Follow TV Tropes


Weaponized Stench

Go To
Since Rough is a Smelly Skunk and playing it for all it's worth... Knuckles might need a gas mask to fight him.

"Now, feel the steam of my horrible body odor."
Filthy Phil, SpongeBob SquarePants, "Karate Island"

One of the more unorthodox methods of attack in fiction is using the body's foul musk to disorient or incapacitate the opponent. This typically comes in the form of bad breath, foul body odor (usually from the armpits) or the ability to exude a repugnant stench as a superpower. A character smearing themselves in something that smells really bad also qualifies.

One can expect an evil character to do this, possibly as a torture method.

The Pig-Pen will often have this kind of ability. Often represented as a Visible Odor.

Super-Trope to Fartillery. See Stink Bomb for when a weapon has this attribute. See also Smelly Skunk.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Dragon Ball: During the World Martial Arts Tournament, Krillin fights a man known as Bacterian, who fights using his body odor. Krillin manages to win by remembering he doesn't have a nose and finishes Bacterian off by farting in his face.
    • Dragon Ball Super: During the Tournament of Power, Krillin fights Majora who tracks him by smell. To bypass this, Krillin takes off one of his shoes and throws it in Majora's face, paralyzing him long enough for Krillin to knock him out of the arena.
  • Naruto: When battling Kiba in the Chuunin Exams, Naruto weaponizes a fart while he prepares to use his Naruto Uzumaki Barrage. As Kiba's abilities involve him growing more feral and canine to enhance his prowess, it also magnifies his sense of smell exponentially, meaning Naruto's fart overwhelmed Kiba's senses and bought Naruto the time and opening he needed to begin the barrage.
  • In the Lilo & Stitch anime spin-off Stitch!, Mr. Stenchy mentioned below has a Distaff Counterpart introduced named Mrs. Sickly. She goes the other direction in releasing a scent that's nauseatingly sweet-smelling, but just as effective. Unfortunately, when her odor mixes with her counterparts, they don't nullify each other, but apparently undergo a chemical reaction volatile enough to destroy the planet. This is a problem when Hämsterviel created an army of clones for both of them. Another experiment created by Hämsterviel called Skunkuna is skunk-like and flings liquid orbs from its tail that splatter to release a foul smell. Ironically, when combined with Mr. Stenchy's odor, an effective air freshener is created.

    Comic Books 
  • Monica's Gang: A Running Gag involves the gang being cornered by a villain, prompting Smudge to cowardly raise his arms as a sign of surrender, only for the evil-doer to faint due to the horrible stench of the boy's armpits.
  • The Punisher: One comic has Frank deal with two mooks following him around by hiding in a diaper treatment center, where the horrible smell distracts them long enough for him to ambush them.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW): Rough can produce a noxious musk as a form of attack which he calls "Stink Bomber".

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Sorcery!:
    • One of the spells wizards can access is the NIF incantation, which creates a toxic cloud of noxious gas that causes anyone exposed to it vomit uncontrollably, and in some instances (such as when used against enemies with large noses) will actually kill them outright. Unfortunately, this spell affects the caster as well and they have to use a pair of nose plugs before casting it.
    • In the mountainous areas of Kakhabad live the skunkbear monsters, which are essentially giant skunks. When a skunkbear feels threatened, it sprays a nauseating secretion from a gland underneath its tail, making the enemy gag from the stench and reducing their Skill score.

  • The Belgariad: In his prequel novel, Belgarath the Sorcerer admits that he once ran off a Hound of Torak without blowing his cover by shapeshifting into a civet cat and spraying it in the face.
  • Ender's Game: Discussed before Dragon Army's battle with Phoenix Army. When Ender's troops ask why he didn't notify them sooner that they were having a battle that day, he replies, "I thought you needed the shower. Yesterday Rabbit Army claimed we only won because the stink knocked them out."
  • No Such Things: The juggarums weaponize their smelly breath for hunting. One puff stuns a dragonfly, which then falls and gets eaten by the juggarum.
  • Room: After being kidnapped by Old Nick, Ma stopped washing or brushing her teeth to make herself repulsive to him. Sadly, it doesn't seem to work, as he still got her pregnant with Jack.
  • In Paul Jennings's story Smelly Feat, a boy saves a sea turtle from being slaughtered by using his feet that he didn't wash for months to scare away the bully that was going to kill her as she laid her eggs.

    Live-Action TV 

    Mythology and Religion 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The stinking cloud spell conjures a horrible-smelling fog that nauseates anybody who fails the save.
    • In various editions of the game, Troglodytes emit a nauseating stench as a special attack. The exact game effects of this stench vary from edition to edition.
    • Same thing with the ghast, a more dangerous form of ghoul, whose rotting stench can nauseate all living beings getting too close.
  • Pathfinder: The aforementioned stinking cloud spell is also in the game.


    Video Games 
  • In The Binding of Isaac the Dead Tooth item gives you a cloud of halitosis which poisons enemies inside it. As well as this, there are many, many items and enemies that attack by farting.
  • Bounty Of One: The Onion item gives your character a stink radius that damages all enemies within for 1/4 your normal damage every 0.5 seconds. Certain upgrades can make this deadlier to the point where it becomes an "Instant Death" Radius.
  • The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout: Pepé Le Pew is the boss of Stage 4-4, and he attacks Bugs by spraying stink clouds at him.
  • Dota 2: Pudge the Butcher's "Rot" ability can be toggled to create a cloud of toxic fumes around him at the cost of his health. The cloud slows down and deals Damage Over Time to enemy units close to him.
  • Hollow Knight: The Defender's Crest, a Charm bestowed by Dung Defender, surrounds the Knight with clouds of strong dung odor that continuously deal damage to enemies.
  • Stench is one of the main elemental forces in the Kingdom of Loathing. The most prominent inflicters of Stench damage are the Filthy Hippies of the Mysterious Island of Mystery.
  • Magical Starsign: During his boss fight, Gil Mudflap can use his horrible body odor to afflict the party with damage and status effects. Unfortunately, Friendly Fireproof isn't in effect for this battle, so the poor Buck Privates that appear alongside him take the full brunt of the attack as well.
  • Plants vs. Zombies has Garlic, which repulses zombies that get near it and forces them to change lane.
    • The sequel adds Stunion, which exhales on zombies to stun them, and Endurian, which in the Chinese version can be upgraded so its stench can deal damage to zombies. At level 5, Stunion's bad breath even causes Zombies to be poisoned by the effect. Inverted with Perfume-Shroom, which emits a pleasant scent to charm dinosaurs into becoming your allies.
  • Pokémon: Some Poison-type Pokemon have the Stench ability, which has a chance of making the opponent flinch in battle due to the bad smell. The smell also decreases the chance of encountering a wild Pokemon.
  • Terraria has a accessory called Putrid Scent which makes the holder less likely to be targeted by enemies.
  • One of the Skylanders, Stink Bomb, combines this trope with a Ninja. Being a skunk ninja, he is a practitioner of his self-made art "Kung Fume", and fittingly, he uses his ability to leave behind clouds of stinky gas that damage enemies. While doing so, Stink Bomb also becomes invisible to enemies.
  • In Level 3 of Tiny Toon Adventures: Babs' Big Break, Fifi La Fume is captured by the Forest Ghost and needs to be rescued. Once she is rescued, she uses her stench to knock down the trees blocking the path in the haunted forest.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Certain enemies have Arts capable of inflicting the Stench status, which repels Blades from their Drivers for the duration, and makes it harder to maintain their Affinity Bond as a result.

  • Alien Dice: Swiftpaw, a fox/alien hybrid created for a Mons game, has weapons-grade musk glands. As discovered by two hapless MIB agents who tried to take his temperature, and whose hazmat suits didn't help.

    Web Original 
  • The Bookshop Skunk: Oreo inverts the trope for the most part. Despite being a skunk, he has the ability to make his scent into whatever he wants and can use it to influence people hypnotically. He only ever does so with the person's consent however, and uses it only for instilling positive emotions rather than anything bad, using pleasant scents to do so. He can also create solid constructs out of his scent and likewise uses them to perform helpful tasks rather than anything harmful. His Split Personality, Hydrox, is however far more willing to use his power for self-serving ends, such as when he hypnotizes an entire restaurant just to make sure his date goes well.

    Western Animation 
  • Aaahh!!! Real Monsters: Krumm's horrible stench can be aimed or deployed at humans to temporarily disarm them.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: One of Baby Face's minions is Polecat Perkins, so named for his ability to secrete a noxious odor from his armpits.
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Large Brother, Where Fart Thou?", Logan threatens to give Louise a Reverse Norwegian Stinkhold (read: shove her face in his smelly armpit). Gene, however, chooses to take the heat for her and he ends up getting the full brunt of the stench.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002): Stinkor's ability is consistently put to effective use in this series.
    • In "The Sweet Smell of Victory", Skeletor sends him to drive everyone out of the Royal Castle, allowing the Evil Warriors to take it without effort. This plan is only stopped after Roboto realizes that Stinkor isn't immune to his own stench, and instructs He-Man to remove the villain's gas mask.
    • In "To Walk With Dragons", he uses his stench to drive away every dragon in Eternia, so Skeletor can attack the Masters with a horde of Serpinataurs (whose only natural enemy are dragons).
    • In "Rise of the Snakemen - Part 1", he displays the ability to direct his stench clouds, using it to defeat Mekaneck.
  • Johnny Test: In "Stinkin' Johnny", Johnny enters a wrestling contest to win a prize money. His main attack is a foul smell that he obtains after spraying himself with a perfume created by the girls that doesn't smell as intended.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series:
    • Mr. Stenchy, a.k.a. Experiment 254, can release a powerful odor upon unsuspecting victims who are caught off guard by his cuteness. Only Pleakley and his species finds it pleasant.
    • In "Babyfier", baby Jumba and baby Pleakley go to a coffee shop and find there's too many people in it. Pleakley soils himself and the resulting stench causes everyone to flee.
  • Bunga in The Lion Guard loves this trope. Honey badgers have a skunk-like stink gland and he particularly likes using it on Mama Binturong after she vows revenge on him for wilting her tuliza flowers. Once, he and his female friend Binga work together to release a double stink bomb.
  • Looney Tunes: "Odor of the Day" features an early version of Pepé Le Pew that actively uses his smell against a dog who takes over his home. He grabs his tail like a rifle and shoots the smell out like a machine gun.
  • Mary Kate and Ashley in Action!: In one episode, Clive Hedgemorton-Smythe uses his bad breath to knock the girls out.
  • Masters of the Universe: Revelation: Stinkor attacks Teela and Andra in episode 2, when they try to take back the Glove of Globula which he had stolen. Stinkor tries to incapacitate them with his fumes but Teela uses her staff to clear the air and then knocks him out.
  • Mixels: Chomly, who acts as a living trash compactor, has horrible breath. He uses this as an attack, keeping Nixels at bay. It is also utilized as two of his attacks in the Calling All Mixels game.
  • Octonauts: Above & Beyond:
    • In "The Curious Penguin", Pinto meets a Bombadier beetle, who says he can squirt foul-smelling liquid at anyone who threatens him. A moment later, Dashi and Koshi come in and the beetle is so startled that he accidentally sprays some of his liquid on Pinto's backpack.
    • "The Beetle Invasion" has numerous Bombadier beetles with the ability to spray a pungent acid at enemies. Bailey in particular sprays his acid at a fallen tree that Kwazii and Calico Jack are crossing causing it to snap.
  • Puffin Rock: Mossy the shrew has a stink gland that he uses to drive Flynne and other predators away. Whenever this happens, a farting sound effect is heard.
  • Rugrats:
    • The episode "The Mega Diaper Babies" has Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, and Lil imagining themselves as the titular superheroes, who are trying to rescue the Mega-Hyper Heroes from the evil Angelitron (a robotic version of Angelica). Chuckie gets stuck playing "Stinky," who has the extremely useless power of "smelling as strong as two babies." In the end, though, Stinky and his horrific stench are the only thing capable of defeating Angelitron.
    • The babies try to invoke this trope when Chaz brings an attractive police officer to Stu and Didi's for a date. They inadvertently break Chaz's glasses, and Angelica tells them that the police throw anyone who breaks any rules in jail. They then scheme to get Chaz to have to bring Chuckie home and end the date; one of their tactics is to cover him with foul-smelling garbage so he'll have to be taken away for a bath. The plan fails when Stu and Didi simply let Chaz use their own tub.
  • Skunk Fu!: On occasion, Skunk's musk has been intentionally activated in order to ward off the villains.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • "Karate Island" has Filthy Phil, who deals with his opponents by using his body stench to knock them out. Unfortunately for him, Sandy is protected from his smell thanks to her suit, and he ends up smelling his own stink.
    • The episode "Something Smells" has Spongebob accidentally trigger this trope when he uses a rancid seanut plant for a sundae, creating a horrific case of bad breath. The odor becomes so horrible that everyone in Bikini Bottom has a near-fatal reaction; the only person immune is Patrick, who lacks a nose. Spongebob can't understand why everyone is running away from him, and Patrick convinces him that it must be because he's ugly. It isn't until Patrick himself eats some of the sundae and also gets bad breath that they realize what's going on, as Spongebob can smell Patrick's terrible fumes (he likely couldn't smell his own because of the real-life phenomenon of "scent blindness," which dulls a person's own odor to themselves).
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: In "Out of Odor" (part of "Viewer Mail Day"), Elmyra drenches Fifi La Fume in tomato juice so she can capture her. Fifi is eventually able to wash off the juice and tries to fight back by firing smell clouds out of her tail at Elmyra. Unfortunately, an allergic reaction to roses leaves Elmyra unable to smell anything, which allows her to capture Fifi anyway.
  • Yvon of the Yukon: In "License to Smell", Yvon recounts how his beloved King Louis would use his body odor as a weapon, personally defeating whole armies of his enemies. Yvon himself receives the titular license after his own rank stench — which is bad enough to peel paint, make fish crawl out of the water, evoke a respectful salute from a skunk and generate a forcefield-like bubble around his house — ends up saving the town from a huge swarm of killer bees.

    Real Life 
  • Skunks are rather infamous for their anal scent glands which they can use to spray enemies with as a form of defense.
  • Striped polecats, or zorrillas, are considered the smelliest animals on earth. They mark their territory with faeces and through an anal spray which serves as a defense against predators; in addition to the smell being a deterrent, it can temporarily blind their adversaries and irritates the mucous membranes.
  • Another mustelid, the honey badger, has a similar scent gland to a skunk.
  • The green wood hoopoe is a tropical bird native to Africa, which points its tail at animals it considers a threat and excretes a foul stench. Young green wood hoopoes also squirt liquid faeces when attacked.

Alternative Title(s): Weaponised Stench