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Fake Rabies

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Beware of the crazy rabid squirrel.

Uh-oh, Fido's gotten into the whipped cream! Or the shaving cream, or the soap suds, or the toothpaste — the point is, white foam is dripping from his mouth. Cue people running away and screaming, "Mad dog! Mad dog!"

Sometimes, it's a human being rather than a dog inspiring the panic.

See also You Don't Want to Catch This.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the first case of The Kindaichi Case Files: Case Series, "Murder in the Forest of the Demon Dog", Kindaichi, his friends and a group of college students they met got stuck in an abandoned mansion surrounded by rabid dogs believed to have rabies, preventing the party from leaving the house out of fear of being infected by rabies. It is later revealed that the dogs were actually trained by the murderer to act rabid in order to scare their victims from trying to leave so that they could kill them off.

    Comic Strips 
  • There was a depressing Between the Lines (2011) strip where a dog had just finished eating some honey offered to him by a cat. The owners then think he's rabid, and the last panel shows the dog's tombstone as the cat smirks smugly.
  • In Calvin and Hobbes (October 28, 1986), Calvin makes an attempt to fool his mom into thinking he was rabid. When she just tells him to spit the toothpaste foam out of his mouth, Calvin says to himself, "Maybe Dad will fall for it if I bite him first."
  • In Garfield, Garfield and Odie have had fun with Jon's shaving cream.
  • One comic strip in Viz ran a story about the then recent opening of the Channel Tunnel. An apparently rabid French dog emerged on the English side, and the main character exclaims "Oh no! In a million to one scenario, a rabid French dog has made it through the Channel Tunnel!" The dog is shortly followed by its owner who explains that far from being rabid, it ate some soap, which it had mistaken for cheese because we do not have soap in France.

    Film — Animation 
  • In Over the Hedge, R.J. uses whipped cream on Hammy to scare off some Girl Scouts and get their cookies.
    Hammy: I am a crazy rabid squirrel! I WANT MY COOKIES!!!

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Howie Mandel's character in A Fine Mess does this deliberately to scare off a pair of inept mob goons.
  • Roy Neary pretends to do this in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He's brushing his teeth knowing his kids are behind him with a paddle and a polaroid camera. When the kids whap him in the ass he whirls around with a mouth full of toothpaste froth and growls "ARRGH," and they get the perfect shot.
  • Alka-Seltzer tablets were used this way for the purpose of "intimidation" in Little Giants.
  • Pee-Wee Herman makes fun of this while brushing his teeth in Pee-wee's Big Adventure.
  • Done accidentally in Problem Child 2: at her hen party LaWanda greets two nurses right after eating a cream pie... And because Junior had previously swapped her blood sample with that of a rabid dog, the nurses take that as confirmation she's already showing symptoms and restrain her.
  • In Scooby-Doo: Monsters Unleashed, Shaggy and Scooby induce this using whipped cream to go to The Faux Ghost by themselves. They are later called out on it.
  • In Speedy, the titular character puts shaving cream on his pet dog in order to scare off the gangsters hiding Pop's streetcar at the far side of town.
  • Buster Keaton runs frantically from a dog that ate a cream pie in The Scarecrow.

  • In the Goosebumps book You Can't Scare Me!, Eddie and his friends are trying to scare Courtney, and one ploy of theirs involves this trope with their dog, Buttercup. The dog would come running at Courtney with shaving cream all over his lips, terrifying her. But before he can apply the substance on Buttercup's face, the dog runs away, so Eddie and his friends have to chase after him.
  • In Hunter's Moon (1989), the fox mystic A-konkon commits ritual suicide. When the local humans find him, they worry there's a rabies outbreak and decide to kill the neighboring wild animals.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Horrible Histories: One of the scams on "Real Victorian Hustle" involves a Street Urchin eating soap to make it look like he is foaming at the mouth.
  • In one episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Tom and Crow find Mike passed out with foam around his mouth and begin treating him for rabies (the movie they'd been watching had to this point entirely been about the main character seeming to contract rabies). It turns out Mike simply fell asleep while eating a creampuff.

  • An unintentional version from Old Master Q, when Master Q is brushing his teeth one morning and hears the doorbell ringing. Master Q answers the door after putting his toothbrush aside, but without cleaning off the brush's foam, frightening a postman who drops all his letters and fleeing.

    Stand-up Comedy 
  • Bill Cosby's stand-up routine "Roland and the Rollercoaster" deals with his crazy friend Roland, who used to do things like keep soap chips in his mouth. When people think Roland's head has been turned around by the roller coaster (due to Roland wearing his clothes backwards), there is a throwaway line from someone seeing Roland: "And he's got the rabies!" It's a good Brick Joke as it usually takes the audience a few moments to remember the soap chips in the mouth (which was mentioned early on in a fairly long story).


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In the the classic Disney short "The Mad Dog", Pluto escapes while Mickey Mouse is washing him with soap, causing panic throughout the neighborhood.
  • In the Droopy short "Wags To Riches," Spike puts shaving cream on a sleeping Droopy and phones in a report of a mad dog, but a fan blows the foam onto Spike's face just as the dog catcher arrives.
    Droopy: You know what, they think he's a mad dog. (cut to Spike going crazy in the truck) And he is too.
  • In the pilot arc of Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, Fat Cat gets Plato out of the way at one point by spraying his mouth with whipped cream and stuffing a visitor's lapdog into the middle of the mess.
  • The Cramp Twins: In "Mari Mania", Mari vandalizes Soap City in order to avoid having her picture taken. When it looks like Patsy's hamster went mad and started to attack the vet, it turns out Mari put sorbet in its food to make it look like the hamster has rabies.
  • The Cuphead Show!: In the episode "Cupstaged", Sally Stageplay makes her entrance by pretending to have rabies to show off her acting skills.
  • Drawn Together: In "A Tale of Two Cows", Foxxy Love claims that she had to shoot her son Timmy when it looked like he had rabies, even though the child claimed that he was just brushing his teeth.
  • Subverted by Freakazoid!'s dog Foamy, who really is rabid but Freakazoid doesn't seem to notice.
  • In It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown, Snoopy brushes his teeth in the house and when Sally knocks on the bathroom door, causing Snoopy to open it, she rushes off screaming.
  • On Kim Possible, Ron makes himself a mascot costume for the Middleton Mad Dogs, complete with foam dispensers hidden in the head. "Mad Dog foams at the mouth!"
  • Looney Tunes:
    • In "Feed the Kitty", Marc Antony pretends to be rabid to scare off his owner in order to save Pussyfoot, but she just scolds him for wasting her whipped cream.
    • In "Porky's Party", Porky Pig's dog Black Fury uses shaving cream to get rid of the hair that grew as a result of his getting into the hair tonic. When Black Fury comes out of the bathroom, everyone panics and runs away from him.
    • In "A Waggily Tale", a boy named Junior dreams he is a dog and adopted by a girl who brushes his teeth with shaving soap, causing him to be mistaken for a mad dog and get sent to the pound.
  • In the Martha Speaks episode "Ain't Nothin' But a Pound Dog", Martha the talking dog falls into the bathtub and gets soap on her face. She goes out to look for her collar and the humans she's trying to get it from think she's mad (probably because of rabies) due to the fact that she has froth on her face and is chasing them.
  • On The Penguins of Madagascar, the penguins decide We Need a Distraction when their friend Max the cat is being chased by Officer X of Animal Control, and use cream and fake ears to disguise Mort the mouse lemur as a rabid chihuahua. It works fine until he eats the cream. "I like diseases!"
  • In the Rugrats (1991) episode, "Crime and Punishment", Chuckie accidentally breaks Chas' glasses, and since Chas is dating a police officer, Chuckie is worried the police officer will find out and arrest him. To get Chas and Chuckie to go home, the babies have Chuckie lick soap so that he will have a foamy mouth and Chas will think he's sick. When a blind Chas hears Chuckie growling, he thinks that Chuckie is a rabid dog.
  • We Bare Bears: In the episode, "Dog Hotel", Grizz eats a pie covered in whipped cream. But when he goes to take a walk with the other dogs, Joshy thinks he's a rabid dog, and he calls animal control. Luckily, his brothers and the other dogs were able to rescue him in time.