Mnemonic Monday: Road Trip!!- Three Mnemonics for the Facial Nerve

By Molly Lewis

Anatomy has always been one of my favorite subjects, and I love using mnemonics to remember all the details! Here are three mnemonics for the facial nerve that I found really helpful.

Facial Nerve Branches

Mnemonic #1

The facial nerve (AKA the seventh cranial nerve, or CN 7, or CN VII) gives off several branches. This mnemonic helps you to remember them in order from superior to inferior.

“Party To Zanzibar By Motor Car”

Road Trip!!- Three Mnemonics for the Facial Nerve 1

  • Party = Posterior Auricular branch
  • To = Temporal branches
  • Zanzibar = Zygomatic branches
  • (side note: you can’t actually take a road trip to Zanzibar – it’s a group of islands! (off the coast of Tanzania, on the east side of Africa)
  • Buccal branches
  • Careful! These are different than the Buccal nerve that branches off of the mandibular nerve (AKA V3- the third branch of the fifth cranial nerve (the trigeminal nerve)).
  • Mandibular branches
  • Cervical branches


Mnemonic #2

*****Helpful for anatomy practical exams!*****

Use your hand to remember the distribution of the facial nerve branches on the face:


Road Trip!!- Three Mnemonics for the Facial Nerve 2

Mnemonic #3:

The muscles the facial nerve innervates can be remembered using:

“make a Facial Expression to say PSSP”

  • Facial Expression = all the muscles of facial expression
  • P = Posterior Digastric muscle
  • S = Stapedius muscle
  • S = Stylohyoid muscle
  • P = Platysma


Road Trip!!- Three Mnemonics for the Facial Nerve 3


I hope these mnemonics (or at least 1 of them!) help you! (Maybe you’ll get enough free time to take a tiny road trip??).

If you have comments, requests for future mnemonics, or have a facial nerve mnemonic of your own, post below!



Mnemonic #1:, with some alteration by me…
Mnemonic #2 + it’s photo:
Mnemonic #3:, with some alteration by me


Categories: Mnemonics

15 replies »

  1. The mnemonic is for the facial nerve in general (not specific branches). I haven’t seen test questions wanting to know which branch of the facial nerve innervates which muscle (just wanting to know that those muscles are innervated by the facial nerve). Knowing the branches is more important for anatomy practical exams. Dos that help?

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