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Yellow / Purple Contrast (needs examples WITH CONTEXT)

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Pairing yellow and purple as depicted in media. (No Launching Please; requesting an on-hold.)

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
ANTMuddle on Nov 3rd 2018 at 6:35:53 PM
Last Edited By:
ANTMuddle on Jan 26th 2019 at 4:21:40 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

In basic complementary color theory, Color Contrast (a Super Trope) refers to use of any two polar opposite colors on the wheel. When such colors are put together in a single image, with almost no other color presence, the effect is called popping, or standing out heavily. This, in turn, colors films to have a strong contrasting palette. It is seen regularly in Orange and Blue, sometimes in Red and Green, and, though not technically colors, even in Black and White.

But what about Purple and Yellow?

As the closest colors to black and white in terms of their difference, this is the strongest contrast on any colorspace. Thus it is used to indicate darkness and light, moon and sun, night and day, Good Colors, Evil Colors, royal factions, or any other Color-Coded Characters that can be imagined (compare the aforementioned).

Warning signals are almost always indicated by some shade of yellow or gold. Positively, it is used to signify spirit, spirituality, and a sense of warmth. Negatively, it is used to signify body neglect (such as Gold Tooth), cowardice, and greed. Among others, blondes and physical power can go in either direction.

The supernatural tends to be indicated by purple or violet. Positively, it is used to signify wisdom, depth, and balance (particularly between the Onis). Negatively, it is used to signify poison, dark magic, or excessive pride. Either way, Purple Is Powerful (and / or graceful), too.

Also compare Color-Coded for Your Convenience and Color Motifs.

Important: When adding examples, both colors have to interact at the forefront, in one manner or another. Otherwise, it's not this trope.

TROPER'S NOTA BENE: Before and when bumping or adding or removing hats or bombs, moderator feedback indicates that context is going to be under suuuuuuper close scrutiny this point on. Consider the context and concept of your proposals carefully. If it's going to be marked Not an Example or even partial or mostly, it is just as good as being a Zero-Context Example and thus simply not going to work. Ask for help with context if you need to.

P.S.: I have nuked this draft twice already; it has been restored each time, indicating someone else's interest in it.


Anime and Manga

  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Eriol deliberately created Spinel Sun to be a contrast to Kerberos. While Kerberos has a golden body with white wings and red highlights, Spinel Sun has a black/purple body with blue highlights. - Zero-Context Example - What significance do the gold and purple have in regard to the characters as per the Description above? See the examples below for what must be included.

Live-Action TV

  • Very deliberately used in the seventh season of How I Met Your Mother. In the episode where Ted finally decides he wants to let go of Robin, the entire cast is seen wearing purple for the episode. However, in the end, after Ted makes his decision, he steps outside to a sea of people— all of them sporting the Mother's iconic yellow umbrella, symbolizing how moving on from Robin was the only way for Ted to fall in love with his future wife.

Video Games

  • Just as Mario and Luigi from Super Mario Bros. share a Red/Green Contrast, their rivals Wario and Waluigi share a Yellow/Purple one. Wario's yellow applies nicely to his greed and desire for gold and money. Waluigi's dark purple goes in likeness to his vanity, sense of pride and brooding nature.

Western Animation

  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • When going on Friendship Missions, purple-coated Twilight Sparkle and yellow-coated Fluttershy go along. Both are shy but intellectual ponies, with Twilight as an socially awkward yet analytical Bookworm, and Fluttershy as a timid yet a great animal caretaker.
    • Mane-wise, blonde Applejack and violet-haired Rarity, though polar opposites, go together on Friendship Missions with Applejack providing hard work, strength, and integrity, and Rarity providing style, charisma, and a sense of charitability.

Feedback: 51 replies

Nov 3rd 2018 at 9:48:58 PM

Cull the bullet points on other Color Contrast tropes; they're not necessary for understanding the trope and should go somewhere else (like on Color Contrast itself). You can also mention Purple Is The New Black, Gold And White Are Divine, Solar And Lunar (yellow: sun, purple: moon) and Light Darkness Juxtaposition in the good-evil-light-darkness bit.

  • Super Mario Bros: Wario wears a yellow shirt and hat with purple overalls, while Waluigi wears a purple shirt and hat with gold buttons on his overalls. This contrasts them as a pair to Mario and Luigi.
  • Despicable Me 2: Gru's minions are bright yellow, while the "evil" minions are purple.
  • The Legend Of Zelda A Link Between Worlds: Hilda, Princess Zelda's Mirror Universe counterpart, has a purple dress and long, dark purple hair to contrast Zelda's blonde hair and pink dress.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Eriol deliberately created Spinel Sun to be a contrast to Kerberos. While Kerberos has a golden body with white wings and red highlights, Spinel Sun has a black/purple body with blue highlights.
Would this extend to single-character designs, eg. Top Cat, Spyro the Dragon?

Nov 3rd 2018 at 11:24:41 PM


  • Daffy Duck from Space Jam proposes a gold jersey with purple shorts as the team's uniform. "It goes better with my coloring," he adds. Nobody else takes this seriously.
    • Oddly, the Mc Donald's Happy Meal toy Lola Bunny has a gold crop-top and purple shorts, even though her outfit in the film is a white crop-top and navy blue shorts. Popcultural Osmosis has made the gold + purple set into Lola's default outfit.

Nov 4th 2018 at 5:04:41 AM

Western Animation

  • Babs Bunny from Tiny Toon Adventures has her outfit consist of a yellow blouse, a purple skirt, and two purple ear ribbons.

Nov 4th 2018 at 6:28:53 AM

Mods are pretty touchy about new appearance tropes that are not clear about their Meaningful Appearance. These tropes tend to attract ZCE examples like character X wear a yellow/purple dress.

Nov 4th 2018 at 5:49:35 AM

^^ Both valid points. I also purposely left out sports teams this early on.

Oh, and Synchronicity? What folder would you put your examples into?

Nov 4th 2018 at 8:47:13 PM

Should gold also count as gold is yellow?

Nov 5th 2018 at 12:39:20 PM

^^ That's where maize comes in.

Nov 7th 2018 at 12:39:23 PM

The LA Lakers' team colors are a real life example of this color scheme.

Nov 8th 2018 at 1:02:36 PM

Western Animation:

  • In Veggie Tales, Larry's superhero alter ego, Larry-Boy, has a purple-and-yellow costume. His theme song (from "Larry-Boy and the Fib from Outer Space!") even lampshades it: "Purple and yellow / he's one super fellow!"

Nov 9th 2018 at 6:37:33 AM

There aren't enough entries to justify launching, and the ones that I did see... I'm reminded of The Index Farm all over again.

Nov 22nd 2018 at 3:14:10 AM

I think more of the bombs are because you don't add the examples and get abandoned the draft without editing anything... or at least I would put a bomb because of that.

Anime and Manga:

  • As all the NBA teams based on them, the Slam Dunk team of Kainan has the yellow and purple pattern in their uniforms based on the L.A. Lakers team, usually having the white one with those two colors as the details on them as well having the purple variation with yellow details on them.

Nov 22nd 2018 at 9:54:09 AM

As the orks are known to believe certain colors have certain effects (most famously Red Ones Go Faster, with others like blue being lucky and black being tough), some Warhammer 40 K fans tend to add that the eye-watering combination of purple and orange makes an ork especially sneaky. Why? Well, as nobody's ever seen an ork wearing those colors, they must be invisible.

Nov 22nd 2018 at 4:50:13 PM

^^^ OK, now I can do something with this draft!

Examples are now going to be reviewed to see whether or not both colors are prominent. The description has also been modified to reflect the new parameters.

Nov 22nd 2018 at 4:52:38 PM

In the Dynasty Warriors series, the Yellow Turban Rebellion usually has the Han Forces’ soldiers wearing purple, juxtaposing the Yellow Turbans, who of course wear yellow. The Battle at Hu Lao Gate continues this contrast, with the Coalition Forces’ soldiers generally wearing gold, while Dong Zhuo’s Forces’, being usurpers of the Han, are clad in purple.

Nov 23rd 2018 at 1:24:03 AM

Does Yellow Lightning Blue Lightning count? Real lightning casts off a violet-blue light while lightning in media is usually yellow.

Also, psychic powers tend to have a purplish tone.

  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic:
    • When going on Friendship Missions, purple-coated Twilight Sparkle and yellow-coated Fluttershy go along. Both are shy but intellectual ponies, with Twilight as an socially awkward yet analytical Bookworm, and Fluttershy as a timid yet a great animal caretaker.
    • Mane-wise, blonde Applejack and violet-haired Rarity, though polar opposites, go together on Friendship Missions with Applejack providing hard work, strength, and integrity, and Rarity providing style, charisma, and a sense of charitability.

To say that blondes go great with purple dresses is a great stretch:

  • In Tangled, Rapunzel wears a purple dress to complement her long, golden hair. Not only does it stand out, it's also a clue for her that she's the long, lost princess.

Nov 23rd 2018 at 2:51:17 AM

To add on HIMYM, The Mother not only wears a purple dress when we meet her, but she was also carrying the yellow umbrella whom Ted thought had lost but was owned by her.

Nov 23rd 2018 at 4:41:15 AM

Video Games:

  • An interesting case occurs in the Pokemon games in which Psychic type is usually despised as purple (as Ghost and Poison) but the pokemons that are with this type are yellow. This is mostly seen in the First Generation with Abra and Drowzee, and their respective evolutions (Kadabra/Alakazam and Hypno), which all have yellow as their main color and their powers are despised as purple, contrast mostly seen in Pokemon Go.

PS: I give a hat to this draft BTW

Nov 23rd 2018 at 12:23:19 PM

  • In Captain America Baron Zemo (both of them) wear purple and yellow/gold. The first Baron Zemo was Nazi Nobleman, and the color purple was long associated with royals and nobility.

Nov 23rd 2018 at 7:59:59 PM

Just put in two of my own examples.

Not going to launch for a bit yet.

Nov 24th 2018 at 12:51:06 AM

^ You also need more net hats as the 4 bombs counter that.

Nov 24th 2018 at 12:53:39 AM

Rapunzel from Tangled would be a nice page image.

Nov 24th 2018 at 4:55:25 AM

Real Life, but the Intersex (yellow with a purple ring as the centre) and Nonbinary (yellow, white, purple, black stripes) Pride flags both use yellow and purple, with purple being the mix of the traditionally-gendered pink-and-blue and yellow being the opposite colour, symbolising being outside of male and female.

Nov 24th 2018 at 5:48:14 AM

^^ I was thinking more along the lines of the Despicable Me example as a page image. One yellow minion, one purple minion... or Wario.

Nov 24th 2018 at 3:31:14 PM

Superman villain Mister Mxyzptlk is often depicted wearing a yellow and purple outfit in his classic Silver Age incarnations. He is also a tremendously powerful Reality Warper.

Nov 25th 2018 at 4:36:28 PM

HOLD IT. With only three net hats, this is doomed to be sent back if launched.

Nov 25th 2018 at 6:12:08 PM

I wasn't planning on launching immediately. Not when it's at four net hats. I said, barring anything else, I'm planning the launch for Friday.

Nov 26th 2018 at 1:06:25 AM

I just realized that Willy Wonka in the 1971 adaptation has this color scheme. He has a purple suit accented with a yellow bow and his blonde hair. Mix yellow and purple together and it turns into a chocolatey brown. It kinda fits his eccentricity as he runs his candy business.

Come to think of it, evertime I think of yellow and purple, I think of Willy Wonka.

Nov 26th 2018 at 2:22:26 AM

If there's one thing we know with absolute certainty with an appearance trope like this, it's that many tropers will add examples that are only about the appearance, without mentioning how the appearance fits the trope.

An example cannot just say "the colors yellow and purple appear together in this work." It must say how both the yellow and purple colors are significant in terms of the trope.

If you look at the current examples in the Examples Section:

  1. The Slam Dunk example simply says that the team has these colors, without any mention as to why they are significant in terms of the trope. Zero Context Example.
  2. The Baron Zemo example says "the color purple was long associated with royals and nobility.", but nothing about the yellow/gold color. Partial Zero Context Example.
  3. The Mister Mxyzptlk example doesn't say anything about how the colors yellow and purple are significant. Zero Context Example.
  4. The Daffy Duck and Lola Bunny examples don't say how the colors gold and purple are significant. Zero Context Examples.
  5. The Survivor Samoa example just says that the teams wore purple and yellow. Zero Context Example.
  6. The second How I Met Your Mother example doesn't say how the purple and yellow colors are significant. Zero Context Example.
  7. The Super Mario Bros example doesn't say how the purple and yellow colors are significant. Zero Context Example.
  8. Of the two pairings in the Dynasty Warriors example, only one half of one pairing has any justification at all ("being usurpers of the Han"). Mostly Zero Context Example.
  9. The Pokemon example doesn't appear to be an example of the trope at all. The phrase "their powers are despised as purple" is at best unclear. Not An Example.
  10. Despicable Me 2 example: doesn't say how the yellow color is significant. Partial Zero Context Example.
  11. The Darkwing Duck example doesn't say how the purple and yellow colors are significant.
  12. Veggie Tales: It's just "The hero has a purple and yellow costume." Zero Context Example.

This is why the moderator Fighteer said on ATT about appearance tropes:

The default rule should be to discard them. Someone would have to make a damned convincing reason otherwise.

With all of the partial and full Zero Context Examples above, every single one of the hats given so far is illegal, and under TLP rules bombs should be given to offset them until they are corrected.

If this trope is launched, it should (and probably will) be immediately unlaunched because of these problems and the certainty of more illegal examples being added.

Just FYI, TLP Guidelines says that "rogue launching" of a trope (e.g. with unresolved issues like this) can result in suspension of TLP privileges.

Nov 26th 2018 at 2:07:37 AM

  • Examples section

Zero Context Examples have been marked as such. They need more information to show how they fit the trope. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context. Warning: providing Zero Context Examples can result in being suspended from editing.

Nov 26th 2018 at 3:34:28 AM

^ It's the kind of trope where "wherever it appears, the context will be the same, so we only mention the meanings in the description".

Nov 26th 2018 at 12:31:28 PM

Also, I was the one who nuked the draft, not the one who relaunched, so the only Zero Context Examples for which I will assume any responsibility are the pair that aren't in the regular comments section. Take it up with those authors.

Nov 26th 2018 at 12:29:35 PM

^ Nobody is casting blame. The fact is, though, there are too many ZC Es to launch and if you want to launch you have to takr care of the problem.

Dec 7th 2018 at 7:31:41 AM

Comic Books

Dec 8th 2018 at 2:57:33 AM

^ This doesn't say how the colors purple and yellow signify anything that's mentioned in the Description. It just says "Purple and yellow appear together in this work", so it's a Zero Context Example.

Dec 9th 2018 at 10:40:58 AM

So, anything without significance to be yellow and purple as contrast is considered as ZCE?? In that case, this is Not A Trope and should be discarded, then.

The minions example was indeed a good example but lacking of context, which I want to give my two cents:

Film - Animated:

  • Despicable Me 2: The Gru's yellow Adorable Evil Minions were subject of an experimental potion that makes Face Monster Turn to any living creature in contact with it. So, the Big Bad Eduardo "El Macho" Perez, with the help of Dr. Nefario kidnapped Minions and exposed them to the potion, converting them into "Evil Minions", which are despised as purple thanks to the substance and becoming the Evil Counterpart of Gru's not-infected yellow Minions.

Dec 28th 2018 at 4:40:14 PM

Tweaking this entry because I'm not entirely sure if I'm creating a proper entry for the trope, but my understanding is that the yellow and purple are used to give characters prominence and/or demonstrate their contrast/conflict with one another.

  • Five Nights At Freddys:
    • Throughout the franchise, the colors yellow and purple are frequently used to give prominence to the most important and/or dangerous characters in the story. Sometimes these characters are in conflict, others the character features both colors at once in some way. The original Five Nights At Freddys 1, for example, has Golden Freddy, a yellow version of Freddy Fazbear that behaves much more supernaturally than the other haunted robots, appearing and disappearing at will and, in the first game, crashing your game if he kills you. On the other side is William Afton, colloquially known as "The Purple Man" for the sprite used to represent him starting from Five Nights At Freddys 2. He is the Greater Scope Villain of the franchise, whose indulgence in child murder kicks off the entire plot of the games, as his victims' souls are what haunt the animatronics out to kill you, and who used a yellow animatronic suit to lure children to their deaths.
    • Golden Freddy doesn't appear in Five Nights At Freddys 3. Instead a yellow version of Bonnie the Bunny nicknamed "Springtrap" is your main foe. However, the trope still kicks in as scenes between the levels reveal that the Springtrap is Afton the Purple Man, trapped and maimed inside the animatronic yellow rabbit.
    • Five Nights At Freddy 4 is a departure from the lore in many ways, with the Purple Man making only a brief cameo unrelated to the plot. However, purple and yellow are still prominent in Fredbear, an animatronic who replaces all the others once he becomes active, moves at fast speeds, and is second only to an all-black version of himself known only as "Nightmare". His design is similar to Golden Freddy, a yellow Freddy Fazbear, but with a purple top hat, bow tie, and buttons instead of Freddy's and Golden Freddy's black.
    • Five Nights At Freddys Sister Location has as its last big reveal a second "Purple Man", William Afton's son Michael, who seems to actually be purple due to being rendered undead following possession by a rogue animatronic, Ennard, who expelled itself from Michael. The game ends on a monologue by Michael saying the last thing he must do is track down his father, at which point Springtrap appears on the screen. In the following Freddy Fazbears Pizzeria Simulator, it's heavily implied that Michael is the player character making a last stand against Springtrap, identified in the credits as William Afton, and the remaining animatronics once and for all.
    • To cap it all off, there's Ultimate Custom Night. The way it's presented means there's little concrete confirmation, but popular speculation is that the game is William Afton's Ironic Hell and that he is being tortured by one of his victims, identified only as "The One You Should Not Have Killed", and implied to be Golden Freddy, as he appears fading and twitching should you challenge all of the animatronics at their hardest difficulty and win.

Dec 30th 2018 at 5:45:51 PM

^^^ Needs to be pared down some. Also, under which folder would it go?

This would go under Live Action Television:

Since I know next to nothing about The Wiggles or the Teletubbies, I will likely have issues with context. What I do know is that the former uses their skivvies to indicate their character (currently Emma and Lachlan), though I don't think The Star and The Sleepyhead are context enough. And in the latter, the relationship between Laa-Laa and Tinky Winky will need to be expounded on.

Jan 1st 2019 at 5:09:46 AM

  • Just as Mario and Luigi from Super Mario Bros share a Red Green Contrast, their rivals Wario and Waluigi share a Yellow/Purple one. Wario's yellow applies nicely to his greed and desire for gold and money. Waluigi's dark purple goes in likeness to his vanity, sense of pride and brooding nature.
    • Wario himself has a Yellow/Purple Contrast in his own colorscheme too, having purple overalls alongside his yellow cap and shirt. In his case, purple signifies evil, as he's supposed to be an evil Foil to Mario, as well as poison, since he's... kinda gassy.

Jan 13th 2019 at 7:45:25 AM

If Red/Green and Blue/Orange get their own tropes, this should too.

Jan 14th 2019 at 5:29:10 PM

^^ Good start, but the moderators' rule about context applies.

This might need additional context:

  • Happens whenever Darkwing Duck faces off with Negaduck. You have the Awesome Ego of Darkwing, befitting of the varying shades of purple in his outfit, versus the yellow jacket (and red and black accessories) of the greedy Negaduck.

Jan 16th 2019 at 9:50:46 AM

  • A variation with Fanboy And Chum Chum. While both coo-coo, Fanboy is the slightly more sensible of the duo and his costume is mostly purple with a lime green bodysuit, while Chum Chum is a joyful keet and his costume is mostly yellow with an orange shirt.

Jan 18th 2019 at 7:08:06 PM

  • The dynamics between Chowder and Panini can be this, with Chowder as the ambitious, excitable, yet danger-prone apprentice who is abhorred by Panini's advances, and he wears purple clothing, and Panini who is a more reserved apprentice who is obsessed with Chowder, and she wears yellow clothing.

I couldn't think of a context regarding Comicbook/Watchmen, and I don't know why I'm thinking of the lemon/lavender combo? Is it that crisp scent of lemon go well with the soothing scent of lavender?

Jan 26th 2019 at 2:58:07 PM

Purple and yellow are the party colours of UKIP (the United Kingdom Independence Party), who chose them to stand out in an arena where the three primary colours have all been claimed by the mainstream parties note . As green has been claimed by two parties that UKIP certainly do not share common ground with note , this right-of-centre populist and anti-European party had to pick something distinctive that stood out.