Created By: MeebleMay 27, 2011 Last Edited By: MeebleJune 17, 2011
Troped

Inconvenient Itch

A character gets an unscratchable itch at an inopportune time.

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Trope
No Launching Please: Needs More Examples, Needs A Better Description, Needs A Better Title

Possible Alt Titles: Incredibly Inopportune Itch, Ill-timed Itch

Current Index: Rule Of Funny. Any further index ideas?
When a character suddenly becomes afflicted by an intense itch, and they either can't scratch it for fear of certain consequences, or have no means of scratching it on their own. The intensity of the itch will often scale upwards with their inability to take care of it, especially if they are tied up or busy holding a sensitive package full of Explodium.

Nearly always Played For Laughs, the victim of an Inconvenient Itch will often be left begging for their companions (or even antagonists) to help them out. If the afflicted character is alone, the humor of the situation may arise from their attempts at contorting their body in an effort to find relief. Though the Inconvenient Itch can hit any part of the body, the nose is a popular target.

A subtrope of Rule Of Funny. Compare Amusing Injuries. This is a typical result of being Bound And Gagged in comedic works.

Examples:

Film
  • Undead Or Alive: Luke's nose starts to itch when he and Elmer are stripped naked and forced to ride on a horse together with their hands bound. Once they are finally untied, Luke spends several moments flailing about with his now-numb hands trying to scratch it.
  • When he first starts working out Dennis in Run Fatboy Run gets a nasty itchy rash in his crotch that he absolutely has to scratch...as he is at work as a security guard in a lingerie shop. You can guess what this looks like.
  • Shrek in Shrek The Third is trussed up in some Impossibly Tacky Clothes for a royal appearance, and suddenly developes a horrible itch on his rear. He's scratching that itch when the curtains open, giving the waiting crowd a view they really didn't want.

Literature
  • The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer: This happens to Tom Sawyer when he is trying to hide silently in the dark.
  • Robert Heinlein's Have Space Suit - Will Travel. While trekking across the lunar surface, Kip itches all over but can't scratch because of the space suit he's wearing.

Live-Action TV
  • On How I Met Your Mother, Marshall realizes he has head-lice halfway through a job interview, and starts "discreetly" trying to scratch it. Eventually, it's too much for him and he screams out "I HAVE LICE!". Suffice to say, he did not get the job.

Theatre
  • In Fiddler On The Roof, there is a scene where one character invokes this:
    "May he get an itch he cannot scratch!"

Western Animation
  • In one Danny Phantom episode, Danny and Valerie end up in the Ghost Zone and are forced to team up against Skulker. After a while, they end up trapping him, tying him up, and leaving him on the floor as they exit the zone. At that point Skulker exclaims: "Err...Guys, there is a problem... my nose is itching."
  • In the Wartime Cartoon "Donald Gets Drafted", Donald Duck is instructed by Sergeant Pete to stand still. Unfortunately, he's standing on an anthill.
  • In the Looney Tunes short "An Itch In Time", Elmer's dog tries very hard not to scratch a flea bite lest he get the ultimate penalty: a bath!
Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • May 27, 2011
    WackyPancake
    There is a Danny Phantom episode (I don't remember which one) in where Danny and Valerie end up in the Ghost Zone and are forced to team up against Skulker. After a while, they und up trapping him, tying him, leaving him in the floor, and leaving the Ghost Zone. At that point Skulker exclaims something along the lines of "Err...Guys, there is a problem, my nose is itching".
  • May 27, 2011
    TonyG
    • In the Wartime Cartoon "Donald Gets Drafted", Donald Duck is instructed by Sergeant Pete to stand still. Unfortunately, he's standing on an anthill.
    • In the Looney Tunes short "An Itch In Time", Elmer's dog tries very hard not to scratch a flea bite lest he get the ultimate penalty: a bath!
  • May 27, 2011
    valbinooo
    Theatre: In Fiddler On The Roof, there is a scene where one character invokes this: "May he get an itch he cannot scratch!"

    (I was in a production but I can't remember who it is referring to.)
  • May 29, 2011
    PapercutChainsaw
    • On How I Met Your Mother, Marshall realises he has headlice halfway through a job interview, and starts "discreetly" trying to scratch it. Eventually, it's too much for him and he screams out "I HAVE LICE!". Suffice to say, he did not get the job.
  • May 29, 2011
    hevendor717
    Expand the description to include "must not due to consequences" rather than just "having no means."

    This happens to Tom Sawyer when he is trying to hide silently in the dark.
  • May 30, 2011
    Meeble
    I modified the first sentence of the description to be more inclusive. Let me know if you think I need any further changes.
  • June 1, 2011
    CrypticMirror
    When he first starts working out Dennis in Run Fatboy Run gets a nasty itchy rash in his crotch that he absolutely has to scratch...as he is at work as a security guard in a lingerie shop. You can guess what this looks like.
  • June 2, 2011
    Arivne
    Literature
    • Robert Heinlein's Have Space Suit - Will Travel. While trekking across the lunar surface, Kip itches all over but can't scratch because of the space suit he's wearing.
  • June 6, 2011
    ladyofprocrastination
    In an episode of Neds Declassified School Survival Guide, Ned gets an embarassing itch.
  • June 6, 2011
    Meeble
    Could you give a little more info on that one, Ladyofprocrastination?
  • June 8, 2011
    Allronix
    Shrek in Shrek The Third is trussed up in some Impossibly Tacky Clothes for a royal appearance, and suddenly developes a horrible itch on his rear. He's scratching that itch when the curtains open, giving the waiting crowd a view they really didn't want.
  • June 8, 2011
    Ekuran
    Real Life
    • It's safe to say that this has probably happened too everyone at least once, and if not, will happen.
  • June 13, 2011
    Meeble
    This has gotten the five hats needed to be launched, however I would like to get some opinions on the title. Is Inconvenient Itch working fine for the purpose of this trope, or would one of the alternate title suggestions work better?
  • June 13, 2011
    kjnoren
    I think inconvenientItch is be fine, but I think the trope description can be expanded a bit (in both senses). Eg, one variation of this is a need to sneeze, when you have to stay silent (or having something awkward in front of your face), or a sudden need to pee. I don't think the trope needs to be limited to just itching.

    One sneezing example is in Disney's version of Show White, when she is dancing with (I think) Happy and Sneezy, and Sneezy suddenly feels the need to sneeze.
  • June 13, 2011
    Meeble
    Good suggestion, but I think both of those are already covered in Potty Dance and Anti Sneeze Finger.

    If anything, it would make more sense to expand those if need be and keep this one related to itching.
  • June 13, 2011
    KrisMahai
    For titles, I think Inconvenient Itch or Ill-Timed Itch would work fine. Not a fan of Incredibly Inopportune Itch, though.
  • June 14, 2011
    Meeble
    So far we've got three people (including myself) who support Inconvenient Itch. I would still like to hear more opinions, but if it's still the favorite I will launch with that title in a couple of days.
  • June 17, 2011
    SNESMasterKI
    Didn't see that this had already been launch, never mind.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable