"I think my favorite part of his costume is his giant, four-foot wingspan, hang-glider collar. Why can't I ever find a lab coat with one of those?"The high, turned-up collar is synonymous not only with Classical Movie Vampires, but with Obviously Evil villainy in general. This began when Dracula was adapted into a stage play, Bela Lugosi famously played the count wearing an opera cape with the collar upturned, so that he could just turn around into the shadows, and the collar and blackness of the long cape made him seem to disappear. When it was made into a film, the effect was redundant, but Lugosi kept the collar of the cape up just for the appearance, and it became iconic. It's usually paired with a long, flowing cape, but it's not necessary. Even Evil Queens and Daddys Little Villains can wear collars like this, although they tend to be more extravagant than when male villains wear them. Also note that heroes are not excluded from wearing high collars, it's just not a sign of evil when they do it. A Sister Trope to Mystical High Collar (and overlaps with mystical villains), Ominous Opera Cape (and is often paired with this trope, as was codified by Lugosi's performance). Compare Badass Cape, Spikes of Villainy.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Lelouch as Zero wore a cape with a high collar in Code Geass, which is an early sign Zero is not the white knight hero Lelouch passes him off as.
- Oda Nobunaga from Sengoku Otome wore a dark cape with a high collar
- Mushiban, the main villain in the Yes! Pretty Cure 5 Go Go! movie, wears a cape with a collar like this.
- In Naruto, the Akatsuki uniform has a ridiculously high collar. Practically speaking, it might be intended to reduce the ability of people to identify their faces when traveling or serving as mercenaries.
- Folken of The Vision of Escaflowne combines this with Shoulders of Doom and All-Encompassing Mantle for the complete villain look.
- Skull, the leader of the Black Ghost organization, wears one in Cyborg 009.
- Science Ninja Team Gatchaman:
- Berg Katse has a nice high and wide collar, with red lining. Some of his captains have high collars as well.
- In Gatchaman Fighter, Egoblosser has a high collar on his nice coat.
- Madame Suliman of Howl's Moving Castle wears a dress with a fur-trimmed high collar. She's more antagonistic than villainous, but still pretty dangerous when the protagonists cross her.
- One Piece provides us with Gekko Moriah, who had a spiked high collar. Fits very well with his obvious horror theme.
- Batman villain Ra's Al-Ghul's most common outfit has a high collar. Although he is a terrorist and assassin, he has an air of nobility about him.
- The Flash villain Weather Wizard.
- Flash Gordon's nemesis, Ming the Merciless, most of the time. It was, of course, carried over into the Film and TV versions.
- Morbius the Living Vampire had one when he was introduced as a Tragic Villain in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man. Later inverted when he became more of an Anti-Hero, sometimes a hero outright but still wore the same outfit, with the collar often being drawn even higher and more pronounced than it was in his first appearance.
Films — Animated
- The Wicked Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Snow White herself wore a high collar with her Pimped-Out Dress, but it was rounded and shaped in a softer manner, in contrast to the sharp corners and flat shape of the queen's collar.
- Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty.
- Driven Up to Eleven by Yzma in a single scene in The Emperor's New Groove.
- Mega Mind loves these. They're even on his pajamas! Taken Up to Eleven with... The Black Mambaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Everybody on his home planet loves these.
- Concept art for Frozen shows several designs for Elsa as a villain wearing a high collar.
Films — Live-Action
- In Labyrinth, Jareth the Goblin King has two outfits featuring these — the shining black one when he first appears, and the red leather jacket with the really high collar when he appears in the tunnels.
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show - Dr. Frank N. Furter first appears sporting one of these, but it disappears pretty quickly.
- This◊ concept art of Pinhead from the Hellraiser remake. Fittingly enough, it makes him look disturbingly like someone in an iron maiden.
- Zorg in The Fifth Element has a collar so high, it reaches the top of his ears.
- Mestema wore one in The Dungeonmaster, that was a bit more wide than high.
- Loki sports one◊ in The Avengers, which, while relatively subdued, is larger than in Thor.
- Fatima Blush◊ wears one in the video game scene in the not-so-canon James Bond film Never Say Never Again.
- Legend (1985)'s magically animated black dress that Lily dances with features this collar.
- Dracula is the Trope Codifier from the aforementioned adaptations.
- A throwaway line in Drakon mentions "the high-collared black uniform of war."
- Queen Etheldredda's collar in Septimus Heap is so large that it makes her head look like it's stuck at the top of a box, making her look very arrogant and disdainful in the process.
- Emperor Zhark in the Thursday Next series naturally wears one. He once remarks that it is hard to get it properly starched.
- Archlecter Sult in The First Law trilogy wears an immaculate white uniform, of which the high collar is occasionally mentioned.
- Doctor Who:
- The Master not only wears one of these (and regulation evil villain's cloak) in the special "The Five Doctors", he appears to obtain it while teleporting (via a "power-boosted open-ended transmat beam"). Those Time Lords clearly know a thing or two about instantaneous transport and sartorial elegance, at least when not being played by Colin Baker. (The Master gets his collar back in the TV film, 13 years later).
- Inverted with "normal" Time Lords, who are (sort of) good but whose formal wear comes with a truly ridiculous collar◊ which is taller than their heads.
- Though by "The End of Time", the trope is in full play, with the Time Lords becoming Omnicidal Maniacs prepared to destroy the rest of the universe if it means they can survive.
- Game of Thrones: Roose Bolton occasionally wears his collar up, most notably at the Red Wedding. Of doom, indeed...
- Lord Fear in Knightmare sports a colossal black collar that's higher than his head.
- Star Trek: Voyager
- In "Warlord" the villain launches a coup d'etat, executing the previous ruler and removing his symbol of office. Rather than a crown this is a metal collar, so this trope comes into effect once he puts it on.
- Captain Janeway playing intergalactic Femme Fatale Queen Arachnia in "Bride of Chaotica!"
- Once Upon a Time uses this a lot. Almost all of the major villains have worn this at one point or another, but of course, the most iconic is The Evil Queen from Snow White story, a major character. Beyond her, Maleficent, Hook, and the Queen of Hearts all have high collars at one point or another.
- The Undertaker sometimes wears this as part of his entrance attire.
- Crops up occasionally in Warhammer 40,000, most commonly with officers in the Imperial Navy.
- In the 40K film Damnatus, both inquisitor Lessus and his flag captain have one.
- Heavily vampire-themed Blood Angels Chief Librarian Mephiston has a very grand one of these, complete with flowing black cloak. It does, however, act as his psychic hood. And, being a space marine, his is made of metal and has two horned skulls on the points.
- Warhammer Fantasy's Von Carstein family of Vampires tend to wear these, exhibiting all the traditional movie vampire aesthetics (although recent models have cut back a bit on this to give them a more heavily armoured, unique look. But Konrad von Carstein's heavy armour still has a high collar of spikes on the back). They are also common among High Elf Mages, Imperial wizards and a few other character types.
- In Dungeons & Dragons sourcebooks, most of the artwork of Illithids portrays them wearing these.
- Inverted on the Gothic-horror-themed plane of Innistrad in Magic: The Gathering. There the humans wear high collars as a defense against vampires (not to mention the cold). The vampire houses, on the other hand, wear no or low collars, as they have no need to protect their jugulars and are weather-resistant.
- Gravelyn from AdventureQuest Worlds
- Some Heroes can also be this
- The Mirror Realm version of Drakath also has one
- Vizier Khilbron of Guild Wars.
- And several of the Necromancer armours.
- Miss Marjoly of Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure
- The Dark Queen in Battletoads.
- Axel from Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories has a coat which features a two-pronged collar that reaches well over his head. The reason for this is that, as World of Disgaea 2 shows, the coat is actually a tweaked version of a Badass Longcoat originally intended for Laharl to wear in the second game — the pronged collar was one of his attempts to look taller and more intimidating. Now even though he's a hero, he's the Dark Hero, which means using nefarious and/or sneaky ways to win.
- Shannon, one of the main villains from God Hand, come to think of it, she's the only main Villainess...
- Ripto, the eponymous villain of Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage.
- Arakhn and her Galaxy soldiers in City of Heroes, as well as The Maestro.
- Count Draynor, a Vampyre in RuneScape, has quite an impressive collar.
- Ghetsis rocks this trope in Pokémon Black and White. His signature Pokemon also has a neck frill that resembles a high collar on all three heads.
- This look is immensely popular for Fire Emblem Villains and minor bosses.
- LeBlanc the Deceiver in League of Legends.
- In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Grodus wears one on his cape, and the Shadow Queen gives Peach one on her dress as part of the Evil Costume Switch when the queen possesses her.
- Count Bleck in Super Paper Mario
- Queen Catalina, one of the villains in Trapt.
- Inverted with the Warrior in Dissidia: Final Fantasy, although some of the showcased villains are also overendowed in the collar department.
- Raphael◊ from SoulCalibur dons one after becoming vampire-like in 3.
- In Disney Princess Enchanted Journey, Zara has a blue collar similar to Queen Grimhilde's.
- Artwork made for The Legend of Zelda Oracle games depicts Ganondorf in his original Gerudo form wearing one along with silky robes in contrast to his typical Black Knight armor, though this never made it into the final product.
- Malphas, a major villain in ''Anti Bunny" wears these along with a flowing mane of 80's hair.
- Invoked and lampshaded in Van Von Hunter, when Van marks the Flaming Prince as an enemy because nobody who isn't evil ever has a collar that big.
- Sockarang's collar is quite high◊ in the Axe Cop TV show, yet it was nonexistent on Sockarang's debut page of the webcomic. The collar grew out of nowhere during a seeming Face–Heel Turn in the Moon Warriors arc.
- In Girl Genius, antagonist Baron Klaus Wulfenbach wears collars as high as his ears◊.
- In a The Universal Genre Savvy Guide list for henchmen of the Evil Overlord, the section for the Wicked but Beautiful Daughter include this tip:
Do not wear dresses with high, fan-like collars. Stick with close-fitting, simple little numbers that allow you to turn your head to see behind you. If for some reason you have to wear a dress with a high collar, there is an arcane device called a "mirror" that will help you watch your back.
- Spoofed in Futurama, with the Omicronians, who all wear capes with high collars'.
- The Queen of the Crowns in Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers has a costume and style that is an homage to them and to Ming the Merciless.
- In the Dave the Barbarian episode "Sorcerer Material" (where Malsquando is first introduced), Fang deduces that Malsquando is evil because he has a "pointy collar". The Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Pig also has one.
- The Transformers: The Sweeps have these integrated into their Robot modes.
- In the Fairy Tale episode of X-Men, Magnus has this on his cape.
- Lord Balthazar of The Smurfs has this on his cape, as does the evil witch Chlorhydris.
- Certain Badass Longcoats can give this impression; the high collar was designed to be turned up to protect the wearer from the wind. Naturally, the collars of actual opera cloaks can do this as well.