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Eyebrows Burned Off

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"Am I missing... an eyebrow?"
Adam Savage, MythBusters note 

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.


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    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.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Happens to Seamus Finnigan in the movie adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Also tends to happen to Finnigan in the books.
  • In The Pacifier, one of the bad guys tries to get through a booby-trapped room. Flamethrowers come out of the walls and shoot a wall of fire right in front of her. When she turns around, she has no eyebrows left, and irritably says that she'd just had them done.
  • The titular antagonist in The Terminator tries rushing after Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese even when Reese puts up a wall of fire between them. The terminator immediately has his hair burned down to a crew cut and his eyebrows disappear completely. This turns out to be the least unsettling disfigurement he sustains throughout the movie.

  • 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.
  • In one of his short stories, humorist Patrick McManus talks about losing his eyebrows as a youth while experimenting with black powder.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.
  • A noodle incident on How I Met Your Mother cost Marshall his eyebrows.
  • A noodle incident involving a bazaar in I Love Lucy resulted in Ricky's eyebrows taking weeks to grow back.
  • Jane the Virgin: In an attempt to curry favor with River, Rogelio orders her favorite, bananas foster. The flambe burns her eyebrows off, which makes her slightly less amenable the next time they meet. She does assure him they are insured, however.
  • 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.
  • In Malcolm in the Middle, this happened offscreen as a result of the Krelboynes' previous secret project.
    "I thought we agreed: no more secret projects. Some of you are still missing your eyebrows after your last secret project!"
  • In The Moodys Dan gets too close to one of his brother's rocket launchers and has his eyebrows wiped clean off his face. His brother takes advantage of this by drawing angry eyebrows on his face in permanent ink while Dan sleeps, forcing Dan to wear a tennis headband for the entire day.
  • 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. To make it worse, that night he had a date and was planning to propose! (She said yes.)
    • The line would later be repeated several years later by Build Team member Tory Belleci during an experiment involving copious amounts of popcorn, particularly when he makes forehead contact with the popcorn machine's hopper.
  • Psych: Buzz McNab loses an eyebrow and a couple toes after a bomb explodes in his mailbox.
  • There was a joke on Rescue Me about someone losing their eyebrows because his friend lit a fart.
  • In the live episode of Will & Grace, self-obsessed showman Jack lost an eyebrow trying to finish singing a song as the stage burned around him.

  • 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.
  • In Kevin Bloody Wilson's song "The Apprentice", one of the pranks the tradesmen pull on the apprentice is burning his eyebrows off with a welding torch.

    Video Games 
  • In Beavis and Butt-Head Virtual Stupidity, if you try to interact with the burner in the science classroom, Daria will tell Beavis to remember what happened the last time he messed with it and Butt-Head will comment that Beavis looked cool without eyebrows.
  • 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".
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, Ellis brags about how he was in the front row of a Midnite Riders concert and lost his eyebrows from the pyrotechnics.
  • RC-1262 from Star Wars: Republic Commando got his nickname "Scorch" 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."
  • In Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, if you try to use the metal detector indoors, Strong Bad will comment that the last time he tried it he singed off Strong Mad's eyebrows and they couldn't tell how mad he was for weeks.

    Web Comics 

    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 torch.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Bart and Milhouse decide to do their own version of MythBusters. The first myth is that cell phones make gas pumps explode. (The same myth that resulted in Adam's eyebrow singe.) After the explosion, Milhouse is sans eyebrows.
    • In "She of Little Faith", Milhouse's eyebrows get blown off and fly onto Bart's head, which he wears like sideburns.
      Milhouse: My eyebrows! My beautiful eyebrows!
      Bart: Over 'ere, gov'nah.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Something Smells", the fumes from SpongeBob's rancid ketchup and onion "sundae" burn off Patrick's eyebrows.
  • In the Total Drama Island episode "If You Can't Take the Heat", the teams are in a cooking competition. The Screaming Gophers attempt to make a flambĂ© but Heather lights it after Lindsay used the whole bottle of starter fluid, and the resulting explosion burns off Heather's eyebrows.


Video Example(s):


Heather flambés her eyebrows

Because Lindsay poured all the flammable liquid on the cake, Heather's attempt to light it causes a small explosion with two casualties.

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