Brain bleach is an often referred to fictional substance on the internet, used for erasing unpleasant and mind breaking memories from the human cerebrum.
It is often presented as a series of aesthetically pleasant photos, as well as pictures of actual cleaning products.
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The expression of bleaching one’s eyes or brain has been around for a long while, especially in cartoons, movies and television series, getting exceptionally prevalent in 90’s sitcoms, like Friends, Fraiser or Cheers.
It was at a similar time, that the metaphor started appearing online in various forums, image boards like 4chan or SomethingAwful.
The first and earliest form of the expression, eye bleach appeared in 2005 on YTMND and was defined by Urban Dictionary in 2007.
“Brain bleach” had received a comparable definition on the site in the very same year, marking the beginning of a growing trend online.
Spread and Usage
The abundance of disturbing content online has led to the widespread popularity of the expression, as people who had seen 2 Girls 1 Cup, 1 Guy 1 Jar and other shock videos most likely wish there was indeed something like “brain bleach”.
The phrase was deemed Urban Word of the Day on June 28th, 2009, which also contributed to further its popularity.
Eye bleach retains a larger popularity online, with various references on all across the internet, as well as groups and pages on social media sites, dedicated to the theme, however “brain bleach” also has a large amount of content pages, related to the phenomenon.
- TV Tropes – Brain Bleach