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Baldness Angst

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A bald character who is self conscious about their baldness.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
Jess0312 on Sep 24th 2016 at 12:56:47 PM
Last Edited By:
Jess0312 on May 30th 2018 at 8:01:55 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

Needs a Better Description, Needs More Examples


A bald character is not happy about being bald. They used to have hair, only to lose it. Often they cover it with a hat or a wig. While they may be Prematurely Bald, they might simply be getting older (Truth in Television for many men).

Sometimes caused by a Traumatic Haircut.

Contrast Bald of Awesome. Sister trope to Fake-Hair Drama.


Examples:

Anime and Manga

  • One-Punch Man: Apart of being the most powerful being on Earth that no opponent can lasts more than one punch, maybe except Boros, the other thing that produces angst in Saitama is the loss of all of his hair, which eventually came with his superstrength and in one of the things what he missed a lot of his previous life.
  • Osomatsu-san: In the episode "Chibita's Revenge", Chibita tries to kill the sextuplets because one of them pulled out his only hair, leaving him bald.
  • In Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, high school student Kagero Usui's partial baldness is pretty much his only distinguishing trait, but because he is so self-conscious of it and tries to hide it, other characters stop noticing him completely when he does.

Comics

  • In basically any continuity, Lex Luthor lost his hair in a traumatic event. In the original Superboy comics, his reason for hating Superman is that he lost his hair in a lab accident that Supes saved him from.
  • In Robin Tim's friend Ives is embarrassed when he looses his hair due to his follicular lymphoma and its treatments and does all he can to hide it from his classmates.

Comic Strip

  • Foxtrot: Bumbling Dad Roger isn't entirely bald yet, but it's definitely thinning out. A few strips point out this aspect of his character:
    • When Peter loses a bet and has to shave himself bald, Roger celebrates that he's no longer the one with the least hair in the house. Peter gets even a few days later by remarking how awesome it is that hair just grows right back.
    • Andy says she's worried about Paige, as her final exams have her ripping her hair out. Roger tells her he used to do so as well.
    Andy: Why do you think I'm worried?
    Roger (rubbing his head): Hm. You may have a point.
    • Roger walks in on Peter trying a quack method for growing chest hair, involving rubbing his skin to get blood flowing there and stimulate the follicles. Roger starts to claim that's the stupidest thing he's ever heard, when he suddenly develops an itch on the top of his head.

Film

  • Inverted in Black Panther. The Dora Milaje, the bodyguards and elite soldiers of the Wakandan army are all shaved bald. They eschew wigs and dislike wearing them. They don't mind using the wig as a weapon. Okoye does this when a fight breaks out in the Korean casino.
  • The Craft: The Alpha Bitch messes with Rochelle's dive and says something racist to her. Since the girls are dabbling magic, they cast a spell on her. They find her a few days later sobbing in the shower with her blonde hair (which she of course flipped and primped) falling out in handfuls.

Literature

  • In the Bill Peet book No Such Things, the wig-tailed mopwoggins are bald on the tops of their heads, despite having long fur everywhere else. They're said to be embarrassed about it, and, as their name implies, they use the tuft of fur on their tails to hide it.

Live-Action TV

  • The Addams Family: In "Uncle Fester's Toupee", Uncle Fester has a Love Interest and wants a toupee as she is said to hate bald people.
  • There is some second hand baldness angst in Babylon 5 with Michael Garibaldi's rather noticeable hair loss over the course of the first couple of seasons. While Garibaldi himself doesn't angst over it, one of the stations smugglers really does feel guilty and bad about it according to the episode "Racing Mars" because he accidentally exposed Garibaldi to some alien goo which caused it. He's also scared about Garibaldi finding this out, just in case he does feel some angst or need for revenge.
  • In the final season of Cheers the hair-proud Sam Malone reveals to a disconsolate Carla that he's been wearing a toupee. She's sworn to secrecy, of course.
  • In The Dick Van Dyke Show episode "Coast to Coast Big Mouth", Laura is tricked into blurting out the secret that Alan Brady is bald on live television. She is extremely nervous about how he'll react to this, and indeed, Alan is very unhappy, but he is eventually convinced that bald can be beautiful and the conflict is laid to rest.
  • Parodied in Sabrina the Teenage Witch. A newscaster is blackmailed with a photo of his bald head (he usually wears a toupee) and eventually comes clean. Turns out nobody cares.
    "People like people with hair! They've done studies!"
  • 21 Jump Street: Hanson and Penhall rip a toupe from a school principal's head and he reacts very embarrassed at his bald head being exposed. Subverted when the guy next day shows up as his bald self without his toupe, saying "I decided to go for a new look!".
  • Eleven in Stranger Things has some angst that her shaved head makes her not "pretty".

Professional Wrestling

  • Molly Holly had her head shaved bald at Wrestlemania 20, and afterwards, she started completing in wigs to hide her baldness. If someone removed her wig, she'll get upset and even choked out the woman responsible for having her head shaved bald, Victoria.
  • Kurt Angle did something similar when Edge shaved his head bald, but Kurt wore a wig and had protective wrestling headgear on top of the wig.

Web Comic

  • in the now-completed webcomic Webcomic/Girls with Slingshots Jameson, the so-nicknamed "hot barista" at the coffee shop is so freaked by losing all but his forelock, he hides his head under a bandanna but lovingly preens the remaining Spit Curl. The girls tough love him into shaving his "handsome little tuft", and he's a mopey mess afterwards, convinced he's old and has lost his attractiveness. He only begins to recover when his shy and reserved girlfriend Maureen sees his bald head. She thought the single lock freakish but now finds Jameson Bald Of Sexy. She leaps enthusiastically into his arms.

Web Video

  • Played With in Acquisitions Incorporated: since both Omin Dran's player and the Dungeon Master are bald IRL, Omin's baldness is treated like a badge of honor in-game, something to aspire to. It is made ambiguous, however, whether he really does feel that way, or is just overcompensating to hide his insecurity about it.

Western Animation


Indexes: Hair Tropes, Sadness Tropes

Feedback: 49 replies

Jun 8th 2017 at 8:03:59 AM

Prematurely Bold can be a cause of this. Also, this is very much a Truth In Television for many men.

  • In Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, high school student Kagero Usui's partial baldness is pretty much his only distinguishing trait, but because he is so self-conscious of it and tries to hide it, other characters stop noticing him completely when he does.
  • Played With in Acquisitions Incorporated: since both Omin Dran's player and the Dungeon Master are bald IRL, Omin's baldness is treated like a badge of honor in-game, something to aspire to. It is made ambiguous, however, whether he really does feel that way, or is just overcompensating to hide his insecurity about it.

Jun 8th 2017 at 2:34:56 AM

  • Spongebob Squarepants: Squidward the bald squid always dreams of having hair. In some episodes he manages to get it, only to lose it in the end.

Jun 8th 2017 at 3:22:50 PM

  • One Punch Man: Apart of being the most powerful being on Earth that no opponent can lasts more than one punch maybe except Boros, the other thing that produces angst in Saitama is the loss of all of his hair, which eventually came with his superstrength and in one of the things what he missed a lot of his previous life.

Jun 9th 2017 at 12:11:02 AM

The Addams Family: In "Uncle Fester's Toupee", [[Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Uncle Fester]] has a Love Interest and wants a toupee as she is said to hate bald people.

Jun 9th 2017 at 5:32:32 AM

Live-Action TV

  • Twenty One Jump Street: Hanson and Penhall rip a toupée from a school principal's head and he reacts very embarrassed at his bold head being exposed. Subverted when the guy next day shows up as his bald self without his toupée, saying "I decided to go for a new look!".

Jun 9th 2017 at 5:33:30 AM

^ sorry for misspelling, that should be "his bald head".

Jun 10th 2017 at 6:26:26 AM

There, problem solved

Jun 10th 2017 at 9:52:26 AM

Sister trope to Fake Hair Drama (and you can probably copy some of those examples over here, too).

Western Animation:

Jun 14th 2017 at 5:20:12 PM

  • in the now-completed webcomic {Webcomic}/Girls With Slingshots Jameson, the so-nicknamed "hot barista" at the coffee shop is so freaked by losing all but his forelock, he hides his head under a bandanna but lovingly preens the remaining Spit Curl. The girls tough love him into shaving his "handsome little tuft", and he's a mopey mess afterwards, convinced he's old and has lost his attractiveness. He only begins to recover when his shy and reserved girlfriend Maureen sees his bald head. She thought the single lock freakish but now finds Jameson Bald Of Sexy. She leaps enthusiastically into his arms.

  • The Craft: The Alpha Bitch messes with Rochelle's dive and says something racist to her. Since the girls are dabbling magic, they cast a spell on her. They find her a few days later sobbing in the shower with her blonde hair (which she of course flipped and primped) falling out in handfuls.

Jun 15th 2017 at 6:41:22 AM

King Neptune in The Sponge Bob Square Pants Movie. He insists his hair is just "thinning", despite his head being so bald its shine hurts people's eyes. It's implied that this is the main reason he goes ballistic when his crown is stolen, and he wears a paper bag on his head in the meantime.

Jun 15th 2017 at 9:21:46 PM

"Balding angst" is a common type of this.

Jun 18th 2017 at 2:36:59 PM

  • Foxtrot: Bumbling Dad Roger isn't entirely bald yet, but it's definitely thinning out. A few strips point out this aspect of his character:
    • When Peter loses a bet and has to shave himself bald, Roger celebrates that he's no longer the one with the least hair in the house. Peter gets even a few days later by remarking how awesome it is that hair just grows right back.
    • Andy says she's worried about Paige, as her final exams have her ripping her hair out. Roger tells her he used to do so as well.
    Andy: Why do you think I'm worried?
    Roger (rubbing his head): Hm. You may have a point.
    • Roger walks in on Peter trying a quack method for growing chest hair, involving rubbing his skin to get blood flowing there and stimulate the follicles. Roger starts to claim that's the stupidest thing he's ever heard, when he suddenly develops an itch on the top of his head.

Jun 18th 2017 at 4:51:31 PM

^^ it's a sign of getting old, and that's problematic, you see?

Jun 18th 2017 at 5:56:23 PM

In The Dick Van Dyke Show episode "Coast to Coast Big Mouth", Laura is tricked into blurting out the secret that Alan Brady is bald on live television. She is extremely nervous about how he'll react to this, and indeed, Alan is very unhappy, but he is eventually convinced that bald can be beautiful and the conflict is laid to rest.

Jun 22nd 2017 at 9:52:42 AM

  • Parodied in Sabrina The Teenage Witch. A newscaster is blackmailed with a photo of his bald head (he usually wears a toupee) and eventually comes clean. Turns out nobody cares.
    "People like people with hair! They've done studies!"

Jul 8th 2017 at 4:35:11 PM

May overlap with the draft 'Being Bald Is Funny'.

Mar 5th 2018 at 6:04:43 AM

Professional Wrestling

  • Molly Holly had her head shaved bald at Wrestlemania 20, and afterwards, she started completing in wigs to hide her baldness. If someone removed her wig, she'll get upset and even choked out the woman responsible for having her head shaved bald, Victoria.
  • Kurt Angle did something similar when Edge shaved his head bald, but Kurt wore a wig and had protective wrestling headgear on top of the wig.

Mar 5th 2018 at 7:31:29 AM

Would this be an example?

  • Osomatsu San: In the episode "Chibita's Revenge", Chibita tries to kill the sextuplets because one of them pulled out his only hair, leaving him bald.

Mar 5th 2018 at 10:27:50 AM

Eleven in Stranger Things has some angst that her shaved head makes her not "pretty".

Mar 5th 2018 at 10:30:09 AM

Also could Traumatic Haircut be related as its often about how a shaved head/baldness is shameful

Mar 13th 2018 at 7:11:22 AM

Nobody has mentioned Lex Luthor yet? In basically any continuity, Lex lost his hair in a traumatic event. In the original Superboy comics, his reason for hating Superman is that he lost his hair in a lab accident that Supes saved him from. (That’d be a good trope image actually if I could hunt it down)

Mar 13th 2018 at 7:12:18 AM

(He occasionally uses a toupee, thus including it in this trope)

Mar 13th 2018 at 7:21:01 AM

There is some second hand baldness angst in Babylon 5 with Michael Garibaldi's rather noticeable hair loss over the course of the first couple of seasons. While Garibaldi himself doesn't angst over it, one of the stations smugglers really does feel guilty and bad about it according to the episode "Racing Mars" because he accidentally exposed Garibaldi to some alien goo which caused it. He's also scared about Garibaldi finding this out, just in case he does feel some angst or need for revenge.

Apr 1st 2018 at 1:21:11 PM

What help are you needing? Other than fixing the 21 Jump Street example, it looks like you are good to go.

Apr 1st 2018 at 2:46:15 PM

I think I know the cause of the garbage text. Whatever you're doing to get the (whatchamacallit) fancy e in toupee, it's not working because the wiki's software is incompatible with your method. As for fixing the problem, I'm sorry, I'm in the same boat as you - I don't know what it'll take to coax the wiki software into displaying the fancy e correctly, the bandaid-solution I can suggest is just using two plain e letters in a row. If my assumption on what you need help with is incomplete, please let me know.

Apr 1st 2018 at 3:10:02 PM

you should probably cut the line about boros from the one punch man example, its an unnecissary technical detail that doesnt help explain the trope or example much, and requires a spoiler tag, which i believe means that it violates the spoiler tag guidelines

Apr 6th 2018 at 10:09:07 PM

  • Inverted in Black Panther. The Dora Milaje, the bodyguards and elite soldiers of the Wakandan army are all shaved bald. They eschew wigs and dislike wearing them. They don't mind using the wig as a weapon. Okoye does this when a fight breaks out in the Korean casino,

Apr 12th 2018 at 9:23:33 PM

In the Bill Peet book No Such Things, the wig-tailed mopwoggins are bald on the tops of their heads, despite having long fur everywhere else. They're said to be embarrassed about it, and, as their name implies, they use the tuft of fur on their tails to hide it.

Apr 13th 2018 at 12:02:28 PM

Discarded my "Being Bald Is Funny" TLP because there's too much overlap.

Apr 13th 2018 at 9:49:17 PM

Too much overlap? What do you mean?

May 21st 2018 at 11:21:49 AM

  • In Robin Tim's friend Ives is embarrassed when he looses his hair due to his follicular lymphoma and its treatments and does all he can to hide it from his classmates.

May 28th 2018 at 7:19:39 PM

May 28th 2018 at 8:32:23 PM

  • In the final season of Cheers the hair-proud Sam Malone reveals to a disconsolate Carla that he's been wearing a toupee. She's sworn to secrecy, of course.

May 28th 2018 at 9:07:33 PM

So anyone wants this trope to be launched?

May 30th 2018 at 8:34:26 PM

Ok, Thank you

Now please chill, sorry if I had push you

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