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Frogs and Toads

Stephen Fry: Do you know the difference between a frog and a toad?
Alan Davies: Spelling.
QI

Frogs. They croak. They jump. They are cold-blooded. They are apt to lurk in the pond at a periscope depth and look at you, or sit perfectly still on the grass, melting into background and then catching an insect with one lightning-quick motion, like a Cold Sniper. The pretty neon colored ones can kill you with a touch, and others will get you high when licked. Sometimes they just look like they know something funny, but won't tell you. Toad is a land-based variant with extra wart issuesnote . All in all, they are rather cool animals.

They also are one of most common choices as wizards' familiars. Bewitched Amphibians are one of stock forms for Baleful Polymorph (naturally undone by a kiss). Not to be confused with the Soviet SSM with the reporting name FROG.

See also Free the Frogs and the "batrachophobia" section on the Why Did It Have to Be Snakes? page. Yes, some people are afraid of them.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima! the Class Trip arc had the current Big Bad summon a small army of frogs to the car they were on in the bullet train to Kyoto. Kaede is afraid of frogs, and Makie hates things that are slimy. Later, Makie and Ayaka fell into a Pit Trap full of frogs.
  • Kero Kero Keroppi is a character and series by Sanrio.
  • InuYasha has a frog demon appear as an early minor villain.
  • Keroro Gunsou features a whole horde of invading aliens who look like impossibly cute bipedal frogs.
  • In one chapter of Yotsuba&!, Yotsuba catches a really big frog and shows it off to Ena and Miura. This is when we learn Miura is scared of slimy things and Ena thinks bullfrogs are cute.
  • My Neighbor Totoro has a toad inexplicably appear and let out a huge croak after the scene where Satsuki and Mei meet Totoro at the bus stop.
  • In Naruto, toads are the summon used by the titular character and his mentor Jiraiya (see "Literature"), the latter of which also has several other toad-related abilities (like spitting toad oil). They're also the only summons shown to be able to perform ninjutsu not involving direct manipulation of their body, or to have their dwelling place shown. Naruto's eventual bond with the toads is foreshadowed by the cute frog-shaped wallet in which he stores his spending cash. Naruto thinks Froggy is especially cute when it's fat (i.e. full of money).

    Art 
  • Frogs, especially tropical ones, are some of Ursula Vernon's favorite subjects.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics: At one point, Thor was turned into a frog, in a story arc that lasted several issues.
    • Thor ended up discovering a tribe of talking frogs in Central Park, and saving them from a tribe of rats. Oh, and when he found his magic hammer, he was transformed into... The Frog Of Thunder!! !
    • In another story, Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America were turned into frogs. Tony freaked out while Thor just did a Face Palm while muttering "Not again..." Thor sent a telepathic message to Frog-Thor for help.
  • Of course, the infamous X-Men villain and Brotherhood mainstay, Toad, whose Toad-like appearance was Turned Up to Eleven, in Ultimate X-Men.
  • In Hellboy, one of the potential effects of exposure to an Eldritch Abomination is transformation into monstrous frog-men. The BPRD spin-off series introduces an epidemic of these frogs.
  • Spider-Man has an ally in the Fabulous Frog-Man. Eugene Patilio, son of former Daredevil villain Leapfrog, decided to don his father's old costume and technology, in a bid to clean up his dad's reputation. He's a bit of a bumbler, however; he doesn't really understand how the suit works, and usually ends up winning his battles by pure luck.

    Commercials 
  • The famous Budweiser Frog commercial.
  • Dig'em the frog from the Honey Smacks cereal boxes.

    Fairy Tales 
  • "The Frog Prince" and its many derivatives and references.
  • In "The Three Little Men in the Wood", a girl is punished by having a toad hop from her mouth every times she speaks.
    And when she opened her mouth, and was about to tell her mother what had happened to her in the wood, with every word she said, a toad sprang out of her mouth, so that every one was seized with horror of her.
  • In "Diamonds and Toads", despite the title, it's a toad or a snake.
  • In "The Frog Princess", the youngest son ends up with a frog bride. She promptly proves he is wrong to be disappointed by proving to be a fine housewife, and then becoming a beautiful woman.
  • "Thumbelina" is threatened by an arranged marriage to an old toad.
  • In The Brothers Grimm's "The Ungrateful Son", a man hides a roast chicken from his aged father, but when he takes it out again, it's become a toad which hops on his head, never comes off, and has to be fed every day or else it eats him.
  • In "The Iron Stove", the princess, searching for her husband, finds a family of toads and has to spend the night with them. They give her good advice and send her on.
  • In Joseph Jacobs's "The Laidly Worm of Spindleston Heugh", the Wicked Witch is transformed into a toad at the end.
  • A toad in a well causes it to dry up in "Right Always Remains Right", "The Three Golden Hairs of Grandfather Allknow", and "The Devil With the Three Golden Hairs".
  • In "Sleeping Beauty", the evil mother-in-law includes these in the pit to throw Sleeping Beauty and her children in.
    she commanded next morning, by break of day (with a most horrible voice, which made everybody tremble), that they should bring into the middle of the great court a large tub, which she caused to be filled with toads, vipers, snakes, and all sorts of serpents in order to have thrown into it the Queen and her children, the clerk of the kitchen, his wife and maid;

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Wars Part VI: Return of the Jedi. The toad-like alien outside Jabba the Hutt's palace, viewable on YouTube at about 7:40.
  • The horror movie Frogs has frogs and other swamp creatures turning against polluting humans.
  • In Practical Magic toads play a big part in how Gillian's dead boyfriend haunts the household. When he possesses her, frogs and toads begin appearing all over the house, much to everyone's disgust.

    Literature 
  • Batrachomyomachia, attributed in ancient times to Homer, features frogs as people. Who actually composed it is up for debate.
  • In The Bible, one of the plagues God inflicts on Egypt was a plague of frogs.
  • Terry Pratchett's Bromeliad uses the frogs that live in the eponymous flower as a recurring metaphor. Near the end of the series, one of the characters, being excessively literal-minded (an occupational hazard for Pratchett characters), travels to the Amazon to see them for himself.
  • ConSentiency: not only Gowachin themselves, but also such proverb as "Arm yourself when the Frog God smiles".
  • Dark Side of the Sun has phnobes, frog-like aliens. When provoked, they can be less funny than they look.
  • The childrens' book series Frog and Toad, by Arnold Lobel.
  • "Save The Giant Flying Vampire Toad" by Norman Spinrad, June 1980 Omni magazine.
  • Mr. Toad from The Wind in the Willows, who pumps too much air into himself and jump on anything he deems fashionable.
  • The Legend of Jiraiya, about a ninja who could transform into a frog, his wife Tsunade, who could turn into a snail, and his enemy Oorochimaru, who could turn into a snake. Sound familiar to anyone? It's Older Than You Think.
  • All toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads.note 
  • In Harry Potter, toads in of themselves have no special powers, but a chicken egg hatched under a toad will produce a Basilisk.
    ** This is an old legend, which has been pared down. The exact pattern varies, but it generally goes that a rooster (yes, the male chicken) lays an egg which is then hatched in a dung pile by a toad. Nothing about a basilisk is natural.
    • Not strictly a frog, but Umbridge is described frequently as having a "toad-like" face, denoting her ugly nature.
  • The Toad in The Wee Free Men and its sequels. A lawyer who was turned into a toad. In the illustrated edition, his name is given as James Natter.
  • Green Wilma
  • Tuesday, which is about several frogs in a pond mysteriously gaining the ability to fly and wreaking havoc all over town.
  • The boatman who transports the heroes of Spellsinger upriver in The Hour of the Gate is a frog.
  • In Vernor Vinge's novella, True Names, Virginia, the Federal agent in charge of Mr. Slippery's case, chooses to become a frog when entering The Other Plane, as an inconspicuous form to hide in the swamps near the Coven's castle. It also makes it easy for her to pretend to be Slip's familiar when they meet up.
  • In E. D. Baker's The Wide-Awake Princess, an old woman tries to punish Annie by having toads and snakes come from her mouth while she speaks. It rebounds on her, and she gets a stream of them.
  • In Michael Flynn's Spiral Arm novel In the Lion's Mouth, Sleuth deduces that a weapon called "the Frog Prince" will jump.
  • In John Milton's Paradise Lost, Satan lurks "Squat like a Toad".
  • In Japan there is a children's story caled Super Frog Saves Tokio, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Bruce Coville's Magic Shop series includes the book Jennifer Murdley's Toad, with a backstory based on the aforementioned "The Three Little Men in the Wood". The title toad is Bufo, one of many creatures spawned from the girl's mouth and the first toad to do so, giving him the ability to speak and to change other people into toads by kissing them (though he doesn't know about this until the present day; he is also unaware that the transformation will be permanent after ten hours). He is also one of two toads who "happened" with a "Jewel of Perfect Happiness" in his forehead (the other was Esmeralda, the second toad to appear that day), which is why his "mother" spends many years learning to become a witch and searching for both toads in order to acquire the gems in their foreheads. In the present day, with Jennifer Murdley's help, Bufo and Esmeralda are finally reunited, and their "mother" is dealt with, meaning they can live in peace.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Muppet Show
    Sing out for the swamp and sing out for the ooze
    The life of the frog is the life you should choose
    Sing out for the swamp and sing out for the booooooog
    Oh, it's ever so jolly
    Just being a frog

    Kermit, The Muppet Frog Prince
  • The Outer Limits TOS episode "Cry of Silence'' had alien-possessed frogs attacking the human heroes.
  • One of Red Skelton's poems from "Red Skelton More Funny Faces" is about the effects of incessant frog croaking.
  • Dead Like Me, all over the place. Toads represent Death, particularly in the first season, and a Frog and Toad are the first (sort of) characters on-screen. At the beginning of time, god (the lower-case is deliberate) gives Toad is given a jar, which contains Death, and is told never to open it. Frog hops along a few moments later, and starts pestering Toad to let him hold the jar. Toad finally relents, and Frog is so happy, he starts juggling the jar. Two guesses as to what happened then.
    George: Frog... was an asshole.
  • The frog is the Black Ranger's ninja animal in Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, the third season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, and Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie. While frogs being ninjas makes sense in Japan, Mighty Morphin': The Movie had Adam comment that My New Gift Is Lame before it was related to "The Frog Prince".

    Pinball 
  • One of the game modes in Scared Stiff is "Night of the Leapers", where the player must squish several frogs by hitting key targets on the playfield... which has several small (toy) frogs, jumping up and down during the mode.

     Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop RPG 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: True to the classics, spellcaster can obtain a toad Familiar.
    • There's Bullywug — race of frog-like humanoids, Chaotic Evil (as almost everything non-herbivore there). Defeated by tempting them with alcohol which they can't resist and so drink until knocked out by severe intoxication. And there's Grippli — race of slightly humanoid tree frogs about the size of wild cat, mostly peaceful tribal hunters-gatherers. And big, carnivorous frogs, Chaotic Neutral (very chaotic) slaadi, mostly on Outer Planes.
    • There are various types of giant frogs, some of which can swallow a character whole. Killer Frogs, Poisonous Frogs, the Froghemoth monster (a giant frog on steroids and acid), Giant Toads. Also there's a creature in the Book of Exalted Deeds called Apocalypse Frog Swarm.
  • In Warhammer, giant frogs are the direct apprentices of the Precursors, some of the most powerful wizards on the planet, minor gods to the Lizard Folk race they rule and entirely inscrutable know-it-alls. The frog PR department did well on that one, even if they do look a bit like Jabba.
    • There is also the Bretonnian Fay Enchantress, who brings in the classic fairytale Baleful Polymorph version with her Spiteful Glance spell that turns enemies into frogs. An epic version of this spell is also available to all Bretonnian wizards in Storm of Magic games, which affects all enemy characters. A similar effect can also be achieved with the common magic item Sivejir's Hex Scroll (formerly Bufo's Hex Scroll, after the Latin for toad), which temporarily turns an enemy wizard into a toad in response to their casting a spell.
  • Munchkin has a few, including the Flying Frogs in the original and the Froggoth in Munchkin Cthulhu.

    Toys 

    Video Games 
  • Battletoads
  • Frogger
  • Blaster Master has Fred, Jason's pet, who later becomes a boss.
  • In Cave Story, during one of the fights against Balrog, he briefly gets turned into a giant frog for little reason.
  • Chrono Trigger has Glenn... or as he goes by most of the time, Frog. He got hit with a Baleful Polymorph that turned him into a frog-man. He kind of likes it. His final Tech lets him summon a giant frog, which was one of the "Holy crap!" moments in the Attract Mode.
  • In Donkey Kong Country, Winky the frog is one of the Kongs' animal allies. He can jump and is immune to bees.
  • Final Fantasy series usualy have a Baleful Polymorph spell that can turn its targets into frogs. Sometimes frogs are even enemies.
    • Heh, speaking of the Baleful Polymorph version, you have to turn into a frog to overcome one obstacle in Final Fantasy III. In the DS remake, Refia (who doesn't like frogs) complains when you're faced with having to do it a second time.
  • Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu has frogs that give Jackie items.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time had a group of multicolored frogs that pay Link to play music for them.
    • Twilight Princess has a large, froggy miniboss.
    • A frog in Phantom Hourglass gives Link an item that lets him warp, and some frogs out on the ocean teach him how to get back to the spot where you found them using it.
    • Also in Wind Waker, the gods of the wind are a couple of Frogs that teach Link new abilities.
    • Majora's Mask has a frog-like mask (Don Gero Mask) that allows you to talk to frogs, some of which were trapped as as a Mini-Boss, and eventually, turn them into a choir!
  • The enemy Wollywogs in Pikmin.
  • Slippy and his father from the Star Fox series.
  • Super Mario RPG had Tadpole Pond.
  • In Super Mario Bros. 3 Mario can get a Frog suit in World 3. It lets him jump higher and swim freely in all directions.
  • The World Ends with You has nine, count 'em, nine kinds of Frog Noise. They're the first kind that Neku encounters.
  • There's a Sim in My Sims Kingdom who... I'm not sure if he's supposed to be some guy in a frog costume, or actually a frog but with a human face. In either case, when you first encounter him, he's going around scaring the two other sims.
  • One kind of Herra Tick in The Bible Game for the Game Boy Advance is a frog. Not that there's a significant difference between the forms...
  • Jenny from Chibi Robo spends the game wearing a frog outfit. She also speaks in ribbits for the most part.
  • Pokémon
    • In the Pokemon series, the Poliwag (particularly Politoed) and Croagunk evolution lines are based on frogs, though Croagunk and Toxicroak are poisonous and appropriately disturbing. Poor Brock...
    • The Tympole line joins in on this, too. Just keep them away from Grass attacks.
    • Ghetsis has a Seismitoad. It's easily the Breather Round in his grueling battle.
    • Starter Froakie joins the list in Gen VI. It eventually evolves into Greninja, a ninja frog.
  • Jean in Breath of Fire II is introduced to Ryu's party as a giant frog in a lake, and he mentions a curse that needs to be undone. When this is accomplished, he proved to be... an anthropomorphic frog prince.
  • While not quite a frog herself, the goddess Suwako Moriya of the Touhou series is associated with frogs; even her Nice Hat looks like a frog.
    • Meanwhile, ditzy ice fairy Cirno has a hobby of encasing frogs in ice, because they can usually survive this. "Usually", because she drops one in three.
  • The old (and shit) PC fighting game Battle Beast had a villainous "Toadman" and you got bonus points for squishing toads.
  • I have a frog. His name's Frog.
  • The Lizardmen race of Age of Wonders use giant frogs as combat mounts - the Lizardmen deploy amphibious Frog Rider cavalry units, the equally amphibious leaders of the race ride frogs, and they bring out a slightly mutated frog called the Lurker as a Glass Cannon and aquatic spy. Giant frogs sans riders can also be summoned, but as one might expect, aren't very useful in combat.
  • World of Warcraft shamans have the spell Hex which turns enemies into frogs. They're also used in some troll divinations as a type of oracle and are available as pets.
    • Gorlocs resemble nothing so much as sapient frogs; they have hop attacks and even have an idle animation where they use their tongue to catch flying bugs.
  • The Hekett of Guild Wars are large, sapient toads. A small portion of their race has a more humanoid shape but remains decidedly toad-like.
  • Yousuke from Persona 4 has Jiraiya, a mythological ninja who can shape-shift into frogs, as his persona.
  • Mega Man 4 had Toad Man, and later his Alternate Continuity counterpart, ToadMan.EXE. Also, since most NetNavis have human operators, ToadMan.EXE has the unsubtly frog-based reporter Ribitta.
  • Splot, the swamp level in Bug!, features loads of frog enemies. They will usually try to attack Bug with a flyswatter attached to their tongue.
    • The sequel, Bug Too! has the same frogs in, of all levels, Cicada Night Fever. Probably because of licking the toad?
  • One of the boss battles in Yoshi's Island revolves around the fact that Kamek shrinks Yoshi and feeds him to a frog. The object of the battle is to batter the frog's uvula with eggs to get back out. It's also the only boss battle in the game that inverts the Make My Monster Grow trope; you can even see the surprise in Yoshi's face as he realises that he is the one being affected by Kamek's spell.
  • There are two flavours of frog in Spelunky, both of which are highly dangerous due to their erratic jumping patterns. The blue ones instantly die when attacked, but the red ones start spasming for a few seconds before subsequently exploding (though, if they jump into a pool of water, they turn blue).
  • King Wart.
  • Giant anthromorphic frog is one of the many enemies in Suikoden IV. Disturbingly, it gives you S/M gear armour when defeated.
  • Pocket Frogs for the iPad.
  • "*hop* Save your game?"
    • ALL frogs in the game act as save points, even if they're dead. Among the unusualy frog types the player may encounter are a ghost frog, a dead and stuffed frog found in the Chimera Labs, and even the Magical Butterfrog (who isn't proud of his name).
  • The Chef Kyroo, Sir Kyroo, and Lord Kyroo dream eaters in Kingdom Hearts 3D (Kyroo derived from kaeru, the Japanese word for frog). They all pack shields, a melee weapon, and magic, and make for annoying adversaries, but helpful companions.
  • Baron Dante from Croc is a frog. His minions the Dantinis are froglike but there is a suggestion that they were once something else.
  • Several frogs are present in The Floor is Jelly, and even interacts with the bouncy jelly terrain as they hop around much like the player character can.
  • They appear as enemies in the Something series, but they are immune to fire and they ride on pogo sticks.

    Webcomics 
  • Fea from Yamara summoned a familiar, Poopsie—the cutest, sweetest, cuddliest toad in the whole wide world. Whether this or Baleful Polymorph is worse — you decide.
  • Frogs feature rather prominently in Homestuck, and a player in each SBURB session is in charge of breeding them. This is an important task, because the player will end up creating the Genesis Frog, which becomes a new universe.
  • Irregular Webcomic! features giant frogs fairly often; usually, various Deaths are responsible for collecting the souls of people who died from some kind of hilariously improbable incident involving a giant frog.
  • One Koko the Blue storyline has Koko and Marl helping out a Frog Prince.

    Western Animation 
  • One Froggy Evening (Trope Namer cartoon itself)
  • Family Guy and The Simpsons have done stories wherein the characters get high from licking toads.
    • One episode of the latter had Bart Simpson be forced to go to Australia to get his butt kicked as punishment for prank-calling them on the phone. As soon as the Simpson family arrive at Sydney airport, Bart leaves a frog he brought there behind, and is immediately taken in by a kangaroo. At the end of the episode, just right after Bart is proven guilty and hence kicked in the rear, thousands of frogs immediately rush into the courtroom and start attacking everyone there. When the Simpsons are on the airplane heading back to the US, a koala can be seen grabbing onto the plane's landing gear.
  • Flip The Frog
  • Futurama has-ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD!
  • Will's favourite animal in W.I.T.C.H. is the frog.
    • Which doesn't prevent her from offering to dissect one of her friends' frogs in biology class, meaning she does not plan to Free the Frogs or they were already dead. It's stressed in the original comic book/magazine that she only likes ''stuffed'' frogs.
  • Michigan J. Frog
  • In an episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy, the Eds visit a pond to look for frogs for a scam. At one point Ed dresses up like one.
    Eddy: Give 'em some more leg, Ed!
  • Ed and Bev Bighead from Rocko's Modern Life.
  • Toadhog from Jungle Junction.
  • Frog from Word World.
  • Rupert and the Frog Song
  • Slapper from Transformers: Robots In Disguise.
  • Kaeloo
  • The Incurseans from the Ben 10 series are bloodthirsty anthropomorphic frogs.


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