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Perpetual Frowner

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They call him "Old Stoneface".

"Staying all serious and scowling every minute of the day is impossible! How can anyone look so mad all the time?!"
Kon regarding Ichigo, Bleach

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A character whose default or most frequent appearance/model is him/her with a serious upside-down smile, even in the most pleasant of situations. Though it can be compared to The Stoic, Perpetual Frowner differs in the simple fact that rather than wearing a face of indifference, the character perpetually expresses the biggest, ugliest frown he or she can make on their face.

Usually comes in three varieties: mopey and listless, angry and angsty, or focused and serious. In many cases, the look of extreme tension continues even when they're asleep. For series where character background and development is allotted, it may later be revealed that the person expresses the demeanor as a result of a living or having lived a harsh or tragic life.

Extra points if the character also displays a habit of keeping his arms crossed along with the constant frowning for that extra pouty look.

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If the Perpetual Frowner actually does smile, it either signifies that the character has found a reason to be happy and enjoy life again, or one of the most potent sources of Nightmare Fuel you will ever come across. The smile may also be forced upon another by someone.

If the expression is not voluntary but the result of damage to nerves or the like, it falls under Frozen Face.

Compare the Aloof Big Brother, the Deadpan Snarker, and The Eeyore. Contrast Perpetual Smiler. See also the Death Glare and the Clint Squint.


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Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • Batman.
    • Any modern version of Batman. When he actually laughed at Harley Quinn in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, it scared her. He wasn't always like that in Batman: The Animated Series, just when he was mad. He didn't really become a Perpetual Frowner until The New Batman Adventures.
    • It must be genetic, because Batman's son, Damian Wayne (the current Robin) is this as well.
  • The Saint of Killers from Preacher, alive or undead. One character describes his permanent facial expression as someone who's "treadin' through dogshit".
    • He smiles in a flashback when he holds his newborn daughter. This old, hated Civil War veteran not only has a loving wife, but now a beautiful daughter.
      • Although, true to Garth Ennis's style, this quickly becomes a Tearjerker. You don't get to be the Saint of Killers by having everything come up roses, and it's clear that the shit's about to hit the fan...
  • In Judge Dredd, the titular character has two facial expressions: "Frowning Angrily" and "Shouting". There was one time, when he returned to Mega City 1 from Luna-1 and hadn't been reinstated as a judge yet. He spent the couple of minutes walking around, waving at anyone, and ignoring crimes because he was technically a civilian.
  • Happy Hogan of Iron Man started out like this, simply because that was how he always looked. At one point, he informed the reader that he WAS smiling. He got better before The '60s were through.
  • About the only time The Punisher doesn't wear this expression is in flashbacks with his family.
    (After blasting Bushwacker through a wall) "I don't smile much. Don't smile ever. But if I did, this would be one."
  • Almost everyone in Sin City. If they smile, you should expect it to be a Slasher Smile.
  • Just take a look at Hawk in Brightest Day.
  • Grouchy Smurf in The Smurfs.
  • The main hero of WILQ – Superbohater, which perfectly matches his bad attitude. In rare instances when he actually changes his face expression, it's usually one of shock and disbelief. Or a Psychotic Smirk, when he's about to hurt someone.
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye:
    • Ultra Magnus, stern lawman to a fault, is never seen smiling (except twice, the first he regretted ever since, and the second was to save everyone's life).
    • Ratchet, on account of being increasingly old and grumpy. Just for contrast, a flashback actually shows him smiling, towards Drift, of all people.
    • Helex, of the Decepticon Justice Division, is almost never seen smiling. Usually he's this, or his face is obscured. So much of a perpetual frowner, he doesn't even smile while on the job, except for one time.
  • Any comic character drawn by Rob Liefeld will usually have this as a default expression. Slightly angrier characters will have it with teeth exposed. Still angrier characters will have a open, shouting mouth with the upper half of their face pinched into a painful looking grimace.
  • Zoom is in a constant state of Unstoppable Rage, and his mouth is nearly always twisted into a tooth-baring grimace.
  • Trellis from Amulet. He's only ever been seen smiling once - whilst playing a game of Othello in Escape From Lucien.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In the Grimm Brothers' "The Golden Goose", a local princess was this and her father the King decreed that, if a man could make the very serious and unemotional Princess laugh, she'd marry him. She begins laughing when she sees The Hero carrying around the titular Golden Goose... plus a bunch of people that were stuck to him because of the Goose's curse.

    Fanfiction 
  • In Shinobi The RPG Shimoda Daisuke, who thanks to his one Charisma combines having the emotional range of a statue with a frightening affect is actively frightening to his peers. Plus, he's constantly mentioned as frowning.

    Film - Animated 

    Film - Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • The Dresden Files:
    • "I snarled", "I glared", "I scowled"....Harry Dresden is very much this. This is notable, given the fact that he spends most of his time cracking bad jokes.
    • Morgan from the same series is practically carved out of granite. He smiles maybe once in all of the books.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Kreacher the house elf makes emo kids look optimistic and happy from his introduction in the fifth book until the seventh, when he finally sees the light and starts to become cheerful.
    • When he's not smirking, Snape spends his time either scowling or frowning, or sneering.
  • Greg Heffley from Diary of a Wimpy Kid is usually shown frowning.
  • Bukama from The Wheel of Time prequel novel is one of these. "The older man brightened. Well, his scowl lessened a little. For him, that was as good as a grin from anyone else."
  • Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights starts out like this, at any rate.
  • The titular character in the Eisenhorn trilogy, though not by choice. You see, early in the first book, he gets tortured so horribly (an this is set in Warhammer 40,000, so feel free to imagine just how) that the muscles in his face are irreparably damaged. He can't smile, even if he wanted to.
  • The Death Gate Cycle: The fact that Haplo tends to maintain a grim expression even while sleeping is remarked upon by other characters. He does smile occasionally, however.
  • In I Funny, Jamie Grimm's aunt and uncle's family, ironically nicknamed the Smileys, are shown frowning mostly.
  • Tahniya in The Path to War is actually described as having a permanent small frown, which always makes her look like something has irritated or troubled her.
  • Lord Droon, the villain of Dr. Seuss's early picture book The King's Stilts, is described as a "scowler," mutters that "the lines at the corners of the mouth should go down," and loathes smiles, fun, and anything that seems unserious or undignified - so much that he endangers the entire kingdom by stealing the titular stilts, pushing the king toward the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Tywin Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire has never smiled since he lost his wife. Even before then, there had only been four recorded occasions of him smiling.
    • Stannis Baratheon is similar to, if not even more so, to Tywin in this regard. It's said, more than once, that he "never learned how to smile." He is constantly scowling, and one of his character tics is, when particularly annoyed by something, he grinds his teeth. A character once said he was so mad about something that "he clenched his teeth so hard I thought they would shatter."
      • However this ties into the theme that there is more to Stannis then first meets the eye. He smiles and laughs a few times, usually when his most trusted man Davos Seaworth is around.
    • In the past, King Aegon III was this from seeing the horrific way his mother died. Never smiled, always wore black to mourn his mother.
  • In The Hunger Games, Gale says that Katniss only smiles when in the woods. During the Games, Peeta tells her that she doesn't scowl as much when she's asleep. Katniss herself admits that her smiles are hard to come by.
  • In Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain, Generic Girl always sounds tired and unhappy, not fitting in with heroes, villains, or middle schoolers.
  • Skeeter Traps from Chronicles Of Magic is a ten year-old version of this.

    Live Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor is the "serious and focused" aspect of this trope, occasionally broken by a manic grin. He does have a cute, kinder smile but it shows up once in a blue moon.
  • Mid-20th century Variety Show host Ed Sullivan was famous for almost never smiling on camera, though he didn't exactly frown per se, he often had a rather stern look on his face. When he did smile, it was actually neither glurge nor Nightmare Fuel, but his smiles were always notable for their extreme brevity. One time when he told comedian Red Skelton "It's wonderful to see your smiling face again." Skelton replied, "That's more than I can say for you." Sullivan's response was "That's not fair, you know I can smile. Like this." At which point he flashed a perfectly cheerful smile, for about a tenth of a second before returning to his stern, stoic look.
  • Live action/puppetry: The grouchy Oscar and Bert on Sesame Street. All the more remarkable in that their faces aren't articulated enough to make it obvious that they're frowning — Carroll Spinney and Frank Oz rely on their ability to create character for that.
  • A more obviously-frowning Muppet is Beaker. The way his mouth is cut into his cylindrical head gives him an exceedingly-obvious frown. Nevertheless, the way he talks (itself difficult given he's one of two The Unintelligibles from The Muppet Show) helps to alter the meaning of his perpetual frown: sadness, worry, fright, frustration, whatever. Sam the Eagle also has a permanent frown on his face with a seemingly stern or angry look, helping contribute to his Comically Serious persona.
  • Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family, any version. (Not counting Addams Family Reunion) When she smiled after being brainwashed in Addams Family Values, it deeply unnerved all onlookers.
    • "She's scaring me!"
    • Not so much in the original TV series. She was quite cheerful there.
    • However, she was in The New Yorker comics, which preceded the live action show.
  • Stargate SG-1: Teal'c as played by Christopher Judge.
    • You try smiling after your forehead is cut with an Orak knife and molten gold is poured into the wound. Makes a kick-ass tattoo, though.
    • Compare with Christopher Judge himself, who always seems cheerful.
  • In Stargate Atlantis Rodney Mckay personifies the D: face, when he isn't scowling/whining/complaining.
    • Ronon Dex scowls half the time, usually to intimidate someone (he's 6'4"), although he has been shown to smile occasionally.
      • This becomes hilarious in a crossover episode where Teal'c and Ronon are trying to out-scowl each other before they beat the crap out of each other.
  • Bart Bass in Gossip Girl. Lampshaded by Eric: "He only has one facial expression. He scares me." Whenever he does try to act in a friendly or romantic manner, it's very disturbing and clearly fake.
  • Detective Cornell in the ABC miniseries Secrets & Lies. Pretty much only smiles when making a smug comment towards Ben Crawford, whose accused of murdering a child.
  • Angel smiles so rarely that when he does it's enough of an event that one of the other characters may feel called upon to remark on it.
    Willow: "And the sneer's genetic, who knew?"
  • Stefan Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries, in more episodes than not. You can tell that if he's smiling things must be going really, really well.
    • This was lampshaded by Caroline in Season 2.
  • Debbie Downer, played by Rachel Dratch in a recurring SNL skit. She always says depressing things and brings down the mood of any gathering.
  • Aaron Hotchner from Criminal Minds is more serious than actually grumpy, but he has a resting face that's practically a Death Glare. He's The Stoic, and doesn't really emote all that much, but he does have a truly lovely smile.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Royal executioner Ser Ilyn Payne is never seen without a belligerent scowl.
    • Tywin is also a frowner, like his book characterization. The closest thing he comes to a smile or laugh is a brief guffaw at one of Arya Stark's remarks. In the books, Lord Tywin is reputed to have smiled on four occasions: when he married his first cousin Joanna, when Aerys Targaryen made him Hand of the King, when Jaime and Cersei were born, and when he extinguished the two noble houses that had mocked and defied his weak-willed father. Since that last one, just the threat of him smiling again has been enough to get people to do whatever he wants... and when he can't be there to personally smile, he sends a musician to play a song about that last one.
    • Cersei's very prominent brows emanate hatred even during her rare moments of levity.
    • Gregor's unfriendliness is always reflected in his face. And that's one of his less distasteful traits.
    • Stannis is almost always scowling or displaying a stiff rictus.
  • Karl Pilkington from An Idiot Abroad. If he is smiling, you can guarantee it won't last for long, as Ricky Gervais has a seemingly endless list of things planned to annoy Karl.
    • And retains this role in The Ricky Gervais Show. Ricky savors the one instance he actually manages to make Karl laugh.
  • Will Graham from Hannibal, due to his anxiety and inner demons. He's seen relaxing around his numerous dogs though.
  • Emma Swan's default expression on Once Upon a Time is a frown mainly because she's still wrapping around her head that All Myths Are True, her parents are Snow White and Prince Charming and they haven't aged in 28 years, and that she's The Chosen One.
  • In Best Motoring, Motoharu Kurosawa and Akihiko Nakaya were known for their stoicness, in comparison to the other drivers who were known for being all smiles.
  • Blitzabeth, one of the main characters in the Norwegian children's television show Uhu!, is always frowning, always complaining and always flinging biting and sarcastic comments to everyone. The show takes place in a Haunted House, and the main characters are ghosts who, before being allowed to cross into the afterlife, have to perform some kind of task as a test; Blitzabeth arrives at the ghost house in the very first episode and is given the task to stop frowning and complaining. It takes her the entire series to manage.
  • Star Trek:
    • Vulcans rarely show any facial expressions other than stoic frowning. The oft-pointed eyebrows add to this, as Spock, Tuvok, and T'Pol demonstrate.
    • Worf, son of Mogh does not smile. (Klingons in general tend to be fairly scowly, but Worf makes frowning an art form.)
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine:
    • Captain Raymond Holt rarely expresses any other emotion, and he has a hard face when he says he's happy.
    • Detective Rosa Diaz is nearly always seen scowling — so much so that when she does smile, it usually comes across as discomforting. Though, at the end of "The Pontiac Bandit Returns", she's so happy about the Giggle Pig drug bust that she smiles broadly, surprising even herself.
    Rosa: [grinning ear to ear] How do people do this with their face muscles normally?
  • Parks and Recreation has Ron Swanson. Even when he's being nice, he's stern. The only thing that makes him smile is the collapse of the Pawnee government.
  • This is a stereotype among characters of Kamen Rider, most often secondary riders.
    • Ryu Terui/Kamen Rider Accel is such a grim person that even his neutral face is a scowl. Spending time with the halfboiled detective Shotaro helps him turn back into the nice person he used to be. He retains use of the scowl for work purposes (he is cop).
    • Kaito Kumon/Armored Rider Baron has scowl, deeper scowl and Death Glare. That's about his range of expressions. He has not smiled once through the whole story. While this is justified considering his past and motivation, it still makes for interesting interactions when he is replaced by Keet impostor.
    • Kiriko Shijima is always uptight and professional. Robot War? No problem. Being stuck in the loony bin unit? Still no problem. The instances of When She Smiles have her deny that anything happened.
    • Hiiro Kagami/Kamen Rider Brave usually has disapproving faces coming along with his cold attitude that goes up to Comically Serious level. It's to cope with the pressure of being a surgeon and to balance out his (usually very) zany father. One way or another, spending time with Emu and resolving some of his issues lightens him up to healthier level.
      • Taiga Hanaya/Kamen Rider Snipe was scowling for his life's worth until he got stuck with Nico Saiba. She can see right through him and doesn't tolerate his behavior. Spending time with her and resolving his issues (some of them, that is) helps him get better.
  • Uchu Sentai Kyuranger: Stinger/Sasori Orange didn't come to Orion to make friends, so he is usually in the background scowling at his teammates, who do their best at averting this. They commonly behave like squad of Annoying Younger Siblings and the only one who does not is Kotaro, the only actual child on the team. Stinger is adorably awkward when he is not Mrs. Tough Guy, so his teammates don't take his attitude at face value all the time after they got to see under it.
  • Power Rangers RPM:
    • Dillon/RPM Black was once asked whether brooding comes naturally to him or he has to practice in the mirror every morning. He simply preffers to mantain reputation of cranky tough guy who only looks out for himself. Summer realized this is not true pretty early on, but mostly just worked on staying positive herself and hoped it will rub off on him. It did.
    • Doctor K, team's mentor is aloof, snarky genius with no social skills, so the Rangers are baffled when they see her happy for the first time.

    Music 
  • Rivers Cuomo of Weezer is notorious for always looking somewhat dismayed. Which makes his obvious happiness in the music video for "Keep Fishin'".
  • The Backstreet Boys liked cultivating this image of stoic seriousness in any opportunity they could, mainly on their posters/CD covers as well as going for mainly stoic balladry on their music. In fact, the one way you could tell the difference between them and *NSYNC was that *NSYNC adopted the Fun Personified image and smiled while the Backstreet Boys didn't.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Raven after he came to ECW, due to a deep depression.
  • Kaiju Big Battel's Big Bad, the evil Dr. Cube, is instantly recognizable because of his unchanging expression (it's actually a helmet, as Cube is not a Kaiju)
  • Jim Ross became one after being afflicted by Bell's Palsy. This was initially mocked with a WCW gimmick known as "Oklahoma" and later by Short Stack, when he was "repackaged" as Hornswoggle.
  • Sara Del Rey hasn't been one her entire career but has gone through several stretches of it, enough that a frowing face is a fixture of most of her ring gear. During her (three year+!)JAPW Championship run though, it was speculated she wasn't capable of smiling at the time because of two canker sores.

    Tabletop Games 

    Theater 
  • In Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol Marley is described as prune-faced and perpetually sour, like he'd just bit into a lemon and didn't enjoy the taste.

    Visual Novels 
  • While Saber's default expression in Fate/stay night can be described as 'neutral with a dash of stiffness', Saber Alter's scowl practically bores into your soul.
  • Natsuhi from Umineko: When They Cry is a Rare Female Example.
  • Peko Pekoyama from Dangan Ronpa 2 is not only this, but she expresses a desire to stop coming across as so grumpy all the time in her free time events. This is because she wants to ask her crush on a date and wants to make a good impression.

    Webcomics 
  • Girl Genius: Baron Klaus Wulfenbach looks perpetually unhappy. Then again, given how much he likes his job...
    • A good adventuring fight seems to perk him up a little, though, if this page is anything to go by.
  • Earthsong's Gwen.
  • Homestuck: Karkat is the angriest troll. He is just so angry, you don't even know.
    • Karkat smiled once. Eridan smiled never.
    • The Felt, with the possible exception of Clover who doesn't have a mouth but certainly comes off as the Perpetual Smiler type.
    • Also, every Agent except for CD is this.
    • Aradia is an odd example; she certainly starts out as one, only being shown smiling twice (and one of those was in a flashback), but after going God Tier she inverts the trope completely.
  • VG Cats: Aeris has such a short temper that she's almost always at least annoyed. When she does smile, it's generally not a good sign.
  • Sabrina Online: Sabrina's mother and father are a pair of frowners, too.
  • Lowroad Comics: Butler insists that he has more than one expression, but apparently doesn't look into mirrors often.
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del — Scowl 3: The Scowling.
  • In Our Little Adventure:
  • Dave of The Anime Club. Since Mort and Mark are always yelling at each other, they might count, too.
  • Walkyverse: Mike Warner has smiled about ten times over a ten year period of existence. These smiles only appear when he's completely hammered. The comment section following this comic and Amber's reaction kind of says it all.
  • In Manly Guys Doing Manly Things, perpetual frowning seems to be a possible side effect of Testosterone Poisoning. Parodied in this effusively joyous gathering of friends.
  • Tyler in Damaged Tape hasn't smiled once in the entire run of the comic. He's only had two other expressions: yelling, and a typical Nut Shot reaction face.
  • Mist from Waterworks, most likely due to having a bodily condition that, by the standards of her civilization, makes her hideous.
  • Except for the few moments he's shown surprise, Ballister Blackheart from Nimona keeps a frown of seriousness.
  • The Suit Guy of Godslave may have several expressions, but they all boil down to "some kind of a frown".
  • Miko Miyazaki of The Order of the Stick has a frowny unibrow as her default expression. One of the indications that some serious shit is about to go down after she overhears Shojo plotting with Roy is that her frown is replaced with a neutral expression.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Trond, the resident Grumpy Old Man.

    Web Original 
  • Strong Bad, from Homestar Runner, has a luchadore mask for a face, giving him a perpetual scowl.
    • Strong Bad has smiled on a few occasions... Including one time in which he believed that being flushed down the toilet would turn him into a monster.
    • Strong Sad, who is the emo member of the group, almost never smiles, except for a few occasions (Usually when he gets his revenge on Strong Bad... or when he's had too much caffeine).
    • All of the Brothers Strong (Strong Bad, Strong Sad, and Strong Mad) are often seen with frowns on their faces.
    • The Homestar Runner Wiki has pages for cataloging instances of smiling for all three Brothers Strong.
  • Doreen, from Doreen and Maureen.
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device has the Emperor himself, who manages to have a frown on his face all the time despite being a skeleton.
  • Black puffles from Club Penguin.
  • Bee and Puppycat's own Puppycat is always frowning. It's unclear if this is his mouth's natural shape or if Puppycat is perpetually grumpy.

    Western Animation 
  • In Justice League, Batman. Martian Manhunter too.
  • Shego from Kim Possible, who becomes a Perpetual Smiler in "Stop Team Go".
  • Squidward from SpongeBob SquarePants is a well-known frowner. Can't really blame him, what with living between SpongeBob and Patrick.
    • He is capable of smiling. Quite often, even. But only at his own jokes or art. Furthermore, his smile is usually an indicator that he has just tempted fate, and as such doesn't have a long life span.
    • Despite being so lugubrious and gloomy, he has more range in facial expression than all the other characters on the show.
  • Mr. Gus in the early episodes of Uncle Grandpa.
  • Eustace from Courage the Cowardly Dog. The only time he actually does smile is when he either tortures Courage or when he gets money.
  • The Simpsons:
  • Carrie from The Amazing World of Gumball. However, she has her reasons...
  • The complex but bitter and sometimes just downright angsty Prince Zuko on Avatar: The Last Airbender always has a big angry look on his face and has a strong tendency to stand around with his arms crossed. At the culmination of his character progression within the second season, he recovers from a spiritual illness and spends an episode at peace, smiling, and gaining a more optimistic look on life... Cue the Wham Episode. He sums it up in one line:
    ...are you happy now?
    I'm never happy.
    • Not surprisingly, Zuko's emotionless girlfriend, Mai, also fits. Interestingly enough, the only times they seem genuinely happy are when they're together. This is likely a result of Mai's listlessness and Zuko's angst canceling each other out.
  • Belson from Clarence.
  • Raven in Teen Titans.
  • Mandy in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. In one episode, a shape-shifter turns into Mandy, and Billy remarks "No, wait... Mandy never smiles." She has smiled exactly three times in the entire series. The first time was at the end of the pilot episode. Next, she made an evil smirk after she realized she'd accidentally wished every other human off the planet, and had the whole world to herself. Finally, she smiled during a beauty pageant in "My Fair Mandy", it warped reality. On one occasion she's made a look of genuine sadness—even rarer than a smile.
  • Eva the "Female Bully" from Total Drama rarely smiles.
  • The adorable but angsty Buttercup of The Powerpuff Girls.
  • Craig Tucker from South Park. If he's not stoical, he's this.
    • Shelley frowns in most of her appearances.
  • Ice Bear from We Bare Bears.
  • Droopy and later on his son Dripple.
  • Hank from King of the Hill was said by Peggy to sleep with a look of extreme disgruntlement. And his father, Cotton, has a frown as his default expression, though he's smiled at times.
  • Huey Freeman from The Boondocks. An [adult swim] bump once featured a fan asking the question, "Does Huey ever smile?" The AS team, apparently stumped, claim to have called up Aaron McGruder to ask. The answer? Apparently, the animators are contractually obligated never to depict Huey smiling or laughing, ever.
    • Huey actually does smile a few times in the series. Once when he fights Riley in "Let's Nab Oprah" and twice at Riley's basketball game. There are a few other instances of Huey smiling, but they're harder to notice. But he does fit this trope perfectly.
  • Randl from Harvey Beaks.
  • Popeye, at least in the earlier shorts.
  • Lemongrab of Adventure Time, except for when he's confused or enjoying a good meal.
  • Agent Six from Generator Rex has never changed his perpetual frown. Even when knocked out in a nanite-induced coma, he has the exact same expression on his face.
  • Vice Coach Horace Ferret from My Gym Partner's a Monkey.
  • Schleprock from The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show (a Spin-Off of The Flintstones) was always depressed. His catch phrase was the miserable "Wowzee wowzee woo woo". He even had a perpetual storm cloud over his head.
  • Bleak from Lite Sprites.
    Meadow: I've never been so happy to see your frowning face!
  • Scruffy never smiles in Futurama. (But then, since his mustache is always covering his face, it's difficult to tell what sort of expressions he has.)
  • Skyquake in Transformers Prime. The one time we see him smile was...unsettling.
  • Lance for the first few episodes of Sym-Bionic Titan. He grows out of it if fairly quickly.
  • Edward Platypus from Camp Lazlo.
  • Gordon from Thomas the Tank Engine can fall into this in most of the episodes due to being too focused on his own importance in The Fat Controller's railway as well as arrogantly looking down on the other engines. The engines' tendency in teasing doesn't help at all.
  • Tina from Bob's Burgers.
  • Connie from Brickleberry.
  • Nester and Momma from Scaredy Squirrel. Momma heavily lampshades the trope.
  • Daria: The title character.
    Daria: I don't like to smile unless I have a reason.
  • Nonny from Bubble Guppies. Unlike all the other Guppies, who are Perpetual Smilers, his face always has an uneasy, apprehensive look. He's notably the only Guppy not smiling during the intro and ending, though he'll smile at certain circumstances such as the sequence when the Guppies go outside. Lampshaded at one point during the "Big Warm Friendly Smile" song in "A Tooth on the Looth", Molly even reacts in turn.
    • Mr. Grumpfish is a more straightforward example, as his name might suggest.
  • Mr. Noodman from Sanjay and Craig, except for when he's eating blueberries.
  • Mr. Mufflin from Fanboy and Chum Chum is miserable as he is a complete sadist.
  • Lucy from The Loud House.
  • Steven Universe
    • Lapis Lazuli, when not around her Morality Pet Steven, is stuck with a bitter deadpan face.
    • Mister Frownie, when Steven meets him in "Future Boy Zoltron", is always sad. Every possible future shows that whatever Steven says, he will take it the wrong way and continue being sad. He was in a comedy duo with Mister Smiley.
    • Blue Diamond.
  • Helga Pataki from Hey Arnold!. Her father even lampshades it when looking at family photos of her.
  • Samurai Jack does have a wide variety of expressions, but his default is a stern scowl highlighted by his Big Ol' Eyebrows. A villain in Season 5 was able to identify Jack solely by the scowl, even after he had grown a beard and acquired heavy plate armor.
  • Kaeloo: Mr. Cat's default facial expression is an angry scowl; on a few rare occasions, he does smile (usually when watching someone else get hurt).

    Real Life 
  • As an actor, Ice Cube utilizes the angry scowl so often that when he does smile, it looks downright freaky.
  • Withdrawn (not just Shrinking Violet) students.
  • Many politicians!
    • Especially notable in Dick Cheney. It doesn't matter whether he's at the Republican National Convention, the campaign trail, having tea at the White house, apologizing for shooting another guy in the face, getting an apology from the guy that he shot in the face, or even making the official announcement that Bush has won re-election — he always has this look on his face like someone just ran over his pet dog a few hours ago.
    • During his bid for president in 2000 Al Gore was known to be very dry in public and attempts to make him seem more approachable would backfire (such as kissing his wife a little too long as she joined him on stage for a rally). Since losing the election a well received stint on Saturday Night Live and poking fun at himself in Futurama a couple of times has helped reverse that opinion of being a very serious individual.
  • Silent era comedian Buster Keaton, also known as The Great Stone Face. In his entire film career he has only smiled once...and he had to push up the corners of his mouth with his fingers to do it.
  • Queen Elizabeth was once famous for this one, almost never smiling in public if she could help it. Nowadays she's rarely seen without a big smile on her face however. This role has since been taken by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, whose memorable attempts to smile for cameras resembled Wednesday Addams (and provoked similar reactions).
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Although it is not that apparent on press pictures, she seems to have developed some new facial muscles since she has been voted chancellor.
  • Ned Sparks ("I never go anywhere, I never do anything and I never have any fun!).
  • Despite his rather jokey nature, Eminem rarely smiles in covers, interviews or anywhere else really.
    • It's rumored that he made a vow to not smile in front of a camera after Proof died.
  • What about Steven Seagal?
  • Till Lindemann of Rammstein.
    • Which makes the video for "Mein Teil" creepier than it would be otherwise, as he as a rather impressive rictus throughout.
  • Chicago Mafia boss Joseph "Ha Ha" Aiuppa was a notorious scowler who rarely laughed or even smiled.
  • Jason Statham. It's mentioned on his page that all of his good movies could alternatively be titled Jason Statham Drives A Car And Kills People (While Scowling A Lot).
    • Pick any movie he's in, he has exactly two expressions: frowning, and frowning with his shirt off.
  • Formula One World Driving Champion Fernando Alonso. His smile practically involves a frown.
  • Supposedly there does exist a photo of Henrik Ibsen smiling. One portrait.
  • Gilmour Dobie (Gloomy Gil) was inducted into the College Football Hall Of Fame with an amazing coaching record of 182-45-15. Somehow, he never let his success affect his negative demeanor. One of his famous quotes is, "There are only two ways you can finish in life. Dead or a loser".
  • Charlie Sheen always looks as though he's scowling, even if he's smiling or telling a joke. His eyebrows seem to be the main factor.
  • Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown always looked miserable (although that was probably justified). Sadly his spin-doctors noticed this and told him to smile more, it didn't really work.
  • Trent Reznor.
  • Most birds of prey such as eagles, vultures, and hawks, constantly looked pissed off or dead serious all the time, although this is more due to their facial muscles being more limited in expression that in humans.
    • This trope is the difference between the surprisingly closely related parrots and falcons. Both have hooked beaks and shortish necks, but the latter has a serious look or angry eyes and the former does not.
    • Also with viprid snakes, especially rattlesnakes, who might as well be considered the most angriest looking animal in the entire animal kingdom, looking like they're constantly pissed off.
    • In the league of animals, Boxer dogs, English bulldogs, and other large jowled dog breeds look like frowning is their basic look.
    • Many prehistoric animals, most famously small ornithischian dinosaurs likewise had large palpebral bones above their eyes, which likely lent them such a look. But since people like to imagine them as cute, harmless-looking bug-eyed critters, the lovable deer and antelope-analogues of the dinosaur world, most illustrations ignore this feature.
  • Grumpy Cat aka Tardar Sauce, a snowshoe cat who became rapidly famous. Her frown is caused by feline dwarfism; by all accounts she's very sweet and affectionate.
    • Inverted or averted with felids with normal facial structures however. Feline cats look like they are smiling in their default expression and Pantherine cats have either smiley or neutral default expressions.
  • Inverted with dolphins, especially bottlenose dolphins, as they have about the smiliest default expressions in the animal kingdom.
  • Due to Neanderthal face structure — massive and high brow ridges, big lumpy noses, prominent jaws and small, receding chins, their faces looks to as like they constantly scowl at something.
  • Bill Belichick, head coach of the NFL's New England Patriots, is well known for his seemingly unmoving frown.
  • Christian singer Aaron Shust. He actually has a very nice smile.
  • Fredro Starr and Sticky Fingaz of the rap group Onyx are rarely seen with smiles on their faces.
  • There are very few pictures of the late Japanese emperor Hirohito where he has a smile on his face. You'd have an easier time finding pictures of a smiling Adolf Hitler.

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