One of the big impacts that the media and the film industry has had on the general public is how we perceive beauty. Sure, maybe these ideals aren’t created by film, but they certainly are perpetuated by it, and people are watching and listening. Whether it’s symmetry in the object’s face or the absence of blemishes, the people we see as beautiful are usually the same across the board. Most of our heroes in films are beautiful. It’s easier for an audience to relate to a beautiful person for whatever reason. We won’t get into the science behind it here because, frankly, I don’t give a damn. But the truth is we like beautiful people, so movies give us beautiful people on screen, or is it that we’re given beautiful people on screen, so we like them. Ugh. Who knows?
But what about the uglies? Yeah, that’s harsh, but not everyone can be classically beautiful. If we didn’t have ugly people, who would we compare to the beauties. Being gentle about how ugly certain characters are doesn’t make them any better looking. If we start treating ugly people like everyone else, all the benefits for good looking people will have to be shared. The horror! So let’s just have some fun. I’m sure these uglier folk are great people deep down. In fact, I know they are great. The people on this list are the characters we love. We just don’t love the look of their faces. Ohhh. C’mon. This is not a huge revelation. These characters are scarred, deformed, non-traditional, or a combination of all of the above. The characters on this list just aren’t great looking. That’s the point. Here are the 15 ugliest beloved movie characters of all time.
15. Austin Powers – Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Austin Powers has a charm about him that allows him to get girls without the looks. He doesn’t just lack good looks though; Austin is completely repulsive. He has teeth that could eat corn on the cob through a picket fence and they’re covered in gross. His sideburns are fluffy and huge and his glasses are, well, his glasses are actually pretty in style nowadays. The high point of Austin’s appeal is in his confidence, something that many of the characters on this list could use. The message here is simple. No matter how nauseating your looks are, if you have confidence, you can find a beautiful mate. This is a true story. I know this from a friend of mine.
14. Yoda – Star Wars
Yoda is a little creep. He talks weird, walks weird and looks awful. Yeah, he’s an alien, but not all aliens are ugly. You don’t see what’s her face from Avatar on this list, do you? Yoda’s perfectly round head is insanely punchable and that patch of white hair is like a lame last effort to cling to his youth. Let it go Yoda. Shave that noggin. Yoda is based on the High Lama from Frank Capra’s Lost Horizon, who is basically a human version of Yoda, just not as ugly. I know this is sacred ground and I’m sure there are more than a few fetishes that Yoda led to for the weirdos out there, but there should be no shock that this wrinkly old fart makes an ugliest beloved character list.
13. Justin McLeod – The Man Without a Face
In a movie that people often forget about, Justin McLeod (Mel Gibson) in The Man Without a Face is a misunderstood person with a half-burned off face. He scares pretty much every person he comes in contact with and people accuse him of things he didn’t even do, but he just bears all the criticism and just tries to tutor young people, all for the sake of education. What a guy. It’s funny that it’s Mel Gibson playing the part because it’s opposite of old Mel. Not only is Mel actually a good looking bloke, the only thing he can teach is how to chug a 40-ouncer while hollering out racist slurs without spilling a drop. Even though more people are probably scared of Gibson in his normal skin today, he was a scary sight to see in this film. He’s got a Jonah Hex thing going on, but, because his movie is much more beloved than the pile of trash that is Jonah Hex, we chose McLeod for the list.
12. Deadpool – Deadpool
Ryan Reynolds doesn’t look so much burned as he does old and withered in Deadpool. He actually looks a bit like Benjamin Button. He’s hideous. They make many, many jokes about his looks throughout, so that’s not the question. The real question is, is he beloved? I’m just joking. Have you ever been on the Internet? People have this irrational love for Deadpool, so much so that it was all that was talked about online for like a year. Seriously, on any site, it didn’t matter, the only topic was Deadpool. Look how funny he is. Look how sarcastic he is. You would be forgiven for not knowing who Deadpool was before the film was first discussed. You would even be forgiven for doubting Ryan Reynolds’ ability to be in a good superhero movie since he had already been in three terrible ones (Blade, Wolverine Origins and The Green Lantern). But you will never be forgiven for insulting Deadpool. Don’t even dare.
11. Roy Lee “Rocky” Dennis – Mask
Alright, because this is based off of a real person, let’s be a little gentle with this one. Roy “Rocky” Dennis is the real life boy who suffered from craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, a crazy rare disorder that causes cranial enlargements and disfigurements. Rocky’s story was brought to film fans in 1985 with the movie Mask, starring Eric Stoltz as Rocky. Rocky’s disease caused him quite a bit of relationship issues in his short life because people were not that accepting of his face.
10. Gollum – The Lord of the Rings
There are times when Gollum, from The Lord of the Rings, is kind of cute. When he opens up those big blues, he is very convincing. But really he’s pretty ugly. Dude’s like 600 years old. I guess the only question about his appearance on this list is that he may not be beloved. I’ll admit that his belovedness is in question. I mean, he does try to kill Frodo like six times, and he is conniving and tricksy, no doubt. But he’s sweet deep down. He just loves the ring so much that he’ll do whatever it takes to get that thing back. When he’s around the ring and he knows it’s safe, he’s actually quite a treat to be with. But he’s shockingly skinny, like Kate Moss skinny. He’s also got a sickly pallor and only six or nine teeth, depending on your source. Sweet and ugly.
9. Erik – The Phantom of the Opera
Erik, from The Phantom of the Opera might not be the most beloved character on the list, but that’s only because he’s so darn kidnappy. Really he’s a nice guy deep down; he just can’t get him enough Christine Daaé. Originally played by Lon Chaney on film, Erik was much uglier when his deformity covered his whole face. This entire face deformity was changed for the stage musical because the full-face mask would cover up the mouth for the audience, so it was altered to a half-face deformity/mask. Gerard Butler’s version in the Andrew Lloyd Weber film version has only a couple of scars on the side of his face, so he’s not so bad, but Lon Chaney’s Erik was gross. This guy looked like a walking skeleton, similar to MacCauley Culkin. It is pretty scary to see.
8. John Merrick – The Elephant Man
Joseph Merrick, affectionately known as Elephant Man, was an Englishman who probably suffered from a combination of neurofibromatosis type I and Proteus syndrome; we don’t actually know. He had deformities all over his body and he was basically a sideshow for people to pay to see him. In 1980, David Lynch made the film The Elephant Man, which detailed Merrick’s painful life. John Hurt, who played Merrick, was made to look really off-putting, and I mean that in the most sensitive way. But, again, Merrick was a lovely character, he just wasn’t very attractive. I doubt that I’m the only one who isn’t enamored with this guy’s face shape. We’ll just leave it at that. Beloved but ugly. Ok, now we’ll leave it.
7. Ron Weasley – Harry Potter
Through the years, the Harry Potter franchise showed itself to be one of the most progressive film franchises around. Not succumbing to Hollywood image standards, the filmmakers stuck to their guns and let Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) get the girl, and not just any girl, Hermione (Emma Watson). I bet there was some serious sweating going on behind the scenes as the physical appearances of their two star lovers went in incredibly opposite directions. As Watson blossomed into one of the most attractive women in Hollywood and the planet, Grint turned into a beast of a young man. Even as Grint grew his red hair longer and longer, the brain trust behind the films let him stick around, showing they simply didn’t care what he looked like. Yes, we love his personality. He’s very funny. But he looks remarkably unattractive standing beside Watson.
6. The Toxic Avenger – The Toxic Avenger
When Melvin turns into The Toxic Avenger in The Toxic Avenger, he turns into a hideous creature that is haunting to look at. There is a debate that suggests that he was even nastier before he was turned into the Avenger, which is harsh but worthy of discussion. He was horrifying to see, but I won’t address that any further here. As the Avenger, however, Melvin was a really ugly thing. With one eye basically falling off his face and horribly burnt and bubbly skin, this guy is not what you would describe as beautiful. Well, some might, but we won’t entertain those hilarious claims. There is the positive that his disgusting greenish-black skin makes his teeth look super white, so it’s not all bad for this creature.
5. E.T. – E.T. the Extraterrestrial
No one can dispute how ugly E.T. is. This thing is freakishly deformed. He looks like he swallowed a watermelon and it got stuck in his cranium. His fat little body, long, dangly fingers, pig nose and revolting nipple-less breasts make him one of the most unappealing things ever to look at in a film. If he didn’t waddle like a penguin and speak like a little child, there’s no doubt in my mind that kids would be terrified of him. His deliberate movements at least take the fear out of him because you can just push him over and run away, but make no mistake, his face is straight out of a horror movie.
4. Quasimodo – The Hunchback of Notre Dame
For the 1939 silent film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Charles Laughton was dressed up to the nines, and by nines, I of course mean, like a disgusting freak. A combination of rubber, latex and foam, the fake deformed face that Laughton’s Quasimodo donned was super ugly. Yeah, he’s a nice guy. I’d really like to meet him and tell him how nice he is. But that doesn’t change the fact that he is hideously deformed. If he was incredibly handsome, the story wouldn’t make any sense, so there shouldn’t be a problem with pointing out the obvious. Disney made their Quasimodo a little more eye-pleasing so they wouldn’t frighten the children, but even he had a face that only a mother could love.
3. Sloth – The Goonies
I love Sloth. We all do. But one of this guy’s eyes is on his cheek. His real name in the movie is Lotney Fratelli, and he’s got a heart of gold. Unfortunately, his face is the stuff nightmares are made of. He’s got like three teeth, a nose that looks severely broken, the aforementioned cheek-eye and misshapen ears that creepily wiggle when he’s happy. He’s got superhuman strength and a love of Superman, as well as a very limited dialogue that consists mainly of, “hey, you guys!” It appears that Sloth was too ugly for his family’s tastes, so they kept the poor guy locked away. Nice person, yes, a lovely person indeed, but Sloth is an ugmo. To deny it is deny reality.
2. Edna Turnblad – Hairspray
John Travolta was once a sex symbol in the 70s, but as he got older, so did his face. Science says that a person’s bones stop growing, but ears and noses (cartilage stuff) continues on growing as we age, but Travolta has proven that wrong because, every year, Travolta’s face has gotten a little larger. In 2007, when the Hairspray team decided to dress Travolta in drag for the part of Edna Turnblad, audiences were shocked by what was created. Easily one of the ugliest women to ever step out of the shadows, Travolta’s Edna Turnblad is difficult for anyone to stomach. It’s unclear if Travolta’s head was made to look bigger or if that’s just the natural size of it in 2007, but the sheer enormity of that head is alarming regardless. Travolta set the plight of the drag queen back at least 30 years with his nastiness. If you have a sensitive stomach, avoid watching this one.
1. Mac – Mac and Me
Mac doesn’t look like you or me. It’s tough to actually describe what he looks like. Well, at least it’s tough to describe while using family-friendly terms. Built on the success of E.T. the Extraterrestrial, Mac and Me might not be as beloved a film as it is a terrible film, but we won’t take that out on Mac. Besides the fact that he looks like a mix between a naked mole rat and a naked human rat, he’s a lovely little thing. He’s very sweet and tries his best. It’s not his fault that he comes from a people who are ghastly. Always looking like he’s in the middle of whistling, Mac’s fleshy face and bulging eyes are half of what makes him so ugly. It would be interesting to know if the creators were going for cute or horrifying when they built that monstrosity.