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...the forehead can still be a powerful communication tool. For example, if your friend passes out at a party, writing obscenities next to the naughty drawings where his eyebrows used to be is a very effective way to tell the people on the bus that his friends are assholes.

Never pass out when there's markers about.
Rigby, Regular Show

So you've come across a sleeping or unconscious person, and you feel a bit playful. Maybe you've knocked them out in battle and want to lower their ego a few notches without further physical damage. Or maybe your friend pulled a prank on you earlier and you want retribution.

Got a marker handy? Then pull it out and do a Picasso on their face!

For some reason, characters have a thing about drawing on people's faces with felt-tip markers. Usually it's nothing too elaborate — a pair of glasses, a monocle a mustache, and maybe a goatee, sometimes they get a little more creative and start drawing little pieces of art on their target.

Who just it pulls off depends on the culture from which the thing comes:

Almost always the purview of young (or immature) female characters in the East, and primarily the domain of immature frat boys in the West, where crude drawings of male anatomy are usually the go-to subject to depict.

See also Humiliation Conga, of which this is sometimes step one. Not to be confused with Facial Markings, which are even more permanent than a permanent marker. The resulting appearance may be similar, though.

As any regular, or friend of a regular to heavy drinking parties would know, this is a rather obvious case of Truth in Television

Examples of Face Doodling include:


  • In one of those anti-drug PSAs, a girl passed out on the couch gets drawn on and used as a puppet by her "friends" to mock how dumb she is, and then said friends ditch her to go back to the party.

Anime and Manga

  • In Yotsuba&!, Yotsuba does this to her sleeping father.
    • In her defense, she was just doing it because she thought daddy would look good with a mustache... and then it was so much fun she couldn't stop...
  • Iwata does a rather extreme version of this to hospitalized Watanabe in Excel Saga manga, drawing his face and lots of other exposed skin full of rather embarrasing doodles with a marker than doesn't wash off. In retaliation, Watanabe gives him a trashing with a baseball bat, while still recuperating — in result both end up back in hospital.
  • This is almost synonymous with Jigglypuff from Pokémon; its reaction to having people fall asleep midsong is to vandalize their faces with a marker, which it also uses as an impromptu microphone.
    • One Battle Frontier episode also had a Scizor that did this to defeated opponents. Yeah, a Scizor.
  • After Ranma knocks Mikado out on his feet in Ranma ½, nobody is certain what happened for a moment... until Asuza, Mikado's rather childish partner, starts drawing on his face. Everyone Mikado has ever angered takes turns adding to it once it becomes clear.
    • After Pantyhose Taro crash-lands in the Tendo home while in his monster form, Soun and Ranma change him back to human, somber and worried about what sort of superpowerful creature could have hurt him so badly. Then they doodle on his face and put tiny flags in his hair.
    • Genma also does this when possessed by an oni.
    • When Mariko confesses her love for Kuno, she puckers up for a kiss. Kuno, having eyes only for Akane and The Pigtailed Girl, doodles on her face instead. Mariko laughs it off, but every single bystander is outraged at Kuno for being so lucky and yet so stupid.
    • The first real Ranma/Kuno duel ends as a sort of draw. Ranma has a nasty bruise from the air sliced by Kuno's sword, and Kuno has insults scribbled on his face. This provides for a nice gag, as it provides a chance for Nabiki to insult his spelling as he describes the incident.
  • Faye Valentine of Cowboy Bebop lets her immaturity shine through when she draws eyebrows on the dog. (She does this when she realizes the dog reminds her of an ex-lover who double-crossed her.)
  • Rukia Kuchiki does this to a magically immobilized Ichigo when he criticizes her drawing (and exposition) in the first episode of Bleach. After drawing a Frenchy-looking mustache on him, she also calls him "Monsieur." Definitely not the best time to mock the teenage-looking girl's artwork...
  • The children in Eureka Seven do this to Renton to get a rise out of him.
  • Genre-savvy Kyon in Haruhi Suzumiya worries that Haruhi might have drawn on him when he wakes to find her standing over him. She returns the favour later when she falls asleep to find Kyon standing over her.
  • In a particularly nonsensical Saiyuki Reload Omake, Sanzo, Gojyo and Hakkai discover that they are somehow stuck inside Goku's dream, and they will remain stuck until he wakes up. Since Goku sleeps like a log, Hakkai ends up just drawing open eyes on his face.
  • At the end of the first episode of Ichigo Mashimaro, Nobue writes, "Ran away from home" on her little sister Chika's sleeping face. Of course, her little sister had just made a birthday card that said, "To my Big Sister, who's been putting on a little weight lately." Mi-chan sees it and doesn't let anyone tell Chika.
    • This is the anime's amalgam of two events in the manga:
      • First, in episode 4, Miu and Chika make an ashtray to replace her cruddy old one, and each make separate birthday cards, staying up late to make them and falling asleep in the process. Chika's card makes fun of her weight, her smell, and her general health. Nobue retaliates by writing "Homeless Orphan" on her cheek. (This goes on to be one of the things Chika remembers when they play baseball, prompting her to throw the baseball at Nobue's side.)
      • In episode 35, sometime between 8 and 10 AM, Miu draws a fire button on Chika's forehead while she's sleeping. Nobue doesn't say anything, and the two prompt Matsuri not to reveal it when she comes over. Nobody at the used manga shop they go to that afternoon tells her, either. Later, at 7:30 PM, a minimum of nine-and-a-half hours later, Chika goes to the bathroom and finally sees the button and the kanji for "fire" in the mirror.
  • Gunsmith Cats: When Becky Farrah attempted to slip the gun she smuggled into Rally Vincent's hospital room so the latter could fall asleep out from under the latter's pillow she wound up staring down it's barrel. She admitted to mild astonishment sometime afterwards, when her considerable decoration did not even make her twitch.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has a variant In this OVA where a character uses a marker to blackout Kamina's cool shades, when he wakes up he thinks he's gone blind. And then laments being "doomed to a life of darkness"
  • At the end of episode 103 of Keroro Gunsou, while the world is still frozen in time after a failed take over of Earth, Fuyuki and Keroro do this to Kogoro.
  • In Photon: The Idiot Adventures, this actually results in an Accidental Marriage.
  • Marianne vi Britannia, Lelouch's mother, was holding a marker and standing over an unconscious Suzaku in Code Geass when she was still in the body of Suzaku's friend and fellow Knight of Rounds Anya Earlstreim, but to her annoyance he woke up before she could begin.
    • In a Suzaku Of The Counterattack manga omake, Rolo (who otherwise never appears in the manga), tries to use his Geass to save Lelouch from Schneizel, but Schneizel, having become immune to Geass' effects, prepares to draw on Lelouch's face while his perception of time is stopped.
  • In one of the The Prince of Tennis specials, the punishment that Ryoma and his teammates would face for losing or slacking during practice was to get their faces doodled on.
  • Soul Eater — Black Star autographs temporarily paralyzed Maka's face and doodles a Hitler 'stache on her.
  • Nodame Cantabile — Averted when Flamboyant Gay Masumi attempts to do this on Nodame who was pretending to sleep.
  • In D.Gray-man Lavi does this to Allen adding insult to injury as Allen is having a traumatic dream about General Cross at the time. Lavi even doodles on the bandage over Allen's damaged eye.
  • Done to the loser of the penalty game on numerous occasions in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
  • Battle Athletes Victory
  • Done in typical Jerkass fashion by Mamoru Takamura in Hajime no Ippo, when he and his gymmates doodle on Ippo's penis while he was in a coma after a fight
  • At one point in the Dark Tournament Arc, Hiei uses an attack that leaves him "requiring hibernation". Kuwabara, upon being informed that almost nothing they do will wake him up, asks, "Can I draw a mustache on him?" He then holds up a felt-tipped marker to illustrate the point.
    • He never ends up doing it, though, apparently, since we see Hiei mustache-free when he wakes up.
  • A chapter of Read Or Dream involves the Paper Sisters trying to come up with ways to make money — they do this to each other when they come up with unworkable ideas.
  • Chapter 10 of Ai Kora revolves around a "mystery molester" who attacks girls, then doodles glasses on their faces and takes pictures. Much to everyone's surprise, the assailant turns out to be a girl herself.
  • In Solanin, Meiko draws on Taneda's face after he pisses her off. After she gets home from a rough day, they have a very tender moment together, which is only made funnier by his crazy face doodles.
  • One of the murder victims in Detective Conan paints a small butterfly on her lover's face with nail polish while he's asleep. It's revealed that this was a habit of hers during get-togethers with friends, became her secret signature in her magazine illustrations, and ends up becoming a vital clue in proving that her lover really did kill her.
  • This is one of many funny moments in Slam Dunk. During the study night at Akagi's house, as the host takes a nap, Hanamichi picks up a marker that conveniently fell to his reach and strikes.
  • Izumi gets this treatment from the other two of the trio when she falls asleep just after arriving at Mykonos.
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia, Italy saves the world (and the other countries) from permanently being faceless Noppera by drawing on the faces of all of the aliens.
  • In the Tenchi Muyo! OVAs, it was revealed that Tenchi's own mother, Kiyone, did this to him as a child. Turns out she wasn't the sweet and kind lady Tenchi remembered her to be.
  • Isidro does this to Schierke as part of their Ship Tease behavior in Berserk while the group is on board a ship to the island of Skellig. Boredom prevailed, apparently.
  • In the live action of Lovelycomplex both Otani and Risa fall asleep on a bus during their school trip and are left behind. Risa wakes up normal and then turns to see Otani with what is probably the best face doodling ever. Near the end of the movie, Risa uses the same picture when she goes on the Hello Girlfriend show.
  • Occurred at least once in Kochikame when Ryotsu doodles all over Bucho's face and takes pictures while he's asleep and Nakagawa tries hold his laugh. Ryotsu ends up putting the pictures in purikura stickers. Let's say Bucho ends up in a weapons rampage at the end hunting down Ryotsu.
  • Zettai Karen Children:
    • After Kyousuke managed to infiltrate into Fujiko's bedroom (to tamper with her computer terminal while she was sleeping) and then escape, when Fujiko wakes up she discovers that her face was doodled on. Then, in a later supplement 4-panel strip, we find out that she was doing the same to Kyousuke regularly when they were both kids.
    • In one of the supplement 4-panel strips, after Sakaki gets drunk and falls asleep, Shiho doodles not only on his face, but on his torso as well, drawing (among other things) a bra on his chest and a funny face on his belly.

Fan Works

  • In the JLA Watchtower universe, this was a common trick for the senior Titan boys to play on one another. It was used on-panel when Roy Harper passed out exhausted on the ride back from the Olympics. Dick found the peanut butter and jelly sandwich MRE and started doodling.
  • In the Transformers fanfic series, Black Crayons, Annabelle Lennox does this to the twins, Mudflap and Skids, in "Summer Vacation." Glitter was also used.


  • A rare awake example, one of the characters in 10 Things I Hate About You doodles a penis on the character trying to speak to him at the time.
    • "...I have a dick on my face, don't I?"
  • Happens to Zach Braff's character Andrew in Garden State — even worse, when he gets to the doctor's surgery for a checkup, he finds people have covered his whole body with swear words.
  • Done to Farva at the end of Super Troopers.
  • A variation in Peter Jackson's King Kong: the pompous actor returns to his cabin to find that someone has vandalised his face on all of his movie posters. Then he stops for a bit to consider growing a Porn Stache like one of the doodles.
  • Done in a scene of Friends with Benefits.


  • In both the book and the film versions of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, Edmund rather tackily scribbles a mustache and glasses on a lion that's been turned to stone.
  • This not only happens to the heroine in L. M. Montgomery's Emily Climbs, but she has reason to suspect her best friend of the deed.
  • In the Discworld novel Night Watch, a 16-year old assassin-in-training Havelock Vetinari sneaks up on and knocks out an inebriated older assassin boy (the later-day Lord Downey) and paints tiger stripes on Downey's face. Downey had previously made fun of Vetinari for reading a book about animals using colours and patterns for camouflage and how to make oneself invisible by hiding in plain sight. The lesson was entirely lost on Downey.
    • Vetinari had the printer's plates for the book destroyed and the existing copies hidden away to ensure that nobody else would learn the lesson either.
  • In Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones there's a scene at a party at an SF convention where several people are drawing on a handsome, almost naked guy who's drunkenly fallen asleep on the stairs. One of the artists is a magic user whose doodles constitute a spell designed to lead the guy to her bed later.
  • In a Kate Daniels novella, Andrea's love interest Raphael knowingly overexerts his magic and passes out, when he could have stayed in his warrior form and answered her questions. Annoyed that he's avoiding her (and irritatedly wondering if he expects her to admire his naked body) she gets a Sharpie out and doodles on his face. Instead of being annoyed, though, Raphael thinks it's funny and takes her teasing as a sign that she returns his romantic interest.

Live Action TV

  • Cheers. Sam does this to a dead drunk Rebecca, doodling a Mexican mustache and beard on her, then putting a pancho and a sombrero on her head as she dozes.
  • In the Friends episode "The One In Vegas, Part Two", Ross does this to a sleeping Rachel. Then it turns out it won't come off, and Rachel refuses to leave her hotel room. After they've both drunk a lot, Ross agrees to have his face drawn on too, so they can look ridiculous together. Of course, in "The One After Vegas", it's gone by the next morning.
    • Also seen in "The One At The Beach." The gang is on vacation at the beach, too bad they're trapped inside by the rain. Rachel wants to paint Ross's toenails, but he won't let her. A chase around the room ensues. They collapse into a chair and Ross grabs Rachel's hand to make her paint nailpolish on her own face.
      • From the same episode arc, Joey wakes up to find his body covered in sand and made to look like a particularly busty mermaid.
  • In Boukenger Masumi and Natsuki put glasses on a sleeping Satoru.
    • Chiaki does this to Takeru during Shinkengers Freaky Friday episode where Takeru's soul is swapped with a good luck cat statue. A couple of episodes later it's used as the penalty for losing in a card game. Takeru... wasn't doing very well but Chiaki was enjoying himself immensely.
  • On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, after the ditzy blonde Harmony Kendall was turned into a vampire (a ditzy vampire) and had Spike share a lair with her, she was fond of doodling on the sleeping Spike's back during the day, much to his annoyance. (episode: The Harsh Light of Day)
    • In case you're wondering, she was writing "Spike loves Harmony" on his back. Spike's reaction when he wakes up? He's not pleased.

 Spike : I love Syphilis more than you.

  • In the Lonelygirl15 episode "Hungover", Daniel wakes up after a night out drinking to discover that his face is now covered in doodles and the words "Jonas was here".
  • Scrubs has it a few times, but with awake victims. In one episode, Kelso responds to JD that "he can do whatever he wants" and proceeds to draw a mustache on him. Cue Turk asking JD if he invited Kelso to "Mustache Sunday". In another episode, JD gets PROM written on his forehead in a flashback mere weeks before prom, and needed surgery to get it off.
    • Two more examples: When the Janitor is accidentally given a leaky pen by J.D. he thinks it was intentional and retaliates by using the spilled ink to give J.D. a mustache. And when Dr. Kelso is reading the last Harry Potter book, he doodles Harry's glasses and scar on anyone who thretens to ruin the ending for him.
  • In Green Wing, Dr. Statham invades a comatose Mac's hospital room and draws facial hair and glasses on his face in marker pen.
  • One episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show had Richie and a playmate "connecting the dots" with the freckles on Rob's back as he slept on the couch, producing a picture of the Liberty Bell, which neighbor Millie Helper submits to an "Odd But True" newspaper column.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "School Reunion", David Tennant did this to himself, in order to make sure that Billie Piper and Elisabeth Sladen laughed during a scene.
  • In Top Gear Clarkson, May and Hammond all have to act as crash test dummies and need to draw reference points on their faces. You can see where this is going.
  • Andy does this to a sleeping Barney Fife in an episode of The Andy Griffith Show.
  • An episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit had a brutal subversion. A bunch of people at a party find an unpopular girl passed out and start painting things on her face. As one of them moves the girl's head, she realizes that there is a blood on her fingers. The unconscious girl was hit on the back of the head, raped and then left lying on a bunch of coats.
  • In the Modern Family episode "The Incident", Manny comes home from a sleepover with a Spock-style evil beard and moustache doodled on his face. He keeps the beard, takes to stroking it thoughtfully, and later sets the culprit's bike on fire.
  • In ICarly, any sleeping student is prone to be Sam Puckett's victim during a Ridgeway HS all-nighter. To the point that the principal warns the entire school about this.
  • In Raising Hope, Jimmy's mom forcibly writes the word "Dork" on his face in permanent marker to ensure that he will not want to spend too much time flirting with Sabrina (the girl at the grocery store). Apparently she's done this often in the past.

 Sabrina: You might wanna think about wearing make-up.

Jimmy: I tried that. It makes me look like a dork.


Video Games

  • This is a standard Status Effect in Dokapon Kingdom.
  • Part of Kula Diamond's ending in The King of Fighters Maximum Impact 2 is that she does this to Nagase after their battle.
  • Losing characters in the Power Instinct series suffer facial doodling from their opponents after the bout.
  • Takeshi of Ever 17 is subjected to this after annoying everyone else with his snoring and sleeptalk.
  • Blanca from Animal Crossing wants the player to redraw her(/his) face entirely, using the same interface that the game uses for drawing clothing patterns.
  • In the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles games the player can draw on moogles in moogle houses in the first game and save points in the second.
  • The DS rerelease of Final Fantasy IV, Rydia obtains a larval Eidolon called Whyt. Using the DS stylus, the player can change what its face looks like.
  • In Eternal Sonata, Phil does this to an old man, and is run off. He heads in the direction of the cliffs, which you have to descend to find him.
  • A rare awake example in Bayonetta, the titular character draws on Luka's face with her lipstick while he's delivering a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to her. He can't see her while she does it, though.
  • Komari can become a victim of this in Little Busters!, provided that you, the main character, doesn't stop Haruka.
  • In Tomodachi Collection and Tomodachi Life, the player can do this to sleeping Miis, using markers of 9 different colors and an eraser. Any drawings are temporary and are gone as soon as the player leaves.

Web Animation

Web Comics

  • In Order of the Stick, after Roy gets crippled by poison, Elan and Belkar scribble on both Roy and the wall he's leaning against. Unusual, in that Roy is still conscious (and, naturally, really annoyed) while they're doing this.

  "I eat you stinky roy!" [sic]

  • In Narbonic, Helen and Mell do this (a lot of this) to Dave while his mind is busy with Mental Time Travel.
  • Taken to a disturbing new level in this Snafu comic (referencing Naruto).
  • This page of Gunnerkrigg Court gives a whole new meaning to the trope's name.
  • Millie of Ozy and Millie apparently likes to do this to Ozy.
  • This happens to Ichabod in one page of Far Out There... among other things.
  • In PvP, this was how Francis amused himself during a flight home from a convention. At Brent's expense, naturally.
  • Subverted in Wizard School, where our 'hero' winds up with a Power Tattoo after a little Alcohol-Induced Idiocy. When he wakes up to find three pretty blue stars on his face, he assumes the two children with him have done this — and berates them for drawing stars instead of a penis or two.

Web Original

  • Morgan of Loading Ready Run will instantly wake up and stand at alert if anyone so much as uncaps a Sharpie within earshot of him due to this.
  • In an episode of What the Fuck Is Wrong With You, Nash gets drunk and the Stick Man does it to him.

Western Animation

  • This pretty much forms the plot of the Looney Tunes short Daffy Doodles.
  • Someone draws a mustache on Harold's face in one episode of Total Drama Island.
    • And in a later episode LeShawna draws a smiley face on the back of Heather's bald head.
  • In one Family Guy episode, Quagmire passes out after a rather lopsided drinking game. When he awakens later his face has "penus" written on it.
  • The Simpsons: In 'Deep Space Homer' Bart wrote 'Insert brain here' on the back of Homer's head. And later "Hero".
    • Also, he once wrote 'Wide Load' on his ass.
    • Tattooed 'Wide Load' on his ass.
    • In 'I am Furious Yellow', Ralph doodles on his own face. "I'm called Ralph!".
  • In the "outtakes" for Toy Story 2 Woody pulls this on Buzz a few times. He doodles funny faces on Buzz's helmet that show up when he snaps it closed, and puts "This Space For Rent" on his wings.
  • Reef does it to Ripper and No-Pants Lance in an episode of Stoked!. Vengeance is swift and brutal.
  • In the opening of the Pink Panther series, the inspector does this with a brute, mistaking him for a poster. When the brute knocks the inspector out, the Pink Panther does the same to the inspector.
  • "I'm gonna draw on your face! No, seriously, I'm gonna draw on your face."
    • While you never actually see Percy the doll draw on anyone's face (though he does attempt to do this to Rigby), you do see Pops with his face drawn on.
  • King of the Hill: Bobby and Joseph with a book of jokes, attempt a prank on Dale by giving him a quarter face message with black marker on the rim of the coin. Example of Springtime for Hitler when Dale is at the gun club for reelection, the members thought Dale wore war paint and vote him for president again (when wanting to resign Dale).

Real Life

  • David Tennant did this to himself (obviously, he was awake at the time) in order to make Lis Sladen and Billie Piper laugh at him for a scene needed in the Doctor Who episode "School Reunion". The editor then cut out the doodled-Tennant bits and replaced them with a clean faced version of the Doctor.
  • British magazine FRONT, has a subsection on a page (or two) with people who got pissed [1] and passed out and other people doodling stuff on 'em like dicks, balls, or covering them in flour or something along those lines. So quite obviously, this happens a lot in real life. Truth in alcoholic beverages?
  • Happened to one of the New England Patriots Cheerleaders at a party where other members drew, among other things, Swastikas. Patriots owner Robert Kraft is Jewish. You can guess the rest.
  1. (that is, drunk, not angry)