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In Real Life
people can turn pale when ill or shocked. In anime
they can go grayscale. These events are always played for comedy and characters once grayscale they can be unresponsive or completely frozen in place.
See also Blue with Shock
, an artistically different and most of the time less extreme version of this, common with Blank White Eyes
. Sister Trope
to Blank Face of Shame
. Compare Deliberately Monochrome
. Common side effect of a Corner of Woe
. Not to be confused with when the colors look wrong on something due to artistic oversight.
Anime and Manga
- Happens a lot◊ to Yato in the Noragami anime.
- Hidamari Sketch, Sae (and Hiro) do this when Yuno and Miyako first mention that Yoshinoya is their teacher.
- Yuno gets one when she gets the results of an English exam back.
- School Rumble: Harima does this after a rush to complete one of his manga, in a Shout-Out to a certain boxing anime.
- Azumanga Daioh: Poor Chiyo-Chan gets like this after one ride with Yukari, who Drives Like Crazy, and it basically shows that she's gone through a very traumatic experience. She goes white again the first time the "Yukari-mobile" gets mentioned after the aforementioned trip. Then, in the third year, Kaorin takes the ride and ends up similarly.
- Yukari does it when she is informed that she just effervesced into the wrong class.
- Kagura, upon realization that there are actually quite a few grades on the test that far surpass her own.
- After Minamo is reprimanded by Yukari, of all people, for interfering with the girls' studies, she sits in the corner with her knees to her chest and without color for the rest of the evening.
- K-On! shows this many times with Mio, and once with the entire band.
- Fruits Basket
- Kyouran Kazoku Nikki: Teika does it out of shock/surprise.
- Ouran Highschool Host Club: usually to Tamaki, but most of the characters have had one of these moments.
- One episode (the one with the Genre Savvy "reverse harem" girl) had all of them do this after she calls them so.
- FLCL: Parodied, as one character's strong emotions sends them through the whole rainbow of colors.
- Lucky Star: Hiyori whites out and slowly dissolves away after staying up all night to beat a deadline.
- And Anime Tencho turns Minoru white in a Lucky Channel segment. This is a pun, as a literal translation of "Shiraishi" is "Whitestone."
- The entire group of four main characters has a Mass "Oh, Crap!" version of this when Tsukasa asks why a certain dog command is called "chin-chin" (Chinese children's word for penis).
- Happens to Yuki and his sister and father in the Gravitation anime when Shuichi shows up in a hideous dress and makeup, pretending to be Yuki's fiancee.
- A Certain Magical Index: Index and Aisa do this (plus Thunder Rage) when Komoe starts happily talking about how Touma was a naughty boy, and how "various things" happened. "Another one?" "That bastard."
- Komoe-sensei gets another one (pictured above) when she sees her class wrecked after a fight.
- Soul Eater: When Excalibur arrives in the Death Room in episode 46, several seconds pass of Shinigami, Yumi and Spirit in color failure...until they turn back to normal and promptly resume their assessment of the ongoing mission, ignoring Excalibur's repeated statements of "Fool!".
- Earlier on in the series, Black*Star goes through this multiple times while trying to overcome a jar of water that sucks out your soul.
- Even earlier on in the series - more specifically, the first episode - Soul and Maka go through this after realizing that Blair's soul didnt turn Soul into a Death Scythe.
- This frequently occurs for comedic effect in the Mahoromatic series.
- At one point, Nako and Uruka of Steel Angel Kurumi 2 are being chased by a giant statue of Buddha. It Makes Sense in Context. Sort of.
- This happens to Taiga a few times in Tora Dora!, such as when she see her crush Kitamura naked. Also, all the boys in class 2C end up this way when the person who led their campaign to unite and outvote their competition on what to do for their school festival ruined the very same campaign by doing a lottery draw instead of majority vote.
- It happens to Itsuki in SHUFFLE! when the main character gets a higher test score than him.
- This happens a few times in Chrono Crusade. In one instance, Chrono does this when Rosette calls Sister Kate an "ugly old hag", in another Rosette does this when Chrono faints into Satella's breasts.
- Kurimu in Seitokai no Ichizon, lampshaded.
- Happens a lot in Ninin Ga Shinobuden, usually to Kaede.
- In Naruto, Sakura does this when Pakkun (a dog) notes that they both use the same shampoo.
- Keroro Gunsou has this happen to Dororo whenever he's driven to the Corner of Woe. It also happens to Keroro in episode 3 when he uses the "Space Plant Dreaming Alpha" to generate some pleasing hallucinations. The latter is lampshaded in the dub, when Tamama remarks that one of the side effects of the plant is "pigment loss".
- In the first episode of Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, Kaname exhibits this when Sousuke reveals that he took the gang leader's kid brother hostage to use as leverage against Kaname's own kidnappers.
- One Piece: When Garp reveals the uh... family circumstances of the Monkey family, then remarks he probably said a bit too much, he asks everyone to please forget what he just said, every marine there, the entire Straw Hat crew and everyone nearby simply freezes and goes white with shock.
- America in Axis Powers Hetalia after he finally gets a look at his own weight.
- Rozen Maiden has this happen when Suiseiseki steals Hina Ichigo's strawberry. Suiseiseki turns around and claims that Hina Ichigo stole from her. Cue Hina Ichigo turning white as Suiseiseki starts fake crying to gain sympathy.
- In some of its more comedic moments, the Pokémon anime does this often. One good example was when Marilyn (who's obsessed with cute Pokémon) didn't think Dawn's Piplup was cute. Piplup ended up pulling an example of this trope and staying like that for the rest of the scene.
- In Eureka 7, protagonist Renton not only suffers color failure, but emits a color failure field extending about a foot around his body when his crush's adopted children brutally cut down his "compatibility" with her - in front of her.
- In Nichijou it's standard fare for nearly everyone to get this, sometimes even combined with Blue with Shock.
- A common reaction of anyone who hears trivia from a mameshiba
- In Ore No Imōto Ga Konna Ni Kawaii Wake Ga Nai, Makabe, one of the game research club members, suffers a particularly brutal/hilarious one after Sena, one of the other members, blurts out that she has no trouble fantasizing about Yaoi, and then says that she dreamt about Makabe getting gang-raped by the entire club the night before. While it shocks the entire club upon hearing that, poor Makabe turns completely white, and a few scenes later, still hasn't recovered from it.
- Every time Gilbert sees a cat in Pandora Hearts.
- Oz gets one after Elliot spoils him on his favorite book.
- Daily Lives of High School Boys
- The boys' reaction when Mei finds Tadakuni using her skirt (plus a few other items) in High School Boys and Skirts.
- Again in Episode 2 when Tadakuni and Yasunori discover Nago can look pretty in a convex mirror.
- Yanagin discovered in High School Girls are Funky — Ramen that NAGO didn't even knew it was her who was making a duel—despite winning over Yanagin twice.
- This also happens in the Fairy Tail anime, sometimes with blue lines coming out of the characters who turned white.
- At the end of episode 3 of New Dominion Tank Police, Britain ends up like this. What should've been his Crowning Moment of Awesome for pulling off a very difficult shot with his revolver turns into this when he ends up centimeters from being run over by a huge truck. He'd been literally scared stiff.
- Ore Shura: When Masuzu tells Eita that she likes him, he turns white, followed by the entire class.
- Haiyore! Nyarko-san: In episode 7, when Mahiro tells Nyarko "I don't like you", she collapses on the beach, turning white and muttering Madness Mantras straight out of the Cthulhu Mythos. After Mahiro is convinced to apologize and take Nyarko on a date, she starts invoking this trope deliberately to get him to do certain things with her (though he draws the line when she tries to drag him into a sex museum, even saying "Turning white's not going to work this time!")
- Hunter × Hunter: Hisoka, of all people, gets this upon finding out that Chrollo, his target, could not use Nen due to Kurapika's Judgement Chain. All after stripping his shirt (and false tattoo) and getting pumped up with Nen, ready to fight.
- In Bakuman。, there are a few examples.
- When Hattori sees the main characters' designs for shonen heroes, and says "These all suck!"
- When Mashiro and Takagi are meeting with Miura to discuss what to do after hearing that Detective Trap got cancelled. Miura takes note of it and suggests that it's too soon for them to make a decision.
- In the Girls und Panzer manga, Yukari has this reaction when she overhears that Miho will be disowned if she does not win against Pravda.
- In Negima's Gag Series, Ayaka and Makie have a Running Gag, wherein if Makie is even slightly less bubbly than normal, Ayaka will call her out on it and say she fails at "being Makie!" Makie goes white with shock and a big, stone-textured "CRUSHED" in Japanese falls on her head. She stays this way for the scene and everyone else ignores it, whether by themselves or when someone else prompts them to.
- The Hair Bear Bunch: In the adaptation of the TV episode "Raffle Ruckus" (issue #4, Nov. 1972), Botch observes that Peevly always turns chameleon green whenever the superintendent calls.
- Five Hundred Days Of Summer has an epic one. It also doubles as a Heroic BSOD.
- Bandit Queen has a scene which washes out to nearly all white during a scene with the Queen exacting some revenge on the Thakur.
- This is generally the effect of the arsenal of the Blue Meanies in Yellow Submarine.
- A Bug's Life featured a variation of this: Whenever Molt is frightened, his exoskeleton will turn white and fall off his body.
- In Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, one retired officer forgets the name of the Green Ranger, who is immediately shown black and white and crouching in the Corner of Woe.
- In the first episode of Merlin, the villain kills a maidservant by draining the life out of her, resulting in this.
- Father Ted:- Bishop Len Brennan immediately after being kicked up the arse.
- In Supernatural, the victims of the reaper have their eyes and skin turn gray as their life is drained in "Faith".
- Samson from Destiny Fails Us loses his color when he embarrasses himself in front of Lily.
- El Goonish Shive
- Nanase does this twice after discovering that Ellen knows that it's her who picked out Ellen's outfit for the party. She had been a bit bolder than she might otherwise be when choosing Ellen's outfit because she assumed it would just be blamed on Susan. Finding out that wasn't the case was a bit embarrassing.
- Shortly afterwards it happens to Tedd, when he learns the party theme was for his benefit, and Grace is now blaming herself for not realizing he wouldn't be comfortable.
- In another arc, Tedd goes white with shock when he discovers that the man who had been hitting on him earlier was straight, and thought he was a girl. Previously, he had simply assumed that the guy was gay.
- The normally tough Aeris from VG Cats has a color failure when she looks at Donkey Kong for too long.
- Rhea from Slightly Damned does this sometimes. Looks perfectly justified.
- Herbert from Sinful constantly suffers from Color Failure, usually when he's just been hit by the Clue Bat.
- Poharex becomes pale after accidentally activating his healing power for the first time. He then passes out, as using this power had exhausted his energy.
- .:Sandbox:.: Yosie has one of these in the first Spam Dump.
- Used and even lampshaded in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic when Discord corrupts the protagonists into acting in ways opposite to their respective Elements of Harmony (e.g. Applejack begins telling Blatant Lies).
- Pinkie Pie's color becomes desaturated whenever she reverts to her depressed "Pinkamena" personality.
- In the pilot, Princess Luna's colors, after reverting from her Nightmare Moon form, are more muted than in her later appearances. According to Lauren Faust, this was due to her being reborn with low magic levels. However, when she surrenders her magic to Twilight in the Season 4 finale, her colors remain unchanged.
- Teen Titans: Raven does this when beaten in a game of chess. Her opponent, Cyborg, had recently had an upgrade.
- In the 1947 Tex Avery cartoon Lucky Ducky, during one chase scene the two hunters and the duck they're chasing run past a "Technicolor Ends Here" sign, beyond which everything instantly turns monochrome. It takes them a couple of seconds to notice this.
- The 1956 Looney Tunes short The Slap-Hoppy Mouse features Sylvester losing his black coloration after being mildly surprised to see the baby kangaroo in the basement (where he expected a mouse). This also happens when he encounters the same kangaroo in "Cats A-Weigh".
- Edd went monochrome simply by smelling a piece of rotten cheese.
- Optimus Prime turns charcoal gray upon death in Transformers: The Movie, Transformers Headmasters, and Transformers Animated. Starscream in Transformers: The Movie does as well, after Galvatron incinerates him with a blast from his plasma cannon mode.
- Transformers Prime references this, when Megatron ponders when Optimus will "fade to gunmetal gray" as he's dying.
- He does upon dying from his wounds from the assault on the base in Jasper.
- In The Amazing World of Gumball, this happens to Mr. Small whenever he hears Tina Rex's name. The color from his tye-die shirt doesn't just disappear, it flows in liquid form in a puddle around his ankles, combining it with another trope entirely.
- Darwin and Anais experience color failure when being driven around by Richard in "The Bumpkin", with the color splattering on the walls of the car and them picking it back with their hands when getting out.
- In the Ben 10: Omniverse episode "Special Delivery", Psyphon sees Toepick's hideous face and is reduced to a whimpering mess; turning completely white in the process.
- Anyone who sees Toepick's face seem to do this.
- In the Dungeons & Dragons episode "Valley of the Unicorns," the unicorns suffer this when their horns are stolen.
- In The Smurfs episode "Smurfette's Dancing Shoes", Grouchy turns completely white when he falls victim to a harmless trap in Dreadful Hollow without realizing it.