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[[quoteright:350:[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ParrotTestimony_3277.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"Witness! You can't just say "hello" and expect us to get anywhere! I want you to ''testify''!"]]

-->'''Lt. Randall Disher:''' Now he's afraid that she'll identify him.
-->'''Adrian Monk:''' How?
-->'''Lt. Randall Disher:''' She could bark at him.
-->'''Captain Leland Stottlemeyer:''' Randy, as far as I know, in the State of California, dogs are not allowed to testify in open court.
-->'''Lt. Randall Disher:''' Maybe [=DeWitt=]'s afraid they'll change the rule.
-->'''Captain Leland Stottlemeyer:''' What, change the rule against dogs testifying in court?
-->'''Lt. Randall Disher:''' I don't know, one of those referendums. It is California.
-->'''Captain Leland Stottlemeyer:''' You want to know how tired I am? I'm so tired I don't even know if that makes sense.
--->---''Series/{{Monk}}'', "Mr. Monk and the Dog"


A specific CourtroomAntic. An animal is called to the stand to testify. It seems that in fictional courts, there AintNoRule.

Even though most all animals cannot speak ''any'' language, the lawyer will still find a way to prove a crucial point from the animal's behaviour.

As the page image and the name imply, the two most common animals by far to get hit with this trope are dogs and parrots, although there are plenty of other animals that have been seen in the witness stand in fictionland as well.

Not related to TropeyTheWonderDog in any way. Compare PollyWantsAMicrophone.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''YoungbloodJudgmentDay'' Toby "Skipper" King eventually calls to the stand Giganthro, a member of the time-travelling League of Infinity. Giganthro is a mutated caveman incapable of speaking any modern human language, though he understands well enough. Thankfully, team leader Zayla Zarn provides translation for his testimony.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfiction]]
* An odd case in the ''{{Homestuck}}'' AlternateUniverseFic ''Fanfic/{{Loophole}}''. In this setting, although trolls are still nonhumans with human-level intelligence[[note]]in canon, they'd probably argue that they're smarter than humans, but in this AU that's not shown[[/note]], their legal and social status is somewhere between "pet" and "dangerous wild animal". So when Vriska is called up to the stand to testify about being used in a fighting ring, there's a bit of a kerfuffle.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In ''Film/{{Bingo}}'', the title circus dog is called as a witness in a trial. His testimony causes an argument from the defense over whether a "dog point" legally counted as indicating the accused.
* In the 1994 remake of ''MiracleOn34thStreet'', the prosecution brings in a reindeer as a "witness," challenging Mr. Kringle to make it fly. Kringle admits that he can't--"he only flies on Christmas Eve!" Cue laughter.
-->'''Judge''': Now will someone please remove the wit- the ''animal'' from the courtroom!
* The climax of the movie ''Born to be Wild'' has the titular female gorilla being called to testify about the conditions she's forced to live in. She does with the help of a sign language translator.
* Played for laughs in the 1967 Film/DoctorDolittle. The authorities are questioning whether the Doctor is sane and can ''really'' talk to animals. One of Dr. Dolittle's moves is to put the judge's ''dog'' on the stand! (Did the judge have five or six pieces of pie?)
* ''ForgettingSarahMarshall'': Played for laughs in a ShowWithinAShow, where Sarah Marshall plays an animal psychic detective.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film, Animated]]
* The bees from ''Film/BeeMovie''. They can actually talk, but the court had apparently not stopped to confirmed that beforehand. When Barry is called to make his opening statements he starts just making buzzing sounds as a joke.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Vetinari's dog Wuffles in ''Discworld/TheTruth'' is a viewed as a potential witness. It helps that they have a werewolf to translate. There is also a reference to a parrot being in witness protection, living life as a large budgerigar.
** According to Mr. Slant, a zombie lawyer who's over 300 years old and therefore knows most of the city's legal history, other animals have been put on trial as actual defendants. Including ''[[UpToEleven a swarm of bees]]''! That's Ankh-Morpork for you.
* A variant occurs in a Creator/IsaacAsimov short story, where US Robotics is on trial after one of their robots supposedly deliberately screwed up an important paper it was preparing for publication.[[note]]Performing the duties of a copyeditor and such.[[/note]] They request that the robot be brought to court to testify (which has no precedent and requires most of the story to resolve), and when it testifies, the claimant stands up and angrily announces that he told it to shut up...before realizing that [[BluffingTheMurderer he really shouldn't have said that]]...
* [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles Harry Dresden]]'s dog actually could, and did, testify at the end of ''Turn Coat''. And his testimony was accepted. It helps that he's a "Temple Dog" - a magical scion of a mortal canine and a Foo dog that can detect evil and is as intelligent as a human. The court was also made up of wizards who could verify that Mouse was as intelligent as he was claimed to be.
* Not a criminal trial, but similar: at the end of ''[[IncarnationsOfImmortality On A Pale Horse]]'', we learn that Zane's performance as Death has been found to be excellent. The testimony of Mortis, his horse, is crucial to Zane's passing the evaluation.
* In ''The Voyages of Literature/DoctorDolittle'', a dog called as a witness saves an innocent man from a murder charge, thanks to the doctor's ability to understand AnimalTalk, which allows him to serve as an interpreter. First though the doctor proves he can speak to animals by interrogating the judge's dog about what was the judge doing last evening (a testimony the judge hastily interrupts, embarrassed.)
* In Creator/JamesHSchmitz's Literature/TelzeyAmberdon story "Undercurrents", a dog is placed into a telepathic probe machine during a court hearing to find out who implanted it with a kill command to try and use it as a murder weapon against its owner. It's stated that while it's not common, animals are regularly used as witnesses in this manner when it's useful to do so. Subverted in that in this particular case the dog didn't actually know anything useful, but the protagonist blackmailed the machine operator into [[FramingTheGuiltyParty providing a fake reading]] that nailed the actual culprits to the wall.
* In ''TheDogsOfBabel'', a man goes through extreme (surgical) means to get his dog to speak as it was the only witness to his wife's death. It never mentions a court, though.
** Actually, the man doesn't go though with the surgical procedure on his dog, but instead researches (to a near ridiculous extent) another man who surgically altered his dog. Not wanting to go quite to this extreme, he looks into other methods to teach his dog to talk.
* The David Sedaris essay "A Can of Worms" is about how he overheard two men in a cafe wishing the nematodes that survived the space shuttle ''Columbia'' disaster could talk, so that they could tell us what went wrong.
-->It sounded crazy, but I remember thinking the exact same thing about the akita in the O.J. case. "Put it on the stand, let's hear what it's got to say!" It was one of those ideas that, just for a split second, seemed entirely logical -- the one solution that nobody had thought of.
* In ''The Stray Dog and the Feral Cat'' by Yang Hongying, the titular characters are asked to testify that their friend, a pet dog, is beaten by a villain. Played for laugh mostly, but also have large importance in the plot.
* In the ChivalricRomance ''Literature/{{Bisclavret}}'' -- in an era where legal proceedings were less formal -- Bisclavert, trapped in wolf form and living at the StandardRoyalCourt, fiercely attacked first the knight who had married his wife after he was so trapped, and then his wife. Since everyone at court knew what a gentle and noble beast he was, the king concluded they must have committed some crime against him and imprisoned them until they confessed.
* In AndreNorton's ''Literature/{{Catseye}}'', the authorities will have the {{Uplifted Animal}}s under probes to give evidence about espionage. Then they will kill them. Or so Zul argues, telling Troy that death is a MercyKill.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''DivorceCourt'': At least one episode of the 1980s incarnation, where the custody of a dog was at stake, saw Judge William B. Keene suggest that the dog be brought into court and tell, in his own way, whom he wanted to stay with. He chose the plaintiff, a woman who had accused her husband of animal cruelty.
* {{Matlock}} uses a victims dog to prove the "witness" beat the dog within an inch of it's life while committing the crime of which his client was accused of (as the dog went ballistic at the sight of the witness).
** He then shows the fallacy of the trope afterwords by revealing that the dog was a trained attack dog and that it just goes ballistic.
* ''Series/LawAndOrder'': Jack [=McCoy=] has also brought a dog into a courtroom. He did it to prove the defendant had to know the dog posed a danger (as anyone who just saw the dog would conclude it was) and that keeping it made them responsible for the people it killed. The Judge does [[WhatTheHellHero call [=McCoy=] on it]] and forces [=McCoy=] to make a plea deal or he will declare a mistrial ([=McCoy=] gets his first offer by telling them he would take the mistrial instead).
** For those who haven't seen the episode: The owners were training dogs to fight and their defence was that they had full control over the dog and it was a shock to them that it could ever be dangerous. In response, [=McCoy=] has the dog brought in (On a muzzle, completely under the control of animal experts) so that the defendants can show how they keep it calm and harmless. Instead, the defendants cower visibly.
* ''MurderSheWrote'' episode "[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0653533/plotsummary It's a Dog's Life]]". A dog was trained by a murderer to press a button on command, causing someone to be crushed to death by a security gate. After it was brought into court to show how it committed the act, it went over to the murderer, proving he was the one who trained it.
* In one episode of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', Tuvok used a dog as a rebuttal witness in defense of Tom Paris.
** And in ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'', Kirk used some tribbles to identify the Klingon infiltrator. Not an example ''in'' a court, but it did lead to an (offscreen) trial after the end of the episode. The Tribbles were really acting as an EvilDetectingDog, so they probably weren't needed.
* In ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'' Michael calls his brother GOB's puppet Franklin on the stand, then reveals that inside the puppet is a tape recording he made of the prosecuting attorney offering him a deal, which results in a mistrial. In a token gesture towards realism the puppet was actually on the witness list because of GOB's efforts. It also helped that it was a mock trial with Judge Reinhold as the judge.
* In the ''BlackAdder'' episode 'Witchsmeller Persuivant', the titular Witchsmeller calls Blackadder's horse to testify when Blackadder is being tried for witchcraft.
* EliStone has a gay chimp on the stand. Yes. Really.
* ''Series/{{Hooperman}}'' used the variant where the defendant shouts in court, "I should have killed the dog, too!" -- thus proving his own guilt.
* The ''Franchise/PerryMason'' episode "The Case of the Perjured Parrot" had a parrot (voiced by MelBlanc) that was found along with a body and kept saying one phrase over and over. Not only was the parrot called to the stand, but Perry was actually allowed to cross-examine the bird. Somewhat justified in that it was only an inquest rather than an actual criminal trial.
** Also counts as an InvokedTrope, [[spoiler:as the parrot was trained to say that phrase in order to frame Perry's client]].
* On an episode of ''Series/{{Columbo}}'', the murder victim's dog helped prove that the murderer had been to the victim's house by scratching his car door. Fortunately the dog had left unique scratch marks because it was missing a claw.
* Played with in the ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'' episode ''Past Imperfect''.
* [[VigilanteJustice Vigilante justice variation]]: This is how Series/{{Dexter}} finds out that [[spoiler: Leon, and not the gang's no. 2,]] was responsible for [[spoiler: Brother Sam's death]] in season 6. [[spoiler: The dog did not bark at the assailant as seen on the security footage. The dog normally barks at everybody.]] Of course, since he kills [[spoiler: Leon]] by [[spoiler: drowning him in the ocean]], it may count as CharacterDevelopment.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music Videos]]
* GoodCharlotte's video for ''Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous'' shows this during a music interlude.
-->Lawyer: Is it true that the defense, treated you ''like a dog?''
-->Dog: "Rurr..."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* One of ''ThisAmericanLife'''s annual poultry-themed episodes featured the story of a lawyer who wanted to force a psychiatrist to play tic-tac-toe against a chicken in court. She was representing a mentally ill and retarded man on death row, and the prosecution was using this psychiatrist's testimony of having been beaten by him at tic-tac-toe as evidence that he was mentally competent enough to be executed. She remembered that as a kid she'd seen tic-tac-toe-playing chickens at fairs and decided to try to get permission to bring in such a chicken to prove a point about the level of intelligence required to best the psychiatrist. In her words, "Who can doubt a chicken? You can't. A chicken isn't going to lie. Chickens have integrity."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* OlderThanFeudalism: In ''TheWasps,'' by {{Aristophanes}}, Anticleon uses a mock trial involving his pet dogs as an allegory to prove a point about the Athenian judicial system. Then the dogs actually start testifying. Then again, the defendant is also a dog (accused of stealing cheese). Since the dogs ''can'' talk, the court goes one further by calling mute inanimate objects to witness.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'':
** Phoenix Wright at one point called a parrot to the stand in ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney''; in fact said parrot actually allowed him to turn the entire case around so fast everyone got dizzy, despite the parrot being [[spoiler:[[CrazyPrepared specifically trained by the]] BigBad not to talk about the most damning piece of evidence (in one night, no less)]].
** In ''Ultimate VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'', Phoenix Wright is able to "cross-examine" and prove the guilt of [[VideoGame/{{Okami}} Amaterasu]] (a wolf) and [[GuardiansOfTheGalaxy Rocket Raccoon]] (a raccoon).
** In ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies'', he defends an ''orca''. [[spoiler:After the orca's trainer Sasha becomes the suspect, Phoenix later cross-examines the orca for trying to get a connection to both the current case and the events one year earlier. It goes as well as you'd expect.]] Sasha says she came to Phoenix for help specifically because she had heard about the parrot incident above -- she took the fact that he called a parrot as a witness to mean that he'd be the only lawyer willing to go out on a limb and take up an animal's defense.
** ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonVsAceAttorney'' sees the triumphant return of this trope. Worth noting that it wasn't Phoenix's idea this time, it was a witnesses', specifically [[spoiler:[[SpeaksFluentAnimal Luke Triton.]]]]
--->'''Phoenix:''' The defense summons its new witness, Mister Cracker the Parrot!\\
[...]\\
'''Judge:''' The court sees the situation as follows...\\
'''Judge:''' The witnesses' testimonies do not hold together. In fact, they are as erratic as that bard's songs.\\
'''Judge:''' I cannot see this trial getting any more confusing. Very well... The defence may summon this avian witness!
* In ''VideoGame/{{Hitman}}: Blood Money'' the target's dog will be listed as a "witness" if it sees you make the hit. This means it somehow gives police a better composite sketch...
* In a since-removed bug in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', the player could get arrested by the town guards if a horse or chicken saw the deed.
** [[http://awkwardzombie.com/index.php?page=0&comic=012312 This was used]] in ''Webcomic/AwkwardZombie''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', Blackwing (a raven) is called as a character witness in a trial. Blackwing actually [[PollyWantsAMicrophone can speak]], but at this point in the story, he doesn't speak Common in V's presence. A demon cockroach (who can and does talk) is a witness as well.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* On ''TheRickyGervaisShow'', resident {{Cloudcuckoolander}} Karl Pilkington tells a story, where a series of thefts from an office were supposedly solved by putting the suspects in the same room as a ''houseplant'' from the scene of the crime. The houseplant supposedly "reacted" to the thief's presence.
* in Webvideo/AssistMe [[Videogame/{{Okami}} Ammataseru]] (played by a Pomeranian) Speaks out against DoctorDoom in court for [[PokeThePoodle eating her treats.]]
--> '''Doom''': What?! Doom was curious!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Used in ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'' where ScoobyDoo makes a cameo appearance.
-->'''Scooby:''' (about Mandy) She made fun of the way I talk. I mean, look at me! I'm a stinkin' dog!
* In the ''WesternAnimation/GrandmaGotRunOverByAReindeer'' Christmas special, the main character, Jake calls Santa's Reindeer to the stand.
* In an episode of ''{{Rugrats}}'', Angelica sues her parents over making her eat broccoli. Her witness? A stuffed animal. The defense objects, but the judge lets the toy testify anyway. It was AllJustADream anyway.
* Not a courtroom, but as Guitierrez is trying to replicate the incident that created {{Freakazoid}}, the hero's alterego Dexter explains that the keyboard sequence was created by his cat walking on it. Then it's shown the mooks captured the cat to make him testify. A veterinarian had been brought to help but all he said was that the cat was hungry and didn't pay attention to the code.
* AceVentura had a similar case, where somebody abducted a dog hoping to make it reveal the secrets of its master, a high ranked officer. All the machine that read the dog's mind caught was the dog playing with the officer. Ace pointed out to the villain that dogs don't care about military secrets.
** Another episode had Ace's monkey, Spike, signaling that he saw the creature of an ancient legend but Ace interrogated him and told his clients Spike only said that in hopes of getting a cookie. When asked about what made Spike change his statement, Ace said he gave Spike ''two'' cookies.
* In ''WesternAnimation/RoadRovers'', this was the basis of an entire episode. Of course, they had phlebotinum that could make a dog into a sapient humanoid.
* The cats from ''PlutosJudgementDay''. Curiously enough, the defendant is [[PlutothePup Pluto]], a dog.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Lawyer Bob Ingersoll notes that [[DefiedTrope this isn't legally possible]] in the United States [[http://www.worldfamouscomics.com/law/back20021001.shtml here]].
* [[http://tinyurl.com/a63yaz In late 2008]] a dog was called into a French court to see if it reacted to a man accused of murdering his owner. The dog barked furiously at the suspect. The dog's name? Scooby.
* In French legend, Aubry de Montdidier, a knight of King Charles V, was murdered by [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Macaire Robert Macaire]]. The only witness was Montdidier's dog. In court the dog reacted violently to Macaire, leading the king to order [[TrialByCombat a duel between Macaire and the dog]]. The dog won, and Macaire confessed to the murder and was hanged. The murder was said to take place in 1371.
** Very much TruthInTelevision. Medieval manuals on trials by combat include provisions for fighting against a dog.
* In the United States, bloodhounds and other dogs capable of following a scent trail are legally allowed to "testify". (All police dogs on the K9 units are considered to be uniformed officers. Their human handlers sometimes have a little bit of creative fun "scribing" the reports on their behalf.)
* Not necessarily testify, but in Boston, [[http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-01-17/entertainment/27087837_1_jury-duty-cat-feline-friend a cat was once called in for jury duty]].
* An apparently WrongGenreSavvy burglar killed a goldfish because [[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/14/teen-burglar-kills-goldfi_n_822845.html he didn't want to leave any witnesses.]]
* ''The Book of Lists'' has assembled over twenty cases, including many where the animals are put on the stand for [[BestialityIsDepraved buggery]].
* In 1994, when OJ Simpson's ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman were murdered, there was speculation that her Akita may have witnessed the crime. With that, there was further speculation that the dog would be brought into court to see if it would react violently to OJ, thus proving him to be the killer. Unfortunately, this tactic was never employed. One wonders whether or not this would have helped proven OJ guilty.
* Fear of this trope was what prompted one [[StupidCrooks David Carlile]] of Berkshire, England to kidnap and sell the African gray parrot that belonged to the owner of the house he was burglarizing in 2005 [[http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/08/parrot_kidnap/ (story here)]]. When police identified and arrested him in connection with the burglary, he reportedly said “Parrots can talk and I didn’t want it [[StockBritishPhrases grassing me up!]]”
* During the SalemWitchTrials, [[HangingJudge some judges]] were so keen to find parties guilty, they'd allow anything from animals to corpses as witnesses. For instance, one man was accused of causing a one-eyed pig to be born on the [[SarcasmMode pretty damning]] basis that he also had one eye. The pig was a witness at his 'trial'.
[[/folder]]

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