Two-Faced

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Good heads, I'll pose for this picture. Bad heads, I put a bullet in your brain!

George: She's a two-face.
Jerry: Like the Batman villain?

George: If that helps you.
Seinfeld, "The Strike"

A specific type of Red Right Hand and Evil Scar, this occurs when a character (almost always a villain, usually but not always male), has a normal, generally handsome face on one side, but a disfigured, scarred face on the other side. To hide this they'll sometimes stand with their Face Framed in Shadow, and if they're feeling dramatic they'll greet the heroes with a Face Revealing Turn. Can be accentuated with a Two-Headed Coin.

May also indicate a Split Personality.

Examples of Two-Faced include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Mello in Death Note ends up with a scar over half his face after blowing up a building while he was still inside.
  • Kazundo Gouda in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is a semi-example. The right side of his face is badly disfigured, the left side not quite so badly.
    • His left side is quite normal apart from the lack of hair caused by the scarring on the top of his head. He actually lives in a world where the plastic surgery to fix his face would be a piece of cake, or he could even buy himself a completely new face, but he chooses not to, since his horrible scars give him presence and charisma he never used to have as a bland bureaucrat before his accident.
  • Mukuro of Yu Yu Hakusho, whose body had been completely stripped of flesh on one side with strong acid. Though Mukuro is different from most examples, being a not-so evil demon (given a choice between Yomi and Mukuro, Raizen told Yusuke to side with Mukuro) and being female.
    • As far as this troper knows, Mukuro never stops eating humans or otherwise reforms apart from getting out of the Evil Overlord business, and I think Raizen's advice was based on the fact that Mukuro was an old-fashioned, combat-minded demon lord whose power had led to a huge territory, while Yomi had visions of 'uniting' the worlds under his rule, making him politically much more dangerous. So it's just the less-civilized Evil Overlord being less likely to conquer the universe, and so a preferable win. They're still both evil. (And Hiei as your boyfriend does not redeem evil. He's not that nice himself.)
  • Baron Ashura/Ashler from Mazinger Z takes this a step further. His entire left half is male, while her right half is female. This is carried over into Ashura's voice, which is male or female when only one half is shown, but speaks in both simultaneously when both halves are visible.
    • Marquis Janus and Gandal, two villains from the sequels (Great Mazinger and UFO Robo Grendizer) also had two faces: Yanus had a human face she used to blend among humans, and her true, demonic-looking face was on the "back" of her head, covered with strands of hair; on the other hand, Gandal had two personalities, and his face switched to reflect what personality was the dominant one in the time.
  • Jagi from Hokuto no Ken has the left side of his face fitted with a metal brace then hidden with a helmet to keep his head from exploding after a encounter with his younger brother Kenshiro.
  • In the same way, Yubel from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX is halved by male and female sides of the body, though in the English dub she's generally referred to as female, as her face is mostly feminine with two differing eyes rather than actual facial halves.
  • Balalaika of Black Lagoon has extensive scarring on the right side of her face as a result of a war injury during her time in Afghanistan. Despite the scarring, she's actually still beautiful, but the gangsters of Roanapur still take to calling her "Fry Face" behind her back (though not to her face—she tends not to like that).
  • Frank Archer of the 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist gets half his body blown off and replaced with automail. They don't call him the Terminarcher for nothing.
  • Wei in Darker than Black ends up like this after Hei zaps him half to death.
  • Chikage Kushinada in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple fulfills this humorously as she displays a visage of sinister calm at the angle her master sees her to keep face (pun not intended), while on the other side, her frustration for the current scene shows through a contorted eye, furrowed eyebrow, gritting teeth, and massive sweating. Yes, she is only sweating on one side of her face!
  • The maritime leader of the Kokuboro in Kekkaishi, Byaku, has one half of his face being a Bishonen, but the other side of his face is horror and disgust, particularly because of what he can do to you with the worms and bugs he summons out of it.
  • Rosemarie from Claudine is a rare heroic example. She ends up like this after the horrible incident where her teacher Louis kills both Claudine's father and the old man's lover Cecilia (who is Louis's older sister) via burning down the place they were staying in.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Two-Face from the Batman Rogues Gallery is probably the oldest modern example. Harvey Dent was Gotham City's district attorney until he had acid thrown at him permanently disfiguring his face and giving him a split personality, between Harvey Dent and Two-Face. He now has a fixation on duality and chance, committing crimes around the number 2 and making all of his decisions by tossing a two-headed coin that is scarred on one side. When faced with a moral decision he flips the coin; if it comes down scarred side up he commits an evil act, if clean side up he does not.
  • Mazikeen from The Sandman, who has no skin on the right half of her face, and is not a villain (although she is a demon). She might have annoyed Delirium, but it's not entirely clear.
    • In Lucifer a well-meaning individual with newly-found magical powers turns Mazikeen's face symmetric and conventionally beautiful while she's unconscious, mistaking her appearance for horrible deformation. Mazikeen, who considered herself beautiful before, swears bloody revenge. The practical reason for the change was probably to get rid of her idiosyncratic speech pattern caused by having only half a mouth, allowing her character to develop without extreme annoyance to the reader.
  • Marvel Universe villainess Hydra.
  • The villain/goddess/force of reality Hela from Marvel's Thor qualifies ... but it's only visible if you steal her cloak.
  • Cyborg Superman, in a probable reference to The Terminator.
  • The Legion of Super-Heroes villain Tharok is a cyborg who is split exactly down the middle.
  • The Comedian from Watchmen could arguably qualify: his face is quite handsome, but the right side has a hideous scar running from his mouth to his cheekbone, making him appear to be constantly leering (echoing both his name and the infamous stained smiley face logo of the comic).
  • Jonah Hex is a rare heroic example. A gunslinger resembling to Clint Eastwood, he got a red-hot tomahawk pressed to the side of his face, giving him a very ugly disfigurement similar to Two-Face's.
  • A horizontal example occurs in Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash; Jason gets all the flesh between his neck and his nose blown off, leaving the entire bottom half of his skull exposed.
  • Herr Starr from Preacher (Comic Book).
  • A version in Transmetropolitan: Fred Christ is human on one half of his body and one of The Greys on the other half, due to an incomplete genetic alteration.
  • Mob boss Vin Caruso (after his scarring) in Green Hornet: Year One.
  • Scar, the undead Guardian of the Universe and member of the Black Lantern Corps, takes her name from the huge scar on her face where the Anti-Monitor touched her.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Alec Trevelyan in the James Bond movie GoldenEye, although not nearly as badly disfigured as the above. Interestingly, he uses Janus as a code name, referencing a Roman god with two faces (one on the back of his head).
  • Mel Gibson as the title character in The Man Without a Face.
  • Half example: There's a bit in the film version of American Psycho where Patrick Bateman kills someone with an axe, and the blood splatters all over one half of his face. At one point the camera films him in a way that shows only the clean side, for a moment, and he turns around.
  • The Mayor from Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas who is a literally two faced politician- one face is happy and skin coloured while the other is sad and grey. Interestingly King Malbert from Igor (voiced by Jay Leno) does bear quite a resemblance to him.
  • In the movie Surf Ninjas, Leslie Nielson plays Colonel Chi, who had half of his face repaired with cybernetics after having it crushed. When you first see him, he's looking to the side, showing only the flesh half of his face. He then does a Face Revealing Turn to show his metal half.
  • In Zardoz, speed-aging is used as punishment for the Eternals. One character is aged on only one side of his face, for no real reason (well, other than The Seventies).
  • Another nonvillain example is Orlando Bloom's character in Haven after acid is thrown in his face
  • Former child actor Ricky Coogan from Freaked is turned into a half-man, half-goblin by an evil freakshow ringmaster. "I wonder if Gremlins 3 is casting..."
  • Officer Vickers gets such look at the end of Psycho Cop Returns when the Final Girl attacks him with the Aerosol Flamethrower.
  • Freddy Krueger was originally supposed to have a half of his face being a bare skull, but it couldn't be done due to the special effect limitations at the time. The planned look is still used on some of the original posters.
  • By Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Jason has decayed so much that about half his face is just bare bone.
  • The monster of Prophecy is mutated bear with half of its body fleshy and hairless.
  • One of Dr. Rochelle's mutant creations in The Return of Swamp Thing has half-gator face.
  • She Freak, a weak 1960s remake of Freaks, ends with the villainous main character turned into a sideshow attraction, half her face somehow turned to a cartoony monster face.
  • Due to an accident involving a combination of acid and fire, Marty from Slaughter High ends up like this. It gets worse at the very end, when he randomly rips off the scarred portion of his face.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • The Egyptian Queen Nitokris, as described in H.P. Lovecraft's short story "Under the Pyramids" (ghost-written for Harry Houdini): "By his side knelt beautiful Queen Nikotris, whom I saw in profile for a moment, noting that the right half of her face was eaten away by rats or other ghouls.
  • Torak from David Eddings' The Belgariad had this affliction to a large extent, although he covers it with a living mask. Note that half his face was set on fire by a pissed Artifact of Doom, and because the gods don't have a built-in ability to heal (since they aren't generally capable of being injured) it's still burning after several millenia.
  • Ged from A Wizard Of Earthsea of the Earthsea Trilogy has a half scarred face from an encounter with a vaguely defined creature that he accidentally summoned. (It later turns out to be, appropriately, his own dark doppelgänger.)
    • Tehanu provides a full body example of this trope. Having been horribly burned by her parents prior to the events of the book.
  • K.A. Applegate seems to like this trope - she did it with Hel in Everworld, Taylor in Animorphs (although her ruined side was covered by artificial parts), and again with 2Face in Remnants. Though Hel being beautiful on one side and decayed on the other is true to the ancient Norse myths.
  • Sandor "The Hound" Clegane from A Song of Ice and Fire is another example. He received his wounds at age six when his brother Gregor found him playing with one of his long-discarded toys and shoved his face into a brazier. However, while you probably wouldn't call him heroic, he's not really evil either—his face often makes people automatically assume he's a Complete Monster, but he ultimately subverts the villainy associated with this trope. Also subverted with Brienne of Tarth (as far from a villain as you can get) and princess Myrcella (an innocent nine-year-old girl), who were both disfigured in "A Feast For Crows." Myrcella's cheek was slashed to the bone by Gerold Dayne and she lost an ear on the same side of her head and half of Brienne's cheek was chewed off by Biter.
  • Redwall's Slagar the Cruel has one side of his face mutilated and paralysed by adder venom, and wears a silk harlequin mask to hide it. (The mask also helps since he runs a travelling show that's a front for a child slavery ring.) In a later book, Riggu Felis gets the lower half of his face ripped entirely off, and hangs a strip of chain mail from his helmet to hide it. What with the mask and the fact that missing his nose and lips makes his voice sound really weird, he comes across as the Furry Fandom's answer to Darth Vader.
  • In Scott Lynch's book Red Seas Under Red Skies, the character Selendri exhibits this. The entire right side of her body is burned horrifically due to a moisture-activated contact poison that was coated inside the right half of a masquerade costume she wore by an exceptionally cruel would-be assassin. Her hand was burned so badly it had to be replaced with a brass prosthetic, which hides bladelike claws within the fingers.
    • Her boyfriend, none too pleased, then decides to do this to the guy who took out the hit. By putting half his body in concrete, so it necrotizes and rots.
  • In Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, one half of Deucalion's face was destroyed by the device that was meant to kill him for attacking his maker. A friend gives him a tattoo over it to help distract people from the extent of the damage. He is not a villain, however.
  • A non-villianous example in Twilight: Emily is quite beautiful, but has a great deal of scars on one side of her face due to incident in which her husband transformed FURSPLOSION.
  • The 'Mortal Engines' series presents Hester Shaw, scarred as a child by the man who killed her parents or so she thinks . She isn't quite evil, but is shown to be possessive and vengeful.
  • In Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, Asher went through some torture involving holy water. Holy water acts as fairly serious acid on vampires. He ends up like this, complete with the hidden in shadow entrance. And yes, he is (otherwise) gorgeous.
  • Shotgun Suzie from the Nightside series wound up like this for a while after being struck in the face with a mace, then burned so that her werewolf blood transfusion couldn't fully repair the damage. Unusual not only in that she's not male or a villain, but in that she chose to keep it like that rather than use magic to fix it, as it suited her Badass Bounty Hunter image.
    • A One-Scene Wonder named La Belle Dame Sans Merci had half her face a slightly different skintone, due to her replacing bits of her body with powerful beings she kills.
  • Self-inflicted horizontally by a deranged character in Clive Barker's Cabal, who literally peels off the skin from his lower face in an attempt to reveal his "real face" underneath. Hey, it's Clive Barker.
  • While it's never stated if Quirrell's good-looking, there's a reason why the last chapter of Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone is called "The Man With Two Faces." The back of his face is the horrendously ugly, snake-like Voldemort.
  • Morthûl, the Charnel King from The Goblin Corps by Ari Marmell. He's a lich variant who is literally caught between life and death: one half of his body is a skeleton, while the other half is... still pretty unpleasant to look at, judging by the artist renditions of him, but at least it has flesh.


Live Action Television[edit | hide]

  • The killer in the Criminal Minds episode "Devil's Night" had exactly half his face covered in burn scars caused by a car crash.
  • A victim of one Monster of the Week on the Tremors series wound up looking like this, with half his face and one arm reduced to a mummified condition.
  • Richard Harrow in Boardwalk Empire is a handsome man with horrific scarring on one side of his face due to war injuries which he covers with a mask (meant to duplicate his face before the injuries, making it even more creepy). Despite this, he is still a charming and polite young man, albeit a merciless and very efficient killer
  • In one Tales from the Crypt episode, the Villain Protagonist does this to himself to avert the curse he brought upon himself when he betrayed his friend to obtain a life preserving serum. Symbolically destroying his "evil" half was the only way to survive.
  • Xhalax Sun in Farscape: not as grotesque as some examples on this page, but still counts.
  • Pam on True Blood, as a result of a witch's curse early Season 4. She only actually fits the trope for a few episodes, afterwhich the skin on the other half of her face sloughs off as well.
  • Larry Harvey on American Horror Story.
  • On Nikita, the title character splashes Roan with his own body-dissolving liquid, giving him this look.


Music[edit | hide]

  • Unsurprisingly, album artwork for Tankard's Two Faced depicts such a character.
  • Disturbed likes to do this with the band members' faces and their Mascot The Guy on much of their merchandise (MAAW IV seems to be the only place the shirts were available though)..


Myth and Legend[edit | hide]

  • Older Than Print: Hel, a Rare Female Example from Norse Mythology, was half beautiful maiden and half either crone or skeleton, depending on which myths you read. Sometimes depicted withered from waist down, instead of two-faced, though.
    • Actually not so rare. The goddess of birth and death is depicted this way in many cultures, including many Native American and Central American legends.
  • Janus, the Roman god of transitions, has a face on the back of his head so he can always see where he was (the past) as well as where he's going (the future).


Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • Dick Tracy foe Haf-and-Haf is one of the earlier ones. Two-Face predates Haf-and-Haf by more than two decades (although it is possible that Chester Gould was unaware of the Batman character).


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • In Exalted, the Big Bad "Mask of Winters" wears a helmet with two masks on opposite sides, one smiling, one frowning. When he wishes to change moods, he turns around, and all the joints in his body reverse.
  • Scion goes with the two-faced version of Hel for its version of the Aesir. It doesn't show if she takes on a physical form in the World, but you still feel it on some level.
  • Desmond LaRouche, a minor NPC from the Ravenloft setting, was rebuilt as a half-golem after one side of his body was destroyed in a laboratory accident.


Theater[edit | hide]

  • The title character in Verdi's Opera Rigoletto.
  • Erik of the musical version of Phantom of the Opera... how scarred he actually is once the mask comes off seems to change based on who is doing the makeup.
  • In Cirque Du Soleil's Mystere, there is a group of creatures known as the Double Faces who perform the Chinese poles act. What the character description and picture at the official site don't note is that they wear their masks on the back of their heads; in passing the performers' actual faces are visible, but as the act is staged the creatures "prefer" to present only the mask side (all the masks are identical and creepy, verging on Uncanny Valley).


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Matt Engarde in Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice For All. Complete with flipping his hair up to reveal the scarred side being the difference between Obfuscating Stupidity and Magnificent Bastard.
  • Maero in Saint's Row 2 after you put radioactive waste in his tattoo ink.
  • The corrupted council in Diablo 2 are half human and half demon, split vertically.
  • In one of the rare non-villainous examples, Katawa Shoujo's Hanako Ikezawa. The entire right side of her body is covered in serious burn scars, which she hides with concealing clothing. She received the burns as a child, when her house caught fire while her family was sleeping. It killed her parents, and she only survived when her mother shielded her with her own body.
  • The Twofaces and Double Talkers of Toontown Online. A rather odd example, as the fronts of their heads are blank, but they have two identical faces on each side, looking left and right.
  • Giacomo, the protagonist from Rise of Legends gets this look in the third and final campaign.
  • Ariel, the ghostly Guardian of Balance from Legacy of Kain, sports bare skull on the left side of her face.
  • Zaeed in Mass Effect 2, the resident Anti-Hero of Shepard's team, has gruesome scars and a cybernetic eye on the right side of his face, having survived a shot to the head when his fellow Blue Suns leader betrayed him.
  • Sheltem from Might and Magic. He wears a mask to hide that.
  • Gauldoth Half-Dead in Heroes of Might and Magic IV, half living human and half undead zombie following an Emergency Transformation gone wrong, is an Anti-Hero example.
  • New Destroyman, one of the opponents in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is cyborg right down the middle. After Travis bisected him in NMH, his halves were augmented and he came back in two bodies. One half is outwardly polite and favors ranged attacks, while the other is crude and favors melee.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Dellyn Goblinslayer, an evil human ranger from Goblins, had part of his face and body made out of living wood. A Wizard Did It is implied to have been involved.
  • Relatively low-key example: Remus's Marcus Laurent, a Badass Grandpa CIA agent, has skin grafts all over the left half of his face, is missing that eyebrow, and has had a chunk taken out of his ear.


Western Animation[edit | hide]


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Subverted in Survival of the Fittest: While "Badass Johnny" Lancer's face is horribly scarred on the left side, he's actually a rather swell guy.
    • Played straight with Melina Frost, after getting a Molotov cocktail in her face, though. Even comes complete with Eye Scream.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Al Capone only had his distinctive scars on one side of his face.