Follow TV Tropes


Twinkle Smile

Go To
From a tooth that is in shadow? All right, have it your way.

"My shiny teeth that twinkle, just like the stars in space
My shiny teeth that sparkle, adding beauty to my face
My shiny teeth that glisten, just like a Christmas tree
You know they walk a mile just to see me smile. Whoo~!
My shiny teeth and me! (Shiny teeth, shiny teeth)"
Chip Skylark, "My Shiny Teeth and Me"

When a (usually) heroic character does something awesome, it usually merits a celebration. For certain characters it involves a clenched fist of determination and a smile, showing teeth so white and spotless that they twinkle, sporting the combination of a tiny Lens Flare and an Audible Gleam. This is supposed to signify their impeccable moral values and spotless physical splendor.

Of course, it's usually done ironically, often with the character posing directly to the camera.

Note that this is different from when teeth sparkle menacingly to show how sharp they are and how bad the impending bite is going to hurt. For those cases, see Audible Sharpness. In slightly more realistic circumstances, someone's smile might also sparkle because of a gold tooth. See also Bishie Sparkle and Wink "Ding!", other sparkly ways to denote grandeur. When combined with a Fascinating Eyebrow and Dreary Half-Lidded Eyes, you get a DreamWorks Face.

See also Eternally Pearly-White Teeth.


    open/close all folders 

  • In the Delta Airlines safety video that plays before takeoff, a flight attendant does this while demonstrating how to use a seat cushion as a flotation device.
  • Toothpaste commercials. For obvious reasons.
  • Similarly, Orbit Gum.
  • An old GIF animation of Barry White used by to advertise his album Staying Power, lovingly recorded for posterity by Vincent Flanders.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Fukuyama from Girls Bravo has been known to do this on occasion.
  • Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kai: Keiichi in episode 3 while talking to a baseball player.
  • Tatewaki Kuno of Ranma ½ does this incessantly. Whether he's ever done anything awesome in his life is open to interpretation.
  • Rock Lee and Might Guy from Naruto do this constantly. They call it their "Nice Guy Pose". Might Guy also provides the picture for this trope.
  • Shun Mitaka from Maison Ikkoku has this trait. In fact, "Shun" means "twinkle", and the trait runs in the family, with his parents beaming sparkling smiles and later his children.
    • When Godai first meets Mitaka, they engage in twinkle-to-twinkle combat.
    • Don't forget his dog
    • Godai's grandmother will occasionally use one of these across the entire length of her Cheshire Cat Grin. Much shining was had when she met Mitaka for the first time.
  • The tennis duelist Ayanokouji Mitsuro/Harrington Rosewood in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
  • Gasket does this as he completes his transformation in Transformers Galaxy Force . (More recently, Starscream does the same in Animated.)
  • In the Hetalia: Axis Powers anime, America does this.
  • Negi Springfield of Negima! Magister Negi Magi does this while magically aged-up, often combined with Bishie Sparkle.
  • Yatterman 1 & 2 do this a lot, their smiles and eyes are often gleaming. Their enemies get so fed up with this, that they spoof this tendency by getting random blinks all over their bodies! It is also referenced in the Tatsunoko vs Capcom beat-'em-ups, see the Videogame section below.
  • Zoids: Chaotic Century: Parodied in the episode "Moonbay's Waltz". Nearly every time McMahon finishes speaking, he smiles and his teeth sparkle. Fiona seems to be the only one that notices and asks if it's normal for teeth to do that.
  • In Manga, the character ニ ("ni") is used as a sound effect when someone smiles.
  • Ramen Fighter Miki. Kankuro, as the resident Idiot Hero, complete this with an Audible Gleam.
  • Bleach anime
    • Episode 10. Don Kanonji has one of these just after he tells Ichigo "Let me call you friend" and smiles.
    • Episode 311. Michel repeatedly has one of these just to show how cool he is.
  • Dragon Ball, during the Fortuneteller Baba Saga.
    Bandages: Hahaha! Pain and suffering are all you have to look forward to now!
    Yamcha: Ha! Whatever! Anyone ever tell you your mummy dresses you funny? (twinkle)
  • A character from Paranoia Agent does this, to reflect his "perfection", or at least his perception of his own perfection.
  • In Cardfight!! Vanguard (2018 version), Kenji "Koutei" Mitsusada has been seen flashing at least two of these smiles. Once during a video talking about him as one of the top cardfighters in Asia and the other after he won against an unnamed opponent during the Vanguard Koshien.
  • In episode 16b of Tamagotchi, Kuromametchi looks into his mirror and does a few poses. One pose has him smiling, with his teeth producing a visible twinkle.
  • In the Pecola episode "Great Cubes of Fire", after having the kids practice some square dance moves, Mr. Saruyama turns to the camera, says "I reckon that's some purty fine dancin'!", and gives a smile to the camera with his teeth twinkling.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In the Season 4 intro, Happy S. smiles and his teeth have a visible sparkle.
  • One of the 15-second episodes of Lamput takes place at a dance club and has Lamput shapeshifting into clothing on Fat Doc while he's trying to catch him. The ensuing scene where Fat Doc is walking across the dance floor with several ladies who are awed at his outfit features a close-up of his grinning mouth, complete with visible twinkling in his teeth.
  • In the opening of Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Joys of Seasons, Wolffy looks at the camera and his teeth twinkle.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animation 
  • Aladdin, where Aladdin is first revealed as "Prince Ali" (in the musical number).
  • In Asterix in Britain, Caesar's teeth twinkle after he outlines his plan to conquer Britain... by attacking after 5pm and on the weekends.
  • Heavy Metal:
    Prosecutor: Lincoln Sternn — you stand here accused of twelve counts of murder in the first degree, fourteen counts of armed theft of Federation property, twenty-two counts of piracy, thirty-seven counts of rape, and one moving violation. How do you plead?
    Sternn: [smile] Not guilty!
  • In Disney's Hercules, during the song "Zero to Hero", Herc gives one of these to an adoring crowd.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Discworld:
    • Referenced in Moving Pictures, where the main character has been in films for so long that it really does so this. It doesn't go "ting" though, they never got sound working.
    • In Guards! Guards! when Vimes is thinking about heroes.
      And then they smile, and the light catches their teeth, Ting!. Bastards.
  • In an edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Miss Mary Grandpre gave a nice little sparkle to Gilderoy's teeth in the chapter illustration for 'At Flourish and Blott's'.
  • Parodied in The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, where a character makes sure to stand in exactly the right spot for a beam of sun to hit his teeth at exactly the right moment.
  • Manuel "Manny" Ortega, Gloria's father from the Welcome To Wonderland series is usually seen with a smile on his face. And the smile is usually sparkly.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Used almost seemingly as parody in at least two eps of The Amazing Race.
  • On an episode of America's Funniest Home Videos host Tom Bergeron mentions how lucky the channels was to pick him as host and produces a proud pose with a twinkle smile.
  • Often parodied in The Benny Hill Show. Eyes are subject to it too.
  • In Blast Lab, Hammond does this in the opening sequence; it's a reference to how Jeremy Clarkson often mocks him for probably having got his teeth whitened.
  • Doctor Who:
    • They joke about this trope on the DVD commentary during Captain Jack's debut. John Barrowman has that kind of face.
    • Of all people, the Master does this in the new series when at the height of his power.
    • Something of a lampshading in "Voyage of the Damned": When the Doctor meets Max Capricorn in person, Max smiles complete with the twinkle and Audible Gleam, to which the Doctor asks "It really does that?"
    • When Strax complains about the Fourth Doctor's personality in the "Deep Breath" cinema prequel, a slide of the Fourth Doctor doing his signature Cheshire Cat Grin is flashed on the screen with a "ding" sound.
  • Taken to truly ridiculous lengths in the Even Stevens episode "The Big Splash", where Ren is competing for the title of "Best Smile". She gets into a "smile war" with another girl and wins it with a smile so dazzling the entire school is blinded by it.
  • Fort Boyard: About any time Cyril Gossbo flashes his teeth, there's a sparkle for the camera. His teeth even glow in the dark!
  • Get Smart had Simon the Likable, a KAOS agent with a usual amount of charm and a twinkling smile that caused anyone to instantly like him... everyone except for Max's mother-in-law, that is.
  • Horrible Histories parodies this in its "Tudor Sugar-Paste Toothpaste" sketch, with Elizabeth I's disgustingly rotten teeth giving off a yellow twinkle.
  • Captain Terrific, the guest of the day on one Imagination Movers episode, listed this as one of his superpowers, along with Super-Strength, Super-Speed, and Flight.
  • NCIS: In the backstory of the early season 4 episode "Escaped", McGee fell asleep and overbleached his teeth. He goes through the entire episode keeping his lips resolutely shut so that no one will see his too-white teeth. At the very end, the team learns Gibbs has returned from his 10-Minute Retirement. The end-of-episode shot (where the still goes monochrome) is McGee grinning from ear to ear with a twinkle in his teeth, complete with the appropriate sound effect.
  • Night and Day repeatedly superimposes a cartoon-like twinkle (complete with Audible Gleam) on the teeth of character Django Doyle; he's a cheesy pop star and superficially charming chap, and on the surface, this trope is used to imply a kind of physical perfection. However, the show blurs the border between this and Audible Sharpness as it becomes clear he's in fact come to town with the intention of murdering his father. His shark-like quality is played upon repeatedly, to the extent that he is often seen lurking menacingly in the Doyles' hot-tub, and at one point performs a fairly disturbing rendition of the song 'Mack the Knife' (which references sharks repeatedly).
  • Ace Rimmer from Red Dwarf. What a guy!
  • For one of the appearances of Sabrina the Teenage Witch's father, he had the magical natural ability to do this every time he smiled. When he felt down and depressed he lost it but by the end of the episode the shine has come back. The gag was never carried over to other later appearances due to a mix of neither needing the visual cue of being happy or sad nor having as attractive and dashing looking an actor for the part later on.
  • Done in Scrubs with an extremely likable patient, to indicate the moment when other characters (including Cox and Kelso) realised they liked him.
  • Played for Laughs in Titus, as Ken gives one of these while seducing three different women (at different points in his life) with the same "Heaven is missing its most beautiful angel!" line. An identical twinkle shows up as the relationship falls apart with his beer can, and as the relationship ends and the departing women throw something heavy at his head as they leave, which provides the twinkle.
  • Wonder Woman: Season 1 and the first eight episodes of Season 2 featured an animated to live-action Title Sequence. In both sequences, Steve Trevor had a Twinkle Smile while Wonder Woman's eyes similarly sparkled. This was Lyle Waggoner's trademark that was also seen in The Carol Burnett Show.

  • In the video for "Weird Al" Yankovic's song, Headline News, Nancy Kerrigan's initial appearance is completed with a twinkle smile, showing how much better she is.
  • In the video for Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) by Katy Perry, she does this for a second after her make-over.


    Video Games 
  • Kim Kaphwan in The King of Fighters has this as one of his winning poses. Considering the lengths to which he goes to purge evil from the world, there's a bit of irony in there as well.
  • Box art of Air Traffic Chaos is an example to this.
  • Dan Hibiki's "Legendary Taunt" ultra move in Street Fighter IV ends with him giving a thumbs up and a twinkling smile right through the fourth wall.
  • Redd White from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney has a flashy smile (among lots of other flashy things).
  • Disco Kid from the Wii version of Punch-Out!!!! does this periodically when he's about to wallop you, but it always gives Mac an opportunity to earn a Star Punch.
  • The Scout of Team Fortress 2 gets one in the ''Meet The Medic'' video, after the Medic heals him and replaces a knocked-out tooth.
  • Sonic gets one in Sonic Unleashed when fighting the final boss.
    FTA: Sonic Unleashed, sponsored by Colgate.
  • Yatterman-1 does it for one of his Victory Poses in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.
  • In World of Warcraft during Hallow's End (the annual in-game Halloween event), there's a chance each time you trick-or-treat that you'll get 10 toothpicks. When you use one of these toothpicks, you gain the "impeccable smile" buff for the next 60 seconds, during which a visible gleam animation shows up on your mouth every few seconds.
  • The intro for the Borderlands 2 add-on Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt has a few, including one by Zer0.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, the humourous side-character and Gentleman Hildibrand Manderville's signature pose ends with one of these.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Prince Sidon can hardly get through a conversation without doing this at least once, and sometimes twice. The Champions' Ballad DLC shows he started as a child. He's much less eager to in Tears of the Kingdom due to the crisis that Zora's Domain is facing... but once he gets a pep-talk from his fiancée Yona, he flashes a shiny grin at Link before joining him for the dungeon.
    • Even further emphasized in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity: Using Sidon's ZR ability without attacking will make him do the pose, which will both create a minor suction effect and damage enemies, meaning that, given enough time, Sidon could use his smile to defeat the forces of Ganon!
  • In Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill, one of the bosses is President Jimmy Carter. He uses his teeth's shine as an attack.
  • If you get a game over on the Game Boy adaptation of Home Alone, you're treated to a shot of a victorious Harry & Marv. Wait a few seconds, and Harry's tooth twinkles.
  • In Fire Emblem Engage, resident charmer Fogado flashes one such smile to the Divine Dragon and their allies upon rescuing them from being lost in the Tullah Desert.
  • Galaxy Angel: On Ranpha's route in the second game, Moonlit Lovers, Tact flashes her a smile after doing a cheer with a ridiculous outfit just to prove his love for her. In response, she jumps to embrace him.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Tom Brady does this in an episode of Family Guy. He also gives two thumbs up - which also twinkle.
  • Transformers: Animated gives one of these to Starscream, of all bots. It only happens during his rarely-seen full Transformation Sequence, though.
  • Parodied by Chowder in "The Lollistops".
  • The Huntsman from Freakazoid! actually has this as a superpower, as stated in his Expository Theme Tune:
    "He got strength, and speed, and shiny teeth/And as the Huntsman was reborn!"
  • Fanboy and Chum Chum used this on The Bully, Boog.
  • Get Ace: Ace gives off one of these grins at the end of the Title Sequence. Justified because it's really just the light reflecting off his braces.
  • Pinky and the Brain: In one episode, Brain tries to use one that makes people adore him for no particular reason in order to Take Over the World.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Pinkie Pie does a variation of this after demonstrating she's able to dispel illusionary "monsters" by laughing at them. She smiles a white, toothy smile, but it's her eye that gleams. (The sound effect also seems to be a part of the magic being undone rather than Audible Gleam but otherwise, you'd have two in a row.)
    • In the episode "A Friend In Deed", during the musical number "Smile", one of the many background poniesnote  does this.
  • Exaggerated several times in The Fairly OddParents!:
    • Pop star Chip Skylark, who has teeth that are shiny enough to literally blind people. He even has a song dedicated to his beloved teeth.
    • In another episode, Timmy makes a wish to get similar bright teeth.
    • In yet another episode, Chester uses his braces to cause one so bright, it destroys a wall in the police station.
  • Ever After High has Prince Daring, whose smile is so bright the Headmaster tells him to cover his mouth, since it can temporarily blind people and even roast them.
  • Kaeloo: In "Let's Play Air Pockets", Mr. Cat smiles and his mouth shows a twinkle, complete with an Audible Gleam.

    Real Life 

Alternative Title(s): Teeth Twinkle