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The Token Wholesome is found in works that show off the flesh of other characters as if they were in a meat market. She is the only one to hold herself aloof from the general debauchery. This character tends to wear the least scandalous, least revealing, or least Fan Service-laden attire. They also seem immune to attempts, and sometimes even plotlines, to show off their embarrassing moments -- though they may be embarrassed by the embarrassing moments of other characters.

This arises from several different concepts:

  • The character is meant to be sexually attractive, but wholesomeness is her most appealing trait. Going against this, while momentarily enticing, will ruin the appeal of the character.
  • Sometimes it's better when certain aspects of a character's beauty are left to the imagination.
  • The writers genuinely find no sex appeal in the character.
    • The writers genuinely find no sex appeal in the character and are creeped out by fans who do, and thus prefer not to tempt the fans.
    • The character is the sole character in the work who isn't legal for the sort of sordidness everyone else is doing, and the writers don't want to encourage Jail Bait.
  • A specific writer or creator feels close to the character and makes a personal, specific rule against it. This will be in the Universe Bible (else it would be unenforceable).
  • The character is the lead character, the one we are supposed to sympathize with, and we are meant to know it quickly. Having the Token Wholesome take this role is older than the Hays Code and codes like it, but became entrenched during that era.

The Final Girl is almost always this trope.

Contrast Ms. Fanservice, Mr. Fanservice.

Examples of Token Wholesome include:


Anime and Manga

  • Elfen Lied: almost all of the girls are depicted in their underwear or naked at least once. Despite it's it being horror violence anime, Elfen Lied sometimes dips into Harem comedy, so fan service is abound with many girls/women of different ages. The Agent, however, always appears professional, wearing a suit and jacket all the time, and keeping a serious military nature. She's a Bifauxnen and for the most of the manga people thought she was a guy. The very last chapter has her shirt ripped, showing her cleavage, and confirming her gender (it still wasn't as revealing as what some of the other girls were portrayed in).
  • Saboru in .hack wears a loose-fitting green maid's outfit, covering most of her body, including some cloth around her hair. She doesn't wear the battle bikini, nor the stockings that the others wear. her player is a male, but the PC body came from another woman who fits the description of Stripperific.
  • Tomoe in Queen's Blade. She's a Miko (and a Mamiko Noto character), her outfit covers almost her entire body except her hands and head. This is a series in which the main character only wear leather straps to cover the most essential parts of her body.

Live Action TV

  • It's fair to say that Kaylee from Firefly is a deliberate subversion of this trope. She fulfills all the requirements of the chipper and fresh-faced farm girl role (except her daddy was a mechanic and so is she, leaving her often covered in engine grease in dirty overalls). Her clothes are never overtly sexy, and she is easily flustered by the object of her romantic interest, Dr. Simon Tam. However, it quickly becomes clear that Kaylee is perfectly comfortable with pursuing sex both casually and in an actual relationship.
    • Simon himself may qualify, except for some sexy Shirtless Scenes in the final episode and in the movie. He's definitely the most concerned with acting "properly" towards members of the opposite sex, as seen in "Jaynestown" when he tells Kaylee that he acts reserved and respectful around her to show that he likes her.
    • River is a more straight example. Even when she's Naked on Arrival, it's not presented as titillating, and her appeal is mostly her woobieness... unless you have a foot fetish. Still, she usually dresses rather conservatively, and her moments of showing she's not totally naive are rare. Since she's under eighteen and seems to be the youngest person on the ship by quite a few years, this shouldn't be all that surprising.
  • Lafayette from True Blood. He's not exactly wholesome, but he's the only character to not appear in a sex scene and is generally aloof to all the debauchery. But it's hard to tell if it's this trope or But Not Too Gay disguised as this trope.

Video Games

  • Soulcalibur IV: In a series that begun to received criticism for pimping out its ladies in increasingly strange outfits -- Ivy being a mainstay, but even newer ladies like Setsuka and even the previously (relatively) well-dressed, unambiguously wholesome, fifteen-year-old Talim -- the new character Hilde was described by the designers as "the most alluring". Unlike all the other girls, Hilde's outfits bare almost no skin: she has a full suit of plate armor and a long flowing dress.
  • Ashrah from Mortal Kombat.
  • Ling Xiayou from Tekken - a Genki Girl, usually ends up with a "pants and shirt" costume each game, and even her more "revealing" outfits will often have shorts and no cleavage. One exception is her schoolgirl outfit, which shows underwear during high kicks or any other move likely to raise her skirt. But generally Xiayou is presented as bubbly and child-like.
  • Cai Wenji from Dynasty Warriors probably wears more than every other female character put together, has a gentle personality and is still beautiful despite her modesty.
  • Liara and Tali from Mass Effect can be considered this, especially in comparison to the likes of Miranda and Samara.
  • Yurika Kirishima of Project Justice. Her Elegant Gothic Lolita-inspired outfit shows the least skin (even her arms and legs are covered up, by Opera Gloves and opaque pantyhose/tights respectively), the skirt on her dress goes down to at least her knees and her behavior typically tends to be prim and proper.
  • Tytti Noorbuck from the Masou Kishin series is conservatively dressed, and got no Gainaxing in the remake, but she remains as one of the beauties of the series. Probably that sisterly attitude helps.
  • Kyrie from Devil May Cry 4.
  • Tsubaki Yayoi. Her design shows very little skin, in direct contrast to Litchi, Makoto, and Noel.

Web Comics

  • The cast page for Something Positive explicitly comments that Vanessa is the "only innocent" character (or at least adult) left in the comic. Played with in that she is still a bisexual Covert Pervert, but somewhat less crude about it than other characters. Also, while she is the most innocent character in S*P, that still makes her enough of a Deadpan Snarker to rival the snarkiest characters of less cynical comics.

Real Life

  • As a Real Life historical example, Annie Oakley was very much this. At the highest of the Victorian era, she dressed and acted like a proper, modest Victorian woman, but also had a child-like innocence and enthusiasm that at the time was considered Fan Service.
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