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Ambiguously Brown

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This trope is under discussion in the Trope Repair Shop.
The Other Wiki had to settle on "dark-skinned" just to end a massive Edit War.

Tom Hanks: Dwayne, together we would get 100% of the vote. I would get the senior vote, because I fought in World War II in like ten different movies.
Dwayne Johnson: And I of course would get the minority vote, because everyone just assumes I am whatever they are.note 

An Ambiguously Brown character is a character with a darker skin tone that clearly stands out from most of the cast, but it's not entirely clear what race they are actually meant to be. Their heritage is never mentioned, and their facial features don't correspond to any particular race either, so it's unknown. They're just brown.

Generally this is primarily a trope in drawn media— most live-action characters are assumed to be the same race as the actor by default, although it could apply if there is some reason to wonder about this character specifically. For actors who are ethnically ambiguous, see Plays Great Ethnics. It also does not apply if the character has a defined race or ethnicity, even if that race does not exist in the real world.

This can be considered an easy way to add visual diversity to a work when the author doesn't want to deal with real world racial issues, although it could also be considered to lack real representation.

Oftentimes, this is the result of to trying avoid Monochrome Casting while having Only Six Faces— everyone looks the same except for coloring, anyway, it's just that this one has darker skin. Compounding this issue, while some features such as blue eyes or extremely tight curls are more racially distinctive, light brown skin + dark brown hair is found everywhere around the world, which can make it difficult to narrow down. Can also be the result of unusual skin and hair combinations.

Cultural differences can come into play here as well— Compare Mukokuseki: in principle anime characters who are supposed to be "stateless". Other times, western viewers may not realise that fully Japanese people can have a fairly wide range of skin tones— often the characters are meant to be fully Japanese and recognized as such in the Japanese fanbase, with the ambiguous part only coming from the point of view of non-Japanese viewers who don't realize that fully Japanese people can have dark skin. In older European works, where the population is predominantly white the word "dark" is often used to mean someone white, with dark hair and dark eyes.

If most of the cast is various shades of brown in a future world, it may be In the Future, Humans Will Be One Race. For an even more extreme version, see Amazing Technicolor Population. If the character’s skin doesn’t even look like that of a human’s, then it’s most likely to be Ambiguously Human.

See also But Not Too Foreign, of which this is a sub-trope and Mixed Ancestry Is Attractive, for when a multiracial character (who may or may not be ethnically ambiguous) is seen as attractive and intriguing.

Examples Subpages:

Other Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • Kevin J. Taylor also loves this trope as colorized or not, there are only two characters that aren't this trope, Blue (White) and Jesse James (Black with tan-tipped dreadlocks.) His main character, Girl/Jaliera Dane, originally could pass for Pacific Islander, then possibly Mexican, then almost the complexion of DCAU Lex Luthor during a cameo, and finally temporarily Indian for a special based on the Kama Sutra until time-travel reveals she's actually mixed by way of the original Dane being a Black slave and his lover being a white woman (and a witch) in Salem, Massachusetts. Additionally, the reveal of contemporary relatives shows her younger brother being identical to Prince. Girl's friend, Jill is even more ambiguous as she's got green eyes, apparently natural orange-caramel skin, matching straight hair, looks similar to Jaliera's French half-sister and while narrating her story, mentions the races of the men she's with without identifying herself with one or the other as well as an explicit Race Fetish for Black men with the ones shown being darker and lighter than her. Lastly, Marty (a girl) is similar to Storm with shorter, but still white hair with an extra referring to her as a "hot Black chick".
  • As part of the Adaptational Diversity added to The Baby-Sitters Club graphic novels, several minor characters that were originally white are made different races, with several being brown-skinned but the racial background of the characters not clarified. This includes Jenny Prezzioso and her family; Logan Bruno (and his family); Shannon Kilbourne; the Dawes family (and Nancy); the Perkins; the two boys Mary Anne and Stacey meet in Boy-Crazy-Stacey (Toby and Alex); the popular actor Mary Anne crushes on, Cam Geary; artist Ashley Wyeth; and the Fielding family from Kristy's Big Day, with Watson's friend Tom being an unstated brown, married to a white woman, and having biracial children.
  • Cassandra Cain, the second Batgirl, once admitted that she didn't know her ethnicity; she looks Asian, her father is white, and she never knew her mother. Eventually it turns out that her mom is the Asian assassin Lady Shiva.
  • Sophie Moore, Kate Kane's girlfriend when the two attended West Point, is consistently depicted as not white, but her appearance has varied over the years and her ethnicity has never been mentioned. In her very first appearance, she's the most ambiguous, and could be seen as black, Latina, or even of Middle Eastern heritage. In the New 52, she's depicted as black, while in DC Rebirth, she could potentially be biracial (one black and one white parent) or of East Asian descent.
  • In the comic adaptation of Rush's Clockwork Angels, the protagonist, Owen Hardy, is illustrated as... not white. He looks vaguely Polynesian or Southeast Asian most of the time.
  • British girls' comic Nikki had a strip called The Comp about a Good Old British Comp, which featured a vaguely Asian-looking character named Aisha, whose ethnic background was never elaborated upon. The trope was abandoned when the strip moved to Bunty, who re-named the character Kiko and made her Japanese.
  • DC Comics's time-travelling hero Walker Gabriel, aka Chronos (not be confused with the villain of the same name) was adopted as a baby, and never knew his parents or his ethnic background, though he clearly wasn't white. He eventually met his father, who was Chinese, and learned that thanks to said father being a time traveler, his mother was an ancient Mayan.
  • DMZ: Zee's ethnicity is never discussed. Her appearance varies a bit Depending on the Artist, but she generally has narrow eyes, naturally black hair and a freckled skin tone, suggested some combination of white and Asian. Her last name is Hernandez, indicating some Hispanic or Latino ancestry.
  • In Gen¹³, there's a running gag of sorts that nobody can guess what Sarah Rainmaker's ethnicity is when they first meet her. An entire issue during Adam Warren's run features Sarah in the background waiting for drinks at a bar, all while an idiot next to her tries to guess her background, getting further and further from it as he goes. (She's half American Indian.)
  • X-Men:
    • Generation X and X-Factor member Monet St. Croix is the daughter of a dark-skinned French father and mother of Algerian citizenship and indeterminate ethnicity. She is always depicted as brown-skinned, with the precise hue varying from issue to issue. Whenever it gets too light, there's an outcry that Marvel is trying to make her "less black" for nefarious purposes, and when it gets too dark, there are cries that she was never black in the first place, but it was never stated that she is or isn't. She and her siblings (who are more consistently dark-skinned, the few times we see Emplate's human form) are most likely mixed, though colorists should settle on a tone and stick to it. Fridge Logic answer: Her Healing Factor causes her to both tan rapidly, and lose that tan when it's no longer needed.
    • Bishop was long assumed to be African-American, even though his long straight hair didn't quite add up. This assumption carried well into the mid-2000's when the time-travelling mutant cameoed as a little boy in present-day New York in X-Men Legends. It wasn't until later that he was established as an Australian Aborigine (one can assume he learned to disguise his Aussie accent to avoid unwanted attention).
    • Storm herself began as this. The intent was to show her as a 'woman of the world' and she was drawn with a mixture of African, white and Asian features. But as the character explicitly hailed from Africa, she's counted as a black superhero, and is usually drawn as such these days. She has however been portrayed by half white, half black actresses in the live action films.
  • Judge Dredd was originally designed to deliberately invoke this. The artist who originally designed him, Carlos Ezquerra, drew him with thick lips to suggest some racial ambiguity, the idea being that Dredd would be The Faceless to such an extent that even his ethnicity would be unknown to the readers. Unfortunately, he didn't tell every artist at 2000 AD his plan, so some of them drew him with European features, and some of them with African features, which, since the comic was drawn with outlines only and you could only see the bottom half of his face, no-one really noticed, and it was eventually decided that Dredd was white.
  • The second Hawkgirl, Kendra Saunders, was this in JSA. She was coloured as darker skinned than the Caucasian members of the team like Stargirl and Jay Garrick, but lighter skinned than the black Michael Holt and Jakeem Thunder. Her ethnicity is is never stated in the series, but the Hawkman series later establishes that she is half-Caucasian and half-Hispanic.
  • Monkey Prince has as semi-recurring characters the siblings Kaya and Rizalino Mayled. They have dark skin but their heritage is never explained or discussed. Kaya is a brunette while Rizalino is blond, although his hair is probably dyed. "Kaya" is a common name in many cultures, while "Rizalino" is a Filipino name; meanwhile their surname is English and most commonly used in Anglophone countries. This suggests possibly mixed Anglo and Filipino ancestry, but their facial features don't resemble other Asian characters in the series.
  • Paperinik New Adventures have a few examples, as a result of most of the characters being Funny Animals. The Flagstarr siblings are the most explicit, having both brown feathers and dreadlocks, while the Raider and his son only have brown feathers, which may or may not reflect skincolor.
  • Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker has Ayo. Her features could be read as Hispanic and her name exists as African, Spanish, and Indian, though the Spanish definition of "tutor" and "guardian" fits with her role in the story.
  • The Relative Heroes antagonist Kittyhawk has darker skin than the blonde blue-eyed Allure, lighter skin than the African-American Blindside and wears a helmet that masks her bone-structure and hair color. The appearance of her brother doesn't help matters as his skin is metallic gold.
  • Robin (1993): Deputy Chambers of the Gotham County Sheriff's Department is light brown with brown downturned eyes, dark hair, and a strong jaw. She usually looks like a she has a mix of African American and Hispanic heritage but it's never addressed.
  • Kinju Dayal, the protagonist of Spiritus, is of the dark-skinned blond variety.
  • The Superior Foes of Spider-Man Shocker (who Word of God states is white but really tanned)).
  • April O'Neil's race in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Mirage) is a point of debate amongst fans: was she supposed to be white, Asian, or multiracial? She was frequently depicted early on with a dark skin tone and her brown hair was curly, though explicitly permed instead of natural. Various artworks depict her with different skin tones and hair colors. Later she appeared un-ambiguously white. The 1987 cartoon had her as a white, redheaded woman (which has been her default ever since); however, it's unknown if she underwent a Race Lift or not. Notably, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles breaks tradition by making April unambiguously African-American.
  • Vampirella: Vampirella's friend Pantha was reimagined as an Ancient Egyptian woman in the 1990s and since then has often been drawn with a dark skin of ambiguous origin. The fan letter pages discussed to hell and back if Pantha was ethnically black or Arab. The only agreement: She is black in her black panther form.
  • Vandal Savage in the New 52. He has a crooked nose, ridiculously high cheekbones, and dark skin but perfectly straight hair. It makes sense his ethnicity would be hard to place since he's more like a cromagnon than any modern race.
  • W.I.T.C.H. has two examples. Will's mother has noticeably darker skin than her father and looks vaguely middle-eastern, while the animated show implied that Irma is Latina.
  • The Witch Boy: Aster's father has brown skin and features which clearly are not Caucasian, but more than that isn't specified in the comic.

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield: Liz the veterinarian (now Jon Arbuckle's steady girlfriend) was implied to be East Asian in an early strip, with Jon, while sweet-talking her, insinuating that she looked Chinese. ("Haven't we met a rice paddy in Hong Kong?") This was quickly dropped: Liz's last name was eventually revealed to be "Wilson".
  • Phil Jackson from Stone Soup. Probably black, but between his ethnicity having never been remarked on and the art style giving him the same facial features as everyone else (with brown skin), it's still up in the air.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Free! fanfic Chlorine Grown Roses, one of Azusa's maids, named Anzu, is described to have dark skin.
  • In Doors to the Unknown, a few people unaware of Taligan Valaire's background as an extradimensional traveler are left scratching their head over the brown skin-auburn hair-blue eyes combination. Most of the time, he's pegged as Hispanic and Mexican-born, but other guesses include India, Persia and Brazil.
  • In A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes, Magdalena is described as "dusky-skinned" with black hair and brown-black eyes, but her ethnicity is never specified and her country of origin is a fictional duchy called Calôn.
  • The second chapter of Enter Ken Finlayson sequel "Snickery When Damp" manages to use this trope without the individual in question actually appearing in person. Mrs. Finlayson is only identified as Afro-Eurasian and since "Afro-Eurasia" is the name of the collected landmass that is Africa, Europe and Asia that does not narrow down anything, which Heidi of course lampshades. Apparently that is the extent of the rest of the Finlayson family's knowledge and would they ever find out Mrs. Finlayson would kill the entire family, extending it to in-laws and the children of Ken's older half-sister Ulrica.
  • In Freedom's Limits Madavi, Pratima and Sima are implied to be Haradrim (Southrons) or possibly Easterlings (both of whom are described as having dark or swarthy skin), and Madavi is explicitly stated to have black hair. In artwork helenamarkos has done of them, they're depicted as brown-skinned with dark hair and eyes.
  • In From Bajor to the Black Eleya's human Starfleet Academy roommate Jasmine "Jazz" Velasquez is pretty clearly multiracial, with brown skin, black hair, almond-shaped eyes, and two names of different ethnicities (Jasmine is Persian in origin, while Velasquez is Spanish or Latina). And then we get to the part where she's had family in uniform going back to the Revolutionary War, implying Jazz has white ancestors as well.
  • It's Always Snowy in Chaldea has Ritsuka admitting he's unfamiliar with ethnicities not Korean, Japanese and Chinese, so he's left unable to identify Adam beyond "brown-skinned, probable Asian" until the man confesses he's Filipino.
  • In A Subtle Knife, Jacob Rodrigo's name and "nut-brown" complexion imply he's a Latino, but his facial features are described as Oriental. Note that Jacob himself isn't very sure of his background due to amnesia.
  • In Life Ore Death, the main character Renka Tindwysra is viewed as this, with people unable to peg her ethnicity more than just "colored". Justified as she is from the world of Mistborn: The Original Trilogy rather than the setting of Earth-16, so she can't be id as an African/Indian/Middle Eastern woman.
  • To The Night Sky has Roy Mustang and Edward Elric — both suffering from amnesia — wondering about their ethnicity. Edward points Roy has Xingese features in spite of identifying as Amestrian, and it's later confirmed the Colonel is fully Xingese and obtained Amestrian citizenship after being adopted. On the other hand, Roy feels there's something very strange about Edward's features — because Edward's father Hohenheim is Xerxesian. With Xerxes having being destroyed five centuries ago, obviously Edward's golden hair and eyes would be rather weird and impossible to correctly identify because the ethnic group displaying these doesn't exist anymore.

    Films — Animated 
  • Chris, the Master's girlfriend, is portrayed this way in The Brave Little Toaster. Is she light-skinned black? Indigenous? Tanned?
  • Prince Naveen from The Princess and the Frog was deliberately designed to be this to avoid upsetting any minorities. Since he was going to marry the first black Disney princess it would either tell people Disney didn't believe in mixed race marriages or were cheating their fans out of a black prince. Henceforth, he is a thoroughly ambiguous mish-mash from his name, the native words he uses, his skin, his hair, his eyes, etc. When we see his parents at the end of the movie, they both have white hair from age, but that doesn't offer much in the way of clues, either.
  • Ratatouille: Skinner has noticeably darker skin than the other characters, but his ethnicity is never mentioned.
  • Minty Zaki, a minor racer in Wreck-It Ralph, has skin that varies from a medium to darker brown, though not all merchandise and artwork are consistent with this (sometimes depicting her as light-skinned). It has been debated whether she's meant to be black, or if she's a darker-skinned Asian. In the Japanese release, her skin is considerably lightened and she's altered to be a kimono-wearing Japanese girl.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The defendant in 12 Angry Men is nonwhite and lives in a New York slum, which is the basis of Juror #10's "guilty" verdict. In the 1957 film, the actor is Italian, and the time is right for anti-Italian prejudice, but #10's rant doesn't specify beyond "those people", so he can be interpreted as whatever minority the audience relates to.
  • The Archer: Rebecca's got olive skin and features which don't seem Caucasian. Her ethnicity however is not stated, and her last name, Rosinsky, is Jewish. She's played by a Cuban-American.
  • Darby and the Dead: Capri clearly isn't white, but her ethnicity doesn't get stated either. She's played by Auli'i Cravalho, who's of Native Hawaiian, Puerto Rican, Chinese and Irish ancestry.
  • Dear White People: In-Universe, Tessa Thompson's Sam White gets this reaction repeatedly and resents it. Gabe goes so far as to accuse her of playing up a "Tragic Mulatto" front. Sam herself identifies unambiguously as black, and does not once question, deny, or attempt to hide her own blackness. In fact she gets accused of overcompensating due to this.
  • Doctor Gonzo in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is either Samoan (what Thompson introduces him as) or Mexican (what everyone else mistakes him for). Justified in that he was based on a real Mexican-American attorney, who Thompson was using as a source for a story, and the whole point of going to Vegas was to keep quiet that he was talking to Thompson.
  • In Iron Man 3, the Mandarin is of indeterminate but apparently Middle Eastern birth (played by the Anglo-Indian Ben Kingsley). Further confused by his American South accent, Chinese name, and tactics similar to South American militants. This is in contrast to the Mandarin of the comics, who (as his name implies) is partly of Chinese descent. Perhaps surprisingly, the movie manages to make sense out of all this by the time it's over; basically, he's merely an impersonator deliberately invoking a mishmash of various stereotypes about anti-American terrorists. The real Mandarin seen in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Xu Wenwu, is Chinese.
  • In Knives Out protagonist Marta is Latina but her family’s country of origin is never stated. The ignorant Thromby family say anything from Uruguay to Ecuador to Brazil. Her actress Ana de Armas is Cuban of pure Spanish descent but she uses more of a Central American accent when speaking Spanish. Given that the story revolves around her mother being an undocumented immigrant, she’s probably not Cuban like De Armas due to the US’s former policy of giving any Cuban refugee asylum if they stepped foot on American soil.
  • Mission: Impossible II: Nyah is clearly nonwhite, but her skin is light enough to pass for any number of ethnicities, and her racial background is never confirmed. Not helping is her name, Nyah, which is of undeterminable origin. Her actress Thandiwe Newton is half-British and half-Zimbabwean.
  • Power Rangers (2017):
    • Trini was already given a Race Lift as her actor is Latina whereas her television counterpart's actor was Asian yet the character's full name is still "Trini Kwan", though it doubles as Mythology Gag as Trini was Latina in the original pilot for the show. This is not mentioned in the dialogue but via Word of God which states that her father is named "Mr. Kwan". Making matters more confusing, Mr. Kwan is played by the Canadian actor of Egyptian descent Patrick Sabongui.
    • Kimberly from the same film is implied to be of partial South Asian descent in comparison to her original counterpart being Caucasian, given that her actress Naomi Scott is of Anglo-Indian (English father, Ugandan-born Indian mother) descent and that her mother is played by English actress of Indian descent Anjali Jay.
  • Quest for Fire: Ika and the Ivaka tribe cover their entire bodies in paint and have noticeably non-white features. Ika is played by Rae Dawn Chong, who is mixed raced. The director wanted the Ivaka to not conform to the appearance of any single race, in that they're a tribe of Cro-Magnons who predate modern ethnicities.
  • Two characters in Satan Claus, due to the extremely poor lighting, as one review pointed out (referring to them as "ambiguously ethnic").
  • In-Universe in Super Troopers, no one seems to know Arcot Ramathorn's ethnicity. People think he's either African-American, Mexican, or Arab-American. He is Indian.
  • In Ted, Lori's ethnicity is never revealed. Her boss comments that it's ambiguous, hazarding "Baltic" and "Czech". Actress Mila Kunis is from a Ukrainian Jewish family.
  • The character of Jimmy in That Thing You Do! is played by dark-skinned actor Jonathan Schaech, whose ancestry is mostly German and one-quarter Italian. Jimmy's full name is the very British-sounding "James Mattingly III" (his official credit on the rock album he and his band record), but Schaech made no attempt to lighten his skin tone for the role. It really makes you wonder about Mattingly's true ancestry, especially when A.M. White (Tom Hanks) orders Jimmy to record the title song in Spanish, causing Jimmy to become very peevish and sarcastic and unceremoniously quit the band, implying he's possibly a Latino who uses a stage name.
  • Mr. Kobayashi (Keyser Soze's attorney) in The Usual Suspects is played by English actor Pete Postlethwaite, has a Japanese name and Japanese letters on his office door, but speaks with an Indian accent.
  • The Warriors: Deborah Van Valkenburgh, a slightly dark-skinned actress, plays Mercy, a girl who lives in the South Bronx (which is heavily Puerto Rican) and speaks in a voice not unlike that of Jennifer Lopez. But since Mercy's surname never comes up in the script, there's no way to know where her family is from.
  • Wonder Woman: Sameer gets this reaction in-universe, which he uses to effect. Early twentieth-century racism lets him impersonate several nationalities, since most people just assume "brown = foreign". There are several clues about his true origins: he wears a red chechia, which was worn in the Army of Africa, which was formed in French colonies in Northern Africa (it also explains his French language and accent) and participated in World War I in Western Europe. The actor, Saïd Taghmaoui, was born in France to Moroccan immigrants.

  • The Kabra family in The 39 Clues is described as having dark skin. London's large population of Indian-Brits may make the skin color of Ian and Natalie, the children, less ambiguous, but that doesn't explain why their mother (whose maiden name was Vesper-Hollingsworth, which doesn't hint at anything) also has "coffee-colored" skin.
  • In-Universe, in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Prof. Arronax can't tell at first what ethnicity Captain Nemo and his crew are, though Nemo, at least, eventually reveals himself to be from India. In the sequel, The Mysterious Island, he expands upon this, establishing his heritage as a mix of Hindu from the northern Bundelkhand region, and Muslim from the more southerly Kingdom of Mysore.
  • Lampshaded in American Gods. The undertakers Mr. Ibis (Thoth) and Mr. Jackal (Anubis) note that they can pass for "white" or "black" with their Egyptian looks. Shadow agrees that he's seen both "white" and "black" people who look like them. They also mention that they're seen as more and more unambiguously "black" over time, to the point that in the modern day most people don't think it's ambiguous at all (both characters are played by black actors in the TV adaptation). Shadow himself is mistaken for every ethnicity under the sun throughout the book, but you can ultimately figure out by various clues that he's half black, half Scandinavian (the author has said he pictures Dwayne Johnson as his dream casting, just to give you the idea).
  • Animorphs:
    • Ax's human morph is described this way. He's a Mix-and-Match Man derived from the four human Animorphs: Jake and Rachel (Jewish and white), Cassie (black) and Marco (Hispanic).
    • Marco himself never has his race directly stated, but all the clues point to at least his mother, Eva, being Hispanic. His father, Peter, never really gets described, though; for what it's worth, the TV series cast a white actor.
  • In Craig Shaw Gardner's novelization of Tim Burton's Batman (1989), Harvey Dent is described as having "brown skin," with absolutely nothing else said about his appearance. You have to watch the movie itself to confirm that Dent is being played by the African-American actor Billy Dee Williams.

  • Sara Bergmark Elfgren and Mats Strandberg's The Circle (2011): Minoo is described as having black hair and dark eyes, and her name is Arabic (a language her relatives speak). But her race is never mentioned.
  • Invoked in The City We Became. Manny, the new incarnation of Manhattan, does have a specific ethnicity, but one of the ways his magic influences people to trust him more is to make everyone who looks at him assume he shares their heritage somewhere down the line.
  • In Cold Mountain (the book only), Ruby, a homeless woman of Tennessee, is described as being dark-skinned, with a broad nose and hair the texture of a horse's mane. Whether this is due to mixed racial heritage, or simply her rough outdoors life, is up to interpretation. The film cast Renée Zellweger, a white woman, in the role.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses: Rhysand is described by Feyre as golden-skinned on more than one occasion, and most fan art depicts him with light brown skin. On the other hand, in the first book, he's described as pale.
  • One of the more common clues that someone in The Cosmere books might be a worldhopper is when none of the characters can figure out what ethnicity he (or she) is supposed to be.

  • In Dragon Bones, the valet Axiel has brown-ish skin, and the only thing Ward knows about where he comes from is that his father brought him back from a war. It later turns out that he's half-dwarf, and had his own reasons to stay in Hurog. Everyone else in Hurog is white, with blond, brown or reddish hair, or Raven Hair, Ivory Skin.
  • It's implied that all three teenagers in Dr. Franklin's Island are nonwhite, but only Semi gets more detail — she has Jamaican ancestry. Miranda is "brown", and there are no hints with Arnie. Semi always notes when she sees someone for the first time if they are white, and doesn't do this meeting them.
  • The humans in Everyone Poops have brown skin and smooth black hair. Their ethnicity is not touched upon.
  • In Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep, all humans living in the Beyond are said to descend from Nyjora, one of ancient Earth's colonies. They are all described as being black-haired and brown-skinned, but what cultural markers Nyjora has are Scandinavian. Pham Nuwen's red hair and slanted eyes engender much comment, as he's obviously a different race. To the point where the protagonist actually accuses Pham Nuwen of being a created construct by the Old One rather than a real human being, since those two features are so rarely found together. The truth was a bit more complicated. He is a real person, but much of his body was destroyed in the deep-space accident from which he was later revived. The Old One made up his hair from the DNA of another passenger who was killed at the same time... which is a bit of Fridge Horror when you realize that the red-haired woman was once his lover.
  • In The First Law Series:
    • The magus Bayaz's servant Yoru Sulfur is described by another character as having a somewhat ethnically ambiguous appearance, being darker skinned than is the norm for someone in the Union (a European Fantasy Counterpart Culture) but lighter than people from the neighboring Gurkhal (The Empire, home to people of Arabic and African appearance). This ties into Sulfur's blandly pleasant manner and blandly pleasant features that make him The Nondescript, able to fit in everywhere. It's implied that the ambiguity relates to the fact that like his master, Sulfur is Really 700 Years Old, and thus came from a culture which no longer exists.
    • Temple, one of the main protagonists of Red Country is darker skinned than most of the cast and other characters wonder (sometimes offensively) at his ethnicity. At one point, Temple asserts that he's the Son of a Whore and that his mother was Dagoskan (which evokes both India under the British Raj and Constantinople) and his father was a Styrian (a stand in for Italy during The City State Era) mercenary.
  • In Friday, the eponymous protagonist of the Robert A. Heinlein novel, is some shade of brown. Justified in that she's an Artificial Human, genetically engineered with genes from around the world. Her mentor even remarks that she couldn't be racist, as she'd be shooting herself in the foot.
  • Queen Marisol from the Frozen licensed book "Anna & Elsa: A Warm Welcome" comes from a warm country, has black hair, and has darker skin than Elsa. Her name being Spanish implies she is from a Latin American inspired country. It is also possible she's Middle Eastern due to the names of others from her country.
  • Throughout plenty of books in Goosebumps, little mention of specific minority ethnicities are attributed to characters. Occasionally a character is described as having black hair and dark brown eyes, which are common traits of non-Caucasians, yet there is often no note of dark skin color involved. A great example would be in Werewolf Skin, when the main character Alex meets two boys whom are (again) noted to have black hair and dark brown eyes. One of them has the name Arjun Khosla, to which Alex asks him about it, and the boy replies is Indian. But no allusion to nor mention of skin hue is brought up in this case.

  • In the last Harry Potter book, Harry has a reaction like this the first time he sees a picture of Dumbledore’s mother, Kendra. He notes that her facial features and straight black hair remind him of pictures he'd seen of Native Americans in Muggle school. However, Harry is an Unreliable Narrator and not the most worldly of people, including not even realizing there were wizards outside of the UK until the fourth book, which adds some ambiguity. Perhaps she was really Native American, though given her kids have red and blonde hair and blue eyes, she'd likely have been mixed race. Another way to look at it is that she was of another non-white (though again, probably mixed race) ethnicity and Harry just mistook her for Native American out of his own ignorance. Finally, perhaps Harry was just wrong and she was white (since he never actually describes her skin tone) with high cheekbones and dark hair. For what it's worth, the actor who was cast to play her in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is half Brazilian, though she didn’t make it into the final cut of the film.
  • Deconstructed in Hero by Perry Moore. Golden Boy is a speedster and sidekick to Silver Bullet; he grew up in an orphanage and he himself doesn't know what race he is. This has kept him from being adopted since "The blacks thought I was Hispanic, the Hispanics thought I was Arab, and the whites didn't want any questions." The patronizing nature of his codename isn't lost on him either, but Silver Bullet is the closest thing he has to a father, so he just goes with it.
  • Trillian in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is "darkish", with brown eyes and black hair. On-screen, she's always been played by white actresses.
    With her red head scarf knotted in that particular way and her long flowing silky brown dress she looked vaguely Arabic.
  • Suzanne Collins has stated that we're so far in the future that racial mixing has blurred any categories that might exist today in The Hunger Games. She refuses to elaborate on what modern races the characters would be categorized as. Katniss herself has olive skin and straight black hair just like her best friend Gale, in contrast to her blonde-haired and blue-eyed mother and sister. Rue and Thresh have "dark skin." In The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the District 11 tribute, Reaper, is described as having dark brown skin.
  • In The Immortals, Daine's skin color is never noted, but she has very voluminous curly hair and mentions that she stood out in her home village - the people there, her mother included, are mainly pale blue-eyed blondes. Her father is a god of the hunt, described as having olive brown skin with green streaks. It's unclear how much she takes after him physically; some cover art gives her a darker complexion, some doesn't.
  • I See a Cat: The dog's apparent owner clearly possesses dark skin.
  • Tsubaki Collbrande in Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, the head of Hephaistos Familia is this. Her skin tone is pretty close to that of most Amazons but is stated to be half-human / half dwarf. To make it even more confusing all dwarves shown have been fairly light skinned and her human heritage is specifically from the local Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Japan.

  • Similar to The Hunger Games example above, Julian Comstock, which is set in a post-apocalyptic 22nd century America, never explicitly gives the racial background of any character, but instead simply describes physical characteristics. Julian himself, who is blond, blue-eyed and pale is probably what we would nowadays consider white, as are his mother and Evil Uncle. Another character, Marcus Sedgewick, is described as having very dark skin and tightly curled black hair, and would probably be considered black in the 21st Century. However, everyone else is more ambiguous, the narrator Adam is paler than Marcus and darker than Julian and has curled hair, suggesting a biracial background, however his sister was a natural blonde; meanwhile Calyxa, his wife, has hair like Marcus, but also has "pink" skin, and probably has some Quebecois ancestry being a native French speaker from Montreal.

  • In-Universe, The title character of Kate Daniels is described as looking somewhat ethnically ambiguous, with dark hair and light brown skin that makes her look somewhat Roma, but not lining up completely. Her mother was Russian, but her father is Roland real name Nimrod, an immortal Middle-Eastern sorcerer-king who hails from an ethnicity that no longer existsnote . When Roland finally shows up in person later in the series, he's also described as having an ambiguous appearance that makes him look like he could pass for a local in any number of countries, from Latin America to North Africa to his native Mesopotamia.
  • Larry Niven's Known Space series:
    • Louis Wu is described as having (when he's not using cosmetic drugs that change his skin, hair, and eye colors), "black hair, brown eyes with no discernible slant and yellow-brown skin". By the year 2850, Ambiguously Brown has become the dominant natural skin-tone on Earth due to the fusion of all of the ethnic races.
    • Two of Louis's parents (his genetic father, Carlos Wu, and his mother, Sharrol Janss) and his sister Tanya had similar coloration. Beowulf Schaeffer, his adoptive father (and the father of Louis' stepsister Jeena) was an albino. Jeena Wu had the same skin color as Louis, but was naturally blue-eyed and blonde-haired.
  • Jude St. Francis from A Little Life is described as ethnically ambiguous, and according to his friends' descriptions he's neither identifiably Black nor White. As it turns out, Jude was abandoned as a newborn and has no idea who his parents are, let alone their races.
  • In Little Men by Louisa May Alcott, the character Dan is described with black eyes, black hair, and, at several points where his skin is mentioned, brown skin. But it's unclear as to whether this is racial, tanned, or just dirty. Everyone else in the book seems to be white (several are specifically blond Germans) except for a Black cooknote , but Dan just seems like the odd boy out.
  • A Little Princess actually has Sara Crewe in this (most adaptations cast white actresses). She's described as being dark and having a "brown" hand. Victorian standards of brown could just be referring to a tan from growing up in India, but it is possible to read Sara as being mixed race. Her mother was said to be French, so she could have a Mediterranean complexion.
  • In Little Women, the last chapter makes mention of a "merry little quadroon", who might be Dan. Then again, considering said quadroon acts nothing like the taciturn Dan, Alcott may have had a different boy in mind (possibly Nat, due to the child's "sweetest voice of all"), or she might have radically changed his characterization between books.
  • In Diana Wynne Jones's The Lives of Christopher Chant, Tacroy/Mordecai Roberts is described as having very curly light brown hair and light brown skin. He is later revealed to come from a different world, and may not even really be human.
  • In The Locked Tomb, everyone lives in a far-future necromantic empire (strongly hinted to be our own solar system), so characters are described without reference to Earth ethnicities. The young cavalier Jeannemary has thick curly hair and dark skin, while Camilla is described as having light brown skin and dark brown hair, and protagonist Gideon is a dark-skinned redhead. The second book implies that Gideon is Maori, as her biological mother has words from the Maori version of the New Zealand national anthem as part of her name, and her biological father is also brown-skinned and speaks with a lot of Kiwi slang.
  • Ferrari in Mr. Hook's Big Black Box. She has mixed ancestry, is from an unspecified foreign country, and is described as having a "deep Mediterranean tan".
  • Once: A non-human example in Rigwit. Little Bracken's size-shifting elemental custodian, his skin tone is said to resemble that of someone Chinese.
  • Johnny in The Outsiders, despite being played by Italian-American Ralph Macchio in the movie, has a "dark tan" and is too dark-skinned to look okay with blond hair. Some fans of the book consider Johnny to be Native American.
  • The skin of the Paratime race seems to be light shades of brown allowing them to 'pass' in many cultures and timelines.
  • Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg's The Positronic Man: When upgrading himself into an android body, Andrew deliberately invokes this, wishing for a blend of skin tones because he is not a member of any ethnicity.
    For his skin color Andrew had selected something neutral in tone, a kind of blend of the prevailing skin colors of the various human types, darker than the pale pink of the Charneys but not quite as dark as some. That way no one would be able to tell at a glance which race he belonged to, since in fact he belonged to none.
  • The Power: Allie is described as mixed race and has dark skin, but her background is not specified.
  • Maree-Celee from The Princess 99 has dark red hair, red eyes, and brown skin but then it's later revealed that her father Docteur Haypenny has pale skin, red eyes, and a white streak in his hair to add to the confusion. Admittedly, Skye has dark skin and multicolored hair but this is made moot with the fact that she's an alien. The entire novel tends to fall into this trope when you consider that the setting is based of 1920s New Orleans but isn't set on Earth.
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, several fairies have brown skin of differing tones, without any other indicators of a specific race.
    • Izzy the Indigo Fairy has a brown skin tone that is noticeably darker than the rest of her sisters, who are all unambiguously white.
    • In the Weather Fairies series, Goldie's deeper skintone may be because of exposure to the sun, however Hayley also has the same warm skintone, in comparison to their lighter sisters, despite controlling rain.
  • Most of the cast of The Reader (2016) falls under this, their skin described with words like "tan", "copper", "honey", "dark", or "black". This is justified, though, since Kelanna is a fictional world with no real-world equivalents to nations where such characters would come from, and no one group is signified as coming from a specific island or kingdom in the book.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Most people in Slaver's Bay count. The original Ghiscari were mostly wiped out by the Valyrians, and the modern Ghiscari are a mix of many different races.
    • From the one of the prequels, Nettles. All that's known about her is that she was dark-skinned, brown-eyed, and black-haired. It's believed that she had some Valyrian blood, but no one really knows where she came from.
  • The Big Bad of The Stand, Randall Flagg, is able to mix with terrorists of every colour to further his agendas, from the Ku Klux Klan to the Symbionese Liberation Army ("no one disputed his claim to be a black man, although his skin was very light"). Given who he is, he could just be hypnotising people, but in any case his appearance is kept vague, and he really could be of any race.

  • The Stormlight Archive:
    • Brandon has mentioned in interviews that most Rosharan ethnicities would appear to us to fall under this trope. For example, Alethi (the ethnicity of most of the POV characters) would look something like a cross between Asian and Middle Eastern, while the Vedens look much the same but with red hair.
    • This also comes up in-universe with the Heralds, who were born something like six millennia before the story starts and thus pre-date modern Rosharan ethnicities.
  • Tenzing Tharkay from the Temeraire series is half-Nepali on his mother's side, with dark hair and eyes, a skin tone compared to polished teakwood, and to the shock of many, a perfect, upper-class English accent. In the series' Regency-era setting, most characters have a hard time determining what his race is beyond "not white", with many dismissive types settling on just calling him "Oriental" or "a Chinaman". Upon meeting him for the first time in Macau, the extremely white British protagonist initially thinks him some offshoot of Chinese, but decides against it, owing to Tharkay's un-Chinese clothing and lack of East Asian epicanthic folds.
  • Tenderness: Eric's mother is described as having been tanned, with dark, curly hair and dark eyes. While Eric is coded as white, his victims are all modeled after the mother who is implied to have molested him, and they are mainly all Hispanic and Latina. Whether that means his mother was too is left ambiguous.
  • Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy, is described as naturally tan and black-haired. Her father is Turkish, which explains where she got her looks from.
  • Brandon Nichols from The Visitation is described as looking Middle Eastern, or Mediterranean, or Hispanic, or Native American. Nichols is actually Justin Cantwell, who has Hispanic ancestry on his mother's side. The real Brandon Nichols was Native American.
  • The Wicked Years: Fiyero from Wicked is described as having dark skin and being covered in blue tattoos. It's implied that he's the Ozian equivalent of Native American.
  • In The Witchlands, several characters are noted as black, but most seem to be some unspecified shade of brown, as the Nomatsi people are easily recognizable by their pale skin.
  • The skin tones and facial features of Billy Slade, from Simon Hawke's Wizard novels, incorporate such an ambiguous blend of ethnic traits that he could well have a bit of any race in his ancestry. Having been orphaned young, he doesn't even know what ethnic group(s) his parents might've resembled; the one thing known for sure is that there's a bit of Celt and Old One in him, by way of being Merlin's and Nimue's last descendent.
  • Wuthering Heights is set in the late 1700s in England. Mr Earnshaw says he found Heathcliff on the streets of Liverpool alone, and—unable to find his parents—took him home. Heathcliff's ethnicity is as murky as his background. He's referred to as "dark" and a "gipsy." He might be literally Romani, but it could equally be that people just don't know what else to call him. At one point Nelly fancifully speculates that he could be the son of the Emperor of China and an Indian queen. From his age we know he was born in the 1760s, and at the time Liverpool was a big international port city and the slave-trading capital of Britain. While Heathcliff's not, in Nelly's words, "a regular black", he might be black-biracial. The idea that he's some sort of biracial is also aided by the popular theory that he's actually Mr Earnshaw's bastard son, because the Moses in the Bulrushes story strikes many people as questionable.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In-Universe, in 30 Rock: Carmen Chao, a rival reporter to Avery. Her actress, Vanessa Minnillo, at least is Filipino on her mother's side and Irish/Italian on her father's side
    Jack: Carmen Chao is relentless, like a bloodhound. Perhaps literally. We still don't know her genetic background.
    Jack: She's very sneaky, which isn't racist since we don't know what she is.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • Skye is played by the half-white, half-Chinese Chloe Bennett, but went through the first season without clarifying her ethnicity (one episode states that she was found in the Hunan province as a baby, but it's far from confirmation - the same episode starts casting doubts on whether she's even human). This led to some controversy during the first season where some critics of the show's admittedly white-dominated cast refused to see Bennett's real-world ethnicity as relevant until there was explicit in-universe confirmation that Skye shared it, leading some other people to accuse them of whitewashing. The second season eventually confirms that Skye shares Bennett's ethnicity, showing that her parents were a white dad and Chinese mom; though with the twist that Skye has some Inhuman ancestry that Bennett obviously doesn't share.
    • Reina is another example. While her appearance and accent suggest that she's a light-skinned African-American, she spent much of her early life in Asia and we know next to nothing about her. Actress Ruth Negga is Irish and Ethiopian, but Reina's background is still a mystery except that she's at least partially Inhuman like Skye.
  • Arrested Development: Despite his actor being white, it's subtly implied that Tobias Funké is a very light-skinned Black man. His middle name is "Onyongo", and when Lindsay points out that the name "Tobias" makes people picture a big black guy, his only response is "I'm certainly not a big guy". This extends to his daughter, Maeby.
  • Zan from Atlanta, in universe . Zan, the internet personality trolling Paper Boi. Lampshading this becomes a Running Gag in the episode "The Streisand Effect"; every time he's mentioned, characters ask something along the lines of "Isn't he Dominican?", "Is he Asian?", or (after he casually uses the N-word) "Are you even black?"
  • black•ish: In Universe
    • Rainbow has a white father and an African-American mother, and mentions in one episode that she stole a scholarship from a Polynesian student because she can easily pass for Samoan.
    • In another episode, Zoey is chosen for an international-themed ad for the fictitious holiday "Daddy Day," because the ad executives think she looks ambiguous enough to appeal to all racial demographics. When she refuses to do the commercial, the role goes to her friend Maya, who the execs similarly think looks ambiguous enough to fit the ad. In real life, Yara Shahidi (Zoey) is half-black and half-Iranian, while Zendaya (Maya) is half-black and half-white.
  • The Boys (2019): Victoria, a woman of color with olive skin, although her ethnicity is not stated, and her last name (Neuman) is German (in many cases used by Ashkenazi Jews). The actress is of Italian and Lebanese ancestry. And then Season 3 reveals that she was actually adopted from an orphanage for superpowered children, and renamed by Stan Edgar (her birth name is Nadia).
  • Spy series Burn Notice: did this intentionally by casting the bi-racial Coby Bell as Sixth Ranger Jesse. The show's creators saw the ambiguous race as a plus for the character of Jesse, as it would allow Jesse to go undercover as different ethnicities and make it easier for him to infiltrate different groups.
  • The Cosby Show had a whole episode revolving around this trope, wherein one of the kids got a new teacher who asked her pupils to guess her ethnicity. It was a mix of several: African-American, one specific European nation, and one specific Native American tribe. While she obviously had much fun with her own ambiguity, Cliff also told a story about a boy he knew, who got upset with everyone wondering about his ethnicity, and one day decided just to answer every inquiring with: "I am an Arachne."
  • Covert Affairs: Lampshaded slightly in reference to Jai (played by Chicago native of Indian descent Sendhil Ramamurthy): his father is white and his mother's ethnicity has not been elaborated upon, and Annie's sister calls him "the George Clooney of...wherever he's from!"
  • Eric Andre from The Eric Andre Show is the child of a Haitian father and an Ashkenazi Jewish mother. He's stated that because of this mix, he is often mistaken for Puerto Rican or other Latino nationalities.
  • Flight of the Conchords: The Jemaine of the series is part Māori, just as the real-life Jemaine Clement. This gets confirmed late in Season 2; prior to that viewers simply get exchanges like this:
    Police officer (describing Jemaine): About 6'1, 6'2, Caucasian?
    Bret: Eh... He's from New Zealand.
  • Forever: Neither Oscar or June's racial background is revealed, though the actors Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph are both mixed race. Mark says he'd like to find out what June's racial makeup is. The only hint we get is that June has a Jewish nephew. Rudolph herself has an Ashkenazi Jewish father.
  • Galavant points out (in song) how Princess Isabella is "ethnically hard to pin down". This may have something to do with how both her parents are clearly white while her cousin Harry has darker skin. She's also the princess of the Mediterranean-sounding kingdom of Valencia, and her full name is Isabella Maria Lucia Elizabetta, which certainly sounds Italian. Given Sicily's history with anyone bordering the Mediterranean, someone with very dark skin compared to mainland Italy isn't actually all that unusual. Meanwhile, her cousin's kingdom is styled more like a mix of Eastern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Her actor, Karen David, was born in India, with what she describes as "Chinese, Indian and a sliver of Jewish heritage".
  • Game of Thrones:
    • It turns out Grey Worm's from the Summer Isles, though he's substantially lighter than the only other character we've met from the Summer Isles, Xaro Xhoan Daxos. His ancestry has yet to be revealed in the books; Martin has stated that he has no plans as of yet to go further into Grey Worm's race or personal history, but he might do so if the notion strikes him.
    • Upon the decision to cast the mixed race (Chilean, Romanian, English, and a little bit of Argentinian) Oona Chaplin as Robb Stark's love interest (a fair-skinned Westerosi noblewoman called Jeyne Westerling in the books), they made the character Talisa from Volantis. Although in the books, the people of Volantis are said to resemble the blonde Targaryens more than anything else, and Talisa's features match those of people in Myr more. The actress recalls once being told by a drunk casting director that she was "miscellaneously ethnic".
    • All of the Sand Snakes, and their mother Ellaria, hail from Dorne — which is a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Spanish, Moorish, and Mediterranean cultures. The Sand Snakes are all daughters of Prince Oberyn — played by the Chilean Pedro Pascal — but none of them have any Latin heritage. Jessica Henwick is mixed Chinese and English, Keisha Castle-Hughes is mixed Māori and white, Rosabell Laurenti-Sellers is Italian and Indira Varma is Indian and Swiss. Of course this is possibly intentional, as all of them are 'Sands' — illegitimate children born in Dorne — so they could be mixed race in universe (we only learn they all have different mothers).
  • Glee: Puck is this as well. It's lampshaded when Lauren says that she was initially attracted to him for this reason, and was disappointed to learn he's just a tanned white guy.
  • Judge Gen from The Good Place, who is also played by Maya Rudolph, visits Earth and is surprised to learn that she's considered black (Rudolph is mixed race).
  • Iron Fist (2017): Bakuto has a Japanese-sounding name, but Ramon Rodriguez, who plays him, is a Puerto Rican. In one episode, he mentions that his childhood boogeyman was the Sack Man, which implies Latino or Eastern/Southern European heritage. It's worth noting that in the comics, Bakuto ran a South American faction of the Hand.
  • Key & Peele have a sketch that spoofs this. Obama (played by Peele) is at a meet-and-greet and politely shakes hands with the white guests while enthusiastically greeting the black ones. When he encounters Key, he freezes for a few seconds before a secret service member whispers that he's one-eighth black, resulting in the enthusiastic greeting. Key is actually half black.
  • Lois & Clark:
    • Clark passes for this. Showrunner Deborah Joy Levine points out that Dean Cain, who is 1/4 Japanese, has an unplaceable look to him that made him stick out in a crowd. This does not apply to the vanilla-looking New Kryptonians.
  • Never Have I Ever: Inverted with Paxton. He's a light-skinned biracial kid and it doesn't click for his peers that he has Asian heritage, even with his last name, until they hear him speak Japanese or bring up this fact. Trent, one of his best friends, even thought that his visibly Japanese father was his neighbor.
  • Rashida Jones is of black and Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, and her ambiguous appearance has been lampshaded of her character on both The Office and its "sister show" Parks and Recreation.
    • In The Office, Jones' character Karen Filippelli has an Italian last name (and admits to Italian ancestry), but the character also speaks some French and Chinese and it's also speculated whether she might have Filipino ancestry. At one point, Michael tactlessly tells her she looks very exotic and inquires whether her father was a G.I.
    • In Parks and Recreation, the Season 4 finale has it commented of Jones' character Ann Perkins, "I’ve said this to you before and I know it makes you uncomfortable, but you’re thoughtful and you’re brilliant and your ambiguous ethnic blend perfectly represents the dream of the American melting pot." There's also an earlier episode where Tom (Aziz Ansari) tries to set up a dirty joke by asking if Ann has any Indian in her (for extra irony, the same Tom is once thought by his boss Leslie Knope to be Libyan).
  • Kako in Oobi. All of the characters are literal bare-hand puppets, so it's difficult to tell. His parents look and sound African-American, but he uses Spanish phrases constantly.
  • Lampshaded in Scream Queens (2015) at Chanel #2's funeral where Chanel #5 says it's a shame that they never found out what ethnicity she is — as she was the only non-white blonde in the Girl Posse. Her actress Ariana Grande is of Italian descent — but has often been mistaken for a lighter skinned black woman or Latina. The fact that she's fond of spray tanning doesn't help.
  • Seinfeld: Parodied in the Season 9 episode "The Wizard". Elaine has a new boyfriend who Jerry thinks is black, even though the actor playing him is pretty lightly-skinned. Elaine spends the episode trying to figure out his race and gets pretty conflicting answers, but concludes he is black when he says that they are an interracial couple. In the end of the episode when Elaine tells him she thinks he's black, the boyfriend reveals he thought Elaine was Hispanic. Realizing they're both a couple of white people and not an interracial couple, they decide to take a trip to The Gap.
  • Sex/Life: Billie is played by Sarah Shahi, who's of Iranian and Spanish descent. Though the actor who plays Billie's dad is portrayed by Hrant Alianaknote  who appears vaguely Middle Eastern and also has an accent, while her character's mother's White, what ethnicity she was meant to be isn't clear. Their last name, Mann, along with its alternate spelling Maan is used in Asian cultures however. In India, its a Punjabi name usually associated with Sikhs. The Ma'an is an uncommon topographical surname used by Arabs usually of Syrian or Iraqi origin. So it's possible they're of South Asian or Middle Eastern ancestry, but this hasn't been said.
  • Naevia from Spartacus: Blood and Sand. The original actress Lesley Ann Brandt is Cape Coloured of Indian and European descent. When she exits the show she is replaced with Cynthia Addai Robinson, who is half Black (Ghanaian) and half White. Suffice to say, Naevia's ethnic background is completely unknown and was never specified or referenced.
  • According to Word of God, Julian Bashir from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was intended to be of no obvious ethnicity, although of course his surname is Arabic. The actor Alexander Siddig is of Sudanese and English descent, raised in London. When Bashir's parents appear in one episode, his mother Amsha was played by Fadwa El Guindi (Egyptian) and his father Richard by Brian George (of Iraqi Jewish descent).
  • Supergirl (2015): Invoked by Maggie, who only refers to herself as "non-white".note  However, as her father is shown to be Mexican-American later, Maggie could be considered a Latina (though she never identifies herself as such).
  • That '70s Show: Where was Fez from again? His actor, Wilmer Valderrama, is of Colombian and Venezuelan descent.
  • Trauma hangs kind of a weird lampshade on this one in an episode concerning the ethnicity of Cliff Curtis' character, Rabbit.note 
    Marisa: My cousin saw you on the news and she thinks you're super hot. And Mexican.
    Rabbit: Not Mexican.
    Marisa: He's not Mexican. (On the phone) Ugh, don't make me ask him that. (Back to Rabbit.) OK, so what are you then?
    Rabbit: I'm, uh, not going tonight.
  • Tracey from Truth Be Told is ethnically ambiguous to everyone, even her own husband. She's at least part Filipino, having referred to a grandmother living in the Philippines.
  • Workaholics:
    • Montez. There's even a joke in one episode where he accuses some of his coworkers of discriminating against him because he's black, and they act as though they are genuinely unaware of what race he belongs to. In real life, Montez's actor, Erik Griffin, has a stand-up routine about how nobody can seem to identify his ethnicity (he really has Belizean ancestry).
    • There's an episode where Adam and Blake have a crush on the same woman, with Adam thinking she's black and Blake thinking she's Asian. They awkwardly try to trick her into revealing her ethnicity until she explains that she's both; she has a black father and a Filipino mother.

    Mythology and Folklore 
  • Andromeda from Greek Mythology is supposed to be Ethiopian in origin, but Wikipedia's page has an entire section on what colour she may be exactly ("Ethiopian" to Greeks was a term for Black Africans generally, though depictions often don't reflect this).
  • A lot of the first round of reports of The Men in Black describe them as vaguely olive-skinned, and with features that make them hard to pin down, ethnically. Of course, many people claim they're disguised aliens or something, so likely not any real variety among humans (that's assuming they exist).

  • Done unintentionally in Centigrade 37; depending on lighting conditions and the condition of the wood table, the two blonde white women on the playfield might end up with medium-brown skin and light blonde hair.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Batista (David "Dave" Michael Bautista, Jr.) is half Filipino and half Greek-American, but was often mistaken for being Latino or Hispanic because of his Spanish ring name and last name, which led to him being unexpectedly popular in Mexico and put in an angle with Eddie Guerrero to capitalize on it (the Philippines and Mexico were both colonized by Spain, leading to many cultural similarities including surnames). He was born and raised in Washington D.C., but has since made his permanent home in Tampa, Florida, rather than Southern California, even after his Hollywood career took off. Just to confuse the issue even further, he also has an East Asian dragon tattoo on his back and speaks with a standard Washington D.C. accent. When Dave and Kumail Nanjiani co-starred in the buddy cop movie Stuber, they improvised a scene in which Kumail's character fails to guess Dave's character's background.
  • Perry Saturn is so tanned (especially in his Radicalz period) that in WWF Smackdown 2: Know Your Role, the programmers made him black by mistake. Saturn is of Italian and Greek heritage.
  • When they first debuted on WWE television, MNM all sported extreme fake tans. John Morrison and Joey Mercury are both white, but Melina is Latina and also sported blonde highlights. All three eventually stopped tanning, and Melina darkened her hair — eventually playing up her Mexican heritage in a few ring outfits, and having her last name Perez acknowledged on screen.
  • Former WWE Diva Karlee Pérez has a very ambiguous appearance, as her complete list of ethnicities include Spanish, Chinese, Cuban, Italian, Hawaiian, and English. She was given an exotic sounding name 'Liviana' in developmental, but then given the Anglo name Maxine. As such her character had elements of a Spicy Latina, but she was still presented as somewhat Anglo (probably because of Latino Is Brown). She performed in Brownface in Lucha Underground to portray the possibly Mexican Catrina.
  • Sasha Banks has her ethnicity constantly in question. She is of German and African descent but she initially wrestled under her real name of Mercedes KV — which is a Spanish name. Her WWE 'character' 'The Boss' leaned towards a black ghetto girl, but she was originally a dark-skinned blond before eventually dyeing the hair pink.

  • Mixed Martial Arts fighter Brendan "Big Brown" Schaub is often mistaken for a mixed-race black man. When a cast mate on The Ultimate Fighter began making racist statements, all of the black cast members approached Schaub for support, telling him, "He's insulting our people!" In reality, Schaub has entirely European ancestry.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons iconic character Regdar was reportedly designed to be this in early artwork, with Monte Cook claiming he saw him as Native American. Later artwork just drew him as a white guy.
  • GURPS has the perk "Passing Complexion".
  • It's not easy to notice at first, but many of the people shown in the artwork of Numenera have traits from multiple ethnicities (this is certainly true of the ones in the cover art, at the bare minimum). Like BattleTech above and Mass Effect down in the Video Game examples; this is due to humanity having co-mingled enough that they are now a single ethnicity. Of course; why humanity still exists in a recognisable form after a billion years and the falls of eight eons-long civilisations (the last few of which weren't human at all) is one of the setting's greatest mysteries which kind-of makes the whole 'ethnicity' thing a moot point. And this is before you factor in mutations, genetic modification, encounters with crazy nanites, etc.
  • Postmortem Studios' Privilege Check has a card for "Proud Brown Person," bearing the flavour text, "Guess my race. Guess wrong and I will guilt trip you into the stone age." There are, in fact, more offensive cards.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Salamanders are a Space Marine chapter who are known for having extremely dark skin due to a flaw in a particular organ in their gene-seed. This organ normally adjusts the melanin level in an Astartes' skin to account for ambient radiation, but in the Salamanders' case, this organ is stuck in max output mode, and thus their skin is hyper-saturated with melanin. Artistic renditions of Salamanders have ranged from giving them skin tones that are brown to black (as in Real Life) or jet-black skin that would never occur naturally.
    • Official artwork of The Emperor himself has his skin color often times brown-ish. He's been confirmed to have been born in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) in the Neolithic period, but pre-history being what it is, we can't confirm exactly which ethnic group to have called that region home he was born from.

  • Zigzagged for the American Girls Collection. Named characters always have their race and/or ethnicity specified, both Girls of the Year and Historical Characters (and other lines such as the short-lived Contemporary and World By Us lines). However, the unnamed modern line (now called Truly Me) has none of the dolls given a specific race or ethnicity, as they're intended to be akin to "open canvases" to let purchasers create characters of their own. The medium tones have been used with more of the facial molds than the light or dark tones; for example, the Josefina mold has been used with all three available categories. Furthermore, using the Create Your Own system (which allows purchasers to pick the features of the doll), medium skin tones can be used with any of the available face molds offered. Basically, if the doll doesn't have a name, it doesn't have an ethnicity.
  • The tan and brown characters from the Hairdorables line have no given racial background. (Kali is possibly black given her natural curls.) Only Skylar (and her little sister, Marisol) is explicitly stated to have one as she is of Hawaiian background.
  • Mattel's WWE Zombies line gave most of the undead wrestlers green skin, but performers like The Rock, Roman Reigns, and Sasha Banks were instead gray.

    Visual Novels 
  • Being A ΔΙΚ has some characters with unclear ethnicities, which stand out more due to its somewhat Monochrome Casting:
    • Josy has a noticeably darker skin tone than most of the cast (and by some distance compared to the rest of the Main Girls), but her actual ethnicity is unclear. She is at least half-white - her father Pete shows up on screen in Episode 5 - but her mother has yet to be seen, so it is unclear whether she is mixed-race or simply tanned.
    • Tybalt also has noticeably darker skin than most of the cast, but his ethnicity is never clarified; although we get to meet both of his parents, he is explicitly adopted. Sally accuses him of overusing fake tan, but it is never confirmed whether there is any truth to this or if it is just Sally being Sally.
  • The series Danganronpa is known for having at least one or more dark skinned characters involved in the cast.
    • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc: Aoi Asahina, a bubbly swimmer girl with a dark skin complexion that isn't from a tan as expected from most athletic characters. Yasuhiro Hagakure, a laid back fortune teller with dark skin and wild dreadlocks. (It's implied that he may be biracial since his mother doesn't share the same physical qualities as him). And Sakura Ogami, the world's strongest fighter who has the darkest skin color among her peers.
    • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair: The sequel has Akane Owari, a sporty girl like Aoi (only with a more aggressive attitude) and dark skin that matches her predecessor. And there's Teruteru Hanamura, a Casanova Wannabe chef with tan skin who is stated to be from the more rural part of Japan.
    • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony: Angie Yonaga, the Ultimate Artist, has dark skin, a non-Japanese name, and her official art shows her carving a Tiki statue, all implying that she is Polynesian. The English translation adds more evidence by naming her god Atua, a Polynesian term. Her ethnicity is never actually stated outright, but Shuichi does point out her foreign-sounding name and asks whether she's from Japan.
  • A few characters in Double Homework:
    • Rachel has a conspicuously darker skin shade than her classmates do, and Dennis terms her the “ethnic girl,” but it is unclear what ethnicity she is. It’s all the more confusing that she has an Anglo-Saxon last name.
    • Nothing is known about Henry’s racial or ethnic background, though he looks vaguely black.
  • Archer in Fate/stay night has skin dark enough to clearly mark him as distinct from most other characters, but lacks any clear markers of his race. Subverted when it's revealed he's actually the future self of the red-headed, light-skinned Japanese protagonist Shirou Emiya; overuse of his thaumaturgy changed his skin color, among other things.
  • Katawa Shoujo has two ambiguously brown characters in the classroom scene. Hilariously, when the characters are finally given small profiles (with names, clubs and disabilities), one of the brown girls (Molly) has her defining feature as being Indian rather then legless.
  • Several characters in Obey Me! – One Master to Rule Them All! fit this trope:
    • Mammon, the second-eldest and the Avatar of Greed, is noticeably darker-skinned than the rest of his brothers.
    • Diavolo, ruler and future king of the Devildom, is also tanner than the pale-skinned majority of the cast. This becomes especially prominent in his demon form, which turns his skin even darker.
    • Simeon, an angel and one of the exchange students from the Celestial Realm, has the darkest skin among the cast.
    • Raphael, another angel Celestial Realm exchange student, has a tanner skin color similar to Diavolo (above)
    • Mephistopheles, a demon currently attending RAD and former head of the Newspaper Club, is darker-skinned.
  • We Know the Devil: Neptune is darker than the other characters but her ethnicity is never mentioned.

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Dave, Cody, and Asia. Don't be fooled by the last one's name, because she isn't Asian either.
  • Kitten of If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device turns out to be this. Lampshaded — when the Emperor claims he's black, Kitten says it's more like brown-ish. Of course, Kitten didn't know the modern concept of "race" was a thing and was comparing to the coal-black Salamander marines.
  • Red vs. Blue has a non-visual variant. Lavernius Tucker might be of African descent (he says it doesn't matter either way), but he never takes off his armor, so we only have a few references to go on.
  • There are a series of kid-aimed Jehovah's Witnesses cartoons based about a brother and sister named Caleb and Sofia. The family is racially ambiguous in order to appeal to a general demographic. They have slightly dark skin, light brown, straight hair, and greenish-brown eyes.

  • Aytan, Itzel, and Mina of Aecast are different shades of brown. Despite the comic clearly taking somewhere in a fantastical Middle East, no ethnicities are specified for them. At best, Mina may be Indian.
  • Paige of Agents of the Realm has skin darker than Latino Adele, but brigher than black Norah, so it's unclear what ethnicity she is.
  • Bailey from Avialae is drawn with brown skin in color illustrations, but his ethnicity hasn't been brought up once in 200+ comic pages. His last name, Gilbert, does nothing to narrow down the possible ethnicities for him and the artstyle makes his facial features look very similar to pale-skinned Gannet's in the black-and-white pages. Word of God says that he's half-Puerto Rican.
  • Chloe and her mother in Bad Moon Rising. There's some in-universe debate about who Chloe's maternal grandfather actually was, and both she and her mother are noticeably darker than their known relatives.
  • Gogo and Didi from Bomango. Gogo says she's from Omingo Island, though, wherever that is. The fact that Didi literally budded off Gogo makes the issue even more confusing because of the possibility that they might not even be human.
  • Charby the Vampirate:
    • The vampire Nora has dark skin but her purple eyes, horns, wings and hair do not help narrow down her possible human ancestry.
    • Wes has dark hair and a noticeably olive completion when standing next to other hunters in places with good lighting. He has heterochromia with one green and one blue eye and it's possible he just spends more time in the sun than some of his more pale coworkers.
    • While most of the elves introduced in the story thus far are pale and short there have been at least two of generally human height with brown skin.
  • Nearly everyone in Denma the Quanx. It takes place in a distant space-faring society, and most of the humans in the cast are various shades of brown with various hair colors. The main character has medium-brown skin and peach-colored hair. No one ever comments on this, so it seems that race isn't an issue in their society.
  • Dumbing of Age:
    • Lampshaded with Walky and Sal (who, it turns out, are one-quarter black on their dad's side):
      Joyce: I...I've been trying to determine if it's rude to ask what, um, flavor of human you two are.
      Walky: Well, my sister is black, but I'm generically beige.
    • This actually turns out to be a major plot point, as Walky being "generically beige" in comparison to his sister is part of the reason he gets Parental Favoritism from their mother.
  • El Goonish Shive:

  • Bee from Ennui GO! is noticeably dark-skinned, but unlike Tanya (who is African-American) and Hashim and Xoltan (who are Egyptian), her ethnicity has yet to be revealed. Invoked in "Reuse" after Bee says that her family is recycling their Christmas tree for Black History Month. "La Quinceanera" later reveals that Bee is actually Latina.
    Max: Wait a minute, are you even black?
    Bee: [shrugs] I'unno.
  • Shiva Crimson from EVIL is noticeably darker than the rest of the cast (aside from Kahn, who is black), but her ethnicity is never mentioned.
  • Gaia from Frivolesque falls under this trope. Her skin is a deep shade of brown, especially compared to everybody else, but she doesn't look especially black otherwise.
  • Godslave's main character, Edith, has visibly white facial features (especially when compared with clearly black Blacksmith Girl), but her skin is a darker shade of brown.
  • Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name:
    • In a variation on this trope, {...} is ambiguously Asianish. He has almond-shaped eyes, black hair, high cheekbones, a nose that looks a little Asian if you want it to, and a sentimental attachment to paper cranes for reasons not even he knows. He's also, at present, green. If he is Asian, he'd be an Inscrutable Oriental too...
    • There's also Casimiro, who definitely fits. He is noticeably brown (or, well, dark gray), which is weird for a vampire since all the other specimens thus far have been portrayed as pale white. Word of God has Cas claiming that he was just sporting a "nice tan" before he died.
  • Most humans in Harbourmaster are varying shades of brown, on account of lineages mixing together throughout the spacefaring era. In fact, Veras is considered unusual (and ridiculous) for frowning on miscegenation (what with Veras being obsessed with preserving the semblance of pre-spacefaring humans). Aquaans, meanwhile, are always some shade of brown, although that's simply cultural preference on their part.
  • Open-source character Jenny Everywhere "appears to be Asian or Native American".

  • In the now-defunct Life of Riley, Cowkitty is an interesting case, as it's not clear if she has dark skin or simply light brown fur.
  • In Long Exposure, Jonas and Sidney Wagner have olive skin but their race and ethnicity isn't discussed in the webcomic — and can't ever really be confirmed by the characters themselves since they barely remember their birth parents. However, Word of God says they might be Saudi Arabian because she referenced Saudi Arabian actors for Jonas.
  • Benny from Looking for Group is a fantasy example, and an in-universe one at that. The series was initially a World of Warcraft parody and her design is based on their trolls. But once the series developed its own world, its version of trolls appeared and she looks nothing like them. She has even been dubbed "Lady of Unknown Pedigree. It is eventually revealed that her mother is a blue elf, and her father is most likely the minotaur Krunch.
  • Lovely Lovecraft: Professor Noyes has brown skin with Caucasian features and golden eyes. Nobody in-story comments on this mix of ethnic traits (strange, given that the story occurs in the early 20th century, a relatively more racist time that almost certainly would have prevented Noyes from teaching at a respected university).
  • Lampshaded by name by Commander Badass in Manly Guys Doing Manly Things, who explicitly describes himself as 'ambiguously brown'. Possibly justified by the fact that he's an Artificial Human assembled from the genetic material of who knows how many people, and thus hasn't really got a specific ethnic background.
  • Durkon Thundershield of The Order of the Stick has a light brown skin tone. Word of God states that Durkon is not meant to represent any sort of specific ethnic group, and that he's just simply "not white".
  • PHD:
    • The Nameless Guy is kind of a weird example. He claims to be non-white, but looks just like the white characters, if anything slightly paler. Since he is Jorge Cham's Author Avatar he is most likely Asian-American, but it's never been made clear.
    • Another example is Dee's friend/housemate. He has dark skin, but unlike Tajel or Prof. Khumalo, he has no name or any distinguishable ethnic features to determine his background.
  • Lampshaded in pictures for sad children #64:
    Gary: Oh hey, you're Asian.
    Paul: So?
    Gary: Can you guess what ethnicity I am? Nobody ever can.
    Paul: Brown... ish?
    • To add to the absurdity, the webcomic is in black and white. Gary is drawn white as milk; we can only tell he's non-white from context.
  • The Hunter of Plume has dark skin, green eyes and facial features just comic-book-y enough to obscure his ethnicity.
  • Powerup Comics does this as part of its Stylistic Suck. Darkwinkle is just another character model recolored with darker skin, and the author himself can't remember what race Darkwinkle's supposed to be. In one story arc, he's black, but in another strip, he takes offense at being called black, and insists that he's Mexican.
  • Questionable Content falls into this partly because the art style makes everyone look white-ish. Some characters have non-Western names, like Amir, but they still look just sort of generically brown. Word of God states that one character, Dale, is African-American.
    • Someone asked the creator what race Tai was, to which he responded, "Tan." He later replied to another person asking what her nationality was with "American." It's also said later in the story that her red hair is actually dyed, implying that it's naturally dark brown or black, which still doesn't answer the question.
  • Tony from Real Life Comics is a webcomic example, though a nigh-indistinguishable one. This at least has the reasoning that nobody knows what the real Tony is, either.
  • In the colored comics for Roommates, Javert is noticeably more tan than the other roommates despite only being identified as French. His darker skin tone is almost certainly a nod to how Javert in the novel was the son of a gypsy woman and a convict, but the webcomic has Javert's mother be Morgan Le Fey, who seems to be white. A spin-off comic has his father be Clopin which would explain things, but it's uncertain exactly how canonical that is.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal introduces new one-time characters for almost every strip, and these are a diverse bunch, not just straight white men by default. (At least starting in 2010 or so.) However, perhaps simply due to the art style, the non-white characters mostly look ambiguously brown.
  • Scandinavia and the World: America is getting darker because the 2010 census indicated that whites will soon no longer be the majority of Americans. His hair is still blonde because he bleaches it.
  • In Spying with Lana, Lana has a dark complexion, but her ethnicity is not explicitly stated.
  • A number of Templar Arizona characters are described by the comic's creator as "Templar brownish", that being the default ethnicity of characters whose race hasn't been pinned down specifically. Because, in her words, "It's dumb to care, if it's not going to be an element of the story."
  • Petunia's entire family in Todd Allison & the Petunia Violet presently falls under this trope, as well as Meredith. Later chapters may change this, however. Considering the setting (early 20th-century Australia), they are presumably Aboriginal Australians.
  • Kurudan, Quant and Quaetro Blitz, Evankhell, Lo Po Bia Dokoko, and basically any other dark skinned character from Tower of God given that the Tower's a multi-cultural melting pot.
  • Ben Park from Korean webcomic Weak Hero has notably darker skin than the rest of the cast, dark red hair, Big Ol' Eyebrows, pronounced lips (before the artstyle was streamlined), can speak Korean and Spanish, and has two names of different ethnicities like the rest of the cast. Whether he has South American ancestry, is a dark-skinned Spaniard, is mixed, or something else entirely hasn't been revealed.
  • In Yellow Brick Ramble, a comic-adaptation of the second Oz novel The Marvelous Land of Oz, most of the native-born Ozians are noticeably darker-skinned than how Oz adaptations usually portray them. However, they clearly aren't meant to be any particular real world race, given that some of them have unnatural skin colors (such as green or lavender) and most of them have fantasy-elf-style Pointy Ears.
  • Phineas, Camilla and Mirage of Zoophobia are all just "dark-skinned".

    Web Original 

  • AFK: Q appears as a White female elf online, but their alt Quinn is Black. When we see their daughter for the first time, she looks to be mixed race, so Q's actual ethnicity is unclear (as her other parent could be Black instead). This is a very unusual example, as she's essentially split into two people as a result of whatever magic or otherwise caused everyone to get stuck in the video game.
  • AJCO has Vinnie, who looks vaguely Hispanic but with enough elements of Middle-Eastern Asian to throw off any assumptions. It has yet to be pointed out, possibly because unlike the other factions, there are actually several other people of colour in Katton.
    • Egg is also a shade of brown, lighter than Vinnie but much darker than the white characters such as Kaja or Lorelei. Word of God is that she's mixed race, though Word of God hasn't said exactly what those races are.
  • GradeAUnderA: In his "Racism Test" video, Grade himself has stated that he is "A man of color" and briefly drew himself with dark skin and an afro . Then goes on to say that it's only a "Lil bit of color" before lightening his skin tone and sizing down the afro.
  • Amir in Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl:
    J: He's a walking rainbow of racism and the main reason he gets away with it is because nobody knows what he is.
  • Neopets: Mira the Space Faerie stands out from most other Faeries (who either have light complexions or are examples of Amazing Technicolor Population) with her dark brown skin, but unlike how fellow dark-skinned Faeries Jhuidah and Nuria are visibly designed to evoke the specific real-world ethnicities of Pacific Islander and Arab, respectively, it is unclear if Mira is meant to be analogous to any one race.
  • The Nostalgia Chick:
    • In her review of Pocahontas (see above) she notes that the title character doesn't look particularly Native American, but more like "an a-ethnic mush of unparalleled hotness." Incidentally the face was based on the voice actress, who really is Native American... but her ancestry is from the opposite side of the continent. This is why Pocahontas itself doesn't have an entry.
    • She also uses that word to describe Tommy Wiseau. He's clearly white, but that accent makes figuring out his exact ethnicity... difficult.
  • On the Rejected Princesses site, writer and illustrator Jason Porath will often cite this as something he's done if a historical woman's ethnicity is a bit of a question mark by modern standards, for instance both Tomyris and Tirgatao were both "Scythians" but the historical records conflict a fair bit on how exactly they looked since it was actually a pretty broad category, so he went for a middle ground and figured that both would have been out in the sun a lot regardless.
  • Roaming Millennial is half-Chinese and describes herself as 'Eurasian' but she has sometimes favored light brown hair and been mistaken as a white girl. She has said that when she lived in Los Angeles, a lot of people thought she was Latina.
  • Salad Fingers' finger puppet, Jeremy Fisher, from what we can guess, seems to be of African/Non-European heritage, in contrast to his fellow finger puppets, Marjorie and Hubert.
  • Gustavo Sorola from Rooster Teeth is of Mexican descent, bornin Eagle Pass, Texas, right by the border. But his pale skin and self-admitted weird body proportions gets strangers speculating about his ethnicity, including one time Gus relatedon RT Podcast, where someone just stopped him at a bar, and without elaborating, just asked "Black and Korean?"
  • Todd in the Shadows, when not sitting in the dark, keeps half of his face covered at all times. From what we can see, his skin is fairly dark, but his exact ethnicity (black? Asian? Hispanic?) is something of a Running Gag, and Todd himself has decided not to comment either way, when he's not playing into it for the sake of a joke. However, he's rumored to be at least half-Malian on his mother's side, which may even confuse things even more given Mali's demographics.
    • As time went on, Todd's ethnicity became less ambiguous. We now know that he's "not black" (he said it himself in his review of "This Is America") and half-Vietnamese (Lindsay Ellis clarified this in "Mask Off"; the relevant time frame is between 21:44 and 22:09).
  • Carlos from Welcome to Night Vale is described as having "dark skin" but no other clues as to his race or ethnicity are given (besides his Spanish name). Fanartists tend to depict him as a sort of brown-skinned Latino person, but you see the occasional black Carlos too.