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Why Did It Have To Be Snakes / Live-Action TV

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Snakes (ophidiophobia), Reptiles (herpetophobia)

  • An early episode of Adam-12 saw Malloy and Reed approach every white 1958 Ford convertible with trepidation ... since a stolen boa constrictor might be hidden in the trunk of one of them.
  • Terrorist Kelly Peyton on Alias is terrified of snakes and only gives important information to the CIA under interrogation when they threaten her with one. Later when they need more information, they simply threaten to get the snake again and a terrified Kelly tells them what they want to know.
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  • Amen had an episode where Deacon Frye went to a therapist specifically to overcome this.
  • Flabber showed it once in Beetleborgs.
  • Subverted in The Big Bang Theory episode "The Good Guy Fluctuation". Sheldon hides a live snake in Raj's desk drawer, hoping to scare him. It turns out Raj is not afraid of snakes at all; when he finds the snake, he immediately picks it up and starts talking to it in a cutesy voice about taking it to the biology lab for "some nice yummy mice."
  • Jaime Sommers in The Bionic Woman, which is exploited in several episodes throughout the series.
  • Brennan in Bones. It went back and forth, as she handled a snake in one episode. Later, they did some Lampshade Hanging regarding the slip with her asking “why am I only afraid of snakes when Booth is not around to be jumped upon?”
  • An episode of Cops showed two policemen afraid to respond to a call from a resident who found a snake in his closet. The guy from animal control, on the other hand, had snake tattoos and couldn't believe the resident didn't want to keep such a pretty snake.
    • This scenario also appeared in an episode of Animal Cops: Miami. Animal Control had no problem with what was a small and non-poisonous snake... but the snake was found in Little Haiti; all the residents there thought the snake was bad luck since it was considered a symbol of Voodoo worship.
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  • On an episode of The Cosby Show, Rudy freaked out after seeing a small garter snake in the basement. Clair told her to calm down, saying she and Cliff would take care of it... Then, once she and Cliff were alone, she freaked out even more than Rudy had, and was on edge the entire episode. (At the end, when they caught it, Rudy actually thought it was "cute".)
  • Bulldog from Frasier has a fear of lizards, which Frasier tries to take advantage of after being a victim of one too many of Bulldog's pranks. He puts a lizard in a box, intending to surprise Bulldog with it during his show, of course this goes horribly wrong when Frasier's boss Kate becomes the unintended victim instead and it bites her finger off (thankfully, she was able to have the finger restored in time).
  • In Harrow, Harrow is afraid of lizards. This becomes especially relevant in "Hic Sunt Dracones" ("Here be Dragons") where the case starts with a human arm found inside a crocodile, and later involves a wildlife smuggler with a boat full of exotic lizards.
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  • On Home Improvement Tim becomes agitated when he learns that a harmless garden snake is somewhere in his house.
  • Eiji of Kamen Rider OOO mistaken the Eel Can-droids as snakes on first glance.
  • Murdoc from MacGyver (1985).
  • In Manimal, Jonathan Chase becomes a large python for Ty to use as a rope to rescue Brooke, who states 'don't you remember, I hate snakes,' and 'why couldn't you become something else?' This seemed to be intended to reference Indiana Jones' aversion to snakes from Raiders of the Lost Ark, which had been released two years earlier.
  • Tory Belleci from MythBusters has admitted to a fear of snakes. Naturally, this has been taken advantage of on the show.
  • Wayne of Swamp Loggers expresses great unease about snakes. One could wonder about his choice of job.
  • Subverted with Agent Scully on The X-Files. In "One Breath", her mother tells a story how she felt guilty for shooting a snake with her new BB gun. Although deathly afraid of snakes, she held the snake and it died in her hands, which is very weird as people with this phobia are grossed out with only pictures of snakes. When Mulder and Scully investigate cases involving snakes, she isn't exactly on edge ("Die Hand die Verletzt") and she even gets a tattoo of a snake eating its own tail in "Never Again". On the other hand, there are lots of snakes in "Signs and Wonders", but even Mulder who doesn't suffer from this phobia is very nervous around them.

Spiders (arachnophobia)

  • Jim from According to Jim is terrified of spiders.
  • Dr. Camille Saroyan on Bones freaks out briefly when a swarm of baby spiders start emerging from a crack in a block of clay that the skeleton-of-the-week is embedded in. Later, she also freaks out when Hodgins brings a gun into the lab that hasn’t been used in a while and spiders are living in it. Several escape and one even gets in her office. She ends up furious at Hodgine.
    • Also Agent Aubrey. He got very nervous running into one at a scene in s fun house.
  • Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as we learn in "Nightmares". Naturally, Xander pokes fun at this.
  • In Charmed, Piper is afraid of tarantulas. This tends to come up whenever recurring villain Barbas (the demon of fear) puts his hand in...
  • While this was never explored further on the show (unlike his fear of heights and needles), Logan Cale from Dark Angel has admitted at one point that he doesn't like spiders.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "Planet of the Spiders", the Third Doctor has to face his worst fear — a giant psychic spider. She's a homicidal alien despot, but the writer of the script, Robert Sloman, was a terrible arachnophobe and the similarity to arachnophobia was very intentional.
    • "Arachnids in the UK": There are overly-large spiders loose in Sheffield, and both companion Ryan and Corrupt Corporate Executive Robertson are explicitly noted to be arachnophobic. Graham says he's not a fan of them either.
  • Ross from Friends has a great fear of spiders, Rachel has a fear of swings so in order to sit on one she insists Ross hold a spider in his hand while she goes on the swing. Ross finds this very unfair:
    Oh, yeah, that’s the same, I am sure there are thirty different species of poisonous swings!
  • This is one of Max Blum's three biggest phobias in Happy Endings.
  • Barney from How I Met Your Mother ran out of the room in a panic when Robin spotted a spider on the floor in one episode.
  • Jessie: In the episode "What A Steal", Jessie goes a date with a guy and learns that he has a fear of spiders. After he is revealed to be a criminal planning to the Rosses' penthouse with the help of his sister whom Ravi befriended at a MENSA meeting, Jessie employs this fear to keep both of the burglars at bay for the police to arrive.
  • Hal from Malcolm in the Middle in one episode an animal trainer uses him as a volunteer, he ends up using a tarantula Hal is terrified it ends up biting him because he spooked it.
  • Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: Phryne Fisher is shown to be arachnophobic (a trait not shared by her literary version) in "Game, Set and Murder". Jack is able to get her to remove herself from his desk by bringing out the spider in a jar he had collected as evidence earlier.
  • Adam Savage of MythBusters although in the Ultimate MythBuster special, Adam said his experience in the "Daddy Long-Legs" myth (arm stuck in a tube of spiders until one finally bit him) had gotten him over this fear.
    • Grant Imahara is also arachnophobic. And he gets the same type of "treatment" that Adam got...
  • Schmidt from New Girl is dreadfully afraid of spiders, and becomes increasingly paranoid when he spots one in the loft.
  • April from Parks and Recreation has that arachnophobia thing.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Zack the Black Ranger from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, among other things like snakes and bugs.
    • Shane the Red Ranger from Power Rangers Ninja Storm. First mentioned by Tori to prove it's really her and not her evil clone, it turns up later in a surprisingly subtle fashion - a flashback of kid-Shane rescuing an alien ball of light from a spider-web.
  • Joanie Hanson in Providence.
  • Budnick in Salute Your Shorts. The only thing he's afraid of.
  • Hank from Sirens (US) is afraid of spiders. He kept it a secret for years, because he knew that Johnny would give him shit over it. And indeed, as soon as Johnny found out, he proceeded to give him shit.
  • Lisa Landry from Sister, Sister.
  • When Chad Dylan Cooper claims he fears nothing in one episode of Sonny with a Chance, Sonny contradicts him by mentioning that he's afraid of spiders (and heights), though apparently not little ones.
  • Chief O'Brien once admitted to a fear of spiders in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He not only got over it in time, he actually kept a pet tarantula. Presumably Keiko told him to leave it behind when they moved to Deep Space Nine.
    • The same episode revealed Lieutenant Barclay had the same problem. Then, for added irony, in the season 7 episode "Genesis" he starts de-evolving into a spider. He also had transporter phobia (see "Various Phobias" below).
  • Bill Miller on Still Standing.
  • Eric Forman in That '70s Show, as we find out in the episode "Young Man Blues".

Insects (entomophobia)

  • Arrowverse:
    • Felicity Smoak from Arrow is freaked out by bugs, and had to stop Ray from talking about cockroaches.
    • Cisco Ramon from The Flash (2014) cannot stand bees, as we learn in the episode "All Star-Team Up" when the team has to face killer robotic bees.
  • Raj from The Big Bang Theory is afraid of insects. In "The Jiminy Conjecture", he freaks out when the guys visit an entomologist's lab; it's dark and there are containers of insects everywhere and mounted insects on the walls.
  • Jenny on Call the Midwife. This is a problem because she works in the East End, so there are bugs everywhere. Possibly justified in that she has asthma.
  • Nick Stokes from CSI displayed something of an ant phobia after being buried alive and covered in red ants, though it's not popped up again.
  • Niles Crane from Frasier has a very severe form of this. He often believes that insects are bigger than they are, he has carried a ridiculous amount of bug repellent with him on more than one occasion, and, while Frasier insists that he should see a therapist, he never does.note 
    • Ironically enough, Frasier himself used to have this, as in an episode of Cheers, he admitted that he had a thing about insects. By the time of Frasier though, he seemed to have long since gotten over this, while Niles (see above) still has a bug phobia that's even worse than Frasier's was.
  • Kenan & Kel: Kenan's dad is afraid of ladybugs.
  • In the Murdoch Mysteries episode "Murdochphobia", Murdoch admits he has a fear of butterflies. He says it's because their chaotic behaviour unsettles him, but he later realises he associates them with his mother's death.
  • Bees (apiphobia), Wasps, Hornets, Yellowjackets (sphecksophobia) — Adam Savage from MythBusters.
  • In a throwaway line, Jack O'Neill from Stargate SG-1 mentions that he has an insane aversion to bugs, right when the team is about to face a group of robotic bugs called the replicators.
  • Richard Hammond from Top Gear, if the Bolivia special is to be believed.

Mice & Rats (musophobia)

  • Gunn from Angel. First mentioned in S3's "Heartthrob", his phobia gets explicit illustration in S4, when the coming apocalypse causes a house's walls to fill with rats.
  • In the Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode "The Tale Of Watcher's Woods", a girl is captured by three witches and put in a wooden cage. One witch asks her if she'd like to "play with some rodents" and proceeds to put a bucket of rats into the cage with the girl, who happens to be terrified of rats. The girl then freaks out and says: "Why did it have to be rats?!"
  • The Brady Bunch: Alice is revealed to be afraid of mice in "The Impractical Joker" after seeing a small, white mouse running loose in the house. The mouse was on loan to high school freshman Greg for a science project, and Jan – playing up her one-episode practical joking side – lets the mouse loose.
  • In Community episode "Environmental Science", Troy and rats, with Troy even referencing the Trope Namer.
  • Doc Robbins from CSI, who yells and screams and generally stands there scared to death when a rat launches itself out of a body on his table. Grissom is left to chase it and watch it escape.
  • Topher in Dollhouse which Dr. Saunders/Whiskey takes advantage of.
  • Knit Knots on Imagination Movers seems to be at least somewhat afraid of Warehouse Mouse, telling the Movers to keep the "furry, woodland creature" away from him.
  • I've Got a Secret: The first celebrity guest, Boris Karloff, reportedly had a rather mundane secret: "I'm afraid of mice." It wasn't long before the celebrity guests – at least during the CBS run – had more elaborate secrets to share.
  • Kenan & Kel: Kenan freaks out at the sight of a rat in his workplace. Kel, on the other hand, likes the "cute furry little mouse" Wendell.
  • The warden in one episode of The Mentalist is afraid of mice/rats. What does Jane do? He uses a muffin and some other tools to catch a mouse/rat, and as part of his plan to break out of jail, essentially scares the crap out of the warden so he won't stop him.
  • Gary from Miranda is scared of mice, and jumps onto a chair when told there's one in Miranda's flat.
  • Modern Family: Mice for Mitchell.
  • Tony on NCIS has admitted that he quite liked rats, before his bout with the plague. Since rats usually carry the plague... you get the idea.
  • Richard Mayhew in Neverwhere. At the beginning of the pilot episode, Richard talks about himself including his dislike of rats, blood, and heights. He encounters all three.
  • The Noddy Shop has a Running Gag where Agatha uses her fear of mice as an excuse for something bad happening. One episode, "The Fish Story" had her dressing as a cat to try to chase down "mice" that took a ring.
  • Eric Forman from That '70s Show is afraid of rats, as seen in the episode "The Best Christmas Ever".

Bats (chiroptophobia)

  • Mr Smoketoomuch in Monty Python's Flying Circus gained his odd speech impediment (pronouncing the letter "C" as "B") after being attacked by a Siamese bat. No, not a cat — a Siamese bat (they're more dangerous).
  • Bonita Flamingo has a fear of them in The Noddy Shop.

Cats (ailurophobia)

  • Laura Roslin from Battlestar Galactica (who has one or two issues with snakes, as well).
  • Ed in Flashpoint, at least according to Greg. Ed claims it was just once with a "scary cat," a point which Spike (hilariously) backs up.
  • Rei Tachibana/Dyna Pink from Kagaku Sentai Dynaman. The mere sight of a cat just freaks her out and she's rendered mostly incapable of fighting a cat monster, and it gets worse when said cat monster just transform the Mooks into cat statues. Ironically, she wants to develop a tool to communicate with animals... but can't even touch a cat without freaking out.
  • Schmidt from New Girl is terrified of the birdcat (cat raised by birds) which lives on the roof.
  • Gertie Gator from The Noddy Shop has this according to the song "I'm Not Scared".

Dogs (cynophobia)

Rabbits (leporiphobia)

  • Anya from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She dressed up as a bunny for Halloween ("Bunnies frighten me."), sang about bunnies in "Once More, with Feeling!", then was standing on a table when misspoken incantations had filled the Magic Box floor with rabbits of all shapes and sizes, calling it a "cotton-top hell". Somewhat justified, in that a highly traumatic incident involving an unfaithful husband, angry villagers, and rabbits was the catalyst for her becoming a demon in the first place.
  • Julius is terrified of rabbits on Everybody Hates Chris because he saw a horror movie about them when he and Rochelle were dating. When he takes Drew to a magic show, he passes out when the magician pulls a rabbit out of his hat. Clearly, he saw Night of the Lepus.
  • Bishop Brennan in Father Ted — apparently he was once stuck in a lift in New York with about a hundred rabbits, and "they began nibbling at my cloak and everything". Obviously he is destined to wake up in a room full of rabbits in "The Plague" episode of season 2.

Birds (ornithophobia)

  • Sam(antha) of Are You Afraid of the Dark?
  • Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory had a severe form of this until Amy and Bernadette helped him get over it.
  • On CSI, lab tech David Hodges admitted that he had been attacked by Canadian geese as a kid while visiting an uncle in Saskatchewan.
  • In Friends, Rachel's mid season 4 love interest Joshua is afraid of farm birds, which we find out when he meets Joey and Chandler's chick and duck.
  • Dennis Finch from Just Shoot Me! has a fear of owls from his mother's side of the family.
  • Tokumei Sentai Go Busters: Hiromu (a.k.a. Red Buster) is surprisingly afraid of chickens, to the point where even seeing a picture of one causes him to freeze up. This is due to a traumatic event in his childhood where he was accidentally locked inside a chicken coop.

Fish (ichthyophobia)

  • In Call the Midwife, Trixie is terrified of fish- which causes trouble when she's delivering the baby of a fisherman's wife. Her patient says she has the same problem with chickens.
  • Billy of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers was terrified of fish. For one episode, anyway. Apparently one bit him on the finger when he was a kid. This phobia turns up just in time for a fish-themed monster to appear so he can overcome it and rescue his friends. (This isn't a coincidence. Rita created the monster on purpose when she found out about it, and used a curse that amplified his phobia. By standing up to it, he not only broke the curse, but overcame the fear permanently.)
  • Grant Imahara of MythBusters is afraid of sharks. Naturally, he got to be the one in the water for the Shark Week episode.
  • On Sports Night, Dana claims to be afraid of fish — which is problematic, as her boyfriend Gordon really likes snorkeling.
    Dana: They live where it's murky. Poisonous, tentacle-bearing, prehistoric sea creatures.
    Isaac: You're afraid of fish?
    Dana: And I'm not ashamed to admit it.
    Isaac: There aren't gonna be any sharks down there.
    Dana: We don't know what the hell's gonna be down there. It's down there. It's their home court. They know what they're doing down there. They can breathe down there. I need this ridiculous rubber tube and a pair of goggles.
    Isaac: Are you afraid they're gonna make fun of you?

Other Animals

  • Horses: Parker, in Leverage. As a young child, she saw a horse kill a clown. (It was actually a guy in a horse costume.)
  • Comedian Russell Howard is afraid of guinea pigs, shown by his reaction to a guinea pig appearing on Russell Howard's Good News when he unsubtly hid behind the guest animal psychic.

Flying (aviophobia) or Heights (acrophobia)

  • Marshall Flinkman from Alias is terrified of flying.
  • Alice from Alice is very afraid of heights. Most likely to balance the fact that she is an Action Girl.
  • At least one team a season on The Amazing Race. If a fear is expressed at any point during the seasons (generally heights), expect the racers to have to face it at some point.
  • Gary on Are You Afraid of the Dark?
  • Arrowverse:
    • Amusingly, Felicity Smoak from Arrow doesn't realize her fear of heights until she and Oliver break into Merlyn Global and they have to swing through an elevator shaft to get inside.
    • Earth-Two Barry Allen from The Flash (2014) two-parter "Welcome To Earth-2"/"Escape From Earth-2" visibly panics when he finds out he, Earth-Two Iris, and Team Flash have to climb very steep cliffs on ice (courtesy of Killer Frost) to rescue Jessie Wells and Earth-One Barry from Zoom's clutches. When Killer Frost snidely asks him if he has any better ideas, he gives the very feeble excuse that he's wearing wind tips and they don't have much tread.
    • Lena Luthor from Supergirl admits that she hates flying even though she knows statistically speaking it's still the safest way to travel. This probably isn't helped when a series of weapon drones attacks and tries to kill her just when she's taking off on a helicopter.
  • BA Baracus in The A-Team. He typically has to be rendered unconscious before flying him anywhere. According to The Movie, he used to be a paratrooper and developed his fear from "H.M." Murdock's piloting.
  • In Auction Kings, Paul hates flying, Cindy hates heights in general. Paul had to ride with on a test flight of a plane he was to sell. Cindy got brought along to ride in a hot-air balloon. They both ended up enjoying the experiences in the end.
  • Carlie Kirkland from Banacek is afraid of heights. In "Rocket to Oblivion", she is visibly nervous when someone mentions that there is an 80 ft. drop to the floor from the catwalk they are on, and she comments that she gets uncomfortable on her kitchen ladder.
  • While not crippling, Summer from Baywatch is shown to have at least a slight fear of heights during her training of becoming a lifeguard when she's afraid to pier jump, Matt helps her overcome this by jumping together with her.
  • Brenda Walsh from Beverly Hills, 90210 has a fear of heights, which becomes an issue when she and Kelly win skydiving lessons from a radio contest.
    • In another episode, Andrea Zuckerman reveals that she has a fear of heights and of speed (Tachophobia) and is afraid of riding a rollercoaster as a result.
  • Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory is visibly terrified when he goes rock climbing with Kripke in one episode.
  • Lori from Big Wolf on Campus.
  • Jaime Sommers is scared of flying in the short-lived rebooted Bionic Woman series.
  • Jane from Blindspot has an extreme fear of flying, despite the fact that she knows how to fly a helicopter, making this somewhat of an Ironic Fear.
  • The first episode of The Bob Newhart Show has Bob heading a workshop for people trying to overcome their fear of flying. When the group is ready to "graduate", he plans a group flight from Chicago to New York, and enlists his wife Emily to join them... only to discover that she's afraid of flying herself.
  • Little Joe in Bonanza is terrified of heights as the result of a repressed childhood memory. This becomes a problem when his rifle gets stuck on top of a tall mountain.
  • Angel and Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel are both nervous about flying, which is ironic given vampires are often portrayed as having flying powers outside the Buffyverse. As vampire-safe, sun-filtering windows are a recent invention, neither has had much chance to try it.
    Spike: I've never flown before.
    Angel: I've been in a helicopter. They don't...[glances at window, leans back] go this high.
  • Fred on Call the Midwife.
  • Piper from Charmed has a fear of flying, at least according to Prue. Piper feebly denies this and says she "just prefers the bus". This is never brought up again for the rest of the series, and the times we actually do see Piper fly on the show, she doesn't seem to have this same fear, suggesting she might have gotten over it at some point.
  • On Cheers, Carla is afraid to fly, which prevents her from seeing her husband, hockey player Eddie LeBec, on the road. She takes an aviaphobia group therapy class conducted by Frasier on a plane to get over it. Carla overcomes her fear but Frasier suddenly becomes freaked out about being on a plane.
  • Chuck Bartowski in the early seasons of Chuck. He eventually overcomes this as he undergoes training to become a spy.
  • Reid's mom (played by Jane Lynch) in Criminal Minds mentions being afraid of planes.
  • Logan Cale in Dark Angel. He seems to get over it after Max takes him up on the Space Needle in the season 1 finale.
  • Dave Barsky of Dirty Jobs, as shown in the "Aerial Tram Greaser" episode.
  • Jack Carter of Eureka has acrophobia, although not to a disabling point, it does make him visibly uncomfortable in a few episodes.
  • When Bright Abbott from Everwood doesn't go with Ephram and Amy on a ferris wheel in the episode "The Great Doctor Brown", Amy reveals it's because he's afraid of heights.
  • The woman Frasier dates in the episode "First, Do No Harm'' (played by Teri Hatcher), to such an extent that she can't even go outside to see Frasier's balcony. She says she's been taking classes for it.
    • Another episode has one of Frasier's callers try to conquer her fear of heights by eating her lunch on top of the Space Needle, we hear her screaming in the background.
    • A very downplayed example, but a throwaway line from Niles Crane in yet another episode implies that he too has a fear of heights, at least when it comes to hot air balloons.
  • Oddly enough, Bruce Wayne of all people in Gotham at the beginning of the series. He gradually overcomes this (by standing outside his rooftop) as he learns to "conquer fear", he gets over it completely for the most part after he successfully manages to jump off a rooftop for the first time.
  • Grace Kelly from Grace Under Fire has height vertigo.
  • Horatio Hornblower: Horatio is prone to sea-sickness and is really afraid of heights. Excellent material for an officer in the Navy, wouldn't you say? His fear of heights is referenced quite often, and he has to climb in the riggings or on the fighting top and deal with shortening sails quite a lot. In "Retribution", he volunteers himself to descend from a cliff on a rope and his pal Archie mischievously reminds him of his anxiety.
    Archie Kennedy: [saucily] I remember when you used to be scared of heights, Mr. Hornblower.
    Horatio Hornblower: [measures the height he must descend from] Nothing's changed, Mr. Kennedy.
  • Robin Scherbatsky's mother Genevieve in How I Met Your Mother initially didn't want to go to her and Barney's wedding because she was terrified of flying. She manages to overcome this fear (by being strapped to the seat after having an initial violent Freak Out!) and does make it.
  • MacGyver (1985), at least in the early seasons. He seems to get over his problem with heights as the show progressed.
  • Trini in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers is fearful of heights. She's forced to face it down to aid Billy in one episode and is caught in an illusion dealing with this in another.
  • Ed in Mister Ed. This becomes the storyline of the episode "Psychoanalyst Show" as Wilbur tries everything from hypnosis and psychiatry to help cure him of this phobia, he eventually succeeds by the end of the episode.
  • MythBusters:
    • In the "Hammer Drop", we find out that Jamie Hyneman apparently has a mild case of acrophobia. This comes up again in the "Outtakes Special". In some unaired footage from "Plywood Builder", Jamie is trying to reassure Christine about her impending (until she decided not to) zipline ride, and says "You know I'm afraid of heights". And he jumps off a building in "Dumpster Dive" ... but you could tell he wasn't happy about it. He was even less happy about crossing a 100-foot duct tape bridge 50 feet above the ground. Though, considering how unstable the thing was...
    • Colleague Tory Belleci is also acrophobic, so he had to go up in a stunt plane for the "Cold Feet" myth.
  • Tim McGee from NCIS is revealed to be afraid of heights in the episode "Leap Of Faith". It's pretty much completely Played for Laughs.
  • Both versions of Neverwhere have Richard Mayhew say he dislikes heights rather early on. The series has it in the introduction of the very first episode, where Richard talks about himself including his dislike of rats, blood, and heights. He encounters all three.
  • Ryan Atwood in The O.C., as we find out in the aptly titled episode "The Heights". He ends up facing this fear at the end of the episode by going up on a ferris wheel to apologize to Marissa after they had a fight earlier in the episode.
  • Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap, who, due to the amnesia caused by leaping, didn't remember his fear of heights until he leaped into a trapeze artist in the middle of a practice.
  • Nigel Bailey from Relic Hunter almost always panics or is at the very least extremely nervous of any situation involving heights.
  • A Sanford and Son episode has Fred inheriting money from an uncle, with the hitch being that he has to fly home to St. Louis (which he's afraid to do) to collect.
  • Clark Kent in the early seasons of Smallville. Insert clever one-liner about "Irony" here.
  • When Chad Dylan Cooper claims he fears nothing in one episode of Sonny with a Chance, Sonny contradicts him by mentioning that he's afraid of heights (and spiders), though apparently not low ones.
  • Daniel Jackson from Stargate SG-1 mentions in a throwaway line in one episode that he has a problem with heights. This came up right before he and Sam had to crawl across a tiny strip of floor over an apparently bottomless pit. He did fine with it, and eventually threw himself off their "bridge" to save their companion, 'cause he's Daniel.
  • Supernatural's Dean Winchester is terrified of flying. Why do you think he drives everywhere?
  • Jack Tripper in Three's Company has a fear of flying, which naturally gets exploited when Janet asks him to accompany her on a trip to a small island for a formal party.
  • Presenter James May on Top Gear gets height vertigo (a spinning sensation when he looks down from a height). He took flying lessons and acquired a private pilot's license to help himself learn to cope with it. He's still not quite over it though, as evidenced by the Bolivia special.

Water (aquaphobia/hydrophobia)

  • Merton's sister Becky from Big Wolf on Campus.
  • Malcom Reed from Star Trek: Enterprise has a fear of drowning that prevented him from carrying on his family's naval tradition. Oddly enough, this fear doesn't extend to the vacuum of space. Maybe he realized that Space is NOT an ocean.
  • George Ikaruga from Ultraman Mebius isn't afraid of water per se (he's a good swimmer, in fact). He's specifically afraid of the Ocean. Perhaps justified in his case, as when he was younger, something horrible would happen to him every time he went there. He eventually decided the Ocean just had it in for him.

Fire (pyrophobia)

  • Zoe Graystone in Caprica, due to almost dying in a housefire as a child.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor, at least in his third incarnation.
  • Game of Thrones: Sandor Clegane has an intense phobia of fire after being horribly burned by his brother as a child. In "Blackwater", he deserts the defense of King's Landing when the battlefield gets covered in fire. In "Kissed By Fire", he's forced to fight a duel with an opponent wielding a flaming sword. In Season 4, he refuses to cauterize a wound that is going septic.
  • Shalimar Fox in Mutant X.
  • During the flamethrower episode of Sons of Guns, it's revealed that Will has been deathly afraid of fire since he was three, when the house he was sleeping in burned to the ground.
  • Fox Mulder of The X-Files, discussed in the episode "Fire". However, it was an issue for the episode and it never occurred again.

Other Things in Nature

  • In the Criminal Minds episode "Boogeyman", JJ admits that she's afraid of the woods.
  • Simon Tam of Firefly is a cosmophobe (afraid of space), as first shown in the episode "Bushwacked".
  • When MythBusters looked at ways flu/cold virii could be spread, Kari Byron confessed to being something of a germophobe. She was the only one not to get "tagged" with Adam's fluorescent fake snot thanks to her previously developed skills at staying away from the ickies.
  • In New Tricks, Gerry has a phobia about forests as a result of a childhood trauma.
  • A.J. from The River has speluncaphobia, the fear of caves, thanks to having been in a mining accident.

Clowns (coulrophobia)

Women (gynophobia)

  • Raj from The Big Bang Theory, while not afraid of women per se, has a comedic inability to speak to women while sober.
  • Dougal in Father Ted. Father Jack is also terrified of nuns.

Blood (hemophobia)

  • Doc Martin in the show of the same name.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Girl Who Died", one of the Viking villagers faints at the sight of blood, which eventually leads to the village catching on fire after an attempt at Training the Peaceful Villagers goes wrong.
  • Frasier: Niles Crane faints when he even sees a tiny cut on a finger.
  • One of Richard Mayhew's three fears in Neverwhere. At the beginning of the pilot episode, Richard talks about himself including his fear of rats, blood, and heights. He encounters all three.
  • Person of Interest: Mr. Finch. First mentioned in an episode where he has to go undercover in a hospital, where he understandably gets very uncomfortable when he ends up assisting in an operation (much to the concern of the real surgeon). A later episode shows Harold very nervously helping Shaw with a man's gunshot wound, and then getting out of the way as quickly as possible.
  • Space: Above and Beyond: In an episode where the enemy is using a fear-enhancing weapon, Damphousse is revealed to have a fear of blood. Perhaps a bit ironic for a Marine.

Ghosts (phasmophobia)

  • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: Takeru, despite being able to slaughter dozens of Gedoushu, still faints at the sight of an amusement park haunted house!

Darkness (nyctophobia)

  • Are You Afraid of the Dark? Well, are you? Frank is.
  • Simone Marks, the mother of Serial Killer George Marks from Cold Case was so afraid of the dark, that it caused her to have hysterical blindness and she called him "the darkness" and subsequently locked him in the attic.
    • The killer from "Thrill Kill" was also terrified of the dark, so much that he killed his own son and his friends when they played an innocent prank on him, taped their eyes shut and allowed two young teenagers to take the fall for his crimes.
  • Criminal Minds: Spencer Reid claims to be afraid of the dark "because of the inherent absence of light."
  • Doctor Who: But it's not the dark, it's Vashta Nerada. These are microscopic creatures that tend to disguise themselves as shadows. Once you get too near them, you'll be killed instantly. The Doctor explains that these creatures are the reason so many races fear the dark.
  • A Serial Killer from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was ultimately broken down by both having his estranged mother brought into the interrogation room and being locked into a dark closet by Benson and Stabler in an effort to get him confess. It worked.
  • Winston on New Girl. Jess has also claimed to be afraid of the dark after getting pushed into a closet by Prince.
  • The Crybabies, Salt and Pepper, The Penguines and Truman in The Noddy Shop have this fear. Justified for Truman and the Crybabies, as they are around the age when kids usually have this phobia.
  • Bosco on Third Watch.

Other phobias

  • Beards (pogonophobia) — Frank, from The Adventures of Lano and Woodley . Everyone he runs into throughout the episode in question has a beard. It's cured at the end, though.
  • As revealed on Attack of the Show!, co-host Olivia Munn is also afraid of balloons. Needless to say, fellow co-host Kevin Pereira takes so much delight in tormenting her whenever the subject comes up.
  • Tommy from Big Wolf on Campus is afraid of ending up alone due to people finding out about his lycanthropy. And Merton is scared of monster movies (which is kind of weird, because he's a Goth).
  • Balloons (globophobia) — Lacey and Davis in an episode of Corner Gas. Also, by the end of that episode we find out that Brent seems to have a fear of globes (although he's a prolific Deadpan Snarker, so it's very possible that his frightened reaction to the globe was a sarcastic joke).
    • Wanda's implied agoraphobia (fear of open space). It's especially ironic as she lives in Saskatchewan, which has nothing but open space.
  • On Crossbones, Selima is severely agoraphobic, to the point where she violently refuses to leave Blackbeard's house.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Robots of Death" has "robophobia" or "Grimwade's Syndrome" as a reasonably common psychological condition in the setting, apparently caused by people with particularly keen body language skills subconsciously associating the stiff, humanoid robots with walking corpses. Poul suffers from this condition, and in the sequel Expanded Universe material it is revealed both Toos and Uvanov have developed cases of it as a result of the trauma they suffered at the hands of the robots, while Poul's has worsened to the point of being barely functional.
    • "The Ghost Monument": Ryan Sinclair quotes the trope name almost word-for-word when he has to, yet again, climb a ladder in a hurry. He has dyspraxia, a neurological condition causing poor coordination, which makes ladders more dangerous for him than the average person.
      "Why did it have to be ladders?"
  • Alan Statham from Green Wing is scared of goblins. When Joanna decides to scare him (because his cheerfulness was annoying her) she asks her dwarf cousin to hide under his desk, with green make-up over his face and jump out at him shouting "boo!" Statham then beats him to death with a heron.
  • On Home Improvement Tim's neighbor Wilson reveals his biggest fear is that all of reality is actually a dream, and when the dreamer wakes up, he'll cease to exist.
  • JAG: In "Shadow", Meg is claustrophobic. It has never been a serious problem for her before, but being aboard a submarine causes her to go into a barely concealed breakdown.
  • Noise — Leonard Hatred in Look Around You, invented "Psilence", a type of liquid skin that blocks the ears, as a response to being subjected to loud noises all his life. (Unfortunately the mental instability caused by his condition ultimately led him to attack Sir Prince Charles at an award ceremony.)
  • A M*A*S*H episode has Hawkeye and Margaret simultaneously confronted by (and trying to help each other get through) their greatest respective fears, claustrophobia and loud noises.
  • Brick in The Middle is afraid of bridges.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Kimberly the Pink Ranger is terrified of roller coasters (which arachnophobic Zack can't get enough of).
  • In the original Mission: Impossible, Cinnamon is claustrophobic. There's a delicious arc in which the bad guys trick her into trying to escape through a narrow pipe, then lock her in the middle.
    • Given Cinnamon shares her phobia with her actress Barbara Bain, that scene was not fun to do.
  • Adrian Monk's assistant Sharona has a phobia of elephants... but the man himself has every phobia on this list, plus almost any other phobia known to man. You'd think this would interfere with his detective abilities, but phobias can actually enhance them at times.
  • Abby from NCIS, the Perky Goth who sleeps in a coffin, is terrified of the NCIS morgue. Specifically, she has a fear of being dead and eviscerated in the autopsy table, the thought of which freaks her out so much she can't even bring herself to push the down button on the elevator. Ducky helps her get over her fear at the end of the morgue hostage episodenote  by letting her sleep on the autopsy table, treating it like her bed-coffin at home.
  • One song in The Noddy Shop was about the toys' fears. The ones in that song that are not related to any of the other subcategories include:
    • Stein has a fear of sauerkraut.
    • Johnny Crawfish has a fear of being bitten.
    • Warloworth is scared of the floor making creeking noises.
  • Ben Wyatt of Parks and Recreation appears to have policophobia:
    Ben: I'm not afraid of cops. I have no reason to be, I never break any laws ever... because I'm deathly afraid of cops.
  • Alfredo Aldarisio from Pushing Daisies was terrified of the possibility that the Earth's atmosphere would one day be sucked away into space, leaving them all to suffocate.
    • Olive mentions the same fear, leading him to believe that he had found someone he could relate to. Sadly, she was being metaphorical.
  • On Sirens (US), Brian is afraid of midget hands.
  • A scene on The Sketch Show has the five stars in a support group for phobias - Lee has a fear of people screaming, Jim has a fear of apologies, Karen has a fear of repetition, Ronnie has a fear of awkward silences and Tim barks at people's phobias. This combination repeatedly sets off chains of screaming.
  • Star Trek occasionally delves into the subject of transporter phobia. For some people, the idea of being disassembled at the molecular level and then reassembled at the other end just gives them the creeps. For others, it's fear of a Teleporter Accident scattering their energy into the vacuum of space or something else. In most series, there is at least one character who expresses some form of this condition.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine reveals that Lt. Worf, the resident Klingon, has one fear: tribbles.
    • This seems to be a cultural thing for his people, since every other Klingon that has come into contact with tribbles has also expressed a fear/seething hatred of them because they're an invasive species that's damn near impossible to get rid of.
  • Embarrassment: Richard Hammond. "I have several recurring nightmares. One in which I am presenting a radio show and can't work the desk, another in which I find myself on stage with a truly catastrophic band. I am only waiting now for Top Gear to make me run naked through a shopping centre on a Saturday and I will have completed the set."
  • V (1983). Mike Donovan and Martin are fugitives inside the Visitor spacecraft when Martin finds a means of escape. Because their spacecraft spend a lot of time parked in the atmosphere, automatic-deploying parachutes were stashed on the lower decks as an emergency escape system. It so happens that Donovan had recently mentioned he had a fear of parachuting after his plane was shot down during the Vietnam War. Martin ends up shoving Donovan down the escape chute first just to make sure he jumps.


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