Monster Modesty

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Hey Ben, put some pants on will ya?


Sean: Look, Wolfman doesn't go to work, he's not like a "guy."
Patrick: What are you talking about? He walks around, he wears pants.
Sean: He had to wear pants. See, those movies were made in the 40's! He had to wear 'em so you wouldn't see his... wolf-dork.

Patrick: Wolf dork?

Monsters are fun. Whether it's a demon, genetic freak, lab accident, or just some kind of alien that happens to look really monstrous, the creators want to show this monster in all its glory. This means they will wear as little as possible to really let the audience see how ugly they are. Of course, they usually can't get away with a naked monster running around, but they want to avoid Nonhumans Lack Attributes for whatever reason. What do they do instead? Why, they'll slap on a Loin Cloth, pair of underwear, or maybe just some pants. The monsters in these situations are almost always sentient but decide to run around wearing as little as possible, rarely with anyone saying anything.

This becomes really inexplicable when you have a Reluctant Monster character who is horrified by the way he looks. One would think he would want to cover up, but he doesn't.

Sometimes, if a person is transforming into a monster, they may have Magic Pants, invoking this trope. Often overlaps with Walking Shirtless Scene. This rarely happens to female monsters, but if it does, expect it to have at least a little Fan Service along with it.

Usually, this trope is found in comic books.

Examples of Monster Modesty include:

Anime and Manga

  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Al still wears a loincloth despite being an animate suit of armor. (Though later he puts that spot to good use as a hiding place.)
    • Of course, the loincloth is part of the armor.

Comic Books

  • The Thing from the Fantastic Four is a prime example. He was turned into a monster and was traditionally disgusted with his appearance. Despite this, he often just wears blue underpants.
    • There was a time (circa issues 290-300) when the Thing wore a full FF body suit and a helmet to hide his shame.
    • More recently he's been wearing pants, but still no shirt.
    • In the more recent post death of Human Torch reboot of the team as the Future Foundation he's taken to actually wearing a full uniform.
    • At various points he's also been seen in a tank top, especially during his stint as a wrestler. The amount of clothing he's wearing at any given time probably has to do with the artist's deadlines as much as anything else.
  • The Mole Man from the Fantastic Four series has an army of Toad Men and monsters of varying intellect. More often than not, they all wear multicolored underwear and little else. Odd considering that Mole Man is fully-clothed, highly intelligent, and wants to turn the Toad Men into a proper civilization.
  • In Teen Titans, Cyborg doesn't wear anything. He used to wear a jump suit hoodie with the hood up but Beast Boy convinced him he looks better wearing nothing.
  • The Beast from X-Men is another fine example. He started off looking reasonably normal. During this time, he was covered up almost completely. Once he turned into a furry monster, he stripped down to underwear. This is especially odd since the character is a very educated, polite individual who would normally be the type to dress in a dignified manner.
    • Hank explained at least once, though it may not have been fully serious (or even canonical), that he dresses the way he does because all that fur got downright HOT when all covered up. When he DOES get fully dressed, he's about as dapper as a bulky, stocky man with bright blue fur all over his body can be.
      • Averted/Justified in the movie, where he is in a suit half the time, fitting his status as a high-ranking politician, and when he gets into his X-uniform, his open jacket is justified with something along the lines of "I can't believe this used to fit me".
    • Another interesting case from the X-Men is Colossus. He is normal looking but can turn himself into a metal humanoid. Usually, he wears very little, showing off his metallic form. In his earlier appearances, Marvel Comics editors felt it was unacceptable to have a half-naked man but it was fine if he was made of metal at the time. Because of this, Colossus was shown in full-glory while in his metal form but when it came time to change back into a human, the bare parts of his costume were colored blue. This mandate didn't last long, though.
      • Justified in that, who wouldn't want to show off if they were that ripped?
  • The Hulk often just sports a pair of pants.
    • To be specific, it's the savage green Hulk who usually just wears pants. When Hulk gets a bump in intelligence he often starts wearing clothes. For example, when grey Hulk was thought to be dead and was free from transforming back into Bruce he lived a more normal life and developed a taste for tailored suits.
    • She Hulk likewise wears very revealing clothes with a combination of this trope and Fan Service.
  • During Marvel Comics' monster-era, many of the monsters would wear a pair of underpants. They ranged from giant space dragons such as Fin Fang Foom to radioactive creations. The non-sentient monsters didn't make much sense, considering they shouldn't know enough to have any modesty while the intelligent monsters should be a bit more selective in what they wear. Case in point, the aforementioned Fin Fang Foom, a giant alien dragon that is from such an advanced race that... they are apparently okay with walking around in underwear.
  • Hellboy wears little more than a long coat and brown shorts with a Utility Belt.
    • The animated and live action versions of him gave him long pants, boots (the comic version had hooves), and sometimes even a shirt.
  • The Absorbing Man from Thor can morph his body into anything he touches (if he touches steel, then his body turns to steel). For whatever reason, he often goes shirtless.
  • Pip the Troll from Marvel Comics' Infinity Watch usually just wore a loincloth: attire usually suited for savages.
    • In fact, many characters on that team had pretty Stripperiffic costumes. They were all aliens, genetic creations, or otherwise metahuman. The guy in the background of this picture wore a cape but also ran around in underwear at different points in his career.
  • The Silver Surfer ran around in silver underwear in his earlier appearances. He has now been reduced to Nonhumans Lack Attributes.
  • Marrina from Alpha Flight and Namorita from New Warriors are both Fish People who wear Stripperific bikinis.
  • Mephisto, also from Marvel Comics, is an odd Eldritch Abomination example of this trope. He's the MU's version of Satan but he often wears a loincloth and cape with nothing else.
  • Martian Manhunter wears a cape, underwear, and a weird x-shape vest that barely covers his chest. Not only is he highly intelligent, he is also a Shape Shifter so he could very easily form a nice suit if he wanted to.
    • On the other hand, maybe the shape-shifting just makes the Martians indifferent to anything related to physical appearance, clothes/nudity included?
      • Or he wears the uniform of a Manhunter (police officer) as seen in the 1998 Martian Manhunter series
  • From DC, most [dead link] versions of Despero. Athough some [dead link] fall into Nonhumans Lack Attributes areas.
  • Another DC Universe example, The Spectre, who is a ghost in a green cloak and matching shorts.
    • In Kingdom Come, he was hinted to only be wearing the cloak, as several of his poses had him holding the cloak as if covering up his lower body.
  • The Croccos from The Phantom wear loincloths (and are either a Single Gender Species or an aversion of Non-Mammal Mammaries), but since they live in the ocean . . . where do they get the cloth?
  • A protagonist example is Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen, who prefers to walk around naked or in black speedos unless he's forced into a suit for a public appearance.
    • However, this is partly symbolic of his growing detachment from humanity. At first, he continues to appear fully dressed after his transformation. But as time goes on, he pares down the uniform more and more until it's barely there at all. (His last TV appearance creates a capsule version of this, going from a rather smart suit on the set to pretty much nothing after his abrupt departure cuts his last ties to Earth.)
  • Wildguard featured the massive rock-man Crag Langley among the contestants vying for a spot on the titular team. Crag doesn't wear a shirt because the large. craggy protrusions on his back would make doing so look really stupid. He does, however, wear pants and boots.


  • Sean and Patrick in The Monster Squad engaged in some Conversational Troping about this trope in regards to the Wolfman in an earlier scene. Sean points out that the Wolfman had to wear pants because those movies were made in the 40s and they didn't want us to see his..."wolf dork." Yeah.


  • Discworld trolls (except Detritus, who wears a Watch uniform, and Chrysophrase, who wears a suit) mostly just wear a loincloth "to conceal whatever it was that trolls found it necessary to conceal."
  • Discussed in The Bartimaeus Trilogy. Bartimaeus appears to Kitty in a monstrous, demonic form in order to intimidate her . . . and Kitty tells him to put some pants on. Bartimaeus is baffled by this, as he's never bothered with clothes in that form and didn't think they would go with it very well. Kitty recommends Lederhosen.
    • Then again, when he's in human form he apparently just wears a loincloth if he can get away with it, so maybe spirits just have different standards in general.


  • Averted with the initial design of The Annoying Thing, also known as Crazy Frog. It appeared in ads and music videos sporting ambiguous genitalia which, after complaint, were eventually censored (with pixelation or black bars) in many locales and later removed from the design completely.

Video Games

  • In World of Warcraft, a number of mobs are bare skeletons that still inexplicably wear something like shorts or a short skirt around their hips.
  • Goro and Kintaro from Mortal Kombat both wear black briefs, though there have been more substantial variations on their costumes over the years.
    • This was blue for Goro and red for Kintaro, at least in the comics and novelizations, but obviously black in the video games. After adding a loincloth to Kintaro's design (he's still wearing the black briefs beneath it) in Mortal Kombat Armageddon, they seem to have followed this pattern with Goro in MK 9, adding a loincloth and various accessories (wristbands, etc) to Goro's outfit.
  • The later Geneforge games lampshade this—thahds don't care whether or not they're clothed, and the Shapers that made them are too familiar with thahd anatomy to be concerned about the subject, but thahds that are around outsiders must wear loincloths to avoid "offending delicate sensibilities."
  • Blanka from the Street Fighter series wears torn brown trousers, showing off his bulky, green, orange-haired physique.
  • The Seeq from the Ivalice Alliance often wear just loincloths instead of pants and when they wear shirts they cover very little. Somewhat odd when compared to other races such as the Moogle, Bangaa, Garif, and Nu Mou who are fully or mostly clothed.
  • The Gargoyle race from the Monolith FPS Blood wear absolutely nothing, accessories or otherwise. While you always encounter them simply as enemies to deal with, the story information and character bios seem to indicate that they are sentient and do possess intelligence to interact on-par with humans. Nevertheless, they are always seen completely in the flesh (literally, as the common variety's full name is "Flesh Gargoyle"). This coupled with their skinny body physique tends to make their choice of attire stand out as well.
  • Dark Souls has the Capra Demon. A demon that resembles human with a skull for a face. It inexplicably wears pants. In the Updated Rerelease, there are plant monsters that also wear pants for some reason.

Western Animation

  • The Gargoyles are certainly intelligent, but apparently don't feel the need to wear anything more than loincloths.
    • It's specifically mentioned that Gargoyles don't share all their values with humans, and heavily implied that they cover up as much as they do so as not to creep their human friends out. At least, the ones from 10th century Scotland are like that, gargoyle tribes from other areas (and times) have varying levels of dress.
  • The Beast in Beauty and the Beast wears only pants and a cape. As the story progresses he wears more clothes and Word of God said that if Belle had never showed up eventually he would have stopped wearing clothes entirely.

Real Life

  • Averted with real world monstrous animals (bears, rhinos, sharks, etc.). While they're not wearing shorts, most predators do not have noticeable genitalia, so there's no real need for modesty. It's either retracted, covered in fur, or small enough to be ignored. People forget that humans have a dis-proportionally large penis as compared to other predators. So when artists and authors started making humanoid monsters, old timey morality standards required them to draw them covered up.