Everything's Better with Cows

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Must...resist...lame puns...[1]
"Once upon a time, and a good time there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down the road met a nicens little boy named baby Tuckoo"
—The opening to A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man by James Joyce

Who knows why people love cows? They stand around and moo. And yet, people love 'em. Some people love 'em enough to put 'em into their works regardless of appropriateness, just because they think cows are awesome.

This trope is about female bovines inserted into a work of fiction without any actual purpose or logical explanation, except for the Rule of Cool or Rule of Funny.

Note: This trope is not a list of your favorite works featuring cows. Nor is it a list of all cow jokes in fiction. It's about gratuitous cows.

Compare all other "Everything's Better With" tropes. Sometimes overlaps with Drop the Cow. See also Aliens Steal Cattle. If you were looking for minotaur-esque critters (Man-Cows), check out A Load of Bull. Not really related to You Fight Like a Cow (but it's a fun mental image, isn't it?)

Examples of Everything's Better with Cows include:


Alternate Reality Games

Anime and Manga

  • In Princess Tutu, the one-shot character Femio believes himself to be So Beautiful, It's A Sin. As punishment, he has a bull that comes to trample him when called. At one point—when he believes the Magical Girl and her dark counterpart are fighting over him—he decides he's so sinful that an entire herd is called to trample him. There's enough bulls that they fill up a square of the town, leaving the residents to stare at them in confusion.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena had one episode where Nanami started turning into a cow. The highlight was the Dream Sequence: Nanami dreams that her beloved brother Touga is taking her on a wagon to market, and there's a butterfly overhead...just in time for the chorus to start in on the old Yiddish folk song "Dona Dona," which is apparently popular in Japan.
  • The first thing you see in the Chobits anime is a cow that has nothing to do with the plot.
  • A random cow on the railroad tracks is what allows Ed to catch "Mushroom Samba"'s bounty of the week in Cowboy Bebop. It was not mentioned beforehand and simply appears without warning on the train tracks. And the only thing that even acknowledges it is the team pet, nobody ever mentions it again.
  • Subverted by the Demon Guard Minotauros in One Piece. He looks like a Holstein cow minotaur, and looks pretty harmless and cute.... until he starts smashing people around with his trusty spiked club.
  • In Hetalia, Spain's pet bull helps him to knock out the carriage where Romano was being kidnapped by Turkey, and much later aids in France's defeat. Such a reliable animal.
  • Hiromu Arakawa, author of Fullmetal Alchemist, even uses a cow as her avatar, although it is easily explained by the fact that she grew up on a dairy farm.
  • Cows (and chickens) wander the halls and classrooms of Inakano Chugakko ("Out in the Country Junior High") in Kingyo Chuihou.

Comic Books

  • Marvel Comics:
    • The Mighty Thor, the cow of thunder (pictured atop this page).
    • Then, of course, there are the infamous Cow Skrulls (and the even more infamous Cow-Skrull Burgers).
    • Behold, the terror of Hellcow the vampire cow!
  • In Tintin in Tibet, Captain Haddock tries to step over a sacred cow. The cow gives him an unasked-for ride.



  • Where's My Cow?, an in-universe children's book in Thud!. Screaming the words to it provide the Madness Mantra of Sam Vimes while he's possessed by a demonic entity.
    • Later it was defictionalized as an actual picture book, where the cow isn't gratuitous anymore.
  • Wayside School Is Falling Down: The school doesn't fall down, but it does get taken over by cows.
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude has a herd of cows that reproduce too quickly. Only Melquiades' words of wisdom can calm them. Later, Aureliano Segundo would yell the second quote above in the middle of his parties.

Live-Action TV

  • Gene the cow on Fringe. Part of Walter's lab and generally present once per episode, Gene was brought in as fresh-from-the-cow milk was required for the "fringe science" for one incident in the series premiere, and has been there ever since. She's often discussed offhand in Walter's discussions with Astrid - for example, Walter postulating if he could make milk from Gene that would never spoil using a life-extending fluid that was part of the main plot, or wondering if he could make Gene produce chocolate milk by feeding it the right ingredients.
  • On The X-Files, Mulder has a close encounter with a very unfortunate cow that crashes through the ceiling of his motel room in "Rain King".
  • The Brass Eye "Animals" episode features cows heavily. There's Carla Lane crying over the grave of a hypothetical cow, there's a crazy caravan man engaging in a surreal harassment campaign against a cow that's inherited his land and there's a cow being fired out of a cannon in a fictional Libyan folk custom and left for the dogs and jackals. And maybe scorpions if they eat meat, I dunno.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. Tom Paris pulls a practical joke on Harry Kim while he's in the Fair Haven holodeck program, transforming a pretty Irish lass into a cow just as Harry's about to kiss her.
  • The Doctor Who Expanded Universe likes this one.
    • The Doctor Who Magazine comic strip "The Lunar Strangers" features two humanoid alien cows.
    • One of the Eighth Doctor Adventures novels reveals that the TARDIS has a cow, which is implied to provide their supply of milk.
    • Another one takes place on an alien planet where the local fauna is much like that of Earth, except the cows are disconcertingly enormous:

What I Learned in Outer Space by Anji Kapoor – impressive pause – They have bigger cows.

Rose: I remember my first love....
Sofia: Let me guess...it was a cow.
Rose: How did you know?


  • The Arrogant Worms song "I Am Cow."
    • They also used a cow's moo in the background of a song about hunters shooting anything that moves.
  • The Foo Fighters song "For All The Cows".
  • The cover for Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother album features cows—and deliberately has nothing to do the music.
  • The video for "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" by Eurythmics, which also features the same cow from the Pink Floyd album mentioned above.
  • "Cows With Guns" by Dana Lyons.
  • "Angus Dei" (not "Agnus Dei") from the "Missa Hilarious" by PDQ Bach.
  • "Little Tiny Song" by Barenaked Ladies which is actually about an angry cow.
  • Independent piano-rock musician Matthew Ebel has a song called "Trees" which has this as its "punchline":

All I wanted was to milk / A metaphor about the trees / And write some crap that really wows. / But now instead of / Writing 'bout the trees, / Somehow or another, I've ended up / Writing about...cows?

    • Immediately followed by the sound of a cow mooing. This has become a Running Gag among his fans; when he plays "Trees" during his live shows, and gets to this part, the ones who are familiar with the joke all go "Mooooooooo!"
  • "The Second Week of Deer Camp" by Da Yoopers starts with a hunter shooting a cow.
  • "Cows Around" by Corb Lund is all about how true the trope is, all but shouting the trope name in its very first line:

Well everything is better with some cows around
Livin' in town sometimes brings me down
Let me bestow this western blessing share what I have found
May you always have cows around…

Newspaper Comics

  • The Far Side. Gary Larson wrote in The PreHistory of The Far Side, "I should have just called this thing The Cow Side and forgot about it." To those unfamiliar with the strip: for some strange reason, it often features unexplained cows. It even became the Trope Namer for Cow Tools.
  • Cow And Boy by Mark Leiknes is a strip about a young farm boy and his friend, a cow. The cow is the reasonable, sensible one of the two.


Video Games

"Moo! Moo, I say!"

  • In the Pinball genre, Bally/Williams has made a signature of having at least one cow appear in every one of their machines. The site "Cows And Easter Eggs" document this.
    • This trend is continued in video game format by Fuse Games.
  • Crystal Quest has six-legged Space Cows.
  • Pokémon Gold and Silver has Miltank.
  • For no reason at all, one early boss in Death Smiles is "Giant Cow - Mary". Well, see for yourself.
  • Cows are used as a defense mechanism in Rock of Ages. They push boulders away, power fans, and can even be launched from your castle's catapult to deal heavy damage to the opposing boulder.
  • The Tauren of World of Warcraft are three meter tall Badass Pacifist upright walking bovines (rather than men with bulls' heads.) They don't have udders, aren't herbivorous and certainly are never eaten by other sentient humanoid species. Regardless, they are notorious for being the butt of notoriously many bad cow related jokes among the player community, and vast majority of their players gives them names referring to beef or milk products or puns on the word 'bull'.

Web Comics

Western Animation

Yzma: Get them!
Transformed guard: Um, I've been turned into a cow. Can I go home?
Yzma: You're excused. Anyone else?
Other transformed guards: No, no, we're good.

Other Media

  • The help screen for apt-get (Debian Linux's package manager) mentions that it has "Super cow powers". Typing "apt-get moo" at the command line gives you an ASCII Art rendering of a cow.

Real Life

  • University of California, Davis is well known for cows, rumored to smell like cows, and used to trot out a fistulated cow (don't ask) at a school event every year. Oddly enough, the school mascot is not a cow.
  • Cow Parade is an art exhibit where artists in a city all get a cow to decorate. This has branched out into all kinds of merchandise tie-ins.
  • In the 90's there was a TV-add for a German travel agency, that consisted of several pictures with voiceovers of family members telling what they want to do and see during their holidays. It got quite some infamy for the line by a little girl "I want cows!". Most germans of age 20 and older will instantly recognize that line.
  • Chik Fil A restaurants have sacrificed the chicken to save the much more awesome cow.
  • An animation by Cyriak.
  • The College of Wooster has adopted the cow as a second (or third, depending on how you count) mascot, to the point where there are MO Overs to help students on move-in day and shirts featuring the "Wooster Cow-Tipping Team." Three guesses as to why the cow has become so popular.
  • Hinduism teaches that cows are symbols of innocence and should not be eaten, and once-domestic cows can be seen freely roaming around India. On the holiday Gopastami they honor cows although this may be more a celebration of cowherding than of the cows themselves.