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Animal Coloration Profiling

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Animal Stereotypes based on the colorations of animals.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
EdnaWalker on Aug 3rd 2017 at 1:15:51 AM
Last Edited By:
EdnaWalker on Aug 24th 2017 at 1:05:00 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

Animal Coloration Profiling is the use of an animal's coloration to indicate a character's personality, socio-economic status, gender, or moral alignment. Sometimes, an animal of a given coloration can indicate the animal's race, ethnicity, or nationality.

A white animal is normally good. If an animal is needed to be marked as special or valuable, white is the most common color used to indicate this. White animals tend to be heroic, often in a majestic or magical way. They tend to be either very powerful, high-class and wealthy, weak and innocent, or a laboratory animal, depending on species. White can indicate a classy or sexy female animal. If the male animal in a duo is orange, brown, tan, or grey, the female one is white. White can also be used to indicate an animal that stands out from the brown, tan, beige, and grey majority is some way or another. In works that use an animal's color to represent race and ethnicity, the literal color white represents a racially white animal.

Black is often used to indicate that the animal is evil or mean. It may indicate that the animal is simply fierce in a Good Is Not Nice or Dark Is Not Evil way because the color black looks fierce. Often the antagonist to a white protagonist animal. In works that use an animal's color to represent race and ethnicity, the literal color black represents a racially black animal.

Dark brown and dark grey often indicates a mean, bad, antagonistic, or even evil animal. Often the antagonist to a medium grey, medium brown, tan, light brown, beige, red, or orange protagonist animal. Dark brown animals can sometimes be portrayed as ordinary.

Brown, tan, and grey are often used to indicate an ordinary animal or one of a humble background. Animals of these colors can also be wiseacre tricksters. A more vibrant shade of brown, tan, or grey on one animal can indicate one that stands out from the other similar-colored animals while keeping the same basic color as the others. A lighter shade or brown, tan, or grey can indicate the female animals among the brown, tan, and grey animals. Light brown or tan colors can sometimes indicate a Hispanic or Latino animal, invoking Latino Is Brown.

Brown and light brown colorations often indicate an animal with a warm and/or motherly personality.

Grey, light grey, and silver animals are often wise mentors or sages. Grey, light grey, and silver can also indicate age in an animal. Like white, light grey and silver can indicate a female animal, often a classy or sexy one. When paired with a black or dark grey antagonist, villain, or villain associate animal, the light grey or silver animal is a hero or hero associate animal.

Orange and red animals are often heroic, but usually in a humble, down-to-earth way, invoking the Red Is Heroic. Red and orange can also suggest fierceness in an animal, invoking Fiery Redhead. Orange and red may simply indicate that the animal is humble or has a humble background. Red and orange can also indicate an animal that stands out from the brown, tan, beige, and grey animals in some way or another. If the red or orange animal has green eyes, he or she is often a Significant Green-Eyed Redhead in animal form.

Yellow is often used to indicate an innocent, youthful, or baby bird, based on the fact that chicken chicks and ducklings have yellow feathers. Yellow and light yellow also indicate a joyful, friendly, optimistic, childlike, upbeat character. Usually a good, protagonistic, or heroic animal. This color can invoke Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold, especially if the animal has blue eyes.

Beige, cream, and light yellow can indicate a female animal and often indicates the pale female in Pale Females, Dark Males. If the male animal is orange, the female animal is cream if she is not white. The female animal is often beige if the male animal is brown or tan. Beige can also indicate an ordinary animal or one of a humble background.

Auburn and reddish brown animals can play brown/tan/grey, brown/light brown, and/or red/orange stereotypes. Yellow orange and orange yellow animals can play either red/orange or yellow animal stereotypes or both. Blue-grey and grey-blue animals can play brown/tan/grey stereotypes, light blue grey and light grey-blue animals can play light grey/silver stereotypes, and dark blue-grey and dark grey-blue animals can play dark brown/dark grey stereotypes.

In some works, the ordinary or good animals have the normal coloration of their species to represent their normalcy or their good or neutral moral alignment, whereas the evil animals of the same species have a coloration that is darker than normal to highlight their evil moral alignment.

Sub-Trope of Colour-Coded for Your Convenience. Remember, this is a list of animals sorted by the color and pattern stereotype they fit. Super trope to Cat Stereotype, White Stallion, Pale Females, Dark Males, and White Bunny. See National Animal Stereotypes for the nationality equivalent. See also Typical Cartoon Animal Colors.



    White Animals 

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • Blacksad: White furred and feathered animals represent white people. The Arctic Nation is a group in the vein of the KKK made up of rasict, white supremacist white furred and feathered animals, which averts the usual "white coloration, good moral alignment" portrayal of white animals.

Film - Animation

  • The Great Mouse Detective: Miss Kitty Mouse and two other female dancer/showgirl mice are classy, sexy, curvaceous white mice that stand out from the general mouse populace (whether male or female, whether heroic, good, ordinary, rough around the edges, or on the side of Ratigan) who have beige, tan, and light brown fur.
  • The Rescuers: The main female mouse, Bianca, has white fur and is classy. The main male mouse, Bernard, is light grey and humble, and the ordinary background mice are shades of brown, tan, and beige.
  • Flushed Away: Whitey the rat, who, although he is a bad guy, is white because he is a lab rat; Roddy, Rita, and the other rats, major, supporting, and background, are tan or beige.

Western Animation

  • Pinky and the Brain: The titular lab mouse duo, as well as other lab mice are white because they are laboratory animals. Subverted with Billie, who is a light grey lab mouse, and Mousy Galore, who is a light yellow lab mouse. Mice in the show other than the lab mice are beige, grey, brown, or light brown.

    Black Animals 

Comic Books

  • Blacksad: Black furred and feathered animals represent black people. The Black Claws is a "black power" group in the vein of the Black Panthers that is made up of black furred and feathered animals.

Film - Animation

  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame: The villain, Frollo's horse, Snowball, is all-black and terrifying.
  • Brave: The terrifying demon bear Mor'du, has black fur. Subverted with Ellinor as a bear as although she also has black fur, she is on the side of good and defeats Mor'du.
  • The Lion King: Scar, the villain an Big Bad, has a black mane and tail tuft to signify his evil moral alignment and to contrast from has Big Good brother, Mufasa.
  • Tarzan: The morally good, but fierce and stern father gorilla, Kerchak has black fur. The vast majority of the gorillas have grey or bluish grey fur and Kala has brown fur.

    Dark Brown and Dark Grey Animals 

Film - Animation

  • Fun and Fancy Free: Lumpjaw is a mean dark-brown male bear and the main antagonist to medium brown protagonist male bear Bongo and light brown Love Interest female bear Lullubelle. The majority of the bears are medium brown.
  • Lady and the Tramp: The nasty, terrifying rat that Lady and Tramp protect and save the baby from has a dark-brown body and a black head.
  • The Great Mouse Detective: Ratigan, the main villain and his bat sidekick Fidget are dark grey and wear dark clothes. Ratigan has black hair to go along with the dark grey fur.

    Brown, Tan, and Grey Animals 

Film - Animation

Western Animation

    Brown and Light Brown Animals 

Film - Animation

  • Tarzan: Kala the brown gorilla has a warm and motherly personality.

Western Animation

  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears: Grammi Gummi has light brown fur, in line with her warm, motherly personality.
  • TaleSpin: Rebecca Cunningham is a light brown, heroic, motherly female bear.

    Grey, Light Grey, and Silver Animals 

Film - Animation

Western Animation

  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears: Zummi Gummi has grey fur, to indicate he's an elderly sorcerer
  • Animaniacs: Slappy Squirrel is an old, violent, trickster, grey-furred squirrel. Partially subverted in that her fur was grey in her youth as well.

    Orange and Red Animals 

Film - Animation

  • Simba and Mufasa in The Lion King are heroic lions who have red manes and tail tufts. Subverted in that they are royal instead of from a humble background.

Western Animation

  • Kion in The Lion Guard is a fierce, heroic lion and member of the Lion Guard who has a red mane and tail tuft. Subverted in that he is royal instead of from a humble background.

    Yellow and Light Yellow Animals 


  • Winnie-the-Pooh
    • Winnie the Pooh is a lovable, friendly, joyful, honey-loving, childlike orange-yellow bear, if a little absent-minded.
    • Subverted with the light-yellow furred Rabbit. He is nervous, strict, serious, grouchy, and obsessed with keeping things peaceful and in order.

Puppet Shows

Western Animation

  • SpongeBob SquarePants: The titular sea sponge is yellow in color and joyful, upbeat, and childlike.
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears: Sunni Gummi has yellow fur. She's a cheerful, bright female bear cub.
  • WordWorld: Duck is a childlike yellow adult duck.
  • Family Guy: Averted with Ernie the Giant Chicken; he is yellow, but he is the most commonly recurring antagonist in the series and has a long history of violence with Peter Griffin.
  • TaleSpin: Molly Cunningham is a yellow, cheerful, childish female bear cub.
  • Looney Tunes: Tweety is a yellow adult canary and appears innocent and childlike.

    Beige, Cream, and Light Yellow Animals 

    Normal Coloration and Darker Than Normal Animals 

Film - Animation

  • The good and ordinary lions in the The Lion King franchise are light colored or the normal overall color for lions. Scar, the main villain in the first movie, has a black mane and has a darker than normal overall body color. Subverted in ''The Lion King II: Simba's Pride with Kovu, the good Outlander lion who has Scar's darker than normal colors, and with Zira, who has the normal lion color, but is evil and the main villainess in the movie.

Feedback: 13 replies

Aug 3rd 2017 at 2:50:44 AM

I've seen a very similar YKTTW before, but it became quite a bit of a mess. Is it an attempt to relaunch that, but in a more clear-cut way? As far as I remember, you were the host of that one too, EdnaWalker. Maybe you can mine that one for examples?

Aug 3rd 2017 at 3:05:14 AM

^It is a more clear-cut way to relaunch that trope.

I can't mine Animal Color Stereotypes as that one has been discarded, but I can mine Color Coded Animals, which is another troper's attempt at this.

Aug 3rd 2017 at 1:18:01 PM

This is saying "white is good, black is bad, but on cartoon animals". There's a lot of drafts come through here that relate to the drawing of cartoon animals, and most of them don't make it out. One of the main reasons why they aren't really tropes? Cartoon animals are typically for kids shows, where the whole design is colorful and a bit weird because kids like that.

Your folders as you have them are covered already by Gold And White Is Divine, The Rich Have White Stuff, White Is Pure, etc. We have lots of good tropes, of which you would just be taking the cartoon animal examples. This isn't necessary.

Aug 3rd 2017 at 4:12:34 PM

^^^What should I do so this trope is more clear-cut?

Aug 4th 2017 at 5:41:03 AM

I think so many folders are unnecessary; especially since there will be examples of animals that fall under multiple folders. For example, the protagonist of Kimba The White Lion is a white animal that's heroic, majestic and high-class at the same time.

Aug 6th 2017 at 6:30:02 PM

^I shrunk down the number of folders to the number needed for each color and the added the Kimba example you provided.

Can you think of more examples?

Aug 7th 2017 at 7:07:57 PM

^^ I thought up some more examples, making sure to avoid Zero Content Examples.

It Needs More Examples, and those examples better have content and show how the animal of a given color playes their given stereotype, not just list animals of a given color.

Aug 10th 2017 at 3:33:49 PM

^^^ This trope is getting better. Can you think of some more examples?

Aug 16th 2017 at 4:59:54 AM

Red or reddish fur can also indicate fierceness, in an animal version of Fiery Redhead. Kion from The Lion Guard probably falls into this category (his epithet is "the fiercest", after all).

Aug 16th 2017 at 5:05:57 AM

A few examples from Adventures Of The Gummi Bears:

  • Sunni Gummi has yellow fur. She's a cheerful, bright female bear cub.
  • Zummi Gummi has grey fur, to indicate he's an elderly sorcerer.
  • Grammi Gummi has light brown fur, in line with her warm, motherly personality.

Aug 20th 2017 at 11:04:01 PM

Tale Spin:

  • Baloo is a grey, heroic male bear.
  • Kit Cloudkicker is a medium brown, young, heroic bear of humble background.
  • Rebecca Cunningham is a light brown, heroic, motherly female bear.
  • Molly Cunningham is a yellow, cheerful, childish female bear cub.

Aug 23rd 2017 at 7:51:52 AM

^ Snicka, what will help this trope out so that it will get more hats?

Aug 24th 2017 at 1:05:00 PM

^ I'd gladly help, but I am not sure either. A posible reason why it doesn't really get many hats because most people think it's already covered by Color Coded For Your Convenience and its numerous subtropes, except limited to animals. Also, the description is currently very long and overly detailed for a trope page. Maybe you should turn this into an Analysis page instead?