How could I ever think trash like you was worth saving? Lobo:
I got a cute smile?
So you're a prankster or a villain whose prank or Evil Plan
has been exposed. Everyone is giving you a Death Glare
, and you know you're in serious trouble
. What do you do? You put on a big smile to save a little face. The more disgraceful or outright evil your plan was, the more likely this is to fail, and for Laser-Guided Karma
to come a-knockin'.
The Not-So-Innocent Whistle
is an alternative to this kind of situation. Broken Smile
may overlap if the smile starts as genuine. Related to Cheshire Cat Grin
Live Action Films
- The Live-Action Garfield film. After Odie impresses a Dog Show with a dance that Garfield made up himself, Garfield becomes so agitated at Odie being given so much attention instead of him, that he accidentally causes an enormous mess in Jon's house. When Jon comes in and sees Garfield in the middle of the mess, Garfield pulls this trope and then gets thrown outside.
- Richard Hammond's initially authentic smile of excitement morphed into one of these, and then into a Broken Smile, when the Reliant Robin Space Shuttle failed to separate from its external fuel-tank and returned to earth in a massive fireball.
- People do this in real life all the time as a reflexive reaction to stress, along with Corpsing, hence why many scoldings include the line "wipe that smile off your face." It's thought to be a holdover from our primate ancestors, and chimpanzees and other apes still exhibit a "grin of fear" when stressed.