Bald of Evil

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
(Redirected from Bald Of Evil)
The chrome-dome of DOOM!

Hair are your aerials. They pick up signals from the cosmos and transmit them directly into the brain. This is the reason bald-headed men are uptight.

Danny the DealerWithnail and I

In fiction, baldness often equates with lack of moral fortitude. Many, many villains are recognised as such by the audience by their shiny, shaven noggins. It might be the Corrupt Corporate Executive in a political thriller, the sinister evil sorcerer, unholy priest, cult leader, or Evil Overlord in sword-and-sorcery, or a thuggish Giant Mook readying to crack the hero in two. However, it is most commonly applied to the Evil Chancellor and the Mad Scientist.

Where the hero has his flowing golden locks or a boyish, tousled mop of Redheaded Hero or brown hair to indicate his youthful purity, something about the complete absence of hair makes a bald villain look particularly nefarious, especially while he's slouched on his throne, steepling his fingers and delivering a Breaking Lecture while the ominous backlight shines off his gleaming chrome-dome.

This might be a throwback to ancient belief in hair as a symbol of health and virility, as exemplified by the Biblical story of Samson; it may also be more primal still, as a shaven head more closely resembles a skull and, combined with the natural tendency for us to lose our hair as we grow old, is therefore symbolic of aging and death. As a matter of fact, in ancient Rome, baldness was considered a gross deformity. Somehow, that didn't stop the very bald Patrick Stewart from being called "The Sexiest Man on TV" in 1992.

Whatever the original reason, Hair Hates Evil, and about the only times you'll see a kind and moral character without his (or her) hair will be when it's an egg-headed Smart Guy (who's probably also in a wheelchair), a Buddhist monk, a Bald Black Leader Guy, or the Littlest Leukemia Patient.

The only other good guys who go shaven are Badass Anti Heroes, so if a hero shaves his head as part of an Important Haircut, it is a sure sign he's about to get Darker and Edgier.

The tendency is, indeed, for the moral decay of a character to be inversely proportionate to the length of their hair, with innocent, virginal princesses practically drowning in their romantically flowing locks while the hard-bitten Badass sports a spiky military crewcut. The most frequent aversion of this trope is the White-Haired Pretty Boy, whose usually long and luscious tresses exist as a symbol of his evil, not in spite of it.

For the ultimate combination, supply a bald villain with a villainous goatee. This trope is also a function of Good Hair, Evil Hair.

Taking this trope way beyond its logical extreme, occasional very mad scientists will also shave off their skin and the top of their skull, leaving their brains completely exposed.

For aversions, see Bald of Awesome.

Examples of Bald of Evil include:

Anime and Manga

  • Nearly all of the major villains in Dragon Ball have no hair: Pilaf, both Piccolos, Frieza, Cell, Majin Buu. They're not exactly bald, though, they just have no hair - with the possible exception of Pilaf, none of them are mammals.
    • Plenty of bald heroes too: Tenshinhan, Krillin, and Master Roshi.
      • True, but Tenshinhan was originally a villain (albeit one who almost immediately performed a Heel Face Turn a few eps after his introduction), so the point stands.
      • Not to mention, Krillin originally convinced Master Roshi to train him by bribing him with pornography. And Krillin isn't naturally bald, as he grows his hair back (as a sign that he was no longer living as a monk who renounced all worldly pleasures) after marrying Number Eighteen.
    • Considering this is a trope, I think Toriyama might be playing with this a bit. Tenshinhan is a bald villain, but becomes a good guy when he finds out people respect it more. Nappa was a classic "bald" villain (and a classic villain in many respects), but gets trumped by the true hero in mere seconds and replaced by a preferable, haired antagonist.
  • Lordgenome from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Also has the Anti-Hero goatee.
    • And epic chest hair.
      • And his scalp catches fire when he does awesome things such as beating the crap out of mechas with his bare hands.
    • Even The Anti-Spiral fits this trope
  • Ivan the Terrible (or Ivan of Russia, in the Japanese version) from Giant Robo: The Day The Earth Stood Still is bald, though he's not the most nefarious of the evil group he's a part of, even though he may be one of the biggest nutcases in the entire anime. Though, to be fair, one of the guys dead-set on doing good is bald as well.
  • Gluttony of Fullmetal Alchemist, although he's actually not nearly as evil as many of the other homunculi, but more of a Psychopathic Manchild.
  • All over the place in Bobobo-Bo Bo-bobo. The Big Bad is Czar Baldy Bald IV, head of the Chrome Dome Empire, and his Mooks are generally bald as well.
  • The Big Bads of Skyland, Oslo and Diwan.
  • Both played straight and inverted in Kinnikuman. Buffaloman, originally introduced as the most powerful Devil Superman in the series, reveals himself to be bald in the following arc. However, the reveal only happens when he officially pulls a Heel Face Turn.
  • Vargus of Mahou Sensei Negima, who was initially introduced as a thuggish bully of a Giant Mook that attacked Negi in the Magic World for no reason, though it's later shown that he's actually a lot nicer than he first appeared.
    • There's also the leader of the Bounty Hunters later on, but he is more of a Punch Clock Villain; he meets Negi in a bathhouse later 'off the clock' and comments that he has no intention of pulling anything.
  • Gao Gai Gar: in FINAL, Palparepa, the lead protagonist's evil counterpart, is completely bald.
  • Super Dimension Fortress Macross: in the film version, all the Zentradi are bald (though their morality varies considerably), and in the original TV series, Bodolza is very bald and very evil (or at least so mission-oriented as to not care about insignificant things like planetary omnicide).
  • In Legend of Galactic Heroes, three morally questionable characters are bald. (Though most morally questionable characters are not.)
  • The evil school inspector in Gokusen. Some villains can make their Scary Shiny Glasses gleam menacingly; this man creates the same effect with the top of his head.
  • In order to illustrate their pre-series Face Heel Turn, Tokyo Tribe 2's Mera and Skunk both shave their heads. Kai even comments on Mera's shaven head before he becomes aware that he's one of two people that Mera vowed to kill.
  • Bask Om of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, although he usually hides it by wearing a hat.
  • Inu Yasha has Renkotsu from the Band Of Seven.
  • Inverted with the Kongo twins in Eyeshield 21. Unsui's baldness is meant to reflect his monk-like attitude and is a generally swell guy. His brother, on the other hand, has a huge mane of dreads and is a total jackass. In fact, Agon shaving his head is seen as a mark of improvement in his character.
  • Kazundo Gouda, the Big Bad from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: 2nd GIG, combines this with Smug Snake and Magnificent Bastard for a formidable trifecta of nastiness.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh's Odion. As Mai put it on the dub, in his duel against Joey:

Mai: [Joey]'s gone too far to lose it all to a creep with a bad attitude. Not to mention a bad hairdo. It's more of a hairdon't.

  • Leo Akaba, the main villain of Yu-Gi-Oh ARC-V until, that is, The Reveal of Zarc as the true Big Bad. Not only bald, he has an armored plate at the left side of his head with what appears to be a red circular lens, and pronounced blood vessels on the top of his head. All of this makes him look especially sinister.
  • Onimaru Takeshi, the Big Bad of Yaiba, sports one. Also, the fallen monk Seikai Miyoshi.
  • In many H-doujinshi featuring rape, the men are mostly featureless, which includes making them bald.
  • Rikkudo in Saiyuki is a Buddhist monk turned moral-less demon-killer.
  • The Chairman in Paprika.
  • Kriem when she appears in Episode 18 of Tiger and Bunny. It makes sense, really, when you consider that her hair enables her to control inanimate objects to wreak havoc. The hospital staff probably shaved her head so that she wouldn't be able to when she woke up.
  • In the Ace Attorney manga, Robin Wolfe has a bald head that is quite shiny and catches Maya's attention as soon as they meet. The "evil" part comes when it turns out he called an arachnophobic employee to his home, restrained him in a chair in a guest house full of spiders, and left him there for hours, leading him to be Driven to Suicide.

Comic Books

  • Lex Luthor is a classic example, particularly considering his Silver Age motive for villainy was revenge against Superman for making him bald. And it wasn't really Supes' fault, but Lex blamed him after one of his experiments went wrong.
  • Shazam villain Dr. Sivana (who predates Luthor by a couple of months) is another bald mad scientist, who is also diminutive, gangly, ugly, and wears coke-bottle glasses. He has a thing for talking worms.
  • The Kingpin, in Marvel Comics. Bullseye from the Daredevil comics is also bald and has a bullseye scared into his forehead.
  • Professor Xavier of X-Men is almost a textbook example of the 'kindly eggheaded Professor' aversion, as he's sometimes portrayed as being morally ambiguous and slightly sinister, and let's not go near his various Super Powered Evil Sides. It's worth noting that Patrick Stewart is a classic example of Bald of Awesome.
    • In X-Men Evolution, Mesmero is bald, with arcane markings on his face and head. Much creepier than the original.
    • Apocalypse also lacked hair.
  • Marvel Universe semi-aversion: Moondragon, even when she was not being actively influenced by the malevolent Cosmic Horror she named herself after, fit The Gift trope to a tee. Her girlfriend Phyla mellowed her out, some.
  • In the Teen Titans comic series, Superboy shaved his head bald before going on an insane killer rampage and beating up the entire rest of the team. This was due to a mental command which was placed in Superboy's brain from after he was cloned in Cadmus.
  • In the original Flash Gordon comic strips, Prince Barin sported a clean-shaven pate in his first appearances—but when he did his Heel Face Turn, his hair grew out with astonishing rapidity. Ming, however, is bald as...someone who is bald.
  • The righteous Christian in any Chick Tracts will have a full head of hair (except the Bull, who started out evil). Villains, atheists, and goddamn liberals will be balding, usually with embarrassing combovers or comb-back-overs.
  • Henry Bendix, the Weatherman from The Authority and Stormwatch.
  • In League of Extraordinary Gentleman Vol. 1, Big Bad Professor James Moriarty is bald (in keeping with his character in the original Sherlock Holmes stories).
  • Egghead, a deceased foe of The Avengers, an Evil Genius and leader of the second Emissaries of Evil and the third Masters of Evil.
  • Nobeard, one of the Subway Pirates in Seven Soldiers and rival of the thick Beard of Evil-sporting Allbeard. It's commonly believed that the two represent series writer Grant Morrison and Alan Moore.
  • Tintin encounters badguy Rastapopoulos on several occasions. (Also, recurrent conspirator Jurgen is short on hair, though he has some on the top of his head.)
  • Gold Digger‍'‍s Zelda - a genetically engineered mook to an evil (but he's getting better) child genius - has no body hair at all, not even eyebrows (or possibly eyelashes). She hates it (she used to have very long and luscious hair). It's explained as the result of having "Dolphin DNA" being used in her gengineering.
  • The Duke of Lorraine in Rex Mundi.
  • Dr. Hugo Strange, the first recurring Batman villain.
    • The Penguin is often shown to be bald when his top hat is off.
  • The Absorbing Man from The Mighty Thor.
  • Many Sin City villains have this going for them: Manute, Wallenquist, Liebowitcz, Cardinal Roark, and the Yellow Bastard. There was also an evil rich guy with an odd sense of family values in the short story Daddy's Girl.
  • In the Phantom, many baddies sport bald pates. In General Tara's case, it is possible that the baldness is a choice to indicate virility, since he augments his intimidating dome with a large bushy handlebar moustache (gleamingly waxed, of course) and matching goatee. To indicate his self-indulgent lifestyle, the fat buffoons in the Phantom strips (Tara included) always carry an extra bulge of flab at the base of their shiny skulls.
  • Marvel's version of Pluto - occasional foe of Hercules and The Mighty Thor - is bald.
  • Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, founder of H.Y.D.R.A[1] and The Dragon to The Red Skull.


Tom Servo: "Set it to BALD!"

  • Beowulf makes Grendel completely hairless. Also, none of his tendons are the right length. What's more, the Dragon in his human form is also bald.
  • Darryl Revok of Scanners is, at the very least, thinning.
  • According to the commentary for Shoot Em Up, the director considered having Mr. Hertz be bald, a look dubbed "The Full Blofeld".
  • Bullshot. The villain, Otto von Bruno, is bald, so when he boasts that the hero will soon be out of his hair, it earns him a puzzled look from his henchman.
  • The Strangers in Dark City.
  • The Cenobites in the Hellraiser movies.
  • Baldness seems to be a membership requirement for the coven in The Witches.
  • After the events in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, both Vader and Sidious are bald. As was Maul. Conversely, most of the Jedi have long hair.
  • The main character Pink in The Wall is on a downward spiral of insanity from the beginning of the film, but when he really loses it and envisions himself as a Nazi-like tyrant, he shaves everything: face, head hair, body hair, eyebrows, nipples...everything!
  • The Nazi consul (played by Otto Preminger) in Margin for Error.
  • Shocker's villain, Horace Pinker, has it and has burn-marks on it, too.
  • The main villain of The House by the Cemetery, Dr. Freudstein, is bald. But people do tend to lose all their hair when they have been dead for decades...
  • Rasputin from Hellboy. Also see Beard of Evil.
  • Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon, combined with Beard of Evil and Yellow Peril.
  • Ben Kingsley's character in Sexy Beast.
  • Him in We Are the Strange is bald and lacks body hair of any kind. All he's got are his eyebrows.
  • Probably the finest example in cinema is Mr. Potter from Its a Wonderful Life.
  • Philium Benedict's bald enforcer in Recess: School's Out qualifies for both this and The Dragon.
  • Both Colonel Koobus Venter and Wikus' father-in-law in District 9 qualify for this.
  • The Zodiac in Curse of the Zodiac.
  • Surprisingly, Rapunzel from Shrek the Third was revealed to actually be this. Going by her reaction when it was exposed, apparently, this was not something she was proud of, to say the very least.
  • Bane is portrayed this way in The Dark Knight Rises.
  • Several villains played by Mark Strong: Sorter, Frank D'Amico, Godfrey, Clive Cornell...
  • Cirus the Virus, from Con Air. Also possibly Diamond Dog, though he's not quite as evil.
  • Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War; while he's bald in the comics too, it's far more visible here, as he ditches his helmet for most of the story.
  • Mortal Engines has Magnus Crome, The Dragon to Thaddeus Valentine - although to his credit, he's not as evil as he is in the novel.


  • Voldemort in Harry Potter, to play up the whole reptile angle.
    • To be fair, in his case, Voldemort was so far gone from anything remotely human that having hair at all would have been an accomplishment.
  • Big Bad Vorbis from the Discworld novel Small Gods deliberately shaves and polishes his scalp. Invoked Trope?
  • Lord Tywin Lannister and Varys the Spider are this in A Song of Ice and Fire. Tywin combines his with enormous mutton chops to make a bald of extremely awesome.
  • Something of a subversion: Matilda's father (who has plenty of hair and happens to be unscrupulous) believes that smart people have good, strong hair and that, therefore, bald people are dumb. (Matilda points out that William Shakespeare was bald.)
  • Harap Alb, a Romanian folk tale, has the "Sp?', literally, "bald man", as the primary Jerkass villain. The main character is told that the only thing worse than a bald man is a red haired one...Guess whose daughter he is forced to win over later?
  • Although he was not described specifically in the stories, Sherlock Holmes' Arch Enemy Professor James Moriarty was presented as being bald in the earliest illustrations of the character.
    • In many later illustrations, he just had a very badly receding hairline, which also made him look more professorial.
  • Rare female example: in Ian McDonald's Desolation Road, Arnie Tenebrae becomes a psychotic, sadistic warlord. At one point, it's mentioned: "She was busy shaving her head."
  • Bayaz of The First Law combines this with Bald of Awesome, though the "evil" part is less evident until later in the series.
  • Darth Bane in the Star Wars Expanded Universe has this all the way down.
  • Straker from the Stephen King novel Salems Lot.
  • Pavel Kazakov, Big Bad of the Dale Brown novel Warrior Class.
  • Diabolus Darkdoom and his son, Nigel, in H.I.V.E., a series about a school for villains. Lampshaded by Nero at one point.

Nero: Darkdoom? Oh, why is it always the bald ones?

Live-Action TV

  • The Sontarans from Doctor Who, partly because of the People in Rubber Suits effect.
    • Davros, the creator of the Daleks.
  • Colin Mochrie in Whose Line Is It Anyway is a borderline case; while he's not evil per se (at least, we can hope not), he is balding with a very, very dark sense of humor.
  • Although Star Trek is usually an aversion, given Patrick Stewart's impressive skull, the Borg were more often than not depicted as bald, especially when fully assimilated.
  • Speaking of Patrick Stewart, he's the Big Bad in The BBC John Le Carre serials Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People.
    • When playing the villain in I, Claudius, however, he's got hair—either for the above-mentioned 'deformity' reason or because his bald head had not yet become famous.
  • Rare female example: as Battlestar Galactica‍'‍s president Laura Roslin loses her hair to cancer treatments, she also becomes increasingly totalitarian.
  • Black Hole High: Victor Pearson, the series' antagonist, is bald in the present day, but in the 1987 time zone, he has a full head of hair. Almost everything we see of him in this period is sympathetic. He also manages to keep his hair in an alternate timeline where he's a slightly dotty science teacher. The final kicker: in the series finale, which reveals Pearson's ultimately noble motives, Victor is starting to grow his hair back.
  • The Technomages of Babylon 5 all shave their heads, for easier access to the brain and spinal column. Their evilness varies from person to person.
  • Vic Mackey, of The Shield. Though he's not so much evil as Chaotic (Chaotic Good would be a stretch) and possessed of Black and Grey Morality.
  • Billy Zane in Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight.
  • Subverted with John Locke in Lost, but played straight in the season 5 finale, when it is revealed that Locke had been dead since several episodes and that the one who had taken his shape was the Big Bad
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a number of bald demons, the most famous of them being The Master, Season 1 Big Bad, and The Gentlemen, from "Hush", the silent episode.
  • Stargate Atlantis: regular Wraith are evil and have long white hair. In that one episode, the heroes confront a Wraith Evil Chancellor, who was extra special evil. He was bald.
  • General Lonot from Tin Man.
  • The Goa'uld System Lords Heru'ur and Sokar from Stargate SG-1.
  • Egghead, as played by Vincent Price on the 60's Batman.
  • In an episode of The Walking Dead, Shane is shown shaving his head soon after he shot someone in the leg as a diversion to escape some zombies.
  • G.B. Vonturgo from Bring Em Back Alive.
  • The Kanamits, the aliens in the iconic episode of The Twilight Zone, "To Serve Man"; in this case overlapping with My Brain Is Big.
  • While Walter White starts off as a morally gray, anti-heroic Bald of Awesome once he shaves his head a few episodes into Breaking Bad, as he goes all-in with his drug-making operation and starts committing one atrocity after another, he develops into a straight example of this trope.


Professional Wrestling

  • WWE wrestler Kane became bald when he lost his mask in a match. By no coincidence, this is also when he started getting really, really evil. Like, cackling horror-movie-villain evil.
  • King Kong Bundy was the greatest example. Apart from his eyelashes, he was completely hairless.
  • Genki Horiguchi of Dragon Gate literally calls himself H.A.G.E of Evil (hage is Japanese for bald).
  • The Straight Edge Society in the WWE is a whole stable of these. Inverted in the leader, CM Punk, whose mane is the whole selling point of the gimmick...
    • Punk lost to Rey Mysterio, Jr. at Over the Limit 2010 and got shaved bald, but it's averted(?) in that he covered it up with a black mask.


  • This even shows up in Adventures in Odyssey, a radio show. For a long while during the Novacom saga, Mr. Charles was informally known as "the bald guy."
  • Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo even made up a rule about it (when reviewing Prince of Persia).

"Never trust a bald man with mascara."

Tabletop Games

  • Paranoia plays to this in its 2nd Edition art; the "Ultraviolet-Clearance" section contains pictures of a "typical GM", an evil-looking robed fellow who is usually seen cutting up the rules or cracking a whip and is, of course, completely bald.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • One of evil magocracies of Forgotten Realms is Thay, where ruling Red Wizards (both men and women) has shaved and tattooed heads. This tradition was questioned when Lauzoril (the most charismatic leader there) ignored it and broken when traditional power structure was smashed by internal strife.
    • And from the Ravenloft setting, Hazlik, a Darklord and former member of the Red Wizards of Thay.
    • Fourth Edition, baldness is common among Formorians (evil, ugly, greedy, deformed giants) including females.
  • Artwork of various Chaos leaders, especially sorcerers, in Warhammer 40,000 usually portrays them as bald, with various Chaos symbols worn on the scalp.

Video Games

Web Animation

  • The Mastermind's bald head is just one of the many contributing factors to his evil appearance.

Web Comics

  • Dr. Steve from Sluggy Freelance fits this trope so closely he may or may not be a Lex Luthor parody.
  • Belkar from The Order of the Stick is bald. And evil. And a sexy, shoeless god of war.
    • Not quite completely bald; if you look closely, he's got a sparse brown crew cut covering the crown of his head. But close enough.
    • However, The Order of the Stick contains numerous aversions; for instance, the other two bald guys in the Order itself, Roy and Durkon, are both Lawful Good.
  • Dr. Unpleasant from Everyday Heroes: "Hey mister, your head looks like a light bulb."
  • Vilrath from Dominic Deegan. Even though it was just Jacob wearing Vilrath's skin.
  • Richard from Looking for Group is most likely bald, since one statue depicting a hoodless near-lookalike of him was bald, a glimpse of him having his head healed didn't show any indication of hair, and an early page where we see an x-ray version of Richard didn't show any hair outlines. Also, we get a few "up-hood" shots, and the fact that the scarily-similar Sisters have little-to-no-hair themselves does not help matters.
  • The Law of Purple: Silver is totally bald.
  • Dr. Nonami: aside from his Badass Mustache, Mechano is totally bald.

Web Original

Western Animation

Real Life

  1. Or rather, the incarnation of it in the modern age