The Best Moustaches in Pop Culture

Kitty Bates
TV Movies
TV Movies Games Pokémon

Happy Movember! Throughout the month of November, the annual event is designed to raise awareness about issues around men’s health. Organisers encourage men to grow out their moustaches to “change the face of men’s health” and get involved in programs that help early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancers that hit men the hardest. So to celebrate Movember and the glorious art of growing a magnificent mo’, we decided to share some of our favourites from the lands of games, television, and movies. We’ve got some classic moustaches, so take a look and let us know which one you think is the best.

Thomas Sullivan Magnum IV (Magnum, P.I.)

magnum-pi-tom-selleck shirtless at the beach on a cordless phone

Magnum P.I.’s signature mo is the mustache against which all others are measured. Period. Tom Selleck‘s glorious display of facial hair not only defined a TV character, it defined an entire generation of American men. Just try to go back and find a picture of a group of men from the ’80s where at least one isn’t proudly wearing a “Magnum.” It isn’t possible.

Much like the character himself, the Magnum P.I. mustache is unruly and unorthodox, yet soft-spoken and refined. It is just as easily at home strolling the beach in a Hawaiian-print shirt, flip flops, short shorts, and Detroit Tigers baseball cap as it is dressed up for a night on the town in a tuxedo, behind the wheel of a red Ferrari. Coupled with a generous helping of chest hair and a charming, partially-obscured smile, there is no greater indicator of raw masculinity. [Matthew Allen]

John Watson (Sherlock)

sherlock martin freeman playing John Watson

Hands down, the best moustache for Movember is John Watson at the beginning of Sherlock season three. Trying to move on from his life with Sherlock, Watson settles down with a loving girlfriend and is ready to propose and move in with her. He also has a fully grown moustache.

Given a two minute talk by Sherlock, the harsh truth comes out — nobody actually likes the moustache. For all the hard work John has put in, it is all swiftly erased by one of Sherlock’s trademark deductions. As Movember moustaches go, however, this little guy did it absolutely perfectly. [Graham Host]

Toshiro Mifune (Rashomon)


One of Japan’s greatest actors sported an iconic yet evolving moustache throughout many of his film roles. Toshiro Mifune played the bandit Tajomaru in director Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 film, Rashomon. Rashomon was the fifth in Mifune’s legendary partnership with Kurosawa, which spanned 16 films and nearly two decades. It wasn’t the first time that Mifune sported a moustache on-screen, but it fit perfectly with his character. (It’s a shame that Mifune turned down the parts of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader after George Lucas reportedly offered them to him.)

For the part of Tajomaru, Mifune merged his body language with his research on the movements of lions. And his moustache certainly added emphasis to his character’s manic unkempt attitude. Mifune is proof that yes, some Asian men can grow moustaches. Too bad I’m not one of them. [James Akinaka]

John Ruth (The Hateful Eight)

john ruth hateful eight

Amid all the blood, mistrust, and despicable behaviour in Quentin Tarantino’s eighth feature film, The Hateful Eight, there is one ray of sunshine. That is John Ruth’s amazing moustache. Actor Kurt Russell actually grew out this beauty, and it’s one of the few things in the film that makes you smile. When Ruth looks down at former Confederate Chris Mannix and defiantly tugs his moustache, it is one of the greatest things in all of the history of cinema.

It’s a moustache that no other actor could ever pull off. We were lucky to see its glory, even if it was so short-lived. And anyone else trying to emulate this wonder of nature makes me want to horselaugh! [Drew Dietsch]




Mario is the grandaddy of mustachioed game characters. As legend has it, Mario was given a mustache just to simply define his face in the very limited graphics of Donkey Kong. As his career continued, Mario’s mustache grew and grew, becoming the defining feature right in the middle of his smiling face.

With each new set of hardware, Mario’s facial hair gets increasingly realistic while keeping their cartoony appeal. He started a veritable club of mustachioed Nintendo mascots, starting with his brother Luigi. The ‘staches get even more unruly with the evil twins of Wario and Waluigi. But no matter how dastardly those two get, Mario will always be an icon for good men wearing mustaches. [Henry Gilbert]

Ron Swanson (Parks and Recreation)


There is no more glorious moustache than that of Parks and Recreation’s Ron Swanson. The man behind the moustache, Nick Offerman, rocks that finely groomed piece of facial hair with the pride it deserves (and if you’ve seen him sans mo’, then you’d understand why).

Fans often wonder how similar Offerman is to his Parks and Rec character, but really, it’s near impossible to know where Nick Offerman ends and Ron Swanson begins. Both the man and the character enjoy outdoor activities, using their hands, and well, growing manly ‘staches on their face. Offerman mused on his undeniable love of moustaches in his 2013 book Paddle Your Own Canoe. The book includes tips on how to grow a robust moustache like Ron Swanson’s and a diagram of acceptable/unacceptable facial hair.

If there were awards for moustaches, Ron Swanson would win hands down. [Colette Smith]

Alakazam (Pokémon)

Alakazam is the final evolved form of the Pokémon Abra. Despite being a bipedal cat-like creature, Alakazam sports a wizardly moustache. The Psi Pokémon must be using his psychic powers on his facial hair because his handlebar defies gravity. The plumes of his ‘stache spread out wider than his body. It only grows bushier and more magnificent as it moves away from its base.

In this species’ base Abra form, they have no hair at all. Abra cannot handle the strain of its telepathic powers and must sleep 18 hours a day. By the time the species evolves, it stands as tall as Kadabra and sporting a dignified Fu Manchu. Alakazam’s moustache is even grander.

But you have seen nothing yet: Mega Alakazam’s moustache and beard is the kind reserved only for the gods. All hail. [Eric Fuchs]

Sam Elliott (The Big Lebowski)


Sam Elliott has one of the most glorious moustaches in all of the history of cinema. He’s worn his trademark facial hair in loads of Westerns, but it’s his appearance in The Big Lebowski that earns a spot on this list. Elliott’s unnamed cowboy at the bowling alley bar is the film’s narrator, and you can almost hear his moustache when he talks. His drawl is perfect for the misadventures of Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski.

Elliott’s character seems like he might be an angel, or God himself. He asks The Dude why he has to swear so much, and knows things that would otherwise be impossible for him to know (like the impending arrival of the little Lebowski). His moustache makes him look like a man of another time, a weary traveller who has a unique story to tell. [Danielle Ryan]

Kitty Bates
Kitty is a reclusive teenager who works in Digital Marketing and enjoys reading, watching strange YouTube videos and Drag Race fan edits on Instagram. Her favourite TV show is Shadowhunters, although Drag Race comes a close second.
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