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Feather Fingers

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"Hey, I'm trying to pass the potatoes! My forelimbs are as useless as yours!"
A T. Rex, The Far Side

You may have noticed that many non-primate animals have extremely un-humanlike limbs. They may have wings, they may have fins, they may have claws like a lobster or long grappling hooks like a sloth or hooves like a cow.

But because Most Animators Are Human, they have a tendency to fall back on making the very different anatomy of animal characters — even those who aren't, strictly speaking, anthropomorphic — do things they'd be physically incapable of in order to closely mimic human actions. Therefore, every animal forelimb, no matter how little it resembles a human hand, is prehensile.

The Trope Namers are all the otherwise non-anthro cartoon birds who can hold things in their primary wing feathers, such as Woodstock. The primary wing feathers sort of look like fingers, so naturally in cartoons they act like fingers. Not a heavily modified and specialized extension of their body covering (meaning that this makes as much sense as Prehensile Hair). This is less jarring when done with hawks and eagles as their wings are wider and their wing feather tips stick out. This version tends to go hand-in-hand (sorry) with Acrophobic Bird.

One variant of Feather Fingers has the wings be basically arms when not in flight, but be true classic Feather Fingers wings in flight.

There is a variant of this trope in which thumbs appear on the front paws of many cats and dogs (and sometimes other animals) when grasping something or gesturing, but disappear when the front paws are just used for four-legged walking or otherwise in a default pose.

This variant is sometimes applied to characters with Fingerless Hands, characters who don't have (apparent) fingers.

Another variant is when bird characters can bend their wings forward like arms, something that is physically impossible in real life.

This is usually the very first step in a character/series' Anthropomorphic Shift. It's just easier for animators to draw a character playing the drums or baking cookies using the body motions based off human references. It takes a hell of a lot of dedication to avert this trope, as it involves having to stop and really think about how the heck a penguin could possibly manipulate a tuba.

Related to Tailfin Walking, where the fins of a sea animal which are clearly not designed for standing are used like legs.

See also Cartoony Eyes, Toothy Bird, Mouthy Bird, Anatomy Anomaly, and Invisible Anatomy. Compare the far more common Humanlike Hand Anatomy, which is when the artist just draws the animal with hands instead of paws/hooves/wings to begin with. For, shall we say, a less family friendly human-like anatomical modification of non-humanlike animals, see Non-Mammal Mammaries...


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  • In a DQ ad, a "rock and roll falcon" gives the heavy metal/evil eye sign with both wings.
  • In an Aflac insurance ad, the company's duck mascot jumps rope as part of his physical therapy, holding the rope with the tips of his wings.
  • Tommy McAnairey: How else could Tommy play his banjo?

  • Kung Fu Wa: After Manipulens posseses a seagull he briefly wonders if he still has fingers when he sees the finger-like tips of his wings.
  • The Motu Patlu episode "Super Murgiyan" is about Motu starting a business off of selling chicken eggs and overfeeding his chickens Dr. Jhatka's special powder, causing the chickens to become super-powered. The super-powered chickens use their wings like hands to attack Motu and Patlu's gang, drive around in Boxer's car, and throw eggs at Inspector Chingum.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: In Pleasant Goat Fun Class: Travel Around the World episode 24, the goats travel to Argentina and meet some anthropomorphic birds who dance the Tango with them. The birds use their wings like hands to hold on to them.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Washimi from Aggretsuko has these.
  • Berserk: Bishop Mozgus' stone angel form has an Exaggerated version: not only can his wingtips clench their feathers into fists as if they were fingers, but each of his wings' individual feathers can do this, which basically gives him dozens of fists with which to pummel Guts all at once. He doesn't practicularly need them for grabbing things since he still has his human arms too; the wing fists are just for Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs.
  • Subverted with Tama the tiger in Hayate the Combat Butler. Despite apparently being a certified boiler engineer, Tama clearly has extreme difficulty in manipulating controls of any kind, or holding things without shredding them. Which is kinda funny since even big cats can sheath their claws. Usually only doing big stretches do claws automatically pop out.
  • Played with in Monster Musume. Papi the harpy can grab and hold things with her wings — which have small thumbs on the second joint — but it's stated a couple of times that they're still much less dexterous than actual hands (for example, she can't use chopsticks). This almost ends up getting played for tragedy when she can't hold onto Suu as she falls off a bridge, though thankfully Kimihito catches her instead.
  • One Piece:
    • Perhaps justified with Tony Tony Chopper, the Devil Fruit-enabled human-reindeer, who has obvious hooves, but never seems to have any trouble doing human tasks that would seem to require hands, even play Rock Paper Scissors.
    • Post time-skip Franky averts this by having small hands extend from the palms of his much larger hands, which would be too bulky to do any delicate shipwrighting.
    • The Harpy Monet is seen reading a newspaper by holding it between her primary feathers. However, this can be justified because she's an artificial harpy made by Law (he swapped her limbs for wings and talons), whose powers follow logical sense very loosely.

    Comic Books 
  • Big Eggo, an ostrich, the original cover star from The Beano used this trope to try and appear more human. It didn't work, and the character was later replaced by a more human bear.
  • In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the creations of Dr. Moreau — who are twisted parodies of existing Funny Animal characters — are very anthropomorphic, but the plotline dwells heavily on how unnatural and physically painful it is for them to walk on their hind legs and imitate other human behaviors. Furthermore, the comic book was being faithful to the source, as this is a major point of contention in the original novel as well.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Peanuts, Woodstock's wings work as hands. He can even type.
  • Gary Larson liked to subvert this in The Far Side, even though he was just as likely to play it straight based upon the Rule of Funny.
    • In one comic, two cows were staring at a ringing phone, unable to answer it due to lacking opposable thumbs.
    • Another had several snakes wanting to let another snake in, but being not quite sure how to work the doorknob. (Don't ask how the other snakes got inside in the first place...)
    • In yet another comic, a T. rex bemoans its inability to pass the potatoes due to its tiny arms, providing the page quote.
  • In a Calvin and Hobbes strip Calvin and Hobbes start repeatedly zapping each other with a transmogrifier pistol for revenge. No matter what form each is in, he's still able to work the trigger — the most extreme case being when Calvin is a flower, apparently having prehensile leaves.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Aladdin, Iago has these, using them both to gesture while talking and to hold objects. He also at one point forms the Feather Fingers into a fist and hits Jafar in the head with them.
  • Done with a variation in the Cars movies. The characters don't have any appendages at all, yet they manage to write, paint, operate machinery, and hold things. This is usually done with a combination of prehensile antennae, prehensile windshield wipers, or clamps.
  • Kung Fu Panda has mixed uses of this trope. Ducks and geese are able to use their feathers like fingers, but Crane (the crane) has realistic wings and uses his feet and beak to move objects. Lord Shen (a peacock) is a combination of the two, using both his wings and his feet at times.
  • The owls in Legend Of The Guardians The Owls Of Ga Hoole use their feet rather than their wings to manipulate objects.
  • In The Little Mermaid (1989): Scuttle is one of the Trope Namers, having Feather Fingers that look like hawk's wingtips (even though he is a gull), which he gestures and carries a "dinglehopper" and other human items with.
  • Migration: Zigzagged interestingly, despite this trope being prevalent with most animated birds. The Mallards typically use their feet, (despite webbed feet being impractical for this purpose), or bills to pick up and manipulate objects, and only use their wings for this purpose on rare occasion(Uncle Dan picking up a sandwich for example).
  • Played with in Rio where the birds are realistically shown grasping and manipulating objects with their feet, but their wings sometimes make gestures that are a little...anatomically questionable, such as crumpling up their primaries to make a fist, or gesturing with their wings while in flight (with them staying airborne even when they stop flapping)!
  • Puss in Boots (and the other cats) in the Shrek series has normal cat paws, but with manual dexterity equal to that of a human.
  • Played straight in the film adaptation of The Trumpet of the Swan. We mention it here because the book had actually averted this trope and had the swan play with his feet. This was a major plot point in the book, in fact. Louis at one point asks his Token Human Friend to cut apart the webbing between the toes of one of his feet, thus severely handicapping his ability to swim and fly in exchange for being a more dexterous trumpet player.

  • Dungeon Crawler Carl: Mordecai's native form is a Skyfowl, and on the fifth floor, he's transformed back into something similar (although a different subspecies). Since Skyfowl don't have hands, just wings, Carl isn't sure how he can keep making potions, but Mordecai assures him that he can brew "better than ever". How he does it is never explained.
  • Played with in the Spellsinger novels. While the series' intelligent birds have an unlikely degree of manual dexterity with their "prehensile wingtips" (as the books repeatedly say), weapons and tools with special handles — hollow cones they can tuck their feathers' tips inside — are designed for their use. Averted for equines and other quadrupeds, who can't use their forelimbs as hands at all.
  • In Timothy Zahn's Hand of Thrawn duology, the President of the New Republic is a Calibop, an avian sentient species with a number of equine features. They also have wings and prehensile feathertips; the President is shown manipulating keys on a lectern and later signing the Imperial-New Republic peace treaty with Pellaeon. Granted, this is pretty much the trope played straight with the caveat that Calibops are aliens.
  • Babar the Elephant, of Jean de Brunhoff's stories, normally uses his trunk to manipulate things, much like an actual elephant would. However, Babar (and all the other elephants of Celesteville, for that matter) walk upright on two legs. This means that there are instances of them using their forelimbs like hands — even though their "hands" look identical to those of quadrupedal elephants, completely lacking in fingers. How this is done is a mystery. Additionally, because they seem capable of using both their forelimbs and trunks to manipulate things, elephants in Babar's world effectively have three limbs that can be used to hold and handle things.
  • In Gulliver's Travels the Houyhnhnms, basically sentient horses, are mentioned to have some kind of nearly invisible dewclaw near the hoof. Gulliver once gives one a needle and she threads it effortlessly. The fact that a horse would have a lot of trouble getting and keeping even one hoof up even standing still, and they aren't really equipped to see their own hooves very well, doesn't come up.
  • Dr. Franklin's Island: Subverted. Miranda Fallow, turned into a bird, has wings with a look of hands to their tips, but those are just feathers. She has to manipulate things with her feet and beak.
  • Summer in Orcus: Defied. The narration makes a point of mentioning that Reginald Hoopoe's wings aren't manipulatory appendages; his feet double as hands instead.

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • With thousands of cards representing the creatures of Magic: The Gathering, and hundreds representing equipment of some kind, the questions of how a Graceful Antelope wields the Sword of Kaldra, or how a Wall of Fire wears a Coral Helm, were asked long ago, and mostly explained away with, well...
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Neo-Spacian Air Hummingbird avoids feather fingers by having his wings come out of his back. He has talon hands instead.
  • Performing tasks with two thumbless forepaws and a mouth is a common challenge in Bunnies & Burrows. The GURPS book even suggests a puppet to demonstrate more complicated actions.
  • Hc Svnt Dracones: Most Avian Vectors can form their leading feathers into hand shapes, but they're only good for body language. They do, however have actual hands on the inside of their wings.
  • Eclipse Phase: The Neo-Avian morph (an umbrella term for both uplifted ravens and African Grey Parrots) explicitly have their wings redesigned through genetic engineering, giving them sudo-hands around the "elbow" section of the wing.

    Video Games 
  • Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden has Mycek and his fellow hawk-men, whose hands are wings and with their feathers in place of fingers.
  • Star Fox: While Falco Lombardi plays this trope straight as can be, it's especially noticeable since he appears to be the only avian character in the World of Funny Animals setting, with everyone else being mammals or reptiles with human-like arms and legs (even Pigma Dengar, who should have hooves). Conversely, this is largely averted with the pterosaur-like CloudRunners from Star Fox Adventures, whose wings lack grasping fingers entirely and are used solely for flying.
  • Godzilla Unleashed: A rather unusual subversion takes place. Both King Ghidorah and Mecha-King Ghidorah, who both just happen to be three-headed dragons, use two of their heads/mouths as arms/hands to pick things up. Likewise, Rodan just picks things up with his talons. Then again, this is in line with some of the films, in which Ghidora's heads are essentially hand puppets.
  • RuneScape: The penguins have no fingers. So in the quest where you have to teach them to make music (for the National Anthem, no less), you have to make instruments that do not require fingers. You end up with a cowbell and a bongo.
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Zig-zagged with Kazooie. In the first game's epilogue, she has no trouble holding a mug. In Banjo-Tooie, however, the lack of proper hands is a gameplay element, as she cannot hang from ledges or climb ropes (then again, she can fly, so...) In Banjo-Kazooie Nuts & Bolts, this goes back to being played straight, as Kazooie holds a wrench for most of the game.
  • Randle Sim Racing: Sim race driver Daveybird Randle usually has human fingers to match his human body, but when he switches to his slightly-more-animalistic Cardinal form, he plays this trope straight, especially because of the steering wheel!!
  • Pok√©mon has a few cases of feathers as fingers and vice versa:
    • Farfetch'd plays this trope straight, wielding a leek as a weapon by holding it in one wing.
    • Decidueye takes it a step further, since it's not only drawing an arrow using its wingtip as a hand, the bow itself is the other wing, the bowstring is a vine-like leaf hanging from its shoulders, and the arrow is one of its own quills.
    • Inverted with Lugia; instead of having feather fingers, it has finger feathers! This also seems to be the case with Yvetal, though they are more claw-like in comparison.
  • Psyduck downplays this trope, having what appear to be feather paws instead of feather fingers.
  • Lampshaded in the Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law Video Game, when Peter Potamus (a purple hippopotamus, for those unfamiliar) attempts to open a cigarette lighter. He fumbles with it for a few seconds, convinces everyone to look at the entrance of the courtroom, then opens the lighter the second the camera is off him.
  • You might think that, since the animal villagers can send you handwritten letters, this trope would be in full force in Animal Crossing, but not quite. In New Leaf, Pete the postman... uh, postpelican mentions how sloppy the animals' handwriting is, and notes that most of them don't have opposable thumbs. When avian characters hand you things most of them make do with their wings (or flippers in penguins' case) just like horses and ungulates work with hooves.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: The Rito are depicted with primary feathers that flex and grasp like humanoid fingers. Kass in particular clearly plays an accordion with his feathered fingers, while Revali and Teba are shown to be proficient archers — the latter even gives a feathery thumbs-up in the middle of flight no less. Notably, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom retcons this element, and instead depicts Rito archers grasping their bows with their talons and nocking and drawing arrows using their beaks.

    Visual Novels 
  • Bird characters are by design rare in the Echo Project, and when they do appear they tend to play with this:
    • In The Smoke Room, Caldwell the heron is depicted with taloned hands, but still feathered and coloured like an heron's wings.
    • In Glory Hounds, some bird characters have feathers as fingers while others have taloned hands.
  • This is apparently the case for the birds in Hatoful Boyfriend, as in one route it's a plot point that Dr. Shuu has an injury preventing him from using his right wing this way. However, an early translation of the free version had an error which said Shuu was using his left hand to cut off the heroine's head with a cleaver at the end of his route, leading to a minor meme of drawing or photoshopping him with unexplained human arms. That particular instance was changed to "wing" but at various points in the full game, and the sequel, "hand" is used again. In the manga everybirdie has feather fingers, so maybe "hand" just means the end of the wing to them.
  • In Lands of Fire, bird characters tend to have feathered hands, albeit distinct from the wings (note they are the same limbs).
  • In Minotaur Hotel, Pedro the peacock has feathered hands. Its not clear if they are feathers or normal digits covered in feathers, with some sprites implying either.

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Perry can't move the individual feathers, but he can move and flex his wings around like arms.
  • Dreamscape: Will can't move them flexibly, but he can make gestures with his little wings.
  • The Golden Pheasant in Dream Come True can move his wings like arms and articulate them like hands.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Neopets: There are multiple avian neopets that appear to use their wings as hands, namely the Lenny and Pteri. Painting them Transparent, which gives them a plastic-looking outer body that reveals their skeleton and internal organs, reveals that Pteris play it straight, having more realistic wings while still being able to hold objects, but Lennies subvert it by having actual hands that just strongly resemble big feathers.
  • Serina: The farmerjay evolves a crude grasping mechanism from the alula and a fleshy pad on the wrist of its wing, allowing it to handle its offspring and the snails it instinctively farms for food, a trait shared by nearly all sparrowgulls.

    Western Animation 
  • Aladdin: The Series:
    • Iago the parrot holds things in his beak and claws while flying, but uses his wings as hands when on the ground. In at least one episode he loses all his feathers and we can see his wings look like mittens, with opposable thumbs. Granted, if you pay attention to the anatomy of the "hand" next time you eat chicken wings, it does look like a mitten... sort of. But play with the Alula ("thumb") a bit and you'll note the range of motion is very restricted.
    • Other winged characters, like Thundra the Rainbird and Fatima the thief-turned-harpy, also use their wings as hands whenever they're not flying (despite still looking like wings).
  • Most of the cast of Birdz has mostly arm-like wings which they use just like normal arms despite also being capable of flight. Strangely, one episode has them bowling with their feet.
  • Donald Duck used to have feather fingers with pointed feather tips for fingers, but as his design evolved, he ended up with what were simply feather covered, human-like hands and arms. Of course, this doesn't preclude him from developing Tail Feather Fingers from time to time.
    • In Mickey Mouse, Donald, Daisy, and the other ducks have have armlike wings with pointed feather tips for fingers.
  • On Fish Hooks, the characters' fins actually change shape between semi-normal fins and hands.
  • Franklin and his friend's teacher Mr. Owl has these on Franklin, which makes sense, as it would be difficult to write on a chalkboard with chalk, etc., without these.
  • Dr. Zoidberg on Futurama is an lobster-like alien with claws for "hands". Generally he's about as clumsy as you'd expect, occasionally even snapping things he's trying to hold in two. He does manage to write without too much trouble, and in a couple instances actually holds a needle and sutures a wound. That's probably just Rule of Funny, or simply years of practice. (If you had pincers all your life, you'd pick up a few tricks over time.)
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Mostly averted with the Road Runner: he carries things with his feet instead of his wings, but he holds signs in his wing as if it was a hand.
    • A variant with Daffy Duck and fellow Looney Tunes characters Foghorn Leghorn (a rooster) and Tweety (a male canary) — all three have wings that are basically just arms and hands when not flying. The former two are also sometimes capable of flying with them, something both of them have demonstrated on occasions. Daffy even migrated a couple times. Their ability to fly is very much dependent on the story demands of whatever they're doing at the time. In the more recent Looney Tunes Show, for example, Daffy is unable to swim or fly, making Porky question whether he's really a duck at all. Tweety, on the other hand, is always shown to be capable of flying. Tweety's wings are shown as regular wings when he flies and Daffy's wings are shown as wings with the classic feather fingers when he flies.
  • My Little Pony:
    • My Little Pony 'n Friends: Pluma and Ruff, a pair of lightly anthropomorphic birds, use the ends of their wings as humanlike hands, although their ability to shapeshift makes it unclear if it's just a cartoon shortcut or if they're actually turning their wings into hands.
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
      • A pegasus's wings, when not used for flying, function similarly to a thumbless hand, in that they can manipulate objects (like opening a saddlebag) or support body weight (the rather odd "wing push-ups" some pegasi were seen doing in "Hurricane Fluttershy"), but can't seem to actually grasp things, unless they wrap nearly an entire wing around it. Later seasons do this more extensively, so much as to include actions similar to hand gestures.
      • "Newbie Dash" (where pegasi manipulate things with their wings even more often than usual) actually contains a justification (also seen before in "Read It and Weep"): at one point, Rainbow Dash is zapped by a thundercloud with X-Ray Sparks in effect, showing a good view of her (presumably pegasus-normal) skeleton — which clearly shows her wings' skeleton not as a birdlike modified arm, but as four separate, jointed finger-like structures stretching from her spine to her wingtips, which is as good an explanation as any for why this trope is in effect.
      • "Parental Glidance" has some particularly extreme examples of this, even by the show's normal use of this trope, with pegasi using their feathers for everything from plugging their ears to counting out points, as well as "shaking wings" or doing a "face-wing".
  • Downplayed in Over the Garden Wall, where Beatrice (a talking bluebird) frequently gestures with her wings as if they were arms (probably out of habit, since she used to be human), but never tries to use them as hands. When she picks things up and moves them around she uses her beak.
  • Krakia from Puppy in My Pocket: Adventures in Pocketville (and to a lesser extent other birds) often uses her wings to grab things as opposed to her beak or feet. When she raises her wings to gesture they even resemble human hands.
  • Used in one of Robot Chicken's shorts parodying the Muppet Show and the Muppet Babies. When the murderer (who happens to be Skooter dressed up as his homicidal sister, Skeeter, to seek bloody vengeance on the other muppets after they drowned her when they were baby muppets and kept it a secret throughout their lives) corners and is ready to kill the remaining muppets Kermit and Miss Piggy, Carmilla the chicken (Gonzo's love interest before he was killed off first) threatens him with a drawn bow and arrow, prompting the incredulous Skooter to call out on this trope: "You can't shoot me! Chickens don't even have fingers!" (is shot dead).
  • British series Romuald the Reindeer has an odd variant. The reindeer are civilized (even wearing clothes) but quadrupedal, wearing shoes on all four hooves. They instead use their antlers for grasping and fine manipulation.
  • Unlike the above example, Sally the fish on Scaredy Squirrel uses her fins straight, without them changing shape or being hand-like in nature.
  • Downplayed in Splash and Bubbles. The characters do sometimes use their fins as humans would use their hands, such as gesturing, waving, and picking up objects, but more often they just use their mouths to pick up objects and always use their faces to point, not their fins. Bubbles uses this trope the most, probably because of the size and placement of her fins compared to the others.
  • Work It Out Wombats!: JunJun and his family are eagles who use their feathers/wings as hands. They're also not really shown flying.

Sudden Thumbs Variant Examples:

  • The Cravendale milk "Thumbcats" adverts have cats with thumbs. They kidnap milkmen and want to steal our Cravendale.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Played with in Chi's Sweet Home and Chi's New Address with the cats. Normal shots of their paws don't show any thumbs, but thumbs show up in close up shots and when they're trying to catch or grasp something. The cats in this anime and manga use their paws like cats normally use their paws rather than like human hands.

    Comic Strips 
  • Early Peanuts strips do this for Snoopy (when he was drawn as a more realistic dog), but eventually he was just given Humanlike Hand Anatomy.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Lion King (1994).
    • Zazu sometimes gestures with his wings, which sometimes become hand-like, but at least he doesn't pick anything up with them. The lions use their dewclaws as thumbs, sometimes using them as hands. This is most obvious with Scar, as seen when he's tormenting a mouse (he even raises his pinky!) and in his Villain Song. The animators said that they tried to avoid having the lions make hand-like gestures with their paws, aside from Scar (because he's more of a ham).
    • Timon just flat-out uses Humanlike Hand Anatomy instead. Meerkats in real life have very long, black claws at the ends of their stubby beige paws, so the animators gave Timon perfectly humanoid hands with black fingers to represent these. He pretty much always walks upright; from the waist up he uses his hands like a human would, both grasping and gesturing often.
  • Cats in The Aristocats have normal cat paws without thumbs when when walking on all fours or otherwise not using them as hands, but gain thumbs when they are using their paws like hands. For example.
  • Lucifer the cat from Cinderella normally has paws without thumbs, but when he is trying to grasp something or catch mice, he gains thumbs.
  • Otis and the other cows from Barnyard and Back at the Barnyard have real-looking front hooves when masquerading as ordinary cows in front of the farmer, but change into prehensile black mitts with thumbs when bipedal.

    Web Comics 
  • A odd case in Melonpool: Sam T. Dogg is a telegraphic dog with no thumbs for most of webcomic with funny jokes, but suddenly had thumbs at one point with lampshading about lack of such in past.

    Western Animation 
  • Scooby-Doo sometimes did this, especially in the earliest cartoons. He normally walks around on all fours, with very dog-like paws, but when a zany scheme is involved, he stands up on his hind legs with no difficulty, and thumbs mysteriously appears on his front paws.
  • Family Guy: Brian the Dog is perfectly canine in every respect (other than speech and bipedal movement), but he still has hands with thumbs — but these turn to normal front paws without thumbs when sitting on the floor on all fours like a dog.
  • Animaniacs:
    • Rita has hands with thumbs when she's on two legs or using them like human hands (i.e., to gesture, grab, or grasp something), but these turn to normal front paws without thumbs when she's on four legs.
    • Same thing occurs with the other cats from Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain, but this is averted with the Warner Sibs in the few instances that they're standing on four legs. They not only retain their thumbs when they're on four legs, their hands still look like hands. That said, since we don't actually know what sort of creatures the Warner siblings are, this could be perfectly natural for them.
  • In CatDog, the titular duo's hands looks like paws when walking on all-fours.
  • Pooh and Tigger from Winnie the Pooh have Fingerless Hands with thumbs that appear when they grasp something or gesture.
  • Thumbs sometimes appear on the paws of Pluto the Pup, Figaro, and other "non-anthro" Classic Disney Shorts dogs and cats when they grasp something or gesture, but sometimes they don't.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Perry the Platypus has stylized paws with no visible fingers while in his mindless pet guise, but human-like hands while on secret agent duty.
  • Puppy in My Pocket: Adventures in Pocketville is also known for this, with several of the animal characters usually having normal paws but gain thumbs and more dexterity in their paws when lifting their paws up, gesturing, or grasping things.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: In the episode "We've Got Fleas", the title character and his friends become were-animals. In close-ups of their hands, they're still hands (albeit covered in fur), while in long shots, they're thumbless paws.
  • Standard for birds in Alfred J. Kwak, unless they're holding something or wearing shirts. The titular alfred's wings shift between clear hands and stump wings whenever the situation calls for it (the default being stump wing until he needs to grab something), and the same happens to other waterfowls, Ollie the stork, and Dolf in his teen design where he had clear wings instead of clear hands.


Video Example(s):


Mr. Owl

In "Franklin Goes to School" from "Franklin," when Franklin has trouble figuring out what number comes after 7, Mr. Owl writes it for him on the chalkboard, showing off his feather fingers, and displaying a little humor.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / FeatherFingers

Media sources: