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Pet Dress-Up

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There's an old gag about little girls (and it's almost always little girls, rarely ever little boys) dressing up their dogs, cats, and anything else pet-like they can find as if they're dolls. They put them in cute little clothes and act as if their pet is a living doll. All the animal can do is begrudgingly deal with it (and if they're a Talking Animal, snark about it).

This may overlap with The Dreaded Pretend Tea Party, another childish game that is considered annoying by those outside the target demographic. Also likely to overlap with And Call Him "George"!.



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  • One of the Morris the Cat ads has Morris having to deal with this treatment when a girl has him dressed up like an infant.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Digimon Tamers Suzie dresses Terriermon up and treats him like a baby doll, although she isn't aware Terriermon is actually alive and genuinely thinks he's just a toy for most of the series.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Footrot Flats, Wal's niece Pongo frequently dresses up the Dog, much to the Dog's annoyance (although he does rather enjoy the raspberry drop tea he gets fed during her make-believe tea parties).
  • This happens to Garfield at one point in the strip.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: When left unwatched, Gertie dresses up E.T. in women's clothes. Elliot is upset when finding his friend this way.
  • In G-Force, while the guinea pig spies are trapped in a pet shop, Juarez gets adopted by a little girl who makes plans to put her in bows, nail polish, lipstick, and a dress. Juarez is very disgruntled and verbally expresses her wish to bite off the girl's finger or hand, but she ends up barely putting up with the makeover while waiting for a chance to escape.
  • Exploited in Nanny McPhee: The children are asked to put on their formal clothes because their great-aunt is visiting and she wants to adopt one of the girls. They decide to put the girls' formal clothes on the farm animals and pretend they're human children (it helps that Great-Aunt Adelaide has bad eyesight).

  • In the Hank the Cowdog book The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse, Little Alfred's cousins Amy and Ashley put a dress on Hank while playing with him. He admits he wouldn't have chosen it, but he puts up with it to make the girls happy. This eventually winds up with him fighting the eponymous horse to protect the girls, still wearing the dress.
  • In Cat Walk, the girl Emma dresses the kitten in baby clothes. When he grows up, he finds them too tight, so he runs away.
  • In the Mog book "Mog and the Baby", young Nicky Thomas puts Mog in a stroller and puts a bonnet on her, proclaiming, "Look! I've got a baby too!". Mog is unhappy, but she stays quiet and lets him do it.
  • In When You Were a Baby, a Little Golden Book, while helping her parents prepare for the new baby, Amy finds a bonnet that she used to wear when she was a baby, and she puts it on Mr. Tomkins, her pet cat. Mr. Tomkins does not like this, as he shakes the bonnet off and runs away.
  • In Terry Pratchett's The Unadulterated Cat, this is number 5 in his list of unfortunate things that happen to cats in a house with children.

    Live-Action TV 

    Web Comics 
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Sune Västerström is at some point seen holding his family cat, who is wearing a dress.
  • Something*Positive has Davan bring in Choo-Choo Bear to a pet store for a toy, only for both to be horrified at the clerk having dressed her own cat up as a dog. It culminates in the cats being left alone, with Choo-Choo about to Mercy Kill Shiba.
    Choo-Choo Bear: Meh meh murfle meh.Translation 
    Shiba: Meow.Translation 

    Western Animation 
  • Psyko Ferret starts with one of the twins playing with the titular ferret in a baby carriage. It goes awry when Psyko escapes the carriage.
  • The Tom and Jerry cartoon "Baby Puss" has a little girl dressing Tom like a baby, while Jerry and the alley cats make fun of him.
  • The Classic Disney Shorts "Pluto's Sweater" features Minnie knitting a sweater for Pluto. It's a hideous shade of pink, and being wool it's scratchy and shrinks in water. It takes awhile to get the sweater off, but at least at that point it's small enough to fit Figaro the cat.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • In "Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow", Elmyra makes Buster her pet and dresses him in baby clothes.
    • In the short, "No Deposit, No Return of the Trash Bag Dispenser" (part of "Pollution Solution"), Elmyra throws a tea party and dresses several of her pets as babies against their will. Since she is polluting Plucky's pond with tin cans that can easily be recycled, Plucky (as his superhero alter-ego, The Trash Bag Dispenser) tries unsuccessfully to tell her that she is polluting his pond. Elmyra pays no attention to him, instead roping him into her tea party and dressing him in a bonnet and a diaper against his will.
    • The short, "Little Dog Lost" (part of "A Cat's Eye View") begins with Elmyra dressing Byron Basset in a purple dress and high-heel shoes. This is what causes Byron to run away from her.
  • The Simpsons: In the episode "Lisa's Date With Density", Lisa dresses Snowball II in costume while Nelson is over; Nelson is not impressed, and Snowball is not happy.
  • In the Little Princess episode "I Don't Know What to Be", Princess dresses Puss in a dress and Scruff in a skirt.
  • Rugrats:
  • In the Charlie and Lola episode "Help! I Really Mean It!", the title characters are looking after their grandparents' cat Casper. Lola and her friend Lotta then put a hat on Casper, which makes him run away.
  • In the Animaniacs episode "Animaniacs Stew", little Mindy puts a dress on Brain the evil rat.
  • Snoopy, Come Home: Clara puts Snoopy, whom she thinks is a stray dog, in a dress to play "tea party." What ensues is definitely not his idea of "fundamental friend dependability."
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Perry the Platypus is put through multiple silly outfits and accessories in his secret identity as the Flynn-Fletcher family pet. Special mention goes to "Jerk de Soleil", wherein Phineas and Ferb dress him up like this. Major Monogram laughs through the entirety of their meeting.
    • In "No More Bunny Business", Candace finds a seemingly innocent bunny rabbit and adopts "Mister Cutie-Patootie" instantly. In fact, his name is Dennis and he's trying to infiltrate Perry's home to find his lair and hack into the O.W.C.A. mainframe. Unfortunately, his Evil Plan faces delays as Candace insists on giving him a complete makeover. After Perry defeats Dennis and the lagomorph is in custody, Candace wonders aloud how Perry would look in pink. The monotreme cringes.
  • In the prologue to the Arthur episode, "So Long, Spanky", D.W. dresses Spanky, her pet parakeet, in a shirt and bonnet and has him hold an umbrella. It is at this point that Arthur mentions that he feels sorry for Spanky in these kind of situations, feeling that being D.W.'s pet is worse than being her brother.


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