Disgusting By Association
Something is regarded as disgusting for where it's been and/or for where it's from.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-03-21 18:02:17 sponsor: HiddenFacedMatt (last reply: 2012-10-03 05:38:11)

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Who wants to eat something that eats worms anyway?
- Hobbes, from Calvin and Hobbes, after he and Calvin had given up on a fishing trip.

The Nausea Fuel counterpart to Guilt By Association, this refers to regarding something as disgusting for where it has been and/or where it comes from, sometimes in spite of logical/scientific reasons why this shouldn't make it disgusting.

EDIT: Bumping after a couple months to see how this fares now...


  • Calvin and Hobbes has not only the above page quotation, but also Calvin pointing out how odd it is that humans drink cow milk.
    Who was the guy who first looked at a cow and said "I think I'll drink whatever comes out of these things when I squeeze 'em?"
  • There was one Garfield comic where Jon and Garfield are at a diner when Irma the waitress serves up Jon's egg and says "Try not to think about where it came from." One of few times Garfield loses his appetite.
    • Another strip had Jon show Garfield where milk comes from. Garfield says "How interesting. I'll NEVER drink milk again!"
    • Another still had Jon telling Garfield wool comes from sheep. Garfield responded "If this is anything like that chicken/egg thing, I don't wanna know."
  • Subverted in C. S. Lewis ' first post-conversion novel, The Pilgrim's Regress. The hero, John, is captive and his jailer tries to associate milk and pee, and John calls him out on it.
  • The Simpsons: In "Homer Badman" after Homer is accused of touching the babysitter's butt...
    Bart: Why would anyone want to touch a girl's butt? That's where cooties come from!
  • An Asimov example; in Prelude to Foundation Hari Seldon visits a section of Trantor renowned for their food production (and their hostility to outsiders). He assumes that they use fertilizer - aka manure, i.e., shit - to grow their yeast crops, but not only is that not true, they think the very idea is disgusting.
    • Another Asimov example, in his short story Strikebreaker, The Ragusnik family operates the planet of Elsevere's waste processing facility, and over the generations, the Ragusniks have become a one-family caste of untouchables, forbidden all contact with the rest of the colony.
  • Real Life: In olden days Native Americans were disgusted by the European explorers/colonizers' propensity to drink animal milk. The Native Americans were of the opinion that animal milk is a form of excrement - they were basically drinking piss.
  • Another real life example; in any number of real-life cultures, it is rude to pick up anything with your left hand, most especially when eating or being given something. Why? Because custom dictates that that is the hand you wipe your ass with. This started as a hygenic precaution centuries ago, and persists despite ready access to soap, water, and toilet paper in the modern day.
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