Raising the Steaks
"Once the chickens became zombies, the war was lost."Sometimes the Zombie Apocalypse, not unlike the bird flu, can carry to other species. Yes, occasionally even dead animals can be revived into shambling monstrosities after human flesh. This can reach such levels of ridiculousness as (as suggested by the title) meat animating itself and moving around. In video games, these animals are often a Sub-Trope of Night of the Living Mooks, but not always. In works where zombie humans have Zombie Gait, for some reason animals almost never move slower. If anything, they might even get a speed or strength bonus. Can in some cases be justified when zombification reduces brain function, as it takes more dexterity for a biped to run without falling over. Can also be justified in that the zombie plague causes the higher brain functions to cease, while the animal part of the brain keeps functioning. If the subject's ALREADY an animal, then there's no hindrance. Likewise, the fact that zombies don't get tired may work in a reanimated animal's favor, as many living carnivores are sprinters, unable to sustain high speeds for long. See also Non-Human Undead.
open/close all folders
Anime And Manga
- A puppy that Yuki brings home in School-Live! turns into a zombie. In the anime, due to Adaptation Expansion, the dog Taroumaru is still alive and the Team Pet instead of the One-Shot Character he was in the manga. In the tenth episode we find ot he's become a zombie. It's noted that only mammals seem to turn into a zombies.
- Junji Ito's manga Gyo is about a village under attack by fish that are technically dead, but propelled by mechanical legs, so they vaguely fit the trope
- In Princess Mononoke, Moro's severed head is briefly reanimated upon contact with the Forest Spirit's black goo... whereupon it proceeds to lunge at Lady Eboshi and bite off her arm.
- An early chapter of Pokémon Adventures had Red having to battle against undead Pokemon.
- In Creature Tech, the blood of Christ in the Shroud Of Turin can heal wounds and raise the dead. When the shroud accidentally comes into contact with some meat in a butcher shop, the various cuts assemble themselves into a sentient Meat Man.
- One of the stories in The Halo Graphic Novel involves a Flood infestation on a Covenant station. They completely wipe out and assimilate the onboard wildlife reservation.
- Hitman: Tommy and friends experience "Zombie Night At Gotham Aquarium," which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. note
- In the Tales From the Crypt story "Squash... Anyone?", there is a zombie elephant, rendered in wonderfully revolting detail by Graham Ingels.
- In the new 52's reboot of Swamp Thing, the Big Bad is Death itself (technically, the Rot) personified. As such, Alec must face such undead abominations as zombie pigs and a reanimated woolly mammoth fossil.
- In Hack Slash, slashers often have powers of some kind, usually having something to do with their MO from when they were alive. Bobby Brunswick, who worked at an animal clinic euthanizing animals before he died, has the power to raise dead animals and command them to do his bidding.
- Afterlife with Archie begins when Jughead's pet dog Hot Dog is accidentally hit by Reggie's car. Jughead has Sabrina the Teenage Witch revive him but Hot Dog comes back as a zombie and bites Jughead. This causes a Zombie Apocalypse.
- One story in WildStorm's Resident Evil anthology comic has a security guard fighting his way through infected animals of a zoo, which includes tigers, snakes, gorillas and prairie dogs. When the character returns in the sequel comic Fire and Ice, he is jumped by a zombie lion ("Not this again! Why is it always animals?").
- In The Return of the Living Dead, zombifying gas spreads throughout a medical supply warehouse, reanimating half a dog and a butterfly collection. (On the other hand, when the gas spreads over the town, the only zombies we see are human.) A giant rat gets brought back in Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis, while several lab mice (including the so-called "Mr. Stinky") become infected in Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave.
- An Asian butcher shop is subjected to reanimating energies in Dead Heat, causing hook-suspended ducks to quack, headless chickens to blunder about blindly, and an entire dressed beef carcass to lurch out of the freezer and grapple a hero inside its body cavity.
- Resident Evil: Extinction has zombie crows, and all three films have zombie dogs.
- One of the ickier feats of ghostly telekinesis in Poltergeist was a raw steak that slithered along a kitchen counter.
- In 28 Days Later the
zombieRage virus was originally tested on and spread by chimpanzees.
- In the Re-Animator movies, Herbert West, like many a real-world medical scientist, tests his methods on animals first. This includes a cat in one movie and a rat in another. (A rat that, apparently, learnt kung fu by becoming a zombie...)
- In The Mad, one of the characters is attacked by a zombie hamburger patty.
- The Gamers: Dorkness Rising- After defeating Mort Kemnon and realising he was not the Big Bad, sorceress Luster hands a note to the DM: "Raise Dead on the turkey". That they were roasting over their campfire. It kills the bard before getting eaten (and still zombie'd).
- In Daybreakers, there's mention of vampire animals. Apparently, they keep igniting in the sun, leading to forest fires.
- Blade: Trinity movie featured three 'reaper' dogs.
- Dracula's Dog, aka Zoltan Hound Of Dracula.
- In an entry that requires a "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer, Dead Sushi features, you guessed it, zombie sushi.
- There's a pair of zombie tigers in the film Zombie Apocalypse. Unlike human zombies, they drag prey into hiding to eat.
- In I Am Legend, dogs are naturally immune to airborne infection by the vampiric KV virus but not to infection by bite. Two vampire dogs appear midway during the movie as threats and they end up infecting Neville's pet dog Sam, who he fails to cure and ends up having to Mercy Kill.
- Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? has zombie lions.
- Used in Everworld. A fight began during some diplomatic feast. Merlin reanimated the animals they were eating. He also reanimated people that died during the fight so that they could keep fighting.
- In Simon R. Green's The Gods of Haven, thousands of enraged animal ghosts are called up from a slaughterhouse, materialize as zombies, and embark on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against humanity.
- In Stephen King's Pet Sematary, there's a special burial ground and anyone buried there will come back to life. Burying animals there is fairly common, and the zombie animals are mostly harmless (the main character has a zombie cat, and his neighbor used to have a zombie dog), but human zombies aren't nearly as nice.
- Older Than Feudalism: In The Odyssey, Tiresias and Circe told Odysseus that his men must not eat the sun god's cattle while on his island. Naturally, they do, since the island didn't have much more than herbs. However, the meat doesn't stay dead, and starts to moo on the spit as it roasts. And once they leave the island... though the intention was not a Zombie Apocalypse, but an omen that the sun god was pissed off and about to get revenge.
- One of the rules of necromancy in The Dresden Files is that it's often not worth it to raise a zombie animal, as animals leave shallower "psychic footprints" than humans and thus don't have as much power when raised (consider that a human zombie, in deference to tradition, is typically as strong as the Terminator). Harry, however, being Crazy Awesome, latches onto two of the other rules — first, that it is technically not illegal to raise animals, and second, that the older something is, the deeper its "footprint" becomes — and applies these rules to Sue, the 65 million year old T. rex skeleton at the Natural History Museum. Awesomeness ensued.
- Consider that a fossil isn't even an actual skeleton, but an imprint filled with minerals. So basically, he's reanimated a dinosaur partially made of rock.
- The Kellis-Amberlee virus of the Newsflesh Trilogy affects any mammal over forty pounds. This includes large dogs, horses, cows...and whales.
- Not actually seen, but in On Stranger Tides, when a sorcerer animates a sunken British ship's crew to serve him, and accidentally raises up the Spanish vessel that sank it as well, one character remarks that there are probably fishes swimming about beneath them that'd been skeletons an hour ago.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, anything killed by the Others will rise as a wight. This includes horses (often described as riding around with frosted entrails clinging to their bellies) and bears.
- Brian Keene has notable examples of zombie animals in his books: The Rising, City of the Dead, Dead Sea and The Rising: Selected Scenes from the End of the World. Dead Sea has examples of zombie seagulls, zombie fish and zombie rats, while the other books have a whole selection of zombie animals spanning from birds to dogs. Zombie insects and zombified plants are also explored in: The Rising: Selected Scenes from the End of the World and with zombified plants being hinted towards at the end of "City of the Dead."
- A pack of zombie hyenas appears in Iron Dawn, as products of the demonist's corrupted magic.
- In the humorous Magitek fantasy novel The Case Of The Toxic Spell Dump, a seamstress removes a fresh bloodstain from a piece of cloth by having her pet vampster lick it clean. Yes, that's a vampire hamster.
- In the third book of The Immortals series by Tamora Pierce, Daine raises dead dinosaurs and takes them on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge because she thinks Numair has been executed by the Emperor.
- A vampire version of this appears in Christopher Moore's trilogy about vampires in San Francisco, Love Bites, You Suck and Bite Me. Under the series' rules of how vampirism works, anything that has a vampire's blood in its system, and then dies, comes back as a vampire. Since many animals instinctively fight by biting their attacker, animals get vampirized very easily. At one point in the story there are clouds of mist made of vampire cats flying around.
- Fortunately, Undeath Always Ends. The further removed vampires in that setting are from the original vampire, the quicker they die naturally or self-destruct psychologically somehow, which is seem with formerly human vampires. Protagonists manage to kill the first vampire cat, and it might never be explicitly stated but we can assume that all animals of a lower "generation" than him fall apart on their own somehow. At one point a flock of vampire parrots bursts into flame in the morning sun simply because they don't know they need to stay away from sunlight.
- David Drake's The Lord of the Isles features a lot of necromancers who, in their bid to take over the kingdom, love to raise the dead. Their armies include undead infantry, undead cavalry on undead horses, and even undead shock troops in the form of undead woolly mammoths. Undead cyclopses have also been known to appear.
- In Garth Nix's Old Kingdom trilogy Hedge, an evil necromancer, at one point kills a horse so he can raise it as one of the Dead to be his mount, since if it was alive it'd never let him on its back.
- In Dead Space: Martyr, there is mention of fish becoming Necromorphs and attacking, then infecting other fish around the Black Marker.
- In Larry Niven's short story "Night on Mispec Moor" the zombifying organism originally evolved to dwell in corpses of native dog-like animals. Then it found human corpses make a good host too.
- In the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Vampire Science, the scientifically-minded leader of the vampires has performed experiments which show the "V-factor" can be added to any animal. Rather worryingly, she's not sure where the cats are, but she had a snail for a while (until one of the other vampires stood on it, and they decided the kindest thing to do would be to stake it with a toothpick) and undead ameobas that consume red blood cells.
- Discworld has several examples:
- Scraps in Carpe Jugulum is The Igor's pet dog. He's what you might call a mixed-breed, and as happy as a dog with two tails. The We R Igors Diary 2015 includes a picture of him, and also Patches the cat.
- In Reaper Man when Death stops working (when his performance is being evaluated) it also affects animals.
- Death tried to make use of a skeletal mount once, but found it impractical; he had to keep wiring bits back on. He much prefers his living horse, Binky.
- It is perfectly possible to resurrect animals as Lifeless in Warbreaker. Doing this is fairly rare, as creating a Lifeless is moderately expensive (since you can't reclaim the Breath used to animate it, plus you need special chemicals for best effect) and humans are far more useful in most circumstances.
- In the picture books and subsequent animated series Funnybones, the two living skeletons have a living skeletal dog.
- Monster Hunter Vendetta features a necromancer who needs an army and has time to plan. So he's "been collecting corpses like some people collect stamps." His enemies, all experienced monster hunters, react with disbelief:
- “Armored zombie bear,” “A helmet! Who puts buckets on zombies’ heads? That’s not fair!”
- “Where the hell do you get dead elephants anyway?”
- “Okay, walking dead, that’s fine. Running dead, I can handle. But the flying dead? Hell with this. I quit.”
Live Action TV
- Pushing Daisies: When you can raise the dead by touching them, be careful not to touch bearskin rugs.
- In the "Dead Man's Party" episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the first zombie raised by the mask that houses the demon Ovu Mobani is a cat. It was the corpse closest to the mask though, and most of the corpses it raises are human. The demon require a zombie to put on the mask so it can incarnate, and presumably the body needs to be human).
- In Game of Thrones the White Walkers use reanimated horses as mounts.
- One episode of Forever Knight features two vampire dogs. One is a blind woman's seeing eye dog. The incident reminds Nick of the time his dog was turned into a vampire. Nick was forced to stake his dog. The seeing eye dog ends up turning its master (and curing her blindness.)
- Campfire song "Johnny Verbeck's Sausage Making Machine" has this verse:
One day a little Dutch boy came walking in the store,He bought a pound of sausages and laid them on the floor.And then he started whistling, he whistled up a tune,And all the little sausages went dancing 'round the room!
- The song "Zombie Jamboree" makes a brief mention of a "King Kong zombie on the Empire State (Building)".
- The video for Metallica's "All Nightmare Long" has the Russian scientists injecting zombie spores into steaks, and watching them slither around.
- There are skeleton and zombie versions of just about anything (but most notably hounds) in Dungeons & Dragons. A well played necromancer will not reanimate Demi Humans, but monsters, as they retain qualities they had in life, leading to nice goodies like zombie pyrohydrasnote
- Indeed, older editions of the game included Animate Dead Animals as a low-level magic spell, useable by novice necromancers who weren't yet powerful enough to affect humanoid corpses.
- D&D also gives us "Skin Kites," patches of undead skin which fly around and can create more of themselves from the skin of their victims. Then there's the Skulking cyst, a crawling undead tumor. Still other undead include clouds of blood, severed appendages, constructs of bone and an entire graveyard able to come alive like a humanoid golem.
- Generally averted with ghosts, as animals lack souls, but then the "Ghost Brute" template was created, which can be applied to animalsnote .
- No shortage of examples from the Ravenloft setting. Forlorn in particular is known for its undead wolf packs, an undead Stock Ness Monster lurks in one of the Core's lakes, and Meredoth the necromancer has been known to raise up undead skeletons of anything from mice to bears to kangaroos.
- Munchkin has an Undead Horse, undead ears, and Zombees, which are just what you'd think they'd be.
- Warhammer Fantasy has the Vampire Counts, who regularly employ Undead Wolves, Horses and Dragons in their service. Nurgle likewise sometimes employ decaying dragons and gigantic Toads, but whether they're revived creatures or Daemons resembling certain fauna is up for debate.
- See also the Fleet Battle game Dreadfleet, which features a giant deep-sea flatfish that swallowed a Skaven submarine. Both monster and crew died when the ratmen tried to eat their way free. Later, the monster's corpse was raised by a Vampire pirate, which also raised the Skaven crew as well. The Skaven simply incorporated the monster into their still-swallowed vessel.
- All Flesh Must Be Eaten provides stats for numerous breeds of undead animal, and they show up in multiple Dead Worlds.
- Practically omnipresent throughout the Resident Evil games. Zombie dogs have appeared in basically every game to date, and you have also encountered infected crows (very annoying and dangerous), an alligator (in a sewer!), a giant zombie snake, a giant Zombie Man-Eating Plant, and even zombie sharks. Mentioned in the backstory, with Wesker suspicious of why Spencer had a mansion in the middle of a forest, despite knowing that the virus could infect anything and from such a location, could end up infecting everything.
- Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 had the protagonists forced to go through the Raccoon City zoo: You get attacked by zombie hyenas, zombie alligators, zombie elephants, and zombie lions.
- This got to the point that when normal, if aggressive, crocodiles were featured many were speculating on whether or not they were actually infected with anything.
- In Dead Rising a zombie poodle is shown during one of the opening Cutscenes. You don't run in to any other zombie animals in the 360 version. The Wii version features them during the normal game.
- It's debatable if the poodle was even a zombie in the 360 version, it could be the zombies favor human meat exclusively to animals.
- Zombie penguins are mentioned as being an attraction in Fortune City in the tie-in C.U.R.E. website. None are seen in-game, though.
- Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop also has zombie parrots. They have an annoying tendency to drop grenades on your head.
- Animales de la Muerte, a game currently in development by High Voltage Software, developers of The Conduit, involves zombie zoo animals from a Mexican zoo hit with a Zombie Apocalypse.
- The Meat Circus in Psychonauts features zombie rabbits that attack Lil' Oly during the Escort Mission.
- Plants vs. Zombies has zombie dolphins attack the household. The sequel introduces zombie chickens, seagulls, parrots, weasels and dragonflies.
- In the haunted house level of TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, racks of zombified beef attack you in a kitchen. In another room, a huge mass of flesh bursts out of a wall attached to a stuffed moose head. And we won't even BEGIN to discuss "Princess"...
- Zombie Carp in Dwarf Fortress. Normal carp are notorious for dragging unlucky dwarves into the water to their doom, but they're generally easy to avoid as long as you stay away from the water. Zombie carp are a whole new magnitude of "scary," being capable of leaving the water and pursuing the hapless dwarves to their very beds. And this isn't even taking into account the possibility of zombie whales...
- Dead things and dead parts of thing in an evil region can be spontaneously raised as undead, including untanned animal hides and the shells of mussels.
- Guild Wars has undead dogs (or wolves), undead horses, and undead dragons (several. The Big Bad of Guild Wars 2 is itself an entirely different sort of undead dragon)
- Not technically undead, but a similar idea, are the afflicted cows in the second mission of Factions.
- The Undeath present in Guild Wars 2 is all-encompassing, if you thought zombie cows were bad, just try deal with a zombie chicken with a mean streak a mile wide. The only thing on the planet that can't become a Risen are Sylvari, who are naturally resistant to Zhaitan's influence because they're servants of one of the other dragons.
- Earthbound and Mother 3 both feature Zombie Dogs.
- Thunder Force V has the boss "Iron Maiden", a reanimated... animal thingy.
"It was dead, but alive at the same time."
- In Dawn of Heroes, the first Epic Monster you have a chance of fighting is a zombie-cow. It gets 'milked' for any number of bad puns. And then it stomps you flat. (Its basic attack does 264 damage. Twice. At the time when you can first face it, your strongest unit MAY have 150 HP.)
- In World of Warcraft, the undead player's racial mounts are undead, skeletal horses. There are also models for deer, bears, and wolves that look undead and are confirmed to be infected or diseased with something, but not actually undead. Although in Razorfen Downs, the undead Quilboar are happy to send a pack of undead boars to attack you. There are also undead crabs and Murlocs in the Ghostlands, but this is informed, since they look and act exactly like normal crabs and murlocs.
- In most bodies of water there are swimming schools of fish that serve as decoration. In undead territories, they're fish skeletons.
- In the Undead Nightmare DLC of Red Dead Redemption, the undead plague has spread to the animals, resulting in undead horses, undead wolves, undead cougars, and undead bears.
- The popular Half-Life mod, "They Hunger", has zombie dogs, bulls, and chickens.
- In Dead Space some fish have been infected by Necromorphs and attack each other.
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask introduced undead fish for the water levels.
- Dark Souls has the Undead Dragons. They like to spit poison and have an almost-Instant Death Radius.
- In Cold Fear is stated that Excell were experimented on animals, including dogs and apes. There's also a dead orca whale which hosted several Infectors, which proceed to attack you.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds features a zoo level with zombified gorillas and penguins. Unfortunately, the latter don't appear outside cutscenes.
- In Parasite Eve, Aya's adventure in the American Natural History Museum sees her getting attacked by several insect specimens that were brought back to life, as well as reanimated and mutated velociraptors, a triceratops and even a T-rex.
- In Shadows Of The Servants, the evil stems from a cursed monkey's restless spirit. An undead monkey pops up in a brief Cat Scare scene.
- The very first enemies you face in the Web Game Dude and Zombies are zombie rabbits. They're pretty annoying even if weak, because they're small, fast, and jump while moving. Later on, you fight zombie birds which are a massive annoyance.
- Kingdom of Loathing has a few examples:
- The conservatory of Spookyraven Manor is infested with the skeletons of Stephen Spookyraven's many unfortunate pets.
- Some of the rampaging giant ducks you can fight on McMillicancuddy's Farm include zombie ducks and vampire ducks.
- During a Zombie Slayer run, you come back as a zombie and can turn other creatures into zombies to add to your horde, including beast-type monsters.
- In the Director's Cut of Organ Trail, the player character will occasionally have a "boss encounter" with undead animals. They may encounter a zombie bear (which can't be killed) or zombie dogs (which are much faster than normal zombies) while scavenging, and they may have to dodge zombie deer while out on the road.
- Maggie the witch in RuneScape owns a pair of skeletal oxen, Babe and Norman.
- In Discworld II (partially based on Reaper Man above) when Death Takes a Holiday (literally) and then becomes a clickie (i.e. movie) star humans and animals stop dying. Except rats, because Death-of-Rats is a separate entity who formed as a result of Reaper Man events. (Yes, continuity is... problematic.) Among other things we get to see a sheep skeleton working in clickies as Death's stunt double.
- In a more logical instance of this trope, Erfworld combines the powers of different mages to revive a dead volcano.
- The Character Blog of Othar Tryggvassen, Gentleman Adventurer! from Girl Genius once had our lovable Large Ham trying to fight past a horde of undead stoats.
- In the backstory graphic novel for The Order of the Stick, Xykon first discovered his powers as a sorcerer when he reanimated his dead dog.
- Averted and Discussed in The Zombie Hunters. Animals are explicitly The Immune, which piques the interest of scientists trying to Find the Cure, and prompts jokes amongst the Zombie Hunters: "I have always considered it a blessing that animals don't turn. Can you imagine? Hunter Zombie Squirrels?"
- Zombie horses, mules, and even prairie dogs have been shown as part of the world of Zombie Ranch. Although carnivorous, their behavior seems mostly unchanged compared to human zombies, and their bite isn't infectious to people. Zombie horses are even considered a preferred mode of transportation, but zombie cattle were put down as useless. Regardless of your former species, zombification apparently makes you taste terrible.
- Dead Of Summer has zombie animals in Book 2, the scariest being a giant grizzly bear.
- On The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, a two-part zombie episode includes reanimated dogs, frog's legs, a chicken and serpentine sausage links.
- In one episode of The Fairly OddParents, Timmy's long-dead pet gerbil comes back as a zombie, with squick-y results◊. At the end of the episode, it is implied that all of his other dead pets have also become zombies.
- Vincent, who fantasized he was Vincent Price:
He likes to experiment on his dog Abercrombie - in the hopes of creating a horrible zombie.So he and his horrible zombie dog can go searching for victims in the London fog.
- Gravity Falls episode Northwest Mansion Mystery included a vengeful poltergeist animating the Northwest family's extensive texidermy collection. The poltergeist himself was introduced with an entire wall of mounted heads chanting ominously while bleeding from their mouths and eyes.