Created By: TippyToeZombie on September 25, 2011 Last Edited By: SKJAM on April 22, 2016

Nonhuman Celebrity Counterpart

Just like X but s/he\\\\\\\'s not a human

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Trope
Making a Shout-Out to celebrities and famous people is a fun pastime. Sometimes these are just superficial references or parodies of the person in question, but other times it is an actual cameo appearance with the celebrity recognized at face value.

This can, however, get tricky if a work takes place in a setting devoid of actual humans, such as a World of Funny Animals -- how do you make a celebrity cameo that doesn't distract or stand out from the rest of the cast? You create a Nonhuman Celebrity Counterpart for this person, a caricature of the person that fits the theme established by the particular setting. Bonus points if you can also hire the actual person to voice this character (and possibly deliver a signature line).

Often comes with a Punny Name. Contrast No Celebrities Were Harmed, in which a character is like a celebrity, but is not the alternate universion version of them.

Comic Books

Fanworks

Live Action TV
  • Spamela Hamderson and David Hoggslhoff in the Muppets Tonight skit [[{{Baywatch Bay of Pigs Watch]].
  • Sesame Street loves this trope: opera singer Placido Flamingo, actress Meryl Sheep, country'n'western singer Hammy Swynette... H. Ross Parrot. For added lulz Ross Perot's name was originally pronounced "Perrot" (with a hard "t") but he pronounces it posh. There are a lot more listed on the Muppet Wiki. George & Barbara Brush, Gingrich the Newt, Arnold Schnuffleupanegger, etc.

Newspaper Comics
  • My Cage featured counterparts of its own creators, Ed Power and Melissa De Jesus, called Ed Porker and Melissa De Hareus.

Webcomics
  • This is done fairly often in Kevin & Kell. With Butterfly Ballot Bush (A butterfly) for example.
  • Homestuck: There are passing references to the troll universe having exact matches of some of our celebrities, who seem to be actually named Troll Will Smith or Troll John Cusack. "The thing that most people don't realize is that John Cusack is a universal constant."

Western Animation
  • Arthur did this with a few real world celebrities and historical figures to keep them consistent with the art style.
  • The Simpsons: In a clip from the Show Within a Show "Danger Dog" DD talks about his date the previous night with "Sarah Jessica Barker."
  • In the film Cars, there's Jay Limo, a car version of Jay Leno; as well, "The King" was modeled after Richard Petty's 1970 Superbird race car and was voiced by Petty himself - who is also nicknamed "The King." Mrs. The King is voiced by Petty's real life wife too, and is a car that the Pettys really do (or did) drive.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures had an ursine character called Julie Bruin, who was actually voiced by Julie Brown.
  • In Nu, Pogodi!, the Russian singer Alla Pugacheva appears as an anthropomorphic fox.
  • The Bee movie has a Bee Larry King, who is exactly like Larry King in every way... only a bee. They hang a huge lampshade on it.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: Orson Whales.
  • Looney Tunes characters Bunny and Claude, rabbit versions of Bonnie and Clyde.

Community Feedback Replies: 82
  • September 26, 2011
    TechUnadept
    great. Now find three examples.
  • September 26, 2011
    EdnaWalker
  • September 26, 2011
    Bisected8
    • Arthur did this with a few real world celebrities and historical figures to keep them consistent with the art style.
  • September 26, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Use the term "anthropomorphic", not furry.
  • September 26, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    Stradarake, "anthropomorphic" means making a non-human thing more human like. This is about making actual humans more animal like.
  • September 26, 2011
    randomsurfer
    The Simpsons: In a clip from the Show Within A Show "Danger Dog" DD talks about his date the previous night with "Sarah Jessica Barker."
  • September 26, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    This is done fairly often in Kevin And Kell. With Butterfly Ballot Bush (A butterfly) for example.
  • September 26, 2011
    Stratadrake
    @Aux: Ah. I blame "furry" being both adjective and noun.
  • September 26, 2011
    zero24
    For that discussion above me, may I suggest Animorphism?
  • September 27, 2011
    Stratadrake
    I don't think that fits this trope, though. This is about having a cameo of a real-world celebrity in a World Of Funny Animals, so they logically take the form of an anthropomorphized animal.
  • September 27, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    Stratadrake is right.
  • September 28, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Just asking: do they have to be real people? Like in Marvel Comics' Self Parody Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham there's Porker himself, J. Jonah Jackal, Captain Americat, Deerdevil, etc.
  • September 28, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    @randomsurfer That would Probably count.
  • September 28, 2011
    Shota
    In the anime Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, the completely-animal mole named Boota is, for some reason, transformed into an anthropomorphic shotacon version of himself who can talk, when the trouble is dire. He only does it once, reverts back soon after that, and it's never explained why it happened.
  • September 28, 2011
    PapercutChainsaw
  • September 28, 2011
    EdnaWalker
    This can apply to any animal on the Sliding Scale Of Anthropomorphism, from Nearly Normal Animal to Petting Zoo People, but is most common among Funny Animals and Petting Zoo People.
  • September 30, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    @Shota, I think that would be kind of an inversion of this.
  • October 6, 2011
    WackyMeetsPractical
    Do non-animal examples count? For example in the film Cars, there's Jay Limo, a car version of Jay Leno.
  • October 7, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    @Wacky Meets Practical That probably would count, but considering that makes me think we need a new name for this trope.
  • October 7, 2011
    WackyMeetsPractical
    ^ Not necessarily. Sometimes we would have a somewhat specific trope with a few odd variations that don't quite fit in, but are still listed as a variation. Unless there are a bunch of other examples like the Jay Limo one, I don't see a reason why the trope itself can't be focused on animal equivalents, since it seems to be the most common version of the trope.
  • October 7, 2011
    Stratadrake
  • October 8, 2011
    DaibhidC
  • October 8, 2011
    Ryusui
    The trope description needs to be gutted and set on fire, but I'm afraid I have to concur that this is tropeable - in a world of Funny Animals (or other sufficiently human nonhumans), there will always be local equivalents of real-world celebrities, typically with Punny Names.

    I like Anthropomorphic Counterpart, since it's sufficiently neutral to apply in all cases. Because "Jay Limo" and the like in Cars definitely count.
  • October 8, 2011
    Stratadrake
    I agree that the description needs to be set on fire now better than later. That'll create a fire break against Trolling.
  • October 9, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    I like Anthropomorphic Counterpart as a new name. If someone can come up with a better description then go for it.
  • October 9, 2011
    PapercutChainsaw
    ^^So, just replace the term "furry" with "Anthropomorphic animal" or "Funny Animal"?
  • October 10, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Doesn't even have to be an animal (though it often is).

    But how can this have just four hats when nobody's offered a decent writeup yet? Writeup is part of the hat process, you know.
  • October 11, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    I tried my best on the write up, I figure it won't be launched until the description is better.
  • October 15, 2011
    Stratadrake
    If that's seriously the best you can do ... ugh, then we need somebody else to write it up all over again.

    Let me try:


    Making a Shout Out to celebrities and famous people is a fun pastime. Sometimes these are just superficial references or parodies of the person in question, but other times it is an actual cameo appearance with the celebrity recognized at face value.

    This can, however, get tricky if a work takes place in a setting devoid of actual humans, such as a World Of Funny Animals -- how do you make a celebrity cameo that doesn't distract or stand out from the rest of the cast? You create an Anthropomorphic Counterpart for this person, a caricature of the person that fits the theme established by the particular setting. Bonus points if you can also hire the actual person to voice this character (and possibly deliver a signature line).


  • October 15, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Another Sesame Street example: H. Ross Parrot. For added lulz Ross Perot's name was originally pronounced "Perrot" (with a hard "t") but he pronounces it posh.

    There are a lot more listed on the Muppet Wiki. George & Barbara Brush, Gingrich the Newt, Arnold Schnuffleupanegger, etc.
  • October 16, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    @Stratadrake That's way better than my Description, although I do think you should mention how common the Punny Name is for it.
  • October 16, 2011
    Stratadrake
    [duplicate comment bug, please repost]
  • October 16, 2011
    Stratadrake
    @Zombie: There's an unspoken YKTTW rule about not editing another person's post unless they already tagged it as Up For Grabs.
  • October 16, 2011
    Queequeg
    Does Bender's turtle in that one Futurama episode count? The only parallel is that neither can get up if on their back.
  • October 16, 2011
    Stratadrake
    I don't know what you're talking about, but if that is the only resemblance then no. This is something that's intended to be an actual cameo of the famous person in question, not just a Shout Out to them.
  • October 16, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    @Stratadrake This is Up For Grabs.
  • October 16, 2011
    Queequeg
    @Stratadrake It's pretty explicitly compared. Bender adopts it because of their "similarity."
  • October 17, 2011
    Stratadrake
    But there's a pretty stark difference between saying "hey, doesn't that look like [celebrity] to you?" and having a counterpart who really is that world's version of said celebrity.
  • October 20, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    Bump.
  • October 20, 2011
    Bisected8
    The turtle isn't an example. It's just a random turtle Bender adopts as a pet and doesn't have anything to do with this trope.
  • October 20, 2011
    Stratadrake
    ^ My point exactly. He named it in reference to the celebrity; in order to be an Anthropomorphic Counterpart, it needs to be the actual celebrity.
  • October 20, 2011
    Routerie
    Though any title that omits "furry" is an improvement, "Anthropomorphic Counterpart" isn't an accurate title. These animals are anthropomorphic, but you can't call them the anthropomorphic counterpart to actual humans because they're less anthropomorphic than the humans themselves. It'd be like calling a woman who looks like Donald Trump "Donald Trump's Mannish Counterpart."
  • October 20, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Hm. Got any alternatives, then?
  • October 21, 2011
    Routerie
    How about just plain Animal Counterpart?
  • October 21, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    The reason it was changed into Anthropomorphic Counterpart was because Furry Equivalent disregarded the examples like Jay Limo from Cars.
  • October 21, 2011
    Routerie
    Oh. Huh.
  • October 22, 2011
    ImaginationInterpreture
    This is specifically non-human parodies, right?
  • October 22, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    ^ As opposed to?
  • October 23, 2011
    ImaginationInterpreture
    ^ Cameos with altered names/features. I had an example too, but I'll remember it late.
  • October 23, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    Yeah, I'd say that Human Parodies don't count.
  • October 23, 2011
    Stratadrake
    A human character parodying a human celebrity would not count under this definition, no.
  • October 23, 2011
    DaibhidC
    Nonhuman Counterpart?

    • My Cage featured counterparts of its own creators, Ed Power and Melissa DeJesus, called Ed Porker and Melissa DeHareus
  • October 23, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    I like Nonhuman Counterpart.
  • October 24, 2011
    Stratadrake
  • October 27, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    I went ahead and changed the name again.
  • October 27, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
  • October 27, 2011
    Stratadrake
    ^ That's just No Celebrities Were Harmed, not an example. This is the case where the character is not just a Shout Out to a celebrity, but implied to be that celebrity as they might appear were they a natural part of the setting.
  • October 28, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    Stratadrake is right.
  • October 28, 2011
    Stratadrake
  • October 28, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    Then I think talking about Shout Outs in the first sentence is a bit misleading.
  • October 29, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Agreed, but I'm currently at a loss on how else to lead-in to the definition.
  • October 30, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    Maybe you could open by making some point talking as if a TV Show's continuity is an Alternate Universe of our own universe.
  • October 30, 2011
    Waterlily
    I'm pretty sure that The Berenstein Bears had some of these but I can't remember any specific examples.
  • October 30, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Also from Cars, "The King" was modeled after Richard Petty's 1970 Superbird race car and was voiced by Petty himself - who is also nicknamed "The King." Mrs. The King is voiced by Petty's real life wife too, and is a car that the Pettys really do (or did) drive.
  • October 31, 2011
    aurora369
    In Nu Pogodi, the Russian singer Alla Pugacheva appears as an anthropomorphic fox.
  • October 31, 2011
    OneInTwenty
    Probably do better to generalize this in the description, rather than "just the furry equivalent"

    You could also note that most of these examples end up having a Punny Name, like Beary White, the grizzly jazz musician
  • October 31, 2011
    AndersK90
    Bee movie has a Bee Larry King, who is exactly like Larry King in every way... only a bee. They hang a huge lampshade on it.
  • October 31, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    That one does sound like it would count, but it's a weird example since it sounds like Larry King exists in that universe as well.
  • October 31, 2011
    MetaFour
    • Homestuck: There are passing references to the troll universe having exact matches of some of our celebrities, who seem to be actually named Troll Will Smith or Troll John Cusack. "The thing that most people don't realize is that John Cusack is a universal constant."
  • November 3, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    ^That sounds like another weird example where it would count in spite of the fact that it sounds like the human versions exist.
  • November 6, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    bump.
  • November 10, 2011
    WackyMeetsPractical
    I think this might be ready to launch.
  • November 12, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    ^You can launch it if you want.
  • November 16, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    Bump
  • November 19, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    A fandom example, when it was announced that Weird Al Yankovic would be doing a voice on My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic many fans started drawing pictures of Weird Al Flankovic.
  • November 23, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    Bump.
  • December 1, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    Bump
  • December 1, 2011
    randomsurfer
  • December 9, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    Anyone who wants to can add their examples to the YKTTW description if they want.
  • February 18, 2012
    SKJAM
    Examples sorted and added to draft. Needs a bit more work on the description, fixing of red links.
  • April 22, 2016
    Pichu-kun
  • April 22, 2016
    BKelly95
    Western Animation
    • Once on US Acres, Roy was given a choice of wishes from a leprechaun. One of those involved a life of luxury including making friends with celebrities. The two celebrities he imagines are a feline version of Jack Nicholson and an ursine version of Bill Cosby.
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