Badass Beard

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"An impressive-looking stubble...But nothing more. Would you hear my desire? To take this foul chin curtain...and use it to blot out the light forever!"

Some badasses are not satisfied with just a Badass Mustache or Perma-Stubble to show off their awesomeness. No, they choose to take it further. As opposed to facial hair growing above their upper lip, they won't be content until they have a full blown beard to show off. Many times, it works for them where a simple mustache would just look foolish or out of place. And when it does work, the gentleman in question is a bona fide tough guy, a man's man, a veritable buffet of manliness.

In short, it's what happens when the Badass Mustache gets cranked Up to Eleven.

Distinct from Growing the Beard, but the two can most definitely overlap. Same thing goes for Beard of Evil and Beard of Barbarism. Also see Stroke the Beard. Contrast with Beard of Sorrow, although they could overlap. Sometimes goes hand in hand with Wild Hair. Sometimes part of a Bald Black Leader Guy look.

Examples of Badass Beard include:

Media in General

  • Dwarves, usually. In some sources, even females have them.
  • Some Half-Elves, who are like Elves. . . with a beard!
  • Every Viking ever (Hiccup gets a pass, though).
  • Pirates often have them in fiction, much like a lot of real ones.


  • Used in a sidebar advertisement for a "Free Online MMO Trading Card Game" called Urban Rivals that appeared on TV Tropes at the time of the fork. An initially wimpy-looking soldier character is shown growing increasingly more powerful through a series of stages, and his beard grows gradually at the same time.
  • This is exaggerated with the Vikings in the Capitol One commercials - even one of their ten-year-old sons has a full beard.

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

Fan Works

  • The dwarven noble in Dragon Age: The Crown of Thorns has a very elaborate style, reaching as low as the sternum. It has three intertwined braids in front, plus an extra one on each side. His mustache is also long, arranged neatly in two long strands that reach the level of his collarbone. His long-dead action girlfriend invented it, and the same style was since shamelessly copied by Lord Harrowmont, the Assembly Steward, etc. To compound it all, due to an event that gave the prince his Magic Knight status, all his hair is snow/silver white (that includes the spiked short cut on the head). Badass much?



  • Sometimes, Gilgamesh of The Epic of Gilgamesh fame is depicted with a really long beard. It helps that he's 2 parts Divine and one part Human.
  • Guan Yu from Romance of the Three Kingdoms is infamous for his impressively long and full beard and he's one of the top badasses of the story. So impressive, the Designated Villain Cao Cao gives him a beard-bag to protect its luxuriousness. A mere display of his beard makes Mooks go weak at their knees and beg to join him.
    • He was known by his contemporaries as "Lord of the Magnificent Beard", which rather attests to its badassery.
      • The Han Emperor once said what roughly translates into, "Damn, that is one bad ass beard!"
  • If an older man has a beard in a Kafka novel, you can assume he's a terrifying, castrating authority figure. Case in point: The Trial.
  • One of the ways in which Our Dwarves Are All the Same is in having impressive beards. Another is in being badasses.
  • Gandalf and Saruman: big beards --> big badassness.
    • Saruman was described as having little grit and pluck; he wasn't one made to deal with the mess up-close and personal. Of course, this is a common theme running through Tolkien and his Heterosexual Life Partner Lewis; administrators, advisers, committees, and organizations are bad; heroes go in and get the job done themselves. Saruman makes an effective dragon with his ability to create, organize, delay the White Council, and so on, but this dragon has no claws when the heroes are on him. Even when he ruins the Shire out of spite, he does it by rallying ruffians and scum and corrupting Hobbits.
    • Gimli! Effectively competed with an elf no less!
    • Cìrdan, anyone?
      • Given to the presumption that elves do not grow facial hair...
  • Beorn. The climactic battle in The Hobbit is going badly for the good guys until he shows up late in the day and wins it more or less single-handed. Admittedly being able to turn into a giant bear immune to weapons has its advantages...
  • Similar to Guan Yu, El Cid Compeador is described in The Poem of the Cid as having a magnificent beard, as befitting the archetypal Badass Spaniard.
  • Belgarath of Belgariad had a beard, often depicted in art as being long and flowing, but was described in the books as being cropped close to his face. Barak, the Big Guy from the series' Viking Fantasy Counterpart Culture who turns into a bear on occasion, never shaved in his life.
  • Kurik in The Elenium is noted as having a mighty beard, as well as the 25,000 member strong Order of the Genidian Knights (with the exception of Sir Ulath).
  • Väinämöinen in the Iron Druid Chronicles has a badass beard which Atticus duly notes. In fact it is later found that he has a kit of knives strapped and concealed beneath his massive face bear.
  • Dumbledore, once describe as reaching down to his knees.

Live-Action TV

  • During the writers' strike in '07-'08, late night talk show hosts David Letterman and Conan O'Brien sported "beards of solidarity" (also noteworthy: they paid their crews out of pocket and kept their shows on the air throughout).
    • Conan re-grew his since he left The Tonight Show. For his show Conan on TBS, he kept it from November 8, 2010 to the day Will Ferrell wanted it gone when he guest-starred on May 2, 2011.
  • The late Billy Mays from Pitchmen and innumerable advertisements.
  • Doyle Bennett from Justified.
  • Commander Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation is, for the most part, a poor man's Kirk. The beard is what makes him Riker-er.
  • Jayne Cobb.
  • Marcus Cole of Babylon 5.
    • Sheridan grows a beard later in the series.
  • In Doctor Who, the Eleventh Doctor gained one between "The Impossible Astronaut" and "Day of the Moon" and shaves it off later.
    • He grew another one in "The Wedding of River Song", but shaved it off during the episode.
  • Half the cast of Sons of Anarchy, being bikers have beards, with varying degrees of badass and evil backing them up. Probably the most badass is the beard belonging to Tig Trager, the club's Sergeant-at-Arms and assassin of choice although Jax's beard in Season 4 bids fair to rival it.
  • Morgan Grimes from Chuck


Professional Wrestling

Religion & Mythology

  • Santa Claus, of course.
  • Many representations of the Judeo-Christian God. Also, the literal patriarchs: Abraham, Moses, Noah, etc.
    • And let's not forget Jesus. Blame it on the art and especially on Robert Powell's iconical portrayal in Jesus of Nazareth.
      • Sure, he may not have looked exactly like he does in those portraits, but he almost certainly had a beard.
  • Most of the Norse Gods particularly Odin, Thor, and Tyr are commonly depicted and described as having some truly epic facial hair.
    • Certain gods in Classical Mythology also count, including Zeus, Poseidon, and Ares (interestingly, Hades has often been depicted as lacking a beard, unlike his two brothers (whom he is older than)).
  • Leviticus 19:27

Tabletop Games

  • Warhammer Fantasy Battle Fantasy Battle has weaponized beards on the part of the Dwarves, who sometimes braid blades into their facial hair and use it as a weapon.
  • Chejop Kejak of Exalted, the oldest and most powerful Exalt in existence, possesses one of these. As well as Badass Long Hair.
  • Dungeons and Dragons:
    • It is always emphasized how fond dwarves are of beards. In some editions, but not all of them, even female dwarves have them.
    • Elminister of Shadowdale has a pretty decent-sized beard, and he's the biggest badass in the Forgotten Realms setting, arguably the biggest in any setting of the game.
    • Mordenkainen, on the other hand, has a short, close-trimmed goatee.


  • G.I. Joe. It started in the 70s with the 12" Adventure Team member Joe Colton with realistic flocked facial hair as a selling point, and despite the fact that facial hair is still against military regs in most branches, a lot of Joes started sporting Badass Beards, Including Shipwreck, Snowjob, Frostbite, Clutch, Outback, Rock & Roll, and most recently Bench Press. On the other side, Dreadnoks Ripper, Torch, and Monkeywrench as well as Iron Grenadiers Voltar and General Mayham have their own.

Video Games

NPC: "Whoa, nice sideburns!"


Web Original

Western Animation

  • The Monarch from The Venture Brothers.
  • Action Hank, one of Dexter's idols in Dexter's Laboratory. In "Beard to Be Feared", Dexter comes to the conclusion that Hank's beard is what makes him "rugged", and in an attempt to become tougher, uses an invention to give himself a fairly impressive beard. After Hank helps Dexter defeat a band of villains who use their own bad-ass facial hair as weapons, Dexter learns "It doesn't matter if you have the beard on the outside, as long as you have the beard on the inside."
    • In Ego Trip, Dexter takes a few Levels in Badass when growing up, and gets a Badass Beard in the process. He also goes bald. Elderly Dexter is beardless so he presumably shaved it off when his one-man La Résistance days were over.
  • While not a true character, Sokka's alter-ego Wang Fire is generally held to be incredibly badass.
    • Also Ozai, Sozin and Azulon.
    • And Hakoda.
    • In Season 2, Iroh grows out his goatee and Hotblooded Sideburns into an amazing beard, and keeps it that way.
    • Special Mention goes to the Order of The White Lotus, an organization full of them.
  • Yukon Cornelius was likely the most badass character in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (he wrestled the Abominable into submission and tamed it, for crying out loud) and his beard was just as full as Santa's.
  • Samurai Jack has grown a full one in Season 5, crossing over with Beard of Sorrow. Aku thinks it looks stupid.
  • The Legend of Korra: Tenzin.
    • In a similar vein, flashback adult Aang and Sokka (though not to Wang Fire degrees).
  • Santa Bot. Whether you have been naughty or nice. Also, his pal the Hanukkah Zombie. Kwanzaabot is badass, but alas, no beard.
  • While no attention is drawn to it, Hank Scorpio would be far less awesome without his.
  • In ThunderCats (2011) King Claudus and General Grune, the Big Good and The Dragon respectively, both sport expansive versions of these, while Court Mage Jaga has a slightly more downplayed badass Wizard Beard.
  • Count Dooku In the Clone Wars Television series has a particularly badass beard.
    • Also Obi-Wan
  • The Teen Titans episode "Betrothed" introduces Galfore, Starfire's k'norfka (guardian), a serious badass with a very impressive beard.
  • This is subverted in the Woody Woodpecker episode "Feudin', Fightin', and Fussin'" where Woody's Foil is a mountain man with a long beard that reaches down to his toes. Through most of the short, Woody uses the poor guy's beard to trip him up and play numerous other jokes. Eventually, he decides his "dang whiskers always gettin' me in trouble" and decides to shave them off.
  • In The Smurfs, one thing that makes Papa Smurf stand out among the other Smurfs (the other being his red hat) is his full beard; Flashbacks show he had it as a young Smurf, but it wasn't grey then. Grandpa Smurf has an even longer one.
    • In one episode, Gargamel tries to use magic to grow one so he'd be more respected as a wizard, but he fails to read the directions and ends up with a beard that fills his entire house and makes him unable to move from its weight. As usual, the Smurfs have to intervene so he doesn't end up starving as a result.

Real Life

  • Epic Beard Man
  • France's most famous rugbyman.
  • King George V
  • Frederick I Barbarossa, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire might just have the most badass of them all.
  • Chuck Norris is not, in fact, the reincarnation of Jesus. His beard, on the other hand, is.
    • In fact, there is not a chin under Chuck Norris's beard. There is only another fist.
      • Chuck Norris doesn't has a beard. It just his overgrown moustache growing all over his body.
  • Wolf Blitzer of CNN.
  • Alan Moore. Bloody 'ell, that's a beard!
  • Abraham Lincoln, because a little girl sent him a letter asking him to grow a beard, then he did.
  • George Carlin
  • Anders Friden, the vocalist for the heavy metal band In Flames, definitely qualifies. Just look at that thing. Oh, and when he was younger, he also had some pretty cool dreadlocks as well.
  • Jewish guys seem to be able to grow these effortlessly.
    • Including Jon Stewart.
    • Also the Amish (who only grow them once they get married).
  • Henrik Ibsen
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • Charles Darwin's image is made instantly recognizable by his epic beard. This is even more impressive because he didn't grow the iconic beard until well after he published Origin. Beard of science, indeed.
  • Karl Marx. And we can't forget his less-famous co-author for the Manifesto of the Communist Party, Friedrich Engels
    • Che Guevara also had a badass beard, best shown off in his classic and much replicated portrait. You are not a real communist until you have awesome beardage.
      • Beards seemed to be particularly popular with the Bolsheviks (Lenin, Trotsky, Kamenev, Kalinin... Stalin also had a beard, but later shaved it off and adopted his famous full-mustache look).
  • King Gustav I, the first renaissance king of Sweden, was a badass tyrant who sat 37 years on the throne and made a state in a modern sense out of a fractious medieval realm. His beard was as badass as himself.
  • Ivan the Terrible.
  • Crown Prince Haakon of Norway married the love of his life, Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby, despite her less than regal background, and afterwards grew a beard to show that he was a real badass who'd done the right thing.
  • Aversions: The Neckbeard.
  • Richard Stallman. For a Nerd King, that's a helluva beard.
  • Bill Hicks, as seen on the cover of Arizona Bay.
  • Edward Teach, a.k.a. Blackbeard himself, whose name derived from his huge, braided beard which had lit fuses woven into it.
  • Ernest Hemingway.
  • Fr. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., the founder of the University of Notre Dame. Shouldn't expect anything less from a priest who almost singlehandedly built ND in the middle of Nowhere, IN, and after it burned down in 1879 swore to rebuild it even larger. Also, he's an honest-to-God doppelganger of Albus Dumbledore—check if you don't believe me.
  • It's a hockey tradition, at least in the NHL, that players grow a playoff beard when entering said part of the season. Most players do not shave until they either win the Stanley Cup or get eliminated. Thus the length of the beard is usually directly proportional to how deep the team is in the playoffs and thus how badass it is. However, some players elect to not follow that tradition and some others trim their beards after a loss to change their luck.
  • W.G. Grace The most famous beard to ever grace Victorian cricket fields.
  • Many officers on both sides of The American Civil War had quite impressive facial hair. Also Badass in the sense that these men would often lead their men from the front lines.
  • Brigham Young, who led the Mormons into the desert and eventually founded settlements from Canada to Mexico, defied a fifth of the US Army, and became known as the "American Moses."
  • Morihei Ueshiba, founder of modern aikido.
  • San Francisco Giants closing pitcher Brian Wilson has his own new all-black beard and a nice following of its own fans.
  • Jimmy McMillan of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party.
  • Alfred Molina when his character has one.
  • Canada's army Pioneers: hybrid infantry / military engineers: dozer blades on their APCs and training in explosive demolitions (among other things). Referred to as "Lumberjack Commandos" in the linked pic.
  • Nicholas Flamel and Dr. John Dee the famous alchemist and supposed discoverer of a way to live forever and turn metal into gold and coal into gems and the man who was Queen Elizabeth's right hand man, personal astrologer, spy, and the man who gave James Bond his codename. and both had awesome beards.
  • Brian Blessed.
  • Grigori Rasputin.
  • John Brown.
  • Ned Kelly, an Irish-Australian outlaw.
  • Fidel Castro. So bad ass a beard, the CIA actually tried a plot to slip him a drug for the express purpose of making it fall out. And failed.
  • Emperor Hadrian of the Roman Empire. Brought single-handedly beards back into fashion after hundreds of years of clean-shavedness enforced by tradition on the Roman aristocracy. As an avid proponent of the martial virtues and an openly homosexual man, this also made him the first Bear in recorded history.
    • Julian the Apostate is another noted bearded Roman emperor, again, against the prevailing fashions of the time. However, he was less successful in promoting beardliness than Hadrian, although not for lack of effort, since he wrote a satire of Christianity known as "Beard Hater," referencing Eastern Christians' making fun of his facial hair.
  • Dr. Robert T.Bakker - The Deadpan Snarker of paleontologists with the face of Santa Claus. His research propelled the theory of dinosaurs as warm-blooded animals into mainstream paleontology.
  • Brett Keisel of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • Egyptian Pharaohs, full stop.
    • A subversion: for a long time the fashion was to be clean-shaven, and then wear a fake beard (one about as realistic as the one in the linked image).
  • Bashir Shahib II "The Great", Emir of Lebanon. He ruled Lebanon in the name of the Ottoman Empire, and played a minor role in thwarting Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign. However, this will be forever overshadowed by his truly epic beard/moustache combo. So epic, that you'd be forgiven for believing that the lining of his robe is part of it.
  • Mark Bunker, aka "Wise Beard Man". His words are wise, his face is beard.
  • Mark Levin
  • The Beards, an Australian band
  • Photos of Special Forces Operators (Delta Force, SEALs etc.) and their colleagues from around the world often show them with fullgrown beards, supposedly so they can blend in with the local population more easily (who, in recent times, are generally inhabitants of Iraq or Afghanistan, where men commonly have beards). Also, being Special Forces, they can get away with the additional facial hair other troops would be admonished for.
  • Alfred Von Tirpitz, commander of the German Navy during World War I. The eyebrows and Bald of Awesome only help matters.
  1. Keep in mind, in the Renaissance this was old.
  2. The same is told of Denmark's Holger Danske and others.