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Foul Fox

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Stu Hopps: You know what? Pretty much all predators, and Zootopia's full of 'em.
Bonnie Hopps: Oh, Stu.
Stu Hopps: And foxes are the worst!
Bonnie Hopps: Actually, your father does have a point there. It's in their biology.
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Foxes are clever, and humanity generally respects cleverness. But they also have qualities that earn the ire of many people. They're natural predators to animals like rabbits and mice, which are often associated with innocence and sweetness. They're a menace to poultry farmers, often killing chickens, turkeys and waterfowl. They're an invasive species in certain places that are devastating to wildlife. They're notoriously associated with rabies. And the un-dog-like sounds many species make are the stuff of nightmares.

So it's perhaps unsurprising that foxes are often depicted in a negative light, especially in children's media.

In fiction, it's not uncommon for foxes to be portrayed as sneaky, conniving, and unsavory. Antagonistic foxes will generally be evil geniuses or manipulative bastards. Even foxes who aren't predators get hit with this trope, especially if they are dangerous scavengers. Sometimes, they're mean-spirited tricksters who feign being good-natured. Sometimes, they're treacherous backstabbers who would sell virtually anyone up the river for a chance to get ahead, and other times they're just plain vicious bullies. Occasionally, they'll get portrayed as evilly seductive, sometimes complete with "foxy" wordplay.

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Sub-Trope of Predators Are Mean. May overlap with Fantastic Foxes, Kitsune and/or Fox Folk. For other fox stereotypes, see Foxy Vixen and Cunning Like a Fox.

Compare Savage Wolves, Wicked Weasel, Those Wily Coyotes.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Animation 
  • One The Little Mole short features a hungry fox antagonizing the Mole and the other woodland critters, who paint themselves to bright colors to scare the fox away.
  • In The Snowman Postman, the fox is one of the villains. She tries to trick the naive Snowman, is set on stealing the letter he is carrying, and constantly fights even with her own cronies. Since she has a rather vague idea of what a letter actually is, she starts the whole fuss thinking that, if she hands the Snowman's letter to Father Christmas, the latter will give her a chicken or maybe a duck.

    Anime & Manga 
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    Comic Books 
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) has Fiona Fox. As a child, Fiona was imprisoned by Dr. Robotnik during his rise to power as a result of being abandoned by Sonic and Mighty the Armadillo. Understandably, she developed a grudge against the two for what happened, and over time, her grudge worsened the darker aspects of her personality, until eventually, she fell from grace entirely and became an outright villain. Fiona has a history of mild illegal activity, including robbery. She's also extremely clever and has an acute memory. However, she is clearly reluctant to talk about her past. When she chose to follow a darker path in life (likely due to her past), she developed a relationship with Scourge, Sonic's Evil Counterpart, preferring him to the virtuous real deal. She is also great at gymnastics, as she once performed a backflip off a bamboo tree.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In Chicken Little, Foxy Loxy is a fox who eats all the birds, usually including the protagonist, all the while pretending he's going to lead them to the king's house.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Folklore 
  • Br'er Fox is one of the most frequent antagonists of the Br'er Rabbit stories, whose activities frequently revolve around trying to eat main character Br'er Rabbit.
  • Reynard the Fox: Reynard is a Villain Protagonist whose only real saving grace is that most of his enemies are no better than him.

    Literature 
  • The Adventures of Pinocchio: The Fox, along with his partner-in-crime the cat, is a con artist who pretends to be handicapped to take advantage of people's kindness. Not only that, but the two of them feign kindness to Pinocchio to steal his money and later try to kill him.
  • In Bambi: Friends of the Forest, the book's climax has Thumper being antagonized by a hungry fox. Bambi goads the fox into chasing him to save Thumper. Just when it looks as if the fox is about to catch Bambi, Bambi's father, the Mighty King of the Forest frightens the fox away with his powerful antlers. After the fox flees, the Mighty King tells Bambi that while he is much too young to outrun a fox, he heard from the bluebird about how he did so to save Thumper and is proud of him.
  • The Berenstain Bears: In "Learn About Strangers", Papa reads Sister a book called Silly Goose and Wily Fox. In it, Wily Fox tricks Silly Goose into entering his lair and it ends with him eating her.
  • The Dark is Rising series novel The Grey King: The title character is an extremely evil Lord of the Dark. His minions include the milgwn: huge grey foxes that do his bidding, including slaughtering sheep.
  • Fengshen Yanyi: Daji is a sadistic nine-tailed huli-jing sent by the goddess Nu Wa to punish King Zhou for his blasphemy towards her, corrupting him into a maniacal tyrant.
  • The Gingerbread Man: A fox tricks the Gingerbread Man into climbing on his nose and then eats him alive.
  • Goosebumps: In "Return to Ghost Camp", the child-killing spirit the Snatcher primarily takes the form of a fox and uses this form when killing its victims.
  • Redwall: Foxes are among the "vermin" species, and almost always play antagonistic roles. They tend to be more into subterfuge than other kinds of vermin are, often having no qualms about betraying their allies or superiors for their own self-gain.
  • In Sam Pig, the unnamed fox is one of the primary antagonists, doing things such as conning the pigs into letting him eat Brock the Badger's dinner.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: House Florent's sigil is a fox. They're also very ambitious and opportunistic when it comes to increasing their power. They initially support Renly over Stannis in the War of the Five Kings, despite Stannis being their in-law because Renly has the stronger position. When they do go over to Stannis's side, they convert to an Apocalypse Cult that practices human sacrifice. When the Head of the House Alester is arrested for treason, his cousin has no problem turning on him.
  • In The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck, it's implied that the "Sandy-Whiskered Gentleman" (shown to be a fox in the illustrations) wants to kill Jemima, stuff her, and eat her for dinner, as well as make her eggs into an omelette.
  • In Warrior Cats foxes often attack the cats and compete with them for prey. This is why calling someone a "fox-heart" is a very bad insult. Because the foxes don't have a language that the narrative translates, the implication is that they're savage beasts.
  • Watership Down has select rabbits from Hazel's warren travel to Efrafa, seeking breeding does. En route, Bigwig detects a fox paralleling their course and decides to misdirect it away from the rabbit party. As it turns out, Bigwig encountered Groundsel and some other rabbits from Efrafa in a wood. The Efrafans were so fixated upon detaining Bigwig that the fox caught them by surprise. It's also mentioned that the defeated Efrafan force, while returning from Watership Down, had their numbers culled by a fox, further loosening their control of the Efrafa warren.
  • The Wonderful Adventures of Nils: Smirre the fox is not a nice guy, especially in the anime, where he's a recurring villain. He frequently tries to eat the geese.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Grimm:
    • Downplayed. Fuchsbau have a reputation amongst the Wesen community for being sly and deceptive, and are commonly found in at least questionable trades. However, all the Fuchsbau to appear have been presented as reasonably sympathetic. With Rosalee Carvert being one of the show's main heroes.
    • Vulpesmyrca are black fox Wesen (and noticeably larger than Fuchsbau), who are renowned as vicious and relentless predators. They commonly work as mercenaries and traditionally prey upon Willaharas (rabbit Wesen) for their feet (which is used illegally as a fertility treatment).

    Music 
  • The German parody rap band The Orsons wrote a song titled "Der Fuchs plant nichts Gutes" (Ger. "The Fox Is Up To No Good") about a nefarious fox that steals guns from a farmer to raid his chicken coop, before escaping across the border in a stolen car.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In Chinese Mythology, Huli-jing are vampiric shape-shifting foxes with up to nine tails, are composed of yin, and need to seduce men to drain their yang.
  • In Japanese Mythology, kitsune are shapeshifting foxes with up to nine tails, and like their Chinese and Korean counterparts can be malicious predators or seductresses who drain the life-force from their victims.
  • The Korean kumiho is a multi-tailed fox with a taste for human liver.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • The only fox in Animal Crossing is Crazy Redd, a shady salesman who runs a black market shop. Although he typically does have some genuinely rare items that can't be obtained anywhere else, they're mixed in with overpriced common items, and from Wild World onwards, paintings and artwork he sells have a high chance of being forgeries.
  • Fate/Grand Order: Koyanskaya of Light, also known as Tamamo Vitch, is a kitsune and one of the candidates for the Beasts of Humanity. She works for the Crypters, operates exactly like a black-ops specialist, and states repeatedly that she loathes humans and wants to kill them. Her class, Assassin, reflects that attitude.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's:
  • League of Legends: Played With by Ahri. She is a fox-like vastaya who emotionally manipulates and absorbs the souls of her victims, but doing this also absorbs the victims'' memories, giving her a glimpse of their most impactful emotions like grief and sorrow. This causes her to grow more and more conflicted as while she enjoys the feelings of absorbing souls, she can't help but empathize with her victims, and is guilt-ridden for harming innocents in the process.
  • Ōkami: Ninetails is the lord of Ryoshima Coast, and an evil fox demon who murders and impersonates the priestess Rao to get the Fox Rods needed to restore themselves to full power.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Corsac and Fennec Albain are two fox Faunus brothers affiliated with Adam Taurus' faction of the White Fang. While they're not quite as bad as Adam and (rightly) believe his acts of wanton cruelty will alienate potential supporters, they nevertheless share his overall goal of Faunus supremacy.

    Western Animation 
  • The main antagonist in the Baby Huey cartoons is a fox who tries to eat Huey's duckling friends. Huey at first thinks he's friendly, which the fox tries to use to his advantage, only to be stymied by the giant gosling's Nigh-Invulnerability and Stout Strength. Eventually, Huey wises up and realizes "You're the fox, and you're trying to eat me!" and lays the smackdown on the fox.
  • Bluey: In "Blue Mountains", the villain of the game the Heeler family are playing is a fox (played by Bandit's hand) who pretends to be "kindly" and tricks Big Sister (Chilli's hand) into getting trapped in a cave (Bandit's mouth).
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: The Cajun Fox tries to kidnap Muriel, intending to make her into Cajun Granny Stew.
  • Dora the Explorer: The show's primary antagonist is a fox named Swiper, whose primary goal is to rob Dora of whatever she's carrying in each episode. He's also rather petty; if he manages to get the stuff, he'll proceed to just throw it into the distance, where she needs to stop her quest to retrieve them.
  • Garfield and Friends: One minor antagonist in the show's U.S. Acres segments was a fox who would often try to steal chickens from the henhouse (and in a few cases, Sheldon the Egg).
  • One segment of King Leonardo and His Short Subjects is "The Hunter," which centers on a Funny Animal hound dog that works as a police detective. His cases always involve a series of thefts of one or two particular items. The culprit is invariably The Fox, who repurposes the stolen items into something else that he sells for profit. The Idiot Hero exposes the criminal by happenstance, then claims his bumbling was intentional.
  • Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness: Junjie the fox deeply envies Shifu for being the master of the Jade Palace instead of him. He's also a Manipulative Bastard.
  • Peter Rabbit: Mr. Tod is an antagonistic fox who is usually seen trying to eat Peter Rabbit and his friends. He also tends to think of himself as somewhat of an evil genius and takes pride in being the top predator in the area.
  • A Robot Chicken sketch based on Emmet Otters Jugband Christmas has Emmet invite Frankie Fox as the newest member of the jug band. However, the rest of the band are wary, as foxes are their natural enemies. Sure enough, Frankie attacks them all during their performance of "We're All the Same on Christmas Day."
    Emmet: Wait! Ain't we all the same on Christmas day?
    Frankie: Oh, we're not the same, cause I ain't dead! Merry Christmas!
  • Shaun the Sheep: A recurring villain is a fox, who often attempts to capture the farm animals.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: One episode of the show, entitled "Fox Trot" was created following the show's Channel Hop from syndication to Fox Kids. The episode's wraparounds featured Buster and Babs being chased by the Fox Network Executives, who are depicted as a pair of hungry foxes.

Alternative Title(s): Evil Fox

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