Playing With / Evil Smells Bad

Basic Trope: Evil or danger comes together with an appropriately repulsive stench.
  • Straight: Bob the Vampire smells like a corpse.
  • Exaggerated: Bob's stench is really horrid. His victims know when he comes and afterwards are immediately identifiable by strong residual smell.
  • Downplayed: Bob smells faintly enough that dogs and other animals notice, but humans do not.
  • Justified: In Bob's story, vampires are animated corpses and smell appropriately.
  • Inverted: In Bob's story, vampires are identifiable by their pleasant, herbal smell.
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
    • The homeless man turns out to be Bob.
    • Bob is a Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire on the surface, using the cover of a "reformed criminal" to move the suspicions away from him.
  • Parodied:
    • Bob regularly visits his embalmer to deal with the stench, like a mortal would visit a cosmetician or a barber.
    • Bob smells bad because it's the fashion among vampires. He uses Canal No. 5.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob smells pleasantly, but, in fact, is a vampire. It turns out he is a Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire who uses perfumes to prevent people from mistaking him for a generically evil vampire. He still has to watch out for dogs, though.
  • Averted: Bob does not smell in any way different from a mortal.
  • Enforced: "You know, this vampire is not meant to be likable. Make him nastier. Like, dunno, make it obvious he stinks horribly, or something."
  • Lampshaded: "You vampires stink."
  • Invoked: Bob intentionally makes himself stink horribly, because he's evil and revels in it.
  • Exploited: A Vampire Hunter gets a dog to hunt down Bob.
  • Defied: Bob uses a lot of perfumes to mask his smell.
  • Discussed: "Smell that stench? It may be harder than we thought. Better prepare that holy water, just in case."
  • Conversed: "You know, it makes sense that a moving corpse like a vampire would smell bad."
  • Deconstructed: In Bob's world, the link between Evil and bad smell has resulted in development of personal hygiene. Bathhouses and public baths are commonplace, and regular use is expected in polite society. People who smell bad or have inhibitions towards public nudity face prejudice...
  • Reconstructed: ...but the negative effects of such a culture are minuscule in comparison to the benefits, especially as Evil does, indeed, smell bad.
  • Played For Laughs: In every single one of Bob's appearances, everyone retches or even faints from the smell. This upsets Bob, as he really wants to be a Classical Movie Vampire, but his victims are too busy vomiting to play the part of a hapless, alabaster-necked female.
  • Played For Drama: The bad smell prejudices people against Bob, who wants to be a Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire, to the point that he breaks down and says "Then Let Me Be Evil".

Back to Evil Smells Bad