Freckles are associated with being young and given to both children and teens to emphasize their age. It can also be used to brand a younger person as a misfit, perhaps because it's a easily visible mark that other children can make fun of.
Freckles are caused by exposure to sunlight, especially on those with fair skin. The propensity to freckle is determined by genetics. Redheads are genetically associated with both fair skin and freckles, although Hollywood tends to overemphasize the connection, similar to Significant Green-Eyed Redhead
Because freckles are caused by sunlight exposure they are associated with those who run around outside all the time, symbolizing youthful energy (in both positive and negative forms). Freckles can be used to symbolize youthful innocence as well. They can also be a sign of poverty, as poor children are more likely to be Free-Range Children
Aside from the association with red hair, different hair colors combined with freckles can indicate something about the character:
Black hair and freckles
: This character may be East Asian with a touch of But Not Too Foreign
Brown hair and freckles
: Such characters are often Hollywood Homely
, especially nerds. But it can be found on the Girl Next Door
characters as well.
Blonde hair and freckles
: Common on the Bratty Half-Pint
, and somewhat of the Phenotype Stereotype
of American southerners
Some archetypes commonly given freckles include:
Girls with freckles have some additional associations, as freckles tend to be associated with girlish innocence. They are Fetish Fuel
to some people.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Ahiru from Princess Tutu.
- Gemini Sunrise in Sakura Wars V.
- Makoto from Wandering Son has freckles. He dislikes them, thinking they make him look less cute. His mother also has freckles.
- Sasami from Tenchi Muyo! has these, but they tend to appear and disappear depending on the scene/series/incarnation/frame of animation.
- One Piece
- Ace has these; odd given that he's in his twenties and a great deal less childish than his brother Luffy. His backstory though makes it pretty clear that he fell under the Bratty Half-Pint category.
- His mother also had these, and she clearly fell into Plucky Girl territory.
- A non-canon example: Amanda from the second TV special has freckles.
- Max from Beyblade.
- Candy from Candy Candy. Tomboy? Check. Girlish Pigtails? Check. Plucky Girl? Check!
- Outside of Decode, Tsutomu Senkawa from Birdy the Mighty.
- From Anpanman, Yakisobapanman's younger sister, Yakisobakasu. Her name's actually a pun on yakisoba (like her brother, her head is made out of yakisobapan, a bun filled with yakisoba, so the noodles act as their hair), and of sobakasu, which means "freckle".
- Lolo Endive of Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force, a brown-haired Genki Girl with Girlish Pigtails.
- Several characters in Attack on Titan have them.
- Marco Bott is the Brown haired, adorkable variant.
- Ymir has the Black-haired variant, which works since she has Titan powers and is from a completely different culture/group than the rest of the cast.
- Hannah is the standard red-haired variety.
- Ilse Lagner had them, which is significant since she was an Identical Stranger to Ymir. It confuses a Titan she encounters, and allows her to leave vital information behind in her Apocalyptic Log.
- Ja'far and Koumei in Magi – Labyrinth of Magic have them. Coincidentally they are Beleaguered Assistant to two of the most powerful men in the world.
- Though an older teen instead of a child, Donten ni Warau's Takeda has some freckles, is the youngest in the Yamainu and is more inexperienced and hotheaded than the other members.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- Natalya Rudakova in The Transporter 3, playing the kidnapped daughter Frank is forced to drive around with him. She certainly proves troublesome until they warm up to each other.
- Elizabeth Swann in Pirates of the Caribbean has lots of freckles as a child, and none as an adult.
- All of the Weasley kids in Harry Potter.
- Jack Merridew in Lord of the Flies.
- Julianne Moore's children's book Freckleface Strawberry is about a young girl.
- Pippi Longstocking has Girlish Pigtails and is a Tomboy.
- Anne of Green Gables: Anne is the Plucky Girl type with Girlish Pigtails like Pippi.
- In the Disgaea novels, Captain Gordon, Defender of Earth! and Jennifer's daughter Jane gains these along with Girlish Pigtails in her second appearance, where she is 13.
- Freckles in Gene Stratton Porter's Freckles.
- Nyumba in Someone Else's War.
- Pepper of Good Omens, the red-headed, short-tempered, only girl member of Them who has "a face which was not so much freckled as one big freckle with occasional areas of skin".
- Tash Arranda of Galaxy of Fear.
- In Victoria Forester's The Girl Who Could Fly, Piper dislikes her freckles.
- In Ruth Frances Long's The Treachery of Beautiful Things, Jenny has them. Which marks her out from the Sidhe, whose beauty is perfectly pale skin.
- In Överenskommelser by Simona Ahrnstedt, Beatrice Löwenström has red hair and freckles. Not to mention that's she's a Tomboy and a Plucky Girl.
- The Friendly Freckles Blythe doll.
- Barbie's friend Midge has red hair and freckles.
- Mass Effect
- Liara T'Soni. She's 106 when you meet her, but that's still pretty young by the standards of her species. They're olive green, because her skin is blue.
- The default Female Shepard for Mass Effect 3 has them◊ as well, fitting the red hair and green eyes part of this trope.
- Roxie from Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, which may be a first for the franchise.
- One of the protagonists in "Saints Row 3" can be given freckles in the gamer customization. In Saints Row 4 this can occur as well.
- In "Smackdown Vs Raw 2007" the template 1 male character has freckles on his face.
- Yuuko Shirakawa of Katawa Shoujo, a college student who works part-time as a librarian and waitress and isn't much older than Hisao or his classmates, has them. The same applies for one nameless girl in Lilly's route who is said to be an underclassman, the only student not in third year apart from the April Fool's Day character Rika.
- In Dangan Ronpa, Junko Enoshima has a light dusting of freckles over her nose, which she tells Naegi is one of the things that gets airbrushed out of her glamour shots. It's a plot point, actually: the girl who presents herself as Junko and has freckles is not Junko, but her twin sister and decoy Mukuro Ikusaba. The real Junko, the Big Bad behind the evil Monobear, has no freckles.
- The titular character of SpongeBob SquarePants has three cute little freckles on each cheek. He's implied to be about 27 years old, but he has a naive, child-like demeanor with babyish eyelashes and dorky freckles to go with it.
- Kim Possible has several:
- The Fairly OddParents: Arthur Lebowitz, who also wears glasses and has buck teeth.
- Chuckie from Rugrats: Chew Toy and adorkable redhead.
- Henry from KaBlam!: Chew Toy/Butt Monkey.
- Sheila and Bobby from Dungeons & Dragons.
- T.J. Detweiler, who doesn't really fall under any archetype, though he has shades of Class Clown here and there.
- Gretchen as well, to go with her Girlish Pigtails.
- They're barely noticeable, but Libby from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron has some in her season 2 redesign.
- Eugene and Lila from Hey Arnold!.
- My Little Pony
- Evangelyne and her sister Cleophelia, from Wakfu.
- Michelangelo was given freckles in the 2012 TMNT series.
- Velma on Scooby-Doo.
- Interestingly enough, she DOESN'T have them in the Pup show - even though in this one, she and the rest of the gang were early teens at best.
- Both 11-year old and 17- year old Gwen Tennyson on Ben 10: Omniverse.
- Tilda from Farhat
- Tupu, the Fiery Redhead Feral Child from Tupu. Some other kids as well.
- Chuck from Motorcity.
- Ilana in Sym-Bionic Titan.
- Danny Phantom: Danny had these when he was eight years old (shown in "Maternal Instincts").
- On Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Prince Wednesday's cousin, Chrissie, has these.