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Friendly Neighborhood Spider

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A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that.
Charlotte, Charlotte's Web

Usually Spiders Are Scary, especially if they're giant or so many. But sometimes, spiders can be actually nice and harmless. Sometimes can be used as a pet or an ally, or sometimes, if is a spider person, can be part of the hero team.

Positive portrayals of spiders in fiction tend to emphasize different aspects of them than negative ones do. Often, the fact that they eat insect pests will be mentioned, and their web-building habits are often used as an example of perseverance and industriousness. Negative or evil portrayals of spiders often play up their use of venom (because Poison Is Evil, after all). Heroic spiders, therefore, are rarely described as being venomous.

It is also worth noting that not all spiders are seen in an equally favorable light. Tarantulas and black widow spiders, which are almost universally considered dangerous (though this is quite exaggerated in fiction compared to reality, especially in the case of the former), rarely get this treatment. Jumping spiders and orb-weaver spiders, on the other hand, are more likely to be portrayed positively since they are considered harmless and look conventionally "cute" to many people.

Contrast Spiders Are Scary, the inversion of this trope. Some Spider People can be seen as this. A Friend to All Living Things usually has one as friend. Sub-Trope of Good Animals, Evil Animals, in which the spiders are usually Funny and/or Talking Animals, as well Dark Is Not Evil, in which spiders are usually being of color black or another dark colour.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The arachne Rachnera Arachnera from Daily Life with Monster Girl is one of the many monster girls in the Unwanted Harem of Kimihito. She hated humans before until she met Kimihito and eventually fell in love with him and made friends with the other monster girls. Rachnera is aware of her own strength, so she's very careful with Kimihiko, also saving him in a couple of times. She is, however, aware that humans think Spiders Are Scary and is very, very willing to take advantage of that fact.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animation 
  • In Madagascar, Alex finds a big hairy spider on his shoulders. The only thing the spider does is give him a big friendly smile and a cheery "Well, howdy-do", but Alex freaks out anyway.
  • In A Bug's Life, Rosie, the black widow spider (and a relatively rare instance of that species filling this trope), is the gentle Team Mom of the circus bugs. She provides the current trope image.
  • In Corpse Bride, there are some friendly, talking black widow spiders in the world of the dead. One of them is a close friend of Emily, the titular corpse bride.
  • In Mune: Guardian of the Moon, there is a race of cute, fluffy spider-like creatures that assist the current Guardian of the Moon. Although they occasionally display Silent Snarker personalities, they are still shown to be benevolent and helpful.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Buzz McCallister, the Big Brother Bully of Kevin in Home Alone, has a tarantula (Grammostola rosea) as a pet, which was released after Kevin went home alone. This was eventually used as one of Kevin's Improvised Weapons against the Wet Bandits. In fact it could be argued that the spider, like the cellar was part of Kevin's childhood fears which he had to overcome in order to rely on himself more and protect his home. And what better overcoming is there other than using the once source of mortal terror into a weapon of defense against the real enemies? In the end, the tarantula does not receive damage and it was found by Buzz when he came back home with the rest of his family (or at least is implied).

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Addams Family: The title family have a pet spider named Homer. Despite the neighbours being scared of him, he's actually quite a nice pet.

    Myths & Religion 

    Puppet Shows 
  • In the The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss episode, "A Bird's Guide to Health", Horton the Elephant meets Sid the Spider, a spider whose left legs were crushed by a fallen tree. Despite Horton's initial fear of spiders, he and Sid become friends. Horton nurses Sid back to health and protects him from Jane Kangaroo and the Wickershams, who all think that bugs are creepy and not friendly.

    Video Games 
  • Skid from TinkerQuarry is a living plastic toy spider who exhibits a Cheerful Child-like personality, and is one of the sweetest and kindest characters in the game.
  • Kirby Star Allies: While the spider-like Como enemies have appeared in previous games, they were almost always portrayed as generic spider enemies. In this game, however, they can be transformed into Helpers.
  • In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, Squitter is a spider who assists the Kongs in their quests. He creates two different types of webs; ones that can be used as ammunition against enemies, and ones that can be used as temporary platforms to get across dangerous places or reach higher places and/or items.
  • Moshi Monsters has a minor character who's a spider named Scratch, who once helped the Super Moshis save Simon Growl from a fall by using a web.
  • In Pokémon, Spinarak from Second Generation and Joltik from Fifth Generation are Pokémon depictions of spiders that actually are cute and nice, also seen in their appearances in the anime. However, their evolutions (Ariados and Galvantula, respectively) may look scary, but in the end all depends of their trainers.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In Pocoyo there're a few secondary spider characters with one eye who are despised even though they're actually nice. A good example is the episode "Pato's Egg" in which Pato finds an egg and raises it, only to find that it hatches a spider instead of a bird. Everyone finds it scary, including Pato, but later it is seen that this baby spider is very nice and is embraced by Pato as his father, and later is accepted by his friends Pocoyo and Elly. Also is seen later in other Pocoyo shorts, like "The Big Race!" having his own car.
  • Jeff from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, a Giant Spider who is friendly and kind and thinks Billy is his father. Billy, on the other hand, is dreadfully afraid of spiders, and always tries to swat him whenever he appears.
  • The two main characters of the Hungarian animated series Vízipók-Csodapók are a water spider and an orb-weaving diamondback spider. The water spider is a wide-eyed, curious character who is friendly with all bugs he meets, whereas the diamondback is somewhat grouchy and snarky, but still a loyal friend.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: In "Maud Pie", the resident Friend to All Living Things Fluttershy introduces Maud Pie to a spider, describing this particular species as "actually very sweet and help keep other, more dangerous insects away!" And then the spider offers a flower to Maud. This would also count as a subversion of Spiders Are Scary, since the spider is introduced glaring menacingly from solid red eyes and with fangs dripping with saliva, presenting a traditionally scary image before offering its flower. The spider goes on to reappear in later episodes as part of Fluttershy's menagerie of friendly woodland critters. "Scare Master" reveals that his name is Fuzzy Legs.
  • Charlie and Lola: In the episode "I'm Not All That Keen on Spiders", Lola meets two spiders named Sidney and Robert, who she's scared of at first, but then her Cool Big Bro Charlie tells her spiders are nice.
  • In the Rugrats episode, "Spike Runs Away", after Spike runs away, Stu and Didi try to get Tommy a replacement pet. One of these is a tarantula named Terry, who isn't poisonous, and has even been defanged so he can't bite. However, Didi still finds Terry creepy. When Tommy opens the door to Terry's cage to try to teach him how to fetch his ball, Terry crawls into Lou's bedroom, where he frightens a sleeping Lou. Lou, having not been informed of Terry's presence, kills him, wraps him in a wad of tissues, and tosses him into a trash can.
  • Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends stars the kindly Miss Spider, who adopts three insect children along with raising her own five spider kids. There is another spider character, Spiderus, who starts out as a bad guy, but becomes more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold as the series goes on, as well as Miss Spider's husband Holley and Spiderus's sweet wife Spindella.
  • The Looney Tunes Show: In the season 2 episode "Itsy Bitsy Gopher", Bugs and friends are afraid of a big spider that appears in their house. After failing attempts to kill the spider, later appears Gossamel looking for Webster, his pet spider (whose species is a mimicry of the spider characters are chasing for) which is harmless.

    Real Life 
  • Grammostola rosea, also called as "Chilean rose tarantula"note , is a tarantula species originated on Chile, which is basically a hand-size haired tarantula which is nice, friendly and harmless. This is probably the only spider that is considered as a pet and is usually treated as that in this country as well in various parts of the world, usually as "exotic pet". Truth in Television the spider used in various movies and series as pets is the Grammostola rosea, as in the Home Alone example.
  • One of the benefits you'll often hear about having spiders around is that they'll get rid of all the other bugs you don't want around. This makes them friendly (or at least helpful) for humans, but not so much for insects...
  • Spiders in general are not exactly friendly, but at the same time most won't attack you unless you give them a reason to. Most spiders, even infamously dangerous ones like the black widow, much prefer to skitter away from humans than bite them on sight. (Evolutionary logic: poison is costly, don't waste it on non-prey if possible.)
  • Jumping Spiders are about the size of a dime and have a quartet of Puppy-Dog Eyes framed by four tiny eyes.

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