Follow TV Tropes


Red Oni, Blue Oni
aka: Blue Oni Red Oni

Go To

Detective Somerset: We must divorce ourselves from emotion here. No matter how hard it is, we have to remain focused on the details–
Detective Mills: Hey, man, I feed off my emotions, okay? How's that?
[Mills promptly gets into a fight with a reporter snooping around the crime scene]
Detective Mills: Hey, man, I'm sorry. They just... they piss me off, okay?
Detective Somerset: [sarcastically] It's okay. It's impressive to see a man feeding off his emotions.

This trope is about two individuals (or occasionally, factions or civilizations) that are significantly linked together somehow (such as through a rivalry, friendship, being siblings, co-workers, competitors, etc.) that have differing personalities and, with it, often different approaches to the world in general, especially whatever they might be competing in/for/over. This, of course, gives them something to butt heads about, since their manner of acting may rub each other the wrong way and each is sure that their way of doing things is right.

By the way, don't get too stuck on the colors in the title. The title refers to a Japanese tradition that gets elaborated a bit later in the article, but it doesn't mean that a character has to dress in or be associated with a particular color in order to fit the role.

Their personalities usually run roughly along the following lines:

  • The Red Oni is associated with passion, wildness, and defiance. A Red Oni character is often more brawny than brainy, extroverted, enthusiastic, determined, and filled with a zest for life. They are also much more likely to break conventions and rules than their counterpart. Often an Idiot Hero or, in more mature pieces, a Boisterous Bruiser. If a Red Oni is indeed noticeably intelligent, they will still be much more wild and impetuous than the Blue Oni and/or with less sophisticated thoughts, feelings, or goals. Generally speaking, they're more people-oriented than goal-oriented (although both Oni's can be either). They may or may not shrug off criticism about themselves or their aims and goals, but say or do something nasty to their closest friends and you've just guaranteed yourself a world of pain. When a goal-oriented villain, the Red Oni will often be Ax-Crazy and psychotically willing to sacrifice any innocent lives to achieve their goals. A more Affably Evil Red Oni tends to be a Blood Knight. In terms of character alignment, the Red Oni tends towards the Chaotic alignments, though this isn't always the case.
  • The Blue Oni is associated with serenity, control and observing authority. A Blue Oni is more intellectual, proud, traditional, introverted, and cultured (sometimes more spiritual, although that's not guaranteed), if a Blue Oni is indeed physically strong, they tend to be Genius Bruisers, with the calm, collected intelligence of a typical Blue Oni character combined with the physical prowess of a typical Red Oni character. Blue Oni personalities are often respected by others, but also likely to puzzle, confound or even intimidate their peers because they are difficult to read and have a mysterious quality to them. Personality subtypes include The Stoic, The Quiet One, Aloof Big Brother, Defrosting Ice Queen (or King) and Deadpan Snarker. It's worth noting that while blue types appear tremendously calm and composed, sometimes, this is just the surface, and scratching that façade may show that they are, if anything, wound far too tight beneath their calm and unemotional appearance. Villainous Blue Oni tend to be willing to sacrifice anything (and often anyone) for their goals, mostly only when their villainous goals are laden with true purpose (see Knight Templar and Well-Intentioned Extremist). Being more calculating, conniving and thorough (and if The Mole comes into play), Blue Oni tend to be more successful villains long-term than Red Oni. In terms of character alignment, the Blue Oni tends towards the Lawful alignments though this isn't always the case.

While many expressions of this trope play it straight, it is also not uncommon for the Blue Oni and Red Oni to mix traits. The Red Oni, while usually the more passionate and emotion-driven, may be the more easy-going and flexible of the two. Their more simplistic world-view may make them at least partially immune to angst and Wangst. Conversely, the Blue Oni, while usually stoic and thoughtful, may hide a volatile, angsty nature that erupts when pushed too far. In such instances, the two may switch roles, with the Red Oni becoming the reassuring, composed partner and the Blue Oni becoming a Whirling Dervish of Rage! Compare pairings such as Ken and Ryu, with Ken being the red oni — cocky, arrogant, but decidedly easy-going — and Ryu the blue — stoic, disciplined, but brimming with internal conflict. Interestingly, an easy-going Red Oni would become the Blue Oni if paired with a standard Hot-Blooded Red Oni, and an angsty, emotionally unstable Blue Oni would become the Red Oni if paired with a typical calm and levelheaded Blue Oni.

If Elemental Powers are present, you can usually expect the red oni to use Playing with Fire or something of a similarly flashy nature, while the blue oni will prefer Making a Splash or possibly be An Ice Person and an Elemental Rivalry is born.

There are a lot of ways to play their interactions, so sometimes the two are both leads on an equal standing, sometimes the blue is more of The Smart Guy or The Lancer to the red's Hot Blooded The Leader or The Big Guy. The relationship can also vary wildly, as they are just as likely to be close friends as they are to be bitter rivals or enemies. One thing that is sure is that regardless of how big a cast is, when these two are in it, they will be magnetically drawn to each other.

Note that many times, this will be a relative, not an absolute, distinction: the Red Oni need not be The Fool and the Blue Oni need not be a Straw Vulcan.

The name comes from traditional Japanese folklore where Oni (think troll/ogre) usually came in two flavors, Red and Blue. Over time, it's gotten popular to ascribe different qualities and personalities to the two colors. (Think the high-strung Type A personality and the easy-going Type B personality.) See also the Marid and Ifrits over at Our Genies Are Different.

In a show where it's relevant, differences in fighting style may be something like Technician Versus Performer. For example, a red may rush headlong into combat without focus or a plan, relying on surprise or intimidation. It may be that their strategy is to close the fight quickly before their opponent can think or adapt. It's also possible that they're going to tank their opponent's defenses in order to focus on beating them down. The blue may use cunning traps, stealth and strategies, or tend to win in elegant Single-Stroke Battle fashion, or rely on hitting a target with magical powers or projectiles from a distance instead of running up to their opponent and punching them in the face. Force and Finesse is a variation where red tends to rely on raw power while blue uses precision strikes. Analysis page has more examples of possible red-blue dynamics.

Male-male oni pairs in Japanese-language works usually have an Expository Pronoun contrast, most often with the red oni calling himself ore and the blue oni favoring boku.

Add one person (We'll call them the Purple Oni, who's not as passionate and headstrong as the Red Oni, but also not as rational and calm as the Blue Oni) that bridges between the Red Oni and Blue Oni and you got Freudian Trio, with the Red Oni becomes the Id/The McCoy, the Blue Oni becomes the Superego/The Spock, and the Purple Oni becomes the Ego/The Kirk (or a Blue Oni is the Ego as well, who's either torn between the two, or not involved.). That's the basic formula, but not always. Sometimes as the plot progresses, someone new is added and as they become the trio, this newcomer might be even more emotional than the Red Oni or is even more calm and calculating than the Blue Oni. And whoever keeps the trio together is the ego.

Keep in mind that this trope can apply to anyone and to any pairs of people. They do not have to literally wear red and blue for this trope to work and sometimes, they can even wear opposite colors that contrast their roles as a red or blue Oni. They also do not have to be of the same gender either as this trope can also apply to two people consisting of a boy and a girl.

Energetic and Soft-Spoken Duo is a subtrope. Compare Outside Man, Inside Man, Odd Couple, Cast Calculus (for the evolution of the Red/Blue dynamic through various numbers of ensembles), Tomboy and Girly Girl, Sensitive Guy and Manly Man, Order Versus Chaos, and Elves Versus Dwarves. See also Pink Girl, Blue Boy and Action Duo. If the contrast in personalities between the two actually brings them to blows, you probably have a Tiger Versus Dragon situation. If they are friends it will often be of the Vitriolic Best Buds variety, most commonly where one character is completely oblivious to the vitriol. A Technician/Performer Team-Up often have this breakdown, with the "technician" as blue and the "performer" as red.

Also, despite the name, this trope has nothing to do with that oni.

All example subpages are listed in the red-then-blue order unless otherwise specified:

Same goes for all the other example folders:

    open/close all folders 

  • This Italian brand of drinking water comes in two colors: red for "very fizzy" and blue for "lightly fizzy". The testimonials also reflect it in their personality.
  • Sanrio's Patty & Jimmy are well played in this trope: Patty is the red oni, because she excels in sports, but fails in studies. Jimmy is the blue oni, because he is not very athletic, but has A+ grades in such classes as math, and reading. In addition, the two friends wear their respective colors... most of the time.
  • UK Milky Way advertisement: The red car and the blue car had a race...
  • Old Spice has a series of commercials with dueling spokesmen Isaiah Mustafa as the smooth, calm blue to Terry Crews's loud red.
  • CinnaMon and Bad Apple from the Apple Jacks commercials. CinnaMon is an excitable cinnamon stick who frequently shows up his blue-oni counter part, Bad Apple, by using stunts to reach a bowl of their signature cereal first.
  • The former hosts of Nick Jr. can be seen as opposites to each other. Face (host from 1994 to 2004, and the host of Face's Music Party) and Piper O'Possum (host from 2004 to 2007) are the excitable, zany red onis, while Moose and Zee (co-hosts of Noggin from 2003 to 2009, Nick Jr. from 2009 to 2012) are the calm, quiet blue onis.
    • Moose and Zee can be seen as opposites to each other as well, albeit a downplayed example. Moose is the more extroverted and talkative one of the duo, while Zee is more introverted and explicitly stated to be shy in her debut appearance on Noggin.

  • Feng Ling Yu Xiu: Where Feng Ling'er can be fairly abrasive and has more of an attitude, Bai Yuxiu is mild-mannered and polite. However, Feng Ling'er has been shown to be more cautious than Bai Yuxiu in dangerous situations.
  • In Motu Patlu, Motu is more hot-tempered (red) while Patlu is considerably calmer (blue).

  • Medici Chapels: That the Medici brothers are Sibling Yin-Yang of sorts is symbolized by the statues that flank their tombs. "Dusk" and "Dawn" represent the transitions of the day, where the light is tender and invites calm contemplation. They are placed at Lorezon's sides and, like him, are Blue Onis. On the other hand, "Day" and "Night" convey tension —the former is full of energy to tackle his routine while the latter is in a fitful sleep. They are Red Onis whose stark contrast belies Giuliano's prideful disposition.
  • Oni Embodiments: The Oni sculptures are literal embodiments of this trope. "Embodiment of 'A'" is red-skinned and a Blood Knight. "Embodiment of 'Um'", by contrast, is blue-skinned and The Stoic.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Red and Blue magic and characters often have this relationship with one another. Red magic, mages, and creatures are all about passion and defiance. Blue magic tends to be big on thought and planning. Also, fire magic tends to be red, while water magic tends to be blue.
    • Among planeswalkers, the two typical embodiments of this comparison are Chandra Nalaar's pyromantic, hotheaded and impulsive Red to Jace Beleren's mind-bending, studious and analytical Blue.
    • In their childhood, the brothers Mishra and Urza fit this trope perfectly. Mishra is temperamental, emotional, and passionate, whereas Urza is scholarly, logical, and standoffish. This continues throughout the Brothers' War.
    • In modern sets, djinn and efreets often play this role against each other. Djinn, associated with Blue mana, are passive and thoughtful. Efreets, tied to Red mana, are wild, emotional and impulsive. This is particularly notable through two characters from Strixhaven, a school of magic whose colleges each focus on the dichotomy between two opposing colors — in this case the deans of the Red/Blue college of Prismari, the scholarly djinn Uvilda, who believes that careful scrutiny and planned, deliberate choice are they key to great art, and the flamboyant efreet Nassari, who believes art comes from passion, emotion and unrestrained self-expression. Uvilda's artwork thus consists of small, precisely shaped and extensively worked-on masterpieces, while Nassari's are grand projects designed to be ever bigger, more radical and more emotionally exciting.
    • In the Strixhaven set, there are five colleges in the titular university, and all of them have different variations of this with each other, which is deliberate as they are all utilize enemy colors so as to simulate a school debate.
      • Lorehold (Red/White): a history college that produces Indiana Jones-type students, their internal argument with regards to history is simplified to Order Versus Chaos, with White representing Order, while Red represents Chaos.
      • Prismari (Red/Blue): an art college that deals with art in all its forms, but their argument in the approach to art is nothing short of Harmony Versus Discipline or Technician Versus Performer (Blue being the technician, Red being the Performer).
      • Quandrix (Green/Blue): a math college that focuses on all things dealing with math, their argument is whether math is all theory (Blue), or if these equations can be brought to life (Green); basically, Mother Nature, Father Science.
      • Silverquill (White/Black): a college known for its word-based magic; their argument can be boiled down to Warrior vs. Sorcerer, as the debate is about whether words should be used to strike down enemies (Black), or to to help uplift allies (White)
      • Witherbloom (Green/Black): a college centered around biology. They argue whether Life is more important in the grand scheme of things (Green), or if Death is more important (Black).
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
    • Defender, the Magical Knight is the defensive counterpart to "Breaker the Magical Warrior." "Breaker's" emphasis is on his ATK and sword; "Defender's" is on his DEF and shield. "Breaker" is DARK Attribute while "Defender" is LIGHT Attribute. Their color schemes are also the opposite of each other, "Breaker's" armor is red while "Defender's" armor is blue. Their effects are also opposites of each other since "Breaker's" effect destroys Spell or Trap Cards, while "Defender's" effect protects Spellcasters (hence the names).
    • Nikitama and Aratama are references to the duality of god in the Shinto religion, namely Aratama & Nigitama, this card being a "evil" god, while "Nikitama" is a "kind" god, therefore they are counterparts of each other. Aratama supports destruction and anger (this may be represented by its effect that allows the player to search for a strong monster). Nigitama supports birth, growth and regeneration (this may be represented by its swarming effect and the one that allows the player to draw 1 card).
    • Finally, there's also the straight up examples of Red-Headed Oni and Blue-Blooded Oni.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin is hyper and imaginative while Hobbes is calm and philosophical.
  • In Dilbert, Alice is the hot-tempered, overacting red to Wally's laid-back, calculating blue.
  • Garfield and Odie often fit the Red Oni and Blue Oni, with Garfield being lazy, a Perpetual Frowner and sluggish in activity while Odie is always happy, a Perpetual Smiler and very physically active.
    • Jon is often the Red Oni himself, being this desperate loser always calling women on the phone asking for a date or simply asking Garfield answers to philosophical questions while Garfield does nothing but slouch on the table and make a harsh comment or insult about Jon like telling him to get a life or "Feed me".
  • Peanuts:
    • Played straight with the bossy, crabby, strong-opinionated Lucy and her calm, younger brother Linus who acts as the strip's philosopher and theologian by reciting quotes from The Bible. Quite a little ironic considering how Lucy's signature color is blue while Linus' is red.
    • Downplayed with Peppermint Patty and Marcie, which Patty is more of an extrovert while Marcie is more of an introvert.

  • Before she became Lady Gaga, she recorded a song called, "Red and Blue", describing a relationship between a red and blue oni (she's the red one, if you needed to be told).
    When you're cold, I like to burn
    I cut lines, you wait you turn
    But I guess I could forgive you tonight
  • In Eminem's mythology, the Heroic Comedic Sociopath Slim Shady Enemy Within is the red, and the lyrical, Olympian Eminem is the blue. In the 2022 Super Bowl show trailer, where Eminem and Slim do Battle Rapping, Eminem's lyrics are linguistically complex (e.g. "the truth is the blueprint's simply rage and youthful exuberance") and written in blue all lowercase letters, while Slim's lyrics are simple catchphrases (e.g. "GUESS WHO'S BACK", "I'M THE REAL SHADY") and presented in red ALL CAPS.
  • Snow-White and Rose-Red from The Mechanisms' album Once Upon a Time (in Space) definitely count as this. Snow is a gifted politician who urges the tyrannical King Cole to cease his imperialist conquest and consider peace. Rose, on the other hand, is the strongest warrior in King Cole's military, and becomes the genetic basis for his army of cloned super soldiers.
  • The music video for Wiley ft Chew Fu's Take That features two dancers, Shanie Ryan and Yasmin Ogbu. Throughout the video, Yasmin (Red) pulls many crazy facial expressions and mouths some of the song, while Shanie (Blue) retains the same neutral expression (save for the occasional smile) and doesn't mouth any of the words. Ironically, in closeup shots, Yasmin is cast under a blue light while Shanie is cast under a red light.

    Mythology and Folklore 
  • The obvious Japanese mythological reference above, being the Trope Namer, from Momotaro.
    • The literal Ur-Example (and more likely Trope Namer) comes from the names of two Oni associated with Onmyodo, Zenki (Preceding Oni) and Goki (Following Oni). Zenki is depicted as a large male Oni with red skin who walks in front of the caster and wields a giant axe, implying brutality and impulsiveness. Goki instead is a (usually) female blue Oni, sometimes depicted as smaller than Zenki and walking behind the caster and wields a stone bottle in her hands, implying a more supportive role and thinking.
    • From the same source, we have the demon brothers Fujin, the dark green-skinned god of Wind, and Raijin, the light red-skinned god of Thunder.
    • An interesting comparison is the two female temptresses: Jorogumo (Red) use their charms and flirtation to snag their prey, The Yuki-onna (Blue) use innocence and elegance instead. Alternatively, Jorogumo is the calm, smart and seductive Blue to Tsuchigumo's violent, animalistic Red.
    • Averted with the two Oni guardians of Hell, Gozu and Mezu: while they're often depicted with contrasting colors (Red and Blue respectively) they generally lack opposite personalities or quirks.
  • Areas of Asia that have been heavily influenced by Taoism tend to have "red oni" and "blue oni" analogues. In particular, traditional depictions of shishi (foo-lions or foo-dogs) tend to have "red oni"/"blue oni" symbolism based on Taoist concepts of yin and yang.
    • The notion of "positive" and "negative" signs in Western astrology mirrors this trope as well. Peculiarly, in both cases, the Red Oni is referred to as "masculine" and the Blue Oni as "feminine".
  • Most descriptions of "Hero Twins" stories from Southeastern, Southwestern, and Mesoamerican Native American cultures generally consist of a "red oni" (usually a Wild Boy character coming from a clot of blood, raised in a jar, being part jaguar, etc. depending on the specific culture) and a "blue oni" (usually a "tame boy" character who largely goes along with whatever the Red Oni is plotting, though sometimes he objects).
    • The earliest recorded version of this are the Mayan stories of Hunhapu (Blue) and Xbalanque (Red) in the Popol Vuh and in Mayan stelas (some dating back to at least 200 CE and potentially even dating back to Olmec iconography), making this trope at least Older Than Feudalism.
      • The trope in relation to Mayan Mythology gets a bit complicated as Hunahpu takes the initiative in the mortal world, but Xbalanque does in the land of the dead Xibalba; however, Xbalanque is more animalistic (in many depictions, being a jaguar Half-Human Hybrid), thus fitting more in the Red Oni role despite having turned into the Moon whilst his brother became the Sun. The Siouan, Cherokee, and Dine (Navajo) versions play the Red Oni/Blue Oni imagery rather straighter.
  • Norse Mythology has Thor and Loki. Whenever they're teamed up, Thor tends to be the guy who charges in, hammer swinging, while Loki is the one making plans.
    • Fire giant Loki, willing to pull nasty tricks on someone for momentarily ticking him off, and his sworn brother gray wanderer Odin, who holds his cards so close his chest, he ticks off all the other Aesir (except possibly Baldur).
  • In Greek Mythology: Athena, Apollo, and Hephaestus are blue, Ares, Artemis, and Aphrodite are red. Apollo is so blue that the blue oni personality is sometimes called "Apollonian." The red oni personality is often called "Dionysian."
    • Hades is the blue to Zeus and Poseidon's red.
  • The Western Zodiac have their contrasts between the same elemental signs. (By descriptions and stereotypes alone)
    • Air Signs: Gemini (Red) is described as rather playful, intelligently curious and rather unpredictable emotionally. Libra and Aquarius (Blues) are more inquisitive, charming (and in Libra's case) balanced in justice.
    • Fire Signs: Leo and Sagittarius (Red) are generally more bombastic, chaotic, flirtatious, reckless and arrogant misfits. Aries (Blue) while equally loud and proud as the latter two, Aries however is strong, confident and make good leaders with their determination.
    • Earth Signs: Capricorn (Red) is the stubborn, workaholic with a natural tendency toward people-pleasing. Taurus and Virgo (Blues) are more low-key, intellectual and traditional. Taurus and Virgo particularly get along, for their mutual respect for beauty and details.
    • Water Signs: Scorpio (Red) is known to be extremely intense and emotional towards life. Scorpio's passion and power has mistaken it for a Fire Sign at times. Cancer and Pisces (Blues) however are much more nurturing, loving and protective of their loved ones. Cancer is particularly intuitive, while Pisces is greatly sympathetic.
  • Binary Break has Kat (Red) and Cate (Blue). Cate is relaxed and can go with the flow, and generally tries to be friendly with everyone. Kat is much more acerbic, sees Cate as more of a rival, and doesn't seem to have many friends beyond Cate.
  • Find Us Alive: Love (Red) and Raddagher (Blue), with shades of both Energetic and Soft-Spoken Duo and Ham and Deadpan Duo. Love is loud, brash, impulsive, and prone to violence and Suddenly Shouting; Raddagher is The Quiet One (to the point of becoming nonverbal occasionally), reserved, methodical, and often the first to notice when something seems off. As it turns out, Opposites Attract.
  • While both co-hosts of Were You Raised by Wolves? are passionate about etiquette, Leah often suggests breaking certain rules of etiquette to resolve conflicts and she often expresses what she would like to do even if it would be rude. Nick, on the other hand, finds it difficult to suggest breaking these rules and often — though not always — agrees with what Miss Manners or Emily Post would do.
  • In “Literature/Sorcery of Thorns” Elisabeth, the sword-wielding impulsive protagonist is the Red Oni to Nathaniel and Silas’ calmer, softer blue Oni.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]

  • The Brothers of Destruction: The Undertaker (Red) and Kane (Blue) in earlier years 97 - 2001. Though it can vary. Kane was ruthless but usually followed the leads of others. Otherwise, he was fairly calm. Undertaker, however, displayed a clear Hair-Trigger Temper and was arguably harder to get under control once he got going. Notable examples are as follows
    • The confrontation with Bearer after their first alliance. When Paul insults their mother, Kane has to hold Taker back. However, once Kane turned his back on Paul, Taker beat him viciously.
    • After Vince insults them, Kane remains calm while Taker warns him to watch his ass with them or he'll be crippled. When they catch Vince flipping them off, again Taker is the one who unleashes Hell on him while Kane merely keeps help at bay and puts Vince in a position for Taker to finish crippling him.
    • Called out during Taker's 2000 American Badass days when he was waiting to attack Triple H.
    Kane: You know, there's other ways of handling this.
    Undertaker: Since when did you become the voice of reason?! Yeah, there's other ways of handling it. But I'm gonna handle it my way tonight.
  • Contrasting the team-up with his brother, Kane has been the Blue in other tag teams. His second most notable tag team with The Big Show tended to have him as the more stoic (if psychotic) of the two while Show ranged anywhere between Hot-Blooded to Big Fun. Another team with Team Hell No, saw him again play the Blue Oni to Daniel Bryan's Red.
  • The Hardy Brothers: Jeff Hardy (impulsive and aerial Red) and Matt Hardy (more calculated and ground-based Blue).
  • Edge (blue) and Christian (red)
    • Maybe during their initial run, but after going singles, Edge is a much wilder, crazier Red, and since his return, Christian is a calm, relaxed Blue.
  • Former WWE Unified Tag Team Champions Mike "The Miz" Mizanin (angry Red) and John Morrison (mellow Blue).
  • The Rockers (originally AWA's Expies of The Rock 'n' Roll Express from the NWA), Marty Jannetty (Blue) and Shawn Michaels (Red); notable for the fact that the group originally split after they gradually switched roles over the course of their 5-year tag team career.
    • In the same vein, the most recent iteration of D-Generation X, with Shawn Michaels back in the Red Oni role and partner/best friend Triple H in the Blue Oni role (it can also be noted that Hunter can switch the colors pretty much on demand now as a story needs him to).
  • Classic big-man tag team The Twin Towers, where the Big Bossman (prior to his Heel–Face Turn) was the Red Oni and Akeem "The African Dream" (after switching gimmicks from The One Man Gang) was the Blue Oni.
  • The Outsiders, Kevin Nash (Blue) and Scott Hall (firmly entrenched in Red territory).
  • Even Mick Foley (jokey Red) and Al Snow (serious Blue) meet this trope head-on!
  • During the Attitude Era, the WWF's top two stars were Steve Austin (the surly, boisterous Red Oni) and The Rock (the suave, snarky Blue Oni).
  • TNA's Beer Money, Inc. James Storm (red) and Robert Roode (blue)
  • Even the ANNOUNCERS get in on the action!
  • The APA was a good example with Bradshaw as the Ranting Red and Faarooq as the Blue of a single word. That word, of course, being "DAMN!".
  • In TNA, you have Mr Anderson (rule-breaking, stubborn asshole Red) and Matt Morgan (higher-minded, honourable Blue), although, in an ironic twist, Anderson's entrance lighting is very blue-themed whereas Morgan's is very red.
  • Raw and Smackdown are this right down to their colors. RAW has more crazy segments and is most of the time aired live while Smackdown is usually geared towards wrestling and was always taped until 2016.
  • In Japan, there is the classic rivalry between New Japan Pro-Wrestling (Red; focuses on high-flying maneuvers and fast-paced martial arts move exchanges) and All Japan Pro Wrestling (Blue; focuses on traditional heavyweight bouts and slow-burning feuds and matches). This in turn extends to their founders, with New Japan founder Antonio Inoki being the brash and self-aggrandizing Red Oni and All Japan founder Giant Baba being the stoic and traditionalist Blue Oni.
  • Legendary All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling tag team the Crush Gals: Chigusa Nagayo (Red) and Lioness Asuka (Blue). Neither fell into the absolute territory but Nagayo was usually the more emotional, passionate one while Asuka was the cooler, calmer one. They even wore red (for Chigusa) and blue (for Asuka).
  • MsChif is the Red Oni of MSEERIE, where her partner is the comparatively quieter and less outlandish of the two and the Blue Oni of Diabolic Khaos where she is the comparatively subtle strategist while her partner runs around wild, hitting people with foreign objects while babbling about random topics.
  • Delirious is also the red oni of Incoherence, not that Hallowicked was particularly subdued, but he is downright stoic compared to Delirious.
  • Curry Man wore yellow and red, but he was the blue oni to the confrontational Shark Boy, who incidentally was a red oni dressed in blue.
  • Los Sicarios del Ring, the two wrestlers El Satanico Dr. No brainwashed in 2005. Mephisto, the brutish red devil and Averno, the cunning manipulative blue devil.
  • Of the main two members of the second Bullet Club incarnation, AJ Styles is the blue oni, being pretty laid back and somewhat content to wrestle cleanly (at one point even asking one of New Japan's referees just what he was and wasn't allowed to do), to Karl Anderson's red, who became the de facto leader after the departure of Fergal Devitt and is responsible for maintaining the group's vicious, evil, reputation.
  • Rocky Romero the red to Roppongi Vice partner Berreta the blue, who is fine with saying little and being cool, whereas Romero was used to a partner he'd always fight and make up with as well as screaming at people.
  • The Funk Brothers: Terry Funk, the "middle-aged and crazy" "Hardcore Legend", is the Red, and Dory is the quieter, more reserved Blue.
  • One of the reasons why Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage could never team together for too long was that they were both Reds. Miss Elizabeth was a Non Action Blue to Savage's Red.
  • While never a full-time team, CHIKARA's Aces Mike Quackenbush and Eddie Kingston were this kind of contrast. Kingston, "The War King", was the Red, a rage and pain-fueled tough guy who preferred beating people up to applying sophisticated holds and would not give up no matter the injury. Quack was the Blue, "The Master of a Thousand Holds", who saw wrestling as a human chess game and preferred to take his opponents down to the mat and defeat them by thinking far ahead of them. That said, Quack could also be a case of Beware the Nice Ones/You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!, since his Roaring Rampage of Revenge against GEKIDO in 2012 led to the original leader, 17note  and combatANTnote  out of CHIKARA altogether.
  • Kenny Omega is the hyperactive and geeky Red, while Adam Page is the reserved and old-fashioned blue in moments where they teamed up.
  • The Kingdom: Matt Taven (Red) and Mike Bennett (Blue).

  • The Bible has several examples:
    • Adam & Eve are Blue Oni, Red Oni in straightest terms. Adam was the one who named the animals and was in full charge of Eden, second only to God while Eve was Red due to having being fully loving to Adam. Deconstructed when Eve easily succumbs to the temptation to eat the apple while Adam passively allowed it to happen.
    • Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary are complicated examples, yet remain a perfect Reconstruction. Jesus was outwardly Red Oni due to being active in His duty to God and even got angry when His Church was being misused as a market place and while accosting the Pharisees (There is even a whole chapter in Matthew devoted to a single "Reason You Suck" Speech about them), but was inwardly Blue Oni due to being peaceful in His approach and remained loving even toward his enemies. Mary, on the other hand, was outwardly Blue Oni by remaining peaceful while inwardly Red Oni by not hesitating to risk being (unjustly) stoned to death and being a loving Mother.
    • David and Goliath is a classic example. As powerful as Goliath was, it was David who won the battle between them. Goliath was a strong and powerful warrior who was said to be far taller than poor David. But armed with a mere slingshot, David skilfully outwitted Goliath thus turned the tables on the brute.
    • The brothers Jacob and Esau in the Book of Genesis. Esau is the Red Oni, an active hunter who is implied to be impulsive (he sells his birthright to Jacob in exchange for a bowl of stew), and is even described as having red hair on his body. Jacob is the Blue Oni, described as a studious young man who "dwells in tents" and is shown several times to be quite strategic and plotting.
  • Religious traditions often have contrasting denominations that can be boiled down to an emphasis on personal spirituality, devotion and religious expression (Red Oni) versus a focus on tradition, moral codes and religious authority (Blue Oni).
    • Christianity—Catholicism (Red) and Protestantism (Blue). Orthodox is more on the Red side, but closer to the middle. Whereas the Latter-Day Saints is more Blue. And within Protestantism: Evangelicalism (Red) and Mainline (Blue).
    • Islam—Sunni (Red) and Shi'a (Blue), though there are clear divisions within those categories as well.
      • Within Sunni Islam, the Maturidi, Ashari (Blue), and Athari (Red) schools of theology, as well as the Salafi/Wahhabi (Red) movement. And within Shia Islam, there are the Twelvers (Red), Isma'ili and Zaydi (Blue) sects.
    • Judaism—Somewhat complicated. While Orthodox definitely fits the Blue category, less stringent groups like Conservative and Reform also belong there too, since they champion a rational approach to religion. Hasidism and Chabad, while often thought of as ultra-Orthodox by outsiders, could be considered Red because of their revivalist nature.
    • Buddhism: Mahayana and Vajrayana (Red) and Theravada (Blue).
    • Indian subcontinent—Hinduism (Red) and Sikhism (Blue).
    • Chinese traditions—Taoism (Red) and Confucianism (Blue).
    • Japanese traditions—Shinto (Red) and Buddhism (Blue).


    Tabletop Games 
  • Siblings Grave and Jaina Stormborne from the Fantasy Strike universe. Dedicated swordsman with wind powers versus hot-tempered archer with fire powers. Unsurprising, as it's a very deliberate Street Fighter Homage and they're the Ryu and Ken analogues. Designer David Sirlin worked on Street Fighter HD and Puzzle Fighter, and his games Yomi and Puzzle Strike were inspired by those games. but he ended up creating his own setting and characters rather than getting the license.
  • Forgotten Realms:
    • Among the gods of war in the Faerûnian Pantheon, Tempus (supreme war god to whom virtually every combatant on the planet prays to on the eve of battle) and Garagos (god of bloodlust and destruction) are red, and the Red Knight (goddess of strategy and tactics) is blue.
  • Traveller: Vilani and Zhodani are Blue, Aslan and Vargr are Red. Solimani are sort of in between. The Third Imperium is a very Blue empire, but some of its member worlds are more red.
  • Games Workshop:
    • Warhammer has the High Elven twins Prince Tyrion (red, a Warrior Prince who enjoys combat and action) and Teclis (blue, a scholarly archmage who prefers diplomacy over fighting).
    • Warhammer 40,000 features the loud, bombastic Colour Sergeant Kell serving under his Heterosexual Life-Partner, the calm, calculating Ursakar "Tactical Genius" Creed.
    • Both settings include the twin Ork gods Gork and Mork. Mork is a god of cunning brutality who will hit you when you aren't looking, and Gork is brutally cunning and will hit you really hard even if you are. The argument over which is which provides another excuse for Greenskins to kill time by killing each other.
    • Played With in regards to Leman Russ, primarch of the viking-esque Space Wolves, and Lion El'Jonson, primarch of the scholarly Dark Angels. Russ gave the impression that he was a brash, brutal and wild barbarian, while in fact he was a very wise and scholarly man. El'Jonson on the other hand cultivated a more dignified and kingly mystique, but it was mostly a facade. When he got mad he was far worse and destructive than Russ, furthermore, he was arguably the most unnerving of all the primarchs, as nobody quite knew what to make of him. They were close friends despite their differences, though their respective chapters tend to forget that and only focus on the differences.
    • Tzeentch and Khorne - Tzeentch is all about magic and planning stuff; he and all his daemons are primarily blue. Khorne is all about hitting stuff in the face without any planning, and he and all his daemons are primarily red. Same goes for Magnus and Angron and their respective chaos marine followers. (Ironically, Magnus's Thousand Sons sported red when they were loyalists and switch to blue after going to the dark side, while the World Eaters started with white and blue before they decided to stop washing their armor. Magnus himself however, remains red in title and color, despite being a blue oni at heart and serving a daemon god that is also primarily blue.)
    • Angron and Kharn. Kharn was the equerry of Angron, and tried to calm Angron's fits of anger as much as possible. Kharn also crushed the back of two legions, World Eaters, his own legion and Emperor's Children at Battle of Skalathrax, because they sought safe zones under sub-zero weather that froze power armor, instead of fighting. Swell guy, isn't he? Now, just imagine how terrifying Angron was...

  • Mozart's The Abduction from a Seraglio has fiery mischievous Blonde (Red) and brooding, melancholy Konstanze (Blue), the lead soprano parts.
  • A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder: Sibella and Phoebe to a tee. They even wear giant pink and turquoise dresses, respectively.
  • In Hamlet we have Laertes (Red) and Fortinbras (Red) contrasting with Hamlet (Blue), conforming to the The Zeroth Law of Trope Examples.
  • In Jasper in Deadland, Gretchen (red) is a passionate and carefree Antinihilist due to having nothing left to lose, while Jasper (blue) is an introverted and aloof Troubled Teen due to having watched his life fall apart and being unable to prevent it.
  • In the movie version of the musical Jekyll and Hyde (yes, the one with David Hasselhoff), Dr. Jekyll is shown with a red light (hard to tell in this picture, sorry) and Hyde is shown with a blue light shining on him.
  • In Julius Caesar there is Cassius (red) and Brutus (blue). To a lesser extent, Octavius is also blue to Antony's red.
  • The Lady from the Sea by Henrik Ibsen has the Wangel sisters: Hilde (red), and Bolette (blue).
  • To a degree, Henry Higgins (Red) and Colonel Pickering (Blue) from Pygmalion and My Fair Lady, with Eliza Doolittle eventually playing Red Oni to Higgins's Blue.
  • The Magic Flute:
    • The two main male roles, Papageno (red) and Tamino (blue). Papageno is the Plucky Comic Relief of the opera who is often very emotional and something of a Manchild, while Tamino plays the Straight Man to his antics and is more reserved and sensible. This is particularly evident when both are undergoing the trials of Isis — Tamino keeps a cool head and makes it through the trials almost without any effort, while Papageno has much more trouble trying to grasp the restrictions put on him and complains petulantly about them at various points.
    • We also have Sarastro, the gentle, wise, and benevolent High Priest of Isis (Blue), and the much prouder, fiercer, and more dramatic Queen of the Night (Red).
  • In Moriarty: A New Sherlock Holmes Adventure, Irene Adler is the Red to Sherlock Holmes's Blue, although she is as clever as he is and stands on an equal footing with him.
  • French performances, Moulin Rouge! (red) and The Phantom of the Opera (blue) both contrast in their theme of love. Moulin Rouge shows love as lustful, animalistic and a way to control others. Phantom of the Opera shows love as sacred, romantic, and tender over forced. The villains, The Duke and The Phantom arguably show these differing themes best.
  • In Oklahoma!, incorrigible flirt Ado Annie is the red to her prim and proper blue best friend Laurey.
  • Romeo and Juliet gives us Romeo (Red) and Benvolio (Blue), Mercutio (Red) and Benvolio (Blue), and even Romeo (Red) and Juliet (Blue).
  • In Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Rosencrantz is Red and Guildenstern is Blue.
  • Vladimir and Estragon in Waiting for Godot.
  • In Wicked Elphaba (the red) has a fiery passion for social justice and is not afraid to publicly go against the grain to accomplish her goals. Glinda (the blue with a blue dress) is not as keen on rash decisions and tends to put on a soft-spoken, demure face for the public. The contrast between the two is best displayed in the song "Defying Gravity".

  • BIONICLE started off featuring easily-angered Toa of Fire Tahu and No Social Skills Toa of Ice Kopaka. However, later teams would invert this; Jaller was a Toa of Fire yet calm and professional as The Captain, while his team's Toa of Ice, Matoro, was quiet but compassionate, determined, and The Chosen One. The Bara Magna setting has another inversion, as the fire tribe warrior Ackar is old and thoughtful, while his best friend, Kiina (with the water tribe), is a brash, sharp-tongued Ladette.
  • Inhumanoids brought us the duo of Pyre (Fire spirit) and Crygen (Grey ice spirit), both of which can fuse together into the guardian of the Earth's core, Magnacore!
    • As with the Earth Corps humans, Herc Armstrong is the fearless Red oni while Liquidator is the more calm and collected Blue oni. Although their file photo shirts are the otherway around, Herc's green exploration suit has more red on it than blue...while Liquidator's yellow suit has it the other way around.
    • Of course, if you want Herc as the blue oni, contrast him with bad boy Auger's red oni. And Liquidator can only be red oni to the blue oni of Dr. Derek Bright (who himself wears the blue exploration suit).
  • Robo Force, the mid 80's collection of action figure robots, played this trope very straight. Blazer, the igniter, is Red oni because he is very impulsive... not to mention that he uses flamethrowers as his weapons. But S.O.T.A. (State Of The Art), the creator, is Blue oni for being an inventive scientist with a calm demeanor. Also, both robots have their torsos in their respective colors.

    Visual Novels 
  • The Ace Attorney series has some Red and Blue Onis. An inverted example is Phoenix, the blue-clad defense attorney (who isn't as hot-headed as a typical Red Oni, but he doesn't tend to think things through) and his red-wearing frenemy Miles Edgeworth, who is calm, cool, and calculating most of the time. In fact, the lawyers with the more fiery reddish qualities (Phoenix, Franziska, etc.) have a blue motif in their dress, while the more aloof ones (Edgeworth, Godot's visor and clothing as Diego Armando) have a red motif.
    • An example from the later game, Apollo Justice, has the title character wearing a red vest — his preference for the color red is even mentioned a couple times in-game — and being rather impulsive (also, his hair is horns!). There are a couple of blue onis in the game. Kristoph Gavin, for one, is, though friendly, very serious and icy as well and wears a blue suit. However, in the end, Kristoph pretty much out-hams every murderer in the series. Klavier Gavin is the epitome of "cool collectedness" and wears a purplish maroon getup.
      • To a lesser degree, we have another inverted version with Klavier in his pinkish/reddish/purplish outfit as a cool straight-man, and his band-mate Daryan Crescend in a blue, shark-like outfit being quite temperamental.
      • Phoenix Wright is finally living up to his colour scheme and now plays the cryptic and coolheaded Chessmaster in direct contrast to Apollo's Hot-Blooded and flustered character.
    • Played with in Justice For All: Matt Engarde, a popular — if somewhat dim — celebrity wears a scarlet jacket, whereas his manager, Adrian Andrews, is calm and collected and wears blue. In reality, Engarde is a vicious, self-obsessed manipulator and Adrian is a co-dependent, frail woman who's deathly afraid of Engarde.
    • While Phoenix and Apollo might be reds to their prosecutor rivals' blues, they also both tend to play the more rational Straight Man to to their Genki Girl Cloud Cuckoo Lander assistants.
    • And let's not forget about Robin Newman and Hugh O'Conner in Dual Destinies. Robin, who is very hyperactive and likes to shout, wears red, while the calm, laid-back Hugh wears blue.
    • Or Geiru and Uendo Toneiro from Spirit of Justice; the former wears pink, and is more excitable, easy to anger, and prefers visual humor. The latter wears green most prominently, is laid-back, harder to slip up, and prefers puns, sarcasm, and anecdotal humor. Ironic, since Geiru is the green-eyed monster of the two.
    • Sunohara is impulsive, brash, and conceited, whereas his best friend Tomoya is more sensible and mild-mannered, albeit rather sarcastic and blunt.
    • Twins Kyou and Ryou also have this dynamic. The former is tough, headstrong, and outspoken, whereas the latter is timid, calm, and reserved.
  • In Daughter for Dessert, Kathy (Red Oni) is wild and unconstrained (and goes to bars while underage), while Amanda (Blue Oni) is grounded and responsible, and likes making plans.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend: the human girl is generally red to everyone else, with the exception of Oko-san who matches her for hot blood. As brothers, Yuuya and Sakuya are red and blue respectively.
  • Mion of Higurashi: When They Cry has a tattoo of a blue oni, prominently featured in the opening. However, she's far more like the red oni in terms of personality. Then again, the tattoo isn't "hers" to begin with, thanks to an unfortunate Twin Switch in which Shion was supposed to get it. As a result, Mion is supposed to act Red as part of the older sibling role she's forced to play, while her sister Shion acts Blue as part of the younger sibling's role. In truth, Mion's true self is blue while Shion's is red.
    • Mion is Red to Rena's Blue.
    • Also, in episode 20 of Higurashi, Hanyuu says "If Keiichi is a flame that burns red, then Rena is a quiet, blue flame!"
    • Keiichi (red) also has this relationship with Mion (blue) to a lesser degree.
    • Keiichi (red) to the more calm and gentle Satoshi (blue).
    • Satoko (red) and Rika (blue).
  • In Katawa Shoujo, blue-eyed Lilly Satou is refined, gentle, composed, and elegant . Red-eyed Akira Satou, by contrast, is rough, unrefined, and rather more direct, not to mention being willing to bring alcohol for the under-age Hisao, Hanako, and Lilly at Hanako's birthday party. Hisao briefly mentally reflects in Hanako's route that actually meeting her doesn't quite match his mental image about how she would be like from the brief snippets he had gotten by way of description before.
  • Little Busters!: Haruka and Mio fit this whenever they interact, with overly emotional, energetic, ditzy, impulsive, Manic Pixie Dream Girl-esque Haruka being the Red Oni and quiet, sly, intellectual, cool, stoic Mio being the Blue Oni.
    • Also, Hot-Blooded Dumb Muscle Masato and his friend/rival, the Stoic, Kendo-playing Kengo. Fittingly, Masato wears a red shirt, while Kengo is almost always wearing his navy blue Kendo outfit.
  • In Mystic Messenger, the Deep Story route has redheaded Playful Hacker 707 who enjoys trolling the other characters with practical jokes and tall tales and dark-haired businessman Jumin who's extremely stoic and The Comically Serious as the two available love interests. Ironically, a major plot point of their routes is them turning out to be Mirror Characters: both are incredibly rich, have the most personal history with V and Rika, and their outer selves are masks concealing 707's depressed and cynical side and Jumin's emotionally intense side.
  • Nasuverse:
    • Twin sisters Aoko and Touko. One is chaotic, the other lawful. Touko was originally depicted as having blue hair until the The Garden of Sinners OVA gave her an Adaptation Dye-Job to resemble her twin sister more. Genetics beats out symbolism these days. Nevertheless, their Mage Titles are "Red" and "Blue". (Don't bring it up, it's a sore subject.)
    • In Fate/stay night Rin and Saber are this.
      • Archer and Lancer play with it by their color scheme, but their personalities are exactly the opposite.
      • Shirou and Archer. Shirou is emotive and driven entirely by his desire to save everyone and ensure that no one is hurt that he is there to save, which makes him easy to manipulate in some cases. Archer is utterly goal-oriented and makes cold, rational decisions based on what has the highest chance of success - this is even reflected in his ability Eye of the Mind (True), which enables him to analyze a situation and plan tactics even in the heat of battle. Shirou is extremely protective of his friends and will prioritize their safety and the safety of civilians, including being willing to fight Caster on his own in Unlimited Blade Works to stop her from draining energy from the town even though he didn't stand a chance. Archer is practically For the Greater Good incarnate and will make sacrifices to achieve his ends, including letting Caster go even though he could have killed her because she was suited to take out Berserker and he could easily kill her after that. The critical moment where this really comes to a head is when Archer betrays Rin by offering to join Caster's side. Shirou recognizes that it was likely the only way they were leaving that situation alive but says he can never forgive Archer for betraying Rin's trust and loyalty like that. Archer saw it only as the best means for victory and did it with little, if any, remorse as he had already been playing (and winning) a round of Xanatos Speed Chess against pretty much everyone. Their friction in this regard is the main reason for their complete inability to get along on any route, which is sort of funny as they are actually the same person.
    • In Tsukihime, this seems to be the situation with twin maids Hisui and Kohaku, who are Polar Opposite Twins, with Hisui being the cold one, and Kohaku being the passionate one. But this is actually a subversion, with Hisui and Kohaku having switched personalities when they were younger.
  • Hot-Blooded fighter Kid and calm magician Magil in Radical Dreamers.
  • Remember11 has two protagonists: Kokoro, a girl who is reasonably smart and well-educated but also friendly, passionate when arguing, and has a tendency to jump to (often wrong) conclusions about things; and Satoru, a student of the natural sciences who tends to analyze everything with scientific methodology (but not cold—he can also be quite passionate when the situation calls for it). The colors are also made explicit in the Title Sequence: The two are seen passing by each other, where their whole bodies are tinted their respective colors. In another instance Kokoro is seen turning into Satoru; their eyes flash first red then blue.
  • School Days: In Summer/Shiny Days, Kotonoha and Setsuna are literal "girl in red" and "girl in blue" respectively.
  • Spirit Hunter: NG:
    • Seiji and Akira swap around these roles depending on the situation. Akira is generally stoic and has the ability to keep calm in life-threatening situations, while Seiji is the more emotional of the pair and gets riled up by the supernatural. However, when dealing with social problems, Akira is more likely to lose his cool and attempt violence, with Seiji being the one to pull him back and handle the situation calmly.
    • Rosé is as calm and collected as can be, and is often the one deriding Ban for getting emotional and advising him to calm down. While Rosé prefers the subtle approach, such as picking locks, Ban is more forceful in his gathering of information.
  • In Umineko: When They Cry, Lambdadelta is the red to Bernkastel's blue. In the first half of the series, anyway. In the second half, as their true motivations are revealed, their roles are switched around.
    • Shannon can be seen as the red to Kanon's blue most of the time, but when it comes to matters of love Shannon is more calm and collected while Kanon is more hot blooded and irritable. It is also heavily implied that they are in fact the same person, and their red and blue dynamic shows Yasu's conflicting views about love.

    Web Animation 
  • The Annoying Orange: Orange is obviously the Red Oni, being immature by belittling other foods and being a Gasshole. Pear is the Blue Oni, being much more reasonable and mature than Orange.
  • DEATH BATTLE!: Red: Boomstick, Blue: Wizard
    • Also, Superman and Goku, as well as their inspirations, Hercules and Sun Wukong respectively.
  • The Mondo Media series Dick Figures features a red stick man and a blue stick man with distinctly opposite personalities.
  • Dreamscape: Soya is the Red Oni, and his rival Vladmare is the Blue Oni.
    • Soya is expressive, talkative, and full of energy.
    • Vladmare is calm, reserved, and serious.
    • Keedran, the Red Oni, and Drake, the Blue Oni. Both of them are very powerful, and the two non-Druid planet protectors.
      • Keedran is a wildcard and gets very emotional.
      • Drake keeps a calm and level head.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Lisa, the Red Oni, is always teasing Asia, the Blue Oni.
    • Lisa is loud, a troublemaker, and rather unhelpful.
    • Asia keeps a cool head, is very nice, and acts like proper young woman.
  • Egoraptor's anime parody Girl-chan in Paradise contains two non-human characters, one with blue skin and one with red skin. The blue one, Kotobarusan-sama, is a cool and collected Old Master, and the red one, Galacti(ca)maru, is a power-mad Large Ham who likes smashing through walls and happens to be the Big Bad.
  • Hazbin Hotel: Vaggie, the Spicy Latina demon and her Girlfriend Charlie, the kind-hearted Princess of Hell .
    • Vox, the Television Demon is the pandering, charismatic Red Oni to Alastor's cunning Blue Oni. It's subverted in their color scheme however, since Vox is mostly blue while Alastor has shades of bloody red to crimson. Vox may cater to the mass media more, but Alastor has proven he's superior in both charm and gripping the audience.
  • In Homestar Runner, Strong Bad is the Red Oni to Strong Sad's Blue. Strong Bad is impulsive, brash, and rather violent, while Strong Sad is quiet, calm, and the smartest main character. Strong Bad is even red.
  • Human Kind Of: Judy is the calm and careful Blue Oni, opposed to Cory and Iris' exciting and upbeat Red Onis.
  • The Most Popular Girls in School:
  • Overly Sarcastic Productions evokes this with the two hosts, helpfully referred to as 'Red' and 'Blue' respectively. Red is passionate, excitable and hotheaded within her episodes while Blue generally shows cooler and calmer snark throughout.
  • While most of the characters tend towards red oni, Red vs. Blue has a bit of this going on in the different teams, mostly their leaders. Church, the man in charge of the blue team, is fairly on-the-ball and tries to get things done, and he took over from Butch Flowers, a soft-spoken, thoughtful man whose only flaw seemed to be in thinking that the whole Red Army versus Blue Army conflict was something of a game and strategizing accordingly (in a flashback, when Church reports on Red activity, Flowers refers to them as "Those rascals!" in a no-hard-feelings sort of way). Sarge, leader of the red team, puts exactly no thought into his battle plans beyond how they can be used to kill Grif, but he goes at them with such a fervor that, if he did think about his plans for three seconds straight, he might actually win.
    • On a more individualized level, the Freelancer Dakota twins. North is the Blue Oni—calm, cautious, and strictly by-the-book during missions, and rather mild-mannered and friendly during downtime. South is the Red, a hasty, Hot-Blooded Leeroy Jenkins during battle, and bitchy, abrasive, and almost anti-social the rest of time.
    • Also, Blue Team tends to be the origin of most of the show's drama and plot while Red Team tends to just provide the slapstick and comedy.
    • Furthermore, the Chorus Arc introduces us to Felix and Locus, a pair of mercenaries who form their own Oni Duo. Felix is the Red Oni, being sarcastic, higher-energy, and generally more frivolous. Locus is the Blue Oni, being calm, quiet, and almost obsessively mission-focused.
  • RWBY:
    • Yang and Blake. Yang is the Red Oni and Blake is the Blue Oni. Yang is a sun-themed, bright-coloured brash, physical fighter who appears to be carefree and light-hearted. Blake is a shadow-themed, acrobatic fighter who puts distance between herself and her opponents. She is aloof, brooding and acts like the weight of the world is on her shoulders. However, Blake allows herself to be controlled by her emotions and problems, and views herself as a coward. Yang, who is much more confident in both combat and social situations, tells her that she has to learn how to channel this so that she can gain control of her problems. Yang does have problems, but they're not as visible because she controls them and refuses to wallow. She's already learned the hard way and seeks to guide Blake from making the same mistakes.
    • Penny and Winter. Penny is the Red Oni and Winter is the Blue Oni. Ironwood relies on both in his fight against Salem. Winter is a cold, calculating human who buries her emotions beneath dutiful, rational behaviour. Penny is a warm, outgoing robot who speaks from the heart and challenges the morally questionable. In Volume 7, Penny's empathy, humanity and compassionate idealism clash with Winter's stoicism, professionalism and detached obedience, leading to Penny receiving the Winter Maiden's power instead of Ironwood's intended recipient, Winter. In Volume 8, Penny sacrifices her life to protect the power from Cinder by passing it to Winter, who embraces Penny's ideals and abandons Ironwood.
    • Elm and Vine. Vine is the Blue Oni, a very calm and quiet individual who shows very little emotion and tends to fight by standing in one place and extending his Aura out like stretching limbs. He is always paired with Elm; as the Red Oni, she is a loud, passionate woman, wears her heart on her sleeve and tends to fight by rooting herself into the earth with her Aura so that she can withstand the recoil from her own rocket-launcher.
    • Robyn and Ironwood. Robyn is the Red Oni to Ironwood's Blue. Both stubborn and convinced they're right, their respective Fatal Flaws clash when Ironwood prioritises Atlas and Robyn prioritises Mantle. Ironwood is initially an ally commanding overwhelming authority and a powerful military while Robyn is initially an antagonist commanding no formal power and rag-tag band of misfits. Ironwood is mistrustful, haunted, uncooperative, and uncompromising; by sacrificing empathy and humanity to achieve his goals, he is seen as increasingly villainous by both the kingdom and heroes. Robyn is open, engaging, cooperative and flexible; by embracing empathy and humanity to achieve her goals, she is seen as increasingly heroic by both the kingdom and heroes.
  • Lyle and Dex of Sanity Not Included. It's even displayed in the title sequence.
  • The Twins (2022): Played with. Lake, who wears red clothes, is seen as bad behaviored and disruptive in universe. Lucas, who wears blue, is seen as the well-behaved and rule abiding sibling. As the scene in the junk yard shows though, Lake is the more wary and cautious of the two meanwhile Lucas is the brasher of the two, charging in without a care.
  • Wolf Song: The Movie:
    • the Beta Couple Lightning and Raina are this. Lightning (red) is more brash, direct and quick to action while Raina (blue) is more methodical and pragmatic. This dynamic is perhaps most at play here
    • for the villains, Cobalt is the red oni, as he is brash, hotheaded, arrogant, aggressive and cowardly while his superior, the Death Alpha, is more methodical and strategic, often using threats and promises to keep many in line and keeping violence as a last resort because when he does resort to violence, expect a lot of death and carnage
    • the daughters of the Death Alpha also are this dynamic. Mia (red) is more emotional while Mai (blue) is more methodical. This is ironic as it’s Mia who has blue fur while Mai has red eyes (yep Wolf Song can be like that sometimes)

    Web Original 
  • Protectors of the Plot Continuum gives us Agents Suicide (Red Oni Spartan squire) and Dio (Blue Oni who does not even have a registered Lust Object).
    • Suicide is also Red Oni to Ithalond, and Rowan.
    • Agent Lux is Red Oni to any Agent she works with.
    • Which of Jay Thorntree and Acacia Bird is the Red Oni is determined by whether Elrond or Boromir (respectively) is more OOC.
    • Tawaki Penguin's Bloodwrath makes him Red Oni to Dustin O'Grady's Blue. Dustin is also implied to be Blue Oni to his sister Madison's Red.
    • Agent Ilraen is Red Oni to Supernumerary's Blue.

  • DesuDesBrigade has the two female-presenting reviewers JesuOtaku and Vixen to match up to this trope. While Vixen is the more emotional and tends to freak out more often (see: Papa To Kiss in the Dark), JesuOtaku is far more reserved and analytical. The same goes for Professor Otaku and Arkada, though not nearly as stark of a contrast.
  • The Sentinel and Overseer of Gaia Online.
    • Interesting case: they fit the roles to a T during the Halloween event, but then get partially inverted during the Xmas event.
  • GoAnimate: Boris is more actively sociopathic, evil, and insanely cruel and angered more easily (Red Oni) than Caillou, who is still actively mean, hostile, and sociopathic, but is softer (barely) and less evil (again, barely) than Boris, despite both being very insane and easily angered.
    • Caillou's Red to Dora's Blue. Again, the differences are as minor as the Beavis And Butthead example.
  • From the Library Of The Damned, we have Elysium and Rimura. Elysium is the more energetic and expressive of the two, and is rather shouty, whereas Rimura leans more on the Deadpan Snarker side (until children get involved). They're also Color-Coded for Your Convenience—Elysium has red hair and Rimura has blue.

    Web Videos 
  • Aaron features two brothers — the reckless and impulsive Adam (Red) and the calm and reserved Chris (Blue). They're even wearing the respective shades throughout the film. At the end, when they've come to a reconciliation, Adam is now wearing blue.
  • In Critical Role Caleb and Nott are Platonic Life-Partners; however, Caleb is an introverted, thoughtful, studious human who prefers to live a cautious life, and Nott is an enthusiastic, impulsive young goblin who has a tendency towards Sticky Fingers.
  • Kittisaurus features this via the ten cats. Some of the more noticeable dynamics are
    • Dodo (loud, food obsessed Red) and Toto (quiet, calm Blue) with a good dose of Sibling Yin-Yang to boot.
    • Nana (sociable and cheerful Red) and TT (cold and standoffish Blue).
    • Momo (boisterous Red chairman of Momo Corp) and Coco (observant Blue professor studying the world around him)
    • Chuchu is pretty much the shy and easygoing Blue to everyone else's Red. Lulu used to be the Red to everyone else's Blue due to him being a trouble making Big Eater, until Dodo showed up and made him look peaceful by comparison.
    • Claire took in a pair of black kittens for a day and brought them into her home. One of them spent his time meowing, hissing at and generally antagonizing the other cats when they came to have a look, and even squeezed through the baby gate to go exploring (Red). His brother remained in the kitchen and kept his distance from the others (Blue). Claire even remarked the first would turn out to be a troublemaker while the other was more well behaved.
  • A few of the Epic Rap Battles of History feature the dynamic, with the red rapper essentially shouting their lines or otherwise showing much enthusiasm during the match and the blue rapper keeping a low profile in one or both regards. Usually Peter is the blue oni and Lloyd is the red oni, but inversions are seen as well.
    • Examples where Peter is blue and/or Lloyd is red:
      • Adolf Hitler (red) vs Darth Vader (blue)
      • Sarah Palin (red) vs Lady Gaga (blue)
      • Albert Einstein (red) vs Steven Hawking (blue)
      • Genghis Khan (red) vs the Easter Bunny (blue)
      • Napoleon Bonaparte (red) vs. Napoleon Dynamite (blue)
      • Mr. T (red) vs Mr. Rogers (blue)
      • Leonidas (red) vs Master Chief (blue)
      • Bill Gates (red) vs Steve Jobs (blue). When Steve Jobs dies, he is replaced by the even bluer HAL 9000.
      • The tenth doctor (blue) eventually turns into the fourth doctor (red).
      • Batman (blue) and his sidekick Robin (red)
      • Josef Stalin (red) vs. Grigori Rasputin (blue) before Vladimir Lenin (even redder), Vladimir Putin (even bluer) and Mikhail Gorbachev (fits right in between Stalin and Rasputin) join in.
      • Pablo Picasso (red) vs. Bob Ross (blue)
      • Walter White (red) vs Rick Grimes (blue)
      • Isaac Newton (red) vs Bill Nye (blue)
      • The Mythbusters Adam Savage (red) and Jamie Hyneman (blue)
      • Bonnie and Clyde (red) vs Romeo and Juliet (blue)
      • Harry Houdini (red) vs. David Copperfield (blue)
      • Shaka Zulu (red) vs. Julius Caesar (blue)
      • Stan Lee (red) vs. Jim Henson (blue) before Walt Disney (even more of a red than Stan Lee) arrives
      • Deadpool (red) vs Boba Fett (blue)
      • Gordon Ramsay (red) vs. Julia Child (blue)
      • Frederick Douglass (red) vs Thomas Jefferson (blue)
      • Ash Ketchum (red) vs Charles Darwin (blue)
      • Teddy Roosevelt (red) vs Winston Churchill (blue)
      • Elon Musk (red) vs Mark Zuckerberg (blue)
    • Examples where Peter is red and/or Lloyd is blue:
      • Christopher Columbus (red) vs. Captain Kirk (blue)
      • Freddie Mercury (red) vs Frank Sinatra (blue)
      • Bruce Lee (red) vs. Clint Eastwood (blue)
      • Blackbeard (red) vs. Al Capone (blue)
      • Zeus (red) vs Thor (blue)
      • Jack the Ripper (red) vs. Hannibal Lector (blue)
      • Austin Powers (red) vs. James Bond (blue) before Sean Connery (even bluer than Daniel Craig) arrives
      • Tony Hawk (red) vs Wayne Gretzky (blue)
    • Miscellaneous examples:
      • Dr. Seuss's characters (red) vs William Shakespeare (blue)
      • The artists form a team of two red (Raphael and Michelangelo) and two blue (Leonardo and Donatello), like the turtles named after them
      • Stevie Wonder (red) vs Wonder Woman (blue)
  • In Everyman HYBRID, HABIT and The Slender Man come off this way, especially in the fights between the two on Twitter. (Yes, Slender Man actually says something. It's actually pretty creepy.) HABIT types in ALLCAPS and is absolutely insane and unambiguously evil. Slender Man seems condescendingly amused by his shenanigans and his messages are typed normally.
    • Before HABIT's nature came to light, The Rake was typically thought to be the Red Oni instead.
  • Gaming Garbage relies very much on the interaction between the blue Lowtax and the red Shmorky.
  • Gantz Abridged actually calls this trope out in a full-on Shout-Out to the Wiki, with an actual Red Oni alien telling a Green Oni alien that he's supposed to be Blue and asking if they're subverting the trope. The trope is then furthered carried out when the Red Oni decides to immediately resort to smashing things, to which the Green Oni replies, "You WOULD say that."
    • And in hbi2k's earlier work, Berserk Abridged, Zodd compared Guts and Griffith to Naruto and Sasuke. Griffith however believed that Guts should fulfill the Sasuke role since he's the angstiest of the two.
  • Both of the main Retsupurae duos:
    • Slowbeef is often more expressive, whether it's getting angry at the creators of the video or game they're mocking or laughing more at something unintentionally funny in it. Diabetus, on the other hand, is more of a laid back Deadpan Snarker.
    • Likewise, Chip Cheezum is excitable (though usually less angry than Slowbeef), while General Ironicus tends to be more calm and, like Diabetus, more of a Deadpan Snarker.
  • The Runaway Guys: A few examples.
    • In any and all instances, Emile serves as the Red Oni to nearly everybody else, being loud, bombastic, and almost always optimistic. Often serves this role to Jon and Masae's Blue Oni. That being said...
    • While Jon and Masae usually come across as the more reserved and level-headed members, they don't always serve the role of Blue Oni. Often times, their bouts of rage at in-game mishaps or sabotages can throw them over into Red Oni territory, to the point of even being louder than Emile himself (though, not as consistently).
    • No matter which way you slice it, Tim always plays the Blue Oni. Whereas Emile is always rambunctious, and Jon and Masae have a tendency of crossing over that line, Tim is always laid-back, quiet, and never has moments of rage in the videos. Even when things go wrong for every member of TRG, he's likely to be the only member to take it in stride.
  • Ryan ToysReview: Some examples.
    • Combo Panda, with his spunky and confident personality, is the red to Big Gil's more laid-back and chill blue. Unironically, Combo's headphones are red, while Gil is a blue shark.
    • Gus, who is carefree and a bit naive, is the red to Peck's extremely intelligent and down-to-earth blue. It makes even more sense considering Gus has a red shirt and Peck has a blue snowflake mark on his stomach.
  • The Veronica Exclusive: Veronica's the sarcastic, melancholic, good-hearted, easily swayed blue to Jane's blood-thirsty, passionate, angry, manipulative red.
  • Joel the Large Ham Cloudcuckoolander and Vinny the Deadpan Snarker Straight Man, the two primary hosts and administrators of Vinesauce.
  • We're Alive has Latch as the blue with Scratch as red.
  • Trunks2585 has an example in Xander's Reviews. Xander is emotional and gregarious, while Alejandro is logical and reserved. This counts as an inversion, because Xander wears cool colors (usually green), and Alejandro wears warm colors (usually orange)

Alternative Title(s): Blue Oni Red Oni, Blue Oni, Red Oni


Kupava and the Snow Maiden

Kupava is warm, impulsive, and passionate, while the Snow Maiden is shy and (literally) frigid. Their respective clothes reflect the difference.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / RedOniBlueOni

Media sources: