[[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[=/=]BeardOfEvil 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]]).

Not to be confused with stroking someone's ''else's'' beard (which is typically a flirtatious or possessive gesture).

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.

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[[folder: Fanfic ]]

* In ''Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space'', Tumok tells of how he consulted a Hermit Guru on Olympus Mons. Lacking a beard, the guru strokes the icicle clinging to his chin.

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[[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.
** And is most put out when he starts to do so in ''The Chinese Gold Murders'' only to have the villain start stroking his even ''more'' impmressive beard first. He is vindicated in the end, though, when the villain's beard turns out to be false.
* ''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.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''. Grand Maester Pycelle would stroke his [[WizardBeard long white beard]] to give himself an air of wisdom. Unfortunately after Tyrion Lannister has Shagga forcibly shave it off during an interrogation, he loses this implied authority, just looking like a sickly old man.

[[/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.

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[[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]]

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[[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]].

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[[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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