"You may ask yourself, 'Does the afro make the champion, or does the champion make the afro?' This is a question yet to be answered by modern science."
Despite odd hairstyles being par for the course
, a character with an afro (usually male) is very likely to have it mentioned
by other people and by the plot. This is sometimes extended into a love of dance and club music, if not specifically disco
. If a character is forced to wear a wig, there's a good chance it'll be an afro. Hairy Hammerspace
often requires popping objects into and out of an enormous hair bulb.
As a sidenote, in Japanese just the word
"afro" is rather funny
because it just happens to sounds like "afuro", which rather accurately means "overflowing"; hell, this pun is behind the title of one show
. Or, it could sound like "a furo
" (yes, at least one anime
has made that very joke)
Compare/contrast Afro Asskicker
, when the afro is made up for by the sheer badassness of the wearer.
Anime and Manga
- Keroro Gunsou has particular fun with this, mentioning them throughout the series and even assigning specific colors to character. The otherwise hairless frogs frequently and inexplicably end up wearing an afro after Non-Fatal Explosions. Several bits of the soundtrack (notably several of the Ending Themes) are essentially disco numbers. There's also the character of Dasonu Maso, an alien pop star who has admitted he's a shameless knock-off of "Dance Man", the disco-themed J-Pop artist who provided the show's first closing theme, "Afro Gunsou", and who seems more interested in giving the other characters afros than in actually performing.
- Afro Gunsou is a major Ear Worm. Ai kotoba wa Afro to Gunsou... By the way, that means "The password is 'Afro Sergeant'".
- As for "Dasonu Maso" (ダソヌマソ), that name comes from a mangling of the katakana for "Dance Man" (ダンスマン).
- Nabeshin from Excel♥Saga is likely the most famous perpetrator of this trope, to the point that his theme song is about his hairdo: "My name is Nabeshin and my afro is fluffy/Maintenance is easy, just wash it once..." It probably bears mentioning that Nabeshin is the Author Avatar of series director Watanabe Shinichi, who does indeed have a large afro◊.
- The afro gets funnier when he cameos in Hayate the Combat Butler. He starts out somehow packed completely into the afro itself, pulls various objects out of the afro, and is referred to by everyone as "[an] afro".
- And when he poses around in Dotto Koni-chan as Koni's talking dog? Of course has has an afro too.
- Minoru Shiraishi dresses up like this guy in the OVA of Lucky☆Star. Live-Action Akira sprays him with a garden hose.
- Much of the physical humor in Bobobo Bobobobo revolves around Bobobo's big blond afro.
- In Bo-bobo's case, the afro appears to actually be a Stealth Pun based on the fact that an alternative way to refer to afros in Japanese is bakuhatsu atama, literally meaning "exploding head". This suddenly makes a lot of sense if you consider what the main inspiration for the manga was.
- One notable gag is Bobobo having Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh! pop out of the fro and summon Slifer the Sky Dragon.
- Beck in The Big O gets struck by lightning and as a result, his hair is poofed up into a grotesquely huge afro for the rest of the episode. This is a common staple among anime in general, and Non-Fatal Explosions/electrocutions often result in "Frazzled" afro hair, but unlike most cases this lasts for more than a couple seconds.
- In One Piece, one of King Wapol's flunkies, Kuromarimo, fights by throwing afro wigs that stick to his opponent, then setting the wigs on fire.
- Later in the series, Usopp has Luffy wear a large afro wig for his fight against Foxy the Silver Fox, saying it'll give him great strength. In addition, the spectators all think Luffy must be powerful since he has an afro - all except for a confused Nami. In the end, Luffy does win thanks to the afro, when he uses a piece of mirror that got lodged in it to deflect Foxy's Noro-Noro Beam.
- Also, Brook sports an impressively large afro. Under a top hat. He is very protective of his afro because, since dying and becoming an animated skeleton, it can't regrow, and it is the only way that the pet whale La Boum he left behind 50 years ago would be able to recognize him now.
- Sengoku also eventually showed he hides one under his hat. Though he is quite Comically Serious, the thing gets truly gigantic when he uses his Devil Fruit power. He becomes a giant Gold Statue of BUDDHA WITH AN AFRO. That could be offensive to some people. But for others is pure Epic Win.
- And Emporio Ivankov sports an impressive purple afro, which is so awesome he can hide people inside it.
- And wasn't Zoro seen with an agro at some point, too?
- It's apparent at this point that Oda thinks afros are the funniest thing ever
- Matsushiro Ken in Yakitate!! Japan has an impressive afro that he got in a rather strange church...
- In Bleach, Yumichika Ayasegawa, after a firework blown up in his face during a fight and he is left with an afro, dons a wig modeled after his normal hair to hide his unattractiveness until it returns to normal.
- Again in Bleach, the Shinigami sent to replace Rukia Kuchiki is a guy named Zennosuke Kurumadani, and sports a rather large afro. He's commonly referred to as "Imoyama-san" aka "Afro-san." He doesn't like it.
- Let's not forget Love Aikawa from the Vaizards/Visored and his impressive afro.
- Or the Privaron Espada Gantebaine Mosqueda and his orange 'fro.
- What about Renji's Bankai, with its crazy mane-afro!
- Death Note features police detective Aizawa, who, until a semi-Important Haircut, sported a medium sized afro. The Haircut is semi-important because, although it didn't mean anything at the time, it did mark his transition from being the afro on the team to being a serious character.
- Ueki temporarily gains an afro and dancing skills as part of a magical power upgrade in The Law of Ueki.
- Masa of Seto no Hanayome sports a stylish one as well.
- Yonemi Chiba of BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad sports an afro. A lot of people in the music industry actually refer to him as "that afro."
- Most of the hair-related humor in Gintama is relegated to Gintoki's perm, but afros do tend to pop up now and again; the group of thugs using Kagura for their own ends all had 'punch perms' (after Kagura defeats their leader, she shaves it all off him save for a ':D' face.)
- Noboru Yamaguchi of Cromartie High School. The character is obsessed with comedy, and his hair is intentionally funny; he's actually disappointed that people are too scared of his fighting skills to laugh at his ridiculous hairstyle. The anime takes this to eleven with animation gags. His afro throbs and moves on its own, even increasing in size.
- Afro Samurai. Other characters mention it frequently, even mock it, and it has a very important place in the plot.
- Classic pot-calling-kettle-black moment: Kuma/Jinno mocks Afro's hair, telling him how ridiculous he looks... while wearing a huge teddy bear head.
- Masumi Okuyama from Nodame Cantabile. His over-the-top behavior often provides comic relief and other characters occasionally poke fun at his hair in passing.
- Hare+Guu: Disco Guu likes disco music. Made either funnier or just icky by the fact that said afro was someone's chest hair.
- From Miami Guns, Chief Amano wears an afro, and gets very angry if someone says it's out of date.
- Lambo from Katekyo Hitman Reborn!. He can store anything in it. Even a bazooka which is big enough to swallow him and I-Pin whole.
- Kumabukuro from Eyeshield 21. Apparently, he grew it out as overcompensation for always getting helmet hair when he played American football in high school.
- Garterbelt from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. Blame it on God messing with his original dreadlocks.
- Oddly enough, there is a reccuring couple in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, where the girl Has the afro. Rather odd.
- Code Geass has Kaname Ohgi's Jewfro. It goes great with the pseudo-Star of David on his jacket.
- In one chapter of Himitsu Kichi the protagonists father has an afro. He's a comedian to boot.
- Deadpool sported an afro in a storyline set during the 70s. What pushed it firmly into Funny Afro territory was that it was on top of his mask.
- See the entry for The Brady Bunch Movie, below. You didn't think it was a new joke, did you?
- Nordberg gets one of these in one of the in a flashback to the 70s in the Naked Gun films - so huge it won't fit through a door. Another character then mentions that he was one of the first test cases for Minoxidil (a hair growth product).
- Corbin Bleu's Afro in High School Musical arguably does more acting than he does.
- In The Ice Pirates, during the final Time Warp scenes, one way they show years passing is Roscoe growing a huge afro that eventually outmasses his entire body.
- In Black Dynamite, Cream Corn has an afro shaped like a pimp hat.
- In The 40-Year-Old Virgin, there's a throwaway gag in which a young kid is bragging about all the sex he has before his father shuts him down, mentioning his Jew-fro as one of the reasons his boasts must be untrue.
- The Chipettes in The Chipmunk Adventure after a run in with a hurricane.
- Jack Spade sports one in the Soul Train disco scene from I'm Gonna Git You Sucka.
Live Action TV
- In Larry Niven's Gil the ARM stories, Gil's sometimes-partner Jackson Bera wears an overly-large "natural", the term Afro not yet having come into vogue. Occasionally Played for Laughs, when Bera gets frustrated and pulls his hair or wakes up with terminal bed-head.
- Paul Kidby draws Susan Sto Helit from the Discworld series with one. It has the Bride-of-Frankenstein color scheme, based on Pratchett's description of Susan's normal hairstyle as being "a dandelion clock at about 2," as well as having the reverse skunk stripe.
- The classic Western example comes from The Brady Bunch, when Jan — who has, need we mention, long, straight blonde hair — wears a black afro wig in an attempt to get attention. Without putting her real hair up under it first. The 1990s movie copied this (and many other plots).
- There's a single-episode Running Gag about the main characters being afraid they'll says something insensitive to one of their coworkers. He has a hook for a hand, but most of them haven't even noticed because they're too busy trying not to say something about his ridiculously large afro.
- One episode has Doug prepping a patient for brain surgery by shaving his hair, halfway through this he is informed by JD that the patient is supposed to be getting rotator cuff surgery. Doug immediately stops to walk away, passing the shaver to JD as the patient wakes up. Elliot compliments the patient on his "nice hal-fro." Since the patient had one arm in a sling, he could only feel the side of his head that had hair, so he doesn't realize what happened.
- Shepherd Book lets "down" his hair once in Firefly. Once was enough, judging by River's reaction. Zoe is almost as freaked out by the sight.
- Moss from The IT Crowd is such a huge nerd that he even has his afro side parted.
- Chase Matthews of Zoey 101 has a bushy "Jewish afro" constantly referenced by the other characters. He tends to shrug it off, but lampshades it himself after Zoey throws a pillow at him that knocks him off his chair. He gets up, pats his head and exclaims "You dented my 'fro!"
- Sam Puckett on iCarly often wears these on the Show Within a Show webshow bits.
- Gordo has a jewfro pretty much through the entirety of Lizzie McGuire.
- The 1969 - 1974 High School Sitcom Room 222 featured the dorky Bernie (David Jolliffe), or, as most knew him then, the kid with the giant red-haired Afro.
- In A.N.T. Farm, Gibson has a Jewfro that's also Hair Of Holding
- Chyna dons a huge 1970's fro when Olive is producing a Greek play and calls herself Afro-Dite.
- The ANTs wear Jewfro wigs while trying to save Gibson's job.
- Olive wears the same costume and fro in a scrambled flashback in EndurANTs.
- In Stargate SG-1, during the episode "1969" the team is sent back to 1969 by a freak accident. In order to disguise Teal'c, the team outfits him with a pink tie-dyed shirt, bandana, and afro. It is quite possibly one of the most hilarious moments in the entire series.
- In The Boondocks, Jazmin has a very large dirty blonde Afro that is immune to all known hair straightening methods. Huey's Afro is bigger than his head, Jazmin's is bigger than Huey's Afro and head put together after she pulls it back into a puffball.
- In Beetle Bailey, Lt. Flap had a large Afro for the first several years of his appearances. One strip featured him losing pencils in it.
- Carlito Colon's afro usually ranged between "needs a comb" and "unfinished dreadlocks", as if he purposefully made it look as awful as possible.
- As discussed under Real Life, Leon Trotsky sported quite the Jew-fro. This is used to great effect in David Ives' tragi-comic one-act play Variations on the Death of Trotsky. It isn't a plot point or ever even mentioned, but it makes the special effect of having an ice-axe through his headnote throughout the entire play much easier on low-budget productions.
- In Guilty Gear XX, Faust's (an insane ten-foot-tall doctor with a paper bag over his head) Instant Death move has him putting the opponent on a gurney with a bomb hidden under it. The super-move has two variations, the second one giving both Faust and the now-dead opponent giant afros. Faust's afro appears ON the paper bag to boot.
- Seen here. It starts around 2:30, by the way.
- Jimmy T. from the WarioWare series sports a large blue afro. In Wario Ware Touched!, his family are shown to all have brightly coloured afros (he is also menaced by an insect named Scratchy the 'Fro Bug — and no, I'm not making this up).
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney has Lotta Hart, whose bright red afro actually goes relatively unnoticed by the cast, but is clearly meant to get a laugh on the part of the player.
- The sequel, on the other hand, makes a bigger deal of it: when you meeting her again, you can choose to misremember her name as "Lotta Hair", which she takes offense to.
- On at least two occasions during the aforementioned sequel, Lotta Hart is referred to by one of the characters as "that lady with the fluffy cotton-candy hair".
- Lucky/Tamekichi, one of the members of the band DCMC in MOTHER 3, has one of these. It's actually a wig, and Tamekichi is actually a partly amnesiac Duster.
- One of the things that makes Elite Beat Agents so great is Agent Derek's incredible red afro.
- And the fact that he wears a perpetual frown while sporting it!
- In Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, villain Miror B. has an enormous Poké Ball-colored afro. His head is a molecule in comparison.
- Flint, the third member of the Elite Four in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl/Platinum also has a red one.
- Which, when combined with his standard yellow attire for added silliness, makes him look like Ronald McDonald.
- Bouffalant, introduced in Pokémon Black and White is a buffalo with an afro. Its signature move is called Afro Break in the original Japanese (Changed to Head Charge in the English games).
- Henchman Eli Barracuda in Evil Genius sports an afro in keeping with his Blaxploitation theme.
- Andrei Ulmeyda from Killer7 has an afro.
- One NPC in Disgaea 3 has the Fan Nickname of "Afro Prinny" for a good reason. That's right, a penguin with an afro, Dood.
- One of Taro's Magichange attacks involves the character wielding him to sport a 'fro and dance. He finds it so funny he spits out milk with such velocity it propels him backwards and damages the opponent at the same time!
- The pups of the lupine Mystic Beast monsters have little red afros as opposed to the flowing hair of the adults.
- In Avalon Code, there's a bandit who lives beneath the dungeon of Frannelle Castle amidst a gigantic horde of treasure. He forgot his name but doesn't seem to care what he's called; take a guess what Rempo decides to name him.
- Sazh Katzroy from the Final Fantasy XIII. There is a chocobo living in it.
- Subverted with Todd Dukakis from Wild AR Ms 3. Far from the "funny" character in the Schrodingers' gang, he's the cool, collected, loyal butler. He casts extremely annoying confusion spells on your party, but you can remove him the battle by setting his afro on fire.
- Riddle Sempai, a minor NPC in Persona 4 involved in a few of the games quests, sports one as does the announcer at the culture festival.
- Way of the Samurai has Don Donatelouse, aka 'Dona Dona'. Though mainly Plucky Comic Relief, he geniuely tries to be heroic, and (depending on your choices) may end up more heroic than your hero...
- Repeated in the 3rd game in the series with Donna, Don's identical (though female) ancestor.
- Soul Calibur IV has an afro as a hairstyle for custom characters. To hammer home the hilarity, its default color is pink. You try taking Zasalamel seriously after seeing him with a huge pink afro and a business suit.
- Dante Robinson of the Backyard Sports series has an afro the size of the rest of his body.
- One of Demoman's unlockable hats in Team Fortress 2 is a Jimi Hendrix type 'fro. Which isn't that large in-game, but fanartists enjoy taking it Up to Eleven for hilarity's sake.
- The people of Xeos Belt Union in Infinite Space, at least the ones you meet in the game. Lampshaded in Mariana's case, when Franny insults her as "cauliflower head" during their bickering early in Act 2.
- In Azurik Rise Of Perathia, there's a cheat code to give Azurik one of these...and change the background music to disco. It does nothing else; in fact, most of the cheats for that game (save for one or two) were completely useless like that.
- Eddie Wachowski in the SSX series has a massive orange fro.
- In Professor Layton And The Miracle Mask, we get flashbacks to the Professor's high-school days. The future Professor himself is sporting a lovely flyaway 'fro during them.
- The PC version of Earthworm Jim has easter eggs that among other things, give Jim an afro complete with "Afro!" sound effect.
- Trisha or should I say, "Ishtar" from Catherine has a large red afro, and it sparkles.
- Shows up as one of the many attachments you can use to customize your characters in Tales of Xillia 2. It can also be recolored and re-sized (At max size, it's almost as large as the wearer) to make it look extra hilarious.
- In Parappa The Rapper 2, one of the levels has a teacher, Hairdresser Octopus who's been brainwashed so all of the customers at his salon are forced into getting one of these. During the level, Parappa and Octopus cut everyone's hair (particular Lammy's) back to normal.
- Speaking of Lammy, in Um Jammer Lammy, during one of the flashbacks in the Stage 7 cutscene, Lammy got one as a result of electrocuting herself from plugging in electrical equipment.
- Three NPCs in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess are rocking some positively epic 'fros almost as large as they are. One of them is a bird.
- Roy has one in Brutal Mario. It's a wig which covers his bald spot, which reflects the light in the room in a way that produces a blinding flash.
- In Bishi Bashi Special 2, the "Simon Says" Mini-Game "Perm Mania" has the dancers grow bigger afros the more points they score.
- Girl And Triangle involved a side character called Disco who sported one of these. (Her story got increasingly surreal.)
- Reakk gets an enormous one of these in this Sluggy Freelance strip. Turned out to just be a very large, very furry cat sitting on his head.
- The final stage of becoming a /b/tard is a giant afro sprouting forth from the victim's head followed by a complete loss of emotional function.
- South Park's Kyle Broflovski has a red Jewfro which he prefers to keep hidden under his hat and only reveals a) under duress or b) if it has been styled beyond recognition.
- It also looks very little◊ like a Jewfro and more like an afro.
- Disco Stu from The Simpsons.
- Also from The Simpsons, Homer in an episode where they were in "The Poseidon Adventure". When the ship flipped, his wig came off. "Ahh! My wig!...I mean, my real hair!"
- And George Bush senior getting a rainbow afro wig glued to his head— right before a meeting with the Elks.
- Martin Prince's normally straight hair reverts to an afro when exposed to high humidity.
- While it's not so much a fro but a box haircut, Gerald of Hey Arnold! will from time to time say "HEY! Watch the hair" in a situation that might mess up his Marge Simpson-like stack of hair. In some episodes, we see that his hair is shaped that way because his head is shaped that way (though he turns it into an true afro in one episode)
- When Hanna-Barbera made a cartoon with the Harlem Globetrotters as superheroes, one of them had an afro from which he accessed Hammerspace. Just took a moment of rooting around and whatever he wanted could be found in that afro.
- The Hair Bear Bunch.
- When Spongebob Squarepants tries to get into a "tough" bar, one ploy is wearing a rainbow afro wig. He thinks this makes him look tougher. Considering what he normally looks like, that's actually somewhat true.
- In the second season of Total Drama Island, LaShawna's hair gets wet and turns into an afro for an entire episode. This happens several times in other episodes as well, though sometimes her hair is said to be weave.
- Especially strange because on multiple occasions Leshawna's hair got completely wet in the first season without turning into an afro the size of a bush.
- Fry from Futurama whenever he gets electocuted. It has its own wiki page, complete with image gallery.
- Daggett wears one in the famous "Beaver Fever" episode of The Angry Beavers. It's huge, especially on Daggett, who can't be much more than 2' tall.
- The third Madagascar movie has a scene featuring Marty the zebra, dressed up in a rainbow afro and clown paint, dancing around while singing the popular circus tune "Entry of the Gladiators" (or rather, "Da da dada da da da CIRCUS da da dada da da da AFRO CIRCUS AFRO CIRCUS AFRO" etc.). The "Afro Circus" scene became notorious very quickly, especially because it hogged a lot of the advertising for the film, and because of how flippin' annoying it is.
- Dutch Gordy from Motorcity has one of these.
- Karl Marx.◊ Yes, Karl Marx.
- Leon Trotsky also had a pretty impressive Commie Jewfro in his youth.
- The Jackson 5 (post-Michael's puberty, pre-Michael's solo career) had huge and absolutely epic afros. Specially Michael Jackson himself. Seen quite well in the "Blame it on the Boogie" video
- Hockey player Mike Commodore's calling card is his rather sizable red afro◊.
- The King of Happy Trees, Bob Ross.
- Masato Shimon.
- Jim Kelly, the African-American martial artist in Enter the Dragon, had an awesome Afro in his heyday.
- The American Basketball Association was known for its up-tempo style of play, its red-white-and-blue ball, and its big freak-ass Afros. To many, Darnell Hillman was the ABA Afro Champion (and this was a league that featured Julius Erving and Artis Gilmore).
- In baseball, the Afro champ was undoubtedly Oscar Gamble◊.
- "Magic Dick" Salwitz of the J. Geils Band, famous for his harp-blowing skills and his mind-blowing Jewfro.
- Brad Delson, Linkin Park's lead guitarist, has an impressive Jewfro◊.
- Don King.
- Former Colombian footballer Carlos Valderrama.
- Jimi Hendrix. An afro was pretty much required to be a part of The Experience.
- Alex Trebek used to have one. Yes, THAT Alex Trebek.
- Rollen Stewart, the "Rainbow Man" who used to wear a rainbow-colored afro wig while holding a "John 3:16" sign behind the goalposts at televised football games. Now spending a life sentence in prison for kidnapping.
- Boston drummer Sib Hashian sported an impressive Afro.
- "Fifth Beatle" Billy Preston sported an impressive one◊, too, in The Seventies.
- In The Eighties, Chilean stand-up comedian Hermógenes con H.
- Lindsay Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, pre-1979.
- Don Henley in The Eagles.
- As a contestant on Australian Idol, Guy Sebastian's afro was a big part of his image, and as he advanced through the competition, 'Go the 'fro!' became a popular catchphrase with his fanbase.
- Ahmir 'Questlove' Thompson, bandleader and drummer for The Roots.
- Funny Afro + Badass Beard + Cool Shades = Jeff Lynne in The Seventies.