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"Besides, if you wear that, people will just think you're naked. It's... Paula-coloured."
You're watching a TV show or video game, and one or more characters come onscreen who look like they're wearing practically nothing. Or even like they actually aren't wearing anything at all. But after a few minutes of titillation or horror, you realize that they are wearing clothes after all. They're just the exact same color as their skin.
Compare with Fully-Clothed Nudity, which is where folks aren't naked at all but feel like they are.
- Played with in the Brown M&M's commercial. The Brown M&M gets weird looks because her shell is the same color as her chocolate center, so people look at her like she's naked. After chewing the humans out for the mistake, the Red M&M shows up, sees Brown, and thinks it's "that kind of party", then strips down to his chocolate as LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" plays in the background.
Anime & Manga
- In Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Nausicaa is fully covered. However, she's wearing a very short skirt over tan-colored pants. It takes what would be a Panty Shot or direct comparison with the skin on her face to realize that they are, in fact, pants.
- Due to poor-quality fansubs, some fans believed for years (until the DVD finally came out) that she wasn't wearing anything beneath her jacket.
- There was an Omake feature in the He Is My Master manga highlighting the girls' gym uniforms, which included peach-coloured spats (chosen specifically so that the artist could draw the girls at particularly risque angles and get away with it).
- Shiro from Deadman Wonderland.
- Wonder Woman's foe, the Cheetah, has taken to wearing pants with cheetah-print over the crotch in recent years. Since she's already covered with cheetah spots, this makes her look like she's wearing crotchless leather chaps.
- Wild Child character Kid Chameleon from a 1970s British comic was originally drawn wearing green briefs under his transparent chameleon suit, but after the first strip they became flesh-coloured so he almost looked naked.
- There was an old issue of Teen Titans where Wonder Girl (?) was dancing in civvies (untucked shirt and pants); when it was reprinted in a Showcase (which is in B&W) it looks like she's not wearing any pants.
- Ms. Marvel's lightning bolt on her front is the same color as her skin in quite a few incarnations, particularly in some older, more color-restricted comic books. The artists have taken to making it either clearly very yellow or shiny to avoid this.
- Subverted in Top Ten -- you're meant to think that the skin tight spandex that Girl One is wearing is just extremely form fitting and the same purple color of her skin, especially since it's actually multi-colored in places and has a constantly shifting pattern. It's not. She's actually nude -- she has the ability to change her skin tone like a cuttlefish, and the two horny fanboys that created her also gave her an uncontrollable instinct to stay naked at all times.
- During the Silver Age, the Silver Surfer wore nothing but a pair of underwear. Since it was the same color as his body, it looked like he wasn't wearing anything. These days, he's completely naked, but with Barbie Doll Anatomy for good measure.
- In Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny there's a part where K.G. is driving off with sorority girls and one flashes him, actually showing a flesh-colored bra.
- The spy-spoof Our Man Flint features brief shots of women wearing flesh-colored bathing suits.
- Early in the film Johnny B Goode Johnny asks one of the cheerleaders to take off her panties, so as to flash the other team and distract them. The actress was wearing nude colored panties.
- In Can-Can, Simone (Shirley MacLaine) wears a nude (albeit with sparkles) body-suit as the lead in the "Adam and Eve" ballet.
- Played for laughs in But I'm a Cheerleader. The homosexual rehab camp has a sort of final exam where the students divide into heterosexual couples and engage in a "re-enactment" of Adam lying with Eve. But since they obviously can't force teenagers to have sex, they have the students wear flesh-toned bodysuits to simulate nudity... but nudity is also unacceptable, so the bodysuits have fabric fig leaves sewn on top of the naughty bits.
- Part of the Special Effects Failure in Horror Of Spider Island is the use of flesh-colored bodysuits to simulate nudity for a Fan Service scene. Of course the Mystery Science Theater 3000 guys picked up on it instantly and took it apart.
- Also a Special Effect Failure in Dr. No. When James Bond and Honey Rider are in the Decontamination Shower, the latter steps off wearing a flesh-colored towel in a failed attempt to make her look nude.
- A large number of buff men in flesh-tone trunks feature in the "Ain't There Anyone Here for Love?" number from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. A black line at the bottom is the only indication they're wearing anything at all.
- Similar to But I'm a Cheerleader, Bad Education has this dress.
Live Action TV
- In-universe example: In Seinfeld, George wants to be fired from his job, but he's too chicken to streak for real, so he wears a skin-colored full-body suit and runs around the playing field during a baseball game. The audience finds it hilarious.
- In some of the "Dafydd" sketches in Little Britain he sometimes wears a shirt that fulfills this trope.
- Kari Byron wore a skintight, flesh-coloured bodysuit in one episode of Myth Busters.
- In one Frasier episode, Frasier is hitting on a girl at a Halloween costume party with a nude body outfit. He guesses she's dressed as Godiva, she reveals she's Eve. The kicker is the girl is Kelsey Grammer's real-life wife.
- At least once on America's Next Top Model the models posed in flesh colored leotards.
- As mentioned in Theiss Titillation Theory, William Ware Theiss preferred to design costumes for the women on Star Trek which used strategically-placed skin-toned patches to make the costumes appear far more immodest than they actually were, though sometimes redesigns mandated by Roddenberry would make the costumes more actually revealing.
- Robin's tights in the Batman TV series, which make it look like he's just wearing short shorts.
- Common on Dancing With the Stars.
- Pictured in this page, Britney Spears had her (in)famous skin-tone body suit, with strategically placed glittery stuff.
- Lady Gaga has done this. (One instance is in the music video for "Alejandro", where much of the intentionally Fan Disservice Three Minutes of Writhing takes place with Gaga in traditionally nude-colored bra and panties. Which are actually darker than her skin tone in the vid.)
- Shakira's "She-Wolf" video.
- In some versions of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Potiphar's Wife and her backup dancers wear this type of clothing.
- This is also worn at the end of the dance for the less risque versions of the Dance of the Seven Veils in Salome. The more risque versions leave the performer nude.
- In Julie Taymor's The Lion King, there are dancers portraying plants that appear to only be wrapped with thin green ribbon. Closer inspection shows that they have at least nude-colored underwear, if not full bodysuits.
- Most of the cast also wear shoes painted to specifically match their skintones, so it appears that they perform barefoot.
- If at any time in the 1990s you found a "nude code" promising to let you finally see the Third Person Seductress in the buff, 99% of the time she only does this, by way of a simple Palette Swap.
- The main character in Code Name: Viper.
- For clarification, the player character in Code Name: Viper uses three colors: Brown, green, and flesh. The flesh color is used not only for his face and hands, but also his pants, leading some players to believe he was running around with no pants on. It doesn't help that his standing sprite has a visible bulge...
- Eiko in Final Fantasy IX. The official art makes her look like she's totally naked from the waist down, when in fact she's wearing very tight flesh-colored pants. Considering her age, this is the cause of much Squick among fans.
- The suit Rikku wears when you first encounter her on the Al Bhed ship (not when she joins your party permanently) fits the trope.
- Mushihime-sama has a paper doll feelie of Reco. Her unclothed shape is as though she is naked but with no visible naughty bits... so, the joke going around is that she's wearing a full-body flesh-colored latex suit.
- Subverted in Soul Calibur 3 and Soul Calibur 4, wherein you cannot change underwear into flesh tones. They're simply blocked out.
- Kratos' outfit in Tales of Symphonia has designs on it that some have noted make it look like there are holes over his nipples.
- Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance has one character whose tight beige trousers make him look as though he's bare-assed.
- The Ranger Elite Druid armor in Guild Wars can prove... interesting... when worn by darker-skinned female characters.
- Will from Illusion of Gaia wears short shorts that are covered up and make it look like he's going around without pants.
- Inverted in Sam and Max Hit The Road: a pair of conjoined twins appears to be clothed, but claims that they're actually not wearing anything - "their skin is naturally green and velvet-like", much to Max's horror.
- It is possible to do this in Super Scribblenauts with the "naked" adjective.
- One of the big questions about Homestar Runner: Is he, as he claims, wearing "long pants", or does he not wear pants and just has blue soles on his feet?
- There's also the titular character in Sabrina Online. At first it appears as though Sabrina is not wearing any pants, but then it's revealed that she's really just wearing pants that are the same color as her fur. Where her shirt ends and her pants begin, though, has yet to be explained... it might be a belly shirt.
- Given a particularly funny lampshading when her roommate, a Squirrel Girl (no, not that one) named Amy, borrows a pair. She breaks the fourth wall to call the surprised members of the audience perverts while pulling on the waistband of her pants.
- In Sluggy Freelance some Anime parody characters have uniforms that go completely transparent during a Transformation Sequence. But only the women's.
- In Drowtales, the character Shen'fya caused a minor stir with her outfit, which is essentially lingerie with a transparent shift over it, and it takes what would be an upskirt shot to realize that she's actually wearing leggings almost the same color as her skin (but slightly more yellow).
- One issue of The Simpsons comic has Lisa having the entire family wear nude-colored clothing because everyone is copying them.
- In "To Surveil With Love", Chief Wiggum wants to arrest a man for indecent exposure, but it turns out he is just wearing flesh colored clothing.
- In the first episode, Lisa is performing at a school play about Christmas in other cultures while wearing a very thin grass skirt. Her unintentional nudity was Handwaved as a flesh-colored bodysuit.
- Futurama makes a literal fashion statement out of this. In a couple episodes, namely the pilot episode, there are people walking around with see through plastic clothing containing censor bars over the breasts, groin, and butt. The flesh colored clothing in this case, is the wearer's actual flesh coloring.
- Unusual example: in one episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ahsoka wore a full-body unitard that just happened to be the exact same shade of red as her skin.
- Truth in Television: Stage performers often do this for Fan Service or to stay warm.
- It is especially hard for nearsighted people to tell that these are clothes.
- The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City often includes at least one example.
- Often used in non-X-rated television programs and movies during sex scenes.
- For dance recitals, many dancers wear flesh-toned leotards under their costumes so they can change full outfits without taking clothes off.
- A lot of figure skating costumes have flesh-colored bits so that the skater can stay warm while having an outfit that looks Stripperiffic.
- There's also a rule in Olympic-eligible skating that explicitly bans bare midriffs for women, so illusion net is a way around it.
- Cosplayers portraying characters who show a lot of skin like Laharl or Mai Shiranui tend to wear flesh-colored body stockings in order to preserve their modesty (and because conventions have rules against showing too much skin). Then there are the characters where it's required, like Felicia, whose "costume" is nothing more than strategicaly-placed fur.
- In Italy, it's tradition to do costumes for children portraying characters wearing short-sleeved shirts but actually making them with long, flesh colored sleeves. Taken to extreme with the Enchantix costumes, which are basically bodysuits with costumes applied on.
- And of course, nude-coloured underwear is available for wearing under clothes where any other colour would show through because of its difference from your natural skin colour.
- Some people this causes Unfortunate Implications, because an item that is only nude for lighter skinned people will be labeled as "nude" and the one that would be nude for darker skinned people is just "brown", implying that lighter people are the default.
- Occurs often in ballroom dancing, less for modesty than because it's a lot easier to glue rhinestones to nude mesh than to bare skin, and the more the merrier where rhinestones are concerned.
- Japan's NHK received over 200 complaints on December 31st 2006 when they aired a concert featuring performers dressed in nude-colored bodysuits with nipples painted on.
- This is essentially the idea behind pantyhose, to give the appearance of bare legs without actually necessitating exposing that much skin.