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Low-budget cartoon characters always wear neckties (if male) or necklaces (if female). Or collars, even if they don't have shirts (see illustration). Or have some outlandish costume that obscures part of their neck.

This is because if a character's standing and talking, it's cheaper to just animate the head while using only one drawing for the body. A collar makes a nice dividing line to let animators do this while making it easy to keep the body parts together.

Often serves as Tertiary Sexual Characteristics.

Hanna-Barbera TV cartoons abused this most egregiously while Anime employed it with devices like the All-Encompassing Mantle.

The advent of digital animation has rendered this a largely Discredited Trope, used mostly as a tribute to the classics - although, the equivalent is still utilised in 3D animation for digital games - characters are built out of multiple, non-connected models, with things like collars, watches, and the like, being used to hide the seams, akin to traditional 2D.

Examples of Ring Around the Collar include:

Comic Books

  • Sherman and Megan might look identical if it weren't for Megan's pearl necklace in Sherman's Lagoon

Video Games

  • The modern interpretation of Donkey Kong has the big ape wearing only a red tie with his initials on it.
  • They don't hide the entire neck, but this is apparently the reason for most or all of the female characters in Dragon Age Origins having some kind of neckwear.
    • Men too, will always have necklaces even when otherwise naked.
  • Mass Effect characters, for the most part, have a neck cover to hide the fact that the background NPC's are just head-swaps with an occasional change in skin color. The characters that avert this are rare but when it does happen there's a noticeable change in texture quality where their neck meets the torso.
  • Klonoa's original design.
  • As many modders can attest, the heads and the bodies for Final Fantasy XI characters are animated separatedly, so in order to make the separation between the neck and the torso smooth for armor that doesn't end at the neck, all the official textures have some kind of neckwear. Some modders have created custom skins and models without them, to various degrees of success.

Western Animation

  • Most of Ed Bennedict's character designs for early Hanna-Barbera's shows.
    • Yogi Bear. Also, his pal Boo Boo wears just a bowtie.
    • All the men in The Flintstones wear collars. The women tend to wear necklaces.
      • Also, for formal occasions, the men wear cuffs despite their clothing being sleeveless.
  • Models constructed for stop-motion animation (example: Chicken Run) often have this or some other similar method used to disguise where the head was joined to the body.
  • In the 1970's Hanna-Barbera adaptation of Tom and Jerry, Jerry was fitted with a bow-tie.
  • The Simpsons family are all designed like this. Pearls on a little girl? That's why. In an episode where Lisa loses them, she breaks down in tears and admits that without them she's nothing but a big Maggie.
  • Cool Cat, the last new starring character of the original Looney Tunes shorts, wore a necktie, which was bound to make people mistake him for a Hanna-Barbera character.
    • Speaking of Looney Tunes, this is averted with Daffy Duck, whose distinctive white collar is based on the ring stripe found on many actual ducks (though given the white ring on black feathers, it does resemble the collar found on most clergymen, particularly deacons and reverends).
  • In Dragon Tales, all of the dragon characters (of both genders) wear a ribbon with a pendant around their neck.
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