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Cartoon Creature
aka: Ambiguous Species

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...What is that thing?

"No! What ARE you kidses? Look at you! With those ears and those tails... That's not normal! I mean what ARE you?"
Dr. Scratchansniff, Animaniacs, "What Are We?"

A non-human drawn or animated character of ambiguous species.

There are several cartoon characters who are certainly not human. They are popular in cartoons and can be cute, funny, or have unique traits that make them interesting However, they are also clearly not any species of readily identifiable animal either.

Some of them appear to be Mix-and-Match Critters, but usually they don't combine obvious elements of any real animals. They don't really have a species, they're just... cute.

By the way, you can read about cartoon animal characters with full details on

Not to be confused with Informed Species, where the character is supposed to be a specific animal, but doesn't look like that animal. Examples  If the character is clearly meant to be a (normally) inanimate object, then the trope is Animate Inanimate Object. If they fall more on the humanoid side, this can overlap with Ambiguously Human.

Many are either Ridiculously Cute Critters or Ugly Cute Critters. Compare the Waddling Head and Cephalothorax. See also Beast Man, Funny Animal, Kaiju, Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!, Our Alebrijes Are Different.


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  • One of the Sci-fi Channel's ads features a woman playing with her pet. Said pet—presumably extraterrestrial—looks vaguely like a hairless Sphynx cat, with large batlike ears, huge expressive eyes, an extremely long striped tufted tail, and a long forked tongue that it uses to daintily touch the tongue of its owner.
  • The Noid is often known to fall in this trope, He seemed and suggested to be a human in a red rabbit-like rubber outfit but he differs from the actual size of a human, despite having his own house and lab. The fan game The Noid 2 also brings up the question.
  • M&M's: While its obvious the characters represent the candy, some characters don't have specific kinds of variety of M&M they are such as Green, Blue, and Brown. Also of note is they have flesh-colored limbs indicating that they're human-esque.
    • Green is suggested to be a peanut M&M but they also depict her as Dark Chocolate and Mint M&M to associate with her erotic persona.
    • Blue is often associated with Almond, but he is also associated with Raspberry, Hazelnut Spread, and Dark Chocolate (also).
    • Brown is often associated with Dark Chocolate and Milk Chocolate (despite red being associated with that variety).
    • Orange is currently associated with Pretzel but formerly represented Crispy. Crispy was discontinued and his role became Pretzel, but once Crispy was brought back, he kept his Pretzel role with Crispy being represented by no one in particular.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Chiyo's dad in Azumanga Daioh, who looks like an elongated, vaguely anthropomorphic cat, most likely pulled from an in-show plush toy by Sakaki's cuteness-obsessed mind.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Kerberos spends much of his time as a winged teddy bear like creature. His true form looks like a mane-less male lion with armor and wings. He's a creation of Clow, so he may be the only one of his species, assuming he's not a lion. It's never made clear what exactly he is supposed to be.
  • Digimon has many designs that are clear cut and have profiles to go with that describe what they're supposed to be as further proof. Several examples include animals, plants, monsters, demons, angels, and loads and loads of dragons... and then there are others who look like these.
  • While most people assume Puar from Dragon Ball is a cat, it actually supposed to be a fictional species of animal (a mixture of a rabbit and cat, to be more precise) and Puar is actually the name of said species.
  • Love-Love(Named Getalong in the dub) from Flint the Time Detective looks like...Some sort of kappa-furby thing with wings.
  • Moochi from Monster Rancher looks like some vague mixture of a penguin and a duck made of bubblegum, which has some sort of armadillo-like shell on its back.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • The Principal is small, white, and fuzzy, and simultaneously resembles a rat, a very small polar bear, and a lot of other mammals. He himself has never identified what he is, and it seems to be a touchy subject for him if anyone tries to press him about it.
    • "Ordinary Woman" is a civilian with a mutant quirk that makes her resemble an anthropomorphic animal woman, but just what kind of animal she's supposed to be is ambiguous. Her ears and the placement of her tufts of fur bring to mind a fox, but the teal color of the fur on her head and her snout shape bring to mind a shark. And then there's the matter about her unnaturally tall stature.
  • Q-chan from Pet Shop of Horrors is some sort of rabbit-devil creature with a cream-coloured pear-shaped body and rabbit ears, little white horns, black bat wings, a black devil tail, and black duck feet. No-one ever really asks what he is. Q-chan may be loosely based on the wolpertinger, a Bavarian hybrid creature. Essentially, it looks like a bunny, but has wings and antlers.
  • Kyubey from Puella Magi Madoka Magica has a tail like a ferret or fox, but a head more like that of a cat, only with an extra pair of ears. According to Word of God, he was designed without any real animal in mind. He's actually an alien, so it's probably a moot point anyway.
  • Mr Boobrie from Radiant looks like some kind of weird bird-like creature which also has bat wings and ram horns. And it also has an imp-like tail.
  • Plue from Rave Master is something like a snowman crossed with a dog. The theme song identifies him as a "carrot-nosed" dog. By Word of God, Plue was actually an old drawing of the manga's creator from when he was a kid. Rave was made out of desire to draw a shounen manga starring said creature. Even then, the creator can't remember if he intended to draw a dog or what.
    • In Fairy Tail, from the same writer of Rave Master, Plue is the Canis Minor Zodiac summon. What this means is debatable, since nobody but himself and the summon system believes he's a dog, and he doesn't even trigger the cynophobia of Happy. Happy himself falls into this trope, being a blue-furred, tuft-tailed, flat-toothed, oft-bipedal winged cat. Happy belongs to an entire race of cat-like magical beings, as well as Carla, Lily, Nichiya, Frosch and Lector: the Exceeds.
  • Played with in Revolutionary Girl Utena, Chu-Chu the monkey resembles a cartoon mouse but seems otherwise like a regular monkey, so fans assume he's some kind of marmoset/tariser/lemur thing, despite not looking quite like that either. Utena rightly points out Chu-Chu as a name makes him sound too much like a mouse, due to that being the Japanese onomatopoeia for a mouse's squeaks.
  • Viral the beastman in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. While the Beastmen generals have much more recognizable Animal Motifs (gorilla, scorpion, peacock/owl, armadillo), he looks like a human with shark teeth and paws, or as Word of God describes him, "a shark with cat genetics" which may make him some sort of Mix-and-Match Critter.
  • Ryo-Ohki from Tenchi Muyo!, when it's not a spaceship, looks like what some fans refer to as a "cabbit"; pretty much a lop-eared bunny with a cat's face. It's actually a crystal-blob creature/spaceship that assimilated a (dying)kitten. Later, she assimilates another crystal-blob creature with a humanoid form and gained the ability to turn into a Funny Animal version of herself in a child or adult form.
    • Fuku in Tenchi Muyo! GXP is essentially another model of Ryo-Oh-Ki with a built-in potential to take a humanoid form.
  • Kuriboh from Yu-Gi-Oh! has zero resemblance with any living creature, looking basically like a a furball with paws and eyes.
  • Yusuke's spirit beast in YuYu Hakusho, Puu. Its adult form is a phoenix.


    Asian Animation 
  • Downplayed in Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf. Weslie is clearly either a sheep or a goat, but Creative Power Entertaining can't seem to decide what species they should go with in English translations. Most Pleasant Goat materials say he's a goat, though.
  • YoYo Man: Kube, Fefe, and Qiube are meant to look like a dragon, an elephant, and a rabbit respectively, and Nika's bat wings may be an indicator of what she's based off of, but it's more ambiguous what YoYo Man, Yamy, Mobe, and Hake are supposed to be. Hake looks like he could be some kind of rhinoceros or dinosaur, but Mobe's species is even less pinpointable, and YoYo Man and Yamy don't seem to resemble anything in particular.

    Comic Books 
  • The Bone creatures from Bone. Big-nosed, half-dressed cartoon humanoids in a setting that has both normal humans, talking animals, normal animals, and everything in between.
  • Max of Sam & Max: Freelance Police is rabbit-like in shape, but with sharp, carnivorous-looking teeth and a highly aggressive attitude. He's referred to as a "rabbity-thing" by other characters but prefers the term "lagomorph" himself (which is Greek for "rabbit-shaped"). Strong Bad refers to Sam and Max as "Rabbit-dog and Bunnyman".
    • Furthermore, Moai Better Blues reveals that he's amphibian, and a workplace sexual harassment chart seen in What's up, Beelzebub? has a question mark placed over Max's body.
  • Erica of Hepcats. While the other principal characters are clearly identifiable by species, Erica is just... "an Erica."
  • Marsupilami, the eponymous species has the build and general behavior of an ape, yellow fur with spots like a big cat, a name derivative of the word “marsupial”, and they lay eggs like monotremes, on top of having a very long and dexterous tail. Darwin would be stumped.
  • The main character of Frank.
  • Sonic the Comic:
    • The comic often had some sort of generic pseudo-Dogface animal that looked strange compared to other characters, that would appear to populate city areas.
    • Grimer is..Something. He looks like a Goblin, or at least something non-animal; how he came to be on Mobius is never explained. Well, Grimer started out as an expy of Grima Wormtongue from The Lord of the Rings, so...magically corrupted human?
  • The Smurfs are close to being an Ur-Example. They are vaguely humanoid, but not quite at the same time.
  • The Isz from The Maxx are some weird, eyeless Cephalothorax creatures which at one point are described as looking like some sort of "marshmallow with teeth".

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: In-universe example. One strip has Calvin draw some sort of creature, vaguely resembling a potato-shaped robot with no arms and two stumpy lower appendages, which is so crude that not even he knows what it is. His mom thinks it's "some kind of helicopter".
  • Eugene the Jeep from Popeye comics, as seen here looks like a dog sized, yellow, spotted, ambiguous looking cat-thing with a big, light bulb-looking nose. Meanwhile, the animated cartoons define him as some sort of dog.
  • The Shmoo from Li'l Abner is this pure white thing best described as looking like a bowling pin with legs and whiskers.

    Eastern Animation 
  • Cheburashka from Russian cartoons, pictured above. He appears to be part teddy bear, part koala, and part monkey. Cheburashka is the name of his species they agreed on. Originally his name was translated into English as "Topple". Cheburashka, according to the book, is "a funny little creature, unknown to science, who lives in the tropical forest". Some people say that he is reminiscent of lorids. His true origin is that he's a flawed toy, hence the unconventional appearance.
  • Booba: Just what is Booba meant to be exactly? Perhaps the best way of describing him is that he looks like a cross between an old man and a rat.

    Film — Animation 
  • The 3 Little Pigs: The Movie: The species of some of the predatory dinner guests aren’t clearly defined, with one in particular looking vaguely cat-like, but has a pig-like nose. Some of them being Amazing Technicolor Wildlife (the aforementioned guest has yellow fur and black stripes) does not help.
  • Many of the Blue Meanies from Yellow Submarine are non-descript furry humanoids with big noses, though while the Chief Meanie and his second Max have long, floppy ears, a number of minions sport what looks like purple Mickey Mouse ears.
  • Hugo from the Danish film series Jungledyret Hugo. He is often described by fans to be a bear/koala-like thing like Cheburashka.
  • Another non-animal example would be Cars' Lightning McQueen, who isn't based on a real car model unlike most of the other characters. According to his toy bio, he is actually "a 2006 all-new, one-of-a-kind race car."
  • Ralph in Twice Upon a Time is an "All Purpose Animal". His Shapeshifter Default Form is a generically cute little animal of... some sort. With nerd glasses.
  • Kevin from Up is a large, colorful bird of a mysterious species who's modeled after the male Himalayan Monal pheasant, despite apparently being female.
  • In Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent has an army of Mooks whose species is never defined—they're small, brownish-gray, and different individuals have various animal features like beaks, horns, fangs, etc. Fans tend to call them "goblins", "trolls", or just "goons".
  • The two main characters from the film All Creatures Big and Small belong to two different fictional animal species: The Nestrian and the Grymp. While The Grymp look like some type of canine creature, the Nestrian don't even remotely resemble any specific kind of animal.
  • Wild Mike from Barnyard is some kind of a large hairy ball with limbs. He is described by Bessy to be a mutant hairball that Otis found.

    Film — Live Action 
  • The big-eared, fuzzy Mogwai from the Gremlins movies most closely resemble a small prosimian primate, like a bushbaby or tarsier, minus the tail (and stubby limbs). In the second film, Gizmo is tentatively identified as some sort of rodent by a pair of scientists.
  • Nobody knows what Master Yoda from Star Wars's species is called.

  • Mercer Mayer's Little Critter: The titular creature looks a bit like a hedgehog or a hamster, but is technically just a "little critter".
  • The Moomins: Many of the characters but mostly the titular Moomins (and the Snork Maiden). According to Tove, they're a kind of troll, they just don't look like what you'd think of trolls (they're cuter), actually, they look like either hippos, horses, cows, or somewhere between all three, depending on who you ask. In that vein, what exactly is Sniff? He looks like's a combo between a chihuahua or a deer and a kangaroo and, at one point, Tove didn't know what to call him.
  • Otis And Rae And The Grumbling Splunk: The main characters of this book, who are "little creatures" with pale skin, star noses, and small upward ears near the top of their heads.
  • Something Else: The main character known only as "Something Else" is a blue-furred creature with a big dark nose, drooping ears and humanoid fingers. Likewise, the deuteragonist, "Something", has orange fur, a lion's mane, an elephant's trunk, and three-fingered hands.
  • Toy Academy: Grumbolt is a mishmash of different animals. Justified because he's the result of a make-your-own stuffed animal kit gone wrong.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Th mascot of the open source image editor GIMP is a coyote-like animal called Wilber. No one is sure exactly what he is.
  • Nobody, not even its creator, knew what Whatizit, the mascot of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics was. Nobody really liked the character as it was meant to define the many sports of the Olympic games but had zero personality. (This prompted a sci-fi club newsletter to feature Ren Hoek seeing the creature and ask "Whatizit, man?" with Mr. Horse below commenting "No sir, I don't like it.") The character was changed slightly, renamed Izzy, and was featured in a prime time animated special.
  • While most sports mascots are pantomime humans, specific animals or anthropomorphic objects, a certain number are hard to describe except in terms like "nonhuman bipedal thing." The Phillie Phanatic is supposed to be something from the bird clade and Gritty is possibly mammalian, but both look more like oversized Muppets than anything else.

  • Crazy Frog, AKA The Annoying Thing, is a blue gremlin-like creature whom the creator, Erik Wernquist, explicitly claims is not a frog. He has a belly button, for starters.
  • The titular characters of the Patricia Taxxon album Pix & Bit have their species listed as "generic mammal" and "generic reptile" respectively on their official refsheet.

    Myths and Religion 
  • The deity Set (or Seth) in Egyptian Mythology is, to put it short, one of the most infamous subjects in Egyptology in terms of who he's even supposed to be. He has the head of an unknown and mysterious creature that resembles a composite of an aardvark, a donkey, a fox, and a jackal. Modern Egyptologists usually refer to it as the "Set animal" or "sha". Since Set was identified with the Greek Typhon, the animal he is suppose to base himself off of is also commonly known as the "Typhonic beast" and "Typhonian animal".
    • A few also theorize that the head isn't an aardvark, but rather some species of gar or other pointy-faced carnivorous fish; whatever they are, they were the ones that ate Osiris' willie when Set cut him up and threw him in the Nile. It can't just be a fish, though, since statues show it as some sort of emaciated hyena-looking thing. However, according to one account he is apparently supposed to have head of a hippo and others say he has the head of a giraffe, though the latter was ruled out on the grounds that the Egyptians made the distinction between a giraffe and a donkey. Let's just say that it's...not exactly clear.
    • The Book of the Faiyum depicts Set with a flamingo head, so there's also this to take into consideration since the sha creature's rostrum is curved.
    • At least one Egyptologist suggested that the Set animal was actually a stylized saluki: the dog was native to Egypt, has a curved snout, and when running, its ears and tail become vertical like the Set animal's (and its ears were often cropped for hunting). This theory has never seen a lot of circulation, though.
  • The behemoth in The Bible (Job 40:15-24) is a large animal said to eat grass and live near a river. Most historians today believe it was meant to be some sort of large mammal, possibly a hippo or a Cape buffalo, but the description of a tail "like a cedar" has led some Young Earth creationists to suggest that it was actually a dinosaur. Other people (in keeping with the mammal theory) have postulated that the "tail" refers to an elephant's trunk, or that the comparison could be likening an elephant or hippo's brush-like tail to a cedar branch. "Tail" could also be a euphemism for, um, something else, considering that the same passage (Job 40:15) mentions that "the sinews of his stones are wrapped together", and the preceding passage asserts that "his strength is in his loins."
  • The Wolpertinger of German mythology (which Q-chan from Pet Shop of Horrors might be based on). All that's clear about it is that it's a hybrid animal but we do know it can either look like a jackolope with wings to however you describe this.
  • The Pictish Beast is an ambiguous creature that frequently appears in ancient Pictish carvings found across Scotland. People have speculated it to be a representation of a horse, a dolphin, a seahorse, a dragon, an elephant, the mythological kelpie, and even the Loch Ness Monster.
  • The Bunyip. The descriptions suggest it looks something like a seal, dog, or some combo, while others say it looks something like a emu (in a close but no cigar sense) and some sayin' it looks something like this. The most consistent things about it is that it's aquatic and lives in or near waterways.

  • Time Fantasy is infamous for its psychedelic theme, centered around a green and yellow creature with spindly limbs, bulbous eyes, and a large snail-like shell on its head and back.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Many of The Muppets are this. While many of them tend to be based on real world species (Kermit being a frog, Fozzie being a bear, etc). A great deal of them are largely strange, fictional creatures with no real world basis and are often give the broad term "monsters" at most. This tends to be a frequent trend in Jim Henson's Muppet creations to the point of being an Author Tract of his, with other Muppet productions involving him such as Sesame Street and especially Fraggle Rock, featuring all sorts of random, bizarre and entirely fictional creatures and monsters in all different shapes and sizes.
    • Gonzo is a particularly noteworthy case, as he is a strange blue bird-like creature, who in contrast to most of the main Muppets, lacks a real world species. His ambiguity is frequently lampshaded and touched upon in Muppet productions, with John Cleese describing him as being "the ugly, disgusting little blue creature who catches cannonballs" in episode 223 of The Muppet Show, Kermit remarking that he looks a little like a turkey to his conscience in The Muppet Movie and in The Great Muppet Caper, is classified as a "whatever" on his crate during the plane flight to London. Muppets from Space would even make this a plot point and attempt to finally answer who he is by stating that he's an alien (which he has been hinted as being in previous Muppet productions, such as his song in The Muppet Movie, "I'm going to go back there someday"), but this has since fallen into Canon Discontinuity, with Gonzo's species having gone back to being vague since. When Gonzo's puppeteer, Dave Goelz, was asked about Gonzo's species on the Ask Henson website, he has remarked, "Nobody knows except his parents, and they're not talking. It was always one of those taboo subjects around the dinner table." Snarl, Gonzo's prototype from the 1970 TV special, The Great Santa Claus Switch, was described as being a "frackle" in the special, but this aspect would not carry over to Gonzo himself.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the first edition of Changeling: The Lost, all changeling characters have a Seeming (a type of power), but having a Kith (specific aesthetic) within that Seeming is optional. A sourcebook notes that members of the Beast Seeming who don't have a Kith just look generically animalistic, with features too vague or varied to match a species. It also suggests that characters could grow a Kith where none existed before as a result of gameplay events or Character Development, tying this trope to Flashy Protagonists, Bland Extras.

    Video Games 
  • Nobody can figure out what kind of animal Ardy Lightfoot is supposed to be, although "fox cat" is the best guess.
  • The title character of Baba is You is, at the most specific, a white quadruped creature with pointed ears that looks more like a bean than any particular animal. That said, many fans consider Baba to be a sheep due to their name.
  • The hero of the Sega Saturn game Bug. Besides being a Four-Legged Insect, he doesn't seem to be based off any real-life bug- he's a green bug with the head of a praying mantis, the body of a grasshopper, and the stinger of a bee.
  • Fidget is the only non-humanoid (well, less humanoid at least; she's about the size of a real fruit bat, doesn't wear clothes, and has paws instead of hands) animal in Dust: An Elysian Tail. Dust has no idea what she even is until an NPC identifies her as a "nimbat".
  • Final Fantasy:
  • Fire Emblem Engage has Sommie, who Alear can interact with through a Virtual Pet minigame in Somniel, and no one in Elyos has any clue on what it's supposed to be other than the fact that it's an ancient spirit. At best, it looks like some sort of pudgy canine or quokka wearing a scarf.
  • Mr. Game & Watch definitely qualifies based on his portrayal in the Super Smash Bros. games, seeing that he is an anthropomorphic... something. And two-dimensional.
  • A Hat in Time: The Conductor doesn't really look like any creature out there, with a face that looks like a cartoonish, eyeless dog-dragon-axolotl thingy with a really big mouth full of sharp teeth. Made rather funny by the fact the chapter he's in, which features Dueling Movies between his own and DJ Grooves (a clear penguin), is called Battle of the Birds, while the Conductor himself clearly doesn't look like any avian except maybe a sharp-toothed Woodstock. Generally, the fans agree that his species is "Bird(?)".
  • Kirby:
    • The main character is essentially a sentient pink orb with a face, arms, feet, and a bottomless abyss for a stomach.
    • King Dedede may or may not be a penguin. Nobody can seem to agree.
      • This gets a Lampshade Hanging in Super Smash Bros. Brawl with Snake's codec call regarding the king, which has him initially refer to him as a penguin, only to question it when the Colonel doesn't acknowledge whether or not he actually is a penguin.
      • Kirby Star Allies seems to hang another lampshade with the king producing a roasted chicken should he get caught up in the Chef ability's cookpot, which tends to produce food that's thematically appropriate for what was used to create it (The obviously avian Birdon also produces a roasted chicken), which suggests that he's at least some kind of bird...or not.
    • A good number of recurring enemies count as well. Waddle Dees are shaped like Kirby, but lack a mouth and have faces resembling monkeys. Scarfies are flying orange blobs with ears and smiley faces that turn into cyclopses if you anger them. Waddle Doos are Waddle Dees, but with a giant eyeball where their face should be. And that's just a few of them!
  • Some people say Klonoa is a cat. Others say he's a rabbit. Some people even call him a "cabbit". The only thing anyone can agree on is that he's adorable.
    • He's not the only member of his species, though. There's also Grandpa, Balue, the King of Sorrow...
    • Klonoa: Empire of Dreams gives us Emperor Jillius, who looks like some kind of fox or koala, and Bagoonote , who appears to be some kind of reptile.
  • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night: The Skavengers' precise species is left fairly ambiguous — they look kind of like dogs, kind of like badgers and kind of like hyenas, and in the end mostly come across as generic humanoid mammaloids.
  • Magician's Quest: Mysterious Times/Enchanted Folk and the School of Wizardry: Several of the potential students don't have any readily identifiable species. While many of them are based on animals (or plants, or inanimate objects), some of them are just... things. Good examples include the "cupcake girls" (human-ish yet not all that human girls with cupcakes/ice cream/something on their heads), Matthew the cat/dog/bear critter, and Matt the... the... err, alien? It's not very clear.
  • Many Monster Rancher characters fit the bill. Many are based off plants, inanimate objects, mythological creatures, and animals (albeit rather loosely with most examples).
  • The Unndergrounders in Mr. Driller are some kind of round, blue creatures with small arms and feet, and huge eyes; there's no way to tell what the hell are those things.
  • The player characters and the babies in Offspring Fling! are only ever called 'forest creatures'.
  • What are the "ghosts" in Pac-Man? Are they living creatures made of flesh or ghosts? In the original game, one of the between-round cutscenes has a "ghost" catch and tear off one of the rounded bits at the bottom on a sharp point, implying it's a costume. "Ghosts" came into usage when the Atari 2600 Porting Disaster had them flicker (because there wasn't enough memory for more than one on the screen at a time), and later versions just blurred the line further.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: There are a few of these. Most of the characters are recognizably some kind of established Mushroom Kingdom creature, but some, such as the Glitz Pit security guards, just look like bizarre anthropomorphic things.
  • Many Pokémon are viewed as this, but a lot can be traced back to at least one real life species or object. Others, however, cannot, and have no clear basis beyond being "weird".
    • Bulbasaur and it's evolutions could count. Is it a toad? A lizard? A dinosaur? A cat? Bulbasaur's Japanese name even translates to "isn't it strange?" Its final evolution, Venusaur, hops like a frog when following the player in Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, which led some to believe that it at least takes some inspiration from toads, but it does not leap like this in the anime.
    • Clefairy, Jigglypuff and Chansey families: They're classed as "Fairy", "Balloon" and "Egg" Pokémon, but they're all pink, round, cute, vaguely mammalian... things.
    • It's not very clear what exactly the Nidoran families are. Their first stages vaguely resemble a mixture of rabbit with some reptilian creature. Their respective evolutions lack the rabbit-esque features, looking more like some kind of unidentified type of reptilian. The Pokédex merely refers to them as the "Poison Pin" species.
    • Eevee could be the king of this trope. Thanks to an Unstable Genetic Code, it has at least eight evolutions, and all of them are as indeterminate as it is. Even though Eevee is quite dog-based or fox-based, many people still see Eevee as more cat-, squirrel-, or rabbit-like than dog/foxlike. Word of God is that Eevee was deliberately given a generic design that doesn't look like any animal in particular, in order to reflect its ability to evolve into any number of forms.
    • Lugia, a gigantic dragon-bird-monster-thing, has been stated to be this via Word of God. It's been speculated by some that it might be based on an albatross, but the resemblance isn't really there.
    • A lot of Fighting- and Psychic-type Pokémon don't have any particular basis beyond "humanoid". The Abra and Tyrogue families stand out.
    • No one has been able to definitively figure out what Shuckle is, or if it's even based on an animal. Guesses have ranged from sea turtles to cedar-apple rust disease. Japanese names for Shuckle's moves and abilities from the Trading Card Game often refer to pots and lids, however, suggesting it's fermentation given animal form that lives in a very unusual-looking clay pot.
    • Poochyena's and Mightyena's names suggest being based off of hyenas, and they have fur similar to the distinct body ruff of the brown hyena, but many people see lupine features in them, sometimes out of preference, or lack of familiarity with brown hyenas, which are obscure. Mightyena's Pokedex entries does emphasize its pack behavior, and it can learn the move Howl, and hyenas can not howl. Maybe it's based on both?
  • Pseudoregalia: Sybil, the player character, has the horns of a goat, the ears of a rabbit, and the long tail of a cat, as if she's a combination of the three species.
  • In Puyo Puyo, Parara is a round, white humanoid thing with an undefined species. Bios mention he looks like a snowman, but have doubts that he actually is one. It's implied even Parara himself has no idea what he is.
  • Pichin from Reachin Pichin appears to be a combination of flan, a peach, and a bird, with evolutionary forms giving him plant, animal, and metal characteristics.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: The Chao are small blue creatures with teardrop shaped heads, a connection to the ancient deity Chaos, and the ability to evolve based on what animals are around them. Sonic Frontiers reveals that they used to be the Ancients, with Chaos having been the only one to regain its Ancient heritage.
  • Samurai Shodown: Gen An. He specifically denies being a goblin. Some Western fans refer to him as a tengu, but he doesn't look like one.
  • In Super Mario Bros., Yoshi is usually described as some kind of dinosaur, but other than sharing a basic body shape with dinos like raptors, Tyrannosaurus rex, and other theropods; there's not much resemblance. They're also referred to as dragons sometimes but don't resemble any typical designs.
  • Yacopu from the Sunsoft game Trip World looks sort of like a rabbit, aside from being bipedal. His species is "Shabubu," whatever that is.
  • Whiplash: Spanx is officially a long-tailed weasel, but is mostly a thing. Redmond speculates wildly on what he is.
  • The vaguely-named Critter serves as an obtainable pet and unofficial mascot for Wildermyth. It resembles a griffin without wings, sporting enormous ears, clawed talons, and a beak in place of its nose, just above its wide mouth.
  • In Wunderling, it's a running gag that no one is quite sure of the titular Wunderling's species. They come from a kingdom of living fruit and vegetable people, and they have a leaf growing out of their head, but they're otherwise a vaguely yellow Waddling Head. Carrot Man guesses "...a tater?" a few times before ultimately deciding that's not right.
  • A few yokai from Yo-kai Watch are this. Komasan and his brother Komajiro are officially komainu lion-dogs, but look like a mix of a cat and a panda, and Komajiro gets referred to as tiger-like in the English version of the video game.
  • Zniw Adventure: Most of the characters are specific, real-life dinosaur species, but Zniw is a made-up, unnamed species of ornithopod. She has Cartoony Eyes and a yellow-and-brown striped body.
  • The title character of Zool has vaguely insectlike facial features, which led to the widespread misconception that he was supposed to be an ant. "Gremlin" is his official species, which is more a publisher's self-reference than anything else.

  • Fifteen Minds: The fortune teller from Blue Moon Blossom. The setting is a World of Funny Animals, and all of the other animals depicted have very clear real-world animal inspirations, if they're not simply cartoony versions of real groups of animals outright. But the fortune teller appears to be some kind of abstract Blob Monster with at least one arm. Its upper face is completely obscured by a stereotypical fortune teller's decorated shawl, and it has a distinctly human-like nose with a long bridge, in a setting where there's no humans to be seen and everyone else either has no noses, species-accurate noses, or teeny cartoony noses.
  • The wildlife from Cloudscratcher.
  • Angela from Punch an' Pie owns a cat... dog... thing that acts like a cat but looks like a Mix and Match Critter. He is first seen in this comic.
  • Molly and Snookums from The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!.
  • 3/4 of Matchu's cast consists of these, including the title character, who is described as a "Sulking Yellow Cat Thing".
  • Species X from DNA. They look like humans except for being covered in grey hair, having very large ears which may be round or triangular, sharp teeth, and black noses, and sometimes a short fluffy tail. The author has not yet revealed what animal or animals they are based on although she has confirmed several things that they are not, although because Species X was genetically engineered, they likely have DNA from multiple animals.
  • Sparklecare: Most characters are anthro animals, but with a few weird characteristics. Dr. Doom, on the other hand, is all over the place. He's a furry white creature with enormous round ears, four arms and four legs, and more.
  • What Nonsense has Roofadoodle. While most of the characters have clearly-defined species (for example, the protagonist is a boar), nobody knows what species Roofadoodle is. Even the site's character page leaves a "?" in place of his species name.
  • Matcha from Milk And Mocha looks like a dinosaur/dragon crossover.

    Web Original 
  • Most of the characters in Homestar Runner.
    STRONG BAD: I was this close to finding out whether or not you were part elephant or part hippo or something.
    • Most often lampshaded with "The Cheat", who resembles a cross between a Pikachu, an anvil, and a block of cheese. Apparently he is a "The Cheat". Yes, "The" is part of his species name.
  • Most characters from Rice Boy and Order of Tales.
  • Vatsy the catlike character of Vatsy and Bruno is a borderline case.
  • Neopets: Downplayed. Most Neopet species are based on real animals, so those that aren't can give off the impression of this trope: JubJubs, Kikos, and Chias are just heads with limbs, while Kacheeks and Acaras look mammalian but not much like any actual species.
  • Madgie, what did you do?: According to Amoridere, Toki's species started out this way, as she couldn't decide what to call it, until when she was typing in "Eirin", she had misspelled it as "Erin", so she settled on that, pronouncing it "Ee-RIHN".
  • In Don't Hug Me I'm Scared, Sketchbook is a notepad, Duck Guy's a bird, Yellow Guy's a human, and Tony is a clock, but... what is Red Guy supposed to be again? A squid? Spaghetti man? Cthulhumanoid? Just a red human with a stringy beard? It's hard to tell. Becky indicated that Red Guy is a personification of spaghetti on her Instagram.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Frog. The Special Info Episode reveals this design was unintentional, he was supposed to look similar to Michigan J. Frog, but clearly came out wrong.
    • Psycho Man is actually a demon, but the other characters keep thinking he's things like a gremlin, a goblin, and a dinosaur.
  • Bee and Puppycat: No one can seem to agree on whether Puppycat is a dog or a cat.
  • Petscop: We have this in two instances.
    • One is with a pet named "Pen", and, while we have a clue as to what a few other pets are (Amber is a ball, Toneth is a bird, Randice is a flower, Wavey is a cloud, and Roneth is some weird combo), it's hard to describe what Pen is. Her torso appears to be a closed umbrella, she looks something like a doll, or, given her connection with mathematics, she looks like a scale (see here) but there isn't too much in real life one can compare her to, besides that she has a face.
    • Paul's player character, "Newmaker". It's pretty hard to say what he is.
  • From Alasdair Beckett-King, we have "Corky the Non-Specific Animal", starring Corky, a non-specific animal who looks like a dog.
  • Some characters of this kind appear in Otherworldly Ravenous Beast alongside the usual Animate Inanimate Objects usually seen in Object Shows. Some of the Cartoon Creatures in the show do vaguely resemble objects (such as Clubs, who resembles a hut with a door) while others aren't so clear (Zo...what's she supposed to be? A bozu doll? A really strange-looking shuttlecock?).
  • Finn of Dubbed By Strangers is a blue creature with stick limbs called the Bean Boy.
  • J.P. Holding uses some sort of mammal as his Author Avatar in TektonTV.

    Western Animation 
  • The Warner Siblings of Animaniacs, though often referred to as "puppy-children," insist that they aren't puppies. They even have a song about it. The page quote is what starts the Warners singing about what they are. In case you're wondering, they're cute! Animaniacs creator Tom Ruegger confirmed in an interview that their species is Cartoonus characterus. During the production process, they started out as ducks. Everyone thought they looked too much like three miniature versions of Plucky Duck from Tiny Toon Adventures, so they added red noses, doggy ears, and kitty cat tails.
  • Bosko and Honey from Tiny Toon Adventures, who were antecedents to the Warners of Animaniacs. He's a living blot of ink as shown in his premier "Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid", and was vague enough that the creators were asked, at least once, what he was supposed to be (and even they claimed they weren't entirely sure). They look like either dogs, cats, or rabbits. The Tiny Toon Adventures redesign came about because the original design of Bosko and Honey owed a great deal to blackface caricature — when the characters' creators transferred to MGM, they were redesigned to look unmistakably like caricatured black children. Redesigning the characters to resemble the Warners was a less problematic option.
  • Standard portrayal of Pete, Junior, and PJ from Classic Disney Shorts and Goof Troop is that of a cat. In Goof Troop, A Goofy Movie, and An Extremely Goofy Movie, Pete and PJ seem to be portrayed as Dogfaces, but are considered cats even in that show and those movies.
    • Originally (before he was pitted against Mickey Mouse in 1928), Pete was depicted as a bear. In the early days when he was pitted against Mickey, he was a black cat with a white face, a modest looking chin, and a tail. Now he is depicted as an ambiguous looking hairy creature without a tail, a flesh colored muzzle, and a really big chin.
    • The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse version of Pete looks reasonably like the cat, but the Kingdom Hearts "present day" version of Pete, though still a cat, looks more like a French Bulldog.
    • In Epic Mickey, Small Pete says of Big Bad Pete, "My cousin over on Mean Street makes me seem like a cuddly little kitten."
  • The main character in Chowder is, according to Word of God, part cat, part rabbit, and part bear. Most of the other characters count too. Panini looks like a rabbit with some cat bits. They are apparently the same species. The show lampshades this trope from time to time, such as Chowder making a scene as a distraction, demanding that people "label him" as the appropriate animal.
  • Uniqua from The Backyardigans. Nobody knows what she's supposed to be. Word of God says that Uniqua is "her own unique species".
  • Name any character in Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!. Chances are they are this, but it is easy to assume which animal they are based on (ex.: Wubbzy being based on a gerbil/cat, Widget on a rabbit, etc.). In a rare interview, Wubbzy states that he isn't an animal.
  • Many of the characters from Sonic Underground don't have an established species. Sonic's still vaguely hedgehog-y and therefore so are his immediate family, Robotnik's still vaguely human-y... but what any of the sibling's foster-parents are meant to be is an open question.note 
  • Tico, "the mascot", from Around the World with Willy Fog. Is he a hamster? A mouse? A... rabbit? The comic adaptation said he was a hamster, but this didn't show up in the TV series.
  • King from The Owl House is actually a Titan, but there's still a fair bit of discussion about what animal he's supposed to be based on. He has characteristics of cats, dogs, and foxes, his head is hidden by a skull mask, and he has horns on said head. That being said, as Eda is a witch and King has black fur, the closest analogue would be a black cat.
  • Wooldoor Sockbat from Drawn Together is described by the narrator in the first episode as a "highly annoying underwater whatsit". He's more of a parody of this type of character in general and SpongeBob SquarePants specifically.
  • Kuma, the Team Pet on Pole Position. He's eventually revealed to have been bioengineered.
  • Humf, the titular character from the cartoon series of the same name. Looks like a purple carnivorous lamb, but really, what exactly is he? The creators call him a furry purple thing, which is what he's referred as being in the show. One of his friends, Wallace, is equally ambiguous in design (resembling a Waddling Head). At least his other friend, Loon, looks like a pink peacock.
  • Thomas & Friends:
    • Rare non-animal example: Percy. While most other characters are based on real locomotive classes, Percy is a heavily hybridized mix of several other steam engine designs. Supplementary material for the original books indicates that Percy was acquired thirdhand by the Fat Controller, and was already extensively modified by the time he got to Sodor (he's mostly an Avonside engine with parts from other designers acquired along the way).
    • Perhaps the most egregious example in the series is Stefano the Super Cruiser from the "Digs & Discoveries" special. Not only is he designed to carry cargo, road vehicles, and rail vehicles - both in his hull and on his deck - he's also able to move on water, drive on land, and operate a crane and winch all under his own power. The closest real-world match for him is the Pelican, a half-track amphibious transport developed by the US military during World War II, but it was never actually built and did not have a crane.
  • The Snarfs from ThunderCats are a species of intelligent cat-like creatures that are native to the planet Thundera.
  • Bravestarr's jurisdiction, the planet New Texas, is inhabited by little things called Prairie People...basically Snarfs with cowboy clothes.
  • Spliced:
    • As his name suggests, Fuzzy Snuggums exists purely to be cute and the resident Chew Toy. However, what he is on an island of Mix-and-Match Critters isn't ever explained.note 
    • The species that make up Peri's DNA are never revealed either. He does seem to have some caterpillar DNA though (one episode had him going into a cocoon and coming out with butterfly wings.
  • The people of Miseryville in Jimmy Two-Shoes have every strange body trope possibly imaginable (and far more), and they're all completely different. Considering what the setting is implied to be, it's likely that they're supposed to be demons, in keeping with the portrayal of angels as totally unrecognizable in The Bible (although some Miseryvillians are more obviously demons than others, such as Lucius and Beezy).
  • The characters in Out There are pretty inhuman what with their clawed handstubs, round black noses and oddly coloured skin/fur but it's unclear what they are exactly as they never actually address this and refer to themselves as human. Even Chad's family are a different indeterminate species to the rest of the cast and resemble rodents of some kind but again, this isn't questioned and is more a source of Furry Confusion for the audience than anything.
  • Keswick from T.U.F.F. Puppy is of a species that even the other members of T.U.F.F. can't name, though it's sometimes mentioned that Keswick is also the name of his species. Worth mentioning is his bizarre life cycle: his adult stage is a marsupial-like form with webbed feet, his adolescent stage is the same except with an ink-secreting reptilian tail that breaks off to become another Keswick that will fight the first to the death, his child stage is a platypus that shoots barbs out of its mouth, his neonatal stage is a tadpole, and his senior stage is a jellyfish.
  • Alfe from The Problem Solverz. He's supposed to be part man, part dog, and part anteater, but he's basically a giant brown thing with a long nose.
  • The titular Denver of Denver the Last Dinosaur is fairly ambiguous; he does have some dinosaur in him, and of course some typical Funny Animal elements as you might expect, but a whole bunch of dragon-like elements to his design make him a very odd-looking dino (at least to our knowledge).
  • The titular Wander of Wander over Yonder, who looks sort of like a fuzzy brown sock with eyes, a mouth, and limbs. The producers call him an "orange hairy spoon". Technically, however, he and all the other members of the cast are aliens.
  • The titular character from Blue's Clues is obviously a dog, but aside from her blue fur, her breed remains unknown. Same goes to Magenta.
  • Most of the characters in The Wuzzles are obvious mixes of two real animals. The same cannot be said, however, for recurring antagonist Brat. He's a small hairy troll-like creature with a piggish snout, horns, and a spiked tail.
  • Mr Sunshine from CatDog. He's a green, humanoid looking man with a tail in a world where Funny Animals and Civilized Animals are the norm. Fans often believe him to be a shell-less turtle, sloth, or monkey. Lampshaded in one episode where Rancid Rabbit is arresting the residents of Nearberg for not having a license for whatever species they are. When he gets to Mr. Sunshine, he struggles to identify what he is before simply stating he’s under arrest for not having a license.
  • Imaginary friends in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends are anything children can think up. Many are Funny Animals, Mix-and-Match Critters, or Animate Inanimate Objects, but still others don't bear any clear resemblance to any creature in real life. Among the main cast, Bloo is a blue rectangle with a semi-circle on top, a face, and apparently retractable arms while Wilt is a super-tall red humanoid with a paint smear-shaped face and eyes on stalks.
  • Fee and Foo from Harvey Beaks, two red-furred human-like creatures in a World of Funny Animals. C.H. Greenblatt has alternated between referring them as gremlins or imps, so most fans believe them to be one or the other.
  • While most of the characters on the show Toot & Puddle avoid this, Commander Betty from the story "Astronaut Camp" falls into this trope. On one hand, she's most likely meant to be an alligator given the association with Florida where the episode takes place. On the other hand, her design doesn't look much like an alligator and some fans even think she resembles a strangely colored pike with arms and legs instead.
  • The three main characters of The Presentators are this. They resemble somewhat indistinct shapes with stick-thin arms and necks, along with hands of varying sizes. Notably, Stefan's face is shaped differently from his two co-presenters, having a noticeable (and asymmetrical) chin, while Dan and Brian have vaguely square-shaped heads and mouths right at the bottom. Since they're standing behind a table the entire time, we never get to see their lower bodies.
  • Fritz from Timothy Goes to School appears to be some sort of mustelid, perhaps a badger, a skunk, or even a honey badger. Official sources (books, episode descriptions) have described as one or the other; not helping is the student teacher, Ms. Appleberry, appearing to be the exact same species.
  • The main character in Moom, the second animated short by Tonko House, pretty much resembles a Cheburashka but much cuter.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: Naturally, with the tendency towards Medium Blending and generally enormous amounts of characters, there's plenty of them with no identifiable species. Principal Brown's case is special in that even he doesn't know what he is, and so far has only learned that whatever he is doesn't hibernate in winter (he tried).
  • The characters in The Crumpets primarily differ physically from real humans by their pale skin, rounded pink or blue noses that squeak, and visible philtrums that give their faces the resemblance to some sort of mammalian creature. The youngest characters usually have paw-like feet; the others except Pa (usually) and Ma have human-like feet instead.
  • Spike from Rugrats is revealed in the episode, "Spike Runs Away" to be a fictional breed of dog called a Siberian Tiger Hound, which in-universe is an extremely rare and highly valuable breed of dog worth thousands of dollars.
  • Razzledazzle: The eponymous main character Razzledazzle is an orange creature that has ears which are somewhat similar to those of a rabbit. Other than the ears, there are no other features on him that give him a definite species.
  • Hoarse from Pink Panther and Pals. It's not clear if he's a horse or a donkey and his appearance appears to be, however, it's settled that he's a horse.
  • Glomer, from Punky Brewster, is a magical furry something whose species (a "glomley," as specified in the show) are leprechaun helpers in Chaundoon (a land within a rainbow). Glomer strayed from the rainbow and got stranded in Chicago until Punky took him in. He's actually a gopher.
  • Green Eggs and Ham: The majority of the cast are humanoids covered in fuzzy fur that are a Dr. Seuss staple. Some of them have floppy, dog-like ears while others lack any visible earlobes, and some of them go around naked while others wear at least one of two pieces of clothing, though they're occasionally referred to as humans.
  • This Guy from Tig 'n Seek. While the other inhabitants of the Department of Lost and Found (sans Tiggy) are recognizable by their species (Gweeseek is a cat, Boss is a dog and Nuritza is a rabbit), he is a muscular human-like creature with a head that looks like a blue Principal Brown without glasses.
  • The "Jakovasaurs" from South Park are some strange, anthropomorphic duck-like creatures. With the sole exception of Cartman, and the French people, everyone finds them to be extremely annoying.
  • Let's Go Luna!: Due to Joe Murray's trademark bizarre animal designs, it can be hard to tell the species of several of the secondary characters. For example, there are three round acrobats that are presumably bears, but they have human-like noses and black rings around their eyes. Also, the French clown twins are slightly humanoid, but they have mandril-esque masks.
  • The titular Beast from Maggie and the Ferocious Beast vaguely resembles some sort of horned dinosaur with a humanoid face and detachable spots.
  • Skrawl, a recurring villain from ChalkZone, has been called a "jellybean", "amoeba", "potato" and "bug" on several different occasions, though is not really clear what he is supposed to be.
  • The titular Smiling Friends are clearly not human, considering that actual humans exist within this setting, but it's hard to tell what they are supposed to be. They have technicolor skin, with Charlie being yellow, Pim being pink, Alan being red, and Glep being green. With the exception of Pim, they have unusual body types, with Charlie having a semicircular head that curves into the rest of his body, Alan having abnormally long arms and legs, and Glep being incredibly small, having eyes on the sides of his head, and lips that jot out from the rest of his body. Pim also mentions that the little strand of hair on his head isn't hair at all, but rather, is an exposed nerve ending.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "The Time Traveler's Pig", Dipper attempts to win a "stuffed creature of indeterminate species" in a carnival game to impress his crush, Wendy.
    Wendy: I'm not sure if it's a duck or a panda, but I want one!


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Ambiguous Species, Whatsit Sapiens, Indeterminate Furry, Ambiguous Looking Cat


The Conductor

Appears to be some strange mix of a dog and a dragon, and is allegedly a bird of some kind resembling Woodstock with sharp teeth. Even Hat Girl is puzzled on what he actually is.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / CartoonCreature

Media sources: