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The bun as a hair style has long indicated a very specific character type. It shows a woman as neat, prim, proper, and organized. As such it tends to be favoured by librarians, school teachers, nannies, serious office ladies, and women of a certain age.

Characters with this hairstyle tend to be respected and be in charge. They also tend to be more conservative than other characters and more tight laced.

Naturally, it makes this hairstyle popular among the more Lady of War-flavored Action Girls who chose to eschew Tomboyish Ponytail or Braids of Action, though the latter could be easily converted into a bun.

Often times this leads to Letting Her Hair Down if she decides to break out of that mold. Part of what creates the appeal of the Hot Librarian.

Compare and contrast Odangos which are two small spherical buns placed high on a character's head, and Power Hair which is a different style, but is worn by similar character types.

Note: This trope is for using visual shorthand to characterize an individual. It is not a trope for every character who happens to have a bun. Please remember this when editing the example list.

Examples of Prim and Proper Bun include:

Anime and Manga

  • Subverted by the genderbent version of France from Axis Powers Hetalia. She's more sexy than proper because, well, she's France.
  • Nanao Ise in Bleach, Lieutenant of the 8th Division, is very true to the trope. Not only does she wear her hair in the bun, but she also wears glasses and is frequently seen carrying a book (making her arguably a Hot Librarian as well). She is also so stiff and formal that her captain (a Professional Slacker in contrast) keeps trying to convince her to lighten up a little.
  • Subverted with "Lady Borgia" Ogiwara from Oniisama e..., who is first seen as a softspoken and dignified Onee-Sama type and later reveals herself as a massive Smug Snake. Notice that she originally had a Bob Haircut in the manga, but her hairstyle changed to a bun in the anime series.
  • General Vasant wears it in Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing, being the neat and principled Lady of War.
  • Pictured above: Dragon Ball has Goku's wife Chi-Chi, who initially has her Rapunzel Hair either loose (as a little girl) or in a low ponytail (as a teenager) but wears it styled in a bun during Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super (not in GT, however, since she's cut it into a bob).
  • Akiko from Kyojin no Hoshi starts styling her very long brown hair like this after she marries Mitsuru Hanagata.



  • Mrs. Danvers in at least the film adaptation of Rebecca.
  • Appropriately enough, the Prison Psychiatrist in Hair, who interrogates Woof on why he wears his hair long (and whether that makes him gay) in the title song sequence from the film. Her hair is in a tight bun.
  • Mary Poppins of course! Practically perfect in every way!
  • Jane Porter during her introductory scene from Tarzan.
  • Madame from The Aristocats, except when she is sleeping.


Live Action TV

  • On The King of Queens, Carrie started wearing her hair in a bun. Everyone else thought it was unflattering, but she kept on wearing it until she attends a service for a librarian in Doug's high school and sees a photo of her wearing the exact same bun. She loses it thereafter.
  • Star Trek: Voyager
    • Captain Janeway had this style for most of the first season. [1] which was known as The Bun of Steel
    • The emotionless and formal Seven of Nine used this style for her first 3 seasons on the show.
  • Mrs. Hall is described this way in All Creatures Great and Small.
  • Veronica from Better Off Ted is a powerful, cold hearted executive; also, when Ted takes his daughter to work, Veronica teaches her to put her hair in this kind of bun.
  • Lilith from Cheers and Frasier typically wears her hair this way. If she lets it down it's a sure sign that things are about to get intense between her and Frasier.



Western Animation