Follow TV Tropes


Good Scars, Evil Scars

Go To

"Deception. Disgrace.
Evil as plain as the scar on his face."

You can easily tell heroes from villains by their scars.

Good guys tend to scar in an attractive, fashionable manner — usually a single neat pale line, flush with the skin and placed in one of the following strategic locations: straight across one cheek, straight down from beneath the eye (popular with tough and/or grizzled characters), or straight up from the eyebrow. A scar extending up or down from the lip can happen, but it's rare as it can give a harelipped look more associated with shifty characters (and a similar scar on the other side of the lip is right out). A scar straight over the bridge of the nose has the interesting effect of looking cute and warlike at the same time. They can also have a big, raised scar or a burn, but only if it's in a place where the character has to be shirtless for you to see it. Perhaps the ultimately cliché "good guy" scar is two scars forming an X across the cheek or forehead.

Bad guys can also have fashionable scars to go show off their being evil, which blurs the playing field a bit; more often than not they have big raised slashes (often running up the face, stopping just below the eye, then continuing from the eyebrow up) and mottled, discolored burns. They are not limited to one but may have two or three scars, or be Covered with Scars; they may have a Red Right Hand in the form of a missing eye or ear, missing teeth, or a large chunk out of the nose or chin. Anything they're missing might have an Artificial Limb as a substitute, and in fact they might be so horribly scarred that they generally wear a mask over everything.

The Anti-Hero can go either way. Anti heroes sometimes tend to have a scar starting from below the eye and ending above it while the eye itself is usually intact.

This trope can be easily averted or subverted however, given that a disfiguring scar can be used to show that they've had a hard or even tragic life, or to mark an influential moment in their past.

Doesn't do well for the 'external beauty is meaningless' school of thought; it's more like Beauty Equals Goodness with respect to the relative sexiness/scariness of scars.

If the scarred person has a Love Interest (and the work is sufficiently idealistic), expect said love interest to talk at least once about how they don't care about their loved one's scars.

Compare Good Hair, Evil Hair and Knuckle Tattoos. See also Scars are Forever, Scars Are Ugly and Mark of Shame.

NOT Truth in Television, as how an individual scars is the result of age, genetics, and how the wound is cared for, while artificial limbs are much more likely to be the result of a transportation accident than an evil deed.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • In 300, Leonidas ends up with a scar from his brow to his cheek, but the eye remains intact. Delios isn't quite so lucky.
  • In Barracuda, the evil pirate Blackdog has a web of wicked looking scars crisscrossing the left side of his face (and where his left eye used to be).
  • B.P.R.D.'s Ben Daimio basically averts this — he has a massive, jagged scar running up the entire left side of his head and is missing most of his left cheek and ear, so he can't close his mouth completely. He got it from being killed by a jaguar demon, only to wake up in a body bag a few days later.
  • The DCU:
    • Aquaman: The New 52 incarnation of Black Manta has three equidistant diagonal scars on his face, implicitly from Aquaman's trident.
    • Batman:
      • Cassandra Cain, the former Batgirl, has her entire body Covered with Scars from her assassin father's pain-resistance training. This would be a subversion, except that the scars are never actually drawn unless Cassandra is partially or fully undressed. (This happens more often than you would think, but it's okay, since Comic-Book Time only kicked in for her after she became an adult.)
      • The same can be said for Batman himself, as he is covered in scars from his many battles, but they are usually only shown when he talks about them or shows them to someone.
      • Harvey Dent, a.k.a. "Two-Face", went psychotic after having acid thrown in his face, resulting in massive and freakishly asymmetrical scarring. Half of his face is ruined — and, since he's only evil about half the time, this verges on a Lampshade Hanging. His face has been repaired numerous times, almost always resulting in the dominance of the "good" personality. Sometimes he's coincidentally scarred again, resulting in the return of Two-Face; other times, he's unable to keep his dark half at bay and symbolically scars himself when he gives in to his evil impulses. Only once has an unscarred face resulted in the disappearance of the good side. In The Dark Knight Returns, his face is fully restored, but because of his madness he believes that his face has been fully scarred, once again driving him to villainy.
      • Victor Zsasz has dozens, if not hundreds of scars on his body. They're all self-inflicted; Zsasz is a Serial Killer who carves a tally mark into his skin for every victim he has.
    • In Code Name: Gravedigger, a run-in with a Nazi tank leaves Gravedigger with a cross-shaped scar across his face.
    • Deathstroke is missing his right eye, which puts him in Red Right Hand territory. On the other hand, he does keep the socket covered 100% of the time, which could be why no one can seem to agree if he's a villain or a good guy (though no one would stretch to call him a hero).
    • Hawkman: Fel Andar, the fake Hawkman, has a generic evil slash scar over one of his eyes.
    • H'el on Earth:
      • H'el, the main antagonist, has a scar over his left eye and another across the bridge of his nose. How he got them is unknown.
      • Lex Luthor has scars all over the left side of his face, caused by Superman in a previous confrontation.
    • Jonah Hex, a morally ambiguous but generally heroic bounty hunter, is massively scarred on the right side of his face, to the point that he has stringy strands of flesh over that side of his mouth.
    • Lord Havok from Justice League of America, an Alternate Company Equivalent version of Dr. Doom. An alternate version of Lord Havok is kind of borderline. Not only are his actions ultimately for the good of mankind, but his deformities (underdeveloped limbs and a disfigured face) are much more pathetic than anything else. However, he hides these disabilities behind a suit of "smart metal" and an impressive array of weaponry. He also utterly destroyed his homeland of Russia... to get back at his father, the Czar, for killing his mother.
    • Avoided in Legion of Super-Heroes: Good guy Ferro Lad's face is so scarred that he wears a mask at all times.
    • Shazam!: Captain Nazi has a long dueling scar across his face that he's very sensitive about.
    • Wonder Woman:
      • The pre-Crisis version of Doctor Cyber had her face horribly scarred in her first confrontation with Wonder Woman. It is usually hidden behind the faceplate of her Powered Armor but the injuries left her face disfigured.
      • In The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016), Alcippe has a rugged dueling scar on her right cheekbone, signifying her heroic but tough and harsh nature.
  • Bob from Get Jiro! has a scar on his upper-lip and he runs a chunk of the L.A. service industry as though he were a mafia don.
  • Inversion: Snake-Eyes, of G.I. Joe, is horrifically scarred with burns from a window that exploded from too much heat and pressure inside the vehicle it was on. He wears a mask — not from shame, but practicality (when he doesn't wear it, bystanders tend to stare and not do helpful things like duck out of the way of the crossfire) — and is unable to speak. He's firmly on the good guys' side. Though he's the type of person who can run his girlfriend through with a sword to help her cover, he strives for both honor and morality in his activities. In the G.I. Joe: Reloaded continuity, he's got scars all over his body — bullet wounds, burns, massive cuts. He's also reputedly insane.
  • The eponymous The Goon has extensive scarring to the left side of his face, although his overhanging cap and the generally shadowy art style tend to mask it
  • John Gaunt, titular character of the series Grimjack, has a classic villain scar to highlight his role as an Anti-Hero. When he leaves Heaven to inhabit a clone that someone else made of him, an explosion later on creates the scar again. Then, when he is reincarnated as Jim Twilly, he takes a broken glass bottle and scars his own eye, commenting that his face didn't look right.
  • In issue #200 of Hellblazer, protagonist John Constantine receives a single 'good scar' vertically upward on his left cheek.
  • In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Mina's throat is terribly scarred from Dracula's feedings, which plainly were a lot nastier than implied in the novel. Ironically, when she reveals this to Alan Quatermain, he's more intrigued than repelled, as he was once married to a woman who'd also suffered neck scars.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Deadpool: After an infusion of Wolverine's Healing Factor, the cancer that was killing Deadpool was cured... until it came back full force and left his entire body scarred. As a result of his body fighting the cancer off and the cancer coming back, Deadpool's scarred from head to toe — and because his cancer effectively is his healing factor, his exact scars and disfigurements shift and warp. The extent depends on the artist, ranging from light scratches to discolored patches to full-on tumors (onlookers who don't know what to expect often vomit at the sight of him unmasked). Plus, they work as both since he's somewhere between anti-hero and bad good guy.
    • Fantastic Four: Perhaps the most famous comic book "evil" example is Doctor Doom. Accounts tend to vary, but the generally accepted story is that the experiment that blew up in his handsome face in his youth only caused a small scar. However, he was so vain that he chose to cover it up forever in a steel mask. The ironic thing is that he put the mask on while it was still hot from the forge, which really messed his face up and made wearing the mask necessary.
    • Oubliette, the daughter of villain Doctor Midas in Grant Morrison's Marvel Boy, wears a mask to hide her facial scarring; the Evil Scar trope is subverted after she rebels against Midas, at which point it's revealed that her face is normal, except for a rather clean fencing scar her father gave her.
    • The Punisher: Jigsaw is so named because the Punisher threw him face-first through a plate glass window, leaving him with a massive amount of patchwork scars across his face. Making it worse is that he was previously renowned as incredibly handsome.
    • Ultimate Marvel:
      • In the Ultimate Doomsday Trilogy, Johnny Storm burns off half of Reed Richard's face when he turns evil, though it does eventually begin to heal. By the time of Secret Wars (2015) it's been reduced to a few small scars.
      • Ultimate X-Men: John Wraith leads Weapon X, which basically amounts to a mutant concentration camp. Wolverine once slashed him in the face.
    • Havok from X-Men once had a large scar running down the right side of his face, leaving his eye intact, which fangirls have said makes him look sexier. This scar has since mysteriously disappeared.
    • Perfect Storm from X-Men Forever has a huge scar that came right across her face and between her eyes as a result of Kitty slashing her across the face in retaliation for Storm killing Logan.
  • Preacher:
    • Herr Starr is, by the end of the series, lacking one eye, one ear, one leg, his genitals, and has a scar on his bald head that makes him a walking penis joke. The eye scar is particularly ominous.
    • The title character loses an eye partway through the comics.
  • In Robyn Hood, Robyn has a dramatic scar over her left eye where Cal King cut her eye out after raping her. (Her blind eye now also magically glows, which adds to the dramatic effect.)
  • Sin City:
    • John Hartigan has a distinctive good-guy scar in his forehead... yep, also in the shape of an "X", whereas the villainous Manute has a horrible glass eye to replace the one that Marv ripped out of him in "A Dame to Kill For".
    • Marv has plenty of his own scars, but he is a bad good guy.
  • Darca Nyl, patron saint of Good Feels Good in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, is absolutely covered in scars of the good and evil varieties, including some on his back, souvenirs of his old mercenary life. In some scenes they're de-emphasized.
  • Flynn "Flyin'" Ryan from Steelgrip Starkey and the All-Purpose Power Tool is a Vietnam War veteran with a scarred "R" in his forehead. It was done out of defiance when he and his fellow prisoners were ordered to make an anti-American propaganda video.
  • Early in the mid-to-late '90s Image Comics run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Mirage), Raphael has half his face shot off by the Foot Clan and spends the rest of the run resembling Two-Face.
  • In The Trigan Empire, Trigo's simple warrior brother has a very macho bashed-in nose. He is a good guy, but in one story is seduced into evil by the horrible Darak, who has a long scar straight across his eye.
  • Usagi Yojimbo:
    • Usagi has a curved scar over his left eye. He received it during the battle where he lost his feudal lord and as a result of which he became a Rōnin.
    • Usagi's rival Gennosuke, a rhinoceros, is missing most of his horn after an encounter with the blind pig swordsman Zato-Ino.
    • Zato-Ino himself had his snout cut off in his first appearance and has used a carved wood substitute since.
  • XIII, from the comic of the same name, has a bullet ricochet off his head that makes him lose his memory. The only result, however, is an elegant streak of grey over his temple.
  • Y: The Last Man: Other Beth has a scar running across the bridge of her nose, presumably an impact injury from her plane crash. And Hero's mastectomy scar is a permanent reminder to her of the atrocities she committed as a Daughter of the Amazon.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Haruhi Suzumiya fanfic Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kasai has a long scar above both eyes that crosses the bridge of his nose. It's usually concealed beneath his glasses, so it's only shown when he's on duty Tsuruya's bodyguard.
  • In the Harry Potter fanfic British Import, the Death Eater, Cocytus, has a standard evil slash scar on his eye... Mostly to signify that he's evil. The other dead giveaway is that he's FRENCH.
    • Remus Lupin is often depicted as having scars in Fanfiction. This is probably because the movie version had two diagonal scars across his face, although whether Lupin also has other scars depends on the fanfic writer.
  • In the Total Drama fanfic Keepers of the Elements, Radcliffe has a pretty evil-looking scar under his left eye which he got, courtesy of Aideen. Never mess with the Fire Keeper indeed.
  • Queen of All Oni: Jade gets one of the fashionable evil kind when Ikazuki slashes her across the forehead as punishment; the scar is described as dividing her forehead in half, but also as being a "pencil line" in width.
  • Played with in Sanctuary (The Lion King), where Rayan pushes Sarana away from an acid flare but gets hit by it in the process. He nearly dies and gets horrific scars that cover most of his body, ruin his face and render him permanently sterile. So in this case, the scars make him look evil, but they're actually a sign of his compassion. (He justifiably angsts about it, though.)
    "I don't have any friends."
The words came out as a rush. "No one at all?" "They try to avoid me." Rayan bit his lip. "It's because of how I look." "Lymo was silent." "Whenever I go out with father on patrol, you can see how they stare at me, like I'm some kind of—of thing. They talk about me behind my back, I know they do, I've heard it, all the time. I feel like everyone's just waiting to watch me fall and say, 'Hey, look at the freak.'"
  • Kurosaki Karin gets one sometime before the Bleach fanfic, Chasing the Moon after spending ten years in the Eleventh Division. It's an X-shaped scar on her left shoulder, that's usually hidden until she strips down to Sarashi.
  • In Bringing Me To Life Max has two faded scars on either side of his stomach. He was given them when he was five or six years old by his abusive dad for wanting to help his Grandmom cook.
  • Naruto in History's Strongest Shinobi. After a really bad run in with Appachai at age 12, he has a rather nasty scar running diagonally from his shoulder to his waist. Naruto (at age 16) is very self-conscious about it and it's noted he never goes shirtless, even in the shower.
  • In Angel of the Bat, The Seraphim has a scar of a cross cut into the side of his mouth courtesy of The Joker. The fact that its only mentioned in a flashback either means his helmet covers it or it’s a sign of sloppy writing.
  • The Flash Sentry Chronicles:
    • Flash is scarred during his battle with Sombra, leaving a giant X shaped scar across his chest.
    • When an adult Future Badass version of Flash's apprentice, Fire Heart, travels back in time he is seen with a long scar on his right hoof. When Flash asks him about it and how he got it, Heart avoids answering due to not wanting to risk changing the timeline. The present kid version of Fire Heart eventually gets the exact same scar himself at the end of School's in Session when he takes his cast off, revealing that it was an injury he received from when he defeated Void using the Link Gems and Master Gem.
  • Inverted in the How to Train Your Dragon fic Black As Night; when Hiccup is blinded when Astrid accidentally hits him in the face with her half-melted axe, he is left with very disfiguring scars that shock the entire village council when he removes his blindfold, and Astrid gains less noticeable but still significant scars on her hands when she burns herself while trying to save Hiccup’s leg.
  • A more graphic example of a scarred Hiccup is in the fic The Phantom of the Arena; a solo confrontation with the Red Death left Hiccup with practically his entire right side covered in burns, to the point that even years after treatment the burns still dull his sense of touch on that side and he can no longer grow hair on that part of his body.
  • In Voyages of the Wild Sea Horse, the Giant-supremacism preaching Ahab Tempos has some very nasty scars radiating out from the empty hollow where his eye once was. He is subsequently revealed to be the murderer who has been terrorizing the giants of Shay-Lot, having been murdering any giant who began to express an interest in his teachings in order to provoke so much fear and hate that the island as a whole would embrace them.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Lion King: Naturally, the villainous Scar has a large vertical scar across his left eye. Later inverted in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, where Kovu gains a scar identical to Scar's during his Heel–Face Turn, which functions as a symbol of everything he's pledged not to become. It's then invoked when the other animals treat it as a Mark of Shame anyway.
  • In The Land Before Time, the original villain Sharptooth (and his TV show parallel Red Claw) have a jagged red scar across one eye. Doc, a good guy in the 6th movie, has a similar scar, but it's thin and contrasts less with the skin.
  • Gill from Finding Nemo has a classic evil scar on his right eye. It's actually very large and jagged, extending across his mouth and includes some damage to his right fin. Despite the fact that he actually is a good guy, Pixar uses all the basic tools they can, scars included, to paint him as a villain.
  • WALL•E: AUTO's "face" appears to be made up of two white pieces, split through the "eye".
  • In The Book of Life, upon closer inspection, there are some scars on Xibalba's wings. Word of God explained he received them from burnt angel wings.
  • The main character Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon 2 has a small, short scar on his chin that's hard to notice unless the camera's zoomed in on his face (which he sustained from Cloudjumper when he was an infant) and he's missing his left foot at the lower shin. Compare him to the Big Bad Drago Bludvist, who has multiple nasty laceration scars on his face and is missing his left arm at the shoulder.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Anger of the Dead: Rooker has a scar on the left side of his face. He got it when he was a kid from his dad as punishment for not taking care of the cows for a week like his dad asked him to, causing them to be starved and dehydrated, to death in the case of some of them.
  • Avatar has Colonel Badass Miles Quaritch, who has three scars across the side of his head from his first day at Pandora. He claims that while the doctors could fix it, he decided to keep them to remind him of Everything Trying to Kill You and to not get soft.
  • In AVP: Alien vs. Predator, the last remaining scientist Alexa accepts a pair of calligraphy-clean "good scars" on her cheek as an acknowledgment of her level up during the course of the movie, the scars serving as a symbol of a Predator 'youth' having ascended to adulthood by defeating a Xenomorph. Of course, this probably saves her life in the end, because the other Predators recognize the mark and understand she's one of the good guys.
  • Brimstone: The evil Reverend is introduced to the audience with a nasty scar across his left eye. We later discover how he got the scar in a segment that chronologically takes place several years before the opening one: his fugitive daughter tried to fight him off with a knife when he had returned to make her his bride.
  • Casablanca's Victor Laszlo has a classic Good Scar: a thin, dark line crossing right eyebrow.
  • In The Crow, Eric Draven's return from the grave gifts him with a healing factor that prevents him from gaining any new scars — but the scars from the bullets that killed him remain clearly visible on his chest when shirtless.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • In The Dark Knight, The Joker sports a nasty Glasgow Grin, which he accentuates with red lipstick. He even offers to explain to his victims how he got his scars, though his story is different every time. And then there's Two-Face...eurgh.
    • Good guy Bruce Wayne also sports multiple scars throughout his body from his expeditions as Batman. Naturally, though, these scars are conveniently in places that would be easily hidden by a shirt. It's also hinted that the reason he has scars is because he tried to fix some of said wounds himself, not even waiting for Alfred to stitch them up for him.
  • In The Debt, Rachel has a rather jagged scar across her face from her fight with a Nazi. It's a mark of shame for her, since she let the Nazi get away and then lied about it.
  • In Dredd, Big Bad Ma-Ma has a nasty facial scar that was inflicted by her pimp, whom she killed in retaliation for the wound before taking over his business.
  • The Dreaded Strelnikov in Doctor Zhivago sports a scar down half his face, received during the Cossack assault on the protest early in the film. What's interesting is that it starts as a heroic scar, but seeing his peaceful rally massacred is also what drives him toward violent extremism, and by the time he reappears, it's turned into an evil scar.
  • There is an intermission in the 1961 film El Cid which corresponds to Rodrigo's years of exile from the Spanish court. When we first see him after the story resumes, the formerly clean-shaven hero has acquired a gray-streaked beard and a scar that runs diagonally from beneath his right eye to his jawline.
  • O'Hara in Enter the Dragon who received a big scar down the right side of his face from Lee's grandfather when he tried to rape Su Lin, Lee's sister.
  • When Dr. Weir comes back for the final showdown in the gravity chamber in Event Horizon, he's completely bald, completely naked, and has nasty scars all over him.
  • In Frankenstein 1970, Victor von Frankenstein has a wicked scar down his left check that puckers around his seemingly sightless left eye. It comes as no surprise to learn he is a Mad Scientist.
  • The Funhouse Massacre: Jeffrey "Animal The Cannibal" Rameses has a scar on his right eye from when a woman he intended to cut up and serve to his customers stabbed him in the eye with a fork.
  • Highlander: The Kurgan is the film’s scary, evil villain who delights in all the killing he does. When Ramirez slices his neck, he picks up a large, prominent scar because immortals’ necks don’t fully heal. He ups the ick factor by wearing large metal safety pins on it.
  • In High Noon, Big Bad Frank Miller spends most of the film offstage. Some townsfolk even defend him and insist that he's not so bad. When he finally arrives at the film's climax, he sports ugly scars to prove that he is in fact a bad guy.
  • In The Hobbit the orc warlord Azog has numerous scars running along his chest and face. Given that many of them are symmetrical they may be self-inflicted as a sort of very painful tattoo.
  • Indiana Jones bears a horizontal scar below his bottom lip, which he acquired as a boy in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when attempting to crack a bullwhip. (In reality, actor Harrison Ford got the scar in a car accident at age 20.)
  • Inglourious Basterds: The Basterds carved scars shaped like swastikas into the foreheads of Nazis they captured and kept alive.
  • In Iron Man 2 Ivan has the traditional scar down his eye.
  • James Bond:
    • The Big Bad in GoldenEye has burn scars on one side of his face, which he got as a result of being too close to an explosion set off by Bond several years earlier. In a later Bond film, Die Another Day, one of the bad guys is holding a case of diamonds rigged with an explosive, which detonates. He survives, but the blast has permanently embedded several of the diamonds in his face.
    • After having been The Faceless in previous films, the head of SPECTRE, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, is finally introduced in You Only Live Twice being bald and having a long vertical scar which passes through his right eye. In the rebooted timeline, he has the same scar that isn't fully healed up and is also partially blind, courtesy of Bond destroying SPECTRE's Saharan base in Spectre. Blofeld barely managed to escape shortly before the entire base blew up.
    • In Quantum of Solace, Bond Girl Camille Montes has a burn scar given to her by the film's Big Bad. It's a reminder of her desire for revenge, but is usually not in sight to diminish her ravishing good looks.
  • Lady Ninja Kaede: Genzaburou, Kichiemon's lieutenant in running the rape ring, has a wicked scar running down his cheek.
  • Last Man Standing: Hickey's nasty scar across his eye.
  • MonsterVerse:
    • Godzilla, who is overall quite heroic in this continuity, is covered in big red scars. This calls to mind the original design philosophy Toho had, in that his skin was supposed to resemble the keloid scars that the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings developed.
    • Kong likewise has three visible scars across his torso which he earned at some point before his debut in Kong: Skull Island, presumably due to his regular battles to maintain his territory's balance. After getting viciously mauled by Godzilla in Godzilla vs. Kong, it's looking likely that Kong will have some new scars on his chest in the future.
    • The Queen MUTO which debuted in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) is shown in this Instagram post by the director to be Covered with Scars. It's a case of Good Scars in the end when she becomes the only MUTO to bow down to Godzilla instead of fighting him to the death.
  • In Pacific Rim, Raleigh has numerous, neat burn scars over his chest and arms from his battle from Knifehead. Hanniball Chau has an ugly scar directly across one eye from an incident at an Anti-Kaiju shelter.
  • Grenouille, the Villain Protagonist of Perfume bears a number of scars from his life as a tanner's apprentice. His brutish master is covered in them, giving him a monstrous appearance.
  • In The Phantom (1996), The Dragon Quill has a scar on his cheek in the shape of the Phantom's skull ring, from where the previous Phantom punched him.
  • Some film versions The Phantom of the Opera have him scarred due to acid burns. The actual book averts this, though: he was born with a deformed face.
  • Many pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean sport scars, but then again, with the lifestyle of a pirate, it's to be expected. Notable scarred characters are Barbossa who has a scar over his right eye and Captain Sao Feng who has a sideways "A" shaped scar on his bald head. Sparrow has the "P" burn on his forearm that Beckett gave to him, although it's covered most of the time. Originally it was going to be on his forehead as such brands were done, but the writers thought that, even if it was hidden under his bandanna, the audience would never forget it after The Reveal, and it would just distract the hell out of everybody. Let's not even mention that he'd then have p on his head.
    • Jack also sports two black bullet wound scars on his chest and a large branched scar on the inside of his left forearm.
  • In Platoon, Sgt. Barnes has a nasty scar that zig-zags all up and down the right side of his face.
  • Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride is pretty much a textbook example of Good Scars: two straight, clean lines, one on each cheek. They were given to him as a lesson by the man who killed his father in front of him when he was a child. It should be mentioned, however, that Inigo starts off as an antagonistic mook, having been hired by Vizzini to help kidnap Buttercup, and in the book, Inigo's scars are described as two vertical lines that cross over his eyes (the Six-Fingered Man was apparently skilled enough to miss the eyes themselves) and continue down almost to his jaw.
  • John Rambo's torso is crisscrossed with good scars that he received from being cut by an interrogator while he was a prisoner of war.
  • Bad guys Gunn and Miss Poinsettia start to compete for the nastiest scar in The Return of Swamp Thing.
  • In Revenge (2017), Jen's ordeal leaves her with heavy burn scars on her back and stomach, with the latter taking the shape of a stylized phoenix. They do remarkably little to detract from her beauty and just make her look unspeakably badass instead.
  • In Romasanta: The Werewolf Hunt, crazed Hunter Trapper Antonio has three parallel scars across his eye and down the right side of his face from the wolf attack that he believes transformed him into a werewolf.
  • Subverted in Scarface (1983), where Tony Montana has a huge scar on one side of his face; at the very beginning of the film, he says he got it in an accident when he was a child.
  • Lila Lash, the evil landlady from The Sinful Dwarf, has a big nasty scar on her cheek to signify her villainy.
  • Rare female example: Latika, the love interest in Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, is attacked with knives by vengeful gangsters who, presumably, intend to disfigure her as punishment for running away from her crime-lord boyfriend — and receives a perfect slim, elegant slash down the side of her face that actually manages to accentuate her high cheekbones.
  • In Spider-Man 3, when Harry gets knocked around by Spidey early on and temporarily turns good from Easy Amnesia, he doesn't even have a bruise — as Mary Jane points out. Later, after going back to the dark side, Harry fights Peter again, and gets a horrible facial scar when one of his own pumpkin bombs explodes at close range after Peter throws it back at him. At the end of the movie, he undergoes a Heel–Face Turn, but he's still scarred, and sure enough, Redemption Equals Death.
  • Star Trek:
    • Dr. Tolian Soran, the main baddie of Star Trek: Generations has a long windy scar down the middle of his face.
    • Star Trek (2009): Nero, the villain, has some pretty evil scars on his head, including two rows of tooth marks and a missing chuck of ear. Many more Romulans were going to feature scars, but J. J. Abrams vetoed their character designs out of fear of invoking this trope.
  • Star Wars:
    • Darth Vader is (supposedly) so scarred and mutilated he can't survive long without being entirely encased in a pressurized suit of life support systems and has four artificial limbs. He chooses to armor this suit and uses it to make himself more intimidating.
      • Before Anakin became Darth Vader and was pretty much made of scar tissue and mechanical replacement parts, he had a scar on the left side of his face near his eye and had already lost one arm.
    • Han Solo and Luke Skywalker both have minor facial disfigurations (due to the real-life actors' accidents) and Luke also has an artificial hand that is almost completely indistinguishable from a real one, at least until The Force Awakens. It's easily distinguishable when Rey finds him, but then he's been living on an island for a while and it's probably justified that he wouldn't bother keeping it maintained.
    • Compare the cut Rey gets on her arm in The Last Jedi to Kylo Ren's lightsaber scar, that starts on his forehead and winds all the way down his neck and to his chest, or to Snoke's massive facial crater. And of course, there is Finn's scar in the back. Where it's not even visible.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • The Shredder from the first Ninja Turtles has several scars across his lips from being clawed by Splinter when he was still a normal rat. Oroku Saki returned the favor by cutting off part of Splinter's right ear.
    • The Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), sports quite a few facial scars.
  • Averted, at least partly, in Unforgiven. Delilah has severe scars on her face after being savagely attacked by a cowboy. She is still beautiful, and William Munny makes a point of telling her so, but the scars are definitely ugly.
  • It is implied that V from V for Vendetta is covered in burns he received from his escape of the concentration camp. He normally wears a full-body outfit as well as gloves and a mask to cover himself, but his scarred hands are briefly seen when he cooks breakfast.
  • In The Vikings, Einar loses an eye to a hawk and begins his descent into evil from there (or embraces it more openly, at least). Eric loses a hand as reward for a noble deed and ends up the hero of the story.
  • When Trumpets Fade: The imposing German squad leader seen a few times has a nasty scar below his right eye.
  • Slugworth in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory has a facial scar to compliment his Villainous Cheekbones. Of course, he's eventually revealed to not be the real Mr. Slugworth, but rather a good guy who works for Wonka and tempted the kids as a Secret Test of Character.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): Doctor Poison wears a porcelain mask on her lower left jaw that covers the intense scarring on her face.
  • Azazel from X-Men: First Class has a vertical scar across his left eye. Also two on his right cheek, and one on the right side of his upper lip. And, of course, works for the Big Bad.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5 has two examples. In the first season episode Eyes we have Col. Ari Ben-zayn, an Evil Brit with a wicked scar starting below his eye, and continuing down the cheek past his mouth. It's such a long and deep scar that it obviously affects his facial movements on that side. In Ceremonies of Light and Dark, a third season episode, there's Boggs, a bad guy with a similar scar to Ben-zayn's. However, this one wasn't put on the character on purpose, it's a real scar (the actor got knifed in the face in real life when he dove into a crowd to prevent a rape).
  • All of the werewolves in Being Human have a scar of some kind from the initial werewolf attack. George's scars are large (several long scratches), but they're conveniently on his shoulder so they're easily hidden by a shirt. Nina's scars are on her forearm (also several long scratches), so they can be covered by clothes, though not as conveniently. However, her case is still a subversion because she is a burn victim, having burns all across her stomach.
  • Several characters on Boardwalk Empire: Pearl's face is slashed by a gangster in an act of revenge, in direct violation of Beauty Is Never Tarnished, and she is Driven to Suicide over it. Richard Harrow, shown in a dream sequence to be quite handsome, lost nearly the entire left side of his face in World War I, causing him to wear a rather unsettling painted mask, held in place with glasses. Al Capone is also scarred (accurate to real life) as a result of a bar fight, although he claims they're from the war. He's the most 'evil' of the three, but the most mildly scarred, and he doesn't seem to mind it anyway, sarcastically saying that he's "still beautiful."
  • Buffyverse:
    • In the alternate universe seen in "The Wish", Doppel Buffy has a classic evil scar, extending from above her mouth, through both her lips, and down to her chin. This serves to remind us that without The Power of Friendship, the Slayer is no fun at all.
    • The mainstream Buffy also has a vampire bite scar on the left side of her neck from when the Master bit her, though both Angel and Dracula have bitten her in the exact same spot as well, and we only actually see the scar after Angel bites her.
    • Spike has a very hard-to-see scar on his left eyebrow. This is because James Marsters has it in real life and they decided to keep it in because it made the character look cooler. They had to work his vampire makeup around it and ended up accentuating it whenever he puts on his gameface. Explained in a comic book limited series as being tagged with a magical weapon so even being a vampire wouldn't heal it up right.
    • The Leader of the Three has a scar over his eye ("Angel"), as does Kakistos ("Faith, Hope, and Trick"). The latter's scar is a memento from Faith, whose Watcher was slain by Kakistos.
    • General Voll has the Twilight symbol carved all over his chest.
    • Wesley also has a scar, this one of the Anti-Hero variety, a thin red line on his neck, from when Justine cut his throat and took Conner from him. It's not always noticeable, though.
  • Castle:
    • Kate Beckett has a neat, circular scar in the middle of her chest from when she was shot in the Season 3 finale which is almost always covered.
    • In one episode, a squatter describes someone as having a crescent-shaped scar on his face. Beckett doesn't buy it because it sounds like he's just trying to make up a stereotypical thug. Later they find the scarred man (dead), and when Ryan is reading off his file, he starts it out by saying "Not one to waste such a sinister-looking scar..."
  • Cobra Kai: Eli has a scar on his lip from repairing a cleft palate, which is used to play up his role as a bullying victim and vulnerable Nice Guy. At first. The further Eli descends into the "Hawk" persona, the more his scars get used for intimidation, both by the character and the showrunners.
  • An UnSub in Criminal Minds, Goehring, has a scar under his eye that stretches horizontally along the natural wrinkles in his face. In an attempt to take Goehring's place after his suicide, Frost intentionally duplicates the scar.
  • Doctor Who:
  • In Dollhouse, Dr. Saunders has numerous thin scars across her face as a result of an attack by Alpha. They seem to be getting less noticeable each episode, and really don't do much to detract from her beauty.
    • In the original unaired pilot, her scars were a lot worse, so one would assume that Executive Meddling played a role in dialing it down a bit.
    • In reason episodes, this was revealed to be the MO of the person Alpha was before he became an Active; he inflicted this on a kidnapping victim he didn't manage to kill. Later on, he did it to Victor, too.
  • Game of Thrones universe:
    • Game of Thrones:
      • Near the end of Season 3, after Jon can’t bring himself to kill an old man to prove his loyalty to the Wildlings, they become suspicious and a fight between Jon and the Wildlings ensues, during which Jon and Wildling warg Orell battle in a fight-to-the-death, which ends when Jon literally and figuratively twists the knife (revealing he was loyal to the Night’s Watch all along) upon stabbing Orwell. Orell’s eagle, warged by Orwell, proceeds to claw and peck Jon's face and attempts (but fails) to take an eye. This leaves Jon with some photogenic talon scars around his eyes, befitting his status as a sympathetic action hero.
      • The slash Tyrion receives across his face thanks to a Bodyguard Betrayal is downplayed from the source material into a scar that looks somewhere between an Anti-Hero Scar and an Evil Scar both for practical reasons and to keep him looking sympathetic. Margaery comments that they actually lend a dashing look and don't detract from his appearance.
      • The Thenns are characterized by their bald heads and scary, ornamental scars that make them look Obviously Evil, which they are.
      • Brienne ends up inverting this after Locke's bear leaves her with a nasty-looking set of massive claw scars on her neck.
      • Locke sports a big evil one along his right eye.
      • Rorge is a sadistic criminal who enjoys a spot of rape, so his nasty facial scars fall firmly on the 'evil' side.
      • Sandor's horribly disfigured face can be... off-putting to say the least.
      Sandor: (to Sansa) Look at me! Stannis is a killer. The Lannisters are killers. Your father was a killer. Your brother is a killer. Your sons will be killers some day. The world is built by killers, so you better get used to looking at them.
    • House of the Dragon: Aemond Targaryen didn't just lose his left eye, the brawl with the Velaryon children of Rhaenyra as a child also left a scar that runs both north and south of his empty eye socket. He appears to be intelligent, very skilled with a sword and unhinged when it comes to trying to literally take an eye for an eye to Lucerys Velaryon.
  • Alternate-future Peter of Heroes has a pretty evil-looking scar that runs the length of his face between his eyes (despite being able to completely heal any wound instantly). But he's an Anti-Hero in that timeline, so he can get away with it.
    • It's also possible that Alternate!Peter never met Claire and therefore can't heal, or that he got the scar before meeting her.
    • Or he may have deliberately not healed it, since (at least at the beginning of the episode) he is deeply embittered and apathetic about the possibility of changing anything by using powers.
  • The Hexer:
    • Geralt has a deep scar on his cheek, showing the hardships of witchering. Plus there are various other scars all over his body (and their number keeps increasing), due to his dedication to his craft.
    • Old Witcher has a scar running from his forehead through his right eye and cheek, to show his experience, but it is not disfiguring in the same time.
    • For contrast, Gwidon has a nasty, star-shaped scar around right corner of his lips, that does disfigure him. When he embraces Falwick identity, it is further combined with Bald of Evil.
    • And of course the asshole that is Tailes gains a scar across of his face, after hitting himself with his own sword during a sham duel against Geralt - a mark of shame, but also enhancing his image as a no-gooder.
    • Variety of mercenaries, cutthroats and knights of the White Rose have their faces covered with scars - the worse they are, the more scarred their faces.
    • The Pox-Faced Mannote  from episode four not only has his face dotted with pox scars, but he also has a nasty, disfiguring scar from a cut running across entire left side of his face. He is introduced stealing Geralt's belongings when the witcher is busy fighting a basilisk tormenting the nearby village and then threatens Borch with a knife when told to stop.
  • Exception: in Highlander: The Series:
    • Kronos, probably the most megalomaniacal Card-Carrying Villain immortal out there (and leader of the Four Horsemen), has a classic good guy scar: a single line, clean, starting above his eye and ending below it without damaging the eye itself.
    • Kalas, Season 3’s Big Bad, plays it straight. He has a prominent neck scar from Duncan’s previous attempt to kill him. It ruined his singing voice as well and left him with a case of Evil Sounds Raspy.
  • General Burkhalter (one of the more competent officers) in Hogan's Heroes has a long scar running down from just above his ear to his jawline.note  Klink also has a dueling scar somewhere, but given that this is Klink it's probably on his back.
  • The title character of House is missing a massive chunk of his right thigh. To complement his Anti-Hero character, the injury is disfiguring and unpleasant to see (bad), but hidden by his clothes (good). He had the option to lose the leg and get a prosthetic, a "bad" scar, but refused. Ultimately, the disfiguring surgery was chosen against his will, causing him lifelong pain and suffering, a heroic trait, but he uses it as an excuse to be an amoral misfit, like a villain. He also has a noticeable scar on his neck after getting shot in the finale of Season 2.
  • John Locke of Lost has a scar over his right eye that he received during the plane crash. This is part of the tease in the very first few episodes implies Locke to be some sort of serial killer. Ultimately he's revealed to be a very kind and heroic guy.
  • Porthos in The Musketeers has a noticable scar across his left eye.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Prince Charming has one on his chin when he first meets his future wife Snow in an encounter. Jefferson has a long gruesome scar around his neck where he was decapitated during his time in Wonderland. He hides it with a scarf in Storybrooke.
    • Evil Queen Regina has a scar on her upper lip. While not disfiguring, its placement does make it pretty noticeable. This is a scar actress Lana Parrilla has in real life (she got it in a dog attack when she was ten years old), as of yet its origin in-universe has not been given.
  • In Person of Interest, the aptly-nicknamed Scarface has a large, instantly recognisable scar curving down from his right eye. He's also a ruthless hitman, chief enforcer, and the all-round trusted second-in-command of a Mafia don. Though, in keeping with the moral greyness of the series, he and his boss have helped our protagonists out more than once, and in the episode that he dies, we find out that he got the scar as a kid when he killed his father to protect his mother.
  • The character Elsa from Power Rangers: Dino Thunder has a 'bad' black, stitched scar from her lip down her chin. Ironically, it looks quite a bit like a 'good' scar and doesn't make her ugly in any way.
  • Sharpe: Captain "Sweet William" Frederickson of the 95th Rifles has some of the most horrific scarring seen on TV, including half a Glasgow Grin, several lost teeth, burn scars across most of his head and a lost eye, but is not only a good guy, but one of Sharpe's best friends, as well as a straight up Genius Bruiser.
  • Stargate SG-1: Similar to the Buffy example above, Jack O'Neill has a scar on one of his eyebrows. How noticeable it is varies from episode to episode.
  • StarTrek:
    • Avoided in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, when the real (i.e. good) General Martok had a missing eye and many scars across his face. (He received the scar as a result of his capture, though — and of course, he's a Klingon, member of the archetypal Proud Warrior Race, so the rules are a bit different.)
    • However, in Star Trek: The Original Series, the (evil) Lieutenant Sulu of the Mirror Universe has a scar running down the side of his face.
    • Mirror Tucker had scars/burns from delta radiation due to that universe's less-that-safe warp technology. The scars were an homage to "The Menagerie", where Captain Pike was crippled and badly disfigured by the same type of radiation.
    • In Star Trek: Picard: Heroic and kind Hugh retains some facial scarring from his time as a Borg, but they are faint and frame his handsome face nicely. The Xbs in his charge, however, have deeper scars to a various degree, and even though they are victims not monsters, they are subject to Fantastic Racism.
  • While the boys on Supernatural are surprisingly scar-free, Dean has a permanent handprint on his shoulder, from when Castiel "gripped him tight and raised him from perdition." The handprint was healed by Castiel in the Season 5 finale.
  • DI Frost from A Touch of Frost has a fairly prominent bullet scar on the left side of the head from the depressed and drunken act of stupidity that earned him the George Cross.
  • The Wire:
    • Anti-Hero Omar Little has a thin scar running from over his left eyebrow to his right cheek, (which is an actual scar that actor Michael K Williams has) with a similar diagonal scar across his chest.
    • Also, sociopathic drug kingpin/mass murderer Marlo Stanfield has a large curved scar running down his left cheek. The result is that if you're looking at Marlo straight on or from the other side you'd never know it was there, but if you see him from the scarred side he looks pretty horrific, which is very appropriate for his character.
  • Alex Krycek, recurring bad guy of The X-Files, is missing an arm.

  • The titular character from The General by Dispatch "grew a beard as soon as he could to cover the scars on his face." There is no further description of the General, but he is definitely a good man.
  • Steely Dan:
    • "Pepe has a scar from ear to ear / he will make your mug shots disappear" ("Sign in Stranger")
    • Also, from the song "My Rival": "He's got a scar across his face / and he wears a hearing aid / Sure he's a jolly roger / until he answers for his crime"

    Professional Wrestling 
  • When a wrestler bleeds from the forehead, it is typically the result of "blading", the practice of hiding a razor blade in your wristbands or taped wrists, and secretly pulling it out to cut yourself during a match to "sell" a particular attack as especially vicious. Many wrestlers who frequently blade, such as Dusty Rhodes, Brother Ray and Brother Devon of Team 3D, and "Hardcore" Wrestlers, sport very noticeable puffy scar tissue on their foreheads, indicating they are frequent bladers. This typically garners them huge respect among "hardcore" fans.
  • Barago in the Japanese series Garo has an x shaped scar across his face...and he is evil.

  • Survival of the Fittest:
    • Viktor Kurchatov is horribly scarred more or less all over his body from being burned. He's both depraved and bonkers. Bobby Jacks may be a subversion in that he possessed a scar of the 'straight across the cheek' variety before the game.
    • Blood Boy could also count as an extreme example, as well. He covers a heavily mutilated face with a mask. And he's also fairly Ax-Crazy.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse: Baron Blade's scar gets worse and worse with each appearance of his. By contrast, when he comes back as the (sort-of) heroic Luminary, his scar is completely gone.

    Visual Novels 
  • Famicom Detective Club:The Missing Heir manages to both have a subversion and an inversion. The protagonist is identified as the child of the missing Yuri Ayashiro, due to sporting a nasty-looking burn mark on his right shoulder that he received while she was rescuing him from a fire, as a baby. The game's culprit, Kyonosuke Kanda, has a more subtle but no less noteworthy set of scratch marks on his left cheek, when he had a scuffle with Azusa Kasuga. Noteworthy, because he was "known" as Amachi up to that point.
  • You can tell that Kennyo of Ikemen Sengoku is the Big Bad (albeit more the tragic kind than the card-carrying kind) of that game just by looking at him and the giant scar running across his face, especially in contrast to Shingen and Kenshin who oppose the main character's Azuchi friends but have unscarred countenances and are depicted as more honorable and less dangerous than Kennyo.
  • Hanako Ikezawa of Katawa Shoujo is a prime example of the "horrendous scar as mark of tragedy" subversion. The right side of her body bears the burn scars of a fire that took her parents from her at a young age, leaving the poor girl a nervous wreck and an extreme Shrinking Violet.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All, when Matt Engarde reveals his true nature, the revelation is punctuated by him pulling back the hair covering the right side of his face to reveal nasty-looking scars across his eye, when he is sweating at the end of his case and unable to keep the hair back fully, the same scars make him look pathetic.
    • Also in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney: Kristoph Gavin has a scar on the back of his right hand, a long thin line across the width of his hand with smaller lines across it. When he tenses up, the way the muscles in his hand flex look kind of like sunken eyes, making the scar look like the mouth of a skull.
    • And we can't forget the most impressive one: Shelly De Killer, which has one that goes across his face, forehead to chin.
  • Shiki of Tsukihime has a large scar on his chest from being stabbed and killed by the eventual Big Bad, normally hidden from sight by his shirt.

    Web Animation 
  • Oran of Broken Saints fame has the common vertical eye (or "tear") scar, made in his youth during an attack from American bombers in the first Gulf War. Early on in the series, he gives his childhood friend Hassan one to match whilst suffering from cabin fever and copious amounts of guilt.
  • Dreamscape: Izane is a good guy and has a scar across his left eye.
  • Averted in Red vs. Blue by York's scarring. In a sparring match gone bad, a grenade goes off very close to his face, blinding him in one eye and giving him some serious scars on that side of his face. Despite the extent of his injuries, he's still a good guy.
  • RWBY uses the good version, with Weiss having a small, crooked scar over her left eye. This type of scar, however, is more associated with anti-heroes; Weiss is the spoiled heiress of a company with shady business practices, but she's learning how to put others first and her dream is to restore her family honour. It starts to fade as the series proceeds.
    • Cinder, after Volume 3, has an ugly burn scar that she hides under her bangs to signify her as one of the villains. This is the result of Ruby attack in her in a Traumatic Superpower Awakening rage.
    • General Ironwood has a small metal plate above his right eyebrow and he's later revealed to have extensive cybernetics and what looks like nasty burn scarring where the metal meets his flesh. The combination of good and bad scars fits his role in the story as a well-intentioned but misguided good guy who is letting his paranoia get the better of him and inadvertently playing into the Big Bad's hands.

  • Inverted in Angel Down with both Samuel and Ariel, who both have traditionally villainous scars despite being heroes. Samuel has a large slash over his left eye, and Ariel has extensive burns on the entire left side of her body.
  • In Crimson Knights this is averted with Grandmaster Meinrad, who has a nasty scar going over his blind left eye but is the heroic leader of the Taneoan Order. Played straight with the cheek-scar that Erikr receives from a rage-spirit.
  • Averted and subverted with Cry 'Havoc'; this may be justified in that its main characters are Villain Protagonists.
    • Skoll is the most obvious example of it being played straight, she is ruthless and for all intents and purposes evil, she has a large scar across her cheek, nose, and eyebrow that cuts out a chunk of the bridge of her nose, she has scars on her neck, abdomen, and legs, and a burn that takes up most of her back. Faustus, one of the antagonists is missing his left eye, he is badly burned and has gaping wounds on his chest, and is missing his left arm. (he got better)
    • Hait and Karcharoth avert this. Karcharoth is almost as evil as Skoll, yet only has a few scratches on his neck, and a single scar over his left eye. Hati who is considered good has large scars across her forearms and back.
  • Daughter of the Lilies:
    • Margot gains Good Scars, with sections of her dark skin bleaching out after Brody's acid attack. She still retains her positive personality, and actually styles her hair to draw attention to the scars on her face.
    • So does Thistle, with minor facial scarring. Word of God is that she has more on her body.
  • Nimmel in Dominic Deegan, who lost his right eye and a good part of his face during an infernomancer attack. It's subverted here, because the scar is very nasty to look at.
  • Vaelia, a female gladiator from Drowtales has a three-clawed, down-from-the-eye scar.
  • Kahn from EVIL has one of the variety that goes over his left eye but leaves the eyeball itself intact.
  • Girl Genius makes a point of both trope and subversion. Constructs (created or repaired humans) have permanent 'Frankenstein' stitchery all over their bodies. Agatha's foster parents Adam 'Punch' Clay and Lilith 'Judy' Clay, and Baron Wulfenbach all have these prominent scars (good guys), but so does R-79, one of the dangerous-looking prisoners sent to Castle Heterodyne (bad guy). Another Castle prisoner, nicknamed 'Cucaracha', has the 'evil' false-harelip sort of scar, but he gets beat up by the girl in the pink dress.
  • In the furry Space Opera Lancer: The Knights of Fenris, hero team leader Rolf Garret (a wolf) has a scar on his snout, a souvenir of his battle with the feared reptilian leader General Yuta.
  • In Goblins, Thaco is missing an ear. This is explained to be from an encounter with the psychotic Dellyn Goblinslayer, who cut it off and took it as a trophy before Thaco escaped.
  • Peggy the sniper from Grrl Power has the "cross over the eye and nose" sort AND a prosthetic lower leg. Watch out for continuity errors regarding the leg!
  • Subverted in Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name with Zombie, whose entire body riddled with ugly, asymmetrical black stitches but still proves to be nothing less than a stand-up guy.
  • Amethyst Lashiec from Heartcore has big red scars on her cheeks and forearms, inflicted upon her by her father Royce.
  • In Homestuck, black and white royals had scars over their eyes as a result of a sylladex accident with a harlequin. The only remaining after serial regicide and impromptu abdications is usurper unmistakably evil Jack Noir, whose counterpart Spade Slick has a coincidental matching scar over his eye. And then there's a Monster Clown who carved his own face with his attacker's weapon.
  • Grey from Inhuman almost has more scars than regular skin on his body. The main reason it's just ALMOST is because his face is almost unscarred... aside from a huge scar over the bridge of his nose, which admittedly does make for the "cute but deadly" look.
  • Last Res0rt has two:
  • In Minion Comics the primary evil villain, Von Gernsbach, has a face covered in sinister-looking scar tissue.
  • In Misfile, Xaphrael has a large scar up the side of his face and crossing his eye. This type of scar can be good or bad, so let's check the tropes: Hammy entrance, Cryptic and vaguely threatening conversation, concealment of a crime that he has the main characters bang to rights on, evasion of direct questions, threatening to choke to death the resident Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain using his left hand. Yep, those would be evil scars.
  • Agent 250 from Niels plays with this: he has scars across his face, entire upper body and on both legs, the two most recent being from getting hit in the knee with shrapnel and being shot in the gut at point-blank range. However, he is one of the good guys, being an agent for a secret government law enforcement agency. His role falls into Good Is Not Soft, as his missions usually involve infiltration and combat that would put John McClane to shame. The scars also do nothing to detract from his physical appeal, as he has an ongoing relationship with his coworker Agent 300.
  • Ballister Blackheart from NIMONA has an Anti-Heroic vertical scar over one eye, but also a villainous prosthetic arm, because he's really more of an Anti-Villain Villain Protagonist sort of dude. Hero Antagonist (turned regular old good guy by the end) Goldenloin gets some giant scars on his face in a fight with the eponymous character, averting Beauty Is Never Tarnished because damn was he pretty.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • O'Chul has a scar running down across his eye. The x-ray effect of a Disintegrate spell reveals the cut left a mark on the bone of his skull as well. He might be somewhat of a subversion, as he has lots of ugly, raised scars, which makes sense, as he was held prisoner and tortured for months.
    • Also, in Start Of Darkness, Right-Eye has a large, jagged scar across his face which he got when his eye was stabbed out by a paladin.
  • In Pacificators, Commander Bismun has a few on his face — one of them being the classic X-shaped scar — and he gains a fourth later on. The pirate Ferdinand, however, subverts the Bad Guy scar by having a neat little line on his cheek. Also, Muneca is absolutely covered with mottled, terrible burn scars, subverting the Good Girl scars.
  • Milny from Planescape Survival Guide recently gained several. The most noticeable is a crosscut sword slash starting from her left cheek, across the nose, and through the right eyebrow. The next biggest is a gunshot wound just above her left breast. Both are generally of the non-disfiguring variety.
  • In Plume, the villain Dom has a scar across his eye from the day Vesper's dad shot him, although it gives him more of a roguish charm befitting his personality and the twists of the story.
  • In Questionable Content, Faye has a scar on her right breast that was the result of a car accident that may or may not have been intentional.
  • Subverted (probably) by Hakelda in Reliquary, who has rather nasty-looking scars disfiguring her left side (including the face), but who seems to be the sweetest of the cast so far.
  • In Second League, She-Man (a good guy) and Ana (a villain) have near-identical scars on their faces.
  • Selkie: Scar's scars are highly disfiguring, and he's missing an eye, an arm, and much of his throat including his vocal cords. The latter two are replaced by prosthetics of his own making. These kind of textbook evil scars seem strange on an odd but kind man who spends his days building houses for refugees, but, back when he got the scars, he was at least as evil as they make him look.
  • In Shadowgirls, a Slaad got the drop on Becka, slashing her back. This has left three parallel scars on her lower back, which is even retained in her shadowform, and the fused Shadowchild. They even appear on the Shadowchild figure! Also, Lindsey's battle with a non-sparkling vampire left her with a scar on her left cheek.
  • Kharisma Valetti of Something*Positive has burn scars that left her face with large darkened patches. Not so much good or evil as Laser-Guided Karma.
  • Unsounded: The slased battle scar across the honorable Flann's face is distictly different from the unsettling intentional facial scaring that marks Obviously Evil Prakhuta as a pariah.
  • Subverted in The Water Phoenix King, as there was never any question as to his Alignment, but Gilgam's triple scar (it looks like he was clawed by a wildcat — we eventually learn what really did it) quite disfiguring, really disturbing and wince-inducing at first, although one eventually gets used to it and almost stops noticing it until something happens to point out again just how close he came to losing that eye. (It's shocking how young he looks in the flashbacks before he got it.) He's still quite handsome, but it's despite, not because of. It doesn't seem to bother him at all now, either.
  • Weak Hero:
    • The protagonist-aligned Alex has a large scar across the bridge of his nose that marks him as a delinquent without sacrificing his good looks. He's shown with a bandage there before entering middle school, implying that's the timeframe that he earned the scar, but the details of it haven't been revealed.
    • Changhui, the leader of a rival gang, would look like a regular businessman if it wasn't for the large T-shaped scar across his cheek that marks him as a dangerous fighter.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Lampshaded in Adventure Time; when Me-Mow the assassin slashes Finn several times with a tiny dagger, including his cheek, Finn mocks her, stating that "You're just making my face look cooler!"
  • In American Dad! episode "Rapture's Delight", after Stan loses his wife Francine to a returned Jesus, he gets a scar down and through his left eye, blinding him on that side. He had become a mercenary, not fighting for either side, until Jesus asked him to help rescue Francine from the Anti-Christ. In Death Equals Redemption, he goes to his personal Heaven, which brings him back to Earth at the beginning of the episode. Whether that means the rest of the series is Stan's heaven is not mentioned/discussed.
  • Arcane: Silco has a hideous deformity around his left eye from when Vander tried to drown him, as his wounded eye was infected by the toxins in the water.
  • Archer:
    Lieutenant Krauss: "Oh, I get it. Ze German guy mit ze scar must be ze bad guy. Well you know how I got zis scar? Savink a Jewish girl from a gang of skinheads."
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Zuko's scar functions as both a bad scar (making him appear menacing) and good (showing he has suffered). There's also the backstory about why he got it in the first place, throwing in even more ambiguity. It is also an interesting study in this trope — earlier in the series, when Zuko is worse, it is thrown into relief more often, making it look worse. It helps here that he starts out wearing a Bald of Evil, but by far the ugliest part of the scar "just happens" to be under his hair when he grows it out during his quest for redemption. Zuko's scar is such a big part of his character that he's both completely unrecognizable and pretty unremarkable without it, as seen in his dream sequence in "The Earth King".
    • Aang gets both a scar on his back and foot from being hit by Azula's lightning bolt.
    • Zuko gets another scar on his chest from a partially screwed-up lightning re-direction when Taking the Bullet.
    • Jeong-Jeong (who deserted from the Fire Nation army when he realized just how much harm it was causing) has scars across his eye.
  • In Biker Mice from Mars, Throttle's girlfriend Carbine is of the Good Scars variety. Shortly after Throttle, Vinnie, and Modo originally left Mars, she got a thin scar just below her left eye, but her main concern is the survival of Mars, so she's still an ally of the Biker Mice for the most part.
  • Dr. Blight from Captain Planet looks perfectly normal (and in fact hot)... until she moves the fringe covering the side of her face, revealing a severely scarred face and a destroyed eye.
  • General Reginald Peter Skarr from Evil Con Carne has the standard lightning-bolt 'evil' kind coming down from his right eye. Oddly enough, unlike most versions of this trope, he is actually blind in that eye. According to the 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' text in the opening credits, he got the scar from running with scissors.
  • Gargoyles:
    • Manhattan Clan elder Hudson has a long scar down his face. His is particularly striking in that gargoyles wouldn't normally scar, as they heal each night when they enter stone sleep. Hudson's scar was given to him by the Archmage, making it magical damage, thus likely why it did not heal—though it could also be that if such maiming damage "settles" it might not heal properly.
    • On the other hand, the original (and most villainous) Hunter, Gillecomgain, had three scars across his face (courtesy of Demona), and while most Hunters of future generations are not so badly scarred, the masks they wear pay homage to their progenitor.
  • Played straight and subverted by several characters in G.I. Joe: Renegades. Scrap-Iron has some truly Nightmare Fuel-looking facial scarring after a missile-massage, and Major Bludd is now sporting a big nasty one across his face after an explosion. Possibly subverted by Snake Eyes, who is extremely heroic, but whose unmasked face managed to unnerve an entire biker gang.
  • Kaeloo: Bad Kaeloo has a scar running through her right eye, which she is somehow still able to open.
  • Kim Possible villain Dr. Drakken has a prominent scar under his left eye.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Scarlemagne's face is heavily marred with deep gashes.
  • The Legend of Korra: Lin Beifong, Toph's daughter and head of the Republic City metalbending police force, has two thin scars resembling claw marks on her right cheek. Despite some initial trouble, it's a "good" scar, which only makes her look badass and in no way takes away from her attractiveness. They're courtesy of her attempt to arrest her sister.
    • The reason Amon wears a White Mask of Doom is ostensibly because his face was horribly scarred after a Firebender attacked him and his family in his youth. When eventually seen it looks pretty evil, drawing his face into a permanent scowling grimace. It's also a fake, caused by a heavy makeup job, in the event that he ever needed to weather accusations of falsehood.
    • Zaheer, Book 3's Arc Villain, has several Rugged Scars (a cross-shaped one on the back of his head and a Jason Momoa-esque split eyebrow), likely both to underscore his status as an Empowered Badass Normal and to make him look intimidating. The ambiguity suits him: while he's a serious threat (almost managing to kill Korra outright) during the story arc in which he primarily features, he's also ultimately an Anti-Villain and willingly helps her in his final appearance on the show.
  • Legion of Super Heroes (2006) has a case of a good guy with more of a bad-guy sort of scar: Lightning Lad has a lightning bolt scar under one eye and continuing from his eyebrow. It occasionally flashes when he uses his Shock and Awe powers. How he got it is unknown, as of the end of Season 1. He's also since lost an arm, having it replaced with an awesome robotic one that can even amplify his powers.
  • The Lion Guard continues the second movie's inversion. Kion is bitten by the cobra Ushari at spirit-Scar's order. Like his brother-in-law Kovu in the movie, Kion struggles with the fear after defeating Scar that he's becoming like Scar. He's losing control of his temper and the roar thanks to the venom the bite injected. At the tree of life, he has the venom healed but must accept that the scar won't define him as evil. Vitani thinks that he's evil when she sees him with a "mark of evil" and leading outlanders, but both sides figure out the truth that they're all on the same side when Kiara intervenes in the fight.
  • In the Big Damn Heroes moment of the Season 3 premiere of Metalocalypse, we see that Charles Ofdensen now has one, from when the Metal Masked Assassin deliberately cut his face in Season 2. After that episode, the scar seems to have disappeared. Brendon Small claimed that there is a reason for this.
  • The Owl House: Emperor Belos has an enormous diagonal streak of rot on his face resulting from his curse and abuse of magic severely mutating him and interacting with a broken nose from Lilith punching him. The eyebrow cut he ends up giving Luz in "King's Tide", by contrast, is far smaller and significantly less nasty.
  • Enzo/Matrix from ReBoot gets a scar across his left eye in his final Game cube as a kid. When the next season starts up, he and his companions have aged up via localized timeskip-the eye has been replaced with a bitchin' gold-colored cybernetic replacement, but the across-the-eye scar still remains. Matrix is very much an Anti-Hero.
  • Rick and Morty essentially parodies this with Evil Rick and Morty. Rick's evil counterpart has an ugly looking scar on his upper and lower lip, while Morty's simply has an eye patch.
  • In Steven Universe, Sadie gets a small scar on her cheek after getting attacked by a big fish in "Island Adventure". While it fades over time, it's still visible if you look hard enough. Seasons later, Lars gets a big scar over his eye after he gets blown up by a Robonoid.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): Over half of the Shredder's face is covered in gruesome burn scars, and his right eye is whited out.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): Hun, the Shredder's dragon, has three diagonal scars down his left cheek, which he gained from Splinter himself prior to his mutation.
  • Given that Transformers can be repaired perfectly even if they're missing large parts of their body, scars are pretty unnecessary. However, Transformers: Armada Wheeljack retains the long scar across his Autobot symbol from the accident that led to his Face–Heel Turn. However, it's also possible he made the scar himself after the accident, so it might not count.
    • Ratchet in Transformers: Animated also left the chevron on his forehead broken after his battle with Lockdown, most likely for personal symbolic reasons.
    • Ironhide from the Transformers film series has a scar over his right eye.
      • Also in the movie continuity, there's Strongarm (from the IDW comics) who has three HUGE slashes across his face (which is sometimes covered up by a face mask). Apparently he was involved in a Decepticon attack that left his entire unit dead and whilst the scars could be repaired, he chose to keep them as a reminder to the Autobots who died under his command.
  • Played with in TRON: Uprising — Tron appears much as he did before the coup, but is very messed up under his outward appearance (we see a brief glance at the massive scarring). This, like a lot of other things in-series, works as Foreshadowing.
  • In Voltron: Legendary Defender, Shiro has one over the bridge of his nose that he got while a Galra prisoner. The exact cause is currently unknown, due to his Laser-Guided Amnesia.
    • Matt Holt has a scar across his left cheek, which also is from an unknown source.
    • And to complete the trifecta, Keith acquired a prominent burn scar on his right cheek during his fight with Shiro's clone.


Video Example(s):


Johnny's New Face

When the main antagonist, a relative who's a wanted criminal, reveals himself, we find out he's had his face changed numerous times. The latest one, he's not too happy with: the guy who plays him, recognized by many in-universe. And pointing that out is something he's willing to kill over.

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / SurgicalImpersonation

Media sources: