Android 16: I hate you.
Cell: We'll call it a crown.
Crowns are cool. So are evil overlords and other powerful creatures of the unknown world. Wouldn't be cool if there was the opportunity to make them even more intimidating and grotesque in front of their enemies?
Well, you can actually make their head look like a giant crown made of bone, flesh, hair or everything that covers their skin. If the actual character is an undead, a lich, a demon or something worth the running for your lives, the result will be a twisted depiction of your stereotypical king. Instead of being a monarch chosen by someone else according to certain laws, this one can't be symbolically dethroned for having their own crown stuck on his skull. If you've got the guts to do it, you'll have either to defeat it or cut those appendages for good. Anyway, the king you will be dealing with may also have elemental powers on his side.
Although many examples concern with kings, female examples can still be found in medias and non-royalty examples can be counted. Related with Cool Crown and usually a marker or Red Right Hand. It may overlap with Spikes of Villainy, Horns of Villainy, if the character is one of the bad guys, and, sometimes, Crown of Horns.
Subtrope of Clothing Appendage.
- The Skull Knight in Berserk has small bony protuberances forming a circle on his skull where a crown might sit.
- Bleach: Barragan Luisenbarn, the King of Hueco Mundo, has bony protrusions in the shape of a crown as part of the remnant of his Hollow form.
- Dragon Ball Z: Cell's semi-perfect and perfect forms each have two protruding "spires" surrounding his black chitin-like dome of a scalp, while it is never outright called a crown, the inspiration is obvious enough that Dragonball Z Abridged ran with it.
- In Bambi, deer are treated as royalty (for example, Bambi is often referred to as Young Prince, and Bambi's father carries the title Great Prince). Their antlers form a natural crown over their heads.
- In Reign of Fire, the sole male dragon, i.e. their "king", has extra spikes on its head to identify it.
- Thor: Ragnarok: Surtur's Horns of Villainy are also his crown. Despite his serious, threatening demeanor, he gets a little defensive about his crown.
Surtur: This is my crown.
Thor: Oh, that's a crown? I thought it was a big eyebrow.
Surtur: [annoyed] It's a crown!
- In Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Darth Maul has a row of short, upturned horns around the top of his head, giving him a crown-like head.
- In Feet of Clay, the white golem has a crown molded into its head (along with a much more realistic human physique than other golems, who are described as looking a bit like gingerbread men.) They made him be their king and lead them out of servitude.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, Stannis is described as having hair in the shape of a "shadow crown", a symbol of his delusions that he'll ever become the king.
- The Goosebumps Series 2000 book Brain Juice has the protagonists abducted by aliens and taken before their emperor, whose "crown" turns out to be growing out of his head.
- In Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, the goblin king is depicted with a head of spikes resembling a Crown of Horns.
- The basilisk's name means "little king," and was supposedly the king of snakes because of a crown-like crest growing out of its head. Contrary to some modern depictions, however, it was described as being less than a foot long rather than Large and in Charge.
- The demon emperor Doviculus in Brütal Legend has four huge spikes protruding from his forehead which appear like an oversized imperial crown when he looks directly at the camera.
- Dante's Inferno
- Dante's guide Virgil has a dozen laurel leaves embedded in his skull. In a case of Fridge Brilliance, it is a sign he's not an evil character at all, but one of the greatest poets and pagan souls of his age, thus worthy of supporting Dante throughout the nine circles of Hell.
- Phlegyas is a rocky giant who has a horned headgear stuck on his head. It is later used by Dante as a platform where to stab his scythe and command the monster.
- Earlier in the game, Dante fights against King Minos, a character whose head can be described as a huge carved column with a ring of spikes on the top.
- The Final Boss Lucifer has six feathery appendages sprouting from his three heads' brows. Combined together, they form an eerie composition fit for the fallen King of Hell.
- The skill Volition in Disco Elysium is depicted as (what appears to be) a crown over a blank, featureless face. Authority is shown as wearing a chaplet, likely to resemble resemble later Roman emperors.
- Donkey Kong Country Returns: Big Bad Tiki Tong, the bongo-shaped tiki.◊
- The Pale King from Hollow Knight has one, as does the Final Boss the Radiance. The crowns' appearances are played with a bit as well; the final boss has three spikes, while the Pale King has four. Though the lore of the game is often up for interpretation, in this case the symbolism is quite clear: the Pale King was attempting to both usurp the final boss' place, and set himself up as greater than it. At the game shows, results were... not everything he had hoped for.
- Fatty Puffer in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, in Extra Mode, has a mass of corals on his head that serves as a "crown" of sorts.
- A few Pokémon species play the trope straight.
- Super Mario:
- The inhabitants of the planet Hotted in Meteos are giant yellow Armless Bipeds with heads that resemble crowns. They're Proud Warrior Race Guys, but they're neither evil nor leaders of any type.
- L's Empire:
- Exaggerated with Phala. Her entire head is a three-pointed golden crown.
- Pix also has two bumps coming out of the top point of his star-shaped body, giving the illusion of a crown. It's one of the clues that he's her Kid from the Future.
- Daughter of the Lilies: The Angelic Abomination from Brent's vision has an eye-studded, horn-like halo growing out of its head. It definitely opposes the malevolent Drath, but the main characters are still at a loss as to what exactly it is.
- Shendu from Jackie Chan Adventures is a Draconic Humanoid and a demon whose head is adorned by eight horns that give the impression of a crown. What's more, he used to be China's emperor in the ancient past and tries to take that position back multiple times during the show.
- Hexadecimal from ReBoot has a series of prongs extending from her head to form a crown, a fitting design for a character that styles herself as the "Queen of Chaos".
- Kevin the Sea Cucumber from SpongeBob SquarePants has one that resembles the appendages of Real Life sea cucumbers. He is the leader of the Jellyspotters and is lauded as the king of jellyfishing. By the end of the episode, his following took out his crown, which led SpongeBob to think it was a real crown all along. It wasn't.
- Steven Universe: Padparadscha's three pronged tuft of hair on top of her head resembles a crown.
- The oarfish, or "king of herrings", the largest living lamprid, sports 10 rays forming a distinctive crest.