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Sci-Fi Bob Haircut

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Left to right, top to bottom: Lt. Ellis, Quorra, Cleo, Lt. Valeris, Xev, Chiana, Laliari, Leeloo.
Image by Loopydave

There's something about the clean lines of a bob, particularly with bangs, that suggests a sci-fi setting. Despite the style dating back to the 1920s (and being the defining hairstyle of the timeframe), they tend to be more of a '60s feel with the geometric trim popularized by the hairstylist Vidal Sassoon, and they are still seen as a little bit rebellious and progressive. After all, Long Hair Is Feminine, so short styles can be shorthand for a more gender-equal society. Additionally, the simple, straight lines fit in well with an Ascetic Aesthetic, marking the character as belonging to that timeframe. As a bonus, a bob is still longer than most popular male hairstyles, so it can mark a female character as more liberated without going all the way into Boyish Short Hair.

What's more, short hair tends to cause fewer problems with zero-g, helmets, space suits, and other heavy equipment. As far back as the 17th century, the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War earned the nickname "Roundheads" from their bob-like haircuts, closely cropped around the head, which symbolized their simplicity in contrast to the flamboyance of the aristocratic Cavaliers. For centuries, the bob has been known as a very simple, low-maintenance haircut for both men and women, something that would likely still be true centuries from now.

Unlike its Sister Trope the '20s Bob Haircut, Sci-Fi Bobs are almost always mathematically straight edges and hair without curls. Fashionable Asymmetry is also common, one side of the bob being longer than the other.


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  • The Spanish Neutrex advertisements from 2005-2006 feature a blonde woman in white and blue clothes from the future bringing a powerful bleach that will leave your clothes spick and span.
    • The 2009-2010 commercials have a new woman from the future, this time with a shorter bob and blue hair.

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In Judge Dredd, Judge Hershey's practical bob hairstyle is her most noticeable physical trait.
  • Power Girl's has had a variety of haircuts, from long flowing locks past her shoulders to butch crewcuts, but her most famous by far is a bob.

    Fan Works 
  • Glynda Goodwitch, as seen in an old photo of her and the rest of the Sector Seven Research Team, had this hairstyle in the past in BlazBlue Alternative: Remnant, with Sector Seven itself being a research division of the kingdom of Atlas, which is about as Sci-Fi as the world of Remnant gets.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification fanart of GLADOS (who is a robot) from Portal almost always has her with a white bob haircut and Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness.
  • Lampshaded in Rocketship Voyager where B'Elanna Torres has "the bob cut preferred by girls who had to wear space helmets on a regular basis."
  • Fem!Kirk Prime in Written in the Stars has this hairstyle. It's averted with her counterpart, however.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The title character in the sci-fi dystopian film Ćon Flux sports a short bob cut.
  • The eponymous character from Alita: Battle Angel has a slightly longer bob that always falls perfectly back into place.
  • Hope van Dyne from Ant-Man sports the same bob cut as her late mother, Janet van Dyne AKA The Wasp, a superheroine with shrinking powers thanks to the Pym Particle and a suit. At the end of the film, it's stated that she will become the next Wasp with the updated suit her father Hank had created in secret. By the time of the next film, she's grown it out.

  • Doctor Who Expanded Universe: Benny Summerfield, of the Doctor Who New Adventures and later her own series, started with short hair, and subsequently seems to have grown it out to about bob length.
  • Several characters of both genders in the Honor Harrington series are described as having shorter hair than is strictly fashionable, ranging from a bob cut all the way to shaved heads, specifically because loose hair floating around in a zero-g and/or industrial environment can be both inconvenient and potentially dangerous. On the planet Masada, male spacers (there are no female Masadan spacers) can be easily identified by their short hair and clean-trimmed facial hair, in contrast to everyone else having long hair and beards.

    Live-Action TV 
  • As befitting her character, Rosalind Price in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has either this or Power Hair as her go-to look.
  • The title character in Cleopatra 2525 has a blonde bob.
  • Chiana and other female Nebari from Farscape combine this with White-Skinned Space Babe. Like Leeloo, it's a bit more messy than typical for the trope, but Farscape (which takes place in the present day, only far from Earth) does have a Used Future aesthetic.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot Werther from Guest from the Future is a Rare Male Example.
  • Rachel on Orphan Black has a harsh bob , which differentiates her from the rest of her clones, as well as differentiates her as being seemingly the only clone working for Project DYAD.
  • Red Dwarf: The AI computer Hilly (she's just a head on black screen) from "Parallel Universe" wears Sci-fi Bob Haircut. In the third season, she became a regular when the crew's computer Holly decided to take her likeness and make a gender swap. In the later episodes, however, her hair was longer.
  • Sapphire from Sapphire and Steel, especially when she gets a severe bob circa Assignment Three.
  • Star Trek:
    • Many Vulcans in the Star Trek franchise wear their hair this way, including Lt. Valeris, although there are exceptions. The Vulcans are, at least initially, a much more technologically advanced race than the humans.
    • Lt. Saavik defies the trope in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, wearing her hair long.
      Kirk: Lieutenant, are you wearing your hair differently?
      Saavik: It is still regulation, Admiral.
    • Bajoran officer serving on the Enterprise Ro Laren in Star Trek: The Next Generation. She has dark hair and wears a bob without bangs.
    • Dr. Beverly Crusher from The Next Generation has rather long red hair most of the time, but she bobbed her hair for one season.
    • Android Lal was created by Data as a blank slate, even in terms of species. Lal chose to look like a young human woman with pale complexion and black hair in a short bob with bangs.
    • Christine Chapel on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has a wavy blond, almost white, bob that occasionally has subtle pink streaks.
    • Carol Marcus in the rebooted series, starting with Star Trek Into Darkness. She has a blonde simple bob.
  • In UFO (1970), Lt. Ellis and her compatriots in SHADO's moon base wear a purple wig as part of their uniforms.
  • Whoniverse:
    • Doctor Who:
      • Borderline example. The Doctor's granddaughter Susan Foreman had a messy bobbed haircut (by Vidal Sassoon) which would have looked radical and futuristic by early 1963 standards. By today's standard, it looks unremarkable.
      • Zoe Heriot, introduced at around the same time as Lt. Ellis, has this. She is a science-minded companion to the Second Doctor, who he met in a space station in the future.
    • Quill from Class has a menacingly exact blonde bob. The show has a contemporary setting, but she is an alien in human disguise.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Cortana from the Halo series is an advanced military AI whose holographic avatar tends to have bobbed hair, particularly in the original Halo: Combat Evolved.
  • Maya, the Siren class from Borderlands 2, has an electric blue bob cut.
  • One of the preset characters from the first Fallout, Natalia Dubrovhsky, has one, and it is on the female character by default since there's only one model for male and female player characters each.
  • When EDI takes control over Dr. Eva's body in Mass Effect 3 she gets a metal bob haircut (Picture spoiler for Mass Effect 3). She explains that it is not "hair" in the strict sense but a memory-shape metamaterial used to simulate hair. She just prefers to gather it into a protective bob shape when not using it for anything else.
  • Faith, the protagonist from Mirror's Edge, which takes place in a Post-Cyberpunk setting, has a black bob haircut.
  • The default appearance of the RAcaseal class in Phantasy Star Online is a fembot with the top portion of their heads shaped like bobbed hair.
  • DEMI from Subverse has one although in her case it's actually part of her metallic body. Unsurprising given her inspirations mentioned above, Cortana and EDI.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation