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Duplicate Trope: Petting Zoo People

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Pichu-kun ...
Dec 4th 2018 at 11:28:58 AM

I was looking over the TRS Morgue when I found a thread from earlier this year about the Funny Animal page. It was closed because there was no consensus.

The problem seems to be that Petting Zoo People and Funny Animal are not considered two different tropes outside of Tvtropes. Wikipedia's article on Funny Animals use Goofy, who is a Petting Zoo Person under the trope's definition.

For all effects, Petting Zoo Person and Funny Animal are usually used identically. There's not much of a difference between Zootopia (Funny Animal) and Star Fox (Petting Zoo Person). They both feature bipedal talking animals, but one is slightly more humanoid than the other. World of Funny Animals is named after Funny Animal, but many examples use Petting Zoo People instead.

Edited by Pichu-kun on Dec 4th 2018 at 11:32:17 AM

GastonRabbit His own thang from Robinson, Illinois, USA Relationship Status: I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
Dec 5th 2018 at 1:32:54 AM

Petting Zoo People are Humans with Fur and possibly tails, complete with 5 fingers, women have breasts and yada. Subtropes include Beast Man and such.

Funny Animals are well Funny shaped human-ish animals like Micky Mouse, Meowth, Sonic or the Animal Crossing cast.

They are extremely different. Petting Zoo People can be done with a Rubber-Forehead Aliens and such but Funny Animal can not.

Edited by Memers on Dec 5th 2018 at 1:34:01 AM

Dec 5th 2018 at 2:52:58 AM

I would probably be able to make the distinction when I see the character. Part of OP's complaint seems to be that we don't follow the outside definition of Funny Animal by introducing a new step in the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism. There are two discussions to be had.

  1. Can Petting Zoo People stand on its own?
  2. If so, should it be:
    1. a subtrope of Funny Animal? In this case we would have to adjust the description of Funny Animal to follow wikipedia and make Petting Zoo People a distinct subset of it.
    2. a step above Funny Animal? In this case we deviate from the outside definition of Funny Animal and treat it as a sister trope. (current state, nothing to change)

Edited by eroock on Dec 5th 2018 at 12:55:42 PM

Dec 5th 2018 at 2:57:39 AM

It is not a subtrope Funny Animal imo, they are two distinct concepts.

The Catlians in Star Trek is remarkably different from Sonic The Hedgehog or Mickey Mouse.

Petting Zoo People stands on its own yeah, humanoid to the point where it could be/is a guy wearing rubber mask and gloves and such.

Edited by Memers on Dec 5th 2018 at 3:22:48 AM

Pichu-kun ...
Dec 5th 2018 at 4:10:57 AM

[up][up][up] Animal Crossing is listed under Petting Zoo Person on the page.

There's a lot of overlap between Petting Zoo Person and Humanoid Female Animal. Many examples have the females be more anthropomorphic than the males. So then, aren't they both Funny Animals, but women are just more feminine (by human standards) to better emphasise their gender/act as fanservice?

Petting Zoo People being human in all but name is often aesthetic-only. The Star Fox characters are still animals and have the occasional Furry Reminder, just like Funny Animals.

Dec 5th 2018 at 4:59:33 AM

[up] They have human fingers, feet, and proportions. The big thing they have is fur and a more animal head and tail. [1] A opposed to Little Bit Beastly which ONLY have the ears, tail and very rarely claws. LBB do not have fur or animal face and such.

Animal Crossing shouldn't be on that trope.

Humanoid Female Animal IMO needs a full rework. Its not just furries that get this, other races do too. Its a subtrope of Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism when the female sex is far more human like and attractive than the males. IE the Trolls in World Of Warcraft and the Mermaid Females and the bizarre Male Fish people that are the same race in Dragon Quest XI no way these two should be the same race but they are.

Edited by Memers on Dec 5th 2018 at 5:11:58 AM

Dec 5th 2018 at 1:43:05 PM

Usually when I see fine distinctions of meaning like this I think "merge"—but there does seem to be a distinction here. Funny Animal cites Scrappy Doo. Scrappy Doo looks like a dog, even if he acts just like a human. Petting Zoo People are described as basically a humanoid frame with animal skin and features. Those are not the same thing.

Pichu-kun ...
Dec 6th 2018 at 6:35:58 AM

[up] Why isn't Scrappy a Civilized Animal? He seems to fit the criteria better than a Funny Animal. There's a big difference better Scrappy Doo and Mickey Mouse.

Scooby is either a Partially Civilized Animal or a Speech-Impaired Animal depending on the work. I can't tell what the heck Scrappy's mother Ruby is but she seems either Partially Civilized or Civiliized. Scrappy is bipedal but he wears a collar and otherwise seems like a pet dog. Glancing over the Scooby Doo Wiki, they're owned by humans, wear collars, and mainly act as normal-enough dogs.

Dec 6th 2018 at 6:46:06 AM

Civilized Animal is about a society and role built using animals as stand ins. What it looks like does not matter.

Edited by Memers on Dec 6th 2018 at 6:48:38 AM

Pichu-kun ...
Dec 7th 2018 at 3:58:23 AM


"Civilized Animals exhibit some form of civilized manner, but otherwise occupy their species's natural role in the ecosystem and (especially) the food chain. They generally display half the mannerisms of a human character and half the mannerisms of an animal character. They may wear clothes (often being accessory wearing, half dressed or even barefoot, but otherwise fully-dressed), or may live in houses, and are frequently depicted as walking on two legs; but their anthropomorphism stops abruptly at this point, as their everyday concerns are for ordinary activities such as acquiring food and avoiding predation by larger animals. Civilized Animals are typical of children's stories, especially that of British literature."

"Like Funny Animals, Civilized Animals usually have a body that is generally shaped like that of their respective species, even though they are typically bipedal. Civilized Animals, like Funny Animals, tend to be bipedal even if their species is not naturally so, and most Civilized Animal birds have Feather Fingers, whether their wings look completely like wings or look like arms. Many Civilized Animals can shift between using two legs and four."

This sounds like Scrappy Doo much more than Funny Animal does.

Edited by Pichu-kun on Dec 7th 2018 at 4:01:18 AM

Dec 7th 2018 at 7:32:01 AM

But you are missing the key point 'they act in a civilized manner' and other such societal features. That can apply to almost any trope on the sliding scale, it is a related trope on how they are portrayed and not how they look.

Many Petting Zoo People are NOT Civilized, they are characterized as beast men and more monstrous or alien. A common thing is they might be no better than cave men with spears and clubs.

I will give you that that trope needs some work on its description to where it fits in relation to everything else and Nearly Normal Animal, Speech-Impaired Animal, Partially Civilized Animal and Talking Animal. And what can be multiple tropes.

Edited by Memers on Dec 7th 2018 at 8:01:44 AM

Pichu-kun ...
Dec 8th 2018 at 4:15:09 AM

[up] I don't think they mean "civilized" as literally civilized. It means they have societies beyond an animal level.

Lymantria Tyrannoraptoran Reptiliomorph from Toronto Relationship Status: Staying up all night to get lucky
Tyrannoraptoran Reptiliomorph
Dec 9th 2018 at 1:56:37 PM

Has it been long enough to have this discussion again? If so, I support merging the tropes. What Memers is describing (here and in the last thread) sounds like a different trope.

Why is Mickey Mouse a Funny Animal while Goofy is a Petting Zoo Person? Because he's slightly more humanoid? Star Fox (which I'm not familiar with) sounds like Animalistic Aliens or something (is there a trope for that?), which Goofy decidedly isn't. (It'd also be an example of Funny Animal, but the sci-fi/fantasy aspect of PZP that I keep seeing come up sounds like, again, something other than just "slightly more humanoid Funny Animals", although it can involve them or less humanoid FAs).

Previous thread. In case anyone's wondering, it had a crowner but was closed because it never got any consensus either way.

Edited by Lymantria on Dec 9th 2018 at 5:08:13 AM

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Dec 9th 2018 at 2:11:50 PM

[up][up] That does not match up with Partially Civilized Animal which is about those.

[up] Mickey Mouse is not human shaped at all, especially with Minnie not having human breasts or anything like that, like sonic he is only bipedal and little else. Goofy is borderline, He is more Funny Animal than not IMO cause he is more Noodle People even when standing next to normal humans in the works.

Petting zoo people are like this, furry with head tail and possibly claws but otherwise humanoid.

Edited by Memers on Dec 9th 2018 at 3:58:35 AM

naturalironist from The Information Superhighway Relationship Status: TV Tropes ruined my love life
oneuglybunny useless legacy from Binghamton, New York, US Relationship Status: Abstaining
useless legacy
Dec 10th 2018 at 10:03:46 AM

Petting Zoo People occupies that part of the Sliding Scale between Little Bit Beastly (which Japan loves), and Funny Animal. Bugs Bunny and all of Hanna-Barbera's Saturday morning stuff are Funny Animals: potato-sack body shape, usually with noodly limbs. Petting Zoo People retain the proud hero male frame / the curvy babe female frame. Line crossers abound, of course, which is where Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism comes from, for one. The Trope ain't broke, so let's not "fix" it.

Dec 10th 2018 at 11:17:48 AM

+1 for closing.

Edited by eroock on Dec 10th 2018 at 9:18:08 PM

WaterBlap Blapper of Water Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Blapper of Water
Dec 10th 2018 at 11:19:17 AM

It could be that one of these two has gone through Trope Decay. IDK if that's the case, but it is a possibility.

Also, we don't normally use outside definitions for our tropes, unless it's a pre-existing term.

I'm against merging, and to explain, I need to borrow from a bit in Rick and Morty (video [1]).

There's a bit where the titular characters are quickly running through dimensions and they pass by some pizza-people sitting on chairs ordering person-pizzas on their phones. Then they pass some phone-people sitting on pizza-chairs ordering chair-pizzas on their people-phones. Then they pass some chair-people sitting on people-chairs ordering phone-pizzas on their pizza-phone. I know, it's a bit confusing and the joke is its absurdity, but...:

  • The chair-people are like a Funny Animal (but furniture instead of animals). They are shaped like chairs, but they act like humans and have faces.
  • A Petting Zoo Person equivalent would be a "chair" with the proportions and shape of a human but with pieces of a chair over their body and appendages.
  • A Civilized Animal equivalent would be a chair that looks and moves like a chair, and lives where chairs normally "live," but acts like a civilized person. It wouldn't have a face given the fact that it's, y'know, a chair.

These are all totally different phenomena.

TLP Crash Rescue Tallies, where we make the wiki better.
Dec 10th 2018 at 1:16:59 PM

Petting Zoo People could use a closer inspection concerning misuse. Like Thornton the polar bear from Sherman's Lagoon (here) looks like a Funny Animal.

A proper wick check could reveal if there is a fundamental misunderstanding of the two tropes around our wiki. If so, we may have to improve the descriptions to make the distinction more clear.

Also, note that Funny Animal and Petting Zoo People mention a subtrope called "Borderline Petting Zoo People". There are 18 examples of Borderline PZP mentioned on Petting Zoo People. So perhaps the line is more blurred than some tropers want us believe.

Edited by eroock on Dec 10th 2018 at 11:42:35 AM

Dec 10th 2018 at 3:12:47 PM

The fact that this keeps coming up seems to suggest that there is a problem here somewhere. There definitely is a distinction between these tropes, so that's not the problem (at least on its own).

It's been brought up before that Funny Animal apparently has a different definition outside of TV Tropes. That's a bad sign. Also, the name Funny Animal isn't indicative on its own, and definitely doesn't give any idea of how it compares to similar tropes.

I've never been fond of the name for Petting Zoo Person myself either though. Every time I hear it, I have to stop and remember which trope that is. I'm not sure what the distinctive part of the trope has to do with petting zoos anymore than any animal person. I could argue that an animal with an animal body that just acts like a human is the sort of person you could find at a petting zoo, but that's not that trope.

The fact that there is some overlap and fuzzy edges between some of these tropes doesn't help either.

In general though, I think a few things could help:

  • Renaming the tropes to make the distinctions more obvious and not contradict outside uses of those names.
  • Adding a supertrope of some kind that helps to explain what the distinctions are and maybe provide a place to collect some of the more ambiguous cases.
  • Rework the definitions to try to be even more succinct and very clear on the borders.

Edited by Jokubas on Dec 10th 2018 at 3:13:34 AM

Dec 10th 2018 at 7:32:20 PM

[up] The super trope exists Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism.

However Civilized Animal is very opaque in its relationship to everything else, that is the big one that needs the rewrite IMO. IMO it is outside the scale as it describes the society instead of the actual people, up and down the scale can be it.

Edited by Memers on Dec 10th 2018 at 7:39:04 AM

WaterBlap Blapper of Water Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Blapper of Water
Dec 11th 2018 at 9:23:22 AM

I thought sliding scales aren't tropes, though. Aren't most of them just indexes?

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Lymantria Tyrannoraptoran Reptiliomorph from Toronto Relationship Status: Staying up all night to get lucky
Tyrannoraptoran Reptiliomorph
Dec 20th 2018 at 2:25:27 PM

[up] Yes. Sliding scales that explain how tropes are related and don't have work examples themselves, like the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism, are okay. But sliding scales with type labels instead of subtropes are frowned upon as they encourage ZCEs in the form of "Foo Bar: Bob is Type 2".

[up][up][up] Agreed. These tropes are functionally the same, everyone outside this wiki says both Mickey Mouse and Goofy are Funny Animals, and what Petting Zoo People (a term not found outside this wiki) has to do with petting zoos is still a mystery.

Edited by Lymantria on Dec 20th 2018 at 5:31:25 AM

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