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Flourish Cape in Front of Face

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One! One dramatic cape flourish! Ah-ah-ah!

Some characters will grasp the hem of their cape in one hand, then bring that hand to their opposite shoulder, with their elbow and cape now up and in front of their face. The elbow height may vary from just below the character's chin to just below the character's eyes.

Character archetypes known to do this include, but are not limited to:

Reasons for doing this include, but are not limited to:

  • Trying and failing to conceal their (fanged, bloodstained, or easily recognizable) faces
  • Drawing attention to their shifty and possibly hypnotic eyes
  • Trying to look cool and mysterious
  • Blending in with the shadows (for dark capes only)
  • Hamming it up
  • Goofing around with a stereotype when imitating or parodying any of the above

Sub-Trope of Cape Swish. Compare Noblewoman's Laugh, which is usually hidden behind a handheld fan or just the hand.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya!: Meta Knight does a two-handed version, commonly going around with both corners of his cape pulled up to his shoulders. The pose ties in with his depiction as a mysterious mentor figure to Kirby and his friends.

  • Dante and Virgil in Hell: Virgil appears to be covering the bottom half of his face with his robes. It's almost as if he's trying to cover his mouth after gasping.

    Comic Books 
  • How many times has Batman done this? It's a common image of his throughout his comics and other media, and in continuities where he's armored his cape to deflect bullets, it even serves a purpose beyond looking cool.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side comic has a strip, "Thwarting the Vampcow", where the titular vampcow covers its lower face with its cape, while the couple whose home it has invaded hold it at bay with a beef steak.
  • In Peanuts, when Patty and Violet tease Linus about his Security Blanket, he drapes it around himself while claiming to be Dracula, thereby scaring the girls away. This gag subsequently appeared in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

    Films — Animation 
  • In the "Dance of the Hours" sequence from Fantasia, the alligators cover their faces with red capes when they sneak into the palace.
  • The Great Mouse Detective: Ratigan makes this gesture at one point in his Villain Song, "The World's Greatest Criminal Mind". He drapes his black-and-red cape over his arm before hunching over, holding the cape over his mouth, and slowly walking towards some of his mooks to intimidate them.
  • In Megamind, when Megamind is caught off guard by Roxanne's And Then What? question, he pulls his cape up all the way to his nose with the addition of covering his large forehead with his other arm while exiting.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the Disney movie Babes in Toyland, Barnaby and his henchmen bring up their arms in this gesture during the "We Won't Be Happy 'Til We Get It" number. Only Barnaby is wearing a cape, and his arm stays below his chin. Roderigo is wearing baggy sleeves large enough for full lower-face concealment. They are indicating their Dastardly Whiplash-levels of cliched evil.
  • Black Panther: The Wakandan Border Tribe does this in battle because Vibranium technology sewn into their cloaks forms Deflector Shields they can close ranks to contain someone.
  • At the end of Love at First Bite. Jeffery Rosenberg wonders why the woman he's in love with chose to fly off with Dracula. Lt. Ferguson suggests that Dracula's Badass Cape is what draws women, so Rosenberg puts it on and adopts this pose.
  • Enforced in Plan 9 from Outer Space. The Ghoul Man constantly has his cape in front of his face, to cover up he's not played by Bela Lugosi (who died before he could finish filming his scenes) and instead by stand-in Tom Mason. Unfortunately, Mason had a completely different build and different hairstyle from Lugosi, and the end result is so unconvincing that some viewers don't even realize they're supposed to be the same character.
  • Spawn does this with his Badass Cape during his escape from police in order to activate his invisibility powers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Batwoman: Batwoman has a tendency to do this, albeit inadvertently as she's actually using her arm (covered in her bulletproof nanofibre Batsuit) to shield her face, and the cape is attached to it.
  • In an episode of M*A*S*H, the 4077th is desperately short on whole blood for transfusions. One of the doctors asks Klinger to go to the mess tent and donate a pint. Klinger promptly says, "Blood! I must give Blood!" in a Dracula-esque voice, sweeps his arm in front of his face as if he were holding a cape, and walks rapidly towards and past the camera.

    Puppet Shows 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition: The Player's Handbook II feat "Combat Cloak Expert" includes this move as a tactical maneuver to shield oneself against enemies.

  • Tanz Der Vampire: in some stage performances of the Russian version Бал Вампиров (which uses costume designs from the Hungarian non-replica version), Herbert, the flamboyant son of antagonist Graf Von Krolock, is introduced like this during "Vor Dem Schloss" ('In front of the Castle', or "First Act Finale"): he holds the cape in front of his face, as if he is in a coccoon, and looks positively delighted when he meets Alfred, Professor Abronsius's student. In the climax of the musical, "Tanzsaal" ('Ballroom'), Herbert ushers in the Graveyard Vampires into the ballroom like this, then opens up his cape in a bombastic manner.

    Video Games 
  • Magus of Chrono Trigger does this sometimes in cutscenes. It's also part of his "victory" animation where he lifts his cape up thusly then back down again.
  • Vampires in The Sims 2 with the Nightlife expansion tend to walk like this while stalking a victim, going to the person they're about to bite, or sometimes just walking. However, only the Grand Vampires usually have capes while the others just take the pose.
  • In SongBird Symphony, the Owl does this with his wing.
  • Toonstruck: Count Nefarious lifts up his cape dramatically when he calls himself "bane of Cutopians."
  • The Vampire Hunter player character from Turn Undead holsters his guns to do a Victory Pose with his cape across his chest when he reaches the exit of each level. He has his face perpetually hidden in the shadow of his hat (except for Glowing Eyes of Doom), so the player can't see exactly how high he holds his cape compared to the rest of his face.
  • Ganon does this during the final battle with him in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past during the final phase of the fight. Justified, however, as that part requires Link to relight two torches that when extinguished, shrouds the room in darkness and leaves Ganon invisible. Relighting them has Ganon in this pose, likely shielding himself from the sudden flash of light and giving Link a second to slash him with his sword to stun him.
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night allows the player to make Alucard do this. Like most Castlevania games, holding Up on the D-pad will have the character in a ready stance, typically for using subweapons/spells. Alucard's will have him take this kind of pose. Also, casting the "Hellfire" spell will have him do the pose as he teleports and as he reappears, opening his cape to fire the fireballs.
  • A variant of this is seen with Golbat in the Pokémon Stadium series alongside the Colosseum duology, where it uses its wings to cover most of its front for its idle animation.

    Visual Novels 
  • Barok van Zieks, the main prosecutor you face in The Great Ace Attorney, has a habit of doing this at the start of trials (at least until he discards the cape entirely). It reinforces his vampire-like appearance while also cluing you in that he is both aloof and exceedingly dramatic.
    • The culprit of Spirit of Justice's second case, Roger Retinz alias The Great Mr. Reus, does an interesting variation on this. Rather than an actual cape, he uses the sweater tied around his neck (as part of his producer bigwig image) akin to a stage magician's cape by pulling the back of it in front of his face in imitation of this trope. He even uses it to do a couple magic tricks, like making it seem for a moment as if his head had fallen off by concealing it behind this 'cape'.
  • The Wolf Hall version of Raven Darkstar in Magical Diary whips her cape in front of her face to try and seem cool and dramatic.

    Web Videos 
  • In Acquisitions Incorporated: The "C" Team animated shorts, Trevor the Werewolf briefly does this while imitating his cousin, who is a notorious vampire.

    Western Animation 
  • Tommy from Codename: Kids Next Door tries to get the main characters to take himself seriously by donning a cape and using it to cover his face, a failed effort to look mysterious.
  • Darkwing Duck, as a parody of Batman and other vigilantes wearing fearsome cowls, likes to cover his beak with his cape.
  • Parodied by the Omicronians of Futurama, who alternately act the part of Scary Dogmatic Aliens and sitcom families. At the end of "When Aliens Attack", they all cover their faces with their capes and stroll off dramatically at the same time... walking sideways/backwards while glaring at the crowd. They try the same exit again in "The Problem With Popplers", but the effect is spoiled by the fact that Lrrr is high as a kite from the hippy he just ate.
  • Milo Murphy's Law: Mr. Kyle Draco is a teacher at Milo's school who may or may not be a vampire, adhering to a lot of the classic vampire tropes but with a mundane (yet eccentric) twist. Naturally, he assumes this pose, with a cape-like coat in the episode "Backward to School Night", because "I love the way my coat smells".
  • The villain of The Perils of Penelope Pitstop is the Hooded Claw, a Dastardly Whiplash fellow sans the twirly mustache. He conceals most of his head and face with a large hat, tall collar, and knee-length cape, which he likes to Cape Swish and peer behind because he's a Large Ham almost to Harmless Villain territory. Nonetheless, only Penelope's attached Idiot Ball keeps her from identifying the Hooded Claw as her guardian, Sylvester Sneekly.
  • The unnamed vampire in the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode "A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts" effects this after telling the gang not to enter the castle.
  • Superman: The Animated Series: Superman briefly does this when he disguises himself as Batman.

    Real Life 
  • The Northern White-Faced Owl has a very similar pose with its wing substituting for a cape. When faced with a much bigger owl, the Northern White-Faced owl dramatically twists its body sideways and hunches its wing, squinting over its shoulder at the intruder. See a demonstration here, indicated gesture starts at 1:10. The video even calls this posture the "Count Dracula Cape and Glare" at 1:40. The intended effect is probably to make the owl look like a tree branch, which kinda falls into the "blending into the shadows" application of the trope.


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