Follow TV Tropes

Flourish Cape in Front of Face

Go To

(Former names from youngest to oldest: Flourish Cape, Cover Mouth | Cover Fangs With Capes) When someone grabs his/her cape and holds it up in front of his/her face. Sub Trope of Cape Swish.

This trope has been Nuked
Proposed By:
Miss_Desperado on Feb 2nd 2018 at 12:10:47 PM
Last Edited By:
Miss_Desperado on Feb 24th 2018 at 2:50:18 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_count_cape_cover.jpg

One! One dramatic cape flourish!

Rolling Updates

Former draft names from youngest to oldest:

  • Flourish Cape, Cover Mouth
  • Cover Fangs With Capes

Some characters will grasp the hem of their cape in one hand, then bring that hand to their opposite shoulder, with their elbow and cape now up and in front of their face. The elbow height may vary from just below the character's chin to just below the character's eyes.

Character archetypes known to do this include, but are not limited to:

Reasons for doing this include, but are not limited to:

  • Trying and failing to conceal their (fanged, bloodstained, or easily recognizable) faces
  • Drawing attention to their shifty and possibly hypnotic eyes
  • Trying to look cool and mysterious
  • Blending in with the shadows (for dark capes only)
  • Hamming it up
  • Goofing around with a stereotype when imitating or parodying any of the above

Sub-Trope of Cape Swish. Compare Hand-Hiding Sleeves, which can be used for the same effect, and Noblewoman's Laugh, which is usually hidden behind a handheld fan or just the hand.


Examples:

Film - Live Action

  • Enforced in Plan 9 from Outer Space. The Ghoul Man constantly has his cape in front of his face, to cover up when he's not played by Bela Lugosi and instead by stand-in Tom Mason.
  • In the Disney movie Babes in Toyland Barnaby and his henchmen bring up their arms in this gesture during the "We Won't Be Happy 'Til We Get It" number. Only Barnaby is wearing a cape, and his arm stays below his chin. Roderigo is wearing baggy sleeves large enough for full lower-face concealment. They are indicating their Dastardly Whiplash-levels of cliched evil.
  • Black Panther: a Wakandan tribe does this in battle because Vibranium technology sewn into their cloaks form Deflector Shields they can close ranks to contain someone.

Live-Action TV

Newspaper Comics

  • The Far Side comic has a strip Thwarting the Vampcow where the titular vampcow covers its lower face with its cape, while the couple whose home it has invaded hold it at bay with a beef steak.

Video Games

  • Vampires in The Sims 2 with the Nightlife expansion tend to walk like this while stalking a victim, going to the person they're about to bite, or sometimes just walking. However, only the Grand Vampires usually have capes while the others just take the pose.
  • The Vampire Hunter player character from Turn Undead holsters his guns to do a Victory Pose with his cape across his chest when he reaches the exit of each level. He has his face perpetually hidden in the shadow of his Nice Hat (except for Glowing Eyes of Doom), so the player can't see exactly how high he holds his cape compared to the rest of his face.

Web Original

  • In Acquisitions Incorporated: The "C" Team animated shorts, Trevor the Werewolf briefly does this while imitating his cousin, who is a notorious vampire.

Western Animation

  • In Megamind, when Megamind is caught off guard by Roxanne's And Then What? question, he pulls his cape up all the way to his nose with the addition of covering his large forehead with his other arm while exiting.
  • The Great Mouse Detective: Ratigan makes this gesture at one point in his Villain Song, "The World's Greatest Criminal Mind". He drapes his black-and-red cape over his arm before hunching over, holding the cape over his mouth, and slowly walking towards some of his mooks to intimidate them.
  • Darkwing Duck, as a parody of Batman and other vigilantes wearing fearsome cowls, likes to cover his beak with his cape.
  • The villain of The Perils of Penelope Pitstop is the Hooded Claw, a Dastardly Whiplash fellow sans the twirly mustache. He conceals most of his head and face with a large hat, tall collar and knee-length cape, which he likes to Cape Swish and peer behind because he's a Large Ham almost to Harmless Villain territory. Nonetheless, only Penelope's attached Idiot Ball keeps her from identifying the Hooded Claw as her attorney, Sylvester Sneakly.
  • Parodied by the Omicronians of Futurama, who alternately act the part of Scary Dogmatic Aliens and sitcom families. At the end of "When Aliens Attack", they all cover their faces with their capes and stroll off dramatically at the same time...walking sideways/backwards while glaring at the crowd.
  • Tommy from Codename: Kids Next Door tries to get the main characters take himself seriously by donning a cape and using it to cover his face, a failed effort to look mysterious.

Feedback: 51 replies

Feb 2nd 2018 at 12:26:53 PM

Needs a better name and some examples, but this definitely sounds workable.

Feb 2nd 2018 at 1:58:42 PM

I feel like a line can just be added to Classical Movie Vampire's description rather than making a new trope.

Feb 2nd 2018 at 4:01:41 PM

Whether this trope gets launched or not, we'll be adding an extra line to Classical Movie Vampire anyway.

Hey, how likely is it that other vampires (e.g. Looks Like Orlok) make this gesture? My draft is supposed to be primarily a body language and gesture trope, how can I make that clearer?

Feb 2nd 2018 at 5:50:14 PM

Although it's traditionally associated with vampires, I think this is sometimes done by other cape-wearing villains, like the Dastardly Whiplash, as well.

Feb 2nd 2018 at 7:29:29 PM

Dr No Puma, you're right! I just remembered, Megamind did this! OK, I definitely need to rewrite this draft.

By the way, is the original poster the only one who can edit trope drafts?

Feb 2nd 2018 at 7:57:26 PM

  • Lampshaded in the season 4 episode "Monster Movie" of Supernatural. Sam and Dean are hunting a shapeshifter who is obsessed with old black and white B-movies. The shifter hits all of the classics including the Wolf Man, a mummy, and ending with Dracula, dramatic flourishes and cape-covering included.

Feb 2nd 2018 at 8:06:03 PM

^ Where's the lampshade? You didn't include an incredulous quote.

Feb 2nd 2018 at 8:33:27 PM

It was a visual lampshade. The whole episode was a parody of B-Movies with Sam and Dean the only ones aware they were in a parody of a B-Movie. Oh, well. It gives me a good excuse to rewatch the episode tomorrow.

Feb 2nd 2018 at 9:48:19 PM

  • Enforced in Plan 9 From Outer Space. The Ghoul Man constantly has his cape in front of his face, to cover up when he's not played by Bela Lugosi and instead by stand-in Tom Mason.

Feb 3rd 2018 at 12:41:53 AM

Feb 3rd 2018 at 4:22:43 AM

I never associated this movement with covering the mouth; I thought it was to blend most of the body into the darkness and draw attention to the creepy eyes, possibly as a prelude to eye-contact hypnotism. Of course now that you brought it up...

  • In the Disney movie Babes in Toyland Barnaby and his henchmen bring up their arms in this gesture during the "We Won't Be Happy 'Til We Get It" number. Only Barnaby is wearing a cape, and his arm doesn't quite come up high enough, but Roderigo is wearing baggy sleeves large enough for full lower-face concealment. They aren't indicating "vampire", but instead their Dastardly Whiplash-levels of cliched evil.

Feb 3rd 2018 at 8:26:50 AM

That reminds me!

  • The Great Mouse Detective: Ratigan makes this gesture at one point in his Villain Song, "The World's Greatest Criminal Mind". He drapes his black-and-red cape over his arm before hunching over, holding the cape over his mouth, and slowly walking towards some of his mooks to intimidate them.

Feb 3rd 2018 at 6:34:32 PM

Video Games

  • Vampires in The Sims 2 with the Nightlife expansion tend to walk like this while stalking a victim, going to the person they're about to bite, or sometimes just walking. However, only the Grand Vampires usually have capes while the others just take the pose.

Feb 4th 2018 at 10:07:21 AM

Newspaper Comics

  • In the The Far Side comic Thwarting the Vampcow, the titular Vampcow covers its lower face with its cape while the couple whose home it has invaded hold it at bay with a steak (no typo).

Feb 4th 2018 at 1:37:12 PM

Hey, cool! I finally found a tag for sculpting the draft according to the conversation!

Feb 5th 2018 at 4:16:13 PM

Bump: Anyone got any more examples or constructive criticism?

Feb 6th 2018 at 5:54:45 AM

  • In Acquisitions Incorporated: The "C" Team animated shorts, Trevor the Werewolf briefly does this while imitating his cousin, who is a notorious vampire.

Feb 6th 2018 at 6:41:05 PM

Bump: Anyone else wanna chime in? Constructive criticism? Examples? Hats?

Feb 8th 2018 at 11:11:16 AM

Bump: Does this need a better name?

Feb 8th 2018 at 8:32:02 PM

Western Animation:

Feb 9th 2018 at 5:25:45 PM

Inverted? Hmm, I don't think that's quite right, because between your example and my example, looks like we found another character archetype that does this.

  • The player character of Turn Undead, who fits under The Cowl archetype, does this every time he reaches the goal of each level.

I just found another tag, Early Development Phase and it definitely applies to this draft, especially because people keep finding examples that fit what I'm thinking of but don't fit what I'm saying (if that makes any sense).

Well, time for another rewrite, I thought of an internal sub-trope sliding scale based on how high the character's elbow is relative to that character's face.

Feb 10th 2018 at 12:45:15 PM

Bump: I did another major rewrite, anyone got any specific feedback?

Feb 12th 2018 at 1:18:01 PM

I don't want to remove the Early Development Phase tag before I've hammered out everything that isn't working in this draft. But I can't hammer out everything that isn't working in this draft until somebody points it out for me, because I think I've already fixed all that I caught. In other words, I don't know if there's still stuff to fix and I Failed A Spot Check.

Theriocephalus, your last feedback was asking for a name change. I changed it. What do you think now?

Feb 12th 2018 at 1:24:45 PM

Also, perhaps instead of the “In parodies” bullet, consider:

-when imitating or parodying any of the above

Feb 13th 2018 at 9:19:07 AM

Molly_Hats, thanks for your feedback, it's very helpful. Your suggestion for the bullet entry reads a lot more smoothly than what I have. As for your name suggestion, Cape to Face is more laconic, but it's missing some quality that I can't quite put my finger on. I'll consider it, but I can't promise immediate change.

Here's something I just thought of. Since this draft is intended to go on the Body Language index once it's ready for launch, we're most likely going to need an image for it.

Feb 13th 2018 at 12:49:42 PM

Western Animation

Feb 13th 2018 at 2:58:39 PM

  • Parodied by the Omicronians of Futurama, who alternately act the part of Scary Dogmatic Aliens and sitcom families. At the end of "When Aliens Attack", they all cover their faces with their capes and stroll off dramatically at the same time...walking sideways/backwards while glaring at the crowd.

Compare Hand Hiding Sleeves, which may be used for the same effect.

Feb 14th 2018 at 1:43:13 PM

Bump: Examples are helpful, but constructive criticism and image suggestions are more helpful.

Feb 14th 2018 at 2:20:04 PM

The Count from Sesame Street has done this as part of his vampire pastiche. See it here.

Feb 14th 2018 at 2:23:08 PM

Apparently the "real" reason why vampires cover their faces is because when Bela Lugosi died during production of Plan 9 From Outer Space they had his body double do this to hide the fact that he wasn't Lugosi. Read about this here. Take this explanation with a grain of salt.

Feb 14th 2018 at 3:45:49 PM

Yay! The Sesame Street example would make a great illustration for this page! Now, if only I could figure out how to code it in...

Feb 14th 2018 at 4:01:40 PM

^Don't worry, I've done it for you! Just copy and paste this:

[[quoteright:350:[[Series/SesameStreet http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_count_cape_cover.jpg]]]]

[[caption-width-right:350:some caption text]]


For the caption, maybe something like "One! One dramatic cape! Ah ah ah!"

It's up to you.

Feb 15th 2018 at 7:10:09 PM

Yay! The image and caption look great! Thanks everybody! A major milestone has been reached and I think it's time to remove the Early Development Phase tag.

Feb 18th 2018 at 12:09:56 AM

Bump - anyone have any future index placement suggestions, other than the obvious Body Language and Vampire Tropes indexes?

Feb 19th 2018 at 4:26:50 PM

  • Black Panther: a Wakandan tribe does this in battle because Vibranium technology sewn into their cloaks form Deflector Shields they can close ranks to contain someone.

Feb 20th 2018 at 1:54:08 PM

Cowl is the wrong garment for this trope, it's a hood, not a cape. Also, I've seen this gesture paired with a hammy Evil Laugh, so using "scowl" in the title would close off examples that should still count.

Feb 20th 2018 at 8:06:51 PM

  • Tommy from Codename Kids Next Door tries to get the main characters take himself seriously by donning a cape and using it to cover his face, a failed effort to look mysterious.

Feb 21st 2018 at 2:57:56 PM

Almost everything is ready for launch. I consider the current name to be good enough, but I can't think of anything better. If someone suggests a better name, that would be great. However, if I start getting cries of "Just Launch It Already" instead of name suggestions, I'll launch this with the current name.

Feb 21st 2018 at 3:45:12 PM

^I think the name works well enough. It's a little long, but I don't know what else we would call it. I think it's ready to launch.

Oh, one more thing: As far as indices go, you should also put it on ImageSource.Puppet Shows, under Sesame Street's entry of course.

Feb 21st 2018 at 7:44:21 PM

Thanks for the index placement suggestion, Dr No Puma. Keep 'em coming, everyone.

Feb 21st 2018 at 8:19:30 PM

Would Plan 9 From Outer Space be the Ur Example for this? Thats what I got from this highly reliable imgur thread, so there should probably mentioning that in the header, like "Although associated with Dracula proper, the Ur Example of the cape over the mouth trick is the from one of Bela Lugosi's non-Dracula parts, Plan 9 From Outer Space. There he was playing an Expy of the famous vampire, but he died midway through production, so his replacement actor used the cape to cover his face to conceal the difference."

Feb 22nd 2018 at 6:52:15 PM

Hmmm, I already have that specific example tagged as an Enforced Trope. As for whether or not it's the Ur Example, it probably is, but I'm not 100% certain.

Feb 23rd 2018 at 8:41:41 PM

^ Does the above mystery have to be solved before I launch this, or can it wait until afterwards?

Feb 24th 2018 at 2:50:18 PM

I'm getting tired of remembering to maintain this draft. At seven hats and zero bombs, I'm launching this now.

Top