Created By: EdnaWalker on August 20, 2011 Last Edited By: EdnaWalker on September 3, 2012
Troped

Stock Object Colors

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Rolling Updates. Needs a Better Name. Needs a Better Description.

This trope is about stereotyped object colors that are highly prevalent in fiction, but do not reflect Real Life color variations.

Green alligators and crocodiles, frogs and toads, brown (non-human) apes, yellow canaries, red crabs and lobsters, pink pigs, and white geese belong under Typical Cartoon Animal Colors.

Since this is such an Omnipresent Trope, would it be best just to list subversions, aversions, and exceptions.

Subtrope of Reality Is Unrealistic. The color version of The Coconut Effect.


Subtropes:

Purple or Dark Purple Poison

Purple and dark purple are the colors associated with poison that is more common in Eastern media.

Examples, subversions, aversions, and exceptions should be listed under Technicolor Toxin.

Purple Grapes

In Real Life, grapes can be purple, yellow-green, red violet, and red, but in fiction, they're purple because purple is the color grapes are associated with.

Blue or Light Blue Water

In Real Life, water comes in a wide range of colors, including clear, turquoise, cyan, light blue, blue-green, dark green, dark blue, and the stereotypical bright shade of blue. Actually, water has no color, because it's completely transparent, and any pigment it absorbs comes from whatever it reflects or is in front of.

Not so much in fiction, where water is usually a bright shade of blue. Water Is Blue because it's easier to animate than a transparent liquid and because large amounts of water appear blue due to the way it diffuses light. This subtrope, which is highly prevalent in fiction, does not reflect how Real Life water is entirely accurately.

Subversions, aversions, and exceptions should be listed under Water Is Blue.

Light Blue Glass

Green or Yellow Green Acid

It even has a shade named after it despite the fact that green acidic substances are rare, and no strong or commonly used acids are green.

Green or Yellow Green Grass

In fiction, grass is usually green or yellow green because green or yellow green grass is iconic and easily recognizable.

In Real Life, golden yellow, light brown, and sandy yellow, as well as the stereotypical green and yellow green, are common colors for grass.

Green or Yellow Green Poison

Green and yellow green are the colors associated with poison that is more common in Western media.

Examples, subversions, aversions, and exceptions should be listed under Technicolor Toxin.

Green or Yellow Green Radiactive Nuclear Waste

Green and yellow green are the colors associated with nuclear waste, radiation, and anything nuclear even though this is seldom the case in Real Life. Cherenkov radiation in the pools of nuclear reactors is blue, radioactive cesium chloride fluoresces faintly blue, and hot radioactives are orange.

The association with the colors green and yellow green and nuclear waste comes from peoples' experience with radium painted watch dials, which glow pale green. Watch dials haven't contained radium for decades. Currently they use a similar sort of paint but no radium; it absorbs light when placed in light and then glows for a while in the dark.

Yellow Sun

In Real Life, the sun is white or yellowish white, but in fiction, it's usually yellow because yellow is the color associated with the sun and it looks yellow to us in Real Life.

Yellow or Gold Stars

Yellow or Orange Cheese

Cheese comes in many colors, including yellow, orange, yellow-orange, light yellow, red, white, and even blue, but in cartoons, it's hard to any examples where cheese hasn't been depicted cheddar yellow-orange or orange.

Yellow and orange cheese is that color because it's been colored.

Examples, subversions, aversions, and exceptions should be listed under Cartoon Cheese.

Orange Carrots

Almost all carrots in fiction are bright orange because an orange carrot is iconic and easily recognizable and orange is the most common color seen in Reallife Western carrots. [[hottip:*: Yellow and purple are the most common colors in Eastern carrots]]

This association with the color orange and carrots is Newer Than They Think, as the common orange carrots in the Western world were only bred that color a few centuries ago by farmers in the Netherlands, out of patriotic reverence for the House of Orange-Nassau. Before this, most carrots in the West were actually purple. No, really, carrots used to be purple. And carrots come in other colors, like yellow, red, purplish red, and white.

Red Apples

Most apples in fiction are bright red because a red apple is iconic and easily recognizable.

In Real Life, apples come in a wide range of colors, including red, orange, yellow, and green, and can be more than one of those colors as well.

Red Fire Hydrants

In Real Life, they come in a wide range of colors, including yellow (both light and golden shades), pink, white, dark green, orange, dull shades of red, and the stereotypical bright shade of red, and can even have two or more colors on them.

Not so much in fiction, where almost all fire hydrants are bright red. Fictional fire hydrants are usually red because a red hydrant is iconic and easily recognizable. This subtrope, which is highly prevalent in fiction, does not reflect how Real Life fire hydrants are.

Brown or Green Polluted Water

Water intended to look polluted is colored either olive green, yellow-green, or brown rather than blue or clear.

Skin Color

The skin colour of white people nearly always depicted as pink, and we're told it's pink, but in reality its a much more subtle selection of blight browns, translucency, red beneath the skin, with some blue.


[[foldercontrol]]

Subversions, Aversions, and Exceptions:

[[folder:Grapes]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Acid]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Grass]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radiactive Nuclear Waste]]

[[folder]]

[[folder:Sun]]

Other
  • The Japanese Flag has a red circle in the middle that represents the sun.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Carrots]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Apples]]

Film - Animated
  • Subverted in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the poisoned apple that the Queen prepares is red as part of the spell ("Now turn red to tempt Snow White, to make her hunger for a bite"). She places it in a basket full of yellow and green apples to make it stand out more and make it seem all the more tempting.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fire Hydrants]]

Western Animation
  • In The Simpsons episode "Lemon of Troy", Bart leads an expedition to Shelbyville, where they marvel at how much like Springfield it is, except for small details. Milhouse in particular is spooked by the fact that the fire hydrants are yellow instead of red.

Real Life
  • Averted in San Francisco, California: Most of the fire hydrants are either all-white or white with blue or blue-green tops.
  • The fire hydrants in Pearl District of Portland, Oregon are all orange.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Skin Color]]

[[/folder]]


Community Feedback Replies: 68
  • August 20, 2011
    Oreochan
    How is this a trope?
  • August 20, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    ^It's a trope. Like Water Is Blue. Can't think of any off the top of my head, though.
  • August 20, 2011
    TwinBird
    ...no. This is just... no. There's no sense in the media that all fire hydrants are red, only most, and most fire hydrants are red. This just sounds like a Californian annoyed about the one time Socal's death grip on American media doesn't sync to her experience.
  • August 21, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    I live in Florida and I think most of the Fire Hydrants I see are Yellow.
  • August 21, 2011
    jaytee
    There might be something trope-worthy here, but you haven't found it yet. The fact that all you've listed is a Real Life example (which are absolute last priority and no number of which can make a trope alone) and that the only example is an aversion (which are almost never worth listing in the first place) makes me want to discard this with no further discussion.
  • August 21, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    @Twin Bird, holy crap, that was an incredibly presumptive and mean thing to say with zero provocation. Tone it down.
  • August 21, 2011
    TBeholder
    Yet funny. Anyway, not-a-trope.
  • August 21, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    Actually, I think this could be a trope. I've seen red, yellow, white and blue, and forest-green fire hydrants. In TV, I see red ones. And I think the reason behind that is just convention. Regardless, it's a prevalence in TV that isn't reflected in reality.

    With more examples, I think you could win people to your side on this one. Asking the question, "Why?" in your description would help a lot in that regard as well.
  • August 21, 2011
    TonyG
    In The Simpsons episode "Lemon of Troy", Bart leads an expedition to Shelbyville, where they marvel at how much like Springfield it is, except for small details. Milhouse in particular is spooked by the fact that the fire hydrants are yellow instead of red.
  • August 21, 2011
    AFP
    Maybe a trope for ISO Object Colors? Include such things as Water Is Blue and Cartoon Cheese (for the typical yellow wedge) as subtropes?
  • August 22, 2011
    Falco
    How is this a storytelling device?
  • August 22, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    I like AFP's appoarch.
  • August 22, 2011
    Generality
    No. Definite People Sit On Chairs here. If we make a trope for red fire hydrants, we have to make one for everything else that might conceivably be another colour.
  • August 22, 2011
    EdnaWalker
    Sincsee this is such a Universal Trope, would it be best just to list subversions, aversions, and exceptions.
  • August 22, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    ^ Actually I think you have Universal Trope and Omnipresent Trope confused. Universals are found in several categories, (spy movies, video games, books), and Omnipresents are tropes so widely used their inclusion is automatic (The Antagonist, Fourth Wall, Nobody Poops).

    It's only for Omnipresents that we only list subversions, aversions, and exceptions. (The alternative, would be listing The Antagonist on EVERY Works page.)

    Not to mention how weird it would it read if you looked at the examples for All Fire Hydrants Are Red, and the examples only listed yellow or blue hydrants.
  • August 22, 2011
    goto124
    Isn't "All Fire Hydrants Are Red" an Omnipresent Trope ?
  • August 22, 2011
    EdnaWalker
    Yes, I said Universal Trope, but I really meant Omnipresent Trope.
  • August 23, 2011
    Frank75
    Some countries don't even have hydrants like America does.
  • August 23, 2011
    Discovery
    I like AFP's idea: widen the scope of this to include all stereotyped object colours, and you might have yourself a real, undeniable trope.
  • August 23, 2011
    jaytee
    This isn't an Omnipresent Trope because it is Not A Trope. Do we need All Roads Are Blacktop? All Grass Is Green? All Snow Is White? Not tropes.

    Maybe AFP's idea is tenable, but I have a sinking feeling it would be a mess without really being very helpful to anyone. No way to tell except to try though. If we're going to do that, a completely new YKTTW should be created.
  • August 23, 2011
    CommanderPanda
  • August 23, 2011
    SquirrelGuy
    In some suburban neighborhoods, the hydrants are painted the colors of the local high school.
  • August 23, 2011
    SquirrelGuy
    The local high school sports team(s), that is.
  • August 30, 2011
    EdnaWalker
    Why did this trope get discarded?
  • August 30, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    Because the consensus is that it is Not A Trope. AFP has the most workable vision for what to do with this, but you don't share it, and maintain that this People Sit On Chairs observation is a Trope.

    Like I said before, the difference between a Trope and chairs, is the difference between "what" and "why". And all you're giving us is what.

    If you want to win people to your side on this one, tell us WHY we don't see the same amount of variety in fire hydrants in television that we see in reality. And even then, it wouldn't end up the most useful trope in the world, nor would it end up an Omnipresent Trope.
  • August 31, 2011
    peccantis
    Agree that this is not a trope.
  • August 31, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    I see you've taken to AFP's suggestion. It's a start, but most of us are under the impression that his suggestion, while the Best Case Scenario for the proposed concept, still isn't all that useful as a trope.

    But, you seem determined. It may seem like everyone is against you, but rather, as is, you're just not giving us anything. Remember that everyone here is on your side, and we want this concept to be the best possible version of itself that it can be; but we're also on the side of TV Tropes, and none of us want to see a page see print that should not have.

    So show us the best possible version of your concept that you can. Take AFP's thesis and run with it. And please, please, stop telling us what is red and what is blue, and tell us that Fire Hydrants are usually red because the red hydrant is iconic and easily recognizable, and that Water Is Blue because it's easier to animate than a transparent liquid (and because large amounts of water appear blue due to the way it diffuses light).

    Otherwise, this page will likely see discarding.
  • August 31, 2011
    Novbert
    Description should mention that it's a subtrope of Reality Is Unrealistic.
  • August 31, 2011
    Speedball
    This is a color-based version of The Coconut Effect.
  • August 31, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    This will contain more Internal Subtropes than Subtropes. Standalone articles would be People Sit On Chairs, so we can't make a page for every colour convention that's been grandfathered in.
  • September 1, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    What about Red Apples? I hardly ever see green apple in fiction, especially not animation.
  • September 10, 2011
    Damr1990
    what about something like Standarized Drawing Colors or something like that
  • September 11, 2011
    TonyG
    In Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, the poisoned apple that the Queen prepares is red as part of the spell ("Now turn red to tempt Snow White, to make her hunger for a bite"). She places it in a basket full of yellow and green apples to make it stand out more and make it seem all the more tempting.
  • September 26, 2011
    EdnaWalker
    Can you think of a description for yellow cheese?
  • September 27, 2011
    Damr1990
    see also Rainbow Lite
  • September 27, 2011
    LarryD
    In cartoons, I can't think of any examples where cheese hasn't been depicted cheddar orange. Orange cheese is that color because it's been colored.
  • September 27, 2011
    randomsurfer
    ^^^It has already been described: Cartoon Cheese.
  • September 27, 2011
    Chariset
    It may not be a trope, but it could still be useful in the Useful Notes, or as an index to things like Cartoon Cheese
  • October 3, 2011
    Nocturna
    Under "Red Apples", you accidentally use "carrot" once instead of "apple".
  • October 25, 2011
    LordGro
    Technicolor Toxin: Poison in fiction is either purple or green. Sickly Green Glow (for dangerous chemicals, radioactive waste etc.) might also fit under this.
  • November 20, 2011
    EdnaWalker
    I'll have this be one of the Useful Notes pages.
  • November 20, 2011
    JusticeZero
    Green radioactive waste: Probably comes from peoples' experience with radium painted watch dials, which glow pale green.
  • December 5, 2011
    Desertopa
    Green acid. Even has a shade named after it despite the fact that green acidic substances are rare, and no strong or commonly used acids are green.
  • December 23, 2011
    nman
    I think it would be a good idea to only have the word "yellow" actually be yellow, as it makes everything else unreadable save for highlighting it with your mouse.
  • December 24, 2011
    Duncan
    Explored in Harry Chapin's song "Flowers are Red". [1] Some of this might be a good page quote.
  • January 19, 2012
    benjamminsam
    One possible fate for this could be an index, perhaps, cataloging the various stereotypically-colored things in animation?
  • January 21, 2012
    AgProv
    Er... our fire hydrants are underground underneath boringly coloured manhole covers, although there's usually a black "H" on yellow sign nearby to tell you where to look. For a British trope of bright redness, think postboxes. It even names a paint colour, the most vivid brightest red there is - Post Office Red. And it spooks us that other countries don't follow suit - ie, yellow in Germany, green in Ireland, et c... on my first visit to Germany I couldn't see a post box anywhere, then someone told me they were yellow in this country. I'd been assuming red for a postbox was universal!
  • January 27, 2012
    Rognik
    I'm pretty sure I've seen more green grapes than purple grapes.
  • February 13, 2012
    arromdee
    Watch dials haven't contained radium for decades. Currently they use a similar sort of paint but no radium; it absorbs light when placed in light and then glows for a while in the dark.

    The belief that watch dials contain radium when they haven't for decades is probably a trope of its own, whose name I don't recall.
  • March 3, 2012
    FastEddie
    However it turns out, please do not ever used color text to remind people which color is the green one. Either they can see colors and are quite familiar with which one is the green the one, or they can't see colors and the reminder does them no good. Also, parti-colored text looks like ass. Bad enough we have to have red and blue text indicating link state.
  • March 7, 2012
    yogyog
    Skin colour: The skin colour of white people nearly always depicted as pink, and we're told it's pink, but in reality its a much more subtle selection of blight browns, translucency, red beneath the skin, with some blue.
  • April 5, 2012
    Alvin
    At the moment I'm posting this, the top YKTTW is White Rabbit (bunnies tend to be white).
  • April 5, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    White Rabbit could be a subtrope of Typical Cartoon Animal Colors, which in turn can be a subtrope of this trope YKTTW.
  • May 13, 2012
    Mauri
    Well we can say as the quote: Roses are red, Violets are blue, Sugar is sweet, And so are you. Mother Goose
  • May 13, 2012
    HaggisMcCrablice
    Water intended to look polluted is colored green or brown, rather than blue or clear. Green is also associated with illness and radiation. I seem to recall an amusing quote in The Batman in which Batgirl wondered aloud why toxic chemicals are always green, never pink. Black cats are also quite prevalent in animation, because they're common, and easier to animate than, say, tabbies.
  • June 1, 2012
    Roxor
    For grass, I think there should also be a mention of light brown being common in Real Life. Seriously, most grass I see down here qualifies as light brown in colour.
  • July 10, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    Is this better as a useful notes or as a trope?
  • July 30, 2012
    LordGro
    I think it is actually a trope; the common supertrope to all the more specific tropes like "water is blue", "poison is green", "apples are red" etc.
  • July 31, 2012
    tryourbreast
    I suggest this one to become an index instead, and leave all of the contents to subtrope. Or this page would become so long that becomes impractical.

    And wait, isn't brown feces and yellow urine very normal? I don't think that needs to be included.
  • August 1, 2012
    LordGro
    It can actually become an index and a trope. It is a trope, after all. I also think it is itself a subtrope of Reality Is Unrealistic.
  • August 1, 2012
    Avurai
    Reality in Technicolor?
  • August 1, 2012
    tryourbreast
    ^^ Yeah, and I mean we can just skip some of the elaboration and only leave the title, because that's not needed when we have subtrope for that... like Water Is Blue. To prevent it becoming a Wall Of Text.
  • August 2, 2012
    LordGro
    I am not sure if that is a good name. How, exactly, is this trope about "Reality"? Maybe "Technicolor Objects" would be more to the point, but I don't see anything wrong with Standard Drawing Color.

    Those subtropes that haven't separate pages need the elaboration. The others can be shortened, but I'd leave a short explanation even on this page.
  • August 2, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
  • August 8, 2012
    tryourbreast
    Stars are gold.
  • August 8, 2012
    LordGro
    ^^ I think that's a good name.
  • September 3, 2012
    Rognik
    So is this ever going to launch? It's got 5 hats, it's got plenty of examples, it's got a pretty decent name now. What prevents it from being launched?

    And I still say that "green grapes" are the more common depiction rather than red or purple grapes.
  • September 3, 2012
    PsiPaula4
    ^Whenever I see grapes in fiction, more often than not they are purple. In fact I cannot recall any work that used green grapes.
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