Created By: Twentington on September 29, 2010


Name Space:
Page Type:
Animal characters in fiction run the gamut. Just a look at the listing in Animal Stereotypes shows that there are plenty of common enough animals that are used for their distinctive traits (presumed or real).

Then there's the Seldom-Seen Species that is, a species that, once you see it, makes you think, "Hey, you don't usually see that animal!" Most likely a Subjective Trope. Specific animal stereotypes may or may not apply.

  • The Sonic the Hedgehog universe is full of this. Of course, you have Sonic and all the other hedgehogs, but there are plenty more, including echidnas (several, most famously Knuckles), lynx (Nicole, Lightning Lynx, et al.) and even Mina Mongoose.
  • Cerebus of course.

  • How many fictional meerkats can you name outside Timon?

  • Redwall is known for focusing on the almost-never-used ends of the mustelid spectrum, such as ferrets and stoats. Also, hedgehogs.
  • Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the Rudyard Kipling book about a mongoose.

AC:Video Games

AC:Web Comics

AC:Web Original
  • The Happy Tree Friends universe includes an anteater (Sniffles) and a porcupine (Flaky). The former lives up to his name by eating ants (or at least trying to), while the latter is a total coward with dandruff in her quills.

AC:Western Animation
  • Cyril and Cedric Sneer from The Raccoons are both aardvarks.
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • September 29, 2010
    Hedgehogs are not all that uncommon as supporting characters. I remember one in The Sword In The Stone and several on the Cosgrove Hall series of The Wind In The Willows.
  • September 29, 2010
  • September 29, 2010

  • September 29, 2010
    I think that many authors pick a seldom-used animal on purpose to add freshness to their story, like "hey, wouldn't it be neat if we made a cartoon about the life of a jellyfish? That's never been done before!"
  • September 29, 2010
    Hanna Barbera gave us Squiddly Diddly the squid among others.
  • September 30, 2010
    • Meercats in Andre Norton's novels: Hing in The Beast Master and Lord of Thunder, and Ho in The Beast Master.
  • September 30, 2010
    Unknown Troper
  • September 30, 2010
    ^^@ randomsurfer Oddly enough, Squiddly Diddly isn't a squid; he's an octopus. Still counts, of course.

    • As Spongebob has been mentioned, I doubt there are too many Plankton characters, either.
  • September 30, 2010
    ^^Just to be pedantic, "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" is a short story, although it has been published separately. Still only a chapbook rather than a book as such.
  • September 30, 2010
    Wait, so we have Everythings Better With Indexes for "all the times such and such animal appears in a work", and now we need this trope for "animals too rare to get their own trope appear in a work"? Verging on People Sit On Chairs, if you ask me.
  • September 30, 2010
    No, I have to disagree, johnnye. This is not just a grab-bag for all animals without their own tropes, although even that would not be without its usefulness. It's also about how writers strain for effect by using one unusual creature in pretty much exactly the way they would have used a more ordinary one (though, of course, to some extent that would overlap with In SPACE).