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"Colonel Smithers looked exactly like someone who would be called Colonel Smithers."

Making a character look like the person they're supposed to be is perfectly legitimate character design. Then there are extreme cases where a character has some sort of incredibly rare or impossible combination of traits or even deformity that just works amazingly well with what they turn out to look like.

A hero with fire powers? He'll have been born with red and yellow hair that naturally stands up to look like fire, yellow eyes, a naturally hyper and excited personality, and he'll always wear bright red, yellow, and orange. Got a gal who finds a magical artifact that gives her Martial Arts and Crafts powers of Books? Then she'll "coincidentally" also have huge glasses, normally wear a librarian's tweed suit, wear her hair in a bun, and otherwise look like she was born for the job of Library Lass.

This doesn't count for characters who get their appearance from who they are. Two-Face and the Joker don't count because their appearances caused their insanity, and vice-versa. The Penguin got his nickname from his combination of upper-crust background, long nose, pot belly, and penchant for tuxedos. Likewise in terms of powers, Colossus is a man made of steel, so being super strong and tough like steel should be logical. Those with Voluntary Shapeshifting powers are also excluded. They have actual mental control over their appearance, so it makes sense it would match up.

But then there are characters who don't just wear clothes and accessories that work with their elemental theme and color in The Team, but perfectly and completely embody who they are both in clothes and personal appearance. It encompasses their personality, moral alignment, profession, and even hair.

See also Monster of the Aesop for the Mook version of this trope, Obviously Evil for the villain version, and Personality Powers for the... well, personality version. Compare Colour-Coded for Your Convenience, Color-Coded Characters, Color Motif, and Elemental Hair Composition. Contrast Freaky Fashion, Mild Mind. If it's the person's name that's astonishingly appropriate, rather than his/her appearance, that's Steven Ulysses Perhero.

A Super-Trope to Elemental Eye Colors and Elemental Hair Colors. Compare Karmic Transformation.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • AKIRA: Nezu is The Mole and his name means "rat". He has squinty eyes and an overbite and his nose has a generally rat-like appearance.
  • If you showed someone a cast shot of Ano Hana and told them that one of the characters was a ghost, they probably wouldn't have any trouble figuring out which one it is: It's obviously the girl with the pale skin, silver hair, and white sundress. Naturally, she looked like that even when she was alive.
  • A few of the Contractors in Darker than Black, who generally combine this with Personality Powers. For instance, Bertha is an overweight ex-opera singer (and it shows)- her power is to destroy things with her voice, and Brita is a Sexy Secretary acting as a Honey Trap whose remuneration for her teleportation powers (which leave her naked) is to kiss people.
  • Haikyuu!!: Some characters look appropriately like their team mascots.
    • Metropolitan Nekoma High School's volleyball team is represented by cats as the kanji Neko means cat. The team is of course called "the Cats" and several team members have catlike appearance.
      • Kozume Kenma has cat-like golden eyes which is visually emphasized a lot in the series. He also has blond hair with black roots, making him look like any two-colored cat.
      • Lev Haiba, Nekoma's half-Russian middle blocker, has grey hair and cat-like slanted green eyes framed with thin eyebrows. He looks feline.
      • Team's captain Kuroo Tetsuro also has cat-like hazel pupils, making him look sly and intimidating. He also has naturally messy and spiky black hair like a black cat.
    • Another example is Bokuto Koutarou who has spiky white-grey hair with black streaks and very prominent, high-arching eyebrows. Of course, he happens to be the captain of the Fukurodani High volleyball team, "the Owls".
  • In K Mikoto Suoh has red hair and amber-gold eyes. Guess what element he uses. The appearance also aids in his Animal Motif since his hair looks like a lion's mane.
  • My Hero Academia uses this to great effect to make it's characters extremely readable.
    • Denki Kaminari has yellow hair with a black lightning bolt-like streak on it.
    • Kyoka Jiro, whose power allows her to increase the volume of her heartbeat and transmit it to create great blasts, has cardiac flatline streaks on her hair.
    • Shoto Todoroki can control both ice and fire, with his white-haired right side able to control the former and his red-haired left side able to control the latter.
    • Katsuki Bakugo's hair grows straight out from his head in zig-zagged spikes that look just like his explosions.
    • Tsuyu Asui has the powers of a frog. To correspond with this her hair is green, long, and tied into a bow at the end. When viewed from the back it resembles a leaping frog.
    • Hanta Sero can shoot tape out of his elbows. Said elbows look similar to tape dispensers. Furthermore his hair has spikes in the front and on the back, giving it an appearance similar to a torn piece of tape
  • Naruto has a lot, given the show's large cast.
    • Orochimaru, whose pale skin, prehensile tongue, and slitted eyes make him look very much like the snakes he uses in battle. later it reveals that his true form is a giant snake composed of tiny white snakes. And to think that he was creepy enough. He even looked like that when he was a little kid (before he could have done any of the self body modification that let would justify most of it), which really raises the question of just who the hell his parents were to pass on genes like that.
    • The Jinchuurikis in all have some sort of physical traits of the Bijuus. Naruto has the whisker marks on his face (which get bigger as he uses more of Kurama's power), Yugito Nii, the Jinchuuriki of Matatabi has cat-like eyes, Killer Bee has two marks in the shape of ox horns on his left cheek plus a rope belt whose ends stick out behind him like tails, and Kushina had bright-red hair just like the fox (which one cover even had sticking up into nine tails when she was angry). It does not appear these are really cases of Transformation of the Possessed as the markings in some cases are shown to be present even before the Bijuu in put inside them, as with Naruto himself.
    • Many fans figured that Kisame, a man who fights with water jutsu and a sword called "sharkskin", was a shark-man as a result of fusing with Samehada and becoming even more shark-like, but then we eventually saw that, no, he looked like that even before getting Samehada. He's just like that by coincidence. He's not the only native of the Hidden Mist Village with shark-like appearance (especially Samehada's previous owner, also by coincidence), though it's more extreme for him than for the others. Apparently there's just a segment of the population in that town with really odd genes. Or, you know, a really unhealthy attraction to sharks...
  • Onpu Segawa from Ojamajo Doremi. She is the idol girl and musical themed. Her head has the shape of a Music Note due to the help of her side ponytail. "Onpu" means "musical note".
  • One Piece probably provides a thousand examples:
    • The most "prominent" would be Usopp's long nose. It signifies his lying personality (a reference to Pinocchio, of course) and some fans even speculate that it helps him aim better when shooting. It goes beyond his nose. His entire body, from his oversized feet and bony limbs to his skull cap all make him look like a giant marionette puppet brought to life. Even his dream is a parallel to Pinocchio's dream. A fake who wants to be real.
    • One of the funnier examples is seen in a cover arc when it's shown that beneath his heart-shaped sunglasses, Jango has... heart-shaped eyes.
    • A lot of Devil Fruit users are obviously designed around the powers they receive from eating the eponymous fruits. The most jarring example has to be the user of the Moku Moku no Mi (Smoke-Smoke Fruit), who is a Cigar Chomper named, well, Smoker.
  • The Pretty Cure franchise in general LOVES this trope.
  • There is a minor side character in the Ranma ½ manga who cooks okonomiyaki. His face looks like a spatula. Also the Gambling King, who is a professional (though lame) gambler, looks like a king out of a card game, and wears a coat with hanafuda designs on it. The French Cuisine arc had the governess dressed in 20th century French gown in modern Japan, with her hair tied up to resemble a roast chicken. Although plot-justified (sort of), a Takoyaki chef spent the majority of his life wearing a Octopus mask.
  • Himemaru, from the Harem Comedy manga Rappi Rangai, is a ninja who specializes in traps, both setting them up, and immobilizing opponents with ropes. He also has a very feminine appearance. That is, he's a trap who works with traps. It seems he was always like that, as he mentioned having "the most beautiful face in [his] village". Even his own father was shocked when he realized how much Himemaru looks like his mother.
  • Sailor Moon: While it's not natural, Usagi Tsukino and (to an even greater degree) her daughter Chibiusa wear their hair in a way to look like rabbit ears. Likewise, Michiru's hair looks like ocean waves, while Makoto's original school uniform and hairstyle are meant to evoke a Delinquent, which she is rumored to be (but actually isn't, subverting the trope).
  • Uma Musume: Team Spica's trainer has a ponytail/mohawk hairstyle, making it resemble a horse's mane. The girls under his charge are Little Bit Beastly horse girls.
  • Hayato/Chumley in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX looks like a koala (strangely not mentioned in the dub), naturally this is his deck theme.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds: Andore of Team Unicorn, has hair resembling a unicorn's mane complete with a massive spike in its centre.
  • Dr. STONE has Joel, a watchmaker who sports the numbers 12 (his Hair Antennae), 3 (on his left arm), 6 (on his apron), and 9 (on his right arm). Their positions match where they'd be on a clock, fitting with his occupation.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men: Pyro, a villain with fire powers has yellow hair that sticks up in irregular spikes that look like flame.
  • Batman: Arnold Wesker of the composite Batman villain Ventriloquist and Scarface believes that his dummy is behind his actions (which may be true) and is utterly submissive to the commands of Scarface. His appearance is that of a thin, bald, older man with glasses that hide his face that emphasizes his physical and mental weakness to Scarface (or for creating the personality of Scarface).
  • Fantastic Four: Reed Richards was tall and thin even before those cosmic rays turned him into a Rubber Man.
  • In Superman story arc The Leper from Krypton, the Flammbronians are a race of flame-haired, orange-skinned, red-wearing humanoid aliens with fire powers who dwell in the cosmos' hottest star.
  • Archie Comics' Madhouse sometimes features Lester Cool and Chester Square. Chester head is cubical, making his face and profile square.
  • Mickey Mouse Comic Universe: One story had a minor side character called Peter Porto who was a specialist on postage stamps. He not only had the oddly Prophetic Name which just seemed to destine him to become said expert, he also had a face that looked like a stamp. Of course, he could be so obsessed that he'd cut his beard and hair to look like that, but his face was a frikkin rectangle.

    Fan Works 
  • A Certain Unknown Level 0: From "Misaka Mikoto: Part 2": Imaizumi Yukiko:
    had red hair with orange streaks. Her eyes were a fierce brown that reflected her personality and power, a Level 4 Pyrokineticist-someone who can control fire. (Firebenders anyone?)
  • Children of an Elder God: Asuka is a temperamental, hot-blooded redhead, wears red clothes, pilots a red war mecha, and has fire powers.
  • Fate of the Clans:
    • Cú Chulainn has slitted pupils, a bestial smell, a collar around his neck, a necklace with a wolf's head holding a crescent moon in its mouth, a bunch of white fur on the edge of his left spaulder by the left side of his neck, and fang-like canines. As an Alter, he has the addition of animal-like claws and a mantle of bushy black-and-red fur.
    • Mikoto has red hair and amber eyes. He's also a fire user.
  • Pokémon Master: Subverted with Misty. She is short-tempered, hot-blooded, rash, passionate... and a redhead. However her elemental powers are not associated with fire and heat but with water, ice and cold.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: Corona, The Tyrant Sun. Fiery mane and tail, blank glowing white eyes, snow-white coat, all broadcasting the message "mad sun goddess blind to the monster she's become".
  • Ask The Main Four: Inverted with Kenny. His face is so innocent looking that even straight boys find him cute, however, he is the one with most Porn websites bookmarked.

    Films — Animation 
  • Gaetan "Mole" Moliere, the excavation expert in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, has buck teeth, tiny eyes (actually, telescoping lenses) and large, claw-like hands, not unlike the animal he's nicknamed after.
  • In the film adaptaton of The Amazing Maurice, Sardines the tap-dancing show-rat is a black-and-white rat who looks like he's wearing a tuxedo, and has thick whiskers that look like a handlebar moustache.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • X-Men: Apocalypse: All of the Ancient Egyptian Horsemen resemble their 1983 homologues an awful lot. Death is a fiercely loyal blonde, just like Angel, who inherits her title; Famine is a tall black woman with a mohawk-like haircut, just like the next Famine, Storm; War wears a helmet similar to Magneto's and looks a bit like him; and Pestilence, while being the least similar to his counterpart, shares with Psylocke a penchant for physical combat and the skills for it.

    Literature 
  • Beware of Chicken: Lin Bao looks very much like a bao bun: round, bald, and doughy.
  • In Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light this is one of the defining characteristics of gods. So much so that they can be identified even if you've never met them before.
    Those who look upon gods then say, without even knowing their names, "He is Fire. She is Dance. He is Destruction. She is Love."
  • Requisite Discworld examples:
    • In Going Postal, it's noted that looking like a piglet having a bright idea and sounding like a yappy dog doesn't necessarily mean Horsefry's an obnoxious Upper-Class Twit, in much the same way as wearing red robes and a wig and sitting at the front of the courtroom doesn't necessarily mean someone's a judge.
    • In Making Money, Moist notes that Hubert is one of those names you can automatically put a face to. There might easily be Huberts who are tall and thin, but the Hubert he is introduced to is a good proper Hubert, that is to say, stubby and plump. (He is a bit off-model by having red hair, but it's no great distraction.)
  • Someone in Fahrenheit 451 was smart. At one point the protagonist takes a look around at his fellow firemen and realizes that it can't be coincidence that they are all grim, stoic-looking men with thick, carbon-black hair.
  • Honor Harrington has Baron High Ridge, description of whose appearance ends in this:
    If central casting had sent him to an HD producer for the role of an over-bred, cretinous aristocrat, the producer would have sent him back with a blistering memo about stereotypes and typecasting.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish:
    ...the wonderful girl's brother's name was Russell, a name which, to Arthur's mind, always suggested burly men with blond mustaches and blow dried hair... Russell was a burly man. He had a blond mustache. His hair was fine and blow dried.
  • In John Dies at the End, this is a surefire way to know someone isn't real. Entities impersonating people tend to pull their appearance from your mind, so they look exactly as you'd expect them to. This is always a very bad thing
  • Subverted, then played straight, by Laeshana in A.L. Phillips's The Quest of the Unaligned. At first, her golden hair clashes with her fire-magic and fiery personality. However, this turns into a straight example when she becomes an orah, as orahs are both mages of light (and Gold and White Are Divine), and orahs are elementally unaligned, which in Caederian heraldry is represented by the color gold.
  • Melisandre of Asshai in A Song of Ice and Fire looks exactly like you expect a supernatural priestess of a fire god look: outfit, hair, eyes - all is the color of a crazy fire extinguisher.
  • In Meredith Ann Pierce's The Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood, Broc the gardener is fat, squatty, and graying, with big meaty hands and a preference for gray clothing. Magret the cook is rawboned, sharp-featured, energetic, loud, tends to talk with her hands, and has white streaks in her hair. If their names weren't clue enough: Broc spends most of the book as a badger; Magret, as a magpie.
  • Justified in Warbreaker with the Returned, people who rise from death in new bodies as ageless, prophetic beings and are worshipped as gods. Most get the flawless, seven-foot-tall Heroic Build that one would expect of a deity, with some variation: Blushweaver happily flaunts her Most Common Superpower, while the Allmother looks like everyone's favourite granny. The Older Immortal Vasher reveals that they look like they think they should look thanks to a subconscious use of Voluntary Shapeshifting.
  • Some of the cats in The Mouse Butcher by Dick King-Smith, about a society of cats living on an island after all the humans left. Giglamps, who used to be the doctor's cat and has taken the role of The Smart Guy, has markings around his eyes that resemble glasses, and the vicarage cat is black with white fur around his collar.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In many incarnations of Power Rangers, the Rangers display a visible penchant for their Ranger colors even before empowering.
    • Power Rangers Ninja Storm and Power Rangers Jungle Fury justify the pattern, as the colors of their ranger uniforms derive from the colors associated with the characters' existing innate powers. On the other hand, the Jungle Fury Red Ranger's favorite piece of civilian clothing is a black hoodie.
    • Power Rangers: Dino Thunder lampshades the trope: when Doctor Oliver becomes the black ranger, he points out that he'll have to do some shopping, as his wardrobe is somewhat black-deficient. Doctor O is the perfect choice for this one, as he had, in his younger days, served as Green, White, and Red (twice!) Rangers. Each time, the color change was preceded by a change in the dominant color of his civilian wardrobe.
    • Power Rangers Time Force has the green-haired Rubber-Forehead Alien Green Ranger. Make of that what you will.
    • When Bridge, SPD Green, waves his hand to read the area's energy, a green trail is left behind. In a later Reunion Show, he's been promoted to Red. Use of his mutant power also has changed to red when he uses it.
  • In Super Sentai the show that provides source material for Power Rangers, if a season has a redhead, expect him to be a red ranger. There have been two, the Red Rangers of Juken Sentai Gekiranger and Engine Sentai Go-onger, with two non-Red Rangers whose hair was more reddish-brown, the Green Ranger of Samurai Sentai Shinkenger and the Black Ranger of Tensou Sentai Goseiger. (Power Rangers averts this, as the only two redheads they've had were a Yellow and White Ranger.)
  • Pushing Daisies features a brightly dressed cast, however Ned, the main character, always wears black, white, or grays, probably to emphasize his solitariness and his shy, reserved disposition. May also be connected to his ability revolving around death.
  • The Loan Shark in the sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an actual shark in a suit.
  • A FedEx commercial parodies this trope to heck and back. Don't you agree, Harry?
  • When the four horsemen appear in Supernatural, they are easily recognized by their appearance. War is slick looking, middle aged mobster type who drives a blood-red muscle car. Famine is an emaciated man who is too weak to walk anywhere, has to be carried every where, relies on a wheelchair and a nasal cannula and is chaufered in a gas-guzzling parade of black SUV. Pestilence is a disheveled, run down older man who sneezes on everything leaving disgusting gobs of mucus and drives a rusted, pea green pinto with a license plate that reads 'Sick and Tired'. Death is a gaunt, but distinguished looking gentleman dressed in a black suit and tie who looks, appropriately, like a mortician and drives a sleek, pale white car from the 50s with a license plate that reads 'bye bye.'
  • The Colour of Magic initially shows the Unseen University librarian as a man with a thick orange beard, which makes him look surprisingly like an orangutan before the event that turns him into one.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay has a variation. Wizards and priests develop traits of their magic type or god. For example, fire mages will develop red, flickering hair and a quick temper, while priests of the sea god start having mercurial temperments.
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Space Wolves start out as Blood Claws, eager and bloodthirsty, with many having red hair. As they grow older and survive more battles, their DNA changes them to have wolf-like characteristics like grey hair and yellow eyes. And then of course you have the forces of Chaos, who really, really like looking Obviously Evil.
  • Exalted: Justified with the Dragon-Blooded, as they are quite literally elemental forces within mortal bodies.
  • It occurs in Mage: The Ascension naturally due to how character creation works. Mages are always people with extreme commitment to a particular world view before their Awakening. For example, a member of the Celestial Chorus is a mage who works magic through their commitment to god, by whatever name they address god. They tend to already be clergy, and if not, religion is already such a big part of their life that it'll likely show through in the character design.
  • As one of the major Trope Codifiers of most tropes in High Fantasy and Heroic Fantasy, Dungeons & Dragons (and by extension Pathfinder) classes each have stereotypical looks which most characters fit. Players looking for an image for their character can likely just use Google to search for their race/class combination. Canny players can actually subvert this trope to fool enemies with disguises and magic, provided their GM is not a Killer Game Master who spoils plans out of sheer malevolence.
  • Justified in Mystic Empyrean, in that Eidolons (ie. a Player Character) get powers directly based on their personality traits. Gruff people grow an armored shell, pessimists suck the light out of the room, dutiful people sprout writhing chains, and artistic people start to turn into living paintings.

    Video Games 
  • Laverne from Day of the Tentacle is a Cloudcuckoolander, and thus has an equally unhinged appearance, complete with different colored eyes and a Mad Eye.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • A good number of playable characters combine bright red hair -and often a fiery temper- with pyrokinetic magic. Examples include: The Prince of Cannock (DQII), the Female Mage (DQIII), Ashlynn (DQVI), Maribel (DQVII) and Jessica (DQVIII).
    • In Dragon Quest V, the Winter Queen's blue hair and ivory armor match her ice and snow spells.
  • I Was a Teenage Exocolonist: As a child, Tang's ponytail is shaped like DNA, fitting for an aspiring scientist.
  • Kingdom Hearts II has Organization XIII, which averts or plays this trope straight as per Tetsuya Nomura's design of the members.
    • Played straight with Axel (redhead with caustic attitude and fire powers), Marluxia (pinkhaired, mellow (if not cruel) personality, controls flowers), Larxene (sadistic, lightning powered blonde), Lexaeus (built like a rock, controls earth), Zexion (controls illusions, his bangs droop and cover one eye completely), and Roxas (a denizen of darkness with powers over light, wears black and white patterned clothes under the uniform black coat).
    • And then averted with Vexen (controls ice and is a mad scientist, but has no distinguishing physical characteristics), Xigbar (controls space, but despite yellow eyes, pointed ears and a long black ponytail, looks normal), Demyx (controls water, has a...mullet thing), and Xaldin (controls wind, has long black dreadlocks).
    • As for the other three, that's more of a YMMV issue. The leader, Xemnas, controls Nothing. While his hair is white (and his voice is near-emotionless), this is only because the being he is the Nobody of has the same hair color. Then there's Saix, who controls Lunar powers, and has bright-blue hair and bright yellow eyes. However, whether you believe Lunar elements to be represented as blue flames is up for your interpretation. And finally, there is Luxord: He's blonde with a few piercings. That can be attributed to his being a gambler, but his power is over Time.
  • The Legend of Spyro: Each of the four Guardians has an appearance strongly matching the element that he's associated with:
    • Ignitus is uniformly red and ochre, and his back spines are shaped like flames.
    • Volteer is bright yellow with blue details. His stripes are jagged like lightning bolts, and in the third game so are his wing fingers.
    • Cyril is whitish-blue with purple details. He's also covered in pointed, jagged blue plates strongly resembling shards of ice, and the spines on his chin resemble short icicles.
    • Terrador is forest green, with brown plates, horns, wing membranes and claws. His back and shoulder plates are rough, blocky and strongly resemble chunks of rock.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: Pikango is a travelling painter who keeps his long white hair tied up in a ponytail with the tip dyed black, making it look like a paintbrush.
  • Medievil: Played for Laughs. In the original Playstation game you never saw Sir Fortesque's face from when he was alive, but in the prologue of the PSP remake his face does get depicted in a stained-glass window, and his face looks almost exactly like his bare skull, with blond bangs to cover the eye he would lose in death and an overbite so ridiculous that he may as well not had a lower jaw at all. The tie-in comic that coincides with the release of the Playstation 4 remake also shows he had an overbite and was as skinny and gangly as his skeletal self.
  • Mega Man:
    • Mega Man 2: Heat Man, as the game's fire themed boss, looks like a human-sized Zippo lighter.
    • Mega Man X: Command Mission: Scarface is a peculiar example... maybe. Was he built with the scar? Did he change his name to Scarface after his face was scarred? Was he always named Scarface for no good reason until his face was actually scarred? Is the name completely unrelated, and he's just a really big Al Pacino fan?
  • The name of the X Parasites from Metroid Fusion may be derived from Let X Be the Unknown, but the basic X have throbbing pseudopods that make them look like bulky, gelatinous versions of the letter X.
  • The film version of Sauron (before he lost the ring) may deserve some blame, but the title character of the Overlord series looks exactly like what you'd expect. Glowing eyes, shrouded face, spiky plate armour, the works.
    In the first game, this is of course a direct subversion: because you're given the glowing eyes and spiky plate armor, the trope is invoked to prevent the realization that you aren't in fact the original evil Overlord. If you pay attention, there's even a hint at the beginning of the minions modifying your eyes.
  • In Plantasia, beetles have green shells resembling military helmets, and are extremely tough bugs that need multiple sprays with the pest killer before they go down.
  • Fewer of the Gym Leaders in Pokémon fall under this category than you might expect - most just have type-appropriate clothes and Steven Ulysses Perhero type names, HOWEVER there are also a lot of gym leaders that fit this trope to the letter:
    • Elemental triplets Cilan, Chili and Cress specialise in grass, fire and water, their eyes and hair are improbably coloured green, red and blue respectively.
    • Lt. Surge has the spiky blond hair you would expect from an electric Pokemon trainer.
    • One notable aversion is Candice of Snowpoint City. She's an Ice-type Gym Leader, but her personality is much more outgoing like a Fire-type Trainer would be. She lampshades it after her battle.
    "Do you think I should try to act more like an Ice-type Gym Leader? Like, do you think I should be more cool and distant? That sort of thing I have trouble with."
    • Pokémon follows this trope very well overall, but noticeably averts this trope sometimes with Pokémon with unintuitive types that just don't seem to match their design or lore well, or at least not as well as other types, much to fan confusion.
      • Charizard is one of the most famous examples. It's a heavily draconic reptile with wings that breathes fire. Sound like a dragon? No, it's a Fire/Flying type instead. This issue was even eventually acknowledged in the Anime, with Iris mistaking it to be a Dragon-type. note 
      • Meanwhile, Altaria is a part Dragon-type, but it's clearly just a bird with clouds for wings. This has just drawn more attention to Charizard's issue.
      • Gyarados is another famous example. It looks like a sea dragon, and its even based on a myth that a carp that through hard effort manages to leap over a waterfall will become a dragon, but it's Water/Flying.
      • What's even more baffling about Gyarados is that it is very rarely if ever shown actually flying, and is more often portrayed as being completely unable to fly. It's Flying-typing is obviously referencing the myth it's based on, but it makes no sense in-universe.
      • Lugia is a Pokémon heavily associated with the sea, but is not a Water-type. It's Psychic/Flying for whatever reason.
      • Galarian Ponyta generated a lot of fan confusion when it was revealed to be Psychic and not Fairy, but this was mostly resolved when it was revealed its evolution gains the Fairy typing.
      • Palkia design wise has no clear connection to its part Water-typing. It just is, probably because it's associated with pearls.
      • Darkrai is a pure Dark-type Pokemon that looks more like a Ghost than most actual Ghost types, but it isn't.
      • Clobbopus and Grapploct are octopuses, and they are even in a Water-type breeding group, but they don't have a Water typing.
      • The pure Fire-type starter Fuecoco is a small crocodile with an almost skull-like white face. It eventually evolves into Skeledirge, whose facial markings look reminiscent of calavera (sugar skulls used in Day of the Dead celebrations), and gains the Ghost type in the process.
  • Tekken has it's share of fighters who look like their martial arts styles or personalities. Bryan Fury in particular is a good example of what somebody evil with insane fighting capabilities is really going to look like.

    Visual Novels 
  • From Ace Attorney:
    • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney: Guy Eldoon is an ex-surgeon who sells noodles, and his hat and hair look like a bowl of ramen. When he takes it off, the hat is a wig, and he has the hairstyle you would expect a doctor to have. In fact, he strongly resembles the Medic from Team Fortress 2.
    • Ace Attorney Investigations: Quercus Alba is ancient and sturdy, like a white oak tree (which has the scientific name Quercus Alba). He also has plants growing all around his office, one of which is even trimmed and styled to look like a bust of him!
  • Most of the characters of Hatoful Boyfriend are birds, but they also have noncanon gijinkas or human forms so they can be drawn as humans sometimes. Most of these have only vague relation to their actual bodies - hair color and feather color rarely matches, eye color is often different, and most of them wear clothes that don't reflect their feather colors and patterns at all. Then there's Tohri Nishikikouji, the golden pheasant, whose gijinka reflects basically every aspect of his actual form, with all of the disparate elements of a golden pheasant, from tiger-striped nuchal cape to gold-and-red crest to green-and-black scapulars to blue secondaries to brown-and-bronze tailfeathers.
  • Duke "Wolf" Vale in Villainous Nights has white hair, blue eyes, and a Sugar-and-Ice Personality to go with his power to generate ice and cold.
  • The students in Danganronpa (Besides some standouts) will usually devote their lives to their specific skill, meaning they naturally fit the part of "Ultimate/Super Highschool Level X" in every possible way. Sometimes their effort to fashion themselves into their specific roll can reveal some interesting Hidden Depths.

    Web Animation 
  • Dr. Crafty makes liberal use of this trope throughout its character designs:
    • A lot of what Crafty wears as an adult is oversized — in particular, his lab coat, his gloves, and his boots. Together with his reedy physique, his design is rife with a cartoonish exaggeration that's rarely seen from anyone else on the show. It's a perfect fit for someone who wants to make his audience laugh first and foremost.
    • The bolts placed across Nurse's body are proportioned like modern Tesla coils, with wide heads and skinny bodies. How fitting for someone addicted to electricity like a drug. "I Need A Hero Academia" reveals that the bolts also act like actual coils; they help generate the electrical energy that powers her up.
    • Pepper:
      • She has a ribbon wrapped around her mantle. This combination evokes the idea that she's tied her hair back, which is a good practice among cooks with long hair. Her Dr. Crafty design even has her wearing the mantle like an upward ponytail.
      • Everything below Pepper's shoulders creates the vague, slightly exaggerated likeness of an octopus. Counting her legs, she has eight tentacles that all merge into a bulky mantle — her belly — complete with protruding eye sockets — her breasts.
    • Pickle's lengthy tongue evokes a regular sea cucumber's expelled Cuvierian tubules... which come out of their anuses. While that's definitely Pickles' mouth and tongue we're looking at, his raspberrying still makes a ton of sense due to this trait.
    • Messibelle:
      • Messi's bonnet resembles a snail's shell; much like snails, she tends to leave slime trails behind her whenever she moves.
      • The way Messi's slime dress drapes down onto the floor evokes a gastropod's foot, continuing the snail-theming in her design.
      • Because the slime dress is technically a part of her, she's effectively naked from the waist down — how appropriate for someone so lewd.
    • Crystelle:
      • Crystelle embodies the fortune teller archetype wholeheartedly. Not only does she dress the part, with ornate, mystical clothing, but she also goes as far as being the trademark crystal ball.
      • The rings that adorn her wrists and shins are way wider than where they're placed. It's as if they're held aloft by a mystical power — just as she happens to possess.
    • Stylene's hair is styled to look like a typical witch's hat, and it's done so well that you'd be forgiven for regarding it as a true hat. It's both expected witch iconography and a testament to her skills as a stylist.
    • Dr. Mindstein:
      • Her Spikes of Villainy are incredibly thin, almost syringe-like. Fittingly, Mindstein uses syringes for both combat and her physical abuse sessions.
      • Her hairstyle makes her head appear larger than it truly is, especially when she's silhouetted. It also bears two electrical patterns that converge toward her domed, exposed brain. Both qualities, in tandem with her use of electric attacks, greatly emphasize her genius and how much pride she holds for it.
    • Like Nurse, Screw happens to have discolored patches of skin. They're almost identical to her sister's — except the one on her face, which is mirrored. It subtly hints at how Screw is a dark reflection of what Nurse became.
  • Rosemary Walten provides a more mundane example in The Walten Files, bearing a notable resemblance to Sha, whose animatronic she ultimately ends up possessing. Her '80s Hair is shaped similarly to Sha's Tuft of Head Fur, and she is portrayed wearing a puffy green sweater reminiscent of sheep's wool. Relocate Project drives this home by having Sha's sprite repeately glitch into Rosemary's (both sharing an identical silhouette) shortly before revealing her dismemberment at Bon's hands, and her being stuffed inside the aforementioned Sha animatronic.
  • Homestar Runner: In the Cheat Commandos short The Next Epi-Snowed, there's an Easter Egg showing the in-universe voice actor for Blue Laser Commander, a character who's a parody of Cobra Commander and has a similar screechy voice. The "guy who does the bad guy's voice" sounds like his character even when not talking in-character and is gaunt, green-skinned, and has bloodshot eyes and pronounced wrinkles. A fitting appearance for the sound, but a far cry from Blue Laser Commander's very normal-looking and (normally) normal-sounding real voice actor, Matt Chapman.

    Webcomics 
  • Alluded to in Erfworld, with the magic of Signamancy. The basis of the magic is people's appearances, with the implication that their exterior appearance is tied to their personality, disposition, and true nature. Parson eventually realizes that the Reference Overdosed nature of Erfworld gives him many of the powers of a Signamancer. Some specific examples:
    • Any character rendered with a grey face, such as Jack and Maggie, have suffered a terrible trauma and not yet recovered from it. When Jack is Decrypted this signamancy instantly changes, which has interesting implications.
    • Sylvia: Fiery Redhead that seems to have a preoccupation with fire and a reckless attitude towards danger.
    • King Slately: A ruler that lets his warlords run the show. Very short, fat, mostly bald with gray hair, unlike his (mostly) heroically-proportioned sons.
    • Jillian: When she became a Queen, she lost some muscle and her "Warrior" look to seem more "Royal." Additionally, she is how we learn that preparing to pop an heir has a signamantic effect on a female ruler akin to pregnancy.
    • Wanda: In flashbacks to her darkest hour, she looks emaciated and withered.
    • Benny: In one of the most blatant examples, Parson takes one look at him and correctly identifies his name (Benjamin Franchise), class (Moneymancer), and personality (sharply intelligent with an eye for exploits).
  • Everyone in Cucumber Quest will have some kind of character design element that is perfectly in line with their name. For example, Bacon's hair is wavy and greasy and looks like bacon while Peridot's is boxy and resembles green gemstone.
  • The Fantasy Book Club: Fiona has red hair and can control fire.
  • In one Nodwick comic, the group manages to defeat several opponents (primarily spellcasters) by first having a chat with their tailors. Once they know what theme the customer is going for, figuring out their weaknesses is a snap.
  • Hige-san of Ojisan And Marshmallow is a Tabeko marshmallow fanatic, and it's very hard not to think that he would be, given that his features are soft and roundish, and his color scheme is primarily white like a marshmallow.
  • Slightly Damned: This trope is invoked (or more accurately enforced) by the angels, naturally they look like pale humans with pointy ears and pure white hair but have to get their hair dyed the same color as their element as well as wear cloths the same color and get the element's symbol tattooed on their upper arm.
  • Angelique the rat in Kevin & Kell is quite evil (possibly the most evil character in the series outside N.O.P.E.) and will resort to any means necessary to come out on top. Making this even more appropriate is she's secretly a rabbit, having had plastic surgery to look like a rat, making this an enforced trope.
  • The Order of the Stick: Lampshaded for laughs regarding a Physical Goddess:
    Thor: She never told me she was a fertility goddess!
    Loki: She has flowers in her hair and bluebirds singing around her head. Who did you think she was, the bringer of pestilence?
  • TENACITY:
    • Yuriah has jet-black skin and black hair, fitting a person with shadow powers.
    • Downplayed with Kinley, who has red hair which goes with her fire powers, though her fire is blue. She also wears a blue jacket and has blue eyes.
    • Adrian has platinum blonde hair with a cyan streak, and she specializes in using ice and water conduits.
    • Sydney has yellowish-green eyes and wears a partially yellow mask, and uses electric conduits.
  • Unfamiliar: Pinyon, prior to meeting her bird familiar, already dressed much like one with her feathery hat and cloak.

    Web Original 
  • Both used seriously and spoofed in the Whateley Universe, since it is a comic book world. For example, Fireball has the manic nature, the clothes, the coloring... but she dyes her hair to make it look flame-colored, she's really a strawberry blonde.
  • Land Games: All of the main characters are genetically engineered to perfectly represent their families, which typically includes giving them eyes and hair the same as their House colors.
  • Averted in Worm in which everyone with powers starts as a physically normal person. While some change appearance later or due to their power(s) most don't even go that far, instead faking stuff like fancy hair as part of their disguise.

    Western Animation 
  • Transformers:
    • In Transformers: Animated Constructicons look remarkably like human construction workers, right down to the hardhats and exposed buttcracks.
    • Particularly bad in the original animated series and Cybertron, where (in a bizarre variation on Morphic Resonance) characters' bodies include vehicle mode parts for vehicles they don't actually turn into yet, making it seem like quite a coincidence that the hood of a Lamborghini Countach just happens to look exactly like Sideswipe's chest.
    • For a sort of odd reverse example, see the original series episode "Only Human". Rodimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Springer and Arcee get turned into humans, and promptly manage to find a set of four outfits which perfectly match their robotic color schemes.
  • In the X-Men adaptation X-Men: Evolution (as well as in some of his other continuities, such as the mainstream comics) the appropriately flame-empowered Pyro has orange hair that sticks up, in what is a very classic use of this trope.
  • In one episode of Sushi Pack, an actor who played an electricity-themed villain in a Show Within a Show had a face that was extremely similar to his character's electric face.
  • The "fire-powered" character with the stand-up two-tone hair, etc. described in the Trope blurb is a perfect description of Hotstreak (pictured) from Static Shock (except that he's a villain, not a hero). To top it off, he already had his hair dyed like that before he got his powers.
  • In Thunder Cats 2011 Young King Lion-O is obviously marked as The Chosen One, destined to master his Ancestral Weapon, the Sword of Omens, a sword that Only the Chosen May Wield with accompanying Psychic Powers. His mane is a paler shade of its Power Crystal, his Occult Blue Eyes, a paler shade of its cross-guard. This phenotype is shared by his father and all other ancestors shown wielding it.
  • We Bare Bears: In "Dog Hotel" Joshy, the guy running the desk at the Waggington Hotel for Dogs, is an excitable young man who not only acts a lot like a Big Friendly Dog, but has a haircut that makes him look like he has dog ears.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Gabriel Agreste uses a moth as the symbol for his fashion house, and has a lot of subtle moth motifs in the décor of his mansion. Both the fashion line and the mansion are established facts in the Origins episode, and so were clearly built up well before he became Hawkmoth.
  • Much of Elmore's residents in The Amazing World of Gumball are Animate Inanimate Objects, and what they are is usually relevant to what they do:
    • Most medical professionals on the show are bandages.
    • Three separate babies are sippy cups.
    • Inverted with the pest controller, who is a cockroach.
    • Mike the Microphone Guy, the news reporter, and his cameraman, Cam.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: Mr. Turner's boss Ed Leadley runs a pencil-making company called Pencil Nexus and happens to have the appearance of a used up pencil due to being short, wearing a yellow coat as well as pink pants and his head being pointed with hair resembling graphite.
  • The Owl House: Emperor Belos is a dark and evil monster wearing dark armor and a golden mask while cloaking himself in white. This is a fantastic visual metaphor for how Belos is a monstrously vile man who uses an admirably-iron will to personally armor himself against the reality of his vile misdeeds and overall moral wrongness, while projecting a veil of righteousness twofold: first painting himself to his "fellow humans" as a noble crusader protecting humanity (although Belos is the only one fooled by this once his true identity is revealed to said humans), and deceiving the Boiling Isles denizens around him into regarding him as their Necessarily Evil Messianic figure.

 
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Andrealphus & Stella

Fittingly enough big brother Andrealphus is the Blue Oni to Stella's Red (and not just because of the ice theming). While she's quick to anger and go for the blunter, curler assassination, Andrealphus is the one to remind her of the bigger picture, instructing her to be patient, take in all the details and then strike, rather than kill Stolas, as all that would do is transfer all his owning to Octavia.

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