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Humanlike Hand Anatomy

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A common design choice for Funny Animals and other characters on the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism is giving them human-like hands (in spite of their apparent lack of proper wrists). However, their feet (and, perhaps, other parts of their body) often remain unchanged, resembling the feet, fins, flippers and hooves of their original species.

Quite frequently the hands will be four fingered (three fingers and a thumb). This is due both to cartoon drawing conventions of Four-Fingered Hands and the fact that cats and dogs have a "dewclaw" as their fifth digit, making their forepaws look superficially like they only have four digits.

Compare Feather Fingers, where animals retain their original anatomy but can use their forelimbs as hands anyway. Related to Humanlike Foot Anatomy.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Naruto: The Nine-Tailed Fox is an Animalistic Abomination slightly more human in anatomy than a real fox, including unusually long fingers and toes. This is heavily downplayed until Naruto befriends it, after which it is more often shown doing things with its hands and sitting in humanlike positions.
  • Beastars: All of the anthropomorphic characters in this manga are shown to have human-like hands, albeit covered with fur (and in the case of carnivorous animals, with claws). Herbivorous ungulates, such as Louis the deer, also have fingernails in place of hooves.

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animated 
  • Largely averted in Bambi. Aside from Friend Owl, who switches from regular wings to Feather Fingers when needed, the only characters to have human-like hands are Flower and his girlfriend, and that is mostly based on a real skunk's anatomy.
  • Downplayed with the lions in The Lion King, who have mostly realistic cat paws, but their dew claws are larger than in real life so that they can occasionally use it as a thumb. Zazu the bird has Feather Fingers, and Timon the meerkat has human-like fingers rather than claws. Justified with Rafiki, as he is a primate which has human-like hands to begin with.
  • For Chicken Run, they would have needed to come up with some pretty ingenious ways for all the chickens to use their various tools if they all had actual wings instead of arms.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • An interesting variation in the Sholan Alliance series. The Sholans are a felinoid race with retractable fingers, enabling them to alternately run on all fours or grip things with human-like hands.
  • Pretty common in Dinoverse. In the first set the Tyrannosaurus rex and Leptoceratops characters have trouble using their hands, which are two-fingered and on short arms, and incorporate hooves, respectively, but the Quetzalcoatlus uses the little clawed fingers on her wings with ease. However, in subsequent adventures anything not quadrupedal has humanlike ability to pick up and manipulate objects, even when they're small-armed megapredators like Acrocanthosaurus or Carcharodontosaurus.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In a non-cartoon example, the darklord Markov from Ravenloft is cursed to always have the body of a beast and the head of a man, but can invoke this trope on himself at will.

    Video Games 
  • Pathologic: The rat prophets have human fingers and feet.
  • Sonic The Hedgehog characters have a strange variation of this; their hands are human-like regardless of species, but their feet are very... not human, but not exactly those of their derived species, either. Their feet are just...ovals. No features, no toes, nothing. They look like ovaloids flattened on the sole part. Note that most the characters wear shoes anyway, so you rarely have to behold their flipper feet. This has somewhat changed in Sonic Forces, where if the avatar character is wearing sandals, he/she is shown with only one toe on each foot.
  • All the anthropomorphic animals in Sly Cooper are this way.
  • Every character in Star Fox. Except for Falco, who has Feather Fingers.

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Robber Eel has a tailfin like a weird hand, which he uses to hold his loot sack.

  • The owl people in Realm of Owls have a bone structure resembling a human hand rather than their wing feathers acting like fingers.
  • Freefall: Florence the uplifted wolf has humanlike hands and wolflike feet, giving her fine motor control and the ability to walk both upright and on all fours. This is revealed to have taken some very complex genetic manipulation, drawing on everything from bears to hero shrews, to map a wolf to a humanoid body shape.

    Western Animation 
  • Any animal character in Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain except Runt and Buttons (two "non-anthro" dogs), Pharfignewton (a "non-anthro" horse) and Minerva Mink (mink with somewhat human-like feet). The Goodfeathers, Godpigeon, Girlfeathers, and Chicken Boo have Feather Fingers instead.
  • Averted with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse ad especially Goofy and any Dogface that shows up because the former two are Funny Animals with feet shaped like human feet and the latter two have that along with a completely humanoid body shape.
    • Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Ortensia the cat have humanlike hands and feet shaped like blocks that are flat on the soles in Epic Mickey. In early cartoons, Oswald was drawn either with oval feet or feet shaped roughly like that of his species.
    • In the really early Mickey Mouse cartoons, Mickey was drawn with either oval feet or block-shaped feet.
  • Looney Tunes loves this trope:
    • Bugs Bunny
    • Daffy Duck
    • Parodied in the Looney Tunes short "What Makes Daffy Duck" where a fox has human like hands. At one point it's revealed they're gloves when they fly off revealing fox paws underneath.
    • Porky Pig, though his hooves can look more shoe-like depending on the design.
  • Played with to disturbing effect on an episode of Adventure Time, where a deer is attacking the citizens of Candy Kingdom. During the climax the deer stands up on its hind legs and, to everyone's shock, takes off its front hooves, revealing human fingers beneath.
  • Zigzagged with The Ren & Stimpy Show, as their hands would look more realistic sometimes than others. In "Stimpy's Fan Club" for example, Ren's hands look creepy in certain scenes because they look like photo-realistic human hands...yet remain four-fingered.
  • Camp Lazlo has the Four-Fingered Hands variety.
  • Amphibia: Played with. All of the humans in the show have normal, five-fingered hands. The frogs/toads/newts also have human-like hands, but with only four fingers.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): The Turtles all have opposable fingers, but they only have three fingers on each hand.
  • Played straight with other animals like rhinos and hippos in Babar, who have human-like hands. Elephants have normal elephant forefeet, even when bipedal, so they either use their trunks or have phalange-fingers instead.
  • The Pigs in The Raccoons have perfectly normal hands even though their feet are normal pig hooves.
    • Lisa Raccoon also has human-like hands instead of black paws like the other raccoon characters have.
  • Exaggerated with Disney’s Baloo in Robot Chicken's "The Baloo Identity?" His hands look completely like five fingered human hands the same color as his body.
  • Everyone on Kaeloo have Four-Fingered Hands which resemble those of humans, though Quack Quack and Olaf's arms are flat like wings.
  • Starting from the second series, Shaun The Sheep's front hooves look decidedly more handlike in those scenes where he's standing on his hind legs.
  • All the animal humanoids in Bojack Horseman have humanlike arms, as well as humanlike feet. This makes it a bit confusing that BoJack and other horse characters have horseshoe designs in their living spaces.
  • Massimo from Producing Parker uses his paws like human hands when he does things like cook, etc.


Video Example(s):


D.W. goes back to free James

During a swim race, D.W.'s friend James gets his swim fin stuck on a lane marker. D.W. abandons the race to go back and free him, even though that costs her the win to her other friend, Emily.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / DudleyDoRightStopsToHelp

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