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You know, fangs. Those pointy things that, whenever they're in the mouth of someone or something, indicate that they're probably evil and probably looking for an excuse to bite you with them. They're usually paired with Femme Fatalons and Pointy Ears to create a predatory look, and they're pointy. And really, what's the point in having pointy teeth if you don't do stuff with them like rip apart the flesh of the living? Opening beer cans for kicks? Removing the shrink wrap from DVD boxes?

Werewolves, vampires, and monsters in general make this trope very common. It's probably a prey animal instinct in us that never fails to feel wary about teeth that look like weapons and writers have always known to make use of a Primal Fear. Of course it doesn't help that the canines were specifically evolved for ripping and tearing flesh.

For trope purposes, this includes fangs, tusks, and an entire jaw of purposely sharpened teeth. Cute Little Fangs is the subversion of this. (Except when dealing with Sealed Evil in a Teddy Bear or other tropes for which Cute Is Evil.) May be paired with Horned Humanoid for extra points. Related to Scary Teeth.

Examples of Fangs Are Evil include:


Anime and Manga

  • Taken to its logical conclusion by Hiruma of Eyeshield 21: All of his teeth are fangly, they're visible pretty much any time he opens his mouth (which is often), and when you see them, he's definitely being a dangerous trickster.
    • Played straight with Kamiya Taiga of the Magaki Wolves, whose little fang is just one of the many lupine qualities he has.
  • The less morally righteous folk and many non-human creatures of the Slayers series usually have more intimidating fangs than the usual endearing variety. The half-demon half-dragon Valgaav arguably has the most menacing fangs, while the affable demonic priest Xellos has a smaller, but no less scary set. Creatures such as trolls and werewolves also have fangs.
    • The cursed chimera Zelgadis also has a set of less-than-adorable fang-like teeth on his upper jaw, but they're almost never seen unless he's completely livid.
  • Viral from Gurren Lagann is a crossbreed of human, cat and shark -- with teeth to match.
  • In Hellsing, where every vampire is shown to have a full mouth of razor-sharp teeth. This trope is often subverted with Seras, but she later subverts it as well when she drinks Pip Bernadotte's blood, becoming a full vampire.
    • They seem only to have the mouthful of fangs when they choose to; even Alucard has given a few wide smiles without showing anything sharp. Makes sense, considering how fluid their physiology seems to be in general.
  • In Wolf's Rain, the wolves' fangs don't mean they're evil (being the main characters, they're portrayed very sympathetically) but it certainly means they're dangerous. The wolves are realistically drawn, and on top of that the animators added wolf growls/snarls at the appropriate moments. It's understandably intimidating when the wolves use their true forms, but this troper got a nasty shock when she first saw Kiba attack in human form. (Image courtesy of JWS Anime.)
    • In this troper's opinion the fangs look too big to fit in the wolves' mouths, making the image more effective.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, the female humanoid adorned on the berserked self-defense program comes with four pointy fangs. They wonderfully complement her red eyes, red lines, naked body, and other traits that complete her appearance as the Omnicidal Maniac out to destroy your world.
  • Played straight in Dragon Ball with Piccolo.
    • In the second series, Dragonball Z, this was subverted with both Piccolo himself and the introduction of his race, the Namekians. Despite even having the aforementioned pointy ears and claw-like nails, they're mostly gentle, simple villagers - even the few warriors among them only seem to act in self-defense. Why a race of vegetarians have fangs is never explained.
      • It makes perfect sense. Gorillas, also herbivorous, have big fangs. They're used for shredding tough plant fibers.
      • Which raises its another question, namely why a species that needs only water to survive would develop to eat anything.
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni: There's a reason why two out of the three faces selected for this shot are fangy.
    • However, it should be noted that Cute Little Fangs are also much in evidence, as they appear to be a genetic trait of the Ushiromiyas. But then, at least in Maria's case, they aren't mutually contradictory...
  • When Galvatron is resurrected as Super Megatron in Transformers Return of Convoy, he gains a set of fangs.
  • Excel Excel's Cute Little Fang would be a double-subversion. Since her introduction in the Daitenjin manga she's been the Perky Female Minion of an Evil Overlord. Even her Angelic side has been arrested for murder.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, the homunculus Greed who for some reason has shark-like teeth is an example. Kinda...while the homunculi are the antagonists for the series, Greed's also the least homicidal of the group, and the only one to pull not only a Heel Face Turn but also a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Ashley from Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru.
  • In Fairy Tail, all Dragon Slayers have fangs, the size of which seems to reflect the personality of the character. Shy Wendy has two pairs of little ones, exuberant Natsu has two pairs of medium sized ones or sometimes two rows of them if his mouth is wide open and dark, brooding Gajeel's teeth are huge and sharp all the time
  • Kyouko balances between this and Cute Little Fangs. Sure, she might be mischievous, but that definitely does not stop her from being crazy.
  • Both subverted and played straight in Inuyasha, and by the same character: the main character has Cute Little Fangs most of the time, but when he transforms into his Ax Crazy Super-Powered Evil Side his fangs grow longer and get distinctly more terrifying.
  • 9th from Mirai Nikki in her more crazy and villainous moments tends to be draw with fang-looking teeth.


Comicbooks

  • Spider-Man villains Venom, Carnage and the other evil symbiotes. Generally when a symbiote possesses someone good theres no mouth but when it possesses someone bad theres a mouth full of fangs. Toxin is a neat example. When the host is in control there are no fangs. When the host lets the symbiote take over it gets fangs.
    • Similiar with Flash Thompson as Venom - his default mode has no mouth but fangs tends to appear when he is loosing control to the symbiote.


Live-Action TV

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The phrase "Well, duh" would appear to be indicated on this one.
  • True Blood. Interestingly, they don't put the fangs on the canine teeth as standard, but on the teeth right before the canines. They also make a flick sound when they extend and retract, like a switch blade.
  • Attempted, to complete fail, with the Ferengi on Star Trek The Next Generation. The Ferengi sharpen all their teeth regularly, but somehow still look goofy.
    • The whole "being short wrinkly bald guys" thing probably has a lot to do with that.
    • On the other hand the Klingons often pull it off. In the first episode of Enterprise, Reed mentions with some apprehension that Klingons reputedly "sharpen their teeth before battle". Depending on which episode of Star Trek you're watching, the Klingons might be "Fangs are Tough" rather than "Fangs are Evil."


Gamebooks

  • The Helghast in the Lone Wolf series have fangs in their bottom jaw.


Films -- Live-Action

  • Nosferatu is interesting, because Count Orlock's fangs, rather than being his canines, are his front teeth, giving him a ratlike appearance and causing him to look far more grotesque than most vampires.


Literature

  • This may be why the mostly-friendly vampires of Twilight are literally fangless.
  • Varney the Vampire was the first vampire to have fangs. Despite how bad that book is generally considered to be, fangs have caught on enough for Dracula to have them.
    • Most of the vampires found in folklore around the world had a piercing tongue or mosquito-like proboscis for sucking blood. It was only in European Gothic literature of the 19th century that fangs caught on as their indispensible physical characteristic.
      • The Anzati, vampire-like aliens in the Star Wars Universe, are like the former. Except they suck brains instead of blood.
  • The 'possessed' in The Nights Dawn Trilogy have the ability to shapeshift their form, and often take on the appearance of monsters of legend. Several of the first ones to appear keep their appearance, but with fangs; presumably in imitation of vampires.
  • In Magnus, all the Fallen Angels have vampiric fangs to signify their evilness.
  • A tribe in Discworld sharpens their teeth to points. Not for any particular reason apparently, they just like the effect when they grin.
    • The vampires have these, of course. Even the ones who aren't interested in biting people.
  • In Wicked, Elphaba was born with a full set of sharp fangs, and was a painful and nightmarish experience for her mother to try breastfeeding. But as she grew older her fangs fell out and were replaced with normal teeth.
  • A card played by Elves against Humans in the Witcher Saga. Humans have canine teeth, and therefore are clearly hardly better than wild beasts. Incidentally, Elves in the Witcherverse are herbivorous.
  • Every time Vlad in Count and Countess is about to take a bite out of someone, he grins. The glimpse of artificially sharpened teeth serves as the victim's first and last warning.


Newspaper Comics

  • Candorville directly correlates the size of the fangs with the evil of whatever has them--Susan's dog even gets bigger fangs when it's being scary than when it's being friendly. It's uncertain whether this is an artistic conceit or something else, given that the dog is apparently an evil shapeshifter, as is every fanged humanoid that has changed its fang length at one point or another.


Tabletop Games


Videogames

  • Not quite sure if it's supposed to be to make them more intimidating, but as of patch 3.0, Night Elves in World of Warcraft have fangs to show off their feral nature. And Orcs and Trolls have tusks.
    • Arguably subverted by the draenei, who have fangs more prominent than those of the night elves (and not only generally look like classic demons, but are actually kin to one type of demon)...but are almost painfully honorable.
  • In Kirby Super Star, Marx gets fangs after Nova grants his wish to rule Popstar. In Kirby Super Star Ultra, his fangs get bigger when he is resurrected as the final boss.
  • The World Ends With You: Sho Minamimoto the lion's teeth look like they could take off an arm.
  • The Witcher has a weird variation on this trope. This is one of the reasons elves tend to look down on humans. Elves in the Witcherverse have no canine teeth. Humans, of course, do. So clearly humans are just savage beasts in many of their minds; they even have fangs!
  • In Ace Attorney Investigations the Interpol agent Shi-Lang has sharp fangs to compliment his wolflike nature. He hates prosecutors, arrests people for little to no reason, and is a bit of a jerk to Edgeworth. However, he is presented sympathetically and even provides a Big Damn Heroes moment when he gets Alba's diplomatic immunity revoked.
    • Played straight with Furio Tigre, an intimidating and badly tanned loan shark who, through a Paper-Thin Disguise and everyone else being idiots, managed to actually impersonate Phoenix Wright because they had the same spiky hair.
  • Mortal Kombat's Baraka and Mileena! Baraka, as well as the rest of the Tarkatans could send a shark running with a single grin. Mileena, a half-human, half Tarkatan Evil Twin of Kitana, inherits the hardware, though she keeps it hidden behind a veil.
  • Averted in the third installment of Star Control by the menacing but ultimately honourable Harika.
  • Ganon's bestial forms generally have large curved tusks, though he typically doesn't actually use them in combat.


Webcomics

  • And, of course, Girl Genius has Jagerkin. Although many of them have a Boisterous Bruiser bent and fight alongside the good guys. (for a certain value of good)
  • In Order of the Stick, this is part of Vaarsuvius' Paint It Black switch after that character accepts a Deal with the Devil.
    • The Always Evil Goblinoids of this 'verse have fangs AND tusks. Eat your heart out.
  • In a subversion, most of the time Florence Ambrose doesn't show teeth, even when talking, but when she smiles, people start getting awfully cooperative, for some odd reason.
  • Richard of Looking for Group seems to have fangs under that cowl of his, if the x-ray vision we were treated to by troll shamans in an early page is anything to go by.
  • Yigs in The Water Phoenix King have small fangs that protrude from the lower jaw, but despite this and other traditional Orcish attributes, they aren't any more Evil than humans or other races in this setting.
  • Zimmy in Gunnerkrigg Court has her mouth full of jagged, sharp teeth. She has a hostile, insensitive personality, but she's hardly evil, making her something of an aversion.


Western Animation

  • Scourge was supposed to have fangs, if one of the early scripts of Transformers: The Movie is any indication. In some scenes in the Season 3 episode The Burden Hardest To Bear" it does look like he has fangs, especially when Broadside is holding him.
    • Ravage, on the other hand, has always been shown as having fangs. He is a robotic panther, after all.
  • Vlad Plasmius and Dark Danny (Dan Phantom) in Danny Phantom both qualify.
  • Nega-Timmy, Anti-Fairies in Fairly Oddparents. Butch Hartman must LOVE this trope.
  • Yuck from Yin Yang Yo, too.
  • Demona from Gargoyles. Strictly speaking, all gargoyles have fangs, but Demona really enjoys showing them off, and she's evil.
  • Discussed in a sort of Fantastic Racism sense in Re Boot; Mouse is suspected of several abductions in one episode, and another character denies that it means anything that she's got fangs.
    • Megabyte and Hexadecimal also have fangs. Megabyte's fangs are hard to notice until he drops his Faux Affably Evil persona and starts acting like the vicious predator he is. Hexadecimal's fangs only appear when she switches to her Nightmare Face.
  • El Supremo has these, seemingly for no other reason than that he's evil.
  • These, along with every other part of his look make Machestro from Xyber 9: New Dawn seem rather cat-like.
  • Several Disney Animated Canon villains have prominent fang-like teeth, including the actual supernatural beings like Hades (all of his teeth are pointy) and Maleficent but also some evil humans like Jafar and Shan-Yu.
    • Although the real reason why Jafar has fangs is because he's supposed to look like a snake.
  • Aku of Samurai Jack fits this trope to a T.
  • Nightmare Moon in My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic. A pony with carnivorous, meat-eating fangs can't possibly be on the side of the angels.
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: NOS-4-A2 and Wirewolf. Since they're an energy vampire and robot-devouring werewolf, respectively, this obviously makes some sense.
  • Mr. Burns in The Simpsons, who in early seasons especially was cruel and corrupt to downright evil old man, is shown to have a pair of dentures with fangs on them.


Real Life

  • Cats are known to have fangs. Whether that makes this a subversion or a played-straight example is up for interpretation.
    • Dogs too.
  • In general, any animal with fangs is much more likely to eat you. Small animals with fangs tend to be venomous at least often enough for it to be a safe, albeit not always correct, assumption that anything with fangs is venomous.
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