[[caption-width-right:272:''Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?''[[note]]Image from [[http://www.deviantart.com/art/Little-Red-Riding-Hood-81798342 here]].[[/note]]]]

"Little Red Riding Hood" ("Le Petit Chaperon Rouge") first appeared in print as a story by Creator/CharlesPerrault; another, more optimistic version ("Rotkäppchen" a.k.a. "Little Red Cap") was later published by Creator/TheBrothersGrimm, which has supplanted Perrault's in the collective consciousness. The story itself is much older, having been told orally centuries before that, [[OlderThanTheyThink possibly as far back as the 10th Century]].

In the story, a young girl, known by her [[IconicItem favourite red hood]], goes out into [[TheLostWoods the woods]] to bring her sick grandmother some good things to eat. On the way, she is stopped by a wolf, who asks her where she is going. [[TheIngenue Too innocent]] to be afraid, she tells him, and they go their separate ways. Specifically: the wolf takes a shortcut to the grandmother's house, impersonates Little Red Riding Hood, and swallows the grandmother whole.

When the little girl arrives, the wolf has [[PaperThinDisguise dressed himself]] in the [[CreepyCrossdresser old woman's bedclothes]] and gotten into bed. Red Riding Hood, growing worried, remarks on how unusual her "grandmother" looks:

->"Grandmother, what big arms you have!"\\
"All the better to hug you with, my dear."

The dialogue continues in this pattern, until she makes the comment:

->"Grandmother, what big teeth you have!"\\
"All the better to eat you with, my dear!"

And the wolf springs and devours her.

Depending on the version, the girl and her grandmother may be rescued by a passing huntsman or other benefactor, whereupon they may take revenge upon the wolf (in "Rotkäppchen", they fill the wolf's belly with stones); this may be the influence of ''Literature/TheWolfAndTheSevenYoungKids'' or similar tales. In Perrault's version, however, the story ends with the girl's death, followed by a moral warning young ladies to beware of "wolves", especially those who are "charming, quiet, unassuming, complacent, and sweet". French folk versions (such as [[http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0333.html#millien this one]]), which do not feature the red hat, have the heroine deduce the problem before the wolf eats her, and escape by saying she needs to visit the bathroom; folklorists believe this is the older version. [[note]]This is usually the conclusion to an alternative story where the Wolf asks Little Red to throw her clothes into the fire and get into Grandma's bed with him, suggesting he has something in mind other than eating her.[[/note]]

A {{Homage}} to this story appears in the song "Hey Little Red Riding Hood" which makes the wolf out as a would-be suitor rather than a vicious animal wanting to consume her for food. This may be closer to the original version of the story, which some scholars believe to be a tale of seduction, with the red cape symbolizing menstruation, and therefore fertility. This hits the ''slight'' problem that Perrault introduced the red cape. In the original folktales, no mention was made of any particular article of clothing, let alone its color.

[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Red_Hood They made a nice little video game based on the story,]] [[VideoGame/ThePath a not so nice one,]] [[VideoGame/DarkParables and yet another one, which is very... different.]]

A 2011 film rendition has a [[Film/RedRidingHood live-action film treatment]] starring Creator/AmandaSeyfried as the eponymous heroine, and a wolf based more in the supernatural realm. It's also the basis for the pilot episode of the 2011 TV series ''Series/{{Grimm}}'', in which a young girl in a red ''hoodie'' is abducted by a shapechanging wolf-creature.

Such a ubiquitous story is naturally a FountainOfExpies:
* A little girl who dresses in red and winds up in danger is a common motif; she's LittleDeadRidingHood.
* Also popular are [[FracturedFairytale revisionist retellings]] where Red takes matters into her own hands and kicks some wolf butt; she's LittleRedFightingHood.
* TheBigBadWolf has his own trope, and likely helped to inspire names like the BigBad, BigBadFriend, and so on.
* Not really related (usually), but with an obvious {{homage}} in the {{trope name|r}}, is GrandmaWhatMassiveHotnessYouHave.
!!!Adaptations or works that revolve around this fairytale include:
* ''Manga/AkazukinChaCha'' (although it's only ''very'' loosely based on it)
* ''Film/TheCompanyOfWolves''
* ''Film/{{Freeway}}'' (1996 crime/black comedy film which takes inspiration from the tale)
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Hoodwinked}}'' (a parody of the story)
* ''Theatre/IntoTheWoods'' (takes several well-known fairy tales, including this one, and weaves them into one story)
* ''VideoGame/LittleRedRidingHoodsZombieBBQ''
* ''WesternAnimation/LittleRedRidingRabbit''
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'' (same deal as ''Theatre/IntoTheWoods'')
* ''VideoGame/ThePath''
* ''Theatre/RedTheRedRidingHoodMusical'' (a 2000 stage musical about the fairy tale, and the different variants of it that exist.)
* ''[[Literature/ThePrincessSeries Red Hood's Revenge]]''
* ''WesternAnimation/RedHotRidingHood''
* ''Film/RedRidingHood'' (2011 film)
* ''Videogame/DarkParables: The Red Riding Hood Sisters''
* ''[[Literature/LunarChronicles The Lunar Chronicles]]'' (the second book, ''Scarlet'', is a retelling of the tale in a scifi dystopian future. The series features retellings of several fairy tales, all intertwined.)
* In ''Literature/BloodRed'' the first chapter (and the original short story that inspired it) is a retelling of this. The rest of the book is the main character all grown up and kicking monster ass.
* ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad'' (as with ''Into the Woods'' and ''Once Upon a Time'', a fairytale mashup which includes a version of this story)
* ''ComicBook/ThroughTheWoods'', a series of horror comics by Creator/EmilyCarroll, (best known for ''WebComic/HisFaceAllRed'') has a short epilogue based on the Red Riding Hood story. Carroll's version of Red arrives at her grandmother's without incident, however even while safe in her grandmother's house, the wolf has a way to [[ThatsNoMoon truly]] [[EvilOnlyHasToWinOnce frighten]] her.
!!"Little Red Riding Hood" contains examples of the following tropes:
* AdaptationalAlternateEnding: Depending on which adaptation of the story you're reading or watching, ''Little Red Riding Hood'' either ends with the wolf eating Red and ending on that to serve as a cautionary tale to young ladies to beware of "wolves", especially those who are "charming, quiet, unassuming, complacent, and sweet" (the original Creator/CharlesPerrault version of the story ends this way), or has the girl and her grandmother be rescued by a passing huntsman or other benefactor, whereupon they may take revenge upon the wolf (in "Rotkäppchen", they fill the wolf's belly with stones); as mentioned earlier, this alternate version may have come about from the influence of ''Literature/TheWolfAndTheSevenYoungKids'' or similar tales.
** Interestingly, the versions preceding Perrault's often feature the girl rescuing herself through quick wits, or even with a more proactive grandmother's aid, who avoids getting eaten in the first place.
* AlmightyJanitor: The hero of the story is a lumberjack or occasionally a huntsman, DependingOnTheWriter. (Less unlikely a hero than most examples of the Trope, maybe, but still just a manual laborer.)
* AnAesop: To quote the darker, grittier Perrault version: "Children, especially attractive, [[ProperLady well bred young ladies]], should never talk to strangers, for if they should do so, they may well provide dinner for a wolf."
* TheBadGuyWins: In the Perrault version, the Wolf eats Red.
* BedTrick[=/=]{{Squick}}: Which other reason would the wolf have to want Little Red naked?
* BigBad: It's [[ObviouslyEvil in his name]]!
* BigBadFriend: The Wolf only pretends to be a friendly stranger just so to get to Grandma's house before Red.
* TheBigBadWolf: The {{Trope Maker|s}}, and {{Trope Namer|s}}. This is the first instance of a cunning and villainous wolf that would be repeated in various stories.
* BigDamnHeroes: "A villainous wolf preying on old women and little girls? This looks like a job for WOODCUTTER MAN!"
* BittersweetEnding: In some versions, the wolf eats the Grandma but the girl manages to escape.
* BluffTheImposter: In some of the earliest versions (before even the Perrault version) the protagonist ''does'' see through the disguise after he convinces her to get into bed with him, and she manages to save herself by complaining to her "grandmother" that she needs to defecate and would not wish to do so in the bed. The wolf reluctantly lets her go, tied to a piece of string so she doesn't get away. However, the girl slips the string over something else and runs off.
* BringMyRedJacket: Clearly there's something about the color red that connects it to dangerous situations.
* CharacterDeath: Some variations have Little Red escape but still bump off poor Granny. In other versions, they both die. In still other versions, they both escape but the woodcutter kills the wolf.
* CompositeCharacter:
** The Goodtimes version of the Wolf is a composite of himself and any benefactors Little Red met in other versions as the Wolf disguised himself as them and the true ones never appeared.
** In many modern depictions, the wolf in this story and the one in ''Literature/TheThreeLittlePigs'' is the same character.
* CreepyCrossdresser: Straight in most versions of the tale with the Wolf. ''Hoodwinked'' provides a different idea by having him wear a Granny Puckett apron costume.
* DamselInDistress: The various versions of Red have this trouble around the Wolf. Other versions get Red into this trouble with other things, [[WesternAnimation/{{Hoodwinked}} like evil rabbits and cable cars packed with dynamite]].
* DamselOutOfDistress: Some versions show Red escaping on her own, usually with guile.
* DeusExMachina: The woodsman in the Grimm version shows up out of nowhere and has no characterization beyond saving the day.
* DownerEnding: Perrault's version ends with both Red and her grandmother eaten.
* FanDisservice: The wolf has Little Red strip in some versions. Disservice on account of she's usually portrayed as very young and because these versions often have the DownerEnding.
* FinalGirl: Likely the TropeCodifier, if only subconsciously.
* ForbiddenFruit:
** In the Grimm verisions and many of the later versions, Red is warned about leaving the trail and talking to strangers but steps off anyway. [[note]] "obey your parents" was considered a better moral for children's stories than "avoid seducers and rapists.") [[/note]]
** ''Hoodwinked'', a 2006 adaptation, references this with Red telling the Wolf, "I'm not supposed to talk to strangers," although in this case she probably means not talking to strangers who are clearly trying to unsettle her.
* FracturedFairyTale: Thanks to its [[SmallReferencePools immediate recognizability]], this is a favorite tale for fracturing in just about every possible way. Popular twists include making the story HotterAndSexier, turning Red into LittleRedFightingHood, making the wolf StupidEvil, playing up [[IdiotHero how stupid Red is]] to not recognize her "granny" is the wolf, doing anything involving [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent Werewolves]], or mangling the whole thing with PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad. [[OlderThanTheyThink Ironically, some of these are more reconstructing older versions than fracturing in historical context.]]
* GettingEatenIsHarmless: In some versions the wolf is killed and the grandmother, sometimes Red as well, emerges from its stomach, fine
* HeavySleeper: In some more modern versions of the story, the Wolf, immediately after eating Red and her Grandmother, settles down in Granny's bed and decides to take a nap. Generally these are the ones where Red is rescued, and of course the wolf somehow sleeps through a man breaking into the house, cutting his stomach open, filling it with stones, and sewing it back up again.
* IconicOutfit: A little girl in a red hooded cloak is ''immediately'' recognizable as coming from this story. To a lesser extent, the wolf in grandma's nightgown.
* ImAHumanitarian: In some versions of the tale the wolf tricks Little Red into eating some of Grandma's dead body, [[ForTheEvulz for shits and giggles]].
* InfantImmortality:
** Played straight in the more modern Grimm version where the young girl is rescued via DeusExMachina.
** Averted in Perrault where she is eaten.
* TheIngenue:
** In most versions, Little Red Riding Hood is too innocent to see harm in a wolf that speaks so politely.
** This is not the case in versions where she does a strip-tease after accidentally cannibalizing her grandmother.
* InTheHood: Red herself, hence her nickname.
* JustEatHim: The wolf opts to swallow his victims whole, for maximum rescuing potential.
* LadyInRed: The classic connection between red clothing and "look at me, I am hot, hot, hot!" informs many of the HotterAndSexier interpretations of the story.
* LighterAndSofter: The modern version of the story, which adds a happy ending and downplays the Freudian overtones.
* LittleDeadRidingHood: The Perrault version is {{Trope Namer|s}} and perhaps the origin of the red hood meaning blood and death.
* TheLostWoods: Granny lives in them and so Red has to travel into them. StayOnThePath or you'll find danger.
* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent: The Wolf is not really supposed to be a werewolf, but many modern versions of the story have recast it that way. That animated version might be one of the few not-werewolf versions.
** In earlier French versions, the wolf is called a "bzou" or "loup garou," which means werewolf. You see, the French were terrified of werewolves, even burning people at the stake for supposedly being one. Even Perrault makes clear that his wolf is a stand-in for a lecherous man, even if he prefers symbolism to shape-shifting.
* PaperThinDisguise: Even at close quarters, Red is at most merely suspicious of the wolf, even though he has not disguised himself further than putting on the old woman's clothes. Either Grandmother was hairy, Red was blind, or both.
** In ''WesternAnimation/{{Hoodwinked}}'', to fool Red, the Wolf wears a plastic Granny face mask, which hides his face and most of his ears (for the film, Granny is given a Marie Antoinette-esque hairstyle so that such a mask could be invented). This is what Red says when she's interviewed by Nicky Flippers:
-->'''Nicky Flippers:''' So this wolf, he was dressed as your grandmother?
-->'''Red Puckett:''' Yes.
-->'''Nicky Flippers:''' And you ''bought'' that?
-->'''Red Puckett:''' No. Not really.
** The reason why the ''Hoodwinked!'' version of Red ''doesn't'' buy the disguise is because she knows Granny's normal voice (as she makes two phone calls to Granny during the day - one from a payphone shortly before she discovers the break-in at Granny's store, and a second time through a telephone in Japeth's shack).
* PayEvilUntoEvil: The Huntsman and the Red Riding Hood can be pretty brutal when they punish the wolf. Given he tried to, and in several versions ''succeeded'' in devouring an innocent old woman, and trying to do the same to her granddaughter, one could hardly say it wasn't deserved.
* PersonWithTheClothing: The girl's name is taken from her iconic red cloak.
* PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad: Spoofed in ''Literature/PoliticallyCorrectBedtimeStories'' when Red Riding Hood chastises the "Woodchopper-Person" for being sexist and speciesist for "assuming that womyn and wolves canít solve their own problems without a man's help!"
** Though meant to be a parody, this version of Red isn't wrong; look no further then the pre-Perrault version of the story for a Red who can "solve [her] own problems without a man's help".
* PromotedToLoveInterest: In versions where the Wolf is turned into a werewolf, he's usually this to an [[AgeLift Age-Lifted]] Red.
* PunchClockVillain: In ''WesternAnimation/TheHuckleberryHoundShow'', Red and Granny were so upset at Huckleberry for trying to get involved they got him [[spoiler:arrested for this]] and after that the Wolf proposed the three of them would resume their routine.
* RuleOfSymbolism: There are lots of possible underlying meanings to the story, mostly to do with growing up and/or sex. The color of the girl's hood is usually given some significance -- even though subsequent collection of French folk tales found that it was a detail that Perrault added; the folk tales do not specify the color of the hood. A more likely symbol occurs in the regional variants that have her choose between a Path of Pins and a Path of Needles - girls learning to be young women were said to be "gathering pins," while needles had a definite sexual meaning (prostitutes would even indicate their profession by wearing needles in their sleeves).
* ScareEmStraight:
** Many versions of the story present AnAesop along the lines of "Always obey your parents" or "Don't talk to strangers"-- or you could be ''eaten by a wolf''.
** The original version (possibly) of the story is meant to be something like "A stranger could always be a predator of some sort".
** Some earlier French versions seem to be to beware werewolves; the French were genuinely paranoid on werewolves.
* {{Sequel}}: Creator/TheBrothersGrimm included a second tale, in which she is once again approached by a wolf; she hurries off down the trail, and immediately tells her grandmother about it when she arrives, and her grandmother therefore has them bar the door. When they do not let it in, it climbs on the roof to pounce when she leaves. The grandmother gives Little Red Riding Hood water in which sausages had been cooked and has her pour it out the window into a trough. The wolf, smelling the sausages, leaned over so far that it fell into the trough and drowned. After that, she had no more problems with creatures in the woods.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: In more child-friendly versions, the Wolf locks up the Grandmother in the closet and before he could eat Red, the Woodsman shows up and chases the Wolf out of the house.
* SwallowedWhole: The fate of Grandmother in most versions.
* TooDumbToLive: The eponymous character, who can't tell the difference between a wild animal and her own granny, which sometimes leads to her death. Some versions play with this by describing the wolf as a shapechanger or a werewolf, which might explain why it takes so long to realize the deception.
** The Bratz version of the story implied Little Red Riding Hood was merely trying to stall the wolf so that she could try to escape.
** One version penned by Creator/JamesThurber, averts it, where Red wasn't fooled at all because, quote, "Even in a nightcap a wolf looks about as much like your grandmother as the Metro Goldwyn Mayer lion looks like UsefulNotes/CalvinCoolidge." So she pulled a revolver out of her picnic basket and shot the wolf dead.
** ''Hoodwinked'' averted it with Red. It's clear she isn't buying the Wolf's disguise, which consists of a costume and a plastic face mask, and it looks as if the "What big [facial qualities] you have" lines are her attempting to trick him into removing his disguise.
** Then there's the version(s) where the wolf is a lycanthrope... and also, ''is'' the grandmother.
** In ''Discworld/TheWeeFreeMen'', Terry Pratchett observes, "... some girl who can't tell the difference between a wolf and her grandmother must either have been as dense as teak or come from an extremely ugly family."
** ''Hoodwinked'' also applies this trope to the Wolf and to Kirk: in that version, Kirk is [[TooIncompetentToOperateABlanket too incompetent to operate an axe]], and the Wolf chases Red's cloak, which visibly has no legs underneath it as hummingbirds are flying it.
* TooSmartForStrangers: Nope, she wasn't. It's often used as AnAesop.
* TwiceToldTale: The story has been told and retold (and [[FracturedFairyTale parodied]]) literally countless times. It's harder to find a collection of FairyTales that ''doesn't'' have this story in it somewhere.
* UnexplainedRecovery: "Swallowed by a wolf, eh? Well, you should both be fine. Just take it easy for a few days."
* AWolfInSheepsClothing: In this cases, Grandmother's clothing.
* YouCanLeaveYourHatOn: In some versions of the tale, the wolf instructs Little Red to strip off all her clothes one by one and throw them on the fire.