Created By: TooBah on April 25, 2013 Last Edited By: TooBah on April 29, 2013
Troped

Mustache Vandalism

The drawing of a mustache, beard, or other features on a portrait.

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Falls under the Photography and Illustration index.

Seen It a Million Times, Rolling Updates.


Some people just can't leave well enough alone, especially if it's a work of art with a face. Mustache Vandalism is when a character, if they see a picture of someone they don't like, and it's within reach, draws a mustache, beard, or both on the picture. Often played with by having the picture be an actual person (but oddly, the one doing the drawing won't notice until the drawing is complete).

Decorations can include mustaches, beards, devil horns/tail, blacked-out teeth, spiky hair or the arrow through the head. If they especially hate by the person, it may be a Hitler-type mustache, accompanied by swastikas.

Generally a comedy trope, it can show the vandal to have carefree humor. Can also be used more seriously, to show mild dislike for someone. Compare Face Doodling, where this is done to a live person while they're asleep/unconscious. A milder sister trope to Dartboard of Hate.

Examples:

Film--Live Action
  • As in the book (below), the film version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe has Edmund drawing a mustache on the "statue" of a lion in the witch's courtyard. He later sports the mustache even after he's been brought back to life.
  • After being sorely tempted by native girl Wednesday, Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N. pulls out his picture of his fiance, Jane--only to find that the native girls have defaced it with a mustache and goatee (or maybe it's a Van Dyke?).
  • In Problem Child 2, Junior, a little jealous of the attention his adoptive father is giving Annie Young, decides to deface her picture in this way. He's found by Trixie, her daughter who is equal to him in being bad, who sternly warns him "I wouldn't do that if I were you." When Junior doesn't listen, Trixie floors him, says "Next time, you'll listen to me," and then draws a mustache on him with his own marker.
  • In Bedknobs and Broomsticks Paul does this to a clay bust, then accessorizes it with a top hat. See it at 2:41 in this video.
  • In Robot Jox, the protagonist has his poster vandalised this way (amongst others) for retiring after he's left traumatised when his Humongous Mecha crushes a stand full of spectators.

Literature
  • In the book The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the Herdmans are shown drawing mustaches on illustrations of Jesus.
  • In Emil and the Detectives, Emil is reluctant to approach the police and instead uses the help of other children. The reason is that a few weeks earlier he painted a beard and mustache on a statue, so he's afraid the police won't believe him.
  • In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Edmund draws a mustache on a stone lion. It's portrayed as malicious rather than funny, since he knows that it used to be a real lion.
  • In Good Omens, it's mentioned that one of the late Witchfinders used to draw mustaches and spectacles on all the witches and demons in the Witchfinder Army's collection of demonological texts.

Live-Action TV
  • Sesame Street featured a segment where muppet cowboys compare a "Wanted" poster of Cookie Monster with the actual Cookie Monster. When their suspicion peaks, Cookie Monster distracts them long enough to draw a mustache on the poster. The cowboys notice the disparity, and apologize to Cookie Monster for suspecting him. Cookie Monster amiably tips his hat ... and lots of stolen cookies tumble out. Mayhem Ensues.
  • In an episode of Lizzie McGuire, the cast gets issued their school yearbooks. Gordo rhetorically asks his friends what the first thing anyone does with their new yearbook is. Miranda and Lizzie say it's to draw a mustache on the gym teacher.

Newspaper Comics
  • Garfield does this to a picture of Jon, and when Jon demands for Garfield to fix it, Garfield draws a mustache on Jon's face as well.
    • Another example:
    Garfield: "I just drew a mustache on every picture of Jon in the house!"
    Jon (shows up): "I just drew a mustache on my face!"
    Garfield: "Spoilsport!"
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin's scheme to avoid getting attacked by Hobbes when he comes home by putting a dummy of himself in front of the door backfires, with Hobbes inviting the dummy inside and locking the real Calvin out. Calvin then overhears Hobbes asking the dummy: "May I draw mustaches on all the superheroes? I may? Oh joy!"

Video Games
  • The Room: The Game. If you go into rooms when you aren't supposed to you can see weird things happening, like Mark drawing a mustache on Johnny's picture.
  • In Punch-Out!! Wii, Aran Ryan's introduction video has him doodling a moustache onto a poster of Little Mac.
  • In Just Cause 2, you can do this to billboards of Baby Panay.

Visual Art
  • The dada artist Marcel Duchamp modified a copy of the Mona Lisa this way and gave it the title L.H.O.O.Q. (this is a phonetic rendering of "Elle a chaud au cul", meaning "she's a nymphomaniac").

Western Animation
  • In the title sequence of Phineas and Ferb, the title characters draw a mustache on what looks like a painting of Candace, until she pops her head out of the picture frame to yell, "Phineas!" Kind of odd, since vandalism really isn't the boys' style.
  • Scooby-Doo and Shaggy have done this many times, usually with the "painting/statue coming to life" variation.
  • Parodied in Family Guy episode "Love Thy Trophy". As Peter ransacks his neighbours' houses to find their supposedly stolen Trophy, he paints mustaches on each of their family portraits, and rubs out Cleveland's already existing mustache on his.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "One Bad Apple," Babs Seed does this to the Cutie Mark Crusaders during the musical portion of the episode.
    • Also, in "A Bird In The Hoof". Philomena sneaks around drawing mustaches on a Wanted Poster poster the Celestia's guards put up.
  • There's a famous Looney Tunes cartoon ("Daffy Doodles") with Porky Pig as a policeman and Daffy Duck as a mustache vandal. When Daffy finally gets arrested and imprisoned at the end of the cartoon, Daffy tearfully repents and promises he'll never draw another mustache... he'll draw beards instead.
  • This is the 'crime' committed in the Fillmore! episode "Masterstroke of Malevolence". Fillmore and Third must discover the identity of the vandal before the ink dries so the restorer can identify the brand of marker used and save the portrait.
  • The first thing Technus from Danny Phantom does as soon as he's freed from Danny's old game of Doomed is to open a paint program with a picture of Danny's crush Paulina and draw a mustache and massive glasses on her. Later, once Technus beams himself into the mainframe of the Fenton RV, he does the exact same to a picture of Jack Fenton.
  • The Tom and Jerry cartoon Touche', Pussy Cat shows Nibbles using an artist brush to paint a caricature of Tom Cat on a wall. When Nibbles realizes that Tom is glaring at him, Nibbles paints spectacles and a mustache on Tom's face.
  • In The Simpsons Movie Bart mustaches a Wanted Poster of Homer - now it looks just like Guy Incognito, who gets beaten & arrested.
    • Apparently this was ripped off from the Leslie Nielsen movie Wrongfully Accused--it has a scene where the main character defaces his wanted poster so no one will make the connection that it's him. Another character played by Nielsen inexplicably appears with the same features he drew on the picture, and is promptly arrested.
  • An episode of Recess has Principal Prickly do this to his own picture while subject to Hypno Fool (and thinking he's an 8 year old child). At the end of the episode he gets distracted by it (thinking he looks pretty good with a goatee) and forgets to punish the cast.

Community Feedback Replies: 38
  • April 25, 2013
    sgamer82
  • April 25, 2013
    tempestinateapot
  • April 25, 2013
    McKathlin
    Visual Art
    • The dada artist Marcel Duchamp modified a copy of the Mona Lisa this way and gave it the title L.H.O.O.Q.
  • April 25, 2013
    McKathlin
    I prefer the title Mustache Vandal. Intentionally playing off of the unrelated title Growing The Beard creates a misleading snowclone.
  • April 25, 2013
    McKathlin
    Devil horns are another popular modification.
  • April 25, 2013
    Psi001
    • Parodied in Family Guy episode "Love Thy Trophy". As Peter ransacks his neighbours' houses to find their supposedly stolen Trophy, he paints mustaches on each of their family portraits, and rubs out Cleveland's already existing mustache on his.
  • April 25, 2013
    TooBah
    Thanks for the great inputs. I've split up the categories, and added entries.

    @McKathlin, I think Mustache Vandal is growing on me as well. Any other title suggestions are welcome.
  • April 26, 2013
    Arivne
    Compare Face Doodling, where this is done to a living person. Some of examples on that page belong here.

    A couple of examples I found searching TV Tropes for the keywords "drawing" and "mustache":

    Video Games
    • The Room The Game. If you go into rooms when you aren't supposed to you can see weird things happening, like Mark drawing a mustache on Johnny's picture.

    Western Animation
  • April 26, 2013
    JonnyB
    Third Mustache Vandal.

    There's a famous Looney Tunes cartoon ("Daffy Doodles") with Porky Pig as a policeman and Daffy Duck as a mustache vandal.
  • April 26, 2013
    MetaFour
    ^Not to mention, when Daffy finally gets arrested and imprisoned at the end of the cartoon, Daffy tearfully repents and promises he'll never draw another mustache... he'll draw beards instead.
  • April 26, 2013
    foxley
    This is the 'crime' committed in the Fillmore episode "Masterstroke of Malevolence". Fillmore and Third must discover the identity of the vandal before the ink dries so the restorer can identify the brand of marker used and save the portrait.
  • April 26, 2013
    Astaroth
    Compare Face Doodling.
  • April 26, 2013
    Frank75
    Just a little suggestion: Make it Mustache Vandalism - it's about the act, not the perp.
  • April 26, 2013
    Omeganian
    In Emil And The Detectives, Emil is reluctant to approach the police and instead uses the help of other children. The reason is that a few weeks earlier he painted a beard and mustache on a statue, so he's afraid the police won't believe him.
  • April 26, 2013
    TooBah
    Hmm... @Frank, I see your point. We could change it to Vandalism, or re-write just a bit to point at the person instead of the act. You know, "This is the person who..."

    Anyone else have a strong opinion as to the better trope: Mustache Vandal or Mustache Vandalism?

  • April 26, 2013
    TwoGunAngel
    In Problem Child 2, Junior, a little jealous of the attention his adoptive father is giving Annie Young, decides to deface her picture in this way. He's found by Trixie, her daughter who is equal to him in being bad, who sternly warns him "I wouldn't do that if I were you." When Junior doesn't listen, Trixie floors him, says "Next time, you'll listen to me," and then draws a mustache on him with his own marker.
  • April 26, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Bearding The Portrait? Portrait Doodling?

    Mustache Vandal just doesn't make it sound like you're doing anything to a painting or picture, which I think is doing the trope a disservice.
  • April 26, 2013
    Astaroth
    • In Punch Out Wii, Aran Ryan's introduction video has him doodling a moustache onto a poster of Little Mac.
  • April 26, 2013
    KTera
    • In Just Cause 2, you can do this to billboards of Baby Panay.
  • April 26, 2013
    CaveCat
  • April 26, 2013
    Lawman592
    Another type of modification is to draw an arrow through the head.

    Also, if the person depicted is especially hated by the character, the mustache drawn may be a Hitler-type and accompanied by swastikas.
  • April 27, 2013
    Bisected8
    • In Robot Jox, the protagonist has his poster vandalised this way (amongst others) for retiring after he's left traumatised when his Humongous Mecha crushes a stand full of spectators.
    • An episode of Recess has Principal Prickly do this to his own picture while subject to Hypno Fool (and thinking he's an 8 year old child). At the end of the episode he gets distracted by it (thinking he looks pretty good with a goatee) and forgets to punish the cast.
  • April 27, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In The Simpsons Movie Bart mustaches a Wanted Poster of Homer - now it looks just like Guy Incognito, who gets beaten & arrested.
  • April 27, 2013
    SilveredSilhouettes
    In an episode of the anime Hetalia:Axis Powers, Chibitalia does this to a portrait of Austria.
  • April 28, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Live Action TV
    • Sesame Street featured a segment where muppet cowboys compare a "Wanted" poster of Cookie Monster with the actual Cookie Monster. When their suspicion peaks, Cookie Monster distracts them long enough to draw a mustache on the poster. The cowboys notice the disparity, and apologize to Cookie Monster for suspecting him. Cookie Monster amiably tips his hat ... and lots of stolen cookies tumble out. Mayhem Ensues.

    Western Animation
    • The Tom And Jerry cartoon Touche', Pussy Cat shows Nibbles using an artist brush to paint a caricature of Tom Cat on a wall. When Nibbles realizes that Tom is glaring at him, Nibbles paints spectacles and a mustache on Tom's face.
  • April 28, 2013
    NateTheGreat
    At 2:41 in this video from Bedknobs And Broomsticks Paul does this to a clay bust, then accessorizes it with a top hat.
  • April 28, 2013
    Prfnoff
    Newspaper Comics
    • In Calvin And Hobbes, Calvin's scheme to avoid getting attacked by Hobbes when he comes home by putting a dummy of himself in front of the door backfires, with Hobbes inviting the dummy inside and locking the real Calvin out. Calvin then overhears Hobbes asking the dummy: "May I draw mustaches on all the superheroes? I may? Oh joy!"
  • April 28, 2013
    capsaicinfinity
    Literature
    • In Good Omens, it's mentioned that one of the late Witchfinders used to draw mustaches and spectacles on all the witches and demons in the Witchfinder Army's collection of demonological texts.
  • April 28, 2013
    SharleeD
    A milder sister trope to Dartboard Of Hate.
  • April 28, 2013
    Chabal2
    Another Garfield strip goes like this: "I just drew a mustache on every picture of Jon in the house!" Jon shows up. "I just drew a mustache on my face!" "Spoilsport!"

    Adding to the Mona Lisa vandalism, L.H.O.O.Q. is a phonetic rendering of "Elle a chaud au cul", meaning "she's a nymphomaniac".
  • April 28, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    In an episode of Lizzie Mc Guire, the cast gets issued their school yearbooks. Gordo rhetorically asks his friends what the first thing anyone does with their new yearbook is. Miranda and Lizzie say it's to draw a mustache on the gym teacher.
  • April 28, 2013
    CaptainPeregrin
    Literature
  • April 29, 2013
    capsaicinfinity
    I vote for Mustache Vandalism rather than Mustache Vandal. The act, not the character doing it, is at the core of the trope.

    Besides that, I'd say it's ready.
  • April 29, 2013
    TooBah
    OK, if I get another vote for Mustache Vandalism before the 5th hat, I'll change it. Anybody?

    (We could always do a redirect for the losing title, of course)
  • April 29, 2013
    Bisected8
    Consider that 5th vote accounted for.
  • April 29, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    One more vote for "Vandalism" as opposed to "Vandal." Oh, and Hat Number 5. :)
  • April 29, 2013
    CaveCat
    I agree that this should be changed to Mustache Vandalism. Do that and this trope should be ready to launch.
  • April 29, 2013
    TooBah
    OK, Mustache Vandalism it is. Changed the wording to match, launching soon.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=s5r2hygo5zyt0jh2gvnn3tnx&trope=MustacheVandalism