Busy Beaver

Beavers, they are the one mammal in the world whose diet mainly consists of twigs and the bark of trees. Because of this, they use their powerful teeth to gnaw on trees, which eventually causes the tree to fall over.

In media, it appears that beavers are often depicted as Workaholics who will stop at nothing to complete the task offered to them. The idea that beavers are Workaholic is more or less Truth in Television, as they put a lot of effort in constructing and maintaining dams to increase the water level and lodges they spend the winter in.

Beavers who fit this trope will often be The Smart Guy and/or Mr Fix It. Furthermore, they are often the default species for Furry Canadians since the animal is the national one for Canada.

Sub-Trope of Animal Stereotypes. Not to be confused with the lady parts of someone who Really Gets Around.


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  • Canada used to have a lumber store chain called Beaver Lumber, which not only had a beaver in overalls as the company mascot, but also once had a cartoon beaver in their commercials busy in a store.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dilbert: Subverted with a beaver that Dogbert meets, who happens to be lazy and bought a planner and expected it to do the work for him.
  • Subverted from the rejected characters file of Get Fuzzy: Bricker Van Damme, the world's laziest beaver. He gets his wood from a store, and uses his tail as a kickstand.
  • An inversion appears in a strip of The Far Side, where a beaver's(Human) wife is telling someone on the phone that her husband isn't busy at all, the whole thing is just a myth.

    Films — Animation 
  • The titular characters of Lady and the Tramp visit a zoo where they enlist the help of a friendly yet gullible beaver to remove a muzzle that Aunt Sarah had put on Lady.
  • Mr. Beaver from Fantastic Mr. Fox is a lawyer, and an associate of Mr. Fox's lawyer Badger. His son, unusually for beavers, is The Bully.
  • Zootopia: The workers pouring the concrete Judy inadvertently steps in are all beavers in hard hats.

  • Beaver from the Franklin books and TV series is one of Franklin's best friends.
    • Her father, as we've seen, he is, very much a workaholic, in fact, Beaver has warned her friends before not to let him see them, otherwise, he would put them to work. In one episode, where Franklin and his friends try to find somewhere to have a clubhouse, one play they try is Mr. Beaver's tool shed, and sure enough, when he finds them in there, he appears happy to have extra hands to help him get more work done. Mr. Beaver's signature attire is also a tool belt.
  • When Jake morphs into a beaver in the sixth-to-last Animorphs book, his mind fills with thoughts of "Work! Work! Work! There is work to be done!"
  • In the Warrior Cats book The Fourth Apprentice, the cats discover that humans have released beavers into the wild and are studying them (which is based on real experiments done in the UK). Unfortunately, the dam and the drought are drying up the cats' lake downstream. The beavers are, rather unusually, portrayed as dangerous and viciously protective of their dam.
  • A beaver appears once in the Redwall series. He doesn't talk much if at all, but is a good craftsman, as he helps build what is essentially a siege crossbow.
  • The beavers in The Chronicles of Narnia, who are not only good builders but determined allies of Aslan and the Pevensies against the Witch.

    Live-Action TV 

    Web Animation 
  • Handy from Happy Tree Friends is the resident Mr Fix It of the cast, and if there's any construction job to be done, from wooden houses to concrete bridges, he's almost guaranteed to be involved. However, he's slightly (by which we mean lethally) hampered by the fact that he has no hands.

    Western Animation 
  • Dagget and Norbert of The Angry Beavers are a pair of beaver brothers who live together by themselves. Subverted that they're actually depicted as slackers.
  • The Merrie Melodies cartoon "The Eager Beaver" shows a bunch of beavers building a dam using modern construction techniques. The titular beaver is a youngster who wants to help but of course Hilarity Ensues.
  • Sawtooth is Rufus Ruffcut's pet beaver from Wacky Races. He has sometimes helped Rufus out of a jam by cutting down trees.
  • In Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, the beavers are uncharacteristically portrayed as Jerkasses who do things like steal the vegetables from Daizy's garden and destroy the Wubb Club treehouse For the Evulz.
  • Explored on Courage the Cowardly Dog in the episode, "A Beaver's Tale"; Nowhere is suddenly flooded from a giant dam being constructed by a disgruntled beaver who won't stop until the dam is completed. Courage unwittingly discovers the beaver is actually more interested in playing music, but the beaver shows Courage his childhood of how his father disapproved of him playing music, and instead, wanted him to grow up to be a construction worker like him. In the end, however, Courage presses the beaver into giving up construction to follow his dream, and the dam is destroyed.
  • Wild Kratts visits a beaver dam several times, exploring how the beavers build it, and visiting the beavers' living room in the middle of winter.
  • In one episode of The Wild Thornberrys, Eliza learns An Aesop about the importance of hard work when she convinces a family of busy beavers to slack off from their dam-maintenance duties and spend the day having fun instead, and their home is almost washed away by a flash flood.
  • In Iggy Arbuckle, Iggy's best friend and sidekick is the beaver Jiggers. Jiggers is endlessly energetic and a skilled mechanic and wood sculptor; able to carve incredible creations out of wood in a few seconds using only his teeth.