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Pointless Band-Aid

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Be sure you wet that thing before you remove it.

"Why does my beard have a bandage? Does that even make sense? Why has no one pointed that out?"
Fiddleford McGucket (pictured), Gravity Falls, "Society of the Blind Eye"

For some reason, Bob wears an adhesive bandage strip on his face, all the time. It's not because he cut himself shaving, or because he's just suffered some Amusing Injuries — in fact, he doesn't seem to be hurt at all. Apparently, the Band-Aid's only purpose is as an accessory to make his character design more visually interesting, or to make him easier to identify, or to make him look cool. Often shows up in animation, and is rarely commented on by the characters. In black and white comics, an easy way to avoid Color Contrast confusion is to have that character wear a bandage on say, their leg.

Compare Sarashi; contrast Bandaged Face. A subtrope of Useless Accessory.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Animation 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Anpanman: Frankenrobo has a crosspatch bandage on his head. Keep in mind though that Frankenrobo is a robot...
  • Armored Trooper VOTOMS: Mellowlink from Armor Hunter Mellowlink has a Band-Aid on his cheek just below the eye.
  • Case Closed: Makoto Kyogoku has a bandage on his left temple.
  • Dinosaur King: Averted. Max Taylor has a band-aid on his nose in the very first episode after Chomp bites it.
  • Eyeshield 21: Monta always wears a bandage on his nose. When a fan asked about this, it was confirmed he wears it just for decoration. Although this isn't the case for Monta, real football players will occasionally wear nasal strips, especially receivers.
  • Flame of Recca: Subverted. Recca's friends think the bandage on his face is just to look cool, but it actually hides a katana scar he received as a baby. Double Subverted in that when the reveal hits in, he just put the Band-Aid back and treats it like nothing happened, and that scar was never brought up again.
  • Hamatora: Nice has three on his face.
  • Hellsing: Pip Vernedead one on his nose. He's always seen with one on, even during a flashback sequence of his childhood.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • Australia has one across his nose, Wy has one on her forehead, and recently Hutt Rier was shown to have one on his left cheek.
    • Some of the male Japanese Prefectures have those too: Saga (nose bridge), Kagoshima (left temple), Kumamoto (left cheek) and Tokyo (middle of the forehead).
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple: The main character uses one for no good reason (although he does get beat up a lot). He's actually nicknamed "Band-Aid" by one of the other characters. He does have a small scar under the Band-Aid. In the anime he doesn't have it until Miu puts it on a training wound. After that, it's virtually permanent.
  • Leviathan: The Last Defense: Jörmungandr has one on her nose.
  • Loveless: Subverted. At first, it looks like Ritsuka is playing this trope straight, especially since he initially gives off an delinquent impression, but we find out later that he has a very real reason for it.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid: Els Tasmin's first appearances shows her with band-aids all over her arms. During her match with Harry, the ones on her arms have disappeared, but she still has one on her knee. When she starts appearing again as a more regular character, she no longer has any band-aids on her.
  • Metal Fight Beyblade: Gingka has a band-aid on his nose.
  • Moyashimon: Aoi Mutou is introduced wearing one of these, though according to the author's notes it's because she got sunburned on her journey back to Japan, and she eventually stops wearing it.
  • Ouran High School Host Club:
    • In one episode, Renge gives Shiro a few of these (both on his face and his knee) when she's trying to turn him into a scrappy "naughty type".
    • Also, a later episode has the Host Club putting a bright pink one right on Kasanoda/Casanova/Bossa Nova's face (along with a few other things,) in an attempt to help change his image.
  • Pocket Monsters BW: The Heroes of Fire and Thunder: Shin wears a bandage on his nose for no particular reason.
  • The Prince of Tennis:
    • Ryo Shishido always wears a Band-Aid near his left eye.
    • Eiji Kikumaru used to have one on his nose, then started wearing it on his left cheek.
  • Reborn!: Ryohei and his First Generation Counterpart always have bandages on their noses.
  • Spirit Circle: The Protagonist always wears a bandage over his cheek. It turns out he's wearing it to cover a rather bizarre birthmark he has on said cheek. Said birthmark came from a past life where he had the mark burned onto his cheek by a witch he was ordered to kill, and that mark has persisted through multiple future lives, representing her hatred of him even through reincarnation (though that was not the life where her hatred for him began.
  • Tenchi Muyo! GXP: The main character Seina Yamada wears a Band-Aid on his forehead (that somehow goes under his hair) most of the show. Initially, it could be due to him being a Cosmic Plaything, but after being enhanced he's almost invulnerable and still keeps it, so it fits.
  • Wasteful Days of High School Girls: Yamai has one on her right cheek, which is part of her Chuunibyou package, but she often uses them to hide pimples.
  • Yo-kai Watch: Bear has a permanent bandage on his face to signify he is the Bruiser with a Soft Center of his group.

    Comic Books 
  • Deadpool: In early comics, Deadpool's rival T-Ray wore a bandage across the bridge of his nose all the time. According to a letter column, it wasn't originally pointless, having been put there to hold his nose to his face after it fell off; eventually his Healing Factor took care of the problem, but he kept wearing it for no real reason.
  • DMZ: Matty Roth inexplicably starts wearing a bandage over the bridge of his nose in issue 3 and has it for the remainder of the story, spanning several years. It disappears briefly during a temporary artist change and then quickly returns.

    Films — Animation 
  • Turning Red: Tyler has a bandage on his cheekbone to emulate Nelly as described in the Real Life section.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Night on Earth: The Parisian taxi driver has a bandage on his forehead. The director admitted in the DVD extras it was there for visual interest.
  • Pulp Fiction: Marcellus Wallace has a bandage on the back of his neck that is never explained or commented on, but is highly visible during a scene in the movie where he is interviewing another character. This led to the Epileptic Tree that the briefcase contained Marcellus' soul, and it was removed from the back of his neck, hence the Band-Aid. In reality, it was just there to cover a scar on Ving Rhames' neck.

    Literature 
  • One of Bill Cosby's published anecdotes "Was Tarzan a Three-Bandage Man?" is about the neighborhood kids wearing band-aids over no injuries whatsoever in trying to make themselves look tough.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Battlestar Galactica: In earlier seasons, Starbuck had a largish dressing on her back whenever she was seen with her shoulders bare. This was never remarked upon, although she'd usually been involved in sufficient rough-housing that you could infer she'd grazed herself. (The real purpose was to cover Katee Sackhoff's tattoo of a cross, which was inappropriate in BSG's pantheistic society. In later series, it was covered with a fake tattoo of a stepped pyramid. Or sometimes they didn't bother.)
  • Celebrity Juice: Keith Lemon, a character played by British comedian and actor Leigh Francis, always wears a bandage around his right hand and wrist. In the past, it was explained as covering up a risqué tattoo but now the reason seems to be it's a form of artistic expression. A previous character portrayed by Francis, Avid Merrion, always wore a neck brace.
  • Code Lyoko: Evolution: It's partial a Live-Action Adaptation of Code Lyoko (it's only so for the In-Universe real-life parts) and Jim Moralès' actor faithfully sports the band-aid.
  • Les Filles d'à côté: Camp Gay gym manager Gérard is distraught about a pimple that has erupted on his right cheek and considers this blemish has ruined his looks. After trying to conceal it from gym customers, he rummages in the first aid box and puts a very big stickling plaster over it, announcing "this will fix it!" Which of course only draws attention to what people might otherwise have not even noticed. A lot of concerned people either blink in astonishment or anxiously ask what happened.
  • Rab C. Nesbitt: The title Glasgow anti-hero always has a dirty cloth bandage around his forehead, sweatband-style. Eventually, he meets his Spanish counterpart, who also wears one and addresses him as "Bandage!"
  • Saturday Night Live: John Belushi inadvertently cut Buck Henry with his sword during a Samurai sketch. For the rest of the show, the other cast members sported Band-Aids in tribute to Henry.
  • WKRP in Cincinnati: Newscaster Les Nessman always has at least one Band-Aid visible. It was eventually explained that Les owned a large dog that we never see. In Real Life, however, the actor playing Les suffered an injury prior to the taping of the first episode and wound up wearing a bandage during filming. He decided to make it a trademark of the character and tried to avoid wearing a Band-Aid in the same place twice.

    Video Games 
  • Alpha Protocol: SIE wears a band-aid on her left arm. The player never sees her get injured there, but she is a mercenary.
  • Animal Crossing: Bandages (one on the cheek, one across the bridge of the nose) are just cosmetic accessories. Occasionally, villagers will ask if your character has hurt themself.
  • Ape Escape 2: Jimmy, the protagonist, wears a bandage on his nose. It is never explained why.
  • Bloons Tower Defense: In the sixth game, Gwendolin wears two adhesive bandages in a cross on her left cheek. Part of it actually looks like it's sticking to her eye.
  • Borderlands:
    • Crazy Earl in the first one. Granted, in the first game he lives in a dangerous scrapyard infested with bandits, but the second game takes place much later (when he's safely in the base of operations for La Résistance) and he still has a band-aid on the exact same spot on his nose.
    • Borderlands 2: Salvador wears one over his nose. Given his personality, it's likely that it might actually be broken.
    • The first DLC character for the second game, Gaige the Mecromancer, has one on her cheek. Given she's a tomboy who identifies as a punk, and medical technology allows much more serious injuries to be heal with a simple injection, it's most likely purely cosmetic In-Universe.
    • Tiny Tina likewise wears one across the bridge of her nose. Of course, she spends much of her day surrounded by explosions.
  • Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls: Masaru Daimon sports one on his cheek.
  • Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories: Adell's younger brother, Taro, sports one of these on his left chin/cheek.
  • God Hand: Gene has a square blue one on his left cheekbone. Sure, he's a rough-and-tumble drifter, but it's really unnecessary. It's still cool, of course.
  • Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility: Luke wears a bandage on the bridge of his nose.
  • Persona 3: Akihiko Sanada has a bandage permanently over his left eye, just to remind you he's a boxer. In middle school, he wore one over his nose.
  • Pizza Tower: Destructible rock blocks in the Oregano Desert are marked with bandages. Pillar John also wears bandages despite being made of stone.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl: Maylene has bandages on her nose and bicep. Given the fact that she's a martial artist and trains fighting Pokémon, she may have injured her nose at least once. However, it appears to be mostly to make a point.
    • Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire: Youngsters have a bandage across their nose.
    • Pokémon X and Y: A bandage on the cheek is available as a character customization option. Only when you're shooting in-game promotional videos for yourself, however.
  • Princess Maker 5: Athletic girl Michiru has one above her left eyebrow and on her right cheek.
  • Rival Schools: Shoma Sawamura is a baseball player who is always shown with one on his nose. One can only assume it is from a stray pitch or sliding head-first to a base. Or because it's a fighting game, but then no one else has one...
  • Shenmue: Ryo Hazuki always has a white adhesive strip on his upper left cheek. In some early production images, it's an ordinary Band-Aid instead.
  • Snowboard Kids: Jam and Tommy both have one on their noses.
  • Star Fox Zero: Wolf sports one on his face after the player unlocks a secret fight against him. Apparently being a crook with injuries can only afford you those.
  • Wendel of Suikoden IV and Suikoden Tactics has a white strip on her left cheek, just under the corner of her eye.
  • Super Mario Bros.
    • Paper Mario 64: Kooper. It's just his character artwork, though.
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: Koops appears to have one. Given his shy, clumsy nature, however, it's probably there for a reason. Maybe because you keep kicking him into things.
  • Touken Ranbu: Sayo Samonji has little white bandages on his face and knee. If he is heavily injured, the cheek bandage is replaced by a large bleeding cut. Aizen Kunitoshi has a more traditional and less period-appropriate bandaid across his nose, which is a permanent part of his character design.
  • Wild ARMs: Rudy wears one on his left cheek. Why he does this is never explained.

    Visual Novels 
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney:
    • Detective Gumshoe has been wearing a bandage in the same spot on his left cheek for at least seven years. It's almost-but-not-quite lampshaded in Investigations when he asks, "Do I have something on my face or something?" to which the response is, "Well, actually..." The whole dialogue seems to be drawing attention to his Pointless Band-Aid, and then the punchline ends up being "Ha ha, it's your face" or something equally ignoring it.
    • Dual Destinies: Clay Terran seems to wear one across the bridge of his nose. Either it's pointless or he's had a broken nose since he was a kid.
  • Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side: Kazuma Suzuka always wears a band-aid under his left eye, perhaps as a shorthand to indicate that he's into sports.

    Web Animation 
  • Girl-chan in Paradise: Kenstar wears one across the bridge of his nose, as does Maytag, his Distaff Counterpart.
  • Let's Go! Tamagotchi: In the ninth episode, Mametchi has a bandage on his right cheek that is never explained while Memetchi and Makiko argue over who has better curls.
  • Mystery Skulls Animated: Lewis's little sister Belle has a band-aid on the bridge of her nose, in combination with a number of other band-aids which implies she's a pretty active kid that ends up getting scrapes often, but the one on her nose seems to just be shorthand for her active personality.

    Webcomics 
  • Frivolesque: Saki always has such a band-aid on her left cheek. There's also a less noticeable one on her left knee as well. There is no in-universe reason for either of them.
  • Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name: Doc Worth has a crossed pair of bandages on the right side of his forehead; they're not always present in the strip, but they were in his first appearance and generally show up when Tessa draws him outside continuity. Worth probably needs the bandages, though, since he apparently gets into scrapes a lot. And it's not on his face, but Hanna is also often seen with what looks like a similar crossed-over pair of bandages... on the knee of his pants.
  • Off-White: Seven has a band-aid across her nose.
  • Serix: Rees has a "protective nose brace" that seems to be part of her actual body, considering her backup bodies have them despite wearing no other clothing.
  • Sleepless Domain: In her first appearance, Heartful Punch has a bandage on the bridge of her nose. It's never explained, and it's absent the next time we see her, but as a Magical Girl who fights more physically than most, being injured in a fight is quite plausible.

    Websites 
  • Killerbunnies: Despite not being blind, Hesperia has been observed to wear bandages over her eyes and only reveals said eyes when she is telling the future or something in relation to that.
  • Neopets: The Kikos are an entire species that has these.
  • Survival of the Fittest: Orn "Dutchy" Ayers is mentioned as wearing a band-aid over the bridge of his nose. His profile confirms that this is more of a personality quirk/casual accessory than the result of an injury.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: In the "Super Deformed Shorts", Mai has a band-aid on her nose.
  • Code Lyoko: Jim Moralès always wears a band-aid on the left cheek. He's seen once putting on a fresh one, but we're never shown what's underneath.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • Self-proclaimed "local kook" Fiddleford "Old Man" McGucket has a pointless band-aid on his beard. Lampshaded by the man himself in "Society of the Blind Eye".
      McGucket: Why does my beard have a bandage? Does that even make sense? Why has no one pointed that out?
    • We find out it has a reason to be there, even if it is currently pointless: It was originally applied to his chin after a car crash he suffered 30 years earlier. The Sanity Slippage he was undergoing at the time caused him to forget it was there, meaning his beard grew out from under it. A Freeze-Frame Bonus in "Sock Opera" hinted at the revelation: the laptop, which later turns out to be McGucket's, has its own band-aid.
    • His cast is also from the same accident meaning that it's this trope as well, only turned up to eleven.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: Ratso wears one. Somewhere it was said that this was for a fashion statement.
  • Rainbow Brite: Patty O'Green wears a band-aid on each of her knees.

    Real Life 
  • Hip Hop recording artist Nelly used to wear a small bandage on his cheekbone as a tribute to one of his "homies" who was in prison.
  • Pianist Alfred Brendel wears bandages on his fingertips when he plays, supposedly to absorb sweat from his hands so his fingers don't get slippery.
  • Some people use them to cover scars or other facial imperfections that they can't or won't disguise with cosmetics. This is also a way to cover tattoos (say, on the knuckles) if company policy prohibits visible ink.
  • One robber wore a small colored bandaid on his face, knowing that witnesses would focus on this point to the exclusion of more useful details. Police found the bandaid torn off in a nearby street.

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