What do you give the guy with a Cool Ship
, Cool Shades
, and a Cool Sword
? A Cool Pet! Said pet will be completely loyal to them, to the point of death (maybe even beyond...), and may be a MacGuffin
. Said pet will also have a unique appearance, and may or may not be a rare mystic animal. A bit of What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?
? tends to occur since the pet will usually reflect its master in some way. Expect a cool pet to be an Empathy Pet
or Bond Creature
if there's supernatural happenings afoot.
A Subtrope of Loyal Animal Companion
, and a frequent All Animals Are Dogs
Common Subtropes of this include:
- Uncommonly Common Exotic Pet: It is very common for fictional characters (often with a bit of Wish Fulfillment thrown in) to own pets that in Real Life, are not common at all. Likely, due to the Rule of Cool, as most of us have daydreamed of owning such a pet at one point in our lives. Sometimes the pet will be symbolic of the owner in question. Commonly the creature will be more intelligent than is usual for its species.
- Alien Pet: Why own a critically endangered animal when you can own a creature that's not of this world?
- Mythical Pet: a creature or character that is actually a powerful mythological creature but treated as a regular pet. Muggles might actually see an odd-looking peacock instead of a phoenix, a horse instead of a unicorn, etc.
- Impossible Pet: due to sloppy research, a character owns a pet whose care would lead to Fridge Logic.
This can be a Truth in Television
since some brave souls do keep rather... exotic... pets. Some foolish souls do that too, but without actually knowing what they're doing.
Can overlap with Action Pet
Compare and Contrast Mons
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- This DirecTV ad features a wealthy man who owns an unnaturally tiny giraffe as a pet.
Anime & Manga
- Pet Shop of Horrors:
- Count D has Q, a weird vampire bat/rabbit hybrid thing. It turns out to be his grandfather.
- Beyond Q, all the pets the Count sells tend to qualify for this.
- A lot of characters from Katekyo Hitman Reborn! seem to have started to fit this trope since the introduction of box weapons to the series. Later in the story, all the guardians officially have some kind of pet.
- Xanxus and Bester, his pet liger box weapon who also shows that it's a Bond Creature when it changes from a lion to said liger form when Xanxus' scars show.
- Gokudera and Uri, who are both loose cannons with a bit of Cats Are Mean.
- Even the Arcobaleno all seem to have exotic companions.
- Tsuna seems to have a little lion with a visor on its head and Dying Will flames as a mane
- Yamamoto's got a dog that carries around three swords.
- Squalo has FLYING SHARK.
- The main character of Outlaw Star Spin-Off Angel Links, Meifon Li, has a Cool Pet in the form of Taffei◊. It rides around in her cleavage, and doubles as an Empathic Weapon by transforming into a sword when needed.
- Sakaki of Azumanga Daioh has Maya, a wild, rare, Iriomote Cat she adopted after his mother was killed by a car.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion. Pen-Pen, the only happy character to ever feature in the series. He sleeps in a fridge. And also, Everything's Better with Penguins. Fridge Logic, pun intended as Misato spent several years in Antarctica before and after the Second Impact. Why she would want a souvenir, however.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid revealed that Hegemon Klaus Ingvalt had white leopards for pets, since in the land of Shutra, white leopards were considered as excellent guards.
- Dio Brando from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has a falcon named Pet Shop able to manipulate ice and to use a giant skeletal pterodactyl Stand named Horus.
- Puu from YuYu Hakusho eventually morphs into this for Yusuke, getting its final form: a blazing phoenix.
- Nagi Sanzenin of Hayate the Combat Butler has a pet tiger, Tama, who she adopted as a cub. He's able to talk, but Nagi doesn't know that.
- Kyou from CLANNAD keeps a wild boar known as Botan. For most of the story he's just a piglet, but even so, he's extremely well-behaved and trained (excepting his habit of following Kyou to school), especially for a boar that was born wild, not in captivity. In After Story (by which point he's full-grown, tusked, and fairly huge) he's even seen playing with five-year-old children!
- Runaways has Old Lace, a genetically engineered dinosaur from the future.
- Lockjaw, the giant, teleporting bulldog belonging to Black Bolt of The Inhumans.
- In Watchmen, Ozymandias has a genetically-engineered lynx named Bubastis.
- Kitty Pryde in X-Men has a small extraterrestrial dragon named Lockheed.
- Most DC heroes had cool pets back in the day:
- Superman: Superman has Krypto the Superdog, a little white dog who happens to be one of the most powerful living creatures on Earth, perhaps in the whole universe. And he wears a cute little red cape. Superman also had a supermonkey named Beppo. The Kryptonian pets and several others also formed the Legion of Super-Pets in the Legion of Super-Heroes 30th century.
- Batman had Ace the Bat-Hound
- Supergirl had Streaky the Supercat as well as a superhorse named Comet.
- Aquaman's infamous "talk to fish" power can make any marine life his cool pet. Topo the Octopus is perhaps the most notable.
- Rex the Wonder Dog surprisingly isn't this for Wonder Woman — he's a completely separate character. However, the Amazons have had trained kangaroos, flying horses and giant sharks on Themyscira over the years.
- Most of the mutants in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were kept as cool pets at one point or another. Leatherhead was an exotic pet who was flushed down the toilet when his owners couldn't/wouldn't keep him anymore, there are the titular turtles (of course), and Master Splinter who qualifies not by being a rat, but by being a rat who knows martial arts.
- Baron Winters, leader of Night Force, has a pet leopard named Merlin.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) series, Princess Luna has a possum named Tiberius. Yes, it's a reference to that "Tiberius".
- Yoshi was much more ugly in the Super Mario Bros. film. He looked like a velociraptor.
- In Gamera The Brave, a small boy gets a pet turtle and names it "Toto". Guess who the turtle grows up to become...
- Gizmo is a pretty cool pet...as long as you don't break the rules.
- The Mummy Returns: What could possibly make Ardeth Bey more awesome? Oh, look, HE HAS A FALCON.
- Blood, from A Boy and His Dog, is a genetically-modified mutt with human-level intelligence and the ability to communicate psychically with his human.
- The Robinsons get a lot of these in Disney's Swiss Family Robinson, including a monkey, a baby elephant, an ostrich, and a Zebra.
- Art could possibly qualify from the picture book Art The Gecko Makes A Friend.
- Duumvirate and its prequel have Fido, a bioengineered white-furred canine quite a bit smarter and much deadlier than the average Right-Hand Attack Dog, and like its owners has a taste for manflesh.
- Vlad in Steven Brust's Dragaera books has a jhereg as his familiar. However, Loiosh isn't really a pet per se, since he's as smart as a human and a vibrant character in his own right. Jhereg are quite common in that region, sort of filling the position of carrion-eating pigeons.
- Robert A. Heinlein played with this more than once.
- Red Planet has Willis, who is the low intelligence (compared to most people but more intelligent than a dog) pet of the protagonist Jim Marlowe. Later we find out that Willis is a female Martian who will grow up to be male; and will become equal to or greater in intelligence than humans.
- The Star Beast's titular character is Lummox, who has been a pet to generations of the Thomas family. She's actually an alien princess whose species is noted for having difficulty picking up languages other than their own, and who views the boys of the Thomas family as her pets.
- In Stirling Lanier's Hiero's Journey, Hiero had Klootz, a giant mutated, combat-trained riding-moose. Not a pet, exactly, but not quite a partner. And seriously cool.
- In Anne McCaffrey's works:
- The fire lizards in the Dragonriders of Pern series.
- The Talents series has Barque Cats (semi-sentient space-born felines) and Coonies (raccoons genetically modified for increased intelligence and domestication.)
- In Andre Norton's The Zero Stone and sequel Uncharted Stars protagonist Murdoc has Eet, improbable telepathic offspring of feline parthenogenesis. She's basically a funny-looking kitten...but at the end of the second book, she metamorphoses.
- In His Dark Materials, this is pretty much required. The dćmon is a physical manifestaion of your soul and generally equals your badassness capacity.
- In The Dresden Files, Harry's dog Mouse is a massive (waist high on a guy who's near 7 foot tall), supernaturally tough (getting hit by van at full speed just gave him a limp), evil magic detecting, unusually intelligent Tibetan Temple Dog. He's part Chinese guardian spirit, and later books reveal that not only is he at least as smart as a human, he thinks of Harry as ''his'' familiar.
- Mister, Harry's adopted tailless house cat that's the next best thing to an average mountain lion. It's an in-Dresdenverse Running Gag that Mister "owns" the house and that Harry just lives there. Bob occasionally uses him as a mobile Spirit Jar to protect himself from sunlight. Harry speculates that Mister only allows it because he gets to see interesting places.
- In Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter of Mars books, John Carter's Woola.
- In Animorphs Sixth Ranger David has a pet cobra named Spawn and a cat that isn't afraid to throw down with eagles named Megadeth. Jake has a less exotic but no less cool pet - a golden retriever named Homer.
- Harry Potter:
- Harry Potter had Hedwig, a snowy owl, which while not as unusual as some of the examples here, still qualifies because Hedwig was far more social and generally better-behaved than any real-life pet owl could be.
- There are other owls in the Potterverse, such as Ron's Pigwidgeon.
- Dumbledore has Phoenix, Fawkes.
- Voldemort's snake Nagini.
- Hagrid has several: hippogriff Buckbeak, his threstrals, and his spider Aragog; and he had Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback for a short time.
- Skeeve from the Myth Adventures series acquires a pet dragon, Gleep, at the beginning of the series. Much later it's revealed that it was, in fact, the other way around.
- In the Discworld series, swamp dragons are sometimes kept as pets by the Aristocratic and wealthy. They are notoriously difficult to care for, having extremely stringent dietary and environmental restrictions, and are prone to exploding. Later books introduce Lady Sybil Ramkin, who runs a rescue shelter for unwanted swamp dragons. They're effectively a parody of pure-bred horse and dog keeping by the upper-classes; as well as exotic pet keeping in general.
- In A Wizard of Earthsea, Ged has an otak, a small, very shy wild creature that rides around in his hood and will tolerate almost no one else. When he's attacked at one point, it tries to protect him, screaming (this is notable because otaks have no voices). Ged is heartbroken when it dies.
- Treecats in Honor Harrington.
- A Song of Ice and Fire:
- At the end of A Game of Thrones, Dany gets three baby dragons. A part of her plotline involves trying to find two more riders for them when they're grown. Also, dragons are the sigil of House Targaryen.
- The Stark children and Jon all have enormous direwolves, which are more than pets or friends - they are a part of them. Direwolves, the sigil of House Stark, haven't been seen in living memory. Sansa loses hers early on, unfortunately, and Arya is separated from hers.
- Skinchangers, like the Stark children, always have a cool pet of some kind to warg into. Varamyr has three wolves, a bear, and a shadowcat (the impracticality of owning the latter two is Lampshaded and Deconstructed). Orell has an eagle. Borroq has a large boar.
- Doc Savage's sidekicks Monk and Ham each had one of these: Monk had a pig named Habeas Corpus, and Ham had an ape named Chemistry.
- A more mundane example than most, but Louis Kehlweiler (one of Fred Vargas' main characters) has a pet toad called Bufo.
- Ord in Sister Alice has a dozen intelligent, tame bears as pets, who have limited speech capacity. The Chamberlain estate previously had goat-like animals, which clung to sheer walls, though they are no longer around because the children kept temporarily dying from falling to their death while trying to ride them.
- The short story Snow White Pony by Ardath Mayhar has a little girl who gets a white pony from her parents. It's really a unicorn who's been sent to restore to her the will to live.
- A common occurrence in Tamora Peirce novels.
- Song of the Lioness had her loyal horse Moonlight. She also had Faithful, a talking, magical black cat that was less of a pet and more of an adviser. It turned out that Faithful was actually a constellation that comes to earth every couple of centuries to guide and help humans; centuries before, he had aided another protagonist, Beka, under the name of Pounce. Beka also had pets in the form of Achoo, an incredibly skilled scent-house, and Slapper, a violent pigeon that carried souls of the dead.
- At any one time, Daine could have dozens of these trailing after her at any one time, due to her power to speak to animals. This meant that her relationship with them was more like an equal partnership, especially since prolonged exposure to Daine's powers increased the animals' intelligence. She also had a little dragon named Skysong, but since dragons in this universe are as intelligent as humans, she was more of an adopted daughter than a pet.
- Daine's influence on the palace animals also led to another protagonist, Keladry, getting a number of cool pets herself- a playful hound, an irritable gelding, and a whole flock of sparrows, all of which followed her into battle. For a while, she also had to care for a griffon, but that was a painful experience all around.
- In Circle of Magic, there were also a couple of these; a big dog named Bear the kids rescued, a seagull Tris raised from infancy, and a sentient glass dragon.
- In Doctor Who, the Doctor has K-9, a charming little low-budget robot dog who calls him "Master" in a sweet little electronic voice and shoots lasers out of his nose. The Doctor had two versions of K-9. K-9 Mark III appeared in the short-lived spinoff K-9 and Company with Doctor Who companion Sarah Jane Smith, as well as in the Doctor Who stories "The Five Doctors" and "School Reunion". Following a Heroic Sacrifice, Mark III was replaced by Mark IV, who subsequently made several appearances on The Sarah Jane Adventures as Sarah Jane's, and later her son Luke's, pet.
- Calum from All Creatures Great and Small owns a badger.
- Honey West had a pet ocelot, Bruce.
- SPG (Special Patrol Group), the talking hamster on The Young Ones. He even has an orange mohawk and a metal star on his forehead, just like his owner.
- Key West: Gumbo has a pet female alligator named Tickle [sic] Pink, which he adorns with a pink ribbon around the neck. He treats her like a "swamp dog."
- Crockett (Don Johnson) of Miami Vice had a pet alligator. The actor was very careful around it as he himself said "Tame alligator is a contradiction in terms."
- Dr. Maura Isles from Rizzoli & Isles has an African spurred tortoise named Bass (after William M. Bass, the founder of the Body Farm). In the first episode, she gives Jane a baby tortoise, which is then promptly never mentioned again.
- Discussed in Frasier. Niles goes to confront Maris and she stands there, silently stroking her ocelot.
- Drizzt has Guenhwyvar, who is animal companion and nigh-immortal figurine-summoned monster at the same time.
- Dungeons & Dragons in general, with Rangers and Druids having access to such exotic animals as panthers, gorillas, and even Shocker Lizards, while wizards and Sorcerers can acquire things like tiny dragons. Additionally, with one version of the Leadership feat (an ability that grants you a slightly weaker cohort) can instead grant you an exotic mount or pet such as a Pegasus or a Dragon.
- Miliana da Sumbria got some beautiful "silly bird". Let's just say there was a good reason why it was called "sacred, untouchable, and extremely dangerous; avoid at all cost" in a treatise on all sorts of flying creatures including literally hellish ones.
- The Fallout series has Dogmeat, an homage to Dog in Mad Max.
- Pokémon is the king of this trope. Seriously, in recent games (IE: Diamond/Pearl/Platinum) you are given the chance to capture Arceus (the Pokémon counterpart of God). Not only that, but in HeartGold and SoulSilver, the remakes of Gold and Silver, you can get that God to follow you around. Or to create for you a being who controls time, space or antimatter. "You" being a mere human. Even better in the fifth gen where you can catch among other things; an Archeopteryx, a Hydra, what is basically the Iron Giant and one that is basically Mothra
- King of Fighters' Rugal has a pet panther. His children, Adel and Rose, have a panther kitten (apparently the offspring of their father's pet).
- Medabots is also relevant, and is pretty much the Mecha version of Pokémon.
- Digimon is relevant, and the PS1 game is made of awesome, although it has a shit ton of bugs and glitches. Who could forget the little handheld consoles that kicked Tamigochis out the fucking window?
- Rush, Treble, Tango, and Beat are robot animals from Mega Man. The first two can even fuse with Mega Man and Bass respectively to make them more powerful.
- Rider in Fate/stay night is something of a nature/divine spirit rather than a Heroic one, and associates herself with beasts. Therefore, the 'Rider' part of her name comes in with her summoned pet, a Pegasus. Not the Pegasus, but it's still rather badass even if she only uses it once. It also ties into her true identity, but is obscure enough to not reveal it.
- Final Fantasy VI has Shadow, with his dog Interceptor. He's a completely normal guard dog...who can block any physical attack and take no damage and whose own attacks ignore any defense.
- Final Fantasy VIII has Rinoa's dog Angelo, who is used in her Limit Breaks and does things no normal dog is capable of.
- Final Fantasy IX:
- Eiko carries around a moogle which, as it turns out, is actually a summon spirit.
- Kuja uses a silver dragon to fly from point A to B before stealing Cid's prototype airship. The dragon turns out to be Garland's pet, but he's never seen riding it, sadly—probably because he already has a Cool Airship of his own.
- The manager of the Treno weapons shop in tries to be like Jabba the Hutt, in that he keeps a massive creature all cooped up under the shop, just to see people try to fight it.
- In The Darkness, Jackie can summon little gremlins to do his bidding, who play about once their job is done.
- In Manhunt, The Director keeps a psychotic, naked fat man with a pig's mask as a captive in a mansion attic, this is relevant to the trope, I don't care what you say.
- In Metal Gear Solid 3, The End has a parrot which is actually catchable, killable, and edible. Upsetting the old bastard with the sight of a skeletal parrot makes him even harder to kill.
- Useful pet dogs appear in Tales of Vesperia. Yuri Lowell's pet dog Repede is more of a wolf who fights with a dagger in its mouth and carries a pipe with him. Repede is a fully playable character.
- Persona 3: Koromaru, a dog/party member who has a unique fighting style.
- World of Warcraft:
- The hunter class is built upon this trope - many people roll hunters just for the pets! Everything from owls to tigers to bats to dinosaurs to dragonhawks can accompany a hunter from level 10 (1 from Cataclysm) to the end.
- Other class with pets are Warlocks, who employ demonic minions.
- Unholy Death Knights have pet zombies.
- Enhancement Shamans get Feral Spirits, two ghost wolves that can be summoned temporarily to help and heal the player character.
- World of Warcraft has companion pets that any class can own. However unlike hunter pets, they don't fight (a few fights critters or certain other companions) and are really just for show. They can be anything from common pets like cats, parrots, rats and turtles, to wolves, baby dragons or even miniature versions of raid bosses.
- Among hunters, some pets are considered cooler than others, and the Beast Mastery talent specialization tree ends with the ability to tame 'exotic' beasts as well as the usual selection. Of particular note are the extremely rare Spirit Beasts, which are a highly prized exotic pet because of the difficulty in merely finding them.
- A Boy and His Blob. Literally a big white blob which shape-shifts when you feed it differently flavored jelly beans.
- The Team Ico Series played an interesting progression of this trope:
- Hellgate: London offered a few of these for subscribers only; hovering chattering critters that offered trivial perks. Many players found them a disincentive for subscribing.
- Dragon Quest VIII's hero had a pet mouse named Munchie that loves cheese. After he eats certain types of cheese, he can breathe fire or ice, heal the party, sap the enemy's defense, and other amazing powers. It turns out to be his Dragovian grandfather.
- Borderlands has one of these in the form of Mordecai's pet, Bloodwing.
- Mabinogi has a wide variety of pets which can be bought for real money, ranging from the tame (ordinary birds, mini elephants, etc.) to the fearsome (venomous snakes and giant spiders) to the useful (herb-giving gnus and flying broomsticks) to the Crazy Awesome (riding-size dragons and hellish horses).
- The Adventures of Dr. McNinja:
- Dr. McNinja's sidekick, Gordito, has Yoshi, his pet velociraptor. And while she's not technically a pet, his receptionist is a gorilla.
- The gorilla receptionist has a pet kitten. That has an eyepatch.
- In The Chapel Chronicles, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Chapel adopts a hedgehog. She names him Rupert as a Shout-Out to Rupert Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- In Drowtales, Mel has a giant spider named Zhor (who is actually a magically transformed elf), and Ariel has 'squishy'. Zhor isn't exactly a pet, though - he's Mel's companion and occasional lover. He's also Ariel's father!
- The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!:
- In Triquetra Cats, Rain has Pito-Pita Chan, a Gen 5 Splio Beast, although in this reality it's not considered overly exotic, just uncommon (more akin to having a rabbit for a pet rather than a dog or a cat),
- Tedd of El Goonish Shive has Jeremy, "a creature nature never intended."
- Strawberry Syrup has Sammy's dog which is a crossbedd between a pitbull and a German Shepherd and attacks anything.
- In Homestuck, Becquerel (or Bec for short), is Jade's pet Big Friendly Dog that also serves as her Guardian. Bec also has been shown to have some impressive Reality Warping skills, is Immune to Bullets (he plays fetch with them), and also happens to be roughly 300 million years old.
- Miya Chapman of Sodium Eyes keeps a pet West Indian Ocean Coelacanth named Secant in what looks like a 30-gallon aquarium. Poor fish....
- Freefall: Florence Ambrose was one. She's more of a Cool Little Sister now.
- Sluggy Freelance Bun-bun was intended to be this, but turned out to be killer enough rabbit to avert Bears Are Bad News. Kiki the ferret is still this. Aylee has been this more often than not, but now that she's taken humanoid form, the ZHOAS takes on the role, at least in Kiki's interactions with it.
- In "Heroes Of Thantopolis" Cyrus has a pet ghost tarantula named Xisea. That speaks.
- In Wapsi Square, Bud seems to have a pet sea monster named Stinky.
- Virus of Exterminatus Now has a Chao named Blasphemy who absorbed demon DNA and is apparently smart enough to play Halo. It was also mentioned that he has an arco-flagellant combat cyborg named "Skippy" who's been in cryo since the time Virus forgot his deactivation code.
- Davan from Something Positive owns Choochoo Bear, who is a 30-year old, boneless kitty and essentially a sapient Blob Monster, with a penchant for traveling drains in order to have various adventures.
- Mia from Unintentionally Pretentious has Aibo, her robotic guide dog and guardian, making it technically her Angry Guard Dog with a manual Berserk Button. Occasionally as a household appliance.
- Cheryl, from Archer, owns a pet ocelot who is named Babou, in reference to Salvador Dali's pet of the same name.
- Ron's naked mole rat, Rufus, in Kim Possible. Comes in very handy. Once or twice acts as a MacGuffin, too.
- Nick Tatapolous is technically Zilla Jr's owner (Zilla Jr thinks Nick is his father due to "imprinting") in Godzilla: The Series.
- In The Secret Saturdays, Zak has a komodo dragon, a "gorilla cat" and an ornithocheirus.
- In The Rescuers, the baddies tend to have these. One had two alligators, another had a water monitor. Also, the good "swamp folk" have a dragonfly named "Evinrude".
- Nibbler in Futurama. A pet that poops fuel for the Cool Ship? Awesome indeed. He's also late revealed to be a member of super-intelligent species.
- The Godzilla Power Hour: The crew of The Calico has a certain giant radioactive dinosaur. Subverted in that he's technically not their pet, but is a very loyal ally.
- The Herculoids had five of them. Though the Herculoids' non-human members weren't pets so much as soldiers. Call Gloop or Gleep a "pet" and you might find yourself in a world o' sentient-silly-putty hurt.
- The girl ghouls from Scooby Doo and the Ghoul School have a cranky baby dragon as a pet.
- Lilo & Stitch: Stitch. Pets don't get cooler than a genetically-engineered, super-strong, super-intelligent alien.
- Phineas and Ferb own Perry the Platypus, who, for bonus cool points, is also a secret agent.
- Avatar The Last Air Bender:
- Aang has Appa, a ten-ton, six-legged, friendly bison. That can fly. It's implied that all, or many, people in his culture have one.
- Momo the flying lemur.
- Combustion man's hawk.
- Sequel series The Legend of Korra has Pabu the Fire Ferret (a super smart ferret/red panda hybrid)
- Naga, Korra's polar bear dog.
- Johnny Test has Dukey, a talking dog, and Reptoslicer, a genetically altered monster that could slice and dice anything and is vicious. It also makes great salsa.
- Most of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic's characters have their own cool pets:
- Twilight Sparkle has an ultra-competent owl named Owlowiscious.
- Pinkie Pie has a toothless alligator named Gummy.
- Applejack has a farm dog called Winona.
- Rarity has a cat named Opalescence.
- Fluttershy, being a Friend to All Living Things, has many pets, but Angel Bunny stands out as an outright sidekick to her.
- Rainbow Dash has a tortoise named Tank.
- Both Spike and Princess Celestia have a phoenix for a pet (Peewee and Philomena respectively), although Spike later released Peewee into the wild to be raised by adult phoenixes.
- A Running Gag on Animaniacs was "Wanna meet my pet?" When faced with some otherwise terrifying monster, Dot would ask the aforementioned question, holding a small box in her hands. From the box would emerge a disproportionately huge "pet" that would terrify the first one. On at least one occasion Dot's pet was a giant Jerry Lewis with an Alien-esque tongue (i.e. his tongue was a smaller Jerry Lewis) that said "Raar! Monster!"
- Young Justice: Superboy not only gets a giant mechanical alien sphere that latches onto him like a puppy in "Bereft", but he also befriends a mutated white wolf in "Alpha Male" after removing the Explosive Leash electric collar that was forcing it and the other mutant animals to attack him and his teammates. Miss Martian attributes this to Superboy's nature as a "stray" like them.
- Several of the princes and princess in Sofia the First have cool pets; Hildegard has a mink, Vivian has a dragon, Amber has a peacock, James has a baboon, and Xandir has an elephant.
- The title character of Steven Universe has a large, magic pink lion with a supersonic roar. It's pretty awesome.
- Quite a number of people keep exotic pets in real life. Many of these acquire exotic pets primarily for the coolness factor; and are unprepared to deal with the difficult and often complex dietary and care requirements. Unlike fictional examples, this often results in poor health and drastically shortened lifespan; as well as animals being abandoned into the wild when their owners are unable or unwilling to continue to care for them. Many are also implicated in attacks on people, or spreading of non-native diseases and parasites to native animal populations. finding veterinarians able to treat exotic pets is extremely difficult, if not outright impossible. Some people, however, can actually keep these species properly, and the problem herein is that when an idiot gets killed by his/her pet these people also are banned from keeping them despite the fact they aren't idiots, and the animals are killed.
- Exotic pets frequently undergo fads; where a pet which is featured on a television program or movie, or kept by a celebrity, triggers a flood of people obtaining similar pets. Fads have included pot-bellied pigs, sugar gliders, pygmy hedgehogs, and owls. These crazes usually die out quickly, and result in many abandoned or poorly treated animals.
- Occasionally, fad pets with less challenging requirements have caught on more widely. This usually results in better resources being developed, greatly decreasing the difficulty of care, and leading to even greater popularity. A classic example is the ferret, a rare exotic pet in The Eighties or The Nineties became increasingly commonplace as pre-made diet, housing, and other care supplies are more widely available.
- Major advances have been made in tropical fresh-water and salt-water fish keeping; greatly increasing their popularity.
- Some of the most commonly abandoned exotic pets are Green Iguanas, Red-Eared Slider turtles, and Burmese Pythons; with the "cool" factor being the most common motivations for Burmese Pythons in particular. They are often advertised in pet shops as "simple to care for"; and both are commonly described as "even tempered" or having a "friendly personality". While the latter part may be true, the former definitely is not. While starting small, Green Iguanas get up to 6 feet long, and have highly specialized care requirements, including a very limited diet and the need for large amounts of UV light; and require far more attention than dogs and cats to become adequately socialized. Burmese pythons will reach between 15 and 20 feet as adults, weighing between 100 and 200 pounds; and go from eating mice and rats, to eating rabbits, chickens, and pigs. Unlike dogs and cats, abandoned exotics rarely survive long in the wild, due to the dramatic differences in climate and food sources between their native environment, and where they're released. In those cases where they do survive (such as Burmese Pythons in Florida, the only lower U.S state warm enough), they can quickly establish themselves: however, despite what sources (including the U. S Geological Survey, which deliberately fabricated the results of a python experiment, according to National Geographic) may claim, they do not cause nearly as much damage as dogs and cats, because they eat a lot less.
- Parrots are generally pretty cool pets. They're smart and social, you can train them to sit on your shoulder and do tricks, and they're pretty much the only animals that can imitate talking. However, many buyers just see the "cool" part of it without realizing what they're getting into. Parrots, especially the larger ones, are loud, demanding, and need constant attention. Caring for them is appropriately described as caring for a human toddler. And many live for several decades. Many parrots often get neglected and abandoned, often sent to zoos or animal shelters. Even smaller, easier species like parakeets need socialization to be good pets, though since they're so cheap (and thus "throwaway pets" to many) people are more willing to get rid of them.
- There are people like Rexano who promote responsible ownership. Even they say how cool it is to have an exotic pet but state that not only do animals have their own temperaments and that owners have to go extra lengths to keep animals like a Caracal over just a standard cat like a Maine Coon. And that one has to socialize an animal (especially a skunk) a lot when it's young so that it will remain that way when it's older. Even Mountain Lions can be very friendly towards a responsible person they form a bond with. (It helps that Mountain Lions are more related to domestic housecats than actual lions.) This is much better than either idiots getting themselves killed or banning exotic bets outright from everyone.
- Lord Byron was not allowed to keep a dog when he went to university, so instead, he kept a bear.
- It was once commonplace for wealthy aristocrats to keep a wide variety of exotic pets. It was almost part of the "job description" of being a wealthy aristocrat.
- Several United States Presidents have also done so.
- Salvador Dali often traveled with his pet ocelot, Babou.
- Gilberto Shedden of Costa Rica was best friends with a large crocodile named Pocho, swimming and playing with him, and even giving him belly rubs. Sadly, Pocho recently died of old age, but in a wonderful twist, he never once attacked Gilberto, or otherwise harmed him in the 20 or so years they were together.
- Paris Hilton owns a kinkajou, an exotic relative of the raccoon. It received media attention when it bit her, and criticisms over it also ensued over the fact that pet kinkajous are illegal in California, which did raise questions about how qualified she was to care for an animal with specialized care. Nonetheless, she was able to keep the kinkajou.
- Matt Smith wants a badger. He gets one.
- Neil Young has owned a number of bizarre pets throughout his life. He had a sugar glider in the 1960s when it was not a particularly cool thing to have. He also had a couple of bush babies, Harriet and Speedy, who would leap clear across a room to land on his shoulder. Graham Nash, clearly freaked out by this, claimed that Neil began to ''look'' like the bush babies after a while.