Back in some small towns in the old west, the barber was the only person who had experience handling a very sharp knife (and the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barber#History association between barbers and surgeons]] [[TruthInTelevision goes back centuries]].) The town might not be big enough to have a physician, so in addition to cutting your hair and shaving you, he might also do some "minor" surgeries, or any major ones where you either didn't have enough time to get to a real doctor, or would probably die from the rigors of the trip. Sometimes was also the mortician since he had to shave the corpses, too. This type of Barber might show up in a "realist fantasy" that has done the research.

In fictional Westerns however Barbers are used primarily as sources of gossip, and a local gathering place outside of the Saloon. Expect the villain to show up and demand a shave before he confronts TheHero, thus allowing the Barber to send a warning to TheSheriff. Occasionally can be reversed.

By ancient tradition, the Barber tends to be extremely talkative, often taking advantage of having a captive audience who can't reply because they've either got a hot towel on their face or a cutthroat razor at their throat.

See also ChattyHairdresser.

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!!Examples

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[[folder:Comics]]
* Gunther the barber in ''{{Curtis}}'' is basically a male ChattyHairdresser.
* Part Three of ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' has a barber named Khan, who's a largely normal person... until he accidentally unsheathes [[EvilWeapon Anubis]].
* [[{{Tintin}} Jolyon Wagg]] has a barber uncle. [[MotorMouth That would explain where he got it from...]]
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[[folder:Film]]
* Billy Bob Thornton's character in the Coen brothers' ''TheManWhoWasntThere is a subversion of the stereotypically friendly, chatty barber: he's a simple, [[DullSurprise dull fellow]] who leads a life of quiet desperation that abruptly gets loud.
* ''TheGunfighter'' uses the barbershop first as a place for TheGunfighterWannabe to learn that TheGunslinger has come into town. The barber then warns TheSheriff, allowing him to intervene.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* "The Tale Of The Barber" in the ''Literature/ArabianNights'', in which a barber tells several stories about his family and chatters endlessly while swearing up and down that he is a man of few but wise words, despite his penchant for chatter and meddling only causing trouble wherever he goes. The end result (depending on the translation) is hilarious.
* Little Benjamin in Henry Fielding's ''Literature/TheHistoryOfTomJonesAFoundling''.
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* While more of the "chatty captor" than the "surgeon on the side" type, TheAndyGriffithShow had Floyd the Barber, [[ShoutOut referenced]] in the opening song for ''{{Freakazoid}}!''
* Archie Campbell's barber on ''HeeHaw'' was a similar character.
* The townsfolk of Colorado Springs, Colorado relied on their barber for all their medical needs until ''DrQuinnMedicineWoman'' came to town -- and for quite a while afterwards too, [[StayInTheKitchen since they didn't hold no truck with wimmin doin doctorin]].
* In Series/TheArmandoIannucciShows, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY6UngkXdjg Armando's barber]] is definitely more of a Chatty ''Barber'' than a ChattyHairdresser, nonetheless his chattiness is excessive.
* Starting with the Candy Store series, some later [[TheGospelBillShow Gospel Bill]] videos (a Christian [[TheWildWest Western]] series) introduce a barber [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep called "Lefty"]]. True to form, he doubles as an undertaker.
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[[folder:Radio]]
* An excellent example of the chatterbox style of barber appears in an episode of ''The Six Shooter'' RadioDrama delivering an info dump on the goings-on in the town as the hero Britt Ponsett (James Stewart) struggles to get a word in edgeways.
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[[folder:Theatre]]
* ''ManOfLaMancha'', which actually features a journeyman barber who still loves the sound of his own voice.
* [[TheBarberOfSeville Figaro, The Barber of Seville]].
* ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet''.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''CourageTheCowardlyDog'' has Cousin Fred, a parody of SweeneyTodd that while equally creepy and psychotic merely has an obsession with cutting hair (in excess) rather than throats.
* Doctor Barber from ''TheMarvelousMisadventuresOfFlapjack'', who also dabbles in WeirdScience.
** He's also a Candyologist.
* In ''[[WesternAnimation/VeggieTales Minesota Cuke and the Search For Sampson's Hairbrush]]'', when Cuke goes to Seville, Italy looking for the titular brush, guess who he hits up for information?
* Barber Smurf in ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'', though he has a rather limited clientele as few Smurfs in the village have hair.
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* Played with in the Transformation Story Saga aptly titled ''Literature/TheBarber''; the main character not only takes care of his customers' hair, but also of their physical wellbeing... by making them become somebody else (always a very attractive, gay man).
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