[[quoteright:250:[[VideoGame/StreetFighterIV http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gouken-beard.jpg]]]]

->''"When I stroke the beard thusly, do I not appear more... intellectual?"''
-->-- '''Lt. Commander Data''' while trying on a fake beard, ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''

This is the need for either [[OldMaster Old Masters]] or WickedCultured villains to stroke their [[BadAssBeard Bad Ass Beards]][=/=][[BeardOfEvil Beards Of Evil]] as a compulsion. [[DastardlyWhiplash Evil types]] usually do this while preparing their {{Evil Plan}}s, sipping AGlassOfChianti, and indulging in [[SlouchOfVillainy Villainous Slouching]]. This version is somewhat [[DiscreditedTrope discredited]] today.

These people don't necessarily need an actual beard, as even placing their hand on their chin where a beard would be while in thought can suffice.

This trait has several faces; the meticulous planning and deep thought this trope usually suggests tends to be associated with evil. The good type usually suggests a zen-like peacefulness. Some also liken it to shrinks stroking their Freud-like beards. The overarching theme with this trope is intellectualism ([[SmugSnake or at least sneakiness]]).

Compare PuttingOnMyThinkingCap.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Konoemon in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' often does this.
* Harima in ''Manga/SchoolRumble'', several times when he was keeping his beard long.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* Pai Mei of ''Film/KillBill'' was awesome at this.
* Robin does this in ''Film/RobinHoodMenInTights'' while pondering an archery contest. Then flicks his fingers clean.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': In the prequels, Obi-Wan Kenobi usually strokes his beard meditatively just before doing something totally BadAss. He and Anakin Skywalker spend a good minute stroking their chins, signaling to each other on how they should make their getaway from General Grievous in a deleted scene from ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''Literature/JudgeDee'' often does this.
* ''Literaturen/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'': Guan Yu is one of the earliest examples. Just watch any Chinese opera show featuring him as a character.
* In ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'', a dwarf stroking his beard is considered an insult to the party he's speaking to.
-->" Stroke your beard the wrong way, and the dwarves will bar the gates to the mountain once again." - Tanis Half-Elven
* Archeologist Radcliffe Emerson had a beard when he met ''Literature/AmeliaPeabody'', but not after they married; he still strokes his chin meditatively as an action-equivalent to a CatchPhrase. The habit has even been picked up by other characters, including his daughter-in-law.
* Some ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' characters have done this, including [[MagnificentBastard Vetinari]], [[EvilVizier Abrim]], and some of the older and wiser dwarves, who of course ''all'' have beards.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]

* The quote above comes from an episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', where Data tried to emulate Riker GrowingTheBeard. The end result was so ridiculous that Troi had to excuse herself before she completely broke down, and Geordi only did a marginally better job of holding back his laughter.
* The ''Series/PushingDaisies'' episode "Oh, Oh, Oh, It's Magic!". The magician does this when he tells Emerson in a very dramatic voice that he needs his help in solving the murders of his assistants.
* In an episode of ''Series/ModernFamily'', some of Manny's friends draw a beard on his face with magic marker while he's asleep. He strokes his drawn-on beard this way while plotting his revenge.

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[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* ''ComicStrip/FlashGordon'': Ming the Merciless.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Stand-Up Comedy ]]

* Creator/EddieIzzard, regarding the change from ''Mr. Dog Canned Dog Food'' to ''Cesar'': "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJz-yZUOgtM Obviously there was a strokey-beard meeting at ''Mr Dog'' headquarters...]]"

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Visual Novels ]]

* ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney:''
** A certain Mr. Phoenix Wright is always doing this in court while thinking.
** In Investigations, [[spoiler: Quercus Alba does it when cornered]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* As shown above, [[OldMaster Gouken]] does this in his victory pose in ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV''.
* Nolan of ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn]]'' does this in his character portrait.
* ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'': Saisyu Kusanagi.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia'':
** Resident CoolOldGuy Rowen does this. When Elize asks why he does, he explains it helps him think.
** Jiao also does this at times, such as when he activates [[SuperMode Overlimit]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* ''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick'': In a RareFemaleExample, a very beardless Nostalgia Chick does this in her Dreamworks video.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Sokka of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' does this almost continuously while in his [[MemeticBadass Wang Fire]] disguise, whether he's pondering something or not. (Though since he is [[TheSmartGuy the idea guy]] and an engineering genius, it's probably safe to assume that there's something planning-related going on in that head of his.)
* Tenzin from SequelSeries ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' is prone to doing this. This would make his Uncle [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Sokka]] ''so'' proud of him.
* Papa Smurf in ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' can be found doing this.

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