Turning to an animal, wild or pet, for a Reaction Shot to a comedy moment. Sometimes included in a series of such shots from the humans in the room. Commonly used as a way to revitalize a dying joke.
Occasionally accompanied by an Inner Monologue or subtitled animal noises. The animal in question usually says something entirely unlike what the human character believes it is thinking.
See also Even the Dog Is Ashamed.
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Anime and Manga
Naruto: Happens at one point in the manga — perhaps a self-parody, given the number of reaction-shot-montages that had been in the series at that point.
Pokémon: Fairly common, since the titular creatures are usually around.
Cowboy Bebop : Ein the corgi in gets to give a few reaction shots, usually (apparently) disapproving of his human companions' behavior. Unbeknownst to any crew member but Ed, Ein is a sapient "data-dog.".
Tangled: Played straight with Pascal when Rapunzel figures out that the crown goes on her head, apparently hinting that she is the lost princess. Pascal gapes and his mouth gets huge, then he closes his mouth and shakes his head in disapproval.
Kevin: Oh, animal reaction shots! Is there any funnier shot?
Used in the French movie Astérix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatre when Cleopatra announces her palace will be built in three months. Most of the people in the scene get a reaction shot and mutter "Three months?", including a cat who meows the word "month".
In The Hangover Part III, Alan obtains a giraffe and is happily driving down the freeway, towing the giraffe on a cart behind him. His car approaches an overhead bridge - cue the giraffe flapping its ears back in panic.
Pushing Daisies: Ned has a dream where his powers suddenly wear off and he and Chuck can touch each other. They start to tear each other's clothes off, and there's a shot of Ned's dog, Digby, holding his paw over his eyes.
Buck the dog in Married... with Children has many reaction shots, with snarky voice-over thoughts. This continues after he dies and is reincarnated, unbeknownst to the Bundys, as their "new" dog Lucky.
Happens a lot in The Goodies, most notably in the "Kitten Kong" episode, and in the "Royal Command" episode.
An episode of Spaced begins with the sound of the landlady's daughter Amber (in the flat upstairs) screaming abuse at her mother and storming out, making so much noise in the process that she wakes the whole house. We get close ups of each of the main characters waking up and saying "Amber" in various tones of voice. The sequence ends with a close up of Colin (the dog) waking up and making a noise that sounds very much like "Amber". The subtitle, however, simply says "Woof".
Inverted on CSI: New York, when the handler of a beagle at a dog show accuses Mac of having reduced his dog almost to tears with his intrusive murder investigation. Cut to the dog's face, which shows no discernable expression whatsoever, indicating that the handler's worries are entirely a delusion brought on by anthropomorphism.
Lamely done in a Danielle Steel TV Movie. As a villain attacks the heroine in the stables, the camera pans up and away to a horses, reacting with fear at what he's seeing.
Done in thisSluggy Freelance strip. Particularly notable in that Kiki is normally Too Dumb to Live, so when she says, "I'm just a ferret, and even I know this is going to end badly" ... that's saying something.