[[quoteright:350:[[Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/25fa7f8152d7cc89f263a3174e3303ef_copy_5098.jpg]]]]

->''"I cannot imagine mice as the embodiment of evil. Mice are such charming little creatures, and it is not by accident that MickeyMouse became an absolutely universal hero."''
-->--'''Andrey Konchalovskiy''' on why he changed the Mouse King to [[YouDirtyRat the Rat King]] in his adaptation of ''Theatre/TheNutcracker''

[[YouDirtyRat Unlike rats]], mice are often portrayed as nice and heroic even though they are common household pests. Historically, mice are known to be a metaphor of the [[GreedyJew Jews]], so this is a trope they love or [[YouHaveToHaveJews even maybe created]].

Being very small and cute, yet traditionally wild, the mouse is an animal often used as a metaphor for someone easily underestimated. Thus, mouse characters and humanoid mouse races tend to be heroic and really good people, yet easily underestimated. In many works, this last trait is something they have grown to deeply resent. It's hard to demand respect from someone when you can't even reach his knees and your voice is very squeaky - no matter how brave you are.
These mice characters designed to be likable one way or another. Some are heroic, some are nice, and some are both.

Contrast YouDirtyRat for rodents, specifically rats, who are portrayed as disgusting and maybe carriers of literal or metaphorical disease.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Commercials ]]

* Creator/ChuckECheese.

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In Art Spiegelman's ''ComicBook/{{Maus}}'', a narrative of the author's father's struggle to survive the Holocaust, the Jews are drawn as mice. [[CatsAreMean Nazis are drawn as cats]], and the Allied troops (particularly Americans) are drawn as dogs.
* '' ComicBook/MouseGuard'', naturally. Though rogue mice feature as villains in the first story arc, none of them are as bad as Cats or Weasels.
* ''ThePowerpuffGirls'' #67: "Monkey Business" has Mojo Jojo giving up his life of crime to become a restaurateur. The girls don't believe him and they try to prove it when they find rats in the kitchen. Mojo angrily explains that the rats are expert chefs he brought over from France. (Actually one of the rats tells Bubbles in rat-speak and she translates.)
* In ''ComicBook/SunnyvilleStories'', the Eftirmatur family is a family of Scandinavian mice that runs the local bakery.

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[[folder: Film -- Animated ]]

* The mice in ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'' are not just nice, they are ultimately responsible for helping Cinderella's dream come true.
* Roquefort from ''Disney/TheAristocats''
* The mice in ''Disney/TheRescuers'' and ''TheRescuersDownUnder'' are nice.
* Timothy from ''Disney/{{Dumbo}}'' is one of the few nice characters in the film.
* Same with most of the mice from ''Disney/TheGreatMouseDetective''. The villain, Ratigan, [[AvertedTrope was definitely a mouse]] in the books, however. But this is somewhat more dubious in the movie, though he vehemently denies being a rat. The exception to this trope being Ratigan's {{mooks}} who are thuggish criminals.
** Basil [[GoodIsNotNice may not be nice, but he's still good]].
* Averted with Mrs. Fieldmouse in ''Thumbelina'', who is most definitely ''not'' nice.
* Fievel and the mice from the ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail'' movies are all nice. They're also stand-ins for poor oppressed minorities in the human world.
** The villains from the third movie are also mice, however.
* Subverted with the mice in ''WesternAnimation/TheNutcrackerPrince" as despite many of the mice are more sillier than both the Mouse King and his mother, they are still loyal to their king and try to attack the toys.

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[[folder: Film -- Live Action ]]

* ''Film/MouseHunt'''s mouse counts, but it's a more blurred example due to AlternateCharacterInterpretation. Obviously the audience is supposed to feel sorry for him, being hunted so ruthlessly by two humans, but he outsmarts them so often that it's clear he's not an ordinary mouse. So, if he's capable of understanding that, perhaps he's capable of understanding what a nuisance he is to two humans who consider the house their property.

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* The mouse in Aesop's fable ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lion_and_the_Mouse The Lion and the Mouse]]'' makes this trope OlderThanFeudalism.
* In ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'':
** Mice are the most {{badass}} race, and the only race that gets a racial storyline of its own. All other races of talking animals are given speech as a divine gift at [[Literature/TheMagiciansNephew the dawn of time]]. The mice, however, are so small and insignificant that they are overlooked by [[CrystalDragonJesus Aslan]] himself. However...
** Moving on to ''Literature/TheLionTheWitchAndTheWardrobe'', the mice ''earn'' their rank among the ascended animals by making a heroic attempt at SaveYourDeity. In that story, mice chew off the ropes that bind [[spoiler:the corpse of Aslan]]. As a result, mice are promoted to that rank of talking animal, and many years latter the mice are considered among the most brave and honorable of all the animals.
** In ''Literature/PrinceCaspian'' the mouse militia fearlessly go up against far larger enemies, routinely taking them out by being ignored in the fray and chopping them from underneath. Culminating in the HeroicSacrifice of their commander Reepicheep and his army's quite special way of dealing with that situation.
** In ''Literature/TheVoyageOfTheDawnTreader'', Reepicheep is one of the main charactes, and arguably the bravest of them all. Lucy works quite hard to resist her urge of cuddling him, since she understand that such behavior from her would hurt his pride. The local {{Jerkass}} human taunts him for his size, but he quickly teaches the far larger human to fear him. Also, while the other heroes just happen to be on that journey for miscellaneous reasons, Reepicheep is the one doing the journey as a [[HeavenSeeker holy quest]].
* In ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', mice are revealed to be highly intelligent pan-dimensional beings; the little furry squeaky things we see are just their avatars in this dimension. Millions of years ago, they built the SuperComputer Deep Thought as a means of discovering the Answer to the Great Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. [[GoneHorriblyRight They succeeded.]]
* ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'' uses this ''a lot''.
* Despereaux and the other mice in ''Literature/TheTaleOfDespereaux'' (rats are bad, except for Chiarascuro, who is good)
* In ''TheWonderfulWizardOfOz'' fieldmice rescue Dorothy, Lion, and Toto from the poppy field by dragging them away. (In the film ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'' Glinda makes it snow to rescue them.)
* Subverted in ''[[Literature/{{Discworld}} Moving Pictures]]'' with Definitely Not Squeak, a mouse who began talking under the influence of Holy Wood cinemagic. Told of this trope, he was outraged that humans consider his kind sweet and delicate, as he was the most {{Badass}} mouse in the house and proud of it.
* The Wee Widow Mouse and her family in ''TheBookOfTheDunCow'', including her deceased BadassAdorable husband, who actively defied [[TheDragon Cockatrice]] before his death.
* The Title character in ''MusOfKerbridge''.

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[[folder: Religion ]]


* Mice were said to be associated with Apollon, the greek god of light, and he even has an epiphet related to this, Smintheus ("of the mice"). That said, [[LightIsNotGood Apollon was also associated with destruction]], so his association with mice was as much due to their cuddliness as much as the fact that they're pests and plague-carriers.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Pipsy Mouse from ''VideoGame/DiddyKongRacing''.
* In ''{{Pokemon}}'', Plusle and Minun are always there to cheer their trainer and the other Pokemon in the party on (and [[CryCute cry when they lose]])
** Pikachu is ''somewhat'' of a subversion in that it can be [[{{Tsundere}} moody]], but otherwise plays the trope straight (Ash's Pikachu in particular.)
* In ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia1'', the Princess's mouse rescues the Prince in one level by opening a gate he gets trapped behind.
* The late 90s ReaderRabbit titles has Mattie the Mouse, who is of course a sweet and soft-spoken creature.

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[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* In ''SquidRow'', [[http://squidrowcomics.com/?p=4265 Randie dreams of being]] helped by this and the BluebirdOfHappiness while cleaning up the coffee place.

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain'': Pinky is nice, if completely cracked. The Brain -- not so much, but he's a JerkWithAHeartOfGold.
* ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'': a lot of Jerry's nastiness is in provoked self-defense from Tom, but some of it is just tormenting Tom for the hell of it. When it comes to other animals, though, Jerry is pretty universally nice. He's nice to canaries, baby woodpeckers, baby ducks, baby seals, escaped lions, circus Elephants (on more than one occasion even). Despite the occasional moral ambivalence, he is usually the more good natured in his feud with Tom as well, and the most likely to at least attempt a truce or relent when their war goes a step too far (he once saved Tom after he almost drowned trying to chase after him for example).
* Surprisingly subverted (considering it's a '30s cartoon) in the [[MaxAndDaveFleischer Fleischer]] short ''Fresh Vegetable Mystery'' where [[spoiler:the mice are the bad guys]].
* MickeyMouse and MinnieMouse: Both are nice. Hands down.
** Subverted with Mortimer Mouse though.
* HannaBarbera: Dixie and Pixie were usually only acting in defense from Mr. Jinks, and only did the stealing of the cheese to survive, if memory serves.
** Sometimes it would switch around where Jinks was the hero of the episode and Pixie and Dixie would get their comeuppance in the end.
** [[TheCattanoogaCats Motormouse]] was usually Autocat's antagonist as it was Autocat's job to get rid of him from the Spin Your Wheels Garage. Once in awhile, though, Motormouse would help out Autocat and on occasion give him a lift home from work.
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'': SpeedyGonzales is a mouse who pretty much only steals cheese to help his compadres. Sniffles is well-meaning, if annoying.
** Averted in the early LooneyTunes cartoon, "The Night Watchman." Not only are the mice shady antagonists, the kitten is a protagonist.
** Also averted in ''Scaredy Cat'' and ''Claws for Alarm,'' when the mice (seen in the first and implied in the second) overtly try to kill Porky with poor Sylvester the only one aware of the danger.
** Sylvester is also victim to a ScrewySquirrel rodent trying to ''starve him to death'' in ''Canned Feud''.
** Chuck Jones' Hubie and Bertie were subversions, as they tended to mind-screw the hapless Claude. Two examples; in "The Aristo-Cat", they convinced Claude that ''he'' was they mouse and Hubie and Bertie were cats, and in "Roughly Squeaking" they convinced Claude that he was a lion, and the bulldog in the yard was either a moose, a gazelle or [[ItMakesSenseInContext a pelican.]]
** Also subverted in Bob Clampett's "We the Animals Squeak", in which a band of mobster mice kidnap the son of champion mouser Kansas City Kitty, in an effort to blackmail her into letting the mice run rampant.
* The mice from ''WesternAnimation/CapitolCritters'' were nice.
* ''WesternAnimation/BikerMiceFromMars'' is about BadassBiker alien mice who protect Earth from evil.
* ''{{Rastamouse}}''. Irie, man.
* ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'': Of the animals with a larger sample size than one-offs or the main characters, mice are generally the most consistently nice of the animal which appear, with a rare handful of [[AvertedTrope villainous]] examples. Of the main cast, Monterey Jack is a BoisterousBruiser always ready for a brawl, but is otherwise kind-hearted and friendly. [[WrenchWench Gadget]] is nice quite literally to a fault, and on two or three occasions this comes back on her hard. And when she's [[BewareTheNiceOnes pushed too far...]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MightyMouse'' was a superhero who more often than not rescued persecuted mice from villainous cats.
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' ShowWithinAShow, ''TheItchyAndScratchyShow'' character, Itchy the mouse, who is a cheerful murderous psycho who plots to kill his friend Scratchy the cat ForTheEvulz.
* The ''WesternAnimation/MrBogus'' episode "[[Recap/MrBogusS2E6TotallyBogusVideo Totally Bogus Video]]" featured a trio of mice who were being menaced by [[YouDirtyRat Ratty]] and his [[AngryGuardDog rottweiler]] [[TheDragon accomplice]].

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[[folder: Real Life ]]


* As mentioned under YouDirtyRat, the common stereotypes are inverted. While Rats can be well-trained, friendly, loving, and compassionate, even trained mice will bite their owner anyway and will escape if given half the chance (unlike rats, who have loyalty to their owner), they also tend to have less desire to clean than rats do. Wild mice also ''love'' the taste of blood and if they can get to an incapacitated living creature ([[ParanoiaFuel like, say, a sleeping human]]) have even been known to drink their body weight in blood if they can get away with it.

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