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These sleeves are almost as poofy as my hair.
—Momoko Wedding Peach Abridged
Sleeves with puffs on or just below the shoulders have been a part of women's clothing, and even men's, since at least the late 15th century, and could get fairly large, like the sleeves on this dress.
Yet during the late 19th century, came the "leg of mutton" sleeves, which were shoulder puffs injected with growth hormones. These balloons, most popular during The Gay Nineties and the 1900's, were just huge. Today, they are usually seen in wedding dresses, but do show up in other places. Armor over the shoulders has a similar shape.
The biggest way to tell if it's this trope is if the wearer's head could fit in one of those sleeves (not counting her hair).
Anime and Manga
- The dress worn by Wedding Peach.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena's schoolgirl uniforms have them, in fitting with the Fairy Tale Motifs of the series.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. In fact, the sleeves shaped much of what the story was to become, as someone in production looked at the character design and thought she looked like a Gundam.
- The school uniforms in AIR have this sort of sleeve, although it's more muted than some examples.
- More than one Cardcaptor Sakura costume, especially in promotional art.
- Athena of Angelic Layer has giant spiked poofy sleeves.
- In Excel Saga, all uniforms of ACROSS henchmen come with big shoulder pads.
- Allen Schezar from Vision of Escaflowne. In one scene, his pet owl lands on one of the shoulder-poofs, and it isn't even dented.
- The Dress from Paradise Kiss.
- The girls' school uniform in Kannazuki no Miko.
- Scrapped Princess seems to have this large pointed sleeve puffs as a unisex clothing item.
- Ichika's Sun Djinn costume in Uta Kata combines this trope with Detached Sleeves.
- Sumomo in Chobits. It might not seem like it due to her Super-Deformed look, but if her head was normal size, the sleeves would fit over it.
- Papillion and Dr. Butterfly from Busou Renkin
- In Bleach there are Orihime in her Hueco Mundo attire and Cirucci Sanderwicci.
- In a rare superhero example, The DCU's Firestorm wears poofy sleeves.
- So does Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern.
- Psylocke of the X-Men started her super-heroic career filling in for her brother as Captain Britain. Her version of the costume featured red, white and blue hair and seriously giant poofy sleeves. She kept the sleeve theme in her first X-Men costume; sadly, they later fell victim to practicality, when she switched to body armour.
- In Enchanted, Giselle's wedding dress has absolutely colossal leg of mutton poofs, which is an Affectionate Parody of some of the Disney Princess dresses.
- Although someone isn't pleased with that.
- In Napoleon Dynamite, Deb's prom dress has huge, homemade balloons on each arm, prompting Napoleon's famous chat-up line "I like your sleeves. They're real big".
- Sarah's dress in Labyrinth, a glittering ball gown with some of the biggest, poofiest sleeves ever and a skirt you couldn't get through a standard door.
- Glinda in the 1939 version of The Wizard of Oz.
- In Anne of Green Gables, Anne lusted after a dress with these. Marilla never missed a chance to deride these once Anne finally got one. "You'll have to turn sideways to go through a door!"
- The Last Hero played with these; Leonard da Quirm's giant poofy shoulders were used as emergency air storage in his astrochelonaut's suit.
- In Seinfeld: "I Don't Wanna Be A Pirate!"
- Glee episode "Theatricality", Kurt wears Giant Poofy Sleeves perhaps combined with Shoulders of Doom
- Blake of Blakes Seven tended to have sleeves that could double as sails. Between that and Avon's indecently-tight leather, this led to plenty of costume jokes.
- The 1999 BBC mini-series of Wives and Daughters is set during the Romantic Era (though the book was written in the 1860s) and most definitely features Giant Poofy Sleeves in some of the fancier gowns.
- For a season of America's Next Top Model, Miss Jay Alexander's sleeves got bigger each episode. Finally resulting in this.
- In Warhammer Fantasy Battle Fantasy Battles, the empire army is filled with this kind of sleeves (though they are almost always poofy they are not always gigantic).
- Samus' Varia suit in Metroid (overlapping with Shoulders of Doom). Sure the suit is one of the most Badass video game outfits ever, but look at the shoulders. They're each as big as her head. With her helmet on. They were developed for Metroid 2: Return of Samus on the Gameboy. Since the Gameboy cannot display color they needed a different way to show Samus having the Varia suit.
- Rival Schools' Yurika Kirishima has these on her school uniform.
- This among the few costume tropes that sees little use in the Touhou series, and is understated when it does show up. However, the two characters that do possess it (Cirno and occasionally Marisa) are among the most popular.
- Kuja from Final Fantasy IX. Slightly twisted in that Kuja was male.
- Franziska von Karma in the Ace Attorney series has a very fetching pair of poofy sleeves.
- In Fate Stay Night, Saber has a bit of this going on with her combat outfit.
- A rare male example The Engineer in Assassin's Creed Brotherhood has huge, poofy sleeves. While not as extreme as other examples, they are still huge and extravagant, when the idea of the game is to not draw attention to yourself.
- Geomancer, from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, wore a tunic-and-poofy-sleeve-over-tights combination as a costume that made him look amazingly similar to the DC character Firestorm.
- In the Disney version of The Little Mermaid, Ariel's pink dress has regular puffs, but her Fairytale Wedding Dress fits this.
- Though they're not quite as giant as Ariel's, Bridget's dress in An American Tail.
- Charlotte's party dress from The Princess and the Frog.
- Princess Diana's wedding dress. It somehow managed to look slightly more frumpy than poofy, and she said she hoped the moths had gotten to it.
- In the 16th century, the closest to the leg-of-mutton sleeve were the sleeves in men's gowns (which would be called jackets today). See this picture of Henry VIII.
- The members of Dream Theater wore silk shirts with positively huge poofy sleeves in the photo shoots and music videos for Images and Words in 1992.
- Leg-of-mutton sleeves, as noted above, were wildly popular in women's dress, particularly evening dress, in the 1890's and 1900's. The cartoonist Charles Dana Gibson drew several cartoons making fun of this style; A Little Story - By A Sleeve is an excellent, and quite amusing, example.