Formerly "Damn Loose Hair Strand". I'm tweaking the title and definition, as all the examples so far have been about things in animation, comics, and CGI.
Works best when they don't stay in place.
In animation, comics, and CGI, it's significant to have a hair style with hair strand(s) flopping around.
This is because hair and fur are usually drawn or rendered in a mass (with increasing exceptions due to advances in CGI tools). Even spiky hair is a mass of spikes, Wild Hair
is a mass of wild, and when the hair moves it still moves as mass. Therefore having just one or a few strands moving independently would take some extra work, and thus only happen for a reason.
The reasons could include a simple gag of a hair getting loose, an extended gag of a character going nuts trying to get the hair to stay in place, or as one of the Expository Hairstyles
to show there is something different, or even "off", about this character.
This usually happens with perfectly coiffed styles, as a character with a lose style would tend not to care about this. The trope is also unisex, but does seem to happen to ladies more than guys.
Compare Slipknot Ponytail
, Hair Antennae
, Idiot Hair
, No Flow in CGI