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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Films — Animation
- Up: The quote comes from when Dug is forced to wear it 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 ended 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 titular 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."
- Family Guy
- The episode "Brian Sings and Swings" has Brian wearing one after being hit by Peter's car.
- Quagmire had to wear one around his crotch to ease his sexual urges.
- A Cutaway Gag had Brian wear one of these after he got neutered. Stewie used it as a mock basketball hoop.
Brian: God, I feel like biting my crotch.
- In an episode of Martha Speaks, the main character has to wear one of these to prevent her from scratching her ear mites. She hates it, as it makes things "sound funny", and scares away Baby Jake.
- The Simpsons: When Mr. Burns' slant oil drill ruins Bart's treehouse (with him & Santa's Little Helper inside), SLH is reduced to wearing one of these while in a doggie-wheelchair. Grampa mistakes him for a lamp.
- Cleo gets to wear one in the Clifford the Big Red Dog episode "Cleo Gets a Cone".
- T.U.F.F. Puppy: Dudley has to wear one so he won't scratch at the horrible red rash on his butt.
- In The Secret Files of The Spy Dogs it is revealed that the device was designed by dogs themselves — it is used by the communication teams for voice amplification.
- Lucky from the Animated Series of 101 Dalmatians has to wear a cone after falling from a high tree branch and getting stitches. Cue humiliation from the other dogs.
- Phineas and Ferb: Even platypuses aren't immune. Perry has to wear one for most of the morning, which is so big that it keeps him from entering his lair, and subsequently, from thwarting Doofenschmirtz.
- King of the Hill: Dale gets one of these after going berserk from head lice, even falling on the ground and scratching his head like a dog in a circle.
Hank: Dang it, Dale, don't make me get the plastic cone again.
- In an episode of The Powerpuff Girls, Bubbles is reduced to having to wear one of these after being stung in the throat by a bee.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "A Bird in the Hoof", Celestia's pet bird Philomena gets one to stop her from plucking her feathers.
- In Tupu, Shoobz's bulldog Dandruff wears a Cone of Shame at all time to prevent him from scratching himself and gnawing at his fur.
- In the CatDog episode "Cone Dog," Dog gets one of these, and Cat discovers that he can hear people at a distance due to it. He uses this ability to outsmart Winslow at first, but is soon blackmailing everyone in Nearburg about their secrets, and then getting Drunk with Power and becoming emperor of Nearburg, then the world, using the citizens of Nearburg as slaves to build his empire under the threat of revealing their secrets. All the while, Dog is put into cones of ever-increasing size, and by the end of the episode, the cone around his neck is gigantic. He eventually gets out of the cone when he can take no more and joins the people of Nearburg in an uprising against Cat (which involves revealing their secrets - they all wear pink bunny suits. Yes, it's a bizarre episode).
- In Father of the Pride Hunter wore one all the time. Why isn't explained aside from one throwaway line in the unaired pilot about a rash.