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The One Who Wears Shoes

Funny Animal characters tend not to wear shoes. This is arguably even more common than their tendency not to wear pants.

The curious thing, though, is that in any setting where fully dressed, but barefoot or half-dressed cartoon animals are the norm, there will usually be one character who subverts this by wearing shoes, socks, or booties of some kind. Often this is a sign of the character's "otherness" among the cast, or employed to emphasize a character's femininity.

Sometimes, this is inverted by having footwear-wearing be the status quo and being barefoot be an exception.

Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal is a related trope. Subtrope of Appropriate Animal Attire.

Note that nearly all examples are of animation, and are organized according to Film or TV, not under Western Animation.


Examples

Comic Books
  • John D. Rockerduck from the Disney Ducks Comic Universe, the youngest of Scrooge McDuck's biggest rivals, is one of very few male Duck characters to actually wear shoes.
    • Both Scrooge himself and Gladstone Gander wear spats, though without shoes, to signify that they're a little "finer" than most of the other male Ducks (Donald, Huey, Dewey, Louie, Fethry and others), who go around barefoot.
  • Miller and Farmer Smurf in The Smurfs.
  • Jimmy Five, out of the main characters of Monica's Gang.

Film
  • The Walrus, the March Hare and the Doormouse from Disney's Alice in Wonderland.
  • At one point at the Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel, Eleanor wears platform sandals because Ian insists she has to be taller. Once the Chipettes realize Ian was Evil All Along, Eleanor takes off the shoes and throws them at his face.
  • Tanya in An American Tail 2: Fievel Goes West picks up a pair of slippers as part of her costume when Cat R. Waul recruits her as a singer for his new saloon.
    • And in the first movie, Bridget wears shoes too. (This has a related continuity error; in some scenes she's barefoot like the other mice.)
    • As well as Reed Dailey in the fourth movie, An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster.
    • Another Don Bluth example would be Patou the dog from Rock-A-Doodle. The reason why he had to wear shoes is because he is constantly suffering from bunions, and to him, his shoes make his feet comfortable.
      • Chanticleer the rooster is normally barefoot whenever he's still living on the farm, but later gains shoes after moving to the city and becoming a famous Elvis Presley-esque musician.
  • Cousin Kristofferson in Fantastic Mr. Fox is the only animal character in the entire movie who regularly wears shoes.
    • Beaver's son also wears shoes as a part of his Whackbat uniform.
  • In the 1936 Merrie Melodies short I Love to Singa, Jack Bunny is the only shod character — possibly because he also seems to be the only mammal.
  • In The Secret of NIMH, Nicodemus is the only one of the rats (or any of the furry characters) to wear shoes.
  • Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio, not counting the human characters.
  • In Theodore Rex, the titular character and partly anthropomorphic Tyrannosaurus rex wears shoes made of three sneakers sewed together, one for each of his toes.

Literature
  • Most of the characters in the Geronimo Stilton series do not wear shoes, despite wearing every other article of clothing imaginable. One of the few recurring characters to wear shoes is Geronimo's assistant, Pinky Pick, as part of her young-and-crazy style (they're platform shoes with fish swimming in them).
  • In the first Redwall novel, it's often made note of in the early chapters how Matthias wears sandals that are too big for him (causing him to trip). Later Redwall villains of pirate/corsair variety occasionally have boots, and of course, there's Captain Tramun Clogg, famous for... well, guess what kind of shoes he wears.
  • Although not anthropomorphs, Hobbits from The Lord of the Rings are known for not wearing shoes. In an early draft of The Lord of the Rings, the character that eventually became Aragorn was a badass adventurer hobbit who was The One Who Wears Shoes as his feet had been damaged through torture in Mordor.
  • The turtle Franklin in the book and TV series by the same name... sort of. Most of the stories open with the phrase "Franklin could count by twos and tie his shoes," but Franklin actually isn't depicted wearing shoes most of the time. However, Franklin is the only character shown wearing shoes in the series. Also, most of the film Franklin and the Green Knight is set in winter, but Franklin is the only character seen wearing boots. All of the others are barefoot, or barepaw, as the case may be. Some of the later books do depict his sister Harriet wearing shoes and if Franklin is wearing boots, it's a safe bet she'll be wearing them too.
  • Richard Scarry's animal characters are generally shoeless, except for Lowly Worm, the one member of the cast who doesn't have feet.

Live-Action TV
  • Fleegle the dog from The Banana Splits.
  • B.J. and Baby Bop from Barney & Friends.
  • Robbie Sinclair from Dinosaurs wears hi-tops.
  • Trilby, Pido and Razzles from Raggs.
  • Gonnigan from the Sesame Street segment "Abby's Flying Fairy School."
  • Most of the Fraggles of Fraggle Rock go barefoot (at least when we see their feet), but Traveling Matt very clearly wears both socks and shoes — maybe because he's the one character who spends the most time walking around in the human world.

Video Games
  • In the first two games of the Donkey Kong Country series, Funky Kong wears sandals, the only Kong in either game to wear any sort of footwear. In the third game he wears boots, but Wrinkly gains sneakers.
    • Swanky Kong also gains black shoes with spats in DKC 3 (though not in the GBA version, where he's dressed the same as in DKC 2).
    • Also, among the Animal Buddies, only Expresso the Ostrich (DKC 1) and Squitter the Spider (DKC 2 & 3) wear sneakers. These also happen to be the only land-based Animal Buddies who lack a Goomba Stomp...
    • The cartoon series also had Candy Kong wear sandals.
    • Tiny Kong wore white shoes in 64, and sandals after the characters were redesigned by Paon. In fact, she's the only one who still wears any kinds of shoes after the redesign.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Chip in Sonic Unleashed is the inverse of this: he is one of the few characters who does not wear shoes. Given how running really fast is practically mandatory for all Sonic characters, many of the characters wear shoes and nothing else.
  • While technically not shoes, Veger in the Jak and Daxter wears heel socks after his Karmic Transformation. That, and the fact that's he's brown and not orange like the others of his (new) species set him apart visually. He's the only one who's a villain.

Webcomics
  • In Kevin & Kell, baby Francis wears shoes. Justified in that he's the only human in the strip.
    • A few very early strips had Kell in heels. Later shoelessness was the order of the day.
  • Millie's mother in Ozy and Millie began the strip wearing shoes; this was gradually phased out of her design, and she became a Barefoot Cartoon Animal.
    • Also, Isolde was rarely seen without her sneakers; her bare feet were shown only a few times in the entire strip.
      • And Locke always wears his pirate boots.
  • One character from the webcomic Those Destined wears leather boots, which goes well with the rest of her outfit.
  • Among the initial crew of Commander Kitty, CK himself is the only one who wears shoes...or a full set of clothes at all. It's not quite a thing for the rest of the galaxy, though, where full sets of clothes, complete with shoes, are apparently the norm.

Western Animation
  • Anais, Darwin, Anton, Tobias, and Penny on The Amazing World of Gumball—for everyone but Anais, shoes are almost or literally the only clothes they wear.
  • Rare human example: In Avatar: The Last Airbender Long Feng is one of the few Earthbenders who wears shoes.
  • Tasha the hippo from The Backyardigans.
  • Spring Robin of Birdz is the only shoe-wearing bird in the entire cast.
  • In Blinky Bill, Meatball is the only member of the main cast wearing shoes.
  • Brightheart Raccoon in the Nelvana episodes of The Care Bears wears sneakers on a regular basis, and is the only member of the cast, Bear or Cousin, to wear any kind of shoes.
  • In British children's cartoon The Caribou Kitchen, the main protagonist Claudia Caribou wears shoes while her staff and customers prefer to remain barefoot.
  • Boogie from the CB Bears wears purple and white boots. Also, Square the gorilla (from the Heyyyy, It's the King segment) wears white and red sneakers.
  • None of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers are known for wearing shoes; however, in the rare case that Gadget is sent in to infiltrate by dressing as a Femme Fatale, her costume invariably includes high heels.
  • You have to wonder how Daisy Duck manages to squeeze duck feet into those little high-heels she always wears.
  • Steelbeak, Megavolt, Quackerjack, Gosalyn, and Launchpad in Darkwing Duck. Although Gosalyn is the only of these who doesn't wear pants; all the others are fully clothed.
  • Among the non-Barbic bears featured in Adventures of the Gummi Bears, only Tummi and recurring character Gusto are seen wearing sandals; Sunni is the only one to wear boots.
  • Dirty Dawg from The Kwicky Koala Show.
  • Magilla Gorilla.
  • Rare human example: Mike from Mike, Lu & Og.
  • Windsor the gorilla, Ingrid the giraffe and Principal Pixiefrog from the main cast of My Gym Partners A Monkey.
  • Spiffy the Cat and Goldie Hound in The Oddball Couple.
  • Breezly Bruin from The Peter Potamus Show. Also the Goofy Guards Yippee, Yappee and Yahooey.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants, though stretching the definition of Funny Animal as far as it can go, has titular character himself be one of the few characters in the show to wear shoes. Sandy is also another one, but they come with the diving suit. In her home, she's a straight-up Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal.
    • Lampshaded in the episode "Your Shoe's Untied," where SpongeBob forgets how to tie his shoes and can't find anyone who can help him. He finally has his shoes tied by Gary, who is secretly wearing sneakers under his shell.
    • Lampshaded again in the episode "Chocolate With Nuts." Spongebob and Patrick are looking through a magazine about fancy living, and after looking at one picture, Patrick comments "And this guy's got shoes!"
  • Archaeologist Katie Dodd in the TaleSpin two-parter "For Whom the Bell Klangs" is one of the only characters to wear shoes on the show, period. Rebecca's dress while she's under the ghost captain's spell in "Her Chance to Dream" seems to include shoes as well, though this is inconsistent from scene to scene.
    • Also, within the main cast, Don Karnage and Gibber are the only recurring characters who regularly use footwear.
  • In the children's cartoon Timothy Goes to School (based on a children's book series called Yoko & Friends), the fox characters Lilly and Mrs. Jenkins are the only two characters to wear shoes.
  • On Tiny Toon Adventures, most of the non-human characters don't wear shoes. The ones that do are Calamity Coyote, Little Beeper, Fowlmouth, and (seemingly) Gogo Dodo.
    • Babs gripes at this when wearing heels in "thirteensomething".
  • Kitty Katswell and Keswick in the main cast of T.U.F.F. Puppy.
  • In The Wombles Uncle Bulgaria wears tartan carpet slippers, but the other Wombles are generally barefoot.
  • On Yo Yogi!, adolescent Yogi Bear wears sneakers and Cindy Bear wears white boots.
  • Brattus from Mr. Bogus wears a pair of sneakers, in addition to his red pants and blue-green shirt.


Fur Is ClothingCartoon CharactersPantsless Males, Fully Dressed Females
No KneesThese Tropes Are Made For WalkingShe's Got Legs
Half-Dressed Cartoon AnimalAnimal Anthropomorphism TropesPantsless Males, Fully-Dressed Females
Half-Dressed Cartoon AnimalFunny Animal TropesPantsless Males, Fully-Dressed Females
iSophagusImageSource/Western AnimationShake Someone, Objects Fall

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