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.
- 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 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.
- 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.