Face of a Thug
Nah: "I had you wrong. I thought you were colder. ...Scarier."This is where a character is shown to have a very scary, thuggish face — mostly for comedic purposes. The expression will often include a Kubrick Stare, where the face tilts down but the eyes look up. The face of a thug is so scary that normal people are shown to be easily scared off just by looking at them, and can make even tough brutes feel uneasy. The catch here is that that the character with the face of a delinquent is anything but. Some of them are genuinely nice, even exceptionally so; others are actually cowards surviving solely based on their looks. Generally, though, they are normal people who would rather just have a normal life. Things aren't that easy, though. Since everyone assumes them to be a Badass of the highest degree, other people will either avoid them for fear of getting involved, or try to rope them into fights far beyond their actual ability. Their actions will usually revolve around trying to make normal people acknowledge their true self, while avoiding that the thugs around them learn the truth about the same. This can often result in a delinquent who doesn't act like a delinquent. Such a character may even have actual skill at fighting and street survival, not by choice but by simple necessity. Since it was forced on them, they had to pick up those skills simply to survive. Very frequently overlaps with Dark Is Not Evil, since darkness and fear factor are synonymous in aesthetics. Please note that it doesn't necessarily mean "ugly", even though most of the examples below are. It's more about looking threatening than actually looking bad, and it's possible to look both handsome and fearsome. Compare Frozen Face, Gentle Giant, The Grotesque, Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold. Subtrope of Paper Tiger. A frequent subversion of Scary Black Man. Contrast with Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon. Frequently overlaps with Dark Is Not Evil.
Brady: "So you WERE scared of me! I knew it!"
Nah: "But not anymore! Now I know you're really a good, kindhearted person!"
Brady: "Gah, stop already! I ain't used to praise. It feels almost as weird to hear ya say that as it does you calling me scary!"
Brady: "So you WERE scared of me! I knew it!"
Nah: "But not anymore! Now I know you're really a good, kindhearted person!"
Brady: "Gah, stop already! I ain't used to praise. It feels almost as weird to hear ya say that as it does you calling me scary!"
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Anime and Manga
- Kitano from Angel Densetsu. In fact, the whole plot is driven and catapulted by how he looks like a horrible thug that does drugs and kills people with impunity, which causes everyone to fear and respect him. All of that is false, and he's the nicest person on earth. His bizarre behavior doesn't improve his image either.
- Kannu from Koihime†Musou is The Bandit Hunter and ironically she gets confused for one and in one episode she is called thuggish
- Guts from Berserk.
- Narumi of Karakuri Circus, amongst others.
- Seiji from Midori no Hibi has a face of a thug. It's why he constantly has a stream of bullies challenging him, which led to how he became so good at fighting. However, underneath, he's actually a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who wants to be loved.
- Oga from the manga Beelzebub, who is known as the "strongest juvenile delinquent." He attempts to scare away a baby who has grown attached to him by making his face even scarier than it already is. However, it backfires, since the baby is actually Satan's son, and therefore actually likes incredibly scary faces.
- In Oga's case, he actually is a delinquent instead of just looking like one. Although he is arguably a much nicer person in comparison to other delinquents around him.
- Tojo is a more straight example. He is very tall and muscular on top of having a scary face, and even though he likes to fight, he is a genuinely Nice Guy who also has a weakness for cute things.
- To be honest, since about 99% of the cast are Delinquents, most of them count for this trope.
- Fullmetal Alchemist:
- Sig Curtis is an enormous bear of a man, and a butcher by trade. He often frightens small children with his size, looks, and sharp implements. Ironically, while he is usually a kind, gentle man, his much less imposing wife is an easily angered firebrand of a woman (though never to him).
- Alphonse Elric is a sweet, gentle 14-year old boy whose voice never broke... whose soul inhabits a towering suit of spiky, badass armor. Frequently mistaken as the Fullmetal Alchemist; only in Super-Deformed do his true colors show. Observe.◊
- Ling Yao, a mildly suspicious but otherwise amiable guy who values his comrades, and is also one of many heirs to the Xing throne, admits to knowing that he doesn't have the friendliest looking eyes when Ed points out he wouldn't trust Ling's face. Ling deliberately keeps his Eyes Always Shut for the most part because of this.
- Sousuke Sagara from Full Metal Panic! is shown to have such an intense, intimidatingly scary face that it scares off anyone who approaches him or Kaname. It happens mostly for comedic effect, and he's shown to actually be very attractive when he lightens up a bit. On the other hand, Sousuke is extremely violent by nature (due to being raised by resistance fighters and all that). He's just highly professional about it rather than being a thug.
- Sakaki Shio from Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple. He is a huge muscular guy with a scarred face and looks very scary and violent. While that's partially true because he is a Dou fighter (one who fuels his martial arts by rage and aggression) he is the Master who cares and worries about Kenichi the most, going out of his way to protect him.
- Kasanoda (AKA Bossa Nova AKA Casanova) from Ouran High School Host Club. He's actually an incredibly gentle soul, who loves cute things. The only problem is that he just scares the heck out of everyone because of his thuggish face. The Host Club try all sorts of ways to "soften" his appearance, but all their efforts seem to only make him seem more unnerving and scary. Eventually, his crush on Bifauxnen Haruhi leads him to be Mistaken for Gay by his Yakuza underlings, and the Host Club's sizeable Yaoi Fangirl clientčle, who start seeing him as Troubled, but Cute.
- This guy terrified his father (boss of the biggest Yakuza gang in the city) when he was five, his face is so terrifying. He was just born that way.
- Sunako from The Wallflower has a face that isn't so much like a thug, but a ghost. It scares pretty much everyone to death. She's revealed in rare instances to clean up nicely.
- Randoh from Pretty Face, before the whole mess with the surgery that made him look like his crush. He's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold delinquent, and certainly looked scary.
- Leo Aoi from the manga Beast Master, who looks like he's always giving everyone the death glare. When introduced to the class as the new transfer student, everyone is shown shaking in fear, and even the teacher is shown to say while sweating, "Everyone, please be kind to him. Don't be afraid of him." It turns out that he was raised in a wild jungle, but is actually very gentle and kind. This doesn't stop other delinquents from thinking he's a super violent thug that wants to challenge them.
- Ryuuji from Toradora!. It's genetic apparently. He's really quite kind, and enjoys doing housework (especially cleaning). His looks and personality are made to contrast Taiga, who looks cute, but is actually ferociously violent.
- Chiba Seiya from Yankee-kun to Megane-chan is really a timid, studious nerd, but has the face of a delinquent thug. Naturally this leads to numerous unwanted confrontations.
- Sakaki from Azumanga Daioh. She's tall and imposing, so everyone assumes she's a juvenile delinquent. In reality, she's a shy girl who loves everything cute and cuddly. The bandages she's seen with early on aren't from getting into fights, but because those cute and cuddly animals she loves don't love her back.
- Interestingly, one episode had a "dress-up race" and Sakaki dressed like a stereotypical male delinquent.
- Principal Enzo from Shin-chan, whose face is so scary and thuggish, it scares not only the children, but also the teachers. It's to the point where the children take to calling him "Kumichou" (which means "Godfather"). However, he has a tender heart, and is shown to actually be a very nice person.
- Parodied and subverted in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. Mayo Mitama has creepy looking eyes, but since Dark Is Not Evil, everyone is still nice to her, thinking she fits this trope. Turns out they are all Wrong Genre Savvy and not only is she really as evil as she looks, she exploits this trope to do all the villainy she can. However, it is implied that she does all those bad thing hoping that just once, someone would call her out on it.
- Misao Zaitsu from Hatsukoi Limited. He also has a Funny Afro going for him, and looks terrifying. But he's as much of a lovelorn idiot as the rest of the cast.
- Poor, poor Sweden from Axis Powers Hetalia. His Death Glare scares the crap out of everyone, his partner Finland included... but after leaving his Viking life, he's actually one of the sweetest nation-tans. Germany also displays this, but he's got a hard exterior.
- Notably averted by Russia. Despite his immense height and large build, he has a round, childish, sweet face with a calm smile as his default expression. Because of how it contrasts with his intimidating aura, this actually manages to make him more scary, displaying his Psychopathic Manchild and Cute and Psycho nature before he even says or does anything.
- Harima Kenji from School Rumble. He's got a temper and a mean-streak, but once he mellows out, he can be the goofiest, chummiest guy in the world.
- Keith Gandor◊ from Baccano!! may as well be carrying a neon sign reading "I am in The Mafia. Fear me," given his appearance... Okay, so he is in the Mafia, but more of the honor-bound Noble Demon Neighborhood Friendly Gangsters variety. The Light Novels describe his face as "the face of a man who, no matter how you looked at him, didn't seem as though he did proper business."
- Usui Kenta from Karin has this problem, albeit mildly. To the people around him, his neutral face seems to be a glare.
- However, Kenta picks up on the 'kind-hearted' bit. He is quite likeable.
- It's apparently due to a curse that one of his ancestors was plagued with, at least that's what the soul of his future daughter told him.
- His actual glare is capable of scaring off a street thug. The manga shows a glaring cobra in the background when he does this, just to drive the point home.
- However, Kenta picks up on the 'kind-hearted' bit. He is quite likeable.
- Tomoka Kayahara from Muteki Kanban Musume, unless she's enjoying a meal, has a face that frightens children, small animals, adults, and Megumi.
- The main cast in Dorohedoro mostly plays it straight only when they have their masks on, and avert it by taking them off (Except Cayman of course). En even manages to be a cute little boy in a flashback (Given, an Ax-Crazy Omnicidal Maniac Little Boy, but hey, it's EN).
- Kaidou Kaoru from Prince of Tennis, to a degree. Most of the regulars (from Seigaku and otherwise) and teachers have no problem with him, but practically every other student he meets (especially the younger ones and girls) consider him to be terrifying. In fact, on one occasion, two nasty girls from another school were planning to humiliate him after he won a match against their school—when he turned around to see what they wanted, they freaked out so badly that one of them smashed her can of soda onto her own head.
- Humorously, adults (especially elderly couples) tend to find him very nice and consider him a 'good boy', rarely even noticing what he looks like. This usually makes him blush. It does help that he's quite polite and well mannered towards adults.
- Zoro from One Piece, despite being a generally good guy and a Friend to All Children, is often accused of having a scary face (and his Slasher Smile is enough to freak out even the viewers).
- Captain T-Bone of the Marines is an even better example. He looks like a zombie or ghoul but he is one of the most compassionate and caring people in the whole series, ripping his own mantle to pieces just to provide bandages for his wounded men.
- The cut wasn't even that bad...
- It was a bug bite.
- Simon from Durarara!! is a friendly, peaceful and intelligent sushi tout. He is also a seven-foot-tall Scary Black Man that tends to scare off passers-by with his mere presence. Interestingly enough, the really dangerous guy in the show, Shizuo, is a slim blond bishonen, and so unfortunate people sometimes underestimate him and are crushed by flying vending machines.
- Sasayama of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service is bald with a nasty-looking scar on his head, and has only one working leg. These traits, coupled with his style of dress, makes the protagonists initially think he is a Yakuza. However, he's actually a former cop and currently works in social services, and is a good guy. To a lesser extent, there's Numata, who looks like a tough guy, always wearing leather jackets and sunglasses at all times. However, he also listens to J-pop groups, and the reason for wearing his Cool Shades completely subverts the thuggish image he's a highly emotional guy, and they hide tears.
- From Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, we have Lanchia, who despite being quite scary looking, is apparently a Friend to All Children. They literally like to be all over him. Though he acts like he doesn't notice.
- Rascal from Akazukin Chacha.
- Hedoro from Gintama is an almost unfathomably nice guy who runs a flower shop, respects the elderly, and literally won't hurt a fly. Unfortunately for him, he's an alien who looks like a Tokusatsu Monster of the Week combined with Satan.
- Makoto/Sailor Jupiter from Sailor Moon, sorta. While she did get into a lot of fights at her old school (and still got into some after transferring, even before becoming Sailor Jupiter), she's a Nice Girl who loves to cook and is great at cleaning.
- Sawako Kuronuma, the protagonist of Kimi ni Todoke, has frequently been mistaken for a nightmare-inducing ghost due to her appearance, particularly when she tries to smile. In reality, she's an incredibly withdrawn girl with the heart of a saint.
- Kodaka Hasegawa not only has the Face of a Thug, but he's also half-English, so people think his naturally blonde hair is bleached, delinquent-style, since he otherwise has Japanese features. As a result he has no real friends and people are constantly picking fights with him.
- Reina's dad in Yandere Kanojo scares pretty much everybody away because of this trope, along with not being very sociable...though really he's a Shrinking Violet in the extreme and couldn't harm a fly. On the bright side, he met his wife, an actual thug, because she thought he looked like a total badass. She was wrong, but fell head over heels in love with him anyway and they ended up Happily Married.
- Hilariously used in an early Detective Conan case. Ran catches a huge and angry-looking man with Cool Shades spying on the Mouri Detective Agency, and he refuses to take off his glasses even after it's seen he is actually a fellow detective. The moment the glasses come off, however, revealed a pair of very childish-looking Tareme Eyes. Kogoro and Conan end up laughing hard at him.
- Kenji Ban from HeartCatch Pretty Cure!. While he has a really intense face and can give Death Glares that send even the most hardened of Delinquents running, he's really a just a sweet guy who loves drawing Shōjo manga.
- Mobile Suit Gundam
- Kai Shiden has mismatched eyes, a perpetual smirk, and a crooked nose. Personality wise he can be an abrasive Jerkass, but he's also an extremely brave and reliable (if at times difficult to get along with) soldier. He's gotten better (and more badass) by the time the events of Zeta and even Unicorn came around, though he still looks like a Mafia don.
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam's Argo Gulskii is a Rusian Space Pirate and absolutely massive, seven feet tall with biceps bigger than most people's heads. He also has Big Ol' Eyebrows, a perpetual frown, and a permanent Death Glare. He's the calmest and most mature person in the Shuffle Alliance and often acts as an understated Big Brother Mentor, and never took a life during his raids.
- Woo-Soo Choi, of Quantum Mistake is a studious boy who has swapped bodies with Kang Too-Jee, a delinquent who spent most of his time getting into fights. Woo-Soo Choi, relying on Kang Too-Jee's reflexes, is capable of putting up a fight, but most of the time, just wants to talk it out with the other guy. (This pretty much never works.)
- The entire Sanada North Perfectual High School's Student Council in Daily Lives of High School Boys is this, save for the Student Council President who is traditionally bishonen.
- Slam Dunk: Hanamichi Sakuragi is considered scary, but that's mainly because of his bright red hair and his MASSIVE height. Miyagi's delinquent aura seems to come 100% from his face, however.
- Gotou from Sangatsu no Lion has a rather rough face, and several characters comment on how scary it is. Smith even claims that he feels a Yakuza vibe coming from Gotou.
- Sotomura from Waratte! Sotomura-san is feared by all, primarily because she can't seem to smile without somehow looking like she's about to shank you. The plethora of misunderstandings that follow her around don't help, either.
- Yuki Sanada from Tsuritama has frequent panic attacks in social situations, which causes his face to twist up and turn red until it resembles a demonic noh mask. The people around him tend to think he is extremely angry or has a bad attitude when he is actually just shy.
- In Attack on Titan, Armin claims that Eren and Jean both have the same "vicious" expression. This is used to justify having Jean act as a decoy, disguised as Eren. Eren is insulted by the idea that he looks anything like Jean, calling him a "horseface".
- A Bishōnen version of this is Renjou Hotsuma from UraBoku. He is seen frowning more often than not, especially in public, appears to be constantly annoyed at something and scares a small girl upon his second or so appearance. This is mostly a defense mechanism, though to keep people at arms length, because he is scared of losing control of his powers again. Around his partner Shuusei though, he becomes caring and gentle, smiles warmly, is very considerate and devoted.
- Orihime of Bleach used to think Ichigo had a scary face due to his constant scowling... then she considered it a bit more and realized it was actually kind of funny-looking. On the other hand, other people still think he looks scary: Orihime's friend Michiru cannot bring herself to talk to him, and entire delinquent gangs look for him to beat him up.
- Umetarou Nozaki in Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun occasionally comes to school pissed off and covered in bandages. Everyone thinks he might've been fighting, but that's how Chiyo Sakura knows that he's been on deadline—he is, after all, a mangaka.
- In Silver Spoon, Hachiken's father. His classmates (not realizing who he is) immediately think he's a mob boss and treat him like royalty. The animals instinctively treat him as a dangerous predator—the horses refuse to break eye contact with him (it's a sign of weakness), and the school dog barks madly at him for a minute before falling over and playing dead.
- In Usotsuki Ouji to Nisemono Kanojo (translated to The Liar Prince and the Fake Girlfriend) the heroine Luna Narumi has this, in part to her Gothic clothes and her poor vision making her squint and people mistaking it for a Death Glare. She really is a kind and sweet girl who wants friends.
- Marv from Sin City was so ugly, they had to resort to Special Effects to recreate his looks on Mickey Rourke. He made a Kubrick Stare or two throughout the movie as well. While he is indeed a Sociopathic Hero toward his enemies, he is an otherwise decent guy driven to avenge the death of a woman by the hands of a Serial Killer.
- Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man, when outside his armor, is one of the few Superheroes to wear a mustache and a goatee, making him look more like a traditional villain than a good guy. However, while he can be a Jerk Ass and has poor communication skills, he struggles hard to be a good person in spite of his innate flaws.
- MMA fighter "Mistress" Ayane in Gold Digger would love to be a Face, Unfortunately, she has the coldest, cruelest eyes on the planet and a wicked smile to boot. It's hard to be a hero to children when they run screaming whenever you look at them. It's so bad that even all-powerful sorcerers and dragons wince when they meet her gaze. In fact, when she met a guy who could look her in eyes and not flinch, she was desperate to win his heart so she could finally be with someone who wasn't terrified of looking at her. It's even implied that her unnaturally cold and fiercesome stare might be because she's actually not human.
- In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Power Girl crossover fic Origin Story, Sanchez and Francisco are a pair of twin brothers who work as agents for porn actresses. They are described as looking like walking stereotypes and "feel slimy" when Alex Harris first meets them. It turns out that they are two honestly nice guys who give Alex some helpful advice after realizing she's underage.
Films — Animated
- The shark trio of Bruce, Chum and Anchor from Finding Nemo seem like they'd be fish-eating monsters - trailers played up Bruce as the Big Bad, in fact. Turns out they're pretty nice guys who have sworn off eating fish... Except for stinkin' dolphins. Just don't let any of them catch a whiff of blood. Oddly, out of the shark trio, Chum, being a shortfin mako, and Anchor, being a greater hammerhead, are the ones most likely to subsist on a diet of fish at their size. A great white of Bruce's size would mostly eat marine mammals... Like dolphins.
Films — Live-Action
- Geralt from The Witcher is described like this in the books. He somehow manages to get all the girls anyway. On the other hand, not too hard to believe.
- Lucas Davenport from John Sandford's Prey novels has a scar across his face from a rogue fish hook accident and, later, a tracheotamy scar on his neck. While being a well-known cop and the main character of a long-running detective novel series, pretty much everyone agrees that he looks like a thug or tough guy. Of course, that often works to his personal advantage.
- Mildmay the Fox, from Doctrine of Labyrinths by Sarah Monette. He is a former assassin, but he's not nearly as thuggish as most people assume.
- Gonko of The Pilo Family Circus has a face that "looks to have been used as sandpaper and soaked in whiskey." He's actually a clown.
- Doomsday Book has Father Roche, a rough-looking, burly man who is nevertheless a meek and patient Good Shepherd. The fact that the "cutthroat" that the delirious main character saw in the forest was actually Roche is a major revelation late in the story.
- In The Iliad and The Odyssey, Several people refer to Odysseus himself as having "the face of a brute," and recount their surprise when he turns out to be a Genius Bruiser Guile Hero.
- Archmaester Marwyn from A Song of Ice and Fire:
"Marwyn wore a chain of many metals around his bull’s neck. Save for that, he looked more like a dockside thug than a maester. His head was too big for his body, and the way it thrust forward from his shoulders, together with that slab of jaw, made him look as if he were about to tear off someone’s head."
- The Lord of the Rings: Frodo decides to trust Strider in spite of his appearance, saying that an agent of the Enemy would "look fairer, and feel fouler."
- Played With in the character of Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall. Cromwell actually is a former thug, being a brawling youth and a cutthroat mercenary as a young man. The older Cromwell wants to leave this past behind, and is a charming and erudite man who is a loving father and husband and strives to be the opposite of his own abusive drunk of a father. Consequently, he's stung by a comment that he looks like a killer, and after his family sees Holbein's portrait of him, in which he looks particularly frightening, he brings up the comment to his son and is disappointed to learn that everyone had long thought he had the face of a killer. However, Cromwell undermines himself, since despite his unease with his appearance and past, he frequently bullies others and uses his thuggish reputation to get results.
Live Action TV
- Gentaro Kisaragi, the protagonist of Kamen Rider Fourze, dresses as a Delinquent with slicked-back hair. However, he's actually an affable goof who quite literally wants to be Friend to All Living Things (who can still kick ass if need be).
- Gorou Yura, a supporting character in Kamen Rider Ryuki, is a perpetually scowling, rough-looking man who's both butler and bodyguard to the corrupt lawyer Kitaoka Shuuichi. He's also significantly less of an asshole than his employer, at one point going out of his way to compliment the protagonist Shinji for having a "good whistle" and later asking him for his gyoza recipe.
- An episode of My Name Is Earl dealt with this trope.
- The Monster of the Week in the Supernatural episode "Yellow Fever" is the ghost of a man who was murdered as a result of this trope.
- NCIS has, of course, the ever-lovable and normally harmless Abby.
- It's not so much that Abby's really all that scary-looking, so much as it is that she dresses in a Goth fashion (even at work).
- Drake & Josh has the infamous "Theater Thug" episode.
- Gonzales from Fire Emblem: Sword of Seals. Nice guy overall, looks like this◊.
- Persona 4's Kanji Tatsumi, the tough guy who can take down a biker gang with his bare hands, is often mistaken for being in a gang, and... likes to sew. And is incredibly good at it.
- Takeharu Kirijo, Mitsuru's father, from Persona 3. When he first appears, he's described as "scary-looking" (complete with an eyepatch!), but he proves to be a surprisingly noble man and a genuinely caring, if stern, father who admonishes Mitsuru to work in harmony with others rather than try to shoulder everything alone, and feels guilty that his daughter and her friends are forced to clean up after his father's mistakes.
- Hayden from Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility/Animal Parade. It's a bit of an Informed Ability, because he looks as cute and chibi as everyone else, but according to characters in-game, his bearded face and Big Ol' Eyebrows are so offputting they scare children. Which is sad, because Hayden is a domestic, softhearted bartender who's almost universally liked in the town.
- Not to mention, he really wishes he could be a preschool teacher, and his wish is revealed to be "I wish my face didn't scare children" (which can double as a Crowning Momentof Funny).
- And then there's Gannon in Sunshine Islands. He's got a pretty creepy/ugly face and walks/looks kinda like a gorilla, but once you befriend him, you see he's actually really nice. And even prior to that, his adorable daughter Eliza says that while he "talks like a hooligan, he'll never leave my side." Awww.
- Corpse Party has Yoshiki Kishinuma. He enjoys teasing Satoshi, but so does everyone else, and he's a pretty decent guy overall.
- A large amount of the cast in Inazuma Eleven look like thugs and bullies like Someoka, Builder, Tobitaka, and other recruitable characters whose faces are just plain scary and weird. To put it, Someoka looks very similar to Garret example above.
- In Iron Tager's Story mode in BlazBlue, he is attacked by Bang, who claims he looks evil and will probably do something evil someday. This is not the case: Tager is a decent enough guy who's just doing his job, and won't harm you unless you in interfere with his mission or Kokonoe orders him to, but he does look like a hulking red ogre. Then again, this is Bang we're talking about.
- Hydreigon is frequently portrayed this way, as it's mentioned to be vicious, destructive, and all-in-all the closest thing the series has to a Horsemon of the Apokélypse, not helped because of Ghetsis's own horribly underleveled Hydreigon. But Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity has Hydreigon as an important character… and to be honest, you'd never find a nicer 'mon in that game. He's polite, well-spoken, a little bit of a ditz, has a massive appetite… and he says that an apt description of his species is really scary!
- Elite Four member Sidney becomes this in the remakes of Ruby and Sapphire - he looks like he is going to skin your cat alive now◊, but still jokingly refers to himself as "this loser" and cheers you on when you defeat him.
- Pokémon that evolved through a high friendship stat usually look very friendly. The same can't be said about Crobat, which evolved from Golbat. It always has a scowl on its face, baring its teeth and let's not forget its angry red eyes with yellow sclera. People new to the series wouldn't even know this grouchy-looking Pokémon is in that form, because it genuinely values its friendship with its Trainer so much.
- Professor Layton VS Ace Attorney has Cutter, a minor character with a thuggish outward appearance who's actually a kind-hearted sculptor.
- In the Prologue of Grisaia in Grisaia No Rakuen Amane shows up riding a custom low rider motorcycle, a leather jack and towering over the students and teachers alike. Chizuru is terrified until realizing that Amane hasn't the faintest idea what kind of impression she gives off and is actually very friendly and domestic.
- Kazuichi Souda in Super Danganronpa 2 sports a pretty outrageous Slasher Smile accentuated even further by his filed down shark-like teeth. He is actually quite timidly and cowardly, and gets called on it within the game.
- Ace Attorney:
- While not overly thuggish, Miss Viola Cadaverini from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney looks creepy as Hell, but discounting her relationship with Furio Tigre she's not that bad.
- Will Powers is a Gentle Giant with a face that scares small children. Kind of a handicap for an actor in children's shows, so he takes roles that involve wearing masks.
- From the fourth game, Wocky Kitaki's father. He used to be the head of the local Yakuza, and has an extremely intimidating face...but by the end of the case, it's shown that he's a loving father who brought the family out of the mob business so that his children, especially Wocky, wouldn't have to put their lives in danger.
- Detective Badd is an imposing, gruff figure, but he's practically a second father figure to Kay. He gives her Swiss Rolls and distracts her with 'important detective assistance' to keep her mind off her father's death.
- From Dual Destinies, Mayor Tenma, who is vilified for his scary looks and because he wants to or rather was being blackmailed into merge Tenma Town and Nine Tales Vale. He is really a kind man, loving father and popular pro-wrestler of the "face" variety.
- Rocko Sasquatch in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!.
- In Axe Cop, all mermaids are good but have mean-looking faces, apparently because they thought scowls indicated happiness and smiles indicated anger. Axe Cop, unaware of this, murders one by accident. After learning that mermaids are all good and that this is the first time he ever killed a good guy, he immediately breaks down in tears.
- Jaws from Demon Fist has the face of a gremlin and the smile of a shark (plus he's a demon), but he's a genuinely cheerful and caring person.
- Rondo Hatton got into film because his acromegaly made his face look very thuggish. He's even got an award made in his honor.
- Pope Benedict XVI, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Emperor◊ Palpatine◊ of Star Wars, despite the fact that everyone whose met him agrees he's about as threatening as a kitten. Cue massive Memetic Mutation once he's chosen.
- Joe Raposo, best known for writing songs for Sesame Street, is described as looking and sounding "like a tough Italian street fighter from an urban ghetto."
- Singer Aaron Neville had a brief appearance in one movie as "Man with gun," an intimidating character the hero confronted in a slum area. His voice has been described as the voice the angels wish they had.
- Mexican American actor Danny Trejo combines this◊ with Badass Mustache and perpetual Death Glare to make him THE go to guy to play Latino thugs in Hollywood. Ironically, he really was a thug until he turned his life around. Now he's an actor and a motivational speaker and one of the most well-respected men in Hollywood, with everybody who works with him talking about what a great person he is.
- Billy McGuinness, rhythm guitarist, harmonica player and backing vocalist for the Irish band Aslan looks tough, but is actually very friendly. To look at him without hearing their music, one would think the band play a harder form of music than the radio friendly melodic rock they do. As the most noticeable member of the band it's no wonder he handles most of their interviews.
- According to an afterword in volume 18 of Fairy Tail, the mangaka Hiro Mashima has one, as mentioned by his fans that in the photos of him, he looks like a criminal. Of course, it doesn't help that he admits to having a natural scowl, making it harder for him to have a natural smile.
- Veteran character actor MC Gainey has this to say of his own appearance: "With a face like this, there aren't a lot of lawyers or priest roles coming my way. I've gotta face that was meant for a mug shot and that's what I've been doing for the past thirty years. If I play a cop, it's always a racist cop, or a trigger-happy cop or a crooked cop - but by and large I play cowboys, bikers, and convicts."
- In dear old Blighty perhaps the best example is Ray Winstone who combined with his debut role in Scum and thick East End accent make him almost the posterboy for this trope. He's spent a career playing cockney hard-men (in a surprising range of genres) despite being one of the nicest men in showbusiness.
- Other Brits with this attribute include Vinnie Jones, Ross Kemp, James Cosmo and John Prescott.
- Ron Perlman has a face and voice that often see him playing the roles of criminals of all stripes, villains and monsters. Even when he plays as a good guy, they often exemplify this trope (for instance, Hellboy and Beauty and the Beast). In real life, Ron is a funny, intelligent guy with a self-depreciating streak, who famously visited a young boy as a Make-A-Wish foundation request in full Hellboy costume and makeup prosthesis.
- Tardar Sauce aka Grumpy Cat is very sweet and affectionate in real life despite her permanent grimace.
- English actor David Bradley, now infamous for playing some distinctly repugnant old men, generally has an undeniably unpleasant look about him◊. Like Trejo and Perlman, however, any interview with the man himself would demonstrate him to be nothing at all like the typecasting he's fallen into.
- Shel Silverstein, the famous children's poet and author, had a case of this, as anybody who's seen the back cover of The Giving Tree can attest.