"When I stroke the beard thusly, do I not appear more... intellectual?"
This is the need for either Old Masters
or Wicked Cultured
villains to stroke their Bad Ass Beards
/Beards Of Evil
as a compulsion. Evil types
usually do this while preparing their Evil Plans
, sipping A Glass of Chianti
, and indulging in Villainous Slouching
. This version is somewhat discredited
These people don't necessarily need an actual beard, as even placing their hand on their chin where a beard would be while in thought can suffice.
This trait has several faces; the meticulous planning and deep thought this trope usually suggests tends to be associated with evil. The good type usually suggests a zen-like peacefulness. Some also liken it to shrinks stroking their Freud-like beards. The overarching theme with this trope is intellectualism (or at least sneakiness
Compare Putting On My Thinking Cap
Anime and Manga
- In Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space, Tumok tells of how he consulted a Hermit Guru on Olympus Mons. Lacking a beard, the guru strokes the icicle clinging to his chin.
- Pai Mei of Kill Bill was awesome at this.
- Robin does this in Robin Hood: Men in Tights while pondering an archery contest. Then flicks his fingers clean.
- Star Wars: In the prequels, Obi-Wan Kenobi usually strokes his beard meditatively just before doing something totally Bad Ass. He and Anakin Skywalker spend a good minute stroking their chins, signaling to each other on how they should make their getaway from General Grievous in a deleted scene from Revenge of the Sith.
- The quote above comes from an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, where Data tried to emulate Riker Growing the Beard. The end result was so ridiculous that Troi had to excuse herself before she completely broke down, and Geordi only did a marginally better job of holding back his laughter.
- The Pushing Daisies episode "Oh, Oh, Oh, It's Magic!". The magician does this when he tells Emerson in a very dramatic voice that he needs his help in solving the murders of his assistants.
- In an episode of Modern Family, some of Manny's friends draw a beard on his face with magic marker while he's asleep. He strokes his drawn-on beard this way while plotting his revenge.
- Ace Attorney:
- A certain Mr. Phoenix Wright is always doing this in court while thinking.
- In Investigations, Quercus Alba does it when cornered