Winning Smile YKTTW Discussion
The Smile That Wins Elections
The Winning Smile is a very specific type of smile, in that it's largely social in nature, rather than personal, unlike most of the Smile Tropes. As it's ambiguous name indicates, it's used to express that you are a "winner", and to "Win the Crowd". It's intended to be uplifting and reassuring. It says "I am confident", it say "everything's gonna be alright", it says "trust me". It has an aggressive, forceful edge (unlike, say, When She Smiles), and usually hovers one step away from smug. And it's the smile with the highest chance of being fake, even more so than the Un Smile. It's the smile you give to the cameras, and is a favourite of the Stepford Smiler, the Celebrity, the Gym Bunny, the Con Man, the Smug Super, the Lounge Lizard, stock photographs in corporate brochures, and toothpaste ads. A lot of people with a Gold Tooth in fiction will have a smile like this, which makes them seem more dishonest. Regardless of whether the teeth are metal or ivory, it may be emphasized with Audible Gleam and/or a Bishie Sparkle, resulting in a Twinkle Smile. Up for Grabs, Rolling Updates, Needs More Examples, etc. etc. Am I doing this right so far? Examples:
- Booster Gold uses it constantly in as part of his Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass policy.
- Discworld has Moist Von Lipwig, who uses it often and efficiently, together with the honest, steady gaze and the firm handshake that are the hallmark of the true liar.
- Naruto: Mighty Guy's is so quintessential◊ it curves back into parody. Complete with Bishie Sparkle. Co-inspirator of the trope page together with Moist Von Lipwig
- Used by every parody of Superman everywhere. The actual Superman tends to scowl a lot of the time, and when he smiles it's usually for personal matters.
- Doctor Horrible's Captain Hammer seems to wear it all. the. time.
- Gilderoy Lockhart from the Harry Potter novels. "Five time winner of Witch Weekly's most charming smile award."
- Monty Pythons The Meaning Of Life The Videogame: this is your prize for completing level 2.
>Congratulations, you've won a beautiful smile!
- In the finale for The Meaning Of Life movie, the Lounge Lizard has this sort of smile, as shiny and white as a toilet appliance.
- Steve Trevor, of Wonder Woman is supposed to have such a smile.
- Disney has many examples of these, both cheesy and genuine.
- In Aladdin, the eponymous hero sports the genuine sort often, especially in his "trust me" moments, but also the cheesy one when first revealed as "Prince Ali", complete with twinkle to underscore the smug shallowness. Jafar tries to sport this when in front of the Sultan, but given his extremely angular face it always comes off as traitorous.
- Prince Naveen from The Princess and the Frog has the shallow version going on: he's actually nice and gentle, but not at all trustworthy (not traitorous, just unreliable), and his world is actually falling apart around him from the very start of the movie.
- The Loveable Rogue male lead from Tangled wears a fake version of this smile during a lot of the first act of the movie. It's clearly shown that it's practically a reflex by that point, and it can get so cheesy it turns into gross. This is meant to tell the viewers that this man is very, very fake, and not trustworthy at all. Him dropping it and showing his hidden true self is marked as a Relationship Upgrade between him and the heroine.
- In the more classical Disney movies (Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty...), the Princes will wear that sort of expression as a matter of course, especially when meeting with their predestined love interests or when having fun.
- In Gurren Lagann, Simon is wearing this expression every time he saves his Love Interest. It's especially remarkable when, during a dramatic discussion, she reveals she's been kidnapped, and he reassures her that he'll definitely save her, no matter what, wearing a very gentle, very warm Winning Smile all the while... then as soon as the communication's cut, his expression radically changes into a Grin of Audacity, as his passion shifts focus from his love to his enemies, and the retribution he will bring upon them.