Follow TV Tropes


You Are the New Trend

Go To
For some reason, the character's distinctive look or mannerisms becomes the model for the latest hot trend. Perhaps the character has suddenly become famous because of his deeds or just random happenstance, or perhaps he's provided an inspiration to a trend-setter.

Some characters may welcome the attention; more commonly, it will be embarrassing or annoying. The latter is especially true when the new trend causes wacky hijinks such as other people being mistaken for the character. In some cases, the character's actual outfit will be dismissed as a lame attempt to follow the fashion. May lead to a Be Yourself Aesop.

Compare Accidental Dance Craze. See also I Just Want to Be You and Sincerest Form of Flattery. Compare 15 Minutes of Fame and Accidental Celebrity for more general examples of sudden public attention.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In the epilogue chapters of Food Wars!, following Soma's participation in the BLUE, many students in the middle school section of Totsuki took to wear a towel wrapped around their left forearm like he does. Others have also copied Ryou Kurokiba's bandanna.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Joys of Seasons episode 75, everyone thinks Tibbie is so adorable that they try to copy her every appearance and pose. For the appearances, this extends to the veil she uses to cover her pimple-covered face and the pimples themselves at the end of the episode, after Tibbie takes off said veil.

    Comic Books 
  • In Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, there's a gang that follows a series of trends, starting with their "Mutant" leader and ending with... Batman himself, after he defeats the previous leader. They're young, bored, quick, and dangerous, and although Batman is disgusted by the crimes they commit in his name, he manages to turn them into his own personal army called the "Sons of Batman".
  • In Transmetropolitan, Spider Jerusalem is miffed to discover he's been turned into a celebrity, complete with a minor cult dedicated to him. Then he starts exploiting it.
  • R. Crumb's Fritz the Cat ends a story fleeing from a pot party busted by the police — he spots a drunk rich guy in top hat and tails, and mugs him to take his clothes for a disguise. He meets up with his friends in his park, where other hipsters spot him, and the next day they're all dressed the same way.
  • A The Simpsons comic book features the family being targeted by the fashion industry, who have concluded that they are the typical American family, and therefore the next trend. They get freaked out by this, and keep changing their styles, only for everyone else to relentlessly copy them, until they go back to their original outfits, and everyone forgets the whole thing.
  • In X-Statix, the titular team are all celebrities, and have whole stores devoted to peddling related merchandise to their fans. One of the Doop dolls even shows up in Runaways (owned by Molly Hayes, of course).

    Fan Works 
  • In a sidestory of Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, following the victory of Black Gaiman in the latest Unova League Conference, several people have copied his quirk of letting his Musharna eat their dreams, believing it'd help them in battle. It doesn't work because they don't have Black's specific mental makeup that makes having a Musharna chewing on his head helpful and efficient.
  • In Chapter 4 of Synthesis, all of the student in Miku's school wear novelty headphones like her. Hazel said they already started days ago and was surprised Miku didn't notice until she asked her.

  • In Ralph Breaks the Internet, as soon as Vanellope finds common ground when she agrees with Rapunzel about how big, strong men are automatically supposed to magically solve problems, the other Princesses welcome her into the club, and based on Vanellope's casual hoodie look, the princesses have a slumber party, where they each wear T-shirts and casual outfits as alternate wear that individually characterize their defining traits.

    Film—Live Action 
  • A Hard Day's Night: Played with — George takes a wrong turn in a TV studio and finds himself at the office of a "with it" producer that thinks he's only a Beatle impersonator. He tries to get George to appear in an advertisement for trendy clothes, warning him that he'll be an unhip pariah if he doesn't play the game.
  • The end of The Avengers features the citizens of New York (and the world in general) showing their admiration of the titular group by doing things like getting their beards cut in the style of Tony Stark and images of The Mighty Shield appearing on t-shirts and graffiti.
  • In The Dark Knight, Batman finds various impostors dressed as him trying to take down drug dealers with guns. He's less than thrilled, and warns them to stop. One of them winds up a victim of the Joker.
  • In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Katniss Everdeen meets a girl on the Victory Tour who tells her that she wants to volunteer as tribute like her. Snow's granddaughter also wears her hair in a braid like Katniss, even saying that all the other girls at her school are doing it.
  • John Tucker Must Die: The girls play a prank on basketball jock John Tucker so that he will be caught in public wearing only a thong. John Tucker doesn't lose his cool, and in fact is able to convince all the rest of the basketball team that wearing a thong is the way to go. Several of the male faculty members follow suit. Well it does prevent riding up...
  • Spoofed in Mean Girls, when Cady and Janice damage Regina's shirt and she successfully turns this Clothing Damage into a fashion fad.
  • Colette: Once Polaire establishes her distinctive crop as her style when playing Claudine, it starts appearing on young women all over Paris.
  • Hunk: After O'Brien tells Bradley/Hunk that true hunks don't follow trends, they start the, he starts wearing an open sleeveless shirt with a necktie over his bare chest. The trend catches on and becomes insanely popular amongst yuppies.

  • Dear Dumb Diary series by Jim Benton.
    • Angeline comes to school with a beret to cover some missing hair. The next day everybody's wearing berets — causing the protagonist to wonder where all those berets came from. (By the time she could acquire one, Angeline had stopped.)
    • Popular girl Angeline somehow gets a pair of jeans with huge holes in the knees. Pretty soon everybody has ripped holes in the knees of their pants.
  • Robert Munsch's story, "Stephanie's Ponytail". Everyone in school boos the main character's hairstyle, only to copy it the next day. At first only the girls do it, but then the boys and even the teacher get in on it. She keeps changing where the ponytail is, and everyone keeps copying her. Stephanie gets more incensed at the copycats until the end, when she angrily announces that she is going to shave her head. Everyone else shaves themselves bald immediately... and Stephanie comes to school with the same hairstyle as at the start of the book.
  • In Belgarath the Sorcerer, since Polgara is supposed to be in hiding, but it's impossible to dye or otherwise disguise her lock of silver hair, Belgarath manages to make it a fashion trend, so every other woman in the Western Continent also has the lock.
  • In Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, Isabella Thorpe is a fashionable beauty and considered the most attractive girl in Bath. Her younger sisters imitate her style, which she never complains about. At one point, she even asks her friend Catherine to coordinate their evening wear because men take notice of that. However, in her last letter to Catherine, she complains that another girl tried copying her style and wore a turban very much like herself, but made a wretched work of it, according to Isabella, because turbans are apparently becoming only in combination with Isabella's beautiful face.
  • Early in the Thursday Next novel Lost in a Good Book, Thursday and Landen go to her Uncle Mycroft's retirement party. Thursday sees her cousin's wife uncharacteristically dressed in chinos and a shirt, sans makeup and with her hair in a ponytail secured with a black scrunchie. Landen asks about the expensive dresses she used to wear, and Gloria tells the couple that FeMole magazine is promoting the Thursday Next look. Thursday finds this ridiculous, and the women have this exchange:
    Gloria (haughtily): There is no need to be offensive. You should be honored. Mind you, the December issue of FeMole thinks that a brown leather flier's jacket is more in keeping with 'the look'. Your black leather is a little bit passé, I'm afraid. And those shoes—hell's teeth!
    Thursday: Wait a moment! How can you tell me I don't have the Thursday Next look? I am Thursday Next!
    Gloria: Fashions evolve, Thursday—I've heard next month's fashions will be marine invertebrates. You should enjoy it while it lasts.
  • In Catching Fire, the mockingjay from the pin Katniss wore in the Games has become a fashionable accessory and icon for the Capitol citizens. In the districts, it became something else entirely: a symbol of resistance and hope.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Community - Troy and Abed build a blanket fort which quickly expands through the entire dorm complex into a blanket fort village. When they later read in the news that they've created a new fad they decide it's time to dismantle it.
  • Saved by the Bell: Spoofed where Kelly appears to be dating Screech. Zack panics when Lisa and Jessie comment that nerds might become the new trend, since "If Kelly wore a pizza on her head," people would imitate her. Cue Zack's fantasy sequence involving Kelly wearing a pizza as a hat while dating a James Bond-esque Screech.
  • In Step by Step, Frank is asked to keep an eye on one girl's hair when Carol doesn't have time and needs his help. The poor girl ends up with destroyed hair and part of her head is bald. In the final scene, an impatient teenager comes extremely early and demands the very same hair style, claiming it's the new craze at school.
  • Seinfeld: When George learns that Mr. Pitt eats his candy bars with a fork and knife, he copies it during a meeting with the Yankees staff, wishing to take on an air of distinguishment. It inexplicably catches on, and by the end of the episode, everybody is eating their sweets with utensils.

  • Eminem, never a very fashionable person, accidentally started a huge fashion trend for young white men to crop their hair and bleach it (something he did spontaneously while high on drugs), and wear white tees and carpenter jeans (which was just the comfy clothes he liked wearing at the time). He references this on numerous later songs and music videos, such as Stan in "Stan" being shown bleaching his hair to resemble his idol, his "million others just like me, who dress like me, who walk, talk and act like me..." in "The Real Slim Shady", and in "White America" - "who would have thought, standin' in this mirror, bleachin' my hair with some peroxide, reachin' for a t-shirt to wear, that I would catapult to the forefront of rap like this? How could I predict my words would have impact like this?" This even ended up causing him some real-life trouble when, during the incident where he pistol-whipped a man for kissing his wife, a young lookalike on the scene insisted to the cops that he was the real Slim Shady and slung boisterous insults at them until the cops arrested both.

  • In the quest Warhammer Fantasy Divided Loyalties, main character Mathilde Weber had constantly battled during her time as the Spymaster of Stirland against "Wizard Chic", where the children of local nobles have taken to trying to look magical, often sucking up the market of actual useful materials Mathilde needed. After being knighted for her actions against the Stirlandian League, Mathilde discovers to her horror that Wizard Chic has actually gotten even worse, because the youth have taken to idolizing her.

    Video Games 
  • In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, the small island community of Dewford enjoys following trends, that the player can directly influence using a combination of pre-defined key words.note  Even though the player can't type in their own words for this, it is still rather easy to make crude jokes with it (such as 'ADULT TOYS', or 'YOUR MOTHER').
  • The credit sequence of Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium shows an Asian kid dressed up as Terry Bogard. Okei!
  • This is one of the major mechanics that actually affects your battle effectiveness in The World Ends with You. Certain clothes and pins are stronger depending on what is trending in the area, fighting with certain pins can change the trends.
  • In Saints Row: The Third, the Saints have inexplicably become media darlings, complete with clothing boutiques, an energy drink, and a movie deal.

  • Ménage ŕ 3: A few days after Zii's new band play their very successful first gig, she, along with Gary and Yvan, visit an indie rock bar — where it turns out that every woman in the room seems to be imitating Zii's distinctive hairstyle. This is no coincidence; at least one of them turns out to be a gushing Zii Fangirl.
  • Ozy and Millie: A variation occurs in one arc. She accidentally dyes her head black (don't ask), and for some reason that's never really explained (Millie is not remotely a trendsetter or popular), Felicia takes this as a cue that dying one's head is "the latest thing" and copies it. This eventually leads into her and her friends copying Millie's Limited Wardrobe and hanging out with her, before abandoning her again when she predictably fails to move on to the next new fad.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!: Invoked by George Clooney. He starts smoking pipes and wearing muttonchop sideburns, saying he's "bringing them back". Sure enough, later in the episode a bunch of other people are shown with pipes and muttonchops.
  • In the Cow and Chicken episode "Supermodel Cow", Cow becomes a new fashion icon and starts a craze for udder bags. Of course, like all fads, it does not last.
  • Dexter, of Dexter's Laboratory, accidentally cracked his glasses in the episode "Framed", and cracked glasses promptly became all the rage around school.
  • Doug:
    • Doug Funnie finds that his trademark sweater has become the new trend after a popular TV character starts wearing it. Worse still, no one noticed beforehand that he sported what's being called the "Dylan Farnum Look" before the guy made it popular, so everyone thinks Doug is simply copying the trend; he spends most of the episode either trying to convince everybody it was his look to begin with or bucking trends in general (which fails in ridiculous fashion as the absurd mix-and-match costume he tries on turns out to be the "Schizo Look"). In the end, he learns to accept the situation...just as the Dylan Farnum look goes out of style, and now everyone is dressing like Doug's best friend Skeeter.
    • Rufus wears a Branday jacket to school, turning it into the next fad. Doug must settle for a "Brandexx" jacket, but the jackets get switched later, and Doug's jacket becomes the new trend.
  • Happens in Ed, Edd n Eddy. About three quarters through a long episode of the Eds being exactly one step behind the latest trend of the minute, they decide to try and create their own trend (really strange clothing). Which only becomes the latest trend when the Eds have moved on to something else, and in the very short time it takes them to change back into the clothes from said trend, the latest trend is something else entirely.
  • On a House of Mouse short, Goofy tries out various trends in an attempt to be hip. In the end, he returns to his traditional outfit... which has somehow become a hot fashion trend.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Kim's mission outfit becomes a fashion fad in "Kimitation Nation" when a fashion designer looking for ideas sees a TV report of Kim's latest heroics and creates a new clothing line based on her mission outfit. Ironically Kim's attempt to take advantage of it to gain popularity fails, and she becomes fed up with it.
    • Ron's casual outfit becomes the new trend at the end of the same episode.
  • On Littlest Pet Shop (2012), Blythe is a rare cartoon character without a Limited Wardrobe, yet that doesn't make her immune to this trope. When a bird's nest accidentally falls on her head outside a fashion show, a TV host there declares "nest hats" the new trend. All Blythe wants to do is return the nest (and, more importantly, the egg that was inside) to the tree it came from, but she winds up shanghaied by the media and the Biskit twins as the face of the new trend. She's able to stop the trend (thus freeing herself) when she discovers that the hats are causing birds all over town to dive bomb people.
  • Mission Hill: Jim comes back from a trip to Japan with the newest thing over there — little shorts with Hello Kitty style decorations. Andy thinks they're ridiculous, but soon becomes unhip when he's the only one not wearing them. By the time he comes around they're out, since middle-aged folks have taken them up.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
    • In the episode "Green Isn't Your Color", Fluttershy's quiet grace (coupled with Photo Finish and a desire to help ponies) forces her into becoming a walking example, complete with new dresses. She doesn't take to it very well.
    • In the episode "It Isn't the Mane Thing About You" Rarity lose most of her mane because she accidentally uses Zecora's magical remover potion. Once she accepts that she can't grow back her ruined mane quickly, Rarity opts to turn it into a multicolored punk Mohawk. By the end of episode, Rarity's new manestyle (which appeared on the front of the magazine for the best manes in Equestria) becomes a trend among the residents of Ponyville (and apparently a long-lasting one, considering months had passed).
    • In the Equestria Girls interactive short, "Best Trends Forever", Rarity does a report on the latest trend, but when she has nothing to talk about on her, she improvises by making up a trend after looking at Rainbow Dash (rainbow hair), Twilight Sparkle (glasses), or Pinkie Pie (confetti). Who she chooses yields different results. If Rainbow Dash is chosen, Rarity finds herself in a panic when she finds herself unable to tell who is actually Rainbow Dash. If Twilight is chosen, people taking her look causes her to have trouble getting the book she wants. If Pinkie is chosen, she embraces her trend with excitement by filling everybody's lockers with confetti.
  • On The Oblongs, the family's lack of funds force Milo to go to school on a rainy day wearing a bucket on his head and a trash bag as a raincoat. The hill kids make fun of him, until the Fonzie stand in says he likes his bucket. Milo shows up at school the next day to find all of the hill kids wearing buckets and accusing him of copying them. The rest of the plot focuses on his mother helping him stay one step ahead of them.
  • In one Paddington (1975) episode, Paddington goes to a store to buy some pajamas and ends up wandering into what appears to be a bedroom, but was actually the store's display window where he goes to sleep. When he later wakes up he finds out that the store completely sold out of the pajamas he was wearing and the store manager thanks him by letting take one item from the store for free.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Run Away Runway", Phineas and Ferb become designers, with their Summer All The Time collection. The collection consists of the clothes that Phineas and Ferb wear in almost every episode - so Phineas and Ferb are the newest fashion. Later on, when Doofenshmirtz creates his clone army, as they enter the Googolplex Mall, everyone thinks that the outfit he's wearing has become the newest fashion - so Doofenshmirtz becomes the newest fashion.
  • Pinky and the Brain: In "Calvin Brain," Brain tries unsuccessfully to get supermodels at a fashion show to promote his perfume, Subjugation, which has hypnotic properties. When Pinky, wearing a pin cushion on his head while tangled in thread and a tape measure, accidentally lands on the runway, he immediately gets the attention of the photographers and becomes a supermodel, with Brain as his fashion designer, Calvin Brain. The two mice appear on magazine covers and national television, while women everywhere start wearing tape measures and pin cushions.
  • Riley in The Replacements becomes this in one episode, and quickly becomes annoyed since everybody at school is not only dressing exactly like her, but following her around and copying her every move. She stands on a table and tells the kids that they should think for themselves instead of mindlessly following trends. The Alpha Bitch responds with a Shut Up, Kirk!, saying that mindlessly following trends is what they want to do and Riley has no right to tell them they can't make that choice for themselves, to which she has no comeback.
  • In the Tiny Toon Adventures Movie, "the box look is IN!" after Dizzy's shedding forces him to don a box for modesty's sake.
  • One The Weekenders episode, "To Tish", puts a different spin on this trope by having Tish's name become a hot new slang word.