and it's stinking to high heaven"
You know what this is going to be about. Skunks stink. It's a known fact. What isn't so well known (at least among fiction creators) is why they smell. Some works portray it correctly, as a stream of stinky liquid coming out the butt. (The glands are very near the anus proper. Cats and dogs have the glands too, but for marking territory.) Others show a cloud of gas coming out the butt, maybe accompanied by farting sounds. Sometimes the stuff comes out the tail, an example of Artistic License Biology which can be less squicky than the former two. Perhaps unfairest of all, skunks are frequently shown as just plain stinky, 24/7! Not surprising, therefore, if Visible Odor comes into play.
That skunk spray smells rotten is Truth in Television; it can make a bear clear out! It's so vile that it adheres to the clothing and hair of anyone within nose-shot. The spray is also very durable and extremely poisonous, getting even worse in water rather than washing off. And if you live in the country, you know when a skunk's been hit, even if it's a good mile away! And a dead skunk smells worse than a live one.
It should be noted that skunks have a limited amount of spray, and if they run out, it can take a couple of weeks for them to get it back. That's why they threaten you as much as they think they can get away with — "Stop, or I Will Shoot!" in animal form (which might explain the trouble MythBusters had acquiring some of the spray). Their distinctive coloration (not necessarily the skunk stripe) relates to this as well, serving as a warning signal to both humans and wildlife. And the spray isn't total protection, for the skunk's enemies include the owl — owls have a poor sense of smell, so skunks scramble for the nearest hole or thistle branch.
Contrary to their harmless-looking images, truly-evil skunks are a commonplace in fiction, due to the fact their stinky and poisonous smells, among other things, associate them with the malice, because Evil Smells Bad. Skunks are rarely portrayed as good in most of fiction (and if they are, that's Played for Laughs), and are often seen as Unpleasant Animal Counterpart where the Weasel Mascot (or Frisky Ferret specifically) exists.
A common subversion of this trope, in works with Talking Animals, is for the skunk character to be upset for someone assuming it to be true (and may make it true in retaliation), or be grateful if they don't bring it up. Another common variant is to only have the skunk spray when startled, in place of a Jump Scare (and make it Faux Affably Evil if not a Running Gag).
It is possible to remove the stink glands via surgery, and this is obviously standard for pet skunks. Still, having a skunk standing at your door might be better than a dog to deter potential thieves. For someone who has already been skunked, sadly, fiction's favorite remedy to get rid of the smell, a bath in tomato juice, doesn't actually work. Fortunately, the actual remedy to remove the smell is no more difficult, and less gross in its own right: merely scrubbing with a combination of peroxide, baking soda and detergent will break down the smelly compounds and get you back to your original scent.
- One of Kimba/Leo's peers in the 2009 film adaptation of Kimba the White Lion is a nameless striped skunk, who's petty and not shy about his stench but later on uses it to help the protagonists. This seems like an instance of Misplaced Wildlife given that skunks aren't native to any jungle environment, until it's revealed that the plot takes place After the End with humanity having screwed the environment, and the jungle the animals are living in is artificial.
- The Collectible Card Game anime Mazica Party features a Tool Mazin called Shkunk, who is essentially a living skunk-shaped squirt bottle and, naturally, his body contains a stinky liquid that he sprays from a nozzle on his rear. It's also one of the few examples of this trope that acknowledges how skunk spray is not only stinky, but flammable, as one of his attacks involves spraying a cloud of stink that ignites into an explosion. Ironically Shkunk's partner Smell is a wizard who studies pleasant smells and Shkunk initially feels unfit to be his partner because of it, but Smell takes it in stride and the two are shown to be very close. Doesn't stop Shkunk from accidentally knocking Smell out with his gas, though.
- Ox Tales has Cecil the Skunk being so excessive that Ollie plugs him with a cork.
- This happens in episode 4 of Penguindrum
- In Stitch!, Hamsterviel sends a skunk-like alien to retrieve Mr. Stenchy for him, it's able to shoot powerful stink bombs from its fur instead of spraying. It turns out not only is she in love with Mr. Stenchy, her stench and his stench mix to form a delightful smell.
- To Love Ru has an interesting variation, as rather than spraying anything stinky, the alien skunk has a spray that de-ages anyone it hits.
- In Transformers: Car Robots (and its US counterpart Transformers: Robots in Disguise) one of the Destron/Predacons is a robotic skunk. While he does emit a noxious gas sometimes to use as a smokescreen, it comes out his mouth (in both robot and beast modes). His tail is a weapon that becomes a ponytail/hairwhip in robot mode.
- Amusingly, one episode had him try to spray from under his tail like a skunk. What happened next depends on which dub you're watching. The Japanese dub implies he could spray from under his tail, but he decides not to because it might be indecent. The English dub has him try, only to fail as he remembers he's not a real skunk. Either way, he elects to use his gas breath instead.
- The original version of the toy during the Transmetals II run of Beast Wars toys was even named "Stinkbomb."
- In the Issue four of the Harley Quinn: The Animated Series The Eat. Bang! Kill. Tour, the superhero Vixen uses her animal powers to spray Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy after believing Ivy intentionally set a horde of animals on her.
- In Marvel Universe, the Mephitisoids are an entire race of humanoid skunks with powerful pheromone abilities. Unlike the standard for this trope, however, they don't rely on noxious or toxic odors — their pheromones give them Mind Control abilities, which almost helped them beat the ancient Shi'ar in a war for galactic conquest. Only males have access to the power at all times; females can only use them during mating season, and this is why only female Mephitisoids are allowed off of their quarantined colony-worlds. The most famous Mephitisoid is Hepzibah, a member of the Space Pirate crew called the Starjammers, who are minor allies of the X-Men. Ironically, due to a combination of lacking the trademark stink power and ongoing Art Evolution, she has become widely confused for a Cat Girl.
- Subverted in Ninja High School; the alien skunk-people called the Salusians lack stink glands. Instead, they possess Super Strength.
- A French graphic-novel series, Pin-Up, about an alternate mid-Twentieth Century American history, has the titular character briefly have a stepson who keeps a skunk as a beloved pet. The smell becomes an issue only once, when the kid and his pet sneak into a military base, were caught by guards, and the skunk reacted.
- Averted with Geoffrey St. John in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). He never used his stink glands, preferring more underhanded means instead.
- The Smurfs story "Bathing Smurfs" substitutes skunks with polecats, given that Gargamel's run-in with such a creature in his attempt to find the Smurfs takes place in a European forest.
- In the cover◊ of World's Finest #68 a skunk sends Batman, Robin and Superman running for cover. This proves that human or superhuman, NOBODY wants to tangle with a skunk!
- One Beetle Bailey strip had war games being postponed due to Company A being afflicted with this trope.
- One of these showed up to bully Dilbert in a few strips, coercing him to get him food lest he get scared and hose the place.
Skunk: Now I'm scared you won't sing the songs from Cats while I eat.
- The Far Side has a couple of examples:
- One showed a Skunk stink-gland removal surgery in the midst of going wrong. "You fool! You've armed the thing! It's gonna blow!"
- Another one, which Gary Larson's editor deemed too offensive for publication, had a family of skunks sitting down to dinner and the "man of the house" groaning "Beans again? Well, it won't make much difference."
- Another strip has one construction worker talking up his skunk sandwich to his coworker while trying to trade it away for the other guy's banana.
- Subverted with Miz Mam'selle Hepzibah, the local skunk and sex symbol in Pogo; she is never even hinted at as smelling anything other than pleasant, and prefers a shotgun loaded with rock salt for dispatching anybody who riles her up.
- In Rose is Rose, the squirrel that Peekaboo bothers gets a skunk to 'hang out'. Peekaboo wisely chose to leave them alone.
- Calvin and Hobbes: The Series has a random skunk that Dad almost runs over on the way to court. Later, it sprays him and makes him pass out, forcing Calvin to take his place.
- Camping Troubles: the My Little Pony Tales cast going on a camping trip and finding one in their tent. Thus they have to try and get it out without it spraying inside.
- Codex Equus:
- Aniwyes are jumbo sized ones of these. They're mostly peaceful if left alone, but rather territorial if disturbed. Their spray is also much, much worse than normal, enough so it can knock a pony unconscious or drive off a hydra.
- Pakak, the Draconequi Spirit of Mischief and Karma, has a fully functional skunk tail as one of his parts. He can actually create an aspect of himself based off it that assumes the shape of an Aniwye which was guarding his prison. Unfortunately for Rainbow Dash, she gets sprayed retrieving it, though luckily Pakak rewards her by cleaning her off. His daughter Katharsis inherited it from him.
- Medik, the Bogolenya God of Combat Medics, Healing, and Wartime Rescue, is half Draconequus, and has a skunk tail. It's fully functional, and he's not afraid to use it in self defense.
- The Great Skunk race are sapient skunks who, as to be expected, can spray, though they're not as bad as Aniwyes. They can also hybridize with ponies via magic. Their parental god is basically a divine version of Pepe Le Pew, who's musk can knock out adult dragons. The rest of his Pantheon are similar.
- Disskunks are Emotion Eater skunks who feed off disgust, as such they essentially feed by spraying and smell much worse than a normal skunk, though not as bad as an Aniwye.
- Sweetheart managed to turn Professor Kabuto's Werebeast virus against him, resulting in him being turned into a Wereskunk with her morality. This strain is still in existence to this day and used by a religious order that follows her beliefs.
- Smellba, a Hydianite witch, is a sapient skunk with powerful scene magic who uses it torture others. This is noted as being no less awful as any other kind of torture.
- In Equestria: Across the Multiverse:
- The Mane Six arrive in an Equestria were an encounter with an evil warlock turned their native selves into Werebeasts, but the Elements let them retain their mind and morality. Fluttershy is a Wereskunk, with all that implies, as is anyone she were to infect. Notably, her Wereskunk form is portrayed realistically with spraying a horrid smelling liquid from the base of her tail that temporarily blinds the victim if it gets in their eyes. Because she's gigantic compared to a normal skunk (especially given her Wereskunk form is much larger than a pony), she also has far longer range and sprays a lot more at once. It's surprisingly effective, and she manages to effectively neutralize attack helicopters by spraying the gunner, as it's rather hard to fire accurately when you're temporarily blind and coughing your head off.
- Were!Fluttershy bit and infected Tales!Kabuto, turning him into one as well. His guard finds out the hard way every night when he transforms and rescues his own captives under the curse's influence, normally spraying the grunts in the process.
- Another universe has skunks having evolved as the primary sapient species rather than ponies. They're also realistic depictions, and use their musk in potion making.
- Hidden Fragrance, a unicorn in several universes, has a skunk theme to her and has scents as her special talent, so she can use spells to make horrible smells. Don't compare her to one though.
- The Tales 7 and Twilight discover a version of the Tales universe where the seven are Digidestined. Sweetheart's partner, Mephitimon, is a skunk based Digimon, and digivolves into Sukankumon, a bigger skunk themed Digimon. As the latter, her Musk Jet attack fires a jet of horrid smelling mist, and can be fired from the expected spot or her mouth to stun and disorient opponents with the stench. Ironically, her Ultimate form has a sweet smelling healing version in addition to the other one and an acid attack. Her Mega is a 100 foot tall skunk. As with the other examples, it's surprisingly useful and effective.
- Getting Back on Your Hooves has Trixie working for Fluttershy. She ends up getting sprayed when when she can't figure out what animal is in a den and ends up sticking her head inside, only to find out it was a skunk den. Next time we see her she's getting a tomato juice bath. Fluttershy apologizes for the skunk later, who apparently felt bad about it.
- Later on Fluttershy's contribution to the defenses against Checker Monarch's efforts to ruin Trixie's charity show include a skunk hiding under the stage that sprays the Diamond Dog's when they try to sneak under it. According to Word of God, it was the same skunk. Later, during the final Battle in the Center of the Mind with Checker, Fluttershy finishes off the part of Checker's mind invading her dreams by turning into a skunk and spraying her in the face.
- In the side story/sequel Perfect Companions, Winona getting sprayed by a skunk sets off the Frame Story. Trixie ultimately gets one as her pet.
- All of Station 51 in the Emergency! fic "Not as Designed." A family of them hole up in a part of the engine which was being tested with new equipment. And the engine is back in quarters when it happens. They all have nausea, vomiting breathing issues and burning eyes and a couple of them get it right in the face, which makes their problem worse.
- In Ponies and Dragons:
- Human!Fluttershy helps Human!Gilda get a skunk out from a car at the junk yard she lives in (this world's version of Griffonstone). It then sprays Dog!Garble to protect the group.
- The group at one point play an old cartoon inspired game with Discord bringing it to life. Zephyr Breeze and Fluttershy become this, with Zephyr being the 'smelly 24/7' sort and Fluttershy only spraying when scared. Unfortunately for everyone but him, Discord's chosen story is Pepé Le Pew, with Rainbow as Penelope.
- In an attempted Summon Bigger Fish against a Werevixen he summoned from a game, Discord turns the mane six into Werebeasts to fight it. Fluttershy is a Wereskunk. Unfortunately for Discord, this bites him in the butt as his punishment for causing the mess in the first place is to clean all of the Vixen's brainwashed and transformed victims Fluttershy sprayed after the Werevixen is beaten by hand without his magic.
- In Pound and Pumpkin Cake's Adventures (and Misadventures) in Potty Training, Fluttershy's pet skunk notes that she makes the bathroom smell worse than him.
- In A Very Kara Christmas, Kate and Jennifer go into the woods to discover what Linda is up to, and they disturb a skunk. Jennifer manages to get away, but Kate is not so lucky.
- In Chickenhare And The Hamster Of Darkness, Action Girl Meg doubles as a skunk, and can release powerful musk blasts that are useful in several parts of the story. However, it takes at least a couple of hours for her to "recharge".
- In The 3 Little Pigs: The Movie, Aromé the skunk. Her smell is the reason no one except Big Boss was willing to employ her. Felix being familiar with " — that dreadful smell — " after meeting her is what lets him and Feeno know that they must be on the right track when looking for Wally & Beemo.
- Flower from Bambi is an aversion, being one of the few fictional skunks who isn't characterized by smelling bad. In fact, he doesn't spray at all in the movie, although he does in the sequel.
- In Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Buck describes Sid's fur as smelling "like a buzzard's butt fell off and then got sprayed on by a bunch of skunks".
- In the "Johnny Appleseed" segment of Melody Time, the first forest animal to interact with Johnny is a skunk. At first it gets angry when Johnny accidentally hurts it, and gets ready to spray, but then Johnny strokes its back and calms it down, which convinces the other animals that the stranger is friendly.
- Open Season: Boog comes across two skunks Rosie and Maria who at first dismiss him because they're too busy arguing with each other. Boog asks Elliot for help and Elliot advises him to to "stand your ground and show them who's boss." So Boog does so stating, "I'm laying down the law" and the skunks scowl at him. You can guess what happens next.
Elliot: Unless, of course, they're skunks.
(Boog is promptly sprayed with a cloud of musk)
Boog: Ugh! Disgusting!
(Boog runs away gagging; a squirrel drops from a nearby tree.)
Elliot: (fans the stench away) Wow!
- Over the Hedge:
- Stella the skunk. Everyone in the log knows of her "putrid prowess". R.J's plan calls for her to "vamp" the cat guarding the house by pretending to be another cat so they can loot the house of food.
- Upon entering the house trying to rescue her friends, Stella unleashes a massive explosion of her own natural "tear gas"! In the end, she falls in love with the cat because he's completely unable to smell.
- In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bashful's verse in the dwarfs' "Silly Song" describes such an encounter with a creature called a polecat. In North America, this term often refers to skunks. In Europe, it refers to a distantly related animal that likewise wards off predators with a nasty-smelling musk.
I chased a polecat up a tree
Way out upon a limb
And when he got the best of me
I got the worst of him!
- In Space Jam, Bugs and Daffy and Michael Jordan are facing the Mon-Stars while wearing gas masks. Then Michael lifts up Pepé La Pew into view... and the Mon-Stars fainted from the smell.
- Reeko in the third Stuart Little film. Played somewhat realistically, as he evidently doesn't always stink (despite initially believing that this trope is why he's so unpopular when it's actually his attitude) and when he finally does spray the Beast at the end, it's an act of volition. The spray itself is represented as a cloud of gas or mist, rather than liquid, but otherwise works like it does in nature, sending the Beast into a coughing fit and blinding her, while visibly irritating her eyes.
- In Toy Story 4, Bo and her Lost Toy friends exploit this by using a toy truck disguised as a skunk to travel around the carnival undetected.
- In Zootopia, a skunk butt rug is the crux of the reason why Nick is on bad terms with Mister Big, who buried his grandmother in it. However, it's not clear from the film whether it's due to the rug being smelly or being disrespectful (coming from a skunk's butt).
Nick: I may have sold him a very expensive wool rug, that was made from the fur of a skunk...'s butt.
Judy: Oh, sweet cheese and crackers.
- The Comic-Book Adaptation of the film includes a story about Zootopia putting on a "Skunk Appreciation Parade", which is protested and inadvertently derailed by a group of porcupines who were jealous they didn't also get a parade despite having asked for one. When they're found out, an angry crowd of skunks descends on them and one threatens to invoke this trope, but after a bit of explanation the conflict is resolved peacefully.
- In the 1996 live-action version of 101 Dalmatians, Cruella De Vil mistook a sleeping skunk for her black mink stole. When she and her fellow dog-nappers got arrested and put in the back of the paddy-wagon, the skunk wakes up, and EVERYONE gets sprayed!
- Ace Ventura uses one to subdue some bad guys during his second movie] "Hey poachers... Say hello to my STINKY LITTLE FRIEND!!!"
- In the film "Brother Nature" a family of skunks are the reason that one of the cabins becomes uninhabitable.
- In the movie Dirty Work, Chris Farley unleashes skunks inside of a crowded theater.
- Spoofed in Dr. Dolittle 2, when the Doctor hastily apologizes to a skunk after using the expression, "Stink like a skunk," while rallying all the forest animals.
- In Fatal Instinct, Ned Ravine gets his wife a pet skunk. She does not appreciate it.
- And don't think The Little Rascals didn't have their share of stinky encounters with skunks!
- In Snow Dogs, after going through the Humiliation Conga, and finding a car buried in the snow, Ted is leading his sled dog team in training by towing it. Unfortunately, he doesn't find out about the stinky stowaway in the back seat until it was too late... Nana (the dog riding shotgun with him) jumping out and running away should have been an indication.
- The Three Stooges get their hands in the fun, too. One of their shorts, I'm a Monkey's Uncle, where they are cavemen, they are using a gas bomb on rival cavemen. The bomb? A skunk.
- In another episode, Back to the Woods, where the Three Stooges are Pilgrims, and get chased into a bush by an angry Indian who then turns tail and runs along side with Moe, Larry and Curly, escaping from the skunk that was there!
- And one episode, Ants in The Pantry, before it ended, Moe, Larry, and Curly are fox-hunting. Curly had a cold, and you can guess what he picked up... Moe and Larry fainted after looking in Curly's hunting bag... and the horse did, too! P-U!!!
- In at least one of their Western shorts, Curly wears a Davy Crockett hat made out of a skunk pelt.
- In the Adrian Mole book The Wilderness Years, skunks are included in Adrian's description of a Disgusting Public Toilet on a train in Russia.
- In Animorphs, the skunk morph is used in the same way as a nuclear bomb: Only in times of dire need. The human controllers know to run for their poor little lives, but the Hork-Bajir and so on just laugh derisively at the silly little creature — at first.
- In one notable example Visser 3 gets sprayed and they trick him into thinking it's grape juice that gets rid of the stench. Not only does it not work it turns him purple.
- In book 16, the team breaks into headquarters for Web Access America, and Jake, Rachel, Tobias and Cassie make a distraction while Ax and Marco access the computer systems to identify a particular customer. For the distraction, Jake's tiger morph holds a bucket of soapsuds in his teeth, Rachel's grizzly bear mops the carpet, and Tobias's hawk is just sitting on Rachel's head. One of the guards stands up to these dangerous predators... but it's Cassie who finally makes him scream and run when her skunk morph sprays him.
- Some time before the series began Cassie's father was sprayed by a skunk. He was forced to sleep in a tent until the smell had left him, and then they burned the tent. As a result, skunks are the one animal he will not treat. Cassie has to do it.
- The Belgariad prequel Belgarath the Sorcerer has a variant: While preparing to steal a Cosmic Keystone from a Mad God on its own home turf, Belgarath drives off two Hounds of Torak — formerly-human Animalistic Abominations with sorcerous powers and a huge sadistic streak — by transforming into a civet cat and spraying them. His companions are quietly appalled, but his narration notes the sheer meanness of the tactic with some satisfaction.
- The Berenstain Bears:
- One book has the line "If you follow your nose to where skunks are, you'll find you've followed your nose too far."
- In "Too Much Vacation", the first of the Bear family's many mishaps is when Papa tries to take a whiff of the mountain air, only to smell a skunk instead.
- Gary Paulsen's Brian's Saga uses this quite a bit.
- In Hatchet, Brian, the protagonist, provokes a skunk that is eating his turtle eggs and he's sprayed at point blank range. He expects it to just be smelly, because he's smelled dead skunks on the road before, but he temporarily loses his vision and ends up writhing on the ground and retching half the night.
- In Brian's Winter a skunk takes up residence beside his shelter, and at first he's annoyed, but after he royally pisses off a bear, the skunk ends up spraying the bear and saving Brian's life. He even names her Betty, after his aunt.
- In Nighty-Nightmare (book 4), Bud and Spud have been secretly trying to capture a wild baby skunk for their mother as an early mother's day present. She's delighted with the gift, but points out that they'll have to get him de-scented.
- In Bunnicula Strikes Again! (book 6), the pets have a run-in with one (which they initially mistake for Bunnicula's mother due to its coloration), and Harold and Howie get sprayed by it. Chester, fortunately, gets out of range in time.
- The Cat Who... Series: In book #8 (The Cat Who Sniffed Glue), after escaping Qwill's newly-wrecked car, Koko and Yum Yum have a run-in with a skunk when they apparently mistake it for another cat and leap out of a tree onto it. It takes some doing to deodorize them, and even then a hint of the smell lingers long enough for the book's killer to pass out when Koko gets too close to his face.
- In Diary of a Wimpy Kid, one of the comics the kids come up with is about a skunk and it's called "Stinky Sebastian".
- Among the Funny Animal cast of the children's Light Novel Doggy Magi Animal School is one of the teachers, Skunk-sensei. He's amicable and not particularly smelly most of the time, but he's very good at keeping the student body in line simply for fear of this trope, and he will use his natural defense to quell mischief if he needs to.
- In the third FUDGE book, Fudge-a-Mania, when the Hatchers arrive at their vacation house in Maine, Peter's dog Turtle promptly gets sprayed by a skunk in the woods.
- In Homer Price Homer and his pet skunk Aroma come across four men who stole a suitcase containing two thousand dollars and a dozen bottles of shaving lotion. Aroma, who likes to take naps in Homer's suitcase, climbs into the suitcase with the money and one of the robbers gets the bright idea of throwing a rock at her, which results in six fewer bottles of lotion and a stinky suitcase. This particular scent combination enables Homer to identify the robbers when they stop at one of his parents' tourist cabins for the night and pay with a five-dollar bill from the suitcase.
- In Tallyho, Pinkerton!, Aleasha Kibble's hunting class corners a skunk. Unfortunately, she mistakes it for a striped fox and ignores Pinkerton's owner when she warns them, with predictable consequences.
- Katt Loves Dogg: In Chapter 27, Oscar and Molly find themselves in the Skunk zone of the Eastern Nature Reserve. While there, they meet a few skunks who are not happy at having intruders in their zone, and make it known by spraying skunk smell at them.
- In The Last American, a science fiction satire by John Ames Mitchell (written in 1889), a group of Persian explorers finds the ruins of the lost American continent in the year 2951 and are completely unfamiliar with several of the things there. One of the explorers, named Ja-khaz, comes across a "strange animal" that looks like a cat, and the others are flabbergasted by what happens to him. The smell is so bad that they're forced to deny him entrance to the ship for the next few days.
- Getting sprayed by skunks is a common bit of Laser-Guided Karma for Jerkass characters in Joan Hess's Maggody mysteries.
- The Oliver Moffit/"Oliver and Company" book series (no relation to the Disney film) by Page and Michael McBriar includes a book titled Oliver Smells Trouble, in which the titular character agrees to pet-sit for neighborhood bully Rusty Jackson and his visiting cousin Stinky, the latter of whom is the owner of a de-scented skunk named Irving. Unfortunately, Oliver winds up on the receiving end of a prank when the pair switch skunks so Oliver winds up with a scented skunk named Melvin. Both skunks are subsequently brought to school for an event and wind up escaping (or being released from his cage, in Irving's case) and causing trouble. Unusually for this trope, their scent is portrayed accurately, with Melvin only stinking when he sprays (and only doing it twice in one day), and Irving still having his spraying instincts despite being incapable.
- Subverted in Clifford D. Simak's tongue-in-cheek sci-fi tale "Operation Stinky". The protagonist comes across a mysterious skunk with inexplicable and extraordinary abilities, so much that even the Air Force gets interested. Some guards soon give it the nickname Stinky, which catches on (leading to the titular operation), even though the protagonist makes clear that the skunk has never actually smelled bad (which, of course, provides another clue that it isn't just a regular skunk).
- In a couple of his short stories, the outdoor humorist Patrick McManus has written about childhood encounters with skunks; in one, Pat and his pal Crazy Eddie Muldoon accidentally catch a skunk in the pit they have dug. Inevitably, Eddie's father falls in the pit and gets a full dose of spray.
- The Pit Fighters series written by Rick Griffin, creator of Housepets!, has the character Porte who is a skunk character portrayed realistically; he smells just fine most of the time (and at some points Paris even thinks he smells very good), has only yet to use his spray for combat/defensive purposes, and unlike the standard example of this trope he isn't immune to his own stink, being just as bothered by it as his opponent. By and large his personality is more offensive than his smell.
- The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks: Book 4 (The Secret of the Plant That Ate Dirty Socks) has a skunk approach the titular plants when they're in the back yard. Having previously been approached by a cat and squirrel that started bothering them, the plant Fluffy doesn't wait to get pawed or clawed — he just grabs the skunk to move it away. This proves a bad idea, as the panicked animal immediately sprays him, causing him to "pass out". The family, when they find out, have to tow Fluffy to a car wash and clean him off with tomato juice (and then rinse it off very fast so the salt in the juice won't hurt him) to de-stench him as a result.
- As the titles suggests, Skunk And Badger features a skunk named "Skunk" as one of the main characters, who is portrayed positively, if a bit odd and overly chummy. Badger does inquire at one point about Skunk's spray, but he insists he only uses it when he feels threatened. Later in the book he does just that, spraying a stoat whom he believes is trying to eat the chickens he had invited over as guests, and inadvertently spraying Badger as well when Badger startles him while hurriedly trying to get him not to spray in the first place. Both Badger and his home reek of skunk spray for a while afterwards, but Badger eventually gets used to it.
- Towards the end of the second book, Egg Marks The Spot, Skunk does it again in order to defend himself, Badger, and Augusta from Fisher and his house cats. Apparently the act of spraying tires him out quite a bit, as he falls asleep on the spot after doing it.
- In the furry-populated world of Spellsinger, intelligent skunks make up the police force, using their spray (which is apparently even worse than that of our world's skunks) to disperse crowds and subdue criminals. Though it's rather bittersweet, as though they are excellent at their jobs, most people prefer to keep their distance, either out of prejudice, or paranoia of pissing them off. Making skunks a somewhat anti-social race.
- In The Trumpet of the Swan, a skunk gets its head stuck in an empty can at Camp Kookooskoos. No one is sure of how to rescue it without getting sprayed, until Sam Beaver comes up with a solution — tying a small noose on the end of a fishing pole, lowering it down from the roof, and using it to pull off the can. It works, but the skunk promptly sprays the camp director Mr. Brickle, who was standing too close.
- Averted in Tasakeru, though the local Fantastic Slur for the species is "stinktail".
- One of these is the subject of the picture book Who Needs a Bath?, in which a bear wants to hold a birthday party for his skunk friend, but nobody will want to come because the skunk stinks. Presumably, though, the bath takes care of the issue.
- In Winterdance, the protagonist's first two lessons learned in the field: Don't grab a skunk by the tail and pull; Don't kick a skunk, either. On the other hand, the skunk's smell didn't turn off his dogs.
- Xanth: An actual skunk doesn't appear in Night Mare, but the trope is referenced when Bink uses Humphrey's book of Words of Power, and one of the words in question — "SKONK!" — produces a cloud of horrible odor that makes everyone caught in it start gagging.
- Many a children's story use this trope to teach An Aesop, usually about how it's important to Be Yourself. The general story structure goes: Skunk feels ostracized because of this trope, Skunk tries to avert this trope to varying results, a situation arises where Skunk must invoke this trope to do something heroic, Skunk earns acceptance in spite of this trope.
- In The Amanda Show, a commercial for the "Pass the Skunk" game has Amanda and her friends play a game of hot potato with a live skunk. It sprays whoever gets stuck holding it when the music stops.
- In one episode of Big Time Rush, Gustavo is mailed a skunk by his archrival Hawk and spends much of the episode attempting to get rid of it with no luck (though he doesn't end up getting sprayed either). The boys finally return and capture it easily (apparently this is a common occurrence back home). Gustavo, seeking revenge, has the boys plant it in Hawk's car and he ends up getting skunked.
- Chouriki Sentai Ohranger averts it with the monster Bara Skunk, which could spray a gas that reverted the Ohrangers to normal instead of smelling bad. Played straight in Power Rangers Zeo, where Bara Skunk's counterpart Stenchy sprayed a terrible smelling gas from his mouth or tail that stuck to its victims.
- Dirty Jobs had Mike tangling with skunks on at least two occasions. For the first, he was an animal control officer and had to wrangle a skunk in a live trap. It must've been quite the cranky skunk (or just plain scared), as it sprayed him almost on sight, not bothering with the usual foot-stomping theatrics. For the second, he had to inspect and clean out crawl spaces, and declared that dead, decaying skunks smelled even worse than live ones.
- FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman: Season 3's Premiere didn't start off well for Ruff when he finds an off-screen Skunk messing with his trash can, and it sprays him. Thankfully, with the help of his new Fetchers, Ruff was able to get the smell off of him by using chemistry.
- An early episode of Fuller House had Stephanie looking after D.J.'s pet clinic with Max and Tommy, also planning to choose one of Comet Jr.'s Golden Retriever puppies to adopt. But then a hippie lady brings in a live skunk and sets it loose inside the building, where it wanders right into the room the boys and puppies are. The next scene involves Stephanie, the boys and the puppies all bathing in vats of tomato soup, as Stephanie learned on the Internet it's a sure-fire way to remove a skunk odor.
- In an episode of Good Luck Charlie, Bob and Amy's date is delayed by Bob getting an emergency call for an opossum infestation down a pipe that is too tight for him to fit in. He then makes Amy go inside the pipe instead, though she instead finds a skunk that sprays her after she accidentally pokes it.
- In an episode of Jackass, Johnny Knoxville gets sprayed repeatedly while releasing a skunk from a live-animal capture trap... and once he gets it out, the skunk sprays him one LAST time before escaping!
- On The Most Extreme, the skunk became the Most Extreme Stinker in the episode of the same name.
- The MythBusters actually had extreme difficulty getting sprayed by a skunk for their tests of skunk scent removal. They ended up trying to use vials of imitation skunk scent, and then they soon realized that the imitation skunk scent didn't persist for very long, and so had to continue their efforts to get the real thing. After trying with three different skunks, they eventually managed to get one to spray by cornering it in a restroom. Particularly hilarious since, at least once, the handlers that brought the skunks in assured the MythBusters that they would most likely spray immediately.
- In the episode of The Partridge Family titled "But the Memory Lingers On," a skunk gets into the Partridges' bus and sprays everything and everyone, just before the family is scheduled to sing at a children's hospital. All their attempts to get rid of the stink in time fail, so in the end they perform in the hospital's operating room with the audience watching from behind the spectator windows overhead.
- The late great Billy Mays sets up one of these in his Pitchmen reality show to set up an ad for an odour remover. He'd been a bit of a Jerkass before the shoot, so the crew play a little prank on him. There's two skunks, one crankier than the other, but both disarmed. They say the cranky one's fully armed. He ends up reluctant...
- In a Quantum Leap episode where he leaps into a con escaping from a Chain Gang, he and his co-escapee anger a skunk on purpose, so as to get sprayed to confuse The Hounds.
- In Two and a Half Men, Alan spies on Charlie at Lyndsey's party. Along comes a skunk...
Alan: [after writhing, rubbing his eyes, and silently screaming] Bad skunk!
- Even worse, after a Humiliation Conga, the same skunk sprays Alan again!
- This line from "I'm Glad That I'm Bugs Bunny" (1950) touched on one:
''Suppose I was a smelly skunk, I wouldn't have a friendI'd be alone excepting for a cent I couldn't spend''
- Loudon Wainwright III's "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road" has long been a popular request on the Dr. Demento radio program.
- "The Little Skunk's Hole" involves a skunk threatening to spray the singer after they stick their head in the titular hole.
- "I'm a Little Striped Skunk":
I'm a little striped skunk
Sleeping under someone's bunk
No one wants to sleep with me
'Cuz I'm as stinky as can be!
- Rob Reid's "3 Little Smelly Skunks":
First Im sleepin like a log then I get woke up by a dog.
There was no time to think, so I had to spray my stink!
- In "The Teacher Song", one of the things the student did that made the teacher grumpy was when his secret pet skunk got scared, implying it sprayed someone.
- In "Striper the Kitty", the singer adopts a young skunk named Striper, thinking him to be a cat. Striper is described as having "a funny smell" even when not spraying and his mother's tail is also described as "kind of [smelling]."
- Exploited in "Skunkles the Christmas Skunk", where Santa's sleigh gets stuck in some snow and Skunkles sprays, startling the deer, which gives them the adrenaline to lift the sleigh up.
- The Aniwye from Ojibwe, Algonquin, and Cree legend is a gigantic skunk monster that's spray is foul enough to kill. It was either defeated by Great Fisher or Nanabozho, and either directly turned into a normal skunk or killed and Reincarnated into one. Skunks having at one point having had spray awful enough to kill isn't uncommon in Native American legend.
- One origin myth about skunks has a vain woman cruelly insult the great spirit Turtle who was disguised as an old man. Turtle punishes her by turning her into the first skunk.
- Near the end of the Bear in the Big Blue House episode, "Smellorama", Bear, Ojo, Pip, and Pop meet Snook, a skunk who loves anything smelly and tells them about his favorite smells when they visit his cave. Afterwards, the five of them decide to play hide and seek together, and Snook has to remind Bear, Ojo, Pip, and Pop not to play anything scary, as he doesn't like being startled.
- Between the Lions: In the Fun With Chicken Jane segment, "Chicken Jane and the Skunk", Scot, Dot, and Chicken Jane are in the path of a skipping skunk. Chicken Jane writes "Scoot", and while Scot and Dot scoot away just in time, Chicken Jane gets sprayed by the skunk.
- In Sesame Street, Grouches use skunk spray as perfume and one trains a skunk to spray her on command.
- The Under the Umbrella Tree episode "Twins" features identical skunk twins Sparky and Spunky. Holly and Iggy spend their whole visit on edge, trying not to startle them so they wont spray. But at the end of the episode, Jacob crash-lands and triggers a spray from both of them.
- Chemical Skunk, a card featured in Cardfight!! Vanguard, plays with the trope. Rather than being stinky for defensive purposes, the skunk is a scientist who creates unpleasant smells via experimentation, in order to do things like combat sleepiness.
- The inventor kobold in Dungeons & Dragons has an action called "Skunk in a Cage", which involves the kobold releasing exactly that onto the playing field. Once released, the skunk will randomly spray a creature close to it, and if the target fails the saving throw they'll be too repulsed to act.
- Skunks in Ironclaw are actively fighting against this image, and tend to work in bakeries, florists and perfumeries.
- Battle Beasts has Ultragas/Pew-Trid Skunk, a humanoid skunk. His English name says it all.
- Beanie Babies: The first skunk in the franchise is named Stinky. He lives up to his name, and his poem even indicates that he hopes not to stink someday. They later introduced "Skunkers", who is always quick to point out that she isn't an example.
- Funky Skunky from Flush Force has a farting issue that expels her scent. This also cripples her self-esteem horribly, as almost no one except Night Terror and Face Palm wants to befriend her.
- From The Grossery Gang, there is Stunk Skunk, who wears a pine tree air-freshener around his neck in an attempt to escape his own stink.
- One of Skeletor's minions in the Masters of the Universe toyline was a skunk-man named Stinkor. He, that is, the toy itself, smelled of patchouli, playing the Evil Smells Bad trope straight.
- Averted in Angry Birds Space: They were supposedly planning to add a skunk-like stink bird..... But it turns out to be an April Fools gag!
- In the Angry Birds Stella short ''All That Glitters", Gale was seen searching a cave for treasure and finds a gem "guarded" by a skunk like creature. She manages to take the gem but gets sprayed in the process.
- This also happens to the Handsome Pig after Gale pushes him down the cave to retrieve her crown: only to realize it was on her tail and to make matters worse, she doesn't go back to help him!
- In the season finale "Till the bitter end", another skunk (or the same one from before) was seen "guarding" the golden egg and fires at Gale but hides behind Stella to shield herself from the blast!
- Downplayed with Kicks, the shoeshiner/shoe vendor from the Animal Crossing games. No mention is ever made of any odor coming from him, but given that he deals in shoes and footwear....
- In The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout, Pepé Le Pew is the boss of Stage 4-4. He attacks Bugs by spraying clouds at him.
- The Stenches from Crash of the Titans and Crash: Mind Over Mutant are a mix of this, some sort of bird, and in Mind Over Mutant, an astronaut. It is worth noting that in Crash Of The Titans their stink projectiles are fired from their tail, while in Mind Over Mutant their regular stink projectile is fired from a gun that they wield and their special attack is fired from their... yeah.
- In Crash of the Titans, they are somewhat known for tormenting innocent animals, especially smaller ones, with their offensive body odor. One of which sadistically killed a baby fox, or at least knocked it out, with flatulence during the Stench's introductory cutscene, and laughing afterward.
- Averted with the skunks in the first game and Crash Twinsanity, however.
- Averted in Far Cry 4: those small black-furred white striped critters? They aren't skunks. But you're gonna wish they were...
- The point of Fizzball is to rescue animals by trapping them in a bubble which gets bigger with every creature or object picked up. Hitting a skunk before the bubble is big enough to contain it produces a cloud of Visible Odor.
- The Grinch (2000): At one point in Who Lake, you need to use a female skunk to get rid of a scout master who can see through your disguise. You have Max use black and white paint to disguise himself as a male skunk, causing the real female one to fall in love with him and begin following him so he can lead her to the scout master and scare him away. If the Grinch approaches the skunk, she will spray him, causing damage.
- Mileena's Animality in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.
- That is truly A Fate Worse Than Death.
- In Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath, one of the ammo types you can get are Stunkz, which are basically tiny skunks that, when fired, release a cloud of gas which makes all enemies that are caught in it vomit, and you can capture the enemies while they lose their lunch. You can even capture bosses alive instantly with this if you have lightning fast reflexes and capture them the instant they start vomiting. Later, you get Spark Stunkz, which suck enemies in rather than make them vomit.
- In Quest for the Shaven Yak: Starring Ren Hoëk & Stimpy, skunks serve as enemies in The Blacker Than Black Forest. They attack Ren or Stimpy by spraying at either of them.
- An update to Super Animal Royale renamed the generically named poison gas to Super Skunk Gas, suggesting that the gas that restricts the play area is in fact a deadly green Visible Odor gas cloud produced by skunks. Super Skunk Gas is also expelled by Skunk Bomb explosives, which also deals damage.
- Skuntank is a Poison/Dark-type skunk Pokémon, and its cry in the games is a farting sound. Also, it can spray skunk spray and poisonous projectiles from its tail tip and the spray is highly combustible, letting it use Flamethrower, and it violently explodes to a cloud of musk if you knock it out. Skuntank's chin when seen from below looks like a rump as well. Its pre-evolution, Stunky, has a face that also looks like a rump, has about the same traits as Skuntank except it sprays from the proper place, and has a punny name that seems to deliberately invoke this trope. Both also resemble cats to some degree, probably a play on the other name for skunks, Polecats.
- One of their abilities (besides the obvious "Stench"), Aftermath, is based on the other annoying aspects of skunks, of the roadkill variety. They explode when hit, releasing all their musk in one shot. Thus why it can stink for days afterwards.
- Notably, a Skuntank is a villain team admin's Signature Mon, further strengthening their Evil Smells Bad association.
- In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers, a Skuntank was a major villain. In two cutscenes, he uses a scent attack that smells so bad that other Pokémon (mainly the player team) became unconscious from it, while even Pokémon standing far away commented on the terrible smell.
- A whole game was built around this. Punky Skunk for the PlayStation, a Platformer in which your main offensive weapon was your spray. It was trying to ride the Totally Radical wave.
- Humorously, they only bothered to add the Totally Radical aspects to the back of the box. The game itself was pretty much left alone, save Kuri/Punky's name.
- The Sims and 2 both had skunks that could show up in the neighborhood and spray Sims and Pets. One was named Henri LeStanc.
- The Sims 4 still has skunks, but they're delegated to a scripted text event. Sometimes your dogs will be fighting wild skunks and come home with a terrible smell on them that lasts for days, no matter if you wash the dogs or not.
- Stink Bomb from Skylanders is this combined with Gratuitous Ninja.
- Cyril Le Paradox, the Big Bad of Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, plays the trope relatively straight. He is commonly insulted for smelling bad, has henchmen that wear gas masks, and actually weaponizes his spray.
- In Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2, one of the animals that can be found inside robots and pipes is a skunk. When your character gives a skunk to a Chao in the Chao Garden, the Chao will gain a skunk tail and the ability to spray gas clouds.
- A Smelba, a pink skunk piñata from Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise, can be commanded to scare Ruffians away, by breathing a dark green cloud of Visible Odor. A wild Smelba needs to eat three rotten garlics before becoming a resident of the garden, and a resident Smelba needs to eat two air fresheners and hold a romantic flower before it can romance.
- Also, the journal's description for the Gas Mask accessory mentions that most Piñatas use the Gas Mask when sharing a garden with Smelbas.
- Sour piñatas will sometimes spit out Sour Candy in the garden. A Sour Smelba spits out Smelly Candy instead which emits green Visible Odor and scares away any piñata that runs near it.
- Skunks show up as enemies in some of the 3D Tales Series games. They just look like a furry black and white version of the usual lizard enemies, but do have a unique attack where they do a handstand and emit a noxious cloud of gas with a high chance of stunning those hit by it.
- The Skunk from the Worms series, once deployed, will walk around and, after a few seconds, spray toxic fumes which poison nearby worms.
- Subverted here in 21st Century Fox. Know your audience BEFORE you even start singing that certain song by Loudon Wainwright III!
- Played for drama: "Smelly! Are you okay? Smelly? SOMEBODY CALL 9-1-1!!"
- This dumb bunny sky-car salesman tries to talk Jenny into buying a vehicle that she doesn't want... it turns out the salesman was MARRIED to a lady skunk... who's not above calling him out for his bad behavior!
- In Alien Dice Swiftpaw is a fox modified by alien tech, but he reminds some hapless scientists that foxes have pretty powerful scent glands too.
- Subverted twice in The Cyantian Chronicles:
- The first is with Twinkie, a skunk that keeps coming back to Marcus's house. Turns out the bad smell is due to being around some Skunkupines that do stink: he himself does not.
- All Exotica Genoworks C-class skunks are genetically engineered to have a nice, pleasant smell, like fruit, flowers, or cedar.
- El Goonish Shive: Averted with two hybrid girls who are part-skunk. Apart from Nioi's name translating to "scent", there is no mention of how they smell one way or another.
- Uncle Hugo from Furthia High is a subversion; he doesn't smell because he's a skunk, but because he smokes constantly.
- Gene Catlow:
- A bear named Eubie is hunted by a hired-thug ram. The ram not only gets doused with paint, but after Eubie escapes under a hedge, the ram accidentally grabs one of three skunks in the hedge by the tail. BIG MISTAKE.◊
- In a later strip, the ram is ordered to get the small bear. He was about to board the subway car that Eudie climbed aboard, but finds that Eubie, and the SAME three skunks he ran afoul of glaring at him... apparently giving him the "skunk-eye"... along with Eubie's girlfriend. Not wanting to risk a ''second'' odoriferous encounter, the ram backs out, and intentionally misses the subway car.◊
- In the Retcon of Goblin Hollow, Ronnie the skunk proves that skunks DO spray when scared... or surprised!
- Cory "Cilantro" the skunk from Housepets! either implies or subverts this trope. As far as anyone has said he doesn't actually smell bad and he takes offence to being called "stinky", but it's implied to be less because he doesn't stink and more because skunks are only one type of animal with smelly spray but they get all the blame for it. Both of the times he's been arrested the officers taking him away have worn gas masks, but in the first instance we never find out if it's purely precautionary or not, and while in the second instance he does imply that he sprayed someone, a guest comic that comes right after shows that he did indeed spray them... with perfume, that is.
- Kevin & Kell has them show up every so often.
- Kell's boss RL and Kevin's ex-wife Angelique are the proud (adoptive) parents of twenty of them, no thanks to a no-account father skunk who left them with her. Fenton was changing the little skunks in one strip, causing him to practice his evasion against multiple rounds of stinky anti-aircraft fire.
- One strip shows a deer citing a lion that he has pepper spray. Cue Pepper◊, a skunk.
- Let's not forget about the storyline about a genetically-engineered allergen Angelique was using to keep Lindesfarne and Kell apart... and how it came back to bite her on the butt!
- Aimee Mouffette from Monsterful is an averted version of the trope. She's a werewolf that had her inner Wolf exchanged with a Skunk (Were-Skunk in a way), instead of a bad smell she produces a delicious floral scent. Her last name also means Skunk in French.
- In Oglaf: "Singles in Your Area", another animal tells a skunk in a bar that it smells nice, and the skunk comments that skunks use the smell only for emergencies, and that was like telling a deer "Wow, your antlers aren't covered in blood." Awkward silence ensues. Then a deer with bloody antlers walks into the bar, and the strip ends with a bondage scene with the deer being "punished".
- Isolde from Ozy and Millie hams up the failure of the presidential campaign she ran for Llewellyn, citing that there was a stench in the air. Ozy reminds her that it's just Emily, a neighbourhood kid. "I get that a lot." (Dana Simpson noted how popular Emily ended up with some fans, despite having an entire two panels to herself in the strip's run.) Other skunks who show up generally don't have their smell commented on.
- Sabrina Online:
- One supporting character in Simon & Freddy is a skunk named Sebastian, who averts the trope but is also used to people running away from him upon seeing him because of it, which Simon does in his first appearance in the comic. Later on he has a conversation with Freddy about the prejudice skunks experience because of this trope and compares it to accusing Freddy of being sneaky because he's a fox, only for Freddy to sneakily eat his pie while he's in the middle of talking about it.
- Jake in The Whiteboard once set off a biohazard alarm after getting startled. Case in point right here:
Gino the Panda: ...'s matter?
Doc: Gino, just back away slow. When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is no longer your friend.
Jake: [trying to contain the release of his spray] Nnng...
- At the same time, Jake is aware enough of this trope that it's the reason why, unlike much of the cast, he prefers not to have a nickname — because he's pretty sure any nickname he'd be given would just be a reference to smelling or odors.
- The furry audio webseries The Bookshop Skunk is a downplayed example. Oreo the eponymous skunk mentions customers holding their noses around him and in general getting fewer people coming into the store while he's in that particular form, and even occasionally jokes about it to the listener. But the implication is that it's more due to Fantastic Racism than him actually smelling bad, which he doesn't seem to and instead just smells of "old books and slight cheddar". As a consequence of presiding over a magical boostore he does gain the ability to manifest constructs made out of a scent he can give off, but rather then the scent being inherently unpleasant, he can will it to be whatever he chooses and usually opts for nice smells instead. A visual indicator that he doesn't smell bad is that his scent clouds are a pleasant pink instead of sickly green.
- Chakona Space features skunktaurs who periodically engage in "stinky times". They normally need special soaps and/or shampoo to clean up afterword.
- In Jack Vale Films, one prank involves attaching a water toy to a fake skunk and pretending it was spraying random people.
- This trope was actually inverted in Ace Ventura The Animated Series where Ace must save a little boy's pet skunk from an evil businessman. The parents allowed their son to keep the skunk because they knew that as long as it wasn't scared, it didn't release its stinky artillery. This becomes a major factor in defeating the bad guy who was keeping a bunch of skunks captive.
- The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode, "Road Hog" has a skunk named Colonel Stench, who breeds flowers and has tried unsuccessfuly for years to make a perfume that would get rid of his stench. What he created instead was hypnotic flower pollen, which Robotnik stole from him and used to hypnotize the law into arresting him and Sonic.
- The Amphibia episode, "Trip to the Archives" shows a Failure Montage that ends with Anne and the Planters tied up and facing a skunk the size of a dinosaur and cuts away as it aims its butt at them and lifts its tail.
- This is the backstory for "Stinkbomb" the basset hound in the episode "Smell Ya Later." He was shown chasing Slappy Squirrel into a cave. Not knowing, he lit a match to find it was a den of skunks. After he'd grabbed and threatened one. Green smoke gushes out of the cave as a result. According to Slappy, Stinkbomb hasn't smelled the same since.
- In the Goodfeathers cartoon "We're No Pigeons," the Goodfeathers try to trick a pigeon-hunting baby owl into thinking that pigeons are a completely different species than they are. Based on their outlandish description of what a pigeon looks like, the owl captures a skunk, thinking it's a pigeon. It promptly sprays the Goodfeathers.
- In the "What are We?" song, sung by the Warners about how they don't know what species they are, Dot suggests they're skunks, but then Dr. Scratchandsniff points out that then they'd stink.
- In Back at the Barnyard, Pig has a pet skunk, Skunky, but he'll only spray Duke. Even the Duke imposter is safe.
- A skunk is the titular character in the Barney Bear cartoon "The Unwelcome Guest".
- In one episode of Beethoven: The Animated Series, Beethoven is in a tracking competition with another dog. The other dog purposefully insults a skunk, making it mad enough to spray, and uses this to mask his trail.
- The Berenstain Bears: In the animated special "The Berenstain Bears Meet Bigpaw", Papa Bear leads an army to deal with Bigpaw, whom they believe to be a threat. Among the weapons brought are "skunk bombs" — watermelons with skunks sitting on them, with Papa checking them out earlier while wearing a clothespin on his nose. Another episode has the skunks' stench end up being the key to saving the day from an infestation of carnivorous plants that are wiping out bees, as the plants are immune to poison but immediately wilt when a skunk walks by:
- Big City Greens: The episode "Skunked" sees Cricket attempt Engineered Heroics by releasing a bunch of skunks into Big Coffee so he can then rescue everyone from them. However, things do not go as Cricket hoped, and in the end, he gets sprayed by the very skunks he was trying to save everyone from.
- Bob's Burgers: In "Eat, Spray, Linda", Linda gets sprayed by not one, but two skunks trying to take a short-cut across a meadow. Worth noting is that the skunk spray acts just like it does in real life, a spray of fluid from a gland under its anus.
- In the Direct-to-Video Film "Bratz :Starrin' and Stylin'", after crashing their car in the woods, Jade picks up what she believes is a cat, but turns out to be a skunk that sprays three of them.
- Casper has the friendly little ghost befriend a lonely skunk whose odor has driven the other animals away. By the end, Casper's convinced them to play together, though the others are wearing clothespins on their noses.
- In Clifford the Big Red Dog had Cleo taunting the other dogs with ghost stories about "Wiffy the Skunk Ghost". She kept pranking them by saying he was after her, and they finally got fed up with it and leave. Then, a real skunk shows up and she scares it and it sprays her. The others, while out looking for her, smell that she got sprayed.
Cleo: Aww, man! P.U.! That is definitely not a ghost skunk! That is the real thing!
- Clone High: Scudworth's Sitcom Arch-Nemesis is a whacky skunk named Skunky Poo, whose screws with him in a way that parodies the sort of antics seen in Looney Tunes. Every time Scudworth suffers an Amusing Injury in one of their segments, it's always capped off with Skunky Poo spraying him in the face.
- In an episode of Codename: Kids Next Door, two of the main characters adopted a baby skunk. Hilarity Ensues. Later it's turned into a bionic skunk that not only shoots stink but missiles fro
- Worth noting is this is mostly played realistically, with him only spraying if scared or threatened and his parents spraying to protect him, otherwise he smells perfectly normal.
- Deputy Dawg deals with Lonesome Luke in "The Fragrant Vagrant." Luke is a skunk who tries to commit a crime in Deputy Dawg's "jurisdictionary" in order to get free room and board in his jail. DD goes all out to thwart Luke at every turn.
- Disney loved the idea of fox hunters seemingly capturing a fox inside a hollow log, then pulling out a skunk instead. Variations of this gag end all three of the studio's fox hunting cartoons.
- In The Fox Chase (1928), Oswald the Lucky Rabbit flushes the skunk out of the log. Oswald and his hounds flee into the distance—and then we see that the "skunk" is really the fox in disguise.
- In The Fox Hunt (1931), a generic hunter (this is a Silly Symphony) pulls the skunk out of the log without noticing that it's not the fox. Other hunters, their horses and hounds flee into the distance. The generic hunter realizes the truth, flees as well — and then we see the skunk and the fox shaking hands.
- In The Fox Hunt (1938), Donald Duck pulls the skunk out of the log without noticing that it's not the fox. Other hunters (including Mickey, Minnie, Horace Horsecollar, and Clara Cluck), their horses and hounds flee into the distance. Donald slowly realizes the truth, tries to calm the skunk—then flees as well.
- D.N. Ace: In the episode "Sloane Plunderman, Junior Ghost Hunter", when Sloane is showing footage from her old ghost-hunting show, there's footage of a skunk attacking her.
- In an episode of Dora the Explorer, Dora and Boots come across a skunk, and, wisely, decide to leave it alone. Swiper shows up and tries to use a grabbing device he made to steal from them, only to 'swipe' the skunk instead. While he doesn't get sprayed, the smell of it is enough to scare him off.
- Another time a skunk appeared was in the World Adventure special, where Swiper's French counterpart, Fifi (no, no, not THAT Fifi). No comment is made on her smelling bad, they simply don't want her 'swiping' from them.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy
- In the episode "Sorry, Wrong Ed", one of the curses Eddy was plagued with involved him getting sprayed by a skunk.
- Given a subtle nod in "If It Smells Like An Ed"; in the friendship song being sung at the beginning, at the repeat of "When you take off your shoe/and your feet stink P.U!", a skunk crawls out of a bush at the last word.
- In one episode of Eek! The Cat, Eek and Sharky are taken to a pound and unfortunately for them, share a cell with some skunk prisoners.
- Stinky from Fluffy Gardens has a natural foul odor, even though he's never seen spraying. When he thinks nobody in the Fluffy Gardens likes him, he's trying to build a cardboard robot with the help of Paulo, Cornelius and Scoopy, which is when he realizes he does have friends who don't mind that he smells.
- In the The Fairly OddParents Episode "A Bad Case of Diary-Uh!" Timmy Turner attempts to sabotage Vicki's love life by wishing her perfume would make her stink like a skunk. The bottle turns into a live skunk that sprays her when she squeezes its nose. Vicky's boyfriend likes the smell, because it reminds him of "the Hunt", as do Timmy's other sabotage attempts.
- Subverted in Franklin with Skunk, who doesn't stink and is actually quite happy when people don't make jokes about it.
- Kratz from Harvey Beaks is a skunk, but he only sprays his gas when he's nervous.
- Heathcliff & the Catillac Cats:
- In the episode "Be Prepared", the titular tomcat lures an egotistical Boy Scout leader to a bush where a nest of skunks are sleeping. The scoutmaster looks into the bush (just as Heathcliff drops a firecracker!), waking the skunks up, giving the scoutmaster a full blast into his face!
- In the episode, "Riff Raff the Gourmet", Riff Raff is competing against Pierre, a cat who is a French chef and a French Jerk. Riff Raff is busy fishing on a pier, but Pierre hooks Riff Raff's line to a cage with a skunk inside of it...
Riff Raff: Got one! [reels in his catch] *GULP!* Just my luck... a lousy skunk!
[the skunk glares at him angrily]
Riff Raff: OH NO! Sorry, pal! I...
- In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), one of Skeletor's proposed servants was a skunk man named Stinkor, whose power was the ability to generate stench. The cartoon's creators thought the idea was stupid, so he never appeared in the cartoon and barely in the expanded universe. He did, however, get a book about him. As the book read, Stinkor was the lowest ranked in Skeletor's entire army, and he was hated so much for smelling bad that Skeletor actually fired him. Then it turned out that his stench sapped He-Man's strength.
- Stinkor was also included in the 2002 cartoon, and got an entire episode devoted to showing how badass he was. His stench is so powerful, it can melt rock.
- In fact, despite failing, Stinkor performed so well that, as opposed to the book, he was hired by Skeletor and the only member of the villain's henchman that were not punished that episode; Stinkor seems to be the only henchman that Skeletor actually likes.
- Stinkor was also included in the 2002 cartoon, and got an entire episode devoted to showing how badass he was. His stench is so powerful, it can melt rock.
- Done in a realistic fashion in Hey Arnold! where Gerald runs right into a skunk resting on a tree trunk and spooks into spraying a concentrated liquid in his face before running off. However, instead of a normally light spray (as it can still be smelled for half a mile), it's a full blast!
- In the The Incredible Dennis the Menace episode, "Wish You Weren't Here", when the Wilsons and the Mitchells go on vacation, Dennis has a family of skunks take shelter in the closet of Mr. Wilson's camper van during a rainstorm. When Mr. Wilson discovers the skunks, he is forced to pay to get his camper van deskunked. When the Wilsons and the Mitchells return home at the end of the episode, Mr. Wilson discovers from a police officer that the skunks in his camper van were contaminated with Spotted Fever, and since he, his wife, the Mitchells, and Joey all caught Spotted Fever, they have to be quarantined in the camper van for the next ten days.
- On Jimmy Two-Shoes, when Jimmy and Beezy get put in an animal prison, their cellmate is a skunk. The usual jokes follow. Said skunk returns a few episodes later with a more major role, as well as Lucius noting him to be one of Miseryville's nastiest and stinkiest criminals.
- Jonny Quest: Bandit the dog has an encounter with a skunk in the "Werewolf in the Timberland" episode, with unfortunate results. This takes the usually comic-relief Bandit out of all the action, and the ending has Jonny left giving his skunked dog a bath.
- In the British preschool quiz show Kerwhizz (a mix of a live-action host and everything else being CGI), one of the regular features is "Hunt the Skunk", in which the teams have to guess where King Pong the skunk is hiding. King Pong's appearance is always heralded by a stinky green miasma. Occasionally averted when King Pong is replaced by Queen Pong, who smell very nice and produce a fragrant pink vapour instead.
- An episode of Kim Possible had a skunk-based villain named White Stripe, whose suit let him spray like a real skunk, only the stench could knock out most people instantly.
- Odie Cologne of King Leonardo and His Short Subjects is a rare hero skunk in his role of getting the King out of whatever jam he currently finds himself in.
- Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: The Scooter Skunks are a female Biker Gang of these that constantly leave clouds of green stink.
- In Legends of Chima, Skinnet usually plays the trope straight, accidentally (or sometimes intentionally) spraying others and apologizing for it. However, this is inverted during the Hundred Year Moon and after the Great Illumination, when his spray actually smells nice and makes flowers bloom.
- In the Little Bear episode "The Wedding," Little Bear accidentally gets sprayed by the soon-to-be skunk bride note when he comes up from behind and startles her. He smells until the end of the episode, but the skunk bride gives him a garland of fragrant flowers to wear, which covers up the stink and lets him take part in the wedding after all.
- Unlike real skunks, Pepper Clark from Littlest Pet Shop (2012) is capable of producing a pleasant aroma when she is in a good mood. However, she still has the typical unpleasant aroma of a classic skunk whenever she's nervous or upset. Control and fragrances, good or bad, also vary depending on her mood. In fact, a fellow skunk named Mitzi can create very different pleasant smells on request.
- Looney Tunes:
- Skunk stink was of course the entire point of almost every Pepé Le Pew short. That, and feline molestation. In one cartoon, Pepe becomes aware of his own odor problem when he looks up the word that everyone says in his presence — "Pew!" — and is quite horrified by what he discovers. Pepe immediately goes to Henri's Deodorizing Service, and goes into a vat filled with chlorophyll. His girlfriend, however, runs straight into one of the vats in Pierre's Limburger Cheese Company. Hilarity Ensues.
- This gets weaponized in Space Jam when the Tune Squad uses him to incapacitate three Monstars.
- The cartoon "Odor of the Day" features a skunk who may or may not be Pepe (most likely it's his American cousin). Unlike Pepe, he uses his odor defensively, shooting it out of his tail like a machine gun.
- Elmer Fudd found himself snagging a skunk instead of Bugs Bunny in A Wild Hare. "Well... confidentially... you know..." Elmer winces, sets the skunk down carefully, tries to lower his tail, and hopes for the best as he gently shoos him away.
- The price to get into see Porky Pig's movie in "Porky's Preview" is five cents. A skunk can't get in because he has one scent. (Get it?) He finds a way to get in and winds up being the only patron in the house at the end.
- Fifi La Fume of Tiny Toon Adventures is a blatant Distaff Counterpart to Pepe, but seems to be able to control her odor a lot better than Pepe does. Also a bit of a subversion in other reasons as she doesn't stink any time except when she's chasing someone or when she intentionally uses it herself.
- The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries episode "Platinum Wheel of Fortune" has Sylvester being mistaken for a female skunk by Pepe's fourth cousin Pitu Le Pew who continuously chases and molests him throughout the episode. Also just like Pepe, his smell is unbearable to say the least.
- Skunk stink was of course the entire point of almost every Pepé Le Pew short. That, and feline molestation. In one cartoon, Pepe becomes aware of his own odor problem when he looks up the word that everyone says in his presence — "Pew!" — and is quite horrified by what he discovers. Pepe immediately goes to Henri's Deodorizing Service, and goes into a vat filled with chlorophyll. His girlfriend, however, runs straight into one of the vats in Pierre's Limburger Cheese Company. Hilarity Ensues.
- In the The Loud House episode, "The Boss Maybe", Lana deliberately lets a skunk spray her.
- In one of the mid-episode segments on Martha Speaks, Martha is demonstrating things that are pleasant and unpleasant and on of the unpleasant things is getting sprayed by a skunk.
- Inverted in the Mega Babies episode "Poop Doggy Dog", where one of the babies' farts causes a skunk to faint.
- In Milly, Molly, the TV series, the episode Pet Day has all the children bringing their pets to school. note Several of the animals misbehave, including George's skunk Stinky, who sprays Humphrey twice.
- Molly of Denali: Molly and Trini encounter a mink (another animal who sprays a stinky smell when scared, like a skunk) in "A Splash Of Mink". It sprays them, and they're smelly for the rest of the episode.
- Baby Fozzie should have known better in one episode of Muppet Babies (1984) called "The Daily Muppet":
Baby Fozzie: Hey Kermit... how about printing a newspaper joke on the front page?
Baby Kermit: Huh?
Baby Fozzie: Like this one: "What's black and white and red all over?"
Baby Kermit: Aw, gee, Fozzie... Everyone knows that joke.
Baby Fozzie: They do?
Baby Kermit: Uh-huh. Newspapers are black and white and read (red) all over!
Baby Fozzie: Gosh! That wasn't the joke I was thinking of! I thought what was "black and white and red all over" was skunk covered in strawberry jam! Hee-hee-hee!
[cut to a live-action clip of a skunk turning to its "firing position"]
[a hissing noise is heard, meaning the skunk just sprayed Fozzie]
Baby Fozzie: [holding his nose] PHEW! I'd rather be hit by a tomato any day!
- In the My Dad the Rock Star episode "Call of the Wild", Serenity housesits while the rest of her family goes camping. After a series of mishaps, a bunch of animals get into the house, one of which is a skunk that ends up spraying her.
- On My Friends Tigger & Pooh, Skunk hardly ever sprays and only when he's really scared, just like real skunks. But just being able to is important to him because that's what skunks do, and when he first appears, he actually angsts over it. Even he didn't know the real reason why skunks stink at first.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In the season 1 episode "Winter Wrap-Up", Twilight Sparkle goes through a Humiliation Conga involving snakes, bats, having a hornet's nest fall on her head, and ends up running into a den... and getting sprayed by a family of skunks. Next scene shows her bathing in a tub of tomato juice. The trope comes up again in the episode "28 Pranks Later" when Cranky's toupee is replaced with a skunk.
- On Oscar's Oasis, there is an anthropomorphic skunk with a white Mohawk who can emit a foul Visible Odor smell from his armpits at will and can also fart loudly. He first appears in the episode "Forbidden Zone". Most characters are offended by his stench, but Oscar is not offended, and in fact swallows one of his gas clouds and farts it out.
- Pac-Man: In "Trick or Chomp", the Ghost Monsters hide in a hollow tree that's inhabited by a skunk. Like real skunks, it stomps its feet before spraying them.
- In an episode of PAW Patrol, titled "Pups Get Skunked", Everest the Husky gets a sprayed in the face by a skunk in realistic manner (even for a kid's show!), and when it shows up in the town, it was revealed that the skunk had thorns in its feet.
- On The Penguins of Madagascar episode "Operation: Plush", a jealous King Julien throws all the plush toys of Mort (which were selling better than his plush toys) into the skunk habitat so they would be recalled. On the episode "Out of the Groove", an equally jealous Julien throws skunks at the baboons after they get more attention than he does.
- In "I'm Super", an episode of Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero, the hero trio are sent to a world where EVERYONE is a superhero. It is there that Sashi becomes "Skunkwoman" Guess what her powers are...
- Phineas and Ferb: In his youth, Dr. Doofenshmirtz aspired to be a stage magician, but all his tricks inexplicably ended with him getting sprayed by a skunk.
- In The Proud Family, after both of the Prouds' inlaws ended up leaving from the baptism due to inherent disagreements, Oscar is forced by Trudy to sleep in the tent (because Oscar arranged his cousin Ray-Ray to stay at their house due to wanting to hold off Trudy's relatives, there wasn't enough room in the house for Oscar, Trudy, or... well, the main occupants of the house to actually live in the house, so they were forced to set up a tent). It's raining that night. Oscar, desperately trying to make the best of the situation, tries to comfort himself by saying that it's his tent as well, and that the black fluffy pillow is his. Unfortunately for him, said "black fluffy pillow" was actually a skunk that was sleeping in the tent.
- In an episode of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, a monster named Stinkweed ends up having a skunk attracted to him due to his nasty smell!
- The Direct to Video Zhu Zhu Pets tie-in movie Quest for Zhu has Stinker the skunk, aptly named. His first appearance in the film — which is also a Shout-Out to Glinda's entrance in The Wizard of Oz — has him arrive from the sky in a giant bubble full of stinky green gas, and he enjoys making reference to his own stinkiness at others' expense. However, he only ever actually sprays once in the whole film and the implication is that it was by impulse, after he was forcibly launched into the mouth of the Big Bad and panicked while trying to get out.
- In the Regular Show episode "Skunked", Rigby gets sprayed by a were-skunk, and if he doesn't find a way to clean the smell off, he will turn into one.
- On Rocko's Modern Life, Rocko waits desperately to use an airline bathroom. When one of the stalls finally becomes vacant, the Funny Animal that steps out is a skunk, complete with a cloud of stink.
- One episode (aptly titled "Chuckie Gets Skunked") involves Chuckie being sprayed by a skunk, and the other characters' attempts to get rid of the smell (washing him in mud, among other things). Unfortunately, just when they've gotten rid of the smell (by bathing Chuckie in Grandma Minka's borscht), the episode ends with Stu and Chaz encountering the same skunk.
- In the episode "Mega Diaper Babies", the babies play superheroes with Chuckie playing "Stinky" ("who smells as strong as two babies!") and wearing a skunk costume. He is NOT happy about it. At least until he's the one to beat Angelatron.
- An installment of the "X-Presidents" cartoon on Robert Simgel's "TV Funhouse" shorts on Saturday Night Live had the heroes teaming up with some popular cartoon characters to make updated versions of the notoriously politically incorrect Wartime Cartoons of the 1940s in which a stereotypically ugly Dirty Foreigner would get harassed and humiliated. Two of these cartoons ended with a snarky skunk showing up out of nowhere, pointing at the foreigner, and groaning "Pee-yew!"
- Dave from Scaredy Squirrel is a Cloudcuckoolander Fat Idiot skunk, but he only smells when he farts.
- In Scooby-Doo! and the Monster of Mexico, on their way to Mexico, the gang run across a skunk in the middle of the road. They promptly stop and jump to the top of a billboard to get away from it. It laughed at them for it.
- On the Silly Symphony "The Tortoise and the Hare", a pair of skunks in the audience get a bleacher all to themselves.
- The eponymous character of Skunk Fu! uses the "Farting Skunk" type. Worth noting is Skunk can't spray of his own free will, only if he's embarrassed or startled.
- The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Pineapple Invasion" has Plankton use a skunk to stink out the Krusty Krab, taking advantage of the chaos in an attempt to steal the formula.
- The episode of Stanley called "PU Pup" dealt with skunks. However, while the skunk did spray his dog, the point of the episode is actually Stanley discovering that skunks spray to defend themselves and don't stink themselves.
- Stōked: A skunk forces Emma out of her initial staff dorm early on, driving her to bunk with Fin and Lo. Lo pets a skunk in episode two, thinking it's a kitty (this scene is also shown in the opening credits).
- In Strawberry Shortcake — Pets on Parade, it's implied that the reason a little skunk named Soufflé doesn't have any friends is out of fear of this trope; all the people he's ever met panicked when they saw him. He isn't depicted as smelling bad at all in the story.
- The Tex Avery cartoon Little 'Tinker stars a cute little skunk named B.O. Skunk who can't get dates because of his smell. He gets some help from Cupid — but not before he puts on a gas mask first! No doubt Avery was parodying the earlier MGM short "Poor Little Me", in which a boy skunk can't make friends with the other woodland creatures, until he meets a girl bunny with a cold.
- One episode of The Tom and Jerry Show (2014) has Jerry tricking Tom into pursuing a number of ridiculous remedies for his sudden hair loss (that Jerry secretly caused to get back at Tom for his latest attempts at catching him). One such remedy is "skunk therapy", which Tom imagines meaning going to see a therapist who happens to be a skunk until Spike promptly brandishes a skunk to give him a face full of spray.
- In the first season of Total Drama, a family of skunks appear on several occasions, including a few challenges. Bridgette's first elimination is in part the result of getting sprayed by them.
- In the T.U.F.F. Puppy episode "Law and Odor", the trope is played straight when Kitty Katswell is sprayed twice when a group of skunks get scared. She is later seen being lowered into a vat of tomato juice.
- Used for a gag in the Van Beuren Studios Aesop's Film Fables cartoon "Noah Knew His Ark"— two skunks are stuck in their own private boat tied behind the ark.
- The rabbit in "Rabid Hunters" turns out to be a skunk in disguise.
- Madman from Urban Vermin notably averts this trope, as his stink glands were surgically removed from his time as a pet to humans. The fact that he can't make a stink is a bit of a sore spot for him however, and he's ecstatic when he gets his own artificial stench-producing device in one episode.
- We Bare Bears: "Food Truck" has a skunk whose spray is portrayed like a nuclear explosion.
- In Wild Animal Babies, Sammy the skunk only smells when he sprays, but when he does spray, he's proud of being a "little stinker".
- In Wonder Pets! episode "The Wonder Pets Save The Skunk", Ollie, a rabbit who forced himself on the team for the episode, tries to save the title animal himself, ignoring warnings that scaring it would get him sprayed. Guess what happens to him?
- Even a skunk whose spraying glands have been removed surgically can have an unattractive aroma, but it's more the smell of greasy fur than musk. Giving them a bath can help with that, unlike victims of a spraying.
- In reality, this trope isn't limited to skunks. Opossums' scent glands emit a rotting stench they use to sell their "playing dead" defense, civets and genets have powerful musk glands, and most mustelids (weasels, badgers, otters, ferrets, wolverines) smell fairly musky as well. Skunks, however, have the most powerful scent in comparison.
- Having a skunk infestationnote is particularly nasty to deal with because you are dealt a Morton's Fork. If you use live catch traps they will spray when they are collected and moved. If lethal traps are used they will still frequently produce the odor upon death. The most effective method is a kill trap that produces a loud noise or alerts you some other way so the skunk's body can be disposed of before its scent glands leak.
- In Real Life, wild skunks are dangerous for a reason far more lethal than their smell: they, along with raccoons, are some of the most common carriers of rabies. If you have a pet skunk, vaccinate it! If you encounter skunks in the wild, stay away from them.
- Owls subvert this trope's effects by having virtually no sense of smell, hence large owls have no problem eating a skunk.
- The German word for "skunk" is "stinktier". "Tier" means "animal" and you can probably figure out the rest.