Scarlet Fever

"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 and be some kind of homage to Scarlett O'Hara of Gone with the Wind.

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.

See also Heroes Want Redheads. This trope has nothing whatsoever to do with the deadly contagion.


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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.

    Comic Books 

  • 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.

    Tabletop Games 

  • 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.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • 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