Gang of Hats
"Also, what kind of a city is held hostage by disco roller skaters? The people in that town are such pussies that their water faucets are labelled 'Breast Milk' and 'Massengil.'"A gang or group of people who possess some sort of specific gimmick that sets them apart from the other gangs. Gang differentiation is pretty necessary if you've got inter-gang politics. Otherwise you've just got some guys beating up some other guys. The most simple (and realistic) might be a color scheme (the blue Crips vs. the red Bloods) or lifestyle group (Mods vs Rockers), but TV and video games often take this to ridiculous lengths, dressing in totally ridiculous outfits, or only using a specific weapon. Occasionally, a Fictional Political Party can have a theme resembling this. Compare Planet of Hats (where it's more than just criminals looking this way) and Carnival of Killers (where the gangsters are not working together, and might even be in open competition). Incredibly, sometimes Truth in Television.
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Anime & Manga
- A lot of the pirate crews of One Piece are like this. To name just a few examples, Buggy the Clown's crew dresses like circus performers, Captain Kuro's Black Cat Pirates all wear little cat ears, and Arlong's crew consists of humanoid sea creature "fishmen" dressed like Japanese street punks.
- Except for the Straw Hats, all of the 11 Supernovas are this. Eustass Kidd (and Killer)'s are all Heavy Metal punks, Basil Hawkins' are mystics, X. Drake's are musketeers, Trafalgar Law's are all kung fu jumpsuit guys (except himself), Scratchmen Apoo's are Chinese people, Jewelry Bonney's are all fat guys (except herself), Capone Bege's are mafia suits and Urouge's are priests.
- The Straw Hats themselves are a debatable example, with "Wackiness" as their hat; granted, the world itself is kind of wacky, but judging by peoples' reactions, the Straw Hat crew manages to stand out, with pretty much every crew member a Genius Ditz on some level. They also all have an animal theme (including an actual reindeer), which extends to their ships: A sheep, a lion (lion and lamb, I just got that now) and a shark sub.
- The Foxy Pirates all wear identical masks, except for Foxy himself. Implicitly, this "uniform" is one of the ways Foxy keeps order among his incredibly massive (and constantly growing) crew.
- A non-pirate crew example is the Tontatta dwarf tribe of which all members - even the ones who otherwise seem fairly intelligent - have extreme gullibility as their hat.
- The Clowns from AKIRA definitely fit the trope.
- In Gintama, Yakuza groups are differentiated by hairstyle, such as All-Back and Punch Perm.
- In Durarara!!, we've got the Yellow Scarves, who are traditional gang members who simply (wait for it) identify by wearing Yellow Scarves. Then we've got Dollars; the newest and biggest kid of the block; a gang formed over the Internet. Some members know each other in real life; but mostly only know each other by their online selves; and are summoned by PDA; most are extremely hardcore Otaku. Yes, it's a Weaponized 2channel. Be very afraid.
- Curiously, the gangs overlap, since no-one's preventing a Yellow Scarf from joining the Dollars online.
- SPOILER FOR THE NOVELS: Later on in the Blue Square, a group within the gang is formed who are identified by blue bandannas and balaclavas printed with a design, which resembles the mouth of a shark baring its sharp teeth. This group's purpose is to rid the Dollars of the members who use the name for whatever wrong-doings they feel free to commit. Apparently the Dollars does have rules, but they're completely unheard of by everyone except their founder.
- In Fist of the North Star, a fair amount of these are at large, especially in the early story arcs. More notable ones include the Golan army and the Fang Clan.
- Several guilds in Fairy Tail. For example, Blue Pegasus consists of beautiful/flamboyant/fashion-conscious people and Quatro Cerberus of physically strong but not very bright men. Fairy Tail's Hat is not as obvious as the others to outsiders, but certainly obvious to its members: Most members are very destructive and constantly get into fights with each other. Despite that, they are probably more caring and more like a family than any other guild.
- Most of the armies during the Golden Age Saga of Berserk consist of this, each having an Animal Motif and a uniform armor that went along with it in some way. Such examples included the Black Rams, White Tigers, and Purple Rhinos. The Band of the Hawk, which our protagonists belong to, mostly subverts this by only their leader Griffith wearing armor looking bird-like and the rest of the soldiers only wearing insignias.
- Most gangs in Air Gear have some kind of theme seen in their helmets and/or emblems(Dogs, Skeletons, etc.) One scene in the manga showed scouts for several gangs all on the two page snapshot at once, each of the dozen or so with a different helmet.
- The comic Gotham Underground features a gang war between The 100, who all dress in black, and various gangs under the wing (so to speak) of the Penguin, who are all based on different existing DC Comics villain groups (the New Rogues copy the looks and powers of Flash villains, the Dead End Boys base themselves on the Suicide Squad and so on). A flashback to 19th century Gotham, "before the masks arrived", fits the trope even better, with various gangs based on ethnic groups, most of which are indeed wearing distinctive hats.
- One of the Legends of the Dark Knight stories features a Joker fan club called The Joy Boys, they wear white masks and lavender t-shirts or mock-leather jackets and dye their hair green.
- Another story features The Anti Batz a motorcycle gang united in their hatred of Batman. Their backpatch shows Batman's chest logo crossed out.
- The Mutants in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns are very distinctive, multicoloured clothes, bald heads, bleached (or made-up) white skin and wraparound shades (at night!)
- After breaking up they form different cliques: Sons of the Batman, with bat facial markings; Nixons, with Tricky Dick masks and grey suits; and Joker wannabees with green hair and lipstick. Two join up with the Joker's missus, who has taken to wearing Nazi-fetish gear, so they wear brown shirts and jackboots.
- Batman, Inc. introduces Joe Average and the Average Joes, themed after blue-collar work. A vaguely similar French gang, Les Stereotypes, is also briefly seen.
- The Mad Hatter once headed the Wonderland Gang, an all-star cast of career criminals he'd convinced to play into his "Alice in Wonderland" theme. These included the March Hare, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Lion and the Unicorn, and the Walrus and the Carpenter.
- In Y: The Last Man, the Daughters of the Amazon (the core group at least, there are various wannabes) take this to the extreme with ritual mastectomies. Needless to say, having a mutilated/missing breast rapidly becomes a Red Right Hand in post Gendercide North America.
- Velvet's group does not do the mastectomy, with the result that outsiders often will not believe she is a "real" Amazon.
- The real life Mods and Rockers are awesomely parodied as the Originals and Dirt in the graphic novel The Originals.
- Marshal Law features Gang Green, a gang of combat veteran superhero toughs in who all wear green (except a member called Overdose, who wears black). They all seem to have personal gimmicks as well.
- There are several superhero Gangs of Hats in this series, others include the all-bionic California Bastards and the all-female Ammo-Zones.
- The Hellfire Club in the X-Men. What started out as a gentleman's club was eventually turned into the mutant version of The Mafia. All of the major members of the club dress like 18th century British aristocrats and refer to each other as royalty with a chess motif.
- Twisted Toyfare Theater parodied this when they showed the Warriors in the modern world as Wall Street traders. The traders all unite under the leadership of Alan Greenspan, who is murdered by Gordon Gecko, who pins the crime on the Warriors. They run afoul of such groups as the Mutually Assured Destruction Fund (Communists; capitalism is "but one of the MANY positive aspects [they] are experiencing under Perestroika"), the Bear-Stearns Stern Bears, the Voodoo Economists, the ninja Night Traders, the Closing Belles...
- Astro City has lots of these, usually serving as Mooks and background color.
- The Sweet Adelines are a gang who dress like members of a barbershop quartet.
- The Dopple Gang are shapeshifters who commit crimes as celebrities.
- The Menagerie Gang are bank robbers who wear animal-head masks.
- The Dominos are mob enforcers who wear black full-body suits adorned with dots.
- The Robber Barons commit crimes while dressed in black robes and Victorian powder wigs.
- The Skullcrushers are a high-tech group of mercenaries in skull-shpaed Powered Armor.
- Marvel 2099 actually features a murderous band of Elvis Impersonators!
- In Paperinik New Adventures, gangs are usually shown as typical "punks" with leather jackets and shades and the like. But one issue has a fight between two gangs dressed like 50'ies rockabillies and Roman soldiers respectively. The leader of the latter band even dresses like Caesar.
- The generic gangs in Joel Schumacher's Batman films qualify (see especially in Batman and Robin during Barbara's street race scene); you might even be able to include the various Mooks who work for certain Batman villains: Joker's men all wear purple or dress as clowns, Two-Face's men all wear two-colored masks, etc.
- This is played with in The Dark Knight with The Joker's henchmen wearing clown masks during the bank heist scene. The masks carry a theme but have practical uses like keeping the robbers anonymous and allowing The Joker himself to hide among them.
- The Axe Gang in Kung Fu Hustle all wield axes and perform choreographed dancing in perfect unison. This is more due to Brother Sum's personal style than any consensus among the membership.
- Name any gang from The Warriors. Each seems to have a gimmick. Also notable for the sheer number that were planned: for every gang you see in the movie there's another that only made it into the video game, and three or four that only existed in the scripts (all of them have names). Some of the gangs downplay this trope just by wearing similar clothes (e.g. the Orphans all wear brown jeans and green t-shirts), others, such as the Furies pictured above, take the theme to an extreme.
- The films 1990: The Bronx Warriors and Escape 2000 borrow heavily from The Warriors (along with Escape from New York), and take the theming even further.
- The movie Mystery Men has several such gangs: the Disco Boys all dress as disco dancers, the Frat Boys are all college fraternity members (known for their lethal hazings), etc. The scene in which Casanova Frankenstein rallies the different gangs together is a parody of a scene from the film The Warriors. When the heroes are attacked by the Disco Boys, they tease them for their hat-inappropriate weapons (guns, a lead pipe).
Mr. Furious: What? Guns? That's your power, you shoot guns?
The Blue Raja: There's no theme at all here.
Mr. Furious: Weak.
The Blue Raja: At best.
[a Disco Boy wields a pipe]
The Shoveller: And who are you supposed to be, the Disco Plumber?
Mr. Furious: See, you've got a chain, I would at least make it a gold chain. That's just off the top of my head.
Disco Boys: [beat the shit out of the Mystery Men]
- The gangs in Gangs of New York show signs of this. In fact the gang name (and slang term) "plug ugly" comes from their hats. "Dead Rabbits" comes from a Gaelic word that means something around the lines of "tough guy", but someone misheard it and it stuck. It's also Truth in Television (or literature and (later) film) — the gangs in the novel are Flanderizations of actual gangs from the 19th Century. The Dead Rabbits would actually carry a dead rabbit on a stick when they invaded a rival gang's turf. That's how you knew they were there for blood.
- Much more disturbing is the fact that the Hell-Cat Maggie character (that girl in the film with the teeth filed into points and who would fight with iron talons tied to her fingers)... is almost straight Truth in Television. She didn't routinely bite patrons' ears off and keep them in a jar behind the bar, though. That would be Gallus Mag's schtick. Old school gangsters did not fuck around.
- Alex and his droogs in A Clockwork Orange wear identical outfits, including codpieces, bowlers, and canes. This is intended to be the current fashion of his lifestyle group, as evidenced by fellow patrons of the Korova Milk Bar. Billy Boy's gang wears Nazi regalia and ruffled silk dress shirts. In the films used for Alex's treatment, we see a number of other gangs wearing strange and identical uniforms.
- While not gangs per se, the various racing teams in the Speed Racer movie all had themes (the Viking team, the snake team, the military team, etc.) and they even had silly hats too.
- The Road Warrior, of course. Leather and black-clad mohawked punks versus the mostly white-clad defenders!
- In the original Death Race 2000, each car has a theme that is carried over to the driver and navigator's dress and persona. The remake used ethnic prison gangs instead, due to its Twenty Minutes into the Future setting.
- In Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny, the guys are molested by a gang that is a parody of the gang from A Clockwork Orange, complete with similar theme music. In the DVD commentary, the filmmakers stated they considered parodying The Warriors before settling on Alex and his droogs.
- The Mexican, partying Rojos and the European, dignified Baxters in A Fistful of Dollars.
- In Kill Bill, O-Ren's gang The Crazy 88 all wear identical black suits and black domino masks. The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad counts to a much lesser extent, because they appear to only follow a theme in their code names. Elle Driver, however, does use a black mamba snake as a murder weapon at one point.
- In Dredd, the three gangs that dominated Peach Trees before the Ma-Ma Clan's takeover each had a distinctive look of its own, including one - The Judged - that dressed in improvised Judge outfits. The others were the Peyote Kings (who liked psychedelic and voodoo imagery) and the Crimson Dragons (all about Chinese dragon tattoos).
- The Cleanheads in Red Heat are a gang of Scary Black Men with Balds of Evil.
- An Israeli short film called West Bank Story parodies this (West Side Story in particular; see below), with Israelis and Palestinians as the "gangs". Like Kung Fu Hustle, the makers of that film seemed to realize that any group with its own dance number cannot be Serious Business. And did we mention that the "gangs" are actually fast-food restaurants? With almost exactly the same menus? With ridiculous alliterative names ("Kosher King" and "Hummus Hut")? And ridiculous hats?
- Why Dont You Play In Hell features a Mob War between two rival clans of yakuza. Early on, one of the clans decides to dress in kimonos and live in a castle. This helps distinguish the two clans for the rest of the film.
- There a group of Black Marketeers in Jingle All the Way where everyone is either dressed as Santa Claus or one of his elves. They make several other christmas references as well, even when under duress (when the cops show up, they refer to them as the Grinch).
- In the second Circle Opens book Street Magic, Briar comes across a number of gangs that use different ways to identify themselves. The main antagonists of the novel belong to a gang that uses a garnet nose ring for identification (provided by Big Bad Lady Zenadia).
- In Bruce Bethke's novel Headcrash, the protagonist runs into a gang dressed as high school athlete stereotypes, called the Letterjocks.
- The gangs seen in the last book of The Night's Dawn Trilogy are good examples of this. Banded together to defend London from the possessed, there are Blairs (in business suits, named for Tony Blair), macho lesbians with silver eyes and some others.
- The novel Aiki by John Gilbert includes a number of gangs based around martial arts themes as well as a gang of Drag Queen Warriors.
- In the book version of A Clockwork Orange, Alex emphasises that he and his gang all wear a uniform of the latest fashions. When he forms a new gang after recovering from his ordeals, they wear a completely different outfit due to changing fashions.
- The Areas of My Expertise parodies this with the various overly-fancy, New Wave-ish hairstyles worn by New York street gangs during the early 20th century. The book also advises anyone with henchmen to get them all matching satin jackets with a picture of your face embroidered on the back.
My feeling is that if it is good enough for the Joker, it should be good enough for you.
Live Action TV
- The PCH Bike Club from Veronica Mars. All Latino bikers from the wrong side of the tracks, all high schoolers (or at least high school age).
- Witnessed in Power Rangers RPM, although, apart from the Mob that Ziggy once tried to join, they mostly seem like a bunch of sad sack clowns. Probably justified in that most of the world was essentially nuked in the Back Story; powerful crime syndicates just wouldn't have the support structure they need in Corinth.
- Henchmen on Batman always have themes related to the Special Guest Villain. In the case of frequently-recurring villains, the theme may be more related to the villain's latest scheme than to the villain's own motif. For example, in "Catwoman Goes To College," her henchmen wear Gotham City University sweaters and "freshman beanies," and are named Penn, Cornell, and Brown.
- The various teenage tribes on the post-apocalyptic soap opera The Tribe are identifiable largely by costumes and color schemes (Locos wear red and black; Demon Dogs wear silver; Mozquitos are all female and dress like dominatrices with insect masks, etc.), except for the main tribe, the Mallrats, who all wear very individualistic costumes, being a Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits.
- The original Planet of Hats, Sigma Iotia in Star Trek: The Original Series doesn't draw attention to it, but if you pay attention one might notice that the three gangs shown wears different kinds of hats — Oxmyx's gang all wear fedoras, Krako's gang all wear boaters, Mirt's gang all wear bowlers.
- Invoked and combined with a Warriors homage in They Might Be Giants' Venue Songs project, where the Deranged Millionaire controlls "roving baseball gangs" that threaten Brooklyn.
- Half of the stables seen in Professional Wrestling. For example, WWE has had The Spirit Squad (a gang of male cheerleaders) and Demolition (whose uniform included facepaint and bondage gear), WCW had The Varsity Club (a stable built like a high-school/college sports team) and The Dungeon of Doom (filled with ridiculous, horror-movie-style gimmicks), and TNA once had The Flying Elvises (a group of Spot Monkey Elvis impersonators).
- The original Nation of Domination in the WWF was very much an aversion, as its members were a black supremacist and his protege (Faarooq and D'Lo Brown), a white biker (Crush), a Puerto Rican (Savio Vega), and two Pretty Fly for a White Guy rappers (PG-13). However, after they broke up and each member other than the rappers formed their own stable (The New Nation, Disciples of Apocalypse, and Los Boricuas, respectively), each of those stables fit the trope to a T.
- Daffney's All-Star Squad, is a literal example. Daffney's hat has become their hat, tiny tilted top hats.◊
- Cyber Punk Tabletop Games like to use this. For example, Shadowrun had the Halloweeners (wore masks while committing crimes) and the Scatterbrains (who dressed like clowns). Cyberspace had the Models (young male models) and the Skateboys (ride skateboards).
- Mutants & Masterminds has the Looking Glass Gang who look characters in Alice in Wonderland, with powers to match.
- The Warhammer 40,000 Gaiden Game Necromunda centers around an ongoing gang war fought entirely by Gangs of Hats.
- Goliaths: He-man muscle-men noted for body piercing and steroid use.
- Delaques: Sneaky types with trenchcoats, bald heads and goggles (which actually do something — their eyes are sensitive to light).
- Van Saar: Utilitarian tech-lovers dressed in overalls.
- Escher: The Amazon Brigade with punky hair and knives. Needless to say, they do not get on with the Goliaths.
- Cawdor: Masked religious fanatics with a lover for flamethrowers.
- Orlock: Fairly generic street gangers with bandanas.
- The expansion added even more: Redemptionists, Ax-Crazy religious fanatics who like to Kill It with Fire; Scavies, twisted, deformed mutants, ghouls, and plague zombies; Ratskins, Proud Warrior Race Guys based on the Magical Native American; Wyrds, rogue psykers with a number of different powers; and Spyre Hunters, elite fighters from noble Houses with enough advanced gear to become a One-Man Army
- One of the coolest things about the Dungeons & Dragons campaign module "Night's Dark Terror" is that every one of the several tribes of goblins, orcs, gnolls and so forth is a Gang of Hats, with its own distinctive garb, weapons, tactics, and territory. Even the culture of some tribes is described.
- Ninja Burger feeds off this trope, with the eponymous burger-delivering ninjas competing against other Gang of Hats fast food delivery companies like Pirate Pizza, Samurai Burger, Banditos Burritos, etc.
- The Jets and Sharks of West Side Story. In The Movie and many stage productions, while there is no gang uniform, the Jets (and their girls) wear blue and the Sharks wear red. The Jets are made up of various white, mostly Catholic, ethnicities, while the Sharks are all Puerto Ricans. Aside from that (and the fact that the Jets seem to favor jazz music while the Sharks dance to salsa), there doesn't seem to be much difference between the two gangs - which is rather the point of the play.
- Both the Autobot and Decepticon factions in the various incarnations of franchise/Transformers have fielded numerous themed squadrons, from big names like the ever-popular Dinobots to relatively obscure teams such as the Rotor Force. This was at its most common in G1 and G2, but never vanished completely.
- The Grand Theft Auto games before San Andreas used this to an extent, it kinda dropped as the series progressed. Or rather, it was a curve. The original game had pretty nondescript organized crime, GTA 2 had a circus of gimmicks, GTA 3 had some thematic stuff, Vice City had ethnic gangs that emphasized the ethnic part, and in San Andreas, the street gangs (Grove Street Families, Ballas, Varrios los Aztecas, Los Santos Vagos, Rifa) all identify by color scheme. This is also the first game where the different ethnicities aren't united as one gang (for example, there are several black and Latino gangs vying for territory control and power). GTA 4 expanded this even further. Also appears in GTA V, usually in outfit style (the bikers i.e.) or occasionally color-coded (as with the two black gangs, the allied green one Lamar is in and the enemy purple one).
- In Batman: Arkham City, the main three prison gangs all have distinct styles of dress. Joker's gang wear clown makeup and masks. Two Face's gang scorch one side of their prison jumpsuits and wear rubber masks with one side melted. The Penguin's gang wear military fatigues, parkas, and ski masks with penguin patterns. Late in the game, some of the gang members change allegiance, and alter their existing uniforms accordingly.
- The various enemy gangs from Jet Set Radio definitely qualify. The Love Shockers are all (female) jilted lovers, the Poison Jam are all huge guys who are really into monster movies (to the point where they all wear monster masks), and the Noise Tanks are all techies who mess around with electronic and mechanical gadgets.
- City of Heroes and City of Villains fall under this: Each of the gangs has a distinct gimmick (which is also the source of their varying supplies of metahuman powers). For example, the Skulls are nihilists who wear skull-masks and wield netherworld powers, the Hellions are Satanists with fire powers, the Freakshow are Cyber Punk anarchists who modify themselves with Psycho Serum and Artificial Limbs, the Warriors wield medieval-style weapons with a classical Greek and Charles Atlas Superpowers, the Tsoo are covered in magical tattoos or dress like Ninja, and so on...
- Champions Online isn't much different in that regard. The five gangs of Westside are sometimes referred to as the Tsoo Rejects (Cult of the Red Banner), the Hells Angels Rejects (Cobra Lords, bikers whose ranks are based on various dangerous animals), the Asylum Rejects (the Maniacs), the A Clockwork Orange Rejects (who also have elements of the Royal Flush Gang from Justice League), and the Old-Timey Mobster Rejects (or just Reject Rejects, i.e. those who were rejected even by the other reject gangs for not having enough flavor).
- And then there's the "gangs" of Vibora Bay. In the low-level instance of the city, the Dogz are just street thugs that call the various ranks after various canines and canine-related mythological figures, and sometimes use canines in fights. The Sovereign Sons are voodoo practitioners. The Gemini gang all wear the same black and yellow outfit (though that's because they're all dupes of the leader, Mr. Gemini). Then the apocalypse hits, and ground zero is Vibora Bay. The Dogz become full-on werewolves; the Sovereign Sons' rites start granting real power; and three more "gangs" move in—a cabal of vampires, a group of fallen angels, and a cult that worship the angels and are also big into mutilation and other body modification.
- Bully, being essentially GTA in High School, naturally uses this too, with the various 'factions' of Bullworth Academy. The Preppies all wear Aquaberry-brand sweaters, the Jocks all wear letter jackets or letter sweaters, the Greasers slick their hair back and wear leather or denim jackets, the Nerds are all either underweight or overweight and wear garish green sweaters, the Bullies all wear white polo shirts with no vests, and the Townies wear street clothes.
- The goons of the different mafia families in The Godfather videogame wear color-coded trenchcoats.
- River City Ransom. For each gang, all members wear the same color of shirt, and their names follow a trend implied by the name of the gang.
- The different chapters of the Inferno gang in Spikeout, a "white trash" crew, a gang who all wear camouflage trousers, a group who are all sturdy guys in motorcycle leathers, an all-black-all-poser crew, a bunch of guys in Hawaiian shirts, an all-Chinese Kung Fu gang, an all-Japanese Yakuza gang, a gang dressed in sports gearetc.
- The various gangs of Manhunt (the Skins, the Smileys, etc.) are a less light-hearted example.
- Team Aqua and Team Magma in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire.
- Frequently Lampshaded by the gang members - "Who do you think has cooler outfits, Team Magma or Team Aqua?" "You can't be a member of Team Magma, you're not dressed the part!"
- Almost all the evil teams wear the Dark-Type hat, except Cipher. Their type of choice is usually Shadow.
- Team Galactic wears no hats, but their uniform is quite distinct.
- Team Flare dresses in stylish red clothing, red sunglasses and red hair. The higher ups either wear white clothing, different colored hair (or no hair at all), an even more stylish sunglasses that aren't necessarily red or both. All these are quite fitting for a team whose goal is to create a more beautiful world.
- The Saints Row titles, being Grand Theft Auto clones without shame, follow intentionally absurd variants of the color-coding scheme for the various street gangs. From the second game on, you can even choose the Saints' hat.
- For example in Saints Row: The Third, the Saints have to face off against the Morningstar (a combination between the Mafia, pimps, and BDSM enthusiasts) who run the Steelport sex trade, the Luchadors, who are all huge Luchadors, and the Deckers, who are a hacker collective that dress like they are cosplaying a TRON anime series. The Saints themselves are caught between being the hats of pop culture celebrity sellouts and badass ubercriminals.
- Several factions in Fallout: New Vegas wear very distinctive outfits - while the Powder Gangers' prison clothes and NCR Rangers' standard uniforms are to be expected, Caesar's Legion dress in surprisingly detailed roman costumes, and The Kings all dress like Elvis.
- To a degree, Caesar's Legion's roman costumes serves as uniforms (Caesar dreams of the Roman Empire IN AMERICA!, so roman costumes are just part of the package), and naturally the NCR Rangers and ordinary NCR forces having uniforms are to be expected - they are part of the army of an organised state. The Great Khans, on the other hand, are merely a bunch of organized raiders/a tribe with a theme of Generic Eastern Horde (their historical knowledge aren't up to snuff for anything more unless you personally educate their leader). The Khans's outfits appear to be modified raider-wear, with a little touches you'd expect from a biker gang.
- The Fiends are an additional group of Raiders, whose hat is essentially rampant chemical abuse. They also all wear the same leather-and-cow-skull clothing, and use a bizarre mixture of low-tech improvised weaponry such as pool cues and much more advanced Laser guns, thanks to having raided a Vault's armory.
- There's also the Three Families of Vegas. The Chairmen all emulate the Camp of the Rat Pack, including speaking like them. The White Glove Society are all pompous Upper Class Twits who believe they're better than others and wear White Masks of Doom for the mysterious allure (when in actuality, it just makes them really creepy). The Omertas are essentially The Mafia and are all rude and foul-mouthed.
- The tribes from Honest Hearts have this to an extent. The Dead Horses beat people up with horse-shaped clubs, the Sorrows hunt bears and use their paws as boxing gloves. Meanwhile the White Legs are all about appropriative racism (being descended from a bunch of idiot tourists who thought it would be cool to survive in the post-apocalyptic world by aping a bunch of Savage Indian stereotypes and later adopting dreadlocks as their official hairstyle after a black guy taught them how to use machine guns).
- It goes deeper. The classic Fallout lore includes the Vipers, a gang of snake cultists with a love for poison, the Jackals, a bunch of cowardly, opportunistic cannibals, the Blades, who dress up in leather and wield knives, and the Rippers, who are quite fond of knife-sized chainsaws. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, only the Blades actually appear in-game, but the rest are at least mentioned. The Vipers and Jackals actually do show up in New Vegas, but by that point they're just petty marauders and no longer really qualify.
- MadWorld's Varrigan City is home to a bunch of gangs. The stages in the first area consist of punks and thugs, Asian Town (mishmash with Japanese and Chinese cultures) is homed to guys in martial artist gear and ninjas, Mad Castle is a full on Monster Mash (zombies, psycho killers, and grim reapers), Area 66 has soldiers, robots, and aliens, and almost all of them appear again at different intervals at Casino Land.
- In Urban Rivals each clan has their own hat. The All Stars are all sports jocks, Roots are hippies, Montanas are Italian mob, Ulu Watu are surfers....
- In Dragon Age II, there are a few gangs in each act, each having staked out a different part of town and each with a different modus operandi and general appearance. You can wipe them out for some money and XP, but if you don't they are still replaced from act to act, and each successive gang is apparently stronger and more dangerous than the last. In Act 1, the Guard Pretenders wear city guard uniforms and apparently waylay unsuspecting night travelers in Hightown; the Sharps Highwaymen, to judge by their name, have moved into the city from the countryside; and the Redwater Teeth are a gang lead by a blood mage. In Act 2, the Dog Lords are Fereldan expats that fight alongside Mabari; the Undercuts are a group of dwarves trying to stake a claim on the docks; and the Invisible Sisters are an all-female gang of cutpurses and assassins. In Act 3 the Slave Hunters may well be official Imperium slavers, wearing the full masks and armor of Tevinter soldiers, going out into the night and enslaving anyone they can beat down at he docks; the Crimson Weaver Bloodragers are a group of rebel blood mages; and the Followers of She are all cultists of a mysterious figure who turns out to be a desire demon.
- Many of the bandit and scav clans in Borderlands have a common dynamic. There're bikers, pirates, Irish hooligans, rednecks, mental patients...
- The orc clans in the WarCraft series all have something separating them from the others: the Frostwolves live in cold regions and form bonds with the native wolves, the Blackrock forge powerful weapons and armor, the Thunderlords are hunter-trappers, the Bleeding Hollow are savages that use blood magic, the Shattered Hand all have Badass Transplants, etc.
- The first gang that Cole fights, the Reapers, all wear hooded sweatshirts (red for the standard goons, white for the superpowerd Conduits) that completely obscure their faces.
- The second gang, the Dust Men, wear armor that's mainly made out of garbage and scrap metal. And they wear trash bags on their heads.
- The final gang, the First Sons, due to being more of a cult or paramilitary organization than an actual gang, wear coats and gas masks.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
- All holds have slightly different armor and the hold's emblem on the shields (for richer holds), with a different protection rating based on the richness of the hold. Also, the Imperial and Stormcloak soldiers are strict about wearing the proper of the two armors.
- Dishonored: brings us many different gangs with their own style. The aptly named Hatters all wear large battered top hats, wear either a red or white shirt and wield a machete and pistol. The Bottle street Gang are based in a whiskey distillery, and thus use a highly volatile alcoholic firebomb as their ranged weapon alongside a machete, but otherwise have bland clothing. The Dead Eels are river pirates with lots of piercings and tattoos, use cargo hooks in a melee and bottles of acid from the local mollusc population as throwing weapons, and are also the only regular gang to recruit women. The Butchers dress for their job in bloody white aprons and use either machetes or disc saws. The Whalers are dressed entirely in thick leather coats and creepy gas masks used in the whaling industry for protection, and use long knives, wrist mounted crossbows and black magic. Finally, the Brigmore Witches are the only gang to consist entirely of women, have vines and plant-like markings on their bodies, turn dark green when aggressive, use thorn-swords and magic in combat. Naturally, the army, city watch, and Overseers have their own uniforms as official organisations.
- Grand Theft Auto II: More prevelent here than in any other GTA. The Zaibatsus are a Megacorp that operate in all three sections of the city, the Yakuza are, well Yakuza, the Loonies are all completely insane, the Rednecks drive pickups and operate out of a trailer park, the SRS Scientists are a gang dedicated to gang violence For Science!, the Russian Mafia are mobsters from Russia and the Hare Krishna are a group of pacifists that have turned to gang violence.
- Survival of the Fittest usually averts this with its gangs, even in the Wretched Hive Denton where the gangs are literally everywhere. The only two gangs with a real "hat" are the evangelistic Knight Templar Prophets, who dress in priest robes and terrorize the "unfaithful", and the Ax-Crazy Jackals who're collectively insane enough to make The Joker shit himself, and at any one time just want to cause as much mayhem and chaos as they can. They're often said to be more like animals than men.
- In Red vs. Blue, the Red and Blue armies wear, respectively... red and blue. Big shock, right? The only characters with armor colors outside of this is the medic working for both armies (who wears purple), the colorblind recruit who accidentally goes to the wrong base at first (in yellow), and the Freelancers, who are... definitely not red or blue.
- ASH Universe: The New York Macoute have a pseudo-voodoo theme going. The Cyber-Nostra are a gang of cyborgs as are the Rust Brothers and, as for the Jolly Molecules, they're best described as junior MadScientists.
- The various street gangs in Tales of the Questor: The Vipers, the Royals (who wear purple) and the Redcaps (you have three guesses).
- Parodied in Sluggy Freelance when the Canadian Mafia (run by an expy of Snidely Whiplash) sends an 'army of sixty' to tackle the assassin Oasis...when we actually see them, they're all in identical black outfits with "ARMY OF 60" written on them.
- Both the Midnight Crew and the Felt of Homestuck have very specific themes for each group, but both gangs mainly stick to gambling motifs (card suits, slang terms for billiards and dice, etc). The Felt also all have specific abilities related to time travel or manipulation, and actual hats with their Numerical Theme Naming's numbers (and ball colors) on them.
- Various urchin gangs in Guttersnipe, including the Junior Repunchicans (a gang of young conservatives), the Skunk Tops (who all sport black and white mohawks)and the Vajazzlers (apparently an all-female roller derby based gang).
- Batman Beyond had the Jokerz, who were emulating the Joker (as well as shouting out to AKIRA), with one of them (it's actually a bunch of loosely connected gangs all over Gotham) lead by a guy named J-Man who blatantly copies the Joker's appearance. The Movie had one of them run by the real Joker.
- Their rivals are the "T"s, who all have tattoos of the letter T on their faces (oddly enough, making them look like the superhero Mr. Terrific) and names that end in "ty". Considerably lamer by comparison.
- There are also a gang of cyborgs in one episode, and a gang of splicers (genetically-engineered Petting Zoo People) in another.
- The Gangreen Gang of The Powerpuff Girls. They are all green.
- In El Tigre we have the Moustache Mafia, who commit crimes using their...moustaches. Yeah, it's a weird show.
- Every Motorcity gang sans the Burners have some sort of unique wardrobe motif: Excepting No. 2 and obviously Cyborg Dan, all of the Duke's grunts have sharp suits and hats, evoking the mafia boss motif of the Duke, the Skylarks wear formal suits with giant numbers on the back and sunglasses, the Amazons wear brightly-colored racing suits with matching helmets, the Momma's Boys wear overalls, the Electroblades all wear hockey uniforms (no one's been seen with their mask off), and the Weekend Warriors wear standard military garb.
- The Ant Hill Mob of Wacky Races and The Perils of Penelope Pitstop.
- The Molasses Gang.
- Truth in Television: Bloods and Norteņos wear red, Crips and Sureņos wear blue.
- Even truer back in the old days
- More Truth in Television, in and around L.A.: The Grape Street Crips wear purple, especially Laker gear, The Avenues tend to favor Dodger hats, as the "LA" is supposed to stand for Las Avenidas, 18th Street wear any football jersey with 18, with the favorite having been Randy Moss's #18 when he played for the Raiders. MS-13, though, take this to a frightening level where the most hardcore of them cover their faces with gang tattoo, the most favored being the Devil Horns the gang adopted as their gang sign. In other words, the metal horns, or for college football fans, Texas' "Hook'em Horns" gesture.
- In Oakland and other cities, some schools have banned sports team related clothing, as the team colors can signify gang affiliation.
- From Swinging London, the Rockers wore mostly leather jackets, jeans and boots, and rode motorcycles. Their antithesis, the Mods, wore bright, colorful suits and stuck to scooters.
- They might not be a gang (as such) but you can, if you're savvy, differentiate between different brands of Chassidic Jews by their hat. One group wears luxurious Russian-style fur hats, another group wears traditional wide-brimmed hats and so on.
- The 1960s garage rock movement definitely had bands of hats. Because the music was simple, derivative and similar to each other, many bands wore gimmicky uniforms to stand apart and gain attention in the process. Examples included:
- Paul Revere and the Raiders, who dressed like American colonists.
- The Count Five, who dressed like Count Dracula.
- The Monks, a group of American GIs stationed in Hamburg who played in a band dressed like monks.
- Cracked has some more examples.
- The "West Side Niggaz", usually bowdlerized in western media to "West Side Boys" for obvious reasons, were a Sierre Leonian terrorist group who were influenced by American rap culture, particularly Tupac Shakur. Notably, they were already part of another terrorist group when their leader, a Pac fan, decided they would effect an American "gangsta" persona. Ironically, they were considerably more brutal than their American namesakes, employing Child Soldiers, forcing children to murder their own parents and buying heavy arms off corrupt UN peacekeepers with conflict diamonds. They achieved brief notoriety by kidnapping a patrol of Royal Irish Regiment soldiers during the British intervention in Sierra Leone. This proved to a fatal mistake, and the organization was all but annihilated by the SAS and British paratroopers.