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Smell Phone

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Nothing is safe from fried oyster skins.

Bad smells can be a rather unpleasant thing for the nose. Under the right circumstances, the smell can be pretty powerful; sometimes, so powerful that they can travel through communication devices. It won't matter even if you're either in an airtight bunker or miles away, because if you have any way to talk to someone via any communication device whatsoever, the smell can and will reach you.

A form of Beyond the Impossible. Sub-Trope of Reaching Between the Lines. See also Telephone Teleport.


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    Comic Books 
  • In one Disney Ducks Comic Universe story, Donald tries to invent something new, and one of his ideas is a smell-transferring phone. However, it also picks up bad smells from along the phone line, so he scraps it.
  • In Transmetropolitan, Spider once got asked to test out a TV that uses a small Matter Replicator to add scent. The image shows him standing over the wreckage of said TV with a machine gun.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Les Visiteurs: Subverted when Godefroy is trying to get his squire Jacquouille to return to the Middle Ages with him (by phone), but Jacquouille refuses. So Godefroy tells Jacquouille the Time Travel has started to rot him from the insides, giving him foul breath that can be smelled from the other end of the phone. Jacquouille disbelieves him, and tries it out by breathing onto a hapless bystander... who, of course, starts gagging at the unbearable stench of the mouth of a Medieval Moron from The Dung Ages. Later, Jacquouille says he's discovered tooth's-paste and doesn't need to leave.

  • All Tomorrows has the "olfactory television" used by the Snake People, where scents replace audio (because their hearing is limited due to their lack of external ears; for the same reason, their version of music is based on vibrations).
  • The Klutz company made a book of wacky fictitious inventions, one of which was the Smell Pod. Instead of playing music, it played scents, complete with earbuds which you stuck in your nose.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In one All That opening segment, Danny's foot odor is so bad that it knocks everyone around him unconscious, including his mother when he talks to her over the phone.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppet Show: In the Zero Mostel episode, Scooter takes a phone call from his uncle, and asks him to put out his cigar as smoke emanates from the receiver.

    Web Animation 

  • Rudy Dewclaw from Kevin & Kell can ascertain that he's cyber-chatting with Fiona by sniffing the CPU exhaust fan.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Pact", when Gumball attempts to tell Miss Simian about her terrible morning breath from the safety of a pay phone, the stench carries through the phone line and knocks him to the floor.
  • Parodied in Arthur, where in the episode "Cereal", Buster tries to show someone the smell of something in a podcast, but then realizes he can't.
  • Biker Mice from Mars: In the episode "Garbage Wars", when Limburger is talking with the Loogie Brothers through a video screen, their infamous smell somehow gets through the television to Limburger.
  • The Day My Butt Went Psycho!: Deuce's natural odour hidden by his fart field (a natural layer of scum used to mask a Butt's natural odor) is so powerful, Eleanor is able to smell it right through Zack's computer. It also causes the computer to break from the stench.
  • In the first episode of The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants, when the Monster of the Week Flabby Flabulous farts on our heroes, the Lemony Narrator tells the viewers to "turn down the smell on their TVs."
  • Futurama:
    • The Smellescope, a telescope that can allow the user to smell odors from faraway places.
      Professor Farnsworth: If a dog craps anywhere in the universe, you can bet I won't be out of the loop.
    • Zoidberg's uncle Harold Zoid says his acting career went downhill as soon as Smell-O-Vision was invented (their species smells like rotting crab).
  • In the Looney Tunes cartoon, "The Old Grey Hare" according to a newspaper from the year 2000, Smellevision has replaced television.
  • Discussed in The Powerpuff Girls episode "Telephonies", when the opening narration is interrupted by a prank call from Ace, who tells the narrator he stinks so bad he can smell him over the phone.
  • Right Now Kapow: In one segment, a football coach suffers from terrible breath and the team asks him to eat a mint, which only makes it worse and smell like "hot, winter-green garbage." Then the team makes him go all the way to the other side of the field while he gives instructions through the quarterback's wireless headset, only for his breath to wind up being transmitted right through the headset. The team desperately tries to get the quarterback's helmet off, only for them and the other team to get knocked out by the coach's breath.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Squidville", Patrick's bad breath from eating fried oyster skins travels though a communicator box and knocks out the guards on the other side.

    Real Life 


Video Example(s):



Thinking that an intercom is an ordering box for a fast food restaurant, Patrick knocks out the guards on the other end with his horrible breath.

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