Tooth Strip

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
    Barney gives us an accurate depiction of a Tyrannosaurus Rex's dentition.

    It isn't always practical in animation to draw each individual tooth in a character's mouth and in fact, can run the risk of careening down the Uncanny Valley. Because of this, a popular way of simplifying teeth is to draw them as a solid toothy mass stretching from one side of the mouth to the other.

    Examples of Tooth Strip include:

    Anime and Manga

    • Characters drawn in manga usually have these. And when they do, it's usually the creepy/funny-looking kind.
      • Notably averted in Beck in that every character has all their teeth visibly shown.


    Live Action TV

    • This is one of the signature traits of the eponymous purple dinosaur, Barney.

    Newspaper Comics

    • Parodied in FoxTrot. Roger tries a whitening toothpaste which erases all the lines between his teeth.

    Video Games

    Web Comics

    Western Animation

    • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic
    • Pretty much anyone in a Seth MacFarlane series. Especially Mr. Bottomtooth of Family Guy, a pretentious rich guy with a single bottom tooth. His son shares this trait. Strangely, the creepy pedophile also has tooth strips when he laughs or chuckles, despite not having most of his teeth...
    • Averted in South Park—even though the characters are crudely animated, they still have lines to mark the division of teeth.
    • We see a weird variation in Invader Zim: the Irkens all have their teeth joined together in an undulating, zipper-like pattern. The humans usually have their teeth drawn separately.
    • Many other characters in Western animation use tooth strips for the same reason as anime/manga. Drawing them with individually divided teeth looked bad and would be difficult to draw. It isn't so much lazy animators, but what looked decent and was reasonable to animate.
    • Pixar is infamously known for their tendency to give most of their nonhuman characters this kind of teeth, whether they are either |toys, insects, monsters, fish, or vehicles.
    • Played straight with many animated Disney characters. Aversions include Beggar Jafar's crooked dentures and The Coachman's Nightmare Face.
    • This is standard in 3D modelling: the artist models a tooth strip and maps the color and normals to make it look like a row of discrete teeth.
    • Bubs from Homestar Runner.
    • The Car Crusher at the end of The Brave Little Toaster apparantly has a large guillotine-like blade used to crush cars into tiny cubes that's shaped like a wall of teeth.
    • Recess uses this sometimes.
    • 101 Dalmatians: The Series, Depending on the Artist.