Escaped Animal Rampage
An animal escapes from a zoo, a circus, a pound and creates havoc or zany antics while abroad.
Tropeworthy? Needs Examples Tropeworthy?

(permanent link) added: 2014-01-08 13:28:06 sponsor: Patachou (last reply: 2014-10-08 15:27:03)

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A popular trope in comedies. An animal escapes from a zoo, a circus, a pound, a laboratory or some other kind of area where it formally lived in restricted conditions. The creature might be dangerous, like a gorilla, a lion, a bear, a tiger, a wolf or an elephant, or just something that might provide zany antics, like a chimpanzee, a kangaroo, a seal, ...

Invariably our protagonists will always encounter this escaped animal. Either they have to fight it off and bring it back to the zoo in order for a huge award, or they help it remain hidden and even might transport it back to its natural environment.

A bit Truth in Television too, as several animals have known to escape and create panic and chaos along the way. In Real Life this is usually not that funny, as people might get hurt or even killed. In many cases the animal itself will be shot down.

Also note that this trope is exclusively meant for animals that were held captive by humans, not animals entering the human world from a forest or something.


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    Comic Books 
  • Donald Duck. One Carl Barks comic strip had Donald Duck walking around with a necklace that brings good luck. When he hears that a dangerous gorilla escaped he decides to turn the giant ape in, believing that he will be prevented by his Lucky device. Of course, it doesn't work.
  • Suske en Wiske. In "De Straatridder" Lambik helps several zoo animals escape and hides them in Suske en Wiske's home.
  • Nero.
    • In Hannibal a baby elephant escapes from the circus and is adopted by little Clo-Clo, who keeps him as a pet. The animal is stolen back to the circus and Clo-Clo is kept imprisoned there too. In the end Nero and his friends liberate Clo-Clo, but Hannibal suddenly disappears. This leaves Clo-Clo depressed and he waits and waits for his animal friend to come back. In the end Hannibal does come back, but he is an adult sized elephant now! The Happy Ending shows the others still welcoming him back in their midst.
    • Subverted in Allemaal Beestjes where Nero is transformed into a lion and then caught by frightened people who bring him to the zoo, despite nothing having done anything. A similar storyline can be found in Zwoele Charlotte, where he is dressed in a gorilla costume and again sedated and brought to the zoo, because people think he is a real ape.
  • De Kiekeboes. Fanny saves a chimpanzee from a medical laboratory and keeps at her house. The animal then escapes from her room and goes to the neighbours where he climbs inside the bathroom and helps the unknowing woman of the house with scrubbing her back.
  • Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan, in which a pride of lions escape the Baghdad Zoo during the U.S. invasion.
  • Spirou and Fantasio. In the story "Le Voyageur du M�sozo�que" a dinosaur escapes from the Count of Rommelgem's laboratory and causes havoc in the city.
  • Mortadelo y Filemn. In the album "P�nico en el zoo" all zoo animals escape and Mortadelo and Filemon have to catch them.

  • Laurel and Hardy. In The Chimp a huge ape escapes from the zoo and frightens Laurel and Hardy.
  • Madagascar. The central plot of the first movie.

  • Animal Farm. Farm animals break loose and - unprecedented in the animal world - take over the place and establish a revolutionary community.
  • Curious George. A chimpanzee who escapes from a zoo and has wacky mischievous adventures.

  • Trout Mask Replica. The track "Moonlight On Vermont" has a white elephant escaping from a zoo.

    Western Animation 
  • Many Tweety And Sylvester cartoons have Hippety Hopper, a kangaroo, escaping from the zoo, causing Sylvester and his son to think that he is actually a large mouse.
  • Tom and Jerry. The cartoon "Jerry and The Lion" has a lion escaping from the zoo and Jerry desperately trying to keep him hidden from Tom. In the end he helps him get back on the boat to Africa.
  • Mickey Mouse. In "Mickey And The Seal" a baby seal escapes from the zoo and unknowingly to Mickey and Pluto travels along to their house.
  • The cartoon "Donald Duck and the Gorilla" has a gorilla escaping from the local zoo and encountering Donald.
  • Superman Theatrical Cartoons. The cartoon "Terror On The Midway" features Superman attempting to stop the chaos created when several circus animals escape their cages and restraints, including a giant ape.
  • The Simpsons.
    • In the episode "Marge Gets A Job" a wolf escapes from Krusty's TV show. He then attacks Bart at school, who tries to warn Mrs. Krabappel, but just like in "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" nobody believes the previous liar anymore.
  • This happened to Aang in Avatar: The Last Airbender in The Tales of Ba Sing Sa.

    Real Life 
  • In 1994 a huge circus elephant called Tyke got furious after years of animal cruelty. He killed one of his trainers and then fled outside in the city, causing chaos and panic everywhere he went. He was eventually shot dead.
  • In 2007 a huge gorilla named Bokito escaped from a Dutch zoo. The media attention even inspired a short lived eponym "bokito proof", meaning a cage is strong enough to prevent the prisoner from escaping.

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