• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic
File:Evil queen evil collar 7476.jpg

Who wears the evilest collar of them all?

"I think my favorite part of his costume is his giant, four-foot wingspan, hang-glider collar. Why can't I ever find a lab coat with one of those?"

The high, turned-up collar is synonymous not only with Classical Movie Vampires, but with Obviously Evil villainy in general.

This began when Dracula was adapted into a stage play, Bela Lugosi famously played the count wearing an opera cape with the collar upturned, so that he could just turn around into the shadows, and the collar and blackness of the long cape made him seem to disappear. When it was made into a film, the effect was redundant, but Lugosi kept the collar of the cape up just for the appearance, and it became iconic.

It's usually paired with a long, flowing cape, but it's not necessary.

Even Evil Queens and Daddys Little Villains can wear collars like this, although they tend to be more extravagant than when male villains wear them.

Also note that heroes are not excluded from wearing high collars, it's just not a sign of evil when they do it.

Ominous Opera Cape is the Sister Trope, as it is often paired with this trope, and was also codified by Lugosi's performance.

Compare Badass Cape, Spikes of Villainy.

Examples of High Collar of Doom include:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • Batman villain Ra's al Ghul's most common outfit has a high collar. Although he is a terrorist and assassin, he has an air of nobility about him.
  • The Flash villain Weather Wizard.
  • Flash Gordon's nemesis, Ming the Merciless, most of the time. It was, of course, carried over into the Film and TV versions.


  • In Labyrinth, Jareth the Goblin King has two outfits featuring these — the shining black one when he first appears, and the red leather jacket with the really high collar when he appears in the tunnels.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show - Dr. Frank N. Furter first appears sporting one of these, but it disappears pretty quickly.
  • This concept art of Pinhead from the Hellraiser remake. Fittingly enough, it makes him look disturbingly like someone in an iron maiden.
  • Zorg in The Fifth Element has a collar so high, it reaches the top of his ears.
  • Mestema wore one in The Dungeonmaster, that was a bit more wide than high.


  • Dracula is the Trope Codifier from the aforementioned adaptations.
  • A throwaway line in Drakon mentions "the high-collared black uniform of war."

Live-Action TV

  • The Master not only wears one of these (and regulation evil villain's cloak) in the Doctor Who special "The Five Doctors", he appears to obtain it while teleporting (via a "power-boosted open-ended transmat beam"). Those Time Lords clearly know a thing or two about instantaneous transport and sartorial elegance, at least when not being played by Colin Baker. (The Master gets his collar back in the TV film, 13 years later).
    • Inverted with "normal" Time Lords, who are (sort of) good but whose formal wear comes with a truly ridiculous collar which is taller than their heads.
    • Though by The End of Time, the trope is in full play, with the Time Lords becoming omnicidal Knight Templars, intending to destroy all of Time and Reality.

Professional Wrestling

Tabletop Games

  • Crops up occasionally in Warhammer 40000, most commonly with officers in the Imperial Navy.
    • In the 40K film Damnatus, both inquisitor Lessus and his flag captain have one.
  • In Dungeons and Dragons sourcebooks, most of the artwork of Illithids portrays them wearing these.

Video Games

Western Animation

  • The wicked queen, shown above, from Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.
    • Snow White herself wore a high collar with her Pimped-Out Dress, but it was rounded and shaped in a softer manner, in contrast to the sharp corners and flat shape of the queen's collar.
  • Spoofed in Futurama, with the Omicronians, who all wear capes with high collars.
  • Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty.
  • Driven Up to Eleven by Yzma in a single scene in The Emperors New Groove.
  • The Queen of the Crowns in Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers has a costume and style that is an homage to them and to Ming the Merciless.
  • Megamind loves these. They're even on his pajamas!
    • Taken Up to Eleven with... The Black Mambaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
    • Everybody on his home planet loves these.
  • In the Dave the Barbarian episode "Sorcerer Material" (where Malsquando is first introduced), Fang deduces that Malsquando is evil because he has a "pointy collar". The Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Pig also has one.
  • In the Fairy Tale episode of X-Men, Magnus has this on his cape.