Created By: MacronNotes on June 21, 2013 Last Edited By: MacronNotes on July 8, 2013
Troped

Shared Unusual Trait

Two characters share an unusual physical trait that shows that they are related or connected somehow

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
This is part of an effort to split tropes off of Mismatched Eyes.
An unusual physical trait that ties two characters together. The physical trait can be anything from heterochromia, unusual hair colours, deformities and other odd traits. It could something that's passed down from one generation to another. These traits can be used to identify twins, possessed, clones, or a once unknown connection between two people that indicate they are related.

Related to Family Eye Resemblance when the eyes shows a familial relationship. See also Shared Family Quirks for when family members share similar behaviors or personalities and Mark of the Beast when the trait is a sign of possession.

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
  • Nenene and Toki from Code:Breaker both have one blue and one brown eye. This almost gets Nenene killed when fire controller Oogami mistakes her for his despised teammate Toki who is Nenene's long-lost brother. Nenene does not seem to notice the resemblance, even when Toki is standing in front of her while Sakura says "This is your brother!"
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, the fact that Ed, his brother Al, and their father Hohenheim all have gold eyes and gold hair (not blonde, gold) is an important plot point, as it marks them as ethnically members of the lost Xerxes civilization. Hohenheim is an immortal survivor of the apocalypse. The first anime missed the memo and gave Al blue eyes, but it still mostly works.
  • The Count D from Pet Shop of Horrors has heterochromia, one eye being purple and the other, whom he hides under his hair, is golden. In the manga, it's explained that this is meant to be representative not only for his non-human nature, but also for his inheritance: his father and grandfather have golden and purple eyes, respectively. Since each one has a very different personality, and D has personality traits from both, his heterochromia symbolizes this dual nature.
  • Rozen Maiden: Suiseiseki has red and green eyes, and was originally nicknamed "Boatlights-chan" by fans before she became known as simply "Desu". Her twin sister Souseiseki, introduced later, has the same eye colors but reversed. Appropriately, they are foils for each other.
  • Luki and Noki from DOGS Bullets And Carnage have very weird eyes (gold with a black iris, black with a gold iris, with the actual which-eye-is-which swapped between twins). They're enfants terribles.
  • Big Bad (of at least one arc) Rido Kuran of Vampire Knight has one blue eye and one crimson eye, a trait that shows up in the people he possesses. This is the first clue to Rima Touya that something's not quite right about Shiki...
  • In Claymore every claymore warrior for the most part looks human, however their one distinct feature, least before they start tapping in their Yoma powers, is their silver eyes. In one episode the main character, Clare, who's a claymore is task with hunting down a Yoma in a city that doesn't allow claymores. To get into the city she takes a pill that limits her powers but make her appear human just by turning her eyes brown.
  • Vivio from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S has red and green eyes because the person she was cloned from also possesses those features.
  • In Gurren Lagann, some character's pupils (specifically: Lord Genome, Kittan, and Simon) take on spiral form to indicate their mastery of the Spiral Energy.
  • Misaki Shokuhou from A Certain Magical Index has stars in her eyes. The same stars appear in the eyes of those who she's using her mind control powers on.
  • Certain ninja clans in Naruto will have this. Most consistent are the Hyuga, all of whom possess white eyes called the Byakugan. Other examples include the Uchiha and their Sharingan, and the overweight Akimichi clan.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
  • In one film version of The Hound of the Baskervilles Sherlock Holmes realizes that Stapleton is a member of the Baskerville family because both he and a portrait of patriarch Hugo Baskerville have webbed hands. (In the original novel, Holmes points out that Stapleton is facially a dead ringer for the portrait of Hugo when you block out of view the antiquated clothing Hugo is wearing.)
  • X2: X-Men United: Jason Stryker has differently-colored eyes, as does the illusory little girl he creates.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
  • On Kyle XY, one of the first things that tips Kyle off to Jesse's connection to him is the fact that neither of them have a belly button.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
  • The horribly inbred Martense clan from The Lurking Fear by H.P. Lovecraft all have this as a distinguishing mark. They have brown-and-blue eyes apparently. This is the tip-off that the swarm of Humanoid Abominations haunting the area actually consists of their offspring.
  • All the clone "shatterlings" of Gentian Line in "House of Suns" by Alastair Reynolds have one green eye and the other a "wintery jackdaw blue", since they're all male and female "facets" of Abigail Gentian. it is noted that since they have a bit of leeway from Abigail's exact appearance, in some shatterlings the mismatched eyes are toned down so much as to be unnoticeable
  • One Goosebumps book has the main character's best friend be a girl with heterochromia. This becomes a plot point when she mysteriously disappears and he starts seeing a dog with Mismatched Eyes around the neighborhood.
  • The generational sagas by author Edward Rutherfurd often use physical genetic quirks, such as webbed digits or Skunk Stripe hair, to illustrate a bloodline's continuity down through the centuries.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
  • The play Redwood Curtain is centered on a young Vietnamese girl who was adopted by an American family. She has "eyes like a husky dog" (one blue, one dark). When she meets a homeless Vietnam vet who has similarly mis-matched eyes, she starts wondering if he could be her biological father. He's not, but he knows who is.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • Mortal Kombat: Armageddon: The protagonist of Konquest Mode, Taven, is shown to be related to his brother and antagonist Daegon by a dragon tattoo on their faces, which are inverted mirror images of each other.
  • In Tales of Graces, this is a sign that Lambda is inside somebody's body. It happens to Richard and later Asbel, and this carries into Tales of Graces F. When Lambda is inside Richard, his other eye is red, but when it happens to Asbel, it's actually purple, signaling that Lambda has a different relationship with Asbel than Richard.
  • In Devil May Cry 3, Lady and Arkham and Jester both have one blue and one red eye. This serves as a visual clue that they're father and daughter.
  • Iris and her twin sister also named Iris from Rune Factory both have green and red eyes. They used to be one person but were magically split into two entities.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Visual Novels]]
  • In Fate/stay night homunculi made by the Einzbern family have distinctly silver hair and red eyes. This applies to Ilyasviel, her mother Irisviel, and the homunculus the two former are based on, Justeaze.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
  • Christian Weston Chandler in Sonichu has heterochromatic eyes, though it's not at all striking. It's a feature of his Evil Twin (with inverted colors) and his Chris-Chan Sonichu form, too.
  • When Abel of Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures first enters the Succubus and Incubus Academy, he attracts interest because of his heterochromia and the dual batlike/birdlike nature of his wings. Both of these are traits of Quoar and his elusive clan members.
[[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 46
  • June 21, 2013
    Discar
    This might be stretching, it probably fits better under People Of Hair Color, but no reason it can't go under both.

    • In Full Metal Alchemist, the fact that Ed, his brother Al, and their father Hohenheim all have gold eyes and gold hair (not blonde, gold) is an important plot point, as it marks them as ethnically members of the lost Xerxes civilization. Hohenheim is an immortal survivor of the apocalypse. The first anime missed the memo and gave Al blue eyes, but it still mostly works.
  • June 21, 2013
    randomsurfer
  • June 22, 2013
    oztrickster
    From the Kaleidoscope Eyes page, if they count.
    • Kurapika from Hunter X Hunter, whose eyes turn scarlet red upon rage. This is actually characteristic of his clan, that has been slaughtered so those eyes could be stolen and sold as a jewel.
    • The eyes of a Claymore are silver until they use their Yoma powers; this turns their eyes gold.
  • June 22, 2013
    MacronNotes
    ^ I think that fits Eye Colour Change better than this trope.
  • June 22, 2013
    Marz1200
    • On Kyle XY, one of the first things that tips Kyle off to Jesse's connection to him is the fact that neither of them have a belly button.
  • June 22, 2013
    StarSword
    Literature:
    • In A Bertram Chandler's John Grimes novels the title character has an illegitimate son that inherited his very large ears. The mother had them surgically altered to hide his paternity from her planet's nobility.
  • June 23, 2013
    InsanityPrelude
    Tagged with a motion for a better name: it's clear but majorly bland.

    Video Games:
    • In Devil May Cry 3, Lady and Arkham and Jester both have one blue and one red eye. This serves as a visual clue that they're father and daughter.
  • June 23, 2013
    MacronNotes
    ^ I know the name was kinda bland but I couldn't think of anything witty...
  • June 24, 2013
    JoeG
    This isn't a physical trait, but I think it qualifies.

    • Harry Potter and Voldemort are connected because they are both able to speak to snakes.
  • June 25, 2013
    MrRuano
    Mortal Kombat Armageddon: the protagonist of Konquest Mode, Taven, is shown to be related to his brother and antagonist Daegon by a dragon tattoo on their faces, which are inverted mirror images of each other.
  • June 25, 2013
    Antigone3
    Belgariad -- several sorcerers in the series have a white mark of some sort. Garion has the white birthmark on his palm, Polgara has her Skunk Stripe, and we're told Belgarath has a white mark over his heart.
  • June 25, 2013
    SharleeD
    • The generational sagas by author Edward Rutherfurd often use physical genetic quirks, such as webbed digits or Skunk Stripe hair, to illustrate a bloodline's continuity down through the centuries.
  • June 25, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • After Taarna perishes in a Heroic Sacrifice to destroy the Loc-Nar in Columbia Pictures' Heavy Metal, Grimaldi's daughter receives an alien bird much like Taarna's. Then her hair turns as white as Taarna's, and she reveals a crimson emblem on her neck that marks her as the new Taarakian, Protector of the Universe.
  • June 26, 2013
    InsanityPrelude
    I hope I didn't sound too rude about the name.
  • June 26, 2013
    Bisected8
  • June 27, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In one film version of The Hound Of The Baskervilles Sherlock Holmes realizes that Stapleton is a member of the Baskerville family because both he and a portrait of patriarch Hugo Baskerville have webbed hands. (In the original novel, Holmes points out that Stapleton is facially a dead ringer for the portrait of Hugo when you block out of view the antiquated clothing Hugo is wearing.)
  • June 27, 2013
    MacronNotes
    ^^^ You weren't rude at all. I'm not really good at coming up with witty titles.

    ^^ Ths trope is for unusual traits, not common features.
  • June 27, 2013
    CosmeF
    Two examples from Jojos Bizarre Adventure:
  • June 27, 2013
    captainpat
    [[folder: Visual Novels]]
    • In Fate Stay Night homunculi made by the Einzbern family have distinctly silver hair and red eyes. This applies to Ilyasviel, her mother Irisviel, and the homunculus the two former are based on, Justeaze.
    [[/folder]]

  • June 29, 2013
    McKathlin
    [[folder: Webcomics]]
    • When Abel of DMFA first enters the Succubus and Incubus Academy, he attracts interest because of his heterochromia and the dual batlike/birdlike nature of his wings. Both of these are traits of Quoar and his elusive clan members.
    [[/folder]]
  • June 29, 2013
    samitv
    Literature:
    • Both Harry Potter and Voldemort can speak to snakes. Harry was also going to be sorted in Slytherin, Voldemort's house at Hogwarts.
  • June 29, 2013
    captainpat
    • Luki and Noki from DOGS Bullets And Carnage have very weird eyes (gold with a black iris, black with a gold iris, with the actual which-eye-is-which swapped between twins). They're enfants terribles.
    • Big Bad (of at least one arc) Rido Kuran of Vampire Knight has one blue eye and one crimson eye, a trait that shows up in the people he possesses. This is the first clue to Rima Touya that something's not quite right about Shiki...

  • June 30, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^^ Zero Context Example. You need to clarify how Harry and Voldemort are connected to each other.
  • July 1, 2013
    captainpat
    [[folder:Video Games]]
    • Iris and her twin sister also named Iris from Rune Factory both have green and red eyes. They used to be one person but were magically split into two entities.

    [[folder:Anime & Manga]]
    • In Claymore every claymore warrior for the most part looks human, however their one distinct feature, least before they start tapping in their Yoma powers, is their silver eyes. In one episode the main character, Clare, who's a claymore is task with hunting down a Yoma in a city that doesn't allow claymores. To get into the city she takes a pill that limits her powers but make her appear human just by turning her eyes brown.
    • Vivio from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S has red and green eyes because the person she was cloned from also possesses those features.
  • July 1, 2013
    Koveras
    • In Gurren Lagann, some character's pupils (specifically: Lord Genome, Kittan, and Simon) take on spiral form to indicate their mastery of the Spiral Energy.
  • July 1, 2013
    DracMonster
    Shared Quirk

    It could also encompass verbal tics and other things.
  • July 1, 2013
    MacronNotes
    ^But Shared Family Quirks already covers that (between family members anyway).
  • July 1, 2013
    captainpat
    This looks ready.
  • July 1, 2013
    MacronNotes
    I'm going to wait for at least two weeks for this one. It just turned a week old.
  • July 1, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    @ Mckathlin: Although the dual-structure wings and the mismatched eyes are identifying traits of clan Quoar in Dan And Mabs Furry Adventures, these traits are not exclusive to that clan. I'm positive that Abel is actually clan Siar. See page #1285 of the webcomic. The clan symbol of clan Siar, according to the book Aaryanna is holding, matches the red marking in the middle of Abel's back. See page #1313 for comparison. The interest in Abel at SAIA is due to Abel being almost the last of his clan, since his father is a renegade anarchist responsible for his clan's decimation.
  • July 1, 2013
    Koveras
    @MacronNotes: Gurren Lagann is not an example because?..
  • July 2, 2013
    MacronNotes
    I didn't say it wasn't. I just forgot to add it in.
  • July 2, 2013
    Koveras
    Ah, OK. Have a hat.

    EDIT: Damn, it seems I already gave you mine. :-/
  • July 2, 2013
    DAN004
    Does it really have to be physical?

    • In One Piece, people who have the middle initial of D. have several common traits, such as determination, craving for dreams, belief in destiny, not fearing death and smiling in their deaths. The exception is Marshall D. "Blackbeard" Teach on "not fearing death" part; specifically when he's afraid at the prospect of Whitebeard smiting his ass off. The latter even claimed that Blackbeard doesn't carry "Roger's will".
      • In particular, the Monkey family (and Ace) shares one more trait: their habit of suddenly sleeping in the middle of conversations.
      • As Zoro noted, Tashigi shares a lot of things with his deceased friend Kuina: dark blue hair, being a swordswoman, and having a similar view on swordfights, honor and woman's place.
  • July 2, 2013
    captainpat
    ^ I think that's just Secret Legacy

    We might need to consider changing the name if we're gonna keep this about physical traits.
  • July 2, 2013
    MacronNotes
    I thought about expanding it beyond physical appearance but Shared Family Quirks already has it covered for families. So, this has to only cover examples for non-related characters.

    If it does get expanded, I can't think of a good name for it.
  • July 3, 2013
    captainpat
    Misaki Shokuhou from A Certain Magical Index has stars in her eyes. The same stars appear in the eyes of those who she's using her mind control powers on.

  • July 4, 2013
    DAN004
    I kinda think that the aim of this trope is that it shows two otherwise unrelated characters some hints of... relativity?
  • July 4, 2013
    Discar
    @ Macron: Shared Family Quirks is for non-physical stuff. Strong Family Resemblance is they just look very similar in general.
  • July 5, 2013
    sgamer82
    • Certain ninja clans in Naruto will have this. Most consistent are the Hyuga, all of whom possess white eyes called the Byakugan. Other examples include the Uchiha and their Sharingan, and the overweight Akimichi clan.

    Not sure if this one will count, but here goes:
    • In Doctor Who, the Doctor encounters a character multiple times. The first time, he meets Oswin Oswald, but he never sees her face as she sacrifices herself to save him. Later, he meets Clara, whose full name is revealed to be Clara Oswin Oswald, who also dies in the course of an adventure. While the Doctor only realizes it then, the audience knew that both characters were the same person because they were physically identical in every way. This prompts the Doctor to seek out a third (also identical) Clara Oswald to get to the bottom of the mystery.
  • July 5, 2013
    MissKitten
  • July 6, 2013
    captainpat
  • July 7, 2013
    DAN004
    I wonder why all the examples are about eyes? "Trait" here is really broad, right?
  • July 7, 2013
    MacronNotes
    ^^ I'll launch this tomorrow.

    ^ Not all of the examples are about eyes. The trope covers more than eyes, of course. The reason why most of the examples are about eyes is that they were taken from Mismatched Eyes (which is going to be split into several tropes and turn into a disambiguation)
  • July 7, 2013
    DAN004
    Whoa, didn't know that Mismatched Eyes are more than about heterochromia. o.O
  • July 8, 2013
    captainpat
    bump, lets launch this thing.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=5g3t5zcyo9igk0grd6iegouc&trope=SharedUnusualTrait