Bob the Mouse is from the wrong side of the tracks, a true scrapper from the bad side of town but how do you show this easily? Add some notches to his ears for that tried and tested "been through it all" indicator. The ol' 'chunk out of the ear' character design trick has been around for some time and most commonly on animated Funny Animal
characters (though can appear on any anthropomorphic
character including Petting Zoo People
) it tells the audience very quickly if a character is tough or evil and generally different from the notchless characters. It usually pops up for characters within the rodent subspecies but can also appear on cats and other species with ears large enough to show it off.
Sometimes can be used for added character in a Cute Little Fangs
sense where the character isn't at all gritty and/or bad. Tangentially related to Good Scars, Evil Scars
Anime And Manga
Film - Animated
- The Dresden Files has Harry's dog Mouse with a notched ear. When Harry first gets the puppy he notes that its probably a sign the pup is either more brave or more stupid than the rest of the litter.
- Gen in Usagi Yojimbo has a broken horn.
- In the comic strip Outland by Berke Breathed, Mortimer Mouse (a parody of Mickey) has a bite taken out of one ear--supposedly the result of a scuffle with Disney exec Michael Eisner.
- Kevin & Kell: Subverted a little, Rudy tries to convince Kell to let him get a designer ear notch. Of course, she is less than enthusiastic about the notion.
- Buwaro in Slightly Damned has ear notches. He's got Cute Little Fangs too, for what that's worth.