"I wish outer-space guys would conquer Earth and make people their pets, because I'd like to have one of those little basket-beds with my name on it."So the aliens have taken over the world. Or maybe they've captured us and taken us back to their home planet. Either way, they decide we're cute and cuddly and they're going to take us home and keep us. This can also apply with earthbound supernatural races like vampires or demons as well. The main component of the trope is that it's a work where humans are the pets of another species. Overlaps with Sapient Pet and This Is My Human. May overlap with Bond Creature or People Zoo.
— Jack Handey, Deep Thoughts
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- In Tokyo Ghoul, upper class Ghouls sometimes keep humans as pets. The members of the Ghoul Restaurant train humans to serve as Scrappers, executioners that perform in a "pre-dinner show" by maiming and dismembering the unlucky victims on the night's menu. Juuzou Suzuya is revealed to have been one, prior to being rescued by CCG. The torture and training he underwent transformed him into a perfect killing machine, but left him damaged goods in all ways imaginable.
- In the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, Yugi's snobby classmate Kujirada had a "hidden character" virtual pet that would live two months (as opposed to normal ones, that lived twenty-one days). Unfortunately for him, it was harder to take care of, constantly waking him up in the middle of the night and demanding to be fed. Eventually, the aggressive virtual pet developed a malignant intelligence and the ability to control Kujirada, regarding him as its pet. It also directed him to link it to other kids' devices so it could devour other virtual pets. The evil virtual pet was defeated when it tried to prey on Yugi's pet, which, due to exchanging data with Jonouchi's pet, was far stronger than it looked. Though a little upset that his prized monster was gone, Kujirada was glad he could finally get some sleep.
- The Beast and His Pet High School Girl takes place in a world where beastmen are the dominant population, and humans are considered high maintenance exotic pets. The female lead of the story was kidnapped from the human world and sold as a pet to a wolf man named Zinovy.
- Poor Tigra was once caught by Kraven the Hunter and subjected to a "Mnemonic scrambler" (more or less a Slave Collar) that reduced her intelligence to that of a common tiger; then he kept her like some obedient Right-Hand Cat until Spider-Man showed up and was able to remove it. (Some would argue that Tigra was actually lucky; years later, Kraven's madness would be such that he might have turned her into a rug.)
- In Transformers: Shattered Glass, the Evil Autobot Tailgate finds humans cute and takes Butch Witwicky as a pet, encouraging the other Autobots to do the same.
- Judge Dredd: A rather horrific example occurs to Chief Judge Silver during "Necropolis" when the Dark Judges murder him and keep him as a zombie pet to constantly humiliate him.
- Spawn had a story that followed several dead people through their travails in the afterlife. One of the dangers was an angelic-looking creature descending and carrying one of them away... not for any sort of glory, but because its race valued the souls of entertainers as pets. "Last year it was singers. This year, acrobats."
- The Humans, a world created by Image Comics, where apes reign as the dominate species and where humans or 'skins' are animals used as manual labor, lab rats, pets, etc.
- In the Alice (2009) fic Have Another Sip, Jack and the Duchess briefly discuss the possibility of turning Alice into their pet, though it doesn't actually happen.
Duchess: Come now, Jack, tell me the truth about your Alice. Is she a pet to you, hmm?
Jack: I was...seeing her. On the other side, we were dating.
Duchess: Dating, hmm? So would you like me to speak for her? I could do that you know, and we could keep her. Put her in a pretty golden cage, and she could wear a shiny golden collar. You could walk her you know, and play with her.
[The words painted pictures in his head, of Alice in a gilded golden cage in the corner of his room, wearing nothing but a collar around her throat, of him and Duchess walking through the gardens, Alice trailing behind on a leash.]
- Implied in the Death Note fic Lab Specimen after Light is captured by L Ryuk decides to keep a cockroach as a pet and names it "Light II" much to its namesake's annoyance, especially when he realizes that Ryuk thinks of him in much the same way.
- In the Death Note fic To Feel Alive Ryuk finds Light to be adorable and considers him to be his favorite pet.
- From Foundling, we have this with Reimu (being called "Setugo") when she was taken in by Yakumos, Ren of whom treating her as Chen put it, " like an old bitch would do a lapdog", if he isn't ignoring her (i.e pretending she isn't there). Naturally, when Suika sees her, she describes her as the Yakumos' new pet, although she describes her being unconventional for one.
- Several fanfics have Ciel being either turned into a (usually cat) demon or being a neko (human with cat' ears and tail) and is "adopted" by Sebastian as his pet.
- There's a Teen Titans fanfic out there that deconstructs the episode mentioned below as being horribly psychologically damaging to Beast Boy, in part because of his previous experience in the timeline as a circus act for an extremely cruel ringmaster. Robin is FURIOUS and makes sure the circus is exposed and shut down.
Films — Animation
- Fantastic Planet is set on the homeworld of giant, blue humanoid aliens called Draags who keep Oms (humans) as pets, though they also often see them as vermin. The protagonist, Terr, grows up as the pet of a young (for her species) female Draag named Tiwa.
Films — Live-Action
- Star Wars: Jabba the Hutt enslaves women of different species, and keeps them chained and dressed in revealing clothes next to his throne. The keeping of "sentient" beings as pets is a popular status symbol in Hutt culture (and is also practiced by some Sith of other species).
- Planet of the Apes (2001): One of the ape politicians buys his daughter a human girl as a pet.
- In the first Transformers movie, Megatron says he'd let Sam live as his pet if he gave him the Allspark.
- The low budget film The Pet, about a poor American girl who agrees to "replace" an European aristocrat's recently deceased dog.
- In Superman II, General Zod and Ursa assume that Superman is protecting the human race because he is treating them like pets.
- Lampshaded by a vampire familiar in Blade II. "I'd rather be a pet than food!"
- In Pet, Seth is a Stalker with a Crush to Holly, and eventually kidnaps her and locks her in a cage, treating her like a dog.
- The Wild Boy has an overlap of this and Bond Creatures. Aliens called the Lindauzi keep and breed humans, calling them dogs, and give their young a human pet to bond with on their upright day, their first time walking erect.
- The Planet of the Apes novel has the (naked) main character Ulysse taken for a walk by Zira, on a leash... not to attract attention. Ulysse, as a human from Earth, is horribly embarrassed, but Zira tells him that for the apes of planet Soror, it's seeing a dressed and non-leashed human that would look uncanny.
- In His Dark Materials, Lyra pretends at one moment that she's a dæmon (a Familiar of sorts - long story) that belongs to the king of bears, Iorek Byrnison. She does it to convince another bear, Iofur, that she wants to be his.
- Mentioned in Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts:
"I wish outer-space guys would conquer Earth and make people their pets, because I'd like to have one of those little basket-beds with my name on it."
- In the second section of Gulliver's Travels, Gulliver finds himself in a place where he's 1/12th the size of everybody else, and he's kept as a pet first by a farming family and later by the King and Queen. Eventually, he finds out that they're looking for a female his size, hoping to breed human pets; he manages to get away (well, accidentally, after a giant bird grabs his cage) before that happens. In the fourth section he's on the island of Houyhnhnms, who are intelligent horses who keep a population of feral humans as beasts of burden, but choose to make Gulliver a housepet due to his relative intelligence.
- The Bear Kingdom young adult novels feature a world where bears keep humans as pets and work animals.
- In the children's book Mush: A Dog From Space, it's revealed that Mush has a human pet girl.
- A few dragons in the Wings of Fire series keep humans as pets (and some editions of the fifth book even come with a letter on the proper care of human pets). Considering that Pyrrhia is a Death World to humans, it's not a terrible situation for the humans to be in. Plus, the dragons who spend time with them come to think of humans as completely adorable.
The protagonist: He'd be safer in Winter's cage than anywhere else in the academy.
- In Moon Rising, the only reason dragons don't eat the scavenger Bandit is because he's someone's pet.
- There's a chapter book featuring a protagonist who finds himself in this situation on a planet of dogs (who call Earth "Ick" and the humans "Ickys"), though the pup who ultimately becomes his caretaker is quite kind. The pair unintentionally reveal to the company that captured and freeze-dried the protagonist and his ball team (the story kicks off when the protagonist comes to after being freeze-dried and asks what's going on) that humans can talk which would make them novelties. The novelty wears off after it's revealed that the freeze-drying wears off a little at a time every time water is drunk, turning the humans into creatures that are Awesome, but Impractical, which prompts the company to return the humans to Earth. The protagonist ends up being more understanding and affectionate towards his own pet dog.
- The humanimals in The Forsaken Children are descended from humans that were brought to the magus world and going feral, only to be domesticated by the fae. They're pretty harmless, only half as tall as normal humans, but humans and any creature that stems from humans usually find them unnerving.
- Lampshaded in The War of the Worlds. The artilleryman speculates that after being on Earth for a while, the Martians might start raising humans as pets instead of human bloodbanks, and get all emotional over one who dies on them.
- All Tomorrows:
- Some humans were changed by the Qu into a slow breeding, mindless ape called Hedons, treated as pampered pets, and given a paradise world to live in.
- The sessile Temptors were used as garden decorations by the Qu.
- The Saurosapients use the brain-dead descendants of local humans for food and labour purposes.
- The Subjects of the Gravital were modified into many different forms for their civilization. Like works of Art, backup dancers, and Blood Sacrifices.
- A particularly horrifying example in What The Hell Did I Just Read happens when one of the hatching Fuckroaches gets pushed into an alternate dimension by Agent Pussnado and transforms the human inhabitants into eight-foot bug monsters who keep stunted, toothless, naked humans that crawl on all fours as pets.
- Humans in the Titan Empire series — at least the ones descended from those taken from ancient Earth — are owned as pets by the Titans, a race of giant humanoids. The series documents the humans' attempts to gain equality, especially after some modern humans end up in the Empire, and are none-too-happy about being pets.
- The Pets trilogy by Darla Phelps is all about this trope. Humans are abducted from Earth and sold as pets to giants who are incapable of viewing humans as equals.
- Breeding Humans by Harold King, a short story where a race of avians breed a race of humanoids for meat, pets, ect. Eventually one rebelled and eventually became leader of a race that would call themselves elves.
- The Silk and the Song by Charles Louis Fontenay, a scifi novella that describes a world where generations ago humans attempted to colonize a planet, only to be captured by the native Hussirs. The colonists were stripped of their clothes and technology and used as beasts of labour and cattle by the aliens.
- A CSI ep focused on the bondage version of this, with the victim found dead in a cat costume at a human pet house.
- The Are you Afraid of the Dark episode "...The Zombie Dice" features a malevolent game shop owner who shrinks people down to just a few inches tall and ships them out to exotic places as pets if they lose his challenge.
- Bones featured a pony play episode.
- Angel: In the dimension of Pylea the natives keep humans as pets...well, not so much "pets" as "beasts of burden".
- The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon claims that he would be willing to be a pet to a race of more intelligent aliens.
- The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "Stopover in a Quiet Town": A couple wakes up in an abandoned town. At the end of the episode it's revealed that they've been kidnapped by an alien giant to be pets for the giant's daughter.
- Inverted in season 5 of True Blood. Emma Garza is abducted in her werewolf form to be Steve Newlin's new pet dog. When she returns to human form, Steve gets angry and orders her to remain in her werewolf form indefinitely.
- In one episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Salem pesters the aunts over his desire to own a pet, which they refuse to allow. Eventually, he goes behind their back and buys a "dogman", a talking, dressed man that stands on two feet, but otherwise behaves like a dog. After Salem fails to be a good owner, he gives his pet to a family of talking dogs.
- Primitive cavemen humans are kept as pet and zoo animals by the Dinosaurs in Dinosaurs.
- Doctor Who. The Doctor's companions have been labeled as this by Idris (who tells off the Doctor for "bringing home strays") and Missy (though "snacks" was an alternate possibility).
- Pets by Porno for Pyros.
- Invoked as a possibility for humanity under Martian rule in Orson Welles' War of the Worlds radio play.
Stranger: These Martians will make pets of some of 'em, train 'em to do tricks. Who knows? Get sentimental over the pet boy who grew up and had to be killed...
- In Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning and Hope come to the revelation that the fal'Cie that run Cocoon treat humans like pets - providing them with safety, food, water, and light in exchange for their freedoms. In reality, it's more like "sacrificial lambs" than "housepets".
- World of Warcraft; the pet store in Dalaran includes a Gnome Diver in an aquarium tank. (Not for sale, unfortunately.)
- While the Gnome Diver can be argued to only be cleaning the tank, the trope is played straight with the various Father Christmas's Helpers (gnomes in holiday gear), the Goblin Cupid, and Squire players' pets.
- Among the various Human Subspecies in Orion's Arm are "pet humans" who are usually genetically engineered for lower intelligence and neoteny. They're most popular among Splices and Provolves, seeing as their ancestors were frequently kept as pets or worse. Their ownership is almost universally outlawed in human-dominated areas.
- Some of the more cynical inhabitants of the Terragen sphere think this is the main reason why so many archailects keep modosophonts (human-level beings) around.
- The SCP Foundation has SCP-1897, which detail aliens coming to abduct people, so they could lobotomize, castrate, and train them as pets.
- Teen Titans has an episode in which Beast Boy is kept as a pet. This is a kind of weird example because Beast Boy is a shapeshifter, so he can actually become an animal pet if he wants. The basic premise still fits, though. At the end, the villain agrees to switch roles and become the pet of his original, sentient dog.
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: Nergal Jr. briefly keeps the school bully, Sperg, as a pet in the underworld.
- Family Guy: In the "Road To the Multiverse" episode they land on a world where dogs keep humans as pets rather than vice-versa. There are dog versions of Peter, Lois, etc., and a human version of Brian.
- Krypto the Superdog had an episode where Kevin lands on a planet where dogs keep humans as pets. At the end, when Krypto arrives to rescue him, he pretends that Kevin is his pet to get the dogs to release him without making a fuss.
- Mr. Peabody of the Peabody's Improbable History segments of Rocky and Bullwinkle explains his relationship with Sherman as the inverse of the normal relationship between a boy and his pet dog, although in practice he treats him more like an adopted son than a pet. (He's even more paternal in the movie version.)
- Used as a gags in Futurama.
Fry: (After Bender suggests they share an apartment) You're sure I won't be imposing?
- Occasionally you see a Petting Zoo Person with a naked human on a leash, such as Dave Spiegel and his owner Fluffers.
- Bender also drops some pretty heavy hints that, while he does genuinely love and care about Fry, this is how he sees their relationship.
Bender: Nah, I always wanted a pet.
- My Life as a Teenage Robot: In "Doom With a View", an alien robot from The Cluster (a society of human-hating robots who wish to capture them as slaves for their planet) tries to persuade Jenny into joining their planet. When it captures Brad, it tells him that since he's Jenny's best-friend she could possibly keep him as a pet. Brad later protests saying that collars give him a rash.
- South Park: In "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset", Paris Hilton buys Butters from his parents for 250 million dollars and then dresses him up as a bear.
- In the Rick and Morty epsisode "Lawnmower Dog", Rick builds a device to make their dog Snuffles more intelligent, which leads to the dog improving the device and uplifting all dogs. They take over the world and sometimes keep humans as pets, specifically Snuffles (who now calls himself snowball) keeps Morty as his pet because he always treated the dog well, while other humans are enslaved.
- Steven Universe: Back when Pink Diamond was colonizing earth, she abducted many humans and placed them in a large space station simply called "The Zoo" where five thousand years later their Manchild descendents live in a closely regulated but peaceful and innocent existence. The "zoomans" are all obliviously happy but have no concept of pain or sadness and just being politely rejected causes them to emotionally collapse.
- A subset of the BDSM lifestyle. Pony play is a subset of this subset, where the submissives act like horses.
- Puppy play is something similar, with the submissive acting like a dog instead. There is also kitten play or cat play, where the submissive plays a feline persona as well; no doubt, there are other forms of pet play involving other animals as well.
- "Pet" can also pop up as an affectionate term used towards a submissive who is not a slave.
- A fan was once quoted as saying she'd like to keep Masi Oka as a pet.note When a reporter asked him about it, Masi decided that it wouldn't be so bad to be someone's cuddly pet as long as she feeds him well.