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Neat Freak

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"Who robs a place, then tidies up and dusts the shelves before leaving?"
Zib, Lackadaisy

A character who has some sort of obsession with cleanliness as a character trait. It may be a sign of their dedication, obsessiveness, or perfectionism. Generally, they'll be one of the few main characters to complain about neatness unless someone ends up Covered in Gunge or something extremely messy.

This is stereotypical behavior for any character with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). In older movies and shows, an obsession with cleanliness can be a metaphor for homosexuality in men. Women who are extremely tidy are usually shown as frigid neurotics who probably deny their husbands sex and their children unconditional love.

We all know at least one person like this.

For the opposite behavior see Men Can't Keep House, Trash of the Titans, and The Pig-Pen. See also Spring Cleaning Fever, Terrified of Germs, The Finicky One, White Is Pure. May overlap with Creepy Cleanliness.


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  • The aptly named "Neat Freak" advert for the pest control company Orkin features one. Her house is completely white and spotless, as are her clothes; she forces the Orkin agent to wear booties and use hand sanitizer before entering her house and, when the agent rests his hand on her counter, she immediately sprays and wipes the spot. The point of the advert was to make it clear that even a perfectly clean house can be subject to a pest invasion, as insects also seek out places for warmth or to lay their eggs.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Koro-Sensei of Assassination Classroom has a tendency to clean things, usually when someone is trying to kill him. In the first episode, he meticulously trims his assailant's eyebrows and takes the time to clean and wax a fighter jet that was sent to attack him.
  • Levi from Attack on Titan is known in-series for how he loves cleaning and orders his squad and Eren to clean up the place they're gonna stay in from dust and gets pissed when it's not clean enough and they're chatting instead. He also finds the time to clean his blades from blood in the middle of the battlefield!
  • Eiichirou from Baby Steps eats from both sides of his lunch box to keep the sides even, freaks out over the possibility of his food touching, and takes two sets of notes in class: a pristine "master" copy, and a second that he doesn't mind lending out to his less tidy classmates.
  • Taro, the floor supervisor of Cafe Kichijoji De, is so obsessed with cleanliness that he would move out of an apartment he'd just move into for a week the moment he finds a cockroach inside. He also keeps a whole wardrobe full of cleaning supplies, and sanitizes everything before letting guests enter his room.
  • This is the entire point of Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun.
    • The titular protagonist is so germophobic and so obsessed with cleanliness that he wears gloves when going to school, cleans the football club's balls and the school's bathroom, and wears a mask inside school sometimes. He'd rather starve than eat a meal cooked by someone that's not him because he's that big of a germophobe.
    • Zigzagged in episode 1. It rains during Fujimi High's match against Oshigami-Minami High, and it's obvious that Aoyama won't play so won't get dirtied by the muddy ground... until he kicks the ball into the goal which makes him fall on the ground and gets him dirty much to everyone's shock. Because he hates losing more than being dirty.
    • Narita is another neat freak but he keeps it to himself because he thinks letting others know is dumb. He's even worse than Aoyama in that he questions why even bother cleaning the school's property and getting germs in the process and feigns sickness so he won't have to participate in PE and get dirty.
  • Lelouch of Code Geass is shown to be this in extra materials, chasing out C.C. from his room while on a cleaning rampage in one short story.
  • Death Note:
    • The illustrator Takeshi Obata thinks of L as a Neat Freak, which is why he chose to depict him as such (the writer, Tsugumi Ohba, didn't tell him to do so) and made him grab things with the tips of his fingers. Does not extend to his personal experience (he might well sleep in his clothes. In his defense, they look comfy).
    • According to Gevanni's observations, Teru Mikami is also this (which fits his overall personality pretty well).
  • Garfaxy of Dragon Knights is obsessive about keeping Kharl's castle clean, which is useful since Kharl doesn't know how to clean anything.
  • Charles and Ray Beams in Eureka Seven keep their ship impeccably clean at all times. One of the first signs of Ray's breakdown after Charles is killed is the fact that the ship has been utterly trashed. Things just get worse from there.
  • One chapter of Franken Fran has a woman, raised in extremely sterile circumstances, recruit Fran in an attempt to wipe out cockroaches. She freaks out at the merest hint of contamination. The experiment does not go as planned...
  • Inverted in Fruits Basket: Machi can't stand when things are spotlessly clean. She frequently messes up clean rooms and such because she can't stand the "perfection".
  • Not a main character, but Kimblee in Fullmetal Alchemist wears a white suit all the time, and gets upset with a soldier for being blown up while talking to him, not to mention the small amount of blood spatter that ends up on his pristine suit. Kimblee's barking mad. He says that it is expensive at one point in Brotherhood.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • Roderich Edelstein aka Austria. Being an aristocrat and proud of it, he gets pissed off if seen disheveled. Heck, he even is embarrassed when his wife sees him like this.
    • Ludwig aka Germany. In one strip, Italy was cooking and Germany was next to him, cleaning. Germany is very big Neat Freak, as revealed by one manga
      Germany: He is also very good at baking, and his cakes both taste and look exquisite... BUT I'M THE ONE WHO HAS TO CLEAN UP AFTERWARDS!
      • This is one of the few things he and his brother have in common.
  • Tonio Trussardi from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable is extremely dedicated to keeping his restaurant's kitchen clean. So much so, that when Josuke enters his kitchen without washing his hands, Tonio throws a cleaver in his direction, before telling him to wash his hands.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords (2004), Blue Link is revealed to be one of these in an omake. It's impossible for him to sleep at night unless his clothes are neatly folded and in a nice neat stack near where he's sleeping.
  • Albert of Moriarty the Patriot has OCD, which, among other symptoms, manifests as a compulsion to maintain neat and orderly surroundings, which his brothers happily accommodate.
  • Hazuki Oikawa from Moyashimon. What a disinfectant-happy girl like her is doing at an agricultural college (and hanging out with people who study microorganisms for a living, at that), we're not sure.
  • Hachi of Mysterious Joker, a trait revealed upon seeing the state of Joker's airship, the creatively named Air Joker.
  • Chiaki from Nodame Cantabile, especially when he first sees Nodame's apartment.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • In "Black and White", Ash and Co. run into a Minccino who is obsessed with cleaning dirty things. It steals Ash's badge case to clean it and most of the episode is revolved around trying to get it back. This proves difficult due to Minccino's elusiveness and speed. Just when it's about to runoff, Bianca, Professor Juniper's lab assistant, pulls out a dirty Pokéball to catch it. Knowing couldn't pass up the opportunity, it decides to clean her Pokéball and ends up getting itself caught.
    • Ash's mom Delia owns a Mr. Mime who's a neat freak too, keeping it in the house as a sort of maid. Mimey's been known to run its vacuum over Ash's face as he sleeps if he doesn't wash it.
    • Serena's Fennekin downplays this — she doesn't like to get her fur dirty or messed up but will ignore it if it means saving her trainer.
  • PriPara: Chili hates getting dirty, and always cleanses herself with her water dance. Episode 123 subverts this, as she gives Pepper a licky-stick (licking your finger and sticking it to someone's forehead) after Pepper gave her one.
  • Ranma ˝: Not overly shown to be a Neat Freak, but Ranma finds himself compulsively tidying Hinako-sensei's apartment (twice), forgetting that he sneaked in to steal her fighting fish in manga volume 30, chapter 5.
  • In the Sailor Moon manga Sailor Jupiter is shown to be this, at one point spending two days cleaning her apartment.
  • Chiri from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei has this as her gimmick. And she's been slowly Flanderized from a simple Neat Freak to a near psychopathic Control Freak who'll be perfectly willing to slaughter the cast in order to maintain order. Any scene featuring her as a centerfold for the scene will inevitably result in comedy and scary moment. In one of the OVAs we're introduced to her older sister, Kitsu Tane, who is her complete opposite and great character foil. We have it explained that in their childhood, Tane chose to become The Pig-Pen and personification of the Trash of the Titans trope in order to save the life of their goldfish, which Chiri had decided to clean... With shampoo...
  • Nami Yamigumo of Silent Möbius is the AMP's resident neat freak. Unfortunately for her, most of her teammates are the exact opposite. This is played up in comic omake strips.
  • As an extension of his Obsessively Organized mannerisms, Death the Kid from Soul Eater always makes sure everything is neat, tidy, and, most importantly, symmetrical.
  • QT from Space☆Dandy. Being a vacuum cleaner robot, it's in his programming, but Meow's room is still beyond him.
  • Squid Girl: Chizuru plays with the trope in that she isn't obsessed with cleanliness per se, but rather the act of cleaning, as she gets restless without anything to do. When her siblings and Ika took over cleaning duties for a while, she ended up developing a menacing aura from being so restless.
  • As is obvious once you get a glimpse of his meticulously clean, almost-empty apartment, Barnaby from Tiger & Bunny does not appreciate clutter. He keeps only the bare minimum furniture; one chair, one small table, one bed, etc., and the only "unessential" objects in the living room (the one room we see properly) are a laptop, a television (both of which he uses to research his parents' murder), a family photo and a toy robot (a birthday present from his parents). He also dislikes the thought of anyone visiting his place, worrying that they'll make a mess.
  • Takasu Ryuuji from Toradora!. You get no points for guessing what his neighbor, best friend, and potential love interest is. Hilariously, Ryuuji's face breaks out into a Slasher Smile most every time he's removing mold from something or other.

    Comic Books 
  • In "The Neat Job," from the first issue of EC Comics's Shock SuspenStories, a man drives his wife over the edge with his obsessive demand that everything in the house is stored in a precise location and manner, even requiring her to keep a running inventory. At the end, when he berates her for breaking a jar of nails, she goes Ax-Crazy on him and then places each of his body parts in carefully-labeled jars.
  • The Transformers (Marvel): Minor Decepticon Windsweeper is obsessed with cleanliness. He used to be the head of Cybertron's Department of Sanitation before the war and was such an extremist that he would have Cybertronians imprisoned for infractions as minor as leaking oil in public. He now patrols the skies for the Decepticons, shooting down everything in his airspace to keep it clean. This leads to him blasting everything that flies with his double laser cannons; he has been documented incinerating targets as important as enemy Autobots down to those as irrelevant as literal insects in his mania to keep the skies clear. He once considered shooting Megatron—not for the usual usurpation purposes, but because Megatron's fighting with Starscream was causing a mess. His bio even says that the best way to beat him is to throw garbage on him and watch him give himself apoplexy by blowing all his fuses.
  • The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: In all fairness to Ultra Magnus, he was undergoing a nervous breakdown at the time, but he still visibly freaked out when Tailgate claimed to have seen a speck of dirt on his desk.

    Fan Works 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Cerasse, such as during a meeting in "Frenzied Fortification":
    "Technically, if we went travelling while we were supposed to be here, we could be accused of dereliction of duty," Cerasse pointed out, demonstrating that she was paying attention despite being busy arranging cookie crumbs in a neat circle.
  • Played for Drama in Ex Tenebris, Lux. Due to her abused past as a servant for her step-family, Cinderella sometimes gets upset about cleanliness. She gets better as time goes on.
  • Played for Drama in Kindred. Cinderella has a deep-rooted obsession with cleanliness thanks to her Dark and Troubled Past being treated as little more than a slave to her abusive step-family.
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, Terra despises dust and dirt, as he sees them as signs of imperfection.
  • Secret Passages characterizes Elsa as one during the years leading up to the events of Frozen (2013). In this case, she keeps her room very neat and tidy so that none of her possessions are ruined whenever she loses control of her powers. This greatly contrasts with Anna, whose room is a complete mess by comparison.
  • Princess Peach in SSBB Oneshots. Quite often in her appearances in the fic, she's either cleaning or threatening bodily harm with her cleaning implements.
  • When Nataline's staying at Valerie's apartment in The Ultimate Evil, she insists on cleaning every night and constantly complains that Valerie misses a spot.
  • Craig Brice's neat freak tendencies in Emergency! are amplified in Vectors by Rose Po. When he gets delirious with fever, he hallucinates killer dust bunnies. When it first happens, his girlfriend had called paramedics after discovering he was sick, and she covered his head with a blanket, saying they wouldn't get him if they couldn't see him. In the hospital, they keep a broom near his bed as it seems to calm him better than the alternative, heavy sedation.

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Amélie: Amélie's parents. Her father likes polishing his shoes, emptying his toolbox, cleaning it thoroughly, and putting everything back. Her mother likes dusting with the slippers on her feet, emptying her handbag, cleaning it thoroughly, and putting everything back.
  • Jack Nicholson's character in As Good as It Gets suffers from the extreme version as a major premise.
  • Bagdad Cafe: Jasmin, as part of her being on the far side of Order with Order Versus Chaos.
    Rita Kempley: Frau Muenchstettner was born to scrub. She is an artist with a Hoover, the type of woman who understands why they'd name a dishwashing liquid Joy.
  • In Coroner Creek, Rancher Della Harms says that she likes things neat and orderly and has her cowhands doing things like planting flowerbeds and painting furniture, much to the bewilderment of her new foreman.
  • In Grim Prairie Tales, The Gunslinger Martin is fastidious and meticulous in his personal appearance and hygiene; believing that this distinguishes him from the common ruck of killers. After the slovenly Colochez dies and bleeds all over him, he scours his skin and can be seen painstakingly picking out every trace of blood from beneath his fingernails.
  • Love at First Sight (2023): Organized Oliver is scared of germs (because of his mother's illness) and will whip out a disinfecting wipe unprompted.
  • Nicholas Cage's character in Matchstick Men, as a result of his obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Major Jasem from Mosul (2020) is this, or as much as one can be in a rather wrecked part of the titular city. Whenever the team stops to rest, he goes about cleaning the immediate area of loose garbage. He even does this in the base of a foreign-led paramilitary group right after a tense Mexican Stand Off. This gets him killed near the end when he trips a booby trap at the ISIS compound.
  • Pierre from The Sense of Wonder instinctively cleans and organizes any space he's in.
  • Alexander in Vincent Wants to Sea has OCD, which logically goes with Neat Freak tendencies. When sent into a gas station to steal a map so the group can get to Italy, he takes the opportunity to make off with several boxes of disposable gloves, which he's shown wearing much of the time. He also freaks out at the idea of the main character (his roommate) using their shared bathroom for anything other than washing.

  • Angela Nicely: Mrs. Nicely gets very angry whenever there’s a mess, and the whole reason she doesn’t want a dog is because she doesn’t want to clean up poop or hair.
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: Myne is a Fish out of Temporal Water, and the time she comes from has much higher hygiene standards than the time in which she has landed. While she has helped her sister and best friend get better opportunities by simply having them wash before interacting with people who value cleanliness more than they do, she also has trouble getting taken seriously when requesting that a group of women about to assist in a childbirth wash their hands.
  • Bruce Coville's Book of... Magic II: The brownie in Clean as a Whistle, who works to keep Jamie Carhart's room spic-and-span, against her will.
  • Tris in the Circle of Magic series. The various relatives she was fobbed off on during her childhood made her earn her keep by housekeeping, and when she first comes to Discipline she corrects the other kids' attempts at it. She makes a point to pitch in with the chores in whatever house she's visiting.
  • In Sara Pennypacker's Clémentine children's chapter books, Clementine's best friend Margaret is this combined with Terrified of Germs. Clementine notes that Margaret's joy of cleaning things is so strong that getting to do so seems like Christmas to her. When they go on a field trip to a historical re-enactment village of U.S. settlers from England, Margaret is horrified by the idea of them having dirt floors, but thrilled to help one of the actresses playing a pioneer woman with the task of cleaning peas.
  • Flora Poste of Cold Comfort Farm. ("I cannot endure messes")
  • Deltora Quest has an entire Cult Colony obsessed with cleanliness to the point where a dinner roll dropping on the ground is a crime.
  • Dirty Bertie:
    • Suzy, Bertie's older sister, likes everything clean, which causes Sibling Rivalry between her and Bertie.
    • Mr. Grouch, the school janitor, really dislikes mess and children, which causes him to despise Bertie.
    • Downplayed for Bertie's father, who seems to get peeved if Bertie messes up something he's currently doing.
    • In the story "Fleas!", a woman moves to the other side of the vets' waiting room upon hearing that Whiffer the dog has fleas, for fear of him being a "filthy fleabag" and passing his fleas onto her dog Fifi.
    • Bertie's mother often tells him to tidy up a lot.
  • In a Dresden Files short story from Thomas' point-of-view, he mentions that Harry seems to have inexplicably become this a few years ago, as his apartment is nearly always spotless. Readers know that this is actually the work of the tiny Fae under orders from the Summer Lady, and Harry cannot tell anyone about them or they go away.
  • The Enchanted Files: In Diary of a Mad Brownie / Cursed, brownies in general have this as a trait of their species — part of their "Great Oath" every brownie swears when they come of age is that "We will maintain order and cleanliness in the households we inhabit, as is good and right." Angus Cairns, the titular mad brownie), having been bound to serve the youngest of-age female in the McGonagall family, is subsequently sworn to keep Alex Carhart's room spic-and-span whether she likes it or not.
  • Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles has Morwen, a witch who lives cleanly enough to subvert the "Kill Witches With Water" stereotype.
  • Goblins in the Castle: When the goblins leave a house, they have a tendency to leave it cleaner than it was before they entered it. This is first seen when they thoroughly clean Toad-in-a-Cage Castle on their way out (though not without causing some mischief in the process).
  • In Going Postal, the obsessive Stanley's side of the Post Office bunkroom is extremely neat, in contrast to Groat's side, which is covered in bits of paper and the chemical residue of his home-made medicine. Where a bit of paper has fallen over the line, Stanley — in strict accordance with the unwritten rules — has carefully removed exactly the bit that's on his side, possibly with a razor blade.
  • Hercule Poirot, though more obsessed with tidying than cleaning.
  • Aunt March from Little Women. Poor Amy really didn't know what she was getting into when she replaced Jo as her lady-in-waiting when Beth was sick...
  • Mr. Standish from The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul is an eccentric variant: a clutter-averse man who keeps his phone, intercom, and personal ornaments sealed up inside his desk, leaving every horizontal surface in his office absolutely bare. The picture frame on the wall is empty, and he has to open a desk drawer every time he wants to check his notes.
  • Monster of the Month Club: Rilla's Aunt Poppy (and not just because she has to keep things clean for their guests), to the point where when Rilla claims she's straightening things up in her room, Poppy views it as an acceptable excuse for running late for class.
  • Moongobble and Me:
    • Fazwad the Mighty has a reputation for being "very fussy", as Urk comments in book 1, and tells Edward they need to have the cottage clean before he gets there.
    • In book 5, the Oggledy Nork sees the Rusty Knight's house, which is rather filthy, and promptly starts cleaning it... and apparently enjoys doing so, to Edward's surprise.
  • Jace Wayland in The Mortal Instruments. Clary notes that his room is as neat as a pin. When he is rooming with Magnus Bane, the poor messy warlock is driven nuts by Jace fixing up his apartment.
  • The main character in Peter Pays Tribute has a pathological fear of germs. He can barely stand to sit on a public bench, and he spends most of his weekends sanitizing his room.
  • Star Trek: In the TOS novel "Ghost-Walker" the small size of crew quarters on the Enterprise of the 2260s - even for officers - means that many people became neat freaks out of necessity given how little in terms of personal space crew are assigned on the ship.
  • The Empire of Falcrest from The Traitor Baru Cormorant obeys the philosophy of Incrasticism, which places great importance on cleanliness and sanitation, going well beyond the physical and into mental and moral grounds. Things that are Incrastic and promote cleanliness include sewers, running water, public education, nuclear families, lobotomies, eugenics. Things that are unclean and must be wiped from society include royalty, religion, mental illness, homosexuality...
  • Whateley Universe: Fractious (Dee Castle), one of the Lit Chix (specifically Diane Castle's Author Avatar), suffers from this, and unfortunately, her mutation has rendered the medications she'd been on before less effective. 'O.C. Dee' is also shown as an obsessive writer, with short stories ballooning to 600-page dissertations. This is shown in a realistic and sympathetic light in Castle's own stories, as she suffers from these issues herself.
  • Carnifex from the Wild Cards series. He is fastidious about his appearance and keeps a number of spare changes of his white suits ready as they have a frequent tendency to get damaged or bloodied.
  • Han Qing-yao from Xenocide.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ricky Fitness of The Aquabats! Super Show! doesn't like getting dirty and keeps sanitation products with him at all times; his Handi-Gel defeats Dr. Eva Mudlark's muck monsters in "Laundry Day!" but his Wet Naps don't work against a monster who is made of lint and cleaning chemicals.
  • Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory. There's an episode in the first season where, seeing the messy state of across-the-hall-neighbor Penny's apartment, he sneaks over in the middle of the night while she's sleeping to clean.
    Leonard: Sheldon, this is not your home.
    Sheldon: No, this is not anyone's "home"! This is a swirling vortex of entropy!
  • Played up in Breaking Bad in the episode "Fly", a Bottle Episode which revolves entirely around Walt becoming obsessed with trying to kill a fly that has entered the meth lab, refusing to work until it's gone out of fear it will contaminate something. Jesse lampshades how utterly ridiculous this fear is.
    Jesse: We have the world's least picky customers! We make poison for people who don't care!
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Mayor often delivers little speeches on the importance of cleanliness (including clean fingernails), keeps things neatly aligned on his desk, and abhors germs.
  • Daredevil (2015): Benjamin "Dex" Poindexter in season 3 is shown to keep his apartment very meticulously clean and organized.
  • Recurring character Craig Brice on Emergency!, who drives Roy nuts rearranging the drug box alphabetically and wanting everything just right.
  • Simon on Firefly fits this. He always stays proper and immaculately dressed and isn’t fond of getting dirty. It’s his being a proper upper-class core boy that prompts it.
  • Kate Littlejohn in For the People keeps her office in impeccable order and hates when people intrude.
  • Niles Crane from Frasier bordering on dysfunctionally so. A recurring gag is him wiping cafe chairs with a handkerchief before sitting down on them. An episode in the final season implies that it may be the result of a childhood babysitter telling him horror stories about the furniture being covered in insect eggs.
  • Monica Geller in Friends, who (amidst many, many other things) can't sleep after she willingly leaves her shoes in the living room in order to prove she's not as much a Neat Freak as everybody thinks. Everybody's right, of course. Once, she vacuums her vacuum cleaner with a smaller one and then wishes she had an even smaller one to vacuum that one. In one episode, Ross briefly dates a woman whose apartment is filled with garbage. When Monica learns about this, she shows up in the middle of the night and begs the woman to let her clean the place.
  • Danny Tanner from Full House fits this trope, so much so the trope could be named after him. He thinks of big spring cleaning as an equivalent of Christmas.
  • Burke's apartment in Grey's Anatomy is this, in stark contrast to the Trash of the Titans state of Cristina's apartment.
    Meredith: You're going through his stuff, aren't you?
    Cristina: Oh, there's no stuff to go through! It's a freak show. I mean, you can do surgery in here. [pauses] Oh. He arranged his books using the Dewey Decimal system. Mer, I'm scared.
    Meredith: Get out. Get out of the house now.
  • Subverted with Sylar on Heroes. Flashbacks show that he kept an eerily clean and organized apartment with plastic-covered furniture. But when the second he snapped and began murdering people, he had no qualms about getting dirty to get what he wants. He also emptied out and cleaned his apartment with amazing speed after realizing Mohinder had discovered evidence of his crimes as the place was completely stripped out the next day when Mohinder returned with the police.
  • Harvey and Val Denton on The League of Gentlemen, to the point where they force Benjamin to clean the cleaning implements.
  • Monk: Adrian Monk has this as his premise. One episode has him unable to concentrate on a crime scene because a nearby cop's socks don't match.
  • Brittany's parents Michael and Loretta Flune in Mortified. In "Girl Power", they vacuum their front lawn in preparation for the sale of their house.
  • Jamie on Mythbusters shades into this at times. One of his trademarks is his always-spotless white shirt - which remains spotless even when his hands are completely covered in oil and grease, right up to his rolled-up sleeves. In the background, when they're filming in the main M5 shop area, you'll often see one of the signs Jamie made, reading "Clean Up Or Die".
  • NCIS agent Nikki Jardine was so obsessively germ-phobic that she even turned off Tony DiNozzo with her constant cleaning.
  • Felix Unger from The Odd Couple. Given he lives with Oscar Madison, his polar opposite, this drives him up the wall.
  • Odd Squad:
    • Olive is one in contrast to her partner Otto, who loves to get dirty. It's most notably seen in "Trials and Tubulations" where she spreads the bare minimum of mud needed on her body in order to evade the laser chicken's detection, while Otto slathers himself in it. However, since she's a Tomboy, her tendency to be neat and organized is not to an obsessive extent.
    • O'Callaghan, a tube operator working at Precinct 13579, is revealed in "Odd Outbreak" to wash the tubes eleven times a day.
    • Olympia, being a perfectionist, loves to clean and doesn't like dirty things, but shockingly, she never takes it to obsessive levels of cleanliness. In "Total Zeroes", she tells Otis that she spent her work break down in the Filing Room refiling the various filing drawers in there.
    • In "Crime at Shapely Manor", General Pentagon invokes the trope, using the excuse of liking his hands to be clean and running away from the party when the lights went out to wash them in order to throw the other party guests, as well as Olive and Otto, off his trail.
  • Claireparker from Pixelface. In "Reset", she explains that because everything in her game is so dirty and broken, she feels compelled to keep the console as neat and perfect as possible.
  • On Saturday Night Live, one of Phil Hartman's reoccurring characters was the cooking-show host "The Anal-Retentive Chef", who painstakingly cleaned up every last scrap following each step in the recipe of the day.
  • Schitt's Creek:
    • David keeps his side of the motel room very tidy, and his bed is always made. He is frequently seen straightening things up, and he keeps his store very orderly.
    • Ted owns three vacuums and his apartment is always immaculate, despite having multiple pets.
  • Jerry on Seinfeld. Whenever it comes up, the other characters make fun of him for it - after all, Men Can't Keep House.
  • In Seriously Weird, Harris Pembleton is practically anal in his compulsion for order. Which is a problem when you have been cursed to be a Weirdness Magnet.
  • Martha in So Awkward. In "Mr. Sicky Bear", Martha stays at Jas' house when they both have colds. When she gets there though, she discovers Jas' house is a mess and spends ages cleaning. She also washes a teddy that Jas' dad uses to cheer up Jas when she is sick, which deeply upsets Jas and her dad.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • Odo. Dax likes to move everything in his quarters over by an inch to drive him nuts.
      • Nog became one after attending Starfleet Academy, much to the consternation of his friend Jake Sisko when he returned to the station and the two became roommates.
    • Seemingly everyone in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Whenever anyone notices anything out of place, they point it out instantly, and it always turns out to be a major plot point. Likewise, no messes are ever seen aboard the Starship Enterprise. The main cast are officers on a military starship; a large one but still a starship. It's a closed environment. Anything that spills and gets left out eventually gets into everything and there are some really high-tech gadgets all over the place that could be affected by being gummed up. Not to mention neatness is strongly encouraged in most naval training and such attention becomes a habit over time. It is confirmed in "Up the Long Ladder" that the ship is self-cleaning; the mechanism for this is never described.
  • James May on Top Gear (UK), who keeps a paintbrush in his car to clean the air vents and gets uneasy when things are out of order. Most likely has some degree of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Mocked by Clarkson via application of a watch bezel. If it's not aligned to the right point he'll forcibly try to sort it out. The result was jokingly compared to Kryptonite.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Tutter from Bear in the Big Blue House, a Muppet program. Muppet fans have noted a strong similarity between the two. Tutter even has his own song about it — "Why Can't the Dirt Just Leave Me Alone?"

  • Craig's Wife: Harriet is this to an extreme degree, ordering Walter that he can only smoke in certain rooms (an outrageous demand in the 1920s), having special brushes to dust the house plants, freaking out at the prospect of rose petals falling onto the floor.

    Video Games 
  • Viscera Cleanup Detail revolves solely around the concept of cleaning up after the gory fight scenes in video games.
  • Izumi Kyōka of Bungo to Alchemist is Terrified of Germs to the max and obsesses over cleanliness to the point where he recooks food that's already cooked before deeming it safe to eat, and even then won't even eat the part his hand has touched. Bonus points for being voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya, who voices the renowned neat freak Levi from Attack on Titan.
  • One of Geary's two personalities in Crash Nitro Kart.
  • In The Sims 2, Sims with a high Neatness score will be bugged by messes more than other Sims. The same goes for Sims with the Neat trait in The Sims 3 and 4.
  • Sada'akira from AkaSeka may very well be the next Levi. He yells at his servants for "turning his house into a garbage dump" even though he's just been away for a while and the only thing that's gotten dirty is the lamps which have naturally gathered soot, among other things. In his profile, his hobby is stated to be cleaning.
  • Frederick in Fire Emblem: Awakening. When Chrom asks him to tone it down a bit, this results in a minor psychological breakdown that culminates in him dusting Robin. It also causes Maribelle to mistake him for a steward.
  • God of War (PS4): Sindri The Blacksmith is one of these, very much unlike his brother Brok, who is more of a Genius Slob. It's one of the many, many things they butt heads over before reconciling near the end. Every time Kratos hand him his bloody axe to upgrade, he threatens to vomit. In God of War Ragnarök, after Brok dies, one of the most troubling things about Sindri's reaction to it is how he no longer seems to care about getting covered in blood and grime afterward.
  • Ususama Myōō from Namu Amida Butsu! -UTENA- is the god of the toilet, as such he highly stresses hygiene and has very particular methods and standards for keeping the temple clean.
  • Minccino and Cinccino in the Pokémon games. Minccino uses its tail to clean up dust, and Cinccino's scarf-like fur repels dust and prevents static cling.
  • Undertale has Woshua, an anthropomorphic washing basin who doubles as a birdbath and is obsessed with cleaning things. One of its attacks throws a bar of soap at you.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series backstory, this was a trait of Emperor Pelagius the Mad. In addition to being an Axe-Crazy Mood-Swinger, he forced the servants of his palace to continuously scrub the place at all hours of the day.
  • Broom Hatter from the Kirby is this. She is always seen sweeping with her iconic broom and doesn't even try to attack Kirby, as she's so obsessed with cleaning up around her. Her trophy description in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U suggests she doesn't use her broom as a Flying Broomstick because she's a clean freak. In fact, her Guest Star description in Kirby Star Allies has her set out to stop the Jambastion cult and clean the entire world.
  • Mario's brother Luigi is revealed to be this in Luigi's Mansion. His commentary on the game boy horror has him complain about moth holes in the furniture, say how the mansion would never pass the White Glove Test, how he wishes he could tidy up a bit before he left, and compliments a room that is clean, saying it's just how he likes it. As well as this, his weapon in the game is a vacuum cleaner.
  • Moshi Monsters has Moe Yukky, a shopkeeper who qualifies as this as he takes four hours to mop the floor and believes that pet houses should be cleaned every day.
  • Tales of Vesperia: In the PS3 version and Definitive Edition, if you do the final portion of the Yumanju Hot Springs quest, your party is assigned various tasks to help out at the hot springs. As Yuri, you find Flynn in one of the rooms cleaning. Yuri mentions that he recalls how Flynn always kept his room so clean that you couldn't tell that anyone lives there. They reminisce for a bit before Flynn goes back to cleaning, saying that there's some mold that looks like it's going to put up a fight.

    Visual Novels 
  • Nameless has Tei's former owner be indicated to be very obsessed with cleanliness in flashbacks or when Tei tells his story to Eri. She kept Tei in his box and took him out for only one hour a day when she cleaned or dusted him. When he was handled by someone else and dropped onto the floor, she had a nervous breakdown and began to call him 'dirty' and hate him.
  • In the Yarudora game Sampaguita, the heroine, Maria Santos, really loves to do the cleaning (even though the protagonist's flat isn't at Trash of the Titans-level messy): several scenes show her happily and diligently cleaning the flat, and she abhors cockroaches.

  • Mordecai Heller (whom the trope quote is referring to) from Lackadaisy. Due to the nature of his job, he often seems to end up disheveled or Covered in Gunge anyway, much to his chagrin. To be fair, sometimes his reactions only make the problem worse, most notably when he shot their driver because of sinus trouble.
    Mordecai: He was getting snot all over everything.
    Viktor: Vell, now he iss getting brains all ova everything.
  • El Goonish Shive:
  • Erika and the Princes in Distress : Bucephalus refuses to be mounted by someone unless they wash their hands, cross puddles of mud, or sleep outside, and he absolutely freaks out if he gets even a single tiny stain on himself.
  • Abner of Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name is highly mysophobic and OCD, to the point of wearing a surgical mask and gloves as a preventive measure.
  • Joey Von Krause from Mortifer. It's probably OCD, as he really hates being touched as well. This also figures into the plot: a throwaway line from "William" ("How they expect me to work in this filth is beyond me") about his perfectly clean office is a clue as to his real identity...
  • Connie of Waterworks is downright germophobic, to the point where being splashed with what she thinks is toilet water sends her into a murderous rage.
  • In Rhapsodies Blossom's unseen roommate, Hilda, is so tidy she even cleans the apartments of people she visits. (No one knows where she got the cleaning supplies.)
  • While all the main characters on Scrub Club are focused on washing hands, Scruff seems more focused on washing in general, enjoying "clean" versions of songs and liking the song "So Fresh, So Clean". He even soaks his fingernails as a guilty pleasure.
  • Julian from The Guide to a Healthy Relationship is constantly cleaning something or tidying up; they work as a janitor and are very meticulous in their job, and they keep their home painstakingly clean. Although the latter is implied to be at least partly due to fearing punishment from their partner, even a flashback to childhood shows Julian folding laundry while talking to a friend.
  • The Freckled Nun in Little Nuns takes genuine pleasure in cleaning up the countless messes the other nuns leave behind.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Mechanicles, "the Greatest of the Great Greek Geniuses", from Aladdin: The Series is entirely obsessed with cleanliness. Most of his schemes are some over-the-top method to "clean" the world, such as wiping out a rainforest he considered filthy or boiling the oceans to steam clean the world.
  • Alfred in Batman: The Animated Series. When he and Bruce briefly visit a run-down movie store, Alfred tries his finger on the counter, glares at the dirt it comes up with, and wipes the counter clean(-ish) with a cloth. Given that he's a butler, and part of his job is the upkeep of Wayne Manor, it's pretty understandable.
  • Alfred from Batman: The Animated Series later appears in Justice League, having still retained this problem. After an attack squad of Thanagarians barges in to attack the League in the Batman, he's seen dutifully sweeping up the enormous mess they've made as the team heads out to make their assault. "Mind the broken glass, sir."
  • Squishington from Bump in the Night is often very obsessed with cleanliness, to the point that "Better Homes and Garbage" had his friendship with Mr. Bumpy threatened when he cleaned Bumpy's house even though he liked it messy.
  • In The Cramp Twins, Mrs. Cramp is obsessed with keeping everything in her home clean. She has even created dangerous cleaners, including one that can burn through clothing.
  • F.O.W.L. agent Ammonia Pine from Darkwing Duck was not just a neat freak, but a villain with an arsenal of weapons made from modified cleaning instruments. (Ironically, she had a sister named Ample Grime who was the opposite, a complete slob. Even more ironic, the two siblings made quite an effective team in one episode - until the end where both villains were apprehended, at which point they started flinging insults at each other.)
  • Dexter's mom in Dexter's Laboratory. The episode "Pslyghtly Psycho" suggests that she is actually germophobic, particularly when her gloves and slippers are removed and she finds herself afraid to even set foot on the carpet barefoot.
  • Edd from Ed, Edd n Eddy, which clashes heavily with his friend Ed.
  • The titular character of Harvey Beaks is very sensitive about keeping things tidy and clean. When he was hatched the first thing he ever did was clean up his eggshell.
  • Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: One of the episodes even shares the same name of this trope! In this episode, Ami becomes obsessed with cleanliness here, big time.
  • Zim of Invader Zim at one point becomes this after realizes (incorrectly, by the way) that Earth was covered in germs that could quite possibly kill him. He then goes on a cleaning spree, even going as far as tying Gir onto a tree outside because he was so infested. At the end of the episode, he's seen wearing a "suit" of meat since the meat itself was designed to be sanitized for space travel and, thus, germ-free.
  • Disney's Lilo & Stitch: The Series has Experiment 010, whom Lilo names Felix. The problem is that Jumba programmed him to be too much of a Neat Freak.
  • Little Princess has the Maid, who screams at mess or disorder.
  • Martha Speaks:
    • Mrs. Demson, the grumpy old lady, complains about many things including mess.
    • One of the reasons Helen's grandmother Lucille and Martha the dog don't get along well is because Lucille worries Martha will shed or drool on her furniture.
    • Mr. Sterns, the school janitor, is such a neat freak that he'll freak out if he sees just one strand of dog hair out of place.
  • Deconstructed with Bloberta (mom) on Moral Orel. This is her psychological problem. A real one.
  • Rocky Hauler (AKA Rhino Dump Truck) from Matchbox Hero City was like this at the beginning of an episode, then later realizes that it's better to get dirty and help than be the said trope.
  • XJ-4, one of Jenny's sisters from My Life as a Teenage Robot is a robot who compulsively cleans everything she sees.
  • My Little Pony:
    • My Little Pony 'n Friends: In "Through the Door", Hercules turns out to be something of a cleanliness freak, apparently as a holdout from the Augean stables incident, and an obsessive duster.
      Hercules: Filthy dirt! Filthy, filthy dirt!
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Rarity displays this at times, especially in "Look Before You Sleep". She hates getting dirty, folds bedsheets a precise way, and spends her time picking up and positioning fallen trinkets instead of focusing on the huge tree that has crashed through the window. Her attention to detail helps solve the problem, though. Played with in "Sisterhooves Social" when Rarity discovers her sister Sweetie Belle has organized her "inspiration room", which was previously messy and gets completely outraged. Sweetie Belle comments about how Rarity now "likes" messes, to which Rarity clarifies that it was "organized chaos" on her end, which plays into her being an artist/fashion designer. At first still pissed about the supposed lack of inspiration, a short time later Rarity comes up with an idea for a full spectrum clothing line based on how Sweetie Belle organized the different colored fabrics.
  • Rocko from Rocko's Modern Life is a subversion in that while he does like his house clean, he often does let cleaning fall by the wayside.note  While he does produce Trash of the Titans, he always cleans it up... with hilarious results.
  • Chuckie from Rugrats is shown to be this way, which is Tommy's breaking point after spending a week with him in one episode. Chuckie ends up taking it to a major extreme in another episode, where he dons a germ-proof "suit" and attempts to force the babies not to play anything to keep clean. Tommy and the twins quickly get him out of that phase.
  • Marge from The Simpsons often displays this trait. In one episode she wins a free housecleaning but wants to pre-clean the house in order to impress the maids.
  • Mr. Herriman on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, although he often takes it to ridiculous and incredibly strict proportions. For instance, when Frankie throws a banana peel in the bin labeled "B", thinking that's where a banana should go, Herriman tells her it should go in the "P" bin because it's a "peel of banana".
  • In Time Squad, Amelia Earhart is depicted as this, and that's what prevents her from flying airplanes - at first.
  • Hamton from Tiny Toon Adventures gets special notice considering he's a pig.
  • One-shot villain Mr. Washer from Codename: Kids Next Door took this to rather absurd proportions. He was so obsessed with keeping his store's countertop clean that he plotted to destroy every hot dog cart in the city, simply to stop his customers from getting chili-dog residue on it. Laser-Guided Karma hit when his attempt to destroy the hot dog factory resulted in his counter - and entire store - being destroyed when his plane crashed into it.
  • Totally Spies!:
  • An episode of My Dad the Rock Star has Willie meeting his new girlfriend's parents. They throw away the flowers Willie wanted to give them because they came from dirt, they spray the tracks he leaves, and has everything wrapped in plastic (including the dog).
  • Porky Pig in The Looney Tunes Show. His reorganization of Bugs's house in "Gossamer is Awesomer" drives Bugs round the bend.
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Rabbit is an extreme case. In one episode, Rabbit finds there's nothing left for him to clean, so he decides to go on a vacation to visit his relatives, only for him to hate it when they won't let him clean anything. And when he gets back and sees that his friends had totally wrecked his house while he was away, he was actually happy because he can spend all his time cleaning up the mess.
  • Pearl from Steven Universe is so obsessed with order and cleanliness that when the Crystal Gems drew up a chore wheel with Dusting, Laundry, Mopping, and Dishes on it, she crossed off everyone else's name and substituted her own.
  • Blossom in The Powerpuff Girls (2016) is so obsessed with keeping things clean that one episode has her save the day by creating a giant vacuum cleaner, killing the monster with it, then cleaning up the street afterward. She also seems to be Terrified of Germs.
  • Mrs. Twombly on Littlest Pet Shop (2012) isn't normally this way, but apparently she comes down with "clean fever" once a year. She runs around like a mad woman, polishing a turtle's shell and freaking out over a single pet hair on the counter, and then has a full-on mental breakdown because she's run out of her favorite cleaner. She's back to normal by the end of the episode and doesn't seem to have any memory of it.
  • What's with Andy? has Principal DeRosa, who's described by Danny as a "clean freak" in one episode.
  • The Director of the Bureau of Grossology is incredibly squeamish, and the slightest hint that something gross is going on will send him into a panic. How he ended up the head of an organization that deals with some of the world's grossest supervillains is anyone's guess.
  • Mega Man: Fully Charged: Wave Man, although his methods for cleaning up Silicon City end up flooding it instead.
  • In Zeke's Pad, Zeke's mother Ida has extraordinarily strict cleaning rules. In "Clean Slate", Zeke turns her into The Pigpen, only to discover this is even worse.
  • Kaeloo:
    • Kaeloo likes keeping things organized and tidy, and despises messes of any kind. This also extends to other people's messes, as evidenced by her walking into her friend Stumpy's room and freaking out when she sees how messy the room looks.
    • Stumpy's mother is even more obsessed with tidiness than Kaeloo, to the extent that she cleans Stumpy's room herself when it starts to get messy so she doesn't have to deal with knowing that the mess exists.
  • Work It Out Wombats!: Mr. E is zealous about keeping everything tidy and organized, whether it be his shell garden or the shelves of the Everything Emporium.


Video Example(s):


Cleanliness obsessed roommate

In "Horrible Roommates", Dolan's brother, Zaraganba, tells the story of Emojie moving in with a man who's very tidy. Perhaps a bit too tidy...

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / NeatFreak

Media sources: