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Weasel Mascot
Cheer up, Ferret Boy!

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.

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.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comics 

    Fan Works 

    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.

    Literature 
  • 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.
  • 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 

    Puppet Shows 

    Video Games 
  • 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.

    Web Comics 
  • 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.

    Web Video 
  • PeanutButterGamer has his ferret, Pixel. She doesn't show up too often in videos, but she steals the show.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • 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.


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