Created By: acrobox on August 11, 2012 Last Edited By: acrobox on September 14, 2012
Troped

Primary Color Champion

The main protagonist's iconic costume is Red and Blue, or Red Blue and Yellow.

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Trope
A Costume Trope.

We know that Red Is Heroic. But even in cases where the hero's definitive color isn't Red, they may still sport a costume that is primarily Red, Blue and Yellow.

One typical set up is that costume will be Blue, an iconic or prominent piece of it (such as a hat or a cape) will be Red, and Yellow will be used for accents and other accessories.

Another common way to do this is to have a balance of Red and Blue elements without yellow. In this design its much more likely for blue to be the bottoms (pants and skirts) and red to be the tops (shirts and jackets)

There are of course many different ways to design a costume, but if you see a character wearing both Red and Blue prominently chances are they're The Hero or at least playing for the Good Guys side. It a good visual shorthand to the audience that this is a person you can trust.

This trope may have stemmed from the early days of comicbooks in which heroic characters typically had color schemes that sported Primary Colors (Red Blue and Yellow) while villains typically had secondary colors (Purple, Green, Orange.) What better way to drive home that point than to have heroes where all three (like Superman), and sometimes having villains wear two or three of the secondary (like the Joker, Green Goblin and some Lex Luthor designs)

Sub-Trope to Good Colors, Evil Colors. See also Red Index, Blue Index.

Compare Red Is Heroic. Contrast Red and Black and Evil All Over

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Almost every single main character's Gundam has a blue body, red boots, and yellow accents (such as its head crest)
  • Sailor Moon: while other characters typically only had one prominent color, Moon had a Blue Skirt, Red boots and gloves, and the standard Yellow tiara.
  • Goku of Dragon Ball, pseudo example, wearing Orange and Blue, but a noticeably redder shade of orange than a few other characters with the same costume (like Goten)
    • Similarly Naruto wears Orange and Blue in Part I
  • Luffy Red Jacket, Blue shorts, yellow hat
  • Digimon: a few of the goggle boys and almost all of their partners have this design, if only in their final forms. Sometimes to result of a Fusion Dance of a Red Oni, Blue Oni pair
  • Kenshiro wears blue with a red undershirt.
  • Jotaro Kujo's ensemble in part 3 was a blue school uniform and cap with a red undershirt as well.
  • Gurren Lagann: Simon wears a blue jacket with red accents in the first season, and has more yellow accents after the timeskip. Also wears red and yellow goggles.
    • Similarly, Kamina has his blue hair and copious amounts of red in his glasses and cape.
  • Speed Racer wears a blue shirt, red shoes and yellow gloves. His M logo is also red

Comic Books
  • Superman: blue body suit, red cape and boots, yellow accents on logo
  • Wonder Woman: A red and blue Leotard of Power, blue on bottom, red on top, yellow accents such as the WW logo, belt and golden lasso.
  • Spiderman: red and blue body suit. The legs have more blue, the torso has more red.
  • Captain America, leader of The Avengers and definitely the Big Good of the Marvel Universe, also wears blue and red. Many All American heroes invoke this as Blue and Red are two of America's colors, along with White.
  • The X-Men uniform is usually blue and yellow so most would not count. However a few members will add red accents or just leave out their red hair. Notably three of the most prominent characters do this in some way.
    • Wolverine typically has a red belt
    • Cyclops has the red bar in his visor, a red belt buckle and is sometimes depicted with his reddish brown hair out.
    • Jean Grey also does the Yellow and Blue costume, Red hair variation before she becomes the Phoenix.
  • Red Tornado: A Red Android with a blue cape and yellow arrow designs down his arms and head.
  • Star Girl: wears a blue costume with red and white trim (representing America) but carries a yellow staff and is almost always depicted with flowing blonde hair.
  • Liberty Belle
  • Captain Marvell

Film
  • Discussed by Mr. Glass in Unbreakable, that heroes are in primary colors and villains in secondary.

Video Games
  • Super Mario - blue overalls, red shirt and hat, yellow buttons
  • Captain Falcon of F-Zero - blue body suit, red helmet, yellow boots and nipples
  • Ness and Ninten of Mother - blue and yellow striped shirt, red cap
    • Lucas from Mother 3 wears primary colors too. Striped red and yellow shirt, blue shorts. His shoes are red and yellow. It should also be noted that Ninten wears blue shoes and red socks, and Ness wears red shoes. Ness's backpack is yellow in-game but in Smash Bros it's brownish.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog is Blue and wears Red shoes
  • Mega Man is usually just Blue but some incarnations will give him Red and Yellow accents. Megaman.exe and GeoStelar are the straightest examples.
    • Mega Man X is Blue with Red accents by default, but in his higher level armors he gains plenty of Yellow trims as well.
  • Various Pokemon trainers (including Ash Ketchum) wear this kind of outfit. Usually Red hats, and Blue Jackets or Pants.
  • Isaac of Golden Sun wears a blue outift with a red breast plate and a yellow scarf
  • Almost every Fire Emblem Lord wears this color scheme too. Usually blue clothes with a yellow trim, and a red cape (at least on the inside of it)
    • Marth
    • Alm in his Awakening redesign has red and yellow accents to his blue armor. In his original design they were red and green accents however.
    • Celice
    • Roy, Eliwood and Hector.
      • Lyn's costume was blue with yellow trim and very subtle red accents. Her Awakening redesign plays it even straighter by changing her obi to be bigger and deep red.
    • Ike
      • Micaiah may or may not be an example. Her default attire is mostly purple but has red blue and yellow accents. At tier 2 she has a whitish pink dress, blue cape and yellow ugg boots, at tier 3 she has a pale blue dress, red cape and yellow heels.
    • Krom, only wears desaturated and darker blue clothes with a yellow trim, however his is usual sword and its scabbard are is red.

Web Original
  • Homestar Runner has a red shirt and 'blue soles glued to the bottom of his feet.' His hat is also blue with a red brim

Western Animation
  • Captain Planet: Blue body, Red 'clothes' with a yellow emblem. Also has Green hair.
  • Kaldur, the new version of Aqualad designed specifically as The Leader of Young Justice, wears blue pants and a red shirt with a yellow belt buckle. He also has blond hair. In the comics his pants are darker, almost black, but he has more yellow decals on his shirt.
  • Discussed, but not enforced, in Danny Phantom. Danny's costume is black with white accents. In one episode he accidentally splits himself in half; one half is his goofy, slacker side, and the other half is his dedicated, heroic side. The heroic side begins acting very much like a stereotypical comic book hero, and insists that his costume have a cape and be in bright primary colors.
Toys

Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • August 12, 2012
    PsiPaula4
    • Lucas from Mother 3 wears primary colors too. Striped red and yellow shirt, blue shorts. His shoes are red and yellow.

    It should also be noted that Ninten wears blue shoes and red socks, and Ness wears red shoes. Ness's backpack is yellow in-game but in Smash Bros it's brownish.
  • August 13, 2012
    ShadowHog
    What about red, blue and green? Those are primary colors of light (and frankly, these days, what I think of when I hear "primary color", instead of pigment like the trope seems to center around).
  • August 13, 2012
    Kayube
    In Super Sentai (and Power Rangers) series, there's always a red and a blue ranger, and almost always a yellow one as well. If the show starts with a Power Trio, it'll always be red, blue, and yellow.
  • August 13, 2012
    acrobox
    ^^ Shadow Hog we might include red blue and green costumes, but those arent all together too common to my knowledge

    ^ Kayube - this is about a single character's costume. If its a duo or a trio that goes either under Red Oni Blue Oni, Chromatic Arrangement, or Color Coded Characters
  • August 13, 2012
    cygnavamp
    • Word Girl has a costume that's mostly dark pink bordering on light red with yellow accents.
  • August 14, 2012
    Dacilriel
    Western Animation:

    Discussed, but not enforced, in Danny Phantom. Danny's costume is black with white accents. In one episode he accidentally splits himself in half; one half is his goofy, slacker side, and the other half is his dedicated, heroic side. The heroic side begins acting very much like a stereotypical comic book hero, and insists that his costume have a cape and be in bright primary colors.
  • August 14, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    "Cyclops has the red bar in his visor, a red belt buckle and is sometimes depicted with his reddish brown hair out."

    Then Redheaded Hero Jean Grey counts for that as well.
  • August 15, 2012
    acrobox
    any problems with this one, or is it launchable?
  • August 15, 2012
    chicagomel
    This is only for costumes, right? 'Cause we had Red in the first Pokemon game, but he didn't actually wear red.
  • August 15, 2012
    acrobox
    This is for costumes and Red does count. In Gen I he wore a Red jacket with a Yellow logo on the back, and blue jeans

    In the gen 3 remakes he wore a red jacket , yellow backpack and blue jeans.

    also in the one off picture of him in winter clothes he had a red wintercoat, blue jeans and a yellow scarf
  • August 16, 2012
    acrobox
    hats? bumps? launches?
  • August 16, 2012
    Prime32
    This is listed as one of the likely traits of a Super Robot, with the addition that the underarmor is white.
  • August 17, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Should red and blue alone be enough for this trope, or should it require three colors?
  • August 17, 2012
    acrobox
    The trope is that heroes often wear costumes that are Red and Blue. If there is a third color it will more than likely be yellow.

    Red and Blue counts, Red Blue and Yellow counts.

    I wouldn't count Blue and Yellow, and I wouldn't count Red and Yellow (like Iron Man)
  • August 17, 2012
    acrobox
    -
  • August 28, 2012
    DAMartin
    Captain America, leader of The Avengers and definitely the Big Good of the Marvel Universe, also wears blue and red
  • August 29, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    "I wouldn't count Blue and Yellow, and I wouldn't count Red and Yellow (like Iron Man)"

    Why not? Those are primary colors, and you counted the X-Men outfits which are blue and yellow.
  • August 29, 2012
    acrobox
    counted a few examples of more popular / important X Men such as Cyclops, Wolverine and Jean Grey. Most would not count, i can make that more clear.

    I thought the contrast between including Red and Blue more meaningful and intentional. For instance that's why we have a Red Oni Blue Oni as opposed to just any paired colors. Combining the two makes a much more powerful statement in my mind.

    Blue and Yellow is much more peaceful, Red and yellow is much more intense. But Red and Blue strike a balance between intensity and peacefulness that reads as heroic.

    Besides as the trope laconic reads the trope is really for Blue and Red costumes, noting that if there is a third color it will typically be yellow. if the name needs a change to be more indicitive of that im open to it
  • September 7, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Then why allow the other color combinations in the first place? Was that just something you now realize doesn't work?

    But even then, you seem to be defining this trope based on what you think the colors mean, which isn't really a good basis for a definition.
  • September 8, 2012
    acrobox
    I'm really defining the trope based on the pattern indicated by the above examples. I'm sure we could find more.
  • September 8, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Well I was also thinking there would also be a trope about heroes wearing primarily blue, possibly calling it True Blue Heroism. So this would be a combo Sub Trope of that and Red Is Heroic.
  • September 8, 2012
    acrobox
    I mean we can have a trope of every connotation of every color.

    which is fine but Just Red, or Just Blue, or Just Yellow, can have a million connotations, heroism being among them.

    And Red and Yellow usually gets lumped in with Just Red because Red is more dominant than Yellow culturally. Blue and Yellow usually gets lumped in with Just Blue for the same reason. But because Red and Blue are both dominant in different ways, when they combine its more special.

    There are patterns of legacy heroes (The various Gundams) heroic popculture icons (Superman for comics, Super Mario for videogames) and even people who break pattern in their series to wear these colors (Sailor Moon)

    What I'm trying to say is that you can identify a character on sight as definitely heroic because their costume is in primary colors. (harkening back to the comicbook days) Red and Blue (sometimes with Yellow) in one person almost always means hero.

    You'd be hard pressed to find an antagonist or another character type that wears this scheme. Its visual shorthand, not just one of many stylistic choices.
  • September 8, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ I note the OP doesn't list this as a sub trope of Good Colors Evil Colors.
  • September 8, 2012
    acrobox
    done
  • September 8, 2012
    surgoshan
    • Discussed by Mr. Glass in Unbreakable, that heroes are in primary colors and villains in secondary.
  • September 14, 2012
    publicschool
    If you wear yellow shoes and you are normal, people call them yellow. If you are a super hero, people call them golden. Heraldry?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=a58xnninjmwmo02hmzubjgqk&trope=PrimaryColorChampion