Names To Run Away From: Colors
A form of Names to Run Away From Really Fast. Villains often favor certain colors of clothing and weapons, so it's not surprising that such colors should be in their names as well. Black and Red are by far the most popular, as they are seen as the most evil colors around; see Dark Is Evil and Red and Black and Evil All Over.
open/close all folders
Especially popular. (Blackguard, Blackheart, Blackthorne, Blackout, etc...) Anime and Manga
- The morally ambiguous contract killer who stars in Darker Than Black is codenamed Hei - Chinese for "black".
- Hei also has a Red Baron, "The Black Reaper."
- Schwarz (German for "black"), the Slave-summoning villains from Mai-Otome.
- Black☆Star from Soul Eater.
- And his father, White☆Star.
- Akuha Shuzen, infamously known as the Black Devil from Rosario + Vampire.
- Blood Knight Omnicidal Maniac Karasuba (who's name translates literally to "raven feather") is known as the "The Black Sekirei".
- The eponymous Black★Rock Shooter and her/its supercharged form, Insane Black Rock Shooter.
- Her arch-nemesis Black Gold Saw (who is actually red).
- Also, the rarely mentioned Black Matagi.
- The Blackthornes in Noble Causes are a family of supervillains.
- Black Hand as seen in Blackest Night.
- Black Mask
- Blacksad, the Badass noir detective protagonist in the comicbooks of the same name.
- Lord Blackwood from the first Robert Downey, Jr. Sherlock Holmes film.
- Discussed in Reservoir Dogs. Joe assigns the robbers their color-coded aliases himself. When they ask why they don't get to choose, he explains that he tried that before but it didn't work, because most of the guys were arguing over who got to be "Mr. Black".
- Most of The Wolfman (2010) takes place in sleepy little English hamlet of Blackmoor, that's not ominous at all!
- Kurogane from Ran has a name that literally means "black metal" in Japanese.
- Dr. Raven Sable.
- All the Horsemen are this, named for the colors of the horse's they ride according to the original Biblical lore. Along with Dr. Sable (Famine) there's War, who goes by the names Carmine and Scarlett (both shades of red) and Pollution/Pestilence who has gone by such names as White, Blanc, Albus, Chalky, Weiss and Snowy (white in four languages, and two slang terms for white). The only exception is Death, who has no human identity and is just Death.
- Sirius Black, although this turns out to be somewhat misleading. It definitely applies to most of the rest of his family, though. His family attempts to deliberately invoke this trope with astronomical names multiple times. Sirius, Andromeda, Regulus, Draco, probably several of the others do this also, but I don't know astronomy well enough to tell you for sure.
- Bellatrix is also named after a star.
- Bilingual Bonus (of sorts) overlapping with Meaningful Name: Bellatrix is a Latin name meaning "warlike".
- To be honest, almost every character or even the spells fit into Meaningful Name: for example, Malfoy is quite similar in pronounciation (when you delve into latin languages) to "the one who was bad" - more specifically, the "was bad" part.
- Bellatrix is also named after a star.
- The Laundry Series is home to the Black Chamber, the rather...morally unsound US paranormal agency.
- Black Dow. Among an entire nation of Named Men, he's still infamous.
- Parodied and subverted in Grunts!, when the various orc squads pick names. There are an over-abundance of black, sable, ebony, etc...And then Pink Squad. They're kind of worried about Pink Squad.
- The Big Bad of the first Faeries of Dreamdark book is commonly known as "the Blackbringer". If that's not sinister enough for you, his real name is the Astaroth.
- Randall Flagg goes by the name of The Black Man in The Stand.
- The Dresden Files features the Knights of the Blackened Denarius. Actually much, much worse than they sound.
- The Dark Sisters; Mrs. Dark and Mrs. Black from The Infernal Devices.
- During a speech in The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf talks about how dragon fire could have consumed at least some of the Rings of Power, but says that no dragon, not even Ancalagon the Black, who was bred by Morgoth himself in the first age, could have harmed the One Ring.
- From Adventures in Odyssey, the evil Dr. Regis Blackgaard. Arguably subverted in that he has a twin brother, Edwin, who shares the name but is only guilty of being a Large Ham.
- And Nero the Sable from Dirge of Cerberus.
- Count Bleck from Super Paper Mario. Not quite in English, but his name in Japan is 'Count Noir', which is French for Black.
- Some Warcraft black dragons such as Sabellian aka Baron Sablemane.
- In the Sonic Universe, Black...Doom...yeah...we're screwed...
- Einhänder has the sixth boss, a shuttle your character is supposed to destroy. That transforms into the boss. Its name? Schwarzgeist (German for "Black Ghost").
- Mr. N. Black from Red Dead Revolver.
- Blackhorn from Astyanax.
- Black Collar (later renamed Black Ninja) from Metal Gear 2.
- The Black Hand, who are the most elite forces of the Brotherhood of Nod. They may or may not be the same Black Hand responsible for starting WWI.
- Jack Noir of Homestuck. On the other hand, his name is technically "Jack Black", rather than Black Jack.
- In The Simpsons episode "Bart Gets An Elephant", Stampy the elephant is nearly sold by Homer to an ivory dealer (and onetime whale hunter, seal clubber, and president of the FOX network) named Mr. Blackheart.
- In "Kamp Krusty", there's Mr. Black, the evil camp councilor who torments Bart, Lisa, and the rest of the kids attending the eponymous camp.
- The All Blacks, New Zealand's national rugby union team. They are currently ranked #1 in the world and are the World Cup champions. The name came from a typo; one writer called them "the all backs", meaning they all play fast, running games typical of the backs, but it was misprinted and the name stuck. Black is now the country's national colour, with many other sports teams being named "X Blacks" or "Black Xs".
- Bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death.
- Edward "Blackbeard" Teach.
- Emperor Nero's name means black in Latin.
- The Black Panther Party.
Or any variation. Crimson and Scarlet sound especially Bad Ass. Vermillion, less so, but you can work with it. See also Red Baron. Anime and Manga
- For High School D×D, there is the Crimson-Haired Princess of Ruin. We know her best as Rias Gremory.
- The Red Comet. Also the Crimson Lightning, but he often gets confused with the other guy.
- Rezo the Red Priest of Slayers has a piece of the Dark Lord of his world sealed in his eyes, making him steadily more evil through his life. Lampshaded by Lina when she comments that his name sounds like a villain's after they meet and he tries to play her into giving up a powerful artifact.
- Porco Rosso is just a Bad Ass.
- Erza Scarlet is one of the few character who can discipline Natsu.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Solf J. Kimblee, the Crimson Alchemist, could be considered this, especially considering what he did in the War of extermination in Ishval.
- The Red King, Suoh Mikoto of K also qualifies. While he's usually pretty laid back and downright lazy, once he gets down to business there is no stopping him. He is more than once described as violent and a berserker, blows up whole buildings and takes down an elite team without even blinking. Just ask Awashima how dangerous he is.
- Red Skull
- Crimson Dynamo of Iron Man.
- Red Star of the Teen Titans belongs here too.
- Red Rackham, the titular pirate of Red Rackham's Treasure.
- Omega Red
- Red Sonja is definitely someone you tread carefully around, unless you're Ahnuld.
- Red Mist from Kick-Ass.
- The Red Queen from Through The Looking Glass.
- Queen Redd from The Looking-Glass Wars, the Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts rolled into one.
- Even just plain old "Red," a.k.a. Carmine Zuigiber as Good Omens proves.)
- A dragon named Scarlet in the Sword of Truth series, though really it doesn't matter what the name is, you better run from a dragon if she ain't called Puff.
- Scarlett O'Hara, of Gone with the Wind wasn't exactly the southern sweetie she liked to pretend she was. She EARNED that damn not being given!
- The Crimson King
- The Masque Of The Red Death
- in The Princess Series, the "Lady of the Red Hood" is one of the most feared assassins in the land.
- Ripred from The Underland Chronicles.
- Red John.
- Now let's not forget about Red Forman
- VR Troopers has Red Python.
- Red from Series/Orangeisthenewblack is one formidable woman.
- While not a person's name, the Scarlet Crusade from World of Warcraft. Originally devoted to slay undead, but turned into an army of insane religious zealots bent on killing anyone who's not one of them. Also, their leader is a demon/vampire in disguise.
- King Crimson. The name sounds much more intimidating than the actual sound/image of the band, however.
- Dirge of Cerberus's Rosso the Crimson, translating to "Red the red". Yes, she is extremely bloodthirsty. She also has a Russian accent.
- Of course the rather dangerous Scarlet Sisters from the various Touhou Project games: Remilia Scarlet and Flandre Scarlet.
- Red, and Axel the Red, two Mavericks from the Mega Man X series.
- Depending on who you ask, Red from Pokémon Red and Blue is no one to take lightly. That is, if you are Team Rocket or the Hero of Pokémon Gold and Silver...
- Subverted in Final Fantasy VII: Scarlet of Shinra is utterly laughable as a villainess, present only to fill the role of The Vamp. All she manages to do is be annoying enough that you can't help but relish the literal bitch-slap fight atop the Sister Ray.
- Vermilion from Battle Arena Toshinden.
- Subverted with Carmine from Gears of War, a recurring Red Shirt character.
- Crimson Fury from Twisted Metal.
- A very bad example is Scarlet Foxfire, which has a color, animal, and fire, from the webcomics of David Gonterman. Gonterman probably does actually intend her to be a badass, but seeing as how she's some sort of superpowered vixen fursuit (worn by a guy), well, her status is dubious, at best.
- Redcloak from The Order of the Stick.
- Red Dog, one of The Renegades in G.I. Joe: The Movie.
- The Crimson Chin from The Fairly Oddparents.
- Thrax, the Red Death, from Osmosis Jones.
The Victorians and Edwardians loved to associate this with madness and decay as the symbol of the plague is a yellow flag with a single black spot flown above an infected vessel or building. In other cases, it might just be related to inherent abilities of lightning and/or awesome reflexes. If the word "gold" is used instead, it may simply be a reference to wealth and/or greed. Anime and Manga
- Minato Namikaze A.K.A. the Yellow Flash. The ONLY Ninja listed in the Black Book with a "Run On Sight" tag...
- ...Not that it would help much if he was after you.
- The eponymous villain Auric Goldfinger. Bonus points for his first name meaning "gold" in Latin.
- The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers more or less launched the idea of the Brown Note to the modern world with "the yellow sign"
- The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
- HP Lovecraft also had a King in Yellow and the Yellow Sign
- A Shout-Out to Chambers.
- Emmanuel Goldstein from 1984—we don't know what he's really like, or if he even exists, but the Party certainly portrays him as a villain, almost a Satan figure to Big Brother.
- Yellow fever.
Occasionally used as a subversion. Bonus points if the guy in question is an Evil Albino. Anime and Manga
- Light Yagami of Death Note is a variation.
- The manga of Cowboy Bebop featured a reporter following the crew as they chased the White Siblings, Ash and Blanche, who preyed on the elderly.
- The White Devil, Nanoha Takamachi. Well, it's a name to run from if you have done anything to incur her wrath. Okay, so she won't cause any lasting damage, but you are going to be in one hell of a lot of pain...
- White Devil already spread fear fsince 1979 as the nickname Zeon forces gave to the RX-78-2 Gundam and his pilot Amuro Rei.
- Lucifer the light-bearer.
- Good Omens again provides Chalky/Whitey/Mr. White/etc.
- The White Witch was not a nice lady.
- Saruman the White (and later Gandalf the White).
- The true name of the Bane (the Evil Albino rat) from The Underland Chronicles is Pearlpelt.
- Albert "Chalky" White, from Boardwalk Empire is either a Villain Protagonist or an Anti-Hero, but he's most definitely someone you do not want to cross. Extra irony points for Chalky being a black man with three names meaning "white".
- Lucien Lacroix from Forever Knight...granted, his original Roman name was 'Lucius', but he still gets points for being a villain with a name that means 'white' or 'light'.
- Sociopathic meth cook Walter White is the Villain Protagonist of Breaking Bad.
- So is Albedo from the Xenosaga series.
- Again in Dirge of Cerberus we have Weiss the Immaculate.
- Cammy White from Street Fighter, she will kick your ass.
- The Big Bad of Black Rock Shooter The Game, White Rock Shooter. Also, the person BRS was cloned from.
- The villain Mr. White from Codename: Kids Next Door.
- Simo Häyhä, AKA The White Death. With the total kill count of 700 in 100 days, he is the the most deadly (identified) soldier in the history of warfare.
- The great white shark, once also known as "white death".
Often used for characters whose morals or motivations tend to come in, well, shades of gray, or just generally to connotate people with powers or badasses. Anime and Manga
- Various versions of Greymon from Digimon (And BlackWarGreymon has two of the colors on this list, so you know he's a force to be reckoned with)
- Dorian Gray
- Gandalf the Grey from The Lord of the Rings (before his ascension to Gandalf the White and utter badassery)
- Mr. Grey from The Dreamcatcher. You don't want to run into him.
- Fenrir Greyback from Harry Potter.
- Long John Silver of Treasure Island.
- Gabriel Gray of Heroes
- The Grey Knights from Warhammer 40K, a Space Marine chapter tasked to fight the Warp daemons with specialized weapons and psychic powers. Also kills any bystanders for fear of Chaos corruption.
- Silver from Pokémon Gold and Silver and the remakes. One of the most Jerk Ass rivals in the franchise, at least until the end of the game.
- The Grey Wardens of Dragon Age are usually good guys, but they are also singularly focused on stopping the Blight, at the cost of all else.
- Valerie Gray from Danny Phantom (although her morals and motivations are good, and she thinks she's doing the right thing).
- Castle Greyskull from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983).
- Grey DeLisle is a subversion. She's voiced numerous villainesses and morally ambiguous characters (Mandy, Vicky, and Azula, to name a few), but it's a case of Mean Character, Nice Actress. In real life, she's pretty sweet, and an example of a Genki Girl and The Pollyanna.
- Silverback gorillas.
- Grey wolves.
Anime and Manga
- The deadly, vain pedophile General Blue from Dragon Ball
- Possibly subverted by Sonja Blue in the Midnight Blue series of stories. Though blue is often associated with sadness, Sonja is depicted as the preeminent badass of the story universe.
- Azula, cold and ruthless villain from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Name originally comes from the colour of her flames (blue — which is more intensive than normal red and yellow).
- And then there's Zuko's famous "Blue Spirit" alter-ego, in which he dons a blue mask and ninja garb and carries twin swords.
Not generally a colour considered associated with dangerous or villainous characters. Anime and Manga
- Until you remember that Lina Inverse's official title is 'Lina the Pink Sorceress.' And if you call her that to her face, you will need to run away really fast.
- Horace Pinker from Shocker.
- Pink doesn't seem scary until you remember that in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy it was the Pink Psycho Ranger that was not only the last to be killed, but also caused the death of the first ranger in Western Power Rangers history. Seven seasons in, and it was an elite mook that was pink nonetheless, that finally killed one off.
- "Pinko" is a nickname for a communist. Sometimes it refers to Lighter and Softer communists, as pink is a "lighter" shade of red.
- In Russia, more hardcore communists sometimes call those whom they deem communists in name only "white-pinkies" (belo-rozovy), combining the former use of "pinko" with white, the color of anticommunism since the Civil War.
- Pink eye.
- The Green Goblin from Spider-Man.
- Dominic Greene from Quantum of Solace.
- Tammuz the Green Man from The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.
- The Green Berets.
- The Purple Man. Just look at what he did to Jessica Jones.
- Purple drank, a narcotic cocktail made from cough syrup which claimed lives of several prominent hip-hop artists like DJ Screw, Big Moe, and Pimp C.
Anime and Manga
- K's Colorless King. Well, every King would qualify to some degree (what with their incredible psychic powers) but he takes the cake as far as Ax-Crazy and ruthless goes.
- The entire cast of Reservoir Dogs, with some names acting as subversions.
- Clear World and Clear Vice Dragon in the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game are clearly dangerous. The first inflicts a harsh penalty on each player for each Attribute of monster they have on the field, while the second renders its controller immune to the penalties of the first and attacks with twice the attack power of whatever it's attacking.
- In the Touhou series colors can be associated with power. The color purple usually represents power. It stands to reason that the most powerful being/Youkai in Gensokyo, Yukari Yakumo's name is Japanese for Purple. Also her shikigamis, Ran and Chen, have names that mean Indigo and Orange, respectively.
- The color-themed Sages of Team Plasma in Pokémon Black and White .