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->''"I'm a lot like my dad, I would have to say\\
He's been wearing a beard ever since mom passed away\\
She would have hated it"''
-->-- '''Buck 65''', ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1qa4Sjpl68 Roses and Blue Jays]]''

One of the easiest ways to show that a male character has fallen into depression is to show him with unkempt stubble or a full beard after a TimeSkip. Happens to be TruthInTelevision: A common symptom of depression is loss of interest in personal appearance, which could mean a clean-shaven man quitting shaving, or one with carefully groomed facial hair veering into MountainMan territory. Often accompanied by the DrowningMySorrows and MessOfWoe tropes.

Subtrope or perhaps [[SisterTrope Brother Trope]] to GoodHairEvilHair: just as a goatee indicates evil, stubble or an unkempt beard indicates squalor. Subtrope of ExpositoryHairstyleChange. See also {{Mangst}}. Contrast PermaStubble, which is the mark of a badass, and {{Wangst}}, which is telling, while this trope is showing. Also contrast PermaShave, where no facial hair grows. If the sorrow drives them to a FaceHeelTurn, it may double as a BeardOfEvil. A beard caused by stress rather than distress is a case of SeriouslyScruffy.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Gendo Ikari of ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' is seen beardless when he's young but, bar one scene, bearded [[spoiler:after Yui is absorbed by Eva-01]]. Suits his new persona [[BeardOfEvil rather well]].
* Aizawa of ''Manga/DeathNote'' gets ''preparatory'' Angst Stubble.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''[='=]s Roy Mustang sports a bit of stubble while [[spoiler: grieving the death of his best friend]].
* Vash does this after the Fifth Moon incident in ''Manga/{{Trigun}}''.
* Tomoya of ''VisualNovel/{{Clannad}} After Story'' gains a stubble after the events in [[WhamEpisode THAT episode]].
* The titular character of ''Anime/AfroSamurai'' sports an unkempt beard at the beginning of the sequel, after living for some time as the Number One.
* Sasahara from ''Manga/{{Genshiken}}'' briefly grows some stubble when he's losing hope of ever finding a job.
* Hei seems to be a victim of this trope in the second season of ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack''.
* Tenma from ''Anime/{{Monster}}'' not only ceases to care that his beard is unkempt and his hair growing all over the place, but he goes to the degree of negligence where other characters are complaining of his smell and emaciated appearance.
* In the 1986 feature film version of ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'', Kenshiro grows a textbook version after he loses to Shin. In the anime, he grows one in the time skip after defeating Raoh.
* Vincent Volaju, the main antagonist of ''[[Anime/CowboyBebop Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door]]'' used to be clean shaven and have short hair, judging by the picture taken when he was still in the military. However after the events that lead to his SanitySlippage he grew a beard and apparently stopped cutting, or even combing, his hair.
* ''Manga/SoulEater'': Stein grows some stubble when [[spoiler: he is framed for killing Buttataki Joe.]]
* Kiryu in ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'' doesn't grow a ''beard,'' (he may not be capable of it) but when he hits a huge slump in Crash Town, his hair grows quite a bit because he's not bothering to cut it.
* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan''
** Commander Erwin Smith has one while recovering from [[spoiler:the loss of his right arm]] and processing the fact that [[spoiler:all titans may be humans once]].
** After the TimeSkip, Reiner sports a thin beard and a significant weight loss, as indicators of his [[ShellShockedVeteran shell-shocked]] condition. Having previously suffered through an extensive TraumaCongaLine, he's a far more jaded individual and spends much of his time trying to [[StepfordSmiler put on a brave face]] for others. He ends up [[spoiler: very nearly [[AteHisGun shooting himself]], only stopping when he hears Falco outside the room]].
** Exploited by [[spoiler: Eren Yeager]], sporting long unkempt hair and heavy stumble while disguised as an injured soldier. People see his unkempt appearance, and accept the story that he's gone mad from his experiences on the battlefield.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* John Constantine of ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}'', when he falls into an alcoholic depression and takes to the streets after Kit leaves him.
* When Tony Stark[=/=]ComicBook/IronMan became an alcoholic this happened.
* ''ComicBook/ElongatedMan'': Ralph Dibny grows this after those RunningTheAsylum at DC decided that a funny, healthy, loving marriage can't exist for as long as his did, and [[strike:raped and]] [[{{Retcon}} retroactively]] raped in flashback and [[KilledOffForReal killed off]] his wife Sue. Also, his face looked completely different.
* ''Comicbook/{{Cyclops}}'': Scott Summers does that a lot. Fans have taken to calling it "The stubble of angst". and comment on how fast he grows it.
* Jamie Madrox in the ''Comicbook/XFactor'' series grew one, after [[spoiler:accidentally absorbing his son]].
* Cosmo in ''ComicBook/ElfQuest - The Rebels'' after [[spoiler: he killed someone]].
* Franky grows one in ''ComicBook/TheGoon'': Chinatown & the Mystery of Mr. Wicker, when [[spoiler: he gives up on life and becomes an alcoholic because Goon loses interest in their criminal enterprises.]]
* ''ComicBook/TheMightyThor'':
** One time when Thor came home to find Asgard laid waste and all his friends missing, ComicBook/TheMightyThor returned to Earth weeks later with a beard. This wasn't so much because he was depressed as because he had been searching for weeks nonstop and just hadn't taken the time to shave. (The beard looked pretty awesome actually, since [[Myth/NorseMythology Thor]] arguably shouldn't be clean-shaven in the first place.)
** Earlier than that, Thor was forced to grow a beard after Hela cursed him to never die, but never allow his wounds to heal. The beard was meant to hide his facial wounds.
* Flycatcher in Comicbook/{{Fables}} grows a massive orange beard whilst [[spoiler:mourning his lost family]]. He later implies that he hadn't even noticed it.
* Franchise/{{Superman}} grows one while traveling space to protect the earth from the split personality he developed out of guilt after executing three Kryptonian criminals, although that may just have been because [[JustifiedTrope he didn't pack his shaving kit]], since he was going on a voyage into space, after all.
** In ComicBook/KingdomCome, Superman exiles himself to the Fortress of Solitude following [[spoiler:the death of ComicBook/LoisLane by TheJoker, Magog's killing the recently-apprehended Joker, and Magog's subsequent acquittal at trial for killing the Joker]] and the rise of [[NinetiesAntiHero vicious "heroes" who fight and kill at the drop of a hat]] to primacy within the setting. When WonderWoman comes looking for him years later, he has grown a full beard. He shaves it for his HesBack moment afterwards.
** Also, most post-apocalyptic versions of Superman are be shown as having grown-out beards, most likely due to [[ItsAllMyFault their inability to prevent]] the aforementioned apocalypse.
* ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'': Reed Richards grew one during his exile in the past. It was lampshade when he told his family that Doc Samson suggested that he shaved it so it won't remind him of the past.
* ''ComicBook/SavageDragon'' did this early in his series when a girlfriend was killed.
* [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Bruce Wayne]] dons one in the ''Legends of the Dark Knight'' story "Venom" when he finally emerges from the Batcave after detoxing himself of the titled drug.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Noob}}'', the [[WhamEpisode Wham Comic]] was bad news for both one of the male characters and his {{Fanboy}}, making both of them grow one.
* In the aftermath of ''ComicBook/FiftyTwo'', where he became both a married man, then a widow, and then got stripped of his powers, all in the space of less than a year, Black Adam grew a beard, although this was also partially pragmatic, as he'd made so many enemies that he needed to disguise himself.
* ''[[ComicBook/TeenTitans The New Teen Titans]]'': [[ComicBook/{{Nightwing}} Dick Grayson]] grows one after [[ComicBook/{{Starfire}} Koriand'r]] has an ArrangedMarriage.

[[folder: FanWorks]]
* Played for laughs in [[http://shandyall.livejournal.com/tag/the%20symphony%20verse The Symphony Verse]]. [[Series/{{Glee}} Kurt]] is going to be studying abroad for one semester, meaning that Kurt and Blaine will be apart for almost five months. Blaine decides that this is a good opportunity for him to explore his "rugged mountain man side" and grow a beard in Kurt's honor, which he calls the "Glorious Beard of my Barren Solitude" (GBOMBS for short). He doesn't shave the entire time Kurt is gone, and Kurt's first comment when he comes back to New York is that Blaine looks like the Unabomber.

* Ron Burgundy grows one of these in ''Film/AnchormanTheLegendOfRonBurgundy'' right after his career apparently goes down the drain.
* ''Film/ApurSansar'': After his wife dies the formerly fresh-faced Apu stops shaving. He has quite the scraggly beard by the end.
* Captain America has one on the poster for ''Film/AvengersInfinityWar'' following the events of ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar''.
* ''Film/BlueRuin'': Dwight sports an impressive hobo beard, but it turns out that he's a hobo because he's unable to deal with the brutal murder of his parents, so his beard is a direct result of his sorrow.
* In ''Film/TheButterflyEffect'' it's subtly used, but there. In the futures that Evan loses Kayleigh in he's always grown out a full beard. When he's still with her in the "frat-boy" future he's shaved it down to a goatee, but it isn't until [[spoiler:the very end of the movie, when he's put her being a part of his life behind him]] that he's clean-shaven.
* Bruce Wayne early in ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'', toward the end of his eight-year depression after the events of ''Film/TheDarkKnight.''
* Creator/JetLi's character in ''Film/{{Fearless 2006}}'', who's normally BaldOfAwesome, gets a long, shaggy beard and head of hair after [[spoiler: his wife and daughter are murdered.]]
* ''Film/ForrestGump'':
** Forrest Gump decided to just start running non stop after Jenny left him. He didn't care about anything besides running and as a result grew a long beard.
** Lt. Dan also has one when he first meets Forrest again after the war.
* The old Zero Mustafa in ''Film/TheGrandBudapestHotel''. Zero was much more active in his youth days and used to paint a thin moustache with a pencil. As an older man, he is much more melancholic and lonelier, grieving [[spoiler:the premature deaths of his wife and baby son]].
* ''Film/{{Hancock}}'''s PermaStubble is eventually revealed to also be a beard of sorrow. Having lost his memories and sense of belonging, he's drifted into a self-perpetuating slump. His rise out of this drunken depression is marked by his removing the beard. With his fingers.
* Lucius Malfoy sports some stubble on his otherwise aristocratic face after sharing his home with Voldemort in ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallowsPart1''. Either he's very worried about Draco, or he just misses "Snakey".
* Rainn Wilson's character grows one of these in ''Film/{{Hesher}}'' after [[spoiler:his wife dies in a car accident.]] At the end, [[spoiler:he shaves.]]
* Inverted in ''Film/TheHobbit'': according to WordOfGod, Thorin Oakenshield has a short beard as a sign of mourning, and might grow the beard again should he succeed in claiming back Erebor.
* Inverted in ''Film/{{Hostage}}''. Willis actually has a beard and unkempt hair BEFORE the sorrow.
* ''Film/{{Inception}}'': Cobb, although it may qualify more as a Stubble of Sorrow.
* ''Film/{{Intermission}}'': Possibly unique female example: Sally, traumatised by an abusive relationship. "She's got a moustache! Whatever she was doing before, waxing, or shaving - she's stopped".
* ''Film/{{Interstellar}}'': Cooper's son, Tom, is seen with a full-grown beard in a video message to his dad announcing [[spoiler:the death of his grandfather, 23 years after Cooper returns from Miller's planet]].
* In ''Film/{{Intouchables}}'', the paraplegic Philippe grows one after sending Driss away, his stay-home-nurse and friend, so that Driss can take care of his family again.
* In ''Film/{{Jack|1996}}'', Jack grows one of these after he's forbidden to spend time outside due to health problems.
* ''Film/JamesBond''
** Bond ends up with a Beard of Imprisonment in ''Film/DieAnotherDay'', one of the few times he's seen with any kind of facial hair on screen. (His ''[[CarpetOfVirility chest hair]]'', on the other hand...)
** In ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'', Bond gets one when he goes MIA [[spoiler:after M gives the order to leave Bond to die.]]
* Mr. Rochester of the 2011 ''Film/JaneEyre'' film has one when [[spoiler: Jane goes back to him after she finds out that Thornfield burned to the ground and that Rochester's wife, Bertha Mason, is dead. It's unknown whether he grew the beard after Jane left him or after the fire, though.]]
* Creator/BradPitt in ''Film/LegendsOfTheFall''. Twice as awesome because he cycles between cleanshaven and furry more times than you can count.
* Allan in ''Film/MonkeyShines'' after his accident: Part of the reason he grew a beard in the first place is that said accident rendered him a quadriplegic and he ''couldn't'' shave on his own. However, he only gets his caretaker to shave it once he starts to take a more positive outlook on his life.
* ''Film/MoulinRouge'' opens with a grieving bearded Ewan [=McGregor=]. You find out ''why'' later.
* In ''Film/MrMom'', Jack Butler grows one when he realizes he's going to be stuck watching over the kids and the house for a while as his wife goes off to work. He shaves it after he has his SoapWithinAShow dream.
* ''Film/{{Passengers|2016}}'': Jim grows one after spending a year alone in the Avalon.
* In ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'', Norrington is clean-shaven while he is accepted in society, but while he is disgraced (and has lost his love), he doesn't shave.
* Subverted in ''[[TheRing Rasen]]'': Ando attempts to slash his wrist, but can't go through with it. Cut to him shaving for work.
* ''Film/TheSpyWhoCameInFromTheCold'''s main character acquires one as he becomes an alcoholic as part of his cover to become a ReverseMole.
* In ''Film/{{Sunshine}}'', Mace's unkempt hair and stubbly beard represent his degrading morale. When he finally starts to buck up and take things seriously, he shows up clean-shaved, with a fresh buzzcut.
* Parodied in ''Film/SuperheroMovie''; with Rick's fake beard.
* ''Film/{{Swingers}}'': Jon Favreau's character, Mike, rocks an atypical unkempt Beard of Sorrow after Sue gives him The Business in the parking lot.
* In ''Film/TeamAmericaWorldPolice'', Gary grows stubble after leaving the team.
* Kumar grew one of these in ''Film/AVeryHaroldAndKumar3DChristmas'', after his girlfriend Vanessa dumped him for being irresponsible.
* ''Film/XMenFilmSeries'':
** ''Film/XMenTheLastStand'': Scott Summers displays a stubbly beard while in mourning.
** ''Film/TheWolverine'': Logan starts out with a shaggy one, likely resulting from the events of ''The Last Stand''.
** ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'': The younger Charles has one when Wolverine first visits him in 1973; Logan finds a man broken by despair. Played with, as Xavier keeps it for the entire movie even after he begins to move beyond his personal pain.
** ''Film/XMenApocalypse'': Erik Lehnsherr's beard is initially a Beard of Hiding From the Authorities, but it becomes this trope after [[spoiler:he loses his wife and daughter]].
* In ''Film/{{Logan}}'', Logan sports a full beard for the majority of the film after [[spoiler: the deaths of many of the X-Men and the dissolution of the team]]. Professor X has one as well, [[spoiler: as he's losing his mental faculties and was accidentally responsible for the aforementioned incident that claimed the lives of his pupils]].
* Luke Skywalker does this in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

* In Creator/DanAbnett's Literature/GauntsGhosts novel ''Honor Guard'', after a disaster, Gaunt starts [[DrowningMySorrows drowning his sorrows]], but when a general arrives, he has straightened up; his soldiers note with relief that he is clean and clean-shaven.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': Harry's normal response to grief is to stop shaving. And it goes on a long time.
* Roran of the ''Literature/InheritanceCycle''. After [[spoiler: Katrina is kidnapped]], he grows a beard, and keeps it for the rest of the series.
* OlderThanDirt: In ''Literature/TheEpicOfGilgamesh'' several characters remark on Gilgamesh's haggard, bearded appearance after the death of Enkidu.
* [[spoiler: The recently widowed]] Series/InspectorLynley stops shaving and washing during his trek along the Cornish coast in ''Careless In Red''.
* ''Literature/CaptainBloodHisOdyssey'': Peter Blood goes through a period like this when depressed after believing he's lost the love of his life:
-->He was degenerating visibly, under the eyes of all. He had entirely lost the almost foppish concern for his appearance, and was grown careless and slovenly in his dress. He allowed a black beard to grow on cheeks that had ever been so carefully shaven; and the long, thick black hair, once so sedulously curled, hung now in a lank, untidy mane about a face that was changing from its vigorous swarthiness to an unhealthy sallow, whilst the blue eyes, that had been so vivid and compelling, were now dull and lackluster.
* Inverted in [[Literature/TheStormlightArchive The Way Of Kings]], shaving the beard he grew as a slave is one small piece of Kaladin becoming a warrior once more.
* In ''Literature/TheStoneOfTears'', while Richard is being hauled down to the Old World to begin training as a wizard, he grows a beard. Although it probably qualifies as a BadAssBeard as well, he originally started growing it after he believed [[spoiler: Kahlan]] betrayed him and forced him to go [[spoiler: (she really only did it to save his life)]]. He removes it at the end of the book--not shaves it, but uses his magic to make it ''not exist''--at the end when [[spoiler: he reunites with Kahlan and all is forgiven]].
* In Carl Hiaasen's novels, the recurring character of former Florida Governor Clinton "Skink" Tyree. In flashbacks to his governorship, Skink is described as being clean-cut with movie-star looks. After he is run out of office by corrupt special interest lobbyists, Skink takes refuge in the Florida Everglades, where he grows a long beard which he keeps in braids.
* After the title character of ''Literature/DoctorZhivago'' gets conscripted as a medic in the Red Army during the Russian Civil War, he starts sporting one of these. It also indicates that all the business of tending to the wounded leaves him little time to shave.
* Han Solo seems to pick up a mild one after Chewie's death in ''Literature/NewJediOrder''.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* At the beginning of the second season of ''Series/TwentyFour'', Jack has one as he is shown missing his wife and daughter and possibly contemplating suicide. It takes the killing and beheading of a pedophile to snap him out of it and reach for the razor.
** He notably has stubble in the TV movie ''Redemption'', as the events of the previous two seasons saw him being tortured beyond the brink physically and mentally and then by the end saw him giving up any sort of a normal life, so at this point he's a shell of his former self.
* In the break between Seasons 1 and 2 of ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'', two of the male leads get Beards of Sorrow:
** Ward's doubles as a [[spoiler:BeardOfEvil]], and is grown during his incarceration [[spoiler:by SHIELD, after being outed as a HYDRA mole last season]]. However, he reveals to Skye that he attempted suicide several times when first imprisoned, and claims that he's latterly been pining for her, making it a Beard of Sorrow as well.
** In Fitz's case it's more like Stubble of Sorrow, but since he was perfectly clean shaven throughout Season 1 it's noticeable nonetheless. At first it seems like a reaction to the brain damage he suffered in the first season finale that, among other things, has left him with limited use of his hands. [[spoiler:There's that, of course, but it's Simmons leaving the team after he told her he loved her that's really tipped him over the edge into a full-blown depressive breakdown.]]
* In ''{{Series/Alias}}'', when Sydney is presumed dead in a house fire, Jack (who is correctly convinced that she's actually been kidnapped) ends up arrested by the CIA because his attempts to find her include illegal contact with her mother, a former KGB agent and wanted criminal. He spends months in custody, and has a genuinely epic beard of sorrow by the time she comes back.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'': Starting towards the end of Season 3 [[spoiler: after he gets his throat cut]], Wesley, the formerly clean-shaven, glasses-wearing nerd loses his glasses, his boyish optimism, and his boyishly smooth cheeks. He kept it up for the rest of the series, too- this was [[PermaStubble The Stubble That Would Not Die.]] [[spoiler: According to the Season 6 comics, not even when its owner did.]] It was part of Wesley's character development, a visual aid to his [[TookALevelInBadass newly acquired badassery.]] Alexis Denisof once commented in one of the episode commentaries how difficult it was to maintain the stubble rather than either keeping clean-shaven or just actually growing a full beard. This was also {{Lampshaded}} in the memory-loss ep. "Spin The Bottle", where Wesley, who, along with the rest of the gang has woken up thinking he is in high school after a memory spell goes awry, scratches his chin thoughtfully and remarks "I seem to have grown about three days' worth of beard."
* In ''Series/BandOfBrothers'', Don Malarkey has quite a scruffy beard, starting right after [[spoiler: two of his best friends get killed, and another has a HeroicBSOD, in episode 7]]. It's not until episode 10 that he's shown clean shaven and (seemingly) happier.
* In ''Series/{{Banshee}}'', Brock Lotus, in Season Three, [[spoiler: mourning Emmett's death]].
* ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': Happens multiple times over the course of the show, some of them played with:
** There's a triple example during the New Caprica story arc. After the TimeSkip humanity is doing pretty crappy and both Saul Tigh and Chief Tyrol sport big scruffy beards while Admiral Adama had a case of a ''[[PornStache mustache]]'' of sorrow. They all lose their facial hair around the same time when the status quo is returned and they're able to leave the planet. Starbuck can also be said to have grown Long Hair of Sorrow during the same arc, while Apollo leaves his hair untampered with but has the Weight Gain of Sorrow to show his misery after [[spoiler: Starbuck leaves him, marries Anders, and she and Apollo stop being friends]], both of which also go away quickly after they're back on Galactica.
** Similarly, Gaius Baltar grows a beard during his trial after the events of New Caprica and loses it once he slips away into hiding.
** Tyrol again stops shaving after [[spoiler: [[StuffedIntoTheFridge Cally is tossed out of a launch tube by Tory]]]]. And then later he goes all [[Film/FullmetalJacket Private Pyle]] on us.
* Jesse grows one in the second half of season 5 of ''Series/BreakingBad''. Walt later grows one following his [[spoiler:exile to New Hampshire.]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Xander Harris grows one shortly after Renee's death in Season 8.
* ''Series/BurnNotice'': In "Good Soldier", Michael Westen adopts the persona of an alcoholic and stops shaving.
* On ''Series/{{Charmed}}'', after Phoebe rejects and divorces Cole, he grows a beard, goes insane, and attempts suicide only to discover that he's NighInvulnerable.
* The first episode of ''Series/{{Chuck}}'''s third season sees Chuck grow one of these after [[spoiler: he loses both Sarah and his spy job. He shaves it off after making the decision to try winning her back.]] We actually see it growing in a series of cuts as Chuck's life wastes slowly away.
* Danny Messer, after being shot in the back on ''Series/{{CSI NY}}''. It started with a few month time skip between seasons and then only lasted a few eps after the season opener, getting shaved off when he found he could walk again.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E13TheWeddingOfRiverSong "The Wedding of River Song"]], the Eleventh Doctor grows one of these while held in the Tower of London by the Holy Roman Emperor UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill. [[ItMakesSenseInContext It's a long story.]]
* Constable Fraser talks of this happening with his father, Bob Fraser, after his mother's death in ''Series/DueSouth''. He recalls his dad then suddenly coming out of his depression, shaving, and making breakfast one morning.
* Dr. Romano in ''Series/{{ER}}'', after his [[spoiler: arm gets cut off by a helicopter blade.]]
* Crichton at the start of ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' season four.
** Also one in the first season. Granted, he's been stranded Literature/RobinsonCrusoe-style on a planet where technology just...stops working, but then you remember that A) he genuinely believes his shipmates abandoned him, and B) when one looks at the natives, there's not [[NubileSavage a beard or woman with leg hair]] in sight.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** Tyrion Lannister, after [[spoiler:he kills his father and escapes from Westeros.]]
** Doran Martell is introduced sporting one as part of his general dishevelment, which is understandable since he has just learned that he's outlived all his siblings even though he is by far the eldest.
** Loras has one in "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken", likely since his captors didn't let him shave.
* When ''Series/GreysAnatomy'''s [[HospitalHottie Dr. McDreamy]] [[spoiler: became depressed about losing a patient, he went dark and twisty and retreated to the woods. While sitting in a lawn chair in front of his trailer, feeling {{emo}} and contemplating giving up neurosurgery]], his face acquired a startling amount of bush. [[spoiler: When he finally got his crap together, and was ready to go back to the hospital and propose to Meredith,]] the beard disappeared and quite a lot of viewers let out a sigh of relief; if not because [[spoiler: of the proposal and his return to work]], then because Patrick Dempsey looks a lot cuter clean-shaven.
* The Season 4 premiere of ''Series/{{Haven}}'' has Nathan with a beard because he's been living life on the run and his girlfriend Audrey and best friend Duke have been missing/presumed dead for six months. When Duke returns and gives him hope Audrey is alive as well, he shaves.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'': Nathan Petrelli in Season Two. General reaction among fans (and even Nathan's own kids) was KillItWithFire - thankfully, it vanished after two episodes.
* When ''Series/{{House}}'' [[spoiler: switches to methadone and becomes as happy as House can be,]] he shaves his PermaStubble. The other characters are taken aback by this, not to mention the fans.
* {{Lampshaded}} in the season 3 episode of ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', where [[spoiler: Ted]] grows a beard after breaking up with [[spoiler: Robin]]. Also played with, in that the beard only showed up for less than two minutes of screen time before it was shaved off, in stages, as he kept walking in and out of the bathroom to shave off portions of the beard between taking part in a group conversation in the living room. Each time he comes out of the bathroom, he is given a different name by his friends, including "Old Timey Inventor", "Our 21st President, Chester A. Arthur", and "Persian Nightclub Owner".
* On ''Series/LawAndOrderSVU'', whenever the normally clean-shaven Amaro gets an ItsPersonal episode, you can almost invariably tell how bad things are going for him by how intense his five o'clock shadow is.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': [[spoiler: Jack]] at the end of the third season. The beard was massive, probably because it stood for alcohol ''and'' pills. [[UnfazedEveryman Frank Lapidus]] of the Freighties also sported a beard, as he was busy drinking before being recruited. [[spoiler:He shows up again, relatively happier and clean-shaven in season five.]]
* In a sixth season episode of ''Series/{{Medium}}'' Joe grows a Beard of Sorrow while Allison is in a coma. It's a pretty impressive beard, though it turns out to be a dream.
* Taken to such extremes that it's borderline PlayedForLaughs in the last ever episode of ''{{Series/Misfits}}'', despite the bleak nature of the story line. After Jess goes missing for a year due to being caught unawares in a time skip, she returns to find everyone else more or less unchanged except Rudy, who's sporting a Beard of Sorrow of epic proportions, complete with mountain-man shaggy hair and a grubby pajamas/dressing gown combo that he actually wears out to the bar. Though it's an otherwise heartbreaking scene - Rudy literally crumples to the floor and ''sobs'' upon learning that Jess is back - his appearance is so over-the-top pathetic it's hard not to find it funny at the same time.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'': Gibbs, after being blown up, and retires ([[TenMinuteRetirement temporarily]]). Even if it is just a mustache.
* ''Series/{{The Office|US}}'': In the US series, Roy grows a Beard of Sorrow after Pam breaks up with him. This does involve alcohol (and a DUI). Later, reeling after his breakup with Angela, Dwight also rocks the depression stubble.
* Ben Wyatt of ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'' sports some thick stubble after [[spoiler:being forced to resign]].
* In ''Series/PersonOfInterest'', John Reese has one in the pilot, as he's mourning [[spoiler:Jessica's death]].
* Used a few times in ''Series/{{Rome}}'':
** Mark Antony in grows a beard after Octavius defeats his army. By a historical account, [[TruthInTelevision this actually happened]].
** Brutus grows one after he kills Caesar. It goes away after he [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic cleanses himself in a river]] in slow motion.
** Lucius Vorenus grows a "mourning beard" after his wife dies. His friend Pullo grows one as well out of solidarity.
* * The shaving of these beards becomes a CrowningMomentofAwesome. Vorenus returns to being a badass just moments later.
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'': Dr. Cox after [[spoiler:accidentally killing three patients]] spirals into a depression that involves drinking and growing a much heavier beard (as opposed to the [[PermaStubble regular stubble]] he had for much of that season).
** Also gets PlayedForLaughs when [[spoiler:Eliot's boyfriend Sean]] grows an impressive beard in a minimal amount of time after he gets dumped, explaining to J.D. that he is part Bulgarian.
* ''Series/TheShield'': Actor David Rees Snell, who played "Ronnie Gardocki" on "The Shield", upgraded in his trademark moustache to a full-fledged beard in between seasons two and three of the series (largely to sidestep the issue of his character being brutally disfigured in season two by having a beard cover up where his scars were). The character shaved off the beard midway through season six, to please a new girlfriend of his, but after finding out that fellow Strike Team member Shane Vendrell had not only murdered Ronnie's friend Lem, and had exposed Vic and Ronnie's involvement in robbing several million dollars from a local crime syndicate's money laundering ring, the beard came back for revenge as Ronnie sought (unsuccessfully) to save himself from being destroyed by Shane and Vic's war.
* Rob Fitch (Katie and Emily's dad) has one in series 4 of ''Series/{{Skins}}'' [[spoiler:after the bank shut down his gym]].
* In an episode of ''Series/SledgeHammer'', Sledge starts showing up to work looking disheveled and with unkempt stubble after the love of his life was stolen from him... that love being his gun of course.
* In the Season 8 premiere of ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', Clark Kent has a beard after losing his powers, getting captured, and imprisoned in a Russian slave labor camp. He shaves shortly after getting rescued.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Parallels", in an alternate timeline, William T. Riker (who's already famous for GrowingTheBeard), captains the ''Enterprise''. In this timeline, the Borg had won in "The Best of Both Worlds", with the United Federation of Planets destroyed and the ''Enterprise'' is one of the last few intact/unassimilated ships. As a result, he grows [[http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/File:Riker_gone_mad.jpg a beard of Leonidas-like proportions.]]
* On Season 4 of ''Series/TeenWolf'', [[spoiler: Chris Argent]] grows one after [[spoiler: his daughter Allison]] dies.
* On ''Series/That70sShow'', Eric gets one after his [[spoiler: breakup with Donna. (Well, the first one.)]]
* ''Series/{{Titus}}'' -- In fact, taking time to shave was an indication that he was going sober.
* Daniel in ''Series/UglyBetty'', after losing his fiancé.
* ''Series/VeronicaMars'':
** Duncan near the end of the first season. Unless he's actually entering the BeardnessProtectionProgram -- at the time that he grows it, he's both depressed and running away from home.
** Logan grows one in the third season after Veronica breaks up with him.
* Parodied in ''Series/{{Weeds}}'' by Andy when Nancy [[spoiler: leaves to be with her Mexican gangster boyfriend]]. People keep commenting on it, and he eventually shaves it, after much hilarity.
* Very nicely {{subvertedTrope}} in the pilot episode of ''Series/WhiteCollar''. After his girlfriend Kate comes to the prison to tell him goodbye, Neal stops shaving for a month-and-a-half. Turns out he wasn't wallowing -- [[ItMakesSenseInContext growing a beard was part]] [[GreatEscape of his escape plan]].
* Mulder of ''Series/TheXFiles'' grows one of these in times of stress, ranging from stubble in season 2 when Scully is missing to a full beard in the six-year interim between the end of the series and "I Want to Believe".
** Byers has a very subtle one. In the episode "Three of a Kind", he has a dream sequence about living [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5YHT7TQ45k the American Dream]]. At the beginning of the dream he has a short and neat beard, but his beard becomes longer after his dream is shattered.
* ''Series/TheDefenders2017'': In a lesser case, Matt Murdock's PermaStubble has grown out a little bit since Elektra's demise.

* The song "Razor Burn" by Lagwagon is all about this.
** ''On the night she left me, facial hair grew miraculously, I dressed in black like Johnny Cash and grew this beard of shame.''
* Music/HollywoodUndead's song about spiraling into depression and alcoholism has the line, "I haven't shaved in a week".
* The 1980 Music/ColdChisel song "Cheap Wine" refers to a 'three-day growth'' in the chorus.

* Charon, the [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Greek/Roman]] ferryman of the dead, is portrayed as being permanently dirty, disheveled and unshaven, since, as someone who always deals with the dead, he's in a constant state of mourning.

* Phoenix Wright in ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'' is seen with PermaStubble 7 years after he [[spoiler: lost his lawyer badge]].
* After going through a the events of ''VideoGame/CondemnedCriminalOrigins'', main character Ethan Thomas went from being a clean cut Federal Agent to a bearded alcoholic transient transient by the time of ''VideoGame/Condemned2Bloodshot''. Considering the events of the game, it's hard to blame him.
* After getting [[spoiler: half his face toasted off and his mother killed]] at the end of Act 3, Snake spends the Act 4 Briefing of ''VideOGame/MetalGearSolid4'' with a stubbly jaw, although he's shaved it off by the time he becomes playable again.
* ''VideoGame/HeavyRain'': After [[spoiler: his son Jason is hit by a car in the prologue,]] a formerly clean shaven Ethan Mars sports a beard for the rest of the game.
** He will shave it at the end of the game [[spoiler: if his other son Shaun is saved and he forgave Madison. He will appear beardless in a scene of the epilogue where he is looking for a new place to stay with Madison.]]
* Both ''VideoGame/KaneAndLynch'' games have Kane with one. He grows one in the first game's final act after [[spoiler: his wife is murdered by The7]] and he is forced to travel to Cuba to get revenge. He begins ''Dog Days'' with one after his daughter tells him to his face that she hates him and never wants to see him again.
* In the trailer for ''[[VideoGame/GearsOfWar Gears of War 3]]'', Dom is shown with a heavy beard. This is likely due to the fact that [[spoiler: he was forced to mercy kill his wife in ''Gears of War 2''.]]
* VideoGame/MaxPayne features a grief beard for majority of his third game, going with his fully shaved head to differentiate him even further from what he used to be.
* Naked Snake does this in transition to becoming Big Boss in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker'', in response to the events of Snake Eater.
** He did already have a beard, although it was less a "beard" beard and more PermaStubble.
* In ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoLibertyCityStories'', [[spoiler: Donald Love is seen with one after losing both the mayoral election and his empire]].
* By ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', the default male Commander Shepard's perma-stubble has begun to evolve into one.
* Joel from ''Videogame/TheLastOfUs'' is sporting a beard of sorrow after the Twenty Year Jump, which triples over as a survival beard and BadassBeard.
* Jim Raynor in ''VideoGame/StarCraftII''. It's four years after the Brood War, where the woman he loved used him, betrayed him, and killed off many dear friends. Mengsk's propaganda machine has marginalized him and his rebellion, making it nearly impossible to fight effectively. Jim's taken to drink and become far more bedraggled in appearance than he was in the first game.
* [[spoiler:Kenny]] shows in Season 2 of ''Videogame/TheWalkingDead'' with a shaggy and fairly unkempt beard. According to his significant other, it was even worse when they first met.
* In [[spoiler:the PlayableEpilogue of]] ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'', [[spoiler:Captain Walker]] sports a short but full beard befittting his status as a ShellShockedVeteran beyond the DespairEventHorizon.

* In ''Webcomic/SupernormalStep'', Van stops shaving while he searches for Fiona, who ditched their party after her HeroicBSOD.
* Steve from ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent'' grows one after a break-up. He is also seen drinking heavily. He keeps it after getting better, albeit groomed instead of fluffy-lion mane.
* Indie Rock Pete from ''Webcomic/DieselSweeties'' can literally grow a beard ''as'' he is told depressing news.
* ''Webcomic/SomethingPositive'': Davan grows a beard when [[spoiler: his mother dies and he becomes focused with taking care of his father.]] Ironically, he still has this beard once he gets over his issues and is seen smiling. He eventually shaves it off, but no show is made over it.
* When Agatha [[FakingTheDead fakes her own death]] in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', the mourning Gilgamesh Wulfensbach swiftly develops a PermaStubble - and [[TookALevelInBadass takes a level in badass]]. Interestingly enough, he keeps the badass-ness even after he shaves...
* Dmitri from ''Webcomic/DresdenCodak'' grows one at the end of the [[http://dresdencodak.com/2008/10/02/epilogue-2/ Hob storyline]].
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' Riff grows one of these after [[http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=070828 exterminating the human race]].
** It's slightly less bad than it sounds. And it's not *our* Riff.
* ''Webcomic/CtrlAltDel'': Ethan has been growing some stubble ever since [[RobotBuddy Zeke]] left, return to alcoholism included.
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/ScaryGoRound'' when Ryan shaves his beard in sorrow after Fallon breaks up with him.
* The previous page picture was taken from [[http://clayyount.com/raecomics/2009/1/26/beard-tears this]] ''Webcomic/RobAndElliot'' strip, though in this case it's a beard grown to offset TenderTears.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Deities}}'' Death has started to grow one [[spoiler:after it was revealed he has taken on qualities of the deities he's reaped.]]

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', Refan grows a beard after the Cataclysm because he feels he betrayed the world for not killing his brother when he had the chance, which might have prevented the rise of the Godslayer.
* Tariq grows a beard at the start of ''WebVideo/KateModern'' series 2, apparently out of grief.
* ''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic'' is a SadClown and has had a goatee ever since he first started.
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'': The first time we see [[FourStarBadass General]] [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Irownwood]] after the cast-wide TraumaCongaLine that was Volume 3, he's grown stubble and a goatee, conflicting with the immaculate appearance he had in all past Volumes, due to the stress and grief that resulted.
* In ''WebVideo/MarbleHornets'' Entry #65, [[spoiler:Tim]] is seen with one following his [[spoiler:MindRape via The Operator]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Katamari}}'': After a series of misunderstandings, the King of All Cosmos becomes so troubled by the thought that he's no longer needed that he [[InvertedTrope Inverts]] this by [[http://www.shiftylook.com/comics/katamari/a-troubled-king shaving off all his facial hair]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'''s Ray Gillette combines this with DrowningMySorrows after his robotic legs quit working and he spends a good part of the "Archer Vice" arc confined to a wheelchair, wearing only a pair of soiled briefs and weeping constantly. During a mission Kreiger casually reminds Cyril to have him reboot the CPU in Ray's spine to get his legs running again.
* Being prepubescent, Aang of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' had to grow Hair of Sorrow after [[spoiler:being killed and brought back to life. During that period he was forced to let people continue to think he was dead,]] which didn't sit well with him. He shaved it again right before [[spoiler:leading the attack on the Fire Nation capital on the dramatically named Day of Black Sun.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'': Whenever Bender ''stops'' drinking, he develops a beard-shaped patch of rust. Fry occasionally develops a beard of sorrow in a few episodes.
* On ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'', Beezy manages to get stubble literally seconds after losing his [[CollectorOfTheStrange collection of chewed gum]].
* On ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'', Modercai grows a beard and disheveled feathers [[LoveHurts after Margaret tells him, in "Steak Me Amadeus", she can't be his girlfriend since she's going to college]].
* On ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'', after [[DarkestHour Mystery Inc was disbanded in the Season 1 finale]], the Season 2 premiere has Fred sporting a massive beard.
* Homer Simpson of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. He grew it over the course of one day -- could sorrow ''increase'' the growth rate of a beard?
** And Smithers, during the 'Who shot Mr. Burns?' plotline.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SongOfTheSea'', Conor gets one after Bronagh vanishes.
* Sol Butcher of ''WesternAnimation/SonsOfButcher'' has one of these in the pilot episode, and it reappears several times through the series. He actually refers to it as his "Alcoholic Beard".
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels'': After [[spoiler:getting [[EyeScream blinded]]]] in the season 2 finale, one six-month TimeSkip and a lengthy HeroicBSOD later Kanan Jarrus has grown out his sideburns and goatee into a full-on beard and mustache.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitansGo'': Robin grows one in "Birds" when he is driven out of the team and starts living in the mockingbird nest in the chimney (ItMakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext).
* After WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers' [[spoiler:first (onscreen)]] death, Dr. Venture grows such a beard while traveling around the world "finding himself".
** And Mr Impossible, the ReedRichardsIsUseless {{Expy}} of Mr Fantastic grew one when his wife left him for Rusty's one-armed midget brother.
* [[spoiler:Clone!]]Roy Harper sports one during the five-year time skip in ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' after a dose of [[spoiler:CloningBlues.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'', by the time Season 5 begins, Jack has grown a very long beard and doesn't even tie his hair anymore. After 50 years of wandering the future searching for a way back to his timeline without [[TheAgeless physically aging]] and [[spoiler:losing his sword - the one thing capable of destroying the BigBad]], he is consumed with grief and despair going as far as to hallucinate with a SplitPersonality that tries to convince him to [[DrivenToSuicide put them out of their misery]].

[[folder:Real Life]]
* A common symptom of depression is that sufferers stop caring for their appearance, so beards of sorrow are pretty common in RealLife.
* Inverted by UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat who reputedly shaved off all his hair after the death of his lover Hephaistion. At the time, this was a standing custom.
* Vice President UsefulNotes/AlGore gained weight and grew a scraggly beard after losing the Presidential Election in 2000. He was one of a handful of candidates to win the popular vote, yet not the office, so if he was kinda depressed for a while, it would be no surprise.
* There is a tradition of Popes growing beards when Rome is conquered.
* Archbishop Thomas Cranmer grew his beard as a sign of mourning after Henry VIII's death. Cranmer may have been the only person in England who was genuinely sorry Henry was gone.
* It is customary for Jewish men to not shave during the Shiva, the customary week of grief and mourning. Some actually extend this to a full month.
* Ladies and gentlemen, the Strike Beard; both Creator/DavidLetterman and Creator/ConanOBrien developed impressive beards after vanishing from the air during the WGA strike. They didn't last long, but they made an impact. Stephen Colbert, ''of course,'' parodied this by having a massive Rip van Winkle beard the first time he appeared after the strike.
* And after leaving ''Series/TheTonightShow'', Conan [[GrowingTheBeard grew the beard]] (though he kept the literal facial hair after being picked up for a new show by [=TBS=]).
* Many people noted that during the breakup of Music/TheBeatles and the stress that resulted, Music/PaulMcCartney grew a beard, something he was not previously known to do (even when the other Beatles were experimenting with facial hair, [=McCartney=] was usually noticeably clean-shaven) and only rarely seen to do since. It was suggested that this trope might have something to do with it.
** In fact, [=McCartney=] himself summed up his post-breakup depression as follows in [[http://taz4158.tripod.com/macint.htm a 1984 interview]] with ''Magazine/{{Playboy}}'': "[Linda] had to deal with this guy who didn't particularly want to get out of bed and, if he did, wanted to go back to bed pretty soon after. He wanted to drink earlier and earlier each day and didn't really see the point in shaving, because where was he going?".
* Jim Morrison of Music/TheDoors grew a beard while in depression before he died. He was noted as taking heavy drugs and drinking a lot of alcohol, so the beard was just the finishing touch.
* [[ChristianRock Christian singer/songwriter]] StevenCurtisChapman has had a clean-shaven appearance for most of his career. He grew a beard for a while in 2008-2009, after the death of his youngest daughter that because the subject of his album ''Beauty Will Rise''.
* A standing custom in Roman times was to wear ragged clothing and stop shaving or cutting their hair to show mourning or to inspire pity when prosecuted.
** After the disastrous battle of the Teutoburg Forest, the Roman Emperor Augustus had a breakdown, letting his beard grow, banging his head against the walls, and shouting "Quinctilius Varus, give me back my legions!" Varus had led the 17th, 18th and 19th Roman legions, all of which were destroyed by German troops; Varus himself fell on his sword to avoid capture and execution.
** Cato the Younger, who grew his beard during the civil war between Caesar and Pompey, and mourned every Roman citizen who died.
* A former example - Gary Weddle of Ephrata, Washington is a high school teacher. After the events of [[TheWarOnTerror September 11 2001]], [[http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/bizarre&id=8110072 he vowed not to shave his beard until Osama bin Laden was either dead or in US custody]]. At the time of his decision he thought it would only take a few months; as time went on he had to start explaining to incoming freshman classes the whats and whys behind his facial hair, the students having been too young to remember the events of that day. Mr. Weddle ended up bearded for nearly ten years and ultimately bore some resemblance to the infamous terrorist before bin Laden's death in May 2011 allowed him to shave again.
* There's an old Italian custom; when a loved one has died, a man doesn't shave until the funeral.
* Kaiser Wilhelm II grew a beard during his exile in the Netherlands. There are very few photos of him during this period, so that's why the Kaiser Beard is not nearly as famous as the Kaiser Moustache.
* A staunch Democrat named Valentine Tapley swore to never shave again if Lincoln was elected in 1860. [[https://bghsmissourihistory.wikispaces.com/Valentine+Tapely He died in 1910.]]
* Some Taiwanese/Chinese people don't shave after the death of a loved one as a sign of grieving.
* A sort of enforced version: when MMA fighter Evan Tanner died from hyperthermia in 2008, thousands of mourning fans, including UFC commentator Joe Rogan, grew out their beards for a month as a tribute to him.