[[quoteright:187:[[ComicBook/{{Pitt}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Pitt-phlegm.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:187:[-Oral hygiene is for wimps!-] ]]

In comic books and animated works, one way to demonstrate that a character is a no-nonsense badass or [[DefangedHorrors creepy]] is to show them with strands of saliva, phlegm, drool, or some other mucus dangling between their teeth. Popularized by the various Creator/RobLiefeld [[FollowTheLeader clones]] during UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks, but examples predate that period.

This occurs because drooling and oral messiness tends to invoke a {{Squick}} response in many people, making phlegmings a convenient visual shortcut for invoking PrimalFear. For instance, it may show anticipation of a good meal (e.g., the heroes/villains) in predator characters. Or, it may be a sign of disease, like rabies.

In comic book images like the one shown, a saliva trail between upper and lower jaws works as a visual shorthand, indicating that the mouth has ''just now'' been opened (since such trails would be expected to disappear after a moment). Thus their use helps create a feeling of immediacy, that what you're seeing is a "snapshot" rather than a posed image.

A common trope for characters with MoreTeethThanTheOsmondFamily. Contrast with {{Gonk}}, the blatant uglification of a character.

Cookie for you if you thought this was a trope about [[BlobMonster snot-based videogame enemies]]. Or to do with a language spoken in UsefulNotes/{{Belgium}}.

Trope originally identified by [[http://www.heromachine.com/2008/01/04/phlegmings/ the HeroMachine blog.]]



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/{{Saiyuki}}'', whenever Son Goku takes off his tiara-limiter and goes AxCrazy, he has this problem.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' Gaara uses a combination of [[SlasherSmile psycho smile]] and, when he ''really'' loses it, [[http://www.naruto-kun.com/naruto-episode-75/img_17/ this.]][[/folder]]

* The trope illustration is from the cover of Dale Keown's ''Pitt'' #2.
* ComicBook/SpiderMan's collection of symbiote villains (Comicbook/{{Venom}}, Carnage, et al.) have this in spades.
* Modern artists draw ComicBook/TheIncredibleHulk with this.
* When ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} goes into a berserker rage, he often has either this or flying spittle.
* The [[HorrorHost Horror Hosts]] of Creator/ECComics were big on this. EC artist Graham "Ghastly" Ingels was particularly fond of them, as is his SpiritualSuccessor Berni Wrightson.
* The graphic novel ''ComicBook/AgeOfReptiles'' has every character displaying this trope all the time. Partially justified in that the characters are dinosaurs.
* The Brood from the ''Comicbook/XMen'' comics. Not surprising, since they're {{expy}}s for the ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' xenomorphs.
* Quite common with the Sith in ''ComicBook/{{Legacy}}''. Protagonist Cade will get this too at the times he's leaning more towards the dark.
* Ubiquitous in any issue of ''ComicBook/TalesOfTheJedi'' that was illustrated by Dario Carrasco Jr. It's the "sense of immediacy" type; anyone whose teeth aren't clenched is probably displaying this.
* Creator/RobLiefeld came up with ''blood'' phlegmings [[http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/1185176/warchild4_medium.jpg once,]] because... well, Rob Liefeld.[[/folder]]

* The title monsters in the ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' series often had mucus dripping from their teeth/mouths.
* Every monster in ''Film/FromBeyond'', but particularly the bat creature at the end.
* ''Film/TheFly1986'': Brundlefly excretes a sticky white liquid constantly, which he uses to dissolve and digest his food.
* The Penguin from the DarkerAndEdgier Creator/TimBurton sequel to ''Film/{{Batman}}'', ''Film/BatmanReturns'', has a perpetual trickle of an oil-like bile running down his chin.
* The creators of ''Film/{{Tremors}}'' initially avoided this trope, in order to set their movie apart from the dark, dripping world of ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'', but realised upon watching the rushes that the Graboids didn't look real enough without it.
* In the first ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' movie, the title character lets out a blood-curdling roar that shows off just how good the computers were at rendering flying spittle. Several members of the angry mob have [[{{Squick}} slimy faces]] in the next shot.
* Creator/StanleyKubrick ''loved'' this trope.
* The Kraken from ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanDeadMansChest'' takes this to an (intentionally) absurd level.
* The killer in ''Film/TheFunhouse'' is constantly drooling due to his deformed features.
* Featured in ''Film/InTheMouthOfMadness''.
* In ''Film/TheReturnOfTheLivingDead'', when Freddy finally succumbs to the zombie hunger he starts foaming at the mouth like he's chewing on Alka-Seltzer.
%%* Jay from ''Film/HomeSweetHome''.
%%* Victor Crowley in ''Film/{{Hatchet}}''.
%%* The sea monsters in ''Film/DeepRising''.
* Nitro from the film ''Mean Machine'' is constantly drooling and spitting to bolster up his loony appearance.[[/folder]]

* Fek'lhr, the guardian of the Klingon hell, as seen in the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Devil's Due".
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** During his big reveal, Rasilon sprayed quite a bit giving a [[ReasonYouSuckSpeech The Earth Will Fall speech]]
** The Eleventh Doctor gets this quite a bit.
** The Ninth Doctor prominently did this in his "Why can't you just ''die''?" speech in the episode "Dalek."
* [[Series/GameOfThrones Khal Drogo]]'s RousingSpeech where he declares he will [[spoiler:invade the Seven Kingdoms in retaliation for Daenarys' near assassination]] is accompanied by a lot of spitting. Given that he is one of the most badass and barbaric characters in the series, it seems totally in-character for him. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyqKWROjrq4 Watch it here.]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. A giant spider demon drools over Buffy in "Selfless". I mean, [[MsFanservice who wouldn't]]?[[/folder]]

* Standard fare for [[{{Mascot}} The Guy]] of Music/{{Disturbed}}.[[/folder]]

* The Heromachine blog had a character creation contest based on "The Creator/{{Image}} [[UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks Nineties]]". Lots of contestants gave their entries Phlegmings.
* Many images of Komodo dragons show Phlegmings, as they're quite prone to doing it in real life. And for extra creepy points, their saliva is essentially their venom![[/folder]]

* Featured on some of the aliens in Bally's ''Pinball/SpaceInvaders'' pinball game.
* The TyrannosaurusRex in ''Pinball/PoliceForce'' has these in its teeth.[[/folder]]

* [[spoiler:Hades]] from ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising''.
* The Werehog from ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'' has this in the opening cinematic.
* This is one of the standard effects of MindControl in ''[[{{Creator/Nitrome}} Parasite]]''. For added force, the drool has a SicklyGreenGlow.
* The Hell Knights from ''[[VideoGame/{{Doom}} Doom 3]]'' have this when they roar.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', this appears the first time Zant speaks, but not after.[[/folder]]

* R. L. from ''Webcomic/KevinAndKell''. His drooling jaws are almost all we ever see of him.
* The bloodgrem from ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' displays this [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2008-06-02 here.]][[/folder]]

* Mumm-Ra of ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats'' is a repeat offender.
* The hyenas in ''Disney/TheLionKing'' likewise, as they were always depicted as ravenously hungry.
* [[WesternAnimation/{{Freakazoid}} Foamy the Freakadog]] for the rabies version.
* The Dragon-Pig from ''WesternAnimation/{{Wakfu}}''
* Pretty much every character from ''WesternAnimation/MegaBabies''
* ''WesternAnimation/LegionOfSuperHeroes'' whenever Timber Wolf enters his feral form (and in one instance where he roars in his normal state) expect him to be salivating quite a bit.
* In a ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'' episode where Quack Quack is deprived of yogurt, a GRatedDrug, he undergoes weird symptoms and goes into a zombie-like state with drool between his teeth ([[SuddenAnatomy the teeth are a side effect of the withdrawal]]).