Human Head on the Wall

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Sometimes it is not enough to merely stalk and kill your targets. Sometimes you want to have a permanent memento. So what better way to preserve the moment than to decapitate your victim, flense the skin off the head, preserve it, re-affix it to the skull, mount it on a plaque and hang it on your den wall?

A favourite pastime of Serial Killers and Egomaniac Hunters, though it also tends to happen to them as a form of Laser-Guided Karma.

Includes intelligent non-humans in sci-fi/fantasy works.

A Sub-Trope of Off with His Head!, Dead Guy on Display, Taxidermy Is Creepy and Creepy Souvenir. If the victim was a Worthy Opponent, then you also have a Battle Trophy. Compare Decapitation Presentation, which is usually a bit more informal; and Shrunken Head, which is the primitive tribal equivalent of this trope.

Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • In the Teen Titans relaunch, Deathstroke is possessed by his son Jericho, who murders Slade's loyal butler Wintergreen and mounts his head on a wall.
  • In Sin City, serial killer Kevin mounted the severed heads of six of the prostitutes he's murdered and eaten on plaques and hung them on the wall. This may have been inspired by the already creepy as hell "Stuffed" Girl's Heads ad.
  • A variant occurs in the Vault of Horror story "Hook, Line, and Stinker!" where the victim is not a hunter but a fisherman—or so he says. When he claims to be out fishing, he's actually out cheating on his fiancee, and when she finds out she kills him and mounts his entire body on a plaque on the wall like a fishing trophy.
  • This cover of Grimm Fairy Tales Holiday Edition #2 shows Sela with the head of Krampus mounted on the wall behind her.
  • There's a rather famous piece of comicbook artwork drawn by Brian Bolland featuring The Joker lounging in a chair in front of a trophy wall mounted with the decapitated heads of various DC heroes and villains, all of them painted white and their faces distorted into a smile like the Joker himself. It's even been parodied a bunch of times with other comic supervillains sitting in Joker's place.

    Film - Animated 
  • In Cat City, Gatto, the cat mob boss, has mounted cat heads on his wall.

    Film - Live Action 

    Literature 
  • Discworld:
    • In The Fifth Elephant, this overlaps with What Measure Is a Non-Human? when Sam Vimes' group stays at a lodge in Uberwald and is horrified to find a mounted troll head. The troll in his squad is familiar enough with Fantastic Racism from humans that he simply remarks that he's glad things are better than they used to be — and shows them his grandmother's human Skull Cup as a reminder that it cut both ways.
    • Also in The Fifth Elephant, Vimes meets a local werewolf clan in their pack leader's castle, and notices there are empty nails and patches of paler plaster on the wall around them, suggesting several hunting trophies have been taken down so as not to impede the smooth flow of diplomacy. Later in the book he learns about The Game, where werewolves hunt down humans.
  • A variation in Great Expectations: Jaggers has masks of the petrified faces of criminals that he represented but who were hanged decorating his office.
  • In Swellhead, the heroes exploring the supervillain's lair find a trophy room containing the preserved, mounted, and carefully labelled heads of everyone who has ever crossed him, starting with one of his grade school teachers and so on down to the freshly-mounted head of the guy the heroes left guarding their escape route.
  • Steam Punk Egomaniac Hunter Lord Cockswain massacres the rare game of Venus in Doctor Grordbort's Contrapulatronic Dingus Directory. At the end of his illustrated journal, we see Cockswain's living room full of their mounted heads, including his alien guide.

    Live Action TV 

    Music 
  • Played for Laughs (of course) in the Tom Lehrer song "The Hunting Song":
    And there's ten stuffed heads in my trophy room right now,
    Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a pure-bred guernsey cow.
  • The video for "Weird Al" Yankovic's "CNR" has a brief look at a wall in Charles Nelson Reilly's house which is covered with trophy heads. One of them is human. Even better: it's Chuck Norris.
  • At the end of the Music Video of "No One Knows" from Songs for the Deaf by Queens of the Stone Age, a vengeful deer has mounted the band members heads above his bed after they hit him with their car.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • One Dilbert strip had Dilbert and Dogbert visiting a guy who had a bunch of creepy hunting trophies on his wall, they leave when he gets to his (former) neighbors.

    Print Media 
  • One single panel cartoon by George Trosley shows a proud trophy hunter in his den, giving a tour to one of his friends. They stop in front of an ugly woman's head mounted on a wall plaque, and the hunter remarks, "Yeah, that's my ex-mother-in-law. Took six cartridges to bring that bitch down."

    TV Tropes 

    Webcomics 
  • In S.S.D.D the head of one particularly unpopular former First Adviser of the Collective of Anarchist States is mounted in their capital building's rec hall. Brought up when a later First Adviser demands the head of whoever programmed the nuke they'd just accidentally launched.
    The Oracle: Well, you're in luck then.

    Video Games 
  • In The Curse of Monkey Island, Mort the gravedigger has four heads mounted on his wall, one of which is human — but don't worry, three of them are fake.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied in an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, where in one of Spongebob's panicked Imagine Spots he pictures Mr. Krabs mounting his and Patrick's butts on his wall as punishment for screwing up.

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