Created By: leafshroom on May 30, 2012 Last Edited By: CaveCat on February 14, 2013
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Humanlike Hand Anatomy

Cartoon animals often have human hands, but the feet of their derived species.

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Trope
A common design choice for Funny Animals and other characters on the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism is giving them human-like hands (in spite of their apparent lack of proper wrists). However, their feet (and, perhaps, other parts of their body) often remain unchanged, resembling the feet, fins, flippers and hooves of their original species.

Quite frequently the hands will be four fingered (three fingers and a thumb). This is due both to cartoon drawing conventions of Four-Fingered Hands and the fact that cats and dogs have a "dewclaw" as their fifth digit, making their forepaws look superficially like they only have four digits.

Compare Feather Fingers, where birds are given human-like hands. Related to Humanlike Foot Anatomy.


Examples:

Comic Books
  • Howard the Duck has White Gloves on human-like hands, but has webbed feet.
  • Donald Duck and the rest of the more Funny Animal bodied ducks in the Disney Ducks Comic Universe have human-like arms and hands, but webbed feet.
    • Interestingly, while Disney's ducks and other anthro birds typically have birdlike feet, Gyro Gearloose has human feet (he's also usually drawn with shoes, unlike Donald and the rest).

Film
  • Largely averted in Bambi. Aside from Friend Owl, who switches from regular wings to Feather Fingers when needed, the only characters to have human-like hands are Flower and his girlfriend, and that is mostly based on a real skunk's anatomy.
  • Likewise, Timon is the only major character in The Lion King with hands. Again, excluding Zazu and his Feather Fingers.
  • The Chipmunks and the Chippettes in the live action Alvin and the Chipmunks films have human-like hands but are otherwise very much like chipmunks.
  • For Chicken Run, they would have needed to come up with some pretty ingenious ways for all the chickens to use their various tools if they all had actual wings instead of arms.

Literature
  • An interesting variation in the Sholan Alliance series. The Sholans are a felinoid race with retractable fingers, enabling them to alternately run on all fours or grip things with human-like hands.

Tabletop Games
  • In a non-cartoon example, the darklord Markov from Ravenloft is cursed to always have the body of a beast and the head of a man, but can invoke this trope on himself at will.

Video Games
  • Sonic the Hedgehog characters have a strange variation of this; their hands are human-like, but their feet are very... not human, but not exactly those of their derived species, either. Their feet are just...ovals. No features, no toes, nothing. They look like ovaloids flattened on the sole part. Note that most the characters wear shoes anyway, so you rarely have to behold their flipper[1] feet.[2]

Western Animation
  • Any animal character in Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain except Runt and Buttons (two "non-anthro" dogs), Pharfignewton (a "non-anthro" horse) and Minerva Mink (Petting Zoo Person mink with somewhat human-like feet). The Goodfeathers, Godpigeon, Girlfeathers, and Chicken Boo have Feather Fingers instead.
  • Averted with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and any Dogface that shows up because the former two are Funny Animals with feet shaped like human feet and the latter two have that along with a completely humanoid body shape.
    • Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Ortensia the cat have humanlike hands and feet shaped like blocks that are flat on the soles in Epic Mickey. In early cartoons, Oswald was drawn either with oval feet or feet shaped roughly like that of his species.
  • Looney Tunes loves this trope:
    • Bugs Bunny
    • Daffy Duck
    • Parodied in the Looney Tunes short "What Makes Daffy Duck?" where a fox has human like hands. At one point it's revealed they're gloves when they fly off revealing fox paws underneath.
    • Porky Pig, though his hooves can look more shoe-like depending on the design
  • Played with to disturbing effect on an episode of Adventure Time, where a deer is attacking the citizens of Candy Kingdom. During the climax the deer stands up on its hind legs and, to everyone's shock, takes off its front hooves, revealing human fingers beneath.

Community Feedback Replies: 38
  • May 30, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Current title is completely misleading.
  • May 30, 2012
    NimmerStill
    ^Yeah, unless they're doing a handstand.
  • May 31, 2012
    Arivne
  • May 31, 2012
    NimmerStill
    What do you mean "compare" Feather Fingers? That's a subtrope of this, right?
  • May 31, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    Any animal character in Animaniacs and Pinky And The Brain except Runt and Buttons (two "non-anthro" dogs), Pharfignewton (a "non-anthro" horse) and Minerva Mink (Petting Zoo Person mink with somewhat human-like feet). The Goodfeathers, Godpigeon, Girlfeathers, and Chicken Boo have Feather Fingers instead.
  • June 12, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    Bump?
  • June 12, 2012
    KTera
    Possibly the Khajiit and Argonians (Cat Folk and Lizard Folk, respectively) from The Elder Scrolls? They have human-ish feet in some games and animal-ish ones in others, but I cannot remember what their hands look like.
  • June 13, 2012
    peccantis
    Why not simply Human Hands?
  • June 13, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    What about Humanoid Hands
  • June 13, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    Quite frequently the hands will be four fingered (three fingers and a thumb). This is due both to cartoon drawing conventions and the fact that many animals have a "dewclaw" as their fifth digit, making their forepaws look superficially like they only have four digits.
  • June 17, 2012
    CrankyStorming
    For Chicken Run, they would have needed to come up with some pretty ingenious ways for all the chickens to use their various tools if they all had actual wings instead of arms.
  • June 26, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    Bump?
  • June 26, 2012
    miru
    Felicia form.Darkstalkers has human-like hands with claws but animal like feet.
  • June 26, 2012
    dyson88
    Parodied(I think) in the Looney Tunes short "What Makes Daffy Duck?" where a fox has human like hands. At one point it's revealed they're gloves when they fly off revealing fox paws underneath.
  • July 13, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    The Chipmunks and the Chippettes in the live action Alvin And The Chipmunks films have human-like hands but are otherwise very much like chipmunks.
  • July 13, 2012
    abk0100
  • July 14, 2012
    TonyG
    This is such an Omnipresent Trope that I think it's best to list only aversions, lampshades or exagerations.
  • July 21, 2012
    EdnaWalker
  • July 21, 2012
    TonyG
    • Largely averted in Bambi. Aside from Friend Owl, who switches from regular wings to Feather Fingers when needed, the only characters to have human-like hands are Flower and his girlfriend, and that is mostly based on a real skunk's anatomy.
    • Likewise, Timon is the only major character in The Lion King with hands. Again, excluding Zazu and his Feather Fingers.
    • Played with to disturbing effect on an episode of Adventure Time, where a deer is attacking the citizens of Candy Kingdom. During the climax the deer stands up on its hind legs and, to everyone's shock, takes off its front hooves, revealing human fingers beneath.
  • July 22, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    Averted with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and any Dogface that shows up because the former two are Funny Animals with feet shaped like human feet and the latter two have that along with a completely humanoid body shape.
  • August 30, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    Bump?
  • September 5, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    Bump?
  • September 8, 2012
    ShadowHog
    This trope often leads to Barefoot Cartoon Animals, as it's easier to depict nonhuman feet when there isn't any pesky footwear to get in the way.
  • September 16, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    You can also list notable examples and strangest cases.

    Thirding Humanlike Hand Anatomy.
  • September 16, 2012
    ShadowHog
    ^ You're both seconding AND thirding it? :P
  • September 16, 2012
    Sulacu
    How about 'Opposable Toons'? Maybe a little far-fetched, though.
  • September 22, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    Bump?
  • September 23, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    Bump?
  • November 24, 2012
    EdnaWalker
    Bump?
  • November 24, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Enough with all the bumps already. Either take it over or discard.
  • November 30, 2012
    ayjazz
    Arthur: Human hands, bodies, and feet, but animal heads.
  • December 28, 2012
    Nomic
    Interestingly, while Disney's ducks and other anthro-bird people typically have birdlike feet, Gyro Gearloose has human feet (he's also usually drawn with shoes, unlike Donald and the rest).
  • January 5, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Chances are this doesn't count, but I'm always reminded of the following when I see this pop up on ykttw so I've got to get it out of my system. From MASH, when Radar is taking a Correspondence Course on creative writing and has to provide an amusing anecdote but can't think of one so he goes to Hawkeye.
    Hawkeye: This happened while I was in my first year of medical school. I was taking an exam in anatomy. It was really tough. They ask questions like "How many bones are there in the hand?" I was stymied. I kept saying to myself, "How many bones are there in the hand?" Then I heard this little voice that said "24." I looked around the room and there sitting on the window sill of the classroom was this little grey squirrel with a very intelligent face. And he pointed at his hand and said "24." So I wrote it down. And then after the exam I rushed over to the library to look it up. And would you believe it? That stupid squirrel was wrong by four bones. I went looking all over the campus for him. I wanted to kill him. I finally found him over on a bench by the pysch department. "You were wrong!" I screamed at him. "There's 28 bones in the human hand!" "Oh," he said pointing at his hand, "I thought you meant a squirell's hand."
    Radar: I don't think I can use that story.
    Hawkeye: Want me to make one up?
  • January 8, 2013
    SharleeD
    • In a non-cartoon example, the darklord Markov from Ravenloft is cursed to always have the body of a beast and the head of a man, but can invoke this trope on himself at will.
  • January 16, 2013
    StarSword
    Literature:
    • An interesting variation in the Sholan Alliance series. The Sholans are a felinoid race with retractable fingers, enabling them to alternately run on all fours or grip things with human-like hands.
  • January 23, 2013
    Lunatic
    What about "Animals with Thumbs"?
  • January 23, 2013
    ZombieAladdin
    Would the characters in Sonic The Hedgehog count? They have humanlike hands, but their feet are just...ovals. No features, no toes, nothing. They look like ovaloids flattened on the sole part.
  • February 5, 2013
    Connorses
    This is gonna be one of those million mile long lists of examples isn't it.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=9ycekh8lgp0xcm6thy2a3r8z&trope=HumanlikeHandAnatomy