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Anime & Manga
- Puella Magi Kazumi Magica plays with this trope for the better: Kazumi goes to get a haircut, but the stylist cuts off most of her hair. In a sense, this is an Establishing Character Moment since, metaphorically, cutting off hair is a sign of a new start in life. Of course, most, including her friends, don't like this new look since her long hair was shown on the cover.
- A Played for Drama example occurs in Wandering Son. The protagonist wishes to get a pixie cut she saw on a female model, however due to the fact she's beginning puberty it turns out looking masculine instead of feminine. Nitori eventually begins growing it out but keeps it short.
- Shun from Kimi to Boku asks his friends to cut a little of his hair off because of the summer heat. They end up cutting off a large chunk of it. He looks fine but is aggravated because his hair becomes wavy when short. Shun's displeasure doesn't stop him from keeping his hair short the rest of the series.
- In It Takes Two, Amanda spits gum into Clarisse's hair so the next time we see Clarisse, she has a truly awful hairdo.
- The 10th Kingdom has Virgina get Rapunzel Hair from a spell and Wolf takes a magic axe to it, leaving her with a very short hairstyle. One of the rare occasions where the haircut isn't fixed with a Hair Reboot.
- Mr Troop Mom one girl gets gum in her hair that must be cut out. Her hair still looks fine afterwards.
- Ramona & Bezus has the former making a tiara out of bur seeds, them getting stuck to her hair and having to be cut out.
- In Serial an angry hairdresser chops off Tuesday Weld's hair when she brags about her new man, who happens to be the hairdresser's boyfriend.
- Anne of Green Gables was annoyed about her red hair and bought some hair dye from a peddler on the road hoping to turn it black. It ended up green and had to be cut off. The hair grew back though.
- A lot of the plot of the original Clémentine title rotates around this. When Clementine's friend Margaret gets glue on her hair, she has Clementine give her a haircut, using plastic art scissors, only for most of it to end up getting cut off. Clementine then colors it with marker, but this only makes things worse. Later, she ends up cutting off most of her own hair in sympathy for Margaret.
Live Action TV
- The CBBC series Mike and Angelo had Katie's hair ruined after an unusually large trumpet blew her into another room so Angelo's machine tried to fix it for her. She ended up looking like a man.
- Happens to Monica in the season 2 premiere of Friends. She tries to get Phoebe to give her Demi Moore's hairstyle but Pheebs mixes her up with Dudley Moore. The end of the episode implies she's going to give Julie the "Roddy McDowall cut" (instead of Andie MacDowell).
- The five-minute short series Bus Life has Jess get gum in her hair and must be "operated on". It's a Double Subversion, as Jess ended up with a stylish bob - but the episode ended showing a bald spot on the back of her head.
- Sonia in EastEnders was unlucky enough to fall asleep while her daughter was playing hairdresser.
- Seinfeld made a whole episode out of Jerry getting a bad haircut.
- How I Met Your Mother:
- Marshall got a two-fer when Lily's cousin gave him bleached blond highlights an hour before his wedding. He then ended up shaving those off to give himself an even worse haircut.
- Robin got some bad highlights in the penultimate episode of Season 1. Once he saw them, Ted did not hold back with Tony the Tiger jokes.
- Ted himself falls victim to this in the Season 5 finale. The others convince him to dye his hair blond for the episode. It becomes a Chekhov's Gag when he and Robin have an Almost Kiss. She knocks his cap off and the sight of the hair makes her burst out laughing.
- A Different World had an episode where some guys did this to Ron as a joke. It was so bad that Ron's ROTC teacher allowed him to wear a cap during class.
- An episode of Lizzie McGuire involved a prank war between Kate and Miranda and one of Miranda's pranks involved putting green hair dye in Kate's shampoo.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch:
- Sabrina cast a spell to make her hair fall out (hoping to get her aunts' attention) and they hired a specialist (played by Ru-Paul) to give her a purple version of Marge Simpson's hairdo. She then gave Salem the same hairdo at the end of the episode.
- Earlier when Sabrina went to 'Witch Camp' and complained, her Drill Sergeant Nasty magicked her hair into a flat-top in response.
- One of the novelisations has Sabrina discover that her aunts have done this to Salem in the climax. He had insulted them, not knowing they were listening, and they punished him by turning his coat pink. And will apparently change to purple within the hour.
- The 1950s B/W series I Married Joan has an episode where Joan goes to get her hair styled for a college reunion, and ends up with an awful new do called the "panda cut".
- An offscreen variation happened in Charmed. Actress Rose McGowan dyed her hair red between seasons and the characters joked in the season premiere that a potion blew up on her and turned it red.
- Played with in USA High. Lazz discovers a talent for hairdressing and starts doing all the girls' hair. When Lauren finally gives in and gets him to do hers, he goofs and dyes it bright green. When he tries to fix it, Lauren runs out screaming with her hair seemingly falling out. Then she pulls of the wig and reveals she'd just been playing a joke.
- On The Big Bang Theory, Penny persuades Sheldon to cut his hair. All goes well up until the very end, when, while she is trimming the back of his neck, a ticklish Sheldon moves and Penny accidentally shears a bald spot off the back of the head. He doesn't notice it right away, but Penny muses that she might have to move when he does.
- The fourfold punishment on Impractical Jokers had this for each guy; impressively, each one was horrible in its own way.
- In H2O: Just Add Water Emma gets sick of being dependable and decides to colour her hair. Unfortunately the colour she chooses is called "scarlet fever"...
- In The Middle, Sue accidentally burns off part of her hair with a cheap curling iron the night before she heads off to college. She ends up cutting the rest to match, turning it into an Important Haircut.
- Ant and Dec had a short-lived skit on their TV show called 'Beat the Barber' - where a child would answer questions and have their head shaved if they got them wrong. The first two contestants were boys, but the show attracted a storm of controversy when a girl was the third. Moral Guardians complained, not realising the skit was scripted and the girl had volunteered for it. According to her, the initial plan was for her to have her head shaved like the boys. But they were unwilling to shave a girl's head, and just gave her a bob instead.
- In The Last Man on Earth, Phil gets the whole right side of his body shaved off as a prank by his brother Mike.
- In Babylon 5, Delenn begs Ivanova for help with her new head of human-esque hair. Minbari don't bathe the same way humans do, and the compound they use to clean with does not play nicely with human hair. Ethereal, dignified Delenn ends up looking like she's got a fright wig on! She's so embarrassed she can't even leave her quarters until she gets Ivanova's help.
Delenn: Commander. I want you to understand that I took on human characteristics in order to bring your people and mine closer together. To symbolize out mutuality. It is supposed to be a dignified, inspiring transition for both humans and Minbari, so will you please explain to me why this, this... this...Ivanova: Uh... hair.Delenn: ...refuses to cooperate?!
- An early storyline in Calvin and Hobbes has Hobbes cutting Calvin's hair. He keeps getting it uneven and trying to fix it, until Calvin is left with no hair at all. Bill Watterson has commented that one of the few times he ever laughed at his own comic was after drawing the results of Calvin's haircut.
- A Peanuts storyline had Peppermint Patty going to get her hair cut, but the barber (Charlie Brown's father) thought Patty was a boy and cut it accordingly. Patty winds up wearing a big blond curly wig to hide it.
- Miss Kitty got one from Terri Runnels, on the pretense of giving her a makeover. Kitty wore a series of brightly colored wigs that matched her outfits for a while afterwards.
- Sylvester Lefort lost a Hair vs Hair match but his manager Marcus Louis ended up with the hair removal cream dumped on his head instead, ending up bald. Please note that hair removal cream should *never* be used on the head.
- An early three-part sketch on Sesame Street had Ernie playing barber and cutting off all of Bert's hair.
- Poor Park Hyung Suk in Lookism had his hair cut to look like Kim Jong Un's because of a "funny" hairdresser.
- In Ozy and Millie, there's a running gag about Ozy (an anthropomorphic fox) ending up losing all his hair due to different circumstances.
- This has happened several times in Stubble Trouble, twice to Rosie when she was cooking.
- In El Goonish Shive, Nanase's hair grows out of control as a result of her latent magic conflicting with the effect of a Magitek device and she asks Sarah to shave her head to prevent the hair from becoming too heavy for her to support her head. When Sarah starts the hair clipper, Justin somehow senses the imminent loss of such long hair (which he would have loved to play with) and gives a Big "NO!". Within a couple strips it grows back again but shorter than before.
- In Bloody Urban, Camille lets her colourblind boyfriend help her re-do her hair dye and it goes about as well as you'd expect.
- In 6teen, Caitlin ends up with a red mullet after "cheating" on her hairdresser.
- The 7D: One of Jollywood's various holidays is "Funniest Haircut Day", and most of the main cast gets a Gag Haircut (most of which somehow lead to a hair lengthening) as part of a contest. Officially, the winner is Grumpy (with his haircut being an extreme case of Rapunzel Hair that fills the barber shop to the rim as soon as his hat was taken off), but Grumpy believes Queen Delightful (with a similar extreme case of hair decompression) the winner, so they split the reward.
- In American Dad!, Hayley dyes her hair green at a Green Party rally. Stan cuts it off while she's asleep.
- In an episode of Arthur Francine and Muffy decide to cut all their hair off during a head lice scare. They have some fun by sneaking into the boys' bathroom and pretending to be boys.
- In an episode of The Cramp Twins Dorothy takes Lucian and Wayne to the barber's and becomes obsessed with cleaning it, eventually washing all his tools in a freakishly strong floor polish. He then uses the tools to cut her sons' hair and it ends up half falling out.
- Dan Vs.: Dan goes to the barber for a haircut to prepare himself for a date with a girl, who happens to be the daughter of the barber. When the latter discovers this, he intentionally butchers Dan's hair, prompting Dan to get vengeance on the barber.
- In an episode of Dexter's Laboratory, Dee Dee accidentally cuts one of her pigtails off and gets a serum from Dexter to grow them back. The hair ends up taking over the house.
- Futurama: At the start of Bender's Big Score as the main characters are (re)introduced, we get to Amy, and see that she has had time to grow her hair down to her waist since the series got cancelled... only for Bender to flame-burp over her, burning it back to its original length and style. Funnily enough, this was the second time that had happened.
- Jeannie (Hanna-Barbera's version) goes to a hairdresser and tells the guy too late to not cut her ponytail. She and Babu spend the rest of the episode trying to grow the hair back. It gets so long it runs down the street by itself and is mistaken for a fuzzy red serpent.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
Rarity: Imagine her mane being turned into a porcupine.
- The episode "Games Ponies Play" has Rarity's disastrous first attempt at styling Cadance's mane into the Royal Ceremonial Headdress.
- In "It's About Time" Spike accidentally burps out a jet of fire that singes Twilight's mane.
- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Bad Hair Day", Candace's disastrous attempt at a do-it-yourself haircut kicks off the plot of the episode.
- In the episode of The Powerpuff Girls called "The Mane Event", Bubbles and Buttercup accidentally rip a chunk out of Blossom's hair and do a scary tidy-up job. Even the Monster of the Week finds it funny. Blossom gets revenge by singing her sisters' hair with her eye beams at the end of the episode.
- The aptly titled Recess episode "Bad Hair Day" followed the gum plot with TJ's attempts to fix it and giving Mikey an awful haircut. They lied to say a famous band had the same cut. The fun starts when the other kids hear this and decide they want the haircut as well.
- Rugrats: Chaz lets Chuckie cut his hair in hope of showing him it doesn't hurt. Chuckie goes a little overboard. He ends up bald at the end.
- Sabrina: The Animated Series:
- Harvey's imaginary friend Mort has fun messing up Sabrina's hair. He ends up shaving it all off and growing it back five seconds later.
- Secondly, two faeries persuade Gem to cut her hair into a mohawk, saying it's the latest trend in Canada.
- When the girls accidentally turn their Drill Sergeant Nasty of a nanny into a Granola Girl, she tie-dyes Salem's coat.
- In the spin-off Sabrina's Secret Life, Sabrina and Cassandra do this to Maritza in revenge for asking Harvey to the dance note . They use magic to turn Maritza's hair into multicoloured spikes. Also when she goes into the bathroom, Cassandra bewitches the hand dryer to explode, singing the rest of her hair.
- The Simpsons episode "22 Short Films About Springfield" had Lisa getting gum in her hair and finally going to the hairdresser after trying everything to get the gum out. (She actually liked the trendy haircut he gave her... Until Nelson laughed at her.)
- Happens to Kitty (and usually someone else) in almost every episode of Tuff Puppy.
- Inverted in The Weekenders episode "Tish's Hair", where Tish gives herself a new hairstyle with fuzzy buns on either side of her head. Her friends hate it and think she'll become a laughing stock...but then everyone shows up to school with the same hair.