Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The Most Magnificent Mustaches of All Time (Both Real and Fictional)

Mustaches have been worn by villains, sex icons, presidents, badasses, and everyone in between. Indeed, this prominent beard style has seen many ups and downs over the years — a wild mustache ride, if you will. Most men can grow a mustache, but it’s what a man does with his mustache that defines him.

Come with us on a journey through time and space — reality and fiction — as we search for the best mustaches in the world. Warning: These ‘staches are unironic, unapologetic, and undeniably cool. You may want to pick up some of the best mustache wax along the way.

Related Videos

Great Men with Great Mustaches

“Some are born with mustaches, some achieve great mustaches, and some have great mustaches thrust upon them.” This slightly altered quote from William Shakespeare (another great mustache) perfectly describes the men and mustaches in this category.

Friedrich Nietzsche


This 19th century German philosopher challenged traditional ideas of morality and religion. Unfortunately, he passed away before he could discover how to eat with such a giant, intrusive mustache.

Theodore Roosevelt


Roosevelt’s formidable mustache sat as comfortably on his upper lip as Roosevelt himself sat in the saddle. Teddy’s mustache helped him to victory during the Spanish-American War and stuck with him during his productive presidency.

Mark Twain

mark twain

Look at this majestic son of a gun. It’s only fitting that the man who wrote some of the greatest American novels also rocked one of the greatest American mustaches.

Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi is revered for his dedication to peace, his resistance to imperialism, and his humble lifestyle. If we were to add one more thing to that list, it would be his kind, gentle mustache.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


A devotion to non-violence wasn’t the only thing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gleaned from Gandhi. Though perhaps the least amazing thing about him, King’s smooth, humble mustache deserves a nod of recognition.

Albert Einstein


Einstein is widely considered the smartest man ever to have lived. Legend has it that the “m” in “E=mc2” originally stood for “mustache.” When the numbers didn’t add up, Einstein reluctantly changed it to “mass.”

Salvador Dalí


Surrealist Salvador Dalí eschewed the conventional notions of logic, reality, and mustache grooming. Dalí’s waxed masterpiece was as strange and wonderful as his numerous artistic endeavors.

Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp is an Old West legend. The famous mustachioed gunslinger served time as a sheriff, a U.S. marshal, a gambler, gold rusher, and everything in between. Nearly formidable as the real Wyatt’s ‘stache is Kurt Russell’s beauty in the movie Tombstone, which touches on some of the former’s exploits.

Fictional Characters, Real Mustaches

The following characters were born on the screen, but no one could write such magical mustaches.

Kip Dynamite

kip napoleon dynomite

Who can forget Kip, Napoleon Dynamite’s older brother and eventual lover of the juicy LaFonda? We think his little mustache might have had something to do with getting the girl … but probably not.

Lando Calrissian


Lando Calrissian, played by the delightful Billy Dee Williams, boasts one of the greatest mustaches in the galaxy. If you were to behold Lando’s mustache in the halls of Cloud City, you might hear yourself say, “That thing’s operational!”

Ron Swanson

Nick Offerman AKA Ron Swanson
Harmony Gerber/Getty Images

Nick Offreman’s character on beloved series Parks And Recreation was known for his staunch Libertarian views almost as much as his staunch ‘stache. Offerman still carries the facial hair for certain, most recently as lawyer Karl Weathers in the series remake of Fargo.

Magnum, P.I.


Private Investigator Thomas Magnum was Tom Selleck’s breakout role and the world’s introduction to one of the best mustaches of all time. Selleck’s ‘stache continues its glorious reign as Police Commissioner Francis Regan on Blue Bloods.

Modern Mustaches

The following men must have stroked and twisted their mustaches as they dreamt up new ways to change the world.

John Waters

john waters

Waters has said no to the full mustache since he hit the film scene over forty years ago. He’s been sporting his pencil-thin style since Pink Flamingos and it looks like he’ll be taking it to the grave along with his pension for weird movies.

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury Mustache

Freddie Mercury’s mustache was an undeniable part of his legendary onstage presence. As far as rock ‘staches go, Mercury’s is definitely the champion.

Wilford Brimley

Wilford Brimley
Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

While you may be familiar with Brimley only from his stint as a diabetes spokesman, you might not know that he was a farmer and rodeo rider before age and weight gain prompted him to turn to acting where his mustache took a starring role in such films as The Thing, Cocoon, and The China Syndrome.

Alex Trebek

Alex Trebek
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Jeopardy host has had an on-and-off-again mustache throughout the show’s 25-plus year reign on television. The ’80s and ’90s era Trebek is one of legend. The photo featured above is from his first season in 1984.

Rollie Fingers

rollie fingers

While we can’t make the claim that Fingers’ curled and waxed ‘stache carried the the Philadelphia A’s to more victories than normal, we can make the claim that Fingers brought facial hair back to baseball after a nearly 50-year absence.

Gene Wilder


This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning one of the greatest actors of all time. Wilder’s wit and on-screen magic were routinely matched by his tidy upper lip in films like “Willy Wonka” and “Young Frankenstein.”

Did you know you can change your face shape without surgery? Here’s how
Naturally change your face shape and sharpen your jawline without invasive tools or surgery
close up mans face

Face shape is a major factor in your overall look. It’s no secret that a strong jaw and sculpted cheeks are highly desirable, but most people don’t naturally have these features. Those with more round, undefined faces might resign themselves to working with what they have. After all, the shape of one’s shape is primarily the result of bone structure and genetics. However, did you know that you can actually change your face shape by sharpening your features with natural, non-surgical methods?

There are several lifestyle changes, exercises, and tools you can try to change your face shape. They range from fairly easy adjustments to more involved lifestyle changes. Many of these options work fairly rapidly when implemented, too. The best news? None of the following will involve going under the knife. Read on to learn more about how to change face shape naturally. 
Lifestyle, diet, and working out 

Read more
Great skin at any age: Skincare for men in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond
Skincare for men: How to take care of your skin at all ages

A grooming routine is essential for men of every age. Similar to how your body can benefit by exercising with the best workouts, your skin needs you to start taking care of it as early as possible. By building healthy habits, you’ll keep your skin — your body's largest organ — looking and feeling its best for a lifetime.

You can’t stop time, but a solid routine can make your skin look younger and healthier no matter how many years go by. To help you establish a grooming routine, we’ve curated a list of the best skincare products for the three prime decades of your life, your 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s. With some research, preparation, and dedication, your skin will look its best at every stage in your life. Here's what to know about skincare for men as you get older.

Read more
How to straighten your beard at home: A complete guide
This is the best way to straighten your beard
Man with a straightened beard.

Gone are the days were guys just grew out their beards and called it good. Now, men focus on more than just not trimming it but styling it as well, and that come a long way in the past decade. What started out as hipster fashion and niche expression has become commonplace for men everywhere. It used to be that you either had a beard or you didn't, and if you did, it just grew until you trimmed it and that was it. Now there is an entire industry built around trimming, styling, and nourishing beards. Most bearded men are familiar with the myriad of balms, oils, waxes, and pastes. They probably own a trimmer or entire kit specifically designed for beard maintenance. If you don't, it's high time you did.

The one area of whisker customization that most men remain unfamiliar with is beard straightening. It is hard enough to find a man who has tried straightening his head hair, let alone his facial hair. We're here to tell you that if you're interested, you should try it! (Both, but for now, your beard.) The two processes are very similar, relying on a blow-dryer and brush or specialized tool. They can be done by a professional or just as easily at home with a little practice. If beard straightening is something new to you or something you've been wanting to try, we put together this guide just for you. It will help you figure out a routine that works for you at home, and with a little practice, it will become just as simple as brushing your teeth. As is the same when learning anything new, especially in grooming terms, practice does make perfect.

Read more