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Villainous Face Hold

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A villain forces their victim to look them in the eye.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
Clanger00 on Jun 28th 2018 at 7:36:02 PM
Last Edited By:
Clanger00 on Jul 16th 2018 at 6:05:38 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/peter_hook.jpg

A villain has the Damsel in Distress or Distressed Dude at his mercy, and wants to lord his victory over his prisoner. One way to do this is to grab the chin or jaw of a demoralised captive and force them to look the villain in the eye whilst he gloats. It can also happen if the prisoner is distracted by something, or actively avoiding having to look the villain in the eye, and the villain wants to make sure he is what the captive is paying attention to.

This trope is used to show that the villain has such control over their prisoner they can manhandle the prisoner into focusing on them.

Less commonly happens with a Defiant Captive, who is probably already making eye-contact with the villain.

Can be paired with I Have You Now, My Pretty, and related tropes, though this trope does not have to be sexual in nature, and can be employed by the villain simply to mock the hero.

Compare Neck Lift and Face Palm Of Doom (where the face grab is intended to be painful), and also other Stock Poses.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In a filler episode of the Kuroshitsuji anime, Angela has Sebastian chained to a wall, and she uses the handle of her whip to lift Sebastian's chin up so that she can see his face while she mocks him.
  • In early Gensoumaden Saiyuki, a leery guy holds Sanzo's face still whilst complimenting him on his feminine beauty.

    Film — Animation 
  • Having lured Basil, The Great Mouse Detective to his lair, Ratigan ambushes the hero with a faux surprise party. After tearing away Basil's fake mustache, Ratigan toys with Basil, holding Basil's chin while sarcastically complimenting him on his seafarer disguise.
  • In Tarzan, when Clayton has captured Tarzan on the ship, he uses the barrel of his gun to lift Tarzan's chin up so he's forced to look him in the eye when Clayton reveals his betrayal.
  • In Hercules, when Hades has taken Meg hostage. He grabs her face and makes her look at him (Hades) and then at Hercules in order to mock Hercules.
  • Disney's Aladdin
    • In the first film, Jafar does this to both Jasmine and Aladdin. When mocking Jasmine over Aladdin's status as a peasant, he uses his staff to lift her face up so he can see her expression. He mocks Aladdin further by grabbing his face and then slaps him.
    • In the sequel film Aladdin: The Return of Jafar, Jafar again does this with Jasmine as she's chained to a wall, but she bites his hand.
  • In The Jungle Book Mowgli runs into Kaa a second time, and Kaa repeatedly uses his tail to try to force Mowgli to look him in the eyes so he can hypnotise him.
  • In the Peter Pan sequel Return To Never Land, as shown in the page image, Captain Hook lifts a captured Peter's chin up using his hook so that he can see his face whilst he gloats.
  • In The Little Mermaid sequel The Little Mermaid II, Morgana has Ariel caught in one of her tentacles and grabs her jaw to make her look at her, in order to mock Melody.
  • In Incredibles 2, the monologuing villain holds the incapacitated Elastigirl's chin up as she's suffocating to near death.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Snow White and the Huntsman, Ravenna holds the chin of a young captive so she can get a good look at his face. This is meant as a threat to the man's father.
  • In It (2017), Pennywise prepares to eat Eddie, and holds his face still so Eddie can't look away whilst Pennywise imitates his crying. As a being that feeds off fear, it's clear Pennywise is doing this to scare him more.
  • Grand Moff Tarkin from Star Wars: A New Hope grips captive Princess Leia's chin while mentioning that he's signed her death warrant. Leia is unbowed by this bullying.
    Tarkin: Charming to the last. You don't know how hard I found it, signing the order to terminate your life.
    Leia: I'm surprised you had the courage to take the responsibility yourself.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Season 7 of Game of Thrones, Cersei kills Tyene Sand by giving her a poisoned kiss. To mock her mother, who is chained to the opposite wall, Cersei holds Tyene's jaw whilst commenting on her 'dornish beauty'.

    Literature 

    Video Games 
  • In Furi, while The Stranger is still restrained inside his cell, The Chain lifts his chin up and punches him in the face. Subverted, in that while The Chain's a sadistic brute, he is not exactly a villain and he has some very solid reasons for keeping The Stranger locked up.
  • In the E3 trailer for Spider-Man (PS4), Scorpion uses his tail to grab an unsuspecting Spider-man by the neck and drags him up so that he is looking Spider-man in the eyes whilst he gloats.
  • In the 9th Dynasty Warriors, Dong Bai uses two fingers to lift up the chin of a defeated Diaochan, while she (Dong Bai) thinks of ways to kill her.

    Western Animation 
  • In Season 1 of The Legend of Korra, Amon grabs a captured Korra's jaw and forces her to look up at him when he threatens to take away her bending.
  • In Season 2 of Teen Titans, Terra tries to quit working for Slade. Unfortunately the armour suit she's wearing is integrated into her nervous system, and as she tried to leave Slade uses the suit to drag her back to him and electrocute her. He grabs her jaw and holds her face still while he brags about how she can never leave him.

Feedback: 26 replies

Jun 28th 2018 at 8:04:06 PM

  • Furi: while The Stranger is still restrained inside his cell, The Chain lifts his chin up and punches him in the face. Subverted, in that while The Chain's a sadistic brute he is not exactly a villain and he has some very solid reasons for keeping The Stranger locked up.

Jun 28th 2018 at 8:30:51 PM

  • Some of the examples aren't linked properly. Use this: {{ on either side of the title name if the title is one word.
  • The description is a bit short.
  • Other than that, I think it's good, so don't take my criticism the wrong way.

Jun 28th 2018 at 9:35:55 PM

Does this have to be done by the villain? An imperative of eye contact seems to be a trope already.

Jun 28th 2018 at 9:40:14 PM

We have romantic eye contact tropes, but I couldn't find any villainous eye contact tropes. Though the eye contact itself isn't the important part, it's that the villain is grabbing their prisoner's face and physically forcing them to do it.

Jun 29th 2018 at 2:39:00 AM

  • Capitalized the title.
  • Examples section
    • Put a blank line between the "——" and "Examples" so the line will display.
    • Corrected illegal Example Indentation. Warning: this rules violation can result in being suspended from editing.
    • Corrected punctuation (added commas, deleted unnecessary commas).
    • De-capitalized (Hook).
    • Corrected spelling (hold's -> holds).

Jun 29th 2018 at 4:55:36 AM

^ What? We do have a "romantic eye contact" trope? Where?

  • "it's that the villain is grabbing their prisoner's face and physically forcing them to do it." Then the title should be more specific; right now it sounds like any order to look someone in the eye (and not necessarily villainous, like when a superior officer does it), not the specific gesture.

Jun 29th 2018 at 7:19:46 AM

There's Held Gaze but that seems to cover any case of characters meaningfully staring into each other's eyes, not just romantic ones.

Jun 29th 2018 at 7:47:35 AM

Redwall: Emperor Ublaz does this to his victims (and some of his mooks), as he has a hypnotic gaze that works on birds and reptiles as well. In the mook's case, he makes him jump out a window to his death.

Jun 29th 2018 at 8:14:48 AM

Animated Films

  • The Jungle Book:
    • Early in the movie, Kaa has Mowgli in his coils and is about to eat him, but Bagheera stops him before he gets the chance. Kaa is upset with Bagheera and confronts him, telling him to look in the eyes. Bagheera tries to resist, because he knows that Kaa has hypnotic powers, but eventually gives in. Before Kaa can attack Bagheera, Mowgli knocks him out of the tree they're in.
    • In a later scene, when Mowgli runs away from Baloo, he comes across Kaa again, who wants him to look him in the eyes, and although Mowgli tries his best to resist, he becomes depressed when he feels like he has no friends to trust and eventually gives into looking Kaa in the eyes. This ends up turning out to be a good thing, as Kaa ends up protecting Mowgli from Shere Khan, who is smart enough not to look Kaa in the eyes.

Jun 29th 2018 at 10:18:34 AM

The title looks like dialogue and makes no mention about it being about villains.

Surely there are other situations where someone will instruct another to look them in the eyes?

Jun 29th 2018 at 10:37:36 AM

Yeah the title isn't fantastic, but I'm struggling to think of a better name for the trope.

Jun 29th 2018 at 10:39:54 PM

How about Forced Eye Contact?

Jun 30th 2018 at 2:44:39 AM

If we're being specific about the very pose, then the current title is good, and this is part of Stock Poses.

Jun 30th 2018 at 5:42:00 AM

Villainous Face Grab?

Jun 30th 2018 at 8:50:01 PM

Compare also Face Palm Of Doom when this is done to actually hurt.

Jul 1st 2018 at 5:45:14 PM

"Face Grab" is not really what I'd use in this trope's name, because it implies actually grabbing the face, a la Face Palm Of Doom. I'd suggest using "Face Pull", to emphasize that the trope is about pulling someone's face close to the villain's own, rather than a villainous version of Face Palm Of Doom.

Jul 7th 2018 at 5:01:30 PM

Film

  • Grand Moff Tarkin from Star Wars A New Hope grips captive Princess Leia's chin while mentioning that he's signed her death warrant. Leia is unbowed by this bullying.
    Tarkin: Charming to the last. You don't know how hard I found it, signing the order to terminate your life.
    Leia: I'm surprised you had the courage to take the responsibility yourself.

Jul 8th 2018 at 4:49:19 PM

Somewhat preferred Captain Hook's more

Jul 8th 2018 at 5:50:12 PM

Alternative name suggestion: Villainous Face Hold, since in addition to my previously mentioned reservations about using the word "grab", holding something in place doesn't necessarily require a hand (as demonstrated in the above two image suggestions), whereas grabbing by definition must be done with a hand (whether natural or artificial). And the point of the trope is that the victim's face is held stationary so that they're forced to look at the villain, whether or not that requires pulling them in close, right?

Jul 9th 2018 at 2:46:15 PM

Changed title to Marq's suggestion and I agree with 4tell that the Hook image is a bit better, as it's immediately obvious Peter has been captured. Thanks all.

Jul 12th 2018 at 9:49:58 AM

Jul 12th 2018 at 2:07:59 PM

Film Animated

  • Having lured Basil, The Great Mouse Detective to his lair, Ratigan ambushes the hero with a faux surprise party. After tearing away Basil's fake mustache, Ratigan toys with Basil, holding Basil's chin while sarcastically complimenting him on his seafarer disguise.

Jul 16th 2018 at 6:15:58 AM

I'm on the fence with the Tangled example. Gothel is a villain and Rapunzel is a prisoner, but Rapunzel doesn't see Gothel as a villain at that point and doesn't see herself as a prisoner. Depends on what others think.

There are also some other examples I'm on the fence on

  • In Ice Age 4 Continental Drift, Captain Gutt lifts Shira's face up using one of his claws while he threatens her for failing to kill Manny, Sid and Diego. (as they're both villains at this point and Shira isn't really captured I'm not sure it's an example)
  • In The Little Mermaid, Ursula holds Ariel's jaw with one of her tentacles and forces Ariel look at her, whilst feigning concern for her fractured relationship with her father and her inability to be on land. (as Ariel isn't there against her will I'm not sure it's an example)
  • In Wreck It Ralph, a Cy-bug corrupted Turbo/Candy King has captured Ralph and holds his jaw still so that he's forced to watch Sugar Rush be consumed by Cy-bugs. As he does this, he taunts Ralph about how Vanellope will be killed as she is unable to leave the game. (as he's not forcing Ralph to look at him, I'm not sure if it counts)
  • In The Incredibles, Bob is being lectured by his supervisor, Gilbert Hugh, for helping customers with insurance claims. When Bob notices someone being mugged outside, Gilbert grabs Bob's jaw and screams "Look at me when I'm talking to you, Parr". He then proceeds to mock Bob over being unable to help him. (as Gilbert isn't technically a villain and Bob isn't a prisoner, I'm not sure if this is an example)

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