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Bandaged Face

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Bandaged face.
Clothing optional.

Basically, wearing bandages on the face. The whole face, and (generally) nothing but the face. Usually they're worn because the character's undergone some sort of facial surgery or they are very badly disfigured, though occasionally there are other reasons, such as the desire to keep one's identity a secret.

Covering one's face in bandages serves two purposes: 1) For better suspense when they are unwrapped during a Dramatic Unmask, or 2) As a creepy (and kinda cool) way of disguising yourself.

Compare Bandage Mummy, for when the complete body is wrapped for comedic (or dramatic) purposes, and Sarashi. Contrast Pointless Band-Aid, where only one bandage is worn on the face.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kei from AKIRA did this to hide her gender from possible rapists after Akira loses control of his powers and obliterates Neo-Tokyo.
  • At one point in Berserk, Casca has her face bandaged up in order to hide her face from men who might want to have their way with her (the excuse used is that she has syphilis, ensuring that nobody wants to take the bandages off). Another So Beautiful, It's a Curse scenario.
  • Schwarzwald from The Big O, though the reason is unclear. It's suggested that he burnt himself by tripping off security features while attempting to activate Big Duo, but it's never outright stated.
  • Black Butler: In the manga Baron Kelvin has this once he gets surgery to make himself look more beautiful.
  • Kokuto from Bleach: Hell Verse. His bandages cover a huge scar on the right side of his face.
  • Tooru in Cage of Eden. First introduced with bandages covering his face because he's ashamed of his scar. During this time, he is silent and rather off-putting. Once the bandages come off, the group quickly points out that the scars actually look pretty cool.
  • Case Closed:
    • A murder happens aboard a boat with a costume/masquerade party, where some characters are dressed as mummies. Also, the detective who solves the murder, thought to be Shinichi but actually Heiji in disguise, is dressed up as The Invisible Man.
    • The fact that a man wears a full-face bandage due to having a hideously disfigured face is used to create alibis for the real murders — they disguise themselves as him after he committed suicide. It's even lampshaded in-story: to prove said alibis, Heiji put on bandages around his face too and then he and Conan (through Kogoro) explain the trick.
  • This is one of the depictions of Lucy from Elfen Lied.
  • Eureka has bandages over a portion of her face for a brief moment in Eureka Seven movie due to the sun's effects.
  • Habashira Rui from Eyeshield 21 wraps his entire body in bandages so he wouldn't be noticed when he tries out for Team Japan to go to the World Cup. The reveal comes several chapters later.
  • In Future Diary, Fourth ends up like this after Yuno shoots his ear off.
  • Heinkel ends up with one at the end of Hellsing. They're mostly for rule of cool, considering they billow around her head, and aren't remotely wrapped around her Glasgow Smile.
  • Wye from I Wish has bandages over his face, as well as his hands and arms, for plot purposes. He's hiding himself this way to prevent the Sun, who is in love with him, from finding him and getting closer to him, burning the entire world.
  • Onigumo(?) from Inuyasha after an accident is seen with his face bandaged this way as he's cared for in a cave by Kikyou.
  • The first book of The Kindaichi Case Files featured a girl in flashbacks who had to do this due to severe burn scars she suffered when acid was spilled on her face. Later, the killer of the book does the same thing to hide his identity while getting himself set up to commit his murders.
  • In Laughing Under the Clouds, half of the fox-masked prisoner's face and body are bandaged. The purpose is twofold: first, to hide his hideous burn marks, and second, to hide his uncanny resemblance to Shirasu, which eventually culminates in a Dramatic Unmask.
  • Lupin in The Castle of Cagliostro wears a face bandage as he was severely battered during his failed attempt to free Clarisse.
  • Naze Youka from Medaka Box covers her face in bandages not only to hide her good looks, but to keep her true identity under wraps, as it were.
  • In My Hero Academia, Shota Aizawa has his face and both of his arms wrapped in bandages after being injured by Nomu at USJ. He still shows up to his homeroom class and co-commentates the U.A. Sports Festival with Present Mic, who calls him a mummy.
  • Dosu Kinuta from Naruto has bandages covering up his entire head except for his right eye.
  • Unit 01 from Neon Genesis Evangelion after losing the head armor disguising her organic nature.
  • Happens to Sadaharu Inui in The Prince of Tennis, after a rather... bloody doubles match. Caused lots of immature giggling in the fandom, specially because he sticks around like it's nothing.
  • Played for laughs in Ranma ½ when Ranma bandages his entire face in order to hide his expression and to also hide cards that he can cheat with in poker.
  • Shishio 'Mummy' Makoto of Rurouni Kenshin has the burns-all-over kind. Doesn't generally bother wearing any clothes, he's so thoroughly bandaged. There are just eyes staring out. He even has a nice little...bandage-hat...thing...with bandages that hang down kind of like hair. Which should probably have been a clue that he had a metal helmet so he couldn't be shot in the head again, rather than just being bandaged on the skull.
  • Soul Eater:
    • Crosses over with Scarf of Asskicking for Kishin Asura as his deranged method of protecting himself from others. These 'bandages' are made of his own skin.
    • There's also Sid's partner, Nygus.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, the mysterious Aogiri executive Eto is covered from head to toe in bandages, as well as a knee-length robe. This helps to conceal pretty much all information about them other than their small size, making it difficult to judge gender or age. One reason for this elaborate cover is that she's Sen Takatsuki, a famous novelist.
  • YuYu Hakusho:
    • Mukuro is an immensely powerful, short, rough-spoken demon lord swathed entirely in bandages who recruits Hiei after the Chapter Black arc is over. Turns out they're covering two things: she's female, and half of her is an acid-burned hideous wreck.
    • Genkai is an interesting example, because her face has been shown before she appareled with the bandages. When it finally comes off, it's revealed she was covering up because she was using an ability that restored her to her athletic peak, and thus made her much younger. When it comes off again, it's revealed she has since lost the ability (and is now old again) after transferring it to Yusuke.

    Comic Books 
  • Pictured, the second incarnation of The Unknown Soldier from DC Comics; in this case, he was bandaged to heal a disfigured face and never removed them. The original Unknown Soldier just wore them as a mask.
  • Batman
    • Hush also covers his face in bandages.
    • Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face, has this happen in his first appearance after he is scarred by acid— complete with dramatic unwrapping to reveal the scar tissue. This happens subsequently every time he goes in for facial reconstruction surgery (like in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns).
  • Code Name: Gravedigger: In Men of War #18, Gravedigger — who is black — has his face and hands swathed in bandages to allow him to infiltrate a hospital in occupied France.
  • The Negative Man and Negative Woman of the Doom Patrol in the DC Universe. Both have to wear those special bandages to contain the intense radiation their bodies emit that is part of their energy being powers.
  • Early in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Marvel), The Baroness has her head completely swathed in bandages when she checks into a private Swiss clinic after her face was badly damaged in a tank explosion. Much later, Snake-Eyes is in the same position for a bit, thanks to the same plastic surgeon, and is even featured on the cover of that issue in the process of removing those bandages.
    • A flashback to the mission where his face was damaged reveals that he completed the mission with his head bandaged up.
  • Judge Dredd: The main character in "The Dead Man" has his face bandaged after being burnt to a crisp. In a shocking turn of events, he turns out to be Dredd himself.
  • One Punisher arc featured Spacker Dave, a "friend" of Frank's who had a lot of piercings on his face. Gangsters tore the piercings out with pliers when they interrogated him about Frank's whereabouts. Naturally, he had to wear bandages around his head while his face healed, but he decided he liked the look as a fashion statement, which became a trend called "spacking."
  • The Red Skull had a Bandaged Man around him for a while, who was told to be Doctor Doom, then deciding that having Doom be in World War II was silly so it was Retconned into him timetravelling. He also didn't kill Adolf Hitler because his original death at the hands of the original Human Torch was "fitting" but that's neither here or there.
  • Some parts of the Superman mythos have the Unknown Superman, a future descendant who appears like this. In All-Star Superman, Superman disguises himself as Unknown Superman so he can both hide from his younger self and have a final meeting with his father.
  • In "The Face Behind the Mask" in ''The Witching Hour" #18, a man sees a beautiful actress and asks her out. She agrees, but insists on covering her face with bandages whenever they're together. She eventually reveals that she's actually three hundred years old, and has a horribly wrinkled face, but she can drink potions supplied by and old wizard to make her beautiful again. But that's a lie; she was actually roped into a scheme to defraud the man's wealthy father, who yearned to be young again. Her aged features were done with makeup.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: After Paula's face is horribly burnt following her Heel–Face Turn it is only seen covered in bandages until Aphrodite restores her skin months later. Even after the restoration her face is noticeably missing features it once had which were burnt, like her beauty mark.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • When not impersonating someone, Darkman hides his burned features with bandages.
  • The killer in the Hong Kong slasher The Deadly Camp.
  • Castor, briefly, in Face/Off.
  • Two men in Force 10 from Navarone, allegedly due to flamethrower burns. They actually had never been injured at all.
  • The mother in Goodnight Mommy has had cosmetic facial surgery and wears bandages across her head and face that look like a skull. Or rather, whatever calls itself the mother is wearing the bandages...
  • Michael Myers is bandaged up at the beginning of Halloween 4 when he escapes from an ambulance. It is the result of catching on fire at the end of Halloween II.
  • In James Bond movie Thunderball a man who gets Bond's interest is recovering from plastic surgery, and wears bandages over his face.
  • Nick Halloway sports a bandaged face in one scene of Memoirs of an Invisible Man, in a Shout-Out to The Invisible Man, complete with the reveal.
  • In Mr. Stitch, the patchwork man Lazarus spends the first part of the movie with a bandaged face - and everything else - as his many, many, many sutures heal.
  • This is used with Willem Dafoe's character in Once Upon a Time in Mexico for reasons of plastic surgery.
  • The killer in Silent Night, Bloody Night: The Homecoming, as can be seen on the cover.
  • The antagonist from Timecrimes.
  • After a terrible accident that left the Ugly Duckling character in the hospital, she is bandaged and plastered from head to toe, then is transformed into a beauty... out for revenge.
  • The Hungarian survivor on The Usual Suspects.
  • Anna Holm (played by Joan Crawford, and Ingrid Bergman in the Swedish original) in A Woman's Face.
  • The hospitalized Marty in Slaughter High, with bandages covering up the burns done by the acid in his face, and the only partially successful skin grafts.
  • Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome: After the injured Melody dies, Tracy takes his place : his face disguised by a swath of bandages so Gruesome will abduct him thinking he is Melody.

  • The Invisible Man is the Ur-Example of a specific type of this: wearing bandages on the face not because of an injury or due to being a mummy, but as a way of hiding one's self.
  • Gilver in the Devil May Cry novel.
  • In the first book of the Invisible Inc. series, Chip covers his entire face and body in bandages when he goes to school to hide that he's been turned invisible by an accident. He ends up ditching them because they're too uncomfortable to wear and make him unable to speak and he admits to his classmates what happened to him.
  • Mark Twain wrote a short story called Lucretia Smith's Soldier where a woman waits by the bedside of her critically injured fiancé, waiting for the bandages that cover his head to come off. When they do, she realizes that he's not her fiancé and she pitches a fit because she wasted two weeks waiting hand and foot on the wrong person. Truth in Television: Tragically, a similar incident to this recently occurred in real life. A hospital erred in identifying the victims of a car crash, leading to the family of a victim who did not survive the crash keeping a bedside vigil over someone completely unrelated to them, without knowing until much later. This was also recycled into an episode of House.
  • After the events of the first book, in Moon Over Soho former WPC Lesley May has to wear a surgical mask (a modern update of this trope) as a facial support and to cover the horrible facial scarring gained at the end of the previous book, the removal of the mask forms a similar dramatic reveal.
  • Galaxy of Fear: City of the Dead has a Pseudo-Crisis where the protagonists are confronted by mummies - who them take off their bandaged masks to reveal that they're perfectly healthy humans. It's local tradition to greet visitors while disguised as the undead, with the idea that doing so scares off evil spirits.
  • Johnny Got His Gun: The title character, a total invalid from his World War I injuries, wears a mask over what's left of his face, so as not to frighten the hospital staff.
  • In Warlocks of the Sigil, Kole wears bandages that cover her face due to having a skin condition.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Spoofed on Arrested Development with Lucille Bluth after plastic surgery in one episode; a photo of her "unwrapped" early becomes the model for a successful horror movie's villain.
  • Blackadder II: as Lord High Executioner Blackadder has beheaded a man who wasn't scheduled until later in the week; when the executed man's wife comes to visit her condemned husband Edmund pretends to be him by putting a bag over his head.
  • One episode of Downton Abbey is about a WWI veteran with a Bandaged Face who claims to be a long-lost relative (and heir to the family fortune). It's left ambiguous whether he was sincere or not, but most of the characters believe he was faking it for monetary gain, since it's impossible to tell who he really is with his disfigurement.
  • David Robert Jones, the Big Bad of the first season of Fringe, wears bandages on his face after he gets a terrible skin disease from teleporting from the prison in Germany to Little Hill.
  • Bandage Man — the announcer on South Korean reality game show The Genius.
  • Get Smart: Max impersonates a safecracker by having his head swathed in bandages so the bad guys can't tell he isn't that guy he's pretending to be.
  • In an episode of The Incredible Hulk (1977) David Banner had amnesia and bandages covering his face due to severe burns — which was quite convenient since Intrepid Reporter Jack McGee was paling around with him the entire episode. This was the ep where McGee discovered that the Hulk was a normal person who turned into the Hulk.
  • An episode of Pushing Daisies has this, complete with a drawn-on face.
  • In an episode of Gary Moore's To Tell the Truth, Prankster Alan Abel appeared with his head wrapped in bandages, as it turned out not so much that he wouldn't be recognized, but so the panel wouldn't identify his two impostors — Larry Blyden and Tom Poston
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In the episode "The Eye of the Beholder", a woman has her face wrapped in bandages as she undergoes treatment for the horrible ugliness that prevents her from living in the dystopian society. When the bandages come off, she's gorgeous... except that a Reveal Shot reveals that all the doctors have pig faces — the treatment has failed and she's still "ugly".
  • In Ugly Betty, the boss' sister Alexis has this.

  • Nash the Slash, best known as the mandolin player from Canadian progressive rock band FM, has performed like this since the late 70s, not due to any injury or illness, but as a way to maintain his privacy.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • In Memphis wrestling in the early 1980's, Jerry Lawler threw a fireball that hit manager Jimmy Hart in the face. For weeks afterwards, Hart appeared on TV with his face bandaged, with his trademark sunglasses over the bandages. The angle concluded one night where an imposter came out bandaged up as Hart for a match. Later, the real Jimmy Hart came out and the two attacked Lawler. The imposter then removed the bandages and revealed himself to be Andy Kaufman.

    Video Games 
  • 1213 wears a mask on his face to help heal the sores caused by the plague that broke out among the clones.
  • Lucky, a dog villager from Animal Crossing, has a face that’s all bandages except for one visible eye. His house has something of a tomb look, making you wonder what’s really going on with him...
  • Batman
    • Hush/Thomas Elliot in Batman: Arkham City takes this to a whole new level. He wrapped his head in bandages because he cut off his own face. His victims also have their faces wrapped in bandages; he removed their faces before killing them. He eventually unravels his own bandages to reveal that he's stitched together all of the faces he cut off of other people in order to make himself look like Bruce Wayne.
    • Poison Ivy's plant-thug in Batman: Vengeance wears bandages, complete with a trenchcoat and hat, as a disguise.
  • Vogt, the third playable character from Chaos Heat, have bandages covering his entire face for the entirety of the game for reasons unexplained.
  • The Cursery version of Humpty Dumpty has his face covered in bandages because his skin started to blister and crack due to his curse forcing him to neglect his own hygiene.
  • In Fallen London, this is the signature characteristic of tomb-colonists, quasi-undead citizens of the Neath who were killed messily enough to cause permanent disfigurement but not permanent death.
  • Joshua Graham, AKA The Burned Man is portrayed as this in the DLC Campaign Honest Hearts for Fallout: New Vegas. He's called the Burned Man for a reason and says that taking off the bandages every night is extremely painful but lives through it as he sees it as a punishment and repentance for his sins.
  • Granblue Fantasy: This is what Vaseraga's face looks like when his helmet is taken off. The reason why he covers his face with bandages remains a mystery.
  • DiZ from Kingdom Hearts covers his face in red bandages, and two belts for good measure, to conceal his identity as Ansem the Wise.
  • Nightmare Creatures have the Faceless men enemies, deformed, former members of Adam Crowley's brotherhood, whose faces are constantly covered in bandanges as they mindlessly roam the streets of London.
  • In the third game of the Purrfect Apawcalypse series, Patches has bandages covering one eye and most of his limbs due to inhabiting a mutilated corpse that's being kept from falling apart only by magic.
  • The main character in Sanitarium sports this look throughout the game, due to injuries caused by a car crash.
  • In Shop Heroes, Alicia has extensive bandages around the top of her head, including across one eye.

    Visual Novels 
  • Takuma does this in Swan Song to hide the burns he obtained from being lit on fire by a Molotov.

    Web Animation 

  • Dominic Deegan: After getting horrifically scarred by the Beast-powered Infernomancer, Dex Garret ended up wearing these for the rest of his time in the comic.
  • Errant Story: The elf Melrin resorts to this in its disguise version, so that he can live unnoticed among humans as the supposedly disfigured human "Dennis." Sarine, of course, figures it out, and a big fight, and plot point, ensues.

    Web Original 
  • Board James: Bootsy's face is covered in bandages since he accidentally spilled coffee in it at the end of the Donut Disaster review.
  • In the Scott The Woz episode "It's A Bargain Bin Christmas", Rex Mohs arrives at the charity gala bandaged all over his face (and with sunglasses over the bandages where his eyes are). Turns out he got bandaged because doctors mistook him for a burn victim while he's being treated at the hospital.

    Western Animation 
  • The villainous Master of Disguise No Face from the Action Man toyline and CGI movies wraps gauze around his head to cover up his face (or rather, his lack thereof).
  • Courtney Gripling's mother on As Told by Ginger is given this treatment after a hasty facelift sent her to the hospital.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • An episode has one for "Calendar Girl", a former supermodel who had undergone plastic surgery to make her look younger. The doctors unwrap the bandages, and when she demands a mirror (which goes hand-in-hand with the trope), she is horrified by how hideous she looks. She is actually as beautiful as ever, but thanks to being psychologically scarred from the pressure of the modelling industry, she can only see the flaws.
    • A more prominent example of this: Two-Face, after his disfigurement, has his face wrapped and demands a mirror from his doctor as they're unwrapping it, flinging him across the room when he doesn't immediately comply. We don't see his reflection, but we hear his anguished scream.
  • Harvey Dent in Beware the Batman wears bandages in the final two episodes of the show. He starts to unravel them in his last scene, but his Two-Face disfigurement is not shown to the viewer, and due to the show's cancellation, it never will.
  • There was an episode of Futurama where Leela had plastic surgery to give her a second eye. The entire top half of her head was wrapped. Played with in that the doctor slowly took the bandages off, characters holding their breath in anticipation... only to find out that the first time, they had the wrong woman.
  • The Jetsons: George Jetson wears a getup like this after one of Mr. Spacely's Zany Schemes — naturally — turns him invisible.
  • Git Hoskins in Spider-Man Unlimited of course the twist is the bandages don't cover his body, they ARE his body and he can unravel himself and use the bandages like combat tentacles.

    Real Life 
  • Mummies, and as a consequence, all mummies ever depicted in fiction. Probably the Trope Maker.