Wily Walrus

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Walruses are strange creatures, and ones that most people have little experience with. Perhaps this is the reason why they are a Seldom-Seen Species in comparison to cats, foxes, reptiles, etc. Perhaps it is also the reason that their depiction in the media is so heavily influenced by their appearance. Real Life walruses are commonly seen as fat blobs who lay around on rocks, but many of their features translate readily into an anthropomorphized character with a distinctive personality.

Their wrinkly skin, bald heads, and bushy snouts resembling big mustaches give them the appearance of a Grumpy Old Man. As a result, female and/or young walruses in media are rare. They're also big and blubbery, leading to their portrayal as lazy, gluttonous, and slow-moving. Despite this perceived passivity, their massive tusks and sheer bulk make them appear powerful and potentially dangerous.

Villainous walruses are a popular version, combining Bald of Evil, Fangs Are Evil, Good Hair, Evil Hair, and Fat Bastard into one Obviously Evil package. This portrayal finds further fuel in the fact that they're predators who feast on all sorts of animals, from fish, to molluscs (such as clams and squid), to crustaceans (such as crabs), to occasionally other seals. They hunt in the murky depths of the ocean, in waters dark and cold. They also eat large amounts of food, making them seem like Villainous Gluttons. The Trope Codifier for the villainous variety is the poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter" from Through the Looking-Glass, featuring a sneaky, gluttonous walrus luring innocent oysters to their doom. He has been the inspiration for many a Wily Walrus.

Wily Walruses can be presented in a variety of ways. Some creators find that the bushy, mustache-like snouts of real walruses make for a good Dastardly Whiplash. Other works portray them as brutal beasts, like a mammalian version of the typical Sea Monster.

Another factor that may have lead to their villainous portrayals - especially the more brutish ones - is the remarkable sounds they make. Would you believe that walruses grunt and growl? In fact, walruses were even used for some of the dinosaur sounds in Jurassic Park!

In video games, walruses are commonly seen as enemies - or even bosses - in the Slippy-Slidey Ice World. While this is logical, as walruses are mainly found in the Northern seas, they are sometimes paired with animals such as penguins, which is not logical.

Good or neutral walruses still tend to feature at least one of the negative stereotypes associated with the animal's physical appearance, whether it be a grumpy and curmudgeonly personality, a tendency towards gluttony, or extreme laziness.

Compare Monstrous Seal. Contrast Warm-Hearted Walrus. Unrelated to The Walrus Was Paul. Not to be confused with Wicked Weasel. Has nothing to do with a team-up between Doctors Wily and Eggman. (Although this has happened before.)


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animation 
  • Alice in Wonderland: The Walrus from the poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter" was bad enough in the original novel (See Literature below), but in this adaptation, he goes through quite a bit of Adaptational Villainy, and gains a Dastardly Whiplash-esque appearance to match. He takes all the oysters for himself instead of sharing with the Carpenter, like he did in the poem. Also, this movie portrays the oysters as youngsters, making the Walrus seem even more monstruous!
  • In The Jungle Bunch: The Movie, walruses are the main villains, portrayed as a brutish tribe ransoming a peaceful penguin village for years, until the protagonists manage to beat them.
  • In one scene of The Simpsons Movie, Homer is seen playing an arcade game called Grand Theft Walrus, an obvious parody of Grand Theft Auto. In the game, an anthropomorphic walrus shoots a happy, dancing penguin to death.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • Strangely handled in A Song of Ice and Fire. House Manderly has a resemblance to walruses as their motif, except it's not as spelled out as for some other houses. Their male house members tend to resemble walruses, the names they give their children tend to start with W, and the head of their house displays pretty much all the traits accounted for in the Trope description, except he takes a while to truly grow into / display his (oddly enough, heroic) Fat Bastard side. One gets the impression that the trope being full at work flies over the head of other characters in-universe, specifically because most people who interact with Manderley's don't seem to be familiar enough with walruses to be able to spell it out for themselves. This goes so far that their house sigil doesn't display a Walrus, as it most certainly would as they resemble them more than most other houses resemble their animal motif, but a "merman" instead - and pinnipeds (seals, walruses and such) were the real-life inspiration for tales of merfolk in the first place.
  • Downplayed in the story "The White Seal" from The Jungle Book, which features an elderly, grumpy walrus called Sea Vitch who reluctantly gives some useful advice to the title protagonist.
  • Trope Codifier: The Walrus from Through the Looking-Glass's poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter" manipulates a group of oysters into following him so he can eat them. In Disney's adaptation, he's even worse.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Subverted in Adventures in Wonderland, where walruses are apparently viewed as wicked, malicious creatures — most likely because of the walrus from "The Walrus and the Carpenter" — and thus everyone is appalled when Alice befriends a nice, polite walrus. Whether that walrus was an outlier in Wonderland is unrevealed.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • In Ozy and Millie, the "ambassador" that Bush sent to Greater Llewellynland was a walrus who refused to believe in dragons (the "ruler's" species) and mostly just laid about eating all the food.

    Web Original 
  • LOLCats: Zig-zagged with Lolrus, simply because his personality and appearance vary Depending on the Writer. In the original picture, he was portrayed as a lovable elephant seal obsessed with his favorite bucket (or as he calls it, "bukkit"). Whether or not a Lolrus picture is of an actual walrus, the character is still usually portrayed as a benevolent creature looking for bukkits. Others play this trope straight by presenting Lolrus as violent and demanding.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-2424 is a missile-shooting walrus who is a boss from a video game transported into the real world.
  • Trott from Hat Films has an anthropomorphic walrus as his Minecraft avatar, and he's generally the wiliest of the boys in their Let's Plays.

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs: In the episode "Bumbie's Mom", a walrus lady complains when Skippy starts crying in the theater, and she's very rude about it. However, Slappy quickly shuts her up.
  • Walter from Cyberchase is a crafty prankster walrus who guards the Ice Palace. He stalls the marching penguins and refuses to let them enter unless they solve a problem.
  • Darkwing Duck: The walrus Tuskernini is a failed film director turned supervillain. He is also an Expy of the Batman villain The Penguin. He was meant to be portrayed as a glutton and the source of fat jokes, but evidently this didn't work for the writers as only his debut episode portrays him like this. One comic based on the show introduced another villainous walrus named Paul Obtús, a chef.
  • Minnie the Moocher features a ghost walrus who isn't exactly evil, but very frightening due to being one of the many surreal, dark images in the cartoon. It doesn't help that the song he sings (which the cartoon shares its title with) is rather dark, being about a beggar woman who turned to drugs and was later found dead.
  • Double subverted with Rhonda, the walrus from The Penguins of Madagascar. She initially appears to be a Fat Slob and the source of much Toilet Humor. Her roommate, Marlene, is disgusted by her behavior. However, because Rhonda seems oblivious to how crude she's acting, Marlene and the other animals don't tell her, not wanting to hurt her feelings. Then, at the end of the episode, it is revealed that she was Obfuscating Stupidity all along, and she's actually a competent spy for Dr. Blowhole.
  • Pingu: a Nightmare Sequence has Pingu being hunted by a giant walrus/leopard seal hybrid. Aside from his creepy appearance, said character first traps Pingu inside an igloo, and then it squashes and stratches the poor penguin like a doll. Finally, it takes the matress of Pingu's animated bed and eats it as if it were a chocolate bar. This scene was considered so scary that the entire episode got banned from US television since its first airing.
  • The Simpsons: In one Couch Gag, Marge, Lisa, Bart, and Maggie are penguins climbing onto an iceberg. Homer is a walrus who flops onto the iceberg, causing it to fling the penguins into his mouth.
  • Sonic Boom:
    • Willie the Walrus is a criminal who works for The Lightning Bolt Society.
    • Zig-zagged with Lady Walrus. While she is one of the innocent townspeople whom Team Sonic must save from Dr. Eggman, there are times when the townspeople turn against Team Sonic, and she is quick to join them. Her most villainous role is in "No Robots Allowed", when she is part of the snooty homeowner's association that tries to evict Eggman for owning robots.
  • Wally Walrus is Woody Woodpecker's stuffy archnemesis who constantly tries to put an end to Woody's fun.
  • Dr. Rusell the (very boring) science teacher in the short lived Fox Kids show Zazoo U is walrus.

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