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TALKINGANIMAL
Even he is sick of this trope!

"Be afraid.
Be very afraid.
Be bloody terrified.
After all, you've just entered the household of the Happy Talking Spiders."
— from a Walkthrough for Exile III

Many cartoons have them — some animation companies have made their entire core casts out of them. Very simply, these are animals who talk. They are a lot better at it than the Speech-Impaired Animal. They can easily hold down a conversation with human members of the cast. It's not like every human Speaks Fluent Animal either; the animals themselves are able to talk and that's just the way it is.

Despite their ability to speak, they are still animals in almost every other way, particularly when it comes to instincts, priorities and motivations. They very rarely wear clothes, and they are often vocally proud of the fact they aren't human. They may even choose to talk to no one but a single human, who typically finds this very disturbing. They may even break the Fourth Wall and talk only to the viewer.

A Talking Animal is different from:
  • A Civilized Animal: who is an animal that shows some form of civilized manner and generally has half the mannerisms of a human, but otherwise occupy their species's natural role and have the basic body shape of their species.
  • A Funny Animal: who has more than half, most, or almost all of the mannerisms of a human being, but still have the basic body shape of their species.
  • A Petting Zoo Person: who is an animal that has almost all, if not all, of the mannerisms of a human being and actually has a human body frame.

A good comparison: Ralph the mouse (from The Mouse and the Motorcycle) is a Talking Animal; he lives in a mousehole, dodges cats, and runs around naked (save for his fur), yet he enjoys motorcycles and regularly talks to the human boy Keith. Mickey Mouse is a Funny Animal; he lives in a house, drives a car, wears clothing, and sprays his garden with pesticides (think about that for a second).

Like many Speech Impaired Animals and Nearly Normal Animals, many Talking Animals lack hands and walk on all fours, negating the possibility of performing many human tasks and behaviors. A few examples are bipedal even if their species isn't naturally so. However, when required by a joke, the Talking Animal can sometimes act like the more anthropomorphic Civilized Animal or Funny Animal.

Since these are otherwise normal animals who are able to talk, the issues of Furry Confusion don't usually come up. The issue of What Measure Is A Nonhuman, however, is far more likely to affect a Talking Animal than a Funny Animal. That said, Talking Animals are likely to voice just what they think about humans...

The Fairy Tale is more likely to feature a talking animal than a fairy. (Although they do often turn out to be humans under a curse. Or even ghosts.)

Lots of verbal jokes involve talking animals, with the humour usually deriving from a trait of that animal or a pun based on the word for the animal. A common subversion of these jokes is to replace the punchline with something along the lines of "Holy crap, a talking horse!" See also Not in Front of the Parrot.

Fun fact: As ridiculous as it sounds, there are some books like Charlotte's Web that were banned in some areas of the U.S. because they had talking animals in them.

Many Weasel Mascots, Non Human Sidekicks, and Team Pets are Talking Animals. Talking birds are a separate subtrope. Compare Intellectual Animal, Sapient Steed, and Uplifted Animal. For the next step "up" in the latter, see Partially Civilized Animal, Civilized Animal, and Mouse World. See also Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism.

Compare Animal Talk. Contrast Pantomime Animal.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • GEICO Insurance
    • Many of their commercials have a talking gecko with a British (or possibly Australian) accent, who also serves as a mascot for GEICO.
    • And their newest mascot is Maxwell The Pig, who raises all sorts of issues, like when Max tells the stewardess on the flight they're on that he has an app for his phone from GEICO that allows him to do things like pay his bill or file a claim, she says she'll believe that when pigs fly. Max turns to one of the other passengers and says, "Did she just say what I think she said?"
  • A 2000s commercial for Connect Four has a group of animals watching a boy and girl playing the game and bragging them to do it again.
  • A Rozerem commercial has a talking beaver sitting next to Abraham Lincoln at the table.
  • There is also a commercial for Tidy Cats with talking cats.
  • Inverted in one of ESPN's Winter X Games XV commercials of 2011, in which two mule deer are "talking" with subtitles.
  • Played straight and played with in a series of commercials for Budweiser. First there were those three frogs "Bud." "Weis." "Er."), then along came two chameleons, one of which wanted to replace the frogs. To that end, the chameleon hired a ferret who was The Unintelligible.
  • In one U.S. anti-drug Public Service Announcement, a young girl's dog talks to her and asks her to give up marijuana. The narm results from the fact that if your dog is talking to you than either, A.) You have some serious mental health issues, or B.) That's not marijuana you took, but LSD. In either case, marijuana is not the problem.
  • For some time, the Mexican phone company Telmex showcased commercials featuring a talking Jack Russel Terrier called Otto, explaining that due to the promotions made by the company, he had to learn to speak like a human to (unsuccessfully) get their attention again. Then, he started to evolve into a character of its own after a few more commercials.
  • This ad for McCoy's "Man Crisps" has a dog exclaim "Never in all my life!" when one guy suggests they ask for directions when lost.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The many animals of Shirokuma Cafe. It's not outright explained why animals can talk in their world, but from various scenes from the anime and manga it can be pieced together that only animals that have been integrated into human society can talk, implying they must be taught how.
  • Kimba the White Lion, anyone? Not to mention that they literally all speak to HUMANS! And they learn the dub language in like 5 seconds!
  • Meowth of the Team Rocket trio from Pokémon. The anime shows through flashbacks just how hard it was for him to learn to say something other than "Meowth", which other members of his species say. One could consider Meowth some manner of prodigy, as he is also capable of translating "Pokémon" to human language from species of Pokémon other than his own.
    • All the Mons are able to speak like humans Pokémon Mystery Dungeon and Pokepark Wii games. Whether it was truly this trope or simply Translation Convention was ambiguous at first, but the sequels to both games drop hints that the pokemon really were talking, also the Pokemon Rumble games for 3DS and Wii U.
    • Just about any pokemon that can use telepathy, such as Mewtwo, Slowking and Lugia, Jirachi, Unown!Entei, Arceus and Zorua. Ash and his entourage have also met some exceptional examples of common Pokémon who could do it, like a Gastly (who had other powers) a Lapras, and in the eight movie, a Lucario. (The PokéDex entries for Lapras and Lucario in the video games do say that they can understand human speech, so having them able to learn to communicate in the anime version isn't much of a stretch.
    • In the Pokemon universe, all Pokemon can understand each other. So it isn't anything special on Meowth's part when he translates from Pokemon to human language because, as a Pokemon, he automatically understands what any other Pokemon is saying, regardless of species. It is shown many times, for example, one Pokemon of one species trying to convince another Pokemon of a different species that these humans are friends and those humans are bad and things like that.
    • Bizarrely, only one character (The Pokémon League entrance exam instructor) is ever shown to be impressed by Meowth's ability to speak like a human and even tried to capture Meowth.
  • Animals in the Magical Kingdom can talk in Himechan No Ribon such as having birds as messengers.
  • Chopper from One Piece. He's a reindeer that can not only talk to humans, but other animals as well. Of course, this is because he had eaten a devil's fruit which gives him this ability. There's also Pappug, a starfish who learned to talk because of a pun related to the pronunciation of "I'm a human" (hito desu) and "starfish" (hitode). Trafalgar Law also has talking polar bear, Bepo, on his crew, though we're not sure what his deal is yet. Recently, a talking lion named Pekoms has been introduced, but how he is able to talk is as much of a mystery as with Bepo.
  • The entire cast of Mori No Ando, considering they know which words humans would use and what words animals would use.
  • Luna, Artemis and Diana from Sailor Moon. In Sailor Moon S: The Movie) Luna becomes human through magic.
    • This is slightly different in the original manga. While the first time Luna is changed into a human is presented in the same way as it is on screen, later it is established that all three of the feline characters can take on human form at times of great crisis, because they are actually aliens. A villain from their home planet is presented as being a Human Alien at all times. Why the trio is limited to times of crisis is unknown. Or why only they have the Crescent marks on their forehead that when damaged turns them into ordinary cats. Or why Diana keeps her tail in human form but her parents don't.
  • Fuji, Yankumi's dog in Gokusen, is a slight subversion of this trope — he runs through an internal monologue and has surprisingly human thought processes, but he's actually making strange dog sounds and the other characters in the show don't understand him.
  • Teika Midarezaki from Kyouran Kazoku Nikki, who is a talking lion. He's very proud of this.
  • Generally, Wolf's Rain can be considered this. Telepathy or not, they can verbally communicate with humans and this is how the majority would describe them anyway. Not only can the eponymous wolves speak telepathically, they use illusions to disguise themselves as humans. When they fight, the illusions are understandably dropped and they are very clearly wolves.
  • Every dog in Ginga Nagareboshi Gin and its sequel, Ginga Densetsu Weed.
  • Jillas the fox and Pokota, the, um... critter from Slayers.
  • Shamisen, Kyon's cat in Suzumiya Haruhi, for a short time. Of course, normal cats don't talk and this is all Haruhi's fault.
  • Chamo from Mahou Sensei Negima!! it's heavily implied that he was a mage that broke the laws and is being punished by being trapped in an animal form.
  • Muta in The Cat Returns. Although he does begin to sway toward being a Funny Animal when at the Cat Bureau, and also in the Kingdom of Cats.
  • Clara (a cat) and Poipoider (a porpoise) in Mars Daybreak. Poipoider's ability to speak stems from translators built into the Powered Armor he uses to walk on land, but Clara is able to understand him even outside of it.
  • Happy and Charle from Fairy Tail are two talking cats. More accurately, are part of a race of talking, cat-like creatures called Exceed, who hatch from eggs and use magic to grow wings and fly.
  • Emusa, the pink alien bunny thing in Transformers Zone.
  • Ruby from Rave Master, who's most likely a penguin.
  • The title character of Omamori Himari can appear as one, though she usually prefers to appear as a human or Cat Girl
  • Naruto has multiple animals, such as toads, dogs, and giant slug just to name a few. Most but not all of them are summons.
  • Tama from Hayate the Combat Butler, who can only aspire to the importance of being a mascot. He only talks to Hayate, and is only occasionally bipedal.
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia, Canada's bear Kumajiro and Iceland's puffin can talk. When the Nekotalia strips happened, all the nation cats can talk and at one point, Japaneko talked to his master Japan, causing Japan to react with shock.
  • Kyuubei of Puella Magi Madoka Magica sort of counts. He actually communicates via Telepathy, but is still perfectly fluent in Japanese, and understands human speech just fine. Pity this doesn't also apply to his morals.
  • In Wild Fangs, Gido is a sentient talking furball.
  • In Sangatsu no Lion, Akari's cats are given lines of "dialogue" that tell the reader what they're asking of their owners and what they are thinking- usually them asking or thinking about what's for dinner. However, they're not actually talking to the humans. What they're saying isn't actually acknowledged as an audible line of dialogue.
  • Il Sole penetra le Illusioni has a talking crow and a talking cat named Laplace and Schrodinger respectively.
  • Wowser and Ratso Catso.

    Comic Books 
  • Captain Marvel's buddy, Talky Tawny the Tiger.
  • Detective Chimp in The DCU can actually communicate with all animals, but according to him humans are the best conversationalists. His old friend Rex the Wonderdog has the same ability; they both gained it as a side-effect of drinking from the fountain of youth. Strangely, both of them were impressive and intelligent before drinking from the fountain; all it did was make communication easier for them.
  • The German comic Werner has talking grebes (in Eiskalt!) and bears (in Normal ja!) for the purpose of loads of puns. At least the grebes interact with humans, such as the ones who buy a car just to drive it into a lake, or the ones who try to sell their collected grebe jokes to Werner for his next book but demand an outrageously high price including license fees and whatnot.
  • Fables has talking animals of all sorts, courtesy of human stories and imagination.
  • Cubitus: Cubitus the dog and Sénéchal the cat both talk. They walk upright,yet still behave like normal animals from time to time.
  • Tintin: Snowy appears to talk with other animals and even Tintin in his earliest appearances, but it's never clear whether Tintin actually understands what he says? After Captain Haddock is introduced in the series Snowy talks less and less. In fact, the entire concept of Snowy's talking is so weird in the realistic atmosphere of Tintin's stories that in the animated adaptations Snowy is always portrayed as a normal barking dog.
  • Lucky Luke: Ratanplan and Jolly Jumper talk, but it is made clear that humans are unable to understand them.
  • Jommeke: Jommeke's parrot, Flip, can talk. He is still a normal animal but is able to conversate fluently with humans.
  • Urbanus: Amedee the fly, Nabuko Donosor the dog and Wieske the pig are all able to talk.
  • Tom Poes: All animals are able to talk.
  • Rasmus Klump: All animals talk in this comic strip.

    Comic Strips 
  • In an odd case, Snoopy from Peanuts is a Talking Animal who doesn't (usually) talk. Despite this, he's certainly one of the most verbose and eloquent of the characters, verbalizing his thoughts via balloons. His pal Woodstock might surpass him except that we don't know what Woodstock says exactly. Though despite said eloquence, he can't write to save his life.
  • The same applies to Garfield. In one book, Garfield and the other animals in his hometown break their rule against using speech to warn their owners about a natural disaster that is quickly approaching.
  • Chip Dunham's Overboard has several of these characters. One of these, a dog named Raymond, speaks out loud (presumably in intelligible English), walks on his hind legs, and wears a fedora hat. Another dog, Louie, walks on all fours, thinks "out loud" via thought balloons, and wears no clothing. Several mice and rabbit characters also appear more or less regularly.
  • Also, Bill Watterson's beloved Hobbes, of Calvin and Hobbes is only animate when alone with Calvin, as a general rule, yet seems to live quite an independent life from Calvin, chasing critters in the forest and reading comic books with interest. Hobbes is very often the more sensible, the more sane, and the more eloquent of the title duo, though he does have his moments of primal savagery (which he works off by attacking Calvin whenever he comes home from school, or having Calvin throw a slice of jellied toast for him to "catch").
  • In Get Fuzzy, pretty much every animal character seems to have this ability.
  • Most of the Pearls Before Swine cast regulars are talking animals, while most one-time characters are humans. They have no trouble treating the talking animals like people. Lampshaded in a certain strip introducing "Chuckie, the non-anthromorphic sheep", who can't speak in English and can only communicate in "baaahs" like a normal sheep can.
  • TNT the collie from Rip Haywire.
  • Gorgon from Barnaby, who rambles on, tells shaggy dog stories, and eventually has to be bribed into shutting up.
  • In a strip of The Far Side, a scientist invents a canine-to-English translator, only to discover that every bark simply translates to the word "hey". A large portion of the series contains talking animals, though Gary Larson jumps back and forth between animals that live and act like humans, or are normal animals/pets that can talk, sometimes to humans or just other animals. The majority being Cows.
  • In the German comic Rudi, apparently ants and slugs not only are this, but are also organized like a fascist state and actively planning to bring down human society. Especially, eat all their food. In other words, not only Humans Are Bastards in this comic.
  • A lot of the animal characters from Dogs Of C Kennel.
  • All the animals in Over the Hedge
  • Nero: Occasionally talking animals appear in the series.
  • Paulus De Boskabouter: All animals can talk, or rather, Paulus the wood gnome Speaks Fluent Animal.
  • Jan, Jans en de Kinderen: The family cats and dogs are all able to talk, but humans can apparently not understand what they are saying.

    Fan Works 

    Fairy Tales 

    Films — Animation 
  • The Disney Animated Canon has more examples that you can shake a stick at. At many times it tries to maintain a semi-realism with animals being able to talk to humans. For example, it would seem logical that mermaids would be able to communicate with other living beings in the ocean or that a human raised by animals would understand the animal language. A couple of unusual exceptions to this rule were used in Cinderella where Cinderella and the mice were able to communicate with each other in English without real explanation for it and in The Rescuers films, where children were able to communicate with multiple species of animals (often donning clothing).
    • At the end of The Rescuers, when Penny is being interviewed by the TV reporter, she tells him that she talks to Bernard and Bianca. The reporter is surprised. It can be chalked up to that in the Disney world, kids can understand/communicate with animals, but adults can't. Also, let's not forget the array of wild animals Cody could talk to in The Rescuers Down Under: kangaroos, wombats, mice, lizards...
    • Though oddly Pocahontas averts this. Native Americans being one with the spirits of nature, this is one of the rare cases where it would make at least a little sense.
  • Donkey, the Three Little Pigs, the Three Blind Mice, and the Big Bad Wolf from Shrek.
  • Up features dogs with special collars that translate their thoughts into speech. Said thoughts are... not that deep.
  • Prince Charming thinks that he is going nuts when he sees the talking mice and sentient bluebirds in Cinderella III: A Twist In Time.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Not For Kids example: Grouchy old warhound Blood in A Boy and His Dog.
  • Most of the non-human characters from the Narnia films: Aslan, Reepicheep, Fenris Ulf, Mr. and Ms. Beaver, and so forth.
  • The agents in the Disney movie G-Force talk, though they use a device to translate animal speech. Though they are at first led to believe that they are genetically engineered to have higher intelligence and special skills, they discover that they are actually ordinary animals with special training. This implies that all animals can speak with a translator.
  • Subverted in Enchanted. Sure, all the animals in fairy-tale land Andalasia can talk (and sing), but once Pip the Chipmunk is transported to the real world, he loses his ability to speak, and instead communicates using equally-improbable gesticulating, miming and (more probable) chipmunk sounds.
  • Paulie is interesting in that, while the titular parrot can speak, he is the only one of his kind that can.
  • The French horror film Baxter is narrated by a murderous pit bull who longs for a proper master.
  • George of the Jungle brings us an overlapped with Civilized Animal and Intellectual Animal example. A talking gorilla named Ape.

    Jokes 
  • Check jokes under the subtrope Not in Front of the Parrot.
  • A guy has a talking dog. He brings it to a talent scout. "This dog can speak English," he claims to the unimpressed agent. "Okay, Sport," the guys says to the dog, "what’s on the top of a house?" "Roof!" the dog replies. "Oh, come on..." the talent agent responds. "All dogs go ‘roof’." "No, wait," the guy says. He asks the dog "what does sandpaper feel like?" "Rough!" the dog answers. The talent agent gives a condescending blank stare. He is losing his patience. "No, hang on," the guy says. "This one will amaze you. " He turns and asks the dog: "Who, in your opinion, was the greatest baseball player of all time?" "Ruth!" goes the dog. And the talent scout, having seen enough, boots them out of his office onto the street. And the dog turns to the guy and says "Maybe I shoulda said DiMaggio?"
  • A guy is sitting at home when he hears a knock at the door. He opens the door and sees a snail on the porch. The snail says "Please, sir... it's cold out here. Could I please come in and warm my shell by your fire?" The guy picks up the snail and throws it as far as he can. One year later, there’s a knock on the door. He opens it and sees the same snail. The snail yells "What the hell was that all about?"
  • A guy has a parrot that can sing and speak beautifully. He takes it to the synagogue on Rosh Hashonah and makes a wager that the bird can conduct the High Holiday service better than the temple’s cantor. When the big moment comes, though, the parrot is silent. The guy is outraged. He takes the bird home and is about to kill it when the bird finally speaks: "Schmuck! Think of the odds we’ll get on Yom Kippur!"
  • A grasshopper hops into a bar and up onto a bar stool. "Hey," says the bartender, "We have a drink named after you!" The grasshopper says "You have a drink named 'Maurice'?"
  • A guy walks into a bar and asks the bartender if he could get a free beer if he can show him something unbelievable. The bartender agrees. The man puts a hamster and a frog on the bar and all of a sudden the frog starts singing a Broadway medley. A man at the end of the bar says, "That's amazing, I'll give you $1,000 for the frog!" The man agreed and the guy paid $1000 and left with the frog. The bartender said he could have gotten much more for the frog, but the man said, "Frogs are easy to come by - the hamster's a ventriloquist."

    Literature 
  • Total, the little black Scottie from the Maximum Ride books.
  • In His Dark Materials, Arctic foxes can speak some small amounts of English, as can the "armored Bears".
  • A lot of Diana Wynne Jones's stuff. Mini the elephant from The Merlin Conspiracy springs to mind. In Dogsbody, the protagonist is a dog and can talk to other animals but not humans.
  • The Devil's entourage in the Soviet-era Russian novel The Master and Margarita includes an enormous walking, talking, chess-playing cat named Behemoth.
  • Fang, the Learned English Dog, from Thomas Pynchon's novel Mason & Dixon. It also got a robot duck in it. Thomas Pynchon is a weird writer.
  • Discworld: Gaspode the Wonder Dog... although he's sneaky about it, because everyone knows dogs can't talk.
    • Other Discworld examples include the eponymous characters from The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents, the cat, mouse, duck and rabbit from Moving Pictures, the raven Quoth from the Susan/Death novels, and Cohen the Barbarian's horse from the short story "Troll Bridge".
  • Grimya, from Louise Cooper's Indigo series, is a sentient mutant wolf who usually poses as the heroine's guard dog. She's telepathic (at least where the heroine is concerned), and can also speak out loud (albeit in a raspy growl, and with significant effort). When she's first introduced, she's ashamed of her abilities; her mother tried to kill her, and humans tend to mistake her for a demon.
  • In John C. Wright's The Orphans of Chaos, the dog Lelaps.
  • One of the hallmarks of C. S. Lewis's Narnia. Note that Talking Animals are specific creatures (in fact, the Beavers are Civilized Animals, and Reepicheep is more-or-less a Funny Animal) and are differentiated from ordinary, non-talking animals, which can still be eaten or used for labor.
  • Peter S. Beagle's A Fine And Private Place features a talking raven.
  • Edgar Allan Poe did this with his famous poem, The Raven.
  • In Peter S. Beagle's Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros, the rhinoceros talks. It also maintains that it is a unicorn.
  • The Cat in Coraline, which can speak in the Other Mother's World.
  • In Charlottes Web there is Wilbur, Charlotte and Templeton. As well as quite a few others.
  • Played with in the works of S.J. Perelman; the narrator, a semi-fictionalized Author Avatar, occasionally had his pets "speak" in times of stress. Just one line, then they went silent. They might be stress-induced hallucinations.
  • The novels about "A Dog Called Himself" by Kenneth and Adrian Bird. Himself has been taught to speak by a cruel circus owner, and after escaping takes up with an Irish tinker with whom he has a series of adventures. The dog's unusual name comes from what the tinker exclaimed on hearing the dog speak: "It was as if himself were talking!"
  • Pretty much every animal except Toto that makes the trip to Oz can talk there. Toto can as well, he's just quiet.
  • The great hound Huan in The Silmarillion spoke three times. It's quite possible he wasn't a hound after all but a Maia (angel-like creature) in animal form — Tolkien doesn't seem to have made up his mind about this.
    • Wargs, on the other hand, can talk all the time.
    • As can eagles.
  • Tolkien's other works feature these as well, since they were often crafted as fairy tales for his children.
  • The animals in The Neverending Story can all talk. Not in the movie version. This makes the swamp of sadness scene, much much more tragic. As Artax gives a whole suicidal speech before drowning
  • Apparently, from The Dresden Files, Mouse. Although not as traditionally meant. He can't speak English, due to the dog factor. But he can speak perfectly well to other dogs, and to fairies.
  • The Age of the Five: Mischief and other veez, although their ability to talk is rather limited.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Shadows In The Moonlight, Conan the Barbarian and Olivia realize that things are bad from a talking parrot:
    Abruptly the bird spread its flaming wings and, soaring from its perch, cried out harshly: "Yagkoolan yok tha, xuthalla!" and with a wild screech of horribly human laughter, rushed away through the trees to vanish in the opalescent shadows.
  • According to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the wizarding world contains a number of nonhuman creatures capable of speech to some degree, including centaurs, sphinxes, and merpeople.
  • Ralph Von Vau Vau is a genius mutant German Shepherd who appears in many of Spider Robinson's Callahans Crosstime Saloon stories. He works in talk radio.
  • In The Cry of The Icemark there are giant talking snow leopards.
  • Animal Farm
  • Stephen King's The Dark Tower features Zoltan the crow, who enjoys the poem "Beans, Beans the Musical Fruit", and Oy the billy-bumbler, who speaks mostly to Jake Chambers.
  • All of the prehistoric animals on Dinotopia have their own languages. Some of them even speak human languages.
  • The titular Snails in Of Snail Slime, often times to an annoying degree due to their loud, squeaky voices.
  • In the Belgariad series, Polgara casts a spell to let the Emporer's bird speak, in order to convince him exactly who she is. The animals in general have their own languages that sorcerers can learn. Wolves in particular, seem to have human level intelligence, and one of them can understand human speech, and implies that she could speak it if she wanted to, but is worried about biting her tongue.
  • In If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, the eponymous mouse spends the entire book speaking to demand a variety of things.
  • The Reynard Cycle: Tiecelin has a pet raven called Prophet that can speak. Though it only knows one word: "Doom."
  • Rats in Septimus Heap have the ability of talking. This leads to the establishment of the Message Rat Service.
  • While most mammals in the Spellsinger novels fit the Funny Animal trope, species with hooves (except for swine) retain their quadruped stance and belong under this one, as do the equally-handless cetaceans.
  • In Patricia A. McKillip's The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, most of the creatures in Sybel's menagerie could talk at one time, but most have forgotten the languages of man, and speak only with magic now. The wise Boar Cyrin is the exception, who still speaks fluently.
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's On Fairy-Stories, he distinguishes between the fairy tale proper and the beast fable, both of which used talking animals. In particular, fables where the beast is just a mask for a human, they are not fairy tales.
  • Anyone in Of Fear and Faith who isn’t a petting zoo person is this, with Noble and Vatra being the most prominent examples.
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, there's Bertram the frog footman, and Doodle the rooster.
  • All of the Underlander animals in The Underland Chronicles.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Mister Ed, of course.
  • Princess Fantaghiro's horse.
  • Many Toku have talking dogs. Denshi Sentai Denziman for instance has IC.
  • Muffy the mouse from Today's Special. Lived in a mousehole (although she upgrades it a bit later), but on speaking terms with the rest of the staff — the security system considered a disaster damaging her home a bad thing, for one.
  • Parodied in a series of That Mitchell and Webb Look sketches featuring a farmer who clearly thinks his horse is a talking animal, and makes numerous efforts to try and break the ice, only for the horse to 'snub' him each time. This tends to result in a very emotional tantrum on the part of the farmer very quickly. The horse, however, actually doesn't talk for the same reason that most horses outside of this trope don't talk.
  • Wishbone, from the show of the same name. Though in the stories he imagines himself in, no one sees his character as a dog.
  • Darwin the dolphin in seaQuest DSV is able to talk due to a translation machine Lucas has built. That doesn't make him any easier to understand, though.
  • In the recent Disney Sitcom "Dog with a blog" The dog Stan can talk but the kids are afraid to tell their parents for fear of him being sent back to the shelter. (Because using his skills to become rich and famous would just be silly...)
  • All the animals on PJ Katie's Farm.
  • In the Danger 5 universe, apparently its commonplace for dogs to talk. Even Nazi guard dogs.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Balaam's donkey in The Bible was temporarily granted the ability to speak (he had beaten her three times because she was trying to avoid an angel placed in the way to prevent him from carrying out a mission of which God disapproved. The third time, God gave her the ability to explain herself).
    • Evangelists love this story, because they'd like to point out that the donkey tells her master that he is a fool that is not following God's plan — with the gift of speech she had just been granted. The joke being that if you have a donkey out of all things calling you a fool, then you are not doing very well spiritually.
  • Hera temporarily gives Achilles' horse, Xanthos, the power of speech for a few minutes in The Iliad.
  • Older Than Dirt: A few ancient Egyptian stories have these; most are of the fable variety. It's not clear, on the other hand, just what the talking Serpent Lord of the island is in The Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor. The sailor certainly treats it as (the manifestation of) a deity.

    Tabletop Games 

    Toys 

    Video Games 
  • Blanca, from Shadow Hearts: Covenant, is a wolf who occasionally shows himself to be at least as smart as the main cast, plus a fair bit more savvy. Like Snoopy, he doesn't actually talk — except in a sidequest of his where he converses with other wolves.
  • Not just Exile III but most of Spiderweb Software's games feature feature giant talking spiders. Exile III (and its remake Avernum 3) also include giant talking cockroaches.
    • ALL Spiderweb Software games include the Giant Intelligent Friendly Talking Spiders (GIFTS) Usually as an Easter Egg.
  • Linda the mutated lungfish and Mr. Pokeylope in Psychonauts. Since other local animals have psychic abilities, it's possible they're not the only ones.
  • There are a few in the Quest for Glory series of adventure games. There's Fenris, talking rat and familiar to the wizard Erasmus, a fox who gives you some advice in the first game, and Manu the monkey in the third game.
  • Daxter and Pecker in the Jak and Daxter series, in addition to the rest of the Precursors.
  • "The mabari is clever enough to speak, and wise enough to know not to." —Fereldan proverb.
  • Kaepora Gaebora from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. He is a wise and altruistic owl who gives Link advice throughout his childhood; sadly, he is excessively talkative and his information is mostly trivial, and so his honest endeavors to guide Link come across as useless babbling to most gamers, who usually mash the A button to get through the pages and pages of text. He has a way to punish the Button Mashers, though — he gives them an option to have him repeat himself or end the conversation, and the cursor always defaults to "Yes, I do want you to repeat".
  • In Fallen London, it seems that all sorts of animals can speak in the Neath. They like to collect secrets and will tell them to any human clever enough to catch them. The Labyrinth of Tigers is controlled by the tigers themselves, who speak (and smoke hookahs). Many of the pet descriptions contain quotes from the animal in question, which can include bats, lizards, ravens, dogs, and some significantly weirder beings. There are also talking and mechanically inclined rats, officially termed rattus faber, but more commonly and crudely called LBs. Ordinary rats exist as well, though there's no sign they can talk.
  • Reality On The Norm: There are several animals like that living in or around the city, including a talking chicken and two sapient, telepathic foxes, as well as a brave little sheep.
  • Bravely Default has a talking fox hat sells you items. You fight him alongside the Adventurer in a secret room of the Bonus Dungeon.
    • Said fox as well as his adventurer companion also appear in Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light but you can only talk to him if you turn into an animal yourself. Speaking of which, turning into an animal is an intricate plot point and there are numerous animals you can communicate with.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, PokéPark Wii series, and All the Rumble Games except the first, the Pokemon can talk. In Pokemon Conquest, Arceus speaks with the player. And in Black/White 2 it confirms that Zorua/Zoroark can transform into humans and integrate into human society with the humans none the wiser. The same can likely be assumed with Mew and Ditto.

    Web Animation 
  • The Cheat from Homestar Runner is probably one of the smartest characters in the cast, but is a vaguely feline/rodent critter who is shaped like a wedge of cheese (or maybe an anvil) and speaks in an incomprehensible language of his own.
    • The Cheat has little problem speaking English when making his own cartoons, doing pretty decent impressions of everyone in the show. (Pretty decent for a The Cheat. For a regular person, not so much.)
    • The Show Within a Show Cheat Commandoes features (supposedly) the same species as The Cheat who can speak fluent English.
  • Bee and Puppycat is an odd case. The title character speaks with the voice of a Vocaloid, and the result isn't technically speech, but singing (in an unknown language). However, the other characters can understand what Puppycat says. The viewer can't, but subtitles are provided.
    Bee: Hey, you talk! Kind of.

    Web Comics 
  • In Holiday Wars, Ground Hog's Day is personified as a talking animal, which can be seen in this episode.
  • In Koan Of The Day, the guru is often seen talking to a tortoise, who usually criticizes his logic or mocks his pretension.
  • Kiki and Bun-bun from Sluggy Freelance are halfway between this and Funny Animal. Both display the instincts of their respective species; for example, Kiki, being a ferret, is prone to hide shiny objects and mess behind the couch and Bun-bun, being a rabbit, is prone to chewing on things in his environment. However, both also often act like people, although in Bun-bun's case, it's a rather sociopathic person.
    • There is also Frog a high-ranking member of Hereti-Corp, Percy a cloned wolly mammoth, and Teddy Weddy who appeared briefly in early comics and later on was brought back as a host of a literature segment, although Frog and Percy are both cases of genetic modification.
  • Spark, Dominic Deegan's pet cat, has just about as much deadpan snark and dry wit as anyone else in the cast.
  • Sniper Wolf's pet wolf, Berthold, from the Metal Gear Solid fan webcomic The Last Days Of FOXHOUND doesn't actually speak, but is a telepath somewhat more intelligent than the human cast. He has spoken to Liquid, Octopus, and Raven and has a varying degree of disdain for any human who isn't Wolf. He got his brain fried after being electrocuted while trying to stop Gray Fox and seems to behave like a normal wolf towards the end of the comic as a result.
  • In The KA Mics the Penguins would qualify, although only other penguins, and the reader, can understand them.
  • Autumnside has a talking wolf, as well as a few talking pumpkins.
  • While no one knows exactly what Red XIII is in Ansem Retort, he's certainly treated as a pet, and he can speak telepathically. Oddly enough, the only ones that understand him are Diz and Xemnas.
  • Coleman, the tiny blue polar bear from Sore Thumbs, albeit with a speech impediment.
  • Woo from Sandra and Woo is a talking raccoon. All the animals, including Woo's friends Shadow (a fox) and Sid (a squirrel) speak the same language, but only Woo is able to communicate with humans. He's not talking to anyone but his owner Sandra, though, since he is afraid of ending up in a laboratory otherwise.
  • Kieri from Slightly Damned can speak while in the form of a snow bunny. It could be because she's an angel, it could be because it's a partly botched curse, or it could just be magic.
  • In The Order of the Stick, it was always known that Vaarsuvius' familiar Blackwing is capable of speech.note  If Vaarsuvius was shocked the first time the bird talked in common, it was because for a long time Blackwing refused to speak V's language, due to having previously held the elf in disdain.
  • Half of Zoophobia''s cast are these.
    • The animal inhabitants are all mystically gifted with the ability to walk and talk, whether they choose to acknowledge that fact or not.
  • Bob and George- Trying to deny.
  • Odin of Von Slayer is the heroine's talking Scottie dog, Scottish accent included.
  • Wizard/Sorcerer familiars can talk to people in Our Little Adventure. The two so far are Angelika's rat familiar Norveg, and Simonicus' (so far unnamed) cat familiar.
  • Krosp from Girl Genius, a sarcastic cat-based construct.
  • Pibgorn The horse
  • Nature of Nature's Art stars them nearly exclusively, with a few unspeaking humans and a perfectly mundane Cadillac filling out the rest of the cast where applicable.
  • Question Duck Except for the duck, it seems to be a normal universe.
  • Poe from the Kitty. None of the other cats can speak with the human cast.
  • Skin Horse Explained by the animals being the creations of mad scientists. In the Once & Future story ark Unity discovers that although the local animals aren't the talking to humans variety they have picked up the bureaucratic traits of the local Notaries in their own language & Lives.
  • In Sinfest, a more realistic strip turns Squidley from a Funny Animal to a talking one.
  • Wizard School has Goatsie, a talking goat who is Graham's familiar and is obsessed with eating shoes.
  • A horse in Thornsaddle can talk, but is rather rude when he chooses to do so.
  • A Beginner's Guide to the End of the Universe has animal sidekicks who cannot talk, but can communicate telepathically and are as intelligent as any human.
  • In Urban Underbrush, all the animals except the rabbit main characters.
  • The Wolves from Roommates can talk, they are also pretty much the Savage Wolves from all fiction ever, so except for very special circumstances (like when their current ruler asked them offer a favor to the cast) this wont be noticed.
  • The Bug Pond features talking insects and arachnids.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: In "Why A Gorilla?", McNinja runs into some hyenas that apparently can talk. Judy, being a local, claims that it's "just a trick" and "they can't really talk" (whatever that is supposed to mean), but it sure looks like they can. McNinja is extremely freaked out by them.

    Web Original 
  • Chimney Swift 11: Pilot Pig. Chimney mostly interacts with him in his mod reviews.
  • Dusty from Sailor Nothing is another example of a talking cat helping out a magical girl. Although he can talk and can give people powers, he was initially just a normal cat.
  • Rufus, from Gaia Online/zOMG, is Ian's pet cat... who (for reasons that are never adequately explained) can actually talk. He's smart enough to run a store, but prolonged absence from his owner seems to have an 'adverse' effect on him. (He even starts using LOL Speak instead of English.)
    • Apparently he's from a 'long line' of talking cats that managed shops.
  • The eponymous Vatsy And Bruno are, respectively, a talking feline-like thing and a talking chimp.
  • Alexandria from Marble Witch is a talking crow, even though she was originally human. Others, like Strawberry and Cosyn are magical so talking is expected
    • In the My Little Pony Meets, Most of the Human characters make notice of this when they meet the Ponies
  • From the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, Rex the Wonder Dog is a mutant American Mastiff whose "mutation" has granted him human-level intelligence and the ability to speak like a human. He uses these powers to fight crime as a member of New York City's "Crimebusters".

    Western Animation 
  • Droopy and Screwy Squirrel talk as do all animals in their world.
  • All animals in My Gym Partner's A Monkey.
  • All animals in Marsupilami (Except Maurice, Who just grunts). Also, Marsupilami does speak (and does not only say "HOUBA!").
    Marsupilami: Maurice, Snap out of it! Say something! Speak to Me! (Mind struck his head as he tell the viewers) Oh, He can't talk? (To Maurice) Uh, How about a burp? (Maurice covers Marsupilami down with a faint and Marsupilami uses his tail as a crane to push Maurice back) MOVE IT, Maurice!!!
  • Most of the entire Looney Tunes cast of characters are Civilized Animals or Funny Animals, but there are a few Talking Animals as well.
    • Daffy Duck sometimes acts like a Talking Animal, especially in the earlier cartoons where he's being hunted by Porky Pig. His transition to a Funny Animal in later cartoons is probably due to Anthropomorphic Shift.
    • Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird are Talking Animals. Note, however, that while the audience can understand, Granny doesn't seem to know they can talk... so maybe it's just Animal Talk.
      • Though The Looney Tunes Show makes this extra confusing as Granny cannot understand Sylvester and Tweety, yet Witch Lezah can. So either, They can talk and Granny doesn't notice because she's senile, or Witch Lezah can understand animals because she's magic.
    • Wile E Coyote And The Roadrunner, although they rarely speak.
      • Only applies in the animation — in comics, the Road Runner can be as eloquent as any of the other characters.
  • Woody Woodpecker
  • Many of the characters in the Hanna-Barbera stable.
    • Inverted with Woofer and Wimper from the studio's 1976 series Clue Club. These two dogs can talk to each other and other animals, just not to humans.
  • It could be argued that Brian in Family Guy is actually more human than most of the Griffin family, but he is a dog. When he visited his birthplace...
    Luke: Lots of dogs have been born here. Refresh my memory. Which one were you again?
    Brian: I was the one who could talk.
    Luke: Brian! Come on in!
  • In The Flintstones, dinosaurs and other primitive animals could talk in some episodes, but not in others. (This was likely Depending on the Writer.) Fred's pet Dino could talk fluently in his first appearance, but not afterwards.
  • American Dad!, in the same universe as Family Guy, has Klaus and Reginald. Klaus is a german olympic skiier whose brain was put into the body of a goldfish, and Reginald is a homeless man whose...brain was put into the body of a koala. Both are seen openly talking to/interacting with people outside the CIA/Smith family (Klaus interacts directly with Jeff, and Reginald and Hayley have gone out together in various public places), and neither are ever reacted to as an oddity.
  • Twinkle the Marvel Horse from Dave the Barbarian.
  • The eponymous dog from Courage the Cowardly Dog, amoung many other animals in the show. And trees. And foot fungi.
    • Courage is a rather unusual case, who shifts between Speech-Impaired Animal and talking depending on the situation and who's listening. At one point even calling Murial, since he can't use full English around her in person.
  • In the 2003 series of Strawberry Shortcake, Custard (a cat) and Honey Pie Pony can talk, while the rest of the animals cannot. Also Papaya Parrot and Raven, although they're one-shot characters (but Raven appears again in the European-release-only second Strawberry Shortcake GBA game).
  • The Talking Dog was a Recurring Character in The Powerpuff Girls. Unfortunately, while he could talk, he tended to be a poor conversationalist, making a lot of blunt, abrasive, and even insulting remarks (whether intentional or not, it's hard to say). (In the appropriately-named episode "Shut the Pup Up" where he was featured exclusively and the Girls had to keep him as a guest, it didn't take them long to wish he'd just stop talking.)
  • Kim Possible: While Rufus mostly speaks in gibberish, he is capable of basic elocution for some of his favorite words, including Cheese. More disturbingly, he seems to know not only what Cheese is, but what the context is regarding asking about cheese. One can wonder if Rufus was ever accidentally hit with an intelligence ray of some sort.
    • He actually was hit by exactly that in one episode, though he spoke prior to it.
    • In A Sitch in Time, Rufus' descendants are shown to be muscular, articulate, hyperintelligent mole rats.
  • The title character of Martha Speaks.
  • While it isn't clear if the animals in Christopher the Christmas Tree can talk to humans or only to each other, there is an owl who can't 'talk' and can only hoot.
  • Dukey of Johnny Test was a normal dog until he got experimented on by the Test Twins. Then, he can talk and seems to be smarter than Johnny. He hides the fact that he can talk from everyone except Johnny and the twins since 1) he will get experimented on by the Government and 2) Johnny and the Twins will get in a lot of trouble if their parents find out. Though their parents did find out at one point and realizing how useful he was around the house (Filing taxes, making coffee etc...) they were fine with it but because of certain events and status quo they lost their memories of that at the end of the the episode.
    • Also there are other talking animals in the series, such as Mr. Mittens, a cat used by the same experiment as Dukey but was evil and wanted to turn all humans into cats creating a Cat-topia. There was also a rabbit with the same experiment as well but was only appeared once at the end of an episode and was never mentioned or seen again. There is also a recurring talking mouse Montague who likes to think he's evil, but his plans only involve stealing cheese.
  • The Teen Titans encounter both talking alien dogs and talking card carrying gorillas. Also, velociraptors speak, but in their own language.
  • Nearly every animal, including the title character herself in the Christmas special Olive the Other Reindeer. Most are just treated like average people.
  • The Simpsons: When Homer meets a coyote in a dream sequence:
    Homer: You know, I have been meaning to take a spiritual journey, and I would... (the coyote is chewing his pant leg) Hey! Knock it off! (kicks him)
    Coyote: (sheepishly) Sorry. I am a coyote.
    • And when he wakes up...
    Homer: Huh? Golf course? Did I dream that whole thing? Maybe the desert was just this sand trap. Oh, and I bet that crazy pyramid was just the pro shop. And that talking coyote was really just a talking dog.
    Dog: Hi, Homer. Find your soul-mate.
    Homer: Hey, wait a minute! There's no such thing as a talking dog!
    Dog: (barks)
    Homer: Damn straight!
  • Fish Tronaut: Almost the entire cast is made of talking animals, lead by the title character, followed by Zeek and other fishes, and all animals in the park. Humans are minority, there.
  • Ni Hao, Kai-Lan is filled with these.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Scooby has pretty much been upgraded from Speech-Impaired Animal; he has a lot more dialog and doesn't begin every word with an R sound.
    • Professor Pericles the parrot can also speak.
    • This continuity actually justifies this. All talking animals are the descendants of the Annuaki, extradimensional beings that took on animal bodies to interact with our world.
  • A few show up on Jimmy Two-Shoes, among all the Funny Animals.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle.
  • Newton, the newt from Ned's Newt, is usually a normal newt but transforms into a six-foot-tall blue humanoid freak whenever he eats some special "Zippo" food — and yes, he then gains the ability to talk. He's still a newt though, and this sometimes comes up.
  • The birds in the Disney animated shorts "Melody" and "Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom", which make up the Adventures In Music Duology.
  • Fran the squirrel from Higgly Town Heroes.
  • Adventure Time has a lot of these. While most animals can talk, many still walk on four legs and do animal activities like living in trees and eating prey.
  • In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), Cringer/Battle Cat could talk. However, the producers of the 2002 version felt that keeping that trait would make their version play too young for their intended audience and besides, they had the skill and animation budget to make him expressive enough non-verbally.
  • Ratty and Mole and most other animal characters from Mr. Bogus.
  • All animals in Littlest Pet Shop (2012), due to a unexplained phenomenon in which a teenage girl developed the ability to understand animal speak.
  • Played with in Garfield and Friends. Technically the animal characters are supposed to be thinking and Jon's just supposed to be a really accurate guesser at what Garfield thinks. However he consistently guesses a little TOO well, often "hearing" his thoughts to the point of having a conversation, even "hearing" him "talk" from behind. Different moments (such as the tin pan alley revue episode and the Odie lecture) show Garfield being a talking animal whose lips don't move, while other times it's made clear that Garfield can't talk, such as when trying to answer the phone. Played straight in the U.S. Acres segments, however.
  • All of the animals on The Magic Adventures Of Mumfie, as well as Scarecrow, are capable of speaking and acting like normal human beings.

    Real Life 
  • Humans.
  • Gef the Talking Mongoose. Assuming he was real and not a hoax, the jury is still out as to whether he was in fact an animal that could talk, a poltergeist, or a cryptid.
  • Hoover the seal showed an ability to mimic "Get outta here!" in a thick New England accent.
  • Alex the talking parrot. Alex (along with Griffin and "Wart", all of which were African Gray Parrots trained by Dr. Pepperberg) seemed to understand the English language, and seemed capable of cognitive thought and even emotion, revolutionizing scientific views of animal intelligence.
    • Parrots in general.
    • Other birds, like Ravens and Starlings, can mimic human speech pretty well.
  • And some other examples on Wikipedia.
  • Several apes, mostly chimpanzees, have been taught how to use American Sign Language, including, but not limited to, Washoe, Loulis, Nim, and Koko.
    • Chimps seem to be perfectly capable of processing language (they can understand quite complex spoken instructions) but can't use their vocal tract in the complex way humans do- it's too high in the throat and doesn't have anything like as many motor neurones working the muscles.

Sssssnake TalkAnimal Anthropomorphism TropesTertiary Sexual Characteristics
Speech-Impaired AnimalCartoon CharactersTalking Typography
Sweet and Sour GrapesFairy Tale TropesThreshold Guardians
Take a Third OptionThis Index Is A JokeThe Talk
Take Me InsteadOlder Than DirtTalking to the Dead
Partially Civilized AnimalSliding Scale of AnthropomorphismUplifted Animal
RuritaniaImageSource/Comic BooksTap on the Head

alternative title(s): Talking Dog
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