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When you see someone who wears a hat, helmet, or other cranium accessory all the time, eventually you're gonna wonder why. Then you finally see them sans headwear... and you realize that there's a very good reason. Maybe they have terminal hat hair. Maybe it's just a stupid hairstyle under there. Or maybe their hair is very very expansive when not contained by the hat (regardless of how big the hat in question is).
- Cap'n Crunch, in one commercial where he uses his hat as a boomerang to take out the Soggies, reveals that he has a curious case of male pattern baldness.
- This is lampshaded in a later commercial spot where two boys are offering color commentary for the above commercial. They imply he might be cooler if he ditched his captain's hat - and then he takes it off to defend the crunchberry bush. Their reaction?
Boy 1: Dude, check out the 'do.
Both: Keep the hat! Keep the hat!
- In the case of Ibiki Morino from Naruto, he never takes his bandanna off... and once you see the HORRIBLE scars underneath, you'll wish he never ever does it again. And yes, he's the one pictured above.
- Da Chief Inspector Meguire from Detective Conan never takes his hat off. It turns out he keeps it on at all times because he has an ugly scar from where he was injured on a case... the same one in which he met his wife Midori..
- The Millennium Earl in D.Gray-man always wears a jaunty hat. Now we know why.
- Celty Strulsen from Durarara is understandably reluctant to take her helmet off anywhere outside her own apartment, what with the headlessness and all.
- Holy hell, Jagi! The main purpose of his helmet is to KEEP HIS HEAD FROM EXPLODING. It's not a pretty sight once the helmet and underlying bracer come off.
- Why does Karasawa in Daily Lives of High School Boys always wear a cap? It's to cover a large scar on his forehead courtesy of the girl who live next door.
- Inverted in one of Mozguz's torture squad in Berserk: when he removes his plague-doctor mask, he's a White-Haired Pretty Boy (contrasting with the other deformed mooks). However, it turns out he wears it because of an allergy to sunlight, causing him to burst into flames if uncovered.
- ElfQuest's Nightfall has perfectly normal (though voluminous) hair, but always keeps it under a headscarf except when she's literally letting her hair down.
- In the last issue of the UK comic Buster, the title character removed his hat for the first time, to reveal that without it he looked exactly like Dennis the Menace UK. Buster had to keep it on for copyright reasons.
Howard: My lawyers tell my I've always been wearing these pants.
- In the Radioactive Man comic book spinoff from The Simpsons, the titular hero has a lightning-bolt shaped shard stuck in his head, which he hides under a hat in his Secret Identity.
- Vaughn Bode's Cheech Wizard, whose floppy wizard's hat covers him down to his navel, is ordered to remove it by some police and a priest - when he does, they lapse into a comatose state at the sight. In a later strip he mentions this to a girl who wants to see what he looks like. She persists and he obliges her, warning "okay, here goes, but I bet you go blind!"...and the last panel is a total blank.
- Deadpool is horribly scarred all over his body as the result of the process through which he got his powers. When this idea was first introduced, it was given as the reason why he had never been seen previously without his costume (which covers every inch of his body, like Spider-Man's) on. Over the years, he's varied between always wearing his costume even in private and warning anyone who asks him to remove it that they won't like what they see to walking around in casual clothing as if he doesn't realize (or doesn't care) that he's unpleasant to look at, Depending on the Writer and/or artist. He is insane, though, so the degree to which his condition bothers him may actually change from day to day.
- Star Wars. Darth Vader is probably the most popular example of this. In Empire Strikes Back, we see the back of Vader's bald, scarred head. In the next movie we see that from the front. He can only survive without the helmet if he's in that meditation chamber we saw in ESB.
- In The Phantom Menace for most of the film, Darth Maul's hood hides his horns.
- Played with in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, there is a running gag where every time someone mentions that Scott might need a haircut, his goofy hat will be on his head in the very next shot.
- Kyle's Jewfro reveal in South Park was actually taken from Trey Parker and Matt Stone's earlier movie Cannibal! The Musical, with Humphrey.
- The Princess and the Frog: Yes, everybody loves Dr. Facilier's personality and style, but when he takes off his Nice Hat...his hair has the same form. And we're talking about a top hat.
- The Adjustment Bureau. All the bad guys tend to wear hats... because their crazy bad guy teleportation won't work without them.
- All the illustrations of Captain Sam Vimes from the Discworld stories show him wearing the Watch regulation helmet, except in Where's My Cow (a defictionalization of Sam Jr.'s favorite book), where Vimes is shown without his helmet and with a corresponding case of greasy-looking helmet hair. But that's probably only that artist. Paul Kidby depicts Vimes with short, tousled, unremarkable hair that couldn't grease down like that if he tried. And according to Feet of Clay he's actually starting to go bald.
- In Always Running a confessional novel about Mexican gangster in California at the end Luis meets a disturbed man who has lots of disgusting scars on top of his head that he hides with a beanie hat ecause of gang warfare.
- In one of the Sesame Street Manners Books (probably Grover's Guide to Good Manners), it states that it's okay to ask someone in front of you to remove his hat — but the following illustration reveals that hat-wearer to have mass quantities of hair under the tiny little bowler hat he just removed.
- A similar visual gag was used in an old Woody Woodpecker cartoon.
- In Savages of Gor, Cabot meets a man who never takes his hat off. In Blood Brothers of Gor, we learn why: He had been scalped as a young adult.
- Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone. And it's not a usual example, he has a face on the back of his head. Not just any face either; it's the series wide Big Bad.
"Who's ever suspect p-p-poor st-st-stuttering Professor Q-q-quirrel?"
- The witches in...well, The Witches have wigs on all the time because witches are naturally bald and leaving them off would expose them for what they really are.
- This may not count, but Shepherd Book from Firefly...
- Please Keep Your Scrunchie On?
Zoe: "River, honey, it's okay... he's putting the hair away now." (significant look at Book)
River: "It doesn't matter. It'll still be there... waiting..."
- Seinfeld - George buys a fedora at a flea market and waxes nostalgic for the days when men wore hats - "It must've been a bald paradise!". Naturally he meets an attractive woman and has to face the prospect of removing it...
- Zydos from Gosei Sentai Dairanger looks rather freaky when finally seen sans headgear.
- In the Coast Salish tale S-Hal-Ikun, the title character has been changed by a great bird called Thunder, and if he opens his eyes the lightning will flash and if he removes his hat, the thunder will come. This does not contribute to good relations with his neighbours.
- In the early 1950s, when Beetle Bailey was still a college student, he removed his hat exactly once in the classroom. The professor told him to put it back on.
- Doonesbury. B.D. has been wearing some manner of helmet for decades. When it's finally removed, it is...quite normal hair and he wasn't sure what the big deal had been.
- Before Kyle Broflovski (see South Park example below), Cannibal! The Musical had Matt Stone's even larger Jewfro under the same kind of hat, complete with "pop" sound as he took it off.
- Razputin, the hero of Psychonauts, wears an aviator's cap and goggles throughout the entire game, until the denouement, where he is made an official Psychonaut. He gains a sweater and loses the aviator cap - and the hair revealed by this fashion change looks like it's in desperate need of combing.
- Flint in Mother 3: His hat's brim is kept low until the very end of the game, wherein it is revealed that he's bald. "Bald as a bean".
- The Engineer in Team Fortress 2 is bald underneath his helmet. Alternate models provide another possibility: that his brain is exposed underneath his hard hat.
- Meanwhile, Pyro is the only class that doesn't have a "no hat" alternate hat, so fan theories have run wild about what exactly is under his ubiquitous gas mask, ranging from a horribly scarred or deformed freak to a hot woman.
- The Doom Riders from Jet Set Radio Future wear helmets all the time because of massive skull injuries.
- The Hunter from Left 4 Dead, whose hood hides Tears of Blood and possibly a complete lack of eyes. ("Possibly" because they may have been left unrendered to save on polygons. It's not like that part of his face was meant to be visible, after all.)
- In Loom, rumor has it that looking under a Weaver's hood is fatal. When the main character, a Weaver, is captured, the guard can't resist finding out if it's true. Cue a black screen, a horrified scream, and then the game returning with the guard mysteriously vanished. Yeah, it seems like the hood's there for a VERY good reason.
- Nergal of Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword wears a turban which hangs low enough to cover his right eye. In the final chapter, he removes it to reveal a massive scar distorting that eye, inflicted by Athos centuries ago.
- Jameson from Girls with Slingshots is shown to always wear a bandana or cap on his head. We later find out that he has early onset male pattern baldness.
- Except for one tuft of hair. The rest of the cast spends a long time trying to persuade him to shave the tuft, because it looks ridiculous.
- In Achewood, one strip indicates that the reason Ray never takes off his glasses is because he sold his eyes to pay for the first Achewood book.
- In Eight Bit Theater, Black Mage's face is usually obscured by the shadow of his hat. Seeing his face is known to induce madness, and may even destroy the universe.
- In Girl Genius, Ol' Man Death has a Very Nice Hat. He also has Very Bad Hat-hair under it.
- One Strong Bad segment in Homestar Runner implies that Strong Bad has no face under his luchador mask. More specifically, he claims that the mask is his face.
- Supported by the fact that when he does briefly remove it, the entire time it is off he is screaming in horrible agony.
- Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy: Edd is always wearing a sock on his head. Sometimes it comes off and the other characters stare at it in horror and shock, although what is being seen is never shown to the audience.
- Kyle from South Park is shown with a huge red Jewfro when not wearing his hat.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: King Neptune from the movie needs to keep his crown on at all times, because his
baldthinning head painfully blinds everyone who sees it. Another reason, of course, is that he's in permanent denial about being bald.
- Dumb Donald in Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids constantly wears a pink stocking cap that covers most of his face. In the movie, it is implied that he has no face underneath.
- In Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were Rabbit, a policeman removes his old-fashioned British police helmet to reveal that his head is the same shape as the hat, but even bigger. Considering the shape of the helmets, it was pretty damn funny.
- Dale Gribble in King of the Hill wears his cap to cover his bald head nearly constantly - he was quite upset when he had to take it off for an office job.
- Roger, from The Life and Times of Juniper Lee actually has an afro, though most of the time you'd never know thanks to the hat.
- The Venture Brothers - the lady cosmonaut on the Venture Industries space station has a stunning figure in her form fitting space suit, and a face (unseen) that startles and horrifies. When she and Brock have sex, he requests she keep her helmet on.
- Used as a Discussed Trope in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Almost Got 'im" (and undoubtedly many times in the comics as well), with Penguin and Joker wondering if Batman covers his head with a mask because someone blew part of his face off.
- Mojo Jojo from The Powerpuff Girls wears a giant helmet on his head to hide his enlarged brain.
- Blackarachnia's helmet from Transformers Animated.
- Quite common in Real Life with balding men.
- People who have had a bad haircut are often examples of this trope.