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[[quoteright:300:[[WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/krew_fire_nation.jpg]]]]

The popularity of ferrets has created a new kind of animal sidekick character, in addition to the old standbys of the loyal, dull Dog and the smart, [[CatsAreSnarkers snarky]] Cat.

The weasel (or ferret) is a cute, mischievous, playful mascot who nonetheless looks out mainly for himself and can be very critical of people around him. He's nowhere near as clever as he thinks he is, and swears up and down he doesn't have to be fussed over. Until he wants to be, and frankly he's not about to turn down free food or attention if it's offered. [[FighterMageThief If the dog is the fighter class, and the cat is the mage, then the weasel is the thief]].

Animal mascot personalities normally fall into the Cat or [[AllAnimalsAreDogs Dog stereotypes]] even if the author has tried to use a more exotic animal, like a bird or mouse -- it'll still act like a Cat or a Dog. The Weasel Mascot personality, likewise, may apply to non-mustelids (such as a mongoose or even a squirrel) -- but weasels, otters, and ferrets are most common. The Weasel personality is rarely applied to badgers and wolverines however.

A major benefit of the Weasel personality is that it largely reflects the behavior of the real animal. The Weasel can make a good [[DeadpanSnarker ironic deadpan snarker]], without the [[CatsAreMean nasty or untrustworthy streak]] westerners associate with the Cat. There is ''deep'' irony in the contrast between the two because [[WickedWeasel weasels fared differently in older Western works]].

Many magical animal guardians are Weasel mascots, and most Weasel mascots are {{Talking Animal}}s.

Compare PlayfulOtter. Contrast WickedWeasel.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Uzume the ferret in ''Manga/AiYoriAoshi''.
* Kero-chan in ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura''.
* Yuuno, from ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' is another actual ferret. He's an exception to the character type, though—he's a bookish, shy mage that gets nervous and blushes around Nanoha. This is mostly because Yuuno is not actually a ferret, but a 9-or-10-year-old human boy who transforms into such; when this is finally revealed, Nanoha [[BigWhat reacts predictably]].
* Japolo from ''Anime/ShamanicPrincess'' is a TalkingAnimal BattleButler and would-be MentorMascot. He fancies himself full of important information and sage advice, but in reality his main contribution is [[DeadpanSnarker snark]] and PluckyComicRelief.
* Artemis's playful relationship with Minako in ''Franchise/SailorMoon'''s (versus Luna, who acts slightly more "parental" to Usagi).
* Hisashi Sakisaka, an occasional recurring character in the ''Manga/MidoriDays'' manga, has a weasel sidekick, Tomahawk, on his shoulder at all times.
* Although the series is realistic, and he is an actual ferret, the anime ''Manga/StrawberryMarshmallow'' has John, who belongs to the unbelievably-adorable Matsuri. John is cute, mischievous and playful, but that seems the extent of his Weasel Mascot traits.
* Mepple in ''Anime/FutariWaPrettyCure'' has an incredible attitude, and is greedy, picky, and likes to guilt Nagisa into doing things for him.
** Tart from ''Anime/FreshPrettyCure'', who insist that he's a 'cute fairy' and speaks with KansaiRegionalAccent. He swings around being responsible (trying to help the Cures) and irresponsible (stealing the Cures' foods like ice cream) at times
* Used in ''Anime/SpiritedAway'', not that you'd be able to tell: the "Art of" book tells us that the character Lin is supposed to be a [[HumanityEnsues transformed weasel]]. She's sarcastic but sweet and quite cute.
* Chamo from ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' (with DirtyOldMan tendencies to boot!).
** He would like to remind you [[InsistentTerminology he's an ermine]], thank you very much.
** [[spoiler:There is a specific punishment for mages in ''Mahou Sensei Negima!'': temporary transformation into an ermine. It is never stated directly, but some lines may imply that Chamo-kun did undergo such a penalty. Nevertheless, Chamo-kun always claims he is a regular ermine and mentions about his ermine family. He also revealed that he was banned from his home country for [[PantyThief stealing panties]] from his girl ermine companions. This may be somewhat true. Just don't [[InternetBackdraft try to make a definite claim]].]]
*** In the manga, he's pretty specific at several points in explaining he's an ermine sprite, which is where most of his powers -- such as forming pactios and being able to read peoples' emotions -- come from. He fled to Japan to find Negi [[spoiler:to get him to hire him as a familiar so he wouldn't be punished for his panty theft.]]
*** [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming What? But he]] [[TearJerker stole them to build a warm nest]] [[BlatantLies for his sister...]]
* Rafra from ''Anime/InfiniteRyvius''.
* In ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', Team Gurren has Buta!
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'': Arguably, Ash's (previously Dawn's) Buizel is one of these despite the actual mascots being the [[RodentsOfUnusualSize Rodent of Unusual Size]] and the adorable [[SpotlightStealingSquad yet overused]] [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins Penguin]]. It initially followed in the tracks of previous badasses Charizard and Sceptile, and did a very good job of it early on despite being a RidiculouslyCuteCritter. Unfortunately, it hit [[BadassDecay a losing streak]] later on.
** In its first appearance, Buizel was the mascot of the traveling troupe in ''Anime/PokemonRangerAndTheTempleOfTheSea'' and was the most prominent Pokémon until Manaphy appeared.
** Oshawott is the new mustelid on the team in ''Black and White''.
* OkojoSan from the titular manga and the anime SiawaseApartment's Okojo-san is an ermine. He can't talk to people, but he can to the other animals in the apartment complex.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': While technically not a weasel, Kon sure has the personality for it.
* In the manga adaptation of ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'', Minmay has one of these, a bizarre rabbit/weasel hybrid that probably doesn't exist in nature.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'': During her BigDamnHeroes moment, Temari uses her fan to summon an eyepatch-wearing, scythe-wielding weasel named Kamatari that brings with it a massive swath of destruction against Tayuya.
** [[DontExplainTheJoke Which to anyone who knows Japanese is a pun on the word "Kamaitachi", which means "slicing wind", but "Kama" and "Itachi" means "sickle" and "weasel" respectively.]]
* Einstein the ferret in ''Alien from the Darkness'', whose main hobbies appear to be searching for fish and molesting its female owner. It's also an [[EvilDetectingDog Evil Detecting Ferret]], able to sence when someone is possessed by the evil alien.
* Candy from ''Manga/CandyCandy'' has a pet raccoon called Clean.
* Kyubey from ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica''. Given [[{{Deconstruction}} the nature of the show]] it's a subversion. There's [[ManipulativeBastard a good reason]] that a good chunk of the show's fans don't trust him at all. [[spoiler:WickedWeasel, [[http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y67/AthenAltena/kyuubeyaaah.png after all]]. He seems to be less of a subversion by the end of the show.]]
** ZigZagged going into ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion''. Turns out [[spoiler:he never stopped being the evil git he is, and if anything his "amending" conversation with Homura only gave him the idea to exploit her to bring back the old witch system]].
* ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'': Ryo-Ohki is Ryoko's [[Main/LivingShip pet]] that meows like a cat, yet eats carrots like a rabbit.
* Nils from the animated adaptation of ''Literature/NilsHolgersson'' has a hamster sidekick called Krumel who usually provides the voice of reason.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Seamus the pooka from ''ComicBook/BlueMonday''.
* Spip, ''ComicBook/SpirouAndFantasio'''s snarky squirrel.
* Played with in ''ComicStrip/GetFuzzy'' with Bucky's silent ferret nemesis, Fungo Squiggly.
* ''ComicBook/PeachFuzz'', where the ferrets are the main characters... at least,''they'' think they are. Their owners think they're just cute pets.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In reference to his BalefulPolymorph in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire'', some fan fiction makes [[DracoInLeatherPants Draco Malfoy]] a ferret animagus.
* ''FanFic/GuardiansOfPokemon'' has a pair of these, Jupei and Ki. This is not surprising as the author has stated that the fic was inspired by [[RuleOfThree three]] anime: ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' (of course), ''Anime/SailorMoon'', and ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura''.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Wilma, a singing GenkiGirl weasel from ''WesternAnimation/TheFlightBeforeChristmas''.

[[folder:Films -- Live Action]]
* Kodo and Podo (aka "The Weasel Hankies") from ''Film/TheBeastmaster'' are a ferret duo that aid the main character Dar on his quests.
* ''Film/AlongCamePolly'' features a pet ferret that often appeared in promotional material, despite having very few scenes in the movie.
* Mr. Kimble has a pet ferret ([[Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger pronounced "fyeuwr-it"]]) that he uses to calm down his class in ''Film/KindergartenCop''. The ferret even saves Kimble's hide by putting a well-timed bite on the BigBad in the climactic showdown.
* In ''Film/StarshipTroopers'', Karl psychically commands his ferret to go bug his mother so his pet will stop begging for his attention.

* In ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'', Lyra's shapeshifting dæmon, Pantalaimon, often takes the shape of a weasel; he settles as a [[spoiler:[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_Marten Pine Marten.]]]]
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'' has Jarveys, smart-talking (very large) magical mustelids.
** Mr. Weasley's Patronus is a weasel.
*** His twin sons, Fred and George, have otters for their Patronuses. As does Hermione. (No wonder [[spoiler:she married into the family]].)
* ''Literature/TheAreasOfMyExpertise'': "Let's use my ferret to steal that diamond."
** ''Literature/MoreInformationThanYouRequire'': "New ferret, same old con."
** Taken to its logical conclusion with a mounted ferret skeleton on the back cover of the DarkerAndEdgier finale, ''Literature/ThatIsAll''.
* Ozzie from ''Literature/AvalonWebOfMagic'' is an elf who was magically transformed into a ferret. Besides being more goofy than snarky, he's pretty much this trope exactly.
* The title character of ''Zucchini'' is a boy's pet ferret. The book was later adapted on ''WesternAnimation/CBSStorybreak''.
* In ''Literature/{{Spellbent}}'', Jessie Shimmer's magical familiar is a DeadpanSnarker ferret named Palimpsest.
* The ferret has become something of an unofficial mascot for ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'', due to Angela's off-hand warning to Roran: "Watch out for ferrets."

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The announcer on ''Series/LateNightLiars'' is a weasel.
* In ''Series/NedsDeclassifiedSchoolSurvivalGuide'' an actual weasel supposedly infests Polk Middle School (whose ''official'' mascot is a wolf), and is the bane of the janitor's existence. It turns out to be [[spoiler:[[MonsterIsAMommy pregnant and looking for a nest]]; it and its young are then adopted as second mascots by the moved janitor]].
** The weasel [[DorkHorseCandidate ends up elected]] as [[CaligulasHorse the class president]], over several more-qualified human candidates. (Actually, "more-qualified" is debatable...)
* ''Series/TheLateLateShow with Creator/CraigFerguson'': "Do we have a [[http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_WrKY10IR-ng/TLuTrEYzcTI/AAAAAAAANhs/FFkxPmo0a-0/s1600/craig+ferret+1.jpg picture]] of me with my ferrets?"

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Koppa from ''VideoGame/ShirenTheWanderer''.
* Daxter, after being turned into an [[MixAndMatchCritter ottsel]], from the ''VideoGame/JakAndDaxter'' series. While he is not technically a weasel, his species (ottsel) ''is'' still a combination of two different kinds of mustelid: a weasel and an otter.
* VideoGame/{{Torchlight}} launched with the choice of a dog or a cat as the character's animal partner, but a later official mod added a ferret as a third option. It has also been officially added as a pet choice in ''VideoGame/TorchlightII''.
* Kiki was Alpha Creations Softworks' mascot during the '80s.
* In the ''VideoGame/BackyardSports'' series, the Football world champions visit Walter Weasel World. In the Skateboarding game, one of the sponsors is Weasel Barn, a pet store for weasels.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Kiki from ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''. Although her GenkiGirl attitude may make her a subversion.
* Wendy Weasel from ''[[http://www.drunkduck.com/Cwens_Quest/ Cwen's Quest]]'' plays straight (wo)man/big sister to titular character Cwen and keeps Cwen humble.
* Menjou from ''Webcomic/{{Candi}}'' -- who adds the "embellished" to the comic's LifeEmbellished nature due to being telepathic, telekinetic and at war with the local Squirrel Mafia. His "girlfriend", Snowflake the albino squirrel, is his DistaffCounterpart (swapping psi powers for EyeBeams).
* Corasyn from ''Webcomic/NothingComesNaturally''.
* Annie from Demon of the Underground. She was found in Pogo's pants and took on a group of mooks while he was busy.
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'':
** The Wulfenbach Bug Squad (more officially known as the Vespiary Squad) use heavily modified weasels to hunt down and destroy slaver wasps, the most dangerous of this world's '''many''' abominations of science. Although they have eight legs, they ''are'' still, very much, weasels of some description. And, they are sooo cute (for a given definition of cute).
** Agatha herself acquired one after Tarvek rescued several from a crashed Vespiary Squad airship. After the TimeSkip, Agatha keeps it close at all times [[spoiler:because Tweedle modified her so that she literally [[CantLiveWithoutYou can't live without him]]. Agatha modified the weasel to fill Tweedle's role]].
* Tragia from ''Webcomic/TheSecretLivesOfFlowers''. Being the main character, he defaults as this.
* Ferret from ''Webcomic/ScooterAndFerret''.

[[folder:Web Video]]
* WebVideo/PeanutButterGamer has his ferret, Pixel. She doesn't show up too often in videos, but she steals the show.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Rufus from ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', though actually a naked mole rat.
* Pabu from ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' (a sequel to ''Avatar'') is a [[MixandMatchCritters fire ferret]] -- a combination of a ferret and a red panda. Yes, [[RuleOfCute it's as adorable as it sounds]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAnimalsOfFarthingWood'' features the character Weasel, who is actually a rather sarcastic, selfish DeadpanSnarker.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Ferrets do indeed tend to have very hyperactive and playful personalities in real life, with a special emphasis on ''hyperactive'', which is something to keep in mind for households with small children; they're either asleep or bouncing off the walls, and what between playful ferrets would be an inconsequential nip might easily break a child's skin.
** They also like to chew on things, so by all means don't leave your leather goods within their reach. Or your keys. Or socks. Or shoes, potatoes, beer bottles, napkins, things made out of rubber, anything spherical, anything shiny (''especially'' anything shiny), anything that tastes good (and you'd be amazed what a ferret thinks tastes good), anything that bounces or makes an interesting noise, anything that'll fit under a couch, anything you'd be upset to lose for several months and then rediscover decorated with tiny toothmarks...compared with the effort that goes into defending one's chattels from marauding mustelids, child-proofing a house is dirt-simple.
* Oh, and they're called "mustelid" for a reason; that word shares a root with "musk", and indeed they do have an odor, which some find pleasant and others find intolerable. And they tend to nip, and even the best of them defecate in corners, and most of the ones you find in the United States are severely inbred and thus prone to dying badly of cancer after six or seven years. In general, they're adorable little monsters if you've got the personality to put up with them, but they're definitely not for everyone.