form whenever she acts like a duck, thus leaving an empty pile of clothing behind.
  • Rage of Bahamut: Genesis: Nina Dragno is a Weredragon. Whenever she transforms, she tears through her clothes and winds up naked when she turns back into a human.
  • Ranma ½:
    • Jusenkyō curse changes seldom affect clothes. This has led to several scenes where Ryōga and Shampoo end up unexpectedly naked upon transforming back (admittedly, the latter doesn't much care). In Ranma's case, both forms are human and thus don't fall out of their clothes (except for ditching shoes) although there have been occasions of humiliation when he turns into a guy while wearing distinctly female clothing. The only clear exception to the rule is Genma, who always wears his clothes even though his panda form doesn't, because no-one wants to see a naked old man.
    • Hinako-sensei can switch from a little girl to a buxom woman by draining ki, but her clothes are unchanged. So she wears a dress (or swimwear) that is large for her child form, but become taut over her adult form.
  • Occurs in Reborn! after Yuni and Gamma sacrifice themselves during the final battle of the Future Arc.
  • In the climactic episode of Revolutionary Girl Utena when Akio accepts Utena as his new Rose Bride his sister/lover Anthy's eyes roll back into her head as he dress falls to the ground without her in it. She reappears a little bit later dressed in the same short red dress she wore as a child and with her formerly tightly bound hair loose, symbolizing how she's reverted to that role now that she's no longer the Rose Bride.
  • Sacrificial Princess & the King of Beasts: Leonhart is a lion -beast huge even for the standards of his race. Whenever he becomes a regular, thin human (he keeps his horns, although they get smaller), his clothes become baggy, but he keeps them tied to his body, although his chest gets very exposed.
  • In The Seven Deadly Sins, Elizabeth (a human) and Diane (a giant) both get shrunk. Elizabeth becomes the size of an action figure and Diane becomes the size of a regular human. Their clothes didn't shrink with them, forcing Diane to put on Elizabeth's clothes while Elizabeth hides in her cleavage.
  • On Shima Shima Tora no Shimajirō, the episode Mr Frog, Mr Frog features Shimajiro being turned into a toy frog and shrinks out of his pajamas.
  • Maya's outfit in Tenjho Tenge goes from a fully covering haori and hakama in her Sleep-Mode Size to looking like she "works in a sketchy pub" when she changes back to her older, more voluptuous form.
  • Those Who Hunt Elves: Airi tricks Dihal into drinking a potion that turns her into a giant, tearing through her clothes and leading to a Naked Freak-Out.
  • In Twelve Months, when Anya’s stepmother and stepsister are turned into dogs as punishment for their selfish behavior, as they fight with each other their clothes come off.
  • Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid: Nimi Minimi uncontrollably grows into a giant, tearing through her clothes and leaving her naked. The others clothe her in a makeshift bikini made of sheets, but she continues to grow and tears through them as well, until her partner Noe Oya manages to reverse the effect and return her to normal size.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering has several cards on theme:
    • Snakeform shows a snake slithering out of a pile of clothes that was once a mage.
    • Turn to Frog uses the same basic concept in its art, where "Target creature loses all abilities and becomes a 1/1 blue Frog until end of turn."
    • As does Ovinize, which depicts a sheep among weapons and armor, whose name is similar to the Latin, Ovis aries.
    • Possibly averted by Fowl Play.

    Comic Books 
  • In Crisis on Infinite Earths, The Flash Barry Allen runs so fast that he loses himself to the Speed Force, leaving just his uniform behind. Same thing with Wally West in Zero Hour: Crisis in Time!.
  • Fables:
    • In #51, Cinderella is turned into a mouse. Her clothes fall empty to the meadow floor, so she can enter the village of the smalls.
    • Bigby Wolf loses his clothes every time he goes into Big Bad Wolf form. If he's planning to do a lot of fighting, he will often start battle in the buff partially transformed in a wolfman form for modesty. He does borrow a shirt from Beast at least once, at the beginning the Mr. Dark storyline.
  • Blue Beetle: Originally, activating his Powered Armor would destroy Jaime's clothes, making him naked when he turned back. The first time he actually voices a complaint about this, however, the Scarab responds by making clothes appear. When the Scarab is forcibly deactivated and removed at the end of the Reach invasion Jaime has to deal with nudity again. He manages pretty well.
  • Most versions of The Wasp have this; Janet Van Dyne usually has a tiny superhero outfit to wear when she turns into the Wasp. If she doesn't? Well, then she has to fight starkers. This happened a lot in The Ultimates.
  • In the world of Flare, whenever the Tigress turns another woman into a cat, the target leaves her clothing behind. Tigress herself was naked when she suddenly reverted from cat to human.
  • In Power Pack, the character with the mass powers, usually Jack, sometimes ran into problems when he transformed into cloud form when not wearing his special costume that changed with him.
  • Mystique can create the appearance of clothes from her own body; as she has pointed out on more than one occasion, although she appears fully clothed, in fact she is actually always naked.
  • Superman's Pal: Jimmy Olsen (2019): At one point, Jimmy turns into a gigantic turtle, which naturally shreds his clothing in the process.
  • Zigzagged in Vampirella. The early Pantha falls under this trope. Later with her amulet, she can shapeshift including her costume like Vampirella. (Who later got a My Suit Is Also Super retcon to shut up nagging fans.)
  • A villain in a Johan and Peewit book uses a potion that changes people into dogs. When Peewit tries it so that they can find an antidote, he keeps his human clothes after being transformed (and never bothers to change out of them). When another victim is restored to human form, he finds himself stark naked (the comic being targeted to children, we never see below his chest, but it is clear from everybody's reaction that it is the case).
  • Wonder Woman (2006): Circe's bestiamorph transformation spell doesn't affect clothing, though the men who are shown after being rescued from her had their forms changed just enough that their clothing mostly remained intact while they were enslaved to the sorceress.

    Fan Works 
  • This features in the Ranma ½ Elsewhere Fic Boy Scouts ½. As in the work that inspired it, there are six characters (seven, if you count the original work's Ryōga's running gag cameo appearances) who suffer from curses that frequently alter their physical forms. This change does not effect what they are wearing. Two of the characters merely suffer a change of gender, so clothes wouldn't be lost upon changing, but depending on the apparel there is a chance it may suddenly not be appropriate. The other four turn into animals, and there has been cases of characters, after being transformed back into their human forms, having to struggle to protect their modesty.
  • There is a most unpleasant variation in the Marvel/Harry Potter crossover Harry Potter and the Invincible Technomage. A badly wounded Peter Pettigrew is recovering (as a human) in a Muggle hospital after being attacked by a cat in his rat form. As soon as he wakes up, he attempts to shapeshift and escape... but dies once the metallic screws in his bones turn out too big for a rat body to handle.
  • When cast members of The Big Bang Theory end up on the Discworld in A.A. Pessimal's The Many Worlds Interpretation, Lucy discovers this shortly after she finds out that, on the Discworld, she is a specialized form of werecreature.
  • In The Bridge: Humanity's Stand, Tytanna is a Kaiju who can take on a human sized form, but she can't take her clothes with her when she goes back to kaiju size.
  • Usually averted by George, whose clothes transfer to his closet when he changes, but in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, he makes the mistake of turning into himself as muscular as possible—in the same outfit he had been wearing. He immediately suffers the painful effects of being mummified in clothes many sizes too small for him. It tears apart all around his body, and he changes back as soon as he can, in a different outfit, of course. He then throws the ruined clothes away.
    • Which becomes a plot point a week or so later, when after a disaster he awakens in an island hut wearing the clothing he'd trashed while Hulking Out—undamaged.
  • Principal Celestia Hunts the Undead: Fluttershy's outfit doesn't change when she does, so she has to strip naked so as to avoid ruining her clothes. This results in some embarrassment on Sunset's part when said stripping happens right in front of her.
  • In Raindancer, Izuku's Quirk, "Liquid Body", does not transform his clothes when he turns into water, leaving him naked when he returns to being flesh and blood unless he returns to his clothes before rematerializing. His Hero Costume gets around this by being composed of samples of his own hair and skin cells, allowing it to transform with him.
  • In What's in a Hoard?, Izuku's family on his father side can turn into dragons. Izuku notes that most clothing can't survive a basic transformation, let alone someone turning into a twenty meter dragon with three extra appendages, so their hero costumes are made from their own scales. Though as the process is time consuming and expensive (not to mention painful), Izuku's initial costume is only a pair of pants.
  • The Beast That I Am: Shinobu's new alter ego is roughly two feet taller than her and several times her weight, causing her to shred her clothes whenever she transforms.
  • The Land of What Might-Have-Been:
    • During flashback sequences in the alternate Oz, the Plague of Transformations results in numerous people across Oz being temporarily transformed into various animals, usually shrinking out of their clothes or tearing out of them in the process. The alternate Glinda and Boq are both victims of this.
    • When our Glinda joins the Amorphous League, she finds that novice shapeshifters can't manifest clothes at first, so her first transformation features her growing and shrinking independently of her clothes until she tears right through them. Even once she gets the hang of creating her own clothing, she still has trouble getting it to work in battle, forcing Elphaba to lend her a cloak to spare Glinda further embarrassment. By the end, she appears to finally have it under control.
    • In one of the other alternate realities that Elphaba briefly visits, she finds that her counterpart is dying of magical radiation poisoning, forcing the alternate Dorothy to transform her into a doll to save her life, resulting in the other Elphaba shrinking out of her clothes as she does so.
    • The Childlike Researchers are stuck perpetually regressing into their youth and back, and their clothes don't change with them; as such, when Morrible begins draining Elphaba's life-force to stabilize her own age, Elphaba regresses until she's an eight-year-old in adult-sized clothing. Later, Elphaba uses this same effect to disguise herself in Unbridled Radiance, erupting out of her child-size clothing when she returns to adulthood.

    Films — Animation 
  • In a literal case of Just Woke Up That Way: The Ant Bully has this, when Lucas Nickle wakes, and shrinks. After he falls from his bed, his underwear is left behind; numerous cases of Scenery Censor ensue. When he's turned back to normal, he's again without clothes, though only his butt is visible.
  • Pinocchio, in which bad boys turn into donkeys after misbehaving on Pleasure Island. We see this happen to Lampwick, as animal instincts replace his human reason, and a combination of the shape change itself and desperate braying and bucking casts all of his clothes off.
  • Played straight in one instance, and then averted in a later one in The Little Mermaid. When Ursula transforms Ariel into a human, she's only wearing her Seashell Bra; the animators use creative framing until she can improvise a dress out of a sail. When she gets transformed at the end of the film, however, she's inexplicably in a sparkly dress. Justified somewhat since it was her father who changed her this time, but Gorgeous Garment Generation was never listed as one of his powers...
  • When Kuzco from The Emperor's New Groove transforms into a llama, his clothes stay on him. When he takes the potion to transform him back into a human, he isn't wearing any clothes. Instead of a direct cut, a cloud of smoke appears before it presumably takes us to a few days into the future... take from that what you will.
  • The Princess and the Frog follows The Little MermaidTiana (and presumably Naveen) shrink out of their clothes when they're cursed into frogs, but when the curse is broken, they're inexplicably dressed in outfits we've never seen before.
  • Rock-A-Doodle has the scene where The Duke, the evil owl turns the live-action human boy Edmund into a cartoon kitten by way of a magic spell. (This particular scene pairs this trope with that of Toon Transformation).
  • Shrek 2:
    • After King Harold shields Fiona from one of the Fairy Godmother's spells, his suit of armor seems to be the only thing left of him... Until he comes out of the armor, in his original frog form, and reveals the truth about that to the heroes.
    • A variant occurs when Shrek turns into a human. His ogre clothes are now too big for him, so he has to find new ones. Weirdly, his old clothes are back when he turns back into an ogre.
  • Having lost the Ultimate Game to the Looney Tunes in Space Jam, the Monstars surrender their Liquid Assets and shrink back to Nerdluck size. Their Monstar uniforms do not shrink with them, leaving the Nerdlucks unclothed - though given that the Nerdlucks were originally Exposed Extraterrestrials, this isn't much of a problem. Pound lampshades this: "My clothes don't fit."
  • Tangled: No Immortal Inertia causes Gothel to crumble to dust, while her clothes remain.
  • In Brave, Elinor's clothes are torn when she turns into a bear. Later, Fergus finds the ripped garments and assumes the worst. Her clothes are still gone when she transforms back, but luckily she's wrapped in a tapestry for plot reasons by that point. (Meanwhile her toddler sons, who also transformed, are cheerfully streaking.)
  • In Brother Bear, Kenai's clothes apparently rip when he turns into a bear, because Denahi finds them (as in Brave, above). When he turns back near the end, he's naked until Sitka takes a cloak from the rather stunned Denahi and wraps it around him.
  • The Boss Baby: Family Business features Tim and Ted being given a Fountain of Youth formula that will allow them to go undercover at Tabitha's school and find out what the Big Bad's up to. Both men want to take the formula, kicking off a massive brawl in which Tim and Ted each take small doses while trying to fight off the other, shrinking further and further out of their clothes as they do so. The fight ends with Tim as a child and Ted as a baby, both of them completely naked - complete with Scenery Censors.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, Alice is shrunk until only her dress remains. She, in fact, changes size several times in the film, justifying new outfits with each new size. This is a contrast from the original text, in which her clothes changed size with her. Presumably this was done for the sake of fanservice.
  • Harry Potter:
    • In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Quirrell collapses to dust, leaving his clothes to fall empty to the floor.
    • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:
      • Pettigrew leaves behind his clothes after turning into a rat. Which is strange, because in an earlier scene in the same movie Pettigrew turned from an apparently naked rat to a fully clothed human. The books and the rest of the movies avert this, as Animagi always have clothes on when they turn human and McGonagall's cat form is noted to have markings around its eyes which resemble her glasses.
      • Also played straight with Lupin's transformation into a werewolf, which completely shreds his clothing apart.
  • During the climax of Hellboy, Gruagach is shrunk back down to his original size and then some when Nimue betrays him, so his gauntlet and armored shorts clank to the floor as he swiftly dwindles to infant-size. And then Nimue pops him like a blister.
  • Star Wars:
    • A New Hope: At the end of Vader and Kenobi's lightsaber duel, Kenobi seemingly gives up and lets Vader slice him - but when he does so, we (and Vader) find his clothes empty. He would Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence and leave his clothes behind. (Vader then stomps on the robe as if to make sure Kenobi is not just hiding in there!)
    • Return of the Jedi: This happens to Yoda when he dies, leaving behind a tattered robe and blanket to collapse after he joins the Force in death.
    • The Last Jedi: Also happens to Luke Skywalker. After tricking the bad guys with a Force projection, it is shown that Luke was sitting on a rock and soon vanishes seemingly into the Force, his clothes and cape being whisked away by the wind.
    • Attack of the Clones features Zam Wesell, a Bounty Hunter who usually has the appearance of a human woman, but is actually a member of a reptilian shapeshifter species called Clawdites. While she can change her physical appearance, her armor stays the same. Another Clawdite bounty hunter in The Clone Wars, works around this trope by having hologram projectors in her armor and combining them with her natural shapeshifting, allowing for further flexibility in her disguises than Zam showed on screen.
  • In The Witches (1990), when someone is turned into a mouse, they leave their clothes behind. When this happens to Luke, the witches immediately stomp on his clothes in an effort to kill him before he can escape. At the very end of the film, Luke is restored to normal by the Grand High Witch's assistant, he's naked - and he destroys his dollhouse apartment as well!
  • In War of the Worlds, the alien heat ray reduces people to ash, leaving their clothing behind. But not underwear for some reason. Non Magic Pants?
  • Parodied by Scary Movie: a bunch of rappers instead left their Bling behind. Somehow the people manage to get one and when they Reverse the Polarity it becomes The Nudifier.
  • In Unearthly Stranger, a woman turns out to be a member of an invading alien race. when she tries to stop them, her people, they kill her by fading her out of existence while being held by her husband, leaving only her clothes draped over his arms.
  • In Constantine, when a demon is killed, its human host is also destroyed, turning into ash. Only the human host's clothing is left behind.
  • Sword Of The Valiant, starring Sean Connery. An apprentice witch is turned into a red frog for being naughty by his character. The scene finishes as they converse while she is perched a top of her empty dress surrounded by her accessories.
  • When Santa dies in The Santa Clause, all that's left is his Santa suit, which Tim Allen must don.
  • Empty piles of bandages are all that is left after the protagonist of Mannequin is whisked across time and space.
  • Allison in The Grudge 2 is pulled into her clothes, leaving them in a heap on the floor in front of Jake. Kayako then manifests inside the clothes to menace her next victim.
  • In The Incredible Shrinking Woman, Lily Tomlin's character shrinks until even a small pouch that she wears as clothing is all that's left of her.
  • In Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies, a wounded thief who finds himself cornered by the Djinn is so scared that he wishes he was never born. Very bad idea. His clothes are all that's left of him after the Djinn has granted his wish.
  • In Mom and Dad Save the World, an unpinned light grenade disintegrates anyone who picks it up, leaving only the victim's clothes behind.
  • Big Bad Thulsa Doom does this when he turns into a giant snake in the middle of overseeing an orgy in Conan the Barbarian, explained in the novelization as fleeing from Conan and his allies.
  • In O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Pete is apparently transformed into a toad, which his fellow adventurers find in his otherwise empty clothing.
  • In Maleficent, this was considered as an option for Maleficent's raven companion Diaval. However, they went with the Magic Pants version, as the movie is meant for children, and having Diaval put on clothes behind a bush whenever he is turned into a man would be a waste of time. Played straight when Maleficent initially turns him into a human — his feathers don't turn into clothes, he's naked. After robbing a nearby scarecrow of its clothes, Diaval remains dressed for the rest of the movie.
  • At the end of Love at First Bite, Dracula leaves his Badass Cape behind after turning into a bat, leaving Jeffery to stab madly at it with his wooden stake until Lt Ferguson tells him to stop because Dracula has long gone. The two of them then help themselves to the cape to impress women.
  • In The Howling when Eddie Quist transforms into a werewolf in front of Karen, the resulting transformation rips off his clothes.
  • The creature from The Thing can absorb and perfectly replicate its victims, but can't mimic clothing and usually needs to rip through clothes in order to fully assimilate. As such, finding a character's shredded coat puts the rest of the crew on edge over who's really the Thing.
  • During the climax of The Faculty, the head alien Marybeth shapeshifts multiple times between human and alien forms. The clothes don't come along, meaning that Marybeth spends the end of the film naked. She tries to use this to seduce Casey, the last non-assimilated character left standing, during her Breaking Speech to him.
  • In Big Fish, it's revealed that ringmaster Amos Winslow is a werewolf when he leaps out of his trailer one night in full-blown canine form, sans clothes; he turns up the next morning in human form and stark naked, and has to be lent a towel to spare his dignity any further damage.
  • The climax of Nutty Professor II: The Klumps features Sherman Klump trying to reabsorb Buddy Love back into his body by tricking him into accidentally ingesting a dose of his Fountain of Youth formula. As a result, Buddy immediately regresses into a two-year-old and out of his clothes — leaving him completely naked in front of the executives he was trying to sell the formula to. For good measure, Buddy is annoyed at being stared at and angrily insists that "this is an impressive package for a toddler!"
  • The sorceress Fin Raziel of Willow has spent the last few decades trapped in the form of a possum courtesy of Bavmorda, and Willow's efforts to undo the spell only wind up transforming her into various other animals; towards the end of the film, however, Willow finally manages to get the spell right — leaving Raziel human and naked.

  • Many variants of werewolf folklore have them taking off their clothes. It's possible that, unlike in modern tellings, this is supposed to part of the transformation ritual than just a way to keep your clothes from ripping.
  • Brazilian Folklore: Implied in a folk tale with the Boto — a shapeshifting river dolphin who seduced women in parties, in which his clothes became river animals like fish when he turned back to his dolphin form, suggesting this is how he makes his vestments.
  • Fairy tales often avert this trope by specifically mentioning what clothes an animal-to-human is wearing. After all, if your animal sidekick is going to dramatically transform into a prince then he needs to be wearing some fancy clothes to show that he's a prince.

  • In All the Birds in the Sky, when Patricia the Child Mage finally unlocks her powers and transforms into a bird, she leaves her empty school uniform behind. When her pursuers find the discarded clothing, they assume this is just another symptom of mental illness and spread the word that a naked tween is running about the forest; needless to say, they don't find her.
  • Animorphs:
    • Originally true for the main characters, but they quickly figured out how to morph skintight clothing, though looser, baggier clothes remain beyond them (they improve over the course of the series). The kids have to wear leotards and bike shorts under their regular clothes, and can't morph shoes. This limitation is because the Andalities, who invented morphing tech, don't wear clothes and so didn't take them into account. It's considered a sign of one's talent when a visiting Andalite is able to morph clothes when turning into a human.
    • This significant piece of the story was completely and absolutely ignored on the cover art (which featured the book's narrator transforming into an animal featured in the story.) The creators readily admitted that this was done simply to make the covers more interesting, since they now had various colors and fabric textures to incorporate.
  • In Marie de France's Bisclavret, Bisclavret must take off his clothes to change into a wolf, and can't change back without them. Not for reasons of modesty, mind you—they somehow act as a Transformation Trinket.
  • The second book in Betsy Hanes' Bone Chillers series, Little Pet Shop of Horrors, has a girl who's turned into a dog by a potion. When she regains human form, she realizes she's naked.
  • In a book called The Demon in Me by Michelle Rowen, Dark Witches are dissolved to nothingness very quickly when killed leaving only a pile of clothes.
  • In the Deverry novels, transformation spells can only affect living matter, so shapeshifters have to carry a bag with their clothing around with them if they don't plan on changing back in the place where they started.
  • Discworld:
    • This applies to werewolves, as demonstrated in Men at Arms when Angua suffers Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen and has to stay in wolf shape until she can get back to the watch house and improvise some clothing (in later books she keeps a bag with a dress when in wolf form). It also applies to female vampires, but not male ones, because the Discworld runs on tropes including the Rule of Sexy.
    • In Last Continent, ambient magic begins playing merry hell with the UU faculty's temporal glands when they arrive in early XXXX, resulting in several of the wizards aging or regressing at random; their robes do not change to match their new ages, especially noticeable when Archchancellor Ridcully becomes a toddler.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • This plays this straight and averts this in Fool Moon with the various werewolf transformations.
      • The loup-garou (who transforms due to a curse on his bloodline) and the Alphas (who transform under their own power) play this trope straight
      • Later books mention the Alphas, who are people who use a magical spell to transform themsleves into wolves, routinely donning clothes that are extremely easy to shed. The reverse, a wolfwere (a wolf who uses magic to turn into a human) also cannot change clothes upon transformation.
      • The hexenwolves (who transform by the power of magical belts) avert this, and their clothes apparently transform with them. The description of the hexenwolves transformation doesn't include details on exactly how their clothes (and any other objects on their person) transform into fur and flesh, but it doesn't describe them tearing their clothes during transformations, or stripping beforehand, so it can be assumed that the belts' spell also covers things that are not part of the human's organic body.
    • Senior Council member Listens-to-Winds is a Native American wizard and master shapeshifter. He can change his clothes to the forms he takes, from bus-sized bear, to falcons, to a turtle.
    • Skinwalkers subvert this because when they look like humans, they can make the clothes to match as part of their disguises.
    • Most Denarians, people who carry a coin binding a Fallen Angel, who can shift into another form, like one short woman becoming a giant praying mantis monster, can change their clothes with them.
  • For Love of Evil features a sorcerer's apprentice learning how to shape shift but not knowing how to take his clothing along with him during the change.
  • Implied on the cover of the Goosebumps book The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, which shows a wolf howling at the moon with a set of clothes laid out at its feet. The TV adaptation shows the half-transformed werewolf is at least shirtless, but the book itself doesn't address the issue at all.
  • Zig-zagged in Pierre Bottero's Gwendalavir Universe. Several characters have a shapeshifting ability note , but it seems to work differently depending on the user.
    • Salim In Ewilan's Quest can turn into a wolf, but his clothes vanish every time. He starts as Reluctant Fanservice Boy, but Ellana's influence, and not least getting used to ending up naked among people any time the situation gets tense eventually make him grow into Shameless Fanservice Boy. note 
    • Shaé from The Other as well as her son Elio however can retain her clothes when she turns back into her human form even if they disappear when she's in animal form. It isn't exactly explained why in-Universe, although Shaé assumes that it's because they are somehow part of her, and thus are included into her animal form. Or she simply has a better control over her power than Salim has.
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar series, the god Vkandis decides to show his displeasure with his priesthood by (among other things) incinerating the high priest with a Bolt of Divine Retribution; a witness says that nothing was left but the man's smoking vestments and boots.
  • In The Incredible Adventures of Karik and Valya, the eponymous siblings shrink to insect size, leaving their clothes behind. The girl is very unhappy about not having her clothes on. Also happens in the Soviet film of the book, where the shrinking scene shows their clothes falling to the floor. Underwear is included. Of course, by the time the movie switches from First-Person Perspective a few minutes later, they have managed to fashion themselves some kind of loinclothes.
  • In The Indian in the Cupboard, when the person who would have been sent through time and space to the cupboard is dead, all that gets sent back is a neatly-folded pile of clothing. This is the fate of Tommy, the WWI-era medic from the first book.
  • In The Licanius Trilogy, Nethgalla makes Davian strip before allowing him to use the dar'gai'thin transformation Vessel. She outright invokes this trope, stating that she has no desire to get him another outfit.
  • In Loyal Enemies, werewolf Shelena has to strip and stash her clothes away before shifting forms because they'd otherwise get torn in the process. When at one point she is magically forced to shift forms while clothed, she finds herself in the situation of having to cross the village while holding it all together with just two hands. As she puts it, the less is said about the incident, the better and she really hates the fact that dragon Gloom has Magic Pants.
  • The first Magic Shop book involves a ring that can turn you into a monster. When protagonist Russell breaks the rules about how to use it properly he actually bursts into flames and winds up temporarily Shapeshifter Mode Locked. Mr. Elives manages to turn him back, but doesn't care that Russell has to run home naked as a result.
  • In the Mercy Thompson series, clothing is not kept during shifting — and for werewolves, who become larger when they shift, it is torn. Werewolves and other shapeshifters will therefore discard their clothing prior to shifting if there is time to do so. As a side effect, shapeshifters (and those who live with them) tend to be comfortable with casual nudity. The exception is Charles, who can make clothes magically appear on his body due to his background.
  • The Mortal Instruments:
    • The vampires invert it. When they change, their clothes do not.
    • Even if fairies or witches use magic, clothes change.
    • But the werewolves are playing it straight. At their transformation, their clothes are torn and they are naked.
  • In Poul Anderson's Operation Chaos, the narrator takes off his clothes to shift. This is simply because a large wolf inside a man's clothes is very awkward — and doesn't automatically tear the clothes.
  • Werewolves in The Parasol Protectorate (and the related The Finishing School Series) routinely strip before transforming. One novel suggests that "cloakrooms" became popular for the benefit of the werewolf members of society; they could undress and don a cloak if there was going to be a delay in transforming, or collect a cloak if they'd arrived in wolf form.
  • Rain of the Ghosts: Aycayia (basically a manatee selkie) is naked when she takes off her magic skin, though her often uses seaweed as Improvised Clothes. Also Implied with the Kim kids, to explain why they're naked after spending two days turning to dolphins and back.
  • Anyone who shifts Aspect in Runemarks and its sequel and prequel invariably ends up naked after shifting back. Loki in particular spends a lot of time starkers.
  • In the book Samantha Slade — Confession of a Teenage Frog, a girl tests a "formula for greatness" created by a small boy she babysits to help her win an election at school. It turns out that the stuff randomly turns her into a frog, so she is constantly having to crawl out of a pile of her clothes.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, Daylen runs into this problem when experimenting with binding Light to his mass, which also causes his feet to explode due to them getting stuck in the ground.
  • In the book series "Soul Guardians", by Kim Richardson, when the Oracles wanted to de-angel-fy someone they forced them to take a cold shower in a special chamber where the water disintegrated their body into a shiny foamy substance that was washed away down the drain by the water leaving a free floating soul and a pile of clothes.
  • Werewolves in Lisa Shearin's SPI Files series have to strip or else suffer Clothing Damage when they transform. Most spend the hours prior to the full moon in cheap track clothes and flip-flops. Luckily for Yasha, the series' primary werewolf character, he works for a Crazy-Prepared secret organization that protects the Masquerade, so when he has to dress formally during an undercover mission, he's issued the perfect outfit for this trope: a male stripper's tuxedo that's held together by snaps so as to be shed with ease.
  • In Spirit Hunters, animal spirits have to drop their clothes when they change into their four-legged forms. Which results in a few awkward situations for Kitsune Sura and Nezumi Chiri.
  • Used in The Time Traveler's Wife, when the title time traveler... time travels.
  • In Touch, James' powers allow him to change his whole body into air. The first time this happens he's flying, and feels the odd sensation of his clothes passing through him as they flutter to the ground. (He recovers the hoodie but has to fly home without any pants, thankfully too high to be seen.) He's a lot more powerful in this form, but the fact that he reforms naked means that he tries to avoid using it.
  • In the book True Angel Hero by Laura Amy O'Hanlon, Kennedy kills her mother Ocran, who is a bad woman. When she dies, she vanishes instantly leaving her empty clothes to fall to the ground.
  • Helene from Mouse turns into a tanuki to search Mouse's room. When she transforms back, he finds her naked in his bed.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Being Human episode "The Longest Day", Lauren kills herself, dissolves and leaves a pile of empty clothes.
  • In Bitten, Elena is regularly forced to strip herself of her clothes before she transforms into a werewolf. This is true of the other werewolves seen in the series.
  • The Boys has Termite, a supe who can shrink himself. However, the pants he wears while small get ripped after returning to normal size, leaving him in the nude.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • When Amy turns people into rats, their clothes are unaffected, leaving the rat to crawl out of the otherwise empty pile of clothing.
    • Season 5 gives us Glory and Ben, two beings who share a single body. Whenever one switches to the other they're stuck wearing whatever clothes the other half was wearing. At one point we see Glory shift into Ben during a close-up. For the rest of the scene it looks like he's shirtless, until the camera pans out to reveal he's still wearing Glory's strapless dress.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Played straight during Time Lords' regenerations, who start each life in their former incarnation's clothes. The sole exception is the First Doctor's regeneration into the Second (at a time when the concept had not yet been defined properly and was just an excuse to change the actor), where the new Doctor's clothes also change along with him.note 
    • In the episode "Boom Town," Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen (AKA Margaret Blaine) tries to use the TARDIS as a bomb that will open the rift under Cardiff and allow her to escape Earth - destroying the planet in the process. However, in the chaos, the heart of the TARDIS is uncovered, exposing Blon to its sheer temporal power. A moment later, her empty skin suit hits the floor. Jack assumes that she's been disintegrated, but the Doctor reveals that the TARDIS has given Blon a second chance at life: under the pile of empty clothes and human skin, there's an egg.
  • In Doom Patrol, Rita Farr's powers result in her melting into a hideous blob of mobile flesh if she loses concentration, destroying her clothes in the process if the transformation is allowed to go all the way. It's for this very reason that Rita Sleeps in the Nude.
  • Farscape episode "DNA Mad Scientist" ends with the villain Namtar being injected with a serum that undoes all his genetic upgrades, causing him to dramatically revert to his original form - an unintelligent lab rat. In the process, he also shrinks out of his harness-like costume, his tortured assistant gladly discarding it as she returns Namtar to his cage.
  • In From the Cold: Jenny has to strip before body morphing or else use clothing which fits both forms.
  • In the Filipino soap opera Kokak, a girl is cursed at birth by a witch so that whenever her feet get wet she turns into a small frog, then hops out of the pile of clothes she was wearing. This happens a surprising amount of times throughout the show's run.
  • In the first episode of The Secret World of Alex Mack, after being exposed to the chemical GC-161, Alex leaves her clothes behind the very first time she shapeshifts into a puddle, much to the shock of her friends. Equally shocking to them is her reappearing Naked on Arrival a moment later. The second and subsequent times Alex does this, she has learned to shift her outfit along with her (at first only that one outfit, later anything); thus Magic Pants is the trope through the rest of the series.
  • Stargate-verse:
    • Characters who Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence leave empty clothes behind. This is first seen in Stargate SG-1, episode "Maternal Instinct", when the monk at the temple ascends after being shot by Apophis' Jaffa.
    • In SG-1 episode "Counterstrike", the Free Jaffa Nation uses the Dakara superweapon to attack a planet the Ori recently captured. Everyone there except Adria is disintegrated, leaving only their clothes behind.
  • Although Odo from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine normally averts this (his "clothing" is actually a part of himself), when he regained his changeling abilities after being stripped of them, and changed form for the first time since then, he left his old "solid" clothing behind.
  • In the CITV series Woof!!, as befits turning into a dog and losing their clothes through the shift (though for obvious reasons, they are covered up in some way during this scene), all 3 of Eric, Rex and Jim go through this. In the first episode, Eric's mum comments when seeing him in bed about how dirty his hands and feet are, and she assumes it's through not washing at night, when the real reason is, he's been walking through mud as a dog. Also, in the second episode, due to a visit of the swimming pool, and that being the place where Eric transformed, while not fully dressed, his friend Roy forgets one of his socks to bring along, and also puts his trunks next to his shirt, wetting the poor boy's shirt. This causes Eric to go sockless, while not shoeless. Also, later again in a series 5 episode, his new friend Rachel has forgotten to bring clothes for him, as it's been a rush again, but fortunately, she does have some clothes, which appears to be very short shorts and a T shirt, though no shoes or socks, as his dad quite aggressively comments on when he sees him. Eric remains barefoot for the rest of the episode, while walking in an airport, a car park and a hospital- potentially dangerous, but then again, it could be healthy?

  • The Prodigy: In the music video for "Nasty," the four men chasing after the fox end up being transformed into foxes by the fox, and get up out of their clothes as they look confused.
  • Averted in the horror movie in the video for Michael Jackson's "Thriller", since his character turns into a werewolf, but is still dressed.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Ars Magica: The Spell Construction rules use different magical techniques to affect different materials, so transformative magic affects only the target's body ("Corpus" magic) unless extra techniques are incorporated into the spell ("Herbam" for plant fabrics, "Animal" for fur or leather, or "Terram" for metal armour).
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The baleful polymorph spell makes clothes and equipment fall around the transformed victim. Note that creatures with the Shapechanger subtype can regain their true form at will, but that doesn't solve the problem of recovering their gear. In most other cases, shapeshifting does include clothes, though.
    • The disintegrate spell can turn a creature to dust but leave its equipment intact. It can be specifically aimed at disintegrating an item and leave the wearer intact if the caster chooses so (most don't, especially when valuable magic items are concerned).
    • The Basic D&D supplement Night Howlers establishes this as fact for Mystaran lycanthropes as part of the rules that make them potentially viable player characters. A were who transforms while wearing clothes can usually tear themselves free quickly enough, but one who does it while wearing armor will have more trouble and take actual damage in the process.
  • In Nobilis, the people of Dionyl subvert this trope — they are spirits with nothing but empty clothes for a physical form.
  • In Mage: The Awakening, shapeshifting with Life magic excludes clothing, but by adding Matter magic to the spell, a mage can make their gear resize to fit their new form or vanish into Hammerspace while they're transformed.
  • Both Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Werewolf: The Forsaken have it so that the change does not apply to clothing unless a Ritual is performed to "dedicate" the clothing to the shifter. However, 2e of Forsaken modifies this so that clothing automatically dedicates to the werewolf - unless they're at Harmony 10 (i.e., so human that the wolf is drowned out), at which point it doesn't work.

    Video Games 
  • In the Game Over scene from Banjo-Kazooie where Gruntilda succeeds in draining Tooty's good looks for herself, Tooty's clothes get strained by her bigger monster form.
  • In Dragon Quest XI, Arborian mage Veronica gets turned into a kid when the monster Jarvis drains her magic from her. If you compare her as a grown-up in the intro cutscene to her new kid self, you'll notice that she's wearing the same outfit, except it's now much baggier on her.
  • In NetHack, polymorphing into a creature smaller than your usual size can leave you buried under your clothes, armor, and pack full of loot. Polymorphing into a bigger creature causes your armor to be destroyed as it's too small to contain you. There is an exception to this rule: Polymorphing while wearing a suit made from dragon scales will transform you into the corresponding kind of dragon. When this happens, the dragon-scale armor merges with your skin, and it turns back into a suit when the transformation wears off.
  • In Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura transforming into an elemental (or being changed into an animal) unequips all your gear and puts it into your inventory, leaving you in your underwear when the spell expires. If the inventory is full, it will just drop excess items on the ground. As most of Arcanum's NPCs are devout kleptomaniacs, the gear you forgot to pick up may be either salvaged by a teammate or stolen by nosy bystander.
  • With Darkstalkers's Morrigan Aensland, it's downplayed, averted, and zigzagged all at once. She has the ability to shift her wings into a flurry of bats, but one of the promotional videos for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 shows her dispersing her entire being into a flurry of bats, leaving no clothes behind. This is because her clothes are also composed of bats.
  • Downplayed implied example with Kafei from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. He was turned into a child by the Skull Kid, and his shirt sleeves and shoes seem a tad bit too big for him.
  • Metroid Fusion: The gelatinous Zombie Researchers still wear the tattered, ill-fitting lab coats of their human hosts. The pants of the victims have disappeared entirely because there's no way those could fit around the glop that replaced the victims' legs.
  • Moshi Monsters: When you change shape using the Morph Stone and a personal item during the Super Moshi missions, you're still wearing your cape and mask.
  • Averted in The Wolf and the Waves, where your clothes are only visible when in human form.
  • In inFAMOUS 2, when the giant monster that's been terrorizing New Marais reverts to its true, human form, it's naked - though most of it's hidden by a cloud of green gas, both hiding everything below the waist and preventing anyone but Cole from seeing that the monster is actually Joseph Bertrand III. The culprit is next seen fleeing the area by boat, hastily covered in a tarp.
  • Tengai Makyou IV The Apocalypse: Madame Appetit is a monstrous pig-woman who sends out her "Debu Rangers" to make everyone in the American Southwest obese so that she can later make them into food ("debu" is Japanese for "fat", by the way). One such unfortunate victim shown in an animated cutscene is a girl named Karen; a Debu Ranger sneaks through her window at night and force feeds her a handful of magic biscuits, causing her to rapidly fatten up and rip most of her nightgown to shreds.

    Visual Novels 
  • This happens when a Fey channels a spirit in Ace Attorney. The clothing and the hair stay the same, while the face and overall figure change to that of the spirit.
  • Lampshaded in Fate/stay night, as it's noted Saber's civilian clothes explode every time she summons her armor. It's a challenge for Shirou to come up with enough spare clothes she can wear.
  • In Little Busters!, this gets inverted and discussed when it involves Sasami's transformation into a cat. Her clothes transform with her when she transforms into a cat, and she's wearing them again when she reverts back to a human. When Riki brings this up, Sasami mentions it didn't occur to her why her clothes transform with her, because it's natural for cats to not wear clothes, while it's natural for humans to wear clothes. Riki discusses this trope with her and uses the fact that Sasami's clothes change with her to conclude that they are trapped in an artificial world similar to the one he and the others were in after the bus crash.
  • In Ikemen Revolution, Harr's route has a scene where the female main character shrinks after drinking a magic potion (a clear homage to the shrinking scene in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, although Alice didn't have to worry about this trope) and her dress doesn't shrink along with her, leaving her tiny and naked. She's able to tie a handkerchief around her body to preserve her modesty before she finds Harr and asks him to undo the shrinking spell, but they both forget that her handkerchief dress similarly won't change size along with the rest of her which leads to much embarrassment when he restores her to full size and winds up seeing way more of her than he planned for.
  • Thoroughly subverted in The Pirate's Fate, where, throughout the many transformations characters experience, their clothing does in fact change to suit their new form. The one time clothing remains unchanged, it's a hint that the character isn't really changing who they already were inside.

    Web Animation 
  • Zigzagged in Reversal of the Heart. The Princess rips out of her dress when she is forcibly turned into a much larger dragon form. But when the Mother Dragon turns her back into a human at the end, she also conjures up a new dress for the Princess.

  • Scott McCloud's three-panel one-shot Man-Eating Shoes speaks for itself with its title and the result of man at bus stop "discovering the nature" of said shoes.
  • The Dragon Doctors features an enormous amount of shapeshifting, and none of it ever shifts the clothing, not even when people get turned to stone. This leads to quite a lot of nudity and wardrobe malfunctions throughout the comic.
    • It seems to vary between spells, since the evil guy who forced magic users to petrify themselves noticed (too late) something was up with his last victim because the scroll he left and the spell she actually used differed on that point.
    • In Sarin's case it's stated that her talent for transformation magic is based around living things. Her master taught her a spell to store spare clothes in Hammerspace to compensate.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Ordinary clothes are never affected by transformations. (Except very specific artificially-induced transformations designed for that effect. "Natural" shapeshifting won't do it.) Only special jumpsuits purpose-built by a shapeshifter race can adapt. Forgetting this can lead to awkward situations.
    • This is subverted later on, when Ellen and Elliot both achieve transformations. Ellen's mirror spell only transforms clothes if the target wasn't naked. Elliot can transform his clothes as well as his body (with varying levels of success), and his special transformations each have a special set of clothes.
    • The card game arc involves imaginary werewolves who hulk out of their clothes when transforming. This is called back to in the EGS:NP where Sarah tries to check if she has any magic ability, and strips before attempting the "big, muscular werewolf morph" (leading to her having to get dressed in a hurry when she hears her sister at the door).
  • In Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name, Adelaide turns back into her vampire form after being stuck as a bat, and seems to be naked. (In the next strip, she's wearing a jacket that she presumably stole from Conrad's closet.) However, this doesn't seem to affect other vampires, nor Toni; presumably this would have been explained if we found out how Adelaide got stuck in the first place.
  • When Zoë from Sluggy Freelance turns into a camel, clothing she wears only transforms in as far as it rips when the camel doesn't fit into the clothes. Later, she gets genre savvy enough to wear easily sliding tubular clothes and thus not end up naked when transforming back.
  • Played with in Wilde Life: Word of God describes animal people as not so much "transforming" as having two bodies that they can switch between; hence, whatever clothes they wear remain on their human bodies even when they take animal form. However, it doesn't work on some substances, like metal; the main shapeshifter, Cliff, retains his tongue stud in both human and wolf form.
  • In Buster Wilde Weerwolf, Buster the werewolf still has Bernard's human clothes when he transforms.
  • In Erstwhile, the brother in Brother and Sister is naked when he finally turns back into a human. (Which is odd, because when he gets transformed his clothes sort of just vanish.) Also a weird version, averting Jacob Marley Apparel: the sister died while taking a bath, but her ghost is wearing the nightgown that she was wearing right before that. Which also averts Naked on Revival.
  • UnDivine, zig-zags around this. Esther the demon first appears in human shape wearing borrowed clothes, and later goes shopping for more. However she also appears in a school uniform which can hardly be borrowed, given the size of her - and who would it be borrowed from?
  • Girl Genius: The werewolf knights destroy their armor when they transform. They're sore that an entire nation of mad scientists hasn't invented something for that.
  • The Order of the Stick Zig-Zags this: Voluntary Shapeshifting spells cause the user's gear to resize or vanish into Hammerspace, but a Hag's Baleful Polymorph spell turns Vaarsuvius into a lizard but leaves their clothes behind, forcing them to take advantage of a Scenery Censor when the spell is broken. This is coherent with the D&D rules used by the comic.
  • Brooke, the shapeshifting Melusine in Eerie Cuties has problems with this- reappearing with her blouse and skirt intact, but without her shoes or lower garments - a particular problem when wearing trousers.

    Web Original 


    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • In the 1933 Disney Silly Symphony The Three Little Pigs, the eponymous Big Bad Wolf on two legs becomes enraged at not being able to enter the brick house of the third little pig. In a Villainous Breakdown, Animorphism kicks in. Gloves and his hat fly off, and desperate breaths to blow the brick house down break his suspenders. Ultimately, he steps out of his pants, completely naked, and acting fully like a wild four-legged wolf for the rest of the cartoon.
  • In Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century, Dodgers is not concerned by Marvin's Disintegrator Ray because he's wearing his disintegration-proof vest. Marvin fires and Dodgers is totally disintegrated — except for the vest, which remains floating in place briefly before slumping down on the pile of Dodgers' powdered remains. (Fortunately, the Eager Young Space Cadet has a reintegration gun handy.)
  • Done solely for the Rule of Funny in one episode of Get Ace. After masquerading as Ace, Ned reverts to his true appearance still wearing Ace's clothes, which are comically undersized for him, as Ace is a scrawny kid and Ned is a large adult. Not only is this not how Ned's disguises usually work (Ned just has an Instant Costume Change to look like whoever he wants), it also begs the question of how he got Ace's clothes in the first place.
  • Used weirdly in an episode of Aladdin: The Series. In "Do the Rat Thing", Jasmine is transformed into a rat, shrinking out of the cloak she was wearing over her usual outfit, but the outfit itself changed with her and was restored when she was changed back. Also her iconic earrings just vanish completely when transformed.
  • Ben 10: In the beginning of "Back With a Vengeance", Ben still wears his yellow rain poncho in his alien forms, even though the series usually follows "Magic Pants" rules. Possibly because it's not part of his normal outfit.
    • Zigzagged with Kevin. After having absorbed the Omnitrix' powers, his clothes transform with him until he powers off in the end of "Framed". After Ben dismisses him with contempt, Kevin's rage turns him into an amalgam of the Omnitrix' aliens, ripping his clothes, including his pants. When the transformation is complete, however, he's got Magic Pants (despite the scary scenes, it's still a kids' show).
    • During the flashback showing how he became human again in "Nor Iron Bars or a Cage" (Ben 10: Ultimate Alien), his gothic clothes are inexplicably back - except for his military green pants, that were replaced by a jeans.
    • In Ben 10: Alien Force, after Gwen frees Kevin from the taedenite shell, it's shown that his trademark black t-shirt was tore in rags, but his keeps his long-sleeved gray shirt, along with his jeans, though they have some holes. When he becomes a combination of the materials he absorbs in "Vengeance Of Vilgax", his clothes are disintegrated by the explosion, leaving him in his black underwear. He's still in his undies when he is temporarily "cured" in "Trade-Off", but, when he reunites with Ben and Gwen, he is fully dressed, implying he went back home for clothes (but it's not shown how he did it without being caught by the police). In the end of the episode, the explosin destroys partially his clothes and apparently disintegrates his boots (or they were ripped off by the explosion). W Hen he finally becomes human again in the last episode, Kevin is in his undies again. Well, he is a tall, handsome teenager, and kids were not the only ones to watch.]
  • Inverted with the changelings in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The ones that mimic Applejack somehow get a copy of her trademark hat out of the deal.
  • The Owl House: Whenever Eda transforms into the Owl Beast, her clothes disappear, returning when she turns back into a woman; probably they turn into feathers. After she makes a truce with the owl creature, her clothes remain in her harpy form.
  • Steven Universe: Normal gems' clothes are part of their magically-constructed Hard Light bodies. However, Steven has an organic body and wears regular clothes, which his shapeshifting and fusion usually (but not always) leave unaltered.
  • Young Justice:
    • Played with — Karen/Bumblebee's shrinking comes from a suit, but it doesn't affect other clothes that she's wearing. In "Alienated" she's Dressed in Layers, but when she suddenly needs to shrink, her outer clothes are left behind as she flies off in her hero costume.
    • Martians and Gar don't have this problem because they use shapeshifting Martian clothes. Martians can mentally have it take the form of any outfit, while Gar's just switches between his superhero outfit and a collar when he's in animal form.
    • Minor character Mist loses her clothes when she transforms (an issue not present in the comics). However, she can also slip back into them before she reforms to avoid any awkwardness.
  • Rick and Morty:
    • The climax of "Rick Potion #9" features Rick trying to cure his rapidly-spreading Love Potion, only to end up mutating the victims into praying mantis hybrids, several of them tearing through their shoes in the process. Rick's attempts to fix the matter just turns them all into lumbering blobs of flesh - and because they're much bigger than their original forms, many of them are seen bursting out of their clothes.
    • In the season 3 finale, the President of the United States ingests a shrinking pill and slowly shrinks out his suit, which Rick and Morty mock him for as Rick is capable of size changing that includes clothes.
    • Early in "Rickamurai Jack," a forty-year-old Morty arrives in a desperate attempt to lure Rick out of his solo adventures, claiming that the family has gone to hell in the years since he left. For good measure, Morty is wearing the exact same clothes he wore as a fourteen-year-old despite them clearly no longer fitting, giving the impression of being a middle-aged loser stuck in his Glory Days. However, when Rick returns home, it turns out that Morty was just lying in the hopes of guilt-tripping him into returning, and actually took an aging serum from Rick's lab in order to make the lie convincing - the real reason why his normal clothes didn't fit.
  • Archie's Weird Mysteries: In "Attack of the 50-Foot Veronica", Veronica gets hit with a growth ray and gradually increases in size. Her clothes at first become too tight and she is forced to change into her dad's track suit. Then she becomes a giant and her clothes rip offscreen, and judging by the reactions of the bystanders, she was rendered naked. She makes a toga for herself out of a tent. When her friends manage to get her back to normal, she ends up naked again and quickly covers herself with the tent.
  • The Mask: in "Little Big Mask," Stanley Ipkiss creates an anti-aging cream and tests it on himself - only to find that it's actually a very potent Fountain of Youth. Whenever Stanley regresses, his clothes fit progressively less and less until he simply steps out of them as a toddler; even the Mask can't help but notice the effects when he shrinks out of his silk bathrobe and into infancy. In the climax, Peggy wakes up to find Stanley's latest baby clothes empty, and assumes he's suffered a Death by De-aging... only for it to turn out that baby Stanley was just getting a checkup from a doctor, though by now, he's shrunk out of the Mask too. Not long after, when Peggy finally manages to restore Stanley to normal, he finds himself growing up naked except for a diaper.
  • Zig-zagged in the Sabrina: The Animated Series the episode "Shrink To Fit": here, Sabrina and Chloe use a shrinking spell so they can fit into some extra-tight jeans, but soon find the hard way that the spell isn't stopping; their now-oversized jeans fall down right in the middle of the school cafeteria. Before long, the two of them shrink down into their clothing in mid-run, reducing them to hopping along in their gigantic socks. However, they soon substitute these for some borrowed doll clothes - which somehow shrink along with them all the way down to microscopic size.


Video Example(s):


Cheetah's Transformation

Barbara Minerva transforms into her Cheetah form.

How well does it match the trope?

4.94 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / VoluntaryShapeshifting

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