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Slasher Smile
You get exactly one guess as to which side is in control.

"Some smiles show cheer; some merely show teeth."

In the animal kingdom, baring your teeth is a sign of aggression. In the case of humans — well, there's something very disconcerting about a smile that doesn't have an ounce of happiness in it. It's downright frightening when the smile is in anticipation of pain or death — yours, probably. Needless to say, the Slasher Smile does not inspire warmth in anyone who sees it.

The Slasher Smile is the evil sibling of the Cheshire Cat Grin. In general, the difference is in the eyes of the character. If the eyes sparkle, or are mischievously wicked, it's a Cheshire Cat Grin. If, however, the eyes are clearly crazy or malevolent, it's a Slasher Smile. If the grinning person is holding a knife or an axe or some other implement of painful and often bloody death, it's best to assume the worst.

While the Cheshire Cat Grin is a staple of The Trickster, generally one of the good guys, the Slasher Smile is the staple of the Ax-Crazy, unless said hero is a particularly dark or vicious Anti-Hero. Only expect to see a "nice" hero with a Slasher Smile if they've been possessed or suffered a major Freak Out! or if they have been taken over by their Super-Powered Evil Side. Also, a devious Chessmaster or Magnificent Bastard is unlikely to look like this - it's too Obviously Evil, and they prefer the subtler Psychotic Smirk.

No, the Slasher Smile is more appropriate for The Dragon, the Mad Scientist, and most especially Serial Killers, but it can happen with any character who is gleefully violent and/or fits any "wild crazy person" stereotypes. Beings who hunt and eat victims we are supposed to identify with will also often have Slasher Smiles... in their case, it means "Hello, lunch!"

Some characters with a Slasher Smile wear the grin all the timein fact, it's physically impossible for them to move their face out of it. For many, this has the added worry of making it harder to tell what they're thinking or feeling, because their face betrays no expression beyond the smile.

Not to be confused with a Slashed Smile (although they sometimes overlap), and has nothing to do with the pleased smiles of Slash Fic fans upon the detection of impending Ho Yay. Hopefully.

Contrast Dissonant Serenity for a calm mood which isn't the slightest bit more reassuring. When the smile is merely creepy, it's The Un-Smile. May be part of the fear behind the Monster Clown. See also Technically a Smile. Also contrast Grin of Audacity.


Examples

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     Anime and Manga 
  • Harry from Outlaw Star gives a creepy one when Gene figures out he's been trying to Mind Rape Melfina and another when talking to Melfina about how they're Not So Different.
  • Katekyo Hitman Reborn!: Birds. And Mukuro as well. Hooo Boooy...
    • A few members of Tsuna's harem family do this sometimes too, namely Gokudera, and Hibari.
    • Xanxus too. His smile is terrifying and hot.
    • Bel and his twin. Who also adds Cheshire Cat Grin and evil giggles to the mix.
    • A certain Big Bad named Byakuran.
  • Dr. Hell from Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger never smiled. He GRINNED (usually when he thought he was winning or believed he had won. Or simply when he felt people were frightened of him). And it was deeply disturbing. It was even creepier in Mazinkaiser.
    • Tetsuya Tsurugi, The Hero from Great Mazinger, was a Broken Ace usually wore a grim, angry or bitter expression. But when he grinned in battle, it was very eerie.
  • Xellos from Slayers has this in spades. It's less common to see him not smiling than to see him with a smile (or a convenient Psychotic Smirk) on his lips, but if he's smiling and his eyes are open, you're in serious trouble. Especially exemplified as he's sadistically torturing Valgaav in TRY and a highly amused smile never leaves Xellos' face, backed up by a truly psychotic giggle.
  • Bleach:
    • This is used to identify characters who fight for the love or madness of fighting rather than higher ideals, such as with Kenpachi, Ichigo's inner hollow, Ikkaku, Nnoitra, Ginjou, and Unohana. Ichigo sports one in battle sometimes as well.
    • This is used to identify scientists unleashing their chance to experiment on others For Science! or reveal any bizarre inventions they have created. This tends to be as much a problem for their allies as for their enemies. Examples include Mayuri and Szayel.
    • It is used to identify creepy characters who cannot be trusted and are hiding ulterior motives, such as Gin.
    • It is used to emphasise a character on the battlefield is unhinged and descending into insanity, such as with Tsukishima and Nianzol.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Both Envy and Kimbley have serial slasher smiles.
    • Greed, both his first body and in Ling's, have this. Pride's shadows also usually have this default expression as does his body after he eats Gluttony. Must be a family trait since Father was shown to have one back in the days where he was only a blob in a flask and he can still pull it off as shown When he leaves his 'human form' which is just a humanoid blob with these and eyes.
    • Barry the Chopper has one built into his helmet.
    • Some of the minor characters even have these, such as General Raven, when he's trying to offer someone immortality and in his Eye Catch, and also some of the more unsympathetic State Alchemists that participated in the war.
    • Truth almost always has this expression on his face, because he's a sadistic dick who enjoys handing out ironic but disproportionate punishments to people who try to break the laws of the universe. The only exception is when Ed correctly offers to sacrifice all of his alchemist powers to get Alphonse back, Truth displays a real happy smile as he cheerfully congratulates Ed on choosing the right answer and opens the way for him to retrieve Al and dissolves into nothingness.
    • Wrath from the 2003 anime version constantly has these, especially when he's fighting.
      • Gluttony adopts a slasher smile after Dante destroys his vestiges of humanity in the 2003 anime.
      • Also in the 2003 series, Lust adopts an eerie one when she attacks Scar in the 18th episode.
  • Anti-Hero example and a subversion: Revy from Black Lagoon routinely wears this kind of grin when she's busy gunning down bad guys, particularly during the first major shootout of the series, where Rock sees her smile for the first time and is extremely creeped out. However, that's just Revy on a normal day. What you really want to watch out for is when she drops the grin and goes all emotionless and monotone, because that's when she stops pointing her guns at the bad guys and starts pointing them at everyone.
    • In the manga arc El Baile De La Muerte, Roberta, as her sanity continues to spiral downward into Ax Crazyville, starts sporting these. And so came the time when she snapped one of Shenhua's throwing knives, WITH HER TEETH, while wearing THE Slasher Smile. Bad Ass.
    • Creepy Twins Hansel and Gretel take this trope to a ridiculous level. Think vampires.
    • Balalaika's a kid in a candy store during the "Fujiyama Gangster Paradise" Arc. She's ordering hits, snapping necks, and holding a gun to Rock's head with that huge grin.
    • And, more and more, Rock has been showing a Slasher Smile. You first see it right at the beginning, when Revy challenges Rock, a Japanese ''sarariman,'' to a drinking duel.
  • Anemone from Eureka Seven displays a few of these when she fights.
  • K of From the New World. Holy hell. A kid should not have such a bloody face, let alone unleash a tranquil yet heart-stoppingly horrific smile after killing 1,000 people in a single day.
  • Touma of A Certain Magical Index, episode nine. So very creepy and so very very awesome.
    • And intentional. Considering he's not even an antihero, the psychological warfare aspect is neat.
    • Accelerator is always seen with an evil smile when he is enjoying a good fight or a massacre, maybe because his awesome powers makes many times the fights boring, for example when an army tried to beat him, when the Misaka sisters tried to fight him and one the most boring "fights" he had was when Mikoto Misaka tried to attack him, he really looked bored.
  • Agito of Air Gear. He has this whole shark fang thing going on.
  • Yomi from Ga-Rei puts one on when she's under control of the Sesshouseki. It's even creepier when her eye colour inverts.
  • Osaka's attempt to "wake up" Yukari in Azumanga Daioh fell into this from a different angle. Osaka always looks a bit blank, and she was half-asleep when she tried it... which just resulted in her standing in the doorway with a blank, empty smile and a large knife. She had no violent intentions, but she sure looked like someone was gonna get stabbed.
    • Probably her. Earlier in the episode she expressed a lifelong dream of waking someone by banging a ladle on a pan next to their ear. The only thing keeping Osaka from cutting off her own hand was Yukari woke up when Osaka opened the door.
    • A slightly more trope-y Slasher Smile (more of a Slasher Smirk) is here, at about 0:40.
  • Dilandau from The Vision of Escaflowne has every kind of slasher expression in the book.
  • There's been a few characters who do this in Fairy Tail, but the crown for the most disturbing Slasher Smile goes to an all-around psychopath named Jackal, a member of Tartarus, which he sports while slaughtering the Magic Council, as well as forcing a Sadistic Choice on Lucy involving her choosing whether to save the life of a former Magic Councilor... or a pregnant woman, who was crying and trying to reassure her unborn child that everything would be okay. Yes, the Tartarus arc took the Darker and Edgier level of this series Up to Eleven like never before.
    • Though a machine manages to give him a good run for his money.The arc's Doomsday Device,Face,a large pillar with,well a face on top,looked kinda stoic when we first see it.It turns out there's more though,and we see some with...rather creepy smiles on them.
  • Kaguro from Kekkaishi almost constantly has one of these, and an endless supply of lethal blades to back it up.
  • Kuroudo Akabane from Getbackers's happy face.
  • Legato Bluesummers from Trigun has probably the most nonchalant one ever.
    • His boss, Millions Knives, has quite a few of his own.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Everyone has them by the dozens. The real culprit, though, has a perpetually blank appearance, which is even creepier in contrast.
  • Almost everyone in Hellsing has one of these.
  • Asuka cracks a lovely example of this smile when fighting the Mass Production EVAs in End of Evangelion.
    • And the EVA units gives it right back, as EVA Unit 01 and the Mass-Produced EVAs demonstrate.
      • Eva Unit 01's really deserves special notice, because in that picture it's smiling after having already been brought back into the hangar after the fight with Zeruel. The fight in which it ate Zeruel alive to absorb it's source of unlimited motive power and tore off NERV's restraints, and in doing so completely removed NERV's ability to control it. Past that point the only reason NERV can keep it in the hangar at all is because it's letting them keep it there, and the soul inside is grinning with the knowledge that it's now become literally unstoppable.
    • Even Shinji shows a couple, most of them during the battle with Zeruel.
    • Some people regard Rei's rare smiles this way as well.
    • One word: Mari.
  • Fruits Basket: Hatsuharu Sohma's Split Personality, Black Haru, has some pretty disturbing smiles that are nonetheless better than the alternative (in the vein of "I'm going to love kicking your ass" is better than "I'm going to kill you").
  • Go ahead, mess with Shiro from Deadman Wonderland. You're going to wish you never did once the Wretched Egg takes over and unleashes a unsettling grin (complete with a skrkt sound effect, no less).
  • When Guts, the Anti-Hero from Berserk, smiles, it is usually one of these. This should be your signal to run, as he's usually in a blood-spilling mood when he's got that grin.
  • Frequently sported by Viral from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
  • Death Note: As L dies, before he closes his eyes he sees Light looking at him with one of these. Higuchi, too, after getting the Shinigami Eyes. One look at that creepy face and death will follow, without the Death Note.
    • Light again, during the finale (at least in the manga), sports one so big he gets cross-eyed.
    • Mikami Teru, one of the most psychotic of the Kiras, also sports one of these on occasion.
    • The Death God Ryuk also has one permanently etched to his face, along with More Teeth than the Osmond Family. Light showed what a badass he is when he only was seriously freaked out for a few seconds, when Ryuk spontaneously appeared in his bedroom.
  • Naruto:
    • Gaara displays a particularly frightening one of these during his fight with Rock Lee during the Chuunin Exams, after Lee knocks off the sand armor covering his face.
      • It gets worse. Apparently he has that expression 24/7. It's only hidden by the sand armor.
    • During particularly gruelling battles, Naruto (or rather the Kyuubi displays this, most notably when Sasuke talks to the Kyuubi in Naruto's mind).
    • Naruto also (by himself) displayed two slasher smiles in the 101st episode of the anime. And some of the smiles he makes when he's about to do (or just finished) a prank can have traces of this.
    • Sasuke wears one before stabbing through Karin to get Danzo. RUN. He makes quite a few other ones after that, up until Naruto tells him they'll both die if they fight after which he goes back to a more focused look.
      • Chapter 574: Sasuke shows another. And it is creepy. Just look.
    • And here's another exemplary performance from Gaara.
    • This is Orochimaru's and Hidan's default expression.
    • Zetsu seems to have this whenever he's battling someone.
    • Also, Dark Naruto has this as his default expression.
    • Kisame. The only times it usually leaves his face is when he's using a jutsu and has to expel water from his mouth.
    • Kabuto gains one after he absorbs Orochimaru's DNA.
    • Sakura gets one in a comedic fashion after Konohamaru insults her.
    • The normally-stoic Madara Uchiha instantly develops an epic one when he feels the First Hokage's chakra. Between him, Sasuke, and Itachi, it looks like terrifying expressions are just another part of the Big Screwed-Up Family. Sadly, the upcoming anime version, seen in the opening credits of Shippuden episode 357, does not do his slasher smile justice. The manga is far creepier..
      • I stand corrected: the actual anime episodes version does do it justice! WOW!
    • In Chapter 677,as Madara activates the Infinite Tsukiyomi,we get the wonderful picture of Kaguya gazing over the world with the moon as her Third Eye.
  • D.Gray-Man's Tyki Mikk will do this sometimes. This is a sign that he's about to pluck out your heart. The Millennium Earl is a cross between this, a Stepford Smiler, and a Monster Clown with his perpetual huge, cheery, and absolutely horrific grin. In fact, every single member of the Noah family seems to do this occasionally.
    • Which now includes the Fourteenth, which is downright disturbing considering his host is Allen Walker. Seriously, who expected the kid to ever look like this?
      • And now Allen doesn't even need the 14th Noah to do this. Somehow, he manages to make such smiles even worse.
    • And the when the Earl is pissed off, the preexisting smile goes so far off the deep end that hiding under the bed begins to seem like a very attractive option. Meep?
    • For someone who doesn't smile very often (or only smirks), Kanda seems just too creepishly happy when the room collapses on him and everything turns into empty space in the Ark. When he comes back, he starts his day by arguing with Allen rather than thinking about how he could've died.
    • Road Kamelot does this sometimes as well too, especially when she starts to get too much fun out of tormenting the main characters.
  • Perpetual Frowner Vicious from Cowboy Bebop rarely smiles. This only makes it spookier when he flashes a particularly chilling slasher smile right as he's picking up the Anti-Hero lead by the neck and throwing him through a stained glass cathedral window.
    • Tongpu from "Pierrot Le Fou" sports one throughout the episode.
  • Shonen Bat/Lil' Slugger from Paranoia Agent.
  • Joshua Christopher of Chrono Crusade has a tendency to smile like this, thanks to the demon's horns on his head driving him insane.
  • Shark Fujishiro from Seto no Hanayome often pulls off a lot of these right before trying to eat Nagasumi.
  • Drosselmeyer's smile in Princess Tutu would almost seem like a Cheshire Cat Grin if it wasn't for the fact that he's stark raving mad and takes pleasure out of people's suffering.
  • Iwao Washizu from Akagi. The smile gets wider and wider the more time he's on screen.
  • The Numbers Cyborg Due from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha whenever she goes for the kill, which is almost every scene she's in.
  • Riful from Claymore shows one when she first encounters the Abyss Feeders. Made creepier by the fact that there's a large bite out of her head.
    • Ophelia wears one as her usual facial expression because, well, she's what happens when you give The Ophelia a BFS.
  • Warsman, from Kinnikuman, is a cyborg. Predictably, he normally can't smile... unless he's in his batshit psychotic personality, in which case he sports the Warsman Smile. He did use it once, while normal, to catch an arrow in his mouth, though.
  • With Getter Robo, it'd be easier to list the characters who don't have one of these plastered on their faces most of the time. Ryoma in particular seems to have this as his natural expression.
  • Russia signature move when he's not being a Stepford Smiler or wearing a Psychotic Smirk.
    • Japan imagines Italy pulling one in the strip where he makes binoculars to read people's thoughts. "I'll touch the back of your head to my heart's content", indeed.
  • Even a nice guy like Monkey D. Luffy of One Piece gets one of these, in the 8th opening for the show after landing on a marine ship.
    • Zoro does this often too, which is suitable for a character who is often accused of being insane…or a demon.
    • Gecko Moria has a permanent one, but it's most apparent during his Villainous Breakdown.
    • Donquixote Doflamingo has this as his default look, appropriate for what seems to be One Piece's counterpart to The Joker.
    • Eustass Kidd sports one almost all the time, Funnily enough, his face even looks quite similar to the Joker, but even he isn't quite as psychotic as Doflamingo.
    • Blackbeard has had a few.
    • This happens to the Straw Hats (minus Luffy and Nami) when Oars has his horns stuck to the ground and unable to move. Cue the Straw Hats' slasher smiles and a nonchalant, epic, off-screen beatdown of Oars.
    • Much like the Oars example, Luffy, Robin and Zoro get slasher smiles (and Glowing Eyes of Doom in the anime) when they reach the cold side of Punk Hazard and see centaurs wearing warm clothes.
    • Creepy Child Sugar gets one of these in Chapter 758 when she goes after Luffy.
  • Vinland Saga: Thorfinn, when he does smile. Thorkell's is more of a Slasher Grin, with a big thumbs up thrown in there.
  • Being possibly the craziest bastard in the series, Baccano!'s Claire Stanfield has a warehouse full of psychotic, blood-soaked grins and smirks to put to use. Not to say that Ladd, Czeslaw, and Graham don't get their fair share.
  • Kurogane from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles often does this. In fact, that's the only time he ever smiles.
  • Michiko from Michiko to Hatchin sports one right before she breaks through a police roadblock.
  • In Soul Eater, Maka gets one of these when she goes completely nuts while fighting Chrona.
  • The various Blood Knights in Samurai Deeper Kyo often have this in their faces while really enjoying a fight. Top dog Onime no Kyo combines it with Red Eyes, Take Warning and the Glowing Eyes of Doom to create a visage unparalleled in its ominousness.
  • Pokémon:
    • Jessie, in her crazy moments. Here's an example (Tracey Gets Bugged, episode 97)
    • If a Pokémon has sharp teeth and isn't Ugly Cute, expect its grin to look like this.
  • Gyororo from Sgt. Frog.
    • We also see Keroro with a manic grin on his face when he learns Natsumi is afraid of slugs.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! has Tsukuyomi doing one of these when she fights Setsuna.
  • Two teens of mass destruction of Out Code lapse into this when their real personalities are exposed (Psycho for Hire and Manipulative Bitch, respectively). Interestingly, both of these characters were frail-looking girls. The Mad Scientist who gave them their powers seems to owe his look to Dr. Tomoe.
  • Neuro has a psychotic grin most of the time, and then he reverts to a parrot-headed-Eldritch Abomination. There's also the twisted, insane looks of the criminals as they confess.
  • Grelle Sutcliffe the Shinigami from Kuroshitsuji has one of these. Made even better and creepier by the fact she had just finished murdering someone a few seconds ago and is covered from head to toe in blood. Too bad it isn't really seen again after this, because she's too busy being a goofball, playing with safety scissors. Yes, really.
  • Chiri gets one completely out of the blue at the end of an episode of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. Its utterly random appearance combined with its large number of teeth made it horror in its purest form.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Yami Marik constantly sports one.
    • Yami Bakura often has one as well, even moreso during the final arc.
    • Not so much in the anime, but during the Death-T arc in the manga both Kaiba brothers each get a couple at the prospect of killing Yugi and his friends.
      • Seto actually sports one a lot in the manga, especially when he's about to crush an opponent during a duel.
    • Dartz gets one when he uses the Seal of Orichalcos in the final battle against Yami Yugi and Kaiba.
    • In the early chapters of the manga when Yami Yugi's character was a lot darker and you weren't really sure if he was truly a good guy or not, he almost always sported one... especially when he declared to a rival that they would undergo a "penalty game" if they lost to him.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Hell. Kaiser. Ryo.
    • Also from GX, Saiou/Sartorious at first only sports a Psychotic Smirk but graduates to this as a sign that he has been completely taken over by The Light.
  • As a Neat Freak, Ryuuji from Toradora! gets one whenever he cleans. As in, dirt and dust and mold. Combined with his permanent death glare, he looks like he's rejoicing in the thought of committing genocide on entire societies of dust mites and mold colonies. There's a brief shot of one right in the opening theme.
  • Beatrice, the Golden Witch has a rather good one, completely with not-so-Cute Little Fangs. It's a particularly common expression when she's trolling Battler.
  • Gauron from Full Metal Panic! usually cracks one of these whenever he's not wearing his Psychotic Smirk. HE WANTS TO RAPE YOU!!!
  • Angel Densetsu's Kitano.
  • Hiruma Youichi from Eyeshield 21 has one of these, aided by his fang-like teeth and his habit of constantly carrying large guns when not on the field. In fact, he does it so often that he scares his teammates when he DOESN'T have a slasher smile, and uses it to his advantage against his opponents.
  • Killua from Hunter × Hunter gets one, holding not a knife, but the still beating heart of his latest victim.
  • At the end of the Weiß Kreuz OAV, Ken Hidaka perfectly calmly prepares to kill the man who tried to set up the deaths of his entire team. Then he actually pulls the trigger.
  • Code Geass
    • Lelouch right after he successfully orders a collective suicide with his handy-dandy new geass. Being only semi-crazy, he otherwise reserves it only for special occasions (such as having just added another few digits to his kill count).
    • This is also the apparent default expression for any Geass thralls ordered to kill someone. Including themselves.
      • V.V. has one during most of the time he's piloting the Siegfried against the Black Knights during their attack on the Geass Order.
  • Several characters in Rosario + Vampire pull this off nicely, but the best example would be Aono Tsukune in his "Ghoul Form." Bonus points for grinning at an attack just inches from his face and then proceeding to beat the shit out of everyone in front of him.
  • In Kimi ni Todoke, when Sawako Kuronuma tries to smile it usually look like this.
  • Ookami Kakushi: The maid in the second half of episode 12 advances on Hiroshi while simultaneously unbuttoning her uniform top and flashing her best smile.
    • Issei indulges in this as well.
    • And in episode 11, whenever Sakaki, now having gone off the deep end, actually does smile, he alternates between this, and Smug Snake smirks. Naturally, the latter is a little less creepy.
  • Lots of characters in Pandora Hearts pull one of these at times. Especially the Baskervilles and Will of the Abyss.
    • Break does this at times too.
  • Gankutsuou: The eponymous Count wears a rather terrifying example of this when everything is going according to plan (which usually involves a humiliating and/or painful death).
  • Dragon Ball Z: Zarbon manages one that's just twisted enough to be freaky, just before transforming into a... rather unattractive salamander-looking thing.
    • Captain Ginyu breaks into one right before he uses his body change ability to switch bodies with Goku.
    • In the filler "Garlic Jr. arc" in Dragon Ball Z, when Piccolo is infected with the Black Water Mist and turned evil the first thing he does to let us know this to break into one of these smiles. Turns out he's actually faking being infected though.
    • Vegeta gets one after getting possessed by Babidi and becoming Majin Vegeta.
      • Even before that, he sports one after he kills Jeice.
    • Super Buu and Kid Buu smile like this by default since they're both textbook definitions of Ax-Crazy characters (or forms in this case). Frieza occasionally breaks out this smile too, a good example being when he shot Piccolo through the chest with his death beam.
  • In Zatch Bell!, we have this little beauty from Zophise.
  • Haguro and Ryuuko of Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest revel in this.
  • Yuno Gasai of Mirai Nikki has a combination of one of these and a Manic Pixie Dream Girl Stare on her face on a more or less permanent basis. She is... not well.
    • Minene also sports a kill grin as her default expression, though unlike Yuno, she keeps her cool most of the time.
  • This is Koko Hekmatyar's default facial expression in Jormungand. Though she rarely does her own dirty work, the fact that she is a dealer of death makes this appropriate.
    • Also her older brother, Kasper and his bodyguard Chiquita.
  • Ryuuhei Sawamura and Bryan Hawk of Hajime No Ippo.
  • One episode of Kyou No Go No Ni mentions how nobody remembers seeing Emotionless Girl Kazumi Aihara ever smile. If the first episode is any indication, it's because her smiles end up as one of these...
  • Half the cast of Karakuridouji Ultimo probably has one. It doesn't matter who it is. Piss off anybody and you'll be greeted with any of these expressions.
  • Shizuo Heiwajima of Durarara!! is fond of sporting these right before he's about to hurt someone.
  • In Monster, the unspeakably evil Johan Liebert, commits Mind Rape on a former cop who had killed a boy while drunk and is trying to atone, playing on his guilts. He eventually asks him how he would look his estranged daughter in the eyes and then realizes that he's got him, and then makes one of the most unsettling and terrifying smiles imaginable before asking "well Richard, how about a drink?"
  • The Anti-Hero protagonist of Shamanic Princess directs one at her rival after completing her first Transformation Sequence, made even creepier by her weird eyes. It's one of your first clues that this is not your average Magical Girl anime.
  • Shani Andras and Auel Neider of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny wear these as their normal expression. Their fellow Super Soldiers Orga Sabnak, Cortho Bauer, and Sting Oakley have also been known to crack them out from time to time.
  • Speaking of Gundam, Desil Galette from Mobile Suit Gundam Age sports a horrific one when he casts off his cute child persona at the end of Episode 13. Seriously, you wouldn't imagine a seven year old to look like this, would you?
  • In His And Her Circumstances, there are instances where Yukino Miyazawa sports one of these.
    • In the anime Yukino gets an epic *series* of different slasher smiles in a rampage after Tsubasa presses her Berserk Button.
  • Kohta Hirano, from Highschool of the Dead, often dons one when fighting "Them". Contradicts nicely with his usual personality.
  • Mimi of Lovely Complex wears one of these when threatening Risa.
  • Kagura from Gintama gets one when her Yato side kicks in harder than she can control.
    • Also her brother, Kamui.
    • Besides the above examples, this trope is usually Played for Laughs.
  • Sayaka from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. After being pushed past her Despair Event Horizon she is seen smiling and laughing while tearing into a witch with her sword. While covered in blood. While her best friend watches on. Poor girl.
  • Tasogare Otome X Amnesia gives us the horror that is Shadow Yuuko.
  • The first episode of Persona 4 has Yu with a (completely heroic and yet still disturbing) slasher smile on his face while summoning Izanagi for the first time.
  • In the 10th episode of Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom, when Reiji begins chasing after Scythe Master, he starts breaking into this twisted grin. Combined with his creepy laughing and this little piece playing in the background and the whole thing easily goes into Nightmare Fuel territory.
  • Jack Frost is the embodiment of this trope. The wider his smile, the bloodier things get. And things get pretty damn bloody.
  • The Master of Synapse from Heaven's Lost Property.
  • Akura-ou from Kamisama Kiss, being a Psychopathic Manchild, has this as his default facial expression. One of the main protagonists, Tomoe, also tends to sport one when he is about to do something nasty. Small surprise since he used to be Akura-ou's partner in crime.
  • Mahiro Fuwa in Zetsuen no Tempest seems to have an emotional spectrum that ranges from 'indifferent' to this. Frighteningly enough, he's regarded as far less of a threat than his best friend.
  • Tsuchiya gets one in Holyland chapter 144 just before he turns a fight around.
  • In Attack on Titan, Annie smiles like this when she is correctly accused of being the Female Titan. Made even creepier since this is the only smile (or any other expression other than indifference) she's given so far in the series.
    • This is also the default expression for some of the titans due to the way the skin on their faces has stretched.
    • Armin of all characters, pulls one while lying to Bertholt about how Annie is being subjected to torture. It's actually kind of jarring.
    • In chapter 51, Erwin sports one after finding out that titans were once humans. It was so unnerving that even Levi was disturbed by it.
    • Armin also pulls one of these in the second OVA when Jean suggests stealing meat from the commander's office. Makes you wonder how far off the deep end he truly is, doesn't it?
  • Just about everyone in Drifters. It could even be said the heroes do it more than the villains.
  • Kunitoshi Joukyuu, the protagonist of AIKI, loves using these.

     Card Games 

     Comic Books 
  • The "American" vampires in American Vampire do these really, really well.
  • The Joker from Batman had this expression glued on his face. His "Joker Venom" induces the expression in those exposed to it.
    • The literary example, The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo, which is commonly cited as inspiration for The Joker, involves a man whose face is horribly mutilated so that he cannot stop smiling and how his psyche is twisted by this. In order to maintain the grin throughout the movie, actor Conrad Veidt had to get metal hooks in his mouth to pull back his cheeks. Nevertheless, the character is a really nice guy.
    • In Frank Miller's All Star Batman, the Dark Knight himself has one in both his costumed and civilian identity, especially when thinking about his young ward, age 12. Squick.
  • Anti-Hero example: The Midnighter, in The Authority. He loves his job and he isn't afraid to show it in the scariest manner possible.
  • The Juggernaut enjoys his role as an unstoppable engine of destruction.
  • Johnny of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac would usually have one while torturing or killing victims. Mr. Eff and Psychodoughboy had permanent ones because Johnny painted them onto their faces.
  • Judge Death does this all the time as well. Mostly because his lips have rotted off.
  • In Spider-Man, Carnage's alter ego Cletus Kasady has one of these.
    • In fact, symbiotes appear to have some sort of demonic smile on their faces sometimes.
    • In the classic Spider-Man vs. Wolverine, there's a scene where they're duking it out in an East German graveyard. Spider-Man thinks, "I'm hitting him hard enough to wreck cars... and I can't get him to stop smiling..."
  • Mystique in the "Wolverine" story arc "Get Mystique"; just before their final climactic confrontation she strips naked, festoons herself with weapons, puts on a slasher smile and says, "Coma and GET me, Lover!"
  • Wonder Woman villain Doctor Poison has a big creepy smile, pulled up by metal hooks she slips into the corners of her own mouth.
  • From the The Sandman series:
    • The Corinthian has three: he has devouring mouths instead of eyes behind his shades. Fitting, since he's the eidolon (the word eidolon being especially apt here: it connects strongly to concepts such as delusion, idol, spirit, or bogeyman) or archetype dream that inspires and is inspired by Serial Killers.
    • George in "A Game of You".
  • Evil Ernie. And maybe his button.
  • One of the last things you want to see is Ultimate Hawkeye covered in the blood of the squad you sent to subdue him, holding their weapons and grinning into your security camera telling you, "Run", when you are part of the group responsible for his family's murder. Unfortunately for you, it is the one of the last things you're going to see.
  • Bullseye. Yeah, you see that space where he's missing a tooth? That's cause he killed a guy with it.
  • Subverted in an issue of G.I. Joe. Formerly masked gunmen hold a family hostage in a remote house with the result being the authorities are not sure at first who are the hostages and who are the hostage-takers. One of them seems to be grinning maliciously all the time and the footage they have of the masked rampage shows them all grinning like maniacs while gunning down innocent people. So obviously the one with the constant grin is one of the bad guys? Wrong, he's the father of the innocent family caught in the middle, and a veteran who had suffered permanent damage to his facial muscles during active military service.
  • Kid Miracleman from the series of the same name is constantly depicted with this facial expression. The scariest example is probably from the cover of Issue #15 (which can be found in the Image Links)- truly horrifying just from the sheer inhumanity of that grin.
  • Max's default expression.
  • Marv from Sin City makes them all the time.
  • Very often shown by Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolitan.
  • Grimjack sports one whenever he is in a fight. The smile is an involuntary tick that he developed as a child gladiator where he was known as "The Grinner." Also, combat is the only time you ever see him smiling.
  • Pinkie Pie does a face like this in page 9 of Issue 1 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) complete with a "cut/slit throat" gesture.
  • The magically created Batzarro is the opposite of Batman in every way he can be - so since Batman is grim and serious, Batzarro has a wild, fanged smile (and no eyes, making his smile freakier).

     Comic Strips 

     Fan Works 
  • In the 'Jackie Chan Adventures fic Queen Of All Oni, Jade gives one to her Jerkass former classmate Drew.
  • Let's Do The Caramelldansen has the most brilliant description ever. "So Vexen smiled, and it was... a purely evil smile. A MANIACLY evil smile. Take every synonym for 'evil', put them before the word 'smile', and you may even get Vexen's smile. It's hard to comprehend how truly terrifying the smile was. But if Hitler and Big Brother had a child, and that child had a child with Satan, and that child had a child with the child of Voldemort and Darth Vader, and that child were to smile, it would probably the closest you could get to how awfully evil Vexen looked at that moment. (Sorry for that image, people) It could make a serial killer cry." That is how the smile was described, scary huh?
  • When the killer Drew is revealed in the Hannah Montana story I Didn't Sign Up For This, the first thing she does is shoot her accomplice with what is described as "a creepy smile" on her face.
  • In Frozen Hearts, Prince Harken gets one as he's considering whipping his younger brother Hans.

     Film — Animated 
  • The Incredibles: The look on Syndrome's face when he abducts Jack-Jack
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie Boogie constantly and Jack has one as his default.
  • The Other Mother in Coraline does this, particularly towards the end of the movie.
  • Corpse Bride has Barkis Bittern use this constantly cause he's an evil bastard and some of the dead people when they go to the land of the living.
    • Barkis's smile seems more of a Psychotic Smirk — but the rotting dead's grins could definitely qualify, at least when they first arrive.
  • Ratigan of The Great Mouse Detective sports a huge one after he's convinced he's mauled Basil to death.
  • Ursula of The Little Mermaid does this a few times during the final battle. Her alter-ego Vanessa even pulls one off when she throws a pin at a mirror with enough force to knock it back while gloating about her inevitable victory.
  • Gaston sports one at the start of his fight with the Beast in Beauty and the Beast. And yet another after stabbing the Beast in the side.
  • In Ratatouille, Colette's opening Knife Nut sequence to her mentorship of Linguini (and, unknown to her, Remy) is especially scary when she takes on this expression with her question because you know Linguini won't be able to answer it properly.
  • The sirens in Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas give Marina one of these.
  • When he killed Yamagata, Tetsuo let out a rather creepy smile. AKIRA has another good example of when he did this:
  • Pinocchio: The Coachman during his "They never come back as BOYS!" line.
  • The Pebble and the Penguin: The Big Bad Drake constantly sports a Trollface-like smile
  • Tom and Jerry: The Movie: The scene where Doctor Applecheeks steals the ice cream truck.
  • Cera in The Land Before Time gives a pretty big slasher smile when she decides upon seeing what is apparently Sharptooth's corpse to use it as ramming practice. However, a few rams in, she soon discovers that Sharptooth was not quite as dead as she originally thought, and just barely managed to survive to tell the tale.
  • Ed the hyena (and to a much lesser extent, Shenzi, Banzai, and all of the other hyenas) actually gains this type of smile when the hyenas all kill Scar at the end of The Lion King.
    • Scar gives one himself to Zazu when he points out how unhappy Mufasa will be that he didn't show up for Simba's birth ceremony. After he tells him this (as well as forcing Scar to let a mouse, his lunch, escape), Scar sarcastically states "ooh, I quiver with FEAR!", flashing this smile when he says the last word, and then tries to EAT Zazu! Good thing Mufasa showed up right at that moment.
  • Rothbart from The Swan Princess gains one of these near the end after he transforms into The Great Animal for the second time.
  • The Monster Clown that appears in Toaster's dream sequence in The Brave Little Toaster has a big one glued to its face.
  • In The Lorax, at the end of the Villain Song, "How Bad Can I Be", the Once-ler has one after shouting the last lyrics, "HOW BAD CAN THIS POSSIBLY BE?!"
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: When Rourke has a pretty awesome and crazy slasher smile when he tries to kill Milo with a fire axe. You can clearly tell the guy has gone batshit insane.
  • In All Dogs Go to Heaven after Killer, currently trying to do everything he can to get Carface to spare his life, tells him he has a gun they can use to try and kill Charlie (for good) with, Carface breaks into a wide satanic version. And when I said satanic, I meant that literally—- his face (presumably, we're seeing him from Killer's POV) actually proceeds to transform into an actual devil's.
  • Judge Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame have a grin The Joker would be proud of; when he raises his sword to kill Esmeralda and Quasimodo, he believes that he's won, and it shows.
    • He also puts on a brief, but huge and sadistic one shortly after he sets fire to the platform Esmeralda is on when he tries to burn her at the stake.
  • In Frozen, Hans has a villainous smile as he raises his sword to kill Elsa.
  • Homura Akemi herself very, very briefly develops one in Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion as Madokami comes down to receive her to heaven. It serves as a short and extremely unsettling warning that something's about to go horribly wrong, confirmed about thirty seconds later when Homura proceeds to hijack Madoka's powers.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, King Candy/Turbo sports a particularly notable one, in all of his forms.

     Film — Live Action 
  • Tia Dalma from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End sports one in Singapore.
  • The "Here's Johnny!" scene from The Shining. (Alternate Version.)
  • Alex from A Clockwork Orange, whenever he gets deep into the old ultraviolence. (forms at around 1:10)
  • The short horror film Smile revolves around body-snatching beings with hideous grinning faces. It's well worth a watch.
  • Jim Carrey has done this trope in Ace Ventura Pet Detective, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! to demonstrate how remarkable his rubberface really is when it comes to expressions.
  • Natalie Portman unleashes a blood-curdling one in Black Swan while portraying her doppelganger in the bath scene. [1]and[2]
  • The ever lovable late comedian John Candy had this expression on his face in Uncle Buck during the scene where he comes to the bedroom of Tia's "boyfriend" Bug to rescue Tia by drilling a hole through the doorknob, he's also holding a drill and smoking a cigar. Although generally throughout the movie Buck comes out as kind of kooky such as when he asks Tia "How would you like to spend the next several nights wondering if your crazy out of work bum uncle will shave your head while you sleep?" and where he's talking to Tia's boyfriend about burying the hatchet.
    Bug: "Ever hear of a tuneup? Ah-hee-hee-hee-hee!"
    Buck: "Ah-hee-hee-hee-hee! Ever hear of a ritual killing? Ah-hee-hee-hee-hee!"
    Bug: "...I don't get it..."
    Buck: "You gnaw on her face in public like that again and you'll be one. Ah-hee-hee-hee-hee!"
  • In the Tony Jaa movie Tom Yum Goong, or The Protector, one of the many opponents that Tony faces is a Capoeira fighter, who has just attacked a Buddhist temple full of innocent people, set the place ablaze, and then attacks Tony as soon as he arrives to help. What qualifies "Mr. Fake Eddie Gordo" for this trope is the fact that while he fights Tony, he laughs, taunts Tony, and openly toys with him using feints and false moves.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Dr. Frank N Furter has one of these right before he kills Eddie with a pick axe.
  • Donnie Darko, every single time he sees his giant bunny-friend Frank. It's a little creepy, to say the least. No teeth in this one, though.
  • In Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd just after the Pirelli sequence, Sweeney directs one at the Beadle. Scary doesn't even cut it. It's enough to make Jack the Ripper wet his pants. Although, like Donnie above he doesn't bare his teeth, so may overlap with Psychotic Smirk.
  • In Ghostbusters, this, together with a horrifying demon voice, lets Dr. Venkman (and us) know "There is no Dana, only Zuul."
  • Mitsuko from Battle Royale before killing Megumi. The girl at the beginning of the film (the battle's first female winner) has a seriously creepy one too.
  • In Addams Family Values, circumstances force Wednesday to... construct... a smile; the result is so horrific it drives other children to tears.
    Amanda: She's scaring me!
  • The film version of The Man Who Laughs has Conrad Veidt with one of these permanently etched into his face. Considering his best-known role up to that point was a sleepwalking serial killer, the character in this film turned out to be a good deal more sympathetic than one would expect. His smile was the result of a surgical disfiguration. He was actually a pretty nice guy.
  • Mr. Sardonicus took liberal inspiration from the aforementioned The Man Who Laughs with the carved smile, but the character was much less of a sweet guy than Gwynplaine. It was up to the audience to decide whether he was a villain or an Anti-Villain - this being a William Castle film, they were polled, and a different ending would be screened based on whether they thought he should be treated mercifully. They killed him every time, and the mercy ending is probably lost for eternity, assuming it ever existed at all.
  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation has Clark Griswald become somewhat unhinged come the end of the movie as his idea of a "perfect Christmas" gradually disappears; his smile, however, stays.
  • Galaxy Quest also makes use of this trope when Sariss, disguised as Fred, arrives on the command deck to kill off the heroes. It's a very well-played Oh Crap moment.
  • At the end of the third segment of the 1975 made-for-TV movie Trilogy of Terror the eponymous "Amelia" crouches down low in an animalistic manner, hiding in the corner with a carving knife. She stabs at the floor with the weapon, grinning ferally and revealing the horrific teeth of the Zuni doll.
  • In Oldboy, our hero spends 14 years alone in a cell that features a mirror marked with the message "Smile, and the world smiles with you." He practices a smile in the mirror through the years, without any hope or contact with another person, and it becomes quite unsettling. When he's finally released on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, he has occasions to show off his slasher smile while doing pretty horrible things.
  • Chester gives truly creepy smiles like this in D.O.A.
  • Brandt from Equilibrium.
  • Megan Fox displays one at various times in Jennifers Body. Most notably after she first becomes possessed and when she appears in Needy's vision sitting on top of the chair watching her and Chip have sex.
  • In Attack of the Clones, Dooku gives a very mocking, trollish slasher smile just before incapacitating Obi-Wan.
  • Loki gets frighteningly good at these during The Avengers to reflect his more...unhinged mental state since Thor.
    • In the stinger, Thanos has a happy thought. So he smiles.
  • The mask of the killer Smiley sports a stitched and bloody looking one.
  • A velociraptor actually achieves one in Jurassic Park. As it watches two children flee from a kitchen, it bares its front teeth in such a way that it actually seems to be grinning at them.
  • Castor Troy from Face/Off. When Nicolas Cage becomes Sean Archer, he makes one HELL of a slasher smile after taking drugs while seeking refuge at Dietrich's apartment.
  • Man of Steel: Superman, of all people, in battle. So, probably for the best that he rarely smiles the entire film. He does smile normally "at ease".
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark. Toht, even when Dr. Jones threatens to destroy the Ark with a panzerfaust (the German army's bazooka equivalent).
  • In the 2013 remake of Carrie, the eponymous character sports a rather chilling one during her Roaring Rampage of Revenge. It's especially jarring when compared to the 1976 version of the same scene, in which her face remained frozen in a look of shock.
  • The Unknown: Alonzo's rictus grin when he finds out that Nanon and Malabar got married is something to behold.
  • In the second Wishmaster film especially the evil Djinn has a perpetual smile on his face to show his joy at the people he can kill and amusement at their belief they can boss him around (he's in human disguise at the time).
  • In X-Men: First Class, Shaw gives one when he thinks he's convinced Erik to join him.

    Literature 
  • Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events.
  • A few Death Eaters display this, as does Snape on occasion and Voldemort in the Harry Potter series.
  • Coraline: Done by the Other Mother, when she's not busy being a Stepford Smiler.
  • In Robin Jarvis' The Dark Portal, a rat called Smiler had a Slasher Smile on his face all the time...because he'd been rude to his superior as a child, and said superior had cut off his lips.
  • Both Carcer and Mr. Teatime of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books are described as smiling like this all the time. The drawing of Mr. Teatime in The Art of Discworld perfectly illustrates this. Marc Warren does a good job with this in the TV adaptation, too.
    • At one point in Jingo the seriously pissed off "Vimes's grin was as funny as the one that moves very fast towards drowning men. And has a fin on top."
    • Then there's Angua, who at one point must have been smiling because "her mouth was open, and all of her teeth were showing".
  • A rare heroic version: Ivarian Borenson, of The Runelords fantasy novels, is known for his chilling laughter and grin as he fights, which makes him feared even amongst warriors who have far more endowments (strength, stamina, speed, and so on taken from other people) than him. Not so much out of a love for killing, but because it works far better at frightening other people than a war cry, so he got himself into the habit of laughing instead.
  • Lijah Cuu from the Warhammer 40,000: Gaunt's Ghosts novels has one of these. In Straight Silver, it is explicitly noted that "the most evil servants of Chaos would have killed to have a smile that lethal."
    • In the next book, Abnett gives Magister Enok Innokenti (one of the most evil servants of Chaos ) an even better one. His smile is so hideous that it causes physical pain and nausea in humans and his daemonic bodyguard, who has murdered millions can't bear to look at it.
  • The eponymous creature of Edward Gorey's The Wuggly Ump.
  • Professor Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes' arch-enemy from the short story "The Final Problem." Holmes describes that, though Moriarty "smiled and blinked," there was something about the Professor's sunken eyes that made Holmes, a man who was used to danger, very glad to have a revolver with him.
  • In Jack Vance's Dying Earth series, the character Iucounu the "Laughing Magician" perpetually supports one of these providing a clue that his sense of humor is not exactly benevolent
  • Perhaps inspired by the Jack Vance example, Steven Brust's novel Five Hundred Years After has the court wizard as a minor character and he is similarly described as always smiling creepily and chuckling in a questionably sane manner.
  • The Name of the Wind: Cinder of the Chandrian, an Evil Albino, has a smile that is described as "the expression a nightmare wore."
  • The huge, catlike Kzinti of Larry Niven's Known Space universe instinctively show their teeth when they feel a certain way. That way is not happy.
  • From Alice in Wonderland:
    "How cheerfully he seems to grin!
    How neatly spread his claws
    And welcomes little fishes in
    with gently smiling jaws!"
  • Mr. Grin from the Alex Rider book Stormbreaker.
  • Jaime Lannister of A Song of Ice and Fire recalls in his youth facing a particularly brutal and psychotic fighter known as 'The Smiling Knight'. 3 guesses why he is named that. Luckily even a slasher smile is no match for Ser Arthur 'The Sword in the Morning' Dayne and his greatsword Dawn.
  • The Hellebore family from the Tad Williams book The War of the Flowers liked these. Anton Hellebore was described as having a smile like someone who'd learned it from a book, Lord Hellebore one with absolutely no good feelings in it, and the Terrible Child had one like someone pulling up the corners of a corpse's mouth.
  • Creepy caretaker Heimertz from the Edgar & Ellen series has a constant slasher smile. During the Tv adaptation it is shown that he has had this smile since he was a child.
  • Older Than Print: Skarphéđinn Njálsson has one in Brennu-Njáls Saga. "And he grinned." is a common phrase in the story that implies that something really bad is about to go down.
  • Randall Flagg/The Dark Man, is described as having a grin of such good cheer and jolliness which comes across however as so unsettling the human mind seems to block it out.
    • Also from The Stand (where King first writes about Flagg) is Harold. Most of the other survivors in Boulder just see him as a Stepford Smiler... but the slightly damaged child Leo sees things a little differently.
    It's like there are worms behind his eyes, and they're eating his brain and making him smile like that.
  • Jame, the heroine of P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath series, smiles like this, and it is very, very bad news. It signifies the depths of her darkness, and the author said, "In a way, everything about Jame grew out of that chilling smile."
  • In the Kate Daniels series, Kate is trying to enlist a man's cooperation with her plan to hunt down and kill the people who have hurt her friend.
    I gave him a smile. I was aiming for sweet, but he turned a shade paler and scooted a bit farther away from me. Note to self: work more on sweet and less on psycho-killer.
  • Rictus in Clive Barker's The Thief of Always at first seems to be a harmless goofball who's always got a big, cheesy grin on his face - until the dark side of the Holiday House (his employer) makes itself known, and his smile becomes terrifying (if Harvey Swick had read his dictionary, he'd know that a "rictus" is the grin of a skull).
  • In some of the X-Wing Series and any other appearances written by Aaron Allston, Wedge Antilles has often been known to smile like this - actually, while it can be assumed that he's got normal smiles, almost any time the narration says he's smiling it's this trope. Humorless, feral. He gives it to politicians when he sees through what they say to what they mean and most often to enemies he's about to shoot down.
    • In the same books, "Runt" Ekwesh (being non-human) has a facial structure that even a friendly smile is described as looking like a prelude to a biting attack. He's keenly aware of this and takes full advantage of it when he wants to be menacing.
    • Legacy of the Force has Wedge shocked and taken aback by being discharged - Wedge, who was sixty and had been in service since the age of twenty - then realizing that people are going to try to kill him. The thought is so familiar that it steadies and reassures him, and he's able to flash someone a smile "suggesting that he was a rancor and they were made of meat".
  • Sometimes it's a matter of perception. In Alan Dean Foster's The Damned trilogy, the first encounter between the multiracial alien alliance's and humans highlights the differences between them and us when the human, Will Dulac, first bats the gun out of the hand of the nearest alien scout out of a self-defense reflex, then offering a handshake and smiling when he realized they weren't hostile. The sudden reflexive strike nearly broke the scout's hand, and the smile confuses and alarms them as they wonder why baring one's teeth could ever be considered a friendly gesture. They also didn't get the handshake.
  • Similarly played in David Brin's Uplift War when an allied alien found it disturbing that humans bared their teeth and bark when amused.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "A Witch Shall Be Born", Constantius does this while watching the guard be slaughtered and crucifying Conan.
  • Geralt of Rivia is frequently said to be "smiling nastily," usually either to intimidate or show his supreme disdain for an idea or position that he's been put in.
  • Gwynplaine from The Man Who Laughs, as touched upon under the examples of The Joker and Mr. Sardonicus.
  • The Steel Inquisitors from Mistborn are exceptionally brutal enforcers of the Empire, and the chilling grins they have when going about their work are frequently remarked on. Anti-Hero Kelsier, leader of the rebellion, also smiles a lot because it's a way of proving that he's not beaten down, but from the point of view of his enemies (to whom he has little to no mercy) it comes off like this.
  • Vlad Dracula in Count and Countess. Every time he's about to kill someone with his artificially sharpened teeth, he grins at them first, just to give them a preview of what's to come.
  • In Devon Monk's Allie Beckstrom novel Magic in the Blood the villain does this while making demands on Allie.
  • Nathan in Kill time or die trying does this inadvertently; it's just how he naturally smiles.
  • Portia Hoechst, in Charles Stross's Iron Sunrise, is described as having this by several other characters, both good and evil, in the novel.
  • Skeeter Traps from Chronicles Of Magic is known for sporting these, despite being a ten year-old girl. Combined with the fact that she can kill grown men three times her size, it makes her pretty scary.

     Live Action TV  
  • Male Yandere Masato Kusaka from Kamen Rider Faiz does this when he's about to Murder the Hypotenuse.
  • Oz: Displayed among the characters like Shillinger, Adebisi, the Aryans, Timmy Kirk, Claire Howell, etc. Manipulative Bastard Chris Keller and Ryan have done this too. Even Beecher, when he was crazy in Season 2.
  • An episode of Xena: Warrior Princess flashes back to the point in her past where Xena went from ruthless but otherwise sane and rational warlord to utterly psychotic rampager; she has one of these grins on her face when she snaps a Roman soldier's neck, but it's her eyes that are the most disturbing.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • The Gentlemen of the episode "Hush" wear these for the entirety of their appearance. And they never talk, despite gesturing at each other as if they were talking. The entire effect is ridiculously creepy.
    • The Gnarl, a skin-eating creature shown in "Same Time, Same Place", pulls this off chillingly. The smile is combined with a childlike personality, and it speaks in singsong, like it's telling nursery rhymes.
    • Der Kindestod in season 2 who eats up kids' life force by pinning them down, extending horrible little pipes from his eyes and sucking the energy out of their foreheads, while they screamed helplessly under him.
    • The First does this as it's impersonating Cassie.
    • Angelus, Spike, Warren, and Buffy herself. She flashes a pretty smile to a group of bullies. Given some think she is crazy, others remember she burnt down her previous school's gym, and is on record for being a multiple murder suspect, is enough to make them back off.
  • In "Mirror, Mirror" from Star Trek: The Original Series, Mirror Chekhov pulls one of these right before the commercial break when he momentarily has Kirk at his mercy:
    Mirror Chekhov: "So, keptin, you die... and ve all move up in rank. No vun vill qvestion the assessination of a keptin who has disobeyed prime Starfleet orders!"
  • A particularly lame episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation has Data practicing his dance moves on the Holodeck while wearing an extremely disturbing, frozen rictus-like smile.
    • Gowron, on the other hand, mastered this trope and showed it off in almost every appearance.
  • In the Enzyte Commercials, Smilin' Bob has one of the most unnatural smiles ever seen in an advertisement. It's not MEANT to be a Slasher Smile, but still... BRRR!
  • Scorpius of Farscape fame is infamous for these during his Crowning Moments of Awesome - accompanied by his black gums and needle-sharp teeth.
  • Not uncommon on The League of Gentlemen, it being the horror filling station that it is. Most notably used by Papa Lazarou (who combines a nasty, clownish grin with yellow teeth) and Hilary Briss (whose smile really does not reach his eyes).
  • In the British TV series Jekyll the main character's Hyde persona is equipped with a frightening one. It's currently the page illustration.
  • The Big Bang Theory's Sheldon has a particularly disturbing smile that prompts his friends to say they're there to congratulate their friend, not kill Batman.
  • Reba: Van's "winning smile" is incredibly creepy, and he's completely oblivious to it.
    • Van calls it a "killer smile." Reba's description is a lot more accurate.
    Reba: Van, that's not a killer smile, that's the smile of a killer.
  • Twin Peaks: BOB, and by proxy Leland Palmer.
  • The killer at the end of the Criminal Minds episode "Lucky".
  • Miranda Hobbes on Sex and the City does one of these when she "fakes a sonogram" (i.e., fakes wild excitement during a sonogram of a child about which she's not quite happy, yet).
  • Played for laughs in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Will and Cartlon know that when Uncle Phil smiles and laughs uncontrollably, he's about to explode.
  • Jessica from True Blood usually makes one of these whenever she is hungry and sees a guy she wants for dinner. However instead of being scary, it makes her look incredibly cute.
  • Dr. Cox in Scrubs is very good at making these, a number of them occurring in J.D.'s Imagine Spots.
  • Evil!Tommy got in one or two good ones during the "Green With Evil" saga of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
    • Sky (or rather, the evil alien that swapped bodies with him) did a few of these during the episode "Recognition."
  • The Stand: Randall Flagg
  • Once Upon a Time's Captain Hook pulls off one of these after swearing revenge on his "crocodile." It is hot.
  • Toby of the Doctor Who episode "The Impossible Planet" sports a nasty one while possessed by The Beast.
    • The Master often wears this expression. In his last story, Ainley!Master had fangs to boot. Simm!Master perfected a dishonest politician's smile in his first episodes. After that, he got even creepier.
    • As did Davros in his moment of triumph in the 4th series. Well, NEAR-triumph.
    • Also done by the ninth Doctor when he meets the "alleged" last Dalek in the universe. Thing is, it's armour is completely shut down except for its voice and eyepiece, so what does the Doctor do but give a slasher smile and attempt to "exterminate" the Dalek.
    • The Fourth Doctor generally sticks to the Cheshire Cat Grin, but he does this, usually when he's pretending to be evil or bluffing about how dangerous he is - like his I Am He as You Are He gambit in "Meglos". Or occasionally when he actually is being violent, like when he snaps a man's neck in "The Seeds of Doom".
  • Game of Thrones, Season 3, Episode 4: Viewers, meet Ramsay Bolton
  • Sherlock Holmes delivers a rather disturbing one in "The Sign of Three."
  • Garrett has one on full display just before he gets vaporized by Coulson on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
  • The Israeli skit show The Chamber Quintet, after the Real Life Gut Punch of Prime Minister Yitzkhak Rabin’s assassination and Benjamin Netanyahu being voted prime minister for the first time, aired this skit, featuring a monologue by assassin Yig'al ‘Amir about how the political climate in Israel will take a sharp turn to the extreme, nationalistic right over the course of 20 years, intermittently giving a particularly chilling one. Made worse by the fact that the prophecies in the skit have already partially come true.

    Music 
  • Michael Jackson turns to the camera with cat eyes and a creepy smile at the end of his Thriller music video.
  • One of the detective's other selves in the music video for Blind Guardian's "Another Stranger Me." The band's singer also has a Slasher Smile at one point.
  • "The Guy," the mascot of the metal band Disturbed, is always depicted with this (always.)
  • Danny Elfman practically made a living doing this in the 70's and 80's. There's hardly any Oingo Boingo music video (or film, for that matter) in which he doesn't spend a few seconds scaring the living crap out of the audience. Overly obnoxious talk show hosts occasionally got the silent treatment from him, combined with a trademark psychotic grin.
  • And then there's... well, everyone but the band in the video for Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun".
  • In The Birthday Massacre's song Happy Birthday ( 3 guesses as to what it's about), there's the lines:
    • I think my friend said, "Don't forget the video." / I think my friend said, "Don't forget to smile."
  • Motörhead has a song about this trope called "Smiling Like a Killer."
    "Go to bed, lock the door,
    don't look in the mirror,
    what if I was right behind you,
    SMILING LIKE A KILLER?"
  • The more disturbing of the Vocaloid music videos feature this, such as the chainsaw-happy "nurse" and the demented victims in the "Dark Woods Circus" series (you can even see a disembodied Slasher Smile behind the flap of the circus tent), and Miku in "Circle you" right before she cleaves you in half with a machete , at the moment when you least expect it. it will most likely catch you off guard.
  • The cover of Aphex Twin's Richard D. James Album.
  • Technical thrash metal band Coroner have a song entitled "Grin (Nails Hurt)" off the aptly titled "Grin" album, which itself features a pretty sadistic grin.
    Nails in my brain, all that's left just
    Grin
    Grin 'til I lose
    Until I lose myself
  • The video for David Bowie's "Valentine's Day" consists of just about nothing but David playing guitar while making a Slasher Smile at the camera.

    Pinball 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Randy Orton doesn't smile often, but when he does....
  • Batista could be like this as well, both as a face and as a heel.
  • Kane too. Bonus points for not needing to smile to look scary.
  • Beth Phoenix is the rare Diva who is able to smile evilly without making it look the least bit sexy. (Okay, maybe a little....)
  • Chris Benoit. Especially unnerving, considering what happened to him.

    Tabletop Games 

    Theatre 

    Toys 

     Video Games 
  • Ao. Oni.
  • Hihidaruma/Darmanitan from Pokémon Black and White. Just think about what is going through its mind.
  • Slightly subverted in American McGee's Alice: The Cheshire Cat had this expression (it's significantly scarier than the Cheshire Cat Grin his other incarnations wore), but he was one of the few allies the player has in the game, and he never attacks Alice. Still, when he appeared and disappeared grin-first, followed by his crazy eyes, it was prime horror. It was never quite clear whether he was as mad as a box of frogs, or frighteningly sane. Considering the game takes the idea about Wonderland as a construct of Alice's mind to it's conclusion by making Alice batshit insane herself either possibility ends in horror.
    • Alice herself demonstrates one near the end of the game's trailer.
  • Kurow Kirishima of Rival Schools has perfected this trope.
  • A picture of B.J. doing this represents the difficulty rating "I am Death Incarnate" on Wolfenstein 3D, which was carried on to the Uber difficulty in Wolfenstein: The New Order.
  • The Doom guy makes this expression when he picks up a new weapon.
  • In the opening of Suikoden II, Luca Blight has one of the most frighteningly evil Slasher Smiles imaginable, bordering on horror (a look that he keeps consistent throughout the game) and isn't just holding an axe or a knife, he's holding a decapitated head.
  • Normally, Akuma in Street Fighter is a Perpetual Frowner. On the occasions he becomes Shin Akuma, however, his face twists into a horrific grin.
    • Adon also has a permanent one, although he's actually a subversion because aside from the evil grin, he's not insane or Ax-Crazy.
    • The not so well known variant of Ken, known as Violent Ken, has one permanently plastered on his face. His altered nonchalant sounding voice and relaxed fighting stance makes him even creepier. His best attack involves screaming like a psychopath and panting heavily at the end just to seal the deal.
  • Magaki in The King of Fighters XI has a terrible smile frozen on his face the entire time you fight him.
  • Two bosses in Wario Land 4, Cractus and Spoiled Rotten, twist their faces into grotesque, rabid grins after they've been hit several times. The freakiness is magnified by the fact that their heads alone take up more of the screen than Wario does.
  • Two characters in Drakengard display this: Caim, the dark and vicious Anti-Hero, and Arioch, the Ax-Crazy Action Girl.
  • Kefka, from Final Fantasy VI, has a sprite with No Mouth much of the time, but you just know he's sporting one of these.
  • The Horseless Headless Horsemann from Team Fortress 2 has one of these carved into his jack o' lantern head, as well as on his huge ax.
  • Jackle in NiGHTS Into Dreams is constantly wearing one plastered over his otherwise invisible face. You kind of get the picture that he's absolutely insane, because just adding that evil cackle... *shudder*
  • Sweet Tooth of Twisted Metal, and in fact most monster clowns.
    • Calypso from the same series might apply if you count most of the endings for Twisted Metal 2.
  • The Heaven Smile creatures from Killer7 have these all the time. This, combined with their freaky laughter, makes them horrifying for many players.
    • All that concept art where Dan Smith does it.
  • Baraka from Mortal Kombat perpetually has a deranged, fanged one that distorts his entire face. This, along with his glowing cat-eyes, can be a bit distracting to some players.
  • The Happy Mask Salesman of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask almost always combines this with Eyes Always Shut. When he stops smiling and his eyes open, he shows his other expression: unimaginable rage. The Link Elegy of Emptiness statue also has it.
    "So why don't you go polish up that train of yours? Not that it matters much..." *insert smile* "The thing will be useless before long..."
  • Emil of Tales of Symphonia gets one of these during his Devil's Hellfire Mystic Arte. Made all the more disturbing since Emil (outside of Ratatosk mode) is normally a milquetoast to rival Charlie Brown himself.
    • Alice from the same game appears to have this as well. The way she occasionally switches from her typical smiley expressions to her evil-/scary-looking one in a single instant is so creepy it makes her bear an uncanny resemblance to a certain aforementioned mask salesman...
  • Alexei from Tales of Vesperia displays one in his cut-in just before the climax of his Brilliant Cataclysm mystic arte.
  • Barbatos Goetia displays a very unsettling one for his "No Items Ever!" mystic arte in the PS2 remake of Tales of Destiny.
  • The little ghosts that appear mostly in Pumpkin Hill, and dotted around other stages in Sonic Adventure 2 each have a rather creepy, fanged, smile.
  • Karel of Fire Emblem is an Anti-Hero with this. He's also something of an Ax-Crazy guy, considering he both constantly talks about loving to kill and he also murdered his whole family so he could get a sword. By the way, he looks like this [3].
  • The Chrysalids (UFO Wiki link) from X-COM.
    • Similarly, their masters, the Snakemen, have a wicked toothy smile. But then again, they don't have any visible lips.
  • The Replica assassins (image link) from F.E.A.R.
    • Paxton Fettel has one of these plastered on his face almost constantly.
  • The Yume Nikki fangame .flow has some of these, as shown in this walk-around video (video link) — for example, there are quite a few shark-toothed, bloody-grinning white blob things (whose faces are otherwise featureless) in the area first entered at 1:20, and the painting at 15:14 is of a surreal abstract line-art slasher smile.
    • There are also at least two places in .flow where the walls are made of those slasher-smiling white things, their mouths open even wider, and in one place it looks like their skins are strung up with the smiles still in the middle... even worse, the entrances to these places are the mouths of the white creatures. There's a video of these areas, too (video link) — one of the areas is entered first at 1:11, and more of it and the second area are shown starting at 7:40.
    • When the re-occurring character known as 'Smile' is struck with the steel pipe, he gets one of these. After the event occurs, Smile will grin every time you pull out the pipe in front of him... (for the morbidly curious, here's the recorded event: video link
  • Ax-Crazy pre-Heel-Face Turn Maverick Zero, as seen before the climax of Mega Man X4. And fitting, since he's built for the sole purpose of destroying the world.
  • Vanitas, once you finally see him without the helmet in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, is rather good at these. (WARNING: both images are major spoilers.)
    • Several kinds of heartless have permanent smiles plastered on their faces.
  • In Persona 3, the Thirteenth Shadow of the Death Arcana ( Nyx Avatar) sports a mask which is nothing but a pair of hollows for eyes and an immense grinning mouth; this is in contrast to other Major Arcana Shadows, whose masks are either inhuman or emotionless. Ironically, it spends most of the fight speaking in a defeated-sounding monotone.
    • Makoto himself gets a pretty nasty smile the first time he summons his persona, which isn't helped by the gruesome summoning method.
    • The real killer in Persona 4, Adachi, sports one of these when chased into the TV world. He gets a new one in The Golden if you complete his social link and become his accomplice.
  • For the main Shin Megami Tensei games, the cover for Shin Megami Tensei IV has Walter sporting one of these.
    • Issachar also suddenly sports one of these when he begins to turn into a demon.
  • Certain levels in WET has a random mook charging Rubi, who promptly shoots them. Blood sprays onto her face, which triggers Rage Mode and she wears a psychotically evil slasher smile throughout the level.
  • Scarlet from Silent Hill: Homecoming.
  • The fairy queen in the fake ending cutscene of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, revealing that Zero-Two is still possessing her.
  • A heroic (and utterly strange) example is Daxter. The reason it's strange is that he's a goofy wisecracking sidekick with a bit of badass thrown in. Only shown off in-game by his Superpowered Evil Side. Every other time, it's part of an HD image promoting Jak X.
  • Goblins wear these in the Warcraft series. The Goblin Shredder pilot has a particularly mad grin.
    • Another, arguably better-known example can be found in Arthas Menethil after he becomes the Lich King. In almost every piece of official artwork where his face is clearly visible, he is generally shown wearing a grin that is in no way healthy. In fact, this seems to be his stock expression whenever he isn't wearing his helmet.
  • Matt Engarde shows a particularly disturbing one when you make him show his true colors in the second Ace Attorney game.
    • In Investigations Shih-na gets a bit of one when unmasked as one of the villains before eventually going on to a full-blown Higurashi-style Evil Laugh.
      • As does Manfred von Karma, although it's only slightly creepy unless you know that he murdered Edgeworth's father. AAI doesn't specifically spell it out, most likely to avoid spoiling those who haven't played the original game, but to those in the know it's creepy.
  • In Dragon Age, both hurlocks and genlocks sport permanent Slasher Smiles and it's arguable that Shrieks also have one.
  • Hot Coldman, in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, constantly smiles rather psychotically during his appearances. In fact, outside of being the man who set The Boss up or The baldie, probably the most recognizable characteristic of his is the smile.
    • Vamp does this a lot too.
    • The fake Colonel from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, during his conversation with Raiden nearing the end of the game, occasionally gives off a Glasgow-esque grin (akin to Heath Ledger's Joker character or Dissidia's redesign of Kefka Palazzo.). Justified, as during these occasions, the Colonel's face often takes a form resembling a skull.
    • Jetstream Sam's introduction scene in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance comes with one of these. It just looks wrong on several levels, Uncanny Valley inclusive, but this is probably intentional to add an additional sense of unease to him.
    • Raiden also sports several in the same game, after reawakening his Jack the Ripper persona.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3, Colonel Volgin flashes quite a lot of these, usually before cheerfully committing acts of depraved cruelty and evil. His most memorable slasher smiles occur when he nukes his own country just for the hell of it, when he sees that Snake has lost bladder control because of how intensely he's being tortured, while saying "Yes! Yes! ''That's'' what I want to see!" His other most memorable one is when he controls the Shagohod, and, while laughing maniacally, mows down his own men, again, seemingly just because he can. A lot of these traits are why Volgin is one of the few villans in the Metal Gear franchise to have next to no fans who sympathize with him, because he has no Freudian Excuse, no underlying issues, other than an extreme and insatiable sadism.
  • In BlazBlue, Jin gets to sport one of these whenever he's around Ragna.
    • In the sequel we have Hazama/Terumi who's smile is perfectly fitting for his batshit insane personality. Especially on the Japanese audio track.
  • Dimentio in Super Paper Mario is heavily implied to have a constant smile especially when committing very atrocious acts such as murder.
  • Rajan shows one in Sly 2: Band Of Thieves before the title card for "The Predator Awaits" episode, (and for the picture for the chapter) Dimitri shows one to a lesser extent at the end of his intro scene, along with crazy ass eyes.
  • Schwartz, the protagonist of the second generation in Agarest Senki 2 sports this when he is about to kick someone's ass all over the place.
  • Red Savarin of Solatorobo gets an absolutely crazy one when The Order is given. His usual upbeat, happy-yet-stubborn demeanor means it's even creepier.
  • Barthandelus, Big Bad of Final Fantasy XIII, sports one of these at all times in his true form as a fal'Cie. In his first battle, he even has an attack called "Thanatosian Smile", which later gets upgraded to "Thanatosian Laughter".
  • In Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, any crow enemy will always have a massive one on its mug.
    • Likewise, this extends to all the bosses too, save for Dark Raven and maybe Dark Corvo.
  • Haunting Ground: Daniella (The Maid) spends a lot of her screen-time doing this, or laughing rather... interestingly. See for yourself.
  • Brad Kilstein in Psychic Force tends to sport this, especially when his 'sadistic killer side' emerges. Which is... most of the time.
  • When Haseo awakens his Skeith Avatar in .Hack//G.U. volume one he's revealed to be wearing one after he summons Skeith's scythe and prepares to use it to slaughter Bordeaux and her lackeys.
  • Master Contra from Neo Contra.
  • Found on one of the last fictional characters you'd expect in Epic Mickey. Should you decide to take the troublemaker path with Mickey himself, he'll begin to crouch low and sport one of these grins, looking all the more like a rat than a mouse in the process.
  • Doctor Minoru Kamiya in Yu Yu Tokubetuhen flashes one of these when using his scalpel attack.
  • Dedede of all characters manages a surprisingly creepy one in the intro for gourmet race
  • The Big Bad of Ghost Trick, Yomiel, wears one of these when he is first encountered. It's made especially unnerving by the fact that he looks identical to the main character Sissel.
  • Oblio of Dance Central when dancing "Body Movin" gives a smile that's just scary.
  • The Super Mutants in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas have a permanent grinning expression.

    Visual Novels 
  • The dragon in Dra Koi has a slasher smile for her default smile. The protagonist kind of hates it, even in the good ending.
  • Kotonoha, in the one of the bad endings of School Days. The one where she kills Sekai, more specifically
    • Sekai also gets one in another of the bad endings when she kills Kotonoha.
  • Gilgamesh of Fate/stay night shows off a particularly disturbing one of these after making the Holy Grail manifest in the U.B.W. story route. For a 'yippee, destruction and fire!' variant, watch the activation of his best Noble Phantasm, or get an eyeful of this image.
  • In Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, Clover has one in the Axe Ending.
  • Corpse Party has several. There's possessed Ayumi, Kizami, Sachiko, and the shadowy creature at the end of Chapter One (if it catches you)... who turns out to be Sachiko's mother.

     Web Comics 

     Web Original 

     Western Animation 
  • The twin kittens in Best Ed give these all the time, the only time they DROP their smile is at Buddy the Squirrel, who gives an Oh Crap moment whenever they do.
  • William Dunbar, of all people in Code Lyoko displays this while in Lyoko while possessed by XANA after the ending of the third season. This is helped by the fact that he is given a BFS to use as weapon while backed up by Monsters.
  • Fred in the Courage the Cowardly Dog episode "Freaky Fred".
  • Many cartoon sharks grin at their victims as they sneak up from behind. For instance, the Finding Nemo promotional posters featured a blood-crazed Bruce looming over Dory and Marlin.
  • Invader Zim typically dons one of these before unleashing doom on the Puny Earthlings, more-likely-than-not followed by an Evil Laugh.
  • Chuck Jones' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! has the eponymous character grow one that takes up most of his face when he gets the "wonderful, awful idea!" to steal Christmas.
  • Psycho, aka "Smiley," The Dragon from Max Steel.
  • Mr. Crocker from The Fairly OddParents is an expert in these kinds of smiles. That grin is made even funnier when it shatters. Complete with a sound of breaking glass.
  • Vendetta from Making Fiends has shown one out of aggression and frustration in the episode Super Evil.
  • Duncan from Total Drama shows these from time to time. More so in the second season.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Azula's iconic Psychotic Smirk gradually morphs into one of these over the course of the last few episodes of the series.
    • Her father, Firelord Ozai, also sports one in the finale when he's attempting to burn down the entire Earth Kingdom.
  • Pinkie Pie gives us an absolutely terrifying example in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Party of One".
    • Later on in Season 2's "Lesson Zero", Twilight Sparkle's Sanity Slippage results in a rapidly-worsening succession of disturbing Unsmiles. Taken out of context, these can result in some severe horror. This is probably the most famous "smile" she gives.
    • Discord from Season 2 also gives a nice one when he pretty much Force Chokes the mane cast.
    • Then there's Princess Cadence Actually an impostor in "A Canterlot Wedding, Part 1" when she imprisons Twilight Sparkle.
    • Trixie gives a nice one in the beginning of "Magic Duel".
    • Rarity gives a pretty good one in Inspiration Manifestation when she shows off her new dress line she made while under the influence of the eponymous spell.
  • During his mental breakdowns Ren of The Ren & Stimpy Show would often sport one of these.
  • Kim Possible herself sported one of these at the end of her movie, right after she kicked Shego into a high-voltage electrical tower to what seems to be her death, crushed under said tower. However, she survives, frizzled and still smoking from the electrical shock, but without any major injuries. The shot showing this originally wasn't present, which made it look like Shego was killed. Test audiences were horrified, leading to the inclusion of the shot where she and Drakken are arrested and taken to jail.
    • She also flashes one to Drakken before flattening him (and not for the first time) as well as to Jim and Tim when she thinks of the idea of soccer being a contact sport, when she thinks of using her Super Speed in Queen Bebe, and maybe a few other instances. And she's the good guy.
  • Sponge Bob Square Pants wins a prize. He waits for it at the mailbox for an impossibly long time. He finally gets it, and it turns out to be a toy. Patrick, his idiot starfish friend, "breaks" it. Spongebob just has a frozen smile on his face as he looks down at it. The smile stays on the entire following conversation:
    SpongeBob & Patrick: It's beautiful. (Patrick touches it and its springs pop out)
    Patrick: SpongeBob?
    SpongeBob: I waited so long...
    Patrick: SpongeBob?
    SpongeBob: And you broke it...
    Patrick: You okay, buddy?
    SpongeBob: Yes, yes I'm okay.
    Patrick: (sighs) For a sec, I...
    SpongeBob: YOU! YOU RUINED MY FREE TOY!!!
    • Also, "I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU, PATRICK!!"
  • The Joker, in all of his appearances. His good guy counterpart gets one of these in Brave and the Bold, too.
  • Legion Of Superheroes: in the episode "Cry Wolf" Timber Wolf did this showing us that he was under the nanite's influence
  • ReBoot's Hexadecimal had many masks with different emotions, with which she expressed herself, but her Slasher Smile mask is arguably the most (in)famous of all. Scarcely an episode went by without her using it at least once, and she always insisted on sticking her face right up against the camera when she used it.
    • In the season 2 finale Megabyte gives one to Bob before launching him into a web portal.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes: Heloise, being Heloise, is prone to these. It's strangely adorable on her.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Eddy's Older Brother gives a particularly creepy one of these in The Movie.
    • In a more comedic example, The Kanker Sisters were prone to these too.
    • So was Sarah.
    • And Eddy whenever he's cooking up a scam.
    • Kevin too, right before he'd beat up one of the Eds.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: The Delightful Children alternate between giving slasher smiles, psychotic smirks, or just smiling calmly. And yes, it's creepy.
  • Raven from Teen Titans dons one of these in "Nevermore", when her emotions and power go out of control.
  • Combined with The Looney Tunes Show song "We Are in Love", it might be hard to look at Lola the same way anymore.
  • The Grim Reaper in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes flashes one of these whenever he's about to fight someone. (Or whenever he's beaten them.)
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, Green Goblin possesses one that is quite creepy combined with his Evil Laugh and Sadistic One-Liners.
  • Near the end of an episode of Family Guy, New Brian actually does give this when he tells Stewie of him using Rupert the Teddy Bear for his pleasure, giving out the most evil slasher smile he ever gave.
    • Stewie gives one in "A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas" when he gets his picture taken with Santa.
  • Angelica of Rugrats would sometimes indulge in one of these.
  • Danny Phantom villain Dark Danny does this quite frequently - it's part of his charm. Vlad Plasmius also gives us one from time to time when he's feeling especially deranged, but he mostly sticks to his Psychotic Smirk.
  • Wayne Cramp of The Cramp Twins has this as a default expression.
  • Try to name someone in The Venture Bros. who hasn't done one yet.
  • Kevin 11 did this very often in the original Ben 10. He stopped doing this after reforming in Alien Force... Then starts doing it again in season 1 of Ultimate Alien after being turned insane again.

    Other 

     Real Life 
  • Actor Jack Black can be seen with these in a wide number of photos.
  • The "literally smiling from ear to ear" disfigurement smile as evidenced by characters such as Kakihara in Ichi the Killer, Gwynplaine (of the aforementioned The Man Who Laughs), and The Dark Knight's Joker is commonly referred to as a "Glasgow smile" and is not a terribly uncommon humiliation injury by gangs. The actor Tommy Flanagannote  sports one of these courtesy of being jumped outside a pub in his younger days.
    • In Japan, legends abound of the kuchisake-onna (口裂け女), a female onryou with a surgical mask to conceal it and who is hellbent on returning the favor to every male she accosts around sundown
  • Jack Nicholson.
    • "Heeeeeeere's Johnny!" (that tends to happen when you play those roles).
    • With new Joker brand I get a grin again and again and again.
  • Cillian Murphy. When he smiles all the cherubic androgyny disappears, and only the creepiness remains. Something about the emptiness of the eyes contributes to the effect.
    • Someone hasn't gone to Google—when he smiles naturally, he looks Adorkable.
  • Lon Chaney was a master of this both in and out of makeup.
  • Michael Fassbender. There's a reason everyone on the Internet thinks he's a shark.
  • This kind of smile may have a long history. Among chimpanzees, smiling is a fear or aggression behavior. Maybe it was the same for our ancestors.
  • Canines tend to "smile" right before they bite someone. Thus the phrase "never trust a smiling wolf" (or coyote, jackal, etc as the region may require).
  • When you're an animal, showing off your teeth is more-or-less baring your weapon.
    • This arguably makes humans a Proud Warrior Race with weapons in the form of words.
    • Smiling too widely is a good way to unsettle a fencing opponent. A US Olympic saber team apparently got their teeth made all shiny - so the grin would show through the mesh?
    • Which is why you're instructed not to bare your teeth when dealing with horses. Horses are prey, and bared teeth might scare them into running away, and in case you didn't know, they're big.
  • Dolphins. Don't be fooled by their adorable appearance, they're psychotic killers.
  • Great White Sharks, the serial killers of the ocean. They actually stalk their prey, just like a serial killer — or like any natural predator.
  • Pittsburgh Steeler receiver Hines Ward is known for two things. The first is blocks so vicious and they made a new rule to try to keep him from hurting people. The second is almost always smiling. No matter how hard he gets hit, or how hard he hits someone, he gets up smiling like a lunatic.
  • Mug shot of the Tucson, AZ shooter, Jared Loughner, who killed six people and injured fourteen.
  • Josef Mengele's smile, as seen here, is an absolutely horrifying example if you know of the abominable things he did.
  • Cult leader and sexual deviant David Berg's slasher smile never seemed to leave his face. Makes you shudder and want to punch him at the same time.
  • Marlon Brando, as seen here. (He looks like he might have been told by the makeup artist to grin so that the artist knows which facial wrinkles to highlight. Still looks freaky.)
  • Joe Biden smiles a lot: a nice smile, on the whole. But in this smile, as he explains why we have the Geneva Convention,note  there's nothing but pure distilled rage. And Nightmare Fuel.
    To protect my son in the military. That's why we sign these treaties.
  • Shirley Phelps tends to wear this expression during interviews.
  • Snakes are a semi-example; they don't actually smile, but many look like they have a closed-mouthed smile. Both the green and black mamba have this face, and they are not nice snakes at all. Of course, if they open their mouth, things just get worse.
  • Crocodilians. Crocodiles in particular have interlocking teeth which makes it look like they are grinning.


Sideways SmileSmile TropesSmug Smiler
Cheshire Cat GrinPerpetual ExpressionDull Surprise
Shattered SanityMadness TropesStalker Shrine
Single TearOlder Than PrintSnake Pit
Real Men Hate SugarGender Dynamics IndexThe Stoic
Epic FailOverdosed TropesBigger Bad
JekyllImageSource/Live-Action TVJeopardy!
Skeletons in the Coat ClosetObviously EvilStupid Evil
Skyscraper CityAdded Alliterative AppealSleeper Starship

alternative title(s): Evil Grin
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