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Playful Otter

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The more the merrier.

"What are you?"
"I'm an otter."
"And what do you do?"
"I swim around on my back and do cute little human things with my hands."
"You're free to go."
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Otters are rather funny-looking animals, what with their long, slender bodies, cute faces, and the way they crack clamshells on their bellies. But what makes them even more adorable, is their playful demeanor. Otters often wrestle, slide and play with their food — actually, they mostly use those fun activities as a way to improve their survival tactics. But still, it's a fun way to do it!

When used in fiction, otter characters are usually Fun Personified. They are usually depicted as playful, energetic, kind-hearted, optimistic and laid-back, sometimes even mischievous. Otters spend a lot of time in water, so expect them to be good swimmers, who love to have fun in water. Sometimes this overlaps with Surfer Dude (but otters are usually much more clever, rarely The Ditz). Often there can be a playful antagonism with beavers such as the boistrous otters getting in the way of the workaholic rodents engaged in their usual serious labors.

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To recap, if an otter is portrayed in fiction with a joyous, playful or mischievous personality, it's this trope. Truth in Television, except for the Surfer Dude part.

Also, they sound like squeaky toys.

Compare Sweet Seal, Warm-Hearted Walrus and Weasel Mascot.


Examples of this trope:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Episode 2 of the Kemono Friends anime gives us Small-clawed Otter, who employs this trope in full. She's an otter, she plays with everything she can get her hands on, tries to find the fun in everything they're doing, among other things that make her a full-blown otter.
  • Mr. 13 of One Piece subverts this trope. He's a small brown otter in sunglasses and a white onesie with purple spots... who also happens to be an agent of the criminal organization Baroque Works. He's at his most dangerous with his two bladed shell weapons and his partner the violent vulture Ms. Friday at his side.

    Film - Animated 
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    Film - Live-Action 
  • The 1969 film Ring of Bright Water features an executive (Bill Travers, of Born Free fame) whose life is transformed when he acquires a pet otter, Mij. This otter is rather mischievous and adventurous, which leads to many adventures.

    Folklore and Mythology 
  • In Japanese folklore, otters are capable of shapeshifting and performing other tricks to play pranks on humans, much like Kitsune and Tanuki.

    Literature 
  • When Mercer Mayer created the Little Critter Spin-Off LC and the Critter Kids, one of the critter kids was a Surfer Dude otter named Slick Rick (no, not that Rick).
  • Every book in the Redwall series features several otters. Usually led by one named Skipper, they tend to dress and talk like local Seafaring People. The Redwall wiki describes them as playful. The most playful one would probably be Cheek from Mattimeo. They also have a penchant for using ambushes and javelins, and are absolutely not to be trifled with. Of the various good species, otters are probably the third most dangerous (after badgers and hares).
  • The Wind in the Willows: Otter is probably the Trope Codifier, always willing to lend a hand and always friendly except if you screw over his friends as a rabbit found out when he was braving the wildwood. The only other character to brave the wildwood is Badger.
  • In the Winnie-the-Pooh book Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, the only new character is an otter named Lottie, who was described in a preview article as "feisty".
  • The Treasure Tree is the name of a book showing the four personality distinctions of (roughly) Leader, Scientist, People Person, and Fun Guy. These are shown with the animals of, respectively, Lion, Beaver, Golden Retriever, and Otter.
  • Ring of Bright Water again; the original autobiographical book by Gavin Maxwell, who also wrote a children's version called The Otter's Story. Incidentally, Mijbil turned out to be a previously unknown subspecies, now known as Maxwell's Smooth-Coated Otter, or Lutrogale perspicillata maxwelli.
  • Mudge, the Loveable Rogue in the Spellsinger novels, and (in later books) his family. In one book it's mentioned that one otter can focus on something serious for a while, but two or more otters is a permanent party.
  • In Hector Hugh Munroe (aka "Saki")'s short story, "Laura," the merry-hell-raising heroine is reincarnated as an otter, and continues to raise merry hell.
  • The Mad House of Otter in The Book of the Dun Cow are careless, sloppy enemies of the fierce but courageous weasels.
  • Otter of the Franklin books and Animated Adaptation is shown as being this.
  • In the Norwegian children's book series Samson & Roberto, in which the cast is comprised of Funny Animals, one of the main characters is a female otter named Olli, who works as the resident repairwoman — at least when she's not fooling around and acting hyper and silly just for the hell of it. She is a supreme repairwoman, though.
  • The absolutely adorable (and mischievous) fenlings of The Belgariad.
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Hermione learns her patronus takes this form when she manages to produce a corporeal one and it happily bounds around the room.
  • The protagonists of Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas are of course, otters, who are playful and kind-hearted folks, and sing really well to boot. The Jim Henson puppet adaptation is a Christmas special with a huge following.

    Live-Action TV 

    Radio 
  • Linda Smith's A Brief History of Timewasting has urban otters colonizing London. Their natural cheekiness has developed into criminal behavior such as pickpocketing and blagging money by claiming to be a neighbor who was locked out of the house.
  • Cabin Pressure: As per the Alphabetical Theme Naming of each episode, Douglas, Martin and Arthur find themselves visiting Ottery St. Mary, and, as per the Running Gag, start playing games to entertain themselves- namely, trying to work out how many otters they could use to fill up their plane. That said, the "playful" aspect is played with in a story Douglas makes up to impress Arthur: he claims that the Saint Mary the eponymous town is named after was consumed alive by wild otters, but in the more modern, family-friendly artistic depictions, the otters are just gathering around her feet lovingly.

    Video Games 
  • Jak and Daxter has Daxter who was turned into an Ottsel (half otter, half weasel). He's a funny bumbling sidekick and a major Butt-Monkey whenever he gets a bit annoying.
  • Oshawott, the water starter in Pokémon Black and White and the sequels. Although it does fight if attacked, it still has a playful side as well. Its evolutions, Dewott and Saumurott, avert it, because they're tougher and stronger and not playful.
  • Digital Media had a line of games starring an excitable young cartoon sea otter named Ozzie and a gang of other international critters. Their games were mainly used to teach children about foreign culture (the Ozzie's Travels line, but there were other games in the field as well, including a science one and an environment one.
  • In Spyro: A Hero's Tail Spyro meets an otter Surfer Dude who needs his help to refill a drained pond with water so he can surf again.
  • Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance has the Juggle Pup and R&R Seal Dream Eaters, who are a otter-seal mixture with gambling as their theme. They're always happy chaps who treat the battlefield as a game, and their Limit Break has them and Sora play a game of dice.
  • Sylas in Armello is an inversion of the archetype. In a game that is already easy to describe as "Game of Thrones but with cartoon animals instead", Sylas the otter has by far the darkest backstory, which has left him as a hollow, hateful husk motivated solely by a desire to murder the one responsible for his cruel fate.

    Webcomics 
  • Matt, the Dogged Nice Guy of Hodges Pond.
  • Bayshore from Dogs Days Of Summer.
  • A Sunday strip of Kevin & Kell showed an otter doing a boring office job, with the punchline that this was his vacation from being a Playful Otter.

    Western Animation 

     Otter ... er, Other 


Alternative Title(s): Everythings Better With Otters, Everythings Wetter With Otters

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