Created By: FantasyLiver on February 3, 2013 Last Edited By: Paradisesnake on April 8, 2013

Lightning Mark

An important character is identified by a lightning bolt marking on their body

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Trope
Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Important characters, usually the protagonists have an odd lightning bolt mark on their body, usually due to Rule of Cool. However, characters who have this mark are often brave, impulsive, and heroic.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Ash Ketchum from Pokémon is always drawn with a pair of small lightning bolts on his cheeks. He's the main character of the show, and has the electric-type Pikachu as his constant companion to boot.

Comic Books
  • A Golden Age Comic book hero, the Lone Rider, who was basically an Expy of The Lone Ranger had a horse named Lightning that got its name from a lightning bolt shape on its forehead.

Film

Literature
  • Harry Potter is the Trope Codifier; his lightning bolt mark on his forehead was received when he survived Lord Voldemort's attack.

Western Animation
  • The eponymous character of Disney's Bolt has a black lightning bolt adorned on the side of his body. Subverted that it's actually make-up, because he's actually just an actor of a TV show, but he never knew that.
  • Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has a cutie mark of a cloud and a lightning bolt on her left and right side. Its supposed to represent her love for speed.
Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • February 3, 2013
    Entirity
    Flesh out your examples more. As in.

    Literature
    • Item A: Description
    • Item B: Description

    Live-Action TV
    • Item A: Description
  • February 3, 2013
    Entirity
    Lightning Mcqueen has such a mark. Also, I suggest changing the word scar to mark, as lightning shaped scars would probably be not a trope considering their rarity.
  • February 3, 2013
    McKathlin
    Literature
    • In Isaac Asimov's short story "The Ugly Little Boy", the Neanderthal child brought into the present has a birthmark that looks like lightning. In the novelization, his native people call him Skyfire Face because of his birthmark.
  • February 3, 2013
    FantasyLiver
    Alright, I'll add those examples later.
  • February 4, 2013
    Koveras
  • February 4, 2013
    Larkmarn
  • February 4, 2013
    CaveCat
    • The eponymous character of Disney's Bolt has a black lightning bolt adorned on the side of his body. Subverted that it's actually make-up, because he's actually just an actor of a TV show, but he never knew that.
  • February 4, 2013
    FantasyLiver
    I already got the Bolt example listed but I'll use your description instead because it's a lot better than mine.
  • February 4, 2013
    Djanchorhead
    Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony Fi M has a cutie mark of a cloud and a lightning bolt on her left and right side. Its supposed to represent her love for speed
  • February 5, 2013
    Xtifr
    This seems like The Same But More Specific.
  • February 5, 2013
    FantasyLiver
    ^ To which trope?
  • February 6, 2013
    Xtifr
    I'm not sure; we may have Missing Supertrope Syndrome. Nevertheless, I don't see how a lightning bolt (despite its appearance in Harry Potter) is meaningfully different from any other Significant Body Marking. Unless it's being used to signify electricity or something.
  • February 6, 2013
    FantasyLiver
    Well, typically it marks a hero. Just like the X Marks The Hero trope, except instead of an X, it's a lightning bolt so I don't understand your issue with it.
  • February 7, 2013
    Skywatcher68
    Although it's not on his body until the team adopts the patch, Roy Hobbs probably qualifies.
  • February 7, 2013
    SKJAM
    I remember a moment in one of those 70s adventure paperback series, main premise is our action hero being shifted into equivalent bodies in alternate worlds. In one, he discovers that his new body has a lightning bolt tattoo on its penis, demonstrating just how macho the body's normal owner was.
  • February 8, 2013
    Larkmarn
    ... in a related note, didn't Brett, uh, paint a lightning bolt on his penis in the David Bowie episode of Flight Of The Conchords?
  • February 8, 2013
    Xtifr
    Never mind, I found the supertrope: Distinguishing Mark. Now, what this really needs is something to indicate how it's distinct from the supertrope. Just having a particular shape on your body is not a trope. This has to be about the symbolism of the lightning bolt, and examples that aren't using that symbolism probably don't fit.

    Of course, it may be appropriate to collect examples to see what the symbolism is--but that may require throwing out some examples that don't actually fit once the symbolism is determined. (Or not--it's possible that all the examples will actually have a common element.)
  • February 8, 2013
    FantasyLiver
    Well judging from the examples, I'd say the symbol marks a hero who is brave and loyal like Raphael, Harry Potter, and Bolt.
  • February 13, 2013
    FantasyLiver
    Bump it up!
  • February 13, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Rather than just a bump, why don't you... add examples to the body of the YKTTW?

    And/or update the description?
  • February 13, 2013
    FantasyLiver
    Oh, man how could I have missed that? I'll get right on that.
  • February 13, 2013
    FantasyLiver
    Done!
  • February 13, 2013
    Larkmarn
  • February 14, 2013
    FantasyLiver
    I think we need more examples.

    Also, what about Lightning Mark Of Power for a name?
  • March 15, 2013
    Larkmarn
    • Heat Guy J has the titular "heat guy" (an android), who has lightning bolt shaped marks on his face in his human guise.
  • March 15, 2013
    StarSword
    Anime and Manga:
    • Ash Ketchum from Pokemon is always drawn with a pair of small lightning bolts on his cheeks. He's the main character of the show, and has the electric-type Pikachu as his constant companion to boot.
  • April 6, 2013
    FantasyLiver
    I think this thing is ready as it is. Please add hats if you agree.
  • April 6, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Did some formatting.
  • April 8, 2013
    Larkmarn
    I think this should stay in YKTTW for a few more examples. It's very sparse.
  • April 8, 2013
    helterskelter
    I'm not seeing a trope. It looks like most of these examples are characters that have lightning bolts because of their connection with speed--and fast characters often are considered brave, impulsive, and heroic. The Pokemon example is a style convention that a lot of anime employ. I couldn't tell you the name of the trope (if we have it), but you see it in stuff like Sailor Moon. The only technical example, I think, is Harry Potter and I have a feeling you thought of this trope and tried to scrounge up examples purely because of that.
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