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Flea Episode

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Having fleas is no fun, especially if you're a furry animal. Fleas suck up your blood for nutrition, and make you itch like crazy. Essentially, a Flea Episode is centered on a character, usually a Funny Animal, having fleas, and doing anything he can to get rid of them and/or relieve himself of his itch, which includes powders, collars, and baths. In a few instances, the character will actually befriend their fleas, and try to protect them from other characters who want to get rid of them, regardless of how itchy they make them. Expect these kind of episodes to have Flea pun-based titles. This trope has nothing to do with the bassist from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Related Tropes/Tropes Found in Scenes:

  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: A character may try not to think about scratching themself, only to come across various other characters scratching themselves.
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  • Hates Baths: A character may try to get rid of fleas to avoid taking one, even if it's the only way to get rid of them.
  • Inconvenient Itch: Fleas are known to cause these.
  • Pest Episode: The episode may revolve around trying to get rid of the fleas, as with other pests like mice or rats.
  • Pun-Based Title: These episodes may have "Flea" in the title.
  • Sick Episode
  • Lice Episode


Examples

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    Advertising 
  • A commercial for Energizer batteries features a robotic flea attempting to bite the Energizer Bunny. The short life of the Supervolt battery it runs on quickly puts a stop to that plan. As the commercial ends, the Bunny passes by an itchy dog in the park.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Space Dandy, there's the Machinians, Human Aliens with the size of a flea and being basically a human head in a green transparent body with all their bones and organs visible. "Le Flea" brothers are a pair of Machinians that are found on Pup a.k.a. Laika, the first dog in space and later goes to Meow as the new host. Itchiness ensues, of course.
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    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side did numerous flea-related gags. One typical example has a dog's flea infestation getting so bad the fleas are building skyscrapers on his back.
  • Garfield has had numerous strips involving problems with flea infestations, including one where he's got so many fleas he's got an entire flea circus (the itching and biting wasn't bad, but the lights on the midway were keeping him awake).

    Literature 
  • In The Dresden Files short story "Day Off", Andi and Kirby were experimenting with sex in their wolf forms and end up suffering from spectral fleas.
  • In one of the Rascal The Dragon books, the dragons all get fleas, starting with Sniff.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Good Life episode "Whose Fleas Are These?" involved an outbreak at the Goods' house that gives Barbara a full fit of the heebie-jeebies and brings down Jerry and Margo's anger when the fleas spread to their home. Everyone assumes that they came from the goat or one of the other animals... until Margo arrives home after extermination complaining about the overly-friendly dog of another Music Society member.
  • House of Anubis: Joy, Willow and Mara end up with fleas after taking care of two wild hedgehogs. Them having to deal with the itching brought a bit of levity to the show, as this was happening just before the climax when things were becoming darker and more serious. Notably, Patricia points out to Fabian that they can't get fleas while they're The Soulless (which they both were at the time), because the fleas sensed their evil, thus subverting the expectation that it would spread to the rest of Anubis House.
  • Lomax, the Hound of Music: In the first episode "Flea Bath", Lomax starts scratching due to the fact that he has fleas who go by the names, Louise and Clark, who also like music. Both he and Delta worry that they're going to get a flea bath if Amy sees them scratching. After the song, "Aloha Oe", when Lomax scratches again after Louise trips, Amy finds out her dog actually does have fleas and decides to give him and Delta a flea bath. Luckily, Louise and Clark manage to avoid getting wet by wearing hazmat suits (since they appeared in the rest of the series).
  • This happens in the Seinfeld episode, "The Doodle", when Jerry gets fleas. His apartment has to get fumigated, which leads to a frantic search in the toxic gasses for something Elaine left in there, as well as Kramer accidentally poisoning himself and losing the sense of taste. Eventually, Jerry finds out that he got the fleas from Newman.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street: A season 26 episode features a Flea Circus being held at the Furry Arms Hotel.

    Video Games 
  • This is how the player character catches fleas in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. One of the villagers will start saying they’re itchy and that’s the cue to try and catch the flea off them with your net. It can be slightly tricky to initiate the catch and not whack them instead, but they’ll appreciate it and it’s the only way to get a flea for the museum.
  • This is a mechanic in Tokyo Jungle. The player passes a portion of their gained stats down to their species by choosing a mate, and the low-quality Desperate females/males will always accept the player, but on the way to the nest to mate, will give them fleas. This causes the player to automatically stop and scratch, even in the middle of a battle or when trying to escape a predator. You can still get fleas even while playing as a crocodile or a dinosaur despite the fact that fleas don't infect reptiles.

    Webcomics 
  • In Kevin & Kell, the characters have frequent problems with fleas, ranging from itchiness to social media trolling.

    Western Animation 
  • Arthur: In "Flea to Be You and Me", Pal picks up Pepe, an Italian flea who tells him the story of how he ended up on his fur. After hearing his story, Pal helps reunite him with his brother and circus partner, Sale.
  • In the CatDog episode, "Flea or Die!", Cat and Dog pick up fleas from a Beach Rat, and because Cat refuses to take a flea bath, Dr. Rancid Rabbit makes them wear a flea belt. Cat soon refuses to wear it when he finds out that belts are out of style, but later changes his mind when the fleas make him itch, leading him and Dog to fight over it.
  • FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman In 'Ruff Needs His Herring Checked", Ruff's at his wits end because he keeps hearing a mysterious voice no one else can hear, as the voice calls itself 'Fleape", a flea with a sultry Italian accent who resides on Ruff's Body. At first Ruff thinks it's because of his sensitive hearing, but when he still hears the voice after using a noise-cancelling box, he fears he's losing his mind So he sends Issac and Liza to meet an audiologist while Sterling and Brian visited a cookie company (because Fleape told Ruff to bake Cookies to impress Charlene)
  • The Krypto the Superdog episode "Super-Flea" has Krypto dealing with a Kryptonian flea that is hard to expel until Kevin finds a special kind of bug-spray that scares him away.
  • The Looney Tunes short "An Itch in Time" has a flea attack Elmer Fudd's dog, with Elmer threatening to give him a bath if the dog scratches again.
  • Downplayed in the The Loud House episode Rita Her Rights for a variety of reasons, but still prevalent. In the episode, a Running Gag throughout the background is the fact that Lana has gotten fleas. However, she has no interest in getting rid of them, especially not with a bath, even calling the fleas her friends and seemingly adopts them by the end of the episode naming one of them Brad because he lives in her pit.
  • The Mona the Vampire episode "Flea Circus of Horror" has Mona's cat Fang getting fleas and later Mona gets them herself. Mona imagines her house being invaded by a giant flea circus.
  • In the OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes episode "We've Got Fleas", Rad, Enid, and K.O. get themselves turned into animal people in a half-baked plan to fight a robot. They weren't too concerned with changing back until K.O. gets fleas from some dogs he was hanging out with and accidentally passes them to Rad and Enid. They spend the rest of the episode trying to reverse their transformation, but instead just grab some flea collars.
  • The Pink Panther had an encounter with a flea in "The Pink Flea" after petting a dog. He eventually shaves all his fur off, but this still doesn't deter the persistent flea.
  • In the last season of Pocoyo (usually called Pocoyo and Nina), he and Nina found Loula scratching herself because of fleas, so Nina with Pocoyo and Roberto shrink to get into Loula's skin and find the fleas, who were making a party on Loula, and the itchiness is because the dance of the fleas.
  • In the third-season opener of Richie Rich (1980), "Born Flea", Dollar sneaked into a flea circus and all the fleas were attracted to him.
  • Rocko's Modern Life had a few episodes dedicated to a pair of parasites, Bloaty the Tick and Squirmy the Ringworm, who lived on Spunky and had goofy sitcom adventures, like Dinner with the Boss in their premiere episode "Dirty Dog" and a Cowboy Episode in "The Fatlands".
  • In the Sonic Boom episode "Flea-ing from Trouble", after numerous defeats of his giant robots, Dr. Eggman creates an army of robotic fleas that make Sonic and his friends itch.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "A Flea in Her Dome", when Sandy returns home from Texas, she picks up a flea, which quickly multiplies and makes her, SpongeBob, and Patrick itch.
    • "Under the Small Top" centers on Squidward's house being infested with a flea circus.
  • In the Taz-Mania episode, "A Flea For Me", when Taz eats out of the garbage can, he picks up a flea, which makes him itch. Taz tries to keep Jean from finding out, as she would give him a bath if she knew, and since Taz hates water, he Hates Baths. At the end of the episode, the Flea now makes Jean itch.
  • Two episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures, "Starting From Scratch" and "Flea For Your Life" involve Furrball befriending a family of Italian fleas (in a pastiche of An American Tail) and letting them stay on his body.
  • What A Cartoon! Show: "Snoot's New Squat" revolved around a miniature alien scouting for a new home for his species and setting up house on a hypochondriac Funny Animal dog named Al, who mistakes him for an infestation of fleas.

     Real life 
  • Most pet owners will eventually run into a problem with fleas, especially if their pet(s) is allowed outdoors. Keeping all pets indoor only can go a long way to stave off this problem, but fleas can also come in hitchhiking on people's clothing, especially if the person was walking around in grass, overgrown areas, or out in the country. How bad the problem will be is determined by how the owner responds; if it is addressed properly while there's still only a few fleas it can be just a minor issue, but if they're allowed to multiply it can become a nightmare.
  • Most wild animals have fleas and/or other parasites. Some species try to mitigate it with dust and/or mud baths, submerging in water, social grooming, and in some species, by allowing birds (such as oxpeckers) to pick them off, although oxpeckers will sometimes try to open new wounds to feed on blood and so are considered by some to be parasites also.
    • This is sometimes noticeable in documentaries with lions, where you can often see ticks on them, and flies buzzing around them.
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