The Unsurprisingly Epic History of Movie Bowl Cuts

By  · Published on November 17th, 2014

Columbia Pictures

The bowl cut is (as best summarized by Gary Larson), nature’s way of saying “do not touch.” This is the haircut of a child (worse, a child with zero fashion sense). If worn by a child, don’t touch, because hey- that’s not your child. On an adult, don’t touch, because whomever sports the bowl cut may not be of sound mind or body. Or they could be Jim Carrey, filming a Dumb and Dumber sequel.

Lloyd Christmas has returned, and with him, the rattling rattlesnake tail of the haircut world. But Lloyd isn’t the only one to take his fashion cues from a salad bowl- he’s one of many in a long line of bowl-cutted heroes, American patriots who’ve upheld a ruler-straight hairline for nearly a century.

Let’s take a look at a few, shall we?

Moe Howard, The Three Stooges

The Great Depression was a dour period in American history, but we had one bowl cut – cinema’s first bowl cut of prominence – to keep us chuckling through those dark times. God Bless America, ya chowderhead.

Every Beatle, A Hard Day’s NightHelp!

United Artists

Pictured above: four bowl cuts we should all be jealous of. Lennon’s just as shocked as we are.

Spock, Star Trek

Paramount Pictures

A legend in bowl cut history; an enduring piece of pop culture; a haircut so iconic that 50 years later, we’re still forcing Zachary Quinto to jam his head into a bowling ball polisher, lest he not live up to Spock’s perfectly shined ‘do.

Damien Thorn, The Omen

Twentieth Century Fox

Damien’s greatest crime wasn’t being the antichrist, or all those vaguely psychic Satanic murders, it was ditching that luxurious head-bowl when he grew up and was played by Sam Neill.

Jack Banning, Hook

TriStar Pictures

Once the ’90s hit, the bowl cut blew up in popularity – no longer just for the occasional Spock or Stooge, but mandatory for all children, everywhere, for the entire ‘90s.

Ahem, Peter Pan’s kid had a bowl cut.

Chris Hillard- Mrs. Doubtfire

Twentieth Century Fox

And Mrs. Doubtfire’s kid.

Charlie Calvin, The Santa Clause

Walt Disney

And Santa Claus’ kid.

Lloyd Christmas- Dumb and Dumber

New Line Cinema

And Lloyd Christmas, who may not have been a precocious ’90s child, but had the mind of one.

Max Reede, Liar Liar

Universal Pictures

Going from Dumb and Dumber to Liar Liar, we have conclusive evidence that the bowl cut can be transmitted from parent to child.

Darth Vader, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace


It took a film as catastrophically awful as The Phantom Menace to finally put a dent in all those little kids sporting bowl cuts in ’90s movies. The ’00s hit, and they stepped over Episode I’s charred remains to grant bowl cuts to all ages, genres and performances of varying dramatic heft.

Lloyd Christmas, Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd

New Line Cinema

We vowed never to speak of this again, so… just look at the picture.

Anton Chigurh, No Country for Old Men

No Country For Old Men

Paramount Vantage

More important than the why of Anton Chigurh’s menacing bowl cut (although it also kind of resembles a pageboy) is the how. Does Chigurh wander into a barbershop and coldly request the same haircut as the eight year-old next to him? Or does he do it in the mirror by himself, each time proud of the masterpiece he’s created?


Vector, Despicable Me

Universal Pictures

With a bowl cut accentuating the roundness of Vector’s face and a beer gut swallowing up his crotch, Vector has taken on nature’s sexiest shape-two softballs bulging from either end of a tube sock.


Ori, The Hobbit Trilogy

New Line Cinema

You may not remember Ori by name, but the actor who plays him (Adam Brown) is a subtle genius. Seen above is the exact face you’d make if you looked in the mirror and saw a braided bowl cut that extends out six inches on either side.


Roland Turner, Inside Llewyn Davis

John Goodman Inside Llewyn Davis

CBS Films

Would John Goodman’s ranting about which chords are good, which chords are bad, and which cheese on toast gave him diarrhea be nearly as insightful without that perfect circle of hair atop his scalp?

No. No it would not.


Lloyd Christmas- Dumb and Dumber To

Universal Pictures

Jim Carrey is no spring chicken, and Dumb and Dumber To proves one of Newton’s Laws of Bowl Cuts: the more you age, the less of a reason you have to wear a ridiculous children’s haircut. We look forward to 2025’s Dumb and Dumber To: Part Too, and the snowy gray hairbowl within.


Related Topics: