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No points for guessing what's going through his... head.

Ahoge[1] (literally idiot hair) refers to the noticeable slim forelock of hair that sticks straight up from a character's head. Originally a hairdresser term for the "stupid hairs" or cowlicks that will not comb down, it later mutated into a literal reflection of a person's intelligence. Thus Idiot Hair suggests that a character is stupid, naive, or strange. (This suggestion is usually accurate, but not always - sometimes a serious character just has funny hair.)

Even if a character is not specifically stupid, naive, or particularly odd, the ahoge also usually represents a general mischievous quality about them in general. Goes hand in hand with the Cat Smile. It can also be used to show that Something Else Also Rises.

Idiot Hair is not to be confused with the two-stranded antennae-style hair, most recently popularized by Love Hina or Ah! My Goddess.

Examples of Idiot Hair include:

Anime and Manga

  • The top image comes from Bakemonogatari. The depicted Koyomi as well as his sisters Karen and Tsukihi have ahoge, but Koyomi's is the tallest.
    • While Koyomi has the "idiot hair" and does occasionally act the fool, let it be said that he's less an idiot than a Deadpan Snarker hero type with Expressive Hair. His ahoge manages to add amusing sequences to some episodes (like the page picture's source) that are less image-based and more talky.
    • It manages to forms question marks when he's confused and he even blushes through it in episode 13.
  • Himeko from Pani Poni Dash! is given the nickname "Ahoge", for both mentioned reasons. Her cowlick even moves around of its own accord.
    • In episode 3, Becky briefly gets one, and she gets so frustrated with hers that she rips Himeko's cowlick right out of her head.
  • Haré and Weda in Haré+ Guu. Weda isn't really an idiot but acts irresponsible and care-free because it's a more fun way to live life and to avoid facing her issues. Haré is pretty smart and the show's Only Sane Man, but this frequently causes him to run around like an idiot out of stress since he's the only one who can't go with the flow.
    • Interesting to note: Weda's mom has no ahoge. Weda has one. Haré has two. Weda's second child Ame has three. We can only imagine what Haré's own kids might look like.
  • Fuyuki in Keroro Gunsou, who's something of a genius in geography and the paranormal. Not Keroro, Fuyuki.
    • In the closing credits for episode 231 it's hinted that NPG bodyguard Yoshiokadaira Masayoshi has been hiding one under his helmet.
  • Kazuma Azuma in Yakitate!! Japan, though they looked more like Hair Antennae.
  • Konata in Lucky Star is not an idiot, but she is Book Dumb and loves annoying Kagami.
    • Kagami had an ahoge early on in the manga.
    • Akira from Lucky Channel also has an ahoge, but if you respect your own life, do NOT call her an idiot.
    • And Yui Narumi, Konata's cousin, has a tiny ahoge.
  • He might not be an idiot, but Ed from Fullmetal Alchemist has a small "antenna" of hair which he intentionally sticks up to make himself appear taller.
    • Made more humorous when Olivia Armstrong threatens to pluck it out of Ed's head if he doesn't stop acting like an idiot.
      • Even more humorous when you remember that an ahoge has been passed down the Armstrong line for generations. Olivia somehow missed out on it. Hell, Alex's ahoge is the only bit of hair left on his head.
        • Arguably Olivier didn't "miss out" on it... there's a strand of hair on the left side of her face that stands out more prominently than the rest of her hair, it seems she had an ahoge and grew it out to a length that no longer allowed it to defy gravity.
        • Noa, the Hot Gypsy Woman from The Movie Conqueror of Shamballa, has an ahoge as well.
        • For some reason in the first anime, Roy was drawn with a strand of hair that inconsistently sticks up more than the rest of his hair, occasionally giving him the standard idiot hair appearance.
    • Taken further when he's drawn in a simplistic stick figure fashion and is bald with nothing but the hair point.
  • Mai-HiME's Mai is a borderline case — her ahoge runs across her forehead instead of sticking up. On the other hand, Arika in Mai-Otome has one serious ahoge (among other hair oddities).
    • For Arika, it's more Hair Antennae. She even earns the nickname Arinko-chan, i.e. Anty.
  • Kitsune in Love Hina.
  • Ahiru/Duck in Princess Tutu has an ahoge roughly as tall as her head. This has botched a few of her attempts at stealth. Small birds have been spotted sitting on it and pecking it.
  • Jubei-chan had two characters with these. When engaged in a shouting match at one point, they came close enough for their Ahoge antennas to actually do battle with each other.
  • Sumi in Moetan has this, and it overlaps with Expressive Hair, changing shape to represent her feelings (such as a heart, a sweatdrop, and many more.)
  • Sakura Nankyoku (Penguin Musume Heart) is a classic example of the trope.
  • Slightly ditzy Bridge Bunny Amy of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha had one pop up on her head. Chrono responded by trying to comb it down with a hairbrush and a can of hairspray while wearing his usual stoic expression.
  • Yue Ayase from Mahou Sensei Negima has one running across her head, and is a member of Class 3-A's "Baka Rangers" clique for the students who consistently get the lowest grades.
    • It's actually a bit of a subversion, as Yue is probably one of the smartest girls in the class. Her low grades are due to her refusal to take the time to study.
      • Nodoka also had an Idiot Hair, but like Yue, its a subversion as she's ranked something like 23rd in her grade of over 700 students.
    • Chisame Hasegawa also has one, and she's the only class member without a Weirdness Censor.
    • A more straight example is Nagi "Five, Maybe Six Spells Tops Thousand Master" Springfield, Negi's missing father.
      • Not to mention Negi himself, who is "an idiot in reverse" due to overthinking, and his obliviousness about girls.
  • Moritaka Mashiro from Bakuman。.
  • In Blue Drop, Mari's chemistry teacher Yuuko puts up her hair in this fashion to cheer Mari up. She also does it to Mari herself, much to the latter's delight.
  • Taniguchi from Suzumiya Haruhi has one.
    • Sometimes, Suzumiya has one, too, depending on how she's doing her hair. It may just be the wind, but it's amazing how much her hair does that.
      • Played straight in Haruhi-chan. It's a tiny strand, but it appears when she's more genki than usual.
  • Nori, from Rozen Maiden, has an ahoge too.
  • Chiaki from Minami-ke has one, even though she's a Little Miss Snarker and not an idiot.
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia, several characters have them.
    • And it seems some of these idiot hairs have meaning, representing several places (America's is Nantucket, Korea's is supposed to be Seoul, Austria's is Mariazell, etc.)
    • Several pictures of Roman Empire show that he has several idiot hairs, and that they may have been passed on to his descendents (Both Italy brothers, Greece, and possibly Egypt.)
      • The Italy brothers are mirror images of each other. North Italy's is on his left side while South's is on his right.
        • One comic revealed that they get flustered when people touch them, because they're erogenous zones for them.
        • The Principality of Seborga has a curl similar to North Italy's, but it has a more rumpled and bent appearance.
      • Greece has one that splits into two on the top of his head. The ends curl round in the style of an Ionic column.
    • Korea has one too. It's sometimes drawn with a face.
    • Austria, normally The Stoic, will sometimes express emotion through his ahoge.
    • Taiwan has the longest of any known country, which seems to fit with her being the only girl with one.
    • America and Canada both have them.
      • It's no surprise that they both have one, being twins. What is interesting is how different they are. America's is short, thick, and curves back over his hair. Canada's is long, thin, has a loop, and falls forward in front of his face.
        • That's probably because they're not Twins. They're Brothers.
    • Australia has two. AND England's eyebrows.
    • Norway's floats.
      • He also a strange dot that floats alongside his idiot hair.
    • Turkey's splits into two at the nape of his neck.
    • Not only that, but in the few times Italian and Austrian citizens are represented, they have the very same ahoge style of their respective countries.
  • Kaname from Full Metal Panic! occasionally sports this style.
  • Suzuna from Eyeshield 21 will suddenly develop it whenever another character's romantic subplot is brought up. It then homes in on them like radar.
  • Athena from Aria has one, though she's more of a space case than an outright idiot. Akatsuki also has one.
  • The eponymous character of Shakugan no Shana is certainly not an idiot, but she can be very Hot-Blooded, and Yuji is almost always the better tactician.
  • The eponymous Iono from Iono the Fanatics also has one. She's not really an idiot, but she's a lesbian Bunny Ears Queen who is very much led by her hormones.
  • In at least one scene from Kaze no Stigma you can see Ayano putting a great deal of work into making sure she has an Idiot Hair, including combing her hair a certain way and liberal amounts of hairspray. Why? Who knows. It fits though.
  • Tadase from Shugo Chara has one of these, though he's not an idiot; just oblivious.
  • Rip van Winkle from Hellsing subverts this: she has a very long ahoge, but is far from a fool. She's a Nazi vampire with a single-shot flintlock musket that can shoot down multiple targets (including missiles) with a single shot.
  • In Crimson Grave the two heroes go dungeon-exploring with a treasure hunter whose expressive ahoge is apparently smarter than she is. It always points in the direction she should go, and she follows it without realizing.
  • In the manga Inukami! Youko's idiot hair pops up from time to time, usually when she's acting like a ditz.
  • Gundam Seed Destiny: Lunamaria Hawke's ahoge is really quite subdued.
  • Meg in Burst Angel.
  • Diebuster: Nono's ahoge is epic, and it's certainly a good indicator of her personality in this case. It even stays in place (with a slightly more angular shape) after she goes into Buster Machine mode.
  • Takei Hisa of Saki. There's also Touka and her expressive idiot hair.
  • To Aru Majutsu no Index: MISAKA has MISAKA has one! (though she denies that it's an ahoge in volume 15.) Her 20,000 Sisters (+ 1) don't, though.
  • Lala of To Love Ru, fittingly enough.
  • Maria from Canaan, which at one point even gets commented on by Canaan herself.
  • Hayate of Hayate Cross Blade has one, which the creator Lampshades here and here.
  • Loretta Oratorio from Wild Arms: Twilight Venom.
  • Kosukegawa in Change 123 has expressive idiot hair. It was also used at least once for the Something Else Also Rises trope.
  • Kurimu in Seitokai no Ichizon.
  • The appropriately ditzy Miki Motokura of Mo-Retsu Boin Sensei (yeah, it's that kind of manga) has the side-oriented ahoge similar to the Italies. A Live Action Adaptation reproduces it faithfully.
  • Ruby from the Pokémon Special manga has something resembling an ahoge, but it's only visible without his trademark cap, and doesn't seem indicative of any particular personality traits.
  • Peeply Lulu from One Piece has a pretty stubborn lock of hair. Whenever he tries to hold it down, it immediately pops up somewhere else. Eventually it starts popping up on other people.
  • Rufus Barma in Pandora Hearts. Break actually calls him "ahoge."
  • Nagasumi in Seto no Hanayome.
  • Death the Kid in Soul Eater. You'd think he'd notice that he only has one cowlick on one side of his head, considering his obsession with symmetry and how much he freaks about the white lines.
  • Oddly enough, Cain from Trinity Blood in this picture of him in the manga. He's certainly acting like an idiot...
  • Three characters, including both main characters, have ahoge in A Little Snow Fairy Sugar. It is played straight with Sugar, but is slightly subverted with Saga, who likes to keep to schedules and only appears to be an idiot because no one else can see season fairies.
  • Both Ronald Knox and Snake from Black Butler.
  • Macross Frontier: Ranka Lee has one as well, to go with her Expressive Hair.
  • Yuuri has one in Kyo Kara Maoh.
  • Kyoko in Heat Guy J to show her innocence. (i.e. she's one of very few characters that don't come from a dysfunctional family and didn't experience loss of a friend or family member).
  • Kururu and Hororo in Bottle Fairy, but it's more about not knowing human's customs, and the other two aren't better at it either, and when all four combine into one girl, she gets one that goes all around her head
  • Moka of Rosario to Vampire has one, though it's not always easily visible. Also, neither of her personalities is an idiot, though Outer Moka can be a bit of a ditz.
  • Yumeji from Yumekui Merry. Merry, after falling out of a tree onto him (again), recognizes him by the "antenna".
  • Noelle. Not her hair per se (though it is flipped up), but the ribbons from her bows seriously defy gravity.
  • Many, many characters from Medaka Box, including the titular heroine. Particular styles seem to run in the family.
  • Hanajima from Fruits Basket grows one and uses it as an antenna when she's using her psychic powers.
  • Kazumi of Puella Magi Kazumi Magica has one. It doubles as a witch detector.
    • Airi also has one, in her original appearance.
  • Haruna from Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? has one that is expressive.
  • Goku's entire head of hair is this.
  • Special A Kei has this, which has been commented upon by some.
  • Miyuki in Smile Pretty Cure. When she turns into Cure Happy, she grows another!
  • Inverted with Shirai-sensei of Kodomo no Jikan, who's the utterly stern and strict teacher with a thin but prominent hair over her head. It's still there after her Important Haircut during her Defrosting Ice Queen phase.

Comic Books


  • There's Something About Mary.
    • There's also something a bit more to that one, though.
  • Kyoami in Ran; being court jester to Lord Ichimonji, this makes sense. Subverted in that (like most jesters), he's actually very intelligent, using his humorous facade to speak (horrible) truth to power.
  • Alfalfa from the Our Gang shorts.


Live Action TV

Video Games

Visual Novels

  • Saber in Fate Stay Night. A non-indicative one for the most part, but for God's sake don't pull on it. She'll turn into Saber Alter.
    • Fate Nuovo Guerra seems to have made this a family trait of sorts. Her 'son' has it, and so does her father (both are summoned as Saber-class Servants too). The latter's profile even lampshades it.
    • Probably notable, is that due to the serious nature of the series, the canon stories themselves never points out her ahoge; however, like Akiha's small bust size, the fandom likes to play with it.
  • From School Days, both Sekai Saionji, whose ahoge pretty much speaks for the entire cast, and Makoto Ito have one. Sekai's is larger and much more noticeable, and Makoto's is on the back of his head. Both are idiots.
  • Jun Kitagawa from Kanon.
  • Yukine Miyazawa from Clannad has the physical aspect of ahoge.
  • Hisao, the protagonist of Katawa Shoujo has a prominent ahoge. His personality does not correspond with his hairstyle, however.
  • In Kira Kira, both Kirari, and the crosdressing Shikanosuke have one.
  • Handicapped Badass Snake, from Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Doors is a massive subversion. He's certainly the most intelligent of the characters, particularly book-smarts-wise.
  • Orpha and Aselia in Eien no Aselia. The first is a genki girl loli driven entirely by id and the latter is an Emotionless Girl Cloudcuckoolander with a questionable grasp of reason when her character gets flashed out.
  • Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai has at least three: Momoyo, Koyuki, and Tatsuko.
  • The ahoge is as iconic to Dangan Ronpa protagonists as the goggles are to Digimon protagonists. All seven protagonists have had one, with K1-B0 having the largest.

Web Animation

Web Comics

  • Miamaska might as well be called Amity and the Perpetual Cowlick.
  • Minus, the titular omnipotent little girl from the webcomic of the same name hosted on Kiwis By Beat!.
  • ME-tan, the OS-tan Anthropomorphic Personification of Windows ME.
  • Most characters in Knowledge Is Power, with the exception of those whose hair is too uniformly short (like Colin) or long (like David) for it to make any sense. This extends to Ironychan's other webcomics as well, although it wasn't as obvious in Get Medieval.
  • The main character of Two Kinds, Trace Legacy, who also has blue hair! This character fits the exception of the rule in that he's not technically stupid. It's humored at in this picture that it's the source of his magical powers.
  • A-san from Overlord Academy.
  • Quite common in Fiyora Nya, with Ayako and Kyuuke probably being the most obvious examples.
  • While it isn't on a specific character, the website Gaia Online has an equippable avatar item known as the Idiot Hair (specifically modeled after the Hetalia ahoges).

Western Animation

  1. not to be confused with Eroge. Or Ahegao, a similarly risque concept.