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.
Examples:Anime And Manga
- Boss in Hamtaro.
- From The Lion King II, Zira.
- Within The Lion King trilogy (and non-canon series), Ed the hyena has a few ear notches.
- In Lilo & Stitch, Stitch, as seen in the TV Tropes page image for the series.
- Buck from Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.
- From Oliver & Company, Ignacio Alonzo Julio Federico de Tito.
- 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.
- Invoked for livestock as a method of herd identification. Some of the more commonly notched livestock species are pigs, sheep and reindeer.
- For aquatic creatures it's often the dorsal fin that's notched to assist with individual member identification.
- Rats and cats can gain injuries through fights which result in ear notching.
- A notch in the left ear on a cat can also mean a stray has been fixed, which is somewhat less badass.
More examples are needed, might already exist
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