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Eyebrows Burned Off
"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:

Comic Books
  • In an Archie Comics story, the gang holds a contest at school to see who can come up with the most bizarre eyebrow shape. Jughead wins by sporting no eyebrows at all. Never mind that he'd accidentally singed them off in a chemistry lab explosion.

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.
  • In the memoir The Glass Castle, Jeannette ends up doing this as a result of trying to cook hot dogs, although unlike other examples she also gets severely burned, requiring skin grafts.

Live Action Television
  • In an early episode of Mythbusters, host Adam Savage stood too close to a box full of gas fumes he was trying to light 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 (and a good chunk of his hair) 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.
  • Part of Sheldon's backstory in The Big Bang Theory. When he was a child one of his "experiments" exploded and blew his sister's eyebrows off. True to form Sheldon never noticed until he was told twenty years later.
  • In an episode of London's Burning, John Hallam burns his eyebrows off when he lights the Christmas pudding, unaware that his elderly father-in-law has drenched it in brandy.

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.

Newspaper Comics

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".
  • Star Wars: Republic Commando features RC-1262, AKA Scorch, your grenadier and explosives specialist. He's equal parts Deadpan Snarker, Bunny-Ears Lawyer, and Comedic Sociopath—basically an obnoxiously cheerful Demoman. As a clone, he doesn't have a name, just a numerical designation, but he got his nickname after an incident where he managed to blow both his and his training sergeant's eyebrows off at the same time.
    Walon Vau: Minor burns and injuries incurred today during anti-armor weapons training with RC-1262. New nickname: "Scorch."

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 & Milhouse decide to do their own version of Mythbusters. The first myth is that cell phones make gas pumps explode.note  After the explosion Milhouse is sans eyebrows.
  • In the Spongebob Squarepants episode "Something Smells", the fumes from SpongeBob's rancid ketchup and onion "sundae" burns off Patrick's eyebrows.
External CombustionThis Index Is On FireFarts on Fire
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