Every now and then the hero runs across a big animal he would rather not disturb. It's a bear, or a tiger, or Cerberus.
Correct procedure is to back away slowly, making placatory sounds such as "Niiiice kitty... good kitty...", and then run just before the pounce. A Fluffy Tamer may stand a better chance of getting this to work than the average person.
Occasionally the Kitty turns out to be an actual Nice Kitty, and acts like a giant kitten.
- Complete inversion on Azumanga Daioh: The animal is tiny, not big; the character approaches it while placating it instead of backing away, and instead of it turning out to be nice, it turned out to be exactly as dangerous as it didn't look. Said character is Sakaki, a Kindhearted Cat Lover who has the world's worst luck with cats.
- Robin: Tim Drake once found himself stuck in a pit in the Armstrong's basement with an old circus lion "The General" had stolen. As he backed away and murmured placating things to the lion and it prepared to pounce he recalled that the lion's trainer was originally from Germany and snapped off a command in German it actually obeyed giving him enough time to get out.
- Superman's Pal: Jimmy Olsen (2019): Downplayed. Dealing with a grouchy and ferocious-seeming house cat (which turns out to be Dex-Starr), Jimmy talks to him pleasantly in a sing-songy voice.
- Disney's Aladdin. Aladdin says to Rajah, "Down kitty...Look! A mouse!...Scat...C'mon, good tiger... Take off and go!...Down kitty". Infamously, many people misheard it as "Good teenager, take off your clothes," which led to it being edited out of the Platinum Edition DVD release.
- The Aristocats: Edgar runs into trouble with farm dogs Napoleon and Lafayette and tries to placate them as they snap at his heels.
"Nice doggy, nice doggy, roll over, play dead!"
- In Coco, Ernesto (pictured above) tries in vain to sooth an absolutely berserk Pepita as the latter approaches him on stage for a final ass-kicking.
- Mike in the Teaser Trailer for Monsters, Inc.: "Nice doggy. Nice big doggy."
- In Rugrats Go Wild!, Tommy says "nice kitty" while the kids and an amnesiac Nigel Thornberry are face to face with a Clouded Leopard. Thankfully Donnie comes in to save the group.
- Donkey in Shrek when he's cornered by Dragon. "My, what big, sharp teeth you've got!... I mean, what white, sparkling teeth you've got, and do I detect a hint of minty freshness?" She ends up falling in love with him, which gives him a whole different set of problems.
- Inverted in Alien when Brett calls out "Here kitty kitty" while looking for the ship's cat, only to run into the eponymous alien which has grown a lot bigger since he last saw it.
- In Batman Returns, Catwoman and the Penguin use this on each others' pets (a canary for the Penguin and a black cat for Catwoman). It's an ironic example in that both are the aggressor rather than the victim, the two animals being completely harmless to humans.
- In Black Hawk Down, Twombly feels the need to address a donkey trotting down the street near him:
Twombly: Nice donkey.
- In Chaplin's The Circus, the Tramp ends up locked in a cage with a lion. Fortunately, the big cat is too lazy to go after him.
- In Ghostbusters (1984) when Louis Tully is confronted by the monstrous Vinz Clortho, he tries to soothe it with, "Good doggie...nice little pooch..."
- In Octopussy, James Bond commands a tiger to "Sit!" (in Barbara Woodhouse's distinctive tone). And it does.
- Pee-wee's Big Adventure - stranded in the middle of nowhere in pitch dark, Pee-Wee hears nearby growling and nervously goes "nice kitty..." When he turns on a light, he finds himself surrounded by big predatory animals that absolutely don't belong in the American desert southwest.
- You think Tim Allen's character is going to do this when he sees a dog in his first foray as Santa in The Santa Clause, but he subverts it: "Nice... teeth!"
- There's an old saying that goes: "Diplomacy is the art of saying 'nice doggie' until you can find a rock."
- Our Miss Brooks: Happens with "Peanuts, the Great Dane" in the episode of the same name.
- Fallout 4: "Uh, good Deathclaw. Good boy. Stay."
- Cornered Sentry from Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft summons 3 1/1 raptors for the enemy when played. Her summoning quote?
Cornered Sentry: Nice little raptors...*
- In a King's Quest V death, Graham says "nice birdie" to a roc hatchling about to eat him. Of course, that death is averted if he gave the remaining meat to an eagle and grabbed the pendant on the roc's nest before the egg hatched.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: Aang flees a big horned gorilla thing until he realizes it's King Bumi's pet. Then he tentatively asks, "...Flopsy?" To which Flopsy responds by grabbing him and cuddling him.
- Donald Duck does this after he roughhouses a mountain lion, who he initially thought was his nephews in disguise.
- A subversion in The Flintstones: Barney sees a Bantydactyl and cheerfully says "Here, pussy pussy" to it until it cheerfully opens its mouth and grabs him leaving only his feet exposed.
- The Real Ghostbusters: When the shapeshifting Monster of the Week from the episode "Drool, the Dog-Faced Goblin" transforms into a giant cockroach, Peter slowly backs away from it, saying that he loves cockroaches and always does nice things to them, like leaving dirty dishes in the sink and never cleaning the counters.
- The Simpsons:
Homer: "Why, hello little birdie- AAAAAHHH! COVER YOUR EYES!!!"
- Homer is terrified of some grizzly bears he and Bart run into while on a camping trip, and murmurs "Nice grizzlies...Nice grizzlies..." Bart, meanwhile, is completely unafraid ("Later, grizzly-dudes").
- After Homer and Ned get kicked out of Las Vegas, they decide to walk(!) back to Springfield. They are quickly set upon by a pair of vultures.
- An episode of SpongeBob SquarePants called Spongicus shows Patrick trying to do this with a lionfish...while trying to lure him away with sausage. But he eats the sausage, so this fails.
- Superman: The Animated Series: At the end of "Little Big Head Man", Superman sends Mxyptlk to "help" Bizarro on his planet for three months to fulfill the "community service" the judges of his own dimension assigned him. As Mxy rolls a rock to "threaten" Bizarro's "town", he grumbles about quitting, and then sees Krypto, Bizarro's small, aggressive alien pet, running towards him. Mxy ends up treed, yelling commands at Krypto like one would a dog...much to Superman's amusement.
Superman: Life am good.