Follow TV Tropes


Cool Pet

Go To

"It's of utmost importance the pet that I get is something that's awesome and cool!"

What do you give the guy with a Cool Ship, Cool Shades, and a Cool Sword? A Cool Pet! Said pet will be completely loyal to them, to the point of death (maybe even beyond...), and may be a MacGuffin. Said pet will also have a unique appearance, and may or may not be a rare mystic animal. A bit of What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic? tends to occur since the pet will usually reflect its master in some way. Expect a cool pet to be an Empathy Pet or Bond Creature if there's supernatural happenings afoot.

A Subtrope of Loyal Animal Companion, and a frequent All Animals Are Dogs offender.

Common Subtropes of this include:

  • Pet Monstrosity: Has its own page.
  • Uncommonly Common Exotic Pet: It is very common for fictional characters (often with a bit of Wish-Fulfillment thrown in) to own pets that in Real Life, are not common at all. Likely, due to the Rule of Cool, as most of us have daydreamed of owning such a pet at one point in our lives. Sometimes the pet will be symbolic of the owner in question. Commonly the creature will be more intelligent than is usual for its species.
  • Advertisement:
  • Alien Pet: Why own a critically endangered animal when you can own a creature that's not of this world?
  • Mythical Pet: a creature or character that is actually a powerful mythological creature but treated as a regular pet. Muggles might actually see an odd-looking peacock instead of a phoenix, a horse instead of a unicorn, etc.
  • Impossible Pet: due to sloppy research, a character owns a pet whose care would lead to Fridge Logic.

This can be a Truth in Television since some brave souls do keep rather... exotic... pets. Some foolish souls do that too, but without actually knowing what they're doing.

Can overlap with Action Pet and Unusual Pets for Unusual People. Unfortunately this trope in a popular work often becomes a Pet Fad Starter, especially if the pet is somewhat easy to acquire. Of course this is hardly the best for the pets.


Compare and Contrast Mons.


    open/close all folders 

  • This DirecTV ad features a wealthy man who owns an unnaturally tiny giraffe as a pet.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Hayate the Combat Butler: Nagi Sanzenin has a pet tiger, Tama, who she adopted as a cub. He's able to talk, but Nagi doesn't know that.
  • CLANNAD: Kyou keeps a wild boar known as Botan. For most of the story he's just a piglet, but even so, he's extremely well-behaved and trained (excepting his habit of following Kyou to school), especially for a boar that was born wild, not in captivity. In After Story (by which point he's full-grown, tusked, and fairly huge) he's even seen playing with five-year-old children!
  • One Piece:
    • The Gentle Giant Princess Shirahoshi has an equally giant pet shark named Megalon, who is as meek as his mistress despite his size.
    • Luffy tries (and briefly succeeds) at making the Kraken, Surume, into a pet for the Straw Hat Pirates.
    • The World Government, and the world at large, thinks that Chopper is this, instead of the sapient animal that he is.


    Audio Plays 

    Comic Books 
  • Runaways has Old Lace, a genetically engineered dinosaur from the future.
  • Lockjaw, the giant, teleporting bulldog belonging to Black Bolt of The Inhumans.
  • In Watchmen, Ozymandias has a genetically-engineered lynx named Bubastis.
  • Kitty Pryde in X-Men has a small extraterrestrial dragon named Lockheed. Of course, Lockheed is extremely intelligent and regards Kitty as his cool pet.
  • Most DC heroes had cool pets back in the day:
    • Superman: Superman has Krypto the Superdog, a little white dog who happens to be one of the most powerful living creatures on Earth, perhaps in the whole universe. And he wears a cute little red cape. Superman also had a supermonkey named Beppo. The Kryptonian pets and several others also formed the Legion of Super-Pets in the Legion of Super-Heroes 30th century.
    • Batman had Ace the Bat-Hound
    • Supergirl had Streaky the Supercat as well as a superhorse named Comet.
    • Aquaman's infamous "talk to fish" power can make any marine life his cool pet. Topo the Octopus is perhaps the most notable.
    • Rex the Wonder Dog surprisingly isn't this for Wonder Woman — he's a completely separate character. However, the Amazons have had trained kangaroos (Pre-Crisis)—Diana's was named "Jumpa", flying horses and Megalodons on Themyscira over the years.
    • In Wonder Woman (2006) Achilles has a flying elephant named Mysia with two trunks.
  • Most of the mutants in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were kept as cool pets at one point or another. Leatherhead was an exotic pet who was flushed down the toilet when his owners couldn't/wouldn't keep him anymore, there are the titular turtles (of course), and Master Splinter who qualifies not by being a rat, but by being a rat who knows martial arts.
  • Baron Winters, leader of Night Force, has a pet leopard named Merlin.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) series, Princess Luna has a possum named Tiberius. Yes, it's a reference to that "Tiberius".
  • PS238 had Argo, an Expy of Krypto the Superdog that had been Atlas's pet. Unfortunately, Argo's super hearing grew to the point where it was too painful for him to keep living on Earth so he was sent to live on the Moon by himself.

    Fan Works 
  • Lezaford in The Tainted Grimoire has a pet dragon.
  • In The Discworld Tarot, Assassin Johanna Smith-Rhodes illustrates Strength by acquiring a very cool companion animal indeed.
  • Characters in The World of the Creatures get all kinds of cool animals as pets (or spirit creatures, as they are called). These can include anything from dinosaurs to aliens.
  • In Harry Potter and the Ice Princess, Anna in particular assumes that her owl, Skyla, is 'just' this until she learns about magic.
  • In the Pony POV Series, in addition to Celestia's canonical Phoenix Philomena, Luna has a pet Windigo. Yes, as in the the planet freezing creatures from the Hearth's Warming tale. It formed from the remains of the original three, and Luna used her magic to complete it, as the originals were drops of Entropy's blood and incomplete (as Entropy is the embodiment of Nothingness). It and Philomena both participated in the Final Battle with Discord where he was sealed away.
  • Violet is Luz's pet dragon-palisman that she found one day in the woods in Luz Belos: Princess of the Boiling Isles.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Rescuers, the baddies tend to have these. One had two alligators, another had a water monitor. Also, the good "swamp folk" have a dragonfly named "Evinrude".
  • Lilo & Stitch: Stitch. Pets don't get cooler than a genetically-engineered, super-strong, super-intelligent alien.
  • The girl ghouls from Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School have a cranky baby dragon as a pet.
  • Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon has Toothless. In the sequel, the villain Drago Bludvist has the Bewilderbeast. All of the Rider's and Berkian Dragons easily qualify for this trope. Hiccup almost says it word for word in the ending monologue of the first movie.
  • Princess Jasmine from Aladdin keeps a pet tiger called Rajah, who often acts like a cross between a cat AND a dog.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Yoshi was much more ugly in the Super Mario Bros. film. He looked like a velociraptor.
  • In Gamera the Brave, a small boy gets a pet turtle and names it "Toto". Guess who the turtle grows up to become...
  • Gremlins: Gizmo is a pretty cool long as you don't break the rules.
  • The Mummy Returns: What could possibly make Ardeth Bey more awesome? Oh, look, HE HAS A FALCON.
  • Blood, from A Boy and His Dog, is a genetically-modified mutt with human-level intelligence and the ability to communicate psychically with his human.
  • The Robinsons get a lot of these in Disney's Swiss Family Robinson, including a monkey, a baby elephant, an ostrich, and a Zebra.
  • Owen Grady from Jurassic World will tell you that it doesn't get any cooler than having your own pack of Velociraptors, though he'll also tell you that it doesn't get any more dangerous.
  • Franz Sanchez, the Big Bad in Licence to Kill, has a pet iguana who wears a diamond collar.
  • The Dark Crystal: Fizzgig, an alien something like a cross between a terrier and a piranha, is a loyal pet to Kira and follows her around wherever she goes.

  • Robert A. Heinlein played with this more than once.
    • Red Planet has Willis, who is the low intelligence (compared to most people but more intelligent than a dog) pet of the protagonist Jim Marlowe. Later we find out that Willis is a female Martian who will grow up to be male; and will become equal to or greater in intelligence than humans.
    • The Star Beast's titular character is Lummox, who has been a pet to generations of the Thomas family. She's actually an alien princess whose species is noted for having difficulty picking up languages other than their own, and who views the boys of the Thomas family as her pets.
  • In Anne McCaffrey's works:
    • The fire lizards in the Dragonriders of Pern series.
    • The Talents series has Barque Cats (semi-sentient space-born felines) and Coonies (raccoons genetically modified for increased intelligence and domestication.)
  • A more mundane example than most, but Louis Kehlweiler (one of Fred Vargas' main characters) has a pet toad called Bufo.
  • In Animorphs Sixth Ranger David has a pet cobra named Spawn and a cat that isn't afraid to throw down with eagles named Megadeth. Jake has a less exotic but no less cool pet - a golden retriever named Homer.
  • The Circleverse has a couple of these; a big dog named Little Bear the kids rescued, a starling Tris raised from infancy (though Shriek eventually finds a mate and leaves), and Chime, a sentient glass dragon.
  • The Corrupted Chronicles of Coco Claramisa: Bonnie Bongo keeps a monkey for a pet by the name of Sunny. What Bonnie doesn't know is that Sunny is specifically a white-cheeked spider monkey. After Sunny is killed, Bonnie is charged for illegally keeping an endangered animal as a pet.
  • In the Discworld series, swamp dragons are sometimes kept as pets by the Aristocratic and wealthy. They are notoriously difficult to care for, having extremely stringent dietary and environmental restrictions, and are prone to exploding. Later books introduce Lady Sybil Ramkin, who runs a rescue shelter for unwanted swamp dragons. They're effectively a parody of pure-bred horse and dog keeping by the upper-classes; as well as exotic pet keeping in general.
  • Doc Savage's sidekicks Monk and Ham each had one of these: Monk had a pig named Habeas Corpus, and Ham had an ape named Chemistry.
  • Vlad in Steven Brust's Dragaera books has a jhereg as his familiar. However, Loiosh isn't really a pet per se, since he's as smart as a human and a vibrant character in his own right. Jhereg are quite common in that region, sort of filling the position of carrion-eating pigeons.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Harry's dog Mouse is a massive (waist high on a guy who's near 7 foot tall), supernaturally tough (getting hit by van at full speed just gave him a limp), evil magic detecting, unusually intelligent Tibetan Temple Dog. He's part Chinese guardian spirit, and later books reveal that not only is he at least as smart as a human, he thinks of Harry as his familiar.
    • Mister, Harry's adopted tailless house cat that's the next best thing to an average mountain lion. It's an in-Dresdenverse Running Gag that Mister "owns" the house and that Harry just lives there. Bob occasionally uses him as a mobile Spirit Jar to protect himself from sunlight. Harry speculates that Mister only allows it because he gets to see interesting places.
  • Duumvirate and its prequel have Fido, a bioengineered white-furred canine quite a bit smarter and much deadlier than the average Right-Hand Attack Dog, and like its owners has a taste for manflesh.
  • Earthsea: In A Wizard of Earthsea, Ged has an otak, a small, very shy wild creature that rides around in his hood and will tolerate almost no one else. When he's attacked at one point, it tries to protect him, screaming (this is notable because otaks have no voices). Ged is heartbroken when it dies.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry Potter has Hedwig, a snowy owl. Hedwig is a loyal, social, and intelligent friend for Harry.
    • There are other owls in the Potterverse, such as Ron's Pigwidgeon.
    • Dumbledore has his phoenix, Fawkes.
    • Voldemort's snake Nagini.
    • Hagrid has several: hippogriff Buckbeak, his threstrals, and his spider Aragog. Hagrid also has Norbert, a Norwegian Ridgeback dragon, for a short time.
  • In Stirling Lanier's Hiero's Journey, Hiero had Klootz, a giant mutated, combat-trained riding-moose. Not a pet, exactly, but not quite a partner. And seriously cool.
  • In His Dark Materials, this is pretty much required. The dæmon is a physical manifestation of your soul and generally equals your badassness capacity.
  • Honor Harrington: Treecats are actually sentient Bond Creatures, but a lot of people unfamiliar with them view them as pets.
  • The Lie Tree: Faith cares for the Chinese trinket snake her father brought back from his travels.
  • Skeeve from the Myth Adventures series acquires a pet dragon, Gleep, at the beginning of the series. Much later it's revealed that it was, in fact, the other way around.
  • Ord in Sister Alice has a dozen intelligent, tame bears as pets, who have limited speech capacity. The Chamberlain estate previously had goat-like animals, which clung to sheer walls, though they are no longer around because the children kept temporarily dying from falling to their death while trying to ride them.
  • The short story Snow White Pony by Ardath Mayhar has a little girl who gets a white pony from her parents. It's really a unicorn who's been sent to restore to her the will to live.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • At the end of A Game of Thrones, Dany gets three baby dragons. Part of her plotline involves trying to find two more riders for them when they're grown. Also, dragons are the sigil of House Targaryen.
    • All of the Stark children have enormous direwolves. Direwolves are the sigil of House Stark and haven't been seen in living memory. Each direwolf is far more than either a pet or friend — they are a part of them: Robb calls his wolf Greywind, Jon calls his wolf Ghost, Sansa names her wolf Lady, Arya calls her wolf Nymeria after a warrior queen, Bran has his wolf Summer, while three-year old Rickon calls his wolf Shaggydog. Unfortunately, Sansa loses her wolf early on and Arya is separated from her wolf.
    • Skinchangers, like the Stark children, always have a cool pet of some kind to warg into. Varamyr has three wolves, a bear, and a shadowcat (the impracticality of owning the latter two is Lampshaded and Deconstructed). Orell has an eagle. Borroq has a large boar.
  • Tortall Universe:
    • Alanna has her loyal horse Moonlight. She also has Faithful, a talking, magical black cat that was less of a pet and more of an adviser. It turned out that Faithful was actually a constellation that comes to earth every couple of centuries to guide and help humans; centuries before, he had aided another protagonist, Beka, under the name of Pounce. Beka also had pets in the form of Achoo, an incredibly skilled scent-house, and Slapper, a violent pigeon that carried souls of the dead.
    • At any one time, Daine could have dozens of these trailing after her at any one time, due to her power to speak to animals. This meant that her relationship with them was more like an equal partnership, especially since prolonged exposure to Daine's powers increased the animals' intelligence. She also had a little dragon named Skysong, but since dragons in this universe are as intelligent as humans, she was more of an adopted daughter than a pet.
    • Daine's influence on the palace animals also led to another protagonist, Keladry, getting a number of cool pets herself — a playful hound, an irritable gelding, and a whole flock of sparrows, all of which followed her into battle. For a while, she also had to care for a griffon, but that was a painful experience all around.
  • Villains by Necessity: Kaylana, a druid, has a wildcat who's described as larger than a man (possibly more like a mountain lion) who lives with her in her forest home as a harmless companion (to her at least) because of her powers.
  • In Andre Norton's The Zero Stone and sequel Uncharted Stars protagonist Murdoc has Eet, improbable telepathic offspring of feline parthenogenesis. She's basically a funny-looking kitten...but at the end of the second book, she metamorphoses.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Calum from All Creatures Great And Small owns a badger.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor has K-9, a charming little low-budget robot dog who calls him "Master" in a sweet little electronic voice and shoots lasers out of his nose. The Doctor had two versions of K-9. K-9 Mark III appeared in the short-lived spinoff K-9 and Company with Doctor Who companion Sarah Jane Smith, as well as in the Doctor Who stories "The Five Doctors" and "School Reunion". Following a Heroic Sacrifice, Mark III was replaced by Mark IV, who subsequently made several appearances on The Sarah Jane Adventures as Sarah Jane's, and later her son Luke's, pet.
  • Fatal Attractions demonstrates several times why wild animals like chimpanzees and tigers make dangerous pets, with many owners being horrifically injured or killed by their exotic pets.
  • Discussed in Frasier. Niles goes to confront Maris and she stands there, silently stroking her ocelot.
  • Friends: Partway through the first season Ross gets a capuchin monkey called Marcel. Ross eventually admits to Rachel that owning such a monkey in New York is actually illegal after she calls animal control when Marcel briefly runs away. Towards the end of the season Ross is forced to give Marcel up after he reaches "sexual maturity" and starts acting out. The search for a zoo to donate him to is played like Ross trying to select a college for his child.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The direwolves of the Stark children, who are endlessly loyal to their masters. Direwolves, the sigil of House Stark, are an unusually large, powerful and intelligent species of wolf.
      • Robb Stark's direwolf, Grey Wind.
      • Jon Snow's direwolf, Ghost.
      • Sansa's direwolf Lady, the Proper Lady of the litter.
      • Arya's direwolf Nymeria, who attacks Evil Prince Joffrey to defend her.
      • Bran's direwolf Summer, who dispatches an assassin sent to kill him.
      • Rickon's direwolf, Shaggydog.
    • Dragons, which in this universe, are massive flying reptiles who can breathe fire onto their enemies and cook their food with that same flame. At first, Daenerys' infant three dragons are cute and entirely dependent upon her, although she struggles and fails to control them as they grow because they are not pets.
  • Honey West had a pet ocelot, Bruce.
  • Key West: Gumbo has a pet female alligator named Tickle [sic] Pink, which he adorns with a pink ribbon around the neck. He treats her like a "swamp dog."
  • Crockett (Don Johnson) of Miami Vice had a pet alligator. The actor was very careful around it as he himself said "Tame alligator is a contradiction in terms."
  • Rex the Coelurosauravus, and later Sid and Nancy the Diictodon, from Primeval.
  • Dr. Maura Isles from Rizzoli & Isles has an African spurred tortoise named Bass (after William M. Bass, the founder of the Body Farm). In the first episode, she gives Jane a baby tortoise, which is then promptly never mentioned again.
  • SPG (Special Patrol Group), the talking hamster on The Young Ones. He even has an orange mohawk and a metal star on his forehead, just like his owner.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Forgotten Realms Drizzt has Guenhwyvar, who is animal companion and nigh-immortal figurine-summoned monster at the same time.
  • Dungeons & Dragons in general, with Rangers and Druids having access to such exotic animals as panthers, gorillas, and even Shocker Lizards, while wizards and Sorcerers can acquire things like tiny dragons. Additionally, with one version of the Leadership feat (an ability that grants you a slightly weaker cohort) can instead grant you an exotic mount or pet such as a Pegasus or a Dragon.
  • Miliana da Sumbria got some beautiful "silly bird". Let's just say there was a good reason why it was called "sacred, untouchable, and extremely dangerous; avoid at all cost" in a treatise on all sorts of flying creatures including literally hellish ones.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, the Madolche are a Sugar Bowl royal family that have five Cool Pets thus far: Cruffssant, Baaple, Hootcake, Mewfeuille and Chickolates.

    Video Games 
  • The Fallout series has Dogmeat, an homage to Dog in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior.
  • Especially prevalent in Pokémon. In the fourth generation (Diamond/Pearl/Platinum) you are given the chance to capture Arceus (the Pokémon counterpart of God). Not only that, but in HeartGold and SoulSilver, the remakes of Gold and Silver, you can get that God to follow you around. Or to create for you a being who controls time, space or antimatter. "You" being a mere human. Even better in the fifth generation (Pokémon Black and White) where you can catch among other things; an Archeopteryx, a Hydra, what is basically the Iron Giant and one that is basically Mothra.
  • The King of Fighters' Rugal has a pet panther. His children, Adel and Rose, have a panther kitten (apparently the offspring of their father's pet).
  • Medabots is also relevant, and is pretty much the Mecha version of Pokémon.
  • Digimon is relevant, and the PS1 game is made of awesome, although it has a shit ton of bugs and glitches. Who could forget the little handheld consoles that kicked Tamigochis out the fucking window?
  • Rush, Treble, Tango, and Beat are robot animals from Mega Man (Classic). The first two can even fuse with Mega Man and Bass respectively to make them more powerful.
  • Rider in Fate/stay night is something of a nature/divine spirit rather than a Heroic one, and associates herself with beasts. Therefore, the 'Rider' part of her name comes in with her summoned pet, a Pegasus. Not the Pegasus, but it's still rather badass even if she only uses it once. It also ties into her true identity, but is obscure enough to not reveal it.
  • Final Fantasy VI has Shadow, with his dog Interceptor. He's a completely normal guard dog...who can block any physical attack and take no damage and whose own attacks ignore any defense.
  • Final Fantasy VIII has Rinoa's dog Angelo, who is used in her Limit Breaks and does things no normal dog is capable of.
  • Final Fantasy IX:
    • Eiko carries around a moogle which, as it turns out, is actually a summon spirit.
    • Kuja uses a silver dragon to fly from point A to B before stealing Cid's prototype airship. The dragon turns out to be Garland's pet, but he's never seen riding it, sadly—probably because he already has a Cool Airship of his own.
    • The manager of the Treno weapons shop in tries to be like Jabba the Hutt, in that he keeps a massive creature all cooped up under the shop, just to see people try to fight it.
  • In The Darkness, Jackie can summon little gremlins to do his bidding, who play about once their job is done.
  • In Harvest Town, pets that are won from the seasonal events tend to be exotic, if not outright mythical, in nature; examples include: an owl, a flamingo, a snapping turtle, a floating narwhal, etc. You can also get a T-Rex, a mammoth, an animated triceratops fossil and a floating stingray, although they are classified as mounts rather than pets.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3, The End has a parrot which is actually catchable, killable, and edible. Upsetting the old bastard with the sight of a skeletal parrot makes him even harder to kill.
  • Useful pet dogs appear in Tales of Vesperia. Yuri Lowell's pet dog Repede is more of a wolf who fights with a dagger in its mouth and carries a pipe with him. Repede is a fully playable character.
  • Persona 3: Koromaru, a dog/party member who has a unique fighting style.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The hunter class is built upon this trope - many people roll hunters just for the pets! Everything from owls to tigers to bats to dinosaurs to dragonhawks can accompany a hunter from level 10 (1 from Cataclysm) to the end.
    • Other class with pets are Warlocks, who employ demonic minions.
    • Unholy Death Knights have pet zombies.
    • Enhancement Shamans get Feral Spirits, two ghost wolves that can be summoned temporarily to help and heal the player character.
    • World of Warcraft has companion pets that any class can own. However unlike hunter pets, they don't fight (a few fights critters or certain other companions) and are really just for show. They can be anything from common pets like cats, parrots, rats and turtles, to wolves, baby dragons or even miniature versions of raid bosses.
    • Among hunters, some pets are considered cooler than others, and the Beast Mastery talent specialization tree ends with the ability to tame 'exotic' beasts as well as the usual selection. Of particular note are the extremely rare Spirit Beasts, which are a highly prized exotic pet because of the difficulty in merely finding them.
  • A Boy and His Blob. The boy's blob is literally a big white blob which shape-shifts when you feed it differently flavored jelly beans.
  • The Team ICO Series played an interesting progression of this trope:
  • Far Cry Primal includes a multitude of tamable prehistoric animals dotting the land of Oros that Takkar can recruit to battle against enemy tribes. Owls, wolves, bears, saber-tooths, badgers... you name it, he can tame it. Also makes for some literal Pet the Dog moments.
  • Hellgate: London offered a few of these for subscribers only; hovering chattering critters that offered trivial perks. Many players found them a disincentive for subscribing.
  • Dragon Quest:
  • Borderlands has one of these in the form of Mordecai's pet, Bloodwing.
  • Mabinogi has a wide variety of pets which can be bought for real money, ranging from the tame (ordinary birds, mini elephants, etc.) to the fearsome (venomous snakes and giant spiders) to the useful (herb-giving gnus and flying broomsticks) to the exotic (riding-size dragons and hellish horses).
  • Minecraft: Story Mode: Reuben, who is unique among Minecraft pigs with his expressiveness and intelligence. Only Jesse seems to regard Reuben as cool, though.
  • At the end of Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Luigi adopts a Polterpup (essentially a ghost dog).
  • In Ikemen Sengoku, every potential love interest has a pet that the player can acquire for their avatar's room and/or castle and nearly all of these pets are unusual/exotic ones. Nobunaga has a hawk he's trained to hunt for him, Masamune a tiger cub, Yukimura a wolf cub, Ieyasu a deer, Hideyoshi a monkey, etc. In fact, the only characters who have "normal" pets are Kenshin (rabbits) and Mitsunari (a cat).
  • Hero characters in Wildermyth can come out of some events with an unusual and helpful pet, such as a small griffon-like critter, a fire chicken, or Avenger the golden rabbit.
  • Ibuki from Street Fighter has one in the form of her pet Tanuki Don-Chan. It accompanies her wherever she goes, knows it's own set of ninja tactics, and can be used by Ibuki to cause diversion and confusion. Though the last one is more shown in comics.


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Everyone knows that Everything's Better with Dinosaurs, right? Fred Flinstone has one for a pet.
  • Cheryl, from Archer, owns a pet ocelot who is named Babou, in reference to Salvador Dalí's pet of the same name. Archer adores Babou.
  • Ron's naked mole rat, Rufus, in Kim Possible. Comes in very handy. Once or twice acts as a MacGuffin, too.
  • Nick Tatapolous is technically Zilla Jr's owner (Zilla Jr thinks Nick is his father due to "imprinting") in Godzilla: The Series.
  • In The Secret Saturdays, Zak has a genetically modified Komodo dragon, a 7-foot-tall "gorilla cat" and an ornithocheirus pterosaur However, Zak and his parents think of them less as pets and more like adopted siblings/kids.
  • Nibbler in Futurama. A pet that poops fuel for the Cool Ship? Awesome indeed. He's also late revealed to be a member of super-intelligent species.
  • The Godzilla Power Hour: The crew of The Calico has a certain giant radioactive dinosaur. Subverted in that he's technically not their pet, but is a very loyal ally.
  • In an episode of Dexter's Laboratory a Lemony Narrator tells the story of how Dexter created Timmy, a termite with a huge appetite that eats metal; Dexter used chemistry and genetics to make him so he could clean up the lab every time Dee-Dee broke in and smashed everything. At the end of the episode, Dexter creates more metal-eating termites to keep Timmy company.
  • The Herculoids had five of them. Though the Herculoids' non-human members weren't pets so much as soldiers. Call Gloop or Gleep a "pet" and you might find yourself in a world o' sentient-silly-putty hurt.
  • Phineas and Ferb own Perry the Platypus, who, for bonus cool points, is also a secret agent.
  • Every single character in the original Strawberry Shortcake had one, even the bad guys. It seemed to be a requirement, one of the specials even focused on a pet show.
  • Avatar The Last Air Bender:
    • Aang has Appa, a ten-ton, six-legged, friendly bison. That can fly. It's implied that all, or many, people in his culture have one.
    • Momo the flying lemur.
    • Combustion man's hawk. Zuko also was originally slated to have one as a pet, which was supposed to have a rivalry with Momo.
    • Sequel series The Legend of Korra has Pabu the Fire Ferret (a super smart ferret/red panda hybrid)
    • Naga, Korra's polar bear dog.
  • Johnny Test has Dukey, a talking dog, and Reptoslicer, a genetically altered monster that could slice and dice anything and is vicious. It also makes great salsa.
  • Most of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic's characters have exotic pets:
    • Twilight Sparkle has an ultra-competent owl named Owlowiscious.
    • Pinkie Pie has a toothless alligator named Gummy.
    • Princess Celestia has Philomena, a phoenix.
    • Spike briefly had a phoenix chick, though PeeWee was returned to his parents shortly after initially being rescued.
    • Double-subverted by Rainbow Dash in the episode where she gets her own pet. As the page quote shows, she was hyped about getting the most awesome pet she possibly could and holds a competition to see which pet she should get. She's highly annoyed that a boring old tortoise tried to compete against the much cooler eagle, osprey, and other birds, but in the end chooses him after he reveals himself to be much cooler than he initially appeared and saves her when she accidentally hurts herself.
    • from the spin-off My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, Sunset Shimmer acquires a leopard gecko she names Ray in the short "Pet Project".
  • A Running Gag on Animaniacs was "Wanna meet my pet?" When faced with some otherwise terrifying monster, Dot would ask the aforementioned question, holding a small box in her hands. From the box would emerge a disproportionately huge "pet" that would terrify the first one. On at least one occasion Dot's pet was a giant Jerry Lewis with an Alien-esque tongue (i.e. his tongue was a smaller Jerry Lewis) that said "Raar! Monster!"
  • Young Justice: Superboy not only gets a giant mechanical alien sphere that latches onto him like a puppy in "Bereft", but he also befriends a mutated white wolf in "Alpha Male" after removing the Explosive Leash electric collar that was forcing it and the other mutant animals to attack him and his teammates. Miss Martian attributes this to Superboy's nature as a "stray" like them.
  • Several of the princes and princess in Sofia the First have cool pets; Hildegard has a mink, Vivian has a dragon, Amber has a peacock, James has a baboon, and Xandir has an elephant.
  • The title character of Steven Universe has a large, magic pink lion with a supersonic roar. It's pretty awesome.
  • Larry of Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero owns a pygmy elephant and a giraffe. He also tries (but fails) to adopt a domesticated fox from another dimension.
  • Jet from Ready Jet Go! owns an alien pet named Sunspot, who is a hybrid of a rabbit, dog, cat, and raccoon. Sunspot is very cool. To wit: he can pull objects from Hammerspace, is incredibly smart, and plays several instruments. Now that's cool.
  • Crimson and Ennui from Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race adopt a bunny as a pet which they name Loki and give it goth make up. Said bunny is not afraid of lions and komodo dragons and is equally deadpan and sarcastic as them.
  • Kosmo in Voltron: Legendary Defender is a cosmic wolf that crashed onto the back of the Space Whale Keith and Krolia were on in the Quantum Abyss as a pup before being adopted by Keith. He also has the ability teleport freely, something which tends to bewilder characters who see it happen for the first time.
  • In Miraculous Ladybug, rock star Jagged Stone has a pet crocodile named Fang.
  • In Defenders of the Earth, Jedda has a pet panther called Kisa and Kshin has a pet zuffoid (a small bipedal creature native to the planet Mongo) called Zuffy.

    Real Life 
  • Quite a number of people keep exotic pets in real life. Many of these acquire exotic pets primarily for the coolness factor; and are unprepared to deal with the difficult and often complex dietary and care requirements. Unlike fictional examples, this often results in poor health and drastically shortened lifespan; as well as animals being abandoned into the wild when their owners are unable or unwilling to continue to care for them. Many are also implicated in attacks on people, or spreading of non-native diseases and parasites to native animal populations. Finding veterinarians able to treat exotic pets is extremely difficult, if not outright impossible. Some people, however, can actually keep these species properly, and the problem herein is that when an idiot gets killed by his/her pet these people also are banned from keeping them despite the fact they aren't idiots, and the animals are killed.
  • Exotic pets frequently undergo fads; where a pet which is featured on a television program or movie, or kept by a celebrity, triggers a flood of people obtaining similar pets. Fads have included pot-bellied pigs, sugar gliders, pygmy hedgehogs, and owls. These crazes usually die out quickly, and result in many abandoned or poorly treated animals.
  • Occasionally, fad pets with less challenging requirements have caught on more widely. This usually results in better resources being developed, greatly decreasing the difficulty of care, and leading to even greater popularity. A classic example is the ferret, a rare exotic pet in The '80s or The '90s became increasingly commonplace as pre-made diet, housing, and other care supplies are more widely available.
  • Major advances have been made in tropical fresh-water and salt-water fish keeping; greatly increasing their popularity.
  • Some of the most commonly abandoned exotic pets are Green Iguanas, Red-Eared Slider turtles, and Burmese Pythons; with the "cool" factor being the most common motivations for Burmese Pythons in particular. They are often advertised in pet shops as "simple to care for"; and both are commonly described as "even tempered" or having a "friendly personality". While the latter part may be true, the former definitely is not. While starting small, Green Iguanas get up to 6 feet long, and have highly specialized care requirements, including a very limited diet and the need for large amounts of UV light; and require far more attention than dogs and cats to become adequately socialized. Burmese pythons will reach between 15 and 20 feet as adults, weighing between 100 and 200 pounds; and go from eating mice and rats, to eating rabbits, chickens, and pigs. Unlike dogs and cats, abandoned exotics rarely survive long in the wild, due to the dramatic differences in climate and food sources between their native environment, and where they're released. In those cases where they do survive (such as Burmese Pythons in Florida, the only lower U.S state warm enough), they can quickly establish themselves: however, despite what sources (including the U. S Geological Survey, which deliberately fabricated the results of a python experiment, according to National Geographic) may claim, they do not cause nearly as much damage as dogs and cats, because they eat a lot less.
  • Parrots are generally pretty cool pets. They're smart and social, you can train them to sit on your shoulder and do tricks, and they're pretty much the only animals that can imitate talking. However, many buyers just see the "cool" part of it without realizing what they're getting into. Parrots, especially the larger ones, are loud, demanding, and need constant attention. Caring for them is appropriately described as caring for a human toddler. And many live for several decades. Many parrots often get neglected and abandoned, often sent to zoos or animal shelters. Even smaller, easier species like parakeets need socialization to be good pets, though since they're so cheap (and thus "throwaway pets" to many) people are more willing to get rid of them.
  • There are people like Rexano who promote responsible ownership. Even they say how cool it is to have an exotic pet but state that not only do animals have their own temperaments and that owners have to go extra lengths to keep animals like a Caracal over just a standard cat like a Maine Coon. And that one has to socialize an animal (especially a skunk) a lot when it's young so that it will remain that way when it's older. Even Mountain Lions can be very friendly towards a responsible person they form a bond with. (It helps that Mountain Lions are more related to domestic housecats than actual lions.) This is much better than either idiots getting themselves killed or banning exotic bets outright from everyone.
  • Lord Byron was not allowed to keep a dog when he went to university, so instead, he kept a bear.
  • It was once commonplace for wealthy aristocrats to keep a wide variety of exotic pets up to having full zoos in their estates, and the practice is at least Older Than Print. It was almost part of the job description, as it ties handily into Conspicuous Consumption.
  • Several United States Presidents have also done so.
  • Salvador Dalí often traveled with his pet ocelot, Babou.
  • Arguably one of the most famous examples of this trope was Michael Jackson's pet chimpanzee, Bubbles, who Jackson owned from 1983 to 2003. Bubbles became almost as iconic as Jackson himself, serving as a symbol of the man's eccentricity; heck, he was the namesake of King Kai's pet monkey in Dragon Ball. Bubbles eventually had to be given to the Center for Great Apes as he had become too aggressive for life with Jackson, and has lived in peace at the shelter ever since.
  • Gilberto Shedden of Costa Rica was best friends with a large crocodile named Pocho, swimming and playing with him, and even giving him belly rubs. Sadly, Pocho died of old age in 2011, but in a wonderful twist, he never once attacked Gilberto, or otherwise harmed him in the 20 or so years they were together.
  • While filming Green Mansions (1959), in which her character has a deer that follows her everywhere, Audrey Hepburn adopted a deer named Pippin to create a realistic bond on-screen between herself and the deer.
  • Paris Hilton owns a kinkajou, an exotic relative of the raccoon. It received media attention when it bit her, and criticisms over it also ensued over the fact that pet kinkajous are illegal in California, which did raise questions about how qualified she was to care for an animal with specialized care. Nonetheless, she was able to keep the kinkajou.
  • Matt Smith wants a badger. He gets one.
  • Neil Young has owned a number of bizarre pets throughout his life. He had a sugar glider in the 1960s when it was not a particularly cool thing to have. He also had a couple of bush babies, Harriet and Speedy, who would leap clear across a room to land on his shoulder. Graham Nash, clearly freaked out by this, claimed that Neil began to ''look'' like the bush babies after a while.
  • Using the term of "pet" loosely, the caracal and cheetah were both tamed once upon a time to hunt, much like dogs.
  • Ramzan Kadyrov has a private zoo of various Cool Pets, most notably a tiger and lion. He has also owned a bear and a wolf in the past.