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Basic Trope: A character with dark hair is highly intelligent.

  • Straight: Alice has brown hair and gets the highest grades in her class.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed: Alice is a brunette who is very smart, but not in comparison to some other characters, who are redheads or blondes or gingers, who are super geniuses.
  • Justified:
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    • Alice finds her brown hair to be plain so she quietly goes about her business putting her effort into academics.
    • Or people with dark hair in the story are given some sort of Applied Phlebotinum that makes them intelligent.
  • Inverted:
    • If characters know that something needs to be done that's morally questionable and also physically challenging, they call on the brown-haired Dumb Muscle.
    • Or Alice is a Brainless Beauty who has chestnut hair. She doesn't mind when she doesn't understand her schoolwork because if she asks a male classmate with a smile and compliment to his intelligence, she can practically get him to do the work for her.
  • Subverted: Alice gets terrible grades, but is merely Book Dumb, just like a bunch of her peers.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied:
    • After an IQ test, the highest scoring students immediately have their hair dyed brown.
    • All the smart kids have brown or black hair.
    • Or Betty wishes to be smart like Alice, so she decides to dye her hair dark brown to look smart. She becomes a TV Genius overnight.
    • ...or Betty, after she dyes her hair, starts acting like a TV Genius when she clearly doesn't know what she's talking about and everyone except for Alice acts as if she's the smartest kid in class. Alice is not amused.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice is smart, but switches between blonde and brown hair so often that no one can be sure what is her actual hair colour.
  • Averted: Hair color has no correlation to intelligence.
  • Enforced: The Smart Guy has brown hair so that people can identify him as the smart guy immediately.
  • Advertisement:
  • Lampshaded: "You can tell she's the smart one," said Bob. "Her hair says so,"
  • Invoked: "Of course I can win the spelling bee! I'm a brunette!"
  • Exploited: The Five-Man Band needs a smart guy, and they know hiring a brunette is their best bet.
  • Defied: Alice deliberately becomes Book Dumb in order to shun the stereotype of being a bookish nerd because of her brown hair.
  • Discussed: 'We might as well tell Alice about the problem and see what she thinks. She's the brunette around here, so she's bound to have some insight.'
  • Conversed: "Weird. Alice and Charlie both have dark hair and they're both really smart".
  • Deconstructed: Because Alice has dark hair, she constantly strives to become intelligent because people expect that of her.
  • Reconstructed: But deep down, Alice just wants to be herself. She dyes her hair blue and keeps her intelligent personality.

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