Created By: EdnaWalker on September 28, 2011 Last Edited By: EdnaWalker on April 25, 2012
Troped

Sapient Pet

Pet Funny Animals, Aliens, and other intelligent species.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Rolling Updates. Needs a Better Description.

Alternate Title: Pet Funny Animal

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Pet characters in most works are Nearly Normal Animals, whether with the ability to talk in Animal Talk or not. These animals, however, are just animals, not intelligent beings like humans.

This trope, on the other hand, is about pets who are intelligent and able to interact with their owners (usually a human, but can be a human-surrogate animal or alien) on the same level. Sometimes these pets are actually smarter than their owners and choosing to hide it, other times they are open about being sapient beings and are accepted as part of the human world as well as their own world.

Pets that shift between humanoid and "pet" forms do not go here and should be under Anthropomorphic Zig-Zag instead.

There are several variations on this

  • Sapient Pets That Masquerade as Normal Pets Around All Humans: These beings choose to hide that they are at least as smart a human. Sometimes this involves a disguise as a normal animal, other times the entire species plays dumb to stay hidden. The examples including Broken Masquerades would belong here, as a broken masquerade would suggest that there is a masquerade. Unlike the other variants, it doesn't involve animals being treated as pets and people simultaneously.
  • Sapient Pets That Masquerade as Normal Pets Around Some Humans: Unlike the above variant, these beings can behave like humans around some humans but not around others. Unlike the above variation, they are treated like either like people if only those who know are around or as pets by if humans who should not know they are sapient are around. They do not shapeshift to do this, they simply modify their behavior. Shapeshifters that turn from humanoids into pets and back in order to hide go under Anthropomorphic Zig-Zag, not here.
  • Openly Sapient Pets: These are intelligent beings that don't hide that they are intelligent. Some of these beings are treated like non-sapient animals despite their sapience, and others are treated as the sapient beings they are. They may be accepted by humans around them or humans may react in horror. Either way, these beings are not afraid to "be themselves".

This trope also includes sapient animals and aliens who are service animals, lab animals, livestock, circus animals, or zoo animals.

Not to be confused with Anthropomorphic Zig-Zag. Sister trope to Sapient Steed. See also Civilized Animal, Funny Animal, and the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism. Related to Amplified Animal Aptitude and Intellectual Animal.


Sapient Pets That Masquerade as Normal Pets Around All Humans:

Comic Books
  • In Silver Age Supergirl comics, her horse Comet, who is really a humanoid who is in love with her but has been transformed into a horse. When a comet passes the earth he becomes a human for a short period of time.
    • Also Krypto the Superdog for Superboy. A doglike creature from the planet Krypton, he "spoke" through thought balloons much like Snoopy.

Film
  • In the film Barnyard, and early episodes of its spin off series Back at the Barnyard, the farm animals all act like dumb, domesticated animals unless they're wearing disguises when humans are around, but stand on two legs and throw parties when humans aren't around.

Literature

Tabletop Games
  • In the Star Wars RPG Sourcebook, "Cracken's Rebel Operatives", Moff Jarnek's Cool Pet Daerlar is a Covallon. Because Covallon walk on all fours, it isn't widely known that they're a fully sentient race. Dearlar chooses to keep this fact secret rather than seeking his freedom because he is a spy working for Cracken, and his position is the perfect "cover".

Western Animation
  • The Wonder Pets are ordinary classroom pets, until school ends, and they put on capes, fly in a flying ship and rescue baby animals.
  • South Park has Lemmiwinks, the adventuring gerbil. Although he never speaks he is intelligent enough to use tools such as weapons and solve problems no gerbil would be able to solve while humans aren't around. Around humans he's just a gerbil.
  • Futurama Has Nibbler the Niblonian, part of an ancient race of geniuses who pretend to be stupid in order to protect and monitor "lesser races" like humans. Any time the masquerade breaks, they simply erase the memory of all who saw the break.


Sapient Pets That Masquerade as Normal Pets Around Some Humans:

Anime and Manga
  • Tenchi Muyo! has Rio-Ohki, the cabbit. Around her caretakers she is as smart as a human child. Around everyone else, though, she's a pet.
  • In Zero no Tsukaima, magic school students are required to summon a familiar as part of their second year final exam, and the familair summoned is considered a pet, regardless of what ends up being summoned. The students themselves have no idea what will happen as the spell chooses their familiar for them.
    • Tabitha summons a large rhyme dragon she names Sylphid. We find out just how sentient Sylphid is when it's revealed that rhyme dragons are shapeshifters and Tabitha's "sister" Illococoo is really Sylphid's human form.
    • Louise summons Seito, a young man from the modern world. Though Seito is treated by everone else as a human (to the point that he is later knighted and thus legally a noble in wizard society despite being a muggle), Louise still treats him as a pet.
    • It turns out that "void mages" can only summon humanoid familiars, so by definition the familiar of a void mage is always a sentient pet.
  • Luna and Artemis from Sailor Moon can talk and have powers, but only do so to the Sailor Scouts.

Comics
  • Salem Saberhagen from Sabrina the Teenage Witch is a warlock transformed into a black cat as a punishment for trying to take over the world. Around other witches and warlocks he is (mostly) treated as a person but around Muggles he acts like a normal pet cat owned by Sabrina. The premise is the same in the live action TV show.
    • It was also adapted into an animated television series, in which not only was Salem a talking cat, he would also occasionally stand upright and wear clothing, but typically only when not around Muggles.

Film
  • In Disney's Aladdin, Jafar's parrot Iago is intelligent, but hides this from people like the sultan in the first movie.

Live Action TV
  • Mister Ed pretends to be a normal horse, and only talks to Wilbur.

Western Animation
  • Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb shows Funny Animal traits, wears a fedora, and goes by the moniker, Agent P around Doofenshmirtz and other humans, but masquerades a "normal" pet who lays around the house doing nothing around Phineas, Ferb, Candace, and their friends and family.
  • Unlike in Barnyard and early episodes of Back at the Barnyard, the later episodes of the same show has the animals' Masquerade grow more lenient to the point that their status leans toward the Openly Sapient Pet varaint.
  • The entire premise of Teacher's Pet. Spot is an ordinary housedog, but puts on clothes and goes to school posing as a boy.
    • Every pet can talk and do human things, but typically keep this a secret from their human owners, with the exception of Spot and Leonard's other pets who basically let their human owner in on the secret.
  • Monkey from Dexter's Laboratory.
  • Michigan J. Frog from the Looney Tunes cartoon, "One Froggy Evening," sings and dances when his owner is around, but just acts like a normal frog when any other human is around.
  • Kat from Kid VS Kat is a hyperintelligent cat-like alien. He can't speak in the conventional sense, but he is very anthropomorphized in his actions. However, around everyone except Coop, Dennis and later Fiona, he seems like just an ordinary house cat.


Openly Sapient Pets:

Anime and Manga
  • Outlaw Star has Melfina the android. She starts out as more of a crew pet and accessory and slowly grows into a regular part of the crew.
  • Team Rocket's Meowth from Pokémon

Comicbooks
  • In The Incal, Deepo, a so-called "concrete" seagull and pet of the protagonist John Di Fool, gains the ability to talk thanks to an encounter with the mystical Incal artifact.

Film
  • Gremlins has the Mogwai which, when maltreated, become the even more intelligent and dangerous Gremlins.
  • Donkey from Shrek. In fact, this one could be the page quote: "I'm sorry, the position of annoying talking animal has already been taken."

Literature
  • In the Star Wars book The Approaching Storm, a Gwurran named Tooqi actually asks to become Barriss Offee's pet. His logic is that pets get free food, protection from predators and the affection of their masters, in exchange for a relatively minor amount of work. Certainly a better deal than living wild in a cave with the rest of his tribe.

Newspaper Comics
  • Beetle Bailey: Sgt. Snorkle's dog Otto wears a uniform and walks around on two legs.
  • Dilbert's dog Dogbert is openly intelligent.

Video Games

Webcomics
  • The comic Housepets! is about a group of Funny Animal housepets who act more like children to their human families rather than pets.
  • Keridians from TwoKinds, by some of the nicer humans (of course, they're also seen as a source of cheap labour by more dickish humans). The Keridians are officially slaves.

Western Animation
  • Wonder Dog in the 1973/74 season of Super Friends. A Non-Human Sidekick and Speech-Impaired Animal, he was as intelligent as a normal human being even though he couldn't talk
  • Family Guy: Peter's dog Brian Griffin.
  • Garfield is this in The Garfield Show. The other cats are generally assumed to be this as well.
  • The Wonder Twins from Superfriends had a monkey named Gleep.
  • Scooby-Doo is a prime example.
  • So is Astro from The Jetsons
  • Magilla Gorilla lives in a pet store; every once in a while he's bought to be a pet, but he's returned by the end of the short.
  • Peanuts: While Snoopy doesn't talk, the entire cast knows that he is sapient. For instance, he is somehow able to communicate to Charlie Brown that he is pretending to be the World War I flying ace. He has even acted as an attorney for Peppermint Patty (unsuccessfully, but still impressive for a dog.)
  • Sylvester, Tweety, and Hector from Looney Tunes are openly sapient around humans (including Granny) even though they are treated like pets.
    • Quite a few pets from Looney Tunes are like this too, including the cat and mouse in "Pizzicato Pussycat" and Marc Anthony the bulldog.
  • The titular cat and mouse duo of Tom and Jerry is this toward people, despite their lack of ability to talk.
  • In "Wags to Riches" and its remake "Millionaire Droopy," Spike the Bulldog (no, not the Tom and Jerry one) and Droopy the Bassett Hound are portrayed as this.
  • The titular dog of Martha Speaks


Examples That Show More Than One Variant:

Literature
  • James H. Schmitz short story "Novice". Telzey Amberdon's pet crest cat Tick-Tock changes from a "Masquerades as a Normal Pet Around All Humans" (including Telzey) to "Masquerades as a Normal Pet Around Some Humans" during the course of the story, as her sapience (and those of the other crest cats) is revealed to Telzey and several few high-placed human officials.

Western Animation
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has different levels of sapience among pets.
    • Dragon cub Spike is sort of like an adopted son or little brother to Twilight Sparkle, but in some ways he is much like a pet; Twilight Sparkle's friends know him, he very much enjoys the attention he gets from them, and like a loyal dog he often works for them and tries to protect them, and he can be very dangerous when his behaviour gets out of control. Yet Spike also talks, and has some ideas that, had they been listened to, the ponies could have avoided a lot of trouble.
    • Angel Bunny doesn't talk, but clearly understands what Fluttershy is saying to him, and often tries to communicate his response in non-verbal ways.
    • This example has a lot of Furry Confusion going for it. Some of the non-pony animals, like sheep, are shown to be able to talk but for whatever reason, are treated like animals. The pets of the ponies, (like Angel Bunny, Opal for Rarity, and Owlicious for Twilight Sparkle) act more like their real life counterparts (except Angel, as stated, often pantomimes his wishes). It's hard to say what is and isn't sentient in that universe, considering Rule of Funny comes into play so often.
  • Gromit the dog from Wallace & Gromit wavers between Openly Sapient Pet and Sapient Pets That Masquerade as Normal Pets Around Some Humans.


Community Feedback Replies: 61
  • September 30, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Family Guy: Peter's dog Brian Griffin.
  • September 30, 2011
    StevenT
    Brandy Harrington from Brandy And Mr Whiskers was one of these when she lived in Florida.
  • October 2, 2011
    MorganWick
    Suggestion: Soft split between cases where they only show Funny Animal tendencies when humans aren't around, and those that show Funny Animal tendencies all the time. Most of the examples are either the latter or lie in a gray area.
  • October 6, 2011
    WackyMeetsPractical
    • In the film Barnyard and its spin off series Back At The Barnyard, the farm animals all act like dumb, domesticated animals when humans are around, but stand on two legs and throw parties when humans aren't around.
    • The comic Housepets is about a group of Funny Animal housepets who act more like children to their human families rather than pets.
    • Every pet in the Teachers Pet can talk and do human things, but typically keep this a secret from their human owners, with the exception of Spot and Leonard's other pets who basically let their human owner in on the secret.
    • The animals in the pet store in Fishhooks would fall into a gray area, as they participate in human activities, but aren't usually seen interacting with humans.

    I am slightly unsure whether this is exactly tropable. Most of the examples tend to overlap too much with Anthropomorphic Zig Zag. However I like the idea of Funny Animals as pets, and it's something I see often, mostly in webcomics and newspaper comics. Perhaps we could focus this trope to discuss only the second variant as described above, because everything else is basically Anthropomorphic Zig Zag but more specific.
  • October 7, 2011
    Hadashi
  • October 7, 2011
    EdnaWalker
    @Hadashi: Anthro Pet could be a redirect.
  • October 13, 2011
    WackyMeetsPractical
    Does Perry really fall under Gray Area? He's a masquerading pet! The movie just provides an example of a Broken Masquerade, which is a risk with any masquerading pets. Besides in the end Phineas and Ferb and everyone else involved, have their memories erased of the entire day, thus maintaining the masquerade. And if you count that as a gray area, then the Teachers Pet example should also fall into gray area, since it's also an example of a broken masquerade.

    And as I said before, I don't think we need all of this categories. 1 and 3 already fall into the category of Anthropomorphic Zig Zag. The trope should focus primarily on type 2, with type 4 mentioned as a variant. The trope should be about any time in which pets behave and are treated like people by their owners or other humans.
  • October 13, 2011
    EdnaWalker
    Can I please rewrite Anthropomorphic Zig Zag so that it doesn't include Variants 1 and 3 of this trope, or would that be a bad idea?
  • October 13, 2011
    GreenMachine
    Okay, I'm a bit confused by the classification system, but here's some examples, regardless...

    Anime and Manga
    • ...Meowth? From the Pokemon anime? Does that count as a pet? Or an animal, for that manner?
    Western Animation Newspaper Comics
  • October 13, 2011
    EdnaWalker
    Here are some examples that I took out of Anthropomorphic Zig Zag because they're more fitting with Variants 1 or 3 of this trope. I rewrote Anthropomorphic Zig Zag so that it doesn't include Variants 1 and 3.

    • Phineas And Ferb: Perry the platypus is just an ordinary pet platypus. He lays around the house and doesn't do anything, while everyone's looking. Otherwise, he puts on a fedora and goes by Agent P, an anthropomorphic platypus with a high level of intelligence.
    • The entire premise of Teachers Pet. Spot is an ordinary housedog, but puts on clothes and goes to school posing as a boy.
    • The Wonder Pets are ordinary classroom pets, until school ends, and they put on capes, fly in a flying ship and rescue baby animals.
    • Eek The Cat is a Talking Animal/Funny Animal that often partakes in human activities, but is also a pet cat and cannot speak to his owners, although he appears to be able to speak to other human characters.
    • The animals in Barnyard and Back At The Barnyard walk on two legs, talk and partake in "human" activities, but when humans/a human show/shows up, the animals switch to a four-legged stance (except the birds, which are two-legged by default) and act like normal animals.
    • The animals in Father Of The Pride are normally Funny Animals, but switch to being Nearly Normal Animals around humans.
  • October 13, 2011
    GreenMachine
    Western Animation
    • Ned's Newt: I'm not quite sure if this fits. Basically, the titular newt is very much a funny animal, at least when he eats Zippo Newt Food. When that happens, he becomes this big blue thing that can transform into anything. When he's just a regular newt, however, it is less clear, although the show implies that he still has his personality and whatnot.
  • October 13, 2011
    yogyog
    If in the comic medium they will probably use Thought Speech. A YKTTW I just created about animals who 'talk' in thought bubbles.
  • October 14, 2011
    DaibhidC
    • Otto the dog in Beetle Bailey, who is treated like an ordinary dog, despite walking on his hind legs and wearing a full military uniform.
  • October 14, 2011
    WackyMeetsPractical
    I don't exactly agree with the way we're splitting the tropes here. I also don't think it was right to remove anything from Anthropomorphic Zig Zag especially since this trope hasn't launched yet. Also, tropes are allowed to overlap so there really is no need to remove anything from anywhere. The point that I was trying to make earlier was that the definitions of some of the variations described here already matched perfectly with the definitions we agreed was Anthropomorphic Zig Zag that we didn't need to list those variations here, as it was already covered. Now, the way I see it, we have several distinct tropes here.

    1: Funny Animals as pets: Animals that behave like humans and interact with humans and are treated like humans for the most part, are still considered pets in their universe. 2: Funny Animals masquerading as pets: These animals behave like humans, but not around other humans. They are not allowed to let humans know what they are capable, and thus can switch between anthropomorphic and nonanthropomorphic in order to maintain the secret. They may also put on a disguise so that they can interact with humans without suspicion. The examples including Broken Masquerade also would belong here, as a broken masquerade would suggest that there is a masquerade. This definition is considered a secondary definition of Anthropomorphic Zig Zag as written. It's not exactly the same as the above variation, as it doesn't involve animals being treated as pets and people simultaneously. 3: Pets that switch between normal pet animals and anthropomorphic animals depending on the situation, who's around, the writer, etc. This is exactly the definition of Anthropomorphic Zig Zag and certainly doesn't belong here. 4: Pets in which their status is uncertain due to a lack of interaction with humans in the work they're in, but most certainly are considered pets, and are most certainly anthropomorphic.

    The "Gray Area" variant currently listed above should be cut out completely, as it describes Anthropomorphic Zig Zag nearly exactly. The funny animals masquerading as regular animals should also be cut. I also believe it's tropable enough to be a trope of it's own, so we should split it from Anthropomorphic Zig Zag. The "uncertain status" examples can stay there, since it's possible it can be one way or the other. I feel like the real trope here is the truly anthropomorphic animals being given pet status, with talking animals included. That's what I thought the trope was when I first saw the title, and it really feels tropable. Everything else written just feels extraneous, especially since they probably should, and most likely do, be tropes by themselves. Let's keep it simple and concise and cut out all of these extra definitions.
  • November 6, 2011
    lamoxlamae
    I agree with Wacky Meets Practical. There is no reason to delete stuff from an already working trope that has no major issues, especially to make room for a page that does not exist yet. It's also too close to Anthropomorphic Zig Zag as it stands.

    Funny Animals are drawn as Funny Animals due to Artistic License and to make the pet's traits more readily available to outside viewers like us. They aren't actually funny animals in most cases. They are actual animals that are drawn in endearing outfits and made to "talk" so we can find them endearing as well. It's like trying to draw a caricature of a cat: it won't look like or act like the actual cat.

    In the case of actual sapient animals as pets, this trope should be expanded to cover all intelligent species including aliens: Sapient Pet not Funny Animal Pet. This matches Sapient Steed and would make this trope have a sister. It also would be a subtrope of A Boy And His X

    Speaking of Sapient Pets, here's a few examples....

    • Gremlins has the Mogwai which, when maltreated, become the even more sapient Gremlins.
    • Tenchi Muyo has Rio-Ohki, the shapeshifting cabbit. Although she is childlike mentally, she is sapient.
    • Outlaw Star has Melfina the android. She starts out as more of a crew pet and accessory and slowly grows into a regular part of the crew.
    • In Furcadia Wyrmes keep furres as pets. Also, furres are not afraid to keep each other as pets. Generally the furres in question do not mind, either because they are well-treated or brainwashed.

    Also, the part about Uncertain status pets should not be there. If you're not sure they are a pet and they are sapient, it's best to assume they are not a pet until you see otherwise. Removing this section will keep the page clean and will prevent duplicate entries for when the "pet" status is revealed or not. The majority of these turn out to be caricatures of normal animals (like described earlier) and not actually sapient which would mean they don't belong here, anyway.

  • November 6, 2011
    cygnavamp
    • Sgt. Snorkle's dog Otto wears a uniform and walks around on two legs.
    • The Wonder Twins from The Superfriends had a monkey named Gleep.
    • Scooby Doo is a prime example.
    • So is Astro from The Jetsons
  • November 6, 2011
    EdnaWalker
    Can "Sapient Pet That Doesn't Interact With Humans" be a category or not?

    Sapient Pet That Doesn't Interact With Humans description:

    These animals and aliens are most certainly sapient, are most certainly pets, and don't act like normal animals. However, you don't see them interact with humans, so you can't be sure which of the above three levels they belong in.
  • November 7, 2011
    TrustBen
    Lockheed, Kitty Pryde's empathic pet dragon from The X Men.
  • November 7, 2011
    AndersK90
    Haruhi Suzumiya once turned a stray cat sentient with her reality warping powers. Kyon and the rest of the SOS-brigade convinced it to hide this fact from everyone, especially Haruhi. Then it became Kyons pet.
  • November 7, 2011
    WackyMeetsPractical
    I think Sapient Pet works. We can drop the animals masquerading as that is part of Anthropomorphic Zig Zag, leaving any case of an animal that is clearly sentient and is also clearly a pet, or other tamed animal. Still unsure if we should include examples of animals not interacting with humans, as lamoxlamae pointed out, it's not entirely clear if they're sentient, or only portrayed that way as a Translation Convention. Fish Hooks for example, we don't know whether their anthropomorphic, masquerading, or just regular fish as seen through their own eyes.
  • November 7, 2011
    lamoxlamae
    Edna: No, it should not be a category. The definition of a "pet" is "a creature that interacts with a human" (or what passes for the dominant race in that setting). Having "pets" that don't interact with humans defeats the purpose of having a page all about them being pets.

    Having "non interacting pets" opens the door for a lot of messy things like duplicate entries (once pet status is confirmed), justifying edits (if it looks like they're not a pet after all), mistaken entries and possibly edit wars (for pets that aren't actually sapient to a human). Just not adding "pets" that don't interact with human-types is the best answer. It's cleaner, easier to define, easier to keep on topic, and makes more sense.

    @Wacky: I think as long as the masquerade is not done via shapeshifting it should be different enough from Anthropomorphic Zig Zag. Nibbler from Futurama, for example, does not shape shift when the masquerade drops. He still looks like an animal but he stops acting like an animal and starts acting and speaking like a person. As he does not change forms, just changes action, he would not fit in Anthropomorphic Zig Zag, but he would fit under Sapient Pet.
  • November 7, 2011
    WackyMeetsPractical
    ^ Not interacting with humans does not necessarily equal not being pets. The Fish Hooks example, for example, they never interact with humans (As far as I've seen) yet they live in a Pet Store, which is still fully functional. So there's no denying that those animals can be or will be sold as pets eventually. In Brandy And Mr Whiskers, although humans are never seen, it is confirmed that they are pets, as they would talk about having been pets before getting lost in the jungle. What isn't confirmed is how they interact with humans. We don't know whether or not they're sapient in front of them or not. Thus they can definitely be pets, but it would be unclear whether they're sapient.

    Also, I believe in its current form, Anthropomorphic Zig Zag covers any form of hidden sentience, whether it's switching from four legs to two legs, or simply only talking when nobody's around. As I said earlier, I think there is enough reason to split Masquerading Pet from Anthropomorphic Zig Zag, so it will no longer become an issue.
  • November 7, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Magilla Gorilla lives in a pet store; every once in a while he's bought to be a pet, but he's returned by the end of the short.
  • November 7, 2011
    EdnaWalker
    ^^They are most certainly pets and are most certainly sapient, but how they interact with humans isn't confirmed.
  • November 12, 2011
    arromdee
    Melfina is humanoid and ineligible for this trope.
  • November 12, 2011
    JoeG
    • Peanuts: While Snoopy doesn't talk, the entire cast knows that he is sapient. For instance, he is somehow able to communicate to Charlie Brown that he is pretending to be the World War I flying ace. He has even acted as an attorney for Peppermint Patty (unsuccessfully, but still impressive for a dog.)
  • November 12, 2011
    ParadiscaCorbasi
  • December 1, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Would this be film or Tabetop Games or?
    • In the Star Wars RPG Sourcebook, "Cracken's Rebel Operatives", Moff Jarnek's Cool Pet Daerlar is a Covallon. Because Covallon walk on all fours, it isn't widely known that they're a fully sentient race. Dearlar chooses to keep this fact secret rather than seeking his freedom because he is a spy working for Cracken, and his position is the perfect "cover".

    anime and manga:
    • In Zero No Tsukaima, magic school students are required to summon a familiar as part of their second year final exam, and the familair summoned is considered a pet, regardless of what ends up being summoned. The students themselves have no idea what will happen as the spell chooses their familiar for them.
      • Tabitha summons a large rhyme dragon she names Sylphid. We find out just how sentient Sylphid is when it's revealed that rhyme dragons are shapeshifters and Tabitha's "sister" Illococoo is really Sylphid's human form.
      • Louise summons Seito, a young man from the modern world. Though Seito is treated by everone else as a human (to the point that he is later knighted and thus legally a noble in wizard society despite being a muggle), Louise still treats him as a pet.
      • It turns out that "void mages" can only summon humanoid familiars, so by definition the familiar of a void mage is always a sentient pet.
  • December 1, 2011
    Duncan
    The Animated Adaptation of Punky Brewster featured Glomer; don't remember how pet-like he was.
  • December 1, 2011
    matsuiny2004
    -
  • December 1, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    Actually, Bolt is a case of the animals being able to understand each other's speech but not the humans. They way you have it written sounds like they choose not to speak to humans, which isn't the case. Bolt's talking just sounds like barking to humans.
  • December 2, 2011
    WackyMeetsPractical
    ^^ That's Animal Talk. It in no way indicates sentience and doesn't belong here.
  • December 2, 2011
    JoeG
    • Lummox from Robert Heinlein's novel The Star Beast, who was brought as a pet by one of John Thomas Stuart XI'th ancestors and has been handed down through the generations. Zigzagged in that Lummox considers the John Thomas's to be her pets.
  • December 2, 2011
    randomsurfer
    "Sapeint who acts non-sapient around all humans" types.
    • Myth Adventures: Gleep the Dragon. All the human(oid) characters hear him say is "Gleep!" but it turns out he's Eloquent In His Native Tongue; "gleep" is all they can understand him to say.
    • In Silver Age Supergirl comics, her horse Comet, who is really a humanoid who is in love with her but has been transformed into a horse. When a comet passes the earth he becomes a human for a short period of time.
      • Also Krypto the Superdog for Superboy. A doglike creature from the planet Krypton, he "spoke" through thought balloons much like Snoopy.
  • December 3, 2011
    arromdee
    K-9 in Doctor Who is a fully sentient, talking, robot dog who became the Doctor's pet for several seasons, with various K-9 models leaving with various companions.

    The Silver Age Legion Of Super Heroes has Proty, who became Chameleon Boy's pet. He is sentient (and in fact one Old Shame of the series is the "Legion of Super-Pets" which also included Krypto and Comet). He cannot normally talk but is telepathic and can also talk when in the form of a creature that talks. It was later implied that Proteans are not naturally sentient but became so when they imitated sentient beings.
  • December 3, 2011
    dalek955
    • In the Star Wars book The Approaching Storm, a Gwurran named Tooqi actually asks to become Barriss Offee's pet. His logic is that pets get free food, protection from predators and the affection of their masters, in exchange for a relatively minor amount of work. Certainly a better deal than living wild in a cave with the rest of his tribe.
  • December 4, 2011
    EdnaWalker

  • December 11, 2011
    TechUnadept
    Openly sapient example
    • Keidrans from Two Kinds, by some of the nicer humans (of course, they're also seen as a source of cheap labour by more dickish humans).
  • December 20, 2011
    Ryuuma
    • Happy, Charle and later Panther Lily from Fairy Tail belongs to the Exceed race, a race of intelligent cat-like animals, and they act as pets to the three main characters Natsu, Wendy and Gajil. Making them a "type 3".
  • December 29, 2011
    arromdee
    By the way, the Wonder Twins' Gleep is not an example. The Super Friends comic book actually has a story where he's stolen by a villain and trained to steal and the characters remark that he would do as trained because he's still just an animal.
  • December 29, 2011
    EdnaWalker
    Comic Books: In The Incal, Deepo, a so-called "concrete" seagull and pet of the protagonist John Di Fool, gains the ability to talk thanks to an encounter with the mystical Incal artifact. (openly sapient)
  • December 29, 2011
    catkid786
    For Western Animation under Openly Sapient Pets, Rufus the naked mole rat from Kim Posible.
  • December 30, 2011
    Arivne
    Openly Sapient Pets

    Western Animation
  • January 1, 2012
    Mith4
    Dilbert's dog Dogbert is openly intelligent (at least around his owner. Don't know how it is with other humans). In Disney's Aladdin, Jafar's parrot Iago is intelligent, but hides this from people like the sultan, at least in the first movie. Donkey from Shrek. In fact, this one could be the page quote: "I'm sorry, the position of annoying talking animal has already been taken."
  • January 1, 2012
    Zsuzsa
    Literature example: In the Honor Harrington universe, Treecats start out as type 1 and move to type 3. When humans first encounter the 'cats, they think of them as very intelligent animals, but still as animals, and the 'cats decide that it's best to let them think that at least until the 'cats know more about humans. Over the course of the story, a few of the treecats point out that they now do know quite a bit about humans and that it's time to reveal their full intelligence, lest the 'cats start to think of themselves as just very smart pets.
  • January 1, 2012
    HiddenFacedMatt
    • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic has different levels of sapience among pets.
      • Dragon cub Spike is sort of like an adopted son or little brother to Twilight Sparkle, but in some ways he is much like a pet; Twilight Sparkle's friends know him, he very much enjoys the attention he gets from them, and like a loyal dog he often works for them and tries to protect them, and he can be very dangerous when his behaviour gets out of control. Yet Spike also talks, and has some ideas that, had they been listened to, the ponies could have avoided a lot of trouble.
      • Angel Bunny doesn't talk, but clearly understands what Fluttershy is saying to him, and often tries to communicate his response in non-verbal ways.
  • January 2, 2012
    Arivne
    Literature
    • James H Schmitz short story "Novice". Telzey Amberdon's pet crest cat Tick-Tock changes from a "Masquerades as a Normal Pet Around All Humans" (including Telzey) to "Masquerades as a Normal Pet Around Some Humans" during the course of the story, as her sapience (and those of the other crest cats) is revealed to Telzey and several few high-placed human officials.
  • January 9, 2012
    dvorak
    The Two Kinds example should point out Keidrans are officially slaves...
  • January 17, 2012
    jatay3
    Treecats in Honor Harrington.
  • January 17, 2012
    chicagomel
    The novel The Wild Boy has a premise of humans as pets in a sense, though it's also part bond-creature.
  • January 29, 2012
    Rognik
    Luna and Artemis from Sailor Moon are a type 2 variant. They can talk and have powers, but only do so to the Sailor Scouts.

    The My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic example has a lot of Furry Confusion going for it. Some of the non-pony animals, like sheep, are shown to be able to talk but for whatever reason, are treated like animals. The pets of the ponies, (like Angel Bunny, Opal for Rarity, and Owlicious for Twilight Sparkle) act more like their real life counterparts (except Angel, as stated, often pantomimes his wishes). It's hard to say what is and isn't sentient in that universe, considering Rule Of Funny comes into play so often.
  • February 1, 2012
    snowy86
    Gromit from Wallace And Gromit is either type 2 or type 3
  • February 2, 2012
    Rognik
    Another western animation example: Kat, from Kid Versus Kat, is a hyperintelligent cat-like alien. He can't speak in the conventional sense, but he is very anthropomorphized in his actions. However, around everyone except Coop, Dennis and later Fiona, he seems like just an ordinary house cat.
  • February 3, 2012
    RossN
    Live Action Television example: Salem Saberhagen from Sabrina The Teenage Witch is a type 2. He's a warlock transformed into a black cat as a punishment for trying to take over the world. Around other witches and warlocks he is (mostly) treated as a person but around Muggles he acts like a normal pet cat owned by Sabrina.
  • February 4, 2012
    WackyMeetsPractical
    ^ That should probably go under Comic Books, since it was originally a comic book series. The premise was the same and Salem was also a warlock-turned-cat there too. It was also adapted into an animated television series, in which not only was Salem a talking cat, he would also occasionally stand upright and wear clothing, but typically only when not around Muggles.
  • February 23, 2012
    chicagomel
    ^I wondered about the Pokemon thing too. Meowth is the only one that talks and walks upright, but many of the others are said to be highly intelligent. But it's hard to tell which ones count and which don't. Many of them are said to have language, it's just they don't speak human, they only talk to each other in their own language.
  • March 12, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    Can this trope be launched now?
  • March 27, 2012
    Manateehugs
    In literature, In the book Sabriel, I think perhaps the character of Mogget would qualify for this trope. He is a powerful creature of free magic related to wall between the kingdoms. However during the course of the story he is in the form of a white cat. However if his collar is removed he has more of an essense of energy. He is fully Sentient giving Sabriel and Touchstone guidance, yet has all the regular features of a normal cat.

    Hayley ^_^
  • March 27, 2012
    captainsandwich
    In Dungeons And Dragons (3.5 at least) Paladin's special mounts and Arcane spell caster's familiars gain intelligence as you level up, provided you don't prestige class (to my knowledge almost all arcane spell casters prestige class, and almost no one plays paladins).
  • April 22, 2012
    Dacilriel
    Type 2: Mr Ed pretends to be a normal horse, and only talks to Wilbur.
  • April 25, 2012
    JustaUsername
    Just Launch It Already! This is a noticable trope and there's little more we can add!
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