Effendi, effendi, Camel kick Churchill. Churchill kick camel. Him very good camel now, effendi!
— A subject of the British Empire, reporting on a real life incident involving Britain's beloved war leader
How a character treats, reacts to, and is reacted to by animals delivers a wealth of information to a viewer. The virginal Princess Classic
can summon woodland friends with song
, the Jerk with a Heart of Gold
will (despite hating animals) get Licked by the Dog
, while the man in the Black Cloak
with a Red Right Hand
causes everything around him to wither and die
, and the Evil-Detecting Dog
just won't stop barking at him!
Then there's people who, regardless of their morality or niceness, simply have Animals Hate Him. Always, without fail. Offering a dove crumbs gets them dive bombed. Petting a cat will result in getting inch deep claws dug into their leg, and don't even ask
what happens when this character is stupid enough to visit the woods or a zoo.
The reason for this animalistic antagonism varies. Maybe they just smell wrong, or 'good'
. Perhaps they try too hard, or just have terrible skills at reading an animals' mood. Maybe they're just a Butt Monkey
or Chew Toy
. Maybe they were especially cruel to animals in a past life. Sometimes there's no explanation; animals just don't like them. Characters who consider themselves "in tune with nature" a la the Nature Hero
or Granola Girl
, or "so pure and innocent" that they should
receive friendly animal treatment are the likeliest to be treated this way, often to highlight just how out of touch they really are.
That is, this is an animal combination of Everything Trying to Kill You
and 0% Approval Rating
. Compare Scare The Dog
, where animals react with terror, not hate, although there is some overlap.
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Anime and Manga
- Sakaki from Azumanga Daioh, much to her disappointment. She loves animals and is to all extent a Kindhearted Cat Lover, but all cats tend to run away or turn violent when she approaches. Even a mechanical toy kitten breaks down when she tries to touch it. Only Mayaa, a wild-born Iriomote cat, approaches her without fear. Mr. Tadakichi, a dog, likes her just fine though.
- Nanami in Revolutionary Girl Utena is known for this. In "The Great Curry High Trip," Namami is haunted by three elephants who interfere with her journey to retrieve rare spicy explosive curry from India, notably by surfing into her raft. Fortunately, for what thinly-defined realism exists in the show, most of Nanami's dealings with animals are treated humorously and metaphorically except for the cat she killed (or at least sent away in a box) as a little girl, out of jealousy.
- This is implied to be a curse laid down by Anthy, the girl who was cruelly humiliated by Nanami in the party of the third episode, and is shown to have excessive love for animals. It's hardly a coincidence that Nanami's wacky hijinks with animals started in episode four and would much of the time relate to her selfish, prankster activities.
- Suzaku Kururugi of Code Geass has difficulties with cats, presumably due to cats being cynical creatures by nature and him being a somewhat hypocritical idealist.
- The funny thing is, Arthur (the student council's pet cat) actually does like him; it's just that he chooses to show his affection towards Suzaku through biting.
- Hence one of Suzaku's most recent Fan Nicknames: "Suzakaki"
- It should be noted that Arthur is the only cat that Suzaku seems to get that treatment from (that we see in the show). However, it's definitely a Tsundere-style dynamic: He takes the cat with him to-and-from Britannia, and Arthur watches over his grave sadly in the finale. Thankfully, he's not dead, so Arthur's bound to recognize and bite him at some point.
- Don't forget that Arthur actually saved his life near the end of the first season, by leaping on Tamaki's head at a crucial moment.
- Van Hohenheim of Fullmetal Alchemist, due to being a living Philosopher's Stone, a highly unnatural thing that sends animals berserk. He calmly calls himself a monster when this happens.
- Saya Otonashi from Blood+. Animals of all kinds avoid her constantly because she's a vampire.
- Isumi from Hayate the Combat Butler gets this reaction from Shiranui when they first meet. Hayate smartly averts the anger by spraying her with cat nip.
- Animals don't necessarily hate Medaka, they just can't see past her very intimidating aura of authority and are thus utterly terrified of her. This is mostly played for laughs as Medaka loves animals but none will come near her leading her bouts of depression when an animal rejects her.
- For some reason, dogs dislike Batou. They can still detect him when he's camouflaged, and bark at him continuously.
- No amount of thermoptic camouflage can fool a dog's sense of smell. And given that Batou is a full conversion cyborg, he probably doesn't smell right to them.
- Animals, like humans, tend to assume Sawako is a walking corpse and react accordingly.
- In Axis Powers Hetalia, every animal that we've seen meet Russia so far has rejected him. The sole exception is his pet cat, Russicat.
- Kitano from Angel Densetsu is this only in the OVA, while he's actually a Friend to All Living Things and animals like him in the manga. He cached a bee with his bare hands, so it couldn't land on Ryoko's face, and the bee didn't sting.
- Usui of Maid-Sama! has the charm and good looks to seduce virtually any human, but while he apparently loves cats, they can't stand him. He's never seen interacting with any other animals, so it's unclear whether it's just cats or a general issue - and no explanation is given, either. The fact that he took in a stray cat despite it scratching and biting him whenever it gets the chance is simply part of his Hidden Depths.
- This seems to be the case with Spider-Man villain Tombstone. In one storyline when he and his rival Joe Robinson are taken in by an Amish farmer after the villain escapes from prison (forcing Joe to come with him) the farmer's horse is spooked when it sees him. The Faux Affably Evil villain apologizes, claiming "animals tend to react like that around me". (Note that this happened before Tombstone acquired any superpowers. He was simply a Badass Normal assassin at this point.)
- Failure To Launch protagonist, Tripp (who is a 30+ slacker who refuses to move from his parent's home) is bitten three times by the most improbable creatures: a chipmunk, a lizard and a dolphin, his friends come to the conclusion that this is because what he is doing goes against nature an thus nature rejects him.
- In There's Something About Mary, Magda's dog "only barks at the bad people", leading Matt Dillon's character to drug it before his date with Mary so both she and Magda think he is a nice guy.
- Unforgiven: When he cannot mount his own horse, William Munny invokes this by claiming that his horse is taking revenge on him because he was mean with all the animals in his past. Later, Munny will claim:
- In The Terminator dogs hate the title cyborgs, even in human form. It's not training, as dogs reacted this way to Skynet's machines even before the Terminators were built.
- In the original Cat People, the kitten Oliver buys for Irena hisses when she approaches it; when they go to the pet store to exchange it for a bird all the animals become agitated. Later, the bird dies of fright when Irena picks it up.
- Wilbur Whateley from HP Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror was so violently hated by any dog that came in close proximity to him that he always had to carry a revolver for protection. In the end he's brutally attacked and killed by a dog after his revolver malfunctioned while he was trying to steal the Necronomicon from the Miskatonic University's library. Dogs were also hostile to other Lovecraftian creatures like the Mi-Go and Ancient Ones, but Whateley was the target of their strongest aggression.
- Played for comic purposes in the Dalziel and Pascoe novels, as Sergeant Wield's partner Edwin Digweed winds up at odds with both a small dog and a marmoset.
- Dexter finds that animals in general just can't stand him. He has a theory that they don't appreciate the horrible things he occasionally does to their masters, but his numerous attempts at keeping animals have all resulted in horrible failure (including a turtle that starved to death rather than come out of its shell and deal with him.)
- Sir Hugh Snuffler, a zoologist from the novel Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel, is an ironic example of this trope.
- Zachary Gustafson of Gordon Korman's The Chicken Doesn't Skate is constantly attacked by the titular chicken, and considers it his enemy. (Of course, he still saves it from the slaughterhouse after he becomes unable to write a screenplay without putting in chickens out of guilt.)
- In The Zombie Survival Guide, animals are terrified of zombies. They can smell The Virus, and they don't like it.
- Probably related, in Night Watch it is said that animals are instinctively afraid of the Dark Others just as they fawn upon the Light Ones.
- In Discworld, most animals (except dogs, for reasons explored in the books) instinctively flee or cower in the presence of werewolves. It's an apex-predator thing.
- Subverted with Death. Cats can see the supernatural for what it really is, and lack the Weirdness Censor that normal humans possess, so you think they'd react poorly to the End of All Things. In fact, Death is a Kindhearted Cat Lover, and they like him just fine. He also has a pale horse named Binky that he gets along well with.
- Played with in the case of royal falconer Hodgesaargh, so called because his introductions are constantly interrupted by the birds he handles attacking him. It's not so much that they hate him specifically, they just don't like humans in general, and he's not very good at training them.
- Asphalt the troll loves elephants and worked with them in the circus. The elephants, in turn, love sitting on him. asphalt, in appearance, is a tapering cone (he is made from a soft, malleable, almost-stone).
- In the Aubrey-Maturin series, Nathaniel Martin is almost as dedicated a naturalist as Stephen Maturin, but unlike Stephen, is almost invariably bitten or otherwise abused by the animals he studies. He has one eye... not an Eyepatch of Power due to battle or dueling, but due to an unfortunate encounter with an owl. (On the other hand, Maturin is the one who contrives to get poisoned by a platypus in Australia.)
- In The Saga of the Noble Dead, the ancient elf Most Aged Father is intensely disliked by the majay-hi, magical wolves which normally get along well with elves, because of the manner in which he has unnaturally extended his lifespan.
- Mixed instance in the ST:TOS novel Ishmael, which has an amnesiac Spock stuck on Earth in the 19th century. Reactions from the town's dogs range from hostility to terror, but cats find him fascinating.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire dogs and horses are terrified of wights, even when they appear to be ordinary corpses. Ghost isn't.
- Sheeps Clothing plays with this: Russeau and Wolf both cause horses to shy away, but Russeau commands an army of crows, and Wolf is friendly with even the meanest dogs.
- Everworld has an oddly specific example: no horse (including intelligent, talking horses) will let a witch ride them. At one point the main characters are flying on Pegasus' family while Senna has to ride in a chariot below them.
- The protagonist of Murderess, Lu, at least on Earth (she seems perfectly capable of riding a horse in Greywall’d). Not that she minds in particular, as they just keep their distance, and she has little interest in them.
- Nico di Angelo from Heroes Of Olympus comments on how animals don't like him because they sense his death related powers.
- In Vampire Academy, animals dislike dhampirs, while having no problem with the Moroi. The mere presence of a dhampir sets them on edge.
- Some animals in The Wheel of Time can instinctively identify channelers like Aes Sedai; cats and dogs might attack or run, while wolves, being more intelligent, merely tread carefully.
Live Action TV
- In the pilot episode of Criminal Minds, a dog barks angrily at Dr. Spencer Reid. The owner apologizes, and Agent Hotchner replies, "It's okay. It's what we call the Reid Effect. It happens with children too."
- Poor Sweetums in one episode of The Muppet Show is depressed because of this. When he says hello to a dog, it bites his hand. When he says hello to a flower, it wilts.
- The Swedish Chef also tends to draw hostility from passing animals, but it's mainly because he wants to cook them.
- In Ars Magica, most people with the Gift of magic cause a deep sense of unease and distrust in nearby creatures, to the extent that domestic animals won't tolerate their presence without magical compulsion. Unusually for this trope, humans are also affected, which can make life very difficult for untrained mages who don't know why people hate them on sight.
- In the BattleTech Role-Playing Game, A Time Of War, Animal Antipathy is a negative trait you can choose for your character that causes this trope. It applies a penalty to all skill checks involving animals (riding, animal training, etc) makes them more likely to attack or flee from you, and causes any animals with the Aggressive trait to behave as if they have the Blood Rage trait, attacking the character automatically.
- Harrowed in the Deadlands game often have serious problems with animals in general. Some of them can reanimate a dead animal, and use this to get a horse that won't try to kill them.
- Exalted features a Celestial level spell that inflicts this on a person for as long as the caster wants. By the standards of the beings who can use that level of magic (At Essence 4 it's technically possible to kill Primordials) it's not terribly powerful but for when you absolutely, positively have to make someone's life hell it's pretty neat.
- The Abyssals can magically invoke this trope for themselves. They can even have it as permanent effect.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade and its successor, Vampire: The Requiem, most vampires freak out normal animals (though it can be somewhat mitigated with proper skills training). The exception are those gifted with animal-related mind powers.
- In the old edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, wizards dabbling in dark arts would sometimes develop an aura of "wrongness" as a work-related disorder. It scared children and made animals flee or attack.
- The Grox in Spore are literally this- so much so that you can kill them by making their planets habitable.
- The scripting in the Neverwinter Nights mod The Bitter Taste of Blood is set up so that if your vampiric player character tries to use his/her powers near normal animals (it doesn't affect wolves, but does affect deer) they will turn hostile and attack you.
- Crossing with Evil-Detecting Dog, in Snatcher, Animals DO not react well in the presence of the titular Identity-stealing robots - the feeling's mutual the characters ignored Alice the Doberman's frantic barking earlier in the story - before this tidbit was even mentioned. Poor dog ends up buying it.
- Yuina Himoo from Tokimeki Memorial. Do NOT take her out to the zoo, or the koalas will attack her on sight.
- The feeling that the central character of Red Dead Redemption suffers from this becomes difficult to shake once you've experienced a few minutes in Cougar country. Or Bear country. Or if you've ever been in one of those spots where new packs of wolves appear to spawn every thirty seconds or so. Very occasionally, you may run into an animal that isn't actively trying to kill you; instead, it will be trying to kill someone else.
- This makes completing some of the hunting challenges particularly annoying- you can be skinning a dead wolf, surrounded by more than a dozen other dead wolves, only to have yet another pack of wolves spawn and attack you. Occassionally, they spawn so quickly that you end up facing an ever increasing horde of predators.
- Yes, even the bunny rabbits. Look, that rabbit's got a vicious streak a mile wide! It's a killer! That's why I had to shoot it six times. You know, to be safe.
- Non-monstrous animals in The Legend of Zelda series usually like Link (even when his current appearance is unimpressive or frightening to humans). Except that one time he got turned into a Deku Scrub, and a dog apparently mistakes him for a stick...
- Except for Cuccos. Their chicks are worse; they try to eat mini Link.
- In Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, there's this brief sketch with Animal King Goro of the Diez Gentlemen. It features a character being mauled by various monsters.
- Tales of Vesperia has the heroine Estelle being ignored by Repede. This takes to funnier notion when she tries to touch Quickie in Tales of the World:Radiant Mythology 3 but the Eternia mascot prefers the company of anyone other than her.
- In Fruit Mystery, all of the animals in the zoo tell the player that they hate him after he feeds them random foods.
- While not quite as bad as the animal encounters in Red Dead Redemption, it is quite possible for players to find themselves on the receiving end of attacks by bears, sharks, and big cats in Far Cry 3. Luckily, the animals also hate your foes too.
- Harvest Moon A New Beginning has the main character scare away every single animal they come across. You know there's a problem when bears have you as their worst nightmare.
- Fluttershy, in season one of Ultra Fast Pony (in stark contrast to her counterpart from the original canon, who's a Friend to All Living Things). When she tries to boss around or abuse animals, they push back and walk all over her. ("She can't even get a rabbit to eat a carrot!") When she tries to be nice to them, things go horribly wrong anyways. "I'm just so bad with animals!" becomes one of her Catch Phrases. However, she undergoes some unexpected character development in season two and starts getting along with animals a lot better.
- Zig Zagged in Darwin Carmichael Is Going to Hell. One the one hand, cats freak out at the sight of Darwin, most likely because of his overpowering aura of bad karma. On the other hand, his pet Manticore Skittles adores him, and unicorns just can't get enough of him.
- Sam of Freefall is sort of this... apparently, his alien cellular structure makes him incredibly tasty to any terran animal— even the herbivores. As a result, anytime he sticks a tentacle outside his environment-suit, it's liable to get bitten off by any nearby animal, regardless of its usual diet. He's been harassed by doves, frogs, dogs, and an emu... and that's just what we've heard of or seen.
- He once stuffed his pants full of crickets as live packing material for some stolen goods. When the crickets woke up, they tried to eat him.
- Hanna from Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name claims to have this problem in an interview.
- Asher of Get Medieval has a propensity for being menaced by waterfowl. Bees and badgers seem to have it in for him, too.
- Duane of Unsounded says this to explain why a usually-sweet dog has a violent reaction towards him, omitting the detail that he's actually a zombie.
- Memoria The children have been long attacked by animals.
- Tamuran I'm not so good with animals
- There's no love lost on either side between The Nostalgia Critic and fuzzy animals. He nearly always wants leading dogs to die, and a puppy turned into a gorilla to attack him.
- Owen, who regularly gets abused by even sleeping animals on Total Drama Island, but then, TDI resident animals are all horribly antagonistic and way outside their normal biomes.
- Outside of the above image, this didn't really apply to DJ... until World Tour.
- Chris also appears to be a target of animals.
- In Revenge of the Island, everyone is threatened by the new mutated animals, but Scott is attacked the most, especially by the land shark, Fang.
- Pahkitew Island has Sugar, mainly due top her constant abuse of animal lover Ella.
- I.R. Baboon, the literal Butt Monkey of the I Am Weasel Cartoon Network shorts, gets this a lot. Most notable in the Season 5 episode, "Mission: Stupid," in which I.R. tries to rescue a kitten stuck on top of a tree, but gets accosted by a squirrel, an eagle, and bumblebees, in that order, on the way there. The kitten itself turns on him and Weasel as well at the end of the short, in retaliation for the massive property damages sustained in the rescue attempt.
- If an animal appears in American Dad! in a subplot involving Steve, it's a sure bet it will attack him at some point.
- Parodied in one episode of Dexter's Laboratory. Dexter accidentally blows a fuse in his lab, so must wait for the self-repair to come online. Unfortunately, it takes a full 48 hours. And that means...going outside! Gasp! He promptly has an Imagine Spot where he is sitting outside only for a bear, several raccoons, a few squirrels, a couple of birds, and a fish to Zerg Rush him, creating a Big Ball of Violence. He curls up into a ball, shivering, until his sister DeeDee convinces him to outside and enjoy nature. It takes considerable coaxing, but he eventually makes it, and is starting to enjoy it...until the aforementioned Imagine Spot comes true and he is beaten up by the animals. The End.
- This was actually said word for word by Candace in an episode of Phineas and Ferb. Given the situation, it was perfectly justified....
- To clarify, Candace was attacked by a dog trained to purposely hurt her and keep her away from her Love Interest. She comes screaming into her yard about how much she hates animals, and how stupid they are...on the very day her brothers have built an animal translator. Her mum says that at least "Perry likes [her]", but he's not exactly a normal animal...
- And a few episodes seem to indicate that Perry doesn't even like her all that much.
- Actually, Perry openly insulted her in only one episode so far. There actually are some episodes of Candace showing genuine kindness towards him and some episodes that shows Perry saving her life.
- In The Mr. Men Show there's Mr Bump. Animals always attack him first even though there are other Mr Men or Little Misses who are much closer to reach. This ranges from bees to reptiles, and even fish.
- In Spongebob Squarepants there's of course Squidward, who gets mauled by numerous animals, even his own plants hiss at him.
- Biff from Tom and Jerry: Fast And The Furry
- An old Terrytoons short with Gandy Goose has his roommate Sourpuss dreaming of being in an idyllic forest, where he sets an imprisoned bird free. The other animals attack him because they think he ate the bird.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In “Magical Mystery Cure”, Rainbow Dash becomes convinced that it's her destiny to care for animals. She fails so badly at this that the animals—even the herbivores—try to cook and eat her.
- Omi of Xiaolin Showdown has the worst luck with animals. In "Big As Texas" his attempts to milk a cow get him kicked every time, he keeps having close encounters with squirrel and other problems. Even the Tongue of Saiping can't help.