Age is all in the mind.
But then, there are those who get better as they age; the ones who still qualify for the 'desirable' tag, even when they're grandparents. These men and women have maintained their dashing good looks, class, and sex appeal despite — or because of — their greying hair.
They become a Silver Fox.
A Silver Fox is an attractive, distinguished older (generally over 40) person, often noted for his or her sexy silver or white hair along with their good looks and charm.
Note that this trope is only applicable to older characters. Can be related to Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have!.
- "The Most Interesting Man in the World" mascot for Dos Equis is a grey-haired old man who is always portrayed confidently flanked by beautiful young women when delivering his catchphrase.
- ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. has Chief Officer Grossular, likely above 40, going by his already high position in Acca 13 years prior to the story. And with long hair, at that.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
- Joseph Joestar during the "Stardust Crusaders" arc, who despite being 67 still possesses a muscular physique due to the age-slowing effects of Ripple energy. This is set a few years after fathering Josuke, making his son younger than his grandson, Jotaro. However by Part 4 age has finally caught up with him, leaving him elderly and senile.
- Aside from Joseph, there's Esidisi from Part 2. Even compared to the Pillar Men, who can live for thousands of years, he's a senior. However, being a Pillar Man, he is a mighty senior who still gave Joseph a tough fight after his month long Training from Hell.
- Albert "004" Heinrich in Cyborg 009, specially in the 2001 series where aside of having been in his 30's when cyborgized, he spent decades in cryogenization.
- In Private Actress, the 50-something actor Masakazu Ogata (aka Shiho's father, who doesn't know about her until the second half of the story) is famous for three things. One, his genuine acting skills. Two, his womanizing. Three, how beautifully he has aged.
- Sebas Tian certainly looks the part as a charming elder gentleman with impeccable manners and hair apparently silvered with age. The subversion is that he is originally a computer game NPC and thus technically only three years old.
- The first episode of Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san has the title character interacting with a very handsome gray-haired man. Much awkwardness ensues when said man tries to buy a certain type of book which isn't available at the bookstore.
- Depending on the art style, Commissioner Gordon from Batman can be quite the Silver Fox.
- Magneto. Not so much when he first appeared, as a typical crazy '60s villain, but in the '80s, once he'd been de-aged to a child then re-aged to adulthood, and gained a sense of composure and dignity about himself, very much so.
- In A Brighter Dark, Yukimura is one of the oldest major characters on the Hoshidan side, but (a completely hungover) Corrin still finds him attractive enough to want to bed.
- King Arthur in Camelot remains good looking and adorable (with a childlike face) when he gets older, in spite of all the work he has. After his revival in Avalon, his hair returns to brown.
- When Akhor the Silver King of the Kantri becomes human, he has long silver hair. His age then is indeterminate, but his eyes show something of his thousand-year life. His Love Interest is all over him in this form, and he's all over her; otherwise people don't note if he's attractive... except that one human friend of his who gets hugged notes in the narration that she can't help but notice that he smells amazing.
- In Dragon Bones, Alizon, the king's bastard brother, is described as this. The ladies of the court apparently compare him to a wolf, not a fox, but the thought is the same.
- The protagonist of "A Relic of the Empire" had lost his fortune and become middle-aged before he recovered enough to afford boosterspice again and regain his physical youth. He realized that he'd actually had more success with the ladies with some grey in his hair, and started dyeing it back in.
- Walt Comeau, one of the antagonists of Empire Falls, tries to invoke this. He's also a Smug Snake and hiding numerous secrets, including his age (10 years older than he claims) and ramshackle personal finances.
- Several different older women are shown swooning in Dr. Lee Rosen's presence in the first season of Alphas.
- Gil Grissom, CSI. Even his future wife, Sara, drops a line about finding grey hair sexy, while he's in the room, no less. The silver fox look is even more evident in his 12th season cameo, where William Peterson wasn't coloring his hair quite as much and it was more natural looking.
- The Third Doctor from Doctor Who. True, One could be very charming when he wanted to be, but he still looked every day of his apparent age (One being deliberately played as older than William Hartnell, who was in his mid-50s). Patrick Troughton as Two was far from unappealing and had his charms, but hardly had a single strand of silver in his thick black mop. However, Jon Pertwee as Three managed to be an old guy with a very snappy sense of style (both in fashion and demeanour), looked and acted very fit for his age, and generally made being old look good. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he was one of the real life bases for James Bond.
- Peter Capaldi as Twelve definitely qualifies.
- Roger Sterling from Mad Men, played by John Slattery. The name might be a Stealth Pun. He's definitely intended to be young for a man with pure white hair; he served in the Navy in World War II and was apparently a small child in the 1920s, so he's no older than 45ish when the series starts in 1960.
- Jack from 30 Rock.
- Gibbs from NCIS.
Abby: I'm pregnant, McGee. Twins. Haven't told the father yet. It's Gibbs. I know it's wrong, but something about his silver hair gets me all tingly inside.
Tony: [walks in] Excuse me for a second, I think I'm going to vomit.
Abby: I'm joking, Tony. Except for that part about Gibbs's hair. That is really hot.
Abby: Correct as always, my silver-haired fox. ...I mean, Gibbs, sir, boss.
- Colonel, later General, Jack O'Neill on Stargate SG-1, who despite having gone grey by Season 3, never had any trouble getting female attention, In-Universe and out.
- DI Lestrade from Sherlock.
- Person of Interest: Reese is well on his way to being one. Lampshaded by Wendy the hairstylist in "Number Crunch."
"That salt and pepper thing's like catnip to soccer moms."
- Also in the episode "4C".
- Discussed in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Shattered" by the recurring villain Seska, who has a Villainous Crush on Commander Chakotay.
Seska: Men just get more distinguished as they get older. A few lines here, a little grey there, it adds character. Too bad their minds start to go.
- In Friends Phoebe refers to Ralph Lauren as a "silver fox". The bulk of her plot of that episode is her thinking she made out with him - but it was just the (much younger!) Kenny the copy guy.
- James May has apparently not lost any female followers as he moved from the Skunk Stripes he sported on Top Gear to becoming fully gray by The Grand Tour.
- The Great British Bake Off: Paul "The Silverback" Hollywood is a classic example. Exploited both by the show's producers—who insert long, lingering closeups of his piercing blue gaze at every possible opportunity—and, in slightly less reverent fashion, by the hosts.
Sue: Now this week's recipe is Paul's, and it's one that's very close to his heart.Mel: Yup, nestled right in under his chest hair.
- Adam from The Thick of It. Apparently he's aware of it, too; he says he entered politics "for the pussy." Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi, as mentioned above) in the later seasons counts too. Neither is very nice, but that doesn't seem to faze their following.
- Invoked in True Blood. Sam with his greying hair is almost certainly over 40; he begins dating 22-year-old Nicole and her mother quickly objects due to the age difference. She reminds Nicole of her age then turns to Sam and says disparagingly, "And how old are you, silver fox?" Even after they make amends (largely due to Nicole being pregnant), "Silver Fox" becomes the mother's Ironic Nickname for him.
- For the 2017 Player's Weekend, Major League Baseball players got to choose nicknames for the backs of their jerseys. Chase Utley chose "Silver Fox" for his, at the suggestion of teammate Corey Seager.
- Metal Gear: Big Boss, Old Snake, The Sorrow, and Big Mama (older EVA) all can count as this.
- Sun Jian, starting from Dynasty Warriors 6 on.
- It helps that, historically, he only lived to be 36.
- Ezio in Assassin's Creed: Revelations. He's 53 and still running around preforming rooftop acrobatics and charming his new love interest, who's almost 20 years younger than he is.
- Lee Chaolan of Tekken. Very much a white haired Bishōnen in his youth, he's now pushing 50 as of late and is still as Biseinen as they get, even giving younger pretty boys like Jin, Hwoarang, and Lars a run for their money. Lee's In-Series Nickname, fittingly enough, is the "Silver-Haired Demon/Devil."
- First-Enchanter Orsino of Dragon Age II (though he's apparently a bit younger than he looks). The fighting chops he shows against the qunari don't hurt.
- The Illusive Man, of Mass Effect 2 and 3, is intelligent, charming, and looks like he's in his mid-fifties in spite of being over seventy years old (justified, considering the long lifespans of humans in the game and Cerberus's emphasis on genetic modification). Bonus points for his concept art resembling Anderson Cooper.
- Dante himself certainly counts as of Devil May Cry 5, moreso after shaving that scraggly beard off.
- And we can add Vergil to the list too.
- Mortal Kombat X has Johnny Cage. Despite having some grey in his hair post the time skip, due to the improved animation and character modelling (for starters, the female faces are much better this time around), he arguably looks better than he did as a younger man in 9. An argumenteven breaks out between his daughter Cassie and her best friend Jacqui in a match intro because of the latter noticing this.
- Overwatch has Soldier 76, who is always seen with his mask on. While he was already quite the looker when he was the Strike-Commander of Overwatch◊, two of his Legendary skins, particularly Commando: 76, show that he's still pretty easy on the eyes despite aging.
- Ditto with Reinhardt, who despite being 61 is still built like a brickhouse with an attractive face, as revealed by side comics.
- Australian Task Force 29 director Jim Miller, of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, is in his late forties and graying at the sides but still has a rugged, handsome look to him and looks quite suave in his off-mission suit◊. It helps that, according to Word of God, his appearance was based off of Roy Batty from Blade Runner.
- Galzus from Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 is remarked as quite handasome despite being older than many.
- Although Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher cheats a bit by being Really 700 Years Old he does look in his early forties and his totally white hair absolutely makes him a Silver Fox, or White Wolf. That said, a few people might be put off his shirtless scenes by the fact his torso and arms are covered in savage looking scars from where he has been slashed and bitten. Monster slaying isn't all glamour.
- General Tarquin from The Order of the Stick. Haley sees him as evidence that his son, Elan, is still going to be attractive in his middle age. Although, here, it is Informed Attractiveness, since it's a Stick-Figure Comic.
- Questionable Content:
- Dora squees upon meeting Marten's father (who looks almost exactly like a silver-haired version of his son), saying that Marten will look so hot when he goes gray.
- Jim the bakery owner is more salt-and-pepper than outright silver, but is still romantically active and repeatedly mentioned to be quite cute. He even dates Dora after her breakup with Marten, though they decide on the first date that they're better off friends.
- Niels by Humon brings us our favorite super secret soldier, Agent 250. He's in his mid-fifties, and the only real clue to his age are the slight wrinkles under his eyes and his hair, which is light gray at the roots and dark gray on top. Despite this, he's as buff and sprightly as a man half his age, and could easily pass as one if his hair weren't gray. Let's just say there's a reason he's in a relationship.
- On Batman Beyond, Talia allows an aged Bruce to use one of her father's old Lazarus Pits, but specifically leaves some of his hair gray to look more distinguished. Ra's Al-Ghul himself went for the same look. Which makes sense, since Bruce is actually being groomed as his new body...
- Voltron: Legendary Defender: King Alfor's white hair seems to be a hereditary trait as opposed to being a sign of age (since he's had it since youth, as does his daughter Allura). Still, this doesn't stop him from being drawn fit and handsome even in older age.
- Gravity Falls has the "hunkles," Stan and Ford, with the latter in particular drawn more conventionally attractive than most of the other male characters. This is more a fan reaction than something noted in the show, but it's received some Fandom Nods in tie-in materials, such as the special edition of Gravity Falls: Journal 3, where Ford writes a note to "figure out what a 'Silver Fox' is and why everyone keeps calling me one."