Two men in white lab coats walk in holding two containers that glow in different colours and put them into what appears to be a small particle accelerator. The energies from the containers collide, and form the scientific breakthrough of the century: A Razor With FIVE Blades!
In the world of commercials, shaving equipment is right there next to rocket science. Common imagery includes fighter jets and sports cars. Often an adoring woman will walk on screen to stroke or kiss the smooth chin.
That, or it just features a whole ton of blades.
Gillette are now actually advertising their products as "born from the science of shaving" (at least in the UK).
Other shaving companies like Harry's are bucking this trend, going for a more retro luxury style. (They still have 5 blades, however.)
- Gillette, Braun, you name it.
- The example beginning this trope derives from this advert for Gillette Fusion.
- In a Philips Norelco electric shaver commercial, a gynoid (female android) shaves a man with the shaver embedded in its hand.
- Parodied in a commercial for an electric razor, which started off as an ad for a razor with 15 blades, called "the Quintippio".
- There was an ad that began as an ad for a 15-bladed razor, that featured the actor staring at it in disbelief. Then, it went on to be an ad about a three-bladed razor, apparently as a jab at the four-bladed razor that was being released around then.
- It's not just for razor blades anymore: Oral-B toothbrush commercials are quite simply, ludicrously epic. Ominous Latin Chanting is involved. What more can we say?
- Rembrandt goes in the opposite direction; they turn brushing into vaguely German-impressionist film with "sciencey" elements.
- Brilliantly parodied in this advert for The Zyliss Multi-Peeler — The Best a Potato Can Get.
- BiC Canada parodied and lampshaded this in their commercial for the "Hands-Free RoboRazor"!
- Gillette parodied their own "science of shaving" adverts with an Avengers: Age of Ultron Dualvertisement that showed razors based on Thor's hammer, Cap's shield, Hulk's fists, and Iron Man's armour while the voice-over explained "You could make a razor with Avengers technology," and then, as the bathroom was destroyed, "but you clearly shouldn't."
- Defied by the first online ads for Dollar Shave Club, which focused more on the company's speedy shipping and inexpensive memberships packages. The ad even had the company founder mock this idea.
"Why should you spend $40 a month for a bunch of over-engineered razors with seven blades? Your handsome-ass grandpa had only ONE blade...AND polio!" *Passes portrait of distinguished, clean-shaven man* "Looking good, Pop-Pop!"
- Dara O'Briain:
- He has a bit in his last stand-up show where he suggested that Blade Five had to be "unlocked", by defeating a boss on Blade Four.
- Not to mention his "Does the 4th blade actually REMOVE a layer of epidermis while the 5th blade instantly cauterizes the wound ensuring that no hair will ever grow there again!?"
- One ad parody by French stand-up comedian trio Les Inconnus began with a man moaning in pain, who then turned toward the audience to reveal that his whole shirt was dripping with blood. The announcer then proudly revealed this was the work of their 12-blades razor.
- Iron Man:
- Tony's morning routine once involved a sonic shower, and a hovering robotic coat hanger. Of course, he is a billionaire genius inventor.
- Similar to the Gillette example above, there was a promotional solo comic that was about Tony Stark presenting cutting-edge razors using technology based on Avengers' superpowers that A.I.M. attempted to steal.
- Transmetropolitan: Whatever's going on in that sonic shower Spider Jerusalem steps into, it moves him from "hirsute mountain man" to "permanent hairlessness" in about ten seconds.
- Superman shaves his face using his heat vision. Supergirl/Power Girl also uses her heat vision to shave her legs.
- Some early Superman comics suggested that he didn't have to shave. In at least one early story some perceptive child is convinced that Clark Kent is Superman after seeing inside his medicine cabinet, which contains only a hairbrush.
- At the end of The Jungle Line, Superman uses a broken mirror glass and his heat vision to shave his stubble after waking from a fever-induced coma.
- During that brief period when Superman had his electrical-based powers, he accidentally shocked himself after forgetting that he no longer had heat vision and he couldn't be Clark Kent and Superman at the same time.
- It's been surmised that he has to. Although in Superman: Up, Up and Away!, Clark shows up at his workplace with multiple cuts on his face after being depowered.
- One Damage Control issue had a scientist mention that he was constructing a razor using adamantine blades for She-Hulk- it was apparently the only thing that was effective against her leg hairs.
- In the 1970s, shortly after the Trac II came out, MAD featured the Trac LXXVI, a 76-blade razor.
- A Russian joke came out before there were three blades. It ended with "the 24th polishes the jawbone."
- Isaac Asimov:
- A "depilator" in The Stars Like Dust. Apparently, whatever future technology has in store for us, it will keep us thoroughly clean-shaven. Note that the shaving method the hero is shown using is basically a sandblaster for the face, and he's concerned about rumors that this technique leads to skin cancer.
- D.G. Baley from Robots and Empire uses a laser instead. Permanent facial depilation isn't unknown either.
- One Harry Harrison had a sonic shaver — it delivered a perfectly close shave by shattering stubble.
- Robert A. Heinlein:
- The Number of the Beast had someone mention that the future he was visiting had a device that made razors seem like stone age technology.
- In another Heinlein novel, the main character laments the loss of his diamond-bladed razor as it had comfortably dulled over the decades.
- Heinlein introduced this substance in Farmer in the Sky already in the 1950s; the extraterrestrial pioneers grow beards because the depilatory cream, imported from Earth, is hideously expensive.
- "Junior Achievement": This young adult Science Fiction story has a child of a biochemist come up with a form of depilatory cream that causes the hair to grow brittle. He calls it "before-shave".
- Steve Perry's Matador Series: Depilatory cream is the primary method of removing facial hair.
- Star Wars Expanded Universe: This trope is parodied/referenced when Luke mentions that most models of weapon scanner will interpret a Lightsaber as a shaving implement.
- Vorkosigan Saga: Shaving is just for Barrayaran nobles who have the free time and inclination (and because they are so macho, that holding a blade to one's face holds certain appeal). Rest of the nexus uses a depilatory cream, or permanently stun the hair follicles.
- Comedian Mark Weiner did a skit on an episode of America's Funniest People where he advertised a razor with six blades. The first five didn't so much cut the hair as rip it out of its follicle, and the sixth was actually a tiny roll of tissue paper for staunching the blood.
- The Daily Show featured a razor with 14 blades.
- The Late Show in Australia featured a razor with 16 blades: 15 did increasingly ludicrous and specific jobs ("the first blade distracts the hair while the second and third blade sneak up behind it, cutting off any escape routes"), whereas the 16th? It's just along for the ride. see here
- MADtv had a similar sketch involving the 20-bladed Spishak Mach 20.
The tenth blade removes cavity-causing tartar, and the eleventh blade starts the process all over again!
- Lambasted in Mock the Week.
"From Gillette comes the new Sensor Uber-Uber-Uber Excel, for that closest ever shave. In fact, this one slices your face like a potato peeler. It's too close; get the previous Gillette Sensor! Turns out, we couldn't get closer than that one."
- A favorite of Saturday Night Live.
- A classic SNL faux-commercial described a razor named the Platinum Mach 14. The patented fifth razor actually removes the follicle!
- In the first season of SNL, when two-bladed razors were apparently just coming out, they had a faux-commercial mocking the absurdity of a hypothetical three-bladed razor.
- The Triple-Trac: Because You'll Believe Anything.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation introduced a shaving device that used some suitably scientific-futuristic sounding term (futuristic for the 1980s). "Sonic", perhaps, or "laser". You just passed it over your skin, and the hair was gone. On the other hand, in Star Trek: Insurrection, Troi shaves Riker with shaving cream and an old-fashioned razor.
- French News Parody puppet show Les Guignols de l'Info did a parody of razor ads featuring a then-popular news anchor. The ad described how the first blade avoided hair, the second pulled it and the third dyed it black, allowing people to be "constantly impeccably badly shaved".
- There's that episode of Lois & Clark where Clark Kent shows up at the Daily Planet with multiple cuts on his face after being depowered.
- A Bob and Tom radio skit featured a razor with 27 blades, yet it's the safest razor on the market! Its name? The Decapitator!
- That Mitchell and Webb Sound did a 14-blade version, including blades that got your shopping and scraped all the skin off your face. Notable for the speed with which it got extremely silly (the third blade files your tax return), and the fact that every few blades there was one that SHAVED YOU CLOSER STILL.
- The general terminology for men's beauty products was parodied by Jeremy Hardy on The News Quiz, saying that men will only buy moisturizer if it's called all-weather sealant.
- Dark Forces Saga Kyle Katarn uses his lightsaber as a shaving implement.
- Advertisements in Grand Theft Auto IV feature a razor called the Excelsior Extreme 9, with "9 blades of glory." The DJ of the Tuff Going radio station (reggae) warns his listeners not to buy it. "You might cut off ya' nose."
- Monday Night Combat has two futuristic shaving products among its many sponsors: LazeRazor (with fifteen laser blades — "If you've got the balls to shave with one of our razors, you might as well keep 'em silky smooth") and ShaveIce, a flash-freezing shave "gel" that is more popularly used on the field of combat to freeze the air around enemies.
- Irregular Webcomic! took it to its logical progression with this strip. The razor utilises fractal technology to create a razor with an infinite number of blades. Then adds a conventional one for infinity plus one blades.
- Parodied in this Loserz strip.
- Arthur, King of Time and Space had a strip that began in the contemporary arc with Arthur saying he wasn't sure why a razor needed five blades, and Merlin replying that he remembered when three blades was an SNL punchline. And then a cut to the space arc with the same dialogue only both numbers are followed by "thousand".
- The Onion:
- In 2004, they ran a parody editorial attributed to the CEO of Gillette, entitled "Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five Blades." The following year, Gillette actually introduced such a product.
- The weekly feature "Tuesday Morning Quarterback" mocked Gillette Stadium by referring to it as "Next One Will Have 4 Blades Stadium." He's since had to update this joke twice.
- It's estimated that◊ at the rate razor blade technology has expanded in the past century, we will soon have razors with infinite blades.
- Wikipedia's article on technological singularities used to predict this would happen in 2015, illustrated by a picture of the Schick Infini-T. Then some humorless bastard got hold of the article, obviously. Then someone went and actually made a documentary about all this. (Modern Marvels, maybe?)
- Apropos of not much, there was for a while an unofficial measure of laser power based on how many Gillette razor blades the beam could cut through. Between the fact that it was difficult to measure the power of the first ruby pulsed lasers, and the wonderful uniformity of Gillette razors, it was a natural measurement unit. Thus, proud scientists could brag about their 4 Gillette laser as compared to their colleagues' wimpy little 2 Gillette unit.
- There was an episode of Superman: The Animated Series where Superman did the whole bouncing his laser vision off of a mirror to shave.
- Inverted and Played for Laughs in Gravity Falls: Man of Science Stanford Pines is known to occasionally set his own face on fire, on purpose, on the grounds that it's "much faster than shaving".