Amplified Animal Aptitude

Ordinary animals in fiction have a significantly increased intelligence. Not necessarily the Talking Animals. Not the Funny Animals. Just the wild and domestic animals encountered in stories where humans are the main characters. Such animals can frequently clearly understand everything humans say, understand human emotions, read, figure out how to solve problems on their own, and so forth. This is also true for cases in which the animals can talk to each other (so the audience can hear them) but are common animals in the eyes of any humans in the film.

Beyond that, they will, if they belong to a human, also circumvent their natural instincts in order to aid or protect their humans.

See also Animal Talk, Friend to All Living Things, Timmy in a Well, and Most Writers Are Human. See Uplifted Animal, for when it's deliberately done in-universe. Not to be confused with Mysterious Animal Senses. Not to be confused with Tropey the Wonder Dog, which is about metaphorical dogs.


Examples:

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     Anime  
  • Cowboy Bebop: One could think Bebop's crew's dog Ein is an example, but he really is an Uplifted Animal. However, this trope is played straight in the episode Mushroom Samba (Trope Namer of Mushroom Samba) with a cow whom Ein thanks (getting a "you're welcome" in return).
  • Osamu Tezuka runs on this trope: Kimba the White Lion is a prime example, though many of his works, like Phoenix and Black Jack, feature extraordinarily intelligent animals whose sapience is never explained or questioned. One Black Jack story revolves around a bird who collects money to pay a boy's medical bills. No, really. But it's not smart enough to realize when the debt's been completely paid off.
  • The Gorilla from Cromartie High School shows questionable signs of intelligence. It is implied that he can use a computer and he is able to make his own sushi. The students at Cromartie even go as far as to say that the Gorilla is smarter than them.
  • Stratos 4 has Alice, an old cat who is the pet of Rin and Ran Mikuriya. Alice, who is also nicknamed "Admiral," definitely shows a comprehension of what's going on (especially as shown in her occasional captioned cat-noises), including watching the news, displaying emotion rather clearly, and trying to smuggle herself or stow away on a plane in order to fly to the skies herself (though it's a Running Gag that she keeps on being found and removed from said planes). She even has an encounter with several other cats that display a similar level of intelligent thought, including a kitten whom she adopts.
  • Despite the difficulty they have learning to say more than their own species name, most Pokemon in the anime appear to understand human speech. Even a Pokemon that hasn't even been caught yet can recognize when one of their attacks are called. Team Rocket's Meowth gained the ability to talk but lost the ability to learn the signature move Pay Day. This may not sound bad, but Pay Day literally makes money. It's mentioned that he actually lost the ability to learn any new move ("I used up all my smarts learning to talk."), and doing so before he learned Pay Day was just an unfortunate lack of good timing.
  • The original Dirty Pair series had "Algernon", a mouse with enhanced intelligence and the ability to command other mice (a la Krosp from Girl Genius), developed as a security system. Algernon went rogue and took over the heroines' headquarters building before he was stopped by the Pair.
  • Any and all summoned animals in Naruto have this, from Kakashi's mostly-normal talking dogs to Jiraiya's extemely powerful and ancient toads. Partner animals, like Akamaru, Tonton, and Kuromaru, are a bit less so, but still impressive. Kakashi's pug Pakkun is noted as being exceptional even for ninja animals, being able to speak Kakashi's name when he was four months old. Outside of the toads and Akamaru, he gets the most screentime too.
  • An established rule in the universe of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is that gaining a Stand grants intelligence and sapience to the animal that gains it. This has applied to an orangutan, a Boston terrier, a hawk, a rat (actually two of them), a flower with a cat's mind, and a colony of zooplankton.
  • While most of the characters' pets in Axis Powers Hetalia can't speak (Iceland's pet puffin is an exception), they are clearly capable of thinking and have the ability to understand what people are saying.
  • In Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Fuunsaiki (Master Asia's horse) can pilot a Mobile Fighter, put on a Mobile Trace System, and operate an outboard motor.

     Comic Books 
  • Krypto the Superdog and other super-pets showed up in, of course, the Superman-related comics.
    • Ace the Bat Hound, Streaky the Super Cat, and the animal pets of Catwoman and the Penguin all understand humans and despite being different species, all understand each other.
    • also true for the Dog Stars, who are not only different dog breeds, but from different planets. Translation Convention is at play for some of that, but they do pilot their own spacecraft.
  • The Pet Avengers! Subverted with Ms. Lion though, who while able to communicate with the others on the team is as dumb as a stack of hammers.
  • And then there's Rex The Wonder Dog. Despite being an ostensibly normal dog, Rex had a job as a photographer, drove cars, and once nuked a T-Rex. Rex has since been officially recognized both in and out of story as being a very remarkable individual and nothing even close to a normal dog.
  • Dr. Arthur Nagan, a supervillain from Marvel Comics, is supposed to have been abducted by a tribe of gorillas who stitched his head onto a gorilla's body. Considering that Dr. Nagan is still ambulatory, this may be the ultimate example of this trope.

     Fan Works 
  • The backstory of Blofeld given on Ask Ernst Stavro Blofeld has an example of this: Blofeld's cat Volcano managed to seek out his master's right-hand woman Irma Bunt and lead her back to the abandoned factory where Blofeld was trapped, just so Bunt could rescue him. It would be a stretch to have a dog do this, but a cat?!?
  • In the Naruto fanfiction Sugar Plums the main character get's a cat she named Danny who is clearly smarter than a normal cat as he's able to find her when she's captured. It's clearly stated a few times that he isn't a summons because when he takes damage he doesn't disappear into smoke. It's implied he's a nin-neko, though never confirmed in story.

     Film-Animated 
  • Pretty much every hero's animal companion in a Disney Animated Canon film is an example of this, though the comedic scale ranges with them. This is completely inverted, however, in the case of Moana's Heihei, an idiotic rooster that provides no character for Moana to really interact with.
  • All animals appearing in Lady and the Tramp. It might even be an accepted part of that world, considering how the dogs are talked to and that the two Italian chefs take so much time to prepare a meal and music for the titular characters.
  • Beauty and the Beast has an aversion: Phillipe runs from the wolves instead of defending Belle (which, while sensible, is not how a Loyal Animal Companion normally behaves in fiction), and while she tries to talk to sheep, they clearly are more interested in eating her book than reading it.
  • Aladdin. Unlike most fictional parrots, Iago talks in first person.
  • The dogs from Up can talk (with technological assistance), cook, and even fly planes.
  • The dogs in 101 Dalmatians. They worked out a long-distance communication system among themselves!
  • Archimedes, Merlin's "highly educated" owl, in The Sword in the Stone. Sir Ector suspects that Merlin has him under a spell. Archimedes is insulted at the notion.
  • Pip from Enchanted. Justified since it is a parody of all of the above.
  • And, of course, Pluto, the one Mickey Mouse character who isn't a Funny Animal, but is still rather intelligent and can understand (if not speak) English.
  • And the tradition continues in Tangled, which features the emotive chameleon, Pascal, and the horse, Maximus, who happens to be more competent than his own rider, the (presumable) captain of the guard. Over the course of the film, he is shown tracking his quarry by scent, locating secret passages, and even 'sword fighting', all of this in manner more competent than the humans who are supposed to be 'his' masters. It's no surprise then, that at the end of the film Maximus is made the actual leader of the kingdom's guards.
  • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Horses are extremely intelligent animals, but the idea of a horse playing dead in order to get humans to break his chains, and then successfully breaking the latches on a train, is taking things a bit far. The directors even lampshade this in the commentary on that scene.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: Toothless turns out to be pretty smart for a dragon, understanding Hiccup's spoken commands, able to create art (even if it's just a jumble of lines), and the concept of forgiveness, sparing those who chose to spare him even if they had tried to kill him before.
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven, obviously all the characters, especially the dog who fears going to hell.
  • Pooka, Anya's dog in Anastasia
  • The Secret of NIMH: Unlike Jonathan, Mr. Ages, and the rats, Mrs. Brisby's intelligence was not boosted by lab research yet she is able to read, escape a bird cage, and disable a tractor by cutting its fuel line.
  • All the dogs from Balto. They talk to each other but humans hear only barking.
  • In Rio, Blu, while unable to fly, can turn on a computer, ride a skateboard, and open his own cage.
  • Chuy the pig from The Book of Life, reacts like a human to the Rodriguezes' song attempts, and drops consecutively larger pots and plants on them.

     Film- Live-Action  
  • Mousehunt. Let's put it this way: secret agents are not as cunning as this mouse.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
    • Jack. The monkey Jack.
    • Mr. Cotton's parrot is intelligent enough to sort of telepathically understand Mr. Cotton and spout an appropriate sea phrase in response so the humans know what his human is trying to say. Lampshaded by Mr. Gibbs: "He trained the parrot to speak for him. *beat* Nobody's quite figured how."
  • G-Force: The titular trained secret agent rodents are capable of complex hand coordination, bipedal movement, physical display of human emotions (which shouldn't be possible), and computer hacking skills (as in the case of the star-nosed mole, Speckles). While all these abilities are (partially) justified by government animal experimentation, it fails to explain why the ordinary pet store animals, such as guinea pig Hurley and Hamster Bucky, are just as capable of these feats of intelligence as the G-Force team. Then towards the end of the movie, the unit's leader, scientist Ben, confesses that the team are not genetically enhanced animals as previously told, but ordinary ones Ben took in and trained for the team. WTF doesn't begin to describe it.
  • The animals in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey are able to talk to each other, plan an escape out of a pound, and make pop-culture references.
  • Wolf in The Journey of Natty Gann demonstrates an implausible capacity for reason: not only does he recognize the part Natty played in his escape from a dogfighting ring (by opening a door for him), he repays her by presenting her with a freshly-killed rabbit when she's starving in the woods, and proceeds to follow her around warning her of impending danger and performing acts of altruism like defending a farmer's chicken coop from foxes for no apparent reason beyond repaying the farmer and his wife for helping Natty. At times, Wolf seems like the smartest character in the whole movie.
  • The owls in Harry Potter are either much smarter than normal owls to be able to serve as messengers, finding the intended recipient no mater where they are; or magical. Magical is probably the better bet.
  • In Back to the Future Part III, Doc's dog Copernicus seems to at an almost human level of intelligence at times. For starters, after Doc finishes reading the letter that his future self wrote to Marty, Copernicus seems to be rather sad about Doc being Trapped in the Past. In addition, Copernicus is the one who discovers Doc's tombstone, and he seems to realize what it says.
  • Subverted in The Jerk, where a stray dog wakes up Navin Johnson, who asks what's wrong, and believes the dog is trying to tell him to motel is on fire. As Johnson wakes everyone else up, he's say he'll call the dog "Lifesaver." When it turns out to be a false alarm, one of the other guests tells him to call the dog ""$#!thead". The dog gets that name for the rest of the movie.

     Literature  
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has notoriously clever ravens; some ravens are capable of vocalization and most ravens can be and are trained to carry messages between castles. Also, direwolves are considerably bigger than their extinct real-life counterparts and have tangential intelligence related to their owner's capacity to Warg.
  • The Dresden Files has a justified example. Harry's dog Mouse is a Fu Dog, who is at least as intelligent as his owner and probably more powerful. He works the Big, Friendly Dog schtick so as not to frighten the Muggles. However, he is still a dog, and his idea of a perfect afternoon involves a ride in the car, a long belly-rub and an unshared hotdog.
    • Mister, Harry's 30 pound pet cat appears to be somewhat more intelligent than most animals. Or that could just be cats. Though something could be made of the fact that he looks exactly the same as always under the Sight.
  • C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia series has both normal animals and those who can talk. Yes, animals understand English and can also speak.
  • Harry Potter
    • Hermione's cat, Crookshanks. Subverted as it's later revealed that it's half Kneazle, a magical creature.
    • The owls seem like ordinary owls but they have the magical ability to find whomever the mail they carry is addressed to.
    • There's also the issue of how being a parselmouth works, if all snakes aren't intelligent.
    • Played with in one of the series' earliest scenes, when Mr. Dursley sees cat-McGonagall looking at a sign, and has to remind himself that cats can't read.
  • Shows up in Tamora Pierce's Tortall Universe, in part thanks to "wild magic" that gives humans a gift with (usually) a particular variety of critter.
    • Daine, the protagonist of The Immortals has wild magic with all animals. Through her, we learn that Tortallan animals can understand humans to an extent but can't communicate with them, and in some cases could communicate with each other—but (since it's not played totally straight) they never get that kind of idea until they meet Daine. Prolonged exposure to Daine increases their intelligence to sentience, but it's often a stressful and unhappy experience for them. Her pony Cloud is completely sentient, as is the leader of a wolf pack that took Daine in after her mother's death.
    • In Protector of the Small, Daine is a secondary character and lives at the palace. Consequently, all animals in and around the palace, from horses to sparrows, get smarter. The flock of sparrows that Kel feeds recognizes her as their benefactor; they defend her from enemies and can understand basic instructions. Her horse Peachblossom is basically sentient, and even a stray like Jump has given himself a name. In Lady Knight, Daine alters all the animals in the refugee camp so they can communicate through body language/signals to make up for the camp being critically understaffed, which unsettles almost everyone, especially when they learn what palace animals are like.
      "Just the animals here are unnatural. What if you return to find the horses have decided not to work for men and the dogs are running the courts of law?"
  • Molly Moon has her pet pug, Petula saving the day quite a few times.
  • Animal Farm plays this trope straight, where the animals (mostly the pigs) are shown to be highly intelligent when they speak English, devise battle plans, design windmills, form a complex government, carry out purges, etc.
  • While the titular rats in Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH are justifiably this trope, thanks to their lab-enhanced intellects, ordinary animals like crows, owls, and Mrs. Frisby herself (a common field mouse) also talk to one another.
  • Mercedes Lackey usually uses magic as an excuse for her intelligent animals. However, in the case of Shin'a'in warhorses, this is natural breeding, making them strong, smart, and mean.
  • Discworld:
    • Gaspode the Wonder Dog (later just Gaspode), who can talk (but nobody pays any attention, because dogs can't talk). Moving Pictures also gives us Laddie, who plays a superintelligent dog onscreen but whose Real Life conversation consists mostly of 'Good boy Laddie'.
    • Subverted in The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents, in which even ordinary (non-Changeling) rats and cats are presumed to have languages of their own. The subversion is that Rat consists largely of body language (e.g. a submissive crouch for "sir"), while Cat is equipped mainly for swearing. It is also limited to actual rat social behavior, which while quite complex isn't any good for abstract ideas (and according to the Author's Note is somewhat toned down from reality to stay believable).
  • All the animal characters in Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown's Mrs. Murphy Mysteries series.
  • The cats in the book (and movie) Felidae are shown to be able to read and understand how certain machines are used. It's pointed out that learning these things takes time, and that not all cats bother with the task, though just about all of them understand humans.
    Francis: I never thought I would ever see one of us, sitting in front of a computer... and actually knowing how to use it!
  • Doctor Dolittle learned how to speak with animals from his parrot, Polynesia, and pretty much every animal has a language.
  • The dinosaurs in Dinoverse all tend to display a lot of intelligence. It would be expected with the main characters, who after all are humans cast back in time and put into dinosaur bodies, but just about everything they encounter that doesn't just try to kill them is ridiculously bright. In the first two books they mostly just have keen senses of emotional intelligence and group dynamics, with understanding of things like jealousy, reconciliation, gratitude, and amicably ending a relationship. Leptoceratopsians are able to use mimicry. The next two books ramp it up. Hypsilophodons help a character collect material to build a raft and row and hit a predator with clubs, all just because they watched a human-in-a-Hypsilophodon-body do it. There is also the case of Hook/Junior, a Deinonychus who over the course of less than a week of watching, learns to make fire, splint injured limbs, and is able to, if not read, than at least has some understanding of the markings scratched into rock walls. He also fakes a limp on his own initiative. Hook/Junior, unlike all the others in the series, is noted to be unusually smart by the human characters. It's even implied that saving him and letting him rejoin Deinonychus society leads to dinosaurs surviving to modern times as an entire civilization, in an alternate universe.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien uses this in his Middle-earth stories. While the most prominent such creatures — the giant Eagles, Wargs, and Huan — are special cases and probably not mundane animals, it's hinted in various stories that ordinary mammals and birds are intelligent and may talk to each other. Some characters learn the speech of birds or of all animals (though, granted, Legolas in The Lord of the Rings can "hear" the "speech" of rocks and plants). Very well-bred horses are often depicted as understanding what their riders say, especially when ridden by elves. Then there are the talking crows in The Hobbit and the "Lay of Leithien," Beorn's Partially Civilized Animal servants/friends, and the inner monologue of the fox (good grief, travelling hobbits!) in The Fellowship of the Ring. Just how seriously we're supposed to take all this is never spelled out, though we never see Carnivore Confusion even in the Blessed Realm.
  • Tolerably justified example in Spirit Animals. The titular spirit animals are a fair bit more intelligent than regular animals due to their supernatural nature, able to understand the requests of their human partners and react appropriately. The fifteen Great Beasts are still more intelligent, able to talk and sometimes teaching humans things.
  • The Novelization of Revenge of the Sith makes this explicit of the dragonmount that Obi-Wan rides on Utapau. He can sense her intelligence through The Force, and throughout the battle he banters with her and gives her orders that she follows without any problems.

     Live Action TV  
  • The titular kangaroo of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo not only showed a remarkable understanding of English, but would often imitate human behaviors like playing a piano or the drums.
  • Flipper understood the people he dealt with.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Spot, however, did not necessarily understand Data any better than a cat understands a normal human.
  • Lassie, naturally, cannot only understand, but can also bark in some sort of code that humans understand to mean Timmy in a Well.
  • Comet, the horse from The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., is a blatant parody of this trope. Not only does Brisco's steed perform some unlikely feats of intelligence on camera, but Bruce Campbell regularly refers to even less-plausible things Comet had been doing, before its rider whistled for it.
  • Due South: Diefenbaker, the deaf half-wolf was just as much Fraser's partner as Ray.
  • The Littlest Hobo:
    • The doggy protagonist seems to understand human speech, as well as concepts like tape recorders.
    • An entire episode revolves around two scientists trying to get hold of him to find out just how smart he is; he has no interest in their work, and better things to do. In the end, the answer seems to be "smarter that the scientists."
  • Eddie, the Jack Russell in Frasier, ping-ponged across the line between realistically intelligent, as-unrealistically-bright-as-the-Rule of Funny-will-allow, Gromit-esque Silent Snarker, and occasionally so very stupid it seems like he's putting it on....
  • Tales of the Gold Monkey: Jack, the one eyed bull terrier. Barks once for no, twice for yes (and never been wrong) and understands at least three languages (English, Japanese, and Spanish.)
  • A junkyard cat called "Jack Bauer the Cat" in an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It seemed to be street-smarts personified, albeit a totally normal cat otherwise.
  • Almost every animal in Thunderstone is far smarter than it has any right to be. Arushka’s horse Moshi “knows what you’re gonna do, even before you do it” and understands any verbal command. Dolly the sheepdog can track her puppies across a vast desert without help. Prince the hawk brings Arushka a rock of thunderstone to show her that a huge deposit is nearby, and leads Chip, Kwan and Geneva to Arushka and Sundance when they’re trapped in a cave.

     Video Games  
  • Nancy Drew games:
    • Loulou the Parrot from The Curse of Blackmoor Manor is smart enough to play complex word games, translate Latin, and play pranks on Nancy Drew. Even for an octogenarian, that's shrewd.
    • Her granddaughter Coucou, from Ransom of the Seven Ships, continues the family tradition of genius. The game-playing monkeys on the island aren't slouches either.
    • Inverted by Mr. Mingles, the Pomeranian from Resorting To Danger. It'd take a phenomenally stupid animal to get into half the predicaments — trapped in a dumbwaiter, locked in a safe, sucked up a pneumatic delivery tube — that pesky puffball manages to stumble into.
  • Koromaru the dog from Persona 3 can summon a Persona, fight using a knife held in his teeth, and understands human speech perfectly. That should be more than enough to qualify.
  • The titular character of Ollo In The Sunny Valley Fair may just be a ball of clay, but lives in a house and helps his friends.
  • The fox in Persona 4 can apparently read the emas left at the shrine where it lives and cares about the upkeep of the shrine. To the point where it issues side quests to the protagonist to grant the wishes written on the emas and bring in more offerings.
  • Boney from MOTHER 3. Unlike Ness's, Lucas's dog is extremely competent. He's fast, is strong enough to cause damage to metal, and is even capable of using items on battle (Hell, he's using a Saltwater Gun effectively even though he has no hands). In Chapter 4, he's able to normally walk as a human for long periods and fooling the guards into thinking he's human. It is also implied that Boney understands human speech
  • Repede from Tales of Vesperia. He's a dog who's perfectly capable of understanding human speech, and is an extremely capable fighter, being able to wield a sword held in his teeth, and being able to unleash artes that are just as flashy and deadly as those of the human characters.
  • Blanca from Shadow Hearts: Covenant, who is not only a domesticated wolf raised from a puppy, but is also a full party member enough to make combos with other allies.
  • Justified in Dragon Age: Origins: the Mabari War Hounds actually are as intelligent as humans, having been originally bred by Telvinter magisters. In fact, they're often said to be smarter; after all, they know better than to speak, and "Dog," your party's war hound, is smart enough to easily understand human speech. A few characters have full conversations with him, and the player character seems to understand his barks as well. In Dragon Age II, the Hawke family Mabari learns to play cards.
  • Justified in Ghost Trick: In the ghost world animals can perfectly communicate with humans since human and animal souls are no different to each other, and since there's no language barrier in the world of the deadnote . The only "barriers" between humans and animals is the latter's lack of understanding of more human concepts. For example: Missile, a small Pomeranian, is perfectly able to communicate with Sissel in the ghost world, all while maintaining his ordinary dog behavior like loudness, upbeat oblivious attitude, and fierce loyalty to his owner.
  • Roadkill from Comix Zone can be released to get by obstacles and hit the switches that turn them off, then return to Sketch. In the backstory mentioned, Sketch never specifically trained Roadkill to do anything at all.
  • It's possible to use the telepathy in the Golden Sun games on animals, whose thoughts are always at least as comprehensible as human ones, and often show the animals as more insightful than the people. The second game has an extensive trade quest based on what can be uncovered of the wants of a group of animals (some of whom even deliberately use the telepathy to be conversational).
  • Fallout's Dogmeat is a downplayed example. In most areas he's just a well-trained guard dog, but he also recognizes guns, medicine and ammunition well enough to fetch them when asked. While it's not impossible that he's been professionally trained, given the state of the world it's unlikely.

     Web Comics  
  • Subverted in Girl Genius, where Krosp the talking cat is a mad scientist's creation, endowed not just with intelligence and speech but also the ability to command all other cats, creating an unseen army of spies, messengers and saboteurs wherever he goes. Emphasis on "mad": cats obey Krosp, but they're animals. They're not sapient, they can't reason, and if they understand their orders they have an attention span of seconds.
    • Well, it's not quite right to say he has the "ability" to command cats. That was his intended purpose, but the only problem that was solved by creating Krosp was the issue of communication. Cats can understand him and vice versa, but he still has to get their attention, get them interested enough to do what he's asking, and care enough to do it for long enough to actually finish the job. Seeing as they're cats, it was this last one especially that caused problems.
      • According to Krosp himself, he easily gets their attention and gets them interested — he's apparently got epic-level charisma as far as cats are concerned — but he can't always make them understand what he wants, and then the attention span causes them to forget about what he told them to do.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Judy, Doctor McNinja's gorilla receptionist, can read and write, drive cars, and is in general treated like a human character. Yoshi the raptor mount is somewhat more animalistic, but is able to communicate with Judy and understand concepts like writing, even if he can't read. Later, when fully sapient dinosaurs take over the world in a Bad Future alternate timeline, they try to make him intelligent, but even then he has rather limited linguistic abilities and is only capable of You No Take Candle-style speech.
  • Scratch Fury (Destroyer of Worlds) is a hyperintelligent cat in PvP. PvP is not a "funny animal" strip, and Scratch is the only animal to be depicted this way. (There's a recurring basset character that ranges in intelligence between "real basset hound" and "human moron", depending on whichever would be funnier.)
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Cats are an essential element in fighting Plague Zombie monsters, and are classified into three catagories: Grade C cats that are basically the ordinary cats, Grade B cats that are Grade Cs that underwent special training, and Grade A cats, that are both bred and trained for their desirable qualities. In Chapter 1, a Grade A cat is seen gesturing to humans to be quiet while their boat is going through a Plague Zombie ridden area (the comic is titled after the in-universe Rule #1 on what to do to avoid attracting the attention of a closeby Plague Zombie).

     Western Animation  
  • Pal, the dog in Arthur.
  • Some of the variations on Garfield: His 9 Lives.
  • All The Secret Saturdays' pets understand them. Justified, because Fisk, Zon and Komodo are all cryptids who look like ordinary animals, but aren't.
  • Hanna-Barbera is also a huge proponent of this trope:
    • Blip the monkey understands Jan and Jayce.
    • The Herculoids all understand Zandor, Tara and Dorno. Possible subversion: they're all alien animals(?), and we don't know if they are sapient and just unable to utter human speech.
    • Jonny Quest's dog Bandit understands Johnny and every human in the family.
    • Dino and Hoppy from The Flintstones understand their humans, and so do most of the animal-based appliances in that world.
    • Superfriends
      • Wonder Dog understands Wendy and Marvin.
      • And Gleek understands Zan and Jayna.
    • Tom and Jerry as well as Butch the dog and any other animals appearing in their cartoons have easily human intelligence.
    • Hong Kong Phooey's cat Spot was actually smarter than the title "hero".
    • Birdman's golden eagle Avenger understood Birdman well enough to follow commands.
    • The titular character of Scooby-Doo talks at human level, albeit in Third-Person Person, and like Quacker, in an animal-like voice.
  • In Krypto the Superdog, Krypto understands all humans, and the only reason Kevin understands him is that there's a translator device.
    • Also capable of understanding humans and each other despite breed and species differences: Ace the Bat Hound, Streaky the Super Cat, and the pets of Batman's villains.
    • Lastly, the Dog Stars not only communicate through breed differences, but each hails from a different planet. On top of that they pilot their own spacecraft.
  • Monkey in the Dial M for Monkey segment on Dexter's Laboratory.
  • Averted in The Animals of Farthing Wood being that they were all realistic animals, and while they all spoke to each other, they never understood humans and mistrusted them all equally except The Warden of White Deer Park, who was vouched for by the Park residents as being a man with the animals' safety first in mind.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has strange combo-animals that fall under this trope and/or behave like ordinary one-type animals.
    • Appa is a straight example: he flat-out seems to understand everyone.
    • Jun's mount didn't seem to understand humans.
    • The Giant Badger-Moles in "The Cave of Two Lovers" like music and apparently understood Sokka enough to allow him to ride them to safety.
    • Avatar Roku's dragon and the old Fire Lord Azulon's dragon seemed to understand them.
    • Momo is a deliberate subversion. When Katara and Sokka are incapacitated from illness, Katara asks Momo to bring water. Momo understands the "go get" part but spends the entire episode bringing back random objects, no matter how slowly Katara speaks and tries to communicate 'water'.
    • In an episode of Avatar, a messenger hawk is intercepted by a bigger hawk. The larger hawk was able to tie up the smaller hawk with a couple of ribbons, take the message, and fly it back to its owner.
      • The messenger hawk example is the only one that doesn't fit the usual pattern: animals with bending powers (sky bison, badger-moles, dragons, maybe lion-turtles) have human or near-human intelligence. Others are just animals - however, companion animals like Momo are consistently able to tell human friends from neutral humans from enemy humans, with an appreciation for when someone changes categories, and react to them accordingly. Most animals vocalize if spoken to, as if responding. Momo clearly understands some things... just not everything.
      • "The Tales of Ba Sing Se" is a shining example of this trope; go to the recap page for the details.
  • Most of the animals in The Simpsons are completely normal, except for Laddie the dog, the turtle from Terrapin Wax, and Itchy & Scratchy.
  • Penny's dog Brain from Inspector Gadget is smarter than her uncle and saves his life several times per episode. This is not as true in The Movie, though.
    • Mad Cat (Doctor Claw's henchcat) also fits the mould, but For Great Evil. At times the not-so-good doctor has ordered Mad Cat to launch guided weapons. Cats Are Mean, I know, but missiles?
  • Rufus the naked mole rat from Kim Possible was able to understand and read English as well as go WAY out of the way to save his human, Ron, and managed to figure out which buttons to push to release the bonds holding the heroine and sidekick. In the episode 'Naked Genius', he became even smarter when he accidentally had Project Phoebus used on him, infusing him with the intelligence of the smartest men on the planet along with taking the villain of the day's (Doctor Drakken) intellect, making it so the blue madman was unable to do more than doodle at the level of a kindergartener. It was only for that episode, as the effects eventually wore off on all parties.
  • Tracy, in Filmation's live-action series The Ghost Busters and the later animated series Filmation's Ghostbusters. The latter took this trope to insane levels.
  • Brian from Family Guy is a dog that speaks perfect English, walks on two legs, drinks alcohol, and is generally more intelligent than anyone else on the show. He might well be a parody, as he not only talks, but also interacts with other people the way normal humans would, and this is never pointed out by anyone. And, if his instincts don't get the best of him, he usually takes the role of Only Sane Man in the show. But he is one of only a handful of such animals shown, as most animals are shown to be just like regular ones. Two notable exceptions are the monkey in Chris's closet and the dog that replaced Brian in one episode when the Griffins believed Brian was getting too old. Also Brian's gay cousin, Jasper, but for some reason, not all of his other relatives.
  • Perry the Platypus in Phineas and Ferb. He can't speak and does nothing but stand around on all fours whenever the kids are around, but when he sneaks away he lives a double life as a secret agent, as do most of the other animals who work at the Agency.
    Major Monogram: Carl, remind me again why all our agents are animals?
  • Gromit from Wallace & Gromit. He's clearly more observant and grounded in reality then his smart but spacey owner Wallace.
  • This is apparently how animals work in the Total Drama universe. They can apparently understand humans and do things like combine into a Raccoon mech.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes: This trope makes animals even harder to spot since every character other than Jimmy and Heloise (maybe) is a monster. In Jimmy and the Big House it seemed the only difference between animals and people is if they could talk. Cerbee (explicitly called a dog despite looking nothing like one was intelligent enough to give an Aside Glance and such, while in one scene the others talked before Molotov reminded him he couldn't.
  • Sagwa and her siblings can read Chinese characters and write calligraphy using their tails
  • Justified in Pole Position. Through most of the series, Kuma's species was never identified (best guess would be some kind of lemur, maybe). In the last episode, we learn that Kuma is a genetically engineered life form bred by an eccentric scientist.
  • Owlowiscious, Twilight Sparkle's pet owl in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, is extremely intelligent and a capable assistant librarian, and manages to save Spike from a full grown dragon.
    • Practically all animals on the show are fully sapient and may exhibit civilized traits, even the ones who cannot talk. Fluttershy can communicate with them and treats them just like people.
  • While Doug was one of the more realistic Nicktoons, Porkchop qualifies for this trope. Besides participating in Even the Dog Is Ashamed jokes, he could do things such as play Barnyard Chess, limbo dance, and fly a kite. Yet maybe only his owner can understand him, because in a court case no one else can decipher what he has to say.
  • In ThunderCats (2011), Team Pet Snarf (a cat-dragon creature) cannot speak, but clearly comprehends speech, and has a grasp of the events around him, enough to become frightened when an enemy proposes that his owner Lion-O Duel to the Death.
  • Lassie's Rescue Rangers is all over this. The eponymous Rangers include among others a skunk, a stork, a porcupine, a cougar, a hare, and of course Lassie herself; they lack dialogue, but otherwise are very intelligent, capable of complex planning and extremely high levels of cooperation.
  • In Gawayn, the quester's horse Griselda is shown at times to be able to understand what the characters around her are saying by her reactions. Sometimes, she is even seen doing things such as reading a newspaper.
  • Boo Boom! The Long Way Home: all five animals accompanying Boo-Boom (a cat, a dog, a horse, a rooster and a bee) are clearly more intelligent than their real life counterparts, being able to understand what humans say and willingly helping Boo-Boom to find his parents, as well as protecting him form harm, since they know he won't make it on his own.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AmplifiedAnimalAptitude