Manipulating the relaxation pathways of excited states and understanding mechanisms of photochemical reactions present important challenges in chemistry. Here we report a unique zinc(II) complex exhibiting unprecedented interplay between the excitation-wavelength-dependent emission, thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) and excited state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT). The ESIPT process in the complex is favoured by a short intramolecular OH⋅⋅⋅N hydrogen bond. Synergy between the excitation-wavelength-dependent emission and ESIPT arises due to heavy zinc atom favouring intersystem crossing (isc). Reverse intersystem crossing (risc) and TADF are favoured by a narrow singlet–triplet gap, ΔEST≈10 kJ mol−1. These results provide the first insight into how a proton-transfer system can be modified to show a synergy between the excitation-wavelength-dependent emission, ESIPT and TADF. This strategy offers new perspectives for designing ESIPT and TADF emitters exhibiting tunable excitation-wavelength-dependent luminescence.