Joke and fictional phobias abound, but why? I thought long and hard before including this page. After all, would a page of cancer gags go down well? Probably not in all circles, that's for sure.
Then I thought that
it certainly highlights the different social perception of phobias as being a funny condition. Having a phobia is no more humorous than having any number of other conditions, and laughing at people who have them is decidedly cruel, or at the very least ignorant of the suffering phobics endure.
These, however, are as much jokes of language and they do not identify individuals for ridicule.
This also shows the willingness in popular culture to simply add "-phobia" to pretty much anything in an attempt to be funny, which it isn't.
So, if this page doesn't sit well with you, just click away now, and no harm will be done.
- Aibohphobia – a joke term for the fear of palindromes, which is a palindrome itself. The term is a piece of computer humor entered into the 1981 The Devil's DP Dictionary.
- Anachrophobia – fear of temporal displacement, from a Doctor Who novel by Jonathan Morris.
- Anatidaephobia – the fictional fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you. From Gary Larson's The Far Side.
- Anoraknophobia – a portmanteau of "anorak" and "arachnophobia". Used in the Wallace and Gromit comic book Anoraknophobia. Also the title of an album by Marillion.
Arachibutyrophobia – fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth. The word is used by Charles M. Schulz in a 1982 installment of his "Peanuts" comic strip and by Peter O'Donnell in his 1985 Modesty Blaise adventure novel Dead Man's Handle.
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia – fear of long words. Hippopoto- "big" due to its allusion to the Greek-derived word hippopotamus (though this is derived as hippo- "horse" compounded with potam-os"river", so originally meaning "river horse"; according to the Oxford English, "hippopotamine" has been construed as large since 1847, so this coinage is reasonable); -monstr- is from Latin words meaning "monstrous", -o- is a noun-compounding vowel; -sesquipedali- comes from "sesquipedalian" meaning a long word (literally "a foot and a half long" in Latin), -o- is a noun-compounding vowel, and -phobia means "fear". Note: This was mentioned on the first episode of Brainiac Series Five as one of Tickle's Teasers.
Keanuphobia – fear of Keanu Reeves, portrayed in the Dean Koontz book, False Memory, where a woman has an irrational fear of Keanu Reeves and has to see her psychiatrist, Mark Ahriman, each week. He calls her the "Keanuphobe" in his head.
Luposlipaphobia – fear of being pursued by timber wolves around a kitchen table while wearing socks on a newly waxed floor, also from Gary Larson's The Far Side.
Nihilophobia – fear of nothingness (comes from the combination of the Latin word nihil which means nothing, none, and the suffix -phobia), as described by the Doctor in the Star Trek: Voyager episode Night. Voyager's morale officer and chef Neelix suffers from this condition, having panic attacks while the ship was traversing a dark expanse of space known as the Void. It is also the title of a 2008 album by Neuronium. Also, the animated version of George of the Jungle (2007 TV series) is seen suffering in one episode of the cartoon, where they are telling scary stories.
Venustraphobia – fear of beautiful women, according to a 1998 humorous article published by BBC News. The word is a portmanteau of "Venus trap" and "phobia". Venustraphobia is the title of a 2006 album by Casbah Club.
Monkeyphobia – fear of monkeys, as named by Lord Monkey Fist in the animated series Kim Possible. Due to spending a summer in a cabin with a crazy chimp mascot, Ron Stoppable has a fear of monkeys, which he gets over several times, usually during battles with Monkey Fist, who is essentially Ron's arch-nemesis.
Semaphobia – fear of average Web developers to use Semantic Web technologies.
Tickcapucapitiphobia – fear of having a tick head stuck in your body. Half rational, since tick heads do carry diseases.