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Licked by the Dog

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Remember... babies are usually not good judges of character.

"Thank you, scary leather man. I love you."
A small girl (upon getting her cat back from Midnighter), The Authority

"Aw, look, he likes you!"

A subtler version of Pet the Dog, where an innocent creature like an animal or child shows affection towards someone commonly thought to be mean or a hardass, or who at least has a Face of a Thug. Said hardass doesn't always appreciate the attention.

Effective at deflating a character's pompous attitude. An ironic but overused trope is the character hating a certain kind of animal, then finding one who can't take the hint.

Sometimes this is introduced later in the plot as a Morality Pet. Compare Evil-Detecting Dog and Friend to All Living Things. Contrast Animals Hate Him. See Photo Op with the Dog, where someone tries to invoke this trope via a picture.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • A good amount of characters from Anpanman see Baikinman as a good guy, despite being told otherwise by more heroic characters... or by Baikinman himself. A lot of times, these come from seeing him do one good deed by mistake, and assume he's a good guy thanks to that. He has a tendency to become exasperated in their presence during episodes that star that character.
  • Subverted in Azumanga Daioh. Sakaki is the school's Huge Schoolgirl, considered universally to be cool, intimidating, and very serious (even though she's far from it). She'd be the perfect candidate for this treatment. Instead, every time she gets near a cat... Further, she desperately wishes she'd be licked, because she just loves those fluffy animals so. When Chiyo's dog, Tadakichi-san, actually allows her to pet him, she does so for hours. Sakaki finally receives this treatment from a wildcat, who stows away, finds her and becomes her pet.
  • In chapter 422 of Bleach, Yammy's Arrancar puppy tries to comfort his dying master.
  • Kind of inverted in Digimon Adventure between Hikari and Tailmon. One of the few times you'll see the cat "licked" by the human.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Piccolo was considered pure evil by the main cast after nearly killing them all, but little Gohan doesn't understand why, and thinks he's a pretty cool dude. He even sings a song called "I Love Mr. Piccolo" for heaven's sake.
    • Majin Buu also gets licked by the dog, literally. He finds an injured puppy and heals it so that it'll be scared and run away from him, but it thinks of Buu as its new best friend. At one point, Mr. Satan convinces Buu that there are other things to do than kill and destroy, but then the dog gets shot...
      • A bit before that, Buu encounters a blind kid, who isn't scared of Buu because he can't see him, so Buu heals his eyes. The kid is very grateful, and doesn't find Buu's appearance scary, or even not normal, because Buu is the first thing he ever saw and he doesn't know what a normal person looks like.
    • And in Cross Epoch, the One Piece/Dragon Ball crossover, Chopper offers Vegeta cake. Awwww...
  • Gakuen Babysitters: This happens fairly often with the babies interacting with other people. Because of the nature of the show, none of the characters are actually evil, but their initial personalities wouldn't normally lend themselves to getting along with toddlers. Regardless, Inomata starts to defrost after the babies apologize to her for making her cry. Inui is initially strong-armed into secretly watching over Kotarō on his first errand, but Kotarō's genuine gratitude to him for saving the lunchbox from falling down the stairs inspires him to see it through more actively. In the manga this results in the two becoming friends, after Inui's first appearance had him dismissively refer to Kotarō as a "space cadet".
  • More like licked by a hawk in The Heroic Legend of Arslan. An indication to Arslan that Jaswant is not as bad as he appears to be is that Azrael likes him, having brought food to Jaswant twice.
  • How to Keep a Mummy: Happens to Tazuki when he finally apologizes for deliberately antagonizing Mii-kun. Mii-kun takes the piece of food he offers, and his cuteness in doing so makes Tazuki instantly ashamed of wanting to mess with him, to the point of believing something's is wrong with himself.
  • Inuyasha: Rin ends up following Inuyasha's half-brother, Sesshomaru, who starts off the story a cold-blooded killer who develops compassion along the way. Rin is a cute little girl while Sesshoumaru is a very fierce, very large dog youkai.
  • Happens literally to resident Jerk with a Heart of Gold Lovable Alpha Bitch Shinka Nibutani in Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!.
  • In My Love Story!!, Takeo is generally considered extremely intimidating by strangers, not helped by his massive height, build, and having the Face of a Thug. However, animals and small children are extremely comfortable around him, which usually helps adults warm up to him quicker.
  • In the Buggy's Crew After the Battle Side Story in One Piece Gaimon becomes good friends with Buggy the Clown, not knowing that he's on a mission to kill his old friend Luffy.
  • Jessie's Lickitung in Pokémon: The Series. Justified, though-Team Rocket's Arbok and Weezing both state in an earlier episode (while they were still Ekans and Koffing, respectively) that it isn't the Pokemon that are evil, it's the trainers. While Jessie eventually adopts it, she wasn't pleased about the licking; it messed up her hair using its Overly-Long Tongue.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash★Star: Saki's little sister Minori comes to adore Kaoru due to the latter talking to her bluntly, which made her feel like a grown-up. At the time, Kaoru is The Stoic and secretly a member of the evil Dark Fall. The more she interacts with Minori, the more she comes around.
    • Fresh Pretty Cure!: Setsuna encounters a little boy and his dog two episodes after her Heel–Face Turn. Way back when she was evil, she had turned the dog into a monster and K-O'ed the kid. The kid doesn't recognize her, but the dog does and Setsuna fears it's reaction. To her surprise, it ends up licking her hand and then being more than willing to play with her, showing no hard feelings for what she did in the past.
    • Doki Doki Pretty Cure: The innocent baby fairy Ai-chan adores Regina, the spoiled and unapologetic daughter of the Big Bad. Despite that, Regina likes her back. It later turns out they are two parts of the same person, the Big Good.
  • The Prince of Tennis: Humans tend to be scared of Kaidou Kaoru. Puppies and kitties, however, like him.
  • An entire episode of Saiyuki: Reload revolves around Sanzo's team finding a lost kitten. The kitten immediately takes to them... especially Sanzo, the most badass of them all, who claims to hate cats, is allergic to them, and mostly tries to ignore the cute little feline.
  • In Wild Rose, Camille begins to trust Kiri because his Big Friendly Dog Tranquilo trusts him.
  • In Wolf's Rain Tsume objects when Toboe starts licking his wounds. This is something of a subversion, since they're both talking canines, but it looks funny (peculiar and ha-ha) because they're both in human disguise at the time, also adding a level of Ho Yay to the whole thing.

    Comic Books 
  • The Authority: Midnighter attracts small children like a magnet, gaining their trust and attention even when he's covered in (someone else's) blood and holding a weapon. Then again, he's the kind of person to call a two-mile high walking island "sweetheart" just because she's ten years old.
  • Seen with Batman. Children are less afraid of him than the adults and he doesn't mind too much.
    • Both Dick Grayson and Alfred believe that Damian Wayne can outgrow his violent tendencies and live up to his father's legacy. And so far, they seem to be right, as Damian likes being Robin and finds that doing good is the best thing he has ever done with his life, even breaking away from his mother completely.
    • Jason Todd to some extent, some kids like him, most are scared of him, but mostly because he hates when children are hurt.
    • One of the few times this was subverted was in The New Frontier when a little boy who had been kidnapped by cultists was utterly terrified and driven to tears by Batman's original Golden Age costume with the demonic horn-like ears, which leads to him switching to the more streamlined and colorful Silver Age costume.
    • In at least one story, he muses that the children are innocent and the innocent have nothing to fear from him.
  • It has been established in DC Comics that Catwoman is liked by Superman's dog Krypto. It's probably a side effect from Catwoman's having a knack for animals of all sorts, but still...
    • And yes, the dog does literally lick her face. It should be pointed out that even though he seems to love her, she isn't that fond of him—she really isn't a dog person!
  • In Halcyon, Sabre is described as a "homicidal vigilante" (by one of his teammates no less!), but his dog likes him so he can't be all bad.
  • Subverted in Lobo's Paramilitary Christmas Special. While discussing the details of the Easter Bunny's contract hit on Santa Claus, a fluffy little bunny hops up to Lobo and sniffs at his fingers. A camera cut and a horrible squelching noise later, the camera cuts back to Lobo flicking bloody chunks off his hand with a large red stain where the bunny used to be. Ouch.
  • In Monstress, Kippa voluntarily followed Maika when she broke out of the Cumaea slave prison, because she's "good at killing people" and would therefore make a good protector. Even after Maika, in a fit of Horror Hunger, eats a child right in front of her, Kippa seems to instinctively know that Maika cares for her, and sticks by her even in dangerous situations. (Although it doesn't stop her from temporarily running away when she knows her life is in danger from the Monstra.) Maika is surprised by this, but it ultimately wins her over.
  • In Robocop Versus The Terminator, RoboCop pets a dog at one point and the dog responds in a friendly fashion. Since dogs instinctively hate Terminators, RoboCop's companion takes this as proof that, whatever RoboCop is, he's no Terminator.
  • For some reason, kids like Wolverine. He doesn't get it, though he doesn't mind it either. He even has a sort of Big Brother Mentor role for both Jubilee and Shadowcat, young women who joined the X-Men before they even turned eighteen. In most cases this would be okay. But for this particular person, it's not only highly unusual; it's often either the result of or leads directly to some sort of screwed-up situation or another.
    • It does get stretched a bit when he has an entire mini-series of him co-starring with the Power Pack.
    • Also, Rogue in Ultimateverse.
    • That role is currently filled by Armor from Astonishing X-Men.
    • X-23 also fills this role, Wolverine even adopted her.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • In Despicable Me, Agnes shows an instant affinity for Gru right after he adopts her sisters and her by attaching herself to his leg.
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2: Astrid's dragon Stormfly turns into an excited puppy in all but species towards Drago's dragon-trapping henchman, Eret. This heavily contributes to Eret's Heel–Face Turn, when he realizes that dragons are naturally intelligent and docile.
  • In Loving Vincent, the Gachets' housekeeper thinks Vincent is "evil." The citizens of Arles think he's mad. To a young girl at Adeline's inn, however, he's just a nice man who draws her pictures.
  • Up uses a child and a dog to soften out its Grumpy Old Man protagonist.
    "My name is Dug. I have just met you and I love you!"

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Assassins: Electra's cat taking a liking to Rath is one indication that he's at least a half-decent guy despite being a contract killer.
  • Both in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Batman is seen more favourably by children than by adults.
  • The Batman (2022): Much to Batman's own surprise, Selina Kyle's cats take a liking to him and gather around him. However the bat owned by the Riddler screeches constantly at him (then again it's not like Bruce Wayne liked bats either).
  • The main character in The Chronicles of Riddick is a pretty bad mofo when it comes to other humanoids, but when he encounters a big, vicious, dangerous predator that could see in the dark and spent a lot of time in a cage they become instant friends, providing an example of this as well as "two of a kind" and a sense of kinship.
  • In The Crow, during the transformation of the recently-resurrected Eric Draven into an unstoppable killing machine vigilante who makes Batman look like an actual pacifist, he pauses to scratch the cat that was left to fend for itself after he and his fiancee were murdered. The cat, in turn, licks his hand, apparently recognizing him even after he's been dead and buried for a year. (Cats have eyes, and cats have long-term memory, but Draven likely doesn't smell like he used to, besides having put on Harlequin-mask face paint.)
  • While he is anything but evil, Edward Scissorhands is licked by a dog after he cuts off the hair covering its eyes, even after most of the neighborhood has rejected him.
  • Game Night: Gary constantly behaves in a creepy manner, but one of his first scenes also shows his pet dog licking his face, and he does turn out to be more of a Jerkass Woobie.
  • Subverted by Jack Nicholson's character in As Good as It Gets. It seems as if the dog even prefers Melvin to her real owner, Simon, but Melvin later reveals that the dog loves him so much because he carries a bag of bacon in his pocket. Double subverted in that when Simon tries to lure the dog over with some of the bacon, she won't come to him.
  • The Great Race - villainous Professor Fate takes the place of a lookalike prince - as one of the prince's pug dogs licks his face, he quietly growls "I hate you."
  • John Wick is established as fundamentally good-hearted despite being not just a former assassin, but a legendary former assassin, by the instant liking Daisy (a beagle puppy) and an unnamed Staffie rescue take to him.
  • During the Legally Blonde scene in which formerly-frosty Vivian Kensington begins to befriend Elle, she is also licked by Elle's dog Bruiser.
  • "Tiger" from Major Payne, despite being thoroughly intimidated (and rightfully so) by the titular Major, still warms up to him nonetheless, clearly likes and trusts him, and even runs to him for comfort or protection. Not only does this serve as your first major clue that Payne is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but the man ultimately ends up adopting the kid.
  • In Mandy (1952), Searle's bluntness means that adults often dislike him, but he's good with deaf kids. When he meets Mandy and her parents at a restaurant, Mandy runs into his arms.
  • Mighty Joe Young (1998) has Joe, a larger-than-normal silverback gorilla, bond with a small child (via them waving at each other) while en route to his new home in the states. This becomes a plot point later when Joe recognizes and rescues the boy from a malfunctioning Ferris wheel. The kid returns the favor by being the first to donate some pocket change to help open a wildlife refuge for Joe and prompting everyone else who witnessed the rescue to do the same.
  • In Real Genius, the Jerkass professor Jerry Hathaway hates dogs (and popcorn), but is constantly shooing away a neighbor's dog that apparently likes him.
  • About half the Shirley Temple movies ever made used this.
  • A couple of examples in The Suicide Squad:
    • Ratcatcher's pet rat takes a liking to Bloodsport because "it senses good in him". He is terrified of rats and unappreciative of the sentiment.
    • Ratcatcher herself is "the dog" to King Shark, offering her friendship when everyone else sees him as a man-eating monster (which, in fairness, he IS.)
  • Rather entertainingly subverted in There's Something About Mary. When one of Mary's suitors discovers she at least partially judges her suitors by her roommate's dog's reaction to them, he drugs the dog so it will be complacent...nearly killing it, and setting it on fire in a misguided attempt to revive it. The dog gets better. Later, when Mary's real love shows up, the dog has been drugged again and goes batshit and tries to eat her love.(Fortunately- sort of- the aforementioned roommate has also ingested the amphetamines planted for the dog and is in no state to notice.)
  • Occurs in Who Am I? (1998) when Jackie Chan's character stops during the middle of a chase scene to rescue a cute poodle from a falling piano. The dog licks his face and the onlooking spectators clap and go, "Awww".
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit- The toon-hating Judge Doom's Establishing Character Moment involves a friendly cartoon shoe cuddling next to his foot. Cue the audience being given an impromptu lesson on the effects of Dip on cartoon characters.

  • The first sign that 'Zakath isn't a complete bastard in The Belgariad is that he has a pet female cat which he takes very, very good care of. It's a Running Gag that she keeps having kittens, which he proceeds to "suggest" his courtiers adopt. (The very last thing we ever hear from him in the series is a PS in a letter to Garion where he asks if Garion wants one of the latest litter.)
  • In The Devil's Only Friend, John reluctantly adopts a basset hound who's been wandering around his apartment building since John killed his owner. Despite his irritably ushering the dog off every time it tries to give him any kind of affection, it continues to try, even howling with him and pushing its head repeatedly against his leg while he cries.
  • Discworld:
    • Hogfather has an inversion in Jonathan Teatime, a psycho even by Assassins' Guild standards. Dogs apparently like him, and he claims to like dogs... which didn't stop him from nailing one to the ceiling to keep it quiet.
    • Wintersmith: Granny Weatherwax, one of the Disc's oldest and most powerful witches, feared and respected by many ancient and warlike species, who has seen off a succession of Big Bads and should she turn evil would probably be bigger and badder than all of them put together, is given a cute little kitten. She appears rather offended by this and pretends to ignore the creature, but even the woman who once performed chiropractry on Death himself can't resist a friendly fluffy snuggly purry thing for long. (She wouldn't be able to harm a kitten or child anyway. She's nasty, but never evil.)
  • Justified in The Dresden Files: Harry Dresden has a chequered past and a few anti-heroic deeds to his name that make the White Council of Wizards extremely leery of him, including sheltering a dangerous fugitive in Turn Coat, so the Senior Councilor Ancient Mai is absolutely gobsmacked to see that he has the loyalty and guardianship of a celestial Temple Dog.
  • In Firebird (Lackey), pretty much all the animals in the palace and on its ground like Ilya and are willing to help him and tell him secrets (once he can talk to them).
  • Crookshanks the cat in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban seems awfully fond of Sirius, to the point of having a Go Through Me moment to protect him. It's kind of an early sign that Sirius is actually a good guy, but Harry's initial conclusion is that it must mean Crookshanks is bad.
  • Though Commodore Sir Aivars Terekhov, like most of the Honorverse, is hardly evil, he is notoriously ruthless in the service of his star nation. Which makes it absolutely hilarious when Dicey the Maine Coon cat jumps on his lap and orders the human to pet him — an order to which the human in question instantly capitulates. Michelle Henke finds the sight quite amusing.
  • In the Hurog duology, Ward's younger sister can't talk due to psychological issues. While she isn't quite as good as the evil-detecting baby (sometimes she doesn't get along with people who are more or less harmless), there are lots of moments where she serves as the metaphorical dog. People who are nice to her are usually trustworthy. Ward is impressed when he meets a woman who can understand his sister's body langauge and facial expressions, and "talk" to her in a way. He ends up getting together with that woman.
  • Into The Broken Lands: Lord Ryan expects "the Weapon", a hulking mage-crafted construct of terrifying power, to be a monster he needs to control with the Last Command. He finds her living peacefully in a town where the children use her as a Human Jungle Gym.
  • P. G. Wodehouse:
    • In the Jeeves and Wooster story "Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest", the unbidden guest in question buys a dog, ties it to a table and leaves it there. The creature attacks everyone who approaches it, but adores Jeeves.
    • The short story "Honeysuckle Cottage" features a manly, detective-novel-writing protagonist who finds himself pestered by a particularly stupid, ugly-looking dog who takes a liking to him. After the dog saves him from essentially becoming the hero of a soupy Romance Novel, the feeling becomes mutual and the dog stays on as a Loyal Animal Companion from thereon in.
  • Simon Black at Sea by Ivan Southall. Despite being warned that Dr. Chant is a Mad Scientist and (gasp) Eastern European! our heroes are surprised when their Alsatian Rex takes a liking to him. Then Chant locks them in the ship's brig and Alan scolds Rex for letting them down. It's foreshadowing for The Reveal that Chant is a Well-Intentioned Extremist rather than an outright villain.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, one of the first hints that the whoremongering Depraved Dwarf Tyrion was actually one of the only decent members of the Lannister family was an early breakfast scene where he was playing with, and adored by, his youngest niece and nephew.
    • And it's a sign of his brother Jaime's incipient Heel–Face Turn when Brienne of Tarth stops calling him 'Kingslayer' and starts calling him by the respectful 'Ser Jaime'.
    • An almost literal example occurs when Bran first meets Sam, under worrying circumstances (coming up out of the well in a castle infamous for gruesome ghost stories) - when Bran's wolf Summer licks Sam's hand, Bran decides he can trust him.
  • Xanth gives us Anathe Ma, who is an ugly crone who is the second person that Bubbles lets pet. Note that the other person is the one who saved her life.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Cruelly subverted in Chojin Sentai Jetman. After being cast out by Empress Juza, Radiguet gets found and cared for by a girl, only to kill her once he regains his position.
  • Cowboy Bebop (2021). When Faye Valentine first lays eyes on Welsh corgi Ein, her response is shock (dogs are so rare she's only seen them in a zoo), greed (they're worth between 20-30 million woolongs), and hunger (they're reputed to be good eating). Her trying to dog-nap Ein shortly afterwards doesn't help matters. After she nearly gets killed saving millions of lives from a terrorist missile, she's woken up after being recovered from her crashed spacecraft by Ein licking her face (to her disgust). It's at this point that Spike is willing to accept her on the BeBop (having expressed an urge to shoot Faye several times during the episode).
  • Martin in basically every episode of Doc Martin. Some episodes almost use the dog as a link.
  • On Eureka, Taggart has a long running self-declared rivalry with Lowjack, a dog with a stated IQ over 100. There is an episode where he gets injured, and Taggart, being the best veterinarian in Eureka, is asked to treat him. As soon as he is alone with Lowjack, he starts going on about how he has the dog right where he wants him. Lowjack raises his head and licks Taggart's face. Taggart's response, "Alright, truce."
  • In the original pilot to Firefly, the young cute Kaylee, in what she thinks might be her last words, assures Mal that he and Simon are "good people" in spite of their own questionable actions up to that point.
    • Mal is quite a hardass initially but Kaylee loves him so the audience can't help loving him, too.
  • Daphne on Frasier comments "Canines have a very keen sense of who's a nice person and who isn't. Why, many's the time I've chosen a man based solely on the way my mum's springer spaniel took to them." In response, Niles secretly smears his neck with pate to make Eddie's puppies lick him.
  • While Uncle Jesse on Full House falls into Cuteness Proximity around his nieces, he has...less fondness for animals. Naturally, every animal that ever walked through the door (from their dog Comet, to a warthog, to a donkey, to a monkey) took an instant liking to Jesse.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The first sign that Jojen Reed is a good guy is that the very aggressive and protective Summer refuses to attack him.
    • One of the early signs that the audience received that Tyrion is more than a drunken whoremonger and a rare decent Lannister is how much the metaphorical dogs Tommen and Myrcella adore him, and he is shown to adore them in return. There's also Podrick's adorable Undying Loyalty towards him.
    • When Stannis' daughter Shireen sees him for the first time in a while, she squeals and hugs him.
  • The title character of House has a tendency to get licked by the dog:
    • When House gets temporary custody of Wilson's dog Hector, Hector seems to like him quite a bit — by the end, Hector's walking with a limp, apparently because House trained him to. Apparently is the key word here: he slammed a door on his leg by accident (initially he wanted the dog to run away and get hit by a car). After an incident where Hector ate a bottle of his Vicodin, House decided he liked him. By the end of the episode, both are shown to have bonded over their mutual addiction.
    • House is hugged by the Littlest Cancer Patient at the end of "Autopsy." Notably, House subverts this slightly by refusing to hug her back and looking extremely uncomfortable.
    • In "Lines in the Sand" the autistic kid gives him his PSP. Given how....defensive some low-functioning autistic get with things, that is as Licked by the Dog as it gets.
    • In "Fetal Position" he was doing an operation on a pregnant woman's tummy when the baby got his hand out and grabbed House's finger. Following that, he stopped referring to it as a fetus, and started calling it a baby. The baby's mother even names her son after House. Damn, he sure is prone to this trope!
  • In Lost, newborn baby Aaron incessantly cries any time he can't hear Jerkass Sawyer's voice. The reveal of Sawyer's tragic backstory had already started him on turning into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold but this episode seemed to cement that direction for him.
  • "She like you..." When Dan Ashcroft gets a haircut in Nathan Barley, the barber's cat Elizabeth takes a shine to him shortly before Ashcroft accidentally stabs Elizabeth in the head with a pair of scissors.
  • Our Miss Brooks sees Mr. Conklin soften on several occasions. One such example is the episode "The Miserable Caballero", where Mr. Conklin softens toward Benny Romero, a runaway Mexican boy.
  • Person of Interest:
    • A literal example with Sameen Shaw who is a self-admitted Sociopathic Hero, and is still liked by Team Machine's dog Bear. She also really likes him. Its even become a Running Gag where she will either state she is only on the team for the dog, or other characters commenting that "only the dog likes you".
    • Bear also completely avoids Root at first, until the episode where she officially becomes a Token Evil Teammate. He's then found in her cell, calmly watching her read and allowing her to pet him.
  • J.D towards Dr. Cox in Scrubs.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode "Singularity," the only member of the SG-1 team that the little girl Cassandra will approach is Scary Black Man Teal'c. Although, to be fair, the other team-members look kind of intimidating in their Haz-Mat suits. Still, this is one of Teal'c's first really gentle moment on the show. He is shown eventually to be a Friend to All Children.
  • T'Pol on Star Trek: Enterprise. Porthos climbs up to be petted, sorta taking the wind out of her Vulcan superiority moment.
    • Proving it's not because Spock is half human that the tribbles liked him. "Its trilling seems to have a tranquilizing effect on the human nervous system! Fortunately, I am...immune to its effect...." Cue everybody looking up as he trails off, stroking it. Once he realizes what he's doing, he puts it down and walks off with what's left of his emotionless Vulcan pride.
      Kirk: They don't like Klingons. But they do like Vulcans.
      Spock: They are highly perceptive creatures.
  • Likewise, when the O'Briens were away, their second child only stopped crying when he was held by Worf on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
    • In Star Trek: The Next Generation he is the only person on the ship who doesn't have to go to Crusher after holding Data's cat (besides Data, of course).
      • Also Lt. Barclay.
  • Daryl Dixon of The Walking Dead is probably the biggest badass in the whole crew. Largely remorseless, crossbow wielding, Walker killing machine. And he's the first person who can calm Lori's baby, who he affectionately dubs "Little Asskicker".
    • In a similar vein, Michonne is introduced as a cold, anti-social loner who makes no attempt to mingle with the rest of the group. Carl is the first person to take a shine to her, and one of the few people she's ever opened up to about her past. By season 6, the two are officially surrogate mother and son.
  • At one point on The West Wing, President Bartlet hugs Toby with a schmoopy "awwww....c'mere". Fits this particular trope because at the time, Bartlet was completely stoned on painkillers and acting in a very innocent childlike manner.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Literally in the case of Perro Auagayo Jr. He may be the most hated rudo of his time, but that doesn't stop dogs from showing him unconditional love, which he happily returns.

    Video Games 
  • Comes up in Cave Story, during your Fetch Quest to collect Jenka's puppies, after a number of other strangers have mistaken you for a dangerous killer:
    Jenka: They seem to just adore you. My puppies don't waste their affection on bad sorts.
  • After the Anti-Villain Magus joins your party in Chrono Trigger, you can visit the ruins of his hometown. If Magus is in your main party at the time, his pet cat from when he was a child follows him around, mewing continuously.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dog in Dragon Age: Origins really likes Morrigan. While his gift to her, a dead rabbit he left in her pack of unmentionables, wasn't exactly appreciated, Morrigan's "dialogue" with Dog shows that his affection does eventually wear down her defenses. In the "Witch Hunt" DLC, Dog is overjoyed when he is reunited with Morrigan.
    • Resident Empath and Spirit of Compassion Cole in Dragon Age Inquisition's Trespasser DLC is the only companion who approves of wishing to rush in and save your former ally Solas from the Qunari, even after it's revealed that he's Jumped Off The Slippery Slope.
  • Dragon Quest V: The hero, by a wild sabrecat. It turns out to be his and Bianca's pet "kitty" from childhood. Ironically, the people of the town that the sabrecat was terrorizing think that it means the protagonist planned the whole thing.
  • Dogmeat in all the Fallout games that feature him. (Although you can turn him away.)
  • Somewhat inverted in Final Fantasy VI, as it's the dog that's supposed to be as unsociable as its owner, Shadow. But when Relm treats Interceptor like an adorable little puppy, he reciprocates. Somehow, this shifts the implications of the trope onto Shadow by proxy. It probably helps that Relm may be Shadow's daughter.
    • To explain, she IS his daughter and Interceptor used to be the family pet of Shadow's wife (who died shortly after Relm was born) who went with him after he ran off. Interceptor remembers Relm from when she was a baby.
  • In Jak II: Renegade the crocadog doesn't like anyone except the kid (its owner) and our newly badass hero. Jak doesn't seem to mind. This makes perfect sense, since they're actually the same person at different ages.
    • The kid himself also shows fondness towards Jak, who is visibly startled when the toddler tries to take his hand.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • In Pathologic 2, the children of the Town instinctively trust Artemy, even though all their parents hate him because he was (falsely) accused of murder. This establishes not only Artemy's heroic nature, but the fact that Pathologic children are usually more knowledgeable than actual adults.
  • Pokémon:
    • Golbat evolves into Crobat by liking its trainer a lot. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl's Cyrus is a madman who plots to destroy and recreate the world without emotion. Naturally, he owns a Crobat.
    • Similarly, in Pokémon Gold and Silver and their remakes, rival character Silver, a trainer who views pokemon only as tools for battle, starts using a Zubat early on, which quickly evolves into Golbat. It does not evolve into Crobat, however, until he starts to learn the error of his ways and view pokemon as friends.
    • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet has Penny, secretly the leader of Team Star, be on the receiving end from each game's respective mascot Legendary licking her. It might look awkward slightly, as Koraidon's tongue never actually touches her and Miraidon's is nonexistent, but it shows these Pokemon can sense her desires to make amends.
  • In Silent Hill 2, everybody's out to manipulate, insult, or kill James. But at least Mira the shiba inu shows him a morsel of affection.
  • In Touhou 11: Subterranean Animism, the heroine is warned to fear the master of the Palace of Earth Spirits, a youkai who can read minds and use your very thoughts against you. The youkai in question, Satori Komeiji, has No Social Skills because of this (and her tendency to read thoughts out loud)... but animals (and formerly-animal youkai) adore her because she understands them better than anyone else.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the second case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, Jinxie, who's normally terrified of anyone who looks even moderately unusual, is perfectly fine with Simon Blackquill, even sympathizing with him and offering him a charm to relieve insomnia, despite the fact that Blackquill makes other Obviously Evil Ace Attorney villains look positively subtle by comparison. Of course, he's not the villain at all.

  • In El Goonish Shive, the black-haired antisocial ultra-feminist, hard-ass girl Susan finds herself to be the unwilling target of the cat-hedgehog hybrid Jeremy's affection - and, according to a certain background image, the affection of cute and fuzzy animals in general. After Character Development set in and she learned to be more open with others, she became more of a normal-feminist Deadpan Snarker. The hedgecat was right!
  • In Girl Genius, Tarvek spent his first appearance going through a Heel–Face Revolving Door, and even when he settled for the good side people doubted his loyalties. But still, he is well-liked by the wasp-eater weasels he rescued.
    "They can be quite vicious when they sense wasps, but mostly they just ignore people. Unless ...
    unless they really like you!"
  • In one PepsiaPhobia storyline, Phobia gets a literal Licked by the Dog moment — the dog in question is Gastro's birthday present, and Phobia's surly attitude is because instead of the big hunting breed she'd intended to get, the only puppy left was a tiny Pomeranian-looking thing.
  • In Tales of the Questor, Quentyn frolicks with the puppies in the monastery barn when their mother comes up. After inspecting him, she licks his face.
  • In A-gnosis' comics on Greek myth, Hades has a Hidden Heart of Gold and is widely feared by humans... which confuses a human family who realizes that their dog is ecstatically getting a tummy rub from the Lord of the Dead.
  • Whale Star: The Gyeongseong Mermaid: The first hint that Haesu isn't simply the ruthless hardass rebel Su-a thinks of him as is that 13-year-old Nokju adores him. It is later revealed that they lived in the same Korean settlement in Russia, and traveled to Seoul together after a massacre happened in their village.

    Web Videos 
  • Basically, The Nostalgia Chick's dream is to be an Evil Overlord. However, Mignon (her puppy) will always lick her face out of love whatever the situation, and the Chick carries her around like a security stuffed animal.
  • Early in his run, back before Doug figured out how to make him a proper Jerk with a Heart of Gold, The Nostalgia Critic had a few of these from Chester. In a nice progression, Critic ended up taking care of him and was the only one to give him money.
  • Noob:
    • Stupid Good Manchild Sparadrap is a frequent source of this, due to his tendency to give an equally friendly treatment to friend, foe and complete stranger. The two only people he doesn't like have respectively killed his much cared-about virtual pets and ended up breaking his guildmaster's heart in the long run. An element revealed in the comic and strongly hinted at in the movie is that one of the hostile enemy players he likes is a police inspector in real life.
    • Golgotha has a Big Sister Instinct towards her childhood friend Gaea, despite Gaea being a Manipulative Bastard and a Dirty Coward during most of the story.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Prince Zuko gets licked by Appa the giant sky bison when he shows up to convince the Gaang that he's actually a decent guy. Justified because he was the one who freed Appa from captivity by the Dai Li, giving Appa a good reason to like him; subverted when they don't believe him anyway.
      Sokka: He probably just covered himself in honey or something so that Appa would lick him.
    • The Earth King's bear Bosco likes Aang, but he's established as not being an especially reliable judge of character.
  • In an episode of Beetlejuice, the title character was once punished by being lowered into a pit of cloying sweetness, including unusually friendly kittens. He's not exactly a villain in the series, but he has little tolerance for anything like them.
  • In Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, when they are enlisted to help a planet that is 99.9% water, an unidentified little fish saves Kevin's life when his suit breaks and he can no longer breathe. The fish acts like a dog and spends the rest of the episode following Kevin around, much to his annoyance. At the end of the episode, Kevin convinces the fish (nicely) to stay on its home planet.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Wheeler is the least enthusiastic about the group's mission and has the shortest temper in the lot. However, his heart of gold is hinted at given that Ma-Ti (whose powers render him completely immune to deception) enjoys his company and shows mild Big Brother Worship towards him.
  • In the TV show version of Clifford the Big Red Dog, Clifford seems fond of Rich Bitch Lovable Alpha Bitch Jetta and often licks her, which she usually finds disgusting. Given that he's...larger than the usual dogs, Jetta may have a point there.
  • Futurama:
    • In "The Bird Bot of Ice-Catraz", after some time thinking he's a penguin, Bender reboots back to human mode. A couple of penguins still waddle over and cuddle up to him.
    • In "The Cyber House Rules," Bender finds out he'll get a government stipend for adopting an orphan and quickly adopts the Orphanarium's entire brood of 12. It works about as well as you'd expect and he ultimately gives them back, but they all retain their adoration for "Daddy Bender" and even give him a picture they drew of themselves with him, which he criticizes and crumples up in front of them before quietly smoothing it out and sticking it to the inside of his chest door with a magnet as soon as he thinks they're not looking. The kids catch him in the act and delightedly swarm him.
  • In the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas special, Skeletor is licked by a dog-like creature that he suddenly becomes quite fond of. Skeletor learns the meaning of Christmas and is actually nice—but just for this episode.
  • The Incredible Hulk (1996): Hulk is actually pretty friendly so long as others treat him kindly, so this kind of thing comes up now and then, but "Man to Man, Beast to Beast" features a literal example. After his transformation in the Canadian wilderness, Hulk is snarling mad, until he's approached by a friendly puppy that just wants to play. The puppy's owner (a small child) ends up befriending the big guy, too, and eventually convinces the other locals that he's good.
  • The Long Long Holiday: when Otto rushes to the Marteau farm to warn them about the other German soldiers, their dog, Fourteen, looks up briefly but then lies back down. More of a symbolic example, since Otto has been living there for years at this point, but the way it's shot seems deliberate. In contrast, Fourteen barks like usual when Hans shows up, and gets shot for it.
  • Subverted in the Looney Tunes short "Bowery Bugs"; Bugs's opponent is sprawled on the street. A dog walks up, and licks him. Then it walks away, disgusted.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In the episode entitled "Dog of Death," Homer comes across as uncharacteristically heartless when he refuses to pay for a life-saving operation for the family dog (not wanting to give up his beer money). But after the dog adorably licks his hand, Homer groans and grudgingly agrees to the operation.
    • The end of "Simpsons Roasting On an Open Fire," where Homer loses at the dog track after betting on Santa's Little Helper. The dog is chased off by his angry owner and jumps into Homer's arms.
      Bart: Aw, can we keep him, Dad? Please!
      Homer: But he's a loser! He's pathetic! He's... (the dog licks him) a Simpson.
    • In "Moe Baby Blues," Moe accidentally saves Maggie from falling into the river while attempting suicide. He's baffled at first, even when the town starts cheering for him, but when Maggie gives him a kiss, his face breaks into the sweetest smile.
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars has an alien child being the first to welcome back mutated villagers.
  • In one episode of Teen Titans, a sapient talking dog-like alien really really likes Raven. The fact that he's sapient makes this example somewhat creepier than usual.
  • In Season 8 of Winx Club, Aryo, an abused black unicorn who doesn't trust anyone, surprisingly takes a liking to Diaspro right away, which he shows by licking her face, much to her disgust.

    Real Life 
  • Invoked Trope with photo-ops of celebrities and politicians of all stripes taking pictures with adorable animals or children. Hitler (as seen above) and Stalin were particularly fond of doing this.