Cleopatra Nose

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"Cleopatra's nose, had it been shorter, the whole face of the world would have been changed."
Blaise Pascal

One of a number of aesthetically fascistic rules in our society is that smaller is considered to be better where noses are concerned. This trope is an aversion to that; someone is considered attractive because of their big nose. Named, of course, for the Egyptian queen Cleopatra, who was considered one of the most beautiful women in the world in her time, in spite or perhaps because of this facial feature.

Although women are hit with the whole "smaller is better" thing more, this trope isn't exclusive to one gender.

Also known as Greek Nose and Roman Nose. Compare to Unkempt Beauty, Meganekko, and Adorkable, other tropes that defy society's rigid standards of beauty. Related to Matzo Fever and Latin Lover. Contrast Asian Gal with White Guy, on the woman's part (because Asians have tiny noses).

Examples of Cleopatra Nose include:

Comic Books

  • In the Asterix book "Asterix and Cleopatra," Cleopatra is drawn with a HUGE schnoz, under the phrase that "she would be less famous if her nose was any shorter." Likewise throughout the book, characters (including Caesar) comment on how she has "such a pretty nose." (Meanwhile in the later book "Asterix and Son," Cleopatra is drawn with a typical tiny nose... did plastic surgeons exist in ancient Egypt?)
    • Likewise throughout the Asterix books in general, Goscinny and Underzo note that a large nose is drawn as a size of character-warmth, with all the good (male) characters—especially Asterix and Obelix—having huge, bulbous Snuffy Smith-like noses, while the evil characters have small ones.
    • Note that attractive women (Falbala, Geriatrix's wife) have normal noses, but all the comical women have cartoonish noses. Same goes for the men, comical characters and the Gauls have huge proboscis monkey-esque noses.


  • In one of the Sherlock Holmes movies with Basil Rathbone, Holmes decoys an assassin by using a bust of Julius Caesar to produce a similar silhouette in his window. He quips: "Throughout history, Watson, prominent men have had prominent noses."
  • The Truth About Cats and Dogs isn't about a big nose, it's about short, stumpy, dark-haired but smart Janeane Garofalo, compared to tall, skinny but dumb blonde Uma Thurman (who, ironically, has an almost classically big nose, compared to Janeane's smaller one).
  • In Ocean's 13 Linus disguises himself with a big prosthetic nose which the chick he seduces for a con seems to really love. Although part of it might have been the aphrodisiac cologne...


  • In the fairy tale The Prince with the Nose, a prince is cursed as a baby with a really big nose, and as he grows up, everybody tells him, "Oh, what a handsome nose you have, so classic, just like Romans" etc.
  • A play on this trope: In the fourth book of the Uglies series, Aya believes her nose is ugly because it's large (and she hasn't received the pretty surgery yet). Frizz tells her that although it may not fit ideals of glamour, it's unique and still looks pretty in its own way. In the end, Tally convinces Aya to keep it.
  • Holly Short, of the Artemis Fowl series, is mentioned to have a hooked nose in her initial description, but is nonetheless described as pretty.
  • Some depictions and adaptations of Ivanhoe give Rebecca this

Live-Action TV

  • In the X Files episode "The Ghosts Who Stole Christmas", the old lady ghost refers to Mulder as "The gangling fellow, with the... er... distinguished profile."
  • In one Doctor Who tie-in novel (Fourth Doctor), the narration made much of his "patrician nose".
    • Rory wouldn't have the same Adorkable cuteness without his big nose. The Doctor assigns him the code name "Nose" because of it, but it certainly doesn't seem to have put Amy off, and the TARDIS calls him "the pretty one" (relative to Amy, who's a kissogram in-universe and is played by a real-life model).
  • On an early episode of Glee, Rachel was told by a Jerkass choreographer to get a nose job. This has some Reality Subtext because Lea Michele had also been told multiple times that if she wanted to be famous, she would have to get a nose job.
    • In a later episode, when Finn breaks her nose, Rachel is offered a nose job. She appears to be all for it - and not for the reason she says (it could improve her singing) but for the fact that she wants to look like Quinn. The club talks her out of it and convinces her that her nose is beautiful.
  • Ravenna from the Argentine series Los Simuladores.
  • A discussion of "pretty" from News Radio:

Beth: Pretty means pretty. Cute means pretty but short and/or hyperactive - like me.
Lisa: Uh huh. What is beautiful?
Beth: Beautiful means pretty and tall.
Lisa: Gorgeous?
Beth: Pretty with great hair.
Lisa: Striking?
Beth: Pretty with a big nose.
Lisa: Voluptuous?
Beth: Pretty and fat.
Lisa: Sexy?
Beth: Pretty and easy.
Lisa: Exotic?
Beth: Ugly

Video Games

  • Both Link and Zelda have a relatively large nose for Animesque Characters and they are both considered some of the best looking video game characters out there. Here is a picture of Zelda standing next to Peach for a comparison.
  • Fenris (along with most of the other redesigned elves) and Anders of Dragon Age II both have prominent, large noses. They're both presented as desirable, in and out of universe.

Web Original

Real Life

  • There's a myth going around that a man's nose is proportional to another part, thus making him more desirable.
  • Presumably, the Christopher Eccleston Estrogen Brigade feel this way...
    • Actually, the Doctor's never really had a moderately sized nose, has he?
      • A few of his incarnations actually had noses that aren't all that big, but definitely not the majority.
  • An old joke:

He has a Roman nose...all over his face!