Created By: Pichu-kun on November 18, 2012 Last Edited By: Pichu-kun on May 31, 2017
Troped

Childish Tooth Gap

A character missing teeth, or having a gap between their teeth, is used to showcase them as either as being young or cute

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Trope
"He is a protagonist with the hair of a Japanese anime and the tooth gap of every kid from recent Western Animation."

A character's dental state will often be used to show their personality in fiction. A young child will often have missing teeth, typically the front ones, if they are supposed to be sweet and energetic or innocent. It may also be used with children who have had their baby teeth replaced to showcase someone who is troublesome or reckless, to the point where they knocked out or otherwise lost their adult teeth. A gap between teeth (not due to a lack of teeth) may be used to make a character look more innocent or youthful.

Compare to Youthful Freckles, another design trait used to showcase a character's youth.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Subverted with Aiko from Oyasumi Punpun. She is introduced as a little girl with missing front teeth. Punpun is instantly attracted to her and conjures up an image of her as a cute Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Aiko in reality is a Broken Bird, and it just gets worse as the manga continues. This is played darkly late into the series, where the now-adult Aiko gets a tooth knocked out which makes her look similar to how she did when introduced. Within fifteen chapters she's Driven to Suicide.
  • One Piece: Sabo in his younger years was shown with a missing tooth gap. While it might've been a naturally detaching milk tooth, the fact that he prefers to live in the streets may also contribute to that.
  • Child!Fuka is shown to be missing a tooth at the beginning of ViVid Strike! (it's implied that it got knocked out in a fight with some bullies). By the time the story proper starts, the gap is gone.

    Comic Books 
  • In the 2016 version of Runaways, eleven-year-old Molly Hayes is depicted as having a prominent tooth gap. This annoyed some fans, as this was supposed to be the Earth-616 version of Molly, whose dad was a dentist.

    Films - Animation 

    Magazines 

    Music 

    Video Games 
  • Lodo from Yo-kai Watch is a young looking youkai who is childish and likes milk. He has a tooth gap. It could also be related to his hygiene, as the youkai he is based on looks like a dirty, old man and gives people bad luck.
  • In Tetrobot And Co, Maya has missing teeth in the photographs from her childhood.
  • The goofy and childish Rabbids from Raving Rabbids all have buck-teeth with gaps in them.

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 

Community Feedback Replies: 53
  • October 2, 2013
    DAN004
    Don't use just "Missing Teeth" then.
  • October 2, 2013
    Snicka
    • Gollum from The Hobbit has only six teeth, because of his unhygenic lifestyle, as well as his corruption from the Ring. The Film Of The Book changes it to nine.
  • October 2, 2013
    RandomSurfer
    • The Simpsons:
      • Lisa's missing baby tooth (which she just lost) is interpreted as evidence that Homer & Marge are bad parents and their kids are taken away from them.
      • Played straight with Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel, who has missing teeth and is a bumpkin
      • Gummy Joe, one of the workers at the Nuclear Plant, credits their dental plan with saving his one tooth.
  • October 3, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • Jebidiah "Cookie" Farnsworth from Disney's Atlantis The Lost Empire has only a scattered few teeth in his head, befitting a nutty old codger who believes the Four Food Groups are "beans, bacon, whiskey and lard."
  • September 22, 2014
    DAN004
    • One Piece: a good number of pirates in the verse have missing teeth, and they all tend to be unsavory. In particular, Big Bad Blackbeard has some of his front tooth missing.
  • March 13, 2016
    Arivne
    • Capitalized the title.
    • Examples section formatting
      • Added blank line(s) for readability.
      • Deleted unnecessary blank line(s).
      • Namespaced work name(s).
      • De-capitalized (Nuclear Plant).
  • September 23, 2014
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • Darla Dimple's manservant Max from Cats Dont Dance is a huge, hulking brute in a dinner jacket that Darla sends to terrorize and crush anyone she finds inconvenient. Max's teeth are a grab-bag assortment of sizes, shapes and directions that contrast his stoic, implacable demeanor.
  • March 12, 2016
    DrNoPuma
    ^ Darla herself has a gap in her teeth as well, to highlight her seemingly innocent demeanor.
  • March 13, 2016
    Orbiting
    • Type B in Full House, when Rebecca gains one for Jesse's Imagine Spot about having their marriage in Nebraska, with imaginary!Rebecca instantly turning into a stereotypical farm girl.
  • March 13, 2016
    DAN004
    Ain't type labels prohibited these days?
  • March 13, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    Are they? I was re-editing and going to only make Type A the trope but I looked at the replies from before and most were Type B. I didn't feel like making two separate YKTTW's for such similar tropes...
  • March 14, 2016
    Arivne
  • March 14, 2016
    poptartspower
    Film - Animated 1. Immature

    • Inverted with Hiro Hamada from Big Hero 6 who has a gap on his front teeth and although he is the youngest of the group, he is also the leader and the most mature of the team.
  • March 17, 2016
    eroock
    Used in this series.
  • May 25, 2016
    StrixObscuro
    Another for the "immature" section:

    Comic Books
    • In Runaways 2016, eleven-year-old Molly Hayes is depicted as having a prominent tooth gap. This annoyed some fans, as this was supposed to be the Earth-616 version of Molly, whose dad was a dentist.
  • May 26, 2016
    TonyG
    For the "poor hygiene" section:
    • In The Ren And Stimpy Show episode "Ren's Toothache", Ren refuses to brush his teeth and they all rot and fall out as a result.
  • May 26, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    This needs a new name, fyi, to fit the fact it's two tropes.
  • May 27, 2016
    DAN004
    ^ or a split.
  • May 28, 2016
    eroock
    http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ben_tooth_gap1.jpg
    Films — Animated:

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  • May 31, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    ^^ Mmm... Maybe? They seem awfully similar.
  • May 31, 2016
    DAN004
    This fits Immature
    • One Piece: Sabo in his younger years was shown with a missing tooth gap. While it might've been a naturally detaching milk tooth, the fact that he prefers to live in the streets may also contribute to that.
  • June 2, 2016
    DJfrog99
    Type one, Played For Laughs: The MC Bat Commander from The Aquabats and The Aquabats Super Show
  • June 7, 2016
    BOFH
    Video Games
    • In Tetrobot And Co, Maya has missing teeth in the photographs from her childhood.
  • June 13, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    I'm splitting it into two tropes.
  • July 16, 2016
    alnair20aug93
  • July 16, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    That's weird. I had edited a Spongebob example, thus the bump. I guess it didn't save.
  • July 20, 2016
    GitarooHero
    Inverted with Edd from Ed Edd and Eddy; he's the most intelligent and mature of the trio, despite having a rather large gap between his two front teeth.
  • September 7, 2016
    mightymewtron
    Cody and Mike in the Total Drama series have this, likely to show their Adorkable and vulnerable side.
  • October 9, 2016
    eroock
    http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tekkonkinkreet_tooth_gap.jpg
    Anime:

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    .

  • October 10, 2016
    Leporidae
    Anime & Manga Example: Rin loses her front tooth in volume 3 of Bunny Drop. Daikichi (her much older nephew/ adopted caretaker... it's complicated) mentions that it makes her look adorable, though he's worried she might get picked on because of it.
  • October 13, 2016
    Gamermaster
    • Child!Fuka is shown to be missing a tooth at the beginning of Vivid Strike (it's implied that it got knocked out in a fight with some bullies). By the time the story proper starts, the gap is gone.
  • November 1, 2016
    poptartspower
  • November 25, 2016
    intastiel
  • November 25, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    ^^^^ I saw Usagi Drop and don't know if Rin counts because it was a brief thing that happened in the final episode/pre-timeskip.
  • December 2, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    So... What image works best?
  • December 21, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    No, seriously, I have seen the image get changed like four times already.
  • January 2, 2017
    sgamer82
    • In the The Dresden Files book, Skin Game, Harry comes face to face with a little girl named Maggie. Among the details Harry notes in his first-person narration is a gap in the top row of her teeth, which he admits is "kind of adorable." In the scene that follows, we see that little Maggie has managed to maintain a degree of Cheerful Child about her despite traumatic events that centered around her three books prior.
  • January 22, 2017
    Malady
    Note that folder coding works in TL Ps now, so you can convert A Cs to folders...
  • January 29, 2017
    eroock
    I don't like the current image. This should be run through Image Pickin' once launched.
  • February 12, 2017
    Malady
    ^^ Folderize...

    Is it now Just Launch It Already?

    WesternAnimation.Steven Universe:

  • Josuke Higashikata from Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Jojolion has a gap in between his front teeth that plays into his innocent amnesiac look. Fans call him "Gappy" in part of this (the other half is to differentiate him from another Jojo of the same name).
  • May 3, 2017
    eroock
    A mod recently nuked Eye Scar after launch because "we do not want any more meaningless appearance tropes." — Can a mod approve/disapprove this draft before us wasting time again on launching something that will get revoked later?
  • May 3, 2017
    sarysa
    Magazines

  • May 3, 2017
    sarysa
    5 year old necro, lol. I've added mine and folderized it...if anyone else wants to do the launch honors...

    Shoot, it was made by a still-active troper. Sorry pichu!
  • May 3, 2017
    Getta
    @ eroock: this trope has meaning. What's your objections again?
  • May 19, 2017
    eroock
    I don't have any. But I also didn't have any against Eye Scar before it was shot down by the powers that be. Just being cautious here.
  • May 19, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    So, launchable?
  • May 19, 2017
    Getta
    ^^ Well on the contrary, whatever that trope was going to be, I don't think a scar in the eye is tropable by itself. It has to have a reason... which may be covered by some other tropes already.
  • May 31, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    I'm gonna launch this in a few hours.
  • May 31, 2017
    intastiel
    Some potential indices: Rule Of Cute, Tropes Of Innocence, Youngsters. Also, would Youthful Freckles be a Sister Trope?
  • May 31, 2017
    eroock
    Image has to go through IP.
  • May 31, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    Deleting the image then.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=f6q4zgrkfw3s6ef660paoglw