"That's human nature for you. Even if you're a penguin."Ever hear a Funny Animal say, "I'm only human."? Weird, ain't it? This may indicate that a Funny Animal is unaware that he is an animal. This may also apply to actions, such as a dog eating ice cream or chocolate without getting sick, or a weasel having a romantic relationship with a human with no comment whatsoever. Most likely, it implies that the creator views the character's appearance as simply cosmetic; as far as the setting is concerned, they're just as human as you, no matter what they might look like. Ever wonder why Mickey Mouse was never shown with cheese in the theatrical cartoons? Disney himself forbade it!
— The Narrator, The Three Caballeros
"Cheese makes Mickey seem like a mouse. He's really not a mouse, you know, he's really more a human."Sometimes, of course, this simply happens because Most Writers Are Human. Can be combined with Furry Reminder for comedic effect. Related to Furry Confusion and Anthropomorphic Shift. Not to be confused with denying you are part of the Furry Fandom. If a non-human is knowingly and ironically referring to himself as human, it's In the Original Klingon. Sub-Trope of I Would Say If I Could Say. Contrast Furry Reminder.
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Anime and Manga
- This often happens to Meowth in Pokémon.
- A particularly funny example was in the episode where Meowth, Team Rocket, Ash and Misty have a Pokémon tournament to decide who gets to keep Togepi. When it's Meowth's turn to duel, he realizes he has no Pokémon. After failing to get Team Rocket to lend him one of theirs, it suddenly dawns on him that he's a Pokémon and can thus act as his own trainer. Hilarity Ensues.
- In One Piece, Tony Tony Chopper is a reindeer that ate a Devil Fruit called the "Human Human Fruit" ("Hito Hito no Mi" in Japan), which gave him human awareness and intelligence, as well as the ability to transform into a human (although he looks like a Beast Man in that form) and a hybrid form that's a cross between the human form and his original reindeer form. This trope is mostly averted, as Chopper is fully aware that he's still a reindeer, but on at least one occasion during the Fishman Island arc, Jinbe exclaimed that Luffy and the Straw Hats shouldn't fight the New Fishman Pirates. Chopper (along with Franky, a Cyborg) wonder why and ask "Is it because... we're humans?", to which Sanji replies:
Sanji: Don't you two say it!! That just makes things more confusing!!
- There's also Pappug the starfish. When he was young, he thought he was a human, because he confused the word "hitode" (which is Japanese for "starfish") for the word "hito" (Japanese for "human"). Averted as he grew older and realized he was a starfish all this time. Now, he's a full-fledged Funny Animal.
- Kitty of Hello Kitty fame isn't supposed to be an actual cat, but a little girl... Who is shaped like a cat. It makes as much sense as Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck being human for all intents and purposes.
- Played with in the Special Edition of Star Wars: "Jabba, you're a wonderful human being." When the scene was originally shot, Jabba was a human being. Lucas decided not to use the scene until the Special Edition where he could replace the human actor with a CGI Jabba. It wound up being somewhat serendipitous since the line comes off as slightly sarcastic and quite fitting for Han Solo's character.
- A sort of third-person variant. In the Discworld series, the other wizards, and most of Ankh-Morpork, have gotten so used to the Librarian's form (he was turned into an Orangutan early in the series), that it's mentioned if an outsider had told the Wizards they saw an orangutan in the library, they'd probably go and ask the Librarian if he'd seen it.
- In-universe example in the X-Wing Series. Apparently "We're only human" is a phrase there, too, and a non human character pointedly states that while the speaker is human, he is not.
- The Sesame Street tie-in Picture Book The Monster at the End of This Book is probably this for Grover. Grover spends the entire book trying to stop readers from encountering a monster at the end of the book, only to find that he is that monster.
- Garfield once forgot he was a cat and shaved off his facial hair.
- In a Peanuts comic strip from 1991, Snoopy was about to drink from a water fountain at Charlie Brown's school when a girl saw him and said, "Hey! There's a dog in the hall!" Snoopy looked around and replied, "Where?"
- In an earlier story, Sally is doing a report on animals. Snoopy is initially reluctant to help her because he claims that "I don't know any animals" (this means that he doesn't consider birds to be animals, either).
- The Dog from Footrot Flats has also once said this. As his name implies - he is a dog.
- In Calvin and Hobbes, while hiking, Calvin scares Hobbes by shouting, "LOOK! A TIGER!"
- Given that Bill Watterson cites Pogo as a major influence, perhaps it was based on a similar joke in a Pogo strip, between Howland Owl and Albert Alligator:
Howland: Do you know what el legarto means?Albert: (indifferently) A cigar?Howland: 'An alligator'!Albert: WHERE?!
- In the "Black Velvetopia" level of Psychonauts, one of the artist dogs mentioned that he's forced to hide in the alley "Like a lowdown dog". One of the lines you have the option of replying with is "Okay, promise you won't take this the wrong way, but you ARE a dog".
- The Sam & Max: Freelance Police episode "The Penal Zone" has Max, an anthropomorphic rabbit, telling Sam, an anthropomorphic dog, that his psychic powers make him the next stage in "our" evolution. Whose evolution, exactly?
Sam: Who knows what effect it had on civilisation?Max: Maybe it's a planet of talking animals ambling about on their hind legs like humans!Sam: Oh, that's just silly.
- The comics give us this intentional example:
- Played with in Sam & Max Hit the Road, where they buy a coloring book. Sam can ask Max if he wants to do any coloring, and Max points out that he's colorblind. Sam then realises, "Me, too." The coloring book can still be used with what are explicitly Max's crayons, and there's several puzzles in the game which rely on colour codes.
- In Dust: An Elysian Tail at the end of the "Out To Dry" quest, Fidget states she would like to "maul [Gianni's] face off" to which Dust replies "Manners Fidget, it's what separates us from the animals." This is perhaps intended to be doubly funny as Dust and Fidget occupy different positions in the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism.
- A Girl and Her Fed includes in its cast Speedy, an intelligence-enhanced koala.
Speedy: I didn't fall out of the eucalyptus tree yesterday, kitten. If I want to be jerked around, I'll find myself a zoo. So shut your yap and mind your manners and we can pretend that we're both real human beings.
- In Femmegasm, Sonic the Hedgehog does this.
- The furry enthusiasts in Untitled were told by a Furry to get a life.
- Very prevalent in Nature of Nature's Art, as seen above. In fact, it's explicitly stated that animals took the name "man" for themselves.
- The cast of Arthur (and the book series it's based on) are basically a bunch of average kids, their families and teachers....who just happen to be different anthropomorphic critters.
- The Cartoon Network series I Am Weasel uses this trope frequently. A rather hilarious example may be when Weasel said something along the lines of, "They may only be baboons, but they're still human!"
- In one Looney Tunes cartoon, Sylvester (a Talking Animal) is trying to catch and eat a bluebird, much to the dismay of his son (a Funny Animal). The following exchange occurs:
Sylvester Jr.: Oh, father. You're just not human.
Sylvester Sr.: Of course I'm not human - I'm a cat!
- One of Elmer Fudd's few solo cartoons had him watching his boss's dog, Rover, for a few days. His boss informed him that Rover believed himself to be human and expected Elmer to treat him that way. Throughout the cartoon, Elmer would slip up (feeding Rover dog food, or have him watch a Lassie expy, etc), causing Rover to be offended.
- Futurama had a rather funny example of this:
Bender: C'mon, Fry, I really wanna see [Past-O-Rama]. You know how I yearn for a simpler time. A time of barn dances and buggy rides, before life was cheapened by heartless hi-tech machines.
Leela: But, Bender, you are—
(Bender holds his hands to his ear units and shakes his head.)
Bender: You're my best friend, Fry, I'm sorry I treated you so badly.
- Also, we have this:
Fry: Apology accepted. After all, you're only human.
(They pat each other on the backs)
Leela: Wait a minute! You did it all backwards.
(Fry and Bender stop and look towards Leela)
Leela: Fry's the one who should be— Oh, never mind!
- In Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, Scooby was chasing cats when their owner told Shaggy to stop his dog. Scooby's response? "Rog, Rhere?"
- Mutant League: When primary hero Bones Justice (a living skeleton-like mutant) suffers a loss of confidence in his abilities and becomes a dick about it, his scaly friend Razor Kid works to bring him out of it. After recovering by the episode's end, a now confident Bones quotes Razor's own words back at him. "Hey, I'm only human. Sort of."
- Brian the dog from Family Guy Zig-Zags with this.
Peter: Holy crap! You can talk!
- In one episode, Brian campaigned for equal rights for dogs, only for all the humans around to treat him like an idiot. This was presumably because, other than Brian and rare, one-off characters like his gay cousin Jasper, every other dog in the show's universe is an ordinary animal. Most of the time, though, the characters treat Brian as human (including the women he sleeps with), but then occasionally jarring the viewer with some reminder that he has at least some canine qualities.
- In the Donald Duck short "Early to Bed", he quips "Maybe I'm just a duck, but I'm human."
Huey: You can't lock Unca' Donald in your old zoo!
- In the Carl Barks comic "The Trail of the Unicorn", Scrooge McDuck sends for Donald to help capture the one animal he is missing from his zoo, but the nephews take this the wrong way and interrupt his exposition with the following protest:
Dewey and Louie: And, besides, he isn't an animal!
- Both Don Rosa and Carl Barks famously claimed that Donald is rather a man that happens to look like duck.
Willie The Giant (as The Ghost of Christmas Present): Fe! Fi! Fo! Fum!
- In Mickey's Christmas Carol, Scrooge McDuck, who's playing Ebenezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol is referred to as an "Englishman", despite being a duck, let alone a Scottish one.
I smell. I mean, I smell.
A stingy little Englishman!
I think I do.
- Ralph Bakshi's reasoning for why the anthropomorphic characters in Fritz the Cat and Coonskin never act like animals is that it would ruin what he was trying to create, which was a more realistic and mature form of animation. This is specifically the reason why a scene in Fritz the Cat where Duke the Crow saves Fritz was changed from R. Crumb's comic; Crumb had Duke flying Fritz away from a car crash, whereas he grabs a railing in the film. Bakshi admits that he wasn't entirely satisfied with the solution, but it kept him from using any "animal" behavior to further the plot.
- In South Park, Cartman's attempt to prank Butters by disgusing himself as a robot goes out of hand, and he ends up captured by government officials who believe he's a robot with memories and consciousness and has this trope in effect, a belief which lasts up until his Unrobotic Reveal.
- In The Looney Tunes Show episode "That's My Baby" Tina Russo's sister's baby, Zachary, is never referred to as a duckling even though he is one. He is instead always referred to as a baby as if he were a human baby. Also, he's drinking milk, which human and other mammal babies drink, not ducklings or any other baby bird for that matter.
- In "Daffy - The Commando," Daffy Duck wears a shirt labeled "Human Cannon Ball" when he flies into Berlin, Germany.
- Though knowing Daffy it isn't too off to think he'd wear one even if he is a duck.
- In "Daffy - The Commando," Daffy Duck wears a shirt labeled "Human Cannon Ball" when he flies into Berlin, Germany.
- In one Top Cat episode, TC leaves one of his gang as collateral for a loan. The lender is perplexed: "A human collateral?" Then again, the only time in the entire series when the gang actually behave like cats is when they spend the winter at Dibble's, and they all jump into the only bed, crowding Dibble out and pushing him onto the floor: anyone with a cat knows what THAT's like.
- This happens quite often on Goof Troop. In one episode, a bystander said that PJ "can't be human". They also make frequent references to things being "humanly possible". Everyone in-universe seems to be some sort of cat (Pete and P.J.) or dog (every other "anthro" character) except for occasional cameos (which aren't human either).
- One episode of ThunderCats (2011) has Lion-O speak of someone losing their humanity, even though there are no humans ever featured in the series.
- Mickey Mouse, besides the ears and tail, is barely a mouse himself. Walt Disney wouldn't let him be shown eating cheese. However, cartoons such as House of Mouse, created long after Walt's death, actually do show him having an affinity to cheese.
- The Amazing World of Gumball frequently hangs a lampshade on instances of this, like Gumball pointing out that it's pointless for Tina (a T. rex) to get piano lessons because she only has 4 fingers, or Gumball trying to throttle Darwin but failing because Darwin doesn't have a neck. One instance that is never commented on is Teri's obsession with washing hands despite being made of paper.
- "The Mustache" featured Miss Simian talking about the human body...even though none of the students are human.
- Spongebob Squarepants has several times talked about "getting some fresh air", despite being a water-breathing animal. It's also lampshaded in an episode where Krabs offers him a glass of water, then goes to a water cooler turns the nozzle and nothing comes out, he then hands it to spongebob... who apparently drinks it...
- Count Duckula has the Count run afoul of a couple of Egyptian cultists, who believe that as soon as the god Ra has had his fill of Human Sacrifice, he will raise their pharaoh from the dead. Duckula lives in a world of anthropomorphic birds.
Count Duckula: Ah, human sacrifice.Yubi: Well, more or less human, give or take a feather.
- In Superman: The Animated Series Brainiac attributes (the Kryptonian) Jor-El's doomsday predictions to "human error".