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Anime & Manga
- Ranma ½: After most of the males in the student body eat some bad fruit and all think Ranma is their wife, they do some activities that newlyweds might do, like feeding each other, taking pictures together, and putting suntan lotion on "their wife." Ranma isn't amused when she develops a sunburn that spells out the word "love" on her back.
- Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions: In the Beach Episode, Dekomori suffers this after neglecting to sunscreen and instead opting to use a "magic seal". In the next Beach Episode in Ren, she remembers to bring sunscreen to avert this.
- This becomes a Running Gag in K-On! any time Azusa goes out in the summer heat. She sometimes laments having used plenty of sunscreen in spite of this.
- Please Tell Me! Galko-chan: Galko suffers this in Episode 7, having mistakenly used her sister's pheromone spray instead of sunscreen spray.
Films — Live-Action
- In The Hangover, the groom has one of these after he'd stayed on the roof of a hotel for 48 hours.
- Used to play a practical joke on Lt. Harris in Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach, by writing "Dork" in sunscreen on him while sleeping.
- The Disney Channel original movie, Good Luck Charlie: It's Christmas! (based on the television show with a similar name) features this trope when PJ mistakenly puts on suntan oil instead of sun block and falls asleep by the pool.
- Happens on I Love Lucy. After Lucy spends too much money on a dress for a fashion show she is participating in, she becomes worried that Ricky will yell ather when he discovers the price. Lucy then conspires to get a light sunburn so that Ricky will feel too sorry for her to yell. However her sunburn turns out much worse than she anticipated—and her outfit for the fashion show is changed to a tweed suit◊. Ouch
- Seinfeld: Kramer gets severe sunburn after falling asleep while tanning using butter as his tanning lotion. Cue Newman seeing him in Meat-O-Vision, since Kramer smells like a roast turkey.
- In Malcolm in the Middle, Reese's skin starts peeling from a bad sunburn. Rather than being embarrassed, he starts to peel it off in one piece to create a "Reese suit".
- In Hannah Montana, Jackson go to play a "shirts" vs "skins" game of beach volleyball. He gets a bad case of sunburn and is particularly embarrassed as his father had reminded him to put on cream before he left. Of course, Hilarity Ensues.
- Neelix from Star Trek: Voyager gets one after falling asleep under Binary Suns without using sunscreen. His attempts at Talaxean homeopathy only make it worse.
- In the Waitresses' holiday classic song, "Christmas Wrapping", this was one of the things that kept the singer and the guy of her dreams away from each other for most of the year.
- One of the Playmates' (of "Beep Beep" fame) more obscure singles is a thing called "Keep Your Hands in Your Pockets". It's about the protagonist's girlfriend getting a sunburn and asking of him to keep his hands in his pockets and to learn how to kiss with his hands behind his back. Later on, the boyfriend gets a sunburn himself and asks the exact same things of his girlfriend.
- Happens to Paige when she falls asleep while sunbathing.
- Another strip has Jason planning on laying letters on Paige's back while she tanned to spell out "KICK ME", but his mother stops him.
- Subverted in one strip where Paige thinks this has happened to her as she's beet red. Turns out that Jason had actually covered her in paint while she slept.
- Subverted in another where Paige's dark sunglasses made her grab the wrong bottle instead of sunscreen.
Peter: That's one mustard yellow tan you've got going there...
- The "fall asleep while sunbathing" gag also happened to Jeremy in Zits.
- This also happened a few times to Jon whenever he and Garfield go to the beach.
- On a 2000 edition of WCW Monday Nitro, Shawn Stasiak and Chuck Palumbo find a couple of tanning beds backstage. While they were using the tanning beds, Woody (a stage hand they had been harassing in previous segments) tied them shut, then turned them up all the way, leading to this.
- In the Neil Simon play The Star-Spangled Girl, we're told that Andy spends time with the landlady in lieu of paying rent. At one point they go surfing; Andy later describes his sunburn in detail, saying that he has the outline of a bird from where a seagull passed over them while they were out at sea waiting in vain for waves.
- The Order of the Stick:
- When the Order visits the Great Barren Desert, Durkon intentionally "forgets" to prepare Endure Heat for Belkar, causing him to turn bright red for a few strips (whether this was due to sunburn or heat exhaustion is unclear).
- Also, in the non-canonical desktop picture "Beach Party, Elan (a fair-skinned blond) is noticeably redder than the rest of the cast. He doesn't seem to mind.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy: The end of the Beach Episode results in the trio getting sunburns. Edd was quite distressed earlier in the episode about forgetting the sunscreen, even more so when Ed wasted all of Jonny's. Ed makes best of the situation by likening himself to a chameleon.
- In Futurama, Amy gets a sunburn because Bender stole her parasol and didn't put any sunblock on her. Or rather, he only put on enough to write "Honk if Bender is great".
- Near the end of the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Ripped Pants", SpongeBob asks "Am I the biggest loser on the beach?" One of the fish who claim to be the biggest loser on the beach is a lady with sunburn.
- In another episode, SpongeBob and Patrick try to get tanned with a tanning booth. SpongeBob stays on too long and ends up sun bleached. When he shows up to a party, one character is so impressed that he declares sun bleaching the ultimate tan.
- Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Ben gets a particularly embarrassing sunburn from being on a planet that is literally half inferno and half icy wasteland. He's only unprotected for like three seconds, but... half his face is bright red in the next scene. This is never mentioned again.
- Heffer in Rocko's Modern Life had one on his butt of all places.
- Stewie from Family Guy once got into the whole tan lifestyle. Unfortunately, he fell asleep in the tanning bed and suffered one of these. And then Reality Ensues as a new mole is suspected to be a melanoma. In real life this is a definite hazard of early childhood sunburns, though it might not develop for many years.
- Happened to The Powerpuff Girls in one episode when they refused to put on sunblock, saying it was for geeks. Now, since they are nigh invulnerable it's not inconceivable that the sun wouldn't harm them. However, the girls end up going into space to stop a solar flare from destroying the city and thus end up with sunburns. They were in so much pain they could barely move, let alone fight. At the end of the episode, two criminals suffer this after they also declare sunblock to be for geeks.
- Total Drama Island: Cody gets one while trying to get a tan in "Haute Camp-Ture". It's mostly fine till Trent slaps him on the back.
- Brainy turns bright red and has to be wrapped in swaddling cloths when he gets sunburn in The Smurfs episode "Mummy Dearest".
- "Sunburn Stanley" from Stanley has Stanley Griff getting one during a trip to the beach after ignoring his parents' advice to put on sunscreen. He goes as red as a lobster over a large part of his body and ends up learning about lobsters from the Great Big Book of Everything.