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Porn Stache
aka: Seventies Porn Moustache

"...like the SAS commander, who has the sort of absurd facial hair that indeed would have given him a proud military bearing circa 1915, but nowadays just makes him look like a German porn star."
Yahtzee, on Call of Duty 4's Captain Price.

A style of facial hair that resembles the classic "handlebar mustache", but is thicker and bushier on top, with no other facial hair underneath. Often used to (at least in the wearer's intentions) indicate a guy's "rugged" or "manly" nature.

This trope has a Fashion Dissonance problem. For most of the 70s and early 80s, it was considered authoritarian and MANLY, and associated with cops, military mennote , and sex symbols like Burt Reynolds. But an increasing association with porn stars, along with a general decline in popularity, makes it difficult for modern viewers to take such characters seriously.

Not to be confused with a Porn Stash. If you try hiding your stash in your 'stache, it will hurt like the dickens, unless your 'stache is truly badass.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Advertising 
  • The original Brawny paper towel logo guy.
  • The Man Your Man Could Smell Like in the Old Spice commercials. It peels off, but the bare skin underneath it can also peel off to reveal another mustache. It is not shown, but presumably that one can also peel off; its not clear how many layers he's got.
  • This commercial for a Datsun 10th Anniversary 280XZ "Black Gold Edition" circa 1980.
  • The guy from the 21st Century Insurance commercials
  • Lampshaded in this Grolsch commercial. In the first take of a scene of a porn film in production, an actor and actress perform the ubiquitous porn scenario of a tradesman arriving at a house and finding a housewife at home alone; but the actor has no mustache, and he proceeds to repair the refrigerator. Filming is interrupted by a Grolsch spokesman who complains that "this blue movie is not ready yet", pointing out the actor's lack of a mustache, and comparing rushed production of a porn film to rushed brewing of beer. The actor does have a mustache in the re-take.

    Comic Books 

    Film 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003 version)
    • Commander Bill Adama had one during the first couple of episodes of season three.
    • Edward James Olmos shaved off his trademark moustache when he took the role of "Bill Adama". He regrew it for the "New Caprica" arc, to symbolize the character's complacency during this period where humanity wasn't being killed off by Cylons, but ultimately shaved it off once humanity was successfully evacuated from the planet when the Cylons took over.
  • BJ Hunnicutt grew one for the last few seasons of Mash to stick it to the Army. In the '70s it probably worked, but today it's a little hard to take the devoted family man and compassionate doctor seriously when he looks like a '70s porn star.
  • Nick Stokes, briefly, on the original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. He mercifully got rid of it.
  • Wash from Firefly has one in a flashback. Zoe comments that there's "something" she doesn't like about him. Since they eventually get married and he's cleanshaven in the rest of the series, presumably the lady just doesn't like porn staches. Of course, then there's the blooper version of that scene where both Zoe and Mal are also wearing porn staches....
  • DS Ray Carling in Life On Mars and especially Ashes to Ashes.
  • Tom Selleck, of Magnum, P.I. fame.
  • Tom Selleck also sports one when he plays Monica's boyfriend Richard on Friends... it's pretty conspicuous.
  • Earl from My Name Is Earl.
  • Captain Stottlemeyer from Monk.
  • Matthew grows one in an episode of Newsradio, much to the other characters' horror, and Jimmy James is revealed—to his eternal embarrassment—to have grown one once. See the quote page.
  • Detective Ronnie Gardocki, during the first two seasons of The Shield, had a porn 'stache before trading up for a full beard for the rest of the series (minus the second half of season six, where he was clean shaven). Actor David Rees Snell has over the years acknowledged the pros and cons of his choice of facial hair, noting that in spite of the various jokes people made about his 'stache, that it helped him stand out on a show filled with clean-shaven men and develop a fan following amongst viewers of the show.
  • Most of the male cops in Reno 911!.
  • The Janitor from Scrubs had one when he was a hurdle runner, before sleeping with the President's daughter (or so he claimed).
  • Inevitably, one of the male leads in Swingtown.
  • Kelso from That '70s Show grew one of these when he became a cop because he thought it would make him look like an authority figure. Hyde said it made him look like a porn star. Kelso was happy either way. His friends later shaved it into a Hitler mustache while he was sleeping.
  • Deputy Sacks from Veronica Mars. Notably, the mustache is fake and without it, he is quite attractive.
  • The X-Files:
    • The Unnamed corporate hitman in the two-parter "Tempus Fugit" & "Max" has one. Unfortunately his demise at the hands of alien abductors prevented fans from adding "Porn Stache Man" to X Files' list of nameless bad guys.
    • Various police officers who were somehow part of several of the Agents' investigations. For instance in "Wetwired" or in "Chinga".
  • Robbie Ray Stewart of Hannah Montana dons one of these to transform into his country-singer-turned-manager persona of Robbie Ray.
  • Spencer Shay of iCarly generally includes one of these in any diguise. For example, infiltrating his sisters school as a janitor to catch her making out with Bad Boy Griffin.
  • Mike from All in the Family had one. Once or twice in the series he would shave it off, only for the characters to point out that he looked better with the creepy mustache than without it.
  • In the Seinfeld episode "The Butter Shave", Jerry and George grew mustaches. George says he feels like "an out-of-work porn star".
  • In the White Collar episode "Need to Know," it's revealed that during Neal's imprisonment, Peter had a mustache for about a month. After seeing a photograph, Neal comments that he was expecting something more Magnum, P.I. and less Mario.
  • In Supernatural Gabriel dons a fake porntache on a porn DVD Video Will he gives to the Winchesters.
    • When Sam travels back to The Seventies in "The Song Remains The Same", he's amused by all the big moustaches.
  • Brendan Brady in Hollyoaks.
  • Jason King.
  • In Drake & Josh, Josh attempts to grow one of these (being a kids show, they didn't actually say that it was a "porn stache" but it was implied), but everyone hates it, including his girlfriend, who even refuses to kiss him with the mustache.
  • Both Chet Kelly and Marco Lopez sported impressive models in the TV show Emergency!.
  • Leroy Jethro Gibbs of NCIS fame. He has one (briefly) after recovering from amnesia that wigged Tony out.
    Gibbs: I need you to look at something before you leave.
    Fornell: You've got that mustache in a box, don't you?
  • The Top Gear presenters all sport these during The Interceptors segment, a parody of 1970s detective series in general.
  • A picture in Torchwood: Miracle Day showed the immortal Jack Harkness as having one in the 1970s.
  • Hutch has a mustache for the entire fourth and final season of Starsky & Hutch.
  • Anson, the current Big Bad of Burn Notice, had one throughout Season 5, but recently shaved it off to go on the run.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Q has one when manifesting himself as a 1900's era boxer, to take on Sisko with Good Old Fisticuffs. And in Star Trek: Voyager the holographic Doctor writes a holonovel with thinly-veiled expies of Voyager's crew. Lieutenant Tom Paris becomes "Lt. Marseilles" with a moustache that makes even Tom's tsundere girlfriend B'Elanna Torres giggle at the sight of it.
  • George Mendez from Orange Is The New Black, so much so that all the inmates simply refer to him as "Pornstache."
  • This clip from Mystery Science Theater 3000 features Mike and the bots trying to impress Pearl with varying sizes of Pornstaches. Only Crow seems to have any success in impressing her.
  • Alex Trebek's legendary 'stache is neatly trimmed and not porn-y at all during his best-known stint as the host of Jeopardy!, but check him out in literally anything he did before that, from Music Hop to The New Battlestars to see a less fastidious facet of his facial fuzz. Sadly, the man shaved his 'stache in 2001, and the world has mourned ever since.

    Music 
  • Freddie Mercury.
  • Rivers Cuomo, the lead vocalist of Weezer, during the Red Album days.
  • Har Mar Superstar has a very thin one, but it's clearly a porn 'stache.
  • Frank Zappa.
  • Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath.
  • Brad Delp, former lead singer of the band Boston.
  • Gunther. "Ooooh, you touch my tralala.../Ooooh, my dingdingdong..."
  • Referenced in "Mustache" by the country music band Heartland, in which the narrator expresses his astonishment at the guy his girlfriend has dumped him for:
    He's got a mustache
    Has she lost her mind?
    He's got a mustache
    Straight out of 1979
    It looks like a porn star...
  • With that in mind, several exist among Country Music singers: Kix Brooks (of Brooks & Dunn), Alan Jackson, Aaron Tippin, John Dittrich (of Restless Heart), and Joe Diffie (replete with mullet).
  • John Oates of Hall & Oates. A legendary example.
  • Paul Simon, during the (later) Simon & Garfunkel days. It temporarily came back at the time of his 1975 solo album Still Crazy After All These Years.
  • The late choreographer Michael Peters, famous for playing a gang leader in Michael Jackson's "Beat It" (on which a Brazilian comedian likened him to soccer player Toninho Cerezo).
  • Neil Peart had one from 1975 to 1979/80.
  • Akiva and Jorm of The Lonely Island don very fake-looking Porn Staches to play the Bing Bong Brothers.
  • Till Lindemann sports one in the Rammstein video Haifisch as he mails a postcard to the rest of the band, letting them know he's alive.
  • Carlos Santana
  • Giorgio Moroder
  • Yanni, before he shaved it off.
  • Scatman John.
  • Anthony Kiedis adopted one in 2011.
  • The cowboy, leatherman and construction worker in The Village People all sport these.
  • Peter Hollens sports an impressive 'stache in his video for "Don't Stop Me Now", aptly as a tribute to Freddie Mercury. At the end of the video he makes a point of saying he's going to shave it off.

    Newspaper Comics 

    Pinball 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Wrestler Scott Hall had one during his AWA days, when he was "Magnum" Scott Hall. He later shaved it before going to the WWF and becoming Razor Ramon.
    • And the man he was emulating, "Magnum" TA—who looked a little like Tom Selleck from Magnum PI.
  • Announcer Tony Schiavone, early in his career.
  • "Ravishing" Rick Rude, in what had to be a deliberate instance.
  • It became a good chunk of independent wrestler Joey Ryan's gimmick for a time, although he tended to also wear a little stubble which diluted the effect. Part of his gimmick was a sleazy 70s Casanova Wannabe, and his finishing move was called a Mustache Ride (which was also the beginning of his entrance music.)
  • Most recently, Cody Rhodes has been the butt of all the jokes with his mustache.

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 

    Web Originals 
  • Italian Spiderman. At one point, he throws it like a boomerang.
  • This ad for Mario Kart DS shows three Japanese pop-rock-types sporting these and winking/grinning at the camera. You can play with people across the world via Wi-Fi, and this is represented by the various stereotyped versions of the guy with the Mario-like mustache and hat. The picture has become rather popular as an avatar icon.
  • Gaia Online's Timmy experienced "Megapuberty" and had the choice of either growing to adulthood immediately or remaining a child forever, and out of indecision decided to poll the fandom. Most of the fans who voted started talking about what a Bishounen Timmy would grow up to be. Instead, Timmy grew up Hollywood Homely (think Nicolas Cage's character in Raising Arizona), and has since then been accosted by police officers purely because they could not believe someone with a mustache like that was an honest citizen.
  • Binder of Shame's appropriately-named Deviant Boy is described as having an "abnormally thick moustache".
  • Parodied in Episode 4 of Manwhores when Kevin gets a fake one in order to imitate Randy. Five minutes later, he's in an 8-way. Yes, an 8-way.
  • Frollo gains one of these after being age regressed by his Arab cousin in The Frollo Show.
  • Screen Junkies: Hal Rudnick grew one for movember,a men's health awareness program. In fact, the Porn Stache is the goal of every participant in Movember. Few succeed.

    Western Animation 
  • Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
  • Family Guy explores literally every stereotype associated with the Porn Stashe.
    He's got the kind of facial hair that says "Yeah, I've been naked on camera before, what of it?"
  • Tony Stark in the '90s animated version of Iron Man. The mullet doesn't help.
  • The Venture Bros.
    • Brock Samson has one of these whenever he appears in college flashbacks.
    • Him and Rusty both have them for a brief spell. "What were we thinking?"
  • William Murderface of Metalocalypse. Mainly because he's based off of Geezer Butler, who, as stated above, had one.
  • The Simpsons: stupid sexy Flanders!
  • Spell #25 sprouts a luxurious porn 'stache on the lip of either sex.
    • Rarity's father has one naturally. This caused fans to call him "Magnum".

    Other 
  • Uh, this Sesame Street shirt.
  • Due to the cross-media nature of the character, it's hard to place him in one category, but several Commissioner James Gordons have boasted mustaches that are very 70s'. While some depictions of the good Commissioner have him appear quite distinguished in a vaguely old-money Southern fashion, several have been given rather porny 'staches over the years. Gary Oldman in the Nolan-era reboot movies is one such salient example.

    Real Life 
  • Actors and media figures:
    • Porn actors: Go figure.
      • Porn star Ron Jeremy, perhaps the most iconic example and probably responsible for the association with porn.
      • John Holmes, the inspiration for Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights.
      • And the original pornstache, Harry Reems. Some even noted the oddness of him not having it in Forced Entry.
    • Freddie Mercury, in the 80's.
    • Ric Romero, consumer reporter for Los Angeles-based KABC-TV and Internet meme extraordinaire.
    • John Stossel, former ABC newsman and host of 20/20.
    • Ron Howard sported one in the early 1980s. It's shown in all its glory in a 1982 episode of Saturday Night Live he hosted.
    • Critic Gene Siskel of Siskel And Ebert in the 70s. Here's a clip of them reviewing ''AllThePresidentsMen''.
    • Geraldo Rivera.
    • Film critic/conservative commentator/self-styled "cultural crusader" who's supposedly led a "controversial life", Michael Medved.
    • Burt Reynolds.
    • Tom Selleck
    • Seventies Porn Colin, a 1970s publicity shot of Colin Baker shirtless and sporting one of these, has attained memetic status in Doctor Who fandom.
  • Athletes and sports figures:
    • NASCAR has plenty of famous drivers with porn 'staches. Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Tim Richmond, Neil Bonnett, Terry Labonte, Dale Jarrett, Mike Skinner...
    • In Formula One the most notorious pornstache is Nigel Mansell's.
    • Mark Spitz, who won seven gold medals in a single Olympic Games.
      • Hilariously, after his medal haul Spitz was approached by a coach from the Soviet team, asking him why he had a mustache. Spitz jokingly replied that it deflected water away from his mouth and effectively made him swim faster; at the next international swim meet he attended the following year, all the male Russian swimmers were sporting mos.
    • Baseball player Jeff Kent's famous facial hair has led to baseball announcers to jokingly refer to impressive or important home runs by Jeff Kent as "money shots".
    • NBA commissioner David Stern had one early in his tenure, clearly evident in archive photos from the '84 draft.
    • Famous mustachioed Yankee player of the 80s and early 90s Don Mattingly and Jason Giambi. Giambi in particular, credited Mattingly as the inspiration for him growing his in 2008. Giambi (known famously for his full beard/long haired look while he was a member of the Oakland Athletics) infamously shaved off his facial hair when he signed with the Yankees in 2002, so his decision to grow a moustache revived his career with the organization and with fans after several years of subpar playing and revelations that he was on steroids for the bulk of his tenure at Oakland. The Yankees later held a "Jason Giambi Mustache Day" in which they gave out fake mustaches as a promotion to get Giambi the final spot on the AL All-Star Team roster. He didn't win the vote, though.
    • George Parros, enforcer of the Anaheim Ducks. He's even earned the nickname "Stache" because of it.
    • Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt has sported one since his playing days.
    • Two-time Vezina/Conn Smythe/Stanley Cup winning Hall of Fame NHL goaltender Bernie Parent of the Philadelphia Flyers had one of the most awe-inspiring examples of the trope in the history of North American professional sports during the 1970s. It's since morphed into a Trustworthy Beard as its owner has aged into Badass Grandpa territory.
    • Broad Street Bullies-era backup goalie Bobby Taylor was a fairly decent backup for Parent in this area as well. Hockey seemed to raise a bumper crop in those days, with even Taylor cheerfully quipping in the HBO documentary on the team, The Broad Street Bullies, that "we looked like a bunch of porn stars."
    • In fact, the Flyers in particular are no slouches in the pornstached Goalie department, with another Vezina and Conn Smythe coming from netminder Ron Hextall in the 80s.
    • Sportscaster and entertainment reporter Pat O'Brien.
    • Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder.
    • Keith Olbermann alternated between this and clean-shaven from his days as a sports anchor in Los Angeles until midway through his SportsCenter tenure, after which he apparently hacked it off for good. Apparently he figured out that the look may work for some people, but it unambiguously does not work for him.
    • Similarly, ESPN's Chris Berman sported one early in his tenure on ESPN and recently decided to give it another try.
    • MLB Pitcher Carl Pavano - especially when it's not fully grown in.
    • Possibly-former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas.
    • NBA player Adam Morrison is commonly mocked for this (along with his non-presence with the Lakers).
    • Many an Australian cricketer have sported these through the years, including David Boon and Dennis Lillee. More recently, fast bowler Mitchell Johnson had one during the 2013 Ashes test series.
    • WVU punter, Nick O'Toole, whose Porn Stache makes him look 20 years older
  • Historial and political figures:
    • John R. Bolton.
    • Not uncommon among European royalty of the 19th and early 20th centuries, with King Umberto I of Italy having one of the most epic Porn Staches of all time.
    • Some of his (numerous) detractors argue that the moustache Peter Mandelson used to have looked like one of these. Judge for yourself.
    • And of course, Josef Stalin. He even was nicknamed "Baffone" ("Big Moustache") in Italy.
      • And some of his comrades too, like Vyacheslav Molotov, Lazar Kaganovich and Andrei Zhdanov.
    • Saddam Hussein.
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Nikola Tesla. Ironically, he was celibate.
    • Günther, the stage persona of Swedish singer Mats Söderlund. His entire act is indeed modeled on bad German porn stars.
    • Don Frye, MMA fighter and the Bad Ass Captain Gordon in Godzilla Final Wars.
    • Friedrich Nietzsche had an uber-pornstache.
    • British Army lore has it that these are standard issue for the SAS, so the page quote may well be justified. However, considering the skills of a standard SAS soldier, it is a bad idea to mock them for this.
    • Meet The Talking Car, an old children's safety PSA, gives one of these to one of the cars. The car in question seems peculiarly affable towards children, claims to have known quite a few boys in girls "in my day", and adds that they are good.
    • The University of Western Ontario's Science Faculty has a mascot, by the name of Sanchez. Sanchez, cheerfully referred to as "Our King" by the faculty, is a blow-up doll possessing-of course-only the most epic of porn 'staches.
    • Serial killer William Bonin
    • Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut and recent commander of ISS for Expedition 35. And yeah I totally picked a doofy picture on purpose. Also kind of Adorkable, sometimes.
  • Michael Collins of Apollo 11 fame. Interestingly, he started his famous mission totally clean shaved and ended up with one at the end.


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alternative title(s): Seventies Porn Moustache
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