Green Skin Is Hideous YKTTW Discussion

Green Skin Is Hideous
Character is considered hideous or monstrous just for having green skin.
(permanent link) added: 2013-09-28 12:59:13 sponsor: LeighSabio (last reply: 2014-02-08 11:50:45)

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In fantasy works, green skin is often a shorthand for "hideous monster." As a result, some creators assume that green skin can stand on its own as a sign of hideousness without any other obvious deformities. Because of this, in some visual media, a supposedly hideous monster will be played by an otherwise normal-looking or attractive actor or actress in green body paint. Even in animated media, the animations for the monster will be mostly normal and similar to the other characters' except for a green skin tone. That's this trope.

A character who qualifies for this trope... 1. Has green skin 2. Is regarded as hideous or monstrous looking and... 3. Would actually look attractive or at least normal without the green skin.

Often a result of Adaptational Attractiveness, as if book versions of the stories exist, the character is often described with other deformities in addition to green skin. This trope can be used for any monster, although it is more often used for sympathetic ones than unsympathetic ones, and more often used for female ones than male ones.

Subtrope of Freakiness Shame, and can also be a subtrope of Gorgeous Gorgon. Compare Hollywood Homely, the mundane version of this trope. Green-Skinned Space Babe and Cute Monster Girl are often the unintentional result. For another trope about scary skin-tones, see Evil Albino. Compare also Little Green Men.


  • Elphaba in the stage version of Wicked
  • Most of the ogres in Shrek, Fiona especially.
  • The Wicked Witch of the West in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (and its movie equivalent, The Wizard of Oz) has green skin specifically because bad witches are ugly, while good ones aren't.
  • Medusa, one of the villains from Birdman, was a beautiful woman but for her green skin, which assumed the role of a Red Right Hand.
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