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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"!. If the kid doing the dress-up is doing it out of love, they're both Innocently Insensitive and (usually) an Animal Lover.

As a side note, please don't do this to your pet — it just stresses them out.



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  • At the beginning of I Saw Your Willy, two boys Alex and Sam put a hat on a dog.
  • 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.
  • In a commercial for Toys R Us, a little girl without a baby doll to play with puts a diaper on her cat, who runs away and yowls when she tells it, "Time for a changing!"

    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 to a toy for most of the series.

  • The "Pets Rock" line of photographic art, which depicts cats and dogs with the clothing and hairstyles of celebrities (mostly musicians, if not originally).

    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).
  • In Garfield, Garfield runs away and is found by a few little girls, who dress him up in cute frilly things, prompting him to go back home.

    Fan Works 
  • The Bolt Chronicles: In “The Baseball Game,” Bolt, Mittens, and Rhino are dressed in baseball jerseys and caps as part of being in-game guests of honor. The usual mollified pet reaction is averted in that none of the characters mind wearing the outfits – Bolt admires himself in front of the mirror, and Mittens finds the dog sexy in his uniform.
  • In The Loud House fanfiction Nicely Done, Lola puts a top hat on Hops the frog.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Cats & Dogs: Sophie the maid likes doing this to evil Persian cat Mr. Tinkles, much to his chagrin. In the end, Sophie punishes Mr. Tinkles after his evil plan is foiled by taking him to live with her and her sisters, all of whom enjoy dressing up the cat in various silly outfits, leading to a Costume-Test Montage, with the final outfit for Mr. Tinkles being a striped prisoner outfit.
  • 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 Dog Days (2018), Amelia dresses herself and the pug Mabel in blue dresses with wings. When Grace asks why they're dressed as fairies, Amelia says, "Not fairies. As fairy dinosaur princess."

  • 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.
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: Young noblewomen who want to practice sewing tends to make clothing meant for their relatives' very young children... or their own pets.

    Live-Action TV 
  • How I Met Your Mother: Jen, one of Ted's many girls of the week, is an adult woman who enjoys dressing up her cats in silly costumes.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch has Zelda dress Salem up in a bonnet and baby booties as she goes through the 'sugar snap' phase of witch snap (due to overwork). Salem is not amused.
  • My Cat from Hell: Jackson is not happy when he meets Bombadillo's owner who dresses him up in all kind of silly outfits, despite him clearly hating it. He's even less impressed when he sees her video of a cat wedding, which features two cats dressed in silly outfits. He tells viewers not to dress their cats, but does make exceptions for sphinxes due to their lack of fur. (And even then he only suggests they wear a sweater, not an entire outfit.)

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 
  • Cream Heroes: Claire occasionally puts hats on her cats and has dressed Lulu up as a pirate. When she starts trying hats on Toto and Dodo, she explains it's so they will be ready for the Cone of Shame when they have to be neutered.

    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.
  • In an episode of Clue Club, Dotty is using Woofer (one of the two dogs of the group) as a dress mannequin. Wimper (the club's other dog) and a friend laugh at Woofer, but the last laugh is on them—Dotty rewards Woofer with a large steak.