One young acolyte has such a rictus from grinning at his master's jokes that it looks like a physical affliction.
I watched the head waiter stand over the only other inhabited table for 20 minutes, explaining some arcane byway of his art with an expansive warmth, while the couple stared up at him with rictus grins and hollow, screaming eyes.
their faces were each frozen in a terrified rictus
The format is familiar to students of programmes that are so bad they are almost good: his and hers presenters, faces set in a perpetual rictus of forced bonhomie, marooned on a couch in trash-television hell.
From the fearful rictus his mouth forms, I know I've spoken the nameless question he has dreaded.
Jack used to stand there in agony, a rictus grin on his face, doing his level best to disappear up his own dinner jacket.
Having achieved the single most sinister moment on television this year, Gordon bares his teeth, flares his nostrils and pulls his face back into a rictus of a smile.
Ramirez smiled then, a terrible rictus with more than a hint of malice.
I felt my lips tighten in a rictus that was closer to a grimace than a smile.
Watching Mima's personality collapse is heart-rending and compelling: she gets to a point where she doesn't know where she ends and the construct - the rictus smile, the perkiness - begins.