Created By: Pichu-kun on June 28, 2016 Last Edited By: Arivne on January 12, 2018

Dorky Buck Teeth

Characters have buck teeth to show that they're unattractive or at least average.

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Characters who have buck teeth are rarely ever portrayed as particularly attractive. At best they can be seen an "average" while at worst they're depicted as goofy looking or outright ugly.

"Buck teeth" refers to when two upper middle incisors stick out from the rest of the teeth. This can occur for a variety of reasons in Real Life. In fiction however it's always the dorky or unattractive characters who have it. This is likely due to buck teeth going against the fashion ideal of perfectly straight, perfectly white teeth.

Within the last several decades, buck teeth has been used more often than before to accentuate a character's adorkable-ness rather than them just being goofy looking. Buck teeth can make a character look cute and young if drawn a certain way.

A Little Bit Beastly character might have buck teeth if they're based off something like a rabbit or a horse as a part of a Furry Reminder. These however tend to be treated cutely, though they might look adorkable.

Compare Asian Buck Teeth, in which East Asians are stereotypically depicted with large buck teeth, and British Teeth, for when British people are depicted with misaligned teeth. Contrast to Childish Tooth Gap, which is misaligned teeth that are used to showcase a character's youth and usually are meant to look cute.


Examples:

Comic Books
  • Tara Markov, the original Terra, from The New Teen Titans had buck teeth during The Judas Contract arc. Terra was a Jerk Ass mole disguised as an average teenage girl. Her buck teeth were dropped in future appearances and flashbacks. Her clone Terra II, who is suggested to be actually be Terra brought back from the dead, lacked them as well.
  • Archie from Archie Comics had buck teeth early on. This was eventually dropped. He was a Kavorka Man with a geeky looking appearance, however they scrapped the buck teeth and over time. Archie is nowadays presented as looking above average attractive, especially in reboot.
  • Green Lantern: Ch'p is an alien who resembles what humans consider either a squirrel or chipmunk. So while not attractive, he is definitely considered cute.

Film — Animation
  • Olaf from Frozen is a snowman with buck "teeth". He's an adorkable and plucky sidekick character.
  • Tow Mater from the Cars franchise has prominent big buck teeth with a gap between them. He is seen are nerdy and adorkable.
  • Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas. Max takes her to meet his father for Christmas but he is embarrassed by Goofy. At the end Mona laughs and reveals that she too has buck teeth, just like Max and Goofy. Mona is a cute and attractive dogface woman.

Literature
  • Hermione from Harry Potter has buck teeth, and is regarded as unattractive. However, in Goblet of Fire, a potion makes them grow extremely large, and she has them shrunk down to smaller than they were before, so she is no longer buck-toothed.

Live-Action Television

Puppet Shows
  • The main character of Süsü, a sárkány is a friendly dragon with large buck teeth that make him look silly and goofy.

Video Games

Western Animation
  • Goofy has large buck teeth, which makes him look, well, goofy.
  • Recess has Gretchen Grundler, who has prominent buck teeth, and is also the smartest and most nerdy kid at her school.
  • This is a basically a recurring feature with most animated Nickelodeon protagonists:
    • The Fairly Oddparents:
      • Timmy is one of the least popular kids in his school, is bullied, and has prominent buck teeth that are frequently joked about.
      • In "Mr. Right" when Timmy dweeb-i-fies Tad and Chad, they instantly get this teeth for a change.
    • The titular character from SpongeBob SquarePants has prominent buck teeth with a Childish Tooth Gap in-between. Out-of-universe he is adorkable but in-universe he is seen as nerdy.
    • Portia Gibbons from The Mighty B! averts most of the trope, being an Alpha Bitch Valley Girl. However, her unattractive personality does come off in her unattractive buck teeth.
    • The Loud House
      • The entire family has buck teeth, as a family resemblance trait, all the way down to baby Lily. Her only tooth is a buck tooth. However: mother Rita, Lori, and Leni are all portrayed as very cute to extremely attractive. Luan, the comedienne of the family is the only one who has corrective orthodontic. Lincoln has a chipped front tooth on top of the family trait.
      • One of Lincoln's friends Liam. - Zero-Context Example
  • Inverted in one The Far Side cartoon, where a beaver freelance shame squad is ice skating around a beaver chanting "Doesn't have buck teeth, doesn't have buck teeth, doesn't have buck teeth!"
  • Big Mouth: Missy, the adorkable and nerdy girl who has a huge crush on Andrew has noticeable buck teeth.
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipmunks and Chipettes are considered cute to each other and humans alike.
Community Feedback Replies: 35
  • June 29, 2016
    AHI-3000
    • Recess has Gretchen Grundler, who has prominent buck teeth, and is also the smartest and most nerdy kid at her school.
  • June 13, 2017
    eroock
    You might be looking for Crazy Teeth
  • June 28, 2016
    Snicka
    • Goofy has large buck teeth, which makes him look, well, goofy.
  • June 28, 2016
    DAN004
    "Nerdy" isn't exactly the right word.

    Unattractive Buck Teeth maybe.
  • June 29, 2016
    Koveras
    Loser Buck Teeth? Works that portray buck teeth as stereotypically nerdy traits often do so as part of the negative portrayal of nerds in general.
  • June 29, 2016
    AHI-3000
    Dorky Buck Teeth?
  • June 29, 2016
    Koveras
    ^ That works for me.
  • June 30, 2016
    eroock
    So a funny overbite is not this trope?
  • June 30, 2016
    alnair20aug93
    Not sure if Spongebob counts. He has buck teeth and is considered a dork by the people of Bikini Bottom; one episode has him trying to enter The Salty Spitoon. Although he has shades of Keet and Adorkable in the mixture.
  • June 30, 2016
    Snicka
    ^ I think he counts.

    Also, for Puppet Shows:
    • The main character of Susu A Sarkany is a friendly dragon with large buck teeth that make him look silly and goofy.
  • June 30, 2016
    Snicka
    ^ I think he counts.

    Also, for Puppet Shows:
    • The main character of Susu A Sarkany is a friendly dragon with large buck teeth that make him look silly and goofy.
  • June 30, 2016
    Exxolon
    Dwayne Dibley, the "de-cooled" version of The Cat from Red Dwarf has these.
  • July 1, 2016
    Arivne
    Compare Asian Buck Teeth, in which East Asians are stereotypically depicted with large buck teeth.
  • September 5, 2016
    shokoshu
    Regarding the Fairly Oddparents entry, not only Timmy qualifies. Most blatant example: "Mr. Right". When Timmy dweeb-i-fies Tad and Chad, they instantly get this teeth for a change.
  • September 5, 2016
    Owlivia
    Literature
    • Hermione from Harry Potter has buck teeth, and is regarded as unattractive. However, in Goblet of Fire, a potion makes them grow extremely large, and she has them shrunk down to smaller than they were before, so she is no longer buck-toothed.
  • September 5, 2016
    acrobox
    can't this just be folded into Geek Physiques.
  • September 5, 2016
    DAN004
    ^ examples of those are more along the lines of ppl having almosy complete physique of a geek. This one focuses on one trait only.
  • September 5, 2016
    zarpaulus
    Picture of Red Dwarf's Duane Dibbley for possible page image.
  • January 2, 2017
    Chabal2
    Inverted in one The Far Side cartoon, where a beaver Freelance Shame Squad is icrcling around a beaver chanting "Doesn't have buck teeth, doesn't have buck teeth, doesn't have buck teeth!".
  • January 13, 2017
    longWriter
    The Red Green Show: Harold Green is the lodge's resident dork, and his teeth are one of his main features.
  • January 13, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
  • June 13, 2017
    Skylite
    • Comic Books/Squirrel Girl has big buck teeth but is regarded almost universally as super cute in universe. Somewhat true at a meta fan level as well.

    • The Wild Thornberrys: Eliza Thornberry has big buck teeth with braces.
    • The Angry Beavers both have buck teeth because they're beavers. Only Daggett gets grief for being dorky of the two of them.
    • Bugs Bunny averts the trope. He's a rabbit so comes by them naturally, but he's also a Trickster, which cancels out the dorkiness.
    • Looney Tunes: Mac and Tosh manage to avoid the unattractive and dorky label by being excruciatingly polite and speaking with a posh English accent.
    • Tom And Jerry has a short in which he is hypnotized into thinking he is a mouse. He sprouts doofy buck teeth.
  • June 13, 2017
    Bisected8
    Correction to the Harry Potter example; it was a spell cast by Malfoy, not a potion.
  • June 13, 2017
    Getta
    Addition to Spongebob example:
    • The "weenies" in the (Super) Weenie Hut Jr. are depicted as nerdy-looking with prominent incisors.

    (Forgot the episode's name)
  • June 13, 2017
    eroock
    Shouldn't this be merged with Crazy Teeth?
  • June 13, 2017
    Getta
    ^ yes
  • October 13, 2017
    Skylite
    • The Loud House: The entire family has buck teeth, as a family resemblance trait, all the way down to baby Lily. Her only tooth is a buck tooth. However: mother Rita, Lori, and Leni are all portrayed as very cute to extremely attractive. Luan, the comedienne of the family is the only one who has corrective orthodontic. Lincoln has a chipped front tooth on top of the family trait.

    • Grern Lantern: Ch'p is an alien who resembles what humans consider either a squirrel or chipmunk. So while not attractive, he is definitely considered cute.
    • Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Chipmunks and Chipettes are considered cute to each other and humans alike.
  • November 2, 2017
    Arcana4th
    • Big Mouth: Missy, the adorkable and nerdy girl who has a huge crush on Andrew has noticable buck teeth.
  • November 19, 2017
    TitoMosquito
    • This is a basically a recurring feature with most animated Nickelodeon protagonists:
  • January 3, 2018
    TitoMosquito
    I don't think it should merge with Crazy Teeth, since Dorky Buck Teeth sounds like a specific trope.
  • January 5, 2018
    eroock
    ^^ Bessie Higginbottom has weird teeth but it's not the buck teeth. Also, are Lincoln Loud's teeth meant to make him look less attractive as required for this trope?
  • January 5, 2018
    Arivne
    • Examples section

    Zero Context Examples have been marked as such. They need more information to show how they fit the trope. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context.
  • January 5, 2018
    TonyG
    • Jane Porter in Tarzan is depicted with buck teeth, highlighting her quirky, adorkable personality.
    • Gaston's wacky sidekick Lefou from Beauty And The Beast has a pair of big, goofy buck teeth.
  • January 6, 2018
    Snicka
    @oneuglybunny Dale from Chip And Dale is a good example indeed, but you're misusing Closer To Earth - that is when a a secondary minority character is shown as more intelligent and competent than the non-minority protagonist.
  • January 12, 2018
    WaterBlap
    This seems like an appearance trope. "Weird Teeth + trait(s)".
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