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Yellow / Purple Contrast

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Pairing yellow and purple as depicted in media.

This trope has been Nuked
Proposed By:
ANTMuddle on Nov 3rd 2018 at 6:35:53 PM
Last Edited By:
ANTMuddle on 18 hours ago
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

(Relaunch if anyone else thinks they can do anything with it.)

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 regularly seen through Red and Green, Orange and Blue, and, though not technically colors, even Black and White.

But what about Purple and Yellow?

By virtue of being closest to black and white in terms of their difference, this is the strongest contrast on the color wheel. It is not unheard of in works involving royalty.

The sun and the light are almost always indicated by some shade of yellow or maize. Positively, it is used to signify cheerfulness and a sense of warmth. Negatively, it is used to signify fear and cowardice. Among others, Supernatural Gold Eyes can go in either direction.

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

Individually compare Purple Is the New Black and Gold and White Are Divine. Also compare Color Motifs, Color-Coded for Your Convenience, and, for both colors at once, Solar and Lunar and Good Colors, Evil Colors.


Video Games

Western Animation

  • In VeggieTales, 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!"

Feedback: 11 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.