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Furry Reminder

"SOMETIMES, THEY'RE DINOSAURS."
Alt text for This Dinosaur Comics strip

So, we have an anthropomorphic animal who acts just like a human. Stands on hind legs, talks, interacts with humans just like he's one of them, they treat him just like a human... it seems the only difference between him and a human is that he has fur and a tail. But then, when the audience has forgotten what he is... he does something that's actually animal-like! If he's a dog, he might suddenly stop what he's doing to chase a cat, if he's a cat, he might happily give someone a dead mouse.

This trope is most common with animals on the Civilized Animal, Funny Animal, or Petting Zoo People tiers. This can sometimes happen to animals on the Nearly Normal Animal, Talking Animal, or Partially Civilized Animal tiers, but animals of those tiers move around like their real life counterpart, tend not to be treated like or act like humans, and don't seem to be prone to Furry Denial or "purely aesthetic species" syndrome. If a Cat Girl or other Little Bit Beastly drops a furry reminder, it tends to get jarring as they look completely human aside from their animal ears and tail.

This trope doesn't necessarily involve an Anthropomorphic Shift, but can sometimes be applied after a shift has occurred to remind us that the character is still as much an animal as he was before.

There is a variant of this trope involving stuffed animals and toys, especially those that seem more like actual living things to viewers, that reminds viewers that the character or characters are in fact stuffed or toys. The most common example of this involves either an arm or leg getting ripped or ripped of or part of their body getting a rip in it.

If he's trying to hide the behavior, but it accidentally comes out, it's My Instincts Are Showing.

This is a furry reminder, reminding both the audience and the characters what species a character really is. Contrast Furry Denial. Compare Anthropomorphic Zig Zag. The toy and stuffed animal variant occurs most frequently on toys on Level 5 on the Sliding Scale of Living Toys.


Examples:

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     Anime and Manga 
  • There is an InuYasha episode where, at the start, Kagome gets Inuyasha to fetch a stick, much to his annoyance.
    • Inuyasha, sit!
    • He'll also shake off like a dog when wet, or scratch his ear with his foot, in addition to his nose being always being damp, only drying out when he has a cold, he buried Kaede (he thought she was dead until he realized she was alive and left her head sticking out of the ground) in episode four with his foot, and when tracking a scent, he is down on all fours.
  • Jackie Chun in Dragon Ball defeats Man-Wolf in the Budokai by making him 'fetch' a bone thrown out of the ring.
  • Neko-sensei from Princess Tutu will occasionally wash himself like the cat he is,
  • The chimeras in Fullmetal Alchemist sometimes exhibit traits of the animals they've been fused with. Some inherit handy things like enhanced senses of smell, increased strength, the ability to climb vertical surfaces or an "animal instinct" which tells them when they should fight and when they should run away, some do things only vaguely related to the animal they're fused with like adhesive saliva projectiles and shooting spines but others just do funny things like pee standing on one leg, something Martel teases Dorchetto about.
  • The animal characters of Shirokuma Cafe exhibit this fairly often (for example, Panda eating bamboo).
  • It both occurs and is occasionally subverted in Hyper Police. Natsuki Sasahara, the protagonist, is a Cat Girl and sometimes acts in a typically catgirlish sort of way, except that it's not always a result of her nature but because she artificially tries to act that way; she seems to be obsessed with cats in a human sort of way, and sometimes when life is too hard or when she has too much responsibility, wishes she was just a cat.
  • This happened occasionally with Meowth in the early Pokémon episodes. Team Rocket distracted him at least once with a ball of yarn that he excitedly ran after and played with.
  • The dogs in Ginga Densetsu Weed have their mouths open near constantly, a nice touch reminding the viewers that these are dogs and not humans in little fur suits.

     Comic Books 

    Fan Fic 
  • D. G. D. Davidson's My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfics (Fanfiction, Fimfiction) make a point of making it clear that the characters are horses who happen to think like humans, not humans who happen to have horse bodies. The characters' body parts are referred to in terms of equine anatomy ("pastern", "cannon", "frog" etc.), and other horse terminology is used too (such as calling one's parents "dam" and "sire"). Also, there are references to mares being in heat only in spring. The author, apparently, was surprised to find out that most bronies aren't experts on horsemanship and that the terminology would go over their heads.
  • This Is The Life uses this quite regularly as well, with the human protagonist often being surprised when the ponies do pony things. One chapter even references this trope almost directly, with him remarking that he tends to forget they are ponies because for the most part they think like humans.
  • In Sophistication And Betrayal, the protagonist gets Rarity some flowers when taking her out on a date, and is promptly surprised when she eats one for taste. The next time he slips a note in, reminding her not to eat them immediately.
  • In Gensokyo 20 XX, we have these with Ran. Occasionally it is acknowledged that she would act fox-like, on example of this being that she would consume rodents on occasion, which foxes actually do. There is also the fact that in once it is noted that she does make sounds that foxes make, like gekkering when she got in a fight. There is also the fact that she's bore a few litters, something foxes also do, though, in that case it can be hand waved in that Amoridere isn't sure if kitsune bear litters or just one if not two. Apparently, she goes though a molt cycle, again also something foxes tend to do but that is when it's warm (in the spring to be more precise).
    • From 20XXV, it was mentioned that Chen, a nekomata, purrs to herself,something that cats would do as a way of comforting themselves, particularly when in extreme pain, and, previously, it was noted that she used to hunt mice and rats.
  • From My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic III: "And he threw his head high up into the air and let out a very loud and mournful NEIGH... just like the pony he was."

    Film 
  • Done in Up, in which the dogs are distracted by squirrels. This proves handy on a number of occasions.
  • The animals in Fantastic Mr. Fox do various animal-ish things throughout the film, but the real kicker is how they eat at the dinner table.
  • Puss in Boots is full of it, usually in relation to Puss himself, who acts like a Zorro Expy, until we see him drink milk (by rapidly lapping from the shot glass), purr, lick himself, make big kitty eyes (usually intentional), make cat noises when someone hits him with an object, chase a sunbeam, or bring an apparently dead animal to his adopted mother.
    • In Shrek, he gets a hairball. And does the big kitty eyes thing.
  • Dr. Doppler from Treasure Planet is an anthropomorphic dog who for some reason actually eats out of a dog dish. With a spoon.
  • Chicken Little shows various animals dropping furry reminders from time to time.
  • Several in the Kung Fu Panda films. It usually manifests as characters using their animal traits in combat, making realistic animal sounds, Running on All Fours, etc.
    • In Kung Fu Panda 2, Master Mantis references the fact that the female mantis bites the head off of the male in mating.
  • The Cars franchise shows a Sentient Vehicle equivalent of this trope to remind viewers that the characters are in fact still cars or other vehicles.
  • In the climax of Ted, the eponymous teddy bear rips in half.
  • In The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Pooh's seam rips a little as he does his stretches. Eeyore's tail is also attached with a tack. And while Pooh, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, Tigger, and Eeyore are toys, Owl, Rabbit, and Gopher are real animals who live in the Woods.
  • In Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted in the scene where Vitaly the tiger and Alex the lion are arguing about the former's leaving, Alex tries to tear out some of Vitaly's things, he droppes ball of yarn and they both spontaneously start to throw it up like regular cats.

     Literature 
  • In the Discworld, Gaspode the Wonder Dog is a normal backstreet mongrel living on his wits until one day he is cursed with human-level sentience. Every so often he reverts to canine nature, such as his ill-fated courtship of werewolf Angua.
    I don't suppose there's a chance of a little sniff...
    None whatsoever.
  • After a while, the moles of Duncton Wood start to read less like sentient animals and more like hobbits in moleskin trousers. Then they snack on earthworms or do something true-to-species and the reader is reminded.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Cat of Red Dwarf may be humanoid, but don't get him wet or put him near a dog. In the first season, his behaviour is very reminiscent of a cat's; for instance, his tendency to spray everything and claim it as his own, his love of raw fish, and his Blue and Orange Morality. He becomes gradually less cat-like as the seasons go on.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Garfield likes to try to eat birds.
    • And occasionally he'll shed and hack up hairballs, much to Jon's disgust.
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Hobbes often likes to hide and then pounce on Calvin. He also subscribes to National Geographic... so he can look at all the attractive female tigers.
    • Every once in a while, there's a Stuffed Animal Reminder when Hobbes is seen from the perspective of an adult. He then looks like a normal stuffed toy, not the anthromorphic tiger we usually see.
  • Pooch Cafe: Poncho (and all of the other dogs in the strip) can talk and think like humans, but their instincts will sometimes get the better of them and they'll do things like chase cars or eat garbage.
  • In Peanuts, Snoopy, despite a gradual Anthropomorphic Shift over the first couple of decades, still lives in a dog house and eats from his dog bowl.

    Video Games 
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police: Sam and Max are a dog and a rabbit. They very rarely actually exhibited animal-like behaviour, until The Devil's Playhouse, where Sam's doglike qualities were suddenly constantly exaggerated for comic effect. More specifically, he's shown to pant with his tongue out in hot places, growl and bark when angry, have trouble eating peanut butter (which is actually the solution to a puzzle), and wear a plastic cone when he gets injured. At one point, Max claims that one of Sam's worst fears is 'being put in a carrier to go to the vet's'.
    • Max's rabbity qualities are underplayed compared to Sam's other than his bounciness and fondness of gnawing on things, but there's still a few references in Season 3 - at one point, he mentions to Sam that he's constantly chased around by beautiful women. Sam promptly replies that they've been through this already and the women only want to test cosmetics on him.
    • From the comic book:
      Sam: (beaten up and disraught) They kicked me — and punched me — and swatted my nose with a rolled-up magazine.
    • Sam's crying in Hit The Road sounds like dog 'crying', or whining, rather than like human tears. And his singing in the Telltale games sounds more like a dog howling along to music (but with words!) than it does human singing. His Big "NO!" in They Stole Max's Brain! is less of a human shout, and more of a dog's howl.
    • In the Hit The Road comic story, Sam attacks a hoodlum robbing a convenience store by biting his hand. He admits afterward that he's never done that before and it was embarrassing.
    • Combined with Fridge Horror for Black Comedy effect in Hit The Road, when Max cheerfully observes that as a rabbit, he can only expect to live to be five. note 
  • In the Sly Cooper games, one of the titular protagonist's idle animations has him using his cane to scratch his back, which results in one of his legs twitching like a dog's (even though he's a raccoon).
  • In Solatorobo, Caninu (dog-people) are shown as catching flying discs in their mouths like regular dogs in lore, and Red himself is quite fond of chewing on a Stock Femur Bone.
  • The birds in Hatoful Boyfriend are mostly an inch between Civilized Animals and Funny Animals, but Oko San, a fantail pigeon, is more birdlike than the others. He talks in coos which are translated, has a hyperactive, arrogant and extremely stupid personality, and his 'human' portrait is just a pigeon in a school uniform. He was based on the writer's real life pet bird, and serves mostly to remind the player that the cast really are birds.
    • At one point, San is made to wear a maid costume as part of a class fundraiser. Ryouta, a rock dove, tries to convince him he looks okay, and holds up a mirror to prove it. San, since he lacks the ability to pass the mirror test, can't tell that it's his reflection and starts trying to court it.
    • When the class all leave wishes on the tree for Tanabata, everyone leaves well-spoken messages except for Oko San, whose is covered in footprints and spots of ink (or possibly droppings).
      • When the game takes its Cerebus Syndrome shift on the Bad Boys Love route, it's revealed that the uplifting event which granted the birds their humanoid intelligence works faster on some species than others. San is an "older breed", which going by supplementary material doesn't appear to mean fantail pigeons in general. Maybe just throwbacks.
    • For most of both games the bird characters other than Okosan act largely like humans with feathers and the ability to fly who hold things with their wings, though now and then the word "hand" slips through. Still, a quail character once remarks that it's good he didn't see something scary, or he would have hit the ceiling - quails instinctively flee by flying straight up. And in Holiday Star, there's a single moment of purest bird behavior.
    Sakuya sticks his beak in the air and coos irritatedly.
    • Dr. Shuu Iwamine, a Chukar Partridge, has an Evil Laugh. Which is actually the call of the Chukar Partridge.
  • Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games: While most of the Sonic the Hedgehog characters have human-like swimming styles (even Tails' doggy paddle is a Continuity Nod to the Genesis games), Vector the Crocodile has a unique swimming style, which is functionally identical to the way real crocodiles swim.
  • The secondary protagonist of the Jak and Daxter series, Daxter, actually began the series as a human. However, after his transformation into an ottsel, he's picked up more animal-like habits. While he normally uses his hind legs for walking and running, he will occasionally drop to all fours, has been seen using one of his hind legs to scratch behind his ears, and likes to be petted and scratched.
  • A running gag in Let's Meow Meow is that the Little Bit Beastly cast members are, despite all appearances, still descended from their animal stock. Mikan, the Cat Girl main female, is easily distracted by feather dusters, can be mesmerized with foxtails, and purrs when happy. Likewise, dog-girl Shinju considers showing her belly (a sign of submission in canids) to be the most romantic thing she can do.

    Webcomics 
  • Florence, the "Bowman's Wolf" engineer in Freefall, acts very human (though she admits she has to fake some of her behavior for the benefit of the humans and human-programmed robots with which she interacts), but she'll run on all fours if she's in a hurry, and will happily chase a thrown ball.
    • Her catching instinct has sometimes caused her serious trouble, for example while being in a moving car, or seeing a fast-moving object on screen.
      • When she's not forcibly reminding herself otherwise, she has a habit of interpreting other peoples' behavior as though they were wolves. Her captain, who comes from a species of scavengers, is constantly doing things like stealing her half-finished lunch while she's distracted, leading her to assume he's behaving like an omega wolf for her benefit, which clashes with her notion of him being higher up the chain of command.
  • Krosp III, Emperor of All Cats from Girl Genius, was an ordinary cat uplifted through Mad Science, and given dominion over all cats... but that didn't work out so well (being cats and all.), so he ended up joining up with the eponymous female genius, Agatha, to avoid getting 'disposed of' as a failed experiment. He's highly intelligent and sophisticated, talks, and generally acts human... except for when he merrily bites the head off a live rat, or runs off chasing a piece of string. The last one was particularly noticeable, since it was Agatha specifically demonstrating to him that despite his advanced intellect, he was still a slave to his feline impulses.
  • While Lunar Exalted technically start out human and only become animal-themed shapeshifters after exaltation, Marena still demonstrates the trope nicely in this Keychain of Creation strip.
  • Sebastian, eloquent, sophisticated and sarcastic talking, magical housecat from Clan of the Cats is often foiled in his arguments when somebody teases him with a cat toy. This became even more of an issue when he became a kitten for awhile.
  • Homestuck: For Johns birthday Jaspersprite (A cat) meows the happy birthday song, and Jade (half human girl, half First Guardian dog) starts barking, and eventually chases after Jaspers.
  • The Whiteboard: While the Petting Zoo People in the cast for the most part act entirely human, sometimes animal behaviors can be seen.
  • Drugsand Kisses: In this strip a character is shown tearing up bread to feed to ducks, the camera moves and it is revealed the ducks are anthropomorphic beggars.
  • In No Rest for the Wicked, Perrault is a Funny Animal who lives in luxury with his "master," the Marquis. However, he still occasionally turns back into a "normal" cat to catch mice, and claims that no cat can resist actually hunting.
  • Commander Kitty has little touches such as the red panda Nin Wah possessing bamboo-flavored chewing gum, or Ace brandishing his feline claws to fight with.
  • In Sequential Art Kat deals with some birds that were annoying her and Art in a rather species-characteristic manner.
  • In S.S.D.D Naps is good at climbing telephone poles thanks to his claws, but not too great at getting back down.

     Web Original 
  • In Happy Tree Friends, Petunia and Disco Bear were on a date, and Disco Bear acts a bit too... forward... with her as they're in the parked car. Cut to a shot of Disco Bear getting sprayed while Petunia is off screen. Since she's a skunk, that probably wasn't Mace....
  • In the Universal Mary-Sue Litmus Test, one of the "De-Suifier" questions asks "If your character is a non-human, does he/she react in very non-human ways or in ways more appropriate to his/her species?" Hovering over the word "reacts" lists some examples, including "A wolf hybrid whose first instinct is to eat the roadkill" and "A half-cat who actually spits at people he/she finds threatening".
  • Black Betty, a superhero from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe who possesses animalistic "skunk powers", including a fairly impressive set of claws, fangs, and a nicely heightened sense of smell in addition to the first thing you thought of when you read the phrase "skunk powers". She's been known to make involuntary musk attacks when startled or surprised.
    • Likewise, the superheroine Felina (a Cat Girl) can be easily distracted by small, quick movements, and has been known to take naps on any random flat surface around her team's headquarters.
  • In Darwin's Soldiers, the writers often reference anatomy or behaviors of the nonhuman characters to reinforce the point that they are well, nonhuman. Canine, feline and equine characters often have their ears described as flattening or pivoting towards sounds and in response to various stimuli. Snake characters are always mentioned as slithering or having fangs or gulping down food whole. Avian characters are sometimes shown using their beaks as weapons.
    • The most extreme example was when Dr. Zanasiu reminds his girlfriend (who is a dhole) that he has forty six chromosomes while she has seventy eight. By the way, the chromosome counts are accurate.
    • It's also shown that reptiles cannot sweat to cool off.
  • In Fall Of The Crystal Empire, Princess Luna gives a decidedly horse-like snort in contempt of King Sombra's attempt to turn her to his side.
  • This Very Wiki has a Just for Fun page for the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Show Within a Show Daring Do, from the PoV of hypothetical online ponies. Furry Reminders abound; for example, vegetation in the wilderness is filed under Food Porn.
  • In RWBY, when Blake inadvertently reveals herself to be a cat Faunus, a shocked Ruby remarks: note 
    "She does like tuna a lot..."
    • Similarly, her cat ears twitch when listening to distant noises.
    • Yang invokes this at one point, by shining a laser pointer at her to get her close enough to have a private conversation. It works... only because she was irritated by it shining while she was working, not mesmerized.
    • Additionally, she is the only member of the team to dislike the puppy that Ruby and Yang's father sent.
  • Tried and failed in Dusk's Dawn. The De Noir son states that he's turning nine, and at the start of the musical number sings that "Today I am/A kid no more". Problem: real stallions are considered mature somewhere between a year to three years old (depending on the rancher), and in FiM, there's at least one normal character (Grannie Smith) who's lived to be at least one hundred years old, implying that MLP ponies age at human rates. So either De Noir is an incredibly slow bloomer, or he's kidding himself about being an adult.

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy has Brian, who started as a talking dog, but through the course of the series, has become more and more human. Although every once in a while, you're reminded that he still is a dog:
    • Not being able to stand when in a moving van
    • Occasional barking or wagging his tail
    • In a Flash Forward, when he's shown in heaven, Brian admits that he died from eating chocolate.
    • "Oh my god! You can talk!"
    • A lot of the comedy in Brian comes when he acts like a dog while still talking in a deep, suave human voice:
      "Yes, I would like the ball. Yes, I would - I would enjoy playing with it. Yes. Please may I have the ball?" (runs off, returns) "Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you threw the ball."
      "Hey! Hey you! Hey, other dog! ... F*** YOU!"
      • On the same vein as the above quote, he is also show to not recognize his own reflection in the mirror, instead thinking it's another, different dog.
      • Then again, Peter makes the same mistake.
    • Occasional references are made to his age (seven), and Peter also addressed the fact that Brian will only live a fraction of the time Peter will.
    • In the earlier episodes he used to sit similar to how a dog would. In recent episodes though he sits like any other normal human would.
    • He also lives in irrational terror of "Mr Hoover" and has an intense dislike of dog whistles.
    • One episode has him complaining about being given gray M&Ms. Naturally, we saw them as colorful.
    • In one scene in the pilot, he's seen peeing at a fire hydrant, but is standing the way a human male would urinate, even shaking off the excess once he was done.
  • Eek! The Cat is a Talking Animal / Funny Animal that often partakes in human activities, but is also a pet cat and cannot speak to his owners, although he appears to be able to speak to other human characters.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants bragged that he could "reproduce by budding", and then proved it by sprouting multiple heads.
    • He also mentioned that his people were sedentary and filter-feed.
    • Mr. Krabs once acted embarrassed after shedding his shell.
    • There was also an episode where Sandy Cheeks shows her squirrel nature by preparing to hibernate for the winter.
    • Squidward is normally depicted with his tentacles arranged as if he were a biped, however from time to time he'll be seen in a decidedly more cephalopodian light, even secreting ink on Spongebob in the bathtubnote .
      • He also sporadically inks when he's temporarily turned into a giant.
    • There's also "Karate Star", where Patrick rips his own arm off, then regrows it, then the arm regrows another Patrick.note 
  • Futurama - the Chicken-Lawyer, with a very Matlock-style bearing, is reassuring a little girl on the witness stand, then suddenly lunges at her with an alarming squawk.
  • The Simpsons - In the episode "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)", Homer encounters his spirit guide, a "Space Coyote" (talking coyote), who explains to Homer that he must go on a quest to find his soul mate. After about a minute, when the conversation begins to get serious and intellectual, the coyote unexpectedly begins aggressively gnawing on Homer's ankle. Homer kicks him off and says "Hey! Knock it off!" to which the coyote responds "Sorry, I am a coyote".
    • Played with in the next scene after Homer comes to, and is trying to make sense of his Mushroom Samba:
    Homer: And that talking coyote was really just a talking dog.
    Dog: Hi, Homer! Find your soulmate!
    Homer: Hey, wait a minute...there's no such thing as a talking dog!
    (Dog barks normally)
    Homer: Damn straight!
    • In a Halloween special, Itchy & Scratchy escape from the TV into the real world with the intention to kill the Simpsons and find (to their likely surprise) that they aren't actually human-sized. Easily overpowered, Itchy is thrown into a hamster box (where he starts to run in the exercize wheel immediately) and Scratchy falls in love with Snowball II (prompting Marge to say that they should neuter him - and Scratchy shrieking in horror).
  • In Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Daisy and Minnie toss a ball of yarn to Pete (a cat) and he gets distracted by it for a while.
  • In Minnie's Bow-Toons, Clarabelle Cow is heard mooing as she slipped on water in the episode, "Leaky Pipes."
  • In one cartoon shown within the show, House of Mouse, Mickey says that Pete is the only cat that Pluto can chase.
    • In some episodes, Mickey is shown drinking from a giant water dispenser, like the ones used for small pets. He also exercises on a large hamster wheel.
  • In the original My Little Pony series ponies had a Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism depending on the media. In the media where they were more like Partially Civilized Animal's, like My Little Pony And Friends, they still exhibited behavior of horses like licking each other in a non-romantic way.
    • The female-to-male ratio in all series is an unintentional (?) case. Feral horse groups lack males for the most part, with rarely over two adult males. Stallions tend to group together.. This is officially what happens in My Little Pony And Friends with the Big Brother Ponies, as they're racing around the world on their own while the females are living in Dream Valley. In the toy line almost all adult males either live separate from the females or have families.
  • Many in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Lauren Faust wanted it to be clear that the ponies were ponies, not pony-shaped humans. This is mainly and most clearly done through careful integration of actions that actual horses do. In fact, her reaction to the Bridlemaids ad was, "HUMAN POSES!!! AAARRRRGH!!!" Even the slight Anthropomorphic Shift of Season 2 doesn't stop the reminders from coming.
    • Ponies occasionally do things such as lay back their ears to show unhappiness or paw the earth when aggressive. "Sonic Rainboom" even has Rainbow Dash flicking her tail when being taunted by another pegasus — which, again, is something that real horses do when annoyed. Now that is attention to detail.
    • When faced with a threat and it looks like Violence Is the Only Option, most of the horses lower their head, snort, and paw at the ground before charging. The pawing part alone is sometimes used to indicate displeasure.
    • Seems to be averted, however, with many of the horse noises the ponies might at a first glance seem to make — they can even "whinny" with their mouths closednote , and even otherwise, the mouths don't tend to move when the sound is heard. Since the attention to detail is there, this is unlikely to be an oversight. Instead, many of these noises (harder to tell with snorts, of course, and not all cases need to be the same) seem to be symbolic — same as the jet plane noises sometimes heard in conjunction with pegasuses flying or preparing to take off, or the "beep beep beep" when someonenote  is walking backwards carrying a pile of stuff.
    • In Bridle Gossip ponies mistake Zecora pawing at the ground for a threat. It's a double Furry Reminder as zebras do that to find water and ponies do it as a threat display.
      • In fact, pawing at the ground as a threat display or a sign of nervousness actually happens a few times in the series. Twilight and Nightmare Moon both do it before charging each other in the second episode, and Twilight does it again, more playfully, whilst trying to catch Spike and clean his cheek in Secret of My Excess.
    • "I heard Zecora eats hay." "Pinkie, I eat hay. You eat hay!"
      • Pinkie remembers this later when singing to the buffalo: "We all eat hay and oats—why be at each other's throats?"
    • In one flashback, Rarity is designing costumes for a school pageant, and if you look carefully, it becomes clear that it's about the five food groups: fruits, vegetables, baked goods, hay, and flowers.
    • When the ponies are getting ready for the Gala, Rarity won't let Spike come in because they're getting dressed. Applejack reminds her, "We don't normally wear clothes."
    • During Rarity's "Art of the Dress" song, she sings at one point about the parts of the body to be covered - and they're all horse parts: "Croup, dock, haunch/shoulders, hips". For bonus points, the patterns she cuts are appropriate for each part named.
      • In the same song there are the lines: "Making sure it fits forelock and crest/Don't forget some magic in the dress/Even though it rides high on the flank/Rainbow won't look like a tank"
    • In "The Ticket Master", Twilight picks off a flower's petals to determine which of her friends she gives the gala ticket to, gives up after one round... and then proceeds to eat the fallen petals.
    • At one point, Pinkie rolls around in the grass. You may think it's just her randomness, but real horses do that a lot.
    • Pinkie also once scratches herself in a way ponies do but larger horses don't. Beyond remembering they're ponies and not people, the animators remember that they're ponies and not other sorts of horse. Now that is attention to detail.
    • In the episode "Over a Barrel" there's a saloon in Appleloosa called "The Salt Block" where ponies serve salt to customers. This may seem bizarre but if you're familiar with real horses then you would know that salt is an important source of nutrition for horses (usually served in a form of solid blocks of salt). It also helps them keep cool especially in hot areas (like the desert environment where Appleloosa is) through the minerals the salt they consume provides.
    • You can hear Big McIntosh let out an authentic neigh towards the end of "Lesson Zero".
      • You can also occasionally hear neighing and other horse sounds being uttered through out the show.
    • In "Return Of Harmony Part 2", Rainbow Dash gives some very horsey snorts, complete with little clouds from her nostrils, when the other five restrain her (which they do in a way one would restrain a real horse).
    • Pinkie makes a very horse-like snort of exasperation at (unsuccessfully) trying to get the infant twins she's babysitting to eat. Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash have also both been made mad enough to snort at others on at least one occasion.
    • In "Baby Cakes", the Cake's foals are able to run around full-tilt at a month old. This is perfectly possible for real foals, since they can walk within a few hours of birth (and, in the wild, will be abandoned if they can't stand up within a few minutes). In that episode, the month old Pumpkin Cake is clearly teething. Guess when real ponies start to grow teeth. Yup, at about a month old.
    • In A Friend In Deed, Pinkie pays a compliment to a local florist, and the florist throws Pinkie a flower in thanks...which Pinkie catches in her mouth and swallows. The "florist" is actually a snack cart.
    • In "A Friend In Deed" Cranky Doodle Donkey occasionally brays when something surprising happens.
    • Ponies have been known to buck or rear as signs of excitement or annoyance.
    • In some adventure/quest-based fanfics, (like It's A Dangerous Business, Going Out Your Door), the ponies don't pack as much food as one would think, as they can eat the surrounding grass and leaves to conserve their supplies or in case of emergency.
    • "Sleepless in Ponyville" sees a panicked Scootaloo run out of the cave everypony's sleeping in because she thinks she's heard the neigh of the Headless Horse. Turns out the real source of the noises is a sleeping Rainbow Dash.
    • While it's a little inconsistent and they are sometimes seen clapping hooves together instead, from "The Show Stoppers" onward, ponies are most commonly seen drumming hooves against the ground to signify applause.
    • The entire point of the Training Montage Song "Hearts as Strong as Horses".
    • Twilight Time gives us hayburgers.
    • Inspiration Manifestation: Rarity's favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla oat swirl.

      The brass instrument played by one of the Mariachi ponies is uncoiled so that the valves can be manipulated by the pony's hooves.
    • Horses groom each other all the time, particularly as a sign of affection, which Spike does in Spike At Your Service when he volunteers to scratch Applejack's back.
    • Much of the tech in the series - at least, tech that doesn't fall into the schizo category - also serves as a furry reminder. Buttons for camera shutters and doorbells, for example, are large enough to easily be pressed with a hoof or muzzle, and their typewriters have only two hoof-sized keys and a spacebar.
    • The dialogue in the series as well was fairly carefully written to make sure they don't say any "human" terms. They refer to each other as "everypony" and say things like "lend a hoof", and the entire series as a whole has only slipped up a couple of times. Also, when Twilight had recently returned from the human world and mentioned something being in "good hands," she was asked just what hands were.
    • Pinkie's iconic pronking (hopping on all fours) gait is a real behavior sometimes seen in horses and ponies, either in apparent pleasure or as a way to release excess energy.
  • Occurs in an episode of Birdz:
    Eddie: Sleepy, I still can't believe you've done the essay! I mean, who can find the time?
    Sleepy: I'm a bat, I'm up all night. (yawns) What else am I gonna do?
    • This becomes a Brick Joke later in the episode, when Sleepy mysteriously shows up in Eddie's bedroom:
      Eddie: Sleepy! What are you doing here?! It's the middle of the night!
      Sleepy: Eddie, I'm a bat! (Face Palm) We've been through all this!
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball Gumball once napped in a cat-like fashion on his neighbor's porch. When stranded in a forest, he remembered that he was a predator, tries to roar, but just ends up meowing. In "The Hero" when he had to jump and be caught by his dad to save himself, his claws end up digging into his dad's chest. In "The Mystery" Darwin (a goldfish) states he doesn't know where he was earlier because he has incredibly little memory. In "The Apology", Miss Simian screeched like a monkey when she went berserk.
    • Defied in "The Game": the family are playing Dodge or Dare, and all agree to take every Dare card they draw to finish as quickly as possible. Gumball then immediately draws a card and takes a dodge, because he refuses to bathe himself with his own tongue—the others insists that he doesn't either.
    • In "The Flakers", Tina (a T. rex) gets mad when Gumball points out that she can't play the piano since she only has 4 fingers total.
    • Darwin has also shown a few times to be able to breathe underwater (most consistently, he sleeps in a fish bowl). He is also a very good swimmer.
    • In "The Procrastinators", Gumball chased after a red dot from a laser pointer whilst in cat-like behavior.
    • A non-animal example would be the numerous times that Gumball has popped Alan (a balloon).
    • Another non-animal example when Anton (a piece of toast) blindfoldedly runs into a lake in "The Goons". He almost drowns, but instead he floats up to the surface and gets eaten by a duck.
    • Another non-animal example when Gumball rants at Leslie (a flower) calling him "photosynthesizer" and "self-pollinator".
  • These happen a lot in Kaeloo, especially with Mr. Cat and Stumpy the squirrel. While Kaeloo herself does not displ Scratchy]] escape from the TV into the real world with the intention to kill the Simpsons and find (to their likely surprise) that they aren't actually human-sized. Easily overpowered, Itchy is thrown into a hamster box (where he starts to run in the exercize wheel immediately) and Scratchy falls in love with Snowball II (prompting Marge to say that they should neuter him - and Scratchy shrieking in horror).
  • In Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Pete is acknowledged to be a cat.
    • In one episode, Daisy and Minnie toss a ball of yarn to Pete and he gets distracted by it for a while.
    • In another episode, Willie calls Mickey, Donald, and Goofy a mouse, a duck, and a dog respectively.
  • In Minnie's Bow-Toons, Clarabelle Cow is heard mooing as she slipped on water in the episode, ay many of these, she goes all out in Let's Play Simon Says, in which she snatches Stumpy's console from him with her tongue and later tells Mr. Cat that she was planning on buying herself a bowl and a little ladder.
  • Tuff Puppy has a lot of this, mostly from Dudley Puppy. Dudley often chews his own butt and uses his sense of smell to find clues.
    • Kitty drinks from the water fountain with her tongue and goes crazy for cat toys and catnip. At one point a villain even tricks into chasing a tiny wind-up mouse.
    • The Chameleon catches bugs with his tongue like a real chameleon.
  • SWAT Kats generally sees the populace lean towards the more human end of the scale, with the only reminders (aside from the lame cat-puns) being references to consumer goods such as "hairball eliminator," the apparent substitution of milk for alcohol, and the one time in the series that Razor gets a furball (chalk that one down to Rule of Funny).
  • Some of Disney's old "You And Your..." educational films with Jiminy Cricket point out that Jiminy is in fact a cricket, to point of being a Running Gag.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Bugs Bunny is always chewing on carrots and often lives underground.
      • But real bunnies don't love carrots and the only reason people think they do is because of Bugs.
    • Sylvester's reason for trying to eat Tweety is basically "I'm a cat".
    • Daffy has been shown both flying and swimming like a duck.
  • Bitzer, the sheepdog in Shaun the Sheep, is a throuroughly anthropomorphised Beleaguered Assistant to the farmer. But throw a stick, and he reverts to a regular dog so completely that his wristwatch disappears.
  • Jake the Dog of Adventure Time often displays canine-like behavior such as scratching his ear with his foot in the episode "When Wedding Bells Thaw."
  • In "Don's Fountain of Youth" (1953), Donald Duck uses an alligator egg to convince his nephews that he's found the Fountain of Youth... and reverted to a pre-hatched state. One of the few, if not only, instances of Donald's avian nature being plot-relevant.
  • Very VERY rare occurrence in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In the original cartoon the Turtles only ever pull their heads into their shells ONCE (Possibly a case of Early Installment Weirdness) and Mikey pulls his head into his shell during the first movie. In the 2003 series, the furry reminders are a bit more subtle: they never pull into their shells in this series, but Raphael is able to escape a boat he's trapped on by swimming to the shore even remarking "Good thing Turtles are amphibious!" and in the Garbageman episode, the Turtles just swim to Garbageman's island.
    • They also show them shivering and wrapped in blankets in one episode, with one of them lamenting the fact that turtles are cold blooded.
    • The reminders are a lot more common in the 2012 cartoon. The turtles duck into their shells more often, and it was a big plot point in TCRI; Mikey holds his breath for an extended period of time ("Like a turtle do!") to avoid breathing poisoned air, and completely goes into his shell, a first in any of the series, so his brothers can use him for a battering ram to get out of the glass prison they are in.
  • This very rarely happens in Arthur, to the point where there's confusion amongst fans whether they're truly anthro animals or they simply look like animals to the viewer. In the season one episode "My Club Rules" Buster says "I'm not made of money, I'm made of fur!"
  • In "The Big Chill Out" of Donkey Kong Country, K.Rool and his gang become addicted to the episode's Coconut Chills (Coconut shells topped with snowballs). Near the end, they steal a whole shipment of the stuff...and not long afterwards, a sharp cold snap replaces the heat wave. The episode ends with a shot of K.Rool, Klump, and the Critters, paralyzed on the floor.
    Cranky: At least the Crystal Coconut will be safe for a few weeks.
    Candy: Why's that, Cranky?
    Cranky: Because after glomming down a few thousand of those confounded Coconut Chills, it will take that fool K.Rool, and his pack of cold-blooded lizards at least that long to thaw out!
  • The characters in Peppa Pig are anthropomorphic but still display animals behaviors. For example they constantly make animal noises and the rabbit characters live in boroughs.
  • In Spliced, Entree (a cow/chicken/pig/shrimp hybrid) has had this happen to him a few times. In "Brothers In Farms", Aperatif makes him lay an egg (wait, "him"?). The episode "Juice" revolves around him finding out he makes delicious milk. In "Cleaning Up", when Patricia says Entree's not for eating, Entree replies "Uhmmm, actually...", and in "My Fair Sharkbunny", Peri and the Wunny Sharbit identify him as both "friend and food". In "Mr. Wrinkles In Time", Peri and Entree disguise as ice cream in order to get into Smarty Smarts' lab, leading to Smarty Smarts calling his ice cream terrible because "I don't care if it was free-it has feathers!"
    • Smarty Smarts often makes dolphin noises. In "Mr. Wrinkles In Time", Entree mentions that one of his udders can communicate with sea creatures (It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context), and demonstrates it by having it call up a bunch of fish and Mr. Smarty Smarts.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Perry the Platypus was shown to sweat milk in "Does This Duckbill Make Me Look Fat?", and in "Primal Perry" Doofenshmirtz finds out he has poisonous ankle barbs.
  • Rigby seems to be the only one who does this in Regular Show, in that he occasionally runs on all fours like the raccoon he is. Mordecai, meanwhile, never flies or does anything else birdlike.
    • Benson is non-animal example — for example unicorns have taken gum from him.
  • In Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, the four rodent Rangers can sometimes be seen running on all four paws like real rodents would, and other characters show traits of their species, too.
  • In the "Christmas Carol" episode of Dora the Explorer it's shown that Sniper, Boots, and most of Dora's animal friends are all the same age. Boots, a monkey, is a child and Sniper, a fox, is an adult. When they go five to seven years into the future Boots has barely aged while Sniper is a elderly. The show takes note to how animals develop and age differently depending on their species.


Anthropomorphic Zig ZagThis Index Has a Mind of Its OwnEmpathic Weapon
Furry Female ManeAnimal Anthropomorphism TropesHumanlike Animal Aging
Furry FandomFunny Animal TropesHumanoid Female Animal
Puss in BootsImageSource/Animated FilmsSinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas

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