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The chrome-dome of DOOM!

"Did you know that bald people are 300 times more likely to commit burglaries and blow up empty warehouses than people with hair? Here at Stark Center for Advanced Rejuvenation Sciences, let us help you keep your hair, and in turn, help keep you out of prison."
Tony Stark, Marvel Mash-Up
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In fiction, baldness often equates with lack of moral fortitude. Many, many villains are recognised as such by the audience by their shiny, shaven noggins. It might be the Corrupt Corporate Executive in a political thriller, the sinister evil sorcerer, unholy priest, cult leader, or Evil Overlord in sword-and-sorcery, or a thuggish Giant Mook readying to crack the hero in two. However, it is most commonly applied to the Evil Chancellor, Mad Scientist and the Evil Old Folks.

Where the hero has his flowing golden locks or a boyish, tousled mop of red or brown hair to indicate his youthful purity, something about the complete absence of hair makes a bald villain look particularly nefarious, especially while he's slouched on his throne, steepling his fingers and delivering a Breaking Lecture while the ominous backlight shines off his gleaming chrome-dome.

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This might be a throwback to ancient belief in hair as a symbol of health and virility, as exemplified by the Biblical story of Samson; it may also be more primal still, as a shaven head more closely resembles a skull and, combined with the natural tendency for us to lose our hair as we grow old, is therefore symbolic of aging and death. As a matter of fact, in ancient Rome, baldness was considered a gross deformity. Somehow, that didn't stop the very bald Patrick Stewart from being called "The Sexiest Man on TV" in 1992.

A very specific villain stereotype that provides an example of this is the shaven-headed racist or neo-Nazi skinhead.

Another possible explanation is that narrowing the silhouette of the top of the head visually emphasizes the jaw and teeth, making the character look "brutish".

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Whatever the original reason, Hair Hates Evil, and about the only times you'll see a kind and moral character without his (or her) hair will be when it's an egg-headed smart guy (who's probably also in a wheelchair), a Buddhist monk, a Bald Black Leader Guy, or the Littlest Cancer Patient.

The only other good guys who go shaven are badass Anti Heroes, so if a hero shaves his head as part of an Important Haircut or a Traumatic Haircut, it is a sure sign he's about to get Darker and Edgier.

The tendency is, indeed, for the moral decay of a character to be inversely proportionate to the length of their hair, with innocent, virginal princesses practically drowning in their romantically flowing locks while the hard-bitten badass sports a spiky military crewcut. The most frequent aversion of this trope is the White Hair, Black Heart, whose usually long and luscious tresses exist as a symbol of his evil, not in spite of it.

For the ultimate combination, supply a bald villain with a Villainous Goatee. This trope is also a function of Good Hair, Evil Hair. Creepy Hairless Animal and Circling Vultures are animal equivalents.

Taking this trope way beyond its logical extreme, occasional very mad scientists will also shave off their skin and the top of their skull, leaving their brains completely exposed.

For aversions, see Bald of Awesome, though there can be overlap between the two if the villain is a badass.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Nearly all of the major villains have no hair: Pilaf, both Piccolos (though the latter one has a Heel–Face Turn later and joins the good guys), Frieza, Cell, Majin Buu. They're not exactly bald, though, they just have no hair — with the possible exception of Pilaf, none of them are mammals.
    • Toriyama might be playing with this a bit. Tenshinhan is a bald villain, but becomes a good guy when he finds out people respect it more. Nappa was a classic "bald" villain (and a classic villain in many respects), but gets trumped by the true hero in mere seconds and replaced by a preferable, haired antagonist.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    • Lordgenome. Also has the Anti-Hero goatee. And epic chest hair. And his scalp catches fire when he does awesome things such as beating the crap out of mechas with his bare hands.
  • Ivan the Terrible (or Ivan of Russia, in the Japanese version) from Giant Robo: The Day The Earth Stood Still is bald, though he's not the most nefarious of the evil group he's a part of, even though he may be one of the biggest nutcases in the entire anime. Though, to be fair, one of the guys dead-set on doing good is bald as well.
  • Gluttony of Fullmetal Alchemist, although he's actually not nearly as evil as many of the other homunculi, but more of a Psychopathic Manchild.
  • All over the place in Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo. The Big Bad is Czar Baldy Bald IV, head of the Chrome Dome Empire, and his Mooks are generally bald as well. In fact, their Evil Plan is to make everyone bald.
  • Both played straight and inverted in Kinnikuman. Buffaloman, originally introduced as the most powerful Devil Superman in the series, reveals himself to be bald in the following arc. However, the reveal only happens when he officially pulls a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Vargus, who was initially introduced as a thuggish bully of a Giant Mook that attacked Negi in the Magic World for no reason, though it's later shown that he's actually a lot nicer than he first appeared.
    • There's also the leader of the Bounty Hunters later on, but he is more of a Punch-Clock Villain; he meets Negi in a bathhouse later "off the clock" and comments that he has no intention of pulling anything.
  • GaoGaiGar FINAL: Palparepa, the lead protagonist's evil counterpart, is completely bald.
  • Super Dimension Fortress Macross:
  • In Legend of Galactic Heroes, three morally questionable characters are bald, though most morally questionable characters are not.
  • The evil school inspector in Gokusen. Some villains can make their Scary Shiny Glasses gleam menacingly; this man creates the same effect with the top of his head.
  • In order to illustrate their pre-series Face–Heel Turn, Tokyo Tribe 2's Mera and Skunk both shave their heads. Kai even comments on Mera's shaven head before he becomes aware that he's one of two people that Mera vowed to kill.
  • Inverted with the Kongo twins in Eyeshield 21. Unsui's baldness is meant to reflect his monk-like attitude and he's a generally swell guy. His brother, on the other hand, has a huge mane of dreads and is a total jackass. In fact, Agon shaving his head is seen as a mark of improvement in his character.
  • Kazundo Gouda, the Big Bad from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: 2nd GIG, combines baldness with being a Complete Monster and Smug Snake for a formidable trifecta of nastiness.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • The Paradox Brothers from Duelist Kingdom were evil bald twins.
    • Zigzagged with the Rare Hunter Strings, whom Yami fought to win Osiris, seeing as he was little more than a Meat Puppet for Marik.
    • Odion was a straight example. As Mai put it on the dub, in his duel against Joey:
    Mai: [Joey]'s gone too far to lose it all to a creep with a bad attitude. Not to mention a bad hairdo. It's more of a hairdon't.
  • Yaiba:
  • In many H-doujinshi featuring rape, the men are mostly featureless, which includes making them bald.
  • Rikkudo in Saiyuki is a Buddhist monk turned moral-less demon-killer.
  • Kriem when she appears in Episode 18 of Tiger & Bunny. It makes sense, really, when you consider that her hair enables her to control inanimate objects to wreak havoc. The hospital staff probably shaved her head so that she wouldn't be able to when she woke up.
  • In the Ace Attorney manga, Robin Wolfe has a bald head that is quite shiny and catches Maya's attention as soon as they meet. The "evil" part comes when it turns out he called an arachnophobic employee to his home, restrained him in a chair in a guest house full of spiders, and left him there for hours, leading him to be Driven to Suicide.
  • In Apocalypse no Toride, the main baddies at Shouran are all bald;Hitotsukabuto Kiyoharu and Nakazaki Hitoshi and Kyouichi.
  • Panzer World Galient: Big Bad Marder is completely bald.

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • Superman:
  • Shazam! villain Dr. Sivana (who predates Luthor by a couple of months) is another bald mad scientist, who is also diminutive, gangly, ugly, and wears coke-bottle glasses. He has a thing for talking worms.
  • Justice Society of America villain Brain Wave was also bald.
  • A few Spider-Man villains:
    • The Kingpin, in Marvel Comics. Bullseye from the Daredevil comics is also bald and has a bullseye scarred into his forehead.
    • The Vulture, one of Spider-Man's oldest enemies. (Except for the brief period before The Clone Saga when he became a young man and had hair.)
    • MacDonald "Mac" Gargan, the Scorpion, has always been bald, but it became more noticeable during his stint as Venom due to him being shown bareheaded a lot more.
  • X-Men:
    • Professor Xavier is almost a textbook example of the "kindly eggheaded Professor" aversion, as he's sometimes portrayed as being morally ambiguous and slightly sinister, and let's not go near his various Super Powered Evil Sides. It's worth noting that Patrick Stewart is a classic example of Bald of Awesome.
    • Apocalypse had hair in his youth, but as soon as En Sabah Nur went from slave to conqueror, his standard look became bald.
  • The Eye Of Mongombo: Hans Welterschmertz Gruber is bald and a “Greedy Nazi”. Norbert Nuskle, Cliff Carlson’s ex-boss, is also bald, but he’s just a Jerkass.
  • Egghead, a foe of The Avengers, an Evil Genius and leader of the second Emissaries of Evil and the third Masters of Evil.
  • Remember Archie Comics' own super hero imprint? Well, a recurring super villain dubbed the "Brain Emperor" introduced in the original "Mighty Crusaders" becomes the Big Bad in New Crusaders.
  • Marvel Universe semi-aversion: Moondragon, even when she was not being actively influenced by the malevolent monster she named herself after, fit The Gift trope to a tee. Her girlfriend Phyla mellowed her out, some.
  • Iron Man foe Obadiah Stane. Notably, he lost his hair as a child due to the trauma of watching his father "win" a game of Russian Roulette. He was determined from that moment not to be a loser like his old man, and rather quickly became a Manipulative Bastard and The Chessmaster, winning a tournament at age eight by killing his opponent's dog and stuffing the body in the kid's locker the night before the final day of competition.
  • In the Teen Titans comic series, Superboy shaved his head bald before going on an insane killer rampage and beating up the entire rest of the team. This was due to a mental command which was placed in Superboy's brain from after he was cloned in Cadmus.
  • In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 1, Big Bad Professor James Moriarty is bald (in keeping with his character in the original Sherlock Holmes stories).
  • Nobeard, one of the Subway Pirates in Seven Soldiers and rival of the thick Beard of Evil-sporting Allbeard. It's commonly believed that the two represent series writer Grant Morrison and Alan Moore.
  • Tintin:
    • Tintin's Arch-Enemy Rastapopoulos's head is bald outside of some sideburns.
    • Also, recurrent conspirator Jurgen is short on hair, though he has some on the top of his head.
  • Gold Digger's Zelda — a genetically engineered mook to an evil (but he's getting better) child genius — has no body hair at all, not even eyebrows (or possibly eyelashes). She hates it (she used to have very long and luscious hair). It's explained as the result of having "Dolphin DNA" being used in her gengineering.
  • Batman:
    • Dr. Hugo Strange, the first recurring villain.
    • The Penguin is a villain often shown to be bald when his top hat is off.
    • Many depictions of Black Mask render him bald under his namesake mask.
    • In the anthology series Batman: Black and White, the story "Monsters in the Closet" has Batman facing off against a mad scientist who is depraved and entirely bald.
    • The Monk, an early Golden Age villain, later brought back in the Bronze Age, is completely bald. Oh, and he's a vampire.
    • Captain Stingeree combines this with Beard of Evil and an Eyepatch of Power.
    • Minor villain Karl Hellfern a.k.a. Doctor Death.
  • Many Sin City villains have this going for them: Manute, Wallenquist, Liebowitcz, Cardinal Roark, and the Yellow Bastard. There was also an evil rich guy with an odd sense of family values in the short story Daddy's Girl.
  • In Asterix and the Goths, at least seven of the rival kuningōz are bald.
  • Nemesis the Warlock: Underneath his Terminator uniform, Grand Master Torquemada is a brawny, bald-headed man.
  • Superlópez: The look sported by recurring villains Escariano Avieso, Refuller D'Abastos, Al Trapone (who hides his under a hat most of the time) and Giorgio Papino, aside from one-time villain Luminous Light, who actually exploited it (see Blinded by the Light below).
  • The Star Wars: Clone Wars comics introduced Asajj Ventress, a bald woman who wanted to be a Sith apprentice and killed numerous Jedi for Count Dooku.
  • Ultimate Marvel:
    • Ultimate Spider-Man: Shawn, Norman Osbourne's hitman, is bald.
    • Ultimate Galactus Trilogy: Misty Knight is attacked by a mystery hitman that shot the man she was investigating. This woman had no distinctive features except for her bald head and her tattoos.
    • Ultimate Avengers: Tyrone Cash, of a sorts. He has a haircut that leaves a good portion of his head bald and his remaining hair in the style of a tribal tattoo. It looks intimidating as hell when he's hulked out.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Manlius, the cruel dictator who rises to power in the political chaos left in Aurania after Clea's attacks and enslaves the local women, is bald.
    • Wonder Woman (2006): The evil Amazon Alkyone who took issue with Wonder Woman's creation and decided to kill her is bald.
  • El Marvo: 8-Ball, second-in-command to Sokrates, has no hair on his head.
  • The Adventures of Aero-Girl: The Strong Man of the Three Ring Gang has no hair on his head.
  • Prison Witch gives us Diane Freeway, a vicious gang leader who lost all her hair to chemotherapy.
  • In The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones, evil treasure hunter Siegfried Klexx (who has a bad habit of murdering his dig crews once they have served their purpose) is as bald as an egg.
  • The Incredible Hulk: The Maestro, an evil and insane future version of the Hulk, is balding on top.
  • The Big Bad of Jupiter Jet is Pluto Patriarch, who hasn't a hair on his head.
  • Thanos (also known as The Mad Titan), who's been bald and obsessed with Death since he was a little kid.
  • Van Grote, a Hessian Nazi by Any Other Name Torture Technician in Tomahawk #112; who seems have been designed to combine as many stereotypical evil Prussian attributes as possible.
  • G.I. Joe: Reloaded depicted the villain Destro as being bald when not wearing his famous metallic mask, which was notable due to most continuities establishing that he did have hair and that his mask only made it look like he was bald.

    Comic Strips 
  • Flash Gordon:
    • Prince Barin sported a clean-shaven pate in his first appearances — but when he did his Heel–Face Turn, his hair grew out with astonishing rapidity.
    • Ming, however, is bald as...someone who is bald. (Although there is a story arc in which he was temporarily turned good by a Mirror Morality Machine he'd intended to use on the heroes — and he too suddenly had a full head of hair for the duration.)
  • In The Phantom, many baddies sport bald pates. In General Tara's case, it is possible that the baldness is a choice to indicate virility, since he augments his intimidating dome with a large bushy handlebar moustache (gleamingly waxed) and matching goatee. To indicate his self-indulgent lifestyle, the fat buffoons in the Phantom strips (Tara included) always carry an extra bulge of flab at the base of their shiny skulls.
  • Charles Addams' depiction of Uncle Fester in The Addams Family is utterly bald, without even eyebrows. Like most of the Addams characters, Fester is a bit more on the "demented" side than actually "evil" per se.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Jafar is revealed to be bald underneath his hat in Aladdin.
  • Philium Benedict's bald enforcer in Recess: School's Out qualifies for both this and The Dragon.
  • Surprisingly, Rapunzel from Shrek the Third was revealed to actually be this. Going by her reaction when it was exposed, apparently, this was not something she was proud of, to say the very least.
  • Megamind counts at the beginning of the film. In contrast to Metro Man, Megamind is completely bald. Later, he would apply as Bald of Awesome.
  • Him in We Are the Strange is bald and lacks body hair of any kind. All he's got are his eyebrows.
  • The Laughably Evil high priests Hotep and Huy in The Prince of Egypt are bald (comes with the territory when you're an Egyptian priest). Pharaoh also has a shaved head, though he typically has a ceremonial wig on.
  • Beowulf:
  • Scooby-Doo Direct-to-Video Film Series:
    • The movie Scooby-Doo! and the Legend of the Vampire centers around the disappearance of an Australian rock band called Wildwind, who are believed to have come back as vampires. It eventually turns out that the band were actually pretending to be vampires in order to scare off their competition and get around the rock festival's "no repeat entries" rule. The member Dark Skull is shown to be bald when out of costume.
    • It is revealed in Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare that the camper Deacon is really a bald criminal named Babyface Boretti in disguise, who, along with his accomplice, was trying to force everyone out of Camp Little Moose so he could uncover the hidden treasure.
    • The main villain of Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King is a bald magician named The Amazing Krudsky, who schemes to steal the magic of the titular Goblin King and take over the world.
  • Cats Don't Dance: Max. He's hairless. The man doesn't even have eyebrows!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Aggression Scale, two of the hit squad, Chissolm and Freddy, are completely bald.
  • Austin Powers has Frau Farbissina say that Scotty has gotten so evil he's losing his hair.
    • By natural extension, Blofeld's parody incarnation, Dr. Evil.
    • His pint-size clone, Mini-Me, is also bald, naturally.
    • Dr. Evil's son Scott was introduced in the first movie with a full head of hair and wholly uninterested in villainy. By the third movie his hair was starting to fall out, and it's mentioned that he is becoming more evil the more hair he loses. By the end of the third movie he's completely bald and in a position to take over his father's evil organization, now that both Dr. Evil and Mini-Me have pulled Heel-Face Turns.
      Scott: Oh, come on! I mean, first I'm not evil enough for you... and now you're gonna turn good?!
  • Beautiful People (2014): Nibbio is a bald man who heads a group of thugs in breaking into peoples' homes, terrorizing them, and then killing them.
  • Calhoun, the outlaw leader in Breakheart Pass, is completely bald but has a long Beard of Barbarism without a moustache, for a very distinctive look.
  • Bullshot. When the villainous Otto von Bruno boasts that the hero Bullshot Crummond will soon be out of his hair, his henchman Crouch gives him a puzzled look, pointedly eying Otto's bald head.
  • Children's Party at the Palace has the Child-Catcher, a devious bald-headed man in a top hat who is known to be a Child Hater as he...catches children. He even trapped Horrid Henry in an Inescapable Net at Buckingham Palace.
  • Riddick from The Chronicles of Riddick has a shaven head, but he falls into Badass Anti-Hero territory. Less so in Pitch Black, where he plays a criminal turned into a Reluctant Hero.
  • Alfred Jodl in {Downfall, who's one of Hitler's closest subordinates. That alone is enough to qualify.
  • Shocker's villain, Horace Pinker, has it and has burn-marks on it, too.
  • According to the commentary for Shoot 'em Up, the director considered having Mr. Hertz be bald, a look dubbed "The Full Blofeld".
  • Nero in Star Trek (2009) pulls this off, combining it with a variant of Tattooed Crook.
  • After the events in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, both Vader and Sidious are bald and balding, respectively. As was Maul. (In Maul's defense, most men of his entire species are bald, and not all of them are evil.) Conversely, most of the Jedi have long hair.
  • In Stiletto, Krieger and Englehart, the head honchos of a neo-Nazi biker gang, both sport shaved heads.
  • Apparently averted with the Lex Luthor in Superman: The Movie (1978), until he's thrown into prison at the end of the movie and removes his toupee during an angry rant. Likewise Lex in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is younger than normally portrayed and has long flowing locks. But when he's thrown into a maximum security prison at the end of the movie, his head is shaved by the prison guards.
  • The main character Pink in The Wall is on a downward spiral of insanity from the beginning of the film, but when he really loses it and envisions himself as a Nazi-like tyrant, he shaves everything: face, head hair, body hair, eyebrows, nipples...everything!
  • Colonel McCollough shaves his head in War for the Planet of the Apes.
  • Fletcher in Whiplash is an over-the-top Sadist Teacher who runs his jazz band like a boot camp. He's willing to verbally and physically abuse his students in the name of pushing them past their limits, and it's suggested that this treatment caused a former student to commit suicide.
  • Wild Wind has an evil bald Nazi officer, and also a heroic bald Russian partisan.
  • Bevan the butler in Would You Rather. He's a former MI 5 operative, skilled in torture techniques, and has absolutely no qualms about shooting people dead.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: The Juggernaut keeps his head shaved, probably so his helmet can fit.
    • The Wolverine: Viper after she sheds her skin and looks more evil and like a viper.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: The title villain, of course, although it's hidden by his helmet. Caliban isn't evil per se, but he works in the black market, and there isn't a hair on this criminal's head.

    Literature 
  • Voldemort in Harry Potter, to play up the whole reptile angle. To be fair, in his case, Voldemort was so far gone from anything remotely human that having hair at all would have been an accomplishment.
  • Big Bad Vorbis from the Discworld novel Small Gods deliberately shaves and polishes his scalp. Invoked Trope?
  • Lord Tywin Lannister and Varys the Spider are this in A Song of Ice and Fire. Tywin combines his with enormous mutton chops to make a bald of extremely awesome.
  • Something of a subversion: Matilda's father (who has plenty of hair and happens to be unscrupulous) believes that smart people have good, strong hair and that, therefore, bald people are dumb. (Matilda points out that William Shakespeare was bald.)
  • Harap Alb, a Romanian folk tale, has "Spânul', "The Bald Man", as the primary Sadist villain. The main character is told that the only thing worse than a bald man is a red haired one...Guess whose daughter he is forced to win over later?
  • Although he was not described specifically in the stories, Sherlock Holmes's Archenemy Professor James Moriarty was presented as being bald in the earliest illustrations of the character. In many later illustrations, he just has a very badly receding hairline, which also makes him look more professorial.
  • Rare female example: in Ian McDonald's Desolation Road, Arnie Tenebrae becomes a psychotic, sadistic warlord. At one point, it's mentioned: "She was busy shaving her head."
  • Bayaz of The First Law combines this with Bald of Awesome, though the "evil" part is less evident until later in the series.
  • Darth Bane (the legendary Sith Lord who began the "Rule of Two" tradition among the order) in Star Wars Legends has this all the way down.
  • In The Dead Zone, Johnny sees Greg Stillson becoming President and this leading to a nuclear holocaust. In the vision, Stillson has lost almost all of his hair. This leads Johnny to believe it's far enough in the future that he can just wait and see how things develop, rather than take action immediately. Until, that is, Johnny learns he has a brain tumor and won't be around to take action for much longer....
  • Diabolus Darkdoom and his son, Nigel, in H.I.V.E., a series about a school for villains. Lampshaded by Nero at one point.
    Nero: Darkdoom? Oh, why is it always the bald ones?
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events has the man with a beard but no hair, who's apparently so evil that Lemony Snicket won't even tell us his name, and the bald man with a long nose, one of Count Olaf's henchmen. In the illustrations, Olaf himself has a noticeable receding hairline.
  • The title character in the A to Z Mysteries book The Bald Bandit, who steals from a bank.
  • Sadi, one of the evil eunuchs at Salmissra's court in The Belgariad. In fact, most Nyissans shave their heads, if for no better reason to keep out the lice. In The Malloreon, Sadi allies with the heroes, takes a level in badass, and graduates to Bald of Awesome. Even in the Belgariad, by about midway through when Sadi no longer stands to gain anything by opposing the protagonists, having him as the de facto ruler of Ny-Issa is about as welcome a development as could reasonably be hoped for (and certainly better than when Salmissra was in charge in any meaningful way).
  • In Blood Meridian, the monstrous giant Judge Holden is utterly hairless, lacking even eyebrows and eyelashes.
  • The Satanists in Mr Blank and its sequel Get Blank deliberately invoke this trope out of their desire to look as evil as possible. Vassily the Whale is also bald and evil, though it's less self-conscious and more about him looking as close to a cetacean in a shiny suit as possible.
  • A rare female example in The Legendsong Saga. Coralyn follows the traditional Iridomi practice of shaving her head and wearing wigs or headdresses. Despite supposedly being common practice, Alaude (her minion) is the only other person shown to do this; Iridomi in general are seen as being more evil in general due to association and their poison industry.
  • Journey to Chaos: Orcs are usually the other trope, but Eric meets the exception to this rule in A Mage's Power. Tahart Ligo is gluttonous, specist, commits unlawful action and is a rapist. "Brute" associations are appropriate here. Eric himself believes him to be a monster.
  • King Septimus from Sebastian Darke: Prince of Fools is revealed to be wearing a wig. He is not proud, to say the least, of his being known as "Septimus the Slaphead."
  • Mostly averted in The Bad Unicorn Trilogy, where the sorcerers of the Wizard's Tower, good or evil, often lose their hair as a result of practicing magic. Because of this, there is an entire Guild of Toupee Makers who sell toupees made from the fur of fluff dragons to wizards. Played straight with Evil Sorcerer Rezormoor Dreadbringer, who is one of their customers.
  • Brutus from The Hunger Games. However, he just wants to get out of the games alive, which calls his "evil" status into doubt.
  • Six of Crows: Although Matthias convinced Nina to spare Jarl Brum, she did leave him "very bald".
  • In The Lies of Locke Lamora, the Falconer, who is The Dragon, is a ruthless, sadistic multiple murder. He is still in his twenties but "his hair was already beating a retreat to the back of his head"—also making him Prematurely Bald.
  • In Momo, the Humanoid Abomination Men in Grey are all completely bald.
  • Menacing gangster Sluggsy Morant in the James Bond novel The Spy Who Loved Me suffers from such severe alopecia that even his nostril hair is absent.
  • In Ruslan and Ludmila, the evil wizard Chernomor, who kidnaps the daughter of Prince of Kiev on her wedding night, is completely bald.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Walter White, Mike, Gus and the entire Salamanca family from Breaking Bad. Walt's is an Important Haircut shortly after he starts taking treatment and his hair begins to fall out anyway. Walt arguably fluctuates in his 'evilness' exactly in synch with the length of his hair. At his most evil, he even sports a goatee! At the end of the show when he partially redeems himself, he grows back his hair.
    Walter Junior: [seeing Walt bald for the first time] Badass, dad!
    Jesse: [ditto] Jeez. You look like... Lex Luthor.
  • Lex Luthor in Smallville after he turns bad, obviously.
  • Although Star Trek is usually an aversion, given Patrick Stewart's impressive skull, the Borg were more often than not depicted as bald, especially when fully assimilated.
  • Speaking of Patrick Stewart, he's the Big Bad in The BBC John le Carré serials Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smileys People. When playing the villain in I, Claudius, however, he's got hair — either for the above-mentioned 'deformity' reason or because his bald head had not yet become famous.
  • Rare female example: as Battlestar Galactica's president Laura Roslin loses her hair to cancer treatments, she also becomes increasingly totalitarian.
  • Black Hole High: Victor Pearson, the series' antagonist, is bald in the present day, but in the 1987 time zone, he has a full head of hair. Almost everything we see of him in this period is sympathetic. He also manages to keep his hair in an alternate timeline where he's a slightly dotty science teacher. The final kicker: in the series finale, which reveals Pearson's ultimately noble motives, Victor is starting to grow his hair back.
  • The Technomages of Babylon 5 all shave their heads, for easier access to the brain and spinal column. Their evilness varies from person to person.
  • Subverted with John Locke in Lost, but played straight in the season 5 finale, when it is revealed that Locke had been dead since several episodes and that the one who had taken his shape was the Big Bad.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a number of bald demons, the most famous of them being The Master, Season 1 Big Bad, and The Gentlemen, from "Hush", the silent episode. Snyder was this to the point where he demonstrated deriving pleasure from Buffy in pain, something not even who he worked for would have much appreciated. There was also Forrest, after being transformed.
  • Stargate Atlantis: regular Wraith are evil and have long white hair. In one episode, the heroes confront a Wraith Evil Chancellor, who is extra special evil. And bald.
  • In an episode of The Walking Dead, Shane is shown shaving his head soon after he shot someone in the leg as a diversion to escape some zombies.
  • In an episode of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, Nick gets affected by one of Wayne's experiments, giving him the ability to suck other peoples' intelligences. As he becomes more intelligent (and evil), he develops an overly large, bald head.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The Token Evil Teammate of the good guys' side, Roose Bolton, has a receding hairline, instead of his way more over-the-top villainous appearance in the books which included more or less every possible visual cue aside from baldness.
    • Regardless of his actual morality, Ser Ilyn Payne is terrifying executioner with a shiny dome.
    • Polliver, the sadistic soldier and Torture Technician.
    • Theon's brutish crewman Black Lorren.
    • Styr and the other Thenns combine this with ritual scarification to make them Obviously Evil.
  • Air Crash Investigation: David Burke, the man who crashes PSA 1771 to get back at his employers.
  • The Flying Cestmir: Mr Blecha is a villainous greedy barber and the antagonist. He's a bald man, but apparently doesn't like it. One of the magical plants "cures" him — his hair grow back for a time.
  • Masters of Horror:
    • In "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road", the primary villain Moonface is a bald albino serial killer.
    • In "Cigarette Burns", Dalibor is a bald snuff film director. He demonstrates this by murdering someone in front of the protagonist.
  • The Observers who appear for the first four seasons of Fringe avert this, for the most part, ranging from goodhearted to slightly weaselly. Their colleagues the Invaders from season 5 play it straight.

    Music 
  • Doctor Steel is bald, and wants to take over the world. (On the other hand he just wants to promote fun, and loves children.)
  • In Joe's Garage, there is a man named Bald-Headed John that repeatedly rapes Joe.
  • One of the visual indicators of the Bond-villain homage protagonist's villainy in the video for Genghis Khan is his completely bald head. (His Tuxedo and Martini inspired enemy turned love interest has a full head of thick hair.)
    • From the same artists (and with the same actors), the music video for My Trigger. The American President has a nice thick head of hair, the Russian leader is bald.
  • Onyx was a Trope Codifier for the "baldhead" look that became synonymous with Hardcore Hip Hop after Bacdafucup dropped, and their focus on raw, dirty beats and extremely aggressive rapping and lyricism made them one of the hardest acts of their day and fed their image as the hip-hop ensemble that people didn't fuck with.

    Pinballs 

    Puppet Shows 

    Pro Wrestling 
  • King Kong Bundy was the greatest example. Apart from his eyelashes, he was completely hairless.
  • La Ruda Amapola has been shaved bald multiple times in CMLL alone.
  • WWE wrestler Kane became bald when he lost his mask in a match. By no coincidence, this is also when he started getting really, really evil. Like, cackling horror-movie-villain evil.
  • Genki Horiguchi of Dragon Gate calls himself H.A.G.E of Evil (hage is Japanese for bald).
  • The Straight Edge Society in the WWE is a whole stable of these. Inverted in the leader, CM Punk, whose mane is the whole selling point of the gimmick... Punk lost to Rey Mysterio at Over the Limit 2010 and got shaved bald, but it's defied in that he covered it up with a black mask.
  • Randy Orton went bald for a time while he was heel in 2009.

    Radio 
  • This even shows up in Adventures in Odyssey, a radio show. For a long while during the Novacom saga, Mr. Charles was informally known as "the bald guy."
  • Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo even made up a rule about it (when reviewing Prince of Persia).
    "Never trust a bald man with mascara."

    Roleplay 

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: This is a common look for bandits and pirates, as they have no militarily justified reasons for their actions, which include pillaging, massacres, and slavery. Perhaps the most well known was Helmar Valsek, a Gonkish Fat Bastard of a man who was a thorn in the side of two of the setting's Great Houses for thirty years and responsible for more than is share of crimes against humanity.
  • Bleak World: The Obviously Evil Primal Vampires are completely hairless.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The archdevil Zariel had a head of long hair as an angel, but lost it all when she became a devil and is now completely bald.
    • Forgotten Realms: One of the setting's evil magocracies is Thay, where ruling Red Wizards (both men and women) has shaved and tattooed heads. This tradition was questioned when Lauzoril (the most charismatic leader there) ignored it and broken when traditional power structure was smashed by internal strife.
  • Paranoia:
    • Played with in the 2nd Edition art; the "Ultraviolet-Clearance" section contains pictures of a "typical GM", an evil-looking robed fellow who is usually seen cutting up the rules or cracking a whip and is completely bald.
    • The generic High Programmer depicted in the art of the original edition likewise bears more than a passing resemblance to Uncle Fester of The Addams Family.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Artwork of various Chaos leaders, especially sorcerers, usually portrays them as bald, with various Chaos symbols worn on the scalp.
    • Orks don't have natural hair, but some use specialized hair Squigs as topknots.

    Theatre 
  • In Margin for Error, Consul Karl Baumer's glistening bald pate makes Moe's line "I get sacked off the force, if a hair of your head gets touched" a bit ironic.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • A receding hairline/shaven head is a fairly reliable identifier of evil (or at least antagonistic) characters in the Dragon Age series:
  • The Adventures of Lomax has Evil Ed, the game's Big Bad. He does have some hair on the sides of his head, though.
  • In Dishonored, the Royal Spymaster is bald. The High Overseer's head is shaved as well.
  • Fire Emblem, having Loads and Loads of Characters, has several bald villains. The series also has a recurring pair of bandits, both of whom have shaved heads in every appearance.
    • Medeus, the Dragon Big Bad of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and Mystery of the Emblem has a hairless head in his human form, likely due to his age.
    • In Fire Emblem Awakening, there's Cervantes, one of Walhart's generals. He makes up for the baldness with a glorious Badass Mustache. It's a tad downplayed though, as compared to Walhart and his other generals, Cervantes is played in more a comedic light.
    • In Fire Emblem Fates, Hans is an Ax-Crazy soldier of Nohr with a shaved bald head and a desire to get ahead in life, no matter who he has to kill or torture. He also was a former criminal who committed many offenses before King Garon pardoned him. Fittingly, he's of the Berserker class. Fuga is a subversion though: yes, the Avatar has to fight him in all three paths, but it's more because of a Secret Test of Character rather than him being evil (and misunderstandings due to Nohrian trickery). Once the Avatar proves his/her worthiness to Fuga, he becomes more helpful, providing the army with valuable information in all three paths, an ally in his adopted son Hayato in Birthright and Revalations and eventually joins the army himself in Revelations. As a monk, he fits the exception to the trope.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has Officer Frank Tenpenny, a corrupt police officer who often abuses his position as the officer of the law by making profits off of drug trades and manipulate the gangs of Los Santos by making business with the main character's rival gangs. That doesn't even mention the fact that he even threatens to frame the main character for homicide by compelling him to do his dirty work and murders anyone who attempts to expose him.
  • Pretty much every single Mook in Hotline Miami and Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is bald. In particular, members of the Russian mafia all appear to be mandatorily clean-shaven; this is however inverted by the mafia bosses in both games, who have long, unkempt hair.
  • Rides With Strangers, Donald McArthur (The Father) is a 51 year old priest who's actually a serial child rapist/torturer/murderer and wants to "purge" the world of "whores" and "heretics". He has no head hair other than sideburns.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, prior to becoming an example of Bald of Awesome due to his actions as The Atoner, St. Jiub the Eradicator, who drove the much reviled Cliff Racers from Vvardenfell between the events of Morrowind and Oblivion, led a very sordid life as a skooma addict and freelance assassin, fitting this trope instead.
  • Moshi Monsters has two of the evil creatures known as Glumps be bald: Rocko and Bruiser.
  • Masayoshi Shido from Persona 5 qualifies for this big time. He's a corrupt politician leading a conspiracy that plans to use an alternate world to manipulate others for their own gain, and just an unlikeable prick in general. He's directly responsible for the protagonist's circumstances, as he sues Joker after he attempts to stop Shido's drunken assault on a woman. Given the reach and influence he has in the justice system, this gets Joker branded as a delinquent and put on probation. He also left his girlfriend after she became pregnant, fathering Goro Akechi in the process, who he treats as a (albeit useful) lackey.
    • A minor example in the same game is Kobayakawa, the principal of Shujin Academy. He doesn't care about anything other than the reputation of the school, going so far as to turn a blind eye to Suguru Kamoshida's constant abuse to his students. He's also a low-ranking member of the conspiracy, and tries to force student council president Makoto Niijima to expose the Phantom Thieves' identities.
  • Martin Bormann, a prominent Nazi functionary and one of the most likelt successors to Hitler in Nazi victory Alternate History mod for Hearts of Iron called The New Order Last Days Of Europe, was already balding in the last years of his life in OTL. By the start date of the mod in 1962, he is completely bald.
  • Creature Crunch has Wesley get transformed into a half-boy/half-creature by a bald Mad Scientist named Dr. Drod, who gloats that he is putting together an army of creatures to take over the world.
  • Uncharted:
    • Big Bad Zoran Lazarevic from Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. A murderously insane Serbian war criminal with plans on conquering the world by discovering the lost city of Shambhala and its formidable Cintamani sap. The first thing we see him do upon being introduced to the game is knife one of his men to death for stealing from him before bellowing about how he's surrounded by traitors and fools.
    • Subverted by Charlie Cutter from Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. Initially, he appears to be your average hardened Cockney thug, attacking Nate and Sully in a London bar, but he's actually working with Nate and Sully all along, and is implied to be in a relationship with Nate's other friend, Chloe Frazer. What makes this even more surprising is that Lazarevic and Cutter are both voiced by the same man, the equally-bald but really nice guy Graham McTavish.
  • Whiplash: Genron is an amoral company that specalizes in cruel, over the top Animal Testing. A good large portion of the male Genron employees are bald.
  • The Twins: Bob is completely bald and a murderous cannibal and robber. Of course, his brother Buck who does have hair is just as bad.

    Visual Novels 
  • Although Mafia boss Bruto Cadaverini never actually appears in the third Ace Attorney game, his profile picture reveals quite an impressive Bald Of Evil.
  • Vigagi and Sikalog, both of the Inspectors from Super Robot Wars. The first shaves his head bald (or so he says, and doubles as a Berserk Button), and the second was apparently born that way.

    Web Animation 

    Webcomics 
  • Bronze Skin Inc: Raimundo Marvires is the recurring antagonist of the series, and has a bald head.
  • Dr. Steve from Sluggy Freelance fits this trope so closely he may or may not be a Lex Luthor parody.
  • Everyday Heroes
  • Vilrath from Dominic Deegan. Even though it was just Jacob wearing Vilrath's skin.
  • Richard from Looking for Group is most likely bald, since one statue depicting a hoodless near-lookalike of him was bald, a glimpse of him having his head healed didn't show any indication of hair, and an early page where we see an x-ray version of Richard didn't show any hair outlines. Also, we get a few "up-hood" shots, and the fact that the scarily-similar Sisters have little-to-no-hair themselves does not help matters.
  • The Law of Purple: Silver is bald.
  • Dr Nonami: Aside from his Badass Mustache, Mechano is bald.
  • TREVOR: Downplayed: Dr. Smithe has a combover, and wistfully admits that he will miss the sound of Trevor’s screams.
  • In El Goonish Shive, "Scarf" the aberration doesn't appear to have any hair on his head, though it's covered up by a hat.
  • Vehemence (aka Kevin) in Grrl Power. He's bald, and evil in that he started a fight with ARCHON at a restaurant (which caused a bit of damage to the building, parking lot, and at least one vehicle); he also roped more than 50 other people into joining in, largely because his powerset worked better the more people around him fought. A few of his 'recruits' ended up being arrested, mainly due to pre-existing warrants, and he ended up in a specialized holding cell to reduce the chance he could power up again.

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation, SCP-973 ("Smokey"). He appears to be a balding Caucasian male. He ruthlessly kills speeders in horrible ways, including evisceration and rape.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Nearly every villain in the 1965 Secret Squirrel cartoon is bald: Yellow Pinkie, Dr. Dangit, Double-Ex, Scuba Duba, and Hy Spy.
  • Transformers: Prime: Silas shaves off all of his hair in season 3 for medical purposes as he underwent heavy surgery. That, coupled with the damages to his body, serves to make him more sickly and unnerving.
  • Mandark's future self Overlord Mandark in the Dexter's Laboratory TV Movie Ego Trip is bald.
  • One of the antagonists in Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures was Petey Pate, a cat who was driven to villainy because people kept making fun of his bald spot.
  • Sheep in the Big City:
    • General Specific, the leader of the top secret military organization trying to capture Sheep so they can use him in a sheep-powered ray gun, is shown to be bald whenever he isn't wearing his hat.
    • The Angry Scientist has no hair and is often cooking up inventions that General Specific and Private Public can use to capture Sheep.
    • To a lesser extent, Lady Richington, who covers her baldness with a stainless steel wig that she frequently uses to beat up Sheep unprovoked whenever she sees him.
  • Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop featured occasional appearances by a bald criminal named Fingers Malone.
  • The main villain of Avenger Penguins was Dr. Caractacus P. Doom. Both Doom and his lackey Harry Slime had no hair on their heads.
  • Scooby-Doo had several villains who lacked hair throughout the franchise.
    • Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!:
      • The episode "Which Witch is Which?" featured a bald zombie as the disguise of the villain Zeke.
      • In "Bedlam in the Big Top", the true identity of the Clown Ghost was the balding Harry the Hypnotist.
      • "A Clue for Scooby-Doo" had a bald sailor named Captain Cutler pretend to be his own ghost to steal yachts.
    • The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode "The Haunted Carnival" had a strongman called the Masked Marvel disguise himself as a ghostly strongman. Both the criminal and his monster disguise were bald.
    • The Scooby-Doo Show:
      • The Mamba Zombie from the episode "Mamba Wamba and the Hoodoo Voodoo" was a Palette Swap of the zombie that appeared in the aforementioned "Which Witch is Which?" and was just as hairless as the original.
      • One of the villains who was involved in the time machine scam from the episode "Creepy Cruise" was a bald scientist named Professor Von Klamp.
    • The New Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show episode "The Dinosaur Deception" had a bald paleantologist named Dr. LaRue, who tried to used a robot disguised as a dinosaur to steal Montezuma's lost silver treasure.
    • The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries:
      • "The Stoney Glare Stare" has a bald and overweight supervillain named Thaddeus Blimp, who may have been inspired by Marvel Comics' Kingpin.
      • The episode "Mission Un-Doo-Able" had the criminal of the week masquerade as a bald villain named Mastermind (no relation to the villain from the video game Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights).
    • In The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo episode "It's a Wonderful Scoob", the ghost from the Chest of Demons that the heroes have to recapture is Time Slime, a bald ghost who schemes to move time forward to when he would rule the world.
    • Downplayed in Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! with the show's main villain Dr. Phineas Phibes, who's scalp is barely covered up by his comb-over. Played completely straight with his clone Evil Phibes, who doesn't have any hair on his head at all and boasts being more evil than the original Phibes.
  • The main villain of the obscure Fox Family cartoon Monster Farm was a balding farm magnate named Pa, who planned to take the monster farm from Jack using any underhanded means possible.
  • Harley Quinn (2019) has Lex Luthor, as per usual, but also features a bald Riddler who has a question mark tattoo on his forehead.
  • Aloyse "Rodney" von Roddenstein, Mad Scientist colleague and rival to Dr. Doofensmirtz in Phineas and Ferb.
  • Marvel Mash-Up has Tony Stark create a promotional video for a company to "help you keep your hair, and in turn, help keep you out of prison".
  • 101 Dalmatians: The Series: Cruella's cousin P.H. DeVil, who is a twisted Mad Scientist who experiments on animals and occassionally provides Cruella with technological assistance to carry out her schemes. He is also very bald.

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