"What the hell is going on with that hair? Everything else about him is fine, but that single strand of his hair is defying all laws of gravity. You could tie him to the end of a rope and use him to catch fish."
(literally idiot hair
) refers to the noticeable slim forelock of hair that sticks straight up from a character's head. Originally a hairdresser term for the "stupid hairs" or cowlicks that will not comb down, it later mutated
into a literal reflection of a person's intelligence. Thus Idiot Hair
suggests that a character is stupid, naive, or strange
. (This suggestion is usually accurate, but not always - sometimes a serious character just has funny hair.)
Even if a character is not specifically stupid, naive, or particularly odd, the ahoge also usually represents a general mischievous
quality about them in general. Goes hand in hand with the Cat Smile
. It can also be used to show that Something Else Also Rises
is not to be confused with the two-stranded antennae-style hair
, popularized by Love Hina
or Ah! My Goddess
Can be Truth in Television
, as people with cowlicks
can attest to.
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Anime and Manga
- Three characters, including both main characters, have ahoge in A Little Snow Fairy Sugar. It is played straight with Sugar, but is slightly subverted with Saga, who likes to keep to schedules and only appears to be an idiot because no one else can see season fairies.
- Acchi Kocchi has the main couple have ahoges. Neither of them are exactly idiots, but Io's known to be a bit...dense.
- Mephisto in Ao No Exorcist has a spectacular one under his Nice Hat.
- Athena from ARIA has one, though she's more of a space case than an outright idiot. Akatsuki also has one.
- In Axis Powers Hetalia, several characters have them.
- And it seems some of these idiot hairs have meaning, representing several places (America's is Nantucket, Korea's is supposed to be Seoul, Austria's is Mariazell, etc.)
- Several pictures of Roman Empire show that he has several idiot hairs, and that they may have been passed on to his descendents (Both Italy brothers, Greece, and possibly Egypt.)
- The Italy brothers are mirror images of each other. North Italy's is on his left side while South's is on his right.
- One comic revealed that they get flustered when people touch them, because they're erogenous zones for them.
- The Principality of Seborga has a curl similar to North Italy's, but it has a more rumpled and bent appearance.
- When the two curls overlap, they form a heart. See here◊.
- Greece has one that splits into two on the top of his head. The ends curl round in the style of an Ionic column.
- Korea has one too. It's sometimes drawn with a face.
- Austria, normally The Stoic, will sometimes express emotion through his ahoge.
- Taiwan has the longest of any known country, which seems to fit with her being the only girl with one.
- America and Canada both have them.
- It's no surprise that they both have one, being brothers. What is interesting is how different they are. America's is short, thick, and curves back over his hair. Canada's is long, thin, has a loop, and falls forward in front of his face.
- Australia has two. AND England's eyebrows.
- Norway's floats.
- He also a strange dot◊ that floats alongside his idiot hair.
- Turkey's splits into two at the nape of his neck.
- Not only that, but in the few times Italian and Austrian citizens are represented, they have the very same ahoge style of their respective countries.
- The top image comes from Bakemonogatari. The depicted Koyomi as well as his sisters Karen and Tsukihi have ahoge, but Koyomi's is the tallest.
- While Koyomi has the "idiot hair" and does occasionally act the fool, let it be said that he's less an idiot than a Deadpan Snarker hero type with Expressive Hair. His ahoge manages to add amusing sequences to some episodes (like the page picture's source) that are less image-based and more talky.
- It manages to forms question marks when he's confused and he even blushes through it in episode 13.
- In episode 1 of Nisemonogatari, it formed the kanji for love.
- Moritaka Mashiro from Bakuman。.
- Both Ronald Knox and Snake from Black Butler.
- In Blue Drop, Mari's chemistry teacher Yuuko puts up her hair in this fashion to cheer Mari up. She also does it to Mari herself, much to the latter's delight.
- Kururu and Hororo in Bottle Fairy, but it's more about not knowing human's customs, and the other two aren't better at it either, and when all four combine into one girl, she gets one that goes all around her head
- Meg in Burst Angel.
- Maria from Canaan, which at one point even gets commented on by Canaan herself.
- Kosukegawa in Change 123 has expressive idiot hair. It was also used at least once for the Something Else Also Rises trope.
- Rikka of Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! sports one, which is also expressive.
- Most of the main cast as well.
- In Crimson Grave the two heroes go dungeon-exploring with a treasure hunter whose expressive ahoge is apparently smarter than she is. It always points in the direction she should go, and she follows it without realizing.
- Papi from Daily Life with Monster Girl has this, to no one's surprise.
- DieBuster: Nono's ahoge is epic, and it's certainly a good indicator of her personality in this case. It even stays in place (with a slightly more angular shape) after she goes into Buster Machine mode.
- Dragon Ball: Goku's entire head of hair is this.
- Child!Tintlet from Dragon Knights
- Suzuna from Eyeshield 21 will suddenly develop it whenever another character's romantic subplot is brought up. It then homes in on them like radar.
- Hanajima from Fruits Basket grows one and uses it as an antenna when she's using her psychic powers.
- Several characters in Fullmetal Alchemist have this, although it's almost never indicative of their intelligence.
- Ed is the most obvious example. He can be seen invoking this trope in one scene after he gets out of the shower, in which he sticks up his hair before putting on any clothes. He probably does this because of how short he is.
- It also seems to be one of many traits PASSED DOWN THE ARMSTRONG LINE FOR GENERATIONS!, as every single Armstrong has this (even Olivier, but she grew it out to make it not stick up).
- Kaname from Full Metal Panic! occasionally sports this style.
- Sensei-chan Megumi from Gakkou Gurashi has a giant Idiot Hair. She keeps it after becoming a zombie.
- Gundam Seed Destiny: Lunamaria Hawke's ahoge is really quite subdued. Some have suggested that it's a Mythology Gag reference to the commander antenna possessed by Zeon mobile suits in the Universal Century timeline; Luna's ZAKU Warrior doesn't have one, so she got it instead.
- Haré and Weda in Haré+ Guu. Weda isn't really an idiot but acts irresponsible and care-free because it's a more fun way to live life and to avoid facing her issues. Haré is pretty smart and the show's Only Sane Man, but this frequently causes him to run around like an idiot out of stress since he's the only one who can't go with the flow.
- Interesting to note: Weda's mom has no ahoge. Weda has one. Haré has two. Weda's second child Ame has three. We can only imagine what Haré's own kids might look like.
- Haruhi Suzumiya:
- Taniguchi has one.
- Sometimes, Suzumiya has one, too, depending on how she's doing her hair. It may just be the wind, but it's amazing how much her hair does that.
- Played straight in Haruhi-chan. It's a tiny strand, but it appears when she's more genki than usual.
- Hayate of Hayate × Blade has one, which the creator lampshades here◊ and here◊.
- Hayate the Combat Butler subverts this. He has an Idiot Hair at the back of his head. In keeping with that, he is sometimes an idiot (say, dealing with the girls), and sometimes hyper-competent.
- Kyoko in Heat Guy J to show her innocence. (i.e. she's one of very few characters that don't come from a dysfunctional family and didn't experience loss of a friend or family member).
- Rip van Winkle from Hellsing subverts this: she has a very long ahoge, but is far from a fool. She's a Nazi vampire with a single-shot flintlock musket that can shoot down multiple targets (including missiles) with a single shot.
- In the manga Inukami! Youko's idiot hair pops up from time to time, usually when she's acting like a ditz.
- The eponymous Iono from Iono the Fanatics also has one. She's not really an idiot, but she's a lesbian Bunny Ears Queen who is very much led by her hormones.
- Ixion Saga DT: Princess Ecarlate grows one in her "hyperactivity period".
- She can grow up to three, and horrible things happen if she does. So naturally, it happens.
- Jubei-chan has two characters with these. When engaged in a shouting match at one point, they came close enough for their Ahoge antennas to actually do battle with each other.
- Ayano Kannagi from Kaze no Stigma. In episode 13 you can see her putting a great deal of work into making sure she has an Idiot Hair, including combing her hair a certain way and liberal amounts of hairspray. Why? Who knows. It fits, though.
- Fuyuki in Keroro Gunsou, who's something of a genius in geography and the paranormal. Not Keroro, Fuyuki.
- In the closing credits for episode 231 it's hinted that NPG bodyguard Yoshiokadaira Masayoshi has been hiding one under his helmet.
- Kimi ni Todoke: Sawako also displays this trait, though it is uncommon.
- Inverted with Shirai-sensei of Kodomo no Jikan, who's the utterly stern and strict teacher with a thin but prominent hair over her head. It's still there after her Important Haircut during her Defrosting Ice Queen phase.
- Haruna from Kore wa Zombie desu ka? has one that is expressive.
- Yuuri has one in Kyo Kara Maoh.
- Kitsune in Love Hina.
- Kotori from Love Live! has a quite gigantic ahoge.
- Konata in Lucky Star is definitely not an idiot, but she is Book Dumb and loves to annoy Kagami.
- Interestingly, Kagami had an ahoge early on in the manga.
- Akira from Lucky Channel also has an ahoge, but if you respect your own life, do NOT call her an idiot.
- And Yui Narumi, Konata's cousin, has a tiny ahoge.
- Macross Frontier: Ranka Lee has one as well, to go with her Expressive Hair.
- Slightly ditzy Bridge Bunny Amy of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha had one pop up on her head. Chrono responded by trying to comb it down with a hairbrush and a can of hairspray while wearing his usual stoic expression.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!:
- Asuna has one of these in her hair, and she's a member of Class 3-A's "Baka Rangers" clique for the students who consistently get the lowest grades.
- Yue Ayase has one running across her head, and is also a member of Class 3-A's "Baka Rangers". However, she's actually very smart, just really lazy.
- Nodoka also has one, but she's ranked something like 23rd in her grade of over 700 students.
- Chisame Hasegawa also has one, and she's the only class member without a Weirdness Censor.
- A more straight example is Nagi "
Five, Maybe Six Spells Tops Thousand Master" Springfield, Negi's missing father. Not to mention Negi himself, who is "an idiot in reverse" due to overthinking, and his obliviousness about girls.
- Mai-HiME's Mai is a borderline case — her ahoge runs across her forehead instead of sticking up. On the other hand, Arika in Mai-Otome has one serious ahoge (among other hair oddities).
- For Arika, it's more Hair Antennae. She even earns the nickname Arinko-chan, i.e. Anty.
- Many, many characters from Medaka Box, including the titular heroine. Particular styles seem to run in the family.
- Chiaki from Minami-ke has one, even though she's a Little Miss Snarker and not an idiot.
- Sumi in Moetan has this, and it overlaps with Expressive Hair, changing shape to represent her feelings (such as a heart, a sweatdrop, and many more.)
- The appropriately ditzy Miki Motokura of Mo-Retsu Boin Sensei (yeah, it's that kind of manga) has the side-oriented ahoge similar to the Italies. A Live-Action Adaptation reproduces it faithfully.
- In the Naruto epilogue, Naruto and Hinata's children Boruto/Bolt and Himawari are both shown to have a small ahoge on their head, though Himawari sometimes has her's pulled up into a single pigtail.
- Neo Ranga: Ushio has a curled version of this.
- Noelle. Not her hair per se (though it is flipped up), but the ribbons from her bows seriously defy gravity.
- From One Piece Lulu, one of the Galley-la foremen, generally has a straight "spike" of hair sticking out of his head at a random direction. When he tries to push it down, it just pops back up again somewhere else, and can get extra-ridiculous when it sticks out of his mustache or the back of his hand, and it eventually spreads to other people.
- Marguerite is a more typical example, with a few stray unruly strands of hair.
- After his upgrade, Franky can grow his hair in any style he wants.
- Rufus Barma in Pandora Hearts. Break actually calls him "ahoge."
- Himeko from Pani Poni Dash! is given the nickname "Ahoge", for both mentioned reasons. Her cowlick even moves around of its own accord.
- In episode 3, Becky briefly gets one, and she gets so frustrated with hers that she rips Himeko's cowlick right out of her head.
- Sakura Nankyoku (Penguin Musume Heart) is a classic example of the trope. Her mother also has an ahoge.
- Ruby from the Pokémon Special manga has something resembling an ahoge, but it's only visible without his trademark cap, and doesn't seem indicative of any particular personality traits.
- Ahiru/Duck in Princess Tutu has an ahoge roughly as tall as her head. This has botched a few of her attempts at stealth. Small birds have been spotted sitting on it and pecking it.
- Kazumi of Puella Magi Kazumi Magica has one. It doubles as a witch detector. Airi also has one, in her original appearance.
- Pretty much the entire significant female cast of Rokujyouma no Shinryakusha!? has the same hair hanging from the side of their head.
- Moka of Rosario + Vampire has one, though it's not always easily visible. Also, neither of her personalities is an idiot, though Outer Moka can be a bit of a ditz.
- Nori, from Rozen Maiden, has an ahoge too.
- Takei Hisa of Saki. There's also Touka and her expressive idiot hair.
- Nikaidou from Sangatsu no Lion is the only character that has one. Its lampshaded when his appearance reverting from a slightly more realistic style due to an Art Shift; it swings right back up from his bangs during the one-panel transformation.
- Kurimu in Seitokai no Ichizon.
- Musubi, Hikari, Shijime, Kujika, Mikogami, and Karasuba of Sekirei. Karasuba's is the mischievous version.
- Lucy of Servant × Service is actually born with one. Yutaka loves grabbing it. Hers is also expressive.
- Nagasumi in Seto no Hanayome.
- The eponymous character of Shakugan no Shana is certainly not an idiot, but she can be very hot-blooded, and Yuji is almost always the better tactician.
- Tiara of Shamanic Princess has a strand of hair that extends up, then sweeps across her face. She does not fit the character type at all, but her design may be an artifact of an earlier stage of the series' development. In the beginning, it wasn't planned to be as dark as it ended up.
- Tadase from Shugo Chara! has one of these, though he's not an idiot; just oblivious.
- Miyuki in Smile Pretty Cure!. When she turns into Cure Happy, she grows another!
- Death the Kid in Soul Eater. You'd think he'd notice that he only has one cowlick on one side of his head, considering his obsession with symmetry and how much he freaks about the white lines.
- Special A Kei has this, which has been commented upon by some.
- To Aru Majutsu no Index: MISAKA has MISAKA has one! (though she denies that it's an ahoge in volume 15.) Her 20,000 Sisters (+ 1) don't, though.
- Lala of To Love-Ru, fittingly enough.
- Oddly enough, Cain from Trinity Blood in this picture of him in the manga. He's certainly acting like an idiot...
- Kazuma Azuma in Yakitate!! Japan, though they looked more like Hair Antennae.
- Yumeji from Yumekui Merry. Merry, after falling out of a tree onto him (again), recognizes him by the "antenna".
- Both protagonists in the Wandering Son anime have small Idiot Hair's.
- Loretta Oratorio from Wild ARMs: Twilight Venom.
- There's Something About Mary, as seen here.
- There's also something a bit more to that one, though.
- Kyoami in Ran; being court jester to Lord Ichimonji, this makes sense. Subverted in that (like most jesters), he's actually very intelligent, using his humorous facade to speak (horrible) truth to power.
- Alfalfa from the Our Gang shorts.
- Nyarko from Haiyore! Nyarko-san; since she's Nyarlathotep, it's prehensile to act as a stand-in for a tentacle. It's also a Malign Deity Radar, in addition to being able to form complex shapes like kanji and an at-mark (at least in the anime). Rather than outright stupidity though (she graduated top of her class and went to a prestigious university), it reflects the fact that she's The Ditz.
- It seems to be a trait all Nyarlathotepians share. Both her brother Nyar-o (who is Book Dumb), and her cousin Nyarue (who is not said to be dumb, but gets nervous easily) also have one.
- Hasta from the same series has the twin antenna version, but he's neither stupid nor especially ditzy.
- Yamagi Noriko's design from Project NRI gives her an ahoge. According to her, she has been teased about it in the past.
"Um... It wasn't. Don't worry. That's the first time anybody's ever said it was cute, though. Usually I get 'why is it up like that?' or 'haha, Noriko, are you a unicorn?'"
- Noriko's example could be a mild subversion of the trope, because Noriko is a brilliant mathematician and one of the more level-headed characters in the story.
Live Action TV
- Pokemon Diamond And Pearl: Starly has an ahoge which develops into a heavy crest as it evolves.
- Adell from Disgaea 2, who certainly qualifies for the title of Idiot Hero.
- The Fighter/Knight's sprite in Final Fantasy I on the Dawn Of Souls GBA remake.
- Ramza from Final Fantasy Tactics, and Marche from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.
- Heart Aino from Arcana Heart has heart-shaped ahoge. Just guess what kind of character she is.
- Chairperson/Iincho from Rival Schools. Though not really dumb as far as intelligence goes, she did "learn" Karate over a very short period of time and without any actual training, and it shows.
- Appropriately enough, her "teacher" Dan Hibiki from Street Fighter has a similar forelock.
- Marona in Phantom Brave, to match her Pollyanna optimism.
- One of the portraits for the Medic class from Etrian Odyssey has just this strand of idiot hair. And while there's no actual personality given to her (or any playable character) in-game, official comics from the game creators portray her as a bit of a ditz.
- The main characters from Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility have these as well.
- Celia from "A Wonderful Life", "Another Wonderful Life", "A Wonderful Life: Special Edition", "DS" and "Cute".
- Emil Castagnier from Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World.
- Milla Maxwell from Tales of Xillia and its sequel has a really long one. It's her crowning glory and she swishes it like a cow's tail.
- Johnny Garland from Shadow Hearts: From the New World has this. Definitely the naive one of the group.
- A frequent design feature of Golden Sun characters, especially playables, and it means nothing about their intelligence. In fact, it tends to show up more on brainier characters, as the more conventionally dumb ones usually have spikey hair instead. Alex has an ahoge, as does Kraden.
- Brian of Quest 64 has one of these. We can't tell what, if anything, it indicates about his personality, though.
- Marina Wulfstan from Valkyria Chronicles has this. She's a Cold Sniper though.
- Nikki, a Catgirl player character from Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis. The manual lampshades this by measuring her height with and without it (4'9 or 5'1, respectively).
- Sarah Jerand from Star Ocean: The Last Hope has an especially swirly and feminine version. Considering her personality makes one wonder if bird brain would be considered an ethnic slur...
- Makoto Nanaya in BlazBlue. She's an interesting example, as she has two strands of Idiot Hair and acts like an idiot, but further character review reveals that she's actually rather intelligent and even competent at her job.
- Nu 13 and Lambda 11, though neither are idiots per se; Lambda was an "empty shell", while Nu only spoke like a ditz when talking with Ragna, a very scary ditz.
- Carl Clover also has an ahoge beneath his hat, most typically seen during the Academy days. Like Makoto, he's not an idiot; unlike her, he doesn't pretend to be one.
- Tita Nium, from Otomedius features an ahoge and a spacey personality. The ahoge itself might not actually be an ahoge, though. It moves on its own...
- Even though he is a Well-Intentioned Extremist and not at all an idiot, Psaro the Manslayer from Dragon Quest IV has a quite a long ahoge near his forehead...
- Rue from Threads of Fate has this sort of hairstyle, revealed only when he takes off his hat.
- Demon-goddess Shinki from Mystic Square has a small ponytail high on her head, which is often joked to be an ahoge by the fandom.
- The (canon) female Reyva from Soul Nomad & the World Eaters has a large one, although she's not particularly stupid.
- Team Fortress 2's Medic has a prominent curl in his hair, although it kind of looks like he styled his hair that way on purpose (it pulls double duty to cover for an obviously retreating hairline and to evoke that Superman look). It's even jiggleboned in "Meet the Medic". He's intelligent, but that doesn't mean he knows what he's doing.
- In Poker Night 2, Ash has this, too. It's also jiggleboned.
- Ini Miney when she takes off her hat in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All.
- Saber in Fate/stay night. A non-indicative one for the most part, but for God's sake don't pull it like what Gilgamesh did; she'll turn into Saber Alter.
- Fate Nuovo Guerra seems to have made this a family trait of sorts. Her 'son' has it, and so does her father (both are summoned as Saber-class Servants too). The latter's profile even lampshades it.
- Probably notable, is that due to the serious nature of the series, the canon stories themselves never points out her ahoge; however, like Akiha's small bust size, the fandom likes to play with it.
- From School Days, both Sekai Saionji, whose ahoge pretty much speaks for the entire cast, and Makoto Ito have one. Sekai's is larger and much more noticeable, and Makoto's is on the back of his head.
- Jun Kitagawa from Kanon.
- Yukine Miyazawa from CLANNAD has the physical aspect of ahoge.
- Hisao, the protagonist of Katawa Shoujo has a prominent ahoge. His personality does not correspond with his hairstyle, however.
- In Kira-Kira, both Kirari, and the crosdressing Shikanosuke have one.
- Handicapped Badass Snake, from Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors is a massive subversion. He's certainly the most intelligent of the characters, particularly book-smarts-wise.
- Orpha and Aselia in Eien no Aselia. The first is a genki girl loli driven entirely by id and the latter is an Emotionless Girl Cloud Cuckoolander with a questionable grasp of reason when her character gets flashed out.
- Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai has at least three: Momoyo, Koyuki, and Tatsuko.
- Komari from Little Busters! has one and is the naive type.
- Yo-Jin-Bo has Bo, whose hair is otherwise sleek and well-behaved, except for one strand that always hangs in his face. However, he's arguably one of the smarter guys.
- Hatoful Boyfriend's Sakazaki Yuuya's faux-human appearance comes with two ahoges. He's far from stupid, but rather easygoing and flirtatious, and kind of the Butt Monkey. In the manga, he seems unhappy about getting one to help differentiate him from the other two white fantail doves.
- In Danganronpa, protagonist Makoto Naegi has this hair. The protagonist of Super Dangan Ronpa 2, Hajime Hinata, has it as well. In Absolute Despair Girls, Naegi's younger sister Komaru is the main character, and has also developed this hair (despite not having it in the original game, where she made her split-second debut). In Dangan Ronpa Zero, Yasuke Matsuda has it as well. The fandom often refers to the hairstyle as "Protagonist Hair".
- Yukino in My Girlfriend Is the President has a rather large one AND a smaller one right next to it. It pulls double duty as Expressive Hair as well.
- Played for Laughs in Girl Genius in an interlude where Agatha tries to bring her three idiot hairs from the top of her head under control with increasingly violent and crazy means.
- Ménage ŕ 3, having a manga-influenced art style, uses this visual motif occasionally, but apparently mostly to indicate surprise rather than stupidity or weirdness, as here.
- Miamaska might as well be called Amity and the Perpetual Cowlick.
- minus., the titular omnipotent little girl from the webcomic of the same name hosted on Kiwis By Beat.
- ME-tan, the OS-tan Anthropomorphic Personification of Windows ME.
- Most characters in Knowledge is Power, with the exception of those whose hair is too uniformly short (like Colin) or long (like David) for it to make any sense. This extends to Ironychan's other webcomics as well, although it wasn't as obvious in Get Medieval.
- The main character of TwoKinds, Trace Legacy, who also has blue hair! This character fits the exception of the rule in that he's not technically stupid. It's humored at in this picture that it's the source of his magical powers.
- A-san from Overlord Academy.
- Quite common in Fiyora Nya, with Ayako and Kyuuke probably being the most obvious examples.
- While it isn't on a specific character, the website Gaia Online has an equippable avatar item known as the Idiot Hair (specifically modeled after the Hetalia ahoges).
- Baxter's hair from Sins does this.
- Irya from Bits Fair has a giant idiot hair sticking out, in addition to having a hairstyle that looks like a pattypan.
- Matt from White Dark Life has a large crescent of hair sticking out from the top of his head. According to supplementary materials, it actually saps up some of his intelligence sometimes.