Follow TV Tropes


Mark of the Beast

Go To

"Pain, Agony, Suffering, Torment. When the Rune is invoked, even the earth shall resonate its anguish. Torment of the mind. Torment of the body. Torment of the soul. All will be made clear when the Circle is drawn."

A character who has made a Deal with the Devil, released his Superpowered Evil Side or taken the Psycho Serum receives symbols, patterns or markings as a part of his Evil Makeover. They may only be Facial Markings, or be all over the body. Occasionally, they will start in one area, such as the neck or face, and spread out further the more powerful or evil the person becomes.

These are generally more minor than those to the One-Winged Angel, though there may be some overlap between the two. See also Red Right Hand.

Not to be confused with Marked Change, which should only include markings gained when a character powers up, not turning evil, or under any 'evil' influences. If demons or mind control is involved, or the powered-up version of the character is known as "Dark(Name)," it probably belongs here. The nicer version of this trope is Power Tattoo, Mark of the Supernatural, or Birthmark of Destiny. For a character marked by an entity that isn't turning them evil, see Claimed by the Supernatural.

This trope's namesake makes it Older Than Feudalism. See also Number of the Beast and The Corruption.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Miu from Akuma na Eros gains one on the back of her shoulder after making a Deal with the Devil.
  • In Angel Sanctuary, the kiss of a Satan leaves the mark of said satan behind. It seems to give the Satan power over the victim (as with Noise), but can also be a sign that someone made a deal with a Satan (as with Arakune, who turns out to be a traitor).
  • The Zebul Spell in Beelzebub. It expands as Oga becomes more violent.
  • Variant: those offered as a sacrifice to the Godhand by Behelit users in Berserk have the Mark of Sacrifice — three crossed lines — carved into some place on their body, signifying that they are food for demons and attract their attention. They bleed and cause pain as the demons near, and most don't survive the experience. The final strike is when they die, no matter how, the Mark condemns them to the lowest level of Hell that exists.
  • Making a Deal with the Devil in Black Butler involves having the demon's seal inscribed on your body. The more visible the spot you place the seal, the more power you are granted. Main character Ciel asked for as much power as he could possibly get, and ended up with the seal in one of his eyes.
  • Wegs are seen as this by the public in Black Clover. They are black horns that sprout from the heads of mages who have used Forbidden Magic or the power of devils. Although this doesn't necessarily mean people who have them are evil, this causes the Magic Parliament to condemn Asta and Nero.
  • When it's your turn to pilot Zearth in Bokurano, you'll get a mark on your body. They're often Facial Markings (like Ushiro and Youko), but not always: Mako's marks are on her thighs, and Kirie's are on his stomach.
  • Digimon:
    • Guilmon and his evolved forms in Digimon Tamers have the Digital Hazard symbol on their bodies, which resembles the biohazard symbol and indicates that they have the potential to be highly dangerous threats to both worlds. When he awakens to his Superpowered Evil Side Megidramon, the Digital World starts collapsing.
    • Played Straight with the Big Red Devil Digimon Phelesmon in Digimon Ghost Game, who has "666" marked on the side of his head.
  • Dragon Ball Z: The stylized M on the forehead of every minion of Babidi, which Vegeta received after his Face–Heel Turn.
  • The Homunculi in Fullmetal Alchemist have an Ouroboros somewhere on their bodies (e.g., Lust by her collarbone, Gluttony on his tongue, etc.). The humans turned into homunculi also gain this mark upon ingesting a Philosopher's Stone with Father's soul and it disappears when the soul is removed. It's meant to represent their immortality, as the Ouroboros is a symbol for eternity. Originally, the Ouroboros symbolized how process and result are one thing (it devours itself and thus creates himself) — and thus was a symbol for the Philosopher's Stone itself.
  • Those who make a contract with Ai in Hell Girl and send their tormentor to Hell gain a black fire mark on their chest to remind them always that they will be dragged to Hell upon their own death as payment for the deed.
  • Inuyasha:
    • The titular character gets facial stripes only when his demon blood takes over and he goes berserk.
    • His full-blooded demon brother Sesshomaru has them all the time.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, when the Book of Darkness awakens and takes over Hayate, red lines spread all over her body. These lines disappear once the Book of Darkness is cleansed of its corrupted self-defense program.
  • Naruto:
    • The Curse mark on Sasuke, placed by Orochimaru. It spreads across Sasuke's body the stronger it becomes. When Sasuke unleashes the Curse Seal's full power, he actually transforms into a vaguely demonic creature, complete with two very large wings growing out of his back that look like giant webbed hands more than anything.
    • Pretty much any unleashed Curse Seal. The Sound Four all turn into monsters. And the first bearer of the Curse Mark gets a Psycho Prototype treatment, as well as having a monster form.
    • For that matter, Naruto has whisker-like lines on his cheeks that grow more pronounced as he draws on the power of the Nine-Tailed Fox sealed in his belly. At least until he draws enough power that his skin peels off and he is completely covered in his own chakra-infused blood.
  • Tsukune in Rosario + Vampire when he first transforms into a ghoul. The markings are Moka's blood creeping through his body and taking over his mind.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • The odd stylized eye that appears on the forehead of the Yami (Name) Characters.
    • A better example is the Seal of Orichalcos. Its users have the Seal appear on their foreheads and become obsessed with evil.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds has the Dark Signers with their red facial markings and their dark birthmarks. Likewise the Signers and their dragon birthmarks. Even the English dub calls it the Mark of the Dragon.

    Comic Books 
  • My Little Pony Generations: Each of the three smooze-made ponies created by the witches has an unusual trait that sets them apart from natural ones — Shadow Storm has eyes with grey sclerae and quartered white irises, Violet Shiver has jagged, lighter markings on her hooves, and Black Belle has a lightning bolt-shaped horn and black splotches around her eyes and hooves.
  • Spawn: A subplot has an army of vampires who decided to only eat unholy sinners; which of course meant anyone they disagreed with. A bit of magic 'marked' them with sigils only the monsters could see. Spawn managed to turn off the mark for all. They didn't know who to eat so couldn't risk eating anyone 'innocent'.
  • Underworld Unleashed: In the final scene, in which many many supervillains made a Deal with the Devil for increased power, the villain Major Disaster is shown gloating about how he got to keep his powers even though the Big Bad was destroyed. Then he sees his reflection in a window, and sees the Number of the Beast etched into his forehead...
  • X-Men: Rachel Summers used to have facial tattoos from her grim and nasty future as a mutant hunter, which she could conceal until stressed or using her powers.

    Fan Fiction 
  • In the Pony POV Series, when a pony turns into a Nightmare, their cutie mark's colors are inverted. For example, Fluttershy's cutie mark is three butterflies with pink wings and blue bodies, while Nightmare Whisper's is three butterflies with blue wings and pink bodies.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the Apocalypse film series, those who receive the Mark of the Beast may also experience miraculous healings, such as the blind woman in Revelation receiving her sight, the wheelchair-bound man in the same movie being able to walk, and the one-armed man in the hospital in Tribulation receiving his right arm again. There's also the Blessed with Suck element of the recipients being blessed with limited telekinetic and telepathic powers, as featured in the movie Tribulation.
  • In the Blade Trilogy, those humans who submit to a vampire master get a tattoo (usually) on the back of the neck; this tells other vampires "Don't eat me".
  • When Guerrero makes his Deal with the Devil in Dead in Tombstone, Satan brands his chest with an inverted cross.
  • In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the Darkhold leaves a visible mark on anyone who uses it. 838-Strange and 616-Wanda both have their fingertips turn black while Sinister Strange and 616-Strange both develop a Third Eye.
  • In Hood of Horror, Devon gets a stylized HoH on the back of his neck when he sells his soul, and agrees to become the Hound of Horror to bring his sister back from the dead.
  • In The Omen (1976), it is revealed that Damien has the "666" mark, but up above his hairline where you'd never see it unless you specifically searched for it.
  • Six: The Mark Unleashed calls it The Holy Implant.
  • In the series that begins with A Thief In The Night, citizens must be tattooed with 666 (disguised as digital code) and must have it scanned at all supermarkets before they can buy food. Those who refuse this mark are sent to the guillotine.

  • In the framing story for the Books of Blood by Clive Barker, a young man who'd made light of communication with the dead is marked all over his body — even his genitals and eyelids — by the irate words of outraged spirits, who carved them directly into his skin.
  • In the Christ Clone Trilogy, this is done in the form of "communion" injections of Christopher Goodman's blood to willing recipients, while also accompanied by a physical mark on the forehead or the right hand.
  • The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness: Each of the Soul Eaters has a trident tattoo on their chest, representing the tool they use to catch stray souls. In the third book, Torak is forcibly tattooed by the Soul Eaters, and the plot of the next book is driven by everyone else's reactions when they find out, and his efforts to remove it.
  • In Deltora Quest, Ols always have the Shadow Lord's mark somewhere on their body, no matter what form they take.
  • The Denarians of The Dresden Files have the Sigil of the Fallen possessing them somewhere on their body. Their Superpowered Evil Side also has a second pair of Glowing Eyes of Doom on their brow, above the normal ones.
  • Everyone in The Great Controversy who hasn't got the Seal of God and goes to church on Sunday (rather than Saturday) to avoid persecution and pacify the Pope.
  • Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter isn't a devil, merely a very powerful and evil human wizard, but the way he has his followers brand the Dark Mark (a skull with a snake coming out of the mouth) onto their forearms is strongly suggestive of this trope. It's a rare example of a Mark with some practical purpose. LV uses it to summon his minions to him and, apparently, to track down renegades.
  • The "chahk'morg" in The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray. It's a mark shaped like a Cthulhu-esque demon that is placed on those marked for sacrifice. The bad guys also use it to summon all of hell by killing people all over London such that the spots they died will form a chahk'morg when you connect them. Don't ask.
  • The Left Behind series, of course. In a strange variant, each mark comes with a numerical designation that represents a mathematical equation for three sixes where the operations are interchangeable (e.g., 216 (6 x 6 x 6), 30 (6 x 6 - 6), 18 (6 + 6 + 6), etc.). Interestingly, the book series goes with both the King James version interpretation of the mark being in the right hand (via the biochip) and the modern translations' interpretation of the mark being on the right hand or forehead (via the number or name of the Beast).
  • Everyone in Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner gets a brand somewhere on their body after being infected with the Atma Virus, which allows them to transform into demons at the cost of having to eat other humans and demons to avoid going into a Heroic RRoD. In fact, the marks are seperated in two categories: the unique demons have more complex marks (Higher Atma), and everyone else has common forms and simpler marks (Lower Atma).
  • Randy "Hawkeye" Morrison from Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars views his avian eyes as the mark of the beast. Subverted in that the beast he fears does not actually exist. However, it does contribute significantly to his paranoia.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Willow gets dark hair and black veins become visible all over her face when she starts getting possessed by dark magic. The Scoobies eventually start referring to the process of Willow becoming possessed as "going all veiny".
    • Followers of Eyghon the Sleepwalker have the Mark of Eyghon.
  • Doctor Who:
  • In HEX, those who have their wishes granted by Malachi and become incubi or succubi are marked on their neck as his property, and in some cases get Glowing Eyes of Doom.
  • The hero of The Invisible Man has a circular snake tattoo (not quite an ouroboros) that turns red bit by bit, counting down how soon he'll go Ax-Crazy from the quicksilver in his system.
  • Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue had the Sixth Ranger receive a snake tattoo from the Big Bad that slowly grew and shortened his life every time he used his powers. However, it turned out to be linked to an actual beast, and by defeating it, the tattoo was destroyed.
  • In Smallville, anyone under Darkseid's control has an omega symbol somewhere on their body.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "A Message from Charity", Squire Jonas Hacker tells Charity Payne to strip so that he can search her body for the Devil's mark. She immediately realizes that Hacker intends to rape her as Faith Tanner was extremely upset when he subjected her to the same search the previous year.

    Multiple Media 
  • Star Wars Legends: The Sith often (though not always) use distinctive tattoos as a symbol of membership and/or rank (most prominently, Darth Maul's full-body tattoos, which the One Sith later also adopt). Though not actually demons, they are a certified Religion of Evil and the most powerful and persistant evil faction in the setting.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • The Trope Namer is in the Book of Revelation in The Bible. All must accept the Mark of the Beast "in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark". Turns out not to be a good deal:
    And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
    • One could argue that the Mark of the Beast is not an actual "mark" on the body per se, but more like an identifier to the Beast, probably a ritual blessing. This is in contrast with the Mark of the Lamb, as in the identifier for allegiance with Jesus Christ (possibly by making the sign of the cross). This is best explained in Revelation 13:16-18:
      Those who bear in their foreheads the name of the Lamb and of his Father have the "mark" of the Lamb. They are deliberately contrasted with the people who bear, on the right arm or the forehead, the "mark" of the beast.
  • According to, werewolves have a pentagram "birthmark" somewhere on their bodies, often on the palm or chest. In folklore, this kind of mark was said to be given to witches by Satan. Any kind of birthmark could be interpreted as a "witch mark" by zealous witch hunters. Keep in mind that in many folk tales, witches were werewolves.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted:
    • Most of the Exalted have the effect of generating a Battle Aura as a side effect of using Essence. One bit of this is the Caste Mark, a representation of your Caste that appears on your forehead. For Solars and Lunars, it's a golden/silver shining disk; for Sidereals, it's the astrological sign of the Maiden they were chosen by. Then you have the Abyssals. Their Caste Marks bleed out of their forehead.
    • The Infernals get a similar deal — they bear modified Solar Caste Marks that burn with the green fire of Ligier, Hell's sun. Each has its own special adornment based on the Caste's Yozi patron and the Fiend Caste (chosen of the Ebon Dragon) get a special mark — a solid disk of such utter darkness that it hurts mortals to look upon it.
  • Liliana Vess of Magic: The Gathering is covered from head to toe in glowing lines, resulting from her deal with four demons.
  • The vampires of clan Gangrel in Vampire: The Masquerade will receive what's actually called "the Beast Mark" each time they give in to the Frenzy. What it is differs depending on the circumstances.
  • Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 occasionally have marks of Chaos appearing on mortal worshippers. One mildly unnerving piece of art from one edition of Warhammer depicted a pair of eyes with the pupils turned into eight-pointed stars.

    Video Games 
  • In BioShock Infinite, Booker DeWitt bears the mark AD on the back of his right hand, which according to Zachary Comstock's teachings in Columbia marks him as the "False Shepherd". It turns out that AD was a Mark of Shame that he put on his right hand when he had sold off his daughter Anna, who in an alternate reality became Comstock's daughter Elizabeth. The mark also appears on the alternate version of Comstock in the DLC Burial at Sea - Episode 1, albeit as a tattoo rather than a brand.
  • In Dark Souls, those who are branded with the Darksign are doomed to return to life after death while slowly losing their sanity, eventually becoming a mindless Hollow.
  • Eliphas of Dawn of War: Retribution can equip literal Marks of the Beast, the Marks of the Chaos Gods. These special marks indicate worship of a particular Chaos God, and in turn grant worshipping Cultists different benefits to other units: Khorne's Mark gives all units greater damage and speed, Nurgle's Mark gives better health regeneration and reinforcement of depleted units, and Tzeentch's Mark gives a stealth cloak. If you have the DLC, you can also get the Mark of Chaos Undivided, which allows all the described abilities.
  • Evil characters in the Fable series develop livid red cracks running across their skin.
  • The l'Cie of Final Fantasy XIII are marked with a brand somewhere on their bodies; it functions both as a symbol of their Cursed with Awesome status and a timer indicating how long they have to fulfill their Focus before they turn into horrifying Cie'th monsters.
  • Grima's Mark or The Brand of Defile in Fire Emblem: Awakening, first seen on the Player Character's right hand. If you choose to sacrifice yourself to kill Grima permanently, your character is reformed sometime later without the mark, signifying that Grima is truly dead and gone this time.
  • Kratos of the God of War series was branded with the Blades of Chaos after making his deal with Ares.
  • Samus' Phazon corruption in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption gradually worsens, causing her suit (and, on those occasions when her face is visible, her skin) to develop glowing blue veins. Eventually one of her eyes begins to glow blue as well.
  • Planescape: Torment has the Mark of Torment, its description quoted on the top of the page, on The Nameless One's left shoulder. Where exactly The Nameless One obtained it is never revealed; it is implied that it appeared as a result of the combined torment his incarnations accrued over the years. If you take the proper steps and relearn the Nameless One's true name, he sloughs off his torment, and the Mark of Torment peels off of his body and flutters away with the breeze.
  • Prince of Persia:
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
  • In Tekken 3 and forward, Jin Kazama gains more and more black tattoos as his 'Devil Jin' mode awakens.
  • In Vagrant Story, there is the Blood Sin, which controls the Gran Grimoire. Whoever acquires it has control of Lea Monde. Sydney already has it. Everyone else wants it, and Guildenstern cuts the tattoo from Sydney's back to graft onto his own.
  • In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, making a deal with a certain "GOD" (not that you have a choice) will have you branded with one to mark the pact. Other characters who are versed in the arcane would note that it's ancient, powerful magic, and that you're dealing with a particularly dangerous entity.
  • Taboo Minamimoto from The World Ends with You.

    Visual Novels 

  • In Dangerously Chloe, Teddy acquires a pentacle on the back of the left hand with which he touched the demon statue. After the blood pact is sealed, this mark fades out of sight.
  • Darken: Gort gains an intricate flame-like tattoo when he agrees to come Back from the Dead as a powerful servant of the Archdevil Mephistopheles. Komiyan, a Mephistopheles worshiper himself, explains that the tattoos usually only symbolize claiming strength from one's victims, but suggests that, since Gort was resurrected through mass Human Sacrifice and is now The Needless, the meaning is entirely literal for him.
  • In Goblins, selling your soul to a demon will result in a random part of your body turning translucent, marking you as the demon's property and telling other demons not to interfere with you. Biscuit's lips and hair are see-through as a result of such a bargain, and Dies-Horribly's ears become so after tries to sell himself to a demoness.
  • Inverted in Gunnerkrigg Court: It is the demon Reynardine who bears the mark of, and is therefore controlled by the heroine and human Antimony.
  • Phantomarine: Seaghosts possessed by Cheth display his characteristic black band tattoos on their arms, and a long line of fishbone tattoos on their backs.

    Web Original 
  • Inverted completely in the Dead Gods universe. Heralds are granted brands that gradually cover their whole bodies, but those brands were specifically created to be not repulsive by the patron deities. They also allow the Heralds to conjure incredible powers, including communing with the local demons, none of whom are anything but benevolent.
  • In Mystery Skulls Animated, green starts creeping up Arthur's arm after it's touched by a glowing green spirit that is quickly gaining control of his body as it possesses him.

    Western Animation 
  • In Code Lyoko, the Eye of XANA is used in this manner with the possessed William, displayed on his forehead, chest and sword.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Sock Opera", Dipper's eyes turn a shade of yellow and his pupils slit when Bill Cipher takes control over his body. Of course, this being Gravity Falls, every single character fails to notice this.
  • Parodied in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy when Billy is given a cursed tricycle that is sentient and violently attacks anyone that wrongs him (a la Christine) and Grim confirms that it's cursed with the Mark of the Beast. As it turns out, the mark of the beast is actually a brand name by a company that specialises in making cursed products.
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures, anyone who drew the mark of Tarakudo on their body would gain demonic powers and slowly turn evil (said mark was on an archive book the Demon Sorcerer Clan created). Also, the mark doesn't come off, regardless of how it was made, without a spell. It is implied that the mark actually turns the victim into one of the Shadowkhan.
  • The Owl House: Coven Sigils are a very Book of Revelationesque interpretation of this trope, being a special tattoo that everyone is required to get on their right wrist or be marked as a criminal by Emperor Belos' fascist regime. They also pretty much doom anyone that gets them, as they are used as a targeting system for the Draining Spell in Belos' Day of Unity plot.
  • The Simpsons: In the opening to "Treehouse of Horror XXX", Ned tries to kill Maggie because she bears the mark of the beast. He parts her hair to reveal a Mickey Mouse head (referencing the Disney/Fox merger) before realizing his error and reveals she also has a "666" mark on her head. It then turns out the mark is actually a message saying that this is "Episode 666, or 667 if Fox changes the schedule".
  • Parodied in Star vs. the Forces of Evil with the "Mark of Hekapoo", which is the result of an ancient and powerful demon sorceress delivering a Dope Slap that burns the hair off the back of your head.
  • Teen Titans (2003):
    • Raven gets some in the "all over the body" variety in season 4, apparently heralding the end of the world.
    • More interestingly, when Slade comes back, he's got a glowing sigil in his forehead, to go with his new, fire-based powers and infernal army. When he loses the powers, the sigil disappears as well...
  • In Wakfu, Qilby gets this along with a Power-Up Full Color Change when he merges with the Eliacube and reveals his villainous nature. He still retains faded-out discolored versions of the markings after the Eliacube is forcibly removed from him.
  • In X-Men: Evolution, Mystique, Magneto, Xavier, and Storm receive markings similar to those of Apocalypse when he "recruits" them as his horsemen.

    Real Life 
  • Many organized crime syndicates such as The Mafiya and Yakuza have a complete system of symbolic tattoos.
    • The Russian Mob is supposedly so up on symbolic tattoos that one who knows what the symbols mean can learn a guy's entire history (birth year and/or date, first "job", affiliations, current rank, specialties, etc) just by looking at his arm.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Malignant Tattoo


The Outsider's Mark

The Outsider brands Corvo with his Mark, granting him the ability to use Void magic.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / MarkOfTheBeast

Media sources: