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Look around the room you're in. Notice anyone with particularly prominent, exaggerated, or high cheekbones? Yes? Chances are, he or she is the one out to get you.
Villains seem to have a tendency toward quite noticeable cheekbones. It's far more common in animated works, as facial features are often exaggerated. This trope is quite often seen on The Baroness or the Dragon Lady. It's perhaps because sharper cheekbones lend a face a sharper, more angular look, which can convey intense emotion more easily sometimes, or (as with Lean and Mean) because of the unsettlingly skeletal, deathly appearance it can give you.
- Yzma from The Emperors New Groove.
- Cruella de Vil of One Hundred and One Dalmatians.
- Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
- Jafar from Aladdin
- Chernabog from Fantasia.
- Chef Skinner and Anton Ego from Ratatouille.
- Thrax from Osmosis Jones has dangerously pointy cheekbones. Then again, being a virus, he doesn't really have cheekbones so much as a capsid.
- The Joker from Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
- Perhaps the most so in Under the Red Hood
- Kycilia Zabi and M'quve in Mobile Suit Gundam.
Film - Live Action
- Jareth from Labyrinth.
- Jackson Rippner in Red Eye has cheekbones made more prominent by shadows and lighting effects.
- Cillian Murphy and his cheekbones also make an excellent Scarecrow in Batman Begins.
- Captain Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean has his high cheekbones despite being an Anti-Hero, not a full villain.
- Grand Moff Tarkin of Star Wars.
- Discussed in Unbreakable, where Elijah notes the fact that comic-book villains tend to have sharp and pointy feature, and heroes are lantern-jawed.
- The Red Skull from Captain America: The First Avenger, especially after he loses his Latex Perfection.
- Pansy Parkinson sports them in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part Two, courtesy of her lovely actress Scarlett Byrne.
- All illustrations of Lord Vetinari from the Discworld series portray him with very sharp features, including these.
- Crowley from Good Omens. But he's only technically evil.
- Kate O'Mara as the Rani in old-school Doctor Who.
- Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (although he makes a Heel Face Turn)
- Most of the characters that James Marsters plays are villainous, and his cheekbones are very, very sharp.
- Thomas from Downton Abbey.
- David Bowie (who played the aforementioned Jareth) put his high cheekbones, which were further accentuated by his near-bony appearance at the time, to good use for the sinister stage persona of The Thin White Duke in The Seventies.
- Cirque Du Soleil examples, often accomplished with the help of makeup or masks, include Fleur and some of the Nostalgic Old Birds in Alegria and the Counselor and his equally wicked son in KA. However, in Cirque prominent cheekbones are not exclusively for the evil, but sometimes used for friendly Tricksters (KOOZA) or similarly mysterious-but-good characters (the Great Chamberlain in Nouvelle Experience).
- Klogg from The Neverhood.
- Diablo, full stop
- Bioshock 2: Sofia Lamb. Not cartoonishly exaggerated, but hers are by far the most prominent of the entire cast. Seriously, all of Rapture hangs off those cheekbones.
- Xaphrael from Misfile has gaunt cheeks, eye-scar, spiky antennae-like hair, and a range of facial expressions that range from cold disdain to amused detachment. He hasn't actually been "revealed" as a villain yet, but c'mon... just LOOK at him!
- Dex of El Goonish Shive, has huge cheekbones, sunken eyes and Big Ol' Eyebrows. He hasn't been explicitly confirmed as a villain but even if he isn't he seems to be being controlled by one.
- Dr. Horrible in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. In the commentary, during a Gloved Fist of Doom closeup, Joss Whedon even notes, "But then underneath this light I was like, 'Ooh, look at Neil's cheekbones...'"
- Voldemort in A Very Potter Musical, via lots of makeup.
- Megatron from Transformers Animated seems to have this going on.
- Norman Osborn in The Spectacular Spider-Man
- Again, The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series.
- During his introduction, Jeremiah Surd of The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest had ridiculously exaggerated cheekbones that made him look almost goofy. During later appearances, he became gradually more realistic (and more menacing).
- Truth in Television according to Cracked.
- Almost every notable villainous actor. Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, Basil Rathbone, Peter Cushing, Lee Van Cleef...