"Scarlet" as a name has always invoked an air of passion and sensuality. Usually a female-oriented trope, the name "Scarlet" (sometimes with two T's) often denotes a woman with a fiery, indomitable personality and complicated morality. If she's a hero, she'll be on the aggressive side. If she's a villain, she's almost never straightforwardly evil. As one can expect, she is often a Lady in Red
and/or a Fiery Redhead
, especially if "Scarlet" is actually a nickname or codename.
It's very likely for the woman to be a Southern Belle
, have the surname O'Hara, or have some other reference to Gone with the Wind
, as protagonist Scarlett O'Hara is the Trope Codifier
While male examples exist (Captain Scarlet
and The Scarlet Pimpernel
come to mind — also, The Flash
is often nicknamed "The Scarlet Speedster"), they usually have a much different feel, playing up the boldness of the color red rather than any direct sexualization.
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Anime & Manga
- Scarlett from the film Steamboy.
- Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail. Her last name was chosen for her by Jellal because of her red hair.
- Freezing's Dr. Scarlet Ohara, who's willing to do anything to save the world including knowingly (if extremely reluctantly) setting up her teenage human test subjects to die to ensure funding for her real project.
- Scarlet aka Angel Salvia from Wedding Peach.
- Obviously, Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind. And despite what many assume, she was actually a brunette in the book and film.
- Miss Scarlet from Perry Moore's Hero, a superheroine with fire powers to match her temper.
- While not the name of a person, The Scarlet Letter invoked this trope in its title as far back as 1850.
Live Action TV
- The Glasgow-based TV soap River City has a character called Scarlett Mullen who ticks all the boxes. However as her maiden name actually was O'Hara she was, in universe, clearly named after the GWTW heroine.
- Scarlet's Walk is an album by Tori Amos where the character, Scarlet, travels the U.S. post 9/11.
- The sultry Miss Scarlet from Clue.
- The Scarlet Empress, one of the primary villains in Exalted.
- Scarlett, the most well-known female hero from G.I. Joe. Her backstory is an homage to Gone with the Wind, as her birth name is Shanna O'Hara and she's from Atlanta.
- On The Critic, Jay's boss Duke meets Alice's Southern Belle sister Miranda at a costume ball and is instantly smitten with her, nicknaming her Scarlet.
- Real Life example: Famed sex worker advocate Carol Leigh, aka "Scarlot Harlot"
- Team colors of Boston University, which is why the mascot is a Boston terrier named Rhett.