A Glasgow smile (also known as an Anna grin, Chelsea grin or Chelsea smile) is a nickname for the malicious practice of cutting a victim's face from the edges of the mouth to the ears, often using a credit card to hold the mouth open in modern times: the cut - or its scars - form an "extension" of what resembles a smile. Sometimes to further hurt or even kill the victim, he or she would then be stabbed or kicked, most notably in the stomach (or in case of kicking, the groin), so that the face would be ripped apart when the victim screamed. The practice originated in the Scottish city of Glasgow, which gave it its name. It also became popular in Chelsea, London (where it is known as a "Chelsea grin") and other areas of Britain, for gangs hoping to leave a message to rival gang members. If cut deep enough, the victim can likely bleed to death.
In the murder of the Black Dahlia, it was noted that the body was given a Glasgow smile, which also could have played a part in her death along with her body being cut into two.
Character actor Tommy Flanagan, noted for scars on his face, received the Glasgow smile after being jumped outside a bar at which he worked as a DJ.
The 1868 novel Les Chants de Maldoror contains a stanza in which the masochistic narrator is unable to experience happiness and cuts himself a smile in this manner to help him smile. The main villain of Ichi the Killer, Kakihara, sports a Glasgow smile, inflicted by one of his Yakuza comrades named Jirou, out of which he blows smoke with his mouth closed. In the novel The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo, the character Gwynplaine has a Glasgow smile. The DC Comics character The Joker was inspired by Gwynplaine from The Man Who Laughs, even though the actual cheek-cutting was changed into the effects of his signature poison. However, this feature has been resurrected by the 2008 film The Dark Knight, where he starts to carve a Glasgow Smile into one of his victims while describing how he got his own facial scars. This scarred version of the Joker evokes the version of his origin story as given in Batman Confidential. In the television show Nip/Tuck, the serial rapist known as The Carver rapes his victims and then carves a Glasgow smile as part of his modus operandi. In the football hooliganism film Green Street, also known as Hooligan, Elijah Wood's character Matt almost receives a Glasgow Smile (referred to as a Chelsea Grin in the film) by the Zulu Warriors gang of Birmingham City supporters. In Pan's Labyrinth, a housemaid named Mercedes gives the film's antagonist, Captain Vidal half a Glasgow Smile before escaping. In Mystery Science Theatre 3000, the character TV Frank threatens to inflict a Glasgow Smile upon his employer Dr Forrester during a fight. ("I'm gonna cut you a second smile, daddy-o.") In the video game Army of Two, the character Phillip Clyde appears to have had a Glasgow smile performed on him in the final mission. In the novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, the narrator ends up getting a Glasgow smile after being shot in the mouth and the other half from before punched in the face so much there was a hole on the other side. In Moon Knight comics, the Profile encounters a woman in a bar who bears scars of a Glasgow smile. In the film version of Pet Sematary, Jud Crandall receives a Glasgow smile from the scalpel-wielding, re-animated Gage Creed. In the song "One Body Too Many" off of Winds of Plague's 2008 release Decimate the Weak, with the line "A razor blade smile, stretched from ear to ear". In the film The Krays, Ronnie Kray (played by Gary Kemp) gives another gangster a "Chelsea smile" using a sword. In the song "Little Vagabond" by Letters From London, with the line "he hasn't had a drink in a while, hasn't had the pleasure of a Chelsea smile" In the British teen drama Kidulthood, protagonist Trife is ordered by his criminal uncle to carve the smile on a man who failed him in the past. In the prologue to part one of the two part Season 3 finale of The Venture Bros., Hank says that cutting someone from ear to ear is a Brazilian smile. Bring Me The Horizon's song called 'Chelsea Smile' talks about the cut "The only way I'll really smile is if you cut me ear to ear.". Song off their newest album 'Suicide Season'. The Megadeth song "Sleepwalker" from the album United Abominations has a lyric that mentions a Glasgow smile. The King Blues song "Out of Luck" contains the lyric "For you girl i'd walk the swedish mile to a glasgow kiss or a chelsea smile". In the Hilltop Hoods song "Circuit Breaker", the term Chelsea Smile is used and then roughly described. In the film The Firm (1988), one of West Ham's hooligans receives one in a tussle, coincidentally the character that received it when on to portray a character in the long running British tv series Grange Hill In The Black Dahlia Murder's song "Closed Casket Requiem" off their EP "A Cold-Blooded Epitaph" he says the line "And in my dreams I cut your mouth from ear to ear" as in reference to a Chelsea Smile In Pirates of the Caribbean, the French Pirate, Capitaine Chevalle has an unexplained 'Glasgow Smile' on the left side of his face. Kakuzu in Naruto, while not injured, sports a very wide mouth line that resembles a Glasgow Smile. It is stitched shut at the sides of where his mouth would normally end. The Japanese tale of Kuchisake-onna and its various modern adaptations describe a woman who is mutilated in such a manner by her husband. In Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, the ragdoll Sally has scars and stitches on both sides of her face that resemble a Chelsea smile.