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It's a fact of life--no matter how placental a mammal is, clones don't have belly buttons. It's a common plot device used to distinguish those inferior, artificially created creatures from natural, unique human beings. Makes those knowledgeable of human physiology wonder just how these people developed, not having ever been attached to placentas before.

Natural clones such as identical twins don't count. They get to keep their navels.

Justified if the process for creating the beings somehow has nothing to do with fetal development, or if the species isn't even placental in the first place. It is common in magical constructs such as homunculi too, and of artificial beings in general.


Examples of Belly Buttonless include:


Anime & Manga

  • Youkai in Tokimeki Mononoke Jogakkou lack bellybuttons, so Arare has to keep hers hidden to avoid being found out as a human.
  • An early chapter of Doctor Slump has Robot Girl Arale worried because she lacks a navel and her classmates find that weird, so she wants one. Except her creator Senbei thinks she wants something a bit lower, which he's never seen because of Japanese censorship. Hilarity Ensues.

Film

Literature

  • In the Virgin New Adventures, Time Lords are constructed by machines and so lack navels. The Doctor is an exception.
  • Dejah Thoris from John Carter of Mars, being Martian, an egg-laying species, has no bellybutton.
  • In The Barsoom Project, Martin Qaterliaraq is an Inuit shaman character in the Fimbulwinter Game. His lack of a navel is an early indication that his character was crafted from molded lava by the Raven, not born.

Live Action TV

Webcomics

Western Animation

  • An episode of The Simpsons involves Homer's life being invaded by an army of clones of himself. The clones, predictably enough, lack belly buttons.
  • Strong Sad from Homestar Runner has a belly button... ...but it was created by Strong Bad's power drill.
  • In the “Pecos Bill” segment from Disney’s “Melody Time,” Pecos Bill never had a belly button shown on his belly. Not even when he was a baby and a bigger boy.

Real Life

  • There is an old joke:

 Q: If you go to Heaven and look for Adam and Eve, how will you know which two people are them?

A: They're the only two without belly buttons.

  • Czech Model Karolina Kurkova (somewhat) famously has no navel. She's never disclosed exactly why, but her lack of a natural belly-button has given rise to accusations of over-airbrushing when she appears in photo spreads. Ironically, this has caused some photo editors to Photoshop one onto her photos, in order to avoid accusations of over photo-editing!
  • Some laparoscopic surgical procedures use the belly button as a point of entry to keep any resulting scars from being conspicuous. Later overgrowth of skin as the entry-point heals may cause the patient's navel to shrink to almost nothing.
    • Likewise, surgical repair of an umbilical hernia, or a rare congenital defect in which an infant's belly wall is incomplete at birth, may require the abdomen to be sutured shut, leaving a scar rather than a navel.
    • Alfred Hitchcock had no navel due to surgery.
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