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Facial Horror

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"OH MY GOD, what's wrong with your face!?"

Much like audiences get squicked out by horrible things happening to our body or our eyes, so too do they get absolutely sickened by the thought of something horrible (and permanent!) happening to our faces. It's the #1 part of the body we use for socializing and is strongly tied to our sense of personal identity, so in essence, destroying a person's face is the equivalent to destroying his or her life. It can often lead to a Nightmare Face, but if the victim is lucky, he can maybe at least achieve the level of The Woobie or even Ugly Cute. This trope can include those who die from the disfigurement, but it's more effective (and more horrifying) to have the victim live with it.

Compare and contrast to Nightmare Face. The main difference between these two tropes is that Facial Horror deals specifically with severe mutilation of most or all of the face, whereas Nightmare Face covers exceptionally scary faces in general.


Interestingly, even the most gruesome examples of this trope will often, like Two-Face from Batman, leave the eyes completely intact. Perhaps this is to emphasize the facial disfigurement by contrast, or merely a sign that Eye Scream is a whole different level of horror. Or perhaps it's so that the victim can see himself in a mirror.

See also Eye Scream, Glasgow Grin, Jawbreaker, Mouth Stitched Shut, Two-Faced, and Tear Off Your Face.

Contrast: Sunken Face where the disfigurement is played for pure comedy.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Attack on Titan features this pretty often in later chapters.
    • Exhibit A, after Eren has far and away overtaxed his Titan Shifting abilities, it gets harder and harder to pull him out of his Titan, until the third time they yank him out and his entire face comes off his head, leaving eyes and barely-fleshed skull underneath. Hange wisely decided to move on after this.
    • Reiner has this happen to him midway through the Shiganshina battle, having the top half of his head blown off only to regenerate it. As expected, it looks pretty gruesome between then and when it's mostly done, showing brain and eyes at one point and later still not being fully covered in skin when he's defeated and being tortured by Hange.
    • At the same time, Zeke goes up against Levi and loses, and Levi makes a point of trying to torture information out of him by shoving his blade up through Zeke's mouth and into his eye socket and then out of his head. It left him mangled even worse when he had to suddenly yank it out to dodge the Mule Titan.
  • In Baccano! one of the white suit's face is ground off from having it held down on the railroad tracks. From a MOVING train.
  • Berserk: After Guts and company rescue Griffith after his year-long torture, his normally Bishōnen face is implied to have been affected as we see them take off his mask, gasp, and put it back on.
  • In Corpse Party: Another Child, there are the three ghosts of the children murdered in the Heavenly Host Elementary School. The teacher who killed them used scissors to mutilate them, prompting their spirits to seek revenge on the unlucky victims transported and trapped in the dilapidated school by killing them the same way as was done to them. Out of the three ghosts, Tokiko is the most worse for wear. This is because while the other two ghosts, Yuki and Ryou, only lost an eye and tongues, Tokiko lost the ENTIRE TOP HALF OF HER HEAD, LEAVING NOTHING BUT AN EXPOSED TONGUE AND LOWER JAW.
    • This example also provokes some Fridge Logic if one is knowledgeable about skeletal anatomy, though that could be chalked off to Rule of Scary.
  • Happens to Mello from Death Note after he blows up his own base.
  • One chapter of Dissolving Classroom features girls whose faces distort in monstrously ugly ways after hearing Yuuma praise them too much which is implied to be something similar to the lethal properties of his apologies, as he's actually praising the devil.
  • Fist of the North Star:
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Tim Marcoh had his face damaged by Scar so people wouldn't recognize him during his travels.
    • Scar himself may count as a minor example, but his face isn't really disfigured like most of the examples here.
    • When Roy Mustang burns them to death, Lust and Envy both have their faces destroyed before they die.
    • The 2003 anime has Frank Archer, who lost half his face and half of the rest of his body while fighting in Lior. The half of his body that was destroyed was eventually replaced by automail.
    • Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos features a villain who removed Julia's brother's face and wore it as a mask for years. Julia's brother later returns, still faceless but with a horrifying mask covering the scars and exposed fascia.
  • Hellsing invokes this trope several times, most of them involving Alucard. The worst is probably Zorin Blitz, who gets her face cheese-grated down a hallway by a supremely pissed-off and newly-awakened Seras, leaving only ragged strips of skin. Towards the end Heinkel Wolfe ends up suffering this trope when the Captain (nonlethally) shoots her through the mouth, giving her a Glasgow Grin and forcing her to wear bandages over it for the rest of her life.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 7, Gyro uses the Super Spin technique to prematurely age half of Valentine's face.
  • Happens to Wakatsuki in Kengan Ashura during his fight against Julius, when the latter smashes his head against the wall and drags his face halfway across the arena with enough force to break the concrete. Thanks to his incredibly dense muscles, the resulting injury isn't that bad, but he does spend the remainder of the match with half of his face torn off. This doesn't last, however, as Furumi grafted new skin on his face, and he suffers no permanent disfigurement.
  • One minor antagonist in Murciélago had an experiment with a high-powered laser go awry and got the right side of his head horribly burned, making him look a lot like Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Save for his jaw, All For One's entire head consist of nothing but scar tissue. As such, he has no visible nose, ears, hair, or eyes. In public, he wears a Darth Vader-esque helmet connected via tubes to a collar-like life support system around his neck.
    • The Hero Killer Stain has no nose, with only a gaping hole left in its stead. And My Hero Academia: Vigilantes reveals that he cut it off himself, which signified his transition from hero to villain.
    • Dabi's face looks about as good as the rest of him, which means it looks like a patchwork of burned flesh and skin grafts more befitting a corpse. He also admits he's Unable to Cry because his tear ducts are burned away. It's also the reason Endeavor and Shoto never realized he was actually the assumed-dead Toya Todoroki, which he sarcastically lampshades when he reveals himself at long last while removing his black hair dye and admits he knows that he doesn't look at all like how they remember him.
  • In One Piece, Franky gets caught in an explosion so powerful that it blows his skin off. Luckily, he's a cyborg, but the sight of his unskinned face is pretty terrifying. It's Played for Laughs as much as horror, though.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • A mild example late in the first season is how, after a road accident, Team Rocket's Meowth cries over how he lost his charm (the huge coin on his forehead), and there's a deep gash where it should usually be. So deep, in fact, that Meowth didn't seem to realize that the charm was actually just stuck inside the gash until it popped right back out.
    • In one Unova episode, the victims of having their memories altered by Beheeyem have their faces become Beheeyem-like.
  • Minor character Hannya from Rurouni Kenshin did this to himself in order to become a perfect spy, capable of wearing any mask. Specifically, he burnt his lips, sawed off his nose, shattered his cheekbones, and chopped off his ears.
  • Several characters in Tokyo Ghoul have been left with disfigured faces as a result of run-ins with ghouls.
    • Chuu Hachikawa's lips were torn away to leave his teeth exposed, which he usually covers with a high collar. He likes to pull the collar down to intimidate people. In comparison, Torturers Goumasa Tokage and Shiki Kijima both ended up mangled beyond recognition when ghouls took revenge for their cruelty. They are left suitably hideous to match their cruel natures.
    • Used as The Reveal late in the series. After years apart, Kaneki asks Hide to show him the damage he inflicted while out of control. Hide obliges and takes off his scarf, revealing very little flesh left on the lower half of his face and a hideous neck injury. Even Hide's vocal cords have been torn, so he can't speak until he's given a voice prosthesis.
  • Pandora/Arkana from Yu-Gi-Oh!, probably. The viewers never actually see his face under the mask, which was scarred in an accident he had as a stage magician, but Yugi seems pretty horrified when he briefly sees it.

    Comic Books 
  • Albert Einstein: Time Mason: While fighting a time-traveling Nazi in Ancient Egypt, Albert dips his face in a fountain full of mercury, leaving his face burned and swollen, and turning his eye from blue to red.
  • Batman
    • Two-Face is a prime example. As mentioned below, it's especially gruesome in the New 52, the Nolan films, and the Batman: Arkham Series. Some artists, as well as Batman: The Animated Series and the aforementioned Arkham series, have gone into Body Horror and included his left arm in the scarring with a hallucination of the Joker in Arkham Knight not-subtly wondering to Batman if this included Two-Face's penis.
    • It also happened to the Joker during the incident with the vat of acid. Exaggerated in the New 52, especially when Death of the Family comes around.
    • Before the reboot, there was also a character called "No-Face", a perfectly harmless inmate at Arkham who lost most of the skin from his face in an accident, and the "Hamburger Lady", a middle-aged woman who might have been hideously disfigured... or might just think she is.
    • Black Mask also suffers from this as one of his earliest fights with Batman caused his namesake mask to fuse to his face — and while adaptations present his current Skull for a Head look as a mask, in the comics, it's his actual face, having finally somehow ditched the mask in Batman: No Man's Land.
  • Deadpool's covered in tumors and his face is no exception, lacking hair and featuring bumpy, rough skin, though this also is Body Horror as said condition is all over his body. Ultimate Marvel made this worse as its version of Wade is a cyborg whose skull is on display and the top missing, exposing his brain with a dome covering his head.
  • In Dolltopia, Soccer Scotty has half his face damaged after leaving the dollhouse to go after Kitty. The doctor replaces the damaged half once Scotty comes to Dolltopia.
  • Fantastic Four:
    • Doctor Doom, although of course a) you never do see his face, only people occasionally reacting in horror, and b) as a result, no two writers agree on how bad Doom's face is. Some say his face was horrifically disfigured in a lab accident, with acid scars and burn marks and all that, while some say it was a small cut, which his pride and vanity exaggerated into a horrifying injury. And some combine the two; he suffered a minor cut from the accident, then massive burns when he put on his trademark mask without waiting for it to cool. Secret Wars (2015) ultimately shows Doom's face, hideously mutilated and the only thing he couldn't fix.
    • One of the more infamous bits from Tom DeFalco's tenure is The Thing getting his face mutilated by Wolverine, forced to wear a helmet for a while, and then end up with a red splotch for scar tissue until Hyperstorm reversed the damage.
  • In The Goon, minor villain Houstus Graves is cursed with this when he agrees to provide the Zombie Priest with fresh cadavers. His face becomes increasingly distorted, and his wife dies giving birth to two sons so grotesque they must hide their faces behind burlap sacks.
    • Also the faces of the inbred Decaster family, and various other monsters and mutants throughout the run of the comic. Eric Powell clearly really likes drawing hideous monsters.
  • In Grim Hunt, after Spider-Man has been pushed to his limit, he presses his hand to the villain's face and uses his wall-crawling ability to rip the skin off.
    • This is parallel to Spidey's imperfect clone, Kaine, whose spider-powers are amplified and twisted; back in the 90s, before his Heel–Face Turn in modern times, Kaine would use his gripping power to burn his hand-print into his murder victims' faces. The criss-cross patterns of the lines of his hand would scar, leaving behind what he called "The Mark of Kaine."
  • Jonah Hex has the right side of his face scarred. Depending on the Artist, he can just be the bulging eye, permanent sneer, and the mouth tendon, some will remember that he got these from being burned and adding burn scars, and others will make him look like a mirror-flipped version of Two-Face in a cowboy hat.
  • Judges convicted of corruption in Judge Dredd are sentenced to twenty years of hard labor on the Titan penal colony. The work is done outside, and space suits aren't used because they make the wearer too clumsy for the work. Instead, the offender is surgically altered so they can survive in vacuum, which includes removal of the nose, sealing the lips together, and shoving cybernetic implants wherever they'll fit. They don't reverse the surgery if the offender survives the sentence, either.
  • Dr. Destiny, a classic Justice League of America villain is typically portrayed with a Skull for a Head, originally as a result of the League ridding him of his ability to dream. However, for his appearances in the later 1980s-early 1990s (most notably, The Sandman (1989) and Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth), this got extended into full Body Horror with his whole body becoming emaciated.note 
  • Malekith the Accursed in The Mighty Thor could count as this as well. Half of his face was badly scarred by a wizard he killed, who managed to strike back before dying.
  • Monstress:
    • When forcibly removing the two mask fragments that Gull is wearing, Maika tears her entire face off in the process.
    • While we haven't seen the damage yet, Hammer's face was apparently ravaged by the Constantine blast, hence why she's mute and always wears a veil.
  • Arseface from Preacher. A Bungled Suicide attempt with a shotgun left him with that looks like an arse.
  • Jigsaw from The Punisher christened himself with this moniker after Frank Castle threw him through a glass panel and reduced his face to a jigsaw puzzle-like mess of scars.
  • In Red Hood and the Outlaws #17's end, a trap the Joker left in Jason's helmet sets off, sending Joker Venom all over him and scarring him deeply. He remains unconscious until the end of #18, and doesn't have his face shown in that time.
  • The Sandman (1989) has Mazikeen, Lucifer's lover/Dragon. One side of her face is beautiful, while the other side is horribly mangled and appears to be rotting. She considers the disfigured half a point of pride, as it symbolizes her demonic heritage. When it gets healed against her will, she takes it rather poorly.note 
  • In SnarfQuest, Snarf and others assume that Aveeare (a robot stranded in a fantasy world) is a victim of this trope, mistaken the circuits and gears under his faceplate for scar tissue.
  • Stray: The Doberman's killer(s) has(have) a scar going right down the middle of his(their) face.
  • Superman:
    • The Phantom Zone: Thul-Kar's face is half-skinned, half-melted, a grim reminder of what happened when he challenged a cosmic horror.
    • Superboy and the Ravers: Byron Stark (a.k.a. Half Life) was injured and "repaired" when an alien craft crashed into his parent's house back in the 1950s and most of the flesh, including his eye, on the left side of his face was replaced with transparent green goo that his skull can be seen through. A fair portion of the rest of his body got the same treatment.
  • In The Transformers (IDW), Soundwave gets shot in the head. It takes him out for several issues, and when he's brought out of his coma, he now has a Two-Faced appearance and cannot talk because his voice box has been damaged. In the sequel The Transformers: Robots in Disguise, he's been fixed as of issue 13.
  • The Ultimates: Red Skull calmly sliced off his own face, just to stop looking like his dad.
    • The other versions of Red Skull sometimes have the skull be a mask, some don't. In the mainstream stories it's usually caused by The Dust Of Death poison, his own weapon.
  • Wanted: Mr. Rictus was severely burned in an industrial accident that (briefly) killed him. This has left him with his teeth gruesomely exposed in what seems like a permanent grin, hence his name.
  • Wildstar: At the start of the "Sky Zero" Four-Parter, Wildstar forcibly removes a bounty hunter's Alien Symbiote, which is attached to his face. He ends up taking the skin off the guy's head.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): After Paula's Heel–Face Turn her face was horribly burnt in a fire when she entered a munitions factory that had already been set alight by Nazi spies she'd previously been collaborating with (under duress—they had her daughter) in order to find and disable the explosive device in the factory that would have made everything so much worse. This scarring is never shown as she is bandaged or wears a veil over it, but other character's reactions make it clear it has thoroughly disfigured her.
    • In the Huntress feature she fights the human trafficker Herbert Hynde whose face seems to be chemically scarred with most of his nose and his lips gone.
  • When Youngblood and Spawn were part of the same universe, part of the backstory was that Chapel from the former killed series Al Simmons, thus setting into motion Al becoming the eponymous character of the latter series. Spawn repaid this by ripping off the area of skin on Chapel's face where he wore his skull-themed facepaint, exposing his skull for real. Then again, as said murder of Simmons involved setting him on fire, Spawn himself is an example of this, featuring burnt skin (and later a skull-like face) and missing a nose.

    Comic Strips 
  • Whilst many Villains in the Dick Tracy comic strip had deformed faces often overlapping with Nightmare Face, only a few had concrete explanations outside of Evil Makes You Ugly.
    • The Blank, underneath his featureless mask had a decayed skull-like face, resembling the Lon Chaney as the Phantom of the Opera, supposedly obtained when escaping prison.
    • Haf and Haf had a similar ailment to Harvey Dent, being Two-Faced, but may actually have it worse than the trope image. Whilst the deformed side of Two Face at least still resembles an actual face, Haf and Haf's bad side is in such a mess it actually appears to be melting and, averting Eyes Are Unbreakable, has no eye visible within his sagging flesh.
    • Mrs. Pruneface was an uncommonly large woman with sunken eyes, a nearly non-existent nose, and pointed teeth. Her facial disfigurement was the result of a Molotov Cocktail being thrown in her face while she and her husband were escaping Europe.

    Fan Works 
  • Amazing Fantasy:
    • Stain is subject to a brutal beatdown courtesy of Peter, who decides to cut loose out of disgust for Stain's actions and with confidence that the Hero Killer's Made of Iron status would let him survive a punch comparable to a mortar strike. By the end, Stain's jaw is fractured and partially dislocated, a chunk of his cheek is torn off, and his lips are a bloody smear.
    • Toga is also subject to this after ingesting Peter's blood. Causing half of her face to melt off and her left eye to go cloudy until she resembles Kaine from Ultimate Spider-Man.
  • Priest suffers this in Project Horizons when Sanguine blows Pink Cloud in his face, melting his eyes and sealing his mouth and nose shut.
  • Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters:
    • Calisto, one of the wardens of Cavigor, is missing all the flesh on the lower half of his face, which was burned off by Drago when he was captured and locked away. This looks even worse when Calisto is in his tiger form.
    • After Phobos kills Uncle, Jade goes into an Unstoppable Rage and slashes his face, destroying his left eye, removing his nose, and taking a chunk out of his right cheek.
  • OC Midnight suffers from this in Sonic the Hedgehog fanfic A Rose And A Thorn 5: Resurrection - the left side of his body was damaged in #4 in an explosion, and now he has terrible scarring all down that side of his body, as well as requiring a We Can Rebuild Him ordeal. He's convinced the amnesiac Mirage will never want him back but finds that she is still sympathetic to his appearance, even before she remembers him.
    Mirage: ([touching his scarred cheek] If she really loved you before, she would not care what you look like now. And if she did, she was not worth having.
    Midnight: But she was...
  • Queen of Shadows: During the Battle of Tobe, Ozeki forcibly removes Yasashi's Oni mask, tearing off her face in the process.
  • In Pro Hero Metal Bat, Izuku gets punched so hard by the USJ Nomu that part of his face comes off. Shoji and Sero need to tape a piece of cloth over it to stop it from falling off.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A Classic Horror Story: At the cast party, Elisa sees a boy singing a song to the accordion. The right half of the boy's face looks droopy and folded.
  • Avengers: Endgame: Thanos suffering from a horrible burn scar on the left of his face, including the loss of an entire ear. This is because he's destroyed the Infinity Stones using their own power, and the power surge has seemingly destroyed the gauntlet and taken Thanos's left side as a result. Later, Tony is shown with the same scar after snapping Thanos and his forces out of existence.
  • Batman Forever: How Harvey Dent becomes Two-Face. Unlike The Dark Knight iteration, the facial scarring was the result of an acid attack by underworld kingpin Boss Maroni.
    • Batman: This is also how Jack Napier became The Joker; a combination of being shot through the face and a huge vat of acid (which did wonders to the rest of his body and hair too). Later, he disfigures his girlfriend Alicia by corroding half her face.
  • Beetlejuice: Barbara's first attempt to frighten off the new tenants of their house. When they open the closet door, she's swinging from a noose - then yanks her face off, leaving a freaky skull with bugged-out eyeballs. Too bad they couldn't see her...
  • Blood Bags: The killer's face is extremely swollen, and missing its lips.
  • Blood Pi: Amber kills a cheerleader with a knife In the Back, and then cuts off part of her face to make into a Domino Mask.
  • Blood Widow: The killer catches Hugh in the face with her cat-o-nine-tails, and then yanks back hard, ripping chunks off his face.
  • Bloodshot: Among the injuries that Ray takes and regenerates with his Healing Factor are shots that tear the skin off the left side of his face to expose his teeth.
  • The Burning: Cropsy has a hideously scarred face as a result of a Deadly Prank that set him on fire, and is eventually finished off with an axe to the face.
  • Cain Hill: While looking about the titular A Bandoned Hospital, one of the crew finds a dead body with lots of lacerations on its face.
  • Captain America: The First Avenger: When the evil Red Skull peels off his mask to reveal the facial deformity that gave him his name, sidekick Bucky mutters to Cap, "You don't have one of those, do you?"
  • Carrie (2013): Alpha Bitch Chris Hargensen gets thrown through a windshield when Carrie crashes her car, leaving her face torn up with huge shards of glass sticking out.
  • The Casino is an excruciatingly violent Shaw Brothers action film, whose highlights include a henchman whose face gets stomped into a red pulp. There is a close-up on his bloodied face, and it's NOT pretty. See for yourself. (WARNING: GRAPHIC GORE ALERT)
  • Clown Kill: The janitor's face has a large red area that looks very wrinkly. It appears to be a healed wound.
  • Clownface: After stabbing his second on-screen victim, Clownface cuts part of his face off to feed it to Zoe.
  • How Harvey Dent becomes Two-Face in The Dark Knight. This is particularly gruesome, as you can see the guy's jawbones.
  • Similarly, how Liam Neeson's character becomes the title character in Darkman Durant's thugs burn his hands and dip his face in acid before rigging his lab to explode.
  • Pictured on this page is Wade Wilson after he gains his powers in Deadpool, which results in his face getting horribly disfigured. He covers it up for most of the film with his outfit's mask, though at the end, Vanessa takes off Wade's mask to reveal a cutout of Hugh Jackman's face hiding his scarred face before that is removed too. All of this even gets lampshaded at one point.
  • Deep Rising has a scene where one of the pirates is attacked and swallowed by a monster. His comrades manage to shoot him out, only to find to their horror that he'd been partially digested by the acidic innards of the creature. Half of his face and even part of his skull get eaten away, along with most of his body.
  • Elysium: Krueger's face gets blown off by a grenade during the second half. However, that doesn't kill him.
  • Christiane's faceless state in Eyes Without a Face.
  • The premise of Face/Off, which involves Sean Archer taking Castor Troy's face and voice. Afterward, Archer's original face is left floating in a jar of water to keep it moisturized. Troy wakes from the coma, peels off the bandages in front of a mirror, and is very unhappy with what he sees. We only see a couple of very quick glances that show Troy walking around without his face on, prior to making Dr. Walsh give him Archer's original face.
  • FairyTale: A True Story: The soldier whom Frances befriends on the train suffered extreme wounds to his face, which for most people must be offputting. She's completely undeterred though, and he thanks her later by chasing off a nasty reporter who'd been harassing her, coming to hear that fairies are real.
  • Fight Club: The Narrator beats the shit out of Angel Face's... um, face so brutally it's barely recognizably human, and most of his teeth are gone.
  • The Final: Emily smears flesh-eating chemicals on Bridget and Heather's faces in order to ruin their good looks, as revenge for their bullying Alpha Bitch tendencies. Bridget is seen in the Bookends as an outcast, wearing a hoodie to hide her disfigured face.
  • Seth Brundle's face falls off in a slimy mess near the end of The Fly.
    • The Fly II: A security guard gets a faceful of acid vomit from Brundle's son. The worst part is, he's still breathing afterward.
  • Over time, the mute colossus Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th has taken some serious facial damage. Notably, he took a boat motor to the face in part six. It's little wonder he's seldom seen without his trademark hockey mask.
  • The Funhouse Massacre: A couple of examples.
    • Rocco The Clown rips the mask, and face, off a park employee.
    • When Morgan and Gerardo kill Animal, they do so by pressing his face against a rotating hot dog grill.
  • In The Gambler, Axel picks a fight with a pimp and the hooker he’s with slashes his face to defend said pimp. Axel actually looks happy about this once he escapes.
  • The eponymous Girl on the Third Floor has a bizarre, mangled face that looks more like ground beef than anything. It's possible that this was the state her body was left in when she was originally killed. There's also the death of Milo, whose left eye is replaced by a gaping hole when Sarah hits him with a hammer and the state of (the fake) Don's face when Liz finds him after attempting to cut the Nymph's marbles out of his body.
  • The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. In the Backstory, the Grand Vizier of Marabia had his whole head badly scarred by a fireball (think melted wax). He wears a helmet throughout, until near the end when he takes it off to frighten some natives with his hideous face.
  • At the end of Halloween: Resurrection, Michael Myers is set on fire and presumed dead. Cue the horrific morgue scene that reveals his mask had melted into his face...and he was still alive.
  • Gary Oldman's character in Hannibal. Here.
  • Hayride 2: Ol' Pitchfork kills one of the hospital orderlies by pressing his head against a scalding hot pipe. In his struggle to escape, the orderly tries to get his face off the pipe, showing that his flesh has melted against the pipe's surface.
  • Head: Mild example - this is when The Monkees made every effort to distance themselves from their cultivated image. In a parody of boxing movies, preteen heartthrob Davy Jones got his face beaten to a bloody pulp by sparring partner Sonny Liston (think the '60s era Mike Tyson). Intercut into this we see Jones joshing with Liston beforehand, saying "You won't hurt the face, will you? Million-dollar face, this is!"
  • House of the Witch: Dax gets a wound on his back early on. As time goes on, the wound somehow turns into a large collection of pustules covering half his face.
  • Mystery of the Wax Museum/House of Wax (1953) The cloaked and horribly disfigured killer, revealed to be Henry Jarrod, the wax sculptor who was presumed dead when his business partner set his museum on fire. He made a perfect wax mask of his former face when he returned to open his new museum.
    • Done again by Vincent Price in his Dr. Phibes film series, almost certainly as an homage.
    • House of Wax (2005): Vincent wears a wax mask to hide a whole section of his face missing from when he was separated from his brother Bo, joined at the back of the latter's head.
  • The Hunger Games: The beautiful tribute, Glimmer, is horribly disfigured after she is stung by trackerjackers. Her face is particularly horrifying in the movie version.
  • Indiana Jones has this in the climax of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Safe to say, it was a really stupid move for Those Wacky Nazis to open The Ark of the Covenant. While the soldiers are disposed of very quickly by burning lightning, the main villains are killed brutally via head-related injuries. Herman Dietrich has his head shriveled and crushed inwards, Arnold Toht has his face melted off his skull, and René Belloq is swathed in holy flame before his head literally explodes.
  • Irréversible: An infamous scene where a man caves in another man's face with a fire extinguisher. Poor Alex also has her face beaten and mangled so badly that she will never be beautiful again.
  • I Spit on Your Grave: Jennifer gets revenge on one of her rapists via putting lye in the tub of water she has him suspended over. His face falls in when he can't hold the position anymore and his face burns and melts off including his tongue.
  • The film version of Jonah Hex depicted a more pragmatic version of this, as (which Krimson Rogue rightfully pointed out), no one's willing to lose their right cheek for a part and the movie didn't have the budget to do a motion capture effect and opted to use make-up.
  • Let the Right One In: Håkan pours acid over his own face as an attempt to become unidentifiable to the police. He lives, and the effect is horrifying.
  • Mel Gibson in The Man Without a Face.
  • Mirrors features a fatal and extremely gruesome jaw dislocation scene.
  • The Monster Maker: Lawrence's face becomes hideously distorted by the acromegaly Dr. Markoff infects him with. Acromegaly causes distortion of the extremities (hands, feet, and face), and the version created by Markoff causes to Lawrence to advance in a week to a state that would normally take two years of the disease's progression. Glimpsing her father's face in a darkened room causes Patricia to scream and faint.
  • Murder Party: Macon tries to light a cigarette while wearing a rubber or latex wolf mask, which naturally catches ablaze. His friend Lexi and the photo assistant of his friend Paul manage to put the fire out, but not before it horribly disfigures him, fusing much of the mask to his face. He remains like this until he dies, though that isn't very much later.
  • Freddy Krueger, the iconic dream demon from A Nightmare on Elm Street, has extensive burns all over his body, the result of the parents of Elm Street taking the law into their own hands during his days as the Springwood Slasher.
  • Nobody Sleeps In The Woods Tonight: The killer twins' bodies have boils covering their bodies. This is likely the result of the twins being host to a black alien slime that came out of a space rock they hid under their bed. The highest concentration of boils seems to be on the twins' faces, and feet.
    • In the sequel, when Zosia kills Wanessa, one of the first things she does is tear all the skin off her face.
  • Another Shaw Brothers film, Oath Of Death, sees Jin Liang, the main character, being betrayed by his older sworn brother and becoming a wanted man. In order to evade authorities, he's forced to put a burning hot sword upon the left side of his face, and the aftermath isn't pretty at all.
  • One Night in October: At the climax of Michelle's story, when she has Jason in her garage, she reveals to him that she sliced all the skin off Hewitt's face.
  • The Orphanage: The fake social worker gets hit by a bus, and you can see her lower jaw completely unhinged, hanging off from her face. Even worse, before the face is fully shown the main character's husband tries giving her CPR.
    • Ironically, her face ended up worse than her son's Tomas, who was forced by her, because of his disfigured features, to wear an actually much more unsettling scarecrow mask.
  • One of the most well-known images of Overlord is its main antagonist Wafner missing most of his left cheek while sporting a Slasher Smile, after having been shot in the face about two-thirds through the film and taken the serum to save his life.
  • Pacific Rim: One of the Kaiju gets subjected to a dose of this during a deep-sea battle, thanks to a conveniently placed hydrothermal vent. Not enough to kill, but the thing had a lot less face by the time it broke free.
  • A similar scene in Pan's Labyrinth, except with the bottom of a bottle of wine. And later on, the villain is given half a Glasgow Grin with a kitchen knife which gives him some trouble with enjoying whiskey afterwards.
  • The Phantom of the Opera, though the extent of Phantom's facial scarring has noticeably decreased with each adaptation.
    • Lon Chaney's skull-like face in the 1925 silent film, which close to the description given in the original novel.
    • The 1943 version introduced the idea of the Phantom having not been born disfigured. In that adaptation, he was a normal-looking man until he was scarred by acid.
    • In the tradition of the 1943 version, the title character of the 1962 Hammer Horror adaption was an ordinary man disfigured by acid. However, they take his facial injuries even further with one of his eyes having dissolved and his flesh slowly rotting and turning grey.
    • The Phantom in the 1989 version has no skin around his head at all, and his "mask" is a patchwork of skin that he has taken from his victims.
  • After the eponymous Phantom of the Paradise destroys the videotapes and contracts keeping Swan, Phoenix and himself immortal, Swan’s face begins to rapidly putrefy before he is stabbed to death.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: Will Turner is searching a shipwreck for survivors when a man falls from aloft. Will helps the guy turn over, only to recoil in horror when he sees that his face is a twitching mass of sloughed-off skin and one moving eyeball due to an encounter with the giant suckers on the Kraken's tentacles.
  • The Pit and the Pendulum (1991): Fat Bastard Gomez suffers horrendous facial burns (and loses an eye) when Antonio tosses a pan of boiling oil in his face while escaping the dungeon.
  • The Raid 2: Berandal: One mook who attacks Rama gets the side of his face pressed against a hot stove, leaving the mook severely burned.
  • [REC]: Alex has extremely nasty and gruesome bite wounds on his face after encountering Mrs. Izquierdo.
  • Red Mist: Sean suffers arguably the most horrific death - having a funnel forcefully shoved into his mouth, duct-taped to his face... and industrial-strength acid poured into it. After his corpse is discovered, it is mentioned that half of his face had practically melted off.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera: It's revealed that Amber Sweet's face is horrifically scarred from repeated low-quality surgeries. Rotti gets her a transplant, but during the climax, her transplanted face falls off during her performance at the titular Genetic Opera, and she storms off the stage in embarrassment.
  • In the American remake of The Ring, Noah's face is horribly distorted and shown in close-up after Samara killed him.
  • In the ending of Rolli – Amazing Tales, the High Priest is forced to enter the Rölli Forest from the Trashers' collapsing lair. His face starts deteriorating because the light and purity of the forest are detrimental to evil creatures such as him. He claims that this will be remedied once the Trashers are revigorated and the forest destroyed through pollution, but he's killed before this claim can be put to the test.
  • Rush: Niki Lauda's horrific burns after being pulled out of his burning car during the German Grand Prix where his helmet was knocked off and the Nomex sock he wore was not enough to protect his face.
  • The "reverse bear trap" device in the Saw films does this to its victims, ripping their lower jaw off completely. Amanda is forced to escape from one in the first film, and since then it's become (along with the titular "cut off your foot to escape") the signature Death Trap of the series.
    • At the end of Saw VI, Hoffman is placed in a Reverse Bear Trap 2.0 and isn't able to get it off in time, so he places the arms of the device between bars on the window of the door out of the room, which causes it to only open partially. He is able to get it off before it opens completely and rips his jaw apart, but it does give him half a Glasgow Grin.
    • Saw 3D finally shows the effects of the reverse bear trap when Hoffman uses it to kill Jill Tuck.
  • Se7en: The Pride victim is a model whose face has been mutilated by Doe; she was given the option to call for help and live disfigured, or commit suicide by taking pills.
  • Shallow Grave: The scene where the titular grave is about to be filled. But the dental records need to be removed. Up comes the hammer, then down again, off-screen. Crunch.
  • Skyfall: The villain looks pretty normal, until he's captured and confronted by his former boss, M, who sold him out to the Chinese. He explains how he was tortured for months before attempting to commit suicide via the Cyanide Pill in his back molar. It didn't work. What it did instead is revealed when he removes a prosthetic from his mouth and the left side of his face just sags inwards.
  • Star Wars
    • Darth Vader. Yeah, you probably don't want to see what's behind that mask...
    • His master Palpatine had the face of a kindly old man during his time as Chancellor. Then his own Force Lightning quite literally blew up in his face, leaving him permanently disfigured. His eyes also permanently turned glowing yellow, making them look much bigger in contrast with the rest of his face and further contributing to the creepiness. It's only somewhat mitigated by the hooded robes he wore from that day forward.
    • In The Force Awakens, his fanboyish successor Kylo Ren subverts this. The heroine Rey calls Ren a "creature in a mask", likening him to his idol Vader — to which he responds with a Dramatic Unmask that reveals a pretty normal face. Later, Rey slashes him across the face with a lightsaber, but even that scar isn't at all disfiguring.
  • Strange Nature: Joe and Michelle have some pretty deformed ones, though they looked like that before they came to town. Joe has small lumps and is missing his upper lip, while Michelle has several large lumps on her forehead.
    • There's also Nikki's puppies, which has a unilateral cleft lip.
    • Jodie's newborn daughter, Danielle, has a cleft lip as well as just a smooth surface with nostrils in place of a nose. Though that's just one of her many deformities.
    • Finally, the two-faced wolf.
  • Leslie Nielsen's character in Surf Ninjas has half of his face squished by an elephant, forcing him to wear a half-mask a la The Phantom of the Opera.
  • Suspiria (2018): The viewer is treated a nice and very up-close shot of Olga's jaw being slowly twisted out of its hinges during her iconic 'destruction' scene. Later, we also see Olga's decomposing (but still breathing) body laying on the floor of the mirror room, complete with a few close-ups of her motionless and discolored face, fractured jaw still clearly visible.
  • In the "Cat from Hell" segment in Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, the cat has killed nearly every member of an old man's family (to get revenge for some brutal animal testing he did to earn his fortune), and the old man hires a hitman to kill the cat. The cat keeps evading all attempts to kill it, getting a few claw swipes at the hitman's face, and then finishing him off by leaping into his mouth, making the hitman choke to death as the cat is crawling down his throat. The old man is taken out when he comes back home, sees the hitman's body, sees the cat crawl back out of the hitman's mouth, and the old man dies of a heart attack.
  • The Terminator, in all of the movies, takes plenty of face damage to show off the cybernetics underneath.
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003): Leatherface has a disease that makes the skin on his face decay. it's only seen briefly in profile, but it isn't pretty.
  • The Three Musketeers: One of the guards/torturers in the dungeon is a hulking misfit with a very creepy face, disfigured by many severe burns and dermal neurofibromas.
  • The climax of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has two examples in quick succession: First off, Optimus Prime breaks Megatron's arm and forces him to shoot half his own face off. He then proceeds to go after the Fallen, delivers his famous one-liner, and doesn't wait for the Fallen to give it to him. (Contrary to popular belief, Fallen is actually killed by being punched through the chest and getting his spark ripped out.)
    • Earlier, Optimus is in a three-on-one fight between Megatron, Starscream and Grindor, and kills the latter by stabbing a pair of hooks into his face and tearing his head apart.
  • TRON: Legacy: One of the prisoners on the Recognizer has half of his face derezzed. When that particular program looks at Sam Flynn, he just growls.
  • So Bad, It's Good B-movie Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness: Mike Strauber is a man who, among other things, cuts a chunk of his own face off when dared to do so.
  • When Evil Calls:
  • Wishmaster: The Djinn is particularly fond of mutilating people's faces. In the first film, for instance, he uses his powers to make a criminal unwillingly rip out a cop's lower jaw, tongue still intact.
  • Wonder Woman features the character Dr. Poison, who covers the lower half of her face with a segmented porcelain mask that makes her look like a broken doll. Towards the end, the mask is torn away to reveal that her nose and mouth are horribly burned and melted, giving her half a Glasgow Grin that's missing half its teeth.

  • The title character in Eden Green has her teeth and nose broken in a violent murder; when an alien needle symbiote awakens her, she carefully describes the sensations of her face being repaired with microscopic needles.
  • Erebus Sequence: It turns out that the reason Anea wears a veil and can't speak is that she doesn't have a jaw.
  • Fight Club: By the end, the narrator has had both cheeks ruined—one split open after a tooth punched a hole in it, and further fights exacerbated the injury to the point that it became half a Glasgow Grin, and the other opened by a gunshot. The former injury is omitted from the film.
  • Fox Demon Cultivation Manual:
    • Sun Yunniang had her face ripped off on her husband's orders.
    • The people Song Ci sees outside the inn had their skin ripped off by Sun Yunniang's ghost, leaving their faces a "skinless, bloody mess of rotten meat".
  • The Ghost Writer: The climax reveals that Alice Jessell's face is horribly deformed.
  • The owl Metalbeak/Kludd from Guardians of Ga'Hoole. He had his beak, among other parts of his face, ripped off in a fight and replaced it with a metal one.
  • In The Girl Who Drank the Moon Antain is attacked by a flock of animate origami birds that slash his face, leaving it a mass of scars.
  • Mason Verger in Hannibal. He peeled off his own face under the influence of Lecter, plus some party drugs.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Goblet of Fire describes Alastor Moody's face as rough and misshapen, with heavy scarring and a big chunk of his nose missing. He also averts Eyes Are Unbreakable, since his most striking feature is his bulging, lopsided Glass Eye (they don't call him "Mad-Eye Moody" for nothing, you know). Chalk it up to years and years of ferocious battles against practitioners of The Dark Arts.
    • At the end of Half-Blood Prince, Bill Weasley gets mauled by Fenrir Greyback and acquires a series of nasty facial scars that are compared to Moody's.
  • Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Has a disfigured face and body from birth. This is also implied to be the reason why he was abandoned as a toddler. He is also deaf and half-blind.
  • Joelle Van Dyne in Infinite Jest following an incident with some acid,(maybe) causing her to wear a veil and join the Union of the Hideously and Improbably Deformed.
  • Vlad Menshikov from The Kane Chronicles had part of his face, along with his lungs and eyes, burned when he tried and failed to awaken Ra.
  • Lorka Trench in the steampunk series Lockhart And Teague had her lips cut off when she was a teenager. This causes her to make very unconventional word choices when speaking, as she doesn't use words she can't pronounce correctly.
  • Handicapped Badass Colonel Lomax in the Matthew Hawkwood novels. Pinned under a dead horse and caught in a grass fire, the left side of Lomax's body was badly burned; crippling his left arm, destroying his left eye, and badly scarring the left side of his face.
  • Mortal Engines: Hester Shaw sports a very nasty scar and is missing an eye and most of her nose as a result of being attacked during her childhood.
  • Oliver Twisted: The wolf Bullseye is described to have a face scratched and torn in twenty different places.
  • The Phantom of the Opera: Erik the opera ghost. He has a deformed face and body and therefore hides himself away from the world and lives beneath the Paris opera house.
  • The eponymous painting becomes for a while this in The Picture of Dorian Gray. The book is kind of vague about it, but many adaptions show all the gruesomeness.
  • Realm of the Elderlings: The assassin Chade's face and body are covered with deep, angry pockmarks by a long-ago accident with volatile chemicals. Combined with his prematurely wizened appearance, some peasants actually mistake his face for the Anthropomorphic Personification of Plague.
  • Redwall has Slagar the Cruel, who wears a mask to hide his deformities caused by Asmodeus' venom. There's also Riggu Felis, whose face was mostly torn off by a hawk. The lower half of his face is described as "red, glistening flesh and bone... the whole muzzle, nose and upper lip had been torn off. Half of the warlord's face was a spitting, bubbling skeleton." Lovely.
  • The Reynard Cycle: Hartnet is an otherwise attractive young woman who is missing her nose. She wears a veil (and later a helmet with a nose guard) to cover it, but people are still unnerved by the sight of her.
  • What the Big Bad of the first Rivers of London book does to his victims, magically cracking their bones, shredding their muscles, and stretching their skin until they become perfect imitations of Mister Punch; when he finishes with them, their face falls apart and they die. If they are lucky. A survivor's face is described in book two in excruciating detail, for a start her nose and lower jawbone is mostly missing having been shattered into too many pieces to rebuild. Talking is only possible with one of those Stephen Hawking speech programs.
  • A lot of the art in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark straddled the line between this trope and Nightmare Face. Probably the best example would be the art for "The Red Spot", a story where what seems to be a zit on a girl's face actually contains a nest of baby spiders.
  • Sherlock Holmes:
    • In the story "The Adventure of the Illustrious Client", Kitty Winter gets revenge on Baron Adelbert Gruner, who destroyed her life, by throwing acid in his face, leaving him hideously disfigured. The story was later adapted by '"Elementary''.
    • The eponymous character in "The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger".
  • The Shining: Towards the end, Danny tries to break his father from the hotel's influence (and temporarily succeeds), only to have Jack become completely possessed and forced to smash the roque mallet into his own face, repeatedly, until it is a barely-recognisable mess. This fully kills Jack and allows the ghosts to take full control of his body.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Sandor Clegane's burned face is described as horrifying, Shireen Baratheon's is badly scarred by greyscale and Brienne's was half eaten by Biter. And then there's the delightful face of Tyrion, with that long scar and all, including having his nose pretty much cut off. Most of these are downplayed in the TV show.
  • A Sorrow Fierce and Falling: Molochoron's Familiars, which Henrietta recreates for a test for Maria, are described as having melted faces.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: Elli Quinn has her face burned off by plasma-arc fire - "she looked like an onion". Fortunately, she lives in a universe of advanced biotech where the commander of her mercenary company buys her reconstructive surgery which leaves her looking better than she had before, but plasma fire is one of the few things that can truly terrify her.
  • Warrior Cats: Brightheart was savaged by a pack of dogs, who mangled her face to the point that she lost an eye and parts of her skull were showing even after she recovered. She was even called "Lostface" for a while, but fortunately, Firestar renamed her.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: Jasmine, once someone is freed from her love spell, has a mangled, maggot-infested face. Once the spell is broken for the whole world, her face breaks out in boils and lesions.
  • Arrowverse:
    • Jonah Hex's appearance on Legends of Tomorrow depicted a more pragmatic version of his scars, mostly due to being a series on The CW and hence lacking the budget to go all out.
    • The Flash reveals that the right side of Savitar's face is covered with burns, with his eye discolored and possibly left blind for good measure.
  • Boardwalk Empire: Richard Harrow lost his left eye and the left side of his face in World War I, forcing him to wear a crude-looking half-mask with face-like features.
  • Breaking Bad: from the appropriately titled "Face Off" episode, Gustavo Fring meets his end when hit with a bomb, but not before surviving long enough for the camera to pan around and showing half of his face blown off.
  • Chernobyl: Besides blackened legs, we never get to see what's happened to Akimov for ourselves, but after interviewing the still-living Chernobyl operators, Ulana reports to Valery that she found the poor guy with no discernible face. The fact an HBO series had a Gory Discretion Shot, especially during an episode which showed the effects of late-stage radiation poisoning on screen, must mean that whatever happened to Akimov's face was genuinely too horrible to depict.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Cybermen in "The Tenth Planet" have cloth facemasks, black void eyes, and mouths that just sort of hang open while they talk, implying severe facial disfigurement going on underneath. It's part of why they are so disturbing.
    • Davros, whose face (and the rest of his entire freaking body) was horribly disfigured when his lab exploded.
    • One incarnation of the Master: he has hit the end of his regeneration cycle and his body is literally rotting, with a fixed skull grin and googly eyes.
    • Magnus Greel's face looks like it's melting, or turning to spaghetti, due to a bizarre mutation.
    • Stories written or script-edited by Eric Saward have a tendency to this. Examples include a soldier's face melted off by corrosive gas in "Resurrection of the Daleks", and prominent facially-disfigured characters in "The Visitation", "Vengeance on Varos", "Timelash" and "The Caves of Androzani".
    • Kane's face melting off his bones in "Dragonfire", one of Doctor Who's most gruesome moments.
    • "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances" gave us a Painful Transformation into a mindless zombie with a gas mask, with the air-filter forcing its way up through your throat and out your mouth, and your eyes turning into goggles. Ouch. The effect was originally going to be accompanied by a graphic bone-cracking sound, but the staff decided that was a bit too much. They were probably right.
    • "Planet of the Ood" has jerkass slaver Mr. Halpen, whose face peels off as he turns into an Ood.
    • "Forest of the Dead" has Miss Evangelista, whose face was warped in Donna's dream world so she looks more like a walking Picasso painting.
    • "The Crimson Horror": Ada Gillyflower had her face burned (and lost her eyesight) when her mom experimented on her with leech venom.
    • The main antagonist of "Deep Breath", the aptly titled "Half-Face Man", is a cyborg millions of years old kept alive with stolen human body parts from the customers at the restaurant, leaving him with a face that is half robotic and half human.
    • "The Woman Who Fell to Earth": The antagonist, alien warlord-to-be Tzim-Shanote , takes teeth as trophies from the people he kills, and implants them on his face.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Oberyn Martell. Not only were his teeth knocked out and his eyes destroyed but also his head is crushed into a disgusting pulp. His gorgeous, gorgeous head.
    • Sandor Clegane has nasty scars on his face from his brother holding his face into a brazier as a child.
    • Ramsay's dogs begin their feast by ripping his face off jaw-first.
    • Gregor Clegane's face is rotten and deteriorating more and more over time.
    • The left side of Shireen Baratheon's face is scarred by (cured) Greyscale.
  • Gotham: Jane Doe acts like her face is horribly scarred or deformed underneath the mask she wears. It's subverted though as she's perfectly normal. Her conviction is just a part of the delusion she has.
  • Kingdom (2019):
    • In a flashback, we see the people in Yeong-shin's home village having their faces covered in bloody bandages. This is likely a result of Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordering the invading Japanese soldiers to bring back severed Korean noses for their remuneration claim. It may also be connected to the fact that the village is said to be afflicted with some kind of disease.
    • Lord Cho Hak-Ju also gets a dose of this when a zombified Lord Ahn Hyeon tears into his cheek.
  • The Helvetica scenario from Look Around You. The scenario is a fictional experiment, presented in Switzerland (Helvetica), which assumes that removing only the nucleus (the center of an atom) of a calcium atom in one's skin, but still leaving the electron shell at its position, would cause a massive reaction ending up in heavy mutations.
  • The Masters of Horror episode "Imprint":
    • The disfigured prostitute has the features on the right side of her face stretched out.
    • The dwarf pimp is missing part of his nose.
  • Midsomer Murders: In "The Stitcher's Society", the third Victim of the Week is killed when one barrel of his shotgun is stuffed with rages, causing it to backfire in face. The Coroner Fleur Perkins comments that there wasn't much left of his face afterwards.
  • Roan's face in Nikita was partially permanently disfigured when Nikita splashed hydrochloric acid on him, in an effort to escape.
  • In Person of Interest Shaw does a relatively minor version in her first appearance when she throws a flashbang inside a mook's gasmask.
  • A fourth-season episode of Quincy, M.E. ("The Depth of Beauty") involves an incompetent plastic surgeon who kills two women and leaves an actress with a horribly disfigured face. Includes a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when Quincy gently unpins the actress' veil and kisses her; also a Crowning Moment of Awesome when she later accuses the plastic surgeon by revealing her face on live television.
  • In the fifth season of Resurrection: Ertuğrul, this happens to Artuk Bey after the Mongols interrogate him regarding the location of several important documents, responding with the burning of both of his eyes when he refuses to give them a reply.
  • RoboCop: The Series featured a disfigured villain named William Ray Morgan, nicknamed "Pudface" because of his face, which was disfigured in a chemical accident that he chose to blame Robo for, despite Sgt. Parks (Sgt. Reed from the movies in all but name) saying it was his own fault.
  • Played for laughs on Seinfeld. Elaine's handsome outdoorsy boyfriend takes a big fall while rock climbing with George and Kramer - by the looks of the bandages, he landed square on his face. He's not terribly upset, but Elaine (who had emphatically denied the attraction wasn't all physical) pointedly asks him if he recalls the doctors mentioning "horrible scars" or "radical reconstructive surgery".
  • Sharpe: Captain Frederickson's head is pretty much covered in scars. He has burn scars all over his head that cost him most of his hair, and took a musket ball in the face which shattered his jaw, knocked out most of his teeth, tore one of his eyes out of its socket on the way out, and left him with a Glasgow Grin. He deliberately cultivates his fearsome appearance to instill fear in his enemies, removes his false teeth and glass eye before going into combat (much to the disgust of people around him), and collects teeth from dead Frenchmen to make himself a set of dentures.
  • From the third season of Teen Wolf, the true face of Jennifer Blake, who was grotesquely mutilated and left for dead by a werewolf. She hides it via supernatural means - most of the time.
  • A segment of Untold Stories of the E.R. concerned saving a woman who had been mauled by a mountain lion. When she regained consciousness, she despaired at the state of her mangled face but calmed down when she saw the "before" photo and realized she was lucky she still even had a face.
  • The now little-known 1961 anthology series Way Out (hosted by Roald Dahl) had an episode called "Soft Focus" where a man finds that he can alter people's appearances by retouching their photos. Unfortunately, his wife (whose face he started tampering with when he found out she was cheating on him) spills retouching fluid on his own photo and...! One of Dick Smith's more interesting makeup works.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • In Norse Mythology, Loki was punished by some dwarf blacksmiths for losing a wager by having his lips sewn shut. (He was originally going to lose his head, but he managed to finagle himself out of that one due to a clever application of Exact Words.) Since he is not represented as mute in any of the other myths, presumably he just tore his lips free later.

  • Fat, French and Fabulous has the following description of radium jaw, a malady caused by the body incorporating radioactive substances into the bones instead of calcium after a victim ingests radium:
    "When we say that your jaw falls off, radium jaw describes what happens before that happens. When your jaw is breaking down, your body's response is basically to inflame it as much as possible... People with radium jaw have these giant jutting protuberances sticking off their jaws. Like, it doesn't just quietly drop off one day... It's just this necrotic mass of rotting tissue."

  • Survival of the Fittest character Blood Boy had his face heavily mutilated as a child by having a marble stuck in his throat, and clawing at it to get it out. He wears a mask over it to hide it. Later he slices off what's left for a trap. Other examples have occurred throughout the versions, such as Melina Frost getting a Molotov cocktail to the face.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer 40,000, Captain Tycho of the Blood Angels Chapter of Adeptus Astartes suffered a near-fatal psychic attack from an Ork Weirdboy that caused the right half of his face to freeze into a hideous rictus grin. Given the Blood Angels' aesthete inclinations and general physical beauty, this was an especially damaging blow to his psyche, and the trauma compounded to the point that he snapped.
  • Appears a fair bit in Vampire: The Masquerade:
    • The Nosferatu Embrace warps people who receive it, to the point that they become atrocious wretches that cannot be seen in public without risking the Masquerade (luckily, they have powers to get around that). Some people get more messed up by the Embrace than others, like the Camarilla Justicar Cock Robin, whose mouth is more of a beak. He primarily communicates in Morse code, has to be fed by his assistants, and - in the rare cases that he succumbs to Frenzy - is noted to feed by gouging out his victim's eyes and drinking deeply.
    • Vicissitude can regularly produce cases like this. Mexico City by Night features Jaggedy Andy, a fratboy visiting Mexico who had the mistake of throwing out a bunch of racist and transphobic insults to Sascha Vykos. Sascha responded by making all the features on Andy's face disappear, then having someone Embrace him. He has to chisel his eyes and mouth open every night and is pretty much barred from exiting the junkyard he lives in for the sake of the Masquerade.

  • The Phantom of the Opera... again.
    • Incidentally, this is what the Phantom looks like unmasked in the play.
  • In the musical Violet, this is the title character's reason for traveling by bus to meet the televangelist. However, this is an Informed Deformity, since her scars are left to the audience's imagination, rather than being depicted through makeup or prosthetics.

    Video Games 
  • The Grunts and Brutes in Amnesia: The Dark Descent. The Grunts have grotesquely distended mouths, stretching all the way to their chest and past the sides of their heads. The Brutes, on the other hand, don't even have faces - their heads are ripped up masses of flesh with teeth protruding in random places and a single eye somewhere within.
  • If you get stung by wasps in any game of Animal Crossing, your face will be noticeably affected, with one eye swollen shut, and the other swollen halfway. Talking with any of your villagers in this manner has the chance of frightening them, as they might mistake you for a monster, before their fright immediately turns to sympathy.
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
    • Once again, Two-Face. The damage done to his face is particularly gruesome here, much like in Nolan's films.
    • Scarecrow's design in Batman: Arkham Knight displays this as well. After Killer Croc mauled the guy in Batman: Arkham Asylum, Crane is implied to have had to reconstruct his own face, with gruesome, terrifying, and undead-looking results. It's impossible to tell the difference between grafted-on burlap and actual flesh.
  • Batman: The Telltale Series has Two-Face once again, this time with his injuries caused by the Penguin in the climax of Episode 2 if the player chooses to help Catwoman instead of Harvey. His injuries look similar to those from the Nolan films, but with the added horror of continuing to fester and bleed long after.
  • In BioShock 1, the villainous Andrew Ryan is one of few non-disfigured people left in Rapture, having forced the entire population to join his super soldier army - a process which entails insanity, cancerous growths, and facial disfigurements. In the last quarter, the player repeatedly bashes his face in with Ryan's own golf club. Ryan ends up looking not unlike the "splicers" he created and sent after you.
  • Concept art for BioShock Infinite depicted that traveling through tears could result in the traveler being merged with versions of themself from the past, future, or alternate timelines, resulting in various facial deformities.
  • Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2 wears a mask modeled after his original face because, as revealed in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, after receiving a vision from a relic found in the Vault of the Sentinel, Lilith blasted it and branded Jack's face with the Vault symbol it depicted. It also destroyed one of his eyes, so his mask has a prosthetic eye attached to it.
    • Comedic example in the Mad Moxxi's Wedding Day Massacre DLC, where completing the campaign awards you with a head customization item that pulls off the player's face exposing their skull to mimic the Goliath's exposed head. In the case of Zer0, it reveals that he's robotic underneath but amusingly is called "N0t C4n0n".
    • In Tales from the Borderlands' fourth episode, Rhys needs to scan Vasquez's corpse to make a disguise. When he gets back to where the body is, he finds Psychos have quite literally cut the face off the body, and ends up having to sneak through an alley full of sleeping Psychos to figure which one of the face-thieves is wearing Vasquez's stapled to his mask.
  • Exaggerated in Brain Dead 13: If Lance can't escape the Beautifier in Vivi's Salon, the mechanical powder puffs will close in on his head, screw it up, and turn it into a skull!
  • Catherine: The boss of the Clock Tower, the Child With a Chainsaw, is a cybernetic version of the earlier boss monster the Child. Its face is covered in mechanical panels that open up to reveal a particularly horrifying visage, as seen when it tries to stop Vincent from escaping at the end of the level.
  • Near the start of Dead Space 2, a man is transformed into a necromorph right in front of you. It's not pretty.
  • Much like most of the other body part horrors, this can be easily inflicted in Dwarf Fortress. With enough wrestling skills, you can easily hold your opponent down by the head while you systematically pinch and gouge their facial features to your leisure.
  • The various kinds of enemies in The Evil Within all suffer from this. Ripped off or shredded flesh, gaping holes in the skull, impaling glass or metal struts, barbed wire wrapped tightly around the face, or any combination thereof, are all in vogue. One particularly rare and nasty substrain capable of invisibility has had its face... "peeled out" to resemble a writhing nest of tentacles, making them look somewhere between an open wound and a cthulhumanoid.
  • Ull, the chieftain of the Udam tribe in Far Cry Primal has a melted nose and ears, and exposed cheek muscles, due to getting injured by Izila fire arrows in the past. It makes him look inhuman.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's:
    • The original game has the main character's eyes popping out of the Freddy suit he gets stuffed into on the Game Over screen, as well as a certain Easter Egg in which a poster changes to depict Freddy ripping the top part of his head off.
    • Five Nights at Freddy's 2 has Withered Bonnie, who completely lacks a face save for a lower jaw and two faint lights serving as eyes.
    • And then there's Springtrap from Five Nights at Freddy's 3. In two rare bootup screens, you can see a human head inside him, with two large eyes jammed into its sockets, hooks being dug into its cheeks and its mouth speared open and lacking a few teeth. It also completely lacks a nose.
    • The entirety of the Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location animatronics can count as this, as each of them has multiple faceplates that open and close to expose their endoskeletons, which is especially prominent in each Jump Scare.
  • The main antagonist of Hitman: Blood Money, Alexander Leland Cayne (also known to players as Jack), is an Evil Cripple with a motorized wheelchair and a half-flayed face. His left eye is also a discolored yellow.
  • In Let It Die, the first boss is a twisted handyman/hardware seller/gang leader with a beard made of screws and his arms stitched on his temples. According to the "Tales of Barbs" info, he rams a screw through his jaw every time he destroyed a rival gang.
  • Lobotomy Corporation: In the Legacy version of the game, Little Red Riding Hooded Mercenary would take off her mask while pursuing the Big and Might be Bad Wolf. Players can see why she keeps her mask on: She is missing her skin, her teeth and one of her eyes.
  • Lunacid: The mummies found in the Temple of Silence have a massive cavity above their nose, looking like someone scooped out their brain through their face.
  • The very appropriately named boss The Nightmare from Metroid Fusion starts off with a face resembling Frankenstein's monster, which gradually falls apart in the most disgusting way possible as the fight progresses. To wit, green goo comes out of its eye sockets, running down to its chin. Then the surface comes off, revealing goo everywhere and what look like four more eyes higher up! Then the whole face starts melting away to the extent that one of the eyes nearly falls off!
  • One of the antagonists of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is the Tower of Sauron. The lower half of his face looks necrotized, and he wears armor that shows off his skeletal mouth.
    • In the same fashion, this can apply to some of the Uruk Captains you can encounter, thanks to the Nemesis System. Uruks with faces distorted by cancerous-looking pustules, or facial scarring, all the way up to having their entire head wrapped in a bag from the injuries Talion inflicted on them.
  • Sheltem the Dark from Might and Magic has a classic Two-Face appearance under his helm. Since he's an android, keeping it that way seems to be a deliberate choice.
  • Persona 2:
    • The Emblem Curse in Innocent Sin. While not explicitly shown in the games, as all students that have it cover their heads with bandages, the anime trailer shows that their faces are literally melting.
    • Tatsuya Sudou in both parts of the duology gets half of his face burned off (and loses his eye in the process, both times). He's pretty incensed about it.
  • Persona 5: When characters first awaken to their eponymous Personas, they have to rip off masks that are part of their faces, causing blood to erupt as they for all intents and purposes rip their own skin off.
  • Resident Evil
    • Nemesis from Resident Evil 3: Nemesis has brown, rotting skin, his lips have been pared back so there's a permanent grimace on his face, his nose is missing, and one of his eyes is gone, with a row of staples running down from the top of his head across the empty socket.
    • In Resident Evil 4, the Novistadors can melt Leon's face off with their acidic vomit. In the Japanese version, decapitations were replaced with facial disfigurement.
    • In Resident Evil 5, the Majini get progressively more disfigured as the game goes on. The tribal Ndipaya, in particular, look like they've chewed their own lips off.
    • Resident Evil 6 The various J'avo encountered in the game all have significant facial deformities, ranging from lesions and cuts to multiple eyes in asymmetrical arrangements. In the case of Derek Simmons, there are his virus-mutated form's first two stages, in which the skin and flesh on his body shift about on his body like Jenga pieces, letting one see his skull underneath.
  • The titular character of Sally Face had this happen to him when he was a child, presumably as a result of a dog attack. We don't know what exactly happened to his face (apart from losing an eye), but he had to wear a prosthetic face ever since. In the flashback, his face right after the attack is covered in so much blood that it's impossible to tell.
  • Salt and Sanctuary has Lenaia, the Queen of Smiles. Her epithet as Queen of Smiles was earned by her habit of cutting a Glasgow Grin into the faces of the many, many people she had executed for increasingly frivolous and nonsensical reasons before hanging the corpses up as decoration. When her reign was finally cut short by a mob of vengeful villagers, it was seen fit to leave her with "the greatest smile of all." By the time you fight her in the game, she's a rotting corpse with a mess of gore where her lower jaw should be.
  • This is from Splatterhouse 3. This is your terrifying punishment for failing to save Jennifer in time. Oh, and DON'T LOOK THIS UP AS A VIDEO. The music will freak you out.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, Arcann's face was disfigured in his campaign against the Republic and Sith Empire, and most of it is obscured by a broken metal mask as a result. He gets rid of the mask when he becomes The Atoner.
  • Several cosmetics in Team Fortress 2 follow this. One, in particular, is the Medic's Second Opinion, which gives him a discolored skin graft on the left side of his face that is also a malevolent Split Personality (well, more malevolent than normal Medic).
  • Twisted Metal:
    • No-Face in Twisted Metal: Black had his eyes and tongue removed and his eye sockets and mouth stitched up (the manual explains that he sees through telepathy) by a Back-Alley Doctor who lost several thousand dollars betting on him in a boxing match. His story ends with him about to return the favor via Extreme Mêlée Revenge.
    • In the 2012 reboot, Krista Sparks/Dollface receives a small cut on her face, which her mind envisions as a monstrous necrotizing infection over her entire mouth, leading to her getting her White Mask of Doom to hide it.
  • While this is, of course, apparent for various zombies, The Walking Dead: Season Two takes a step further with the death of William Carver, who has his face savagely beaten in by Kenny with a crowbar. The end result is... not pretty to look at, as a lot of his skin is peeled off with his broken skull showing underneath. Those who are more squeamish have the option to skip this scene, at least.
  • Waxworks (1992), having tons of nightmarish death scenes, and many of those showing only your face naturally has tons of this. Particularly the plant mutants in the mineshaft, who will claw/melt your face off, if you're lucky.
  • In XCOM 2, the ADVENT soldiers are supposedly human, but actually underwent genetic manipulation that had the effect of altering their facial structure to resemble a mix between human and Sectoid. Their helmets conceal these disfigurements, only revealing their mouths, the one part of their face that still looks passably human.

    Visual Novels 
  • Katawa Shoujo: The right side of Hanako's face is severely scarred from when she was caught in a house fire several years before the story takes place. She grows out her hair to try and cover the damage. And it's not just the scars that explain why she's so traumatized. Her father died in the fire, her mother sacrificed herself to save her, and while the kids at the Orphanage of Love she was sent to treated her well, in junior high, she was teased and bullied constantly by her classmates.
  • In one ending of Virtue's Last Reward, Luna's face falls off as Zero III shuts her down, though in this case, it's more tragic than horrific.
  • Ace Attorney Justice For All: The right side of Matt Engarde's face has a very nasty scar that also shows his evil.

    Web Animation 
  • Simkin, from Chadam, who survived Viceroy's attempt to extract his gland, has been left disfigured, with half of his face gray and sunken, while the rest of him is blue; his mouth is cut off half-way, and a second mouth formed on the Pallid side, and only one of his eyes remain as well.
  • Dingo Doodles: It turns out that this is the reason why Gothi keeps her face covered with a wooden mask. Her entire face was completely cut off. She has no skin, nose, or lips under the mask. The sight of this is disturbing enough that it makes one person who sees it vomit.
  • Happy Tree Friends:
    • In "Remains to be Seen", when she's killed and comes back as a zombie, Petunia has had most of her face skinned, the maggots burrowing into her flesh are visible, and her left eye is sunken into its socket.
    • In "Peas in a Pod", Sniffles dies when one of Lumpy's clones wipes his face for an extended period of time and leaves a hole in his face, exposing his skull. Both the fact that his face was eroded away and that he died can be chalked up to Rule of Funny.
  • Lobo (Webseries):
    • In "Market Day", Lobo's face is reduced to some brain matter.
    • In "Lobo for President", Lobo's face gets covered in acid urine. His face's flesh is visible.
  • In the RWBY Vol. 6 episode "The Lady in the Shoe" we finally see what's under Adam Taurus' mask, and it's not pretty, to say the least... He was branded with the S.D.C. logo across his left eye. Said eye has red sclera and a grey and black iris, implying that it's heavily damaged and possibly blind.

  • The Bikini Bottom Horror: Spongebob’s face is torn off during his battle with the Tortured One, giving way to a horrifying Nightmare Face.
  • Ennui GO!:
    • Jerry's face grows in feature-by-feature, starting with his mouth. Second, his eye... his left eye.
    • One of the strip's major Call Backs involves this. Venus' face is horribly scarred and her left eye is damaged due to an allergic reaction to the whale semen Izzy unwittingly poured on her.
    • A filler strip has a man who cranked off a chimp get his face torn off.
    • Asher gets half of his face chopped off, and we get a nice view of it in the strip where it happens. He "fixes" it with a crude cybernetic mask.
  • This Penny Arcade strip.
  • In TREVOR, Trevor’s skin does not keep up with his ever-shifting muscles, and constantly tears away from itself.
  • Unsounded:
    • When they ambush and try to kill her Elka spells one of the Ethelmik constable's faces off in a rather gory panel.
    • When Duane is having his breakdown at Litriya he rips the skin from around his right eye.
  • In The Zombie Hunters, Jameson gets eaten mostly on the face. Good stuff.

    Web Original 
  • Gold Tongues has Petrol, a giant man whose nose and cheeks have been sliced off, forcing him to constantly wear a gas mask to cover the deformities. On top of that, his face is gradually decaying from an unknown virus.
  • Creepypasta character Jeff the Killer. His face was heavily damaged by chemicals, and then by self-mutilation. The resulting face is a shocking image that will take quite a while to get out of your head.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Adventure Time episode "Too Old," Lemongrab 2 is revealed to be alive after Lemongrab 1 tried to eat him in "Another Five More Short Graybles", but horribly disfigured. The extent of his disfigurement includes, but is not limited to, almost half of his head just being gone, replaced by massive bite marks.
  • American Dad!:
    • In the episode "Flirting With Disaster", Francine gets hit in the face with acid. For the remainder of the episode, until the last few seconds, her face is conveniently obscured. For good reason.
    • In "The Long Bomb", Stan kills a terrorist by melting his face with superheated steam.
    • In "The Mural of the Story", Hayley ends up hated by the town after Stan blames her for his botched attempt to restore a mural, so Stan attempts to reconstruct her face in her sleep, with horrific results. Hayley later has a real plastic surgeon give her a new face as part of a plan to make Stan suffer.
    • In "Men II Boyz", Stan gets the right half of his face burnt in an explosion. He doesn't notice.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has Zuko, who has half his face burned. But he manages to work it well and still have an Estrogen Brigade.
  • In Central Park, Season 1 "Garbage Ballet"; in Molly's comic, after Fista-Puffs' kiss melts Kite Boy's face, he reveals that the skin around his mouth has been melted off revealing his teeth and bone.
  • Implied in The Fairly OddParents episode "The Good Ol' Days", when Timmy gives his grandfather a sour ball that causes his face to suck in. It then pans to Timmy as his grandfather's disembodied eyes roll to the former's feet, the latter complaining that "candy was better before when it didn't make your face implode".
  • Family Guy:
    • Though we don't see the damage, in "Petarded", Peter learns that he's legally retarded and starts using his status to do whatever he wants without repercussions. The fun stops when he attempts to take a deep fryer from a restaurant and throws the oil onto Lois, severely burning her.
    • "The Man with Two Brians" had Peter watching an episode of Jackass where Johnny Knoxville gets half of his face blown off with a shotgun, exposing his skull.
    • "Hannah Banana" had a scene where Chris smashed Peter's face between two logs ala Saw IV. Miraculously, he survives despite one of his eyeballs hanging out his socket, part of his bone structure sticking out of his face and overall disfigurement and stupidly, he did to win a free hat.
    • "Bigfat" had Peter eating some poisonous berries that caused his lips and the skin around his eyes to recede.
  • Generator Rex: Circe looks like a beautiful young woman at first glance, but whenever she uses her EVO powers, her jaws protrude from her face, tearing her skin in the process. She can go back to normal with little fanfare, and can still speak normally with her Game Face active.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Weirdmageddon", Preston Northwest offers his allegiance to Bill Cipher, and has the functions of every orifice on his face rearranged. His mouth becomes a giant eye, his eye holes turn into a set of ears, and his ears turn into a pair of noses. All of which is shown to the viewer, along with his pained and muffled screams from not having a mouth. How they ever managed to get that past Disney's censors will be a question for the ages.
  • Billy on The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy has his face shredded, ripped open, or removed at least seven times over the show's run, from having his face ground against the road after he gets sent flying off his bike, putting his mouth on a running egg beater, getting hit in the face with a push mower, the school's cat mascot clawing his face (which it also does to Grim later), a wampa tearing his face clean off after he wanders into its cave, being caught in the explosion from his future counterpart returning to his own time, and a living tornado.
  • The 2002 reboot of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe rewrites Skeletor's history so that he was originally a human warlock named Keldor who had his face burned off with acid fighting King Randor.
  • In the Metalocalypse episode "Dethvanity", Murderface goes to a back-alley plastic surgeon to have his face rebuilt. When the operation is complete, he's ordered to wear a metal helmet until his face fully heals, but when he takes it off at a ceremony, it turns out that his face got an infection that made him even more disfigured than before.
  • A less horrifying example is The Smurfs (1981) episode "Hats Off to Smurfs", where a new yellow hat worn by Vanity causes his face to be disfigured every time he gets it wet by washing his face with water.
  • In the South Park episode "Britney's New Look," Britney Spears gets the top half of her head blown off, leaving just a lower jaw and a tongue. And she survives.
  • Space Ghost Coast to Coast: Played for laughs in "Flipmode". At the end of the episode, Space Ghost learns they lost the footage to the "Space Ghost: A Tribute to Freedom" segment and a Reveal Shot shows that all the skin has been removed from Space Ghost's face as he complains "Then what was the point of sanding my face off?"
  • A much lighter example is from the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "I'm Your Biggest Fanatic", where a jellyfish scientist called Dr. Manowar talks to a crowd about how he was stung by a monstrous jellyfish called "Big Lenny" and lived. He now has a huge welt that "only hurts when you touch it" which Patrick does immediately after he says that.
  • Happens to the Spiteful Brakevan (a bullying caboose) at the end of the Thomas & Friends episode "Brake Van" (The Scottish Twins' debut episode). He is smashed into pieces after being hit by one of the aforementioned Scottish Twins head-on, and in the process, his face is torn off his body.
    • Just right before this scene happens, for some reason, if you look very closely, you can easily tell that this Scottish twin's face is falling off his body!
  • The Venture Bros.: There's a security checkpoint at Dr. Venture's yard sale (as it's a magnet for arch-villains) where Baron Underbheit is made to remove his metal lower jaw, which leaves his tongue hanging limp out his exposed throat hole and horrifies people around him.
    Dr. Girlfriend: I'm gonna throw up, I swear, I can taste it!

    Real Life 

  • There are several real-life disorders that can cause facial disfigurements with varying levels of severity, such as craniodiaphyseal dysplasia (which causes excess calcium to build up in the skull), acromegaly (the result of excess growth hormones built up after the epiphyseal plate has closed), and Graves' ophthalmopathy (caused by autoantibodies binding on the skin, thyroid, and eye tissues).
  • Jacqueline Saburido, badly burned in a car accident. She was hit by a drunk driver and her friends died in the fire. After many surgeries, she sort of looks like her old self, but still very badly scarred and nothing like her original face. Unfortunately, Jacqueline died from her injuries in 2019. She was only 40 years old.
  • Joseph Merrick, also known as "The Elephant Man," an Englishman from the 19th century who was well known for his face and body disfigurements of unknown causes.
  • Fakhra Younus, a Pakistani woman who was the victim of an acid attack by her then-husband. She went through more than three dozen surgeries abroad over a decade in an effort to repair her face before taking her own life in 2012. Her case brought international attention to the growing problem of acid attacks in South Asia, with at least eighty percent of victims being female.
  • Dallas Wiens had his face completely destroyed (with only his lipless mouth left) by electric shock before getting a full facial transplant.
  • Charla Nash, a woman who was mauled by her neighbors' pet chimpanzee before receiving a facial transplant.
  • Connie Culp, before becoming the first person in the U.S. to get a facial transplant.
  • Isabelle Dinoire was the first person to receive a partial face transplant after her own Labrador mauled her. Looking up pre-operative images is rather horrific. Another warning, there is another aspect to the incident that shouldn't be read by the squeamish. It describes what could happen if she stops taking her medicine. Her newly transplanted face will "slough off"; that is, it will fall apart in bits and pieces. Tragically, the suppression of her immune system caused her to develop cancer and die 11 years after the operation.
  • Raymond Robinson, aka "The Green Man", electrocuted at age 8 trying to see a bird's nest. He spent the rest of his life making belts for a living and taking walks at night before dying at a very old age. It's more sad than scary if you think about it.
  • Emmett Till (posthumous example). He was beaten up, tortured (including having his eyes gouged out), shot, and left to rot in a river for a few days. His disfigured, decaying face was purposely displayed to highlight the cruelty of lynching.
  • James Vance, the real-life inspiration for the character Arseface of the comic series Preacher.
  • Michael Jackson is an odd example. While his dramatic change in facial appearance is commonly thought to be the result of constant facelifts, in reality his plastic surgeries consisted solely of a chin-dimpling and a number of nose jobs over the years (the first to fix a broken nose, the rest because the first one was botched). His thinning face was actually the result of weight loss, from both dietary changes and lupus, a painful autoimmune disease that eats away at one's bodily tissues (which is arguably more terrifying to think about than the rumors).
  • Pete Burns of Dead or Alive is an infamous example of how plastic surgery can go wrong, and in his case, it's not just false hearsay. Infamously, one surgery was so badly botched it left him permanently disfigured. By the time he died, he looked like a very different man than the one in the music video for "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record Baby)", and not for the better.
  • Lai Thi Do, a 15-year-old Vietnamese girl, before she had a 12-pound facial tumor removed in 2008.
  • Non-human example: Chase the cat, also known as Chase No Face, who was seriously disfigured in an accident at four weeks old, the trauma of which caused her face to slough off. She has no eyelids, nose, or upper lip and extensive scar tissue as a result and requires medication every day to keep her eyes moist. In spite of this, she lives a happy life and is in no pain. In addition, she acts as a therapy cat for disfigured humans. She is something of a feline Facebook celebrity, and her (very heartwarming) blog can be found here.
  • Novemthree Siahaan, an Indonesian boy who had a rare condition that caused tumors to take over most of his face. The tumors were removed but regrew and he sadly eventually died.
  • The case of a horrific bloody assault in Miami where a naked man named Rudy Eugene attempted to gnaw off the face (not bite, but GNAW) of a homeless victim named Ronald Poppo on a pedestrian ramp near a freeway. Even after the first shot, the drug-addled Eugene still continued to bite until he was finally killed by several more rounds of police gunfire. Poppo was left with his face ripped off, his eyes gouged, and his nose mauled, leaving only his goatee. You may kindly throw up now.
  • It happened again in China, where a drunken bus driver named Dong chewed the face of a woman named Du.
  • Denise Wagoner, aka the real "hamburger lady". Search at your own risk.
  • Another non-human example: Kabang, a female hero Aspin (dog) in the Philippines, saved two young girls from being run over by a motorcycle, only to have her face disfigured. This, for the dog, is a Moment of Awesome and a Tear Jerker.
  • Any 2nd-degree or worse burns to the face.
  • World War I brought about many advances in plastic surgery, in large part because medical advances were saving men who had suffered horribly disfiguring wounds that would have killed them otherwise. The French term for them was "gueules cassées," or "broken faces." Sir Harold Delf Gillies was one of the doctors who tended to these wounds and used skin grafts to repair the damage, but after one patient died of strain (from infection after too much skin was taken from his chest), Dr. Gillies created the "tube pedicle" (a tube of skin that attached to the site) to regrow the damage. Those who couldn't get surgery would buy prostheses from artists such as Anna Coleman Ladd who made masks that looked like they were the same as the rest of the body.
  • Noma, a bacterial infection resulting from poor nutrition and dental hygiene (hence why it has virtually disappeared outside of Africa), eats away at the victim's flesh, ultimately creating a scab that falls off to leave a gaping hole in the (often now misshapen) jaw. The worst part is that it mostly occurs in young children.
  • An unlucky cow got 80% of its face torn off after colliding with a train, with the remaining half landing just a few feet away. Still alive, it continued to stand and walk. A link is provided but it is seriously, seriously NSFW.
  • Any suicides or homicides from being shot in the face or head. In severe cases, the face and head can be turned into hamburger meat or pushed into the skull. If extremely lucky, the damage can be repaired and the person can survive, but probably with at least some disfigurement. For example, in Finland during the Winter War, Simo Häyhä (nicknamed "the White Death," and probably the deadliest sniper of all time) took a 14.5mm explosive anti-tank round to the face. The bullet crushed his jaw and blew off his left cheek, leaving him permanently Two-Faced ([1], [2]), but he survived. And the best part? Immediately after being shot, Häyhä proceeded to kill the Red Army soldier who shot him.
  • Tobacco can have nasty effects on the mouth, including cancers that require disfiguring surgery. Sigmund Freud needed thirty-four operations, starting with the removal of part of his jaw in 1923 (he wore a prosthesis from then on), and continuing over the next sixteen years until the cancer became terminal and he convinced a doctor to Mercy Kill him. Even through all that suffering, though, the man never stopped smoking.
  • The Jamaican musician Winston "Yellowman" Foster also needed part of his jaw removed due to cancer, but he doesn't wear a prosthesis, so the left side of his face sags like the aforementioned Simo Häyhä. In this case, the cancer spread to Foster's jaw from his skin — likely due to his albinism, which leaves his skin unprotected from the sun.
  • After Mark Hamill got in a car crash while filming A New Hope, rumors abounded about all the reconstructive surgery he supposedly needed. It turned out to be just a broken nose, but considering all the Uncanny Valley Makeup he had to wear during The Star Wars Holiday Special, one can see how the story got exaggerated.
  • This, along with blinding and castration, was a popular way to deal with political opponents in the Byzantine Empire. The logic was that, as God's worldly representative, The Emperor had to be physically immaculate. Disfiguring the competition thus took them out of the running. (Meanwhile, castration had the added benefit of ensuring that a defeated opponent couldn't produce an heir.) Mutilation was also seen as more merciful than execution because it gave victims a chance to repent and save their souls.
    • The Byzantine's neighbour empire the Sassanids (and their Parthian predecessors) also had laws that demanded the Shahanshah be in perfect physical health, so at any given time half the princes would be blind, or missing their eyelids.
  • The Tasmanian devil population is in danger because of the devil facial tumor disease, a contagious cancer passed around by their face-biting habits. Their faces suffer gross deformation which damages their skull and ultimately starves them to death.
  • An anti-meth PSA features a middle-aged man reading a blog entry about his problems with meth. He tried to hang himself, but he twitched so hard that the rope couldn’t hold him. So he shot himself instead- and lived. At the end of the PSA, he reveals his face to show that the gunshot has deformed his mouth.


Video Example(s):


Spectral frequencies subject

Suffice to say, the effects of "spectral frequencies" aren't pretty.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / FacialHorror

Media sources: