There must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found,Some hats serve more of a purpose than just looking nice. Some even go beyond the mundane purpose of protecting the wearer's head. These Hats of Power grant some superpower or other special ability to whatever lucky chump happens to put them on. Sometimes, this serves as a more vulnerable version of Clothes Make the Superman (or at least My Suit Is Also Super), since a super fedora is more likely to get blown off by a gust of wind than a super suit is. May also be a Hat of Authority. Super Trope to Hat of Flight. Compare Weaponized Headgear and Goggles Do Something Unusual. See also Magical Accessory.
For when they placed it on his head, he began to dance around!
For when they placed it on his head, he began to dance around!
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Anime & Manga
- The Marvel Universe has the Serpent Crown, an artifact linked to an Eldritch Abomination that gives wearers various powers. It's an Expy of the Conan artifact (see Literature, below).
- And let's not forget the Mad Hatter from the DCU. As the name implies, he is a psychotic supervillain with a range of lethal headware. His "normal" hat (if you can call it that) just lets him control people's minds; hats for special occasions include exploding hats, gas-emitting hats, hats that let you fly, and hats with hilarious pop-out guns.
Film - Animated
Film - Live Action
- In Hellboy II: The Golden Army, an unnamed golden crown(The Crown of Bethmoora) allows its wearer to command the unstoppable Golden Army.
- The hats worn by members of The Adjustment Bureau are what allow them to use their Portal Network.
- Fictional even in-universe, the Golden Helmet of Membrino. Although it looks like a mere barber's bowl, is said to grant marvellous powers to the wearer. It certainly seems to inspire a capacity for harmony and group singing in nearby swine herders and muleteers in "The Man of La Mancha".
- In the Nibelungenlied, the Tarnkappe grants the wearer invisibility. Fun thing: It was originally not a hat (cap), but an cloak (cape). Due to changes of language, with kappe shifting its meaning from 'cloak' to 'hat', it became interpreted as a hat.
- In modern German, the name has become the word for all kinds of stealth technology.
- In Der Ring des Nibelungen, the Tarnhelm grants the wearer invisibility, shape-shifting, and teleportation.
- The Conan the Barbarian novel Conan the Buccaneer features the Cobra Crown, which gives magic powers to the wearer.
- Sourcery: The Archchancellor's Hat has the memories of all the Archchancellors to have worn it and can confer that power/expertise on any wearer it deems suitable.
- In Robert Westall's Urn Burial, one of the two helmets contained in the burial cairn of Prepoc allows the wearer to gain the martial prowess of the Fefetheils war-leader; letting even a mere human move with the same catlike speed and grace and use the knowledge and tactics of long-dead hunter and warrior.
- In Tom Holt's comic fantasy Expecting Someone Taller, the Tarnhelm (just as in the opera that loosely inspired the novel) grants the wearer invisibility, shape-shifting, and teleportation powers.
Live Action TV
- Barone Nero's hat in Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger can be thrown like a boomerang and shoots a beam.
- In the Pixelface episode "The Game's Up", QM comes up with a hat of invisibility that renders the wearer invisible. The drawback is that the hat itself remains visible.
- SuperMagic PowerMan's magical headband which grants him superpowers in The Aquabats! Super Show!.
- In My Hat by Anthony and Those Other Guys, his hat makes him look cooler, makes him look cooler, cooler than he actually is... and it gets him laid.
Folklore & Mythology
- Germanic folklore had a helmet that grants the wearer invisibility.
- Russian folklore had an invisibility cap, usually activated by turning it backwards and otherwise looking perfectly normal.
- Several Greek myths also mention a cap or helmet that could turn the wearer invisible. The most common version has the helmet forged by the Cyclopes for Hades during the battle with the Titans.
- Other users of the invisible cap include Hermes, Athena, and the hero Perseus.
- Dungeons & Dragons/Pathfinder has many of these:
- Healing Cap of Veluna: Priest/Cleric healing spells heal double normal number of Hit Points.
- Nightcap of Vision: Can see in the dark.
- Pileus: Gives wearer several powers allowing freeing of others from bondage.
- Circlet of Persuasion — raises the wearer's charisma
- Crown of Blindness — causes the wearer to go blind
- Hat of Difference: Can become another character class and gain Experience Points
- Hat of Disguise — Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Hat of Hatreds — causes the wearer to take on the appearance of someone those around them hate. In addition, the wearer appears to be in a vulnerable condition.
- Hat of Holding — Allows to pull out a rabbit, two long swords, a spare set of clothes... or whatever adventurers think they may need in the middle of nothing.
- Headband of Alluring Charisma — raises the wearer's charisma
- Headband of Inspired Wisdom — raises the wearer's perception and common sense
- Headband of Vast Intelligence — raises the wearer's intelligence (although not as much as the name might suggest)
- Headband of Mental Prowess — functions in the same way as any two of the above three items
- Headband of Mental Superiority — raises all three mental stats (Charisma, Wisdom, Intelligence)
- Helm of Comprehend Languages and Read Magic — another Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Helm of Telepathy — and yet another Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Helm of Teleportation — Exactly What It Says on the Tin (the writers went for descriptive rather than creative names most of the time)
- Helm of Underwater Action — allows the wearer to see clearly and breathe underwater
- Helm of Brilliance: Grants many light and fire based spell abilities
- Helm of Darkness: Can cast darkness, immune to many attack forms
- Harrowhelm: Grants psionic abilities
- Skull of Death: Gives several death-based abilities
- The crown of Nagash from Warhammer is a potent artifact, turning the wearer into a necromancer and granting him increased intelligence and magic power at the cost of "hearing voices" —as the crown has personality of its own. It's implied that the crown used to be ordinary, and gained its powers from spending several centuries on the head of Nagash, the great necromancer.
- Munchkin parodies this with such items as the "Horny Helmet" and "Pointy Hat of Power".
- GURPS Magic Items 2 features several kinds of magic headgear, but perhaps the best example is the Hat of Magery. It is a silly-looking pointy hat that turns a mundane wearer into a mage, makes those who are already mages even more powerful, and lets the user perform improvised magic. What should make players a bit wary of donning it is that it was made by an infamous mad wizard, who insists he created it as a practical joke.
- Wario Land:
- In Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, hats served as Mutually Exclusive Powerups. The jet hat allows Wario to fly, the dragon hat allows Wario to breathe fire, and the bull hat allows Wario to Ground Pound while also strengthening his normal charge attack.
- Virtual Boy Wario Land has similar power-ups to the first game.
- A Spiked Helmet similar to the bull hat (re)appears in Wario Land 3, but like all the power-ups in that game, it becomes a permanent effect (namely, letting you break blocks with your head) and does not show up on Wario's sprite.
- In Cave Story, the Demon Crown is an Artifact of Doom which grants its wearer magic powers, as well as complete control over a Quirky Miniboss Squad and the frenzied Mimigas. At least one war was fought over control of this Crown.
- In Kid Chameleon, various helmet/mask powerups enable the protagonist to transform into different forms with different powers.
- Clonk: In the Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars-like scenario "Keepers", the Hunting Hat boosts your agility.
- In Last Scenario, Helio wears a speed-increasing hair ribbon, and Flynn has a beret protecting against some detrimental effects. Also, there are items like the Arch-Angel's Halo, which immunizes against all negative status effects and gives huge defence boosts, the Spring Hat, massively increasing HP, and the Crystalline Crown (automatically bestowing P-Shield).
- Bug!! has the Zap Cap, which allows the titular character to shock enemies in front of him.
- Super Mario 64's hats all fall under this, they're all power ups which give Mario different abilities like being made of metal, going through enemies and obstacles while invisible and flight, and you can mix and match them all. Heck, Mario's normal hat too, he takes double damage without it somehow.
- The titular cap from The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap grants the wishes of its wearer. However, it can't show its full power without the Light Force that Princess Zelda just happens to be full of. Ezlo is a weird example, because while he lets Link shrink whenever he is being worn, it's because he's a sapient being who is consciously using his own spell to do so.
- In The Adventures of Lomax, Lomax's helmet. It can be thrown like a boomerang, it can be thrown to explode (somehow multiplying itself in the process), its plume can stretch and grab certain surfaces, it can work like Helicopter Hair, and of course, wearing the helmet provides a protection from being a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
- Vice Versa, Cerebella's hat, pet, and weapon of choice in Skull Girls. Vice Versa is a big, orange beanie with two muscular arms coming from the sides that Cerebella uses to grapple, crush, and bludgeon on command. Vice Versa's arms are strong to the point where they are able to lift up an elephant with one hand, or crush rocks into diamonds using both.
- Ultra Fast Pony: In "Rocks, Clocks, and Two Stupid Ponies", Applejack claims her hat (and possibly every hat in the world) is magic. In fact, she attributes all her success in life to wearing this hat. And Twilight Sparkle agrees that AJ's hat might pose a serious threat to her own unicorn magic. At no point does anyone elaborate on what this hat actually does.
- One of the magic types in Erfworld is "Hat Magic". The main examples seen so far are message hats, used to transmit notes and gems from one hat to another.
- Tails of Lanschilandia has the Madcap of Malvaric, a more evil-looking Happy Harlequin Hat which grants assorted magic powers to its wearer and serves as the MacGuffin of the comic's third story.
- The Hat Lords and Ladies of Decrypting Rita are known as such because their hats are conduits of their power and may contain their soul.
- In "What's Opera, Doc?", Siegfried Fudd had a "spear and magic helmet", the latter of which apparently gave him power to summon lightning and storms.
- A famous Rocky and Bullwinkle serial featured the Kerwood Derbynote , a hat that vastly amplified the wearer's intelligence. It's last known wearer was Albert Einstein.
- Mighty Max had a kid whose baseball cap made him the Capbearer, and apparently the guardian of reality or something. He used it to access a Portal Network around the world.
- Frosty the Snowman was brought to life by a magic hat.
- Curiously, some 15 years before the song was penned (1950), a cartoon called "The Snowman" (1936) had an Eskimo boy and his animal pals building a snowman which came to life when given a hat (here a metal chimney cap) - unfortunately he became a horrifying monster Snowlem.
- An episode of Doug had the eponymous character find a hat that gave him amazing luck, which he became so attached too he would refuse to take it off even when getting a haircut. By the end of the episode it flies off to places unknown and everything returns to the Status Quo.
- On The Amazing World of Gumball, the family fights over a Tinfoil Hat that gives the wearer incredibly good luck. Anais takes it to the dump to destroy it, leading to a Lord of the Rings parody with Gumball as Gollum.
- Willoughby's Magic Hat is an odd 1940s cartoon from Columbia studios - it tells how Samson's hair was woven into a knit cap that gave the wearer super strength. Over the millenia it was a deciding factor in many historic events, and gets purchased by a little schnook of a guy who then faces off against a Frankenstein-like robot menacing a damsel.
- In one episode of The Big Knights, the knights are given hats that render them invisible.