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Beauty Is Bad

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"Celebrate the personal strengths that unattractiveness can breed. For instance, I find that ugly people in general, are nicer because they know they can't use their looks to get by and because they've developed compassion from going through life unattractive."
Marty Nemko, Working While Ugly

If a character is beautiful, then that character is a bad person, either publicly or secretly.

Traditionally, heroes are attractive, clean, and well-mannered, and villains are ugly, unhygienic, and boorish. There were some attractive villains, but Beauty Equals Goodness used to be taken for granted by writers and producers, but a trend arose and became inescapable in the mid-1980s after the theatrical release of Revenge of the Nerds and continuing from there, which implies that the majority of good, reliable, honest, clean-cut and reputable people are behind the times, unfashionable, out of shape and uncool. If not, they're Hollywood Homely. A good-looking character in a work where this holds is either hiding their unattractiveness or geekiness from the public (and will later embrace it) or is a vain, crass, vulgar, shallow, self-absorbed, unintelligent Jerkass.

This trope provides a layer of This Loser Is You when taken to include not just an average-to-ugly appearance but also crude behavior. The moral of stories where this holds becomes, "Be Yourself, and that never means being pretty or acting polite and always being 'that guy'".

Often, Beauty Is Bad appears alongside Beauty Equals Goodness in the same work, especially in romantic situations, because of the Double Standard. The poor, working-class underdog will have rich pretty-boy rivals, all of whom have the personality of a toad. At the same time, the rich girl for whom he is competing will have a heart of gold despite being the most beautiful girl in school... Uptown Girl and Ugly Guy, Hot Wife both run off "Beauty Is Bad, but only for men." However, this is not always the case. There are plenty of gorgeous Rich Bitches in fiction too and a guy might fall for originally her based on superficial beauty before moving on his less attractive (but still undoubtedly pretty) Nice Girl true love.

This trope is the opposite of Beauty Equals Goodness and is related to, but not the same as, Sexy Villains, Chaste Heroes. Sexy Villains, Chaste Heroes refers to the use of sexuality and attractiveness to add appeal to a villain (intentionally or otherwise) and to contrast with the relatively plainer-looking heroes; Beauty is Bad refers to making a character good-looking to indicate that they are insufferable and unlikable.

Please note that Beauty Is Bad refers to conventional measures of beauty. If more than one standard of beauty is competing in a work and this comes into play, it's the more conventional beauties who will be not-so-good.

Supertrope to Beauty Breeds Laziness.

Can overlap with Alpha Bitch; Attention Whore; Brainless Beauty; D-Cup Distress; Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon; Cruel Cheerleader; Light Is Not Good; Madonna-Whore Complex; Muscle Beach Bum; Narcissist; Not Like Other Girls; Peer Pressure Makes You Evil; Petite Pride; Plastic Bitch; Popular Is Dumb; Popular Is Evil; Real Women Don't Wear Dresses; Real Women Have Curves; Sex Is Evil, Slut-Shaming and Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny. Can also lead to Wasted Beauty if the character's bad traits ends up driving away those who were initially attracted by their beauty.

Compare this trope to Makeup Is Evil, Evil Makes You Ugly and Gonk. Contrast Ugly Cute (where it values personality more over looks).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Berserk:
    • Griffith is a Long-Haired Pretty Boy with the body of a Greek god. He has always been able to use his looks to his advantage, which is frequently necessary for his goal of gaining his own kingdom. At first, he was morally ambiguous, but after sacrificing his comrades to become a demon, he took on the status of the main villain. Ironically, he became even more beautiful after he gave up his humanity, having an aura of divine beauty about him that convinces people he's a messiah-like figure. In contrast, the Anti-Hero protagonist Guts is handsome, but in a more rugged and perhaps intimidating way, sometimes falling victim to Face of a Thug or just his own lack of social skills.
    • Slan is a more risque version of The Vamp who goes around only in a neck corset and an underbust corset that looks like a penis being inserted between her breasts. She is every bit as vile as the other God Hands, shown when she comments that Femto's rape of Casca while Guts watches is wonderful, and forces Guts to perform oral sex on her when having him captured, making it clear she wants him as her Sex Slave.
  • Black Butler
    • Sebastian is a devilishly good looking man but he's also a demon and a cold, amoral one at that.
    • Aleister Chamber has good looks but also proves to be a crazy asshole in every appearance.
    • Ciel Phantomhive is a Dude Looks Like a Lady Bishōnen and is not exactly a Nice Guy.
  • Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School plays with the trope: while attractive characters like self-centered Ruruka, Black-and-White Insanity-inflicted Munakata, drone spy Miaya, and beefcake Ikemen Juzo are definitely on the worse side of things, the villain is old, unattractive Kazuo Tengan.
  • Daimos:
    • Richter is an Angelic Alien who looks like a Roman statue come to life, but he's also a genocidal maniac who's willing to kill his sister because she pursued a romance with a human.
    • Raiza has sea-green hair and is very busty, providing a lot of the anime's Fanservice. She's also unhealthily obsessed with Richter, just as much as a maniacal psychopath, and whips her servants without a second thought.
  • Light Yagami from Death Note. Especially when contrasted against the Hero Antagonist L, who is seen as unattractive, at least In-Universe.
  • Gilgamesh from Fate/Zero is ridiculously good-looking and has A+ Charisma, but is a major Jerkass and a part of the Big Bad Duumvirate.
  • Lust from Fullmetal Alchemist, all the way down to being a female Draco in Leather Pants. Then again, she is created after the Lust sin.
  • Fushigi Yuugi:
    • Nakago and it's nearly deconstructed in a last-minute Alas, Poor Villain scene showing his origin story.
    • Yui, though in her case it's more because she's been badly manipulated and emotionally abused by Nakago, mentioned above.
  • Andrea Cavalcanti of Gankutsuou is very, very handsome. He is also probably the most twisted character from the whole series attempting to rape Eugenie Danglars, and also sleeping with Madame Victoria de Danglars, who is revealed to be his own mother.
  • Hello! Sandybell: Alpha Bitch Kitty is rude, vulgar and works on undermining Sandybell and Mark's friendship because she wants Mark to herself. She also rewards Sandybell rescuing her horse by harshly slapping her. Despite her horrible personality, Kitty is well-liked by the neighborhood because of her good looks and her reputation as the daughter of the wealthy Shearers. Kitty ultimately reforms and works on being a nicer person, subverting this trope.
  • The Hero Laughs While Walking the Path of Vengeance a Second Time: Princess Alesia may be physically attractive, but her actual personality is hideous, twisted, and cruel. Slavery and racism are two of the atrocities she promotes across the land.
  • Hyakunichikan!!: Discussed separately by Shuuto and the kindergarten girls, regarding Masaki-sensei. However, he turns out to be a Sheep in Sheep's Clothing.
  • DIO, the main villain of part 1 and part 3 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Not only is he charismatic, but he also has followers from across the world, and had sex with many women. He is constantly shown half-naked before his proper appearance in the final part of the manga, touching his body constantly (which he stole from Jonathan Joestar). While the main heroes are attractive, the manga never focuses on how handsome they are(in a technical sense at least), with the exception of Jotaro being a Chick Magnet, much to his annoyance.
  • Lady!!: Jeanne Montogomery is undeniably a gorgeous woman with a striking face and gossamer hair, just as she is undeniably an emotionally abusive mother who frequently drives her six-year-old daughter to tears and blames her for the family's issues.
  • Alcyone from Magic Knight Rayearth is drop-dead gorgeous. And she is the only villain in this story who does not do a Heel–Face Turn. At least not in the original manga version, in the anime she does end redeeming herself near the end of the series, but at the cost of her own life..
  • Johann Liebert from Monster is a charming Pretty Boy who easily gets people to trust him by acting kind and considerate. Beneath this deception, he is a sociopathic murderer who wants to watch the world burn. On a less heinous level, the protagonist Dr. Tenma's ex-fiancee Eva is a vain and attractive Rich Bitch who dumped him because he gave up his career advancement to defend his principles. The heroes opposing Johann are a mixed bag: Nina is the prettiest on the hero team, which ironically is because she and Johann are Half-Identical Twins. Tenma isn't hard on the eyes, but is significantly older than Johann and tends to be in an unkempt state because he's a fugitive from the law.
  • Flay Allster from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED doesn't seem that bad a person when she's first introduced, and seems to be on good terms with Kira Yamato and her will-be fiance Sai Argyle. Then Lacus Clyne, the renowned Coordinator popstar of the PLANTs is discovered by Kira, and when she tries to make nice with Flay, she treats Lacus like a monster since she hates Coordinators, believing them to be abominations since they alter their genes willingly. She sees it as an offense to what nature intended. When this offends Kira, Flay quickly affirms that he's not like the Coordinators of the ZAFT organization... only to immediately grow to hate him anyways when her father is killed in a battle with ZAFT, all because Kira was holding back against the opposition. Flay blames Kira for her father's death, even deducing correctly that the reason he didn't do his best to save George Allster like he promised was because he was a Coordinator who didn't want to fight his own kind. So she decides to get her revenge by motivating Kira to fight ZAFT... by pretending to fall in love with him and play the role of a supportive girlfriend, even having her first sexual experience with Kira to ensure that he wants to fight. It works, since Kira is easily fooled into thinking he's protecting Flay, whom he has a crush on anyways. Unfortunately for her, she starts developing feelings for the man she's trying to get killed anyways... which only ends in tragedy later.
  • Asuka Langley Soryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Pretty much so. However, in her case, it's a deconstruction of this trope: she's a hot bitch, yeah, yet not only does she not get away with her antics (Touji is annoyed to no end by her, Shinji puts up with it because he's also deeply fucked up, Rei is indifferent most of the time, etc.), but she's subjected to a horrifying combined Humiliation Conga and Break the Haughty process that reveals her terrible Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Handsomely Masked Sweet Mask from One-Punch Man looks kind of like Light (until later in the adaptions where his hair is longer), which is probably not a coincidence if you consider that his sense of justice also consists of killing anything he deems evil.
  • Played with in Saint Seiya: Pisces Aphrodite is the most beautiful of the Gold Saints and, according to Saga, his beauty is only matched by his cruel and unyielding disposition, something he backs up more than once, but he's not as evil as Deathmask, just someone you need to not provoke.
  • Cruelly deconstructed in Sakura Gari, where the unearthly gorgeous Souma is a massive bastard... but he turns out to have an extremely complex reason to be an asshole. And his physical beauty brought him lots of abuse.
  • Tokyo Ghoul:
    • In the first manga, Tsukiyama is portrayed as a very attractive man who mutilates and eats humans and ghouls alike, and manipulates Kaneki so he can gain his trust and eat him.
    • Furuta is a bishonen but is also incredibly cruel and screwed up.
  • Voltes V: Prince Heinel is a blonde Pretty Boy with silky, untamed, hair and pretty eyelashes. He's also the leader of the Boazanian Alien Invasion to Earth.


    Comic Books 
  • Depending on the Writer, Veronica Lodge from Archie Comics.
    • Cheryl when she replaces Veronica's role as Alpha Bitch.
  • Comic Cavalcade: Randy Holcome is a noted pretty boy in the corner of Texas Etta is from, but Etta's father is on to something when he says that there is something sinister hiding behind the man's physical beauty. In a twist on the concept Judy MacGregor's attractive features have led to her violent short tempered personality, because Randy and other won't stop hitting on her and assaulting her and it makes it so that she can't even hold a job, since her employers blame her for the actions of a bunch of men who won't take no for an answer.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • The Beast in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, before his curse. And Gaston throughout. Commentary by the creators indicates that the intention was to invert Beauty Equals Goodness by making the villain ruggedly handsome to contrast with the monstrous but good-hearted Beast.
  • Frozen gives us Prince Hans. Anna thinks he's gorgeous and he's certainly very charming, but he turns out to be a sociopathic Social Climber who is only interested in Anna for her claim to the Arendelle's throne and was planning to arrange an "accident" to get Elsa out of the way even before her powers were revealed. Contrast Kristoff, who isn't bad-looking by any means, but is still rather plainer and stockier and apparently has a lot of gross habits, but is much Closer to Earth than the Romantic False Lead is.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks: The villainous sirens, Adagio Dazzle, Aria Blaze and Sonata Dusk, are all equally beautiful but nonetheless utterly evil.
  • In Shrek, where the good guys are mostly ugly, the villain of the second and third movies, Prince Charming, is handsome.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Animal House and Revenge of the Nerds definitely qualify.
    • Animal House tries to have it both ways. The opposite number of Omega House's Gregg Marmalard is clearly Eric Stratton, who's just as handsome as Gregg is but is clearly intended to be the Designated Hero. But if you consider Gregg's "good" counterpart to be John Blutarski (who does ultimately succeed in wooing Mandy Pepperidge away from him, after all), then this trope is played straight.
  • Some of the female villains of Children's Party at the Palace look not so hideous as their villainous nature, such as Cruella de Vil and the Grand High Witch.
  • Cruel Intentions: Both lead characters are played up as being very attractive, and both are rotten to the core. However, the film's climax features some character development for the male as he develops actual, honest feelings for the genuinely wholesome girl he was chasing for most of the film.
  • Ajax, the Big Bad of Deadpool (2016), is a cruel and sadistic Mad Scientist who performs torturous experiments on people to turn them into super-powered slaves. He's also played by Ed Skrein, who, in the closing credit sequence, is regarded by the cartoon Deadpool as the "hottest" of the actors.
  • In DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, the villainous dodgeball team is (with a single exception), attractive, athletic, muscular and young who believe they are naturally superior to other people because of their physical attractiveness. This is juxtaposed by the heroic team, who are all geeks, overweight, slobs, or... pirates. And the member of the opposing team who has something of a Heel–Face Turn? A Brawn Hilda who falls in love with one of the Average Joes.
  • Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype: When Heckyl becomes handsome, he becomes evil. Also, the bald kinda homely Dr. Hoo becomes evil when he becomes the attractive Miss Finebum clone.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo discusses this trope with his fellow hobbits soon after meeting Aragorn as he leads them to Rivendell:
    Frodo: I think an agent of the enemy would look fairer... and feel fouler.
  • The film Branded, attempts to deconstruct this, by having a wave of "fat acceptance" advertisement is actually part of a conspiracy to sell more burgers at fast food joints. Yes, if you're fat, you're a mindless drone literally feeding (through giant invisible parasites on top of buildings) the evil corporations. The movie didn't handle it very well.
  • The Final at first plays it straight - as the bullies who are targeted for revenge are all attractive, wealthy and beautiful - in heavy contrast to the more average-looking outcasts. But notably Bridget - who is one of the pretty girls - refuses to harm one of her friends to save her own skin.
  • The bitchy, dim-witted (minus one) second wives in The First Wives Club are all noticeably younger and prettier than the titular characters (though they are all quite attractive themselves). Like the Hairspray example below, it's implied that two traits simply go together.
  • A very early film example is Tod Browning's Freaks. The titular freaks are shown as decent, wholesome people (to the shock of a 1930s audience). Hercules and Cleopatra, two glamorously attractive circus performers, are the antagonists. The sympathetic non-freak Beta Couple, Venus and Phroso, are respectively a horseback stunt rider and a clown- still good-looking, but lacking Herc and Cleo's glamorousness.
  • Hairspray is a milder example, in that Tracy Turnblad, while chubby, is still usually quite pretty. The fact remains, though, that the thin, attractive Van Tussel women (and most of the other cast members on The Corny Collins Show) are portrayed as being snobbish and cruel, apparently just because they are thin and attractive.
    • While the Van Tussels remain just as horrible in the second Hairspray movie, the other attractive cast members are shown to warm up to Tracy. The black girls among the kids invited for Negro Day who are thin and attractive are nice from the start- it's primarily that being thin and conventionally-1960s pretty (which rules out both fat white girls and beautiful black girls) is bad in this setting.
  • A good portion of the female villains in the James Bond franchise, though the heroines are always pretty too.
  • Any part played by William Zabka during the late 1980s. He seemed to have made a career out of playing pretty-boy bullies who thought nothing of acting as crappily as possible to anyone not as handsome, rich, and self-important as himself (the characters he played in The Karate Kid, Back to School, and especially Just One of the Guys). It should be noted that, by all accounts, the former-actor-turned-Oscar-nominated-director himself is anything but a Jerk Ass.
  • Subverted in The Mask: The blonde hottie (played by Cameron Diaz) with whom the Big Bad is involved gets paired up with Stanley at the end.
  • Any of the plastics in Mean Girls particularly Regina George are rude and cruel to the other students in their school that they don't consider as popular and attractive as them. There also exists a fan theory that Janis is a former Alpha Bitch precisely because of the beauty of her actress Lizzy Caplannote 
  • Mercenaries from Hong Kong: The film's main villainess, Madam Ying, is one of the most despicable and horrendous character ever put in an action film, willing to arrange for her father's assasination to usurp his wealth, and then manipulating the titular mercenary crew, a group of ex-soldiers whom had fallen on hard times, to go on a Suicide Mission under the pretense of investigating her father's demise, only to have them double-crossed and murdered one at a time. She had no qualms having innocent people who knew her true identity murdered, putting her captives through Cold-Blooded Torture, and manipulate Sing, The Lancer, into turning on his friends causing the main characters to kill each other. She's even eager to kidnap the ailing daughter of one of the mercenaries, an 8-year-old child suffering from cancer, only to have the child shot when things doesn't go according her way. And she is portrayed by Candice Yu On-on, a former Hong Kong supermodel and beauty pageant.
  • In the film Phat Girlz, every slim woman (In contrast to the Big Beautiful Woman heroines) is a bitch. The only exception is their friend Mia, but she's an idiot, so she still falls under this trope.
  • Heavily implied in the case of many supporting characters in Repo! The Genetic Opera. (Not the named ones, but the extras- wanting to look or feel better automatically makes you a shallow, surgery addicted drug whore in this film.) It was implied in the extra material that there was a group of people who were addicted to plastic surgery, though the original art for these people showed that they weren't attractive by any means.
  • The Alpha Beta fraternity and their associated sorority, Pi Delta Pi in Revenge of the Nerds.
  • Shallow Hal explores this trope with emphasis on a person's inner beauty over their outer beauty. Notably, a beautiful chain-smoking Gold Digger is seen by Hal as ugly and repulsive.
  • The Girl Most Likely To plays with this. Most of the people behave like dicks to the Ugly Duckling protagonist, but there are super pretty girls that snub her or take advantage of her and then later the protagonists unleash deadly yet hilarious revenge after reconstructive surgery has made her a knockout

  • Agatha Christie seems to have believed this very much. If a handsome man is introduced in a book of hers, he will be either the killer, the accomplice or otherwise immoral. Note that this is restricted to men whose attractiveness is spelled out: other characters might be handsome too, but the fact being mentioned is a sure sign that we're looking at a gigolo, a blackmailer or just a bastard. This is so prevalent in her writing that in the one book where a handsome man isn't a complete bastard (he's loyal and caring, but he still might be a gigolo), the killer turns out to be the other handsome man. This may be Writer on Board as Christie's first husband was a good-looking jerk.
    • Averted, however, in Death Comes as the End, in which a handsome suitor to the heroine of the story is a good (though not faultless) man. She ultimately realizes, however, that he is not the one she wants to marry. It's also notable that the murderer is the only one of the patriarch's sons not to be described in the story as handsome, although the other two handsome sons are jerks.
    • Richard Carey in Murder in Mesopotamia is another aversion.
  • Iason Mink of Ai no Kusabi is incredibly cruel but he is also incredibly irresistible.
  • Animorphs's Andalites are the most beautiful of the alien races, resembling mouthless blue centaurs with extra eyes, elfin ears, and long bladed tails. The other aliens in the setting are less pretty and don't get admired in the same way. But while Andalites aren't evil, the initial perception of them as purely benevolent towards humanity is certainly incorrect.
  • The Big Bad Torak in The Belgariad is described as being the most beautiful of the gods, with a vanity to match.
    • Averted by the time the stories are set, though. There's a reason he's also called "the maimed god."
  • Keifer Porter of A Brother's Price was noted for being cruel, dim-witted, and exceptionally beautiful. On the other hand, Jerin Whistler, who ends up marrying Keifer's widows, subverts this. He's noted in-universe for his beauty, and also for his intelligence and kind nature. Jerin even manages to help Trini deal with her aversion to men caused by Keifer brutalizing her before she was of age for marital relations anyway.
  • C. S. Lewis sometimes uses this in The Chronicles of Narnia. Jadis, aka The White Witch, and The Lady of the Green Kirtle (in her human form anyway) are described as incredibly beautiful, at least by some; "Polly always said she couldn't see anything specially beautiful about her." Taken as a whole, though, the series makes it clear that while internal beauty may work its way outward, the opposite is not true: it is only seven short years from "Grown-ups thought her the pretty one of the family" to "My sister... is no longer a friend of Narnia."
  • In The Chronicles of Prydain, Achren, the former Queen of Prydain, is described as being intensely beautiful despite being at least sixty years old, if not much older. She's a minor villain in the first book of the series, and the Big Bad of the third.
  • Female villains in fairy tales often fit this trope. The wicked stepsisters in "Cinderella" (though there are just as many versions of the story that present them as ugly), the wicked queen in "Snow White", etc. In fact, a good many of those villains are only evil because they're jealous that the protagonists are more beautiful than they are.
  • Circe: Circe resents the shining beauty of her mother, sister, and fellow nymphs, and associates it with their vapid personalities and cruelty. She also finds the perfect divine beauty of gods like Apollo and Hermes unsettling.
  • Danielle Steel likes this trope (although to be fair, much like in the page description, this is frequently paired with Beauty Equals Goodness). But whereas a hero or heroine is naturally beautiful without any effort, a villain's good looks are usually artificial and fading.
    • Played completely straight in the novel "Big Girl", where the Hollywood Pudgy protagonist is constantly made to feel unattractive compared to her thinner counterparts, starting with her younger sister and just getting worse from there—one boyfriend turns out to be a bastard, cheating on her with and eventually dumping her for a slimmer woman who's an equally classic Alpha Bitch.
  • The Diaries of the Family Dracul: Sadistic vampiress Elisabeth is frequently noted for her stunning beauty, to the point of easily seducing Zsuzsanna, who herself is very alluring.
  • The Dragon Egg Princess:
    • Luzee is stunningly beautiful, described as having the appearance of an angel by Micah. She's also the most evil person in the book.
    • Micah describes Roku as a very attractive young man. He's also a treacherous, power-hungry schemer.
  • Dr. Mark Ahriman of False Memory. Handsome, successful psychiatrist who mind rapes (and sometimes literally rapes) his patients, sending some out to kill people and driving others to creative suicide for his own entertainment.
  • Christian Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey is described as amazing attractive by his love-slave girlfriend Anastasia Steele, and of course he is cruel, domineering, abusive jerk. Their relationship is portrayed as S&M, but since it completely misses the entire "Safe, Sane and Consensual" thing, he's really just a Domestic Abuser.
  • In The First Casualty by Ben Elton, Captain Shannon is a violent, misogynistic, sociopathic rapist and killer. He is also incredibly handsome, which attracts women to him (unaware of his propensity for sexual violence) and has the effect of making others think they can trust him.
  • Bret Easton Ellis' Glamorama is about models who are so self-centered and vain that they become sociopathic terrorists.
  • All the main villains in GONE are apparently either very attractive or simply drop-dead gorgeous. Caine, Diana, Drake — even Penny is said to be pretty or "cute". And none of them are above murdering someone either as part of a cold-blooded plan for supremacy (Caine), apathetic and manipulative self-preservation (Diana), for the evulz (Drake), or as petty revenge for something insignificant (Penny).
    • Worth noting that around half the heroes (or good characters) are said to be easy on the eyes as well, but aren't described half as often (or to the same magnitude at all) as all being insanely beautiful that one has to catch their breath for a moment to comprehend it.
    • Plus, the heroes don't use their physical appearance to their advantage... Diana: Oh yes, I could, urm, "Slow Sam down".
  • Lord Voldemort, Big Bad of the Harry Potter series, was almost unbelievably handsome in his youth and used it to manipulate those around him. Later on, not so much. It's been noted that his younger self's good looks are more remarked upon than those of any other character in the series, including Love Interests.
    • Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange also qualify, though the latter loses her looks somewhat after a decade in prison.
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar series there's quite a lot of Beauty Equals Goodness and in fact people not-infrequently become more beautiful just inherently from using magic. Some mages deliberately make themselves more pretty in different ways and that is always taken as a bad sign right off the bat. In Winds of Fate, after Nyara's injured herself helping Darkwind's charges he thinks about how attractive she is and furiously declares that if she's "done that" to herself he'll kill her. Vanyel's taken by Krebain's looks until he realizes Krebain isn't naturally hot. Ma'ar reshaped his body to make it strikingly handsome but was unable to change his eyes, which remained small and shifty.
    • On the more normal side, Herald Talia's abusive father and brother were quite attractive, and as a result, she's wary around handsome men; the man she falls in love with is repeatedly described as homely.
  • In Andre Norton's Ice Crown, Sandar, Roane's vicious cousin. Roane's first look at Nelis Imfray has her thinking explicitly that he's not as good-looking as Sandar.
  • The Indigo series has several examples: Quinas (despite being a mutant) comes to mind. So do Jessamin (who's the avatar of the Serpent who Devours) and Carlaze (who's just a scheming bitch). In all of the above cases, the first thing we hear about is their good looks. However, not every attractive character in the series is necessarily evil. (For example, there's Indigo herself...although not much focus is put on her looks.)
  • In Jane Eyre, Jane herself and Rochester are nothing special, even joking about each other's hideousness, while Blanche Ingram and Georgiana Reed are more conventionally attractive but horrible and snobby. Charlotte Bronte admitted this was her intent when she wrote the novel, in a rebuttal to her sister Emily, to prove that a heroine didn't have to be beautiful.
  • The fourth Land of Oz book, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, features a Plant People race called the Mangaboos, who are described as all being beautiful. The race is Always Chaotic Evil since the longer Dorothy and her companions stayed in their land, the more hostile the Mangaboos became. They turn violent and opt to murder the group for no reason, forcing them to flee for their lives. Their evil is strong enough for the nearby Valley of Voe to call them dreadful creatures.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Sauron, being something akin to a fallen angel, was once very beautiful and used this trait to ensnare humanity in his plots.
  • Nightfall (Series): Most humans at the Resistance seem to think beauty is bad, as they associate beauty with vampires. Myra’s cousin, Thea, argues that beauty isn’t inherently right or wrong.
  • In John Milton's Paradise Lost, Belial is quite beautiful, even in Hell.
    A fairer person lost not Heav'n
  • In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian Gray is a beautiful young-looking man who is corrupted by Lord Henry's ideas of hedonism and starts pursuing pleasure, regardless of the consequences, and wreaks havoc. His portrait starts changing from beautiful to hideous as he commits more and more evil acts.
  • Princess Laideronette (whose name is the French word for "ugly" rendered into a feminine name- one of the translations into English renamed her Hidessa) from the 18th-century fairy tale novella "The Green Serpent" is, in spite of having a good figure and lovely hair according to the original illustrations (they only show her from the back), so badly disfigured from birth by a curse flung at her by a fairy who was scorned by Laidronette's parents that she is kept locked away from the world and forced to wear a veil. When she wants to attend a ball in honor of her vain, beautiful, shallow sister Bellotte (who escaped the curse), the only concession her parents make is allowing her a peep-hole to watch the ball so she doesn't frighten the guests. When Bellotte gets married to a king, she gives Laidronette one of her used ribbons. Laidronette's virtue is rewarded by the restoration of her beauty, marriage to a handsome prince, and became queen in her own right rather than just a consort, while Bellotte is left with nothing.
  • Joren of Stone Mountain in Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small books, a misogynist asshole who goes to any length possible to get Kel out of knight training. According to Pierce he was based on someone she knew in college.
  • The eponymous character in Tess Gerrittsen's Rizzoli & Isles series is a die-hard believer of this. There is yet to be a single beautiful woman in one of the books who she hasn't immediately deemed dumb, bitchy, etc. However, this rarely turns out to be the truth—instead, it's a result of Rizzoli's irrational jealousy of good-looking women (because she's plain). There are a few moments where it is played straight—Joyce O'Donnell, a psychologist Rizzoli frequently clashes with and outright describes as "a vampire", is consistently described as beautiful, immaculately coiffed, dressed, and made up—and is an utterly despicable person, regularly communicating with serial killers and advocating for their release and constantly preying on Rizzoli' s insecurities.
    • Gerritsen has used this in some of her other novels. The heroine of the book Bloodstream is repeatedly described as "ordinary-looking" while her rival is often described as "a handsome woman", who actually starts out as a perfectly decent person before becoming flabbergasted that the hero would fall for the homely woman within weeks after years of never giving her a second look and bitterly tries to get back at her by frequently punishing her son for minor infractions (she's the principal of his high school).
  • In The Ship Who... this is the case a few times.
    • PartnerShip has Polyon, who looks like he stepped off a recruiting poster. Before coming to realize how volatile, ruthless, and sadistic he is his cousin Nancia is inclined to believe he's noble and principled; after finding out, she keeps tabs on him and is aggravated by the puff pieces journalists publish about him, which always include commentary on how attractive and elligible he is.
    • The City Who Fought and The Ship Avenged have the Kolnari, a Human Subspecies with truly black skin, platinum hair, and golden eyes. The ones who aren't horrifically scarred or above the age of thirty-five or so (at which point they age with catastrophic speed, being more short-lived than normal humans) tend to be very beautiful. They're also basically a species of the worst possible Angry Black Man Stereotypes, played completely straight but with Breeding Cult and Social Darwinism added on, and Recycled IN SPACE!.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire plays with Beauty Equals Goodness quite a bit, resulting in a few straight examples of this trope.
    • The first villains to appear are the most beautiful woman in Westeros, Cersei Lannister and her Half Identical Twin Jaime—one being probably the most iconic evil queen since Disney, and the other a knight known by the name of "Kingslayer" whose first major act in the book is to defenestrate a child who saw the two performing Twincest. The eldest offspring this loving union has produced is said to inherit the best physical features of his parents and is one of, if not the most psychotic character in Westeros (despite having plenty of competition). In general, being attractive and blond is one of the trademarks of the Lannister clan, who are generally speaking not nice people. Cersei and Jaime's brother Tyrion, an ugly, deformed dwarf, is by far the most compassionate and kind of the Lannisters (although he's also done some pretty questionable things), and Jaime's redemption arc proceeds along with an aversion of Beauty Is Never Tarnished.
    • Joffrey Baratheon, the eldest of Cersei and Jaime's three children (nominally the children of Cersei's husband Robert Baratheon) inherited his parents' stunning looks, but is physically and emotionally abusive to his uncle Tyrion, his younger siblings, and his fiancée Sansa Stark, and governs the realm with terrible, petty decisions.
    • Gerold Dayne, also known as "Darkstar," has the traditional beauty of the Daynes but is arrogant, mean-spirited, has a "cruel tongue," and is eager to make a name from himself distinct from that of his family. He's also not above nearly killing Myrcella Baratheon, a little girl, maiming her in the process, if it means accomplishing that. For bonus points, Arianne Martell describes the trademark purple eyes of House Dayne as looking black from a distance on him.
    • Downplayed with Loras Tyrell, whose trademark Tyrell good looks have garnered him plenty of In-Universe fangirls. He's arrogant and cocky but isn't really a terrible person. And then he gets several major injuries attacking Dragonstone — having boiling oil poured on his face included — so it remains to be seen whether he'll live to subvert or invert this trope or not.
    • The series also inverts this by having more unattractive guys as more decent, such as Ned Stark or Tyrion Lannister, but also averts this by having good-looking nice guys such as Garlan Tyrell and Robb Stark.
  • Spinning Silver: All the heroic characters are physically plain or unremarkable — Irina is a disappointment to her father the Duke because she isn't pretty enough to improve her marriage prospects — whereas Tsar Mirnatius is a highly antagonistic Pretty Boy. It's implied to be a Glamour from the demon he was bound to in the womb.
  • All of the genetically enhanced superhumans in Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars are described as very charismatic.
  • Sweet Valley High also manages to pull this off, even though again, everyone in the books is quite pretty or handsome. But the protagonists of the current story will almost inevitably feel less attractive, even plain or outright unattractive in comparison to their beautiful, evil rival. Even Elizabeth and Jessica have felt like this, despite being described ad nauseam as among the prettiest girls in their school, and even Elizabeth has felt like this in comparison to Jessica, despite them being identical twins (the difference being that Elizabeth dresses and acts in a far more conservative manner than Jessica).
  • In the second book of Kat Richardson's Greywalker series, the main character Harper immediately distrusts the really good-looking guy — she's right. Several other times played straight in this series. Harper winds up deeply in love with a guy who's not handsome.
  • In Ruth Frances Long's The Treachery of Beautiful Things, as you might guess from the title, The Fair Folk are beautiful and vicious. When Jack thinks how beautiful Jenny is, he explicitly notes her freckles, in contrast.
  • The two main antagonists in The Fabulous Five series (and it's Taffy Sinclair prequels), Laura McCall and the eponymous Taffy, respectively, are blonde, pretty, and bitchy. The bitchiness is supposed to, therefore, make it okay that the protagonists spend a good portion of the "Taffy" books basically bullying her.
  • Lanfear in The Wheel of Time is the World's Most Beautiful Woman and one of the most powerful and dangerous of the Forsaken. In fact, most of the Forsaken, men or women, are good-looking (Ishamael/Moridin, Demandred, Graendal, Rahvin, and Aran'gar are all also singled out), but Lanfear clearly leads the pack in this department.
    • Galad Damodred was never evil per se but he would do what he thought was good, regardless of who got hurt. He got better in Book 13.
  • In "The Eye of the Beholder", one of Isaac Asimov's George and Azazel stories, a homely woman loses all her generosity and kindness once Azazel makes her beautiful.
  • Captain Halsing in Victoria is one of the most attractive characters in the book, described as tall, well-built, blond and blue-eyed, handsome and a snappy dresser. This is also a case of Meaningful Appearance, since his Nordic handsomeness (as well as everything else about him) illustrates the ideals of his Nazi ideology.
  • The Milady de Winter, from The Three Musketeers who is The Dragon towards the Big Bad The Cardinal, but in many ways could be described as the true villain of the story is described as being incredibly beautiful, but as treacherous and dangerous as a serpent.
  • "The Staff in the Stone" by Garth Nix: "The beautiful Naramala" is an Evil Sorcerer who seduced and murdered her friends for a chance at a promotion and bolsters her powers with Blood Magic. The other two wizards are a salt-of-the-earth Country Mouse and an elderly Reasonable Authority Figure, both with no looks to speak of.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Alias: Every single recurring attractive female who isn't Sydney is a villain. The only exceptions are Rachel, who starts off working for an evil organization and doesn't know it, and Francie, who was killed by her evil double.
  • The Big Bang Theory: The series's Official Couple is pretty much set up to be the classic 'Nice Guy nerd courting the Prom Queen'. As such, almost, but not all, rival love interests who happen to be attractive, or at least arguably more attractive than Leonard, tend to be complete and utter assholes, who treat Penny terribly. The exceptions being Stuart (who goes from slightly adorkable Nice Guy to almost a parody of the Adorkable Woobie types), Zack (who despite fitting the mold, he's an example of Good Is Dumb), and her British study partner Leonard was jealous of, who was willing to play along with Leonard's attempt to scare him off.
  • Angel and Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They've both spent a good amount of their lives torturing, murdering and even raping various people, and never reform completely, but it doesn't seem to detract from their sexual appeal. They dress a lot more stylishly than either Xander or Riley and, judging by the reactions of other characters in-universe, they are supposed to be more physically attractive.
  • In the "Love Conquers Al" episode of Cold Case, it's revealed that the head cheerleader encouraged her track star boyfriend to kill the female track star he had sex with.
  • Jeff on Community, although he gets slightly better over time.
  • The Company You Keep: It's noted that, no matter how evil she may be, Daphne nonetheless is very beautiful.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm: In one episode, Larry determined that this trope not only applies to sexy women but also to their husbands and boyfriends as well. Larry fired his business manager because his wife is way too pretty and decided to invest in an invention because the inventor's wife is physically unattractive and that the men who are in relationships with beautiful women are also vain. shallow and self-absorbed. Therefore, the episode also has the Stock Aesop that people are judged by the company they keep.
  • A classic Doctor Who example from very early in the show's run is the story "Galaxy 4"—the Doctor and his companions find themselves trapped on a planet along with the beautiful female Drahvins and the hideous Rills.
  • Family Matters: The first appearance of Stephan Urkelle was a self-absorbed prick who couldn't care less about Carl's friend getting shot. However, as Steve began modifying and perfecting the formula to create him (Boss Sauce), Stephan becomes a suave and kind-hearted gentleman. Essentially, a cool and slightly less intelligent version of Steve.
    • Some of the guys that Laura becomes interested in usually end up being jerks who just want to sleep with her.
  • Saffron (or whatever her real name is) from Firefly, who was a thief, a swindler, and who tried to kill Mal by leaving him naked in the desert.
  • Game of Thrones carries the "Lannister syndrome" from the books. The most kind-hearted adult Lannister is Tyrion, the least attractive. The increasing compassion of Jaime is relative to his increasing filthiness and wretchedness. Cersei, who is considered to be one of the most beautiful women in Westeros, is cruel, treacherous and occasionally murderous, while her handsome son Joffrey is a horrific psychopath. However, Tommen and Myrcella would appear to avert this. Tommen is a decent boy if easily swayed by others, and Myrcella is by all accounts a normal, well-adjusted girl. Furthermore, many people outside of this family are both good-looking and morally good... -ish. A prominent non-Lannister example of this trope is Melisandre.
  • Gossip Girl's The Beautiful Elite are spoiled, prissy, vain and bitchy. The more sympathetic protagonists - Dan, Jenny, Vanessa - are attractive in a less conventional way. Serena, however, is a subversion. While a straight example before the series began, she's had a Heel Realization and is trying to become The Atoner.
  • In the "Thank God It's Friday" episode of Growing Pains, Mike, Boner, and Eddie are invited to a party by a hip college dude. At the party, The boys are pressured to use cocaine by the pretty girls. Message: hot chicks do drugs and therefore run with a fast crowd. When the show wraps up, Kirk Cameron talks to the audience about peer pressure and drugs.
  • A lot of the programs on Investigation Discovery (ID) are presented as cautionary tales about getting romantically involved with beautiful people.
  • An episode of Joan of Arcadia has Joan believing God is trying to make her preach this, and she begins protesting her cosmetology class by not showering, washing her hair, or putting on deodorant or makeup. God then tells her that isn't what he meant. But it kind of was. But not really. The Aesop of the episode was a little confusing.
  • In the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Mean", three mean, pretty and popular teenage girls kidnap and murder a fourth pretty and popular teenage girl.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Waldreg, a peasant from the Southlands, refers to the Dark Lord, Sauron, as "a beautiful servant".
  • Played straight with Morgana and several one-off characters in Merlin.
  • Most children's shows where the main characters are a Grotesque Gallery.
  • On soap operas, the super sexy characters engage in all kinds of immoral and unethical behavior.
  • Alex Barnes a/k/a Alicia Bannister from The Sentinel. Although beautiful, she was a thief, a multiple murderer, and generally AxCrazy. Also Lyla, Maya. . . really, most of the women Jim & Blair get with — they're all gorgeous, and all thoroughly nasty pieces of work.
  • Star Trek: Picard:
    • Narek takes full advantage of his physical beauty when acting as a Honey Trap to his victims.
    • Narissa is a gorgeous Romulan woman who likes to inflict pain and violence on others, and even her own brother (whom she nearly suffocated with her bare hands) is not safe from her.
  • Prevalent in Supernatural. As a general rule, while a character's level of attractiveness doesn't determine how "good" they will be, the less attractive male characters seem to form better romantic relationships.
    • While Sam and Dean might basically be good people (at least, when Sam hasn't gone darkside) they both manipulate women for sex and have a tendency to self-obsess and act like major jerkasses to everybody around them. If you were a random bar-frequenting woman in the Supernatural universe and they hadn't saved your life, you'd be forgiven for thinking they were bastards. It's worth noting however that Sam averted this entirely before he became a Hunter again in the series pilot, instead having been in a stable and loving relationship with Jessica at the time.
    • Castiel isn't sexually manipulative towards women, but that might have more to do with his general cluelessness about human behaviour, his devotion to his faith, and disinterest in the matter. The sexual chemistry with Meg seems to be based around violence, and he once accidentally burnt somebody's eyes out and forgot to fix them, although it seems like he could have done so easily. So he's probably not the best boyfriend material, either.
    • Bobby is comparatively less attractive but was able to maintain a stable and loving marriage for many years.
    • While Samuel Winchester, Senior (the grandfather) is morally ambiguous, his marriage and commitment to his family seem a lot stronger than John's.
    • The only notable exception to the rule is Jimmy (Castiel's vessel), who is very pretty and was (before he became involved in angel business) a devoted and loving father and husband. And the actor who plays him is probably cuter when he plays Cas, anyway.
    • The Meg demon is fond of possessing attractive hosts and varies between smacking around or making out with the Winchester boys.
  • This idea was played with on the reality show True Beauty, which took a cast of good-looking people and then attempted to see if they were as good on the inside as they were on the outside by testing their kindness and morals. Some of them were, some of them... weren't.
  • Tidelands (Netflix): Adrielle, Leandra and Violca are all very beautiful women while being ruthless villains.
  • Ugly Betty: In the fourth season, Betty dreams about an alternate universe in which she never had braces (and also got laser eye surgery, so no glasses). Being pretty, and therefore popular, meant she never learned the humility and compassion her "ugly" self did, and ended up being a bit of a grown-up Alpha Bitch.

  • Ani DiFranco's lyrics from "32 Flavors." "God help you if you are an ugly girl, of course too pretty is also your doom, 'cause everyone harbours a secret hatred for the prettiest girl in the room."
  • The Don Henley song "Dirty Laundry" is about unscrupulous newspeople who will do anything for a story and makes fun of the fact that local news shows have at least one "bubble-headed bleach blonde".
  • The Jimmy Soul song "If You Want To Be Happy" (famously covered by the Coasters) has this to say:
    A pretty woman makes her husband look small
    And very often causes his downfall.
    As soon as he marries her, then she starts
    To do the things that will break his heart,
    But if you make an ugly woman your wife,
    You'll be happy for the rest of your life,
    An ugly woman cooks her meals on time,
    She'll always give you peace of mind.
  • "Beautiful People" by Marilyn Manson is all about this trope.
  • The Northern Pikes song "She Ain't Pretty" (she just looks that way)

    Mythology & Religion 
  • Jezebel, the wicked queen of Israel, could very well be the poster child for this trope. She is extremely beautiful...and has the people of Israel killed if they refused to worship the Phoenician god Ba'al. In the process, she turns many Israelites away from God.
  • Satan, especially his pre-fall angel form Lucifer, is commonly depicted as an inhumanly beautiful Pretty Boy, which fits with his description as the Prince of Lies and a master manipulator. It's also common for the Satanic Archetype of any given story to be beautiful for similar reasons.
  • In The Talmud (Nedarim 50b), a Roman princess tells Rabbi Yehoshua that while he has much Torah wisdom, it's stored in an ugly vessel. He suggests that someone as rich as her should store her wine in silver and gold vessels instead of cheap earthenware. She tries it, and it spoils. He responds that Torah wisdom works the same way. Downplayed because she notes that there are attractive Torah scholars as well, but he comments that if they were ugly, they'd be even more learned.
  • Classical Mythology, by modern standards. Most gods and goddesses (With some exceptions, such Hephaestus) are often described as the epithome of beauty. They are also often shown to be extremely cruel Jerkass Gods prone to Disproportionate Retribution, treat mortals like their playthings, being petty and vindictive, and in Zeus case, they are also shown to be remorseless rapists.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Shawn Michaels during his prime as the "Heartbreak Kid", before his first retirement, and becoming a born-again Christian. Not only was he an insufferable jackass in the ring, even as a good guy, but he was also like this in real life, making life miserable for countless wrestlers who had the misfortune of being employed in the WWE during Shawn's prime. Sure, he was a pretty boy and a ladies man, and he was also a huge asshole who abused the crap out of his position. It was only after his Game-Breaking Injury and return in 2002 that he mellowed out and became a decent person.
  • Attractive women are often seen as inferior wrestlers or are pre-judged to have gotten their jobs on looks rather than athletic merits or wrestling skill. This attitude dates back to Sable in the late 90s, not to say the thought never arose prior. At the start of the 1990s when FMW picked up and pushed Zenjo reject Megumi Kudo, there were grumblings about them trying to sell modeling photo books, but she soon displayed an improved work rate and previously unrevealed toughness that proved these concerns premature. Still, the trope was played straight the other way, as FMW initially gave Kudo an "evil princess" gimmick before she became popular to the point of being a face by default. Even the 1980s GLOW, a camp promotion that most involved didn't expect to succeed, had certain physical and technical standards all its athletes were expected to meet. Those involved in the wrestling industry were protective of it in that they did their utmost to ensure those considered inferior were kept out and failing that, used in ways their flaws would not expose incompetence. The straight examples, such as GLOW's own the Evil Brit Godiva), were reflections of that attitude held by both bookers and the wrestlers themselves.
  • On one hand, Sable was ultra-popular for a while and brought back women's wrestling to mainstream promotions. On the other hand, she'd had so much plastic surgery she could barely bump and had to be carried through her matches by the more talented, and gorgeous, Jacquelinenote  and the deliberately odd-looking but also very talented Luna Vachon. Even strictly WWE fans began to notice Sable's opponents tended to look a lot more capable facing each other than they did her, then the company itself lost interest in protecting Sable after too many behind the scenes disputes. This attitude became even more prevalent when WWE spent the better part of 2004 dedicating a quarter of its programming to a "quarter of a million-dollar diva search" which repeatedly was stated not to be about finding another woman wrestler only to drop most of its women wrestlers after the contest was over and have untrained contestants who didn't even win the contest take their places. WWE has had a history of hiring people for their looks (though the smarks often miss out on the fact that their athleticism and ability to play a character is also tested), and while the worse parts of this practice have been dying off in The New '10s - and plenty of legitimate wrestlers are hired in addition to models - the stereotype that all model-turned-wrestlers are terrible still hangs in the air. Maria Kanellis used it for heel heat in Family Wrestling Entertaiment and Ring of Honor long after the point fans caved as decided to give her a fair chance.
  • The flip side to this is that fans will automatically assume that any female who doesn't look like a supermodel or fit conventional standards of beauty must be a good wrestler (or why else would they be in the company?). Chyna wasn't incapable of having good matches, but the majority of her WWF career consisted of forearms, particularly between the legs of opponents approached from behind. Despite this, she's frequently held up as a great wrestler by people only familiar with her WWF work because she was a big, butch, bulky woman who held a man's title belt. Tamina Snuka - who was called up to TV and given a free pass by smarks for years because of her unconventional appearance (and the fact that she was the daughter of a Hall of Famer) - was one of the greener members of the roster in her time and remained among the most injury prone throughout her whole time in the company. She also got two random baby face pushes against Natalya Neidhart and Beth Phoenix while the latter two were doing an evil pinup modle gimmick.
  • Former Playboy Playmate April Hunter, who debuted in WCW roughly a year after Sable won the women's championship belt, knew from the get-go she was going to run right into this trope. She eventually came to embrace it, putting together a trio with Taylor Made and Allysin Kay that call themselves Made In Sin, a name not chosen just for the sake of a pun.
  • It is bad but celebrated in his own case with Panamanian wrestler VENENO, who briefly made "El Guapo Siniestro" his official gimmick in IWRG. Of course, he usually kept his looks hidden until Grand Markus Jr unmasked him two years later in CMLL. Mr. México and Poder Méxica had some fun getting him shaved.
  • Invoked by Fighting Opera HUSTLE, who hired a famous Taiwanese model and pushed her as Yinling The Erotic Terrorist, leader of the Amazoness division of The Takada Monster Army out to destroy professional wrestling. While she was initially pitted opposite more conventional recruits such as kickboxing champion Karate Girl or veteran pro wrestlers such a Erica and Margarete, she also scored a win over Big Good top face ace of HUSTLE, judo champion Naoya Ogawa, in a parody of All Japan's attempt to push the much more renowned Akira Hokuto.
  • Defied with Yuzuki Aikawa in Wonder Ring STARDOM, whose place in the company was suspect to many because she was primarily known for being a swimsuit model rather than for her participation in any type of athletics. Nanae Takahashi took it upon herself to make sure any dues Aikawa had left would be paid in full by the end of her first match, leaving Aikawa's torso covered in bruises and one of her eyes swollen shut. There were some wrestlers who still resented her modeling background after this but for the most part, she was held up as the MVP of STARDOM by the end of her rookie year.
  • Aikawa's ordeals ended up overshadowing almost everything else in STARDOM, allowing the other former models to slip into the ring with little to no controversy. Of these, Mayu Iwatani enjoyed the most longevity, more than Aikwawa herself, and remained a babyface throughout. Still, Madusa felt the promotion still relied too much on appearance and expressed a desire to move it in a tighter, more serious wrestling direction after coming on. Iwatani was also something of a Token Good Teammate in the Power Stables Planet and Queens Quest(lead by infamous Sexy Purple Thunder Sister Io Shirai, SPTS also being a straight example), whose membership generally played the trope straight. They were face stables only because their top rival(s) Kimura Monster Gun\Oedo~Tai were worse.
  • Subverted in another STARDOM case with "Act" Yasukawa, who people were equally skeptical about entering professional wrestling, though not quite as many people due Aikawa being better known. Her "title" is even a reference to her former career as an actress. However, Yasukawa wrestles with face paint and an eye patch, as her athletic background is in kendo, which lead to a gimmick based around several famous samurai. Also unintentionally subverted in that Yasukawa has been openly evil for most of her career but fans ignored it.
  • WWE wrestler Cody Rhodes, especially in his stint as "Dashing Cody Rhodes", whose character was that of a handsome, but utterly vain and egotistical heel who'd denigrate fans and other superstars for their supposed "ugliness". This made him the one-man Spear Counterpart/Alternate Company Equivalent to TNA's The Beautiful People. Became especially ironic after he became "disfigured" (a Minor Injury Overreaction) and began wearing a protective mask and freaked out about his "hideous" face which looked exactly the same as before.
  • Breaking Ground shows Tye Dillinger telling Tino Sabbatelli that he already needs to do very little to get over as a Heel - precisely because he's so good-looking and in such great shape that the fans will already be jealous of him.
    "People are gonna hate you based on how you look because they don't look like that."
  • "The Midnight Son" Caleb Konley, especially in EVOLVE. No one cares about win-loss rankings, mixed styles or even really wrestling. What's really important is his magnificent face, and he will hold up the show as long as he can to keep the camera focused on it as long as possible. His face will be burned into your brain!
  • Hana Kimura, the large majority of the time, especially in World Wonder Ring STARDOM, where she appropriately became mama's little villain for Kyoko, who had become the de facto leader of Oedo~tai. Hana is roughly the same height as Kyoko but at least ten pounds lighter and far more girly. Where Kyoko developed her reputation from bloody garbage matches in Big Japan and such, Hana spends more time styling her hair, getting elaborate gear, seductively dancing and claiming to be "sexy but dangerous". Hana is a ruthless a rule breaker too, just more subtle than mom.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, it mentions that in the Old World - if someone has good looks that are too flawless - they are suspect of being something sinister. This has some basis in the Warhammer world, the evil god Slaanesh and his accompanying daemons are beautiful (albeit in an inhuman way) and one of his/her gifts is "Allure" which increases his followers beauty. His favourite champion is Sigvald the Magnificent, who's so good-looking (and in totally human fashion - no wings, tails, pincers and etc.) that he floats above the ground as the earth is too ugly for his beauty. Sigvald is also one of the evillest beings in the world. There's also the Dark Elf race who are all evil and, barring the ones who are mutilated or too ancient, all are extremely beautiful.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney:
  • In the sequel to ActRaiser, Confusion, the frost demon of Lovaous, a ice creature made of beautiful ice crystals takes on the alluring form of an equally beautiful nude woman, to seduce the king into an endless sleep, whilst putting his subjects into a freezing hellhole.
  • Pretty much every single thing in Black Knight Sword is ugly and grotesque, with dirty coloration. The artstyle is reminiscent of the animated segments in Monty Python. The only exception is the White Princess, a beautiful, angelic-looking princess drawn in an appealing, clean artstyle. She also happens to be a malevolent, depraved tyrant and the Big Bad Final Boss of the game, whose attacks are just as grotesque as anything else in the game. The contrast in artstyle combined with her voice (which is literally composed of violin strokes) create a profound Uncanny Valley effect. Ironically, her true form is simply a white version of her sister Black Hellebore.
  • Corpse Party’s most malevolent characters tend to be attractive: Kizami, Naho, Misuto, and of course Sachiko/Witch Queen.
  • Danganronpa:
    • In general, the overall Big Bad Junko Enoshima is both a beautiful blonde and a manipulative, highly misanthropic Hope Crusher who sees no one around her as human and only someone to transform into a means to spread despair. Of course, because of this, to say "bad" is understating it, by a lot.
    • Actively played upon in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc—hero Makoto Naegi considers himself plain and is surprised when old schoolmate Sayaka Maizono remembers him. Sayaka is a cute idol singer, but it also turns out that she tried to set Makoto up to take a fall for her so she could escape the battle royale. Zig-zagged in that she regrets it. Also present in the rest of the cast—the wealthy and handsome son of a corporation has next to no empathy for his fellow classmates, the elegant Gothic Lolita Celestia sets up a double murder and the Big Bad’s true identity is Junko Enoshima, the classmate known as the Ultimate Fashionista. The less conventionally attractive cast members are accordingly more heroic—plain Makoto is a sweetheart, and beefy warrior woman Sakura is noble and kind.
    • In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, the same pattern follows: resident White Hair, Black Heart Nagito has... shall we say, extreme ideas of hope, Hiyoko is shown to be a sharp-tongued brat though she does show signs of changing right before she's killed, Cute Clumsy Girl Mikan still had traces of her old brainwashing when she committed her crime, and the overall mastermind is Long-Haired Pretty Boy Izuru Kamukura with his suppressed emotions compared to the plain-looking protagonist Hajime...who, mind you, became Izuru before the plot started. On the other hand, the more heroic characters are folks like the hulking Nekomaru, childish-looking Fuyuhiko, and punkish Kazuichi, and the aforementioned son of a corporation apparently returns both morbidly obese and far less of a prick. Ultimately zig-zagged, however, in that their original selves as Ultimate Despair only went bad due to the aforementioned brainwashing, with a side order of guinea pig testing on Hajime's part.
    • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony has Miu Iruma, who starts out as a jerk and only gets worse as the game continues. She also happens to be a prideful Shameless Fanservice Girl and actually wants people to pay attention to her, but as a result of an Inferiority Superiority Complex. She ends up trying to kill the cast at the end of Chapter 4 by killing Kokichi in the Virtual World in an attempt at a perfect crime out of her desire to leave the academy, which fails because Kokichi offs her using Gonta before she has the chance to complete her murder.
  • Invoked in Final Fantasy VII, where Cloud's behaving as a jerk is connected to the fact that he now looks like a sexy SOLDIER member as a result of the experimental medical procedures done on him—apparently, he expects SOLDIER members should be like this. A couple of characters remark that the persona makes him seem attractive in itself.
  • In Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Queen Sectonia used to be a benevolent ruler, but an obsession with beauty gradually turned her into a heartless monster until her subjects were forced to send help to another world to depose her and save them.
  • Nick from Left 4 Dead 2 is a rather handsome man... and a sexist Con Man who implies that he has ties to the Irish Mob, and was planning on throwing everyone under the bus to save his own hide.
  • Master Detective Archives: Rain Code:
    • Halara Nightmare appears beautiful on the outside, but inside, they're a misanthropic, cynical jerk only willing to help others as a detective as long as they're paid for it, and they're ready to admit to hating all of humanity equally.
    • Yomi Hellsmile, director of the Peacekeepers, is described as being "handsome", and his assistant Martina is supposedly attracted to him. However, he's also a cruel Tautological Templar Dirty Cop who'll dispose of any challenge to his position on a whim, and even manipulates a chief detective into committing murder in Chapter 4. Additionally, Martina ends up opposing him when Yomi tries to execute her in Chapter 2 for being easily tricked by detectives.
  • Memoria Freese:
    • In the Date A Live crossover campaign Ais Catastrophe, Kaguya Yamai was already beautiful, but when the Kaguya who accompanied Shido and company in Orario is revealed to be an imposter, she wasn't just one of the most attractive characters of the setting, she was also one of the most monstrous antagonists in both Dan Machi and Date A Live.
    • In the Nightmare Academia Campaign, Tiones Walpurgis, also known as the Spirit of the Dream, may look as beautiful as Tione, whom she resembles, but is really an Evil Teacher who has no qualms if people dragged into the dream world she is the source of die with the supposed happiness provided being false and temporary.
  • Peret em Heru: For the Prisoners: Soji Mizumi is a pretty handsome fella. Pity he's also a Serial Rapist.
  • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire:
    • Despite its appearance of a seemingly innocent butterfly, Beautifly has a much darker side. It drains other Pokémon's body fluids to survive. Indeed, Beautifly can learn all three Grass-type draining moves (Absorb, Mega Drain, and Giga Drain) through level-up.
    • Despite its elegant appearance, Gorebyss aggressively chases its prey with its spear-shaped mouth into submission. After it catches its prey, it proceeds by draining the prey's bodily fluids with its mouth. In-game, Gorebyss can learn Draining Kiss through level-up.
  • Courtney Gears in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal has been described as the "hottest pop star in the galaxy", but is also a sadistic robot supremist who uses her good looks to lure Loony Fans into her lair for be used for cruel experiments. She's also a Manipulative Bitch who tricks Clank into letting her guest-star in his Holovid show so she could lure him away from Ratchet for capture, sends out a decoy named Klunk to serve as The Mole, and has him and Qwark be lured into the Dreadnaught Leviathan for a trap. She also once dated a kind-hearted school teacher turned DreadZone Exterminator named Reactor, but was only interested in his money.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey:
    • Asura is roughly handsome; his true form, Asherah, is a downright hot woman. They're also among the most horrible demons in the game.
    • Zelenin and Jimenez arguably qualify as a variation. Both start the story as attractive, and both have their good sides and bad sides. Both also undergo distinct Face Heel Turns by the end, where their bad sides get far worse, and they both get much sexier. Bonus points for it being Jiminez who gets the most Stripperiffic outfit too.
  • Rouge from the Sonic the Hedgehog series is a downplayed example. She is considered to be the Ms. Fanservice of the series and happens to be a vain, sassy, and manipulative jewel thief, although she's nowhere near evil.
  • Vega from Street Fighter due to his handsome face with a psychotic killer's mind.
  • Consul D/Blackblaze Dirk from Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a handsome Bishonen, even referring to himself as "quite the looker". It doesn’t take away from the fact he’s a fearsome mass murderer, let alone he collected the heads of the soldiers he slaughtered when he was Blackblaze Dirk.

  • As a possible example of this trope, there's one Nodwick strip in which a villainess explains her face (and gender) is always hidden because only hot evil chicks are allowed to show they're evil.
    • Double lampshaded because at first they just think it's because she was horribly disfigured in an accident, but then she mentions that even before the accident, a woman who was "nothing special" would have been a pretty good catch compared to her.

    Web Animation 
  • AoHaru Manga Library: Played straight and inverted at the same time. In various stories where the antagonist is a young male character, they will most likely be a handsome young man with an extroverted personality, clicking with the popular trend to contrast with Keiichi's more plain looks and introverted personality. However, their personalities tend to be extremely shallow, only valuing other people for their looks and outer accomplishments. On the other hand, the heroines are flat-out beautiful, but they are also good people who don't flaunt their beauty. In fact, it's the heroines who sometimes appear homely and unattractive at first, but turn out to be a complete knockouts in both looks and heart later.
  • In Teen Girl Squad, Cheerleader is considered the hottest out of the group in-universe. She's also the meanest.

    Web Original 
  • Brig Scarlet Flamingo has its share of attractive heroes and average-looking or outright ugly villains, but two characters who are considered gorgeous by almost everybody are among the vilest of all:
    • In the backstory, Queen Carolina was a stunning-looking woman and a power-hungry Soft-Spoken Sadist.
    • Anthony's handsome looks and deep voice enchant nearly every woman he meets. He also is completely amoral with a serious case of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
  • Played straight in Worm at the beginning at least, the three bullies of homely protagonist Taylor are as pretty as they are remorseless. Although it's not a reoccurring theme. Throughout the novel, many, many characters of varying physical descriptions are shown to be good/evil/of grey morality with no apparent connection to the way they look.

    Western Animation 
  • Subverted, but also Invoked, in the American Dragon: Jake Long episode "Siren Says". Over the course of the episode, Jake starts to act in ridiculous and humiliating ways, and Lao Shi concludes that they're dealing with a Siren. Trixie suspects that the Siren is Danika, Jake's beautiful date. But later, it turns out that Danika was just being manipulated by the real Siren, the nerdy and (Hollywood) Homely Vicky, who banked on the idea that people would instantly blame Danika because everyone already thinks pretty girls are evil. Everyone present promptly give Trixie a Death Glare for her accusations.
    Vicky: It's just easier to use pretty girls. People always assume they're evil anyway.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Original Series:
      • Played straight with Azula, the beautiful princess of the Fire Nation Royal Family. She is even called by Ty Lee the "most beautiful, smartest, perfect girl in the world", but in spite of that, Azula is jealous of how the latter is able to attract boys. What she doesn't realize tho is that her attitude is the reason as to why that's the case, in contrast to Ty Lee's nice and cheerful demeanor. It becomes even more apparent after her conversation with Chan ends with him excusing himself when Azula demonstrates her sociopathic self, thus repulsing him after he came to have an interest in her.
      • The Big Bad Fire Lord Ozai also counts. Up until Zuko's homecoming, whenever Ozai appeared on-screen, his face was never completely visible, thus furthering audiences' expectations for him to look like the standard animated villain (i.e., having a somewhat more homely design than the heroes). The first full-on shot of his face (which, admittedly, is downright gorgeous) only reinforced the fact that he was absolutely the most despicable character in the entire series. (The sound of his voice doesn't exactly help, either.)
    • The Legend of Korra:
      • Discussed and eventually subverted with Asami. When this gorgeous rich girl showed up and immediately began a relationship with Mako, despite him seemingly being set up for a relationship with Korra, many fans immediately assumed she was The Mole and evil. This was only fueled by the discovery that her father was an Equalist, and a very short period of time where she pretended to side with him if only to get the upper hand as she rejects her father's justification of joining to a terrorist organization. And about her Love Triangle between her and Mako, she is shown to be more mature to handle a relationship and its possible setbacks compared to them. In the end, she was as genuine as she seemed to be.
      • Kuvira is an Amazonian Beauty example, especially when it's lampshade by Prince Wu. She can also be noble in her efforts to make the Earth Empire do good things, but then it eventually turned for the worse and became Drunk with Power in the process.
  • Batman: The Animated Series: The episode "Pretty Poison" serves as a cautionary tale for many who completely subscribe to this trope's opposite number. Cosmetics designer Dr. Pamela Isley is a (seemingly) innocent, sweet lady with Old Hollywood esque bombshell good looks who secretly moonlights as the Femme Fatale eco-terrorist Poison Ivy and keeps a giant, mutant flytrap in her private greenhouse she implies has made a meal of other people before seizing a nosy Batman in it's Tentacle Rope.
  • Clone High's very own JFK.
  • Princess Clara from Drawn Together looks like your typical pretty Disney Princess. She is also a bigoted fundamentalist who often displays racist and anti-semitic views. One episode even reveals she had bought child slaves from Third World countries. While on the first episodes from the series she was originally portrayed as an Innocently Insensitive character, as the series progressed she Took a Level in Jerkass, often displaying villainous personality traits.
  • From Ed, Edd n Eddy, Marie Kanker, the witty punk-styled girl, is the one who possibly defines this trope the most among the show's main set of characters, given that she's not as odd-looking as her sisters are (unless if one may consider her yellow teeth).
  • Family Guy:
  • In the "Be Careful What You Fish For", Miss Emily is the negligent owner of the Tiny Tots Preschool and Stewie brings it to Brian's attention. When Brian tries to confront her, he sees Miss Emily sunbathing and resorts to running interference with Stewie until he can have sex with her. He finally has Miss Emily arrested once he finds out she has a live-in boyfriend named Devin whom she never mentioned.
  • Kaeloo: Mr. Cat and Pretty, both of whom are apparently very attractive but also very selfish and cruel.
  • Total Drama:
    • Heather is this—basically all the male contestants agree that while she's certainly very attractive, the guys that aren't Alejandro (Heather's on/off-boyfriend) are very careful to keep their distance from her, since they're all well aware of what her personality is like, especially after the first season.
    • Justin, mainly in the second season. Even when he's not the main villain, he's still a jerk, but he's also a professional model for good reason. His label is literally "The Eye Candy".
    • Courtney may also count to a lesser extent when she's on the Heel side of the Heel–Face Revolving Door. It's mostly downplayed, but she's kissed more guys than anyone else on the show, and isnt't afraid to use her looks and flirt her way to the win.
    • Alejandro. He's a lying, back-stabbing jerk, but is also the major Mr. Fanservice of the show. Has anyone counted how many times he's ripped off his shirt?
      • A promo for the finale of Total Drama World Tour says that Alejandro needs a shirt four times in both English and Spanish.
  • The Trix in Winx Club: They are as psychopathic, bitchy, and homicidal as they are beautiful. Heck, their hobbies are torturing others for shits and giggles (Mirta, Lucy, etc)
  • X-Men: Evolution used an art style that made most characters attractive. However, according to some fans, the most attractive characters are Pietro, Gambit, and Avalanche. While Gambit and Avalanche both have lines they won't cross and times of heroics, they still had strong shades of criminal level jerkery. However, Pietro takes the cake. Sociopathic disregard for human life? Check. Starscream level cowardice? Check. Draco level smugness? Check. Pretty white hair and bishonen level attractiveness according to female fans? Check.
    • The jock Duncan took the Jerk Jock trope even further when he attacked the Morlocks with guns and bombs.