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[[quoteright:290:[[Disney/LadyAndTheTramp http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_1lady-tramp-disneyscreencaps_com-7692_2402.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:290:Rats!]]

->''"Rats is rats, past, present, and forever. [[WickedWeasel Weasels]] [[HeelFaceTurn change]], but rats is rats!"''
-->-- '''John Wesley Weasel''', ''TheBookOfTheDunCow''

In fiction, [[NiceMice mice]] are often portrayed as sympathetic characters. They are always cute, nice, and sometimes even sweet, but often they are also portrayed as honest, brave, and forthright. Rats on the other hand - possibly because of [[ThePlague certain historical events]] - are AlwaysChaoticEvil in the West. Also, a mouse is apparently helpless while a rat can bite back ''hard'' (and sometimes ''does'' discourage a cat who is too pampered and not a real hunter). Consequently, if a cat is chasing a mouse, the cat is almost always the villain; if the cat is chasing a rat, he's almost always the hero.

Could be seen as a type of FantasticRacism. See also NiceMice and SwarmOfRats. A RatStomp is when rats become one of the first monsters to face a newbie adventurer in an RPG. Compare with CatsAreMean, ReptilesAreAbhorrent. Subtrope of WhatMeasureIsANonCute.

TropeNamer is a quote [[BeamMeUpScotty wrongly attributed]] to Creator/JamesCagney. The actual quote, for those who are wondering, is "That dirty double-crossing rat!"

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* Averted with the early Creator/ChuckECheese.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''GregoryHorrorShow'', Gregory and his family either want to trap the protagonist's soul forever (Gregory), eat it (his mother), or torment it (his grandson). All three of them are rats.
* In ''HeatGuyJ'', [[EliteMook Ian]] has been sent to do some recon for Clair. However, Ian gets caught by the very man he's investigating, [[CorruptPolitician Senator Noriega]]. Noriega says, [[SmugSnake "Well, look what I've found: a dirty little rat."]] Ian takes off his night-vision goggles and replies, "Am I really the one who's the rat?" [[spoiler: before being shot in the head.]]
* The Monster Rats from ''Literature/FromTheNewWorld'', oh so much. [[spoiler:Who serve as the main antagonists, especially Squeala/Yakomaru during the 3rd act of the series, as well as murdering Mamoru and Maria and kidnapping their child and raising it to serve them. Subverted in that aren't really any worse than their PK-using human overlords, and are in fact transformed humans.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comicbooks]]
* In 1930s [[ComicBook/MickeyMouseComicUniverse Mickey Mouse comics]], Minnie's cousin Ruffhouse Rat isn't evil—but he's a lazy, egotistical flop of an athlete who essentially makes Mickey and Minnie solve his problems for him.
* A very strong aversion: [[Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles Master Splinter]] in any incarnation is a wise, gentle, and patient fellow. [[BerserkButton Just don't]] [[PapaWolf threaten his adoptive sons]].
** The Rat King from the cartoons is a subversion, as the rats were harmless until they were in the Rat King's power (and the Rat King himself was human).
* In ''{{Blacksad}}'' the bar patron who helps Blacksad track down Leon Kronski and [[spoiler:tries to kill him, turning out to be working for Statoc]] is a rat. Lampshaded by Blacksad in his internal monologue.
* Averted in ''ComicBook/TheTaleOfOneBadRat'', a miniseries about a teenager who runs away from home after being sexually abused by her father; her only companion is her pet rat, and she can get quite indignant when people say that rats are dirty or creepy.
* Averted with the adorable FunnyBackgroundEvent rats in the ''SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'' comics, as well as the humanoid rats the duo are trying to rescue in "Bad Day on the Moon." A case of AuthorAppeal, since creator Steve Purcell is rather fond of rats.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* DisneyAnimatedCanon:
** As far as Disney films go, ''LadyAndTheTramp'' features a rat that threatens the Darlings' baby but is stopped by [[PapaWolf The Tramp]], and ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'' features heroic mice who help the title character deal with her stepmother and stepsisters.
** In ''Disney/TheGreatMouseDetective'' heroic detective Basil of Baker Street is a mouse, while his arch-nemesis, Professor Padraic [[MeaningfulName Ratigan]], is a rat, of course (though [[BerserkButton he hates being called that]]). The book averts this, having the professor as a mouse.
** Averted in ''Disney/OliverAndCompany'' though. The rats that show up during the "Why Should You Worry" scene may look rough on the edges, but they are not evil.
* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/{{Ratatouille}}'', where the main character is an intelligent, urbane rat with a gourmand's taste in food and the ability to cook like a classically trained chef. Of course, most of the other rats are classless, tactless layabouts, but at least they aren't ''evil''.
** In the SpinOff [[PixarShorts short]], "Your Friend the Rat", Remy and Emile try to argue for the reconciliation of humans and rats, using historical facts presented to various styles of animation. Among other things, they explain that ThePlague was actually caused by fleas that got attached to black rats, not by the rats themselves, and in fact, the brown rat had supposedly helped to end the Plague.
*** And then played with/double subverted during the end credits, when a cautionary message allegedly from the clip's producers scrolls by to remind the audience that rats are vicious, unsanitary, pestilent vermin, as Remy and Emile can be heard vigorously protesting in the background.
** Also subverted in ''Animation/{{Ratatoing}}'', a cheap knock-off of ''Ratatouille''. Rats are both heroes and villains, being a {{Mockbuster}}.
* The same goes in ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretOfNIMH''. Except for MagnificentBastard Jenner and Brutus (who, to be fair, is only doing his job), all the rats are benevolent. In particular, Justin is a hero who is designed to be as dashingly handsome as one can make a rat and still be recognizable as such. It should be noted that had Brutus wanted, he could have very easily killed Mrs. Brisby with that spear. Instead, he repeatedly intimidated her by swinging it in her direction, and didn't pursue her when she ran off.
* Again again in ''WesternAnimation/FlushedAway'', where the rats are, as a group, no more good or evil than any other random population.
* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/TheBraveLittleToaster Goes to Mars'' and ''The Brave Little Toaster To The Rescue'' with Ratso.
* Yet another aversion occurs in ''Literature/TheWindInTheWillows'' with Ratty. Sure he's actually a Water Vole, but voles are close enough to rats for government work.
* In ''{{Enchanted}}'', the rats do a considerable share of the housework while under the influence of [[FriendToAllLivingThings Giselle's]] "Happy Working Song". Only one mouse is seen to help out, and it's only there because a rat wouldn't fit in the bathtub drainhole.
* In one adaptation of ''The Country Mouse and City Mouse'', the bad guy was a rat.
* The Mice in ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail'' are all virtuous, loving immigrants. Warren T. Rat, on the other hand, [[spoiler:isn't even a rat, but [[AssInALionSkin a cat]], and one of the bad ones at that]]. It also briefly features a huge, scary rat who is a sweatshop owner.
* ''WesternAnimation/ChickenRun'' features rats who peddles junk to the hens in exchange for eggs. They're enterprising, but not evil.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Coraline}}'', she's shocked that the cat would kill a mouse like that. Little did she know...
* In ''Animation/CatCity'', the rats are villains (although of the [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain ineffectual sympathetic kind]]).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/ThePrincessBride'', Wesley gets attacked by a ''[[RodentsOfUnusualSize giant]]'' rat in the forest. He manages to kill it after a few minutes.
** Although it actually looks a lot more like a giant ''opossum'' than a rat.
* In ''Willard'', the title character has a pack of killer-attack rats who remove anyone who gets in Willard's way.
** This is subverted in the sequel, ''Ben'', wherein the pack of rats defend a small boy from bullies.
* In ''Film/{{Nosferatu}}'', the vampire [[LooksLikeOrlok looks quite rat-like]], keeps loads of them in his coffins, and spreads the plague.
* In ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade'', swarms of them fill Venice's catacombs. It's known that Henry Jones Sr. fears them, just like his son fears snakes.
** HarrisonFord himself greatly enjoyed working with the rats, as he had previously kept rats as pets. Behind the scenes footage even shows Ford on the set between takes playing with them!
* Averted in ''HomeAlone 3'', in which the kid's pet white rat, Doris, is depicted as a cute friendly companion.
* This trope is the reason the Mouse King from ''Theatre/TheNutcracker'' was changed to the Rat King in ''Theatre/TheNutcracker: the Untold Story''.
* In accordance with the Nazis equating Jews with rats (see RealLife entry below), the opening scene of ''Film/{{InglouriousBasterds}}'' shows Landa having such a conversation with the dairy farmer.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Used horrifically in ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour''.
* ''Literature/TheUnderlandChronicles'' plays this straight at first, then [[GreyAndGrayMorality subverts it big-time]].
* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', Ron Weasley's pet rat Scabbers turns out to actually be the animagus Peter Pettigrew in disguise. Pettigrew, of course, was [[TheMole the traitor who sold Harry's parents]] to [[BigBad Lord Voldemort]]. He's even described as rat-like when he's in human form.
** This takes inspiration from Rowling's sister's phobia. Rowling herself doesn't mind rats. There is also a chapter that has magical rats showing off in a store, playing jump rope with their tails, so not every rat is portrayed as villainous.
* In ''Literature/TheTaleOfDespereaux'', the mice are all good (cowardly, but good), while the rats are all evil. Chiaroscuro the Rat, an innocent born into a corrupt society, has to deal with his species' stereotype.
** Though they seem to get along with humans during the opening [[spoiler:and ending]].
* The rats in ''{{Redwall}}'' are always criminals. They're even referred to as vermin.
** Most notably Cluny the Scourge.
** Well, except Blaggut, but he's [[DumbIsGood dumb as a stump]]. (And [[UglyCute friggin' adorable]].)
** By ''Loamhedge'' they seem to have taken back the word "vermin" for their own, as they actually refer to themselves as vermin and seem proud of it.
* Played straight in ''TheBookOfTheDunCow'' with Ebenezer Rat, an egg-eating and violent rat, although it should be noted that he is nowhere near the most evil character in the book [[spoiler: and [[RedemptionEqualsDeath dies in battle]] with one of the real villains]].
* Played with in Garry Kilworth's ''Welkin Weasels'' series. The black rats are AlwaysChaoticEvil, while the Norway rats are lovable fops.
** This sounds fairly close to their behavior in RealLife. Black rats tend to be solitary and agressive, and aren't even that common.
** Similarly in his novel ''House Of Tribes'': the rat, Kellogg, is evil and a murderer.
* Templeton Rat from ''Literature/CharlottesWeb'' isn't actively evil, but he's certainly [[JerkAss selfish, arrogant, and greedy]]. He has to be bribed into helping Wilbur the Pig.
* David the rat nothlit in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'', although he was forced into rat morph to keep him from threatening the rest of the group. He does return just as evil in a later book, though.
* ''WatershipDown'' uses this one. The rabbits are attacked by a pack of rats just after escaping from Strawberry's original warren. Then again, later in the book Hazel, during the first trip to Nuthanger Farm, stops to ask a rat for directions and gets a quite civil answer, even if, as the narrative notes, the rat had no particular reason to be friendly.
** Possibly the hostile ones were defending their home, as the rabbits had bedded down in an abandoned barn suitable for rats to live in. The rat at Nuthanger farm was simply walking by.
* Examined on both sides in the so-called "young adult" Literature/{{Discworld}} novel, ''Discworld/TheAmazingMauriceAndHisEducatedRodents''. Contains children's-book rats in waistcoats, rats who spoil human food supplies with urine, rats who tap-dance, rats who kill other rats and devour their corpses, telepathic rats, rats who make deals with cats, and rats who manipulate humanity's fear of rats to their advantage. ''[[GreyAndGrayMorality Now guess which rats are the good rats.]]''
** The correct answer being: [[spoiler:all of them except the telepathic rats.]]
** Much earlier, Pratchett subverted the "cute friendly mouse" side of this trope with Definitely Not Squeak, a mouse who began talking under the influence of ''Discworld/MovingPictures''. He was outraged when told that mice are considered cute and sweet by humans, as he'd been the toughest mouse {{Badass}} in the house and proud of it.
** In ''Discworld/ReaperMan'', Death acquires a sidekick, the Death of Rats, whose form sort of implies rats are similar to humans, as they conceptualize Death by anthropomorphizing it, rather than by picturing something that ''causes'' their deaths (i.e. the mayflies see Death as a trout.) Perhaps not Rats Are Good, but definitely Rats Are Smart, or Rats Are Like Us.
*** "Anything so much like a human has to have a soul."
* Mostly averted in ''Literature/MrsFrisbyAndTheRatsOfNIMH'', and its sequels and adaptations. Indeed, its author received a number of letters asking just why he had rats as sympathetic heroes in his book.
* Zigzagged in ''The Roly-Poly Pudding'', where it's unclear whether the rats actually intend to harm Tom Kitten or are just trying to scare him. (Conversely, there's no question that the cats have eaten rats in the past, and continue to eat them in the future.) This relatively even-handed treatment probably occurs because Beatrix Potter kept a pet rat when she was a girl.
* The mouse part is subverted in ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy''. Mice are actually the smartest animals on the planet Earth, which itself was a sort of massive, living distributed computing experiment to determine the Ultimate Question. When Earth is destroyed, they decide that they need to get what data they can salvage by cutting it right out of Arthur Dent's brain.
* Avram Davidson's short story "The Tail-Tied Kings" deals with a rat warren threatened with destruction by their "slaves" (the humans they steal food from) and the escape of the aforementioned Kings (and Queens).
* Bubo, a rat hero of ''Literature/ANightInTheLonesomeOctober'' is introduced as a {{familiar}} with a knack for shady deals and corresponding manners. He turns out to be ''much'' more sneaky, but in general a pretty decent critter.
* Rats are quite some pests on ''Literature/WarriorCats'', but the most evil is seen on ''Firestar's Quest'', where a rat [[spoiler: speaks cat language and hints that his kind drove out the former [=SkyClan=]]]. And then, there were the rats that caused almost all of [=ShadowClan=] to get sick in ''Rising Storm''...
* Creator/MaryGentle's [[IntelligentGerbil Rats]]—who are generally the dominant sapient species of any work in which they appear—tend to be crooked, [[TheChessmaster manipulative]], [[AmbitionIsEvil ambitious]], [[ItsAllAboutMe self-centered]], and [[FantasticRacism bigoted]]—in other words, [[AvertedTrope about as bad]] as {{humans|AreTheRealMonsters}}. (And they're ruled by [[StealthPun rat kings]] with their tails deliberately knotted together.)
* Subverted with Mr. Ratburn, the teacher from ''Literature/{{Arthur}}''. Although he has a reputation as a SadistTeacher (mostly because he gives a lot of homework), he is actually very kind and helpful, and he puts on children's puppet shows in his spare time.
* Averted with Ratty in Kenneth Grahame's ''TheWindInTheWillows''.
** Of course, he's a ''water'' rat, which are technically voles and therefore less disreputable than true rats.
* Another water rat aversion occurs in Pauline Clarke's amazing ''TheReturnOfTheTwelves''.
* Averted with Jade Rat in ''Half World'', who is a faithful friend and ally of the heroine, even if she is a bit of a DeadpanSnarker.
* A new breed of large killer rats are the villains in a series of novels by the English horror author JamesHerbert.
* In the ''GarrettPI'' novels, the intelligent race of ratpeople are targets for a massive degree of FantasticRacism, and even Garrett himself tends to regard them as thieving, craven, subhuman scum early in the series. He gets over it once Singe comes into his life, but she herself admits that far too many of her people won't even attempt to rise above their nasty reputation.
* ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars'': the Martian equivalents of the rats, Ulsio's, are flesh eating monsters the size of Airdale terrier. ''John Carter and the Giant of Mars'' also introduces three-legged rats, who aren't any better than Ulsio's.
* ''Harry Kitten and Tucker Mouse'' by George Selden (a prequel to ''A Cricket in Times Square'') features a sequence where the title pair are menaced by a gang of nasty rats. Notable as one of the few times any animal characters are actively bad in any of Selden's books.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* One episode of the Red Green Show has a song about this:
-->(Brackets indicate Harold singing)\\
♪ He comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve\\
♪ After we've all gone to bed\\
♪ He's not all that nice or jolly\\
♪ Until after he's been fed\\
♪ He's got beady eyes, and yellow teeth\\
♪ And his fur drops off when he moults\\
♪ His tail kinda wiggles and dances and jiggles\\
♪ Like a snake takin' 300 volts!\\
♪ He's Cheesy! (Cheesy!) The Christmas Rat\\
♪ Long and smelly and pretty darn fat\\
♪ Cheesy! (Cheesy!) The Christmas Rat\\
♪ Dropping a little surprise in your hat\\
♪ He comes with a gift! You don't have to beg!\\
♪ He's here to give everyone bubonic plague!\\
♪ Cheesy! (Cheesy!) The Christmas Rat\\
♪ And that's why everybody..... should have a gun! ♪\\
Merry Christmas.
* Played with in ''YesMinister'', when protesters keep Sir Humphrey from clearing a particular copse of trees because it was home to a family of badgers. He convinces them that there are no badgers in the woods, only rats, and [[WhatMeasureIsANonCute the protesters leave]].
* Averted with Rizzo the Rat of ''TheMuppets'', and his rat friends, who are genuinely friendly (except when you say the wrong things). Although they are still greedy and gluttonous.
* Nature shows about snakes and similar predators tend to show them killing or swallowing rats, even if they aren't a major part of the predator's natural diet. This is because rats don't garner much sympathy from viewers: if a snake eats a bird, frog, or rabbit, it seems like more of a DownerEnding than if a rat becomes lunch.
* In ''Series/FawltyTowers'' where Manuel's pet 'Siberian Hamster' becomes a pest that must be got rid of before the health inspector arrives. Note that there is nothing in this episode to actually suggest the rat is anything other than a good pet (and Sybil even refuses to release the domesticated rat into the wild on the grounds that it wouldn't be able to defend itself), the problem is simply that after a litany of public health offences that need to be resolved before the inspector returns, having a rat loose in the hotel is obviously a major problem.
* For some reason Series/{{Frasier}} and Niles Crane are both squicked badly by Daphne's description of the show rats she used to raise. All they can think of is the rats of the Black Plague, despite the fact they are both mental health professionals who should be familiar with the use of rats in psychological and medical studies. In another episode it's revealed they themselves were named for their mother's lab rats.
** Previously, on ''Series/{{Cheers}}'', Frasier had a bizarre reaction when his psychologist wife made a pet of her experimental rat and, upon its death, tried to carry it to the park to bury it. He may have a phobia.
* Lester from ''BeakmansWorld'', was portrayed as unhygienic and gross, and kind of a ButtMonkey (being a StealthPun on the term "lab rat.")
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Religion and Mythology]]
* The mythology surrounding the phenomenon of the rat king (a group of rats whose tails are knotted and matted together with filth) tends to give them certain supernatural and generally unpleasant powers. Though it did (rarely) happen in real life, increased hygiene means that rat kings are probably not likely to occur ever again.
** Also, Rat Kings refuse to manifest under controlled conditions.
* The Rat is considered to be the first of the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac, and stories of how it achieved that status usually depict the Rat as having tricked the Ox and/or the Cat so it could claim that place for itself.
* Averted in Hinduism, in which rats are held to be sacred by the faithful of Karni Mata. Her devotees are said to be reincarnated among the rats that live free and are cared for in her temple.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* In ''PearlsBeforeSwine'', Rat is a total {{Jerkass}} and SmallNameBigEgo that is often out to get a quick buck. However, he is also often a JerkassWoobie.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' subverts this to hell and back with Ratbert, who is actually extremely friendly and cheerful.
* Inverted in ''KrazyKat'' with Ignatz Mouse.
* Averted in one {{Garfield}} strip where he meets three rat siblings, Rip, Bob, and Juanita, who are friendly.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Most rodent creatures in ''MagicTheGathering'' are Green (the color of life) except for rats. All rats are Black (the color of death).
** However, DarkIsNotEvil, and while many rats are in fact pests, some of the Kamigawa block Nezumi are decent, if anti-heroic.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'', the Skaven are AlwaysChaoticEvil rat-men who practice foul sorcery and use chaos-empowered steampunk technology to wage war on everyone else (even the other AlwaysChaoticEvil races).
* In earlier editions of ''DungeonsAndDragons'', wererats were [[AlwaysChaoticEvil Always]] LawfulEvil (along with the ChaoticEvil werewolves), while most other forms of lycanthrope were good or neutral. With Fourth Edition, this has been changed so all lycanthropes are AlwaysChaoticEvil.
** And then there's TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'s [[http://www.planewalker.com/040101/cranium-rat Cranium Rats]] -- one isn't smarter than a normal rodent, but their telepatic abilities bind their little powers and intellects into HiveMind, so the pack of three dozens can cast minor spells, half-hundred is as smart as an average human, and so on. They're NeutralEvil, and some or all of them are spies of [[EldritchAbomination illithid god Ilsensine]].
** Averted with normal rats. They're true neutral and can become familiars, just like other small animals.
** Likewise, ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' averts it with the Ratfolk, who are humanoid rats, but generally decent, friendly people, most commonly seen as wandering traders and tinkers who ride perfectly tame giant rats.
* Subverted by the Nezumi (aka "ratlings") in ''LegendOfTheFiveRings''; they're primitive and rather crude, but basically good guys.
** When ''Five Rings'' was converted to ''DungeonsAndDragons'' for the 3rd Edition ''Oriental Adventures'' book, nezumi were portrayed as ChaoticNeutral. However, the book noted that ratlings were often evil in other settings.
* The Ferrans of ''{{Talislanta}}'' tend to be nasty, thieving little scavengers. They have no concept of hygiene and can [[SmellySkunk spray like skunks]]. However, the Ferran in the ''Talislanta'' tie-in anthology manages to be something of a {{Woobie}}.
* The Beshilu of ''WerewolfTheForsaken'' are Hosts, spirit parasites that possess humans, hollow them out body and soul, and ride around the resulting meat puppet. They're singularly obsessed with gnawing open holes in the Gauntlet, leaving gaps to [[SpiritWorld the Shadow]] that allow pretty much anything to slip through unfettered. The werewolves don't like this; they wouldn't mind being able to get to and from the Shadow more easily, but the Beshilu are so ''filthy'' that they practically breed spirits of disease and madness, which then jump right through the Gauntlet holes, meaning anywhere they go is a hotbed for plagues and destruction.
** The predecessor game, ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'', had the Ratkin, one of the many Changing Breeds. They decided the werewolves weren't going far ''enough'' in their quest to save Gaia from the deprivations of the Wyrm, so they basically became chaos-mongering terrorists and saboteurs.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* The Mouse King in the [[Theatre/TheNutcracker Nutcracker Ballet]] is probably one of the more famous examples and a subversion of the "mice are nice" part. He even has [[MultipleHeadCase three heads]] in some versions of the story.
** See "rat king" under mythology. Now, imagine ''that'' in place of one guy in a costume with three heads. No wonder all the other characters are terrified of him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Videogames]]
* The Qiqirn in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' are a race of beastmen rats who are on not-really-hostile-at-all terms with TheEmpire of Aht Urhgan. That is, [[HonestJohnsDealership they like the "clink-clink" people carry, and will do anything to get it.]] Essentially the Near-Eastern version of [[OurGoblinsAreDifferent Goblins,]] just more peaceful.
** The Burmecians of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' are anthropomorphic rodents. The word 'Rat' appears to be a derogatory term for them, but they are mostly on the side of good.
* Apparently most of the Rattkin in ''VideoGame/{{Wizardry}}'' are thieves (there's also a Rattkin scientist), and their high-ups are TheMafia, but in general they are not worse than any other faction present and better than some, and no more or less prone to generate an aggressive RandomEncounter. That's just their ways. In ''VideoGame/{{Wizardry}} 8'' some work with the party against BigBad -- it turns out that NPC followed him to another planet to avenge for crossing them on Guardia back in VII.
* Rattata and Raticate in the 1st generation of Franchise/{{Pokemon}}. They aren't really evil, but are often used by Team Rocket grunts and are ComMons, so most players generally get tired of seeing them. Also, are contrasted by the NiceMice Pikachu and Raichu.
* The rats in ''LittleKingsStory'' appear quite mischievious, and the narrator seems none to fond of them. [[spoiler: In the end, it's [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever very justified.]]]]
* Don't forget the army of anthropomorphic rats in ''VideoGame/{{Battletoads}}''. These sleazy space pirates fit this trope perfectly. And you'll come to hate rats after [[ThatOneLevel Sc]][[InvincibleMinorMinion uzz]].
* Jimmy Two-Teeth in the ''SamAndMax'' games, a small-time ruffian rat and ButtMonkey. He is apparently [[PutOnABus sent on a bus]] in Season 3 -- but not before (it is suggested) causing an outbreak of bubonic plague at Max's bidding.
* In ''Majesty'' Ratmen are a milder version of Warhammer's Skaven; they're like goblins, except their habitats are broken sewer pipes, which means they can pop up randomly in the middle of your town rather than some distance away.
* Played straight in ''VideoGame/KingsQuestIQuestForTheCrown''. The guard rat will kill Graham if he gets too close. He is amicable to bribery, though.
* Rat demons are the lowest creatures in the demon hierarchy in JadeEmpire.
* Rats are the weakest enemies in ''VideoGame/LegendOfKay''.
* Rats are almost always evil disease-carrying pests in ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series. One notable exception is the initial Fighter's Guild quest in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion''. You have to ''save'' a woman's beloved pet rats from hungry mountain lions. In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' they are replaced by Skeevers, which are even bigger, uglier, and filthier. One of the Thieves' Guild quests pits you against a wizard who went crazy trying to convince people that Skeevers are awesome. He now plots to overrun Whiterun with a swarm of mutated venomous Skeevers. Interestingly, it seems that Skeevers aren't always bad either. The owner of the Winking Skeever inn in Solitude named the inn in memory of his beloved childhood pet Skeever.
* Slade the thief in ''VideoGame/ShiningForce II'' causes the entire mess which you spend the rest of the game fixing, but to his credit, he eventually assists in correcting his mistake, and he even turns out to be one of your most valuable allies.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' you encounter these in [[DownTheDrain the sewer level]] of the game. At first they're not much of a challenge because by now your party is overleveled, but the plot requires you to shrink down, and suddenly a 12 foot rat is a lot more intimidating...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Inverted in ''Webcomic/{{Digger}}'', in which sacred rats assist the keepers of the temple library and protect the books from gnawing insects. "Mousie", conversely, is what Ed called Digger, who is tough as nails and far from cuddly or helpless.
* Norveg, Angelika's rat familiar in ''OurLittleAdventure'', completely averts this, being more level-headed than Angelika and acting as her StraightMan most of the time. Norveg does at one point complain about mice having better PR than rats even though rats are the more intelligent and compassionate species. [[http://danielscreations.com/ola/comics/ep0170.html The doctor is afraid that a rat will contaminate his office.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* {{Garfield}} befriends a mouse. On the contrary, one of the villains in USAcres[=/=]Orson's Farm is a rat.
** Averted in the episode "BasketBrawl" features Biff Rat who is friendly and just does commentary on bizarre basketball game Garfield and the others are playing.
* BikerMiceFromMars: The anthropomorphic rat slavers, who are also shown to be cronies of Plutarkians in a flashback episode.
* Inverted in Disney's [[MiscellaneousDisneyShorts ''Goliath II'']] where the villain of the short's second act is a mouse.
* ''GaryTheRat'' is about an AmoralAttorney who is such a "dirty rat" that he becomes a literal rat.
* WesternAnimation/SouthPark: The plot of "Bass To Mouth" revolves around the kids trying to stop an [[VisualPun evil rat]] named [[TakeThat "Wiki Leaks"]] from posting embarrassing personal stories about them online.
** Though since Wiki Leaks is the brother of Lemmiwinks the gerbil, the kids probably just [[IAmNotWeasel got his species wrong.]]
* Rattrap from ''{{Transformers}}: WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' and ''WesternAnimation/BeastMachines''. Not evil, but easily the [[TheSneakyGuy weaseliest]] member of the Maximals.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAnimalsOfFarthingWood'' have a whole swarm of rather cartoonishly evil rats, considering the otherwise more realistic tone of the show. The rat king, Bully, displays all the stereotypical traits you'd expect a fictional rat to have: he's sneaky, boastful, ruthless, filthy, and cowardly, and his followers aren't much better.
* Verminious Snaptrap from ''T.U.F.F. Puppy''
* Ratty from WesternAnimation/MrBogus.
* [[LooneyTunes Warner Bros. cartoons]] ''The Night Watchman'' and ''We The Animals Squeak'' depict mice as reprobate gangsters.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* This trope is averted in real life. Rats are actually friendlier, more easily trained, and less likely to bite than mice are, and thus make much better pets than mice do. Anyone who has worked in a pet shop can attest to this. While a mouse that is regularly handled can become quite friendly, other mice tend to be jittery and sometimes aggressive. Rats, on the other hand, are friendly and inquisitive right off, and quickly learn that a human arriving means it's time for food or play. [[http://www.inquisitr.com/166797/rats-free-friends-show-compassion-and-empathy/ Experiments have shown]] that rats are one of the few animals besides humans and higher primates proven to have a sense of compassion.
** One rat-care expert has observed that fancy rats are the most human-like of all domesticated animals: omnivorous, adaptable, intensely social, living in large communities with multiple breeders, and capable of manipulating objects with their front paws.
** A remarkable number of creators who avert this trope in their works had pet rats as children.
** Some laboratories that use rats have reported students who felt extremely uncomfortable working with the rats because they started to become bonded to them.
* Inverted by the [=HeroRATS=]: Giant Gambian pouched rats which are trained to sniff out land mines in their native Africa, thus allowing thousands of refugees in war-ravaged regions to safely reclaim their farms.
* Rats killing mice is TruthInTelevision, usually for food. They will not kill mice (at least not on purpose) if they are raised and are familiar with them, however.
* Nazi propaganda infamously equated Jews with rat infestation.
** American propaganda during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII also frequently did the same with the Japanese.
* Music/HenryRollins once worked in a laboratory that experimented with mice, rats, and rabbits, as he tells in one of his spoke-word routines. One rat was extremely aggressive and refused to die, even after Rollins tried to kill it. This trope is subverted, in that Rollins took that as a lesson in strength.
[[/folder]]

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