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"Fox Publications was the poverty row of comic books, their superheroes all completely and utterly derivative. I once asked the creator of the Blue Beetle, their most important character, what on earth inspired him to create this character named after a bug? He told me in two words: Green Hornet. (laughs) Well, there you go!"
Jim Steranko, Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle
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Codenames are cool. From superheroes to soldiers, spies to secret agents, many people agree that having a codename is an easy way to up your coolness factor... as long as it's not actually an Atrocious Alias, of course. Two particularly common ways of having a codename for your character is by using either a color or an animal. But who's to say you can't combine both?

Most Writers Are Human, and as has been noted before, most humans are very reliant on their sense of vision, making it easy to see (pun not intended) why many writers would opt to give their characters a color-based codename. Animals, meanwhile, can obviously be found everywhere on Earth, and the history of humanity's relationship (whether positive or negative) with animals go back millennia, in both real life and mythologies from all over the world. It's no surprise then to find important characters choosing a name (or being given one) based on a particular animal that might fit their personal motifs. It also helps that both the concept of colors and animals each come with their own cultural associations and stereotypes, thus increasing the appeal to writers who wish to include some form of symbolism in a character's codename.

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This also applies to groups of characters or even organizations, many of which may purposefully choose a specific color-and-animal combination to evoke certain ideas and imagery. It also applies to objects of great importance, especially if they come with their own symbolic values. Expect to see a lot of the usual animals popular for their badassery like the Noble Bird of Prey, Panthera Awesome, or Noble Wolf. In Speculative Fiction, more fantastical animals (such as dragons) might be used instead.

Note that this does not cover cases where the color-and-animal combination describes the character, as opposed to being a name for that character. For example, the 'red dog' in Clifford the Big Red Dog doesn't count because Clifford is a (big) red dog; here the color-and-animal combination is a descriptor of who, or rather what, Clifford is. On the other hand, the character Akainu (aka inu literally translating to "red dog") from One Piece counts because it is used as that character's codename. In a similar vein, this trope does not cover cases where an animal character is called by their literal coloration and species; that falls under A Dog Named "Dog". To illustrate: the pink panther called The Pink Panther does not count, but the diamond called Pink Panther does as it is intended to be a catchy and evocative name for a plot-relevant object.

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See also Color Character, which is specifically about masked characters adopting a color-based alternative name. Like that trope, this trope may or may not be Colour-Coded for Your Convenience. Sister trope to Adjective Animal Alehouse, as the practice of naming bars, inns, and taverns often (but not always) employs this particular naming scheme. A subtrope of both Colourful Theme Naming and Animal Theme Naming.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • The eponymous character of Golden Bat, notable for being a bat-themed superhero character introduced all the way back in 1930, eight whole years before Superman and nine years before Batman!
  • In One Piece, the Marine Admirals all have this as their Nom de Guerre. The first one we meet in the story is Aokiji (Blue Pheasant), the second is Kizaru (Yellow Monkey), and the third is Akainu (Red Dog). The animal halves of their codenames are a reference to the three animal companions of the Japanese folktale Momotaro, which adds an extra layer of Religious and Mythological Theme Naming. Later on we also meet Fujitora (Wisteria Tiger) and Ryokugyu (Green Bull) after the timeskip, as replacement Admirals for the now-resigned Aokiji and the now-promoted Akainu.
    • There are also the characters who were considered for the position of Admiral, Momousagi (Pink Hare) and Chaton (Brown Pig).
    • Shiki from the movie Strong World has the epithet Golden Lion.
  • The titular character of Black Cat is called that to tie in with his bad luck themes, as he is number XIII in the organization Chronos.
  • Accel World: The main character's avatar is named Silver Crow. There was also his predecessor Chrome Falcon.
    • The spinoff Accel World / Dural: Magisa Garden has Orange Raptor.
  • There's the Classy Cat-Burglar Crimson Scorpion from Steam Detectives.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics seems to like this trope a lot:
    • Spider-Man is famous for his many animal-named characters. Some notable examples:
      • Black Cat, his off-again on-again Love Interest who had luck-based powers for a little while. She teeters between being an antivillain and antihero, depending on the story.
      • Silver Sable, who like Black Cat is a female antihero (sometimes antivillain) and occasional love interest for the Wallcrawler.
      • Scarlet Spider, an alternative spider-identity often taken up by clones of Peter Parker such as Ben Reilly and Kaine.
      • There's also the criminal Black Tarantula.
      • Taking Alice in Wonderland as inspiration, there's White Rabbit.
      • For a more mythical flavor of 'animal', there's also the Green Goblin and his many variations.
    • The various characters who have held the title of Black Panther combines this with Captain Ethnic, as does the supporting character White Wolf.
    • Marvel Comics has had a number of women who have used the name Black Widow over the years, the most notable being Natasha Romanov. Zigzagged Trope in the sense that the animal's name isn't 'widow', it's specifically the 'black widow' (spider), which incorporates a color into it.
    • Eric O'Grady's LMD, the third Ant-Man, took the codename of Black Ant eventually.
    • There's a family of Puerto Rican legacy superheroes who all go by the name White Tiger.
    • The newest member of the Black Order is called Black Swan.
    • In an example of using an animal appendage as a name, Philippines' hero Red Feather from the Triumph Division mentioned his codename comes from a bird.
    • Korea has the superheroine White Fox, who takes after the legend of the gumiho.
    • Squadron Supreme has Blue Eagle among their ranks.
    • Marvel Comics also has several Native American heroes who go by Red Wolf.
    • There are a number of characters who have held the name Red Raven, the first two being mother and daughter superheroes while the third is a Wild West villain whose real name is... Redford Raven.
  • DC Comics has their fair share too:
    • Not unlike Spider-Man, Batman has a number of examples of this trope:
      • Red Robin, aka the third holder of the Robin identity Tim Drake.
      • Speaking of Tim, while "Redbird" was originally the name Tim gave the car he used as Robin post-Flashpoint, it was used as a second hero identity by Damian Wayne.
      • Black Bat, the second identity of Batgirl (2000).
      • Warren White, who goes by the supervillain name The Great White Shark.
      • Two characters have used the villain name Black Spider, the first one crossing over with Captain Ethnic.
    • Black Canary, one of DC's premier martial artists and whose canary theme comes from her signature Canary Cry.
    • The three characters who have donned the name of Blue Beetle throughout the years, as well as other Beetle-characters like the Black Beetle.
    • Wonder Woman has a number of villains all under the name of Silver Swan.
    • Bronze Tiger of Suicide Squad fame.
    • Firestorm features villains named Black Bison and Silver Deer.
    • Aquaman's villain Black Manta technically counts, and even doubles as a Captain Ethnic (although his ethnicity wasn't revealed until ten years after his introduction).
    • DC has two characters that go by the name of Golden Eagle. The first is a superhero related to Hawkman. The second is... a member of a white supremacist group called the Aryan Brigade.
    • Birds of Prey featured a minor villainess who used the codename White Canary.
    • Silver Monkey, a rogue of Green Arrow.
    • The White Lionesses are a deadly all female group of martial artists Richard Dragon has fought.
    • Member of DC's Freedom Fighters Black Condor. The JL of China would face the Freedom Fighters of China, one of its members being codenamed Blue Condor.
    • DC's Batmen of All Nations had Raven Red.
    • Member of Justice League International Crimson Fox.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Russian Star Wars Fan Film F.O.R.S., all agents of the eponymous secret Government Agency of Fiction have aliases consisting of a color and a bird name. When they rope the protagonist into investigating the Force sensitivity outbreak in modern-day Moscow, he is assigned the codename "Black Penguin", while his direct supervisor is known only as the "Pink Duckling".

    Films - Live-Action 
  • The Cheap Detective. The characters mention their nicknames while talking to each other. Colonel Schlissel is the Black Fox, Paul DuChard is the Silver Wolf, Marlene DuChard is the White Swan. Also Played for Laughs: two minor Nazi officers are called the Gray Rabbit and the Blue Chipmunk.
  • The pink diamond with a panther-shaped flaw of The Pink Panther fame is called... well, take a guess.
  • Black Hawk Down: The eponymous Black Hawk is a type of military helicopter that the US army used in the battle the film is about.
  • In Central Intelligence a mysterious traitor to the CIA is known to call themselves the "Black Badger". During the film, one of their contacts mocks the melodrama of this by alluding to the notorious "honey badger don't give a f***" meme.

    Literature 
  • There were a couple of classic pulp heroes by the name of the Black Bat, a bat-themed vigilante with more than a passing resemblance to the popular DC superhero.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Super Sentai one of the default naming schemes for teams follows this pattern:
  • The original Blackadder was Prince Edmund, a cowardly spare heir in the Plantagenet household. In order to make himself sound tougher, he adopted the moniker of the Black Adder, which became the family name of his various hapless descendants.
  • Team names in Legends of the Hidden Temple fit this trope. All the groups are named after a color and an animal (Red Jaguars, Blue Barracudas, Purple Parrots, Silver Snakes, Orange Iguanas, and Green Monkeys).

    Radio 
  • The titular character of the immensely-popular The Green Hornet, most notable today for the 1960s TV series that launched the career of Bruce Lee in the West.

    Video Games 
  • In Digimon World 2, there are three Guard Teams which most of the characters are a part of, and the player character must choose to join one of them at the beginning of the game. Two of the teams are named Gold Hawk and Blue Falcon, with the third one - Black Sword - being the odd one out. However, the Gold Hawks in Japan are actually called Silver Cross, thus making the Blue Falcons the only true example of this trope in the game.
  • The eponymous three houses of Fire Emblem: Three Houses are all named in accordance to this trope: Black Eagles, Golden Deer, and Blue Lions.
  • The vehicles in F-Zero are mostly named after animals or animal appendages, and many of them also combine it with a color. This includes the Blue Falcon (piloted by none other than Captain Falcon himself), the Golden Fox, the Red Gazelle, the White Cat, the Green Panther, and the Black Bull (piloted by Black Shadow himself).
  • Oblivion has the Gray Fox, the mysterious head of the Thieves Guild.
  • The Red Dragon in Mortal Kombat is a criminal syndicate founded by the half god Daegon. The Black Dragon, which Kano is a member of, is a splinter group founded by Red Dragon members who disagreed with the code of honor of the Red Dragon.
  • Darius: The game's Player Character is Silver Hawk, and one of the Recurring Bosses is Red Crab, which is exactly what you think.
  • In the Metal Gear series, Frank Jaeger was codenamed "Gray Fox".

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Several real-world political parties are named like this, most famously the Black Panther Party who share their name with the popular Marvel superhero.
  • Google Shared Documents can be set to an anonymous mode, where it randomly selects a color/animal codename for each participant (ex, Green Monkey, Magenta Platypus, etc.).
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