Follow TV Tropes


No Brows

Go To

"Charisma oozes out of people without eyebrows, you know! Hot damn! I don't have eyebrows either!"
Second Mizukage, Naruto

A Subtrope of Unusual Eyebrows, this is when a character has no eyebrows.

Typically, this is used to give the individual a more brutish, Neanderthal look (although, ironically, Neanderthals are stereotyped to be hairy). Alternatively, they deliberately throw the character into the Uncanny Valley, which can create an ethereal or alien appearance. In these cases, the brow ridges will tend to be fairly prominent and well-defined, so that the character can still make appropriate facial expressions. Occasionally, however, the artist simply doesn't draw them with eyebrows, and they have to find other ways to emote.

Contrast with Big Ol' Eyebrows.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Reiner Braun from Attack on Titan, according to design notes. However, most of the time it looks like he's merely got very thin (blond) ones.
  • Gustavo Ragetta and Keith Gandor from Baccano!.
  • Kenpachi from Bleach. Also, As Nodt, for the second reason. Eeep.
    • Renji also technically doesn't have any. His tattoos work as his eyebrows.
  • Akutagawa from Bungou Stray Dogs either has no eyebrows or very thin ones.
  • In Code:Breaker, if you look under Masaomi Heike's hair, he actually has no eyebrows.
  • L doesn't have any in Death Note; this was carried over in the live action movies, though it's not that noticeable until he goes outside into the wind. The manga artist said it was intended to make him look "dead-eyed." A couple of minor characters (like Ide) are also browless without any apparent justification.
  • Level 3 Super Saiyans in Dragon Ball Z. It gives them a distinctively Neanderthal-like look.
    • Android 20, Dr Gero. He had a rather bushy pair in his old body.
    • Recoome of the Ginyu Force. Dabura as well.
  • Elfman and Gajeel from Fairy Tail.
  • Amarao of FLCL is almost always known for having Big Ol' Eyebrows (even giving some to Naota at one point), but they're actually fake. On the occasions where they pop off, he's shown to be completely hairless where his eyebrows would normally be.
  • In Fruits Basket, Kyoko Honda née Katsunuma had such small eyebrows that her husband Katsuya teased her about not having any.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, Jean Pierre Polnareff inexplicably lacks eyebrows, which was likely done to draw attention to his amusingly large forehead and pole-like hairstyle. He does gain eyebrows when he returns in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Vento Aureo as a result of the change in art style.
  • The sinister Yokoya from Liar Part 3, as three of the main characters - Jotaro, Kakyoin, and Polnareff - are virtually only distinguishable due to their different hairstyles and outfits.
  • Aur the Villain Protagonist from Maou no Hajimekata in his novels design, it gives great focus to his great frown.
  • Naruto:
    • Gaara doesn't have any. Probably to make him look unnerving. His father, the Fourth Kazekage, didn't either.
    • Zabuza usually has eyebrows, except in a few scenes in the anime, but they're incredibly thin and short, which was enough for Naruto to call him "eyebrowless freak" a couple times.
    • The Second Mizukage didn't have any either, which he claims are a sign of charisma.
  • Snow White with the Red Hair: While Obi's brows are short understated things in the manga they don't exist at all in the anime.
  • Jin and Jin's mom from Urayasu Tekkin Kazoku.
  • Resident science genius Sanada (Sandor) in Space Battleship Yamato (Star Blazers) has a rather piercing gaze and no eyebrows.

    Comic Books 
  • In his original design notes for Batman villain Ra's Al-Ghul, creator Denny O'Neil specified that he has no eyebrows to give him an exotic appearance, which is how artist Neal Adams originally drew him. However, many later artists have missed this detail (perhaps because of his prominent brow ridge) and have drawn him with eyebrows.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Dracula's old form in Bram Stoker's Dracula completely lacks eyebrows, in odd contrast to the book where bushy eyebrows are one of his most noticeable features.
  • In Die Another Day, The Dragon Zao has no eye brows which underpins his Red Right Hand status.
  • Bernie Rose in Drive. Albert Brooks shaved off his eyebrows himself in order to make character look less expressive and emotional.
  • Grí­ma Wormtongue in The Lord of the Rings. As discussed in his entry on Uncanny Valley, his actor Brad Dourif's decision to shave his eyebrows for the part is what really made the character look creepy, even more than his corpse-like makeup. Out of costume and off-set, people kept telling Dourif that something wasn't quite right about him.
  • David Lynch likes this trope:
  • The titular character in The Terminator starts out as a young, good-looking Arnold Schwarzenegger pushed into the Uncanny Valley by a pointed lack of emotion. The attractive appearance falls away quickly over the course of the movie, culminating in the creepy skeleton. The first thing to go, however, are its eyebrows, giving it a more brutish appearance.
  • In The Movie of the Pink Floyd album, The Wall, Pink shaves off pretty much all of his body hair, including his eyebrows, as he descends further into insanity.
  • In Sha Po Lang II: A Time for Consequences, Ah Zai, The Dragon of the primary Big Bad, has no eyebrows, serving to highlight his role as a psychotic Knife Nut enforcer.
  • Red and Umbrae from Us have weird scars where their eyebrows would be, emphasizing the differences between them and their counterparts, Adelaide and Zora.

  • Uriah Heep, from David Copperfield is described as having "hardly any eyebrows, and no eyelashes." His sinister appearance certainly fits his character.
  • Discworld: In Feet of Clay, Vimes guesses that Cheery is an alchemist in part due to Cheery's lack of eyebrows, since alchemical experiments tend to explode.
  • Grim Tuesday of Keys to the Kingdom had his eyebrows blown off. One of them became a monster.
  • Abenthy, Kvothe's first mentor in The Name of the Wind, usually doesn't have eyebrows because he keeps burning them off in the course of his various experiments as an arcanist. Kvothe comments in his narration that this made Abenthy look perpetually surprised.
  • Old Kingdom: Captain Gullaine, head of the Royal Guard in Clariel, doesn't have any hair on her head, including eyebrows.
  • In the second book of The Pendragon Adventure, all of the characters residing in the eponymous underwater city lack eyebrows. Bobby mentions that it's quite unsettling, and that one doesn't normally consider eyebrows carefully until they're not there.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • Karlton, Mavic Chen's advisor in "The Daleks' Master Plan", and the rest of his people. His entire head and eyebrows were shaved to make him look more alien, but it's unclear whether he's a Human Alien or a human from a culture that just does that.
    • Professor Sondegard in "The Mutants" has neither eyebrows nor hair, possibly a side effect from being around an environment constantly teeming with radiation.
    • The Fourth Doctor also has very fine, pale eyebrows that the makeup department often covered up further (although, like the Eleventh Doctor, he has eyebrows in some scenes thanks to an inconsistent makeup department). Between his lack of eyebrows and his unusually large Creepy Blue Eyes, he looks very alien indeed.
    • The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows, which disappoints Romana in "City of Death". The Doctor claims that until she pointed it out, he never noticed.
    • The Fifth Doctor is also known for his lack of eyebrow.
    • The Eleventh Doctor. It actually varies between this and very pale eyebrows, but it seems that Matt Smith has no eyebrows, and the makeup department is inconsistent in penciling them on. Lampshaded in "The Time of the Doctor" when Clara makes fun of his lack of eyebrows and he sensitively responds that his eyebrows are "delicate".
  • The Observers of Fringe lack any sort of hair, including eyebrows.
  • Victor Zsasz on Gotham goes for the completely hairless look, like the aforementioned Observers on Fringe but twitchier.
  • In the Victorious episode "Crazy Ponnie", Cat accidentally waxes off Jade's eyebrows, thus causing Jade to fall under this trope.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time is another show where most characters have no eyebrows by default, but may suddenly gain them for use in facial expressions.
  • Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender is a half example, as his left eye does not have a brow due to a burn inflicted by his father Ozai.
  • Matt Groening's art-style does not draw eyebrows for most of the characters in The Simpsons and Futurama, although some like Milhouse have huge eyebrows. Some characters, most notably Moe, have very prominent brow ridges that act in their place for emoting.
  • Pizzazz from Jem shaved off her eyebrows and replaced them with makeup.
  • Henry and June on KaBlam!.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Phineas and Ferb both have eyebrows, but they're only visible at certain times, usually to convey some intense emotion or for a quick joke.
    • Zig-Zagged with Isabella. In the first two seasons, she's almost never seen with eyebrows. In fact, an early "Learn to Draw" book claimed she didn't have any and that it was a sensitive topic for her. This never came up in the series proper, and in the second half of the show's run, Isabella's eyebrows started appearing more and more frequently. By the time the show ended, eyebrows became a consistent part of her character design.
  • Steven Universe: Most of the Gems have no eyebrows, though in some episodes they gain thin eyebrows for certain expressions and eye movements. All the human character except Onion have eyebrows visible at all times.
  • Ash from Superjail! due to the fact that his face is horribly burnt and deformed.
  • Cheetara from ThunderCats (1985). Or at least they're completely hidden by her facial markings. Some of the villains as well - Tugmug (or possibly they're hidden in the black circles around his eyes), Slythe and Vultureman of the mutants (of course, neither of them are mammals, so lack of hair is to be expected), and Mumm-ra.

    Real Life 
  • The Mona Lisa originally did have eyebrows, but all the cleaning and restoration works scrubbed the eyebrows (and a lot of details) out.
  • Many redheads and some blonds have pale eyebrows that vanish into their pale skin. These include:
    • Queen Elizabeth I
    • Former US Speaker of the House Richard Gephardt
    • Tilda Swinton
  • Alannah Currie and Joe Leeway of the Thompson Twins used to shave their eyebrows off.
  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • Martin Luther McCoy
  • David Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust phase.
  • Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Kane, has no eyebrows.
  • Amanda Palmer has tattoos on her eyebrow region, which is usually hairless.
  • Shaving off someone's eyebrows is a popular prank, and is sometimes done as part of a hazing ritual.
  • During The Roaring '20s and The '30s, it was a very fashionable trend for women to pluck the eyebrows out and then draw a pencil-thin line above where they used to be.
  • Makeup artists, and drag queens who don't shave their brows, use a technique known as the "gluestick method" to achieve a no-brow look without plucking every single hair on the brows. Basically, they apply gluestick on the brows, then flatten the hairs, and when dry, cover it with varied layers of concealer, powder, and foundation.
  • Original Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett shaved his entire head, including his eyebrows, after quitting the music industry.
  • There is a condition known as Alopecia universalis which causes the loss of all hair, eyebrows and eyelashes included.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: