Pheromones in fiction

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Pheromones are a type of hormone.[1] They are excreted chemical factors that trigger a physiological response in members of the same species that often result in changed social behavior. Pheromones are a popular device in fiction to allow characters to influence one another.

In media franchises[edit]

  • In the Star Trek universe, female Orions are said to have powerful pheromones which men find hard to resist.
  • In the Star Wars novels and comics, species such as Falleen and Zeltrons use pheromones to manipulate or seduce others.
  • In the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series written by Douglas Adams, Ford Prefect is shown to have the ability to use pheromones to control the behaviors of wild animals as well as people around him, therefore influencing their decisions and actions.
  • In the video game series Deus Ex: Human Revolution the protagonist Adam Jensen can use a pheromone implant to affect the decisions of other characters during dialogue.

In literature[edit]

  • In the novel Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins, several characters are interested in the magical qualities of perfumes and pheromones.[vague]
  • In Patrick Suskind's novel Perfume the main character had no scent (and thus no pheromones), and was able to walk amongst crowds unnoticed.
  • Madeleine L'Engle's book Dragons in the Waters also mentions pheromones.[vague]
  • In the book A Mango-Shaped Space, the main character, Mia, is a synesthete who can see pheromones after going through acupuncture.
  • Succubus characters in The Salvation War series use pheromones to cause arousal and sympathy in human characters. However, a forewarned person could consciously resist the influence with some mental effort.
  • In "Partials" by Dan Wells; the Partials use pheromones to communicate commands and emotions such as trust.

In television[edit]

  • In the Torchwood episode "Day One", an alien uses a cloud of pheromones to turn into a walking aphrodisiac.
  • In episode 6.12 of Charmed entitled, "Prince Charmed", Paige and Phoebe use pheromones in a spell to create "Mr. Right" for Piper once she swears off men. Later, Chris adds more pheromones to the potion to get the sisters to do what he wants.
  • Pheromones are mentioned[vague] in an episode[which?] of Wolfgang Petersen's The Agency.
  • In Smallville Clark Kent meets a science teacher with a kryptonite infection, giving her a high level of pheromones, encouraging guys to do whatever she wants.
  • In the The X-Files episode Gender Bender, the killer uses pheromones to attract people to have sexual intercourse. The pheromones are so strong that they can kill the victim that it is sprayed on.

In films[edit]

  • In Snakes on a Plane (2006), the snakes are influenced by the pheromones released in the plane's air system.
  • The existence of a pheromone extract was also mentioned in Batman & Robin (1997), in which Uma Thurman's character, Poison Ivy, uses a pheromone extract to manipulate men into a false sense of love, including Batman and his sidekick Robin, to get what she wants.
  • In Transformers (2007), Ratchet exclaims that Sam's pheromone levels are elevated, suggesting that he "wants to mate with the female".[2]
  • In Ocean's Thirteen, a pheromone is used by Matt Damon to attract Ellen Barkin. This compound, called a "Gilroy", apparently works when inhaled by the female to produce overwhelming desire.
  • In the 1990 science fiction horror film Predator 2, with Danny Glover and Gary Busey, a team of scientists are attempting to capture an alien from another planet. This alien camouflages itself by shifting its mass into a part of the spectrum that humans cannot see ("Dan Aykroyd Unplugged on UFOs" (2005) goes into detail on this subject). The scientists chasing this alien use a technology that captures the alien’s, so called, "Pheromone signature."
  • In the Chinese film All About Women, Zhou develops a pheromone drug patch which she uses to experiment on its effectiveness in attracting men.

In other media[edit]

  • In the Ultimates comic book series under Marvel's Ultimate line, Hank Pym aka Giant Man uses pheromones from his helmet to communicate with and control ants.
  • In Uncanny X-Men there was a short lived character named Stacy X who could emit and control sexual pheromones.
  • In The New Mutants there was a short lived character named Wallflower who could influence and affect the emotions of others by emitting various pheromones.
  • In the video game Half-Life 2, the player's character, Dr. Gordon Freeman, uses a pheromone pod to control ant lions, which are large dog sized insects in the game.
  • In the manga/anime Alice Academy, Ruka and Narumi both have pheromone alices, attracting animals and humans respectively.