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Western Animation / Lady and the Tramp

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And they call it Bella Notte...

Originally released in 1955, Lady and the Tramp is the 15th entry in the Disney Animated Canon, and the first that Disney theatrically distributed themselves. It tells the story of a loving couple and their family pet from the dog's point of view. Big changes are coming to Jim Dear and Darling's family, something that the eponymous Lady has trouble understanding. Meanwhile, Lady herself has caught the eye of the Tramp, a stray dog (and ladies' man) who prefers the uncertain freedom of the streets to life in a collar, which he views as slavery. He tries to convince Lady to live more recklessly, but she believes just as strongly in loyalty to her humans and her home. Will The Power of Love convince Tramp to see things her way?

The movie spawned a series of comics, starting with the newspaper strip Scamp: Son of Lady and the Tramp, Scamp also stars in a direct-to-video sequel to the movie, Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure, which was released in 2001.

It is the first feature-length animated film created in a widescreen format, making it a landmark in animation history.

A Live-Action Adaptation by the same name was released on November 12, 2019 on Disney+.

Tropes this Disney classic provides examples of:

  • Accent Adaptation: Jock speaks with a Scottish accent in English. In the French dub, this is replaced by a posh English accent (since there isn’t really a stereoptypical "Scottish" accent in French), which makes him sound polite and genial.
  • Adaptational Expansion: If you view it as an adaptation of "Happy Dan, the Cynical Dog" (which some scholarly sources and even a few from Disney themselves do); the aforementioned "story" is only a page long and has nothing resembling a plot, being just a string of wry observations from a streetwise stray dog. That said, its author Ward Greene was tapped to write a full novelization of the movie's plot during production.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Invoked by Peg, who sings a whole song about how she loves the Tramp specifically because "he's a scoundrel" and "breaks a new heart every day". Defied by Lady, who gets turned off when she learns this aspect of his history.
  • Alternate Animal Affection: The famous Spaghetti Kiss results in the pair accidentally smooching, despite this not being terribly anatomically practical for dogs. Also, while affectionate cats will cross tails, they can't "shake hands" with them like Si and Am do.
  • Am I Just a Toy to You?: Lady is distraught when she learns of the Tramp's history, realizing that she's just the latest in a long line of girlfriends.
  • Anachronism Stew: Courtesy of Boris, mostly. This is set in 1909 yet he mentions the "Red Flag", which wouldn't make sense before the 1920s.
  • Anachronistic Animal: Lady and the Tramp features two "modern"-style Siamese in the early 1900s. The modern Siamese style, with its elongated muzzle and triangle-shaped head, didn't begin development until the 1950s. Prior to that, all Siamese were rounder and less exaggerated looking.
  • Animal Talk: Most animals can understand each other. The vicious rat is an aversion; also the zoo primates (too closely related to humans).
  • Appeal to Familial Wisdom: A Running Gag where Trusty will go, "As my grandpappy Ol' Reliable used to say... Don't recollect if I ever mentioned Ol' Reliable before..." The answer is always yes, and Trusty drops the subject. By the time he finally gets a chance to say what Ol' Reliable used to say, he's forgotten what it was.
  • Art Shift: Tramp changes colour from brown to grey several times during the movie, presumably unintentionally.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care:
    • Serving coffee and doughnuts to your dog is not the wisest thing to do. While the doughnuts are simply lacking in nutrition, coffee is outright toxic to dogs.
    • It's generally not wise to serve spaghetti and meatballs to dogs either – especially because most recipes include onions and garlic, both of which are toxic to dogs.
    • Additionally, leaving a muzzle on a dog for longer than 30 minutes can be extremely dangerous, especially if it keeps the dog from fully opening its jaws — although thankfully this isn't the case with Lady's muzzle. They should only be used on aggressive dogs when out in public. Muzzles are meant to prevent bites, not suffocate the dog.
    • invoked Swatting your dog for misbehavior usually just confuses or frightens the animal, as happens with Lady when Darling strikes her. This one is a case of Values Dissonance, because corporal punishment (for both dogs and human children) was perfectly acceptable at the time of the film's release (and especially in the time period of the film).
    • Also, don't wrap animals inside boxes without air holes to give them as presents to someone inexperienced with animals.
  • Asian Buck Teeth: The Siamese cats have slanted eyes and, yes, two prominent front center fangs. They also speekee Engrish.
  • Author Appeal: The movie is set during The Gay '90s because Walt Disney was a big fan of that particular time period, and the town in the movie was inspired by his own hometown of Marceline, Missouri.
  • Babies Ever After: Lady and Tramp's puppies make for an adorable closing scene.
  • Based on a True Story: Walt Disney once gave his wife Lillian a puppy as a Christmas present, and he put it in a hatbox to heighten the surprise, inspiring the first scene. Lady was based on artist Joe Grant's own English Springer Spaniel, also named Lady, who was "shoved aside" when Grant's child was born.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Aunt Sarah, the dogcatcher, and the rat.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Jim Dear and Darling come home just in time for Lady to reveal the truth.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Aunt Sarah screams to Lady, "STOP! THAT!" when she catches her barking loudly in the backyard thinking she could wake the baby, not realizing she was trying to warn her there's a rat in the house.
  • Book Ends: The film both begins and ends with a shot of Jim Dear and Darling's snow-covered neighborhood on Christmas Eve.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: One of the first Disney films to pull one, after Tramp accidentally gets Lady sent to the pound and she learns about his womanizing ways while she's in there.
  • Canine Confusion:
    • Lady's owners give her coffee and donuts, which she eats with no ill effects. Coffee is toxic to dogs and donuts are not as harmful, but they still shouldn't be eaten by dogs.
    • Lady wears a muzzle for longer than a half hour, which is dangerous to dogs because they could suffocate eventually.
  • Cats Are Mean: Si and Am, which is completely unlike Real Life; Siamese cats are among the most friendly and sociable of breeds (though they can be loud). Si and Am, were they like real Siamese, would be far more likely to make friends with Lady than to wreck her house for their amusement.
  • Cat Stereotype: Si and Am, being the stereotypically mean Siamese (as noted above, this is contrary to Real Life).
  • Caught in the Bad Part of Town: After being fitted with a muzzle, a distraught Lady runs away and gets lost in the inner streets of town. She is chased by stray dogs and cornered in an alleyway when Tramp jumps in and fights off the dogs, rescuing her.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Tramp and Trusty. The rat also had a brief scene in the beginning before the climax.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Lady, Jock, and Trusty and their Blue, Red, and Green collars. This is referenced by how the roofs of their homes are painted their respective colours.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The workers at the pound are not portrayed as villains; they're just ordinary people who have a job to do.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The doctor after Darling has her child.
    Jim Dear: Doctor, it's a boy!
    Doctor: Yes... yes, I know.
  • Diabolical Dogcatcher: Zigzagged, in this case. The dogcatchers seem more like a metaphor, moving stray dogs and other 'undesirables' out of the nice part of town, but on the other hand the Tramp is a mischief maker and is caught in the apparent act of attacking a baby. While a guard in the pound lead a dog off to euthanasia as if taking a human to execution, they're also gentle with Lady and quickly contact her owners.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In his haste to get a muzzle off Lady, Tramp enlists an alligator's help to do so. When Tramp sees the size of his jaws, he says "Whoa! WHOA!" and has to pull her away before the alligator can bite.
  • Did You Get a New Haircut?: When Lady shows Jock her new collar, he doesn't notice it, and asks her if she had a bath or got her nails clipped, before she shows it to his face. To be fair, this is largely because he's distracted by trying to hide the bones he was burying when Lady approached him.
  • Digital Destruction: The 1998 Masterpiece Collection VHS and laserdisc releases lacked the audio of Aunt Sarah botching "Rock-a-Bye Baby" after shooing Lady out of the nursery. The restoration used for the 2006 Platinum Edition DVD, and those used for the later home video releases, as well as on Disney+, put it back.
  • Disney Death:
    • Trusty after the dog catcher's wagon accidentally hits him. Justified to a certain extent, as the original screenplay called for his death to be real. But when the public reacted negatively to Bambi's mom dying several years earlier, Trusty was ultimately spared. His next appearance shows the wagon ran over his leg. This was Disney's first use of this trope, which would become the norm until The Lion King.
    • The Beaver at the zoo gets a very brief one, after it appears the "log-puller" Tramp gave him worked a little too well...
  • Did They or Didn't They?: After Lady and Tramp have their spaghetti dinner and a romantic night out on the town, it's implied something more might've happened between them. Considering Tramp smiling and looking at Lady as he watches her sleep. And then there's Jock and Trusty considering marrying Lady to protect her reputation if she is unwed and expecting puppies.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Jock saying to Tramp, "We've no need for mongrels and their radical ideas!" Oh, Walt, you union-buster, you.
  • Door Slams You: Aunt Sarah does this to Lady when she arrives to watch over the baby. Lady turns out to be fine, though.
  • The Drifter: Tramp. He has regular ports of call, but no permanent home and nothing but contempt for "life on a leash."
  • End of an Age: This was the last Disney animated film scored by Oliver Wallace. Starting with Sleeping Beauty through Robin Hood (1973), George Bruns would replace him as composer.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In a deleted scene, the Siamese Cats are shown to have just as much concern for the baby as does their mistress and are shocked when they find out the baby was in danger.
  • Expy: Mr. Busy looks an awful lot like Gopher from Winnie the Pooh, except for color and a few other minor differences. Both even have the exact same speech impediment (a whistling sound in their "s"'s).
    • Plus, the baby looks a lot like Michael from Peter Pan.
  • The Faceless: Since the film is seen from the dogs' point of view, there are very few shots that show Jim Dear and Darling's full bodies. We mostly see them from the neck down. The guests at the baby shower and the doctor's faces are also never shown. The front of the baby's face is also not shown head-on until the final scene.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: "Bella Notte"
    • And in the sequel, "Can This Be Love".
  • First Pet Story: Lady's first night home is a lesson to Jim Dear and Darling about how puppies aren't just sunshine and rainbows.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Tramp introduces Lady to Tony and Joe, Tony comments on Tramp bringing in a new girl and suggests Tramp should settle down with "this one". When Lady asks what he means, Tramp quickly changes the subject. It foreshadows the scene where the dogs at the pound tell her that Tramp has had multiple girlfriends.
    • When Tramp is warning Lady about the dangers of a baby in the family, he mentions barking at some random stranger would prompt the owners to stop their racket otherwise the baby will wake up. This foreshadows how Aunt Sarah will respond to Lady when she tries to warn her about the rat in the baby's room.
  • Furniture Blockade: When Lady was a puppy, Jim Dear sets her up in the basement, but she keeps sneaking out. Jim Dear puts a chair in front of the door, but Lady manages to push the door open enough to squeeze through.
  • Fury-Fueled Foolishness: Tramp is alerted by Lady's barking that there's a rat in the baby's room. Since Lady is chained and can't deal with the rat herself, Tramp goes in in her stead to kill the rat before it can harm the baby. Aunt Sarah doesn't see the rat and angrily calls the pound on Tramp, mistakenly thinking he was trying to harm the baby (though, to be fair, he did accidentally knock the baby's crib over in the struggle). Jim Dear, Darling and Lady find the dead rat, and from there, it's a race to try to exonerate Tramp before the pound euthanizes him. Fortunately, Jock and Trusty overhear what happened and manage to intercept the pound wagon before it gets there.
  • Furry Confusion: Dogs, cats, alligators, and beavers can talk, but birds, fish, apes and rats apparently can't.
  • Furry Reminder: Dogs can both talk and bark, and cats can both talk and meow. For example, the first sentence of "We are Siamese" goes: "We are Siamese if you please, meow". They also understand human speech, though humans can't understand them.
  • Gender Equals Breed: Lady and The Tramp's four puppies are them in miniature, though we never learn their genders. In the comics, this tropes is subverted – the puppies are two boys and two girls, and one of the boys, Scamp, looks like the Tramp, but the other looks like Lady. This was changed in the sequel film, which plays the trope straight, with Scamp as the only boy and all three of Lady's lookalike puppies as girls.
  • Gender Flip: As an extension of the above Gender Equals Breed for the sequel. The puppies' genders were never established in the first movie, so the comic strip established that there were two of each gender — Fluffy and Ruffy were female, Scooter and Scamp were male. The sequel, which disregards the comics, turns Scooter into a female (as well as giving all the puppies except Scamp new names; instead of Fluffy, Ruffy, and Scooter, they are Colette, Annette, and Danielle).
  • Gentle Giant: Boris, the Russian dog Lady meets in the pound may look intimidating at first, but he's actually a very friendly philosopher.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Tramp killing the rat after a lengthy chase happens behind a chair and curtain, and its corpse is kept off-screen when the humans are led to it later.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: At first, it seems as if Si and Am play a larger role against Lady in the film. However, they've only appeared for a short amount of time, never being seen again. The aunt, therefore, seemed to be the true bad person of the film. However, the rat had initially flown under the radar as the climatic antagonist of the film when Lady had merely chased him off at first. Towards the end of the film, however, the rat poses a bigger threat, in which not only Lady is chained to her doghouse and thus is in no position to chase it off again, but Tramp ironically had a harder time defeating it than the stray dogs who Tramp himself had defeated easily.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Lady, partly because Jim Dear and Darling get short-tempered when Darling is pregnant. This changes once she meets the baby and instantly becomes protective of him.
  • Green Gators: The alligator at the zoo is green.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: Minor example, but it's not uncommon to find someone who more strongly associates the word "tramp" with a "loose" woman than with The Drifter.
  • Heel–Face Turn: It's hinted that Aunt Sarah does this at the end of the movie when she sends the dogs biscuits for Christmas.
  • Heel Realization: Jock, Trusty, and Aunt Sarah have one when they find out that Tramp was protecting the baby from a rat.
  • Heinous Hyena: The hyena at the zoo seems to have a twisted sense of humor, finding it hilarious that Lady almost gets eaten by an alligator.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Tramp's attitude, though the only unlikable humans we actually meet are Aunt Sarah and the belligerent cop at the zoo, and he likes Joe and Tony.
  • The Hyena: An actual one at the zoo. This laugh would later be used for the character of Ripper Roo in Crash Bandicoot. This laugh is also used for the hyena in the Africa section of "it's a small world".
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Jock and Trusty with Lady, at least by dog standards. When they discuss marrying her to protect her, they note how much older than her they are.
  • I Was Named "My Name": Averted: Tramp is called different names by all the humans he befriends and is only called "Tramp" by other dogs. Played straight in the various sequel materials, where Jim Dear and Darling call him "Tramp," but not in the original film.
  • Jealous Pet: Lady begins to feel neglected when Jim Dear and Darling stop spending so much time with her. Jock and Trusty explain to her that Darling is expecting a new baby. Tramp overhears and tells Lady that once a baby is born, the humans will give more attention to it than to their dog, even going as far as to mistreat the dog by giving it leftover baby food instead of juicy beef, and a leaky doghouse instead of a cozy bed by the fire. When Jim Dear and Darling's new baby is born, Lady becomes both fond and very protective of him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Aunt Sarah is mean to Lady, but truly cares about her two cats and the baby, and sends the dogs a box of biscuits for Christmas in the end.
  • Karma Houdini: The Siamese Cats get Lady in trouble with a Wounded Gazelle Gambit and go unpunished for the trouble they cause, including damage in high places a dog couldn't reach. They originally showed a bit more concern (as did Aunt Sarah) upon finding the rat in the house but this was cut.
  • The Kiddie Ride: Ital-Resina spawned an unlicensed ride in 2011 featuring Lady and Tramp sitting in a cup.
  • Knee-High Perspective: Most human characters with the exception of the baby are viewed knee down most of the time. The two main exceptions among the adult human characters are the restaurant owner Tony and his sidekick Joe.
  • Knitting Pregnancy Announcement: When Lady tries to get Darling to play with her, Darling is shown to be knitting baby booties. It is this evidence enough for Jock and Trusty to figure it out and explain to Lady that Jim Dear and Darling are expecting a baby.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Tramp has a long background with other... dogs.
  • Leitmotif: Lady gets a rather playful theme that sounds similar to the theme composed for Pluto.
    • The dogcatcher can be heard whistling or humming the nursery rhyme "Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?" in many of his scenes.
  • Letterbox: In 1998, this became one of the lucky few Disney movies to receive a widescreen VHS. The first DVD, released the following year, also presented the movie in this format, due to Disney porting over the laserdisc transfer, as opposed to striking a new anamorphic presentation (which they fortunately did accomplish for the 2006 and 2012 DVD releases).
  • Make-Out Point: Seen at the end of the "Bella Notte" scene, complete with couples snuggling in carriages.
  • Market-Based Title: Because of a lack of a direct translation for the word "tramp", a common translation for the film's title is "The Lady and the Vagabond."
  • Married Animals: Lady's two friends offer to marry her in case her owners kick her out.
  • Match Cut: One particularly amusing one: after puppy Lady begs for Jim Dear to let her into bed, he gives in, but says, "Just for tonight..." We then cut to a near-identical shot of Lady sleeping on the bed in the morning ... as an adult. This also counts as an Age Cut.
  • Meaningful Name: The majority of the cast:
    • Consider the fact that the most common foreign title for this film is "The Lady and the Vagabond."
    • Lady does act quite refined and ladylike... most of the time. When she's not digging up the garden (to be fair, she tried to put the flower back) or chasing pigeons around.
    • The Tramp owes his life to Trusty because of his integrity.
    • Peg was named for her voice actress, Peggy Lee.
    • The Darlings' baby is eventually named Junior (younger person).
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The film begins with Lady as a puppy when she first meets the Darlings.
  • Mood Whiplash: The transition to the ending scene. Old Trusty apparently dies, and then it's suddenly Christmas with him alive and well (albeit with a broken leg).
  • Must Make Amends: Aunt Sarah after the incident with the rat. The following Christmas, she sends Jim Dear and Darling some dog biscuits as a present for Lady, Tramp and their puppies.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Aunt Sarah screams in horror and remorse when Lady reveals the dead rat, and that Tramp was protecting the baby from it. Trusty and Jock react the same way and run immediately to find and save the Tramp.
  • National Animal Stereotypes:
    • The Siamese cats are Yellow Peril stereotypes with slanted eyes, buck teeth and a mock Asian accent.
    • Jock the Scottish terrier speaks with a Scottish accent and wears a tartan sweater.
    • The dogs at the pound include a cockney-accented English bulldog, a Mexican Chihuahua, a German Daschund, and a Russian Borzoi.
  • National Stereotypes: A few of the nationality stereotype characters are humans.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: At first, Tramp asks an alligator at the zoo to remove Lady's muzzle. The reptile seems a stand up guy, telling them he's "glad to oblige," but his maw is too big and dangerous and Tramp pulls Lady away just in time.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Tramp successfully kills the rat, but simultaneously knocks over the crib, waking the baby, and Lady is shooed out for it.
  • No Indoor Voice: When Tramp yells to the Beaver to get his attention: "I SAID A LOG PULLER!!!"
    Beaver: I ain't deef, sonny.
  • No Name Given:
    • Jim Dear and Darling's baby. By the sequel, he is a toddler, so he's called Junior out of necessity.
    • Also Darling herself. Lady mistakenly thinks it's her name, but it's really Jim's term of endearment for her and her actual name is never mentioned.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Tramp when he realizes that having an alligator bite Lady's muzzle off could get Lady killed.
    • Lady when she sees the dogcatcher's wagon on top of Trusty.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Jim Dear and Darling, the couple's pet names for each other. In Darling's case, it overlaps with No Name Given. At the baby shower, Darling's guests call her by that name as well.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • A down Lady notices that Jim Dear and Darling have been acting so strange lately. First, Jim refuses to play with Lady and is concerned about Darling's well-being. Then Darling refuses to play with Lady (as they've always had an afternoon romp) and prefers to knit instead. When Lady continues in trying to play with her, Darling spanks her for taking the ball of yarn she was using to knit.
    Jim Dear: Down, Lady, Down! Darling, Darling! Are you alright?
    Darling: Of course I am. Why shouldn't I be?
    Jim Dear: I just can't help worrying. After all, in your condition, alone in the house all day, and walking that dog...
  • Overly Long Name: The Chihuahua's sister, Rosita Chiquita Juanita Chihuahua.
  • Parental Bonus:
    • Loads, and none are risque innuendos: expectant mothers, promiscuity, a lady's dishonor, newspaper headlines, Sundays.
    • Jim Dear goes over the calendar to figure out when the baby is due, which obviously depends on when Darling got pregnant, which depends on when they had sex. He just gives up and circles the whole month.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • When Lady is unable to stop the rat from entering the baby's room, without hesitation, Tramp takes on this role to kill the rat and save the baby.
  • Pest Episode: A particularly nasty rat gets into the house and threatens Jim Dear and Darling's baby. Tramp kills it.
  • Pet the Dog: Literal case; the dogcatcher after Aunt Sarah comes to pick up Lady picks up the dog gently, comforts her, and says she's too nice to be in a place like this.
  • Pets as a Present: Lady was brought as a puppy by Jim as a gift to his wife for Christmas.
  • Police Brutality: Played for Laughs. Tramp tricks a police officer into thinking a language professor disobeyed a "No Dogs Allowed" sign at the zoo. In the ensuing argument, the officer and the professor get physical with one another with Tramp attacking the officer. Tramp and Lady run into the zoo as the two humans continue fighting.
  • Pounds Are Animal Prisons: An Unbuilt Trope. The movie is probably the Trope Codifier for the concept, up to and including Death Row, but provides a subversion in that the pound workers themselves are gentle dog lovers, Lady is quickly reunited with her owners via her license, and a sign on the door reads "give a dog a happy home."
  • Precious Puppy: Lady and her puppies at birth.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: The song "Peace on Earth", which plays between the opening credits and Lady and the Darlings' introduction, is accompanied by an instrumental choir rendition of the Christmas carol "Silent Night". Indeed, the song seems to follow the same words, simply just adding lots more. The first phrase "Silent night, holy night", becomes "Silent as the snowflake in the night, holy is the spirit of this night".
  • Really Gets Around: Tramp, at first.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Lady gives one to Tramp, believing him responsible for her getting sent to the pound.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Al the alligator, briefly seen at the zoo. Could be a subversion, as he seemed to merely be trying to help get the muzzle off of Lady and simply didn't realize that his mouth was too big to do the job safely.
  • Rescue Romance: Played with. Tramp saves Lady from the pack of savage dogs chasing her in an alley, but the "romance" doesn't happen until later, after they've gotten to know each other.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: At first, there was going to be this, with The Tramp competing for Lady's affections with an early incantation of a rich family dog named Boris. Eventually, the neighbor roles were given to the characters of Jock and Trusty and Boris was moved to elsewhere in the film (though Jock and Trusty do offer to marry Lady, it's mostly out of compassion to give her a home after Aunt Sarah kicks her out).
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: When Aunt Sarah sees Lady barking outdoors loudly, she is bothered and shuts her up. While she was right that Lady was making a racket, she's wrong over why she was barking; she thought she was going to wake the baby, when really, Lady was trying to warn her there's a rat in the house heading right for the nursery where the baby is. Jim Dear and Darling lampshade this after they come home and Lady is locked up.
  • Romantic Candlelit Dinner: The famous spaghetti dinner scene between the title characters is lit by candlelight.
  • Romantic Comedy: The movie is basically just a Disneyfied take on a traditional Rom Com. Judging by how well known and homaged this movie is more than 60 years later, it clearly worked out very well.
  • Running Gag: "As my grandpappy, Old Reliable, used to say... Don't recollect if I've ever mentioned Old Reliable before...."
    Jock: Aye, ye have, laddie. Frequently.
    • Unfortunately, Jock cut Trusty off from saying Old Reliable's saying so many times, that by the time the puppies were born, Trusty had forgotten what Old Reliable used to say!
  • Senile Badass: Trusty, who either regained his sense of smell or never lost it to begin with, tracks the dogcatcher's wagon and charges after it to rescue Tramp.
  • Shown Their Work: The film portrays angry dogs and dog fights quite realistically in that dogs will often growl warningly before they attack, contrary to some other animated works that simply show dogs or other canines attacking right away upon being triggered.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Lady falls for the Tramp after he saves her life and starts being kind and helpful towards her. She's less than pleased to learn of his history with "dames," but forgives him when he heroically saves the baby from a rat.
  • Smart Jerk and Nice Moron: Lady's neighbors: Jock, the Scottish terrier and Trusty the bloodhound. Jock is an irritable and temperamental ankle-biter, but quite rational; while Trusty is much more genial, but notably scatterbrained. The dichotomy gets spotlighted during the effort to rescue Tramp from the dog-catcher's wagon. Jock disparages the effort, as the streets are soaked with rainwater, dissolving the scent, and tells Trusty bluntly, "You've lost your sense of smell." Though stung to the core by this, Trusty makes no reply, instead redoubling his effort, which succeeds in unerringly picking up the scent.
  • Spaghetti Kiss: The dogs' Accidental Kiss during the "Bella Notte" scene as they are eating spaghetti with meatballs. Very popular Trope Codifier.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Aunt Sarah doesn't understand Lady well as Jim Dear and Darling, assuming she's roughhousing when she's trying to tell her something important. Especially when she tries to warn her about the rat in the house and she shuts her up, thinking she's trying to wake the baby. The instant Jim Dear and Darling come home, they chew her out for not understanding Lady and she reveals the truth.
  • Tempting Fate: Jim Dear says that with Lady in their home, their lives are now complete. Darling then says that they can't imagine anything else taking Lady's place in their hearts.
  • That Nostalgia Show: Still qualifies, despite being made nearly 50 years after the era it is looking back on (the 1900s). This era was when Walt Disney had his childhood, so it's no surprise that a lot of Walt-era Disney films take place then.
  • This Is My Human: It's told through a dog's eyes.
    Trusty: A dog's best friend is a human.
  • Thunderous Confrontation: The Tramp's fight against the Rat to stop him from getting to the baby takes place during a thunderstorm, as per the Disney standard.
  • The Unreveal: We never actually learn what Old Reliable's advice was, because by the time Trusty finally meets someone who hasn't already heard it, he's forgotten what it was.
  • Uptown Girl: Tramp thinks that he can't hang with a pampered dog like Lady.
  • Ur-Example:
    • This was the first animated feature screened in Cinemascope, the first Disney animated feature to be distributed under Buena Vista Distribution (as opposed to RKO Radio Pictures, as previous ones had) and also one of the first animated Disney films to be (mostly) based on an original story by Joe Grant.
    • The casting of Peggy Lee as voice actor and songwriter was also one of the earliest examples of a "big name" in an animated feature at the time.
  • Unusual Euphemism: When Jock and Trusty try to explain to Lady that Jim Dear and Darling are expecting a baby, they use metaphors like "the birds and the bees" and "the stork" and "Darling is expecting a wee bairn." Even when they eventually use the word baby, Lady asks what that is!
  • Villain Song: "We Are Siamese (If You Please)" consists of Si and Am talking about how nasty they are and the vile deeds they plan to commit, like eating the goldfish.
  • Villainy-Free Villain: Well-meaning but prissy Aunt Sarah. Her main flaw is being a Horrible Judge of Character. She fails to recognize the only two (okay, three) true villains of the film: the rat that Tramp kills, and Si and Am, her two conniving Siamese cats. She remains convinced that her cats are incapable of doing anything wrong and blames their misdeeds on Lady.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Jock, the Scottish terrier, shows some shades of this.
  • Wacky Cravings: Darling, whilst pregnant, requests Jim Dear to go out in the middle of a January snowstorm at night to get watermelon and chop suey. note 
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • We never see Si and Am after their One-Scene Wonder, despite the fact that Aunt Sarah is still there.
    • Did the language professor Tramp tricked to get in the zoo ever talk his way out of getting thrown in jail by the police officer guarding the gate?
  • What Are You in For?: Lady gets this question in the dog pound.
  • What's an X Like You Doing in a Y Like This?:
    • After saving Lady from the vicious dogs in the alley, Tramp asks her, "Hey Pidge, what are you doing on this side of the tracks?"
    • The dog catcher says that Lady is "too nice of a girl" to be in the dog pound.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The town where the movie takes place is somewhere in the United States. The architecture of the houses strongly suggests upstate New York or New England. Walt Disney himself wanted a Midwestern setting, specifically modeled after his hometown of Marceline, Missouri.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: Tramp to Lady the morning after their "Bella Notte" date.
    Tramp: Look down there. Tell me what you see.
    Lady: Well, I see nice homes with yards and fences—
    Tramp: Exactly. Life on a leash. Look again, Pidge. Look, there's a great big hunk of world down there, with no fence around it. Where two dogs can find adventure and excitement. And beyond those distant hills, who knows what wonderful experiences? And it's all ours for the taking, Pidge. It's all ours.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Si and Am writhe around and cry in the wreckage of the living room. Unfortunately for Lady, it works.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Aunt Sarah treats Lady terribly and locks her up in the basement after assuming she and the Tramp were attacking the baby. Jim Dear and Darling know that Lady is elegant, trained, and emotive. So when Jim Dear and Darling return toward the end of the film, they release Lady immediately, tell off Aunt Sarah for not knowing their dog better, and follow Lady to the dead rat.
  • Yellow Peril: Si and Am are buck-toothed, cross-eyed stereotypes, present only to cause trouble and get the innocent Lady blamed for it.
  • You Are Grounded!: Lady is confined to her doghouse when Aunt Sarah brings her back from the pound.
  • You Dirty Rat!: A particularly nasty one lives outside the fence of Lady's backyard. It appears once early on, but Lady chases it away. It returns in the climax and tries to attack the baby, but Tramp kills it before it can do so.


Video Example(s):


Lady and The Tramp

This famous first kiss, between these two dogs, has been homaged, parodied and referenced so many times. But nothing ever beats the original.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / SpaghettiKiss

Media sources: