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WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

And I envy the rose

That you held in your teeth, love,

With the thorns underneath, love,

Sticking into your gums.

What accessory could you possibly add to up your sex appeal 20 notches, show your sensitive side, and look really cool? A rose, of course! It's a flower, so it's beautiful and romantic like you, but it has thorns, and you're no wuss. Hold it between your teeth, if you want to up your sex appeal a few more notches. Perfect! And in some cases, it can be weaponized into a Whip It Good and/or petal storm!

Generally, this is used to indicate a character is Bishonen, a girly but badass man, (Casanova-like) or a vamp.

Compare and Contrast The Tragic Rose.

Male Examples


 Baku: There he goes again, making flowers appear out of thin air!

  • James/Kojiro in Pokémon, who seems to have no use for it other than emphasizing his good looks, and sometimes would display it during the Team Rocket motto, though otherwise not much else. It was present at the very beginning of the series and started to pop up more frequently towards the latter half of the Diamond and Pearl arc, and was brought back for real in a relatively recent episode. Turns out it's not a real rose, but a key capable of opening any door. That sure would have come in handy before...
    • Drew/Shū also does this, going as far as using a rose themed Pokemon for crying out loud...
  • Rio from Samba De Amigo often carries a red rose.
  • George from Paradise Kiss gives Yukari one when he first meets her. He must be particularly fond of them, since the Pimped-Out Dress he has Yukari model for the high school fashion show has a good number of them on it.
  • Tamaki in Ouran High School Host Club often carries a rose around, though he's mostly a parody of this character type. Ouran relies heavily on this trope. In fact all the characters have a symbolic rose colour attached to them. Tamaki's is white, Haruhi's is red, Kauru orange, Hikaru blue, Honey pink, Kyoya's purple and Mori dark blue.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena has several characters who carry around roses regularly (it being a primary symbol of the series), though it's mostly Touga who fits the general character type associated with it. Let us not forget Akio who at one point actually bites a petal off a rose. At least there is no question of where all those roses come from, as they grow everywhere on the campus, along with some special types grown in the Rose Garden.
  • Dante in Devil May Cry 4, when using the Lucifer weapon, becomes some sort of demonic flamenco dancer, and he triggers the explosion of the Lucifer's shards by tossing a rose (that the game insists is significant only in its insignificance). Video.
  • Kenshin from Sengoku Basara is often seen surrounded by dozens of blooming roses or petals, though it's probably just from Kasuga's point of view. Used to great effect in the anime during his fight with Nouhime.
  • George de Sand from G Gundam. The rose symbolism also carries over to his Humongous Mecha, called the Rose Gundam, which fires rose-shaped laser cannons. And he once used roses as shuriken while fighting on foot.
  • Treize Khushrenada of Gundam Wing has his tub filled with rose petals, decorates his office with roses, smells roses during his monologues...
  • Both of the above owe something to flamboyant Neo Zeon Ace Pilot Mashymre Cello from Gundam ZZ.
  • The Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories manga has Marluxia do this, naturally enough, since his power is over plants.
  • Pisces Aphrodite from Saint Seiya. If you thought this one belonged under the female examples, no one will blame you.
  • Brutally played with in a Valentine's Day episode of The Simpsons: Homer ends up getting stuck under a plane that flies through a rose plantation, winding up absolutely covered in roses. The plane then flies over the Simpson house and Homer gets stuck on the clothesline, and winds up spinning around and depositing the roses at Marge's feet. Homer then lands in front of Marge on one knee with a rose held in his mouth. Marge finds the whole thing romantic; Homer thinks he has a collapsed lung.
  • In this VG Cats strip, Raiden is shown with a rose between his teeth.
  • Max Galactica in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All used roses as one of his magician symbols. And Jean Armstrong in Trials and Tribulations had roses appear in his hand.
  • Mid-boss from Disgaea, especially in the anime version, appears to have the ability to pull roses out of thin air. One point in the anime he throws a rose in a blatant reference to Tuxedo Kamen, and the animation, sound effects and general feel of the scene reinforce it.
    • However, he has nothing on Master Big Star, who may as well have a bouquet surgically grafted to his hand for all roses he throws around.
  • In Mario Party 8, when Waluigi wins a minigame, he pulls a rose out of Hammerspace and poses with it.
  • Whoever looks upon Panther Caroso's rose shall meet their death!
  • Femio in Princess Tutu even has a servant to scatter rose petals on his wake. The trope is used as a parody, though.
  • Dudley from Street Fighter III tosses a rose as a taunt (and this can be used as an effective distraction in actual gameplay). In his 3rd Strike ending, it's revealed that his family rose garden is absolutely huge.
  • Jean Pierre in Street Fighter ripoff Fighter's History held a rose in his mouth and tossed it aside during his pre match fight pose.
  • Theo from Kaleido Star uses lots or roses in his stage act, which he throws at the audience and then slices with his whip.
  • Gackto from Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch usually has a rose, a glass of wine or both in hand.
  • Quite fitting for his character, Loveable Rogue Hawkeye from Seiken Densetsu 3 has an attack called "Dance of Roses" as his level 3 tech in his Wanderer class. He tosses a rose on top of an enemy, then rains down a series of slashes on the rose, dicing the enemy and sending rose petals flying everywhere.
  • Cold Feet (or maybe something else) involved a rose and James Nesbitt's naked backside.
  • Muraki Kazutaka in Yami no Matsuei has a thing for roses, at one point stating the symbolism of the roses he attempts to give to the main character as "eternal love", which just reinforces the point made throughout the manga that he's not someone one should mess around with.
  • Himuro Saeki in Hayate the Combat Butler.
  • Tatewaki Kuno from Ranma ½ often proffers roses (usually a single one, held in his mouth) to Akane during his rare, serious moments.
  • Creed from Black Cat often carries a rose, and this is taken to ridiculous extremes in the anime version, where his bath is full of roses. Also, he encloses a rose in the letter he sends to the hero. The hero is Not Amused.
  • Guiche from Zero no Tsukaima uses one instead of a wand, to complement his casanova appearance.
  • In Tales of Symphonia if Zelos is in his formal wear costume there is a chance that in battle his weapon will be a bouquet of roses.
  • Kenshin of Rurouni Kenshin subverts this in an artbook piece, which has the usual setup for him having a rose in his mouth, but it's actually a maple branch with a leaf. It makes sense in character, plus it's symbolic.
  • Daisuke Ono during his brief stint as Minoru Shiraishi's replacement on Lucky Channel.
  • Sebastian from Black Butler this motif from time to time, usually with a black rose to symbolise his demonic side. This is most notable in the second and third openings, but also in the second series, when he and Claude make their pact
  • The film Azumi features a long-haired, white-clad, psychotic biseinen who first appears holding a red rose, for no other apparent reason than to look cool.
  • As can be implied from his name, the Spider-Man mobster boss villain, Rose.
  • Gomez from the first Addams Family movie. Of course, he's the kind of person who'd enjoy a pierced lip the bad way.
  • France, from Axis Powers Hetalia. In the anime, as soon as he is introduced roses start to pop out from behind him.
  • Endrance, from the .hack//GU games, has roses on his hat. And is usually accompanied by rose petals during cut scenes. And his Avatar is sixty percent giant rose.
  • Dist the Rose from Tales of the Abyss does not magically pull said flower out in the game, but he does have a rose motif in his visual design and personality.
  • Jun Kurosu from Persona 2 fights with fortune predictions and flowers, including the aforementioned roses.
  • In Soul Calibur IV, Raphael's joke weapon is a rose.
  • In Fatal Fury, Spanish warrior Laurence Blood starts battles off by tossing a rose to his opponent, then shredding it with multiple sword swipes. This later evolved into an actual attack.
    • Fellow matador Vega would later steal this intro for himself, but made it even cooler by not moving at all as the rose was diced into smithereens.
  • Soukichi Banba (Big One) from the Super Sentai series JAKQ Dengekitai had the rose as his symbol. He could use them as throwing weapons, and always sniffed one before transforming.
  • Don Flamenco in Punch Out Wii sniffs a rose before the fight starts. In the NES version, he can be seen holding a rose with his teeth when he makes his entrance. In the Title Defense rematch, he carries around a black rose to show that he Took a Level In Badass.
  • Humorously used when Stephen Colbert had to get his photo taken for an Army ID when he trains to prepare for going to Iraq. He isn't allowed to smile, so on the second try he whips out a rose.
  • In one episode of Full Metal Panic Fumoffu, an elderly man thinks that Tsubaki and Sousuke are going to rape him. In his creepy envisioning of what he thinks is about to happen, roses are used as censors. Ick.
  • Sir Richard Rose, the Final Boss of classic SNES game Sunset Riders.
  • In Dissidia Final Fantasy, Firion carries with him a "wild rose" which symbolizes the Wild Rose Rebellion from his game, and his dream. Later on it turns out that the rose was created by Golbez to inspire him. Funnily enough, the rose changes hands quite a bit. Halfway through Cloud and Warrior Of Light's stories, Sephiroth steals it, Cloud takes it back, and it eventually gets back to Firion.
    • In the prequel, Dissidia 012, Firion and Lightning share the connection they both feel with roses (as Odin's summon crystal, which is possessed by Lightning in her game, is shaped like a rose), which causes sexual tension between them.
  • Sapphire: Boris's 'Blood Rose' attack. Which involves killing the victim by teleporting it into his/her heart.
  • In The Book of Amber, the first protagonist, Corwin, has as his emblem a silver rose. A brief mention is made of the fact that his cloak-clasp is a silver rose, but it's not mentioned again until the second protagonist, his son Merlin, finds a real, fresh-cut silver rose on Corwin's bedside table (even though Corwin was missing, presumed dead at the time[1]). Nothing is made of it because the series ends abruptly due to Author Existence Failure.
    • In the portrait introducing Benedict, he "leaned upon a lance about which was entwined a rope of flowers".
  • Johan Elites, who's Rei Ijuin's Expy in Mitsumete Knight.
  • In Shrek 2 Prince Charming takes this Up to Eleven by not only holding the rose with his teeth, but twirling it with his tongue, in the middle of a semi-wild dance with Fiona.
  • Possibly referenced by Alistair in a romance with a female Warden:

 Alistair: Here, look at this. Do you know what this is?

Warden: Your new weapon of choice?

Alistair: (jocular) Yes, that's right! Watch as I thrash our enemies with the mighty power of floral arrangements! Feel my thorns, darkspawn! I will overpower you with my rosy scent! (Sniff, sigh)...or, you know, it could just be a rose...

  • Flat the mouse, in Onegai My Melody, when he dispenses "sic-her-boy!" advices to Kakeru. He also mysteriously grows a mustache.
  • The handsome Magnificent Bastard Andrea Cavalcanti in Gankutsuou gives a bouquet of roses to Eugenie when he first meets her and continues to give them to her later on.
  • Yoshiki Hayashi in the 1994 anime version of the PV for the X Japan song "Rusty Nail". His anime avatar's weapon against hide's one-eyed monster was... a rose.
  • Mon Colle Knights's Count Collection tends to carry roses, which he personally grows in his castle garden. At one point he also holds one between his teeth in a typical evil charming pose, or at least to the best of his efforts, since he and the rose just got charred.
  • Karl Lichter von Randoll of Future GPX Cyber Formula has a tendency to throw roses, especially in one episode of the TV series, where he throws a white one at Asuka. His racing suit even has a red rose logo on the back.
  • Yoshimori of Kekkaishi has the ability to create facsimiles of himself, which he usually uses to take care of boring duties while he has a nap. For special occasions, he makes an ultra-hunky version of himself with Fabio hair and a rose in the teeth.
  • Kamen Rider Caucasus, the Big Bad Dark Rider from Kamen Rider Kabuto: God Speed Love, has his signature Black Rose, which somehow makes him look extremely menicing and refined at the same time. He also frequantly uses them as a silent Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner, holding one up before pummeling his opponent into oblivion.
  • President Snow is anything but Bishonen, but he has a greenhouse filled with roses, leaves behind roses as a warning to his enemies, and has done something to himself so that he permanently smells of roses--as well as of blood. The blood smell's actually natural: he tried to poison both himself and a rival, and since he didn't take the antidote quickly enough, he's got permanent mouth ulcers. The rose smell is intended to cover it up.
  • In Tales of Graces, Richard's level 1 Blast Calibur is called Vertex Rose.
  • In Wooden Rose, Aidan Thorne can conjure up roses from bare ground.
  • In Nip and Tuck, the bull's response to learning he's going out to stud is a rose between the teeth.
  • In Sinfest when you think you're a heartbreaker.
  • In Dan Abnett's Necropolis When the noble houses of Vervunhive place Ibram Gaunt in charge of the defense of their city, they give him a symbolic rose from House Chass's gardens. House Chass practices the art of cybernetic gardening, though, each plant a carefully-designed metallic object, so this is a steel rose. It saves his life when he's shot with a bolt gun point-blank (because it exploded next to him rather than inside him in what might, or might not, have been Divine Intervention.
  • In Tekken, Lee Chaolan can be customized to hold a rose between his teeth, fitting with his The Charmer persona.
  • Bleach: Beauty-obsessed Charlotte's release is called "Reina des Roses" ("Queen of the Roses"). We see why when he unleashes his ultimate attack: a black thorn bush inside which a single white rose blooms, killing the opponent trapped inside. The attack is designed to symbolise his aesthetic of beauty equalling strength.

Female Examples

  • Instead of James/Kojiro, mentioned above, Jessie/Musashi of Pokémon has, on at least one occasion, held a rose during an introduction.
  • Chie in Mai-Otome carries a blue rose around with her, which given her quasi-boyish appearance and the fuckton of Les Yay that she gives off in her first appearance, is likely playing off this trope.
  • Kodachi Kuno in Ranma ½, who's mostly The Ojou with sprinklings of The Vamp, carries around a black rose, no less.
    • She also summons up a veritable storm of black rose petals whenever she makes her dramatic entrance (and dramatic exit), covering the ground, the walls, the furniture, and the innocent bystanders, who complain about having to clean up after her.
    • Black rose bouquets as hidden bombs for sleeping powder and paralysis powder (and actual gunpowder, in one manga story) are also a favorite tactic.
  • Poison Ivy in Batman tends to do this at least once in every incarnation.
  • Charlotte from the Samurai Shodown games, borrowed from the Rose of Versailles series. Quite fond of roses, even catching them after winning when someone drops one from above for it. She tends to stab people a lot in the games.
  • Crusadermon of Digimon Frontier, as a prop and as a distraction (Her Scarlet Tempest technique creates a storm of petals from one flower to obscure the enemy's view of her exit.) Of course, She's a Man In Japan.
  • The Devilstar assassins of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman use rose-bombs at times. The Devilstar that killed Joe Asakura's parents tried to kill him with one.
  • The song "Masochism Tango" mentions that the singer, a man,

 "Env[ies] the rose

That you held in your teeth, love

With the thorns underneath, love

Digging into your gums"

  • From Ah! My Goddess, we have Peorth. Her angel is even named Gorgeous Rose.
  • Shinku in Rozen Maiden, and pretty much everyone else in the show who is one of the titular dolls will have some sort of rose symbolism associated with them. Kirakishou is listed as the example on the anime's main page.
  • Aki Izayoi from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, who was once known as the "Black Rose Witch", her ace monster is a giant dragon made mostly of rose petals, and uses several rose-based cards.
  • In Soul Calibur II, One of Ivy's whip weapons is shaped like a rose. It is apparently favored by Ivy cosplayers.
  • Shirin in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de (including using roses as weapons). The flower is also referenced in her Image Song, "Hyouen no Bara no Fukou".
  • Rei Ijuin in Tokimeki Memorial.
  • Why did it take so long for... well, Lady Oscar de Jarjeyes to be added? She may be the Trope Codifier for the female version of this trope.
  • A rose is the special weapon for the Chibi, the Grass Guardian, in Guardians of Pokémon. This is a subversion of the usual character type, however, as she's the Token Mini-Moe of the group. (Then again...maybe this isn't a subversion after all).
  • There was a Full House episode where Becky was trying to distract a house guest of Jesse's. Unable to locate a rose to put in her teeth, she used a tulip.
  • Lady Rachel Alucard of the Blaz Blue is surrounded by rose motifs. Her stage is a rose garden, her Leitmotif is named "Queen of Rose", her battle aura is a rose in chains. And yes, she is often seen with them in cutscenes.
  • In Rule of Rose a red rose is a mark of the Rose Princess and by extension the Aristocrat Club. While the Princess doesn't initially seem like a character fitting to the trope, there is some development later in the game that does give her shades of it.
  • Alyssa of Gungnir wields a giant lance with a rose motif. Since she's a shy noblewoman rather than The Vamp, the roses are pink.
  • Beatrix from Final Fantasy IX is surrounded by rose imagery and her Leitmotif is called "Rose of May". This probably symbolises her status as a Lady of War: Beautiful, but with sharp thorns.
  • Koishi Komeji from Touhou has a few rose-themed spellcards, though fans tend to notice the Freudian-themed ones more.
  • Parodied in an episode of Full House. Becky, trying to convince some guy she was coming on to him, tried to execute the rose-in-the-teeth bit. However, no rose was available. She used a tulip instead.
  • Most versions of the Beauty and The Beast story involve the character of Beauty requesting that her father bring home a rose for her, which leads directly to her becoming acquainted with the Beast.
  • Princess Briar Rose, in the first Dark Parables PC game, lives in a castle with a recurring rose theme.

Other Examples

  • The most famous college football bowl game is called the Rose Bowl, played in the stadium of the same name. Teams that clinch a spot in this game tend to bring out roses in celebration, sometimes holding them in their hand or in their mouths.
  • Gaia Online has a series of rose items that a "character" can hold in their mouth.
  • Animal Crossing allows roses to be equipped as face items. Unlike other flowers, which are worn on the head, they are carried in the mouth.
  • Gertrude Stein: A rose is a rose is a rose ...
  • Dancers in Final Fantasy the 4 Heroes of Light hold a rose in their mouths instead of wearing a crown like other classes.
  • The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams practically overdoses on rose symbolism. The original owner of the rose tattoo is named Rosario delle Rose. His wife, who compares his skin to a yellow rose petal, likes to wear a rose in her hair and imagines the tattoo appeared on her breast when she conceived, which is perhaps why her daughter is named Rosa. The symbolism doesn't stop there.
  1. It does get established that more than one version of Corwin was around at the time, as well as the how and some of the why