Must be Monday. New podcast! Just click on the fancy logo below.
A Hair Color Spoiler
is a plot twist that is spoiled by bizarre and improbable hair styles often seen in anime. In its most common form, a character is introduced who is related to an existing character. The writers might start dropping hints right away about their relationship, but it doesn't matter — you already noticed that only those two characters have that exact shade of blue hair — because You Gotta Have Blue Hair
For a rather more blatant genetic hint, see Chocolate Baby
Since this is a spoiler trope, there will be unmarked spoilers below.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Zero No Tsukaima stretches this out. In season one, we learn about Tabitha's backstory and meet her mother, who has the same exact shade of light blue hair as her. Her butler, Mister Exposition, tells us about Tabitha's evil uncle who usurped the throne. The story is dropped until season three, which introduces the mastermind behind the mastermind behind the mastermind of the events of season one. He wears a crown, and his hair color is the exact same shade of blue as Tabitha's and her mother's.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! Season 5, it is supposed to be a huge reveal that Leon Wilson is actually the younger brother of season villain Zigfried von Schroeder. Except that the von Schroeder brothers are the only Yu-Gi-Oh! characters ever to have purple hair.
- In Faster Than A Kiss, Fumino, at one point, meets a woman who, at the end of the chapter, is revealed to be Shouma's mother/Kazuma's stepmother, completely shocking Fumino...even though the woman looked almost exactly like Shouma, even down to the hairstyle.
- In Pandora Hearts, Jack's identity is kept mysterious for some time...except the series pretty heavily uses similar hair/eye colors for families, and Jack has literally Oz's hair except with a braid attached. Little surprise when it's revealed that Oz is his descendant and partial-reincarnation. But then, there was that plot point dropped a while back that the Oz we knew might not be the 'real' Oz Vessalius... and then the recent point about how Oz's body is actually Jack's...
- Naruto: the Fourth Hokage being Naruto's father was guessed by Genre Savvy readers from the moment he first appeared, mostly due to their similar hair and facial structures.
- And in hindsight, Karin being a member of the Uzumaki clan was foreshadowed by her sharing the red hair that also belonged to Kushina, Naruto's mother.
- Gundam AGE: approximately 75% of the fans knew that Flit and Emily would end up together, mainly because images of Flit's future son, Asem, show him with blonde hair like Emily and not some shade of purple or blue as would be expected if Yurin was the mother.
- Betterman: The heroine's brother has gone missing. The good guys are repeatedly helped by a mysterious man with the same odd and otherwise unique tri-colored hair shock the heroine has. Is it her brother, right? No. It turns out, the mystery man obtained the brother's apperance is by eating a seed that grew from his body.
- In Saint Seiya, people inhabited by a god have hair colors not found in nature. Andromeda Shun has green hair, though this is never remarked upon by anyone. Come the Hades plot arc....
- Black Butler: Combined with eye colors for the angels. Angela and Ash are the only character to have white hair and Purple Eyes (though Angela's hair is blueish). Turns out they're the same being.
- Crazy Stupid Love: Hannah being Cal and Emily's daughter is spoiled due to the mother and daughter having the same red hair.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, which house a person belongs to can often be determined simply by their appearance. This becomes a huge plot point in the first book, when Ned realizes that all King Robert's children are blonde, like the Lannister family on their mother's side, as opposed to having the dark hair associated with House Baratheon. He checks the lienage archives and goes to inspect all of Robert's illegitmate children (there are tons), and not a single one is fair-haired. It's crucial to Ned realizing that the King's children are the product of an affair Queen Cersei had with her twin brother Jamie and they murdered one of Ned's close friends who had also discovered this.
- In Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, a new senshi appears at the end of an episode, sporting blue cat ears, a blue tail, and blue hair. It is 'revealed' in the next episode that she really is Luna, the, you know, blue-furred cat.
- In Chrono Trigger, after traveling to the Kingdom of Zeal in 12,000 BC, you meet Queen Zeal and her children, Schala and Janus. The three of them have the exact same shade of light purple hair which is found on nobody else — except Magus, who is actually an older Janus.
- In Legend of Dragoon, the revelation that party-member Meru and penultimate villain Lloyd are both Winglies is spoiled by their platinum (with a blue tint for Meru) hair, which is exclusive to Winglies.
- In Pokemon Black And White, the relation between N and Ghetsis is played as a very dramatic twist. However, more Genre Savvy fans were speculating some sort of relationship before we even knew much of who they were, starting the moment they noticed such close shades of green and distinctive curls/fray/whatever-you-want-to-consider-it.
- This despite the fact N was adopted.
- Tales Of Destiny: The only party member with hair similar to Rutee's (dark, cut short) is Leon. Guess who's her brother?
- Notably avoided in Last Scenario. A One Degree of Separation twist is hidden by the fact that one character's hair changed color, and by the time that fact is revealed, the player probably won't think to connect them to a random person in someone else's backstory.
- In Golden Sun games, only Adepts ever have Anime Hair in wacky colors and styles, usually reflecting their elemental affinity. Knowing this, anybody picking up Golden Sun Dark Dawn will immediately identify Amiti (cyan-blue) as a Mercury Adept, and Blados (dark green) and Chalis (pink) as Adepts of some sort.
- Amiti's blue hair is a twofer, since he lives in an area otherwise exclusive to non-Adepts with brown or black hair. This gives away the fairly early reveal that he's not entirely of local stock.
- The Fire Emblem series is very fond of this trope. A notable example appears in Radiant Dawn, where the character Pelleas has blue hair and eyes while his mother Almedha has green hair and red eyes (which is an example of the trope in itself for anyone who's played Path of Radiance) and his father, Ashnard, the deceased king of Daein, has black hair and eyes. To the shock of everyone involved (but not any player with the least bit of Genre Savvy), Pelleas turns out to be completely unrelated to the pair; an orphan Almedha started believing was her son out of grief of having lost her real one. Their real son is still alive, incidentally, and has black hair, red eyes and his father's pale skin.
- The webcomic But I'm a Cat Person is all in greyscale except for green spot-coloring...and the eyes and hair (or, in Miranda's case, hair decs) of certain characters, mostly Beings and their Masters. If you see someone with colorful hair, odds are, they're going to be important.
- Possibly invoked by the character Kalki of Drowtales, who has light purple hair that is actually between the shades of her biological parents, Mel'arnach Val'Sarghress and Snadhya'rune Vel'Sharen. The latter was something that fans had already guessed due to this trope and a Shrug of God that more or less confirmed it, but the former might be where this trope is invoked since it's implied that her hair was white originally and was dyed, perhaps as a tribute to the other half of her lineage.