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Fetishes Are Weird

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"It is wild, because there are beheadings, people getting their cocks cut off, graphic violence and brothel scenes, but getting my feet out and him wanking off, that's the most shocking."
Olivia Cooke on the infamous "foot scene" from House of the Dragon

Fetishes are a big taboo in our society, so it's only natural that this appears in our media in some way. When the taboo aspects of a fetish are highlighted in a work of art, you have this trope. It is usually done to show that the character with the fetish is weird and creepy, and the surreal aspects of the fetish is a primary focus of the scenes it appears in. Often, the character is a villain.

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This is essentially a Sister Trope of Bondage Is Bad, in which a character's interest in BDSM is used to highlight their capacity for violence. The key difference here is that there's no implications of danger in these fetish scenarios, while there is implied danger in BDSM scenarios. For example, there isn't much that can "go wrong" in a foot fetish scenario. While Bondage Is Bad accentuates the frightening aspects of BDSM, this trope accentuates and highlights the strangeness of fetishism. The character with the fetish is depicted as simply being creepy, gross, or pathetic, but doesn't necessarily have to be evil.

This is often Played for Laughs, usually Cringe Comedy, but can also be Played for Drama or Nightmare Fuel. Compare and contrast with Casual Kink, Brains and Bondage, Fetish, and I Kiss Your Foot. Also compare Power Dynamics Kink and Robosexuals Are Creeps (which can also be considered a subtrope of this). See also Sexual Karma, which can overlap (weird characters are rewarded by the story with weird, therefore kinky, sex). This trope is also distinctive from Author Appeal, where a creator's fetish purposely appears in their work, as this trope specifically centers on the demonization and mystification of fetishes. The fetishes do not have to exist in Real Life, but it has to be clear that the sexual interest is a fetish. At the same time, this trope also does not include every fetish, as some already have a trope of this nature. Bestiality, for example, is Bestiality Is Depraved. The same goes for Pædo Hunt. Note 

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Please note that this only applies for fictional examples. No Real Life Examples please, or we'll be here all day.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable, Yoshikage Kira, a depraved Serial Killer who acts as the Big Bad of the story, has a fetish for women's hands. He claims to first have developed this fixation after seeing the Mona Lisa in a book during his childhood, and this later evolved into an obsession, motivating him to murder several women, then keep their hands, treating them like "girlfriends" until they start to decay, at which point he disposes of the appendage and seeks out a new victim.

    Comic Books 
  • Very, very common in the works of Garth Ennis to show that a character is evil or just wrong:
    • The Punisher MAX: One Trophy Wife says that her husband doesn't even have sex with her; he just tells her to bend over naked on the bed and then jerks off while looking inside her.
    • Preacher:
      • Odin Quincannon regularly has sex with what is revealed to be a pile of meats shaped like a Giant Woman. When Jesse shoots him in the head mid-thrust, he says that if this isn't a Mercy Kill nothing is.
      • Herr Starr has a thing for humiliating women, even asking how much it'd cost to piss in one's mouth (hinted to be Margaret Thatcher). When his series-spanning Humiliation Conga leaves him more and more mutilated (culminating in the loss of his genitals), he starts having it done to him.
      • Jesus de Sade's mansion is filled with weird-ass fetishists, including a man in the stocks yelling at sheep to do something unspecified to him, a woman begging Cassidy to bite and hurt her, and child pornography. The man himself has had sex with every large four-legged mammal the local zoo had to offer and his introductory scene ends with a manservant presenting him with an armadillo.
    • The Boys: The first arc has the Boys taking pictures of Teenage Kix at a brothel to blackmail them. We're spared the visuals, but Gunpowder apparently likes having his gun shoved up his ass then licking it clean.
  • The Sculptor: After his depressing birthday, David Smith seemingly encounters a mysterious crowd and an angel who tells him everything will be alright. Unfortunately, at a party that night he discovers the miracle was actually a viral stunt, and his awe of the experience is shattered as the FX supervisor takes him aside and asks him anxiously if David thought the angel's actor wearing thigh-high socks was too fetishy.

    Films 
  • Frank in Blue Velvet is a sadistic mob boss with a mommy roleplay fetish, and the title of the film is a reference to his fetish for blue velvet (both the fabric and the song). He's also one of the most terrifying villains in film history, but this has more to do with his acts of physical and sexual violence than his fetishes. The fetishes just add more creepiness to his character.
  • In Death Proof, the main antagonist of the film, Stuntman Mike, is a slimy Serial Killer who murders young women with his car. He also has a foot fetish, as seen when he creepily touches a woman's feet while she's asleep in her car. It's very unsettling, and the woman is clearly creeped out when she wakes up and realizes someone just touched her. The film ends with that same woman stomping Mike's face in.
  • Enough Said: A Bait-and-Switch Aversion example. On their second date, Albert is revealed to have a foot fetish when Eva catches him looking at her feet a little too long. He even has a Freudian Excuse that could've been easily misinterpreted by her, but Eva has no issue with Albert's fetish, and only playfully teases him about it. It is never brought up again, except for a later scene where Eva gets a pedicure for the first time. It's not stated outright, but it's pretty clear why. It's also the only quirk Albert has that Marianne never brings up.
  • In the spoof film Epic Movie, Mystique seduces Peter into having passionate sex with her after finding out that he was going to become the king of Gnarnia, even offering to shapeshift her body any way he wanted. While this starts off with normal requests she's into, like bigger breasts and a larger ass, it soon takes a weird turn as Peter requests she shapeshift a monobrow, before demanding she transform into a fat obese grandma with extremely flabby arms. These are clearly Peter's fetishes and Mystique is absolutely repulsed by them, groaning before giving him a genuinely disgusted look. While she ends up going through with the fetish transformations, the whole scene is supposed to highlight how weird and disgusting Peter's fetishes are, especially considering how sexy she was beforehand, and how nasty they try to make her post transformation with the crossed eyes, warts, long nose hairs, and her tongue wiggling.
  • In From Dusk Till Dawn, the Serial Killer and rapist Richie has a foot fetish, and it's exploited for all its creepiness. Interestingly, since Richie is played by Quentin Tarantino (who is famous for his foot fetish, and also co-wrote this film), this is a rare example of this trope being written and portrayed by a creator who actually has the fetish.
  • In Pulp Fiction, Seth's wife is obsessed with piercings to a near-religious degree, implying she has a fetish for them, and Vincent is clearly confused by it and finds her weird.
  • Implied with the main antagonist of The Shape of Water, but also Played With. Strickland's creepy and explicitly sexist fetish for quiet women is implied to be a result of his lifelong misogyny, not the other way around, which is why the protagonist is so creeped out by it.
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    Franchises 
  • In Star Wars, Jabba the Hutt is the brutal kingpin of a vast criminal empire, and a gross slug-alien to boot. He's also a big fan of Go-Go Enslavement, keeping at least one scantily clad humanoid woman in his retinue at all times. His debut in Return of the Jedi just plays this as an homage to the Mars Needs Women trope (and an excuse for Fanservice). But the Star Wars Legends expanded universe considered the implications: the rest of the Hutts don't share Jabba's eye for other species, and regard Jabba as a weird pervert for his apparent xenophilia. This is especially notable when you consider that interspecies relationships aren't uncommon in the Star Wars universe, so either the Hutts have serious hang-ups about this, or Jabba takes it to the point where there's no romance involved and it's just a sick obsession with the humanoid female body.
    • Adding to this, Hutts are self-fertilizing hermaphrodites, meaning that most don't have sexual desires in the traditional sense. So in other words, sex as a whole can be considered a form of fetishism for Hutts. For good measure, some Legends texts, such as Tales from Jabba's Palace, indicate that he might literally be engaging in some form of sexual activity with his slave girls: Porcellus notes Jabba's "indescribable sexual practices" and later observes the scene in which Oola is dragged over to Jabba's dais mid-dance, implicitly describing it as an attempted rape.

    Live-Action TV 
  • American Horror Story: Asylum: Both generations of Bloody Face have a breastfeeding fetish. One of them attempts it with one of his victims, the other hires a prostitute for that purpose. It's used to show both of them as Psychopathic Manchildren with mommy issues.
  • In The Boys (2019), the only characters depicted as having fetishes are all villains. As for the sympathetic characters, like Hughie and Starlight, they all have completely vanilla sex lives without any kind of kink involved.
    • Homelander is a complete sociopath and narcissist who has a mommy/milk fetish.
    • A-Train is a self-centered narcissist who likes having his feet worshipped.
    • Soldier Boy also has a thing for grannies, which is just used to show how depraved his hedonism is.
  • In the Broad City episode "What A Wonderful World", Abbi and Ilana try to raise money for concert tickets by fulfilling a Craigslist request to clean a man's apartment in their underwear while he leers at them. The overall creepy vibe of the man in question is compounded by the reveal that he's a diaper fetishist who insists on only speaking in Baby Talk with them and doesn't actually have the money to pay them, then he seemingly gets off to them destroying his apartment in rage.
  • In the Community episode "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism", Troy, Abed, and Annie's unkempt manchild of a landlord is revealed to have a foot fetish in just about the creepiest way possible: the trio uncover a closet full of shoes stolen from the building's female residents. Everyone is extremely squicked out by this revelation, and Annie remarks to Officer Cackowski that she doesn't feel safe living in the same building as the guy.
  • The docu-series Dark Temptations frequently demonizes fetishes. One segment about crush fetishism (which can be legitimately evil) claims that foot fetishism is solely focused on feet as an object, and that it is due to men not gaining enough face-to-face attention from their mothers in early childhood. Not only is this theory baseless (no one knows exactly why fetishes happen, and there are women and gay men with foot fetishes as well), but the idea that foot fetishism is inherently objectifying is also not true, neither is the idea that foot fetishists are only attracted to feet.
  • Dexter:
    • Subverted and Played for Laughs with Vince Masuka. He has several fetishes and is depicted as a total weirdo that everyone finds perverted (which isn't undeserved), but he's also one of the heroic characters in the series. Masuka is just a Lovable Sex Maniac.
    • Played straight with Brian Moser, the Ice Truck Killer. He's a sociopathic Serial Killer who has an amputee fetish, and it's later revealed that this is because he witnessed his mother getting murdered with a chainsaw, and it's implied that his fetish has a large role to play in his modus operandi. Slightly downplayed, as Vince warns Batista to not call an amputee fetishist by the medical term (acrotomophilia) because it sounds like a disease, implying that he knows people with the fetish who are just ordinary people and want to be treated respectfully.
  • In House of the Dragon, Larys "the Clubfoot" Strong, the most Obviously Evil character in the show, is revealed to have a foot fetish, and Queen Alicent pays him for his services by letting him masturbate to her feet. She takes no enjoyment out of this and is clearly uncomfortable. The real thing that makes Larys a weird creep is that he coerces a woman into exposing herself for his pleasure, but giving him a foot fetish serves to highlight his creepiness. This also applies to the audience reaction as well, as most viewers were more disgusted by him liking feet than him exploiting Alicent's body against her will, while not having nearly as strong a reaction to the incest, genital mutilation, and graphic violence featured on the show, which Olivia Cooke (who plays Alicent) later commented on.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Subverted in the season seven premiere. Dee hangs outs with Frank's fiancee, a hooker named Roxy, and is extremely impressed to find out that Tiger Woods is a client of hers. Then, Dee finds out that the client isn't actually Tiger Woods, and is just a random black guy who likes "foot shit". Dee's disgusted at first... until Roxy reveals how much "Tiger Woods" pays her just to rub her feet. This makes Dee instantly decide to become a "foot girl", which she proudly says to the Gang at the end. They more or less react like they would to anything Dee says.
  • In Jessica Jones (2015), Jessica spies on one of her neighbors across the street sniff his partner's shoes. While it is actually creepy that he did this without letting his partner know, Jessica'a reaction implies that it's just gross he has a shoe fetish.
  • Discussed in one segment of The Late Late Show with James Corden, in which he's interviewing Alison Brie. Corden brought up how Alison has a devoted fandom of people with foot fetishes, obviously with the intent to make a joke of it. Alison responded by actually defending these fans, calling foot fetishes "cool", and proudly showing her feet to Corden's audience. When Corden continued to say that he thinks foot fetish acts are gross, Alison responded with a rather blunt Armor-Piercing Question that Corden couldn't find an answer to.
    Alison: Yeah, but who's it hurting?
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit consistently portrays anybody with a fetish as either a rapist, a rapist wannabe, a serial killer, or a pathetic loser.
  • Foot fetishes in Modern Family are always portrayed as disgusting and wrong.
    • Haley sends a picture of her feet to a prospective boyfriend in "Egg Drop". Everyone finds it creepy and thinks she should break it off, and Gloria even tells her "all foot guys are creeps".
    • A creepy truck driver wants to see Alex's feet in the season 6 premiere episode.
    • Alex's feet become a plot device in the episode "No Small Feet", where she enters an online business to sell pictures of them to perverted men with foot fetishes.
  • In Nip/Tuck, Christian Troy is in an on/off relationship with Gina, a sex addict, whom he eventually knocks up and sticks around with so he can be a responsible father despite his promiscuous nature. Christian later runs into a baby supply store clerk who slept with Gina and turns out to have a pregnant woman fetish. Christian is so disgusted by this revelation that he beats the man.
  • Succession: Roman has a lot of power/control fetishes; he doesn't seem able to perform during "normal" penetrative sex, so he enjoys being jerked off (or masturbating) and being humiliated. He's also an inappropriate Slimeball of a character.
  • In Twin Peaks, the corrupt businessman Benjamin Horne and his mistress and partner in crime Catherine Martell have a relationship in the vein of Power Dynamics Kink that involves him kissing her feet and her replying to his compliments with sarcastic quips. Exaggerated when he's accused of murder and arrested, and she visits him in jail. She takes off her shoe, and he kisses her foot, pleading her to confirm his alibi.

    Music 

    Video Games 
  • Like a Dragon: Susumu Gondawara is a Yakuza patriarch who appears in Yakuza 2 and Yakuza: Like a Dragon who is obsessed with infant play, where he and his underlings put on diapers and are doted on by a woman named Machiko wearing little more than an apron. He's also eager to the point of violence to get others involved in his fetish, resulting in a fight with Kiryu when his "hospitality" is rejected. His underlings make it clear afterwards that they are not into this, but because he's their boss, they have to go along with it.

    Web Animation 
  • Final Fantasy VII: Machinabridged: Dr. Hojo boasts about his experiments, which involve crossbreeding two completely different creatures, being his fetish when he is preparing to force Red and Aerith to breed, completely grossing out the heroes. Even the Shinra staff consider him creepy because of this.

    Webcomics 

    Web Videos 
  • Hellsing Ultimate Abridged: One of the vampires uses her suggestion powers to force Miller to hallucinate his daughter, only for it to backfire because he's lucid enough to remember he doesn't have a child (he had a vasectomy). The hallucination then says she's his niece, which doesn't work either because he's an only child. The vampire instead conjures an image of Sonic the Hedgehog sporting a foot-long erection and gets the desired result, although she's clearly creeped out by it.
    Sonic: I've been waiting for you, Miller.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!: Discussed in "The Missing Kink", in which Francine becomes addicted to Stan spanking her and eventually runs away when Stan has enough and calls her a weirdo. Roger ends up showing him (through an extravagant musical number) that it's sometimes healthy for couples to have kinks and that everybody has one. Unfortunately, because Stan's been so repressed all of his life that when he does decide to indulge in a kink, he wants to indulge in all of them, which freaks out even Roger.
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Sheesh! Cab Bob?", Bob learns from Marshmallow and a few of her prostitute friends that his Sitcom Archnemesis Jimmy Pesto frequents in the same circles as them in the Desire Dungeon. He's also revealed to have a diaper fetish, going by the name "Baby Num-Num" at the Desire Dungeon, which is used by Bob as blackmail to get Jimmy Jr. to Tina's birthday party. It helps that Jimmy Sr. is a tremendous jerk to Bob's family and his own kids.
  • A few examples exist in Rick and Morty, though often Played With.
    • Invoked and Subverted in "Lawnmower Dog". Rick tries to help Morty get an A in math by "incepting" his teacher's dreams. After going deeper into Goldenfold's subconscious, they reach a dream-level that is entirely devoted to his sexuality (in the form of a giant orgy), where there's BDSM, fetish gear, gnomes, and animal-human hybrids. Both Rick and Morty are uncomfortable, but Rick quickly "blends in" and engages in some pet-play with the gnomes. The only thing that crosses the line for them is Goldenfold's fantasies about Summer, Morty's teenage sister, understandably.
      Morty: (nervously) Oh man, Rick, this is pretty weird!
      Rick: Don't judge, Morty.
    • Downplayed in the episode, "Mortynight Run", where Morty saves a sentient fart with telepathic powers. When they first meet, Fart reads his mind and accidentally reveals that Morty is randomly thinking about Jessica's feet. It's Played for Laughs, but nobody makes a big deal about it, probably because one is a gas cloud without a grasp of human behaviour, and the other is Rick.
    • A sex offender tries to take a picture of Morty and Summer's feet in "AutoErotic Assimilation" when he is released from Unity's control. The creepiness is more the fact that Morty and Summer are teenagers, but still.
    • Jerry's parents Leonard and Joyce reveal that they have added a third to their relationship, Jacob, a man close to Jerry's age. It's revealed that Leonard has a cuckold fetish and he gets off watching Jacob and Joyce have sex while he hides in the closet (and dressed as Superman, for good measure). Jacob isn't just an occasional threesome partner but is now romantically involved with them as well, and they bring him over for Thanksgiving dinner. While most of the family tries to be accommodating, Jerry is extremely uncomfortable.


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