"The Three Billy Goats Gruff" is a traditional Norwegian FairyTale, collected by [[Creator/AsbjornsenAndMoe Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jorgen Moe]], concerning three billy goats (that's a term for a male goat) who are siblings (or in other variants a grandfather, father and son) and a troll who lives under a bridge. The goats want to cross the bridge to get to the plentiful grass on the other side.

The youngest and smallest goat crosses the bridge first. (At this point, if reading to a small child, [[ThisIsthePartWhere it is traditional to say]] "trip trap, trip trap". Please imagine your own trip-trappings for the sake of efficiency.) The troll pops up and says; "Who's that trip-trapping over my bridge?"

The goat pleads with the troll to let him go because he's only small and skinny, but his brother is much bigger and meatier. Stupidly, the troll agrees to this, and lets the little goat go on his way.

Next the second goat comes along, and the process is repeated. The medium-sized goat tells the troll to wait for his bigger brother. ([[FridgeLogic At this point, we can only hope that these goats knew their eldest sibling would be capable, as otherwise, serious questions must be raised about their filial loyalty]]) The troll, greed getting the better of him, agrees to wait for the third goat.

The third goat, unfortunately for the troll, turns out to be a badass among goats, and when the troll pops up to say his catch phrase, trounces the troll and throws him off the bridge. The goats all then live happily on the other side of the bridge. TheEnd.

The moral of the story, presumably, is that the grass actually ''is'' greener on the other side, patience ''is not'' a virtue, violence solves ''everything'', pass the buck if you're scared of facing a problem, and [[CaptainObviousAesop you shouldn't mess with goats]]. A FamilyUnfriendlyAesop perhaps, it still remains a very popular story.
!!This story provides examples of:
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: Trolls, presumably.
* AnAesop: In addition to the four mentioned in the article, and the one just above this entry there are others.
** [[BigBrotherInstinct The eldest sibling should protect the the younger ones.]]
** If you're not strong, be clever..
** Be careful crossing bridges.
** Don't pass on something perfectly good now for something better in the future -- you know what you have, but not what you might get.
* GenderFlip: Versions that [[ArtisticLicense may not have looked up the meaning of the word "Billy"]] sometimes make one of the goats(often the middle one) a female.
* MuggingTheMonster: The troll had no idea that the eldest goat could kick his ass when he tried to eat the guy.
* RuleOfThree: Three goat brothers.
* TalkingAnimal: Goats and trolls have no trouble talking with each other.
* TrollBridge: A troll guarding a bridge is the antagonist here.
* YoungestChildWins: Inverted. The eldest brother is the toughest and the one who resolves everything. Though there is ''one'' version where the biggest brother actually starts off, and the youngest brother ''knocks the troll clear out of the story.''

!!This story is referenced in:

[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''Film/TheTrollHunter'', Hans ties three increasingly large billy goats to the top of a bridge as bait for a troll.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', the Gruffs [[FaunsAndSatyrs Satyr-like]] beings that are the Summer Court's, more specifically Titania's, elite wetworks assets. Their primary duty is killing [[SmashMook trolls]] and in the [[TheVerse Dresdenverse]], trolls are ''tough'', even by the standards of the supernatural. Eldest Brother Gruff is capable of pimp-smacking fallen angels without breaking a sweat. And there's a confirmed total of nine of them, and it's reasonable to assume that there are actually more.
** It's worth noting that the Gruffs, as per the tale, get progressively bigger, up to the second eldest "Tiny" Gruff, who's twelve feet tall and has knuckles the size of cantaloupes. Eldest Gruff, the most powerful by a landslide and a half, is [[spoiler: five feet tall and capable of destroying Fallen angels and killing Senior Council members in fair combat]].
* Literature/{{Discworld}}'s trolls have [[NeverLiveItDown a longstanding rivalry with goats]].
** In ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'', the Bursar unwisely makes a point of telling the Lancre bridge troll (acting as customs officer) that they didn't have any billy goats with them. Modest hilarity ensues.
** In ''Discworld/MonstrousRegiment'', a bridge troll will charge you ''10,000'' gold more if you have billy goats with you.
** In the short story "Troll Bridge", Mica the troll [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial has no knowledge of any billy goats]], and doesn't know why his wife keeps bringing them up.
* "Troll Bridge", a short story by Creator/NeilGaiman, is a variation in which, instead of a succession of goats, there's a single human who twice manages to persuade the troll that if it lets him go, there'll be more of him to eat next time he crosses the bridge. The third encounter, of course, goes rather differently.
* Used, very appropriately, in John Barth's ''Giles Goat Boy''. The protagonist, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin who has been raised from childhood among a herd of goats]], is visited by an old lady who reads him the story as an opening gambit in her attempts to reacculturate him to humanity.


[[folder: MMORPG ]]

* Mountain goats in ''VideoGame/{{Rift}}'' drop an [[VendorTrash item]] called "Goat Gruff".


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/KingsQuestI'', where you have to lead a billy goat along to a Troll guarding a bridge.
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'': An EasterEgg to be found is that one of the bridges in the game has a dead troll under it, with a rather pathetic note on its corpse, referencing this story.
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' also has it's own EasterEgg on the tale [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p95ESJG0Sr8 here.]]
* In ''VideoGame/SimonTheSorcerer'', you can find a troll blocking a bridge with a picket line while engaged in negotiations with the goats, who happen to be his employers.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' has its own version with the Warners as the goats.