Ick Barrier

Usually something important is guarded by an impenetrable barrier, such as a locked door, or isn't anywhere accessible at all. However sometimes in movies or video games we see things or passages where the only guardian is something everyday people find disgusting. This might be something that could prove dangerous, such as possibly venomous spiders or scorpions. However, sometimes it might be something that is merely disgusting or that a particular character has an irrational aversion to. Sometimes it's not something living at all, such as slime or a subject of phobia where a character must overcome his fear.

Non-living examples would be a foul-smelling, slimy bog or a passageway covered in spider webs.


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    Live Action TV 
  • Burn Notice: An early episode has Michael exploit this, by covering a listening device in gum and lint before dropping it under the Villain of the Week's desk. He explains that sometimes you don't need to hide a bug, you just need to make sure nobody wants to touch it.


    Video Games 
  • Inverted in Golden Sun, where the heroes are blocked from a certain path by a group of playing puppies that they don't want to disturb. Justified in that there's no immediate hurry and you're supposed to be going elsewhere, so there's no reason for them to insist on heading that way.
  • LEGO Indiana Jones contains pits that are filled with snakes, and can be easily jumped over... unless you're playing as Indy, who will become paralyzed with fear and refuse to proceed. This is generally part of a puzzle in which one of the other characters must find a way to get Indy across because he's needed on the other side, but a few of the pits have nothing on the other side and are only there for decoration, only frightening Indy for the sake of consistency. There are also similar pits filled with rats, which have the same effect on Dr. Jones Sr.

  • In Tarnsman of Gor, a secret passage into (and out of) the Central Cylander of Ar is hidden in a fake Dar-kosis pit — a place where sufferers of Dar-kosis (leprosy, more or less) are kept, away from the rest of civilization, until they die. The lever to open the door is further hidden in a disgusting, dank, scummy water sump within the DK pit.
  • Cirith Ungol in The Lord of the Rings. The Watcher guarding the Gate of Moria, too.