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Sleeves Are for Wimps

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Ryu doesn't need no sleeves to kick your ass.

The Flash: No sleeves. Don't you get cold?
Green Arrow: I spent the better part of five years on an island in the North China Sea. I don't get cold, Barry.

A tough (or wanna-be tough) character habitually wears a shirt without sleeves to show off his upper arms. And tattoos.

You might even say he has a "Right To Bare Arms."

One classic variant is when the character has cut the sleeves off of a regular shirt, leaving visibly jagged edges. This was common in The '70s and The '80s. Consequently, an easy way to evoke The '80s with costume design. Tends to go well with mullets, if you can fit your mind around a definition of "well" that allows it to appear in the same sentence as "mullets" without negations or brain implosion. Sometime before 1990, this trope made you look like a badass. Any time after that, it makes you look like a redneck.

Tank tops generally serve the same purpose. Vests worn without shirts also count. A vest worn over a cut-off shirt would count double. Vests worn over regular shirts are just vests. Sorry, Nelson.


This is mostly an Almost Always Male trope, since the reasons for putting a woman in a tank top are usually somewhat different, but it's far from unheard of for Action Girl characters to dress like this as well, such as a Tank-Top Tomboy.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Quattro in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (although he doesn't look as big as most of the other examples here)
  • Revy and Dutch from Black Lagoon.
  • All of Zafira's clothes in Lyrical Nanoha are like this, from the black wife-beater he wore on his first meeting with Hayate to the barrier jacket that he uses now.
  • In the anime version of Ranma ½, (apart from an early pastel orange shirt with a cutesy bow-tie) Ranma's "trademark" Chinese shirt has no sleeves and he's usually shown wearing arm bracers. In the manga, the closest equivalent shirt had short sleeves — in fact, there was also a manga version that had long sleeves (particularly when Ranma was in female form), but the anime, most likely due to budget reasons, suffered from something of a Limited Wardrobe. Though that didn't prevent both of the aforementioned manga shirts popping up on occasion. Ryoga Hibiki also occasionally wore a tattered, sleeveless shirt, which looked as though the sleeves were ripped off, but he's somewhat better known for a long-sleeved shirt.
    • The long sleeves version shows up in the first movie and OAVs at the very least
    • Pantyhose Taro always wears a vest with a snakeskin pattern, with no shirt underneath.
  • Bleach has several variants. The most straight-forward is Hisagi who wears a sleeveless version of the standard uniform top. Shinigami captains also wear a white coat over their uniforms and some (Komamura, Gin, Byakuya, Hitsugaya, Kenpachi) wear sleeveless versions. Kenpachi's has the jagged look to emphasise his badass nature since it supposedly belonged to the previous Captain of the 11th Division that he beat in a duel to the death to gain his position. Tousen after betraying Soul Society also wears a sleeveless long jacket. Finally Kensei of the Vizard wears a tank-top and favoured the sleeveless version of the coat back when he was Captain of the 9th Division.
    • Sui Feng, and all previous 2nd division captains, also wear uniforms that are both sleeveless and have a low-cut back, because the most powerful flash step techniques would destroy those parts of the uniform, destroying a conventional uniform.
  • Kenshiro of Fist of the North Star wore outfits without sleeves. When he went into Hokuto Shinken ass-kicking mode, oftentimes the shirt would disintegrate with the power of his Battle Aura and leave him shirtless.
    • Coincidentally, the only time he wore a sleeved leather jacket was the time when he got his ass kicked by Shin.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple gives us Berserker, along with Kenichi's new custom-made dōgi in a "sleeves-torn-off" style, debuted in the chapter 145.
  • Fate/stay night's Archer, whenever he takes his skirt-coat off. He never does this in the original game, but it's almost his default outfit in Hollow Ataraxia.
  • In Berserk, Guts is almost always gloriously without sleeves. His scrawny young companion Isidro also has his trademark sleeveless jacket, probably because he's trying to look tough.
  • Although not quite as all-encompassing as many of the other examples, Kaidou Kaoru from The Prince of Tennis wears sleeveless shirts whenever he's not in school uniform.
  • Ryoma has the cut-off variant in New Getter Robo
  • Phoenix Ikki, Cygnus Hyoga, Unicorn Jabu, and Pegasus Seiya from Saint Seiya's civilian clothing include sleeveless shirts. In Hyoga's case, it looks like they were torn off.
  • Well, Yuuki does seem pretty badass, and he seems to avoid sleeves whenever possible.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Edward Elric typically wears a black jacket, a long, red coat, and white gloves, but frequently invokes this trope either via Adrenaline Makeover or to lecture someone on why human alchemy is bad. His automail arm increases this trope's intended effect exponentially.
  • Heero Yuy from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. Yes, even in the middle of Antarctica!
  • Genos the cyborg from One-Punch Man always wears sleeveless tops, to show off his robotic arms. It's justified in his case, as sleeves would never survive his bigger attacks, so having them in the first place would be a waste.
    • And an entire team of "Tank Top (Add Noun Here)" high-end Martial Artist heroes. It's their hat — they all wear tank tops.
  • In Ninja Scroll, Jubei prepares for the final showdown with the Big Bad. It's all or nothing now, no more kid gloves, it's all come down to this. What's the very first thing Jubei does to prepare for the greatest fight of his life? ...He rips off his sleeves.
  • In Kiniro Mosaic, Karen comes to school once with her vest over a shirt that she has ripped the sleeves off of, leaving jagged edges. She insists she can get away with it because it's super cool, but quickly gets out a normal shirt when it's suggested her parents will find out.
  • In Kyo Kara Maoh!, Jozak only ever seems to wear sleeves when he's in women's clothes, and not always then, either - much to Yuuri's horror when he sees the huge biceps on the "lady" flirting with him when Jozak is first introduced. Although he's not the best physical fighter of the cast, he is the Combat Pragmatist, and the one who spends the most time on the front lines/roaming the wilderness, since he's a spy and most of the rest of them are aristocrats of some kind.
  • If a shirt isn't sleeveless when Toriko puts it on, it will probably become so shortly.
  • Kojiro Hyuga in Captain Tsubasa always plays with his sleeves rolled up. Even out of the matches it's pretty rare to see him with his arms covered.
  • Inverted in Katanagatari Shichika wear sleeves but only sleeves, no shirt. his torso remain uncovered.
  • Spoofed in Gintama, when Katsura is sent in prison. The resident tough guy Shachi sport the torn sleeves style to look more badass and intimidating, but Katsura try to warn him that there is a problem with his shirt and someone ripped off his sleeves. Shachi then becomes self-conscious about it.
  • In My Hero Academia, Bakugo's hero costume. Also Shoji, even in his school clothes, but in this case because of his weird anatomy.
    • Inverted with Kirishima: His hero outfit lacks a shirt, but he eventually adds sleeves so that his Quirk (which makes his skin as hard as stone) won't hurt people when he rescues them.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho many of the characters use this trope. The yellow shirt/blue pants outfit Yusuke that he wears multiple times in the second season arc. Kuwabara when he's not wearing his blue jacket for the first two seasons. Hiei only wears sleeves shirts under his jacket or is a Walking Shirtless Scene without it. Yomi even tears off his sleeves before he fights Yusuke in the last season.
  • Yami Sukehiro from Black Clover wears a white tank top that shows off his muscled arms, and he's a tough swordsman who wields powerful Dark Magic.
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Matsuri's exorcist ninja suit has a sleeveless vest and Fingerless Gloves that go up past the elbow, emphasizing his biceps and shoulders. Humorously, he also rolls his shirt sleeves up in gym class.

  • Larry the Cable Guy. He even named one album The Right to Bare Arms.
  • Discussed by Demetri Martin. He compares the typical reaction to leather jackets (good) to leather vests (bad) and concludes that the appeal lies in leather sleeves. Apparently, he owns a pair of leather sleeves.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Typecasting for Michelle Rodriguez: Virtually every role she's done has her wearing a tank top or otherwise going sleeveless. When Portal 2 was announced, Chell's redesign (with the top of her jumpsuit pulled down and tied around her waist, exposing a white tank top) drew immediate fan comparisons to Michelle Rodriguez.
  • Charlie from Bumblebee is a Wrench Wench Lad-ette whose clothing mostly consists of sleeveless black band shirts.
  • All of the Cobras in The Karate Kid (1984) have black sleeveless outfits. Popular imagination particularly associates it with their sensei Kreese.
  • Joe Dirt
  • Leonard Smalls in Raising Arizona; H.I. preferred the classic "garish Hawaiian shirt over white henley" ensemble.
  • In Can't Buy Me Love, Cindy rips the sleeves off of Ronald (Patrick Dempsey)'s shirt as part of his extreme makeover as a cool kid.
  • Nigel Tufnel is wearing one during the "these go to eleven" scene, among others.
  • Coming this summer, Bruce Willis plays an angry man in a dirty tank top.
    • It's so much his trademark that in The Fifth Element, Willis is at the opera wearing a tux that gets severely damaged in the ensuing battle, resulting in a sleeveless tux!
  • Gina Gershon as Corky in Bound (1996) is a Tank-Top Tomboy, in contrast to the glamorous Violet.
  • Rambo - one of the archetypal examples of the tank top version
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • Wolverine is often seen wearing a tank top when he isn't wearing his battle suit.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: Colossus' uniform is sleeveless, showing off his muscles and more of his transformation when using his power.
    • X-Men: First Class: During the training scene, everyone gets matching grey tracksuits. Havok's inexplicably doesn't have sleeves.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Unlike their male teammates, Storm's and Psylocke's Horsemen apparel expose their arms.
  • Charlie Sheen's character in Major League has to be reminded that "we wear sleeves in the majors." Later, when the team does an American Express ad, he's wearing a Tux, with the sleeves ripped off.
    • When his catcher takes Vaughn out to dinner, he chooses a place that requires ties. He shows up with his regular a tie. His first line? "I feel like a banker."
  • Captain Picard busts out the guns near the end of Star Trek: First Contact to emphasize how done he is with all these Borg.
    • Lampshaded in the parody Sev Trek: Pus in Boots
    Lt. Beta: Captain, what happened to your uniform?
    Cptn. Pinchhard: It's the Captain's prerogative to strip down during action scenes.
  • Cameron Poe from Con Air is recognizable from his wifebeater and bandaged arm. Even for female cosplayers.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a few examples of sleeveless badasses. Thor, Sif, and Hawkeye usually go without sleeves. There are several scenes in Iron Man, showing Tony Stark working in his lab without sleeves. Thor goes without sleeves at the beginning of The Avengers, but gets them back when things get serious.
  • During his training with Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, Luke wore a tank top to show off his physique.
  • Snake Plissken whenever he loses his Badass Longcoat.
  • Burt Reynolds in Deliverance.
  • In Showdown in Little Tokyo Kenner (Dolph Lundgren) takes off his jacket several times to walk around in a tank top and show off his arms.
  • Patrick, the cult leader in Martha Marcy May Marlene, is often shown wearing just a tank top.
  • As with her comic and Animated counterpart, Wonder Woman wears a strapless battle armor in the DC Extended Universe
  • Played with in Spiders, in where the lead character Marci Eyre loses layers of shirts during the second act, that the only shirt she has left is a white tank top, it is after she's left in her tank top that she takes a level in badass.
    • John Murphy also wears a sleeveless shirt when he and Marci team up.
    • In the sequel Spiders II: Breeding Ground after taking off her black shirt, the lead character Alexandra is wearing a gray tank top when she fights off the spiders, free's Jason, messes up with the lab and fights off Grbac.
  • Angela Vidal in the fourth [REC] movie wears a tank top after she ditches her long-sleeved shirt before she takes out an axe as she tries to escape the ship she's at.
  • In Curve after Mallory Rutledge manages to escape her car which she was stuck on, she takes off her hoodie, wearing her white tank top as she heads out to confront the man that put her in her current situation.
  • In The Descent as Sarah tries to save herself from one of the creatures that live in the cave she's stuck in, she takes off her shirt and remains in her tank top as she tries to escape and combat the creature that is attacking her.
  • Deadpool 2: The Juggernaut rips off the sleeves of his prison garb before fighting Colossus.
  • The Warriors: The title gang mostly wear shirtless vests, and several other gangs wear tank tops as part of their uniform.

  • In Star Wars: Allegiance, Mara Jade's black combat jumpsuit has removable sleeves. She takes them off in this book because the freighter where she is is overwarm. Also, her signature costume is a sleeveless Spy Catsuit.
  • Doroga in the Codex Alera series habitually goes around in a legionare's jacket with the front ripped open and the sleeves ripped off. This is because it was a gift, and by Marat custom it would be a deadly insult not to wear it, but he's so buff he couldn't fit his arms in the sleeves.
  • In Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn, Ham (a physically-enhanced Thug) almost always wears a vest without a shirt. At one point he's forced to wear a uniform — shortly after he's no longer required to, he's found wearing it anyway... with the sleeves ripped off.
  • Chocolate Harry, supply sergeant of Phule's Company customizes his uniform by taking off the sleeves.
  • Destined to Lead: All the characters in the first book are this containing both male and female examples, particularly notable is Kajiya, the main character. Justified in that her left shoulder shows the mark of magic, marking her as the next leader of their tribe.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: The Unsullied's armor doesn't cover their arms.
  • Ash from Supernatural wears this all the time, and has a mullet to go along with it. Though Ash doesn't do any actual ass-kicking in the show, he gets Badassery by pure brains and Memetic Mutation; and for bonus points, there's a sign on his door which says "Dr. Badass is... IN/OUT".
  • B.A. on The A-Team (and Mr. T in anything else he was in as well)
  • Cooter on The Dukes of Hazzard is one of the prototypes of the "good old boy" use of this look now.
  • One episode of Wishbone had Joe, in an attempt to fit in with some teenage basketball players, take scissors to his T-shirts while Wishbone commented, "Okay, why don't we like sleeves anymore?"
  • Power Rangers
    • Cole from Power Rangers Wild Force. He even ripped a sleeve from the team uniform.
    • Koda, the Human Popsicle Handsome Heroic Caveman from Power Rangers Dino Charge, almost always wears sleeveless blue tanks and seems to literally tear the sleeves off of any outfit he is given that isn't already sleeveless, judging from the scenes where he is wearing a cafe or museum uniform with his teammates. That's when he's wearing any kind of shirt at all. (His Power Ranger morphed form is sadly if inevitably excluded.)
    • Long before Cole or Koda were ever conceived as characters, Jason Scott from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers was rarely seen with sleeves when not in Ranger form. Also, by season 3 Billy was periodically shown sleeveless (including in the opening titles) to emphasize he was just as ripped as the other male Rangers despite being the team nerd.
  • Here's a female example: In Battlestar Galactica, number Six always dresses appropriately for whatever she's doing. When she's being a badass she wears a tank-top.
  • Scrubs gives us The Todd.
  • Mac, the wanna-be tough guy in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia often wears sleeveless shirts (to the point of cutting the sleeves off of almost any shirt, including polos and other collared shirts). One of the other castmembers calls him on it.
  • In later seasons of Stargate SG-1, Teal'c tended to wear these a lot. Occasionally Daniel and even Sam got in on the sleeveless action, such as the workout scene in "Orpheus."
  • Mike, a bully on Community.
  • Percival from Merlin has sleeveless armour.
  • Tearing the sleeves off of the work uniform seems to be in the employee manual at Rick's Restorations
  • When Stephen Colbert is about to rock out on the guitar, he knows that the first thing you do is rip the sleeves off your suit.
  • The Walking Dead has Daryl Dixon, resident redneck/hunter/tracker/zombie killer extraordinaire. The first time we see him wearing sleeves (about halfway through the second season), he ends up ripping them off by the halfway point of the episode. It seems like this is changing, though, with the adoption of a blue jean jacket (with sleeves) as the timeline of the series moves into winter.
  • White sleeveless muscle shirts gained the nickname "wifebeaters" due to their frequent appearance on domestic violence suspects on COPS.
  • Hawkman and White Canary in Legends of Tomorrow.
  • In Tour of Duty, Anderson rarely wears his uniform shirt when out in the field, preferring to wear his equipment harness over a tank top, so his well-muscles arms are on full display.
  • On The Cosby Show, Theo cuts the sleeves off an expensive sweatshirt Cliff bought him. note 

  • Way too many eighties music videos to name here feature sleeveless shirts, vests worn without shirts, and similar things. It's one of the things that defines the period, along with '80s Hair.
  • Country Music singer Kenny Chesney is known for removing his sleeves.
  • A lot of the touring costumes worn by *NSYNC were sleeveless and were the main modification on JC's costumes.

  • In Rollergames, Chuck Skull, manager of the Violators, wears a denim vest with torn sleeves to show off his thick arms.
  • Everyone in Laser War wears identical sleeveless spandex jumpsuits, differentiated only by their Army's color.
  • In Flash Gordon, Flash is always shown with his muscular arms bared.


    Pro Wrestling 
  • Too many wrestlers to name, including Hulk Hogan. Face it, you're lucky if they wear a shirt at all, let alone sleeves.
  • Swiss wrestler Ares wrestled in a dress shirt and tie, except for the sleeves were cut off. This was a justified trope, so much as you could justify wrestling in formal wear, as it was not made for maneuverability or dexterity so something had to come off. He was part of Swiss Money holding in German Stampede Wrestling, so the look was to emphasize that he was an evil Swiss banker.

    Video Games 
  • Left 4 Dead: Francis doesn't hate vests.
  • Final Fight: Unless you count the tiny sleeves on Cody's t-shirt that just cover his shoulders, none of the playable characters in the original three games (Cody, Guy, Haggar, Carlos, Maki, Lucia, and Dean) have sleeves. (Though Haggar might have an unfair advantage seeing as he doesn't wear a shirt at all.)
  • Street Fighter:
    • Ryu, Dan, Sean, Akuma, and Ken. Incidentally, Ken is the only character in the franchise who seemed to have the good sense to buy a sleeveless gi, rather than tear the sleeves off.
    • Balrog has a double whammy, with a tank top over a shirt with the sleeves torn off. In one of his Victory Poses in Street Fighter II (and his win portrait in Street Fighter Alpha 3), he tears both off at once.
    • And of course, Guile and his tank top.
    • Also Abel, Guy, Cammy, Birdie, Cammy, Charlie, T. Hawk, Yun, Yang . . . tons of them, really.
    • Ibuki also has this in her historical default outfit, but she averts this in her SFV default one.
  • Over in SNK's territory, Ryo and Yuri Sakazaki (Robert varies between this and long sleeves) and Terry and Andy Bogard appear to have shared the same paper cutter when it comes to their fashion sense. One of them then lent it to Shen Woo.
  • Oni girl Suika Ibuki from Touhou. That despite looking like a 10-year-old.
  • Most Final Fantasy female characters. Expect some of them to bare their midriff.
    • Cloud Strife too.
    • Squall Leonhart wears a black sleeveless shirt as one of his alternate outfits in Dissidia 012. Also comes with a badass chain wrapped around his left arm.
    • Oddly enough, in Final Fantasy XII, Ashe, Penelo, and Fran all have some sort of sleeves, while the sleeveless ones are Vaan and Basch. Ashe doesn't have anything covering her shoulders, but she does wear sleeves covering the top of her arms. Many NPC wear sleeveless tops.
      • Crisis Core has fun with this since the standard SOLDIER uniform has a sleeveless turtleneck as the top. Zack certainly made it work.
  • Kingdom Hearts
    • Riku very, very rarely wears sleeves, and never by choice. His "Dark Mode" is a bodysuit that includes sleeves, but considering it looks like muscle tissue, it's arguable if it counts. He doesn't modify his Organization cloak, which means it covers his arms, but that's mostly because he's posing as an Organization member and Non-Uniform Uniform is not a thing with those guys. His Grid outfit comes with sleeves, but he didn't have a say in that one. His current outfit as of Kingdom Hearts III does have the shortest T-shirt sleeves you've ever seen, but it's a darkness-protection outfit made by Master Yen Sid, so you don't exactly say 'no' to that.
    • Kairi has a similar aversion to sleeves. Her school uniform in Kingdom Hearts II has the sleeves visibly rolled up, and her darkness-protection outfit in III gets to be sleeveless as well.
  • Lewis, lead singer in an electric punk band in Primal wears a white tank top, even when he's a demon.
  • Purge in Space Channel 5 Part 2 is found to have a Sleeveless Purple Disco Suit underneath his Cloak.
  • Apollo Justice, of the Ace Attorney franchise, wears a sleeveless vest over a sleeveless shirt. He's on a quest to end injustice and sleeves.
  • The protagonist of Cave Story wears a tank top. Humorously enough, he appears a bit on the scrawny side, but he's much stronger than he looks seeing as he's a robot.
  • Torn and Sig in Jak X: Combat Racing both wear sleeveless shirts. Jak himself had his sleeves removed in the beginning of Jak 3.
  • Carver in Dragon Age II and Hawke (if played as a mage) adhere to this in the opening act.
  • Billy and Jimmy Lee from the Double Dragon beat-em-ups both wore sleeveless vests and shirts. Curiously, in the movie, where Billy wore a blue long-sleeve sweatshirt and Jimmy wore a red t-shirt, they spent most of the movie screaming and running away from the bad guys, making it a literal example of this trope.
  • Being a ninja, Ninja Gaiden main character Ryu Hayabusa almost completely covers his body, but still leaves his sculpted arms on display.
  • Rick exhibited this trope in the original Splatterhouse trilogy. In the 2010 game, he's instead a Walking Shirtless Scene.
  • More or less justified about half-way through Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Due to Clothing Damage, the prince's full shirt eventually degrades to a sleeveless shirt, then nonexistent. It's shown that he is using the scraps of cloth as bandages.
  • In Sengoku Basara we have Kuroda Kanbe and his ragged, sleeveless jacket. While he may not be the most badass character in the series, but needs no excuse to showcase those arms of his.
  • Pokémon:
    • In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, specifically Emerald Version, the female player character does not wear sleeves. Seeing as she has just recently gone through puberty and saved her country from being destroyed by a Yin-Yang Clash, she definitely qualifies. Her Pokémon Adventures counterpart also qualifies. She also ditches the sleeves in her Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire outfit. Brendan is a partial example, as his sleeves are significantly shorter in his Emerald outfit.
    • The female player character of Pokémon Black and White wears the tank-top plus vest variant and takes down legendary and pseudo-legendary alike with little difficulty.
    • For an example that involves an actual Pokémon, Incineroar has some black tufts of fur around its shoulders that gives it the impression of it having ripped sleeves. This is especially fitting as its torso is supposed to resemble a tank top.
  • The World Ends with You: Neku Sakuraba and Daisukenojo "Beat" Bito.
  • Wario qualifies, showing his muscles while he gathers treasure and defeats enemies with next to no problems.
  • The Fire Clan from the Golden Sun games tend to go sleeveless. It's justified by the fact that they have scales and spikes on their shoulders, which would make clothing in those areas difficult. Karst also plays up the fanservice aspect with a pair of Opera Gloves.
  • When discarding his greatcoat, Adam Jensen from Deus Ex: Human Revolution wears an armored vest that leaves his biomechanical arms exposed.
  • Ulysses from Fallout: New Vegas manages to combine this with Badass Longcoat and Badass Bandolier when he finally shows up in Lonesome Road. After the DLC, you get both his coat and your own version with a symbol based on your chosen faction.
  • Inverted in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess by the people of Ordon, where sleeves are apparently only worn by trained warriors like Rusl. Link, his understudy at the beginning, only wears one sleeve, while the other farmers and young boys go sleeveless.
  • Strider Hiryu's ninja getup puts his nicely toned arms on display.
  • Kyle Blackthorne.
  • Makoto of BlazBlue only wore sleeves as part of the Military Academy's dress code - her combat outfit and her Amane-induced makeover are both sleeveless.
  • This appears to be the philosophy of Letho of Gulet, from The Witcher video games. While every other witcher or soldier has something at least resembling armor covering their arms, Letho goes sleeveless and bears a few scars to show for it. Given his improbably muscular arms, one wonders if he is just showing off, or legitimately can't find any sleeves that will fit over them.
  • XCOM
  • Ranger Ken in Ty the Tasmanian Tiger wears a khaki shirt with the sleeves torn off.
  • Doom Eternal: Part of the Doom Slayer's redesign for this game removes the upper arm area in his otherwise perfectly protective armor, while also giving him the sort of demon-throttling biceps that wouldn't fit in any armor. As a side bonus, it makes him look even more like the original Doomguy.
  • In Overwatch, Zarya's default outfit is armor that covers her entire body except for her head and biceps. Some of her alternate skins (like her Totally '80s outfit) are also sleeveless.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Bearclaw from The Adventures of Dr. McNinja.
  • The formidably strong warrior Equius from Homestuck wears a tank top.
  • As does Dinosaur Soldier from Axe Cop. But only in that form, otherwise he's wearing a shirt or tie or essentially naked.
  • Neither Richard nor Benn of Looking for Group wears sleeves. The latter even exposes her arms when wearing a fur cape.
  • In El Goonish Shive, the djinn in the MUD Dan plays wears a vest with jagged arm holes suggesting it was a jacket that had its sleeves cut off.
  • Capcom from Consolers has the left sleeve of her Martial Arts Uniform ripped off.
  • Nebula: All of the characters without sleeves have been some measure of this.
    • Jupiter wears a vest but no shirt and is one of the biggest, most aggressive planets around and who is actively trying to overthrow Sun.
    • Venus, the aggressively snarky one always ready to shut done everyone else's antics, has a hoodie with no sleeves.
  • Part of monster hunter Kelly's partially armored hunting duds in Here There Be Monsters involves a sleeveless vest over a tank top, all the better to expose her toned biceps.
  • Modern MoGal: Dino always wears a sleeveless shirt, adding to his Face of a Thug look. It doesn't help that at least one of them looks like it's had its sleeves torn off.

    Web Originals 

    Web Videos 
  • Those Aren't Muskets: "Sleeves" An unnamed guy tries his hardest to avoid wearing sleeves, so he can show off his lean but toned biceps. His friends are so tired of it and worried sick about him, they decide to give him an intervention.
  • In Fight of the Living Dead, Tré decides to rip off the sleeves of his expensive shirt. It's never really explained why.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • For some reason, a gray hooded sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off has become the signature wardrobe item of NFL coach Bill Belichick, lampshaded in an ESPN ad.
  • You're rather likely to find gangsters or secret society members wearing these in Asia.
  • Almost a uniform for anybody at a gym with good arms, especially if they use free weights. Justified in that sleeves would constrict blood flow when flexing the arm if you've got oversized muscles. If.
  • This female bodybuilder explains her preference towards tanktops over regular t-shirts during workouts - the sleeves would end up with very ugly stains in the armpit areas due to sweat. Not to mention the heat especially in summer.
  • The majority of Australian Rules Football players wear sleeveless guernseys, although sleeved versions do exist, and some players regarded as being among the greatest ever (such as Essendon's James Hird and Hawthorn's Michael Tuck) almost always wore sleeved jumpers.
  • Likewise, most NFL players will be wearing jerseys just big enough to be stretched over the shoulder pad, leaving the arms bare. At least for games in warmer weather. Cold weather games will see everyone in some sort of tight-fitting, spandex/compression sleeves in an attempt to stay warm. The old, short-but-baggy sleeves are basically a remnant of history, due to compression stuff being readily available at all levels of play, and baggy sleeves potentially giving tacklers something extra to grab on to.
  • Seems to be popular among Cybergoths. It looks cool but is also pragmatic - Cyber-dancing can get very involved and sleeveless clothes help cooling and allow more flexibility.
  • Tank tops and t-shirts with the sleeves ripped off are quite common in the punk and metalhead subcultures.

Alternative Title(s): Right To Bare Arms


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