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Animal Goes to School

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Who's the funny-looking kid with the big nose?

Maybe they're a pet who wants to see where their young owner goes every day, or maybe the owner decided to bring them. Maybe they're running from a predator or an angry human, and it seems like the best place to hide. Maybe they just think the place looks interesting. Whatever the reason, an animal you wouldn't normally expect to see in a school setting (or is very rarely used in one) is now in there. Depending on how realistic the work is, they could even be posing as a student or teacher, to varying degrees of success. More often than not, there is a "no animals" policy, requiring the animal to stay out of sight. This can be the basis of an episode, or an entire series.

Often Played for Laughs, but may be Played for Drama and/or horror if some sort of dangerous animal ends up being loose within the school. If the dangerous animal was intentionally brought into the building, this could overlap with Axes at School.

This shouldn't include World of Funny Animals examples or other cases in which it's seen as perfectly normal in the setting for animals to attend school. This may lead to a Secret Pet Plot if the animal in question is a pet. Subtrope to Beast in the Building. Compare Class Pet.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The central conceit of Tamamo-chan’s a Fox! is a divine fox from a shrine going to high school, unaware that she's not as good at taking a human form as she thinks she is.

    Comic Books 
  • The Beano: Occasionally, Dennis the Menace's dog Gnasher has donned a disguise to sneak into school. Betty regularly pretends her pet Yeti is her cousin Agnes, putting it in a wig and dress, so that Yeti can go everywhere Betty does, including school. The Bash Street Kids strip has a cat called Winston, who is the school Janitor's pet, and is often seen doing his work for him!
  • Kid Sherlock: Sherlock Holmes's friend and companion, John Watson is reinterpreted here as an anthropomorphic dog who is able to walk on two legs and attends elementary school just like any other human kid. In one sequence, a classmate bullies Watson by throwing him a stick and ordering him to fetch it.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Citizen Dog, Fergus occasionally accompanies his friend Maggie to her school. At first it was to prove that yes, he did actually eat her homework, but later strips show him as part time attendee, complete with uniform.
  • Footrot Flats: The Dog accompanies Rangi to school one day. All the children feed him their lunches. He manages to hide in Rangi's desk during class, and he hops out and keeps devouring the lunches the children feed him as soon as the teacher leaves the room. Eventually Wal arrives, having been informed of the Dog being there, rather embarrassed; but the teacher states that he's managed to make use of him. Wal finds him up the back of the classroom in a series of vivariums, marked variously "Carnivore: this animal eats meat" (contains a mantis), "Herbivore: This animal eats plants" (contains a caterpillar) and "Omnivore: This animal eats all sorts of rubbish" (contains a very sheepish-looking Dog, still stuffing his face.)
  • Gaturro: The titular character, who is a house cat, goes to school and is the only animal pupil. Although he cannot talk (his dialogue appears in speech bubbles when interacting with humans), it is heavily implied that his teacher, Ruda Vinagretti, can understand him and gets an idea of how bad a student he is.
  • Peanuts: From the 1970s onward, Snoopy has gone to Charlie Brown's school, usually with Charlie Brown or Sally, but occasionally on his own. And inverted in one arc where Pepperment Patty attended Snoopy's original alma mater (the Ace Obedience School), graduates, and thinks that this means she doesn't have to go to school anymore - only realizing that it was a dog school after showing her diploma to the principal.
  • Some of the animals characters in Bloom County, like Opus, are occasionally depicted as going to school with the kid characters like Milo and Binkley, for no apparent reason.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Peanuts Movie: In one scene, Snoopy the beagle attempts to go to school with his owner Charlie Brown, before being told that dogs can't go to school. He still tries to sneak into the school anyway and manages to get in by crawling through a vent. This works until he gets a ring binder caught on his paw, attracting attention and causing Lucy to throw him outside.

  • The Berenstain Bears Big Chapter Books: Part of the plot of The Berenstain Bears Accept No Substitutes involves Brother smuggling a frog into school and leaving it on Miss Barr's desk when she isn't looking as a prank.
  • Dirty Bertie:
    • In "Rats", Bertie adopts the mouse that was in his pantry in secret and names him Monty. Bertie brings Monty to school in a cardboard box, but he escapes in class, scaring the teacher, Miss Boot, who is afraid of mice and rats.
    • In "Spider", Bertie tries to keep a pet spider, which he thinks is a tarantula, and names him Tickler. He takes Tickler to school, but Tickler escapes. Everyone freaks out until Miss Boot determines that he's not a tarantula and not dangerous. Tickler is then set free, but he decides to live in the boys' toilets, where Bertie can still see him.
    • In "Record", Bertie wants to use his dog Whiffer to break the record for a skateboarding dog. Bertie takes Whiffer to school and hides him in the closet, then when Whiffer barks, Bertie lies that he has a "barking cough".
  • "Dog in the Playground": This poem is Exactly What It Says on the Tin — a dog gets into the playground and runs around, chased by the students, the caretaker and eventually the teachers until it finally leaves.
  • Lion At School (by Philippa Pearce): The story tells of how a fierce lion demands of a little girl called Jill (on pain of eating her up) that she take him to school with her. Jill protests that she is not allowed to bring pets to school; the lion says he is not a pet, but a friend. She agrees on two conditions; first, that he does not eat anyone, and second, that he lets her ride on his back to school. The lion joins in the lessons and frightens away a bully, Jack Tall.
  • "Mary Had a Little Lamb": This occurs in the second verse, assuming you get that far:
    It followed her to school one day
    School one day, school one day
    It followed her to school one day
    Which was against the rules
    It made the children laugh and play,
    Laugh and play, laugh and play
    It made the children laugh and play
    To see a lamb in school
  • Ratburger: Zoe finds a baby rat and decides to keep him as a secret pet. She takes him to school in her sweater but gets busted when he first poops on the bathroom floor, then climbs from Zoe's pocket onto her head.
  • Twitch The Squirrel (by Vivian Vande Velde): 8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel ÷ 1 Dog = Chaos revolves around Twitch, a squirrel who accidentally disturbs a dog (by running over his nose while fleeing from an owl) and ends up running into a school to try and escape him. The dog, angered by being disturbed (and thinking Twitch had done it on purpose), follows him in to try and catch him.
  • Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School: The eponymous dogs pose as a new student to help their human.
  • Wayside School: In the last story of Wayside School is Falling Down, Mrs. Jewels rings her cowbell really loud to calm the students of the thirtieth floor down. She unknowingly attracted all the cows from the country side and filled up the school, forcing it to close until the problem can be solved. By the time of Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger, Louis the Yard Teacher has gotten all the cows back out, except for one that's on the nineteenth story (which is subsequently taken care of by the men with the attache case), allowing Wayside to reopen.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Green Acres: Childless couple Fred and Doris Ziffel adopt a pig, call him Arnold, and give him their last name. He turns out to be so smart, they send him to school with the local kids. He is an excellent student and even wins an art contest.
  • Played with in the first series of Little Britain. As a Rule of Three gag, a school teacher tells the class that they have a new boy with them today. The first "new boy" is a grown man; the second is a boy in aristocratic period costume; and for the third, the teacher orders the class not to treat him any differently; the pupil is a dog wearing a tie. The teacher wearily adds, "Yes, he's a dog".
  • Wishbone features this in two episodes:
    • In the ending scenes of "The Pawloined Paper," Joe lets Wishbone into the school as a distraction.
    • In "Muttketeer", Wishbone wants to go to school after Joe, Sam, and David go back in to see a teacher's new CD-ROM, but the janitor tells him that dogs aren't allowed in school. When Wishbone sees a rat lurking in the school, he has to go inside to stop it.

  • The song "La Vaca Estudiosa" (the studious cow) by Maria Elena Walsh follows an old cow that decides to go to school. The teacher at first thought the cow had made a mistake, the children (her classmates) laughed and threw chalk at her, and people from outside the school came to watch her, arriving in trucks, bicycles, and planes, creating such chaos that she was the only one that actually studied and learned anything.
  • The nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb" involves the titular girl's pet lamb following her wherever she goes, including school, which, as stated in the song, is against the rules.
  • Songdrops: "The Teacher Song" mentions that the singer once tried to keep a secret pet skunk at school but it got scared (and presumably sprayed), which the teacher didn't like.

    Video Games 
  • An early chapter in Mega Man Battle Network 6: Cybeast Gregar and Cybeast Falzar starts with a penguin following Mick to school after he fed it. Getting the penguin home sets up the visit to Seaside Town and the Aquarium, where you challenge the next major boss.
  • Twisted Wonderland: Grim, a feline magical beast, wants to attend Night Raven College to become a great magician, but is initially rejected for not being humanoid. He is later admitted as half a student, with himself and the magicless Player Character treated as one student.

  • Freefall: Florence (an uplifted wolf who had not yet started walking upright) attended school by acting as a service animal for a neighbor with cerebral palsy, which let her ignore the rules that would prevent her from attending on her own.
  • Housepets!: Marion Ward is made to finish his last year of high school after being turned into a squirrel overnight. This is later deconstructed by his attempts to find a college afterwards, as none will allow him in for fear of what may happen to him surrounded by larger humans.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle segment "Peabody's Improbable History" begins with Mister Peabody recounting his days as a "puppy prodigy," including graduating Harvard at age 3 (21 in dog years) "Wag-na cum Laude." It's not mentioned what his degree is in, but he later builds the Wayback Machine, an actual time-travel device (not the internet archive website).
  • Family Guy: "To Love and Die in Dixie" features a pig named Oinkie going to class at the school in Bumblescum. It's just a simple farm pig, yet it's implied to consistently score higher than the rest of the students.
  • Gaspard and Lisa: In one episode, the title characters' school has a "bring your pet to school" day. They try to bring their new parrot, Coco, but she refuses to speak on command and then escapes.
  • In the King of the Hill episode "Nancy Does Dallas", Nancy Gribble is begrudgingly forced to do a news report about how a kid brought his pet ferret to school. She then spins it into a report about school shootings.
    Nancy: If this boy had been an intruder, and this marsupial a gun, "Show and Tell" could've had a much different and deadlier income.
  • The Loud House:
    • In "Stall Monitor", Lincoln doesn't want his parent/teacher conference to happen, so his friends try to stall for him. Liam does it by bringing in his pet goat Carol Anne, who then goes into labour due to eating something spicy.
    • In "Tails of Woe", Liam brings his pet piglet to school for show and tell.
    • In "Small Blunder", Lily's classmate brings his pet guinea pig to school for show-and-tell, making her jealous. Later, he brings it to school for show-and-tell again, on the same day that she brings a Shrink Ray and the guinea pig ends up chasing the shrunken kids.
    • In "Love Stinks", Lana is looking after Ann, a skunk with a cold. Her twin sister Lola bonds with Ann, and so when she gets better, Lola doesn't want her to be set free. She brings Ann to school, but the latter escapes her grasp through the air vent and eventually ends up spraying.
  • A one-shot Kablam segment "Stewy the Dog Boy" revolves around a dog that disguises himself as a boy and attends school.
  • Martha Speaks:
    • In "Martha Goes to School," Martha the talking dog's name is written in as a substitute teacher, and she ends up doing a surprisingly good job.
    • In "Martha Plays a Part", Martha enters her owner Helen's school during a School Play, to ease Helen's Performance Anxiety.
    • In "Raiders of the Lost Art", T.D. and Martha sneak into school to get the former's drawing back. However, they have to be careful since Martha is a dog, and dogs aren't allowed in the school.
  • Milly, Molly:
    • The episode "Pet Day" has the girls and their classmates bring their pets to school. This leads to chaos when the pets run rampant, Puddles the dog pees on things, and Stinky the skunk sprays Humphrey twice.
    • One episode has Harry bring his two mice, Brian and Brioni, to school for show and tell. They end up running rampant through the classroom and aggravating the allergies of Miss Blythe the teacher.
  • Milo Murphy's Law: At one point in the flashback to the llama incident that Milo is recounting for Zack, Milo tells his dog Diogee to corral the llamas... in Spanish. Zack asks since when does Milo know Spanish, and the flashback cuts to Milo in Spanish class. Zack then asks why Diogee knows Spanish, and the flashback cuts to Diogee in the same class.
  • Inverted in My Gym Partner's a Monkey. In the show's universe, animals get picked up from the zoo, are taken to a special school, and then are sent home, while still having animal needs and instincts. The show is about a human boy named Adam Lyon being confused for a lion because of a typo in his name, and becoming the only human in the animal school.
  • Over the Garden Wall: In "Schooltown Follies", all of the students in Ms. Langtree's school are semi-anthropomorphic animals that wear clothing. The school is attempting to teach the animals to act humanlike.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Scooby attends Crystal Cove High right alongside the human members of Mystery Incorporated. The general population treat a Great Dane attending high school with no more surprise than they treat a Great Dane who's capable of human speech.
  • Spot of Teacher's Pet decides to pretend to be human in order to become educated, much to the chagrin of his owner Leonard.
  • Wayside: There are some cows going around in the school for some reason. Louis is often in charge of taking care of them.
  • In You're (Not) Elected, Charlie Brown, Snoopy infiltrates the Peanuts Gang's school under his "Joe Cool" persona but isn't found out until he tries to answer a math problem by stating his paw, afterwards he is booted off the premises. Becomes a Brick Joke later on as Linus says during his campaign speech that any dog who wanders onto school premises will be welcomed with open arms, which cuts to the beagle applauding him, as he somehow snuck into the school auditorium.