Expendable Chihuahua
Small dogs are more likely to be disposed of for the sake of comedy than large dogs.


(permanent link) added: 2011-12-14 23:16:13 sponsor: PapercutChainsaw (last reply: 2011-12-16 00:43:28)

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We know that in fiction, certain breeds of dog have a set of stereotypical traits attached to them. Labradors are always heroic; rottweilers typically vicious. The prevalence these stereotypes also results in the assumption that the audience likes certain breeds much more than others. If you're a dog lover, Your Mileage May Vary on this one.

As a result, the death of one of the more "popular" breeds of dog, such as Labrador, Dalmatian, or Golden Retreiver, will almost always be played for drama as a Tear Jerker. For some reason, however, small dogs, such as chihuahuas and toy poodles, are not seen as being as lovable as large dogs, and they seem to be killed or injured for the sake of comedy more often than for serious purposes.

This could be seen as a subversion of What Measure Is a Non-Cute?, at least if you follow the "smaller equals cuter" school of thought. It may be because of the Mister Muffykins trope, or the tendency of lapdogs to qualify as Small Annoying Creatures. Another major contributing factor could be the fact that the names of some small breeds (shi tzus, poodles, and pugs) are Inherently Funny Words.

Compare That Poor Cat, Dog Stereotype, What Measure Is a Non-Cute?, Small Annoying Creature, Mister Muffykins. Contrast Death by Newbery Medal for serious dog deaths.
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