Red Puckett: For a reporter, you sure have a strange way of doing your job.A character who lost their human parents and was raised by animals. Animals in fiction range from the almost human to the bestial, but since Most Writers Are Human, animals tend to think, feel and talk like we do. Thus a literal Mama Bear might be an ordinary parent — or a wildly offbeat role model. This trope ranges from a purely cosmetic touch of exoticism to a comedy trope to a full-blown otherness trope that drives drama. A character raised by animals will seem unusual to ordinary folk. They may speak crudely or just strangely. They are a Funny Foreigner — but without the risk of offending an audience member. In more extreme cases they have No Social Skills, and it is common for them to be Not Good with People. Expect to see at least some discrimination. His adoptive siblings might get over him being funny-lookin', human society might get over them scratching their head with their foot, but he may ultimately be seen as a Half-Human Hybrid. It can be an extreme case of the longing for the Good Old Ways — a vision of the good life before any of the corrupting influences of civilization, the Noble Savage being In Harmony with Nature. They may be a Nature Hero or a Jungle Princess. Sometimes they pick up powers from their family. Lamarck Was Right: Mysterious Animal Senses abound and having birds for family teaches flight. Expect a character of this type to have a Name From Another Species as a result of being raised by animals. In their original setting expect to see Loin Cloths, pelts, Fur Bikinis and Wild Hair. The character sometimes Does Not Like Shoes. A quick route to Fanservice is having No Nudity Taboo. Even if things are not that bad, expect a tougher, rougher, childhood. But the Upbringing Makes the Hero, so these early trials pay off later. At a minimum, someone who was Raised by Wolves will be a bit wild; impulsive, aggressive or just more in touch with base human drives. Can be a case of Nurture over Nature, if the character chooses the nurturing of the wild over the nature of humanity - or Nature Over Nurture, choosing the nature of humanity over the nurture of civilized society, depending on the writer's viewpoint. For the most realistic take where lack of human contact makes kids feral and mute, see Wild Child. For social awkwardness in general, see No Social Skills. A subtrope of Interspecies Adoption, which doesn't require that the parents be "uncivilized beasts". Contrast to Raised by Humans.
The Wolf: What can I say? I was raised by wolves.
The Wolf: What can I say? I was raised by wolves.
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- In one of the "Behold the Power of Cheese" ads, three guys at a party eye the last piece of cheese on a platter. The first guy starts to take it and his mother appears on his shoulder telling him to let someone else have it. The second guy starts to take it when his mother appears saying "Don't be greedy, you weren't raised by wolves!". The third guy looks at the cheese and a howling wolf appears. After the third guy takes the cheese, the two Mothers shout "Animal!" at him. Then as a tag the third guy sticks his face in a punchbowl to lap up a drink.
- An infamous Quizno's ad featured two men sitting on a bench with subway sandwiches. The man with the Quizno's sub says "Untoasted? What, were you raised by wolves?" Cue the second guy note having a flashback of himself, still adult and in a three-piece suit, nursing from a mother wolf with her pups. He then responds back in the present "Why yes. Yes, I was." Enough people were put off by this ad that it was taken off the air, then put back on with the nursing scene cut out.
Anime and Manga
- Yamato from Battle B-Daman was raised by cats. Not tigers or anything, normal stray cats. Later he is adopted by a relative — possibly his birth mother.
- Spider Riders: Aqune was raised by Insectors. Insectors act like human beings, so she does.
- Mana from Mermaid Saga, having been raised by cannibalistic mermaids, suffers quite a bit of this.
- San from Princess Mononoke was literally raised by wolves after her birth parents encountered a huge wolf in the forest when she was very young and abandoned her in an attempt to get away safely. Indeed, it's implied that her parents literally threw her at the wolves to get away. The wolves were offended enough by this behavior to take care of her, instead. Of course, it helps somewhat that these wolves are gods who are perfectly capable of speech.
- In the anime episode "The Kangaskhan Kid", set in the Kanto Safari Zone, we meet Tommy, a little boy who was raised by kangaroo-oid Kangaskhan. He's been in the park since he was accidentally dropped from a helicopter by his birth parents into the park while an infant.
- Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure!- the main character was raised by wild Pokémon. The kid was being looked after by Professor Rowan when the good professor decided that the boy should go live with the wild Pokémon because he had the beginnings of communication with them! Hareta's dad is actually alive. He's just on the run right now... although he really DID leave Hareta with Professor Rowan for no good reason the first time. Parental Abandonment...
- Rebecca from Haré+Guu was raised by pokute — small, weird, sort-of-rabbit-like animals.
- Natsu of Fairy Tail was raised by the Fire Dragon Igneel. While Igneel taught him things like Fire Dragon Slayer magic and speech, he clearly wasn't able to teach Natsu typical human social customs. Then Igneel vanished when Natsu was still little. Natsu was then taken in and raised by the mages of Fairy Tail, and all of them are to some degree crazy (awesome).
- This is actually a rather common occurrence among Dragonslayers: Gajeel, Wendy, Sting, and Rogue were all raised from a young age by dragons before events forced them apart. The former two by a similar manner to Natsu, and the latter because they killed them, though they had reasons. Except not really.
- Dragon Ball: Son Goku accidentally killed his adoptive grandpa while under the influence of the moon as a small child. For an uncertain number of years, he lived on his own in the wilderness, his only interactions 'killing animals' and occasionally 'not killing animals'. Then he killed Bulma's car.
- His major Raised by Wolves thing is not being able to tell the difference between boys and girls, and considering 'patpat'ing the groin area to be a sane method of differentiation. This is how he wound up engaged to ChiChi.
- His mistaking Bulma's breasts for an extra butt was a tasteless gag that actually worked really well.
- His major Raised by Wolves thing is not being able to tell the difference between boys and girls, and considering 'patpat'ing the groin area to be a sane method of differentiation. This is how he wound up engaged to ChiChi.
- Ikuto/Keenan from Digimon Savers was raised by a Frigimon for most of his life after being taken away from his parents via a Digital Gate. He eventually came to terms that he was human after spending some time in the real world, but continued to have the brave heart of a Digimon (at one time getting Ninjamon recruits for his new friends in the Kurata arc, cementing his Heel–Face Turn). For some reason he uses Hulk Speak despite the fact that nearly every Digimon can speak fluent English/Japanese (his Digimon partner/brother even had a British accent).
- One character in Hikkatsu not only was raised by pigeons, but learned martial arts from them as well.
- A futuristic, and more intentional, approach to the trope was the development of the Trinity siblings from Mobile Suit Gundam 00, although this was never explained in the actual anime itself. The side materials explained that they were created by Dr. Clay Lihichyte, who used Ribbons Almark's blood samples. All three spent most of their life either in stasis or under the close supervision of lab technicians who were teaching them how to be Gundam Meisters. Because their role was to be part of Ribbons's master plan, however, they were not taught morality, not given full training, and were given antiquated, impostor Gundam. That way, once their task (unbeknownst to themselves) was completed, they were to be terminated. This is a valid explanation in pointing out why Michael is Ax-Crazy and Nena is a Psychopathic Manchild.
- In Animal Land, Tarouza and other human children were each raised by different animals.
- The dark side of life in Toriko is that a lot of people easily die in world where even some of the weakest animals can only subdued by professional hunters. And that's in human world, let alone gourmet world. As such, there's almost no named character with living parents. But some people are exceptional that some beast actually raised them:
- Played with Midora backstory, who in his infancy was given to a carnivorous pigs as a food. He tamed them and suckle at a female beast to survive.
- Played straight by Knocking Master Jirou. He is raised by a battle wolf, and not your average battle wolf, but THE Wolf King Guinness, one of the 8 Kings. Well, that explains his Animal Motif.
- Ran Komatsuzaki from Akai Kiba Blue Sonnet was raised by wolves until she was five, yet she has a normal personality and skills. She was simply a normal school girl in her primary personality with a secondary personality who had a more aggressive personality and phenomenal cosmic power for reasons that had nothing to do with her wolf parents.
- In a literal take on the trope, Byrne of Dreamkix is the adopted son of a wolf couple who seem to switch between being civilized and being feral. It definitely explains parts of his personality.
- Spider-Woman. The original version of the Marvel Comics Jessica Drew had her raised among the High Evolutionary's menagerie of Petting Zoo People and Beast Men. In fact, she was one of them herself, being a hyper-evolved spider, although that was retconned away very quickly. Meaning that she had no idea how to interact with humans when she finally entered the outside world, and tended to creep out everyone she met, although that was at least as much due to her pheromone powers. The recent Retcon version of her origin eliminates this, though.
- Black Condor - Golden Age superhero Black Condor was raised by Condors who taught him to fly, speak English, build a death ray and enough about United States Law and Politics that he could easily impersonate the dead senator who he happened to be physically identical to. Black Condor first appeared in Crack Comics #1, which is appropriate, since that is apparently what his creators were on when they thought up his origin.
- Aquaman - The current backstory of Aquaman himself is that he was raised by dolphins until he was twelve years old, and the entire time earnestly believed he was one of them.
- Catman of the Secret Six.
- The Golden Age Cat-Man (who is unrelated to DC's Catman but wears an oddly similar costume) was raised by tigers. Like the Black Condor above, his upbringing somehow gave him superpowers — he could see in the dark, leap like a cat, scale any wall, and had nine lives.
- In the Green Lantern books, Sinestro Corpsman Karu-Sil was raised by native predators of her homeworld after her parents were murdered by her neighbors for their food. Karu-Sil grew to love and care for them deeply — to the point that she mutilated her own face so she would look more like them. They were eventually killed by a Green Lantern who thought she needed to be "rescued" from them. Once she was recruited into the Sinestro Corps and obtained a power ring, she used it to create energy construct duplicates of her pack and treats them as if they really were her lost family.
- In "The Hoax" in Weird Western Tales #18, Jonah Hex gets mixed up with a pair of conmen who are attempting to pass off one of them as the lost heir to a fortune who has been raised by coyotes.
- Black Moon Chronicles: Pilou was raised by a female dragon who took him to her cave for food, but decided to save him for her offspring when he happened to burst from his egg at that exact moment. The young dragon and the young elf then bonded and the three became a family.
- Arawn: Downplayed. Arawn was initially left out in the freezing cold to die by his mother Siahm, but he was nursed back to health by a she-wolf who become a surrogate mother to him. However, he spend his youth living with both his human and wolf relatives.
- Garfield: in 1990, Jon briefly ended up dating a woman named Kimmy, who revealed she was raised by wolves. Although she appeared to be a normal woman most of the time, her upbringing by wild animals still showed in that she loved to howl at the moon, could be extremely loud and obnoxious, trying to bite off her foot when her shoe was too tight, and ate with her bare hands. She was one of the very few woman who actually liked Jon.
Jon: So, when were you brought back to civilization?
Kimmy: (after scarfing down her plate's contents) Last Friday.
- Garfield once met a cat named Ed who was raised by squirrels. Before they met, Ed didn't know the meaning of "ground". And neither his "mother" did. Ed has the habit of storing birds for winter. When the tree branch where Ed and Garfield were sitting on fell, Ed had the first chance to walk sideways. Odie was the first dog Ed ever met and Garfield explained to him cats were supposed to fear dogs albeit Garfield doesn't remember why.
- A later strip discussed Jon's cousin Earl who was adopted by wolves after being left at a rest stop.
Jon: We got a postcard.Garfield: (reading the postcard) "I have acquired a taste for small game."
- The parody strip Captain Biceps's version of Tarzan was raised by just about every animal there is: apes (hence his strength), eagles (hence his piercing sight), lions (hence his Mighty Roar), parrots (hence his dress sense).
- Cartoonstock.com has a number of single-panel cartoons on the subject, including one about the guy who was raised by a pack of wolves, and the cleaning lady who came in twice a month. That's right, in an apartment.
- In Growing Up Kneazle Harry discovers his innate Animagus ability when he's two years old and spends the rest of his pre-Hogwarts childhood as part of Arabella Figg's resident family of Kneazles. His more notable quirks before becoming at least partly civilized are running around naked and peeing to mark his territory.
- Anthropology: The reason why Lyra is so obsessed with humans is because Lyra herself is a human: Princess Celestia turned her into a pony when she was very young. Lyra was then raised by the foal-less unicorn couple who found her.
- In Symbiosis Ash is raised by a retired battling Pokemon, a Weedle living in the Viridian Forest named Poison Lance, who took him in to follow Mareep's Last Request. Mareep's Last Request was for Poison Lance to protect Ash from the people who killed his family. Poison Lance kept Ash from becoming feral by having him interact with humans in secret.
- In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Iris is raised by a family of dragon-types after her biological parents abandon her in the woods to die. Her adopted family teaches her how to interact with humans so she can buy medicine when needed.
- Tarzan's Discworld analogue, Tarquin of the Apes, appears in A.A. Pessimal's tale Gap Year Adventures, where it has amused Lord Vetinari to make him Ankh-Morpork's Consul to a small kingdom in Central Howondaland. Apparently he shows the right sort of face of Ankh-Morpork to the world. In practice, his Jane does all the thinking and talking. As a contemporary of Sybil Ramkin at the Quirm Academy, she is capable of anything.
Films — Animated
- Eggs from The Boxtrolls, is a Cheesebridge orphan raised since infancy by the eponymous Boxtrolls, to the point he considers himself one of them... up until he meets Winnie, that is.
- Kristoff in Frozen was raised by rock trolls, and yet, he still has a better grasp of human society than sheltered Anna.
- Hoodwinked quotes this trope with a Visual Pun at the end of the Wolf's story:
Red Puckett: For a reporter, you sure have a strange way of doing your job.The Wolf: What can I say? I was raised by wolves. [Cuts to the Wolf's family portrait]
- According to the Disney direct-to-video film Atlantis: Milo's Return (sequel to Atlantis: The Lost Empire), the team's geologist Moliere actually got his mole-like characteristics as a result of him being raised by naked mole rats. You Do Not Want To Know indeed.
- Storks: Attempted when Junior and Tulip run into a pack of wolves that want to raise the baby as one of their own. Technically, Tulip counts too, as she was raised by the storks.
Films — Live-Action
- In Batman Returns, the classic (human) supervillain the Penguin was given a Re Tool of actually having been raised by penguins. He grew up in a circus, though.
- Walk Like A Man, in which Howie Mandel played the heir to a fortune who was raised by dogs.
- In The Adventures Of Shark Boy And Lava Girl, Shark Boy was raised by sharks, causing him to not only be very aggressive, but evolve shark-like superpowers! He has no problem speaking English or interacting with humans, except for his heightened aggression.
- Jungle Boy: The main character was raised by an elephant and a monkey. Latter, another character gains the ability by a giant badly animated cobra statue.
- Serbian movie ''Nicije Dete'' (No One's Child) is Based on a True Story and it plays this trope straight. The story begins in Yugoslavia a few years prior to the conflict. Near Travnik (Bosnia, in central Yugoslavia), hunters find a child raised by wolves. Lacking the means to treat him, local authorities send the child to an orphanage in Belgrade (Yugoslavian and Serbian capitol city) where, under a careful tutorage, he slowly learns how to socialize. But the war is looming and everything abruptly changes.
- Hayy from Ibn Tufail's 12th-century Arabic novel Hayy ibn Yaqzan (also known as Philosophus Autodidactus, where he is raised by a gazelle on a Deserted Island.
- Mowgli from Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Books. After trying out human civilization for a while, Mowgli returned to the pack that raised him (only to go back to humanity eventually).
- Tarzan famously was raised by apes. He goes on to be quite successfully socialized and a member of human society. It helps that the "apes" in question were a fictional missing-link species that had a spoken language, and that he found his human parents' house at the age of ten and taught himself to read over a few years. Tarzan's time in civilisation rarely makes it out of the original Edgar Rice Burroughs novels: it is typically omitted by the numerous works inspired by the novels.
- Camp Jupiter of Rick Riordan's The Heroes of Olympus, specifically by the wolf-goddess Lupa who raised Romulus and Remus.
- The narrator of Karen Hesse's The Music of Dolphins was the only survivor of an airplane crash in the Caribbean as a very young child, and was taken in by a pod of dolphins. She's reasonably healthy when she's found by (aside from minor considerations, such as having barnacles all over her) and, unlike other Wild Children in the center that's taking care of her, she can connect with people and understand language, because dolphins are that awesome. However, the betrayals and confused feelings from the scientists studying her turn her away from them, and eventually she is allowed to return to the sea and her dolphin family.
- Big Alice from Staanley Kiesel' young adult novel The War Between the Pitiful Teachers and the Splendid Kids was raised by hyenas. Her parents were psychologists, and when they found her again, they abandoned her to the hyenas again after an aborted attempt at rehabilitating her.
- In Jane Lindskold's Firekeeper Saga novels, the protagonist was raised by wolves, albeit intelligent ones. A rather unusual example in that she isn't naive at all in many matters; her adjustment problems are mostly shown by the facts that she never manages to fully master elementary grammar, writing, or table manners. Or hierarchies based on blood.
- Firekeeper actually can speak properly - in the first book she does so more than once. She just omits all the words she sees as unnecessary, because the wolf language doesn't have words like "the", "a", "and", etc.
- The appropriately named Hunter in the Gone series. After accidentally killing a friend with his mutant powers he is brutally hit in the head by Zil, leaving him partially brain damaged. Because of this he slurs his words a lot and doesn't understand some things. He is trained by the nearby mutant coyotes can speak somewhat. They teach him how to hunt: he becomes the primary food bringer for Perdido Beach along with Quinn and his fishermen.
- In Morality For Beautiful Girls, by Alexander McCall Smith, a boy is found in the desert who cannot talk. He is sent to the orphan farm run by a friend of the protagonist, who asks her to investigate. Based on the fact that the boy acts more like an animal and hasn't grasped the concept of language, plus the fact that he smelt of lion when he was found, they conclude that he was raised by lions, but they decide to keep him at the farm because he has shown progress in learning how to talk.
- Shana, the half-elf protagonist of The Elvenbane, was raised by dragons.
- Most medieval versions of Parzifal/Percival characterized him merely as a bumpkin initially, whose inborn talents eventually get training, and then the excess of politeness and the Fisher King thing. But occasionally he gets scaled all the way to Raised By Wolves.
- The Gerald Morris version has him appear as part of the finale of an early book, as a naked super-innocent who trained by wrestling lions and who loses to Gawain and decides he wants to be a knight. Later on he gets his own novel, which seems to owe its content mostly to Wolfram von Eschenbach's but omits the whole Herzeloyde bereavement back story and Feirfiz, along with...the Christianity focus, pretty much. Which is pretty impressive in an adaption of a Grail quest story.
- Tortall Universe
- Daine of The Immortals was literally raised by wolves, at least for a little while. Her family was killed by bandits, and her dormant magical powers of being able to speak to animals came through. She joined a renegade pack, tracked down the bandits on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge and nearly lost her human self permanently.
- Nawat in Daughter of the Lioness is an unusual case. He is a crow (they can change into human form if they want) and all of the relevant fallout occurs—he suggests placating an upset girl with a random bit of shiny stone, eats bugs (and offers to feed Aly bugs too), and suggests he and Aly have children to increase their ranks.
- Implied with Wolf Boy in Septimus Heap.
- In a comic variation, Stanley from Terry Pratchett's Going Postal was raised by peas. This left him with a fanatically neat disposition ("Very meticulous, peas are") and a tendency to bend slightly towards the sun when standing up straight.
- One chapter in More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark titled "The Wolf Girl" tells of a Wild Child who was raised by wolves.
- In The Echorium Sequence, Shaiala was raised by centaurs.
- Kingsley Ward from The Extraordinaires. In-universe he is the child raised by wolves on whom Rudyard Kipling based Mowgli in The Jungle Book.
- In the Robert Rankin novel The Witches of Chiswick, a minor character in the novel is 'local celebrity' Master Makepiece Scribbens, who lost his parents in a freak electric dibber accident on the Brentford allotments when he was a baby and was subsequently raised by snails. He is allegedly renowned for his honesty as snails cannot lie, but is wheeled into rooms- his wheelchair actually leaving snail-like trails- covered in blankets, under which he is described as lumplen and shapeless, eyes barely visible beneath folds of skin and his head completely hairless with a musty odour about him. When called upon to appear in court, he can only swear on a box of salt as he has no concept of religion and the Bible. It initially appears that he can only communicate through whispering sounds, but he is actually capable of speaking full sentences in English.
- Dick King-Smith's novel Dragon Boy features an eight-year-old boy named John (full name later revealed to be John Little, with hints in the novel suggesting that he will become the Little John of Robin Hood myth) who is taken in by the dragons Montague and Albertine Bunsen-Burner after the death of his father, with John teaching his new dragon parents (who are able to talk and be understood by John, and vice-versa) how to season their food, quickly reaching a point where the Bunsen-Burners' new daughter, Lucky, comes to consider John her brother. When John returns to a human village to get new clothes for himself, facing other humans for the first time since he starts living with the dragons, he finds that he is far more muscular than most boys of his age due to the exceptional feeding he receives thanks to the dragons, and when Lucky is getting married, John muses that it will be strange living among humans again when he decides that he wants to get married
- In Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions, Alianora was found and raised by dwarves. While generally socially ept, she avoids human habitations; she doesn't like living among them.
- Parodied in How to Be a Superhero, where the section on being a "Jungle Lord" includes a list of orphans who didn't make it due to a poor choice of adoptive animal: Tomar of the Molluscs (starved to death) Mikki of the Dolphins (drowned), Sven of the Lemmings (jumped off a cliff) and Eric of the Man-Eating Bengal Tigers (guess).
- The main character in Pat Murphy's Wild Angel was raised by wolves.
- In Wen Spencer's Ukiah Oregon books, the titular protagonist was found running wild with a pack of wolves near the town of Ukiah, Oregon, hence his name.
- The Malazan Book of the Fallen has Setoc, a war orphan who was adopted by wolves. Born as Stayandi, she was taken in and raised by a pack of wolves when her parents died during a raid. In Reaper's Gale, she is found by the Barghast White Faces, who take her in, but their shamans proclaim her spirit-touched and the "holder of a thousand hearts" and forbid the hunting of wolves, so that her 'first' family can stay close to her. She becomes known as Setoc of the Wolves and never shakes free from the imprint the wild has left on her. She eventually becomes the Destriantnote and the voice of the Wolves of Winter, the recently risen Beast Gods of War, who war against humanity in revenge for the pollution humans have brought upon nature. Over time, her eyes turn to a wolf's eyes, one silver and one amber, and she becomes perpetually surrounded by thousands of wolf spirits who are willing to fight for her. Setoc dies when the Wolves of Winter use her to manifest themselves in the mortal plain.
- In William Makepeace Thackeray's novel The Rose and the Ring, Princess Rosalba is raised (for a time) by lions.
- Torak in The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness is a partial example, as he was left to suckle from a she-wolf as a baby after his mother died, giving him the ability to understand wolf speech, but his father came back for him after a while.
- At least two examples occur in the novels of H. Rider Haggard:
- Galazi the Wolf in Nada the Lily claims to have been raised by jackals , and everything we see in the novel bears out this claim. Rudyard Kipling acknowledged Galazi as one his inspirations for creating Mowgli in The Jungle Book
- Hendrika the Baboon Woman from Allan's Wife is, as might be guessed from her name, a woman who was raised by baboons. She is a servant to Stella's family, but the feral is never far from the surface in her, and is some respects she can be regarded as a Wild Child.
- Lucan of the TV series of the same name, was literally raised by wolves. His name is a double entendre referring to his wolf family and to the difficulty he had learning English despite being a fast learner. "Lucan" is a mispronunciation of the words "You can."
- Jan Kandou from Juken Sentai Gekiranger, raised by pandas and tigers. He calls himself a "tiger boy" and demonstrates incredible strength, such as having a tree fall on him with no effect. It takes him a few episodes to master the concept of things like doors. His defining trait, though, is that, while he can speak proper Japanese, he colours it with made-up babytalk words such as "nikiniki (happy) and "zowazowa" (danger).
- There was an Inverted Trope in Dinosaurs that had a dinosaur that was abandoned by her parents and raised by the cavemen. She acts as a translator between dinosaurs and cavemen.
- Parodied in The Mighty Boosh. Vince was raised in the forests by Bryan Ferry, and leopards and snakes used to babysit him.
- In one episode of Made in Canada, the actor who plays Damacles (the main character of an in-universe equivalent of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and/or Xena: Warrior Princess) comes up with a backstory for his character which includes being born of a wolf and raised by bears.
- The Huntsman from Once Upon a Time was a creature of the forest, taken in by wolves as a small child. As a result, he believed Humans Are Bastards and wanted very little to do with them.
- Tiger from Sinbad was raised by, well, tigers.
- Liv and Maddie: To improve her chances of getting a role in "Space Werewolves", Liv enlists help from a girl who was literally raised by wolves.
- In Earth2, Mary, who was the child of exiled human biologists. Her parents were killed by Terrian renegades, and she was raised as a Terrian, with the abilities they have to Dream and move about the rock. When she sides with the humans over the Terrians in a dispute, she is exiled by them, and as she doesn't fit in with either the humans or Terrians, resolves to live on her own.
- Parodied in Clarissa Explains It All. As part of his Student President campaign, Ferguson makes a video with some made-up stories about his family to make them more impressive. For Clarissa, he chooses this trope, and she's not amused.
Mythology and Legend
- There are hints that The Epic of Gilgamesh was based on an earlier story that just had Enkidu moving from living with animals to being seduced by a woman into becoming a city dwelling taxpayer.
- There is an American legend about Pecos Bill, a cowboy who was raised by coyotes after he fell off a covered wagon as a baby.
- Twin brothers Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome, were left to die in the wilds as infants. They were suckled by a wolf before being found and raised by a shepherd, making this minor version of this trope at least Older Than Feudalism. Mind you "she-wolf" and "prostitute" are the same word in Latin — the closest English counterpart would be "bitch", so the story probably had a double meaning that was Lost in Translation.
- Atalanta was supposedly raised by a she-bear, even considering the other bears her brothers. This led to lots of confusion when she entered the 'real world'.
- In a certain Paranoia adventure, the characters have to stand in as actors for a reality show, but since most Alpha Complex citizens have as much of an interesting personality as a dry toast (and less than a Happy Fun Meal), they get additional backgrounds they have to roleplay. One of the available ones is the wolfboy, who was raised by a vicious radioactive wolf until he was rescued by Alpha Complex forces. This role is somewhat difficult because with everyone living underground, no one has any idea what a wolf might be.
- Warhammer 40,000 - Primarch Leman Russ was raised by tank-sized wolves.
- In Modern times (That is, the last years of the fourtieth millenium), Canis Wulfborn, the champion of Wolf Lord Harald Deathwolf, was also raised by wolves... And, like Russ, managed to make himself the alpha wolf by the time he was in his teens. And remember, this is before he had had any genetic augmentation
- One of the NPCs from a Ravenloft supplement is a caliban (curse-mutated human) born with the head of a tiger. He was abandoned in the forest of a Japanese-style domain, and found and raised by kami animal-spirits.
- A Social trait called Beastkin has you pick an animal species (including bears, gorillas and of course wolves) for your character to be raised by, and allows said character to talk to the animals that raised you.
- There is also an archetype (variation) of the Druid class available for humans called Feral Child, which, in addition to letting you talk to the animals that raised you, trades literacy and the ability to shapeshift for some ranger and barbarian abilities.
- Magic: The Gathering has an enchantment card with this exact name. Not only does it grant benefits for being around wolves, it also puts two of them in play — presumably the ones that raised the enchanted creature. The artwork depicts a leonin — a humanoid panther — running on all fours alongside a pack of wolves.
- Warhammer Fantasy has the country of Tilea, which was founded in ages past when a pair of abandoned human twins were raised by a mutant two-headed leopard.
- In Legend of Legaia, Noa is a girl who was raised by a wolf — albeit an intelligent, talking one. This leads to some occasional embarrassments, such as her inviting a man to take a bath with her, and knocking out whoever appears to be a "bad guy", with no regard for legality.
- In Tales of Legendia, Jay was raised by a ninja, and then hundreds of talking otters. He's an antisocial "information dealer".
- In Tales of the Abyss, the God General Arietta, a.k.a. "Arietta the Wild" was raised by ligers note . Her grudge against Luke and party begins after they kill her mother, the Liger Queen, in the Cheagle Woods.
- Chauncey, the protagonist of the obscure sim game The Horde, was raised by a kind herd of wild cows.
- N, the leader of Team Plasma, was raised by Pokémon because his father, Ghetsis, deliberately neglected him to condition N into a man who would hate humans.
- Gau from Final Fantasy VI was thrown out of his house by his father at birth; the man went insane when his wife succumbed to Death by Childbirth. He was raised by monsters on the Veldt, where all monsters come at one time or another. Despite this, he's actually a pleasant and friendly young man; when the party tries to reunite him with his father and the man rejects him, Gau's response is happiness that his father's still alive.
- In Seiken Densetsu 3 Kevin explains that this is normal for beast men.
- There is a challenge for The Sims 2: Pets to have a toddler or child "raised" by pet animals (and one token elder grandparent or teenage sibling, since tots and kids can't pay bills or live alone without social services stepping in).
- In Mana Khemia, Vayne was raised by his talking cat named Sulphur. It turns out later in the game that Vayne himself is a manufactured Mana, while Sulphur is just a mere black cat.
- Grey Mann of Team Fortress 2 was kidnapped at birth by eagles, and then he was raised by those eagles. Then he ate the eagles.
Saxton Hale: That is some preposterous horse@#$% if you ask me. But barely credible backstory aside, he means business.
- Mirania of The Last Story was raised by a Forest Guardian, a sub-deity-like manifestation of nature's power. it left her a little off.
- In Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters we learn that Captain Qwark was given up for adoption and raised by monkeys.
- Invoked and spoofed in Dragon Age: Origins, when Alistair jokes that his terrible table manners and numerous bad habits are the result of having been raised by "a pack of dogs, who were devout Andrastians and hated cheese!" He admits that the truth is actually boring in comparison, that he was brought up in Redcliffe by Arl Eamon, before being sent to a Chantry to begin Templar training.
- In Hatoful Boyfriend sequel Holiday Star, the human girl claims she was adopted by a pack of jackals in the wilderness. In the "Bad Boys Love" route of the original game, however, her parents are clearly mentioned, so she presumably wasn't raised solely by the jackals.
- Emily Watson from Spacetrawler was raised by coyotes. She can function in human society just fine, but she prefers to live as a nomad in the desert. She also says that coyotes are the only creature she feels any kinship towards... which doesn't prevent her from killing and eating them.
- The Trolls of the planet Alternia. As part of a coming-of-age process, they must find a native monster to become their Lusus, or guardian as they grow up.
- Jade Harley was raised by her reality warping dog Bec after her Grandfather was shot in a freak accident involving Jade nearly getting herself killed.
- Parodied in Sluggy Freelance when Torg suffers a nervous breakdown, disappears inside his own house and is "raised" by (rather sarcastic) cockroaches for a few days.
- Parodied in this strip of Amazing Super Powers.
- One Hover Head story features a man raised by gorillas who had been raised by wolves.
- In Digger, there are many wombat stories involving baby wombats being raised by moles.
Digger: Do you humans have stories about babies being abandoned and raised by moles?
- Has its advantages, according to Caldwell Tanner.
- The protagonist of Vera Brosgol's "What Were You Raised By Wolves", in another literal example.
- In Siren's Lament, Ian the merman doesn't fully understand human customs when he first stays at Lyra's house, sleeping half-naked on her floor and sitting on her counter.
- In The Bird Feeder #162, "Even more adoption," it's revealed that Tina, a hummingbird, was apparently raised by rabbits.
- There's a deviation about a girl raised by kangaroos, who went on to marry the Sniper from Team Fortress 2 (this is a joke based on one of the Soldier's domination lines)
- Vera Brosgol's wordless comic What Were You Raised By Wolves?.
- Brilliantly parodied in The Onion with, "Girl Raised From Birth By Wolf Blitzer Taken Into Protective Custody". The girl in question is a half-human, half-Wolf Blitzer who always wears pressed suits and slicked-back hair, talks in a stilted news-anchor voice, and is calmed by the use of a lint roller.
- Little One in Tales from My D&D Campaign was raised by his dragon mother, as his human father disappeared before he was born.
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy plays with this trope.
Billy: Hey Pud'n, what're you doing outside?
Pud'n: Oh, we live outside outside. I was raised by wolves. *gestures towards a pair of wolves sitting in front of a randomly placed TV*
Father Wolf: Hey. *waves to Billy*
- Another Grim Adventures example: according to Mandy's father, when Mandy was born, a pack of wolves came by to try and raise her as their own. He sometimes regrets turning them down.
- Why does Ezekiel from Total Drama turn feral during World Tour? While he was in the hold, he was homeschooled by the rats. It's possible to assume if he were to be homeschooled by his parents again, he might start speaking again.
- An episode of Brandy & Mr. Whiskers featured a wild dog named Wolfie who shared the same speech problem as Grimlock. It turns out, he was raised by a monkey who had the same speech problem who was raised by a black jaguar who had the same problem... Which is explained when it turns out the jaguar was, erm, "raised" by a coconut tree. That is, coconuts fell onto the jaguar's head.
- In Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, one of the recurring villains was the Griffin, who was at one point or another in his childhood raised by virtually every animal known to man.
- Doctor Doofenshmirtz, the Mad Scientist from Phineas and Ferb, has had a Hilariously Abusive Childhood. According to him, at one point, his parents disowned him, so there was a phase in his life where he was raised by ocelots.
- In a later episode, he uses this fact to join an otherwise animal-only spy organization. Apparently the ocelots formally adopted him, making Doofenshmirtz "legally an ocelot."
- Creepila Creecher herself from Growing Up Creepie was raised by insects.
- In Hero: 108, Wu Song, a dentist, found out that his long lost twin brother was raised by dogs and became the Dog King. The Dog King usually runs around on all fours and wears a dog pelt.
- The Adventure Time episode "Memories of Boom Boom Mountain" reveals Finn was abandoned as a baby and adopted by Jake's parents, who are dogs. But it's okay, they're post-apocalyptic talking dogs.
- Wild Smurf in The Smurfs who the Delivery Stork lost in the forest as an infant and was raised by squirrels.
- In Rocko's Modern Life, Heffer belongs to the Wolfe family, which is all wolves. The thing is though, he is a steer.
- This is a subversion though: The Wolfe family are (despite their dining habits) sophisticated suburbanites. Heffer's lack of social skills is just because he is Heffer.
- Squidbillies has Rusty raised by wolves while Early is in prison. We're treated to a montage of wolves doing things like teaching him to ride a bike or reading him a bedtime story... and then mauling him.
- Police Academy: the Animated Series had one episode featuring a young man literally raised by wolves. The heroes, being cops, had the duty of finding his parents. Mission accomplished.
- Not only are Tarzan and his animated counterparts examples of this trope, but one of those counterparts once met an Amazon Princess who was also raised by animals.
- The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus applies this trope to freakin' Santa Claus — he's found as an abandoned baby and nursed and raised by a lioness, at least until a young wood nymph decides to adopt him.
- Donnie from The Wild Thornberrys was briefly taken in by a mother orangutan after his primatologist parents were killed by poachers. The orangutan later gave Donnie up so the Thornberrys would take him in.
- One episode Donnie and Debbie encounter a young girl being raised by jaguars in the Amazon rain forest.
- The Monarch from The Venture Bros. was (very briefly) raised by a flock of monarch butterflies after his parents died in a plane crash, hence his supervillain sobriquet.
- In The Jungle Bunch The Movie, Maurice the penguin was separated from the rest of his kind while he was an egg. His egg washed up on the shores of Africa, and was taken in by a tiger, who raised him as his own. As a result of his upbringing, Maurice believes himself to be a tiger. When he finally does meet other penguins, he is completely blind to the fact that he resembles them more then he does a tiger.
- In an episode of My Gym Partner's a Monkey, the school welcomes a human girl who was raised by possums, and she acts as such. Subverted when she turns out she was faking it so she can get into the school and get closer to Adam (since she doesn't have a silly last name that can result in a clerical error and be transferred to an all-animal school).
- Wat was raised by a pig in Wat's Pig. He turned out surprisingly competent.
- Boo Boom! The Long Way Home: Boo-Boom, a young boy separated from his parents during World War II, is looked after by five animals. Although they don't intend to raise him (in fact, they are actively looking for the boys' parents), they do protect him as if he were one of their own.
- The Kaeloo episode "Let's Play Baby-Sitting" reveals that Mr. Cat was raised by a salmon (an ordinary one, not a Funny Animal like him) who saved him after his horribly abusive family tried to drown him.
- Dexter's Laboratory parodied this trope in the Justice Friends segment "Ratman", where the titular character's origin involved being taken in by the rats that scared away his parents when he was old enough to live on his own.