Thought Bubble Speech

Animals can't talk, but they can think, so lines that look like dialog appear in thought bubbles. Sometimes animals can communicate with each other and reply to each other's thought balloons. This means that either the thought balloons are effectively translations of Animal Talk, or all animals are telepathic.

Related to Speech-Impaired Animal, Nearly Normal Animal and Animal Talk.

This is a comic trope — the film equivalent would be to sub-title an animal.


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    Comic Books 
  • Scooby-Doo does this throughout his comic book career from the earliest period (Dec. 1969) up to around the time Marvel assumed the Hanna-Barbera line. At that point he was given regular word balloons with the speech impediment prevalent on his TV series.
  • Snowie from Tintin.

    Comic Strips 

  • Played with in Stanley Bagshaw and the Short-Sighted Football Trainer:
    Grandma: (thinks) He's a boy of simple pleasures.
    Cat: (thinks) Yes, that's just what I thought.
    Cat: (thinks) Stone me: I'm a mind-reading cat!

    Web Comics 
  • Used in Two Lumps. In fact, in this example, thought bubbles are used for conversation, while internal monologue is handled by Thought Captions.
  • Zane the cat in Kurami communicates like this. The titular infant can understand him; it's unclear whether Ana and Bree can as well.
  • Used by fish in Amazing Superpowers here.
  • Tally-Ho! implies (and has corroboration from Word of God) that the animals do make sounds when they communicate, but the fox claims that a phone wouldn't transmit "dog thoughts." It does anyway.
  • Leif & Thorn: Thorn's cat, Tiernan. Not clear whether this applies to all animals, or just magical/soulbonded ones.