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When sheep 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 dirty 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. 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.)

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See also Counting Sheep.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Card Games 
  • 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.

    Films — Animation 
  • Chirin, the star of the Ringing Bell starts out as a sheep who lives a happy and carefree life in the fields — until the story takes a dark turn.
  • Zootopia has Assistant Mayor Bellwether, who seems like an Adorkable, helpful friend to protagonist Judy. The keyword here is "seems".
    • Earlier in the film, we see Judy as a child protecting and defending a female lamb named "Ruth" who is getting bullied by Gideon Grey. Another female lamb is later seen running up to Judy and Ruth after she witnesses Judy getting slashed by Gideon. Both the unnamed lamb and Ruth play this trope straight, since they are very innocent and very concerned and caring about Judy even after getting hurt.
  • The sheep in the Wallace & Gromit film A Close Shave and the spinoff Shaun the Sheep.

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    Films — Live-Action 
  • While the sheep in Babe aren't the nicest sheep in fiction, they eventually befriend Babe and slowly become nicer as the movie progresses. Once, the first leader of the ewe flock gets killed by one of the livestock's guardian dogs. They get sent to another farm after the incident. However, the female guardian is lucky enough to learn a secret code that only they know which they learn from their deceased leader. Near the end of the film, they play a major role with Babe at a state fair, which is where they give the Secret Sheep Code to Babe.
  • 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.

    Music 

    Literature 
  • 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.
  • 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?"

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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, including 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 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 and 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 videos. 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 first appearance of such a sheep is in "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.

    Myths & Religion 
  • 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), a prophet by the name of Nathan comes to him, and 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 that little lamb 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. 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.

    Nursery Rhymes 
  • 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.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • 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 the theme dreams. 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.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Simpsons episode "Lisa the Vegetarian", there are actually three, and each cuter than the last. The last sheep is small, with big, round eyes, 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, 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 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 voiced by EG Daily who really dislikes Simon. 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.
  • The 1999 direct-to-video animated 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 his very slow. 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 features 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", leaving Wilbur, Nellie, Joy, and Arania to become Cardigan's only friends.
  • The lambs from the 1951 Disney short "Lambert the Sheepish Lion" are a subverted example for most of the cartoon. The lambs for the majority of the short, the lambs are mean and pick on Lambert, a lion cub that got adopted by a mother sheep. The mother sheep is the only sheep that plays this trope straight. Due to Lambert not being a sheep, the lambs and the rest of the flock reject 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 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.
    Other 
  • 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 and in animated direct to video films for a short period in the mid 1990s.
  • Artist Ruth Morehead loves drawing and painting 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • The Care Bears features the Care Bear Cousin, Gentle Heart Lamb. She is a mint-green lamb with a pink heart on her belly.

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