Follow TV Tropes

Following

Stink Snub

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_1skylersmell.png

"The only thing strong about the French Army is their damn body odor."
Advertisement:

Want to make someone feel bad? Just tell them that your olfactory sense is offended by their presence.

Personal hygiene is important. A lack of self-care in that department can lead to some health issues. As a result, avoiding people who exhibit signs of poor hygiene in the form of a foul odour lingering in the air around them is a perfectly natural reaction.

Compare Adoption Diss, You Are Fat and Your Mom for other themed insults. Note that telling someone that they stink is generally considered more socially acceptable than telling them their footsteps cause earthquakes, implying they're unloved, or disrespecting their parents. When Evil Smells Bad, commentary to that effect amounts to this. When used in visual media (provided the person really does stink and the snubber isn't just being mean), a Visible Odor is often involved.

Advertisement:

See also: Humans Are Smelly when this is at least part of a general opinion about the entire species, You Need a Breath Mint for halitosis-specific examples, Dirty Foreigner for when an entire group of foreign people is stereotyped as unhygienic, and The Pig-Pen when the insults are clearly and abundantly true.

No Real Life Examples, Please!


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Spirited Away:
    • The other bath-house workers complain about Chihiro's human stench potentially driving away customers. Once Chihiro, now known as Sen, is employed, Madame Yubaba tells the workers to stop complaining, as Sen will soon stop smelling like a human, and in the meantime, they're stuck with her because Madame Yubaba is honor-bound to give Sen the employment that she asked for.
    • When the polluted river spirit approaches the bath-house, Madame Yubaba defies this trope and warns every employee to not react to the stench because a customer is a customer. No matter how difficult it will be to clean their customer, they still don't want to offend their customer.
  • Inverted in Act-age. Stage director Iwao refers to certain actors with a "stink", which to him is a good thing. If they smell, it's a sign that they're expressive and capable of a wide range of investment-worthy acting potential—this is an honor awarded to the protagonist and her acting partner for their current production. By contrast, the mechanical, clinical actors of the Stars agency like Akira Hoshi did not give off a stink at all, at first.

    Comic Books 
Advertisement:

    Fan Works 
  • The Bolt Chronicles:
    • Played with in “The Ski Trip” when Bolt’s attempt to discuss his experience rolling in a dead mouse is resoundingly rebuffed by Mittens and Rhino.
    • Inverted twice in “The Seven.” The collie puppy’s prominent dead squirrel odor is noted by his friends, all of whom want to know where he found the source. Also, when the Jack Russell terrier puppy mentions that it’s easy to get “all stunk up” at the puppy mill, one of the German shepherd youngsters expresses his approval. Justified in that canines enjoy strong odors.

    Films — Animation 
  • Frozen: The trolls describe Kristoff as being smelly in the "Fixer-Upper" song and ask if that's why he and Anna aren't a couple. In its sequel short, Elsa treats getting him and Sven to take a shower like a big achievement.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: Ruffnut asks Tuffnut if he ever bathes at one point.
  • The Lion King (1994): In one scene, the hyenas are spitefully listing things they don't like about the lions. Shenzi calls them "stinky."
  • Treasure Planet: The arachnoid Mister Scroop tries to bully Jim Hawkins, but gets called "bright eyes" for his effort. Seizing Jim by the throat, Scroop hisses, "Maybe your ears don't work so good." Jim gasps for breath, then replies, "Yeah. Too bad my nose works just fine," implying Scroop has an unpleasant odor about him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Charlotte's Web: Charlotte the spider says "I am a trapper. I have to catch my food. Which is why I make my home near you!", to Ike the horse, the implication being that Ike's aroma is what attracts the flies Charlotte eats.
  • Cool Cat Saves the Kids: One of Butch's first bullying tactics involves telling Cool Cat:
    Butch: You might look like a cat, but you stink like a dog.
  • The Fly (1986) plays this for drama — and it's less insult and more genuine concern for someone's health. Neither Veronica nor Seth yet knows that the reason there's a stench is because the latter is undergoing a Slow Transformation into a Half-Human Hybrid and is, in a sense, literally rotting.
    Veronica: You're changing, Seth; everything about you is changing. You look bad. You smell bad.
    Seth: I've never been much of a bather.
  • K-PAX: Sal, a mental patient, believes everybody stinks (note: except alien visitor Prot) and doesn't hesitate to tell them so.
  • Played for Drama in Parasite. The rich Mr. Park complains about the way his driver Ki-taek and other lower-class people smell. Eventually this is one of the things that causes Ki-taek to snap and fatally stab him.
  • Queen of Katwe: When Phiona first tries to join the chess club, the other kids refuse to play against her because she smells due to her house not having running water. Finally, one little girl agrees to play a match if Phiona will go away afterwards.
  • After being abruptly recalled to the Enterprise from their camping trip near the start of Star Trek V, Kirk and Spock ride to the bridge in the close confines of a turbolift, and Kirk idly remarks that he could use a shower. Spock agrees. From his expression, Kirk doesn't know whether to be amused or annoyed at Spock's confirmation of Kirk's odiferous status. (Spock has a few of dry one-liners in this film, but the funniest part about all of them is that no-one can tell if he's joking, this one included.)
  • War Room: The delivery guy who meets Elizabeth at her house with a package, when Elizabeth wakes up in her "war room", acts real subtle about Elizabeth's condition after waking up, saying that the package will "take her breath away."

    Jokes 
  • One potentially offensive "Shaggy Dog" Story has this as its punchline. To paraphrase, a blind rabbit and a blind skunk are running through a forest and they bump into each other. Since they are both blind, they decide to guess what the other animal is. The skunk says "You have long ears, you must be a rabbit." The rabbit says "You stink, are you a [Insert Acceptable Targets here]?"

    Literature 
  • Achoo!: When the cow starts talking about manners, she claims the dog smells bad, so she and the goat bathe the dog. This later offends him, so they apologise, but he decides to be more clean.
  • Charlotte's Web: At one point, Wilbur is fantasizing about searching for truffles, beechnuts and roots in a forest, "sniffing the ground, smelling, smelling, smelling..." when a lamb interrupts "You smell plenty the way you are. I can smell you from here. You're the smelliest creature in the place."
  • Gangsta Granny: Ben and his mother accuse the grandmother of "stinking of cabbage".
  • Martin's Mice: people make jokes about Alec Smart the fox and his pheromones.
  • Secret Santa: Among the insulting Secret Santa gifts Erik gets are a book about overcoming halitosis and extra-strength deodorant.
  • Comes up frequently in Warrior Cats since the feline protagonists rely more heavily on their sense of smell than humans do.
    • When Firepaw first joins ThunderClan other cats complain that he smells like a housecat. Over time these insults become less common as he becomes more respected within the Clan and also picks up the ThunderClan scent.
    • In the first series ThunderClan's main rival is ShadowClan, and so ThunderClan cats often insult the ShadowClan smell.
      Graystripe: ShadowClan cats smell bad enough on their own, but sick ones... yuck!
    • In Cloudstar's Journey it's shown that SkyClan used to have a similar relationship with ThunderClan, and the ThunderClan smell is described by Cloudstar as a "stench".
    • WindClan and RiverClan scents are occasionally described as "rabbity" and "fishy" respectively, due to those two clans having different diets to ThunderClan cats.
    • Cats generally regard dogs as being noisy, stupid creatures and often comment on their strong smell. Similarly, foxes have an overwhelmingly strong smell to cats and the word 'fox' crops up in insults (fox-dung, foxbreath, etc).
  • Watership Down: The rabbits have a little ditty about encountering predators anytime / anywhere: "Oy oy, the stinking thousand / we meet them when we pass droppings." Their word for stinking is "embleer," which in the footnotes, is actually the word for "scent of a fox." Foxes are especially pungent since they use musk glands to attract mates. This ditty implies all predators have a strong, musky odor.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation: One episode sees the Enterprise playing host to two species who hate each other. One of the species insists on being given quarters upwind of the other.
    • Star Trek: Voyager: In the episode "Body and Soul", the holographic doctor is transferred into Seven of Nine's body and smells for the first time. He thinks Harry Kim smells bad and Harry tries to defend himself by saying that he has been sweating a lot due to having a busy day. The doctor, however, claims that Seven of Nine smells OK despite having been just as busy.
    • It comes up a couple of times in Star Trek: Enterprise that T'Pol has to use a nasal numbing agent because her heightened sense of smell as a Vulcan means that she finds the human body odor unbearable.
  • Worzel Gummidge:
    • Aunt Sally accuses the title character (a scarecrow) of smelling like a pigsty. Worzel says that he actually smells like a cowshed because he fell into a cowpat.
    • Worzel once accuses the talking figurehead Saucy Nancy of smelling of fish, but she's not offended.
  • Apparently the cabbie who takes Will to his new home in the opening titles to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has an unpleasant odor, as Will makes clear on exiting the cab. We don't see the cabbie's reaction to Will's snub, though.
  • Supposedly one of the Informed Flaw traits that makes Kimmy Gibbler so unapproachable in Full House is that she smells.

    Video Games 
  • Iconoclasts: Mina is repeatedly reminded that she smells. This even affects gameplay during the boss fight against Ash, which requires Robin and Mina to hide in either patches of tall grass or pools of water and ambush him when he isn't looking. Robin can hide anywhere without a problem, but Mina can only hide in the pools of water, since Ash will smell her if she tries hiding in the grass.
  • A Plague Tale: Innocence: At one point, Arthur drops a "You stink!" insult on Rodric during one of their playful quarrels.

    Web Comics 
  • Nine Planets Without Intelligent Life: The main characters' "Bohemian Drive circuits" emit a radio frequency that other robots interpret as body odor, causing them some difficulty on their interplanetary roadtrip.
  • In Ennui GO!, rather than use the shower after gym class, Max's nemesis Skyler saturates himself with a body spray that, as Max describes it, "[...] smells like actual in-real-life piss. And like BAD piss too. Like the kind of piss you take when you're REALLY dehydrated." Later, as Skyler walks by Max's friends Calixta and Bee, Bee says "Ugh, what smells like piss?"

    Web Videos 
  • Critical Role has the cheerful but blunt Jester tell The Pig-Pen wizard Caleb he stinks and should take a bath on their first meeting. It's averted because Jester is actually trying to be helpful to Caleb; she would feel terrible if she smelled bad and no-one told her.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Played for laughs with fictionalized versions of Zuko and Iroh. In "The Ember Island Players", when the play shows Zuko betraying Iroh, Zuko tells him "You smell!"
    • Later played for bathos to a degree with the real Zuko and Iroh. After the two are reunited and embracing and Zuko is unreservedly forgiven by his uncle for all he's done wrong, he makes a quip about Iroh's "strong scent" making him easy to find.
  • Futurama:
    • Zoidberg is on the receiving end of this for the entire series run.
    • At the end of the episode "The Sting", Leela and Fry embrace after Leela comes out of her coma and learns that Fry stayed by her side the entire time. They both whisper this to each other as the credits start to roll.
      Leela: You could really use a shower.
      Fry: You too.
    • In "A Bicyclops Built for Two", Leela accuses her boyfriend of needing "stink-proof underwear".
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In the episode "A Dog and Pony Show", Rarity accuses the Diamond Dogs of having bad breath and not bathing.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: In "Down and Dirty", Buttercup stubbornly refuses to take a bath, no matter how dirty she gets. Everyone starts shunning her and telling her to take a bath, from her sisters to the Professor (who has to go outside to avoid her stench) to the Mayor and the citizens of Townsville (who form an angry mob and run her out of town until she agrees to take a bath). Buttercup stubbornly refuses, until she realizes her hygiene is so bad monsters don't want to fight her because she stinks too much. This is the last straw for the "toughest fighter" of the Powerpuffs.
  • Tom and Jerry: "Quiet, Please" has Jerry try to rile up Tom into making some noise by pulling aside some drapes to reveal the graffiti "Stinky" inked on the wall. This does indeed get Tom to chase that impudent mouse.
  • Velma's initial rival and eventual friend, Marcy, from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, is noted for having a smell similar to hot dogs, causing her classmates to refer to her as "Hot Dog Water". It's eventually revealed that her family runs a failed carnival and in order to save money on water, are forced to bathe in the recycled brine they use to cook hot dogs.
  • A couple of times in Rugrats, jabs will be made at Phil and Lil’s apparent odor. When Chuckie is able to smell for the first time, Phil and Lil come up, and Chuckie comments, “What’s that smell?!” There’s an awkward pause before Tommy finally says, “You’ll get used to it.” In another episode, Tommy becomes suspicious of Angelica’s actions and says, “Something smells funny,” and Chuckie replies, “I think it’s Lil.”

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report