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 It still has these associations in some countries, particularly where fashion is somewhat stuck in the '70s. For instance in the Arab world, chances are that someone sporting one of these—in fiction or real life—is a cop. Further, military and police regulations in the US limit what sort of facial hair police and military officers can wear, as anything below the jaw line will interfere with the proper function of a gas mask; it needs skin to make a proper seal., and sex symbols like Burt Reynolds and Tom Selleck. 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.
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.
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.
The new Power Girl comic features the ultimate ham Vartox, an out of date hero from the 70s who rules his planet through a combination of super powers, unbelievable manliness, and a porn stache of truly epic proportions. Played entirely serious in the character's first appearances, back when he was introduced to cash in on the popularity of... Sean Connery in Zardoz.
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.
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....
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.
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.
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".
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
The Great Deku Tree has one. Unusual, in that it's... well... a tree.
The Mario Bros. knockoffs Ingo and Talon have such 'staches as well.
Valant Gramarye in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney grows one when he gets older. It's supposed to make him look more mature than his younger self, but since he spends his time hanging around his old friend's fifteen-year-old daughter, it has some, ah, unfortunate implications.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.