Friend to Bugs
There must be a pet here that will fit the ticket!
How 'bout a ladybug, or a cute cricket?Typically, the Friend to All Living Things archetype will gloss over bugs' status as living things, so it's often expected that only a bug will be a friend to a bug. Not always, though. A character that is a Friend to Bugs adores even (or perhaps especially!) the insects, like a pet owner adores a pet. Because this involves being affectionate toward creepy-crawlies, the unstoppable force of the stereotype that women hate bugs meets the immovable object of the expectation that guys aren't affectionate toward animals. The result is that this trope tends to be gender-neutral but rare. Not to be confused with Beetle Mania and/or Bug Catching, which explicitly describe interest and collection but not necessarily endearment. They may or may not be able to control the bugs to aid them. Also not to be confused for being friends with a certain cartoon rabbit.
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Anime and Manga
- In Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Nausicaa is sympathetic toward the giant insects of the poisonous forest, particularly the dinosaur-sized ohmu. She even attempted to keep a tiny ohmu as a pet as a small child, though eventually the adults found it. Appropriately, one of the inspirations for Nausicaa was an old Japanese tale The princess who loved insects.
- Ouran High School Host Club has Haruhi; in episode 8, when she finds a centipede on a crab, instead of killing it she simply picks it up and throws it aside. When asked if she could have been easier on it, she said "it takes a lot more than that to kill a bug."
- Naruto has the Aburame clan, who have bugs living in their bodies and use them as weapons, as a partnership where the bugs have a secure home in exchange for letting the ninja control them.
- In Working, Souta loves everything small, including bugs. He compares a bug getting squashed to murdering Popura. She's unsure if she should feel praised or insulted by that.
- In Kamichama Karin, Himeka thinks bugs are absolutely adorable and is apparently oblivious to her cousin Kazune's phobia of them.
- Mr Ando from Mori No Ando is kind to all living creatures, including the bee.
- Lutecia Alpine of the Lyrical Nanoha franchise, an insect summoner who has a strong connection with her insects. One artwork included in StrikerS Sound Stage X even shows that she owns custom mittens that have the picture of one of her Big Creepy-Crawlies on it.
- As an inversion to his normally cowardly demeanor, Usopp in One Piece actually likes bugs. He has not only named his weapons after beetles, he associated with large spiders when he was younger and can understand them to a limited extent.
- Viciously subverted with Tommyrod from Toriko. Despite being able to create bugs (by literally birthing them from his mouth and essentially being their parent) to do his bidding, he feels absolutely nothing for them and sees them as just a tool. He even spits one up just so he can kill it to prove how little he thinks of them.
- In Marvel Comics's toy tie-in title The Sectaurs, the insect-like humanoids of planet Symbion form telepathic bonds with giant insects. Most of these are about the size of a large dog, but a few are big enough to ride. The hero, Dargon, is unusual in that he has bonded to two such insects.
- Depending on the Writer, Ant-Man of The Avengers. The second Ant-Man in particular gives his favourite ants names.
- One of Spider-Man's less formidable enemies was Buck Mitty, aka the Humbug. Originally an entomologist at Empire State University, he tried in vain to convince the rest of the Science Department of the value insects had to humans (he perceived more of a value than they did) only for his funding to be cut off. Desperate to continue his research and prove his theories, he cobbled together a sonic weapon system that amplified the sounds of insects into destructive beams, but wasn't much of a crook. (In his first attempt, he tried to steal an armored car full of black pearls, only to blow the tires and leave him with no way to transport them. The second time, he tried to rob ESU, and broke into the girls' locker room by mistake. When he took a woman hostage, Spidey actually convinced him to give up by threatening to smash a specimen jar full of roaches.) He later acquired actual superhuman powers due to a deal with some mutated ants, but ironically, when he tried to make a Heel-Face Turn after the Civil War, it turned out those ants were using him as a Trojan Horse to get at the Brood Queen, their Arch-Enemy. Dying and in agony, the martial arts hero Shang-Chi slew him as a Mercy Kill.
- WALL•E has a pet cockroach, though he is a robot...
- Shilo Wallace from Repo! The Genetic Opera.
- The fairy twins whose singing can summon Mothra.
- Joe's Apartment: Joe has many, many cockroach roommates who he eventually becomes good friends with.
- Jennifer from Phenomena likes all insects.
- Beetlejuice begins showing Adam treating a large spider with an affection usually shown toward puppies (yes, arachnid, not insect, but still).
- Later averted. He chucks it out the window. He had coaxed it into his hands to get it off his model of the town he was building.
- In The Lady who Loved Insects, the title character is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and is regarded by her peers as something of a cloudcuckoolander for it. It's believed Hayao Miyazaki drew inspiration from this character in his design of his character Nausicaa's personality.
- Gari in Chronicles of the Kencyrath spontaneously attracts flies, wasps, moths, and other flying insects, and he develops a limited control over the swarm.
- Idgie in Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe loves bees.
- It's noted in Galaxy of Fear: The Swarm that some S'krrr worship drog beetles as their closest living relatives. One of them, Vroon, makes it his mission to kill the birdlike animals that eat drogs and can communicate with small swarms of them using wingsong. Doesn't stop him from being Eaten Alive by a larger swarm.
- Megan McDonald's children's book Insects Are My Life features this kind of protagonist.
Live Action Television
- Dr. Mahesh "Bug" Vijayaraghavensatyanaryanamurthy of Crossing Jordan, is not only fascinated by insects, he sometimes comments that he prefers them over certain people. He waxes poetic about all sorts of their characteristics and keeps several insect pets in his lab. In one episode he excitedly awaits his butterflies hatching out of their cocoons only to have to chase them around the medical examiners' complex when the lid to their insectarium is accidentally left open.
- Gil Grissom of CSI
- Insect shamans in Deadlands: Hell on Earth are the evil version.
- One NPC in the Warhammer RPG mutates into a giant cockroach - bizarrely, he keeps his wits and habits (he is quite friendly as far as mutants go) but develops warm feelings to bugs, sharing his apartment with a giant swarm of normal roaches.
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has 10 year old Agitha, the self appointed princess of the "Bug Kingdom". If the player chooses, Link can embark on a sidequest to find the 24 golden bugs for Agitha's ball. She squees over each one you bring to her and rewards you accordingly.
- She rewards you for the first bug by giving you the Adult's Wallet, which allows you to carry up to 600 rupees. For every bug after that, she bestows you with 50 rupees as, "compensation for your efforts" and 100 for each matched pair.
- The final reward, for successfully escorting all 24 to her castle, is the Giant's Wallet, which can hold 1000 rupees, after which, you are made an "honorary member" of her kingdom.
- If you try to leave her "castle" without giving her all the bugs you're carrying (perhaps because you've got no more room in your wallet) she'll menacingly growl, "I know you have bugs" as you go.
- Bugsy, the Azalea Town Gym Leader in Pokémon Gold and Silver, is an avid fan and researcher of Bug-type Pokémon who hopes to one day become an authority on the subject. His title is even "The Walking Bug Pokémon Encyclopedia". Naturally, he specializes in Bug-type Pokémon.
- There are plenty of other characters like this to lesser extents in the series. Aaron and Burgh also count.
- Not to mention the Bug Catcher and Bug Maniac classes of trainer. Heck, Satoshi Tajiri based the entire concept of Pokemon on catching bugs as a child and making them fight with his friends' bugs, so it's only natural that the series is full of bugs and bug trainers.
- Harvest Moon: Some characters love being shown bugs that you can pick up from the forest.
- Welkin Gunther, the protagonist of the first Valkyria Chronicles title, is an Animal Sociology student with the discovery of several insect species to his name.
- Wriggle Nightbug, obviously. Justified because she is a firefly spirit, but her powers allow her to befriend and command creatures that aren't fireflies, beetles, or even technically insects, such as demonic harvest mites.
- Gertrude, as portrayed in MySims Agents. One dispatch mission involves your agents rounding them up for her.
- Downplayed but present in Final Fantasy IX. While trying to go undercover in Doma, Princess Garnet gently picks up an oglop without any revulsion, and only pretends to be freaked out after someone tells her that most girls hate bugs. It probably helped that her beloved uncle was turned into a sentient oglop by his scorned wife for some time.
- In Absolute Despair Girls, it was confirmed that Touko Fukawa has a pet stinkbug by the name of Kameko that she cherishes above everyone she knows (minus Togami, and depending on how far you are in the game, Komaru).
- In Worm, Taylor initially finds bugs as creepy as most 15-year-olds would, despite having a bug-controlling superpower, but the intensity of her first months in costume working with bugs on a daily basis leaves her finding their presence comforting, instead.
- Jonathan Wojcik, creator of Bogleech, is this trope up and down. Many of his biology articles are focused on the world's most misunderstood and/or least-known crawlies, and he's kept a number of bugs as pets. He does have an incredible fear of ticks, yet even then he has this to say about them:
"No matter how unreasonably scared I've ever been of these eight-legged Nosferatu, I don't dislike them on a personal level. My psychological glitches aren't their fault. There isn't any malice or cruelty in their simple, natural quest for survival. I don't wish they were gone. I don't even wish they were different. I would rather a world with giant, blood-sucking mites who have given me panic attacks than a world where they never evolved at all. Like every other organism that ever has and ever could possibly exist, ticks add something unique, exotic and interesting to our planet that I feel only the utmost respect and admiration towards, even if they leave me in mortal fear of entering tall grass."
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has Fluttershy referring to a parasprite as "the cutest thing ever," and everypony else (except Pinkie) seems to also find them quite cute as well. As you can see from the picture, they are (virtually everything in this show is Ugly Cute at worst). This ends up turning into a deconstruction: Fluttershy can't tear herself away from the parasprites even after they reveal themselves to be a Horde of Alien Locusts.
- Fluttershy in particular, though, has also shown a fondness for bees, spiders, and, of course, butterflies.
- In "May The Best Pet Win," ladybugs, butterflies, crickets, and wasps were among the many species of pet Fluttershy recommended for Rainbow Dash; and Rainbow Dash herself actually considered adopting the wasp or butterfly.
- In the toys, many ponies are accompanied by animal friends, some of whom are bugs. Ponies with toys that are accompanied by bug friends include Applejack, Cheerilee, Daisy Dreams, Fluttershy, Honeybuzz, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity.
- Granny Smith is friendly to bees, even giving them names, bringing flowers for them, and letting them swarm around/on her before getting their honey. Being friendly to the bees is an integral part of making Zap Apple Jam, as it will make their honey sweeter when mixed in with the Zap Apples.
- Fluttershy in particular, though, has also shown a fondness for bees, spiders, and, of course, butterflies.
- Nadine in Hey Arnold! is a big fan of bugs. This leads to conflict in the episode "Best Friends" when she and her fashion-conscious best friend Rhonda can't agree on a topic for a school project. (They eventually go with insect-themed fashion.)
- Phoebe on The Magic School Bus, as part of her being a Friend to All Living Things
- In Tiny Toon Adventures, when Furrball gets infested by a family of fleas, he eventually becomes friends with them, even though they make him itch.
- Jumpy Ghostface of Hero108
- Raj of Camp Lazlo in one episode
- On Miss Spiders Sunny Patch Friends, Miss Spider urges her family to "be good to bugs"... but then again, they don't really have much choice of anything else to be good to.
- Double D of Ed, Edd n Eddy is shown to collect bugs and seems to be the only kid who finds them both fascinating and totally unscary. In the Valentine's Day episode, Ed gets a spider on him and promptly begins panicking, Edd simply admonishes him for "frightening" it and carefully desposits it out of the nearest window.
- The Ben 10 villain Clancy is this, considering his numerous bug minions to be his family. He even refers to himself in a Hive Mind mentality.
- In an episode of Rocko's Modern Life, Flecko the Fly escapes from Ed Bighead's clutches, and flies over to Rocko's house. There he witnesses Rocko allow a ladybug to pass in front of him instead of stepping on it. Flecko heads on over to Ed's house again, frees the remainder of his friends, and they all party at Rocko's house. Ed tries to get them back to eat, but Rocko protects them.
- Dr. Robert Scorpio from Mighty Max. He loves scorpions, and the bigger the better.
- The cartoon take of Lydia Deetz on Beetlejuice is this. She loves spiders, especially.
- Squirt from Camp Lakebottom, whose Friend to All Living Things tendencies extend to bugs. This results in him attempting to make a pet of every creepy-crawly that finds its way into camp, no matter how terrifying or potentially lethal it is.
- Feudal Japanese Imperial bureaucrat Fujiwara Munesuke◊ was noted as having been very interested in insects. Indeed, he may have been the real life inspiration for The Lady who Loved Insects example mentioned earlier.