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[[quoteright:300:[[Series/StargateSG1 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/anubis.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[-There's a reason Anubis doesn't let you see his face. [[EnergyBeings He doesn't]] [[TheBlank have one]].-] ]]
->''"And as years passed and there were fewer in the city (and none beyond it) who remembered my face, the wildest stories got about as to what that veil hid."''
-->-- '''Orual''', ''Literature/TillWeHaveFaces''

A variant of HeWhoMustNotBeSeen. The audience never gets a good look at this character's face. Specific variants include:
* Characters who are only ever shown from behind.
* Characters who are only ever shown while standing behind something.
* Characters who are only ever shown from the neck down or lower.
* Characters who always stand in shadow or have their FaceFramedInShadow.
* Characters who wear a [[CoolMask mask]] or a OneWayVisor.
* Characters whose eyes are [[HiddenEyes hidden]] or [[EyesAlwaysShut always closed]], but their face is otherwise visible. This is more frequent in {{anime}}, which relies strongly on eyes to express emotion and intent.
* Characters whose first-person perspective is revealed via POVCam, without ever showing their face.

There are several reasons for writing a faceless character, depending on their role in the plot. For a recurring character, hiding their face lends an air of ambiguity to the character and their motives. If said character is a villain, often of the DiabolicalMastermind variety, this additionally serves to make them seem more threatening.

Occasionally, the recurring faceless character will be revealed in an especially poignant scene, typically just before the series (or the character's tenure on it) ends. Villainous characters tend to be hideously disfigured when their masks are removed, though the subversion has become just about as common, where the villain is revealed to be a perfectly ordinary guy. The faceless villain could also be a [[TheMole Mole]] in the good guys' team the audience doesn't know about yet.

Non-recurring faceless characters tend to be either CannonFodder FacelessGoons (whose facelessness removes their individuality, their humanity, and -- [[MoralDissonance hopefully]] -- the audience's squeamishness about their deaths), or an InvisiblePresident (whose face is hidden to prevent the episode from being dated by the next election).

May involve being NeverBareheaded. For other parts of the body, see SceneryCensor. If you don't see ''anything'' at all from a villain, watch your step; you're up against an UltimateEvil. For ''literally'' faceless characters, see TheBlank. ScaryShinyGlasses is related. The hidden-by-shadow version combined with ChekhovsGunman results in SinisterSilhouettes. If a character never appears ''at all'', they're TheGhost. Sometimes there may be scenes teasing the unmasking, but it often ends up with UnrevealAngle. Unrelated to FacelessMasses, which is more for the [[LazyArtist artist's convenience]] than anything.

The mask-wearing kind of TheFaceless often end with TheReveal. Sometimes this is [[NerdInEvilsHelmet a big anticlimax]]...but then sometimes it just [[NoFaceUnderTheMask makes things creepier]].
* TheFaceless/{{Advertising}}
* TheFaceless/AnimeAndManga
* TheFaceless/ComicBooks
* TheFaceless/FanWorks
* TheFaceless/{{Film}}
* TheFaceless/{{Literature}}
* TheFaceless/LiveActionTV
* TheFaceless/{{Machinima}}
* TheFaceless/{{Manhua}}
* TheFaceless/{{Manhwa}}
* TheFaceless/{{Music}}
* TheFaceless/NewspaperComics
* TheFaceless/{{Pinball}}
* TheFaceless/TabletopGames
* TheFaceless/{{Theater}}
* TheFaceless/VideoGames
* TheFaceless/WebComics
* TheFaceless/WebOriginal
* TheFaceless/WesternAnimation
* TheFaceless/RealLife

* The Art/SistineChapel's altar painting only depicts {{God}}'s lower torso and feet. While it's standard practice to avoid showing the full form of God [[YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm for the viewer's sanity]], this is an odd choice since several full-body paintings of God, face and all, lie on the ceiling above the altar.