No one likes the cone of shame. note
"I do not like the Cone of Shame."
Tropey, stop biting that!
You're going to pull out the stitches! I mean it! C'mere you!
In veterinary practice, the Elizabethan Collar (known colloquially as a "cone") has the purpose of promoting healing of a wound by preventing the animal from messing with it. It's effective enough. However, there is one big problem with this device...
It looks absolutely ridiculous
It often appears as a large, white, plastic cone. Though a variety of alternatives
to this design are on the market (the last one even calls the Elizabethan collar the "cone of shame"), this is the most recognizable. It makes the wearer look pathetic. Though the reason for it is usually medical, the result is a silly appearance and reduced line of sight. It is not abnormal to see a dog or cat with it on to run into walls or get stuck in a tight space. For this, it makes an appearance repeatedly in fiction. If it's a show with talking animals
or funny animals
, expect this to pop up at least once.
The Trope Namer
is the movie Up
, which uses the collar as a punishment rather than for medical purposes.
Not to be confused with Dunce Cap
Occasionally used in conjunction with Animals Fear Neutering
And yes, actual veterinary professionals do
call it "the cone of shame".
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- In an Audi commercial that aired during Superbowl 2014, one of the "Doberhuahuas" wears one. Since it has a big head on a small body, it topples forward, landing on the cone and staying stuck.
Films — Animation
- Up is the Trope Namer. The quote comes from when Dug is forced to wear it as punishment for losing the bird he was ordered to capture. Eventually Alpha gets a loudspeaker funnel stuffed onto his head that causes him to look like he's wearing one too. Subsequently he loses control of the pack.
- On Monsters, Inc., monsters who undergo decontamination by the CDA end up wearing one.
- Grandsanta's reindeer in Arthur Christmas wears one.
- In the Lascars movie, the judge's dog wears a cone about as big as itself.
Films — Live-Action
- In One Crazy Summer, Squid Calamari's deformed dog, who wears the Cone of Shame, ends up having puppies wearing the same thing.
- In Underdog, Shoeshine is forced to wear one in order to prevent people from recognizing him as the title superhero.
- Stephen Colbert did this on The Colbert Report while recovering from a broken wrist. He attempts to pour drugs into his mouth.
- Played for Laughs during a MythBusters build — after cutting down a large metal funnel, the leftover piece (which looked just like one of these cones) was plopped on Scottie's head.
Scottie: I can't gnaw on my arm!
- One of the new interns in Scrubs tries putting one of these on a mentally ill patient to stop him biting the bandages on his hands. She is told to stop it. She did this because she considered it more humane than tying the man down, which she eventually resorts too.
- The Cone of Shame makes an appearance in the second season of Frasier, after Eddie gets into a dogfight.
Martin: Aw, look at him! He's humiliated!
Daphne: True. Although I've noticed that if you put him on top of the telly, Channel 5 comes in clear as a bell.
- One of the joke gifts available as DLC for Dragon Age: Origins is one of these. It's the only thing that will lower the Mabari hound's approval rating for the Warden, and lowers his morale when equipped.
- C'est la Vie: A human character, Michael, is forced to wear one as he cannot help picking at an operation site... Michael, we should add, is a little bit "strange" anyway; the author may be building him up into somebody asocial and undersocialized.
- Two Lumps: Snooch had to wear a cone, and was using it as a megaphone.
- Something*Positive features the Cone on the catgirl in the "Spay your catgirl" poster.
- Appears in a couple of gags in Kevin & Kell after a character lives through Amusing Injuries.
- Cricket, one of the cats in Johnny Wander, once had to wear one after getting spayed. The Alt Text even reads "but seriously, the thing is bright pink and covered in glitter."
- Breaking Cat News: "The People Dressed Elvis Up Like a Lamp." This causes the other two cats great hilarity. Elvis is really not amused.