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Tomatoes Cure Skunk Stink

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If a character gets sprayed by a skunk, they'll take a bath in tomatoes.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
Pichu-kun on Feb 25th 2018 at 12:15:14 AM
Last Edited By:
Pichu-kun on Dec 14th 2018 at 8:29:39 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

A well-known remedy for being sprayed by a skunk is to take a bath in tomato juice. Tomato paste, tomato sauce, or just tomatoes themselves are also an alternative. In fiction, whenever a character is sprayed by a Smelly Skunk they'll be forced to take a bath in tomato juice.

In real life, however, this remedy doesn't actually work. At most tomato juice will mask the scent of a skunk, not get rid of it. There are better remedies out there than dousing yourself in tomatoes.


Examples:

Literature

  • A Dog's Purpose: Bailey comes across a skunk while wandering in the woods. He doesn't know what it is, goes to investigate, and ends up sprayed. His owners are forced to bathe him in tomato juice and he isn't let in the house for a few days. Unfortunately, Bailey didn't correlate the smell with the skunk and tries to get near her a second time. After one more tomato bath he figures out that maybe he should avoid skunks.
  • Animorphs: One book sees Visser Three get skunked. The Visser has them cornered, but Ax points out that the smell is going to linger, and that returning to his spaceship (an environment not known for being easy to air out by opening a window) will only transfer the smell and require a weeks-long cleaning at a major space station. The Visser lets them go in exchange for the secret, and the book ends with Tobias reporting the Visser is now a lovely shade of purple, and the Animorphs musing that they should maybe have told him he should bathe in tomato juice, not grape.
  • In the Fudge book Superfudge, Turtle the dog gets sprayed by a skunk, and Mr. Tubman, Shiela's grandfather, is the first to suggest making him bathe in tomato juice.

Live-Action TV

  • Fuller House: Stephanie, Tommy and Max have to bathe themselves in tomato juice when a Skunk ends up getting loose in the Harmon Veterinary.
  • One of various myths tested by the Mythbusters. The result: the smell of the sauce masked the stench, but didn't got of it completely (a better solution was to wash the sprayed part thoroughly with commercial cleaners, preferably those with an oxygen solution).

Western Animation

  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In the episode "Winter Wrap Up", while waking up the animals from their hibernation, Twilight Sparkle gets sprayed by an entire family of skunks, and later she is shown taking a bath into a tub filled with tomato juice.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: One of the various shorts had Elmyra wanting to capture Fifi La Fume because she mistook her for a cat, but Fifi's strong stench was a powerful deterrent. So Elmyra doused her with tomato sauce to get rid of the smell so she could cuddle Fifi. Fifi eventually was able to wash off the sauce and tried to fight back... but unfortunately the an allergic reaction to flowers left Elmyra unable to smell anything, so she just continued to chase after Fifi.
  • In Total Drama Action, the episode "Dial M For Merger" has the gang needing to each diffuse a trash can stink bomb. They are unsuccessful and then next scene has them bathing in tomato juice to get rid of the scent.
  • Discussed in the Rugrats episode, "Chuckie Gets Skunked". After Chuckie gets skunked, Chas tries everything to get rid of the smell. When Didi asks him if he gave Chuckie a bath in tomato juice, Chas tells her he tried it, but it didn't get rid of the smell and instead permanently stained the bathtub. Stu then tells Chas that it's better to use tomato paste, but Chas tells him he tried that too; it didn't get rid of the smell and instead gunked up the bathtub drain.
  • In the Regular Show episode "Skunked", Rigby gets sprayed by a were-skunk and will turn into one unless he can get rid of the smell. Naturally, the solution is tomato paste.
  • In one episode of Curious George, the titular monkey comes across a skunk. He goes close to it to study it and gets sprayed. The Man with the Yellow Hat gives him a bath of tomato juice. This happens multiple times throughout the episode, the man remarking that he's down to his last bottle.
  • In the Bojack Horseman episode "BoJack Kills", Todd and Mr. Peanutbutter get sprayed by a skunk. Guess what they bathe in to get rid of the smell.

Index:

Feedback: 28 replies

Feb 25th 2018 at 1:50:40 AM

Animorphs: One book sees Visser Three get skunked. The Visser has them cornered, but Ax points out that the smell is going to linger, and that returning to his spaceship (an environment not known for being easy to air out by opening a window) will only transfer the smell and require a weeks-long cleaning at a major space station. The Visser lets them go in exchange for the secret, and the book ends with Tobias reporting the Visser is now a lovely shade of purple, and the Animorphs musing that they should maybe have told him he should bathe in tomato juice, not grape.

Feb 25th 2018 at 9:05:00 AM

Fuller House: Stephanie, Tommy and Max have to bathe thenselves in tomato juice when a Skunk ends up getting loose in the Harmon Veterinary.

Feb 25th 2018 at 9:06:39 AM

^ And for the image source describing the trope

https://goo.gl/images/PcJAQZ

Feb 25th 2018 at 11:39:18 AM

My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: In the episode "Winter Wrap Up", while waking up the animals from their hibernation, Twilight Sparkle gets sprayed by an entire family of skunks, and later she is shown taking a bath into a tub filled with tomato juice.

Feb 25th 2018 at 7:44:22 PM

One of various myths tested by the Series/Mythbusters. The result: the smell of the sauce masked the stench, but didn't got of it completely (a better solution was to wash the sprayed part thoroughly with commercial cleaners, preferably those with an oxygen solution).

Tiny Toon Adventures: One of the various shorts had Elmyra wanting to capture Fifi Le Frou for her usual ministrations, but Fifi's strong stench was a powerful deterrent. So Elmyra doused her with tomato sauce to get rid of the smell so she could cuddle Fifi. Fifi eventually was able to wash off the sauce and tried to fight back... but unfortunately the cold water dunking gave Elmyra a cold and was unable to smell anything, so she just continued to chase after Fifi.

Feb 26th 2018 at 12:42:55 AM

Not a skunk example but it does involve tomato juice

  • In Total Drama Action, the episode "Dial M For Merger" has the gang needing to each diffuse a trash can stink bomb. They are unsuccessful and then next scene has them bathing in tomato juice to get rid of the scent.

Feb 26th 2018 at 4:15:37 AM

^^ Regarding the Tiny Toon Adventures example, Fifi's last name is La Fume, and the reason Elmyra was unable to smell after Fifi regained her smell was an allergic reaction to the roses used in a float for a parade, not a cold. Also, the reason why Elmyra was trying to catch Fifi was because she was under the false impression that Fifi was a cat (she knew Fifi was a skunk, but thought "skunk" meant "stinky kitty").

Feb 26th 2018 at 6:31:31 AM

Western Animation

  • Discussed in the Rugrats episode, "Chuckie Gets Skunked". After Chuckie gets skunked, Chas tries everything to get rid of the smell. When Didi asks him if he gave Chuckie a bath in tomato juice, Chas tells her he tried it, but it didn't get rid of the smell and instead permanently stained the bathtub. Stu then tells Chas that it's better to use tomato paste, but Chas tells him he tried that too; it didn't get rid of the smell and instead gunked up the bathtub drain.

Feb 26th 2018 at 6:24:00 AM

In the Regular Show episode "Skunked", Rigby gets sprayed by a were-skunk and will turn into one unless he can get rid of the smell. Naturally, the solution is tomato paste.

Feb 26th 2018 at 7:46:49 AM

  • In one episode of Curious George, the titular monkey comes across a skunk. He goes close to it to study it and gets sprayed. The Man with the Yellow Hat gives him a bath of tomato juice. This happens multiple times throughout the episode, the man remarking that he's down to his last bottle.

Feb 26th 2018 at 1:45:03 PM

In one episode of The Spectacular Spiderman, Peter gets into a fight in a junkyard and spends the rest of the episode trying to get rid of the smell. When he brings some photos to J. Jonah Jameson, the editor gets a whiff of him and recommends tomato juice. From a Brick Joke at the end of the episode, Peter took the advice.

Feb 26th 2018 at 2:00:06 PM

Maybe Tomato Juice Bath for a title? The current is really clunky, and while my suggestion is less clear, it still seems an improvement since it's not likely anyone would take a tomato juice bath for any other reason.

Feb 26th 2018 at 3:28:06 PM

I think a good picture for this article would be this one from the Tiny Toon Adventures short, "Out of Odor" (part of "Viewer Mail Day").

Feb 26th 2018 at 3:30:16 PM

^ Got a bigger version of that?

Feb 26th 2018 at 3:37:14 PM

  • In the Bojack Horseman episode "BoJack Kills", Todd and Mr. Peanutbutter get sprayed by a skunk. Guess what they bathe in to get rid of the smell.

Feb 26th 2018 at 7:09:28 PM

Judging by the title, it's pretty much like People Sit On Chairs.

Mar 2nd 2018 at 12:11:48 AM

Description and examples do not suggest that

Mar 2nd 2018 at 8:21:50 AM

^^ It's usually a gag, though some examples are played for drama or just played straight.

Mar 2nd 2018 at 10:25:18 AM

I might recommend changing this to using tomato juice for bad smells or getting rid of the Spiderman example, because Peter wasn't sprayed by a skunk; it's just that trash is dirty.

May 16th 2018 at 5:03:25 AM

Bunp on the question of whether this is a trope or Sitting on Chairs.

May 16th 2018 at 5:03:26 AM

Bunp on the question of whether this is a trope or Sitting on Chairs.

May 16th 2018 at 5:27:26 AM

Looks like a trope to me.

May 16th 2018 at 2:12:44 PM

I think it's tropeworthy, I've already tossed in my hat.

May 17th 2018 at 8:11:13 AM

I find it trope-worthy. As noted, real life doesn't work like that, but it shows up in enough fiction anyway.

Also,

Literature

  • In the Fudge book Superfudge, Turtle the dog gets sprayed by a skunk, and Mr. Tubman, Shiela's grandfather, is the first to suggest making him bathe in tomato juice.

May 17th 2018 at 8:19:52 AM

Does anyone know how widespread this trope is? Is it American or is it used in other countries too?

Dec 14th 2018 at 8:29:39 AM

Skunk Stink Cure? Has the advantage of shortening the name and being a little more alliterative, but this might also be more tropeable if it doesn't exclude non-tomato juice cures, even if that's the most famous one.

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