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Hair Color Spoiler

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A Hair Color Spoiler is a plot twist that is spoiled by bizarre and improbable hair styles often seen in anime. In its most common form, a character is introduced who is related to an existing character. The writers might start dropping hints right away about their relationship, but it doesn't matter — you already noticed that only those two characters have that exact shade of blue hair.

For a rather more blatant genetic hint, see Chocolate Baby or Same Race Means Related. Sub-trope to Flashy Protagonists, Bland Extras.

Since this is a spoiler trope, there will be unmarked spoilers below.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Familiar of Zero stretches this out. In season one, we learn about Tabitha's backstory and meet her mother, who has the same exact shade of light blue hair as her. Her butler, Mister Exposition, tells us about Tabitha's evil uncle who usurped the throne. The story is dropped until season three, which introduces the mastermind behind the mastermind behind the mastermind of the events of season one. He wears a crown, and his hair color is the exact same shade of blue as Tabitha's and her mother's. In the Light Novels, there's Isabella, who also has blue hair and she turns out to be the daughter of Joseph and her Jerkass cousin. And the much bigger reveal is Josette herself, who is not only Tabitha's long-lost twin sister, but she also has blue hair and is very identical in appearance.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Season 5, it is supposed to be a huge reveal that Leon Wilson is actually the younger brother of season villain Zigfried von Schroeder. Except that the von Schroeder brothers have pink and purple hair, suggesting a family resemblance.
  • In Faster Than a Kiss, Fumino, at one point, meets a woman who, at the end of the chapter, is revealed to be Shouma's mother/Kazuma's stepmother, completely shocking Fumino...even though the woman looked almost exactly like Shouma, even down to the hairstyle.
  • In PandoraHearts, Jack's identity is kept mysterious for some time...except the series pretty heavily uses similar hair/eye colors for families, and Jack has literally Oz's hair except with a braid attached. Little surprise when it's revealed that Oz is his descendant and partial reincarnation. But then, there was that plot point dropped a while back that the Oz we knew might not be the 'real' Oz Vessalius... and then the recent point about how Oz's body is actually Jack's...
  • Naruto:
    • The Fourth Hokage being Naruto's father was guessed by readers from the moment he first appeared (in the first chapter), mostly due to their similar hair and facial structures.
    • And in hindsight, Karin being a member of the Uzumaki clan was foreshadowed by her sharing the red hair that also belonged to Kushina, Naruto's mother. Nagato having dark red head also foreshadowed him being an Uzumaki.
    • Furthermore, many fans guessed that Tobi was in some way Obito Uchiha even AFTER he claimed to be Madara Uchiha in part because of his identical short, spiky black hair. Not soon after Tobi was introduced, fans speculated he was Obito.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam AGE is very guilty about this.
    • Approximately 75% of the fans knew that Flit and Emily would end up together, mainly because images of Flit's future son, Asemu, show him with blonde hair like Emily and not some shade of purple or blue as would be expected if Yurin was the mother.
    • Likewise, fans knew that Asemu and Romary would end up together for different reasons, namely; Flit's future grandson, Kio, is basically a Gender Flipped version of Romary and there is no way in hell that Flit would allow Kio to live if he was biologically fathered by Zeehart, who is a Vagan. For the matter, Zeehart is The Mole, so somehow Romary has no choice (plot-wise) but to end up with Asemu.
    • This trope coupled with the Dark-Hound's entire design basis, spoils Captain Ash's identity.
  • Betterman: The heroine's brother has gone missing. The good guys are repeatedly helped by a mysterious man with the same odd and otherwise unique tri-colored hair shock the heroine has. It's her brother, right? No. It turns out, the mystery man obtained the brother's appearance by eating a seed that grew from his body.
  • In Saint Seiya, people inhabited by a god have hair colors not found in nature. Andromeda Shun has green hair, though this is never remarked upon by anyone. Come the Hades plot arc....
    • This is Anime only, as in the Manga, both Shun and Saori are brunettes. Also, many of the Anime blue-haired characters are originally blonde, which includes Julian Solo. Considering how many non-god unnatural hair colors there are in the Anime, it's hardly a spoiler for anybody.
  • Black Butler: Combined with eye colors for the angels. Angela and Ash are the only character to have white hair and purple eyes (though Angela's hair is blueish). Turns out they're the same being.
  • In Attack on Titan, this is a trait several of the Titan Shifters have in regards to their Titan forms. For instance, Eren's Titan form shares his eye and hair color, as does Annie's. Reiner's titan form shares similar build and hair color, but Bertolt's form is bald and only shares the eye color. Notably, Bertolt sweating profusely matches the Colossal's emissions of steam.
  • In My-HiME the fact that Reito and Mikoto are brother and sister is pretty easy to guess since they have the exact same hair and eye colors, but it takes close to the entire series for a proper reveal.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • In the episode of the Fairy Tail anime where Mystogan is unmasked, it blatantly shows tufts of blue hair, a shade which is shared only by Jellal. It then goes a step further by showing he has the exact same tattoo as Jellal around his right eye. This came as a huge frustration to fans of the manga, especially the latter hint, which wasn't even given in the manga, making The Reveal much more surprising.
    • The manga also makes the relationship between Jellal and Siegrain painfully obvious. While the anime dismisses their shared information and completely identical appearance by stating that they're twins at the earliest possible point, the manga gives no explanation, and viewers are left with two identical characters who know what one another is up to, as well as the knowledge that one of the characters is able to create temporary magical copies of himself. It's still treated like a big twist when it turns out that Siegrain is Jellal's magical copy.
  • In retrospect, in Soul Eater the late-series reveal that Asura and Death the Kid are brothers is hinted at by them both having black hair with white patterns in it.
  • In Sailor Moon, there's some mystery regarding the strange princess from the Moon Kingdom. It's eventually revealed to be Usagi...after several earlier episodes had shown Tuxedo Mask having dreams about a woman in a princess dress and the exact same odango hairstyle as Usagi.
  • Ririka from Nurse Angel Ririka SOS has bright blonde hair despite all of her family members, and almost all of her peers, having brown or black hair. This seems like a typical case of the protagonist having abnormal hair to distinguish them as important, however her hair color is more than symbolic. Ririka is the reincarnation of the original Nurse Angel, who was also blonde, and is actually the Flower of Life she has been looking for the entire series.
  • In Penguindrum, the fact that the three Takakura siblings are Not Blood Siblings is foreshadowed by the fact that none of them have remotely the same hair color. Also, the fact that Masako and Kanba are biologically brother and sister is hinted at the fact that they both have red hair, though Masako's is a slightly different shade.

    Asian Animation 
  • The Stinger of BoBoiBoy Movie 2 features a man in red armor - who also has a white hair streak in his dark hair, just like the title character. BoBoiBoy's father never appeared onscreen until that moment, and officials confirmed the armored hero to be BoBoiBoy's dad. The prequel series Mechamato showcases the armored hero's younger days, and also reveals that Tok Aba, BoBoiBoy's grandfather, used to have white in his black hair too.

  • Crazy, Stupid, Love: Hannah being Cal and Emily's daughter is spoiled due to the mother and daughter having the same red hair.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo: Albert, the son of the Count's mortal enemy Fernand, is turned into the Count's bastard son raised as Fernand's. This is foreshadowed by having the future Count and Albert's mother (who marries Fernand while pregnant) be dark-haired, while Fernand is blond.

  • In A Brother's Price, all the princesses have red hair, which is even called "royal red" because they all have it. Princess Halley averts a hair color spoiler by dying her hair before she goes undercover to solve a crime.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, which house a person belongs to can often be determined simply by their appearance. This becomes a huge plot point in the first book, when Ned realizes that all King Robert's children are blonde, like the Lannister family on their mother's side, as opposed to having the dark hair associated with House Baratheon. He checks the lineage archives and goes to inspect all of Robert's illegitimate children (there are tons), and not a single one is fair-haired. It's crucial to Ned realizing that the King's children are the product of an affair Queen Cersei had with her twin brother Jaime and that one of Ned's close friends Jon Arryn had also discovered this (though despite initial evidence, the Lannisters were actually not the ones behind Arryn's death).
  • Warrior Cats: Bluestar is secretly Mistyfoot and Stonefur's mother but she gave them up to RiverClan as kits. This is a twist, except that they're the only cats around with blue-grey fur.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Producers of Agent Carter tried to avert this. Bridget Regan plays a proto-Black Widow type assassin. She's a natural redhead but producers had her dye the hair blonde to try and hide the twist (and to avoid the implication that all Black Widows are redheads).
  • Arrow had this with the Queen family. No attention is ever drawn to it, but it's easy to notice that her Oliver, Moira, and Robert are all blondes while Thea is a brunette. It's revealed in the second season that she's the biological daughter of Malcolm Merlyn.
  • In Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, a new senshi appears at the end of an episode, sporting blue cat ears, a blue tail, and blue hair. It is 'revealed' in the next episode that she really is Luna, the, you know, blue-furred cat.
  • Subverted in Scrubs. Dr Cox is seen going on a date with a blonde, after he's spent the whole episode having sexual tension with the blonde Dr Miller. But it turns out it's Jordan, who has just dyed her hair blonde.
  • In the miniseries Tin Man Azkadelia being DG's sister is guessed ahead of time if one notes that the two of them are the only female characters with long dark hair in the OZ.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Alexa Bliss could be identified as one of the women in Triple H's entrance at WrestleMania 30 because of the dyed blue tips of her hair.
  • Subverted with Kaitlyn's mystery attacker in 2012. The security footage revealed it was a blonde — putting Beth Phoenix, Kelly Kelly and Natalya Neidhart under suspicion. But it turned out to be Aksana wearing a blonde wig.

    Video Games 
  • In AI: The Somnium Files, Iris has bright pink hair that her mother doesn't. Once you learn that the pink-haired corpse seen in various people's Somniums isn't actually Iris, you put two and two together real quick.
  • In Chrono Trigger, after traveling to the Kingdom of Zeal in 12,000 BC, you meet Queen Zeal and her children, Schala and Janus. The three of them have the exact same shade of pale blue hair nobody else in the game has... except Magus, who is actually an older Janus.
  • In The Legend of Dragoon, the revelation that party-member Meru and penultimate villain Lloyd are both Winglies is spoiled by their platinum (with a blue tint for Meru) hair, which is exclusive to Winglies.
  • Pokémon:
    • In Pokémon Black and White, the relation between N and Ghetsis is played as a very dramatic twist. However, more fans were speculating some sort of relationship before we even knew much of who they were, starting the moment they noticed such close shades of green and distinctive curls/fray/whatever-you-want-to-consider-it. Strangely enough, it turns out N was adopted; good luck trying to figure out how that one works.
    • It's easily missed on the first playthrough, however fans with a watchful eye will notice that in Pokémon Sun and Moon the only four major characters with green eyes and blond hair are Lillie, Gladion, Lusamine, and Mohn. Late in the game it's revealed that they're a family. Lusamine is explicitly noted to be Older Than They Look (looking as if she's in her late teens or early twenties when she's really in her forties), which only makes the reveal more obvious. The anime didn't even try to hide this, as it showed a picture of Lusamine and her children together only a few episodes in and had Lillie note that Gladion is her brother in his introduction episode.
  • Tales of Destiny: The only party member with hair similar to Rutee's (dark, cut short) is Leon. Guess who's her brother?
  • Notably avoided in Last Scenario. A One Degree of Separation twist is hidden by the fact that one character's hair changed color, and by the time that fact is revealed, the player probably won't think to connect them to a random person in someone else's backstory.
  • In Golden Sun games, only Adepts ever have Anime Hair in wacky colors and styles, usually reflecting their elemental affinity. Knowing this, anybody picking up Golden Sun: Dark Dawn will immediately identify Amiti (cyan-blue) as a Mercury Adept, and Blados (dark green) and Chalis (pink) as Adepts of some sort. Amiti's blue hair is a twofer, since he lives in an area otherwise exclusive to non-Adepts with brown or black hair. This gives away the fairly early reveal that he's not entirely of local stock.
  • Used in the Fire Emblem series occasionally:
    • When you first meet Julia in the second generation of Genealogy of the Holy War, her white hair is a big clue that she's related to either Deirdre or the Freege family. Given the context, it's unlikely to the be the latter, and once you open up her Holy Blood screen, it's very clear that she's Deirdre's daughter with Arvis.
    • Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, the Interquel to the above, also has Sara, a Mysterious Waif with silvery white hair. It's pretty much a dead giveaway that she has connections to the Loptr Church, specifically, that she's their leader Manfroy's granddaughter.
    • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade has the Big Bad, Nergal, whose hair color is a teal-green shade (though thanks to his turban, only his beard can be clearly seen). This fact, along with sidequests in Hector's Tale, heavily imply that he is the father of Ninian and Nils, and thus everything he did was all so he could reunite with them. However, The Dark Side Will Make You Forget then tragically sets in, while Ninian and Nils are themselves too young to remember their parents.
    • In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, Joshua shares the same pale skin and deep red hair of his mother Queen Ismaire. This makes The Reveal that he's the missing heir far less surprising.
    • A notable example that actually plays with this trope appears in Radiant Dawn, where the character Pelleas has blue hair and eyes while his mother Almedha has green hair and red eyes (which is an example of the trope in itself for anyone who's played Path of Radiance) and his father, Ashnard, the deceased king of Daein, has blue hair and black eyes. However, while Ashnard is cruel and ambitious and Almedha is cunning and secretive, Pelleas doesn't share any of these characteristics, instead being just a naive, well-meaning young man. To the shock of everyone involved (but not any player with the least bit of savvy that has picked up on these cues), Pelleas turns out to be completely unrelated to the pair; an orphan Almedha started believing was her son out of grief of having lost her real one. Their real son is still alive, incidentally, and has black hair, red eyes, his father's pale skin, and many visual similarities to his mother.
    • Pretty much everyone correctly guessed that the mysterious Masked Knight in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is really Celica's long-lost brother, Conrad. Even with the mask on, he's got the exact same shade of red hair as she does, which they both inherited from their father.
    • Played with in Fire Emblem: Three Houses where everyone directly related to Sothis, the Goddess has distinctly green hair and eyes. What throws this off is that there are several other characters with similar coloration who are unrelated, though close inspection shows that their exact shades of green are different and likely fall under Hair Color Dissonance. Two other characters, Mercedes and her younger half brother Jeritza/Emile are also easily identified as being related due to having the same shade of pale blond, and the story doesn't even attempt to hide the relationship between Annette and her father Gilbert, with her even describing him as someone with hair the same color as hers.
  • Little Busters!!: Although the two girls couldn't be more different in other respects, the fact that Haruka and Kanata have the exact same shade of pink/purple hair — and the fact that they both have identical hair bobbles — is a pretty obvious sign from early on that they're related. Naturally, the game treats whatever relationship they might have as a total mystery until the reveal.
  • Lufia & The Fortress of Doom: Lufia's iconic blue hair, which makes it somewhat predictable that her expy Seena from Lufia: the Legend Returns will have an exact same twist that she's Erim the Sinistral of Death in a disguise.
    • Subverted with Rise of the Sinistrals, however. Tia also has blue hair, but isn't connected to Lufia or Erim at all.
  • In The World Ends with You, you'll probably assume from the box art that the two blondes with blue eyes and similar clothing styles are siblings. They even show up together; it's actually surprising when Rhyme mentions she actually just met Beat a few days ago. They are siblings, but she's lost that memory. The matter doesn't come up until near the end of the game, and Neku is surprised at the reveal... but Beat is surprised Neku hadn't figured it out.
    • In the sequel, NEO: The World Ends with You, the party run into a mysterious stranger wearing a hood and facemask. While they have no idea who he is, many other characters recognise him as Neku returning to the Reapers' Game after a three-year absence. However, any player familiar with the first game will immediately notice something's off, as while his hair was originally bright orange, here it's blond. Sure enough, while he is a returning character, he's not Neku, but the aforementioned Beat. When the real Neku shows up later on he looks much closer to his original design, orange hair and all.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 1 almost every Homs character has a normal hair color, which is a rarity in the genre. The only exception is Alvis, who has Mystical White Hair similar to the High Entia he serves as an oracle for. By the end of the game, it's revealed that Alvis isn't a Homs, after all. Shulk and company simply assumed he was.
  • In Phantasy Star Online 2, a mysterious girl that you keep encountering has blue twintails that turn orange at the end. The popular Idol Singer Quna has orange twintails that turn blue at the end. They're the same person.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Ends up being a Red Herring in Final Fantasy VII, where Sephiroth and Aerith's similar hairstyles end up being of no relevance. This was intended to foreshadow a twist where Sephiroth and Aeris turned out to be half-siblings, but this was lost when the plot was changed to incorporate Jenova.
    • Some have noted half-jokingly that the pairings in Final Fantasy VIII match up characters based on their hair colour. This gives away that Quistis is a Romantic False Lead.
  • In Advance Wars: Days of Ruin, there are some fairly important connections between some of the characters that aren't immediately disclosed – unless, that is, you pay attention to who has whitish-blue hair. That said, simply realising that the characters in question are members of the same family doesn't tell the whole story; there's more than one way to be genetically related to someone in a series with cloning technology…
  • In Devil May Cry, one of the numerous clues that Nero is Vergil's son and Dante's nephew is obviously the fact that he has the same white hair as the sons of Sparda yet it wasn't formally revealed until the fifth game. Even Nero himself picked up on this and suspected Dante was his father before meeting Vergil.
  • In Life Is Strange: Before the Storm, Rachel Amber has strawberry blond hair while both her parents have dark brown hair. It turns out that her father's mistress Sera who has similar hair to Rachel is her biological mother.
  • In Your Turn to Die, resident loose cannon Sou Hiyori has greenish-teal hair, while his Morality Pet Kanna Kizuchi has lime green hair. They are estranged siblings, with Kanna having been adopted out of the family.
  • A heavily implied version occurs in Stardew Valley. While Abigail's purple hair is said to be dyed at first, if she marries the player character, she admits that she can't remember the last time she dyed it. This, alongside numerous other hints dropped by the game, implies that she's actually the daughter of the Wizard, the only other character with purple hair.

  • The webcomic But I'm a Cat Person is all in greyscale except for green spot-coloring...and the eyes and hair (or, in Miranda's case, hair decs) of certain characters, mostly Beings and their Masters. If you see someone with colorful hair, odds are, they're going to be important.
  • Happens several times in Drowtales, to the point that fans have learned to look out for this trope when new characters are introduced, despite (or perhaps because) of the fact that most drow actually dye their hair from its natural white.
    • Possibly invoked by Kalki, who has light purple hair that is actually between the shades of her biological parents, Mel'arnach Val'Sarghress and Snadhya'rune Vel'Sharen. The latter was something that fans had already guessed due to this trope and a Shrug of God that more or less confirmed it, but the former might be where this trope is invoked since it's implied that her hair was white originally and was dyed, perhaps as a tribute to the other half of her lineage.
    • There's also an extremely subtle one that you'd probably only notice if you went and analyzed the colors yourself (and was first pointed out via Word of God) involving the same family: Ariel's natural hair color looks white, but it's actually an extremely light shade of purple, in fact a lighter shade of her sister Mel'arnach's. And it turns out Mel is actually her biological mother, not her sister as she's been led to believe.
    • Double subverted later, crossed with a case of Red Herring. When a dark elf with a dark purple hair was spotted in one scene, fans immediately noticed the identical hair color to Diva'ratrika, and assumed the elf was another Body Double or golem made to resemble the deceased Empress, with only a few people noticing that the arms were unusually muscular for a female. Turns out that it's actually Zhor, a character who had looked like a spider until now in a new body, but he still counts for this trope since he's actually the father of the aforementioned Ariel, meaning his hair color was a spoiler for a relation, but to the wrong character than first assumed.
  • In El Goonish Shive, when an illusion is used to disguise Grace as Adrian Raven's daughter, she basically looks like Susan. This inspired Dan to create a relationship between Susan and Raven. Something similar happened earlier with Diane, who Dan didn't even realize looked like Susan until readers pointed it out.

    Western Animation 
  • There are only a few characters in Jem with blue hair. It thus comes as little surprise that Craig Phillips is related to Stormer. Despite this, his girlfriend Aja thought he was married to Stormer when he introduces her as "Mary Phillips" in a later episode. Does this mean their hair isn't a dye job, then?

Alternative Title(s): Hair Colour Spoiler