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A duo (often a romantic couple) whose contrasting hair colors signify their opposing world-views. Said hair colors are usually blond and black or dark brown, but it can just as well be red and black, or blond and blue--the important bit is the contrast. Their respective personalities are then typically defined as follows:

  • The fair-haired partner is the "good" one: younger, bright, hopeful, enthusiastic, naive, helpful, innocent, tends to follow the rules
  • The dark-haired partner is the "bad" one: older, moody, testy, serious, cynical, often relishes in Angst and their Dark and Troubled Past, tends to break the rules and snap

The two of them oftentimes have a shaky and volatile relationship due to their great difference in temperament and worldview. The Fair-haired partner often has to push at the Dark-haired partner to even get the relationship going in the first place. There's often a reason lurking in the Dark-haired partner's past to explain their hesitance, be it a failed relationship, abuse from their family, or simple shyness. Other times, the Dark-haired partner is just testier and not necessarily angsty. They may just be easily frustrated with their hyperactive partner's antics.

Ultimately, however, the Opposites Attract.

This is particularly a staple in lesbian romance fiction, where common pairings include a "good blonde" and a "bad brunette". A common inversion found in recent works features a slightly altered setup:

  • The Blonde becomes an (implied) Phenotype Stereotype, who, while still cheerful and clueless, gains traits like frankness, openness, inventiveness, and ignorance of proper etiquette
  • The Brunette becomes an (implied) Proper Lady, who, while still moody and cynical, becomes more reserved, well-mannered, and manipulative

Compare the Seme and Uke dynamics in Boys Love genre and the One Head Taller rule of thumb to recognize them. Also compare Red Oni, Blue Oni. Contrast Betty and Veronica, which is about romantic rivals with opposite personalities and physical traits, while this trope is specifically about duos/couples, not Triang Relations.

Examples of Hair Contrast Duo include:


Anime and Manga

Literature

  • The Time Of The Reaper: Jessica and Mel are another lesbian couple example.
  • Thais (bronze-skinned Brainy Brunette of Cretan origins) and Aegesichore (fair-skinned Power Blonde from Sparta) from Thais of Athens. Despite lots of Les Yay between them, they are really Just Friends, though.
  • Molly McIntyre's best friends in the American Girls Collection fit this to a T. Brunette Linda is practical and realistic, while blonde Susan is cheerful and a dreamer.

Live Action TV


Video Games

  • Touhou: Reimu (black) is more collected, while Marisa (blonde) is more... blast-happy.
  • Final Fantasy VIII: Fujin (female, silver-haired, cool) and Raijin (male, brown-haired, enthusiastic).
  • Final Fantasy XIII: Fang and Vanille-- whose dynamics seems to be copied verbatim from a yuri manga.
  • Tales of Vesperia has its resident Heterosexual Life Partners; blond, Lawful Good Knight in Shining Armor Flynn and dark-haired, Chaotic Good Vigilante Man Yuri.
  • Pokemon Black and White has a pair of friendly rivals, Cheren and Bianca, who fit this mold. Bianca (blonde) is sweet, bubble-headed, and thinks with her heart. Cheren (black-haired) is serious, cocky, and focused on becoming stronger.
  • Fire Emblem likes to play a bit with this trope:
    • Fire Emblem Awakening has a brother-sister version of this in Chrom (dark blue hair, serious, awkward) and Lissa (blonde and cheerful).
    • Toyed with in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. The blond Dimitri seems to be the Good One and the blue-haired Felix fits perfectly in the Cynical/Bad one... but as it turns out Dimitri is a massive bundle of issues underneath his smile and at some point he completely and absolutely snaps, becoming one heck of a Fallen Hero.
      • Also played with for Catherine and Shamir. Catherine is a boisterous blonde who wholeheartedly believes in Lady Rhea and the Goddess, while Shamir is an aloof and cynical brunette. But Catherine has a troubled backstory of not only turning in her best friend for execution when he was implicated in a plot to kill Rhea, but she herself wasa noblewoman implicated in the Tragedy of Duscur, causing her to have to run away from Faerghus and find a new home in the Church.

Visual Novels

Web Comics

  • Penny and Aggie.
  • Grey Is inverts this. Black with his rash personality and quick temper has white hair while calm introspective White has black hair.

Western Animation

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