A family vacation goes awry when Chance escapes from his carrier during a trip through the airport, believing that he's being sent back to the pound. Shadow and Sassy help Chance escape and the three find themselves lost in San Francisco—with home on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. On their journey home, they befriend a pack of strays led by Riley, and Chance falls in love with stray named Delilah. Complicating their quest are a duo of mean dogs, and a couple of dognappers in their "Blood Red Van" who are looking for strays to sell for animal testing.
This movie contains examples of the following tropes:
- 1-Dimensional Thinking: Subverted. When a truck comes hurtling down the highway, Shadow and Sassy yell at Chance to watch out, pulling him out of his lovesick reverie just seconds before it bears down on him. Thankfully, Chance remembers there are other directions besides forward, backward, and side-to-side, and drops on his stomach just in time. The truck passes safely over him.
- Abandoned Pet in a Box: Riley's backstory. The boy he was bought as a present for didn't want him (and the junior novelization makes it worse, in that the kid rejects him for not being the right breed — the kid wanted a beagle, which Riley wasn't), so the parents left Riley in the gutter. Unlike many examples, Riley is not adopted by a kind passerby; he becomes a street dog with a deep distrust of humans.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Bando is convinced that Delilah is his girlfriend, a sentiment she clearly doesn't return and that the rest of the gang knows is not the case. Doesn't stop him however from becoming rather possessive of her when she falls for Chance.
- And That's Terrible: "They take you to a place called the lab. And that sounds bad."
- Badass Adorable: The younger dog in Riley's gang.
- Bedmate Reveal: Parodied when Sassy wakes up next to the flea-ridden dog Stokey.Sassy: Aah! You're the ugliest thing I've ever seen!Stokey: Yeah, well, that's not what you said last night!
- Big Damn Heroes: Chance gets one near the end.
- Captain Obvious:Pete: Let go, that hurts!
Chance: (still grabbing his tail) You got that right, Einstein.
- Chekhov's Gun: Just like in the first movie, Chance pulls a prank on Sassy at the beginning of the movie (this time by trapping her in a play-cylinder and pushing it into garbage cans) before rushing off to Jamie's baseball game (and unintentionally ruining it). Chance later does something very similar near the end, this time against Ashcan and Pete to defeat them for good, and at a construction site.
- Contrasting Sequel Setting: From the Sierra Nevada wilderness to the urban landscape of San Francisco.
- "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Just like the first film, everything kicks off because of a misunderstanding regarding the pets' owners travelling. Chance freaks out after being put in a carry cage and mistaking the airport baggage handlers' uniforms as those of the pound guards, he ends up breaking out, along with the others, and they end up lost in San Francisco.
- Covers Always Lie: The scene on the cover that shows the pets trying to outrun a streetcar never appears in the film, though they do have a near-miss with one briefly in one scene.
- Deadpan Snarker: Chance and Sassy frequently try to out-quip each other.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Riley is a downplayed example, helping the trio in spite of his hatred towards humans and his disdain for those animals who insist on remaining loyal to them. After seeing Shadow and Sassy rescue a boy and his kitten from a fire, and the compassion of the family they saved, Riley starts to reconsider his understanding of humans.
- Deer in the Headlights: Subverted. Chance is deep in Heroic BSoD mode when Shadow and Sassy warn him about the truck, and the last shot of him before the truck screeches to a halt is him staring at the thing. It turns out he was just aware enough to exploit the gap under the truck by flattening himself on the road.
- Diabolical Dog Catcher: Jack and Ralph, who catch stray dogs and take them to "the lab" for God-knows-what. They're even willing to steal dogs with owners just to meet their quota.
- Disney Death: It looks like Chance was hit by a truck, and poor Jamie is utterly devastated. Fortunately, Chance managed to dodge the truck, unharmed and a joyful reunion quickly follows.
- Disproportionate Retribution: While Shadow and Ashcan are fighting, Pete tells Sassy that Ashcan one injured another dog just for stepping on his tail.Shadow: Sassy run, see if you can find help!
Pete: (laughs) See what I mean?
Sassy: Oh my!
- Dogged Nice Guy: Bando thinks of Delilah as his girlfriend, in spite of the fact that Delilah has told him multiple times that they're friends, nothing else.
- Dumbass Has a Point: When Sassy blamed Chance for getting themselves lost again, Chance angrily points out that the first time they got lost was when Shadow had them running through the wilderness. However, Sassy is too upset to concede the point.Shadow: They probably don't even know we're gone.
Sassy: And guess now whose fault is.
Chance: Oh, so this is MY fault?! I just saved us from the bad place!
Sassy: No, you just got us lost again!
Shadow: Like it or not, you two, we're gonna have to find our way back home.
Chance: Home? You remember what happened before: huge mountains, stinky skunks, porcupines? Not me, Pops!
Sassy: Fine, stay here! I'm going with Shadow!
- Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe; one of Riley's gang isn't happy with one of Sassy's quips, and Shadow warns her against making any more jokes of the same sort.Riley: They send you to place called the Lab. And that sounds bad.
Sassy: What's so bad about a lab that takes dogs away?
Shadow: Don't push it, Sassy.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Ralph, co-driver of the Blood Red Van, when Riley's gang, Shadow, and Sassy sit right in the path of the Blood Red Van after they captured Chance, was reluctant to run over them, despite Jack telling him to "show 'em who's boss!" Then again, he did say they were, in total, worth about $100.
- Everyone Has Standards: Delilah doesn't like humans, but she still tells Chance that he shouldn't steal food from "human pups".
- Fantastic Slur: Riley and his gang use the word "pet" to describe cats and dogs who have owners. Chance once used the same word to describe Shadow and Sassy in the original, since they were never strays like he was. Though Chance was mostly offended by the way Riley said it when he questions their relationship.Riley: What's up with this, girl? I know you can't be serious!
Delilah: But Riley—
Riley: But nothing! The dude's a pet!
Chance: What's that supposed to mean?
- Flower-Pot Drop: Sassy knocks a flower pot off of a shelf on top of one of the mean stray dogs.Sassy: I see. The old geranium to the cranium. Whoopsie!
- Freudian Excuse: Riley was bought as a gift, then abandoned when the kid he was supposed to be a present for didn't want him. Needless to say, there's a reason he's bitter.
- From Stray to Pet: At the end of the movie, Delilah turns up at the Seavers' house, having followed Chance, and the family decides to let her stay.
- Heroic BSoD:
- Chance didn't take Delilah's I Did What I Had to Do speech well. He spends the whole night wandering the streets.
- Given that Riley described Delilah as "moping around like [her] tail [wouldn't] ever wag again", the feeling was mutual.
- He Would Do The Same for Me: This exchange after the fire scene.Stokey: You're pretty brave for a — a pet.Riley: Brave, huh? Listen, you think a human would do that for you?Shadow: My boy Peter would.
- Heroic Fire Rescue: Shadow and Sassy rescue a little boy and his kitten from a burning house.
- Humans Are Bastards: Not only did a spoiled boy not want Riley (when he was a puppy, and in the junior novelization it's because he wasn't the breed the kid wanted), but his parents left him in the streets rather than take him back to the pet store they bought him from (or do anything else to make sure he got a happy home). Needless to say, there's a reason he's so bitter towards humans.
- Hypocritical Heartwarming:Ashcan: They brought their little kitty cat too. Lunch time!
Chance: Hey, nobody messes with the cat but me!
- I Did What I Had to Do: Delilah, realizing they can't be together, tells Chance he doesn't belong in the streets with her because he's a pet, and even flirts with Dogged Nice Guy Bando to sell the illusion. She immediately regrets it after seeing Chance all heartbroken. Riley even said the same thing and tells her it would never have worked out because of their different upbringings, Delilah understands but it still doesn't make her feel any better. In the end, she doesn't care anymore and went back to Chance, and she's starting to see that not all humans are bad.
- I Shall Taunt You: Chance insults Ashcan and Pete so he can lure them into a trap.
- I Warned You: Shadow tries to convince Delilah to break it off with Chance, saying that he won't survive in the streets and that she might not always be around for him. But she doesn't listen, aggravated by his and Riley's disapproval of their relationship. Later, when the Blood Red Van came, she tells Chance to run back inside, but he had his head in the garbage bag and in his own world. Realizing Shadow was right, she breaks up with him, but soon regrets it seeing how heartbroken he is.Shadow: You had to let him go. It was the right thing to do.
Delilah: Yeah? Then why do I feel so bad?
- Implausible Deniability: Bando has been told multiple times that he and Delilah are just friends, not a couple......By Delilah herself. He still insists though that she's serious about him, and so is bitterly jealous towards Chance.Bando: Stupid lost dog comes along and tries to steal my woman. Homewrecker.
- Insult Backfire:Sassy: Canines, the feline's still hungry!
Shadow: We're all still hungry, Sassy.
Chance: Yeah, you gotta live with it, babe. This is the city. Only the strong survive.
Sassy: Well, then you're a goner.
Shadow: Will you two quit bickering?!
- It's Personal:
- After Riley's gang comes to the rescue, Ashcan and Pete want to get back at the pets.
- Bando isn't too enthusiastic about confronting the Blood Red Van to get Chance back. Then the Van runs into Delilah's paw, and "Now it's personal!"
- Jerkass: Riley's old humans. Rather than doing something sensible with this puppy like keep him anyway and hope things work out in the end, give him to another family, or even turn him in to a shelter, they just drive out and abandon him on the roadside where anything can happen to him. In these movies that empathize with dogs, that's the equivalent of abandoning an unwanted baby in a dumpster. Ouch.
- Jerkass Ball: Jamie, who was the sweetest, cutest little lump of "boy-and-his-dog" adorable ever in the first movie, spends the beginning of this movie sulking over the fact that he has to go to Canada with his family and miss playing baseball with his friend Stacy. He takes his anger out on Chance by snapping irritably at everything he does, and is especially sore after Chance unintentionally ruins his last baseball game just before the trip. This leads to Chance thinking he's being sent back to the pound when the time comes to load him onto the airplane, which leads to all three animals running away and getting lost. However, after this happens, Jamie regrets how he acted, and when he reunites with Chance in the end he apologizes and reassures him that he loves him.
- Let Me at Him!: The puppy in Riley's gang says this as they run to rescue Chance.
- Meadow Run: Chance and Delilah run to one another across the yard after Delilah tracked him back to his house.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Blood Red Van.
- Never Trust a Trailer: A scene often shown in advertisements for the film is one of Chance leaping up and snatching a hot dog from a man's hand. Said scene never appears in the film.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- Before the baseball game, Sassy teases Chance about him being returned to "the bad place". This helps provoke Chance's escape attempt at the airport.
- Chance got them lost, but he "justifies" it because he believed that their family was sending them to "the bad place".Chance: Oh, so this is my fault? I just saved us from the bad place!
Sassy: No, you just got us lost again!
- Oh, No... Not Again!: Chance is understandably reluctant about making another long journey home."You remember what happened before? Huge mountains, stinky skunks, porcupines — not me, pops!"
- Older and Wiser:
- Chance... kind of. He also still has the scars from where he got nailed by a porcupine in the first movie.
- He now knows that the "squirrel having a bad hair day" is a porcupine, and the smelly animal from the hollowed log is a skunk.
- Parental Bonus:Sassy: Chance, you put the bull in bulldog.
- Pets as a Present: Riley, leader of the gang of strays, was given as a Christmas gift for a young boy when he was a puppy. The boy showed no interest in him whatsoever (and in the junior novelization, rejects him because he's not the breed the kid wanted), so the parents abandoned Riley in the street, giving him a severe distrust in humans.
- Pets Versus Strays: The strays range from "Not understanding why you'd want to be a pet" to "Heckling and mocking pets".
- Poor Communication Kills: Chance doesn't seem to know why Delilah broke up with him, let alone that it was his own fault he got himself caught in the first place, which nearly got Delilah hurt.
- Properly Paranoid:
- Bando wasn't happy that "his girl" Delilah went out to look for Chance:Shadow: Do you think she found him?
Bando: What if she didn't find him? Or worse, what if she did? Oh no!
- When the dogs and Sassy try to stop the Blood Red Van:Jack: Don't you see what's happening here? They're turning against us!
- Bando wasn't happy that "his girl" Delilah went out to look for Chance:
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The co-driver quits after running away from the dogs.Ralph: "I don't want this job anymore!"
- Secret Handshake:Chance: Show me the secret paw-shake.
Delilah: Secret paw-shake? They didn't show any secret paw-shake.
Chance: Ah, they didn't, huh? Good, cause there ain't one.
- Shipper on Deck: Sledge accepts Delilah and Chance. And doesn't think Bando is good enough for Delilah.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Chance and Delilah. Delilah is a streetwise city dog who's wary of humans and Chance is a house pet. Delilah breaks up with Chance after realizing he can't make it on the streets but she ultimately decides she'd rather become a pet herself to stay with him.
- The Fake Cutie: Sassy acts less bratty around humans.
- Threat Backfire: When Shadow and Ashcan first fight each other.Shadow: (growling) I'm warning you!
Ashcan: Thanks for the warning! (he strikes first)