Sliding Scale of Beauty
While in Real Life the concept of beauty is very subjective, in fiction there is a clear consensus on beauty. In addition beauty tends to be dynamic, as some characters get uglier or more beautiful than before. This scale is to show how beautiful someone is to the rest of the cast, not to the audience (differences happen). Please note that this isn't a meta trope, nor a subjective trope. All beauty should be measured as it is portrayed inside the story. Related to I Just Want to Be Beautiful.
Sliding Scale of Beauty
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Level I: Divine Level Beauty
Level I: Divine Level BeautyFor these people, "gorgeous" would be an insult. Their beauty is so great, it appears to be nothing short of divine intervention (and it may well be). They might attract heterosexuals of the same gender. They are so beautiful, in fact, that everyone loses control of themselves simply by looking at them. You could stare at them for hours. Just the fact of a character's being hot is not enough to qualify her for this trope. Indeed, many of these women fall into Informed Attractiveness. The character must be explicitly stated to be the world's most beautiful woman, hence why this trope is usually limited to fantasy and mythology, two genres that tend to go light on real-world logic (Was there a worldwide beauty contest that every woman alive was forced to enter?). Of course, having two (or more) women contending for the title is usually not good, and you really, really, really want to limit it to mortal competitors. Asserting that a woman is more beautiful than a goddess is dangerous. Even...especially if she's another goddess. Comparisons: Vain Sorceress, Angelic Beauty, Inhumanly Beautiful Race, Hot God, Hot Witch
Level II: World Class Beauty
Level II: World Class BeautyThese kind of characters are extremely good looking. It isn't uncommon for numerous characters mentioning their attractiveness often. They always have a lot of people after them at all times. Their beauty is magazine cover-worthy and they are usually envied a lot. Beyond that, characters don't act particularly different around them. Comparisons: The Beautiful Elite, Amazonian Beauty, Proud Beauty, Hot Consort, So Beautiful, It's a Curse, Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!, Ms. Fanservice, Mr. Fanservice
Level III: Common Beauty
Level III: Common BeautyThese kind of characters are "slightly" beautiful. They are certainly attractive, as in, there is something "special" in their appearance, just nothing "extraordinary". They are beautiful enough to have admirers, but not enough to live off their beauty. Cute characters and Cool Losers are often in this category.
Level IV - Imperfect Beauty
Level IV: Imperfect BeautyThese kind of characters would be very beautiful, if it wasn't for some kind of flaw that ruins their beauty. Maybe it is a scar, glasses, a tail or another kind of flaw or uncommon trait. Sometimes related to "Freakiness Shame" when other characters think those uncommon traits actually enhance their beauty. Also of this category are characters who aren't beautiful but ruggedly handsome, the kind of appearance which is only enhanced by scars, Perma Stubble, intimidating demeanor or the like.
Level V: Cool/Special Average
Level V: Cool/Special AverageThese kind of characters are described as normal or average, but with a certain prettifying and/or amazing trait. Maybe it is their friendly eyes, shiny hair or maybe it's their amazing smile that makes you feel happy just by watching it. Characters in this category tend to evolve into considerably higher levels easily, either by being revealed as Beautiful All Along or simply being revealed as gorgeous with some easy changes (She Cleans Up Nicely). Comparisons: Broken Bird, The Stoic, Shrinking Violet, Unkempt Beauty, Beautiful All Along
Level VI: Just Average
Level VI: Just AveragePeople in this category of beauty aren't neither beautiful nor ugly. They don't have anything particularly special about them. They are also even more ignored than ugly people, because nothing in them stands out. Comparisons: Unlikely Hero, Unlucky Everydude, The Everyman, Featureless Protagonist, White Male Lead, The Nondescript
Level VII: Flawed Average
Level VII: Flawed AverageThese kind of characters would be average, if it wasn't for some kind of minor flaw or uncommon trait that makes them look uglier than average. Similar to "Cool/Special Average", except the flaw that makes them unique has the opposite effect.
Level VIII: Uncanny Valley Girl / Uncanny Valley
Level VIII: Uncanny Valley Girl / Uncanny ValleyThese people aren't nessesarily ugly... they just look somehow "unnatural", "creepy" or "weird". There is just something in them that doesn't look right. She's cute. Beautiful, in fact. Friendly and popular. She's the head of the class in terms of looks, money and everything that counts for her approval rating, but she's not the Alpha Bitch, even if she has a Girl Posse or the entire grade on her side. One of Those Two Guys might have a crush on her, even though he never gets anywhere. She's the perfect girl. ...except there's something not quite human about her, and she's secretly out for your blood. Comparisons: Yandere, Cute and Psycho, Stepford Smiler, Living with the Villain, Dark Magical Girl
Level IX: Ugly Cute
Level IX: Ugly CuteFor these kind of characters there is no denial that they are Ugly as they aren't what society considers beautiful. Despite that, looking at them isn't unpleasant. On the contrary, they are considered very cute. Though that cuteness isn't enough to make them Casanovas. Comparisons: Cute Monster Girl, Freaky Is Cool
Level X: Normal Ugly
Level X: Normal UglyThey are by no means horrendous. They are simply slightly unattractive and homely. Sometimes caused by being fat or having poor care on their appearance.
Level XI: Ugly AND Uncanny
Level XI: Ugly AND UncannyThey are unattractive, yes, but more than that: they are unattractive in a creepy way. Think Governor Tarkin of Star Wars fame. Their traits are not blatantly gonkish, fairly within the limits for a normal human being, but subtly repulsive. More often than not their appearance will match perfectly with their nasty character: for example, a Nazi concentration camp commandant will have a gaunt, skull-like face and glasses that tend to reflect light when it's dramatically appropriate, and an overweight food-hoarding merchant in a famine-struck medieval land will be not fat like an elephant, but his (otherwise completely normal) girth will have a slimy, greasy sheen to it. However, this appearance isn't a sure indicator of evil; a Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold can look like this, too.
Level XII: Super Ugly
Level XII: Super UglyThese kind of characters are very, very ugly. Not enough to be excluded from society, but ugly enough to be unliked and/or bullied by that society. They are often the Butt Monkey.
Level XIII: Ambiguously Monstrous
Level XIII: Ambiguously MonstrousThese kind of characters are so ugly that just looking at them may make you sick. They may use a paper bag to hide their faces or something similar out of shame. When people look at them, they either feel pity or fear for them. It's not uncommon for them to be called "monsters", even if they are explicitly human.
Level XIV: Fearsome and Clearly Inhuman
Level XIV: Fearsome and Clearly InhumanIn no way this being can be confused for a human. They can be obviously undead, a giant ogre-like brute, an alien resembling an Earth invertebrate creature. They are unambiguous monsters. Onlookers, however, suffer no ill effects beyond a fight-or-flight response.
Level XV: Lovecraftian
Level XV: LovecraftianThey are so ugly, you may go insane just by looking at them!
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Anime and Manga
- Dragon Ball Z example. According to Goku, when he tried to bribe old Kai with a Bulma's picture, he claimed that Bulma was very beautiful, as opposed to Milk.
- In the Cell saga, future Trunks is considered a very handsome man by his mother Bulma.
- Goku is described as Common beauty.
- In Neon Genesis Evangelion, there are numerous examples.
- Rei Ayanami, by Word of God, was intended as an Imperfect Beauty who fell into the Uncanny Valley. She is described as beautiful, but nonetheless her lack of emotions put her in the Imperfect beauty. However, in Real Life the perception of her is drastically different.
- Misato fits into the same category, being attractive enough to attract several admirers, but having a large scar across her chest.
- Asuka is described as a World Class beauty, according to Shinji's friends, who nonetheless dislike her because of her personality.
- Shinji himself could probably classified as "common beauty", given that he's stated to be good-looking in-universe, and shown to have a few fangirls in episode 6, but his looks alone weren't enough for anyone to notice him before he told his classmates he was a mecha pilot. He must get it from his parents, who were both lusted-after by multiple coworkers.
- Kaworu was even explicitly refered to as "divine beauty" in some early scripts. Shinji, who had previously shown a lot of interest in boobies and the like, promptly reacts with a blush when he first gazed upon his face.
- Calling Belldandy, Urd, Peorth, or any of the "Special" residents in Keiichi's home anything other than "Divine beauty", would be Blatant Lies and a very, very, VERY bad idea.
- Ahiru from Princess Tutu is a Cool Average. Despite not being described as the most atractive person, her personality and her happy disposition made Fakir fall in love with her.
- Princess Krahe is describes as a "world class" by her classmates. She is envied in both her beauty and her talent in ballet by a lot of characters.
- Mytho (at least from Ahiru point of view) is described as divine level, due to the fact that Ahiru became completely obssed with him, even becoming Princess Tutu for him. It wasn't love as revealed in the final episode, becuase Krahe was the one who was really in love with him.
- Sunako from The Wallflower seems to constantly switch between Normal Ugly and World Class beauty. The four guys fit the latter description too.
- One Piece in-universe examples:
- Hancock and Shirahoshi are Divine Level beauty. Nami and Robin, especially Nami, and a few others are World Class beauty. Most other female characters, except the Gonks are Common beauty.
- Kokoro's mermaid form is Lovecraftian for the main characters. She traumatizes them so hard that when they meet Camie, they say she is the first mermaid they've met, which means they are pretending that Mermaid Kokoro never happened.
- In The Secret Agreement, Iori is a World Class beauty, known in the community for not only his family status but his stunning looks, to the point that Kyuusai recognizes him without any introduction after seeing him for the first time. Kyuusai later teases his nephew Yuuichi about their relationship saying "I understand you're the type attracted by looks."
- Fate/Zero Lancer (aka Diarmuid O'Dyna) is a World Class beauty with an innate magical ability that renders him a divine class beauty to anyone without adequate magic resistance. He's a bit annoyed by this.
- Chick Magnet Lelouch of Code Geass is a World Class beauty, even Word Of God says that a vast majority of the female populace at his Elaborate University High has a thing for him.
- Griffith from Berserk was a World Class beauty before the Eclipse, and a Divine Level beauty following his reincarnation. His Femto form is a little too creepy to be any level of beautiful though.
- Allen Walker from D.Gray-Man is either a World Class beauty or an Imperfect beauty (due to his deformed arm and facial scar). He gets a lot of attention from girls and guys alike.
- Sasuke from Naruto is "world class beauty", his good looks are mainly commented on by his admirers.
- Tsunade and Kushina are possible examples of World Class beauty, as basically everyone who claps eyes on them comments on it.
- Gaara and Naruto are described as "Common beauty" or "Special Average".
- Sousuke Sagara of Full Metal Panic! is Possibly "Word Class beauty", Even the Guys Want Him.
- Haruhi Suzumiya:
- Haruhi Suzumiya herself is described as a World Class beauty by Kyon, who admits that if her personality would improve (which it did) then she would be even more beautiful than Mikuru. Mikuru herself probably at least qualifies for World Class.
- Yuki is shown to be at least "Special Average". She's seen as very cute, but almost never speaks. Kyon usually focuses his attention and gushing on the more straightforward/obvious beauties Haruhi and Mikuru, but sometimes throws in a small nod about Yuki here and there. This becomes more pronounced in Disappearance where she gains a Shy Blue-Haired Girl personality and When She Smiles. Each of the girls is is implied to have a small legion of fanboys in the school, offset by some fact that makes them completely unapproachable. Haruhi is accepted to be completely weird in the head, Mikuru is universally idolized and anyone who approaches her would immediately be jumped by her other fans, and Yuki pretty much refuses to acknowledge anybody.
- In Hunter × Hunter, the scarlet/flame-coloured eyes of the Kuruta clan are universally considered so beautiful that they're called one of the seven wonders of the world and are more valuable than diamonds.
- Celty from Durarara!! hovers somewhere between World Class beauty and Divine beauty... or rather, she would be if it wasn't for the fact that she's missing a head, this making her an Imperfect beauty.
- Madlax is an example of World Class beauty, as basically everyone who claps eyes on them comments on it.
- Bleach: Retsu Unohana is World Class beauty. Word of God says she's the most gorgeous woman in all Soul Society. However, characters don't particularly act differently around her.
- Byakuya Kuchiki is World Class beauty. He is regularly voted as Soul Society's most beautiful man by the Shinigami Women's Institute's. The only reason he doesn't figure on magazine covers more often is because the Shinigami Women's Institute find it very difficult to get pictures of him. It's practically a war, with the women employing paparazzi-style tactics on one hand and Byakuya retaliating with an army of ninja bodyguards on the other.
- Ichigo is Special Average or Common beauty, Riruka mentions how handsome he is, but that's it.
- Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru: Luka Crosszeria, aka Zess, possesses a Divine Level beauty. As Shuusei explains in eppy 6, "High-level Duras, known as Opasts, take on unbelievably beautiful human forms. They draw humans to them, to deceive them." After which Yuki immediatly concludes Luka is an Opast. When he arrives to pick Yuki up from school, all the students stare entranced at him. He's so beautiful even other Opast want him.
- In Oregairu, Yukino Yukinoshita is likely a world class beauty. Because she is described as having "unparalleled looks" and according to her the majority of males were infatuated with her, from her looks alone, in the past.
- Yui Yuigahama is likely a common beauty. Because she and Yukino have similar facial features but no one has commented on her appearance so far.
- If the Hikigaya siblings are right; Hachiman Hikigaya is pretty good looking. He would fall under imperfect beauty. Because his "fish eyes" and "gross disposition" counteract his similar neutral facial features, bar his eyes, to Hayato Hayama who is probably at least a common beauty. If they're wrong, Hachiman probably is Flawed Average on the scale.
- Souma Saiki of Sakura Gari is a World Class Beauty; he can use his looks to get what he wants, has many a lovers and had admirers since he was a child, not that it was a good thing. Masataka is a Common Beauty he is good looking but only Souma, who's in love with him, comments on his appearance.
- Sin City's women tend to be quite beautiful, ranging from common to World Class beauty. The men, on the other hand, run the gamut from good-looking (Dwight McCarthy) to ugly as sin (Marv).
- Wonder Woman, in the early years of her comic, was the frequent subject of unwanted (and sometimes violently obsessive) courtship from males of many species, including a giant, sapient amoeba. This would suggest Divine level (although a pair of glasses and businesslike hairdo still rendered her unappealing to the normal human Steve Trevor). The modern version of the character is still considered World class, which is to be expected since she was explicitly given the gift of beauty at birth by the goddess Aphrodite.
- Power Girl has pretty consistently been treated as "the hot one" by other superheroes, with even the polite one-woman-man Superman commenting that she's exceptional. More recently, this gets played for humor regarding her large (even by superhero standards) breasts.
- The character Chandra in "Rising Stars" had the power of causing everyone who observed her to see her as the observer's own idea of the perfect woman. She couldn't turn it off, so she was treated as a Divine or World Class beauty, although she was merely above-average under the illusion.
- Emily Crowe of Desolation Jones is an interesting case. She was a very attractive agent who specialized in "Honey Trap" seduction missions, and underwent experimental surgery designed to cause overproduction of sex pheremones. It backfired, and she produces a smell that triggers Arachnid Reaction, making her a type II in terms of looks alone, type IV to the reader and Jones (who's unaffected) and a type XIV to everyone else in-universe.
- Rorschach of Watchmen is described as "Fascinatingly Ugly", with years of beatings and poor hygiene and a blank expression adding to his Flawed Average looks.
Films — Animated
- Shrek examples:
- Shrek is considered Super Ugly in his ogre form, and Common beauty in his human form.
- Prince Charming is considered World Class beauty.
- Princess Fiona is considered World Class beauty in her human form.
- In the Disney Princess franchise, this is Disney so none of the princesses ever fall below World Class beauty standards, though one or two repeatedly get mentioned as being the most beautiful both within their respective universes and sometimes even in Real Life. This is usually visually represented by having the female lead drawn differently in comparison to other female characters. The best example would be that of Belle and the Bimbettes.
Films — Live-Action
- Nanny McPhee starts out as Super Ugly◊, and becomes Common beauty◊ at the end.
- (500) Days of Summer, Summer Finn is considered as World Class beauty by Tom Hansen.
- Ironically the other characters played by Zooey Deschanel are considered Special average.
- Princess Leia from Star Wars is Common beauty, Luke mentions how beautiful she is, but that's it.
- Grand Moff Tarkin is more or less the codifier for ugly and uncanny. Leia comments on his metaphorical stench.
- Darth Vader is an obvious Fearsome And Clearly Inhuman.
- Amélie is a vague example, the headshots in one of his pictures come alive and argue over whether Amelie is all that attractive. Some will only say that she's Special Average, but another insists that she's World Class beautiful.
- Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is considered a World Class Beauty. As well as being the Mr. Fanservice of his own films, his hunkiness has reached sufficiently memetic levels in-universe that the normally stoic Melinda May (who has never appeared with him on-screen) calls him "dreamy" in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
- In The Princess Bride, the narrator believes beauty to be completely objective. There is a #1 most beautiful, #2 most beautiful, and so forth. The very first sentence is "The year that Buttercup was born, the most beautiful woman in the world was a French scullery maid named Annette." Buttercup starts in the top twenty, but after the removal of a few at the top and a life-changing experience, she becomes #1. So she would be World Class beauty.
- Severus Snape and Pansy are normal ugly, Hermione is Flawed average or Common beauty when she wants to be, given that Harry describes her as "pretty" during the Yule Ball, Cho and Ginny are considered (by Harry) World Class beauty, while Luna is Imperfect beauty (The majority are avoided in the film by the Adaptational Attractiveness).
- In Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth novel Dirge, the alien Pitar are described as having somewhere between World Class beauty and Divine Level beauty. Many (but not all) humans are described as being affected by their beauty.
- Sophie from the The Infernal Devices is an Imperfect beauty example. She used to be beautiful and still is but has a scar stretching across her face.
- In the world of J. R. R. Tolkien, Arwen Undómiel , her paternal great-great-grandmother Lúthien Tinúviel, paternal great-grandmother Idril Celebrindal, and her maternal grandmother Galadriel count under the Divine beauty category; Lúthien almost literally does, as her mother was the Maia (kind of like a minor goddess) Melian, to whom nightingales would flock when she sang.
- All of them are elves, anyway; the whole race could be considered either Divine beauty - since they're immortal - or World Class beauty - since they are certainly not the most perfect or the most beautiful creatures in Arda.
- The Valar - particularly Varda, queen of stars - definitely fit under Divine beauty (when, that is, they take humanoid form).
- Éowyn, the only human woman given any significant character development in The Lord of the Rings, probably counts as a World Class beauty.
- In the Sword of Truth series, Kahlan, Cara, Merissa, Nicci, Shota, and possibly Jennsen would all be World Class beauties. From what other characters say, it seems like Richard, Darken Rahl, and Drefan Rahl are male examples of World Class beauty.
- Atreus Eleint, protagonist of the Forgotten Realms novel Faces of Deception by Troy Denning, clearly has Monstrous appearance. It's really quite difficult to imagine what he's supposed to look like, to be that ugly. In his case, it's the result of having been changed into a different shape while young and having to grow up without anyone removing the spell; he doesn't look like the other form any more, but it really messed up his normal growth and shape. Interestingly, not everyone in the book thinks he's ugly, but that's just because he meets some people who don't see anyone as ugly. And even some of them do think he is.
- Uglies. Tally is Flawed Average, the pretties are Divine beauty, the specials are Imperfect beauty.
- Interesting example, actually. Tally might be anywhere from Normal Ugly up to at least Common beauty. The thing is that no natural beauty can compete with the pretties, so all non-pretties are considered equally ugly.
- In The NeverEnding Story, the Childlike Empress is a Divine beauty. The text mentions that she is "indescribably beautiful", and Bastian's first wish while in Fantastica is to be able to keep looking at her forever.
- In the Dragonlance novels both Laurana and Goldmoon are high end World Class beauties; Goldmoon was literally worshipped by her barbarian tribe for her beauty upon first seeing Laurana all the heroes are dazzled by her looks, even the ultra cynical Raistlin. They don't quite qualify for Divine Level since other characters can interact with them normally without falling in love. Caramon, Tika, Crysiana and Kitiara are all Common beauty.
- Laurana had multiple characters swear that she was the World's Most Beautiful Woman, and when she rode into the city of Kalaman every man, woman, and child in the city was so mesmerized by her beauty that they could only stare at her in silent awe. Making an entire city go weak in the knees at the sight of her should qualify Laurana as a Divine beauty.
- In The Bible, the Queen Esther, Joseph, Saul and Abigail are described as "World Class beauty".
- For perspective, Esther won a beauty contest of all the women in the vast Persian Empire. Joseph, in Islamic legend, literally has half of the beauty that God gave to mankind.
- In Isaiah 53, it is foretold that Jesus will have, "...no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him."
- In The Kingkiller Chronicles series, the fey creature Felurian is in the Divine beauty cateogry, basically being a sex goddess with whom men fall instantly in love and presumably die either from exhaustion or separation. Then there's Denna, who from Kvothe's point of view is a World Class beauty. However, there are some subtle hints from other characters that Denna is merely Common or Imperfect beauty, implying that Kvothe's impressions are skewed by his love for her. But because she is constantly with other male suitors and essentially lives off her looks, she probably is rather beautiful. Most other women in the series fall into the Common beauty category.
- In Twilight, the Cullens are Divine beauty. Bella is just average (or maybe Common beauty; the people around her seem to think the latter), until she becomes a vampire. Every human has a beauty upgrade if they become a vampire; some, like James, were probably so ugly in life that even as a vampire they don't reach Divine beauty.
- Dorian Gray is absolutely divine for everyone. Everyone stares at him in breathless wonder, does everything to please him and gets ruined because of him.
- A Song of Ice and Fire:
- The Maiden of the Faith of the Seven is a Divine beauty, being the religious embodiment of Beauty Equals Goodness and Virgin Power. The Targaryens, an Inhumanly Beautiful Race, could count as this too.
- Cersei and Jaime are World-Class Beauties, with Cersei skirting the line between World-Class and Divine (although by the fourth book, her looks are starting to go...). Several noble ladies are World-Class beauties, most notably Sansa Stark and Margaery Tyrell. Robert Baratheon (and Renly, who resembles him) in his prime was also one.
- Lyanna Stark (and by extension Arya, who strongly resembles her) are either "Cool" or "Common" beauties. PO Vs note Lyanna was beautiful, but unconventionally, and she was far outshined by Cersei-in-her-prime. Arya cleans up nicely.
- Eddard Stark (and everyone else with the Stark look) and Stannis Baratheon are average.
- Melisandre is an Uncanny Valley Girl - she is noted as beautiful, but something is off about her.
- Tyrion, a hideously deformed dwarf, is Ugly and Uncanny. So is Sandor Clegane, who has burns covering the entire half of his face (and the other half isn't that much of a looker, either).
- The Windrose Chronicles:
- Joanna is Just Average on account of being an Unfazed Everyman. She's described as fit and solid despite being less than five foot tall and with dark eyebrows and 'too-curly' hair. Her friends tell her she would be pretty if she made an effort, but she's too nerdy and timid to bother.
- Caris is World Class. Joanna describes him as looking like a TV ad, with a 'Nordic beauty' look about hin.
- Antryg is Ugly Cute, with a thin and gawky build, a peculiar face where every feature looks too big for the bone structure, a huge beaky nose, a scary Cheshire Cat Grin, a mop of messy and greying curly hair and a dress sense that consists of oversized clothing and lots of cheap sparkly jewellery. But he also has likeable, kind eyes, a graceful demeanor, large but gentle hands and a deep voice 'as beautiful and flamboyant as an embroidered brocade'. Joanna and Caris find him strangely fascinating to look at, and he gets picked up by a woman for casual sex within minutes of dimension-travelling into Los Angeles despite repeatedly telling her he was a mad wizard from another world. (He's a Comic Book Fantasy Casting Tom Baker, what do you expect?)
- Dragon Bones has Ward, who is implied to be average, his brother Tosten, who is a Common Beauty and has to be careful in the proximity of male sailors, sister Ciarra, a normal pretty girl, the Queen Tehedra (Common Beauty, with the "flaw" that she's over thirty), Bastilla (Common Beauty), Garranon, a man who is thirty but looks younger, a favourite of the king and the ladies at court, a (World Class Beauty). And then there's Tisala, who has a face that would be average for a man, but some consider her ugly. Ward sees her as Ugly Cute, he acknowledges that she's no beauty, but is fascinated with her anyway.
- The Brady Bunch: The Season 5 episode "Peter and the Wolf" has Greg needing to find someone to go on a double date with his girlfriend, Sandra, and her cousin, Linda. When Greg admits that Sandra hadn't seen Linda in years nor had seen a recent photo of her, when he is asked to try to tell what Linda looks like, all he has is Sandra's pre-pubescent description of her ("pigtails and braces"). Naturally, all of his shallow buddies run for the exits, assuming Linda is super ug-lee!!!! Rather than admit defeat and wait until Linda goes home, Greg eventually turns to Peter to salvage the date ... and it is Peter's faux alter ego Peter Packer who gets to date who turns out to be a super-hot Linda!
- The Cosby Show: The Season 4 episode "Theogate" – where Theo is kicked off the track team for an incident and tries to conceal this from his parents – played with this through an unseen waitress at a fast food restaurant. This part of the plot featured Theo and a fellow track teammate being waited on by a severely obese and certainly ugly waitress, and the two – perhaps upset that an attractive waitress wasn't waiting on them (even though nothing is ever said as much) – make cruel jokes about her to the point where she runs off in tears. (Of course, Clair is able to get the truth out of Theo and tells him to apologize to the waitress.)
- Sanford and Son: While no means an all-American beauty, Aunt Esther's physical appearance is constantly the butt of Fred's cruel jokes. Example: "Was your mother a gorilla? Because you got the face of one!"
- The Twilight Zone plays with this in one episode where a woman undergoes plastic surgery to become beautiful because she falls into the Most Horrible Ever category (there's a village made just for ugly people so nobody would be forced to look at them). Of course being The Twilight Zone there's a twist: she turns out to be what many viewers would consider at least somewhat pretty, as she is played by Donna Douglas. It's just that everyone in their world is hideous with pig noses and their beauty standards are built around that.
- In Zoey 101, James is considered "World Class beauty" while Logan is considered Common beauty or "Special average".
Lola: Oh! Yeah, we're here to meet a guy named Logan...our age. Sorta...good looking.
- Most Disney Channel Live-Action Universe protagonists are considered (In-Universe) Common beauty or Special average, because usually they are cute and losers.
- Princess Mithian on Merlin arrives in Camelot in a Big Entrance that creates some suspense over her appearance by having her wear a veil over her face. When she draws it back the Reaction Shot of the assembled crowd puts her on a World Class beauty level. Whether this is a Justified Trope or Narm depends on your opinion of the actress in question, and how much The Reveal deserves the dramatic build-up.
- Ginger on Gilligan's Island was considered World Class beauty while Mary Ann was considered Special Average.
- New Girl, Jess is considered Special Average, while Cece is considered World Class beauty.
- Doctor Who:
- According to Steven Moffat, the Doctor is a kind of Special Ugly Cute ("utterly compelling, attractive in a very odd way... None of the Doctors are conventionally attractive, but they’re all arresting") and should only ever be played by actors of that type, as "handsome men don't quite suit". In-series, this also seems to be the rule - they're generally considered to be a funny-looking bunch at best, usually losing extra points with their awful fashion sense as well, but make up for it with bags of charm/presence/charisma to the point that most people find them enjoyable to look at anyway. The exceptions are the Eighth and the Tenth - the Tenth is regarded as a Common Beauty, while the Eighth is on the bottom end of World Class (being very good looking to begin with, but also possessing a lot of slightly inhuman traits that make him strangely more attractive, such as naturally smelling of honey).
- Companions are generally Common Beauties - making them too hot makes them unrelateable, but they are also there to provide Parent Service and have UST with guest characters. A few exceptions:
- Steven Taylor is explained to be a World Class Beauty in the Expanded Universe (although the actor who played Steven claimed that he was not written as attractive in the show, and only figured out that he was Mr. Fanservice after he left and people kept saying they fancied him). His most extreme moment of Character Shilling is probably when Jane Austen says he's so handsome that he could steal the heart of every woman in London.
- Romana - any Romana - is the top end of World Class, with the expanded universe going into detail about her unearthly charisma, which she has even if the person observing her doesn't find her sexually attractive.
- Jack is World Class, and how.
- Amy is a World Class Beauty. Two of her jobs involve making money off her looks (a "kissogram" and a model) and Clara is extremely intimidated when she sees a photo of her legs.
- Rory is Special Average - Amy describes his looks as 'just alright' and her friends call him 'the ugly one'. However, his loving personality makes Amy consider him 'the most beautiful man in the world', and both the Doctor and the TARDIS claim to fancy him. The TARDIS even calls him the "pretty one" (confusing the Doctor who was expecting Amy)
- Singer Brandy grew up in a school in Los Angeles where many casting agents would turn when they needed child actors. One time, when a call came for a "Drop dead gorgeous, Vanessa Williams-type", the woman in charge of setting up auditions (something like the school's guidance counselor) didn't send her. When Brandy asked her about this, the woman told Brandy, "You're cute, but you're not Vanessa Williams drop-dead gorgeous." A couple of people have said that that was the spark that fueled Brandy to become successful in the first place.
Mythology and Religion
- Aphrodite/Venus from Classical Mythology definitely fits the Divine Level description.
- Apollo also goes under the Divine Level beauty.
- Hephaestus/Vulcan goes somewhere near Super Ugly.
- Most monsters such as Medusa were considered Lovecraftian.
- Helen of Troy also had Divine Level beauty despite being a mortal (though this may be explained by Zeus possibly being her father). Her beauty started the famous Trojan War.
- The mortal Psyche's Divine Level beauty led to her being worshiped as a goddess and making the god of love himself fall for her.
- Many Biblical angels were described as horrific creatures including Seraphs, angels who had to cover themselves with their wings or else anything that looked at them - including lesser angels - would burn. But there were also many beautiful angelic figures in the bible, so the angels filled both extremes of the Sliding Scale.
- "Adalmina's Pearl": Adalmiina is a princess who gets as her birth gift an enchanted pearl that makes her more beautiful every day. The plot also makes her a plain peasant girl at one point - depending on version, Flawed average or Normal Ugly. Adalmina is a character who depending on how pretty she was as an infant, could very possibly be five grades of beauty and one grade of ugly, while averting Hollywood Homely and Beautiful All Along. It's actually scary to think that no matter what, she will be much more beautiful as a granny than as a young princess.
- The Appearance Attribute in the Classic World of Darkness measures looks which, normally, goes from one to five i.e 'Normal Ugly' to 'World Class Beauty'. Anything beyond five is 'Divine Level Beauty' and it means your character is a walking Masquerade breach.
- The Sidhe from Changeling: The Dreaming gets two free dots in Appearance which places most of them in 'Divine Level Beauty'.
- The Nosferatu from Vampire: The Masquerade is a vampire Clan cursed with supernatural ugliness that goes way below average. Most of them fall under ''Fearsome and Clearly Inhuman' while the "prettiest" of them are no better than 'Ambiguously Monstruous'.
- The New World of Darkness has a Merit called Striking Looks which measures your character's appearance and gives her a nice bonus on Social rolls. Not having it means your character is anywhere between 'Just Average' to 'Normal Ugly'. The Merit itself has two versions (two-dot and four-dot) which fall somewhere between 'Special Average' and 'World Class Beauty'. Having or lacking Social Attributes/Skils can improve or decrease her appeal by one or two levels. 'Divine Level Beauty' can be achieved through supernatural means.
- The Daeva and the Fairest* are two groups of supernatural beings that are known for their above average beauty and for having the powers to back it up.
- The Requiem version of the Nosferatu can be anything between 'Ugly AND Uncanny' down to 'Fearsome and Clearly Inhuman' since their curse is not specifically in a physical sense, but in a more Uncanny Valley-esque sense.
- Exalted also has an Appearance stat, with 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6+ being Super Ugly, Normal Ugly, Just Average, Cool/Special Average, Common beauty, World Class, and Divine respectively.
- GURPS literally has such a sliding scale — every character, every creature can have an above- or below-average appearance as an advantage or disadvantage (the scale goes Transcendent, Very Beautiful, Beautiful, Attractive, Average, Unattractive, Ugly, Hideous, Monstrous, Horrific).
- Nymphs in Dungeons & Dragons must be Divine Level — they're so beautiful it actually acts as a Brown Note, at least if they will it. In 2nd Edition, it could not be turned off. See a nymph, you go blind. See one naked, and you die. Talk about So Beautiful, It's a Curse.
- In Metal Gear Solid 4, the BB Corps are physically on the top end of World Class, but in practice are terrifying Imperfect beauties due to their animalistic robot suits and unstable personalities. Snake is implied to be an ex-bottom-end-of World Class who is now Ugly as a result of his age, its effect on his appearance likened by Drebin to the effect of the BB Corps's suits.
- Based on the amount of attention she gets (mainly from very minor characters), Aerie from Baldur's Gate 2 might just qualify for World Class beauty. By the same logic, at least Jaheira and perhaps other female party members as well qualify for Common beauty.
- The Player Character from A Dance with Rogues (a Neverwinter Nights custom module) is definitely World Class beauty, even if it's not intended quite that way. Everybody drools after her. (Well, the module was written by a female who thought there wasn't enough flirting in the official plot and who apparently had some rather racy fantasies.) Even though the module allows a custom (female) character, there is a minimum requirement of 14 charisma for her to account for this. One gets the feeling it should be 16. (For the uninitiated: 18 is the normal maximum.)
- In Stretch Panic, 12 young women were all incredibly vain, meaning they would likely be in the upper levels of beauty. The Demons of Vanity transformed them all into twisted Ugly and Uncanny versions of their perfect images of beauty. Special mention goes to Jelly Chan, who turned into a Level XIV giant blob monster and Demonica, a horror fan who became so hideous that looking at her would kill you.
- Everyone in Dragon Age: Origins seems to think the Warden is a World Class beauty. Which is hilarious if you deliberately made them hideous during character creation.
- Katawa Shoujo goes Freaky Is Cool Ugly Cute with Hanako, a beautiful girl apart from her extensive physical scarring, who has to overcome her shame for it. Lilly is a World Class beauty, ironically despite the fact that she is blind.
- The Whateley Universe has a few examples of this:
- The "thornies" and most of Faction 3 would be classed as monstrous.
- Fey is a Divine beauty due to her glamour that she can't turn off although she would be at least world class without it.
- Despite actually being a lovecraftian horror, Sara comes across as a Divine beauty.
- Most of the exemplars are World Class beauties.
- Cecil in Welcome to Night Vale describes Carlos as somewhere between World Class and Divine, but he's biased. The other townsfolk do seem to find Carlos charismatic and pleasant-looking, perhaps a high-end Common Beauty. Word of God is that he's supposed to look like the sort of person you'd find playing a scientist in a Hollywood blockbuster movie.
- Several examples of various levels from the Total Drama series:
- Justin is Divine Level beauty so that nearly every woman (and several men and even animals) fall instantly in love with him.
- Lindsay, Alejandro and Heather are World Class beauty , with numerous characters mentioning their attractiveness. However unlike Justin, no one loses control of themselves simply by looking at them (Alejandro comes close, but even he has to speak before his charm fully kicks in.)
- Gwen, Izzy, Duncan, Trent, Courtney, Bridgette etc. are Common beauty. A couple of people call each of them hot, but that's it.
- In Family Guy, Meg Griffin varies between Super Ugly and Monstrous. Being with her is considered A Fate Worse Than Death in this show. However, in an Alternate Universe, she is super attractive - though she is still "one of the ugly ones" as everyone is gorgeous in this universe. There is also the episode where she gets a make-over and is upgraded to World Class beauty.
- Lois Griffin is considered World Class beauty.
- James Carville is described as a class XI in one episode: "I can handle ugly, but he's like circus ugly."
- In Gargoyles, Demona is seen as a World Class beauty gargoyle by that species' standards. For a human, she looks like an Imperfect beauty. When she transforms into a human by day, she is considered very attractive, enough to fool her nemesis Mcbeth into marriage.
- The Fairly OddParents has a super ugly example. There's a kid with a zit blown out of proportion Hollywood Nerd style. He's the most unpopular kid in school and nobody wants to sit near him.
- Cosmo also is considered Super Ugly.
- Rex Perfection is considered World Class beauty.
- Trixie Tang is also seen as World Class.
- In The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, there's Tee Hee Tummy Tums, "the most beautiful man in the world" who wears a mask at all times to protect the world from his shining Divine beauty. His beauty is so great that it causes people to throw money at him and his presumably equally beautiful family.
- The mutants are a Fearsome and Clearly Inhuman example. They are people mutated by toxic waste and their children are almost always born horribly mutated. The law forces them to live in the sewers because they're so hideous.
- Leela usually varies between Ugly Cute and imperfect beauty depending on the episode.
- The Ugly Barnacle in is Lovecraftian.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Jin, Mai, and the fangirls in the Beach Episode don't seem to mind Zuko's giant burn scar and lack of social skills, and he can summon Disturbed Doves by removing his shirt.
- The Penguins of Madagascar, Arlene (Marlene in disguise due to chlorine accident) is considered World Class beauty, As everyone mentions how pretty she is.
Sliding Scale of Anti-Villains Sorting Algorithm of Tropes Sliding Scale of Broad Appeal vs. Specific Appeal