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Perpetual Smiler

"Koizumi's cheerful smile pisses me off every time I see it."

The exact opposite of Perpetual Frowner. This is a character who, no matter what, is never seen without a smile of some kind. A Stepford Smiler would be a sub-trope, one who smiles because that's all they can do to keep from breaking. A Cat Smile or Cheshire Cat Grin can also be their perpetual expression. A rarely explored Reality Ensues version would depict a character with a lot of saliva in their mouth, because it's honestly impossible (or very hard) to swallow one's own saliva while literally always smiling, making even a genuinely sweet smile go from sweet and charming to potentially terrifying or at the very least disgusting. A Perpetual Smiler's smile can change, and the emotions behind it can be literally anything... so long as there is something that can be called a 'smile' on their face. Usually, though, this smile is pleasant and cheerful, or at least calm, and often, the feeling behind it is genuine, so The Unsmile doesn't usually appear. Compare to Glasgow Grin, where the smile is ear-to-ear and usually inflicted by cutting.

As a Super-Trope of those listed above, all examples of them should be sorted into their respective categories. This page is only for examples of this trope who do NOT fit into the other perpetual-smile categories.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • Jack the Clown in the "Jack In The Box" TV commercials, who's been appearing as a living, ball-faced humanoid since 1995. It disappears when he's particularly perturbed, though.
  • Smilin' Bob from the Enzyte commercials. His smile is particularly creepy...
  • There were a series of Medibank commercials, featuring spokespeople who smiled all the time. At the end of the commercials, their smiles would become bigger through CGI, which would imply that their normal smiles were their neutral expression...
  • The Burger King mascot The King whom many viewers have found very creepy because of it.

     Anime & Manga 
  • Sendo from Slam Dunk is considered as this.
  • Kamui from Gintama. Even while killing everyone during the Yoshiwara arc.
  • Kasumi Tendo from Ranma ˝ is never seen without a lovely smile, and doesn't seem to have Stepford Smiler tendencies.
  • Despite the fact that he really doesn't understand emotions, Sai from Naruto is a Perpetual Smiler. He has reasons for this though, which do not fall into the other categories.
  • Wolfgang Grimmer from Monster doesn't even stop smiling as he bleeds to death. He is a pleasant person but the smile is just something he was trained to do. At one point he recalls how his wife left him because he couldn't stop smiling even when his son died.
  • Konata Izumi from Lucky Star has a Cat Smile that, while not quite perpetual, is her default expression.
  • Raquel from Scrapped Princess is perennially cheerful no matter what's going on.
  • Itsuki Koizumi from Haruhi Suzumiya.
  • Gin Ichimaru (pictured above) and Sousuke Aizen from Bleach.
  • Mana from Yu-Gi-Oh!, more in the anime than in the manga.
  • God from Oyasumi Punpun
  • Elmer C. Albatross of Baccano! is always smiling and happy. He'd be a Messianic Archetype were it not for the fact that there are times where one shouldn't be smiling and jokey, so he just comes across as creepy. Oh, and he's friends with Huey Laforet.
  • Professor Souichi Tomoe of Sailor Moon S. Heck, for most of the series, the only thing we ever see of his face are his Scary Shiny Glasses and his big, open-mouthed smile.
  • Jail Scaglietti of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS is another perpetually happy fellow. Impending defeat and imprisonment couldn't even make him drop his smile.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!
    • Kaede is always smiling mysteriously, to go along with her Eyes Always Shut. She isn't actually very mysterious as a character, having no secrets to hide, she just looks it. Unless she's so good at hiding secrets that we don't even suspect them.
    • Albireo Imma a.k.a. Ku:Nel Sanders also has a perpetual Cheshire Cat Grin, although he's generally much more suspicious than Kaede.
  • Ryuk from Death Note. It's creepy. He only broke it once when Light snapped at him after offering the eyes after meeting L.
  • D.Gray-Man has the Millennium Earl, who smiles even when he's pissed.
  • Kousaka from Genshiken, always has the same expression, no matter what takes place.
  • Xellos from Slayers.
  • Takeshi Yamamoto from Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, for the most part. When he stops smiling though, you had better start hoping you can run faster than the baseball player, because you're about to get screwed over epically because Yamamoto is ticked off.
  • Pride and Ling Yao from Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Ariel from Is This a Zombie?
  • Mikako from Heaven's Lost Property.
  • Ling-Ling from Rosario + Vampire. Justified, since she's already dead, and thus has nothing left to worry about.
  • Ojisan of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou is always grinning.
  • Thailand and Spain from Axis Powers Hetalia.
  • Kio from Loveless.
  • One Piece
    • Kokoro always has a huge, slightly creepy smile, regardless of her actual feelings at the time.
    • Pirate Captain Urouge the Fallen Monk always sports a large grin on his face, even in dire situations.
    • Koala, until Fisher Tiger broke down her Stepford Smiler façade.
    • Wanze the ramen chef is always smiling even when he's scared or angry, he has the same goofy grin for almost every emotion he displays.
  • Hao Asakura from Shaman King. And his twin Yoh, to a lesser extent (his smile is more genuine).
  • Misaki in Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo; her smile will only drop when her relationship with Jin is brought into question.
  • Seta Soujirou from Rurouni Kenshin always has a pleasantly angelic smile in his face, even when slashing your throat with a katana.
  • The Legend of Sun Knight: The Sun Knight is never seen without a smile on his face... Even if he really, really hates the recipient. He's very good at making it look natural, however.
  • Gensei Kihara from A Certain Scientific Railgun, because he has NO remorse at all for his incredibly depraved actions.
  • Saya from Servant × Service smiles 80% of the time even when angry.
  • Shalnark in Hunter × Hunter is always smiling, even as he's mercilessly mowing down Mafia goons. He seems to be an an almost perpetual state of calm happiness. The only thing known to offend him is having to use an ability that makes him lose control of himself, as it renders him unable to experience the thrill of killing people.

    Arts 
  • This is a characteristic of sculpture from the Archaic period. One notable example is the "Dying Warrior from the Temple of Aphaia", which depicts a wounded man pulling an arrow from his chest... with a cheerful smile.

    Comic Books 
  • The Joker, obviously (his appearance was based partly on the Laughing Man). So perpetual is his scary grin that if he ever stops grinning for an extended period of time, it's like his version of the Broken Smile, and it's a sure sign that either something has very definitely gone wrong with him (more so than usual, that is), or the proverbial crap has gotten seriously real.
  • Also from the DCU:
    • The Creeper.
    • There's also Mad Harriet who's smile is quite similar to the Joker.
  • For the first portion of his appearance in Transmetropolitan, Presidental candidate Gary Callahan is one of these. That's why they call him "The Smiler" (also to contrast with incumbent "The Beast"). He rapidly loses the quality once he starts dealing with Spider Jerusalem.
  • Mojo, from the marvel universe, has a perpetual grin aided by wires stretched across his face and teeth much too large for his mouth. Though he cackles and giggles constantly anyway.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Michael Sheen's portrayal of Tony Blair in The Deal and The Queen covers just about the whole range of possible smiles, to the point where it starts to feel like his teeth are following you around the room. Which is pretty much Truth in Television.
  • Atom in Real Steel. His face (if he has one) is obscured by a metallic mesh that only shows his eyes, but there are seams in the mesh that resemble a nose ridge and a smile. It helps highlight his child-like appearance, which is most noticeable when his Shadow Function is activated.
  • The Smile Man, short movie about man who damages his spine cord and makes his his face smile forever.

    Literature 
  • The Man Who Laughs (L'Homme qui rit) is a man who literally cannot stop smiling as he has no cheeks (he was kidnapped by gypsies as a baby, who mutilated him like this to make money showing him off).
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has the Cheshire Cat and his trademark grin.
  • Ella in Sunny Ella, though what kind of smile it is changes depending on whose point of view we're reading.
  • Jon Masters from Dale Brown's books.
    "The bastard never stops smiling, too. You notice that? Always with the damned grin on his puss. I don't trust somebody who grins all the time - it usually means they found someone else to put the blame on."

    Live-Action TV 

    Toys 
  • The Piraka and their whole species in BIONICLE.
  • LEGO minifigures, usually.
    • The older kind more so; newer ones (from around the mid-to-late nineties on) have plenty of frowns, neutral expressions, and other miscellaneous emotions to perpetually display. Some of their heads can be turned around for different expressions.
    • Within that, Flex from Alpha Team is said to always smile "even when danger threatens".
    • A Robot Chicken sketch lampshaded this to creepy effect by depicting a spaceship accident resulting in the astronauts inside burning, their faces still stuck in Perpetual Smiler mode while screams were overdubbed. Despite the sketch's Black Comedy, it crosses into nightmarish, especially when one of the firemen yells "Their faces! Their horrible faces!" before another cut to them smiling/screaming.
  • Barbie.
    • Lampshaded in the Hilarious Outtakes of Toy Story 2:
      Tour Guide Barbie: Oh my gosh, my cheeks are killing me! I can't keep smiling like this anymore. I am exhausted. I think I need a break.

    Video Games 
  • Henry from Fire Emblem Awakening is always smiling, whether he's helping a wounded dog, practicing magic, thinking about murdering people, drinking blood, murdering people, sacrificing people for his spells, or raising an army of the undead to attack civilians, he's always smiling. He's just a happy guy. At least, that's what he wants you to think.
  • The Happy Mask Salesman from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask combines this with Eyes Always Shut unless you press his Berserk Button.
  • The shape-shifting space creature, Jenova, from Final Fantasy VII. After being excavated by scientists, "she" is locked in a gnarled human appearance for several years, with an empty smile visible beneath her helmet.
  • The Kid from I Wanna Be the Guy is forever grinning ecstatically, in contrast to what one might expect from someone who is rarely more than a few seconds from death.
  • Maxwell in Scribblenauts is always smiling, even when he's getting eaten alive or otherwise mauled.
  • Evil Otto in the early 1980s arcade game Berzerk, who is basically a smiley button, who comes onscreen to chase after the player and to electrocute him, passing through walls and destroying robots along the way. On top of that, he's also invulnerable. Designer Alan MacNeil put Evil Otto in the game because he hates smiley buttons.
    • Evil Otto also appears in the game sequel Frenzy, but he loses that smile when the player can now shoot him down.
  • The Sorrow of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is always seen smiling.
  • Inazuma Eleven's 3D character models have fixed expressions. Characters who smile will smile even though the ball hits them. Masaru Gojou always has a rapist's face, and Hijikata will never stop grinning.
  • Miranda in Mass Effect rarely drops the grin she wears. Even when it looks like the suicide mission will become just that, she still looks happy.
  • Pokémon
    • Many Pokémon such as Wooper and Sunflora are almost always smiling in the 3D games (Exceptions typically for when they attack or get hit in battle or if you upset them in X/Y's Pokemon Amie feature).
      • Wynaut is literally this in series canon according to its Ruby Dex entry. One has to look at its tail to determine its mood.
    • Emmet in Pokémon Black and White.
  • Dimentio in Super Paper Mario.
  • Poppy Bros from the Kirby series has this to imply a Mad Bomber vibe.
    • Taranza, the supposed main antagonist from Kirby Triple Deluxe has this, too.
    • Kirby himself is a downplayed example, at least when American Kirby Is Hardcore doesn't come into play. If he's not, he'll have a confused expression on his face.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, Consular companion Felix Iresso is rarely without a smile. His maximum affection achievement is even called "The Cheerful Soldier." Assigned to Hoth with a ton of jumpy privates and a mission he was likely to set up to fail? He's not complaining, the job needs to be done. In the middle of a firefight with a bunch of Imperials and outnumbered three-to-one? "Broke a sweat on that one." he says. Career stalls as he's bounced from rear-end outpost to rear-end outpost? Beats being in an Imperial prison. Missing a week's time from being in an Imperial prison and having a Sith holocron forcibly downloaded into his head? Well, at least he can live to tell the tale. If he stops being laid-back and cheerful, you have a big problem on your hands.

    Visual Novels 
  • Leo Shishigami, protagonist of Rose Guns Days Season 1, never drops neither his smile, nor his laid-back attitude. The very few times he does, you know he is really serious.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • The Comics Curmudgeon describes TJ from Luann's smile as a death-rictus.
  • 80's Dan is almost always smiling and cheerful, especially when he's taken a good hit of cocaine.
  • Tattletale of Worm is described as always having a foxlike grin.

     Western Animation 
  • A number of the Mr. Men and Little Misses, but especially Mr. Tickle, Mr. Happy, and Little Miss Sunshine.
  • The eponymous Ruby Gloom since she always looks on the bright side — in direct contrast to her aptly-named friend Misery.
  • Phineas and Ferb
    • Phineas rarely changes to any other expression — in the whole series, he was only truly sad during the Christmas Special, and once angry and frantic in Summer Belongs to You!
    • Isabella could count, too, but she's more prone to expressing anger than the eponymous Everyman.
  • In the cartoon of Where's Waldo?, Waldo almost always smiles.
  • The Joo Dees from Avatar: The Last Airbender are brainwashed to do this.
  • Nick from Invader Zim. The happiness probe may be involved.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has Pinkie Pie, who is always smiling save for a few... notable exceptions.
  • In Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, Zozo is a very cheerful and laid back guy, even in the middle of a brawl with guys twice his size. It's not like he can't stop smiling, it just takes a lot for him to choose not to.
  • Taz-Mania: Whatever he's actually feeling, Bull Gator is, in verbiage and tone, almost invariably cheerful and collected about the situation. Even when he's facing down a Tasmanian Devil who regards mauling him as good, clean, Sunday-afternoon fun.
  • In Thomas the Tank Engine, the title character kept his grin throughout the whole entire episode of "Thomas And Trevor".
  • Otto from Time Squad is this. Even when he gets sad or angry, he ends up bouncing back up eventually.
  • Kit Fisto from Star Wars: The Clone Wars always has a bit of a smile on his face, making his actual smile a rather big cheesy grin.
  • The Road Runner virtually always wears a carefree smile. Not simply a matter of a bird's bill being immobile, as Daffy, Tweety, and Foghorn can attest.
  • Dr. Paula "Hutch" Hutchison in Rocko's Modern Life.
  • Gretchen from Recess (partially due to her large buck teeth) fits a rarely explored Reality Ensues version of this trope as she has a very pronounced lisp or some other kind of speech impediment that indicates excessive saliva.
  • The default expression of Beavis from Beavis and Butt-Head is a vacant smile. While watching Henry Rollins' music video for the song "Liar", Butt-Head says that he has a cool smile. Beavis then says "Yeah, I've got a cool smile too, check this out. *beat* See?"

    Real Life 
  • This is a symptom of the Angelman Syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by development delay, speech impediment, movement or balance disorder, and frequent laughter and smiling.
  • A running theme of the 2012 United States presidential debates. In the first debate, Mitt Romney smiled constantly and was complimented for his confident body language, while Barack Obama was roundly criticized for his annoyed and detached expression. During the vice presidential debates, Joe Biden noticeably made an effort to gain lost ground by smiling broadly throughout the debate and laughing frequently. Although some criticized his excess, he was roundly considered to have won the debate. In the second presidential debate, Obama smiled confidently far more often, obviously in response to previous criticism.
  • Judah P. Benjamin, Jewish Senator and Secretary of State of the Confederate States of America, was almost always photographed with a smug little smirk. Because it was so unusual in the 19th century to purposefully smile in photographs, this was apparently his default expression.
  • Colonel (ret.) Gail Halvorsen, USAF. And HOW! In every single picture of this guy, from 1948 to 2012, he's wearing a huge, ridiculous smile. Definitely justified in that it was his idea to drop candy on Berlin during the famous Airlift.
  • This will involuntarily happen to a lot of people when out in the bright sunlight as a consequence of squinting hard against the sun.


Perpetual FrownerSmile TropesStepford Smiler
Perpetual FrownerPerpetual ExpressionCat Smile
Paper CuttingImageSource/Anime & MangaShoulder Teammate
Perpetual FrownerCharacters as DevicePet Homosexual

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