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Prone to Sunburn

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Azusa: It hurts so much.
Mugi: You got really burnt again.
Azusa: I put on sunscreen, but it didn't work.
K-On!, "Late Summer Greeting Card"

Some characters just can't take sun exposure, especially if they have pale skin and/or don't go outside much. They tend to overshoot tanning and go straight to sunburned with very little time in the open. Thus, when faced with things like a Beach Episode, they'll do everything they can to not participate, and if they do participate, they'll stay in the shade as much as possible or go to amusing extremes to protect themselves from the sun. If they do decide to take their chances with the sun, they usually regret it.

Related to Embarrassingly Painful Sunburn, where a character who may or may not burn easily gets badly sunburned regardless. This can play into the stereotypes addressed by But Not Too White and The Shut-In. See also Suntan Stencil, when this is exploited.

Daywalking Vampires sometimes have this as a way to show that they aren't completely resistant to sunlight.

Compare with Moonburn, where people get sunburns from things besides the sun.

Truth in Television for people with especially pale skin, albinos, and people from the British Isles.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In K-On!, it's a Running Gag that whenever the light music club goes to practice camp by the sea, Azusa always gets sunburnt in a matter of hours and spends the remainder of the camp red as a lobster. Along with the pain, her sunburns have led to her classmates laughing at her tan lines in the changing room and even not recognizing her.

    Fairy Tales 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Curious George: When Ted, the Man in the Yellow Hat, gets his hat taken by George, he begs for it saying that he needs it because "the sun is hot, and I freckle. And not in a good way, either; I blotch."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Logan: Caliban has albinism and is very weak to sunlight. This is exploited when he's captured, as he's tortured by simply exposing him to sunlight.
  • Me, Myself & Irene: Casper/Whitey is an albino who left his family when they were going to move to Phoenix, Arizona.
    Casper: I wouldn't have lasted ten minutes out there.

    Literature 
  • Akata Witch: Justified with Sunny's albinism; she's so sensitive to the sun that she has difficulty playing soccer outdoors. She's overjoyed when the sensitivity is negated by her new Leopard Person powers.
  • Artemis Fowl: Dwarves, being subterranean creatures, have a burn time of three minutes on the surface. Mulch Diggums lays on the sunscreen heavily whenever he's going to be spending time out in the sun.
  • The ColSec Trilogy: Heleth was raised underground for most of her life, and thus has very pale skin and sunburns very easily.
  • Desperation: Entragian already sunburns very easily, but when he's possessed by Tak this accelerates to the point that less than a week of sun exposure causes his body to start literally falling apart.
  • Dr. Franklin's Island: Dr. Skinner is pale enough that he turns very red and peels after even brief exposure to harsh sun, which is a bit of an issue for him working on an Island Base.
  • A Macabre Myth of a Moth-Man: Brett has a skin condition that causes him to easily sunburn, which fuels his shut-in tendencies. Learning that he can contract melanoma from sunburns only makes things worse.
  • A Memoir by Lady Trent: A Running Gag is Tom's skin becoming very red whenever he's exposed to the sun for too long, and wherever he goes, the locals nickname him some form of "red" or "red man".
  • Night Huntress: Vampires can withstand the sun, but will quickly develop nasty sunburns which will, almost as quickly, heal and peel, only for the process to repeat with continued exposure.
  • Room: One of the side effects of Jack's long-term imprisonment in the shed is that he quickly sunburns.
  • The Saga of Darren Shan: Vampires will get sunburns after very limited exposure, and fatal sunstroke can set in after only a few hours.
  • We Walk the Night: The older vampires get, the more susceptible they are to sunburns and the more severe the burning gets.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Father Ted: Ted tells a visiting priest that Dougal doesn't take the sun very well when he travels. A series of pictures shows Dougal with a lobster-red complexion in front of the Taj Mahal, the Vatican, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and even the Eiffel Tower.
  • Scrubs: When the cast goes to Hawaii for the janitor's wedding, Ted's seen applying liberal amounts of sunscreen to his face before going to the beach. It's shown to be an extreme example of this trope when immediately after it's lampshaded, Ted's skin absorbs all of the sunscreen, requiring him to reapply it seconds after he applied it the first time. Later in the episode, he gets persuaded to go into the sun unprotected and he gets a sunburn in the time it takes to step out of the shade and turn around.
  • Supernatural: Vampires can survive sun exposure but get extreme sunburns, hence why they tend to operate at night.
  • Better Call Saul: Jimmy McGill frequently alludes to the McGill family's Irish heritage and resultant pale skin as reasons why they are not best suited to life in the blistering Albuquerque sunshine. Sure enough, when Jimmy spends some time relaxing at a hotel's pool at the start of season 2 it doesn't take long for him to burn. In season 5 this is Played for Drama: when car trouble forces him to trek across the New Mexico desert, he ends up with sunburn so horrific that Kim Wexler wants to take him to the emergency room.

    Web Animation 

    Webcomics 
  • Alice Grove: Averted by Gavia. Even after she has her nanotech forcibly removed, she still has some parahuman abilities, as she darkens her extremely pale skin to prevent sunburns while she's traveling with Alice and Ardent.
  • Anti Social Media: Downplayed in this strip, in which the woman's arm simply tans instantly instead of burning when she reaches out from under her umbrella.
  • Catana Comics: One strip shows that Catana can spend hours in the sun with no difference in skin tone, while John gets sunburned in the time it takes to walk to the mailbox and back.
    Catana: [in comments] We all know someone that burns easily. I swear John canít even look out the window without getting some color.
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del: Ethan chances going out into the sun on the beach and immediately regrets it.
  • The Dummy's Dummy: Implied for Yumi, as she tends to wear unseasonably long, dark clothing that covers her entire body except her hands and face, and dons a pair of sunglasses, as if she's really prone to sunburn. Some readers, up to that point only see Yumi's extremely blond hair, fair skin, and red eyes as purely stylistic, start to wonder if Yumi has albinism. This is later confirmed by the author in a Q&A strip.
  • Ennui GO!: Noah shows up at the beach in his normal clothes, and his sunburning gets run into the ground by Hashim.
    Hashim: I feel you though. You get pinker than Joey McCarthy's glasses.
    Noah: True.
    Hashim: Like a fresh Alaskan salmon during mating season.
    Noah: I get it.
    Hashim: Like you got into a fight with poison ivy and lost.
    Noah: OKAY.
  • Girls with Slingshots: Jamie discovering that her girlfriend Erin burns easily leads to a punchline Bill Engvall would be proud of.
  • Ninja And Pirate: This strip shows that even slathered in sunscreen, Ninja just cooks.
  • Questionable Content: An early strip has Dora get sunburned on her back and shoulders while out with Faye. It turns into an excuse to have Marten put lotion on her.
    Dora: Dammit, I'm half Italian! We're supposed to tan, not burn!
    Faye: Dora, you probably got more sun today than you have in the last six months. This is what happens when you shun our mother star!
  • Rhapsodies: Kate and her boyfriend go for a walk on the beach. Both get badly burned.
    Kate: I didn't think I'd be out that long!
    Lisa: You're from Skansen! Five minutes is too long!
  • Scandinavia and the World: This comic portrays sunburn as a danger for all white people visiting Africa, while inversely Africans need Vitamin D supplements to keep their energy up in Northern Europe.

    Western Animation 
  • Metalocalypse: Dethklok winds up with sunburn while visiting the American South in "Bluesklok" (made worse because they take off their shirts due to the heat). Pickles, in particular, says that he's "very Irish" while asking if anyone has sunblock. Toki's the only one capable of tanning.
  • The Venture Bros.: Pete White. Justified, if greatly exaggerated from time to time, due to his albinism (he once began bursting into flame when sunlight hit him).
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: Mandy, demonstrated with a very to-the-point quote:
    Mandy: I don't tan Billy, I burn.


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