inferred by the title, a Nixon Mask is a rubber mask with the cariactured features of Richard Nixon, specifically a large nose and creepy wide grin. Its status as the best-selling political mask of all time (and in many ways the inspiration for all political masks), as a symbol of famous counterculturists like Hunter S. Thompson and Bob Dylan, and as a hilarious remnant of the seventies have made it a classic go-to prop when a strange/hilarious mask is needed.
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Films — Live-Action
- Point Break (1991) is perhaps the canonical example, with its team of bank robbers each donning a mask of a former president (they identify themselves as the "Ex-Presidents" and declare that they already robbed us when they were in office, so why not do it again now?), making it almost required for future criminal-themed media to reference it.
Bank-robber wearing Nixon mask: I'm not a crook!
- Parodied in the French movie Brice de Nice, where the title character is obsessed with watching Point Break. When he tries his hand at his first own bank robbing, he's wearing a mask of Jacques Chirac.
Brice: Écoutezz [sic]... je ne suis pas un escroc.
- In Airplane II: The Sequel, when the shuttle goes to "Worp 0.5", the stewardess warns that the passengers may experience some slight metabolic changes. It then shows every passenger in a Nixon Mask.
- Best Seller (1987) opens with the robbery of a police evidence room in 1972. The robbers are not only wearing Nixon masks, they're driving a van fitted with loudspeakers broadcasting political slogans for his Presidential re-election.
- The criminal in the B-Movie House On Highway 5 uses it as his scary mask of choice. It's actually kind of effective.
- The Ice Storm: Wendy Hood (as played by Christina Ricci) wears one while seducing her neighbor in a prime case of Fetish Retardant.
- The body in Men at Work is found wearing a Nixon mask.
- A recreation of the Watergate break in the Spike Lee film She Hate Me has the perpetrators wearing the masks.
- Worn by one of the cheeleaders in Sugar & Spice, in contrast to her partners in crime: she didn't want to go along with their heist at first, but later she changed her mind - however, there wasn't a matching costume for her, so she had to make do with a Nixon mask, suit and tie.
- Worn by three characters who just happen to take part in the same shootout in Gone Bush by Chris Amies.
- One of the characters in a group of friends during the episode "Blood on the Tracks" of Cold Case is seen riding a back and wearing a Richard Nixon mask... and apparently nothing else.
- One appears in the Doctor Who 1996 Telemovie, while the Doctor is rummaging through some costumes looking for something to wear. Amusingly, the music gets kind of scary and he looks at it like it's pretty terrifying.
- It also seems to be a popular disguise for streaking episodes: both Joey Gladstone of Full House and Eric Forman of That '70s Show have streaked in Nixon masks (the latter in front of Gerald Ford).
- Will and Grace
- Jack McFarland's biological father wears the mask to hide his identity.
- Also, in the first Halloween Episode, in which Will and Grace get roped into babysitting Harlan's kids for the night, one of the kids is dressed as Nixon, with a mask.
- An episode of Wings had a Nantucket bank being robbed by an unnamed criminal wearing a Nixon mask; however, he is later apprehended by Antonio and Brian.
- Kamen Rider Kiva subverts it by having a robber in a George W. Bush mask in one episode. This may be Truth in Television; Bush was president at the time the show aired, and masks of him were very popular in Japan.
- On iCarly the gang is trapped in psycho girl Nora's basement. They attempt to escape but are stopped by Nora wearing a Nixon mask and holding a hatchet.
- One episode of Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge saw Alan Partridge complaining about a group of robbers who wore Alan Partridge masks.
- Used in Underbelly: Tell Them Lucifer Was Here by Bandali Debs and his accomplices. Also applies to the real life robberies.
- John Enos wears a Nixon mask once in The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest to help introduce a series of clips of criminals wearing incredibly stupid "masks" (one of them uses his hands to cover his face, making them pretty useless for the actual robbery).
- In the video for Bow Wow Wow's "Do You Wanna Hold Me" the guitarist rocks out in a Reagan mask.
- The Manic Street Preachers wear the masks in the music video for "The Love of Richard Nixon".
- One of the costumes used in The Residents' 13th Anniversary Tour was one of these.
- In one of the shots in Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire" the kid of the couple is shown wearing the mask and holding a toy pistol.
- "Drive Me Wild" by Vanity 6 is set in a club where one of the dancing people wears the Nixon mask and juggles cassette tapes (an allusion to the tapes that precipitated Nixon's downfall).
- A Nixon mask, along with a Clinton mask, George W. Bush mask and Obama mask, is an unlockable cosmetic item in PAYDAY: The Heist and PAYDAY 2. There's also another set of four masks in the latter game with interesting variation of this trope, specifically a set of masks based on George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Benjamin Franklin, with green and white color schemes meant to echo the appearance of US banknotes.
- Meatwad wears one for Halloween in Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
- Hippie Teacher David Van Dreissen wears it for Halloween in Beavis And Butthead.
- Family Guy
- Spoofed by having a man in the mask rob money from a charity car wash, and the attempts to report the crime derailed by trying to remember which movie he was referencing.
- Cleveland is snuck into a white's only golf-course using a Nixon mask.
- Johnny Bravo: A shark attempting to pass itself off as human in "Beach Blanket Bravo" wears one. It goes surprisingly well.
Surfer: Wait a second. You're not a shark, are you?
Shark: Uh... no! I'm... Richard Nixon!
Surfer: Cool! Hey, thanks for getting us into China and everything! (does the V sign)
- Worn by the "Chicken Lover" in the South Park episode of the same name.
- In Squidbillies, worn by an aging stunt-hooker as part of rehearsing a sex scene with a double-amputee con artist... hu... Patrick Swayze.
- Frisky Dingo: One of the X-tacles wore a Nixon mask.
- In one episode of Home Movies, the kids are performing various impressions, mostly making fun of teachers or kids with funny accents. Jason says that he'll do his Richard Nixon, but needs to retrieve his mask first.
- Hustler Kid wears one for Halloween in Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade
- The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries: One episode features a villain impersonating the ghost of William Howard Taft to scare the President away. After being unmasked, he says that he chose President Taft because, as the largest President in history, he'd make an impressive ghost and the costume shop was out of Nixon masks.
- Etiquette Hell describes a wedding where "For reasons that were never revealed, the DJs put on mariachi sleeves and latex Richard Nixon masks(?!?!) before leading the conga line under the limbo bar [...] my date whispered to me: 'LSD could add nothing to this experience'."
- Stories tell of a man who robbed a bank using one of these as a disguise; he was armed and it was a very serious situation, but still. And, exactly like Richard Nixon himself, he was not a crook.