One of the surest signs that the king, president
, or CEO
has gone completely off the deep end
is when they appoint one of their pets to a senior position within the government or company.
Don't dare to question Incitatus - he outranks you! What's that, Mr. Incitatus? Why yes, the person who wrote the above paragraph is
being disrespectful. Sir, I regret to inform you that the horse has decided you are to be executed for rudeness.
Doesn't apply if the animal is intelligent and capable of communication, and could reasonably handle the demands of the office.
- Trope Namer: Emperor Caligula famously made his favourite horse, Incitatus, a senator, though it's unclear whether this was true or just a rumour started by a detractor.
- In Judge Dredd, Chief Judge Cal, who was based on Caligula, appointed his goldfish to the position of Deputy Chief Judge.
- In The Simpsons, the nuclear plant is actually owned by a canary so that if the government ever conducts a proper investigation, the canary is the one that will go to jail. Mr. Burns implies that this is standard practise.
- In Malcolm in the Middle, when the scandals at Hal's company finally come to light, one of the many revelations is that the company president had his dog on the board of directors.