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The Pig-Pen

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"You call it dirt. I call it a healthy coating of earth."

Yuck! A character whose most obvious trait is that they are absolutely filthy. Not filthy in morals, behaviors, or ethics (but sometimes they are), but someone whose body is actually covered in filth. The person might have other qualities as well, but their filthiness is bad in relation to the rest of the cast, or at least the setting. Chances are that they may look just as bad as they smell, and bonus points if every nearby living being withers away from the foul odor they radiate.

It could be someone who is just not trying hard to stay clean, someone who just seems to attract filth, or someone who actually revels in filth and grime. Could be a Trash of the Titans as well, but remember that this trope is about someone who is filthy on a personal level. This trope could also apply to animals who like to play in garbage and mud. They may additionally be terrified of taking a bath.

Though usually seen as an Always Male Trope, there are still a fair number of female pig pens. However, if a female character is a pig pen, it's usually a surefire sign that she's also a tomboy, as most girly girls hate being gross, filthy, or unhygienic.

There is some Truth in Television to this, as people used to rarely bathe or keep themselves clean. But as inventions such as electricity, indoor heating and indoor plumbing became more commonplace, walking around in a large layer of grime became rarer.

Named after the Peanuts character Pig-Pen (pictured), who was always surrounded by a cloud of dust and has been seen going from "perfectly clean" to "covered in dust" while walking down the road or — most absurdly — in a rainstorm. Also see Men Can't Keep House, Dirty Foreigner and Humans Are Smelly for a more fantasy-based variant. When this Trope is a defining trait of a villainous or otherwise evil character, see Uncleanliness Is Next to Ungodliness. A character who offsets bad hygiene with high intelligence is a Genius Slob. Filthy Fun may or may not come naturally to them. If the character's bad hygiene comes with an odour to match, expect commentary in the form of Stink Snub. They may be the victim of a Hated Item Makeover.

Do not confuse with Dirty Kid. Contrast Neat Freak.

If you were looking for actual dirty pigs, see Messy Pig and/or Perverted Pig.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • 7 Seeds has Chimaki from Team Summer B. He does clean himself, but it's definitely not a priority of his and he doesn't mind going a day or several without somehow washing himself off.
  • Baikinman from Anpanman, being an alien bacteria, loves filth and his goal is to cover the world in germs. His lair is piled with garbage he doesn't bother to throw out, and he is actually allergic to soap and cleanliness, shrinking to the size of a fly when he's in contact with it. His Kabirunrun minions, living mold spores, are the same as him.
  • Chainsaw Man: Power has awful personal hygiene, as she doesn't like to bathe or even flush the toilet after relieving herself. Denji and Aki are disgusted to find out how filthy she is when she moves in with them. Power thinks humans are too concerned about being clean.
    Power: I prefer to occasionally flush my feces.
    Aki: Flush it!
    Denji: It stinks!
    Power: I prefer to only occasionally bathe.
    Aki: Get in there!
    Denji: You reek!
    Power: You two are absurd. How delicate these humans be.
  • The Dangers in My Heart: Downplayed with Yamada. She's far from unkempt (Though she thanks her mother for that and admits she's a mess otherwise), but thanks to her beloved pastime of gorging herself on food she's likely to have crumbs on her face and not realize it.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In the first tournament arc, Krillin faces off against Bacterian, a huge fat guy whose main superpower is the unbearable stench emanating from his person due to the fact that he supposedly has never bathed once in his entire life. Krillin eventually manages to beat him when he's reminded by Goku that he doesn't have a nose, and thus can't smell him, and finished him off by farting in Bacterian's face, which means that Bacterian could handle only his own stench. But the other ways Bacterian fought... poor, poor Krillin...
    • In a filler episode, an unnamed boy tries to steal Goku's clothes while he was swimming, but ultimately escapes with only the Dragon Radar. Goku was able to track him down by scent, but was nauseated because he was very stinky. When the boy sells the Dragon Radar to a shopkeeper, the man holds his nose and tells him to take a bath.
    • Also, when Vegeta and Nappa first arrived on Earth, one of many insults that Krillin slung at him was insulting his body odor. Not getting the point Nappa protested that it wasn't his fault, saying that he had been cooped up in his transport pod for months. (Causing Vegeta to tell him to shut up, not for the first — or last — time.)
  • GeGeGe no Kitarō: Nezumi Otoko is stated to have never taken a bath in three hundred years, and the older Manga specifically states that he has hookworms and other lovely diseases from this filth. His stench has been known to make humans pass out, and once an entire TV News Studio had to wear gas masks in order to interview him. It's not his only character trait, but one of his most noticeable.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind: According to Trish Una, Guido Mista smells really bad, and his fingernails are really bizarre, implying he never clips them. It is unclear whether this is normal for Mista or simply his condition after traveling and fighting continuously for six days. It isn't until Trish tells him this that Mista realizes how dirty he is. He contemplates whether or not he should take a shower, making both of them laugh.
  • In Moyashimon, when we first see Aoi Mutō she's absolutely filthy and covered in germs, including a number of food poisoning pathogens. However, this is just because she's just gotten back from a long sojourn across Eurasia, and didn't exactly have a lot of opportunities to bathe and change her clothes.
  • My Hero Academia: Mei Hatsume is so enraptured in her work that she hardly takes showers. Midoriya notes this when she comes to give him his upgraded equipment. When he mentions her being dirty, she says that bathing would take a few minutes a day away from her inventing, so she doesn't bother.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Misato Katsuragi is a downplayed example — she isn't visibly filthy, but she doesn't seem to care much for her personal hygiene, let alone keeping a clean apartment.
  • Fujou from Oddman 11 has never taken a single bath in her lifetime, going so far as to deny being baptized as a baby. While she seems to be beautiful enough (according to what the audience can see, at least), her smell led has her to an isolated life; her entire class has to wear gas masks, so she doesn't even know their faces. Part of her relationship with Setsu is based on the fact that the latter grew accostumed to her body odor and has no qualms befriending her.
  • The main character of Omorai-kun, a comedy by Go Nagai, is an impossibly disgusting urchin who's covered in a thick layer of filth at all times. It acts variously as armor, insulation, molding putty, and even a disguise kit. Omorai-kun and his family are so happy-go-lucky that they never realize it's their fault when people die of horrible diseases every chapter.
  • In the Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei OVA we're introduced to Kitsu Chiri's older sister, Kitsu Tane, who became The Pig Pen and goddess over the Trash of the Titans trope by choice in order to save the life of their gold fish, which Chiri had decided to clean (using shampoo). Unfortunately for Tane, she had to maintain this behavior for so many years, it eventually got stuck (literally, trash seems to follow her around) and now she can't even take proper care of herself... She once appeared on TV in a How Clean Is Your House like show.
    Show host: Wow, the beams are bending!
    Tane: What? I tidied up before you came.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: The gnomes in Season 8 episode 30 are very obsessed with keeping themselves as filthy as possible and frown upon taking baths.

    Audio Plays 
  • Bert and I...: The titular "Virgil Bliss", who changes his shirt once a year. He's brought into court and sentenced to a bath.

    Comic Books 
  • Captain America: It was running gag with D-Man through the 90s that he smelled awful. First it started when he spent a long period amnesiac in the Arctic, then he started living in a city in the sewers (long story). During an Avengers reunion, everyone is commenting on how pungent he smells, and at the briefing there's a gag where Dennis is sitting in the middle of the room, and everyone else is crammed up against the sides to avoid him.
  • The Mess was a joke character who tried to join the Legion of Super-Heroes. His power was the ability to attract dirt.
  • Monica's Gang
    • Smudge (Cascão) has as his personal gimmick the fact he never took a shower since he was born. Ever. And he loves dirt and garbage and playing in mud. An early comic strip implies Smudge took a bath as a Mother's Day gift, a cover of his comic book once shown him washing his hands. In the spinoff teenagers series, he switches his tastes from just being dirty to radical sports (that also make him dirty) and he bathes once in a while, though he's still not quite into it.
      Just 'cause I do it doesn't mean I like it.
    • From the same series, villain Captain Fray (Capitão Feio) (who has a barely remembered origin as Smudge's uncle). However, unlike Smudge, who is ecologically friendly, Fray tries to use his powers to pollute all of Earth and make everyone as dirty as him, putting him at clash with Smudge himself and the other main characters.
  • Pongalongapongo / Krazy GangPongo Snodgrass, a '70s-'80s British comics character who loved filth and all things putrid, and was also something of a schemer.
  • Red Sonja in the first arc of the Amy Chu/Carlos Gomez run. Stranded in the 21st century, she finds herself taking momentary shelter in the apartment of a New York cop who ends up asking our smelly heroine how long she has gone without taking a bath. While she does immediately take one, she admits to herself that she's not overly fond of bathing, though she could grow used to the comforts of modern-day ones.
  • The Sergeant from Sturmtruppen. To give an example, he doesn't know why the bath tub is full of water or what's soap, and after being washed is revealed that he lost roughly 7 pounds of filth.
  • Watchmen — Rorschach does not bath or change clothes and when we see him eating raw beans in the first chapter his chin is covered in bean juice that he doesn't bother wiping off before putting his mask back on. Other characters frequently complain about it, but his only concession is to pour cologne over the grime.
  • The Spanish note  comic Blacksad features a rather whiffy weasel journalist named Weekly. His nickname derives from a joke circulating the office, that this is how often he bathes. The English translation says this is how often he changes his underwear.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes would be this if his mom didn’t make him bathe on a regular basis, he loves getting dirty doing things like playing in mud and collecting worms and insects and hates taking baths.
  • The villain of Cricket Country strips in Cricket, a children's magazine, is an extremely unhygienic, scruffy Toothy Bird called Ugly Bird.
  • In Dick Tracy, B. O. Plenty was a recurring character who wore hideously shabby clothes and had a noticeable stench about him. Must not have been so bad, though, since he married Gravel Gertie and had a daughter, Sparkle Plenty, by her.
    • However, there was also the Flyface family, who are always surrounded by flies. When Chester Gould created these characters in the late 1950s, he didn't anticipate his readers' tastes had changed and he started losing newspapers due to reader complaints.
  • Kenny the Cloudcuckoolander husky from Dogs of C-Kennel has this as his defining trait.
  • Hägar the Horrible has multiple examples: Hagar himself, of course, and also a character based on this trope called Dirty Dirk who is even dirtier. Of course, the strip is set in The Dung Ages, so this kind of bad hygiene is justified on anyone's part.
  • Al Capp's Li'l Abner had Moonbeam McSwine, who was an odd variation. She was unwashed, unkempt, and she stunk, and often preferred the company of pigs to others, but was actually quite beautiful if you could get past that. (Capp designed her as a caricature of his wife, Catherine — minus the dirt.)
  • The Trope Namer and the pictured character is Pig-Pen from Peanuts. Charles Schulz disliked the character, because he was basically just one joke, but character popularity forced him to include Pig-Pen occasionally. One strip from the 1950s features a clean Pig-Pen. He looks weird.
    • Often he pushes the bounds of believability. Even when he is clean, he can often become dirty within seconds merely by stepping outside, at which point he says, "You know what I am? I'm a dust magnet!" Both his hair and is shoelaces came undone entirely of their own accord. He once got dirty while walking in a snowstorm. The other characters in the strip are torn between disbelief and a weird sense of admiration towards him. (Charlie Brown once said half-sarcastically that Pig-Pen "might carry on him the dust and dirt of ancient civilizations".)
    • It's to the point that in The Peanuts Movie, when the sprinklers went off during the school dance, Patty (who was dancing with him) did not recognize him with all the grime washed off.
  • British newspaper strip The Perishers had Dirty McSquirty, sometimes called Saint Flies because flies kept circling his head like a halo. Pretty much a one-joke character. (His Cousin Worsoff was the proverbial person who's worse off than everyone else. Worsoff lived in the sewers and was only heard, not seen.)
  • In this Zits strip, Connie stops Jeremy from going out in a filthy shirt, taking a lint roller to it — only to find out he wasn't wearing a shirt at all.

    Fan Works 
  • The Lion King Adventures:
    • Tama. She only bathes once a year, and constantly forces Tojo to massage her dirty, sweaty paws.
    • Shocker counts as well, as he's too focused on revenge to pay attention to much else, including cleaning himself. Apparently, this results in him smelling like "a mix of stale sweat and burning rubber."
  • Illudere in Manehattan's Lone Guardian stops bothering to keep herself clean after losing her sanity. She still tries to keep her teeth clean, but only so that she can deliver a Speed-o'-Sound Sonic-quality Slasher Smile as needed. Her lack of cleanliness works against her in that her odor makes it easier for her to be tracked.
  • In Poison, Moto is an extreme example, and Sarafina starts out this way, though this is one of many things about her that changes as a result of Character Development.
  • Lakler from What Lies Beyond the Walls, a very smelly hare in the Long Patrol who's fond of eating rotten food, never bathes, and engages in revolting sex-play. Considering his background, it's somewhat justified.
  • Thousand Shinji: After becoming a Nurglette, Rei loathes cleanliness, showers and soap. She delights in being dirty, sweaty and bad-smelling.
  • In Where the Sun Don't Shine Princess Luna hates baths and has become so filthy that the citizens of Ponyville can smell her all the way from Canterlot. To get her sister to take a bath, Princess Celestia has to threaten to unleash a world-destroying solar storm so they can sit and wait for millions of years for civilization to return and reinvent the bathtub. (And judging by Luna's response, she's actually done it once before.)
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, Mariella Smith-Rhodes leaves the Assassins' School, returns Home — eventually — and is called up for National Service. Assigned as person in charge of her barracks room and therefore responsible for the perfection and absolute cleanliness of everything in it, she is less than pleased to realise one of her fellow recruits is actually known as Pigpen. Mariella notes, gloomily, that Morporkians slander her people with the assertion that they have yet to invent soap. There's even a song about it. Considering (the otherwise undescribed) Pigpen, Mariella conceded that just sometimes, the Morporkians are right.
  • Unbreakable Red Silken Thread: Duncan and Gwen's living place; while Gwen tries to clean it up, Duncan doesn't move a finger to help, and, combined with Gwen's other obligations, she has no time left to clean it regularly.
  • The Bolt Chronicles: Applies to Bolt as well as other dogs at times. Justified, as real dogs enjoy being dirty.
    • In “The Blood Brother,” Bolt and his friend Duke like rolling in mud puddles.
    • In “The Imaginary Letters,” Bolt refers to this as a typical state for canines: “Dogs and getting dirty just kind of seem to go together, and me with all my white fur, it’s a given.”
    • In “The Protection Payment,” Kelvin the labradoodle is first seen rolling in a ripped-open bag of trash.

    Films — Animation 
  • Gaeton "Mole" Moliere from Atlantis: The Lost Empire is the team's geologist. He's also obsessed with dirt and soil, and at one point Dr. Sweet gets him off Milo's back with a bar of soap just like you would scare a vampire off using garlic.
  • Mittens from Bolt is a somewhat milder example than most. Nobody comments on it, but thanks to her lifestyle as a stray, her fur is very dirty and scruffy. However, in the final scene, she appears to have been cleaned off.
  • There's Messy Bear in the Care Bears: Big Wish Movie.
  • Kristoff from Frozen, to the point of being a Running Gag: he eats a saliva-covered carrot (it is Sven's saliva, but still it is pretty gross), only ever relieves himself in the woods, and (by his own admission) smells worse than a reindeer. The trolls say he's smelly no matter how much he washes, and Olaf describes him as "a pungent reindeer king." Later in "Frozen Fever", Elsa says that because it's Anna's birthday, she "even got Kristoff to take a bath", so that still must be a very rare event.
  • Ice Age:
    • Sid the Sloth is visibly dishevelled and dirty, and various moments show he has terrible hygiene. In Dawn of the Dinosaurs, a strand of his fur smells like, in Buck's words, "a buzzard's butt fell off and then got sprayed on by a bunch of skunks", and in Collision Course, his attempts at flirting show he has fleas in his fur and algae in his eyes.
    • Granny, too. One scene in Continental Drift has her have her "first bath in decades", where she releases enough oil to cause the water around her to develop a bright sheen and kill off several fish and a shark. It's easy to see where Sid gets his own slovenly tendencies from.
  • The Lion King:
    • Nuka from the second film is probably the most notable example, as his name literally means "stink" in Swahili. Infested with termites and possessing exceptionally scraggly, unkempt fur, Nuka appears to have no sense of personal grooming whatsoever.
    • The hyenas in the original film and other entries in the franchise are much the same way, as they constantly itch and bite, and are implied to be generally unclean in their habits.
    • Cub Simba would be this if Sarabi allowed him to be, and in the tie-in comics published in the late 1990s, he is often seen covered head to tail in dirt, dust, and/or mud. In one comic, Dirty Cub, the whole story is devoted to this aspect of Simba's character, as he tries desperately to stay clean just so he can never have a bath again.
  • Hamton's Uncle Stinky from Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation is a dirty, smelly non verbal pig who communicates through snorts and grunts, when Plucky meets him he shakes his hand and finds it covered with slimy gunk that when he sniffs it causes him to turn colors and pass out, and at one point he burps on him causing his color to melt off.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Gabby Johnson in Blazing Saddles: at one point he incapacitates an opponent simply by breathing in the man's face — although that could just be the booze.
  • Bumblebee: The opening shows Charlie not changing outside of the clothing she wore the previous day and not showering, as shown when she sniffs herself for odors but simply shrugs it off. This is justified due to her depression after losing her father. She properly cleans herself up after meeting Bumblebee, though.
  • Elling: Elling's roommate Kjell Bjarne. At one point Elling complains about his body odor and says that he hasn't bathed in two weeks and Kjell Bjarne says no, it's been ten days. Towards the end, when the whole gang is spending the weekend at Alfons's cabin by the lake, Kjell Bjarne faces the unexpected prospect of sex with Reidun—but he has not changed his underwear in a very, very long time. He begs for Elling's underwear, which Elling gives him after Kjell Bjarne has taken his pants off and frantically washed his privates in the lake.
  • Hedorah from the Godzilla franchise, who feeds on pollution and expels it in even worse forms than before. There's a reason his debut film got the US title of Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster. "The Sludge Monster" would have been an even more appropriate nickname, considering that sludge composes a significant portion of his total body mass (which is considerable, to say the least).
  • 78-year-old "Big Edie" Beale and her 56-year-old daughter "Little Edie" Beale, as shown in the documentary Grey Gardens. Especially Big Edie, the Crazy Cat Lady who lies on a bed piled with filth. Little Edie's bed is somewhat neater.
  • In the film version of The Hobbit, Radagast the Brown is always covered in dirt, and bird poop, from the nest of birds he has under his hat.
  • Scores of peasants in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, who conclude that Arthur is a king because he hasn't got shit all over him.
  • Booger from Revenge of the Nerds got his nickname through his flagrant disregard for his personal hygiene.
  • Michelle Rodriguez in practically every movie she does.
  • Venom: Let There Be Carnage: Thanks to Venom's sloppy ways, Eddie's apartment is always filthy, as Venom uses a blender without the lid on, leaves candy wrappers all over the floor, and has two live chickens living there, defecating and shedding feathers. It isn't until the two have a fallout leading to Venom getting kicked out that Eddie can clean up his apartment and make it stay clean.

  • According to the Ars Goetia, the demon Ipos is spectacularly dark with filth and grime — quite a juxtaposition with his angelic body (not that the head or feet are angelic). It's worth noting that none of the other demons get noted as being filthy (terrible of countenance, yes...).
  • The Spaniards in Aztec are described as being so foul that Mixtli and the Mayan king have them forcibly washed.
  • The Belgariad:
    • Beldin, although that was a side effect of his main trait (ugliness), rather than his main trait itself: He just didn't care about his appearance, and he rejected civilized behavior to the extent that he'd pour food out of a bowl onto the ground to eat it.
    • Polgara was well on her way to this as a child/adolescent. The only woman physically present in her life was her sister Beldaran, who was beautiful. Polgara didn't look like Beldaran, therefore she must be ugly. She figured out the fallacy later.
  • Gunner Jurgen from the Ciaphas Cain novels fits this to a tee. He is exempt from normal Imperial Guard peacetime cleanliness regulations due to a variety of skin conditions. Other than Cain himself, nobody wants to be around him. Of course that has more to do with Jurgen being a soulless Anti-Magic pariah, but his filthiness tends to be what people fixate on when they feel repelled by him.
  • The Dark Light Years: The Utods in Brian Aldiss's satirical science fiction novel are a highly intelligent race whose biology requires that they spend most of the time wallowing in their own excrement. This makes their first encounter with humans... interesting.
  • Dead Souls: One of Chichikov's servants who never washes himself.
  • Two examples in The Dinosaur Lords:
    • Montserrat is unable to walk five steps without something happening either to her or her clothes. Her servants have taken to keeping a stash of equipment by the entrance to main hall of the Imperial Palace so that they can prepare her just before she enters, as to not give her the chance to ruin her clothes and hair.
    • The Life-To-Come sect preaches no physical pleasures, so many of them don't bath. Their "greatest" champion must be the Papal Legate — when Jaume enters the room the man's in, he has to restrain himself from gagging, and makes a mental not to wash the entire room three times afterwardsnote .
  • Shel Silverstein's poem "The Dirtiest Man in the World."
  • Discworld:
    • Harry King. Said to need three baths just to get to dirty. It's what happens when you made your fortune in garbage. He dotes on his daughters, which is usually considered to be his way of apologizing for being their father.
    • And Nobby Nobbs, of the Watch. Every Hogswatch the other Night Watch coppers give him bath soap, bath saltsnote , bath powder... As he points out to Constable Visit in Hogfather, it isn't as if he's ever bathed, so he doesn't understand why they keep giving the stuff to him.
    • Most of the Canting Crew probably qualify, although Foul Ole Ron is the only one named for this trope.
    • There is also Fartmeister Carter, a product of neglective parenting and the Ankh-Morpork slums, whose best friend frankly tells him to eat less starch and take more baths.
  • Disgusting McGrossface: The titular character never bathes, brushes his teeth, or washes his underwear, and he walks through mud.
  • Luci in The Egg Man is constantly sweaty and smelly. The protagonist, who has a hyper-evolved sense of smell, is at the same time revolted and oddly turned on by this.
  • Eileen: In order to deny her femininity and as a pointless antisocial gesture of rebellion, Eileen tries to bathe as little as possible and discusses wallowing in her own filth, not washing her hands after using the bathroom, etc.
  • According to the narration of Fantastic Mr. Fox, Farmer Bean never bathed ("he never even washed"), and he's hard of hearing because his ears are clogged with residue. (The Boggis and Bunce are probably unhygienic too; Mr. Fox says in an early chapter that he can smell them so easily because they stink.)
  • James Clemens (AKA James Rollins) The Godslayer Chronicles has Bloodnullers; priests of the Gods who cover themselves head to toe in "Black Bile" (Gods' Shit) which is used to nullify Graces given by the Gods' other Humorals. They are easily identified by their filth covered robes and the obvious stench.
  • Brian in Good Omens. His parents do make him wash, but it doesn't really do any good; "there was something basically ground in about Brian". Also, by his very nature as the newest of the four Horsemen and Brian's Evil Counterpart, Pollution.
  • Kheperu from Iron Dawn is grimy, greasy, and reeks so much he can disperse crowds just by taking a stroll in the marketplace. Sort of justified, as some of the stench comes from the alchemical mixtures he carries, and the rest from his being the sort of dickhead who enjoys being as appalling as possible.
  • Private McAuslan, of George MacDonald Fraser's eponymous short story collection, the dirtiest soldier in the world. Standard procedure when high brass comes to inspect the battalion is to put McAuslan on leave. (Finagle's Law being what it is, he's hauled back in the middle of the already-disastrous inspection, dead drunk, for seven days in the guardhouse.)
  • Mountain Man Rancid Crabtree in the writings of the outdoor humorist Patrick McManus; he only bathes on leap-years, unless he happens to forget.
  • In Nightflyers, Alys Northwind eats a lot, doesn't bathe very often, and almost never takes off her clothes.
  • Sachar always has dirty hands in Oblomov. And claims they were clean.
  • Peek-a-Boo Poo: Heidi in the second book — she's a terribly messy eater, she wipes her nose on her arm, and of course, she poops in random places like her brother did at her age.
  • In The Pigeon Needs a Bath!, Pigeon gets so dirty that even flies won't go near him due to the smell.
  • This is the natural state of even the good members of vermin species in Redwall. They actually have a comic song in Loamhedge about how bathing too much means one risks washing oneself entirely out of existence.
    "I tell yer, that's the first bath I've took in me life, and the last one too, thank yer kindly!"
    • Most of the Dibbuns (babies) would also be this way if their caretakers let them, going to impressive lengths to avoid bathing.
  • Roys Bedoys: Discussed in “Don’t Gossip, Roys Bedoys!” where the boys wonder if Wen never showers, but it turns out that she does.
  • Played for Drama in A Song of Ice and Fire, where Theon, after being forced into becoming Reek is kept from bathing by Ramsay as part of his torture and dehumanization. His smell is described variously as "like the grave", "like nightsoil and stale vomit", and "like pigshit".
  • Agnieszka, the protagonist of Uprooted, has an uncanny knack for getting messy no matter how meticulously careful she is. The maximum time before her clothing acquires smudges or her hair gets mussed is twenty minutes (if she's very, very lucky). Her friend Kasia speculates that this was how Agnieszka's magic manifested itself because everything, especially earth or plants, wants to touch her.
  • The Water-Babies: Before Tom's transformation into a water-baby, he's a ten-year-old chimney-sweep who has never taken a bath in his life and leaves a trail of soot everywhere he goes.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Bar Rescue: "Dirty Red" didn't get that nickname for nothing. Once he cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom and felt the need to use the dish area to take a shower.
  • Black Adder:
    • Baldrick, the increasingly Bumbling Sidekick, who got progressively filthier as each season went by — to the point where you can barely find a clean patch of skin on his face in the fourth season.
    • His Georgian ancestor is so disgusting that the ancient Greeks simply mistook Pandora's Box for his trousers, which he has never changed. He admits that, "They can get a bit whiffy!" In Blackadder Back and Forth his underwear is responible for wiping out the dinosaurs.
    • One episode of Blackadder II features an especially unclean named Mr. Ploppy, leading to this exchange:
      Ploppy: My father, Daddy Ploppy, was known as Ploppy the Slopper. It was from him I inherited my fascinating skin diseases.
      Blackadder: Yes, well , you are to be congratulated, my friend. We live in an age where illness and deformity are commonplace and yet, Ploppy, are without a doubt the most repulsive individual I have ever met. I would shake your hand, but I fear it would come off.
      Ploppy: There's no' many bosses would be that considerate.
  • Callan had Lonely, so called because he never took a bath. As well as being the best informer in London, he made great coffee.
  • Carry On Laughing!: Sir William from "The Baron Outlook" and Sir Pureheart from "Under the Round Table" are both knights who refuse to take off their armour, the former because he feels if he's entitled to wear it then he should do so at all times; the latter because he swore an oath not to do so until he becomes "the greatest knight in the land". Both have gags involving "not having had it off for a long time".
  • The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance has Deet. Apparently in the Caves of Grot, bathing is seen as a purely optional pastime.
    Seladon: "When was the last time you washed your hands?"
    Deet: "Why would I ever wash my hands?"
  • Glee: Apparently the guy who sits next to Kurt in English, although he doesn't look that filthy.
    Kurt: You smell homeless, Brett. Homeless.
  • Inspector Koo: Koo Kyung-yi, once an ace detective who now only rarely leaves her apartment to investigate insurance fraud. When Je-hee comes to fetch her in episode 1, Kyung-yi's apartment is covered in filth and garbage, her computer is full of roaches, and Kyung-yi herself is so dirty that flies are buzzing around her. In episode 2, she thinks nothing of diving into a dumpster and then ambling home. In episode 6 Kyung-yi's hair is attracting flies, and Santa feels compelled to spray her. Later in the same episode he forces her to take a shower. The show eventually reveals that all of this is part of the ongoing breakdown and trauma that Kyung-yi is suffering from, after her husband killed himself.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Charlie, who's ostensibly the bar's janitor, and Frank after his first year or so with The Gang. The apartment they share is disgusting.
  • In an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a gamer couple are facing charges of abusing their daughter. Benson notes that they haven't showered in awhile.
  • M*A*S*H: Hawkeye and BJ usually try to stay reasonably clean (they are doctors, after all), except in one episode. Annoyed by Charles' French Horn playing, they tell him that they won't shower until he stops playing. This goes on for several days before a mob led by Margaret jumps them with a fire hose and soap (and a jeep to pancake Charles' horn).
    • According to Hawkeye, Radar hardly ever bathed, especially in camp. In the episode where Radar was getting a tattoo, he instead got a teddy bear drawn on with regular ink. When he is told that now he has to live with it, he says it will come off in the shower. Hawkeye remarks, "My God! It will never come off!"
  • On Mystery Science Theater 3000, Mike has a knack for getting impossibly filthy in short periods of time. After the bots convince him to kill all his eyelash mites, his eyelids immediately become covered in trash and food scraps. When Observer sent him a necktie, he somehow stained it during the few seconds the camera cut away from him.
  • Power Rangers S.P.D.: Piggy, who lives in a dumpster and takes pride in being disgusting.
  • Red Dwarf: Dave Lister, who is a slobby bum, tends to go long periods without bathing or showering. It's even mentioned his clothes are utterly disgusting — he's outraged to find Kryten's washed his shorts, since they now bend, and one episode mentions he goes months without changing underpants. During the episode "Body Swap", Rimmer takes control of his body and spends the first several hours just showering away all the filth and grime, with the help of industrial loo cleaner.
  • The Red Green Show: Winston Rothschild, III, owns and operates a very successful sewage and septic sucking service.
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Several characters comment that Rhaskos smells like shit.
  • Stranger Things: Suzie's little brother answers the door dressed in shorts with dried mud and dirt covering him and plastered in his hair, then shoots Mike with a toy arrow and runs off. His siblings lack of reaction indicates this is his usual appearance and behavior.
  • The Suite Life of Zack & Cody/The Suite Life on Deck:
    • Zack's poor hygiene is mentioned a few times in both shows. In one episode of the original show, Cody states that showering three times in one day is more than he normally does in a single month.
    • Woody's terrible hygiene is also Played for Laughs. His sister, Willa, isn’t much better, farting at a dinner table, gladly recalling a story about shooting snot on birthday cake and then eating it, and apparently has athlete’s foot. Really, the least disgusting thing she did on that date was eat her ribs messily.
  • Danny Tamboreli made his mark on Nickelodeon by being the one actor who genuinely enjoyed being slimed.
  • In Wilfred, Ryan rents out a room in his house to a new tenant, a woman named Anne. She has horrible hygiene, leaving food and other mess everywhere, and doesn't have a real job (her only source of income is to post online fetish videos of herself to perverts who get off to her poor hygiene and eating habits). Anne does try to (literally) clean herself up for a job interview, but complains about it and goes back to being a lazy, dirty slob.
  • The Wire Series 4. Dukie. His Mum's an alcoholic, the people living in his house are quite capable of selling his clean clothes to buy drugs.

  • In the Glass Hammer song "No Crown For Balin", this was one of the reasons why the dwarven people adamantly refused to make Balin Longbeard their king.
    If he would only take a bath,
    Then the dwarves might ease their wrath.
    He fill the tub, they gathered round, they had to see the aftermath.
    So bad he smelt,
    The soap did melt,
    The filth would not come off him.
    He turned the water black as mud, and so the dwarves did scoff at him.
  • Murdoc of the Gorillaz is known for practically never the point that his skin is slightly green. He also doesn't trim his nails that frequently.
  • Founding member of The Grateful Dead, Ron McKernan, earned himself the nickname of Pigpen, after the Trope Namer himself, because he was known to have very poor hygiene. In particular, photographs show Pigpen as never shaving. note 
  • Kesha's stage persona involves wearing makeup and glitter in such a way they resemble filth, and having unkempt, unwashed-looking hair. She also has a Tumblr dedicated to pictures of men putting their beards in her mouth.
  • Tom Lehrer's "My Home Town", from Songs by Tom Lehrer:
    The guy that taught us math,
    Who never took a bath,
    Acquired a certain measure of renown,
  • In Barry Louis Polisar's "I Don't Brush My Teeth", the narrator doesn't only not brush his teeth, but he also never comb his hair, change his clothes or generally clean himself up. Whenever he gets on a public ride, everyone moves aside because of the smell, and he says that even skunks run away from him.
  • In "Another One Rides the Bus," "Weird Al" Yankovic briefly mentions a passenger who "hasn't showered in a year."

    Pro Wrestling 
  • WWE had a short-lived gimmick in late 1993-early 1994 named Bastion Booger (played by Mike Shaw of "Norman The Lunatic" fame in WCW). Bastion Booger's entire persona was this trope; he'd wrestle in a tight, dingy grey singlet, he'd bring food to the ring to messily devour before and after matches, and commentators kept bringing up how much he stunk. Just to play it up, a November 1993 edition of Wrestling Challenge pitted Booger against "The Model" Rick Martel, and pretty boy Martel was so repulsed that he could barely lock up with him.
  • Jackal, one half of Gateway Championship Wrestling's Nightbreed was frequently compared to pigpen. Jackal was not quite as filthy as the trope namer but often had a visible layer of grime on him.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street is famous for his gross lifestyle, living in a garbage can and hating baths, as well as his bad attitude. The puppet originally had orange fur, before changing to the current unkempt, dirty green colouring he has to this day, which has been explained in universe by his refusal to bathe after visiting a swamp.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Ettins never bathe and have terrible hygiene, which stains their skin and grimy fur a dirty grey color and leaves them with powerful body odor.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Followers of Nurgle, the Chaos God of Disease and decay from Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, Warhammer 40,000 and their spinoffs take great pride in being physically filthy and disease-ridden, seeing such an appearance as a sign of the favour of their pestilent deity.
    • River Trolls from Warhammer, and their Fellwater Troggoth successors from Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, are truly disgusting creatures that constantly drip with putrid slime and smell so bad that their enemies have trouble attacking them as they struggle not to vomit.
    • One 40K Gaiden Game had this as a character trait — specifically, the character comes from a primitive world and believes being caked in dirt wards off evil spirits.
  • Pathfinder: This is the way that the game distinguishes their harpies from those in Dungeons & Dragons: Golarion harpies are Cute Monster Girls in terms of looks... but are also sadistic predators and opportunistic scavengers with cultural levels of hygiene straight out of Tudor England. In other words, they stink from the cocktail of sweat, bodily filth, caked on blood, rotten meat and worse that infests their bodies. The best that harpies usually manage to do is to drench themselves in perfume or cologne, which doesn't really help — one can almost always smell harpies before one can see them. Subverted for those rare harpies that go urban, whether or not they give up the nastier traits of their race or not; these harpies are described as typically being fastidious about their appearance and cleanliness to the point of near-obsession.
  • Space 1889: Nomad Martians have a strict taboo for and punishments against wasting precious water (anything other than Martian, animal or plant consumption or Martian food preparation is wasting).

  • Perfect Pie: Played for drama. Marie's family can't afford enough water to let her bath regularly, and the dirt and smell are yet another thing that makes her a target of relentless cruelty at the hands of other children.

    Video Games 
  • The Gelato Man from Alpha Protocol. Mike quips that he's at risk from catching salmonella just from looking at his establishment. It helps keep down the customers and thus hide the NSA listening post in his shop.
  • A world event in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, "Degolas the Beautiful," has Eivor come upon a house that smells like utter filth because the man of the house, Degolas, believes his luck in hunting comes from being so utterly filthy to the point of having never taken a bath it's a wonder he even had a child. Eivor takes damage just throwing out his boxes of... "fertilizer" to fumigate the house before they and his son go to his hunting blind to get him to come down and take a bath. All it takes is for Eivor to shoot the blind out from under his feet to get him to take his first bath in forever.
  • Toko Fukawa from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is said to smell pretty badly since she doesn't bathe very often, if at all. The fact that she has a literal stinkbug for a pet probably doesn't help matters.
  • Dragon Age:
  • One generic NPC sprite in EarthBound (1994) is a dirty young boy who looks remarkably like Pig-Pen himself.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has a character in the Hilidbrand storyline who is very fixated on Hildibrand's assistant, Nashu and watches her from afar. The few times you interact with him, your character can point out that the stalker smells like cheese and he does admit to it in a "Now that you mention it, I sort of do" manner.
  • Pedestrians in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, mainly low and middle-class citizens as well as rednecks, are known to loudly comment on CJ's body odor if his sex-appeal stat is low.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has hippies that come in three main varieties: dirty, filthy, and crusty. Ew.
  • Kuma Sushi Bar: Picky Pig customers are so filthy that they leave the tables dirty after they pay for their meals.
  • Your unnamed protagonist from Maximum Force seems to be an untidy bachelor living alone; one of the MiniGames titled "Cockroach Shooting" is set in your kitchen whose table is filled with leftover, unfinished food, cockroaches coming out of grocery bags, empty cups, coke cans, Chinese food takeout boxes, and a timer scoring you for the number of roaches you can shoot within 30 seconds.
  • In Pillars of Eternity, Durance and Hiravias are both described as having poor personal hygiene and grooming habits. Hiravias does it to blend into nature, whereas Durance hasn't bathed since his god betrayed him. Funnily enough, Durance is one of the only people to point out Hiravias' stink.
  • Planescape: Torment: Ravel Puzzlewell is about as filthy as you'd expect from a millennia-old demonic hag, if not worse. All her clothing is old cobwebs, her scabs have scabs of their own, and her fingernails in particular are so utterly untrimmed and grimy you can use them as daggers and they deal poison damage.
  • Red Dead Redemption: Javier Escuella is dressed in worn-out clothes and looks like he hasn't bathed in years. Given that the prequel depicts him as a handsome Dashing Hispanic with an exquisite fashion sense, it appears that after Dutch's gang fell apart he stopped caring about of appearance.
  • Shadowrun Returns: Hong Kong has Gobbet, former Street Urchin who still lives that way: She sleeps in a giant pile of clothing and shares all her meals with her two pet rats. She also considers cleaning to be a chore and prefers recycling her dirty clothing and cooking utensils for as long as possible. The game also has Gaichû, a ghoul. Shadowrun ghouls are stereotypically filthy because they tend to live in squats and sewers and eat rotten meat from corpses. Gaichû defies the trope as he does neither, preferring to bathe regularly and prepare his food properly.
  • Total War: Warhammer II: Female example, with the Giant River Troll Hag characters. They carry around a bag of fish they smack enemies with, and their stench provides negative Status Effect to enemies nearby. They also have a vomit based attack. All of this while casting Death Magic, and increasing the replenishment and leadership of allied greenskins as a Team Mom.
  • Although Barik from Tyranny would like to maintain high standards of hygiene, being fused into a shell of iron and bronze scrap makes it difficult for him to keep himself clean; it's noted that he constantly smells of metal, oil, sweat and feces, despite his best efforts. In the Bastard's Wound DLC, if you manage to get his armor off you can get him to finally take a bath.
  • At the beginning of Yet Another Damn Fantasy Adventure the main character is covered in filth from his parents' farm, which gets him barred from the local tavern until you solve a puzzle involving bathing.

    Web Animation 
  • ATTACK on MIKA: This story stars a guy named Ko, whose wife Saki and daughter Rui whine about how he stinks up the house, even feeding him natto beans to rub it in. One month after getting kicked out, Rui calls him about her mom dating and bringing an actually stinky guy over the house, and reveals she acted like this towards her dad Ko because her mother lied to her.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • The Poopsmith, due to his job.
    • Coach Z's hygiene seems to be rather suspect as well.
    • Also The Ugly One, who specifically rejoices in that she can stop showering when Cheerleader dies.
  • Revenge Films: Ms. Geek didn't take baths leading to her stinking up the classroom and her classmates were at a loss at what to do. When the girls were accused of bullying Ms. Geek when they tried to persuade her to take a bath, one of the girls, Chiho Mubita had enough and dragged her to the girl's bathroom and force-cleaned her along with the other girls.
  • Rocket & Groot: Rocket establishes that he hasn't taken a bath in six years with no intention of starting after being refused entry into a facility because of personal hygiene. Groot then forces Rocket to take a bath. Unfortunately, the guy was actually referring to Groot.

  • Black Mage from 8-Bit Theater. He repeatedly claims that the smell is his spell components, but nobody buys it.
  • Bob and George fancomic Jailhouse Blues featured Wily and Mega Man both being in prison (long story) when Wily attempts another one of his overthrows. The results include two horrific abominations to robotics known as Nasty Toilet Man and Rancid Chef Man. The former is a filth-encrusted walking commode who leaks suspicious liquids everywhere, while the latter doesn't look as bad — but the comic makes it very clear that he has a grasp of sanitation and hygiene that's revoltingly unsound. Thankfully, Mega Man manages to dispatch both (though not without a Running Gag or two involving various attempts to bring down Nasty Toilet Man).
  • Bomango: Gogo's poor hygiene and bad smell are often commented on, in the series. She took a shower once and only once and that's only because she wanted to get along with Andy's mom.
  • Sylvester from A Game of Fools.
    Katie: Yeah, Sylvester's always had rather... unique ideas about personal hygiene.
  • Pauline from Our Little Adventure apparently 'smells like a really good salad bar.'
  • Hom from Welcome to Room #305, which makes his relationship with his roommate very strained as Juny Hyung likes to have a reasonably tidied apartment.

    Web Original 
  • The titular character in The Gangrene Man is a filthy Humanoid Abomination who smells like rotting food and has the power to actually make things rot.
  • A lot of characters in the Legatum series do not care about hygiene — especially in the country Glordale. It's not uncommon for some characters to have an aversion to bathing, brushing their teeth, or changing their clothes, and some characters are prone to soiling themselves on purpose. Some noteworthy filthy characters are Mulvernt the Cyclops, Trellorv the swamp troll, and just about every goblin character.
  • Horror Host and radio DJ Wolf the Dog in Pretending to Be People repeatedly sings the praises of eating "dumpster meat," miscellaneous items from the trash, and anything with a given amount of "stank."
  • From 4chan's traditional gaming board comes the tale of Luke, Plagueson of Nurgle, a man with an apparently pathological aversion to cleanliness. A few highlights include the fact every deck he touched even for a moment became sticky to the point of being unshuffleable, his breath being able to nauseate even the hardiest among the storytellers, and his room (especially his bed), whose description should not be read after a meal of any sort. Now with his own trope page!
  • Phlegm of the Whateley Universe, whose main characteristic seems to be that he's always covered in a couple inches of, well, mucus. And it oozes out of his clothing.

    Web Videos 
  • Critical Role has Caleb, who was introduced as a filthy man in ragged, dirt-covered clothes, and has never managed to stay clean for more than a day. This is something he at least partially does on purpose, illustrated most clearly when, after getting into an argument with Jester about money (specifically when she started getting bratty over "only" having 50 gold, which is more money than Caleb's parents ever made in their entire lives), he deliberately smears mud all over his face before stomping away.
  • Doug TenNapel has been cultivating this as his public image ever since, in early 2018, he revealed on one of the Comicsgate livestreams that he has developed an aversion to washing his hands after learning that public faucets are incredibly germ-ridden. This quickly became a meme, which Doug has been encouraging by not denying any filth-based rumor spread about him, no matter how exaggerated. He quickly acquired the nicknames "Dirtworm Doug" and "Dirty Doug".
    • Doug has gotten into the habit of using a black-and-white filter on his camera footage when showing his hands while drawing, exaggerating their dirty appearance. Fellow artist Ethan Van Sciver has described them as looking like "dirty fried chicken skin".
    • During a Drawn and Quartered match on Mike Miller's show, the other contestants joked that Doug's drawing wasn't drawn with ink, but rather with just the dirt coming off his hands.
  • Taken to ridiculous extremes on Jake and Amir. Amir very rarely bathes, has bad breath, never washes his clothes, most other characters complain about his smell, and Depending on the Writer, sometimes the only person who can stand to be around him because of this is Jake. There's also been at least three episodes, and probably more, that focus on Amir shitting his pants.
  • Tonkatsu Sinclair may not look visibly filthy, but dialogue from both her and her partner MC makes it clear her hedonistic, sedentary lifestyle makes her disgusting. MC claims she only showers once a week (If he's lucky) and that she reeks of cheap beer and cigarette smoke. She uses AXE body spray as a substitute for showers. She also boasted how her hair is shiny not due to hairspray or mousse, but because she never washes it, glossing it with "all natural waifu oil."
  • While it isn't visible due to the nature of the show, the character White Yoshi in Vester And Friends hasn't showered in years.

    Real Life 
  • The Greek philosopher Diogenes purposely lived like a slob in a way resembling poverty, because he taught by example. Being a Cynic, he rejected society and everything it entailed, such as hygiene and social skills. The behavioral disorder Diogenes syndrome, named after him, is characterized by self-neglect and hoarding. note .
  • The 14th-century Occitane mountain peasants described in the book "Montaillou," going by their own testimony to the Inquisition, never washed their entire bodies, even after death. Just the face, specifically around the mouth, and their hands before eating. The only exception was if stricken with leprosy, when they would go down to the valley towns to the medicinal baths. Delousing each other was a major leisure occupation.
  • Possibly due to the same unknown genetic disorder that caused him to be a (very disturbing) real-life example of a Big Eater, the 18th-century French showman and soldier Tarrare had a body odour that stank to High Hell even by 18th-century French peasant standards, and it tended to amp up its intensity whenever he ate. According to his contemporaries, Tarrare "couldn't be endured within a distance of twenty paces". And that's before we even start talking about his chronic diarrhea...
  • Numerous Catholic saints were known for never bathing. This was said to serve several purposes: a symbol of the rejection of their earthly bodies, an avoidance of vanity, a way of keeping humble, a means of making themselves so repellant that neither other people nor they themselves would be tempted to sins of the flesh, and that the physical discomfort of being dirty could be offered up for the salvation of other souls. While the veracity of some of the saints is doubtful (there are quite a few saints that were later dropped because no one can prove they existed), many medieval religious orders believed in and emulated these saints, forbidding or severely limiting bathing. Modern scholars can't tell whether or not some references to the "odor of sanctity" in medieval cloisters are sarcastic remarks about body odor.
  • Legend has it that Louis XIV only bathed twice in his entire life. Twice. And he hated it both times. The story goes that he once had his socks removed and he was so moldy that one of his toes dropped off. Like most who could afford it, he limited his hygiene to changing clothes (or at least shirts and undergarments) several times a day. Clothes were cleaned regularly, bodies... not so much. The truth is, however, that some courtiers who followed the suit sometimes complained about the king's smell.
  • Amou Haji, an old man from Iran claimed he hadn't bathed in over sixty years. He was reported to live in a cinder-block shack constantly covered in soot, eating roadkill and smoking from a pipe filled with animal excrement. Haji believed that cleanliness would make him sick, and lo and behold he passed away in October 2022 at age 94, only a few months after he finally bowed to peer pressure and washed.
  • This is one of the most common stereotypes of geeks, especially males. It's also disturbingly Truth in Television, as anyone who's ever been to a convention can attest. In fact, it is such a problem that tournaments and conventions have begun to institute hygiene requirements and post "stank bouncers" to reject particularly filthy attendees. It's also part of the informal 3-2-1 Rule: every day a convention attendee must get three hours of sleep, eat two meals, and take one shower.
  • Not only geeks. You'd be very surprised at how many of the world's top celebrities have poor hygiene habits.
  • One of the first signs a person is developing a mental illness is suddenly neglecting their hygiene.
  • Hetty Green, one of the first female entrepreneurs in American history, was noted for never really bathing, and wearing one long outdated black dress that was so worn and rarely washed, it began turning green. It was noted that during the summertime, her smell was so foul, people tried to stay away from her as much as possible. Her poor hygiene, combined with her cutthroat financial tactics caused people to refer to her as "The Witch of Wall Street".
  • Tree sloths are this. They move so slowly that algae grows in their fur, and they even has their own species of moth that lives its entire lifecycle on the sloth! This leads to them acquiring a pungent odor that's believed to act as a defense against predators, most of whom will avoid eating sloths unless other prey is not available. It is their algae that makes sloths the world's only green mammal.
  • Theodor Morell, Adolf Hitler's personal doctor, was notorious for his poor hygiene. When he was captured by American troops, one of his interrogators was reportedly disgusted by how filthy he was.
  • Bill Gates was known to skip showers in Microsoft's early days.
  • Giraffes, of all things, are known to have a very strong, unpleasant odor. Their long necks make it impossible for them to groom themselves, and they don't tend to groom each other. To make up for not being able to groom, they have special adaptations in the form of chemical defenses in their fur against bacteria (including the same bacteria that causes athlete's foot) and parasites, but these chemicals actually are the main cause of their odor. Males smell worse than females, and it's considered highly possible, but not yet proven, that the smell functions to attract females, with the most smelly males being the most attractive. Zoos get around this problem by bathing them.
  • Comedian Doug Stanhope openly admits in his podcast he regularly goes days without showering, or for that matter changing clothes — even underwear — all while acknowledging he can get ripe over time.
  • If a person's sense of smell is compromised, they won't be able to tell how bad they smell and could go for a long time without cleaning themselves up unless someone points it out to them. Likewise, if someone gets used to their own odors, the smell won't even register to them.
  • When Steve Jobs became a vegan, he believed it would eliminate the need to shower or use deodorant. According to his coworkers, he was very wrong.


Video Example(s):


Smelly Fish

According to SpongeBob's stand-up routine, the fish of Bikini Bottom smell awful despite living in the water, and chalks it up to them not knowing what soap is.

How well does it match the trope?

4.73 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / ThePigPen

Media sources: