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Synesthesia is Magic

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When a character's sensory inputs cross, and is seen as mystical or special.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
KDreader02 on Apr 12th 2018 at 6:45:04 PM
Last Edited By:
Arivne on May 6th 2018 at 12:45:55 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

Synesthesia is a real life condition in which a person relates a sense to something else. Some see people in colors, or with flavors. It is similar to Tastes Like Purple, but is not fantasy based or temporary. It's something one is born with, and doesn't simply go away.


Examples:

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     Anime and Manga 

     Comic Books 
  • In Top 10, Synesthesia Jackson uses her synesthesia to help her with detective work. In one case, she identifies a murderer by matching the music given off by their perfume to the music that she smelled on a victim.

     Literature 
  • In Secret Series, The Midnight Sun targets children who has synesthesia.

     Live-Action TV 
  • Heroes: In the final season of the original run, the character Emma Coolidge demonstrated her ability to see sound in the form of bright colors. However, her ability was to be able to manipulate the sound, using it to entice people and such.
  • House of Anubis: Robert Frobisher-Smythe had synesthesia, allowing him to hide one of the third season's treasures behind a capsule that required having synesthesia to open, due to the color combinations being invisible without it. KT, his great-granddaughter, managed to open it by dulling her other senses and awakening her own synesthesia.
  • In the 2018 TV adaptation of The Woman in White, Laura describes seeing sounds as colours.

     Webcomics 
  • In Space Boy, Amy sees people as having different flavors. She sees her mother as mint, and her father as hot chocolate. The reason Oliver makes her curious is because he doesn't have a flavor.

Feedback: 17 replies

Apr 12th 2018 at 7:30:25 PM

Tastes Like Purple is used for synesthesia across the wiki. And as far as I know, it was not restricted to being temporary or only fantasy... so this is covered.

Apr 12th 2018 at 7:36:10 PM

The beginning sentences for Tastes Like Purple is: “Momentary tasting colors/ temporary synesthesia. This is where a character, due to magic, poison, drugs, blow to the head, etc. starts tasting/smelling/hearing colours or other variations.” If I interpreted wrong, that’s on me, but I meant for this to be a condition that isn’t fantasy based or temporary like Tastes Like Purple seems to imply.

Apr 12th 2018 at 7:58:21 PM

I think either the trope isn't restricted to that, or it's expanded in the way it is used since the page was written. From examples across the wiki, it certainly seems to be any instance of synesthesia.

Apr 13th 2018 at 2:24:54 PM

Tastes Like Purple indicates artificially influenced synesthesia. This one, which probably doesn't, has a lot of potential but really needs to be expounded upon.

Apr 13th 2018 at 4:34:50 PM

What's the narrative importance of synesthesia? After all, we don't have a trope for "People With Red Hair", but we do have Fiery Redhead and Heroes Want Redheads and a bunch of other pages about the narrative significance of red hair.

Just from the two examples you already have, it seems like maybe you could make this "Synesthesia Is Magic" or something like that—where it marks a character as otherworldly in some way, or could even be a form of True Sight.

Apr 14th 2018 at 2:37:10 AM

  • Blue Linked some TV Tropes page names.
  • Examples section
    • Added a line separating the Description and Examples section.
    • Added [[foldercontrol]] .
    • Italicized work names as per How To Write An Example - Emphasis For Work Names.

Apr 16th 2018 at 12:37:30 AM

Comic Books

  • In Top Ten, Synesthesia Jackson uses her synesthesia to help her with detective work. In one case, she identifies a murderer by matching the music given off by their perfume to the music that she smelled on a victim.

Apr 16th 2018 at 6:09:49 AM

Maybe this counts?

  • X Men: Dazzler's mutant ability is to transform soundwaves into harmful bursts of light. She usually prefers to transform music and songs, as they'll produce beautiful, brilliant light shows.

Apr 16th 2018 at 11:46:01 AM

  • House Of Anubis: Robert Frobisher-Smythe had Synesthesia, allowing him to hide one of the third season's treasures behind a capsule that required having Synesthesia to open, due to the color combinations being invisible without it. KT, his great-granddaughter, managed to open it by dulling her other senses and awakening her own Synethesia.

Apr 20th 2018 at 6:55:32 AM

Apr 20th 2018 at 10:27:11 AM

Live-Action TV

  • In the final season of the original run of Heroes, the character Emma Coolidge demonstrated that her ability to see sound in the form of bright colors. However, her ability was to be able to manipulate the sound, using it to entice people and such.

Apr 22nd 2018 at 2:09:34 PM

Live-Action TV

May 4th 2018 at 5:50:57 PM

This still very much sounds like "Synesthesia is a Thing", please put some work into making it a trope

^your example sounds cool, but until we know what the trope is, we can't tell if it counts :)

May 4th 2018 at 11:05:12 PM

Played for horror on an episode of Criminal Minds: The Serial Killer Villain Of The Week of the 8th-season episode "Magnificent Light" had synthesthesia that manifested as him seeing words of people he listened with various colors, and as he grew up he started to assume that if words that appeared were red it meant that the person was lying... and if the words were black it meant the person was evil. He eventually became unstable, getting fired from his work because he was being hostile to "lying" customers and he was actually Driven To Suicide until he listened to a self-help guru and the lecture about unlocking your inner potential went full-blown Gone Horribly Right: the man decided to become a "superhero", kidnapped the guru so he would be his "sidekick", and started to kill the people he considered "evil".

May 6th 2018 at 12:48:35 AM

Synesthesia Is Magic sounds very succinct to me. It may even be possible to narrow it even further down to Synesthesia Means Hyperawareness (we have a page for generic Hyper Awareness, btw), but I haven't checked if it would exclude any existing examples.

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