Somehow, that's not a picture.
We've all got a mission in life
We get into different ruts
Some are the cogs in the wheels
Others are just plain nuts
I'm just wild about Harry and Harry's wild about me!
Science is some folks' calling
Others pilot a ship
My mission in life, stated simply, is
A mustache on every lip!
Some people just can't leave well enough alone, especially if it's a work of art with a face. Mustache Vandalism is when a character, if they see a picture of someone they don't like, and it's within reach, draws a mustache, beard, or both on the picture. Often played with
by having the picture be an actual person (but oddly, the one doing the drawing won't notice until the drawing is complete).
Decorations can include mustaches, beards, devil horns/tail, blacked-out teeth, spiky hair or the arrow through the head. If they especially hate by the person, it may be a Hitler-type mustache, accompanied by swastikas.
Generally a comedy trope, it can show the vandal to have carefree humor. Can also be used more seriously, to show mild dislike for someone. Compare Face Doodling
, where this is done to a live person while they're asleep/unconscious. A milder sister trope to Dartboard of Hate
A subtrope is when a fugitive defaces a Wanted Poster
in this manner to delay being recognised. This may be followed by the appearance of a not-quite-Identical Stranger
who exactly resembles the defaced poster.
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- A 1990 Yellow Pages commercial (the one with the French polishers) shows a painting defaced this way.
- An ad bumper on The Hub had someone take out a yearbook of all the major characters featured in the shows on the network and deface each portrait with a mustache, only to pause when confronted with MC Bat Commander, who already has a drawn-on mustache and blacked-out tooth as part of his costume.
- In the 1980s, WNBC radio had a commercial where a poster of their top two personalities (Don Imus and Howard Stern) is defaced by people passing by, including old women and nuns.
Anime and Manga
- In one of the Chibitalia stories, Chibitaly does this to a portrait of young Austria. In a variation of this trope, the act was not intended to be malicious. Chibitaly simply wanted to paint something, but only had a paintbrush and a pot of ink. Austria himself is not pleased and, in the dub, even comments "That's just mean!"
- Dada artist Marcel Duchamp's 1919 artwork "L.H.O.O.Q" is a postcard reproduction of da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" with a hastily drawn mustache and goatee on her face.
- In one Lucky Luke story, charlatan Dr. Doxey changes his name, shaves his moustache and beard, and has a new picture of him taken for his ads. However, a kid Doxey pissed off defaces the ad to the point it looks exactly like Doxey's old face, allowing Luke to recognize him.
- One issue of MAD inverted this trope. In Mexico a kid sneaks up to a poster of a politician who already has a huge bushy mustache and carefully cuts it out to make him look clean-shaven.
- In a Golden Age Batman story, Dick Grayson was randomly doodling mustaches on photos in the newspaper. Seeing one of Dick's doodles makes Batman realise that the thief he has been chasing is actually a European playboy with a fake mustache.
- In The Simpsons Movie, Bart mustaches a Wanted Poster of Homer - now it looks just like Guy Incognito, who gets beaten and arrested. Then he finds one for the entire family at a roadside convenience store, and vandalizes it so they won't be recognized. After they leave, another family enters, which looks exactly like the Simpsons, only with the features "added" by Bart. They are arrested on the spot.
- As in the book (below), the film version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe has Edmund drawing a mustache on the "statue" of a lion in the witch's courtyard. He later sports the mustache even after he's been brought back to life.
- After being sorely tempted by native girl Wednesday, Lt Robin Crusoe USN pulls out his picture of his fiance, Jane—only to find that the native girls have defaced it with a mustache and goatee (or maybe it's a Van Dyke?).
- In Problem Child 2, Junior, a little jealous of the attention his adoptive father is giving Annie Young, decides to deface her picture in this way. He's found by Trixie, her daughter who is equal to him in being bad, who sternly warns him "I wouldn't do that if I were you." When Junior doesn't listen, Trixie floors him, says "Next time, you'll listen to me," and then draws a mustache on him with his own marker.
- In Bedknobs and Broomsticks Paul does this to a clay bust, then accessorizes it with a top hat. See it at 2:41 in this video.
- In Robot Jox, the protagonist has his poster vandalised this way (amongst others) for retiring after he's left traumatised when his Humongous Mecha crushes a stand full of spectators.
- The Leslie Nielsen movie Wrongfully Accused has a scene where the main character defaces his Wanted Poster so no one will make the connection that it's him. Another character played by Nielsen inexplicably appears with the same features he drew on the picture, and is promptly arrested.
- The dance scene in Flubber has two chunks of Flubber fall into an inkpot, then race around the room, giving the Mona Lisa facial hair in the process.
- In the Charlie Chaplin short film The Adventurer, Charlie plays an escaped convict. At one point he defaces his own wanted poster with a massive beard and moustache so that it looks just like The Heavy.
- The Little Rascals had an episode with Alfalfa as a crooner and Spanky as his agent. A big talent show is coming up and Butch pays Spanky a visit. As he and Spanky talk, Butch takes the picture Spanky has of himself and gives it a black eye and blacks out some of the teeth. The purpose of this is to intimidate him into getting Alfalfa to drop out of the contest, Butch heavily implying that he'll make Spanky look like the picture if he doesn't.
- In the book The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the Herdmans are shown drawing mustaches on illustrations of Jesus.
- In Emil and the Detectives, Emil is reluctant to approach the police and instead uses the help of other children. The reason is that a few weeks earlier he painted a beard and mustache on a statue, so he's afraid the police won't believe him.
- In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Edmund draws a mustache on a stone lion. It's portrayed as malicious rather than funny, since he knows that it used to be a real lion.
- Not to mention, he thought he was doing it to a petrified Aslan.
- In Good Omens, it's mentioned that one of the late Witchfinders used to draw mustaches and spectacles on all the witches and demons in the Witchfinder Army's collection of demonological texts.
- In Maskerade, Nanny Ogg kills some time by drawing moustaches on the Instructive Diagrams in one of Verence's books. It's hinted that Verence thereafter interprets the diagrams as requiring him to wear a false moustache while following the instructions.
- Sesame Street featured a segment where Muppet cowboys compare a Wanted Poster of Cookie Monster with the actual Cookie Monster. When their suspicion peaks, Cookie Monster distracts them long enough to draw a mustache on the poster. The cowboys notice the disparity, and apologize to Cookie Monster for suspecting him. Cookie Monster amiably tips his hat ... and lots of stolen cookies tumble out. Mayhem Ensues.
- In an episode of Lizzie McGuire, the cast gets issued their school yearbooks. Gordo rhetorically asks his friends what the first thing anyone does with their new yearbook is. Miranda and Lizzie say it's to draw a mustache on the gym teacher.
- In an episode of Dads Army, Pike gets mud on his hands and wipes it off on a nearby statue, taking the opportunity to give the statue a moustache and goatee in the process.
- In one episode of Frasier, Daphne casually suggests that Frasier grow a moustache, because there's a billboard of him that she's seen that has been defaced in that way, and she thinks it looks good.
- Modern Family: After Phil sees one of the advertisments for his real estate agency defaced with a mustache drawn on his picture, he thinks he would look good with a mustache and decides to grow one.
- In one of the sketches in the British comedy series The Sketch Show, Ronni introduces her boyfriend Lee to Karen by showing her a picture of him, which has a red mustache, red glasses and red hair doodled over it. Karen asks her why she did that, but it turns out that's what Lee really looks like.
- In one of Sergio Aragones' "A Mad Look At..." comics for MAD, a presidential candidate sees a poster of himself after being subjected to mustache vandalism. He then decides he actually would look good with a mustache, and grows one.
- In another Aragones comic, a criminal sees his image on a Wanted Poster, so he quickly goes home and puts on glasses and a fake mustache. However, some kid draws glasses and a mustache on the poster, so when the criminal goes out again, he's arrested.
- In Lee Ann Womack's "I'll Think of a Reason Later," the narrator confesses to "[drawing] horns and [blacking] out a tooth" on her ex's fiancée in a wedding announcement.
- In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin's scheme to avoid getting attacked by Hobbes when he comes home by putting a dummy of himself in front of the door backfires, with Hobbes inviting the dummy inside and locking the real Calvin out. Calvin then overhears Hobbes asking the dummy: "May I draw mustaches on all the superheroes? I may? Oh joy!"
- In his Tinselworm show, Bill Bailey combines this with Incredibly Lame Fun.
Knock knock. Don't say "knock knock", just knock! What's all this "knock knock" business? I'm just trying to leaven the mundanity of your day. Well, don't try to leaven the mundanity of my day! If I want my mundanity leavened, I'll do what I always do. What's that? I will draw a moustache at random on the TV with a marker pen, and wait for that glorious yet fleeting moment when Jeremy Paxman becomes General Kitchener.
- A card in the On the Edge collectible card game only worked if you permanently defaced it in this fashion... ruining its resale value.
- The Room: The Game. If you go into rooms when you aren't supposed to you can see weird things happening, like Mark drawing a mustache on Johnny's picture.
- In Punch-Out!! Wii, Aran Ryan's introduction video has him doodling a moustache onto a poster of Little Mac.
- In Just Cause 2, you can do this to billboards of Baby Panay.
- In the Glider PRO CD house "Art Museum," you can draw a mustache, goatee and glasses on a self-portrait of Peter Paul Rubens—for points!
- In Baten Kaitos, a woman's expensive portrait was vandalized this way.
- An Easter Egg in Pokémon Crystal has the player discover some graffiti in the Celadon apartment building and doodle a mustache on it.
- The dada artist Marcel Duchamp modified a copy of the Mona Lisa this way and gave it the title "L.H.O.O.Q." (this is a phonetic rendering of "Elle a chaud au cul", meaning "she's a nymphomaniac"). Duchamp later created a sequel, "L.H.O.O.Q. shaved", which is a Mona Lisa without a moustache and beard drawn on it.
- A NYC subway vandal has developed a more creative variation: defacing posters with a curvy moustache made out of the word "moustache".
- In the title sequence of Phineas and Ferb, the title characters draw a mustache on what looks like a painting of Candace, until she pops her head out of the picture frame to yell at Phineas. Kind of odd, since vandalism really isn't the boys' style.
- Scooby-Doo and Shaggy have done this many times, usually with the "painting/statue coming to life" variation.
- Parodied in Family Guy episode "Love Thy Trophy". As Peter ransacks his neighbours' houses to find their supposedly stolen Trophy, he paints mustaches on each of their family portraits, and rubs out Cleveland's already existing mustache on his.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- In "One Bad Apple," Babs Seed does this to the Cutie Mark Crusaders during the musical portion of the episode.
- In "A Bird in the Hoof", Philomena sneaks around drawing mustaches on a Wanted Poster that Celestia's guards put up.
- The Looney Tunes cartoon "Daffy Doodles" has Daffy Duck as the vandalizing "Mustache Fiend" and Porky Pig as a policeman trying to catch him. When Daffy finally gets arrested at the end of the cartoon (but let off by a jury of mustached Jerry Colonna look-alikes), Daffy tearfully repents and promises he'll never draw another mustache... "I'm doin' beards now!"
- Porky also gets hit with a Visual Pun in the form of a "handlebar mustache".
- This is the 'crime' committed in the Fillmore! episode "Masterstroke of Malevolence". Fillmore and Third must discover the identity of the vandal before the ink dries so the restorer can identify the brand of marker used and save the portrait.
- The first thing Technus from Danny Phantom does as soon as he's freed from Danny's old game of Doomed is to open a paint program with a picture of Danny's crush Paulina and draw a mustache and massive glasses on her. Later, once Technus beams himself into the mainframe of the Fenton RV, he does the exact same to a picture of Jack Fenton.
- The Tom and Jerry cartoon "Touché, Pussy Cat" shows Nibbles using an artist brush to paint a caricature of Tom on a wall. When Nibbles realizes that Tom is glaring at him, Nibbles paints spectacles and a mustache on Tom's face.
- In "The Lonesome Mouse", Jerry draws a Hitler mustache on a picture of Tom before spitting at it.
- In the 1975 short "The Supercape Caper", one of the villains, who is called the Mustache, gleefully draws mustaches on posters everywhere, but is caught after he marks up the face of a live policeman.
- Subverted in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. Clowns are the new mustaches.
- An episode of Recess has Principal Prickly do this to his own picture while subject to Hypno Fool (and thinking he's an 8 year old child). At the end of the episode he gets distracted by it (thinking he looks pretty good with a goatee) and forgets to punish the cast.
- "Better off Undead" of Ugly Americans shows Leonard defacing a Wanted Poster of him. (Having, of all, Mark wanting him drawn and quartered is quite an achievement...even for Leonard.)
- Ironically, in The Smurfs episode "Every Picture Smurfs A Story", Painter fixes up a picture of the artist Maestro (who turns out to be trapped in a portrait prison) by painting a mustache on him.
- Played straight in "Tattle-Tail Smurfs", when Brainy shows up with a copy of Quotations Of Brainy Smurf that has his face image defaced with a moustache...and Painter is seen holding a paintbrush behind his back.
- Also the Gingerbread Smurfs from the eponymous episode painted mustaches on the Smurfs, including Smurfette.
- In a Droopy short, the main character's Berserk Button is activated when the bull he is fighting defaces the picture of a beautiful Spanish woman he is holding with a moustache.
- Lower execs of a German food chain did this to interns as an "initiation ritual". Giant scandal ensues. See here.