"It isn't the scarlet sash and the fancy hat that makes you a commissar, it's the way you wear them."A subtrope of both Nice Hat and Bling of War. A large, high peaked cap similar to those worn by Banana Republic dictators. The trope namer is Warhammer 40,000, with Commissars wearing such caps.note This headgear surely makes the wearer look badass in an authoritarian sense of the word. Sometimes decorated with elaborate silver or gold designs on the visor and/or the front of the crown, nicknamed "scrambled eggs" by military folks; the stereotypical Banana Republic leader's cap has so much of these that you can barely see the color of the actual cap underneath. Sometimes, especially if the cap in question is black with silver piping, it's Putting on the Reich, as S.S. Nazi officers were also fond of them. See also Bling of War, Nice Hat. Often worn by The Generalissimo and sometimes The Political Officer.
— Ciaphas Cain note
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Anime & Manga
- Forte in Galaxy Angel.
- Chiri Kitsu in an episode of Zoku Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, when she subjects the teachers and other students to surprise inspections in order to catch them unprepared.
- Chocolat from Sorcerer Hunters wears one of these (and little else) when she's in "combat mode".
- Washizaki from Riki-Oh, the inspiration for Vega/M.Bison in Street Fighter in Video Games.
- Kanako Watanabe of Star Driver wears one of these as part of her Glittering Crux outfit.
- Russia in Axis Powers Hetalia wears one occasionally.
- Bleach: Bambietta wears one, Putting on the Reich style.
- Mako's Goku Uniform in Kill la Kill includes one as a parody of Japanese Delinquents.
- These are part of the Amestrian military dress uniform in Fullmetal Alchemist.
- Jotaro Kujo wears the front half of a cap like this.
- In A Small Crime, the character Kit wears a black peaked cap.
- In the Mass Effect fanfic series Uplifted Hanala seems to enjoy stealing Hoch's cap. Rundstedt forces SS officer Joachim Hoch to give his hat to his granddaughter as a form of humiliation, telling him that he is not a real officer. Rommel seems to have a tendency to fiddle with his.
Films — Live-Action
- M. Bison (played by Raul Julia) wears one in Street Fighter, and turns out to have a private hat rack with several variations on it next to the paintings of himself and such. To further stress the Putting on the Reich aspect, the metal Shadaloo symbol on the front looks rather eerily like a mix between the Nazi "Reichsadler" and the SS "Totenkopf" motif.
- One is part of the regalia of Paradorian President-For-Life Alphonse Simms in Moon over Parador. Richard Dreyfuss wears it with a jaunty tilt that makes it much less impressive.
- Frantic. Michelle wears one when she first meets the protagonist played by Harrison Ford, along with a black leather jacket.
- The Great Dictator. Charlie Chaplin lampoons Adolph Hitler and wears a wonderful Commissar Cap with a XX logo in place of the swastika.
- Seems to be part of the Star Fleet dress uniform in Star Trek Into Darkness. Particularly visible in the gathering at the end of the film.
- In Lord of War many Red Army Ukrainian officers wear them.
- In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel His Last Command, when Ludd is sent to get troops to the battlefield, he loses his cap getting there — across the battlefield — and their first question for him when he said he was a commissar was to ask where his hat was. (He gets them to the battlefield anyway.)
- Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!!!) wears one, and he does it with style, as page quote states.
- Say it with us now: Cowardly Commissar Ciaphas Cain Contains his Coiffure in a Commissar Cap!
- In Honor Harrington, the Grayson Space Navy's uniforms seem to be modeled after the US Air Force, so naturally they have these, complete with gold oak leaves and lightning bolts. It's stated that they seem to weigh at least 3 kilograms and cause the title character to feel like "some comic-opera costumer's idea of a prespace military dictator".
- Every Warhammer 40,000 book that contains a commissar will mention the cap from Steve Parker's Rebel Winter to Andy Hoare's appropriately named book Commissar.
- The original pilot for Star Trek alluded to this; in Captain Pike's cabin, sitting on top of the captain's television set, is a forage cap. It's never seen in use, and was never seen in the Original Series (aside from a glimpse in the two-parter that made use of footage from the pilot.)
- Illya Kuryakin donned one in an episode of The Man From Uncle; appropriate for a former Soviet officer.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- As noted above, the Commissars. Arguably a case of Putting on the Reich as well, as many commissars tend to wear black hats with skulls and eagle wings prominently displayed on the front. Does This Remind You of Anything? indeed. Commie Nazis IN SPACE! Catholic Commie Nazis IN SPACE!
- Commissar Ciaphas Cain would, on the whole, prefer a helmet. Funnily enough, due to the composition of the plastic kits regular officers wearing helmets appear to outnumber officers wearing peaked caps.
- Orks often take to stealing and wearing them, as they instinctively recognize both the cap's snazziness and the fact that it belongs to the highest-ranking 'umie (orks having difficulty with every other species in the galaxy not applying the concept of Large and in Charge).
- The Commissar's Helm in Warhammer Online can only be accessed by entering a code found in copies of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, making them Revenue-Enhancing Devices.
- Naturally, some of the Soviet Officers in the Command & Conquer: Red Alert Series wears these.
- Victor Sopot, the dictator of the Commonwealth in Red Faction II wears one and Alias briefly wears it after finally capturing him.
- M. Bison from Street Fighter is never seen without his hat, except in one DLC costume. To further stress the Putting on the Reich aspect, the metal Shadaloo symbol on the front looks rather earily like a mix between the Nazi "Reichsadler" and the SS "Totenkopf" motif. And now Cammy has one, as of her second DLC costume.
- One of the many hats in Team Fortress 2 is the Team Captain, which is nearly identical to M. Bison's hat. The in-game description even lampshades this with a reference to the Street Fighter cartoon.
Our lawyers said "YES! YES!"
- General Ahkboob from Total Carnage ("You suck at this game.")
- "Colonel Red" (Smash Daisuke) from Gunstar Heroes.
- Brocken from World Heroes.
- The end boss of Final Fight 3, Something something Black. Who attacks you with a Riding crop.
- Sturm in Advance Wars. Greyfield from Days of Ruin also has one.
- Ace Combat
- Worn by General, Colonel, and other Repliforce soldiers in Mega Man X4. Colonel's sister Iris wore a beret. A less blatant one is worn by recurring character Signas.
- Mega Man X: Command Mission's Redips wears one similar to Signas. Appropriate, considering his similar post.
- Omen Deng in Alpha Protocol rocks the Commissar look, and combined with his Badass Cape, it is awesome.
- Hogs of War: Fully promote a pig to the Hero rank, and they get one of these hats.
- Worn by Crow in Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon.
- Salvatore in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice wears a black one.
- Raidou Kuzunoha of Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army and Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon wears one of these at all times, even when in the bath.
- The Chapeau of High Inquisitor Sally Whitemane in World of Warcraft. With a little luck, it can be yours.
- Major Rezner of the Eisengrad Army wears one in MS Saga: A New Dawn, along with a few other officers. It's always fun to have her finish off enemies with a Beam Pistol shot.
- Comrade Black, Big Bad of the de Blob games, has one that's as tall as he is. As do all his statues and his personal mech. He is careful not to lose it, even when he's been stripped of his resources, his military, and finally his clothes.
- Dawn of War: the commissar's portrait is half hat, half Judge Dredd-esque chin. When Commissar Anton Gebbet is killed by the invading orks in Dark Crusade, Warboss Gorgutz notes that he liked the hat, too bad it was lost along with his head.
- Members of the Terran Republic in PlanetSide 2 can purchase an enormous Commissar cap, complete with goggles wrapped around the brim. It can be complimented by using the "Commissar" title unlocked at Battle Rank 76. Eventually a much more restrained peaked cap was made available, like those in use by today's armies.
- The Battlecruiser's unit portrait in StarCraft, as well as Admiral DuGalle and Vice-Admiral Stukov of the fascistic United Earth Directorate.
- One 'mask' in Payday 2 is the General Overkill, a hat which happens to bear a great resemblance to M. Bison's hat.
- Girl Genius: Bangladesh Dupree.
- In Narbonic, Mell acquires one for a while when she takes over Madblood's moonbase.
- S.S.D.D: CORE officers are often shown wearing blue and red pointed caps (including Tessa in her first appearance). Anarchist "leaders" tend to prefer Shakos.
- Romantically Apocalyptic: Zee Captain boasts such a hat.
- The Nostalgia Critic wears one as part of his fancy uniform in the Kickassia anniversary special. and at the end, when N. Bison is removed from power, The Nostalgia Chick, Linkara, and Cinema Snob all fight over who gets the hat... and hence control of Kickassia. And 8-Bit Mickey!
- Depending on the drawfag the Anthropomorphic Personification of 4chan's /tg/ (traditional games) board will wear an exaggerated commissar hat like the ones in Warhammer 40,000 due to his (and by extension the board's) love of the series.
- Rocky and Bullwinkle:
- Rocky the Flying Squirrel would occasionally wear one while announcing a commercial break.
- It was certainly a must for Fearless Leader.
- The "Banana Republic" in DuckTales and Thembria in TaleSpin have people wearing these hats. Baloo wears one as well, albeit a less decorated one.
- Played straight in Real Life in the 1990s with Russians with Rusting Rockets and Russian cops. Unlike Reds with Rockets, they had these as part of uniform, though they were abolished in The New '10s, being replaced with smaller ones in the older Soviet style. Soviet officers did often have this kinds of caps as part of the dress uniform (hence the trope name), though Soviet caps were not quite as large as modern ones — it actually started in The '80s (duh!) as some sort of military chic, and the style eventually got popular with the brass in The New Russia, thus entering the regulations.
- An overview of Soviet uniform caps may be found here, showing civilian and military caps from various decades, with different designs—the collector's photos are widely copied for other websites.
- The 90es huge peaked caps were disliked among the Russian military, derisively known as "Pinochet caps". They were also a case of Sukhomlinov Effect, becoming larger and more fanciful as the Russian army weakened and grew underequipped and undertrained.
- As of recent years, Russian military funding has risen again, and coincidentally, they have adopted smaller caps lacking the double-headed eagle of the Russian federation and look similar to Soviet caps. The new Minister of Defence, Sergei Shoigu, brought his old EMERCOM hat, quite compact and soft, into Russian military fashion.
- Also note that as of The New '10s peaked caps are actually only worn with a dress and semi-dress uniforms in Russia. In the field, or even in garrison, but in undress uniforms, everyone wear the patrol cap almost identical to the US version.
- Across the world, this is a common feature of the uniform of high-ranking officers in the military and many civilian law-enforcement agencies in many Western nations have something like this as part of the uniform (or at least the dress uniform). In most of these cases, however, they tend to be smaller and a bit more modest than the stereotypical authoritarian model.
- On the other hand, during the Cold War, the US Armed Forces had larger-crowned caps than their Soviet counterparts, for reasons similar to above: American caps wear a large insignia on the crown, almost always some variation of the eagle of American heraldry, whereas Soviet caps almost always had a small, less obtrusive Soviet insignia the band (American caps also typically have thinner bands). This almost certainly was a large inspiration on the Russian Federation's placement of their own eagle on the crown of their new caps, and when the Russian military moved away from the American style, their caps shrunk accordingly.
- The hat worn by Royal Air Force officers is nearly a subversion of the trope. Small and with horribly bent edges that sag downwards, it harks back to the time that all RAF officers were pilots and their hats were much abused, normally stuffed away in some pocket and thus scuffed and worn. In all other words, a mess, and in contrast to the hats worn by other ranks which are rather smart.
- North Korea loves this trope to the bone
- If only in bad photoshops — the soldiers on the actual photo don't have that many medals, although they still do have the peaked caps.