A beautiful character is punished by being turned ugly, which is a Fate Worse Than Death
. Usually a punishment for vanity, but not necessarily. See also Beauty to Beast
, which is the general trope of a beautiful person turning ugly for whatever reason, including plain old-fashioned aging.
Related to Beauty Equals Goodness
Anime & Manga
- In the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga and first series anime, a beautiful, but sadistic teacher is challenged to a shadow game by the main character. Her punishment for losing is having her face shattered, revealing her inner ugliness.
- Inverted for one story arc of Deadpool: The normally hideous merc is cursed... into looking like Thom Cruz. Otherwise played exactly straight, as it was an effective punishmentnote .
- In the film Penelope, the title character is "cursed" to have a pig nose. People tend to respond to her looks extremely negatively.
- In Se7en, the villain cuts up the face of a beautiful but vain woman and makes her choose between suicide and life with an ugly face. She decides for the former.
- Freaks, where it's also a Karmic Transformation.
- "Beauty and the Beast" is the most obvious.
- The book Beastly matches this, as it is a modern version of "Beauty and the Beast". Protagonist Kyle is a rich jerk who embarrasses Kendra, an unpopular girl who turns out to be a witch. He gets cursed by turning into a hideous beast, until he receives True Love's Kiss.
- In the book, at least. In the movie, he just gets cursed into looking like a member of the Jim Rose Circus.
- In Dying Earth, the witch Javanne cursed her lover by making him hideously ugly; at the end of that story, she's forced to bring him before a god of justice, who decides a little Laser-Guided Karma is in order.
Mythology & Religion
- An episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch had a variation: During a particularly vain phase, Sabrina meets a kindhearted and charitable (according to Hilda and Zelda) yet ugly relative (her skin is spotted green) whom Sabrina treats with apprehension. Said relative decides to teach her a lesson...by gradually turning Sabrina's boyfriend Harvey into a werewolf-esque creature (so much for kindhearted). She changes Harvey back only when Sabrina accepts him despite his looks.
- In "The Masks", a fifth-season episode of The Twilight Zone, a wealthy dying man summons his family to his New Orleans home for Mardi Gras. Since they're all grasping creeps waiting for him to die so that they'll inherit, he makes it a condition of his will that they wear grotesque masks matching their personalities until midnight. He dies at midnight and they take off their masks to find that their faces have been permanently molded into those shapes.
- In one Peanuts strip, Peppermint Patty supposed that her ugliness was a punishment for something she had done in a previous life.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade, the Nosferatu Clan often Embraces vain, beautiful people, cursing them into looking like them. Depending on the individual vampire's tastes, this is done for two reasons: Some do this to teach "The Beautiful Elite" a lesson in humility, while others like to do this just so they can watch models and actors writhe in agony. Unfortunate victims of this kind of 'lesson' are dubbed "Cleopatras", allegedly after the character in Freaks.
- It's likewise believed that the Clan's founder, Absimiliard, was one of the most beautiful (and vain) of all the antediluvians, conspiring to murder his second-generation sire because she'd slightly marred his perfect looks during the Embrace. When he went through with it, Caine made things much, much worse.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, at least two members of the LA brood are (or were) Cleopatras: A supermodel named Imalia (who hasn't gotten over it), and a former silent movie star and their current primogen "Gorgeous" Gary Golden (who has gotten over it, considering he is Imalia's Sire).
- The Tzimisce do it on occasion as well, given that they've got Vicissitude. There's a NPC in the Mexico City book who made the mistake of pissing off Sascha Vykos; Vykos sealed up all his orifices, then Embraced him. The man has to chisel his eyes and mouth out on a nightly basis.
- Part of the Dragonlance backstory has the Irda, a beautiful, powerful race of blue-skinned humanoids who were the first sentients created on Krynn who enslaved first the elves, than men when they proved more useful as laborers. After growing too arrogant, all but one clan (who were friendly to humans) were cursed by the gods and become the hideous green-skinned monsters known as Ogres.
- In Into the Woods, the ugly old witch was really a beautiful woman who had been victim of this.
- Kavonn of Charby the Vampirate cursed a female character with a reactive version of this: She switches between beautiful and ugly depending on her actions.
- Parodied in The Simpsons, when Homer is taking an oath when he becomes a Stonecutter.
Homer: And by the sacred parchment, I swear that if I reveal the secrets of the Stonecutters, may my stomach become bloated and my head be plucked of all but three hairs —
Moe: Um, I think he should have to take a different oath.