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Depraved Dentist

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Let's have a look at those cavities...

"I am your dentist.
And I enjoy the career that I've picked!
I'm your dentist,
And I get off on the pain I inflict!"
Orin Scrivello, DDS, Little Shop of Horrors

Poor dentists. The prevalence of dental fear amongst people of all ages and educational levels leads to dentists being unfairly stereotyped in popular culture as sadistic torturers.

Expect the Depraved Dentist to wear a permanent Slasher Smile, usher a patient into his (it's nearly always "his") examining room filled with rusty, scary-looking instruments, most of which are from the 16th century, and a huge honkin' drill, and wreak havoc on the helpless, screaming individual's mouth (and possibly other body parts). If his patient comes to him with a toothache, he may not care about pulling some other teeth that were perfectly good.

Sometimes the dentist doesn't practice tooth-torture, but does creepy things to them when they're under anesthesia.

Sometimes (unrealistically) also practices orthodonture, a similarly feared profession in Real Life.

The trope arises from that fact that until the early 1800s, teeth yanking was usually under the purview of (usually badly trained) barbers, who generally took the "brute-force" approach towards dental surgery. Also, the use of anesthesia was not commonplace until after WWII. As a procedure that most people would have undergone and lived through, a distrust of it obviously would have developed. The French even use the expression "mentir comme un arracheur de dents" ("to lie like a tooth-puller") for Blatant Lies, referencing how some tooth-pullers claimed to be able to perform their operations painlessly, despite the fact that, as was mentioned, anesthesia was rarely used.

Unfortunately, the trope has been Truth in Television - there are cases of dentists who have done unnecessary work as a scam (usually on either poor child clients for Medicaid money, or alternately on rich, heavily insured patients), dentists who have sexually assaulted patients under the influence of anesthesia, and some dentists that are just so incompetent at what they do that they have killed or seriously injured patients in their care and practiced anyway until stopped by regulatory boards or sued out of business. The good news is that the aforementioned regulatory boards and public listing of malpractice actions (and now, with the internet, patient reviews) makes it far harder for one of these to successfully operate for years without some hint of the danger.

Compare Deadly Doctor, Mad Doctor, Morally Ambiguous Doctorate, The Tooth Hurts, Torture Technician, Attack the Mouth.


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  • No complaints from the patient in this case, but the dentist in the cartoon for this commercial for a game called "Crocodile Dentist" seems to be having a little too much fun pulling the croc's teeth.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Subverted in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!: When both Dedede and Bun/Tuff come down with toothaches, Dedede summons a scary-looking dentist demon-beast that works without anaesthetic... because his skill is such that he can drill out a tooth without causing pain at all. Doesn't stop the big wuss Dedede from sending him into the sky.
  • Lucky Star:
  • In Lupin III, Jigen is afraid of dentists in general, and his worst fears were realized in the "Red Jacket" anime, where he encountered a dentist who was actually an enemy agent, who shackled him to the dentist chair and then tried to kill him with a king cobra.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • In The '90s anime Usagi and Chibi Usa express fear of the dentist because they describe the only dentist in town as sadistic. They are more then happy to run off to the new, fun dentist in town only to have it turn out to be a trap by the Amazon Quartet.
    • There's a short extra in the manga in which Usagi, Mina, and Chibi Usa decide to visit the hot new dentist for their cavities - who is secretly a minion of a ghost who gains power from cavity pain.
  • Sgt. Frog:
    • In episode 10, Keroro gets a cavity, and Kururu checks him out, showing an inordinate fondness for banging on the tooth in question with a dental mirror. It turns out that Keroro's cavity (and cavities in general) is being caused by a powerful race of alien invaders...who are the size of bacteria.
    • Robo-Keroro makes a Heroic Sacrifice, letting the rest of the team escape, and activates his "secret weapon"... which happens to be a bouquet of flowers and a few fountains sprouting out of his head. Kururu then activates the real secret weapon. Robo-Keroro is an Action Bomb. Poor Keroro (the real one) gets his mouth nuked, which blows out all his teeth, destroying the Karies base. Luckily, Keronians can regrow teeth at an amazing speed. Kururu caused Keroro pain, tricking him into causing the same thing himself. The guy loves causing others pain and misery.
  • Soil: New Town's council president is a dentist/orthodontist. He's an obsessive neat-freak techno-savvy voyeur pedophile rapist whose victims are basically every boy who didn't want to be awake during a cavity for the past decade, has the whole town under a CCTV net, used the footage to incite the rest of the council to terrorize one family who (probably) didn't do anything, tortured one victim's mother with a drill during an exam, and killed a bunch of cats as a warning to a homeless woman who offended his sense of "purity". He later learns the hard way not to mess with people's mothers; meanwhile his victims have unknowingly banded together to destroy the world.
  • Dr. Mizunokuchi of Speed Grapher is a monstrous dentist equipped with spider-like limbs that have dental implements on them, as well as the ability to turn body parts, such as his tongue, into drills. He likes to work slowly.
  • In one chapter of Urusei Yatsura, Ataru dreams that Lum will "help" him get over a tooth ache with some sort of dentistry torture chair.
    Lum: This looks bad. Everything will have to go!

    Comic Books 
  • Averted in an Archie Comics story. When Jughead gets a toothache, his friends drag him kicking and screaming to the dentist. From the waiting room, they listen to him howling in agony until Archie decides to intervene.
    Archie: Doctor! What are you doing to him?
    Dentist: I haven't done anything yet. I'm just taking X-rays.
  • Invoked at the very beginning of Batman: Mad Love. It begins with Commissioner Gordon going for a dental check-up. He is literally sitting in the chair when he realizes something is... off about his dentist. Then iron rings clamp around him, and the very next panel is of The Joker turning around to reveal himself, holding an over-sized drill that he probably intends to do very, very bad things with...
  • Parodied in Blue Beetle: when the evil entity Eclipso tries to manifest the darkest side of the the young hero's personality, thinking he will turn into a super menace, he transforms into... a dentist! And not even out of sadism, but so he can pay off his parents' mortgage and put his sister through college (and maybe get a Cool Car on the side.)
  • One of Edika's short comics tells the story of a kindly well-meaning dentist who's not the least bit worried by his constant massive nervous spasms, and the horrors he inflicts with his drill.
  • Judge Dredd:
    • In an origin story, it is revealed that the father of the man who later became Judge Death was an extremely depraved dentist. Not only did he enjoy paralysing his patients instead of anesthesizing them, then tearing out every tooth they had, but he'd also murder them mercilessly to cure them of "brain worms". A healthy role model for the good Judge, no?
    • Dave "The Orthodontist" Duchese was a Serial Killer who kept the teeth of his victims as souvenirs.
  • MAD:
    • In a Don Martin MAD book, Fester Bestertester goes to see a dentist who's rather enthusiastic about the prospect of having to drill. Although the preparation causes poor Fester a great deal of pain, when the drilling itself starts he remarks that he doesn't feel a thing. "Of course not," says the dentist, "but heaven help you if it were to slow down for even a second." Fester then reveals that he hasn't come for a check-up after all, but to deliver a note which says that at 2:30 P.M. the dentist's electricity will temporarily be turned off. Guess what time it is...
    • In a Dave Berg "Lighter Side" strip, a patient asks how much it'll cost to have a tooth pulled. When the dentist tells him, the patient protests that that's way too much for only twenty seconds of work. "We can make some sort of agreement," says the dentist with an evil grin. "I'll pull it slower!"
    • From the parody of the remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," one of characters suspects a dentist is a pod person because, during a root canal, he drilled into a live nerve and didn't even smile.
  • The issue #3 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) reveals that at one point the Cutie Mark Crusaders have tried getting their cutie marks in dentistry. Apparently, it went just as expected.
    Scootaloo: I told you pulling teeth wasn't the answer to everything.
    Sweetie Belle: (sheepish grin) I thought teeth grew back.
    Scootaloo: No... No... Just... No, Sweetie Belle.
  • The Punisher:
    • One story has a mafioso go to the dentist's and open wide. The remaining panels are all from the inside of his mouth, as Frank comes in and tells him to grunt to answer his questions, and goes to town with pliers and the drill when the don doesn't answer.
    • An earlier story had the Punisher himself go to a dental office, where he is attacked and nearly tortured and killed with the dentist's equipment by gang members, who he eventually turns the tables on.
  • Doctor Doom. Bob Doom. Enemy of She-Hulk. Actually, a successful dentist until he started to grow jealous of the wealth and power of his more famous relative and wanted to emulate him, he proved incompetent as a villain and was foiled by She-Hulk. (And it would seem, went back to his old profession afterwards, as she still gets dental checkup reminders from his office.)
  • An early issue of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) has a short story in which Dr. Robotnik orders to have a dentist badnik destroyed, because even he thinks it's too scary.
  • Polish graphic novel "Żyjesz?" ("You alive?") have Plague Doctors be this.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side:
    • In one strip, a boy is waiting with his mother in a dentist's waiting room. Through a glass panel in the door, he sees that the dentist is actually a monster whose human face is only a rubber mask.
    • Another strip had a dentist father keeping a chair in his house's basement so he could give his son an "appointment" as punishment.
    • Another shows the patient with mouth agape and full of instruments, while the dentist says "Just out of curiosity, we're going to see if we can also cram this tennis ball in there."
  • Garfield: This strip's "Beware of Dog" signs read "Beware of the dog"; "who somehow managed to..."; and "get dentistry tools".
    Dog: Next.
  • In a Hägar the Horrible strip, Hamlet tells his friends who, like him, are all the children of Vikings, of his ambition to be a dentist when he grows up. They recoil with horror when he explains that a dentist "pulls people's teeth out."
  • This dentist in The Wizard of Id takes extreme measures to remind people to floss.

    Eastern Animation 
  • There is a Russian cartoon called Captain Pronin where the hero is captured by his enemies, and the high ranking one explains that his job is making drugs, and his hobby is inhumane experiments in stomatology. Very few managed to survive more than two fillings...

    Fan Works 
  • Hermione's parents torturing Death Eaters with their knowledge of dentistry is fairly widespread in the fanfic. Larceny, Lechery, and Lune Love Good is a standout example of the trope.
  • In Star Wars: Lineage, Master Ben To Li is actually a kind, gentle, and goodhearted (if a Deadpan Snarker) doctor. However, teenage Obi-Wan is still terrified of having his wisdom teeth out.
  • In Tokyo Little Shop, the "anime" continuation of Little Shop of Horrors, there was Dr. Haru, who is based off of Dr. Farb from the original 1960 movie, who eventually retired to become a surgeon. A biker named Samekiba Orin, based more or less on Orin Scrivello, becomes the new dentist shortly after.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Mad Doctor from Bloodsucking Freaks works for Master Sardu, and he also rips one of the slave's teeth out and drinks her brains.
  • Willy Wonka, in the 2005 film adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, reveals that his wacky obsession with sweets is a rebellion against his father (played by Christopher Lee), an obsessive dentist who forbade all candy and made Willy wear horrible braces and headgear. Though their eventual reconciliation shows that he was just an overprotective dad, rather than a genuinely demented individual. Also, young Willy apparently did have some real problem with his teeth, since old Wilbur actually recognises his son from his unique dental condition decades later.
  • A Cure for Wellness. Lockhart has a tooth fall out from the 'treatment' he's been getting. When Dr Volmer catches him prowling about where he shouldn't be, he declares they must treat the injury, whereupon Lockhart is clamped to a dentist chair, his mouth is clamped open and a hole is drilled in his right front tooth without anesthetic. Even worse, it is not a Gory Discretion Shot.
  • In the comedy The Dentist 1932 (1932), W. C. Fields wrestles with a recalcitrant patient and drags her around the room with her tooth in his pliers. One patient is so anxious she starts screaming as he tries to use the mirror tool and isn't even close to her mouth — screaming enough to send a patient in the waiting room out of there. Another patient, after about a minute of drilling, spits about a dozen teeth into a bowl.
  • In the 1996 horror film The Dentist, Dr. Alan Feinstone loses his mind after learning of his wife's infidelity and, hallucinating filthy, rotten mouths, takes it out on his staff and patients before finally being committed. He escapes to wreak further molar mayhem in The Dentist 2: Brace Yourself. Loosely based on the Real Life serial killer dentist Glennon Engleman.
  • Dr. King Schultz from Django Unchained is a possible subversion. He is a former dentist who turned to bounty hunting, but is also one of the most moral and compassionate individuals in the film. However, this is a Quentin Tarantino film, so "most moral" really doesn't mean that much. Lest we forget, he shows no hesitation in gunning down a man in front of his young son for money (although the man was a thief and a murderer.)
  • The Funhouse Massacre: Bradford "Dr. Suave" Young is a dentist and Serial Killer who uses construction drills to torture and kill his victims.
  • Gremlins 2: The New Batch has a Shout-Out to Marathon Man when Daffy Gremlin tries to do forced dentistry on Zack while asking "Is is safe".
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has Arthur Weasley saying "I understand other Muggles are afraid of you," to Hermione's parents who are both dentists.
  • Dr. Julia Harris in Horrible Bosses is depraved in a different way than usual — her job affords her daily access to handsome men she can drug unconscious, and she takes advantage of this at least twice.
  • Dr. Farb in Roger Corman's The Little Shop of Horrors. Unlike his counterpart from the musical, Orin Schrivello, Farb is not quite as sadistic and has a slightly smaller role, but still finds enjoyment in brutalizing patients. He has a magazine named "Pain" for his patients to read in the waiting room. The page quote, incidentally, comes from Orin's Villain Song from the musical and the 1986 film spin-off.
  • In the 1934 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much, Bob Lawrence and a friend visit such a dentist office in search of his missing daughter. The friend's visit behind the door of the examining room is played for laughs. He comes out nursing his jaw after having a perfectly healthy tooth pulled. Lawrence's visit is much more sinister. He struggles with the doctor, who tries to kill him, and then puts him to sleep with his own gas.
  • In the 1976 spy movie Marathon Man, former Nazi concentration camp dentist Szell (Laurence Olivier) tortures an American secret agent's brother (Dustin Hoffman) with "oral surgery" in order to find the location of some precious gems, while repeatedly asking him "Is it safe?"
    • This scene from Marathon Man is parodied in Hot Shots!.
  • The dentist in My Moms A Werewolf is a little too excited to try to file down Leslie's teeth.
  • The short film On Edge starring Doug Bradley of Hellraiser fame. A patient gets er, impatient and wanders into the office ahead of his appointment to find a dentist all too willing to see him. As subsequent conversation reveals some issues in this dentist's past the patient is made painfully aware he should have waited his turn.
  • In Phantom of the Paradise, all of the inmates at the prison Winslow Leach is sent to have their teeth removed and replaced with metal ones, because of an experimental health procedure funded by the Big Bad.
  • Igor Peabody, from the Problem Child series of films, was the principal of an orphanage in the first installment and the principal of a school in the second. In the third, already showing a severe lack of sanity from all the headaches Junior has caused him, he becomes a dentist, and vents his frustration on his patients, but specially Junior, with whom he has a bone to pick. Peabody's sadism is made explicit in the second film, when he reveals why he switched jobs in the first place — he hates kids.
  • Rio Lobo: Subverted, the local dentist is a good friend of the Phillips family and a reliable ally, although he does have to inflict some pain on McNally in order to fool some spies who were suspicious about his claims of going into town to get his tooth pulled.
  • Sam Waterston's dentist in Serial Mom revels in his patients' pain, although it's supposed to be educational. Of course he's not the Ax-Crazy of the movie.
  • The dentist who serves as the main antagonist in She Woke Up Pregnant is also of the sexually depraved type. When one of his victims winds up pregnant because of this, she decides to fight back.
  • Kalgan's infamous "ancient dentistry" torture scene from Space Mutiny.
  • In Toothless, just being a dentist is enough for Katherine's afterlife to be in jeopardy, as she chose to inflict pain and suffering on countless people. Katherine, of course, denies this.

  • In the James Herriot book All Things Wise And Wonderful, the RAF has a good dentist and a bad dentist. James is sent to the bad one who proceeds to extract one of James's teeth with a hammer and chisel.
  • In one Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. book, Dan recalls a story told to him by his friend on the force McGoo about a dentist who collected teeth, going as far as to steal them right from his patients mouths. When the insurance companies noticed that too many people were filling out forms for dentures, said dentist tried to flee the country, only to be held up at the airport when the fillings in the stolen teeth set off the metal detectors.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: A Played With example. Greg sees his dad's dentist, Dr. Salazar Kagan, as one of these. From what we can see, Kagan is a regular dentist, if a bit stern and annoyed with Greg; a large part of Greg's first impression of him comes from the fact that his dad switched him from the kid's dentist he had a crush on to Kagan without telling him beforehand. However, because Greg accidentally bit his finger while he was checking his teeth, Dr. Kagan retaliated by prescribing to Greg's father that he constantly wear dental headgear that he clearly doesn't need in order to humiliate him in public. Luckily for Greg, his brother Manny gets a hold of said headgear and puts it on himself the next day, which is what fully convinces Greg to never wear it again and thus sparing himself from being embarrassed.
  • In A Harvest of War, Guinevere Thyll. However her dentistry (and medical practice in general) is separate from her depravity, mostly. She won't back down on performing extremely painful procedures without anaesthesia, however - if there isn't any available or the patient refuses it.
  • Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar, the Old Firm, from Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. "Obstacles obliterated, nuisances eradicated, bothersome limbs removed, and tutelary dentistry ''.
  • One poem by Shel Silverstein has a dentist going to town on a crocodile, even pulling out a tooth that didn't need to be taken out. He says "What's one crocodile's tooth, more or less?" By the end of the poem, he is eaten in a single bite by the crocodile, and the poem ends asking "What's one dentist, more or less?"
  • The Serial Killer Alex Carlos from Smaller & Smaller Circles; he even uses dental instruments to kill and eviscerate his victims. One instrument he particularly prefers is the whimsically-named dental elevator, which is used to pull up teeth by the roots before removal—so, an Evil Elevator, but of a different kind, because Alex uses it to remove his victims' faces by detaching the skin from the muscles beneath.
  • In one of the pieces in Margaret Atwood's The Tent, young boys who shoot animals for fun are described as tending to become either warlord henchmen or dentists.
  • Dr. Jane Payne, from the children's book series Wayside School, likes to pull patients' teeth whether necessary or not, in order to charge them more. When receiving a call from the mother of one of her patients threatening her with litigious retaliation, she responds that the mother can tell her lawyer to rub a monkey's tummy with her head.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Alias has a torturer who removes peoples' teeth (including one of Sydney's), known at Television Without Pity as "The Sadistic Dentist of Asian Persuasion".
  • Doesn't fit this trope perfectly, but on Desperate Housewives, Orson is a dentist and is certainly "depraved": He helped his mother dispose of a body and attempted to commit vehicular homicide, which later made him lose his license.
  • CSI has a variant with a dentist who was a serial killer and chose his victims from his patients. He refuses to tell the women’s names after he’s caught.
  • Dexter: One of the men from the group of rapists is a dentist. Though we never actually see his depravity show up in his work.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Gunfighters," the Doctor, whose far more advanced society must also have equally-advanced dentistry, regards Doc Holliday as a barbarian. When Holliday offers him liquid anesthetic:
    Doctor: I never touch alcohol.
    Holliday: (takes a swig for himself) Well, I do.
  • Eerie, Indiana: In "The Retainer", the local orthodontist isn't just a rather menacing figure, he gives a local kid a retainer that lets him read the minds of dogs.
  • A few episodes of the Game Show Finders Keepers had contestants search for hidden objects in the dental practice of Dr. Frankenstein, reinforcing the scare factor with the occasional sound effect of a dentist's drill and someone screaming.
  • A both funny and creepy version on Freaks and Geeks: shortly after seeing his friend Neal's dad out in public with a woman who is not his wife, Sam (who is fourteen) has a dentist appointment. Neal's dad is his dentist. Once he has him in the chair, Dr. Schweiber starts telling him he didn't understand what he saw and asking if he's mentioned it to anybody, and ends up taking about how lonely you get when you're older you get lonely and start to feel you've been missing something in your life… all while Sam lies there froglike with a big plastic thing in his mouth.
  • On The Golden Girls, Rose is groped by her dentist after a procedure. Uncertain, she declines to complain. But when he tries it again during a return visit, the infuriated woman vows that she will file a report with the state dental board.
  • On Good Eats, Alton eats a whole olive...and breaks a tooth on the pit. He is then seen going to the dentist...whose assistant is his most prominent Sitcom Arch-Nemesis, W. (The scene is also a Shout-Out to the aforementioned Little Shop of Horrors.) The dentist lectures Alton on the importance of pitting olives before eating them, and Alton whines about the olive-pitter being a unitasker. The dentist replies, "Well, maybe if you had used that unitasker, I wouldn't have to use this unitasker." (Referring to a tooth-extractor.) W then explains that a good olive-pitter will be almost exactly like a tooth-extractor...and a really good one will have a little groove for the stems of cherries.
  • Doug from The King of Queens has to have dental work done, and begins to suspect that his dentist is making the visits as painful as possible because he subconsciously resents Doug for marrying his old crush Carrie. Things get better when Doug introduces the dentist to Holly... but then they break-up...
  • Kirby Buckets: In the episode "Oh Bros., Where Are Thou?", Dawn signs up for a "surprise-dentist" visit from Dan, the Bounty Hunter Dentist, who had previously treated Belinda. By the end of the episode, however, it is revealed that Dan is actually a Nice Guy who got bored of his office job and wanted a cool new gimmick.
  • Law & Order: SVU
    • One episode featured a dentist who was part of a prominent pedophile group.
    • Another episode had a dentist who sedated and raped his patients including his own niece.
  • In Louie, the title character visits a dentist that specializes in treating people with odontophobia. After giving him an excessive dose of nitrous oxide and an unspecified pill, Louie has a series of hallucinations ending in the dentist sensually inserting a banana into his mouth. When he suddenly snaps out of the dream state, the dentist is seen hastily zipping up his fly.
  • In Married... with Children, Al's new dentist, after the two have established a rapport, promises to go easy on him while drilling...until a call from his ex-wife's attorney sends him over the edge.
  • An episode of Medium had a dentist and his lover fake the lover's death by abducting a prostitute and altering her teeth before setting her on fire, making sure to burn her so badly that the only way to positively identify her would be through her dental records.
  • Monk: Dr. Oliver Bloom in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist" steal $13 million in bank certificates from a crew that robbed an armored car after an ex-cop on the crew blabs to him about it while being treated for a broken tooth he sustained from fighting the guards. When said ex-cop finds out what happened, he confronts Dr. Bloom and his assistant Teri, who proceed to beat him to death and dump the body. Later in the episode, they kidnap Monk with the intention of torturing him to find out whether the guy they plan to fence the merchandise to is being investigated. They even compare the torture session to the Marathon Man dentist torture.
  • Oz: a darkly humorous and justified example occurs in Season 5, involving Aryan bruiser Robson and his gum transplant. After being racially taunted by Robson, Dr Faraj makes certain the donated gums are sourced from a Black man and then informs one of the Homeboys working in the kitchen. When the news is announced to the whole prison at mealtime Robson (being now only 99.99% pure White) is forced to leave the Ayrans.
  • A weird case with Jeremy Jamm from Parks and Recreation. He seems to be a perfectly competent orthodontist; he's depraved in terms of being a Corrupt Politician and general Jerkass.
  • In an episode of The Practice, Bobby’s dentist cousin is accused of sexually abusing his patients during their sleep, including the firm's receptionist Lucy. Though the show was ambiguous about his guiltiness yes, he was guilty, he confesses to Bobby.
  • A prank on Prank Patrol involved a visit to the dentist where the dentist turned out to be one of these.
  • In Seinfeld, Jerry attends an "adults only" dentist who doesn't allow kids in his office, keeps copies of Penthouse in the lobby, takes hits of nitrous oxide before beginning procedures, and routinely swaps nurses with his fellow dentists. After waking up from an anaesthesia induced coma, Jerry is under the distinct feeling he's been violated. Later on, his suspicions are confirmed. In another episode, the same dentist inflicts pain on Jerry after finding out Jerry was telling "anti-dentite" jokes (You know what the difference is between a dentist and sadist? Newer magazines.)
  • Strangers From Hell: Moon-jo. Oh god, Moon-jo. He's a dentist who's also a serial killer, torturer, stalker and cannibal. He tears out his victims' teeth without anaesthetic and makes them into jewellery.
  • Thanks: Since the show takes place in 1621, Elizabeth's trip to the dentist is guaranteed to be painful.
  • A Lighter and Softer version appears in the Nickelodeon comedy series Turkey Television, with the dentist making small talk with his patients while handcuffing them to the chair.
  • Invoked on White Collar by Mozzie's former nom du crime, "The Dentist of Detroit" (itself likely a Shout-Out to the film Doctor Detroit).

  • In the Tom Lehrer song "I Got It From Agnes," where "it" is an unmentioned venereal disease, one line mentions "Our dentist even got it and we're still wondering how." The fact that nobody remembers how implies that he had his way with an anesthetized patient.
  • Massacration has "Metal Dental Destruction", which is about a crazy, alcoholic fake dentist who operates with no professional procedures at all who ends up pulling every teeth from the narrator's mouth.
  • Referenced in one verse of the Owl City song "Dental Care":
    "Have a seat", he says pleasantly
    As he shakes my hand and practically laughs at me
    "Open up nice and wide", he says peering in
    And with a smirk he says, "Don't have a fit
    This'll just pinch a bit", as he tries not to grin
  • In Blake Shelton's song "Some Beach," he mentions going to the dentist, who doesn't even wait for the Novocaine to kick in before drilling.

    Oral Tradition 
  • Not the usual brand of depravity you'd expect from a dentist, but still pretty depraved: One Urban Legend involves a dentist finding excuses to put his attractive female patients under so that he can violate them while they're sedated. He's eventually caught when an underwear model comes to see him, and in his excitement, he doesn't use as much anesthesia as he should. She wakes up while he's raping her, and either screams for help or successfully fights him off, depending on the version. The title of an article about his arrest? "Dentist Accused of Trying to Fill Wrong Cavity."

    Pro Wrestling 
  • In 1995, there was a hulking brute of a man whose gimmick was that of being a depraved dentist called Isaac Yankem, DDS (ironically, Isaac's own teeth looked horrible). It wasn't exactly a roaring success. Fortunately, the man behind the gimmick, Glenn Jacobs, would go on to be considerably more popular as Kane.
  • Rather more successful than Yankem (though not yet as much as Kane) is Dr. Britt Baker DMD, a mainstay of the women's division in All Elite Wrestling and former AEW women's champion, who uses the Mandible Claw as a finisher to attack the nerves in her opponent's mouth. She started out as a face, but turned heel soon enough, and after knocking one of Yuka Sakazaki's teeth out she taunted Yuka that she should have sent her a bill for it. Interestingly, Britt is a real licensed dentist when she's not wrestling, with a practice in the Orlando area.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Dr.Mastiff from Atmosfear, the leader of the Soul Rangers who has an obsession with teeth and smiles.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay had, in its first edition, an adventure called The Dying of the Light. The Big Bad was called "Zahnarzt", which is the German word for 'dentist'. Sadly he wasn't one, but the name cannot be anything other than intentional.For German players, the name was a spoiler, as the adventure was mostly a treasure hunt for one of his teeth.

  • Damn Yankees alludes to this in the encore verse of "Those Were The Good Old Days":
    It was absolutely killing,
    When dentists first were drilling,
    And the longer it took, why, the more I'd praise;
    Ah, that era of pain,
    Long before Novocaine,
    Ha, ha, ha, ha, those were the good old days!
  • Orin Scrivello of Little Shop of Horrors, from whom the page quote is taken. This leather-clad hoodlum literally gets off on torturing patients, using nitrous oxide not as an anesthetic but to get himself high. In The Movie, he meets his match in masochistic patient Arthur Denton, whom he eventually throws out of his office in disgust. The roles were memorably played by Steve Martin (seen in the picture above, taken from a different scene) and Bill Murray respectively. A great bit is the scene with the Braces of Orthodontic Overkill in the film adaptation, whereupon it is implied that he removed the jaw of a kid. He also violently abuses his girlfriend.
  • In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, a frequently-cut part of "The Contest" has Sweeney Todd and Pirelli competing to pull someone's tooth the quickest. Todd pulls another quick win while the show-off Pirelli struggles to extract a tooth from his stooge Tobias, who moans throughout the procedure he doesn't really need.

    Theme Parks 
  • Knotts Scary Farm's attraction The Tooth Fairy is a gory dentist office run by the titular entity, who is depicted as a kidnapper and murderer of children and has dentists as minions. The 2017 update of the attraction replaced her with a male version who aesthetically fits this trope better.

    Video Games 
  • Afterlife (1996): The generic Punishment building "Tooth or Dare" is equiped with an army of sadistic dentists to torment damned souls.
  • Dr. Orel White, DDS of Costume Quest 2 is a crazed dentist who seeks to cancel Halloween after being forbidden to participate as a child.
  • In one of their developer videos, Dead Space's developers said that they based the lights in the Ishimura off of the light that dentists place above their patients, due to the inherent fear they know many people have of it.
  • The antagonist of Killer Escape 2, who gets extreme pleasure off of killing teenagers by yanking out their teeth and inflicting painful surgeries on them. She then leaves the bodies with a pillow and a coin under their heads, giving her the nickname "The Tooth Fairy".
  • Dr. Loboto in Psychonauts is a mad dentist who harvests brains.
  • Dr. Boris Habit is the antagonistic proprietor of the smile rehabilitation center known as "The Habitat" in Smile for Me. His cheerily puppeteered public service announcements grow increasingly threatening and ominous as the player progresses through the game and restores the "Habiticians'" smiles without consulting the good doctor. His threats culminate in a goofy endgame villain monologue where he has the protagonist strapped to a dentist's chair and pulls out most or all of their teeth.
  • The unnamed dentist in ToeJam & Earl, who is also a Giggling Villain.
  • Zahin Schmartz (Punny Name and Bilingual Bonus) the dwarven dentist in The Witcher isn't a villain, but takes unabashed pleasure in his patient's pain. When the city is on fire, he comfortably sets up shop in a torture chamber because it already had all the tools he needed. Also collects teeth, and has an academic appreciation for monster teeth.

    Visual Novels 
  • Pandagraph from Marco and the Galaxy Dragon is an alien war criminal who travels from planet to planet, practicing dentistry as a cover for her illegal medical experiments. She clearly enjoys tormenting her patients, telling them that she’ll break them into smithereens, threatening to kill them if they complain or report her, and sporting a big Slasher Smile as she begins a tooth extraction. Arco, who needs said tooth extraction, is understandably reluctant to let Pandagraph go poking around in her mouth.

    Web Comics 
  • In Hero Oh Hero one of the nightmares offers "dental surgery" as a cure for everything. It leaves victims with a shiny clean skull.
  • In a Nodwick story, a dentist commissioned the heroes to recover a magical pillow that had been made for a child, which would summon a tooth fairy to place coins under it in exchange for a tooth. His goal was to find her and all the teeth she collected, so he could make them into perfect dentures and make a fortune (and if he could find her stash of coins, all the better). While he was more selfish and greedy than he was evil, this plan led him to make a deal with someone he shouldn't have, the God of Evil, Baphuma'al, who would become the Big Bad of the strip.
  • One of (many) recurring background characters in Sluggy Freelance is Nana Avarre, the "angsty dentist" who combines stalking, Goth, and dentistry into one dangerous package. She likes to work without painkillers, but she still manages to get patients to return because her waiting room has arcade games. She was also one of Riff's old flames. So terrifying is she that when Torg was attempting to sabotage Leo, then a boyfriend of Zoe's, he gave him a coupon for a free cleaning from her office. Which actually went to Kent, whose screams were heard outside the clinic. They're dating now. It's not because he's masochistic, just incredibly dumb.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In season 4 of Bojack Horseman, Todd's latest business venture consists of dentist clowns. Unfortunately, Yolanda from the Better Business Bureau points out problems with his idea since 1) not all of them are licensed dentists and 2) they are too frightening to be retooled as an entertainment venture. Todd eventually releases the dentist clowns into the woods...where they contract rabies.
  • Zorak plays one in a skit in the first Brak Presents the Brak Show Starring Brak special.
    Zorak: Don't worry, kid! I'm a professional.
    Brak: A professional what?
    Zorak: Bowler. (rimshot)
  • One of Tim Burton's early cartoons had a Mad Scientist who's revealed to be a dentist.
  • Subverted in Codename: Kids Next Door. The villain Knightbrace acts as an evil dentist, leading the heroes to believe that he has to be the overly-enthusiastic dentist they met earlier. His secret identity, however, turns out to be a sweets shop owner who was expelled from dental college after trying to put braces on babies. Ironically he is defeated because the licensed dentist from before helps the heroes.
  • In one episode of Cow and Chicken, the Red Guy is some kind of self-appointed orthodontic policeman who fits the entire town into painful, elaborate braces and headgear.
  • In Dan Vs. "The Dentist", Dan's dentist seems overly friendly at first, but is later revealed to be a sadistic supervillain who deliberately damages his patients' — who are children — teeth, forcing their parents to make repeated and expensive visits. He also plans to implant pain-inducing mind control devices into the teeth of world leaders so he can rule the world. It doesn't help that the dentist is voiced by Mark Hamill, who also voiced the Joker, who as mentioned above invoked this trope as well.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: Subverted in an episode of Justice Friends, when Krunk has a piece of potato chip lodged in his tooth and Major Glory refuses to let him go see a dentist. After watching Krunk be subjected to various unpleasant and unsuccessful methods to correct the problem, Valhallen simply takes him to the dentist, where the chip is removed painlessly in a few seconds. Played straight when Major Glory is forced to go to the dentist himself at the end of the episode, but only because he refused to go to regular check ups and thus had lots of cavities.
  • In Dinosaucers, Styraco of the Tyrannos was originally a dentist working for Pinchem, Pullem and Yankem.
  • Doug had an episode where Doug had a cavity, which featured him and Skeeter going to see a Smash Adams film where Smash fights an evil dentist named Dr. Decay, a spoof of Dr. Szell from Marathon Man (right down to going "Is it safe?"). After Doug gets a cavity, he sees the name of the dentist he is going to see is "Dr. D. Kay," and imagines they'll be a sadistic loony like the one in the movie. Instead, Dr. Kay turns out to be a kindly woman who painlessly fixes Doug's cavity.
  • Dr. Bender, the dentist in The Fairly OddParents!, bullies children by stealing the toys that end up on his yard, saying they don't deserve them because their teeth aren't as good as his and his identical son. He even has denture bear traps. Naturally, his own teeth are fake. He's at his worst in "Shiny Teeth", where he's shown to be willing to painfully remove children's teeth for no reason at all.
  • Fangbone!'s title character is actually afraid of dentists (or "toothsmiths" as they're called in Skullbania). Naturally, this inspires Venomous Drool to send out a dentist monster called Toothsbane to fight him, a ghoulish humanoid creature that transforms people into teeth that it then places inside its gum-lined mouth.
  • An odd subversion from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero- Cobra's resident Mad Scientist, Dr. Mindbender, was once a perfectly nice and normal orthodontist. Then he started to research ways to reduce pain during dental procedures, using brainwave stimulation. But when he tested it on himself, it messed his mind up and turned him into a madman.
  • One Goof Troop family album episode featured Prehistoric Goofy putting Prehistoric Pete through a great deal of abuse in various failed attempts to pull a bad tooth so Pete wouldn't have to go to the dentist. In the end, Pete ends up at the dentist by accident, and he removes the tooth painlessly. The horrific drill-like thing that so terrified Pete was actually a watering can used on the dentist's potted plants.
  • Subverted in the Johnny Bravo episode "Dental Hijinx", where Johnny encounters a dentist who appears to relish the opportunity of causing Johnny pain a little too much (and is especially suspicious due to having the surname DeSade), which causes Johnny to run away and cause havoc. Then after he gets captured, the dentist works very efficiently and cures Johnny in seconds.
  • Metalocalypse plays with this trope, with Nathan fearing that his dentist will try to kill him. He eventually gets over it, and instead manages to befriend him instead, realizing that he actually does need a friend. He still kills himself after the credits roll when out hunting with Nathan later, after commenting on how he appreciates their friendship.
  • In Mixels, Tuth is a very benign Mixel...though he has the unfortunate habit of assuming that every medical procedure also needs a dental one as well, which often leads to some unplanned tooth extraction from the patient...
  • ¡Mucha Lucha! had one episode where a villainous dentist kidnaps and replaces Buena Girl's dentist. He made her wear an extremely cumbersome headgear despite her perfect teeth and planned to do the same to other people.
  • Robot Chicken: One sketch parodying Masters of the Universe had Skeletor attempt to avoid a check-up with Eternia's dentist Mo-Larr, who removes a tooth from Skeletor without using anesthetic and gets past Skeletor's flunkies Beast-Man and Grizzlor by respectively hog-tying him with dental floss and gouging his eye with a dentist drill.
  • In one Sherman and Peabody segment of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Leonardo da Vinci can't paint the Mona Lisa because Mona can't smile, due to a toothache. They find a dentist quickly, but his methods "leave much to be desired", as Peabody explains. After the dentist fails to extract the tooth with a cord attached to a bow and arrow (resulting in poor Mona being pulled through the air with it and wrapped around the Tower of Pisa like a tetherball) he takes her to the top of a cliff and tells her to leap off and land on her face. Fortunately for Mona, the guy offers to demonstrate himself first.
  • Hermey from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a subversion. He is ostensibly a heroic character who helps in the defeat, or in other words, the Bumble becoming a good guy. He does this by ripping out all of his teeth with pliers.
  • Dr. Wolfe in The Simpsons episode "Last Exit to Springfield" When Ralph Wiggum claims to brush regularly, Wolfe says, in a Boris Karloff-like voice, "Why must you turn my office into a house of lies?" and proceeds to scare him straight with the horrific Big Book of British Smiles. He then terrifies Lisa and Marge with an over-the-top computer simulation of what Lisa will look like unless she gets braces. And when Wolfe does outfit her with braces and headgear, Back-Alley Doctor style, she reacts like the Joker. And if that wasn't enough, in the episode "Hail to the Teeth" it was revealed he wasn't a real dentist, but a periodontist gone rogue.
  • In Storm Hawks, it's implied that all Wallop dentists are like this. The team's Big Guy, a Wallop himself, states directly that he know full well normal dentists aren't like that.
  • The SuperMansion Halloween special "Drag Me to Halloween" has Cooch vandalize the home of a dentist for not giving out candy. The dentist tries to call the cops on her, but is arrested when it's revealed that he's been kidnapping children and imprisoning them in the basement for not meeting his strict standards on dental health.
  • SWAT Kats: A manic dentist turns up briefly in an episode of Scaredy-Kat Chance watches in "The Ghost Pilot". He has Scaredy Strapped to an Operating Table and threatens him with a comically huge drill while laughing insanely.
  • Logan Jay in the Totally Spies! episode "Dental? More like Mental!" is both this and a Mad Scientist. Supposedly, he was once a "dentist to the stars" (as in, his patients were celebrities) before his license was revoked (his whitening solution caused the President of the United States to lose his teeth). He seeks revenge by using tooth-altering methods that turn patients (and his henchmen) into freaks.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Sadist Dentist


Dentist of Horrors?

An episode preview of Sailor Moon SuperS showing that the next episode will be about the dentist.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheDentistEpisode

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