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Creepy Souvenir

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We don't think he got that from a gift shop.
"I'm not that good with names and faces, but I never forget a trophy."
Lockdown, Transformers: Animated

We all have souvenirs — items that remind us of a place we visited or thing we did. But what happens when, instead of remembering your trip to Souvenir Land, you want to remember the time you murdered some orphans or decapitated your mortal enemy?

The Creepy Souvenir is a sufficiently morbid item that is kept to show off the (normally) horrible thing(s) a character has done. Mostly, it's human body parts — heads, teeth, skulls, skin, fingers — for obvious reasons. Sometimes, other personal items are taken, like dog tags, but the general rule is the bloodier, the better.

For extra bonus points, taxidermize it because Taxidermy Is Creepy. The character might have an entire Trophy Room or Wax Museum Morgue of such things. Particularly disturbed individuals may carry the items around with them wherever they go.

Related to, but distinct from A Love to Dismember. Even most collectors of human trophies don't go so far as to "use" the body parts.

May easily lead to a case of Chronic Evidence Retention Syndrome when these souvenirs end up in the wrong hands.

Human Head on the Wall is a Sub-Trope. Crosses over occasionally with Skeletons in the Coat Closet, Genuine Human Hide, Shrunken Head, Human Head on the Wall and Having a Heart. Compare Battle Trophy, Collector of the Strange, Stalker Shrine, Kitsch Collection, Decapitation Presentation, Finger in the Mail, A Scar to Remember, and Past Victim Showcase. There's a good chance that a Serial Killer may keep such souvenirs. Tragic Keepsake is one of the few methods that this trope can be used by a good (but still creepy) character, carrying a body part of a loved one in their memory. If something is taken, not to memorialise the death, but as evidence, that's either Bringing Back Proof (if taken by the killer, eg because it's a paid hit) or We Need to Get Proof (if taken by someone else). May overlap with Hair Memento.

Note that this is different from using body parts for religious, medical, magical, or other purposes, although that's no less creepy.

No Real Life Examples, Please!


As this can sometimes be a Death Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Dark Gathering, the adrenaline junkie Eiko once had her soul forced into a doll and almost incinerated. Even while she was recovering from the trauma of the experience, she grabbed the dolls before leaving the area, planning to use them as a bargaining chip against ghosts. Her boyfriend is appropriately freaked out by this, and the pride with which she tells him her plan.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable: Yoshikage Kira kills women purely so that he can collect their severed hands. He has a bizarre fetish and treats his decapitated victims’ hands like they’re his girlfriends.
  • Itsuki Sumeragi of the Absurdly Powerful Student Council in Kakegurui collects human fingernails, often taking them from girls she defeated in gambling matches but mentions buying them on occasion. Her first appearance has her showing off a display case full of her trophies that she claims is only part of her "collection".
  • Moriarty the Patriot: Moires Baskerville collects the heads of the children he murders and keeps them in a special room on shelves so that he can admire his handiwork.
  • My Hero Academia: Tomura wears several preserved hands, including one prominently clasped over his face. They're revealed to have belonged to his family, whom he killed when his Make Them Rot powers first manifested uncontrollably. He claims they make him feel simultaneously sick and calm.
  • In Overlord (2012), there is an assassin who wears a scale mail made of dog tags of adventurers she'd slain.

    Comic Books 
  • In Astro City, Jared Everall, collector of super-memorabilia, keeps a pitcher containing seven vengeful demons on his coffee table.
  • Victor Zsasz from Batman carves a tally mark into his body every time he kills someone. His whole body is covered in them.
  • In Batman: Gotham After Midnight, the villain Midnight rips out the hearts of her victims and keeps them in jars.
  • Judge Dredd:
    • One short story centered on a man trying to become famous by growing the world's largest nose — and falling afoul of a collector of body oddities, who wanted to mount the nose on a plaque. Eventually, Judge Dredd finds his hideout, with an extensive collection of heads, arms, and other parts, each one notable in some way — and each one has been taken forcibly and likely fatally.
    • Dave Duchese was a serial killer who acquired the moniker "The Orthodontist" because he kept his victims' teeth as souvenirs.
  • The aptly-named Face from The Punisher skins the faces off of his slain victims and mounts them on plaques.
  • In The Sandman (1989), the attendees at a convention for serial killers euphemistically refer to one another as "collectors" due to the body parts they tend to take from their victims. When they discover a journalist posing as a dead collector, some of the con staff stuff him in the trunk of a car and take turns collecting from him.
  • Perhaps the strangest example is consul Enshu Atsukau from Sillage. He uses his telepathy to seduce females of various species. The addition to his harem is marked by a connection to a machine that links their neural systems to his in a permanent empathic link — which requires one of their eyes to be replaced by a cybernetic implant. The machine is surrounded by row upon row of small jars with their removed eyes floating inside.

    Fan Works 
  • In Being Dead Ain't Easy, Kaiba kept the trench coat he was wearing when Joey died, which is still soaked with his blood. Joey is very freaked out by it.
  • In Death Note fanfic Apples Equals Cyanide Equals Light, Ryuk has a habit of collecting mementos from humans who owned his notebook. That includes the bullets he dug out of Light Yagami's body. Similarly, Kira keeps a finger puppet of L as an earring.
  • In Equestrylvania, it's revealed that Death steals the voices of everyone he's ever killed, adding them to his Voice of the Legion. For the ponies of Equestria, however, he switches to skinning their cutie marks off and taking those.
  • In Old West, the belt of the coyote mercenary Ramirez Arvenga is decorated with teeth and claws of other anthropomorphic animals.
  • Rocketship Voyager: During their Mind Meld, Captain Janeway sees the destruction of the Great Tree on Nee'Lix's homeworld by Hostile Terraforming. Later when the Caretaker is showing them his archive, one of the exhibits is a "reproduction of the Great Tree of Rynax in the bonsai style, using a cutting taken from the original before it was sterilized." He then follows this up with a young girl abducted from Earth whose existence he is preserving in suspended animation after a failed attempt at suicide. The scene acts as a foil to Janeway's own archive of artifacts and literature she has salvaged from the ruins of European cities.
  • Seeing is Believing has Melanie and Victoria had their original eyeballs replaced with Electronic Eyes. The narrator learns they kept their original eyes preserved as a reminder. The narrator didn’t find it very creepy as many others had similar things with their original body parts.
  • In Something Always Remains, it's revealed that the Smiling Man stole Freddy Wickes' wedding ring as a trophy of his first murder.
  • The Victors Project: One of the Delacroix Brothers wears a necklace that supposedly contains the remains of Luster Lancaster (who caused their family a lot of misery and suffering) after the Mockingjay Rebellion.

    Films — Animation 
  • Kung Fu Panda 3: Kai has a hobby of turning anyone he encounters who has potent chi to further strengthen him into his Jombie slaves, and when his Jombies aren't in use, they take the form of jade talismans he wears on his person.
  • In Osmosis Jones the virus Thrax wears a chain of DNA "beads" taken from his past kills around his wrist. They also factor into how he kills, by removing a bit of DNA that controls the hypothalamus, causing a runaway fever.
  • Downplayed in Turning Red. Abby has felt some of Devon's hair from when her mother cut it at her salon. Priya and Miriam assume Abby kept it and ask her if they could have some.
  • In Up, it is shown that Charles Muntz killed various explorers who he believed were after "his" bird and kept their aviator helmets as souvenirs.
    Muntz: You know, Carl, these people who, uh, pass through here? They all tell pretty good stories: a surveyor making a map... a botanist cataloging plants... An old man taking his house to Paradise Falls? That's the best one yet. I can't wait to hear how it ends.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Alien: Resurrection, Ripley pulls out an alien's head-bursting tongue and gives it to Call as a souvenir, who is disgusted.
  • Subverted in the Holocaust drama Amen when the SS Doctor shows up at Kurt Gerstein's house and offers to show his children a "genuine Judeo-Bolshevik skull". Gerstein is horrified and tries to stop him, though it turns out all he's carrying is an ape's head made of chocolate. But by this point of the film, neither Gerstein nor the audience would have put it past him.
  • American Psycho: after Patrick meets the model who wants to have a real conversation with him, the last we se of the pair is them getting into a taxi, in the next scene, Patrick is at work, playing with a lock of blond hair, leaving what happened to the viewer's imagination. In other scenes, we see a severed head in his fridge.
  • The main villain from Battle Beyond the Stars collects limbs from people he killed - and use them to replace his own. This comes back to bite him when one of his victims was a member of a hivemind who could still control the arm and tried to strangle him.
  • Big Driver: Tess learns Lester stole her earrings after he raped her. Upon tracking him down, she finds that his brother took photos of her during and after this, along with his many other victims.
  • A symbolic one in The Big Short. Burry asked for or just pocketed one of the banks' monogrammed coffee mugs from every bank that he visited to bet against their mortgage bonds. Since Burry was certain he was right, in his mind he was taking a keepsake from every one of the banks that he knew would go under; in effect, a piece of what would soon be their corpses.
  • Bones and All: Sully the eater takes hair from the people he eats and weaves it into a braid that is several yards long. He shows it off with pride to Maren, a fellow eater, and notes how strong it is.
  • In Crimson Peak, Lady Sharpe keeps a braid of hair from each of her brother's former wives.
  • In Cube 2: Hypercube, a man who's been in the hypercube for some time starts killing and eating others and wearing their watches/dog tags as souvenirs.
  • In Darkman, Durant uses his cigar cutter to cut fingers off of his victims. He keeps a collection of these fingers in a cigar box.
  • Drive Angry:
    • Jonah King has a cane partially made out of a human femur, which he reveals belonged to Milton's daughter.
    • Milton keeps Jonah King's skull as a souvenir after delivering on his promise that he would drink from it.
  • An example that is pure Squick shows up in the CAT-III horror-slasher film, Dr. Lamb. The title villain, a serial killer moonlighting as a taxi driver, would frequently target drunk hookers, kidnap and kill them and then having their corpses disposed of, but not before severing their breasts to be kept in jars of liquid formaldehyde as his personal collection. During the scene where he confesses to his crimes in a police interrogation room, the desk he's seated at displays the eight jars, each containing a severed breast, from his four victims.
  • The unseen truck driver from Duel mounts the licence plates of his previous victims on the front of his truck.
  • Polaroid photographs and human fingers in Dust Devil. Justified, in that they're part of a ritual.
  • Falling Down: Nick, the homophobic Nazi surplus owner D-Fens meets, thinks D-Fens is also a fellow right-wing nut and shows him his backroom of Nazi memorabilia. His favorite possession is a used can of Zyklon-B, and he excitedly fantasizes about the number of Jews who were gassed.
  • In The Fly (1986), Seth Brundle keeps his own rotted-away body parts in his medicine cabinet. "The Brundle Museum of Natural History", as he calls it, contains his fingernails, teeth, ears, and his genitalia.
  • Haunter: When Lisa discovers the Pale Man's killing room underneath the house, she finds his collection of artifacts he kept of his victims.
  • The Hobbit: If you look closely, for an extra bit of squick, Azog the Defiler's loincloth is made out of the skinned faces of dwarves.
  • In John Doe: Vigilante, Adam McCleish has a collection of ponytails he cut off the young girls he murdered.
  • The Serial Killer (Henry Rollins) in The Last Heist collects the eyes of his victims. He gets involved in the plot when he's about to retrieve part of his 'trophies' from a secure lock-up when a Bank Robbery interrupts his plan.
  • In Lone Hero, Cop Killer Bart takes removes the badge from every law enforcement officer he kills and wears them clipped to his belt as trophies.
  • The Mask of Zorro: Captain Love keeps his enemies' body parts in jars of alcohol and drinks from them, supposedly to gain insight on their strategies. This becomes much creepier when he invites Alejandro to drink from the jar containing his own brother's head.
  • The Night of a Thousand Cats: The Serial Killer Hugo keeps his victims' pickled heads inside glass jars in his basement.
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Nancy's mother mentions that she took and kept Freddy's knives after participating in the lynch mob that killed him (which eventually turned him into the dream ghost we know).
  • Nite Tales: The Movie: In "Karma", Jim Bob has photos of body parts stuck up on the wall, which really should have clued the robbers in that something was not right at the farm where they had stopped to steal a vehicle.
  • Horror Host: Flavor Flav plays this role.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End:
    • When Captain Jack Sparrow asks his father "How's mom?", Captain Teague presents him with a shrunken head. "She looks... great!"
    • In an example that also counts as a Tragic Keepsake, Elizabeth keeps Will's still-beating heart in a chest since the part of becoming the captain of the Flying Dutchman involves getting it cut out. Stabbing it is the only thing that can kill him, and he trusts she'll keep it safe.
  • Planet Terror: The Mad Scientist Abby has a jar full of human testicles he collects.
  • The Predator collects skulls from its prey, including intelligent ones. We get to see a very impressive display at the end of Predator 2, including the elongated skull of a Xenomorph, laying down the foundation for the Alien vs. Predator franchise, and the surviving Predators give Harrigan a flintlock pistol to congratulate him for killing one of their number.
  • Save the Green Planet!: Byeong-gu's creepy basement is filled with preserved human limbs in jars, which were collected from his previous victims who he interrogated and killed to find out if they were aliens.
  • Se7en: John Doe describes taking the head of Mills' wife as this when goading Mills into killing him to complete Doe's work.
  • In Seven Murders for Scotland Yard, the murderer is keeping bottled pieces of his victims in his lair.
  • In Slashers, Chainsaw Charlie wears a bandoleer of human ears.
  • Star Wars:
    • General Grievious carries a collection of lightsabers from the Jedi he has killed.
    • Boba Fett kept Wookiee scalps on his belt as trophies of his kills.
    • Bossk, who keeps Wookie pelts in his ship.
  • In Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, Mr. Baek has kept a small token (a button, a plastic ring, etc.) from each of the children he has murdered and has them attached as charms on his cellphone. Geum-ja realizes what they are when she recognizes Won-mo's marble.
  • In Ten Dead Men, Ryan takes a souvenir from each of the men as he kills them. Most of them are body parts.
  • In The Tournament, Miles Slade cuts a finger off each of his victims as a souvenir.
  • Universal Soldier (1992) starts out with a rogue soldier killing Vietnamese civilians — to emphasize his insanity, he wears a necklace of human ears.

  • Lone Wolf:
    • In The Chasm of Doom, book 4 of the series, Lone Wolf can fight against a large Vassagonian warrior wearing a necklace of shrunken heads.
    • The south gate of the Darklands city of Kaag is adorned with the huge skull of Nyxator (the Crystal Dragon Jesus figure of Magnamund), and covered by the dragon's preserved hide, as a trophy for the Darklords.
  • Beneath Nightmare Castle: In one battle, after you defeat a Blood-Lurcher, you are given an option to hack off one of its tentacles and keep it in your rucksack. Doing so will result in the tentacle coming to life, consuming your food, and trying to attack you the next time you open your sack.

  • In one short story, an assassin kills a man who turns out to be a serial killer (which is a part of a larger plot between gods — Loki has survived to modern times and uses serial killers to gather human nails that he needs to build his ship) — the assassin enters the man's house and starts retching when he finds a whole wall of jars full of eyeballs staring at him.
  • In 1632, Gunther Achterhof of the Magdeburg Committee of Correspondence was said to carry around the ears, noses, and private parts of two soldiers he had killed before joining the CoC, in revenge for the killing of his family by an army passing through the area.
  • In Another Note, Beyond Birthday takes the left arm of his second-to-last victim, apparently to make the crime scene more confusing to investigators. This may be a subversion of the trope, as it is not known what he did with it.
  • The Bone Collector is about a murderer whose Signature Style involves removing bones from each of his victims.
  • In "The Golden Spinning Wheel" from A Bouquet of Czech Folktales, the heroine's wicked stepmother and her step-sister murder the poor girl and keep her legs, arms and eyes. The step-sister looks just like the heroine and takes her place as a nobleman's bride. They later trade the human remains for parts of a precious golden spinning wheel.
  • Career of Evil: The serial killer that private detective Cormoran Strike is chasing keeps body parts of his victims.
  • Discworld: Referenced in The Fifth Elephant:
    "There had been that... bad business with that little girl and those men over at Dolly Sisters, and when Sam had broken in to the men's lodging he found one of them had stolen one of her shoes, and [Lady Sybil had] heard Detritus say that if he hadn't been there, only Sam would have walked out of the room alive..."
  • In False Memory by Dean Koontz, Dr. Ahriman has his father's eyes. Literally. He seems to have some kind of twisted fetish for eyes and tears.
  • In Fantastic Mr. Fox, Bean's servant Mabel was hoping to receive Mr. Fox's tail as a souvenir when he is finally shot dead. She is distraught to learn that the tail was shot to pieces earlier; Mrs Bean offers her the head instead, suggesting that she has it stuffed and displayed on the wall.
  • In Savages of Gor/Blood Brothers of Gor, the Red Savages (Fantasy Counterpart Culture to Plains Indians) regularly scalp their enemies.
  • In Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation: Mo Dao Zu Shi, Jin Guangyao keeps the furious undead severed head of Nie Mingjue in his secret treasure room, allowing Wei Wuxian to discover his involvement in the murder.
  • Hannibal Lecter:
    • Red Dragon: It was presumed the "Chesapeake Ripper" was doing this until Will Graham realized the parts being taken were all used in cooking and realized he was hunting a cannibal.
    • The Silence of the Lambs: Buffalo Bill collects parts of the skin of his victims to make a woman suit. This is actually lampshaded when Clarice mentions that most serial killers keep souvenirs of their victims, and when Lecter denies doing so Clarice states that "you ate yours".
  • In Harry Potter:
    • Voldemort has this trait, as revealed in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. A flashback shows that he did it even as a child, stealing keepsakes from children he had magically tormented. This habit results in a minor Nice Job Fixing It, Villain moment, as it allows Dumbledore and later Harry to deduce the locations and identities of Voldemort's Horcruxes.
    • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Umbridge gets hold of Mad-Eye Moody's magical eye after his death, attaches it to her office door at the Ministry, and uses it to spy on the workers. Harry later rescues it, and buries it, thinking that its rightful owner would not have wanted it used for this.
  • "The Hound (1924)": The protagonists are fervent graverobbers, corpse-snatchers, and collectors of all kinds of macabre objects. They've got a small museum's worth of stuff gotten from digging up coffins and breaking into tombs internationally, among which various human body parts both preserved and some ways into decomposition.
  • Imperial Radch: Among the souvenirs of Breq's Mysterious Past are a full set of crystal dentures. The short story "She Commands Me and I Obey" reveals that their original owner willed them to her in thanks for inadvertently rekindling his faith, to the extent that he insisted on submitting to Human Sacrifice by her hand as a show of devotion to his patron goddess.
  • Played with in The Kane Chronicles. You'd expect a goddess known for Hunting the Most Dangerous Game to keep something a bit more gruesome than pockets torn out of her victims' clothing, but then again she's also the goddess of crafts.
  • In the Left Behind series, Albie's black market rival Mainyu Mazda tattoos an M around his neck every time he kills somebody, with a more feminine-looking M to commemorate one of his ex-wives being killed. In the book Armageddon where Mainyu makes his only appearance in the main series, Albie sees that he is in the process of getting another M tattoo, which makes Albie think he has made a successful kill, only to find out that sometimes Mainyu gets his tattoos in advance — a sign that things aren't going to turn out well for Albie during a shady deal on behalf of the Tribulation Force that turns out bad.
  • The famous French short story "La Main" ("The Hand") by Guy de Maupassant is about a hunter who cut off the arm of his enemy, dried it in the sun, and hung it in his living room. Later, the man is found dead, with marks on his neck showing he was strangled... and the hand in the living room is missing.
  • Tamora Pierce:
    • Tortall Universe: George Cooper from the Song of the Lioness books often cheerfully references his collection of ears. Unusually for the trope, he's one of the good guys — indeed, he's one of the romantic leads and the man our protagonist ends up marrying.
    • Circleverse: Bennat "Ben" Ladradun of Cold Fire keeps a shelf full of mementos that he takes from fires in which he makes a difference (he is a semi-professional firefighter). However, excepting one (his dead wife's hand, complete with matching melted ring), they are actually mementos from the fires that he set.
  • In the Redwall series, the vixen Silvamord wears a skirt made of the tails of other creatures. This would be roughly the Redwall world's equivalent of wearing a skirt made of people's arms or something. Her husband wears a wolf skin, which is just as bad, and a few other characters wear their enemies' skins or teeth.
  • The Alternate History novel Resurrection Day by Brendan DuBois takes place in a United States where the Cuban Missile Crisis turned into World War III. The US is a military dictatorship ruled by General Ramsey "Rammer" Curtis. While looking around his house, the protagonist is disgusted to find a melted brick from Moscow's Red Square, embedded in several inches of glass behind a safety barrier marked with radiation warning signs.
  • Saving Max: Marianne Morrison keeps the ampoules of poison she used to kill her first two children, Kevin and Ashley, as well as the comb she used to stab her third child, Jonas.
  • Goth and Throbb, the cannibal antagonists in Silverwing. They eat a whole group of bats and wear their metal bands as trophies.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The Tattered Prince is a mercenary leader known for wearing a cloak stitched from rags of cloaks of his defeated enemies.
    • Chella daughter of Cheyk wears a necklace of ears from defeated enemies. Unusually for the trope, all of them had been left alive — they can come back to challenge her and get their ears back if they ever find the courage.
    • The House of Bolton has a notorious reputation for flaying their enemies alive and wearing cloaks made out of their skin.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: In A Civil Campaign Miles is showing his fiancée around Vorkosigan House when he finds a collection of Cetagandan scalps that had been presented to his grandfather Count Piotr by his guerilla followers during the Cetagandan war. Miles says he doesn't know what to do with them (the option of throwing them away probably would have been perceived as a gratuitous insult to the Dendarii hillmen's loyalty) and muses that The Emperor might use them as a Take That! to Cetagandan diplomats but otherwise they would just have to stay in the attic.
  • In the Warrior Cats series, members of BloodClan, a group of vicious strays in the city, collect teeth from cats and dogs they have killed, wearing them as Spikes of Villainy on their collars. (This started when their leader, as a young cat, attempted to use a loose dog tooth he found to try getting his collar off, only to get the tooth stuck. When others asked about the tooth, he claimed he killed a dog and took the tooth as a trophy, and from there the idea took off and became true.)
  • In the novel We Need to Talk About Kevin, when Eva visits her son in prison the first time, she notices he's playing with something in his hand. It turns out to be his sister's glass eye, which he took from her either just before or after murdering her.
  • In the Witcher novels, Psycho for Hire Leo Bonhart keeps a collection of witcher talismans.
  • In Anne Rice's Lives of the Mayfair Witches trilogy, Carlotta shows Rowan a room filled with glass jars containing rotting body parts in alcohol, including severed heads, which she claims her ancestor Marguerite kept as souvenirs of Lasher altering the bodies of people he possessed. In the second book, Taltos, Julien confirms that this is true.

    Live-Action TV 
  • From Angel: Connor, upon returning to Earth from a hell dimension, carries around bits and pieces of demons he's killed. At one point, after a fistfight with a drug dealer, he cuts the guy's ear off to add to his collection.
  • The unnamed hitman in Battleground (adapted from the short story in Night Shift by Stephen King) collects trophies from his victims, usually a personal item from their room. When he murders a toymaker, it's implied that this habit enables his witch mother to track the hitman to his apartment.
  • Breaking Bad:
    • Hank manages to kill the drug lord Tuco in a firefight, and is rewarded by his fellow DEA agents with the dental grill taken from his corpse as a trophy. However, Hank begins to suffer PTSD from the experience and tosses it into a river.
    • During a train heist, Todd is told by Jesse and Walt they've made precautions to make sure there are absolutely no witnesses. Todd takes this statement to an extreme, shooting and killing an innocent child on sight that had the misfortune to be passing by. He has no idea why what he did was wrong, and to top it off, he takes the tarantula in a jar that the kid was carrying as a keepsake, just to drive it home to the audience what an utterly detached psycho he is.
  • Criminal Minds lives and breathes this trope. While not every serial killer they profile takes trophies, many do. They range anywhere from articles of clothing and jewelry to photos of the bodies to eyes and other body parts. A few eat parts of their victims to keep them as a part of themselves.
  • Dexter
    • Dexter Morgan keeps blood sample slides of all his victims in his apartment, hidden in a box in his air conditioner. In the books, he keeps them on his bookshelf. The idea is that, as a serial killer, he can't stop himself from taking a trophy, and the tiny, easy-to-hide, easy-to-get-rid-of slides are a pretty good idea. Even in their "convenient to hide" form, the trophy box bites him in the ass when Doakes finds it... In season 7, when his sister Debra finds out about him, he decides to get rid of them.
    • The Ice Truck Killer from season 1 was killing prostitutes. He exsanguinated their bodies and staged their chopped-up body parts to taunt the police. He stored the blood in the freezer, but it was later subverted — he used it for another staged crime scene.
    • In season 3, Miguel Prado tries to take a ring from his victims, and he takes one from Ellen Woolf.
    • The Trinity Killer from season 4 kept plaques from various places all over the USA on the wall in his living room. They marked houses he built for a charity organization, but also each cycle of his murders. Also, a small boy was buried in the concrete foundations of the houses. He was sending postcards to his daughter from those places as well.
    • The rape gang members from season 5 apparently indulge in this trope. Boyd, the killer of the women and the last link in the chain, keeps numbered strands of their blonde hair. Another member took a piece of their jewelry. A third made made videos of torturing and raping them, and kept the numbered DVDs, and finally, their leader Jordan Chase has a vial with the blood of their first victim (who's still alive) and wears it around his neck as a pendant. Boyd however only took his trophy once he killed them (as opposed to others who did so along the way). This became a plot point when one of the victims survived and he had one less trophy than the others. The victim also identified a piece of her jewelry from that member's trophies, confirming he was one of her torturers.
    • A serial killer nicknamed Tooth Fairy from season 6 has a tin box with his victims' teeth.
    • Louis Greene, a wannabe serial killer (or just a really weird guy) acquires the prosthetic hand that belonged to the Ice Truck Killer.
    • Speltzer from season 7 was a very disturbing serial killer who would persuade young women to come to see him... to houses and buildings he tailor-made as mazes to chase them there while wearing a creepy Minotaur-like mask. When he killed them, he took their earring and put it on display in a mausoleum in a local cemetery.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Woman Who Fell to Earth", alien hunter Tzim-Sha takes a tooth from each of his victims as a trophy, which he then embeds in his face.
  • Elementary:
    • In the pilot episode Sherlock notices that the victim's living room is decorated in a perfectly symmetrical way (matching photos on the walls, matching tables) except that one side of the room is missing a small, decorative box. He deduces that the killer may have taken it as a trophy, and sure enough when they find the man the box is in his apartment.
    • Wade Crewes, a Serial Killer from the late 90s, always stole a single stiletto shoe from his victims' homes after murdering them. While he's in prison someone starts murdering new victims using his M.O. and even copies the detail of taking a shoe. Sherlock and the police are divided over whether this new killer is a copycat or whether it's the original killer and Crewes was falsely accused. It turns out the copycat theory is correct, and the new killer is Crewes' son who's trying to clear his dad's name.
  • The End of the F***ing World: While on their road trip, James and Alyssa find a huge house and realize the owner is away on vacation, so they decide it should be relatively safe to sneak inside and squat there for a couple days. Later, James pokes around... and finds a shoebox full of Polaroids of mutilated and raped women, and a video camera with several recordings saved of the owner doing the deed. Before he can warn Alyssa, the owner gets back.
  • Firefly: It was said about Reavers that they skinned people alive, raped them repeatedly, ate their flesh, and then murdered them. They kept the skins as trophies and their spaceships were covered with blood. They even tied whole corpses to the front of their ships. Mal used this piece of knowledge to trick them while Dressing as the Enemy in the Big Damn Movie, giving Shepherd Book the "honour" of being centre on Serenity's nose. They later gave him a proper burial on Mr. Universe's planet.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Davos keeps his own lost fingertips in a bag around his neck as a good luck charm and a reminder of Stannis' commitment to justice.
    • Chella daughter of Cheyk, the chieftainess of the Black Ears, stays true to her tribe's custom of stringing the ears of defeated foes on a necklace. She can be seen taking a new pair in "Baelor".
    • The mutineer Karl Tanner gloats about keeping Jeor Mormont's skull as a wine cup.
  • Comes up a few times in Hannibal, where it's noted that a common part of Serial Killer pathology is collecting trophies from their victims.
    • The Behavioral Sciences team theorise that the Chesapeake Ripper, a serial killer who removes organs from his still-living victims, is keeping the organs as surgical trophies. The audience knows what the Ripper is REALLY doing.
    • The presence of human remains in homemade fishing lures — specifically, bits of tissue, bone, and hair from the known victims of a serial murderer — is the smoking gun which convinces the Behavioral Sciences team that Will Graham is an active serial killer. It's a frame-up, and by the time Graham is seemingly exposed as a killer, the audience knows who's really responsible.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): In "A Vile Hunger for Your Hammering Heart", Claudia is a Serial Killer who has murdered at least 56 people and collects their body parts as trophies. She stores them in various hiding places in her bedroom.
  • Truly bizarrely subverted in one episode of Jonathan Creek, where a famous American horror-movie actress (clearly inspired by Elvira, Mistress of the Dark) was shot dead by a masked man who runs off into an outbuilding and seemingly vanishes into thin air and her body decapitated post-mortem. Not only did she plan the whole thing herself, because she was terminally ill and thought starring in a thrilling locked-room murder mystery was A Good Way to Die, but the person who took her head as a trophy was a Loony Fan who'd been lurking furtively in the vicinity for a few days and wasn't in on the plan... And she probably would have thought it a fitting tribute anyway.
  • The Kill Point: Mr. Rabbit has collected severed body parts from Iraqi Republican Guard soldiers as a sign of respect. By his logic, someone who is as Defiant to the End as the enemy soldier he killed is someone he hopes one day to emulate.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has a few serial trophy takers as well, including one in an episode called "Trophies". Serial child molester Biggs from the episode "Quarry" actually manages to take his creepy up a notch. He took a baseball cap from his victims, and the storage locker where he kept them also had a bottle of lotion and box of tissues in it, making it clear what he did there.
  • Mindhunter:
    • Jerry Brudos had a collection of photographs of his victims, as well as some preserved body parts he kept, which he then vehemetely denies taking, even though he is visible in a reflection in one of the photos, and no one else had access to his personal lair.
    • When investigating the BTK murders, Tench makes a note that small items have gone missing at different crime scenes, and the one surviving witness remembers the killer wearing a watch, that he then positively ID's as the watch belonging to an earlier victim. We later see BTK surround himself with his trophies during his elaborate sexual rituals, and less obviously, one of the victims' radio is shown in his kitchen.
  • Subverted in one episode of Murdoch Mysteries. A suspect was seen talking with a victim on a train and he admitted he liked her a lot. They found he has homemade jewellery made of human hair from multiple people, and the victim's hair is among them. However, she gave it to him voluntarily while she was alive. Jewellery from human hair was still seen as very weird, but he was not her murderer.
  • In the season 8 finale episode of New Tricks "Tiger Tiger", the team discover that their victim was the first victim of a Serial Killer, who collected parts from his victims and stored them in old VHS tape boxes. To add to the creepiness factor, the bad guy kept the body parts in Punny Named video cassette boxes too. The fingers were kept in a box marked "Goldfinger".
  • Stargate Atlantis:
    • Ronon Dex has the handle of his faithful Ray Gun wrapped in Wraith hair. A Deleted Scene also has him showing Carter a necklace made from the fingerbones of Wraith he killed.
    • Ronon Dex nearly ends up on the receiving end himself in "The Prodigal" when Michael (who absolutely despises Ronon) decides he can't leave Atlantis without taking Ronon's head as a souvenir.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • The Ferengi like to keep parts of one another as collectibles. When a Ferengi of high status (such as a Grand Nagus) dies, their bodies are vacuum-desiccated, reduce to a fine powder, then sold to other Ferengi.
    • "Soldiers of the Empire" has a Klingon walking into Quark's with Cardassian bone necklace.
    • "The Siege of AR-558" has a Starfleet officer with Ketracel White vials he took off dead Jem'Hadar, showing his Sanity Slippage in the face of war.
  • Strangers From Hell: Moon-jo collects his victims' teeth and turns them into jewellery. He gives a bracelet decorated with teeth to Jong-woo, and the ending reveals Jong-woo is still wearing it weeks after Moon-jo's death.
  • The Governor in The Walking Dead (2010) has a shelf full of heads of people he had killed, though it is unknown if all of them were necessarily zombie or human, given the series' narrative.
  • The Wire:
    • When Chris and Snoop are killing Marlo's enemies, Snoop tries to take a baseball hat from one, and the badge of a security guard, which Chris makes her throw away to not leave a trail of evidence.
    • When McNulty creates the fake serial killer in season 5, they manage to put a bow o the case after a mentally ill man who collects calling cards kills another homeless man in a similar way to the staged crime scenes, and they use the similar MO and calling card collection as evidence that he is responsible for all of them.
  • The X-Files:
    • A mutant serial killer who appears in "Squeeze" and "Tooms" takes small trophies from his victims, e.g., a coffee mug, an ornamental snowstorm globe, or a hairbrush. Agents Mulder and Scully find this kitschy collection in his apartment.
    • "Irresistible": A necrophiliac who starts to look for living victims has a hair and nail fetish. He takes some fingers from dead bodies and also from a prostitute he kills. The FBI finds a pillow stuffed with human hair in his bedroom and a box in his freezer that contains ice, Brussels sprouts, and a human finger with fingernail, painted bright red.
    • "Our Town": The town of cannibals keeps victims' heads in a cabinet. They're found at Mr. Chaco's, but the whole town is guilty.
    • "Paper Hearts": John Lee Roche is a serial killer who murdered sixteen little girls. He cuts a piece of fabric in the shape of a heart from their clothes. He places the cloth hearts in a copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and keeps the book in his car, thus being the 'carrying the trophies by himself' variety.
  • In You, Joe begins taking trophies from the people he has murdered in his pursuit of Beck. He hides them in a box in his bathroom ceiling. Beck later discovers them by accident and is horrified by the implication.

  • "Hair Lockets" by Nicole Dollanganger:
    I've been collecting pieces of your hair
    To tuck away in the locket that I wear
    Pretty strands that grew in your youth
    Pieces that I'll always hold on to.
  • The titular tyrant in Kerry King's "Trophies of the Tyrant" keeps corpses impaled and crucified as trophies to certify victory over subjects who tried to rebel against them.
  • Tom Lehrer's song "I Hold Your Hand in Mine", from Songs by Tom Lehrer:
    I hold your hand in mine, dear, / I press it to my lips.
    I take a healthy bite from / Your dainty fingertips.
    My joy would be complete, dear, / If you were only here,
    But still I keep your hand as / A precious souvenir.
    The night you died I cut it off. / I really don't know why.
    For now each time I kiss it / I get bloodstains on my tie.
    I'm sorry now I killed you, / For our love was something fine,
    Until they come to get me / I shall hold your hand in mine.

  • One of the ingredients that players must collect in the Gilligan's Island pinball is a shrunken head.
  • In Scared Stiff, Elvira is seen using a hollowed-out skull as a popcorn bowl.
  • The Limited Edition table of The Walking Dead has the governor's aquarium, which has three zombie heads inside. Stern Pinball also sells a larger aquarium prop that can be placed on top of the backbox.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons module G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief. One chest has some dwarf and elf ears, presumably taken from victims the giants killed.
  • In Legend of the Five Rings, there is an ogre who fancies himself a sort of a samurai — his symbol is a collection of mons from samurai he killed, stitched together.
  • Jaqueline Montarri, a cursed villain from Ravenloft, collects the animated still-conscious heads of women she's decapitated.
  • Warhammer/Warhammer 40,000:
    • Champions of Khorne collect skulls from their victims. These are usually piled up in some sort of a shrine, though many a champion carries a couple of favourites with himself, often by skewering them on some Spikes of Villainy. Orks do this as well, but for the opposite reason to Chaos: while Chaos warriors generally take these trophies as a sign of triumph, Orks do it to honour a great enemy since Orks think that only sufficiently powerful enemies have "earned" being placed on a throphy stick.
    • Many warriors from Warhammer. The most prominent among those are Gorthor, who wears a fur cloak made of the skins of beastmen shamans he killed (showing his badassitude, as well as his belief that gods are with him - he can freely kill a shaman and suffer no curse for it), Wulfrik the Wanderer, a Hero Killer who wears the skulls (and the entire skeleton) of vanquished foes, and the Skaven warlord Queek headtaker who, showing courage uncharacteristic for his race, loves single combat and goes to battle with an actual trophy rack on his back.
    • Inverted for the Slaaneshi champion Lucius the Eternal in Warhammer 40000. Lucius is blessed with an ability to "always triumph" — allowing him to reincarnate in the body of his killer, as long as they feel at least a bit of satisfaction over the deed, fusing them into his suit in the process. So every screaming face on his armor is someone who managed to beat him in the past.

    Video Games 
  • The Big Bad of Alice: Madness Returns carries a pocket watch with a distinctive key hanging from it. That key belonged to Alice's sister, which he stole the night he raped her and set fire to the Liddel home. Alice opts to take it before she deals with him permanently.
  • The dolls around Sylvia's tower in 2Dark are children she and Elisa killed and stuffed.
  • Warhammer 40,000 spinoff Dawn of War features Ork Warlord Gorgutz 'Ead 'Unter who (obviously) collects the heads of enemy leaders to put them on his "pointy stikk".
  • In Dead by Daylight, the Wraith's ax is actually made from a human skull and spinal column, taken from the body of his former boss after learning his boss had been using him to dispose of people who were wanted dead by local "clients".
    • The Clown collects fingers from his kills and wears several on a ring on his belt.
  • Dwarf Fortress:
    • In the Adventure mode of the game, humanoid bosses often wear creepy items like "elf bone earring" or "human nail crown". It is not mentioned directly, but, with the extensive killings lists and overall badassery of the owners, the game strongly implies that these items are made from the remains of their previously slain enemies.
    • There's one player who modded in genitals for humanoids so he could have his character cut them off his kills and carry them around in a sack, and then he started using the sack as a weapon. Thankfully, at some point, he had a moment of clarity and asked himself, "What the fuck am I doing?!" and deleted the save file.
    • If an unhappy dwarf gets the uncontrolled urge to create a Legendary Artifact, it may be a Fell or Macabre Mood. What does this mean? It means they cannibalize the nearest other dwarf for materials. Yes, even mothers with infants and children. Enjoy being renowned among the dwarven lands for your legendary Dwarf Baby Bone Scepter, decorated with Dwarf Baby Leather and inlaid with Dwarf Baby Tooth depictions of cheese.
  • The Fable series awards the player with trophies after completing quest that they can show off to boost their renown. These include things like the heads of various monsters and even bandits.
  • It's hard not to get this vibe off some of the costume outfits in Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 3. Raider sadist armor has a pair of severed hands hanging off the hip, and the Merc adventurer outfit has a necklace of teeth.
    • In the Point Lookout DLC, Tobar the ferryman is revealed to be responsible for surgically removing part of the Lone Wanderer's brain during his trial to join the local tribe, and has been doing so for a while. He has a whole room full of brain-chunks in jars, and there's nothing stopping you from taking your own with you.
    Why do we do anything? You travel the world, kill people, take trophies that interest you, and move on. I'm much the same. The only difference is that my trophies are somewhat more medical in nature.
  • Sayla from Far Cry Primal collects the ears of Udam tribesmen and wears them on a necklace. Her reason for doing this is that she hears the screams of her family from the night the Udam killed and ate them, and she thinks that cutting those ears off silences the voices.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, it's revealed that the legendary Heroes' Relics were crafted from the remains of the goddess Sothis and her children. Sothis' bones and heart were used to make Byleth's Sword of the Creator, and her children's bones and blood were used to give the Ten Elites their Relics and Crests.
  • In Grim Fandango, Hector LeMans owns a greenhouse surrounded by a seemingly endless field of flowers. That by itself doesn't sound bad... except in this game plants are a symbol of death within death, and all of that green beauty is actually the remains of people who have been killed by Hector over many years.
    Manny: (looking at the water tanks outside the greenhouse) Hector supplies water to keep the flowers alive? Does he see them as a memorial, or as trophies?
  • In Guenevere, one of the several trophies Guen can take if she defeats Hrothgar is a chunk of his hair.
  • The security guard allies in Half-Life will sometimes upon killing an enemy say "That Will Look Nice in my Trophy Room". It doesn't matter if the enemy was an alien or a human.
  • Some of the items you can collect from fallen enemies in Hyrule Warriors are questionable in nature, such as wrist bones from Stalmasters or wings from Aeralfos, but the most blatant example is the Moblin Flank; that's right, you're slicing off the butt cheeks of dead Moblins for resources. Fi's Heels are even more questionable in nature if you think about it; since she's a spirit and unlikely to have removable clothing, it's implied that you cut her legs off after defeating her. And then there's Gohma's Lens.
  • League of Legends champion Rengar uses this as a game mechanic. He can purchase an item called the Bonetooth Necklace that gives him trophies on a kill or assist. The necklace gives various bonuses depending on how many trophies he's stacked up. More explicitly morbid is the ultimate upgrade it can receive, the Head of Kha'Zix.
  • Somehow done unintentionally in the Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures Licensed Game — Pac collects the eyeballs of the ghosts he defeats. The dialogue introducing this mechanic briefly lampshades its strangeness, but it ends up painting Pac as a deranged serial killer of some kind.
  • Shantae and the Pirate's Curse has a rather strange variation. Risky Boots kept a trophy from the Pirate Master after he died: her skull-based bra and pants were made from his massive skull.
  • Street Fighter has the distinction of a rare "heroic" example with Dhalsim, who wears a necklace of children's skulls around his neck. They belonged to the dead children in the village he came from, and to whose memory he dedicates his fighting efforts in the attempt to improve the living standards of his home.
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • In "Meet the Medic", the Medic is revealed to be keeping the living head of a Blu Spy in his refrigerator. He also has several still-beating hearts in there.
    • In "Meet the Soldier", Soldier is shown to keep the severed heads of BLU team members, propped up on fence posts so he can deliver a deeply unhinged Drill Sergeant Nasty rant about Sun Tzu beating up animals to them. In "Meet the Director" his collection is mostly disposed of offscreen, and by the endgame storyline comics he's moved on to surprising his new, equally insane girlfriend Zhanna with a necklace of severed human ears, which she thinks is the most romantic thing ever.
  • Mr. Grimm from Twisted Metal: Black wears the hollowed-out skull of his dead comrade Benny as a helmet. How did he get his friend's skull? It was all that was left of Benny after Grimm was forced to eat his corpse to survive. Benny must've had a really huge head for it to be wearable as a helmet.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Moebius D was evil even before he became Moebius. When he was still human, he killed people purely for his own amusement and when he kills someone, he likes to collect their decapitated head. No wonder his real name is “Dirk.”

  • Basic Instructions: It's heavily implied by the comic introducing the Knifeketeer's sidekick Stabby that Stabby murdered both his parents, and in The Rant on the rerun, Scott Meyer draws attention to the fact that the crudely drawn S on Stabby's shirt has two different hues, as though it's a bloodstain from two different people, whose deaths were special in some way...
  • Frank Mason, Jerkass Angry Fry Cook turned Ax-Crazy Serial Killer Chef of Iron after losing his marbles thanks to his sole reliable employee quitting on him while the Zombie Apocalypse was going on. He killed his (zombified) war buddy Jack, kept his head around, attaching it to his belt, and still talking to it like it was alive. After Lizzie manages to escape the same fate, he's been going around the city adding more and more heads to his belt. Specifically going after blonde women that look like Lizzie, his latest victim being a female member of the surviving police force.
  • Dregs: Bandy keeps her severed arm mounted on her office wall.
  • In The Greatest Gift, Astra and Mars find a locked box formally owned by the second Big Bad, Venus (actually Jupiter, Astra/Venus' twin sister who stole her name) who's a Serial Killer. The contents aren't as bloody as one would expect, but nonetheless creepy, not to mention traumatic for Astra. The contents are the severed head of Astra's doll (which Jupiter beheaded just for spite), a piece of the teapot she used to permanently scar Astra's head, and (most befitting of this trope) the rope Jupiter used to strangle their mother to death while Astra was Forced to Watch. As if we needed another reminder that Venus was a psychopath.
  • In Homestuck, after Tavros' atrophied legs are sawed off, Vriska decides to keep them. She wasn't the one who sawed them off. She was responsible for the incident that left Tavros crippled and unable to walk, but that's another story. And after Tavros' death, Gamzee cuts off his head and makes out with it. That boy just can't catch a break, can he?
  • The Order of the Stick:
  • Unsounded: Lemuel keeps the teeth of a fellow soldier who was blown up by a mine, with the teeth being blasted into Lem's face. He only burns them as required by their religion when he sets them in a prisoner transport and burns everyone in it alive because one of them had pissed him off.

    Web Original 
  • SF Debris: A review of "Winter Is Coming" from Game of Thrones has a hilarious In-Universe Drinking Game: take a shot for every severed head and for every naked girl. One head fallen off was presented as this trope: "Here's a souvenir for some lucky fan!"

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of American Dad!, we learn that Bullock likes to collect human fingers, a habit he claims he started when he was in Vietnam. He then explains that he was only in Vietnam a few years ago.
  • Arcane: Mel has a self-made painting above her bed of a moment from her childhood when her mother murdered a girl her age in front of her. She's kind of asking for nightmares about it.
  • At one point in Blue Eye Samurai, Heiji Shindo tries to buy Mizu off from her revenge quest, offering a fortune in gold and a position as a lord, with the price being that she must cut off her right thumb, so she can never wield a sword against Shindo and Fowler again. After making the offer, he shows Mizu and Taigen a box with a small collection of severed thumbs, in various states of decay.
  • Skulker from Danny Phantom expresses on several occasions his desire to keep Danny's "pelt" as a trophy.
  • In one episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, SpongeBob and Patrick accidentally unfreeze Manray, who was Mermaidman and Barnicleboy's worst enemy, kept in frozen tartar sauce as a souvenir.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • In "Lair of Grievous", Kit Fisto and Nahdar Vebb discover that Grievous collects the padawan braids from young padawan learners he's killed.
    • Another episode has a Clone Trooper who collects droid fingers from battles. In-universe, it's considered contraband and downright creepy.
  • In one episode of Teen Titans (2003), a robot named Atlas kidnaps Beast Boy, Starfire, Raven, and Cyborg and challenges Cyborg to a match, saying that he will keep the other Titans as trophies if Cyborg loses. Thankfully, Cyborg wins.
  • In an early episode of ThunderCats (1985), Mumm-Ra captures the heroes alive and keeps them tied up with Mummy Wrap in his burial chamber to "display" them like trophies, even going so far as to include the Sword of Omens as a wall decoration. Fortunately for them, he didn't count on Snarf.
  • Transformers:
    • Transformers: Animated: Lockdown's habit of taking body parts from his victims is a combination of this and robot Organ Theft. If he sees something he likes, he either adds it to his wall of trophies or integrates it into himself.
    • Rattrap brags in an episode of Beast Wars that he has been collecting pieces of the Predacons that are blown off during battle. He claims that he can completely reconstruct Waspinator from the parts he's found.
    • Wheelie of all bots is shown wearing a necklace made of Sharkticon teeth in a children's book, "The Story of Wheelie, the Wild Boy of Quintesson."
    • Airachnid in Transformers: Prime is the creepiest, as like Animated Lockdown she keeps her trophies on her ship. Unlike Lockdown, however, her trophies aren't her victim's mods or possessions, but her victims themselves. They also were the Last Of Their Kind (or close to it), oftentimes because Airachnid made them Endangered Species.
  • In the Wallace & Gromit short A Matter of Loaf and Death, Piella keeps the hats and aprons of the bakers she killed, and she places them on wooden dummies, with a naked dummy reserved for Wallace, her intended thirteenth (a baker's dozen).
  • Wakfu: Qilby keeps the preserved bodies of many species he encountered on various worlds (some of which are extinct) in tanks onboard the Zinit for research and study, and he gets quite peeved when Adamaï and Grougal start destroying them.


Video Example(s):


Moebius D/Blackblaze Dirk

Moebius D, also known as Blackblaze Dirk, slaughters many innocent people, including members of his Colony, where he would decapitate them and add them to his collection. The main heroes are all disgusted by his atrocities.

How well does it match the trope?

4.95 (21 votes)

Example of:

Main / CompleteMonster

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