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Bald Head of Toughness

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Big, bald, and busting through bricks.
Guy at Party: I'm losing my hair, but I'm afraid of what it'll look like if I shave it all off. I don't know... Maybe I got the juice to pull it off. What do you think?
Darius: I dunno, I feel like that's more easily pulled off by white men that are assumed to be dangerous, like Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, The Rock. Same reason why black dudes can do it as well.
Atlanta, "The Old Man and the Tree"

When baldness or a shaved head (e.g. a really close buzz cut like a "wiffle" or "induction" cut) is used to emphasize how tough and strong a character is. Toughness usually requires some degree of superior physical strength and durability like in Super-Toughness, Super-Strength, Made of Iron, and Nigh-Invulnerability, but a bald or shaved Badass Normal who has exhibited a great deal of perseverance and endurance through sheer force of will would also qualify.

One reason behind this trope is that hair of medium and long length can get in the way when one is physically training, and when fighting can be a liability as enemies can grab you By the Hair preparatory for doing you ugly, so going completely bald or shaving one's head avoids the issue entirely. This is (in part) why many armed forces require new recruits to shave their heads before undergoing basic training. Symbolically, on the other hand, since hair acts as a natural defense against the elements, baldness can imply toughness as one is naturally more exposed to harsh weather than those with hair.

While a character who is tough, strong, and bald/shaven from the outset of the story is typically how this trope is played, characters who shave their heads or lose their hair on their path to becoming tougher as an Expository Hairstyle Change or Important Hair Cut are also quite common. One version of this is a character becoming bald or shaving their heads after toughening up from a Training from Hell and gaining a Charles Atlas Superpower.

There is also a gendered component to this trope due to the real world fact that high levels of testosterone are a leading cause of premature baldness. This has lead to the idea that Long Hair Is Feminine and that, along with an association of femininity with physical weakness, has made many treat baldness like a more extreme version of Real Men Have Short Hair, using this trope to reinforce depictions of Men Are Tough. If a bald guy is part of a team and they aren't the leader, they are very likely to be The Big Guy.

That said, there is also a distinct trend for tough female characters to be bald, especially within the action and science fiction genres. Long Hair Is Feminine and Women Are Delicate? No problem, just remove the hair and now you have a visual short-hand for tough-as-nails, emotionally hardened, and likely battle-weary female characters. Such characters are almost always Action Girls and/or Tomboys with the bald/shaved head functioning similarly to Boyish Short Hair, Braids of Action, and Tomboyish Ponytail.

A Trope In Aggregate. Related to Delinquent Hair, as many of those in counterculture movements have adopted head-shaving and general baldness as part of their aesthetics as a form of intimidation. Compare Manly Facial Hair. Contrast Baldness Angst and Baldness Means Sickness. See also Prematurely Bald, which may lead into this trope, but is often accompanied with Baldness Angst due to social stigmas. Can overlap with Bald Mystic if the character is both mystical and durable/notably resilient. Not to be confused with Hard Head, which may be used to help portray this trope.


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  • The mascot for the cleaning products brand "Mr. Clean" is a tough-looking, genial, older, muscular, bald man, who stands with his arms crossed. This is used to emphasize how good the products are at tackling stubborn stains and grime, with the tagline for most commercials being "Mr. Clean gets tough on dirt and grime and grease in just a minute."

    Anime & Manga 
  • AKIRA: Joker is the bald leader of "The Clowns", a biker gang composed of addicts and junkies. He's also Made of Iron: in the movie he shrugs off a 100+ kilometer per hour crash and in the manga, he takes a bike tire to the face that's spinning so fast it leaves a skid mark with little visible damage.
  • Bleach:
    • Of the 13 squads that govern Soul Society, Squad 11 specializes in combat (forgoing kido) and does not accept anyone who isn't a Blood Knight. Naturally, one of the only two bald characters in Soul Society, Ikkaku Madarame, is a member of the team. Though originally the 3rd seat, he was also widely known as having vice-captain level abilities. Making fun of his baldness however does get under his skin. In a bit of a subversion, when he finally develops his Bankai it's a Glass Cannon, trading in defensive durability for offensive power.
    • The second bald character in Soul Society? That'd be Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto, the late Captain of the First Squad and Captain-Commander of the Thirteen Court Guard Squads, the uncontested most powerful person in Soul Society, and arguably the series, with few others even coming close. Outside of his Playing with Fire Bankai, note  his robes belie an incredibly muscular physique that indicates his superior strength and durability: he easily fought Espada-level Arrancar Wonderweiss barehanded, shattering him completely with a single double-fisted punch.
  • In Brave10, Warrior Monk Seikai is appropriately bald, made of pure muscle and nigh physically impervious to even blades.
  • Umibozu from City Hunter is bald. He's strong enough to bring down a tree with a single punch or casually juggle with three grown men and so tough .38 Special bullets can barely wound him.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Alex Louis Armstrong is known as "The Strongman Alchemist," and specializes in a form of earth-based alchemy that relies on his immense physical strength. He is easily the physically strongest member of the Amestris Military and his muscles are proof of that. He is the only bald (save for a single blond curl on his forehead) character shown in the story.
  • Hunter × Hunter:
    • During the Hunter Exam, Hanzo is bald as the day he was born and is portrayed as a comedic character, who is even called out by Tonpa for talking too much and being too social to be a ninja. But in a case of Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, his one-on-one duel against Gon is a Curb-Stomp Battle that under normal conditions (i.e. subdue or incapacitate your foe), would've ended in an overwhelming and near-instantaneous victory, due to Hanzo's superior speed and strength.
    • Inverted with Knov, who goes Prematurely Bald after coming into contact with Shaiapouf's malevolent En. The immense fear he feels by being around the Chimera Ant Royal Guards turns Knov's jet black hair completely white as he breaks down, realizing he would likely die should he have to face any of them 1-on-1. Knov forces himself to complete his infiltration job for the mission, but is in such bad shape mentally by the end that the stress causes him to lose every hair on his head.
  • Sword Art Online: Agil is tall, bald, black and has a goatee. He's one of Kirito's trusted friends and serves as his team's The Big Guy, with a preference for two-handed axes in combat. In terms of strength and durability, he's a Mighty Glacier, though it's somewhat downplayed because his speed only seems slow relative to several of his teammates who are Lightning Bruisers.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animated 
  • Cats Don't Dance has Alpha Bitch and Bratty Half-Pint Darla Dimple get her way on set because she can summon the towering Mighty Glacier Max almost instantly. Max is huge, bald, insanely top-heavy, and The Stoic, standing about eye-level with the overhead Klieg lights.
  • Lilo & Stitch: Social worker Cobra Bubbles is tough on Nani throughout the film in terms of her ability to take care of her little sister Lilo, threatening to take her away if things get out of hand. He is later revealed to be a former CIA agent who helped stop an alien threat, but subverted since, according to the Grand Councilwoman, he actually had hair back when he was in that tougher job. He also softens towards Nani and Lilo at the end of the film and bonds with their blended family, showing up in later installments of the franchise as an ally.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Alien³: Downplayed. Ellen Ripley was already an Action Girl and Final Girl after being the sole survivor of her crew in Alien and going against and killing Xenomorphs in both preceding films. In this movie, her going bald is incidental: a lice break out on the prison her ship crashed on forces everyone to shave their heads completely bald to stop the spread. That said, it's in this film she becomes a survivor of attempted rape and musters up the willpower to kill herself in order to kill the Xenomorph Queen embryo gestating inside of her.
  • Cutthroat Island: Mr. Blair, a bald officer on Morgan's ship, is good at keeping a cool head while in danger and is a deadly force in a fight, even defeating one of the Co-Dragons after the man breaks his arm.
  • Dawn of the Dead (2004): A police officer and former Marine, bald and black Kenneth Hall serves as the group's The Big Guy, blasting through the hordes of zombies with his preferred weapon of a shotgun.
  • The Dark Knight Rises: Bane is a completely bald hulking mass of a dude who is the only one in the trilogy to best Batman in hand-to-hand combat by simply being stronger than him (and him being Made of Iron due to the drug in his mask letting him feel no pain), culminating with Bane breaking Batman's back. This is in contrast to the previous film's primary antagonist, The Joker, who tormented Batman psychologically.
  • Drunken Master: Rat the Iron-Headed Bullet is a literal example of this, having a bald head so strong he can break a piece of brick over it.
  • Empire Records: Deb is hostile, anti-social, and shaves her head in the store bathroom near the beginning of the film. Her hairstyle (and personality) reflects how closed off she is emotionally and provides a counterpoint to the more stereotypical feminine behavior and appearance of the other female characters.
  • G.I. Jane: Jordan is selected to be the first woman to join the U.S. Navy Seals after a female senator from Texas criticizes the government for not integrating male and female recruits. After realizing she is being treated much more delicately than her male counterparts, Jordan shaves her head completely and demands equal treatment from her peers. Cue a Training from Hell that was meant to break her, but only served to make her that much more competent and stronger.
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): Dr. Diane Foster is a bald, black, no-nonsense, Colonel Badass and Front Line General who is handy with a sniper rifle.
  • India Sweets And Spices: Sheila and her fellow feminists all shaved their heads defiantly given they were viewed as "weak women" unable to accomplish things. Her daughter Alia later shaves her head too in a tribute to her.
  • In the Shadow of the Moon: The killer, Rya, is a woman and her head is entirely shaved. She's a very capable opponent, showing great strength and speed, as well as some Made of Iron tendencies: she performs most of her mission including multiple chases with the police with a .38 bullet lodged in her wrist, which she doesn't even seem to notice most of the time.
  • In Invitation to a Gunfighter, Cultured Badass Jules Gaspard d'Estaing, the eponymous, is easily the physically and mentally toughest character in the film, and is bald as an egg (being played by Yul Brynner).
  • While most of Bruce Willis' roles since Unbreakable count, his signature role of John McClane in Live Free or Die Hard is a good example of the trope as he was more Made of Iron than ever—the people half his age he is fighting land much more hits on him, he is twice forced to jump off two moving vehicles being attacked by aircraft, and even kills a man by shooting himself on the shoulder. Once his daughter shouts at a hacker helping John to "dig deep for a bigger set of balls, 'cause you're gonna need 'em", his response is "Wow, I know that tone. It's just weird hearing it come from someone... with hair."
  • Mad Max: Fury Road: Furiosa rocks a shaved head and is a badass of the highest order in a world where being a badass is almost a requirement for survival. She's capable with a sniper, a strong hand-to-hand combatant, and refuses to back down, no matter the cost, of her goal of taking down Immorten Joe. This was apparently invoked by Charlize Theron, who portrays Furiosa, in order to create more contrast between Furiosa and The Wives.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: The MCU version of Nebula is a bald, Cyborg, Dark Action Girl who has Super-Strength and Super-Toughness. The years of torture she suffered under Thanos as he forced more cybernetic upgrades on her to make her stronger has hardened her emotionally. She is also characterized as a Determinator, shown by her ability to establish herself as the new leader of the Ravagers even when she's down a hand in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
  • In The Matrix, most people of both sexes in the in-story real world of The Matrix are either bald or very close-shaven. This is in part justified because it would appear that the machines' People Jars prevent hair growth for those inside and hair could cover the port to hook up into The Matrix, but most of the characters would presumably have been out for long enough to grow some more hair (like Neo eventually does), so that's probably not why everyone's hair is like that. This helps create a contrast between the harsh, limited living conditions of reality and the cushy, comfortable, but ultimately controlled, lifestyle within The Matrix.
  • No Escape (1994): The Father's bodyguard Skull is the only prominent bald character, and is a skilled martial artist who fights tough enemies to defend the Father even after being wounded during the Christmas Raid.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Giant Mook Indy fights (and gets his ass kicked by) on the airstrip runway is bald. Notably, he's the only enemy in the film that gives him an even fight, and is only disposed of through sheer happenstance, being accidentally beheaded by his own plane instead of being directly beaten by Indy.
  • Solo (1996). Mario Van Peebles shaves his head to play the title character, an android Super-Soldier. This is to show not only his toughness but to give him a slightly uncanny appearance.
  • V for Vendetta: Following the source material, Evey transforms from a Naïve Everygirl into an Action Girl and Redeeming Replacement for V after she is tortured in a successful Confidence Building Scheme by V, which includes shaving her hair as a Traumatic Haircut.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Atlanta: Discussed in the second episode of Season 3 by Darius when a young, prematurely balding guy he meets at a party asks him if he should just shave it all off.
Darius: I dunno, I feel like that's more easily pulled off by white men that are assumed to be dangerous, right. Like Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, The Rock...Same reason why black dudes can do it as well..."
  • Breaking Bad:
    • The show follows Walter White, who becomes a drug dealer after being diagnosed with cancer to ensure there is enough money for his family after he dies. He shaves his head while undergoing chemotherapy, right before Taking a Level In Badass by adopting the hardened, ruthless drug kingpin persona he names "Heisenberg," whom he'd slowly morph into over the course of the show. Lampshaded by his son who reacts to seeing his dad's new look with "Badass, dad!"
    • A number of other criminal figures have bald heads, to the point that it becomes visual shorthand for a badass in the series. In one episode, a paranoid Jesse spots a bald man in a park and begins suspecting that he's a hitman, only for it to be revealed that the man is simply a dad on an outing with his young daughter.
  • The Book of Boba Fett: Boba Fett - who was completely bald by the time the series had taken place - survived the Sarlacc, being abducted and abused by a Tusken tribe before being adopted by them, having to bury his newfound Tusken tribe after they were killed, fighting against Moff Gideon's Imperial faction, repeated assassination attempts, and surviving a full out mob war for control of Mos Espa.
  • In Doom Patrol (2019), Crazy Jane's strongest and toughest persona, Hammerhead, takes the form of a tall, sinewy bald woman in the Underground.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch Julien from Gossip Girl (2021) is a downplayed example, as she's more of a Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak than an outright Tomboy, but in comparison to everyone else around her, this still gives her a noticeably tougher appearance. She often pairs her completely shaved head with more masculine clothing, like over-sized men's shirts and ties. This also offers a contrast to the previous series' Alpha Bitch, Blair Waldorf, who was an extreme Girly Girl.
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: M has a buzzcut, is well known as a very skilled combatant, trains the cadets in Sekhmet Coven and makes a disparaging remark about other students' long hair.
  • Special Agent Sam Hanna from NCIS: Los Angeles is bald — and a former Navy SEAL who is still a Lightning Bruiser in hand-to-hand combat.
  • Paper Girls: Prioress, a member of the Old Watch, has a buzzcut and she implacably hunts down the girls while killing or manhandling anyone in her way.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Captain Sisko shaved his hair at the start of Season 4. At the same time, in "The Way of the Warrior", he begins to transition into a wartime commander as the Klingons turn hostile, starting with him fighting to defend Ops against a Boarding Party along with his crew. In general, Sisko demonstrates greater willingness to get down and dirty in the trenches when compared to Picard.
    • Avery Brooks was in the habit of shaving his head and styling his beard as a goatee (see his earlier work in Spenser For Hire and A Man Called Hawk). Initially; his contract to play Sisko required that he grow out his hair and shave the beard. Brooks convinced the showrunners to let him go back to his preferred look, which they worked into Sisko's character arc.
  • Watchmen (2019): Cal, who is actually Doctor Manhattan from the original comic book. When he regains his memories and supernatural abilities and shifts back into the Nigh Ivulnerable Physical God Doctor Manhattan, he loses all of the hair he had as Cal. Similar to his comic book counterpart, this overlaps with Bald Mystic since those abilities are supernatural in nature.

  • Tupac Shakur shaved his head bald around the time he transitioned from his more overtly Political Rap persona to a Gangsta Rap persona inspired by his character in Juice. In reality, this was because of alopecia he experienced following a racist assault by Oakland police — the stress and trauma from the beating caused him to develop large bald spots — and he was both insecure about his forced haircut and furious about the system that had mutilated him. He grew his hair back in prison to present a softer persona to the authorities — by this time, his alopecia had faded — but he shaved his head again once signing up to Death Row Records, at the same time adopting the extreme version of his gangster persona that would eventually lead to his murder.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Munchkin: The game gives you a +1 bonus to strength if you're bald, since your body isn't wasting energy on hair. Downplayed since long hair also gives a bonus to strength because "it worked for Samson."
  • Pathfinder: Linxia Benzekri from the Hell's Vengeance Adventure Path has her head shaved bald, a tattoo of the Order of the Rack's insignia of a spiked wheel on her forehead, and is the Iconic Hellknight. The Hellknights are a group of militant orders that ruthlessly enforce the law and slay demons. Linxia's backstory describes her desensitizing herself to pain by drinking boiling water until her throat scarred, and beheading her own brother without a second thought after he was convicted of rebellion.

    Video Games 
  • Bully: Jimmy Hopkins is the protagonist of the game, a Bully Hunter who takes on every clique at his new boarding school as a One-Man Army in order to end the rampant bullying, aided by his natural Made of Iron disposition as he's capable of shrugging off bats broken over his head, a sledgehammer hit that sends him flying, and even blows from a prized boxing champion. His default hairstyle is a ginger buzz cut, likely enforced from one of the previous schools he's been expelled from. The player can take this further in-game by making him completely bald or subvert the trope by allowing him to grow his hair out.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition has the bald and black Vivienne, an Action Girl mage and Knight-Enchanter. She is portrayed as The Unfettered and an Ice Queen, almost to a fault, and does not experience any real defrosting over the course of the game. Almost everything she says is layered in icy, razor-sharp politeness and she gives away her true feelings about as freely as other people give up their limbs. Her in-game moniker is "Madame de Fer", French for "Iron Lady".
  • Fallout: New Vegas: From the "Dead Money" DLC, there's Christine, an Action Girl member of the Circle of Steel, trained in energy weapons, explosives, melee weapons, firearms, and hand-to-hand combat. Even after being lobotomized and mute, she is dead-set on going after Elijah to the point that she can turn against you to pursue her revenge. If asked about her baldness, she'll tell you that she did it by choice to mark her joining the Circle and solidifying her resolve to kill Elijah.
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake: Though he has always been portrayed as a competent hand to hand combatant in the original game and subsequent spin-offs, cool-headed and bald Rude's portrayal as a Mighty Glacier in the remake, who shrugs off blows, hits hard, and can suplex Cloud with ease, takes this to a different level. Compare his battle with Cloud to Cloud's battle with Rude's partner Reno: Cloud nearly kills Reno, whereas his fight with Rude only ends because Reno calls Rude away, ending more or less as a draw.
  • God of War: Kratos is a Spartan warrior and has never been shown with hair, not even as a child. He is The Determinator when it comes to taking his revenge against the gods of Olympus for killing his family and is a Made of Iron, Strong and Skilled, One-Man Army. He nearly single-handedly accomplishes his mission.
  • Officer Riley in Growing Up shaved her head to show how tough she is as a retired ROTC instructor.
  • House Party (2017):
    • Frank is an angry buff bald guy guarding the alcohol cabinet, who will beat you up if he catches you drinking.
    • Derek is also bald, and while not as irrational as Frank, he also swiftly beats you up if he catches you stealing.
    • Note that the only other guy who's not bald, Patrick, is the Butt-Monkey and the easiest guy to beat up.
  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has Tony, a shaved tough guy who can snuff out lives with a single punch, and has survived a brutal onslaught from the Son (who promptly chucked himself off a building), right before Manny Pardo shows up.
  • In I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, Flulu's shaved head emphasizes her fierceness in running the colony's Geoponics sector and protecting her child, the protagonist, from danger.
  • League of Legends: Braum, Heart of the Freljord, is a legendarily mighty hero from a land that's freezing year round, with his bald head being emblematic of his perseverance.
  • Like a Dragon:
    • Yakuza 0:
      • Wen Hai Lee, the owner of Hogushi Kaikan, who acts as an acupuncturist and masseur. He was formerly a Pro Assassin, which helps his masseur and acupuncturist job considering that he knows pressure points (In the first fight with Majima, he threatens to break the cyclops' left arm with a thumb. Miss the QTE in time, and you're treated to this sight...), and despite his massive Heroic Build, uses Wing-Chun instead of a more strength based fighting style. He's also huge enough to be humorously titled by the game as MASSIVE MAN. With the Parka, he also looks like Yakuza 4 & Yakuza 5 protagonist, Taiga Saejima, shaved head and all.
      • There's also Kenji Oe, one of the huge "Mr. Shakedown" guys, whose sole purpose of fighting Majima is out of jealousy of Majima's long hair. This is also why he shakes down people: for the money to pay for an extremely expensive treatment to grow hair, which Majima attempts to convince is a fraud, and albeit initially successful, angers Kenji by saying "Scalp".
    • Yakuza: There's Futoshi Shimano, who, despite being a much weaker Mr. Shakedown, makes up for it in sheer dominance, brutality, and power, along with a few cases of cunning strategy, with the Irezumi on his back being a Tiger, and according to the Japanese saying: "Ryuko Aitatsu", the Tiger is the Dragon's equal. In the Video Game Remake Kiwami, this trope is further stressed as he is given an absurd amount of health, emphasizing his high durability. Unlike a lot of the Patriarchs during the game, Shimano's completely bald.
    • Yakuza 3 has The Brutish Tsuyoshi Kanda, who's completely bald, and Unskilled, but Strong, the strong part being that he's capable of ripping out decorations installed into the walls and lifting up heavy objects easily, and the unskilled part being that before his death, he lunges at Mine but gets overpowered fairly quickly. Like his predecessor Koji Shindo, he's a lustful man who only took to the Nishikiyama throne only for the purpose of getting laid, though he did use quite a lot of brute force, contrasting with the other two cold and calculating Lieutenants Yoshitaka Mine and Goh Hamazaki. Mine takes him out, though.
    • Yakuza 5:
      • Taiga Saejima has a buzz cut in Yakuza 5 and up until Yakuza: Like a Dragon, after returning from prison. Out of all of the protagonists in the series, he is the strongest in terms of raw physical strength, having developed his Charles Atlas Superpower of immense strength and durability in jail. Notably, he is the only other protagonist besides Kiryu, able to pick up motorcycles and in one cut scene, stops a moving car with his bare hands before moving out of the way. In Yakuza 4, he also once fought Kiryu outside of Morning Glory Orphanage, and he actually managed to give him a run for his money. The two clashed once more in Yakuza 5 on a helipad but it's up to the player on who they want to play as. Like with Futoshi Shimano, Saejima also has a Tiger Irezumi, but manages to back it up even more than Shimano can.
      • On a much smaller scale, there is Yahata, the captain of the Yagasawa Clan. He's bald, a considerably violent thug, and a Boxing Battler. He gets knocked down by Kiryu in a Single-Stroke Battle (To be fair, Yahata was considerably injured at the time), but manages to put up a good fight before Kiryu lays him out.
    • Yakuza 6 has Ed of the Saio Triad, who's completely bald save for his goatee. He's an absolute Determinator, uses his Stout Strength, his Acrofatic abilities, and his karambit skill to fight Kiryu and Co.
      • To a lesser extent, Kanji Koshimizu. Practically shaved to the point where he looks bald, and a particularly proficient fighter.
  • LISA: The Painful RPG
    • Brad Armstrong, the bald protagonist of the game. He's been through a lot of adversities, but the biggest one of them all has to be at the end of the game: When he gets to Rando Island to save Buddy, he's stopped by an entire army and his own friends. What follows after is a Mook Horror Show as Brad tears through them all without help (or even his arms), and manages to defeat Rando alone.
  • Mass Effect 2: Jack is an Ax-Crazy, biotic, Glass Cannon, Dark Action Girl, who is canonically one of the strongest biotic users in the franchise due to being experimented on from childhood by Cerberus to be so. Her biotic strength is paired with an emotional hardness and lack of care about anyone else besides herself that makes getting close to her difficult. She has her head shaved and tattooed when you recruit her on your team in this game. If you were able to break through her emotional barriers, when you meet her in Mass Effect 3 she has transitioned from a Jerkass to a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, who now oversees and trains a young group of biotics. Along with her softening emotionally, she has grown out her hair into a still edgy Tomboyish Ponytail with shaved sides look.
  • Max Payne 3: Max shaves his head halfway through the game so that he won't be recognized when he goes into the favela to rescue Fabiana. It also counts as an Important Haircut since it coincides with his decision to kick his alcoholism. Once he gets over the immediate effects of withdrawal, he becomes more focused and truly begins to wreck the villains' plans.
  • Mother Russia Bleeds has two bald options for the main character and both fit.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2: Khelgar Ironfist is a bald, battle-axe wielding dwarven fighter who is built like a Mighty Glacier with high Strength and Constitution base stats. Unless you've built your character for durability too, he'll be the only character of your initial party capable of taking hard hits.
  • Overwatch: Doomfist is the bald leader of the villainous group Talon and one of the principal antagonists of the larger Overwatch universe. Standing at an impressive 7ft tall, his close combat playstyle is oriented around his cybernetic enabled Super-Strength that, paired with his range abilities, makes him into a Lightning Bruiser capable of 1 v 3-ing Tracer, Genji, and Winston with little issue, that is, until Winston enters his Unstoppable Rage form. In-universe he is treated as The Dreaded.
  • Persona 5: Shido's shadow Samael's design invokes this as it's essentially him (who already sports a Bald of Evil), just ripped out of his mind, now a hulking mass of a man. Futaba lampshades this by saying that Shido's muscles aren't just for show. As the pen-ultimate boss of the original game, he's one of the toughest, consisting of five different phases, the first of which is impervious to physical and gun attacks and the second is impervious to magic attacks. After this, he transforms and though this form is no longer impervious to specific attacks, it also lacks any weaknesses and his physical ability Tyrant's Fist can one shot most characters, in addition to him using the strongest magic attacks in the game.
  • Pokémon: The Roughneck trainer class, previously known as the Cue Ball, and called Skinheads in Japanese, is made of intimidating, bald Badass Bikers who prefer Fighting or Dark-type Pokémon depending on the game.
  • Punch-Out!! has its share of hairless heavyweights, but none are more prominent than resident Wake-Up Call Boss Bald Bull, who's just as chrome-domed and ruthless as his moniker implies. In the NES game in particular, he acts as both the champion of the Major Circuit and as a rematch on the World Circuit. Both times, he acts as a massive difficulty spike, having the hard-to-dodge Bull Charge as his signature attack and, in the World Circuit, being immune to knockouts except through either Star Uppercuts or perfectly countering the Bull Charge.
  • Saints Row: The Third: Oleg is a bald, massive Russian man who's a Genius Bruiser. He's the physically largest and toughest homie in the Saints and completely eschues weapons in favor of using his fists in combat.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: Kaliyo Djannis characterized as a bald, sociopathic, Token Evil Teammate, Blood Knight, and Dark Action Girl. Unlike Jack however, she is also originally a Glacier Waif who could equip heavy armor and a personal shield protector in order to tank damage.
  • Street Fighter: Sagat, a bald martial artist, is characterized as the no-nonsense "King of Muay Thai". He's seven feet tall, built like a brick house, and was the series' first Final Boss, continuing to appear as a rival to series mascot Ryu.
  • Wii Sports series: Matt, the only bald NPC Mii, is the champion of the combat sports, in stark contrast to Ryan, a long-haired NPC Mii, who is the first opponent in these sports. In the main game, Matt is at the bottom of the CPU ladder in every sport, except boxing. In Wii Sports Resort, Matt is the champion of Swordplay and the final boss in Swordplay Showdown.

    Visual Novels 
  • Steins;Gate: Yuugo Tennouji, the physically strongest character in the series, is also the only fully bald one. Nicknamed "Mr. Braun" because of his love of CRT/Braun-tube TVs (lifting them all day is presumably what gave him his muscles), he is so intimidating to Okabe, his tenant, that the latter will try to get on his good graces whenever he seems to have made him mad for fear of a beatdown and/or eviction. He also turns out to be the Big Bad as the ruthless leader of a secret group of Private Military Contractors, crossing over with Bald of Evil. Notably, in the prequel Brownian Motion of Love and Hate, he still has his hair and is much more average—it's only after he is forced into working under SERN that he gets his bald, buff look.

  • Kill Six Billion Demons: Solomon David is an immortal god-emperor and Person of Mass Destruction with a shaved head, a long, well-coiffed beard, and an immaculate Heroic Build. In Wheel-Smashing Lord, three years after he forfeits his empire and sacrifices his powers, he has Wild Hair and lives alone in the wilderness.
  • One-Punch Man: Both the protagonist Saitama and another hero, Superalloy Blackluster, originally had hair when they were ordinary people. Their baldness came as a consequence of gaining the Charles Atlas Superpowers of Super-Strength and Super-Toughness by doing simple exercises every day - literally training so hard they went bald. Saitama does express Baldness Angst and his lack of hair is often Played for Laughs; Superalloy, on the other hand, appears to prefer his new smooth and shiny look.
  • The Order of the Stick: Roy is a bald, black, Badass Normal who is unusually tough and strong even before obtaining the Belt of Giant Strength and gains Super-Strength when wearing it. He also shaves his head completely bald. In a prequel volume, it's shown that Roy started shaving his head in college, and his father lampshades the trope during a visit, specifically noting that the shaved head made Roy look tough.
  • Paranatural: Ollie's bald head accentuates his "strong bully" vibe. He later reveals he shaves his head in solidarity to his sister Allie undergoing chemotherapy.
  • Chuck from Weapon Brown has one strand of hair on his head, drawn in the same fashion as his inspiration, Charlie Brown, as a reference to the fact that some readers thought Charlie Brown was bald instead of just having (according to Charles Schultz) very close-cropped light-colored hair. Though in Chuck's his baldness fits his career path as a gun-for-hire and his life as a rugged, stubborn survivalist pretty well.

    Web Videos 
  • Critical Role: Grog Strongjaw, the strongest member of Vox Machina, is of the Goliath race, and thus cannot grow any hair. While he later is able to grow a beard due to a magical object, he remains bald throughout the series.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Combustion Man is one of the toughest antagonists the Gaang faces in the entire series. Hired by Zuko to kill Aang, he doesn't have much characterization or backstory given to him other than being an Implacable Man, hellbent on killing Aang, who uses a unique form of firebending that only one other person in the series is capable of using.
    • Zig-zagged with Aang (airbenders are almost all monks and practice tonsure) who has the potential to be the strongest person in the universe as the Avatar, but starts the series as an 11 year old boy who only knows airbending and actually ran away from his duties out of fear. Even after he learns the other elements, Aang is far more likely to rely on his airbending to evade attacks and battles than take a fight head on. In Season 3, his hair grows back after some time in a coma, which he keeps in order to lay low while in the enemy Fire Nation. Finally played straight when he shaves his head again for his attack on the Fire Lord during the Eclipse, signifying he's ready to face the Fire Lord and has strengthened his resolve to defeat him.
  • CatDog: Catdog compete in a sled race against the Greasers. Cat puts Dog through Training from Hell to get him ready for the race and tries to invoke this trope, shaving all of his fur off. Unfortunately, this backfires as Dog's lack of fur eventually gets to him and costs them the race.
    Cat: "He's mean, he's lean, and totally bald!!!"
  • In Dexter's Ego Trip, the Future Badass version of Dexter known as "Action Hero Dexter" is completely bald and depicted as being a muscular, battle-hardened version of the typically weak Dexter, as he had to survive under Mandark's dystopian future. He toughened himself by spending years digging underground tunnels to escape Mandark's tower.
  • Legend of Korra: Downplayed with the Big Bad of the third season, Zaheer. He was considered so dangerous as a Badass Normal that he was imprisoned along with the bending members of the White Lotus and in jail, his hair is long and unkempt. However, due to the Convergence of the previous season, he gains the ability to airbend, making him formidable enough to challenge and almost kill Korra. After breaking out of prison, he shaves his head completely making him look quite similar to the Air Nomads whose philosophy he has an extensive knowledge of.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • While the fish in the world of Spongebob are hairless as a default due to the fact that fish don't have hair, Reg, the bouncer to the Salty Spitoon, the toughest bar in Bikini Bottom, actually has an Off-Model shaved head. As the bouncer of the bar which only allows the toughest of tough in, Reg is essentially the arbiter of toughness.
    • In the same episode, the two stereotypical nerd fish at the designated restaurant for wimps SpongeBob returns to throughout the episode, Weenie Hut Jr.'s, discuss this trope as they advise SpongeBob on how to get into the Salty Spitoon.
      Nerd #1: Couldn't get in, huh? What you need is a tough hair-do. No one gets in to the Double S without a tough hair-do.
      Nerd #2: I disagree, I saw a guy going in there, and he was bald.
      Nerd #1: I saw that guy. He wasn't bald, he had a shaved head. Shaved. That's a hair-do. Case closed.
  • Total Drama: Chef Hatchet, the resident Lethal Chef and wannabe Drill Sergeant Nasty with a knack for scaring the crap out of teens, is bald under his tiny chef's cap.


Video Example(s):


Otto's office

Instead of "bark n mark" or a grease fire, Gus simply suggests finding an open window to break into the office.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / BoringButPractical

Media sources: