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There Will Be Toilet Paper
Men seem to cut themselves a lot while shaving on screen, possibly more often than happens in real life.

If they cut themselves shaving, it's either the set-up for a gag, or to contribute in some way to Character Development. And if there is blood, There Will Be Toilet Paper - typically applied to the cuts in tiny ripped squares. Sometimes the shaving scene is cut and we skip directly to a shot of the man with bits of toilet paper stuck to his face with dried blood. Expect the Deadpan Snarker to snidely comment on the character's poor shaving job.

If the cut is for comedy, he will usually forget about the toilet paper and go through at least some part of his daily routine with toilet paper stuck on his face. If it's for Character Development, he'll be more likely to remove it.

For added humor, include after-shave in the equation, for screams of pain as the alcohol hits the open cut.

See also Cut Himself Shaving (when he didn't really) and Dangerously Close Shave (when the wound will need a lot more than toilet paper). Not to be confused with a Toilet Paper Trail or Toilet Paper Prank.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Film 
  • Airplane II: The Sequel. A man tries to shave himself in the lunar shuttle's bathroom and cuts himself horribly. The shuttle is in the process of crash-landing on the moon at the time. True to the trope, he subsequently tries to apply aftershave, screams, and collapses. When last seen he is covered with toilet paper bandages.
  • Jumanji. Robin Williams' character, who had been trapped in the game for over 20 years, starting as a child, shaves for the first time ever and comes out of the bathroom with pieces of bloody toilet paper stuck to his face.
    Judy: What happened to you? Shave with a piece of glass?
    Alan: What happened to you? Clampetts have a yard sale?
  • Distaff Counterpart version: A female character in the Body Horror extravaganza Cabin Fever shaving her legs while unknowingly exposed to the flesh eating bacteria. Hilarity most certainly does not ensue.
  • The end of the film adaptation of The Da Vinci Code. Used for plot development, even.
  • In the 2000 film adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, it's revealed as part of the Grinch's background story that he hates Christmas because most of the other children at the school gift exchange — and even the teacher — laughed at his less-than-stellar attempts at shaving, which he did to try to impress Martha May. He was always something of an outcast, mind, but this was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back.
  • In Home Alone, Kevin tries to shave at one point. That is to say, he slathers on shaving cream, scrapes it off with a razor, then applies aftershave. Judging from his immediate scream (and iconic hands-pressed-to-face pose), he didn't do a perfect job. On the other hand, it could just be the feel of the aftershave on his newly-shaven skin that hurts.
  • In The Devil And Max Devlin, Max Devlin cuts himself shaving because he can't see his reflection after he came back from the dead in order to get three souls for the Devil, so he ends up having toilet paper bandages.

    Literature 
  • The title character of the Adrian Mole book series shows his haplessness by constantly having one or more squares of tissue paper stuck to his face.
  • Discworld:
    • Sam Vimes in the novel Jingo is distracted and in a hurry, so cuts himself shaving. This is referenced later in the book where he's neglected to remove the tissue from his chin at the benefit, and a foreign diplomat asks if he had been injured while subduing a criminal.
    • Also happens at the end of The Fifth Elephant. After being in charge for a while, Fred Colon's sanity slips pretty far until Carrot comes back and begins issuing orders. He tells a relieved Colon to shave, who does so with such enthusiasm and vigor that he comes back with a few nicks on his face.
  • Conspicuously averted in the Warhammer 40,000: Gaunt's Ghosts novel Ghostmaker, where Rawne is shown shaving with his sharp, sharp combat knife without a nick, reflecting his deadly skill.
  • Mark Darcy appears like this at one point in the second Bridget Jones book.

    Live Action TV 
  • Happens to Lister in the Red Dwarf episode "Future Echoes"... but he sees it in the mirror before it actually happens.
  • Parodied in Phil of the Future. Lloyd Diffy was having trouble figuring out 21st century razors, and ended up with bits of toilet paper stuck to cuts all over his face, including his forhead.
  • In the opening credits for Dexter, Dexter cuts himself shaving. But they use some really clever camera work to make it look like something much more sinister and disturbing until they pull the shot back. Keep in mind they do that for his entire morning routine.
  • You don't see him actually shaving, but in Lois and Clark, when Clark temporarily loses his powers, he comes in to work covered in little squares of toilet paper. This is of course to be expected, since he usually shaves by blasting himself with lasers in the mirror, and is also unaccustomed to flesh that well, you know, can be cut.
  • The Garry McDonald character Norman Gunston, from Australian TV, was always covered in bits of bloody paper, despite claiming he used an electric razor.
  • When MythBusters took on "pyramid power", Tory agreed to shave for a month with a razor blade stored inside a pyramid for so-called sharpening. At the end of the month, he came out with bits of bloody paper all over his face.
  • A Deleted Scene from the West Wing episode "Posse Comitatus" (which is about the president deciding to order the assassination of a foreign statesman who sponsors terrorists) shows the original, more Anvilicious teaser, in which Bartlet — humming the "and victorious in war shall be made glorious in peace" song used later in the episode — cuts himself shaving and dabs the blood off with a White House towel. The camera lingers on the image of blood smeared next to the Seal of the President before smash-cutting to the opening credits.
  • In an episode of Hancock's Half Hour, Tony Hancock is preparing for a date on which he hopes to strike a Beatnik pose, when he cuts himself repeatedly while shaving. He arrives on his date but the woman thinks he looks like a thug. When he explains the tissue paper all over his face by saying, "They're razor cuts", she screams, "He admits it!".
  • One CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode ends with a man cutting himself while shaving, which is funny but if one would remember that killer has been using anti-coagulant before, and they didn't catch her in the end. He bleeds, saying that it looks bad. Makes it a sinister example.
  • In one later episode of Family Matters, Steve comes out of the bathroom with his face covered in bits of toilet paper. Eddie asks what happened to him, and Steve replies, "Oh, I was shaving, and I got the hiccups!"
  • A rare example with a female character came in "Last Whiff of Summer," the fourth-season premiere of The Middle. In her attempt to gain more parental attention by going bad, Sue decides to shave her legs with her father's razor. Cut to her sitting next to her father watching TV with bits of bloody toilet paper on her legs.
  • Happens to Adama a lot in Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined).
  • In the Get Some In! episode "Kit", Corporal Marsh finds a straight razor in Teddy boy Jakey Smith's coat during the National Service recruits' morning ablutions and threatens to put him on a charge for having an unauthorised weapon. Jakey claims that he was going to use the razor to shave (which, as he has just put a blade in a safety razor, is clearly false); Marsh calls his bluff and makes him shave with it. In the next scene, Jakey's face is covered with squares of toilet paper.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons did it, of course:
    • When Homer decides it's time to teach Bart how to shave, he makes sure to show him how bits of toilet paper can be used to staunch the many, many little wounds that will result.
      "Now we take some little squares of toilet paper and put them here, and here, and here ... don't worry, the blood will hold them on. And now, some aftershave! YEEEEEEAAAAAARGH!!! nnnnnnnnn! Son of a—! And that's how we shave."
    • And, in the episode when Homer has to take medical marijuana, Homer tries to shave while high. Large rainbows shoot out of his face.
    • Homer springs multiple leaks after trying to shave with a cutthroat razor in "Helter Shelter''.
    • One issue of Simpsons Comics showed him cutting himself shaving and wrapping his entire head in toilet paper to staunch the bleeding.
    • And his blood covers his fingers and his razor in a Downton Abbey-esque theme in "Dangers on a Train".
  • Happens offscreen in the Fairly OddParents episode "The Big Problem," where Timmy wishes to be an adult. He thinks shaving will be fun... And then we hear the screams of pain. And then Cosmo suggests he try some "manly cologne." More offscreen screaming.
  • Practiced in The Venture Bros. by who else, but Dean Venture:
    "Dean, what'd you do, shave with a hatchet?" "I used the one with the big pink handle..."
    "THAT'S MY DAISY!"
  • On an episode of Superjail!, Jailbot has crash-landed on a strange land while trying to capture Jackknife as part of his routine, and the Warden tries to start his day without his beloved creation to help him. He answers the videophone covered in cuts from trying to shave, including a huge blood-spurting gash on the side of his neck and half of his nose cut off.

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