[[quoteright:320:[[VideoGame/ExitFate http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/purpledarkness_small_4628.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:320:Interesting shadow you got there.]]
->''(AN: isn't it weird nearly all darkness spells are either pink or purple instead of, you know, black?)''
-->--''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/2676080 John Hammond: Revenge Of Darkness]]''

Much like HollywoodDarkness, purple is often used as a stand-in for black in comics and animation. This is predominantly because purple is easier to shade quickly and thus give the appearance of three-dimensionality; solid black objects in animation (and theoretically, RealLife) would lack contours and look very flat.

In regard to character design, pseudo-purple hair is popular for similar reasons. It also makes a character more recognizable from a copyright standpoint. Characters who fall under the DarkIsNotEvil trope are occasionally depicted this way too, to perhaps subconsciously suggest they aren't stereotypically evil.

In older comics, blue was used because it was one of the basic pigment colors and thus inexpensive (and because HollywoodDarkness is generally blue-tinted). This has led to some mixed messages over whether (for example) Nightcrawler's fur or Spider-Man's pants are ''blue'', or if they're ''black'' in the same way Superman's hair is black (despite having blue highlights).

As far as reality is concerned, this trope induces a lot of FridgeLogic, since violet is the most energetic part of the visible light spectrum.[[note]]Though violet is the color that the human eye is least sensitive to.[[/note]] The explanation, however, is that this is actually ''why'' purple and [[OrangeBlueContrast blue]] are perceived as black: more energetic hues of light get to places and reflect on surfaces other hues cannot, giving deep shadows a disproportionate amount of blue-violet lighting. See Analysis page for the full MindScrew that is the representation of black with colors that are not black, and the science of why this is TruthInTelevision.

Compare HairColorDissonance, YouGottaHaveBlueHair, PurpleIsPowerful, EvilWearsBlack (which can overlap with this trope).


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* A couple examples in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''.
** Yumichika's hair in the anime looks like a mix between dark blue and purple with a red-streaked lock. Really, it's just the light making it look that way.
** Uryu has navy blue hair in the anime, but, again, it's the lighting making it look that way.
* Osamu's hair in ''Manga/BokuraNoHentai'' looks blue but the dialogue implies it's supposed to be black.
* [[ValuesDissonance Infamously]], Cyborg 008 in ''Manga/{{Cyborg009}}'' was colored with pitch black skin in the manga, which was then rendered as a very visible ''purple'' in the 1979 anime adaptation. Made even stranger by the fact that other black characters in the adaptation appeared with varying shades of brown skin, and that the '60s anime works had also colored his skin brown.
* Inverted in ''Anime/DigimonTamers'', in which Sakuyamon, [[HolyHandGrenade who is based off a miko]], has a purple light power. The darker Virus types are more associated with red.
** Beelzemon (a [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils Demon Lord]] Digimon) from the same series shoots large darkness purple blasts from his [[{{BFG}} Blaster]] when in Burst Mode, his Blaster also is [[ArmCannon integrated to his arm]].
** In general, if something black needs to "glow", like [[InstantRunes magic circles]], or as Beelzemon's "darkness blasts" above, it'll be purple.
* Takasugi Shinsuke from ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'', who is a [[SpacePirates Space Pirate]] and definitely not a WellIntentionedExtremist, has a purple Kimono.
* In some parts of the series, Misaki in ''Maid-sama!'' looks like she either has purple or black hair. The lighting for the episode changes so much, you could argue for either being her hair color.
* In the manga of ''RevolutionaryGirlUtena'', Anthy's hair is black, while it's purple in the TV series and movie.
* In the anime of ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', the uniforms of the Oniwabanshuu/the Oniwaban Group have been colored purple. The original manga was bichromatic, and Watsuki's coloring has been...startlingly inconsistent. The fans who wonder will probably never know whether the Oniwaban uniforms actually ''were'' purple, or if that was just a choice made by the animators to avoid the pitfalls of animating black.
* In ''Franchise/SailorMoon'', Hino Rei is noticeably native Japanese (even though all but Aino Minako supposedly ''are''), with long black hair -- highlighted purple -- and a distinct epicanthic fold. This is very notorious since she is supposed to represent [[YamatoNadeshiko classical Japanese beauty]] which consists in [[RavenHairIvoryskin pale skin and black hair]]. On the other hand, Chiba Mamoru's hair is often straight black, but when highlighted, tends to be highlighted blue.
** [[MentorMascot Luna]] also shows this, she is a black cat but in colored artwork and animation is bluish purple.
** And [[{{Moe}} Hotaru Tomoe]], her hair is also [[EeriePaleskinnedBrunette supposedly black to contrast with her white skin]] but it has blue highlights.
* The Moon Empress in ''Manga/{{Yaiba}}'' has her hair and PlayboyBunny outfit shaded violet.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* There is some debate over whether or not SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker originally wore a purple or black suit.
** Regardless, the purple suit is now iconic and has been used throughout comics and by actors as varied as Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Mark Hammill's versions of the Joker.
** Famed artist Alex Ross subscribes to the theory that the Joker's suit was originally intended to be black with purple highlights, so that his chalk-white face would stand out as much as possible. Accordingly, pretty much all of Ross' (colored) drawings of the Joker feature him in black instead of the widely-accepted purple.

* In Greg Howell's LightOnShatteredWater, the parallel dimension's sentient inhabitants have evolved from great cats, rather than from apes. This has many implications. One of them is that they perceive colour differently from humans - to them, most dark colours are simply black.
* Inverted in [[http://www.tolkiengateway.net/w/images/1/19/Ted_Nasmith_-_Nazg%C3%BBl_at_the_Walls.jpg this depiction of Gandalf]] from ''TheLordOfTheRings''. Considering his sthick as [[spoiler:the White]] is [[LightEmUp light]]...
** Also averted in [[http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/File:Ted_Nasmith_-_The_Light_of_Valinor_on_the_Western_Sea.jpg this other painting]], depicting the Light of Valinor. The purple light actually does a pretty damn good job at contrast with the darkness.
* In ''Literature/TheQuestOfTheUnaligned'', the Darkness-based powers of the hosheks are generally described as purple, though mostly when dealing with luminous objects (fires, lightning bolts, etc.). On the other hand, Darkness-touched moss is also purple.

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* An interesting variation, coupled with DarkIsEvil: when Thunderstorm begins his plot to TakeOverTheWorld in ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'', the Earth is enveloped in purple.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/BabylonFive'': Ulkesh's (Kosh II's) encounter suit is purple... and he is definitely a [[DomesticAbuser less]] [[KnightTemplar pleasant]], [[DarkerAndEdgier darker]] Vorlon than the (orange-clad) Kosh [[spoiler: we knew]].
* In ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'', this goes for both the Joker and the Skull Memories, as well as their respective Riders: while the costumes are predominantly black (Joker has purple elements, while Skull adds white), their attacks glow with purple.
* In ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' and ''Franchise/PowerRangers'', Black Rangers tend to have purple motifs in their costumes, energy weapons (particularly noticeable when [[PowerGlows they glow]]), and the like.
** Of particular note is Wolzard of ''Series/MahouSentaiMagiranger''/Koragg the Knight Wolf of ''Series/PowerRangersMysticForce'', a BlackKnight in purple armor.
** But averted in that the rare Violet Ranger will never be mistaken for a Black Ranger and vice-versa - ''Series/ZyudenSentaiKyoryuger'' even had both colors in its roster.

* In Wicca and other neopagan circles, the fifth element, Spirit, is basically described as [[TheSacredDarkness darkness]], being defined by emptiness. It is portrayed most often as either black or purple.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Bakugan}}'' of the Darkus element are colored black and purple.
* Shows up in some ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' art related to Black cards. For instance, some [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=157889 varieties]] of [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=8331 Swamps]] have purple colors. This is largely to give them ''some'' color, as purple isn't claimed by any of the others. Inverted, however, with some old card catalogs; Red, Blue, Black, and Green card names are all printed in their respective colors, but White is printed as purple (since, obviously, printing it as white would be problematic).
** Frequently inverted in regard to White cards; several White spells are seen emiting a purple light.
** Especially notable in the Theros block, where the [[LivingDream Nyxborn]] Enchantment Creatures have a border that is a lighter shade of the normal color, flecked with stars. To make Black's, the entire card border is just outright purple.
* A strange variant with ''TabletopGame/TicketToRide'': In the physical tabletop version, the five player colors are red, blue, green, yellow, and black. But in any computer version of the game, black trains don't show up well on screen, so the fifth color there is purple.
* In the ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'' card game, "Dark" has a purple symbol. Earth, on the other hand, has a black symbol with white lettering--so maybe black is the new brown?

* Ravage, the stealthy jaguar whose colors traditionally are black with either red or yellow highlights, has recently been getting purple highlights on his figures. His abilities have always been explicitly shadow-based, and it seems like designers are taking it to the next level.
* Toy versions of Spider-Man's black costume sometimes get this, as a pure black costume would be visually uninteresting and, apparently, toy designers get sick of blue highlights.
* Although the usage of shadow-based powers has been depicted more or less consistently as red in media, ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}}'''s Shadow Kraata were still purple colored. Also, in the line's early run and the 2015 reboot, purple is a secondary color for the usually black Earth element characters.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''WebVideo/TheIrateGamer'', the [[EvilTwin Evil Gamer]] creates an army of MechaMooks based on the HAL-9000 from ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' (whose A.I. resides in a UsefulNotes/MagnavoxOdyssey). All of the robots have purple eyes, with the exception of the red-eyed head robot known as R.E.D. (Robotic Electromat Device).
* ''{{WebAnimation/RWBY}}'': Blake mostly dresses in black, but [[LittleBitBeastly her cat ears]] are indigo-furred.
* LampShaded by Yami Yugi in episode 61 of the YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries where he constantly points out the "Shadow Realm" is more purple than Black.
-->'''Melvin:''' Swiggity-Swaggo Realm, say hello to the Shadow Realm!
-->'''Yami:''' You know, it's really more of a Purple Realm than a Shadow Realm.
-->'''Melvin:''' Since I'm about to end you, Pharaoh--
-->'''Yami:''' Shadows aren't really known for being purple.
-->'''Melvin:''' SILENCE!
-->'''Yami:''' I'm just sayin'.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In VideoGame/AgeOfMythology, the "Evil Clouds" are purple and black, and BigBad Kronos has the same color smoke rising off of him. His minion also shapeshifts in a puff of purple-black smoke.
* In ''VideoGame/BreathOfFire2'', Nina's "cursed" black wings appear purple in her in-game sprite.
* In the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series, dark-attuned attacks and sometimes weapons are dark purple. Prominent examples include the "Dark" series of spells and the Dark Knight's signature Soul Eater ability. Gravity spells are usually black, but occasionally are purple too.
** All over the place in the ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' expansion ''Wings of the Goddess''. Most prominent in the Spitewardens, who wear purple versions of [[NiceHat Red]] [[BadassInANiceSuit Mage]] artifact armour, though we also see it in [[EvilIsSexy Lady Lilith]] and [[spoiler: [[EldritchAbomination Atomos]]]].
*** One story quest which involves fighting one of the aforementioned Spitewardens is literally called 'Purple is the new Black'.
** ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'', Golbez and Cecil's darkness attacks, Sephiroth's Shadow Flare, and Terra's Graviga, are all purple and black. Golbez and Cecil cross into TechnicolorFire with Dark Flame and Rising Wave, which create pillars of purple flame. Played with with the Cloud of Darkness, her void and darkness-based beam attacks are most prominently red. ''Some'' of them are purple, but it's more a bright violet rather than the dark purple the other examples mentioned show up as.
* The ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' series as a whole depicts Dark magic as a mix of black and purple, at least from the GBA era onward. Most playable Dark users - [[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe Sophia, Raigh, Niime, Canas]], [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones Knoll]], and [[FireEmblemAkaneia Etzel]] - wear a shade of purple or have purple hair. And in a literal example of purple being the new black, tomes of dark magic (which, in all of the other games, had black covers) have purple covers in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening''.
* In ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'', this is usually not used (green, red, or even yellow are more used), but Hades' Claws have a distinct violet glow.
* Dark Eco in ''VideoGame/JakAndDaxter'' has a noticable purple tint, and [[SuperPoweredEvilSide Dark Jak]] has purple lightning sparks shooting out of him. Interestingly, Dark Jak himself is bluish-gray, as are Gol and Maia. The [[EldritchAbomination Dark Makers]] are completely purple-black, though.
* The power of darkness in the ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' series is either represented as purple or red when it isn't just straight black.
* Stern's Barrier Jacket in the ''VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable'' is shown in official art to be black, but for her in-game model, it was given a dark purple hue.
* In the ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' series, a lot of characters and objects associated with darkness wear purple or are colored purple; [=DarkMan=], [=ShadeMan=], Dr. Regal ([=BN5=]) and his henchmen, most DS Navis, [=DarkMega=] (in [=BN5=], he's the regular [=MegaMan=] with a purple tint while his [[Anime/MegaManNTWarrior anime]] counterpart has [=MegaMan=]'s outfit colored purple), Dark Chips, Nebula Grey, and [=EraseMan=], to name a few.
* ''[[VideoGame/MetroidPrime Metroid Prime 2: Echoes]]'' brings the purple blob-shooting Dark Beam that can [[FreezeRay freeze enemies]] with charged shots. [[DarkWorld Dark Aether]] is visually a copy of Light Aether, but darker and purplier. Not to mention the dark purple Ing and the purple-colored doors that require said Dark Beam to open them.
** In earlier stages of the game, the unique damage received from exposure to Dark Aether's takes the form of purple circles.
* The Shadow Sirens and Shadow Queen of ''PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' appear a fairly dark purple.
* [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig-zagged]] in the ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' games: some Dark-type moves are purple, even though the icon for the Dark type is black, with purple being used for the Ghost type. Likewise, a standard Shadow Pokémon has a black-purplish aura when detected. A Shadow Pokémon caught in Hyper or Reverse Mode has a blood-red aura instead.
** Gen 1 has an, ahem, interesting example of this. The original designers for Jynx gave her black skin, big lips, and blonde hair, but because people thought it was racist towards black people, they gave her purple skin instead.
* In the ''VideoGame/PuyoPuyo'' series, Feli, the [[YouCantFightFate dousing- and tarot-obsessed]] [[ElegantGothicLolita Gothic lolita-clad]] girl, and Klug, the [[{{Jerkass}} incredibly smug]] [[MrExposition know-it-all]] [[NerdGlasses spectacle-fancying]] [[BadassBookworm bookworm]] both wear purple, [[PurpleIsPowerful possibly to signify their confidence in their magic powers]]. Somehow, [[IrrationalHatred the two fight *very* often]].
* As the page quote points out, the Black Chronicle of ''VideoGame/RadiantHistoria'' appears purple.
* Shadow-based weaponry and attacks in ''VideoGame/SpiralKnights'' are typically purple.
* In the GBA (and some DS) VideoGame/SuperRobotWars games, many units intended to be black (most notably MazingerZ and it's relatives) were either purple or nonexistent (in the case of the Astranagant), allegedly due to the GBA not displaying black properly. However, these were alongside the [[Lightnovel/FullMetalPanic M9 Gernsback]] and Gespenst S, which were light grey but still usable enough to be black. Especially considering the Mazingers had perfectly fine black in their cut-ins.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' does have a black Shadow, but the logo of his power is purple, though still represented with pitch black half the time.
* ''{{Terraria}}'' uses purple to denote the shadow like theme of TheCorruption, even the craftable Shadow Armor is purple (of course, armor dye can make it black if you wish).
* Bafflingly, Venom was colored purple in ''VideoGame/UltimateSpiderMan''.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Miku's hair in ''VisualNovel/AProfile'' is called black, but it clearly has some shade of purple. On the cover and in the introduction, it's a fairly bright purple, but apart from that, it tends to be grayish purple instead.
* Shin Kuroi in ''{{Morenatsu}}'' is supposed to be a black cat, but his fur is always shown as purple.

[[folder:Other - Real Life]]
* Very common in dyed hair, while black hair has always been very fashionable, is also extremely common, so many people dye their hair with special dyes that add colored highlights under certain lighting conditions, with purple and other bluish colors being the most common.
** [[http://theoryhairsalon.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/purple2.jpeg Here's a subtle example]], and [[http://frisurenneuen.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/7c468__punk-chic-purple-highlights-with-bangs.png this is a more notorious one]].
* Minzy from Music/{{2NE1}} had purple streaks in her hair in the music video for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuNbqWQt0l0 "Clap Your Hands."]]