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Filthy Fun

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A character enjoys getting dirty.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
Unicorndance on Oct 24th 2017 at 3:49:37 PM
Last Edited By:
Unicorndance on Nov 6th 2017 at 1:59:23 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

"This is fun! I always wanted to get good and dirty!"
Basically, this is a trope for when somebody finds playing in dirt and getting dirty enjoyable. Especially common if the character is The Pig Pen or Hates Baths, however, they may not mind getting clean, they might just enjoy getting dirty. Pigs are common for this.

Someone who believes that Messy is Fun might have trouble getting along with a Neat Freak who won't let them play in the mud or gets cross when they dirty their clothes. The messy character might view the neat freak as being boring or a killjoy, which might result in Slobs vs. Snobs being in play.

Sometimes, the neat freak character gets in on the messy fun too after accidentally getting dirt on them, but other times they don't.


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  • Calvin and Hobbes: In one strip, Calvin and Hobbes are playing in the mud and Calvin says, "Face it, Hobbes, we're asthetes." In another, Calvin sees a mud puddle and puts some on his face, all the while saying, "Eww" but smiling.
  • Implied for Pig Pen from Peanuts: We never see him get dirty, but he always is.

  • In 101 Dalmatians, the dogs have to roll in the soot to disguise themselves as black Labs. They greatly enjoy it and one of them notes that they have "always wanted to get good and dirty".


     Live-Action TV 
  • Barney & Friends had a whole song about having fun with things that could be considered "icky".
  • Sesame Street: The Grouches (with the exception of Oscar's friend Felix) all value things we would consider disgusting. As such, they greatly enjoy getting dirty by doing things such as washing with cheese and taking mud baths. Slimey the worm also takes mud baths.

     Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Toph likes being covered in dirt because she likes to rebel against her overprotective upbringing and because touching dirt is how she sees.
  • Muck from Bob the Builder loves getting dirty. He also hates being washed.
    Muck: "You're lucky, Dizzy. If I was small like you, i'd roll in the mud until I was the muckiest Muck ever, ever, EVER!"
  • Little Princess: Both the Princess and the Prime Minister like to play in the mud.
  • The Loud House: Lana Loud loves playing in the mud among other gross things such as unclogging toilets, eating trash and expired food, and going to the bathroom in random places.
  • Martha Speaks: Martha and Skits the dogs both like rolling in mud and digging through garbage.
  • PAW Patrol: Rubble the puppy enjoys getting dirty more than the other dogs, but also enjoys bathing afterwards.
  • Everybody in Peppa Pig enjoys jumping up and down in mud puddles, even ones who are otherwise quite clean/dignified.
  • The babies in Rugrats, especially Phil and Lil, like to play in muddy puddles.

Feedback: 14 replies

Oct 24th 2017 at 6:12:10 PM

Western Animation

  • Lana Loud from The Loud House loves gross things. Such things include eating food out of dumpsters (as well as Aunt Ruth's expired pudding), playing in the mud, unclogging toilets, and going to the bathroom wherever she likes.

Oct 24th 2017 at 7:00:07 PM

  • Calvin And Hobbes: In one strip, Calvin and Hobbes are playing in a mud puddle, and Calvin pauses to say "Face it, Hobbes. We're aesthetes." In another, Calvin sees a huge patch of mud and says "Eww." He pokes at it with a stick and says "Ewww!" Then he stomps straight through it with a big smile on his face, as he says "Ewwwwww!"

Oct 24th 2017 at 8:51:09 PM

Newspaper Comics

  • Peanuts: A played with example is Pig Pen. We don't know his given name, and we almost never see him doing anything in particular to get dirty but he's always filthy and covered in his own personal dust cloud.

Oct 25th 2017 at 12:43:22 AM

  • Capitalized the title.
  • Examples section
    • Added a line separating the Description and Examples section.
    • Added [[foldercontrol]] .

Oct 25th 2017 at 10:24:42 AM

Avatar The Last Airbender: Toph The Ladette likes being covered in a healthy layer of dirt, both as a backlash against her overprotective high society upbringing and because being in contact with dirt is how she sees.

Oct 27th 2017 at 6:17:31 AM

So is this trope about works that make an artistic statement that "Messy is Fun", or is this about characters who enjoy playing with dirt? Because an "X is Y" title fits the former, but not the latter, because it is a statement, rather than a character descriptor, "This Character is X Y". "This character is Messy is Fun" doesn't make much sense to me.

Oct 27th 2017 at 11:26:26 PM

I think it could work for both. I don't know the nuances.

Nov 3rd 2017 at 10:51:17 PM

  • Paw Patrol: Rubble the bulldog enjoys getting dirty more than the other pups. But he also enjoys getting a bath at the groomer's after getting filthy.

Nov 4th 2017 at 3:48:01 AM

@Unicorndance: Isn't it kind of your task to define the nuances for this trope proposal, since you are the one proposing it?

Nov 4th 2017 at 10:17:39 AM

Maybe, it is, but I don't know how. I'll just say it works for both, but I hope that makes sense.

Nov 5th 2017 at 4:16:14 PM

I just don't know where one stops and another starts, so, because Tropes Are Flexible, I'll just use it for any instances of a character enjoying being messy.

Nov 6th 2017 at 5:10:02 AM

^ In that case, how about simply calling it Filthy Fun or Fun Mess? Something that is a noun with a descriptor, rather than a full sentence.

Nov 6th 2017 at 12:50:37 PM

  • As his name implies, Muck from Bob The Builder loves to get dirty, and hates being washed.
    Muck: You're lucky, Dizzy. If I was small like you, I'd roll in the mud until I was the muckiest Muck ever, ever, EVER!