Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?
A seemingly invulnerable character reveals that they are actually deathly afraid of X... therefore, X is certainly going to be a recurring obstacle, no matter how unlikely. The Trope Namer is a line in Raiders of the Lost Ark, reminding us that Indiana Jones hates snakes when he discovers that the Well of Souls is crawling with them.
This is common is horror/sci-fi stories dealing with a "master of fear" (such as Freddy, Pennywise or the Scarecrow), in which the monster uses his powers to guess his victim's worst fear, and then use it against him/her to make them a quivering heap. Enemies who know about this weakness are prone to use Flaw Exploitation and as a way of coercing the hero.
As you can imagine, Truth in Television. Compare Primal Fear for examples where common phobias are gleefully exploited in horror fiction. No personal examples, please. Not to be confused with Snakes Are Evil, but it helps to explain it some.
Snakes (ophidiophobia), Reptiles (herpetophobia)
Anime and Manga
- Motoko Aoyama from Love Hina is afraid of turtles. So, of course, her fellow tenants adopt one that can fly. And follow her around.
- Bachou Mouki from Ikki Tousen is deathly afraid of snakes.
- Ymir from Queen's Blade can't stand snakes. When she met Echidna, she spent the following night sitting up, axe in hand, convinced the snakes would come when she slept.
- Yura of the miniseries Wasted Minds is afraid of snakes. At one point, when she sees something she thinks is a boa constrictor, she's too scared to help her partner, Tamuro, out of its grasp. After she discovers that "the snake" is actually the trunk of an aggressive elephant, she fearlessly flips it over and slams it into the ground.
Yura: Boa constrictor!
Films -- Live Action
- Indiana Jones (snakes), who coined the trope's name. It should be noted that he wasn't always afraid of snakes. As Last Crusade showed, his fear came from when he fell into a circus train car that was full of them, and they weren't particularly nice snakes either. The "constantly running into them" part is relatively Justified Trope considering where he works.
- One episode of Kim Possible parodies Indy's fear. When Kim arrives in a spiked pit while searching an abandoned underground temple, she jokingly asks, "Where are the snakes?" When hundreds suddenly appear, she retorts, "I was just being sarcastic!"
- Also parodied in at least one Tomb Raider comic. "I met this man once who would have been a good archaeologist, but he just couldn't get over his fear of snakes..."
- Launchpad also parodies it in the Five Episode Pilot of DuckTales (1987): "Yah, a snake! I hate snakes! No... that's somebody else. I sorta like snakes." Then one nearly eats him: "Now I hate snakes."
- Pee Wee Herman (snakes), at least in Pee-wee's Big Adventure, when he rescues them last from a burning pet shop.
- The FBI agent who's not Samuel L. Jackson from Snakes on a Plane has ophidiphobia.
- In Jackass: Number Two, the gang does a bit where they trap Bam Margera in the back of a trailer with a (devenomized) king cobra. Hilarity Ensues when Bam goes apeshit and actually starts crying.
- It gets worse in Jackass 3D: They set Bam up to do a prank... but are really sending him directly into a trap door that leads into a pit full of rubber snakes. Bam flips his shit. Then they add in REAL snakes, including a giant yellow one, and he proceeds to frantically hold on to the side of the pit, trying to pull himself out.
- From Dusk till Dawn star Salma Hayek has a real fear of snakes, and had always refused to be near them. When she read the script, she knew that her phobia would prevent her from taking the part of Satanico Pandemonium, but Robert Rodriguez conned her into thinking that Madonna was ready to take the part instead, so she spent two months with therapists in order to overcome this fear.
- Snakes (especially the enormous constrictors that always crop up in Robert E. Howard's stories) are the only thing that Conan the Barbarian is afraid of, besides some displays of sorcery. The ancient god Set, pretty much the embodiment of evil in Howard's stories, is represented as a serpent.
- The Conan RPG system has the spell "Dance of the Cobras", which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Cobras are hypnotized to circle a person, doing damage each round until the victim either dies from the damage or kills all four of the cobras, which are specified as at least Medium size. The spell comes from the Conan story "The Man-Eaters of Zamboula," which had Evil Sorcerer Totrasmek doing this to the Love Interest Zabibi, who is forced to literally dance for her life against the snakes.
- Rincewind is afraid of almost everything, but ends up sent to the Snake Pit after he accidentally reveals to the Evil Chancellor that he "doesn't like snakes very much." Of course, being Rincewind, he tries to cover up with "Well, I mean, some snakes are okay..."
- Kahlan, the primary female character of the Sword of Truth, hates snakes. She becomes highly nervous and uneasy when Richard mentions he saw snakes in the water, later has nightmares about a large snake wrapping around her legs. Her aversion to snakes is mentioned several times again over the course of the series. This is a fairly common syndrome among female characters from this series.
- Josh Newman from The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel is revealed to be afraid of snakes. He Lampshades it in The Sorceress - "Snakes! Why is there always snakes?"
- Heck, he even says the trope name in The Magician.
- Hank the Cowdog from the series of the same name can face bobcats, coyotes, mad bulls, and wild horses (although he'd much rather not). Snakes are the only thing he's specifically named as terrifying him.
- Silk, from the Belgariad is a victim of this. He also has a fear of caves.
- From Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets; the Basilisk is such a terrifying monster that even Aragog and its offspring (who are pretty terrifying themselves) dare not speak of it out of fear.
Live Action TV
- Flabber showed it once in Beetleborgs.
- 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.
- 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.
- On Home Improvement Tim becomes agitated when he learns that a harmless garden snake is somewhere in his house.
- Murdoc from MacGyver.
- Eiji of Kamen Rider OOO mistaken the Eel Can-droids as snakes on first glance.
- Wayne of Swamp Loggers expresses great unease about snakes. One could wonder about his choice of job.
- 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.
- Linus van Pelt of Peanuts is afraid of snakes. Or, more particularly, of queen snakes.
- Susanita from Mafalda is terrified of turtles. Unfortunately, her best friend Mafalda is unaware of her phobia and invites Susanita to her house just to show her the family's new pet turtle, Burocracia. Cue Susanita cowering in a corner.
- Bill Engvall has stated in his comedy routines that he hates snakes.
- Danny Phantom has Tucker performing a Shout-Out to Indiana Jones by shouting the trope's name when multiple snakes appeared caused by Pandora's Box.
- Leonardo of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987. Of course, he is a turtle...
- American Dragon: Jake Long episode "Bring It On", Jake uses these words verbatim.
- Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic is terrified of snakes, as shown in "Winter Wrap-Up".
- And Fluttershy is afraid of adult dragons in "Dragonshy", although how irrational that fear was is a point of debate (to put it in perspective, she can stare down manticores and a cockatrice).
- Yar, the lemur chief from Dinosaur apparently has a huge fear of dinosaurs. He eventually gets over it after a newly-hatched Aladar pees him in the face.
- In one episode of Doug, Roger is afraid of snakes.
- The Pieman from the original Strawberry Shortcake commercials was afraid of snakes; naturally, this caused some problems when he and Sour Grapes - who had one as a pet - became partners.
Anime and Manga
- Doctor Octopus once received such a beatdown as to develop this phobia. He had to be talked out of it in order to help Spidey with the current crisis.
Films -- Live Action
- The protagonist of Arachnophobia, a doctor who moves his family to a small town to escape the dangers of big-city life, only to come up against an invasion of deadly hybrid jungle spiders.
- "Arachnophobia" can also refer to fear of scorpions, like Mutt from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
- Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow can handle grisly autopsies... but sees a (admittedly large) spider in his room and leaps onto a chair, yelling, "Kill it! No, stomp it!"
- All children of Athena in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians books are arachnophobic, due to enmity between Athena and Arachne (the first spider).
- Ron Weasley of the Harry Potter series is deathly afraid of spiders, due to his brothers transmogrifying his teddy bear into a massive spider for a joke when he was much younger. During Harry Potter, he and Harry end up having to "follow the spiders" into the Forbidden Forest. In the movie version, Ron quips "Why spiders? Why couldn't it be 'follow the butterflies'?"
- "Ayatollah", the crime boss in Boris Strugatsky's The Powerless of This World, fears nothing except members of the class Arachnida. Unfortunately for him, one of the friends of his victim is commonly known as "Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies" for his amazing ability to control insects and spiders...
- Giant Spiders show up a lot in Tolkien's works, especially in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Among all other creatures in Middle Earth, nothing creates more fear in the characters than spiders (except for maybe a Balrog, which only scared the characters who knew what it was). Some people believe this stems from Tolkien having been bitten by a tarantula as a very small child, but he adamantly denied this in life.
- The annotated edition of The Hobbit has a quote from Tolkien, in which he claims that he put the spiders in because he knew his son was terrified of them.
- Peter Jackson also shared this fear, which he used during the film version of The Return of the King to make the scenes with Shelob as nightmarish as possible. He told the people in charge of CGI for the scene to keep enhancing things "until [he] couldn't stand it."
Live Action TV
- 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...
- Zack the Black Ranger from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Budnick in Salute Your Shorts.
- 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.
- It's well known in Dungeons and Dragons lore that drow are put through a test by their dark goddess Lolth where failure means being turned into a drider, but few know just what this test entails. The Chwidridera, as it is called (which is, by the way, the third of nine tests that the most epic of drow leaders have faced on their way up the ladder of their Social Darwinist society) involves, being stricken with arachnophobia. Now, drow towns and cities are overrun with both normal and giant spiders, the architecture and clothing styles of residents having a spider-theme. Living in such a place is a nightmarish Fate Worse Than Death for someone with this phobia. In order to pass this test, the applicant must demonstrate the Nerves of Steel a drow is supposed to have and keep herself from panicking. If she can manage this, the passes the rest and the fear subsides. If she cannot, she flees her community screaming in terror, and her fate is sealed.
- Ryoh from Warbears, to the point where he climbs out of a window and across a ledge, then through another window to avoid a spider.
- Ryu of Street Fighter, after waking up with a spider in his mouth once, has an intense dislike of spiders.
- Ryo Sakazaki from Art of Fighting and The King of Fighters. It was a prank from his friend Robert (putting a spider in his mouth while he was sleeping) that caused it.
- Artur from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. His best friend Lute once tried to help him... by placing spiders on his face when he was sleeping. Yep, Lute is special.
- Apparently Matt "Positron" Miller, former lead developer of City of Heroes, is afraid of spiders in addition to clowns (see below). When half of the game is jam-packed with them, you gotta wonder...
- Various spirits from Ghost Master specialize in exploiting certain fears; one of them in a giant spider.
- One of the quests that you can do in Stormreach Harbor in Dungeons and Dragons Online involves a guy named Berne Jorn who's been afraid of spiders ever since he was a kid. The quest he sends you on, which is literally called "Arachnophobia," has you clearing the eight-legged bastards (including a huge boss-level one) out of his family crypt.
- Pokémon Black and White have Joltik and Galvantula, who have Unnerve as one of their abilities. Said ability makes the opponent afraid and unable to use berries. How Joltik has this is anyone's guess...
- Maybe it's channeling Kyubey?
- Toonstruck's Drew Blank exclaims "Spiders! Why did it have to be spiders?" upon seeing a couple of them crawling on the wall.
- Bounder Boffin of The Lord of the Rings Online is terrified of spiders, which you have to kill during the introductory instance for Hobbits in order to help him cut through Old Odo's Leaf-farm to escape a Black Rider.
- Farkas, an otherwise fearless warrior in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, at one point refuses to go any further in a dungeon after encountering giant spiders there.
- Tali of Mass Effect 3 is apparently afraid of spiders, judging by her reaction to the Gestation Pods hatching if you should take her along on Grunt's mission.
- Eastwood of Exterminatus Now. Both the character and the author whom he's based on.
- Girl Genius - Neither Agatha nor Gilgamesh want to rescue Zola from the "Nyar" spider, and it's not from annoyance with her setting off every trap available in the previous page. Even though one day earlier Gil alone defeated a mechanized army and she's getting ready to do much the same.
Gil: That was a small army. This is a big spider!
- The Nostalgia Critic. He once saw a spider on his desk and chucked it so hard the window broke.
- Simon (Honeydew) of the Let's Play/Yogscast makes his feelings about spiders quite clear, and squeals in hysterical fear whenever one appears in a game he and Lewis are playing. He'll quickly get over it, until another one ambushes him.
- Ellen on Outside Xtra (a web channel that reviews and critiques video games) is an admitted arachnophobe. Unfortunately for her, her "professional opinion" is needed when determining which spiders in gaming are the scariest.
- Norman from Mighty Max. There is a possible nod to this in the introduction, where every encounter Max faces in the introduction is handled by Norman. The only encounter Max directly deals with himself is the large spider. This is at least partly to do with a prophecy that a spider would kill him, which happens in one of the final episodes. If you knew that was going to happen, wouldn't you be antsy around arachnids?
- Optimus Prime of Transformers Animated, though given what happened to Elita-1, it's not exactly an irrational fear.
- Due to the same incident, Sentinel Prime became terrified of all things organic. He eventually got over it at least enough to leave the spaceship.
- Miko would probably get along with Optimus rather well, then.
- Salem on Sabrina the Animated Series faced a spider and nervously said, "Why couldn't it be snakes? I like snakes." But the desperate situation lent him the courage to shred the web and make the spider fall.
- In Hey Arnold! Arnold's parents, who are homages to Indiana Jones, both have a fear of Spiders.
- In an episode of Gargoyles, Elisa's mom, Diana, was faced with the spider god Anansi and his minions, causing her to say "Spiders! Why did it have to be spiders?"
- In The Loud House, Leni and her dad are both afraid of spiders. Her dad even has the exterminator on speed dial.
- In The Simpsons, Homer once needed Marge to shoo a spider away from his car keys.
- Sean Connery. In the scene in Dr. No where a tarantula crawls on him, the leg you see belongs to a stuntman, and when it crawls past his head, there is a glass plate between him and the spider.
- Most Steve Irwin fans found it simply hilarious that Steve could wrestle crocs, get unbearably close to cougars and bears, and handle venomous snakes, but he squirms like a little girl when a harmless spider crawls towards him.
- British comedian Phill Jupitus is terrified of spiders—and irate about people who aren't afraid of spiders and use this fact to torment him.
- Stephen King, not surprisingly, given the tendency of his Big Bads to turn into Giant Spiders.
- According to cast interviews, Jacqueline McKenzie from The 4400 is afraid of spiders. Joel Gretsch responded with a series of increasingly unfunny pranks.
- Taylor Swift. She freaked out on the way to film a scene for the "Love Story" music video because there was a spider on her dress
Anime and Manga
- The English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's gives Yusei Fudo a fear of bugs in Episode 2. This gave them some potential 40 episodes later, when his opponent had a deck full of spiders, including one really big plot-related Nightmare Fuel one. It's a mystery how they didn't realize that Yusei being scared of something like bugs is just... laughable.
- Misty of the Pokémon anime has three things that she hates most of all and bugs are one of them, as exhibited when Ash catches a Caterpie in one of the first episodes of the show and Misty cannot stand being near it.
- Miyabi Kagurazaki of Ai Yori Aoshi is a tough, all-business Office Lady/Harem Nanny capable of hurling anyone who threatens "Lady Aoi" across the room. She completely loses composure in the presence of bugs, especially roaches. Unfortunately, Weasel Mascot Uzume has the cat-like tendency to kill bugs and bring them as a gift.
- Tokine from Kekkaishi. She is the more experienced, much smarter of the two kekkaishi, tough as nails and able to handle anything....except cockroaches. She definitely hates those cockroaches.
- A plot point in a Detective Conan case. Rich Bitch Hiromi Yamazaki is completely terrified of bees due to being allergic to their sting (and she almost died when stung by one as a little girl)... and the person who killed her is Genre Savvy enough to actually use bees as one of their "killer weapons". More exactly, they caused her to panic at the sight of some bees released in the highest floor of her Big Fancy House, then covered the door handle in honey so there would be more bees there, and when Hiromi leaned on a wooden rail... the rail was "broken", causing her to fall to her death.
- Nano in Nichijou is scared to death of cockroaches. In one sketch she has one trapped under a bowl and would rather tape the bowl to the table and throw the table itself out than risk it getting free. She also faints at the sight of a mosquito (which she herself killed).
- Yomi of Azumanga Daioh cannot stand cicadas. Naturally, Tomo takes an opportunity to plant one on the back of her shirt.
- Perona from One Piece is absolutely terrified of cockroaches. It only took Usopp a bunch of fake ones to make her flip her shit.
- Franken Fran: Adorea is scared to hell of cockroaches, and had quite the reaction when she and Okita happened to walk into a room that was full of them. From the same chapter, a young woman who is obsessed with cleanliness freaks out when a cockroach falls into her tea.
- Atomic Robo's fear of bugs is not irrational. Oh no. Fearing icky, evil things that can crawl into your body and die and get their sticky bug guts all over your insides and make you gross forever is completely logical!
Films -- Live Action
- Continuing on the Indiana Jones theme, Willie Scott from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom has no problem around snakes, but once she discovers she's walking through a room covered in insects and other related critters, she practically freaks out. And she needed to cross the room in order to save Indy and Shorty from a Descending Ceiling. After much complaining, she does.
- When descending into the tomb in The Mummy Trilogy, Warden Hassan says "Watch for bugs. I HATE bugs." Boy is HE in the wrong movie... Aaand then he gets killed by a scarab beetle. Disguised as a piece of wall jewelry.
- Zen from Chocolate goes into a screaming panic when exposed to flies. She's autistic, so she can't actually repress that reaction. It causes a lot of trouble for her when one of her targets turns out to be a butcher with extremely poor sanitation.
- Nicci of the Sword of Truth suffers from a fear of lice (pediculophobia), as a result of being repeatedly infested with them during her childhood in the Old World. Upon seeing a young girl who has a lice problem, she forcibly cuts the girl's hair and washes her head, then instructs her to burn her clothing and bedding.
- Private detective Bobby Dakota, in Dean Koontz's The Bad Place, fears insects of all kinds.
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe gives us the Dark Nest Trilogy, about...bugs from Alderaan. If you're around these bugs for a long enough time, you join their hive mind. Han and Leia's daughter Jaina, her boyfriend Zekk, and Luke's son Ben do so. Han Solo says "Bugs, why did it have to be bugs?"
Live Action TV
- Bees (apiphobia), Wasps, Hornets, Yellowjackets (sphecksophobia) -- Adam Savage from MythBusters.
- 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.
- Richard Hammond from Top Gear, if the Bolivia special is to be believed.
- Kenan and Kel: Kenan's dad is afraid of ladybugs.
- Adelbert Steiner in Final Fantasy IX, sort of. He's deathly afraid of oglops, an otherwise harmless insect.
- Blathers the Owl from Animal Crossing hates bugs of all sorts, as made obvious by how he reacts every time you turn in something for the museum's bug collection.
- Lyle Smithsonian really hates bugs. Guess what's invaded the Bottle Ship?
- Florina from Fire Emblem 7 is terrified by bug (a support conversation shows her panicking when a bee fly around her), among a few other things.
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild; At one stable, Link meets Jana, a young woman who is terrified of dragonflies. Since her kid sister is fascinated by them, she asks Link to get three of them for the sister's birthday. Given the other dangerous creatures on Hyrule, such a phobia almost seems weird.
- Kiran from Chirault has a problem with bugs. Once he woke up covered in ants and ran out of the tent... smack into a wasp nest.
- Kim Possible bitches out Ron over complaining about a spider bite, however when a villain grows mutant cockroaches she has a very unKimlike freakout over how terrified she is of them. She's only okay with bugs when they're "little and flick-able."
- American Dad: Steve is afraid of moths.
- Big Guy T-Bone of the Swat Kats is revealed to be afraid of bugs in the episode "The Ci-Kat-A". What emerges from a retrieved space capsule later in the day? Giant insectoid alien parasites, of course.
T-Bone: Why did it have to be bugs?
- The eponymous Eek! The Cat is really afraid of bugs.
- Rod and Todd Flanders of The Simpsons are afraid of moths and ladybugs.
- Billy from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy is terrified of bugs of all kinds especially spiders. Things only get worse for him when he hatches an egg that contains a giant spider who thinks he's his dad.
- In the 2012 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Raphael is afraid of cockroaches, and he's really afraid of man-sized mutant cockroaches!
Mice and Rats (musophobia)
- Elephants, in many, many stories. Always played for comedy as the world's largest living land animal retreats in fear (or panics and destroys things) at the sight of a tiny mouse. Bizarrely, this one seems to be at least partly true -- MythBusters did it. It's speculated that it's because mice are big enough to be noticeable, but small enough that it's hard to keep an eye on them, particularly when they dash right between elephants' feet.
Anime and Manga
- Rassha in Ruin Explorers. Inconvenient in that one of her traveling partners has a curse that turns them into a mouse whenever they do magic.
- Doraemon: The title character is afraid of mice despite being a robotic cat. It's because he was once sleeping and mice literally ate his ears. He turned blue of the shock and that's why he is a blue, ear-less robot cat.
- All the Saber Marionettes in Saber Marionette J except Lime. And it's hard-coded into their programming.
- Dawn's reactions to Plusle and Minun (two mouse-like Pokémon) range from Blue with Shock to shrieking collapse. Oddly, it's just those two; she has no problem with other Electric Pokémon (like her own Pachirisu), or mice (like Pikachu and her Cyndaquil). It stems from a childhood incident that gave her an Embarrassing Nickname. She gets over it later on, though.
- General Blue from Dragon Ball in fact this is what breaks his concentration on paralyzing Goku when a mouse crawls across his leg.
Films -- Live Action
- In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, it's revealed that Indy's dad is afraid of rats. Must be a family thing (see also Indy's son being afraid of scorpions, above).
- It makes sense. Indy's dad is a professor of Medieval studies and the bubonic plague which ravaged Europe in the Middle Ages was caused by fleas on rats.
- The Chronicles of Narnia star Anna Popplewell (Susan) was so afraid of mice that the scene where the mice chew through the ropes binding Aslan's dead body had to be filmed in two separate places; one with poor Anna and one with the mice.
- John Rambo in First Blood. While having no problem with surviving in the wild and killing in self-defense, he clearly can't stand being surrounded by rats while hiding in a cave.
- Winston Smith from Nineteen Eighty-Four is terrified of rats, a fear which is used against him in the most horrible way possible in Room 101.
- A short parody of this had the Ministry of Love turn out to be short of rats—and Smith wasn't scared of anything else they had to offer. He wound up actually trying to help them find a creature they could torture him with:
"If it's any help, I can't stand moths."
- In the novelization for Metal Gear Solid, it's hinted that Snake at the very least dislikes rats—having to be assured that there's only "harmless brown mice" in the Shadow Moses vent by Campbell is the strongest suggestion of this. How much of it is actually canon for the character is debatable.
- Possibly justified in the fact that Big Boss used Zanzanibar Poison Hamsters to defend parts of Outer Heaven. Yes, you really did just read that.
- Mord-Sith Cara of the Sword of Truth. Due to being harassed by rats while locked in a dungeon as a child, she becomes highly uneasy around them. Though she is able to stomach their presence a bit in the fourth book, her phobia is exploited and intensified when Drefen Rahl tortures her by allowing a group of agitated rats to claw at her stomach.
Live Action TV
- 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?!"
- Topher in Dollhouse which Dr. Saunders/Whiskey takes advantage of.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In Community episode "Environmental Science" Troy and rats, with Troy even referencing the Trope Namer .
- 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.
- 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 and 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.
- Lady Penelope from Thunderbirds; otherwise she's a formal, impossibly-calm British spy.
- One comedian recalls a time when his wife called him home and he was terrified because she didn't elaborate on the phone... and then finds her standing on a stool, holding a baseball bat, because there's a mouse in the kitchen. And she's telling him to kill it. When he refuses, she brandishes the bat at him and says in a threatening voice, "Kill it!"
- Zelda from The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks doesn't like mice. Used as a gameplay as Link has to get rid of those rodents before she will move on. Understandably it comes up as the third part of the final boss fight where if she gets touched by one, she fall under Cole's control.
- The Good Fairy in Ceville. Obviously you have to exploit her weakness to solve a puzzle.
- Mammy Two Shoes from the Tom and Jerry shorts, as well as similar characters from various animation.
- One short has a circus elephant afraid of Jerry, but grew to like him (and even protective of him) after Jerry pulled a tack off of her foot.
- A common phobia of cartoon housewives in the 50s.
- Helga Pataki is deathly afraid of live rats, but only has sneering contempt for musicals starring anthropomorphic rats.
- In the Batman comics, the Scarecrow has developed chiroptophobia following years of defeats at the the hands of Batman.
Films -- Live Action
- Ace Ventura, as revealed in the second movie, when the sacred animal of the Wachatis turns out to be one.
- When Alfred asks Bruce Wayne why he uses the bat as his symbol in Batman Begins, Bruce responds, "Bats frighten me. It's time my enemies shared my dread." This fear is also present in his initiation into the League of Shadows, his first encounter with the Scarecrow, and when he first finds the cave and is surrounded by swarming bats.
- Interestingly, in Batman Forever he specifically says that a vision of bats only scared him at first.
- In the same movie, The Riddler reacts with absolute terror after being beaten by Batman, going so far as to envision him as the same bat that young Bruce saw flying toward him as a child (a result of having used The Box to map Bruce's mind and learn his Secret Identity).
- In some versions, Scarecrow himself has a fear of bats owing to his encounters with Batman.
- Mary Roberts Rinehart's The Bat is about a thief and killer who is only known as "The Bat". He always leaves a bat of some sort at the scene of his crimes. Chiroptophobia begins to affect the city.
Live Action TV
- Mr. Smoketoomuch in Monty Python's Flying Circus gained his odd speech impediment (pronouncing the letter "C" as "B") after being attacked by a bat. No, not a cat—a bat.
- Grif from Red vs. Blue is mortally afraid of bats despite, as Simmons points out, he's wearing power armor and bats couldn't possibly hurt him.
- Simmons, on the other hands, gets spooked at the mere mention of snakes. Cue pointless arguing.
- Hank Hill from King of the Hill is deathly afraid of bats in one episode, going as far as locking Bobby in the garage with a bat!
- Panthro from Thundercats.
- Pinkie Pie might qualify; no less than one episode after singing a whole song about how she laughs at her fears, she freaks out when she mistakes a pair of tickets that landed on her nose for bats, somehow.
Anime and Manga
- Ranma from Ranma ½ developed this after training for a particular technique. Except there's a stinger in the tail—Ranma's fear can drive him into a temporary psychotic state where he becomes a mindless but unbeatable berserker, and only Akane can bring him outta his funk. What makes this worse is that one of Ranma's many fiances is cursed to turn into a cat when exposed to cold water.
- Psychopathic Manchild Pierrot le Fou from Cowboy Bebop also hates cats, due to his association of them to his experimental trauma. It also turns out the cat that was present during the experimentation had heterochromia just like Spike has (his false eye doesn't quite match his real one), which makes him freeze up at a crucial moment during their final showdown and allows Spike to defeat him.
- The wolf Toboe from Wolf's Rain says that cats creep him out. However, after the world's death and rebirth Toboe is seen in human form cradling a stray kitten.
- Saiyuki: In the Saiyuki Party Drama CD Sanzo is terrified of a small kitten that Goku brings in from the rain, so much that when it hides under his kimono he starts screaming (in some fan's minds) like a sissy.
- This is played with in the Reload anime with a mixture a fear and a supposed allergy. He got over it.
- Gilbert from Pandora Hearts; he was terrified into freezing up by the mere presence of the Cheshire Cat, to the point where he didn't react when Cheshire was about to rip him wide open, and he didn't even look like a cat. Cheshire looked like a bishie in a cat costume.
- Every single mermaid, (except Masa), in Seto no Hanayome is utterly terrified of cats, to the point that San's father (who is the head of a Yakuza clan) evacuates a school because Nagasumi had a kitten with him. Mikawa goes even further, using his contacts to bring in the military.
- Umibozu in City Hunter is deadly afraid of cats, and especially cute kittens, leading to many Crowning Moments Of Funny, as we're speaking about a giant Badass Career Killer here. His enemies, who know how unbeatable he is, often make use of this weakness to have a chance at him.
Films -- Live Action
- Imhotep from The Steven Sommers version of The Mummy Trilogy cannot stand cats due to his supernatural curse—cats being the Egyptian guardians of the Underworld.
- Yuki from the first Ju-On film has a huge phobia of cats, and is unable to even look at her friend Kanna's collection of cat ornaments and toys. Naturally, Toshio's ghostly cat companion, Mar, uses this to his advantage.
- Subverted in Matilda. Ms. Trunchbull freaks out when she sees a black cat- and eventually kicks it. Matilda asks Ms. Honey if Ms. Trunchbull is afraid of cats. Ms. Honey replies "only of black cats- she is very superstitious".
- In The Black Cat with Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, Lugosi's character reacts violently to the sight of a cat. His fear only serves a purpose in one scene in the middle of the film. Mostly it make the character even more unlikeable, as if Lugosi needed the help.
- Skylar Korman, an 18-month-old cared for by the members of the Babysitters Club, has a deathly fear of "tats". Her fear is triggered by someone speaking the word "cat", a babysitter affectionately calling her "kitten", and small (cat-sized) dogs.
Live Action TV
- Laura Roslin from the reimagined Battlestar Galactica (who has one or two issues with snakes, as well).
- Rei Tachibana/Dyna Pink from Kagaku Sentai Dynaman. The mere sight of 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.
- 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.
- Serge from Chrono Cross was said to have this (though he's apparently grown out of it by the time the player controls him). Justified in that he was attacked and nearly killed by a panther demon as a small child. We learn later that Serge's father, Wazuki, was turned into a cat-like form by FATE because that was the thing that Serge feared the most.
- Creepers in Minecraft flee from cats and ocelots.
- Napoleon was scared of cats. Maybe if his enemies knew that, he would have been defeated after his first battle.
- Herding them could be a problem, however.
Anime and Manga
- Shun Mitaka of Maison Ikkoku has an inconvenient fear of dogs. Problem is, the object of his affection (Kyouko) has a big dog she is really fond of, and his arranged fiancÃ©e (Asuna) has a whole bunch of them in all sizes. He beats his fear, by getting his own dog, who then gets him into a compromising (marriage) position.
- To LOVE-Ru has Oshizu, who has a crippling fear of dogs, despite being a ghost. The characters point out that the dogs cannot do anything to her, as she's already dead, but it doesn't help.
- Justified now that she does have a physical body to inhabit and dogs can now do something to her... and she is definitely aware of this, and it only makes her fear worse.
- Yōko from Inukami! has a fear of dogs, which one might think as strange, given that she's an inukami (dog god) herself... except that she's actually a kitsune.
- Kim from Inubaka, due to being menaced by feral dogs on a regular basis during his childhood. He eventually gets over it and adopts a shiba puppy, Chanta.
- Breda from Fullmetal Alchemist is terrified of dogs.
- The Professor in Nichijou is scared of dogs because she's afraid they may bite her. Rather amusing, given her favorite animal is the shark.
- Sakamoto is afraid of dogs too, but that's mostly because he's a cat.
- Yui from Ichigo 100% has a fear of dogs.
- Sayo in Onidere cowers in fear of even the smallest puppy.
- In The String Of Pearls, the original story of Sweeney Todd, Sweeney is terrified of dogs. Unfortunately for him, Mark Ingestrie's dog Hector is rather persistent.
- Sheila from Otherwise Known As Sheila The Great has a whole slew of insecurities, but her fear of dogs is specifically phobia-like.
- In The Gray Chronicles, Gray has a crippling fear of dogs. This is initially Played for Laughs as he's fearless when facing demons, monsters, and angry ghosts that are far more dangerous than a barking chihuahua. Then The Rival sent his vicious attack dog after him and it became outright Nightmare Fuel. Later subverted when Gray takes in an injured puppy out of kindness and realizes not all dogs are evil. (He still names the tiny Scottie BLOODFANG THE DESTROYER!, but it's tongue in cheek, especially since the dog's the runt of his litter.)
- A short time into the events of Geist, it is revealed that Big Bad Volks's Dragon Rourke is afraid of dogs. Close to the end of the game, Volks holds a meeting behind locked doors and gives specific orders to shoot anyone who comes close who isn't himself or Rourke. The solution is straightforward: possess Rourke. To possess someone, you must first terrify him. Thus, you undergo a series of short missions for the sole purpose of getting a dog into the same room as him.
- Alessa Gilespe from Silent Hill was terrified of dogs, which due to her and the town itself being a Reality Warper who brings fears and abstract concepts to "life" is responsible for several monsters you see throughout the series; Split Head, Groaner, and possibly the Caliban.
- According to the Drama CD of Guilty Gear XX, Zappa is terrified of dogs (then again, he seems to be scared of just about everything). Guess what? One of the ghosts possessing him takes the form of a huge, hulking black dog.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Goron Champion Daruk has a fear of dogs stemming from his childhood, where he stepped on a dog's tail and made it angry. Given that he's a huge, hulking rock monster and a Proud Warrior Race Guy , this comes off as sort of absurd, especially after he curls up in fright at the sight of a dog that's a third the size of one of the pack of Bokoblins he had just curb-stomped.
- Even though they are part of somewhere else, Code Lyoko's Aelita is scared of wolves.
- This is a fairly common phobia in India, Nigeria, and most countries where fewer people keep dogs as pets.
Live Action TV
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Percy Jackson and The Olympians Grover is terrified of rabbits.
Frogs and Toads (batrachophobia)
Anime and Manga
- Choutaro Ohtori in the anime version of The Prince of Tennis. Just watch him scream in horror when a cute li'l frog jumps on his face...
- Kaede Nagase of Mahou Sensei Negima, the Badass Ninja, and easily the most calm of the entire cast seems to only be thrown off by the mere sight of frogs. Any frogs.
- In the Naruto anime, the first time Sakura sees Naruto summon a toad, she cringes and tells him she can't stand frogs. Great, he had enough trouble getting dates with her already.
- Sai from Hikaru no Go has expressed a terror of frogs... or at least of a spectacularly ugly man whose smile was frog-like, to the point of distracting Sai from his favorite game.
- Kanzo Hattori, the blue ninja in Ninja Hattori-kun by Fujiko Fujio (A).
- Fujiko Mine from Lupin III is afraid of frogs, naturally Lupin teases her from time to time about it, and Zenigata used it against her on one occasion to get information out of her.
- Big Bully Troy from Max Keeble's Big Move is terrified of a giant Barney-like Scottish frog named McGoogles. That's, like, four fears in one.
Live Action TV
- Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
"Don't warn the tadpoles!"
- When Giles asked her about this, Willow admitted, "I...I have frog fear."
- Madison in Power Rangers Mystic Force. She actually says "Why did it have to be frogs?" when facing a Monster of the Week planning to unleash poisonous tadpoles on the city—though many episodes earlier, she'd been able to overcome this long enough to kiss a helpful frog, turning him into their Sixth Ranger. This fear was carried over from her Magiranger counterpart, Urara.
- Señor Chang from Community.
- Cornet of Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure suffers from this. Unfortunately, frogs are hiding in just about every other container in the Marl Kingdom. Oh, and there's a kingdom of bipedal, sentient frogs.
- Volgin from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. The phobia is so strong that if you toss a live frog at him during your boss fight with him, he'll stop attacking you to kill the frog, allowing you to get a hit in.
- Lucca of Chrono Trigger. Becomes awkward when it comes up immediately after they meet with one of the party members, a giant anthropomorphic frog.
- Refia of Final Fantasy III has a fear of frogs, which makes for a fairly amusing conversation the two times where you have to transform into one to enter a dungeon.
- Tiana seems to be pretty afraid or grossed out by frogs. This, of course, is a bit of a problem.
Live Action TV
- Stephen Colbert, obviously. It's why he spreads the message that they are soulless, godless, killing machines who are the number one threat to America.
- Adam of Top Gear US is revealed to be fearful of bears. As his camper in Alaska, he had even built a huge cage with a picture of a lion to keep the bears and moose away.
- Phil Ken Sebben from Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law also has this fear, and is even voiced by Stephen Colbert. This isn't as much Actor Allusion as the actual Stephen Colbert really being afraid of bears.
- The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy: Irwin has a fear of bears... the telling of jokes to such an audience, as revealed in Big Boogey Adventure. Cue Horror's Hand conjuring it up for him.
Anime and Manga
- Tetsuya Tsurugi from Great Mazinger and Kyouichi Shidou from Idaten Jump. Both of them were attacked by birds when they were small children. Naturally, the omake of the Idaten Jump episode featuring Shido's hate of birds milked it for what it's worth.
- Blue from the Pokémon Special manga is afraid of birds for roughly the same reason. She gets over it by confronting Ho-Oh, the Pokémon who kidnapped her, and capturing Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, also known as the legendary birds. She then sics them on The Mask of Ice.
- Sengyoku of Houshin Engi is afraid of birds after being stalked by a guy with birds.
- Scarecrow, the Master of Fear and Lord of Despair, is sometimes depicted as having a crippling fear of birds, explained by some writer's description of creative abuse on his grandmother's part. Makes sense—who wouldn't want their alter ego to be the thing that scares the thing that scares them?
- A Deadpool comic involving him trying to join the X-Men included him continuously pestering Domino to find out what's her greatest fear; turns out it's chickens. While this seems to be a Non Sequitur Scene for most of the arc, at the end where Domino and Wolverine are tracking Deadpool down they have to go through an air vent occupied by a chicken. Domino will probably Never Live It Down that a chicken took her out of action in a fight.
Films -- Animated
- In Rango, Rattlesnake Jake is deathly afraid of hawks since they are his natural predator. Rango uses this to his advantage by getting the moles and their bats to ride in formation resembling a hawk. But Rattlesnake Jake figures out the ruse quickly.
- At the end of A Bug's Life, Big Bad Hopper ended up being eaten alive by birds.
- The villain of We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story also ended up being eaten alive by birds.
Films -- Live Action
- Though no character was explicitly afraid of birds at the beginning of a certain Alfred Hitchcock movie, they probably were all ornithophobic by the end of it.
- In Stephen King's novel IT, the frightening forms IT takes on, drawn from the personal fears of its victims, include giant birds in several cases, though IT is usually more remembered as a Monster Clown.
- One character's fear of a giant bird is revealed later in the book to originate from being attacked by a normal-sized bird when an infant. The other does not fear birds per se, but the impossible dimensions of this one in particular, a species that does not and cannot exist in the real world.
- Also shows up in the Neil Gaiman novel Anansi Boys, although is it an irrational fear when the birds really are out to get you?
- A minor character from Harry Potter, Mrs. Mason, is terrified of all kinds of birds, so when an owl flies in to warn Harry about using magic.... well, let's just say Uncle Vernon didn't get the big paycheck he wanted. Likewise, Harry gets locked in his room for the remainder of the summer.
Live Action TV
- Guenièvre in the French series Kaamelott is afraid of birds.
- Hamilton "Ham" Dewey, from the series Saving Grace, is terrified of birds. He becomes agitated at a crime scene when he catches sight of the victim's small pet bird; later in the episode, his friends change his work computer's wallpaper to a close-up image of a baby bird's open mouth, which has him leaping back from the desk when he jiggles the mouse to deactivate the screen saver. His comrades also scatter birdseed in the courtyard just outside the squad room to attract large numbers of wild birds for the express purpose of freaking him out.
- Sam(antha) on Are You Afraid of the Dark?
- Hodges in CSI reveals to have this when it came to processing a blue-and-yellow Macaw; he was terrorized by Canadian geese as a child while visiting an uncle in Saskatchewan.
- Robert from Everybody Loves Raymond is terrified of geese because they chased him when he was a child.
- GLaDOS comes to hate them in Portal 2. To be fair, during her stint as a potato, one picked her up against her will, escorted her to its nest and started pecking at her, so she has good reason to be distrustful.
GLaDOS: AGH! BIRD! BIRD! Kill it! It's evil!
- Wheatley also demonstrates a dislike for birds.
Wheatley: BIRD BIRD BIRD BIRD
- Shale loathes birds in Dragon Age due to its stint as a statue in Honnleath. as a prank you can give her an unsquishable pigeon and force her to wear it instead of armour, all the time with the Feast Day DLC.
Slugs and Snails (molluscophobia)
Anime and Manga
- The heroine of Slayers, Lina Inverse, also known (to herself) as Sorceress Genius and (to anyone else) as Bandit Killer, Dragon Spooker and Enemy Of All Who Live, is terrified unto death by two things: her big sister Luna and slugs. Her sister is also the reason why she fears slugs. Luna was pissed off because Lina decided to sell pictures of her in the bath, and...
- Genie in Rune Soldier Louie had some very bad experience with giant snails, which leads to Louie giggling immaturely and thinking of Naughty Tentacles.
- Ursula of Breath of Fire IV is utterly terrified of sea lice (a harmless bug). Especially hilarious as this ends up being revealed in a "What Do They Fear?" Episode segment between her and Nina, and Ursula is normally a Type A Tsundere who tries to be tougher than most men...
- Carol Palecki in Mitsumete Knight. It's one of the rare things that makes her lose her permanent Genki Girl attitude or rather, her permanent Genki Girl facade. Do not pull a prank of putting a slug on her, or she'll immediately cut all ties with you.
Anime and Manga
- Ferrets: Inori from Fresh Pretty Cure is afraid of ferrets at first, but after switching bodies with Tart (who just happened to be a ferret), she got over it.
- In one episode, her friend Miki has a fear of octopuses.
- Kaitou Kid, the titular character of the manga Magic Kaito and an Ensemble Darkhorse character in Detective Conan is afraid of... fish. To the point where only a bomb going off on a boat urges Kaito to scuba dive to find out what happened to his not-girlfriend Aoko and Silver during a chapter in Volume 1.
- The titular character from Squid Girl is deathly afraid of sharks and killer whales, even inflatable ones (in the beginning, at least). Justified Trope in that she is a squid girl and sharks and killer whales are natural predators to her and since she has no idea what floats are, she assumes that the inflatable ones are real. Of course, she works and lives near a popular beach with lots of children...
- In Pokémon Special, given how long she's been in the wild, you'd think someone like Sapphire wouldn't exhibit this. However, during the single-elimination tournament at the Battle Frontier, she winds up paired against Tucker and subsequently chokes when he deploys his Salamence (compared to Ruby, who went up against Emerald but threw his fight). Reviewing the R/S arc should give deep insight as to the source of this particular issue. And unlike Blue above, she hasn't had the chance to thwart this issue... yet.
- Iris from Pokémon Best Wishes has a huge fear of Ice Pokemon similar to Misty and her fear of bugs. The first Pokemon she reacted to do with absolute disgust was Trip's Vanillite, one of the most harmless looking Ice-type Pokemon around. When both Ash and Trip ask her why she's scared of Vanillite, she replies that as a Dragon trainer, she has developed an emotional bond for them including the weakness. Trip calls her out on it though because he says that Dragons are also super effective against each other and should have a fear of Dragons as well. Iris then tells him to shut up and quickly corrects herself by saying she can't stand the cold.
- When Aquaman's sidekick Aqualad was introduced he had icthyophobia (fear of fish). Since he was Atlantean, this was a problem.
Films -- Live Action
- Quinn, in the obscure horror movie Devils Den, is terrified of squirrels. He would prefer death by mauling by a mountain lion over an encounter with squirrels.
Live Action TV
- Monkeys (maimouphobia) -- Ron from Kim Possible. Especially difficult given the recurring monkey-themed super villain Lord Monkey Fist. For further irony, in the episode introducing Monkey Fist, Ron is granted the Mystical Monkey Power the villain sought.
- Twister from Rocket Power develops a fear of giant monkeys in one episode.
- Gorillaz singer/keyboardist 2D is deathly afraid of whales. As of current canon he's being held prisoner in a small underwater cell with a whale lurking outside the window.
- Arthur's sister D.W. is terrified of octopuses.
- Della, from the reboot of DuckTales, is afraid of fish, and anything that even partially resembles fish, like mermaids. Even being around them makes her vomit.
Flying (aviophobia) or Heights (acrophobia)
Anime and Manga
- Gene Starwind (space travel) from Outlaw Star (Conveniently, the titular Cool Ship has Applied Phlebotinum that keeps the fear from taking effect). Rather justified because his last experience in space before the story begins saw him watching from an escape pod as his dad was killed.
- Akito Hayama from Kodocha.
- Sailor Jupiter (flight; her parents died in a plane crash that she was also in), although apparently the writers forgot about it when they put her on a plane in an episode of the final season. (It was only mentioned in the manga.)
- One villain in 666 Satan took this to a ridiculous degree: he's so afraid of heights that he is scared crapless if he needs to stand up.
- Hayate the Combat Butler: Katsura Hinagiku was deathly afraid of heights, although she seems to be able to handle them now, particularly when it means spending time with Hayate, or something having to do with him. Ayumu also seems to have a similar effect on her.
- Masayuki from Ghost Hound became deathly scared of heights for perfectly understandable reasons. He got over it by spending hours at a time playing a virtual reality flight simulator game. Actual flight didn't hurt either.
- Yuri from Wandaba Style is afraid of heights, as The Professor learned when he sent her (and the other girls of Mix Juice) into space.
- Esteban from The Mysterious Cities of Gold. This is established in his very first appearance, and a recurring plot point throughout the series.
- Shinichi Chiaki's fear of flying is a subplot in Nodame Cantabile. He has to overcome this phobia before he can emerge as a world-class conductor.
- Mitsudomoe's Hitoha is depicted to be acrophobic, complete with the Vertigo Effect.
- Cutter, chieftain of the Wolfriders and main character of the storyline, in the comic book series Elf Quest. The revelation of this phobia is a significant plot point, midway through book one in the series: Cutter is required to 'fess up (from his subconscious, even) his worst fear specifically so he can be compelled to face and defeat it. Oh yeah, and there's also his rival Rayek and his fear of losing, but eh, who cares about him.
- Bigby Wolf from Fables really doesn't like heights (since his ancestors weren't apes, he says).
Films -- Live Action
- Most famously, Jimmy Stewart's detective character in the aptly-named Vertigo.
- The lead character's love interest in Say Anything.
- Bastian in The Neverending Story 2.
- Oddly enough, he doesn't have this same fear in the first movie.
- Danny Glover's character from Predator 2. What a mind-boggling surprise that he ends up chasing the alien in question across some very high and precarious bits of the city. Screenwriting elegance at its best...
- Richard Gere's character in Pretty Woman is an acrophobe, so he must really love the heroine when at the end he climbs up an open metal fire escape to her.
- The strongest and the most badass members of recon platoon in Heartbreak Ridge are both afraid of heights. On a parachute jump, the badass comforts the big guy thusly:
Sergeant Highway: Jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft is not a natural act, so let's do this and do it right.
- Lt. Kaffee in A Few Good Men says that he gets sick when he flies because he's worried about "crashing into a large mountain."
- In the 2009 Star Trek film, Bones reveals that he suffers from a "fear of dying in something that flies!"
Bones: Don't pander to me, kid, one tiny crack in the hull and our blood boils in 13 seconds. A solar flare might crop up and cook us in our seats. And wait till you're sittin' pretty with a case of Andorian shingles. See if you're so relaxed when your eyeballs are bleeding. Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence.
- Most of J. R. R. Tolkien's hobbits are stated to be uneasy if they are any distance off the ground, this perhaps being one of the reasons why they live in "hobbit-holes" and one-story houses.
- Tortall Universe: Keladry of Mindelan is terrified of heights after being held over the edge of a tower by her brother. It mostly goes away at the end of the second book, but never completely.
- Jack Ryan, from The Hunt for Red October, not only lost both of his parents to an airliner crash, but early in his (aborted) military service the helicopter he was riding in, for an exercise, crashed, leaving him needing significant surgery, and ultimately having a fear of flying. He eventually got over it later in the Ryanverse series, though.
- Percy Jackson in Percy Jackson & the Olympians is scared of heights. Justified Trope in that he is a son of Poseidon, and the sky is part of the sphere of influence belonging to Zeus. The only exception is with Pegasi, because Poseidon created horses, which means that they are neutral territory.
- Ironically, Thalia is deathly afraid of heights, despite being the daughter of Zeus.
- Word of God also says that children of Hephaestus are afraid of heights and falling, because when he was born, their father was chucked off Olympus by Hera.
- In Discworld novels, Rincewind was always afraid of heights, so, of course, during his adventures he often ends up hanging or falling from high places. In Interesting Times his friend, Twoflover reminiscenses the "good old times":
Twoflover: Hey, do you remember the time when we went over the edge of the world?
- Actually, when he was on a boat, Rincewind clarified that it wasn't so much heights he feared as depths, which included large bodies of water. Basically, anything where you could fall for a considerable distance, ending in death.
- Rincewind is afraid of grounds.
Live Action TV
- BA Baracus in The A-Team. He typically has to be rendered unconscious before flying him anywhere.
- In the "Hammer Drop" episode of MythBusters, 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.
- Lori from Big Wolf on Campus.
- Supernatural's Dean Winchester is terrified of flying. Why do you think he drives everywhere?
- MacGyver, at least in the early seasons. He seems to get over his problem with heights as the show progressed.
- 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.
- 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, of course.
- 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.
- 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.
- Alice from Alice. Most likely to balance the fact that she is an Action Girl.
- Clark Kent in the early seasons of Smallville. Insert clever one-liner about "Irony" here.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Jack Carter of Eureka has acrophobia, although not to a disabling point, it does make him visibly uncomfortable in a few episodes.
- Dave Barsky of Dirty Jobs, as shown in the "Aerial Tram Greaser" episode.
- 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?
- Reid's mom (played by Jane Lynch) in Criminal Minds mentions being afraid of planes.
- John Mackey wrote "Turbine" to deal with his fear of flying.
"[...] But in the back of my mind, I'm always aware that we're up quite high -- and our lives (and that beauty) depend on these massive pieces of machinery. If that machine (in this case, the percussion) should fail, we'd all be in serious trouble, so I just keep my knuckles gripped to the armrest, look out at the clouds, think pretty thoughts, and hope that the pulse of that engine never lets up."
—-- Mackey, in his commentary on the piece
- Grizzler of the Werebears toy line is very afraid of heights and transforms when he's up on a very high place.
- Alister, Lara Croft's Non-Action Guy partner from the Tomb Raider series, does not like heights. At all. They make him "positively nauseous," as he comments at one point in the Japan mission of Tomb Raider Legend where Lara is making a dangerous climb up a really tall office building.
- Blaze the Cat from the Sonic Rush Series series is often implied to have a fear of heights, especially when they reach a zone like Sky Babylon.
- Emma, Hal's sister in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty doesn't like heights when asked about it by Raiden, but stated it's preferable to Water.
- Bartz Klauser in Final Fantasy V has a fear of heights ever since he almost fell down from the roof of a two story house while playing hide and go seek.
- Chrono Trigger has the example of Golem Boss who, after Dalton summons on top of the wing of an airship, cowers in fear from the height, without attacking. If not killed quickly, he then runs away.
- All playable lawyers, save Mia Fey seem to suffer from this in the Ace Attorney series: Miles Edgeworth (who already has a Seismophobia to boot) needs Gumshoe to fetch him books from the higher up shelfes, Phoenix Wright has to be led by his hand by his teenage sidekick when passing a bridge and breaks out into hysterical catchphrase-shouting upon boarding a Ferris Wheel and Apollo Justice can't ascend as much as 10 meters without starting to shiver like a dry pile of leaves.
- In one mission in Grand Theft Auto IV, Niko seems nervous about having to take a lift on the outside of a building to get to its roof.
- Ulrich from Code Lyoko—though he's more exactly suffering from medical vertigo.
- Marge Simpson.
- The Backyardigans: Tasha during the episode "Chichen-Itza Pizza". During a song, she chants the following:
Tasha: Don't look down! Don't look down! Tasha, don't look down!
- Silverbolt, of the Transformers, is the commander of the Aerialbots. Just in case you can't parse the name: he transforms into a Concorde SST.
- Lampshaded in that the reason Optimus Prime made him commander of the Aerialbots was that Prime knew Silverbolt's worrying about their safety would keep his mind off it.
- In one episode of Rugrats, Chuckie develops a fear of heights after accidentally climbing the big kids' slide and finding himself way too high for his liking.
- The concept is played in an Xkcd comic of a man who couldn't go down a slide because it looked so tall. As an adult, he revisits it, and is surprised to realize the slide really was that tall.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: While not quite so extreme as to be a fear, Toph explicitly has a strong dislike for flying, because lack of contact with the ground leaves her fully blind.
- Filmmaker Lars von Trier has never left his native Denmark due to an intense fear of flying. He even turned down an offer to direct for Steven Spielberg due to this.
- Former soccer player and now sports coach Marcelo "Bichi" Borghi is also infamous by his fear of planes. The very few times he doesn't travel by bus/train/car with his teams, he has to be pretty much sedated to the point of almost passing out when on the plane.
Anime and Manga
- Asumi in Futatsu no Spica.
- Tasuki of Fushigi Yuugi, who naturally is the first person overboard when the ship hits a violent storm. Additionally, Vitriolic Best Buds Tamahome's preferred method of torment is dangling him over a body of water.
- Any and all Devil Fruit users in One Piece have this to some degree, and with reason.
- Possibly Ranma from Ranma ½, though it's less from actual fear of water and more from the annoyance of having his curse triggered. Ryoga definitely fears water, especially when Akane's around.
- Akane herself is incapable of swimming (or learning to), and thus has her own problems with water.
- Dragon Ball Z: Android 18, oddly enough.
- Aiko of Ojamajo Doremi. The story is that she told her dad that she could put her head in the water. Then, they have a contest to find out who can put their head in the water. She drowned 10 seconds into the contest.
- Smudgy in Monica's Gang takes this fear to the extreme of not taking baths, which originates his nickname.
Films -- Animation
- Lilo and Stitch: Stitch is too dense to swim, so he fears deep water. Naturally, he winds up living on an island with people who love to surf.
- In Brother Bear 2, Kenai's childhood friend Nita nearly drowned when they were younger. He helps her cross a lake at some point on the movie, and her fears fade away.
- Diego from Ice Age has the fear of water in the second movie, despite the fact that he never showed fear of it before. But he gets over it with the help of one of his True Companions.
- Toaster, from The Brave Little Toaster, due to him being an electrical appliance, is actually afraid of water. For his other fear, see below.
Films -- Live Action
- Claire in Aquamarine, because her parents' deaths were water-related.
- Truman Burbank, The Truman Show (although, to be fair, he was only afraid of the ocean).
- Ari in Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes. Justified in that apes on the whole tend to be very poor swimmers.
- Chief Brody from Jaws is afraid of water. And a good deal of people after having seen the movie, for that matter.
- In Freddy vs. Jason, Freddy is frustrated by finding out that Jason is basically invulnerable even in his subconscious, until he finds Jason's one buried fear: water.
- Considering that Jason's initial death as a little kid, which sparked off his entire series, was by drowning in Crystal Lake...yeah.
- One of the Mogwai rules in Gremlins: Never get them wet.
- In the 2nd movie, Brain Gremlin dies in the same way as the Wicked Witch of the West does. He must be afraid of water, too.
- Susie, the little daughter of the hero in the original version of Piranha. With very good reason, in this case. Although when the piranha attack the camp she's attending she swallows her fear to try and save two of the camp counselors - she manages to rescue one of them...
- In Terry Pratchett's The Colour of Magic, we meet dedicated "hydrophobes", who are raised with a deathly fear—indeed, loathing (not hate, which is the opposite side of love) of water. This fear is so strong that they can pilot a hovering board over the ocean, since their aversion to water forces it away from them. Unfortunately most of them end up dying early, overcome with revulsion over the water in their own bodies.
- David Eddings features one particular character in the Belgariad/Malloreon series: Queen Layla of Sendaria. She has not so much aquaphobia but a specific form of megalophobia (fear of large objects): she is terrified of ships (more specifically, ships sinking), to the point that she can actually faint if a ship moves the wrong way.
- Tobias from Animorphs. He says it's a bird thing.
- Which is a bit of Did Not Do the Research, since he's a hawk. Most birds of prey will quite happily dive near or even in water to eat fish. Some even eat primarily fish.
- Perhaps, but not red-tailed hawks, which Tobias happens to be. They're not water-going birds, and especially not deep water, which is what Tobias is particularly scared of.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: "I'm meeeltiiing! I'm meeeltiiing! Oh, what a world!"
- Oddly enough, Data, the android of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame, gained a fear of water during the novelisation Metamorphosis in which he was turned human. (Yeah, it's that kind of book.) This fear is absent from the series. Probably because he can't, you know, actually drown (though the few encounters he has had with water lead to him sinking abruptly to the bottom due to his heavy weight, and having to spend several weeks draining out his servos.)
- Stephen Dedalus in Joyce's Ulysses is mentioned to be a hydrophobe, although this is probably symbolic of his antipathy toward baptism/Catholicism.
- Jayfeather from Warrior Cats.
- Tsarmina from the Brian Jacques book Mossflower was deathly afraid of water. Of course, she dies in a duel with Martin when he forces her backwards into a lake. Laser-Guided Karma for you.
- Johanna Mason from The Hunger Games develops this in the third book, after the Capitol uses water to torture her.
- Hazel from The Heroes of Olympus. Justified because it's Neptune's territory and she's the daughter of Pluto.
Live Action TV
- 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.
- Hewkii from Bionicle. Other Po-Matoran and Le-Matoran are also shown to dislike water, although they don't seem to outright fear it like he did.
- Sonic the Hedgehog is quite severely aquaphobic, an obvious Lampshade Hanging of his Super Drowning Skills in the games. Notably, in Sonic X, at the implication of being stuck on a boat for a few weeks, he actively passes out after a brief session of running back and forth in what's obviously panic.
- He's a lot like Stitch.
- Raine Sage, Tales of Symphonia.
- Raz from Psychonauts, because of a family curse.
- Metal Gear Solid: Emma Emmerich is terrified of water thanks to a Childhood Trauma. Ironically, Hal stated she used to swim like a fish and it's hinted she could still do that.
- Ayako Katagiri in Tokimeki Memorial. A fear very well known in the series' fandom, and milked for all its worth by the creators, as antics-wise, she's regularly paired with Nozomi Kiyokawa, the resident swimming-lover and champion (who, ironically, suffers from a primal fear of her own, thunder).
- Lesley Lopicana in Mitsumete Knight, a Spiritual Successor of Tokimeki Memorial. She's an Expy of Ayako, but unlike her where the origins of her fear were never explained, we get to know how Lesley got this fear of water (long short story - that you can read in the game's Character Sheet, - it's due to a Childhood Trauma).
- Chloe Valens from Tales of Legendia.
- CJ from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas claims to be afraid of water at one point, after getting a discarded condom on his face while swimming as a child. Ironically, he's the first character in GTA not to suffer from Super Drowning Skills.
- Carol Burke, Allen Birkman, and Sierra Manning of Survival of the Fittest v4 all suffer from aquaphobia. In Carol's and Allen's cases, they actually first woke up on the island near the beach, causing them to freak out.
- Neptune Vasilias, from RWBY, to the point that it almost costs his team a victory in the Vytal Tournament in Volume 3. It is of course especially ironic given who he's named after...
- Alan Powers (The Brain), Arthur. He gets over it after falling into a fountain.
- Tommy Pickles, All Grown Up!!, "River Rats".
- This is one of the two things that Dick Daring from The Replacements is scared of.
- Yoshi in the Super Mario World cartoon is afraid of water.
- May have gotten a Continuity Nod later with the tendency of Super Mario Sunshine's Yoshi to dissolve on contact with water.
- In one episode of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros 3, Mario become afraid of water after nearly drowning when he turned into a block of cement. But he overcomes it to save his friends and the underwater city.
- Looney Tunes character The Tasmanian Devil, namely in his series Taz-Mania. "Taz hate water! Taz hate water!"
- Archie from Class of the Titans.
- Heroic Finn is unfathomably afraid of the sea. He eventually conquers that fear in order to rescue Jake.
- On Codename: Kids Next Door, Numbuh Four can't swim, so he's very afraid of water. Even he learns how, he still avoids doing it whenever possible.
- In the show The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin, Grubby is afraid of the sea. This is because of an accident that happened when he was young.
- Toph Bei Fong from Avatar: The Last Airbender hates sailing for the same reason that she hates flying (see the section above).
- Blackarachnia from Transformers Animated, due to her being half-organic, for some reason is afraid of water.
- It may be because, as part-organic, she's now capable of drowning.
- Due to his biology, Invader Zim is burned by water, and is therefore afraid of it until he learns that coating himself in paste protects him. In fanon, he's often shown as still having a phobia of water.
- In Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, the Human Torch—perhaps unsurprisingly—does not like getting wet at all, and hates undersea missions with a passion. Atlantis episodes are therefore something of a trial for him.
- People used to think rabies caused this and thus named it hydrophobia. In reality it simply causes you to choke when you try to drink water.
- Natalie Wood was said to have been terrified of water. She died by drowning.
- Michael Jordan has claimed that his biggest fear is water (due to the fact that he can't swim).
Anime and Manga
- Rita Rossi, the Cute Mute from Ashita no Nadja, because her parents died in a huge fire that broken in their circus, and poor little Rita saw them perish..
- Anita in R.O.D the TV, with good reason. Exploited for maximum emotional effect during a particularly brutal scene.
- Aoba from Durarara!! has a rather strong fear of fire. However, he uses this to his advantage in order to frame his Izumi by setting his room on fire and making it seem like it was Izumi's fault because he forgot to unlit the cigarette he smoked. He plays this straight though after the events though.
- J'onn J'onnz, the Martian Manhunter of JLA fame. Depending on who's writing him, his "vulnerability" to fire has sometimes been portrayed as a psychological issue, rather than a full-blown Kryptonite Factor. (In the Justice League animated series, they simply ignored it.)
- The Batman chalked it up as a psychological fear, as he would stop fighting the moment a flamethrower appeared in range. Once Batman disabled the flamethrower J'onn was back to normal.
- A variation, Jean Grey's greatest fear is being burned alive, possibly because she's experienced what it's like before. (Her first "death" way back in X-Men #101.)
Films -- Live Action
- Frankenstein's Monster in some iterations, beginning with the 1931 Boris Karloff movie, in which Dr. Frankenstein's cruel assistant Fritz taunts the chained-up monster with a torch.
- Parodied in Young Frankenstein when Gene Hackman's blind hermit offers a cigar to the monster, but lights his thumb instead. (Just because you're pyrophobic doesn't mean fire isn't out to get you.)
- On Saturday Night Live, Phil Hartman played a recurring version of the character whose Hulk Speak catchphrase was "Fire bad!"
- Camille from Quantum of Solace.
- Freddy Krueger is sometimes shown to be afraid of fire (understandably), which leads to an immensely satisfying moment in the first film...
- While in the remake they ignore this completely due to his entire domain being filled with fire.
- Sandor Clegane, a.k.a. the Hound, in A Song of Ice and Fire. Quite a reasonable fear, as half of his face has been burned as a child by his evil older brother. He lives in a world with Greek Fire and priests of a fire-god who can, well, magically create fire, and naturally runs into both.
- Journey to the West: Monkey.
- Harry Dresden of The Dresden Files, after his left hand is burned beyond use in Blood Rites, becomes reluctant to even attempt fire magic at all. He eventually overcomes his fears and concerns by the end of Dead Beat, though a villain in White Night mistakenly assumes he's still very afraid of fire and makes a failed assassination attempt based on that.
- Torak from The Belgariad was terrified of fire. Kind of odd for a God to be terrified of anything unless one can see the future, as he can, and knows what's going to happen to him.
- Throughout his appearances in the Discworld novels, Mr. Slant the (zombie) lawyer is almost completely fearless, even when dealing with sociopathic criminals. As a result of being a well-preserved (and by necessity, extremely dry) corpse however, he is terrified by fire.
- In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz the Scarecrow reveals to Dorothy that a "lighted match" is the only thing he's afraid of. Although, given that he's made of straw, can you really blame him? In the movie, the Wicked Witch of the West exploits this fear on several occasions.
Wicked Witch of the West: How about a little fire, Scarecrow?
Live Action TV
- Fox Mulder of The X-Files, discussed in the episode "Fire".
- Doctor Who: The Doctor, at least in his third incarnation.
- Shalimar Fox in Mutant X.
- Zoe Graystone in Caprica, due to almost dying in a house fire as a child.
- 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.
- Rydia's fear of fire can be chalked up to Cecil and Kain's delivery burning the village of Mist to the ground in Final Fantasy IV. The village gets better; the people do not.
- The dragon in Loom is afraid of fire, a fact Bobbin uses against her with either the Terror or Sleep draft to set her hoard—transformed by him from gold into straw—ablaze.
- Heather in Silent Hill 3 is afraid of fire. She comments that "it's scary somehow..."
- It's hinted that Milla Vodello of Psychonauts is a pyrophobe due to the orphanage where she worked burning down with the children inside it.
- At the height of the Napster controversy, the folks at Camp Chaos created a series of flash animations featuring Metallica's Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield. James, aside from being a caveman mentally, was also terrified of fire. So naturally, in their Celebrity "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" parody, he gets lit on fire.
- Probably alluding to the fact that Hetfield was badly burned by stage pyrotechnics during Metallica's 1992 tour with Guns N' Roses, thus proving that no matter how much they called Metallica a bunch of dicks, their detractors could still out-dick them rather easily.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Appa the Flying Bison grows a fear of fire in the episode "Appa's Lost Days".
- Transformers Armada: Hot Shot, who was forced to leave a friend behind in a fire because he'd passed out from the heat.
- Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast, despite being turned into a candlestick holder.
- He's made of wax. In fact, at one point in the film he's in severe danger of being melted because of somebody sticking a burning torch in his face.
- Shere Khan from The Jungle Book. At the end of the film, Mowgli chases him away by literally burning off his tail. Unfortunately, it's revealed in the sequel that burning off Khan's tail actually made him even angrier...
- In Batman: The Animated Series episode "Torch Song", singer Cassidy developed a fear of fire after her ordeal with her ex-boyfriend-turned-supervillain Firefly.
Other Things in Nature
Anime and Manga
- Astrapophobia, Ceraunophobia, Brontophobia (fear of thunder and lightning) or Tonitrophobia (fear of just thunder): Haruhi from Ouran High School Host Club has this (these) fear(s), after being discovered to be afraid of little else.
- Himawari on Wandaba Style has a fear of running out of air while in space, which is bad, since she and the other members of Girl Group Mix Juice are trying to get into space to perform a concert on the Moon.
Films -- Live Action
- Rachel Creed in Pet Sematary suffers from serious necrophobia (fear of death). She can't even handle hearing the concept mentioned in her presence without freaking out.
Live Action TV
- 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.
- Simon Tam of Firefly is a cosmophobe (afraid of space), as first shown in the episode "Bushwacked."
- A.J. from The River has speluncaphobia, the fear of caves, thanks to having been in a mining accident.
- Earthquakes (seismophobia) -- Miles Edgeworth from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. The first major crack we see in Edgeworth's stoic facade is that he turns into an absolute mess at the slightest of tremors. It's no better in Trials and Tribulations, when he passes out after an earthquake hits Hazakurain. It also extends to airplane turbulence (which can resemble tremors) and elevators. Justified Trope in it being the result of a traumatic and tragic incident he experienced as a kid.
- Jonathan Ingram in Policenauts is a cosmophobe by his own admission, and also appears to show some level of claustrophobia. This clearly doesn't work in his favour when he has to leave the Moon via a material transport relay. Depending on the players' responses to Ed, and how long it takes the player to make the decision to leave, it will extend the action sequence. The first time you beg Jonathan to enter the pod, he will refuse.
- One of the player characters, Rikku from Final Fantasy X has a phobia of lightning (astraphobia), which she gets over in the sequel.
Anime and Manga
Films -- Live Action
- Bobby Pendragon in The Pendragon Adventure.
- Nita from Young Wizards. Naturally, this comes up shortly before she has to dive into the mind of someone who represents himself using a clown.
- Nobody likes clowns. According to the Discworld book Making Money, that is the point. Their purpose is not to make you laugh, but to make you realize that however miserable you may be, someone has it worse.
- The titular monster from IT by Stephen King takes on the appearance of whatever its victims fear. One of IT's most well-known forms is that of a Monster Clown, though this image is not always immediately recognized as evil, and has been used to lure in young children. The clown in question is said to smell of boiled peanuts, cotton candy, animal dung, and rotting dead things.
Live Action TV
- Modern Family : kind of a subversion. Phil thinks his fear of clowns is irrational by nature and has nothing to do with that time he found a dead clown in a field when he was a kid.
- Alan Shore in Boston Legal. Naturally, he's forced to defend a professional clown who shows up to court in full costume. Alan avoids looking directly at his client for fear of publicly wetting himself.
- Supernatural's Sam Winchester remains freaked out by clowns even after years of fighting nearly every supernatural creature imaginable and a visit to Hell.
- Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer -- he deals with it by punching the knife-wielding nightmare clown chasing him and tells off the clown for making bad balloon animals.
- Kramer in Seinfeld. Incidentally, his real life inspiration Kenny Kramer is a big fan of clowns.
- Booth from Bones. He once shot a plastic clown on the top of an ice cream truck, and a murderer posing as a clown (after the murderer found out he didn't like them).
- Sarah Jane Smith of Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures. (Mention of Johnny Depp!)
- It's not clear if Ace has a true phobia about clowns, but she does think they're creepy.
- John Sheppard of Stargate Atlantis.
- Overton in the '90s sitcom Living Single.
- Zak Bagans from Ghost Adventures isn't fond of clowns. He briefly goes to a place that's right out of a coulrophobic's worst nightmare during the revisit to Goldfield, Nevada: a clown motel. Even the clerk at said motel doesn't like clowns.
- The players of City of Heroes often ask for a Clowns powerset for the Mastermind (pet summoning class based on minion-commanding villains), but are denied because Matt "Positron" Miller, the lead developer, is afraid of clowns.
- Barry Dejay in Backyard Sports. He plays worse on the Bling-Bling Brothers Circus in Backyard Basketball just because he is afraid of clowns.
- Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series. At the end of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Elena asks him on a scale of 1 to 10 how scared he was that she would die, he gives it a 3 or 4. Guess what was at 10?
- Ben in Ben 10. He faced his fear eventually.
- Wakko Warner in Animaniacs. Of course, in Wakko's case, the clowns are the ones who will get the worst out of it. Oddly, he's not afraid of Nicklewise (a Captain Ersatz of Pennywise) because, well, he and his siblings are like that. (This is addressed in the recap.)
- On a similar note, Billy of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy thinks clowns are plotting to "DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL! DESTROY US ALL!"
- Likewise, in Big Boogey Adventure, Billy's given a spider clown mailman as a hybridization of all his fears courtesy of Horror's Hand. Since Billy must battle his own demons before touching the Hand, Mandy's laser rifle has no effect on said aberration.
- Bart Simpson suffered a temporary case of this when he was younger, no thanks to the badly-crafted clown bed that Homer made for him. Origin of the phrase, "Can't sleep, clown will eat me."
"If you were to die before you sleep... HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!
- Tino from The Weekenders had been afraid of clowns for a long time and just so happened to face his fear the week that... 1. The Carnival was in town 2. The pizza place had a clown theme and 3. There were a bunch of clowns around.
"Mutant clowns from the Hollow Earth! They're real!! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!
- Dick Daring from The Replacements.
- Velma Dinkley in What's New, Scooby-Doo? at least. A Monster Clown showing up caused her to swap personalities with Shaggy (who was concentrating on winning a mini golf contest so he went all Velma-esque). They reverted eventually.
- Chuckie from Rugrats, although they come second to "the guy on the oatmeal box."
- Caillou's sister Rosie on Caillou, but Caillou helps her to get over it.
- In an episode of The Fairly OddParents, Timmy admitted to being afraid of clowns.
- Jack Spicer from Xiaolin Showdown was revealed by one of the big bads to be afraid of clowns, complete with a visual aid. To be fair, they looked like monster clowns.
- Toaster, from The Brave Little Toaster, for some reason is actually afraid of a Monster Clown firefighter as revealed in a Nightmare Sequence he had about halfway through the film. For his other fear, see above.
- Creepie from Growing Up Creepie is terrified of clowns. This being the girl that lives with bugs and relaxes in a graveyard.
- Lots of people who watched the mini-series IT, where Tim Curry plays a murderous clown, ended up developing fear of clowns. Especially if they saw it as children or teens.
- Johnny Depp is scared of clowns too.
- Two to one odds that Heath Ledger's interpretation of The Joker in The Dark Knight Saga will be the cause of a lot of clown-based nightmares.
- Lon Chaney, the "Man of a Thousand Faces" and perhaps the single most iconic horror actor from the silent film era, once made the observation that "Nobody laughs at a clown at midnight."
- John Wayne Gacy certainly doesn't help make clowns any more reassuring, between his former persona as "Pogo" and his artwork.
- Daniel Radcliffe has admitted to being scared of clowns.
Anime and Manga
- The male lead from Girls Bravo. Then his so-called rival (?) is terrified of men (arrhenphobia).
- Yamcha from Dragon Ball. He wanted the Dragon Balls to actually cure this phobia, since he also wanted a girlfriend but was too terrified to ask any girl out. He got over himself after hanging out with Bulma, though.
- Haine from DOGS: Bullets & Carnage- the only girl he can stand to touch him is Cute Mute Nill.
- At the beginning of the series, most (if not all) of the male cast of Vandread are scared of women. This is understandable, since one of the main plot points is that men and women have been segregated for years, to the point that neither gender really believes that the other exists anymore. To men, women have become something akin to horrible, frightening monsters of legend.
- The Haou-Sou in Onidere are all afraid of the opposite sex, with two of them being male.
- Jughead from Archie Comics.
Live Action TV
- Although he's certainly not afraid of women, Jayne from Firefly purportedly "never kisses 'em on the mouth, for fear they'll knock him out with drugged lipstick. This is a valid concern.
- No, the reason he never kisses women on the mouth is because he only ever sleeps with prostitutes.
- 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
See also Afraid of Blood
Anime and Manga
- Tsunade from Naruto, after her lover Dan died and she couldn't do anything about it. Should have been quite a cramp on her superninja-doctor career... until she overcame it during a high-stakes battle at a point of near mortal defeat, thus leading to overcoming her opponent Kabuto as well (this must be a trope somewhere).
- Also Gaara when Sasuke punctured his chest and saw his own blood for the first time he freaks out.
- Heart, from Fist of the North Star. Like Ranma, he flips out and becomes a berserker if he sees his own blood.
- Naga the White Serpent from Slayers is also quite afraid of blood, since she walked on the place where her mother was assassinated, which was all blood-splattered.
- Made even worse by how she killed the assassin... via using a Razor Floss-like spell, thus splattering the room in even more blood.
Films -- Live Action
- In William Castle's The Tingler, the theater owner's mute wife is seen to have an intense fear of blood when Vincent Price cuts his hand on a broken cup - this is exploited later in the movie.
- In the film The Darwin Awards, this is the reason why Joseph Fiennes's character gets demoted from his job as a detective.
- Bella from Twilight isn't afraid of hanging around werewolves or vampires, but she faints at the sight of blood... a weakness that suddenly disappears when the plot requires it in Breaking Dawn.
- You wouldn't expect it from someone with his career choice or hobby, but Dexter expresses considerable unease about blood. Given his Harmful to Minors backstory, can't really blame him.
- Abel from Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures is hemophobic.
- We can blame his father for that. Or Kria.
- Nope, he's had the phobia since he was a kid; it appears to have developed spontaneously. Although those incidents couldn't possibly have helped. (And it's possible that his father did induce it on purpose somehow, but if he did, how and when haven't been revealed.)
- We can blame his father for that. Or Kria.
- The Simpsons: One of Doctor Nick's many undoctorlike traits.
- Codename: Kids Next Door: Numbuh Four is hemophobic, fainting at the mere sight of blood.
- Chuckie's Dad Chazz from Rugrats faints upon seeing Tommy cut his hand open.
- In 6teen, Jonesy is afraid of blood ever since a childhood nosebleed incident.
Anime and Manga
- Having a character who's very scared of ghosts and anything supernatural is often a Running Gag in anime. Double the fun if the character's otherwise unflappable.
- Some examples are: Sakura Kinomoto (Cardcaptor Sakura), Kaoru Kaidoh (The Prince of Tennis), Hiromi Yamazaki and Takeo Kumagami (Patlabor), Ritsuko Takahashi (Jigoku Sensei Nuubee), Madoka Ayukawa (Kimagure Orange Road), Alfred F. Jones/America (Axis Powers Hetalia), and Rockman (Rockman.EXE Beast). One of the best is Brook from One Piece, who is terrified of ghosts and the like in spite of the fact that he is a FREAKING SKELETON, reanimated thanks to hitting big in the Superpower Lottery.
- Hikaru Himuro from Dragon Drive also has that fear. Unfortunately, Chibi is a victim of his fear, as he grabs on to Chibi's tail for some reason (maybe a reflex to help calm himself?), and doesn't let go when he passes out from fear, much to both Chibi and Reiji's annoyances.
- The Action Girl Ran Mouri of Detective Conan. In her case, it's kinda justified: she fears them not because of the supernatural stuff, but because if she ever was under attack from them, her physical strength would be useless against them.
- Liz Thompson from Soul Eater is afraid of ghosts. Not helpful when her job/homework requires her to fight them, and odd considering she's something supernatural herself.
- In contrast, her death god team-mate is afraid of completely mundane things - see 'Various'.
- In the Naruto anime, when Naruto heard that one his missions has possibility of ghosts being involved, he curled into a ball which odd when didn't back down against the Kyuubi.
- Jonouchi Katsuya from Yu-Gi-Oh has such an intense fear of the supernatural in general (Ghosts included of course) that he actually passes out twice as a result of them- Once during the manga's version of an Amusement Park of Doom and again before his duel against 'Ghost Kotsuzuka'. He wins the duel after being woken up in the end.
- Chizuru Yoshida from Kimi ni Todoke.
- Misaki from Kaichou wa Maid-sama.
- Both Hazuki and Momoko from Ojamajo Doremi.
- Skuld from Ah! My Goddess is afraid of ghosts, which is surprising (and funny) considering that she's a goddess.
- Veronica of Franken Fran is an Artificial Human built for assassination and bodyguard duties. She also recoils in fear at the prospect of ghosts.
- Cilan from Pokémon Best Wishes has a huge fear of Ghost-type Pokemon. He tends to zigzag around this trope, because while he's not scared of the Ghost Pokemon once it shows itself to be the cause of items moving around, the mere thought of being around them apparently creeps him out. Special mention in BW029 when he freaks out and screams like a girl when the Litwick were controlling the items in the haunted mansion.
- Mio and Sawako from K-On!
- Popeye has an admitted fear of ghosts. (Or, "Evil spiriks" as he calls them.)
- Illithids (mind flayers) in the Dungeons & Dragons setting are terrified of ghosts and undead beings in general, and for good reason. Undead are immune to psionic powers (even intelligent ones) and even undead who have brains can't be hurt by an illithid's extraction ability. This makes an illithid virtually powerless and defenseless against such creatures, thus making undead one of the few types of monsters they fear. Illithids who purposely become undead (called alhoon, or illithiliches) are hated outcasts among their people.
- Luigi from the Super Mario Bros. games is deathly afraid of ghosts (and possibly Waddle Dees as shown in Super Smash Bros.. Brawl).
- Yoshi is afraid of ghost houses. And fortresses. And Big Bad castles. And switch palaces. Yeah, Yoshi's a coward.
- Yukari Takeba from Persona 3 is also afraid of ghosts.
- When Roxis was still a freshman during the early parts of Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis, he was, er, traumatized (he was foaming at the mouth!) by Pamela, the school's resident Cute Ghost Girl. Since then, he would have a hard time searching for items anywhere that could possibly be haunted (ranked as Super Hard for him), which, incidentally, are ranked Super Easy for Pamela.
- Luso from Final Fantasy Tactics A2 revealed his fear of ghosts when the clan must defeat a group of Undead. Adelle teased him afterwords.
- Youmu Konpaku from Touhou is scared of ghosts—which is ironic, because she just happens to be half-ghost herself, and has a Cute Ghost Girl as a mistress.
- Tear Grants from Tales of the Abyss is scared of ghosts despite being a Kuudere.
- Tales of Vesperia: Rita Mordio really hates ghost-ships.
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater: Naked Snake is terrified of anything involving the undead. Bats make him think of Dracula, and merely mentioning Dracula is enough to give him nightmares. Because Hideo Kojima loves to screw with his own character's minds, Naked Snake gets to face the ghosts of every person he's ever killed in the game. It's a little unsettling for us, the players, but it's Nightmare Fuel for him.
- And in Metal Gear Solid 3's sequel, Peace Walker, we get more ghosts in some bonus levels. When Chico, a fan of cryptozoology, starts describing an optional boss as an "undead dinosaur" brought back to life by Haitian zombie-makers, Snake's phobias kick right back in and he starts trying to rationalize it as just an "ordinary" dinosaur that happens to be skeletal and immune to conventional weapons.
- Ragna the Bloodedge's Joke Ending in BlazBlue Continuum Shift reveals that he is terrified of ghosts. So of course his joke ending turns him and most of the cast into ghosts. It's canon too; he is freaked out by Sena, one of the personalities that make up Platinum the Trinity, when Sena threatens to haunt him for the rest of his life in an attempt to mooch a meal off of Ragna. To top it all off, the true form of the Big Bad Terumi is a creepy grinning green ghost.
- Princess Pitts in Chibi-Robo! possesses a lady-like terror of monsters and the like. As Chibi-Robo, you can use a Ghost suit to help train her to overcome her fear, though it takes a while and she faints a couple times initially.
- Scooby-Doo: Shaggy and Scooby-Doo.
- In Inspector Gadget, similar to the Scooby-Doo "Velma too afraid of clowns to solve the case" example above, Penny and Brain are at first too afraid of ghosts to investigate MAD's base (and keep Gadget out of trouble) in "The Haunted Castle. Gadget, who doesn't share this fear, is actually pretty competent (proving he's not always Too Dumb to Live) throughout the whole episode -- though, thanks to Gadget actually showing good parenting for once (part of that whole aforementioned "competence" bit), Penny quickly gets over her fear, and does her usual investigations herself. Still, the episode somewhat breaks type by having both Penny and Gadget solving the case.
- Toni, the punk-loving sister of Alone in The Dark's protagonist is revealed to be afraid of the dark. It is also hinted to be so strong that it forced her to go to a mental institution in the past.
- Sandry from Tamora Pierce's Circle of Magic series is afraid of the dark and always sleeps with a nightlight after being locked in a storeroom. She has a panic attack in the first book when she and her friends are trapped underground during an earthquake.
- Are You Afraid of the Dark? Well, are you? Frank is.
- 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 tells that these creatures are the reason so many races fear the dark.
- Criminal Minds: Spencer Reid claims to be afraid of the dark "because of the inherent absence of light."
- Winston on New Girl.
- Alan Wake: Alice has a crippling fear of the dark. And don't tell me you didn't flip on a few lights yourself after/while playing through the game.
- One of Chuckie's top 3 fears on Rugrats.
Chuckie: This isn't just regular-plain-old scary, Tommy. This is THE DARK!
Various (tend towards the weird)
Anime and Manga
- In the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, Seto Kaiba has a rather peculiar fear of Exodia. He has a good reason, of course, seeing as Yugi defeated him rather badly using it in their first duel, and inflicted a Penalty Game after doing so that took Kaiba a while to recover from. (It was not without some malice that Kaiba refused to disqualify the Exodia-using Rare Hunter in Battle City much later, as he was hoping Yugi would be just as scared of facing it.)
- Later in the anime-only Virtual World arc, Kaiba's evil stepfather Gozaburo tried to take advantage of this by using Exodia Necross against him, something he claimed was an even stronger version - but by then, Kaiba had learned not to be so careless, and was able to defeat it. The fact that Gozaburo had almost no strategy other than Necross helped too.
- In a Yu-Gi-Oh GX 3-parter, it is revealed that vampires scare the crap out of Daitokuji-sensei. Guess who was the Villain of the Week in all 3 episodes? He may have been lying, however. He was secretly a member of the Seven Stars, a group that Camula also belonged to. They were only seen as a group in one brief scene (in shadow), and it is not known if the individual members actually helped each other at all.
- In the dub (but not original) version of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, Shark's sister Rio claims that Shark has a "strange fear of onions", and he really gets upset when she brings it up. One can only guess how it happened.
- In Soul Eater, Death The Kid's Super OCD seems to mainly manifest as a fear of asymmetry (sometimes it gives him panics attacks and Heroic BSOD, sometimes it acts as a Berserk Button).
- Celty from Durarara!! is afraid of space aliens for some reason. (Probably because it's adorable). She also develops a fear of police – traffic cops in particular – later in the series.
- The Rurouni Kenshin animated adaptation gives Sanosuke a crippling fear of trains (which of course pops up in every Filler episode and Non-Serial Movie that involves riding a train); he also expresses a suspicion of cameras, fearing that it'll steal his soul.
- Miyuki Takara of Lucky Star really hates dentists, but is kinda Truth in Television since we ALL do.
- Goku from Dragon Ball Z is terrified of needles, revealed when he got a shot after his first fight with Vegeta. Sorta justified: he had never gotten a shot in his life until then.
- In Axis Powers Hetalia, Austria totally loathes any sea creatures.
- Also, Seychelles hates the cold to the point of collapsing in Cuba's arms after walking in the snow for a while, despite wearing a huge coat. Justified Trope due to the very warm Seychellois climate.
- The Earth-2 Batman suffered an attack from the Scarecrow which caused him to hallucinate his greatest fear. It was fear of being alone, and he hallucinated his friends vanishing before his eyes.
- In his Brazilian Comic book stories, Jose Carioca is so lazy that he's often depicted as having an outright phobia of work. That would maybe be "tripaliophobia".
- In Empowered, the villain Rum, Sodomy and the Lash is scared off by a fabric store. Apparently it brings up bad childhood memories.
- In Geoff Johns' Teen Titans run, Superboy and Beast Boy have a phobia of doctors, due to both of them being experimented on as kids. Beast Boy in particular has a special hatred for needles.
- In a Batman/Judge Dredd crossover graphic novel, Judge Death was subjected to Scarecrow's fear-inducing gas, and hallucinated being mobbed by (shudder) cuddly stuffed animals and cartoon ponies.
- Lucy from Peanuts, in her role as a nickel psychiatrist, once diagnosed Charlie Brown as having pantophobia, "the fear of everything". He fervently agreed. This gag was repeated in A Charlie Brown Christmas.
- Zatanna has a phobia regarding puppets, and it turns out there is a very good reason for this phobia.
- Superboy-Prime, despite being an over-the-top Villain Sue, is deathly afraid of Bart Allen ever since the latter trapped him in the Speed Force during Infinite Crisis.
- Heatwave has cryophobia, fear of the cold.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Progress, Princess Luna ends up mortified of baseballs after getting hit in the face by every last foul ball in a baseball game due to a spell gone hilariously wrong. Sometime later, she watched Cupcakes on TV, and becomes terrified of all things pink as well. Though she manages to get over that one in time to hang with Pinkie Pie later.
- Similar to the above, Delilah from The Legend of Spyro Trilogy fanfic The Legend of Spyro: A New Dawn is deathly afraid of cupcakes after the "Cupcakes Incident", which apparently involved a run-in with the Cupcakes version of Pinkie Pie (Delilah is a Dimensional Traveller). Though it doesn't come up in that fanfic since cupcakes don't exist in the universe it takes place in, a letter she gets from Pinkie Pie (the real one, who she's best friends with) tells her to call ahead before she visits so her friends won't have them at a surprise party due to her phobia.
- Rarity's character arc in the Pony POV Series involves getting over the phobia of gems she'd gotten from Discord's Mind Rape of her. Many other ponies throughout Equestria got similar phobias as a result of their own Mind Rapes, including Prince Blueblood being terrified of the sun, Big Macintosh is terrified of the family dog, Sweetie Belle is scared of her dolls, etc.
- The One and Only Trixie is revealed to have a crippling fear of Ursas after the Ursa Minor incident in Ponyville. This, rather embarrassingly, rears its head when they encounter two cute, teddybear-sized ones who'd be "fixed" by Princess Gaia's Reality Warping. It scares her so badly that it takes Pinkie Pie singing her a rendition of "Giggle At The Ghosties" to calm her down. Understandably, the others don't laugh or mock her about it, as they know and understand why it scares her so badly.
- In Just Taken, Spice Girls/Ace of Base fic, It's revealed that Melanie has Taphophobia (fear of being buried alive), which the others considered it's normal. One even points out it was thanks to being trapped into containers as a kid and being scolded for it by her Step-mum, Carol. Earlier on, Melanie was found that she was still struggling with her fear of choking, hence her poor health. Again, this is justified thanks to an accident. In Chapter 17, Victoria explains how Melanie overcame being nervous about "cartoon" ducks while gets it with real ones.
- In Australian horror film Primal, one of the protagonists is revealed to be claustrophobic early in the film, when her friends find a tunnel through a mountain to the other side, where they're headed to see some ancient cave paintings. She has to drive the long way around after she gets a panic attack from entering. Later, the tunnel becomes the only viable way to escape the monsters, as the car's wheels are destroyed and the monsters won't go near the tunnel.
- Sid Phillips, the main villain of Toy Story, actually gained a fear of toys at the end of the film as a result of a particular cowboy doll coming to life right in front of him.
- In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Loki seems to have developed a fear of... the Hulk. Of course, you'd have to be insane not to be afraid of the Hulk, but Loki's fear - stemming from the beating he took from the guy in The Avengers - makes him nervous even when the Hulk isn't angry.
- Fear itself (phobiaphobia) – Harry Potter seems to have it... well, sort of.
- Theodore Roosevelt could probably help with that—by grabbing fear by the neck and beating the living shit out of it, as he did with Death.
- The protagonist of Iain Banks' Use of Weapons has an odd phobia of chairs. It makes a lot of sense when you learn what the original chair was made of.
- Throughout the Discworld series, Rincewind has developed a violent fear of many things, some justified (the Things of the Dungeon Dimensions), some not (having good things happen to him, because it usually means something worse is coming along later), but the thing he seems to dread the most is plots, because if a plot starts happening anywhere near him, eventually he will get sucked into it.
- Hey, he managed to get through Mort fine.
- Meanwhile, The Wee Free Men have swords that glow blue in the presence of lawyers, and fear them until they learn of the concept of defense attorneys.
- In Robert E. Howard's "The Tower of the Elephant", Conan the Barbarian is paralzyed with horror at the sight of the Eldritch Abomination. (He's young in this story.)
- Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!) is scared of a lot of things-with good reason-but the very mention of Necrons sends him into pants-wetting panic. They are the one enemy he will not face in direct combat. Given that Necrons are all-hating mechanical, and relentless Abusive Precursors, this fear seems less like a phobia and more of a symptom of possessing common sense.
- Several characters in Dean Koontz's False Memory have phobias. Susan Jagger is agoraphobic and fears leaving her house. Martie Rhodes is autophobic, meaning she's afraid of herself (specifically she's afraid that she might commit a violent act). And the nameless wife of an Internet billionaire is terribly afraid of Keanu Reeves; she can't look at pictures of him and can't watch television because she might see a commercial for one of his movies.
- The closest to karmic retribution The Talented Mister Ripley receives is that he develops a fear of cops for the rest of his life. He can never look at another cop again without a brief flash of alarm as he thinks that the cop has discovered his crimes.
Live Action TV
- Beards (pogonophobia) -- Frank, from The Adventures of Lano and Woodley. And of course everyone he runs into throughout the episode in question has a beard. It's cured at the end, though.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Don't forget Wanda's implied agoraphobia (fear of open space). It's especially ironic as she lives in Saskatchewan, which has nothing but open space.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In the original Mission Impossible, Cinnamon was 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.
- Monk is afraid of many things; among the weirdest of these is milk.
- His ex-assistant Sharona has a phobia of elephants.
- 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.
- Brick in The Middle is afraid of bridges.
- Porcelain (porcophobia?) -- Guybrush Threepwood. Speculated to have been caused by being hit over the head with a porcelain vase in the first game.
- The developers have said they added this just as a gag. After all, who the heck is scared of porcelain?
- Guybrush Threepwood.
- Referenced in Tales of Monkey Island Episode 1: Launch Of The Screaming Narwhal, when you have to pick up a porcelain action figure. Guybrush grits his teeth and reassures himself "Calm down, Guybrush, it's only a little porcelain..."
- Guybrush Threepwood.
- The developers have said they added this just as a gag. After all, who the heck is scared of porcelain?
- Again Emma Emmerich shows up on this list: she doesn't like sea lice at all.
- Bald people: May of Guilty Gear has an extreme fear of bald men, and can even sense when someone is bald, as shown during the Story Mode in XX when she runs into Dr. Faust (who, under the paper bag, is bald).
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni: Battler Ushiromiya is terrified of any vehicle that shakes when it moves, as was his late mother Asumu.
- Flora, Layton's ward in the Professor Layton games, is afraid of being left alone (monophobia).
- Artix, normally fearless paladin extraordinaire in Adventure Quest Worlds, is utterly terrified of the color pink (which Beleen mercilessly teases him about).
- Florina from Fire Emblem 7 isn't only afraid of insects, but is terrified by bows (Justified, because as a flying unit, she is vulnerable to them) and suffers from a mild case of androphobia.
- World of Warcraft; in the Battle for Azeroth expansion, when a Horde player first sets foot in Drustvar (possibly the place in the expansion with the most Nightmare Fuel) he has two allies, Eitrigg and Gallywick. When it becomes clear that a group of goblin scouts were tortured to death by the witch coven, Eitrigg seems nervous to face such foes. While Gallywick at first finds it hilarious that the "big, strong orc is scared of witches", even he starts to get jittery when they actually appear.
- Hats: Trel from Cwen's Quest has either violent fits of terror or near psychotic reactions to hats due to childhood trauma.
- Riff from Sluggy Freelance is afraid of orphans, and won't go near an orphanage without a missile launcher handy.
- Riff also will end up in Torg's arms if somebody mentions the DMV.
- Xenophobia: Insecticomics Dreadmoon. Due to the humorous nature of the comic it's more a strong disgust than outright fear; in Wayward's more serious fan fiction he's uncomfortable around non-Cybertronians and outright terrified of organics.
- PeeJee in Something*Positive has been shown to have an almost pathological fear of puppets.
- Bob of Bob and George is spectacularly phobic of Pokémon. For no adequately explained reason. We'll state this again: a character with fire superpowers who intermittently seeks to conquer anything he doesn't destroy is terrified of Rattata.
- In Sequential Art, the squirrel girls (except Scarlet) are agoraphobes. To prevent their escapes.
- Katia of Prequel is deathly scared of nobility, including having a nightmare of Uriel Septim as a Humanoid Abomination (while in-universe he's the Big Good) and being rendered speechless at the sight of Martin Septim (at that time merely a priest in Kvatch).
- The Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy episode "This Won't Hurt An Ed" reveals that Kevin has Belonephobia (fear of needles). Eddy uses that to his advantage.
- In Teen Titans, a villain named Dr Light developed a severe phobia. A fear of Raven.
- Gnarrk, a Neanderthal, was exposed to the modern world. This left him with a severe technophobia (fear of technology) which remained with him until his meeting with the Teen Titans.
- The Total Drama Island episode "Phobia Factor" delved into the phobias of every cast member. Even tough guy Duncan revealed his secret fear: cardboard cutouts of Celine Dion.
- In The Replacements, Agent K suffers from crippling stage fright.
- Chuckie of Rugrats is anxious about many things; his fears include clowns, bunnies, green jello, shoes, and the guy on the oatmeal box.
- Homer Simpson is shown to have a crippling fear of sock puppets in the episode "Fear of Flying".
- Also, cobras!!
- The titular character on Jimmy Two-Shoes is afraid of pickles.
- In Metalocalypse, Toki is afraid of bicentennial quarters.
- Moral Orel has Clay's mother fearing for the word "dead", including the words with the -ded suffix.
- Lydia's father in the Beetlejuice cartoon is afraid of...well, pretty much everything.
- In The Rescuers, the extremely superstitious Bernard is afraid of the number 13. He's also afraid of flying.
- In Transformers Prime, all the robots, but particularly Bulkhead, are afraid of scraplets, whipping out their weapons at the sight of one. But considering they're essentially the robot equivalent of flying piranha, it's not an irrational fear.
- Robot Chicken brings us a child who is an obvious parody of Indiana Jones (complete with whip and boulder chase sequence), who harbors a hatred of milkshakes.
- Tantor from The Legend of Tarzan has pantophobia ("fear of everything").
- In the same episode of King of the Hill that showed Hank's fear of bats, Bill was claimed to have a fear of balloons.
- Dale Gribble is afraid of ventriloquist dummies, due to his father scaring him with one as a child.
- In Futurama, Bender reveals that he's afraid of can openers, claiming that one killed his father. This fear proves to be justified when a can opener almost leaves him permanently paralyzed.
- In an episode of Popples, Billy says he is afraid of the dentist.
- The Fairly OddParents: In addition to clowns, Timmy Turner is creeped out by bare feet. Which he may have developed from rubbing his grandma's feet.
- Vendetta from Making Fiends has a hatred of music (melophobia). There's a big zig-zag in how extreme it is; she hates Charlotte's singing, but sometimes she will sing herself (and very badly). In the last three episodes of the web series, she seems to be traumatized by music playing from a card, firing her assistant Grudge because it keeps playing when he burps. When her new assistant Rubella gives her a musical bear, Vendetta falls to the ground writhing in pain. In the TV series, she seems to hate music mostly because it's happy and she hates happy things.
- The Zigerions from Rick and Morty are aliens who appear to suffer from gymnophobia, the irrational fear of nudity. Simply taking a shower assures they won't eavesdrop on you. As can be expected, they aren't the most competent aliens.
- In Gravity Falls, Mabel is afraid of stop-motion animation.
- Much like Pamala Anderson, listed below, Della from the 2017 reboot of DuckTales is afraid of her own reflection. This a result of how she was so desperate for companionship during her 11-year ordeal, she started talking to her reflection in a mirror and started to believe it was a real person.
- Mandy from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy is afraid of professional figure skaters (although she insists she just "doesn't trust the way they spin"). Billy confronts her on this fact when she says his fear of clowns (see above) is stupid. (And frankly, he kinda has a point...) Horror's Hand in Big Boogey Adventure conjures up something worse for her: a future Mandy that is obese, mirthful, and married to Irwin. Mandy is scared shitless.
- Ironically, however, Boogey himself is too much of a coward to face his own greatest fear, which ironically, is realizing that he is not at all scary (Adding insult to injury, Grim actually turned the hand's power off right after he picked it up). This leads to quite possibly the biggest Humiliation Conga in Cartoon Network history, leading to him being afraid of everything.
- The famed director Alfred Hitchcock was reported to be deathly afraid of eggs. Yeah, the guy who made Psycho, The Birds, and Vertigo was afraid of eggs.
- In a magazine from years ago, this troper recalls Hilary Duff stating her fear (or strong disgust) of eggs, and this troper isn't crazy about them either.
- On a related note, director Werner Herzog is afraid of chickens.
- Stephen King is afraid of the number 13, a condition known as Triskaidekaphobia.
- Composer Arnold Schönberg similarly was afraid of the number. His greatest fear was reportedly dying on an age that added up or multiplied to 13. Which he did, at age 76 (7+6=13) on Friday the 13th - perhaps because he feared it that much.
- It's funny he didn't die at age 67.
- French composer Jules Massenet shared their fear as well. Made weirder and arguably funnier by how the letters in his name are... thirteen.
- Composer Arnold Schönberg similarly was afraid of the number. His greatest fear was reportedly dying on an age that added up or multiplied to 13. Which he did, at age 76 (7+6=13) on Friday the 13th - perhaps because he feared it that much.
- Pamela Anderson probably has the above beat. She is reportedly a sufferer of eisoptrophobia—in other words, she is freaked out by her own reflection.
- From a Tumblr blog:
Q: What is the phobia of chainsaws called?
- An infamous Dark Fic about Pinkie Pie brutally torturing, murdering, and baking Rainbow Dash