Something's not right here...
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? Disney himself forbade it!
"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
of I Would Say If I Could Say
. Contrast Furry Reminder
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Anime and Manga
- Maus, a comic book about Holocaust by Art Spiegelman. The Jews are mice, Germans are cats, Poles are pigs, but generally, this is only their appearance.
- 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 "A 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.
- 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?
- The comics give us this intentional example:
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.
- 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 seperates 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.
- 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!
- 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.
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 the first Scooby-Doo movie, 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.
- Far too many times to list on Arthur
- In the Donald Duck short "Early to Bed", he quips "Maybe I'm just a duck, but I'm human."
- 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:
You can't lock Unca' Donald in your old zoo! 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!
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 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, House of Mouse, created long after Walt's death, actually does show him having an affinity to cheese.
- It also shows him drinking from giant giant water dispenser and exercising in a hamster wheel.
- 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.
- SpongeBob SquarePants has several times talked about "getting some fresh air", despite being a water-breathing animal.
- Count Duckula has the titular 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.
Yubi: Well, more or less human, give or take a feather.