Covered with Scars

A character's entire body, is covered in hundreds of scars. This trope is used to show that the character is a Badass, a veteran or a Broken Bird who lived though a lot of fights or suffered a great deal of pain and torture. Often times these scars will be linked to mental scars related to how they gained them.

If the scars are self-inflicted expect the character to be more than a little off.

Subtrope of Rugged Scar. Related to Dented Iron, Good Scars, Evil Scars, Every Scar Has A Story and Scars Are Forever. May involve a Scar Survey. See also Frozen Face.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Illness from Baccano! has countless scars under her dress as a result of SAMPLE's "worship" of her.
  • Baki the Grappler, along with several supporting characters. The most notable is Hanayama.
  • Berserk: With the amount of punishment that Guts regularly takes at the hands of his demonic enemies, he's accumulated quite a few scars over his career. Including a missing eye and forearm, courtesy of the horrors of the Eclipse. This gets even more pronounced after he obtains the Berserker Armor: his body is apparently so covered in scar tissue that he cannot sweat, leaving him susceptible to frequent fevers.
  • Betrayal Knows My Name's Usui Shuusei is covered with nasty burn marks from when he interrupted Hotsuma's suicide attempt.
  • Black Jack of the manga of the same name is covered in scars from stepping on a landmine as a child.
    • In the TV version, anyway. The original manga had an unexploded American bomb from WWII that his family's house had been built on top of by crooked developers who were too cheap to have it dismantled first.
  • Black Lagoon: Balalaika has burn scars all over the front of her body, including almost half her face as the result of surviving a frag grenade at close range.
  • Manji from Blade of the Immortal has scars on every inch of his body... which occasionally open up.
  • Bleach:
    • Yamamoto Genryuusai, the commander of the Gotei 13. Some of his scars have story-significant background to them, especially the scar that was inflicted by Sasakibe, which impressed him enough to change his name.
    • Kenpachi. Due to his love for fighting, his body is absolutely covered in scars. His overall strategy seems to be that dodging is for sissies.
    • Mayuri, underneath his getup. Due to his constant doing 'modification' surgeries on himself.
  • In the Frieza saga of Dragon Ball Z we see that Vegeta has scars all over his chest and back.
  • All three of Madaraki sisters from Franken Fran have them, due to being artificial humans.
  • Kyoshiro from Ginga Densetsu Weed has scars all over his body. They're either from an abusive father, or they're from fighting other dogs.
  • Over the course of his series, Golgo 13 has developed a number of scars, visible when he removes his shirt. In the first chapter, he was unmarked.
  • Morito of Gun X Clover has a lot of scars on his upper torso hidden under his clothes thanks to his long mercenary career.
  • Colonel Bakuryu from Kochikame has scars all over his face and torso showing his combat and survivalist experiences.
  • Eishun Konoe in Mahou Sensei Negima!.
  • In addition to the four scars on his face, Lannes is depicted this way in Napoleon - Shishi no Jidai by Tetsuya Hasegawa, with bullet wounds and sabre cuts all over his arms and torso. May also be the case for Oudinot, given the number of scars drawn on his face and his real-life self's reputation, but we have yet to see him shirtless...
  • Naruto:
    • Morino Ibiki was tortured as a young man, and is now completely covered in scars. He hides his head with a bandana so people won't see all the burn marks and craters. Considering he hides the rest of his body with a long coat and gloves, it's save to assume he has more of them.
    • The entire right side of Uchiha Obito's body, including his face, is one big mass of scar-tissue. Some part of it may not even be his own skin anymore, and his right arm is basically a prosthetic. No surprise, given that he was crushed by a huge boulder as a child.
  • One Piece:
    • Whitebeard is covered with scars on every part of his body, the only wounds on his back from the times he was stabbed in the front and the weapon came out his back. Of course, being Whitebeard, these were only flesh wounds.
    • Laboon the whale's head is also crisscrossed with many scars, the result of years spent angrily crashing against the Red Line.
  • Gene Starwind from Outlaw Star. It's implied that many of his scars are the result of his escape pod crash-landing on Sentinel III when he was 15.
  • Randal Oland from Pumpkin Scissors. He got most of them during the war that occurred before the series begins.
  • The moneylender Sugi in Rainbow has acquired quite an assortment of what appear to be knife wounds over his ten years in the business. He says they all came from people who decided it was easier to kill him than to pay him back.
  • Tsukune from Rosario + Vampire has been portrayed as this during his more recent shirtless scenes. Not surprising, considering all the things he's endured.
  • Rurouni Kenshin - Shishio's full-body scarring is from one incident, but having almost all of your skin be second- or third-degree burns can't be pleasant.
  • In Shinmai Maou no Testament, Basara's body is covered in scars, which are quite visible as he has several on his arms. Both Maria and Mio quickly find out that he's actually quite a skilled fighter, and those scars are a testament to the training he's received.
  • Soul Eater
    • Black☆Star after his fight with Mifune.
    • Stein, in part a self-inflicted example due to the fact he sees even himself as a test-subject for whatever catches his attention.
  • Nanashi from Sword of the Stranger is covered in scars from his days as a samurai.
  • Mutsuki Tooru from the sequel to Tokyo Ghoul is revealed to have a heavily scarred torso. It becomes a significant plot point when the team is investigating a Ghoul called Torso, since his preferred victims are scarred women. It turns out the heavy scarring isn't the only thing Mutsuki is hiding, leading Torso to become obsessed with him.
  • In Toriko, the Bishokukai member Cedre has at least 26 scars all over his body. Several of them are on his torso and back, 9 on his face, 3 on his right hand, and possibly all his body is on the same conditions. Almost all of the scars are scratches from attacks of wild beasts, as his job is to hunt them.
  • In Trigun, Vash's complete upper body is basically one large scar, including his missing arm. He calls it the price for being a pacifist in a gunslinger world.
  • Implied with the character of Cargilla in Vamp!, whose face is covered in scars. The narrator adds that if not for the heavy clothing he wears, the rest of his body would probably be covered in scars as well.
  • YuYu Hakusho: Sensui. A result of a combination of Macho Masochism and being completely insane.
  • In the manga for Young Gun Carnaval, every time Jinpachi has a Shirtless Scene, you see that he's acquired many, many scars over the course of his career—usually bullet or knife wounds. In case you were wondering, he's an assassin. His partner, Yumika, is probably in a similar or worse state, considering her mother, but the manga doesn't show it.
  • Himawari Kunogi from xxxHOLiC becomes this when she willingly chooses to take on the scars Watanuki would've otherwise received from falling out of a window, after her Doom Magnet status influences the accident to happen. The next time we see her, we only need to take a look at Himawari's neck and shoulders to have a glimpse of what her clothes hide from our view...

    Comicbooks 
  • Batman:
    • Since the 1970s, Batman's body is often shown to be covered in scars from his multiple fights. Same goes for the rest of the Bat-family, special notice maybe for Cassandra Cain, who has a lot of bullet wounds from her bullet dodging training by her father.
    • Zsasz. His scars are self inflicted, and each one represents one of his victims.
  • Daredevil is another one who's covered in scars.
  • Deadpool is covered in scars or tumors or both.
  • Marv from Sin City has many scars across his face. It's likely they're all over his body, judging from his fighting style.
  • The Spirit had no scars in his 40s adventures in serials. However, in the Darwyn Cooke revival, one shirtless scene shows his numerous scars in the back, from his numerous adventures and crime fighting. It's presumed he has many too on his front side.
  • Like Zsasz, Wolverine villain Mister X also has a self-inflicted scar for each person he's killed. His, however, are arranged in an elaborate pattern.
  • Similar to the Zsasz and Mister X examples, Jack Cross, a self-mutilating Jack Bauer Expy is shown to have a cross-shaped scar for everyone he has killed. In his case, it's more of a punishment than a trophy.
  • Jukko Hämäläinen of Stormwatch: Team Achilles is covered head to toe in scars from the period of time he spent resisting his brother's attempts to transform him into a superhuman.
  • Ragdoll's body is covered in scars from the hundreds of surgeries he had to replicate his father's superhuman flexibility.
  • Maximum Absolute of King City has numerous Frankenstein-stitching-like scars, as well as a missing leg. Presumably he got these when he was in the xombie war, although he already has the one across his face in flashbacks.
  • Duane Cutter in Hard Time, an infamous serial killer whose body (including his face) is covered in dense scar tissue. They're the result of ritual scarification, and almost look like tattoos. He considers himself an artist, and skin is his canvas; naturally, he leaves his victims in a similar condition.

    Fan Works 

  • In the Soul Eater fic Alive, Crona has scars all over his body from his mother's experiments on him, from the people he killed trying to fight him, and from himself, when it all became too much to take.
  • In I Will Remember You, Ulrich's body is heavily scarred from four years of horrific abuse at the hands of his father.
  • In The Unforeseen Ally, Sasuke has scars on his back from his father, on his hands from Orochimaru pinning him down with kunai to rape him, and a burn scar on his stomach from his other rapist Deidara that spells out "mine." Every Scar Has A Story, indeed.
  • Subverted in the crossover story The Bridge. Princess Luna's magic had an adverse effect on the ponified Godzilla's Healing Factor, shutting it off in their fight. Because of this his old scars resurfaced and he was riddled with them. Fortunately after the brawl, Godzilla's regenerative powers returned and he was good as new soon.
  • In the Naruto fanfic Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox, as a result of Training from Hell, Uchiha Sasuke has sustained slash-scars over the chest and abdomen, three stab wounds, several stitches on one shoulder, and a burn-mark in the middle of the back, in addition to having sustained two broken ribs and a fractured jaw during the first month of training alone.

    Film 
  • Freddy Krueger in the A Nightmare on Elm Street series with severe third-degree burns, which is just one thing that makes him so terrifying.
  • Darkman was covered in scars from burns.
  • Django in Django Unchained is covered in whip-scars.
  • Dr. Weir ends up bald, naked and covered with scars for the final showdown of Event Horizon.
  • Godzilla's skin texture, as designed for the original film, was meant to evoke the gruesome scars that popped up on the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, seeing as he himself is a victim of nuclear weapons. This angle was largely abandoned in the later sequels, which simply went for the typical roughly-textured reptile skin, until Godzilla (2014) took this Up to Eleven by giving him explicit and noticeable scars.
  • Kroenen from the Hellboy film.
  • Drago Bloodfist from How to Train Your Dragon 2 is covered with scars from his days of fighting dragons, he is also missing one of his arms.
  • Kong from King Kong (2005) has scars all over his body from all the fights he's been through on Skull Island.
  • In Star Wars, Darth Vader beneath his iconic black armor. Most of them came from an unfortunate encounter with a lava river.
  • In The Book of Eli, Eli is covered in scars, remnants of "The Flash", a massive rupture in the Earth's atmosphere caused by a global war.
  • Nightcrawler, in X2: X-Men United, is covered, from his pointy ears to all four of his toes, in rather artistic-looking raised scars. They're self-inflicted; apparently, he felt the need to punish himself for... something. He appears to be part of a Flagellant sect. When asked, he says they are "angelic symbols", and that he has "one for every sin."
  • V from V for Vendetta is covered in burn scars.
  • Parodied in a ridiculously surreal Hungarian movie, which among other absurd things, featured the main character showing off his scars, starting from minor ones, to big ones like the neck of a cola bottle sticking out of his side, and eventually ending with him opening a door on his chest and revealing some sort of animal in a treadmill. Quite naturally, nobody ever talks of this again.

    Live Action Television 
  • Arrow:
    • Oliver Queen returns from his five years as a castaway with scars that cover "22% of his body." They range from weapon weals to apparent bite marks across his arms, back, and torso, and may or may not be explained in future flashbacks.
    • In Season 2, Sara aka Black Canary also fits this trope. The reveal of her scars even manage to turn a Topless From The Back moment into a form of Fan Disservice.
  • At the end of the fifth season of 24, Jack Bauer is captured by the Chinese Government and held prisoner. By the time he's released at the beginning of Season Six, he has numerous scars all over his body from the torture he was put through.

    Literature 
  • In Dragon Bones, Ward notices that Tisala has scars on her face and hands, and the fighting kind of scars. he's quite impressed. When he meets her again, and sees her naked for the first time in the sequel, Dragon Blood her whole body is covered with wounds, thanks to Cold-Blooded Torture. She might have had scars everywhere before, but she's certain to have them after those wounds heal.
  • Beloved - the network of whip scars on Sethe's back seems like a growing tree.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Strong Belwas is covered in scars. He lets each enemy he kills scar him once, so that he can count the number of people he has slain over the years.
    • Beric Dondarrion also is covered in scars from every time he's been killed.
  • Anita Blake is covered with scars from years of fighting supernatural creatures.
  • Jasper from Twilight, due to his past as a Blood Knight.
  • Harry Dresden of the The Dresden Files is a subversion. With the impressive number of wounds he has taken he should be covered in scars, but given a half dozen years of healing a wizard's body will completely heal scars back to normal flesh. The collection of scars he manages to collect even while his body is erasing them is still impressive.
  • Mowgli in The Jungle Book:
    "What is there to be afraid of?" said the priest. "Look at the marks on his arms and legs. They are the bites of wolves. He is but a wolf-child run away from the jungle."
    Of course, in playing together, the cubs had often nipped Mowgli harder than they intended, and there were white scars all over his arms and legs. But he would have been the last person in the world to call these bites, for he knew what real biting meant.
  • Shadowhunters from The Mortal Instruments are covered in scars from years of being marked with runes.
  • Some of the Canim from the Codex Alera series have this, showing what battle-hardened warriors they are. Some are so scarred they barely have any fur. Also the Canim Ritualists, who do Blood Magic, and thus have cut themselves quite a bit. Especially Marok who only uses his own blood, as opposed to most ritualists who mostly use that of others.
  • Kvothe from The King Killer Chronicles
  • Druss the Legend in Legend by David Gemmell (although it is mentioned that he had noticeably fewer scars on his back, because he always faced up to danger).
  • The unnamed protagonist from The Gargoyle after his accident.
  • Peacebreakers:
  • Miles Vorkosigan of the Vorkosigan Saga has had a ton of surgeries from broken bones, bone replacements, and a needle grenade.
  • Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody from Harry Potter, as a result of years of fighting Dark wizards. He also has a wooden leg and a chunk missing from his nose.
    • Remus Lupin, too - probably self-inflicted during his painful transformations.
    • Bill Weasley during the seventh book and last part of the sixth book, after he is attacked by Fenrir Greyback. It is implied that Bill was handsome before the attack, but that the scars took away a lot of his good looks. Harry even has difficulty reading his facial expressions because he has scars everywhere.
  • In Interesting Times, Rincewind's adventures in the last new books have apparently left their mark: When he is brought back to Ankh-Morpork, the other wizards remark that he's covered in scars - but mainly on his back.
    • Another Discworld example is 71-Hour Ahmed in Jingo, whose face is covered in scars (though it's not known whether the rest of him is.)
  • In Battle Royale, Shogo Kawada is covered in scars, causing the other kids to speculate on how he ended up with so many. He got them in the previous Program.
  • Early in Oathbound, a young stablegirl sees Tarma coming out of the bath, and is shocked at her scars; Tarma takes the opportunity to hammer home to her that going adventuring is not a thing to do for fun.
    • In the first chapter of Magic's Promise, Vanyel steps out of a tub to reveal numerous "decorations" from knives, swords, mage-fire, electricity, a demon trying to eat his heart, etc., uzw., and so forth.
  • Like Kyoshiro from the above example in anime, Tigerstar from Warrior Cats has a pelt covered in scars. He even has a scarred nose and an ear nearly split in two.
  • Carnival from the Deepgate Codex series. Most of her scars are self-inflicted (a rate of once per month tends to pile up over three thousand years), but quite a few of them are from fights with Deepgate's military, and her single rope scar is a bit of a special case.
  • In A Brother's Price, Cira has one prominent facial scar, but her back is a "mass of puckered skin and silvery scars" years after she is badly burned.
  • The short story "Scars," by Wrath James White. Every scar is a sign of the protagonist's unraveling mental state.
  • The Underland Chronicles:
    • Ripred.
    • By the end Gregor's racked up an impressive total. After his fight with the Bane, he basically gives up the idea of even coming up with an excuse for them.

    Theatre 

    Video Games 
  • In Planescape: Torment, The Nameless One is the poster child for this trope. It's kind of hard to tell on account of him having so many that he hasn't got much skin left to contrast against the scar tissue.
  • In Quest for Glory III, the survivor of the peace mission is covered in scars after the group is attacked by demons.
  • In Fable I and its sequel there's a good chance your character will end up like this as they acquire scars rapidly when they're hurt in combat.
  • Solid Snake has always been one of the poster men for badasses in video games. But when you actually see the toll of just how much damage has been done to his body over the years, you can't help but feel incredibly sorry for him.
  • Following his/her return from the dead in the second game, Commander Shepard from Mass Effect has a large number of scars covering cybernetic implants, as they were woken before Cerberus finished complete facial reconstruction.
  • Zangief from Street Fighter, who got his scars by wrestling with bears.
  • Jecht's torso and arms are covered in tens of scars, being a Badass Walking Shirtless Scene and all.
    • The jury's still out on Setzer—his face is absolutely covered in numerous slash scars, but, given that he is The Dandy to end all others in this game, we also never see any part of his skin other than his face.
  • Sergei Dragunov of the Tekken series has two scars on his face (a large one running through his lips and a smaller one across his nose), and, if the player opts to make him shirtless in Tekken 6, it can be seen that he has several scars, ranging from large to small (including one that appears to be a bullet wound), on his arms and torso.
  • Hanako Ikezawa from Katawa Shoujo has extensive burn scars covering half of her body. And yes, she is a Broken Bird, since the house fire that gave her those scars also killed both of her parents and while the people from the Orphanage of Love she lived in treated her more or less well... she was heavily bullied in middle school because of them.
  • Geralt from The Witcher is covered from head to toe in tooth and claw marks and various other scars.
  • Darth Sion from KotOR 2 is covered with scars, although calling them that might be a bit of an understatement—they're more like large cracks in his skin. This results from his technically being dead; his body is held together through the sheer power of the Dark Side, so his body is decomposing. Appropriately, he's known as the Lord of Pain.
  • The Handymen from Bio Shock Infinite have many facial scars, as seen in the photo above.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Panthro of ThunderCats (2011) is an Old Soldier with several scars, which flashbacks show him developing over a lifetime of fighting for Thundera.
  • Cotton Hill of "King of the Hill" the few times we see him shirtless he is covered with scars from bullet and stab wounds he received from fighting in World War 2, his most significant injury being that towards the end of his duty he got his shins blown off during an ambush by Japanese soldiers, resulting in his feet being attached to his knees.
  • TRON: Uprising: One of the first things that lets you know just how bad the situation is? The title character is covered in dead pixel scarring. He hides them under a disguise subroutine most of the time, but it's clear the visible scarring isn't the worst part.

    Real Life 
  • Sperm whales are usually very heavily scarred by old age from repeatedly battling the giant squid they hunt.
  • Often Truth in Television for victims of severe burns or other trauma.
    • Fractal scars from direct lightning strikes also count, the branched pattern that lightning travels through the body when struck and causes blood vessels to rupture along that path, resulting in a tree-like pattern along the body.
  • Amazon river dolphins were once thought to be a species with naturally pink skin. It's now thought that they have gray skin that scars pink.
  • When the crusier squadron Task Force 67 put into harbor at Espiritu Santo after the first phase of the night surface battle of Guadalcanal the USS San Francisco had 26 shell holes from fighting a tangled point blank melee with Japanese ships that almost resembled a galley battle rather then a modern one. Just getting it back into port was an achievement. Her primary opponent the IJN Hiel ended up on Ironbottom Sound.


Alternative Title(s):

Covered In Scars