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Gold has been used by dentists as filling for cavities as well as prosthetic teeth for centuries, because of its resistance to corrosion. Gold teeth are also somewhat of a status symbol and a symbol of wealth in certain parts of the world. In Fictionland, it can also be an indicator that a character is wealthy, but characters with gold teeth tend to be villains at least most of the time, perhaps because it can also be an indicator of greed, ostentation, and conspicuous consumption. In Real Life often associated with The New Russia in Europe, since gold was commonly used in Soviet dentistry (now mostly phased out with modern ceramics).

Silver teeth seem to be less common in fiction. At times it might be accompanied by an Audible Gleam. It can be a realistic justification for a Twinkle Smile. A common feature of Pirates in fiction. Bonus points whenever it is also the given nickname of the character.

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The act of stealing these teeth for their gold can serve to make a villain especially chilling, depending on how exactly they get them. Someone who murders people for their gold teeth or pulls them from living people's heads will come across as particularly brutal, while stealing gold teeth from the dead may make the perpetrator seem far more ghoulish or unsentimental than simply going through a dead man's pockets for change would. Someone taking out their own gold teeth typically indicates extreme gratitude, charity or desperation.

A Sub-Trope of Gold Makes Everything Shiny.

Compare Purple Is Powerful.


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Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Asian Animation 
  • Motu Patlu: John the Don, a thief serving as the main villain, has several golden teeth in his mouth.

    Comic Books 
  • The Bad Eggs: Ript has a gold tooth on his upper jaw, which is visible in certain panels.
  • The Punisher: Barracuda has a row of four in his upper gums and a row of three in his lower gums, which collectively have the words "FUCK YOU" engraved on them. Unfortunately, he loses the last two to Frank, leading a guy being introduced to him asking what "fucky" means.
  • Richie Rich had his dog Dollar fitted with gold braces to correct an overbite problem, which were so shiny that they blinded would-be robbers and assailants. Of course, it also attracted the attention of a female dog, which made Dollar refuse to have his braces removed until he's passed over for another male dog.

    Film — Animated 
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: At the end of the film, when the returning crew members have incorporated their Atlantean crystals into their clothing in various ways, Cookie wears his as a crystal tooth.
  • An American Tail:
    • Warren T. Rat has a gold fang.
    • In Fievel Goes West, Cat R. Waul's evil sidekick tarantula Chula has a gold tooth.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Bloodsport, one of the Kumite staff in charge of wiping blood off the fighting platform notices a gold tooth lying there after one of the fights. He quickly grabs it, bites it and, after being satisfied that it's gold, pockets it with a big smile.
  • Death Hunt: Albert Johnson, a Yukon trapper in 1931, is wrongfully accused of being a "mad trapper" believed to be murdering people for their gold teeth. After the real Mad Trapper is shot in the face and found to be carrying a pouch full of gold teeth, the Mounties pretend it's Albert Johnson's body and let him escape.
  • In Eight Legged Freaks, at the end, the DJ character smiles to reveal a mouthful of these to indicate a Happy Ending.
  • Everything Is Illuminated: Alex has a gold tooth, but that may just be because he was played by Gogol Bordello singer Eugene Hutz, who has a gold tooth.
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Tuco, the titular "Ugly", has a prominent silver tooth.
  • Home Alone: Harry, one of the bandits, has a gold tooth that produces a rare live-action Twinkle Smile. When Kevin recognizes it, he realizes Harry was the same man posing as a police officer at the beginning of the film. It ends up getting knocked out at one point due to one of Kevin's booby traps. This turns into a Brick Joke when Kevin's dad finds it at the end of the film (but doesn't know what it is).
  • Hustle & Flow: DJay has a gold tooth and jewelry. Writer/Director Craig Brewer noted that big-name rappers typically have platinum grills and jewelry these days, but DJay is still an aspiring no-name who must hustle for every dollar he gets. Brewer says that he wants Hustle and Flow to be "a gold movie."
  • James Bond:
  • Leprechaun 2: The Leprechaun steals some whiskey and a gold tooth from a homeless man.
  • The Life Of General Villa: One scene features impoverished Mexican peasants using rocks to smash the gold teeth out of corpses left by the firing squads. Projectionists screening the movie were physically sick over footage of this event.
  • The Monuments Men: The team come across an entire barrel full of gold teeth among a depository of Nazi loot, in a chilling testament to the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis.
  • The Phantom (1996): One of the thieves in the opening action sequence has a gold tooth.
  • In Phantom of the Paradise, Winslow Leach's teeth were replaced with stainless steel metal ones after he was sent to prison.
  • Pippi Longstocking: One of the villains in the movie sings an entire musical number fantasizing about buying one.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow has several.
  • Power Rangers (2017): A hobo had gold-capped teeth. Since Rita needs gold in order to regain her strength and assemble Goldar, that hobo's remaining time alive quickly becomes measured in seconds.
  • Schindler's List:
    • The grateful Schindlerjuden craft a ring for Oskar Schindler using one guy's gold fillings. The man seemed a pretty good sport about it, as they got him very drunk so they could extract the teeth.
    • Far less heartwarmingly, earlier in the film we see piles of gold teeth among the Jewish property seized by the Nazis.
  • Snatch.: Bullet-Tooth Tony was shot six times in one sitting and survived. Doug the Head molded the bullets into gold (don't think too hard about that) and now Tony wears them as teeth.
  • Windtalkers: A soldier nicknamed "the Dentist" who steals gold teeth from battlefield corpses has to be taken out because the film was Backed by the Pentagon, even though such acts were Truth in Television.

    Literature 
  • Blood Fever: Count Carnifex owns a great amount of silver, which has provided him many artifacts made from the stuff, including a silver tooth which makes him lisp whenever he speaks.
  • Beka Cooper: Pearl Skinner has a variant in magically transmuted pearl teeth.
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz: In the first section, an ancient rumour that the Beatified Leibowitz's wife had a gold tooth plays a role in identifying her remains.
  • Discworld: Cohen the Barbarian takes this trope Up to Eleven when he has a complete set of dentures made from diamond — troll teeth are naturally made of the stuff, and he got his by punching his way out the mouth of a very big troll.
  • Geronimo Stilton: In a story where a villain is holding New Mouse City hostage in exchange for all its gold, every citizen gives up whatever little gold they have to add to the pile. In Trap's case, this means pulling a gold molar from his jaw.
  • Hercule Poirot: One story involves a man who describes such a person tailing him. Poirot later ridicules the story, pointing out how clichéd it is (and how golden teeth are decades out of use) while deducing the true motives behind the visit.
  • Old Man Hottabych has the titular genie give himself golden teeth, after seeing a man who has a few and deciding it is cool. He also does the same for his friends (two schoolboys). Of course, they don't like it, so he reverses it — for them; he keeps his own golden teeth. Later, they release his jerkass brother, who, upon seeing the golden teeth, decided to outdo it and gives himself diamond ones. He regrets it a few moments later; 32 sharp gems in your mouth isn't a pleasant experience, although he is too proud to admit it and undo the magic.
  • The Reynard Cycle: The Mandrossian mercenary Grymbart from Reynard the Fox has a silver tooth.
  • Sherlock Holmes: In "The Stockbroker's Clerk", the clerk in question realizes something's going on when he notices that his two employers are actually the same person: they both have exactly the same gold filling.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, The Dandy mercenary Naharis has one gold tooth. Mord, a jailer with totally disgusting hygene, including bad teeth, uses a generous bequest to get several gold teeth.
  • In Sven Hassel's WW2 novels, Porta and Tiny have a habit of collecting gold teeth from the corpses of those killed.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Rome: In the first episode, Octavian is kidnapped by a Gaul with gold teeth. When Pullo turns up and slaughters his captors, he uses the butt of his knife to knock out these teeth as booty.

    Music 
  • Hip-hop stars such as Flavor Flav sometimes have gold teeth; all part of the conspicuous consumption schtick.
  • Ludacris' "Roll Out (My Business)" makes mention of this trope's use in the hip-hop community:
    Now tell me who's your housekeeper, and what you keep in your house?
    What about diamonds and gold, is that what you keep in your mouth?
  • The guy running the "pay for a dance" club in the video for Pat Benatar's "Love Is a Battlefield" had one.
  • "Love Potion Number Nine" is sold by "that gypsy with the gold-capped tooth".
  • The animated music video for "What Matters" involves, among other singing drunken hallucinations, a grinning monkey with a golden fang.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer has Greasus Goldtooth, Overtyrant of the Ogre Kingdoms. His tribe, the Goldtooth Tribe, tend to replace their teeth with precious metals as a means of showing off their wealth, even going to far as to incorporate the practice into their religious observances. Ogre tribes each possess a special religious monolith, called a Mawtooth, which is carried to great ogre tribal meetings. The teeth are set up in a great ring, representing the mouth of the Ogre deity — the Great Maw. The Goldtooth tribe, naturally, has a solid gold Mawtooth, and use as their tribal emblem a ring of sharp teeth with a single golden fang, making the god displays this trope as well.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Ork Freebooters like to do this as part of their Space Pirate schtick, but special character Kaptain Badrukk takes it to another level. First, he's plated his many tusks with "priceless ur-gold" looted from an Imperial shrine world. Second, he's defeated so many rival captains that he had their teeth melted down into a suit of armor.

    Video Games 
  • The Curse of Monkey Island: Blondebeard sports such a tooth. Guybrush has to find a way to steal it.
  • Escape From St. Mary's: John must retrieve a basketball player's gold tooth for a potion.
  • Hook: Peter has two gold teeth he can have a Depraved Dentist remove so he can use the gold for currency.
  • MadWorld: The Black Baron's presumably gold (the game is in black and white) teeth spell out "DEATHWATCH". By the time this is first noticed, some of them are soon to be punched out of his mouth If you do well enough in the boss battle to spell one half of a Title Drop. In Anarchy Reigns, his teeth now say "Fuck You!"
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Red and Blue: A side-quest involves finding a man's gold dentures that he lost in the Safari Zone.
    • When Sableye mega-evolves into Mega Sableye, its teeth become gold in addition to its diamond eyes turning red and it gaining a giant ruby shield.

    Web Animation 
  • Hazbin Hotel: Angel Dust has a notable single gold tooth (or fang, more accurately).
  • Homestar Runner: The Cheat has a golden tooth and has shown it off on multiple occasions.

    Webcomics 
  • Hell(p): Marcus has one, but due to the comic's style it's only visible in promotional pictures.
  • Homestuck: Lord English, the Big Bad, has a prominent golden fang, in addition to a golden rifle and a golden pegleg. He lost the original tooth after biting off that leg.

    Web Video 
  • Video Games Awesome!: Fraser brings us his "new rap", Gold in Mah Teeth. explanation 

    Western Animation 
  • The Chipmunk Adventure: One of the villains has one, which is constantly accompanied by an Audible Gleam.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: "The Curse of Shirley" has Courage forcibly rip out his (only once-seen) gold tooth so he can charitably offer it to Shirley the Medium.
  • The Crumpets: When Granny glances at Ma's new 3D printer cloner machine, she considers cloning her gold tooth so she can buy diamond-encrusted dentures for her teeth.
  • Ducktales 2017: Della Duck has a gold tooth, which comes in handy when looking for fuel for their gold-powered ship.
  • Gravity Falls: Old Man McGucket has one.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes: Peep. He probably stole it.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Bugs Bunny: In The Wacky Wabbit, Bugs and Elmer have a gold tooth each. Elmer, who'd been digging for gold, decides to take Bugs' gold tooth instead after a frustrating series of tricks the rabbit pulls on him, but it's revealed after their struggle that Elmer has taken out his own gold tooth and Bugs still has his.
      Elmer, holding his own tooth in his hand: Euweka, gold at wast, huhuhuhuhuhuh.
    • Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs has Prince Chawmin with a mouth full of gold teeth, with his top incisors being a pair of dice.
  • Mixels: Chomly sports one thanks to his eating patterns culminating in being basically a trash compactor, so he can't chew his food properly, and ended up chipping a tooth. Meanwhile, Lewt has multiple gold and silver ones, as his teeth are made out of his treasure chest coins.
  • Mighty Man And Yukk: This is the exact given (and meaningful!) name of a villain the duo has to deal with. He actually chomps through brick walls to get the loot.
  • Peter Pan & the Pirates: One of the crocodile's fangs is made of gold. How the hell someone put that there is the matter.
  • Quack Pack: In "Ducky Dearest", the con man Dr. Chuck Homer has a gold tooth.
  • Quick Draw McGraw: In one short short, a Mexican peasant shows where his gold tooth used to be.
  • The Raccoons: Cyril Sneer, the Big Bad, has a gold fang in each side of his mouth.
  • In Sheep in the Big City, General Specific's party-loving cousin General Lee Outrageous had a gold tooth as one of the many aspects of his appearance that kept him from being completely identical to his cousin.
  • The Simpsons: In one episode, Lenny has a diamond in his tooth, courtesy of the plant's dental plan. It's promptly snatched away from him.
  • Spongebob Squarepants: When Squidward threatened to call the cops on Mr. Krabs, who had been raiding his and other peoples' houses for food to feed his whale daughter who's undergoing a growth spurt, Mr. Krabs offers to give him his gold tooth to help pay for the damages. Lampshaded by both Squidward and Spongebob who weren't even aware Mr. Krabs had a gold tooth.
  • TaleSpin: In one episode, a tiger criminal has diamond teeth.
  • Total Drama: In Total Drama World Tour, Heather gets one after Leshawna punches out one of her real teeth.
  • In VeggieTales, Mr. Lunt, who is some kind of squash, has a gold tooth and invariably plays the bad guy.

    Real Life 
  • In Animal Planet's "Weird, True, and Freaky", a man had his black short-haired persian cat undergo a procedure to reinforce its exposed front teeth with gold coating (which are turned backwards instead of inwards like ordinary cats) to protect them from external/environmental hazards.
  • This is becoming a Discredited Trope in real life; a gold cap and a porcelain/ceramic cap cost the exact same, depending on your dentist.

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