The Hat Makes the Man
Sometimes, the type of hat a person wears can tell you a lot about their personality. However, these hats go a step beyond and noticeably alter the personality of their wearer. The hat may be a form of personality-altering Applied Phlebotinum. Particularly bad cases may function more like Demonic Possession, with the hat completely overwriting the wearer's personality. Or the hat may simply be a Magic Feather, giving the character the boost of self-confidence necessary to alter their behavior. However it works, the character's behavior is markedly different when they wear it. A subtrope of Artifact Domination. If the hat alters the wearer's behavior for the worse, then it's also an example of Clothes Make the Maniac. If it's used by someone else to control the wearer it's also a Hypno Trinket. It has very little relationship to Planet of Hats.
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Anime and Manga
- One episode of Kirby of the Stars was about an evil hat that can corrupt whoever puts it on.
- Doctor Fate's Helmet of Nabu would cause him to be possessed by the spirit of the deceased wizard, Nabu.
- The Serpent Crown in the Marvel Universe which grants the wearer various abilities. These abilities can include superhuman strength, the power to read and control the minds of others, the power to levitate oneself and other persons or objects, the ability to cast illusions, the power to project destructive bolts of mystical energy and even the mental ability to manipulate matter and energy. However, use of the crown usually leads the wearer to fall under the mental domination of Set, who then has the wearer perform various tasks which would help facilitate its physical return to the Earth dimension.
- In Discworld, both the crown of a king and the Archmage's hat exert their own influence upon the wearer.
- According to Cohen, so does the turban conventionally worn by the Grand Vizier. "Give 'em a turban with a point in the middle and it just erodes their moral wossname." This could just be a metaphor, though, as opposed to the Archchancellor's hat that literally has magical influence.
- The Svarog series by Alexander Bushkov mentions in passing an artifact called the "Black Crown". Presumably, it gives one great powers but burns their soul, making them instantly Chaotic Evil.
- In the second book of the Larklight trilogy, the mysterious hats are actually shapeshifting, mind-controlling, thought-eating aliens in disguise.
Live Action TV
- There's a largely-forgotten Norman Wisdom sitcom from the 70s where his entire personality would change according to what hat he was wearing.
- Linda's magic hat from the Round the Twist episode "Copy Cat", which grants the wearer the power to fly but also starts changing the wearer's personality.
- In the original The Twilight Zone episode "Dead Man's Shoes", a homeless man finds the body of a gangster's victim, puts on his shoes, and is possessed by the victim. The '80s remake did a gender flip, "Dead Woman's Shoes", in which the trinket is a pair of shoes belonging to the murdered wife of a rich corporate type.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Helm of Opposite Alignment. Instantly changes the wearer's Character Alignment to its opposite (e.g. Lawful Good to Chaotic Evil).
- The Crown of Souls will eventually change the wearer's alignment to Neutral Evil.
- The Forgotten Realms Horn of Crowns causes its wearer to act in a crazed and violent manner.
- Hat of Command: The wearer feels an overwhelming desire to take charge.
- Hat of Occupation: Wearer thinks and acts as if he's a member of another class, but isn't.
- Parodied in Munchkin with the Helm of Courage. It has no visor.
- The Helm of Dark Magics in Arcanum permanently raises your magical aptitude and lowers your alignment each time you put it on.
- The Peak Point helmets from Ape Escape. The most notable example is Specter, who goes from a cute and adorable monkey to a scheming, megolamaniac supergenius. The only exception to this is Pipotchi from 2, who wears a special pipo helmet designed by the Professor which increases his intelligence but keeps his lovable personality intact.
- While not shown when in Moga or Tanzia, the Shakalakas who accompany you in Monster Hunter Tri (Ultimate) change personalities depending on the mask they wear. Cha-Cha acts like a Badass Grandpa with the Ancient Mask, while Kayamba in the False Felyne behaves like a Lolcat.
- In one Skin Horse comic, an avian-humanoid freaks out because Tip put on a hat. She believes that hats make you evil and instantly worthy of hate.
- Girl Genius
- When Agatha returns to Castle Heterodyne, the only way for humans to communicate with the castle's central brain is for the Seneschal to wear a helmet that inserts probes into his brain, allowing the Castle to take control of his body.
- In the "Trelawney Thorpe: Spark of the Realm" short story, the MacGuffin is the crown of King Arthur, which is supposed to give the wearer the power of King Arthur. What it actually does is give King Arthur the body of the wearer.
- In a EGS:NP storyline in El Goonish Shive, John Toutman gets a detective hat placed on his head, he claims wearing a detective hat does not actually help make him any more of a detective and yet he is immediately able to deduce where Susan ran off to when he wasn't able to before.
- The Looney Tunes cartoon "Bugs' Bonnets" has Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd switching personalities as various hats blow past and land on their heads.
- In The Care Bears: Adventure in Wonderland, Grumpy Bear changed personalities every time he put on one of the Mad Hatter's hats.
- In one episode of The New Adventures of Superman cartoon, a possessed hat causes anyone who dons it to commit evil acts.
- Darkwing Duck several times had to fight alien, sentient mind-controlling hats.
- Ruby Gloom's Skull Boy has problems with this thanks to a "Shakespearean Love Hat." It causes him to speak proper Shakespearean when wearing it and also makes Iris & Misery fall for him.
- In Total Drama: Revenge of the Island, Mike (who has multiple personality disorder) puts on a slouch hat and suddenly becomes an adventurer called Manitoba Smith.
- Rocky and Bullwinkle has the Kirwood Derby, which makes its wearer the smartest person in the world.
- Doctor Fate's helmet (see Comic Book examples above) appears in Young Justice. It eventually ends up completely taking over the mind of Zatara.
- Spliced: In "Follow Your Dreamworms", Entree snatches Joe's top hat and replaces it with a flowery sunhat. Joe's normally angry voice immediately becomes much more girly and singsong.
- Meet the Robinsons's Bowler Hat Guy could only dream of exacting revenge on his boyhood pal Lewis for ruining his chance at baseball stardom, until he was accosted by the robotic bowler hat DOR-15 "Doris", and he became the arch-villain of his dreams. Dream on, Goob.
- An episode of Sheriff Callie's Wild West centers around one character receiving a new wardrobe to turn him into a gentleman. Wearing the monocle transforms the wearer's voice and mannerisms to that of a high-class man, complete with the stereotypical Queen's English accent.