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Red Ones Go Faster


Red things just seem to go faster. In fiction, make something red and you can almost guarantee it'll move quicker, as if the colour itself reduces drag, lowers inertia and increases forward momentum. A visual shorthand for getting the point across that an object is zippy.

Truth in Television: Red apparently promotes adrenalin release and feelings of excitement or intensity, which can certainly give the appearance that a red object is moving faster, as well as possibly encourage the drivers of red vehicles to push the envelope more. Also, the Doppler Effect makes things red-shifted if they're moving away from you at a high speed (read: significant fraction of the speed of light). Don't expect there to be any evolutionary basis for this, however, as it's unlikely any human would ever get to see it with the naked eye.

Not at all related to Red Herring. Obviously belongs within the Amazing Technicolor Index.

Sub-Trope of Law of Chromatic Superiority and Color-Coded for Your Convenience. Compare Gold Colored Superiority for another color that is considered greater than others (sometimes even red).


  • "Red goes faster" is the car salesman's mantra.

Anime and Manga
  • While there are earlier examples, the Gundam series not only become enamored with this trope, but also act as a Trope Codifier in Japan. In the original Gundam, the only way one could tell apart Char Aznable's mobile suit from any other was because it was painted red and was three times faster than other suits (which would otherwise be identical in appearance). This, coupled with Char's magnetic personality and sheer popularity, has managed to immortalize red suits as belonging to Rivals in other Gundam series. See Law of Chromatic Superiority for further details.
    • Gundam 00 revisit this concept by giving the Trans-Am mode, which turn the suit red and three times faster.
  • Speed Racer's car has red features.
  • in the Ranma ˝ anime Ranma gets a huge increase in speed when he turns female, and also Red Hair instead of his male black. For female martial artists, red wunz go fasta.
  • The Outlaw Star is said to be the fastest ship in the galaxy. When asked about the color, Gene had 'em paint it red.
  • The 16th Pokémon movie will feature a group of five Genesect, with the 'leader' of them being Shiny—or red instead of purple. While they all appear to have the newly introduced Extremespeed Forme, the red one seems to be faster going by this trailer.
  • In Lyrical Nanoha, speed-based fighter Fate Testarossa-Harlaown typically wears Barrier Jackets with red belts crisscrossed all over it, while her adopted son and fellow speedster Erio Mondial primarily wears red for his Barrier Jackets and has red hair. And most importly, her beautiful, sad eyes are red.
    • The redheaded Nove is faster than her sister Subaru because her Jet Edge is lighter than Subaru's Mach Caliber.
    • Deed, who has red eyes and red magic color, is also one of the fastest Numbers.
    • Chantez Arpinion has red Knight Clothing and her skill is translated either as "Super Speed", "Agile Speed", "Dreadful Speed" or etc.
    • Vita, the red Knight of the Iron Hammer, subverts this. She's not particular slow, but is a Mighty Glacier.
  • Played with in Bakusou Kyoudai! Let's & Go!!, Retsu's red Sonic cars are definately one of the faster, but at cornering instead of max speed. The speedy cars his brother own, meanwhile, has red as a secondary color.

Comic Books
  • All of The Flash's costumes are predominantly red. (Except Kid Flash, which was yellow & red.)
  • Averted by Marvel Comics. Quicksilver is a speedster, but his costume has not contained red.
    • Played straight by the Eternal Makkari, though.

FilmWestern Animation
  • Cars: McQueen is red and, as seen in the page image, he's very fast.
  • Lilo & Stitch: When Experiment 626 steals a police cruiser to escape, of course he takes the red one. Lampshaded by his (now former) captors. The supplementary material explicitly states that it is the fastest of the police cruisers.

  • Red Hare from Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Said to be as quick as any rabbit and famed for being a horse among horses during the era of the Three Kingdoms, it is described in the novel as "uniform ashen red, with not a hair of another colour" and "capable of travelling 1,000 li (approximately 500 km) in a day". In the Dynasty Warriors series of games, it is also the fastest horse that one could get.

Live-Action TV
  • In Space: Above and Beyond, there is an episode where the Chigs are shown to have specially modified fighters that can skip across the event horizon of a black hole. They look exactly like regular Chig fighters except that they are red.
  • The power of the Red Ranger in Power Rangers Dino Thunder is super speed.
  • Hiromu Sakurada/Red Buster of Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters also has super speed as his power.

Tabletop Games
  • Warhammer 40,000 is the Trope Namer:
    • Ork vehicles go faster when they're red because Orks think they do. This is reflected in-game; for a small extra deployment cost, you can give any Ork model with a red paintjob a bonus to its move radius. Orks believe really, really good.
    • The Blood Angels Space Marines are noted for wearing red armor. Their vehicles are able to be outfitted with extra strong engines that give them additional movement distances each turn. They are also able to field a specific jump pack equipped unit that receives extra movement compared to other Space Marine jump pack troops.
    • Saim-Hann, the Eldar craftworld that makes most use of jetbikes and fast skimmers, also uses red as their primary colour.
    • Averted by Tau commander Farsight's custom red battlesuit, which is not in fact three times faster than a regular one (it's considerably better in combat, though).

  • The Red Oni, Blue Oni duo defines the "Red Oni" character as quicker to jump into something than the more relaxed "Blue Oni".

Video Games
  • Dawn of War: The Orcs vehicle speed upgrade is called "Da Red Wunz go Fasta."
  • Link's Loftwing in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is said to be the fastest in all of Skyloft. It's known as the Crimson Loftwing. Guess what color it is?
  • The Simpsons Game has this as one of the many collectible Video Game Cliches.
    • Subtly notable in The Simpsons: Hit & Run in which Bart's Ferrini, the hover bike and the open-wheel Formula One car have some of the highest acceleration and speed stats of the game.
  • In Mario Kart 7, one of the customizable tire sets that can be used on a kart is the Red Monster wheels, which have a slightly higher acceleration than the normal Monster Wheels, which are blue.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 has two temporary examples: the Dash Pepper turns Yoshi red and gives him enough speed to run up walls and on water, and the Rainbow Star increases Mario or Luigi's speed and turns them red as opposed to the flashing multicolored version from the first game though still leaves multicolored duplicates to emphasize their speed.
  • World of Warcraft has an achievement named after this: "Why? Because it's red." It refers to the rarest of the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj mounts - the red one. (It doesn't actually go faster though.)
  • Inverted in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. While Knuckles is colored red, and he is quite fast, he pales in comparison to other characters like Sonic and Tails. However Sonic's trademark choice of red footwear is very much this trope played straight.
    • Played mostly straight with the springs in the early 16-bit games in the series. The yellow-colored springs provide a slight speed and height boost when bounced upon, and the red ones make Sonic jump much higher and move much faster. Knuckles Chaotix added blue springs in certain stages, which were even more powerful than the red ones.
  • In both Tomba! games, Tomba can equip different colored pants to increase his speed. Both times, the pants that give the greatest speed boost are red.
  • While there are plenty of other red robots from Mega Man that aren't considered very fast, the red Quick Man was built to be the fastest robot in the series. Also, Mega Man X's and Mega Man Zero's Zero is quite the Lightning Bruiser.
  • In Escape from the Planet of the Robot Monsters, the red Mecha-Mooks act like the ordinary white ones, except that they move considerably faster.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's: Foxy the Pirate Fox has a red suit, and he's able to run from his cove to your office in mere seconds.

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • In the Futurama episode "The Route Of All Evil", Cubert and Dwight take over Planet Express, rename it Awesome Express and repaint the ship red and give it flame decals for this very reason.
    Cubert: Leela, help me put these decals I got in my cereal on the ship. They'll make it go faster.
    Leela: Really? What's your scientific reasoning for that?
    Cubert: I'm twelve.
  • Although there are multiple colors represented, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has Rainbow Dash, and red is the predominant color when she is doing one of her super speed stunts.
  • In Sym-Bionic Titan, Chan's road racer is painted red.
  • In South Park, Randy argues that painting a pinewood derby car red was the main reason it went faster-than-light. Of course, the real reason is because he stole a magnet from the Large Hadron Collider and put it in the car.

Real Life
  • Red cars are often more likely to be cited for speeding tickets than other colors. Partially as a corollary, car insurance companies often charge marginally higher rates for red cars. Both of these are probably due to the tendency of people in red cars to go faster than anything caused by the color.
    • Also, red tends to be a lot more visible on the road, meaning they're more likely to be spotted by cops.
    • Red is an incredibly popular color for supercars, to the point that non-red ones actually depreciate (price-wise) at a quicker rate. Enforced Trope?
      • Insurance companies actually don't take the color of the car into consideration, and most don't even require the color to be disclosed. The fact that sports cars are so often painted red is why this comes into effect - sports cars make up most of the red cars on the market, and have higher rates because of the perception that drivers will want to speed more often.
  • The Midland Railway and its successor, the LMS Railway, painted passenger engines red, such as No. 1000 and the Duchess of Hamilton.
  • The most successful Formula One racing team is Scuderia Ferrari, 16 titles with their trademark red cars. McLaren also won most of its titles using a white and red scheme inspired by sponsor Marlboro.
    • McLaren used to have a different color scheme, until they averted the trope by removing painting from the car which made it faster.
  • The 1971 Spa 24 Hours ended up as if an Ork racing team had gone rampant. The Mercedes-Benz tuner AMG took the biggest luxury sedan below the Rolls-Royce league in those days, the Mercedes 300 SEL and turned it into a monster nicknamed "Red Sow": The already humongous 6.3-liter V8 was rebored to 6.8 liters and 420hp, the interior was left as-is except for the rollcage, and the entire ride was painted red. Despite its weight and frequent pit-stops, it was fasta than everything else except one BMW 2800CS. It was heavy, cumbersome, ugly, not to mention built from wreckage before the Spa race, it consumed insane amounts of gas and tires, but it was RED and FAST.
  • Some studies suggest that signals from red cones in the eyes — photoreceptors that detect the red/orange end of the spectrum — are processed more quickly by the brain's visual cortex than signals from green or blue cones. Thus, seeing red literally happens faster than seeing other colors.
  • Early in the twentieth century, silver cars were widely thought to go faster, mainly because silver paint was incredibly uncommon so the colour generally meant that the car wasn't painted, which both reduced weight and indicated that the car was a dedicated racer.

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alternative title(s): The Red Ones Go Faster
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