"Certainly he didn't expect to come home and find a clear inch of dust."It's a place so dusty, the cobwebs are basically measured in depth. If there aren't cobwebs, everything has a layer of gray from all the dust anyway. Heck, the only thing keeping dust from getting kicked up, everywhere someone walks around, is that it would be difficult to film (and be very uncomfortable for the cast and crew). On the gritty end of Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty. One likely site for a Bat Scare. A Sub-Trope of Scenery Gorn. Compare Cobweb Jungle, Cobweb of Disuse, Trash of the Titans.
— Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
Film - Animated
- The Dwarfs' home in Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, so much that the dwarfs are shocked when they come home and find everything clean.
- A variation in Kiki's Delivery Service is when Kiki rents an apartment from a baker. She finds the entire apartment extremely dusty, however, after further inspection, the apartment is caked (no pun intended) in flour rather than dust.
- Howl's Moving Castle. Poor old Sophie has to clean up the whole thing.
Film - Live-Action
- Picture comes from the first act of the Roger Corman anthology film Tales Of Terror, where a girl visits the home of her father, who let most of the place get this way after his wife died.
- This trope shows up a lot in the Roger Corman Poe pictures; in the comedy adaptation of The Raven Peter Lorre improvised the quip "Tough place to keep clean, huh?" as he and Vincent Price walk through an extensive and overly-cobwebbed room.
- Not Roger Corman, but Vincent Price: House on Haunted Hill (1959).
- Dagon has a staffed hotel that is at the same time coated in dust and cobwebs.
- Beetlejuice - standard decor for a haunted house, but Barbara, still getting used to being a ghost, is frustrated that she can't clean the place with the vacuum being inaccessible. When Adam suggests their being alone in the house may be Heaven, she mutters "Heaven wouldn't have all this dust!"
- In The Wolfman (2010), Talbot Hall is certainly untidy to say the least.
- Done for laughs in Casino Royale (1967). The daughter of Mata Hari is infiltrating her mom's Nebulous Evil Organisation, and is shown her mom's old room by a henchman who states "It's just the way she left it". The room is covered in dust and cobwebs, exactly as it would be after decades of neglect.
- Miss Havisham's abandoned wedding feast in Great Expectations.
- Appears all the time in Dracula, notably in the old wing of castle Dracula and in his purchased mansion.
- 12 Grimmauld Place, in Harry Potter qualifies.
- In Amelia Bedelia, the titular maid added dust to a living room. Her rationale: To remove dust is to "un-dust;" therefore, to "dust" is to add dust. Her main character flaw was that she was Literal-Minded, and didn't quite understand figures of speech.
- "The Dark Crusader" by Alistair Maclean starts thus: A small dusty man in a small dusty room. That's how I always thought of him, just a small dusty man in a small dusty room. The 'dusty man' is the protagonist's boss in British Intelligence.
Live Action TV
- The Munsters' house. "Dusting" actually means spreading more dust around.
- The mansion of The Addams Family.
- The Avengers - a Charles Dickens enthusiast has his manor house themed to the author's works, down to a recreation of Miss Havisham's dusty, cobwebbed wedding feast room.
- In Black Books the Cleaner highlights this as one of the worst features of the bookshop. While we can't see it, he does the traditional demonstration of wearing a white glove, running it along a surface, and showing how much dust it's collected. The surface in this example was the air.
- Dice Funk: Stoneroot is this trope scaled up to an entire city. Anne covers herself in dust just to fit in.
- In The Magnus Archives episode "Vampire Killer" the eponymous Trever Herbert describes the house of Sylvia McDonald, the first vampire he killed (or so he says), as covered in dust and mould except for a narrow strip along the floor where she walks, as if she has lived there for years but done absolutely nothing except walk through the place.
- AD&D included a spell that made a house look this way, creating an illusion that it had been long abandoned.
- The mansion of Luigi's Mansion, while not as smothering with dust as most examples, had enough that Luigi kicked up a trail of it wherever he went in the mansion and most vacuumed objects were give a puff of dust before releasing any items within. Played a touch straighter in one basement room with large dust piles that had to be vacuumed up to proceed.
- The Dusty Dungeon Level (DDL) from Ancient Domains of Mystery and the level below it, Very Dusty Dungeon Level (VDDL). They are pretty much Take Our Word for It though, as the graphics are too simple to actually show the setting.
- Pipit's house in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is so dusty that Pipit's mother actually pays Link to clean it with his Gust Bellows, a futuristic device resembling a leaf-blower. And then you learn where Pipit's patrol money winds up...
- One of the areas in Seiklus is a corridor covered in collossal amounts of ash that, thanks to wind blowing there, was confused with arctic area by many.