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[[quoteright:317:[[Franchise/{{Zorro}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Zorro1.jpg]]]]

->'''Fezzik''': Why are you wearing a mask? Were you burned by acid or something like that?
->'''Man in Black''': No, it's just that they are terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.
-->-- ''Film/ThePrincessBride''

Anyone who routinely covers at least half of their face is likely to be at the top end of the personal power scale. Habitual illusions and kabuki-style makeup also count.

Almost prototypical for SuperHero characters. In anime, these are standard issue for {{Char Clone}}s.

HumongousMecha frequently gain a mask (over their mouth at the least) when [[CombiningMecha combining]] or entering a SuperMode.

Note that this only applies to major characters. {{Mooks}} in masks are in a [[FacelessGoons special subcategory]], but are still Mooks underneath.

A SuperTrope to CoatHatMask (combining this with a hat and BadassLongcoat), MalevolentMaskedMen, HockeyMaskAndChainsaw (horror ShoutOut combining ChainsawGood), MaskOfPower.

A SisterTrope to NiceHat.

Compare SuperheroesWearTights.

----
!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The Glittering Crux Brigade from ''Anime/StarDriver'' is practically built around this trope. Their masks even let them pilot ''HumongousMecha''.
* [[ActionGirl Juliet]] of ''RomeoXJuliet'', as part of her awesome, cross-dressing vigilante alter ego, The Red Whirlwind.
* Lan Fan and Fuu from ''Manga/FullMetalAlchemist'' wear masks, and they're elite ninja bodyguards of a prince. Lan Fan in particular seems to feel insecure without her mask on.
* Ichigo and the Vizards from ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' are able to release their Hollow abilities by materializing Hollow masks.
* Several of the cast of ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' (most notably [[TheObiWan Kakashi]])
** He gets bonus points. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGn-Tg1j8w0 What's under his mask?]] [[spoiler:[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1eNQ68mf6Y&feature=related Another mask!]]]]
** Tobi, one of the Akatsuki members, initially wears an orange spiral mask with only one eye visible. [[spoiler: He is the leader of Akatsuki and appears to be Uchiha Madara]]. In flashbacks he had a different mask with a flame-like pattern, and later he got a new mask patterned after the Sharingan and Rinnegan.
*** The reason for Tobi's mask has become apparent in recent chapters - [[spoiler:He's not the real Uchiha Madara.]] Naruto has decided that knocking the mask off is a short-term goal of his - he finally succeeds in chapter 598 by shattering it, and 599 reveals Tobi's face and true identity.
* Arshes Nei in ''{{Bastard}}'', though it quickly comes off.
* ''VampireHunterD''. No mask, but the shadow of his hat sometimes produces the same effect.
* Pizza the Zonderian from ''GaoGaiGar''.
** By extension, [[spoiler: SixthRanger Soldat J. When he gets purified and makes his HeelFaceTurn, his mecha ends up being at least three times the size of the biggest Yuusha Robos.]]
* Char Aznable and [[CharClone his imitators]] from the various ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}s''. Char wore his Cool Mask so he could infiltrate the Zeon Military (The explanation he gave to the Zeon Military was that he needed to keep his eyes covered for some medical reason), and exact revenge upon the Zabis. Kycilia Zabi often wears a mask for reasons that go completely unexplained.
** Schwartz Bruder, a helpful "Big Brother" character from ''[[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam G Gundam]]'', and the Gundam Fighter from Neo Germany who always follows the protagonist, Domon Kasshu, around like a "Chief Rival." However (as the name implies) well into the series, Schwarz Bruder is revealed to be none other than the protagonist's own actual brother (or at least a nanomachine copy of his conscience) meant to toughen Domon up to take down the Big Bad. "[[Anime/SpeedRacer Racer X]]" anyone?
** ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Gundam Wing]]'' features a masked character similar to Char in backstory. The son of royalty who were killed by the Earth Sphere Alliance, Milliardo Peacecraft, adopted the name Zechs Marquise (''Gundam Wing'' has a naming trope all to itself), donned a mask, joined a military contractor so he could infiltrate the Alliance, and then bring them down. After finally bringing down his family's murderers, he removes the mask. For the next season, he leaves the mask, but remains {{badass}}.
*** To a lesser extent, Trowa Barton puts on a half-mask when performing as a clown for the circus he uses as cover. Thing is, Trowa is a [[TheStoic Stoic]], even in the circus, so the half-mask combined with his constant poker face only enhance his mystique. In addition, he also piloted the mostly-red (until ''Endless Waltz'' at least) Gundam Heavyarms. On the subject of Endless Waltz, the clown-painted half-mask reappears for the film... but as a Gundam-scaled version on Heavyarms itself.
** In ''Anime/TurnAGundam'', Harry Ord, the CharClone is a bodyguard for the Princess of the Moon, Diana Soriel. The trope (large red sunglasses) in this case is lampshaded by his confession that he is "keeping his eyes on the Queen's back." While being a semi-rival for the protagonist, he mostly kicks ass. And how.
** As well as that Darth Vader wannabe, Iron Mask Carozzo, from the ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamF91 Gundam F91]]'' movie. The mask in this case grants him the ability to interface with his {{Attack Drone}}s.
*** The mask also allows him to shrug off headshots.
** Bask Om from ''[[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Zeta Gundam]]'' (and a minor role in ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam0083StardustMemory Gundam 0083]]'') is the "tiny little glasses" version of this. Well, goggles, really. He happens to be one of the highest ranked officers in the entire Federation/Titan force, and one mean bastard in general.
*** Also Quattro Bajeena, a ''[[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Zeta Gundam]]'' expy of Char who just happens to be... Char himself, sans mask, but with sunglasses that cover just as much. Said sunglasses did jack since everyone already knew that he's Char.
** Graham Acre in ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Gundam 00]]'' fulfills the nominal Char Clone role. Subverting the trope, Acre does not come into his mask until the second season, by which time most Gundam tropes have been creatively subverted or lampshaded. The mask is explained as covering a disfiguring set of scars left on Graham after his GN Flag was irreparably damaged in battle against the Gundam Exia. The general assumption is that he was burned from the heat of Exia's GN Blade.
** Rau Le Creuset and Neo Roanoke in ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed Gundam SEED]]'' and ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeedDestiny Gundam SEED Destiny]]'' respectively. Neo's hiding scars (and his identity from the audience), Rau's hiding from the sight of his own face and attempting to create an [[CloningBlues independent identity]] for himself. Both are extremley dangerous, with Neo serving as a BadassNormal [[TheDragon Dragon]] to Destiny's secondary BigBad, and Le Creuset functioning, in no particular order, as [[spoiler: BigBad, OmnicidalManiac (WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds version)]], and one of the best pilots in all of SEED.
** In classic CharClone fashion, Zeheart Galette from ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamAge Gundam AGE]]'' dons one from Episode 20 onwards. Unlike the other "Char-style" masks, however, Zeheart's mask is [[JustifiedTrope actually a device that helps him concentrate his X-Rounder abilities.]]
** And in ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn Gundam Unicorn]]'', we have Full Frontal who also wears a mask, and looks and sounds a lot like Char. [[spoiler:In a brilliant bit of [[LampshadeHanging lampshading]], its revealed that he's a Cyber-Newtype who was surgically modified to look and sound like Char, complete with the mask, all in order to keep the morale of the Neo Zeon remnants up, making him a literal Char clone in universe.]]
* Larva from ''VampirePrincessMiyu''.
* Cain from ''Anime/TenchiMuyo In Love'', and Katsuhito Masaki/Youshou in ''Anime/TenchiMuyo Ryo-Ohki''.
* Chichiri from ''Manga/FushigiYuugi'' is an interesting example. His mask happens to be [[ExpressiveMask a perfect replica of his face]], sans the scar.
* Zelgadis from ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}''.
** In the first Slayers anime season, a Mazoku named "Tiiba" looks like a cute humanoid rooster in a waistcoat at first. Then he manages to slip away and find a mask into which most of his power was sealed, transforming him into a giant humanoid hawk-thing when he melds it into his face.
* The Zeiram's (from the ''{{Zeiram}}'' films and ''Iria: Zeiram the Animation'') only visible face is a three-inch thing on a long prehensile neck, but it resembles a Kabuki mask, so it might count.
* When Fubuki in ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'', suffering from Jekyll-and-Hyde Syndrome, succumbs to his SuperpoweredEvilSide, it is symbolized by such a mask appearing on his face from nowhere except a cloud of black smoke.
* The mysterious masked man in the second season of ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha''. He could take the full brunt of Nanoha's attack without being fazed and routinely made short work of anyone he attacked.
* San from ''Anime/PrincessMononoke''. Her mask is so badass that it let her shrug off a nearly point-blank gunshot ''to the face'' (Okay, so it shatters at that point, but it gets fixed.)
* Racer X from ''Anime/SpeedRacer''.
* Suiren from ''BattleSpiritsShonenToppaBashin'' has a Cool Mask of her own.
* Turkey in ''Manga/AxisPowersHetalia'', though he loses his mask during/before the ChristmasEpisode.
* Paul Wan from ''Manga/GetBackers'', though only in the manga. While he wears sunglasses in both the anime and manga without ever taking them off and giving people the image of a cafe owner, in the manga, it is discovered that the sunglasses are not opaque at all, and that he relies on his sixth sense instead of actually seeing. When he decides to take off the sunglasses in the last arc of the GetBackers manga, he is revealed to be VERY high on the power scale, capable of generating razor-sharp winds and cutting through his opponents just by MOVING.
* Otohime Mutsumi from ''Manga/LoveHina'' appears to become a lot less ditzy, although she still affects a facade of ditziness, after she acquires a pair of these glasses (and a wardrobe change). This happens approximately in volume 12.
* Sara Gallagher, one of the [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking Five Pillars]] from ''{{Mai-Otome}}'', sports a Meister Robe that gives her a decidedly Zorro-like appearance, complete with a black mask, black [[TheCape cape]], and black form-fitting tights.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', after Usopp [[spoiler: leaves the crew]], he comes back under the alias 'Sogeking', with a mask and cape, [[TookALevelInBadass and a metric tonne more badassery than he had before]]. In the arc after that, he puts on the mask again during a battle and suddenly becomes much more competent.
* The titular heroine of ''KekkoKamen'' wears a red mask to conceal her face when she's out protecting her innocent classmates from evil. And that's about all she's concealing, seeing as the rest of the costume consists of gloves and boots... [[{{Stripperiffic}} and nothing more]].
-->'''Kekko Kamen:''' Nobody knows my face, but everyone knows my body...
* Subverted in ''Ultimate!! HentaiKamen'', where the main character's true fighting potential is unlocked ''by wearing a pair of panties over his face.'' It doesn't help that he takes to fighting crime in only his underwear... and somebody else's.
** Hentai Kamen gains new powers based on whose panties he is wearing: he gained amazing speed and agility when he put on a ballerina's panties... Not even going to say it... dammit.
** In HentaiKamen Reborn, his stuttering powers burst back to life when a pair of the near-extinct female-wear species of ''bloomers'' hits him. And in the first chapter, Kyosuke's mom (who works part time as an....''S&M MISTRESS?'') is wearing a large opera mask while whipping a salary man. She's ''18'' at this point.
* [[MagnificentBastard Lelouch Lamperouge]], as [[MyHeroZero Zero]], in ''Anime/CodeGeass''. Wears an "undermask" under the mask: The latter is the iconic helmet with chess-styled horns, and underneath is what appears to be part of his undershirt covering just his lower face - think [[Manga/{{Naruto}} Kakashi]]. However, despite multiple masks and an impressive list of accomplishments, he's [[SquishyWizard less likely to beat you up himself]] than to have his minions do it for him.
* Despariah, the BigBad of ''Anime/YesPrecure5'', wears full kabuki makeup to the point that her expressions are completely unreadable.
** Later revealed to be an actual mask that shatters to reveal her true face when it's time for her to play FinalBoss.
* Hakuoro of ''{{Utawarerumono}}'', as seen above. Not even ''he'' knows what he looks like without the mask, so you know he means business. In fact, the [[spoiler:scientists who originally recovered and studied him even found a way to improve their health and longevity by donning duplicates of his mask... until he smote them.]]
* Kogarashi from ''KamenNoMaidGuy''. He's got super strength, super smarts, is a master of disguise - and wears a mask at all times.
* Persona from ''GakuenAlice''. The mask is what keeps his Alice in control. Otherwise it would [[spoiler: ''eat his own skin off'']].
* Hei from ''DarkerThanBlack''. His mask looks like a cross between [[ComicBook/VForVendetta V's]] mask and [[{{Saw}} Billy]] the [[CreepyDoll Puppet's]] face and is [[MalevolentMaskedMen kind of]] [[MookHorrorShow freaky]].
* Papillion Mask from ''BusouRenkin'' may be the only homunculus to wear a large face mask, depending on whether or not Moon Face's actual head is shaped like the moon. And Papillion Mask is probably the strongest, smartest, and most ambitious 'normal' human homunculus in the series.
* Kurei from ''FlameOfRecca''. In nearly all of his appearances he is wearing his mask, or renditions of it. Which is a very badass mask too.
* The Jester from ''{{Grenadier}}''.
* ''Everyone'' in ''{{Dorohedoro}}'', justified since mages get masks as part of their contract with daemons, and Cayman presumably does not want to scare off little children looking at his face. En is a particular bad case of this, even among a ''city'' of powermasked people.
* Samurai Seven [[spoiler: top villain Ukyou seems to be this, although it's possible that what looks like a variation of the same full-face makeup the city guards wear is actually his face. His brothers?/fellow clones? have the same look when they turn up, but they were disguised as him to serve as body doubles at the time. Their father?/original version? The Emperor has a face that resembles this and is much more mask-like; if it didn't have expressions and he weren't restricted for unexplained reasons to a life-support tank all his life you could presume it was a mask.]] All in all, very bizarre, but ups the badass considerably.
** Same show has the Shikimoribito, who all wear fullbody suits and bizarre masks through which they eat with straws, and who have the government and everyone else terrified of trespassing on their underground territory, where they dangle by their ankles on ropes from the ceiling in a disquieting way. The main characters can beat them up if they have to, though.
* In ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'', any 'mon who has a sufficiently humanoid appearance (I.E. could be confused for an actual human if not for a few tells) wears some sort of mask that obscures the top half of their face - for example, [[OurAngelsAreDifferent Angemon]], [[MonsterClown Piedmon]], [[{{Satan}} Devimon]], [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Myotismon]], etc.
** Or the bottom half in the case of Wizardmon.
* The title character of ''Anime/ErgoProxy''.
* In the ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'' manga, [[BigBad Mask of Ice's]] takeover of Team Rocket leads to all the grunts wearing masks and making them naturally more badass. Plus said Mask of Ice himself, who is the primary driver for bad stuff happening in about half of the entire series.
* KenichiTheMightiestDisciple has "Laughing Fist" Diego, the Yami Luchadore master, who wears a Mexican Wrestling mask. ([[spoiler: He actually wears 3 masks, when the first comes off, it means [[LetsGetDangerous he's serious]]. The second comes off after he's defeated, and the mask he wears under that one is just a joke.]])
* ''Manga/DGrayMan''
** [[FourStarBadass General]] [[BadassLongcoat Cross Marian]] is never seen without his opera style half-mask. But when [[spoiler: he mysteriously disappears after sustaining a [[NeverFoundTheBody supposedly fatal]] head wound, his mask had been shot off and is left behind]].
** Also General Winters Socalo. And [[spoiler:once he gets better-attuned to his Innocence, Allen]].
* ''Franchise/SailorMoon''
** [[MysteriousProtector He's]] called [[http://img515.imageshack.us/img515/3558/tuxedounmask.jpg Tuxedo Mask]] for a reason. In the original [[Manga/SailorMoon manga]], Sailor Moon briefly wears a [[http://fandomania.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/manga.jpg mask as well]].
** [[http://mangastyle.net/wordpress/images/Codename_wa_Sailor_V_New_Edition_01.jpg Sailor V]] also wears a half-mask in both ''Sailor Moon'' and ''Manga/CodenameSailorV''.
* Noein, the titular BigBad of ''{{Noein}}'', appears as a floating mask for most of the series. [[spoiler:It makes it harder to tell that he's an alternate-reality version of one of the male leads.]]
** [[spoiler:Actually two of the male leads, seeing as the male leads are both the same person.]]
* Near in ''Manga/DeathNote''. Very briefly, but the mask is completely awesome.
** L in the second [[LiveActionAdaptation live action]] movie, [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Awesome_Mask.png not so much...]]
* Friend of ''Manga/TwentiethCenturyBoys'' gets ''two'' cool masks. He starts off the series with a Ninja Hattori-Kun mask, then later swaps that one out for a full head hood with the symbol of his cult on it.
* ''Casshern'' wears a lower face mask for combat. In CasshernSins, it resembles a motorcycle helmet. TheMovie version resembles an oversized jaw.
* Dynamis and Kagetarou in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima''. It seems to be common among [[CastingAShadow shadow mages]], and Takane's puppets also have similar-looking masks.
* Every member of Planet ''[[{{Kinnikuman}} Kinniku]]'' has to wear a full-face wrestling mask with a mohawk-fin on top from birth. If their faces are ever seen, they have to commit suicide. The masks are pretty damn [[ExpressiveMask lifelike]].
* The fox masks the players of [[{{Kakurenbo}} Otokoyo]] have to wear.
* The legendary BullyHunter "Rubber Shooter" in ''Manga/DailyLivesOfHighSchoolBoys'' wears a Kamen Rider mask.
* In ''Manga/KyouNoCerberus'' one of Cerberus' personalities, Roze, wears a muzzle that has sharp teeth decal.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Franchise/SpiderMan.
* [[SelfDemonstrating/DoctorDoom Bah! Doom's mask is the greatest of all time!]]
* Madame Masque wears a mask of solid gold.
* Boy Blue from ''Comicbook/{{Fables}}'' when he's infiltrating the Homelands, in a clear ''Film/ThePrincessBride'' homage down to the near-identical bandana-mask. Admittedly, he doesn't wear it for most of the series, but the magical artifacts he carries at the time and from that point onward make him pretty damn powerful.
* The AntiHero in ''ComicBook/VForVendetta'' wears a Guy Fawkes mask. In the movie, the mask is such a powerful symbol, it overshadows the hero himself up to a point where it's hard to tell who's wearing whom.
** The Guy Fawkes mask has enough cool cred to be [[{{Defictionalization}} defictionalized]] as a symbol of mass protest (Anonymous, Occupy, some Arab Spring demonstrations, etc.)
* Most (if not all) superheroes, but the second Batgirl took this to the logical extreme; her mask was skin-tight, designed to cover her entire skull, and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Knightalone.jpg really about the last thing you'd want to meet in a dark alley]]. (Let's not even get into the pointy ears.) On the other hand, it's exactly the kind of thing [[FetishFuel you'd want to see in certain nightclubs]].
* [[SerialKiller The Corinthian]] from [[ComicBook/TheSandman Sandman]] has these as well, although it's justified in that [[spoiler: he needs to hide his eyes because he has little mouths instead, complete with terrifying teeth. [[RuleOfScary (Although he still manages to see...)]]]]
* ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'' (and the other judges).
* The graphic novel ''ComicBook/FallOfCthulhu'' features a being called the Masked Mute, who is somehow related to Nyarlathotep (often referred as the god with a thousand masks) and takes the form of a little girl wearing a mask. [[HumanoidAbomination You don't want to know what's behind that mask...]]
* Rorschach from ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' only feels like himself when he's wearing his mask, even referring to it as his face. This sort of overlaps with BecomingTheMask, though.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Kabuki}}'', all eight Noh agents wear painted porcelain masks when "in character".
* In ''JonSableFreelance'', Sable wears a black makeup design on his face because "it scares the hell out of the bad guys".
* ''ComicBook/TheMask''. Not like the title gives it away at all.
* Resident {{badass}} Noburo from ''ComicBook/{{Okko}}'' always wears a red oni mask to [[TheFaceless conceal his features]].
* Franchise/TheGreenHornet and his faithful sidekick Kato. They began on radio, expanded their territory into comics, TV and film... and kept their verdant masks on the whole while.
* [[Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]] all wear masks; uniformly red in the original comic book, [[ColourCodedCharacters color-coded on the TV shows and movies]] (red = Raphael, blue = Leonardo, purple = Donatello, orange = Michaelangelo.) In the [=TMNT's=] case, these accessories do not serve as identity concealers (it's rather hard to disguise a giant humanoid turtle as anything else) so much as badges of their Shadow Warrior vocation.
** The turtles' vigilante ally Casey Jones wears a hockey mask. This is more about looking scary than hiding his identity; Casey frequently yells out his name just so people know who's delivering the beatdown.
** The Shredder's helmet and the Foot Clan's ninja masks could count as well.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* [[TheSmurfettePrinciple 7]] in ''WesternAnimation/{{Nine}}'' wears a combo Cool Mask / NiceHat dubbed the 'Skullmet'. Is she badass? Well, [[spoiler:considering that her entrance involves her ''decapitating the Cat Beast in one swing'']]...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The Man in Black from ''Film/ThePrincessBride'' (see page quote). He manages to kill the Rodent of Unusual Size and bluff Prince Humperdinck without the mask, but his coolest moments come while wearing his mask.
** So, Fezzik was wrong when he told Inigo, "People in masks cannot be trusted."
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': Darth Vader's face is fully masked and if he's not the most powerful villains in the universe, he's amongst the scariest. He may have been more powerful before he needed a life support mask, but we don't recommend telling him if you appreciate being able to breathe.
* The mask of the ''Film/{{Predator}}'' features (at least) IR vision, EM vision, "preda-tech" vision, optic zoom, breathing apparatus and a targeting module for the [[FrickinLaserBeams Plasma Caster]].
* In ''Film/{{Transformers}}'', Optimus Prime has a metal plate folds out over his mouth when he preps for combat.
** Bumblebee also puts on a mask for combat.
* As a part of his HistoricalHeroUpgrade, King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem (Edward Norton) got a spiffy metal mask in ''Film/KingdomOfHeaven'', covering his [[IllBoy leprosy-stricken face]].
* ''Franchise/RoboCop''. He's the future of law enforcement!
* ''Film/TheMask''. It's ''about'' a mask that turns whoever wears it into the physical avatar of the TricksterGod Loki.
* Jason Voorhees of the ''Franchise/FridayThe13th'' series made the hockey mask a universal symbol of horror.
** He also inspired the song "The Man Behind The Mask" by Music/AliceCooper.
* The Alchemist from ''Film/{{Vidocq}}'' wears a mask made out of mirror that he uses to [[YourSoulIsMine eat the souls of his victims]]. For extra creepiness, it also makes the victim see their own dying face while looking at him.
** Extra extra creepiness: [[spoiler:it has to be reforged periodically, and the most important step is [[BloodMagic tempering it with the life's blood]] of a hundred [[VirginPower virgin girls]]]].
* The title character in ''Film/DonJuanDemarco'' related that he started wearing a mask in response to [[spoiler: his father's untimely death.]] [[http://www.deppimpact.com/gallery/albums/pub_djd/djd542.jpg It didn't exactly ruin his looks.]]
* Every film version of ''Franchise/{{Zorro}}'' (see page photo.) One of the fictional characters most closely associated with this trope.
* Every film version of ''Franchise/TheLoneRanger''. See comment beside ''Franchise/{{Zorro}}''. "Who was that masked man?"
* Creator/LonChaney, in ''Film/ThePhantomOfTheOpera1925'', may not have worn the coolest face-cover around... but the scene where it's snatched off remains one of the most memorable [[TheReveal Unmaskings]] in the history of cinema.
* In ''Film/{{Onibaba}}'', a mysterious samurai wears a frightful demonic Noh mask which was later the inspiration for the demon in ''Film/TheExorcist''.
* Snake-Eyes from ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra'' has one that one that covers both his face and head completely. The Doctor also has one to assist with his breathing.
** As noted in Western Animation, Cobra Commander usually wears one. Cobra Commander's mask in ''[[GIJoeRetaliation Retaliation]]''? Elicits this [[InUniverse in-universe]] reaction from Zartan: "Cool mask."
* The masks that LaResistance wear in ''Film/{{Oblivion 2013}}'' . Made of Stealth Bomber material (as well as the rest of their armor), with voice distortion, and very intimidating. [[spoiler: It's no wonder they look like rampaging aliens during the first act.]]
* Rorschach's moving inkblot mask in ''Film/{{Watchmen}}''.
* In ''Film/TheLoneRanger'', the Ranger's mask is cut from his dead brother's leather vest, with the eyeholes formed by the bullet holes that killed him.
* Peter Quill, also known as "Star-Lord", has a [[http://cdn.screenrant.com/wp-content/uploads/Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Star-Lord-With-Mask-in-Rain.jpg pretty neat looking one]] in ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* [[HumanoidAbomination The Stranger in Pallid Mask]] from the ''TheKingInYellow'', whose face is covered by a strange white mask. [[spoiler:Actually subverted, as like [[EdgarAllanPoe the Red Death]], he wears no mask.]]
* How about some ''actual'' Creator/HPLovecraft examples? Some I can think of:
** The High Priest Who Is Not To Be Described in ''Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath'' wears a mask.
** The horrible [[spoiler: [[TheWormThatWalks worm-monster-horrors masquerading as people]]]] in "The Festival" wear waxen masks.
** The entity [[spoiler: masquerading as Henry Akeley]] in ''The Whisperer in Darkness'' is a [[EpilepticTrees powerful being and may even be]] [[spoiler: [[EldritchAbomination Nyarlathotep manifest]]]].
*** Apparently the way its way of speech was described gave away it was just an ordinary Mi-Go. [[spoiler:With prosthetic hands, mask, blanket and the place being pitch-ass dark,]] it could pass for a [[spoiler:sick old]] man, though.
*** Prosthetic hands and mask that are more or less confirmed to be [[spoiler:made from the actual body parts.]]
* In Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Discworld/{{Maskerade}}'', a takeoff of ''Literature/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', the Opera Ghost is [[spoiler:actually an {{Adorkable}}, pitifully clumsy, shy, and just plain ''weird'' janitor who becomes ultra-coordinated and suave when he wears a mask, through the magic of MagicFeather.]]
** Literature/ThePhantomOfTheOpera himself.
* Ember in ''Literature/TheLegendsongSaga'' frequently uses masks (or veils) to hide her silverblind eye, as it both shows that she is a stranger and fulfils one of the signs of the Unraveller.
** Masks are required by law to be worn at the Iridomi Aiden festival and can get quite elaborate.
* Franchise/{{Zorro}}, who seems to have been one of the earliest practitioners, if not the TropeMaker himself.
* In ''Literature/{{Vampirates}}'', the captain of the title creatures' ship wears a mask, as the ExpositoryThemeTune says, "to curtail your fright".
* In ''[[XWingSeries Starfighters of Adumar]]'', Wedge Antilles disguises his identity with a mask - but because it's lavender, and he doesn't like lavender, he doesn't think of it as cool.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's ConanTheBarbarian story "Literature/BlackColossus", the prophet among the nomads always goes masked.
-->"whom men called Natohk, the Veiled One; for his features were always masked."
* Legendary seducer Literature/DonJuan. Different writers have portrayed him in various ways over the centuries- a high-spirited rascal, a heartless destroyer, even a semi-innocent victim of his own [[SoBeautifulItsACurse good looks]]- but all the better-known accounts agree he had a penchant for wearing a mask.
* The Piper in TheKeysToTheKingdom wears a mask that hides most of his face. [[spoiler:In truth, he has no face; most of his body has been dissolved by Nothing and only force of will keeps him alive.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/QueenOfSwords'', Tessa wears a very elegant black lace mask made from her mother's favourite shawl.
* Liz 10, from the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "The Beast Below", wears a porcelain mask.
** From the Expanded Universe, FactionParadox members wear [[RuleOfCool masks of]] [[SkeletonsInTheCoatCloset bone]]. Along with ''[[ImpossiblyCoolClothes awesome]]'' [[ImpossiblyCoolClothes headdresses and gorgets]].
* Theres a reason why they are called Franchise/{{Kamen Rider}}s. Kamen being Japanese for mask, and up until recently they were known as "Masked Riders" in official translated material, including the series logos.
** Special mention to ''Series/KamenRiderDenO''. The masks worn by Den-O in his various forms (except Wing Form, who instead grants Climax Form [[PowerGivesYouWings wings]], [[CaptainObvious obviously]]) also adorn parts of [[SuperMode Climax Form's]] armor, and are utilized in Climax Form's several {{Finishing Move}}s: Rod and Axe Forms' horns as ArmedLegs and PowerFist BladeBelowTheShoulder, respectively, while Gun Form acts as a ChestBlaster.
* Played with with Richard Harrow of ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire''--it hides his badly mangled face and most people seem to prefer that he wears it at all times, although it's rather unsettling in and of itself. However, he is most definitely a {{Badass}}, and the mask helps with the mystique.
* TheLoneRanger! (Who was that masked man?)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Multiple Media]]
* A few characters in ''Franchise/{{Noob}}'' wear masks: Justice Guild leader Heimdäl, Player Killer guild leader Roxana, Précieux, Ystos while in battle and in-game BigBad Tabris.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Used in the music video for MyChemicalRomance's single [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egG7fiE89IU "Na Na Na"]]. All of the main protagonists in the story have some sort of headgear, the most notable being Party Poison's own masquerade-style mask.
* TheAquabats, seeing as [[StageNames they're actual superheroes and all.]]
* Music/DaftPunk wear robot masks when in public that light up.
* Music/{{Deadmau5}} and his signature mouse mask.
* MfDoom wears a custom DoctorDoom mask as part of his "supervillain" persona. He even has a song about it.
* Italian electro-house duo The Bloody Beetroots wear [[SpiderMan Venom]] masks.
* Dubstep artist Funtcase wears a gray robot mask when performing.
* The members of Japanese rock band Beat Crusaders always wore masks featuring dot-matrix print-outs of their faces, never showing their actual faces in public.
* The '80s [[ProgressiveMetal Prog-]]PowerMetal band Crimson Glory deliberately distinguished itself by all wearing silver full-face masks, except for the singer, whose mouth was uncovered. So he could, you know, [[CaptainObvious sing.]]
* The members of Japanese rock band Music/ManWithAMission constantly wear wolf masks. Their actual faces are a mystery.
* Music/TwentyOnePilots often wear ski masks as part of their image.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Comes up on occasion, especially Mexican ''lucha libre'' - major lucha libre feuds can culminate in a "mask vs mask" match, where the loser is required to publicly unmask themselves and have their real name revealed.
** ElSanto is perhaps the ultimate example. There is only one known occasion where he was publically seen without the mask. When he died, they buried him in it.
** The local sports commissions actually enforce these "matches of bets" -- ''luchas de apuestas'' -- in that the wrestler can no longer don the mask, at least in the locality involved!
* Subverted/Played Straight with Wrestling/{{Kane}}. In a 2003 angle, Kane was forced to unmask. When he first unmasked, he went back to being the Monster Heel he was at his debut; however, after a sucktacular match with TheUndertaker, he quickly became involved in some pretty idiotic storylines.
** The unmasking was actually Kane's idea; wearing it was growing increasingly uncomfortable and making it increasingly difficult to perform, and he felt that his inability to display facial expressions was limiting what they could do with the character. He would later start wearing one again, albiet with enough missing that you could clearly see his mouth still allowing for better facial expression, regaining a Few Levels In Badass in doing so, and eventually lead into the popular Team Hell-No with Daniel Bryan. He has since ditched it agian after taking an official position in Triple H's cabal.
** The mask is back. After a lackluster run without it as a lackey of the management, his return to wearing the mask signalled a return to the violent, destructive Big Red Machine of old, with him being used to menace the hell out of anyone who disrespects the Authority.
* Played Straight with [[Wrestling/GregoryHelms "The Hurricane" Gregory Helms]], who underwent a FaceHeelTurn upon (voluntarily) unmasking. He [[GrowingTheBeard developed actual depth]] during his time afterward, but suffered from severe under-pushing, though he underwent a HeelFaceTurn much later. He recently returned from injury on ECW, redebuting with a slightly DarkerAndEdgier AntiHero version of The Hurricane, as Hurricane Helms. It seems to be rather successful, though time will tell whether it results in a title push or Kane-like decay.
* Wrestling/{{SHIMMER}} features Allison Danger and Cat Power, both of whom incorporate cool masks into their entrances.
* In possibly a luchador tradition, nearly all masked wrestlers have a secondary goal of keeping their masks on. If unmasked, they will immediately try to flee the ring or cover their faces with their hands. Thus, being unmasked generally robs a masked wrestler of their ability.
** However, in cases where a known wrestler is using a mask to hide their identity to get a match with a cowed rival, when they unmask, they become more powerful. One example would be Wrestling/DeanMalenko wearing a mask as Ciclope to get to his then-rival, Wrestling/ChrisJericho. However, this had been done before in the Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling promotion in the Maritimes in 1980, when Leo Burke used this approach to get a title shot against "Dr. D" David Schultz.
* In American promotions, masked wrestlers have cycled in and out of popularity.
** In the 50s and earlier, masked wrestlers were considered one of the worst things in wrestling. Only pathetic undercarders wore masks, so that people wouldn't see who it was getting their asses kicked. This often occurred, even later, with "Parts Unknown" jobbers like "Mr. X", who could be known wrestlers who are simply put out there to do the job.
** During the 60s and 70s, The Destroyer, Mr. Wrestling I & II, The Masked Superstar, The Assassins, The Spoiler/Super Destroyer were all major stars in America and Japan.
** In the 80s and 90s, Vader, Mankind, and The Warlord were further unusual examples in that their masks did not conceal their identities; the masks were props reinforcing the wrestler's [[spoiler: TooKinkyToTorture]] images. American wrestlers with more traditional mask styles, such as The Patriot, The Killer Bees and the Blue Blazer, never rose above mid-carder status. And, from the 90s to the present, ReyMysterioJr is the most famous of the masked luchdores to become superstars north of the border as well.
* The mask is also closely related to the CharlieBrownFromOuttaTown angles, where a banished/disgraced wrestler returns with a not-very-disguising mask under a different name to try to "clear" the banned wrestler (ie himself)'s name. Longtime fans still debate the ''least'' effective masked identity ever: [[DustyRhodes The Midnight Rider]] or [[AndreTheGiant Giant Machine]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Ethergaunts from ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. They are a race of (evil) [[EldritchAbomination alien supergeniuses]] dwelling on the ethereal plane whose faces are entirely covered by [[TheFaceless blank, bisected masks]], with the color of said masks indicating their rank. Especially the black ethergaunts, which are some of the most intelligent monsters out there, and cast spells as a 17th-level wizard.
** [[GoMadFromTheRevelation And you do NOT want to see what's underneath the mask.]]
** While masks have been included in the Magic Items section of the rules for years, 3.5's Complete Psionics introduced Crystal Masks. Almost all of them are overpriced and very weak (despite most of them being constantly active), and were reprinted in the Magic Item Compendium (and given a price retuning). Most of these are trash, but certain Fighter builds can make use of the Crystal Mask of Dread.
** Mask, the ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' god of thieves.
* TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}: [[http://cdn.obsidianportal.com/assets/76891/Icon_PrincessMagnificent.jpg Princess Magnificent with Lips of Coral and Robes of Black Feathers.]]
** Likewise, her fellow Deathlord, [[http://media.photobucket.com/image/recent/Mike5000us/MaskofWinters.jpg Mask of Winters]]. So cool that it covers both sides of his head, and if he ever wants to show what he's feeling, he just reverses his entire body so that either the "happy" side or the "pissed off" side is facing you.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' has Balthasar Gelt, the current Supreme Patriarch of the Colleges of Magic and head of the Gold College, who wears a golden Greek-style face mask at all times. He only took to doing this after a mysterious alchemical lab accident many years ago, but nobody is quite sure what the mask (and his full body robes and gloves) covers. Some speculate his skin has turned to gold, others that he is horribly burned and disfigured, others that there's actually nothing wrong with him at all and it's merely an affectation. Balthasar isn't the sort of person one generally feels comfortable asking these things, and he probably wouldn't tell you even if you did.
* [[TheCorruption Legion of Everblight]] Nephilim warbeasts and the warcaster [[http://battlecollege.wikispaces.com/mkiiLylyth2 Lylyth]] wear masks covering the top half of their faces. Legion beasts don't need eyes to see, but the Nephilim and Lylyth actually have eyes that they need to cover so normal vision doesn't distract their super senses.
* TabletopGame/DarkHeresy has a temple of the Scholastica Psykana called the Temple Calix. Its members and students, collectively known as the Templar Calix, are trained as much in controlling their psychic powers as they are in swordsmanship, leading to an order of [[KungFuWizard warrior-mystics]]. What makes them fit this trope is that they all wear tarnished silver masks. They aren't psychoreactive, they're just a badge of office for an order of badass psychic-swordsmen, and in some circles of the Calixis Sector that reputation precedes them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Toys]]
* At least half of the appeal in {{Bionicle}}. Despite years of similar builds in the toys, there is ''always'' a new set of masks with each set of toys. InUniverse they grant a ton of powers, to name a few: [[BarrierWarrior shielding]], {{flight}}, [[XRayVision x-ray vision]], [[ImprobableAimingSkills accuracy]], [[VisibleInvisibility invisibility]], [[TeleportersAndTransporters teleportation]], even [[WindsOfDestinyChange altering probablity]]. (But the series has been {{ReTool}}ed a bit away from this, now including other headgear without powers.)
** A full list: Shielding, Underwater Breathing, Levitation, Strength, Speed, X-Ray Vision, Time, Life, Light, Shadows, Concealment, Translation, Illusions, Night Vision, Mind Control, Telekinesis, Fate, Spirit, Detection, Telepathy, Flight, Accuracy, Radar, Kindred, Summoning, Stealth, Gravity, Reanimation, Corruption, Hunger, Silence, Repulsion, Disruption, Time Duplication, Diminishment, Clairvoyance, Quick Travel (Teleportation), Emulation, Growth, Rahi Control (Animal Control), Regeneration, Truth, Dimensional Travel, Charisma, Alternate Futures, Psychometry, Intangibility, Possibilities, Elemental Energy, Mutation, Creation, Scavenging, Incomprehension, Adaptation, Sensory Aptitude, Aging, Undeath, Conjuring, Rebounding, Biomechanics, and Fusion.
*** The abstractness of the powers grew as the series aged. One of the very cool features early on was how much the Toa mixed and matched elemental powers and mask powers, [[FridgeBrilliance a lot like]] {{Lego}}. Stop a lava flow from damaging an island? Mask of strength and earth elemental powers on the first Toa to dig a trench, mask of speed on the toa behind to push the digger around so that the channel was dug in time.
** Some masks are more powerful than others, and only some actually grant powers at all. Only Toa and Turaga can use them either way. Matoran can sense if a mask has power, but can't use it. So multiple levels of this trope.
** Also, it's a breathing apparatus. [[spoiler: Since the Matoran were designed to live inside the giant robot body of Mata Nui, leaving Metru Nui to go to Mata Nui essentially put them in a toxic atmosphere.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Takuma Sakazaki a.k.a. Mr. Karate from ''VideoGame/ArtOfFighting''. He acts goofy and jovial and frequently plugs his dojo when talking to others, and his kids treat him as something of an embarassment. He still is quite dangerous in a fight despite his age and mannerisms (he ''is'' a master of Kyokugen-ryu, after all).
** Then sometimes he'll get "Serious", which is your cue to run. When his son Ryo inherits the title of "Mr. Karate", he does not wear the mask (in most continuities - he does wear a different mask in ''The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact 2'' though).
* El Blaze from ''VirtuaFighter''.
* King Dedede in the ''{{Kirby}} [[VideoGame/KirbySuperStar Super Star Ultra]]'' game "Revenge of the King". Fed up with being defeated by Kirby so many times, he comes back wearing a steel mask and a {{badass}} new [[DropTheHammer hammer]] three times the size and weight of his old one.
** Meta Knight wears a mask almost all the time. The only times his face is revealed is when he's defeated and his mask breaks.
* Wodan Ymir of ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'', what with his "BFS" which can become a giant "LaserBlade".
* While not really a ''cool'' mask, the Grey Fox's mask in VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion magically induces amnesia in anyone who meets the wearer. The original Grey Fox claims to have met the player on several occasions, but the mask's magic erased the memory each time. When the player acquires the mask, it allows them to commit crimes with impunity.
** The Dragon Priest Masks from VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim definitely count.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'' gives us the quarians, a race of cool mask wearers. Most characters put on their own cool masks to walk around in hostile environments too. Special mention needs to go to Zaeed's and Thane's.
** Also the Recon Hood from the third game.
* Godot from the ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'' games. He wears the mask [[spoiler: because he's completely blind without it due to the damage done to his nervous system by the poison.]]
** Also Mask☆[=DeMasque=], who is a charismatic GentlemanThief [[spoiler:compared to his alter ego, the nervous Ron [=DeLite=]]].
* Proto Man from both ''VideoGame/MegaMan Classic'' and ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork''. In his case, they are more like CoolShades, but still.
* All four of the Testaments from ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}''.
* Sturm from the ''AdvanceWars'' series.
* Several games in the ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}}'' series have these as available clothing customization options for the player-character; ranging from a simple bandanna, to ski masks, to gas masks.
* Prinny Mask and the whole Masked Hero class in general from ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 3|AbsenceOfJustice}}''.
* Salem and Rios of ''ArmyOfTwo'' both wear metal metal painted facemasks, which actually have some practical applications in the game; one of their melee attacks is a simple, brutally effective headbutt, and if an opponent punches one of them in the face, he recoils, shaking his hand in agony, letting them set up to finish them off.
* [[GaiaOnline Labtech X]] has always been one of TheFaceless, but when he traded in his old ScarfOfAssKicking to one with a full mask... well there's a reason his scarf is one of the most valuable prizes you can win from playing zOMG. (By the way, X actually has a reason for hiding his face, since [[spoiler:he's a [[CloningBlues clone]], and [[BetaTestBaddie hates the man who created him.]]]]
* Psycho Mantis, from VideoGame/MetalGearSolid. Even if he's a villain, you can't top that [[GasMaskMooks gas mask]].
* Aoi "Zaki" Himezaki of ''[[VideoGame/RivalSchools Project Justice]]'' is almost always seen wearing a mask covering the lower half of her face. The supplemental board game reveals that she even refuses to eat in the presence of others since it'd require taking off her mask. A number of members in the Ladies Team, the [[{{Delinquents}} delinquent]] gang she leads, also wear [[http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z295/NeoChaosX/Seijyun%20HS%20story/ladies-team.png similar]] [[http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z295/NeoChaosX/Seijyun%20HS%20story/vs-gedo.png masks]], though whether they're following Zaki's example or just doing it for some other reason isn't clear.
* Arakune, Hakumen, and Relius from ''VideoGame/BlazBlue''.
* The entire premise of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'' is that Link obtains lots of masks with unique powers. There are 28 obtainable masks in total: Four transformation masks, twenty regular masks that have different effects or uses, and the four masks from bosses that allow Link to refight them without having to go through their dungeons again.
* The Garif from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'', a race of shamanistic mask wearers who put on their first mask when they are born and are NEVER WITHOUT ONE AFTER THAT.
* Sirius, [[spoiler: who's actually Camus BackFromTheDead and thus using the mask to hide his identity]], in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem]]''.
** "Marth" and Gerome in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening Awakening]]''.
* Mask de Smith from {{Killer7}} is a luchadore who has the most powerful weapon (dual grenade launchers) and largest health bar of any playable character in the game. He's physically strong enough to lift a semi-trailer truck. Near the end of the game, he receives an upgrade in the form of a new mask and costume that lets him fire infinite grenades without ever having to reload. Also, his [[InfinityPlusOneSword ultimate upgrade]] not only makes him damn near invincible, but almost as terrifying as the monsters he's slaughtering with said [[BottomlessMagazines infinite grenades]].
* King from VideoGame/{{Tekken}}. He wears a mother-flipping LEOPARD MASK, and not just leopard print, no, he looks like a man with a LEOPARD FOR A FACE. And he always straps a tail on his pants for good measure. And his dialogue is always snarls. Sadly, Kunimitsu isn't quite as powerful in the games despite her own mask habits.
** Yoshimitsu also dons a mask throughout the series, and is every bit as badass for it. Same goes to his predecessor from the ''SoulSeries''.
* The Pyro and the Spy from ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' wear masks ''all the time.'' In fact, the Spy disguises himself by putting [[UpToEleven a second mask on over the first mask]].
* The Children of the Earth in ''BatenKaitos'' all have them, which are used to filter the miasma out of the air so they can breathe. Mizuti, who joins your party in ''Eternal Wings'', has a particularly cool one, which only comes off once (not counting the epilogue).
* Joachim Valentine from ''[[ShadowHearts Shadow Hearts: Covenant]]'' uses a mask as part of his ultimate power-up when he appears as Grand Papillon, [[spoiler: and later as the Great Question after he defeats his mentor during the Man Festival.]]
* ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' deserves at least a few mentions given the preponderance of ninjas. Notables include Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Smoke, Jade, Kitana, Mileena, the cyber-ninjas Smoke, Sektor, and Cyrax, the shadowy Noob Saibot, Shao Kahn (who has an intimidating skull mask-helmet), Khameleon, Chameleon, Rain, and Skarlet.
* Darth Revan of ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', who is stated to be one of the most powerful Force users in history, masterminds ThePlan for dealing with events centuries if not millennia in advance, and who also ''[[spoiler:[[ItWasHisSled happens to be you]]]]''.
** Proving his mask power even further, Revan fought and killed Mandalore the Ultimate, the other Cool Mask user of his time in hand to hand single combat.
** And then there's Darth Nihilus from the sequel, whose mask can be obtained to get you more Force Points, and who is coincidentally extremely close to being an EldritchAbomination. Quite a few Sith from those games have part or all of their faces obscured, actually.
*** In Nihilus's case, while the mask itself still technically has no powers, [[spoiler: his body has actually been destroyed and corrupted by the force. His mask IS his face.]]
* [[TheDragon Death's Hand]] in ''JadeEmpire'' has a pretty nasty-looking red mask on the front of his helmet.
** There is also the Watcher, a minor villain whose blank-featured red mask made him one of the creepiest-looking villains ever.
* In ''VideoGame/LightningLegendDaigoNoDaibouken'', the mysterious Hero of Justice Adolf Rätsel wears one to conceal his real identity. It has a Mohawk design, and sports a "A" letter (standing for "Adolf") on its forehead.
* A wearable disguise in the Heaven and Hell Party mission for 47 in ''VideoGame/{{Hitman}}: Blood Money'' is a white suit with a cool, white mask with a black scar-type thingy over his right eye. It's probably only made of flimsy plastic, though.
* ''ModernWarfare 2'' gives us Simon Riley, better known as "Ghost", for the very cool skull mask that he wears. We never see his face, leading to fan speculation (until the comics came out) that he is actually [[spoiler:Gaz from the first game]].
* Sima Shi starts wearing one in ''DynastyWarriors'' after surviving a sword blow to the face.
* The eponymous item in the ''Mask of the Betrayer'' {{expansion|Pack}} to ''NeverwinterNights2''.
** [[DontFearTheReaper Kelemvor]], god of the dead, is depicted wearing a full-face gold mask.
** Belueth the Calm, an aasimar rogue you can hire in ''Storm of Zehir'', wears a jet-black domino as a symbol of her devotion to the thief-god Mask.
* In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedRevelations'', the armour of Ishak Pasha has one.
** All Janissaries wear intimidating face masks. They also happen to be the resident EliteMooks.
* In ''{{Dishonored}}'', Corvo wears one that was constructed specifically to look as freaky as possible; it looks like a crudely-made metal skull with asymmetrical lens-eyes and wire strung jagged over the jaw-area. It's also lined with cloth to protect him against the deadly plague spreading through the city, and can be upgraded to add a miniature spyglass that allows him to zoom in on distant objects.
* EYEDivineCybermancy has the intricate horned/halo designs of commander Rimanah and your mentor.
* ''PAYDAYTheHeist'' has your crew wear creepy clown masks during a heist in order to conceal their identity. You can also use masks based on U.S. Presidents, zombies from ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'', and troll masks.
* In ''VideoGame/OdinSphere'', the Demon Lord Odin wears an intimidating helmet whenever he goes to war. [[spoiler:When Mercedes breaks it along with his Psypher the Balor,]] she notes how the once fearsome Demon Lord looks like a helpless old man without his helmet.
* Mr Foster from ''VideoGame/KillingFloor'' is practically the poster boy for the game. He not only wears a Russian surplus gasmask but also a [[BadassInANiceSuit (rather battered) suit and tie]]. And he manages to avoid collapsing from heat exhaustion, AND also be heard clearly yelling insults.
* The Masqueraider class in ''VideoGame/{{Dofus}}'' gets different powers from wearing different masks. They wear their default "Classic" mask all the time, even outside of combat, which gives them health-stealing attacks and an area-of-affect shielding spell. Their other masks give them powerful close-range attacks (Psychopath Mask) and long-range attacks and escape abilities (Cowardly Mask).
* Sora of the ''[[{{Franchise/KingdomHearts}} Kingdom Hearts]]'' series wears one of these in [[WesternAnimation/{{TheNightmareBeforeChristmas}} Halloween Town]], though [[{{GogglesDoNothing}} he wears it]] as an [[{{EyepatchOfPower}} eyepatch]] rather than over his face. In ''KingdomHeartsII'', it is the only part of his outfit in that world that changes whenever Sora enters a Drive Form. A Cool Mask, indeed.
* The Forest Dwellers from ''VideoGame/AHatInTime'' all wear animal masks (possibly because they have no faces otherwise). Eventually, Hat Kid can wear some of these masks herself.
* Several masks can be obtained, or even crafted, in ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter Tri'' and ''Ultimate'' for [=ChaCha=] and Kayamba to use. Each mask provides different, unique abilities.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Baron Munchhausen in ''VisualNovel/ShikkokuNoSharnoth'' always wears a strange, inhuman mask. [[spoiler:Underneath it is a strange, inhuman face. ''Sometimes.'']]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Only his trusty driver, Kit Baxter, knows who wears the mask of [[http://www.decoderringtheatre.com/redpanda/ the Red Panda!]]
* [[WebAnimation/HomestarRunner Strong Bad's]] wrestling mask.
* In ARG/DarkDreamChronicle, every Chosen has one.
* The mysterious masked man in ''WebVideo/OneHundredYardStare'' could fit this trope.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Dave of ''{{Narbonic}}'' fame, begins with apparently opaque round glasses. But, [[spoiler:as he realizes his mad science abilities, his glasses turn transparent.]]
* Eternion and the rest of the Eternals in ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}!''
* ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'': The whole [=McNinja=] family.
* In ''{{Blip}}'', The Adversary wears a blank white mask. Apparently this is for everyone else's protection; even [[{{satan}} Lucifer]] would cease to exist if he were to see the Adversary's real face.
* Shows up a lot in ''Webcomic/{{Digger}}''. "I keep meeting people wearing strange masks, you see."
* Guy, from ''MushroomGo'', is a [[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2 Shyguy]] with a scarred mask.
* [[{{Juathuur}} Weijuaru]] wears a mask whenever he goes out in public. This is half because it provides his political persona with a level of mystique that helps things work out better in his favor, and half because it hides the fact that [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld he hasn't aged a day during his reign thanks to his Shift magic]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sunstone}}'' Harper and other performers at his fetish club have notably cool masks.
* The Placidus masks that switch dreamers between placid and lucid dreams in [[Webcomic/EndOfInfinity End of Infinity]].
* The Rogue class God Tier outfit in Webcomic/{{Homestuck}} has one of these.
* The mysterious Velvare Bamidele of ''Webcomic/TheSilverEye'' wears a fancy mask constantly, and only a handful of people in Gallitan have seen him without it. Initially it was to protect his identity, but eventually he wore them mostly because people expected it of him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Robin in ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans.'' Even if this is potentially an artifact of the comics, it was acknowledged in-show as looking cool. (Beast Boy's Comicbook/DoomPatrol mask, sadly, was not.) Similarly, archnemesis Slade wears a mask, and for most of the first season concealed even that in shadow. Slade's mask is ''also'' an EyepatchOfPower.
** As seen in season 4's episode "The Quest", Robin's mask looks cool on everyone.
** Red X wears a full-face mask, and he can fight Robin blow-for-blow.
** Cheshire wears a cat mask with a permanent scary grin during her brief but memorable appearance in the series. She made enough of an impression that the ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' version of the character retains it.
* 80's cartoon ''WesternAnimation/{{MASK}}'' also had (almost) everyone in masks, which produced a variety of powers and effects, including Gliding, Holograms and Flamethrowers. And throwing daggers.
* The Blue Spirit in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', even [[BadassNormal without being able to bend the elements]]. When [[spoiler:Zuko]] takes the mask off, his fighting changes in terms of technique. In his defense [[spoiler:with his mask off, he's only firebending, something he knows, but never came easy to him. However, in the fight against Jet in Ba Sing Se, he's still being a badass swordsman, and did anyone else see his little bit of firebending WITH the swordfight? Also, Zuko's firebending skills are much greater after his visit with the dragons. He's a Master after that.]]
** Also it was probably psychological. The Blue Spirit didn't have [[spoiler:Zuko]]'s emotional baggage.
** The [[AmazonBrigade Kyoshi Warriors.]] While their facepaint doesn't give them any special powers (Suki and the others are as deadly without it), they use it to remind themselves of their connection to Avatar Kyoshi, and it is definitely a symbol of being at the top end of their power scale.
** From ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', they don't get much cooler (or creepier) than [[http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/s720x720/285771_335472206526813_1540380794_n.jpg Amon's mask.]]
* What of [[{{Transformers}} Optimus Prime's]] Mouthplate?
* How about [[EldritchAbomination Dirge]] from ''[[WesternAnimation/StarWarsCloneWars The Clone Wars]]''?
* [[GIJoe Cobra Commander]]
* [[spoiler:The real Noodle]] in Music/{{Gorillaz}} Phase 3 now has a cat mask. It's hinted that it's hiding some form of facial injury. 2D wears a clown mask for as-yet-unexplained reasons in the "Stylo" and "On Melancholy Hill" videos.
** [[AllThereInTheManual In the iTunes interviews,]] 2D explains he had the mask to cover up a massive hangover.
* In ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'', all three evil witches, Icy, Darcy, and Stormy (The Trix) wear eye makeup that goes down to their cheekbones on the bottom and to their eyebrows on the top. When they achieve Disenchantix, their eye makeup goes from the top of their face to their chins on either side. Darcy in civilian form also wears a tiny pair of spectacles on her nose and when she was a child wore a large, round pair.
* In ''{{Rollbots}}'', Vett's mask makes him look even more {{Badass}} than he is.
* Dutch in ''WesternAnimation/{{Motorcity}}'' wears one of these when graffiti painting in Motorcity or working on a car (he's an engineer).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In real life, trained gold eagles wear masks when they aren't being used. Their wing span can easily reach 8 to 9 feet at age and their claws can rip through falconers' gloves and keep going to crush bones.
* Shamans of various traditions and cultures the world over wear masks of animals or spirits in ceremonies in order to assume the aspects, powers and identities associated with the animal or spirit.
* Hip hop dance crew Jabbawockeez wear creepy, blank masks to give the illusion that they are a bunch of puppets moving to the music.
** Before the Jabbawockeez there was guitarist Brian "{{Buckethead}}" Carroll, who still wears that same type of mask to this day.
* Since Jacques Plante made the mask a regular part of an ice hockey goalie's gear, wearers of such equipment have taken to personalizing their masks, giving each goaltender in the National Hockey League their own Cool Mask (it became such an institution that goaltenders are the only North American athletes permitted to personalize their headwear). Starting with Gerry Cheever's [[http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/multimedia/photo_gallery/0810/halloween.trick.or.treat/images/cheevers%282%29.jpg scars]] for every time he was hit in the mask with a puck, art has evolved with motifs such as [[http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/multimedia/photo_gallery/0711/nhl.goalie.masks/images/nabokov.jpg Evgeni Nabokov's]] [[DemBones skeletons]], [[http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0810/nhl.goalie.masks/images/curtis-joseph.jpg Curtis Joseph's]] painting of [[AngryGuardDog Cujo]] from the [[Literature/{{Cujo}} novel of the same name]], and [[http://forums.smirkinchicken.com/thread.php?forumid=1&threadid=19630 Kari Lehtonen's]] [[OneOfUs paintings of Yuna and Rikku]] from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2''.
* Can we count astronaut's helmets, with monolayers of gold to block the sun?
* The standard issue Soviet gas mask looks like a skull with glass eyes.
* The famous Guy Fawkes mask, worn by dissenters the world over
[[/folder]]

!!Exceptions

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Jeremy of ''{{Petopeto-san}}'' also wears one, with a heart on it, and is fairly pathetic.
* Tuxedo Mask from ''Manga/SailorMoon''. In the manga, at least, he has some pretty hefty informed abilities and some extra powers. Still gets beaten.
* Wannabe SuperHero Strike Man, from ''YoureUnderArrest''
* Done in ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'' (in a ShoutOut to ''Franchise/SailorMoon''), where Nagi dons a small face-mask and takes on the name "Mask the Money" when she rescues Hayate from the Yakuza looking to collect on his debt. She takes CrimefightingWithCash [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney very literally]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/{{WWE}} wrestler Charlie Haas tries to invoke this through wearing a ''luchadore'' mask during his matches. Most of the time it doesn't work.
* During the mid 80's-early 90's there were several masked jobber tag teams including but not limited to The Conquistadors, The Cruel Connection, The Shadows, The Galaxians, The Thunderfoots, The Executioners, The Head Hunters, and various assorted Demons.
* For some reason practically every two-bit independent wrestling promotion has to have a Doink the Clown rip off. The role is usually given to the worst wrestler on the roster, a fat, charisma deficient load. The worst part of an already awful idea is that they are given a Doink mask of horrible quality instead of simply painting their face like the original did. In every instance the matches are awful, the fans hate it, and yet the promoters will keep doing it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Inversion: In the ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'' universe, the whole of the Scorpion Clan (one of the 7 major factions) wear masks of one sort of the other. It doesn't give them any kind of power whatsoever, though. In fact, all it does is ''make them look shifty''. Which is the whole point, as the basis for the Clan is that they are good guys pretending to be bad guys to ferret out the bad guys within the ranks of the ''other'' good guys. Or are they? Only they know that, all the other Clans think they're just {{Manipulative Bastard}}s being really [[EvilGloating obvious]] about it. Obviously, it's all {{Gambit Roulette}}s from that point on.
** The best explanation is simply that [[FiddlerOnTheRoof its a tradition]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Before the director of ''GEARFighterDendoh'' went on to direct ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed Gundam SEED]]'', he was already referencing that franchises masked characters with a masked mentor (Vega) and masked rival (Altair).
* Johnny Sasaki (who wears a mask) spends most of the ''[[Franchise/MetalGear Metal Gear Solid]]'' series as a diarrhea-plagued ButtMonkey who can't go 5 seconds without making a fool of himself. Once that mask comes off in the later part of the 4th game, however, he evolves into a BadAss of such magnitude that one can't help but wonder if that mask was some kind of PowerLimiter.
* Raiden in ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots MGS4]]'' has 2 retractable Solid Eyes that come into his face together with his helmet. Doesn't seem to have any major effect since he uses to fight lots of weak (weak for ''him'') Gekkos, and after revealing his face, he fights Vamp (which he would need better reflexes to fight) without activating them.
** In ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance Metal Gear Rising]]'', he uses a simple mask that retracts when he enters a major fight/event. Then he is ready to fight Sam and they pose as they were doing a wild west duel, and seconds after their fight, both masks retracts on their faces as they rush into each other.
* ''Franchise/StreetFighter''
** The narcissistic Vega wears a mask to protect his face. Considering how easily it's broken in his loss images, his face must be made of ''solid steel'' to hold up that well.
** The coolness value of El Fuerte's mask is often undone by his goofy expressions and hamminess. The coolness of it can really only be appreciated in his AssKickingPose at the start of the fight.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* Strong Bad, of the website ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'', has a ''luchadore'' mask for a face. He's more a wannabe supervillain than anything. It also averts the "mask" part by being his actual face: when he finally caves and [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail162.html removes it]], there's audible tearing and he screams in agony.
* Joachim in ''Shadow Hearts: Covenant'' actually actively parodies this with his Grand Papillion identity--in which he wears a large butterfly mask, but rather than magnifying his powers, it magnifies his tendency towards over-the-top posing and silly heroic pronouncements.
* Every member of the Chess Pieces in ''MÄR'' wears a unique mask. In fact, masks are quite telling of a Chess Piece's power, as the lowest ranked Mooks, "pawns" are only allowed [[FacelessGoons identical masks]], the same as every other pawn. If a Chess Piece has a unique mask, you're dealing with something a bit more worrisome.
** Their rank is also identified by their earrings, which ARE chess pieces.
** Once they get to the earring stage it doesn't ''have'' to be an earring though (at least one has it as a tongue stud). They still have the masks of pawns, they can just choose how to wear it or customize it.
* Blood Boy from ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'' both uses and subverts the trope. Due to hideous facial disfigurations (and REMOVING the skin of his face in one of the game's first posts) he almost always wears a smiley face mask, and was until recently the biggest killer on the island, and is still the most psychotic and sadistic. While lacking physical strength, his surprising agility and knowledge of the body's weak points make him a very capable hand to hand combatant, and his sharp mind makes him even more dangerous. However, this ability doesn't actually come from the mask itself, and he can't see nearly as well with it on. This hinders his combat abilities and actually makes him a worse shot than normal, which inspires his normal gunfighting style of [[MoreDakka just trying to put as much lead in the air as possible]] because it means he can really only hope to hit someone at greater than point blank range by firing an insane number of bullets.
* [[http://www.adventurers-comic.com/d/0325.html Subverted]] in ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}!''.
* Shows up many, many times in ''Film/TheFall'' (and on the cover of the DVD!).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', General Leopold covers half of his face with a cool mask. The Totenkopfs are fond of masks that look like skulls.
* In ''Literature/MasqueradeHallsTrilogy'', everyone who enters the Masquerade Halls has to have one of these or they're thrown out.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot'': While she is still at the higher end of the power scale, Hexadecimal's mask is actually a PowerLimiter. When it comes off, she overloads and nearly explodes before Bob puts it back on.
[[/folder]]

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