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Cartoony Tail

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Some animals are drawn with a tail unlike what it would have in Real Life. Either its tail is shaped differently from what its Real Life counterpart would have, or its tail moves around differently from how it should in Real Life. Sometimes its tail is shaped the way it would be shaped in Real Life, but the shape is more exaggerated than it would really appear.

One example is that some cartoon dogs are drawn with tails that look like that of a cat. Dogs may have the widest variety of tail shapes of all animals, but most dogs in Real Life do not have tails that look completely like a typical cat's tail - long with a round or blunt end. A variant of this trope is for a dog with a tail close to the look of a cat's tail but still typical of the breed to have its tail move like that of a cat at least sometimes. In Real Life, a dog's tail should not curl, twitch, or wave like a cat's tail, even if its tail does look like a cat's tail.

Other common examples:

  • Wolves with overly bushy tails. In Real Life, wolves have somewhat bushy tails, but not to the extent of foxes.
  • Cartoon cats from the 1940s and onwards that have tails that taper to a fine point like that of a newborn kitten, albeit longer if an adult cat. Older kittens and adult cats in real life usually have long tails that have a rounded or blunt end. A cat's tail can taper, but usually not like the tail of many cartoon cats. Longhair cartoon cats' tails tend to be drawn like wolves' tails or foxes' tails.
  • Cartoon chipmunks that have deer-like tails. Real chipmunks have much longer tails similar to that of a squirrel, but thinner. They may also occasionally be Inexplicably Tailless.
  • Speaking of squirrels, cartoon squirrels' tails are usually neater looking than the brush-like tails they have in real life.
  • Most animals with bushy tails have them portrayed as tapering to a point, when in Real Life, bushy tails are more likely to have a blunt or rounded tip.
  • Unusually thin and/or fur-covered tails on mice.
  • Zebras with horse-like tails.
  • Skunks usually have "neater" tails that taper to a point, rather than the bushy brush-like ones they have in real life. The pattern will often be portrayed with two thin white stripes going through the tail, black at the ends, though typical real life skunks have tails with white at the ends.
  • Hippos and rhinos with longer and/or thinner tails than in real life. Sometimes they lack tufts at the tip.
  • Lions without tufts at the end of their tails.
  • Jaguars with leopard-like tails. Jaguars have shorter, stockier tails.
  • Platypuses with fur-less, beaver-like tails rather than flat, fur-covered tails.
  • Mandrills with long, baboon-like tails. Mandrills actually have very short, stubby tails, and are no longer classified as baboons.
  • Monkeys in general with Prehensile Tails, regardless of species. In reality, only certain New World monkeys have prehensile tails.
  • Animals with large, heavy tails that drag on the ground (such as beavers, kangaroos and certain reptiles) are drawn with their tails sticking upward.

Then there are extinct animals, where Science Marches On may be to blame for reconstructions that we now know to be inaccurate:

  • Dinosaurs with overly flexible tails, or ones that drag on the ground. The bigger dinosaurs held their tails rigid and level with their bodies. Even stegosaurids, who were able to swing their tails a full 180 degrees, still held them off the ground.
  • Saber-toothed cats tend to be depicted with long tails similar to other big cats. This was true of primitive saber-toothed cats like Machairodus, but advanced ones like Smilodon had very stubby tails like a lynx or a bobcat.
  • Pterosaurs (especially if it's a Pteranodon) with long tails. Most of them, including the Pteranodon, had short tails. Some pterosaurs like Rhamphorhynchus had long tails, but their heads looked very different from the Pteranodon mould (with a long crest) that is most commonly drawn.
  • Diplodocid sauropods like Apatosaurus and Diplodocus will sometimes be portrayed with rather short tails, despite the family being known for having long, whip-like tails. Conversely, brachiosaurids had relatively short tails compared to other sauropods, but they are sometimes drawn with long tails similar to those of diplodocids.
  • Mosasaurs were long thought to have paddle-like tails. It is now the consensus that they had a shark-like vertical fluke.

Please only list examples that are clearly based on actual species. Funny Animals clearly based on actual species are allowed too. Aliens, monsters, and mythical beings can have Bizarre Alien Biology, so please do not list them.

Subtrope of Funny Animal Anatomy. See also Furry Ear Dissonance. See Inexplicably Tailless for normally tailed animals that don't even have tails.


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    Asian Animation 
  • Wolffy, Wolnie, and the other wolves in Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf have overly bushy tails compared to real-life wolves which have visibly rounder tails.

  • Example: Ursa Major (The Big Dipper) and Ursa Minor (The Little Dipper) are constellations shaped like bears with unusually long, catlike tails. Lampshaded and justified by the myth(s) they're based on.

    Comic Books 
  • The wolves of the The Black Blood Alliance have the common, taper off-to-a-point variety. (but surprisingly they are not overly bushy, considering they are sparkledogs).
  • Marsupilami may be the best example of this trope, with a long, skinny tail far longer than his own body. Then again, he is a fictional species.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 
  • Balto has the common, taper off-to-a-point variety.
  • Meeko the raccoon from Pocahontas has a tail that looks really thick at the base and tapers to a fine point, whereas real raccoons usually have tails with a blunt tip or have one that at least doesn't taper as much. To be fair, a raccoon's tail can taper to a fine point but most raccoons' tails do not look that thick at the base.
    • They are supposed to be dressed like housecats, but their tails look vaguely like lion's tails.
  • Rafiki from The Lion King (1994) is a mandrill that has a tail like a baboon.
  • The mice in Disney's Cinderella have wire-thin tails about the width of a drawn line.
  • Downplayed: The mice in The Great Mouse Detective have thin (although not thread thin) tails, while the rat Ratigan has a long, fleshy, wormlike tail differentiating him from the mice, among other things...
  • The coelacanths from Atlantis: The Lost Empire for some reason have extremely small normal-looking fish tails. In real life, a coelacanth's tail is actually large and paddle-shaped.
  • Near the middle of Aladdin, the Genie actually transforms Abu the monkey into an elephant... ...with a monkey tail.
  • Averted in Kung Fu Panda 2 where Shen's wolves are all drawn with round, bushy tails.
  • The mice and rats in Don Bluth's The Secret of NIMH and An American Tail have unusually thin, fur-covered tails. Seems to be fairly standard for animated mice.
  • In Turning Red, Mei's panda tail is shown to be somewhat prehensile whereas real red panda tails are not prehensile at all. Possibly justified due to the magical nature of the panda.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Averted with The Chipmunks in the two live action Alvin and the Chipmunks movies and the Chipettes in the second one; they have tails like real chipmunks.
    • Subverted in the cartoons, where they don't even have tails.
  • "Pet Me, Poppa" from Guys and Dolls has the The Goldwyn Girls dressed as pussy cats swinging around totally un-catlike tails.
  • The weasels in Who Framed Roger Rabbit have short, stubby tails rather than longish catlike tails like real weasels.

  • Real moose have stumpy little tails, even shorter than that of most other deer. Morris The Moose, from the eponymous picture book series, has a long tail with a tuft on the end, kind of like a unicorn!

    Mythology and Folklore 
  • As noted above with the constellations of bears having long tails:
    • According to Ojibwe mythology, bears once had long bushy tails but one bear was tricked by an otter into sticking it in a frozen lake to fish and it broke off
    • In Oneida folklore, the story is similar but, instead of a otter, it was a fox. According to the story, the bear had long tail that he loved to show off, so the fox decided to trick him.

     Video Games  
  • Miles "Tails" Power from Sonic the Hedgehog has two tails that enable him to fly like a helicopter when he spins them. There's no indication of how this is anatomically possible.
  • The alligators from Where's My Water? have curling tails like chameleons.
  • Donkey Kong: Despite being an ape like the rest of his family, Diddy inexplicably has a prehensile tail.

     Web Animation  
  • Russell the otter from Happy Tree Friends has a flat tail like a beaver.
    • Also from Happy Tree Friends: Giggles, Flaky, and Cro-Marmot all lack tails, as did Mime during the TV series but was given it back later on. On an antonymous note, Splendid and Petunia have tails that are equal to them in both height and width, if not larger than that.

     Western Animation 
  • Horse from the Dudley DooRight segments of Rocky and Bullwinkle has a tail that is just a few long strands of hair growing off his butt.
  • Averted with the chipmunks from Adventure Time, which have squirrel-like tails like real chipmunks.
  • The title character of The Amazing World of Gumball and his mother are cats with tails that are basically rigid sticks.
  • The Brain from Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain has a tail like a real mouse, except it is kinked in a way that it looks like stairs.
    • Although in this case, considering it was the ACME experiments that gave him the inflated head, intelligence and ego, it's fairly safe to say that that was a side-effect of one of the experiments. Or, at least, Pinky getting it caught in a door or something.
  • Weasel McGreed and the other weasels from the 1985 animated adaptation of The Berenstain Bears have tails more like that of a cat's than a weasel's. It could be possible they're long-tailed weasels, but they don't have black marks on the tip.
  • Stripes, the tiger truck from Blaze and the Monster Machines, has a tail that's stylized to look like a car's radio antenna.
  • Bonkers: D. Bobcat is a mild example; his tail is considerably longer that of a real bobcat.
  • The Classic Disney Shorts have some characters with unnatural tails.
    • Daisy Duck, a female duck, has curled tail feathers, a trait exclusive to male ducks.
    • Mice have thin, naked tails, but Mickey, Minnie and Mortimer Mouse have tails that are unusually thin even for mice. Pluto has the same kind of tail, despite being a dog.
      • Pluto's tail usually acts like a normal dog's tail and seems fairly stiff most of the time
    • Chip 'n Dale have short tails that end in a point, sort of like deer tails.
  • Evil the Cat from Earthworm Jim has a naked tail like a rat.
  • Averted with Makini the young mandrill in The Lion Guard. She, unlike Rafiki, has a tail like a real mandrill.
  • Sylvester and a lot of other Looney Tunes cats have tails that taper to a fine point.
  • The ponies in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic have prehensile tails. Never mind that they're mostly hair. Their tails also tend to be large, wide and arc-shaped, as opposed to a real horse's hanging, loose tail.
    • Having the ponies' tails constantly raised up is important in giving them a distinctive, memorable silhouette.
    • Zecora's tail has a lot more hair on it then a real zebra tail.
    • The hippo seen in "Pinkie Pride" has a tail more similar to that of a rhino's.
  • Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb has a "waffle" striped tail that's orange. Platypi are known for their "duck bills" and their "beaver tails," especially after Perry's theme song which claims "he's got a beaver tail and a bill." Real platypi have furry tails. The only similarity to beavers' tails is that they are both wide and flat.
    • He also uses it one time while he's swimming, but real platypuses use mostly only their front limbs in swimming and steer with their hind legs and tails.
    • Candace's imaginary talking zebra has a tail more closely resembling that of a horse.
  • The aardvarks' tails on The Raccoons are shorter and stubbier compared to real aardvarks' tails. Well, the male aardvarks on the show have tails, but not the females.
    • Speaking of which, the raccoons' tails are overly fluffy and large enough to sweep across the floor.
  • Spike from Rugrats has a catlike tail.
  • Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane and has a tail like one, but it often curls and waves like that of a cat.
  • Itchy from the "Itchy and Sratchy Show" on The Simpsons, like Mickey Mouse, has a tail that is unusually thin for a mouse.
  • The guard dog of the La Paloma Fog Factory in The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries episode, "The Maltese Canary" has a tail with a tailtip shaped like a three-leafed clover.
  • Arnold the Pit Bull from Tiny Toon Adventures has a tail like a cat instead of like a dog.
  • Jerry's tail from Tom and Jerry is rather short, and fur-covered. In some shorts it also seems to be elastic. Tom's tail is rather short too, and tapers to a point.
  • Toopy from Toopy and Binoo has a really short, naked tail that looks like the rattle at the end of a rattlesnake's tail.
  • Counting Cougar in T.U.F.F. Puppy has a tail more like that of Kitty Katswell than that of a real cougar.
  • Tigger from Winnie the Pooh has a springy tail with a blunt tip that he can bounce on. Also Eeyore has a tall that is like a normal donkey's, except then again, they're technically living toys which explains why it's okay and painless for the tail to be nailed into his body.
  • Unikitty in "Western Animation/Unikitty" has a tail that seems to be like a cartoony unicorn or horse tail. Puppycorn has a ball-like tail which looks like a tail of a rabbit while Dr. Fox's tail looked like a brush.