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Exhibit A: The Baroness herself.

Rayna: My father used to bring people here.
Susan: Did he also make you dress like a slutty dolphin trainer?
Spy
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During any infiltration or stealth operation, the female lead will wear an impossibly tight catsuit. It's almost always black, may be shiny leather or latex. It's never a camo pattern or even mottled, and it can't have pockets except for a utility belt and/or gun holster. There will often be a single zipper on the front, which will result in Absolute Cleavage when it's unzipped. The suit will frequently be accompanied by ridiculously high heels. If you see someone in one of these, there's little she can say to convince you she's not a spy or a fetishist outside of a Sci-Fi series.

The writers may try to justify it, saying it's a stealth garment with sensor defeating properties — so she's seductively slathered herself in Applied Phlebotinum. It could be for freedom of movement (a Critical Research Failure if the outfit is leather). It could be that she just swam up to the facility and can't ditch the wetsuit. In reality, it's to make the inevitable climbing, shimmying, flipping, and belly-crawling through a Laser Hallway look that much more like a lapdance. Of course, it might also be a deliberate invocation of Distracted by the Sexy and I Have Boobs, You Must Obey! against male guards/suspicious people she might encounter.

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Shows up in most Spy Drama shows. Any action show that puts a female character through an infiltration scene will use it. Mostly used with at least a wink these days.

Often extremely shiny, with vertical lines that accentuate the lady's... assets, against all logic.

Popular variations:

  • A male character uses one, especially an attractive one. (see Mr. Fanservice)
  • It's some very bright color.
  • The female spy shows up to the mission in normal, practical clothes, and males around her express disappointment.

As you may have imagined, this is not something real-life (or realistic fictional) female operatives would wear in the field, though a black turtleneck and cargo pants arguably pull off a similar look while being a bit more plausible. In fact, this trope originated not with spy fiction at all, but with Catwoman, whose iconic use of this outfit is both the Trope Maker and Trope Namer. A variant on this is the tendency of female ninja in anime and superhero comics to wear excessively stripperiffic outfits (see for example the female teachers from Naruto).

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See also Superheroes Wear Tights, Form-Fitting Wardrobe, Impossibly Cool Clothes, Sensual Spandex.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • Ali Larter sports a bright-yellow suit in the Absolut Citron advertisements/short films as her alter-ego Lemon Drop.
  • Agent Maiya is seen wearing one in a UK advertisement for comparethemarket.com. Agent Maiya, it must be pointed out, is a meerkat.
  • Erin Esurance, the female agent in the pre-2010 Esurance commercials, frequently sported one.
  • A series of TV Commercials for Nationwide Insurance feature a leather-catsuited woman (played by actress Jana Kramer) backflipping around a house undoing the damage done, either by a burglary or by a fire.
  • Some of William Shatner's "Priceline Negotiator" ads have a girl named "Naomi Pryce" wearing one.
  • In the first ad of a T*Mobile ad campaign, their mascot-spokeswoman trades in her girl-next-door pink dress for a pink-and-black motorcycle jumpsuit. Justified in that she's going motorcycle riding (as a metaphor for the company's high-speed wireless network).

    Anime & Manga 
  • Belldandy from Ah! My Goddess: is prone to wearing really tight racing leathers with heart patterns.
  • Angel of The Big O will occasionally wear one of these. Like almost everything else she wears, it's bright pink.
  • The special corps in Bleach wear a variation of these, their leader wears a kimono version (though Omake shows both her and Yoruichi in more standard ones).
  • Cat's Eye, anyone? Spy catsuits complete with Xtreme plunging necklines and built-in high heels, for added stealth obviously. Despite this, this example is a bit more realistic than the most — the catsuits are neither latex no leather, but lycra, and are similar to what real gymnasts wear.
  • Used rather bizarrely in Death Note, where professional thief Weddy wears a classic '60s style catsuit (built-in high heels and all) while infiltrating a building, for no apparent reason. Possibly justified in that the series artist has admitted basing her on stereotypical female spy archetypes, but it still clashes with the feel of the story.
  • Dragon Ball Z — the spandex worn under space mercenary armor is so tight that not only is musculature still clearly visible, it gives the men Barbie Doll Anatomy.
  • Celty from Durarara!! wears a black skintight motorcycle jumpsuit as part of her signature outfit which also includes the famous yellow motorbike helmet.
  • In Gantz the male characters also wear skin-tight jumpsuits. It's also worth noting that each outfit is so specifically designed that only the person it was meant for could wear it.
  • In Ghost in the Shell, Major Kusanagi wears a spy catsuit that really is a stealth device, called thermoptic camouflage. In the movie at least, this technology is used fairly extensively, although she has to be nude to use it (or rather, a flesh-colored skinsuit. The suit leaves a noticeable neckline where her skin color contrasts with the suit's.) It's somewhat less drastic in other iterations, which look more practical.
    • While the Major's normal combat wear shows more curves than the standard models, it's generally quite practical, and her male squadmates wear active camouflage suits of the same design. The major exception to this is in the Stand Alone Complex the 2nd Gig episode Cash Eye, which plays with the infiltration and espionage tropes, and repeated references to Ocean's Eleven, and has her wear a catsuit that fits this trope to a tee with little purpose. Perhaps the outfit led the android fetishist Corrupt Corporate Executive to mistake her for a combat android instead of the Major and was different enough that he would not recognize the Major as being the same person when he met her.
      • Although the episode does reference Cat's Eye (see above) with the 'Cash Eye' logo.
  • Hayasaka is shown wearing one of these in at the beginning of chapter 30 of Kaguya-sama: Love is War as she sneaks in to the student council room in the middle of the night to swap out Shirogane's coffee with decaf.
  • In Lupin III, one of Fujiko Mine's outfits is a black leather spy catsuit which she frequently doesn't zip up all the way. Lupin himself wears this on occasion. One of the most iconic franchise images, Lupin running along the wall with spotlights following him, has the thief with only his face revealed.
  • Natsuki Kuga in My-HiME sports the motorcycle variant.
  • Space Battleship Yamato: The Battlesuits used by the women are skintight and colorful.
  • The Belladonna Lily Woman in Noir wore one. All of her male compatriots wore suits.
  • The Masked form of Cure Muse in Suite Pretty Cure ♪.
  • The pilots in Neon Genesis Evangelion wear skin-tight plugsuits, the form only interrupted by attached equipment. The suit is actually vacuum-sealed to their body and they're specifically tailored to suit their personal body shape. This of course leads to embarrassment when Shinji gets dressed in a suit designed for a girl.
  • In Sonic X, Rouge has a "stealth" version of her game outfit that's all black in some scenes (the SA2 version has a good deal of white). It still has the pink heart breastplate (and the pink hearts on her gogo boots for that matter) though.
  • Sagiri from Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs wears one in Chapter 14. It is supposed to protect her from spiritual powers but is really there for the fanservice.

    Comic Books 
  • In Archie Comics, Betty and Veronica wear black catsuits when acting as "Agents B & V".
  • Batman:
    • As mentioned earlier, catsuits were first introduced by Catwoman, designed by Bob Kane, and which would also influence the U.S. erotic fetish scene. This is subverted in The Batman & Robin Adventures #16 (a tie-in comic to the animated series), which introduced Catman as a villain inspired by Catwoman. So much that he wears Catwoman's rather feminine-looking catsuit, which looks rather comical on a male figure.
    • Talia Al-Ghul is prone to wearing these when she actually fights, Depending on the Writer. They also often feature Absolute Cleavage or a Cleavage Window.
  • The Black Cat also wears catsuits, unsurprisingly, though often with a glorious white fur trim.
  • The Black Panther counts as a male example. (And another particularly appropriate one.)
  • The eponymous heroine's one-piece racing suit in Chassis.
  • Oddly averted in Codename Knockout — though it's a spy parody practically made out of fanservice, the protagonist almost never wears her catsuit outside of covers.
  • Par for the course, Sydney Savage of Danger Girl, wears one.
  • Daredevil wore a yellow and red catsuit and, later, the renowned red catsuit. His suit was altered from a catsuit appearance to, quite literally, a "devil suit".
  • Femme Appeal from the Darkwing Duck comic wears one. Hardly surprising, considering that she's a furry Captain Ersatz of Emma Peel.
  • In Adam Warren's Empowered comic, the heroine doesn't just wear a shiny skintight suit, it's a shiny skintight suit of power armor that tears like a wet hanky if she brushes against anything that has a point on it. Of course, his comic is a parody of all the tied-up, mostly naked superdamsels in distress he was drawing for commissions, but still... Empowered goes well beyond skintight; the power suit is actually a membrane-thin piece of nothing that leaves the wearer effectively naked while fighting crime in public. She can't even wear underwear. The point to Empowered is to get your humiliation fetish in your ironically-titled supers fantasy. It's also Justified in that the suit fragility is because of her body-image issues. If she could take pride in her body the suit would be tougher and thicker.
  • In Femforce, Dragonfly and Jet Girl both wear skintight bodysuits. Dragonfly's is black with a white chest insignia, while Jet Girl's is gold, which limits its usefulness for actual stealth.
  • G.I. Joe: The Baroness wears this as her standard outfit in every incarnation. Scarlett of the Joes does as well, though hers is more of a leotard worn over tights. Also, Scarlett did wear a standard black catsuit with some armored parts in the live-action film.
  • Jennifer Mays of The Maze Agency wears one whenever she is on a stealth mission. She is not pleased when she learns that her rival Ashley Swift has copied the look.
  • Jakita Wagner from Planetary wears one, likely in homage to Emma Peel.
  • The catsuit is the basic uniform for agents in Marvel's spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D., for men and women (and, as seen in the 1990s miniseries Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D., even pudgy overweight male administrators).
    • Justified in that said catsuits are resistant to mundane blades (non-adamantium or energy blades, etc.), fireproof, and insulate the wearer from electrical shocks and extremes of heat and cold. They also have radar and infrared absorption capabilities (stealth), depending on the story.
    • S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, such as Agent Sharon Carter, would also don white S.H.I.E.L.D. tactical catsuits.
    • Madame Hydra and Madame Viper, S.H.I.E.L.D. nemeses, were known for their green/black catsuits.
    • Black Widow, originally an Iron Man/Daredevil/Avengers/S.H.I.E.L.D./Spider-Man nemesis and later a member of The Avengers and the Champions, wore catsuits as a constant, often working alongside S.H.I.E.L.D.
    • Carol Danvers, who did espionage work when she was depowered, noted that often, going unnoticed is less important than nobody remembering your face after you leave. Drawing attention to other areas can help with that.
    • Kate Bishop, the second Hawkeye, wears a purple catsuit. Matt Fraction has stated this was a deliberate Shout-Out to Emma Peel since he writes Kate and Clint with a similar dynamic to that of Steed & Peel.
  • Similarly to the Empowered example, Artificial Human Girl One from Top 10 wears what at first appears to be a full-body catsuit. In reality, she's actually nude — her creators gave her an aversion to clothing, while at the same time giving her body the ability to hide this fact via built-in full-body tattoo/bodypaint that she can control at will — she typically looks like she's wearing a full-body purple spandex catsuit with logos and patterns on it. They didn't explain this until several chapters in.
  • Ultimate Wolverine: Magda wears a red one.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): When she lost her powers and operated as "Diana Prince, Wonder Woman", Wonder Woman sometimes wore a white catsuit (though less often than popularly imagined — much of the time, she simply wore "normal" all-white outfits including minidresses, pantsuits, etc).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Worn by the team during the raid on the compound and in the V-Formation Team Shot behind the closing credits in Angels Revenge.
  • Angie Harmon wears an impressive series of impressive catsuits, including the famous red catsuit, in Agent Cody Banks.
  • The Kensington ladies and Foxy Cleopatra from Austin Powers, obviously.
  • The Avengers (1998): Mrs. Peel and her clone (Uma Thurman) followed her predecessors' examples by wearing lots of skintight catsuits. It was in fact so tight she had to be sewn into it for every shot!
  • Kitten wears one of these in one of her many fantasy sequences in Breakfast on Pluto.
  • Ironically subverted in the Halle Berry Catwoman (2004) film. Patience dons a leather catsuit as part of her Makeover Montage but she abandons it pretty soon and opts for something even more Stripperiffic — that does at least look like it offers more mobility.
  • Cameron Diaz in Charlie's Angels (2000) wears an impressive shiny silver catsuit while climbing and jumping off a skyscraper.
  • In The Dark Knight Rises, Anne Hathaway's outfit as Catwoman is a typical example of this, complete with a zipper at the front. Bear in mind, Catwoman was the Trope Codifier.
  • In Death Ring, Bodyguard Babes Bambi and Thumper wear black catsuits, possibly because their outfits were selected by Depraved Bisexual Ms. Ling.
  • If there was a point to the movie Entrapment beyond showing Catherine Zeta-Jones in one of these as she slinked through a maze of trip beams, it's not clear.
  • Jessica dons a spandex bodysuit when she begins her fightback against the Evil Poachers in Fair Game.
  • Played straight and inverted in the 2008 Get Smart movie. Agent 99 plays it straight through the laser field wearing a skintight dress. Max then copies her moves halfway through with a near-lampshade look over his shoulder. Which is not helped by the fact that a rat has gotten onto him.
  • Both Scarlett and the Baroness from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra wear these.
  • Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe frequently wears these. In Iron Man 2, she even once changed out of her dress and into the suit in the back of a moving car. The driver nearly crashed the car. The Avengers (2012) also shows S.H.I.E.L.D. in full, showcasing how every other agent dresses. For the most part, it seems everyone wears either this, military fatigues, suit-and-tie/office wear, or something resembling Star Trek suits.
  • Despite what Pop-Cultural Osmosis would have you believe, this trope has never been present in the James Bond movies. The Bond Girls that are spies themselves always dress appropriately for the occasion, whether it's an evening dress, a disguise, or khakis and sneakers. The only one that came close was Wai Lin from Tomorrow Never Dies, who wore a wetsuit for the final battle on board a warship, but then again so did Bond.
  • In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, a quartet of jewel thieves played by Shannon Elizabeth, Eliza Dushku, Ali Larter, and Jennifer Schwalbach Smith (the wife of writer/director Kevin Smith) posing as animal rights activists wear these to steal diamonds while the eponymous heroes are duped into freeing animals from the lab next door as a diversion. Also parodied, in that the initial introduction to the suit-clad thieves is them explicitly showing themselves off to the camera with overblown, borderline ridiculous body poses to acknowledge how blatant the creators know the Fanservice is.
  • Naturally, this comes up again in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot when the titular protagonists suspect that Milly and her friends, just like Justice and her gang before, are wearing these underneath their clothes and are planning on pulling off a heist. Shan Yu actually is, provoking an I Knew It! reaction from Jay, because she turns out to be a Russian spy trying to sabotage the production of Bluntman v Chronic.
  • Uma Thurman briefly wears a catsuit/motorcycle racer suit hybrid in Kill Bill Vol. 1. This is a direct adaptation of one worn by Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon.
  • Trinity in The Matrix trilogy. She regularly wears a skintight black latex suit when operating as one of Morpheus's agents. Given that the Matrix itself is a computer program, presumably can be Hand Waved with some programming to make her more mobile in it.
  • In movie adaptation Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., starring David Hasselhoff, almost everyone wears a catsuit, including all S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA agents.
  • Subverted in the Roger Moore thriller North Sea Hijack (released as "Ffolkes" outside the U.K.), where the eponymous character, upon discovering the wetsuit he will be using to infiltrate the hijacked North Sea oil platform to stop terrorists from blowing it up, snarks, "A wet suit in vermilion. Just what one needs at night."
  • Once Upon a Spy: Paige Tannehill and Jack Chenault both wear forming fitting bodysuits when they break into Valorium's observatory. It must be said that the outfit looks much better on Mary Louise Weller than it does on Ted Danson.
  • Older Than They Think. Josette Andriot wears remarkably form-fitting outfits in Protea, a silent French thriller released in 1913.
  • Rather cleverly invoked in 1970 British art film Secrets Of Sex. A female cat burglar wearing very tight and fanservice-y leather catsuit breaks into house, deliberately gets caught by its owner, seduces him with her sexy looks, sleeps with him, and then robs his house with him being unable to call the police because if he does, his wife will know he cheated on her with the burglar.
  • In Spice World, a producer is trying to work out a film that they can make for the Spice Girls. One of the pitches is "Spice Force Five" - with the girls as secret agents and naturally all wearing some of these.
  • Parodied, like so many other Spy Fiction tropes, in Spy, which provides the page quote. Susan tells the Big Bad Rayna that her skintight dress (the top half of which strongly invokes this) makes her look like a "slutty dolphin trainer".
  • Amanda Benson in Swindle wears a catsuit during the final confrontation against Swindell.
  • Selene in Underworld wears one of these constantly, usually paired with a Badass Longcoat. She's not actually a spy (she's closer to an assassin), but often has to be stealthy — she is a vampire, after all. The sequel explains her instantaneous Vampire Healing Powers but never mentions the fact that her suit seems to heal itself as well.
  • The likely Trope Maker is Irma Vep in the 1915-16 French serial Les Vampires. Musidora, the actress who played Irma, had been a circus acrobat and the catsuit is probably derived from her leotard and tights.
  • X-Men Film Series:

    Literature 
  • The Executioner: A male example is Mack Bolan's blacksuit, worn not only to hide him in the dark but also for its psychological effect.
  • Robert Westall's Futuretrack Five has Keri's motorcycle leathers. Frequently a zipper away from becoming Absolute Cleavage and regularly employed as a means to distract male policemen. So often used, during her career as a Racer, that's it gets referred to in-Verse as the Keri Roberts Victory Stretch And Yawn.
  • Arya from Inheritance Cycle wears a black, leather suit. Brings up some serious Moral Dissonance, because she's a vegetarian on the basis that she finds killing an animal for food cruel.
  • Into the Looking Glass: In Vorpal Blade, Two Gun uses this to describe the skintight suits that Wyvern operators have to wear when using their suits.
  • M wears one on the cover of Lawless.
  • Pookie, a Pervect bodyguard from Myth Adventures, wears one of these as her work clothes, along with a short cape. How much this qualifies as Fanservice depends on whether the reader is into bald, rail-thin women with green scales.
  • The Agency, from The Other Kind of Roommate, has a unit of Agents known 'as' suits. They specialize in this type of wear, which allows them to blend into plain sight, and can apparently protect against everything from bullets to wizards.
  • Shannon O'Reilly mocks the concept in the Red Room series. Subverted when they are almost immediately killed by male agents wearing skintight magically enhanced camouflage gear.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Lampshaded in Legacy of the Force: Invincible; Jaina Solo more-or-less complains about how the suit she stole from a GAG soldier is more suitable for someone trying to draw some attention to themselves: ...a full size too small, and snug in all the wrong places for a woman trying to avoid attention.
    • We also have a straight example in Mara Jade Skywalker — made even more obvious in the Japanese covers for the New Jedi Order novels as well as that of Sacrifice.
  • Mord-Sith in The Sword of Truth. Skintight leather suits coming in brown, red, or white. At one point Richard sees one naked and notes the only difference is color.
  • As pointed out below, these crop up a lot in Warhammer 40,000 fiction. In Eisenhorn and Ravenor "bodygloves" are popular for both men and women. Inquisitor Amberley Vail wears something a lot like one to fit into and interface with her Powered Armor, and the sight is enough to distract even Ciaphas Cain from the prospect of imminent danger...

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: In Season 1 and 2, this is largely averted with more practical outfits for most agents, though they do still achieve the look with Skye/Daisy Johnson wearing a Form-Fitting Wardrobe of skinny jeans and a fitted fleece creating basically the Civvie Spandex version of this trope. After she undergoes her superhero origin, starting with Season 3 she switches to a more traditional spy catsuit, making her the only agent in the show to regularly wear one, though it's somewhat inferred to be in order to benefit her superpowers. The tightness of the suit was lampshaded by her actress, Chloe Bennet, when the suit was first unveiled, as she tweeted about how much of a wedgie it gave her to wear it.
  • Rather persistently averted in Alias, where any given spy is much more likely to be in nightclub wear. There are also episodes featuring camo Army-style getups, various forms of local ethnic costume, and tourist gear. Somewhat effected anyway in that nearly all these costumes end up being form-fitting and flattering.
  • The Avengers (1960s) has the female lead, Emma Peel, and Cathy Gale before her, in this outfit frequently. It didn't look so out of place in the '60s. She also had a purple one.
    • This was, essentially, the entire point behind the character. Her name alludes to it, even: Emma Peel ==> M. Appeal or Man Appeal. (Her original name was the less subtle 'Mantha Peel, but it was changed perhaps on account of being the unsexiest name in television history)
    • In later Emma Peel seasons, this ended up as a Justified Trope. Diana Rigg insisted on switching from the black leather catsuit to a colored jersey version — just as skintight, but far more practical for gymnastically kicking mooks in.
    • It worked in the '60s just because it was less Stripperiffic than modern versions, and looked like something a motorcycle-riding woman would wear. In fact, many male and female bikers wear something similar but more colourful right now. As time went on, catsuits began to shine, reveal, and tighten to the point of asphyxiation.
  • The DVD cover for the fourth season of The Big Bang Theory features Penny in such an outfit.
  • On Castle, in "Undead Again", Rick and his daughter Alexis have been playing a single game of laser tag since she was five. At 18 and about to leave college, she tells him those days are over and she's grown out of it. Castle was already imminently quitting his adventures with Beckett and now realizes that he's losing his daughter as well. When she realizes how much she's hurt him, she later ambushes Castle, rappelling down from the ceiling in a catsuit to zap him. Cackling maniacally, she claims the whole thing was an act intended to catch him off-guard.
  • Keira Cameron on Continuum has one that was originally gold but plot developments changed it to the standard black in the first season. Unlike most examples, the suit contains a bunch of advanced technology that does give her a great advantage in a fight and the fanservice it provides seems more incidental. When the bad guys get their own catsuit later on they put it on their giant male leader instead of the attractive women on the team.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Jean Marsh, as Sara Kingdom in the First Doctor era, wore an Emma Peel-style catsuit in "The Daleks' Master Plan". Her character was actually a bona fide spy, or at least an agent of a paramilitary organization.
    • Wendy Padbury, as Zoe Heriot in the Second Doctor era, wore a sparkly catsuit, most famously in "The Mind Robber".
    • Played with in "Planet of the Dead". Lady Christina de Souza's outfit looks like a catsuit at first glance but is actually a jacket, t-shirt, jeans, and boots. As a result, her outfit is actually more practical and less conspicuous than an actual catsuit would have been.
    • "The Pandorica Opens": While breaking into the Royal Collection, River Song wears a tight black outfit that shows off her cleavage.
  • Honey West often wore a bodystocking, predated many catsuits of the '60s, such as Emma Peel of the British Avengers TV series.
  • In a How I Met Your Mother ninth season flashback episode (most were), Robin is shown wearing a purple spy-type cat-suit and being referred to as a spy. Several fans spoofed this being because "Robin Scherbatsky" was a cover identity for S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill.
  • JAG: In "Straits of Malacca", Mac wears a special forces-style wetsuit when boarding a cargo ship.
  • Parker in Leverage is fond of these... under street clothes or bulky harnesses that provide pockets and carabiner loops.
  • Wendy Watson in The Middleman. Actually, she wears one in the opening credits, but "The Obsolescent Cryogenic Meltdown" is the first episode in which she wore one within the episode.
  • Eartha Kitt wore one in an episode of Mission: Impossible where she guest-starred as an acrobat-contortionist used by the IMF to crawl through the vents of a foreign embassy.
  • In NCIS, McGee fantasizes about Kate in a catsuit in one episode.
  • Kochanski in the Red Dwarf Season 7, Episode "Ouroboros" (later destroyed in "Duct Soup").
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch:
    • "Sabrina the Teenage Writer" - when Sabrina's spy novel comes to life, one of her characters Vivian Soontodie appears in one of these. Libby mistakes her for Valerienote  and mocks her for wearing a catsuit. Vivian kicks her.
    • In one of the novelizations, when her Aunt Vesta insists she'll pick Sabrina's prom dress, Sabrina panics at the thought that she'll be forced to wear one of these. She has a Catapult Nightmare involving her nearly dying of asphyxiation while trying to dance in it.
  • In Smallville, Lois Lane once wore something like this complete with Combat Stilettos while posing as the superheroine "Stiletto". She complained about the suit being uncomfortable and making squeaking sounds when she walked.
  • Star Trek:
    • Seven of Nine and T'Pol aren't spies but still wear catsuits. Handwaved for Seven — her part-Borg physiology required a specialised suit. Incredibly, T'Pol herself explained that her choice of clothing was largely based on her "appreciation for aesthetics". That's right, the Ms. Fanservice Straw Vulcan stated in-universe that she wore a catsuit purely out of vanity.
    • Deanna Troi (also not a spy) also wore them for much of the run of TNG, although she switched to a standard uniform in the sixth season. After this, she's occasionally still seen in the catsuits when off duty.
    • TNG had an egregious example in the episode "Legacy". They arrive on a planet that's broken down into gang warfare where they meet Ishara Yar, the sister of deceased crew member Tasha Yar. Ishara is wearing a completely practical outfit given her situation. They beam her aboard and put her in tight catsuit with matching phaser holster.
  • Seen on Gugu Mbatha-Raw in the promo pics for Undercovers.
  • One episode of Walker, Texas Ranger had the rangers break into a vault (for some reason). The relatively minor female ranger does it because "She's the only one that can fit into the stealth suit."
  • Wonder Woman wore one on a couple of rare occasions in which it replaced her regular costume when she needed to go swimming (likely lampshading the fact that her regular costume was basically a swimsuit). It actually fits the trope name because in the TV continuity, Diana Prince worked for a spy organization.

    Music 

    Pinball 
  • Worn by Vanessa Kensington on the left slingshot bumper of Austin Powers.
  • Worn by Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. the Black Widow, in Stern Pinball's Iron Man, and prominently featured on the sides of the backbox.
  • In Secret Service, the agents in the Capitol Building shootout are all wearing this.

    Podcasts 
  • In Jemjammer, Cacophony has a red and black one for stealth missions. It pairs with black two-inch heels (as opposed to higher, glittery ones in her regular apparel).

    Pro Wrestling 
  • In a more modest example, Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss both wore catsuits instead of their usual ring gear to wrestle a match in the UAE.
  • The Bella Twins wore sleeveless and backless catsuits around 2011, with Absolute Cleavage to boot.
  • Terri Poch wore an infamous one at WrestleMania XV for her match against Sable. She had planned to make her outfit look as if it were painted on, and the result is a massive Old Shame for her.
  • Speaking of Sable she was known for her tight leather catsuits too. However, she never wrestled in them. They were just for Fanservice.
  • As to be expected, The Queen of Cats La Felina wrestled in a black catsuit.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Frequent in Infinity, but justified in that anyone who's actually stealthy also has active camouflage.
  • Pathfinder has the catskin leather magic armor, which is described as a "supple suit of jet-black... leather armor" that grants the wearer several cat-themed bonuses (bonus to Acrobatics and Stealth checks, halved falling damage, saving the wearer's life at the expense of being destroyed). (It's also not actually made of cat skin... although it probably could be if a player really wants.)
  • Seen occasionally in Warhammer 40,000. Several Eldar have one, but it's pretty much standard issue for the Officio Assassinorum agents of the Imperium. Some employ chamaeleonic mimicry abilities, others have no special reason apart from being fetish material. In one of the newer novels, this tendency is repeatedly lampshaded when several characters can't keep their eyes from the girl-assassin brought up by a rather puritanical sect who would most likely kill them if she had any idea why they looked at her like that...
    • And, of course, there's the Harlequins in their skin-tight acrobat leotard that emits hologram fields.

    Video Games 
  • Catwoman in Batman: Arkham City gets special mention for sporting one of these with the zipper down, showing off her Most Common Superpower in sub-zero weather.
  • The Spy unit in Civilization 4 look like this, at least in the later eras. In elder times, she wears a robe and false beard.
  • Jenny sports a tight racing suit in Dance Dance Revolution.
  • In A Dance with Rogues, you can purchase a number of different catsuits from the Family's fences, with the Flavor Text actually stating that the Family provides them to operatives for important break-in jobs. This being a D&D-based fantasy setting, the catsuits are actually enchanted to confer numeric bonuses to stealth skills (as well as having a decent defense rating), making them a great alternative to regular clothes and armor. The only downside is that you cannot wear them in public, or the guards will identify you as a professional burglar on sight. While these regular catsuits don't have high heels, some high-level custom ones (like the Assassin's Waistcoat) do—but even then, their huge skill bonuses easily negate the high heels' -2 penalty on Move Silently skill.
  • Dead or Alive also features some catsuits for good measure, both male and female. Apart from Hayabusa's own catsuit (which debuted in this series in Ultimate), the most popular ones are Christie's WHITE catsuit and Kasumi's ninja catsuit in DOA5 (which looks pretty similar to Hayabusa's). Not to forget Tina's infamous LITERAL catsuit.
  • Natalya wears one in the last location of Destroy All Humans! 2. Lampshaded in one conversation, wherein Krypto asks her how she managed to fit in it. Her response? "Shoehorns and lubricant."
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Downplayed by the Dark Brotherhood armor in Morrowind's Tribunal expansion. It is black and leathery, but it is still a bit bulkier than most examples of the trope.
    • Played straight by the Dark Brotherhood's armor in Oblivion, now called "Shrouded Armor", which takes this appearance on females and a Ninja-like appearance on males.
    • Shrouded Armor in Skyrim looks much the same as it does in Oblivion, but adds more red to its color palette.
  • While the James Bond movies, as noted above, avert this trope, the Bond video game Everything or Nothing plays it straight with the evil Bond girl Katya Nadanova (voiced by and modeled after the supermodel Heidi Klum), who wears a shiny silver catsuit.
  • Evil Genius is a videogame in which you play as the eponymous Evil Genius. As the videogame is essentially a big parody of spy fiction the agents sent after you from the forces of justice are all very colorful and stereotypical, making this trope inevitable.
  • Fallout:
    • In the Fallout 3 DLC Operation: Anchorage, one of the rewards for completing the simulation is the Chinese Stealth Armor, which gives the wearer a permanent stealth field while sneaking. Although both male and female characters can equip it, the enemies who wear it are all males. Unlike most examples here, the Chinese Stealth Armor is a great asset to an infiltrator, which makes this a justification or subversion, depending on your angle. It is also present in Fallout: New Vegas, although without its Invisibility Cloak capability.
    • The main game also has the Leather Armor, although it doesn't affect one's stealth stats, and the Recon Armor.
    • Averted by the Reinforced Leather Armor in Fallout: New Vegas, whose male and female versions are equally modest. The Assassin Suit and Stealth Suit Mk II from the add-ons play this trope straight, as well as both increasing the player's Sneak skill, although the latter has fluorescent white stripes giving it away.
    • Fallout 4's Far Harbor DLC has the Marine Wetsuit.
  • In Ginga Fukei Densetsu Sapphire, the protagonists wear cutoff, short-sleeved police jackets over solid-color catsuits.
  • Half-Life's Black Operations females wore skintight suits. In fact, their breasts jiggled when they walked. It was removed in Opposing Force, an expansion. It's also worth noting that the males wore skin-tight black, too.
  • Agent 47 of Hitman 2 usually wears a suit and tie or some kind of low-key civilian outfit befitting his subtlety, but the intro mission Nightcall starts 47 off in an all-black wetsuit with a red zipper on the back instead.
  • Unlocking the Intrigue outfit (by levelling all three of the Intrigue category's skills to at least 25) in Long Live the Queen gives the player the option to dress Elodie in one of these, complete with a monocle.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Miranda's outfit is initially something of a subversion, as it's actually white, but then later played straight as it's upgraded to black. Miranda's outfit also has a cutout in the front stopping right above her breasts that is not commonly seen on outfits of this type. The second Appearance Pack DLC lets players swap out the catsuit for a far more practical suit of Cerberus armor.
    • Kasumi has a similar outfit, but with less Fanservice.
    • Every Quarian ever wears a skintight bodysuit, though they have a reasonable excuse.
    • Seems to be the normal outfit of Asari Commandoes. "Commando leathers" are mentioned a few times in explicitly fetishistic context.
    • The Nemesis and Phantom Cerberus troops of Mass Effect 3 are women dressed in these, in sharp contrast with other Cerberus soldiers who are men in Powered Armor.
    • Ashley's alternate armor in 3 has some catsuit qualities to it. In the same game, there's Eva Coré, who's kitted out in the same catsuit as Miranda, which can then later be put on EDI for no fathomable reason.
  • The Mrrshan spy from the first Master of Orion game.
  • In Mercenaries 2: World in Flames. Jennifer Mui's last unlockable costume is a catsuit with cleavage nearly reaching her navel. She will drop a Lampshade Hanging when she puts it on. The male characters get a yellow chicken costume instead.
  • Strangely enough, in Metal Gear, the Spy Catsuit is the domain of male spies. The female spies get to wear proper camo, suits, military uniforms, or flight suits. The Boss starts out in a proper BDU but switches this for a more "space age" type outfit. Eva in Metal Gear Solid 3 plays this pretty straight though, complete with the front-zipper cleavage, which features prominently in first-person cutscenes.
    • The character designer for Metal Gear Solid admitted that Snake and Raiden's outfits, particularly Raiden's, were inspired by looking at bondage gear, probably an admission that it was an intended fetish. On the character art, he draws an arrow to Raiden's buttocks, explicitly pointing out where his underwear lines can be seen through his clothes — it's subtly visible on the in-game model itself.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots has the Beauty and the Beast Corps. Every last one of whom are wearing a full spandex (actually nanotech) bodysuit covering what appears to be a complete neck-to-toe see-through latex catsuit. What's even more notable was that this wasn't even intended at first. Originally, they were supposed to be stark naked, but they had to edit it to catsuits because it would have given Metal Gear Solid 4 an Adult Only rating.
  • Metroid's Samus Aran has been wearing a bright blue catsuit underneath her Power Suit ever since Metroid: Zero Mission. This being Metroid, however, you only actually get to play as her in it in three games, though her catsuit look is a regular at the Super Smash Bros. games nowadays.
  • In the original Ninja Gaiden games, protagonist Ryu Hayabusa wears a traditional blue ninja outfit with no sleeves. The Xbox series changed this to a black outfit that is more in line with the trope (consisting of a tight-fitting synthetic bodysuit that wouldn't be out of place being worn by a modern espionage agent like Sam Fisher but retaining some trappings of the profession, such as tabi) and given the title of "the Legendary Black Falcon".
  • Cate Archer in No One Lives Forever wears one of these on occasion, probably as homage to Emma Peel, as the game is an irreverent take on Sixties spy fiction.
  • Overwatch:
    • As befitting her image as a Femme Fatale, Widowmaker rocks a skin-tight catsuit.
    • When not in her mech, D.Va wears a skin-tight suit evocative of many Super Robot outfits.
  • Joanna Dark in Perfect Dark and Perfect Dark Zero.
  • Persona:
    • Mitsuru from Persona 4: Arena onward wears one underneath her white fur coat.
    • Persona 5: Ann Takamaki wears a bright red skin-tight leather jumpsuit when engaging in Phantom Thief activities. This is actually an Invoked Trope In-Universe, as the outfit manifests as a portrayal of what the user imagines as a “rebellious villain”—to Ann, that’s a sexy and alluring Femme Fatale. One might think that it only makes her highly visible, restricts her movements, and provides no real physical protection while fighting Shadows, but A) It looks really cool, so who cares?, and B) Given that her jumpsuit is literally supernatural in origin, it might not quite have those problems to begin with.
  • Both PlanetSide 1 and the sequel have infiltrators of both genders don a latex-like form-fitting suit that allows them to cloak. The color schemes in the original game are subdued versions of the player's empire colors (red, blue, or purple) with heavy usage of dark grays, but the sequel goes all out and gives them brightly colored chest plates in the player's faction color.
  • In Resident Evil 5, Jill Valentine sports a dark purple one while under Wesker's control. Even after she's free from Wesker's control, she still wears it when aiding Josh Stone in the Desperate Escape DLC due to not having time to change into anything else. She has subsequently appeared in it in Resident Evil: Afterlife and Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • The kunoichi Kasuga from Sengoku Basara wears an especially stripperiffic black catsuit complete with some impressive Absolute Cleavage.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog, Rouge the Bat has a tight suit complete with a heart breastplate and a sleeve covering her tail. Her outfit in Sonic Heroes also qualifies.
  • The Abyss Ranger alternate costume set in Tales of the Abyss dresses everyone in the party up in these. They sort of look like sexy Power Rangers. Except Anise. She just looks awesome.
  • In Splinter Cell, the main character, a guy, wears a skintight black rubber suit. He often wears standard BDU pants on it, though. He is, after all, meant to be sneaking around silently, and often needs to fit through small spaces or perform acrobatic feats which would be made difficult with standard fatigues. Fisher also wears flak jackets and other types of body armor over the spysuit.
  • The Ghosts in StarCraft got the Hostile Environment Suit which is designed act like a wetsuit while being undetectable by thermal sensors. It also supports Personal Cloaking.
  • Street Fighter IV: C. Viper, a CIA Double Agent wears a black catsuit with a heart-shaped cutout in the back as one of her alternate outfits.
  • Quite a lot of the outfits for Nina Williams from Tekken are spy catsuits, given that she's an assassin.
  • Emma wears one in the visual novel Togainu no Chi, although it's hidden beneath her long red coat when she first appears.
  • A few of the Tomb Raider games have Lara in a catsuit.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: In "Dance Dance Infiltration", Cinder dons a very tight, cleavage-revealing catsuit to break into the communication tower. Her plan seems to have been to distract the guards with her provocative outfit and not to actually be even remotely stealthy.

    Webcomics 
  • Axe Cop wears a cat suit on night missions... To actually pretend being a cat.
  • Bound Adventures takes place in a dominatrix themed world, and this outfit is worn more often than even corsets.
  • By the Book: Orc rogue Kazu's outfit.
  • Girl Genius: Trelawney Thorpe, an English spy, rips of her elaborate full-length dress to reveal a far more practical green catsuit underneath.
  • El Goonish Shive uses the second type of subversion during the Painted Black arc, where three female characters are put into brightly-colored catsuits for an infiltration / rescue mission. This is only clear in the colored strips, though, not the standard black-and-white artwork.
  • Averted in The Order of the Stick: While Haley inexplicably dons black leather in her role as sneaky leader of the Azure City Resistance, it actually is LESS revealing than her normal day-to-day outfit.
  • Thae of Overlord Academy is wearing one of these in her first appearance.
  • Kestrel dons a black vinyl catsuit...in her fantasy in the toy store in an early Queen of Wands strip.
  • In Scary Go Round, Fallon Young, sexy (but bungling) international superspy, usually wears a catsuit, as other characters have been known to note admiringly.
  • When Zoe from Sluggy Freelance tries spying on the cloner nerds, she dons one of these suits, seemingly because that's just what you do when you spy. It doesn't keep her from getting found out but it does have other uses.
    Bill: Oh no, Phil! I left this Project Mindswarm dossier out on the floor!
    Phil: Gee, Bill! I hope nobody spies on it!
    Zoe: I am not putting on my spy clothes!
  • In the Future Developments arc of S.S.D.D Tessa wears a dark grey catsuit that's implied to provide some protection (though an Inlay's bullet penetrates it easily), and as she's putting it on she complains about how tight it is and that Dr. Cook only designed it so he could see her tits when she wore it.
  • In the highly NSFW Tales of Gnosis College, Ashley Madder wears one of these (explicitly modeled on the maillot de soie worn by Irma Vep in Les Vampires) to infiltrate Professor Corwin's laboratory.

    Web Original 
  • Deconstructed in this Cracked article, co-written by a professional cosplayer who knows first-hand how impractical they actually are (no storage space, material doesn't breathe, etc.)
  • Jeremy Archer from Shadow of the Templar wears one while he's "working". It's slick material and skintight. While Simon doesn't approve of Jeremy's job, he does approve of the catsuit.
  • Reach of the Whateley Universe wears one by the end of her introductory story. It's built by a deviser so it has all kinds of utility, even increasing her natural superpowers. She eventually gets her girlfriend Spark (the inventor) in one too.
  • A WIRED video has Jonna Mendez, a former CIA Chief of Disguise, discusses and dismisses the notion of a spy catsuit, saying that a CIA operative would not be caught dead in one of them.

    Western Animation 
  • Æon Flux wore an even less practical outfit on her missions. It must be seen to be disbelieved. Turns out all Monicans wear this.
  • The catsuits on The Amazing Spiez has some parts that are black, but the rest of the suit it brightly coloured. They also include shoulder and knee pads, unlike their predecessors.
  • Talia al Ghul's outfit of choice in Batman: The Animated Series. Also Catwoman's preferred outfit.
  • Catwoman in The Batman wears a black leather one. Oddly, Joker of all people seems to wear one under his tux.
  • In the Dial M For Monkey shorts on Dexter's Laboratory, the eponymous Monkey's Emma Peel-ish sidekick/love interest Agent Honeydew wore one of these.
  • Viper from Jackie Chan Adventures. Even if she's a ex-super thief, she still wears it.
  • Kim Possible:
  • On Life with Loopy, Loopy's mom wears a blue one in the short "Secret Agent Mom".
  • Dr. Wakeman wears one in an episode of My Life as a Teenage Robot. Its skintight nature is meant more for laughs than for fanservice, as it emphasizes her rear more than anything else; she needs to take off the mask in order for her to be recognizable.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
  • Phineas and Ferb: Candace, Stacy, and Jenny wear them in "Phineas and Ferb-Busters".
  • Natasha wears a high-tech black one when she goes into action as a secret agent in Princess Natasha.
  • Standard day-to-day wear for Agent K in The Replacements.
  • The Daughters of Aku from Samurai Jack wear skintight black bodysuits when hunting for Jack... or so it appears; it's actually a layer of soot and ash that had been burned into their skin since childhood, and it takes Ashi a full night and scrubbing with a rock to clean it off as part of her Good Costume Switch.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Angel Dynamite wears when she breaks into Destroido in "Menace of the Manticore". Later, Velma and Marcie wear matching suits while trying to steal Baba Yaga's hut.
  • Totally Spies!:
    • The uniform worn by the three teenage girl spies is a shiny plastic catsuit. The stealth part of the trope is usually subverted, as each suit is of a unique bright color. At other times, the suits can change appearance to look like more ordinary clothing, subverting the skintight aspect of the trope. And yes, they come with high heels.
    • In one episode, one of their gadgets is a "literal" catsuit, a skintight black suit with cat ears on the hood. It was specifically designed to give the wearer the nimbleness of a cat.
  • The usual outfit of Kitty from T.U.F.F. Puppy. Bonus points since she's, y'know, a cat.
  • Molotov Cocktease from The Venture Bros. Subversion No. 3 is played in the 3rd Season finale when she shows up to help Brock and the Venture family while wearing her "off-duty" getup.
  • The Winx don these in World of Winx.

Alternative Title(s): Cat Suit

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