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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.
  • 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


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  • 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.

    Comic Books 
  • Dennis the Menace (US): In "Flea For Your Life!", Alice catches Ruff itching and decides to get some flea powder. Ruff hides from Alice to avoid getting powdered, then takes a nap. During this time, he has a nightmare where a swarm of fleas attack him and he is unable to get away from them since he has weights tied to his feet. After this nightmare, he willingly lets Alice powder him, much to her surprise.

    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. One of them showed that he had an entire flea circus on him, noting that the itching and biting wasn't bad, but the lights on the midway were keeping him awake. And then there was an earlier Sunday strip that had him pour rubbing alcohol onto his fur to get rid of some fleas he contracted from Odie, only for Jon to unwittingly toss the matchstick he used to light his pipe onto him, leaving the poor cat totally charred.
    Garfield: There's something to be said for flea collars.

  • In Saying No, Ron pranks Snape with Eastern sand fleas, leading to Snape utterly humiliating himself in the Great Hall due to itching. Then the Slytherin girls, angry with the Slytherin boys over a prank played on them, get hold of the spell in question....

  • 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.

  • 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.
    • Pepe shows up in Pal's fur again in "Mei Lin Takes a Stand", this time along with Sale, and the flea brothers tell him, Kate, and Mei Lin the story of an ancient kingdom where everyone crawled instead of walking on two legs to stop the latter from calling her big brother Binky to squish them like the bugs they are.
  • 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 the Fetch 3000's countertop in a manner similar to a Soundproof 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 'Brussels Sprouts' Cookies to impress Charlene for her birthday)
  • In the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Land of the Flea," Eduardo gets infested with fleas and refuses to have them removed. Everyone else in the house tries various means of tricking him into get treatment for the fleas but none of them work, except for Bloo who thinks that the fleas are cool, so he steals all of Eduardo's fur and wears it as a cape, but then the fleas attack him for the damage he caused to their homes, which reveals to everyone that the Fleas are actually imaginary friends. They decide to have all the furry imaginary friends shave their fur and put it all into one room for the fleas to live in, which no one can ever go into again.
  • The HouseBroken episode "Who's Obsessed" has Chico the cat infested with an army of partying fleas who suck him dry.
  • 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.
  • Pink Panther and Pals: "Itching to be Pink" has Pinky pick up a persistent flea from Mr. Big Nose's dog. After numerous attempts, Pinky finally gets rid of the flea... which makes its way to Mr. Big Nose instead in the end.
  • 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.
  • Tom and Jerry Tales: In "The Itch", a musical group of rats comes to Sheriff Tom's medieval town, causing the towns' mice to pick up a brand-new dance - as well as an infestation of fleas.
  • The Tom and Jerry Show (2014): In "Flea Bitten", Butch accidentally unleashes a swarm of fleas in the house where the titular duo live when he breaks in to take a bath. The fleas promptly go after Tom, and from there they spread to Jerry and Spike, disrupting their usual conflict. After trying in vain to get rid of the fleas, the three of them finally resort to shaving off all their fur, making it into a coat, and leaving it out for Butch to collect, which gets him infested with the fleas once again.
  • 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.