[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/StarCraftIIWingsOfLiberty http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SC2MarineHeadshot_2240.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:That's gonna leave a mark...]]

In some media, particularly science fiction media, armored characters will often have large plates covering their face. This could be anything from a large bubble helmet used in a conventional space suit, to a thin strip-like visor running across their eyes. Sometimes writers and artists need to show combat damage on suited characters, and one of the most visible and effective means of communicating that to the audience is by means of smashing, cracking, or putting a hole through the faceplate on their armor, suit, or mask.

This can be a very powerful image, as humans instinctively look to the face to gauge the state of another person's emotions, and even when that face is completely concealed behind a visor, the fact that the visor is damaged tends to communicate horrible damage quite quickly. This can also be a form of GoryDiscretionShot, as any damage severe enough to put a hole through a faceplate is likely to [[ChunkySalsaRule make a mess of the head it conceals]], but the actual blood and gore need not be directly shown. See also PrettyLittleHeadshots. On the other hand, if the damage caused uncovers the character's face but does not cause head injury, that can also be a way of communicating to the audience that though the character is not dead, they are in serious danger. Tearing away their protection and revealing their face in the process will "humanize" an armored character to the audience, with all attendant human vulnerabilities that implies.

Note that though this trope seems most common to armored characters, it can apply to any character who conceals their face behind a mask. For example, a [[CoolMask masked]] SuperHero who gets their mask partially torn off in battle would count as this trope, though one who [[TheUnmasking deliberately takes the mask off]] would not.

Often a type of ArmorPiercingAttack, this is a non-{{fanservice}} SubTrope of ClothingDamage, and SisterTrope to HatDamage if non-fatal. May invoke OminousCrack where it's not fatal for added drama.

!!'''As a DeathTrope, Spoilers may be unmarked ahead. Beware.'''


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Ryuga in ''{{Mahoromatic}}'' gets his helmet smashed open in the last episode of the first season.
* [[ActionGirl Alice]] of ''PumpkinScissors'' is buying time for Randel by taking on an entire division of Claymores (masked, heavily-armoured shock troopers). The captain mocks her because she's getting tired; her response is to hack right through the metal faceplate of the captain with her [[{{BFS}} double-bladed cavalry sword]], then slash through his body armour.
** The same episode has another example near the end. [[spoiler: As the body of [[TragicVillain Hans]] of the [[KillItWithFire 908th High-Temperature Troop]] is being carted away, we see the faceplate of his [[ImmuneToBullets flame and bullet resistant armour]] cracked wide open. As he can no longer survive outside his suit, this example is even more appropriate than most.]]
* In ''DarkerThanBlack'', one of the most common and effective ways to show that a foe is to be feared is for them to break Hei's [[WhiteMaskOfDoom mask]].
* Very dramatically in the ''CodeGeass'' first SeasonFinale: [[spoiler: Suzaku shoots a bullet straight at Zero's forehead; the mask slowly cracks, falling into two pieces on the floor and finally revealing Lelouch's identity to both him and Kallen.]]
* Happens in the fourth season of ''{{Bakugan}}'' when Dan shatters [[BigBad Mag Mel]]'s mask in their fight, revealing his true identity of Emperor Barodius, the previous season's BigBad who'd been sealed away for his attempted destruction of his neighboring planet.
* Haku from ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''. His mask cracks and falls off while he waits for Naruto to kill him.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'', Zone's mask cracks after receiving a direct attack and part of it soon breaks off, revealing that he has the same face as Yusei.
* Chun-Li does this to Vega/[[DubNameChange Balrog]] when he tries to kill her in ''Anime/StreetFighterIITheAnimatedMovie''. This proves to be his BerserkButton.
* In ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'', a sign that Vash is [[BerserkButton genuinely pissed]] is that he aims to kill, hitting the eye portion of Monev's transparent faceplate and cracking it, though Monev survives the shot.
* Happens in ''Anime/SpaceRunawayIdeon'' several times, but it is rarely if ever meant to be a GoryDiscretionShot, given how graphic deaths are in the series.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' metaseries, the sight of a shattering faceplate is usually, though not always, the signal that a pilot is now dead. At best, it's a sign of severe injury and possible major life change.
** In ''Anime/GundamBuildFighters'' Episode 20, in the after credits scene, this involves TheReveal of [[spoiler:Aila]] being the lady with the helmet to Reiji.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* During the conclusion of ''ComicBook/ThroneOfAtlantis'', ComicBook/{{Aquaman}} shatters [[BigBad Ocean Master]]'s [[MaskOfPower crown]] in two. Afterwards, Ocean Master [[spoiler:relinquishes the title of king of Atlantis to him]].

* Used in ''Film/RoboCop1987'', where his visor gets smashed open by [=ED209=], allowing the audience to see the fear and surprise on his face during a close-up.
* In ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'', Picard takes a blow to the head while wearing a Starfleet space suit, causing the visor to crack. Fortunately for him, it still holds.
* During the space jump in ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'', Kirk takes a winging glance to the face from a small piece of debris. It produces a hairline fracture on his faceplate which begins to expand into a spiderweb of cracks as the air pressure in his suit pushes the faceplate outward. It holds and does not shatter completely, but it does disable his HeadsUpDisplay.
* During the intense forest battle in ''Film/TransformersRevengeOfTheFallen'', Megatron shatters Optimus Prime's iconic faceplate by kicking him in the face. Soon after, Prime has to spit damaged pieces of it out of his mouth. Later, when he is upgraded with Jetfire's parts, Optimus's faceplate is repaired.
* The Raimi ''Film/SpiderMan'' films invoke this trope at least twice. Spidey's mask gets ripped when he's on the receiving end of a beatdown.
* In ''Film/IronMan3'', Pepper finds and picks up an Iron Man helmet, which has been cracked in half and slightly burned.
* In ''Film/ThreeHundred'', the Persian Immortals wear chromed masks into battle. One gets unmasked by a blow to the face. What's underneath is even uglier, matching the rest of Xerxes' army of freaks and horrors.
* In the original ''Film/{{Alien}}'', the first thing the face-hugger form does is go for the helmet, secreting acid to melt through the faceplate to [[FaceFullOfAlienWingWong impregnate the host within]]...
* ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'':
** During their first fight, Bane beats Batman so brutally that his cowl cracks.
** In their second fight, Batman invokes this against Bane, hitting him so hard that his mask breaks - which messes with the constant flow of painkilling gas Bane needs to ignore the pain from his injuries.
* In ''Film/TheRaid,'' one [[RedShirt early non-essential character]] gets shot clean through the faceplate on his riot helmet. Doubles as Eye Scream, at that.
* This trope is how you tell a mook has died in ''Film/{{Equilibrium}}''.
* At the end of the ActionPrologue in ''Film/PacificRim'', Reliegh stumbles out of a collapsed Gypsy Danger with the faceplate over his helmet reduced to a few broken pieces around the edges and the right shoulder of his suit torn off, showing what he just went through.
* In ''Film/{{Gravity}}'', Shariff's death is confirm not only from the large hole in the visor of his helmet, but from the hole in the back of the helmet and straight through the head in between.
* In ''Film/{{Automata}}'' the Automaton Pilgram 7000 series and up have built in faceplate-like masks that are often graffitied, shot at, broken, or [[TheSingularity when fully sapient simply removed]].

* This happens in Toku shows if someone has taken a '''really''' hard hit. Their suit is always intact next time it's used, though, somehow.
* ''Franchise/SuperSentai'':
** In ''Series/MiraiSentaiTimeranger'': Tatsuya's visor broke during one of the fight with Hell-Gate Prisoner, which reveal to Mr.Asami that Tatsuya is Time Red.
** Happens at least once in ''Series/HyakujuuSentaiGaoranger'' (to Blue).
** ''[[Series/JukenSentaiGekiranger Gekiranger]]'': Jan gets a hole punched in his visor during his final fight with Rio.
** A curious variation takes place in ''Series/MahouSentaiMagiranger''; during the final battle against N Ma, Kai manifests his helmet without the faceplate.
** In ''Series/TokumeiSentaiGobusters'' takes this trope UpToEleven. In Mission 14, Hiromu and Ryuuji both get smashed visors. This shows how strong the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Metaroids]] are getting... the episode happens to be the debut of the [[SixthRanger 4th and 5th rangers]]. It also happens to Ryuuji in mission 46. It happens to all three main Rangers in the finale.
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'':
** ''[[Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy Lost Galaxy]]'' - During the final battle with Trakeena, Leo uses his SuperMode armor to grab her and fires at point-blank rage. At first, his teammates aren't sure he survived, but he staggers out of the rubble with half his visor blown off, and gives an epic thumbs up.
** ''[[Series/PowerRangersLightspeedRescue Lightspeed Rescue]]'' - This is how Captain Mitchell finds out who the new Titanium Ranger really is. [[spoiler:It's his son]].
** ''[[Series/PowerRangersTimeForce Time Force]]'' - This is how Wes's father finds out that his son is a Ranger.
*** This was a shot-for-shot remake of a scene from ''Series/MiraiSentaiTimeranger''. Including the fact that you could only a small part of his face, and the dad was a ''good'' ten yards away or more.
** Psycho Pink of ''Series/PowerRangersInSpace'' gets her helmet cracked, but you don't get to see through it. The same cracked helmet prop is reused [[Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy a season later]], when she (barely) survives the combined finishing moves of the Space and Galaxy Rangers, and seeks payback.
* In ''Series/KamenRiderDecade'', [[Series/KamenRiderKuuga Yuusuke]], wearing the [[Series/KamenRiderAgito G3-X armor]], is attacked by one of the Lords and part of the faceplate is damaged in the process.
* In ''Series/KamenRiderGaim'', [[spoiler: Mitsuzane blows off half of Takatora's faceplate at the end of their duel.]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* See also: InCaseOfBossFightBreakGlass.
* Used in first person in ''VideoGame/StarWarsRepublicCommando''. The leader of Delta Squad will get [[InterfaceScrew cracks and chips on his visor when taking damage]], which will be quickly repaired as the helmet's systems re-surface the visor.
* Used on the cover of ''VideoGame/{{Haze}}''. [[CoversAlwaysLie Not that it ever actually happens in the game]].
* In ''VideoGame/StarCraftIIWingsOfLiberty'', a scene near the end of the game shows the aftermath of a battle, with many broken and imobile suits of Terran power armor strewn across the ground. One prominent shot shows a large hole shot through the characteristic domed visor.
** A news report in ''[[VideoGame/StarcraftIIHeartOfTheSwarm Heart of the Swarm]]'' symbolizes a report on [[spoiler: Jim Raynor's faked]] execution with a shot of his suit with a bullet through the faceplace.
* A few examples in ''VideoGame/HaloReach'':
** [[PlayerCharacter Noble Six]]'s helmet is shown as a DeadHatShot InMediasRes during the opening cutscene, half buried in the dirt, [[{{Foreshadowing}} lying alone and abandoned on a charred battlefield]].
** [[spoiler:[[InterfaceScrew Seen from first person]] when Noble Six is making a LastStand against the Covenant, and we learn why the helmet was discarded as shown in the opening.]]
** In the trailer for the next-gen ''Halo'', Master Chief's visor is cracked.
* In ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps'', one mission requires you to wear an NBC suit during a chemical attack. You're still fighting, though, and as you take damage, your faceshield will crack. While your health will regenerate normally, your faceshield won't, meaning that if you take too much damage in the entire sequence, you'll die from exposure to the chemical agent.
** Also briefly appears ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare 3'', in first person, when Price's Juggernaut suit is damaged by helicopter rockets in the final mission.
* During the "Bring Down the Sky" mission in ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', a survivor of the attack mentions that the Batarian terrorists killed engineers working vacuum by smashing their faceplates.
* The GameOver screen in ''MetroidPrime''.
* In ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon FEAR]] 2: Project Origin'', the screen cracks when Becket dies, representing his CoolShades being broken.
* In ''{{VideoGame/Metro 2033}}'', this is a gameplay mechanic similar to the ''Black Ops'' example above: your gas mask will start to crack and break as you take damage while wearing it. As it gets closer to breaking, it becomes less effective, and when it has a hole punched in it, it's done for and you have to find another in less than thirty seconds. Also applies to its sequel, ''VideoGame/MetroLastLight''.
* The mask of Yasha, which symbolizes his allegiance to the Seven Deities in ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'', takes more and more damage throughout the game, at one point being removed when he joins Asura in opposing his bosses, before finally shattering completely when Yasha finally dies in Episode 21.
* In the Macintosh FMV shooting gallery game ''Blood Bath'', the screen cracks when you get hit, and displays a blood splatter when you are killed.
* In ''Videogame/CommandAndConquerTiberianSun'' the Nod campaign starts with a pan shot to a fallen Nod trooper, who's helmet is blown open. Unlike most other instances of this trope, if you look closely you can see the remains of the guy's face (it ain't pretty). This is intentionally juxtaposed with Nod Propaganda being broadcast over the trooper's transmitter, which leads into the actual intro.
* Happens to Cpt. Mitchell in one of ''VideoGame/GhostRecon: Advanced Warfighter 2'''s later missions, also [[InterfaceScrew wrecking your HUD]].

* In ''{{Narbonic}}'', the state of Dave's eyeglasses symbolizes the state of his sanity. For most of the comic's run, his glasses are intact but represented as opaque. Towards the end when Dave finally realizes the great secret responsible for much of his life's path, his glasses are suddenly represented as clear, showing that he can see clearly now. And then one of the lenses cracks, as a not-so-subtle way to show that Dave is half-cracked.
* [[spoiler: Mistress Butterfly]] of ''Webcomic/{{Collar 6}}'' cements her status as a BigBad by shattering the cyclops like faceplate of a [[TheWorfEffect supposedly powerful]] member of the association called a Judicatrix.
* [[http://supernormalstep.com/?p=83 May]] from ''SupernormalStep''.
* An early page of ''Webcomic/{{Terra}}'' has resident FriendlySniper Grey O'Shea save one of his unit by putting a round through the faceplate of an [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Azatoth]] soldier.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''RedVsBlue'''': Revelation'' has one near the end of the season: [[spoiler: The Meta manages to drive a spiked A.I. containment unit into Tex's visor, smashing a large round hole into the front of it and absorbing her into the unit.]] [[note]]Rooster Teeth supposedly intended for this iconic image to be used on the DVD cover, until they discovered the trope was also being used in ''HaloReach'', which was being released at nearly the same time. They decided to change it to avoid seeming like they were ripping off the idea.[[/note]]
** It shows up again after York's injury in the sparring match in season 9, where he loses vision in one eye and gains some [[GoodScarsEvilScars serious scars]].
* In the Dornian Heresy (an AlternateContinuity of the [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer40000}} Horus Heresy]]), Sanguinius came into the care of the Baalite mutants who called themselves the Changed. With Sanguinius's help, the Changed defeated the Faceless Ones and piled their smashed rad-suit helmets at the base of Angel Falls.

* In ''TransformersCybertron'', Optimus Prime's mouthplate is shattered during the final battle, although he is the victor. Galvatron dies though.
** During Optimus's death sequence in ''TransformersArmada'', his faceplate cracks apart up-close before he crumbles into dust.
** In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'', [[TheBlank Soundwave]] gets slashed across his faceplate by Wheeljack, shortly before Wheeljack headbutts him hard enough to badly crack it. However, Soundwave [[FeelNoPain shows pretty much no reaction to the damage]] and manages to narrowly win their battle.
* A scene of ''[[WesternAnimation/StarWarsCloneWars Clone Wars]]'' sees General Grievous grasping a clone trooper's head with his clawed foot and smashing him against a wall so hard that his helmet shatters and his jaw is visible. [[BloodlessCarnage There's no blood]], but it's reasonable to assume that the trooper is down for good.
* On Episode 7 of ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', police chief Lin Beifong beats an Equalist MiniMecha by [[ExtraOreDinary metalbending her cables]] [[BladeBelowTheShoulder into punching daggers]] and smashing through the faceplate, attacking the operator.
* In ''Franchise/{{BIONICLE}} 2: Legends of Metru Nui'', Jaller's mask is damaged during the Great Rescue. Vakama promptly gives Jaller [[TragicKeepsake Lhikan's mask]].