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Mister Muffykins

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"Even the tiniest Poodle or Chihuahua is still a wolf at heart."
Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, Dogs: The Wolf Within

There is a particular kind of little yappy dog who tends to get on a lot of people's nerves.

The thing is, as theorized by no less than Gary Larson of The Far Side fame, it might not be the dogs that people have a problem with so much. It may actually be the rather specific kind of person who tends to have little yappy dogs named Mr. Muffykins (or something equally ludicrous). In fiction, Idle Rich old ladies or Grande Dames in particular tend to have a small pack of little fluffy creatures. In older fiction, said dogs will have foul little hearts and minds deep within their fluffy little bodies, to go along with Aristocrats Are Evil archetypes. Nowadays, they're often the preferred pet of the Rich Bitch.

This Trope has its origins in the fact that small dogs were largely associated with the rich. Up until the mid-20th century, smaller dog breeds were usually used as status symbols for the wealthy, while larger dog breeds were bred primarily for practical purposes, such as farming, hunting, and manual labor. Because small dogs were useless when it came to work, thus emerged the stereotype of them being lazy and pampered. Even after dogs began to become associated with companionship as opposed to wealth or practicality, this stereotype managed to stick.

Newer versions of this Trope may have their roots in a very odd phenomenon. Increasingly, it seems as if some people (generally older and either childless or suffering severe empty-nest syndrome) are confusing lap dogs with furry little children. Think of how lonely and delusional Geppetto had to have been to treat a cat, a goldfish, and an inanimate hunk of wood as his children. Alternatively, they are either Corrupt Corporate Executives or Diabolical Masterminds who like to have their favorite canine furballs as Angry Guard Dogs or Right Hand Attack Dogs at their leash.

In any case, we now live in a world where, if you wanted to do so, you could get your terrier's nails painted as she gets fitted for a thousand-dollar collar. Never mind the fact that dogs are very obviously (you'd think) not little furry humans, and have markedly different wants and needs. Your terrier would be just as happy — and probably more happy — with an inexpensive, comfortable fabric collar — to protect your Evil Plan progression, and an afternoon playing with you in the park.

So an increasingly common subversion has been to show the dog itself as a sympathetic character; a victim of too much misguided attention with a master who is delusional if not outright hateful. While the trope is older than this, one has to wonder how many of these are influenced by Paris Hilton's dog.

For the record, most people in reality who have small dogs are more sensible even when they do think of them as "furbabies". Tiny "purse" dogs are a matter of convenience, especially in an urban environment. A smaller dog needs much less space to be happy, and they also tend to live longer than larger breeds.

Expect this character to be Fluffy the Terrible and Cute, but Cacophonic, whether friendly or evil. If they can back up their bark with bite, this makes them a Killer Rabbit or Super-Persistent Predator, overlapping with Beware of Vicious Dog moment. If they can't but they try to fight anyway, they are a Boisterous Weakling. If they are used as active fighter pets, that overlaps with Right-Hand Attack Dog. Compare The Napoleon, Angry Guard Dog, Savage Wolves, Cats Are Mean and Psycho Poodle, and contrast Cute Kitten, Precious Puppy and Big Friendly Dog. And please don't make it an Emergency Food Supply Animal... as there's barely enough meat here for an hors d'oeuvre. The really annoying form of Mister Muffykins can make a Kick the Dog very satisfying indeed.

If the Mister Muffykins is also a Hellhound, be VERY AFRAID.

Contrast Men Like Dogs, Women Like Cats, to which small purse-sized dogs tend to be an exception. If they are actually named "Mister Muffykins" or something similar, they're a Formally-Named Pet.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Iggy from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders is a Boston Terrier who makes an ass of himself on several occasions, though he's more flatulent than loud. His egotistical attitude is not a product of being pampered, but because he's not afraid of abusing his Stand's powers. Still, he gets better, and finally makes a Heroic Sacrifice to save Polnareff.
  • There's also Madame Shijimi in Naruto. Her cat, Tora, often gets loose and runs into the forest, so a common Genin mission is to retrieve it.
  • Madame Muchmoney/Mrs. Kaneyo and her Snubbull (who is essentially a parody of little fluffy dogs) in Pokémon: The Original Series. She wanted to marry it to a Monocle-Wearing Snubbull named "Winthrop". Snubbull herself chose to get the hell out of there and became a recurring character for a while, always seeking to bite on Meowth's tail. She got some closure in a subversion, as when we next see Madame Muchmoney she's become muscular and much less snobbish because she's been trekking through the wildness after her dear Snubbull the entire time. Snubbull evolves to Granbull and the two decide to be a "proper" Pokémon/trainer team.

  • Jamie Wyeth's painting A Very Small Dog centers on a tiny, fluffy white dog in a stroller snarling angrily.

    Comic Books 
  • Several yappy small dogs appear as villains who like to torment and even kill the cats in both the comic and animated versions of Billy the Cat.
  • Spider-Man: In a back-up strip in #647, a P.O.V. Sequel to the whole of Brand New Day from the perspective of the girl who was kissing Peter in the first panel of #546, she has a Mister Muffykins who mysteriously disappears while she's interrogating the Dark Avengers' Spider-Man under the impression he's the one Peter takes pictures of. Burp!
  • Strangers in Paradise: Katchoo's least favorite kind of dog.
  • In the Tintin album The Secret of the Unicorn, Tintin waits for an extended period of time in the pouring rain to use a phone box. After what is implied to be at least a half hour, an old woman with a small dog exits, saying "We can go now Fifi, it has stopped raining." She gets an extremely dirty look from him. Note that Tintin is the proud owner of Milou/Snowy, a wire fox terrier.
  • Brief Conversational Troping in Justice League Europe, when Catherine Colbert is informed the team HQ is being moved from London to Vienna, and laments that they'll be sitting in cafes watching old ladies feeding cake to their dogs.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side.
    • Subverted in one strip (the one where he theorizes why people hate these dogs having more to do with the owner than the dogs themselves) where the owner (a typicaly heavyset Far Side woman of indeterminate age) shouting at her dog Fifi to come home, Fifi running like mad towards the door, and... the pet door propped and nailed shut from the inside.
    • Another strip has three poodles discussing the pros and cons of murdering their owner.
  • Freewheelin' Franklin of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers walks several blocks out of his way to avoid a little dog who runs out and bites him every time he passes a certain house. He finally stymies her with an airhorn... temporarily.
  • Prince Charles, the spoiled pet corgi belonging to Aunt Dolly in Footrot Flats.
  • Twice in FoxTrot, Peter has had to take care of a dog named Fauntleroy, whose level of aggressiveness directly contrasts his size.
  • Poo Poo in Pooch Café, although he hates being treated this way.

    Fan Works 
  • Yukari's Pug in Apartment Gensokyo to a degree. She acts like a lapdog would, though she is rather friendly, but can be annoying and normally being referred to as to being rather yappy. This is mostly so in chapter 59, where she barks, at intermittent periods.
  • Bucky Barnes, of all people, acquires a "half terrier/half pedigree dust mop" in these Marvel Cinematic Universe stories. Punk is a downplayed example, since he's excitable and not terribly bright but reasonably good-natured and not too yappy.
  • The Bolt Chronicles: A female version in this case. Carmen, the little chihuahua in "The Service Dog," is a yapping, obnoxious critter who first pesters and then bites Bolt. Her owner plies her with calming treats in an apparently unsuccessful attempt to sedate her, and dresses her in a service dog vest so she can bring her along wherever she goes as well as get free rides on the bus. Lampshaded at the subsequent courtroom proceedings, in which Judge Trudy refers to Carmen using this term.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Chipmunk Adventure features a pair of very, very '80s villains and their unpleasant little dog, Sophie.
  • Fifi, the poodle from Open Season 2; a good not-so-old example of one of these little yappers having an evil little heart.
  • Phantom Boy: The crooks in the movie have a nasty, yappie little dog in their ranks. It's not a spoiled, pampered type of dog, but it is just as loud and tempermental. One of the crooks summed him up after witnessing his viciousness thusly.
    Crook: This dog has the soul of a shark in the body of a squirrel.
  • Percy from Pocahontas. In most normal situations he's actually rather quiet and subdued, but when he's agitated or panicked, he gets very, very loud.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Heather's annoying Pomeranian Bulli in Bait 3D. Her boyfriend Kirby can't stand the thing. It even manages to survive a shark attack.
  • Barking Dogs Never Bite: The bane of Yun-ju's existence. He kills a loud, annoying, yappy little dog—or at least he thinks he does. After finding out he got the wrong one, he kills a second little yappy dog by throwing it off the roof of the apartment complex. Then his wife brings home still a third annoying, yappy little dog.
  • The movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua is about a typical spoiled Miss Muffykins (a white Chihuahua named Chloe) who gets lost in Mexico and learns she is the descendant of proud Aztec warriors. Yes, this movie is real. And it has two sequels, even!
  • An odd version appears in Blade: Trinity, where Triple H's character owns two large rottweilers and a little pomeranian named Pacman, all of which are the result of genetic engineering to make them split-faced vampires.
    Hannibal King: [spots the Pomeranian] Oh fuck me. [rottweilers join it] Oh fuck me sideways!
  • In Bruiser, Henry's wife Janine has a yappy toy poodle that he despises. When he suffers his breakdown, one of his first acts is to shoot a framed photo of the dog.
  • In The Con is On, Jackie owns a spoilt Chihuahua named Conchita. Partway through the con, Harry poses as a 'dog whisperer' and starts pretending to interpret for the dog.
  • In Copycat, Peter Foley's bedridden (and probably hypochondriac) wife as a small yappy terrier that she keeps with her even while in bed. The dog presumably perishes alongside its mistress when Peter torches the family home.
  • Travis Cole in the movie Dirty Work.
  • The Eiger Sanction. Miles Mellough has Faggot, an annoying yappy dog with a tendency to hump legs without invitation. After Hemlock abandons his master in the desert to die, Faggot leaves him without hesitation to hitch a ride back in Hemlock's pickup.
    Hemlock: Pretty quiet now, aren't you? You little prick.
  • A Fish Called Wanda: The key witness to the robbery is an old lady with three small Yorkies, who end up getting killed off one by one each time Ken -the animal lover- tries to assassinate the old lady.
  • In Go West, Young Lady, eastern lady Bill (a.k.a. Belinda) owns a lapdog named Waffles, which seems out of place in The Wild West.
  • High School (2010): Psycho Ed has a security system in place to keep people from stealing his drugs. Said system is a poofy little black dog who barks loudly when it spots Henry doing exactly that.
  • From the second movie on, Sharpay from the High School Musical series has a dog named "Boi," who is played by the Kenny Ortega's real life dog, Manly.
  • In Horror Express, the Countess owns a lapdog named Alinka that doubles as an Evil-Detecting Dog.
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service: During training, the Kingsman candidates each have to choose a puppy that they will raise throughout the training session. Eggsy picks a pug (under the mistaken belief that it's a bulldog) and is seen struggling with it because it possesses a stubbornness that belies its size. Harry's revealed to have chosen a terrier he named "Mr. Pickles".
  • Elle with Bruiser the (Gay) Chihuahua in Legally Blonde. (They were even wearing matching Jacquelin Kennedy hats at one point.)
  • Natalie (Sarah Jessica Parker) in Mars Attacks! has a yapping Chihuahua that she carries everywhere. In an horrible yet hilarious turn of events, when they're captured by the martians, both are beheaded and the dog's head is sewn on Natalie's body, and vice versa. By the end of the film, while the martians are dying, the dog in a woman's body takes the chance to strangle one of the martians, while still yapping at it.
  • Money Movers: Eric's wife Dawn has an annoying spaniel that she dotes on and takes everywhere. When Eric and Brian are discussing their plans to flee the country after The Heist, Brian asks if Eric is upset that he will have to leave Dawn behind. Eric's response is a simple no, and adds that it will mean Dawn can finally marry the dog like she's always wanted.
  • In Ms. 45, Thana's landlady owns an annoying pug named Phil, who barks incessantly and keeps threatening to uncover the corpse Thana has concealed in her apartment. Thana ultimately takes Phil for a walk, planning to kill him. However, she ultimately unable to do so.
  • Foo-Foo, the evangelist's wife's dog in the spoof Repossessed, gets tossed into a woodchipper by the frustrated evangelist. It was sweet justice.
    Fanny: ''Hello everyone! Oh, and say "Hi!" to Foo-Foo!"
    Audience: "Hi, Foo-Foo!"
  • Queenie in the Danny Kaye version of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, who sits in a high chair to eat, wears a bib, and barks whenever the main character moves.
  • Snakes on a Plane features blonde socialite Mercedes and her teacup Chihuahua Mary Kate as two of the ill-fated passengers. Mercedes carries the little yipyap dog in her purse and even has antidepressants for it. Mary Kate ultimately gets fed to a boa constrictor, who turns on and devours the asshole who threw it the dog.
  • Lex Luthor's girlfriend has one of these in Superman Returns.
    Lex: Weren't there two of those?
  • Venom (2018): When the Venom Symbiote is briefly separated from his preferred host Eddie, he escapes notice by possessing a nearby Pomeranian that had been yapping at him. For the most part, though, he sees toy dogs as tasty-looking snacks.
  • What's the Worst That Could Happen?: Gloria owns a yappy Brussels Griffon (incorrectly identified as a Yorkie) named Pumpkin, that barks at everyone except her and Detective Tardio.

  • Mrs. Pumphrey and her Pekingese Tricki Woo from the All Creatures Great And Small novels and TV series by James Herriot. This is a relatively benign example, since Tricki is very good-natured and his owner is a very well-meaning person, but highly over-indulgent of Tricki's appetite. Although Tricki has luxurious habits such as keeping a Pen Friend/Pal with another dog and gambling on horses, he always sends a large wine, cheese, and sausage basket to the vet clinic for Christmas.
    • A straighter James Herriot example would be Ruffles and Muffles Whithorn, described in The Lord God Made Them All. Their owners spoil them rotten and use no discipline at all, resulting in the two dogs becoming very aggressive and making visits to their home a severe trial for the unlucky Dr. Herriot.
  • In Animorphs, Marco's stepmother has a toy poodle named "Euclid" (she's a math teacher) who barks and acts annoying whenever it gets the least little bit excited. Unlike many other examples of the trope, it really is the poodle that is annoying, while the owner is someone Marco can learn to like. At the end of the book, Marco learns to accept his father's choice to get remarried, but he still hates the dog. Later on he turns into the dog to harass a (secretly psychotic) celebrity philanthropist Controller into attempting to strangle him on live television. It worked.
  • Vae the Sceltie in Black Jewels. Picture a telepathic Sheltie with the high energy and protective bossiness of a herding dog and the personality of a Tiny Tyrannical Girl.
  • Discworld:
    • It's implied that Big Fido, the mad poodle that led the anti-human "Dog's Guild" in Men at Arms was one of these before he went insane.
    • Making Money features a slightly more likable example in Topsy Lavish's dog Mr. Fusspot.
    • In The Truth, Gaspode attempts to disguise himself as one of these, with mixed results:
      Narrator: All in all, the effect was not of a poodle, but of malformed poodlosity. That is to say, everything about it suggested "poodle" except for the whole thing itself, which suggested walking away.
    • Lord Vetinari once had an elderly terrier named Wuffles, perhaps his own version of the Right-Hand Cat. It wasn't terribly obnoxious though, having a thin wheezing bark and no teeth. Also notable for being the only character to fight Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip (in The Truth) head on and come away unscathed. No wonder Vetinari keeps him around, he's nearly as badass as his owner.
    • By the time of Making Money, Wuffles has died and we learn that the vastly cynical and pragmatic Vetinari still leaves the dog's favorite brand of dog biscuit on his grave every week. It's likely that Vetinari confiscated Mr. Fusspot for companionship, as well as to actually own the chairman of the bank.
  • These appear in Doglands as pampered pet dogs for rich people. Of note is Zinni, a Papillon who keeps on getting loose and caught by the dog catchers. One day, Zinni gets kidnapped by a man who steals her diamond-studded collar and abandons her. The next day her owner comes to pick her up from the shelter but ends up falling for a Chihuahua instead. She abandons Zinni because "Chihuahuas have become more fashionable than papillons".
  • The small dog breeds from the Dogs of the Drowned City trilogy. The big dogs find them so annoying that they call them a word they don't like: yappers.
  • In The Dresden Files, Abby the psychic has a Yorkie dog named Toto. Observing how Toto gets to ride around in a carry-case brings out a disappointed sigh from Mouse, Harry's foo dog, who's so big he can only just get a ride in Harrys car.
  • C. S. Lewis's The Four Loves talks about having pets and the possibility of giving them this treatment, and how the animal could never tell the truth about its ruined life even if it could realize the extent of the damage.
  • The version of the Lady encountered by Repairman Jack in Gateways has a chihuahua named Irving (pronounced Oyving). He's a classic cute, handbag-riding Mister Muffykins and secret Killer Rabbit.
  • Maria's dog Furball in House of the Scorpion, described as a "shrill, rat-sized dog that forgot his house training when he got excited."
  • The Labours of Hercules, a short story collection by Agatha Christie, has these pups as a plot in the first story, "The Nemean Lion." Specifically, a crime ring seems to be kidnapping the Pekingese of rich women by cutting their leashes in the park; the dognappers then send a ransom note demanding money for the Peke's safe return, at the risk of cutting off the poor dog's ears. It's a very successful scam—over sixteen dogs are stolen in this way—but Poirot is able to solve the mystery: the crime ring consists of the owners' "companions," or ladies-in-waiting, who are often treated like garbage. Amy Carnaby, the group's leader, hits upon the idea to exploit this trope by switching the rich women's dogs with her own Peke when they go for a walk, then deliberately cutting the leash — her pet is smart enough to make his way home on his own. Poirot expresses sympathy for the women's cause, and even uses his fees from the case as a "final donation" after they agree to cease operations.
  • The "dreadful little snapping pug-dog" in the Charles Dickens story The Magic Fishbone.
  • In the first Mary Poppins book, Miss Lark very much plays the stereotypical rich old lady who dotes on her spoiled and pampered lapdog. Said lapdog, Andrew, is revealed to absolutely hate this treatment and wish for a simpler dog's life.
  • In the Molly Moon books, the first ally Molly makes is a pug belonging to the owner of her orphanage, who dotes on it. Petula, the dog, is fed tons of cookies, which give her horrible stomachaches, making her nasty. Molly cures her of her cookie addiction via hypnotherapy, and she becomes lovable and friendly without the horrible pain.
  • In T. H. White's The Once and Future King, Queen Morgause (who in this adaptation (and Le Morte d'Arthur) is the mother of Mordred; Morgan La Fay is Morgause's sister and doesn't get involved in the story until later) has a succession of these little lapdogs. Mordred grows up hating them, but as an increasingly unstable adult starts keeping his own.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: In The Lightning Thief, Percy encounters an aggressive chihuahua wearing a rhinestone collar and owned by a heavyset woman wearing a denim dress. The woman is actually Echidna, the mother of all monsters, and the chihuahua is her son, the Chimera. And even in his true form, the Chimera still has the rhinestone collar.
  • In Seventeen by Booth Tarkington, Lola Pratt constantly addresses her lapdog Flopit in Baby Talk.
  • Buffalo Bill, a kidnapper and Serial Killer in The Silence of the Lambs has one named Precious. Its strident needy yapping gives that extra inflection to the already horrific pit scenes.
  • Survivor Dogs:
    • Sunshine is a Spoiled Sweet Maltese whose owners evacuated during an earthquake, leaving Sunshine on her own. Maltese are high-maintence and bred to be companion dogs, so Sunshine isn't very fit to be a Free Dog. Early on Lucky finds Sunshine to be annoyingly whiny, though Sunshine quickly learns how to live without humans, and she's prone to making noise. Under Alpha's rule, she's forced into the lowest pack rank and is a lowly Omega. But Sunshine doesn't really mind being treated badly and enjoys taking care of others.
    • Being half-Westie and half-Jack Russel means that Daisy is the embodiment of a tiny, yappy dog. She's very energetic and prone to overreacting.
  • In Warrior Cats, these appear a couple times. It's a relief to the cats to be facing such a small dog, since they often can scare it away, as opposed to the much larger dogs that local humans usually own.
  • One kid's novel, Watchdog and the Coyotes, has a trio of dogs attempting to defend themselves from a pack of ravenous coyotes. One of the dogs, a gentle and kind Great Dane named Sweetie who unsuccessfully tried to make peace with the coyotes, reveals his Dark and Troubled Past where he was given away by his second owners when they thought he attacked and hurt their child Ben and pet poodle. In reality, it was the mean-spirited poodle, Fu-Fu, who bit Ben when he innocently wanted to play with her, prompting Sweetie to immediately attack Fu-Fu for Ben's safety.
  • In Eva Ibbotson's Which Witch?, Sir Simon claims that he murdered one of his seven wives because she had a 'little dog that yapped.'
  • Lauren Child's (best known for Charlie and Lola) picture book Who wants to be a Poodle? I Don't! is about a reluctant Mister Muffykins named Trixie Twinkle Toes who wants to jump in puddles.
  • In E. D. Baker's The Wide-Awake Princess, Annie finds Tomas and Clara at the witch's, ala Hansel and Gretel. Their Wicked Stepmother abandoned them in the woods because she wanted to feed their food to her dogs.
  • Many dogs of this type appear in P. G. Wodehouse's works as the companions to evil aunts and soppy heroines. They're almost universally disliked by the heroes, although Jeeves and Wooster end up becoming quite fond of McIntosh, Aunt Agatha's dim-witted Aberdeen terrier. Some of them (Bartholomew, for instance) are thoroughly nasty, while others, such as the dachshund Poppet, merely seem that way.
    Bertie: He may give you the impression on first meeting you that he intends to determine the color of your insides, but it's all guff. He has to put up a tough front because his name's Poppet.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All Creatures Great and Small (1978) and All Creatures Great & Small (2020) feature Tricki Woo, a pampered Pekingese owned by Mrs. Pumphrey. He's badly spoiled, but the vets go out of their way to take care of him because Mrs. Pumphrey is very generous to those he takes a liking to.
  • Mrs. Bennett and her dog, Mr. Muggles, in Heroes. There are so many fan theories about this otherwise unassuming little Pom. Who says only humans get to be genetically gifted?note  It also said something that when Sylar held the family hostage that fans were upset that he didn't kill it. One deleted scene had him flicking the poor dog through the doggie door once the barking got too much.
  • Mrs. Chase's nasty-tempered lapdog (a.k.a. "the hairy mosquito" or "el perro microscopico") in the Fawlty Towers episode "The Kipper and the Corpse". In the commentary for this episode, John Cleese talks about how, in comedy, you can get away with being far meaner to a smaller dog than to a larger one. Cleese theorizes that this is because small dogs don't register as "dogs" to people, they are, in his words, "basically big hairy insects" and mentions that if Mrs. Chase's dog were a large breed, killing it wouldn't have been funny.
  • Kamen Rider 555 has sort of an amusing take on this, in that the small fluffy dog Chaco is owned by Scary Black Man Mr. J.
  • Then there's Biggles, Janet's mother's dog in My Hero (2000). Biggles hates the way she makes him wear a sweater, and the fact that everyone calls him Biggles despite the fact that his name is actually Malcolm.
  • Downplayed on My Name Is Earl. One of Joy's new neighbors, Carol, owns a pomeranian that gets temporarily blinded following an encounter with the El Camino's tailpipe. Earl is afraid of how she'll react when she finds out, because he knows how much rich women love their little dogs, so he explains to her about Karma and says he'll make it up to her. Carol is intrigued, and wants to know more, because she is seeking something to fill a void in her Idle Rich life.
  • Chester from the The Nanny is an odd one as he hates his owner, C.C., yapping at her, but loves Fran (a bit of Real Life Writes the Plot as the dog was Drescher's dog and would only act affectionate to her).
  • On NCIS, Dr. "Ducky" Mallard's mother has a number of corgis.
  • Reboot (2022): Zack's beloved Butternut turns out to be a horrible little dog. They have to wear industrial gloves just to touch him since he's prone to biting, and he spits on and excretes on Hannah, who quickly regrets letting him stay in her office.
  • One episode of Seinfeld features Elaine battling against a particularly annoying dog; it's so loud that it keeps her up at night and has cost her her voice from shouting. Kramer suggests that they see a "specialist"—namely Newman—to take care of things. When Newman successfully nabs the dog, Elaine is shocked to see how tiny the yapper is.
  • The Professionals. In "A Hiding To Nothing", Bodie pretends to be the meter reader to plant a bug in a woman's flat, a task not made easier by him being followed around the place by her suspicious mother and a couple of yappy dogs.
  • Ugly Betty: Halston, Fey Sommers Chinese Crested dog. He's later adopted by her daughter, Amanda.
  • In The X-Files, Scully inherits a Pomeranian she names Queequeg, of which Mulder is not so fond. He ends up getting eaten by an alligator near the end of season 3.

  • In "Kill The Dog Next Door" by The Arrogant Worms, one of these dogs drives the narrator Ax-Crazy. Eventually he successfully kills the dog, but when made to pay a fine decides to murder his neighbor, the dog's owner, too.
  • Ninja Sex Party has one during "Unicorn Wizard", where Danny Sexbang mentions his 'hellhounds' Tinkles and Gary.
  • The Music Video for "Stupid Girls" by P!nk features a young girl adopting an unhappy-looking chihuahua (that's kept in a cage like a guinea pig at the pet store), because the celebrities and popular girls are doing it, and because she thinks it's so gosh-darned cute!. It's implied that she doesn't really care about the dog or understand what having one entails.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's pet poodle has appeared twice in his works: once sitting on his head for the album cover of Poodle Hat and again in the music video for White And Nerdy during the lyrics "even made a homepage for my dog."
  • Frank Zappa built an entire Running Gag concept about poodles in his lyrics, also pondering why humans have felt the need to modify this dog species according to their own kitschy desires.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppet Show: Miss Piggy also has a little fluffy dog named Foo-Foo. He doesn't like Kermit much, and the feeling's mutual. Notable is that Foo-Foo is a puppet when carried or interacting with other Muppets, but played by a real dog in some scenes. It's noticeable that when it looked like Miss Piggy was leaving everyone broke out in a rousing rendition of "For she's a jolly good fellow" when they realized it means the dog goes with her.

  • In the series Cabin Pressure, Carolyn Knapp-Shappey has a cockapoo called Snoopadoop, which is frequently described as a ridiculous little dog.
    Carolyn: My dog is not ridiculous!
    Herc: Then whose dog is this?

    Tabletop Games 
  • Several comedy-themed Dungeons & Dragons tournament adventures from the '80s, written by Rick Reid, sent heroes on missions to rescue the kingdom's lapdog mascot. This little Miss Muffykins, and her knack for getting herself dog-napped, were the common thread in a series that bore her name: "Fluffy Quest".
  • Dire poodles and other killer yappy dogs occasionally appear in comedic games. The Things Mr. Welch Is No Longer Allowed to Do in an RPG list discourages this.
    163. Not allowed to try and make a dire version of any dog of the toy breeds.
    1512. My canine officer can't spend his animal requisition cash to buy two dozen chihuahuas.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has the Beast Card "Milus Radiant" and the Link Monster "Missus Radiant". Milus Radiant is a total weenie who's bark is worse than it's bite with only 300 attack points to its name. However, they are extremely important to the "Weenie Beast" Deck as their Ability adds 500 attack points to each Earth-type monster... of which Milus Radiant is. Having several of these cards on the field stacks up their attack points rapidly and the "Inferno Reckless Summon" allows the player to flood the field with them. The "Closed Forest" field card further increases the attack power of these lap dogs by 100 attack points for each Beast monster in the graveyard... for a deck composed only of weak Beasts. Suddenly these lap dogs hurt a lot more than before.

  • Evita, the dog Driven to Suicide (really) by Angel in RENT, was described as yappy — but is an Akita, a relatively large breed. note 
  • In "The Day Off" from Sunday in the Park with George Georges pretends to be the dogs in his painting, one of which is a lap dog.
    Stuck all week on a lady's lap.
    Nothing to do but yawn and nap.
    Can you blame me if I yap?
  • Once again invoking the The Zeroth Law of Trope Examples, a dog of this type was mentioned in Two Gentlemen of Verona. Launce (who contemptuously referred to it as a "squirrel") was supposed to deliver it to Sylvia as a present from his master, but it got stolen by the local hooligans and he replaced it with his dog, Crab, who was ten times larger. It didn't go over well.

    Video Games 
  • Afterlife: One of the non-Seven Deadly Sins punishments you can build in Hell is a deserted island where the only company for the condemned is a gaggle of these kind of dogs... who are also immortal AND indestructible.
  • Beneath a Steel Sky has Spunky, owned by the town's richest (and ugliest) woman, Mrs. Piermont, who pampered her dog to the point of having to take him outside during her own husband's funeral. And it's a yapper all right, which you'll quickly notice when showing it a video of cats. Later, to make a guard move, you have to fling Spunky into a pool using a makeshift catapult.
  • At the start of Dead Rising, the Too Dumb to Live hysterical old lady tears down the barricade keeping the zombies out of the mall when she sees her Mister Muffykins outside. She doesn't realize that Mister Muffykins was being ignored by the undead because it was one of them.
  • Dragon Age: Origins:
    • You can buy your companion and possible love interest Leliana a "cute nug", basically the local equivalent of a toy poodle. She'll name it Schmooples.note  In one banter she talks about the wealthy woman who raised her owning an actual dog of this type, named Bon-Bon, which had a habit of attacking ankles. Apparently she once kicked it across the room when she mistook it for a rat.
    • Wynne tries to dress up Dog, a trained attack animal the size of a small horse with near-human intelligence, as if he were one of these and speaks to him as if he were a baby. She (jokingly?) suggests using magic to give him a bigger and fluffier tail, changing the color of his fur, and giving him antlers. Dog plays along at first, then steals her staff to keep her from actually going through with it.
  • Minuet in Eternal Sonata is essentially this — a little yappy poodle puppy with a red bow. In the original XBox 360 version, she just yaps once and then exits the scene. In the PlayStation 3 version, however, she leads the party on a merry little chase through a Magic Mirror.
  • Ghost Trick has you save one named Missile. A small Pomeranian, who he himself admits, is only really good at yapping loudly and not much else. However with the help of the protagonist's supernatural ghost tricks, he is able to save himself and his mistress from a hitman. He later gains his own ghost tricks and becomes an important ally later on in the game.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has the Purse Rat familiar, a small dog in a designer handbag. Its ability is to raise the level (and thus difficulty) of monsters by yapping at them until they go berserk. (This isn't actually a bad thing; raising a monster's level increases the experience you get from it when you kill it.)
  • King's Quest VII comes with two varieties: The villain's pet... thing, who is every bit as obnoxious as her owner, though not quite as able to send you to the game over screen. Also, the town of Falderal is led by a talking variety, Archduke Fifi le Yip Yap, who is only tolerable due to the fact that every citizen of the town is certifiably insane, and he just happens to be par for the course.
  • In Nancy Drew Dossier: Resorting o Danger, a yappy Pomeranian named Mr. Mingles absconds with evidence and must be chased down and/or rescued repeatedly. His owner's attitude is even worse than most examples but if you choose the ending where she's the culprit, and bust her, the dog gets a new owner who treats him like a beloved pet rather than a fashion accessory.
  • The Pokémon Furfrou is a Kalosian (standard) Poodle Pokemon that trainers (both players and NPCs) style in various ridiculous fur fashions. At least one rich NPC has a Furfrou he treats in this manner (it hates him), and people are known to fawn over them. However, true to the real-life poodle's origins, its Dex entry notes that they are excellent guard dogs, and their signature ability gives them surprisingly Lightning Bruiser potential in the game.
  • In Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, a heavyset rich woman named Babette flips out because her precious little boy Tom is missing on the train, and she demands that Layton, Luke, and Inspector Chelmey all search for him. Naturally, her Insistent Terminology in referring to Tom as her little boy has them hunting for a child, and of course, Layton eventually realizes that the missing Tom is actually a dog.
  • Skate or Die 2's plot kicks off when Icepick distracts the hero and leads them to run over the Mayor's wife's prized poodle, leading her to ban skateboarding.
  • Super Mario Odyssey has a Chain Chomp version of this trope going on with Chain Chompikins, Madame Broode's pet. Like other Chain Chomps, he's a metallic, spherical, monstrous attack dog, but with a fancy gold coat of paint as well as fancy hats his owner loves to dress him up in. And in true Mister Muffykins fashion, he's just as violent and unpleasant as his owner, who sics him on Mario out of annoyance for him asking to use her power moons as fuel for his ship.
  • Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures has Poodgie-Woo and Tinkie-Wee, two Cavalier King Charles Spaniel-lookalikes owned by Wallace's snobbish, histrionic neighbor Miss Flitt. These yappers behave when their owner is around; otherwise they are vicious and inconsolable.

    Visual Novels 
  • Referenced in Snatcher, where the current pet craze is for "Pocket Pets", genetically-modified animals in various sizes, with "handles" and pouches for storing items, allowing the owner to use them as a fashion accessory and handbag. The animal, of course, often suffers from internal lacerations from being used to store sharp objects, and they often live short lifespans. It's mentioned that several Animal Rights groups try to ban the sale of these pocket pets for this very reason.

    Web Comics 
  • In Daughter of the Lilies, the bug-eyed purse dog is host to a demonic Drath spirit. Usually host bodies undergo a nightmarish Transformation of the Possessed, but perhaps the Drath decided that selective breeding had already done enough to the pooch.
  • Girl Genius: Jenka is not a fan of the little dogs most society women favor as pets, and as such keeps her Jäger Bear Fust with her even when she's playing the part of "Lady Jenka".
    Jenka: Ta da! So today I am Lady Jenka—mysterious und eccentric beauty!
    Agatha: Eccentric?
    Jenka: Well, yes. Most society ladies favor little dogs. Have you seen those things? So noisy—and they never really eat anybody.
  • In The Law of Purple, the extremely intolerant Mrs. Wyrd owns some kind of very hyperactive long-haired little terrier named Burtie.
  • Sister America in Scandinavia and the World has a small brown lapdog named Ottawa. That she carries on her head.

    Web Videos 
  • In The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Ms Catherine de Bourgh has a little lap dog called Anniekins that seems inseparable from her. A god toy is a part of Lizzie's costume for portraying Ms de Burgh. Lizzie thinks Annie is a very creepy pet.
  • Yo Videogames: Maximilian Dood has his Pomeranian, Benny, who's essentially his stream's mascot and is affectionately nicknamed "The Hype Dog" by his fans. However, Benny does occasionally lapse into yappiness (mostly when he sees images of himself) which gets him banished from the stream.

    Western Animation 
  • On Angela Anaconda, Nanette has a (male) poodle named Ooh-La-La, that she dresses up in a tutu and tiara. He, however, would like to roll around in garbage and act like a normal dog, along with Angela's mutt, King.
  • The first season of Fantastic Four: The Animated Series had Ms. Forbes' dog, Foo-Foo, as a supporting player in her appearances.
  • In an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Billy tells a story of an evil wizard named Chuck who happens to have a pet Pomeranian named Benjamin, who is very loud and yappy. He gets so yappy that Chuck even shoves him off their tree. In the epilogue of Billy's story, it's revealed that after Chuck's Heel–Face Turn, Chuck and the villagers removed Benjamin's vocal cords.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Commodore Puddles, Dr. Drakken's psychotic pet poodle.
    • Another villain, Gemini, owns a tiny sickly chihuahua named Pepe who totally freaks out if anyone mentions "Global Justice".
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series has Experiment 007, AKA Gigi or Yapper, who was designed to look like a Shih Tzu and annoy Jumba's neighbours by barking all the time.
  • In an early Looney Tunes, Porky's Romance, Porky's attempts to court Petunia are undermined by her nasty little Pekingese. At cartoons' end Porky runs away, but zooms back, for his and our satisfaction, to give the little yapper a swift kick.
  • Suga Mama's poodle, Puff on The Proud Family but he's more so this to Oscar, not to everyone else.
  • An episode of Rocko's Modern Life had Bev adopting Earl, a large pitbull-like dog that Escaped from the Lab after having been experimented on, much to the chagrin of Ed (who was also dieting in the episode).
  • An early episode of Rugrats has the Pickle family adopting a poodle named Cuddles after their family pet Spike ran away (he's returned at the end of the episode). Not only was the poodle loud and obnoxious, but it would attempt to bite the babies, something that would have had it immediately sent off to the pound had their parents noticed.
  • Sanjay and Craig "Chewhuahuas" has a trio of Chihuahuas that aren't so much as annoying as homicidal. Throughout the episode the gang have to avoid being torn to shreds by the little monsters and the only thing that soothes them is music. They're forced to play a radio for decades... and the Chihuahuas turned into robots in the meantime!
  • A reversal occurs in Sheep in the Big City, where Lady Richington is the yappy one (a steel wig!) and her poodle is far more even-tempered.
  • South Park:
  • Thunderbirds Are Go has Lady Penelope owning one of these, a foul-tempered pug called "Sherbert".
  • In the We Bare Bears episode "The Demon", Chloe and Ice Bear tangle with a small but vicious French Bulldog known only as "The Demon".

    Real Life 
  • Prince Rupert of the Rhine's poodle Boye was not considered a cute lapdog, but a witch's familiar with freaking magical powers.
  • Queen Elizabeth II was well known for raising Corgis and Dorgis and was often pictured with a group of them following her around. Although she was a very good dog trainer, no less a source than Charles Windsor himself says that Her Majesty's dogs occasionally attached themselves to the odd ankle (including members of the Foot Guards). Not too surprising, as Corgis are herding dogs, and nipping at the feet of livestock is a herding tactic that is bred into them. When they have no livestock to work, they start herding other pets or humans, especially children.note 
  • Paris Hilton's little dog Tinkerbell. Ms. Hilton started a trend among the rich, elite, and impractical of carrying very small dogs (usually chihuahuas) around in handbags. She never made a statement on how to keep the inside of the handbag clean (they have special liners that can be removed and washed), but that's what The Help is for.
  • Leona Helmsley's dog Trouble.
  • Keith Olbermann adopted two Maltese dogs in 2013 and 2014 and declared himself "born again in dogs," that loving and caring for them is one of the true meanings of life. Craig Ferguson razzed him no end when he got the first one — "Does it fit in your purse? Why'd you get a tiny little dog? Why didn't you get like a regular American dog?" — but simply replied this was the right size dog for a New York apartment. (He later claimed that his little friends did his taxes for him.)
  • The sounds made by the Rancor in Return of the Jedi were derived from the growls of a very aggressive Dachshund, which sound designer Ben Burtt thought sounded monstrous.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Mr Muggles, Mr Muffykins


Commodore Puddles

Drakken's pet poodle is as vicious as he is evil.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / MisterMuffykins

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