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Sheldon: I should've brought an umbrella.
Leonard: What for? It's not going to rain.
Sheldon: I know that, but with skin as fair as mine, moonburn is a real possibility.

For the sake of funny, a character goes out on a nice, peaceful night. But oh no; they forgot their moonscreen! Now they'll get a severe moonburn and then they'll be in real-trouble!

Moonbathing is a pretty common practice among weirdos and nightowls, and fiction usually portrays it as being just like sunbathing.

The moon itself only gives off 7% of the sun's harmful rays, but some characters have a bad habit of getting burns or worse when exposed to it for too long, and there always seems to be a cream to protect themselves from it. Fewer examples even suffer from the same affliction with other natural phenomena, from clouds to planetary alignments and other such wibble-wobble.


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    Films — Animation 

  • In the Discworld book Guards! Guards!, the head assassin is described as having a "moon-tanned face."
  • In Krampus: The Yule Lord, when Krampus steps out of his cave into the moonlight for the first time in centuries, his skin immediately goes from a sickly pale tone to a dark-grey tone, almost as if his skin tanned in seconds.
  • Sunshine: In this setting, a vampire's vulnerability to light is proportionate to the amount of evil he has inflicted over the course of his existence. While no vampire can tolerate sunlight, the older "master" vampires have accumulated sufficient karmic debt that they cannot endure moonlight or starlight, and as such must rely on weaker minions who have yet to rack up such a slate of sins.
  • The Warded Man: While most demons are only harmed by sunlight and can rise every night, the mind demons can only rise on the three nights of the new moon.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Trope Namer comes from The Addams Family episode "Portrait of Gomez", where the family enjoy a nice quiet evening outside. Because Uncle Fester ate the moonscreen instead of applying it to his skin, he got a moonburn (apparently). (The image at top level page here is for the comic strip source, specifically... well, you know)
  • In the iCarly episode "iStakeout", Freddie manages to get out of swimming with his crazy, overbearing mother by claiming that he did not want to get "cloudburn". Oddly enough, she does eventually find cloud block.
  • The page quote comes from "The Lunar Excitation", an episode of The Big Bang Theory, in which Sheldon and his colleagues prepare to bounce a laser beam off of a mirror placed on the surface of the moon by Neil Armstrong in 1969.
  • Intended as a plot point in an episode of Farscape: Blue-eyed members of a species on a particular planet suffer severe burns when both of the planet's moons are full. The victim of a murder supposedly carried out by Zhaan was one such individual, and the murder occurred on the night of a double full moon. The full version of the scene in which Chiana cross-examines another blue-eyed member of the species as a witness, one of the police officers involved in the arrest and who got a severe moonburn as a result, lead to her pointing out that even though the victim was found outdoors, he was not burned. This cast doubt on the state's case, as it indicated the man was killed elsewhere and moved. However in the final version of the episode that aired ("Dream a Little Dream") the fact that the victim was blue-eyed and wasn't burned by the moons was cut.note 
  • An episode of Medium has Joe be inspired to create a new type of solar panel by a dream in which a model was shown "moonbathing".

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • In Harvest Town, there's a quest/event to restore a dilapidated hot spring, which includes a sunroom. The Lee brothers are the ones who use the deck most often, and they can be seen lounging on the deck chairs, complete with sunglasses whenever they come around. Thing is, they tend to come after 10PM, which means they're really moonbathing rather than sunbathing.
  • The Sims 3, with the Seasons expansion pack, your Sim can have the option to sunbathe everytime and everywhere. By everytime and everwhere, it can mean sunbathing even at night, in the middle of winter, at below zero temperatures. The moonbathing experience can be heightened with the Supernatural expansion, with the addition of controllable moon phases, where your Sim can moonbathe at a perpetual full moon, in the middle of a freezing winter. Hopefully your lawn is protected from zombies.

    Web Animation 

  • In the naturist webcomic The Bare Pit, a pair of gloomy Goth girls regularly practice nude moonbathing.

    Web Videos 
  • In the How Dog Breeds React to Robbers series, part 9 includes the xoloitzcuintle (the Mexican naked dog). The robber finds the xoloitzcuintle applying sunscreen, and is asked to please do his back.
    Robber: It's... the middle of the night.
    Xoloitzcuintle: Hey, moonburn is a real thing!

    Western Animation 
  • Peter Griffin from Family Guy has a hairless twin who lives in a storm shed in total darkness. When Peter goes to visit him at night, his hairless twin cringes and says, "Close the door, the moonlight burns!"
  • Defied in the Numberjacks episode "Interesting Times"; when the time mix-up makes a man go outside to sunbathe in the middle of the night, he puts on sun cream, to which Three says that he doesn't need it, because "he's only got the moon to worry about".
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Night of a Bazillion Stars", Sean packs a lot of stuff for the sleepover, including 'moonblock'.
    Mindy: Why did you bring so much stuff?
    Sean: My mom made me bring all these things. I have flashlights, two coats, sunblock, bugblock, moonblock.
    Sydney: Wait, moonblock?!?
    Sean: My dad says you can't be too safe.
  • An episode of Zorro: The Chronicles has Diego de la Vega (Zorro's secret identity) pretend to moonbathe as part of his fake Upper-Class Twit shtick.


Video Example(s):



Sean's parents made him bring 'moonblock' to a sleepover, saying that he can't be too safe.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

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Main / Moonburn

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