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Idiot Hair
"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."

Ahogenote  (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.

Idiot Hair 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.

Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kazuma Azuma in Yakitate!! Japan, though they looked more like Hair Antennae.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Kitsune in Love Hina.
  • 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.
  • Jubei-chan had 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.
  • 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.)
  • Sakura Nankyoku (Penguin Musume Heart) is a classic example of the trope. Her mother also has an ahoge.
  • 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.
  • Yue Ayase from Mahou Sensei Negima! has one running across her head, and is a member of Class 3-A's "Baka Rangers" clique for the students who consistently get the lowest grades.
    • Nodoka also had an Idiot Hair, 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.
  • Moritaka Mashiro from Bakuman。.
  • 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.
  • Taniguchi from Suzumiya Haruhi 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.
  • Nori, from Rozen Maiden, has an ahoge too.
  • Chiaki from Minami-ke has one, even though she's a Little Miss Snarker and not an idiot.
  • 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.
      • According to the notes, it's his soul, not Seoul. Hence the face. Stealth Pun?
    • 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.
  • Kaname from Full Metal Panic! occasionally sports this style.
  • 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.
  • Athena from ARIA has one, though she's more of a space case than an outright idiot. Akatsuki also has one.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tadase from Shugo Chara! has one of these, though he's not an idiot; just oblivious.
  • 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 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.
  • In the manga Inukami! Youko's idiot hair pops up from time to time, usually when she's acting like a ditz.
  • 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.
  • Meg in Burst Angel.
  • 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.
  • Takei Hisa of Saki. There's also Touka and her expressive idiot hair.
  • 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.
  • Maria from Canaan, which at one point even gets commented on by Canaan herself.
  • Hayate of Hayate × Blade has one, which the creator lampshades here and here.
  • Loretta Oratorio from Wild ARMs: Twilight Venom.
  • Kosukegawa in Change 123 has expressive idiot hair. It was also used at least once for the Something Else Also Rises trope.
  • Kurimu in Seitokai no Ichizon.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Peeply Lulu from One Piece has a pretty stubborn lock of hair. Whenever he tries to hold it down, it immediately pops up somewhere else. Eventually it starts popping up on other people.
  • Rufus Barma in Pandora Hearts. Break actually calls him "ahoge."
  • Nagasumi in Seto no Hanayome.
  • 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.
  • Oddly enough, Cain from Trinity Blood in this picture of him in the manga. He's certainly acting like an idiot...
  • 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.
  • Both Ronald Knox and Snake from Black Butler.
  • Macross Frontier: Ranka Lee has one as well, to go with her Expressive Hair.
  • Yuuri has one in Kyo Kara Maoh.
  • 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).
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Yumeji from Yumekui Merry. Merry, after falling out of a tree onto him (again), recognizes him by the "antenna".
  • Noelle. Not her hair per se (though it is flipped up), but the ribbons from her bows seriously defy gravity.
  • Many, many characters from Medaka Box, including the titular heroine. Particular styles seem to run in the family.
  • Hanajima from Fruits Basket grows one and uses it as an antenna when she's using her psychic powers.
  • Kazumi of Puella Magi Kazumi Magica has one. It doubles as a witch detector. Airi also has one, in her original appearance.
  • Haruna from Kore wa Zombie desu ka? has one that is expressive.
  • Dragon Ball: Goku's entire head of hair is this.
  • Special A Kei has this, which has been commented upon by some.
  • Miyuki in Smile Pretty Cure!. When she turns into Cure Happy, she grows another!
  • 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.
  • Mephisto in Ao No Exorcist has a spectacular one under his Nice Hat.
  • Both protagonists in the Wandering Son anime have small Idiot Hair's.
  • Acchi Kocchi has the main couple have ahoges. Neither of them are exactly idiots, but Io's known to be a bit...dense.
  • Kimi ni Todoke: Sawako also displays this trait, though it is uncommon.
  • 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.
  • Rikka of Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! sports one, which is also expressive.
    • Most of the main cast as well.
  • 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.
  • Neo Ranga: Ushio has a curled version of this.
  • Papi from Daily Life with Monster Girl has this, to no one's surprise.
  • Kotori from Love Live! has a quite gigantic ahoge.
  • Lucy of Servant × Service is actually born with one. Yutaka loves grabbing it. Hers is also expressive.
  • Child!Tintlet from Dragon Knights
  • 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.
  • Musubi, Hikari, Shijime, Kujika, Mikogami, and Karasuba of Sekirei. Karasuba's is the mischievous version.
  • Pretty much the entire significant female cast of Rokujyouma no Shinryakusha!? has the same hair hanging from the side of their head.

    Comic Books 

    Film 
  • 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.

    Literature 
  • 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.
    • 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 

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • 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 the third Danganronpa, Naegi's younger sister Komaru is the main character, and has also developed this hair. The fandom often refers to the hairstyle as "Protagonist Hair".

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    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

Hot-Blooded SideburnsHair TropesImportant Hair Accessory
Horned HairdoExpository HairstylesPeek-a-Bangs
Hot-Blooded SideburnsAnime HairImprobable Hairstyle
Idiot BallComedy TropesIdiot Hero

alternative title(s): Ahoge
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