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Weaponized Stench

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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!"

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. Characters may use a Clothespin Nose Plug to block out the stench.


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    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".

    Film — Animated 

    Film — 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.
  • Spellsinger: In one book, Clothahump's Tree is raided by a trio of bandits, one of whom is a civet cat. Jon-Tom sings a spellsong to turn the bandits' weapons against them. Unfortunately, his magic isn't very well aimed, as per usual, and it chooses to activate the civet cat's scent glands.
  • Star Wars: The Han Solo Adventures, Han pays off a loan shark with a credit slip clipped to the back of an animal called a Dinko, which has the temperament of a weasel and the scent glands of a skunk. Naturally, when it's set loose on the loan shark and his thugs, it uses its spray on them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Castle episode "The Nose", Castle tries to convince an extremely odor-sensitive woman to leave the filtered-air environment of her apartment to help solve a case. When she insists there's nothing he can do that will ever convince her to leave, he (inaudibly) lets out a fart that drives her out.
  • The Legend of Dick and Dom: One episode has Dick has spend days eating garlic in anticipation of Garlic Tuesday, a festival that his brother just made up. Dom reveals the truth to his brother right when they're being attacked by a hungry ogre, whereupon a distraught Dick screams in the ogre's face, spraying him with garlic breath. The ogre withdraws, and the princes have a "Eureka!" Moment, and, as soon as the questers fill their own mouths with garlic, they start blowing at the ogre, forcing him to withdraw, before Dick finally chokes him with a Kiss of Death. The downside is, the questers' garlic breath also kills the villagers when they're celebrating afterwards.
  • Power Rangers Zeo: The Monster of the Week Mr. Stenchy is a skunk-like robot who can produce a stench that drives off the Rangers. At giant size it can disintegrate entire buildings.

    Mythology & 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.
  • In Racial Holy War (a "game" meant to promote a white supremacist organization), Black enemies can use their body odor to reduce the players' accuracy. Because the game is missing many important rules, however, there's no indication of what values are being modified by this effect.

  • Masters of the Universe: Stinkor is a skunk-like creature with the ability to release a a toxic odor from his body that renders foes immobile. He is known as the "Evil Master of Odors" and even his action figure had a rather unpleasant smell as part of his gimmick. The Filmation staff disliked this character so much that they refused to use him in the cartoon.
  • SuperThings: A variety of SuperThings, primarily villains, have odors as their super ability:
    • The team ability of the Double Acids. Being made up of an onion and a garlic bulb, the two of them use their foul breath odors to hinder their opponents.
    • Doc Detrius, a living garbage bag, can loosen his tie and send foul odors in all directions.
    • Toxfung, a poison mushroom, can unleash a variety of toxic spores, but most of them end up a stinky cloud that hits his opponents and clings onto them.
    • Caulipower, a stalk of cauliflower, has super strength as his ability, but being already stinky equals his attacks causing his stench to rub off onto others when he hits.

    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.
  • In the Final Fantasy games, the recurring morbol enemy is infamous for its signature attack, Bad Breath, in which it exhales a noxious gas that inflicts a flurry of crippling status effects all at once.
  • 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.
  • RuneScape: Aberrant Specters are a type of ghost that smell so bad that you have to wear a nose peg in order to safely fight them.
  • 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 
  • Sibylline Sounds: 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.
  • Dawn of the Croods: In "Scent of a Crood" Thunk is able to kill animals with his body odor.
  • Sloppy Joe is Grossology. After discovering that a whiff of his stink was enough to render people unconscious, Joe vowed to never let a drop of water, soap, or deodorant touch his skin again, and turned to an easy life of crime. His plan: go from filthy to filthy rich. He uses his extremely filthy body as his weapon.
  • 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.
  • Rocky Kwaterner: In episode 21, “the shtinksalot”, after Rocky, Theo and Luna are challenged by Karl and his friends to a basketball match, Rocky recalls how in his tribe they used strong odors to scare off predators, and figures this would make an excellent weapon in the oncoming match. Theo and Luna are not too thrilled at first, but ultimately go along with the plan, combining all the smelly stuff they can find (like dirty laundry and a smelly cheese) to create a foul smelling deodorant, which they spray themselves with prior to the match. The strategy works at first as Karl and his friends are too overwhelmed by the stench to effectively play, giving the siblings an early lead. However, the bullies then decide to fight fire with fire and turn their own smelly socks into bandanas. It helps them make a comeback.
  • Rugrats (1991):
    • 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.
    • In "Crime and Punishment", 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 sundaes 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 
  • The mustelids (weasels and allies) all have anal scent glands that emit foul-smelling liquid, although some are more stinky than others.
  • The mephitids (skunks and relatives), an offshoot of the weasel clan, have even more powerful anal scent glands. Skunks in particular are infamous for the potency of their spray, which they routinely use to defend against attacking predators. The spray doesn't just smell bad; it can cause severe irritation to the eyes and exposed mucous membranes.
    • The African striped polecat, or zorilla, is a species of skunk that is considered the smelliest animal on earth. Zorillas mark their territory with faeces and have the most potent anal spray of any skunk: in addition to the smell and basic irritant qualities, it can even temporarily blind a predator if it hits directly in the eyes.
  • 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