[[quoteright:312:[[Franchise/{{Zorro}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jack-falanga-z-2007_1459.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:312:All right, who's the smart guy that ruined my wall!?]]

A character makes an impression by cutting, burning, blasting, or otherwise leaving a symbol on the clothes, wall, or person of their nemesis. Thankfully (for them), they never have to deal with paying for the damage they just inflicted.

A Subtrope of the CallingCard. If this is done with an open flame, it's a FlamingEmblem.
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!!Examples

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[[folder:Advertising]]
* Corny Snaps was a Kellogg's breakfast cereal created in 1975 featuring Snappy the Turtle, a Zorro like character, with mask, sword and steed, who delivered his corny-oats "S" shaped cereal to the masses, while carving his trademark "S" as he went.
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[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'': The Knight Sabers usually leave their name burned into the concrete after taking out a rogue Boomer. Nene's suit actually has a laser for which this is the only real use (it's not much as a weapon).
* ''Anime/VoltesV'' does this with his signature move, where he carves a big "V" into the enemy, who promptly explodes.
* In ''Manga/DragonHalf'', Mink's father's signature technique carved an "R" on his enemies. Dick Saucer's carved an "S" (Which one opponent thought was a "5").
* Naganegiman from ''Franchise/{{Anpanman}}'', who is a parody of Zorro, slashes an "N" on Baikinman's UFO and robots, which will cause them to short out and break their casing, leaving only the machine components.
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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Franchise/{{Batman}}, being a Franchise/{{Zorro}} fanboy, does this on occasion.
** During ''ComicBook/BatmanNoMansLand'' he spray-painted his symbol on the walls of areas of Gotham he'd liberated from his RoguesGallery. Though it should be noted that this was standard practice for every group in NML, to mark their territory.
** In ''TheDarkKnightStrikesAgain'' he uses the sharp edge of a batarang to carve a Zorro-style Z on SelfDemonstrating/LexLuthor's face.
** He and Robin also spray explosive gel on walls and floors in the shape of their symbols in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'' and ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity''.
** Batman foe ComicBook/{{Anarky}} typically leaves the anarchy symbol painted on the wall at the scene of his crimes.
** The Cavalier appearing in a 5 page back-up story in ''ComicBook/BatmanAdventures'' #1. His portrayal was a cross between Myth/RobinHood and Franchise/{{Zorro}}, in stealing from those he perceives rich and slashing his sword in that person's clothes.
* Lobster Johnson, from the ''ComicBook/{{Hellboy}}'' 'verse, burns his Claw of Justice on the foreheads of those he kills.
* In the ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'' comic book album ''Asterix and Caesar's Gift'', Asterix duels with a Roman and makes the iconic Z mark on his tunic, all the while exchanging [[YouFightLikeACow half-assed quips]], in the best Zorro tradition.
* X, of Dark Horse's Comics ''Greatest World'', uses an X mark.
* Kaine from ''Franchise/{{Spider-Man}}'' uses his wall-sticking powers ''on your face'' and pulls his hand away, resulting in the disfiguring "Mark of Kaine." Yeeowch. Fortunately (or unfortunately) the person he's doing this to is typically already dead.
* ''ComicStrip/ThePhantom'' and his skull ring. This was busted, as far as application through direct force was concerned, on ''Series/MythBusters'', although they didn't take into account indention through other means, such as the ring on the Phantom's ''left'' hand, that he uses to leave a "Good Mark" on those he protects. According to the new Dynamite ''ComicBook/TheLastPhantom'' series the mark is caused by an allergic reaction from berries that the signets of the rings are dabbed with, creating an indelible tattoo. Another official explanation that has been offered is that the ring actually has a lot of tiny needles.
* A short ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke'' story features a Zorro parody, whose mark is an "X" instead of a "Z" because he can't read or write.
* In his early tales, Alan Scott, the [[TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] Comicbook/GreenLantern, would often lay out a villain with a left haymaker that'd leave, at least temporarily, the imprint of his ring on their cheek.
* WonderWoman did this with her bracelets during the JMS retool, as a way of letting her enemies know [[ParanoiaFuel she's getting closer.]]
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[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* The cover of ''ComicStrip/KnightsOfTheDinnerTable'' #26 "The Mask of El Ravager" show what happens when the Knights attempt this stunt.
* ''ComicBook/SuskeEnWiske'': In ''De Raap van Rubens'' (''Rubens' pupil'') Lambik travels back in time to meet Creator/PeterPaulRubens, the famous 17th century painter. He decides to have a duel with painter Anthony Van Dyck where they fight with use of their paint brushes. Lambik then paints a ''Z'' on Van Dyck's bare chest and says: ''You don't know him [Zorro], do you? You might learn about him in school, when you're older!''
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[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''FanFic/TheSecretLifeOfTheBackyardKids'': Jorge does this a couple times on Tiffany, and when he destroys his dad's car, he does this on the seat of his car.
* In ''[[FanFic/CheerileesGarden Cheerilee's Garden]]'', Cheerilee carves the word "[[MadnessMantra Weed]]" into Apple Bloom's chest.
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[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Puss-N-Boots homages this in ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}} 2'' by slashing a "P" in a tree. ActorAllusion too, considering his voice actor is Antonio Banderas, who also played Zorro.
* In ''Anime/HowlsMovingCastle'' the Witch of the Waste sends Howl a 'scorching love note' via Sophie, which falls on the breakfast table when Howl touches it and burns a scorch mark on the table. However, the permanent marking is averted when Howl proceeds to declare the mark 'not good for the table' and wiped it away with his bare hand.
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[[folder:Films -- Live Action]]
* In TakashiMiike's ''Film/{{Zebraman}}'', the eponymous hero carves a ''Z'' into a giant, gelatinous alien's forehead.
* In the 2005 film adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel ''Film/VForVendetta'', the masked, black-clad protagonist, overtly identified with the imagery of Guy Fawkes, carves his "V" symbol in Zorro-like style.
* Of course, parodied in ''Film/ZorroTheGayBlade''; the main character does this with a ''whip''. And not just a "Z" either, [[OverlyLongGag the whole name]]. Also, the first time Zorro makes this mark with a blade, a witness mistakes it for the number 2.
* ''Film/TheMaskOfZorro''
** Alejandro Murrieta, [[LegacyCharacter the new boy]], puts his own spin on it, cutting an "M" into the cheek of the man who [[YouKilledMyFather murdered his brother]].
* ''Film/TheMarkOfZorro'', the 1920 silent film in which Douglas Fairbanks slices the Z into his enemy's forehead.
* In ''Film/InglouriousBasterds'', the Basterds carve swastikas into the foreheads of any [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] they let live. "We like our Nazis in uniform. That way we can spot 'em just like that. We're gonna give you something you can't take off."
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[[folder:Literature]]
* Franchise/{{Zorro}}, of course, is the TropeNamer. It should be noted that in the original works, it doubled as a MarkOfShame - Zorro cut his mark into the flesh of the evildoers he defeated. The common people would recognize the Z scar as a sign that Zorro had judged them and then refuse to do business with them. Such people would then have to leave the area if they wanted to find people who were willing to sell them food.
* Pulp magazine hero Literature/TheSpider used to leave a red-ink "spider" impression (known as the Spider's Seal) on the foreheads of the criminals he slew.
* ThePenetrator, Mark Hardin, left behind blue arrowheads.
* Rashel Jordan, from the ''Literature/NightWorld'' series, leaves three claw marks on the foreheads of vampires that she's slayed.
* In ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'', Springheeled Jack made the sign of the "S".
* TheGraySeal left behind stickers.
* Literature/TheSaint left behind haloed stick figures.
* Kissin' Kate Barlow from ''{{Holes}}'' applied lipstick and kissed the men she killed.
* In Maria V. Snyder's ''StudyTrilogy'', the Ixian master assassin Valek leaves a carved statue of an animal for his next victim to find when he's about to kill them.
* In Cornelia Funke's ''Literature/{{Inkheart}}'' trilogy, Capricorn's men always hang a dead rooster in the razed ruins of the buildings they destroy.
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[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Naturally, Disney's live-action ''Franchise/{{Zorro}}'' series had this in spades, as did the live-action series done in the 90s.
* In the last anime training video for ''Series/CaptainPowerAndTheSoldiersOfTheFuture'', The good captain "Leaves a message" in the side of Castle Volcania [[http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=UTm9Cp_FzQI starts at about 6:50]].
* ''Series/{{Eureka}}'': In a dream sequence, Zorro-style hero Douglas Fargo slices an "F" into the dress of fair maiden Jo Lupo.
* The 3rd series of UK comedy sketch show ''Series/AlexeiSaylesStuff'' had a title sequence that was a parody of Zorro ("This fat renegade carves a 'B' with his blade, a 'B' that stands for 'Bastard'")
* "R.I.P. Series/MacGyver" blowtorched onto the main character's house's wall is an excellent clue to the villain's identity. You could forget the guy's ''voice'' and never see his face and you'd still always recognize Murdoc.
* Clark in ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' has recently started doing this with his [[strike:not yet]] famous \S/.
* Used as a title reference in the original ''Series/{{V}}'' TV miniseries, when a Holocaust survivor shows some taggers how to spray-paint a V ("For Victory") on one of the aliens' propaganda-posters. The practice spreads, becoming a symbol of LaResistance.
* The titular ''Series/KamenRiderKiva'' has his sigil forming out of his Rider Kick (Darkness Moon Break) in any solid surface the hapless MonsterOfTheWeek happens to be in (be it a wall, floor or the street). TheMovie even has him plastering the BigBad (of the movie at least) and forming his sigil as a giant crater on the moon [[spoiler: which, fortunately dissipated immediately]].
* In the ''Series/{{Castle}}'' episode "Heroes & Villains", the vigilante Lone Justice carves an 'L' into the butt cheek of a mobster with a sword.
* In the ''Series/BreakoutKings'' episode "Steaks", VillainOfTheWeek Oliver brands his initials on to two of his victims.
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[[folder:Radio]]
* Franchise/TheGreenHornet carried seals which he used to mark his presence when it suited his purposes, such as on documents at crime scenes, on the bodies of criminals he captured and left for the police to find, etc. Occasionally facsimiles of the Hornet's seal were used by criminals in attempts to pin the blame for their malfeasance on the Green Hornet. It never worked. Carried over into movie serial, television, and comic book adaptations of the property.
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[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The Initial Carving technique in ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}: Martial Arts''.
** Parodied with the Zorro-like character in the ''GURPS Literature/{{Discworld}}'' spaghetti western campaign "A Fistful of Dwarfs", who has the name Don Gaveroz de Varozag de la Lala, "El Aguilo del Cubo". He keeps attempting to carve ''all'' his intitals on his opponents, but since his Code of Honor prevents him from continuing to attack someone who is clearly about to collapse from bloodloss, he seldom gets very far with it.
* In ''TabletopGame/SeventhSea'', with the right sword schools, you get a skill knack for doing just that.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* Franchise/SlyCooper leaves his calling card behind in the scenes of crime.
* In ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerGenerals'', the American [[KillSat Particle Beam Cannon]] can not only be set to hit a single point, you can also designate a second point that the beam will move towards. And you can build multiple cannons. It's one thing to say "Fuck you" to an enemy over chat, and quite another to burn it into their base. Best colossal waste of taxpayers money ''ever.''
* In the climax of ''VideoGame/FreddyPharkasFrontierPharmacist'', Freddy carves an Rx into the clothing of the BigBad, [[spoiler:Penelope Primm]].
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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Webcomic/DominicDeegan's father has a habit of doing this. At one point, he actually gets into trouble.
* In ''{{The Elaborate Art of Play}}'' a security team tracks "the hostile" by seeking the distinctive round holes it burns through bulkheads. Timing these, from signals such as temperature, reveals the bad-guy's path through their ship. And they track its target by cataloging his characteristic petty vandalism, and the speech patterns he introduced into the ship's populace.
* ''Webcomic/{{Sonichu}}''
** Darkbind does this once in his first appearance.
** ''Chris'' does this with a Devil Troll in the "last" issue.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* There is a serial on the animated cartoon series ''The WesternAnimation/RockyAndBullwinkle Show'' that features a mysterious character called "The Mark of Zero". His trademark is stamping the numeral 0 in unexpected places. For example, the score late in a baseball game is 9 to 1. The "Mark of Zero" changes this to 10 to 9 -- to everyone's amazement. At the story's conclusion, his talent for stamping "zero" is put to good use as he becomes the scorekeeper for the New York Mets major league baseball team, at that time the symbol of futility in that sport.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' entitled "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)", the Simpsons go to the movies to see ''The Poke of Zorro''. In it, Franchise/{{Zorro}} fights Literature/TheThreeMusketeers, Film/TheManInTheIronMask, unseen ninjas and challenges Literature/TheScarletPimpernel to a duel. Inspired by Zorro, Homer defends Marge, challenging Snake to a duel by slapping him with a glove. Victorious, Homer marks Marge's dress with an "H" scrawled out in ketchup.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' has ComicBook/GreenLantern John Stewart punching [[CorruptChurch Despero]] so hard it leaves the lantern imprint. [[GoForTheEye On his third eye.]]
* The ''[[WesternAnimation/SuperMarioBros Super Mario Bros Super Show]]'' does this in their own parody with Mario taking the role of "Zero", leaving zeroes on his enemies shirts with his plumber's snake. Luigi, taking the role of "Zero Plus One", was very pleased when he managed to pull one off.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' plays this one straight, in a session of LetsYouAndHimFight [[LoveMakesYouCrazy Zoidberg]] carves a Z on Fry's shirt, and then he adds Dr. above it.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/CourageTheCowardlyDog'' tells the story of the cast's [[IdenticalGrandson Identical Ancestors]] in the Old West. Eustace's ancestor was a bandit named The Whip who was quite proficient with his WeaponOfChoice, even leaving a Zorro-style "W" on the clothing of his victims.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLooneyTunesShow'': Speedy leaves "S" behind after his cheese thefts in "Queso Bandito".
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels'' when she strikes, Sabine, the Mandalorian weapons and explosive expert of the Rebels, leaves a phonenix-symbol at their bombing-sights, as a graffiti on the walls, or on the helmets/armor of stormtroopers she's taken out.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers'' episode "The Mark of Xero", Dodgers-as-Xero leaves "X"s behind him.
-->The mark that stands for Xero is his claim to fame,
-->Because he can't even spell his own name.
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* Creator/BillBryson has mentioned being inspired to try and learn this skill by the Zorro serials he watched as a kid. He and a friend tried to imitate it with a steak knife but gave up after they kept cutting each other's chests. ([[ValuesDissonance This was before the days of]] DontTryThisAtHome messages.)
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