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"You want to know a big secret? The cucumber does nothing! Heh, this is something we make up."—Paolo from The Princess Diaries.
Cucumbers and facials, they just go together in fiction, apparently. Whenever a character is shown to be getting a high-class spa treatment (that is probably really expensive), getting a comprehensive makeover, or is so fussy about their appearance that they give one to themselves at home, it's usually indicated by the character having a Cucumber Facial.
The facial mask is usually green, mud-colored or sometimes blueish, and may cause men to run screaming about a scary monster. The slices of cucumber will be carefully placed over the eyes, their purpose unknown. Sometimes reasons given will be that it helps with bags under one's eyes or gives vitamins to one's skin or something. Often what the point of the cucumber is will be lampshaded, or someone will pick the cucumber off the person's face and eat it For the Lulz.
The cucumbers are Truth in Television, incidentally. Their real purpose is that they are a natural astringent and can help with puffiness around the eyes.
Usually this is Played for Laughs.
- In one of those commercials for Yoplait Yogurt, Those Two Girls are getting spa treatments including Cucumber Facials.
Manga and Anime
- Kodomo no Omocha: Sana is seen doing one in preparation for a date.
- Tiger and Bunny's Karina/Blue Rose has done this on occasion ("Hey, a superstar needs to take care of her skin, okay?"). Interestingly enough, she tends to use just multiple slices of cucumber on her face. She's more than a bit embarrassed when her crush walks into the room while she's in the middle of one.
Kotetsu: So, did you lose a bet or something?
Karina: Don't look!
- In an El Hazard: Wanderers, Jinai has stolen all the vegetables the heroes have grown and claims to be all his. While Makoto and company fall back to outwit him, the Bugrom Queen asks what are they going to do with all the produce. Jinai is ready for that question and invokes this trope with two Bugrom mooks already trying the idea out.
- In Legally Blonde, to indicate the woman the main characters are going to question at the spa is a Rich Bitch (as well as to remind everyone she's at a spa), she is seen having one of these. They have to take the cucumbers off her eyes before she'll bother paying attention to them.
- In The Princess Diaries, to show that the main character is getting a super-makeover fit for a princess, she gets a Cucumber Facial, and Paolo, the stylist, delivers the page quote above.
- Yzma sleeps with one in The Emperors New Groove. Kronk gets scared when he sees her.
- On Surf's Up Big Z tricks Cody into putting pineapple slices on his eyes as part of his training. Turns out he was just pulling a prank.
- In Don't Tell Mom the Babysitters Dead, Rose suggests Sue Ellen relax after work by having a glass of wine and giving herself a cucumber facial.
- Of course, she suggests there might be some other reason to have the cucumber handy.
Sue Ellen: Well, I'm all out of cucumbers.
'Rose: Sue Ellen, every girl over twenty-five should have a cucumber in the house.
- In The Jerk, Navin's girlfriend Marie is a cosmetologist, so he switches places with a customer who is receiving a facial. When the cucumbers and green mask are removed, she recognizes Navin and starts making out with him... while the wife of the original customer starts hitting Marie with her purse. "Why are you kissing my husband?!"
- At the start of Bert: Den siste oskulden, Bert comes to visit his would-be sex partner Camilla and finds her wearing one of these. He blurts out: "Wow, you're ugly."
- The lead in He's Such A Girl does this...but doesn't realize he's not supposed to use zucchini.
- In Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Guinevere undergoes cucumber-slice eye pads as part of a Makeover Montage. (And then she promptly eats the cucumber, because it's the first chance she had all day to eat anything.)
- In Dunston Checks In, the titular orangutan drops in on two women undergoing this, who don't even notice.
[Dunston licks the cheek of Woman #1]
Woman #1: Mmm...is that a loofah? That feels great, Elaine.
[Dunston licks the cheek of Woman #2]
Woman #2: Interesting fragrance. Is that...musk?
[Dunston steals one of Woman #2's cucumbers]
Live Action TV
- Happens in an episode of Burn Notice with one character.
- One episode of Three's Company has Helen putting on one and Stanley giving her a funny look before proceeding to eat the cucumber slices. Helen's reaction? "Be sure to eat them slowly, Stanley. They're your breakfast for today."
- An episode of Malcolm in the Middle has Lois winning a spa for two day with no one to take with her but Dewey. When they get to the facials, Dewey naturally tries to eat one of the cucumbers on his eyes. Lois knows her kids and tells him to stop without even removing her own cucumbers to see that he's doing it.
- IIRC, Syd in Power Rangers SPD had this once. When she (as well as the rest of the B-Squad) had to wake up and line up, as they did, while Bridge was running into line, he ends up at her face (still with the cream), and screams upon seeing her like that.
- In an episode of My Name Is Earl, Joy is seen relaxing in a hot tub with bread-and-butter pickles over her eyes.
- In the music video for OK Go's cover of The Muppet Show Theme, one Catapult Nightmare sequence features one of the singers with cucumber slices both over and under his eyeglasses. Hence, he screams 'cause he's blind, removes the outer slices, is still blind, he screams again, then removes the inner slices.
- One of the minigames in Resorting To Danger involves giving facials that take this trope Up to Eleven, using various combinations of kiwi slices on the eyes, an orange slice on the mouth, and some kind of leaf on the nose.
- This happens in Archer, complete with a ghastly allergic reaction (which is possible in Real Life).
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Katara and Toph get one of these in "Tales of Ba Sing Se"
- In the Avatar example above, Toph then used Earthbending to make the cucumbers stick out like alien eyestalks, terrifying one of the attendants.
- In My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, it crops up a few times:
- When Twilight, as part of her by-the-book slumber party plans, decides they should give each other makeovers, it involves this. Notably, Rarity actually explains correctly what the cucumbers are for. Applejack just eats hers ("Puffiness, schmuffiness!"). (Gets a call-back later when Rarity ends up covered in real mud and AJ, thinking quickly, sticks a pair of cucumber slices on her eyes to make her feel better).
- When Fluttershy and Rarity go to the spa in one episode, Rarity gets a cucumber facial to indicate her sense of high class taste and fixation on appearances. Fluttershy declines and instead only has the mud daubed onto her cheeks. (This may have been more so that she could still visibly emote during the scene, though it's also part of how she has a much-reduced version of every activity in the spa.)
- Rarity wears a mud mask and cucumbers when she sleeps, even when she travels with the others to Apple-loosa. Like Yzma above, she jolts awake, scaring everyone else.
- Spike, of all dragons, is relaxing with one at the spa with the girls in "Ponyville Confidential", when Rainbow Dash eats one of his slices. He reaches down her throat, gets it back, and puts it back on.
- In The Penguins of Madagascar, Julien is in the middle of a facial when Maurice is attacked. Which means that he has to apply the cucumbers himself, "which is the real tragedy." He asks Mort to weep for him, as his eyes are too tried from all the "cucumbering"; Mort does so by applying onions to his eyes, remarking that "My eye vegetables are burny!"
- Phineas and Ferb - Doof's ex is shown getting one when their daughter Vanessa calls, trying to bust her father.
- Should be mentioned that she's wearing them OVER her glasses.
- Linda Flynn-Fletcher has one, which she stops to go home because it's weird that she hasn't heard from Candace.
- Recess: The Ashleys do this, and make (Ashley) Spinelli provide them fresh ones while they relax.
- This was also done by the retired opera singer (don't remember her name) from Curious George.
- The Looney Tunes Show episode "Casa de Calma", when Bugs and Daffy go to a spa. Daffy eats his cucumber slices and asks Bugs if he can have his.
- Fairly Oddparents in: Fairy Idol -- Norm the Genie, as Norm the Fairy, shows up when paged, with a Cucumber Facial. When Chester tells Norm he wishes Norm as Timmy's Fairy, the cucumbers fall off so we can see Norm's evil look.
- The Book of Biff plays with the trope by having Biff make a painful mistake about what green vegetable goes on the eyes.
- Promises has The Baroness, an entitled rich woman, who insists on using Fiona and Trish's gym like a spa, take baths with Cucumber Facials.
- At least one cosmetic company sells eyepads, presoaked in an astringent, printed and scented to resemble cucumber slices.
- In the Soviet Bloc countries (maybe others as well) it is normal for women to wipe their face with cucumber peels. You get cucumber peels when making salad anyway, and why throw away something, when you can get a bonus use out of it first?