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Villainous Widow's Peak

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L - R, top to bottom: The Joker, the Master, Vegeta, and Kazuya Mishima.
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In real life, the widow's peak (a distinct point in the hairline in the center of the forehead) is a result of a lower-than-usual position of the intersection of the bilateral periorbital fields of hair-growth suppression on the forehead and is a dominant inherited trait. The term widow's peak is from an old wives' tale saying that hair growing to a point on the forehead is an omen of early widowhood.

For some reason, in fiction, it seems like it's also an omen of becoming the villain (or, at least, becoming one big badass). Maybe because it makes one's hairline look like Angry Eyebrows or Horns of Villainy.

Actually, in some villains this may be because of weird pattern balding, where the hairline recedes on either side of the center just a bit, as a sign of the stress of their job.

Often seen on a Classical Movie Vampire. Can overlap with Forehead of Doom. See also Bald of Evil, where there's no hair left up top.

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Examples

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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Doctor Strange
    • Doctor Strange had one when first introduced (as a good-but-unnerving "master of black magic" who was meant to seem vaguely demonic). He still has it, but it's milder now that he's an unambiguous hero.
    • His foe Nightmare sports the classic type.
  • Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon may or may not have had one, but the metal skullcaps he wore were clearly evocative of that shape.
  • Ghost Rider foe Lilith is a pretty extreme case.
  • The Joker, Depending on the Artist.
  • The Riddler is more often than not depicted as having one.
  • Shazam!'s Black Adam, though he's often more of an Anti-Hero.
  • Sinestro.
  • Spider-Man
    • Norman Osborn has one. His son Harry used to have an identical hairstyle, but these days he's shaved bald and has a beard, in order to remain as distant from Norman as possible after the American Son debacle during Dark Reign.
    • The Punisher had a very pronounced widow's peak when he debuted as an antagonist towards Spider-Man. He gradually lost it as he changed from an anti-villain to the more familiar and ruthless anti-hero he's known as these days.
  • The Sub-Mariner sports a beautiful one. Whether Namor is villainous or not depends on the continuity.
  • Raven actually grew one over the course of the New Teen Titans, eventually inspiring a plot concerning her father Trigon.
  • The Tomb of Dracula: Dracula, of course.
  • In Alan Moore's Top 10 story "Deadfellas", in which Hungarian vampires are analogous to Sicilian mobsters, the younger vampires laugh at the older "vidow's peak Vlads" for their horror-movie behavior and dress style, much as the Real Life "Mustache Petes" were derided and ousted by younger and less honor-bound mobsters.
  • There are several characters from The Trigan Empire who have this, mostly villains.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Volume 1: Dr. Poison has a rather prominent, if not as pointed as many fictional examples, widows peak on her forehead. She keeps a part down the center of it.
    • Volume 2: The White Magician, a power obsessed magic user who killed Artemis, has a widow's peak as a human, after going demonic One-Winged Angel not so much.

    Films — Animation 
  • Hercules: Hades' flaming hairdo manages to be shaped with a distinctively pointy hairline.
  • The Lion King (1994): Although all male lions have the appearance of a widow's peak, Scar has one that complements his dark, evil character.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin has one. Though that's hardly the first warning sign you'll get from looking at her...

    Literature 
  • Dracula does have one in the book, though its given less attention than his other, more strange features.
  • Dune: Baron Harkonnen is described as having a prominent widow's peak, though it's outshone by his prominent girth.
  • Discworld:
    • Otto von Chriek is not a villain, but he tries to evoke the Classical Movie Vampire look and therefore has one.
    • The text of the books doesn't mention it, but many illustrations of Lord Vetinari have this.
    • Dr. Hix, of the Department of Post-Mortem Communications, has one as part of his (slightly) evil image.
  • In Alexander Kazantsev's Destruction of Faena, the eponymous planet is inhabited by the two "races": the "longfaces" (humans who have the widow's peak) and "roundheads" (the rest), with the former generally being major assholes who believe themselves to be the master race. Kazantsev was probably satirizing the racism based on the skin color with this one.
  • This is a racial trait in the Dragaera series, in which it is called a "noble's point" and all "Dragaerans" (read elves) have them except for the Teckla, who are still elves, but are the peasant class. Not evil per se, but they have a tendency to be pretty ruthless, especially if you are a Teckla or human.
  • Mrs. Jeepers in the Bailey School Kids series is described as having one, and her students suspect that she is a vampire.
  • Oddly enough, Johnny Tremain's widow's peak is described in-story as a sign of wisdom. Presumably the trope has changed over time.
  • Oberyn Martel of A Song of Ice and Fire has one, and while not totally unsympathetic is a jerk who will go for Anything That Moves and is known for fighting with poisoned weapons.
  • Dr. Fu Manchu "with a face like Satan" is sometimes represented as having one.
  • In The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, Dr. Mordeau the Thaumaturgy teacher has one, along with a tendency to wear black and not go out in the sunlight.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Evil Willow, although she also wears one naturally while a good character.
    • Dracula, of course, bears one as well during his apparition.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Tywin Lannister has a sharp blond one. Justified because it is actor Charles Dance's real hair, while the character's counterpart from the A Song of Ice and Fire books sports a Bald of Evil after completely shaving his head.
    • The first and third Mountain are slightly balding at the front of their heads, with a slight notch of hair just above the forehead.
    • Qyburn's receding hairline sports one of these, which only becomes more obvious during Seasons 4 and 5. It, combined with his slicked-back hairstyle in the fifth season, occasionally makes him look unsettlingly like Hannibal Lecter.
  • In Jekyll Hyde has a minor widow's peak, as opposed to Jackman who has straight hairline.

    Music 
  • Gene Simmons of KISS has a very prominent one while in make-up.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Satan sometimes has one.
    • Frank Zappa's "Titties & Beer" features the devil as a little guy with a red suit and widow's peak.
    • Marvel Universe villain and Satan-expy Mephisto has one.

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • Stolas from Helluva Boss is a high-ranking Demon Prince whose design is heavily inspired by Barn-Owls, complete with a Heart-Shaped facial disc that causes his darker plumage to plunge into a prominent widow's peak. His daughter, Octavia, also has one, though it's downplayed due to her being less of a villain and more of a justifiably-sour teenager, in addition to her bangs and beanie cap obscuring her widow's peak most of the time.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, all three members of the Fire Nation royal family have widow's peaks, though none of them very pronounced. Zuko becomes a subversion in Season 3.
  • A young Dr. Wily had one in the Mega Man cartoon.
  • Though not as pronounced as other examples, Vlad Masters of Danny Phantom clearly has one, furthering his vampire-like appearance.
  • Averted with Aqualad from Young Justice (2010), who has a regular-sized widow's peak, but is a hero. Subverted in season 2 when Aqualad undergoes a Face–Heel Turn and works for Black Manta, but it turns out he was a Fake Defector infiltrating the Light.

    Real Life 
  • Notably employed in the Real Life deliberately shaven sakayaki tonsure of historical Samurai, supposedly developed along with the topknot (chonmage) to allow a better fit when wearing a helmet. Younger Samurai were obliged only to shave and shape their immediate hairline into a highly defined widow's-peak, but older Samurai would extend the tonsure well past the crown, while retaining the widow's peak for as long as age-induced baldness would allow, sometimes growing their topknots into shapes that could be folded back over the tonsure, improbably making this style overlap a bald look and a comb-over. This fashion was gradually adopted by the wider Japanese culture in latter periods, but is now only seen, like topknots themselves, on sumo wrestlers.

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