A very old trope, in which left-handedness is a signal that that someone is the Villain or TheMole, or occasionally just susceptible to the HeelFaceRevolvingDoor. The word "sinister" actually is derived from the Latin word for left-handedness, and also related to the BarSinister which is a symbol of bastardy, and thus untrustworthiness.

This is also related to EvilTwin; twins [[TruthInTelevision do often have]] opposite dominant hands, and an EvilTwin will (almost invariably) be the left-handed one.

Additionally, in older times, left-handedness was often a sign of evil or trickery because of the fact that people would shake hands with their right, grabbing each other by the wrists, in order to show that they were friendly and [[NothingUpMySleeve didn't have weapons]]. A lefty could shake with their right hand, grasping the other person's dominant hand, and attack with their weapon in their left hand while the other was defenseless. Also, during the Middle Ages, towers were built so defenders would have no problem swinging their swords down staircases while attackers would have loads of problems swinging up. However, this only applied if both were right handed; if the attacker were left-handed, the two would be evenly matched.

In many cultures, before the invention of toilet paper and forks, the right hand was used for eating, greeting etc., while the left hand was used for wiping oneself and other less savory things.

Another related trope is for a character to lose his right hand, symbolizing his loss of a moral compass. This can presage a FaceHeelTurn by the Hero. It is also common for {{Mad Scientist}}s to have a mechanical right arm. Alternatively, the left hand might become the repository of SealedEvilInACan. Compare RedRightHand.

A subtrope is TheKillerWasLeftHanded, where there is actually evidence that [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the killer was left-handed]]. Examples of that trope should go there.

The opposite, when left-handedness is viewed favorably, is TheSouthpaw. Sometimes overlaps with LeftHandedMirror. Also see IAmNotLeftHanded.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Figures prominently in ''Anime/ReadOrDie''. ''Really'' prominently - will ruin the main plot twist if you read the spoiler. [[spoiler: Nancy is left-handed and is TheMole. Then to add to that she has an EvilTwin and they are differentiated only by their dominant hand. Inverted because the right handed Nancy is the EvilTwin. As an alternative interpertation, it is not inverted because left-handed Nancy betrayed Yomiko first, and then betrayed and killed her own lover (although he had betrayed her), while right handed Nancy was at least loyal to her man, making the left handed Nancy experience a HeelFaceRevolvingDoor.]]
* Wrath of ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' may or may not be left handed, but he got the right one from someone else. The same could be said of Scar, though their alignments turn in opposite directions.
* Gin from ''Manga/DetectiveConan'' is left-handed. Also, there is a case Conan solves by realizing a man had been replaced by a duplicate because the fake was left handed and the original was not.
%%* ''Manga/DeathNote'':
%%** Higuchi, though nobody mentions it.
%%** From the viewpoint of the Kira followers, this would apply to Matt.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'': An interesting case with the Straw Hats, as none of them are evil, but a large number of them have something of importance on their left side. Luffy has his scar underneath his left eye. Nami's tatoo is on her left arm. Zoro's earrings are on his left ear, and although ambidextrous appears to prefer his left hand. Usopp always wears his wrist band on his left hand. Sanji's left eye is always covered. Chopper's antler plate is located on his left antler. Interestingly enough, the two Strawhats that finally break this pattern,[[spoiler: Robin and Franky,]] are both introduced to the story as villains/antagonists to the Strawhats. [[spoiler: Brook]] then completely subverts it, as his one asymmetrical trait is on the right side of his face. Sanji also subverts this after the TimeSkip, when his PeekABangs switch eyes to cover his right one instead.
* Inverted by Nanoha, the left-handed heroine of the ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' series, which is full of right-handed villains. Unless you take her {{fanon}} [[BloodKnight reputation]] into consideration.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''
** During the Chunin Exams arc, Sasuke realizes that the Naruto in front of he and Sakura is an impostor because his knife pouch is on his left leg, implying left-handedness, while the real Naruto is right-handed.
** Sasuke himself is left-handed, and far, ''far'' past the border of Crazytown.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'': Very subtle and not called into view, but all the members of Z-One's team, [[spoiler: (Placido, Lucciano, Jose, Aporia, Paradox and Antimony/Bruno)]] all wore their Duel Disks on their right arm, and hence were all left-handed.
* In ''Manga/TokyoGhoul'', [[spoiler: Takatsuki Sen]] is left-handed and is eventually revealed to be a major villain of the series.
* Inverted in ''Manga/TheSevenDeadlySins'' one of the main characters Meliodas appears to be left handed and a protraganist. However, there is ample evidence that this wasn't always the case. That also not taking into account that Meliodas is [[spoiler: a Demon]].


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Franchise/GreenLantern''
** Eventual villain Sinestro wears his power ring on his left hand.
** As does Alan Scott (the Golden Age GL), inverting this trope.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* [[TheFaceless Keyser Soze]] in ''Film/TheUsualSuspects'' is left handed. A clue to his identity occurs early in the movie, when [[spoiler:Verbal Kint tries to light a cigarette by holding the lighter in his right hand and opening it with his [[ObfuscatingDisability cerebral palsy-afflicted left hand]], but can't do it]].
* All the Stormtroopers in ''Franchise/StarWars'' are left-handed, due to the magazines on the left side of the prop guns constantly bumping into the Stormtroopers armor. Maybe this would explain ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy.
* In ''Film/RogueOne'', Director Orson Krennic is left-handed as well as being the major villain. He also aims his blaster pistol with his left hand.
* In the film adaptation of ''Film/ToKillAMockingbird'', Bob Ewell is stated to be left-handed rather than ambidextrous as in the book. This makes the fact that he beat his daughter, Mayella, even more obvious.

* Inverted (thematically at least) in the ''Literature/LoneWolf'' gamebooks: magic traditions inspired by the Forces of Light are referred to as "left-handed", while the BlackMagic of the servants of [[GodOfEvil God of Darkness]] [[BigBad Naar]] are referred to as "right-handed".

* In Literature/TheBible, Ehud, one of the judges, actually managed to assassinate a king by hiding a miniature weapon on his right hip. Thus the weapon wasn't found, and he could still use it, being left-handed.
* Arya from ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''. When her dominant hand is revealed to her fencing master, he reacts favorably because fighting left-handed will reverse her stance and movements, which will help confuse her opponents. However, her left-handedness might also be ASinisterClue about her future, [[spoiler: training in a cult of assassins.]]
** Subverted with Jaime Lannister, who [[spoiler:loses his right hand just before his HeelFaceTurn, ''away from'' the dark side]].
* In the novel ''Literature/TheSterkarmHandshake'', the whole Sterkarm clan are lefties and are known for being backstabbers.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Played for laughs in some comedy (?) show called ''Inside Scoop'': [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GEI7HKE_D4 Ban Left Marriage!]]
* In ''Series/{{V|1983}}'', whenever a human is [[MoreThanMindControl converted to the villains' cause]], it causes a brain-dominance switch. Since ThereAreNoLefties in TV Land, this leads to left-handed human collaborators.
* In ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', Data figures out he and Picard are trapped in a holodeck Enterprise when (the simulation of) Geordi catches a tool Data throws to him with his left hand, exposing a programming glitch Data was already aware of.
** Data reveals that his [[EvilTwin brother Lore]] was equipped with a Type L [[TechnoBabble Phase Discriminating Amplifier]] while Data was equiiped with a Type R. Also averted by Data himself, who uses his left hand dominantly like his (and Lore's) actor [[Creator/BrentSpiner Brent Spiner]].
** The logo of the Borg Collective looks like a grasping left hand.
* An episode of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' has Sam [[SpotTheImposter realize that a shapeshifter]] was pretending to be Dean because he caught something with his left hand, as Dean's left arm was injured.
* In ''Series/{{Graceland}},'' Briggs is left handed. This trope is only invoked later in the first season, with the big reveal.
* In a Series/PerryMason movie, the title character, who has realized that the killer in question is left-handed, forces the culprit to reveal himself by asking him for the time. The man looks at his watch, which is on his ''right'' wrist, as many left-handed people wear it.
* A similar scene in ''Series/TheGoldenGirls'' episode "The Case of the Libertine Belle", where the girls went to a murder mystery weekend.
* On ''Series/OrphanBlack'', Helena is the one clone who's left-handed, and she starts out as a villain. [[spoiler: It turns out that this is because she and Sarah are mirror-image twins, not clones.]]
* On ''Series/{{Jekyll}}'', one of the differences between Hyde and Dr Jackman (Our "Jekyll") is that Hyde is left-handed while Dr Jackman is not.

[[folder:Religion and Folklore]]
* In the Bible, the tribe of Benjamin were distinguished by having a predominance of left-handed people. Naturally this cursed streak led them to war with the rest of Israel, where their left-handed swordsmen and slingers were seen as an un-natural thing, able to preferentially target the unshielded side of an opponent and leave right-handed swordsmen at a fighting disadvantage, when the enemy weapon came at them from the "wrong" side.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'': "Left-handedness is one of the ten early warning signs of Commie mutant treason!"

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The titular Nemesis from ResidentEvil3 is a lefty. This is useful to know in gameplay, because you dodge his punches and grabs by juking to his right side.
* Dyne, a side-villain in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', had his crippled LEFT arm replaced with a machine gun, and is distinctly portrayed as a serial killing lunatic. The reverse is true of Barret - even though he leads a terrorist organisation that blows up a power plant and kills hundreds of people, his RIGHT hand was the one replaced with a similar weapon. He turns out to be a nice, but misguided person who is a doting father and dedicated friend.
** Sephiroth and his remnants are also lefties.
** Kain Highwind, a party member from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', is left handed, which is shown by having weapon and shield slots in his inventory screen reversed. No points for guessing what he does, especially with [[NameOfCain a name]] [[CainAndAbel like that]]. Though he does get better... [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor somewhat]].
** Aside from Kain the only other left handed characters in IV were Golbez, the main villain, and Palom, who while not evil or villanious was still a bit of a [[BrattyHalfPint brat with a bad attitude]].
* In ''VideoGame/GodHand'', the titular artifact exists in a pair: left God Hand and right God Hand. The hero, Gene, got the right one to replace his severed arm. As for the left one, it's used by the [[TheDragon Dragon]] Azel (who is the most evil in the group of villains).
* In ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'', the Master Hand is a giant, floating, apparently benign right hand who created the world that the characters find themselves in, and lives to be the ultimate challenge for heroes. The idea is that he is the hand of the child making the trophies fight, just like a kid in his room playing with action figures. His EvilTwin is the Crazy Hand, the left hand of the pair, who laughs maniacally upon his entrance and whose attacks and general movements are both bizarre and incredibly erratic. Whereas Master Hand is said to be a benign force and to represent the creative nature of a child, Crazy Hand is a destroyer, and supposedly represents that same child's more sadistic qualities. In the end, Master Hand doesn't look particularly saintly himself with his equally EvilLaugh, and [[BigBadDuumvirate both hands]] still serve as the final bosses of the modes where they appear, so the implications of good versus evil between them are [[DownplayedTrope downplayed]].
* An odd example occurs in the online game ''VideoGame/ImprobableIsland'', where one of the monsters you can encounter is called "Sinister Dexter", an AffectionateParody of, well, ''Series/{{Dexter}}''. His moves are all based on being left-handed. [[RealityIsOutToLunch It's that kind of game]].
* The official art for ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' depicts [[spoiler:cursed-by-Dracula]] Richter Belmont as a lefty; he is right-handed in the prior depictions of him. Hint hint much.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}''
** In ''VideoGame/PokemonColosseum'', the two models of the portable Snag Machine are depicted as being worn on the left arm. Neither of their wielders are particularly nasty ([[AntiHero though one moreso than the other]]), but the folks behind inventing the device are the epitome of evil in the Pokeverse.
** As a comparison, in ''[[VideoGame/PokemonXDGaleOfDarkness XD]]'', Michael always makes a regular catch (at the Poke Spots, given that's where wild Pokemon appear from time to time) or calls out a Pokemon with his right hand. He only uses his left when he needs to make a Snag.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', where TheHero is left-handed, [[spoiler:while his EvilTwin is right-handed, or at least favours his right hand in combat, allowing the pair to milk FearfulSymmetry for all its worth.]]
* Justified in ''VisualNovel/HatofulBoyfriend''. The ObviouslyEvil Dr. Shuu uses his left [[FeatherFingers wing]] for everything... because his right wing was injured in the past.
* Interestingly, the Wii version of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' has [[BigBad Ganondorf]], traditionally right-handed, turned TheSouthpaw. This is because of the control scheme of the Wii, and since the deadline of the game was getting close, the developers couldn't simply make Link right-handed and leave the rest of the version intact, so they decided to simply mirror it, thus turning most characters left-handed, including Ganondorf.
* ''VideoGame/SoulSeries'':
** Siegfried Schtauffen and thus his SuperpoweredEvilSide, Nightmare, are ambidextrous. However, Siegfried prefers to wield his sword in his right hand when possible (when it's not, he fights with his left hand nearer to the crossguard, which is more typical of lefties). Nightmare doesn't zig-zag and just holds the sword in his left hand.
** The Nightmare in ''Soulcalibur V'' is using a different host, yet remains left-handed. It's assumed that his new host, Graf Dumas, is actually [[spoiler:Raphael Sorel, the only left-handed fighter besides the Nightmare]].
* In ''VideoGame/KirbysReturnToDreamland'', [[spoiler: [[TheMole Magolor]] is, if you look carefully in the fights against him, clearly left-handed, though you don't see this much until you already know he's evil.]] Furthermore, in ''VideoGame/KirbyAndTheAmazingMirror'', [[DarkIsNotEvil Meta Knight]] has his dominant hand inverted while within the mirror from right to left, however, while within the mirror, [[EvilTwin Dark Meta Knight]] still uses his right hand, implying that, in the normal world, he would be left-handed. [[ObviouslyEvil Not that you need that to tell that he's a bad guy.]]
* ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsII''
** The Fume Knight, AKA Raime, held his {{BFS}} in his left hand. He was also known as the left hand of King Vendrick prior to his betrayal, while the more noble Velstadt was the right hand.
** The Burnt Ivory King is a tragic example. He was genuinely a nice person prior to his fallen hero due to the old Chaos.
* [[spoiler:Goro Akechi]] from ''VideoGame/Persona5'' is left-handed. Naturally, he's a villain [[spoiler:and the traitor among the main characters]].

* ''Webcomic/CaseyAndAndy'': Satan is left-handed.
* ''Webcomic/{{Narbonic}}'': Caliban is left-handed.
* ''{{Webcomic/Drowtales}}'': Kalki seems to be left-handed judging by how she [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10143 holds a katana]] and is mostly shown using her left hand for nether summoning.

* In one "Treehouse of Horror" episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', left-handed Bart turns out to be the evil twin of Hugo Simpson. Bart's left-handedness is never brought up in the episode though.
* Francine from ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' was raised to think lefties were evil.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'', Mirror Master creates evil duplicates of Batman, Robin, and Flash. Batman quickly notes that the duplicates are left-handed.
!!Examples of the related tropes:


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The left hand of the titular character of ''Manga/HellTeacherNube'' is actually a sealed Oni, Baki, which replaces the left hand he lost fighting said Oni. Most of the time, it looks like his regular hand wearing a black leather glove; when his students are threatened by spectral horrors, he will reveal it as a monstrously large, dark red hand with visible tendons and black claws. However, he constantly seeks a way to seal it permanently, as only the influence of his childhood teacher prevents the Oni from taking over his entire body.
* The lead characters of ''Manga/{{Parasyte}}'' are a young man named Shinichi and the alien parasite that has possessed/replaced his right hand. Their relationship is one of the main foci of the series, especially re: Shinichi losing part of his humanity. As early as the first volume, the LoveInterest intuits there's something weird about his right hand and switches around him to hold his left instead.
** The original English translation was flipped and 'Migi' was named 'Lefty' instead.
* Edward Elric of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' lost his right arm and his brother lost his entire body performing forbidden alchemy, which put him on a self-imposed RedemptionQuest to restore his brother's real body. At the end of the story, [[spoiler: he has his right arm and his brother back, but Edward had to give up his ability to perform alchemy.]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Lex Luthor]] also had a mechanical right hand for a while; he lost the original to Kryptonite poisoning. Naturally, he took Rotwang's role in the {{Elseworld}} ''Superman's Metropolis''.

* Reverend Harry Powell from ''Film/TheNightOfTheHunter'' 1955. The fingers on his right hand are [[KnuckleTattoos tattooed with the word L O V E]], while the left hand is tattooed H A T E. His CatchPhrase? "Do you want to hear the story of left-hand and right-hand?"
* In ''Franchise/StarWars Episode II: Film/AttackOfTheClones'' Anakin loses his right arm--symbolism of a move towards the Dark Side. Luke then loses his right hand in the same way [[Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack 3 films later]]--right before TheReveal that LukeIAmYourFather, and in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'' Luke breaks free from his FreakOut after he cuts off his father's right hand and realizes that both of them have mechanical right hands.
* Rotwang ''Film/{{Metropolis}}'' 1926, here we have the subtrope with the MadScientist whose right hand is mechanical- also seen in Webcomic/GirlGenius with Professor Mongfish.

* In the books, [[Literature/TheSilenceOfTheLambs Hannibal Lecter]] had six fingers on his left hand.
* Inverted in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''. When [[spoiler: Jaime Lannister]] loses his right hand, his moral compass actually starts working better. This is mostly because without his sword-hand, he's forced to think things through, when before he could just hack his way through any obstacle.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' Sho Minamimoto has a black left hand.
* The main villain of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', Golbez, is left-handed. However, you only learn this when [[spoiler:he's freed from brainwashing (done by the ''real'' villain) and becomes a protagonist in the sequel]]. He wields weapons in his left and shields in his right. Similarly, [[spoiler:Kain]] is left-handed, and ends up brainwashed to fight for the villain.
* Notably inverted with [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda Link]] of ''The Legend of Zelda'' though this is absent in the Wii titles. It should be noted Creator/ShigeruMiyamoto himself is ambidextrous, preferring his left hand.