Viewer Species Confusion
When the audience mistakes a character's species for a different one.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-09-17 06:45:21 sponsor: ScoutsGirlfriend (last reply: 2012-10-22 11:13:51)

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Similar to how Viewer Gender Confusion is the audience thinking the character is of the opposite gender (or isn't sure what gender they are in general), Viewer Species Confusion is when the audience thinks the character is of a different species. Usually it happens when the character has an odd color to them, or if the character barely resembles the species they are.

This is an Audience Reaction. Informed Species if intentional, I Am Not Weasel if in-universe.

Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • Sarah in the Sonic The Hedgehog OVA is actually a cat girl, but since the American edit removed all scenes depicting her cat ears, American viewers often mistook her for a monkey.
  • Mokina from XX Xholic is usually thought to be a rabbit, when really he's just a Mokina.
  • Chocolat from Solatorobo looks like and is thought to be a cat, but she's really a dog.

Live-Action TV
  • In The Sarah Jane Adventures, the gang mistakes the Blathereen for Slitheen. Also, there are Vinvocci, which look like the Bannakaffalatta from Doctor Who (the series that this is a spin-off of).
  • Animal from The Muppets. No one has any clue as to what he is.

Newspaper Comics
  • Portnoy in Bloom County. No one knows what he is, but the narrator says he's a groundhog, and Hodge-Podge calls him a "pig".

Video Games
  • Several Sonic the Hedgehog characters are often mistaken for other animals, since most of them don't really resemble the animal they're supposed to be.
  • The seagulls in Metal Gear Solid 2 have been called "pigeons" by some. No, really.
  • Raikou, Suicune, and Entei from Pokémon are often thought of as canines or felines by the fandom, when really they're based on creatures from Chinese/Japanese folklore.
    • Growlithe and Arcanine are supposedly based on dogs, but their stripes make them look like tigers.
  • Talon from Primal Rage is really a Deinonychus, but is often called a velociraptor.

Webcomics
  • Hardware example: Div from Penny Arcade. Newcomers who have not yet read the older strips usually think he is a DVD player, when really he is a Div X player.
    • Also, the wombat symbol is mistaken for a bear by newcomers.

Western Animation
  • Just like with Sonic, several characters of Rocko's Modern Life fall under this trope since a lot of them don't exactly look like the animal they are supposed to be.
  • The Warner Brothers don't have a set species, thus no one has any clue as to what they are.
  • Newcomers to Ren and Stimpy sometimes think Ren the Chihuahua is a rabbit.
  • Pete in the Disney universe is actually a cat, but practically everyone has thought he was a dog. This even carried into Goof Troop.
  • An extremely common example is with The Amazing World of Gumball, most people who see the characters for the first time usually assume they are anthropomorphic gumballs.
  • Colonel K in Danger Mouse is a chinchilla, but due to his mustache and how he appears in scenes where it's hard to judge his size, several people think he's a walrus.
  • Arthur looks like a bear or a monkey rather than an aardvark.
  • According to some sources, Squidward is actually an octopus, but viewers assume he's a squid because he has six tentacles (two for arms, four for legs), and his name, Squidward.
  • Don Karnage from TaleSpin. Is he a wolf? A fox? What is he?
  • Regular Show: Eileen is a mole and Pops is a lollipop, but most people assume that the former is a tailed human, and the latter is a big-headed human.
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