When you see someone who wears a hat
, helmet, or other cranium accessory
all the time, eventually you're gonna wonder why. Then you finally see them sans headwear... and you realize that there's a very good reason. Maybe they have terminal hat hair. Maybe it's just a stupid hairstyle under there. Maybe their hair is very very expansive
when not contained by the hat (regardless of how big the hat in question is). Or maybe their scalp is deformed or horribly scarred
Not to be confused with You Can Leave Your Hat On
or Please Put Some Clothes On
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- Cap'n Crunch, in one commercial where he uses his hat as a boomerang to take out the Soggies, reveals that he has a curious case of male pattern baldness.
Anime and Manga
- In the case of Ibiki Morino from Naruto, he rarely takes his bandanna off... and once you see the HORRIBLE scars underneath, you'll wish he never ever does it again. And yes, he's the one pictured above. He takes it off to show what it really means to be a ninja: as the top covert operations specialist, he has endured great torture without giving up secrets. Even Sasuke is all "eugh" at the sight.
- Da Chief Inspector Meguire from Detective Conan never takes his hat off. It turns out he keeps it on at all times because he has an ugly scar from where he was injured on a case... the same one in which he met his wife Midori..
- The Millennium Earl in D.Gray-Man always wears a jaunty hat to hide the pair of devil horns under it.
- Why does Karasawa in Daily Lives of High School Boys always wear a cap? It's to cover a large scar on his forehead courtesy of the girl who live next door.
- Celty Strulsen from Durarara!! is understandably reluctant to take her helmet off anywhere outside her own apartment, what with the headlessness and all.
- Holy hell,◊ Jagi! The main purpose of his helmet is to KEEP HIS HEAD FROM EXPLODING. It's not a pretty sight once the helmet and underlying bracer come off.
- Inverted in one of Mozguz's torture squad in Berserk: when he removes his plague-doctor mask, he's a Bishōnen (contrasting with the other deformed mooks). However, it turns out he wears it because of an allergy to sunlight, causing him to burst into flames if uncovered.
- In Pokémon Special, Ruby wears his iconic hat to hide a scar that he got fighting a wild Salamence barehanded to impress a pretty girl in the backstory.
- Masamunya from "The Gothic World of Nyanpire" doesn't like removing his helmet.In the end of episode 11, Nyanpire and friends are busy Trick or Treating and they wonder who that person is. He then removes his Halloween costume to reveal it was Masamunya dressed up.◊ Judging by his reaction, it's a good reason why he never takes his Samurai helmet off.
- Star Wars. Darth Vader is probably the most popular example of this. In Empire Strikes Back, we see the back of Vader's bald, scarred head. In the next movie we see that from the front. He can only survive without the helmet if he's in that meditation chamber we saw in ESB.
- In The Phantom Menace for most of the film, Darth Maul's hood hides his horns.
- Played with in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, there is a running gag where every time someone mentions that Scott might need a haircut, his goofy hat will be on his head in the very next shot.
- The Princess and the Frog: Yes, everybody loves Dr. Facilier's personality and style, but when he takes off his Nice Hat...his hair has the same form. And we're talking about a top hat.
- The Adjustment Bureau. All the bad guys tend to wear hats... because their crazy bad guy teleportation won't work without them.
- In Men In Black 3, Griffin, a fifth-dimensional being that takes the form of a Cloud Cuckoolander constantly wears a wool toque, except for one scene, where he reveals that his head is mostly a fleshy framework surrounding a glowing blue orb.
- In Cannibal The Musical, the prospectors are drying themselves by the campfire after failing to ford a river. Humphrey struggles to remove his earflapped cap, and after it comes off with a loud pop, the others stare agape at his humungous ginger afro.
- After completing the wedding ceremony, the groom asks the priest how much he owes. The priest replies that it is traditional to make a donation based on the beauty of the bride. The groom looks embarassed, and pulls a dollar out of his pocket. The priest then lifts up the bride's veil, digs around in his pocket, and gives the groom three quarters, saying "Here's your change".
Live Action TV
- Zydos from Gosei Sentai Dairanger looks rather freaky when finally seen sans headgear. He has two volcanoes atop his head. Also a Visual Pun on the phrase "cranial eruption".
- Seinfeld - George buys a fedora at a flea market and waxes nostalgic for the days when men wore hats - "It must've been a bald paradise!". Naturally he meets an attractive woman and has to face the prospect of removing it...
- Firefly: It's more like "please keep your hair tie on," but River gets very frightened when Shepherd Book lets out his Compressed Hair. Even Zoe admits that it's alarming.
Zoe: River, honey, it's OK. He's putting the hair away now.
River: Doesn't matter. It'll still be there...waiting.
- Doctor Who: In "Time Crash", Ten was put off by (temporarily-aged) Five's bald spot:
Ten: Sorry, not something you see every day, the back of your own head. Mind you, I can see why you wear a hat. I don't mean to sound vain, but would you mind putting that back on?
- A Different World had an episode where the guys gave Ron a really bad haircut while he was asleep as a joke. It was bad enough that the ROTC professor told him he could leave his hat on during class
Mythology and Folklore
- In the Coast Salish tale S-Hal-Ikun, the title character has been changed by a great bird called Thunder, and if he opens his eyes the lightning will flash and if he removes his hat, the thunder will come. This does not contribute to good relations with his neighbors.
- King Midas (the same one with the golden touch) made a bad call on a divine music contest and the gods cursed him with donkey's ears as punishment. He hid it by making tall caps a fashion statement, but his Chatty Hairdresser knew the truth...
- In the early 1950s, when Beetle Bailey was still a college student, he removed his hat exactly once in the classroom. The professor told him to put it back on.
- Doonesbury. B.D. has been wearing some manner of helmet for decades. When it's finally removed, it is...quite normal hair and he wasn't sure what the big deal had been.
- One storyline in Get Fuzzy has Rob accidentally going bald when Bucky puts hair removal cream in the shampoo. He spends his period of baldness with a baseball hat on, except when showing Joe what happened. At that point, a coworker looks alarmed and tells him, "Woah! Keep the lid on, Kojack!"
- Happens in a Peanuts strip when Peppermint Patty wears her ski cap into class. Her teacher tells her to take it off, but when she does, her hair is so wild and unruly that she is immediately told to put it back on.
- Razputin, the hero of Psychonauts, wears an aviator's cap and goggles throughout the entire game, until the denouement, where he is made an official Psychonaut. He gains a sweater and loses the aviator cap - and the hair revealed by this fashion change looks like it's in desperate need of combing.
- Dogen Boole wears a special tinfoil hat to prevent him from accidentally exploding people's heads. "Please keep your hat on" indeed.
- Flint in MOTHER 3: His hat's brim is kept low until the very end of the game, wherein it is revealed that he's bald. "Bald as a bean".
- The Engineer in Team Fortress 2 is bald underneath his helmet. Meanwhile, Pyro is the only class that doesn't have a "no hat" alternate hat, so fan theories have run wild about what exactly is under his ubiquitous gas mask, ranging from a horribly scarred or deformed freak to a hot woman. Someone even made a video where the Pyro reveals themselves to be Half Life 3.
- Soldier looks kind of weird without his helmet. This is probably due to his sloping forehead and enormous chin, which gives him a vaguely simian or Neanderthal appearance.
- The Doom Riders from Jet Set Radio Future wear helmets all the time because of massive skull injuries.
- The Hunter from Left 4 Dead, whose hood hides Tears of Blood and possibly a complete lack of eyes. ("Possibly" because they may have been left unrendered to save on polygons. It's not like that part of his face was meant to be visible, after all.)
- In Loom, rumor has it that looking under a Weaver's hood is fatal. When the main character, a Weaver, is captured, the guard can't resist finding out if it's true. Cue a black screen, a horrified scream, and then the game returning with the guard mysteriously vanished. Yeah, it seems like the hood's there for a VERY good reason.
- If you play on Expert difficulty, you get to see what happens: there's nothing but an inky black head-shaped void beneath with two glowing lights for eyes, and the guard is sucked into the void and disappears before Bobbin puts his hood back up with a smug comment about having warned him.
- Nergal of Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword wears a turban which hangs low enough to cover his right eye. In the final chapter, he removes it to reveal a massive scar distorting that eye, inflicted by Athos centuries ago.
- In Unsounded, Duane always wears his hood up, and for good reason, too.
- In 8-Bit Theater, Black Mage's face is usually obscured by the shadow of his hat. Seeing his face is known to induce madness, and may even destroy the universe.
- In Achewood, one strip indicates that the reason Ray never takes off his glasses is because he sold his eyes to pay for the first Achewood book.
- In Girl Genius, Ol' Man Death has a Very Nice Hat. He also has Very Bad Hat-hair under it.
- Jameson from Girls with Slingshots is shown to always wear a bandana or cap on his head. We later find out that he has early onset male pattern baldness.
- Except for one tuft of hair. The rest of the cast spends a long time trying to persuade him to shave the tuft, because it looks ridiculous.
- Ananth in Johnny Wander is never pictured without his baseball cap pulled down low over his eyes. This is explained here... the effect is rather familiar.
- A bit of a Running Gag for Rick O'Shay in Bob and George, along with his chronic Schedule Slip. It's been proposed that he has, among other things, a demonic soul-stealing abomination, a bad case of helmet hair, or shiny pink Bishōnen hair. Mini-Rick appears to keep several Met helmets under his Met helmet in a sort of infinite loop of Met helmets—he's seen pulling one off yet having another one under it...yet is also able to manifest the aforementioned shiny pink hair by taking off his helmet. Rule of Funny is to blame, most likely. Amusingly enough, it's the pink Bishonen hair that's freaked out the most people in the comics.
- Quite common in Real Life with balding men.
- People who have had a bad haircut are often examples of this trope.
- Also quite common amongst people with skin conditions, such as scalp psoriasis. Wearing a hat helps to avoid awkward questions and looks of disgust.