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Red Is Heroic
aka: Red Headed Hero

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A crossover made with this trope.

"Besides, everyone knows that red robots are always the good guys."'

Red shows up a lot when it comes to the heroes of a story, usually the color of their clothing. As their main color motif, it could also be their hair color, gear, Battle Aura, or body parts for robots and non-human characters. This could be limited to the main protagonist, or be as wide as an entire Badass Army. Some Chromatic Arrangement trios have the leader wear red.

The reason is that red is the color of fire and blood, hence the color of action. Thus it conveys that the heroes are people of action as well (regardless of exactly how the heroism is presented in the show).

In Japan this was traditional in old Kabuki plays and the like. It's made to represent the hero bathed in the blood of his enemies. It is much less common in America due to the association with red as the color of the country's enemies (redcoat British in the Revolutionary War, Red Scares and the Cold War in the 20th century), but gets a pass if it's paired with white and/or blue.


Keep in mind that since not all heroes wear red (for example, Blue is also very common), and other characters don't avoid that color, there isn't much point in listing aversions to this.

A Super-Trope to Primary-Color Champion and Pink Heroine. A Sub-Trope of Good Colors, Evil Colors. A Sister Trope to Fire Is Red and Blue Is Heroic.

Compare Heroes Want Redheads, Bring My Red Jacket, Heroes Prefer Swords, Color-Coded Characters, Purple Is Powerful, Law of Chromatic Superiority, Satan is Good.

Contrast Red and Black and Evil All Over, Red Eyes, Take Warning, Evil Redhead, Big Red Devil, a literal Red Shirt (and Red Shirt Army), Char Clone, Evil Wears Black, Green and Mean.

Compare AND contrast Red Is Violent, its Evil Counterpart (even when sometimes both tropes overlaps).



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Asuna from Sword Art Online starts out with a red vest, and some of her later outfits have some red, but as an Undine she ditches the red for blue.
    • Heathcliff is mostly dressed in Red Armor while his Knights of Blood has only minor amount of red in their clothing. However, it's subverted with Heathcliff (who turns out to be Akihiko Kayaba, the Big Bad) and Kuradeel (who turns out to be a member of Laughing Coffin).
  • Kaneda from AKIRA is an example with his iconic all red biker outfit and souped up red power bike.
  • In the Berserk: The Golden Age Arc, Guts wears a red a cape and Casca does too.
  • Bleach protagonist Ichigo Kurosaki both plays this trope straight and subverts it, his coat in Bankai form is red on the inside and gives his spirit energy a red tint to it and his Hollow Mask has red markings on it and his hollow uses a red Cero. He is also a redhead.
  • In Detective Conan it is discussed when they act the "Peach boy" legend. Conan is told he can't be the hero because he wants to wear blue, his color code, but the kids say the hero wears red.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward Elric is often seen wearing a red coat. It's even commented that Edward must be a hero because he wears red. He responds that he's no hero - he just thinks that the color looks badass.
  • It is discussed in Love Hina about Journey to the West.
  • In the Mazinger series, all heroes of the trilogy -Kouji Kabuto, Tetsuya Tsurugi and Duke Fleed- wear red outfits. Also, Mazinger and Great Mazinger's iconic chesplates are red.
  • Keith/Akira of Voltron/GoLion wears red and is the leader of the team. Oddly, his mecha (which forms the head and torso) is black, while the red mecha is ridden by Lance/Isamu, who wears blue.
  • Panzer World Galient: The titular mecha is nearly completely red. The Hero Jordy also wears black and red armor and bodysuit.
  • In the Robot Romance Trilogy, Hyoma Aoi and Ken'ichi Gō from Combattler V and Voltes V, respectively, also wear red. Likewise, Daimos titular robot is red and white.
  • Saint Seiya: The Hero Seiya wears a red shirt. Also, when he wears his armor, the clothes under it are red. This is only in the anime, though: in the manga, he and everyone else wears white under the Cloth.
  • In Red Photon Zillion, J.J.'s uniform includes a red shirt that he always wears. Reinforced trope, because the word is in the freaking title.
  • Most Digimon protagonist Mons are red (or orange, which is close enough to establish a pattern): Agumon (both Adventure and Savers versions), Guilmon, Agnimon, and Shoutmon; plus their evolutions. Gatchmon is mostly grey, but he has a big red helmet and evolves into mostly-red forms. The exceptions are Veemon (blue) and Gumdramon (purple), both justified since they each share a continuity and screentime with one of the above red/orange characters and have to set themselves apart.
    • When Takato is designing Guilmon in the dub of Digimon Tamers, he comments that red is "definitely a power color."
  • Gurren Lagann, it's even in the title ("Gurren" comes from guren, an intense shade of red, which The Other Wiki - in Japanese - likens to "infernal flames").
  • In the parody anime Special Duty Combat Unit Shinesman, the protagonist is interviewing for an office job and one of the questions he's asked is "What's a good color for a superhero costume?"; he says red, because his little brother had told him that heroes always wear red. It eventually turns out that the company is a front for a Super Sentai-style hero group, and he gets made the Red Ranger and therefore The Leader entirely because of his answer (the other interviewees gave business-safe answers like sepia, gray, moss green and salmon pink).
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Jonouchi is a hero and has three notable monsters with red themes. His Flame Swordsman has a red helmet and robe. His Red Eyes Black Dragon has, well, red eyes. And his Claw of Hermos dragon which he acquired during a filler arc is a red-skinned dragon.
  • In both the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime and manga, Judai likes the color red, even though Osiris Red is the lowest ranking dormitory. In the manga, it's also the color his idol Koyo Hibiki favors. He ultimately shows up for his duel with Koyo in the Distant Finale wearing his school uniform.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Yuya is an All-Loving Hero with red eyes and partly red hair, a red shirt and shoes and his ace Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon is a red dragon. It's a bit more complicated as Yuya is an Apocalypse Maiden with his ace once willingly destroying a dimension.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's
    • Yusei rides a red D-Wheeler and wears a red helmet while doing so.
    • Jack's signature monster is the Red Dragon Archfiend.
    • Akiza has dark burgundy hair and her outfit includes a red corset and red high-heeled pumps.
    • Crow has red hair.
    • All of the main heroes have red tattoos that are a part of the Crimson Dragon to symbolize their chosen one status.
  • One Piece, the colour that represents Monkey D Luffy is red according to Oda and he wears a red top for most of the series and other bright colours. Luffy's idol is Red Haired Shanks who is considered a Big Good across the sea and Shanks's captain is Gold D Roger The Pirate King who, yeah you guessed it wore red.
  • Getter Robo series spots Getter 1/Dragon/Shin Getter-1 (leader's unit) with red as the main color.
    • Oddly, the Getter Robo Go/Neo Getter-1 is blue with red markings. Its Getter Robo Shou/Neo Getter-2 that's red. Still heroic, though.
  • Vash the Stampede (or Stampeed, depending on your source) from Trigun wears a large red coat and is the most heroic of all the characters, plus he's a pacifist.
  • The title hero of Anpanman wears a red superhero uniform. One of his allies, Shokupanman, has red as his accent color for his uniform. This is taken to the extreme in the movie Ruby's Wish, where Ruby, the red Aurora Girl automatically believes Anpanman is the best superhero ever just because he wears red, even before seeing his heroic deeds.
  • It's still in the red spectrum, but the Pretty Cure leaders all wear pink (or in the case of Cure Black and Cure Bloom, have pink highlights). Yes! Pretty Cure 5 (Cure Rouge), Fresh Pretty Cure! (Cure Passion), Smile Pretty Cure! (Cure Sunny), DokiDoki! PreCure (Cure Ace), and Go! Princess Pretty Cure (Cure Scarlet) do have a member who sports red (though, in the case of Smile, it's arguable as Cure Sunny is orange and red), and in Maho Girls PreCure, the continuity's two Cures, Miracle and Magical (the former being the continuity's pink Cure), have an alternate form called "Ruby Style" that dresses the two in red.
  • Maka, the heroine of Soul Eater, wears a red skirt as a part of her primary outfit and also wields a red scythe.
  • Kagerou Project: Invoked and discussed by Ayano, to convince her adoptive siblings Kido, Seto and Kano that their red eyes aren't monstrous, but marks of heroism. It's also the reason why she wears her iconic red scarf. It's no coincidence that Shintaro also wears red at least, in the timelines where he manages to move on with his life.
    • Shintaro wears the the red jacket because Ayano thinks it suits him.
  • Alucard from Hellsing sports a red ensemble, though despite being the main character there's very few people that'd call him a hero.
  • Gundam has a strange love/hate relationship with this trope as characters wearing red or Mobile Suits sporting mostly red are designated The Rival. However, many Gundams tend to carry red shields, especially in the Universal Century. One suit that plays this trope straight is the Build Burning/Try Burning/Kamiki Burning Gundam of Gundam Build Fighters Try
  • Daitarn3: Banjo's combat suit is dark-red. He also wears a red jacket.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Asuka wears a red plugsuit and pilots a red Humongous Mecha. She's not the main character, and an Anti-Hero as opposed to a regular one, but she's one of the heroes nonetheless.
  • Dragon Ball: Goku typically wears clothing in shades of either red or dark orange, the Kaioken and Super Saiyan God transformations are both red, and he's The Hero of the series.
  • Blood+: Saya Otonashi, the main protagonist, has red eyes and, after a one-year Time Skip, wears a maroon-colored coat.
  • InuYasha: Inuyasha, the main Anti-Hero of the series, wears a red robe. While he started out as a borderline Villain Protagonist, Character Development soon mellows him out.
  • Rosario + Vampire: Kokoa Shuzen, one of the protagonists, is a Fiery Redhead.
  • Gene Starwind's red hair is actually commented on multiple times in Outlaw Star in conjunction with the fact that he carries a Caster (a special weapon that fires bullets that contain magic spells. Exactly why the fact that he's a redhead with a magic gun is never actually explained. He also has the Outlaw Star painted red as well.
  • The main Battle Couple of High School D×D, Issei Hyodou and Rias Gremory, are both associated with the color red.
  • Naruto:
    • Sakura wears a red qipao.
    • Gaara starts out as an Evil Redhead but later becomes a Red-Headed Hero. He also wears a crimson long coat during part II.
    • The Hokage hat is red and white.
    • Mei Terumi, the fifth Mizukage, has auburn hair and is the most openly friendly of the five Kages next to Gaara.
    • Onoki, the third Tsuchikage, has a distinct red nose.
  • In Tamagotchi, Gotchiman, a superhero character from the Show Within a Show of the same name, wears a red mask, cape, and belt.

  • One of the central figures in Raphael's The School of Athens, Plato, is seen wearing a bright red that distinguishes him and his metaphysical ideals from the muted world at his fate.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Happy Heroes, Happy S. is the leader of the heroes and is mostly red in color.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman is a Primary-Color Champion, including his iconic red cape.
  • Superman's cousin Supergirl is another Primary-Color Champion. Kara's Supergirl costume includes a red cape, pants and boots. In The Supergirl from Krypton she wears red clothes even when she is not wearing her costume. When she joined the Red Lanterns in Red Daughter of Krypton, her Red Lantern uniform was red and black.
  • Doctor Strange wears black with red accents since his 2011 redesign. His former look (and the costume most closely associated with him) included a distinctive and showy red cloak.
  • On that note, Thor's red cape is an iconic part of his costume, and a good indicator of his heroic status.
  • Though their costumes change constantly, the Robins are often drawn with predominantly red costumes (Tim Drake being the most notable one, especially after Identity Crisis when his father died, as he'd been previously associated with green). And of course, there's Tim Drake as Red Robin.
  • During the New 52, Nightwing replaced his traditional blue trim with red trim. While still a hero, it also reflected him going through a Darker and Edgier phase, and he later switched back to blue.
  • Fiery Redhead Barbara Gordon -the first and most widely-known Batgirl- is one of the crimefighters who protect Gotham.
  • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl the two main characters count: Supergirl wears read cape and boots, and Batgirl is a redhead.
  • Batwoman is a redhead Action Girl whose costume is equal parts black and red.
  • Captain Marvel (aka "Shazam")
    • For that matter, the other Captain Marvel (aka Mar-Vell).
    • And both their Distaff Counterparts, Mary Marvel and Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) respectively, have worn red Gendered Outfit versions of the males' costumes at times. (At other times, Mary Marvel wears a white version instead, while Ms. Marvel is better known for a black costume and since taking the "Captain" title herself has switched to a mainly-blue one.)
  • The Flash, aka "the Scarlet Speedster."
  • Spider-Man as well as blue
  • Impulse (Bart Allen) has always been linked with the color red, even in Young Justice where all four of the core members of the team wore the color he was the one who got to be associated with it.
  • Iron Man's standard color scheme is red and gold, although some of his "specialised" suits buck the trend.
  • Red Tornado, if the name wasn't a hint.
  • Ant-Man's standard costume is primarily red.
  • Captain America's ally The Falcon, (and his faithful bird, "Redwing").
    • Captain America himself can qualify, though it's worth pointing out that he's associated with red as much as he is with white and blue for obvious reasons.
    • However, Cap's arch-enemy is the Red Skull.
  • Scarlet Witch (as an Avenger, anyway) wears a flowing red mantle, a red headdress, and a red Leotard of Power, which she often pairs with a pink bodysuit for femininity.
    • Although she already wore that costume when she still was one of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants led by Magneto, who by preference dresses in red and purple.
    • And her teammate/lover The Vision, who has artificial red skin.
  • Wonder Woman's outfit is primarily red, and she's had several outfits that cover the blue part of the costume with red pteruges.
    • Donna Troy and Cassie Sandsmark, the first and second Wonder Girls respectively, have had red outfits.
    • Artemis of the Bana-Mighdall is a redhead. Her return in Redhood And The Outlaws also has her wearing red and black armor.
  • Wonder Man
  • Crimson Avenger
  • Plastic Man
  • Daredevil's original costume was mostly yellow, but his classic look is all-red. He is also a redhead.
  • Green Arrow:
    • Roy Harper (Speedy I/Arsenal/Red Arrow) has red hair and has worn red in all three of his aliases.
    • Mia Dearden (Speedy II) originally wore a red and yellow outfit.
    • Emiko Queen, Oliver's half-sister, is the new Red Arrow and thus has taken to wearing a red costume.
  • Hellboy has red skin.
  • Deadman is a ghost with chalk-white skin in a red outfit.
  • Vampirella is an heroic vampire that wears a red bikini, also doubling as a Lady in Red.
  • Jean Grey is a subversion. She is a redhead and usually a hero but when she goes Dark Phoenix her costume becomes red.
  • Aquaman
    • Garth as the original Aqualad wore an outfit consisting of a red shirt and blue shorts. As Tempest he wore a red and black outfit.
    • Jackson Hyde aka Kaldur, Garth's successor, also wears a red and black outfit as Aqualad.
    • Queen Mera, Aquaman's wife, is a redhead.
  • Batman and the Outsiders:
    • Katana wears a yellow and red costume.
    • Looker is a redhead.
    • Grace Choi has red hair and wears a red and black tank top.
  • Red Sonja
  • New Gods: The three most well known heroic characters wear red. Orion wears a red suit, Mr Miracle's outfit is red, yellow and green, and Big Barda's cape is red.
  • Daughters of the Dragon: Misty Knight wears a red outfit while Colleen Wing has red hair.

    Fan Works 

  • Star Wars' Rebel Alliance, with their famous "red bird" emblem. On that note, their elite team of Ace Pilots is code-named "Red Squadron" (although later renamed "Rogue Squadron").
    • The striping on Han Solo's pants, known as Corellian Blood Stripes, comes in two colors, one of which is red. They are an award given by the Corellian military for conspicuous gallantry.
  • The Time Machine used by Lewis and Wilbur in Meet the Robinsons is painted red. The Time Machine used by the Bowler Hat Guy and DOR-15 is pale blue.
  • In Kagemusha Shingen Takeda's fiery lieutenant Yamagata Masakage aka "Fire" and the contingent under his command are dressed in bright vermillion red.
  • In The Hobbit, Bilbo wears a red jacket throughout the film. Also Balin, one of the most outwardly virtuous and heroic of the dwarves, wears red robes.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Iron Man, as Tony Stark himself said to Jarvis when designing his Powered Armour.
      Throw a little hot rod red in there.
    • James Rhodes aka War Machine, has a red eye-lights on his helmet and red arc reactor.
    • Natasha Romanoff aside from her hair, she also has red in her outfits and casual clothes.
    • Thor has a red cape and other red highlights in his outfit, in contrast to his brother and sister who wear green. In Thor: Ragnarok the God of Thunder has even more red in his costume, even on his face. Odin, Thor's father also wears a red cape and he was for most the part benevolent.
    • Steve Rogers aka Captain America has red in almost all his outfits, ironically when working for S.H.I.E.L.D. he wore all blue and S.H.I.E.L.D. turned out to be HYDRA. In Avengers: Infinity War however the red in Cap's costume has either been ripped peeled off or faded, symbolizing his status as a undercover fugitive and his fall from grace since Civil War.
    • Hawkeye has red in his outfit in The Avengers and Age of Ultron, but changes to purple in Civil War matching his comic book counterpart.
    • After her Heel–Face Turn in Avengers Ageof Ultron Wanda Maxmimoff Scarlet Witch certainly fulfills this trope in her attire and color of her aura though she's arguably more of a Anti-Hero.
    • Sam Wilson aka The Falcon's costume is very red, he even names his Robot Buddy Redwing.
    • Hank Pym and Scott Lang as the Ant-Man and Janet Van Dyne when she was the The Wasp have red outfits, Hope (Hank and Janet's daughter) however changes it up having yellow in her costume instead. Which is accurate to most comic book depictions of The Wasp.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy at least when they all wore the red Ravager outfit, Peter Quill aka Star Lord wears red all the time and Drax has red tattoos.
    • Spider-Man of course, in Homecoming the techno-spider suit even has red aura when powering up and even red HUD in the eye lenses.
    • Doctor Strange has the magnificent red Cloak of Levitation, which literally kicks more ass than he does.
    • Intentionally invoked with Okoye and the rest of the Dora Milaje in Black Panther (2018), in fact at the end they set against the Border Tribes men who wear blue.
  • Sophie Scholl the anti-Nazi activist in Sophie Scholl: The Final Days dresses this way.
  • In Warm Bodies, R wears a distinctive red hoodie that makes him visually stand out from the greyish zombies around him.
  • The Book of Life:
    • Maria's dress is red and she's the one who rallies the townspeople to stand against Chakal.
    • La Muerte wears a red dress and is the Big Good.
    • The Adelita Twins both wear predominately red clothes and are heroic characters based on La Adelita, the Mexican cultural icon of a strong and patriotic Mexican woman.
  • DC Extended Universe
    • Superman's cape of course.
    • Wonder Woman's chestpiece is red, not that she needs much protection. Diana also wears a red dress at Lex Luthor's party in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
    • Naturally the Flash in Justice League, as the "Scarlet Speedster".
  • Cars: Race car Lightning McQueen is red and the central character of the whole franchise, though it's played straighter after his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Simba from The Lion King is a lion with a red mane. His father Mufasa qualifies too. Pumbaa is a red-brown warthog, but fits perfectly. Downplayed with Timon, as the only red is a small tuft of hair on his head, and he's a cowardly Jerk with a Heart of Gold.

  • Harry Potter:
    • Red is one of the colors of Gryffindor house, which is associated with bravery and chivalry and Godric Gryffindor himself is garbed in red and has red beard in his depictions. Also blood red rubies are encrusted into Gryffindor's sword to drive the point home even further.
    • The red-feathered Phoenix is also commonly used in the books as a symbol of nobility and heroism (hence Fawkes the Phoenix with his healing tears, and the Order of the Phoenix).
    • The disarming charm Expelliarmus is one of the few unambiguously defensive spells, and lets out a red light when used. It's also considered Harry's signature attack.
    • The entire Weasley family has easily-recognizable red hair, and they treat Harry more like family than any of his living relatives (particularly Ron, his first and best friend). For bonus points, they're all in Gryffindor... the Fan Dumb even speculate that the Weasleys are descendants of Godric Gryffindor.
  • In the Deryni works, the kings of the House of Haldane wear red (as do their liveried servants, pages, and squires), and the coat of arms features a golden lion on a red field.
  • Laeshana in The Quest of the Unaligned wears a red robe through most of the book, and she is one of the three primary heroes.
  • Shallan Davar of The Stormlight Archive has bright red hair and is a Lightweaver, the Radiant order associated with garnets. In addition, when she summons Pattern in his Blade form in Words of Radiance, it glows with red Tron Lines.
  • Scarlet Benoit of the The Lunar Chronicles not only has her first name, but has red hair and wears a favorite red hoodie throughout the series.
  • The redheaded Lord John Roxton in The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle. A Gentleman Adventurer and connoisseur of South American culture, he's made numerous trips up the Amazon, and encountered the natives being oppressed by slavers - all of whom he has personally made war against (adding a notch to his rifle his rifle for every slaver he shoots), while the grateful natives refer to him as "The Red Chief." Although there's a little bit of Mighty Whitey at work, Roxton is nevertheless a decent guy who goes above and beyond in his heroics, and the fact Doyle mentions his red hair frequently suggests this trope is very much at work.
  • Fritti Tailchaser is the titular orange tabby protagonist of Tailchaser's Song. The book is about how he became a Living Legend.
  • The Wheel of Time: Rand al'Thor, The Chosen One destined to save the world, is a redhead who comes to favour red and gold clothes when he claims his title. He also uses a red-and-gold dragon as a personal sigil, inherited from his previous incarnation.

    Live Action TV 
  • Super Sentai / Power Rangers:
  • Kamen Rider:
    • The Rider franchise has swung this way in recent years, especially the modern Heisei era. Not every leading Rider is red in their default form, but most are: Riders that are primarily red include Stronger, Kuuga, Ryuki, Kabuto, Den-O, Kiva, Wizard, and Drive. A few more come in red-like colors and fill the role that red would in a Chromatic Arrangement color scheme: Hibiki (purple with red trim), Decade (magenta), Ghost (orange, and he gets an upgraded version of that form that is red), and Ex-Aid (hot pink). Build is a Primary-Color Champion and half-red (the other half is blue).
    • When the production staff of Kamen Rider Double wanted their hero to be something other than red, they had to fight for it; they ended up making Double's primary form green and black, then arguing to Toei's bigwigs that those were the colors of the original Kamen Rider, which succeeded. He does have a red half-form, but in this case it's more understandable because it grants him fire powers.
    • Kamen Rider Ghost takes it a step further in the Legend Rider mini-episodes, where he gets a form which draws upon the power of all the Heisei Riders; naturally, it's red with white accents.
  • Most Ultra Warriors, starting with the original, tends to use a red and silver color scheme.
  • In Merlin, the knights of Camelot look quite dashing their red capes. Ironically, in the earlier seasons before the Round Table was established, this also marked them out as Red Shirts.
    • King Arthur is always seen wearing the color red, whether it's a shirt or his Pendragon cape.
    • Merlin often wears red combined with blue.
  • The eponymous hero in BIMA Satria Garuda has a color scheme dominated by red.
  • Roy Harper in Arrow, both before and after becoming Arsenal.
  • Once Upon a Time: Main character Emma Swan is iconic for her red leather jacket. It appears in most every episode of Season 1 and the show's initial advertisements. Additionally, she dons an all red gown and bright red lipstick for her first official ball in Season 3.
  • Daredevil (2015) and The Defenders (2017): Red is the color associated with Matt Murdock, although it isn't until the end of season 1 that he gets his iconic red devil costume.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow Rosenberg has red hair, and is a member of the Scooby Gang, a group of people protecting the world from the nasties in a Hellmouth. Faith and Spike even call her "Red."

  • In Stern Pinball's Transformers, the Autobots are represented by "Autobot crimson" on the indicator lights and the playfield, even extending to the cabinet in some of the Limited Edition tables.

  • The Red Shadow from The Desert Song.
  • The song "Red and Black" from Les Misérables. Red symbolizes the blood of martyrs, the dawning of a new age, and passionate love, while black is the darkness and night of the status quo, and the despair of loneliness. Similarly, the red vest of student leader Enjolras symbolizes his heroic character, and the red flag used in "One Day More" and "The Final Battle" is bright red.

  • In almost every heroic BIONICLE team, the red character, always associated with fire, is the hero and leader. Villain teams, on the other hand, mix it up a bit.
    • The same goes for William Furno of Bionicle's successor, Hero Factory.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer 40,000, the Blood Angels are one of the noblest (for this setting) of the Space Marine Chapters, a group of optimists who genuinely fight for the people of the Imperium. Unfortunately, thanks to a flaw in their gene-seed, they might devolve into Ax-Crazy berserkers during combat and end up killing the people they're trying to protect. When this happens, their armor is ritually painted black and they join the Death Company. This is inverted, however, with the World Eaters and Word Bearers Chaos Marine Legions.
  • Red and other similar warm colors adorn several of the 'good' factions in BattleTech, most notably the heroic mercenary units Wolf's Dragoons and the Kell Hounds. The Warden Wolves are known for their prominent red and brown colors, and they are among the most restrained and protectively-minded of the Clans, especially after accepting an invitation to protect part of the Inner Sphere. On a much smaller level, the famous Centurion Yen-Lo-Wang is pearl-white with a brilliant red sunburst covering its body (and a blood red helmet) and is most known for being piloted by two of the most heroic and talented warriors in the setting, Justin Xiang Allard and his son Kai.

    Video Games 
  • Due to the palette limitations of early 8 and 16 bit games, many MANY player characters tended to use either red or blue as their primary color scheme. Furthermore, red often signifies Player 1 in many multiplayer games (with Player 2 typically being blue or green).
  • The protagonist of Pokémon Red and Blue is canonically named "Red" (the player has the option of other names or entering their own) and dresses accordingly. Similarly his rival is (again, canonically, since the player could choose their name as well) called "Blue" or "Green".
    • In fact, almost all of the player characters from the core games have red somewhere on their person.
  • The main character of the NES Platform Game Kabuki: Quantum Fighter is a notable example as a military agent whose computer avatar is a kabuki actor with long red hair that they use as a whip.
  • In many games with a multiplayer feature, especially arcade games, player 1 will be colored red. In games featuring this where the player, in a single-player game, cannot switch to the other player slots, the player character becomes this trope.
  • Apollo Justice of Ace Attorney, with "a passionate heart burning RED!" Oh, and it's also his favorite color.
  • Dante from Devil May Cry wears a long, red trench coat.
    • During development Dante was becoming too much antiheroic for Japan's taste. To make him more heroic they gave him a red coat.
    • Lucia the Deuteragonist of Devil May Cry 2 has red hair.
    • Nero, the main protagonist of Devil May Cry 4, wears a blue coat with red inner lining with a red hoodie underneath. He also has a Red Right Hand and a sword with red accents appropriately named Red Queen.
    • Force Edge, the sword which belonged to Dante's father Sparda, is red in its unsealed form. It has been used by both Dante and Trish who are heroes.
  • Any Nippon Ichi main character will have some sort of red on them whether it's the color of their hair or an article of clothing.
    • The main protagonists of the Disgaea games wears some form of red Scarf Of Asskicking.
    • Amongst the main characters, Plume easily takes the cake. Her entire character design is made up of various tints of red whether it be her hair, her dress, or even her sword.
  • Mario of the Super Mario Bros. series has worn red in some form since Donkey Kong, usually a red shirt and cap.
  • The main character's army in most Nintendo Wars games.
  • Lloyd Irving of Tales of Symphonia wears a distinctive double-breasted red jacket (distinctive enough that it's used to identify him when he becomes wanted by the Desians.)
  • Luke in Tales of the Abyss is a redhead, but he gets into this when the party wears their Super Sentai parodying Abyssman costumes and he gets the red ranger costume.
    Luke: Agent of Justice-Abyss Red!
  • Commander Shepard's iconic N7 armor has a red stripe running down the right arm.
    • Wrex, the most heroic Krogan we meet, wears red armor, has red flairs on his headcrest, and possesses blood-red eyes. It all helps to build a fearsome and distinctive appearance that stands out from the general browns of your standard Krogan.
  • Red Okonogi, the superhero Player Character from the first Sa Ga Frontier RPG.
    • The same game also has a PC sorcerer named Blue whose twin brother is named Rouge (French for Red)- and he's actually nicer than Blue!
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance has Juste Belmont, who wears a red coat.
  • The fighter class, which was probably intended for a main character role. He's even redheaded in the NES incarnation.
  • Luso Clemens from Final Fantasy Tactics A2 was specifically designed with this in mind, according to Word of God.
  • Mega Man X's Zero might have been designed with this in mind, as he was intended to be the protagonist. They decided to go with an expy of the original Mega Man however, and Zero ended up being the Heel–Face Revolving Door, Deuteragonist instead. He fits this trope in the Mega Man Zero series, however.
  • Viewtiful Joe, as a reference to the trope's prevalence in Tokusatsu.
  • Diddy Kong from the Donkey Kong games, wears a red shirt and a red Nintendo hat and he's associated with the color red in Donkey Kong 64. Although the Sidekick, this may be an Invoked Trope since he dreams of becoming a hero like his uncle. He fits this trope fully in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Diddy Kong Racing though.
    • Donkey Kong himself might qualify as he wears a red tie.
  • Final Fight:
  • Dart in The Legend of Dragoon. This overlaps with his element.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: While Sonic is primarily blue, his red shoes are one of his most iconic items. Knuckles subverts this though, as like Protoman, he's a foil and rival to Sonic.
    • Knuckles is a straighter example of this trope when he's the protagonist or one of the protagonists such as Knuckles Chaotix or Sonic Riders. Plus, his rivalry with Sonic is either a Friendly Rivalry or non-existent these days making him a straight up hero.
    • When she enters her Super Mode, Blaze's coat and tail tip go from purple to red and she is surrounded by a red aura. She also has a red jewel on her forehead in both normal and super mode.
    • Shadow the Hedgehog started out as a straight example of Red and Black and Evil All Over, being a black hedgehog with red stripes and red tongues on his white gloves and white shoes. After pulling a Heel–Face Turn, he becomes this trope.
  • Mortal Kombat: Starting with the second game, Liu Kang has always worn a red headband, and his pants have red trim.
    • Best example in line with the trope is in Mortal Kombat 4, where Liu Kang also wears a red tanktop. Kai, a former Shaolin Monk and a friend of Liu's who debuted in that game also wears red.
    • Kenshi, a blind swordsman who debuted in Deadly Alliance wears a red blindfold and a red trim on his outfit.
  • Similar to the previous example, Ryu from Street Fighter wears a red headband as one of his iconic items. Also when he was younger, he wore red gloves and had reddish hair (not to mention the red kung fu shoes he wore in the first game). Even though Ken wears a red gi, it's Ryu who is The Hero, while Ken is The Lancer.
  • Stocke of Radiant Historia.
  • Eddie of Nostalgia wears a long red coat.
  • In Assassin's Creed, the protagonist generally wears white with red trim. In Assassin's Creed III however, the red is swapped out with blue, probably due to the British Redcoats being one of the primary enemies in the game.
  • On the covers of Cthulhu Saves the World, Cthulhu wears a red kilt.
  • Although "heroic" isn't that accurate a description, this trope is likely why for Team Fortress 2 the "Meet the Team" video, cover art (both standalone and as part of the Orange Box), and numerous promotional art all feature the RED team much more heavily than the BLU team.
  • RefleX has the player ship, the Phoenix, which is red. Subverted when it becomes the ZODIAC Ophiuchus and its collateral destruction of the planet turns it into a Nominal Hero.
  • Touhou has Reimu Hakurei, the central protagonist of the series, who wears a red uniform and head accessories. This is downplayed in the PC-98 games, where only her skirt and bow are prominently red; her top is white instead.
  • Ironically, TRON in the Intellivision version of TRON Deadly Discs, since it was in development before the movie was released.
  • In the Golden Axe series, Tyris wears red in II and Sarah in III
  • Cave Story, both the player Quote and Curly Brace are dressed in red which distinguish them from the rest of the characters , including a cool red cap worn by the player character.
  • In the Enhanced Remake of Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero the main character and latest graduate of the Famous Adventurer's Correspondence School who answers a newspaper ad from the valley of Spielburg, which is in dire need for a hero, wears a red cape (it's black in the original EGA game).
  • The main character and assigned team leader in The Wonderful 101 is Wonder-Red, in homage to tokusatsu and sentai shows.
  • Red, the leader of the flock and first playable character in the mobile game Angry Birds
  • In Luxaren Allure, Karuna wears red.
  • Kat in Gravity Rush has bright red eyes (which make her look rather cute) and glows red when she uses her powers (which makes her look like some sort of terrifying, radioactive zombie).
  • In Halo 5: Guardians, the Swords of Sanghelios, who are the Good Counterparts to the Covenant, paint their armor and vehicles crimson. Their equipment also tends to be tougher and more survivable than standard Covenant technology.
  • Persona 4 has this with three of the main protagonists. Yukiko Amagi wears a red sweater and hair band, Rise Kujikawa is a redhead, and Teddie's bear costume is predominantly red from the neck down.
    • While in its predecessor, Mitsuru has red hair, Akihiko always wears red (A red vest most of the year, a red shirt in the summer, and a red scarf in the winter), and Koromaru has red eyes.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild features two heroic Zora siblings, Mipha and Sidon, who have predominantly red skin. Mipha was chosen as the Zora Champion who would pilot Divine Beast Vah Ruta in the fight against Ganon, and she was also skilled with healing magic and spear combat. Her younger brother Sidon is also skilled with the spear, has a reputation for helping both Zora and Hylian alike against monsters, and helps Link neutralize and board the corrupted Vah Ruta.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Barry Burton in Resident Evil has a red vest, while the rest of Alpha Team have different colors representing them (Chris-Green Jill-Blue etc). In Revelations 2 Barry returns and has a huge red sweater.
    • Claire Redfield's color is red from her red/dark pink motorcycle outfit in Resident Evil 2, a red top in Code: Veronica and a red leather jacket in Revelations 2; in all three games, she's a primary protagonist. If that weren't enough Resident Evil: Degeneration changed her previously previously brown hair to dark red auburn.
    • Ada Wong serves as an Anti-Hero in the series, and often wears red shirts or dresses.
    • Helena Harper, Leon's partner in Resident Evil 6 wears a red vest when she and Leon head to China.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Sora, The Hero of the series, almost always wears some form of red.
  • Ensemble Stars! has this in a few places: the closest thing to a protagonist unit, Trickstar, is coloured red and blue; Valkyrie, the previous most powerful unit and the one most thoroughly hurt by the main antagonists, has a dark red theme; and of course, the leader of the Sentai themed unit Ryuuseitai wears red.
  • Bayonetta
    • The titular protagonist has a set of red guns called Scarborough Fair as her signature weapons.
    • Inverted with Jeanne who wears red. She's actually a hero but is on the villain side due to brainwashing. When she joins Bayonetta after having her mind restored, she is wearing white.
  • Fatal Fury protagonist and regular competitor in The King of Fighters Terry Bogard's most iconic look features a bright red jacket.

    Visual Novels 
  • Umineko: When They Cry protagonist Battler Ushiromiya boasts bright red hair.
  • Fate/stay night protagonist Shirou Emiya also has visibly-red hair, and has made it his life's vision to become a "hero of justice." The Servant Archer, despite falling more into Anti-Hero / Well-Intentioned Extremist territory, is also primarily decked in red robes, which makes sense considering he's Shirou's alternate-universe self.
    • Archer's Master, Rin Tohsaka, can also arguably qualify, despite her Tsundere and ego problems.
    • In the prequel, Fate/Zero, the Servant Rider (i.e. Alexander the Great) is probably the most affable, reasonable and heroic among the Servants.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • Nicholas Schnee was an honest businessman and honourble Huntsman, and is depicted in the show's world-building series "Word of Remnant" with a red scarf. The Schnee family is typically associated with the colour white, to the extent that the current patriarch, Jacques, adopted the colour when he married into the family. The family these days has a reputation for ruthless business dealings and unethical labour practices but Nicholas forged a reputation as a compassionate leader who looked after his men and worked hard to lift the people of Mantle out of poverty. He is the only member of the family currently associated with red as the dominant colour motif.
    • Ruby Rose, The Heroine, exemplifies this. She has red as one of her primary colors (combined with black for good measure) and is the most idealistic member of her team.

    Web Comics 
  • Redd is about a girl named Vicky Redd, who fights super villains with bionic floating hands that are custom-colored red. She's rotten to the core.
  • Commander Badass of Manly Guys Doing Manly Things
  • Jigsaw and Daisy of Last Res0rt, as members of Team Andromeda, are the only team that includes red in their color scheme. Matching ascots were added later after Daisy started getting self-conscious about her neck, adding a further splash of red.
    • The unaffiliated Players Mob wears red as well, but theirs is more in the Red Shirt sense.
  • Dasien originally wore a red costume.
  • In Homestuck, Karkat and Dave are both red-themed heroes, as is Karkat's ancestor, who's a Crystal Dragon Jesus.
  • Coga Nito: Main protagonist Eric's Piece form is the appropriately-named Red Special. Niko even mentions that she's jealous that Eric gets to be red, and favours wearing a red jacket in her human form.
    • Mentioned more directly later on when a character does a tarot-style reading using collectible cards themed after anime tropes, one of which is the 'Hero In Red'.
  • The bunny protagonist of Blue Moon Blossom has mostly red fur, or is wearing some kind of floor-length red garment with specially shaped sleeves in the hood covering their ears and a hole for their tail. The red is also a bright shade that doesn't really appear anywhere else in the comic.

     Web Original 
  • How To Hero recommends that superheroes wear red, though in a rather cynical twist on this trope, it's to hide the inevitable blood they'll be spilling more than anything else.

    Western Animation 
  • In DuckTales (1987) and Darkwing Duck, Launchpad has red hair and wears a pilot's jacket that (in the latter) looks reddish-brown.
    • Also in DuckTales (1987), Huey, who is generally considered the leader of the triplets, wears red.
  • Blossom of The Powerpuff Girls wears pink, but is this trope more than Pink Means Feminine. More in line with the trope is the large red bow she wears on her head.
  • In early promo images for Avengers, Assemble!, the only character without any red on their person was the Hulk. Possibly in order to mix up the color palette a little, the artists changed Hawkeye's chest emblem to purple in post-production.
  • Zahara of Spider Stories was designed with this trope in mind, foregoing being a full Primary-Color Champion
  • In Transformers, Optimus Prime is red and blue. Rodimus Prime is red and yellow. And Autobots in general tend to have more red than the Decepticons do.
    • In an episode of Transformers Armada, a boy comments that the red robots are always heroes.
    • The Autobot logo in all continuities is almost always red and the Decepticon logo is almost always purple. Notably, in Transformers: Shattered Glass where the Autobots are evil and the Decepticons are good, they keep the logos but switch colors so the good guys are still red and the bad guys are still purple.
  • In The Fairly OddParents!, Timmy Turner's favorite superhero is "The Crimson Chin".
  • The protagonists of Xiaolin Showdown sport red robes.
  • T.J., the leader of the main six on Recess, is almost never seen without his red baseball hat. Also, Spinelli always wears a red oversized shirt/dress, red bands to keep her pigtails up, and part of her tights have red stripes.
  • Wilt from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends is a tall, red imaginary friend who is kind and helpful to everyone he meets.
  • Marinette from Miraculous Ladybug wears a red costume with black dots as Ladybug.
  • Gravity Falls: Every member of the Pines family wears a shade of red as their "main" color. For Dipper and Mabel it is orange/salmon and pink respectively, while Stan and Ford wear dark red/maroon.
  • In The Long Long Holiday, everyone in the Morteau family is a redhead, and all are connected with the French resistance by the end of the series.
  • The Simpsons Radioactive Man has a predominately red costume.
    • Bart and Lisa typically wear red clothes, not to mention Bart's lucky red hat.
  • The titular protagonist of American Dragon: Jake Long has a red jacket in human form and his dragon form is red.
  • The Incredibles has Mr Incredible start out with a blue costume before switching to a red one made by Edna. The rest of his family also wear red costumes.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Zuko is often seen in red but starts out as a villain. When he undergoes a Heel–Face Turn he becomes this trope. ** During the first half of the third season, the Gaang wore red Fire Nation clothing while hiding undercover in the Fire Nation.
    • Iroh, Piandoah and Jeong Jeong the major heroic Fire Nation characters qualify for this trope.
  • Legend of Korra:
    • Mako wears a red scarf that belonged to his dead father. He later gives it to his maternal grandmother.
    • Asami usually wears a gray and red jacket. Crosses over with Lady in Red when she wears a red dress for formal functions.
  • Kim Possible:
    • The titular heroic has red hair.
    • The Wego Twins of Team Go, Shego's former superhero team, were red and use of their powers manifest a red glow. They also have red hair.
  • Gargoyles has Eliza Maza who wears a red jacket and Brooklyn who is a red-skinned gargoyle.

    Real Life 
  • The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
  • The French Resistance, with their red Cross of Lorraine emblem.
  • The Knights Templar also used a flared red cross as their official symbol. Though their portrayal in fiction varies depending on interpretations, the group's stated purpose was at any rate heroic from their own perspective.
  • In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, red symbolizes God's love for humanity and is the liturgical color (the color of clerical clothing and hangings in the church) for the forty-day period from Easter (the main feast of the calendar) till the Ascension. Overlapping with Red Is Violent, it is also the color on martyrs' feast days.
  • A common visual cue in military traditions (not limited to the obvious Worker and Peasant's Red Army, the original name of the Soviet military) where solid colors aren't always used. The German and Japanese Imperial armies, the post-Civil War Chinese, Vietnamese and North Korean armed forces, and a number of armies in Latin America, if they used a color-coding system in military dress, used the color red both politically and/or as a 'heroic' color. At a certain point, it's probably the norm rather than the exception in color-coded military forces.
    • The British Army also wore redcoats for a time (and in the case of the Royal Guards, still do).
    • It's been said that using red helped to make the Communists more popular during the Russian Civil War, since red was traditionally considered a "good" color in Russian culture (a common saying even went with "The redder, the better"). Plain Red was also the traditional color of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, as opposed to the blue-white-red and yellow-black-white flags used by the imperial family.
    • The famed Tuskegee Airmen decorated their P-51 Mustangs with bright red empennage.note  Red markings in general have long been popular for military aircraft, such as the Red Baron and his all-red Fokker Dr.I and D.VII fighters.
  • Samurai warriors in the army of warlord Ii Naomasa were required to wear a uniform of all-red armor and under-kimonos. This introduced the concept of uniform to Japanese warfare. Naomasa's men were known as "the Red Devils" for their appearance and fighting skill.
  • Actors playing a hero role in Aragoto theater had red face make-up.


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