Created By: HawktureShorts155 on May 1, 2011 Last Edited By: rcmerod52 on April 26, 2013

Dog Chases Cat Chases Mouse

The oppression food chain

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Page Type:
Trope
Butt Monkey "A" is in such a nasty mood that he/she decides to go visit a world of hurt on the physically smaller or meeker or more socially vulnerable Butt Monkey "B". Butt Monkey "B", in turn, isn't about to take this injustice lying down, but there's no point in trying to strike back at the superior "alpha" figure. So Butt Monkey "B" seeks out the even smaller, even weaker, or even more vulnerable Butt Monkey "C" and gives him/her a hard time. Butt Monkey "C" then makes life hell for Butt Monkey "D", etc.

This is basically Always a Bigger Fish, but depicted in reverse. If the cat and the mouse team up against the dog, that's We ARE Struggling Together. Related to Animal Jingoism.

Examples

Comic Books
  • Invoked in Maus. The Germans were drawn as cats and the Jews as mice as a metaphor for the predatory stance the Nazis had against the Jews. Americans were drawn as dogs since they were seen as having chased away the Nazi cats.

Literature
Jill surreptitiously tossed them peanuts despite "No Feeding" signs. She tossed one to a medium sized monk; before he could eat it a much larger male was on him and not only stole his peanut but gave him a beating, then left. The little fellow made no attempt to pursue his tormentor; be squatted at the scene of the crime, pounded his knucks against the concrete floor, and chattered his helpless rage. Mike watched it solemnly. Suddenly the mistreated monkey rushed to the side of the cage, picked a monkey still smaller, bowled it over and gave it a drubbing worse than the one he had suffered-after which he seemed quite relaxed.

Live-Action TV
  • In an episode of the third series of Blackadder, Edmund explains to Baldrick how Prince George having a go at him (Edmund) sets up a chain where he kicks the cat, the cat attacks a mouse and the mouse then bites Baldrick, at the bottom of the heap.
  • On Deadwood, the camp's resident Butt Monkey is E.B. Farnum, the hotel operator and later town mayor. In turn, the hotel's cook is the dim-witted Richardson, who serves as E.B.'s butt monkey when he's pushed a little too far.
  • On How I Met Your Mother this is described as the "chain of screaming".

Music
  • The sound effects at the end of Good Morning, Good Morning are this; every effect is of a creature (or pack of creatures) who could scare off or eat the previous one.

Western Animation
  • Tom and Jerry would be the Trope Codifier.
  • Exaggerated on the Looney Tunes short "Fair and Worm-er". A worm is chased by a bird, who is chased by a cat, who is chased by a dog, who is chased by a dog catcher, who in turn is chased by his wife, who is chased away by a skunk.

Real Life
  • This is the basis of the chain of domestic abuse: Father abuses son, who is powerless to fight back, so when the son becomes a father he abuses his own son, etc.
Community Feedback Replies: 28
  • May 2, 2011
    TonyG
    On How I Met Your Mother this is described as the "chain of screaming".
  • May 2, 2011
    captainbrass2
    In an episode of the third series of Blackadder, Edmund explains to Baldrick how Prince George having a go at him (Edmund) sets up a chain where he kicks the cat, the cat attacks a mouse and the mouse then bites Baldrick, at the bottom of the heap.
  • May 3, 2011
    randomsurfer
    I've seen this in the context of explaining the history/chain of domestic abuse: Father abuses son, who is powerless to fight back, so when the son becomes a father he abuses his own son, etc.
  • May 3, 2011
    Arivne
    Literature
    Jill surreptitiously tossed them peanuts despite "No Feeding" signs. She tossed one to a medium sized monk; before he could eat it a much larger male was on him and not only stole his peanut but gave him a beating, then left. The little fellow made no attempt to pursue his tormentor; be squatted at the scene of the crime, pounded his knucks against the concrete floor, and chattered his helpless rage. Mike watched it solemnly. Suddenly the mistreated monkey rushed to the side of the cage, picked a monkey still smaller, bowled it over and gave it a drubbing worse than the one he had suffered-after which he seemed quite relaxed.
  • May 3, 2011
    MC42
    Invoked in Maus. The Germans were drawn as cats and the Jews as mice as a metaphor for the predatory stance the Nazis had against the Jews. Americans were drawn as dogs since they were seen as having chased away the Nazi cats.
  • May 3, 2011
    jaytee
    • On Deadwood, the camp's resident Butt Monkey is E.B. Farnum, the hotel operator and later town mayor. In turn, the hotel's cook is the dim-witted Richardson, who serves as E.B.'s butt monkey when he's pushed a little too far.
  • May 3, 2011
    FastEddie
    The title should be Food Chain
  • May 4, 2011
    Arivne
  • May 4, 2011
    bluepenguin
    There's a painting -- I think by Norman Rockwell? -- that shows a guy being yelled at by his boss, then turning around and yelling at his wife, who yells at the kid, who yells at the dog (probably with more intermediary steps that I've forgotten). Anyone know what I'm talking about here? I can't find it.
  • May 4, 2011
    Pickly
    • Christopher Nolan's movie doodlebug has one of these towards the end. A guy is chasing a bug with a shoe. Towards the end of the movie, he exposes the "bug" which is a miniature version of himself. The "bug" lunges forward, hitting something with a shoe, followed by the main character getting the "bug" with the shoe, followed by a large shoe crushing the main character.
  • May 4, 2011
    jate88
    The title reminded me of Tom And Jerry or maybe it's Tweety Bird I'm thinking of.
  • May 8, 2011
    HawktureShorts155
    "Chain of Abuse" is good, but I really think "Dog Chases Cat Chases Mouse" is more clever.
  • May 8, 2011
    HawktureShorts155
    "Chain of Abuse" is good, but I really think "Dog Chases Cat Chases Mouse" is more clever.
  • April 23, 2013
    Noah1
    Related to Animal Jingoism.
  • April 23, 2013
    JonnyB
  • April 23, 2013
    Trueman001
    The sound effects at the end of Good Morning, Good Morning are this; every effect is of a creature (or pack of creatures) who could scare off or eat the previous one.

  • April 23, 2013
    TonyG
    Exagerated on the Looney Tunes short "Fair and Worm-er". A worm is chased by a bird, who is chased by a cat, who is chased by a dog, who is chased by a dog catcher, who in turn is chased by his wife, who is chased away by a skunk.
  • April 24, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Cited on The Simpsons when I&S Studios decide to add a new character to "The Itchy And Scratchy Show."
    Krusty: Whaddya got in mind? Sexy broad? Gangster octopus?
    Myers: No, no. The animal chain of command goes mouse, cat, dog.

  • April 24, 2013
    DracMonster
    Food Chain Chase? Hard to think of a clear title that isnt using an example.

    EDIT: Oops didnt read the description.
  • April 24, 2013
    Tuckerscreator
    • In a strip of Fox Trot where the parents are looking at old family photos.
      Roger: Here's Jason in his little mouse Halloween costume. Here's Paige in her cat Halloween costume. Here's Peter in his dog Halloween costume.
      Andy: That was a long night, if I recall.
    • The sentence "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" is ultimately understood as "Bison from the city of Buffalo that are bullied by bison from Buffalo City also bully bison from Buffalo."
  • April 24, 2013
    JonnyB
    The childrens' song, "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly", would be a good example.
  • April 24, 2013
    Prfnoff
    • In Leonard Bernstein's Mass: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers, this is the point where "God Said" starts to get satirical:
      God said: Let there be gnats,
      Let there be sprats to gobble the gnats,
      So that the sprats may nourish the rats,
      Making them fat, fine food for the cats.
      And they grew fat, brother,
      And they grew fat, brother,
      All but the gnats, brother,
      They all grew fearful fat.
  • April 24, 2013
    Eddy1215
    Uh, actually the wife in "Fair and Worm-ier" was chased by a mouse. The skunk is who scared off everybody but the worm.
  • April 25, 2013
    Frank75
    At the beginning of one Asterix album.
  • April 25, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In the Looney Tunes "Dime To Retire" starring Daffy Duck & Porky Pig, Daffy is the proprietor of a hotel where a guest (Porky) complains of a mouse. He brings in a cat to get the mouse; then a dog to get rid of the cat, then a lion to get rid of the dog, then an elephant to get rid of the lion, and ultimately a mouse to get rid of the elephant.
  • April 25, 2013
    TwoGunAngel
    The Chain Of Harm. We have this already.
  • April 26, 2013
    Tuckerscreator
    Not really. That one doesn't cover animals or the food chain.
  • April 26, 2013
    MonaNaito
    If there's really a difference, it needs to be clarified. The page description, as it currently exists, is indistinguishable from The Chain Of Harm. The title suggests that it only applies to animals/the food chain, which would be different, but the examples do not reflect that.
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