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Good Hair, Evil Hair
"Under the nightmare of Communism, moustaches were, of course, compulsory."
Tomorrow Stories, written by Alan Moore

It used to be that things were simple: The Heroes had faces smoother than a baby's bottom and Villains had long, thin, oily moustaches to twirl after tying the Distressed Damsel to a set of train tracks. Then along came the grizzled Drifter with his five o'clock shadow, The Gunslinger with his proud beard, and other Antiheroes who broke out of old archetypes. Thanks to these brave pioneers in the fight for facial follicle freedom it's been okay for heroes to have beards, villains to be clean-shaven, and Antiheroes to blur the lines. However, much like superhero costumes there are still guidelines for who can get away with what.

By default Heroes tend towards clean shaves, whether it's because of artistic inertia or simple cultural popularity is up for grabs.note  Sometimes movies made in countries or/of eras that are friendlier to facial hair have a higher number of heroes and extras with beards and moustaches, though it is still very common to find anachronistically clean shaven male main characters. A full, thick, and above all well trimmed beard is almost always a sign of the good guys (Dwarfs, Santa, mentor characters, etc). The Obi-Wan often has one, as do religious leaders (particularly rabbis, with length indicating level of orthodoxy and seniority). You will never, ever see a good character with a Fu Manchu moustache, nor one with a pencil thin moustache, unless you are watching an Errol Flynn movie, or in fact any movie from the 1930s or 40s. Stubbles are an exception, as they're usually a sign of Antiheroism and Badassitude.

Villains with beards tend to either have long wispy ones, short fancy ones, or wild and unkempt ones. This depends entirely on what flavor their villainy has. Sophisticated villains tend towards clean shaves and devil goatees and will almost always be very fastidious about their appearance. Savage villains are likelier to have a full on uncontrolled beard, possibly with braids or dreadlocks. Back alley thugs or unsavory types are likely to keep thin and scraggly beards, in line with their ratty appearance.

An Anti-Hero, of course, can go either way, although they rarely have the wispy beards. Perma Stubble is popular for antiheroic characters (as well as the generally badass) as a contrast to clean-shaven heroes. One pop culture extreme is to get incredibly elaborate patterns in a full beard. Again, this depends on if the Anti-Hero is the grungy unkempt kind or is going for a Blade like extravagance.

For Evil Minions and foot soldiers one of the few perks they enjoy is complete freedom to go overboard with their beards: long braids, intricate patterns, pencil thin flame designs and more are common. The punk/grunge/barbarian image their intricate styles boast is an excellent cue that they'll soon be wishing they'd spent less time grooming and more practicing to dodge an Offhand Backhand.

Slicked-back hair seems to be a common feature of a number of school bullies and evil businessmen types.

Whether a woman's hairstyle is good or evil depends on when the show was filmed. The good hairstyle of 2009 — long, sexy, but not too smooth — would have been seen only on a villain (like Cruella Deville) fifty years earlier. In contrast, the bad hairstyle of 2009 — big, teased, with floofy bangs — was the good hairstyle of 1985. The implication is that heroines are slaves of fashion while villains are dowdy and out of date.

See also Expository Hairstyle Change, Expressive Hair, Evil Brunette Twin, Funny Afro, Hair Colors, Hair Reboot, Important Haircut, Beard of Evil and Bald of Evil. Compare Good Scars, Evil Scars.

Examples of Characters who Exemplify or Just Have Particular Facial and Head Hairstyles:

    open/close all folders 


    The Obi Wan and Other Mentors 
These type of characters often have a neat full beard — especially if they are a wise old wizard. The odder the mentor, the less tidy his beard.

Invoked in Real Life Imperial Germany where teachers were contractually required to wear a beard.


  • Belgarath of the Belgariad has a neatly trimmed beard. His "brothers" (fellow disciples of the God Aldur) also have beards - long and wispy for the twins Beltira and Belkira, and unkempt birds-nest for Beldin.
  • Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter)
  • Gandalf (The Lord of the Rings)

Live-Action TV

  • The entire stock fantasy race of Dwarves, usually priding themselves on the fullness and thickness of their beards and sometimes styling them elaborately.
  • Older Than Print: The first example is Merlin, King Arthur's famous advisor, who is always drawn/filmed/described as having a long beard, which was copied by Gandalf and Dumbledore.
    • Subverted by the BBC series, which depicts Merlin as a clean-shaven teenager.
  • Popular depictions of Jesus typically portray him with a thick beard and long hair.

Video Games

Western Animation

    Cops, Private Eyes, and Plumbers 
These type of characters are pretty likely to have a Thick Moustache or Porn Stache, though this is the hardest hair to pin down. This is something of a Justified Trope insofar as before 1980, the dress codes of some urban police departments mandated mustaches for men, as there was a perception that they made cops look older and more authoritative. Even now "moustache" is a French slang term for "policeman." In British shows senior military personnel will often have a moustache for similar reasons, probably a Kitchener-style handlebar.

Anime and Manga

Comic Books
  • Commissioner Gordon in most versions of Batman.
  • Detective Walsh from Strangers in Paradise.
  • Thomson & Thompson (a k a Dupont & Dupond) from Tintin. One has a slight curl to his mustache, which seems to be the only way to tell them apart.

  • Captain Bosch from C.H.U.D. had a moustache.
  • Captain Gordon from Godzilla Final Wars sported a badass moustache, which suited a character so awesome he only spoke English in a Japanese movie (that and he was willing to take on Godzilla in a fistfight).
  • In the live-action Transformers film, Barricade's holographic driver was a police officer simply called "mustache man" by the filmmakers.
  • In the Twilight movies, Charlie Swan has an awesome 'stache.

Live-Action TV
  • Magnum, P.I. had Magnum himself — Tom Selleck's mustache is legendary.
  • Rembrandt "Crying Man" Brown from Sliders, a musician with more soul than any mere soulpatch could carry.
  • The Brigadier, in Doctor Who.
  • Monk's Captain Stottlemeyer sports this distinctive mustache.
  • Lampshaded on That '70s Show when Kelso joins the police academy and grows a mustache purely because of his new career choice.
  • In keeping with some of the more "mildly trustworthy" points on the scale illustrated, Ray Carling from Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes has a droopy moustache which could either be full or the "RS Jake" horseshoe, and he is often rather more on the Cowboy Cop end of things for Sam Tyler or Alex Drake's comfort.

  • The Beastie Boys all wear fake mustaches in their video for "Sabotage", which parodies cop shows of the 70's/80's.

Video Games
  • Mario and Luigi are two of the more iconic mustachioed heroes, as a simple mouth on the primitive game sprites wouldn't show as well.
  • Kai Kitamura from Super Robot Wars Original Generation. The Super Robot Soulgain also sports a metal moustache, though its pilot Axel Almer doesn't sport one. And yes, he's still a military man.
  • Colonel Stephon Ely, from the Crusader series of games, has a thick moustache and chomps a cigar (which he never actually smokes, probably because the actor didn't).


    Very Long, Flowing Hair 
This type of hair is a sign of femininity, both in women and in PrettyBoys. In anime it's a staple of the Yamato Nadeshiko. Add some perfectly level bangs and it also suggests an air of courtly, stately grace.

Anime and Manga
  • Subverted in Code Geass, where several female characters have hair like this (Nunnally, Marianne, Shirley, Euphy), but the one with the longest and wavier hair is... a cute little boy named V.V.

  • In The Legend of Drizzt books, Drizzt Do'Urden is a heroic white-haired pretty boy.
  • In A Game of Thrones, where Dothraki men wear their hair long, and it's considered the height of masculinity as a warrior must cut his hair if he loses a fight, so the longer his hair, the longer he's been winning. Khal Drogo died with his hair never cut. Not many men can say that.

Live-Action TV
  • Morgana and Guinevere from Merlin. In Guinevere's Rags to Riches story-arc she goes from practical buns to long, flowing hair, whilst Morgana's Jumping Off the Slippery Slope arc takes her from shiny, flowing tresses to a bird's nest of messy hair that seems to include dreadlocks.

  • On Smallville every single one of Clark's love interests have long hair, Lana in particular; contrast with his Unlucky Childhood Friend Chloe, whose hair never goes past her shoulders.

Video Games

Western Animation

Real Life
  • Subverted by the perceptions of the ancient Spartans, who considered their warriors as the pinnacle of masculine beauty with their muscles and long hair. There's a story that Spartan law required men to wear their hair long, as it made the handsome ones look even more handsome and the ugly ones even uglier. Before fighting, they would often get their hair styled as part of their preparation for death.
    • Although according to legend this was because after a certain war against their eternal rivals Argos the Spartans, who up until then had worn their hair short, started to wear it long while it was vice versa for the Argives.
  • In The Middle Ages, long hair was a mark of a free man; serfs had to wear it short. In Bavaria, "G'scherter" (shorn one) is still an insult meaning something like "ignorant peasant".

    Unkempt, shaggy, or long hair 
This type of hair on a man often indicates that he is a Nature Hero, or otherwise close to nature.

Anime and Manga

Comic Books
  • Wolfriders in ElfQuest.
  • Jerom from Suske en Wiske (Spike and Suzy) has shaggy long(er) hair, and a beard, he's also a time-displaced caveman.


  • Tarzan is usually portrayed as having long hair due to living in the wild, though curiously he rarely has a beard.

    Good Goatees 
This type of facial hair is rare, but not unheard of. They often indicate that the character is mysterious or an outsider.

Comic Books
  • Both Comicverse and Movieverse versions of Tony Stark have been known to rock the goatee.
  • Doctor Strange occasionally sports a goatee. All his incarnations (except for a Dork Age version best forgotten) have had some variety of 'stache.
  • DC Comics hero Green Arrow has a big bushy goatee (but he was clean-shaven on Smallville, where only Lionel Luthor may have facial hair).
    • Oliver Queen started out clean-shaven in the comic-books as well. When Denny O'Neil started writing him and he became a hippie (Queen, that is, not O'Neil.), he grew his goatee in part to signify that he was 'hip' and 'sticking it to The Man.
      • That, and it would offer a nice contrast with his clean-shaved temporary partner Hal "Green Lantern" Jordan.

  • Jack and Will both sport goatees in Pirates of the Caribbean. The "van Dyck" style goatee was popular in the era the films were set.

  • Regenesis's Carlos Serrano, who's also balding.
  • Can we count Lord Vetinari as on the Hero team?
  • It's debatable whether he's a good character, an Anti-Hero, or just a Magnificent Bastard, but Willy Wonka sports a black goatee. At least in the original book he does: both films and virtually all of the parodies have him appear clean-shaven. Douglas Hodge went with a (makeup-assisted) chin tuft and thin, neatly-shaped mustache as Wonka in the 2013 stage adaptation, a combination that suggests this particular Wonka is, indeed, antiheroic. His successor in the role, Alex Jennings, returned to the clean-shaven approach (though when he first publicly performed as the character at the 2014 Olivier Awards, he did have the hair, and understudies follow Hodge's example).

Live-Action TV

Video Games
  • Paul Denton, brother of the hero of Deus Ex.
  • Gordon Freeman of Half-Life fame mixes the mentor's full beard with a more compact cut when battling oppression and Eldritch Abominations. Apparently even the G-Man thought it was cool enough to keep, despite being a cold, logical person, and practically owning Gordon's soul.
  • Ezio Auditore da Firenze from the Assassin's Creed series. Since we meet Ezio when he is seventeen and see the rest of his life, we also see the development of the beard.
  • The Prince in the Prince of Persia series sports a goatee, but is a fairly classic hero much of the time.
  • Jak trades in his soulpatch for a goatee at the start of Jak 3: Wastelander. His personality changes as well: though still bitter and an Anti-Hero, he's decidedly less tortured and no longer hell-bent on revenge.

  • Hinjo from The Order of the Stick sports a goatee. He's also a paladin and is consistently portrayed to be a reasonable, sensible and above all noble person.

Western Animation

Real Life
  • Real life king of Sweden Karl IX (ruled 1604-1611) not only sported a van Dyck, he also arranged the hair on his balding head in the shape of a cross. If this is good or bad hair will be left unsaid, he DID order a bloodbath to get rid of some rivals...


    Fu Manchu Mustaches and/or Wispy Beards 
This type of facial hair is usually on characters who are villains and/or are Asian.

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • Fu Manchu, obviously, has the Fu Manchu moustache (but only since the film adaptations, not in the original books)
  • David Lo Pan had the stereotypical Asian long and wispy beard.
  • Ming the Merciless - the name says it all.
  • Pai Mei in Kill Bill is one of the few Asian heroes with one. Granted, he was a dick.
    • And in his original appearances in 60s kung fu flicks, he was an outright villain.
    • Indeed, Bill describes him as a rotten bastard who's massacred hundreds for reasons as petty as not returning to his friendly nod. He just happens to be mentoring the morally grey protagonist for awhile.
    • For what it's worth, not returning a superior's bow WAS and is a really big deal in many Asian cultures, but massacring hundreds of peaceful monks was still a thoroughly evil reaction.


Live-Action TV

  • Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta Ruddigore makes heavy use of this trope: Sir Despard Murgatroyd, the evil Baron of Ruddigore, usually has an evil goatee. Upon his Heel-Face Turn, he shaves it off, whilst his brother Ruthven grows a twirly mustache and does a simultaneous Face-Heel Turn, also donning a monocle and top hat. Upon Ruthven's Heel-Face Turn at the end, he discards these. Also, Ruthven's sidekick Old Adam's beard usually gets much scruffier when he is evil.


Western Animation
  • Unicron has a Fu Manchu, which is appropriate for a Planet Eater.
    • Scourge from the original Transformers has a metal Fu Manchu, as do his clones (made by Unicron).
    • Averted as well with Wreck-Gar, however.

    The male Evil Twin 
This type of character will invariably have a Goatee.

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • In one film version of Romeo and Juliet, the villain Tybalt sports a soul patch that ends up having the same effect as a goatee would.

Live-Action TV
  • The Master from Doctor Who sports a goatee in the incarnations played by both Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley.
  • Another "Mirror, Mirror" homage comes from MST3K, in which Tom and Gypsy get transported into an alternate dimension version of Deep 13 run by an Evil Mike. Evil Mike has a goatee.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode "Point of View", Apophis in the Alternate Universe had a goatee, as did Teal'c (who, in this universe, was still his First Prime). In the fourth season, "our" Teal'c himself sported a goatee (actually it was more like a chin caterpillar) for a short while.
    • Perhaps inspired by "Mirror, Mirror" (Spock and Teal'c are both The Stoic of their teams), the alternate universe Teal'cs seem to be exactly the same except for their varying hair styles.
    • Also, the villain Heru'ur also sports a goatee, complete with Bald of Evil.
  • The evil goatee originated with one of the most memorable episodes from Star Trek: The Original Series, Mirror Mirror, with a trip to a Mirror Universe of evil duplicates. Spock's duplicate had the goatee; ironically, he was the only one who wasn't really evil.
    • About 13 minutes into DS9 episode "Defiant", we see William Riker (a good guy; see way, way, above) pull off the sides to reveal himself to actually be... William "Tom" Riker, his transporter-produced twin, who now wears an ("evil") goatee instead of a ("good") full beard! Oh no!

Video Games
  • Dr. Eggman from the Sonic the Hedgehog series has a moustache, and so does some of his robots.

  • In this Darths & Droids webcomic, Governor Sio Bibble, Queen Amidala's trusted advisor, is described as having a goatee, although it actually seems to be just a beard. Based the description, the players immediately decide he can't be trusted. Bonus points for linking to both this page and Evil Chancellor.
  • In the evil mirror universe of Dinosaur Comics, the protagonists all have goatees. Even being big reptiles. The arc begins here.

  • Dave Davenport of Narbonic had one, blurring the line due the the main characters being villain protagonists.
  • The Order of the Stick played this one straight: Elan's evil twin Nale sports a goatee — and Haley, being Genre Savvy, suspected he was evil well before it was actually revealed for exactly this reason. Nale later takes advantage of this by cutting off his own goatee and sticking it to Elan's chin with Sovereign Glue. Nale also later admits he sports a goatee in honour of this trope, saying it is not just for show, it is a part of the Linear Guild's whole evil opposites theme.

Web Original

Western Animation
  • The Fire Lords of Avatar: The Last Airbender all have goatees. Ozai really should have read the Evil Overlord List Item # 35...
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: Buzz's evil twin.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door contains the same homage in the Mirror Universe episode, giving the 10-year-old evil leader negative Number 4 a goatee: "It makes me look e-e-e-eviler!"
  • This was subverted in Futurama, when Bender's goateed twin Flexo turned out to be the good Bender, while Bender was the evil Bender.
  • In Megas XLR's yet-another-parody-of the-Star-Trek-episode episode "Rearview Mirror Mirror", the evil alternate Coop has, you guessed it, a goatee.
    • Then again, so does regular Coop. Evil Coop's primary difference was that he was skinny.
  • Likewise, everyone from the evil parallel dimension in the South Park episode "Spookyfish" has a goatee, including the alternate version of Cartman, who is much nicer than the normal Cartman.
  • In one episode of Sushi Pack, the Pack was sent to a mirror universe where all the males had goatees and all the females had heavy eyeshadow, regardless of whether they were good or evil.

    Communists and Other Cold War-era Baddies 
These type of characters will often have a Lenin open goatee, Stalin full mustache, or a full-on Marx beard.


  • Many James Bond supporting characters fall into this, although no Big Bad in any Bond film was bearded until Hugo Drax in Moonraker.
  • In Hitchcock's Topaz, most Cubans had Fidel Castro's beard, and even uniform, maybe suggesting a personality cult or anything. They were sometimes hard to differentiate: the main villain, fortunately was red-bearded. Fortunately, female Cubans did not sport beards.

Video Games
  • Yuri in the video game Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 can almost be mistaken for Lenin. That is, if you ignore the tattoo and the psychic amplifier bolted to his head.

    Female Communists 
This type of character may have helmet hair.


Live-Action TV

    The Mad Scientist 
This type of character wears the wise wizard's long beard, but unkempt from mania.

  • Dr. Morbius of Forbidden Planet, who turned his id into a jealous monster.
  • Dr. Reinhardt in the Disney movie The Black Hole - he gave the crew of his science vessel a fate worse than death when they wanted to go home.
  • Daniel Curry's character Shepherd in the movie C.H.U.D. had a scraggly beard and wild hair, and yet was one of the film's heroes. He ran a homeless shelter.
  • Brent Spiner's character Dr. Brackish Okun in Independence Day gets gradually less clean shaven and much wilder hair.


Web Original
  • Because it fits best here... there's an MS Ting of an Internet post based around the link between facial hair, evolution, and aliens. Read it here.

     The Toothbrush Mustache 
This type of moustache is so linked to Adolf Hitler that the only people that mainstream media will dare show wearing that style positively nowadays are Charlie Chaplin and Oliver Hardy, because they already wore it when Hitler rose to power. In fact, as those examples demonstrate, it was a comic, silly mustache before Hitler ruined it. Even Chaplin took advantage of that growing stigma in his lifetime when he made fun of the Führer in The Great Dictator. Otherwise, if you see a character with such a mustache, outside of older versions of Spider-Man's J. Jonah Jameson, assume he is one of Those Wacky Nazis.

  • This print ad for Hut-Weber, a German hat retailer.

Anime and Manga
  • Soul Eater features a librarian who looks suspiciously similar to Charlie Chaplin.
  • Kosaka Shintarou from Witch Hunter Robin however is a good guy with the mustache.

Comic Books
  • Many characters in the Anthology Comic The Beano have toothbrush moustaches including the Teacher from Bash Street Kids, Dennis the Menace's Dad and Minnie the Minx's Dad. All of these characters originated from the 1950s and nothing is often said about these moustaches they are just there.
  • Older versions of J. Jonah Jameson from Spider-Man has this kind of moustache.


  • Barty Crouch has one of these in the Harry Potter books, for some reason. He's a textbook Well-Intentioned Extremist, and he had massive political ambitions in his heyday... it doesn't gel very well, but it does gel just enough to make you wonder if Rowling is just that riled up about government excesses.
  • One of Isaac Asimov's short mysteries averts this when a distinctly admirable high-school principal is described as having "a brief moustache of the kind Adolf Hitler had put out of fashion for at least a generation."


Video Games

Western Animation

Real Life

    The Pencil Mustache 
This kind of moustache is a classic look for black hat villains in Wild West serials. Extra points if it's curled into twin spirals. Other than Hercule Poirot, it's hard to imagine anyone but a villain or a Smug Snake with one of these.

Anime and Manga


  • Bertie Wooster once grew one of these, hoping it would give his appearance more diablerie. Jeeves told him it looked like a stain of tomato soup.

Live-Action TV
  • Oddly, inverted in LazyTown by the hero Sportacus, who wears a pencil mustache so sharp it looks like it could double as a scalpel.
    • This is further inverted by Harmless Villain Robbie Rotten, who is clean shaven to the point you wonder if the actor isn't wearing a rubber mask (actually, he kind of is). His otherwise meticulous good grooming is also a bit off on the evil-dress-o-meter, but being in a dark purple color scheme helps.
  • Schneider on One Day At A Time.

  • "Pencil Thin Mustache" by Jimmy Buffett is a paen to the heroic pencil mustache wearers of 1940s cinema, particularly detective Boston Blackie and anybody played by Errol Flynn.


Video Games

Western Animation

Real Life
  • John Waters, hero to some, villain to others.
  • The pencil mustache was an iconic trait of Vincent Price.
  • Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has one. Though he didn't really become a full-blown villain until he had his army attack groups of protesters against his regime.

     The Handlebar Moustache With a Goatee 
The Handlebar Moustache can be good or bad, but combined with a goatee is the mark of the traditional Vaudeville Villain.


Western Animation

    Mutton Chops 

Western Animation

    Slicked-Back Hair 

Anime and Manga

  • Patrick Bateman, psycho, American Psycho.
  • Gordon Gekko, greedy businessman, Wall Street.
  • Dracula, blood-sucking vampire.
  • Agent Smith, The Matrix.
  • Averted to a degree by Cleric Preston from Equilibrium: he starts out as a bad guy with slicked hair, does a Heel-Face Turn, and keeps his badass hair.
  • Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. In the books his hair is even described as "otter-like."
  • The "halfbreed" demon Balthazar in the film adaptation of Hellblazer (Constantine) wears his hair slicked back very precisely.
  • Draco Malfoy in the first two Harry Potter movies.
  • Matt Dillon in My Bodyguard
  • James Spader's drug dealer character in Less Than Zero.
  • Michael Corleone, after he becomes head of the family in The Godfather Part I and II.
  • The psychopathic killer Leo Rook in Lighthouse has this, despite having been captured by the police for over two months.
  • Kevin of Adopting Terror

  • Artemis Fowl, because he's a Villain Protagonist (sort of).
  • In Louise Marley's The Maquisarde, the dictator of the Northern Hemisphere, a Card Carrying Villain, has hair that is described as "plastered to his skull."

Live-Action TV
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer you can usually tell how villainous or sympathetic Spike is meant to be in a given episode by where his hair is on the spectrum between tousled (Anti-Hero) and slick (villain).
    • Angel/Angelus. Angelus has...More menacing hair.

  • The oily and arrogant Cardassians of Star Trek.

Newspaper Comics

Video Games

Web Original
  • Made fun of in this Onion article.
  • Rick Point Blank: Don has slicked back hair AND a goatee. He must be bad news.

Western Animation
  • Vlad Masters from Danny Phantom. Tied back to a ponytail, but slicked back nonetheless.
  • Scar from The Lion King has a Slicked-Back mane.
  • Scott, the main antagonist of Total Drama's fourth season, has slicked back hair.


Antiheroes tend to have a soulpatch, which is a tuft right under the lower lip, as do normal heroes in dystopian futures.

Comic Books


Live-Action TV
  • Future Hiro from Heroes has one of these. Unlike the energetic past Hiro, though, he fights in a dystopian future, and has stained his hands with enough blood to count as an Anti-Hero.
  • Tommy Oliver, the most renowned Sixth Ranger from Power Rangers history, who through the early seasons went back and forth between good and evil, also sports an anti-heroic soul patch.
  • Tony Almeida of CTU had one during his entire run on the show, from good guy to antihero to Almost Dead Guy to Back from the Dead Guy. In fact, "Soul Patch" was his nickname in all the Television Without Pity recaps.

Video Games

  • Jason Spades in Last Res0rt has one, though he straddles the line between "dystopian hero" and Jerk Ass.
    • White Noise sports an impressive tuft himself, but it just seems to highlight his Badass Grandpa qualities.

Western Animation

Real Life
  • George Strombolopoulous, former Muchmusic VJ and current host of the CBC talk show The Hour, sports one of these. Since The Hour is seen by some as a transparent attempt by the CBC to appear hip and draw in younger viewers, George's anti-hero status is disputed.

    A Five O'Clock Shadow or Perma Stubble 
This kind of facial hair is a classic way of saying "gritty".

Comic Books
  • Wolverine's face is pretty consistently fuzzy while rarely ever being clean shaven. One almost wonders if it's one of his mutant powers. Yet he never acquires a real beard beyond those sideburns.
    • Wolverine is also notable for his super-hairstyle, which always forms two neat peaks at the sides, just like his mask. He once disguised himself beyond recognition by shaving his head.
    • As a matter of fact, his hairstyle is a function of his regenerating ability, according to some sources. Notice how his hair returns to normal after he's reduced to a skeleton.
    • In the Weapon X limited series by Barry Windsor-Smith, the crew at Weapon X remove all of Logan's hair before the procedure. However, just a few minutes in they notice it's growing back at a highly accelerated rate.
  • The mercenary drow elf Downer, titular Anti-Hero of the comic by Kyle Hunter, sports tousled hair and shaggy side-burns despite the fact that D elves usually have no facial or body hair. But then, Downer is a tough-as-nails loveable rogue and proven loser who only survives by wit, reflexes, dark gallows-humour and a lot of fast-talking his way out of situations (except when he actually dies, which happens a couple of times, and is brought back from the dead by magic, usually to punish him further).


Live-Action TV
  • The titular character from The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. always had a five o'clock shadow. In fact, it was once included in his description on a wanted poster.
  • Wesley Wyndham-Pryce of Angel gained a permanent stubble when he Took a Level in Badass and started Dating Catwoman. Lampshaded in that he had a reason to suddenly stop shaving: his throat had been cut, and the wound rather got in the way.
  • Dexter Morgan
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold Luke Danes of Gilmore Girls has a stubble that is scientifically proven to always be 5.5 millimeters long.
  • Gregory House of House usually has this. In fact, being shaved in a 5th season episode was an indication that he is a bit Out of Character.
  • Jack Shepherd, from LOST, not only has five o'clock shadow, it DOESN'T GROW FOR 108 DAYS. After he leaves the island, though, he is shown with a Beard of Sorrow after three years. Think of all the money he saves on razors.
    • They did actually show him shaving with scavenged razors at least once while on the Island. Most of the men of the show had surprisingly permanent shadows for a long time, although some did advance into full on beards.
  • Shawn Spencer from Psych nearly always has stubble as well as an amazing head of hair in which he takes great pride. He and Gus also judge other people by their hairstyles.
    • Bollywood Homicide:
      • Lassiter: At this point it looks like an accident.
      • Shawn: Like your hair.
      • Lassiter: Really? Down to hair jokes, now?
    • Extradition British Columbia:
      • Shawn: Lassie.
      • Gus: Wow.
      • Shawn: Is your hair starting its own cult?
    • Any Given Friday Night at 10pm, 9pm Central.
      • Shawn: Lassie, your haircut is worse than Joyce Hyser's in Just One of the Guys.
  • Dr. Cox of Scrubs sometimes falls into this one. Usually head first.
  • Dean Winchester and Castiel have this on Supernatural.
  • The Tenth Doctor on Doctor Who has permanent five o'clock shadow. Seems due less to directorial intent than to the fact that David Tennant's face is too meatless and bony to hide even the tiniest hint of stubble.

Video Games

Real Life
  • Chuck Norris' perma-stubble is so tough it can sand granite to a fine finish.

    The Pompadour or Reagent 
This hairstyle is long associated with greasers in America, and with delinquents in Japan.

Anime and Manga
  • Yusuke and Kuwabara in YuYu Hakusho
  • Parodied in the Excel♥Saga episode "Butt Out, Youth!", where all the delinquents have ridiculous pompadours. The toughest of them all, Binbou, has a pompadour that extends about fifteen feet.
  • Ditto Amamiya Ryu aka Bokuto no Ryu from Shaman King, who not only has a six-foot pompadour, but also a six-foot-long pompadour-shaped motorcycle helmet. He's also VERY pissed off when one of his rivals cuts his pompadour in half.
  • Hanamichi Sakuragi from Slam Dunk has one of these in the first part of the series. He shaves it later as self-punishment for the loss against Kainan.
  • Inverted by Franky from One Piece. It also functions as Expressive Hair.
  • Himegawa Tatsuya of Beelzebub has an impressive example although some believe it has to be a wig. He denies this.
    • Aizawa also sports a smaller version.
  • Yazan Gable has a blonde pompadour, which earned him the Fan Nickname of "Space Beavis".

Comic Books
  • Waldo "D.R." Dobbs from D.R. & Quinch is very much the delinquent and sports an exaggerated pompadour.

  • In at least one case, Spider-Man 3, the eponymous hero fixes his hair to match the evilness imparted by his badass new black suit. Taken from a thread discussing the movie: "Evil hair. Because that's what people do when they give in to the forces of evil and hatred. They mess up their hair."

Live Action
  • Gentarou Kisaragi, the hero of Kamen Rider Fourze, might sport of pompadour and wear clothes more like a delinquent, but the guy's the most nicest person you have ever met.
  • Similarly, Fonzie of Happy Days has "juvenile delinquent" hair and rides a motorcycle, but is really a nice guy.

Video Games
  • The King of All Cosmos had a pompadour as a teenager, as do most of the teenage boys you roll up in the game.
  • Crimson Viper from Street Fighter IV boasts a pompadour. Not surprisingly, she possesses a very duplicitous nature, working as a ruthless Double Agent for both S.I.N. and the CIA.
  • Winston Payne, of all people, has a pompadour in the flashback chapter of Ace Attorney (but loses it in spectacular fashion).
  • Some of the Date soldiers from Sengoku Basara have pompadours. It should be noted that this is feudal Japan we're talking about.
  • The Sims series has this type of haircut available for any character though it's popularized by womanizer pre-created character Don Lothario in trailers.

Western Animation
  • There is, in fact, one of The Simpsons Halloween specials wherein Snake, the notorious white trash criminal, gives his hair to be donated after he has been executed. It is given to Homer, and the Evil Hair makes him kill Apu, Moe, threaten Bart, and otherwise epitomize Bad.
  • Beavis has one.
  • Billy's father Harold in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy has a pompadour that actually houses his brain.
    Harold: (to a Viking, believing him to be Billy misbehaving) Young man, you can be rude, break furniture, run up phone bills, shave the cat, and even harass your mother! But when you mess with the pomp, it's GO TIME!


Power Hair is the usual symbol of a female politician.

Crew Cuts are associated with male Yanks with Tanks and other militaries.

The mohawk. Good guys with this type of hair tend to be rebellious or gentle despite appearances. Bad guys tend to be savages or criminals.

    The Mullet 
Just... no.

Anime and Manga


Live-Action TV


Professional Wrestling

Video Games

Western Animation

Real Life
  • Or Johnny Weir
  • Or Evegni Plushenko
  • Or you sell popsicles in Chile. The Chilean name for the mullet is "Choco Panda", because of one of the most popular popsicles there... usually sold by guys who sport mullets.
    • Plus, stating something like that sounds like something an Alpha Bitch would say...

    None at all 

Curly Hair

Curly hair, particularly if black/dark brown, often suggests evil and/or Ax-Crazy tendencies in adults. However, it can also convey extreme innocence, particularly if seen on children or hobbits.

    For the Innocent Side 



Live-Action TV
  • Blake and Gan from Blake's 7 both have curly hair and are both (initially) the most innocent characters - Gan is literally incapable of killing anyone in a Life Is Cheap universe and Blake remains a comparatively innocent idealist in a crew comprised of convicted criminals - he is the only one innocent of the charges against him.
  • Chuck Bartowski from the NBC series Chuck sports curly hair, and either an ear to ear smile, or a sad kicked puppy face.
  • Nyssa in Doctor Who.
    • OK, the Fourth Doctor doesn't quite count as innocent, but definitely on the side of the good guys.
      • He's definitely one of the more light-hearted incarnations, however. And probably the most iconic.
    • The Eighth Doctor has rather long curly locks, and starts out quite innocent and childlike due to an unfortunate spot of amnesia. Even when he starts getting his memory back, he's still very pacifistic and forgiving. Another aspect of his appearance which emphasizes his innocence: he walks around barefoot for quite a few scenes (even though he apparently does like shoes).
  • Fran Drescher of The Nanny belongs firmly in this category.

Real Life [[/folder]]

    For The Evil Side 

Anime and Manga



Live-Action TV
  • Doctor Who:
    • Though certainly not Ax-Crazy, the curly-haired Sixth Doctor is one of the Doctor's nastier and more unstable incarnations.
    • The Fourth Doctor belongs in both connotations of the trope due to being Creepy Cute in both appearance and personality. He's childlike and quirky and hopelessly adorable, but also capable of doing unspeakable things while smiling about it.
    • River Song. She's one of the good guys, usually, but was raised from birth to be an assassin, identifies herself as a "psychopath," and makes Daleks beg for mercy.

  • Mad Meg, and a number of other Insane Heroines in the Gilbert and Sullivan tradition, are usually portrayed with spectacularly frizzy curly hair.

  • Sabine from The Order of the Stick is one of the very few curly-haired characters in the comic, although it's her red leather outfit that actually tips off the Genre Savvy Haley to the fact that she's evil...
  • The Makara family in Homestuck all have curly hair of an impressive size. They worship the main villain and his sister. There's also )(er Imperious Condescension, who has spectacularly large and curly hair, to the point where one wonders how she can handle it underwater.

Western Animation

Good Guns, Bad GunsGood and Evil for Your ConvenienceGood Lips, Evil Jaws
Good Colors, Evil ColorsVillainous Fashion SenseHigh Collar of Doom
Good Costume SwitchGood Guys GarbHeavenly Blue
Godiva HairHair TropesHair Antennae
Food Chain of EvilSorting Algorithm of TropesKinsey Scale of Tropes
Delinquent HairExpository HairstylesHair Antennae
The Good Guys Always WinGoodness TropesGood Is Boring
Fauxtivational PosterImageSource/OtherGushing About Characters You Like
Good Eyes, Evil EyesObviously EvilGood Scars, Evil Scars

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