Follow TV Tropes


Perpetual Smiler

Go To
Well, at least he opened his eyes once.

"Koizumi's cheerful smile pisses me off every time I see it."

The exact opposite of Perpetual Frowner. This is a character who, no matter what, is never seen without a smile of some kind.

A Stepford Smiler would be a sub-trope, one who smiles because that's all they can do to keep from breaking. A Cat Smile or Cheshire Cat Grin can also be their perpetual expression. A rarely explored Surprisingly Realistic Outcome version would depict a character with a lot of saliva in their mouth, because it's honestly impossible (or very hard) to swallow one's own saliva while literally always smiling, making even a genuinely sweet smile go from sweet and charming to potentially terrifying or at the very least disgusting. A Perpetual Smiler's smile can change, and the emotions behind it can be literally anything, so long as there is something that can be called a 'smile' on their face. Usually, though, this smile is pleasant and cheerful, or at least calm, and often, the feeling behind it is genuine, so The Unsmile doesn't usually appear. Compare Frozen Face if they literally can't stop smiling and to Glasgow Grin where the smile is ear-to-ear and usually inflicted by cutting.



    open/close all folders 


    Anime & Manga 
  • Nacht from Black Clover smiles almost all the time with his eyes closed, even when mentioning why he hates someone even to their face.
  • Osomatsu-san: Jyushimatsu is almost always smiling with his mouth wide open.
  • Sendo from Slam Dunk is considered as this.
  • Kamui from Gintama. Even while killing everyone during the Yoshiwara arc.
  • Anthy from Revolutionary Girl Utena almost always wears a placid, vapid smile. This, in addition to her Dissonant Serenity, is noted by other characters to be creepy and unsettling.
  • Kasumi Tendo from Ranma ½ is never seen without a lovely smile, and doesn't seem to have Stepford Smiler tendencies.
  • Despite the fact that he really doesn't understand emotions, Sai from Naruto is a Perpetual Smiler. He has reasons for this though, which do not fall into the other categories.
  • Wolfgang Grimmer from Monster doesn't even stop smiling as he bleeds to death. He is a pleasant person but the smile is just something he was trained to do. At one point he recalls how his wife left him because he couldn't stop smiling even when his son died.
  • Konata Izumi from Lucky Star has a Cat Smile that, while not quite perpetual, is her default expression.
  • Raquel from Scrapped Princess is perennially cheerful no matter what's going on.
  • Itsuki Koizumi from Haruhi Suzumiya is almost never seen without a smile. Even in Surprise when Fujiwara threatens to kill Haruhi, Koizumi continues to smile even though he's clearly pissed off.
  • Gin Ichimaru (pictured above) and Sousuke Aizen from Bleach. Gin does it because he knows full well how unsettling everyone finds his constant smiling, and it means people never quite know what he's thinking. If Gin stops'd better watch out.
  • Seraph of the End: Yuu and Mika are both this, whom exactly depends on whether you're considering their childhood or their adulthood. This was played straight with Mika when he was younger as he was the more teasing and cheerful one compared to how sour-faced Yuu was. However, this is swapped after they became adults, as having found friends in the Shinoa Squad makes Yuu Took a Level in Cheerfulness and even more smiley after being reunited with Mika, while four years in the vampire community he loathes with no one except for Krul to rely on, and the determination to find Yuu being the only thing keeping him from suicide makes Mika a Perpetual Frowner.
  • Mana from Yu-Gi-Oh!, more in the anime than in the manga.
  • God from Goodnight Punpun.
  • Elmer C. Albatross of Baccano! is always smiling and happy. He'd be a Messianic Archetype were it not for the fact that there are times where one shouldn't be smiling and jokey, so he just comes across as creepy. Oh, and he's friends with Huey Laforet.
    • Similarly, the characters Isaac Dian and Miria Harvent, the Kindhearted Simpleton criminal duo are almost always in a positive mood, even when facing possible death. Of course, they're both immortal and unable to die anyway, but they never really notice.
  • Professor Souichi Tomoe of Sailor Moon S. Heck, for most of the series, the only thing we ever see of his face are his Scary Shiny Glasses and his big, open-mouthed smile.
  • Jail Scaglietti of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS is another perpetually happy fellow. Impending defeat and imprisonment couldn't even make him drop his smile.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Kaede is always smiling mysteriously, to go along with her Eyes Always Shut. She isn't actually very mysterious as a character, having no secrets to hide, she just looks it. Unless she's so good at hiding secrets that we don't even suspect them.
    • Albireo Imma a.k.a. Ku:Nel Sanders also has a perpetual Cheshire Cat Grin, although he's generally much more suspicious than Kaede.
  • Ryuk from Death Note. It's creepy. He only broke it once when Light snapped at him after offering the eyes after meeting L.
  • D.Gray-Man has the Millennium Earl, who smiles even when he's pissed.
  • Kousaka from Genshiken, always has the same expression, no matter what takes place.
  • Xellos from Slayers.
  • Takeshi Yamamoto from Reborn! (2004), for the most part. When he stops smiling though, you had better start hoping you can run faster than the baseball player, because you're about to get screwed over epically because Yamamoto is ticked off.
  • Pride and Ling Yao from Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Ariel from Is This a Zombie?.
  • Mikako from Heaven's Lost Property.
  • Ling-Ling from Rosario + Vampire. Justified, since she's already dead, and thus has nothing left to worry about.
  • Ojisan of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou is always grinning.
  • Thailand and Spain from Hetalia: Axis Powers.
    • Russia is almost never seen without a smile on his face, which unnerves most others, as they can never be sure exactly what he's thinking at any given time.
    • Portugal is this as well, unsurprising considering his relation to Spain. He smiles cheerfully even when threatening or insulting Spain.
    • Denmark is extremely cheerful and almost always smiling.
  • Tchaikovsky's default expression is a pleasant smile, usually with closed eyes. His smile can become quite scary when he's about to do something morally questionable or when he is angry. He lampshades it in chapter 11.
  • Kio from Loveless.
  • One Piece:
    • Kokoro always has a huge, slightly creepy smile, regardless of her actual feelings at the time.
    • Pirate Captain Urouge the Fallen Monk always sports a large grin on his face, even in dire situations.
    • Koala. Until Fisher Tiger broke down her Stepford Smiler façade, it was forced because of her trauma as a former slave, but after the event, it became genuine.
    • Wanze the ramen chef is always smiling even when he's scared or angry, he has the same goofy grin for almost every emotion he displays.
    • Residents of Ebisu Town invoked this trope because SMILE makes residents emotions can do nothing besides smile, no matter how they truly feel.
    • Doflamingo normally has a huge smile, befitting his alias "Joker". When he's angry, the veins in his forehead bulge, but he continue smiling. He does drop the smile on a few occasions, such as finding out Sugar has fainted, which will result in the entire island of Dressrosa learning about his schemes and coming for revenge.
    • Blackbeard, in spite of a few missing teeth. The only times he frowns are when Whitebeard is about to clobber him, and when he sees that the person sent for "prisoner negotiations" is Akainu.
  • Hao Asakura from Shaman King. And his twin Yoh, to a lesser extent (his smile is more genuine).
  • Misaki in The Pet Girl of Sakurasou; her smile will only drop when her relationship with Jin is brought into question.
  • Seta Soujirou from Rurouni Kenshin always has a pleasantly angelic smile in his face, even when slashing your throat with a katana.
  • The Legend of Sun Knight: The Sun Knight is never seen without a smile on his face... Even if he really, really hates the recipient. He's very good at making it look natural, however.
  • Gensei Kihara from A Certain Scientific Railgun, because he has NO remorse at all for his incredibly depraved actions.
  • Nightmare from Kirby: Right Back at Ya!. The only exception was when Tiff pulls out the Warp Star in Kirby's dream. He’s still smiling even as he goes down.
  • Saya from Servant × Service smiles 80% of the time even when angry.
  • Shalnark in Hunter × Hunter is always smiling, even as he's mercilessly mowing down Mafia goons. He seems to be an an almost perpetual state of calm happiness. The only thing known to offend him is having to use an ability that makes him lose control of himself, as it renders him unable to experience the thrill of killing people.
  • Food Wars! has Satoshi Isshiki, a very easygoing party animal who is rarely seen without a wide smile across his face.
  • Lucoa from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid combines this with Eyes Always Shut, and only ever drops it when she's being accused of sexual deviance.
  • In My Hero Academia, one thing that Izuku admires about All Might is that he's always smiling, no matter how bad the villain attack or disaster that he's involved in. He quickly learns that All-Might is a Stepford Smiler upon meeting him (and in fact, his normal form is closer to a Perpetual Frowner), but that just ties into the story's Determinator themes. It's also notable that Izuku's first hero costume, which explicitly takes cues from All Might's appearance, has a big toothy grin on the mask. And if you make All Might stop smiling by, say, threatening his students...the results won't be pretty.
  • Sebastian Michaelis from Black Butler always carries a courteous smile on his face, whether he's doing regular butler duties such as cooking, cleaning, killing enemies, etc...
  • Launch in Dragon Ball always has a smile in her blue-haired form, opposite to her blonde-haired side's Perpetual Frowner.
  • Koro-sensei from Assassination Classroom is almost always seen smiling, so he has to resort to expressing himself with Colour-Coded Emotions.
  • Kogoro from Sgt. Frog is almost always smiling and laughing, so much that only his sister Rabie can tell how he really feels.
  • Downplayed with Principal Kuno in Ranma ½. Whilst he does on rare occasions lose his smile, the vast majority of the time he's seen, he's sporting an ear-to-ear grin, clearly having the time of his life.
  • Nikaido from Dorohedoro smiles a lot already, but it becomes her default expression once she becomes a half-devil.
  • Bobble Hat from the Splatoon manga, being The Pollyanna and Genki Girl, always sports a huge smile on her face alongside closed eyes. In fact, the only way you can tell her emotions is her eyebrows, as she does sport an angry pair of eyebrows in one chapter after her team loses to an off-screen match against Skull and the Purple Team.

  • This is a characteristic of sculpture from the Archaic period. One notable example is the "Dying Warrior from the Temple of Aphaia", which depicts a wounded man pulling an arrow from his chest...with a cheerful smile.

    Comic Books 
  • From The DCU: The Creeper.
  • For the first portion of his appearance in Transmetropolitan, Presidental candidate Gary Callahan is one of these. That's why they call him "The Smiler" (also to contrast with incumbent "The Beast"). He rapidly loses the quality once he starts dealing with Spider Jerusalem.
  • Alcman, the Wilq's sidekick, is always drawn with a wide smile on his face and closed eyes, no matter how dangerous or confusing is the situation.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Most of the toys from the Toy Story series are this in their "toy" mode.
  • Most of the hero characters in the Rankin Bass Stop Motion Christmas specials had built-in smiles, which made it unsettling when they had to be angry or sad.
  • Ed the hyena from The Lion King is always smiling. The one instances he isn't smiling is when he's trying to warn Banzai and Shenzi that Simba and Nala are escaping, another when they're caught and threatened by Mufasa, and finally when they hear Scar outing them as the reasons why he's evil. He also cries in an episode of the TV series.
  • "Cindy", "Bianca", "Hime", "Iria", and "Zade" from Little Princess School for some reason never. stop. smiling.
  • The Emoji Movie has the aptly-named Smiler, who continues grinning even as she's threatening to do horrible things to Gene and his friends for upsetting the status quo in Textropolis.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Michael Sheen's portrayal of Tony Blair in The Deal (2003) and The Queen covers just about the whole range of possible smiles, to the point where it starts to feel like his teeth are following you around the room. Which is Truth in Television.
  • Atom in Real Steel. His face (if he has one) is obscured by a metallic mesh that only shows his eyes, but there are seams in the mesh that resemble a nose ridge and a smile. It helps highlight his child-like appearance, which is most noticeable when his Shadow Function is activated.
  • The Smile Man, short movie about man who damages his spine cord and makes his his face smile forever.
  • Martin Freeman's character in Wild Target continually flashes a big smile at whomever he's talking to. Since he's a contract killer, this is slightly unsettling as well as annoying.
  • The World of Kanako: Detective Asai is always upbeat, smiling and holding his lollipop despite being surrounded by crime. It turns out that he has an interest in a resident prostitution ring and wants to hide this.

  • The Expanse: Sociopathic Hero Amos sports a vague amiable smile as his default look, even when he's seconds away from smashing someone's face in. His POV chapters reveal that it's a deliberate affectation he picked up because he noticed it tended to put people at ease and make things go more smoothly (though, thanks to his Ambiguous Disorder, he's not entirely sure *why* it does). People who know him well tend to find it a bit unsettling because they know that the smile reveals precisely nothing about what's going on inside his head.
  • The Man Who Laughs (L'Homme qui rit) is a man who literally cannot stop smiling as he has no cheeks (he was kidnapped by gypsies as a baby, who mutilated him like this to make money showing him off).
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has the Cheshire Cat and his trademark grin.
  • Ella in Sunny Ella, though what kind of smile it is changes depending on whose point of view we're reading.
  • Jon Masters from Dale Brown's books.
    "The bastard never stops smiling, too. You notice that? Always with the damned grin on his puss. I don't trust somebody who grins all the time—it usually means they found someone else to put the blame on."
  • The Hunger Games: Caesar Flickerman.
  • Part of Spinnock's charm in Malazan Book of the Fallen.
    The Slash that was his mouth was fixed in a grin, an expression that rarely wavered.
  • Theon Greyjoy is depicted as this in the early books of A Song of Ice and Fire.
  • Tattletale of Worm is described as always having a foxlike grin.
  • Armadillo Fists has Mr Happy, who's always happy. In fact, he desperately wishes he didn't have to be, but a neurological disorder has made it so he's incapable of sadness, fear, or any other feeling except happiness.
  • Irrunea Hearts: The protagonist, Ciel, is one, nearly always skinnyregardless of the situation. We're told that people see him as either brave, childish, or insane for this.
  • Bequin: The Chaos Space Marine Teke the Smiling One always smiles. Even when another Chaos Space Marine rams a broadsword into Teke’s gut and leaves him howling and ashen-faced in agony, he continues to smile.
  • The Lost Conspiracy: The main character's entire community practices this. It crosses over with Stepford Smiler becuase smiling is their default expression regardless of the current circumstances. Outsiders find this extremely off-putting, and it contributes in part to their ostracization.
  • Randall Flagg of The Stand always smiles, even when he's angry. It's noted to be one of his creepier attributes, and even his devoted followers are wary of his smile.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Gentlemen from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Hush".
  • Jonas Quinn of Stargate SG-1 is a prime example. He tends to smile when the team is flying through space or he encounters something fascinating for the first time. This is often lampshaded by O'Neill.
  • Scorpina from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers was this (as was, by default, Lami, her Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger counterpart) despite being one of the more serious villains (by MMPR standards, anyway). It was obvious that she genuinely enjoyed fighting the Power Rangers.
    • This was more Ami Kawai than Scorpina. Ami herself is a very sweet, kind, and warm lady who herself is always smiling, who is one of the few former Sentai actors to happily associate herself with the series, even 20+ years later. It also says a lot about her acting abilities that she can effectively play a ruthless villainess despite a kind, sweet, always-smiling appearance without causing any cognitive dissonance.
  • Jerome Valeska from Gotham. Then again, considering who he is likely to become, this is to be expected.
  • While he's capable of being serious and stoic when he has to, especially when dealing with tough topics as mass shootings, Trevor Noah is always smiling or maintaining a positive attitude.
  • Reality Ensues in The Crown (2016) when the recently-crowned Elizabeth must maintain her regal smile through a jam-packed touring schedule. She actually strains the muscles of her face and needs an injection for the pain.
  • Parado from Kamen Rider Ex-Aid has an unsettling smile which he wears most of the time. It's justified as he is usually having fun and as video game character born into reality he doesn't have a solid grip on human mannerism. His idea of fun doesn't exactly match up with common expectations. If he drops the smile, you know you're screwed. Once instance of this actually prompted Oh, Crap! from the then Big Bad.
  • Jessica Jones (2015): One of the Kilgrave victims that comes forward is a woman who claims that Kilgrave made her follow him around constantly smiling for (at least) hours on end.
  • Boardwalk Empire: Gangster Arnold Rothstein is always impeccably poised, collected and well-mannered no matter what situation he's in. Even when he's discussing murderous business dealings, he wears a benign smile. Even when he's chewing someone out over the phone, he does it with a smile. In one scene, he actually drops the smile and gets belligerent, which signals that things have become quite serious.
  • Schitt's Creek:
    • Twyla is always blithely chipper and positive. A Running Gag has her merrily relate details from her early life that anyone else would find incredibly depressing. It's implied that she's a little too dim and optimistic to realize how terrible her upbringing was.
    • Jocelyn is a very friendly, upbeat person, though she's much more prone to stress and passive-aggression than Twyla. She has a tendency to stray into Stepford Smiler territory as she not-so-subtly points out something that's bothering her while wearing a big, plastic smile.

  • Aphex Twin is always depicted with a huge, unsettling smile on his face. Taken to its logical conclusion in multiple music videos in which actors wear masks of his face frozen in his trademark expression.
  • In the music video for Gyari-P's "Akane-chan will do anything you say", the titular character is always shown with a smile as she listens to Yukari's plans to become a famous video game streamer, pretends to go along, and even calls Yukari stupid and tells her to quit the game she's struggling with, at which point she turns into a Smug Smiler.

  • The Piraka and their whole species in BIONICLE.
  • LEGO minifigures, usually.
    • The older kind more so; newer ones (from around the mid-to-late nineties on) have plenty of frowns, neutral expressions, and other miscellaneous emotions to perpetually display. Some of their heads can be turned around for different expressions.
    • Within that, Flex from Alpha Team is said to always smile "even when danger threatens".
    • A Robot Chicken sketch lampshaded this to creepy effect by depicting a spaceship accident resulting in the astronauts inside burning, their faces still stuck in Perpetual Smiler mode while screams were overdubbed. Despite the sketch's Black Comedy, it crosses into nightmarish, especially when one of the firemen yells "Their faces! Their horrible faces!" before another cut to them smiling/screaming.
  • Barbie. Lampshaded in the Hilarious Outtakes of Toy Story 2:
    Tour Guide Barbie: Oh my gosh, my cheeks are killing me! I can't keep smiling like this anymore. I am exhausted. I think I need a break.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The Sunami half of Su/Ka, even when denouncing the Tag Team and proclaiming it everything was about him following "The Reason You Suck" Speech from the Ballard Brothers, even while boasting about how he was going to beat the rest of the Vendetta Pro roster to prove he was not just another smiling face.
  • Hiroyo Matsumoto has the philosophy of always trying to live happy, and of beating people's asses while happy.
  • Since he won his first title in NWA Vendetta Pro, Ricky Ruffin smiled as much as possible.

    Video Games 
  • Henry from Fire Emblem Awakening is always smiling, whether he's helping a wounded dog, practicing magic, thinking about murdering people, drinking blood, murdering people, sacrificing people for his spells, or raising an army of the undead to attack civilians, he's always smiling. He's just a happy guy. At least, that's what he wants you to think.
  • The Happy Mask Salesman from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask combines this with Eyes Always Shut unless you press his Berserk Button.
  • The shape-shifting space creature, Jenova, from Final Fantasy VII. After being excavated by scientists, "she" is locked in a gnarled human appearance for several years, with an empty smile visible beneath her helmet.
  • Street Fighter's own, Deejay. Except, say, when he loses by time in Alpha 3...Watch out.
  • The Kid from I Wanna Be the Guy is forever grinning ecstatically, in contrast to what one might expect from someone who is rarely more than a few seconds from death.
  • Maxwell in Scribblenauts is always smiling, even when he's getting eaten alive or otherwise mauled.
  • Evil Otto in the early 1980s arcade game Berzerk, who is basically a smiley button, who comes onscreen to chase after the player and to electrocute him, passing through walls and destroying robots along the way. On top of that, he's also invulnerable. Designer Alan MacNeil put Evil Otto in the game because he hates smiley buttons.
    • Evil Otto also appears in the game sequel Frenzy, but he loses that smile when the player can now shoot him down.
  • The Sorrow of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is always seen smiling, despite his GOD DAMNED NAME.
  • Inazuma Eleven's 3D character models have fixed expressions. Characters who smile will smile even though the ball hits them. Masaru Gojou always has a rapist's face, and Hijikata will never stop grinning.
  • Miranda in Mass Effect rarely drops the grin she wears. Even when it looks like the suicide mission will become just that, she still looks happy.
    • In the third game, with the change in the graphics engine, her smiles appear in a more natural frequency, but she still smiles more often not.
  • Pokémon
    • Many Pokémon such as Wooper and Sunflora are almost always smiling in the 3D games (Exceptions typically for when they attack or get hit in battle or if you upset them in X/Y's Pokemon Amie feature). An infamous scene from the anime had a bunch of Pokémon struggle as they got washed away by a river current while Wooper continued to smile.
    • The Gastly, Haunter and Gengar line always have mischievous grins on their faces, especially Gengar, since they are ghosts who love to play pranks on people.
      • Wynaut is literally this in series canon according to its Ruby Dex entry. One has to look at its tail to determine its mood.
    • Emmet in Pokémon Black and White.
    • The player character in Pokémon Sun and Moon spends a good majority of the cutscenes in the game smiling, which unfortunately (or happily) makes it seem like your character is enjoying everything that occurs in the game's darker second half while the other characters are either horrified or going insane.
  • Fawful from the Mario & Luigi series.
  • Dimentio in Super Paper Mario.
  • Yoshis from the Super Mario Bros. and Yoshi's Island games are always seen happy unless they are injured.
  • Poppy Bros from the Kirby series has this to imply a Mad Bomber vibe.
    • Taranza, the supposed main antagonist from Kirby: Triple Deluxe has this, too.
    • Kirby himself is a downplayed example, at least when American Kirby Is Hardcore doesn't come into play. If he's not, he'll have a confused expression on his face.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, Consular companion Felix Iresso is rarely without a smile. His maximum affection achievement is even called "The Cheerful Soldier." Assigned to Hoth with a ton of jumpy privates and a mission he was likely to set up to fail? He's not complaining, the job needs to be done. In the middle of a firefight with a bunch of Imperials and outnumbered three-to-one? "Broke a sweat on that one." he says. Career stalls as he's bounced from rear-end outpost to rear-end outpost? Beats being in an Imperial prison. Missing a week's time from being in an Imperial prison and having a Sith holocron forcibly downloaded into his head? Well, at least he can live to tell the tale. If he stops being laid-back and cheerful, you have a big problem on your hands.
  • The Animal Crossing Villager in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U is seen smiling all the time, while attacking his opponents with seemly lethal weapons. This led to him becoming a Memetic Psychopath.
  • Hazama, Gin Ichimaru's Expy from BlazBlue seems to be this.
  • Sans and Papyrus in Undertale are always grinning, the former in a laid-back, vaguely smug fashion and the latter in an eternally cheerful, goofy kind of way. The closest thing they ever do to frowning is turning the corners of their mouth turn down slightly when upset. It helps that they're skeletons. During a Genocide run they even smile if you kill them. Papyrus because he feels your life is going down the wrong way and he wants you to know that you can be a better person, even if you don't think you can, and to that end he never lets his encouraging smile falter and Sans because, at this point, you've killed everyone he knows and love. And because he knows that you'll probably reset everything again anyway.
  • Claptrap from Borderlands 2. While he doesn't have a mouth, his voice is programmed to always sound happy, even though he's depressed.
  • Bendy from Bendy and the Ink Machine seems to always have been drawn with the same grin. In fact, you can even find a character sheet showing that he's always smiling regardless of how he feels.
  • The protagonist of Disco Elysium has a face that is permanently stuck in a shit-eating grin known as "The Expression". While it's possible to force yourself to quit it, this requires passing a very difficult skill check and doing so will leave you a Perpetual Frowner.
  • The Urinal Game has the guy in the green shirt, who's always smiling no matter how rude the player character behaves.
  • Pilgrim (RPG Maker): Master Alice almost always has a wide grin on her face, which helps the Uncanny Valley Girl effect she has- the only time she loses it is in the endings where she is defeated.
  • Sasori Man from Puyo Puyo is always seen with a big smile on his face. According to Puyo Puyo Quest, he smiles regardless of if he feels sad or angry, and he even smiles while sleeping.

    Visual Novels 
  • Leo Shishigami, protagonist of Rose Guns Days Season 1, never drops neither his smile, nor his laid-back attitude. The very few times he does, you know he is really serious.
  • Fate/stay night: Kirei Kotomine spends most of his time smiling, which pretty much gives away that he's an antagonist. One of the VN's most iconic lines is "The Priest Smiles". Ironically, Kotomine was a Perpetual Frowner ten years prior to the events of stay night.

    Web Animation 
  • The Whites from Lucky Day Forever. This is used to portray just how inhuman they are.
  • The titular demonic hamster from the Sock Series never stops smiling even while being terribly maimed.
  • Nora Valkyrie of RWBY is always smiling. In fact, her smile grows even bigger when she's fighting, and only falters when her teammate Ren is hit.
  • Alastor from Hazbin Hotel always wears a razor-fanged Cheshire Cat Grin. Justified since he believes that smiling shows dominance and he has a reputation to keep, being one of the most powerful entities in all of hell.
    Alastor: Smile, my dear! You know you're never fully dressed without one!
  • The Most Epic Story Ever Told in All of Human History: The Epic Narrator constantly smiles as he speaks.

    Web Comics 
  • Trudy of General Protection Fault is one, combined with Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. As such, her "Nega" counterpart is a Perpetual Frowner.
  • Coyote from Gunnerkrigg Court, who has a near-perpetual Cheshire Cat Grin. Even on the rare occasions when it vanishes, though, his upbeat attitude never does.
  • The Caped Crustacean from Beyond the Canopy seems to have a grin permanently on his face. As it turns out, he's just wearing a smiling mask.
  • EVIL: Gabriel is almost always wearing a shit-eating grin.
  • Smiling Guy from Power Nap, who smiles even as he is kicked out of the way and his desk set on fire.
  • Alastor and KayCee from Zoophobia are never, not ever seen without some sort of insane grin on their faces.
  • Katamari:
    • June is always smiling, regardless of the situation.
    • Opeo manages this to a lesser extent; even though he's VERY accident prone, he tries to keep a sunny attitude about it.
  • In The Dragon Doctors, Sarin fits this mold quite well.
  • Godslave's Blacksmith girl always has a smile on her face, in contrast to her Perpetual Frowner job partner. This may be her reaction to his antics, though.
  • Anesu from Spacetrawler is almost always smiling, fitting for the most energetic and upbeat member of the cast.
  • Champions of Far'aus
    • The goddess Sharlise, but only when wearing her mask. It’s an Invoked example, because she doesn’t have any expressions on her face without it, and thinks a smile looks friendly.
    • Downplayed with the "be happy" people walking around Dorawn "yelling encouragement" after the city was attacked. They have large masks with smiles, but the big, toothy smile and really stressed out eyes puts it eerily close to a Slasher Smile.
    • The Hypnolytic Spirits always have a Cheshire Cat Grin on their faces.
  • Horuss of Homestuck constantly has a smile on his face when interacted with in the dreambubbles, which creeps Meenah out. Interestingly, he was actually quite grumpy in life and only started forcing a smile all the time upon becoming moirails with Meulin.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • 80's Dan is almost always smiling and cheerful, especially when he's taken a good hit of cocaine.
  • Mr. Winkle from the SuperMarioLogan series Bowser Junior's 1st Grade! is always cheerful and authentic about the situation, even when he's about to get arrested by a down-to-earth police officer.

    Western Animation 
  • In Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, Zozo is a very cheerful and laid back guy, even in the middle of a brawl with guys twice his size. It's not like he can't stop smiling, it just takes a lot for him to choose not to.
  • Sussie from The Amazing World of Gumball is an upbeat Kindhearted Simpleton who is almost always shown to be in a good mood.
  • The Joo Dees from Avatar: The Last Airbender are brainwashed to do this.
  • The default expression of Beavis from Beavis and Butt-Head is a vacant smile. While watching Henry Rollins' music video for the song "Liar", Butt-Head says that he has a cool smile. Beavis then says "Yeah, I've got a cool smile too, check this out. (beat) See?"
  • Bunsen Is a Beast: You could count the amount of times the titular character doesn't smile each episode with just one hand.
  • Freaky Fred from Courage the Cowardly Dog has the creepiest smile that seems very immutable. His personality doesn't help either.
  • Dofus: The Treasures of Kerubim has The Baron from the three-parter "Ecaflip City". He's the most successful gambler in the city, and always has a smug grin on his face. Though he loses it when Kerubim refuses to make a bet with him, and he's revealed to have been a puppet of the Ecaflip God the whole time.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy, unlike Double D, Ed is an upbeat Kind Hearted Simpleton and most of the time is seen smiling, though he has been known to get upset on occasion.
  • Bill Cipher from Gravity Falls has no mouth in his pyramid form, but his affable demeanor suggests this. When he possesses Dipper's body and gains a mouth in "Sock Opera", it spends most of the time in a grin that ranges between "cheerful" and "psychotic".
  • Nick from Invader Zim. Probably because he really likes having that happiness probe in his brain!
  • The Road Runner virtually always wears a carefree smile. Not simply a matter of a bird's bill being immobile, as Daffy Duck and Tweety Bird can both attest.
  • Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus is almost always smiling and enthusiastic, even when she and the class are in precarious situations during their field trips.
  • A number of the Mr. Men and Little Misses, but especially Mr. Tickle, Mr. Happy, and Little Miss Sunshine.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has Pinkie Pie, who is always smiling save for a few... notable exceptions.
    • The season 5 premiere takes place in a small village where ponies are forced by Starlight Glimmer to keep unnatural smiles.
  • Phineas and Ferb
    • Phineas rarely changes to any other expression — in the whole series, he was only truly sad during the Christmas Special, and once angry and frantic in Summer Belongs to You! and Mission Marvel.
    • Isabella could count, too, but she's more prone to expressing anger than the eponymous Everyman.
  • Gretchen from Recess (partially due to her large buck teeth) fits a rarely explored Reality Ensues version of this trope as she has a very pronounced lisp or some other kind of speech impediment that indicates excessive saliva.
  • Dr. Paula "Hutch" Hutchison in Rocko's Modern Life.
  • The eponymous Ruby Gloom since she always looks on the bright side — in direct contrast to her aptly-named friend Misery.
  • The Ruff & Reddy Show: Salt Water Daffy constantly sports a large, maniacal grin.
  • Kit Fisto from Star Wars: The Clone Wars always has a bit of a smile on his face, making his actual smile a rather big cheesy grin.
  • Taz-Mania: Whatever he's actually feeling, Bull Gator is, in verbiage and tone, almost invariably cheerful and collected about the situation. Even when he's facing down a Tasmanian Devil who regards mauling him as good, clean, Sunday-afternoon fun.
  • In Thomas the Tank Engine, the title character kept his grin mask throughout the whole entire episode of "Thomas And Trevor".
  • Otto from Time Squad is this. Even when he gets sad or angry, he ends up bouncing back up eventually.
  • The Ice Dancers couple from Total Drama - The Ridonculous Race strive to smile constantly, which comes off rather creepy. Their justification is that the cameras can pop up anytime. That said, Josee especially has been known to make less happy expressions.
  • In the cartoon of Where's Waldo?, Waldo almost always smiles.

    Real Life 
  • This is a symptom of the Angelman Syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by development delay, speech impediment, movement or balance disorder, and frequent laughter and smiling.
  • A running theme of the 2012 United States presidential debates. In the first debate, Mitt Romney smiled constantly and was complimented for his confident body language, while Barack Obama was roundly criticized for his annoyed and detached expression. During the vice presidential debates, Joe Biden noticeably made an effort to gain lost ground by smiling broadly throughout the debate and laughing frequently. Although some criticized his excess, he was roundly considered to have won the debate. In the second presidential debate, Obama smiled confidently far more often, obviously in response to previous criticism.
  • Aaron Burr was said to have been this trope to an unsettling extent. He even looks at least mildly happy in nearly every portrait painted of him. This is immortalized in the Hamilton line "Talk less. Smile more."
  • Judah P. Benjamin, Jewish Senator and Secretary of State of the Confederate States of America, was almost always photographed with a smug little smirk. Because it was so unusual in the 19th century to purposefully smile in photographs, this was apparently his default expression. Even sketches made of him included the smile.
  • Colonel (ret.) Gail Halvorsen, USAF. In every single picture of this guy, from 1948 to 2012, he's wearing a huge, ridiculous smile. Definitely justified in that it was his idea to drop candy on Berlin during the famous Airlift.
  • This will involuntarily happen to a lot of people when out in the bright sunlight as a consequence of squinting hard against the sun.
  • Apparently, Dr. Kathleen Rubins, virologist and NASA astronaut. See for yourself.
  • One of the reasons why Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo is popular among the fans is due to his trademark smile. He's almost always shown smiling, and when you see him not smiling, you know that he has a big, big problem. Just ask the Red Bull pit crew members following the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix.
  • Hines Ward, a former wide receiver and Super Bowl MVP for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was known for constantly having a smile on his face during games. Even when he was flattening people with blocks, and even when he sprained his knee and had to leave an AFC Championship game against the Steelers' rival, the Baltimore Ravens, he was smiling. When he fumbled the ball trying to extend a play against the Tennessee Titans, that the Titans would recover, when simply covering the ball and taking the tackle would have let the Steelers try a relatively short field goal to take the lead in the final seconds, he was so pissed off about it he finally stopped smiling on the sidelines. Which the TV announcers would lampshade, saying that they couldn't ever recall him being mad enough over football to stop smiling like a loon.
  • In her autobiography, Shirley Temple claims that when she started school, her teachers called her mother and asked why her daughter was constantly smiling.
  • Joelle Amery, a model, singer, and alopecia awareness advocate from the UK (who has alopecia herself), is a very literal version of this trope (down to the not so glamorous Reality Ensues implications, but despite that her smile still remains sweet and heartwarming). Her fans have said that they are unable to picture her without a smile on her face and a few have said that this is their favorite thing about her.
  • At least in her Instagram stories, Brazilian singer and model Juliana Caetano (a.k.a. "Juliana do Bonde") simply can't stop smiling.
  • Physicist Professor Brian Cox smiles all the time, whatever he happens to be talking about.
  • Vampire bats.
  • Quokkas, a type of small marsupial, always look utterly delighted.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: