Everybody has suffered from it at least once; some days, no matter what you do, your hair looks absolutely horrible, and there is nothing you can do about it except sit it out. Naturally, this tends to happen at the worst possible moments, like when you have an appointment for which you absolutely have to look your best.
Expect characters suffering from this to go to extreme lengths to hide or fix their bad hair, but getting found out sooner or later. As Status Quo Is God, these bad hair days hardly ever last longer than one episode.
A Super-Trope to Gag Haircut, My Hair Came Out Green, and Traumatic Haircut, which can be causes of the Bad Hair Day. Compare Stubborn Hair and Messy Hair, which are usually a permanent character trait rather than a one-episode issue. For its illness-related cousin, see Bedhead-itis. Very much Truth in Television.
- Crabgrass: In this comic, Miles ends up with a bad hair day after he tries to comb his hair himself rather than let his mom do it for him.
- In this comic, Garfield suffers a bad hair day and tries to hide it with a full-body Brown Bag Mask.
- In this comic, Garfield mentions how Jon tries to hide bad hair days by wearing a cap. Then Jon walks by wearing a huge, face-concealing cap, leading Garfield to the conclusion Jon must be having a bad face day.
- Jon suffers from another bad hair day in this comic. In a possible Continuity Nod to the aforementioned comic, he indeed tries to hide it with a cap. When Garfield teases him about it, Jon reveals just how bad his hair is that day, startling Garfield.
- And Garfield suffers another one here when his fur suddenly gets messed up for seemingly no reason, though Garfield somehow felt it coming.
- The Disney Channel movie Bad Hair Day is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Monica tries on different hairstyles for her prom ball before going to bed. When she wakes up, her hair is crispy as bacon, as Monica incautiously mixed together different hair products. With a beanie to hide the disaster, she is on her way for a rocky day where she does not only have to get an appointment with a hairdresser, but also exchange her ruined dress and shoes, and pass her driving license.
- Babylon 5: In the episode "Soul Mates", Ambassador Delenn has a really bad hair day. Her species, the Minbari, don't typically grow hair on the tops of their heads — she only acquired it as a result of becoming a Half-Human Hybrid — and as a result, she has no idea how to look after it, and her normal cleaning regimen has severely damaged it. Cmdr. Ivanova has to explain the fundamentals of proper hair care to her.
- Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide: In "Guide to Bad Hair Days", both Ned and Moze are having trouble with their hair. While Moze can just tidy hers up with some scrunchies, Ned plans to get a haircut at the high school, which involves sneaking out of class, but they shave his hair into a bald spot. However, Moze starts to worry too when her crush, Fayman, doesn't seem to be impressed with her hair. Eventually, Ned gets help from the teachers, and Moze learns that Faymen actually said he doesn't like it "here", resolving both of their issues.
- Scrubs: In 'My Cake, Ted takes a ride in Dr. Kelso's convertible, which unfortunately for him causes his hair to blown out in a style not dissimilar to a clown's. His failed attempts to get his hair back into style become a Running Gag throughout the episode. He manages to tame it for a while after using a whole tube of hair gel, but it sprang back out at the shock of the Janitor suddenly abducting him from the window as part of his campaign to gaslight Dr. Kelso.
- Ronnie the rabbit-girl from Furry Experience has a bad ear day beginning on Wednesday 26 August 2009. Her ears, normally floppy, are tall and erect. Her two roommates try to tame them to no avail. In fact, by Wednesday 9 September 2009, the problem has worsened to a bad fur day.
- Big City Greens: In "Cricket's Kapowie", Cricket is set to appear in a commercial, but while looking in a mirror he finds a cowlick on his hair. He tires to clip it off, but misses and accidentally shaves off a big swatch of hair. He goes to a hair saloon to get it fixed, but the stylist ends up shaving him completely bald. He has a Freak Out and blows his lines during the filming of the commercial, but he gets better after being told that he was hired not for his hair but for his overall confidence.
- Jacob Two-Two: in "The Unlickable Cowlick", Jacob gets hit with the infamous Cowlick, that apparently runs in his family and is known to resist any attempt to style it. This puts Jacob in hot water as his school's Picture Day is coming up, and Principal GreedyGuts is known to have any student that doesn't look proper enough cut from the picture. Eventually, Renée is able to get rid of the cowlick just in time for picture day. The cowlick is never brought up again in future episodes.
- Littlest Pet Shop (2012): In Bad Hair Day, a botched grooming by Blythe leaves Zoe with extremely uneven fur and even some bare spots of skin. Adding to the problem is that Zoe is scheduled to appear in a dog show that day.
- A variant in the Oswald episode, "Henry Needs a Haircut"; Henry, a penguin, has a feather sticking out on top of his head that won't stay down. When Oswald suggests that he visit the barbershop, Henry refuses, thinking it will hurt. Henry makes many attempts to slick the stray feather back, but nothing works. At the end of the episode, Henry finally goes to the barbershop, where he finds out that his haircut wasn't as bad as he thought it would be.
- Phineas and Ferb: The episode "Bad Hair Day" revolves around the two brothers trying to fix Candace's bad hairdo.
- The Powerpuff Girls (1998): In "The Mane Event", Bubbles and Buttercup accidentally butcher Blossom's hair, leaving her looking ridiculous. It makes her the laughing stock of Townsville and briefly sends her into self-imposed seclusion until the professor snaps her out of it. She eventually uses her ridiculous look to distract the Monster of the Week so her sisters can defeat it, and gets some revenge on Bubbles and Blossom by giving them a bad hair day.
- Recess: In "Bad Hair Day", Mikey suffers from this after first getting gum stuck in his hair, and TJ's attempt to remove it resulting in a bad haircut. T.J.'s attempts to put a positive spin on Mikey's awful haircut end up creating a trend on the playground.
- In the Rocko's Modern Life episode, "Hair Licked", Rocko is about to have his picture taken for the newspaper as part of his status as Kind Of A-Lot-O' Comics' Employee of the Month. On the day of the photoshoot, Rocko's hair becomes an uncontrollable mess, so he turns to Heffer for help. Heffer first tries to cut Rocko's hair, with the resulting haircut looking absolutely disastrous. To make up for this, Heffer takes Rocko to the Chameleon Brothers' hair stylist shop so Chuck and Leon can give him a better haircut. When Rocko arrives at Filburt's house for the photoshoot, Heffer messes that up as well when his butt bumps into a fan trying to pick up a cookie. A mortified Rocko tells Heffer there's no way he can get a good photo now, but Heffer pushes Rocko's face against the copier to give him a good photo. Even though it wasn't the prettiest picture and everyone mocked it, Rocko liked it anyway.
- Scaredy Squirrel: "Cowlicked" is all about Scaredy trying to get rid of a stubborn cowlick so that he can participate in a paddleball tournament.
- Trolls: The Beat Goes On!:
- The ASK POPPY short "Bad Hair Day" has Guy Diamond losing control over his Prehensile Hair, and is worried that he won't be able to go to Biggie's oncoming glowstick party like that. Poppy gets Biggie to allow hats in his party so that Guy's hair can be kept controlled.
- In "Trolly Tales 3", Poppy, Guy, and DJ Suki have to fill in Gia Grooves' role at the Troll Village child daycare center due to her hair undergoing the same condition as Guy's in the previous case above, which is claimed that it will last her the entire day.