Sugar and Ice Personality

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

A character with a Sugar and Ice Personality has two distinct sides, one cold and distant, the other warmer and open. In some cases the differences between the two aspects of the character's personality are so radical as to be shocking coming from the same person. Often this extreme polarity is due to some form of traumatic experience or social awkwardness, though occasionally it might resemble a full blown Split Personality. Their dual nature could also simply be the way they are, with no explanation otherwise given.

The cold side can have a few different variants, though the Ice Queen or Ice King is probably the most common, mixing aloofness and distance with a certain harshness and lack of sympathy. Another manifestation of this side is as The Stoic, being simply unemotional and unresponsive rather than harsh. Occasionally this cold part of their personality may resemble a full-on Emotionless Girl, or include the sharp tongued aspects of The Snark Knight.

The warm side, on the other hand, is usually quite kind, open and emotive. Some variations can be very animated when in the right situation, though others may be Shrinking Violets, uncertain how to interact with others when not acting tough. Even the shy-types, however, usually wear at least a small smile or sport a Luminescent Blush to indicate that they are far more emotionally reactive than their cold side.

Usually, their cold side is the one everyone is used to, with the warmer side only glimpsed in response to specific triggers. In many cases, all it takes is getting to know the person before the warm side begins to make an appearance.

More rarely, the frosty side is the seldom seen aspect and is only evoked when they are confronted by something they find annoying or tedious. Often this is a bumbling Love Interest who doesn't know what he's done wrong. While there are occasions where the cold side is a mask, this by no means describes all examples. In such cases both sides are genuine aspects of their personality, the character is simply compartmentalized to a much greater degree than most people are.

Compare Not So Stoic and Stoic Woobie. Sometimes related to Beneath the Mask. A Sister Trope to Tsundere (which is basically "Sugar and Fire"). Anime fandom refers to this character as a Kuudere (a portmanteau of kuuru, "cool", and deredere, "lovestruck"). Rei Ayanami Expy is a specific subtrope with a particular set of characteristics.

Examples of Sugar and Ice Personality include:

Anime and Manga

  • Shinku from Rozen Maiden acts this way towards Jun. She treats him coldly and like a servant. Her behavior overlaps with Tsundere, as she also constantly abuses him verbally and physically. However, she shows that she does care deeply about him.
  • Hikitsu the Genbu Warrior from the Fushigi Yuugi series scares off those who are first meeting him because of his harsh and cold persona, but those who befriend him and gain his trust discover that he is actually a very nice guy.
  • In Karakuri Circus, Shirogane initially comes off as somewhat haughty and cold, but later her inherent sweetness shows through.
  • In Bleach, Kuchiki Byakuya is this towards Rukia, along with Aloof Big Brother. One can also make the case he's this way towards Ichigo and Renji and by all of Squad Six.
  • Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion is a mix of this and Defrosting Ice Queen. In the beginning, she could be mistaken for an Emotionless Girl. She later warms up to Shinji, especially in the manga, and dear God can she be gooey-sweet over him. Heck, her affection for him grows to the point that even when she becomes The End of the World as We Know It (this after having died and forgotten her experiences with him), she still cares for him, given that it was his anguish over Asuka's gruesome death that prompted her to finally betray Gendo and put Instrumentality in Shinji's hands...Rebuild of Evangelion only takes this trope further.
    • Even at the start, when she is cold to Shinji, she is very warm towards Gendo. She lights up when he speaks to her, and smiles sweetly when she looks at his glasses.
  • Ah, Lain from Serial Experiments Lain, who can contest with Rei Ayanami for the role of creepiest Emotionless Girl any time, MindRapes herself (or something...) and the façade shatters completely.
    • Since Lain is the viewpoint character for most of the series, the effect isn't quite as strong as it could be; the viewers get frontline seats to her internal turmoil, and she's far less aloof when she's alone with her thoughts, which is quite often.
  • Yue Ayase from Mahou Sensei Negima. While usually the voice of reason, being part of a Love Triangle with her best friend causes her to break down and reveal a very warm side.
    • Chisame is another great example: she's a cynical Meta Girl, frustrated with all the weirdness around her, but when it gets right down to it, she cares for everyone around her a lot. It's most evident in the immediate aftermath of Rakan's death, which is the only time in the entire manga that she completely loses it, and breaks down in tears. Interestingly enough, her character notes state that Ken Akamatsu had the Tsundere archetype in mind when he created her.
    • Setsuna is also an example: she strives to maintain her cold, levelheaded swordswoman persona, but what she really wants more than anything is to overcome her weaknesses so that she will be capable of protecting Konoka. Notably, Konoka doesn't really care for the whole "emotionless, intellectual warrior" thing, and actively tries bring out Setsuna's warmer side. It works.
    • Princess Arika is another example, driven by The Chains of Commanding. We see flashes of Tsundere when Nagi provokes her. When Nagi finally confesses his love, she becomes all blushy and tongue-tied.
  • C.C. from Code Geass. First impression: cool, cynical, indifferent. Deep inner side: oh so warm.
  • Kan'u Unchou from Ikki Tousen. For the most part, she is The Stoic, indifferent Badass Action Girl. But put Ryuubi nearby...then she goes Les Yay sweet to the max. In Great Guardians, it even bordered on Psycho Lesbian for a while thanks to a MacGuffin.
  • Kyon from Suzumiya Haruhi. If you think he really is as cynical and apathetic as he claims to be, just take a look at how pissed he got when The Integrated Thought Entity threatened to destroy Yuki at the end of the fourth book, or when Mikuru got kidnapped at the end of the seventh.
  • Hiro from Wa Ga Na Wa Umishi is a textbook example; her warm side comes out very rarely.
  • Sakaki from Azumanga Daioh, natch. So, so very compassionate and cute on the inside, but outside, she looks like a cold, tough Huge Schoolgirl. She manages to break out of her cold, reticent shell once she finally manages to pet a cat without getting hurt. A Shrinking Violet, but only because she laments never being cute as a child. Her coldness isn't a façade she's putting up to fool everyone, but something she does completely by accident.
  • For all of her Yandereness, Lucy from Elfen Lied. She's cold and deeply cynical, but only because she's been hurt so badly every time she lets her guard down. She may slaughter humans without hesitation or remorse, but her capacity for love is still very real.
  • Amu Hinamori, the main character from Shugo Chara, is known as the "cool and spicy" girl at school because of her unique fashion style and her blunt attitude. However, she actually just wants to be normal and girly, and it's actually because she's shy that she puts on a cool girl act.
    • Rima arguably qualifies as well. First impressions: dainty, spoiled, yet cold. She's really actually a sweet girl and just needed time to warm up to Amu and her friends. Plus, as serious as Rima is, her "would-be self" is a clown, because she wants to make people laugh.
  • Minami Iwasaki from Lucky Star has a bit of a Sugar and Ice Personality, though her screen time primarily focuses around her friendships, thus showing more of her warmer side more than anything else.
    • During his rant over Tsundere and how the term has changed over the years, Minoru wonders about calling Kagami a Kuudere instead of a tsundere.
  • Riza Hawkeye from Fullmetal Alchemist wasn't always as stoic as she is today. Roy Mustang can spark off quite spectacular reactions from her, and she has a cute puppy that she adores. She's also shown demonstrating kindness to the Elric brothers and Winry Rockbell, and there are indications that, Mustang aside, she really cares about the members of her military team.
    • Sloth from the first anime qualifies as well, being apathetic and at times patronizing on the outside...but inside is a whole other story.
  • Switzerland from Axis Powers Hetalia. This gun-toting and cynical xenophobe with a Hair-Trigger Temper melts like butter when his little sister Liechtenstein is around.
    • Sweden, who is pretty much a Huge Schoolgirl in the body of The Big Guy. Scares everyone with his Face of a Thug, but he's quite the playful guy on the inside, as his profile mentions.
    • In Fanon, Norway is either this or Tsundere towards Denmark.
    • Austria, too. Better seen in the strip right after the "Chibitalia" chapter, where much to Hungary's shock he takes up the rest of Chibitalia's daily chores for once.
      • And in the Valentines strip, when Germany pointed out that Austria would get lost if he went out to purchase a present for his ex-wife Hungary, he opted to make her a gift and ask someone else to give it to her. She was very much "aaaawwww" when she found out.
    • Iceland was mentioned to be Hot-Blooded inside and keeping it cool outside. This was thought to be an Informed Ability...but he was shown in one of the Nordic strips being cool in the beginning and almost losing it at the end.
    • In Fanon, Deadpan Snarker Hong Kong is usually rewritten as having a Sugar and Ice Personality. Makes sense considering the author's notes on him, which reveal him as a serious prankster.
    • The same case with Belarus, when she's not with Russia ("Nii-san, let's get MARRIEDMARRIEDMARRIED") in fanon she's usually portrayed as this.
    • Japan is most likely one too. He shows little emotion on his face, he remains relatively stoic even when angry, and he's pretty much the epitome of Inscrutable Oriental overall...but he genuinely cares for his friends and tries his best to get along with them even when they confuse or baffle him, and you get the feeling that his excessive politeness and seeming indifference at times are more a product of him not quite knowing how to deal with others with personalities vastly different from his own than him being condescending or disdainful toward them. Not to mention him maintaining close relationships with both America, in spite of his often patience-testing personality, and Greece, with whom he shares a love of cats.
  • Dark Magical Girl Fate, particularly during season 1 of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Later seasons has her warm side coming out more, with the cool part being reserved for combat.
    • Lady of War and Fate's Worthy Opponent Signum from the second season onwards qualifies, too. After centuries in service of selfish, destructive owners of the Book of Darkness, she developed a perfect Stoic personality...then along comes Hayate, who wastes no time adopting the Wolkenritter and letting them know the warmth of a family for the first time. Of course, her facade melts away. Then comes the third season and her Unison with Agito, who is a literal fire elemental...And I mean, just listen to her theme song, performed by Kaori Shimizu.
  • Nico Robin from One Piece. However, she's usually calmly cheerful as opposed to showing no emotion at all.
    • There's also Boa Hancock, who gives a cold Jerkass Facade to her people and acts cruelly to her enemies, but becomes as soft as a marshmallow whenever Luffy's around.
  • Non from Majokko Meg-chan is an early anime example.
  • The anime rendition of Ryoma Echizen in The Prince of Tennis. His warm side shows up in relation to his cat, though.
    • Don't forget Tezuka. He had kept a cool, neutral face throughout the whole series, but when Seigaku won the Nationals, he is revealed to have a very nice smile. You know it's a big deal when Inui thought it was necessary to actually catch it on film.
  • Yuki Eiri from Gravitation is cold and aloof because of a troubled past, but gradually warms up to his love interest Shuichi, even breaking down in tears for the first time in six years in front of him. This is much more true for the anime, where he rarely (if ever) loses his cool, as opposed to the manga, where he seems to lose his temper with Shuichi more easily.
  • Android 18 from Dragonball Z is very cold unless she's with Krillin and their daughter, in which case she drops her coldness and shows her warmer side.
  • Shizuku of Kämpfer is a fairly aggressive example - kissing her love interest as early as episode 5, and taking him on a date in episode 8.
  • In Bakemonogatari, Senjougahara Hitagi is...really too complicated to be neatly categorized by terms like Tsundere/Yandere/Sugar and Ice Personality, but there is a conversation early in the show where they bring up the question of whether she's a tsundere and Araragi puns that she's really more of a tundra (a term for characters with a Sugar and Ice Personality) instead.
  • Darker than Black has Hei, who is Stoic and can be a Jerkass, but is actually still traumatized from Heaven's War, and god help you if you mess with his True Companions. Then there's Kirihara, who is cool and professional at first glance, but almost Moe when she's not on the job.
  • Setsuna Meiou, a.k.a. Sailor Pluto, from Sailor Moon: she gets mistaken for an Emotionless Girl at first, but it turns out that she's just sad and lonely, having to guard the time gate while watching her life go by. It makes sense that she is guarded, because she is a Sailor Soldier first (installed at the gate as a very young child) and has to come up with a civilian identity later.
    • Also, Michiru Kaiou, a.k.a. Sailor Neptune. She is very calm, cool and collected, as well as extremely dedicated to her Senshi mission...but she can also be very gentle to those she loves (if in a very princess-like way, befitting an Ojou like her), particularly her girlfriend, Haruka.
  • Karl-Heinz Schneider from Captain Tsubasa looks cool, professional and proud, but, holy shit, he's loving towards his parents and his little sister.
  • Yuuko Ichihara from ×××HOLiC: for a large portion of the series, she appears to be a rather cold-hearted, calm and calculating woman that seems pretty cynical and grants people's wishes with rather sinister consequences. Later, however, she starts showing her warm, affectionate side towards Watanuki...which is made all the more obvious in the touching scene in the manga where she disappears after telling Watanuki that her only wish is for him to continue living, and in turn he swears to wait for her forever.
  • Mirielle of Noir is, for most of the series, a Badass Action Girl assassin who only occasionally lets her soft side show, but late in the show when she finds Kirika's heartfelt note she starts crying.
  • Fiore from Chrono Crusade comes across this way because of her outward Emotionless Girl personality. She believes herself to be completely without emotions and can often be blunt (in a very polite sort of way), but when Joshua gets into a fight she later admits with tears in her eyes that she was "so worried", and she goes out of her way to make sure all of the Sinners eat their veggies.
  • Loco from MAR acts this way constantly due to her excessive loneliness because she's older than she looks.
  • Asuka, the main character of Otomen, tries his best to act like the pinnacle of stoic manliness, but in reality is enamoured with all things girly and adorable.
  • Tsukikage Yuri/Cure Moonlight from Heartcatch Pretty Cure initially acted cold and aloof around her fellow Cures, but showed a more compassionate side to her friend Momoka, her mother, and, on one occasion, a runaway child. She defrosts slightly after joining the team, but still keeps many of her Sugar and Ice Personality aspects.
  • Angel from Angel Beats! seems like a straight Emotionless Girl in the beginning, but starts to show flickers of emotion and humanity starting in Episode 5, when the protagonist speaks to her and learns her real name. This is a weird case because she's the antagonist ...not. After the whole Naoi business she's a straight ally to Otonashi, and, eventually, all the SSS.
    • In the final episode she drops the cold facade entirely now that almost the entire cast has moved on. She spends the episode smiling, humming and singing about tofu, and pretty much being the most adorable thing ever.
  • A literal Ice Princess, Mizore from Rosario + Vampire is very stoic and emotionless when the situation demands it. If she becomes emotional, she either considers you a close friend or you're about to get your ass handed to you.
  • Trip/Shooti from Pokémon Best Wishes seems to be a Jerkass until you realize that he does have a heart, as revealed in the episodes where he helps Ash move the Venipede to a safer location. The minute Ash tries to congratulate him, Trip instantly avoids eye contact. Later appearances tone down his Jerkass attitude until it's completely a Jerkass Facade stemming from annoyance at Ash more than anything else.
  • Homura Akemi from Puella Magi Madoka Magica: when we first meet her, she acts quite cold, and is very cynical in regards to being a Magical Girl. But as the series goes on and the Awful Truths about actually being a magical girl come out and we get more emotional reactions from her, it becomes quite clear that she's in this to protect Madoka. And then comes episode 10, where we find out just WHY Homura is this way. Dear God, Homura...
  • There is evidence that Nabiki from Ranma ½ may be one. All or most of the characters are pretty one dimensional, but there is one time when Kasumi comments that Nabiki wasn't nearly as cold before their mother died.
    • Fanon commonly has it that she is very sweet, but her coldness was developed to perfection so that she could make business transactions (and consequentially money for her family).
    • On the other hand, the author herself supposedly said that Nabiki is the only character who's truly evil out of the cast.
  • Yue from Magical X Miracle is fairly cold to everyone, even those he cares about, although he goes through times when it looks like he's starting to soften up towards his friends.
  • Osamu Sugo from Future GPX Cyber Formula is calm, levelheaded and professional most of the time, but acts warm to certain characters, especially Hayato and and his sister Asuka.
  • In Happy Yarou Wedding, Yuuhi had always been considered to be really cold-hearted by his girlfriends but he was really just afraid of letting people in. The more time he spends with Todou and Shouta, the more his warm side comes through.
  • Felli Loss of Chrome Shelled Regios is one of these, though she can also be seen as an Emotionless Girl or Ice Queen, and probably best counts as a variant of the Type 3 Kuudere that switches between Types 1 and 2. It's explained that all Neni Operators suffer an information overload due to their psionic powers, which impairs their ability to express emotions (not just figuratively, but literally; it's all but physically impossible for Felli to smile).
  • Barnaby from Tiger and Bunny has a Kuudere (occasionally alternating with Tsundere) personality and eventually comes to reveal his 'sugar' side to Kotetsu; but still keeps 'ice' as his default mode.
  • Light Yagami from Death Note is cold, stoic, manipulative, and homocidal but then in a later arc he becomes warm, open, kind and honorable. Lampshaded: "He's like a different person now!" It's more than likely trauma-induced seeing as one side remembers being a mass murderer, the other doesn't.
  • Gundam Wing's protagonist Heero Yuy is more often credited as The Stoic, but this trope is a better match for him. He never actually denied his emotions; he just tries to keep them in check because being overly emotional on the battlefield can get you killed. At the start of the show he mostly seems to be shouldering the burden of Operation Meteor (and the lives it'll cost) all by himself, but interaction with people like Relena, Duo, and Quatre causes him to accept the idea that he isn't alone.
    • Similarly, his teammate Trowa Barton also fits in this mold. Having been raised by mercenaries after the death of his parents and being separated from his older sister, he is very methodic and coolheaded, but he has kept the core of his warm and kind heart intact. Noticeably, he counsels the aforementioned Heero when he's recuperating after destroying his Gundam, and gives a very long speech to Quatre about his gentleness before his Mobile suit blows up and he's rendered with Trauma-Induced Amnesia..
  • Much like Rei from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Casca from Berserk is a mix of this and the Defrosting Ice Queen. She starts off distant, cool - even cold - collected but temperamental toward her comrades, but after awhile, she starts showing a sensitive side that no one would ever have expected from a woman of her profession once Guts defrosts her (which would make her behavior and personality a lot more understandable other than the whole Love Triangle thing, since Casca is the sole female member in a group of mercenaries AND she's second in command, so she must always put on a facade of seriousness so that her male cohorts would not falter under her command).
  • Himura "Maria" Maruko of Eyeshield 21 was like this in the past, being a Tall, Dark and Bishoujo Stoic on the outside and The Chick/The Heart on the inside. Then Reiji "Marco" Maruko took over the team, instituted a Second Place Is for Losers-driven reign of terror, and started crippling opposing players, all in the name of his crush on her; this drives her straight into Emotionless Girl territory.
  • Rika Furude from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni shows hints of this in the earlier arcs, but her true Sugar and Ice Personality is featured much more in the later arcs of the series. Due to her normally happy and almost careless demeanour, she rarely shows her true self to anyone, unless she wishes to make herself seem serious, or to intimidate others.
  • Zeref from Fairy Tail has a personality like this. Though he hasn't been shown acting particualarly warm he has a side to him that's calm and worries about the well being, which is how he behaves half the time. The other half of the time he's downright murderous.

Comic Books

  • Raven from Teen Titans: the comic had her defrost for Robin...Not that he notices.
  • X-23 from the X-Men and X-Force acts cold around other people. Alone, however, she's an emotional wreck (who's unable to deal with emotions). The only reason she doesn't show emotion in public is because she was raised as a living weapon (which is also the reason why she doesn't know how to deal with emotions).
  • Batman believe it or not. Though he never becomes specifically open and warm, his cold and authoritative demeanor works in tandem with a deep compassion and fairheartedness that only reveals itself in certain situations - most often in regards to his adopted "sons" and Alfred.
  • Elijah Snow of Planetary acts cold towards those he doesn't know well. Between that and his powers, he's earned the nickname "Cold Bastard". When Elijah expresses emotion, he's either comfortable with you, using the emotions as a tool, or you've hurt his people...
  • Gert from Runaways is a Deadpan Snarker who mistrusts adults even more than the rest of the team, which is really saying something. Only the few people who have earned her trust get to know the animal lover and loyal friend hiding behind her prickly exterior.
  • The Martian Manhunter: aloof and alien on the outside, kind and compassionate on the inside.
    • He's addicted to Oreos Chocos. That's the first clue. There is no such thing as a genuinely cold, aloof person who compulsively munches on chocolate.
  • Unintentional Ice Queen Machiko Noguchi from Alien vs. Predator didn't realize that she should have integrated herself into the colonists when she arrived at her new executive job, instead of spending three months hardly communicating with them at all. She's actually rather caring and considerate, but that's not how she presented herself.
  • Miho from Sin City seems almost completely unemotional, but there have been moments in which she showed genuine affection for a select few people. The prime example is in Family Values, where she lays on Dwight's lap and takes a nap.


  • Riff Raff's general demeanour is cool, unfeeling and sadistic, but when he's alone with his sister Magenta he's warm, sweet and even rather cheerful.



"It was worth a wound; it was worth many wounds; to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment of revelation."

  • Mr. Darcy, from Pride and Prejudice, comes off as extremely cold to the point of being rude. In reality, he is merely very reserved and rather socially inept; his loyalty to and passion for those he cares about runs deep—but only those he cares about get to see his kinder side.
  • Sidonie of Kushiel's Legacy: the realm at large thinks that Sidonie has ice water running in her veins. And yet, once you get her behind closed doors...
  • Eddard Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire, who is sugar to his family and ice to the rest of the world.
  • Stephen Maturin in the Aubrey-Maturin series. An ever-suspicious, untrusting, icy-eyed intelligence agent who can kill without blinking - and a compassionate, liberal-hearted doctor, who adopts orphans, lends money without a thought, campaigns against slavery and sexism, and cares deeply for his patients and his friends.
  • Crowfeather from Warrior Cats comes off as cold and heartless to most of the world, except for Feathertail, and later, Leafpool.
  • Honor Harrington combines this trope with Woman In The Queenly Mask. She is perfectly willing to face down her enemies with nothing but an icy glare on her face, even with her life and the life of those around her in the balance, but the several books in the series make it clear that she's a completely different person around the ones she loves. Which makes her love's death in the fifth book that much more tragic, and her vengeance that much colder.

Live Action TV

  • Dana Scully from The X-Files is very steely and professional towards everyone, and is even distant with her own family. The only person who gets her to loosen up? Mulder, naturally.
  • T'Pol from Star Trek: Enterprise: using her cold exterior and her repressed but detectable emotions, she typically insults and berates people, but occasionally shows a compassionate side. She usually justifies both sorts of actions as logical, though it is often apparent to the viewer (and recipient) that this is mostly just a rationalization.
    • Her actions are due less to her personality and more to her species. Vulcans are a Sugar and Ice Personality race as shown starting in The Original Series with Spock and his dad, and continuing throughout the franchise.
  • Bree fron Desperate Housewives, especially in the early seasons: formal and coldly polite towards most of the people, but warm and loving (or at least the best she could show) towards her best friends and her family.
  • Cameron from The Sarah Connor Chronicles: although she's generally unemotional and dangerously pragmatic, there are a few times when she does seem to show genuine affection. Also, Word of God has it that she truly does love John (albeit for a given definition of love), and she is certainly willing to die for him.
  • Zoe from Firefly is cold towards everyone, although she does occasionally show glimpses of a softer side around those she cares about.
    • Simon acts frosty towards strangers, but warms up as you get to know him. He is particularly warm towards River.
  • Horatio Hornblower in the eponymous A&E series: his introverted nature, combined with the need to maintain a professional demeanor as a naval officer, doesn't lend itself to much emotional demonstrativeness. He does, however, open up to a few people, mostly some of his fellow officers and a few trusted sailors, and he just tries so hard to do the right thing. Unfortunately, despite his awareness of his inadequacy, he acts mostly cold towards his wife Maria, who adores him unconditionally in return.
  • Ned from Pushing Daisies is usually polite yet aloof and snarky, masking his feelings due to his traumatic childhood and avoiding close relationships. Inside? Oh, so warm.
  • Mako, Shinken Pink, from Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: Mako's specialty is dealing with her teammates' many issues quickly and practically. Once you're righted, however, don't expect a cuddle for the sake of cuddling.
    • The following year's Sentai, Tensou Sentai Goseiger, has Hyde/GoseiBlue. In episode 2, team Secret Keeper Nozomu initially dislikes Hyde for his frosty, dismissive attitude, but warms up to him on seeing Hyde's determination to remain on earth and protect humanity.
    • And then Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger brings us Joe Gibken/GokaiBlue. Stoic, cool-headed, and prone to glowering, he nevertheless shows true affection for his crewmates and even bakes them a "thank you" cake in Episode 4.
  • Temperance Brennan from Bones so seldom shows her soft side that it's easy to think she doesn't have one, but she does. This can be seen, for instance, in an early episode where she's talking to a boy who, like her, grew up in foster homes.
  • In Blakes Seven, Avon: "I have never understood why it should be necessary to become irrational in order to prove that you care, or, indeed, why it should be necessary to prove it at all."
  • Dr. K from Power Rangers RPM fits like a glove. She has a rather sour personality and can come across as blunt and occasionally downright mean towards her Series Operators, especially Ziggy. However, her cutesy Zord Attack Vehicle and suit designs, along with her diabetic sweet tooth, show off her sweeter side.
  • Max on Dark Angel: part-time thief, genetically-engineered Child Soldier Phlebotinum Rebel in a Crapsack World, with a heart of gold protected by shields the U.S.S. Enterprise would envy.
  • April from Parks and Recreation. Her warm side mostly comes out with her eventual boyfriend Andy.
  • Prue Halliwell on Charmed is cold with most people, with her warm side mostly shown towards her sisters Piper and Phoebe.
  • Chuck has Sarah Walker, who has a tendency to mask her emotions due to many traumatic events in her life. However, she is very warm and loving on the inside.
  • Prince Arthur from Merlin has to maintain a professional, calm demeanour in front of the court and his knights, but relaxes considerably when he's with Merlin, and even more so with Guinevere.
  • Like his book counterpart, Ned Stark has this in Game of Thrones. His son, Robb, seems to have inherited it.


  • The girl who's the subject of Savage Garden's "To the moon and back" mixes Broken Bird with a Sugar and Ice Personality.

They're saying, "Mamma never loved her much"
And, "Daddy never keeps in touch
That's why she shies away from human affection"
But somewhere in a private place she packs her bags for outer space
And now she's waiting for the right kind of pilot to come
And she'll say to him...
She's saying
"I would fly to the moon & back if you'll be...
If you'll be my baby
Got a ticket for a world where we belong
So would you be my baby?"

  • Love Handel's "You Snuck Your Way Right Into My Heart" seems to describe this trope rather accurately:

I put up barriers
To shield my emotions
A wall that you could never break apart
But like a ninja of love
Rappelling down from above
You snuck your way right into my heart


Video Games

  • Lamia Loveless from Super Robot Wars: on the outside, she's mostly cool, professional and serious, but considering that she is The Child amongst The Three Faces of Eve (being the latest version of the W Numbers and not having been around for long in the world), her inner side is very warm. In OG Gaiden, she slightly warms to Axel, who saved her life.
    • Ring Mao acts like this towards Irm, to the point where she acts as if their relationship never existed when she gets the slightest bit mad, despite the fact that she still cares about him.
  • Badass Bookworm Erk from Fire Emblem 7, in a way. He's not the easiest person to coax out of his shell and away from his books, and he's frequently grumpy and sarcastic. But his supports always end up showing his gentler side, especially his supports with Nino, Priscilla, and Louise.
    • Lute, too. Well, sort of. She is very similar to Erk in her bookishness; she doesn't quite seem to know how to love properly, but her support with Artur shows an attempt at a softer side. (She is a bit odd about it, though.)
    • Soren from Path of Radiance is only friendly towards Ike. This is explicitly mentioned by another character in the sequel; they can magically sense that someone is causing his icy heart to defrost.
    • Yet another mage that exhibits these traits is Arthur from the 4th game. When he expresses concern for his friend (and possible love intrest) Phee, she mentions how odd it is that he's thinking of someone other than himself, and he says that she's an "exception". The only other person who he shows his soft side to is his beloved little sister, Tinny.
    • In the fourth and fifth games, the Lance Knight Fin is explicitely regarded as having a Sugar and Ice Personality. His old friend Selphina lectures him on being cold to women and how this apparently ruined his relationship with Lachesis, but later Leaf comments on how Fin simply "forgot" how to cry or laugh ever since the fall of Lester. And then we have his behavior when he talks to Altenna in Seisen, where Fin can finally show open emotion and even cries.
  • Oracle of Tao has Ambrosia, the hero, who is ostensibly a Tsundere. Behind this layer however, her emotions turn out to be very guarded, and she has to go through an ordeal of sorts to finally unlock them. Basically, the best way of putting this is that she's a Mood Swinger Kuudere with some Cute and Psycho tendencies (as a result of her mood swings).
  • Marina Wulfstan of Valkyria Chronicles is an aloof sniper with several potentials and a personnel file indicating her preference for solitude—but that doesn't stop her from chasing after cute little foxes and puppies, as well as showing a good deal of commitment to defending Darcsens in the DLC packs.
  • Ai Ebihara from Persona 4: although often classified as a Tsundere, she's a lot closer to this. She starts off indifferent, but subtly thaws out as the social link progresses. You even have to reject her once if you want her to stay with you.
    • Naoto is another example.
  • Roswell from Yggdra Union leans heavily towards the cold side of the equation, but every now and again he shows moments of incredibly heartfelt gentleness. Interestingly, many of these moments seem provoked by Yggdra, our lovely protagonist.
  • Yurika Kirishima from Rival Schools is a pure example—she's rather reserved and cold for the most part, but it's part of her facade as The Mole planted in Seijyun High. When she goes through her High Heel Face Turn, she starts to open up emotionally, with the most visible example being her Romantic Two-Girl Friendship moment with Akira in the Seijyun High ending.
  • Leona from The King of Fighters fears she'll be dominated by her Enemy Within (Orochi Leona) if she shows emotions openly... When the domination happened the first time, she killed her parents and everyone else in her Doomed Hometown. The second time, she beat her teammates Ralf and Clark to almost death.
  • Saki Tsuzura in Arcana Heart is pretty aloof most of the time, but this mostly stems from her failure to save her friend Fiona and her resolve to not repeat the same mistake again. She considerably opens up when she's around friend Heart. Especially after the fight with Mildred is over.
    • Lieselotte Achenbach is, for the most part, cold and unemotional, only really showing emotion after she realizes Mildred's plan.
    • The sequel also adds the super serious Zenia Valov. She wastes very little words and, most of the time, she's quite confrontational, caring most about her missions. In her ending, however, she is seen tending some sort of orphanage and smiling, and the kids greet her warmly, signifying that she's really kind and sweet to children.
  • In the Final Fantasy VII prequel Crisis Core, pre-insanity Sephiroth is shown to be aloof, cool, and professional...but also capable of displaying concern (about his friends Genesis and Angeal) and empathy (allowing Zack to return to Midgar to check on Aerith).
  • Final Fantasy XIII
  • BlazBlue's Rachel Alucard is like this, though the caring is very hard to see. But when one considers she's playing Xanatos Speed Chess against the psychopathic Terumi, who'd do any number of horrible things if he knew she cared about any of the cast, one realizes that she is mostly The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask. However, various endings suggest she has a good deal of sympathy for Ragna (who she asks to "not become a monster"), Noel (who she's seen standing near during her "waking up" dreams), and Nu (Who she pities as a "poor doll" who has such simple dreams).
  • Dragon Age
    • The Sten in Dragon Age: Origins is the most stoic and rigid of your party members, rarely getting along with others and preferring to focus on accomplishing your goal as soon as possible. However, Leliana notes that he does indeed have a hidden Gentle Giant aspect to him (which she chides him about) and if the player improves their relationship, he proceeds to become part of the True Companions in his own way, even sometimes addressing the player character with an affectionate pet name if he likes them enough.
    • Fenris in Dragon Age II is also this. Even though he hates mages and is always brooding about his past, it doesn't hinder him becoming open to his fellow companions after his long stay at Kirkwall and their helping him against his Tevinter captors.
  • Xyl of Lusternia was The Stoic and The Spock of the Elder Gods, generally more interested in the pursuit of cosmic knowledge than friendship. However, when with Trillilial, he shows a very different, much warmer side to his personality.
  • Luminous Arc 2's Fatima the Shadow Frost Witch is pretty darn stoic and cool. Her warmer side can be brought out if Roland chooses the correct dialogue choices and she becomes his love interest.
  • Miranda, from Mass Effect, is called an Ice Queen by Wilson at the beginning of the game (...before she kills him), but she warms up to Shepard considerably during the course of the game. And of course there's the relationship she has with her sister, Oriana.
  • Toona/Raven in Rune Factory 3: cool and seemingly emotionless, she gradually opens up if you pursue a relationship with her. Her reason for being cold is actually a fear of losing those who get close to her, due to a childhood friend disappearing in her presence, and the fact that she can turn into a Phoenix-like monster.
  • Jacqli in Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica is a poster child for a cynical version, constantly trying to convince almost everyone she's a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk when in fact she's just a damaged softy. Also, don't hurt her friends.
  • In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, Gym Leader Jasmine (who uses Steel-type Pokémon) is described by one character as trying to hide her tenderness behind her steely coldness.
  • Aqua from Kingdom Hearts is directly stated to be one of these (not by the trope name, of course) in an interview with Tetsuya Nomura. She's the type where we see mostly the Sugar side and is also an honor student type. Isa establishes himself as one in a single cutscene.

Visual Novel

  • Misaki in Canvas 2 is probably the gentlest person in the cast, but her normal demeanor is rather distant and cool.
  • Sora from Yosuga no Sora. If you're not her brother, consider yourself the luckiest person on earth if you're able to see her smile. To be more precise, she is Tsundere to her brother, Yandere to every other girl around her brother, and cold to every other boy beside her brother. And you may have noticed already but, yeah, she has a sexual desire for her twin brother.
  • Akira of Togainu no Chi is pretty much cold towards everyone. However, when push comes to shove he shows that he truly cares about the people close to him even after they've raped or betrayed him earlier.
  • Miku in A Profile was raised to be cool, dismissive and aloof, which is both contrasted and enforced by the fact that at heart she's a Shrinking Violet, meaning she hides that behind the aloof behavior.
  • Rider from Fate/stay night is like this. It's difficult to be sweet and caring when you're Medusa, especially when you happen to live in the Nasuverse, land of unhappy people. Look how shocked she gets at a mere 'thank you' or being told that no, Shirou does not hate her and thinks she's actually quite attractive.
    • Saber is an obvious example herself.
  • Katawa Shoujo: Hanako is painfully shy, due to an anxiety disorder causing her to be very uncomfortable around people she doesn't know very well. However, as she and Hisao get to know each other better, she reveals what a kind, intelligent, warm girl she truly is.
    • Also Rin, but in a different way. She somehow does not know how to communicate—at all—so even her more intense emotional responses come across as snark.
    • Shizune most frequently comes across as analytical and bossy. However she also posses a very childlike and playful side and her biggest motivation is a desire make people happy. Though even her playfulness at times can be a sheild for her strongest emotions, which only Misha, and if take her route, Hisao ever really get to see.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice For All has Adrian Andrews, who hides her woobieness under her cold, evasive side. She drops her coldness completely in the sequel.

Web Comics

  • Vaarsuvius from Order of the Stick probably qualifies—sensitive and emotional, yet cool-headed, with an air of detachment that makes him/her difficult to approach. Despite this, Vaarsuvius is a very loyal teammate. He/she also cares deeply for his/her family and is willing to do anything to protect them, up to and including genocide. Seriously, never ever threaten Vaarsuvius' family.
  • The "Su-cool" arc in the "Love Situations" category of Tsunami Channel has a prime example of an honest and cool girl who is blunt and unembarassed by her feelings of affection, while being incredibly understated and calm.
  • The zombie from Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name is very subtle in his displays of emotion, except when Hanna is harmed. He also is seen with a bird perched on his finger, is visibly upset when he punches a teenage boy with More Teeth Than the Osmond Family pretty damn hard in the mistaken belief he was dealing with a more serious threat, cooks breakfast for Hanna, and is generally a very nice person. However, Hanna actually takes to counting how often he smiles, because he so rarely does so. He's not particularly cold and unapproachable towards new people, but he's reserved and hard to read.
    • When Hanna starts the smile tally, {...} is surprised to learn that he smiles so rarely, and considers making more of an effort in the future.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court
    • Antimony appears to be a Defrosting Ice Queen, but despite being warm and friendly to the few people she's already befriended, when she's with her classmates in general she does things like this. When the group snuck out in "Power Station", Annie hardly talked to anyone except Zimmy and Gamma before being plunged into Zimmingham. Of course, due to her descent and background Annie not only used to being a loner, but had more intense attitudes mostly limited to "surgical steel" and "firestorm" modes. Once the latter became quite literal, she chose to train in handling her temper. Annie certainly shows more emotion in her face than she used to, though still seems to be quite stoic and quiet around people she isn't close to.
    • Anthony, Antimony's father, is so quiet and reserved that he comes off as rather cold. Around his best friend Donald, however, he has no problem dropping the stoic mask.
  • Susan from El Goonish Shive starts out very cold, but turned out to really care about her friends. She's able to show more and more warmth as she becomes closer to the other characters and comes to terms with her past, which used to be her own ball and chain. Not that she hesitates to use the old good "Hammer Queen" look when it's called for.
  • Homestuck

Web Original

  • Himei in Sailor Nothing: At first, she is almost entirely cold towards everyone, but as the story goes on her warmer side starts showing more often.
  • Weiss Schnee from RWBY started out in full Ice Queen Rich Bitch mode at the beginning of the series, and had already warmed up considerably by volume 3. And as of volume 5, the Ice Queen appears to be long gone except as an affectionate nickname.

Western Animation

  • Mai from Avatar: The Last Airbender: She is an outwardly Emotionless Girl and Deadpan Snarker, but she cares very deeply for Zuko and it is only around him that her emotions become visible.
    • Tenzin and Lin from The Legend of Korra. Tenzin seems 100% serious and proper all the time, but is very warm around his family and clearly cares very much for Korra. Lin is a stone-cold hardass, but defrosts a little when she and Korra work together to fight Amon and Hiroshi Sato.
  • Raven in Teen Titans acts coldly towards everyone, partly due to attachment issues but mostly because her powers are tied to her emotions, and if she doesn't keep iron control over them at all times, she could get a dangerous case of Power Incontinence. However, she's willing to go to almost any lengths for her friends, and we occasionally see glimpses of her softer side.
    • In the episode "Spellbound", she acted very sweet and girlish towards Malchior; however, by the end Malchior made her regret even having a warmer side. For a while after the episode, she became visibly more withdrawn. Though when Beast Boy tried to comfort her, she did go out and give him a hug as thanks.
    • Played up even more sharply in the Season 5 episode "Hide and Seek." She couldn't stand having to babysit three kindergarten-age superheroes at first, but gradually she warmed up to them and even turned into a full-blown Mama Bear when they were in danger. "Nobody messes WITH MY KIDS!", indeed.
  • Octus from Sym-Bionic Titan, while a robot, apparently has emotions, which he normally keeps in check so as to be the balance between the often bickering Lance and Illana. His warm side is shown when he's around Kimmy, who he says brings him something like "happiness." His warm side can also be seen at times around Lance and Ilana, as well as when he's watching Animal Friends.
  • Daria Morgendorffer from Daria only shows affection for certain people, normally just a smile and/or blush. Towards everyone else, she is cold.
  • Agent Six from Generator Rex fits the part of a Man in Black, often acting in a curt, very tactical manner. However, he cares greatly about his charge Rex (whom he rescued in the first place) and Holiday, with whom he'd have a closer relationship if he weren't so mindful of keeping it professional. He does ask her out by "A Family Holiday," but does so while keeping a completely straight face...and holding her hand.
  • Miss Finster from Recess
  • X9 from Samurai Jack is a kind and loving companion to his dog, and deep inside he feels guilty about the innocents he has killed. But to anyone he has to kill, he is nothing but a Professional Killer as cold as the steel he is made of.