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Signature Headgear

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"You ever see me without this stupid hat on? That's weird."
Jughead Jones, Riverdale

"Clothes make the man" is a well-established idiom, but we all know it's specifically the head gear that makes you who you are.

Distinctive headgear (or hair accessories) make people stand out in the crowd. Most of the time, the headgear is unique to only that character (or that group). They also tell you a little something about the character's personality. Oftentimes the headgear/hair accessory is so ingrained into the character, that one only needs to use the headwear as a symbol for that character's presence.

It's also an easy way for creators who are prone to Only Six Faces to give a little bit more distinction to their characters, similar to how World of Technicolor Hair is used to give characters their own special flair through unique hair colors.

A subtrope of Distinctive Appearances and Meaningful Appearance. Compare to Artsy Beret, Cool Crown, Hat of Authority, Hat of Power and other headgear related tropes that creators use for characterization and/or distinction purposes.

Related to Iconic Item, for character-defining items or props well recognized outside of a work. Also related to Helmets Are Hardly Heroic, where the protagonist lacks headgear to highlight their specialness and make them easier to recognize.

See also Never Bareheaded, where a character is never seen without their hat, and Important Hair Accessory, which is when removing or putting on the headgear defines a moment of Character Development.

Not to be confused with The Hat Makes the Man, about hats that alter the wearer's personality. Also not to be confused with Braces of Orthodontic Overkill, a different type of "headgear".


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Hild from Ah! My Goddess; the number of decorations and ornaments in her hair are incredible. Her daughter, Urd, seems to copy this aspect of her.
  • Air Gear: Kururu's hair is absolutely littered with bobby pins, as well as a large X-barrette. The reason she has so many bobby pins in her hair is that she is trying to make her hair look a little neater. Although, unfortunately for her, the bobby pins are ineffective in that regard.
  • In Arpeggio of Blue Steel Ashigara wears a pair of hair clips in the shape of a stylized wolf, which along with her Cute Little Fangs reference her Real Life counterpart's nickname "The Hungry Wolf"
  • In Attack No. 1, the easiest way to distinguish which girl is which is by their headbands or bows. Kozue wears a yellow headband with a bow on it. Midori has a blue headband.
  • Almost all the girls in Candy Candy wear something in her hair. The eponymous Candy has her iconic twin red bows, Annie wears a hairbow, Eliza and Susanna prefer big bows on the back of their heads, Louisa uses blue bows, etc. Pretty much the only girls who didn't put hair decs were Patty (she uses a short bob) and Frannie (too practical to be concerned with her appearance). It becomes very important when Candy is framed by Neil and Eliza for trying to hurt Annie: Annie can't testify in her favor, but she manages to leave one of her hair ribbons to silently tell Candy that she believes in her innocence.
  • Captain Tsubasa: Genzo Wakabayashi is easily identified by his habit of wearing a cap on every match. The most iconic ones are one with a stylized W he wears as a kid, and another with the Adidas logo when he goes pro.
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun: Whenever people ask about the Uiharu about the flowers in her hair, she'll say she doesn't know what they are talking about. They are a headband of artificial flowers. In the third volume of the MMR side-Gag Series, she's been rendered effectively invisible while it's under repair.
  • Dragon Ball has Gyu-Mao/The Ox-King, who wears a Viking helmet reminiscent of Horny Vikings which he's rarely seen without, but In-Universe his ethnicity is ambiguous since there's nothing to suggest he's Norse by Norsewest, which suggests that his Viking horned helmet is simply related to the show's Alternate Universe feel.
  • Digimon: All of the Protagonists except for Masaru have goggles on their head as their signature accessory.
  • Dr. STONE: Yuzuriha is never seen without her headband, which somehow survived for 3700 years while all other clothing rotted away. It's one of the biggest mysteries in the series.
  • Hidamari Sketch: Yuno's own X-shaped hair clips are her defining physical characteristics, often serving to symbolize her in the anime. Miyako was surprised to find out that they aren't hereditary. One time, when they went to the pool, Yuno wore a bathing cap, but when Sae removed it, she went back to get her clips. And at the bathhouse, when she removed them to wash her hair, Miyako put them on and got Yuno to look at her newly-X'd hair.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Jotaro Kujo is almost always seen wearing a hat that tends to blend into his hair. The author said that this was done to give him a distinctive silhouette in comparison to his peers.
    • Phantom Blood: Will A. Zeppeli has a rather extravagant signature top hat with a checkerboard pattern. Speedwagon wears it once Zeppeli dies, and Caesar ends up wearing it in part 2..
    • Battle Tendency: Caesar Zeppeli is always seen with a purple-and-orange headband. Once he dies, he uses it to pass on his remaining power to Joseph Joestar, who wears it for the rest of the part and uses it as a weapon during Wamuu's fight.
    • Stardust Crusaders: Apart from Jotaro, old Joseph Joestar always has on an Indiana Jones-style cowboy hat. Minor villain Oingo also has a very tall baseball cap that can be shapeshifted thanks to his stand's ability, while major villain Vanilla Ice wears a headband with a heart on it to symbolize his loyalty to DIO.
    • Diamond is Unbreakable: Rohan Kishibe, the Mangaka, has a zig-zagged headband just under his hair, though in the spinoff series starring him it's implied he has many due to there being multiple colors. His stand, Heaven's Door, also has a translucent top hat and is carried over for Pink Dark Boy's design. In this part, Joseph Joestar has yet another different signature hat, sporting a leopard-print ushankha.
    • Golden Wind: Bruno Bucciarati, the deuteragonist, has two golden barrettes in his hair at all times. Ally Narancia Ghirga always has an orange headband covering his messy hair. Minor villain Polpo has some sort of pincushion-looking hat on.
    • Stone Ocean: Ally Hermes Costello is always seen with decorative clips in her hair. Narciso Anasui has what looks like a traditional flight attendant's cap in black, and Weather Report has a fluffy horned hat based on Jamiroquai's album covers.
    • Steel Ball Run: Main character Johnny Joestar has a star-patterned beanie with a horseshoe pin on it (to symbolize him being both a Joestar and an American), while his companion Gyro Zeppeli has a slitted cowboy hat with green goggles on the brim. Frienemy Diego Brando has a cap with large lettering spelling "DIO" on it, while other frienemy Hot Pants has a Pickelhaube.
    • Jojolion: Main character Josuke has a sailor's hat that matches his uniform. It's actually used as a plot point: because he lost his memory, he goes back to the hat shop to ask who bought it. His adoptive nephew Tsurugi always wears an origami frog in his hair that fits his Stand ability.
    • The JOJO Lands: Jodio wears a star-shaped hairclip in his braid, symbolizing him as part of the Joestar family.
  • Chika Fujiwara from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War has her ever-present "super black" bow that stays affixed to her hair without any visible means of support. She even has it on when she's wearing a bald cap and trying to fool everyone into thinking she shaved her head. She also carries a backup "not as black" bow in case she needs it. A Flash Forward shows that she continues to wear it as an adult despite otherwise switching over to a more professional attire.
  • Midori Asakusa of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! is almost never seen without her distinct camouflage bucket hat. When she first meets Mizusaki, she's not very happy when Mizusaki takes it from her in an attempt to escape from her bodyguards.
  • Life with an Ordinary Guy who Reincarnated into a Total Fantasy Knockout: Early in the story, Jinguuji purchases a crown for Tachibana to wear that acts like a Power Limiter on his Super Gender-Bender powers, which seduce anyone who lays eyes on him. Without it, entering any populated area would cause every man nearby to fall over themselves to woo him. Prior to obtaining the crown, Tachibana caused an entire gang of bandits to turn on one another fighting over him. The crown acts as a Perception Filter, causing Tachibana to go largely unnoticed so his powers only activate when someone makes a point of looking at him. Naturally, Tachibana wears the crown almost always and, whenever it's lost or removed for some reason, chaos ensues.
  • In MÄR, Princess Snow almost always wears her iconic oversized pink bow on her head. If she isn't... there's something wrong. It's also helpful in distinguishing Snow from Koyuki, as it's eventually revealed Snow is a copy of Koyuki, who ends up merging her soul back into her at the very end.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny: Lacus's iconic hairclip is almost the only thing Durandal didn't feel the need to replicate. Meer's is a giant gold star. Given how this is the only thing to identify her while she works for A Nazi by Any Other Name, it has deeply and deliberately unsettling implications
  • Chiyo Sakura from Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun wears ribbons in her hair, which are red with white polka dots. It's one of the only ways the titular Umetaro Nozaki can recognise her, much to her annoyance. This is taken to its logical extreme when Nozaki is asked to draw sidebars for volumes of Let's Fall in Love and writes a column about conversations with his assistants. There, he draws Sakura first as a floating ribbon, then as a person with a ribbon for a head.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Asuka Langley Sohryu has her A-10 neural clips, which she wears even when she's not on assignment. She wears them as a symbol of how important being an Eva pilot is in her life, and they're so strongly associated with her that even spinoffs set in an Alternate Universe have her constantly wearing them, or at least hairclips that look similar. The fact that they look like two horns coming out of her head is the reason why Toji Suzuhara likes to call her "the Red Devil".
    • The second Rebuild of Evangelion film gives Asuka a black cap with cat ear-style flaps coming out of its top. It helps increase the strength of her "tired-at-the-world" Kubrick Stare.
  • Chitoge Kirisaki from Nisekoi has her distinctive red, rabbit ear-shaped hair bow, which she wears due to a storybook from her youth and wanting to be like a girl in it. Because of its distinct shape, it's often used as a funny visual shorthand to identify her speech-bubbles when she's not on screen.
  • One Piece has several examples just in the main crew alone:
    • Perhaps the most iconic headgear in all of anime and manga: the simple yellow straw hat with a red ribbon around it. It has adorned the head of series protagonist Monkey D. Luffy since chapter/episode one and continues to do so over a thousand chapters/episodes later, and is so synonymous with Luffy that not only is his moniker "Straw Hat", his entire pirate crew is officially called the Straw Hat Pirates. It even has in-universe cred: before it was passed down to Luffy, it belonged to Shanks (one of the Four Emperors of the Sea), and it was passed down to him by none other than the legendary Pirate King himself, Gol D. Roger (although only in his early career; Roger is most commonly associated with his own bicorne pirate hat that bears his Jolly Roger).
    • To a much lesser extent, Zoro's bandana. While most of the time he has it tied around his left arm, he only puts it on his head when in his most serious fights. As a consequence, some of Zoro's most memorable fights happened with the bandana firmly wrapped around his noggin, cementing the popular image of Zoro as a bandana-wearing badass.
    • Usopp has two: the yellow net-patterned cap/goggle combination he wore pre-timeskip, and the white hat with an oversized rim post-timeskip. The former tied into his tinkering habits and ability, as well as (before Franky officially joined the crew) his effective role as the crew's shipwright.
    • Chopper also has two: the pre-timeskip one was a simple fuzzy pink top hat with a sideways medical cross symbol (essentially a white 'x'), while the post-timeskip one is a blue round helmet with dotted circles worn on top of the pink hat. The hat also contains openings for his antlers... that sometimes come off with the hat in sillier moments. The hat is of personal importance to him because it was given to him by his mentor and father figure, Dr. Hiruluk.
    • Brook also has two: a simple black top hat pre-timeskip, and a far snazzier hat covered by a giant, golden crown post-timeskip.
  • Hair decorations are extremely common in Pretty Cure, to the point where in the entire franchise, only the first Cure, Cure Black, doesn't have any. Among the more notable:
    • Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash★Star: Saki wears three barrettes, two plain pink and one flower; they show her to be a Tomboy with a Girly Streak, setting her apart from Nagisa who was a straight tomboy.
    • Yes! Pretty Cure 5: Cure Mint and Cure Aqua wear matching butterfly bows, since they are best friends and closer with each other than they are to Cures Dream, Rouge, or Lemonade.
    • Fresh Pretty Cure!: While the other Cures only wear one heart hairpiece, Cure Peach wears two, since she's a Love Freak.
    • Suite Pretty Cure ♪: Hibiki wears thin ribbons in her hair, adding to its wild, messy appearance, since she's the sporty wild child of the team.
    • HappinessCharge Pretty Cure!: Cure Princess gets a miniature crown to show off her royal status while in Cure form.
    • Go! Princess Pretty Cure: Of the Cures' tiaras, Cure Mermaid's crown is the most connected to her theme, as it resembles coral and has a pink seashell attached to it.
    • Maho Girls Pretty Cure!: Ironically, despite being the only Cure of non-magical origins, Cure Miracle is the one who gets a mini witch hat as part of her Cure outfit.
    • KiraKira★Pretty Cure à la Mode: Each of the Cures wears an Animal-Eared Headband themed to their specific animal; bunny ears for Cure Whip, squirrel ears for Cure Custard, lion ears from Cure Gelato, cat ears for Cure Macaron, dog ears for Cure Chocolat, and horse ears for Cure Parfait.
    • HuGtto! Pretty Cure: Since her Cure theme is a flight attendant, Cure Etoile gets a little blue flight cap.
    • Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure: Fitting to the ocean theme of the season, Cure Coral gets a sailor hat to wear.
    • Hirogaru Sky! Pretty Cure: Since the main theme is air, Cure Sky gets a pair of little fluffy wings to wear in her hair.
  • Prétear is one of the only series that gets away with having a distinctly heterosexual male character wearing a dec, though it manifests in the shape of a large, tube-shaped bead and clasps around his ponytail in back. Later, it is revealed that every Leafe Knight possesses one of these "communicator beads" to some varying degree of size and placement.
  • The Prince of Tennis: Protagonist Ryoma Echizen is almost always seen wearing a white cap with the letter R.
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets: Four out of the five Nakano sisters wear notable head accessories that identify them and go with their Numerological Motif and respective Numerical Theme Naming:
    • Nino wears two butterfly-shaped ribbons on the sides of her hair.
    • Miku wears a pair of headphones with triangles (a three-sided shape) on the outside of the speakers. Notably, she almost always wears them on the neck instead of her head.
    • Yotsuba wears a hair ribbon shaped like a four-leaf clover.
    • Itsuki wears a pair of hairclips shaped like five-point stars.
  • Sailor Moon:
  • Kafuka of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei almost always wears a distinctive yellow ribbon in her hair. It's been noted that without their hairstyles, most of the girls would look practically identical.
  • SPY×FAMILY: Anya Forger is almost always wearing a pair of black-and-gold horn-like accessories on the sides of her hair, even while sleeping. One of the few times she wasn't was during a flashback to her life as an experimental subject (where she had Odango Hair in their place).
  • Krystal, or Hime, from Tales of Wedding Rings is never seen without her distinctive crown-shaped hairpin. It doesn't matter if she's bathing, trying to make love to her husband Satou, or undergoing a brief Evil Costume Switch; regardless of the situation, the hairpin stays on.
  • Most of the girls in Tenchi Muyo! are recognizable for their iconic headgear: Ayeka has a tiara that is mostly obscured by her bangs, Sasami has two orb-shaped hair decorations that hold up her twintails, Washu has the massive purple scrunchie that holds up her hair in a ponytail, Mihoshi has the ribbon that holds her own hair up in a ponytail and Kiyone has the headband around her forehead. Only Ryoko and Noike don't have any specific headgear.
  • Yoko of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann always has a skull hairpin in her hair. This fits her personality as someone who is both cute eye candy and a no-nonsense, badass fighter. The skull is iconic enough that it has appeared in shoutouts to the show in other media, such the visual skull motif of Nonon Jakuzure, whose character design is similar to Yoko's.
  • Nitori from Wandering Son is associated with headbands. She's a trans girl whose LGBT Awakening was being forced to wear a headband by classmates as a joke. Nitori initially wore headbands to pass as a girl, but she phased them out as a part of her Character Development.
  • Zombie Land Saga:
    • Ai always has a collection of small yellow flower ornaments in her hair. Normally she'll have just two or three, but dons a whole bunch when performing live.
    • Lily is always with her signature star decoration in her hair. It ties into her general star motif and helps her look cuter according to her bandmate Sakura.

  • Nefertiti Bust: There have been many crowns in Ancient Egyptian history, and due to Nefertiti's bust, her crown is one of the better known among them in the present day. Nefertiti is also the only one known to have worn this crown and it's so strongly associated with her that, on one hand, the nameless crown is referred to as hers ("the Nefertiti crown (cap)") and on the other, if someone shows up wearing this crown, no guesses that they're Nefertiti.

    Asian Animation 
  • BoBoiBoy: The titular protagonist always wears his iconic orange dinosaur-like cap. It has 3 white spikes, yellow spots at its sides, his lightning insignia, and a mouth-like shape with teeth on the opposite side of the bill. The earliest concept design even gave the hat 3 open eyes. These were evidently removed, and so were the teeth in BoBoiBoy Galaxy and onwards, but the overall design remains the same. His elemental counterparts all wear similarly designed hats, although each with a different base color and insignia depending on the elemental. Each elemental appears to have their own style of wearing the cap as well, respective to each of their personalities.

    Comic Books 
  • In Archie Comics, Jughead Jones wears a very distinctive hat that he is almost never seen without. Properly called a 'whoopee cap', it is made from a man's felt fedora hat with the brim trimmed with a scalloped cut and turned up. A common item of fashion for boys and teens when the character was created, it is now almost exclusively associated with Jughead to the extent that it is often called a 'Jughead hat'.
  • In Mega Man (Archie Comics), the Blue Bomber's signature helmet is synonymous with him, to the point that Auto wears one while playing pretend when no one's looking. In one arc, it's left crushed and shattered to be found by Rock's successor, X, 200 years in the future, implying a grisly fate for Mega Man until the next issue reveals that he'd simply lost it in a fight with one of Wily's weapons platforms.
  • Star Wars: Kanan: The only way to tell named clone troopers from all the rest when they're in full armor are the little modifications they've made to personalize their armor which is mostly done to helmets.
    • Commander Grey has painted his helmet with a series of symmetrical tapering red stripes.
    • Captain Styles has painted the crest of his helmet red, painted two red stripes that go from the back of the helmet across his eyes and down to the mouth, and two red stripes around the air filtration casing.
    • Corporal Big-Mouth painted a widening stripe of forest green on the center of the top of his helmet and a stripe of the same green at the edges of the eyes.
    • Trooper Stance painted the crest of his helmet lime green.
  • Magneto's helmet has been his signature headgear since 1963. While sometimes the colors change, to reflect a change in the colors of his costume, the shape is unique and is uniquely associated with him. It is sometimes, especially in the X-Men Film Series, said to provide him with protection from telepathic attacks, which is useful considering he often finds himself in opposition to Professor X.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Volume 1: Queen Clea's crown, which she foolishly wears even when in "disguise", is a rather unique article which makes her easy for characters to identify. It consists of a large round white horizontally pleated piece with a red Uraeus sitting atop like colored lames in the center front.
    • Volume 2: Post-Crisis Clea's crown was updated so that the formerly white portion was switched out for silvery scales and the Uraeus is smaller and gold, sitting instead on a gold edging that frames the opening for her face.
  • Ultimate X-Men: Ultimate Iceman wears a durag, which helps to set him apart to the otherwise similar-looking mainstream Iceman.
  • Judge Dredd's helmet is so iconic to the character because it rarely comes off and even when it does, his face is obscured in some way. In fact, anyone who tries to discover what he looks like tends to end up having misfortune happen to them.

    Comic Strips 
  • B.D. in Doonesbury wore a helmet of some sort (football, army, police, etc.) all the time for the first 30+ years he was in the strip. It wasn't until 2004, after he was seriously wounded in Iraq, that we actually saw what he looked like without one.
  • Peter Fox from FoxTrot has his blue and white baseball cap with an "A" on it (supposedly a reference to creator Bill Amend's alma mater, Amherst College), which he considers his trademark. He's rarely ever seen without it, except when wearing some other kind of headgear.
  • Lucky Eddie, right-hand man to Hägar the Horrible wears a funnel on his head 24/7, unlike the other Vikings in the Hagar universe, who wear normal helmets, or helmets adorned with horns. Being The Fool as well as the comedic foil to Hagar, this odd headpiece signifies that Lucky Eddie comes up short by Viking standards.

    Fan Works 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami:
    • Crowned Death's black crown which he wears, and so does any entity that belongs to him, like if a bit of him is cut off, or is possessing something.
    • Sailor Mercury's circlet with a sapphire is created by her Transformation Sequence and used to be given to all her minions until she fixed that, and now it only applies to those who share her transformation.

    Films — Animation 
  • Fievel Mousekewitz from the An American Tail series has his iconic blue hat that was passed down to him as a family heirloom. It (somehow) turns inside out into a white cowboy hat for An American Tail: Fievel Goes West.
  • Encanto: Dolores is never seen without a red bow in her hair, even her childhood photo on the wall. It makes her look just a little longer than her weeks-older cousin, the golden child Isabela.
  • Turning Red:
    • Mei is rarely seen without her green hairclip and bobby pins. The exceptions being during the period between the night she gets her panda transformation and when she is visited by her friends in her room and during the climax of the movie. Similarly, she only takes her glasses off to go to bed.
    • Miriam is never seen without her green toque, even during gym class.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Angry White Man: One of Skeeter's friends, Walt, is usually seen wearing a cap that has "Shut up & fish" written on it.
  • Norma in Carrie (1976) spends the entire movie wearing a distinctive red baseball cap. Even when she and her friends are getting their hair done for prom, she still finds a way to "wear" it atop the dryer. According to P. J. Soles, who played Norma, the hat was a Throw It In from director Brian De Palma; she had worn the hat to the audition because she had just arrived in California from New York and wasn't used to the bright, sunny weather, and De Palma liked how it looked on her and asked her to keep wearing it.
  • In the movie El Dorado, Mississippi (James Caan) wears a hat that is so distinctive (it's essentially a low crowned top hat with a wide cowboy brim, plus a hatband with a ribbon over it studded with silver conchos) that almost nobody can refer to the character with also mentioning the hat. Nobody except Mississippi actually likes the thing, but everyone notices it.
    Bull Harris: ...might have anyhow if I wasn't tryin' to figure out what that fella's got on his head.
    Alan Bourdillon Trehearne (Mississippi): It's called a hat.
    Bull Harris: Well, I'll have to take your word for it.
  • Indiana Jones' fedora is one of his two Iconic Items; the other being his trusty bullwhip. He even risks death doing the now famous Indy Hat Roll to retrieve it in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
  • The Professional: Leon's hat is so iconic, in Iran (where the film is even more popular than its home audience), that kind of hat is exclusively called "Leon hat".
  • Tremors: Burt Gummer constantly wears Atlanta Hawks baseball caps. The other characters may wear baseball caps at times, but he's the only one who wears caps with that team's logo, which helps set up a (false) Dead Hat Shot in Tremors 3: Back to Perfection.

  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: Myne is in a Reincarnate in Another World situation, resulting in her living in a Medieval European Fantasy with memories of modern-day Japan. She takes to bundling her hair with a hair stick, but girls her age aren't allowed by custom to wear their hair up, so Myne instead wears her hair pulled about halfway, resulting in her having a quite distinctive hair style by the standards of her new world, and starting a trend of hair accessories.
  • One story in America's Dumbest Criminals had a murder suspect who wore a really distinctive hat. The officer telling the story claims that it reminds him of Carmen Miranda's signature headwear. During the suspect's interrogation, he claims that his girlfriend will confirm his alibi. So, they take him home and forbid contact with her. Somehow, he manages to get to her house, tell her what to tell them, and leave before they can get there. But when they enter, guess what they find on the coffee table. note 
  • Beast Tamer: The fairy twins Sora and Runa each wear flowers in their hair. Sora wears a closed flower on the left side of her head, while Runa an open flower on the right. The flowers reflect their contrasting personalities, Sora being quiet and reserved and Runa benig outgoing and mischievous, and serve as their Identical Twin ID Tag.
  • In Discworld, Wizards and Witches are extremely attached to their hats. One interesting case is Inept Mage Rincewind, who identifies very strongly as a wizard despite his ineptitude, because if he wasn't a wizard he wouldn't be anything, and is never seen without a red hat that says "Wizzard" on it.
  • The villain of Doctor Sleep is Rose the Hat, a sociopath never seen without her pork pie hat.
  • The titular Haruhi Suzumiya is easily identified by her yellow hairband with two yellow ribbons attached to it. Without it, her character design is a very generic Japanese schoolgirl look (shoulder-length brown hair, brown eyes, school uniform), so the hairband highlights that she is a very strange and special person inside a seemingly normal person's body. Notably, she only adopts this style at the start of the story when she decides to found her club (cycling through a variety of distinctive and attention-grabbing hairstyles and accessories), and it's made clear only this Haruhi, in the company of these people, keeps this particular look - sometimes important given the nature of the story.
  • Princess Ozma from Land of Oz has her ringlet and the two flowers on the side of her head. Virtually all adaptations feature them. They were introduced in the illustrations of the third book, Ozma of Oz, and didn't appear in The Marvelous Land of Oz.
  • Mask (2020): The Doll Lady, one of the villains of the book, is identified by her penchant for wearing wide brimmed hats.
  • Sherlock Holmes: Despite the fact it has never been mentioned in the literary canon, a deerstalker hat became this for Sherlock Holmes. It helps add enigma to his character and its unmistakable design is all people need to see when one wants to refer to him indirectly.
  • Star Trek: The Lost Era: The Buried Age has Guinan and her distinctive giant hats. It's even a semi-running gag that her hats are the first thing anyone notices about her (though she has smaller, less giant hats for when she's travelling.)
  • The Wheel of Time: Mat Cauthon buys a wide-brimmed black hat in the Aiel Waste and keeps it for the rest of the series. When he becomes a general, rumors spring up among his soldiers that the hat is magic and that he obtained it from a supernatural entity, but all it really does is keep the sun off.
    Mat: When Thom puts this all into song, he better remember my hat. It really is a nice hat.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Big Brother: Ashley, from season 14, always wore some kind of hair accessory in her hair, whether it was barrettes, flowers, clips, headbands or floral crowns. Her hair accessories were part of her signature style.
  • El Chavo del ocho: El Chavo wears a green, checkered cap with long ears that's become iconic for the fandom. To a lesser extent, there's Quico's tri-color kiddie cap, and Don Ramón's blue hat (that he often stomps on when he gets angry).
  • Jayne and his “cunning” knit hat with ear flaps from his mom on Firefly. It was only in one episode, but it’s still an iconic part of the character.
  • Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor's fedora is second to his scarf as the most recognizable of his outfit. Similarly, the Fifth and Seventh Doctors' Panama hats.
  • Blair on Gossip Girl was known for her headbands during the first two seasons, and it was even lampshaded by Serena, who ripped off one during a fight once, and Dan.
  • Justified: Series protagonist Deputy US Marshall Raylan Givens wears a distinctive white cowboy hat.
    • In the episode "Hatless", he loses the hat in a bar fight. For the rest of the episode, every character he interacts with asks about his missing headgear.
    • In the episode "The I of the Storm", Dewey Crowe impersonates Raylan by wearing a cowboy hat while robbing drug dealers under the guise of a drug raid. The dealers don't remember a name but everybody who hears their description assumes it was Raylan until he finally shows up and the witnesses can see he looks nothing like Dewey.
    • In the episode "Slaughterhouse", Raylan discovers that his father Arlo killed Trooper Tom Bergen to help notorious criminal Boyd Crowder evade arrest. Later, when Raylan is explaining what happened to Winona, he theorizes that Arlo probably didn't even know he was shooting a state trooper.
      Raylan: He just saw a man in a hat pointing a gun at Boyd.
      Winona: A man in a hat?
      [Raylan nods, stands, puts on his hat, and walks out]
  • Grandad Trotter was always seen in his trilby in Only Fools and Horses. It was so much a part of him that Delboy put it in Grandad's grave at his funeral. It was actually the priest's hat but it's the thought that counts
  • Riverdale: As in Archie Comics, Jughead Jones is almost never seen without his unique scallop-rimmed hat, a fact that he once lampshades as "weird". The show updates it from a modified trilby "whoopee cap" to a more era-appropriate, but still idiosyncratic, beanie.
  • Dustin's red, white, and blue trucker cap in the first two seasons of Stranger Things. In the third, he swaps it out for a yellow-and-green Camp Know Where baseball hat, having given his old one to Suzie, a girl he met at camp.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Hulk Hogan's bandanas.
  • Randy Savage had headbands in the '80s, but switched to cowboy hats in the '90s.
  • John Cena's baseball caps.
  • The Undertaker's black wide-brimmed derby hat.
  • El Santo's silver mask. He never took it off in public until his final TV appearance, and was buried wearing it.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Ars Magica: House Mercere serve as the messengers and middlemen of Magical Society, often traveling between Tribunals, and wear pointed red hats to identify themselves. "Redcap" is a common In-Series Nickname for them for this reason.
  • Atmosfear: Zass, the "soul trader", has his peaked hat as his distinguishing feature.
  • Mr. Fixer in Sentinels of the Multiverse is never seen without his hat. In fact, if he doesn't have his hat (as is the case with his Dark Watch variant card) or someone else has his hat (as is the case with Unity's Freedom Six variant card) it's a sure sign that he's either a ghost haunting a zombie or just straight up dead.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Due to many factions having Cool Helmets and hats, it's not uncommon for there to be headgear that's pretty iconic and signature.
    • The Commissars of the Astra Militarum are not only well-known for their habits of executing their own men for a variety of reasons but also their Commissar Caps. They are even highly prized among orks, who recognize their value as symbols of authority (having noticed that when a human wearing such a hat shoots one of his own men, the rest fight better).
    • The Mk. VI 'Corvus' powered armor, an earlier pattern of Space Marine armor. It is mostly well-known for the nickname "Beakie" due to their well. Beak-shaped mouth guards for their helmets. They are quite popular with the Raven Guard.
  • Warhammer Fantasy:
    • Azhag the Slaughterer is an orc warlord with a looted crown, an acute sense of tactics and a strange tendency to talk to himself. In fact the crown is the one (sometimes) calling the shots: it's an artifact belonging to Nagash and trying to return to its master by controlling the mind of its wearer. Unfortunately for it orcs are Too Dumb to Fool and the control tends to fail, leading to Azhag seemingly arguing with thin air.
    • Imperial Witch Hunters wear distinctive wide-brimmed hats when they want to be recognized. In the Gaiden Game Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, unexpectedly seeing someone wearing one of those hats can sometimes be enough to force a saving throw against Fear.

    Video Games 
  • Drakengard 3: In One's DLC, you can distinguish male One from her by his headband, which resembles a pair of horns. They are otherwise identical.
  • Fatal Fury:
    • Terry Bogard is almost never without his iconic "Fatal Fury" branded cap, having some iteration on it since 1992.
    • Billy Kane can't be seen without the red and white striped bandana all over his head. Sometimes the colors or the design changes (like his bandana from KOF XIV) but always Billy's head has covered with a bandana.
  • The King of Fighters: Most of Ikari Warriors (with the exception of Leona Heidern and Whip) wear distinctive headgear in their outfits: Ralf Jones uses a red-green camouflage bandana, Clark Still has a cap and black sunglasses, and Heidern wears an olive-green beret and an eyepatch.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Pokémon and its various adaptations almost always have a protagonist that has a hat/headgear that unique only to them. You can easily tell which character is which by simply just looking at their hats.
  • Keith Wayne from Power Instinct series had a distinctive blue headband in the classic games previous to Matrimelee, which more than decorative was used to hide his Dueling Scar in the forehead (unveiled since Matrimelee accompanied by a notable change of look).
  • Professor Layton: The titular Professor Hershel Layton wears a tall top hat, and is the only character to do so. This becomes a plot point in Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, where several characters in Future London recognize the Professor by his hat alone, with one even hiding in fear from him.
  • Scribblenauts: In all incarnations, protagonist Maxwell is never seen without his rooster helmet; a red hat with three horns. It was revealed later on that his entire family has their rooster hat as well.
  • Story of Seasons:
  • Final Fantasy has recurring headgear for the Black Mages in a pointy hat that completely obscures the mage's face outside of two glowing eyes.
  • PaRappa the Rapper has his trademark orange beanie with a frog on the front, which he's never seen without. It's even part of the logo for the second game.
  • Super Mario Bros.: The Mario Bros caps are as iconic as the bros themselves, with Mario and Luigi respectively sporting a cap of their signature colors and letter.
  • Tales of Phantasia: Cless Albane has a Martial Arts Headband that several later games in the series include it as a costume option, if not a full-blown equippable helmet. Mint Adenede's nurse hat is likewise iconic enough to be a recurring costume option for healers in later games.
  • Touhou Project really loves this trope. Almost every character in the series wears a signature hat or hair decoration (or sometimes even both).
  • Yandere Simulator has lots of female characters who wear hair accessories.
    • Osana and Raibaru wear similar-looking pink hair scrunchies with white polka-dots. It's mentioned that after becoming best friends at the end of their first high-school year, they became so close they started wearing matching accessories. Another reason behind this is development-related. Raibaru (also known as Rival-Chan) is the first concept design for Osana, but she was eventually turned into a separate character who is used as Osana's best friend and bodyguard.
    • Each member of the Light Music club wear hair clips shaped like musical notes and other graphs. Yandere-chan herself will wear one shaped like a sol key if she joins the club. If Yandere-chan kills at least one of the members, the leader will disband the club and remove all her accessories and make up, as well lose her Genki Girl personality and go back to her Shrinking Violet one.
    • All the members of the Gardening club wear flowers in their hair, to symbolize their conection to nature.
    • Supana Churu from the Occult club wears skull-shaped clips over her pigtails. According to Druelbozo, they can change expressions.

    Visual Novels 
  • Komari Kamikita from Little Busters! has her trademark star-shaped hairclip and very long hair ribbons, which she notably considers to be her Charm Points.

  • In Apricot Cookie(s)!, most of the characters have hair decorations as a nod to anime character design, but some of these say things about the characters as well. Protagonist Apricot wears large pink hair bows even while sleeping, as she's consciously trying to become a stock Magical Girl protagonist. Cream Tea, the obligatory Foreign Exchange Student character, wears Union Jack hair bows to further point out her country of origin.
  • Champions of Far'aus: Within the main cast, Daryl has his white cowboy hat, Skye has her green beret, Karla has a black mask with a red X on it, and Rom has his enchanted helmet from when he was in Sarengal's cult.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Helena is almost always seen with a headband and spherical earings. The only exception being right after waking up.
  • Girl Genius:
    • The Jaegers and their hats. It's a hobby of theirs to maintain their humanity. A Jaeger without a hat may as well not be a Jaeger, a Worthy Opponent or honored ally will be buried with one, and the less intelligent ones will calculate risk solely on the factor of whether they'll lose their hat.
    • On a related note, Gil's gift of a hat from the Jaegers, a monstrous thing which shoots flames out the top and has a plaque emblazoned "Schmott Guy" on the front. They meant it as a genuine compliment, but Gil despises it.
  • In The God of High School, Jin Mo-Ri is almost never seen without his signature sleep mask, which he uses to doze off anywhere between fights, reflecting his family "do what you want" motto. When he regains his former powers and memories as the Monkey King, it's replaced by his magical headband while in his godly form.
  • In I Made A Comic About Internet Explorer, the main character has a hair clip shaped like the Internet Explorer "e" logo, which is the main thing that identifies her as the Moe Anthropomorphism of Internet Explorer. Tor also has a tiny crown as a hair decoration which identifies her as the "Queen of the Dark Web".
  • The Order of the Stick: Xykon wears a gold crown that he killed Roy's father's mentor to steal. He loses it to Roy as a Battle Trophy but reclaims it in their next confrontation, where he brags that he only took it because it looks "REALLY badass". (As an undead skeleton, he's short on facial features of his own.)
  • Sleepless Domain: Cassidy's distinctive feature is her hair bow, which also mimics the shape of a pair of scissors, her weapon in magical girl form. When she uses her Self-Duplication ability her hair bow becomes an Identical Twin ID Tag, with each clone having one half of the bow bigger than the other.

    Web Videos 
  • Belkinus Necrohunt: Bloodstride is always seen wearing the skull of an infant Tarrasque as headgear.
  • Critical Role: Keyleth is almost never without her "antlers", in fact an enchanted druidic Circlet of Wisdom that she inherited from her Missing Mom. Taryon sometimes calls her Antlers as a nickname.
    Keyleth: Respect the antlers.
  • The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: The show is mostly shot as Talking Heads. Several hair accessories or hats are used as props in Lizzie's Costume Theater whenever someone is playing someone else. Sometimes they use other props and clothes, too.
    • William Darcy is represented by a newsie cap (and a bow tie). He doesn't really wear a newsie cap himself but it fits his hipster persona.
    • Lizzie's sweet elder sister Jane is represented by an artificial pink flower worn in someone's hair.
    • Bing Lee is a rich and hot medical student. Whoever plays Bing wears a doctor's head-mirror on their forehead.
    • Caroline Lee is a Rich Bitch who is represented by her Cool Shades and a black scarf.
    • Wickham and other members of the swimming team are represented with swimming goggles.
    • Mr. Bennet has a short-brimmed hat and a pipe. (Once they used a model of a train, too.)
    • Mrs. Bennet, Lizzie's embarrassing mother, has a large floppy garden hat, chandelier earrings, and a rainbow scarf.
    • Gigi Darcy is represented by a newsie cap (which is also used for her brother) plus Jane's pink flower.
    • Fitz, a close friend of the Darcy kids, is represented by a big poufy wig provided by Darcy.
    • Lizzie's best friend Charlotte has a knit purple hat, pigtails and a book that says "Charlotte costume" on it. Lizzie had to improvise. Charlotte is not impressed with Lizzie's uninspired choice.
      Charlotte: You had ninety-six episodes to think up a costume for me, and you came up with... pigtails and a book?

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time's Finn, one of the pseudo-Vagabond Buddies protagonists of the Finn and Jake duo, wears a white bear hat that covers up his long, blonde hair that he is (almost) never seen without. It's so iconic, that even in the Alternate Continuity comic books and videogame Expanded Universe material, he does not have the hat off.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender and its Sequel Series The Legend of Korra, Avatar Kyoshi's battle outfit contains a headdress that once belonged to her mother. She's never been seen without it and the Kyoshi Warriors Amazon Brigade wear similar ones.
  • Around the World with Willy Fog:
    • When he's outside, Mr. Willy Fog always wears a top hat.
    • Rigodon wears a bowler hat which he believes brings him good luck and refuses to replace it when he briefly loses it. It's from his grandpa.
    • Princess Romy has a jeweled head-dress, a traditional Indian maang tikka. Revealed in one episode to contain medicinal chicken bones.
    • Inspector Dix always wears a flat cap.
  • Bob's Burgers' Louise Belcher is never seen without her pink bunny ear cap. The episode "Ear-sy Rider" has Logan steal it and throw it away, which makes her so angry she sics a motorcycle gang after him!
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Edd has his black toque hat which he never takes off, driving Eddy to nickname him "sockhead".
  • The Fairly OddParents!: Timmy always wears a pink hat, which is always associated with him. He uses it in one episode to help Cosmo and Wanda identify him, and in the live-action film, him replacing it with a different pink hat is a sign he's maturing.
  • Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids: Dumb Donald wears a pink knit cap that covers most of his face, with eyeholes cut out so he can see. It accentuates his less-than-bright nature, and it sets him apart as he's the only character who wears such an obviously cartoony article of clothing.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • Dipper Pines has his trademark blue and white baseball cap with a pine tree on the front, which he wears since he picked it out from the Mystery Shack's gift shop.
    • Stan Pines has his big red fez with a yellow Pac-Man like fish symbol.
    • Soos Ramirez mostly wears his big brown visor hat.
    • Wendy Corduroy has a tan and dark brown lumberjack hat, which she probably got from her father Manly Dan.
  • Handy Manny: Manny Garcia has his trademark red and white repairman hat, which he is never seen without almost 90% of the time.
  • In Hero: 108, Mystique Sonia's hat is an actual living creature named Yaksha that usually rests on her head, but also helps her in battle or other activities with the different forms it can take, like a trampoline. It's also literally unique to her because Sonia is the only known character in the show to be cursed in a way that if a man who loves her confesses his feelings three times in a row, he turns into a Yaksha. In "Lion Castle", the original Yaksha died in battle, but she soon gets a new one with the same appearance and personality when a soldier who loves her is tricked by her into saying this three times.
  • King of the Hill: Dale Gribble's orange Mack cap, which he mainly wears to hide his baldness.
  • You have to wonder how Minnie Mouse manages to tie up a ribbon on top of her bald head she always had.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Applejack's brown cowboy hat is an iconic part of her appearance, especially since she's the only one of the Mane Six who regularly wears any kind of headgear. She even has a closet full of replacement hats in case something happens to the one she's wearing.
    • Applejack's younger sister Apple Bloom is almost never seen without the large pink bow she wears in her mane. The Distant Finale shows that she still wears it as an adult.
    • Diamond Tiara wears a diamond tiara all the time, which is also a signifier of her Alpha Bitch status.
  • In Peg + Cat, Peg wears a woolen hat all the time and when the Neighbour Ladies change her dress, they want to take her hat too, but she insists on keeping it.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • All the secret agents of OWCA are easily recognizable by their Fedora of Asskicking, without which they look like normal animals. A Running Gag with Doofenshmirtz involves him being unable to recognize Perry the Platypus without his hat. In another episode, the opposite situation happened: he confused a normal platypus that just likes sandwiches with Perry, despite lacking the latter's experience in fighting and intelligence (yet he still manages to defeat Doofenshmirtz), because of the hat.
    • Isabella Garcia-Shapiro has her trademark pink hairbow to match her dress, and she almost never takes it off. She even continues to wear it into adulthood.
    • Stacy Hirano also has her signature blue hairbow matching her top, which unlike Isabella is attached to a hairband. Unlike Isabella however, she takes it off on occasion.
  • Blossom of The Powerpuff Girls almost always wears a big, red bow and a pink barrette, even when it would be impractical (such as when sleeping or swimming).
  • Ready Jet Go!: Mindy is identified by her crocheted bear hat, which aids in her bear motif, as well as just looking cute. Mitchell has a red checkerboard aviator hat, to go with his detective schtick.
  • Recess has King Bob (Only Known by Their Nickname, and not actually of royal blood, who wears a crown-shaped football helmet that has a brown B on its front. He wears it almost every episode, with the sole exception of "Bad Hair Day", when we see him get an Important Haircut, but Status Quo Is God reverts it back to the iconic crown-shaped football helmet right after that.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars has several among the named clone characters on the show, with the color typically associated with their respective unit.
    • Captain Rex of the 501st painted a blue border around the visor of his helmet, with the bottom edge continuing to a point that ends at the lower air intake. The forehead has Jaig eyes painted in blue, there is a thin stripe of lighter blue framing the top air intake that then wraps around the casing of the lower intake and there are a series of simple tally marks around the crown. After the clones switch to the Phase II clone trooper armor, Rex cuts the "T" shaped visor out of his Phase one and welds it into his Phase II helmet.
    • Corporal Echo of the 501st has the crest of his helmet and hollow cheek portions in dusty blue, and two stripes of darker blue framed with dusty blue starting at the brow and running parallel along the crest to the back of the helmet over the top.
    • Fives of the 501st has a symmetrical blue inkblot design on the top of his helmet, incorporating two red dots. Beneath the design on the forehead, there is a downward-facing red arrow, and the hollow cheek portions are painted blue. This design represents the fate of fellow Domino Squad trooper, Cutup, as he was eaten by a giant eel on the Rishi Moon in the episode "Rookies".
    • Tup of the 501st painted a blue band around his helmet above the visor and a blue teardrop under the right eye.
    • Kix of the 501st painted a wide blue band around his helmet which merges with a blue frame for the visor and matches the blue on the crest.
    • Commander Cody of the 212th has a yellow sun visor and understated yellow sunburst pattern around the air filtration intakes.
    • Captain Gregor of the 212th painted a yellow border around the visor of his helmet and then kept a messy Kill Tally in thin black lines all over the helmet.
    • Commander Wolffe of the 104th goes through several helmet designs. The common theme is a large wolf design on his faceplate. He also uses a different style of helmet from most after the switch to Phase II.
    • Commander Fox of the Coruscant Guard has painted his entire helmet maroon, save for a series of parallel stripes near the intakes of his air filtration casings, the crest, the triangular piece directly over his mouth, and his grey sun visor.
    • Commander Thorn of the Coruscant Guard has painted the face of his helmet red with three stripes around each air filtration casing, red wings originating at each temple and added a grey sun visor.
    • Commander Bly of the 327th has a pale yellow stripe down the center of his helmet with electrobinoculars attached over the visor. His Phase II armor adds brownish-yellow markings on the air filtration units.
  • Clay, the American monk from Xiaolin Showdown, is almost never seen without his cowboy hat that he is protective of. He gets angry when it gets destroyed (happened twice in "Chameleonbot") or when Omi and Raimundo fill it with milk ("Big as Texas").
  • The eponymous Wander of Wander over Yonder has his special big floppy green hat, which doubles as a Bag of Holding whenever he needs something. It's also heavily implied to be a living sentient.

Alternative Title(s): Signature Hair Decs, Distinctive Headgear