We get into different ruts
Some are the cogs in the wheels
Others are just plain nuts
I'm just wild about Harry and Harry's wild about me!
Science is some folks' calling
Others pilot a ship
My mission in life, stated simply, is
A mustache on every lip!"
Some people just can't leave well enough alone, especially if it's a work of art with a face. Mustache Vandalism is when a character, if they see a picture of someone they don't like, and it's within reach, draws a mustache, beard, or both on the picture. Often played with by having the picture be an actual person (but oddly, the one doing the drawing won't notice until the drawing is complete). Another example is erasing the mustache on a picture of someone who has one.
Decorations can include mustaches, beards, devil horns/tail, blacked-out teeth, spiky hair or the arrow through the head. If they especially hate the person, it may be a Hitler-type mustache, accompanied by swastikas.
Generally a comedy trope, it can show the vandal to have carefree humor. Can also be used more seriously, to show mild dislike for someone. Compare Face Doodling, where this is done to a live person while they're asleep/unconscious. A milder sister trope to Dartboard of Hate.
A subtrope is when a fugitive defaces a "Wanted!" Poster in this manner to delay being recognised. This may be followed by the appearance of a not-quite-Identical Stranger who exactly resembles the defaced poster. Contrast Photo Doodle Recognition, in which altering a picture leads to recognition of someone whose actual appearance has been similarly altered.
- A 1990 Yellow Pages commercial (the one with the French polishers) shows a painting defaced this way.
- An ad bumper on The Hub had someone take out a yearbook of all the major characters featured in the shows on the network and deface each portrait with a mustache, only to pause when confronted with MC Bat Commander, who already has a drawn-on mustache and blacked-out tooth as part of his costume.
- In the 1980s, WNBC radio had a commercial where a poster of their top two personalities (Don Imus and Howard Stern) is defaced by people passing by, including old women and nuns.
- In this Froot Loops commercial, Toucan Sam paints a picture of Yoshi for Mario, who in turn, paints a mustache on it.
- In one of the Chibitalia stories, Chibitaly does this to a portrait of young Austria. In a variation of this trope, the act was not intended to be malicious. Chibitaly simply wanted to paint something, but only had a paintbrush and a pot of ink. Austria himself is not pleased and, in the dub, even comments "That's just mean!"
- Dada artist Marcel Duchamp's 1919 artwork "L.H.O.O.Q" is a postcard reproduction of da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" with a hastily drawn mustache and goatee on her face.
- In one Lucky Luke story, charlatan Dr. Doxey changes his name, shaves his moustache and beard, and has a new picture of him taken for his ads. However, a kid Doxey pissed off defaces the ad to the point it looks exactly like Doxey's old face, allowing Luke to recognize him.
- One issue of MAD inverted this trope. In Mexico a kid sneaks up to a poster of a politician who already has a huge bushy mustache and carefully cuts it out to make him look clean-shaven.
- In a Golden Age Batman story, Dick Grayson was randomly doodling mustaches on photos in the newspaper. Seeing one of Dick's doodles makes Batman realize that the thief he has been chasing is actually a European playboy with a fake mustache.
- In The Simpsons Movie, Bart mustaches a "Wanted!" Poster of Homer - now it looks just like Guy Incognito, who gets beaten and arrested. Then he finds one for the entire family at a roadside convenience store, and vandalizes it so they won't be recognized. After they leave, another family enters, which looks exactly like the Simpsons, only with the features "added" by Bart. They are arrested on the spot.
- As in the book (below), the film version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe has Edmund drawing a mustache on the "statue" of a lion in the witch's courtyard. He later sports the mustache even after he's been brought back to life.
- After being sorely tempted by native girl Wednesday, Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N. pulls out his picture of his fiance, Jane—only to find that the native girls have defaced it with a mustache and goatee (or maybe it's a Van Dyke?).
- In Problem Child 2, Junior, a little jealous of the attention his adoptive father is giving Annie Young, decides to deface her picture in this way. He's found by Trixie, her daughter who is equal to him in being bad, who sternly warns him "I wouldn't do that if I were you." When Junior doesn't listen, Trixie floors him, says "Next time, you'll listen to me," and then draws a mustache on him with his own marker.
- In Bedknobs and Broomsticks Paul does this to a clay bust, then accessorizes it with a top hat. See it at 2:41 in this video.
- In Robot Jox, the protagonist has his poster vandalised this way (amongst others) for retiring after he's left traumatised when his Humongous Mecha crushes a stand full of spectators.
- The Leslie Nielsen movie Wrongfully Accused has a scene where the main character defaces his "Wanted!" Poster so no one will make the connection that it's him. Another character played by Nielsen inexplicably appears with the same features he drew on the picture, and is promptly arrested.
- The dance scene in Flubber has two chunks of Flubber fall into an inkpot, then race around the room, giving the Mona Lisa facial hair in the process.
- In the Charlie Chaplin short film The Adventurer, Charlie plays an escaped convict. At one point he defaces his own wanted poster with a massive beard and moustache so that it looks just like The Heavy.
- The Little Rascals had an episode with Alfalfa as a crooner and Spanky as his agent. A big talent show is coming up and Butch pays Spanky a visit. As he and Spanky talk, Butch takes the picture Spanky has of himself and gives it a black eye and blacks out some of the teeth. The purpose of this is to intimidate him into getting Alfalfa to drop out of the contest, Butch heavily implying that he'll make Spanky look like the picture if he doesn't.
- One of the first Football Follies clip shows/specials featured this in the bumpers, done to stills of a player. One has a pre-defaced image, followed by it being 'shaved' off quickly!
- In The Bad and the Beautiful, when the trio arrives at the Shields lot, Georgia draws a goofy mustache on the logo at the front gate. It's later revealed to be a Call-Back to when Shields drew a mustache on a picture of her father in an effort to snap her out of her grief and self-pity.
- In the book The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the Herdmans are shown drawing mustaches on illustrations of Jesus.
- In Emil and the Detectives, Emil is reluctant to approach the police and instead uses the help of other children. The reason is that a few weeks earlier he painted a beard and mustache on a statue, so he's afraid the police won't believe him.
- In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Edmund draws a mustache on a stone lion. It's portrayed as malicious rather than funny, since he knows that it used to be a real lion, and in fact, thinks it used to be Aslan.
- In Good Omens, it's mentioned that one of the late Witchfinders used to draw mustaches and spectacles on all the witches and demons in the Witchfinder Army's collection of demonological texts.
- In Maskerade, Nanny Ogg kills some time by drawing moustaches on the Instructive Diagrams in one of Verence's books. It's hinted that Verence thereafter interprets the diagrams as requiring him to wear a false moustache while following the instructions.
- Sesame Street featured a segment where Muppet cowboys compare a "Wanted!" Poster of Cookie Monster with the actual Cookie Monster. When their suspicion peaks, Cookie Monster distracts them long enough to draw a mustache on the poster. The cowboys notice the disparity, and apologize to Cookie Monster for suspecting him. Cookie Monster amiably tips his hat ... and lots of stolen cookies tumble out. Mayhem Ensues.
- In an episode of Lizzie McGuire, the cast gets issued their school yearbooks. Gordo rhetorically asks his friends what the first thing anyone does with their new yearbook is. Miranda and Lizzie say it's to draw a mustache on the gym teacher.
- In an episode of Dad's Army, Pike gets mud on his hands and wipes it off on a nearby statue, taking the opportunity to give the statue a moustache and goatee in the process.
- In one episode of Frasier, Daphne casually suggests that Frasier grow a moustache, because there's a billboard of him that she's seen that has been defaced in that way, and she thinks it looks good.
- Modern Family: After Phil sees one of the advertisments for his real estate agency defaced with a mustache drawn on his picture, he thinks he would look good with a mustache and decides to grow one.
- In one of the sketches in the British comedy series The Sketch Show, Ronni introduces her boyfriend Lee to Karen by showing her a picture of him, which has a red mustache, red glasses and red hair doodled over it. Karen asks her why she did that, but it turns out that's what Lee really looks like.
- In the The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "The Mind and the Matter," Archibald Beechcroft draws a mustache on a poster of a woman in a desperate attempt to amuse himself in a world where he has made all the people disappear.
- In an episode of "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers,'' Tommy and Kimberly are candidates in an election for class president and thanks to a spell put on them by Rita, they become very competitive with each other. This includes one scene of Tommy drawing a moustache and glasses on one of Kimberly's posters and then deciding to "fix it" by putting one of his posters over it. Kimberly then gets back at him by changing the words "Vote for Tommy" on the poster to "Don't vote for Dummy."
- In the opening intro to LazyTown, Trixie can be seen drawing a moustache on one of Mayor Meanswell's posters.
- In Battlestar Galactica (2003), Kara Thrace gave her surrogate father Bill Adama a birthday card with a photo of herself, "proving" their relation by jokingly drawing a mustache and a pair of glasses on her own face.
- In one of Sergio Aragones' "A Mad Look At..." comics for MAD, a presidential candidate sees a poster of himself after being subjected to mustache vandalism. He then decides he actually would look good with a mustache, and grows one.
- In another Aragones comic, a criminal sees his image on a "Wanted!" Poster, so he quickly goes home and puts on glasses and a fake mustache. However, some kid draws glasses and a mustache on the poster, so when the criminal goes out again, he's arrested.
- In Lee Ann Womack's "I'll Think of a Reason Later," the narrator confesses to "[drawing] horns and [blacking] out a tooth" on her ex's fiancée in a wedding announcement.
- "Your Tattoo" by Sammy Kershaw has the narrator pondering what to do with a tattoo of his now-ex-lover and referencing this trope:
Oh, it won't wash off or fade away
And I'm stuck with you till my dying day
It's just a picture of a girl in her birthday suit
With her cowboy hat and her cowboy boots
I can go to the man and have him erase
Or have him put a mustache on your face
What am I gonna do with your tattoo?
- The cover to Devo's outtake compilation Something Else For Everybody is pretty much just a pseudo-vandalized version of the artwork to their album Something For Everybody. The original cover photo is a woman with her eyes closed, about to bite into a candy shaped like the band's trademark "energy dome" hats - the Something Else For Everybody art adds the word "Else" and an arrow above the title and the band's signatures, and also blacks out one of the woman's teeth and adds a black pupil to one of her closed eyes.
- Garfield does this to a picture of Jon◊, and when Jon demands for Garfield to fix it, Garfield draws a mustache on Jon's face as well.
- In another strip, Garfield proudly proclaims "I just finished drawing a mustache on every picture of Jon in the house!" The next panel sees Jon stick his mustachioed head in:
Jon: "I just drew a mustache on my face!"
- In Calvin and Hobbes, Hobbes likes to do this to Calvin's comic books:
- Calvin's scheme to avoid getting attacked by Hobbes when he comes home by putting a dummy of himself in front of the door backfires, with Hobbes inviting the dummy inside and locking the real Calvin out. Calvin then overhears Hobbes asking the dummy: "May I draw mustaches on all the superheroes? I may? Oh joy!"
- In another strip, Calvin is trying to convince his mom to stop Hobbes from reading his comic books:
Mom: Well, you should learn to share. I don't think Hobbes will hurt them.
Calvin: Are you kidding?! He drew a mustache and glasses on every picture of Nuke-Man last issue! In pen!
Mom: Why don't you go play outside, Calvin.
- Played with in one B.C. strip. A character encounters a campaign poster for a bearded caveman, so he vandalized it by erasing the beard.
- In one For Better or for Worse strip, Michael draws moustaches and black teeth on every person in a magazine Elly brought home, which infuriates her since she wanted to keep it forever due to it containing a poem she published.
- Parodied in the Swedish satire comic Rocky. One strip, published during the national elections of 2006, had Rocky talk about how people have been vandalizing election posters the same way for almost a century, pointing out the poster of the party leader of Moderaterna (the Swedish conservative party) with a gap tooth, only for his friend to point out that said politician actually HAS a gap in his front teeth. Rocky finds this amazing, and says the guy should grow a Hitler moustache, get a swastika forehead tattoo and get devil horn implants too to get a leg up on any would-be vandals.
- The reDRagon poster was mysteriously scribbled on and the Michael Elgin picture Mandy Leon kept in the locker she used for Inside Ring of Honor gained a new mustache when it was taken over and renamed Story Time With Adam Cole.
- In one of his monologues on My Word!, Frank Muir speculates on whether various artworks only achieved greatness by accident. One of his suggestions is that "The Laughing Cavalier" would have been exhibited as clean-shaven if Hals hadn't left it against the wall of a tube station while he bought his ticket.
- In his Tinselworm show, Bill Bailey combines this with Incredibly Lame Fun.
Don't say "knock knock", just knock! What's all this "knock knock" business?
I'm just trying to leaven the mundanity of your day.
Well, don't try to leaven the mundanity of my day! If I want my mundanity leavened, I'll do what I always do.
I will draw a moustache at random on the TV with a marker pen, and wait for that glorious yet fleeting moment when Jeremy Paxman becomes General Kitchener.
- A card in the On the Edge collectible card game only worked if you permanently defaced it in this fashion... ruining its resale value.
- The Room: The Game. If you go into rooms when you aren't supposed to you can see weird things happening, like Mark drawing a mustache on Johnny's picture.
- In Punch-Out!! Wii, Aran Ryan's introduction video has him doodling a moustache onto a poster of Little Mac.
- In Just Cause 2, you can do this to billboards of Baby Panay.
- In the Glider PRO CD house "Art Museum," you can draw a mustache, goatee and glasses on a self-portrait of Peter Paul Rubens—for points!
- In Baten Kaitos, a woman's expensive portrait was vandalized this way.
- An Easter Egg in Pokémon Crystal has the player discover some graffiti in the Celadon apartment building and doodle a mustache on it.
- Throughout Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, Bentley keeps a photo of his girlfriend Penelope on his binocucom. After the events of Episode 4, the photo is vandalized with mustashes and devil horns to signal Bentley's newfound hatred of Penelope when they break up following her Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome.
- In Lego City Undercover crime boss Vinnie Pappalardo is attacked by a rival gang. One of the things the gang does besides trash the place is draw mustaches on the portraits of Vinnie's mother. Turns out they had to pay the artist to leave the mustace off.
- The dada artist Marcel Duchamp modified a copy of the Mona Lisa this way and gave it the title "L.H.O.O.Q." (this is a phonetic rendering of "Elle a chaud au cul", meaning "she's a nymphomaniac"). Duchamp later created a sequel, "L.H.O.O.Q. shaved", which is a Mona Lisa without a moustache and beard drawn on it.
- A NYC subway vandal has developed a more creative variation: defacing posters with a curvy moustache made out of the word "moustache".
- In the title sequence of Phineas and Ferb, the title characters draw a mustache on what looks like a painting of Candace, until she pops her head out of the picture frame to yell at Phineas. The use of this trope is the result of Early Installment Weirdness, though. Phineas was intended to be a lot brattier than the Nice Guy everyman he eventually became, leaving this part of the opening rather odd in hindsight.
- Scooby-Doo and Shaggy have done this many times, usually with the "painting/statue coming to life" variation.
- Parodied in Family Guy episode "Love Thy Trophy". Peter ransacks his neighbours' houses to find their supposedly stolen trophy and draws mustaches on their family portraits...except Cleveland, who already has a mustache, so Peter erases it with a pencil instead.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- In "One Bad Apple," Babs Seed does this to the Cutie Mark Crusaders during the musical portion of the episode.
- In "A Bird in the Hoof", Philomena sneaks around drawing mustaches on a "Wanted!" Poster that Celestia's guards put up.
- The Looney Tunes cartoon "Daffy Doodles" has Daffy Duck as the vandalizing "Mustache Fiend" and Porky Pig as a policeman trying to catch him. When Daffy finally gets arrested at the end of the cartoon (but let off by a jury of mustached Jerry Colonna look-alikes), Daffy tearfully repents and promises he'll never draw another mustache... "I'm doin' beards now!"
- Porky also gets hit with a Visual Pun in the form of a "handlebar mustache".
- This is the 'crime' committed in the Fillmore! episode "Masterstroke of Malevolence". Fillmore and Third must discover the identity of the vandal before the ink dries so the restorer can identify the brand of marker used and save the portrait. It wasn't actually vandalism, despite one student doing this kind of thing regularly, it was the original artist adding a detail his patron demanded he left out.
- The first thing Technus from Danny Phantom does as soon as he's freed from Danny's old game of Doomed is to open a paint program with a picture of Danny's crush Paulina and draw a mustache and massive glasses on her. When he gets transferred to Tucker's PDA, he does the exact same thing to Tucker's copy of Paulina's picture.
- Later, once Technus beams himself into the mainframe of the Fenton RV, he does the exact same to a picture of Jack Fenton.
- In an earlier episode ("Fanning the Flames"), Sam does this to a giant cardboard cut out of Ember McClain. Butch must love this trope...
- The Tom and Jerry cartoon "Touché, Pussy Cat" shows Nibbles using an artist brush to paint a caricature of Tom on a wall. When Nibbles realizes that Tom is glaring at him, Nibbles paints spectacles and a mustache on Tom's face.
- In "The Lonesome Mouse", Jerry draws a Hitler mustache on a picture of Tom before spitting at it.
- In the 1975 short "The Supercape Caper", one of the villains, who is called the Mustache, gleefully draws mustaches on posters everywhere, but is caught after he marks up the face of a live policeman.
- Subverted in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. Clowns are the new mustaches.
- An episode of Recess has Principal Prickly do this to his own picture while subject to Hypno Fool (and thinking he's a six-year-old child). At the end of the episode he gets distracted by it (thinking he looks pretty good with a goatee) and forgets to punish the cast.
- "Better Off Undead" of Ugly Americans shows Leonard defacing a "Wanted!" Poster of him. Having, of all, Mark wanting him drawn and quartered is quite an achievement...even for Leonard.
- Ironically, in The Smurfs episode "Every Picture Smurfs A Story", Painter fixes up a picture of the artist Maestro (who turns out to be trapped in a portrait prison) by painting a mustache on him.
- Played straight in "Tattle-Tail Smurfs", when Brainy shows up with a copy of Quotations Of Brainy Smurf that has his face image defaced with a moustache...and Painter is seen holding a paintbrush behind his back.
- Also the Gingerbread Smurfs from the eponymous episode painted mustaches on the Smurfs, including Smurfette.
- In the Droopy short "Seņor Droopy", the main character's Berserk Button is activated when the bull he is fighting defaces the picture of a beautiful Spanish woman he is holding (Mexican actress Lina Romay) with a moustache.
- The gag was repeated in "One Droopy Knight", where a dragon defaces a picture of the princess Droopy wants to marry.
- The Simpsons: when Springfield Elementary is snowed in and the kids take over, Milhouse draws mustaches on a bunch of portraits of former presidents, but is clueless about what to do when he reaches Howard Taft◊.
- Also happens in episode "American History X-cellent".
- A very rare example of an unintentional version of this trope: "Trude und ihr Tier" (in Die Sendung mit der Maus). Selfsame animal (think a two meter Alf) simulates being busy and scribbles around in a fashion calendar or such without realizing what he does.
- Two wanted posters of Bugs Bunny in Fresh Hare are defaced with graffiti, most likely by Bugs himself. One poster has a fake mustache and tongue sticking out, while the other has Bugs looking like Adolf Hitler.
- In the second part of the two-part Jem episode "The Jem Jam", Techrat can be seen drawing a mustache on a computer monitor depicting Pizzazz's face during the musical number "Gimme a Gimmick".
- In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Painting", Gumball and Darwin draw a mustache on Miss Simian's portrait in Principal Brown's office as he's lecturing their parents on how to be a better influence on their sister, Anaïs.
- In the Sonic Boom episode, "Spacemageddonocalypse", Dr. Eggman takes Orbot and Cubot to his secret underground bunker, where he finds the place vandalized by them. He orders them to clean it up, including wiping a mustache of a picture of him. Since Eggman already has a mustache, he gives us this line:
Eggman: And get that mustache off my mustache!
- The Powerpuff Girls (2016): "Man Up 3: The Good, The Bad and the Manly" has the villain Man Boy planting mustaches on everything and everyone with a special cannon. When Bubbles gets hit, her mustache drives her power crazy, even rendering Man Boy into a simpering wuss.