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Perpetual Smiler

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And you'd better hope that smile stays there.

"Koizumi's cheerful smile pisses me off every time I see it."
Kyon's narration, Remote Island Syndrome

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 Un-Smile 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.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You: The only times that Mei doesn’t smile is during an Oh, Crap! moment that gets her to open those bright eyes.
  • Koro-sensei from Assassination Classroom is almost always seen smiling, so he has to resort to expressing himself with Colour-Coded Emotions.
  • 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...
  • Nacht from Black Clover smiles almost all the time with his eyes closed, even when mentioning why he hates someone even to their face.
  • 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.
  • Gensei Kihara from A Certain Scientific Railgun, because he has NO remorse at all for his incredibly depraved actions.
  • Ryuk from Death Note. It's creepy. He only broke it once when Light snapped at him after offering the eyes after meeting L.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, there is Doma, one of the most powerful demons, who is always smiling, which makes him one of the scariest demons from the series. He keeps his smile even when he's about to enter hell.
  • D.Gray-Man has the Millennium Earl, who smiles even when he's pissed.
  • Nikaido from Dorohedoro smiles a lot already, but it becomes her default expression once she becomes a half-devil.
  • Launch in Dragon Ball always has a smile in her blue-haired form, opposite to her blonde-haired side's Perpetual Frowner.
  • Food Wars! has Satoshi Isshiki, a very easygoing party animal who is rarely seen without a wide smile across his face.
  • Pride and Ling Yao from Fullmetal Alchemist.
  • Kousaka from Genshiken, always has the same expression, no matter what takes place.
  • Kamui from Gintama. Even while killing everyone during the Yoshiwara arc.
  • God from Goodnight Punpun.
  • Mikako from Heaven's Lost Property.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ariel from Is This A Zombie?.
  • 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.
  • The Laughing Salesman himself: Moguro Fukuzou. He's never seen without his iconic Cheshire Cat Grin. And it always scares the wits out of his "customers."
  • 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.
  • Kio from Loveless.
  • Konata Izumi from Lucky Star is a downplayed example; her default expression is a mischievous Cat Smile, but she does openly show other emotions as well.
  • 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.
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid:
    • Lucoa combines this with Eyes Always Shut, and only ever drops it when she's being accused of sexual deviance.
    • Shouta's father takes this straight into Dissonant Serenity territory, as he never drops his smile.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Osomatsu-san: Jyushimatsu is almost always smiling with his mouth wide open.
  • Misaki in The Pet Girl of Sakurasou; her smile will only drop when her relationship with Jin is brought into question.
  • Popuko and Pipimi from Pop Team Epic have permanent :3 faces no matter what emotion they're feeling. This is especially noticeable with Popuko, who regularly flies into a violent, profanity-filled rage over extremely trivial things, smiling the whole time.
  • Downplayed with Principal Kuno in Ranma ˝. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Riri/Rio from Romantic Killer. All three of his forms are smiling no matter what he's/she's feeling. However, go too far, and that smile will disappear from his/her face. At that point, you'd wish she did keep that expression on her face. The only instance where this did happen was during her confrontation with Yukana Kishi after she attempted to murder Anzu.
  • Ling-Ling from Rosario + Vampire. Justified, since she's already dead, and thus has nothing left to worry about.
  • Seta Soujirou from Rurouni Kenshin always has a pleasantly angelic smile in his face, even when slashing your throat with a katana.
  • 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.
  • Raquel from Scrapped Princess is perennially cheerful no matter what's going on.
  • 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.
  • Saya from Servant × Service smiles 80% of the time even when angry.
  • Kogoro from Sgt. Frog is almost always smiling and laughing, so much that only his sister Rabie can tell how he really feels.
  • Hao Asakura from Shaman King. And his twin Yoh, to a lesser extent (his smile is more genuine).
  • Sendo from Slam Dunk is considered as this.
  • Xellos from Slayers.
  • Bobble Hat from the Splatoon manga, being the resident Genki Girl, always sports a huge smile on her face alongside closed eyes. Even on the very rare occasions where she's angry or worried, the smile remains firmly in place, with the only indication that she's upset being a furrowed brow or a sweatdrop.
  • ST☆R: Strike it Rich: Hina always has a smile on her face, even when fighting or threatening someone.
  • Ojisan of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou is always grinning.
  • Mana from Yu-Gi-Oh!, more in the anime than in the manga.

  • 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 
  • Black Dynamite: Literally every panel featuring The Man shows him with a full-blown Slasher Smile, even when he's talking.
  • 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 
  • "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.
  • The Incredibles: Jack-Jack is normally a very happy baby. The only things that are shown to make him upset is being separated from his family, not given his cookies, and seeing a raccoon as a burglar.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie: Lumalee has a smile on his face even when he's talking about wanting to die. The only times he frowns are when he is almost killed but gets saved, and when he's talking to the audience at the end.
  • Most of the toys from the Toy Story series are this in their "toy" mode.
  • Treasure Island (1988): Dr. Livesey is a kind and very optimistic man who always has a huge smile on his face and speaks with a heartful laugh.

    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 Rizzle: The dancing man from the titular video always has a smile on his face, even when he attacks Elena in her house. Elena also has one when she becomes trapped in the video as the new Rizzler.
  • 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.

  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has the Cheshire Cat and his trademark 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.
  • Baccano!:
    • Elmer C. Albatross 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.
  • 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 Broken Earth Trilogy: Schaffa and other Guardians like him never stop smiling. Smiling releases endorphins, and endorphins reduce the constant pain the implant that gives them their powers puts them in. It also makes them very creepy, as befitting agents of a callous Mutant Draft Board with a very twisted sense of right and wrong.
  • 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 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 unspecified mental 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.
  • Itsuki Koizumi from Haruhi Suzumiya is almost never seen without a smile. Even in The Surprise of Haruhi Suzumiya when Fujiwara threatens to kill Haruhi, Koizumi continues to smile even though he's clearly pissed off.
  • In Hitty, Her First Hundred Years, Hitty the sentient doll has a pleasant expression carved on her face, which she is unable to change no matter how miserable she is.
  • The Hunger Games: Caesar Flickerman.
  • Irrunea Hearts: The protagonist, Ciel, is one, nearly always skinny regardless of the situation. We're told that people see him as either brave, childish, or insane for this.
  • The Lost Conspiracy: The main character's entire community practices this. It crosses over with Stepford Smiler because smiling is their default expression regardless of the current circumstances. Outsiders find this extremely off-putting, and it contributes in part to their ostracization.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Theon Greyjoy is depicted as this in the early books of A Song of Ice and Fire. He is described as "Smiling, always smiling." He smiles less often after Bastard Bastard Ramsay, finding his smiles annoying, takes a hammer to his teeth.
  • 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.
  • Ella in Sunny Ella, though what kind of smile it is changes depending on whose point of view we're reading.
  • Tattletale of Worm is described as always having a foxlike grin.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Better Call Saul: Lalo Salamanca is almost never seen without a big smile on his face. In his case, it only underscores what a terrifying presence he is as it makes his intentions almost unreadable at times, while also potentially getting people to let their guards down in regards to how hyper-competent he is. The rare times where he doesn't have a smile on his face is when it's time to start running.
  • 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.
  • The Gentlemen from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Hush".
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome 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.
  • While he's capable of being serious and stoic when he has to, especially when dealing with tough topics such as mass shootings, Trevor Noah is always smiling or maintaining a positive attitude.
  • Jerome Valeska from Gotham. Then again, considering who he is likely to become, this is to be expected.
  • 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.
  • Typical trait of self-assured, manipulative villains of Kamen Rider.
  • 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.
  • Kelsey Winslow, the Yellow Ranger from Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue is a literal version of this trope, she's an extreme sports loving tomboy that completely averts and defies all expectations of the sour personality associated with tomboys, despite her athletic build (more muscular than the guys), she never stops smiling except to swallow her saliva (and even then, sometimes she doesn't even bother with that). She's also the type to wear her heart on her sleeve. She's also a bit of an advice-giver and confidant to other Rangers. No other Power Ranger to this date smiles as much as her, not even Karone.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mad TV: The spokesperson for Spishak. He is always smiling, even when he is in a situation where everyone else is miserable.

  • 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 
  • Andy's Apple Farm: All the characters are drawn with huge smiles plastered on their faces for the entire game, save visual glitches and jumpscares. This adds to the horror, as the characters are reacting happily even when the situation isn't a happy one.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hazama, Gin Ichimaru's Expy from BlazBlue, seems to be this.
  • Claptrap from Borderlands 2. While he doesn't have a mouth, his voice is programmed to always sound happy, even though he's depressed.
  • CarnEvil: Smiling Bob, an enemy in the Rickety Town stage, never stops smiling, even when injured.
  • In Deltarune, most of the character sprites are shown with a smile on their face, except if the cutscenes insist on drama.
    • A straighter example is Spamton G. Spamton, a Snake Oil Salesman whose default expression is a large grin on his face, except in situations where he... bugs out. This becomes even worse when he becomes Spamton NEO, as he never breaks his smile, except when he cuts his own strings.
  • 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.
  • Dynasty Warriors: Xin Xianying is a Brainy Brunette with a perennially cheerful outlook, and is never seen without a sunny smile. It even extends to her character art. The one time this breaks is in her character ending, when her father Xin Pi dies in front of her and she breaks down sobbing. It's particularly impactful.
  • Yes Man from Fallout: New Vegas. He was originally a securitron like the ones patrolling the New Vegas Strip, but one day he was reprogrammed to work as a sort of assistant for a businessman named Benny. When he was reprogrammed, he was given the unique personality of a yes-man (hence the name), which means he was coded in a way that makes him completely unable to say no. Now, the image projected on his screen is that of a perpetually smiling face and he will react positively to everything the courier does, which sometimes leads to some passive-agressively positive quotes coming from him (as a way to represent his dissaproval of the courier's actions at a given time), and even some that could easily qualify for a Stepford Smiler.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • With the exception of major characters, Inazuma Eleven's 3D character models have fixed expressions, so characters with a smile will just keep on smiling no matter what, even while getting slammed by the ball.
  • 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.
  • 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. Though this could be because Art Evolution hasn't taken effect, as his mouth is just a texture.
    • The final boss of Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Magolor, is left with a wide, massive, and unsettling grin on his face. Not only that, but after he Turns Red, he reveals an eye in there just to make him all the more terrifying.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ironically, given his codename, The Sorrow of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is always seen smiling.
  • Mr. TomatoS: The titular character always wears a laid-back and nonchalant smile on his face... except when you feed him the incorrect food item, put all of the food in the blender, kill him with the knife during gameplay, or during the "zeroes and ones" ending.
  • And then there's also Video Game/Pacman who just can't stop smiling AT ALL, even in his drowning animation.
  • 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.
  • Pizza Tower: There is rarely a moment where Pizzahead doesn't have a big, cheesy grin on his face. He doesn't even drop it when Peppino is beating him senseless or piledriving him into the tower roof.
  • 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. note 
    • 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 constantly has a large smile on his face, which contrasts well with his brother Ingo's usual frown.
    • 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 (or not caring about) everything that occurs in the game's darker second half while the other characters are either horrified or going insane.
  • Disco Kid from the Wii's version of Punch-Out!!. Despite getting repeatedly punched in the face, getting knocked out constantly and the fact that he can't box worth crap, he never loses his smile and his cheerful attitude, not even when he gets beaten to a pulp.
  • 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.
  • Maxwell in Scribblenauts is always smiling, even when he's getting eaten alive or otherwise mauled.
  • 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.
  • Street Fighter's own, Deejay. Except, say, when he loses by time in Alpha 3...Watch out.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Some enemies like Pokeys and Boos are always smiling for no apparent reason. Since 3D games start to become more detailed, this also applies to Koopas.
    • In Yoshi's Island games, Yoshis are always seen happy unless they are injured.
    • Even if his home series give him more various expressions, Wario always keeps his iconic grin where he's a playable character in Mario spin-offs. This also contrasts with Waluigi, who's a Perpetual Frowner.
    • In Luigi's Mansion games, King Boo is loyal to his people's tradition to keep a big smile regardless of the situation. This changes in the third installment to show that he's stopped playing around.
    • In Super Paper Mario, Count Bleck is always smiling, no matter the circumstance. The same applies to his jester Dimentio who always keeps a Psychotic Smirk, except when hurt.
    • In the Mario & Luigi series, Cackletta and Fawful are always smiling, except when badly injured for the former. Even to the merge of death, Fawful never breaks his smile.
  • Undertale:
    • Flowey has multiple smiling expressions to impress the players, and he only breaks them if pissed off, hurt or scared. If he shows more diverse expressions as Photoshop Flowey, you need determination to break his Slasher Smile as Asriel.
    • Sans and Papyrus 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.
    • In contrast with the Player Character's bored expression, the Fallen Human never breaks their smile, or only to show their infamous Nightmare Face.
  • The Urinal Game has the guy in the green shirt, who's always smiling no matter how rude the player character behaves.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa: Monokuma and others like him (such as Usami/Monomi, Shirokuma, Kurokuma, and most of the Monokubs) are all seen smiling perpetually due to their mouths being locked in a smile, even when sad or angry. Averted in the case of Monodam, who is able to frown and give a neutral look.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Web Animation 
  • The animated Japanese YouTube channel Burakku Channel stars a demon titularly named Burakku, who, regardless of feelings, has his mouth (or at least the part we can see) permanently affixed in a rather large grin.
  • Happy Tree Friends:
    • As a result of his hyperactivity and sugar intake, Nutty always has a wide smile on his face.
    • Lifty and Shifty are almost always seen with mischievous grins.
  • The Whites from Lucky Day Forever. This is used to portray just how inhuman they are.
  • The Most Epic Story Ever Told in All of Human History: The Epic Narrator constantly smiles as he speaks.
  • Nora Valkyrie of RWBY was this trope in the more light-hearted early seasons. Her smile grows even bigger when she's fighting, and only falters when her teammate Ren is hit.
  • The titular demonic hamster from the Sock Series never stops smiling even while being terribly maimed.

  • Awful Hospital: Doctor Man is as perpetual a smiler as they get, to the point of going past unnerving and entrenching himself as ambiguous and uncanny. His smile literally never changes — at worst, it just starts radiating light when he gets mad while still remaining exactly as white and toothy.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In The Dragon Doctors, Sarin fits this mold quite well.
  • EVIL: Gabriel is almost always wearing a shit-eating grin.
  • Trudy of General Protection Fault is one, combined with Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. As such, her "Nega" counterpart is a Perpetual Frowner.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Smiling Guy from Power Nap, who smiles even as he is kicked out of the way and his desk set on fire.
  • Sleepless Domain: The Big Bad wears an unnerving Slasher Smile as a permanent part of her facial expression. Not once does this smile ever leave her face, not even after she's stabbed through the eye, causing the entire right side of her face to visibly sag. The fusion of her and Tessa shares this trait, almost always sporting a smug smirk.
  • Anesu from Spacetrawler is almost always smiling, fitting for the most energetic and upbeat member of the cast.
  • Dongha from Weak Hero always has a wide smile on his face, marking him as the unstable one of the Moh-ka Duo (his partner, in contrast, is a stoic Perpetual Frowner).
  • Alastor and KayCee from Zoophobia are never, not ever seen without some sort of insane grin on their faces.

    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.
  • Unwanted Houseguest: Sometimes. Early illustrated and mask-wearing depictions of the Houseguest portrayed him this way, and it's maintained for the comic, but as the Youtube channel now portrays him with an actor simply wearing make-up the aspect has been dropped.

    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.
  • 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?"
  • Bob the Builder: The humans always have a smile on their faces, even if they aren't happy. Averted with the machines, who can change expressions.
  • Bunsen Is a Beast: Not unlike Wander over Yonder, 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: Kerub's Bazaar 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 Edd "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".
  • 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!
  • 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 Surprisingly Realistic Outcome version of this trope as she has a very pronounced lisp or some other kind of speech impediment that indicates excessive saliva.
  • Robot Chicken: Fritz Hühnermörder is always seen smiling, even when his eyes are pulled out of their sockets.
  • 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 & Friends, the title character kept his grin mask throughout the whole entire episode of "Thomas and Trevor".
    • Ditto with Bertie the Bus in his debut episode "Thomas and Bertie." He even retains his smile when he is said to be "fuming" at the level crossing.
    • Terence the Tractor without question. Before his re-appearance in the CGI seasons, he has always worn a big smile and had never been seen to get sad, angry, or negative in any way.
  • 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 Presents: 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.
  • Wander over Yonder: You could count the amount of times the titular character doesn't smile each episode with just one hand. In "The Wanders", it's revealed that Wander is actually a Stepford Smiler who was helpless once. Since then, he has volunteered to help everyone in the galaxy, no matter what.
  • 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.
  • Elizabeth II was also known for her signature smile, as she was almost always seen with a grin on her face whenever she was seen in public or in the video calls in the few years prior to her death.
    • In a skit before the Platinum Party at the Palace, a concert for her Platinum Jubilee, she invites Paddington Bear over for tea. Even with his clumsy and awkward moments including drinking nearly all the tea from the teapot, nearly dropping said item and ruining a set of pastries, the Queen still smiled at him.
  • 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 Surprisingly Realistic Outcome implications of saliva pooling in her mouth from smiling without pause for so long, 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 and that her smile is contagious.
  • 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.
  • Great White Sharks, of all creatures, appear to have a slight smile when viewed from the front due to their jaw structure. Combined with their Black Bead Eyes, this is either surprisingly cute or an off-putting Slasher Smile.
  • Nia Vardalos of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame is a sweet, funny, and kind lady who likes to smile a lot. Unfortunately, her eyebrows are shaped in a way that make her look perpetually angry, making her smile look a bit aggressive (and even a bit scary when she has too much saliva in her mouth), but the warmth behind her smile can't be denied and usually the kindness of her smile offsets her "angry eyebrows".
  • Norm Macdonald was rarely seen without a smirk on his face.
  • Several costumes at Disneyland, including Mickey Mouse, are always smiling, especially since they were designed that way for visitors.
  • Samoyeds are a dog breed famous for their smiling expression.


Video Example(s):


The Cheshire Cat

The ever-smiling Cheshire Cat is quite the odd character, able to disappear and reappear at will and even bend his body as he pleases.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / CatsAreMagic

Media sources: