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Boys Like Creepy Critters

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"The life of a frog. That's the life for me."

Hobbes: Whatcha doin'?
Calvin: Looking for frogs.
Hobbes: How come?
Calvin: I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul.
Hobbes: Ah, but of course.
Calvin: My mandate also includes weird bugs.

Many would think Reptiles Are Abhorrent or Spiders Are Scary, but not little Bob! Whether it be creepy insects, furry arachnids, scaly reptiles, or similar critters, he thinks they're just the coolest things on the planet. You're a wuss if you don't agree with him.

The morality of said boy (or tomboy) often varies. He may just be an innocent everyday kid who loves his bearded dragon and thinks green bugs are cool, or an Enfant Terrible who feeds his snake cute living mice for his own amusement. Either way, expect Bob to try to taunt girls with the wild lizard he found near the pond to gross them out or scare them, though amphibians like wart-covered toads can take that role, too.

May be the reason why a boy is a Friend to Bugs. Also related to Slime, Snails, and Mutant Tails, for when toys are marketed towards boys with things like "green slime" and "gross oozing".

Compare Nightmare Fetishist. See also Freaky Is Cool, Kids Love Dinosaurs. The Spear Counterpart to All Girls Like Ponies.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Strips 
  • FoxTrot:
    • Jason Fox (10) keeps an iguana named Quincy, which he mostly uses to freak out his 14-year-old sister Paige. He also occasionally takes it to school for the same reason, but is thoroughly befuddled when his new teacher likes it.
    • Another for Jason Fox was an arc in which his mother and sister thought he had a crush on a girl, and naturally teased him about it, much to his confusion. The girl was in fact the classroom's pet snake.
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • This strip:
      Hobbes: Watcha doin'?
      Calvin: Looking for frogs.
      Hobbes: How come?
      Hobbes: Ah, but of course.
      Calvin: My mandate also includes weird bugs.
    • In another strip, Hobbes mentions that Calvin once got in trouble for keeping an incontenent toad in his mom's sweater drawer.
    • At the end of one storyline in which Calvin makes several clones of himself who cause endless trouble, he transforms the clones into worms, to their thrilled reactions.
  • One of the pets of the titular character of Dennis the Menace (US) is a frog named Willy. Dennis smuggles Willy with him wherever he goes, and sometimes tricks Margaret into kissing him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • There was a reptile-obsessed teenage boy in the film Just One of the Guys.
  • Thor in Thor: Ragnarok admits that he loves snakes and would pick one up to admire it as a child. Loki took advantage of this by shapeshifting into snakes and stabbing Thor once picked up.
  • A Clockwork Orange has teenaged sadist Alexander De Large own a pet snake in his bed's drawer. Since Alex was played by the very-much adult Malcolm McDowell, it tends to be lost on audiences that he is supposed to be a schoolboy.

  • Inverted in Animorphs. In The Change, Marco, having just learned that the terrifying Hork-Bajir aliens have males and females, idly wonders how you tell them apart, like looking for bows on their head or "getting weird around bugs and snakes". Since this is taking place in Cassie's barn, she throws a garden snake at him. He panics.
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. While Tom is in church he plays with a "pinchbug" ("large black beetle with formidable jaws") he had caught earlier. Later on he plays with it again at school, aided by his friend Joe Harper.
  • The Saga of Darren Shan starts with Darren talking about his love for spiders (he's about 12 at the beginning of the series). Later, when he's 29, a Vampire Prince and a seasoned warrior, making his way through a post-apocalyptic wasteland with his companions, a zombie and a drunken, cannibal pirate, he still shows his love for them when he charms a cave full of them into letting the trio pass. Throughout the series, he regularly casually refers to them as "cute". The series also caters to this in the audience with Darren's friend Evra the Snake Boy.
  • Grisam from Fairy Oak is fascinated by the many insects and spiders La shows him. Titch likes crickets and would "talk" to them if asked to.
  • Downplayed in InCryptid: Alex is a herpetologist, and he's liked reptiles and amphibians since he was a kid (when Angela and Martin took their grandkids to Lowryland, he caught 16 species of lizards, snakes, and frogs within the park limits), but most of the female characters he interacts with (Shelby, his sisters) aren't averse to creepy crawlies either.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an early episode of The Brady Bunch Marcia falls for a boy at school who's into insects, so she tries to get into insects too in order to attract him. She decides it's not worth the effort.
  • In the first episode of Smallville after the pilot, the Monster of the Week boy who was into bugs. His mother didn't know what he could do with such a hobby; apparently she's never heard of entomology.
  • In CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Grissom mentions he was like this in school (naturally), but his first crush was an inversion ("She liked bugs too.").

  • In Jim Stafford's song "Spiders & Snakes" the Narrator recalls walking Mary Lou home from school when they were children.
    And so we took a stroll and wound up down by the swimming hole
    And she said do what you want to do
    I got silly and found a frog in the water by a hollow log
    And I shook it at her and I said, "This frog's for you."
    She said,
    I don't like spiders and snakes
    And that ain't what it takes to love me
    You fool, you fool
    I don't like spiders and snakes
    And that ain't what it takes to love me
    Like I wanna be loved by you

    Video Games 
  • Willy Beamish has a pet frog named Horny that he can use to freak out various characters, among them his teacher Ms. Glass and his sister Tiffany. Part of the game's plot has Willy entering the Annual Tootsweet Frog Jump to win enough money to head to a video game championship.


    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • One episode of Bart talk about "letting Bart Jr. hanging out". Bart Jr. turns out to be a frog inside his pants.
    • The episode with the Bolivian tree lizards, in which every member of the family except Bart is shocked and disgusted when the bird eggs he's been incubating turn out to be lizard eggs.
  • Over the Garden Wall: Greg spends most of the series carrying a large frog, which he keeps trying to name. It's revealed that he and his brother Wirt got lost because Greg went after the frog and ended up in the forest.
  • Hey Arnold!: Sid is a preteen boy who thinks frogs are, in his own words, "the coolest", and catches them as a hobby. He has a pet frog named Sidney (presumably after him) who's the first one he ever caught.
  • Grossology: Ty and Abby Archer's job description basically works out to "secret agent janitors", which works out in their favor. Abby arguably has a greater love for gross things than her brother though, with several episodes having her proudly attempting to find things that can actually set off her gag reflex (and failing).
  • Steven Universe:
    • Steven himself at least empathizes with snakes. He once cried because "[T]hey don't have any arms!"
    • Resident Creepy Child Onion has a pet snake. He does feed it live mice, but that's really used to play up Steven's Friend to All Living Things nature, rather than paint Onion as cruel; Steven doesn't object to the feeding, he just balks at being asked to participate and refuses to watch. And Onion decides to spare the mouse... by holding it in his own mouth for the rest of the day.
  • Santiago of the Seas: The titular character, Santi, has a pet coqui frog named Kiko and his cousin/first mate Tomas has a pet green iguana named Nacho.