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Wilting Odor

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Eww de toilette.
What? Is? That? SMELL?!

Pleasant spring flowers die in seconds, animals run in horror, the wallpaper peels, everyone's hair stands up before falling off, and when The Pig-Pen finally decides to take a bath, the bathwater kills the fish and leaves a rainbow sheen on the surface of the water. No amount of tomato soup could do anything about this stank.

The smell is usually a Visible Odor. If it is someone's mouth smell, see You Need a Breath Mint. When weaponized, it was made into a deadly Stink Bomb and it is often used for evil because Uncleanliness Is Next to Ungodliness. Can be emphasised with a Clothespin Nose Plug to block out the stench.

Compare Mirror-Cracking Ugly, when it's physical appearance that hurts one's surroundings, and Gale-Force Sound and Glass-Shattering Sound, when it is sound. Not to be confused with Smells of Death, where a person on the verge of death have a specific scent. Related to Gasshole, Fartillery and Walking Wasteland.


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  • In a commercial for Energizer batteries, a man and a woman are at a table at a fancy restaurant. When the man says, "I hope you're enjoying your evening", the stench of his halitosis causes the flowers on the table to wilt. The announcer then announces Halo, the fictional breath spray being advertised as his recommended choice for chronic halitosis before the Energizer Bunny (who is wearing a clothespin on his nose) interrupts the commercial.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In GeGeGe no Kitarō, Nezumi Otoko's such a Pig-Pen that his farts can be used as Knockout Gas on monsters. However, this is getting off easy compared to a human, who'd straight up die.
  • The Dodurian Bomb from Toriko is one of the most delicious fruits the world has to offer... and its stench is the stuff of legend. Even when the fruit is still on the branch, the smell is so powerful it causes the surrounding area in the radius of miles to rot, while other food and clothing will rot away as well, and when the mature fruit drops from the plant and touches the ground, the following wave of stench is so powerful it can be smelled all over the planet, awakening hybernating bears and causing Toriko and Komatsu to faint for a month (as in, they keep fainting, waking up and fainting again). To add insult to injury, if the fruit is approached with any countermeasure against the smell, it will disappear. On the bright side, eating the Dodurian Bomb will immediately cause any bad smell lingering on the eater to disappear.

    Asian Animation 
  • In the Bread Barbershop episode "Camembert Cheese", Master Bread claims to have helped Stinky Tofu, whose smell was so bad that life perished wherever he walked. The Art Shift visuals show Stinky Tofu walking past flowers, killing them.

    Comic Books 
  • In Alan Ford, Super Ciuk's Breath Weapon is so pestilent it can, among various things, make people faint, melt pistols, make horses wish for the public charnelhouse, kill small animals, set things ablaze and rot whole vehicles away.
  • A Running Gag in Cattivik, whose smell is so awful he can make an ancient egyptian mummy (reanimated by a spell) wobble towards the toilet even if it can't puke anymore. And this is right after he actually criticized the mummy for having a lame smell.

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield has had breath with this effect more than once. Usually after emptying the house's garlic supply.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • In Ice Age: Continental Drift, when Sid's grandmother takes a bath, it causes a "dirt slick" which is so greasy it resembles an oil slick and it causes several fish to pop up dead on the surface—including a shark!
  • In the story "Stink Bomb" from Memories, lab technician and unassuming nobody Nobuo Tanaka mistakes experimental pills for cold pills. Since the pills were part of a biological research program, it reacts negatively to the flu in his system. This results in Nobou's body emitting a smell so foul it kills everyone in his prefecture (including all 200,000 inhabitants of Kofu city), gas masks and NBC suits useless in protecting against it. The only thing that is capable of withstanding it are spacesuits, the Japanese government borrowing NASA spacesuits in order to get close enough to subdue him.
  • Shrek: The titular ogre is routinely portrayed as The Pig-Pen, often bathing in mud and indulging in gross things like burping and farting. In the opening of the film, he is seen relaxing in a pond, he farts and various fish float to the surface, one such fish he keeps for dinner. Later, when he and Donkey are approaching the castle where Fiona is, Donkey asks if the brimstone he was smelling came from him.
    Shrek: Believe me Donkey, if it was me, you'd be dead.
  • In Spirited Away, when the Stink Spirit is escorted to the larger bath in the bathhouse, his odious smell alone ruins Sen and Lin's food in seconds.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Major Payne, after the cadets spike Major Payne's cupcake with laxatives, he lets out a fart with a powerful stench that causes a couple of them to pass out.
  • Superhero Movie: Rick discussing his made-up conversation with his superhero persona with Jill as a roundabout way to tell her how he feels becomes a lot less dramatic when his elderly aunt starts cutting some serious cheese while sleeping on the couch right next to them. Cue the wallpaper literally curling and the caged canary fainting.
  • In Wrongfully Accused, after Ryan Harrison has fallen into a basket of dirty diapers in a diaper cleaning truck, after he comes out the smell is bad it causes people to faint, plants to wilt, and magazines to catch on fire.

  • In the short story "Smelly Feat" by Paul Jennings, the main character has such bad foot odour that it causes everyone to pass out. He exploits this by using his smelly socks to knock out two bad-news boys who want to smash a turtle's eggs.
    • In another of his short stories, "Cow Dung Custard", the fertiliser the main character's father uses for growing vegetables smells so bad it kills flies and makes people's hair fall out.
  • Discworld: Foul Old Ron's body smell is so powerful it has become a separate entity from the man himself, acting separately from him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Clarence: In Episode 5, Clarence takes up a job at the sewage works, causing his boots to be smothered in sewage so horrible in stench that it causes both people and animals (even a pig at one point) to flee.
  • One of Salem's exes in Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Salem cannot remember why they broke up, until she shows up at the linen closet door and speaks. Her breath has this effect on a nearby houseplant. The ex's name? Halley Tosis. Salem quickly remembers.

  • There are two playground songs that are parodies of The Addams Family theme song:
    • In one, titled "The Addams Family Hopper", the smell of Lurch's poop is so strong the paint peels off the bathroom wall, then Gomez farts so badly that the walls lose their plaster and Morticia passes out, then later Uncle Fester farts and the walls buckle.
    • The second one, which is untitled, says, "The Addams Family started when Uncle Fester farted, the smell went through the keyhole and paralyzed the cat."


  • In Kevin & Kell, Kevin makes the mistake of opening a gym bag that's been neglected for several months. Wilting victims include Daisy (their pet flower), Lindesfarne's quills, and the tree the family lives in.

    Web Original 
  • In Alphabet, F pranks L and O by spelling out "fart" behind L, causing a huge cloud of gas to appear. H was unlucky enough to sniff it and keeled over dead.

    Western Animation 
  • 6teen: Jonesy once got into a "no bathing" competition against Wyatt and Jude at the same time he got a job at a flower shop. By the end of the episode, his stench caused all the flowers to wilt and he gets fired.
  • In one episode of Ben 10, Ben gets affected by the Fountain of Youth and displays the ability to kill plants with his farts after transforming into a younger version of his Stinkfly form, which is exactly what is needed when a villain attacks him with animated plants.
  • One episode of The Berenstain Bears has Bear Country get infested with carnivorous plants that are wiping out the bee population. It seems like there isn't any way to get rid of the infestation until it is discovered that the plants instantly wilt if Mr. Skunk walks by them. They end up dealing with the infestation by attaching several skunks to an airplane to release their spray like a crop duster over the plants.
  • The Bump in the Night episode "Love Stinks" has Molly Coddle get the attention of a stinkbug named Odiferous J. Stench after she falls in the garbage and ends up smelling awful. Molly's stench is shown to cause the leaves in the plant Odiferous is hiding in to wither and fall off.
  • The Cramp Twins: In the episode "Date Dupe", Lucien tries hard to look perfect and be immaculate for a date with Patsy, which makes him exaggerate with the use of cleaning products and perfumes that end up making him smell worse than anything. At the end of the episode, he finds out Patsy didn't ask him on a date, but rather wanted him to help her with her pet hamster, which Wayne has already done by the time Lucien arrived at her house. Having nothing to do but to leave, Lucien's odor makes some flowers he gets past by to wither.
  • Ed in Ed, Edd n Eddy is regularly featured as The Pig-Pen of the neighborhood, often forgoing basic hygiene either out of pride for his smell or Chaotic Stupid negligence, a fact that bemuses the Neat Freak Edd regularly. Special mention goes to the episode "Thick as an Ed", where it is revealed that Ed keeps a block of cheese in his pocket (named Sheldon) for 57 days for good luck. The smell is so unbearable, Edd is unable to focus on their scam until Eddy helps him get rid of it. When Eddy finally manages to dispose of the cheese by throwing it into the pond, various fish float to the surface.
  • Inspector Gadget: In "Smeldorado", M.A.D. agent Dr. Stench has invented a formula that gives gold an overpowering stink. After he uses it on the gold bars in the vault of Metro City's bank, the odor is so bad that when Penny opens the door of a florist's, it wilts every flower in the place.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series: In "Nosy", Stitch learns from Nosy that Lilo wrote in her diary that Stitch has really bad breath. He exhales in his hand just to prove Nosy wrong, right next to a vase full of flowers. Although Stitch thinks his breath smells fine, the second he walks away, the flowers wilt.
  • Bunga wilts Mama Binturong's tuliza flowers this way in The Lion Guard and she spends the rest of season 3 wanting revenge.
  • Little Princess:
  • Looney Tunes: This trope is often in effect whenever Pepé Le Pew is introduced. As he strolls down the street, flowers wilt, birds fall from the trees, and people all around head for the hills, while Pepe remains oblivious to it all. One cartoon takes place in the Louvre, where even the artwork isn't immune to his stench (although The Mona Lisa manages to maintain her smile, acknowledging that it's not easy).
  • Pepe's student/Spiritual Successor/Distaff Counter Part Fifi La Fume from Tiny Toon Adventures inherits this, when her odor came out if she's not controlling it, it may cause even steel cages to melt away.
  • In the Peg + Cat episode "The Potty Problem", Big Mouth poops on the rug and some flowers nearby wilt.
  • Rocko's Modern Life:
    • At the beginning of the episode "Dirty Dog" Rocko's dog Spunky is stinky from not having bathed in months, some flies buzz around him, he farts and the stench is so powerful it kills the flies.
    • In "Scrubbin' Down Under" Clean Gene shows Rocko an educational film about a hippopotamus child named Jimmy with poor hygiene, he smells so bad kids faint when he passes by or raises his arms, plants die when passes by, his bad breath kills flies and melts food, and dogs run away from him.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Something Smells", when SpongeBob's (and later Patrick's) bad breath isn't causing people to run away in unbearable disgust, it sometimes physically burns or blunt-forces its way through people. Particular mention goes to when SpongeBob says "hi" to the marching band, the smell forming into a massive ball before bowling through them like pins in a bowling alley.
  • Toonsylvania used the trope in the Night of the Living Fred segment "Dead Dog Day Afternoon", where the odor of Fred Deadman's dead dog Frisky causes all the birds in a nearby tree to fall out and the tree itself to subsequently lose all of its leaves.


Video Example(s):


Miss Simian

What's a surefire sign you need some Tic-Tacs? This.

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