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The act of wearing your freshly killed opponent's head on your own. Obviously reserved for the Ax-Crazy types, but a few Sociopathic Hero Villain Protagonists pull it off via Success Through Insanity. Two variants: Wearing the skull as a helmet, or just the skin, as a cowl/mask.
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Of course, the more acceptable version uses an animal's head as a hat. Very popular among shamans. Compare Nemean Skinning, where the slain animal's whole pelt is used as a cape or cowl. See also Skeletons in the Coat Closet.


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Battle Angel Alita, the motorball player "Caligula" Armburst has a habit of cutting off the hands of someone from the audience and wearing them on the horns of his helmet as a good luck charm for the game.

    Comic Books 
  • A Batman comic had the villain communicate with the heroes, who were stranded on the island to which a millionaire invited them, while wearing their host's face.
  • The Latter Days arc of Cerebus the Aardvark contains a themed variant. Cerebus spends several issues' worth of time in the disguise of "Spore" (a parody of Spawn), and wears the skulls of two dead Cirinists on his shoulders (a take on the skull-shaped clasps of Spawn's cape).
  • In the Judge Dredd stories featuring the Dark Judges in space, the Action Survivor Roscoe starts to wear the skull of a stink bug, a large mutant cave-dwelling predator on the moon Dominion. She keeps wearing it long after escaping the planet as a keepsake.
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    Film 
  • Garland Greene from Con Air: "One girl, I drove through three states wearing her head as a hat."

    Mythology 
  • The Ur-Example would have to be Herakles, who is often portrayed as wearing the Nemean Lion's fur with the heads matched up. Following this, most works featuring the Roman Army have standard-bearers with lion or bear skins wrapped around their heads (Asterix, for example).

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer 40,000, one Ork Nob miniature from the Assault On Black Reach starter set is wearing a pickelhaube with a skull impaled on it.

    Video Games 
  • Both Heracles and Ajax (The Greater, famed for dueling Hector to a draw when Achilles failed to fight) are depicted with a lion skin draped over their heads in Age of Mythology
  • Several hats in Dofus are just a monster's head worn over your own, most notably the Gobball Headgear and its Royal counterpart, which even have the monster's tongue still attached.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • One of the series recurring artifacts is the Helm of Oreyn Bearclaw, a skull taken from a "witch-serpent" named Glenhwyfaunva. In Morrowind and Oblivion, it boosts agility and endurance, while in Skyrim, it buffs stamina regeneration and raises maximum stamina.
    • Morrowind also features Nordic trollbone armor, a set of heavy armor made from the bones of trolls. The "helmet" piece consists of the top half of the creature's skull, worn almost like a hat, and it has a surprisingly high armor rating, beating out some metal helmets.
  • Fight The Horror: One of the boss enemies in the game wears a skull on its head.
  • The minions in Overlord do this sometimes.
  • Sydney Hunter and the Curse of the Mayan: Some of the Mayans wear animal skulls on their heads.

    Webcomics 
  • In 8-Bit Theater, Black Mage wore Red Mage's burning corpse as a hat. (Red Mage eventually got better.)
  • If we allow Richard's kidney hat, we allow this Chopping Block comic.
  • Used as a punchline at least once in Ctrl+Alt+Del.
  • Richard of Looking for Group. He also sports a dashing kidney hat. "Made with real kidney."
  • Belkar of The Order of the Stick, with YokYok.
    YikYik: He was a good father.
    Belkar: But he made a better fashion accessory!
    YikYik: I'LL KILL YOU!
  • Scott demonstrates his fondness for horror in these two VG Cats strips.
  • Girl Genius: An ambiguous example. After they battle off-screen, Franz the dragon is shown wearing the helmet of his opponent "Pretty Boy" as a hat; it sports a pair of horns which may or may not have originally been attached to PB's head.
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    Web Original 
  • Bulbasaur from Starter Squad is prone to wearing the body parts of previously killed Pokemon. Later, the Caterpie Leader ends up wearing Charmander's head after killing him during his war against birds.
  • In episode 7 of There Will Be Brawl, we learn that Kirby killed Daisy and wore her head. Kirby is their equivalent of Hannibal Lecter.

    Western Animation 
  • Don Hertzfeldt's Rejected features a scene where one guy rips another guy's belly out, then wears it on his head while shouting "I am the Queen of France!"


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