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Nice Hat / Literature

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  • A Series of Unfortunate Events. The Council of Elders in the seventh book wear hats shaped like crows.
  • The Cat in the Hat.
  • Rhett Butler's signature affectation in Gone with the Wind is a stylish Panama hat (what we now call a fedora).
  • Enid Blyton's character Noddy has a blue hat with a yellow bell that rings when he nods.
  • In the novel Design for Great-Day, a fancy hat wearing species is also capable of completely dominating the minds of many other creatures simultaneously... from a very long way away. They never use this tactic to defend their hats in the book.
  • Witches' and Wizards' hats are very important to their respective owners on the Discworld, as they let onlookers know not to screw with them. Rincewind's is a bit of a subversion, as his "Wizzard" hat is actually very shoddily put together and is falling apart. He still won't let go of it; though. ("How else would anyone know he was a wizard?") And, after he gets blown apparently irretrievably into the Dungeon Dimensions, the Librarian keeps his hat safe for him when he returns — because a wizard will always come back for his hat. He does.
    • Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully's hat is particularly nice, as it contains a tent, hunting and fishing supplies, and a bottle of booze in the tip. He had it made by a special firm of certified mad hatters to avoid the problems that stemmed from the former ceremonial Archchancellor's hat, which was worn by so many magical heads it developed a life of its own.
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    • Which brings us to... the former Archchancellor's hat. Quite apart from being incredibly fancy, it was sapient, highly intelligent and a more powerful wizard than most actual wizards.
    • Nanny Ogg's hat is reinforced with willow, enough to protect her from falling houses.
    • Granny Weatherwax considers her hat to be the definitive symbol of witchdom. She makes a new one every year. Heaven help you if you mess with it. And she bestows some of her awesome on Tiffany Aching by giving her a hat of her own. Which is invisible. Of course, some of her peers insist she's not wearing a hat, but who listens to some bimbo who's never even invaded fairyland with only a frying pan and a personal army of pictsies?
    • In Going Postal, Moist von Lipwig gets to wear a fairly Nice Hat as postmaster (it's gold, with wings on it). The old silk top hat he gets to wear as master of the Royal Mint in Making Money isn't nearly as nice, but is improved considerably by the application of a coating of gold sprinkles.
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    • Sergeant Detritus has a helmet with built-in air-conditioning, since he can think better when his brain is kept cold.
    • Sardines the rat from The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents is rather fond of a little straw boater-hat. He's a born show-rat whose philosophy is "You've got to have a hat to get ahead."
    • Terry himself was known to wear a pretty awesome fedora and various other big black brimmed hats. Apparently, they were his disguise. With them on, he was Terry Pratchett, Famous Author; otherwise he was just some random old nobody. And after sporting full Victorian dress for the launch of Dodger, he apparently decided to keep the top hat.
  • The Sorting Hat from the Harry Potter books. While no-one actually makes a habit of wearing it (it was once Godric Gryffindor's hat, but he's been dead for centuries) but come on. It talks. And it sings. And it's telepathic. You can't find a hat cooler than that.
    • Luna's lion hat.
    • Fudge's lime green bowler.
    • Dumbledore's starry Merlin hat.
    • Neville's gran's accessorized-with-a-stuffed-vulture hat.
  • A constant Running Gag in The Dresden Files is that Harry does not own a hat, despite being depicted wearing neat black fedora on the cover of every book so far, looking far more cool than anyone has a right to be.
  • Curious George's owner has such a Nice Hat, he's called "The Man With the Yellow Hat", until the movie names him Ted Shackleford.
  • Jarlaxle, of R.A. Salvatore's Drizzt series, is famous for several things — the most immediately noticeable his wearing of an "outrageous plumed hat" — it is, effectively, the closest thing one can come to a pimp hat without actually being a pimp (though he may have been one at some point; who can tell with Jarlaxle?). Typically, said hat is loaded with useful magics. By Villain's Lorebook it's Hat of Holding.
  • Bruenor has a nice hat of his own, sort of — his distinctive helm with one broken horn.
  • Bartholomew Cubbins' hats pulled off a huge Refuge in Audacity-based plot that resulted in the disinheritance of an unworthy heir to the throne and Bartholomew getting 500 gold pieces. They're like the Puss In Boots of hats!
  • The Moomins children's books and spinoff media have two major characters with Nice Hats: big-brother figure Snufkin wears an odd, tapering, wide-brimmed, green very nice hat, and a big black top hat serves as Moominpappa's tertiary sexual characteristic, contrasted with Moominmamma's big red apron.
    • There was also a hat so awesome it warped reality at one point. As in, a giant ant-lion turns into a hedgehog, a lot of Eye-Watering Words come alive and so forth.
  • In Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys, we learn that Anansi, trickster-god, spider-god, and the original owner of all stories, has a really nice hat: A bright-green fedora, which ONLY looks good if worn slightly lopsided, and even then only if you walk in just the right way. When the hat is passed on to one of the Boys, namely Fat Charlie Nancy, and he proves capable of wearing it just right, it clearly demonstrates how he's mastered the divine powers that comes with his origin. Especially since his brother, Spider, who's otherwise been awesome at EVERYTHING, has to admit that it doesn't look good on him.
  • Let's not forget the classics: the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland wears an impressive top hat. He's probably borrowing it from his store, as it's labeled "10/6", representing a price of ten shillings and sixpence. That Other Wiki says this would be about $100 today when adjusted for inflation, and notes that "this was likely to indicate a nice hat".
  • The minor Wild Cards character Topper uses her hat as her primary weapon, since she can pull anything that exists out of it.
  • Subverted in Life, the Universe and Everything. When Slartibartfast, Ford and Arthur are at the flying party looking for the Silver Bail, Ford comes upon what seems to be a Nice Hat, and tells its owner this, but she says she's not wearing a hat, at which point Ford says, "Nice head."
  • In The Looking-Glass Wars, by Frank Beddor, the character of Hatter Madigan is a member of the Millinery, where one of their biggest rules is that every member have one hat, and one hat only. It just so happens that that hat turns into a bladed boomerang disc. Nice hat? Oh, yes.
  • Battlefield Earth's Johnny "Goodboy" Tyler, in a part of the book that never got into the movie, wears a Nice Hat to try to impress alien ambassadors; it is an ordinary military helmet covered in layers of gold and super-shiny iridium, with a Chinese dragon sculpted on top of it holding a pearl. It even has its own dedicated spotlight on it during meetings.
  • In the Aubrey-Maturin series, Captain Aubrey's chelengk-adorned Number One Scraper.
    Holden was already sitting at his old shipmate's table, one hand holding a glass of wine, the other stretched out, pointing at a singularly magnificent diamond spray in Jack Aubrey's hat. "What, what is that?" he cried.
    "It is a chelengk," said Jack with some complacency. "Ain't I elegant?"
    "Wind it up again. Wind it up for him," said his friends, and the Captain set his hat, his best, gold-laced, number one full-dress scraper, on the table: the splendid bauble — two close-packed lines of small diamonds, each topped by a respectable stone and each four or five inches long — had a round, diamond-studded base; this he twisted anti-clockwise for several turns, and as he put on his hat again the chelengk sprang into motion, the round turning with a gentle whirr and the sprays quivering with a life of their own, so that Captain Aubrey sat in a small private coruscation, a confidential prismatic firework display, astonishingly brilliant in the sun.
    "Where, where did he get it?" cried Holden, turning to the others, as though Captain Aubrey might not be addressed while the chelengk blazed and trembled.
  • Go Dog Go contains an entire Nice Hat subplot, with two dogs meeting several times over the course of the book and one asking the other if he likes her hat, eventually leading to an extravagant headpiece.
  • Holden Caulfield spends a buck on a red hat in The Catcher in the Rye. It is, according to his roommate, a rip-off.
  • In The Fangs Of Kaath, at the end of his successful military campaign, Prince Raschid takes to wearing a traditional headdress given to him from his new friend, a desert nomad warrior king. He thinks it looks stylish and subconsciously marks his growing distance from his domineering mother, who can't stand it.
  • Bertie Wooster is prone to wearing hats he thinks are very nice; his man Jeeves disagrees.
  • Paddington Bear never goes anywhere without his slouch hat.
  • The Golux in James Thurber's The 13 Clocks wears an "indescribable hat". When Prince Zorn does not find him particularly wonderful, his hat suddenly becomes describable.
    • James Thurber was apparently blind when he wrote it, but he worked closely with the illustrator to produce the pictures. Naturally, Thurber had him re-draw the Golux's hat until he was no longer able to describe it.
  • The white beret of a starship captain in The Royal Manticoran Navy.
  • Fitz Kreiner, of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe Eighth Doctor Adventures, often wears a fedora, especially when pretending to be a Private Detective. When the Doctor has a Heroic BSoD, becomes catatonic, and is left to Walk the Earth for a hundred years, Fitz gives the Doctor his hat (and coat). However, the Doctor, being given the hat and coat in the second-to-last chapter of one book, doesn't seem to ever wear them in the next one. Jerk.
  • Martin Silenus in the Hyperion Cantos sports a distinctive floppy purple beret.
  • The hat which Miles Vorkosigan sported in "The Borders of Infinity", while imaginary, was definitely pretty awesome. Miles deliberately invokes this trope. One of the other prison inmates asks why, if he is pretending to have a hat, he doesn't pretend to have an entire suit. Miles goes on for a couple of paragraphs explaining all of the important uses of a hat, demonstrating with his imaginary hat.
  • Subverted in Crime and Punishment when Raskolinikov gets rid of his hat, because it makes him noticeable.
  • The popular image of Sherlock Holmes includes a very nice deerstalker cap.
    • This is despite the fact that he would only have had occasion to wear it in a few stories; it's an outdoorsman's hat and a London gentleman wouldn't have been caught dead in one in the city.
      • Although the deerstalker is not canon, Holmes' bohemian leanings would suggest an unconcernedness with what is fashionable.
  • Skulduggery Pleasant has a fedora which always stays on his head, even in the strongest winds.
  • Crowns: Portraits of Black Women In Church Hats, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Edward Lear's Quangle-Wangle-Quee.
  • In Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time, Matrim Cauthon (an Expy of Odin; see the Mythology tab) is never without his hat.
  • Karmic Trickster Pumphutt in Krabat. It's part of his Meaningful Name (Hut = hat).
  • The Railway Series: The top hats worn by Sir Topham Hatt, the Fat Controller. James gets in a bit of trouble when he panics over ruining one and messes up the start of his first passenger journey.
  • The Three Musketeers has d'Artagnan's signature feathered cap, inspiring many future Nice Hats.
  • The titular hat of I Want My Hat Back.
  • Gandalf's hat in The Lord of the Rings.
  • Thorin's hat in The Hobbit was described as sky blue, with a long, silver tassel, clearly making him stand out among the other dwarves.
  • Solomon Kane's slouch hat is perhaps the Trope Maker for the Nice Hats worn by Witch Hunters and Vampire Hunters everywhere.
  • The entire premise of Old Hat, New Hat.
  • Wayne from The Alloy of Law has a hat he considers lucky, he's very annoyed when a villain steals it. Further, his talent for disguise is based largely on finding the right accent and hat to fit the part.
  • Ciaphas Cain frequently mentions the issues that come with the fancy hat. Even if he'd rather have a helmet.
  • A number of the Whistler women in A Brother's Price wear Stetsons. Jerin ends up needing a new travel-hat, and stitches a modesty veil to the brim to hide his face with.
  • In The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, the "scrappy caps" Professor Savant gives to Ben, Thom, and Lindy are certainly very nice hats.
  • In Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince, when Lori and Bree dress their parts as journalists, Lori tells the reader: "I followed her example and slipped into my old beige trench coat, wishing I had a fedora to complete the look. Instead, I pulled on a rather fetching brown velvet beret I'd picked up for a song at a church jumble sale."
  • Willy Wonka and his top hat.
  • Linnea has a nice bonnet she wears both in the books in the animated adaption.
  • Dave Barry Slept Here explains that the suffragettes "ultimately achieved their goal by marching around in public wearing hats the size of elementary schools, a tactic later adopted, for reasons that are still unclear, by Queen Elizabeth."
  • The villains of the second Larklight book are the Moobs, a race of amorphous, shapeshifting black blobs that feed on memories. To get at those memories, they have to be in physical contact with our heads. And to physically contact our heads, they assume the shape of top hats, waiting for unsuspecting people to mistake one for their own hat and put it on. That is, until the human villain of the book got it into his head to actually sell Moobs as hats, greatly speeding up their plans. Incidentally, wearing a Moob allows it to control your mind.
  • Mudge's hat in Spell Singer is the same style hat Robin Hood and King Graham wears. He wears it on every adventure (And when even not adventuring) And loves his hat to the point not only that he keeps the original on display after he retires from adventuring (For the time being) but even his son liked it enough to wear a similar hat.
  • In Jack Vance's Cugel's Saga, Cugel wears a fancy three-tiered hat.
  • From May Bird, the evil Bo Cleevil's wide-brimmed hat is his most prominent feature, especially since it casts the rest of his face in shadow. And doing so hides the fact that he doesn't actually have a face, just disembodied eyes and a mouth.
  • In Corky Cub's Crazy Caps from the Animal Antics A to Z picture book series, Corky Cub and his best friend Connie Cougar have fun playing together and making special caps together, with a wide variety of wild designs. Then Corky is broken up when Connie moves away, so his teacher Alpha Betty suggests he make a friendship-making cap. He does so and soon he has a whole group of friends that he makes caps together with, though he still has fun with Connie when she comes to visit.


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