Created By: Goldfritha on June 28, 2012 Last Edited By: XFllo on August 3, 2014

Wig of Evil (Wigs Are Wrong)

Wearing a wig is a sign of evil.

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Trope
Wearing a wig instead of your natural hair, or lack thereof, is a sign of deceit and vanity, and therefore evil — better suited to the Deadly Decadent Court or Vice City than any more wholesome place.

A mostly Forgotten Trope nowadays, but one that had long standing, similar to Make Up Is Evil. Delinquent Hair is related; indeed, a wig might prove the danger of that trope, because the character had resorted to a wig once dye caused the natural hair to fall out, a circumstance that was once somewhat Truth in Television.

Hairstyle Malfunction is comic because it shows up the character's vanity. It is particularly funny for women because it shows she is a Bald Woman (who, really, can't win until modern times, when she could have suffered cancer).

Compare Bald of Evil.

Examples:

Animated Film
  • In Shrek Forever After, Rumpelstilskin, when he was ruler of Far Far Away, had a wig for every occasion, no matter how mundane, as a sign of his vanity.

Film
  • In the first and second Superman films, Lex Luthor wore a wig to hide his bald head (Bald of Evil), only taking off the wig when he got really nasty.
  • Gladiator: the Smug Snake announcer is seen lowering a wig on his head just as he denies the instructor's request.
  • The Hunger Games in the film as a part of isolating themselves from the districts citizens of the Capitol use fashion as a weapon. One of the aspects of this seems to be the use of styled wigs in lots of crazy colors.

Literature
  • In G. K. Chesterton's "The Sword of Wood", the stranger is known to come from the corrupt city by this (and does turn to be, if not quite villainous, hardly a good guy).
    'His face is painted,' said Griffin. 'That is the sort of thing they do in London. And he wears a pile of false hair out of a barber's; and walks about in it, like the house of a Jack-in-the Green.
  • Roald Dahl's The Witches. The titular witches are all bald, and wear wigs to masquerade as ordinary women.
  • Judge Dee: in The Chinese Gold Murders, the judge's Badass Beard is outmatched by one character's absolutely massive three-pointed gray beard. At the climax, it's revealed to be a fake (like the owner).
  • In the Captain Underpants series of books, the (quite evil) principal Mr. Krupt, wears a wig. When he hears someone snap their fingers, he turns into the heroic title character (and loses the wig).
  • Early in Dorothy L. Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey mystery Have His Carcase, the hiker Perkins objects to Harriet's talking to a camper, noting the fellow had been rude to him earlier and saying "I'm sure he was wearing a wig!" Harriet is unconvinced by this and notes that "the poor man" might simply be bald. Turns out the fellow was up to no good after all, since he was in disguise as part of a plot to murder his mother's fiance.
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has minor character Hepzibah Smith, who, while not overtly evil, appears particularly vain, shows great disdain of her aged house elf and is positively smitten with young Lord Voldemort. If anything, she's easy to mock.

Live-Action TV
  • WKRP in Cincinnati: When Les has a date with Jennifer to go to an awards banquet he buys a toupee from an advertiser on the radio station. Jennifer convinces him he should go with his natural look.
  • Lois and Clark: Perry gets a toupee (which makes him look like Dan Rather). It's part of his Mid Life Crisis, but Jimmy thinks that Perry is going to kill himself due to a bad doctor's checkup. He's just turning 50.
  • Bella on Supernatural is introduced this way. In "Bad Day at Black Rock," she is posing as a waitress. All seems normal as she waits on the boys, later appearing to be flirting when she "accidentally" spills a drink on Sam. Instead we learn she has pickpocketed a "good luck charm" (actually a cursed object) from Sam, because she goes outside the restaurant and dramatically removes and discards her wig, shaking her real hair triumphantly as she looks at the loot and walks away. The wigs become a symbol of Bella's deceptive nature as later in the series the boys know they have found Bella's hotel room when they find wigs left behind in a dresser drawer.
  • In Arrested Development, Stan Sitwell, while not necessarily 'evil', is head of the company that rivals the Bluths. He has alopecia, and not only wears a wig, but false eyebrows as well.
  • Pierce's father on Community is the most bigoted, racist, homophobic, sexist character on the whole show, and he wears- well, not a wig, but an ivory hairpice: wig hair is taken from the "godless orientals".
  • In the Ace Attorney series, the first villain, Frank Sahwit, wears a wig that he tosses at people when he gets mad. Taken to a more ridiculous level of evil in Gyakuten Kenji 2, though, with the villain Bansai Ichiyanagi, who wears not just a wig, but a fake beard too.

Poetry

Theater
  • In Gilbert and Sullivan's Utopia Limited, a song in praise of "a bright and beautiful English girl" mentions that her hair is her own.
    Down comes her hair, but what does she care?
    It's all her own and it's worth the showing!

Western Animation
  • Played literally in a Treehouse of Horror episode of The Simpsons where Homer gets a toupee made of an executed criminal's hair, which turns Homer into the executed criminal.

Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • June 28, 2012
    Alvin
    i once remarked on another site that whenever Dick Van Patten wore a rug, his chartacter was evil (and the rug had some relevance to the plot). I'll have to put more effort into it before it goes on a page though.
  • June 28, 2012
    JonnyB
    In the first and second Superman films, Lex Luthor wore a wig to hide his bald head, only taking off the wig when he got really nasty.
  • June 28, 2012
    Astaroth
    Roald Dahl's The Witches. The titular witches are all bald, and wear wigs to masquerade as ordinary women.
  • June 29, 2012
    Chabal2
    • Averted in Discworld: Lady Sybil (wife of Samuel Vimes) raises dragons, so all her hair was burned off long ago. There's also Mr. Groat's... hairpiece, for lack of a better term. They tried to remove it but it just crawled back on.
    • Judge Dee: in The Chinese Gold Murders, the judge's Badass Beard is outmatched by one character's absolutely massive three-pointed gray beard. At the climax, it's revealed to be a fake (like the owner).
    • Gladiator: the Smug Snake announcer is seen lowering a wig on his head just as he denies the instructor's request.

    Another consideration is that wigs used to be made from actual human hair, occasionally from dead bodies.
  • June 29, 2012
    Arivne
    Wig Of Evil, to go along with Bald Of Evil and Beard Of Evil?
  • June 29, 2012
    Frank75
    So, would this also contain toupees, hairpieces, extensions and whatnot?
  • June 29, 2012
    katiek
    It may be good to note that there is a cross-over (no pun intended) with the idea that cross-DRESSING is evil (Psycho, Dressed to Kill, Silence of the Lambs).
  • June 29, 2012
    Goldfritha
    Why? Wigs are problematic on anyone's head when this trope is in play.
  • June 29, 2012
    Goldfritha
    Frank75 -- got any examples where those are used to characterize as evil?
  • June 29, 2012
    Frank75
    No, just wanted things clarified.
  • June 29, 2012
    TonyG
    In Shrek Forever After, Rumpelstilskin, when he was ruler of Far Far Away, had a wig for every occasion, no matter how mundane, as a sign of his vanity.
  • June 29, 2012
    catkid786
    In the Captain Underpants series of books, the (quite evil) principal Mr. Krupt, wears a wig. When he hears someone snap their fingers, he turns into the heroic title character (and loses the wig).
  • June 29, 2012
    randomsurfer
    These are both on the "vanity" side of things, not sure if they count.
    • WKRP In Cincinnati: When Les has a date with Jennifer to go to an awards banquet he buys a toupee from an advertiser on the radio station. Jennifer convinces him he should go with his natural look.
    • Lois And Clark: Perry gets a toupee (which makes him look like Dan Rather). It's part of his Mid Life Crisis, but Jimmy thinks that Perry is going to kill himself due to a bad doctor's checkup. He's just turning 50.
  • July 6, 2012
    NightNymph
    • Bella on Supernatural is introduced this way. In "Bad Day at Black Rock," she is posing as a waitress. All seems normal as she waits on the boys, later appearing to be flirting when she "accidentally" spills a drink on Sam. Instead we learn she has pickpocketed a "good luck charm" (actually a cursed object) from Sam, because she goes outside the restaurant and dramatically removes and discards her wig, shaking her real hair triumphantly as she looks at the loot and walks away. The wigs become a symbol of Bella's deceptive nature as later in the series the boys know they have found Bella's hotel room when they find wigs left behind in a dresser drawer.
  • July 11, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Literature and Live-Action TV: Early in ''Have His Carcase'', the hiker Perkins objects to Harriet's talking to a camper, noting the fellow had been rude to him earlier and saying "I'm sure he was wearing a wig!" Harriet is unconvinced by this and notes that "the poor man" might simply be bald. Turns out the fellow was up to no good after all, since he was in disguise as part of a plot to murder his mother's fiance.
  • July 28, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    "WKRP In Cincinnati: When Les has a date with Jennifer to go to an awards banquet he buys a toupee from an advertiser on the radio station. Jennifer convinces him he should go with his natural look."

    Les is not a villain.
  • August 7, 2012
    Manateehugs
    Movies: The Hunger Games in the film as a part of isolating themselves from the districts citizens of the Capitol use fashion as a weapon. One of the aspects of this seems to be the use of styled wigs in lots of crazy colors.

    Hayley ^_^
  • August 7, 2012
    JonnyB
    Would the martian with the big beehive in Mars Attacks be considered a part of this trope?
  • August 12, 2012
    cabr321
    Live Action TV:

    • In Arrested Development, Stan Sitwell, while not necessarily 'evil', is head of the company that rivals the Bluths. He has alopecia, and not only wears a wig, but false eyebrows as well.
    • Pierce's father on Community is the most bigoted, racist, homophobic, sexist character on the whole show, and he wears- well, not a wig, but an ivory hairpice: wig hair is taken from the "godless orientals".
  • August 12, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Played literally in a Treehouse Of Horror episode of The Simpsons where Homer gets a toupee made of an executed criminal's hair, which turns Homer into the executed criminal.
  • August 1, 2014
    XFllo
    Bumping (from Development Hell). I second Wig Of Evil.
  • August 1, 2014
    TheTitan99
    • In the Ace Attorney series, the first villain, Frank Sahwit, wears a wig that he tosses at people when he gets mad. Taken to a more ridiculous level of evil in Gyakuten Kenji 2, though, with the villain Bansai Ichiyanagi, who wears not just a wig, but a fake beard too.
  • August 3, 2014
    DAN004
    Compare Dodgy Toupee
  • August 3, 2014
    SKJAM
    • In a manga-only chapter of Yu Gi Oh, a tyrannical and vain teacher with suspiciously perfect hair is humiliated when Yuugi exposes it as a wig. He does this by activating the noise function of a small toy the teacher had hidden under the hairpiece as part of a scheme to get the boys expelled.
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