Cucumbers and facials, they just go together in fiction, apparently. Whenever a character is shown to be getting a high-class spa treatment (that is probably really expensive), getting a comprehensive makeover, or is so fussy about their appearance that they give one to themselves at home, it's usually indicated by the character having a Cucumber Facial.
The facial mask is usually green, mud-colored or sometimes blueish, and may cause men to run screaming about a scary monster. The slices of cucumber will be carefully placed over the eyes, though their purpose isn't readily apparent. Often what the point of the cucumber is will be lampshaded, or someone will pick the cucumber off the person's face and eat it For the Lulz.
The cucumbers are Truth in Television, incidentally. Their real purpose is that they are a natural moisturizer and astringent, and can help with puffiness around the eyes.
Usually this is Played for Laughs. Also see Women's Mysteries or Cosmetic Horror for how most men view the practice, unless one is getting it done himself. Has nothing to do with the other kind of facial.
- In this advert for Noosa yoghurt, a woman gives herself a yoghurt facial and puts strawberries on her eyes.
- In one of those commercials for Yoplait Yogurt, two girls are getting spa treatments including Cucumber Facials.
- In an episode of El Hazard: Wanderers, Jinai has stolen all the vegetables the heroes have grown and claims to be all his. While Makoto and company fall back to outwit him, the Bugrom Queen asks what are they going to do with all the produce. Jinai is ready for that question and invokes this trope with two Bugrom mooks already trying the idea out.
- Kodocha: Sana is seen doing a cucumber facial in preparation for a date.
- Love Live! School Idol Project: Kousaka Yukiho in episode 4, Yazawa Nico in episode 10.
- Tiger & Bunny's Karina/Blue Rose has done this on occasion ("Hey, a superstar needs to take care of her skin, okay?"). Interestingly enough, she tends to use just multiple slices of cucumber on her face. She's more than a bit embarrassed when her crush walks into the room while she's in the middle of one.
Kotetsu: So, did you lose a bet or something?
Karina: Don't look!
- In Guardian Fairy Michel, Lady Salome puts the cucumbers everywhere but her eyes.
- In Season 7 episode 28 of Happy Heroes, one of the attempts Little M. makes to give Big M. a letter from the commander of Planet Gray stating he's been fired is to tape the letter to a television Big M. often watches during his breaks. It fails because Big M. has cucumber slices over his eyes and thus can't see the television or the letter.
- When we first see the Witch in Lamput, she is soaking up the moon's rays and has cucumber slices covering her eyes.
- In the Simple Samosa episode "Spa Wars", one of the folks at Appa Spa has cucumber slices placed over his eyes.
- Firefly: The Sting: Kaylee has her eyes covered with cucumber slices at the spa.
- In one three panel The Smurfs story, a Smurf is scared by Smurfette giving herself a beauty mask, complete with cucumber slices.
- In one Spongebob Squarepants comic, Gary relaxes by lying in a hot bath with cucumber slices on his eyes.
- Curious George (2006): George ends up in the bathroom of a woman who is doing this while also having a bath and paints her walls, followed by pouring paint in her bathtub.
Ted: Do yourself a favor. You're gonna wanna put the cucumbers back on.
- Yzma sleeps with one in The Emperor's New Groove. Her lackey Kronk is repulsed when he sees her.
- On Surf's Up, Big Z tricks Cody into putting pineapple slices on his eyes as part of his training. Turns out he was just pulling a prank.
- In Turning Red, one of the scenes in the opening montage is Mei and her mother Ming getting identical ones. It's one of several ways the movie shows how Mei is being raised to be a miniature of her mother.
- At the start of Bert Den Siste Oskulden, Bert comes to visit his would-be sex partner Camilla and finds her wearing one of these. He blurts out: "Wow, you're ugly."
- In Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, Rose suggests Sue Ellen relax after work by having a glass of wine and giving herself a cucumber facial.
- Of course, she suggests there might be some other reason to have the cucumber handy.
Sue Ellen: Well, I'm all out of cucumbers.
Rose: Sue Ellen, every girl over twenty-five should have a cucumber in the house.
- Of course, she suggests there might be some other reason to have the cucumber handy.
- In Dunston Checks In, the titular orangutan drops in on two women undergoing this, who don't even notice.
[Dunston licks the cheek of Woman #1]
Woman #1: Mmm...is that a loofah? That feels great, Elaine.
[Dunston licks the cheek of Woman #2]
Woman #2: Interesting fragrance. Is that...musk?
[Dunston steals one of Woman #2's cucumbers]
- Spoofed in Gorgeous, with Tony Leung's character doing a cucumber, tomato, starfruit, carrot and strawberry facial. Yes, all at once.
- The lead in Hes Such A Girl does this...but doesn't realize he's not supposed to use zucchini.
- In The Jerk, Navin's girlfriend Marie is a cosmetologist, so he switches places with a customer who is receiving a facial. When the cucumbers and green mask are removed, she recognizes Navin and starts making out with him... while the wife of the original customer starts hitting Marie with her purse. "Why are you kissing my husband?!"
- In Legally Blonde, to indicate the woman the main characters are going to question at the spa is a Rich Bitch (as well as to remind everyone she's at a spa), she is seen having one of these. They have to take the cucumbers off her eyes before she'll bother paying attention to them.
- In Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Guinevere undergoes cucumber-slice eye pads as part of a makeover montage. (And then she promptly eats the cucumber, because it's the first chance she had all day to eat anything.)
- In The Princess Diaries, to show that the main character is getting a super-makeover fit for a princess, she gets a Cucumber Facial, and Paolo, the stylist, delivers the page quote above.
- Magda briefly in There's Something About Mary. Even the dog too.
- A Series of Unfortunate Events: In The Penultimate Peril, prominent antagonist Esme Squalor wears cucumber slices over her eyes while hanging around the hotel. They keep her from learning that a concierge who she summoned is one of her enemies, working undercover.
- Full House: DJ and Kimmy give themselves makeovers, including this. The cucumbers serve to obscure their vision so they don't see the chimp come in and tamper with the hair conditioner.
- In Kaamelott, one of Arthur's mistresses puts cucumber slices on her eyes while sleeping, after Merlin's advice to prevent having circles under her eyes. Arthur (who Merlin advised to sleep with boiled eggs in his mouth to prevent snoring) seems unconvinced.
- An episode of Malcolm in the Middle has Lois winning a spa for two day with no one to take with her but Dewey. When they get to the facials, Dewey naturally tries to eat one of the cucumbers on his eyes. Lois knows her kids and tells him to stop without even removing her own cucumbers to see that he's doing it.
- In an episode of My Name Is Earl, Joy is seen relaxing in a hot tub with bread-and-butter pickles over her eyes.
- Syd in Power Rangers S.P.D. had this once. When she (as well as the rest of the B-Squad) had to wake up and line up, as they did, while Bridge was running into line, he ends up at her face (still with the cream), and screams upon seeing her like that.
- One episode of Three's Company has Helen putting on one and Stanley giving her a funny look before proceeding to eat the cucumber slices. Helen's reaction? "Be sure to eat them slowly, Stanley. They're your breakfast for today."
- On The X-Files in episode "Arcadia" when Mulder and Scully go undercover as a married couple, Scully wears green facial mask just before going to bed. Mulder teases her as if they were actually married.
"The thrill is gone."
- Sana in MISAMO gets the cucumber facial treatment in the "Marshmallow" video, but without the facial cream.
- In the music video for OK Go's cover of The Muppet Show theme, one Catapult Nightmare sequence features one of the singers with cucumber slices both over and under his eyeglasses. Hence, he screams 'cause he's blind, removes the outer slices, is still blind, he screams again, then removes the inner slices.
- Referenced in "Behind the Red Door" in War Paint, as the Arden Girls extol the salon's amenities.
Dine on glacé of cucumber glacial
What you don't eat, we'll use for a facial
- Parodied for the Wacky Packages sticker "Spa-ghettios", a parody of Spaghetti-Os canned pasta. Turning the pasta concept into a "tomato and cheese sauna" for rejuvenation, the spa patron on the package instead has two of the round-shaped noodles over her eyes.
- If you spend time with Vivienne in the Trespasser DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition, you go on a spa trip with her. But instead of cucumber you end up with cheese wheels on your eyes. When your character asks "Why cheese?", Vivienne just gently scoffs at you for not knowing.
- One of the minigames in Nancy Drew: Resorting To Danger involves giving facials using various combinations of kiwi slices on the eyes, an orange slice on the mouth, and some kind of leaf on the nose.
- The Book of Biff plays with the trope by having Biff make a painful mistake about what green vegetable goes on the eyes.
- Cursed Princess Club: When we see the inside of the Cosmopolitan Princess Conservatory, one princess is lying down with cucumbers over her eyes — and she's demanding that someone start her caviar facial.
- Promises has The Baroness, an entitled rich woman, who insists on using Fiona and Trish's gym like a spa, take baths with Cucumber Facials.
- Scandinavia and the World: Denmark, Norway and Sweden all wear them in this comic.
- Angry Birds MakerSpace: In S1 E20, a pig attempts this, but forgets to close his eyes before applying the cucumber slices.
- This happens in Archer, complete with a ghastly allergic reaction (which is possible in Real Life).
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Katara and Toph get one of these in "Tales of Ba Sing Se," during a mud bath. Toph then uses Earthbending on the mud on her face to make the cucumbers stick out like alien eyestalks, terrifying one of the attendants. Katara thinks it's hilarious.
- The Cuphead Show!: In "Roll The Dice", The Devil is seen laying in a bubble bath with cucumber slices over his eyes when King Dice calls to report that Cuphead is on his gameshow.
- Dave the Barbarian: Princess Candy has a cucumber facial when she sleeps.
- DuckTales (2017): Scrooge is wearing cucumbers over his eyes while taking a bath in "Daytrip of Doom!" when Donald tries to get his attention about the boys being kidnapped. Scrooge can't quite hear him, but announces "Something's wrong..." before replacing the cucumbers with gold coins and settling back into the bath.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy: In A Glass of Warm Ed, Ed consumes all the food in the cul-de-sac while sleepwalking, including the cucumber eye coverings from Nazz's nighttime facial.
- Seen several times in The Fairly OddParents!:
- In Fairy Idol — Norm the Genie, as Norm the Fairy, shows up when paged, with a Cucumber Facial. When Chester tells Norm he wishes Norm was Timmy's Fairy, the cucumbers fall off so we can see Norm's evil look.
- Wanda gets one in the episode Wanda's Day Off.
- In Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, Viper wears one such facial mask in "Shifu's Back".
- The Looney Tunes Show episode "Casa de Calma", when Bugs and Daffy go to a spa. Daffy eats his cucumber slices and asks Bugs if he can have his.
- The Loud House:
- In "Cereal Offender", Rita wears one in an Imagine Spot of herself at the spa. Notably, it's the first time in the series that her face was seen.
- One of Lincoln's feminine hobbies in "Roughin' It" involves getting facials with Lori. She teaches him that the mud masks soothe sunburns, poison ivy, and moderate acne.
- In "Power Play with the Casagrandes," Bobby and Lori are shown wearing mud masks for one of their video chats.
- Mike, Lu & Og: In the episode Whole Lotta Shakin', the island's inhabitants go up to the volcano. Marjorie and Wendel immerse themselves in mud pools for a spa treatment, complete with cucumbers on their eyes.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, it crops up a few times:
- When Twilight Sparkle, as part of her by-the-book slumber party plans, decides they should give each other makeovers, it involves this. Notably, Rarity actually explains correctly what the cucumbers are for. Applejack just eats hers ("Puffiness, schmuffiness!"). (Gets a call-back later when Rarity ends up covered in real mud and AJ, thinking quickly, sticks a pair of cucumber slices on her eyes to make her feel better).
- When Fluttershy and Rarity go to the spa in one episode, Rarity gets a cucumber facial to indicate her sense of high class taste and fixation on appearances. Fluttershy declines and instead only has the mud daubed onto her cheeks. (This may have been more so that she could still visibly emote during the scene, though it's also part of how she has a much-reduced version of every activity in the spa.)
- Rarity wears a mud mask and cucumbers when she sleeps, even when she travels with the others to Appleloosa.
- Spike, of all dragons, is relaxing with one at the spa with the girls in "Ponyville Confidential", when Rainbow Dash eats one of his slices. He reaches down her throat, gets it back, and puts it back on.
- In The Penguins of Madagascar, Julien is in the middle of a facial when Maurice is attacked. Which means that he has to apply the cucumbers himself, "which is the real tragedy." He asks Mort to weep for him, as his eyes are too tired from all the "cucumbering"; Mort does so by applying onions to his eyes, remarking that "My eye vegetables are burny!"
- Phineas and Ferb:
- Doof's ex-wife is shown getting one when their daughter Vanessa calls, trying to bust her father. Strangely, she's wearing the cucumber slices over her glasses.
- Linda Flynn-Fletcher has one, which she stops to go home because it's weird that she hasn't heard from Candace.
- Recess: The Ashleys do this, and make (Ashley) Spinelli provide them fresh cucumber slices while they relax.
- In Total Drama World Tour at the beginning of "Jamaica Me Sweat", Team Chris is Really Really Really Really Hot, DJ, and Irene wear them as part of their first class reward. Owen eats both of his cucumbers, and eventually swipes one of Noah's.
Noah: "It's a facial, not a fruit plate."Owen: "Oh Noah, don't you see? It's both!"
- At least one cosmetic company sells eye pads, presoaked in an astringent, printed and scented to resemble cucumber slices. One such example.
- In the post-Soviet countries (maybe others as well), it is normal for women to wipe their face with cucumber peels. You get cucumber peels when making salad anyway, and why throw away something, when you can get a bonus use out of it first?