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Generally, bright colors are used to create a jolly atmosphere or to show a character's extrovert personality. However, sometimes they can hide an unexpected threat. And you may notice it only when it's too late. Why? Probably because you were distracted by all those vivid colors.

Compare Light Is Not Good, contrast Dark Is Evil. Expect it to show up in a Stepford Suburbia, or even more probably in a Crap Saccharine World. Monster Clown is a typical character that fits this trope. Not related to smart and evil characters (you should look at Evil Genius or Wicked Cultured for this).

No Real Life Examples unless they're scientific ones, please. This is not a trope for petty grievances about a color being associated with a political party or a sport team you don't like.

Oh, and this trope is definitely not about Bright Noah being evil.

Examples of Bright Is Not Good include:


Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • Batman: The Joker's most famous outfit is purple, along with an orange shirt and a green tie. He also has green hair and white skin.

Eastern European Animation

Film

Folklore

  • The association of witches with the color black is fairly modern; before that they were most commonly depicted wearing garishly patterned multihued clothing. Almost proto-psychodelic, which may in fact be related to the association of witches with toxic and hallucinogenic plants such as belladonna. See Paul Devereux's The Long Trip: The Prehistory of Psychedelia.

Live Action TV

  • In Battlestar Galactica Classic the Cylons wear (or are made of) bright shiny armor.
  • The Daleks in Series/Doctor Who show this trope in their most recent forms.

Literature

Tabletop Games

  • The tabletop game Polaris is practically built around this trope, as it deals with a perfect civilization under the stars whose destruction is heralded by the appearance of the sun. The dawn's first appearance is described in the gamebook: "Light coming up from the edge of the sky, colors redder than stars, new shades that had never been seen, yellow and green and golden through the icicle walls, burning out the stars from the sky, brilliant and impossible and beautiful and alien."
  • Followers of Slaanesh (Chaos god of hedonism and excess) in Warhammer and Warhammer 40000 are Sense Freaks who wear hideously garish clothing and choking perfumes at all times, being so blasé it's the only way they can feel anything. One Chaos Space Marine Legion devoted to Slaanesh wears pink and black armor for the same reason.

Video Games

  • Final Fantasy VI: Kefka Palazzo wears an outfit with many vivid colors and different patterns on it. He destroyed the world half way through the game.
  • Final Fantasy IX: Ozma, essentially a big colourful swirly energy ball thingy. It is basically what happens when God has an abortion. It's the toughest boss in the game, and, thankfully, totally optional.
  • For what we have seen so far of Devil May Cry's reboot, the real world is gloom and somber while the demon world has extremely vivid colors.
  • The eponymous mask from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is exceptionally colorful for being so exceptionally cruel.

Western Animation

Real Life

  • Aposematism includes the use of vivid colors by animals as a warning sign against predators. The most famous example is the poison dart frog.
    • Although, poison dart frogs produce poison from the foods they eat in the wild, so a captive poison dart frog which isn't given those foods is sometimes completely safe to handle. Even a wild-caught one will lose toxicity.
  • Chemical hazard labels have bright backgrounds to be easily spotted.
  • Many chemical substances present themselves in colorful crystals, or burn with pretty colors.Needless to say, many are explosive/toxic/otherwise dangerous.
  • Hexavalent chromium (a carcinogen compound) gives yellow-orange solutions.
  • An astronomy example: the brighter or more vivid the star's color, the worse it is for evolving life.
    • Bright blue stars are the worst for evolving life. They have much shorter lifespans, giving less time for life to evolve, they give more harmful radiation of various kinds (sunstorms, UV, etc), and after their main sequence is over, they grow into supergiants (turning this trope Up to Eleven) and then bang as supernovas.
    • Red stars are bad, too. Red dwarfs are too small and cold, red giants too bright and unstable.
    • Mediocre whitish or yellowish stars (yellow-white F class, the Sun's G class or the yellower-than-Sun K class) are the best for Earthlike planets.
    • And, finally, Zig Zagged with brown dwarfs, which aren't candidates for life-bearing planets at all. While the name doesn't sound very bright (and the trope seems to be averted), they are actually deep glowing red and even worse (colder) than red dwarfs, playing it straight.
  • Fire. As the temperature grows higher (and thus more dangerous), the color of the flame shifts from red, to pink, to bright blue.This is common knowledge among fire-fighters.
  • Many animals react violently or panic at the sight of the color red, because they take it as a sign that one of their companions has been wounded and is bleeding heavily.
  • Boranes burn with a bright, apple-green flame. They are also extremely toxic and have the distressing habit of bursting into flame upon contact with air.

Notes

  1. Unless you're looking for a painful, agonizing death by paralysis.
  2. Very.
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