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It used to be that things were simple: The Heroes had faces smoother than a baby's bottom and Villains had long, thin, oily moustaches to twirl after tying the Distressed Damsel to a set of train tracks. Then along came the grizzled Drifter with his five o'clock shadow, The Gunslinger with his proud beard, and other Antiheroes who broke out of old archetypes. Thanks to these brave pioneers in the fight for facial follicle freedom it's been okay for heroes to have beards, villains to be clean-shaven, and Antiheroes to blur the lines. However, much like superhero costumes there are still guidelines for who can get away with what.
By default Heroes tend towards clean shaves, whether it's because of artistic inertia or simple cultural popularity is up for grabs. Sometimes movies made in countries or/of eras that are friendlier to facial hair have a higher number of heroes and extras with beards and mustaches, though it is still very common to find anachronistically clean shaven male main characters. A full, thick, and above all well trimmed beard is almost always a sign of the good guys (Dwarfs, Santa, mentor characters, etc). The Obi-Wan often has one. You will never, ever see a good character with a Fu Manchu mustache, nor one with a pencil thin moustache, unless you are watching an Errol Flynn movie, or in fact any movie from the 1930s or 40s. Stubbles are an exception, as they're usually a sign of Antiheroism and Badassitude.
Speaking of which, any moustache resembling Adolf Hitler's is off-limits (see the example below), even to villains, and can only be used to mock a character by photoshopping said moustache onto them (unless it's Charlie Chaplin, because it was his look first).
Villains with beards tend to either have long wispy ones, short fancy ones, or wild and unkempt ones. This depends entirely on what flavor their villainy has. Sophisticated villains tend towards clean shaves and devil goatees and will almost always be very fastidious about their appearance. Savage villains are likelier to have a full on uncontrolled beard, possibly with braids or dreadlocks. Back alley thugs or unsavory types are likely to keep thin and scraggly beards, in line with their ratty appearance.
An Anti-Hero, of course, can go either way, although they rarely have the wispy beards. Perma Stubble is popular for antiheroic characters (as well as the generally Badass) as a contrast to clean-shaven heroes. One pop culture extreme is to get incredibly elaborate patterns in a full beard. Again, this depends on if the Anti-Hero is the grungy unkempt kind or is going for a Blade like extravagance.
For Evil Minions and foot soldiers one of the few perks they enjoy is complete freedom to go overboard with their beards: long braids, intricate patterns, pencil thin flame designs and more are common. The punk/grunge/barbarian image their intricate styles boast is an excellent cue that they'll soon be wishing they'd spent less time grooming and more practicing to dodge an Offhand Backhand.
Slicked-back hair seems to be a common feature of a number of school bullies.
Whether a woman's hairstyle is good or evil depends on when the show was filmed. The good hairstyle of 2009 — long, sexy, but not too smooth — would have been seen only on a Complete Monster (like Cruella Deville) fifty years earlier. In contrast, the bad hairstyle of 2009 — big, teased, with floofy bangs — was the good hairstyle of 1985. The implication is that heroines are slaves of fashion while villains are dowdy and out of date.
- 1 Heroes
- 1.1 The Obi-Wan and Other Mentors
- 1.2 Cops, Private Eyes, and Plumbers
- 1.3 Very Long, Flowing Hair
- 1.4 Unkempt, shaggy, or long hair
- 1.5 Good Goatees
- 2 Villains
- 2.1 Fu Manchu Mustaches and/or Wispy Beards
- 2.2 The male Evil Twin
- 2.3 Communists and Other Cold War-era Baddies
- 2.4 Female Communists
- 2.5 The Toothbrush Mustache
- 2.6 The Pencil Mustache
- 2.7 The Handlebar Moustache With a Goatee
- 2.8 Mutton Chops
- 2.9 Slicked-Back Hair
- 3 Anti-Heroes
- 3.1 Soulpatch
- 3.2 A Five O'Clock Shadow or Perma Stubble
- 3.3 The Pompadour or Reagent
- 4 Varies
- 4.1 The Mullet
- 4.2 None at all
- 4.3 Curly Hair
The Obi-Wan and Other Mentors
These type of characters often have a neat full beard — especially if they are a wise old wizard.
- Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter)
- Gandalf (The Lord of the Rings)
- Belgarath of the Belgariad has a neatly trimmed beard. His "brothers" (fellow disciples of the God Aldur) also have beards — long and wispy for the twins Beltira and Belkira, and unkempt birds-nest for Beldin.
- Another professor, Maximilian Arturo in Sliders.
- A famous example in Commander William Riker's beard in Star Trek the Next Generation which not only signaled the moment when he was a Kirk clone no more but also created the trope Growing the Beard marking when the series started improving to become the television classic it would be.
- Claude's beard on Heroes, though this may have something to with being a Homeless Hero and a Homeless Pigeon Person. It was also to make him less obviously The Doctor.
- Bobby Singer on Supernatural.
- The entire stock fantasy race of Dwarves, usually priding themselves on the fullness and thickness of their beards and sometimes styling them elaborately.
- Older Than Print: The first example is Merlin, King Arthur's famous advisor, who is always drawn/filmed/described as having a long beard, which was copied by Gandalf and Dumbledore.
- Subverted by the BBC series, which depicts Merlin as a clean-shaven teenager.
- Popular depictions of Jesus typically portray him with a thick beard and long hair.
- Velen and Antonidas
- And Medivh
- Both Gorion and Elminster from Baldur's Gate have the wizard beard variety.
- Dragon Age: Origins recruiting Warden, Duncan.
- Gordon Freeman rocks a goatee so badass that the G-Man thought it was cool enough to keep, despite being a cold, logical person, and practically owning Gordon's soul.
- Ezio Auditore da Firenze from the Assassin's Creed series. Since we meet Ezio when he is seventeen and see the rest of his life, we also see the development of the beard.
Cops, Private Eyes, and Plumbers
These type of characters are pretty likely to have a Thick Moustache' or Porn Stache, though this is the hardest hair to pin down. This is something of a Justified Trope insofar as before 1980, the dress codes of some urban police departments mandated mustaches for men, as there was a perception that they made cops look older and more authoritative. Even now "moustache" is a French slang term for "policeman." In British shows senior military personnel will often have a moustache for similar reasons, probably a Kitchener-style handlebar.
- Soichiro Yagami in Death Note (with the exception of the live-action movies) - subject to a Lampshade Hanging about he is "obviously a cop".
- Kogoro Mouri, Juzo Megure and Heizo Hattori in Detective Conan. Also Yusaku Kudo, despite not being a policeman and only VERY rarely acting as a detective.
- Detective Walsh from Strangers in Paradise.
- Commissioner Gordon in most versions of Batman.
- Thomson & Thompson (a k a Dupont & Dupond) from Tintin. One has a slight curl to his mustache, which seems to be the only way to tell them apart.
- Captain Bosch from C.H.U.D. had a moustache.
- Captain Gordon from Godzilla: Final Wars sported a badass moustache, which suited a character so awesome he only spoke English in a Japanese movie (that and he was willing to take on Godzilla in a fistfight).
- In the live-action Transformers film, Barricade's holographic driver was a police officer simply called "mustache man" by the filmmakers.
- In the Twilight movies, Charlie Swan has an awesome 'stache.
- Magnum, P.I. had Magnum himself — Tom Selleck's mustache is legendary.
- Rembrandt "Crying Man" Brown from Sliders, a musician with more soul than any mere soulpatch could carry.
- The Brigadier, in Doctor Who.
- Monk's Captain Stottlemeyer sports this distinctive mustache.
- Lampshaded on That 70s Show when Kelso joins the police academy and grows a mustache purely because of his new career choice.
- In keeping with some of the more "mildly trustworthy" points on the scale illustrated, Ray Carling from Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes has a droopy moustache which could either be full or the "RS Jake" horseshoe, and he is often rather more on the Cowboy Cop end of things for Sam Tyler or Alex Drake's comfort.
- The Beastie Boys all wear fake mustaches in their video for "Sabotage", which parodies cop shows of the 70's/80's.
- Mario and Luigi are two of the more iconic mustachioed heroes, as a simple mouth on the primitive game sprites wouldn't show as well.
- In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, "Stache" is the statistic with the functions normally associated with Luck.
- Kai Kitamura from Super Robot Wars Original Generation. The Super Robot Soulgain also sports a metal moustache, though its pilot Axel Almer doesn't sport one. And yes, he's still a military man.
- Colonel Stephon Ely, from the Crusader series of games, has a thick moustache and chomps a cigar (which he never actually smokes, probably because the actor didn't).
- Every cop in Axe Cop, along with ever-present aviator shades.
Very Long, Flowing Hair
This type of hair is a sign of femininity, both in women and in White Haired Pretty Boys. In anime it's a staple of the Yamato Nadeshiko. Add some perfectly level bangs and it also suggests an air of courtly, stately grace.
- Subverted in Code Geass, where several female characters have hair like this (Nunnally, Marianne, Shirley, Euphy), but the one with the longest and wavier hair is... a cute little boy named V.V.
- In the Forgotten Realms books, Drizzt Do'Urden is a heroic white-haired pretty boy.
- On Smallville every single one of Clark's love interests have long hair, Lana in particular; contrast with his Unlucky Childhood Friend Chloe, whose hair never goes past her shoulders.
- Morgana and Guinevere from Merlin. In Guinevere's Rags to Riches story-arc she goes from practical buns to long, flowing hair, whilst Morgana's Jumping Off the Slippery Slope arc takes her from shiny, flowing tresses to a bird's nest of messy hair that seems to include dreadlocks.
- In RPGs, it's usually the White Magician Girl who has the longest tresses.
- Midna from The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess wears her hair in a very long ponytail (so that it can act as a hand); she is, however, a Tsundere instead. In her true form, she has an odd form of Princess Curls, which are joined at her neck like bonnet strings.
- As stated, almost every Disney princess ever, though averted by Snow White and Cinderella who have shorter 30's and 50's hairstyles, and Tiana from The Princess and the Frog who lives in The Roaring Twenties.
- Subverted by the perceptions of the ancient Spartans, who considered their warriors as the pinnacle of masculine beauty with their muscles and long hair. There's a story that Spartan law required men to wear their hair long, as it made the handsome ones look even more handsome and the ugly ones even uglier. Before fighting, they would often get their hair styled as part of their preparation for death.
- Although according to legend this was because after a certain war against their eternal rivals Argos the Spartans, who up until then had worn their hair short, started to wear it long while it was vice versa for the Argives.
- In The Middle Ages, long hair was a mark of a free man; serfs had to wear it short. In Bavaria, "G'scherter" (shorn one) is still an insult meaning something like "ignorant peasant".
Unkempt, shaggy, or long hair
This type of hair on a man often indicates that he is a Nature Hero, or otherwise close to nature.
- Inuyasha (who is half dog-demon)
- Wolfriders in Elf Quest.
- Jerom from Suske en Wiske (Spike and Suzy) has shaggy long(er) hair, and a beard, he's also a time-displaced caveman.
- Wulfgar of the Forgotten Realms books has shaggy, long hair.
- Tarzan is usually portrayed as having long hair due to living in the wild, though curiously he rarely has a beard.
- The Disney one has long dreadlocks.
This type of facial hair is rare, but not unheard of. They often indicate that the character is mysterious or an outsider.
- Both Comicverse and Movieverse versions of Tony Stark have been known to rock the goatee.
- Doctor Strange occasionally sports a goatee. All his incarnations (except for a Dork Age version best forgotten) have had some variety of 'stache.
- DC Comics hero Green Arrow has a big bushy goatee (but he was clean-shaven on Smallville, where only Lionel Luthor may have facial hair).
- Oliver Queen started out clean-shaven in the comic-books as well. When Denny O'Neil started writing him and he became a hippie (Queen, that is, not O'Neil. I don't think there ever was a point where O'Neil was not a hippie), he grew his goatee in part to signify that he was 'hip' and 'sticking it to The Man.
- That, and it would offer a nice contrast with his clean-shaved temporary partner Hal "Green Lantern" Jordan.
- Oliver Queen started out clean-shaven in the comic-books as well. When Denny O'Neil started writing him and he became a hippie (Queen, that is, not O'Neil. I don't think there ever was a point where O'Neil was not a hippie), he grew his goatee in part to signify that he was 'hip' and 'sticking it to The Man.
- Jack and Will both sport goatees in Pirates of the Caribbean. The "van Dyck" style goatee was popular in the era the films were set.
- Regenesis's Carlos Serrano, who's also balding.
- Can we count Lord Vetinari as on the Hero team?
- No, but you can count the heroes on the Vetinari Team...
- It's debatable whether he's a good character, an Anti-Hero or just a Magnificent Bastard, but Willy Wonka sports a goatee. At least, in the book he does: both films have him appear clean-shaven.
- Worf of Star Trek the Next Generation brought honor to the goatee and little else.
- Telemachus Rhade from Andromeda is another Warrior Poet who carried a goatee.
- Ronon Dex of Stargate Atlantis is another goateed Proud Warrior Race Guy.
- Ironically, the very goatee styled as "Very Evil" in the picture above sat one the only non-evil character in his entire universe: Mirror Spock, who was at worst an anti-hero and more likely a hero with a bad start.
- Marcus Cole of Babylon 5 has very villain-typical black hair and facial hair, despite being heroic, self-sacrificing, and occasionally outright silly.
- Gordon Freeman of Half-Life fame mixes the mentor's full beard with a more compact cut when battling oppression and Eldritch Abominations.
- The Prince in the Prince of Persia series sports a goatee, but is a fairly classic hero much of the time.
- Paul Denton, brother of the hero of Deus Ex.
- Hinjo from The Order of the Stick sports a goatee. He's also a paladin and is consistently portrayed to be a reasonable, sensible and above all noble person.
- In Justice League Unlimited, John "Green Lantern" Stewart both shaved his head Bald of Awesome and grew a goatee.
- Real life king of Sweden Karl IX (ruled 1604-1611) not only sported a van Dyck, he also arranged the hair on his balding head in the shape of a cross. If this is good or bad hair will be left unsaid, he DID order a bloodbath to get rid of some rivals...
Fu Manchu Mustaches and/or Wispy Beards
This type of facial hair is usually on characters who are villains and/or are Asian.
- Since it was based on Journey to the West, so do quite a few villains from the original Dragon Ball.
- Mandarin, a Yellow Peril supervillain from the Marvel Universe, has a very prominent Fu Manchu.
- Ra's al Ghul — One of Batman's arch-nemeses.
- In The Authority, Asian dictator/terrorist Kaizen Gamorra is depicted with one.
- Fu Manchu, obviously, has the Fu Manchu moustache (but only since the film adaptations, not in the original books)
- David Lo Pan had the stereotypical Asian long and wispy beard.
- Ming the Merciless - the name says it all.
- Pai Mei in Kill Bill is one of the few Asian heroes with one. Granted, he was a dick.
- And in his original appearances in 60s kung fu flicks, he was an outright villain.
- Indeed, Bill describes him as a Retired Monster who's massacred hundreds for reasons as petty as not returning to his friendly nod. He just happens to be mentoring the morally grey protagonist for awhile.
- For what it's worth, not returning a superior's bow WAS and is a really big deal in many Asian cultures, but massacring hundreds of peaceful monks was still a thoroughly evil reaction.
- As did half the villains from Monkey.
- In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "A Witch Shall Be Born", Constantius makes up for not being Asian by being the Complete Monster and even twirling his mustache.
- Many Klingons sported one, especially in Star Trek the Original Series.
- Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta Ruddigore is probably the master of this trope: Sir Despard Murgatroyd, the evil Baron of Ruddigore, usually has an evil goatee. Upon his Heel Face Turn, he shaves it off, whilst his brother Ruthven grows a twirly mustache and does a simultaneous Face Heel Turn, also donning a monocle and top hat. Upon Ruthven's Heel Face Turn at the end, he discards these. Also, Ruthven's sidekick Old Adam's beard usually gets much scruffier when he is evil.
- Averted in the web comic The Order of the Stick, where Soon the paladin sports a Fu Manchu.
- Evil Chancellor Magon from Sluggy Freelance sports one of these. Torg even uses it as one of the criteria for determining whether he's a bad guy.
- Fructose Riboflavin of The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob sports a wispy goatee in his true form, though he disguises himself frequently.
- Unicron has a Fu Manchu, which is appropriate for a Planet Eater.
- Scourge from the original Transformers Generation 1 has a metal Fu Manchu, as do his clones (made by Unicron).
- Averted as well with Wreck-Gar, however.
The male Evil Twin
This type of character will invariably have a Goatee.
- Yoki, a former Corrupt Bureaucrat and Dirty Coward of Fullmetal Alchemist has one, although he later becomes more likable; Buccaneer also wears one, but he's an incredibly badass good-guy.
- In the Transformers Shattered Glass series, the mirror universe Rodimus Prime has a goatee. It looks about as silly as it sounds.
- In one film version of Romeo and Juliet, the villain Tybalt sports a soul patch that ends up having the same effect as a goatee would.
- The evil goatee originated with one of the most memorable episodes from Star Trek the Original Series, Mirror Mirror, with a trip to a Mirror Universe of evil duplicates. Spock's duplicate had the goatee; ironically, he was the only one who wasn't really evil.
- About 13 minutes into DS9 episode "Defiant", we see William Riker (a good guy; see way, way, above) pull off the sides to reveal himself to actually be... William "Tom" Riker, his transporter-produced twin, who now wears an ("evil") goatee instead of a ("good") full beard! Oh no!
- Another "Mirror, Mirror" homage comes from Mystery Science Theater 3000, in which Crow gets transported into an alternate dimension version of Deep 13 run by an Evil Mike. Evil Mike has a goatee.
- The Master from Doctor Who sports a goatee in the incarnations played by both Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley.
- In the Stargate SG-1 episode "Point of View", Apophis in the Alternate Universe had a goatee, as did Teal'c (who, in this universe, was still his First Prime). In the fourth season, "our" Teal'c himself sported a goatee (actually it was more like a chin caterpillar) for a short while.
- Dr. Eggman from the Sonic the Hedgehog series has a moustache, and so does some of his robots.
- The Order of the Stick played this one straight: Elan's evil twin Nale sports a goatee — and Haley, being Genre Savvy, suspected he was evil well before it was actually revealed for exactly this reason. Nale later takes advantage of this by cutting off his own goatee and sticking it to Elan's chin with Sovereign Glue. Nale also later admits he sports a goatee in honour of this trope, saying it is not just for show, it is a part of the Linear Guild's whole evil opposites theme.
- Dave Davenport of Narbonic had one, blurring the line due the the main characters being villain protagonists.
- In this Darths and Droids webcomic, Governor Sio Bibble, Queen Amidala's trusted advisor, is described as having a goatee, although it actually seems to be just a beard. Based the description, the players immediately decide he can't be trusted. Bonus points for linking to both this page and Evil Chancellor.
- In the evil mirror universe of Dinosaur Comics, the protagonists all have goatees. Even being big reptiles. The arc begins here.
- Gaia Online's T-Bone, the mechanically-separated incarnation of Timmy's inner evil. Evilest act to date? Trying to have Santa Claus, who was a cow at the time, cooked for Christmas dinner.
- Codename: Kids Next Door contains the same Homage in the Mirror Universe episode, giving the 10-year-old evil leader negative Number 4 a goatee: "It makes me look e-e-e-eviler!"
- This was subverted in Futurama, when Bender's goateed twin Flexo turned out to be the good Bender, while Bender was the evil Bender.
- Likewise, everyone from the evil parallel dimension in the South Park episode "Spookyfish" has a goatee, including the alternate version of Cartman, who is much nicer than the normal Cartman.
- In Megas XLR's yet-another-parody-of the-Star-Trek-episode episode "Rearview Mirror Mirror", the evil alternate Coop has, you guessed it, a goatee.
- Then again, so does regular Coop. Evil Coop's primary difference was that he was skinny.
- The Fire Lords of Avatar: The Last Airbender all have goatees. Ozai really should have read the Evil Overlord List Item # 35...
- In one episode of Sushi Pack, the Pack was sent to a mirror universe where all the males had goatees and all the females had heavy eyeshadow, regardless of whether they were good or evil.
- Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: Buzz's evil twin.
Communists and Other Cold War-era Baddies
These type of characters will often have a Lenin open goatee, Stalin full mustache, or a full-on Marx beard.
- "By the Whiskers of Kürvi Tasch!" was the stock required greeting in Borduria, the Tintin series's expy for Eastern Europe. The Josef Stalin full handlebar moustache (black and red?) was also the symbol of the state party.
- Many James Bond supporting characters fall into this, although no Big Bad in any Bond film was bearded until Hugo Drax in Moonraker.
- In Hitchcock's Topaz, most Cubans had Fidel Castro's beard, and even uniform, maybe suggesting a personality cult or anything. They were sometimes hard to differentiate: the main villain, fortunately was red-bearded. Fortunately, female Cubans did not sport beards.
- Yuri in the video game Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 can almost be mistaken for Lenin. That is, if you ignore the tattoo and the psychic amplifier bolted to his head.
This type of character may have helmet hair.
- For example, the Soviet agent in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
- Not quite the same role, but the same do: Sydney Bristow has such a wig when she pretends to be a Russian soldier.
- Every Romulan, female or male, in the entire Star Trek universe
The Mad Scientist
This type of character wears the wise wizard's long beard, but unkempt from mania.
- Dr. Morbius of Forbidden Planet, who turned his id into a jealous monster.
- Dr. Reinhardt in the Disney movie The Black Hole - he gave the crew of his science vessel a fate worse than death when they wanted to go home.
- Daniel Curry's character Shepherd in the movie C.H.U.D. had a scraggly beard and wild hair, and yet was one of the film's heroes. He ran a homeless shelter.
- Brent Spiner's character Dr. Brackish Okun in Independence Day gets gradually less clean shaven and much wilder hair.
- Gandalf's former peer and friend Saruman after his Face Heel Turn. The Movie even shows how his beard gradually dishevels itself.
- Because it fits best here... there's an MS Ting of an Internet post based around the link between facial hair, evolution, and aliens. Read it here.
The Toothbrush Mustache
This type of moustache is so linked to Adolf Hitler that the only person that mainstream media will dare show wearing that style positively nowadays is Charlie Chaplin. Even Chaplin took advantage of that growing stigma in his lifetime when he made fun of the Führer in The Great Dictator. Otherwise, if you see a character with such a mustache, outside of older versions of Spider-Man's J. Jonah Jameson, assume he is one of Those Wacky Nazis:
- Kosaka Shintarou from Witch Hunter Robin however is a good guy with the mustache.
- Soul Eater features a librarian who looks suspiciously similar to Charlie Chaplin.
- Many characters in the Anthology Comic The Beano have toothbrush moustaches including the Teacher from Bash Street Kids, Dennis the Menace's Dad and Minnie the Minx's Dad. All of these characters originated from the 1950s and nothing is often said about these moustaches they are just there.
- Older versions of J. Jonah Jameson from Spider-Man has this kind of moustache.
- Zorg in The Fifth Element takes the Hitler 'stache and puts it on his chin.
- Oliver Hardy had a mustache like this.
- Roger Rabbit wears a moustache like this on one of his cartoon posters.
- Barty Crouch has one of these in the Harry Potter books, for some reason. He's a textbook Well-Intentioned Extremist, and he had massive political ambitions in his heyday... it doesn't gel very well, but it does gel just enough to make you wonder if Rowling is just that riled up about government excesses.
- One of Isaac Asimov's short mysteries averts this when a distinctly admirable high-school principal is described as having "a brief moustache of the kind Adolf Hitler had put out of fashion for at least a generation."
- The kitten pictured on the picture of Horace Horsecollar helping with Disney California Adventure's expansion has a nose that looks like this kind of moustache. Here is a bigger picture.
- The website, Cats That Look Like Hitler, features cats and kittens that look like Adolf Hitler, or at least have toothbrush moustaches.
- In China, a trimmer version of this moustache is viewed as a stereotype of Japanese people, especially of Japanese soldiers from World War II.
- This style is depicted in the Tintin comic-strip album "The Blue Lotus."
- This kind of moustache is featured as one the options for facial hair for creating Miis on the Nintendo Wii.
- It was also included as a wearable item in the Nintendo DS version of Animal Crossing.
- Mr. Spacely from The Jetsons has this type of moustache.
- Mr. Peebles from Magilla Gorilla has this kind of moustache too.
- Captain Zog from Sidekick.
- The Adolf Hitler caricature duck from the Looney Tunes Wartime Cartoon "Ducktators".
- The teacher from The Oblongs.
- Sam Waldron, the mobile shop owner from Postman Pat.
- Roger, the skinny cat in the two Open Season sequels, looks like he has an off-center variant of this kind of moustache.
- Real Life warlord Robert Mugabe seems to take this style to its not-so-logical extension: a philtrum 'tache. Looks as weird as it sounds.
- For some reason, Michael Jordan chose to rock this look in a Hanes commercial.
The Pencil Mustache
This kind of moustache is a classic look for black hat villains in Wild West serials. Extra points if it's curled into twin spirals. Other than Hercule Poirot, it's hard to imagine anyone but a villain or a Smug Snake with one of these.
- Bumbling Dad Richard Moore/Mouri Kogoro of Case Closed has such a mustache (in his younger days, he looked a bit like Phoenix Wright).
- Parodied by Sheriff Buford T. Justice in the Smokey and the Bandit movies.
- Rhett Butler
- Subversion in The Film of the Book of Bram Stokers Dracula: one of the good guys sports one.
- Two of the villains played by Harvey Korman in Mel Brooks' movies have thin mustaches: Hedley Lamarr in Blazing Saddles and Dr. Montague in High Anxiety.
- Bertie Wooster once grew one of these, hoping it would give his appearance more diablerie. Jeeves told him it looked like a stain of tomato soup.
- Oddly, inverted in LazyTown by the hero Sportacus, who wears a pencil mustache so sharp it looks like it could double as a scalpel.
- This is further inverted by Harmless Villain Robbie Rotten, who is clean shaven to the point you wonder if the actor isn't wearing a rubber mask (actually, he kind of is). His otherwise meticulous good grooming is also a bit off on the evil-dress-o-meter, but being in a dark purple color scheme helps.
- Schneider on One Day At a Time.
- "Pencil Thin Mustache" by Jimmy Buffett is a paen to the heroic pencil mustache wearers of 1940s cinema, particularly detective Boston Blackie and anybody played by Errol Flynn.
- Andrew Ryan from Bioshock.
- One short for Dexter's Laboratory had Dexter artificially grow a super beard and pair up with Action Hank to fight a cartel of evil bearded men, all of whom use "beard fu". After beating the rasta and long bearded henchmen, Hank and Dexter face off against the Big Bad french chef, who along with his pencil mustache had a sheathed sword-sharp goatee!
- Captain Hook is usually portrayed with a wax-tipped pencil mustache, with or without the curls. See Disney's Peter Pan and the live-action Hook.
- Dr. Scientist from Jimmy Two-Shoes has a pencil-mustache.
- In the Superfriends episode "Universe of Evil", a pencil-mustache is worn by, of all people, the evil counterpart of Robin, the Boy Wonder.
- John Waters, hero to some, villain to others.
- The pencil mustache was an iconic trait of Vincent Price.
- Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has one. Though he didn't really become a full-blown villain until he had his army attack groups of protesters against his regime.
The Handlebar Moustache With a Goatee
The Handlebar Moustache can be good or bad, but combined with a goatee is the mark of the traditional Vaudeville Villain.
- Bill "the Butcher" has an extravagant handlebar moustache, villainous Bowery Boys stovepipe hat about 16 inches long, and sideburns. Fear the 'stache!
- Dastardly Whiplash, of course.
- The much mocked beard of choice for Captain Zhao in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- In Teen Titans, Satan himself has blood red skin, the face of an old traffic accident, long white hair, and menacing white mutton chops!
- Shinobu Sensui, Yu Yu Hakusho.
- Sousuke Aizen of Bleach slicks his hair back after The Reveal.
- Brian J. Mason and later Largo in Bubblegum Crisis.
- Ax Crazy, Sinister Scythe-wielding, White-Haired Pretty Boy Hidan from Naruto has his hair plastered to his head with industrial strength gel.
- Patrick Bateman, psycho, American Psycho.
- Gordon Gekko, greedy businessman, Wall Street.
- Dracula, blood-sucking vampire.
- Agent Smith, The Matrix.
- Averted to a degree by Cleric Preston from Equilibrium: he starts out as a bad guy with slicked hair, does a Heel Face Turn, and keeps his Badass hair.
- Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. In the books his hair is even described as "otter-like."
- The "halfbreed" demon Balthazar in the film adaptation of Hellblazer (Constantine) wears his hair slicked back very precisely.
- Draco Malfoy in the first two Harry Potter movies.
- Matt Dillon in My Bodyguard
- James Spader's drug dealer character in Less Than Zero.
- Michael Corleone, after he becomes head of the family in The Godfather Part I and II.
- The psychopathic killer Leo Rook in Lighthouse has this, despite having been captured by the police for over two months.
- Artemis Fowl, because he's a Villain Protagonist (sort of).
- In Louise Marley's The Maquisarde, the dictator of the Northern Hemisphere, a Card Carrying Villain, has hair that is described as "plastered to his skull."
- The oily and arrogant Cardassians of Star Trek.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer you can usually tell how villainous or sympathetic Spike is meant to be in a given episode by where his hair is on the spectrum between tousled (Anti-Hero) and slick (Complete Monster).
- Not to mention Angel/Angelus. Angelus has...More menacing hair.
- Mark Trail villains are easily recognized by their hair: sideburns, long hair, mullets, anything but short and trim and they'll get a face full of fist sooner or later. Frequently called on by The Comics Curmudgeon.
- As does Matt Engarde from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All. To go with his evil scar and his glass of something that looks like chocolate milk but probably isn't.
- On the topic of Ace Attorney, Manfred von Karma's Beethoven-ish hairstyle probably counts.
- In Devil May Cry, Vergil, Dante's evil twin and main villain of the third game, has slicked-back hair. The game even includes two dramatic cutscenes of him slicking it back after it gets out of place, and seeing him do this in UMvC3 heralds incoming pain.
- Seifer of Final Fantasy VIII, a Rival Turned Evil.
- Inverted in Fire Emblem 7, where Hector sports slicked-back hair but he's Hot-Blooded and one of the three heroes of the game.
- Made fun of in this Onion article.
- Rick Point Blank: Don has slicked back hair AND a goatee. He must be bad news.
- Vlad Masters from Danny Phantom. Tied back to a ponytail, but slicked back nonetheless.
- Scar from The Lion King has a Slicked-Back mane.
- Morbius the Living Vampire from Spider-Man (who started out as a Tragic Hero antagonist, but became a Nineties Anti-Hero) is occasionally shown with one, most notably in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
- Private William Hudson had one.
- Future Hiro from Heroes has one of these. Unlike the energetic past Hiro, though, he fights in a dystopian future, and has stained his hands with enough blood to count as an Anti-Hero.
- Tommy Oliver, the most renowned Sixth Ranger from Power Rangers history, who through the early seasons went back and forth between good and evil, also sports an anti-heroic soul patch.
- Tony Almeida of CTU had one during his entire run on the show, from good guy to antihero to Almost-Dead Guy to Back From the Dead Guy. In fact, "Soul Patch" was his nickname in all the Television Without Pity recaps.
- Marcus Fenix from Gears of War also sports a soul patch, and is also a soldier from a Sci Fi dystopia.
- Jak acquired one in the switchover from the relatively innocent and idealistic Jak and Daxter to the much grittier Jak II Renegade, with corresponding change in personality.
- Jason Spades in the webcomic Last Res0rt has one, though he straddles the line between "dystopian hero" and Jerkass.
- White Noise sports an impressive tuft himself, but it just seems to highlight his Badass Grandpa qualities.
- Duncan of Total Drama Island has one and qualifies as a Type V. Alejandro has one, but he's a Card-Carrying Villain (not to mention younger than he looks even without more facial hair).
- George Strombolopoulous, former Muchmusic VJ and current host of the CBC talk show The Hour, sports one of these. Since The Hour is seen by some as a transparent attempt by the CBC to appear hip and draw in younger viewers, George's anti-hero status is disputed.
A Five O'Clock Shadow or Perma Stubble
This kind of facial hair is a classic way of saying "gritty".
- Wolverine's face is pretty consistently fuzzy while rarely ever being clean shaven. One almost wonders if it's one of his mutant powers. Yet he never acquires a real beard beyond those sideburns.
- Wolverine is also notable for his super-hairstyle, which always forms two neat peaks at the sides, just like his mask. He once disguised himself beyond recognition simply by shaving his head.
- As a matter of fact, his hairstyle is a function of his regenerating ability, according to some sources. Notice how his hair returns to normal after he's reduced to a skeleton.
- In the Weapon X limited series by Barry Windsor-Smith, the crew at Weapon X remove all of Logan's hair before the procedure. However, just a few minutes in they notice it's growing back at a highly accelerated rate.
- The mercenary drow elf Downer, titular Anti-Hero of the comic by Kyle Hunter, sports tousled hair and shaggy side-burns despite the fact that D elves usually have no facial or body hair. But then, Downer is a tough-as-nails loveable rogue and proven loser who only survives by wit, reflexes, dark gallows-humour and a lot of fast-talking his way out of situations (except when he actually dies, which happens a couple of times, and is brought back from the dead by magic, usually to punish him further).
- Indiana Jones apparently shaves when lecturing students but gets instant perma-stubble when adventuring.
- Max Carrigan of Across the Universe isn't precisely in the antihero category (more like the leftovers in the Two Guys and a Girl setup) but features something resembling perma-stubble in his earlier scenes and something closer to a scruffy hippie beard in the later.
- In the films of The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn (though definitely a hero) sports perma-stubble for the first two movies, before growing a full beard in time to be crowned King of Gondor. Though one wonders how he managed to remain stubbly without growing a beard whilst wandering the Wild, presumably without a razor.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold Luke Danes of Gilmore Girls has a stubble that is scientifically proven to always be 5.5 millimeters long.
- The titular character from The Adventures of Brisco County Jr always had a five o'clock shadow. In fact, it was once included in his description on a wanted poster.
- Gregory House of House usually has this. In fact, being shaved in a 5th season episode was an indication that he is a bit Out of Character.
- Dr. Cox of Scrubs sometimes falls into this one. Usually head first.
- Wesley Wyndham-Pryce of Angel gained a permanent stubble when he Took a Level In Badass and started Dating Catwoman. Lampshaded in that he had a reason to suddenly stop shaving: his throat had been cut, and the wound rather got in the way.
- Jack Shepherd, from Lost, not only has five o'clock shadow, it DOESN'T GROW FOR 108 DAYS. After he leaves the island, though, he is shown with a Beard of Sorrow after three years. Think of all the money he saves on razors.
- They did actually show him shaving with scavenged razors at least once while on the Island. Most of the men of the show had surprisingly permanent shadows for a long time, although some did advance into full on beards.
- Shawn Spencer from Psych nearly always has stubble as well as an amazing head of hair in which he takes great pride. He and Gus also judge other people by their hairstyles.
- Bollywood Homicide:
- Lassiter: At this point it looks like an accident.
- Shawn: Like your hair.
- Lassiter: Really? Down to hair jokes, now?
- Extradition British Columbia:
- Shawn: Lassie.
- Gus: Wow.
- Shawn: Is your hair starting its own cult?
- Any Given Friday Night at 10pm, 9pm Central.
- Shawn: Lassie, your haircut is worse than Joyce Hyser's in Just One of the Guys.
- Bollywood Homicide:
- Dean Winchester and Castiel have this on Supernatural.
- The legendary Solid Snake, from Metal Gear Solid is known for his excellent five o'clock shadow.
- As with many other things, he most likely got it from Snake Plissken.
- Averted with Henry of Silent Hill 4, whose perma stubble just makes him look sloppy, and Walter's unshaven mug adds to the Ax Crazy.
- Jecht from Final Fantasy X and Dissidia Final Fantasy bears heavy facial stubble throughout both games.
- Chuck Norris' perma-stubble is so tough it can sand granite to a fine finish.
The Pompadour or Reagent
This hairstyle is long associated with greasers in America, and with Delinquents in Japan.
- Yusuke and Kuwabara in Yu Yu Hakusho
- Parodied in the Excel Saga episode "Butt Out, Youth!", where all the delinquents have ridiculous pompadours. The toughest of them all, Binbou, has a pompadour that extends about fifteen feet.
- Ditto Amamiya Ryu aka Bokuto no Ryu from Shaman King, who not only has a six-foot pompadour, but also a six-foot-long pompadour-shaped motorcycle helmet. He's also VERY pissed off when one of his rivals cuts his pompadour in half.
- Hanamichi Sakuragi from Slam Dunk has one of these in the first part of the series. He shaves it later as self-punishment for the loss against Kainan.
- Inverted by Franky from One Piece. It also functions as Expressive Hair.
- Himegawa Tatsuya of Beelzebub has an impressive example although some believe it has to be a wig. He denies this.
- Aizawa also sports a smaller version.
- Yazan Gable has a blonde pompadour, which earned him the Fan Nickname of "Space Beavis and Butthead".
- Waldo "D.R." Dobbs from DR and Quinch is very much the delinquent and sports an exaggerated pompadour.
- In at least one case, Spider-Man 3, the eponymous hero fixes his hair to match the evilness imparted by his badass new black suit. Taken from a thread discussing the movie: "Evil hair. Because that's what people do when they give in to the forces of evil and hatred. They mess up their hair."
- The King of All Cosmos had a pompadour as a teenager, as do most of the teenage boys you roll up in the game.
- Crimson Viper from Street Fighter IV boasts a pompadour. Not surprisingly, she possesses a very duplicitous nature, working as a ruthless Double Agent for both S.I.N. and the CIA.
- Winston Payne, of all people, has a pompadour in the flashback chapter of Ace Attorney (but loses it in spectacular fashion).
- Some of the Date soldiers from Sengoku Basara have pompadours. It should be noted that this is feudal Japan we're talking about.
- There is, in fact, one of The Simpsons Halloween specials wherein Snake, the notorious white trash criminal, gives his hair to be donated after he has been executed. It is given to Homer, and the Evil Hair makes him kill Apu, Moe, threaten Bart, and otherwise epitomize Bad.
- Beavis has one.
- Billy's father Harold in The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy has a pompadour that actually houses his brain.
Harold: (to a Viking, believing him to be Billy misbehaving) Young man, you can be rude, break furniture, run up phone bills, shave the cat, and even harass your mother! But when you mess with the pomp, it's GO TIME!
Power Hair is the usual symbol of a female politician.
Crew Cuts are associated with male Yanks With Tanks and other militaries.
- Unless you're Kotomine Kirei.
- Or Ryo or Shin/Cye. If you are the latter, you can actually make it look cute.
- Or half the male cast of GoLion/Voltron, especially Akira/Keith.
- Or David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust.
- Or Mike Awesome
- Or Solid Snake
- Or Captain Planet and the Planeteers.
- Or Lance "Avalanche" Alvers
- Or Mordecai and Rigby.
- Or Brock Samsom.
- Or Keith. (Best to not tell him that, though)
- Or Johnny Weir
- Or Evegni Plushenko
- Or you sell popsicles in Chile. The Chilean name for the mullet is "Choco Panda", because of one of the most popular popsicles there... usually sold by guys who sport mullets.
- Plus, stating something like that sounds like something an Alpha Bitch would say...
None at all
- Bald of Awesome
Curly hair, particularly if black/dark brown, often suggests evil and/or Ax Crazy tendencies in adults. However, it can also convey extreme innocence, particularly if seen on Children Are Innocent or Hobbits.
For the Innocent Side
- According to Tolkien's Appendices to The Lord of the Rings, almost all Hobbits have curly hair.
- Athos, from the Musketeer trilogy. He's about as Lawful Good as you can get.
- Hermione Granger of the Harry Potter book universe, who is not innocent, but definitely is Lawful Good. Straight-haired Emma Watson, however (whose hair has been getting smoother year by year!), plays her in the film franchise.
- Nyssa in Doctor Who.
- OK, the Fourth Doctor doesn't quite count as innocent, but definitely on the side of the good guys.
- He's definitely one of the more light-hearted incarnations, however. And probably the most iconic.
- The Eighth Doctor has rather long curly locks, and starts out quite innocent and childlike due to an unfortunate spot of amnesia. Even when he starts getting his memory back, he's still very pacifistic and forgiving. Another aspect of his appearance which emphasizes his innocence: he walks around barefoot for quite a few scenes (even though he apparently does like shoes).
- OK, the Fourth Doctor doesn't quite count as innocent, but definitely on the side of the good guys.
- Blake and Gan from Blakes Seven both have curly hair and are both (initially) the most innocent characters - Gan is literally incapable of killing anyone in a Life Is Cheap universe and Blake remains a comparatively innocent idealist in a crew comprised of convicted criminals - he is the only one innocent of the charges against him.
- Chuck Bartowski from the NBC series Chuck sports curly hair, and either an ear to ear smile, or a sad kicked puppy face.
- Fran Drescher of The Nanny belongs firmly in this category.
For The Evil Side
- Rue in Princess Tutu has wild, curly hair, which makes sense as she's the Dark Magical Girl. However, she later goes through a Heel Face Turn and keeps the curls.
- Count Cain's Jezebel, who is an Ax Crazy antagonist and possesses a childlike innocence.
- Bellatrix Lestrange, as played by Helena Bonham Carter in the Harry Potter films.
- Male example: Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
- Magenta, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, is a spectacular example.
- Likewise, Dr. Frank N Furter himself has curly hair. In one scene, we even see his hair in curlers.
- The vampires Lestat and Claudia of Interview with the Vampire both have long blond/e curly hair. This is a stark contrast to Louis, the closest thing to a "good guy" in the film, who has flowing dark hair.
- In the film, becoming a vampire actually causes Claudia's hair to curl itself.
- Rupert of Hentzau
- Johnathan Teatime from Hogfather has boyish blond curls... and is also an assassin so depraved he scares the other assassins.
- Claggart in Billy Budd is described as having "silken jet curls". You can tell he's Chaotic Evil.
- Lynda Day of Press Gang.
- Drusilla, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- While certainly not Ax Crazy, the curly-haired Sixth Doctor from Doctor Who was one of the Doctor's nastier and more unstable incarnations.
- Mad Meg, and a number of other Insane Heroines in the Gilbert and Sullivan tradition, are usually portrayed with spectacularly frizzy curly hair.
- Sabine from The Order of the Stick is one of the very few curly-haired characters in the comic, although it's her red leather outfit that actually tips off the Genre Savvy Haley to the fact that she's evil...
- Darla Dimple from Cats Don't Dance, who's a thinly-veiled evil version of Shirley Temple. She has an... interesting (if painful-looking) way of curling it, too.
- It is worth noting that the last United States President with any facial hair whatsoever is William Howard Taft, meaning our last century of Presidents has been clean-shaven.