Created By: Worlder on May 19, 2013 Last Edited By: Worlder on May 23, 2013

Endangered Pest

An endangered species takes up residence in the home or workplace, and causes annoyance and trouble for the characters.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
One day the main characters find a pest in their home or workplace. However, just as one of them are about shoo it away or, if one of them aren't so merciful, exterminate it, a government official shows up telling them that the animal is endangered and thus killing it or even evicting it would constitute a crime.

Now the characters have to deal with an annoying and troublesome pest that they just can't get rid of or even possibly have to actively ensure its safety and well being.

Related to this is the White Elephant, in a which a bothersome or simply unwanted gift is received.

Examples:

  • The Simpsons once featured the Screamapillar in the early portion in one episode. It is a caterpillar that screams with great intensity despite its size, sexually attracted to fire, and needs constant reassurance or it would die. Typical of Homer, he nearly kills the creature and results in him and Marge doing community service.

  • In Family Guy, Peter once grew a beard and somehow had a bird of an endangered species make a nest in it. It caused a bit of trouble for him when he went to watch a film at a movie theater.

  • This happens with the panda that takes up residence in the magazine offices, and makes a habit out of attacking Brent, in PvP.

  • On the TV series of Tremors, El Blanco is considered an endangered species. The locals have to put up with his periodic and dangerous passes through town, as his presence is the only reason why Melvin doesn't bulldoze the sleepy community to put up condos.
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • May 20, 2013
    Bisected8
    • The second Dr Dolittle movie features an attempt to invoke this by having an endangered bear take up residence in a forest to prevent it being leveled by developers.
  • May 20, 2013
    JustSarah
    Honestly I could use the same argument here this other guy posted on mine, that because the tropes exists in real life, that automatically make it not applicable in fiction.
  • May 20, 2013
    foxley
    This happens with the panda that takes up residence in the magazine offices, and makes a habit out of attacking Brent, in Pv P.
  • May 20, 2013
    chicagomel
    .'Infested' on Animal Planet had at least one Real Life one with endangered bats causing trouble for a family.
  • May 20, 2013
    MonaNaito
    "Because the trope exists in real life, that automatically makes it not applicable in fiction?" That's not true at all. That's why we have Truth In Television.
  • May 21, 2013
    MattStriker
    One of the shorts on german puppet show Chili TV had the cast in a Star Trek parody. Their mission was to transport an alien, supposedly the last of its kind. It turned out to be both extremely annoying to Only Sane Man Bernd and definitely not the last, as by the end there were dozens of the things following him around...
  • May 21, 2013
    SharleeD
    On the TV series of Tremors, El Blanco is considered an endangered species. The locals have to put up with his periodic and dangerous passes through town, as his presence is the only reason why Melvin doesn't bulldoze the sleepy community to put up condos.
  • May 22, 2013
    Bobchillingworth
    There's an old urban legend which might fit, where some high school pranksters plant an endangered species of tree or shrub in the middle of their school's football field, which then supposedly can't be removed without getting special government clearance.
  • May 22, 2013
    RedneckRocker
    ^ That ended up happening in an episode of Married With Children, although the rare bug ended up on Polk High's field due to Kelly's stupidity.
  • May 22, 2013
    herbides
    In the Disney movie "Lilo and Stitch" they prevent aliens from destroying the planet earth by convincing them that mosquitoes are an intergalactic endangered species.
  • May 22, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In a sketch on Saturday Night Live a friendly outdoor barbecue is interrupted by an ugly giant bird landing in the middle of the table. The men try to shoo it away, and eventually (since it won't leave) they beat it to death. At the end of the sketch the camera zooms in on a newspaper in the background with the headline "Rare California Condor released back into the wild" with a photo which looks exactly like the bird they just got done killing.
  • May 22, 2013
    TheTitan99
    • The 4th Western Animation/Futurama movie, Into The Wild Green Yonder, plays with this trope, having Leela keep the last of a parasitic leech alive, despite it constantly attacking her.

    (I can't get the link to Futurama to work for some reason...)
  • May 23, 2013
    snowbird
    The burrowing owls in Hoot aren't pests, but they happen to live in a lot scheduled to become a pancake house. Those in charge of the project don't care and have every intention of bulldozing the area, owls included. The only thing stopping them is a kid constantly vandalizing their equipment. The hero eventually realizes that burrowing owls are endangered, allowing the kids to save them through legal means.
  • May 23, 2013
    Arivne
    ^^ The Titan 99:

    Put double curly brackets around the word Futurama, like this:

    WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}} --> Futurama.
  • May 23, 2013
    Bisected8
    This seems to be a legitimate trope. Why's it got a Motion To Discard tag?
  • May 23, 2013
    Larkmarn
    • There's a darker side to the Truth In Television of this trope: often when a landowner finds an endangered species on their land, they quietly kill it rather than report it and be required to use the land as basically a nature preserve. This is a common argument against the Endangered Species Act.
  • May 23, 2013
    snowbird
    I agree with Larkmarn, if this trope is posted it should be written in a way that makes it clear killing endangered animals for the sake of convenience is utterly deplorable. I didn't really get that vibe from the trope description.

  • May 23, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Not positive how to work this in, but the phrase "White Elephant" stems from this. A white elephant as a gift is very expensive to maintain and keep, but has no actual value and cannot be disposed of. Royalty would give white elephants when they want to ruin someone.
  • May 23, 2013
    Worlder
    I say to qualify for an example of this trope, the species must not simply impede some sort of land development, but becomes a source of repeated or potential annoyances and/or hazards for the characters.
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