Perpetual Smiler

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"Koizumi's cheerful smile pisses me off every time I see it."

"Buena Girl's parents scare The Flea; they are so... happy."

The Flea, Mucha Lucha

The exact opposite of Perpetual Frowner. This is a character who, no matter what, is never seen without a smile of some kind. A Stepford Smiler would be a sub-trope, one who smiles because that's all they can do to keep from breaking. A Cat Smile or Cheshire Cat Grin can also be their perpetual expression. A Perpetual Smiler's smile can change, and the emotions behind it can be literally anything... so long as there is something that can be called a 'smile' on their face. Usually, though, this smile is pleasant and cheerful, or at least calm, and often, the feeling behind it is genuine, so The Un-Smile doesn't usually appear. Compare to Glasgow Grin, where the smile is ear-to-ear and usually inflicted by cutting.

As a Super-Trope of those listed above, all examples of them should be sorted into their respective categories. This page is only for examples of this trope who do NOT fit into the other perpetual-smile categories.

Examples of Perpetual Smiler include:


  • Jack the Clown in the "Jack In The Box" TV commercials, who's been appearing as a living, ball-faced humanoid since 1995. It disappears when he's particularly perturbed, though.
  • Smilin' Bob from the Enzyte commercials. His smile is particularly creepy...

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • The Joker, obviously (his appearance was based partly on the Laughing Man).
  • Also from the DCU, The Creeper.
    • There's also Mad Harriet who's smile is quite similar to the Joker.
  • For the first portion of his appearance in Transmetropolitan, Presidental candidate Gary Callahan is one of these. That's why they call him "The Smiler" (also to contrast with incumbent "The Beast"). He rapidly loses the quality once he starts dealing with Spider Jerusalem.


  • The Smiler from Transmetropolitan. He must be under great pressure before the raised corners of his mouth even twitch.
  • The Man Who Laughs (L'Homme Qui Rit) is a man who literally cannot stop smiling as he has no cheeks (he was kidnapped by gypsies as a baby, who mutilated him like this to make money showing him off). His picture currently illustrates the Slasher Smile page.
  • The Piraka and their whole species in Bionicle.
  • Westley from The Princess Bride only stops smiling once he's dead. Of course, he gets better.
    • Actually, he didn't smile in flashbacks, either. He was being too serious about his love for Buttercup.
  • Michael Sheen's portrayal of Tony Blair in The Deal and The Queen covers just about the whole range of possible smiles, to the point where it starts to feel like his teeth are following you around the room. Which is pretty much Truth in Television.
  • Most of the toys from the Toy Story series are this in their 'toy' mode.
  • Atom in Real Steel. His face (if he has one) is obscured by a metallic mesh that only shows his eyes, but there are seams in the mesh that resemble a nose ridge and a smile. It helps highlight his child-like appearance, which is most noticeable when his Shadow Function is activated.


  • The Cheshire Cat and his trademark grin.
  • Ella in Sunny Ella, though what kind of smile it is changes depending on whose point of view we're reading.
  • Jon Masters from Dale Brown's books.

"The bastard never stops smiling, too. You notice that? Always with the damned grin on his puss. I don't trust somebody who grins all the time - it usually means they found someone else to put the blame on."

Live Action TV


  • LEGO minifigures, usually.
    • The older kind more so; newer ones (from around the mid-to-late nineties on) have plenty of frowns, neutral expressions, and other miscellaneous emotions to perpetually display. Some of their heads can be turned around for different expressions.
    • Within that, Flex from Alpha Team is said to always smile "even when danger threatens".
    • A Robot Chicken sketch lampshaded this to creepy effect by depicting a spaceship accident resulting in the astronauts inside burning, their faces still stuck in Perpetual Smiler mode while screams were overdubbed. Despite the sketch's Black Comedy, it crosses into nightmarish, especially when one of the firemen yells "Their faces! Their horrible faces!" before another cut to them smiling/screaming.
  • Barbie.

Video Games

  • The Kid from I Wanna Be the Guy is forever grinning ecstatically, in contrast to what one might expect from someone who is rarely more than a few seconds from death.
  • Maxwell in Scribblenauts is always smiling, even when he's getting eaten alive or otherwise mauled.
  • Evil Otto in the early 1980s arcade game Berzerk, who is basically a smiley button, who comes onscreen to chase after the player and to electrocute him, passing through walls and destroying robots along the way. On top of that, he's also invulnerable. Designer Alan MacNeil put Evil Otto in the game because he hates smiley buttons.
    • Evil Otto also appears in the game sequel Frenzy, but he loses that smile when the player can now shoot him down.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater the Sorrow is always seen smiling.
  • Inazuma Eleven's 3D character models have fixed expressions. Characters who smile will smile even though the ball hits them. Masaru Gojou always has a rapist's face, and Hijikata will never stop grinning.
  • Sunshine is constantly seen smiling in Kinnikuman: Muscle Fight. His super meter even has a depiction of him smiling. The only times when his expression changes is when he gets hit by the Cross Bomber, does that super where he freaks out about Friendship Power, or when he loses.

Web Original

Web Comics

Western Animation

Real Life

  • This is a symptom of the Angelman Syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by development delay, speech impediment, movement or balance disorder, and frecuent laughter and smiling.