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In animation, it's fairly common for characters to be depicted differently from what you'd expect from real life (usually missing the little finger), especially from the anatomical point, mostly due to excessive simplification of the human/animal figure represented. Sometimes, though, one or more characters in particular on a show will be depicted in a way distinctive from the rest of the cast. Normally, they either:
- lack one prominent anatomical feature, especially the nose;
- or are depicted with more detail, having features that other members of the cast don't;
Of course, this trope applies only when one or a few characters among the whole cast of the show are depicted wth less or more detail than the greatest part of the cast. After all, it's almost impossible to determine a norm if there is none to start with.
Related to Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: in many cartoons, only females have visible lips and eyelashes.
Examples of characters lacking something
- Krillin, of the Dragon Ball series, who doesn't feature a nose. (Lampshaded during the first Tournament Arc, when Krillin is losing a fight to a barbarian who uses his stench as a weapon - until Goku points out Krillin's lack of a nose)
- The Powerpuff Girls, who have no fingers (nor noses), even lampshaded once.
- Omi of Xiaolin Showdown. No nose. (Also no hair, but then he is a monk.)
- Peanuts: Charlie Brown. Word of God says he has a full head of hair, if very fine short and blond. You'd never know it, would you?
- Dilbert and Dogbert have no mouths (but the rest of the cast does). In the cartoon series, it would only appear when they were speaking
- Mandy from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy is the only character without a nose.
- Also Grim, but he's a skeleton anyway.
- Cathy has no nose, but no one else in the comic shares this trait.
- Jon Arbuckle in Garfield also lacks a nose. If anything, it looks more like he has a really long, prominent philtrum.
- Lampshaded in an early episode of Pokémon. Team Rocket suffers some sort of gas attack, and Meowth panics, thinking that his nose has melted away, before he realizes, "Oh yeah, I forgot! The cartoonists never gave me a nose."
- In The Simpsons. You can't tell where Bart, Lisa and Maggie's forehead ends and hair begins, they all run together and are of the same color, and none of the other characters share this trait.
- The Simpson kids are "tow-headed" - which means very light, flaxen blonde, as confirmed by Chief Wiggum when he radios in to the police station and describes Bart as such. Also, during a sight-gag about "realistic cartoons", where the family suddenly morph into far more human-looking depictions of their characters, the Simpson kids are all seen to be very light blonde.
- Also, characters that have been in the show since the Tracy Ulman days (such as the Simpson family and Krusty the Clown) tend to have really huge eyeballs while everyone else's eyes are more or less normal sized.
- Eroge Games that have an eyeless protagonist.
- In South Park, little Ike Broflovski is the only one drawn having small beady eyes and a Pac-Man-like head which flaps up and down whenever he speaks. We later find out that rather than Ike being drawn special because he is much younger than anyone else, that Canadians (he is adopted) all look like that. It's unknown if this was planned from the start or something the creators added later.
- Likely the former, since Terrence and Philip had the same element from the start, and their accents marked them (poorly) as Canadian.
- Likewise, many of the children lack noses, whereas adults and, too some extent, older children have them.
- Characters introduced in later episodes tend to be more detailed due to the advancements in animation, while the older characters keep their simpler designs.
- To emphasize his amorphous nature, Plastic Man has no toes. (Though presumably, Plas could extrude as many toes as he wished, if he wanted to).
- Several characters on Homestar Runner don't have arms.
- In the short film Badly Drawn Roy, Roy has no nose, four fingers, lacks detail and one hand is smaller than the other. At least some of this is due to intentional Stylistic Suck.
Examples of characters with something extra
- In The Simpsons, the only character with five fingers is God.
- In Order of the Stick only the elves and certain other creatures have ears; all humans lack them.
- One half-elf reveals his hybrid status by showing he has a single (pointed) ear.
- SpongeBob is one of the very few characters that have fingers in SpongeBob SquarePants. Lampshaded on a few occasions.
- In the South Park movie, The Mole is the only kid to have ears.