Created By: TheHandle on January 11, 2012 Last Edited By: TheHandle on January 18, 2012

Winning Smile

The Smile That Wins Elections

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Trope
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:

>Congratulations, congratulations,
>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.

Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • January 11, 2012
    TheHandle
    bump
  • January 11, 2012
    ThePope
    "Winnig"?
  • January 12, 2012
    foxley
    Gilderoy Lockhart from the Harry Potter novels. "Five time winner of Witch Weekly's most charming smile award."
  • January 12, 2012
    randomsurfer
  • January 12, 2012
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    Of course such a smile almsot always has Audible Gleam.

    • Steve Trevor, of Wonder Woman is supposed to have such a smile.
  • January 13, 2012
    Koveras
    I am pretty sure a lot of non-villainous examples from Psychotic Smirk rightfully belong here.
  • January 13, 2012
    CaveCat
    You misspelled "Winning" in the title.
  • January 14, 2012
    TheHandle
    Well, I did say it was up for grabs, but I appreciate the bumping. Fix'd.
  • January 14, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ You do know that YKTT Ws declared Up For Grabs from day one rarely get launched at all? ;)
  • January 14, 2012
    TheHandle
    ?! ... *gasp* *thump* do not want

    Well, no, I didn't know that, are there statistics or anything? I've been away for quite some time. Anyhoo, thanks for the feedback. But, seriously, why shoud it be so? Isn't this a collaborative work? Does there need to be a "Me Against The Music" situation? "THIS HERE IS MY IDEA, MY TROPE, AND I SHALL DEFEND IT AGAINST THE NAYSAYERS!" "You have my posts!" "And my bumps!" "And my edits!" and all the tropers and the posters looked up and asked "Is This Tropeable", and we said "NEIGH, frak off!". "How shall we frak off, oh lord?" "With This Herring." [Dramatized version of "Here's something I thought of. It's my responsibility to defend it." "That trope is nice, here's some examples, suggestions, bumps..." "That trope is no trope, it is crap." "How do we improve it" "LOL, I dunno." : honestly, hyperbole aside, is this how it works here?]

    (In case you were wondering, I am not high... Well okay, okay, I'm high on Charlie Sheen, does that count?)
  • January 15, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Wasn't there a series of chewing gum adverts that had this? Complete with a glint of light added to the closing shot of the smile, if memory serves.
  • January 15, 2012
    Arivne
    ^ Yes, they were for Orbit gum. Here's one of them.
  • January 15, 2012
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    In Booster Gold and Captain Hammer's case, I would also mention the so-called Winning Smile is also a cheesy smile.

    And on the subject of cheesy, there's Captain I Am Not Shazam Marvel, who smiles a lot. His Young Justice incarnation smiles the winning smile all the time because they're highlighting he's really a kid hanging out with the most powerful and awesome superhumans in the world and that is so totally cool. They're not cheesy, though; because he is always sincere and earnest.
  • January 15, 2012
    TheHandle
    Which Rapunzel? You mean Tangled?

    Oh. Yeah. His Winning Smile is the mother of all Winning Smiles.

    While on Disney, Jafar and Aladdin, Dr. Facilier and Prince Naveen, the four of them sport these on occasion, when trying to persuade their targets. Though Jafar's face is so angular it just don't work...
  • January 15, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    @ Arivne Thank you! I couldn't recall the brand.
  • January 16, 2012
    Arivne
    An actual glint of light from the teeth is Twinkle Smile.
  • January 16, 2012
    Surenity
    A lot of people with a Gold Tooth in fiction will have a smile like this, which makes them seem more dishonest.
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