Literature: I Want My Hat Back

I Want My Hat Back is a picture book by Jon Klassen.

Bear is looking for his hat, and goes to the creatures of the forest in turn asking whether they've seen it. This includes Rabbit, who definitely didn't take the hat and would never steal anyone's hat.

... Wait a second. Was that my hat...?

His later book This Is Not My Hat is unrelated.

My tropes are gone. I want them back.

  • Bears Are Bad News: While very polite, the Bear is easily angered.
  • Big Heroic Run: The Bear running to where he knows the hat is.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Rabbit stole Bear's hat. So Bear kills and eats him.
  • Dull Surprise: All of the animals have the same deadpan expression, including Bear at least until he realizes who stole his hat.
  • Eureka Moment: Bear realizes that Rabbit took his hat. The specific moment when the bear realised was when he was asked what the hat looked like and he realised he had seen it while searching.
    "I have lost my hat and nobody has seen it."
    "What does your hat look like?"
    "It's red and pointy and... I HAVE SEEN MY HAT!"
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Lying and stealing hats really angers the Bear.
  • Humble Goal: The bear just wants his hat back.
  • Ironic Echo: At the every end the Bear lies in the exact same style the Rabbit did.
  • Lost Aesop: In a humorous list of "more appropriate titles" for children's books, this one is retitled IF SOMEONE LIES TO YOU, MURDER THEM AND THEN LIE ABOUT MURDERING THEM.
  • Mugging the Monster: A rabbit steals from a bear.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    Have you seen my hat?
    No. Why are you asking me. I haven't seen it. I haven't seen any hats anywhere. I would not steal a hat. Don't ask me any more questions.
    • No. Why are you asking me. I haven't seen him. I haven't seen any rabbits anywhere. I would not eat a rabbit. Don't ask me any more questions.
  • Nice Hat: It is indeed a nice hat and Bear would do anything to get it back. Including murder.
  • Oh, Crap: The rabbit's face as the bear approaches.
  • Rascally Rabbit: That silly, lying, thiefing rabbit.
  • Serious Business: Hats.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Don't steal, or else whoever you stole from might kill and eat you.
  • Suddenly Shouting: The bear is nice and quiet until the Eureka Moment.
  • Wham Line: "I HAVE SEEN MY HAT."
  • You! Exclamation: "YOU! YOU STOLE MY HAT!"