troperville

tools

toys

Wiki Headlines
It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.

main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette

"Hair black like night, skin white as snow..."

The Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette is a character not just with mere brown hair and light skin, but hair as black as midnight and skin pale as a ghost — possibly because they are a ghost, though it's not required. This black and white complexion contrasts visually and is interesting to look at, serving as a cue to a high contrast or even duality about the character and setting them apart from their peers. And it's dirt common among villains, creepy characters (especially vampires), and Goths.

The reasoning why goes something like this: black is evil, blonde is good (usually); tanned is healthy, pale is sickly. Put them both together and you get the most common villainous complexion. It's enough to suggest a tanning bed to would-be world conquerors. Who knows? Maybe regular trips to the beach might dissuade the Omnicidal Maniac from his schemes?

Sometimes justified by Victorian Novel Disease, which practically codified the trope, hence its popularity in Gothic fiction.

That said, this is still something of an alignment neutral trope. On the Dark Is Not Evil side of the equation, there's the Goth, Trickster, and Anti-Hero. Still, some of the more memorable examples of this trope are the likes of The Vamp, Blood Knight, and Wicked Witch. Oddly enough, the Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette is hardly ever The Big Guy or a bruiser, as most villains with this complexion complement it with haggard, sleep deprived eyes and near starved frames, perhaps to send the message that evil takes a physical as well as moral toll. If they are on the side of good, though, they'll usually be of The Lancer or The Smart Guy type.

This is somewhat ironic, as Once Upon a Time, pale skin symbolized wealth and education, as the privileged could afford to work indoors rather than in the fields. (Also, it's very easy to tell if a pale person is sick; with a 'healthy tan', one can hide it more easily.) While a Discredited Trope for quite some time, the increased popularity of the "natural beauty" and "1950's pin-up" in modelling means that the attraction to pale skin and dark hair is lately coming back into fashion.

One thing worth noting is that, since only albinos can have pure white skin in Real Life (if you want to get really technical, they can't either, since the blood under their skin will tint it very slightly), having a character whose skin is literally milk-white may land them in the Uncanny Valley unless it's part of a highly stylised art style. Comics and cartoons have also been known to tint characters' skin tones pale green, or violet, blue, or grey, as a variation on this aesthetic. Even in live action, a yellowish, or "sallow", tinge is not unknown.

Counterpart to the Dark-Skinned Redhead and the Dark-Skinned Blonde. Very common among vampires. Often, these people look like Cesare, especially if they apply Excessive Evil Eyeshadow or have natural Creepy Shadowed Undereyes.

Compare and contrast Aloof Dark-Haired Girl, Raven Hair, Ivory Skin, and Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl. Also see But Not Too Black. Not to be confused with Undeathly Pallor.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Most of the Otherselves in Black★Rock Shooter, bordering on Undeathly Pallor.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei: Kiri Komori fits this trope pretty much to a T, being a Hikikomori who, by nature, doesn't go outside much.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Solf J. Kimblee, who has black hair and unhealthy-looking skin because of his prison time.
    • Izumi, though she has an incurable illness as an excuse.
    • Lust as most of the homunculi from the story.
    • The 2003 anime version also gives us Frank Archer, who has pure white skin that even the homunculi cannot compete with.
      • Sloth as well. She looks identical to Trisha except with darker hair. Her personality makes her this.
  • Death Note:
    • L who was was specifically designed to be unattractive. His appearance and behaviour were designed to contrast Light, who is Tall, Dark and Handsome.
    • Naomi Misora
    • Teru Mikami.
  • Yuuko Ichihara of XXX Holic. Most color illustrations depict the rest of the main cast as these, too. All the main characters have pasty skin and, sans Kohane, dark hair in the manga, due to the way the art was stylized. The anime and official crossover illustrations depict both Doumeki and Himawari with healthier complexions, but Watanuki and Yuuko both remain very pale.
  • Sunako from The Wallflower. The boys in charge of making her into a lady initially mistake her for Sadako thanks to the general aura of creepy she constantly emanates.
  • This is one of the indications that the titular character of Hell Girl is not of this world.
  • Rue of Princess Tutu, playing up the crow imagery around her.
  • Kuromitsu, the beautiful, immortal vampire from Kurozuka.
  • Sawako from Kimi ni Todoke, whose creepy looks have had her nicknamed Sadako. She's actually very nice, very naive, and really lonely (since her looks and her (mostly untrue) reputation tends to scare off potential friends).
  • Orochimaru of Naruto goes beyond simply having pale skin — his is flat-out white, paired with black hair. Sai, Itachi, and Sasuke are less pale, but they all contrast with Naruto, who is blond-haired and well-tanned. More heroic examples are Hinata and Neji Hyuga, although Neji starts out as a fatalistic Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy and Hinata is described as "gloomy" by Naruto (although he still has a positive opinion of her).
  • Hotaru Tomoe from Sailor Moon is a Creepy Child who has both a planet-destroying soldier spirit and a demon bent on bringing "silence" to the world sealed inside her. Despite all this, when depowered, she's just a sweet girl who is misunderstood due to her fainting states and creepy looks.
  • Tomoe in Rurouni Kenshin.
  • Alucard from Hellsing
  • Precia Testarossa of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, an Evil Matriarch of a Big Bad with an Incurable Cough of Death.
  • Saki Hanajima from Fruits Basket, complete with creepy goth tendencies and an unflattering reputation. Her younger brother Megumi is one of these too, and he's arguably even creepier than she is. Rin and Akito, both Broken Birds, also fit this trope.
  • Momoko of Saki. This, combined with her ~su Verbal Tic, her power to disappear from sight, and the black smoke effect used to portray those powers, makes her seem like a ghost.
  • Re-l Mayer from Ergo Proxy, whose pure white skin, pitch black hair, and liberal amounts of blue eyeshadow make her rather...striking.
  • Fiore from Chrono Crusade, an undead meido who works for the villains.
  • Bleach:
    • Ulquiorra Schiffer has bone-white skin and jet black hair and his colouring stands out from all other characters around him as a result. He's a symbol of nihilism and his lifeless pallor is part of his theme of not truly understand what it means to live.
    • Zaraki's idol Yachiru, the very first Kenpachi and founder of the 11th Division, was an Ax-Crazy Blood Knight whose viciousness in battle was something Zaraki aspired to emulate. In battle, her long hair flowed free and her face would take on an eerie expression that would switch from unnaturally detached to psychopathic depending on how the fight was progressing. However, in later years she became the 4th Division Combat Medic Captain Unohana, famed for her beauty in-universe and viewed as the perfect Yamato Nadeshiko, and who always kept her hair neatly bound. Word of God stated Unohana was Soul Society's most beautiful woman and that he wanted there to be a shocking contrast between the two faces of her personality.
  • D.Gray-Man has two heroic examples: Krory and Miranda.
  • Sebastian Michaelis from Black Butler.
  • Yuno Morino from Goth. The contrast of the scars on her wrists atop her pristine white skin is what drew the attention (and obsession) of the Nightmare Fetishist narrator.
  • The surreal OVA Radio City Fantasy involves an artist who is in love with his muse who fits this trope, her white skin and black hair being visually interesting to him.
  • Lelouch Lamperouge from Code Geass.
  • Death the Kid from Soul Eater. He's a nice enough if eccentric chap, but he does have black-and-white hair, slightly creepy yellow eyes, and comes across as more eerie than is the norm even for this series when he fights 'properly' or talks about gods, life, and death. And that's before you factor in his temporary insanity.
  • Emma from Victorian Romance Emma gives off vibes like this to those around her, which led a few men to court her, but is often considered aloof by her peers.
  • Shiki from Togainu no Chi has skin that's practically white and black hair. Were it not for his red eyes, in fact, he would have a very monochromatic appearance since he wears black all the time.
  • Nii Jenyi Ukoku from Saiyuki.
  • Hagoromo-Gitsune from Nurarihyon No Mago, as opposed to the Togainu no Chi example above, is monochromatic; she has black eyes, black hair, wears black serafuku with a white ribbon and has pale white skin that would make Snow White look tan.
  • Zeref from Fairy Tail, despite the fact that he's seemingly spent a very long period of time living outdoors in an area with a tropical climate, and ought to be well tanned.
  • Homura Akemi from Puella Magi Madoka Magica, notable compares on other casts who have healthy tan or blush. She's so pale her skin tone is closer to gray than mere white. Justified by her half a year hospitalization.
  • Mei Misaki from Another. We learn fairly quickly that she's rather nice.
  • The titular Blue Exorcist, Okumura Rin is this trope. More so in the manga than anime version, as the anime gave him some colour in his skin and changed his dark black hair into a navy blue. He also subverts the traditional not The Big Guy role as he's the strongest of the main cast.
  • K's Fushimi Saruhiko is extremely pale, bordering on gray actually, and has the dark hair to match. Misaki even comments on how unhealthy pale he is in a side story featuring their early life together.
  • Kagerou Project:

    Comic Books 
  • The Sandman:
    • Death and Dream of the Endless, though the former is a much cheerier Perky Goth to her brother's somber disposition. The Endless can change their appearance; Dream appears African to one of his Girlfriends.
    • Desire and Despair.
    • Averted with Delirium and Destruction. The former has pale skin but mercurial rainbow hair, while the latter is a hale looking redhead. With Destiny you can't really tell because of the hood.
  • The Bride of Nine Spiders from Immortal Iron Fist. Fittingly, her main power is the ability to summon hordes of spiders.
  • Ragamuffin from Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl.
  • Cassie Hack from Hack Slash. Probably best shown in a panel from Slice Hard Prelude, where she and the Acid Angel are staring each other down.
  • Spider-Man's foe Shriek.
  • Due to his blood disease Morbius was pale even before the scientific accident that transformed him into a living vampire, but after it it turned him outright creepy. The lack of melanin in his skin makes it pure white, while his hair has remained completely black.
  • H'el, the main antagonist from H'el on Earth. Flashbacks reveal that he wasn't always so pale, but how he got his current complexion is a mystery even to him.
  • Moon from Pocket God is a goth girl who is fascinated by death and likes doing fatal stunts for the thrill, knowing that she will always resurrect if she dies. Her paleness is especially noticeable because the other pygmies have dark skin.
  • Laura Kinney aka X-23 crosses this over with Raven Hair, Ivory Skin. She's most commonly drawn with black hair and very fair skin, and is often depicted as a goth. One of the other prostitutes in NYX specifically calls her "the creepy one" since no one knows her name, which certainly qualifies her for the "eerie" part.
  • Neena Thurman a.k.a. Domino from X-Force has dark hair and literally white skin.

    Fairy Tales and Folklore 
  • "Snow White": Back in the day, unnatural paleness was the epitome of feminine beauty, since tanned skin was associated with commoners who worked outside all day. Snow White looks gorgeous after her death, but the paleness=corpse=unnatural association wasn't present in the original story.
  • The legend of the Yuki-onna or Snow Lady in Japanese mythos. Exceptionally pale and beautiful, but her eyes can be terrifying. She may also lack feet.

    Film 
  • The Stoker family in Stoker, and particularly India Stoker.
  • Any film by Tim Burton, who got the idea from Conrad Veidt. It's practically guaranteed to have at least one, and it'll probably be Johnny Depp.
  • Marla Singer from Fight Club. No surprise, given that she is played by Helena Bonham Carter
  • Sadako/Samara from Ringu and The Ring.
  • The entirety of The Addams Family (except Pugsley, who's just as pale but has brownish hair) in the films, as a physical sign of their, er, 'difference'.
  • The Thermians in Galaxy Quest, done to emphasize that they are aliens who have disguised themselves as humans in accordance with the film's plot.
  • Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men fits this trope very well. Movies seem to like making Javier Bardem's villains much paler than the man himself.
  • Esther Coleman from Orphan.
  • Edmund Pevensie from the movie version of Chronicles of Narnia, due to the actor's natural, dark looks, which easily made him look like the bad one in the first movie and the Anti-Hero in the next ones.
  • In Waltz with Bashir, the director portrays his ex-girlfriend, who dumped him the same week he shipped out, as one of these. He has fantasies of her as a ghostly presence on the battlefield. In an interview, the director stated that his wife objected to how attractive he made her in the film.
  • The BBC version of the White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia is a straight up villainous example.
  • Selene from the Underworld movies. Being a vampire and all, this shouldn't come as a surprise.
  • The ghost girl in Dead Friend (aka The Ghost).
    • Heck, every character in the film could fit this trope. Possibly intentional? The four main girls were particularly creepy whenever they stood in a row and just stared someone down.
  • Elvira, Mistress of the Dark fits this trope to a tee. Then she turns out to be extraordinarily spiteful, cruel, and manipulative (far from the angelic image she's remembered as), so she also fits into the evil, dark-haired, pale-skinned group.
  • The Pasteur (yes, that's how they spell it in the credits) in We Are the Strange.
  • Kelly in Mystery Team.
  • Most of the covers (for example, this one) for May.
  • Loki in Thor and even more so in The Avengers. Fanart tends to take this even further.
  • Donnie Darko.
  • Kill List has Fiona, Gal's new girlfriend. There's something distinctly off about her and her appearance and strange actions during Jay's dinner party are one of the first major hints that something is very wrong here.
  • The film adaptions of The Lord of the Rings has Grí­ma Wormtongue.
  • Louis of Interview with the Vampire, as mentioned below under Literature. The film both increased it by letting us see his veins through his skin and generally putting us outside his own narration, and decreased it by turning his jet-black hair brown. It also turned Armand into this, where he was a cherubic young redhead (though no less creepy) in the books.
  • Amy in Would You Rather. As played by Sasha Grey, her sullen, sarcasm-heavy behavior borders on the Gloomy Goth archetype.
  • In Maleficent, the title character's raven is given a human form, who dresses all in black, complete with dark hair and eyes. He's actually the ''nicest'' character in the movie.

    Literature 
  • Sirius Black fits this for most of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. When it's revealed that he's actually good, the characters basically stop mentioning his pale, waxy complexion.
    • It's safe to assume that Sirius's skin lost its waxy look after he'd been out of Azkaban for a while. Considering he was also dirty and emaciated at the time, it was probably caused by his poor health more than actual paleness.
    • The most notable Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette is no doubt Severus Snape. Harry always makes note of the man's greasy, black hair, sallow complexion and hooked nose. Even as a child he was a scrawny, greasy-haired kid with pale skin and a natural talent for the Dark Arts.
    • Also, Bellatrix, who, in the movies, is played by the pictured Helena Bonham-Carter. And the rest of the Black family except Narcissa, who looks more like her husband for some reason.
    • Tom Riddle was one in his youth, laminated by Frank Dillane and Hero Fiennes-Tiffin's portrayal of him in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, as a sixteen-year old Tom and eleven-year old Tom respectively. Both actors crank Tom Riddle's creepiness Up to Eleven. This, in turn, creeps Harry out, as he looks a bit like him. Rowling loves this trope.
  • Isa, from Only Echoes Remain, is preternaturally pale and beautiful, with extremely long and lustrous ebony hair. Despite her protests, the look does suit her, as she is a spirit being specifically designed as a (relatively minor) manifestation of darkness and death.
  • Coraline's Other Mother fits the sinister aspects of this trope. In the animated movie, her original form also fits Raven Hair, Ivory Skin.
  • Gregor Vorbarra from the Vorkosigan Saga is described as being like this - as well as being tall and thin and dressed in dark clothing - so it shouldn't be surprising that he's The Emperor of a multi-planetary, extremely militaristic empire. Except that he's also one of the good guys.
    • Most of Miles Vorkosigan's love interests fit this trope too, especially Elena and Elli.
  • House Raith of the White Court in The Dresden Files - a clan of psychic vampires that feed on lust and all look like this.
    • Although, less "eerie" and more of a collective public outcry of "Take off your shirt!"
    • Unless, of course, you know that the gorgeous person with black hair and pale skin that you can't resist is a White Court vampire who not only eats emotions but the energy that, in-universe, composes souls—and that he or she can drain away your soul while feeding. ALL of it, if he or she is hungry enough. To the point where you won't merely die...the mental/emotional/spiritual you will cease to exist. Forever. And, because the sex is so outstanding, you won't even want to fight back.
  • Juliet Salazar from Mike Carey's Felix Castor series, who has black hair, "black-on-black" eyes, and pure white skin: "the undiluted white of snow or bone rather than the muddy pink-beige mix that passes for white according to normal labelling conventions." Justified in her case, as she's a demon from Hell whose body isn't, technically speaking, an actual body. And in something of a subversion, she's not necessarily an evil demon from Hell, when she chooses not to be.
  • Ashara Dayne from A Song of Ice and Fire is almost always described as a "haunting" woman with dark hair and violet eyes.
    • Littlefinger apparently thinks he is one of these, as his only response when Tyrion threatens to send him to the Night's Watch, was to complain that the black uniform would only enhance this.
    • Seems to be a genetic trait of House Bolton, as well. Their freakishly pale, milky eyes combine with this to make them about as scary looking as they really should be.
  • Heleth from Douglas Hill's ColSec Trilogy is an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette with facial tattoos. Justified in that she was raised underground (the tattoos help camouflage her in shadows). And she sunburns badly.
  • Definitely on the Dark Is Not Evil side of this trope: Stephen Maturin, co-protagonist of the Aubrey-Maturin series. His hair is black, of course, and his skin tone is almost invariably described as "pale" or "sallow".
  • Xanatos, Manipulative Bastard and Big Bad of the Jedi Apprentice novels in the Star Wars EU, is more or less described as looking like a vampire.
  • Magiere from The Saga of the Noble Dead straddles the line between this and Undeathly Pallor. At her most normal, she has a chalk-white complexion (impossible given the amount of time she spends outdoors) and blood red highlights in her otherwise black hair (when her Superpowered Evil Side comes out, so do the fangs). Oddly enough, she had a rough childhood and developed a thing about superstitious peasantry.
  • Emily of New Moon has very pale skin (to the point that, especially when she's a child, most people who meet her assume she's delicate and will likely die of tuberculosis) and black hair. It contributes to most people seeing her as a borderline Creepy Child.
  • While Snow White in the original fairy tale is far too nice to be this, her colouring has inspired several writers to depict her as a vampire, for example, Tanith Lee in Red as Blood and Neil Gaiman in Snow, Glass, Apples.
  • In The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmund Dantes is one of these, having dark hair and extremely pale skin. This is called attention to on several occasions, in which, as the Count, he's described as handsome but with an unsettlingly pale skin tone. The narrator explains that the years he spent in prison made Dantes very pale and prevented him from ever returning to his original tan skin tone.
  • The entire town of Dark Falls in the Goosebumps book Welcome to Dead House, sometimes bordering on Looks Like Cesare in the TV adaptation.
  • In A Shadow Girl's Summer of Love and Madness: the protagonist, Nomie is one.
  • Lanfear from The Wheel of Time, who is also a Woman in White.s
  • The title character of Maledicte is an extremely pale, dark-haired, dark-eyed young woman disguised as a man... who also happens to be an amalgam of human and vengeance god. An unusual example, in that Mal, thanks to obsessive training and superpowers, actually is a top-notch physical fighter.
  • In Doctrine of Labyrinths, Kolkhis has black hair and very pale, bluish skin that makes her "look like the world's most beautiful corpse." She's also the go-to person if you want an assassination in the city of Melusine, and is in league with a blood witch. Vincent looks remarkably like her, and has an unsettling tendency to get distracted by ghosts in the middle of conversations.
  • The Eubian Aristos in Catherine Asaro's Skolian Saga are an entire race of these with red eyes added for flavor. They are also mind raping slavers.
  • Both Coira and Arpazia in the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs retelling White as Snow alternate between this and Raven Hair, Ivory Skin depending on how creepy they are at the moment. Both women are acknowledged to be very beautiful—Arpazia before she somehow becomes a thirty-year-old crone and Coira after she turns eighteen and comes into her own—but the mother's flares of temper and the daughter's talent for complete stillness and silence frighten people to the point that their beauty almost isn't worth it.
  • Louis of the Vampire Chronicles has jet-black hair and piercing green eyes, and his skin became white with the transformation into a vampire. He's the narrator of the first book, and the narrator of most of the rest has a big soft spot for him, so he tends to come off as more pitiable than creepy to the reader, but in-universe he's certainly this— especially to mortals.
  • Belinda Contague from the Garrett, P.I. novels plays up this image to make herself more intimidating as the capa of the TunFaire mob.
  • Jadis the White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia became this way as a side effect of gaining immortality from Forbidden Fruit.
  • Dracula: Two of Dracula's vampire brides are brunettes and Lucy, when she turns, has her hair color change from blonde to brunette as a sign of her corruption. Naturally being undead, they all have pale skins.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Morticia Addams fits the physical description, but is a very nice person. She just has some unusual hobbies and a slightly odd outlook on life. Same thing with her husband and daughter.
    COSMETICS SALESWOMAN: What kind of powder does your Mommy use?
    WEDNESDAY: Baking powder.
    COSMETICS SALESWOMAN: No, honey, I mean on her face.
    WEDNESDAY: Baking powder.
  • Lily Munster of The Munsters also looks like this and would probably get along very well with Morticia if they met.
  • In season 2 of Dexter, Dexter's girlfriend Lila is a pale-skinned brunette. Because they're all in sun-filled Miami, this leads Deb to speculate that she's "a gross English titty vampire". And when Lila turns out to be nuts, Deb describes her to the other cops as "pale as a fucking corpse."
  • Star Trek:
    • Lt. Cmdr. Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation was designed to be a bit eerie on purpose to keep him on the left side of the Uncanny Valley. Amusingly, some aliens think he's just a weird-looking human. In homage to Kirk's "rice-picker" in The Original Series and Blatant Lie regarding Spock in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, they tell some past humans in "Time's Arrow" that he's a "Frenchman". In at least one holodeck episode, he passes himself off as South American.
    • Spock and most Vulcans (barring Tuvok and the reddish-haired T'Pol) in general fit this trope.
    • Weyoun of DS9, or every Vorta, for that matter.
  • Merton J. Dingle from Big Wolf on Campus, since he's a goth.
  • River Tam of Firefly. Kinda justified on the pale-skinned part, as she doesn't leave the ship much. And she's pretty eerie.
  • Bennett from Dollhouse, a character played by Summer Glau.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Willow at the end of season 6. Justified in that, by that point, she's become completely taken over by grief, revenge lust, and black magic. She gets better.
    • Drusilla - a Mad Oracle who Angelus put through every variation on Break the Cutie before making her immortal so she'd suffer forever. This doesn't stop her from being as dangerous as the rest of the Fanged Four.
  • WWE Superstar Mark Callaway, aka The Undertaker (although his natural hair color is actually red), as well as his manager, Paul Bearer. Even after Taker changed his gimmick to a Badass Biker, he's still noticeably pale. His manager Paul Bearer matched this description when he wore face paint.
  • Bad girl Audrey Horne in Twin Peaks.
  • Zoe Graystone from Caprica has very dark (nearly-black) hair and very light (as close to white as possible without albinism) skin. Particularly noticeable in the ads, in which she is stark-naked and holding a bright-red apple.
  • Abby Sciuto from NCIS. Real scary when she gets going.
  • Emily Prentiss from Criminal Minds.
  • The titular character from Sherlock, as well as his Arch-Enemy James Moriarty.
  • The loyal warlock Merlin and the king's ward Morgana, from the BBC's Merlin.
    • Though Morgana is a better fit for this trope than Merlin, since she's definitely paler-skinned (Merlin doesn't really have that "ghostly" complexion), as well as conveniently turning into a near-psychopathic villainess hellbent on dramatic angst and sorcerous revenge.
  • Red Riding Hood, better known as Red, having dark hair in Once Upon a Time is a contrast from the original story book version. The change makes sense, because Red is also The Big Bad Wolf that has been terrorizing the town.
  • Kenzi from Lost Girl is very pale, has long, black hair, and bright blue eyes. Not very "eerie" as much as "comical", though.
  • Doctor Who:

    Music 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The default appearance of the Scream Queens, though as a goth, Daffney's appearance is always subject to change. Prior to the team, WCW often used Daffney as the crazy screaming obsessive but also put her in fanservice roles too. MsChif more so enforced the trope just through raw abrasiveness. Draculletta and White Magic, Wrestlicious's Ghouls Gone Wild, are an even straighter case.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Due to flaws in various implants, all Raven Guards have dark hair and pale skin, regardless of what they looked like pre-surgery.
  • Dark Elves in Warhammer Fantasy are almost all pale and black-haired, though no actual reason is given. Perhaps that was just a major dominant trait among the Nagarytheans.
    • Nothing in official books, but various pieces of fluff and the occasional Word of God in articles and video-game material state that, yes, Nagarytheans tended towards this aspect. That, and millennia of using dark magic probably hasn't helped matters any...
  • Moon elves, or Silver elves, in Forgotten Realms usually have black to blue hair and pale to icy-blue skin. At least one novel even lampshaded that the subrace visually is a perfect contrast to Dark-Skinned Blond drow. They look the weirdest of whole elvenkind (except Avariel), but tend to be the most human-like mentally (approachable, curious, and active) and the least decadent.
  • Ubiquitous in Old World of Darkness with its Gothic aesthetic design. Open a rule book and you will see this trope.

    Theatre 
  • In The Musical version of Wicked, Nessarose is almost always one of these, no matter the actress (the exceptions being when she is played as a washed-out-looking dishwater blonde or the actress is simply not of an ethnicity that makes this feasible). It makes sense, considering that she's fairly sickly and, being crippled, is confined to bed, and also sees the world in terms of black and white. Later, when she turns evil, she exchanges her blue-and-white outfit for a black one.
  • Despite being The Ingenue, Christine Daae in Andrew Lloyd Webber's version of The Phantom of the Opera is sometimes (depending on the actress) played as this, though, in her case, it's mostly to make her look fragile and ethereal. In just as many cases, it's subverted by her having a fresh, lively, pink complexion to go with her dark hair, and a few actresses have simply been too dark to even come close to this trope.
    • The Phantom himself looks like one of these until it turns out his "hair" is actually a wig, and all he really has is a few scraggly wisps of graying brownish hair on an otherwise bald head.
  • The Japanese production of Tanz der Vampire made Herbert von Krolock into one of these. Western productions tend to go the other route and gives him white hair.
    • His father, on the other hand, universally falls under this trope.
  • Laurence Olivier played Shakespeare's Richard III as one of these onstage; when he recreated his performance for film, the makeup was toned down and Richard's skin tone was Olivier's own. (Ironically, the real Richard was, according to his surviving portraits, of middling complexion and with light brown hair.)

    Video Games 
  • Bastila from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Her physical appearance definitely works when she joins The Dark Side. Satele Shan, Bastila's descendant who appears in The Old Republic, also fits this trope.
  • Soren from Fire Emblem 9 and 10. He's one of the protagonists, but his cynicism and utter lack of idealism occasionally puts off his allies.
    • Noticeably, Karla of Fire Emblem 7 is the only (female) ally with black hair in the entire game. Mind, this is a series with a tradition of having at least thirty-odd characters on the allies' side alone, and they are all very pale. Upon supporting, her personality is revealed to be an equal mix of Cloud Cuckoo Lander and Lady of War. Strangely for female characters in this trope, she is an undefeated fighter known as the Princess of Swords as well as The Rival to Bartre the Fighter, and there are absolutely no allusions to her being sickly or weak, though she does die of an illness years after the game ends. In the previous game, her daughter Fir continues the trait of having dark hair along with a few others—though, for some strange reason, Fir's hair is purple.
    • FE7's Morphs, artificial humans made by the Big Bad, also fall under this.
  • Viola Cadaverini from the Ace Attorney series. She's meant to be creepy and sickly looking, and it works.
  • Higashizawa Youdai of The World Ends with You is, considering the rarity of even Big Guys crossing over with this trope, most likely the only Brute example of a Pale-Skinned Brunette in existence.
    • There's another example and that is Shiki's true self.
  • F.E.A.R.'s Alma is a straight example of this, as well as being a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl.
  • Billy Coen from Resident Evil 0 is an example.
  • The Suikoden series has a rather memorable example in the fifth numbered sequel. Zerase is altogether too happy to deride the hero for his quote-unquote "idiocy" while deliberately withholding useful information. For extra tropaliciousness, her pale skin is even commented on in a hidden Furo Scene, which implies that she may or may not be undead, per the page heading.
  • Final Fantasy VII's Vincent Valentine fits this trope quite well, although more in the Anti-Hero sense. This doesn't stop people from thinking of him as The Vamp, though...
    • Apparently, Kuja in Final Fantasy IX was originally envisioned to be of this trope, but it was changed to make him look like a mini-Sephiroth.
  • Ashei from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess fits this trope physically, with her black braided hair and almost paper-white skin (complete with under-eye dark circles). She's one of the good guys, however.
  • The evil, schizophrenic Tira in Soul Calibur IV.
  • Bayonetta, to go along with the rest of her great looks package.
  • Yo-Jin-Bo's Bo has dark navy blue hair and the palest skintone in the game besides Hatsuhime.
  • Eleanor from BioShock 2. Living in an underwater city will probably do that to one's complexion.
  • Vanitas from Kingdom Hearts, once you finally see his face. He looks like a pale Sora with darker hair and gold eyes, due to their mutual connection with Ventus.
  • Alex Mercer from Prototype fits the trope well enough, though the only time you can really tell he has brown hair is when you see old pictures of him.
  • More like Eerie Pale-Skinned Dark Redhead: Elaine Marley-Threepwood from Tales of Monkey Island, from the time that she willingly becomes LeChuck's demon bride up to the time that Guybrush manages to shrink La Esponja Grande.
  • Alessa from Silent Hill.
  • Your "Guardian Angel" in Borderlands.
  • As the resident Friendly Neighborhood Vampire of Disgaea 4, Valvatorez naturally has this hair color and complexion.
  • The Maiden in Black in Demons Souls, who watches over the Nexus.

    Webcomics 
  • Kit of Miamaska is very pale compared to other Alodian citizens.
  • This is part of the basic vampire template in Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name, along with Red Eyes, Take Warning (except for Casimiro). None of the specific vampires we've met are actually all that eerie, though. Well, maybe Finas.
  • Raizel in Noblesse and any Noblesse with black hair fits this, because they are mostly centuries year old vampires.
  • Four out of the six members of the Mouryou family from Contemplating Reiko are this. Reiko herself, two of her sisters, Shihoka and Shinobu, and her mother Fumiko.
  • Umbria/Zaedalkaah from Our Little Adventure is a paler and darker haired version of Julie.
    • Joyelle the Erinyes.

    Visual Novels 
  • Taira no Yukiri from Six Rules's Raven Hair, Ivory Skin beauty turns into this when she is revealed to be a cold-hearted Creepy Child who has been planning the death of the protagonist since the beginning. And she's ten years old.

    Web Original 
  • Riley from The Guild, except for the sickly part.
  • Phase (Ayla Goodkind) at the Super Hero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. Her hair is jet-black (it was a sandy-blond back when she was a boy, before she mutated). She's quite pale (some wavelength of light may be passing through her). She's also very rich and highly educated, which fits the trope too. But she's one of the good guys. A lot of mutants don't believe that, because her family are the most notorious mutant-haters anywhere.
  • Persephone in Thalia's Musings.
  • Lady Gray from The Graystone Saga, though (like Riley above) without the sickly aspect.

    Western Animation 
  • Nearly all human(oid) Disney villains ever.
  • Dan from Dan Vs..
  • Mai and June of Avatar: The Last Airbender. And, ahem, the entire freaking Fire Nation royal family. Toph Beifong also appears as this when Aang first sees her in a mysterious vision, but when he actually meets her, she turns out to be a tomboyish and non-eerie Little Miss Badass.
  • Kevin from Ben 10 starts out this way and is quite psychotic. When he joins the team in the sequel, his skin tone is almost the same as the Tennysons.
  • Kylie Griffin, the Goth member of the Extreme Ghostbusters.
  • Ingrid Third of Fillmore!.
  • Triana Orpheus of The Venture Bros., a bit of a Perky Goth subversion.
  • Shego from Kim Possible was designed with this in mind. Her green highlights make her seem poisonous. Oddly (given the suggestion above), she's often seen on a beach, or a tanning bed, with no apparent effects; maybe she wants to differentiate herself from her heroic brothers who follow a similar scheme.
  • Creepy Suzie, the Goth "Clubhouse Kid" from The Oblongs.
  • Raven from Teen Titans.
  • Marceline the Vampire Queen from Adventure Time is this, only because she is a vampire.
    • Well, Marceline was already pale-skinned and black-haired before she was bitten, as seen in the episode "Memory of a Memory".
  • Dib from Invader Zim is a male example. His sister Gaz comes close, except that she has dark purple hair.
  • Master XOX from Sidekick.
  • The animated version of Lydia from Beetlejuice.
  • The Incredibles has Violet Parr who is depicted as gloomy, uncertain and socially withdrawn — preferring to hide behind her long raven hair.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated has comments about Velma's pale complexion, but it's very much an Informed Attribute.
  • Boris and Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle have pale white skin and black hair.
  • Gwen from various Total Drama titles, considering on what her name means.

Black Gal On White Guy DramaBlack Index, White IndexRaven Hair, Ivory Skin
Brainy BrunetteHair ColorsRaven Hair, Ivory Skin
DhampyrIndex of Gothic Horror TropesThe Evil Prince
Ear NotchPersonal Appearance TropesEl Cid Ploy
Dystopia Justifies the MeansEvil TropesEmotions vs. Stoicism
Enfant TerribleHorror TropesEverybody's Dead, Dave
Hades ShadedAmazing Technicolor IndexBlonde, Brunette, Redhead
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet StreetImageSource/Live-Action FilmsSympathy for Lady Vengeance
Eats BabiesAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Enfant Terrible

alternative title(s): Ghostly Pale And Raven Haired; Pale Skinned Brunette
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
126176
23