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A type of haircut, usually for women, of short-to-medium length with sharp lines. In one variety, the hair is cut off at about jaw length all the way around. Alternately, it may taper downwards from the back to the sides. It is similar to but distinct from the bowl cut (a.k.a. pudding basin cut). Some versions are known as a "pageboy" haircut. Fringe/bangs are optional. Can be Fetish Fuel for some men.
A feature of The Roaring Twenties; it's generally non-existent in The West before then, first appearing in fashion magazines in the late 1910s. Initially it was associated with "bad girls", and many men at the time were upset to see their wives and girlfriends with short, boyish hair. Many government and religious institutions opposed the bob and although they couldn't stop it, did their best to make life hell for women who happened to like having short hair. However, by the late 20s the bob was not only accepted, but embraced, even by men. Its heyday was about 1922-1932, but it had a comeback in The Fifties and The Sixties as a popular girl's haircut, but the reputation changed. They were no longer associated with "bad girls" but innocent (at least on the surface) Malt Shop dwelling bubblegum chewing teenage girls that used words like "Dreamboat" and "swell". The association has bounced around since The Seventies back and forth from "trendy" to "dowdy" with the current opinion being trendy but still shaking the dowdy association.
When applied to boys, this might be a subject to Viewer Gender Confusion. Surprisingly, this type of hair, even the longer varieties, was associated with young men between about 12 and 25,
Anime & Manga
- Characters with the longer-in-front/forelocks version:
- Nabiki Tendô from Ranma One Half.
- Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in The Shell.
- Fletch from Iono the Fanatics.
- Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop.
- Ryuuguu Rena in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
- Rally Vincent from Gunsmith Cats.
- Anzu Mazaki/Tea Gardner from Yu-Gi-Oh
- Kaorin from Azumanga Daioh.
- Shiori from Kanon.
- Ryou from Clannad.
- Yuki Nagato from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
- Yura of the Hair from Inu Yasha
- Tsukasa from Lucky Star.
- Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- Akito, Yuki, and Kisa from Fruits Basket.
- Hazumu from Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl.
- Natsumi Tsujimoto from You're Under Arrest
- Clare from Claymore.
- Satoko and Chie-sensei from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
- Maruko and other characters from Chibi Maruko Chan. There is some variation in this haircut, but they are all meant to be o-kappa the standard haircut for girls in Japan. Maruko has choppy bangs with a standard jaw length cut which is the same length in the sides and back.
- Fiore from Chrono Crusade, a series set in The Roaring Twenties. Flashbacks show that Rosette had a bob as a young teen too, before she grew her hair longer.
- From Kaleido Star, Layla's manager Cathy Taymor has an asymmetrical version. The left side of her haircut is longer than the right side, and the sides are longer than the back.
- Madoka from Mahou Sensei Negima Nodoka would qualify, but her bangs are too long. Numerous minor characters also sport the look.
- Mukahi Gakuto from The Prince of Tennis. Also, Yanagi Renji when he was younger, now he has a bowlcut.
- Yamamoto Yohko from Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko.
- Miyashita Sakura from Oniichan to Issho (official English title: Me & My Brothers).
- Lavie from Last Exile, and also Dio (also another male example).
- Male example: Arguably, Mello from Death Note would qualify since his hair originally looked like this, which is what probably caused the Viewer Gender Confusion.
- Jungle wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu: Guu has a pink hair bob haircut. Not the case for her adult half.
- Kinon from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann pre-timeskip.
- Poland from Axis Powers Hetalia.
- Male example: Akira Touya of Hikaru no Go. Cross-Dressing Voices only added to the Viewer Gender Confusion.
- Lyra from the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime has one of these, as well. Dante inherits it once she takes over her body, but it looks like she grows it out more near the end of the series.
- Ken Ichijouji from Digimon Adventure 02.
- Yashamaru and his sister Karura from Naruto. Also squad leader Samui of Kumogakure.
- Seiji and Sono from Sensitive Pornograph.
- Hotaru from Sailor Moon, as well as the Starlights' early designs sported this.
- Lisanna from Fairy Tail. Erza Knightwalker also gets her hair cut like this towards the end of the Edolas arc.
- Yuuno of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha having this haircut is likely one of the reasons why several first-time viewers mistook him for a female.
- Sonia Shalfnarz from Hayate the Combat Butler, and Kazuki Nishizawa (also another male example).
- Male example: Waver Velvet from Fate/Zero.
- Miyoshi Sumako from Karakuridouji Ultimo has one. One of the doji, Pardone, has this cut too.
- The artist's muse in Radio City Fantasy has a blunt black bob.
- Shuichi from Wandering Son had one for a while. He later had it cut into a pixie cut, but due to puberty setting in it seemed more masculine then intended. Maho, his sister, has a bob cut by default and has never changed it.
- This became Talho's style by way of an Important Haircut in Eureka Seven in the later episodes.
- Farnese's Important Haircut came out this way in Berserk.
- Urara Kasuga from Sakura Diaries.
- Reika Kitami from Bible Black
- Another male example: Xelloss from Slayers.
- Siesta from Zero no Tsukaima.
- Shinji Hirako of Bleach is another rare male version, though this applies for his current self, as a member of the Vaizords. In his days as a court guard squad Captain he had Rapunzel Hair with blunt bangs.
- Shuri Kurosaki from Asura Cryin.
- Silhouette from Watchmen.
- Holly Short in the Artemis Fowl graphic novels. In the original books she's described as having a crew-cut.
- Susie from Calvin and Hobbes.
- Prince Valiant is a Rare Male Example.
- Patty (the other Patty) from Peanuts.
Films -- Animation
- Haku of Spirited Away, also a male version.
- In the opening scene from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Brent has this kind of haircut.
- While most animated Disney heroines tend to have long, flowing hair, Snow White, Cinderella, and Tiana, on the other hand, are all portrayed as having this hairstyle (the first two have this because of the respective decades in which their films were released, and the last has this because her film is set in the late 1920's.)
- Coraline, her mother, and her Other Mother all have bobbed hair.
- Roxanne from Megamind.
Films -- Live-Action
- Actress Louise Brooks from the silent film era (pictured).
- Columbia from The Rocky Horror Picture Show has this type of haircut.
- Irina Spalko from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
- From the 1991 crime film Mobsters, there's redhead Mara Motes.
- Mathilda Lando from The Professional.
- Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
- Quorra in Tron: Legacy, combined with Fashionable Asymmetry.
- Adele and Carrie from Kalifornia.
- Jordan, the hyper/cool female geek in the 1985 film Real Genius (played by Michelle Meyrink).
- Carly Norris in Sliver
- Kel from the Protector of the Small series by Tamora Pierce. Probably has a great deal to do with the fact that she's, well, an actual page.
- Crabbe from Harry Potter is described as having a pudding basin haircut. It's from Chamber of Secrets, from the Polyjuice Potion bit.
- Sabriel from The Abhorsen Trilogy is described as having this type of haircut in the first book, although the cover illustration shows her with long hair.
- In Cheaper By the Dozen, this is one of the battles the older girls fight with their parents as the Jazz Age begins. Eventually Anne, the oldest, bites the bullet and cuts her own hair. Because she "looks like she backed into a lawnmower," it has to be trimmed by a professional, and the parents relent and let all the other girls go along and get theirs done too.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story "Bernice Bobs Her Hair."
- Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn wants one, but her mother won't let her.
- The title character of Jodi Lynn Anderson's May Bird series has this hairstyle.
- Tiphaine d'Ath of the Emberverse wears this style. She would prefer to wear her hair shorter, but that isn't an acceptable option for a woman in the neo-medieval Portland Protective Association.
- Purdey from The New Avengers.
- Geraldine Granger from The Vicar of Dibley.
- Scully of The X-Files sports a red-haired bob from roughly season four to season eight.
- Stephanie from LazyTown has one, in bright pink. The actress's real hair at the time was long and dark brown, and the bob shape was presumably so the wig was long enough to cover her real hairline well, but not so long as to be unbelievable that this active little girl would be running around with untied hair. It was also long enough to be useful when it came to incorporating Stunt Doubles.
- Male example: Coconut Head from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.
- Julie (Mackenzie Phillips) from One Day At a Time.
- Dorothy "Tootie" Ramsey (Kim Fields) sometimes has this hairstyle in a few episodes from The Facts of Life.
- Angela from My So-Called Life.
- The sixties versions are seen on Mad Men, including Peggy's Important Haircut. Eleven-year-old Sally has to get one after she accidentally hacks off some of her own hair; it makes her look much older suddenly, as part of her Growing Up Sucks arc.
- C.J. on The West Wing has a pageboy haircut.
- Dr. K from Power Rangers RPM sports a mildly messy variation.
- Quite a lot of female characters on Jeeves and Wooster, due to its Genteel Interbellum Setting.
- Julianna Cox wore her hair like this on Homicide: Life On the Street. It seems to be a personal preference of actress Michelle Forbes.
- In Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Kimberly usually had shoulder length hair, but late in season 1 and early season 2, she had a pageboy which was longer than most examples here, but you could (barely) see her neck from the sides and the back, so it qualifies.
- A few Super Sentai heroines, including Megumi from Choujuu Sentai Liveman, Moune from Tensou Sentai Goseiger, and Mitsuki from Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger.
- Lady Gaga in her video "Alejandro".
- Meiko the Vocaloid. Gumi has a bob-type cut but it looks more like the typical flip.
- Lily Allen sported one in the video for "22".
- Appears to be part of the uniform for Sisters of Battle in Warhammer 40000.
- In most recent major productions of the musical Spring Awakening, the character of Ilse, when possible.
- Doned from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.
- Tae from the Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha games (which are set in 1931).
- Male and female example: Shinta Kikuchi and Kumi from Ouendan 2. Naturally, people have commented on how they look similar.
- Amy Rose from the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
- Faith from Mirrors Edge.
- Starting in Halo 2, Cortana starts featuring a trendy bob cut.
- Blue Mary from the King Of Fighters series.
- Tsuruhime from Sengoku Basara has a neat bob.
- Nina's sister Anna Williams from Tekken has this hairstyle.
- Pokémon Black and White
- Bugsy from Pokémon Gold and Silver sports one. It's common for him to be mistaken for a young girl.
- Cassandra has this on her debut appearance on Soul Calibur II, later games made it to a stylized haircut. Tira also has a short bob for her player 2 outfit in Soul Calibur IV, dubbed as the "bowl cut".
- Maria (Minerva's sister, captive Princess of Medon/Macedonia) in Fire Emblem 1 and 11 (11 known as Shadow Dragon) had a hair style like this. Her sister's was almost the same, except spikier and flared out.
- From Touhou comes recurring character Youmu Konpaku whose slightly untidy bob cut mirrors her straight-laced, yet naive, personality.
- Maple from Mario Golf has this kind of haircut.
- Jean Poule in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob
- Many of the females in Lackadaisy Cats sport this hairstyle or a variation of it. Most notably, Ivy Pepper.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, this is the default haircut of minor character Paz. At the beginning of the third school year, Kat comes back from summer holiday sporting this haircut as well.
- The Order of the Stick
- A cover gag for the Jet Dream Remix Comic spinoff It's Cookie! plays with the double meaning of "Bob" in the context of a world where Wholesome Crossdressing is commonplace among fashionable teens.
- Fey from the Whateley Universe, initially.
- Velma from Scooby Doo.
- Sam Manson from Danny Phantom.
- Ingrid Third from Fillmore.
- Kelly from Stoked.
- Raven from Teen Titans.
- The Simpsons
- Lisa Simpson in the "To Surveil with Love" subplot in which she died her hair brown to demonstrate the Dumb Blonde stereotype.
- Luanne Van Houten also has this hairstyle.
- The radio jockey Leslie Willis before she became the electric metahuman villaness "Livewire" in Superman the Animated Series.
- Will Vandom from WITCH.
- Yumi Ishiyama from Code Lyoko.
- Wendy from Fox's Peter Pan and The Pirates.
- In The Legend of Korra, the bob is featured on some female characters as part of the Far East meets Roaring Twenties setting. One of Tahno's Fangirls wears the style, while young Jinora combines it with an Odango Hair.
- Daffney Gillfin, from The Snorks.
- Dorothy Hamill. By winning the gold in Innsbruck in '76, her version of the bob became a fashion staple in the U.S.
- Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
- Editor of American Vogue, Anna Wintour.
- Jessie J is famous for hers.
- Colleen Moore the silent film actress, in her films.