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 PlayedForLaughs, 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 left tied up and 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 RuleOfFunny. Compare AmusingInjuries, PottyEmergency, and AntiSneezeFinger. This trope is a typical result of being BoundAndGagged in comedic works.
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!! Examples:

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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In the {{Tintin}} book ''Land of Black Gold'', Prince Abdullah is kidnapped by Dr Mueller and driven away in a car, only to throw a SpannerInTheWorks when he puts itching powder on the back of Mueller's neck.
* NOT played for laughs in the JLA storyline "Obsidian Age", where ComicBook/PlasticMan is trapped for 3000 years as crumbs scattered along the ocean floor. [[AndIMustScream While conscious the but unable to do anything about the situation but think.]] The entire time he felt an ''itch'' which was just to make sure that entire time he suffered since he was unable to move.
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[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/UndeadOrAlive'': 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 ''Film/RunFatboyRun'' 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. One can guess what this [[AccidentalPervert looks like]].
* Shrek in ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}} the Third'' is trussed up in some ImpossiblyTackyClothes for a royal appearance, and suddenly develops a horrible itch on his rear. He has some poor servant scratching that itch when the curtains open, giving the waiting crowd a view they really didn't want.
* Creator/CheechAndChong use this in ''Nice Dreams''. Scene opens with Cheech screaming his lungs out and writhing, clearly in a straitjacket and prison cell. Maybe all those psychelics he took finally fried his brains? Finally he manages to get his wits together to enunciate the problem. [[spoiler: MY BALLS ITCH!]] Enter Chong.
* In ''Film/TheAdventuresOfBaronMunchausen'', the king of the Moon (RobinWilliams) is gleefully happy to be rid of his lower body, leaving his head to roam freely in intellectual pursuits. Then he begins feeling a terrible itch in his non-existent body, and is completely unable to do anything about it.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* ''TheAdventuresOfTomSawyer'': This happens to Tom Sawyer when he is trying to hide silently in the dark.
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein:
** In ''Literature/HaveSpaceSuitWillTravel'', while trekking across the lunar surface, Kip itches all over but can't scratch because of the space suit he's wearing.
** ''Literature/StarshipTroopers'' also addresses this as the only major fault in Mobile Infantry power armor.
* In the murder mystery "The Sibyl in her Grave", one character is writing a letter from her sickbed where she's confined with a broken leg. "I used to think Heaven was just a place where you played the harp and sang hymns all day, and I wasn't particularly bothered about going there, but now I know it's somewhere where you can scratch your ankle any time you want for the rest of eternity, and I really, really want to get in."
* In Literature/TheBible, Job is afflicted with a horrible itch all over his body after [[CosmicPlaything his entire possession and all of his offsprings die]].
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[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* On ''Supernatural'' Sam is under a bad-luck curse where things go wrong with no fault of his own. Dean, working on fixing it, leaves him in a hotel with instructions to not move or budge, "Don't even scratch your nose." Cue an itching nose on Sam's part.
* On ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', 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.
* On an episode of ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'', two men must face a magical test to win Sabrina's heart, which involves running through an obstacle course to reach Sabrina, who is sinking into a pit of quicksand. At a point where her hands are submerged, seemingly pinning her arms to her sides, Sabrina says: "Help, someone save me! Or scratch my nose..."
** On another episode, Libby was placed in the stocks during a school trip. Naturally, her nose started to itch.
* In one episode of ''Series/{{Mash}}'', Margaret is afflicted by a rash on her backside but can't scratch because she doesn't want anyone to learn of her plight.
* In one episode of {{NCIS}}, [=McGee=] gets a poison ivy rash. On his crotch. At one point Abby turns around to find him trying to ease the pain by rubbing his groin on the corner of a table.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' - on "Some Assembly Required", Xander is playing around with a model head in the science lab, making it say "Hello - I wanna get ''a-head!''" and "For the love of ''God'', will someone scratch my ''nose?!''"
* In an episode of ''Series/TeenWolf'' a group of people are taken prisoner and thoroughly tied up. One asks if anyone else has an unbearable itch they can't scratch. One of the others replies that had didn't until she mentioned it but now he does.
* On ''Series/{{Newhart}}'', Bob ends up locked in stocks at a historical town festival. He gets an itch and desperately cries out "Anybody? $5 to scratch my nose!" {{Cloudcuckoolander}}s Larry, Darryl, and Darryl show up-- and they each scratch Bob's nose and give him $5!
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[[folder:Music]]
* "Scrotal Torment" by {{Psychostick}}.
--> In a crowd \\
with no escape \\
is when I feel \\
my privates wake! \\
\\
Got to find \\
some privacy \\
or they will see \\
me scratching me! \\
\\
MY BALLS ITCH! \\
They're itching, I gotta scratch 'em \\
WAY DOWN LOW! \\
My balls are a ball of fire! \\
\\
Irritation! \\
Toleration! \\
Scrotum itching! \\
Leaves me bitching \\
Can't endure this! \\
Epidermis! \\
Scrotum itching! \\
Leaves me bih… \\
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[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* One ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' Sunday strip has Calvin trying desperately ''not'' to scratch his mosquito bites, because he knows that scratching will just make it feel worse later. Calvin's pain [[MrImagination is visualized]] by showing Calvin being eaten alive by ants, or with his head on fire.
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[[folder:Theatre]]
* In ''FiddlerOnTheRoof'', there is a scene where one character invokes this:
--> "May he get an itch he cannot scratch!"
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In one ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' 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 WartimeCartoon "Donald Gets Drafted", ''DonaldDuck'' is instructed by Sergeant Pete to stand still. Unfortunately, he's standing on an anthill.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' short "An Itch In Time", Elmer's dog tries very hard not to scratch a flea bite lest he get the ultimate penalty: [[HatesBaths a bath!]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'', Dexter gets the chicken pox and is told not to scratch the pox, or he'll turn into a chicken. He tries ways of keeping from scratching, even restraining himself completely, but nothing works and he eventually goes on a scratching spree... after which he indeed turns into a chicken.
* On ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', Lrr has just finished a broadcast warning Earth of its impending doom, when he comments on getting an itch at the worst possible time (and place) and proceeds to scratch it. Then he's informed that they're still broadcasting...
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Detentionaire}}'', Tina's nose gets itchy while she's trapped in crystal and unable to scratch it.
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6c_mWPSdPo worst timing]] for a case of InconvenientItch.
* It is often said that the spots which are the hallmark of chicken pox will just itch even more if you scratch them.
* A burning itch may be a symptom of peripheral neuropathology caused by diabetes. It may appear at inconvenient times, and scratching doesn't help.
* Any skin or nerve condition that causes long-lasting itches; eczema, bug bites, chickenpox, hives, the aforementioned side effect of diabetes, whatever. Scratching will only relieve the itching temporarily at best, and if you keep scratching it'll destroy your skin, so you really shouldn't scratch it at all.
** Especially noticeable with mosquito bites: the more you scratch and rub the affected spot, the more it will swell due to the disturbance releasing histamine which widens the pores on the capillaries in the skin to make it easier for white blood cells to leave said capillaries in hunt of the foreign substances introduced by the mosquito's feeding proboscis penetrating your skin. Yes, the same histamine that makes the lives of people with allergies akin to [[SeizaSquirm randomly sitting in seiza]].
* An Irish-Gaelic curse runs, "May you be afflicted with the itch and have no nails to scratch."
* TruthInTelevision for anyone who gets an itch ''in an awkward place'' while they're in public.
** God help you if you get one in the middle of a ''parade'' and you're in the marching contingent.
* atopic dermatitis is a skin condition. It has been described as feeling like fire ants are crawling under your skin, while biting you.
* Yeast infections: proof that God exists, and is a sadist.
* A common dilemma for people receiving IV medication or fluids, who don't dare scratch around the cannula even though the tape holding it in place can itch like crazy.
* It's been said that getting an itch on your nose while being an astronaut out on a long EVA mission is utterly maddening. Thankfully, NASA kindly installed small velcro strips on the inside of spacewalking suit helmets to allow scratching.
* This trope often comes into play when (for whatever reason) people suddenly have to hold completely still.
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