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Green Is Gross

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In cartoons, mostly of the kids' variety, gross out humor is a regular fixture. Some colors, like brown and yellow, have obvious meaning in these settings. But those aren't the only two colors used to denote gross stuff. Boogers are green. Farts, bad breath, and the smell of garbage are shown as clouds of green stink. Vomit is usually shown as greenish. Slime, snot, pimple ooze, and many other ambiguously gross stuff in cartoons will usually be in green to designate its putrid nature.

This is often one of the reasons why kids may hate vegetables, especially green ones.

Often a form of Editorial Synaesthesia when used to represent unpleasant odors or gases.

See also Green Around the Gills and Sickly Green Glow, when a nauseated character's face turns green and where green represents something dangerous or evil respectively. Also see Technicolor Toxin for when poison is represented with the color green. And finally, they are not all bad guys.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Fresh Pretty Cure!: One of Love's Image Songs mentions a green apple being sour and hard.
  • Toriko: the extremely dangerous and long extinct herbivore beast Death Gore were dark green in color, extremely repulsive in appearence and almost destroyed the entire world by overeating whole forests. Big Bad (sort of) Acacia, while merged with his Appetite Devil, has a grotesque, green body seemingly made of pustule-like tumors and is extremely revolting in appearence and behaviour.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

  • In Hercules, Hercules is covered in green slime having cut his way out from inside the Hydra. Swaying on his feet, Hercules tries to sheath his sword, only to drop it on the ground, before he himself collapses in the puddle of gore. Looking at Phil, who asks how many horns he see, a dizzy Herc sees triple and his answer is "Six?" The slime washes off after it started raining.
  • In Inside Out, the emotion Disgust is green, as are memory orbs created under her influence. She sometimes reacts at anything gross or unpleasant.
  • The titular character from Shrek is an ogre with green skin who lives in a swamp, bathes in mud and swampwater, and has many gross habits, such as belching, farting, and eating bugs.
  • In Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back, Dr. Poole says she's starting to find his ugliness "strangely adorable".

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Green Slime, the titular slime is a green glop that will turn into a large green monster with deadly, electrified tentacles.
  • Troll 2: Pretty much everything involving the goblins (not trolls) involves green, particularly the concoctions they make to turns humans into plants to feed on. Most of the human characters seem amusingly unaware that the glass of water they're about to drink looks like lime Kool-Aid.

  • In Warrior Cats, one of the Clans' worst sicknesses is called greencough, named for the phlegm that cats get from it.
  • In Good Families Dont, the living fart is green.
  • In Fungus the Bogeyman, the Bogey people are green and have disgusting habits like being perpetually dirty and eating flies.
  • Princesses of the Pizza Parlor:
    • One of the potions in the first main story of the series is a green potion of jumping boosts:
      The stuff tasted like pure, concentrated awful.
    • In the ninth main story, the color is connected with clouds of magical stink.
      • One of the magical items is a wand that shoots out stinky gas, the light of its casting is green, and the wand itself is painted green.
      • A stink cloud of green gas is emitted from a staff.
  • Monster Blood from the Goosebumps series is described as a green ooze with a Sickly Green Glow. Averted in Monster Blood IV, where it's blue instead. Vivid shades of green are also often used in the books' cover art to convey this same sense of queasy dread.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Nickelodeon's "Green Slime" was an example of this trope, because the slime was supposed to be "gross", but it became more of a celebrated icon of Nick than anything unpleasant.
  • Blackadder: In "Money", Edmund finds himself in a spot of bother and needs to find a thousand pounds in a day unless he wants to be murdered. Percy decides to help by perfecting alchemy, but only succeeds in making a dubious-looking substance Blackadder dubs "Green". Percy still hopes to make money by selling it as jewellery despite its appearance.
    Blackadder: It looks like you've sneezed.
  • Doctor Who: As with Sickly Green Glow, writer Terrance Dicks observed that "The color for monsters is green for some reason."

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Cavity Goon from The Adventures of Timmy the Tooth has green fur and is associated with bad dental hygiene, namely eating junk food, and his Villain Song even describes him as being icky, slimy, and dirty. He doesn't bathe or clean his room and he throws his trash on the floor.
  • Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street and most of his relatives have green fur and live in trash cans, as they have an extreme fondness for trash. #played with, as Oscar was originally orange, and according to Word of God, he would still be orange if he bathed once in a while. This gets discussed when he sings a revised version of Kermit the Frog's "Bein' Green", where he brings up the things he likes about the color.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Garbage Pail Kids, a parody of the Cabbage Patch Kids, green is used for snot and other gross-out humor motifs.
  • Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar & Warhammer 40,000: While he is associated with other colours (such as bruise purple, pus yellow and faecal brown) the favoured colour of Nurgle, the Chaos God of disease, rot, filth and life, is green and almost all of his followers show the colour somewhere on their bodies.
    • Likewise, the Orcs/Orukks/Orks of the same setting are always a deep, dark green color, and live in slovenly conditions, alongside boars and other dirty creatures, barely shower or clean themselves, and keep any scraps and pieces of whatever they destroy laying around in case they need it for later, leading to settlements of scrape and garbage.

    Video Games 
  • Gruntilda Winkybunion from Banjo-Kazooie is a Wicked Witch with green skin and many disgusting habits and hobbies, such as picking her nose, cuddling a loogie-filled handkerchief in bed, wearing streaky brown undies, and inflating party balloons with her butt.
  • The eponymous Boogerman, a Pig-Pen superhero whose main source of power is his own secretions like boogers, farts and burps, all disguised with the color green, which is also the color of his superhero suit (with a red cape). This was passed to his appearance in ClayFighter 63 1/3, where even his 2P color is a greenish yellow.
  • Cute Knight: The living piles of trash that can be fought in the dungeon are green-colored.
  • In Devilish Valentine, the liquid that the Devil sneaks into the Angel's date's food is green. The dish later emits a green gas when consumed.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: The Afflicted followers of Peryite vomit up a neon green substance that they gather in jars and also use as a projectile attack.
  • In the Gauntlet installment, Dark Legacy, poison gas is colored green as well as the barrels which release said gas when destroyed. Similarly tainted meat and fruit are distinguished from other food items by being a sickly green.
  • Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass: The Revolting Blob is a green Blob Monster made of gunk and trash.
  • League of Legends: Twitch, the Plague Rat, is an overgrown sapient rat that fights with a crossbow shooting sewage. His outfit and poison effects are all a bright green, and he's designed to look appealingly ugly and somewhat unhinged, with his lanky proportions and bulging eyes.
  • Chaos from Primal Rage has the special move "Fart of Fury", where he releases a green cloud of methane as a projectile.
  • Yandere Simulator: The clouds of smoke from stink bombs are green.
  • Koral have you playing as a plankton exploring various ocean floors which are brightly-colored, save for one heavily-polluted area where the water's filtered in green.
  • Knights of Pen and Paper: Ectoplasm's Flavor Text is "Gross!", and it's a green sparkly wisp.
  • Doom, Quake III: Arena and Unreal always use a Sickly Green Glow for 'toxic waste' or green sludge that will kill a player. The textures make it appear like it's staining the walls. Quake III has the bot characters calling the slime disgusting.
  • Unreal and Unreal Tournament have the "Goo Gun" that fires toxic green slime, which makes a squishy sound and emits noxious gas when it lands on the floor or walls. Taken even further with the Chaos UT mod for Unreal Tournament - you can get poison arrows for your crossbow. Hit an player or bot with them and they will cough up blobs of green goo.
  • Half-Life has the Sickly Green Glow for toxic waste but the Xen levels and the creatures from Xen have this as one of their motifs.
  • In various The Sims iterations, Sims with low hygiene usually develop green stink clouds around their person.
    • The Sims Medieval has no specific Hygiene need (as your Sims are in The Dung Ages, washing is available, but never required) but does give you a green stink cloud in one quest when you're required to carry nasty cheese around.

    Web Original 
  • The Onion: The picture used for "Rotting Crab Smell" is a greenish gas.
  • Inanimate Insanity: Tissues hates the color green as revealed in Fan's Fantastic Features. Considering his snot is green and always sneezes it out, his hatred of green could be because of his sickness: The "Condishawn".

    Web Videos 
  • Due to his association with the color Green, alongside all the jokes Matt and Pat make about him, Woolie from Super Best Friends is usually referenced when something gross is seen on screen. Such as referring to any sort of filthy area or house as either the Woolie Hole or House.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Arthur episode "The Lousy Week", Buster is dirty and has green gas on his head.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Appa the big Sky Bison's snot is a sickly shade of green, as seen in the first episode when he sneezes on Sokka, who has to wipe away the green stuff with a disgusted expression.
  • Breadwinners. Farts are represented by a green gas cloud.
  • Fairly OddParents: Virtually any time someone stinks, green fumes emanate from them.
  • In an episode of The Hive, rotten bananas have green stink lines coming off them.
  • In The Loud House, when something smells bad, there's a green cloud.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998):
    • In the episode "Down 'N Dirty", Buttercup refuses to take a bath, and throughout the episode, she is enshrouded by a green cloud of stink to represent her B.O.
    • Alluded to with the name of the Gangreen Gang, a gang of green-skinned youths whose name is punned after gangrene, a disease characterized by tissue death due to blood loss.
  • Phil and Lil DeVille from Rugrats both wear green shirts (as green is their favorite color), and have an extreme fondness for anything gross, including worms, insects, boogers, mud, and toilet water.
  • Spongebob Square Pants: In the episode "Something Smells", Spongebob's awful breath is shown as a noxious green gas emanating from from his mouth.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: In "Moist Vessel", the green fumes that emerge from the holodeck filters serve as a visual aid to the audience that they're nauseatingly stinky.
  • In Thomas & Friends, Whiff and Scruff, the engines who work at Whiff's Waste Dump, are both painted green (though Whiff is a dark green, while Scruff is a light green). While both engines get very messy and smelly as the result of working at the Waste Dump, Scruff in particular hates being cleaned.
  • Total Drama:
    • Farts (usually caused by Owen) are usually animated as green clouds.
    • Courtney's biggest fear in "Phobia Factor" is green jelly because she thinks it resembles snot.
  • In the True and the Rainbow Kingdom episode "Cosmic Sneeze", a Rainbow Kingdom resident spits out her drink when it is turned green by the Wachoogieboogies.

    Real Life 
  • Invoked by Mr. Yuk, a symbol created by the University of Pittsburgh as a more convincing poison-warning signal for children. The traditional skull and crossbones symbol was associated with pirates, and therefore considered "cool" and thus wouldn't warn kids away from poison. The symbol itself is a green face with a disgusted expression, the color chosen due to this trope. The ads promoting him even specifically stressed his greenness with a simple rhyme:
    Mr. Yuk is mean
    Mr. Yuk is green!
  • Mucus can become a greenish color if you are sick. Since your nose is unlikely to run in any other situation, and you run the risk of infection if you touch a sick person's mucus, this serves to enforce this trope.


Video Example(s):


Green cheese

Foo dislikes the smell of green cheese (who can blame her, it's probably mouldy).

How well does it match the trope?

4.5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / GreenIsGross

Media sources: