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File:The Crimson Chin.jpg


Butt-head: Huhuh, look at his face!

Beavis: Heh, look at that crack in his chin!

Butt-Head: I think it's a buttcrack!

Beavis: Well I guess that would make sense, since like, there's just a bunch of diarrhea coming out of his mouth.

Butthead: Yeah. Uhuhuhuhuh, it's like when God was passing out buttcracks, this guy got in line twice.
Beavis and Butthead riffing on Sam Harris

A square jawline. A protuberant chin. A manly cleft. Somewhere along the line (possibly around Superman's time), artists decided that these, more so than anything else, were the defining facial feature of really heroic (or really strong and dumb) characters. Perhaps to an even greater extent than broad shoulders, barreled chest, and absurdly large biceps, the surest sign of a character's strength and manliness lies in his chin.

Parodies of superheroes will take this trope to its illogical extreme, giving heroes jawlines large enough to logically prevent them from looking down--and possibly, a ridiculous "chin butt." Some artistic conventions also render the cleft as a "swirl" on the chin. While the gluteus chinnimus can affect non-heroic, not-so-strong characters, "chin swirl" is generally reserved for only the manliest of manly.

If a character with a jawline like this crops up in an American Western Animation production, there's a really good chance he'll be voiced by Patrick Warburton. Also common in Captain Space, Defender of Earth!.

This has some Truth in Television, as scientists have noted that there is a definite correlation between jaw size and testosterone production.

This is mostly a hero trope, but villains occassionally have chins like this.

Compare Beauty Equals Goodness, Top-Heavy Guy. Contrast Villainous Cheekbones (where angular faces characterize a bad guy).

Examples of Lantern Jaw of Justice include:


Anime and Manga

  • Major Alex Louis Armstrong of Fullmetal Alchemist has a mighty chin that has been passed down the ♥♥♥ Armstrong line for GENERATIONS! ♥♥♥
    • Alphonse actually has one built into his armor if you look closely.
  • Gaav from The Slayers. He is a Badass Longcoat, he has the Heroic Chin... but he is a villain! Well he's a villain because he's trying to kill Lina. When Amelia accuses him of being a villain, he's quick to turn the tables and point out Lina is technically a villain, and so is Amelia by association, causing a short Heroic BSOD on Amelia's part.
  • Bonaparte, Leona's tank from Dominion Tank Police.
  • Bean Bandit from Gunsmith Cats features a truly massive jaw. It's not just aesthetic though. One might notice that Bandit NEVER leaves any bones left over after a meal. And he eats walnuts with the shells on.
  • Depending on the character designs, the title character of Lupin III is at times depicted with one of these, despite being a master thief. However, his rival, Inspector Zenigata is usually drawn with one. In the manga series, Goemon has a pretty manly chin, too.
  • Though an antagonist, Bartholomew Kuma of One Piece is decidedly on the side of "Justice," and appropriately has a very, very manly jawline, as Sanji finds out the hard way when he attempts to kick it and nearly breaks his leg. Of course, it is made of metal...
    • Meanwhile, Whitebeard has one of the most impressive jawlines ever, and while being a pirate supposedly puts him on the side of more chatic-minded free spirits opposed to the law, he's definitely one of the most honorable and dedicated characters in the series.
      • Interestingly enough, Shiliew of the Rain has a massive chin, and while he once served as The Dragon to Magellan in the defense of Impel Down, he eventually joins Blackbeard as his new Dragon after his Ax Crazy tendencies go a little too far.
  • Inverted in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, where the character with the huge cleft chin is the Big Bad, Fae Wong Reed.
  • Goh of Shinkon Gattai Godannar is a rare Super Robot pilot example.
  • Wide Load in Transformers Robots in Disguise, though he isn't as heroic as he thinks he is.
  • Takahata and Gateau from Mahou Sensei Negima, highlighting Asuna's preference for masculinity over boyish charms and androgyny.
  • Kamina from Gurren Lagann
  • The titular Captain Harlock
  • Sleggar Law from Mobile Suit Gundam
  • Tooru Rikishi from Ashita no Joe.
  • Ivica Tanović from Eureka Seven AO, though he's unusually slender for a Big Guy.

Comic Books

  • Superman, as stated above, has had one for such a long time that he may well be the Trope Maker. But, if anything, Batman's is even more dimpled and protuberant.
    • It's certainly more prominent, at any rate, given that it and the lips are all we actually see of his face.
    • Superman's chin is taken to a ridiculous extreme in Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman artwork, in which the Chin of Steel becomes ludicrously inflated.
  • Judge Dredd's suitably heroic chin is the only part of his face ever seen.
  • Gladiator from the Marvel Universe, who is a sort of half Take That and half Affectionate Parody of Superman.
  • Side-character Arcadio in Groo the Wanderer had one of these chins, and female characters would occasionally swoon over it.
  • Captain Everything in Normalman. As a parody of Superman and Captain Marvel, it's to be expected, but he takes it to new levels as the series progresses and his appearance becomes more exaggerated. The same goes for the even more exaggerated Megaton Man.
    • And Sergeant Fluffy. Of course, the villainous Ultra-Conservative also has a very strong chin...
  • British comic hero Bananaman, as a parody of the genre, naturally possesses one of these.
  • Even as a gangly teenager, Steve Rogers had a bit of this going on. As Marvel's foremost Cape, he tended to have a strong chin no matter who was drawing him. Lampshaded a little when a new love interest, Bernie Rosenthal, was introduced in the 80's - she had a chin cleft, and the first thing she said to him was that he had one too.
  • Ironically enough, the Green Lanterns tend not to have prominent jaws, Kilowog aside.
  • Preacher (Comic Book): Averted with The Saint of all Killers. His lantern jaw rivals that of Clark Kent's, but there's nothing just about him.

Film

  • Kronk from The Emperors New Groove also has a lantern jaw too.
  • Possibly the main reason why Aaron Eckhart was cast as Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight. A subtle nod to the standard heroic archetype? Or maybe he's just a damn good actor. Possibly both. Nolan did comment on Eckhart's facial features making him look like a movie hero from the 50s, after all.

 Bill: His hatchet-jaw cuts through any crowd!

      • And that's one of their nicer cracks about it.
    • And while we're at Batman movies: Many fans protested when Michael Keaton was cast, for his lack of this trope.
  • The Incredibles: Mr. Incredible, as yet another purposefully archetypal superhero.
  • In the heart-warming (?) ending of Me Myself and Irene, it is revealed that Jim Carrey's alternate personality had one of these surgically implanted on him. Everyone is amused.

 Look at that, Daddy's got a butthole in the middle of his face!

  • Even the more obscure films out there subscribe to this notion. Superhero-in-training Rod Rescueman from Twice Upon a Time had his career pretty much determined by genetics -- he has a barrel chest and a Lantern Jaw of Justice.
  • Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story (and the defictionalized Buzz Lightyear of Star Command) has one of these, replete with "chin swirl." Which is actually there, considering that he's an intentionally stylized toy.
  • Don't forget Bruce Campbell, especially in Evil Dead. His (hilarious) autobiography is even called If Chins Could Kill.
  • Parodied in Bullshot (1983) where the hero is always walking around with his jaw stuck out.
  • Prince Naveen from The Princess and the Frog has one to match his cocky personality, though it's less exaggerated than the other examples. Facilier has one too, though that's probably because he was partly modeled on Captain Hook.
  • Parodied in Heavy Metal, most prominently with Captain Sternn, on trial for twelve murders, fourteen armed robberies, twenty-two counts of piracy, eighteen counts of fraud, thirty-seven rapes, and to top it off... one moving violation.
  • The comic book Iron Man was never drawn with chin on his helmet but the movie version from the Mark II armor up has a protruding chin that does make him look more heroic.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: Gobber the Belch.
  • Johnny in Starship Troopers. Seriously, his jawline steals half the scenes in that movie.
  • Cars featured an automobile version of Jay Leno named Jay Limo, who is a large limousine with an oversized bumper.
  • Judge Dredd. Love him or hate him, but Sly Stallone had the perfect chin for the title role.
  • Gaston from Beauty and the Beast has a chin to match his brawn and penchant for boasting. It's even mentioned in his Villain Song.
  • Comic book expert Elijah Price discusses this trope at some length in Unbreakable when going over some of the finer details in the concept artwork for a comic book cover.

Literature

  • In Me, by Jimmy (Big Boy) Valente, a parody of the life of Jesse Ventura, Garrison Keillor makes reference to a part of Navy SEAL training where "a Naval Surgeon gave us cleft chins."
  • In Tour of the Merrimack, dim-witted Vice-President Sampson Reed is described as having one so dramatic that his nickname is "The Chin".
  • In the web-novel Domina, occasional mention is made of Derek's "strong chin."

Live Action TV

  • Christopher Meloni, who plays Elliot Stabler on Law and Order SVU, nicknamed "The Chin of Justice." (He also has the habit of thrusting said chin towards a suspect while questioning them.) The same goes for Olivia Benson.
  • Dr. Clayton Forrester, villainous Mad Scientist of Mystery Science Theater 3000 had a chin cleft and was quite proud of it. He even invented "chin underwear" "chinderwear" in one episode. Interestingly, after Clay's departure, Mike and the bots would mock the male leads of films like Devil Doll and Time Chasers for their chin clefts: "Ugh, his chin-butt is engulfing her!"
  • Parody - Captain Kremmen of the Space Corps (animated shorts) from The Kenny Everett Video Show.
  • Robbie Rotten from LazyTown has a really big chin that he's quite proud of, but he's not at all 'manly' in other ways... and he's a villain.
  • Flabber from Beetleborgs who some people think was based on Jay Leno.
  • Helo, who provides both the strongest jaw and strongest morals on Battlestar Galactica Reimagined.
  • Chuck - under pentathol, Chuck tells John Casey, "Your jaw was sculpted by Michaelangelo himself."
  • Seeing as Adam Baldwin plays John Casey, that means Jayne Cobb also has a Lantern Jaw of Justice, although it is partially obscured by his Badass Goatee.
  • Both futuristic journalist Edison Carter and his AI counterpart Max Headroom have lantern jaws, though given Max's preference for snark and mischief over heroism, the "justice" part usually only applies to Edison.
  • Captain Jack Harkness, from Doctor Who and Torchwood.

 [Feeling his face after regenerating] "Chin...blimey!"

  • The Flash, who had a lantern jaw that was the only thing that showed when he was in his supersuit.
  • McGarrett (Jack Lord) from Hawaii Five-O.
  • The Middleman has a particularly spectacular one of these, nicely complimenting his broad shoulders and washboard abs.
  • Misfits actor Iwan Rheon is a very attractive example of this trope. A pretty pertinent one too, as his character ultimately takes a level in badass and becomes The Hero of the series, despite spending the first two seasons as a put-upon nerd.
  • Burn Notice's Sam Axe. The guy's played by Bruce Campbell.
  • Nick Stokes, CSI

Newspaper Comics

Professional Wrestling

Tabletop Games

Video Games

  • Captain Falcon of F-Zero and FALCON PUUUUUNCH fame.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero, one time Dragon and one time Big Bad Captain Qwark has one of these. Ratchet even mentioned it when eulogizing him.
  • Freddie Hardest from the obscure self-titled MSX games had as his only distinguishing feature a chin the size of a pair of melons.
  • Double H from Beyond Good and Evil has one of these. Funnily enough, his original, Dummied Out (still visible in one MDisk) model had an even more dramatic, neck-engulfingly huge chin, but it was replaced with a more "normal" one. Not by much, though.
  • Disgaea series:
    • And now we present you with your regular mention of Captain Gordon, Defender of Earth Possessor of Lantern Jaw!
    • The Wood Golem monster type also has an impressive jaw line.
  • The Titular character of the game Power Pete/Mighty Mike, possess a chin nearly the size of the rest of his head
  • All three main characters on the TV show-within-a-game Republican Space Rangers from Grand Theft Auto IV.
  • An easy half of the classes in Team Fortress 2 have one of these. The Soldier class epitomizes this, essentially just a great, big, yelling chin that kills people.
  • World of Warcraft: King Varian Wrynn Chynn is famous (or infamous) for having one.
    • Neltharion/Deathwing from the upcoming Cataclysm expansion is an inversion - His lower jaw would not be out of place at a construction site, yet he is going to break the world when he shows up. Also, he's a dragon.
      • Slightly justified. Deathwing needs his armor plating because his body is being torn apart. Without his massive chin, his lower jaw would eventually fall off.
    • The Knight unit in Warcraft 3 has a very large chin. There's no cleft, but there is manly stubble.
  • Wolfenstein (2009 video game): B.J. Blazkowicz has a truly colossal lantern jaw.
  • Punch Out: Super Macho Man sports an impressive jawline, but Glass Joe doesn't.
  • Ash in the Evil Dead games.
  • Playable character from Time Splitters 2, Hank Nova is described in his gallery info as having "the squarest jaw the galaxy has ever seen."
  • For a nonhuman counterpart, Monster Hunter Tri has the Uragaan, whose chin is its most prominent feature. The chin can even be broken, but don't expect it to go quickly.
  • Parappa the Rapper: Joe Chin is never an outright hero -- or an outright villain, for that matter -- but he is definitely aptly named.
  • Samurai Warriors gives us the astounding and noble Badass Honda Tadakatsu, whose in-game model gives him quite a square jaw to go with his powerful physique. Sengoku Basara, of course, then cranks this Up to Eleven by giving Tadakatsu a chin so pronounced it gets its own armor covering.
  • Full Throttle, Full Stop. You can see that chin from the tiny, tiny page art.
  • The Lost Vikings: Baleog the Fierce, being the offense class out of the trio, has a particularly large chin.
  • Warriors of Might and Magic: In cutscenes Alleron is shown to have a huge chin.
  • Duke Nukem is a parody of the generic musclebound action hero. Which means he, of course, sports a Lantern Jaw of Justice in addition to his trademark Balls of Steel.
  • Death Spank.
  • 'Guts Man', both in Mega Man and Mega Man Battle Network, quite literally has the squarest chin in existence. It's so square as to be perfectly rectangular and often looks like a box attached to the bottom of his face, giving him an enormous underbite. Whether he's actually heroic or not depends largely on the universe and circumstances, but there are at least two instances of Guts Man being on Mega Man's side.

Webcomics

  • In Schlock Mercenary, one character takes a missile in his chin, and when it's rebuilt he has one of these. Legs remarks that it looks heroic, like it belongs in a comic book...and then the narrator insists that, for the sake of the Fourth Wall, the chin has to go.
    • Surgical reconstruction and Fourth Wall damage aside, there's a ton of lantern-jawed heroes in the comic: Kaff, Nick, Shep, Andy, Hob, Brad (after bulking up), Pranger, Doyt Gyo/Doythaban, hell, even Kerchak has the gorilla version...
  • Prince Ossomer of Erfworld has one by necessity since his appearance is a Shout-Out to Superman. His brothers Ansom and Tramennis have less pronounced (but still pretty manly) chins.
  • Tweep brings us Captain Stone from the Show Within A Comic Space Force.

Western Animation

 Wyatt: These new chins could even be so unstoppably huge and heroic, they may have even the simplest of Cybertronians bellowing out the names of common Earthen table utensils.

Real Life

  • Jay Leno, who does the voice for The Crimson Chin. He may not necessarily be heroic, but his chin is.
    • His autobiography is even titled Leading With My Chin.
    • And his Battle Bot (occasionally trotted out for an exhibition match) was called Chinkilla.
  • Toshimitsu Deyama, vocalist of X Japan.
  • Another real life example: David Hayter, who did act, very briefly, in live-action film once upon a time.
    • And cosplays as Solid Snake.
  • Pat Tillman. Considering he was a NFL football player who became a soldier who fell in the line of duty, it's difficult to get much more heroic.
  • Patrick Warburton--when combined with his manly voice, he's become the go-to guy for characters like this (as noted in the description).
    • Ditto Craig T. Nelson (voice of Mr. Incredible). Though the years seem to be slowly eating away at his chin cleft.
  • John Barrowman.
  • Robert Z'Dar has a lantern face.
  • First on this list should have been Bruce "If Chins Could Kill" Campbell.
  • Michael Schumacher.
  • It's mentioned in Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt that Adam West only got the part of Batman because he fit this trope more than another (better, apparently) actor.
  • Sigourney Weaver is foremost amongst the female exemplars.
  • Matt Smith.
  • UFC Bantamweight Urijah Faber
  • American History in general presents George Washington in this manner. Washington sat for a ton of portraits to get his image out to the general public. According to the History Channel's Death Masks program, Washington often times convinced (bribed?) the artist to give him the Lantern Jaw of Justice. The most famous example that doesn't feature his Lantern Jaw of Justice, was a portrait was done by Gilbert Stuart. Of all of the portraits done, Washington detested this portrait... and the reason? It doesn't feature his trademark Lantern Jaw of Justice - Gilbert Stuart refused to paint the manliness, so instead gave us one of the most accurate representations of his real chin. See? Even back then, he realized the importance of giving the impression that you're a hero and ooze responsibility, leadership and trustworthiness - all by the power of his chinny chin chin. The portrait is most prominently featured on the $1 bill.
    • Ol' Georgie didn't help his case any by not putting his dentures in for that portrait, but reconstructions of his face show that his chinny chin chin was indeed quite strong when his teeth were in his head. Besides, this is George Washington we're talking about; his chin could have been on backwards and he'd still be seen as a hero.
  • Related to the above, portraits of Andrew Jackson suggest he had one of these. Given the man was President and a Four-Star Badass who had one foot knee-deep in Crazy Awesome and the other planted squarely up someone's ass, deserving or otherwise, he was probably entitled to the chin.
  • Formula One racing driver David Coulthard, whose jawline is so square it has to be seen to be believed.
  • Freddie Mercury.
  • Reggie Fils-Aime, as amusingly exaggerated in his official Mii.
  • This was known as the Habsburg Lip or the Habsburg Chin--and, as Charles II proved, in real life, there are limits to its appeal.
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