Created By: nitrokitty on May 3, 2012 Last Edited By: Antigone3 on June 22, 2013
Troped

Missing An Eyebrow

Eyebrows are the first casualty whenever fire is involved.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
"Am I missing an eyebrow?"
-- Adam Savage, Mythbusters

Whenever fire or explosions are involved, the first thing to go is inevitably the eyebrows. This is nearly always Played for Laughs. This is usually a good way to have people hit by fire come away without true injuries in comedic works.

In Real Life, eyebrows do get singed off fairly readily in the case of flame, due to being fairly prominent on the face and thinner than normal hair. However, singed eyebrows may accompany more serious burns as well, so Don't Try This at Home.

See also Playing with Fire, Kill It with Fire, or Ash Face. Compare Close-Call Haircut.

Examples:

Film

Literature
  • Cheery the forensics expert and alchemist in the Discworld's Ankh-Morpork City Watch is frequently seen without eyebrows. This is a universal trait of most alchemists in Ankh-Morpork.
  • In The Name of the Wind, a character tries fire breathing, and manages to set himself on fire.
    All he suffered was a bit of singed beard and a slightly bruised pride. He recovered quickly under Ben's tender ministrations, a mug of mead, and a reminder that not everyone was cut out to have eyebrows.

Live Action Television
  • In an early episode of Mythbusters, host Adam Savage stood too close to a box full of gas fumes when it exploded, leading to the page quote above. Adam later claimed that he had said the line as a joke, only to find that his eyebrow had indeed been singed off.
  • There was a joke on Rescue Me about someone losing their eyebrows because his friend lit a fart.
  • A noodle incident on How I Met Your Mother cost Marshall his eyebrows.
  • In the live episode of Will and Grace, self-obsessed showman Jack lost an eyebrow trying to finish singing a song as the stage burned around him.

Music
  • No FX have a song called "We Threw Gasoline On The Fire and Now We Have Stumps For Arms And No Eyebrows". The song is Better Than It Sounds.

Video Games
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, there's a note on how to use the Atronach Forge. According to the note's writer, he was only able to understand its function after going through "blind experimentation and a few singed eyebrows".

Western Animation
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Mechanist has patchy eyebrows, which he claims is the result of finding a natural gas pocket while holding a lantern.
  • The Simpsons: Bart & Millhouse decide to do their own version of Mythbusters. The first myth is that cell phones make gas pumps explode.[[hottip:*:The same myth that resulted in Adam's eyebrow singe.]] After the explosion Millhouse is sans eyebrows.

Community Feedback Replies: 27
  • May 3, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    No FX have a song called "We Threw Gasoline On The Fire and Now We Have Stumps For Arms And No Eyebrows". The song is Better Than It Sounds.

    (especially since it's by No FX... harr harr)

    There was a joke on Rescue Me about someone losing their eyebrows because his friend lit a fart.
  • May 3, 2012
    Hadashi
    I saw that Mythbusters episode quite a while ago, he does have blond hair so it is hard to tell, but I think he may actually have singed one or both, lol.
  • May 3, 2012
    randomsurfer
    The Simpsons: Bart & Millhouse decide to do thier own version of Mythbusters. The first myth is that cell phones make gas pumps explode. After the explosion Millhouse is sans eyebrows.
  • May 3, 2012
    Dawnwing
    • In The Pacifier, one of the bad guys tries to get through a booby-trapped room. Flamethrowers come out of the walls and shoot a wall of fire right in front of her. When she turns around, she has no eyebrows left.
      "I just had my eyebrows done!"
  • May 5, 2012
    randomsurfer
    I suggest this Needs A Better Name; there are reasons other than fire that someone might be missing an eyebrow.
  • May 5, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    Eyebrows Burned Off is probably the most straightforward choice?

    This YKTTW is frustrating me because it's one of those Seen It A Million Times things. I feel like most of the time it just comes up in dialogue.
  • May 5, 2012
    CosmicRock
    Parks and Recreation - Season 3 episode 16 "L'il Sebastian"

    Tough guy department head Ron Swanson of "Parks and Recreation" looses his eyebrows when lighting a torch filled with lighter fluid at a memorial for beloved miniature horse L'il Sebastian. He is otherwise unharmed in the accident, retaining his famous mustache.
  • May 6, 2012
    Dacilriel
  • June 13, 2012
    bananasloth
    • Cheery the forensics expert and alchemist in the Discworld's Ankh-Morpork City Watch is frequently seen without eyebrows.
  • June 14, 2012
    surgoshan
  • June 15, 2012
    Shahanshah
    How about Eraised Eyebrows?
  • June 15, 2012
    Shahanshah
    Oh, as another Discworld reference, I'm pretty sure the Alchemists Guildsmen are described as permamently without eyebrows for this reason.
  • June 15, 2012
    Dawnwing
    For the The Pacifier one, I've decided on second thought that I don't like the quote so much, especially since I found a better missing-eyebrows quote. Maybe axe the quote, and change the last sentence to "When she turns around, she has no eyebrows left, and irritably says that she'd just had them done."

    Literature:
    • In The Name Of The Wind, a character tries fire breathing, and manages to set himself on fire.
      All he suffered was a bit of singed beard and a slightly bruised pride. He recovered quickly under Ben's tender ministrations, a mug of mead, and a reminder that not everyone was cut out to have eyebrows.

    Video Games:
    • In The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, there's a note on how to use the Atronach Forge. According to the note's writer, he was only able to understand its function after going through "blind experimentation and a few singed eyebrows".

    As for the name, I vote Eyebrows Burned Off.
  • June 15, 2012
    nitrokitty
    And for the record, I'm not declaring this Up For Grabs, but I'm okay with people making their own edits, especially if you're editing your own contributions, since I'm just copy/pasting them.
  • June 17, 2012
    Wii
    In the live episode of Will And Grace, self-obsessed showman Jack lost an eyebrow trying to finish singing a song… as the stage burned around him.
  • June 19, 2012
    nitrokitty
    Need some hats before I move towards launch.
  • June 20, 2012
    Arivne
    Missing An Eyebrow doesn't mention anything about the "fire/explosion" part of the trope.

    Eyebrows Burn Off First? The Eyebrow Burned First?
  • June 21, 2012
    Antigone3
    Voting for Eyebrows Burned Off. I like Missing An Eyebrow, but Arivne's right -- if you don't already watch Myth Busters, you won't realize it's a fire trope.
  • June 22, 2012
    nitrokitty
    I'll change it to Eyebrows Burned Off at launch, leaving current title for search purposes. I'd like to get a few more examples before launch.
  • June 22, 2012
    nitrokitty
    Bumping for examples. I know I've Seen It A Million Times.
  • June 24, 2012
    captainsandwich
    does it have to be from fire? also I believe this should be a sub trope of Close Call Haircut
  • June 24, 2012
    nitrokitty
    Yes, it needs to be from fire. That's the whole point.
  • June 28, 2012
    nitrokitty
    YKTTW bump one last time for examples. If I don't get any, I'm just going to launch it already.
  • October 3, 2012
    m8e
    Bump. What happened with this one?
  • October 4, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    Someone should launch it.
  • October 4, 2012
    Chabal2
    Foxtrot: Roger, in true Bumbling Dad style, decides he can fix the furnace without needing to call the repairman, turning the valve so it keeps emitting gas and applying a lit match. Once the repairman shows up to fix it, he wonders if Roger managed to singe off both his eyebrows and hair, though Andy quickly corrects him on that last point.
  • October 4, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Harry Potter's Seamus Finnigan. Every stinking book. Multiple times in some.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=li3g99ozb8o5m45yqubie33q&trope=EyebrowsBurnedOff