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Dorky Buck Teeth

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Characters have buck teeth to show that they're unattractive or at least average.

This trope has been Nuked
Proposed By:
Pichu-kun on Jun 28th 2016 at 9:53:44 AM
Last Edited By:
Arivne on Apr 14th 2018 at 2:07:49 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cars_teeth_1.png

Characters who have buck teeth are rarely ever portrayed as particularly attractive. At best they can be seen an "average" while at worst they're depicted as goofy looking or outright ugly.

"Buck teeth" refers to when two upper middle incisors stick out from the rest of the teeth. This can occur for a variety of reasons in Real Life. In fiction however it's always the dorky or unattractive characters who have it. This is likely due to buck teeth going against the fashion ideal of perfectly straight, perfectly white teeth.

Within the last several decades, buck teeth has been used more often than before to accentuate a character's adorkable-ness rather than them just being goofy looking. Buck teeth can make a character look cute and young if drawn a certain way.

A Little Bit Beastly character might have buck teeth if they're based off something like a rabbit or a horse as a part of a Furry Reminder. These however tend to be treated cutely, though they might look adorkable.

Compare Asian Buck Teeth, in which East Asians are stereotypically depicted with large buck teeth, and British Teeth, for when British people are depicted with misaligned teeth. Contrast to Childish Tooth Gap, which is misaligned teeth that are used to showcase a character's youth and usually are meant to look cute.


Examples:

Comic Books

  • Tara Markov, the original Terra, from The New Teen Titans had buck teeth during The Judas Contract arc. Terra was a Jerk Ass mole disguised as an average teenage girl. Her buck teeth were dropped in future appearances and flashbacks. Her clone Terra II, who is suggested to be actually be Terra brought back from the dead, lacked them as well.
  • Archie from Archie Comics had buck teeth early on. This was eventually dropped. He was a Kavorka Man with a geeky looking appearance, however they scrapped the buck teeth and over time. Archie is nowadays presented as looking above average attractive, especially in reboot.
  • Green Lantern: Ch'p is an alien who resembles what humans consider either a squirrel or chipmunk. So while not attractive, he is definitely considered cute.

Film — Animation

  • Olaf from Frozen is a snowman with buck "teeth". He's an adorkable and plucky sidekick character.
  • Tow Mater from the Cars franchise has prominent big buck teeth with a gap between them. He is seen are nerdy and adorkable.
  • Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas. Max takes her to meet his father for Christmas but he is embarrassed by Goofy. At the end Mona laughs and reveals that she too has buck teeth, just like Max and Goofy. Mona is a cute and attractive dogface woman.

Literature

  • Hermione from Harry Potter has buck teeth, and is regarded as unattractive. However, in Goblet of Fire, a potion makes them grow extremely large, and she has them shrunk down to smaller than they were before, so she is no longer buck-toothed.

Live-Action Television

Puppet Shows

  • The main character of Süsü, a sárkány is a friendly dragon with large buck teeth that make him look silly and goofy.

Video Games

Western Animation

  • Goofy has large buck teeth, which makes him look, well, goofy.
  • Recess has Gretchen Grundler, who has prominent buck teeth, and is also the smartest and most nerdy kid at her school.
  • This is a basically a recurring feature with most animated Nickelodeon protagonists:
    • The Fairly Oddparents:
      • Timmy is one of the least popular kids in his school, is bullied, and has prominent buck teeth that are frequently joked about.
      • In "Mr. Right" when Timmy dweeb-i-fies Tad and Chad, they instantly get this teeth for a change.
    • The titular character from SpongeBob SquarePants has prominent buck teeth with a Childish Tooth Gap in-between. Out-of-universe he is adorkable but in-universe he is seen as nerdy.
    • Portia Gibbons from The Mighty B! averts most of the trope, being an Alpha Bitch Valley Girl. However, her unattractive personality does come off in her unattractive buck teeth.
    • The Loud House
      • The entire family has buck teeth, as a family resemblance trait, all the way down to baby Lily. Her only tooth is a buck tooth. However: mother Rita, Lori, and Leni are all portrayed as very cute to extremely attractive. Luan, the comedienne of the family is the only one who has corrective orthodontic. Lincoln has a chipped front tooth on top of the family trait.
      • One of Lincoln's friends Liam. - Zero-Context Example
  • Inverted in one The Far Side cartoon, where a beaver freelance shame squad is ice skating around a beaver chanting "Doesn't have buck teeth, doesn't have buck teeth, doesn't have buck teeth!"
  • Big Mouth: Missy, the adorkable and nerdy girl who has a huge crush on Andrew has noticeable buck teeth.
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipmunks and Chipettes are considered cute to each other and humans alike.

Feedback: 37 replies

Jun 29th 2016 at 9:32:32 AM

  • Recess has Gretchen Grundler, who has prominent buck teeth, and is also the smartest and most nerdy kid at her school.

Jun 28th 2016 at 1:44:51 PM

  • Goofy has large buck teeth, which makes him look, well, goofy.

Jun 28th 2016 at 10:05:00 PM

"Nerdy" isn't exactly the right word.

Unattractive Buck Teeth maybe.

Jun 29th 2016 at 4:46:48 AM

Loser Buck Teeth? Works that portray buck teeth as stereotypically nerdy traits often do so as part of the negative portrayal of nerds in general.

Jun 30th 2016 at 4:03:32 AM

So a funny overbite is not this trope?

Jun 30th 2016 at 5:10:17 AM

Not sure if Spongebob counts. He has buck teeth and is considered a dork by the people of Bikini Bottom; one episode has him trying to enter The Salty Spitoon. Although he has shades of Keet and Adorkable in the mixture.

Jun 30th 2016 at 6:42:58 AM

^ I think he counts.

Also, for Puppet Shows:

  • The main character of Susu A Sarkany is a friendly dragon with large buck teeth that make him look silly and goofy.

Jun 30th 2016 at 6:42:58 AM

^ I think he counts.

Also, for Puppet Shows:

  • The main character of Susu A Sarkany is a friendly dragon with large buck teeth that make him look silly and goofy.

Jun 30th 2016 at 11:57:22 AM

Dwayne Dibley, the "de-cooled" version of The Cat from Red Dwarf has these.

Jul 1st 2016 at 2:13:18 AM

Compare Asian Buck Teeth, in which East Asians are stereotypically depicted with large buck teeth.

Sep 5th 2016 at 5:41:55 AM

Regarding the Fairly Oddparents entry, not only Timmy qualifies. Most blatant example: "Mr. Right". When Timmy dweeb-i-fies Tad and Chad, they instantly get this teeth for a change.

Sep 5th 2016 at 5:57:42 AM

Literature

  • Hermione from Harry Potter has buck teeth, and is regarded as unattractive. However, in Goblet of Fire, a potion makes them grow extremely large, and she has them shrunk down to smaller than they were before, so she is no longer buck-toothed.

Sep 5th 2016 at 9:11:18 AM

can't this just be folded into Geek Physiques.

Sep 5th 2016 at 6:17:47 PM

^ examples of those are more along the lines of ppl having almosy complete physique of a geek. This one focuses on one trait only.

Sep 5th 2016 at 6:36:31 PM

Picture of Red Dwarf's Duane Dibbley for possible page image.

Jan 2nd 2017 at 11:12:43 AM

Inverted in one The Far Side cartoon, where a beaver Freelance Shame Squad is icrcling around a beaver chanting "Doesn't have buck teeth, doesn't have buck teeth, doesn't have buck teeth!".

Jan 13th 2017 at 9:04:11 AM

The Red Green Show: Harold Green is the lodge's resident dork, and his teeth are one of his main features.

Jan 13th 2017 at 4:17:49 PM

Western Animation

Jun 13th 2017 at 1:00:06 PM

  • Comic Books/Squirrel Girl has big buck teeth but is regarded almost universally as super cute in universe. Somewhat true at a meta fan level as well.

  • The Wild Thornberrys: Eliza Thornberry has big buck teeth with braces.
  • The Angry Beavers both have buck teeth because they're beavers. Only Daggett gets grief for being dorky of the two of them.
  • Bugs Bunny averts the trope. He's a rabbit so comes by them naturally, but he's also a Trickster, which cancels out the dorkiness.
  • Looney Tunes: Mac and Tosh manage to avoid the unattractive and dorky label by being excruciatingly polite and speaking with a posh English accent.
  • Tom And Jerry has a short in which he is hypnotized into thinking he is a mouse. He sprouts doofy buck teeth.

Jun 13th 2017 at 1:31:22 PM

Correction to the Harry Potter example; it was a spell cast by Malfoy, not a potion.

Jun 13th 2017 at 2:50:26 PM

Addition to Spongebob example:

  • The "weenies" in the (Super) Weenie Hut Jr. are depicted as nerdy-looking with prominent incisors.

(Forgot the episode's name)

Jun 13th 2017 at 2:59:01 PM

Shouldn't this be merged with Crazy Teeth?

Oct 13th 2017 at 11:13:46 PM

  • The Loud House: The entire family has buck teeth, as a family resemblance trait, all the way down to baby Lily. Her only tooth is a buck tooth. However: mother Rita, Lori, and Leni are all portrayed as very cute to extremely attractive. Luan, the comedienne of the family is the only one who has corrective orthodontic. Lincoln has a chipped front tooth on top of the family trait.

  • Grern Lantern: Ch'p is an alien who resembles what humans consider either a squirrel or chipmunk. So while not attractive, he is definitely considered cute.
  • Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Chipmunks and Chipettes are considered cute to each other and humans alike.

Nov 2nd 2017 at 10:06:50 AM

  • Big Mouth: Missy, the adorkable and nerdy girl who has a huge crush on Andrew has noticable buck teeth.

Nov 19th 2017 at 3:36:14 AM

  • This is a basically a recurring feature with most animated Nickelodeon protagonists:

Jan 3rd 2018 at 2:42:06 PM

I don't think it should merge with Crazy Teeth, since Dorky Buck Teeth sounds like a specific trope.

Jan 5th 2018 at 2:45:16 AM

^^ Bessie Higginbottom has weird teeth but it's not the buck teeth. Also, are Lincoln Loud's teeth meant to make him look less attractive as required for this trope?

Jan 5th 2018 at 7:54:37 AM

  • Examples section

Zero Context Examples have been marked as such. They need more information to show how they fit the trope. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context.

Jan 5th 2018 at 12:27:23 PM

  • Jane Porter in Tarzan is depicted with buck teeth, highlighting her quirky, adorkable personality.
  • Gaston's wacky sidekick Lefou from Beauty And The Beast has a pair of big, goofy buck teeth.

Jan 6th 2018 at 4:22:19 AM

@oneuglybunny Dale from Chip And Dale is a good example indeed, but you're misusing Closer To Earth - that is when a a secondary minority character is shown as more intelligent and competent than the non-minority protagonist.

Jan 12th 2018 at 12:01:40 PM

This seems like an appearance trope. "Weird Teeth + trait(s)".

Apr 14th 2018 at 4:39:56 AM

Wonder why this was nuked?

Apr 14th 2018 at 2:07:49 PM

^ I'm guessing it was nuked for being an appearance trope.

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