In a watchful Shepherd's sight.
Those who rule with wisdom guiding
Bring to hearts a peace abiding
Bless a land with joy made bright.
When sheep (especially lambs) appear in fiction, they tend to be very sweet and kind, with wool that makes them look cuddly and big round eyes. However, note that this does not always apply in real life: while real life sheep can be adorable when young, they tend to grow out of it when they get older and have some characteristics that people tend to find freaky, gross or otherwise not cute, such as their eyes (which have rectangular pupils) and (if not tended to often enough) dirty and somewhat unruly wool. And wild sheep, such as mouflon or their American counterparts the bighorn sheep, are...well, wild. They're not docile or compliant like domestic sheep are; those traits are the result of thousands of years' worth of selective breeding. And domestic rams are rarely docile: they're large, powerful animals that can be highly territorial and aggressive and are very capable of inflicting serious damage if they attack someone, even if they lack horns. Also, despite the reputation of both domestic and wild sheep as being unintelligent, they actually do have a measure of intelligence: they can remember faces, and figure out how to get past seemingly insurmountable barriers (whether that's the side of a mountain, or a fence.)
An explanation for how sheep and lambs become the animal strongly symbolizing innocence goes back to biblical times. Sheep were very important animals in numerous stories in The Bible and frequently used in a majority of hymns. While lambs were already prominent in The Old Testament, after Jesus' birth a flock of sheep attended and honored the birth of "Their New Born King" in a manger in Bethlehem. Since then, Sheep and lambs immediately became associated with Jesus (referred as "The Lamb of God") and his followers. However, sheep and lambs were used in sacrifices in order for people to be forgiven for their sins which was frequently mentioned in both The Old Testament and The New Testament. After Jesus' crucifixion, sheep immediately became the default animal representing innocence, gentleness, peace and purity, more so than doves, along with symbolizing sweetness, forgiveness and meekness. Due to this, lambs are very prominent on holidays (such as Christmas and Easter) that have religious origins.
A non-religious example is lambs being heavily associated with the seasons of spring and winter. During the season of spring (winter to a lesser extent), ewes give birth to many newborn lambs (referred as "spring lambs") during a period known as "Lambing Season" by the public. As a result, lambs alongside rabbits became the default animal symbolizing the season of spring and were popular on seasonal greeting cards and letters throughout the 20th century.
See also Counting Sheep. See Savage Wolves for the Sweet Sheep's worst enemy, alongside Cunning Like a Fox and Foul Fox, another natural enemy for sheep. Contrast Gruesome Goat for a less pleasant portrayal of caprines.
- The manga series Beastars, is set in a universe inhabited by anthropomorphic animals mainly focusing on relationships between herbivore and carnivore students at Cherryton High School. The series features a minor character named "Peach", a soft-spoken and kindhearted female sheep who enjoys taking photos of her hanging out with carnivore animals. She decides to hang out with Shiira (a female leopard) at a local mall in Cherryton.
- In Black Clover, Charmy specializes in Cotton Magic, and appropriately, her familiar is a giant but friendly sheep, albeit firmly on the Beware the Nice Ones side. Subverted big time if you push Charmy's patience far enough, however, because when she gets truly angry, she switches to Food Magic, and said sheep familiar turns out to be a wolf in sheep's clothing who immediately drops the nice-guy act with the disguise. Outside of combat, Charmy has a special magic spell that summons sheep with chef hats called "The Sheep Cooks" and "Sheep Cook: Master Chef" whose only purpose is to create tasty food and pastries. The Sheep Cooks also serve as Charmy's servants, butlers, and assistants throughout the series.
- Aries from Fairy Tail, despite being based on the traditionally aggressive Ram of the Western Zodiac, is characterized as a sweet, docile, adorable young woman.
- Downplayed in Fruits Basket with Hiro Sohma, who hosts the Sheep spirit of the Eastern Zodiac. He can turn into a very cute sheep, but he's more of a stubborn Jerk with a Heart of Gold; while he does show a softer side towards people he cares about, he's usually very prickly and smart-mouthed. There's an amusing contrast between his temper and the impotent, fluffy animal he turns into when the curse triggers.
- Jewelpet has Flora who is gentle and meek, but you shouldn't try and make her angry. Her droopy eyes in the anime make her look constantly relaxed.
- Most of the sheep in Kirby: Right Back at Ya! are sweet and innocent victims to various monsters that invade Dreamland. Amon, however, is an aversion. Having been traumatized by King Dedede attempting to eat him and getting turned into a monster by a bolt of lightning, Amon ends up brainwashing the sheep of Cappy Town to act like wolves in an effort to free all the sheep from suffering.
- Piano from Sanrio's Onegai My Melody is a cute, pink, fluffy sheep. While she can't speak like the others on the show, she is good at writing poetry and stories.
- Lucille (Omitsu in the Japanese version) from Samurai Pizza Cats is an android sheep who's very polite, but for goodness's sake, please don't make her upset, or she'll launch heat-seeking missiles from her hair.
- Moa from the Show by Rock!! franchise is a Sheep Alien, she's also the most energetic member of the Plasmagica band. Her part time job is working at a bedding store, where she cuts wool from her hair (which quickly grows back).
- The series has Scapegoat, four fluffy, colorful Sheep Tokens that all look like they're sleeping peacefully. They also aren't used for attacking directly, but rather to protect life points or as sacrifices for other monsters. There are plenty of duelists who use them, including Joey/Jonouchi.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V adds another cute sheep in Fluffal Sheep. It's used by Sora, whose deck is full of cute monsters that look like plush animals.
- Yu Gi Oh Go Rush: An alien character named Chupataro Kaburagi has a deck filled with cute sheep monsters known as Ewekai.
- Merchandise and Christian company Precious Moments has a long history with sheep and lamb characters portrayed as sweet, innocent, and very caring. Sheep are usually seen in merchandise such as sculptures◊, figurines◊ and stuffed animals◊. However, both sheep and lambs also make appearances in coloring books◊, artwork◊, and in animated direct to video films for a short period in the mid 1990s.
- Ruth J. Morehead (her full name is "Barbara Jean Morehead") (1931-2004) loved drawing and painting pictures sheep and lambs being playful, sweet, and lovable. Similar to Precious Moments, sheep make appearances in Christian and Biblical art (such as The Nativity◊) and are commonly shown being very affectionate◊ toward angels◊ and children (including the photo for this page).
- Juan Ferrándiz (his full name is "Juan Ferrándiz Castells") (1907-1997) was a Spanish artist, wood carver, and sculpturist notable for creating wooden sculptures and figurines showing the positive sides of humanity alongside stuff related to childhood and religion◊ (mainly focused on Catholisim and/or Christianity). He would sometimes make wooden figures, sculptures, and illustrations◊ of children◊ holding lambs◊ or lambs hanging around◊ with children. Ferrándiz's illustrations of children with baby lambs◊ are equally◊ as adorable◊. The most notable is his sculpture titled "Shepherd Lying with Lambs Sleeping" which shows a young shepherd sleeping with a group of lambs◊, who are all sleeping on top of him.◊
- Similar to Ferrándiz, a Spanish artist that went by the name "Constanza", always made similar Religious paintings and artwork that featured lambs hanging out with children◊ and angels.◊
- Yu-Gi-Oh! most famously has Scapegoat, four fluffy, colorful Sheep Tokens that all look like they're sleeping peacefully. They aren't used for attacking directly, but rather to protect life points or as sacrifices for other monsters. There are plenty of duelists who use them, including Joey/Jonouchi. Later they would add another cute sheep in Fluffal Sheep.
- Bianca the lamb from the Italian comic Bianca: Little Lost Lamb started out as an innocent lamb living with her family. After she witnesses a Lion Pack slaughtering and eating her entire family. She seeks vengeance by killing all the carnivores involved in her family's death
- South Korean preschool series Katuri, has an episode called "Silly Shy Sheep". The episode involves four young pheasants encountering a flock of sheep. The sheep are scared of them and run away from the chicks. The chicks then encounter a guard dog who tells the flock that they aren't monsters. After winning trust between the sheep and the chicks, the sheep allow the pheasants to touch their wool.
- In the Triptych Continuum version of Equestria, lambs are so popular that there's a spring holiday dedicated to them.
- In the split-continuity Daily Equestria Life with Monster Girl, adult sheep, due to their status as Super Gullible are considered so docile they aren't even taught as potential threats in guard training. There was one attempt to use them as an army... which ended spectacularly badly when the Princess told them they were on the wrong side.
- Fittingly, the one way to piss off a sheep past the point of being able to talk them down, is to threaten lambs in front of their mothers.
- Subverted in The Zero Context Series with Bahija, Missy Coco's sheep-girl secretary. At first glance she seems meek and nice enough, albeit a bit cranky and downtrodden due to her enemies and her own boss not giving her much respect. Later on when Circe's wedding is attacked, her birth form—that of a gigantic Western-style blue dragon—is revealed, and she's shown to be very powerful, prideful and arrogant.
- Chirin, the star of Ringing Bell, starts out as a sheep who lives a happy and carefree life in the fields — until the story takes a dark turn. Meanwhile, Chirin's mother and the unnamed lambs◊ who appear in the film also play this trope straight.
- Zootopia has Assistant Mayor Bellwether, who seems like a dorky, cute helpful friend to protagonist Judy Hopps. The keyword here is "seems".
- Earlier in the film, we see Judy as a child protecting and defending a female lamb named Sharla who is getting bullied by Gideon Grey. Gareth, Sharla's brother, is later seen running up to Judy and Sharla after they witness Judy getting slashed by Gideon. Both Sharla and Gareth play this trope straight, since they are very innocent and very concerned and caring about Judy even after getting hurt.
- Sheep in other Disney movies like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Hercules and Tangled play this straight even with some moments such as one eating a corner of a page in Belle's book, being tossed by Razoul or being sucked into the Tornado Titan.
- Ruth the sheep (voiced by Aidy Bryant) from the 2017 Biblical adaptation movie The Star by Sony Pictures Animation. She's very kind, friendly, nice, and among the most helpful characters to the main protagonist. Despite being an outcast by the other flock, she tries convincing the other sheep about a very important event happening with Mary and Joseph. Ruth even decides to stay with Mary to comfort her as she's going into labor.
- The sheep in the Wallace & Gromit film A Close Shave and the spinoff Shaun the Sheep.
- Cardigan from the Charlotte's Web direct-to-video sequel is a nice kid who just wants friends who like him after being bullied by the rest of the lambs in his flock for having black wool. Thankfully, Wilbur is quick to befriend him.
- The 2011 animated film The Lion of Judah is set during the final days of Jesus' life on Earth. It's mainly focused on a baby lamb named "Judah"◊ (who believes to be a lion), whose mission is to "Set people free" by rescuing animals (such as lambs and doves) from being killed. The main characters are six domesticated animals (a cow, rooster, pig, horse, donkey, and mouse respectively) note who have to rescue Judah from being sacrificed. After Jesus dies on the cross, the temple where Judah is close to being killed suddenly cracks during an earthquake and sets him free. Judah is overjoyed and yells "Thank you" to Jesus, unaware that he has been crucified, and "He set me free!". While the six animals are doubtful about Jesus' return, Judah is determined to finally see Jesus despite dying on the cross. The animals attempt to lure Judah away from Jesus' tomb, but he is determined to see him and decides to wait three whole days. On the day Jesus is resurrected, Judah finally meets him, and whispers "Thank you" to him and later meets the other main characters before leaving Earth. Judah is last seen running back to the stable and reuniting with his mother.
Judah: I saw what his love did to Jack. It's like you said, one look in his eyes and he'll steal your heart. I didn't get to look in his eyes (gasps) but I felt it. It was his love that tore that curtain, his love that cracked that temple, his love for me, for all of us. And I don't care what you say, this stone is not going to hold that love in.
- In the 1997 animated adaptation of Babes in Toyland, lambs are seen working at a toy factory where they are spotted working on hats. The film's Bumbling Henchmen Duo (Gonzargo and Roderigo) are seen disguising themselves as the other sheep with one lamb reacting with confusion due to their suspicious behavior. However, one black ram quickly takes notices of their disguises and kicks the out of the meadow that the other sheep are grazing in. During the film's climax, one of the lambs is seen running up to Mary as the toy factory catches on fire.
- Danny, from Disney's early live action So Dear to My Heart, is a cute black sheep. He needed to be raised by the main character due to being abandoned by his mother. He deserves special mention, as when he turns animated he becomes one of the cutest animated animals in film.
- In Walt Disney's 1964 film Mary Poppins, a trio of playful and upbeat lambs are seen singing with the other farm animals during the "Jolly Holiday" musical sequence with Mary and Bert.
- Played With in the 1990 direct to video film Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme starring Shelley Duvall (as Little Bo Peep) and Dan Gilroy (as Gordon Goose) is a contemporary take on nursery rhymes starring late 1980s stars, comedian, and musicians set in a world known as "Rhyme Land". One of the citizens of Rhyme Land is Mary (Bo Peep's former classmate in the film) and her "Little Lamb" (named "Lou") from "Mary Had A Little Lamb" who are grown up. Mary is miserable since Lou (the aforementioned little lamb now a grown sheep) has made her life very difficult since he won't stop following her everywhere. Meanwhile, Lou is a wise-cracking, cigar chomping sheep who has a deep Brooklyn accent. He does have the hots for one of Bo Peep's female sheep that she is seen searching throughout the movie. Mary even reminiscences the days when Lou was a cute and sweet little lamb before growing up to be the opposite of his young self.
Bo Peep: Lessen Mary, we stopped by to help us find Mother Goose.
Mary: So? He lost his mother you lost your sheep. Big deal! You think you got problems? I'd like to lost him! My life's in shambles all because of Lou. Sure, he used to be a cute little lamb, and it was fun having him follow me everywhere I went. Until he turned into a gigantic, obnoxious, meddling sheep!
Lou: Give it a rest Mary! (to Bo Peep and Gordon) So can I get you folks some refreshments? Coffee, tea, cocktail weenies?
Mary: I've lost two wonderful husbands, all because of Lou's insistence on following me everywhere. You know what I mean?
Lou: So I'm friendly, is that a crime? (to Mary) Speaking of friendly Peep, how are those cute little sheep of yours? (winks)
Bo Peep: Still lost.
Lou: (disappointed) Huh...
Mary: Will you get your mind out of the meadow? I'm talking here!
- Near the end of the 2019 Italian live-action adaptation of Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio directed by Matteo Garrone. The titular character is shown helping out Gigangio (a local farmer) in order to earn coins to get a gallon of milk to help Geppetto get stronger and healthier. One of his jobs is to help Gigangio herd a flock of sheep to earn more coins. When Pinocchio finishes his job taking care of a group of lambs, he gets tired and is seen taking a nap near haystacks where The Blue Fairy finally turns him into a real boy. Before he wakes up and learns he is now a real boy, a group of lambs are seen watching Pinocchio turn from a puppet into a human.
- In Amagi Brilliant Park, one of "The Amabri Mascots" is Macaron, The Fairy of Music, who looks like an adorable cartoony sheep and hosts "Macaron's Music Theater". Despite his cute appearance, he alongside the other mascots are really magical beings from Maple Land and not humans in suits. Macaron does play with this trope but drops the act on numerous occasions in the series.
- The sheep◊ in Dick King-Smith's Babe (known as Babe The Gallant Sheep in the UK) aren't the nicest sheep in fiction. Under Maa's guidance, the flock befriends Babe. Some thieves come to try and steal the sheep, and later, a pack of feral dogs kills Maa. However, Fly is lucky enough to learn a password that only they know, which they learned from Maa. This helps Babe win a sheepdog trial, where the sheep weren't minding Babe at all.note
- The 2017 children's book Go to Sleep by Marion Adams stars a cute female sheep named "Tansy" who has forgotten how to sleep and has to learn how to do it again.
- Nancy Shaw has written a series of children's books starring a group of playful, curious, and kindhearted sheep. Her best known stories are Sheep Go to Sleep and Sheep Out to Eat.
- The 1952 picture book Little Lamb's Hat by Mary G. Phillips is about a little lamb named Lambkin, who wishes overnight for her own hat after seeing two girls wearing bonnets. The next morning, she is seen wearing a red basket which she thinks is a hat. Near the end of the story, a little girl decides to give Lambkin a small bonnet that fits her◊. This book was part of the "Junior Elf Books" series and marketed around Easter.
- Played with in Dark Lord of Derkholm. Derk's sheep are docile in the hands of his family, but due to a failed breeding experiment the entire flock is carnivorous and make for frightening attack dogs when needed.
- Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Blake; one poem in Songs of Innocence is "The Lamb", while "The Tyger" from Songs Of Experience at one point contrasts the fear-inducing tiger to the innocent lamb:
"Did He smile, His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?"
- The Finnish children's book series Utelias Villami (Curious Woollamy) created by Marjukka Niemi stars a lamb named Villami. Introduced in 2015◊, Villami starts out as a sheep who wishes to become a wolf so the other sheep will fear and respect her. In 2016, a second book called Villami löytää värit (Villami Finds Colors) was created, and the third in 2017 called Villami oivaltaa numerot (Villami realizes numbers). Both of the latter books involve her learning from colors and numbers with her parents. The latest book in the series from 2018, called Villami revontulten maassa (Villami in the country of the Northern Lights), has her spending time in Norway for the winter with her grandmother.
- The 2012 Christian children's book The Best Thing About Christmas features sheep in a story about The Nativity, two sheep are seen putting a blanket on top of Baby Jesus.
- The century old fable "The Wolf and The Lamb" is focused on a lamb and a wolf. Older versions had a moral about tyranny ("Tyrants need no excuse") with the lamb getting either getting killed or kidnapped. Later variations spare the lamb (making it a female) and have a new moral ("The gentle and weak can sometimes be cleverer than the fierce and strong"). She first encounters the wolf after wandering away from her flock. She tells the wolf "If you allow me to dance, the grass in my stomach will be digested faster", and "If you wait a while, I will taste much better." While dancing, she comes up with a new idea. The lamb tells the wolf that if he takes the bell from around her neck and rings it harder, it will allow her to dance faster. Ringing the bell causes the shepherd to send dogs which scare away the wolf. One version has the lamb asking the wolf to play his flute one last time before the dogs come to rescue her.
- Subverted in the George Orwell book Animal Farm where sheep are depicted in a negative and unfriendly manner. Sometimes to very creepy effect as seen in the 1954 animated film. Some of the farm animals (except pigs) don't like them at all.
- The 2016 children's book (which comes with a CD) Sheila the Shy Sheep is about a timid female sheep who's very shy and kindhearted. Despite her shyness, she's very good at cooking and isn't sheepish (no pun intended).
- The 1988 picture book "The Lamb and the Butterfly" written by Arnold Sundgaard, and illustrated by Eric Carle. Is focused on an unnamed female lamb who befriends a male butterfly with the lamb constantly asking questions about the butterfly's lifestyle.
- The 2019 picture book Sheep Dog and Sheep Sheep by Eric Barclay, is about an accidental friendship between a sheep dog and a female sheep (both named "Sheep Dog" and "Sheep"). A follow up was released in 2020 where Sheep Dog tries to convince Sheep to get a haircut on shearing day.
- The 1971 Spanish children's picture book "Bée el corderito travieso"◊ ("Bée the mischievous lamb" or "Bée the naughty lamb") by Juan Ferrándiz, is about a cute young lamb who gets into mischief. Bee decides to fetch a pale of water from a water fountain, but confronts a bear who makes him is prisoner after thinking he kidnapped his son. After the father bear gets worried about one of his missing sons, he decides to free him. Meanwhile, Bée's six siblings get worried about his disappearance and gets their mother to help search for him. By the end of the story, the Father Bear reunites with his son while Bée reunites with his mother.
- The 2006 English picture book The Lamb Who Came For Dinner by Steve Smallman is centered on an unexpected friendship between an old wolf and a little lamb (renamed "Hotpot" in future books) during an extremely cold winter evening. The lamb herself is very kind, sweet, and innocently naive toward the wolf. As a house guest, she treats him very nicely and only stopped by to warm up from the freezing snow. However, she's completely oblivious to his plans to eat her. As the story progresses, the wolf slowly starts to develop feelings for her (such as when she gives him a big hug), which cause him to reach his breaking point after she wakes up and gives him a big kiss, causing him to kick her out his house, in fear of eating an animal that treated him that kindly. Happily, after the wolf searches outside in the cold snow, he discovers the lamb waiting for him back at his house, where he apologizes and they immediately become friends. Their friendship is expanded upon in two follow-up books: The Wolves Who Came For Dinner from 2019, and The Alligator Who Came For Dinner, released in 2020.
- Subverted on Drake & Josh. When Megan tricks the boys into taking care of a sheep she bought online with the promise of not pranking them for a long time, they first are in love with the sheep for being so cute and gentle. Then it proceeds to wreck their room, get lost in the house, and give birth on Josh's bed, making it much less endearing to them.
- Sheep show up occasionally in Sesame Street, notably during the Bert and Ernie segments. In "Dance Myself to Sleep", the sheep are tap dancing; another segment has Ernie Counting Sheep complete with hand drawn sheep.
- The sheep are more prominent in the show's German co-production, Sesamstrasse.
- Beata the Lamb from the Polish co-production Ulica Sezamkowa, is a young female lamb who serves as the show's main characters.
- The sock puppet and ventriloquist character Lamb Chop, created by Shari Lewis, is a female lamb who's very playful and friendly while sometimes a bit snarky. Lamb Chop first appeared on television in the late 1950s and was featured in live shows performed by Shari on the Shari Lewis Show. Lamb Chop also gained a new TV series in the early 1990s called Lamb Chop's Play-Along along, with a few direct to video films. During the 90s, Lamb Chop was featured in a lot of merchandise during the show's popularity up until Shari's death. The character is currently performed by Mallory Lewis, who is Shari's daughter.
- On Good Eats, it's explained that the reason domestic sheep are docile and perceived as less intelligent was because of selective breeding.
- The mid 1990s series Mother Goose Stories by Jim Henson Productions has two episodes starring innocent and kindhearted sheep. The is the episode "Baa Baa Black Sheep" where the titular black sheep learns that one resident needs lots of wool. The sheep decides to eat as much grass as he can in order to grow as much wool as it can to fill up the bag of sheep wool for the resident, much to the surprise of his Shepherd. While in "Mary Had A Little Lamb", Mary's lamb gets very curious about Mary's school due to following her everyday and wishes to be a student. At first, Mary is against this idea since her teacher forbids animals in class. But later, she decides to help the lamb disguise itself as a normal student fully dressed in clothing. The first day of class for the lamb was is actually a very exciting experience, since the lamb is extremely happy about the lessons the teacher's taught. The second day of class for the sheep doesn't turn out as well, due to the lamb laughing and bleating (much to the teacher's surprise) and the teacher finally realizing there has been a lamb attending class the whole time.
- The Samson En Gert music video "Mac Samson en Mac Gert" by Studio100. Features Samson, Gert and his friends traveling Scotland. At one point in the music video, we see Gert petting a baby lamb while Samson's friends are spotted chasing after the other adult sheep.
- The Boys (2019) has an In-Universe example with the family entertainment and resturant chain known as "Buster Beaver's" (based on Chuck E. Cheese). One of the resturants mascots is a black sheep chef who is a bit chunky but a friendly guy. The black sheep is implied to been Black Noir's favorite characters from the resturant since the sheep is seen dressed as him during the gang's reenactment of Noir's past.
- Anastasia, the titular Kosem, is heavily associated with lambs at the start of Magnificent Century: Kösem. Most of the promoting photos with young Anastasia were with her holding a lamb in her arms. The lamb symbolizes her Christian Orthodox faith and kind hearted nature at the beginning of the story.
- In 1971, Paul McCartney and Wings made a song version of "Mary Had A Little Lamb", in a couple of music videos. The group can be seen singing and performing the song on a grassy field, with one of the members herding a flock of sheep. Another version has the group performing inside a farm, where a couple of lambs are seen interacting and playing.
- The 1982 Christmas Song "Baa Baa Little Lamb" by Betsy Hernandez mainly focuses on The Nativity, since it refers to the birth of Jesus while also referencing Mary's lamb from "Mary Had A Little Lamb". The song is part of a 1982 Christmas album called 25 Songs Of Christmas.
- On the topic of Christmas songs, Sheep and Lambs are also mentioned in "The Little Drummer Boy", "The First Noel", and "Do You Hear What I Hear". The song "Do You Hear What I Hear" is about how a Shepard boy, The Mighty King, and the people discovered the birth location of Baby Jesus after hearing about "The Star". The entire song begins after a little lamb hears from the night wind about a star which the lamb later tells to the Shepard boy.
- The 1978 Christmas song "So My Sheep May Safely Graze" by Rod McKuen note is about a flock of sheep and their peaceful lifestyle. The song is part of Rod McKuen's Christmas album "The Carols of Christmas".
- Dutch lullaby and children's song "Slaap kindje, slaap" (Sleep Baby, Sleep) features a sheep (or lamb) drinking sweet milk. Another translation mentions a baby/child drinking the sheep's milk.
"Slaap kindje slaap,"
"daar buiten loopt een schaap."
"Een schaap met witte voetjes, "
"die drinkt zijn melk zo zoetjes."
"Slaap kindje slaap,"
"daar buiten loopt een schaap."
- Sheep and Lambs are very prominent in monotheistic Abrahamic religions such as Judaism, and especially Christianity and Catholicism. Sheep are the most mentioned animals in The Bible, such as "Parable of the Lost Lamb" and "The Nativity". At churches, they are usually seen on glass windows and statues. As a result, it's common to see lambs on numerous◊ Christmas cards◊ depicting the night of Jesus' birth◊, sometimes accompanied with angels.◊
- In the Books of Samuel, after King David uses his status as king to take advantage of Bathsheba, and then pulls a Uriah Gambit (the Trope Namer, in fact), the prophet Nathan tells him a story about a poor man who had only one little lamb that he loved dearly, keeping it as a pet (when most people would keep sheep as livestock, not pets) — and was coveted by a rich man who already had an enormous flock of sheep. The rich man stole the poor man's sheep, killed it, and ate it. The lamb may not have been just a pet. Animals who were loved and cherished like a family member were usually dedicated to God for sacrifice. If so, the rich man's sin was even worse. David says that the man should be executed for his transgression, not understanding (until Nathan points it out) that he had effectively done the same thing.
- In Christianity and especially Catholicism, paintings and artwork showing Jesus Christ as a young boy (both as Baby Jesus and Infant/Child Jesus) accompanied by lambs◊ or a flock of sheep◊ is very common place◊. Usually showing him holding a lamb◊ (sometimes holding a small cross◊), carrying a cross while walking a lamb◊ (forshadowing his eventual death and ressurection), or showing love to them◊. In Spanish countries, these works are known as "niño jesus con cordero" (translating to "Baby Jesus with Lamb").
- The Eastern Zodiac has the Year of the Sheep (or Goat) as the eighth year because the Sheep, the Monkey, and the Rooster used teamwork (and a conveniently placed raft) to sail across the river and head to the finish line together.
- Little Bo-Peep's sheep seem to wander off when she's around, but they seem loyal enough to return home in the end.
- Mary's Lamb from Mary Had a Little Lamb fame follows her everywhere, even to school. The last verse of the full version is on how much the lamb loves Mary and Mary loves the lamb back.
- The eponymous black sheep from Baa, Baa, Black Sheep gives its wool to its master, a woman, and a young boy. At least in the version most are familiar with.
- Inverted with Bray Wyatt and The Wyatt Family, despite sheep being the family's Animal Motifs. Bray Wyatt gives ominous speeches related to sheep, the Wyatts are always wearing lamb masks, and are one of the creepiest wrestling gimmicks in WWE. The Wyatt Family famously scared John Cena on April 28th, 2014 during the opening of Raw.
- The Care Bears franchise gives us Gentle Heart Lamb (one of the Care Bear Cousins), a mint-colored lamb whose symbol is a pink, lacy heart-shaped pillow. While not as prominent compared to the other Cousins in animated works of the 80s, she's more prominent in various books and Greeting Cards by American Greetings where she's given a major role. She also speaks in a bleating pattern in all animated appearances.
- On the Summer of 2021, Hasbro's FurReal series launched a new series of adorable stuffed animals known as "Sweet Jammiecorn" which involves children taking care of a newborn baby unicorn. They also created a lamb version◊ known as "Sweet Jammiecorn Lamb", which is able to makes the cutest bleats. Natalie Hitzel, who voiced "Sweet Jammiecorn Lamb", admitted on a Twitter post that she had a lot of fun voicing the lamb.
- Before creating "Sweet Jammiecorn", FurReal created an interactive newborn lamb in 2011 that was part of the FurReal Friends series. The toy lamb is able to wiggle it's tail, stretch, and make a cute "baa" if you pet it.
- Pokémon Gold and Silver added Mareep and Flaaffy, two sheeplike Pokémon who have static-producing fluffy woolnote . Mareep are also said to be mild and avoid battles. They lose the sheeplike appearance when they evolve into Ampharos, however.
- Pokémon Black and White introduces Cottonee and Whimsicott, which are basically cotton plants, but have many sheep-like elements. Cottonee has a cotton puff on its forehead that resembles a lamb's head while Whimsicott has leaf-ears that resemble a ram's horns. They're generally very friendly although they do have a trickster side to them.
- Pokémon Sword and Shield has the adorable sheep Wooloo which became an instant fan-favorite after its reveal. The descriptions of it being timid and rolling away from conflict just added to its sweetness.
- The spirit Tama Sheep Dream Eaters from Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] are cute, fluffy, round sheep that help the protagonists, Sora and Riku, throughout the game. Not so for their nightmare counterparts, which number among the series' many Adorable Abominations and are decidedly *not* friendly.
- The Animal Crossing games have four female sheep villagers of the "normal" personality type whom are incredibly kind to the player and their neighbors. By virtue of the series' nature, the other sheep villagers also count (except for the four snooty sheep; at least, at first.) It's worth noting that most of the sheep villagers are female, too. There's also Muffy, a black sheep who is of the sisterly personality.
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons gives us Dom the jock sheep, keep in mind that the "jocks" in this game series is very excitable, friendly and fun. And he has the high pitched voice of the rest of the jock villagers.
- Shōyō Tsubouchi from Bungo to Alchemist really likes sheep, collects related merchandise, was coincidentally born on the year of the Sheep, and is a pleasant and somewhat bashful man.
- Final Fantasy XIII has the sheep of both Cocoon's Nautlius and Gran Pulse. The sheep of Cocoon in particular are decidedly cute, causing Vanille to comment "Look at these things! I just wanna squeeze 'em till they pop!"
- In Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life and Another Wonderful Life, the player character has the option of purchasing sheep which appear so cuddly-wuddly that if farming and ranching didn't take up the better part of the game's day, you'd want to have him or her do nothing but stand around nuzzling them.
- The sister series to Harvest Moon, Rune Factory has the adorable Woolies/Wooly who are the weakest and least-aggressive monsters of the series.
- Viva Piñata: Goobaa are adorable and fluffy sheep pinatas. You can even shear their wool and make use of it.
- Woolen from the Bubble Bobble spinoff series Bust-A-Move and Puzzle Bobble is a humanoid female sheep with pink wool. Woolen is very cheerful and playful, she's also close friends with Bub and very flirtatious with him.
- Pom from Them's Fightin' Herds is a slender, large-eyed, peaceful ewe who really does not want to be taking part in going on a dangerous adventure, or be in a fighting game at all. Her sheepdogs do most of the fighting while Pom herself is desperately trying to tell the others not to hurt her. Just don't hurt her puppies.
- The protagonist of Cult of the Lamb is an adorable sheep who happens to be the prophet of a dark god and the leader of a cult. How sweet they are completely depends on the player.
- The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is the rare work that shows sheep in a negative light. In this trilogy, sheep are creepy troublemakers known for causing mischief to unsuspected travelers. The heroes end up fighting them in a few occasions and in a particular battle, they show a disturbing ability to "combine" into a big unsettling caprine gestalt.
- Lammy from Happy Tree Friends is a very cute and sweet sheep girl. Like most characters in the show, however, she has an unfortunate habit of accidentally killing people.
- Episode 4 of Helluva Boss (set in the same universe of Hazbin Hotel) introduces the angelic trio known as C.H.E.R.U.B lead by Cletus with Collin and Keenie being angelic sheep. The trio are part of an organization that prevents humans from dying, as oppose to I.M.P (lead by Blitzo, Moxxie, and Millie) who prefers killing humans for profit. While Keenie plays up the "Sweet Sheep Act", she only uses it as a facade and only wants it for the fame. Collin takes his job more seriously and is genuinely trying to help others and notably the nicest of the team. He's also the only member that never threatens any of his own team members and I.M.P and never uses profanity.
- Tsunomaki Watame from hololive is a fluffy sheep bard who loves singing, with the personality of a sweet & gentle kindergarten teacher.
- Marble Gate Dungeon: Its protagonist, Colleen, is a shepherdess turned cleric that is able to summon a holy ram to help defend her from monsters.
- Stand Still, Stay Silent: Reynir, the mage who discovers his powers early in the story is a sheepherder by trade, resulting in his dreamscape safe area being idyllic sheep-populated hills. The worse thing any of the sheep is seen doing is munching on Reynir's hair, which he doesn't seem to mind much.
- Vegan Art Book: Because the author is a militant vegan fundamentalist, any and all animals, including sheep, are portrayed as kind, innocent victims of the cruel omnivores.
- The webcomic "Lost Nightmare" by Miyuli has dreams as it's main theme. It involves a young nightmare named Ink who doesn't want to end up as the next Boogeyman. Ink travels to see the Sandman, who lives in a sandy castle. The Sandman's kingdom is entirely populated by friendly sheep residents who are very sensitive and gentle. It's later revealed that Ink and Jasper actually started out as sheep but turned humanoid as they got older. Nightmare versions of sheep are seen, but are also peaceful.
- "Marengo Comics" by Blue Candle Studios, is a webcomic series about a timid sheep named "Marengo Lambert". A male sheep who fights to overcome his insecurities and his adventures to increase his convidence. The webcomic was created by a group of friends as a way to express their shyness.
- In The Simpsons episode "Lisa the Vegetarian", there are actually three, and each cuter than the last. The last sheep is small, has big, round eyes and a pink ribbon, and is friendly enough to give Lisa an affectionate lick. It's so cute, in fact, that it kick starts Lisa's decision to become a vegetarian. note
- Most of the sheep in Shaun the Sheep are cute in a cartoony way. Shaun's cousin Timmy is just plain cute, with him essentially being a sheep pom-pom that carries around a teddy bear and sucks on a pacifier.
- Lambie from Disney's Doc McStuffins is as soft as the wool covering her. Her main job in the clinic is to give out cuddles and to give good advice. In Toy Hospital, she runs a baby nursery in Doc's hospital for baby toys. Lambie mentioned in previous episodes that she really loves babies. In episodes that take place in Lambie's nursery, she is seen feeding, comforting, and singing a lullaby to make the baby toys go to sleep.
- The 1994 direct-to-video film Simon The Lamb by Precious Moments has most of the main animal cast◊ being adorable sheep and lambs◊. The titular protagonist is a baby blue colored lamb with blue wool. While his blue wool made him shunned by all the other sheep (including a black sheep◊ voiced by Christine Cavanaugh), he would befriend a fox, and he later rescues the other sheep from a blizzard. The only lamb from Simon's flock that genuinely likes him is a female lamb with a bow named "Daisy"◊ voiced by Kath Soucie. Throughout the film, she is seen defending Simon and scolding a few lambs that pick on him, the most notable being one lamb named "Albert"◊ voiced by E.G. Daily who really dislikes Simon. Daisy even calls out Albert and the other lambs for how they treated Simon (Albert plays "Blind's man's bluff" with Simon and intentionally leads him away from the stable) and motives them to search for him after going missing. The female lamb also has a crush on him, which is shown throughout the film. After Simon rescues her and his other friends◊ near the end of the film, she congratulates him by giving him a kiss.◊ Albert and the other lambs express regret for how they treated Simon and become friends with him.
- The 2000 direct-to-video Christmas animated short film The Crippled Lamb by StarToons Animation stars a lamb named Joshua who has a crippled leg◊. Joshua is adopted by a female cow who describes him as "The sweetest little lamb" but is sad since the other sheep (except for Laura Lamb) make fun of him due to moving very slowly (due to one of his back legs being crippled). Near the end of the film, Joshua encounters Mary and Joseph after the birth of Jesus, which makes him finally understand his purpose and feels proud. The film is also based on the 1994 Christian children's book of the same name by Max Lucado◊.
- The 2003 direct to video animated sequel to Charlotte's Web introduces Cardigan the lamb as a new animal to the farm. Due to his black wool and the fact that he likes pig things, all the other lambs make fun of him and call him a "Loser" and "A Loser, with a Capital L.", leaving Wilbur, Nellie, Joy, and Arania to become Cardigan's only friends. After Cardigan gets sold to another owner at a Country Fair, Wilbur decides to head to the place where Cardigan resides at. The new owners for Cardigan think Wilbur is "A Wild Pig" and attempts to keep him away from their property. Meanwhile Cardigan encounters a fox named Farley who attempts to eat him, and later learns a move from Wilbur (or as he calls it "Pig Power!") by headbutting Farley to escape. Later in the film, Wilbur alongside Nellie, Arania, and Joy finally reunite with Cardigan and the lamb gets returned back to the farm.
- Most of the sheep from Lambert the Sheepish Lion are a subverted example for most of the cartoon, doing nothing but pick on Lambert, a lion cub that got adopted by a mother sheep. Lambert's foster mother is the only member of the flock that plays this trope straight. Due to Lambert not being a sheep, the rest of the flock rejects the poor cub and are seen bullying and mocking him complete with a song about how they don't accept him. Eventually, once Lambert and the other lambs become older, the flock still rejects him until Lambert (now a grown lion) rescues and protects the sheep (especially his mother) from a wolf. The sheep eventually become friends with Lambert by the end of the short.
- In Samurai Jack, trio of small sheep accompany Jack up a mountain with a time portal at its peak. Aku beats Jack to the top, however, and not only destroys the time portal, but turns the sheep into aggressive monsters without Jack knowing. When Jack fights and kills the monsters, their corpses revert back into those of the innocent-looking sheep, which causes Jack to freak out and to lose his signature sword in the process.
- On Rocko's Modern Life, in the episode "Love Spanked," Rocko puts an ad in the "Personals" section of the local paper. The result is that he ends up going on a series of terrible dates. One of his dates is an actual sheep (in a universe mostly populated by Funny Animals). All she does is eat flowers while Rocko just stands there.
- Rankin/Bass Productions:
- Baba the Lamb from the 1968 Christmas Special The Little Drummer Boy and its 1976 sequel The Little Drummer Boy II is one of the three animal companions (Simon the Donkey and Joshua the Camel) of Aaron aka "The Little Drummer Boy". Baba was the only sheep that wasn't stolen by two thieves and has a very close relationship with Aaron. Near the end of the special, Aaron finds Joshua at Bethlehem alongside The Three Wise Men and other citizens at the birth of Jesus. As Aaron alongside Simon and Baba quickly run to Joshua, the lamb gets run over in the process and on the verge of death. He tries to ask one of the wise men for help, with one of them telling Aaron to present a gift to "The Newborn Child". After Aaron finishes playing his drum to Baby Jesus, Baba is quickly healed up which makes Aaron very happy.
- The 1975 special The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow' starring Angela Lansbury takes place at an orphanage run by nuns. The special is focused on a shepherd boy who ends up blind after lighting strikes a tree causing it to injure parts of his body. He really loves his sheep, who provide him with his only way of knowing that he's physically touching things. Near the end of the special, he participates (dressed as an angel as part of a children's choir) at a local nativity play where he brings his sheep. Once the play is finished, it actually snows which gains him the ability to see for the first time and sheds tears in the process.
- The South Park episode "Jewpacabra" has a darker take on this trope. During Cartman's dream sequence set during the Old Testament, a lamb shows up smelling two roses which he sings a lullaby to. As the lamb starts cuddling with Cartman, it suddenly gets taken by Kyle's parents and gets it's throat slashed with Kyle and his parents smearing blood onto their house door. Cartman freaks out and tells Kyle why did he kill it, with Kyle responding by telling him "This is what god told us to do!". After he yells at him in fear, he runs across town where he also witness other lambs getting sacrificed alongside children dying (including children and adults having their heads exploding).
- The Dora the Explorer episode "Dora Had A Little Lamb", involves Mary's Lamb (known as "Little Lamb") from "Mary Had A Little Lamb" jumping out of a giant book filled with Nursery Rhymes to ask Dora and Boots to help her find Mary after getting lost. As Dora, Boots, and Little Lamb are searching for Mary's house. They encounter other beloved characters from other Nursery Rhymes (such as Humpty Dumpty, Peter Piper, and three men in a tub from "Rub-a-dub-dub") which Little Lamb introduces to Dora and Boots. Later in the episode, Little Lamb is seen wearing a yellow flower located on her right ear.
- Lollichop the sheep (voiced by late voice actress Russi Taylor) from the 1983 Easter television special Peter and the Magic Egg. She's a soft-spoken and friendly female sheep who is one of the main animal characters (Cotton the rabbit, Terrace the turtle, and Feather the duck) of the special.
- Woolma Lamb from The Get Along Gang is a young anthropomorphic lamb and one of the show's leading characters. Woolma wears a yellow dress and has yellow hair/wool complete with a yellow bow.
- The obscure 1969 Hanna-Barbera series The Cattanooga Cats gives us Lambsy the Lamb from the segment It's The Wolf. Lambsy is a playful and energetic lamb who frequently yells "It's the Wolf" to get rescued from Mildew Wolf. Lambsy would later reappear in the HBO Max series Jellystone! as a minor character.
- The Noveltoons/Famous Studios character Blackie the Lamb from the Blackie the Lamb and Wolfie the Wolf series of shorts mostly subverts this trope. Despite being a sheep, he's a wisecracking sheep who finds way to foil Wolfie's plans on eating him (alongside his nephews in one short). Same goes with his nephews (who all have white wool) who are very mischievous and frequently gets spanked by Blackie for bad behavior.
- In the 1944 Raggedy Ann short Suddenly, It's Spring by Famous Studios, one of the sentient toys that are crying over Marcy on the verge of death is a lamb stuffed animal. Marcy (Raggedy Ann's owner in the short) won't fully recover until "she get's sunshine" which Raggedy Ann decides to do in the short.
- The 1937 Max Fleischer cartoon "Little Lamby" (part of Paramount's "Color Classic series") takes place in a village inhabited by cute antropormorhic animals called "Animalville" where animals are doing their daily activies. The main antagonist of the short is a fox who's spying on animals to see which would be perfect to have for dinner. He instatly notices a carefree and innocent female lamb eating grass which causes him to hold "A Baby Contest" at the village on which baby animal is the cutest. After rejecting a few baby animals, he chooses the same female lamb he spotted earlier and quickly captures it. As the entire village chases after the fox, the baby lamb is completely oblivious to the foxes' true intentions until he puts her into a boiling pot. After getting rescued, the animals decide to push the fox by tying him up on a wooden pole, jumping on a ramp to cause the fox to hit his head on a trip gong, with the lamb finishing his punishment by putting pepper on to his nose causing him to sneeze.
- The 1945 Mighty Mouse cartoon "Wolf! Wolf!" by Terry Toons involves a pack of wolves trying to kidnap and eat a flock of sheep. One of the wolves decide to dress up as Little Bo Peep and bringing a flute to attract some of the sheep. As the disguised wolf performes "Mary Had A Little Lamb" which attracts one lamb, they eventually capture it and prepares to cook it. Luckily, Mighty Mouse puts a stop to the wolves from eating the lamb and returns the baby lamb back to his mother and the flock.
- The 2021 Apple TV+ preschool series Get Rolling With Otis (based on the Otis picture book series by Loren Long) has Louie the Lamb as one of the show's main characters. Louie is notably sweet and the youngest of the flock, with Episode 4 of Season 1 involving Otis helping Louie sleep comfortable and took Counting Sheep literally which causes the flock to wake up the entire farm. While Episode 6 had the lamb unable to bring five of his sheep back to the stable due to spraining his leg. The second season featured an episode where Louie accidentally let all the pigs loose after he trips over a barrel while tucking in "Sheepie" (a sheep doll made of straw) which results in the pig pen's gate to open.
- In the 1953 Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoon "Little Boo Peep", the eponymous ghost befriends Little Bo Peep after getting kicked out of the Scare Force by the other ghosts. He promises to help her find her lost sheep as he travels across a world inhabited by famous nursery rhyme characters. After unintentionally scaring the inhabitants, he discovers that Bo Peep's three sheep had been kidnapped by Wolfie the Wolf, who prepares to have them for dinner. Once Casper rescues her sheep and scaring Wolfie, Bo Peep is seen giving each of her sheep a kiss before finally giving Casper one for helping her, which causes Casper to turn red.
- One of the main characters from the 2003 Christian direct-to-video series Kids' Ten Commandments is Martha the Lamb. Martha (voiced by Jodi Benson) is a young female lamb who's quiet, soft-spoken, and sweet with everybody she encounters. She serves as the animals voice of reason and is quick to call out her animal friends for disobeying the Ten Commandments, such as scolding Jacob the Cow for wishing "To be worshiped like a God." by telling him "There is only one God!" note , and reminding her animal companions that it's not good to lie in God's presence. note
- Numb Chucks inverts this with Buford G. Butternut, a sheep who is a Lazy Bum Jerkass bully towards the other characters, specifically the protagonists. He does try to act sweet towards his crush, but she doesn't return the feeling.
- Due to sheep (especially lambs) being commonly associated with innocence and peace, they are very common animals to be featured in baby and toddler related products◊ such as bottles, rattles◊ and stuffed animals (such as the interactive sheep plushies "Snuggle & Sleep Sheep" and "Storytime Rhymes Sheep" by VTech). Sheep are also very popular as themes at various◊ nurseries◊ and daycare centers.
- Sheep are popular on greeting cards◊, letters, and postcards (mainly ones during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s) as cute illustrations◊, especially seasonal greeting cards made around◊ Christmas◊ and Easter◊. Mary's Lamb from "Mary Had A Little Lamb" was also popular in old greeting cards◊.
- South Korean theme park "Everland" has a timid female baby lamb named "Lisa"◊. She's a resident of "Aesop Village" the children's section of the park.
- On Christmas Eve 2014, The New York Daily News released a Christmas story called "A little lamb, a boy, a Christmas story" by Karen Zautyk that was written for her father. The story involves a sad, lonely, and frail little lamb who was separated from its mother and would cry every night which disturbed his flock. On the night of Jesus' birth, the lamb cried without making a sound and is afraid of Mary and Joseph's presence. Happily, the baby lamb decides to emerge from its hiding place to meet Mary who decides to stroke its wool before picking the lamb up to tuck it into the same manger as Jesus. Thanks to the warm of the lamb's wool, this causes Baby Jesus to snuggle near the lamb, smile, and sleep peacefully. The little lamb also learns not to cry out loud, but instead cries happily since it didn't feel alone, afraid, or unloved. The story ends with the baby lamb sleeping peacefully with Jesus as Mary sings a lullaby to them.