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Maniac Tongue

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He isn't nicknamed "Chameleon" for nothing.

A common gesture for villains, Anti Heroes or anyone with a mean, sadistic streak is to have a significant portion of their tongue extended out of their mouth even when there's no plausible reason to do so. Usually paired with an Evil Laugh, Laughing Mad or Slasher Smile. This is also a common gesture for dimwitted characters or oddball characters with goofy streaks of sticking their tongue out while there's no obvious reason to do so. Usually paired with being Comically Cross-Eyed, Fish Eyes, or having a Perpetual Smiler demeanor in one's appearance.

This, like Lecherous Licking, Finger-Lickin' Evil, Overly-Long Tongue and other tongue tropes, is using the squicky nature of the tongue to symbolize someone you just don't want to be around — in this case, a dangerous person. It can be used to show the character in question as mentally disturbed or impaired, or alternately just being silly. It's also heavily associated with The Rock Star, especially Heavy Metal stars. Also, a lot like being Comically Cross-Eyed and other stupidity tropes, is using the features of silliness to the tongue to symbolize someone who is just blissfully stupid or goofy.

This is also a very common trope used to convey a Villainous Crush, mixing unbridled sexual desire and twisted romantic feelings, especially if the villain is also a Stalker with a Crush. In more comedic works, it's more a sign of Love Makes You Stupid, are often on the silly side of High-Pressure Emotion that makes one have a silly look on their face.

Subtrope of Character Tics. Compare Licking the Blade.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Clover:
    • Jack the Ripper often lets his long tongue hanging out to go with him being such a bloodthirsty fighter. Sometimes he'll run it along his blades when he really wants to cut someone up.
    • Vanica does this often to draw attention to how bloodthirsty and deranged she really is.
  • Bleach:
    • Anime Episode #49. In a Flash Back Kaien Shiba is possessed by the hollow Metastacia and turned into a vicious, deranged killer. At one point he sticks out his tongue at Rukia, as seen here.
    • The Fifth Espada, Nnoitra Gilga, not only likes to do this, but he also has a reason for it: the number signifying his Espada rank is tattooed on his tongue. As a bonus Nnoitra also shoots his Cero from the tip of his tongue.
    • When Nianzol first reveals his presence, mocking Shutara for accusing Yhwach of insolence, his grin is accompanied by his two tongues lolling out in a W-shape. His Sternritter letter is 'W'.
  • Vento of the Front from A Certain Magical Index, complete with tongue piercing.
  • Deadman Wonderland: After dropping her act as an Innocent Flower Girl, Minatsuki Takami (a.k.a. "Hummingbird") reveals herself to be a tongue-lolling, blood-whipping, sailor-mouthed Combat Sadomasochist, albeit a likeable one. Later defrosts into a Sociopathic Hero.
  • Dragon Ball Z, Broly... at one point after Goku kicked him in mouth, he licks the blood off his with satisfaction. Even Goku, who’s usually never grossed out by anything, has the appropriate reaction.
    Goku: Eww... that was completely unnecessary, disgusting.
  • In Heavy Object Skuld is pictured with an unhinged grin and her tongue hanging out when she's getting ready to kill her sisters. She later licks her lips while getting ready to kill Qwenthur with a spear gun.
  • My Hero Academia: Hero Killer Stain often displays a ragged-looking tongue, partly because his powers require consuming his target's blood.
  • Naruto: Orochimaru, being a humanoid snake, does this often. And it's all intimidating. Kabuto picks up this habit after integrating Orochimaru’s cells.
  • One Piece
    • Donquixote Doflamingo is known for making this kind of face, usually when he laughs. He's also a notorious Ax-Crazy pirate.
    • Caribou is another, and he can come across as even more maniacal than Doflamingo. He also likes to lick his own hair while sporting a Slasher Smile.
    • Rob Lucci and Jabra seem to occasionally let their carnivorous-animal side take influence in their behavior, since when they're transformed they both respectively lick their lips when a good fight (Luffy and Sanji) come along.
    • Bellamy the Hyena is another pirate who is often seen sticking his tongue. In fact instead of the more traditional skull, his personal jolly roger is a pair of lips with a tongue sticking out paired with the crossbones. It's all makes sense since he's Doflamingo's subordinate.
    • Caesar Clown nuff said.
    • Big Mom has her tongue out when she's most excited and hungry plus a good amount of drool, and when she's on hunger induced-rampage and has her tongue out plus the crazy eyes it's the signal to run the hell away.
    • Big Mom's oldest son Perospero has candy based devil fruit powers and as such always has his giant tongue out.
  • Yami Malik from Yu-Gi-Oh! contorts his tongue in several different ways. It's very, very creepy.
    Yami Yugi: Jeez! You're like an evil Gene Simmons! Correction! You're like Gene Simmons!

    Comic Books 
  • Venom (especially Eddie Brock) had gone from being a villain, Anti-Hero and then zigzagging between the two ever since, but he's always memorable by his Slasher Smile with his alien tongue. Carnage does it even more.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Joker from The Dark Knight licks his lips while he talks a lot. Word of God states that this was a result of Heath Ledger being annoyed by the feeling of the scar prosthetics and unconsciously licking at them because of it; after seeing him do it a few times with the full make-up and finding it seriously creepy, they decided to just make it part of the character.
  • In his more insane moments, Barty Crouch Jr. licks his lips in a darting, snake-like way in the film version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Barty Crouch Sr. begins to suspect that Mad-Eye Moody is actually his son when Moody licks his lips in the same manner.
  • In Highlander, the Kurgan does this to intimidate a group of nuns in a church. Which characteristic was then copied onto the Suspiciously Similar Substitute villains from the next two movies.
  • One of Freddy Krueger's trademark gestures in the A Nightmare on Elm Street films is to wiggle his tongue at his victims in a sexual-predatory manner. He can even do it through a telephone!

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Kuroto Dan tends to lick his lips when at the height of his insanity. It probably looks more gross than creepy as otherwise he is usually too cartoonishly villainous to be scary.
  • Mashin Sentai Kiramager: Yodonna tends to stick out her tongue when she's feeling particularly sadistic.

  • Kiss. Gene Simmons' onstage persona "The Demon" is a firebreathing monster of rock and roll. He's well known for sticking out his 7 inch tongue.
  • Miley Cyrus became somewhat infamous for constantly showing off her tongue once she slipped into her more risqué, party-animal phase starting from 2013, which she claims is intended to stave off anxiety over public appearances.
  • Murdoc Niccals, The bassist of virtual band Gorillaz, has a habit of sticking his long, lizard like tongue out in a menacing and/or goofy way.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The Great Muta has shown these tendencies. Most frightening when his tongue is stained the same color or in a clashing color to his face paint after using his mist.
  • The Undertaker is an electricity controlling, teleporting, implacable zombie who not only threatens his opponents with defeat but also their lives and souls. He likes to stick out his tongue during his rest in peace pin.
  • Tasha Simone, especially when using the stomach claw.
  • Vampire Warrior Gangrel doesn't just have fangs but a pointy tongue.
  • MsChif is a metal enthusiast banshee known for tormenting souls and sticking out her tongue. (in the picture, she is using a modified Steiner Recliner to rip at Lexie Fyfe's lips)
  • For that matter, the other half of the original Diabolic Khaos, Delirious is also known to let his tongue dangle on occasion or excessively lick around his face/mask.
  • Mad Man Manson, who know, in his name and hairdo weren't big enough giveaways.
  • Psycho Clown of AAA's Psycho Circus just doesn't know when to keep that thing in his mouth, it's always out.
  • Black Rose usually has nonchalant and methodical approach to wrestling, but their are some opponents that make her completely lose it, such as long time enemy La Amazona and, for some strange reason, Angel Rose.
  • The first World Wrestling League Heavyweight Champion Monster Pain, so much it is merchandised. Also, his rival, Seven Foot Giant Titan.
  • Roderick Strong, after failing to win the Pro Wrestling Guerilla World Championship from Kyle O'Reilly, well his composure wasn't that normally associated with sanity.
  • Sammy Guevara likes to get his tongue out, mainly as a Heel.
  • Look at Perro Aguayo Jr. lap it up.

    Tabletop Games 
  • A staple of the Mutant Chronicles universe with its various demonic entities, especially Nepharites are found of lolling around with their worm-like tongues.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 

  • In Weak Hero, Dongha's long tongue flails about as he mocks Alex for his pride, followed by him licking his lips at the prospect of beating Alex to death.

    Real Life 
  • Maori performing a war haka will traditionally stick their tongues out to present a wild appearance and intimidate their enemies.


Video Example(s):



When she's feeling particularly sadistic, Yodonna tends to stick her tongue out, complete with an unpleasant sound effect.

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Main / ManiacTongue

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