"Marguerite, go wash your feet
The Board of Health is across the street."As with any other part of the body, feet can smell bad. However, because people nowadays tend to stuff them in shoes all day and never expose them to light or air they tend to spend most of their time stewing in their own rancid sweat. This has given rise to the idea that feet are naturally smelly when actually bare feet don't smell any more than any other patch of skin. In actual fact that smell is from the literally hundreds of different types of bacteria and fungus that love to live in the warm dark sweaty interiors of shoes. But there is something oddly entertaining about the idea of smelly feet and it's been one of the most common tropes in family-themed media. Children find the concept of smelly feet to be humorous, as evidenced by the popular children's song "Trick or treat/Smell my feet/Gimme something good to eat." Even babies seem to find smelly feet funny; a common game parents sometimes play with their babies is to pretend to smell their baby feet and booties. And, of course, foot fetishists exist too, and some of them also like stinky feet. Truth in Television, indeed.
— Nursery Rhyme
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- In Crayon Shin-chan, Shin's father Hiroshi is known to have very stinky feet and socks which can be used as a weapon against foes.
- The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers take a road trip to Mexico - except for Phineas, who isn't allowed in because of his hair and beard. The other two come back, and the border patrol is convinced they're carrying in marijuana. After hours of searching with no results, a guard gets the idea to have Fat Freddy take off his shoes - he does, and the resultant stink has them rushed out and across. Phineas, meanwhile, walked across and bought a big pile of dope cheap.
- This◊ ''Garfield strip.
- The 2003 film Holes revolves greatly around stinky feet. Henry Winkler's character is trying to find a cure for foot odor, and as a result is obsessed with collecting and smelling shoes. He even asks his wife to smell one at one point. We are also told the whole hallways smells like stinky feet.
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The weasels burst into Eddie Valiant's office to find Roger Rabbit, currently handcuffed to Eddie. All they find is the private eye washing something in the sink.
Weasel: (sniffing) What's in there?Eddie: (lifting out a sock) My lingerie.(Weasel turns away in disgust holding his nose, just missing Roger as he sticks his head up to breathe)
- In Cinderella (2015), during the quest to find a maiden who can wear the glass slipper, the Royal Guards prepare to administer the test to an overweight baker-woman. She sits up on a counter, takes off her shoe, and four guards immediately collapse from the smell.
"It's the yeast."
- The smell of socks/shoes is frequently used in Discworld books when someone's a slob, usually a male slob. Unseen Academicals describes the University as "as masculine as the smell of pipe smoke and old socks, and, since wizards were frequently lax about knocking out their pipes, sometimes smoking socks as well.
- The War Against the Chtorr. McCarthy takes off his boots and socks after three days of combat and immediately flees to another room. Unfortunately his feet insist on coming with him.
- Dragons of Requiem has Dorvin, whose feet smell worse than "a dead marmot," according to Maev after she gets too close to them.
- On Full House, one of the central running gags was that Kimmy Gibler had smelly feet. Every time she takes off her shoes, the other characters can't stand her (though they usually can't stand her as it already is). Apparently this runs in her family, as she mentions in one episode that DJ probably won't want to spend the night at her house since her father has just run out of foot deodorant.
- House of Payne has Malik, whose foot odor problem is brought up by multiple characters. Malik himself once mentioned to his friends that his feet smell.
- Married... with Children arguably had some of the most creative stinky feet jokes in history. Al works in a shoe store and is regularly surrounded by smelly feet, plus has them himself. In one episode, Peg uses his stinky socks as a weapon to get out of a restaurant where then they can't pay the bill. Another time, when Al finds a "shoe groupie" in his bed, he takes off his shoe, to use his foot odor as a weapon. The groupie doesn't seem to mind it, but Peg yells from downstairs "Al, are your shoes off up there? For goodness sake, they're people breathing down here." Eventually, one episode revealed that the source of Al's severe foot odor was a curse placed on his ancestor five hundred years prior in England. The Bundy family then take a trip to England and the joke comes up several more times. At one point, Peg uses Al's shoe to knock a Royal Guard unconscious. And, in one of the most famous scenes of the show, Al dips his bare feet in a lake and ends up killing all the fish, plus knocking out an assassin in scuba-gear who was coming to kill him.
- Round the Twist had this as a Running Gag, eventually culminating in an episode where Bronson reveals he's intending to use the pong as a weapon to stop Gribs, Rabbit and Tiger from killing a turtle.
- Saturday Night Live actually spoofs this trope in the Miley Cyrus hosted episode. During a skit about a class to become a Disney Channel star (Miley is, of course, known for her lead role in Hannah Montana on the channel), one of the lessons in the class is "reacting to smelly feet" in which Keenan Thompson (playing Raven) takes a whiff of Bobby Moynihan socked feet and displaying displeasure (although it's probably not a genuine displeasure given what the skit is about).
- The skit itself is obviously poking fun at the Disney Channel live action shows that use this trope to a point that it sometimes becomes more of a tired cliche.
- The Amanda Show has Drake Bell confess in one sketch that his feet smell like a dead animal. When Josh Peck takes a whiff, he argues that they smell more like rotten sushi.
- Maximo: Ghosts to Glory has a purchasable powerup that gives the player character smelly feet, complete with visible stink. Its purpose is to make him able to cross certain cursed areas without losing his movement speed.
- On the Family Guy episode I Take Thee Quagmire, Peter and his friends visit Quagmire and his fiancee. Quagmire asks that the company removes their shoes, as they are performing Japanese customs. Cleveland hesitates and leaves, claiming that he has foot odor.
- Strangely enough, this is the same episode out of the few that also proclaims that Quag has a foot fetish, as Peter tried to ward off Quag's newfound attitude by presenting him with the Statue of Liberty's foot (dismembered from the statue itself, mind you).
- In The Penguins of Madagascar, the penguins try to cure Mort of his obsession with hugging King Julien's feet. One of the tactics they use is prolonged exposure to one of zookeeper Alice's boots, which they handle with tongs while wearing gas masks.
- One of the gadgets Wade created for Kim Possible is a "lip gloss" container full of a "super-stink formula" distilled from his dad's dirty socks. It's powerful enough to knock out a a squad of Drakken's henchmen and Shego.
- In the Mike, Lu & Og episode "Flustering Footwear Flotsam", Mike is shown removing her shoes and the signature green smoke is seen.
- In Polish South Park knock-off Wlatcy Moch, the R.E. teacher apparently has this problem:
Anusiak: I just wanted to report that during the recess, Czesio said you have smelly feet.The catechist: Czesio!Czesio: HELLO!The catechist: Add this to your list of sins: "I was lying about the catechist's feet"!Czesio: But I wasn't lying...The catechist: OUT!!!
- Hoodsey from As Told by Ginger. When he and Carl are having a staring contest at his home, Carl's eyes start to water and he blinks. When Hoodsey asks if it's because his feet smell, Carl actually leans down and sniffs his socks just to prove him wrong. Cue Ginger and her friends walking into the living room and complaining about how much Hoodsey's feet stink.
- The Ren & Stimpy Show (of course): most notably after a long hike in their Boot Camp Episode.
- In the "Sky Turtles" episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) when the eponymous heroes have to deal with both Shredder's gravity device, as well as Rocksteady being in the Turtle Van. After having defeated him, they take off Rocksteady's gravity-neutralizing boots, and then incapacitate him with one of his nasty-smelling socks!
Donatello: WHEW! This is hazardous work!!
- In the Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi episode "Camping Caper", Yumi is shown to have them, which makes the surrounding forest animals pass out.
- Both Oggy and Dee Dee from Oggy and the Cockroaches have them. Oggy's stench can knock people out and Dee Dee's sock juices are potent enough to dissolve metal.
- Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper: In "The Alphabet Song" performed by the Ghostly Trio.
Stinkie: And T is for Ten Smelly Toes! (Upon which Fatso proceeds to tickle him.)
- Bat Pat: Leo suffers from this in an episode.