Animal And Animate Object Employees
Animals and automobiles are not simply used in professions; they behave like employees as well.
"Eh... it's a living."In real life, animals, automobiles, and inanimate objects don't know that they are being used in a particular profession. But often, especially in cartoons and kids movies, Animate Inanimate Object examples like police cars and race cars, and Civilized Animal examples like police dogs, racehorses, carrier pigeons, etc., will be portrayed as sentient beings who not only are used in a certain line of work, but are (or consider themselves) actual employees/professionals in the line of work in which they are used, and adhere to stereotypical behaviors of members of that profession. An Equippable Ally or Sapient Steed may fall within this trope, if it is aware of the purpose or profession within which it is being used. This trope is a supertrope of Powersuit Monkey (especially type three of that trope).
Every single household appliance, The Flintstones
ExamplesAnime and Manga
- In Shirokuma Cafe, animals in the zoo are actually working at the Zoo. The character "Panda" actually refers to acting cute playing around in the enclosure as "service".
- In Beetle Bailey, the Sarge's dog Otto wears a uniform and conducts himself like a miniature version of Sarge. Notably, Otto originated as a regular four-legged dog, but eventually strip author Mort Walker chose to make him more anthropomorphic (and more "regular army") for Rule of Funny purposes.
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Benny the Cab drives the streets of Los Angeles acting as if he were a cab operated by a human, including picking up fares.
- In Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Delgado takes his job as a police dog very seriously.
- The Cars movies pretty much run on this trope. The police car is a sheriff; Lightning McQueen, The King, and Chick Hicks are racecars and Doc Hudson is a retired one. For Cars 2, there is racecar Francesco Bernoulli. As this is a world of sentient cars, racecars are the world's equivalent to human racers that drive the racecars.
- The World War II era carrier pigeons in the 2005 film Valiant act as soldiers complete with 'volunteering' for duty and holding military rank. So do the Nazi falcons who pursue the pigeons. (In real life the British really did use carrier pigeons to deliver messages — and the Nazis really did train falcons to intercept the pigeons).
- In True Lies, Schwarzenegger commandeers a police horse to chase the motorcycle-riding villain. The bad guy does a daring rooftop-to-rooftop jump, the horse balks at following, prompting Schwarzenegger to ask, "What kind of a cop are you, anyway?" The horse looks ashamed at this.
- In Madagascar, a police horse gives Marty directions to Grand Central Station just like a human officer would give directions to a human tourist.
- Maximus the horse in Tangled takes his job as palace guard very seriously. In fact, he's much more competent than the human palace guards, being the only one getting close to capture Flynn Rider.
- Subverted in Chicken Run. The old rooster, Fowler, is given the accent and mannerisms of a retired British military officer, and talks wistfully of "my RAF days". But when the chickens build a rudimentary aircraft and suggest he pilot it, Reality Ensues:
Fowler: Good heavens, no. I'm a chicken! The Royal Air Force doesn't let chickens behind the controls of a complex aircraft.
- In The Lion King, the title lions are more than just the alpha predators; they are essentially ruling heads of government who take seriously the job of overseeing the regional wellbeing.
- Grandmother Willow gives counsel to Pocahontas as the Cool Old Lady, even though she's a willow tree rooted to the spot. Her premonition of a "spinning arrow" becomes a critical Plot Point.
- Dinotopia has dinosaurs used as beasts of burden, among other things. Since dinosaurs are sapient in this 'verse, this is entirely voluntary and they're paid through Dinotopia's barter system.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has, at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, cows who work both as the waitstaff and the meal — they come to take your steak order, and then go kill themselves ("I'll be very humane") to be cooked and served to the customer.
- Looney Tunes
- This is the central joke of the Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf cartoons. Both clock in to assume their adversarial positions as protector and prey, respectively, acting like best friends in their off hours.
- On the Porky Pig cartoon "The Crooner Swooner", the hens on Porky's egg farm show their ID at the entrance and punch in to work.
- The Wartime Cartoon "The Draft Horse" is about a plowhorse enlisting into the army as if he were a human recruit.
- Creature Comforts did this fairly often, dubbing recorded interviews with policemen onto animated police dogs, and putting scientists' voices in the mouths of lab rats.
- "One Cab's Family," a 1952 MGM cartoon by Tex Avery, features a taxicab who wants his son to be a taxicab, but the son wants to be a race car, until after a bad crash the son decides to be a taxicab (but with a racecar engine).
- In The Flintstones, the animals powering the Bamboo Technology frequently show that they treat it like a dead-end job. The cast rarely seems to acknowledge them, though.
- Thomas the Tank Engine has a number of trainyard characters who behave this way.
- Many of young Rob's possessions from The Brave Little Toaster served him gladly, until the day Rob moved away. Toaster, Blankey, Radio, Lampy and Kirby make a perilous trek through the outdoors to reunite with "The Master."
- Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines
- Dick Dastardly's air squad is tasked with catching a carrier pigeon, who wears a sack around his shoulder and acts like a human(ish) courier, except he can fly.
- Muttley is a dog but is treated like just another member of the squad, albeit the only competent one. He often refuses to do anything unless Dastardly gives him a medal for it, usually in advance.
- In the Looney Tunes cartoon "Plane Daffy" Daffy Duck is recruited to be a carrier after all the carrier pigeons have been seduced by Nazi spy birds. Hatta Mari tries to seduce Daffy.
- In Phineas and Ferb, the agency OWCA (Organization Without a Cool Acronym) consists almost entirely of part-time Accessory Wearing Cartoon Animals. Only the agency chief and his intern are humans. One episode introduced Agent Planty, the Potted Plant.
- Affectionate Parody character Cool McCool drives a gadget-filled car that often behaves like an eager puppy. At times, McCool has to negotiate with it to continue pursuing a villain, and the car also botches simple instructions.
- When Mark, Debbie and Tink assembled a dune buggy, it came to life as Speed Buggy. Speedy functions as a race car on the track, but will also converse with his teammates, and accompany them on adventures, including tiptoeing around on his rear wheels.
- On some occasions army dogs have actually been awarded medals for their achievements, and military honors have been awarded to police dogs, to army and police horses, and in one recorded case, to a Royal Navy cat who excelled at rat-catching.
- There is an entire class of dogs known as "working dogs" that have been bred to fulfill labor roles — sheepdogs, hunting dogs, etc.; and many dogs not in that "class" have been bred to serve other functions, such as bomb-sniffing dogs. One aspect of both the breeding and the training of such animals is their obedience to their human master, comparable to how an employee is expected to obey its boss.
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