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Planet of Hats
Going Native on the Planet Of Hats.

"If you want a problem shot, ask a turian. If you want a problem talked to death, ask an asari. If you want a new problem, ask a salarian. If you want a problem fixed, you ask a human."
Commander Shepard (Renegade option), Mass Effect 2

On their Wagon Train to the Stars, our intrepid heroes come across a planet with a single defining characteristic. Everybody is a robot, or a gangster, or a Proud Warrior Race Guy, or an over-the-top actor, or wearing a Nice Hat. To some degree, this is unavoidable; you only have so much screen time or page space to develop and explore a culture. This is especially true in episodic series where the heroes travel to a new planet each week and you have to both introduce a planet and tell a story all within a single episode.

Earth itself is sometimes portrayed as a Planet Of Hats. The defining human characteristic is often "pluck", "sheer cussedness", creativity, and sometimes even "diversity", though "bastardry" and "stupidity" are common in more misanthropic works. Sometimes it's stated that Hattery is the natural state and it's humans that are the aberrant ones, or rather that humanity's Hat is not having one.

Writers love to use the hat planet to represent controversial issues in society whenever they can. This way the show's characters can take a thinly disguised public stand on an issue that the network execs would otherwise consider too taboo to openly discuss. We can't have our heroes discussing euthanasia, but should they stumble across a Planet Of Hats where everyone who gets sick is put to death, then it's okay. Eventually the plots will run out with an entire race of identical people so one or more of the species will have their hat fall off, declaring My Species Doth Protest Too Much. Alternately, the show may explore why Klingon Scientists Get No Respect. For maximum typing, the characters can also be physically uniform, as in People of Hair Color.

The Planet Of Hats may also be an unintended result of a Character Exaggeration type Plot Tumor applied to an entire race, when the audience had previously only seen a single representative who the writers now wish to market. For cases where a planetary hat is extrapolated retroactively from a single character, see Planet of Copyhats.

Just for comparison, Earth has seven continents, hosting just under two hundred states, with an estimated five thousand ethnicities, with even more thousands of different languages and their varied dialects. There is no reason to suspect that alien life forms would be any different, but in media they are nowhere near as diverse as one might expect.

Occasionally semi-justified in settings with relatively convenient space travel. Many nations agree to use a single language (usually English) when they must operate in a multinational group. It is also reasonable to expect planetary colonists to be culturally and linguistically uniform.

Compare: Gang of Hats. Contrast: Multicultural Alien Planet. See also Rubber-Forehead Aliens, Intelligent Gerbil, Scary Dogmatic Aliens. May result because Apathy Killed the Cat. If the planet's hat is being evil, it's an example of Always Chaotic Evil. Serious Business is what happens when the show's setting gets a hat. This trope in itself is a good example of Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale. See Single-Biome Planet when the planet is unnaturally uniform physically. One-Product Planet is a subtrope, but focuses on economics rather than culture.

Has nothing to do with a certain war-themed hat simulator. For the webcomic of the same name, see here.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

     Anime & Manga 

  • Galaxy Express 999 is the ur-example in Anime/Manga. We have planets where everyone's a beggar, fat, angry, lawless, sad, glows in the dark and so on.
  • Cowboy Bebop
    • In the episode "Mushroom Samba" (itself the name of another trope), the crew of the Bebop finds that the terraformed moon Io has developed a culture apparently inspired by 1970s Blaxploitation films.
    • Bebop used the different planets as either Fantasy Counterpart Culture or a planet of hats. Venus was US-run, while Callisto was Russian, the Jovians were mostly European, and Earth was SE Asia.
  • In Kino's Journey, each individual country is a separate Planet of Hats, such as a country devoted to nothing else but the construction of a tower or is inhabited by people who do nothing but secretarial work. Most amusing is the town who doesn't have a hat, and is trying desperately to get one. They show off some different 'ancient tradition' to every traveler to come by. Kino remarks that this is their hat.
  • In Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle by CLAMP, the characters must visit different worlds in search of Princess Sakura's feathers. Roughly every world they visit will be a Planet of Hats (although some of them aren't as easy to notice).
  • Vandread:
    • The two main planets are Taraak (the planet of men), a barren world where the locals are concerned with things like uniforms, practicality, appearing manly, and eating nutrition pellets (think hamster food), and Mejere (the planet of women), which looks like Las Vegas and has locals concerned with appearing nice, who eat foods that are basically dessert.
    • There's a darker side to this as well, as every inhabited planet was marked by a unique physical trait representing which organ was supposed to be harvested by Earth. Taraak and Mejele were male and female reproductive organs respectively.
  • The three Invading Countries (actually planets) from the second season of Magic Knight Rayearth. Autozam is all about the mental power-based technology, Fahren is a thinly-veiled Fantasy Counterpart Culture for Imperial China, and Chizeta's culture is entirely Arabian Nights-based.
  • In Nyarko-san, Earth's hat is specifically noted to pretty much be our entertainment industry, which is so popular out there its a controlled substance and we can't know how incredibly big our audience is, both due to lack of supply, although the nature of our fans also factored into their decision to hide while taking advantage of our funny hat.

     Comic Books  
  • Top 10 (by comic book genius Alan Moore)
    • The comic takes place in a city where everyone — the cops, the bus drivers, the bums on the street — is a superhero or some other "science hero" trope. This does have lots of room within it, however, as the titular team has a talking dog in an exoskeleton, the world's only Yazidi superhero, and a sarcastic Mazinger Z, amongst others. Did we mention it's a police procedural?
    • It's eventually revealed that the "10 Precinct" (hence the "10" in "Top 10") is so called because it's the 10th in a series of alternate dimensions. Each dimension has its own precinct, and its own hat. The 10th is superheroes; other precincts include robot dinosaurs and Romans.
      • It's also revealed in a prequel that the city was set up after World War II and beings with superpowers were exiled to it.
  • DC Comics has a lot of Hat Planets:
    • In the Legion of Super-Heroes, most planets are like this, with their "hat" being related to their super-power; Naltor, planet of precogs, Titan, planet of telepaths, Colu, planet of geniuses, et cetera. There used to be a rule that there could be no two members from the same planet, because "planet" and "superpower" were that synonymous.
      • They also have two characters from Winath who (at least some of the time) share a superpower, but that's not Winath's hat — almost all the people of Winath are identical twins, and the two Legionnaires, Lightning Lad and Lightning Lass, are Half-Identical Twins, so similar that by deeping her voice and keeping the Most Common Superpower bound, Ayla managed to impersonate Garth. In some media, the whole planet is devoted to farming.
      • Ultra Boy comes from Rimbor, which is The Planet Of Dark Alleys and Biker Gangs. They don't have powers, though: Jo Nah got his powers from a Space Whale.
      • And of course, the planet Bizmol, whose hat is eating things.
      • This is all justified in Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #2, which shows that all of these planets were specifically colonized a thousand years earlier by advanced humans with similar power-sets after Invasion! happened.
    • Also occurred at least once in a Superman comic in which Jimmy Olsen is transported to the Planet of the Capes. Seriously. This comic came out in the wake of the Planet of the Apes film, so they were probably going for the pun.
    • Lobo occasionally encounters hat planets, such as planets made entirely from highway (in the Lobo comic series), a vacation planet (The Last Czarnian mini-series), and a planet populated by religious fundamentalists who immediately explode upon contact with any infidels by triggering an apparently inherited power through pushing down their head onto their shoulder.
    • The Hat of the Daxamites is violent xenophobia. Daxamites who don't try to kill aliens on sight are considered outcasts, and in one case was brainwashed by his own parents so that he would be a xenophobe. And just to complicate matters for aliens, they're on offshoot of Kryptonians, who win the Superpower Lottery when exposed to a yellow sun.
    • Blackest Night explains that Earth's Hat is in fact that it doesn't wear a Hat; Earth is the most diverse planet in the universe. This is due to it being home to the Entity that brought Life to the universe. (Though Lex Luthor argues that he should get the Orange Lantern of Greed because Earth is all about consumerism and acquiring stuff.)
  • The Polish comic Tytus, Romek I A'Tomek has an issue where the protagonists visit several "Nonsense Islands", each of which is a classic Island Of Hats where everyone is an athlete, a bureaucrat, etc.
  • In one Mickey Mouse detective story Mickey and Goofy are employed by aliens from a planet where everyone is a thief - its perfectly legal to steal, people are suspicious of someone who doesn't, and their leader got his position because he is such a great crook. (No, not by cheating. People voted for him because he was such a dishonest man.) They need an outsider because they are temporarily hosting an artifact shared with other, friendly planets, and they don't trust anyone on their own planet - with good reason.
  • The Mojoverse is an entire Dimension of Hats organized around television. Whoever has the best ratings is the Dimension Lord.
  • In Invincible, all of the male Viltrumites have to grow moustaches.

    Fan Works 
  • Reimagined Enterprise: Usually there are some attempts to avert or reduce this trope compared to the canon show. To be fair, the prose format makes it somewhat easier to avoid reducing races to a stereotype compared to TV.

     Film  
  • Star Wars:
    • Not quite as obvious, but quite present: all Twi'lek girls are exotic dancers, all Hutts are gangsters, all Bothans are spies, all Ithorians are pacifists, etc. (See also Single-Biome Planet). Of course, almost any species, Hatted or not, may show up as a Jedi (even a Hutt or two), and there are numerous other exceptions. In recent years, some writers grew tired of these stigmas and began lampshading and subverting them - for example, showing a couple of Ithorian criminals in one of the Knights of the Old Republic comics and claiming that Ithorians "stay all peaceful and polite" by "throwing guys like these out". In many cases, the hats in Star Wars seem to have been placed by the fans or EU writers. The films indicate that at the very least, nearly every species in the galaxy has senators. Gungan society shows a diversity, featuring overbearing rulers, goofy outcasts and courageous soldiers.
    • Knights of the Old Republic lampshades the sharing of hats (Mercenary/Bounty Hunters) between three races at one point, with one of each race pointing out the differences between them.
      • Also in KOTOR, one twi'lek on Taris was an entrepreneur in the upper city who commented that her business doesn't do as well as it should because people there expected her to wear the dancer hat.
      • KOTOR does, however, play the Wookiee life-debt hat absolutely dead straight with Zaalbar, and Hanharr has one but is filtering it through his Ax-Crazy Chaotic Evil psychosis into an obsessive desire to kill the object of said life debt.
    • The Expanded Universe has even given us a Hutt Chancellor of the Republic (Blotus), who is noted to have been a fair, honest, popular leader.
      • There's also been somewhere (in The Planet of Twilight) a Hutt Jedi called Beldorian or Beldorion (darksider, but still greatly untypical for a Hutt).
      • One of the novels, Starfighters of Adumar, takes place on a (human-occupied) planet whose Hat seems to be reverence for starfighter pilots combined with blood sport and melodrama. In time we get to see that these traits are more a specific country's Hat, and intelligent people from said country can be made to doubt their convictions with relative ease.
      • Interestingly, some of the human planets get Hats too. Especially Corellians (the planet of Never Tell Me the Odds), Alderaanians (philosophical pacifists), and Mandalorians (planet of violent badass mercenaries). Corellia actually has multiple hats. For one, they are the planet of the Ace Pilot and the Badass Space Navy — Han Solo, Soontir Fel, and Wedge Antilles are all renowned for this. More negatively, however, they are the Commander Contrarian. It doesn't matter what they're rebelling against, they simply rebel and bristle under galactic authority.
      • The Twi'Lek example above was eventually explained. The Twi'lek homeworld of Ry'loth is a Death World that is tidally locked to the local star. Half the planet burns, the other half freezes. Civilization can only exist in the narrow twilight band between the two extremes, and those are constantly wracked by heat storms and inter-clan warfare. Life is so awful that many Twi'lek will sell themselves into slavery just to get passage off the planet, and at a chance of maybe having a better life. But again, we see plenty of Twi'lek that subvert this trope, like one who is a mother in the Clone Wars cartoon or Bib Fortuna, second in command of Jabba's empire.
      • Tatooinians are all excellent pilots. Rogue Squadron actually has a sixteen-year-old Tatooinian as Rogue Five. Lampshaded by the fact that when he wants to ask Corran a question about inter-species relationships, Corran thinks he doesn't know what sex is. Justified by the fact that Tatooine is a world with a lot of trackless desert and few settlements extremely far apart, so folks grow up using hovercraft and aircraft to get from place to place (though how that translates to flying spacecraft, well...).
      • Every member of Yoda's species is a wise Jedi master; all four of them.
      • Almost all examples from the Star Wars EU are cases of flanderization: Authors will take the one mention a race or species has in the movies and expand it to be true for all members of that race or species. Leia says Alderaan has no weapons? They're all pacifists. Han says to never tell him the odds? All Corellians hate odds. Many Bothans died to get the death star plans? All Bothans are spies.
    • A worldbuilding article about the Yavin system has a framing device; it's about the memoirs of a famous Rodian explorer and it comes with this rather wry intro, lampshading the rather strict gender-based divisions of labor said to apply to many species in the EU.
    In the days before the New Republic, common galactic wisdom held that all Rodian males feel the call of the hunt, while all Rodian females feel the call of performing for money, child-rearing, and food preparation.
    Common galactic wisdom about Rodians has largely been written by Rodian males. It is largely incorrect.
    • The authors of the X-wing series seem to have taken it as their assignment to buck those trends at every opportunity. Bothans are stereotyped as conniving spies and politicians, but Asyr Sei'lar is an accomplished fighter pilot with a warrior's sense of honor. Calamarians and Quarren are supposed to be at each other's throats, but Nrin and Ibitsam are close friends and eventually fall in love. Twi'leks supply several top-notch fighter pilots to contradict their species' image as merchants and cowards. Corellians are supposed to be flashy rogues and daredevils; meet Corran Horn, straight-laced ex-cop who spent his career in the force chasing smugglers like Han. Alderaanians are supposed to be pacifists: Tycho Celchu, Rogue Squadron's second in command and eventually leader, is from there. The gold medal goes to Voort saBinring, genetically enhanced Gamorrean; while the rest of his species typically only shows up as dimwitted thugs, Voort is an elite fighter pilot and commando who, when he retires, goes on to teach mathematics at a university.
      • Also occasionally lampshaded by the pilots themselves: in Iron Fist, two of the pilots slip onto an Imperial-controlled world by pretending to be from Agamar, a world whose residents are stereotyped as dumb hicks.
  • In Mom and Dad Save the World, the title characters get kidnapped by (and save the world from) an Evil Overlord from a planet where the hat is... mind-boggling amounts of stupidity. As an example, one of the deadliest weapons on this world is called the light grenade, which instantly disintegrates whoever picks it up. And how does this decimate an entire army? It says "Pick Me Up".
  • The American Astronaut has the Venusians, which are all Southern Belle and the people from Jupiter who are all miners, the later is justified since it's implied they are hired from all over the galaxy.

     Literature  
  • Nations characterized by a single trait have been a staple of travelogue-style fiction for centuries. The academics-obsessed people of Laputa in Gullivers Travels are a good example.
  • Older Than Feudalism: This happens in the ancient Greek tales of Hyperborea, Atlantis, and other allegorically intended foreign lands.
  • The Idirans of Iain M. Banks's Culture books are a Proud Warrior Race of Scary Dogmatic Aliens. Culture Orbitals tend to acquire hats due to the nature of the Culture as a society of absolute leisure with high population mobility. Masaq orbital is full of extreme sports (and is so dedicated to risk it's deliberately orbiting an unstable star), whilst Chiark is the destination of choice for games of skill and chance. There's also The Affront, a race of Laughably Evil sadists and the Gzilt, whose Hat is being Mildly Military with everyone being (nominally) a soldier.
  • The Wheel of Time: The world is comprised of hat-wearing nations and peoples. Two Rivers folk are all brave and stubborn, Cairhienin are all short and concerned with political intrigue, Arad Domani women are all seductresses, women in the various Ajahs of the Aes Sedai almost always act alike, etc. Few cultures in the series are shown to have individuals who behave contrary to their cultural stereotypes.
    • Arguably justified with regards to the Aes Sedai; they are guided towards their appropriate Ajahs while they are still Accepted.
  • Janet Kagan's Hellspark is a multiple-culture universe where each of the cultures has a single quirk — one considers feet obscene, one duels at the drop of a hat, one considers telling the truth (speaking accurately) a basic requirement, etc...
  • One book in the My Teacher Is an Alien series has a kid helping aliens on Earth and taking them to a swamp at one point. One of the aliens comments that the swamp reminds him of his home; when the boy asks if he came from a swamp planet, the alien sarcastically asks if he comes from a swamp planet. Turns out he just happened to be from a swamp.
  • Larry Niven's Known Space deals with this trope.
    • Pierson's Puppeteers are cowards to the point that only insane specimens are willing to deal with other species (but as their name implies, their real hat is Manipulative Bastardry.note ) Kzinti are all Proud Warrior Race Guys, and humans may or may not have a trait for genetic luck. Humans are also apparently obsessed with sex; in Ringworld, the puppeteer Nessus says to Louis and Teela, "No known species copulates as often as you do"note , and The Ringworld Engineers:
    • The series features many species with the same ancestry as humans whose politics revolves around ritual inter-species sex. Further, at various points in the series, Niven will go into the details of how these hats are worn, via the various mechanism that produced the human traits, and the evolutionary imperatives that effect the ongoing makeup of the various species. At one point in Ringworld, a kzin sets a human off on a logical analysis of the instability of Kzinti aggression in the context of an enemy race that they can't easily beat. Whether this is a Lampshade Hanging or a justification is left as an exercise for the reader.
    • There are plenty of exceptions of course. The Kzinti have the least, but that's justified with them genetically engineering themselves into a 'heroic' race. They were at best bronze age technologically when taken by another species to use as troops. They rebelled and overthrew their masters, using their technology with most of them not truly understanding it. They tinkered a hell of a lot with their own genome, with one of the offshoots making their women non-sentient and playing with their sex drives and aggression. The Puppeteers don't even have sex as we understand it, reproducing with a female of a separate species that actually gestates the young until the child eats its way out...
    • Pak Protectors wear the Villain Sue hat, and human Protectors wear the Canon Sue hat. To be transformed into a Protector is to become the ultimate soldier, strategist, scientist and engineer, able to solve almost any problem and beat almost any opponent.
  • Justified in The Little Prince since every planet is inhabited by exactly one person.
  • Animorphs had the Iskoort, whose Hat was guilds — there was (in order of introduction) a Trader Guild, a Criminal Guild, a Warmaker Guild (though it quickly becomes clear the Iskoort were not cut out for combat), a Servant Guild, a Worker Guild, a Superstition and Magic Guild, a Shopper Guild, and even a "News, Gossip, and Speculation Guild." And all the Traders were the most annoying salesmen imaginable. (The others were annoying, too, but they ran into Traders the most.)
  • From The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the Vogons are a race of Obstructive Bureaucrats. Their correspondingly shallow personalities and total lack of creativity make them the third worst poets in the universe.
  • This trope dates back to at least The Skylark of Space, the very first Space Opera. It was taken to such an extreme that the heroes would cheerfully commit genocide on species they disapproved of, rather than try to change them.
  • In the comedy science fiction Hoka series by Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson, the Hokas' "hat" is that they are entranced by fiction. Give them a story and they will start to live it out, believing (or at least acting) as if they are in it. They have whole cities based on various periods of human history, with Ancient Rome, Victorian England, American Wild West and other places. One of them believes he is Napoleon and has an entire city of Hokas willing to follow him as leader of "France". Actually, a better way of saying it is that their hat is following tropes, as they tend to act out the trope more than reality. Luckily, they are non-violent, so they tend to just fake the wars and other violent parts.
  • The trope also occurs in Gordon R. Dickson's Childe Cycle, better known as the Dorsai series. Humanity has separated in various splinter cultures who specialize in one attribute. The Dorsai focus on courage and honor. Newton, Cassdia, and Venus are hard science cultures. Ste. Marie is a colony of Catholic farmers. Freiland is known for its bureaucracy. Coby are known for its miners. The Exotics focus on philosophy. The Friendlies focus on religion. The trope is justified in the larger frame of the Cycle.
  • The alternate worlds or "planes" in Changing Planes by Ursula K. Le Guin are often like this; each one features a more-or-less humanoid alien race with a special ability, psychological/biological quirk, or universal tradition — such as sharing dreams, seasonal migrations, near-constant anger, becoming silent at adulthood, and extreme devotion to apparently meaningless architectural projects.
  • The Belgariad series of novels by David Eddings:
    • Each of the nations of the West has its own hat. To a first approximation, based on the characters encountered: All Sendars are farmers, all Drasnians are spies, all Tolnedrans are merchants, all Chereks are Viking warriors, and all Nyssans are drug-addicted poisoners.
    • Most of the 'hats' are actually fantasy archetypes based on Earth cultures — the Chereks are Vikings Up to Eleven, the Algars are the Mongols likewise, the Drasnians appear to be a Renaissance Italy stereotype transplanted into a different geographical setting, the Tolnedrans are based on the Roman Empire (hence both their mercantile aspect and their obsessive road-building and disciplined legions), the Arends are medieval high chivalry myths taken to the point of self-parody, etc. The unflappable demeanour, their courtesy, and the general obsession with propriety of the Sendars seem to be more English than anything.
    • The Eastern nations started out as pretty hatty. But then, they were under the control of an insane god for millenia. Eddings recycles revisits recycles those themes in the Elenium and Tamuli novels: All Styrics are self-pitying magicians, all Atans are warriors, All Tamuli are polite to a fault, etc.
    • The tribes of Angarak originally were the CASTES of Angarak, and Torak mistook their differences for tribal rather than professional distinctions after being away doing god-stuff for a couple thousand years.
  • In the novel Design for Great-Day by Alan Dean Foster and Eric Frank Russel, a spiderlike species is mentioned whose hat is... hats. Nice ones.
  • In The Edge Chronicles, all of the Slaughterers are hunters and butchers, all of the shrykes are slave-trading warriors, and all of the trolls are lumberjacks. This even extends to occupations: the Leaguesmen are corrupt, the Sky-Scholars are evil, and the Earth-Scholars and Sky Pirates are good. However, oakelves, goblins, waifs, and (of course) fourthlings can be anything, and quarter-masters are either traitorous or fiercely loyal (sort-of hat).
  • In L. Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth, the Selachee, a race of sharks who have feet, can "live anywhere, breathe any atmosphere and eat anything," and while they did have Selachee who are engineers and other professions, their planet's exclusive profession is banking.
  • Several races in The Chronicles of Narnia, such as the Dufflepuds, who play Captain Obvious with such astute observations as water is powerfully wetnote , and the Marsh-wiggles, an entire race of Eeyores.
  • In Alan Dean Foster's series The Damned, all of humanity wears the Blood Knight hat once an interstellar war lands in our laps. And it's a good thing, too, because every other species in these novels either wear the Programmed For Pacifism hat or the Reluctant Clumsy Warrior hat, and being good at killing things is our only hope to survive in the face of technological superiority. Well... that and being immune to telepathy. Humans are the only species that doesn't have a single, unified culture, because we're the only ones who're such bastards that we can't even get along with members of our own species.
  • Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga books are made of this trope. The Beta Colony wears the "uber tolerant libertine" hat. The Jackson's Whole wears the "Wretched Hive" hat. Cetaganda wears The Empire hat. And the titular Barrayar wears the Proud Warrior Race Ruritania hat.
  • Tanya Huff's Confederation of Valor series has the Taykans and the Krai whose hats are sex and food respectively.
  • John Varley's short story "The Barbie Murders" features a cult of humans nicknamed "The Barbies" who are obsessed with conformity. They have each been modified to look and sound identical, down to the last tiny detail. They have no names or personal identities, and each takes responsibility for the actions of all the rest. This makes finding a murderer in their midst rather trying.
  • Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
    • The Haruchai are a race of stoic proud warriors. The Insequent are a race who Walk the Earth in search of knowledge. The Elohim wear an Omniscient Morality License hat. All the Ramen (people from the Plains of Ra, not noodles) care about are their horses. The Stonedownors are obsessed with stone while their cousins the Woodhelvins are obsessed with trees.
    • And on the evil side of things, the Cavewights are all Axe Crazy mooks, the ur-viles are enigmatic sorcerers, and the Croyel are parasites who offer faustian bargains. Ravers could also be said to have the hat of nature-hating omnicidal jerkasses, but this is justified by there being only three of them, and the fact that they work directly for the God of Evil.
  • Ender’s Game has planets that were colonized by a single religion or country, to encourage diversity of humans among the stars.
  • Saga of the Exiles similarly mentions worlds being assigned to individual peoples for colonisation; there is even a reference to races with more "vigour" being given more planets.
  • Jerry Pournelle's CoDominium is similar for a justified reason; colonies are expensive, and require sponsors who obviously choose who populate them. America and Russia have filled the galaxy with clones of themselves, and every industrial power has at least one colony; all are meant to be examples of the superiority of their given culture. Religious and political nutcases with sufficient funds have attempted to do the same, but are often subject to the titular Amerusski Pact dumping criminals on them, meaning that almost every planet that isn't populated by Hats is a Crapsack World.
  • Walter Moers applies the principle to several cities in his Zamonia novels, most notably Bookholm (everything revolves around books) and Sledwaya (everything revolves around illness)
  • This is a common theme in Robert Asprin's MYTH series, with the characteristic of residents often being puns on the name of their "dimension." For example, residents of Deva (Deveels) are all aggressive merchants, while male residents of Trollia are trolls and female residents, trollops.
  • In the To The Stars trilogy by Harry Harrison, EarthGov has not only terraformed Single Biome Planets, they've also created a unique culture for each in order to maximise their control. For instance the agricultural planet the protagonist has been exiled to in "Wheelworld" is populated entirely by peasants and mechanics, ruled by a group of autocratic Familys.
  • In old science-fiction novel ''Star Surgeon'' by Alan E. Nourse, Humans have the hat of being doctors, to the point that Earth is called "Hospital Earth". Apparently nobody else ever really got into the whole "cut people open to make them better" thing. (At the time it was written, open heart surgery was a new, exciting thing.)
  • In Pandora's Planet, the Alien Invaders are dull and gullible enough compared to humans that once we start going out and proselytizing they become more convinced than the proselytizers. A whole planet briefly bans everything artificial. Mention is made of a low-gravity world colonized expressly for the purpose of horse racing.
  • E.T.: The Book of the Green Planet, the sequel novel to ET The Extra Terrestrial, implies that all the members of E.T.'s unnamed species are botanists, since they can all communicate telepathically with plants.
  • In Stephen Baxter's Manifold: Space, humans are the only species able to devote themselves entirely to an idea (i.e have faith), which becomes important at the end of the book when a coalition of aliens are trying to construct a gigantic solar sail to prevent a future galaxy sterilization event (and not the next one, either).
  • While many planets in Honor Harrington are interesting, multi-cultural places, others are outright Planet of Hats type places:
    • Montana, on which everyone acts like stereotypical cowboys, which is lampshaded by one of the Montanans when he explains that his ancestors fell in love with an ideal, regardless of whether that ideal ever actually existed. In short, their planet's Hat is a Stetson.
    • Grayson is a planet of stubborn traditionalists, even those who want to reform the society want to do so to make it more like Grayson and when new ideas or technology are introduced from off-world they almost inevitably improve it first to make it a Grayson advancement. Furthermore much of their mindset is infectious so even offworlders start acting Grayson in time. This is perhaps exemplified by their name for God; while most modern versions of Christianity call God things like a healer, protector, or provider, Graysons call God "The Tester", and believe that everyone faces their own personal Test.
  • Each of the different realms in the Shadowleague books has its own hat: Callisoria, for example, is the land where everyone blindly follows the Corrupt Church, and Ghariad is the land full of humanoid monsters who drink human blood.
  • Lonely Werewolf Girl has Fashion being the hat of a race of Fire-Demons.
  • In The Demon Princes, there's Sarkoy, the Planet of Poisoners; and Methel, the Planet of Snobs. This is partly explained by the fact that Methel is actually owned by socially elite caste, who take steps to keep others out.
  • In The Witches of Karres by James H Schmitz, Karres is the Planet of Witches; Uldune is a world-sized City of Spies.
  • Another example of this is in Stephenie Meyer's book "The Host" which features a horde of peace loving aliens which invade earth and take over the body of almost everyone who lives there. This is used (apparently) deliberately as an excuse for the aliens, who hate violence, to bodysnatch the human race, as because all of them are so similar in their views and personality, they do not understand the diversity in human morality, and assume all of us are evil.
  • Garth Nix's Old Kingdom series isn't too bad about this, for a fantasy story—Ancelstierre's hat is being early 20th century England, and the Old Kingdom's hat is being a fantasy country with a distinctive magic system and a serious zombie problem. Considerable variation within. And then in Abhorsen we get the Southerlings, refugees from a war in the South whose real purpose is to be killed by the Big Bad and turned into its zombie slaves. They barely say a word. They are identified by their blue hats (and scarves). Repeatedly.
    • Presumably Nix wanted a cultural trait to identify the doomed-people-and-zombies with, since a physical one, such as skin color, would be like marking out whatever real race(s) resembling that as Cannon Fodder and/or things to run away from. And since particular hats have frequently been the intentional markers of communities throughout history (most of Eurasia has for extended periods viewed the lack of a hat as indecent) blue headwear was a solid call.
  • The different colonist habitats in Slowtrain To Arcturus each function as a planet of hats. Justified in that each of the habitats was purchased by a group which wished to leave Earth and selected other colonists with similar interests. The particular hats are:
  • A Song of Ice and Fire features several peoples that take one particular thing, usually an important resource or terrain feature, and make it the absolute center of their culture, shoehorning it into their language's figures of speech wherever possible:
    • The Dothraki: horses
    • The Lhazarene: sheep
    • The Vale: heights
    • The Reach: plants
    • The Iron Islands: iron and seafaring
    • Braavos: water
    • Asshai (and the Targaryens): fire
  • Parodied in the Doctor Who New Adventures novel Death and Diplomacy, in which three warring empires have been carefully manipulated to be Planet of the Sex-Obsessed Savages, Planet of the Uptight Military, and Planet of the Devious Assassins. It's specifically mentioned that none of these societies would actually work if someone wasn't pulling the strings.
  • In Year Zero by Rob Reid, Earth wears the hat of "being really good at making music." (Which is to say that, by our standards, everyone else in the universe is really bad at making music.)
  • In Robert J. Sawyer's Starplex, the Waldahud are mostly rude and mean, though not necessarily bad, as such. The Ibs are all rational and polite, and very serious about not wasting each other's time. The alien races themselves are annoyed by humanity's tendency to... overuse acronyms, these being entirely unknown to any other intelligent race.
  • In Paul Preuss and Arthur C. Clarke's Venus Prime series, the various outposts all have different cultures. Port Hesperus (a space station in orbit around Venus) is basically a mix of Tokyo and Dubai, for instance, while the Martian colony and its orbiting station are both severely Russian.
  • While Vattas War generally averted this tropes two examples were found. One world Cascadia is a world of tree loving Dogged Nice Guys, while Gretna is a world white supremacists who are also seriously against humods. Otherwise the most planets only hat is whether they are for or against implants and other modifications
  • Played interestingly in the New Jedi Order series with the Yuuzhan Vong who basically wear the hat of "fanatical devotion", but there's a great deal of variety in how this manifestsnote . It mostly breaks down along caste lines (warrior caste hat: war, priest caste hat: religion, shaper caste hat: Mad Scientist, and intendant caste hat: bureaucracy), though two of the main Vong characters (Nom Anor and Nen Yim) are both rebellious spirits who break their society's mold in different ways, while neither buying in to the brutal religion that shapes most of their culturenote . Still, it's practically unheard of to see an apathetic Vong; they're almost all intensely devoted to something.

     Live Action TV  
  • The Star Trek series are actually the prime examples of this trope, nearly every species having one defining trait. This was often subverted in the Expanded Universe, and occasionally in-show.
    • Humans in the 24th century seem to own hemp vests with V-neck shirts underneath, and nothing else.
    • "A Piece of the Action" is interesting because the culture's true hat was mimicking others — their entire society had been built around a book about 1920s gangsters in Chicago.
      • In the final issue of the Marvel comic book series Star Trek Unlimited, after being visited by the Enterprise they experienced a cultural revolution and began dressing like Kirk and co., which the Enterprise-D discovered. The concept of revisiting the planet and discovering a similar effect was considered for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but dropped in favor of revisiting "The Trouble with Tribbles" instead.
    • The Vulcans are all logic all the time.
    • The Klingons are all war all the time. (They'd tell you their true hat is honor, but that's not what you get in practice, to protagonist Klingon Worf's disillusionment.) The Orcs from World of Warcraft are accused of being this, but with the exception of Worf in the Klingons' case, the Orcs are usually slightly more multidimensional.
      • Klingons actually became this as a result of Flanderization. Originally, they were just Star Trek's analogue for the Soviet Union, and their depiction in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country hinted at a rich culture who even enjoyed Shakespeare—this was the trope namer for In the Original Klingon, obviously. After the fall of the USSR, their Proud Warrior Race qualities were dialed up to 11.
      • Moq'bara is the martial art practiced by Klingons everywhere, because while a peaceful society like the Federation will have hundreds of styles ranging from kung fu to boxing, a warrior culture will clearly only have one.
      • A more accurate hat for the Klingons might be violence rather than warrior. Even outside of the militaristic aspects of Klingon culture, it seems that violence permeates every aspect of their lives: religious, legal, ceremonial, and interpersonal. There are very few Klingon rituals seen that do not involve bloodletting, legal disputes are more often than not resolved with sword-play, Klingon sexuality is always Destructo-Nookie, even their wedding ceremony—at least the long version seen in You are Cordially Invited...—involves a triumphant retelling of how the Kliingons killed their gods, followed by sword-play, followed by vows which include a promise to kill each other's enemies, followed by the wedding party attacking the bride and groom. In war or peace, the Klingons are always, always violent.
    • In the Original Series the Romulans are a Proud Warrior Race — or Space Romans (with home planets named Romulus and Remus) — but TNG and Deep Space Nine had an alternate interpretation: they are all intrigue all the time
    • The Ferengi are all profit all the time, plus misogyny. Culturally, money is sort of their state religion. Ferengi tourist sites on their homeworld include the Great Marketplace and their stock exchange, and they consider any remotely non-capitalist actions (including things like giving workers holidays and allowing them to form unions) either incredibly distasteful or crimes worthy of being shunned from being allowed to do business with any Ferengi for. As for the misogyny: It's as though nobody has ever made the argument that allowing half of their population to earn money and buy things will be an economic boost.
      • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fixed the misogyny part. Quark's mother Ishka instigates a cultural revolution that begins to give women an equal place in Ferengi society using that very argument.
      • Nog, meanwhile, attempts to escape the "all profit all the time" part by joining Starfleet. His rationale is this: some people just don't have "the lobes" for business. His father Rom, for example, has a lot of technical knowledge, able to fix Quark's replicators and holosuites, often from scavenged parts. But his lack of business acumen keeps him from rising above the level of being a waiter/gofer for Quark. Nog knows he doesn't have the lobes for business either, but knows he can still make a good life for himself without having to become a businessman.
      • Actually, the Ferengi themselves are victims of flanderization, in the opposite direction of the Klingons. When first presented, Ferengi soldiers with whips were shown to be the superiors of Federation officers with phasers, their Heavy Cruisers were on par with the Federation's Galaxy Class capital ships, and they had a disdain for what humans would consider soft, attractive features. In one episode of TNG, a group of Ferengi are see commenting on the ugliness of Beverley Crusher, due to her pale skin and soft features. Compare this to the DS9 Ferengi, who are basically all about Where The White Women At when they aren't concerned with profit. The decision to flanderize them into their current form was one done by Rick Berman, and is noted on Memory Alpha. However, even in their current flanderized form, their true hat is deception. Too bad the Romulans and Cardassians also wear this hat, arguably better. Also, while it's treated as more of a side-effect, the Ferengi are very good with numbers and math. This doesn't come up much on screen, but it's made pretty clear in Deep Space Nine between the robustness of Ferenginar's economy and the complexity of their Poker variant.
    • The Cardassians are all service to the state all the time, in that Cardassians will always claim that whatever it is they're doing, it's for the good of Cardassia. By virtue of being the focus of Deep Space Nine (along with the Bajorans), we get a very rounded view of life within the Deadly Decadent Court of Cardassia. A significant number of Cardassians are all Magnificent Bastardry all the time because of this, while others are far more straightforward examples. Some, like Garak, are both. One guy even tried to shame his government into admitting the atrocities the Cardassians had committed against the Bajoran people during their occupation of the Bajoran homeworld...for the good of Cardassia. Although note that it's not clear whether this is an innate quality or something fostered by centuries of indoctrination by the military dictatorship that ruled them until DS9 season four.
    • Also from Deep Space Nine were Odo's people, The Founders, whose hat was essentially "order", both small and big scale. They were given a reason for itnote , but were pretty forceful in making others put the hat on too.
      • The Jem'Hadar are the soldiers who serve under the Founders. Their hat is that they're all genetically engineered and bred to be Blood Knights. They have a ritual prayer before engaging in a fight.
      We are dead. We go into battle to reclaim our lives!
    • The Wadi from the Gamma Quadrant are all about playing games. Making first contact with them proved to be exceptionally boring for Commander Sisko, because Quark proved to be a better host just because he had all the games.
    • The Orions, the go-to example of the Green-Skinned Space Babe, are all about Seduction. Their society is Matriarchal because females give off natural pheromones that allow them to easily "persuade" the weak willed - specifically, the male gender of just about every alien species that exists.
    • Tellarites "do not argue for reasons, they simply argue." Spoken by a member of a species that apparently doesn't have such great relations with the Tellarites, but eventually proven true once we get to meet more. Negotiations are often opened by trading insults.
    • Conformity as a Hat has been done a few times, most notably with the Borg. With the introduction of Seven of Nine, "efficiency" and "perfection" were added.
    • Cheron in "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" is (or rather, was), supposedly, a planet of racists. (They are black on the left side. We are black on the right side!)
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation brought in the Risians to wear the sex hat. Risa's hat is more accurately hospitality. "All that is ours is yours". Free and open sexuality is just a part of that; a part most aliens fixate on.
    • Supposedly the El-Aurian hat is "listening", but we've only met three members of the species... one (Guinan) specializes in listening, but one was a con man (in a Deep Space Nine episode which lampshaded the "listening hat" thing by having a fellow prisoner try to come up to the con man and tell him his life story in jail, whereupon he responded by begging the guards to take the guy away from him) and one was a mad scientist. In that sense the El-Aurians have managed to subvert the usual Trekkian "one hat per species" rule. Although Guinan literally does wear some awesome hats.
    • Taking place clear across the galaxy from these others, Star Trek: Voyager has its own hat species, such as the Kazon (society revolves around infighting between the various rival groups), the Vidiians (society revolves around medicine and organ-stealing due to the disease they have), the Hirogen (society revolves around "the hunt"), and Species 8472 (society revolves around eradicating lesser, "weak" species.)
    • Want to do a Green Aesop in Voyager? Then it's time to wheel out the Malon, whose hat is, of all things, pollution. They're saved from being an entire race of Captain Planet villains because they're not polluting just for the sake of it — it's simply that they've never bothered to invent "clean" technologies as long as the waste is transported a long way from the homeworld. To make matters worse, they know that they can use clean technologies without any hassle, but making the switch would have devastating effects on their own society. The exporting of industrial waste is the backbone of the race's entire economy.
    • In a similar fashion to the Hirogen mentioned above, the Gamma Quadrant features the Tosk, who are also obsessed with hunting. The key difference though, is that they specifically breed members of their own race just to be the hunted target. To be the hunted is the greatest honor anyone of their species can ever be given. They live just to be hunted, give their pursuers a good chase, try to outsmart them for as long as possible, and eventually be killed. Being captured is the greatest dishonor imaginable.
    • Humans don't quite have a Hat, and — especially in the Gene Roddenberry days — were sort of the anti-hat: Having finally gotten it right, humanity's made a perfect future for itself, finally free of the undesirable qualities that some of the other species represent. Then again, being "perfect" eventually became humanity's hat, until the Deep Space Nine era, where that hat was rather rudely yanked off, set on fire, and thrown into a wood chipper. Alternatively, from the perspective of the other species, it would seem that condescension became humanity's hat. Every non-Federation character seemed to find humans in general and Star Fleet officers in particular extremely patronizing.
      • On Star Trek: Enterprise, Vulcan Ambassador Soval complains at length about humanity's lack of a Hat: "Of all the species we've made contact with, yours is the only one we can't define. [...] One moment you're as driven by your emotions as Klingons, and the next, you confound us by suddenly embracing logic!" He goes on to explain that pre-logic Vulcans were similarly hatless in a way that now scares them.
      • In the original pilot, the Human Hat was a hatred of captivity—even pleasant, benevolent captivity.
      • Knowledge/Exploration could be the human hat. Most of the other races explored the galaxy, but for profit, power or domination.
      • The modern novels often suggest that humanity's hat is creativity. In one novel, a Tellarite says creativity defines humans as logic defines Vulcans. This creativity expresses itself in various ways, including the formation of a vast variety of cultures, religions and nations that outnumber those of most other species, making the apparent lack of a hat actually a part of our hat.
      • Another possible hat for humans is freedom. Several episodes have someone telling an alien how humans hate imprisonment (even if it is paradise) or how they require a challenge to truly live.
      • In Star Trek: Enterprise, Archer (however unintentionally) proposes that humanity's hat is diplomacy; humans know when it's time to put aside their differences and look at the bigger picture. This is perhaps the primary reason every other galactic power is an empire of some sort, while the Federation is a coalition.
    • On the flip side of the Federation (pun definitely intended) is the Terran Empire of the Mirror Universe, whose hats are Treachery and Subjugation. Ever since Nazi Germany took over the world in World War 2, Humans have developed to conquer and enslave all who stand in their way. Tellarites? Slaves. Andorians? Slaves. Vulcans? Slaves AND corrupted to a point where they see the logic of conquering others, and agree with it. In sharp contrast, Cardassians and Klingons aren't too different than their normal universe selves, but they're allied with each other just to fight against the Terran Empire, making them the good guys in the grand scheme of things.
    • The Star Trek Expanded Universe novel How Much for Just the Planet?, by John M Ford, features a world whose hat is comedy routines. It eventually turns out that they're just putting it on to keep their visitors off-balance.
    • An alien on Voyager once used this trope to describe different species — his own species' hat was an inherent understanding of languages (they are living Universal Translators, capable of learning any language- written, spoken, or computational- just by hearing or seeing a few words or numbers) while humanity's was "a great generosity of spirit." However, it turned out he was buttering the Voyager crew up so he could get revenge on them for indirectly causing his own species' extinction.
    • The episode "Patterns of Force" has the Nazi Planet. (Not their native hat, it was imported by a Well-Intentioned Extremist historian from Earth).
    • The Yridians are all information dealers.
    • The Redeemers are all religious fanatics.
      • The Bretheren are another "hunt" race, but they don't like it when they lose. They're aligned with the D'Myurj, whose hat is "enlightenment". Except for one, who believes that life itself will destroy the multiverse.
    • As noted above, there are actually several episodes with planets whose inhabitants made their hat by copying something from Earth — gangsters, Nazis, ancient Greeks...
    • A Star Trek spinoff novel lampshaded this one by explaining that on most planets, war and oppression and genocide have had a homogenizing effect on sentient species. Humans figured out how to live together peacefully before that happened to them. As a result, Earth has a far greater range of cultural and ethnic diversity than can be found on most other planets.
    • While the Bajorans are one of the most varied races in Star Trek, they do have two hats, they're all deeply religious (but not fanatics) and they're mostly ex-freedom fighters. In general, the ones in the religious hierarchy have a calm spirituality (even Kai Winn is good at faking it) and the rest are quick to anger.
      • Bajoran religious leaders do tend to have a degree of political power that would make the Medieval Catholic Church blush
    • The Pakleds all act like they have serious developmental problems, coming across as mentally and socially retarded. But in large part, it is an act. And in the words of Data's... actually stunted brother, "they are fat".
      • Given they only played an in-person role in one episode, it it hard to say what is characteristic of the Pakleds as a whole, and what was characteristic of the specific group of Pakleds in their introductory and sole speaking appearance episode (Samaritan Snare). Certainly, those Pakleds very an unholy blend of Obfuscating Stupidity and just plain stupidity, and the Pakleds have a clearly poor reputation, but given that several of the background extra Pakleds worked as mechanics when maintenance was one of the main things the Samaritan Snare Pakleds proved unable to do...
    • In "The Mark of Gideon," Kirk was kidnapped by a race whose universal pro-life tendencies had lead to horrible overpopulation, to the point that they tried to start a pandemic with germs from Kirk (who had been exposed to meningitis in the past).
  • Babylon 5
    • The Narn start off as the Proud Warrior Race, the Minbari as Elves, the Vorlons as Mysterious Elders, and the Centauri as the declining Roman Empire. The Narn become Warrior Poets, the Minbari lose all hats due to a civil war, and the Vorlons gain (or rather, reveal) a Law hat. The Shadows also happen to gain the Chaos hat, while the Drazi steal the Proud Warrior Race. The uniformity of the alien cultures compared to humanity is lampshaded in the episode "The Parliament of Dreams," where each of the major races puts on a display of their global religion, while Sinclair arranges dozens upon dozens of people to represent humanity's multitudes of religions (even including a nonreligious atheist). Ultimately humanity's "hat" is explicitly defined (by Delenn) as community-building — humans automatically and unthinkingly weave together disparate groups into communities. The Narns also have more than one religion, but weren't seen to put on a demonstration in "The Parliament of Dreams".
    • The hats come off slightly as the series goes on. Londo points out that, to be a success in Centauri society, you have to be a schemer; there are plenty who don't, it's just that their families dwindle to insignificance. Delenn points out that both the religious and warrior castes have been ignoring the worker caste since Valen founded the Grey Council, and since they are fairly isolationist, we usually only get to see those who are on government business, who tend to be religious caste (possibly this is just because Delenn is religious), the military (and hence the warrior caste, although Londo does tell Earth Gov that this is not quite the same thing), or the Rangers, who are an elite undercover military force, with the obvious hats.
    • The Minbari hat is tradition, whichever caste it comes from. This certainly applies to both Delenn and Lennier, though sometimes we get to see Beneath the Mask.
    • The Abbai's hat is a focus on "community", the Brakiri's hat is business (more corporate culture as an ideal, rather than a Star Trek Ferengi-style "profit," though of course that is their ultimate goal). The Drazi's hat is pretty much "violence" — more specifically, the idea that a brawl pretty much solves any problem. The Llort's hat is basically kleptomania. The Shadows and Vorlons of course proudly promote their hats of "chaos" and "order and obedience" respectively, and try their hardest to make the younger races wear them too.
  • Lidsville takes the concept to its furthest extreme — a world entirely populated by actual anthropomorphic talking hats. Amusingly, despite being a planet of literal hats, it was not a planet of figurative hats.
  • Farscape had an episode on the planet Litigara where 90 % of inhabitants were lawyers and the remaining 10 % servants who ran the various non law-related services.
    • It could be called a planet of balaclavas, since that's what the lawyers always seemed to wear. Also, the Judge wore a hat that was a mix between a sombrero and a dinner plate, and (like the uniform) the colour looked like Dolores Umbridge picked it out.
    • The Nebari are presently attempting to make their home planet a Planet of Hats through brutal enforcement of the law- to the point that dissenters are often simply brainwashed into perfect citizens. As a result, the only Nebari encountered in the show are either cold-hearted police officers or rebellious criminals like Chiana.
  • In the first appearance of Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who, the Doctor explains to Rose that in the future, humanity's Hat becomes being more or less everywhere and having sex with more or less anything.
    • The Time Lords might be described as a planet of very silly hats indeed (look up images some time and try not to giggle). They tend to be portrayed as very Lawful Neutral (with frequent forays into Lawful Stupid) philosophers and scholars who one alien describes as a race of "ancient dusty senators" who were "peaceful to the point of indolence". The Doctor is very much an exception, being more of a Chaotic Good rebel and nonconformist, whom his people barely tolerate (though they sometimes need his help). There is some debate, however, on whether or not "Time Lord" is the same as "person from Gallifrey", and if this applies to the general populace of the planet or just the ruling class.
    • Justified in the case of both the Daleks and Cybermen, who are created races rather than natural ones. The Daleks are genetically engineered to feel no emotions but hatred and xenophobia, explaining their desire to destroy all non-Dalek life in the universe. The Cybermen have also had their emotions removed, and seek to survive by assimilating other races Borg-style. Their origins vary, however, as the classic series had them as a humanoid race that slowly lost their individuality as they replaced more and more of their bodies with technology, while the new series introduced an Alternate Universe version as the creation of one man, who intentionally removed their emotions so they could cope with the trauma of being "upgraded": they freak out and die if they remember who they are.
      • Along with these two are the Sontarans, a Proud Warrior Race of clones made to be the best at fighting and conquering any planet that looks at them funny. They are so into the whole warrior thing that their form of punishment is forcing the perpetrator into a job as a nurse.
      • The Sarah Jane Adventures introduced the Shansheeth in the episode "Death of the Doctor". They resemble vultures and their hat is that they're the undertakers of the universe. Sarah Jane didn't buy it at first.
    • Doctor Who also contains a literal reference to the Planet of the Hats in the episode "Partners in Crime"
    Donna: I packed ages ago, just in case. 'Cause I thought, hot weather, cold weather, no weather... he goes anywhere, I've gotta be prepared.
    Doctor: You've got a... a... hatbox?!
    Donna: Planet of the Hats, I'm ready!
    • The Ood appear to be a race of slaves, who want to be given orders. It turns out this is due to humans taking over their Hive Mind. The Ood, once freed, turn out to still be a peaceful race.
    • On at least two occasions, the Eleventh Doctor has, shortly after meeting some alien being, announced its species' hat, for expository purposes, apparently without caring about tact. note 
    • The God Complex features Gibbis, who is apparently a member of a rather pathetic alien race whose hat is being a Dirty Coward. He mentions being abducted while planting trees along a road... so a conquering army can march in the shade.
    Gibbis: "All I want is to go home and be conquered and oppressed, is that too much to ask?!"
  • The Twelve Colonies of the new Battlestar Galactica occasionally fall into this, in function if not in populace. Aerilon was the breadbasket of the colonies, and everyone from it is perceived to be some sort of hick (which is why Baltar adopted a more upper class accent). The Gemenese believe in the literal truth of scripture. Sagittarons are downtrodden, and mad about it. Taurons are stoic and traditional, and have a mafia equivalent (depending on your perspective, they're either Space Mexicans or Space People of the Mediterranean). Capricans have it made - their planet is the center of art, culture, science, and politics. There is, however, no physical look specific to the people of any planet. Hopefully, this means that Single-Biome Planet is avoided.
    • Caprica indicates that the title planet may have been a planet of actual hats, as well, at least 58 years before the Cylon genocide.
  • Used a lot in the Stargate Verse:
    • Stargate SG-1:
      • Particularly in the earlier episodes, nearly every planet the SG-1 team visits is based off of a particular human culture. It's a justified or at least handwaved by saying that the people were transplanted to that planet from Earth, and their culture has just been stagnating since. There are the Middle Ages, the Norse, the Greeks, and, of course, the ancient Egyptians, among others. Justified in that most of these planets were supposedly populated by people of earth who had been taken to that planet by one of the more highly-developed species - the Goa'uld and the Asgard being the typical abductors.
      • In the episode "2001", the Aschen are described as: "They don't get excited in general, General. It's like an entire planet of accountants." Their more significant hat is planetary genocide.
      • The Nox, had preachy pacifism as their hat as well as literal funny hats.
      • The Goa'uld hat appears to be arrogance and sense of superiority, something that is present even in the Tok'ra, non-malevolent Goa'uld.
      • The Jaffa are a Proud Warrior Race as a result of their entire species being enslaved to serve as the Goa'uld military.
      • The Asgard hat is clearly science and scholarship as we never meet an Asgard who does any kind of physical labor.
      • Earth also has its own hat: Genre Savvy. SG-1 is the most Genre Savvy of them all, but most other minor characters show at least some signs of this trait. We Tau'ri have a technological hat, too— instead of basing more advanced tech off more exotic principles, we use fundamentally basic equipment in increasingly refined ways. This is particularly noted in our really spectacular projectile weapons.
    • In Stargate Atlantis, the Wraith are a race consisting solely of warriors who live to eat. In the last season, Todd the Wraith mentions that feeding on humans is the driving force in their society with little beyond that. We did finally get a small glimpse of Wraith society in Season 5's "The Queen." Judging from that episode, the entire society is divided into Queens, who seem to spend their time intimidating one another, their male Advisors/Viziers, who seem to specialize in Magnificent Bastardry, and the possibly asexual Drones, whose duties apparently involve patrolling ships and standing guard (not unlike actual Soldier Drones in Bee colonies). All of them are in thrall to a prime Queen (called The Primary in this particular segment shown, but this may not be the case with every Wraith alliance). Exactly where the various Male Wraiths who serve as scientists and field commanders (who are also uniformly errhm, uniformed in leather) fit into this mix is never really shown.
  • Red Dwarf had Rimmerworld, a planet populated by Rimmer clones. The population idealized the core aspects of Rimmer... which happened to be cowardice, backstabbing, snottiness, arrogance, and hunger for power. Those that deviated were hunted down and executed.
  • The Neighborhood of Make-Believe segment of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood deconstructed this trope, in a child-appropriate way, with alien visitors from the Planet Purple. Everyone from this planet has purple skin and hair, they dress in identical purple clothes and speak in a monotone voice, and all the boys are named Paul and all the girls are named Pauline. They were used to illustrate how boring the world would be if everyone was the same.
  • In Power Rangers, planet Onyx. Its hat is the Wild West, existing largely as a place for the Evil Monster Saloon to be located.
    • An unusual example is Inquiris. Little is known about the planet, save that the natives, for whatever reason, cannot make declarative or exclamatory statements. Yes, a planet who's hat is literally a specific type of sentence.
  • The very basis of Sliders, where our protagonists would land, I mean slide, into a parallel Earth defined by a key difference with "real" Earth.

     Newspaper Comics  
  • Brewster Rockit: Space Guy! has had several. Possibly justified in the case of the Zombie Planet.
  • Prince Valiant occasionally features Islands of Hats. When Val is on a sea voyage, it's somewhat common for his ship to get waylaid by supernatural means. One of two things then happens: either Val is put to some bizarre test, or he comes to an island where all the inhabitants share a single characteristic.

     Radio  
  • An episode of X Minus One featured a reptilian alien coming to a mining planet for one of their workers (basically a milder version of a Furian). The reptile alien's hat is that they Cannot Tell a Lie (although they don't have to say the whole truth either) while the "Furian's" hat is being Hot-Blooded. Lampshaded by the "Furian": "You know how they say we're all good at bar fights?"

     Tabletop 
  • 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons splits the old traits of the elf race into two new races called "elves" and "eladrin". Because, you know, you can't have a single species wearing the intellectual hat and the close-to-nature hat at the same time.
    • Humanity's hat in 4th edition is being driven, ambitious, The Determinator, and being able to learn things faster than other races because of their shorter lifespans.
  • The Stellar Nations of Star*Drive all have their own hats.
  • In GURPS Fantasy 2: The Madlands, there is the region of Savringia. Thousands of years previously, two godlike entities decides to have a contest to see which one could create the most unlikely society. So they reduced themselves to energy and used that to create City-states of Hats. Currently there are about 30 but this is subject to change. There are the more ordinary Cities of Merchants, Tradesmen, and Priests, but there are also esoteric ones like Cities of Judges, Spiders, Grays, Silence, and the Fickle.
    • From the same publisher comes GURPS Aliens and GURPS Fantasy Folk, which also fall under this trope.
  • Since the expansion of Magic: The Gathering's focus to outside of Dominaria, most planes seem to follow this sort of pattern. For instance, Kamigawa resembles Feudal Japan in culture and aesthetics, Mirrodin is made almost entirely from metal, Innistrad is an darker version of Uber Wald, and Zendikar is an adventurer's paradise with constantly-shifting landscapes and an endless number of unexplored ruins.
  • While the planet Cray in Cardfight!! Vanguard is diverse as a whole, its nations and clans tend to have hats.
    • Nations:
      • Magallanica is the sea nation.
      • Zoo is the animals-plants-insects/nature nation.
      • Star Gate is the space-themed nation.
      • Dark Zone is the dark-themed nation.
      • Dragon Empire is what it sounds like.
      • Averted with United Sanctuary, which has 3 kinds of knights, 2 corporations and a nursing organisation.
    • Clans:
      • Royal Paladins and Gold Paladins are heroic knights.
      • Shadow Paladins are dark knights and later antiheroes.
      • Angel Feather consists of angels in nurse outfits.
      • Kagero are fire dragons.
      • Narukami are thunder dragons.
      • Tachikaze are prehistoric-themed.
      • Nubatama and Murakum are ninjas.
      • Nova Grapplers are prizefighters.
      • Dimension Police are mecha and superheroes.
      • Link Joker are alien invaders.
      • Great Nature is an uplifted animal university.
      • Megacolony is the insect mafia.
      • Neo Nectar are plant/farming-themed.
      • Aqua Force are a well-intentioned extremist navy.
      • Bemuda Triangle is composed of mermaid pop stars.
      • Granblue is composed of zombie pirates.
      • Spike Brothers is a violent American Football team.
      • Pale Moon is a circus as a front for assassins.
      • Dark Irregulars are movie-monster-themed.
  • Many worlds in Warhammer 40,000 are characterised by this — everyone from Cadia is a soldier, everyone from Krieg (German for "war") is an exceptionally grim and dour soldier in a longcoat, everyone from Catachan is Rambo. To be fair, they come from a planet sitting at the gates to a Negative Space Wedgie from hell, a (self-made) radioactive wasteland, and a Jungle Death World full of carnivorous plants and even worse animals respectively. The hats are likely survival mechanisms. For Imperial hats, the Imperium is a basically a portmanteau of the Roman Empire, the Catholic Church, the Third Reich and the U.S.S.R all turned Up to Eleven, so everyone being the same is not so incredible.
    • Eldar
    • Space Marines
    • Chaos Space Marines
      • Every World Eater is an incarnation of Ax-Crazy, and/or a Blood Knight.
      • Every Emperor's Child is horror with a killer guitar (apart from Fabius Bile, who is a Mad Scientist).
      • Every Death Guard is an implacable bag of walking filth.
      • Every sentient Thousand Son is a mad wizard in power armor. The others are all ghosts trapped in Space Marine armor.
      • Every Iron Warrior is a master siege engineer.
      • Every Night Lord is a psychotic serial killer akin to a Chaotic Evil Batman.
      • Every Alpha Legionnaire is an Ambiguously Evil Magnificent Bastard. They are also all Alpharius.
      • Every Word Bearer is an insane and unrelenting dark priest.
      • Every Black Legionnaire is out for revenge for the death of Horus.
    • For Space Marines and Chaos Space Marines, this is largely justified due to the fact that they all share genetic material with the primarch of their chapter - essentially, they have all been deliberately modified to be the same.
    • Orks
      • Every Bad Moon is decked out with flash. And their teef fall out and grow fast.
      • Every Blood Axe is a sneaky git who likes mimicking the Imperial Guard.
      • Every Death Skull is a looter.
      • Every Evil Sun is a speed-freak.
      • Every Goff is grim and dour and thinks melee combat is Serious Business.
      • Every Snakebite is a tribal who is Made of Iron.
    • Tau (technically not a hat for the whole culture, but every caste has a specific purpose, and you're born into your caste, with crossbreeding between castes illegal. To be fair, the ethereals are breeding the perfect warriors, builders, diplomats etc... and even though they've only had a few thousands years, they may even technically be different species by now.)
      • Every Ethereal is a ruler of some sort.
      • Every member of the Fire caste is a warrior.
      • Every member of the Earth caste is a builder/scientist/engineer.
      • Every member of the Water caste is a bureaucrat/diplomat/politician.
      • Every member of the Air caste is a pilot/navigator/starship crewmember.
      • Some of the Tau sept-worlds have specific headgear, too. Everyone from N'dras is brooding, everyone from Ke'l'shan refuses to give up, everyone from Fal'shia is a problem solver and the list goes on and on.
    • The Imperial Guard
      • Everyone from Cadia is immensely proud and vaguely like the Canadian army.
      • Everyone from Krieg is a Death Seeking World War One-era stormtrooper with a Badass Longcoat.
      • Everyone from Praetoria is a British redcoat, or more specifically, a Zulu extra.
      • Everyone from Catachan is a tough-as-nails jungle survivalist, and looks an awful lot like Rambo.
      • Everyone from Valhalla is a Soviet conscript.
      • Everyone from Tallarn is a pious desert warrior who specializes in guerilla warfare. Bedouins, not, well...
      • Everyone from Atilla is a Space Hun, complete with love of horses.
      • Everyone from Elysia is an American-ish paratrooper.
      • Everyone from Mordia is a Napoleonic-era Prussian soldier with Nerves of Steel.
      • Everyone from Vostroya is a Ukrainian Cossack.
      • Everyone from Salvar is a Kleptomaniac who dresses like a Mad Max mook.
  • Warhammer doesn't have Chapters, Legions or Craftworlds for obvious reasons, but they still have geographical boundaries or other distinctions that can dictate the headgear of the resident:
    • Empire
      • All Marienbugers are foppish, arrogant but irritatingly skilled dandies.
      • Everyone from Nuln is an engineer reeking of blackpowder.
      • All Reiklanders are skilled marksmen and consummate professional soldiers.
      • All Middenlander are hairy barbarians with a liking for blunt weapons.
      • Hochlanders are accomplished hunters and crack shots with hunting rifles and longbows.
    • Skaven - originally there were four five defined major clans: Skryre, the crazy techo-magical inventors; Moulder, the insane fleshcrafting breeders of monsters; Eshin, the cloaked espionage and assassination division; Pestilens, the gibbering worshipers of plague and decay; Mors, the now extremely powerful martial clan. A recent book on heraldry introduced scores of minor clans, each their their own (slightly smaller) hat.
    • Vampire Counts - Each Vampire Count will be from one of several bloodlines: Von Carstein (classic Dracula-style vampires, although recently have been modeled to be a lot more bestial), Lahmians (pseudo-Egyptian female vampires. With cats), Blood Dragons (honour-bound martial powerhouses who exist only for combat and proving themselves), Strigoi (horribly deformed ghouls with no link to their humanity at all) and Necrarchs (Nosferatu-like intellectuals who are wizened but terrifyingly powerful when it comes to magic).
  • Shadowrun 3rd edition features a section with members of each of the Five Races giving you a brief introduction to their race. Most of them start by acknowledging their race's hat, then going on to tear it apart as racist bullcrap. Except the dwarf, since their hat is being short.
    • Dwarves also have a hat of being technical wizkids. The dwarf explaining this has trouble working out how to fix a toaster.
      • Shadowrun does a good job of deconstructing the hats/stereotypes for each race. For instance, the dwarf states that a lot of dwarves live underground because basement apartments are cheaper and they don't mind the low ceilings. Amusingly enough, the human points out how he's different from the other races by mentioning the other races' hats and stating how Humans don't have any of those.
  • Traveller is a little more complex about this. Humans overall are as complex as, well, humans, though individual worlds often have a hat. The Aslan's hat is Proud Warrior Race, though arguably that quality is detailed well enough to take the hattiness away. The K'kree are Vegetarian Jihadists (yes, really). The Zhodani's hat is Psionics.
  • Nearly every race and culture in Talislanta wears a hat to some degree or another: Sarista are Lovable Rogues, Danuvians are Action Girls and Non Action Guys, Muses are Cloudcuckoolanders, Yassan are Gadgeteer Geniuses, Jaka are hunters, and so on. The Gao are a notable exception...but that's because Gao-Din is less a culture proper than a mixed bag.
  • A vast majority of the various D-Bees in Rifts fall neatly into this trope. The Simvan are all nomadic warriors with a psychic connection to animals, the Larmac are all lazy, the Naruni are all shrewd businessmen, etc. Occasionally exceptions to this trope will be made in the case of individual NPCs, but the description almost always includes the statement "Unlike most members of X's race..."
  • Space Munchkin The RPG had the Bumpy Foreheaded Alien race, which is actually a category for all races of this type in scifi. You chose (or randomly rolled) your one distinguishing racial feature, the concept that your culture is entirely devoted to and the concept from human culture your culture cannot understand ("We have no word for this thing you call 'modesty'")
  • Each Splat in the Old World of Darkness represents a Hat. Taking Vampire: The Masquerade as an example, most players choose their clan/Hat from the Brujah (rebellion), Gangrel (wilderness), Malkavian (insanity), Nosferatu (secrecy), Toreador (art), Tremere (magic), or Ventrue (wealth). Being Hatless here brands you a Caitiff, giving you the outcast Hat. For all that the Clans are stated to be diverse (and some atypical examples are given as character templates in the splatbooks) canon characters are almost always at most slight variations on a Hat.
  • Exalted: Amongst humans, this trope seems to come up in the Dragon-Blooded, both in term of caste-marks and in Houses. Amongst everyone else, you can expect a Dragon-King to be either kung-fu master seeking to rebuild his or her near-extinct race, or a mindless brute who kill anyone who gets into their territory. And a Jadeborn is either a Worker, Warrior, or an Artisan, as Autochthon willed them.
  • Stars Without Number: alien races usually have Lenses, essentially a way of randomly rolling for Hats. You might have a culture with, say, Curiosity and Wrath, or Collectivism and Fear, or Sagacity and Pride, as the defining cultural traits.

     Video Games  
  • The various alien races from Star Control come from different varieties of Planet of Hats. The Spathi are cowardly to the point of paranoia, the Pkunk are hippy-dippy psychics, the Umgah are psychotic practical jokers, the Druuge are slavers, and there are multiple species of Scary Dogmatic Aliens (Ilwrath, Mycon, Ur-Quan, Kohr-Ah) and Proud Warrior Race Guys (the Thraddash, the Shofixti, and the Yehat).
    • The Fan Discontinuity sequel Star Control 3 takes this to strange extremes, with many aliens having unbelievably specific Hats. The Owa, for instance, practice chivalry and know about antimatter science, and you never learn anything else about them.
  • The world in Pokémon seems to be a Planet of Hats as well — much of culture and society revolves around Pokémon, from the economy (shops and huge department stores which sell only Pokémon-related goods) to the government. And since every town is surrounded by tall grass, it's technically impossible to even leave town without a Pokémon of your own.
  • Mass Effect
    • Throughout the entire series, this trope is played to varying levels of straight, aversion and subversion. It is made very clear from the start that while each alien race does have its own unique, defining aspects, there are outliers to every species.
    • Lampshaded in Mass Effect 1. Kaidan comments that Warrior Poet Wrex isn't exactly what he was expecting from a krogan, to which Wrex dryly replies, "Because humans are all different, but every krogan is exactly alike." Kaidan hastily shuts up.
    • Wrex has a response for Garrus when he confronts Wrex with the same observation: 'I suppose it was easier to unleash a genocide virus on the krogan when you thought we were all mindless monsters, turian.' Of course, Garrus was just a detective in C-Sec before signing on with Shepard, so insinuating that he's at all responsible for the genophage (because he's a turian, and turians wronged krogans, so obviously...) is a mite hypocritical of Wrex. Or precisely his point.
    • According to aliens, humanity's hat is that they're a bit of a loose cannon. Also, we seem to be evolving towards a monoculture with minimal racial differences due to globalization - we just haven't gotten quite as far as the other races, yet. The Batarians also see humans as the Jerk Ass (and vice versa), mostly due to competition over colonizing the same region of space.
      • As the story progresses, it is slowly becoming revealed that Humanity's "hat" is The Determinator. They use their ingenuity to adapt to meet whatever kind of challenge is thrown at them. Use a binding treaty to restrict the number of Dreadnoughts (essentially a ship built around a BFG) that they can utilize? They invent a new class of ship that is not bound by this restriction, yet can stand toe to toe against such ships (a reference to the US's circumventing the Washington Naval Treaty limiting the construction of battleships by developing aircraft carriers instead). Reaper invasion looming on the horizon? Humans were the only race that even thought of the idea of destroying a Mass Relay (pretty much everyone else basically assumed it would be impossible). The Illusive Man resurrected Shepard primarily because Shepard was "more than just a soldier". Shepard had become the best traits of humanity distilled into one person; whether Shepard was more on the Jerk Ass side of things or not, Shepard definitely embodies The Determinator, and thus was worth the extreme financial and technological investment to preserve.
    • One of the defining traits of the quarians is having a hard time shaking their hats: being basically space gypsies with a criminal streak. Unfortunately for most well-meaning members of the species, two populations tend to make it stick: quarian criminals (who seem disproportionately common to other races because they get exiled from the flotilla) and over-zealous pilgrims (who don't care where they get useful technology from, so long as they can get done and get back home).
    • There's a lot of subversion of this trope in the franchise too. One of the main features of Mass Effect was that although each race has a hat, the hats also tend to come off a lot. Turians are presented as militaristic and disciplined, yet you encounter drunken turian soldiers, scientists, janitors and shopkeepers (one of whom is part of a Running Gag involving a human trying to return a purchase to his store.) Asari are presented as mediators and negotiators, yet we encounter asari commandos, strippers, pirates, slavers, and Machiavellian diplomats trying to manipulate Shepard to their own ends. Salarians are presented as spies and scientists, but we encounter salarian corporate officers, shopkeepers, mercenaries, and a group of impressively disciplined commandos. Krogans are supposed to be largely brainless brutes who dream of fighting in a massive horde yet we've encountered a mad scientist, a researcher note , a mechanic, and a love-stricken poet.
      • Some individuals will actually subvert their race's hat to their own ends. One Krogan businessman on Illium was extremely polite and well-spoken, but used his status as a Krogan for pure intimidation factor, an important asset on a world such as Illium. A "series of polite calls", indeed. Dr Mordin Solus in the second game explains to Shepard that because most people assume Salarians are physically weak scientist types as opposed to Turians and Krogans who are specifically known for their military prowess, his enemies never see him coming. It doesn't hurt that he's ex-Special Tasks Group.
    • Not to mention the Elcor, whose hat is that they speak in monotone but communicate using a lot of very subtle body language that most others can't interpret (or see). As such, their Translator Microbes account for this, establishing their tone ahead of time. Eventually you run into an elcor who has found a way around this:
    Asari: Wait. Did you hack your translator so you could control your kinetic language processing?
    Elcor: With a sincerity such that skepticism would be deeply insulting: no.
    • Mass Effect 2 suggests humanity's hat is more likely to be discarded than other species. Mordin observes that most species tend to fit certain expectations—similar intelligence, biotic ability, behavior, what have you. While there are outliers in all species (geniuses and morons) humans tend to have more outliers than not.
      • Humans are seen as violent upstarts - some backstory material mentions that, although each race had internal wars, what the humans did to each other was regarded as especially hideous (even when compared to the Krogan). Also, humans are rapacious colonists and breeders.
    • The games even subvert this for species with only one representative. The second game's DLC introduces the yahg, who Liara classifies as a primitive race of hulking brutes who are limited to their home world because they slaughtered the First Contact team sent to establish terms with them. The yahg we meet is the freaking Shadow Broker.
  • Sten, from Dragon Age: Origins has this to say, which can actually sum up what BioWare thinks of this trope.
    Warden: "Tell me about the qunari."
    Sten: "No."
    Warden: "Well, that wasn't what I expected to hear."
    Sten: "Get used to disappointment. People are not simple. They cannot be defined for easy reference in the manner of: 'the elves are a lithe, pointy-eared people who excel at poverty.'"
  • Meteos, despite being a puzzle game, has a good number of these. There's a planet for robots, insomniacs, stubborn miners, shapeshifters, timid jumpers, gangsters, telepaths, bees, ninjas, and ascended psychics each.
  • The computer game Spaceward Ho! gets honorable mention. It's a light turn-based strategy affair and doesn't have culture, but planet ownership is indicated by hats. A variety of cowboy hats worn by the actual planets. (Santa hats if the game is played on December 25th.)
  • In Spore, when your race reaches the Space phase, they are assigned a hat based on their actions up until that point, which usually falls into the standard sci-fi racial norms. There's Shaman, Trader, Warrior, Diplomat, Zealot, Scientist, Ecologist, Bard, Knight and Wanderer.
    • This actually makes a bit of sense: until space-travel, members of a race would have to fill all the economic niches necessary for survival; once there's easy star-travel, specialisation would be possible. See: finding a cheap toy made in the U.S., post-{globalism and Chinese capitalism}.
  • Earth has become this in Mega Man Star Force, with the hat being The Power of Friendship. People even get significant discounts and increased political rights as they become popular.
  • In Startopia, the alien races are each suited to one specific task — OK, two related tasks for the blue-collar Salthogs. Karmarama are purple four-armed hippies, that plant seeds. Turraken are two-headed nerds, that are all scientists. Sirens are sexy winged humanoids, and the only aliens in the game with obvious gender dimorphism, and they "love" others. And so on. The most specialised are the Grekka Targ, who are solely employed to run your communications gear.
    • The Greys are all experts in xenobiology after experimenting on all known races, so they run the sickbays. The Kasvagorians are all Proud Warrior Race Guys, making them useful only as security guards. The Zedem Monks are, well, a race of monks, whose hands have evolved to naturally be in the prayer gesture. The Polvakian Gem Slugs are all hedonistic aristocrats and an obvious parody of the Hutts.
  • In Chronomaster, you play a retired designer of Planets of Hats. The mini-universes you end up visiting include a hypermilitant world, a space casino, and a Cloudcuckooland. To top it off, one world that you never even see is implied to be pop Jung-themed, and solving an optional puzzle requires you to warn somebody who's going there of the inevitable Evil Twin threat.
  • The world of Loom is divided into xenophobic guilds, each with a specific craft, e.g. Weavers, Glassmakers, etc. Each guild's citizens seem to all bear the characteristics of their guild. For instance, the glassmakers value traits such as clarity and beauty, and have names like Luscent Bottleblower. Somewhat justified in that the thing that defines them is what their community was formed on in the first place.
  • Gilneas in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, even before worgen curse, seems to be a literal Nation of Hats. As far as you can see, everyone in the starting zone wears some kind of hat. And not just any hats, but nice hats!
    • Warcraft 2 had several examples of this trope among the human nations and orcish clans. Dalaran was all mages, Kul'Tiras was all sailors, Stromgarde was all warriors, Alterac was all snobs. The Twilight's Hammer was all end of the world cultists, the Stormreavers were all warlocks, Laughing Skull were all backstabbing traitors, Warsong could all do earsplitting battlecries, Bonechewers were all cannibals. In World of Warcraft, dwarves continue to fit this loosely. Ironforge dwarves are mostly smiths and disciplined warriors, Wildhammers are nature loving barbarians, and Dark Irons are all sneaky spies, thieves, assassins, and pyromaniacs.
    • Cataclysm has provided many races a chance to get new hats. Night elves can now be magi, something that was long forbidden in their culture. Dwarves can now be shamans, providing stark contrast to their otherwise industrial nature (at least of the Bronzebeard variety). Orcs are seriously divided over whether or not Garrosh Hellscream is a good leader—even though the should fully embrace a blood-and-thunder warrior. There is still a tremendous amount of hat wearing though, and while not all races have true hats, they have collective niches, which both the Horde and the Alliance forming parts of Six Race gang.
  • In Bangai-O, the heroes hail from Dan Star, a planet populated with hot-blooded men. Since the game focuses entirely on shoot-em up action (and little elaboration on the setting), one can only imagine what it must be like there.
  • The Space Pirates of Metroid are actually an alien species that has piracy and galactic domination as its hats. There's also the Krikens of Metroid Prime: Hunters, who exist to raze other worlds to the ground.
  • Used with human colonies in the Halo verse; Harvest consisted of American Midwestern colonists, and Reach was mostly Hungarian.
    • Done on purpose by the Covenant. The Prophets set up their society so that none of the various races could get by on their own. One character spends the whole of the novel Glasslands searching ancient texts to rediscover things like agriculture, to keep her world from total collapse.
  • The X-Universe is really bad about this, due in large part to the games' near lack of plot and characterization (though that's not necessarily bad). Every faction has a hat that fits every character of that race. The Terrans are high-tech xenophobes, the Split are a Proud Warrior Race, the Teladi are Proud Merchant Lizard Folk, the Boron are peace-loving Squid People, etc.
  • This was the objective of the Smithy Gang in Super Mario RPG: To turn the Mushroom Kingdom into a world filled with... WEAPONS!
    • You also visit a couple Towns of Hats. Moleville is full of anthropomorphic moles who are all miners, Yo'ster Island has its entire populace (of Yoshis) obsessed with racing, Monstro Town is populated almost exclusively by monsters who have gone straight. But the weirdest has to be Marrymore, a town that is all about weddings. The only places of note in the entire town are a wedding chapel, and a fancy hotel for the honeymoon.
  • Several of the alien races in Ratchet & Clank come with their own hats. The most notable of these are the Lombaxes, a race of badass gearheads who can barely sit next to a piece of machinery or weaponry for five minutes without trying to modify it in some way.
  • The United Powers League of Starcraft took some very drastic measures to turn Earth into one in order to remove all the differences that lead to wars and other conflicts. They made English the official language of the world, banned all the old religions in favor of a philosophy of the "divinity of mankind", and made cybernetics and genetic engineering illegal, among other things. Those who did not conform to these new standards were forcibly rounded up and executed, leading to a death toll of 400,000,000. Doran Routhe had 40,000 of these dissidents selected to be put into cryogenic sleep and sent off to colonize other worlds, leading the Terrans to populate the Koprulu Sector that serves as the main setting of the games.
  • In FTL: Faster Than Light, the races are all defined by certain traits. The Engi have Machine Empathy, but are awkward in combat, instead relying on attack and defense drones. The Mantis are the opposite, being a Proud Warrior Race, but also are often violent and vicious. Rockmen are stoic and have a bit of The Fundamentalist in them, as well as being extremely wary of other races. Zoltan are Lawful Neutral (sometimes Lawful Stupid) Energy Beings. Slugs are greedy merchants with psychic powers that allow them to see through the thick nebulae where they live. And Humans...well, Humans Are Average.
  • Some planets in Doki-Doki Universe are defined by a single characteristic. For example, there is a planet where everyone likes gross things and a planet where animals keep humans as pets, among others.

    Web Animation 
  • Parodied in the Flash-animation series Burnt Face Man. In the conclusion of episode 7, Bastard Man (yes, that's his name) steals all the world's air with a vacuum cleaner (yes, he did that) and tries to sell it to a "planet of shifty characters". Everyone on the planet is wearing a large overcoat and hat or they are hidden in the shadows, the main shifty guy telling Bastard Man that they might not pay him for the air because they're all "a bit shifty".
  • Several of these are visited in the fifth season of Bonus Stage, including a convention planet, a fist planet, and McWorld. As Joel says, "Isn't it great how every planet is named after its purpose?"

    Web Comics 
  • Melonpool's planet Melotia is a planet of couch potatoes. There's a Bizarre Alien Biology explanation, with their antennae resonating to Earth television broadcast frequencies.
  • In Sluggy Freelance the residents of the Dimension of Lame are all incredibly sweet, nice, rice cake-loving pacifists. The most deranged psychopath among them suffers an incredible bout of guilt after slightly bruising the toe of a murderous demon. Even the rules of the universe conform to this Hat: the sewers smell like flowers, fermentation doesn't exist, and all swear words are automatically replaced with a "bleep" noise.
  • Goats's Multiverse has entire Dimensions of Hats, such as Topeka Prime, the farm dimension, complete with cow computers. Each dimension, however, has a pub.
  • This strip directly discusses this trope.
  • Curvy invokes this; every Earth explicitly has a gimmick, and ours is apparently "Boring World".
  • Parodied in this episode of Mountain Time, as the astronauts are all too eager to attach a gimmicky label to a newfound planet.
  • Some of the aliens seen in Buck Godot seem to fit this trope, with all individuals seen having similar behaviour or jobs. However, just as many are as varied as humans both in behaviour and appearance.
  • Subverted in Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger! Groonch the Gnorch, a parody of Worf from Star Trek, says that despite being raised with the ideals of another alien race, he strives to be the kind of noble warrior honored by "the Gnorch peoples." Quentyn asks, "Which peoples?" Groonch then learns, to his complete surprise, that the Gnorch species is rather culturally diverse and only a handful of ancient tribes were as warlike as he thought. His own outfit is an odd cultural mishmash.
  • Referenced, perhaps, in this Cwen's Quest strip. Haaaaaaaats!
  • Used for some aliens in Spacetrawler. The Eebs are all Gadgeteer Genius telepaths with almost zero willpower. The Tornites are infamous for their bad fashion sense.
  • While not a planet, per se, the Jägers of Girl Genius have two hats. The first, is that they love fighting. The second is that... they love hats. No, really, they REALLY like hats. One Jäger had an entire short story about him going to get a new hat. There's even rules on how the hat must be acquired- you can't just go into a store and buy one.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The reverse of this is used in the South Park episode "Cancelled": apparently every planet except Earth has only one species, with "a planet of deer, a planet of Asians," etc. Earth was started billions of years ago with creatures from all over the universe on one planet—-as part of an intergalactic Reality Show.
  • Futurama would often use ridiculous examples, i.e. the Neutral planet, the cannibal planet, planet of human-hating robots. In "Love and Rocket", Dr. Zoidberg (himself from a planet of Crustacean Space Jews) talks about the planets destroyed by love radiation why not, "including two gangster planets and a cowboy world."
    • The opening of a certain episode sees the Planet Express crew return pantless and low on supplies from "the planet of the moochers."
    • Fry goes to live on the Amish Homeworld for a while.
    • Don't forget the planet of gigantic Feminists.
    • The episode "The Duh-Vinci Code" introduces a planet of Insufferable Geniuses. How smart were they? Leonardo da Vinci left because he was the dumbest person there.
    • There's also a literal Universe of Hats. Namely, when visiting the edge of our universe, the crew sees on the other side their identical alt-selfs, only they're all wearing cowboy hats.
    • One episode has them visit a series of alternate-universes-in-boxes; most of these universes are one-shot-gag Hat Universes, such as the hippy universe and the eyeless universe.
    • What about the Yarn People of Nylar IV? Not to mention the Globetrotters, with their own planet, university, and algebra.
  • Transformers Cybertron is very guilty of this. There are three planets where a great deal of the action takes place: Gigantion, the giant planet, is populated by massive Transformers obsessed with construction, aided by the tiny Mini-Cons. On Velocitron, the speed planet, the fastest rule and those who don't measure up are left in the dust. And on the unnamed Jungle Planet, might doesn't make right so much as it is right. As if Cybertron, a planet populated by giant transforming robots, wasn't enough of a hat planet in its own right. (Admittedly, "giant transforming robot" is a pretty cool hat.)
    • As well, Transformers: The Movie had the planet Junk, where a race of robots made of scrap live; their entire culture is based on TV and radio transmissions from Earth, with the result that they say things like "Stop, thief! No welcome wagon 'hello stranger' with that new coffee flavor for you!". This was homaged in the Live-Action Adaptation where Optimus Prime claimed the Autobots learned to speak English 'from your Internet'.
    • Pretty much every non-Transformer alien planet in Transformers Generation 1 was made of hat. Honorable mention to Earth, where although humans filled a variety of social roles, they almost all wore construction worker hard hats.
    • Likewise, Transformers Headmasters had a planet of humans innately in touch with nature, and a pirate planet.
  • One episode of VeggieTales had two feuding Towns of Hats used for their Good Samaritan retelling. One town wore shoes and boots on their heads, and the other wore pots. The purpose was to show how people are divided by trivial differences, a rare acknowledgment of the silliness of Planets of Hats.
  • A three-part Pinky and the Brain episode involves the protagonists being taken to a city of hats. There, everyone is ... a hat.
  • Invader Zim parodies this; the Irken Empire includes such ridiculous territories as "Conventia, the Convention Hall Planet" and "Foodcourtia," a planet of nothing but restaurants. Justified because these planets don't seem to actually start out this way: one episode shows the Tallests after the conquest of the planet Blorch, deciding to make it a "parking garage planet" literally on the spot.
    • The Irkens themselves are a culture based on height. Dib points out how stupid this is.
    • Another example might be the Planet Jackers, whose culture seems to revolve around collecting new planets to throw into their sun.
    • Fans generally assume that the Vortians were essentially a species of nothing but scientists. This is never made explicit on the show, but it is plausible, as they are almost always mentioned in relation to some sort of technological achievement. The only two important Vort characters, Lard Nar and Prisoner 777, were both inventors.
  • In Megas XLR, Jamie mentions to Kiva to take them to the "planet of the Space Amazons", to which Kiva replies "I'm from the future, not a comic book!". Though the post credits sequence seems to suggest such a planet exists...
  • The titular anthropomorphic ducks of The Mighty Ducks come from a planet whose entire culture revolves around hockey. Yes, seriously.
  • Most episodes of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show featured Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Peach travelling to a different world built around a particular theme (e.g., karate, rock-n-roll, cowboys, rap). Also, Bowser and his minions always seemed to conform to the "hat" of the world, appearing as a different stock villain in each episode.
  • Earthworm Jim had that one planet inhabited by people that are easily startled.
    People: AAARGH! Something green! AAARGH! Something not green!
    PsyCrow: I love this planet.
  • Darkwing Duck had some fun with this trope in one episode, where our hero visits the planet Mertz, where every single person is a superhero (complete with everyone having a totally unnecessary secret identity.) There is only one person on the planet without super powers, whose name is actually Ordinary Guy. Everyone else spends their entire lives trying to rescue him from peril (which in practice means gigantic, city-smashing brawls over who gets to help him cross the street.) Needless to say, Ordinary Guy's life sucks. Eventually, he snaps and becomes the planet's first and only supervillain. This gives him an outlet for his rage, and gives the heroes some actual evil to fight, making everyone much happier.
    • An absolutely literal version of this trope is used as well: Two episodes featured aliens from a planet where all aliens actually are hats, who hop onto other beings' heads to control them.
  • Kaput & Zösky is a cartoon series based entirely on Planets of Hats. The titular characters wander from planet to planet, hoping to find one where the population's hats make them easy to conquer and pleasant to rule.
  • The Eggs follows the colourful adventures of the four anthropomorphic egg college graduates as they continue their mission through the Loonyverse to search out valuable new sounds for their music-loving home planet of Kazoo. Not only is Kazoo a Planet of the Hats (the hat being music), but every world they visit seems to have its own specific hat.
  • The Yolkians in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron are all basically gobs of slime with eyes contained in a metallic, robotic "skin", featuring a glass upper half for sight and a bottom half fully electronic with a hovering mechanism and arms.
  • Rob The Robot. Dammit, that show has a planet for practically every theme.
  • On Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, we had Rhizome, a planet of peace-loving vegetarians, and mention is made of a "planet of widows and orphans".
  • In Titan Maximum, Eris is inhabited solely by rednecks and Mercury by old people. Neptune is a gigantic winter resort, with a lone steam-in-a-can production facility.
  • In Fairly Oddparents, sometimes a character going to Fairy World will end up in other places first, such as Dairy World and Scary World (Exactly What It Says on the Tin).
  • An episode of American Dad! had Roger claim that his Bizarre Alien Biology made it so that everyone in his species has to be a Jerkass or else they'll die.
  • The different kingdoms of Adventure Time could count as respective kingdoms of hats. The most often visited one is the Candy Kingdom, but there's also an Ice Kingdom, a Fire Kingdom, a Crime Kingdom, a Breakfast Kingdom, a Cats in Cardboard Boxes Kingdom...
  • In Wander Over Yonder, most of the planets (or locations on a planet) seem to be compromised of one spieces. The Bingleborps in "The Greatest," he goat people in "The Troll," the Pig people, hillbilly-beings, etc. in "The Good Deed," etc. Some places Wander visits (such as "The Fugitive") avoid this, especially if it's a port (like in "The Box").
  • Every planet featured in The Brothers Flub that Retrograde makes deliveries to are hat planets. i.e. a planet of wrestlers, or a planet that's a giant pinball machine.

    Other 
  • The Point! is a fable which Harry Nilsson used to make an entire soundtrack. It was later adapted into an animated film and screenplay using the soundtrack. The entire fable revolved around a planet on which everything had a point on it, with the sole exception of the main character. He is shunned as a result. Ironically at the end, the entire world becomes devoid of points with the exception of the main character, who grows a point.
  • Some scientists argue that through alien eyes, Earth could be seen as a planet of hats - aliens would first notice all common traits of humans and ignore all the differences.
  • Many exoplanets have a designation that starts with HAT.
  • Humans tend to stereotype based on region, no matter how diverse a particular region may actually be. The "South" in the United States, for example, or any major metropolitan area.


Namedworld And NamedlandFictional Culture and Nation TropesProud Merchant Race
Perpetual BetaApathy IndexRecycled Premise
Planet of CopyhatsOtherworld TropesPlanetville
Plague of Good FortuneOlder Than FeudalismPlant Person
Brain FoodOtherness TropesProtocol Peril
Ursine AliensFantastic Sapient Species TropesPlanet of Copyhats
Planet of CopyhatsTropes in SpacePlanetary Parasite
No New Fashions in the FutureImageSource/Live-Action TVPressure Point
Planet of CopyhatsSettingsPleasure Planet

alternative title(s): Culture Of Hats; Clan Of Hats
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