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Inconsistent Coloring

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What a difference between issues #1 and #2.
All adown her back floated tresses of ruddy gold, with a slender jeweled circlet confining them at brow.
— Ozma as described in The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The diminutive brown-haired Princess was actually commanding him to give up his slaves.
— Ozma as described in Speedy in Oz by Ruth Plumly Thompson

Sometimes, characters' colors aren't consistent from one moment to the next, whether it's a very notable miscoloration in one panel, or consistently recolored across an entire issue. It's typically small details, such as eye color, but more major details, like hair color or costume colors, can be changed too.

It may be due to various artists. Maybe publishing issues. Maybe they're retconning or deliberately redesigning an outfit from here on out. Maybe they didn't care.

If it's actually supposed to be changing In-Universe, it also be due to things like dyes, different lighting in different environment, magic illusions, or shapeshifting, or some other explanation.

This is particularly prevalent in comics, including western comic books, newspaper comics, manga and Webcomics, but can happen with other media as well. Is frequently due to different artists but can also be due to retcons or just the artist being Off-Model.


Compare to Depending on the Artist, Adaptation Dye-Job, Early Installment Character Design Difference, Hair Color Dissonance, Unreliable Illustrator. Supertrope to Sudden Eye Color. Not to be confused with Eye Colour Change, which is where a character's eyes legitimately change color as part of the story.


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  • It's Happy Bunny: Happy Bunny has no official color. They're usually white, but they can also be a variety of other colors.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Bleach, Rangiku Matsumoto's hair varies between ginger and blonde.
  • Wandering Son:
    • Early on the characters rarely had a stationary color in colored artwork; even within the same volume would the colors change. Eventually the manga decided on certain colors for certain characters, such as Takatsuki having black hair instead of brown as originally depicted. However other colors, such as the exact shade of Nitori's brown hair, still changed between colored artwork until the very end.
    • The middle school uniforms have a very inconsistent coloring. The manga depicts the gakuran as varying shades of pastel colors, however the in-manga shading imply this is simply artistic license and that they're a normal black. The anime went with that interpretation.
  • ×××HOLiC has Yuuko's and Watanuki's eyes, which have been just about every color of the spectrum.
  • Kamui from X/1999, whose eyes have been blue, green, and purple in various pieces of artwork.
  • The mangaka of Miracle Girls justifies this, saying that the different colors were caused by problems made during the publishing process. The main twins' hair would change between varying tones of near white, blonde, and brown depending on the cover. Their official tone was a dark brown, which the anime uses.
  • The colored art for March Comes in Like a Lion portray the Kawamoto sisters with either black hair or brunette hair. Typically, the more detailed pieces, like the ones used for volume covers, will use brunette.
  • While the covers of Ranma ½ usually consistently show Male Ranma with black hair (though the highlight color may vary), Female Ranma's hair bounces off between black, brown, red, pink, purple, and blue. It's consistently red in the anime.
  • Naruto:
    • Ino from Naruto has been depicted with both blue eyes and green eyes in the manga, though she's usually green eyed. The anime uses tourqoise.
    • Boruto has purple eyes in The Last: Naruto the Movie but blue elsewhere.
    • Konohamaru had black, then brown eyes, and finally blue eyes.
    • In chapter 500 Mirai has reddish-brown eyes. In Naruto she has either brown eyes or red eyes. In the Boruto anime she has red eyes.
  • In Sherlock Hound, Moriarty's minion Smiley is green in the six episodes directed by Hayao Miyazaki, and brown in the other twenty episodes.
  • Aiko from Goodnight Punpun has been depicted with brown hair, red hair, and even teal hair. Her official color is a dark brown.
  • Shouko from A Silent Voice is frequently depicted in colored artwork with a near pink tone of hair. Canonically she has a dark brown hair but few artworks use the tone. The animated movie gives her reddish hair.
  • Triela from Gunslinger Girl is a Dark-Skinned Blonde however her skin tone is shaded in different ways. Early chapters often made her as light as the white characters, however later ones tend to shade her darker.
  • The pilot of Transformers Cybertron had a few shots where Optimus Prime's head had noticeably different coloring than what was used for the remainder of the series.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Chibiusa's friend Momoko had brown hair in the R and S seasons but switched to purple hair in SuperS. In the manga she has pink hair.
    • The hair color Usagi's mom switches between pink and blue in the manga. The first chapter depicted her with light brown hair. The 90s anime depicted her with dark blue hair while Sailor Moon Crystal originally opted for light purple in season 1 before also switching her to dark blue.
    • Rei's hair color in the 1990s anime changes depending on the episode. It's usually plain black but sometimes it's red-tinted and other times it's outright purple.
  • Dragon Ball's creator Akira Toriyama was famously kind of a lazy artist, and one of his quirks included never bothering to remember what color anything was supposed to be, which occasionally led to various inconsistencies. Many of these are caused by the manga occasionally being coloured but only with a limited palette, while the Shonen Jump cover artwork was almost always in full colour.
    • The first chapters in 1984/85 depicts Goku's dōgi in blue, but was quickly changed to red for the limited-colour manga page and orange for the full-colour artwork on the front of Shonen Jump. The anime in 1986 resolved it by starting Goku in blue before changing to red when he got the Turtle School uniform, to explain the change in-universe. Orange wouldn't be adopted by the anime until the Dragon Ball Z rebrand, but without an in-universe justification this time. Interestingly, flashback to material from the original anime kept the old red colouring!
    • Goku's equipment isn't immune to this either: Kinto'un, or The Flying Nimbus, is typically yellow but is often inked in purple or even blue by Toriyama. The sheath for Nyoi-bo, or Power Pole, was frequently purple, which was carried into the Full Colour versions. The anime used red from the limited-colour manga pages.
    • Bulma however may be the queen of this in the franchise. Her earliest art gave her hair a minty turquoise colour, which is what the anime used used all the way through Dragon Ball GT. Toriyama more consistently used lavender purple however, and this was used for her son Trunks even in the anime (who appears as a teenager from the future and then as a kid later on). Dragon Ball Super however uses baby blue for Bulma's hair and Future Trunks... but not Kid Trunks for some reason, who still has the correct lavender hair. The cause of all this? Toriyama never bothered keeping consistent with her hair colour and used what felt best at the time! Of course, as bad as Trunks flip-flopping between blue and lavender may be, it's still not as bad as that one time his hair was red.
    • Karin (Korin in dubs), the magical cat, is a different color anytime he appears on a cover, to accent his strangeness. In the anime adaptations, however, he's a consistent white, while Dragon Ball Online makes him dark blue.
    • In the original version of Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta and Nappa infamously have completely different color schemes in their first few appearances: Nappa's armor is black and brown instead of dark blue and yellow, while Vegeta has brown hair, orange boots and gloves and green armor instead of black hair and white and armor, boots and gloves. This is because the manga hadn't showed them in color yet, and the anime pulled an accidental Adaptation Dye-Job which was inexplicably reversed by the time they arrive on Earth. Dragon Ball Z Kai changes Vegeta's colours to the correct palette, but didn't bother for Nappa, who wasn't quite as obvious. Some of the video games retain one or both color schemes as alternate costumes.
  • Exaggerated in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, as part of its general... bizarreness. Whenever color is used (most notably in the anime adaptation), characters are known to change color schemes multiple times within the same scene, usually but not always for dramatic emphasis.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Tracey either has black hair or black hair with heavy green tints.
    • The switch to computer animation in late Johto caused this for several characters. For example, James' hair is either indigo, blue, or purple while Jessie's is either red, magenta, or purplish.
    • Misty's eye color has changed between blue and green many times. Since the switch to computer animation she usually is depicted as green eyed.
  • Hori's hair in Horimiya ranges from light auburn to a very dark brown in the original webcomic and official artwork. Confusingly, the manga makes it look like she has blonde hair since it doesn't have any screentone (and other characters with canonically lighter hair do).
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Dark Yugi (Yami Yugi): His eye color varies between art. In the Toei anime the color was red, which changed to purple in the second series. They've also been green, orange, brown, and blue, but it seems red is his most standard color in his official arts.
    • Ryo Bakura (Bakura Ryou): His eye color (and hair color) is never consistent across adaptations. They're blue or turquoise in the manga, green in the Toei anime, blue, purple or silver in the video games, brown in the second-series anime, and magenta red in The Darkside of Dimensions.
    • Dark Bakura (Yami Bakura): His eye color changes across adaptations, from purple in the manga and Toei anime to brown in the second series anime. They've also been turquoise in cover art, varying shades of purple and pink in the video games, and are blood-red in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links.
  • Pokémon Adventures:
    • Crystal either has brown hair or blue hair. Her original jacket is either white or pink.
    • Yellow's eye colour has changed from black to a range of brownish shades.
  • The video extract from Seton Academy: Join the Pack! used to illustrate Our Nudity Is Different demonstrates this. A naked mole rat girl who has taken human form is ashamed she has to wear clothes to school. When she can, she strips them off. In the same scene, her bra and knickers begin in purple but abruptly change to white, with no explanation given.
  • Tweeny Witches:
    • Arusu's eyes are either reddish-orange or gold, depending on the scene.
    • Atelia's eyes are either grey, green or blue depending on the scene.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love is War: During Onodera's Early-Bird Cameo in the anime, she's shown to have light pink hair similar to what she has in the manga (indeed, it's the only way you can tell it's supposed to be her since none of her face is visible). When she's properly introduced 4 episodes later, she's suddenly become a blonde.

    Asian Animation 
  • In the Simple Samosa episode "Carnival Chaos", the pink-colored Sher Singh, who runs the carnival, appears in yellow a couple of times with no explanation.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Incredible Hulk's first appearance he's gray; then from the 2nd issue on he's green (and is shown to be green in Flash Backs to the first issue). Much later it's re-retconned back to him being gray at first.
  • Triumph, in DC's Trinity miniseries, was drawn with at least four different hair colors... and they weren't similar. He started out blue, popped up with red and brown, and finally ended back where belonged at blonde.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • Characters in the comic originally had black eyes that would sometimes appear colored, however the colors weren't consistent. Eventually the Sonic Adventure era created an excuse to give Sonic green eyes, while everyone else was just assumed to have always looked that way. Their colors stayed stationary since then.
      • Amy had violet eyes at the beginning of the Sonic Adventure arc instead of her normal green.
      • Sonic initially had blue eyelids but was later changed to flesh-colored to match his game counterparts redesign in Sonic Adventure, then eventually went back to blue when the games also gave Sonic blue eyelids.
    • Sonic the Comic:
      • The comic had problems with eye colors in the Sonic Adventure arc. Porker Lewis' eyes changed from brown to blue and back. Everyone with black eyes before switched to colored eyes in the Sonic Adventure arc.
      • Sonic started out with flesh-colored eyelids, but then shifted to blue. Then the Sonic Adventure arc shifted them back to flesh-coloured.
  • Before he got his own comic, Midnighter's hair color frequently changed. This was because he was so rarely seen without his cowl that colorists never settled on a consensus. It was eventually explained as him constantly dyeing it different colors.
  • In her introduction, Storm from the X-Men had blue eyes when not using her powers. This was mostly kept up about a decade after her introduction, but in comics post 2000, it isn't terribly uncommon to see her drawn with brown eyes.
  • Batman's debut in Detective Comics #27 saw him wearing short purple gloves instead of the long black or blue gloves with the three blades on the sides. Then there's the fact that his cowl, cape, gloves, boots and Underwear of Power are alternately colored black or blue.
  • While Tim Drake's eyes are canonically blue in his early appearances, including the entirety of the Robin 80-Page Giant, he was occasionally given brown eyes by artists before his appearance was settled.
  • Black Canary is naturally black haired except when some artists mistake her for a natural blonde. The New 52 even retconned her into a blonde before later going back on that.
  • Bart Allen switches between brown, red, and auburn hair.
  • In his first published appearance, Orion's costume is red with purple trunks, boots and gloves — and his helmet is purpleish, too. When the original 11 issues were reprinted in semi-digest format on higher-quality paper, the purple became blue and the helmet became a shining metal that looked a lot like polished or stainless steel. That colour scheme has been used ever since, even forming the basis for a couple of costume redesigns.
  • The cover of The Beano Book 1965 shows Minnie the Minx and Little Plum blowing up a Biffo balloon. Minnie's jersey is red and yellow hoops, rather than the red and black the character is now associated with. But at the time, she'd have mostly been appearing in black and white or duotone, so the colour of the hoops was somewhat up for grabs.
  • DC is inconsistent on whether Barbara Gordon has green or blue eyes. She's most frequently depicted with blue eyes.
  • Star Wars: Kanan: Whether it's a problem of coloring or of attributing speech bubbles to the wrong characters Commander Grey and Captain Styles are occasionally depicted wearing each other's armor, which is rather confusing given that the differences in the way they've painted their armor is the only way to tell clone troopers in Billaba's battalion apart during missions as their armor is all concealing and identical otherwise.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): Some re-prints of some issues color Etta's red hair blonde, reflecting her Silver Age iteration, and Mala's blonde hair red reflecting her Silver Age iteration.
  • Most of Two-Faces earlier appearances had the scarred side of his face colored green, in later appearances the coloring on his scarred side has varied between purple, red, blue, gray, or black.
  • In the cartoon universe of The Powerpuff Girls, Blossom's ice breath is a glimmering light blue. In the DC comics, her ice breath is colored pink, prompting one of the writers to comment that it looks like she's barfing Pepto-Bismol.
  • In cartoons, Muttley was a light green. In the first Wacky Races comic book (Gold Key, May 1969), he was colored a deep green and his ears were unblackened. Ensuing issues of it as well as the spinoff had Muttley colored a pale yellow (his ears would eventually be blackened). One story, "Secret Weapon" (Hanna-Barbera Fun-In #5, Gold Key January 1971), had his paws uncolored.
    • It gets worse in issue #13 of Marvel's Laff-A-Lympics book. Dick Dastardly's trench coat is colored exactly like Dread Baron's (it adds since the story tells that they're brothers) while Muttley is colored identical to Mumbly—light blue face, orange fur (Mumbly's trench coat is orange).
  • The first issue of Invader Zim had Dib's eyes slowly morph from brown (their color in the show) to blue as the story went on. Recap Kid actually Lampshades it in the second issue.
  • Superman's costume, neglecting colouring errors, was coloured very inconsistently for many years after his introduction, particularly his shields, though his boots, belt and sometimes trunks often changed between issues or even between stories. His colour scheme didn't entirely stabilize until after World War II.

    Comic Strips 
  • Since most Newspaper Comics are printed in black and white, this trope can happen if a colored version is available. This can be seen in Garfield, where the house interior and appliances are not defined color-wise. Even Jon's outfit changes colors sometimes.
  • In some Peanuts color Sunday strips, Charlie Brown's trademark yellow shirt is a dark red, or green, or something else.
  • Dilbert:
    • In black and white daily strips, the point is lost that Asok the intern is meant to be Asian. He looks "white" as his face and hands are rendered in the same pale tones as Dilbert, Wally or Alice. However, in the color weekend strips, it is clear that his ethnicity is different. Owing to the limitations of monochrome publishing, this has effectively become an unintended version of this trope — Asok is white on weekdays and Asian at the weekend.
    • The colorized weekday comics from the official site are quite inconsistent about Ratbert's color. His official color is apparently orange, but he's been also colored yellow or gray. Bob the Dinosaur is almost always green (although the exact shade varies, as does the color of his belly and back ridges), but in at least one instance he became purple.
    • In one of the books of collected strips, Scott Adams points out that he didn't pick the colors for the Sunday strips; it was done by someone at the syndicate, and "they pick the worst times to add diversity to the cast." This was the annotation for a strip where the colorist made a bit character a "person of color" ... in the strip where he's stealing from the other workers.
  • Because The Phantom started out in black-and-white dailies, his costume has appeared in a wide variety of colors in international reprints. In the early strips, dialogue occasionally referred to his costume as being gray. When the strip expanded into color Sunday strips, it was depicted as grayish-purple (which may have been an attempt to depict it as gray where the color registration went wonky). After a while, it was acknowledged in-text that the costume was purple. Even now, it's depicted in a wide variety of shades, from dark purple to a bright almost-blue.
  • In Donald Duck's earliest comic strip appearances, his feathers were yellow instead of white.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Lion King (1994), Nala's eyes can be seen as changing from blue to green. In The Lion King: Six New Adventures, her eyes are gold. In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, her eyes are an electric blue. In The Lion King 1½, her eyes are green. They are back to blue in The Lion Guard. Whew.
  • In Mulan, Mulan's armor is mostly seen as green but also as blue and brown later in the movie.
  • Aurora has three eye colors in Sleeping Beauty: Brown eyes, purple eyes, and even black eyes. In at least one scene she changed between the three. Disney Princess merchandise portrays her consistently with purple eyes, making her the only princess with an unnatural eye color. Rereleases have fixed the film so that her eyes are more obviously purple. (Her dress also changes back and forth between blue and pink, but there's an in-universe reason for that.)
  • Strip "The King" Weathers from Cars normally has brown eyes, but when Chick Hicks crashes him at the end of the film, they somehow turn blue. They revert back to brown after he is helped by Lightning McQueen into reaching the finish line.
  • The Little Mermaid (1989): Sebastian's sclerae are colored white in the film, but they're yellow in all print media.
  • Cinderella:
    • In the original film, Cinderella has strawberry blonde hair (although it was light blonde when she was a child) and her ball gown is silver with white accents (although when she dances with the prince at the ball, the lighting makes it briefly look blue). In all print media, she has light blonde hair and her gown is blue with lighter blue accents. The first sequel also lightens her hair, though the third film brings back its original color.
    • In the sequels, Lady Tremaine's dress was changed from maroon to purple.
    • Drizella's hair was a dark shade of brown in the first film, a lighter brown in the second, and jet black in the third.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Mal of Descendants is shown to have green eyes most of the time (just like Dove Cameron, her portrayer). However, most of her dolls up until 2019 have hazel-brown eyes, while her appearance in Descendants: Wicked World depicts her with grey eyes.
  • Star Wars: The buttons on Darth Vader's chest panel aren't consistent. There is no in-universe explanation, but one can assume that it's due to parts being replaced as they break down or are damaged in combat. In Real Life, it's just down to the crew evolving the design as time and technology marched on:
    • In A New Hope, the two buttons on the top right of the panel are colored green (top button) and red (bottom button). The four switches at the bottom of the panel are colored white (far left) and gray (the remaining three). The same color scheme is present in Rogue One, Star Wars Rebels and the series finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
    • In The Empire Strikes Back, the green button was changed to blue. The colored switch was moved to the far right and changed to red. The three slots on the top left also now have red flashing lights. This color scheme is kept for Return of the Jedi.
    • In Revenge of the Sith, the top button was changed back to green. The colored switch was moved back to the far left, but retained the red color from Empire and Jedi. The red switch and the two top buttons now light up as well.
    • In addition to his chest panel, the color of the eye lenses on his face plate have also changed colors over the years. They were tinted red in A New Hope, Rogue One, Rebels and the Clone Wars epilogue, but are tinted black in most other media.

  • Warrior Cats:
    • Despite being the protagonist of the first Story Arc and having the most official images out of any character in the series, the artist of the series can't seem to decide whether Firestar should have tabby stripes, what shade of orange his fur is, whether he has white markings (especially on his face), and whether or not he has green eyes (the canon color) or yellow. In a particularly egregious example, on the book jackets of the Super Edition books, it shows him as having yellow eyes on the cover of Firestar's Quest, even though the actual cover has him with green eyes! The books themselves never refer to Firestar as a tabby, implying he's solid-coloured.
    • Brightheart has been described as being white with tortoiseshell patches, as being flecked instead of patched, as having white patches of fur, as being an outright tortoiseshell, and being a solid brown cat. Official art has also depicted her with brown eyes. She's officially a white furred cat with ginger patches and blue eyes.
    • Longtail's design is very inconsistent. He's referred to as brown and then less than fifty pages later is called silver. Apparently the reason for this is because the Erins have different views on what tabbies look like (one thinks they're brown and another silver). Vicky however believes Longtail to be grey.
    • Thistleclaw is usually described as a gray-and-white cat with amber eyes. However, he's also been described as a "dark brown tabby" in Bluestar's Prophecy, the very book he was introduced in, a "gray-white" tom in Sign of the Moon, and "pale" in Spottedleaf's Heart.
    • Dovewing's eye colour are inconsistent to the point of Memetic Mutation (though the fandom exaggerates it heavily). In several of the allegiances she's described as blue eyed until The Apprentice's Quest suddenly lists her as green, before being changed back to blue in Thunder and Shadow. Both of the covers for The Fourth Apprentice (and the Ultimate Guide) depict her with green eyes but the book's text describes her as golden eyed. Dovewing is first called green eyed in-text in Shattered Sky and it has stayed that way since. Fan consensus is that this confusion is all chocked up to Early Installment Character Design Difference and Depending on the Writer: Dovewing probably didn't have an eye colour but it was later decided to make her Dove's Wing reincarnation, resulting in the blue eyed retcon. Later on it was decided to make her green eyed in order to make her look as she does in illustrations, but that took several books to become concrete.
    • Ravenpaw's eyes are inconsistently either green or amber.
    • In general, this sort of inconsistency has happened a lot due to the amount of authors and the Loads and Loads of Characters in the series.
  • Land of Oz:
    • Ozma is described as having "tresses of ruddy gold" (strawberry blonde hair) in The Marvelous Land of Oz. Most official art dating back to Ozma of Oz portray her as a brunette, though some also portray Ozma with black hair or red hair as well. Subsequently, popular fanon depicts Ozma as a brunette and most adaptations portray her as any color but blonde. Return to Oz is one of the few adaptations where she is a blonde (and even then she doesn't have a reddish tone to her hair). Even 1914's The Patchwork Girl of Oz (which L. Frank Baum himself was directly involved with) portrays Ozma with brown hair. Amongst the Famous Forty not written by Baum, Ruth Plumly Thompson wrote Ozma as brown-haired and the McGraw's wrote her as black-haired.
    • W.W. Denslow's illustrations for the first book portray Dorothy with dark hair in Girlish Pigtails but John R. Neill's illustrations used for most of L. Frank Baum's books portray her as having a blonde '20s Bob Haircut.
  • Official art for Seeker Bears differs on whether Lusa has a brown muzzle or a black muzzle.
  • Wynne in Beansidhe's Wail is said to have eyes that change from "pale grey, to sky blue, to sea green, to violet to silver." The author says the same thing about her own eyes, saying, "A Clear Crystalline Grey That Shifts In Colour From Grey To Blue, To Green, To Violet And Sometimes Almost Silver, Depending On My Mood And My Clothes. I Have A Darker Grey Ring Around My Irises {Said To Be The Mark Of One With Faerie Blood And A Natural Witch} And Unusual *Lightning Bolt* Markings In Both Irises. My Eyes Are Quite Cat~Like, Almond Shaped. People Are Always Telling Me That I Have *Faerie Eyes* And Saying That My Eyes Are *Ancient*, *Ageless* *Endless*, And *Full Of Wisdom*"
  • Door of Neverwhere has "fire-opal" eyes of ever-changing/unclassifiable colour.
  • In Where are you Constanza, by the chilean writer José Luis Rosasco, Constanza, the protagonist's mysterious platonic love, has eyes whose color changes from blue to gray, to a very clear green.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club: In at least one book, Mallory's hair is described as chestnut brown, but nearly all the books' cover art makes it red, as have all the live-action media adaptations so far.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Lucy's hair is described as "golden" and "fair," but Pauline Baynes' original illustrations depict it as dark. This probably explains why both the BBC and feature film adaptations give her brown hair.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Bran's direwolf Summer from Game of Thrones has gone from having gray fur to having brown to having what is a sort of beige-like color.
  • Barney the Dinosaur started out as a blue-violet color as opposed to the red-violet that most are familiar with.

  • The former Trope Namer for Eye Colour Change is "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (LSD) by The Beatles. John describes Lucy as having "kaleidoscope eyes"; that's how he knows her. Unlike most of the other examples here, he does not elaborate. Given the overall character of the song (plasticine porters with looking-glass ties? Marmalade skies?) it's implied that the eyes are actually perfectly normal—the kaleidoscope bit is probably acid-induced Mushroom Samba.

  • Transformers: Rumble and Frenzy, the two Cassetteicons who turn into robots were red and blue, respectively, in the original toys. However, the animated versions were blue and red. Since then, they've been alternating back and forth for the past thirty years or so.
  • My Little Pony:
    • In G1, several ponies were coloured differently depending on the region.
    • Cross-gen ponies designs can differ so heavily to the point of You Don't Look Like You. G1's orange furred and flaxen haired Applejack became apple-red furred and green haired in G3 before returning to her original colours in G4.

    Theme Parks 
  • Disney Theme Parks
    • As in print media, Cinderella usually appears with light blonde hair and wearing a blue dress, rather than the actual film's strawberry blonde hair and silver dress.
    • Tigger's nose is usually colored black instead of red in his meet-and-greet costume form.
    • The stripes on Piglet's jumper are usually pink and white instead of all pink.
    • Except for Dopey, who usually keeps his signature green and purple, the Seven Dwarfs tend to wear completely different colors than they do in the film, and Happy, who in the film is the only dwarf with white eyebrows, usually has black eyebrows like the rest of the dwarfs.
    • Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas is always bright green, when in the film he's actually burlap-colored, with only the lighting during his musical number making him look green.

    Video Games 
  • Cuphead: Cuphead and Mugman's White Gloves are suddenly yellow in your post-level scorecard. In this case, the inconsistency is deliberate and obvious, in reference to color illustrations of the black-and-white era of cartoons the game homages.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Originally Sonic had flesh-colored eyelids, then they were changed to blue to match his appearance in Sonic X, which has stuck ever since. This can be somewhat surreal in Sonic Generations, where Classic Sonic retains the flesh-colored eyelids but Modern Sonic has the current blue ones.
    • The exact shade of Classic Sonic's fur is inconsistent. It's sometimes a dark blue and other times a lighter blue. Since Generations, Sega has been making him lighter furred than Modern Sonic.
    • Tails' fur is various shades of orange, yellowish orange, and red. Some early non-Japanese media even portrayed him as burnt orange and red. Tails' fur was described as "fox brown" in Sonic Adventure 2 but has since become "yellow-orange".
  • The Resident Evil series seems to have every major character's eye color switch back and forth from brown to blue in their various depictions and artwork. Most of them have since settled on blue, while Chris Redfield seems to have stuck with brown in his later appearances. Leon Kennedy's hair also went from auburn in the 1998 original Resident Evil 2 to a dirty blond in every subsequent appearance (including the remake of part 2).
  • Pokémon: The exact shade of colours for certain characters varies. For example, do Dawn and Lucas have bright blue hair, dark blue hair, or black hair with blue tints? Red's hair as of the Generation 3 redesign is brown but the exact shade of brown differs. Sometimes it's so light that it looks grey but other times (such as his sprite in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 and his appearance in Pokémon Masters) it's so dark that he looks raven haired.
  • Somewhere between Golden Sun's character concept art and the game sprites, someone forgot what color Sheba's eyes are supposed to be—they're green in the art but purple in-game.
  • I-No from Guilty Gear is said to have eyes that change their color depending on the angle you're looking at them, but it's never been fully implemented until Xrd. (Prior artwork depicted her with green eyes or, less commonly, blue.)
  • Lightning of Final Fantasy XIII has eyes that don't actually change colour but appear either pale blue or green depending on the lighting conditions. Some players have even spotted her appearing to have heterochromia, and inconsistent official artwork certainly doesn't help the matter.
  • What is the colour of Zelda's hair in The Legend of Zelda? The sprite is a brunette but that doesn't mean much in 8-bit games. Official art has her as a brunette, a redhead, and a blonde (though the last one has a different design from the other two). The brown haired one is apparently the canon colour, but even the art-book uses the redheaded design.
  • Batman: Arkham Series: Due to Batman: Arkham Origins being developed by a different studio and Batman: Arkham Knight taking the series to eighth gen consoles, there were some inconsistencies in the coloring of certain characters' hair and/or eyes:
    • Black Mask has brown hair in Arkham City (a hole in his mask shows a patch of brown hair), but in Arkham Origins, the unmasked Roman Sionis has black hair.
    • Catwoman goes the opposite way, having black hair in Arkham City and brown hair in Arkham Knight. Considering that she has been known to dye her hair in other continuities, that could be an explanation.
    • Robin (Tim Drake) has blue eyes in City and while his hair is covered by his hood, it's listed as black in his character bio. In Knight, he is given green eyes and a brown buzz cut (promotional artwork in City depicted him with a buzz cut too).
    • Commissioner Gordon's hair was snow white in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, but in Arkham Knight, his hair is a mixture of gray and brown, probably to reflect the brown hair his younger self had in Arkham Origins.
    • Riddler's hair was a sandy, light brown color in Arkham City, but dark chestnut brown in Origins and Knight.
    • Talia al Ghul's hair was the same sandy color as Riddler's in the original seventh gen version of Arkham City, but the Return to Arkham remaster for eighth-gen consoles darkened both heads of hair to the dark brown color.
    • Joker's hair is a darker shade of green in both Origins and Knight compared to the first two games.
  • Street Fighter: Vega's hair alternates between brown and blond. And in both live-action movies, his hair was black.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Alistair's hair color changes constantly, and there is still some confusion as to what his canon hair color is. In Origins it is sandy blonde (although lighting makes it almost brown) and he is called "Blondie" at least once. In the sequel it is notably lighter. In Inquisition it's strawberry blonde, and in the comics it's flat-out orange.
    • Varric's hair is brown in his concept art, but ended up reddish blonde in-game. In promotional material for Inquisition (including a demo shown at a convention) it was brown again, but once again he ultimately ended up as a strawberry blonde... except for his in-game portrait where he's a brunette. The comics are even more inconsistent, with varying shades of brown or blonde depending on the series. The brown hair actually makes more sense, considering his nickname for Anders is "Blondie", even though the two have the exact same hair color.
  • Wario's signature clothes are yellow and purple, but in the NES version of Wario's Woods, his clothes are purple and white instead due to the NES color palette's limitations. Ditto his appearances in Wario Land II and 3 on the Game Boy Color, which are black and white for similar reasons.
  • Disco Elysium has various inconsistencies between how things appear on the in-game models, the portraits, and in the text.
    • Harry's eyes are described as blue by Ancient Reptilian Brain, but as grey-green by Harry when looking at his badge and struck by how handsome and charming the younger version of him looks. In his mirror portrait, his eyes appear dark blue, and in his in-game portrait, they are light blue.
    • The Samaran Conical Hat is described by both Harry and Charles as being black (it's even meant to be made out of a specific kind of charcoal-coloured bamboo that has significance in Samaran culture), but in game is clearly straw-coloured.
    • Klaasje is described as having a face covered in birthmarks (which Dros finds reminiscent of the peninsula where Revachol is placed). Neither her portrait or character model display them.
    • Lena's model has brown hair but her portrait shows her as a greying blond.
    • Joyce's model also has brown hair, but her portrait shows her with grey hair. The text describes her as having brown hair with proudly-worn streaks of grey that Harry finds attractive.
    • Dolores has golden blond hair on her model, but her hair is described in the dialogue in various scenes as 'impossibly blond' and 'white'.
    • Gary, the Cryptofascist has shoulder length reddish hair in his portrait and short, slicked-back white hair on his character model.
    • In The Final Cut, Steban will show up wearing a brown jacket if you poached the white one in his room, but his portrait will always show him in the white jacket.
  • Between Persona games, the artists can't seem to decide whether Fuuka's eyes are green or brown.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Officially, Ruby's hair color is a dark red that appears brighter at the tips, but various material has also portrayed it as black, black with reddish tint, and black with red highlights.

  • The titular character in minus. has hair which ranges from blue to red to green — although this is clearly an intentional case of Kaleidoscope Hair, it has no In-Universe explanation and is never noticed by the other characters. It just varies depending on the strip.
  • Sonichu: Before the hiatus in 2010, Chris's hair was consistently brunette (just like the real Chris's at the time), but constantly fluctuated between lighter and darker shades. The real Chris later came out as transgender, and since then Chris in the comic has blue hair.
  • Spinnerette: Mecha Maid has occasionally been shown with red or black hair, despite Word of God being that she dyes her hair purple and wears a black wig. A flashback to her as a baby also shows her with purple hair, despite her natural hair color being black.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Some of it can be justified by the comic's tendency to change color palettes between chapters, but straighter cases show up as a side effect of the fact that the comic can sometimes change small details with no importance to the plot from one panel to the next, including coloring. Some cases are particularly noticeable:
    • The collar of Reynir's only shirt was white upon his arrival and has since gone through various darker colors, ranging from blue to various shades of brown.
    • When Lalli is in full gear (that includes very long black gloves), his upper arms are always colored white and his coat has been shown to be sleveless, thus implying that he's wearing the white-sleeved version of the uniform turtleneck under his outer gear. The two times the comic has shown him get stripped out of his coat and long gloves, he turned out to be wearing the black-sleeved version of the turtleneck under them.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Tick, one episode has the defective superheroes gathered in a room. A continuity error or just sloppy coloring keeps depicting American Maid as alternating from black-stockinged legs to bare legs and back again, even though she is just sitting there and has neither time nor a plot reason to keep whipping her stockings on and off.
  • There's an intentional example in Yakkity Yak with Professor Crazyhair, whose hair constantly changes color. It's a rather fitting name.
  • When Speed Buggy and friends crossed over with Scooby-Doo, Speedy's pal Mark had a much darker skin tone than how he was normally shown.
  • Classic Disney Shorts:
    • In Mickey Mouse's first color film, 1932's Parade of the Award Nominees, his shorts were colored green rather than red. A few early color shorts gave him beige gloves as well.
    • Throughout the 40s and 50s, Goofy's body is either black or flesh-colored, sometimes in the same cartoon.
    • Pluto's collar was red in most of the classic shorts, but it's green in A Gentleman's Gentleman and in most media today.
    • In the shorts, Pluto's nemesis Butch is grey with a darker grey muzzle and white belly, but in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, he's brown with a tan colored muzzle and belly.
    • The colors of Huey, Dewey and Louie's clothes often varied, with some projects giving them identical colors that make it almost impossible to tell them apart. Their familiar red-blue-green color scheme didn't appear until DuckTales.
  • In one episode of The Charlie Brown And Snoopy Show, Linus' blanket is colored green instead of light blue. Hand Waved by a voice-over of Lucy saying that "My brother's got a stupid new blanket."
  • This happened to Sunshine in Salty's Lighthouse, the Cut-and-Paste Translation of TUGS. In addition to Sunshine being a girl in Salty's Lighthouse (in TUGS, he was a boy), stock footage from TUGS episodes were used for his/her scenes, namely switching between his/her original white livery from the episode, "Sunshine", and his/her yellow paintwork in later episodes.
  • Rugrats merchandise often has Angelica with either brown or purple eyes while Angelica and Suzie's Preschool Daze has her as blue eyes. A piece of All Grown Up! promotional art also has her as blue-eyed.
  • The Legend of Korra: In his youth, Amon (or Noatak) had dark skin like most Water Tribe characters and like his brother. As an adult, his skin has lightened several shades.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Bart's red t-shirt was colored blue in many merchant items, and even in a few commercials, during the 1990's. This was lampshaded in "Pokey Mom", when Bart is asked where his blue shirt is and says he doesn't have one.
    • One Butterfinger commercial had Lisa's dress colored pink instead of red.
  • Looney Tunes: In Daffy Duck and Egghead, the ring around Daffy's neck is blue instead of white. Then again, it was his first color cartoon and it could have been an early design choice.
  • King of the Hill:
    • Joseph started out wearing a green shirt and white shorts. But after he hit puberty in season five, he switched to a blue shirt and brown shorts. Some artists seem to have forgotten this and gave Joseph his old clothes in some of the subsequent post-puberty episodes.
    • Dale's orange Mack baseball cap is sometimes colored red.
  • Winnie-the-Pooh.
    • Eeyore is colored dark gray with a light gray muzzle in all Pooh movies and TV shows, but he's colored blue with a peach muzzle in almost all merchandise and promotional art.
    • Rabbit was originally depicted with yellow fur in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. In the 80s and early 90s cartoons (most notably The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh), he had pale green fur. It was changed back to yellow from Pooh's Grand Adventure onward and stayed that way.
    • Like Eeyore, Tigger's white stomach and muzzle are colored yellow in merchandise and promotional art, and his red nose is colored pink.
  • The Batman: Ethan Bennett's eyes alternated between blue, teal and green.
  • Scooby-Doo:In a few of the 1980s incarnations, Shaggy's shirt was red instead of its trademark green and he wore blue jeans instead of his brown bellbottoms.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • The fish known as Fred usually murky green, but he sometimes appears light blue.
    • The fish known as Tom is usually green, but was colored turquoise in "Patty Hype".
  • Tom and Jerry:
    • The artists can't seem to decide whether Tom has gray or blue fur.
    • Likewise, Jerry is often colored medium brown, but in some of the older 1940s shorts and the Chuck Jones shorts in the 1960s, he was colored light tan.
    • Butch (the dog)/Spike and his son Tyke either have grey fur or brown fur.
  • On Ready Jet Go!, Sean has either blue, green, or grey eyes. Also, Mindy has really light skin and really dark hair or reddish-brown hair and tan skin. Some sunset scenes can even make it look like Jet has pink hair.
  • Brittany from Alvin and the Chipmunks has an inconsistent hair color. It has been various shades of red, brown, and occasionally blonde.
  • On KaBlam!, June's jacket is orange. In various blocks and promos on Nickelodeon hosted by Henry and June from 1999 to 2001, her jacket is red.
  • On Arthur, D.W.'s pantyhose are light pink, but they are white in promotional images for the show, and are occasionally miscolored white in the show itself. This may be because in the books the cartoon series is based on, her pantyhose actually were white with pink stripes.
  • The Flintstones:
    • Fred's tie alternates between blue, teal and green.
    • In the feature film The Man Called Flintstone, Wilma's dress was light purple instead of white.
    • Dino took a while to gain consistent coloring. In the first intro, he was colored blue with a green muzzle. When he debuted in the series, he was violet with a lavender muzzle (and was anthropomorphic to boot). Then he was red with a peach-colored muzzle before they finally settled on red-violet with a peach muzzle.
  • Popeye: During the Famous Studios era, Popeye's white Navy uniform was colored blue in four shorts: "Her Honor, the Mare", "Klondike Casanova", "Barking Dogs Don't Fite" and "Riot in Rhythm". Similarly, Bluto's shirt was blue in "How Green is My Spinach?".
  • Stella of Winx Club has Supernatural Gold Eyes to reflect her nature, but her dolls and 2019 redesign depict her with dark brown eyes, while World of Winx depicts her with bright yellow eyes.
  • The Super Mario Bros Super Show!: In the first few episodes, Toad's mushroom cap was red with white spots before becoming white with red spots, though the original color scheme was used whenever he grabbed a Fire Flower.
  • Madeline: Each time the cartoons have been rebooted, the hair colors of a few of Madeline's schoolmates have changed. Over the course of the franchise, Chloe's hair went from light brown to bright orange, Yvette's from golden blonde to strawberry blonde to pale blonde, Lulu's from brown to auburn to black, Janine's from blonde to dark brown, Monique's from reddish to brown, and Ellie's and Simone's from light olive-brown to black. Several of the dark haired girls also had their skin darkened from Season 2 on. Meanwhile, when tie-in dolls of some of the girls were produced, Chloe's hair was brown even though it was orange in the cartoons at the time, Nicole's hair was pale blonde instead of its usual straw color, and Nona's hair was blonde instead of black.
  • An intentional example, Tuesday X from The X's default hair color was green, but it often changed color between shots, with her brother Truman lampshading it at least once, it could change to red, blue, purple, orange, pink, or brown.
  • When Batman: The Animated Series was re-tooled into The New Batman Adventures, Batman's costume was given a less colorful look: the blue highlights on his cape, cowl, gloves, Underwear of Power and boots were removed, along with the yellow oval around the bat symbol, and his yellow utility belt was changed to tan. However, nearly all promotional art and merchandise based on the show colored the belt yellow like his previous one. The same is true for the belt on his Justice League costume, which brought back the blue highlights.
  • Done in purpose in Space Ghost Coast to Coast with Zorak, as his color palette is so inconsistent, that can even change colors between shots in the same scene. One song of Cartoon Planet lampshaded this:
    "I'm green, I'm olive, I'm chartreuse,
    I'd love to stay one color, but what's the use."
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: In the episode "Through the Rabbit Hole", Jade travels back in time to Jackie's childhood and encounters a younger Uncle sporting black hair. However, later episodes show him with brown hair during flashbacks, along with his aged-down self in "The J-Tots".
  • Inspector Gadget: Gadget's trench coat switches between gray and beige. This is reflected in the live-action films as well, with the first film giving Gadget a beige coat and the second film giving him a gray one. And in Inspector Gadget's Last Case and Gadget and the Gadgetinis, he wears a black trench coat and hat.


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