Gratuitous Animal Sidekick

"The rabbit is cuddly! Kids like little cuddly sidekicks! I mean, the rabbit... it's a time-tested... okay, the rabbit bites."
Mr. Incredible, defending an In-Universe fictional Team Pet

The insertion of an animal sidekick into a property that normally wouldn't be expected to have one. Often an example of Executive Meddling, particularly on Animated Series, in an attempt to have a Kid-Appeal Character.

May be a Heroic Dog as well. Compare with Cousin Oliver, Team Pet.

TV Tropes Wiki has Tropey the Wonder Dog.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Classicaloid: In a show about modern versions of composers, Hashie the (blue scarf-wearing) shoebill is completely unexpected.

    Comic Books 
  • Superboy had Krypto in his Silver Age comics, who also appeared in the 1960s Superman/Batman animated series. In 2005, the Last Dog of Krypton made his move to center stage on TV in Krypto the Superdog. Krypto also got a Shout-Out in one episode of Justice League (though it was All Just a Dream). Krypto himself has recently been reintroduced to the comics, and it works.
  • Not to be outdone, Batman had Ace the Bathound back during the Silver Age.
  • In 1948, the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, was suddenly given a canine sidekick in Streak, the Wonder Dog. Not only did Streak share GL's title, but the dog actually became the top-billed star of the series! Streak also served as the prototype for DC's other, subsequent wonder dog (Rex the Wonder Dog), who would operate without a superhero partner.
  • After being rescued from a band of grisly poachers, a white tiger named Ruarc becomes the loyal sidekick of Erin O'Shea, the hero and main protagonist of Shamrock.

    Films — Animation 
  • Spoofed mercilessly on The Incredibles DVD, in which a small rabbit named Mr. Skipperdoo is added to the badly-animated cast of the fake cartoon "Mr. Incredible and Pals". Even the supers hate the idea, as evidence in their commentary on the cartoon:
    Frozone: And that rabbit is getting on my last nerve!
    Mr. Incredible: The rabbit is cuddly! Kids like little cuddly sidekicks! I mean, the rabbit... it's a time-tested... okay, the rabbit bites.

  • Thoroughly lampshaded, spoofed, gnawed on, buried and piddled on by Discworld's "Gaspode the Wonder Dog".

    Live-Action TV 

    Pro Wrestling 

    Video Games 
  • The monster Cotton from SaGa Frontier was planned to be a member of the IRPO team, but their story was cut as the game was rushed. Instead Cotton is this trope to any of the other characters who recruit it, is only able to say "myu" and even has a technique called "Wonderdog".

    Western Animation 
  • Superfriends:
    • Formerly named after the original Wonder Dog in the first series.
    • Gleek in the Zan and Jayna episodes of the Super Friends.
  • The Fonz And Happy Days Gang:
    • In this Animated Adaptation of Happy Days, the Fonz has a dog called Mr. Cool. Seriously.
    • And in the Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/The Fonz Hour, Mork got this pink six-legged alien dog-thing, and Laverne and Shirley were in the army with a talking pig. (We only know this from Sgt. Squealy (the pig) is technically their superior, but they never listen to him.
  • No dinosaur (see Live-Action TV above), but Gilligan got a monkey sidekick in his Animated Adaptation, and an alien one when the Animated Adaptation was Recycled In SPACE.
  • Nikko the Shar-Pei got shoehorned into this role for the New Kids on the Block cartoon.
  • The Brady Kids gave the kids a whole menagerie of sidekicks: a dog, a magical talking bird, and a pair of twin panda bears. They made a cameo appearance in A Very Brady Sequel as a hallucination, and then an encore appearance in the credits.
  • The first cartoon based on the Harlem Globetrotters features a Team Pet dog named Dribbles.
  • The Fairly OddParents:
    • When Timmy Turner becomes his standard superhero alter ego, Cleft, Cosmo, Wanda, and Poof usually tag along as "Ace, Clefto, and Puppy Poof the Chin-Hounds", partly parodies of Batman and Superman's dogs.
    • And, after trying the Cousin Oliver adding Poof (Cosmo and Wanda's baby) in season 6, they're adding a fairy dog to the show. Don't you believe? They quickly became The Scrappy with their annoying voice and attitude.
  • The animated version of Flash Gordon in the 1970s had a baby dragon called Gremlin that was a blatant attempt to appeal to younger children.

Alternative Title(s): Wonder Dog