The popularity of ferrets has created a new kind of animal sidekick character, in addition to the old standbys of the loyal, dull Dog and the smart, snarky Cat. The weasel (or ferret) is a cute, mischievous, playful mascot who nonetheless looks out mainly for himself and can be very critical of people around him. He's nowhere near as clever as he thinks he is, and swears up and down he doesn't have to be fussed over. Until he wants to be, and frankly he's not about to turn down free food or attention if it's offered. If the dog is the fighter class, and the cat is the mage, then the weasel is the thief. Animal mascot personalities normally fall into the Cat or Dog stereotypes even if the author has tried to use a more exotic animal, like a bird or mouse — it'll still act like a Cat or a Dog. The Weasel Mascot personality, likewise, may apply to non-mustelids (such as a mongoose or even a squirrel) — but weasels, otters and ferrets are most common. A major benefit of the Weasel personality is that it largely reflects the behavior of the real animal. The Weasel can make a good ironic deadpan snarker, without the nasty or untrustworthy streak westerners associate with the Cat. There is deep irony in the contrast between the two because weasels fared differently in older Western works. Many magical animal guardians are Weasel mascots, and most Weasel mascots are Talking Animals.
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- In the first part of a two-part commercial for Energizer batteries featuring Ernst Blofeld from James Bond, the Supervolt Battery Company is unable to keep up with Energizer's success. They tried having their own mascot, the Supervolt Weasel, which was a guitar-playing robot weasel. The Supervolt batteries it ran on died just after its first strum.
Anime & Manga
- Uzume the ferret in Ai Yori Aoshi.
- Kero-chan in Cardcaptor Sakura.
- Yuuno, from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha is another actual ferret. He's an exception to the character type, though—he's a bookish, shy mage that gets nervous and blushes around Nanoha. This is mostly because Yuuno is not actually a ferret, but a 9-or-10-year-old human boy who transforms into such; when this is finally revealed, Nanoha reacts predictably.
- Hippo the penguin in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch.
- Japolo from Shamanic Princess is a Talking Animal Battle Butler and would-be Mentor Mascot. He fancies himself full of important information and sage advice, but in reality his main contribution is snark and Plucky Comic Relief.
- Artemis's playful relationship with Minako in Sailor Moon's (versus Luna, who acts slightly more "parental" to Usagi).
- Hisashi Sakisaka, an occasional recurring character in the Midori no Hibi manga, has a weasel sidekick, Tomahawk, on his shoulder at all times.
- Although the series is realistic, and he is an actual ferret, the anime Ichigo Mashimaro has John, who belongs to the unbelievably-adorable Matsuri. John is cute, mischievous and playful, but that seems the extent of his Weasel Mascot traits.
- Mepple in Futari wa Pretty Cure has an incredible attitude, and is greedy, picky, and likes to guilt Nagisa into doing things for him.
- Used in Spirited Away, not that you'd be able to tell: the "Art of" book tells us that the character Lin is supposed to be a transformed weasel. She's sarcastic but sweet and quite cute.
- Chamo from Mahou Sensei Negima! (with Dirty Old Man tendencies to boot!).
- He would like to remind you he's an ermine, thank you very much.
- There is a specific punishment for mages in Mahou Sensei Negima!: temporary transformation into an ermine. It is never stated directly, but some lines may imply that Chamo-kun did undergo such a penalty. Nevertheless, Chamo-kun always claims he is a regular ermine and mentions about his ermine family. He also revealed that he was banned from his home country for stealing panties from his girl ermine companions. This may be somewhat true. Just don't try to make a definite claim.
- In the manga, he's pretty specific at several points in explaining he's an ermine sprite, which is where most of his powers — such as forming pactios and being able to read peoples' emotions — come from. He fled to Japan to find Negi to get him to hire him as a familiar so he wouldn't be punished for his panty theft.
- What? But he stole them to build a warm nest for his sister...
- Rafra from Infinite Ryvius.
- In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Team Gurren has Buta!
- Pokémon: Arguably, Ash's (previously Dawn's) Buizel is one of these despite the actual mascots being the Rodent of Unusual Size and the adorable yet overused Penguin. It initially followed in the tracks of previous Badasses Charizard and Sceptile, and did a very good job of it early on despite being a Ridiculously Cute Critter. Unfortunately, it hit a losing streak later on.
- In its first appearance, Buizel was the mascot of the traveling troupe in Pokemon Ranger And The Temple Of The Sea and was the most prominent Pokémon until Manaphy appeared.
- Oshawott is the new mustelid on the team in Black and White.
- Okojo San from the titular manga and the anime Siawase Apartment's Okojo-san is an ermine. He can't talk to people, but he can to the other animals in the apartment complex.
- Bleach: While technically not a weasel, Kon sure has the personality for it.
- In the new manga adaptation of Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Minmay has one of these, a bizarre rabbit/weasel hybrid that probably doesn't exist in nature.
- Naruto: During her Big Damn Heroes moment, Temari uses her fan to summon an eyepatch-wearing, scythe-wielding weasel named Kamatari that brings with it a massive swath of destruction against Tayuya.
- Einstein the ferret in Alien from the Darkness, whose main hobbies appear to be searching for fish and molesting its female owner. It's also an Evil Detecting Ferret, able to sence when someone is possessed by the evil alien.
- Candy from Candy Candy has a pet raccoon called Clean.
- Kyubey from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Given the nature of the show it's a subversion. There's a good reason that a good chunk of the show's fans don't trust him at all. Wicked Weasel, after all◊. He seems to be less of a subversion by the end of the show.
- In reference to his Baleful Polymorph in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, some fan fiction makes Draco Malfoy a ferret animagus.
- Guardians of Pokémon has a pair of these, Jupei and Ki. This is not surprising as the author has stated that the fic was inspired by three anime: Pokémon (of course), Sailor Moon, and Cardcaptor Sakura.
Films — Animated
Films — Live Action
- Kodo and Podo (aka "The Weasel Hankies") from The Beastmaster are a ferret duo that aid the main character Dar on his quests.
- Along Came Polly features a pet ferret that often appeared in promotional material, despite having very few scenes in the movie.
- Mr. Kimble has a pet ferret (pronounced "fyeuwr-it") that he uses to calm down his class in Kindergarten Cop. The ferret even saves Kimble's hide by putting a well-timed bite on the Big Bad in the climactic showdown.
- In Starship Troopers, Karl psychically commands his ferret to go bug his mother so his pet will stop begging for his attention.
- In His Dark Materials, Lyra's shapeshifting dćmon, Pantalaimon, often takes the shape of a weasel; he settles as a Pine Marten.
- Harry Potter has Jarveys, smart-talking (very large) magical mustelids.
- Mr. Weasley's Patronus is a weasel.
- His twin sons, Fred and George, have otters for their Patronuses. As does Hermione. (No wonder she married into the family.)
- Mr. Weasley's Patronus is a weasel.
- The Areas of My Expertise: "Let's use my ferret to steal that diamond."
- Ozzie from Avalon: Web of Magic is an elf who was magically transformed into a ferret. Besides being more goofy than snarky, he's pretty much this trope exactly.
- The title character of Zucchini is a boy's pet ferret. The book was later adapted on CBS Storybreak.
- In Spellbent, Jessie Shimmer's magical familiar is a Deadpan Snarker ferret named Palimpsest.
- The ferret has become something of an unofficial mascot for Inheritance Cycle, due to Angela's off-hand warning to Roran: "Watch out for ferrets."
- Dilbert creator Scott Addams wrote a book about how the unscrupulous and sociopathic can thrive in the office called The Way of the Weasel.
Live Action TV
- The announcer on Late Night Liars is a weasel.
- In Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide an actual weasel supposedly infests Polk Middle School (whose official mascot is a wolf), and is the bane of the janitor's existence. It turns out to be pregnant and looking for a nest; it and its young are then adopted as second mascots by the moved janitor.
- The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: "Do we have a picture◊ of me with my ferrets?"
- Koppa from Shiren the Wanderer.
- Daxter, after being turned into an ottsel, from the Jak and Daxter series. While he's not technically a weasel, he is a combination of two different kinds of mustelid: a weasel and an otter.
- Torchlight launched with the choice of a dog or a cat as the character's animal partner, but a later official mod added a ferret as a third option. It has also been officially added as a pet choice in Torchlight II.
- Kiki was Alpha Creations Softworks' mascot during the '80s.
- Kiki from Sluggy Freelance. Although her Genki Girl attitude may make her a subversion.
- Wendy Weasel from Cwen's Quest plays straight (wo)man/big sister to titular character Cwen and keeps Cwen humble.
- Menjou from Candi — who adds the "embellished" to the comic's Life Embellished nature due to being telepathic, telekinetic and at war with the local Squirrel Mafia. His "girlfriend", Snowflake the albino squirrel, is his Distaff Counterpart (swapping psi powers for Eye Beams).
- Corasyn from Nothing Comes Naturally.
- Annie from Demon of the Underground. She was found in Pogo's pants and took on a group of mooks while he was busy.
- The Wulfenbach Bug Squad (more officially known as the Vespiary Squad) of Girl Genius has this as one of their hats. Their charges are all modified weasels, without which the Squad could not do their job as detectors and exterminators. Although they have eight legs, they are still, very much, weasels of some description. And, they are sooo cute (for a given definition of cute).
- Agatha herself has acquired one after Tarvek rescued several from a crashed Vespiary Squad airship.
- Tragia from The Secret Lives Of Flowers. Being the main character, he defaults as this.
- Ferret from Scooter And Ferret.
- PeanutButterGamer has his ferret, Pixel. She doesn't show up too often in videos, but she steals the show.
- Rufus from Kim Possible, though actually a naked mole rat.
- Though really more of a "Winged Lemur", Momo from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Behaviorally, there's a lot of cat in him — specifically, Bryan Konietzko's cat.
- Pabu from The Legend of Korra (a sequel to Avatar) is a fire ferret — a combination of a ferret and a red panda. Yes, it's as adorable as it sounds.
- Nils from the series Nils Holgersson has a hamster sidekick called Krumel who usually provides the voice of reason.
- The Animals of Farthing Wood features the character Weasel, who is actually a rather sarcastic, selfish Deadpan Snarker.
- Evelyn the evil witch has a pet weasel that she wears around her neck like a stole in The Smurfs episode "Gargamel's Sweetheart".
- Ferrets do indeed tend to have very hyperactive and playful personalities in real life, with a special emphasis on hyperactive, which is something to keep in mind for households with small children; they're either asleep or bouncing off the walls, and what between playful ferrets would be an inconsequential nip might easily break a child's skin.
- They also like to chew on things, so by all means don't leave your leather goods within their reach. Or your keys. Or socks. Or shoes, potatoes, beer bottles, napkins, things made out of rubber, anything spherical, anything shiny (especially anything shiny), anything that tastes good (and you'd be amazed what a ferret thinks tastes good), anything that bounces or makes an interesting noise, anything that'll fit under a couch, anything you'd be upset to lose for several months and then rediscover decorated with tiny toothmarks...compared with the effort that goes into defending one's chattels from marauding mustelids, child-proofing a house is dirt-simple.
- Oh, and they're called "mustelid" for a reason; that word shares a root with "musk", and indeed they do have an odor, which some find pleasant and others find intolerable. And they tend to nip, and even the best of them defecate in corners, and most of the ones you find in the United States are severely inbred and thus prone to dying badly of cancer after six or seven years. In general, they're adorable little monsters if you've got the personality to put up with them, but they're definitely not for everyone.