[[quoteright:246:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/old_yeller_2134.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:246:[[HarsherInHindsight Notice the lack of wolves...]]]]

->''"Old Yeller was a hunter,''\\
''a rearin', tearin' hunter.''\\
''In any chase, he knew just how to run!''\\
''And when he got in trouble,''\\
''he always found it double,''\\
''and that's when Old Yeller had fun!"''
-->--from the opening credits of Disney's [[TheFilmOfTheBook Film of the Book]]

''Old Yeller'' is a book by Fred Gipson about a boy and a stray dog in post-UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar Texas, later made into a Walt Disney film in 1957. 15-year-old Travis Coates has enough responsibility taking care of his mother, little brother Arliss, and the family farm while his father goes away on a cattle drive. Then the wilderness blows a stray "yeller" dog into his life whom he initially takes a strong dislike to... until Old Yeller saves Arliss from a MamaBear (kids shouldn't play with bear cubs). The two become inseparable partners, hunting and facing the dangers of TheWildWest together. Then a rabid wolf comes along...

!!'''Warning, this page has Spoilers, but [[AllThereIsToKnowAboutTheCryingGame most people]] already [[ItWasHisSled know]] what they are.'''
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!! The novel and highly faithful Disney film contain examples of:

* AdaptationExpansion: In the book, Travis shoots Yeller immediately after the fight with the wolf, knowing he will inevitably contract rabies, and the scene takes up less than a page. In the film, he delays the inevitable for two weeks, hoping Yeller won't become rabid, and shoots him only when it's clear that he has.
* AllThereIsToKnowAboutTheCryingGame: Old Yeller doesn't make it to the end of the film.
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: Little Arliss.
* BittersweetEnding
* ABoyAndHisX
* BrattyHalfPint: Arliss at times.
* ComingOfAgeStory
* CubCuesProtectiveParent[=/=]BearsAreBadNews: Arliss plays around with and tries to catch a bear cub, resulting is a rather displeased mother bear showing up. This bear might have killed Arliss had not Yeller been there to fight the bear off.
* DeathByNewberyMedal
* DeterminedHomesteadersWife: She cooks and cleans, works the farm, is able to handle a gun, settles disputes between Travis and Arliss, and doesn't bat an eye at stitching a wound shut.
* DisappearedDad: Not dead, but gone on a cattle drive until the end of the story. This means Travis is [[PromotionToParent the man of the house]] until he returns.
* {{Disneyfication}}: While not the most dramatic it still has an element. Movie Yeller is at least confirmed to have gotten it and it seems humane, Book Yeller is put down immediately before any onset, forever not knowing. (while it was likely, the possibility of what if could certainly cause more anguish to Travis and the reader alike)
* TheFilmOfTheBook
* GoLookAtTheDistraction: Mom asks Arliss to get her a horned toad, so he won't be present while she's dressing the injury that a boar gave to Old Yeller.
* HappilyAdopted: Non-human example. Old Yeller is so ingrained into the family that by the time his rightful owner shows up, even ''he'' sees that Old Yeller is better off with them than with him.
* TheHeroDies: Old Yeller himself at the end.
* HeroicDog
* IAmSong: "''Here, Yeller... Come back, Yeller... Best doggone dog in the West...''"
* ManlyTears: Yes, it's entirely permissible for grown men to cry at the ending.
* MercyKill: Wow, is every trope about ''Old Yeller'' about the ending?
* MoodWhiplash: Poor Yeller, having to be shot for contracting rabies... Hey, look! Papa has come home!
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished: Old Yeller protects the family from a rabid wolf, only for him to turn rabid as a result of getting bitten. The family is forced to put him down.
* PromotionToParent: Travis.
* ReplacementGoldfish: Savage Sam.
* SavageWolves: The DownerEnding is brought about by a rabid wolf whom Yeller fights and drives away from the family, contracting rabies himself.
* ShootTheDog: TropeNamer present and accounted for, sir!
* TheSoCalledCoward: Old Yeller.
* SpinOffspring: ''Savage Sam: Son of Old Yeller'' -- also filmed by Disney, although deviating more strongly from its novel than the first film did.
* ZombieInfectee: This is why they need to ShootTheDog, substituting "rabies" (or "hydrophobia" as it was called in both book and movie) for "zombie".
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