Furry Confusion

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"But if the animals go in two by two, doesn't that mean I'm the duck?"

Gordie: Mickey is a mouse, Donald is a duck, Pluto is a dog. What's Goofy?
Teddy: He's a dog, he's definitely a dog...
Chris: He can't be a dog, he wears a hat and drives a car...

Vern: Yeah, that is weird. What the hell is Goofy?

Simply put, the kinds of brain-farts that can happen when you have two characters on different ends of the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism on screen at the same time.

In many cartoon or comic settings one will often find that the characters are anthropomorphic (human-like) animals. The audience tends to accept this without question—until non-humanlike animals appear in the same continuity. Fortunately the audience doesn't usually have a big problem with this.

Things get unquestionably weird when non-humanlike specimens of the same species of animals the main characters are based upon are shown existing in the setting alongside them.

Some Furry Fiction Hand Waves this by explaining that their very humanoid characters have a science-fiction basis. They may be mutants or visiting aliens or something. Perhaps they are normal animals who evolved into a humanlike form after gaining intelligence, along the lines of the Man with the Yellow Hat being a distant cousin to chimps resembling Curious George. This explanation is generally fine as long as there are actual humans forming the rest of the cast. If there aren't any humans around—or if there's no explanation given at all—expect the wave of unsettling implications to hit you soon. The sight of a talking dog-man owning a pet dog (or of a chicken-man eating fried chicken) is pretty strange.

Very often crosses over with Carnivore Confusion, Furry Denial, and occasionally with What Measure Is a Non-Cute? and No Cartoon Fish. See also Anthropomorphic Shift and Feather Fingers. See Animal Gender Bender and Ass in a Lion Skin for a whole new level of confusion. Very often happens because Most Writers Are Human and Furries Are Easier to Draw.

Examples of Furry Confusion include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Hyper Police, the main character Natsuki Sasahara is a cat girl who lives with several dozen cats. Likely subverted by the fact that she is half cat goddess; her mother is the Egyptian sun goddess Bastet.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia lampshades this when China and Japan are discussing Hello Kitty's pet cat, Charmy, mentioned below in the Collectables section. Japan thinks it's cute while China is noticeably disturbed by the idea, though not for the reason one might think:

China: Is it true that Kitty-chan is raising a pet cat, aru!?
Japan: Yes, it's true. Kitty-chan raises a Persian cat...Isn't it cute that a cat would own a cat?
China: ...She's only a cat and yet she's raising emergency rations...

  • Porco Rosso is a human turned anthropomorphic pig...who at one point has a ham meal. However he clearly is a human cursed to look pig-like rather that talking pig.
  • In Bleach, Sajin "Captain Furry" Komamura is an anthropomorphic canine with a wolf's head. He owns a pet dog and likes watching dog shows. Wut?
  • In The Cat Returns, ordinary housecats are extremely spooked and agitated at the arrival of a parade from the Cat Kingdom, containing cats that, aside from walking on two legs and holding things, look exactly like normal cats. This is made funny when anthropomorphic tuxedo cats, bouncers, stomp around and bully the riffraff away.
  • One episode of Kirby: Right Back at Ya! involved a colony of evil penguins on a motorized ice floe attempting to destroy Dreamland as revenge for King Dedede deliberately destroying their home. Wait a minute, isn't King Dedede also a penguin?
  • In Naruto, there are talking dogs like Pakkun and non-talking dogs like Akamaru. The strange thing is that both seem to be of about the same intelligence (Akamaru can actually use Jutsu) but only one can speak the human tongue. Possibly justified in that Pakkun is a summoned animal (who all seem to talk) while Akamaru is just a normal dog.
  • In the manga Wa!, there's a scene in which Those Two Girls engage in a Seinfeldian Conversation which quickly turns into Conversational Troping regarding this trope and Carnivore Confusion.
  • It has been thoroughly pointed-out that the animal-characters on Nagasarete Airantou look nothing like the animals everywhere else in the world. Meimei makes costumes of the said real animals, drawn rather realistically for effect, that scare animal-characters of purportedly the same species.
  • In Eden's Bowy, Ms. Nyako, a humanoid catwoman, is absolutely shocked to hear a talking white leopard (secretly the goddess Enefea, who had been punished by her father, the god Lumezavia, to be trapped in such a form.)

Ms. Nyako: What?! The cat spoke?!

  • Very easily Hand Waved due to the nature of One Piece. This is slightly averted for all Zoan type Devil Fruit users, who are animal-humans, but is played fairly straight with Tony Tony Chopper the human-reindeer.
  • Being that the Digital World and Real World are entirely separate entities, this is inevitable in pretty much every Digimon canon, with both animals and animal-inspired Digimon sort of coexisting. One of the best examples comes from Digimon Adventure, where Hikari has both an actual pet cat, Meeko, and is partnered with Tailmon, a cat Digimon; the two don't appear to ever meet though. Also, while fish-based Digimon do exist, Gomamon's Marching Fishes attack appears to summon real fish, even in the Digital World.


  • Minotaurs are especially prone to weirdness (see also Non-Mammal Mammaries and the World of Warcraft examples below). The Kystonia line of collectible figures has two characters named Moplos and Mos. Moplos is a Minotaur-like creature. Mos is his "pack animal" who looks eerily like a non-anthro bovine. Now, the literature assures us that they are very different species—but they look darn near identical except for the fact that one of them walks like a man and the other is on all fours. The mind cannot help but go down some very scary paths here...
  • Enjoy a new level of Furry Confusion with this collection of all-animal Nativity sets (horrible Geocities-era web design in that link; you may have to scroll down). The very sight of Moose-Jesus is a good indication of why Brian Jaques ignores this issue entirely.
    • This has to have something to do with Christian Furries, who probably warrant a mention on this page anyway.
  • Here is one to mull over—iconic cute mascot Hello Kitty has a pet cat named Charmmy Kitty. It doesn't help that if it weren't for her tufts of fur and non-anthro body, she would look exactly like her owner.

Comic Books

  • Usagi Yojimbo is set in an alternative feudal Japan populated by all kinds of anthropomorphic animals. The only major exceptions apart from birds, fish, and insects are horses (which are just the same as our Earth horses) and a species of long-necked lizard called "Tokage" ("reptile" in Japanese). On the other hand, the main villain, Lord Hikiji, is an altogether different kind of animal -- he is the only human in Usagi's world.
    • Early in the series, humans appeared the background, and there have been Cameo appearances by human guests from other comics a few times. It's possible that Stan Sakai regrets having any human characters established, but a Retcon isn't happening... but then again Hikiji's face hasn't been shown since that one time in volume 1, and the latest Usagi RPG lists his species as "unknown."
    • Lampshaded in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mirage Crossover "Shades of Death": "Why a horse is a horse, but a rabbit is a person?"
  • This Beaver and Steve comic shows the anthropomorphic Steve seeing his mother... a regular lizard. In a zoo. Hrm.
  • In the French comic De Cape et de Crocs, everyone is human except for several characters who are anthropomorphic animals for no explained reason—most notably, the main characters who are a wolf and a fox. The writer is aware of the "chicken-man eating fried chicken" wrongness and plays with it a few times, but the more memorable one happens when the heroes almost get cooked by an indigenous tribe. They manage to free themselves and run into the chief, who realizes that they're not really animals, apologizes and invites them to dinner. He later explains that the villagers "misjudged them", at which point the wolf notices a man with a big knife leading a regular dog away from a crying child... then the dog cries out offscreen and the wolf looks down at his food with a horrified look on his face. The fact that he knew an anthropomorphic dog in canon only makes it more twisted.
    • Would that be the basset he killed in a duel?
      • That basset lacked respect.
  • Bamse has this to some degree. There are anthro animals and non-anthro animals. To further confuse the issue many of the non-anthro animals are Non-Morphic Talking Animals (although mostly among themselves) oddly enough someone obviously thought about the Interspecies Romance aspects: Fox-girl and badger-boy mention that it would be nice if they were of the same species and then kiss despite this.
    • (Then they get an apartment together, though both insist that they're still Just Friends. Draw whatever conclusion you like.)
  • Variously in Sam and Max Freelance Police:
    • Borderline Lampshade Hanging in the comics, where an ordinary, non-anthropomorphic dog in the background of a panel has a head identical to Sam's, complete with hat.
    • In Sam and Max Freelance Police: The Devil's Playhouse, we're introduced to Sal, a cockroach. But Sam's dialogue reveals that cockroaches are actually used in the recipes of the place where he used to work as a fry cook.
    • An episode of the cartoon shows Sam and Max having an emotional break-up, and Sam leaving to go to Alaska and participate in the Iditariod as the head dog on the favourite sled team, flanked by lots of non-anthropormorphic huskies. Even more weirdly, his human driver was apparently non-sapient.
  • Red Shetland brought up the topic in a conversation between the eponymous character (a Red Sonja parody) and her Sidekick Du Jour Eeon, who was a normal pony transformed by evil druids into...well, an anthro war-pony. Crazy druids, go figure. Red has no problems riding a horse, which she's on at the moment, and asks why Eeon doesn't ride, to which he responds "on my oppressed brethren?!".
  • Sometimes lampshaded in The Spiffy Adventures of McConey by the French comic artist Lewis Trondheim, where all characters are anthropomorphic animals. In one episode our heroes go on a search of a missing pet dog (a real dog, not an anthropomorphic one!) for whom a reward has been offered. When they watch a picture (which is not shown on the panel) of the missing dog and his owner, one of them asks: "So, who is the dog?" and another one answers: "The more short and less hairy one."
  • Lampshaded in Art Spiegelman's Maus, where Jewish characters are depicted as anthropomorphic mice, while Germans are cats. At one point the main character is at the home of someone who keeps several dogs. For those panels, the characters are depicted as people in mouse masks and the author leaves a little note basically acknowledging that the metaphor falls apart for a moment there.
    • At one point inside the story, Vladek and Anja are residing in a basement when Anja freaks out over finding a legitimate rat.
  • Done disturbingly in the Looney Tunes comics. One story has Bugs and Elmer wanting to make money and being told that selling animals fur is a good idea. Bugs goes off and immediately traps a huge cage full of non-anthropomorphic minks. A second later, he notices a carrot dangling from a tree and ends up falling into one of Elmer's rabbit traps. Elmer's been hunting too and has a cageful of ordinary, non-anthropomorphic rabbits. If this isn't strange enough, Elmer decides to capture Bugs as well, despite them being more or less friends (in the comics, at least), and then decides to throw Bugs into his OWN cage full of angry minks that proceed to attack the rabbit while Fudd happily watches. A police officer ends up arresting Elmer. No, not because he endangered someone's life and had basically kidnapped a sentient rabbit; Elmer is actually arrested because rabbits aren't in season. Wow.
  • Archie Comics Sonic the Hedgehog has Sonic's pet dog Muttski, one of the very few non-anthropomorphic animals seen in the comic (which also contains Funny Animal dogs). Tasmanian Devils are explicitly described in one issue as "One of the few Mobian races that never fully evolved", but Muttski doesn't appear to be one.
    • Which is later thrown out the window in a later story arc in which we DO have an anthropomorphic Tasmanian Devil fighting alongside Sonic and co. (It's hinted in-story that he may be an "experiment").

Disney and Pixar

  • The most obvious Disney example, cited in the quote above: Mickey Mouse is an anthropomorphic mouse. His best friend Goofy is an anthropomorphic dog-man who walks on two legs. Mickey's pet Pluto is a (relatively) normal dog that mostly behaves like a real dog.
    • This is parodied on Drawn Together, during a montage of hostage situations. One of those situations is Pluto holding a gun to Goofy's head screaming, "He's the only fucking dog who good enough to wear fucking pants? Well, I want to wear the fucking pants for once!" (before casually shooting Goofy and then himself)
    • A comic strip also made fun of this: A cartoonist makes a strip in which the main hero is a "mouse", his best friend is a "dog" and his pet is also a dog. Said strip is rejected for lacking consistent internal logic.
    • A segment of The Simpsons that spoofed Lady and the Tramp featured most of the cast as talking, but non-anthropomorphic animals. At one point, we see a transparent Goofy parody being led to the gas room in a dog pound, despite insisting that he's "half human."
    • In some theatrical cartoons, Goofy owns a pet dog. He is also, for some reason, identified as George G. Geef in these cartoons, and his floppy dog-ears are not visible. A short film, "The Goofy Success Story", played with the Animated Actors trope by showing Geef as a role that Goofy played as an actor.
    • A notable Lampshade Hanging occurs during a Goof Troop episode in which, Goofy, when confronted by a pair of vicious non-anthro canines, says something to the effect of: "I'm great with dogs. It's like I'm one of the family".
    • Also in Goof Troop, Goofy had a pet cat, and Pete had a pet dog. While Pete was originally a cat, his later appearances suggest he's a dog or maybe a wolf. And then there are a number of similar but separate characters existing in a number of mutually exclusive universes and a whole bunch of cartoon shorts that have Negative Continuity anyway. There are even multiple Petes running around the DuckTales (1987) universe.
    • In another episode of Goof Troop, Goofy hears a crash in his garage and assumes it was made by a giant mouse. Aside from a quick cameo in A Goofy Movie, Mickey never appeared on Goof Troop, but...
    • It gets better. Pete is a cat. His wife is, near as anyone can tell, a dog (species-wise, she's actually rather attractive). They have children together. Let me repeat that: Pete, a cat, married a dog, and they had viable offspring. I guess she was a cat person (Rimshot). Not only that, but their son, PJ appears to be a literal cat-person like Pete, and their daughter Pistol seems to be a "dog" like her mother, making this a case of Gender Equals Breed.
    • A 1930s cartoon Mickey's Good Deed, has Mickey playing Santa Claus to a family of poor cats—smaller than him. Pete is apparently the absentee father, as there's a picture of him, in prison stripes, on the wall. You can tell they're poor as their empty cupboard is overrun with mice. Tiny, non-anthro mice!!! And why the cats just don't eat them is never addressed.
    • In the cartoon Society Dog Show, Mickey is the only non-dog Funny Animal to take his dog to the dog show. Everyone in that cartoon is a dog anthro... judging non-anthro dogs.
    • And then Minnie Mouse goes "Eek! A Mouse!".
    • Cracked.com's 6 Insane Disney Comics You Won't Believe Are Real shows panels from an educational comic in an issue of Look magazine showing Dr. Mickey Mouse testing sulfa drugs on common mice. But given what humans do to monkeys...
  • On the subject of Pete's wife: Most "people" in Disney comics are depicted as very anthropomorphic dogs. They have a black nose and (sometimes) floppy ears, but are otherwise human. Even real historical people (similar to Arthur, see below). Which makes Goofy even more confusing as he looks nothing like the other "dogs".
    • Disney animators have given them the nickname "Dog-Noses", a term usually applied to the extras walking around. The creator of Goof Troop and Quack Pack introduced this term in an interview where he talked about both shows. Originally, he intended to have humans—just ordinary humans—inhabit both shows. However he was overruled with Goof Troop, and forced to people his universe with dog-noses. He was successful later on with Quack Pack though. Had he been allowed to use humans in both as he intended, Goof Troop and Quack Pack would have shared the same universe, much the same way Duck Tales and Darkwing Duck did.
      • Point of Order: in the original Goofy-specific cartoons, EVERY extra was a Goof, extremely similar to Goofy himself but each being slightly different. This was carried over into more modern material as well; if Goofy was the main driving force of the feature, everyone in it would be a Goof.
  • Regular ducks have been shown to exist alongside the anthropomorphic Donald Duck. Adding to the weirdness parade, in a theatrical cartoon, Donald once encountered a recipe for roast duck in a cookbook, which he angrily ripped up. In a different cartoon he heard another recipe for it on a radio cooking show. His only comment was "Over my dead body".
    • And the Carl Barks comic "The Gilded Man" [dead link] shows Donald and the nephews being quite shaken and disturbed by the sight of stuffed normal ducks sitting on a shelf. This is quite unusual as most Barks stories treat the Ducks as stand-ins for humans, and this is, in fact, one of the only times they seem to recognize their relation to non-anthropomorphic ducks, other than the times Barks has them refer to "us Ducks and humans"...
    • In Fantasia 2000, pictured above, Donald appears as a deckhand on Noah's Ark, responsible for a group of animals that includes, to Donald's visible puzzlement, a couple of normal ducks. Best Lampshade Hanging ever.
    • One particularly Nightmare Fuelerrific Donald Duck comic strip had him going duck hunting. Like this one. The "confusion" part in "Furry Confusion" is especially apparent in panels 2 to 4.
    • One comic had Scrooge hypnotized into buying all the items in the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" (don't ask), giving us some awkward scenes with French hens (Clara Cluck?) and geese (Gus Goose?).
    • Lampshaded and twisted in an episode of Darkwing Duck. Steelbeak (a Bond villain-ish anthropomorphic chicken) turns downright Hannibal Lecter with the line, "I'll offer you my recipe for roast chicken."
    • In an early MAD parody of Disney by Harvey Kurtzman, "Mickey Rodent" traps his rival "Darnold Duck" naked in a zoo. The story ends with the zoo staff (human, of course) marveling over the "mutation freak" that "almost sounds" as if "it's" screaming "Get me back my clothes!" The last panel shows poor Darnold, his modesty covered with leaves, surrounded by non-anthropomorphic ducks, and facing a possible taxidermal fate because "it is, after all, only a duck."
    • The Gran Festival starring The Three Caballeros ride at Epcot has a moment like this. Like it's source material, the videos combine animation with live action. Looking for Donald, José and Panchito ask a live action chef if he's seen a duck. They quickly realize that they don't want to know the answer to that question, and run off. Another version of the scene has the chef showing them a plate of roast duck, which gets a similar reaction from the duo.
    • Lampshaded at last in The Mighty Ducks animated series, where two of the eponymous anthro ducks (from another universe) spend the end of an episode discussing the differences between themselves and Earth ducks.
  • With all of this in mind, the Lion King level in Kingdom Hearts 2 is just a carnival of Furry Confusion. Donald is temporarily a non-anthro bird who can fly and Pete is a non-anthro cat (more specifically, a lion). What makes it worse is the fact that Donald comments on Sora's transformation (into a lion)]] while avoiding any mention of Goofy's or his own. It should be mentioned that Donald's non-Anthro form is identified, in the Kingdom Hearts literature as "Bird Donald". Try to read that without having a Psychic Nosebleed.
  • Speaking of Disney ducks, DuckTales (1987) gave us at least two episodes with some good examples of Furry Confusion:
    • In the episode inspired by The Odyssey, the Odysseus stand-in, his girlfriend, and most of the supporting cast are Dog-Noses. Circe, of course, turns several of them into non-anthro pigs. Later, Circe herself is turned into a pig as punishment. Here's the thing: Circe was depicted not as a dog-nose, but as an anthropomorphic pig. Uh... uh?
    • Even funnier is the episode where Launchpad finds himself the unwilling object of affection for a trio of harpies. And the harpies were birds with human heads. And so we got to see birds with some human features fawning over a human with some bird features.
    • DuckTales (1987) also introduced a new sidekick for Scrooge's nemesis Magica De Spell; her brother Poe who was the subject of a Baleful Polymorph. Specifically he was turned into a... bird. A different species of bird (he is a raven now), to be fair, but still... a bird. He can still talk, he still wears clothes (a hat at least), he still has functional Feather Fingers, and is for all intents and purposes the same character just a different species. Still, he views his fate as awful and wants to turn back into a duck. This despite the fact that he merely seems to have gotten a bit shorter and can now fly (heck, ask an ornithologist and they will make a good argument that duck-to-corvid is an upgrade). He's just barely less anthro than the other characters.
  • One episode of Winnie the Pooh had Piglet (a pig) eating ham at a picnic. No one seemed to notice the grotesque implied cannibalism there, even if Piglet is supposed to be a stuffed pig... Of course, that brings up the issue of how, exactly, Living Toys digest real food—but that's probably a different trope (warning: gore).
  • The cast of Disney's Robin Hood is (arbitrarily) made up entirely of anthropomorphic animals. It actually manages to avoid some of these issues (they pointedly do not show who or what is pulling the carriage at the end), while bringing up entirely new ones (just what kind of Church do these animals have anyway?)
  • Then there's the Mickey Mouse cartoon, "The Worm Turns". Mickey is working on a courage potion and goes around testing it on a variety of non-anthropomorphic animals—including a normal mouse. Things also get pretty awkward whenever Chip and Dale appear in the same cartoon as Mickey.
  • Speaking of Chip and Dale, there's an episode of Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers where Dale wants to get a pet. His desired pets, a frog and a kitten, are fairly standard for a human. But considering his other best friends are mice and a fly, the wisdom of bringing them home is... questionable, never mind the sight of TalkingAnimals having pets. (Not to mention the logistics of getting them up into a tree all by himself.)
    • The kitten is the worst, as other cats in the series (Fat Cat for example) are portrayed as being every bit as anthropomorphic as the titular rodents. It's almost like wanting a human baby for a pet.
    • The confusion goes up about eight or nine more levels when Dale discovers an unusual-looking chipmunk-sized animal lost in the park and, because he acts just like a dog, Dale decided to make a pet out of him. Said animal soon reveals that he can talk, that he is an alien, and that he is a miniature Stegosaurus sent from the Dinosaur Planet to check on the team of explorers who went to visit Earth 250 million years ago. And it turns out that those small explorers became the dinosaurs we know when they started eating Earth food; when our hero does this he grows very large and loses his ability to speak. Things get straightened up eventually and the alien returns to his ship to go back home, but not before topping off the Furry Confusion bonanza with this line:

"I'd love to take you with me, Dale. But I'm not old enough to have any pets."

      • You think this is bad? Here is my two cents. Chip'n'Dale live in the same world as Donald, as shown by several episodes. However Rescue Rangers takes place in the world of Humans, not Antrho-animals, Humans, which shown by the Pilot and a few others. However Rescue Rangers are still live in the same world as say, Darkwing Duck (as shown by one issue of it's new comic book). So question is - where do humans go during different shows? The only answers i can think of - there is Human only city and Animal only city, and some mix. Oh and weren't Chip and Dale part of Bambie movie?
  • What humor there is in Chicken Little derives from lampshading this trope. For example, a father and son play Frisbee in the backyard, and the son catches the toy in his mouth—they are both Funny Animal dogs.
    • Then there is the egg-shaped rug in Chicken Little's bedroom. No, not a whole egg. A broken egg. Yolk and all. (Classic "fried egg"-style eggs are non-fertilized so it's not quite the same thing. Still pretty squicky though...)
  • Pinocchio evidently takes place in a universe with fully anthropomorphic cats, foxes, and crickets; ordinary cats and fish with human-like awareness; and fully non-anthropomorphic animals. The closest this comes to furry confusion (imagine if Figaro met Gideon!) is how Cleo doesn't seem to have a problem with the fact that all Geppetto and Figaro seem to eat is fish.
  • Bronx and the other "gargoyle beasts" like him in Gargoyles are kind of an odd, borderline case. At first glance, Bronx is a wingless Gargoyle, and isn't really any physically different from the talking Gargoyles aside from lacking wings. But he acts like, and is treated as, a non-talking, non-loincloth-wearing animal. A few episodes (such as the one that introduced Puck) explicitly pointed out that he was the other Gargoyles' "dog", while the shows' creator described him as their equivalent of a non-human ape.
  • In their early cartoon appearances, Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar were sometimes shown as regular four-legged non-clothed barnyard animals, and other times as fully anthropomorphic creatures on par with Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy.
    • Horace's first appearance was as a horse that Mickey was riding. At other times, he has been depicted himself riding non-anthropomorphic horses.
  • This Zé Carioca cover gag has Zé, an anthropomorphic parrot dressed up as a Pirate, with a non-anthropomorphic pirate on his shoulder instead of a parrot. a couple others also play with the idea.
    • There's even a story where he sees a contest for whoever can get a Parrot to say "Rio De Janeiro". He decides he's going to enter this contest. He then goes out and buys himself a Non-anthropomorphic parrot!
  • In Tale Spin, all the characters are anthropomorphic animals. There are also non-anthro, non-sapient animals including normal-looking sea life and a few "cryptids". Where it gets really weird, though, is the episode that features a talking parrot who clearly has full human-level intelligence—but is not anthropomorphic and is treated like a pet by all the other characters.
    • The show gets even weirder when you consider the source material. Baloo, Louie and Shere Khan were characters from Disney's The Jungle Book, and were pretty anthropomorphic to begin with. Suddenly it's the 1930s, and the same characters are wearing clothes, flying planes, etc. Their designs changed a bit as well; Baloo traded his claws for fingers, but otherwise looked the same. Khan on the other hand went from a quadruped to a biped, a much more noticeable change.
  • In the Disney story Panchito, Panchito only realizes he's left behind Clara Cluck when he's served a plate of Roast Chicken. He immediately goes out to find her, and no one questions that a Rooster was just served a Roast Chicken.
  • A running thing in the comics was that Brer Fox and Brer Bear were after various animals (Chip, Dale, Bambi, etc) sometimes to eat them and sometimes to sell them to a pet store. This slightly works since the Brer's are more humanlike and actually live in houses and wear clothes. However, one comic has Brer Bear getting so mad at Brer Fox that he ties the fox up and takes him off wanting to sell BRER FOX to a pet store, despite the fact that both Brer's are closer to people than they are animals. So are humans still the elite in the Disneyverse? Can animals willingly sell each other? Who would want Brer Fox, any way? Many, many, many questions are raised.
  • In a similar vein, Handy Manny has his "team" of sentient, talking tools (who are just barely anthropomorphic, in that they resemble regular tools with eyes and mouths but no limbs — how they move or grab things is a mystery), yet their universe also includes regular, non-living tools. In the opening title sequence, two of the tools paint a sign using non-living paintbrushes.
  • Minnie Mouse has a cat named Figaro in some chapters of House of Mouse. A joke from the writers, maybe?
  • In one episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Donald is shown with normal ducks.
    • To add insult to injury, he is flying an airplane rather than flying like a normal duck alongside the other ducks. The only time Donald is actually shown flying like a normal bird is in one later scene in The Three Caballeros, but he is flying like a hummingbird.
    • Also, Ludwig Von Drake is shown flying using an inflatable jumpsuit rather than like a normal duck.
  • In another Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode, Donald is shown swimming like a dog or human as opposed to like a duck.
  • The show House of Mouse is definitely one of the worst offenders ever. At one point, we actually get to see Baloo (a talking, bipedal bear that is completely naked) sitting next to Little John (a talking, bipedal bear that wears a hat, a tunic, and shoes, but no pants), and at another, we actually see Jiminy Cricket (a talking, bipedal cricket that wears clothing) sitting next to Cri-Kee (a nontalking, quadrupedal cricket that is completely naked).
    • One episode of House of Mouse was actually about Donald Duck attempting to fly like other Disney characters that somehow posess flight (Dumbo, The Magic Carpet, Buzzy, Dizzy, Ziggy, and Flaps, and Victor, Hugo, and Laverne), and when he gives up, he actually had to be helped by Peter Pan of all characters! (that episode actually marked the first time we ever get to hear Peter Pan sing) Wait a minute, isn't Donald supposed to be a bird?
    • The "what is Goofy" question is lampshaded in House of Mouse. Hades calls Goofy over to complain about the menu using his name without authorization, then gets derailed by asking what Goofy is supposed to be.
  • Applying Fridge Logic to the Toy Story films generates a certain amount of Toy Confusion. Just what constitutes a "toy", anyway? The Etch-A-Sketch is animated and sentient, but Molly's iPod doesn't seem to be. Toy vehicles are self-propelling, but toy versions of other objects (xylophones, tracks for toy trains) have to be put in place by the humanoid toys. The green aliens who worship "the Claw" are sentient, but "the Claw" itself (basically a big toy with little toys inside) is not.
    • Not to mention Bullseye, a toy horse who acts like a horse, despite the presence of other animal toys who speak and act normally.
    • Another Pixar example would be that aphid in A Bugs Life.
    • Or Bessie (a non-anthro bulldozer) from Cars. And in the Cars universe, there are insects that resemble VW Beetles, as well as farm equipment that behave like cattle. And in one of the spinoff shorts starring Mater as a bullfighter, there are bulldozers that also act like cattle similar to the farm equipment in the movie.
      • In the sequel, there are tiny airplanes that act like birds, and one of the racers' crew chiefs is a VW Beetle! (in the first film, VW Beetles are all supposed to be the car equivalent of insects)
      • Back to the first Cars film, there is actually still a dinosaur on the logo for Dinoco, and one RV seen near the end of the film appears to be surrounded by plastic flamingos, while another has a jackalope tattoo on his rear end!
  • The Brave Little Toaster: Although all electronic devices are sapient (though the humans don't even realize this), the junkyard cars are all sapient as well, but the Master's car isn't (probably because he is constantly using it all the time, considering if the aforementioned statement is actually true).
  • Beauty and the Beast actually did this with furniture. Considering the fact that all of the Beast's servants were turned into furniture due to a magic spell, it's actually never explained what happened to the actual furniture inside the Beast's castle.
    • The west wing of the castle has been more or less destroyed over the years by the Beast's various rampages. Now, was he simply vandalizing his own furniture, or...
  • In The Little Mermaid Max the dog and Glut the Shark act like a normal dog and shark respectively, whereas the other animal characters (like Flounder, Scuttle, and Sebastian) can talk, sing, and dance. Even Flotsam and Jetsam, Ursula's moray eels can talk.
    • Which leads to some Carnivore Confusion too; if all fish can talk, what the hell do mermaids eat? They can't eat sentient fish, because they consider that evil and a reason to hate humans but apparently non-sentient fish don't exist. Do all these merpeople subsist on seaweed?
  • In the 1940 short Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip, Pete mentions that he used to have a cat.
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Benny the Cab drives a non-sentient Alleged Car that Roger was driving.

Fan Works

  • In Turnabout Storm, Rarity and Pinkie get quite puzzled when Phoenix Wright tells them that the ponies in his world are not as nearly as talkative, intelligent and not-stinky as the ones in Equestria. There goes Rarity and her new transdimensional clients.


  • In Stuart Little, the eponymous character is an anthropomorphic mouse adopted as a son by humans; as a result he has a pet cat. The cat also speaks, however. It's implied that all cats and mice have intelligence in this world, but are generally treated as we treat animals anyway... Stuart being given "special treatment" creates a bit of a social scandal in both the human and animal worlds. Note that this is completely different from the original novel. In the book, Mrs. Little gives birth to a mouse-like, mouse-sized child. Don't think about that one too hard.
  • In a short scene in Shrek the Third, Puss in Boots tries to flirt with normal, meowing female cats.
  • In Howard the Duck, the eponymous character flips out when he is served a breakfast that includes fried eggs. Howard's behavior is justified because he was accidentally abducted from a world populated with anthropomorphic ducks like himself, so the eggs "always remind him of his birthday", despite being chicken eggs.
  • Subverted in Surf's Up. The resident chicken is offended whenever someone comments that a delicacy "tastes like chicken".
  • The fairy prince's pet bumblebee from Thumbelina is actually the only realistically-drawn animal to ever appear in the entire film!
    • In the film Rock-a-Doodle (also by Don Bluth), Chanticleer the rooster and his friends all live on a farm. But when all the other animals go to the city to find Chanticleer so they can get him back and stop the evil owl, instead of humans, all the inhabitants of said city are also animals! And considering the fact that Edmund (the boy who was apparantly turned into a furry cat by the evil owl) and his parents are the supposed owners of Chanticleer's farm...
  • The entire cast of Kung Fu Panda are all anthropomorphic animals, but for some reason, the dragon statues are not anthropomorphosized.
  • In Shark Tale, smaller fish serve as "humans", while larger fish serve as "transportation."


  • C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia featured "Talking Animals" alongside normal animals. This was explained in the sixth book, a prequel; the next book had a Talking Animal turn back into a normal animal out of sheer terror. In the fourth book, the main characters accidentally eat part of a Talking Animal; when they learn this fact, they are as disgusted as if learning they'd "just eaten a baby" and stop eating.
  • In some incarnations of L. Frank Baum's Oz series, creatures that talk are collectively "Animals" (and specifically Lions, Geese, etc.) while creatures who do not are "animals" (and conversely lions, geese, et al.).
    • Toto never speaks in the original "Wonderful Wizard of Oz". When it is established in a later book that all animals in OZ can talk, even if they've arrived from our world (Oz continuity is... complicated), Toto says a few words at Dorothy's coercion; but since she always understands what he means even when he doesn't talk, he doesn't see the point. In another book, he rather cheekily states that although he could always talk, he "never had anything to say to any of you."
    • Philip José Farmer has fun playing with this in his revisionist novel, A Barnstormer In Oz. There is an utterly terrifying scene where a talking owl eats a talking mouse that is begging for mercy.
    • In Gregory Maguire's Wicked and Son of a Witch, set in an alternative Oz, Animals are persecuted by the Wizard's regime and that of his successors, in response to which many of them go into hiding, pretending to be animals, rather than Animals. Now try to get that straight. Like it's source work, it's eventually revealed that animals can be taught to speak and thus become Animals (though in the books, this process has only completely succeeded with one Animal), not that this matters to some Ozians, who kill and eat them regardless of sapience. Let's not start with the portion in the second book where a Cow describes her newborn children being carted off for veal.
    • In the later books, Billina (a non-Oz chicken, originally named by a kid with little understanding of gender) become the matriarch of an extensive family of fully sapient and very educated chickens. When auntie Em and her husband move to Oz, Em sees nothing wrong about walking into their private community and try to grab a few for dinner, and even matter-of-factly explains this stance to Billina.
  • The Spellsinger novels avert this trope by firmly establishing that warmblooded animals are all intelligent and anthropomorphic, while coldblooded animals -- with a few specific exceptions, like turtles (of course) and Spiders—are not. Thus all the riding animals, livestock, and so forth in the world are reptiles of some kind.
    • Strangely, the major enemies in the first two books were giant, intelligent insects and the (eventual) allies of the protagonists, the Weavers -- giant spiders. "My husband was here for breakfast, and we only just finished", indeed...
    • And Foster still forgot at least once, having Sorbl the owl eating a mouse sandwich despite reacting the notion with disgust in the previous book.
    • Played straight with salamanders. They're depicted as non-intelligent beasts of burden in two of the novels, yet a salamander wizard-and-apprentice pair are characters in The Moment Of The Magician. Possibly they, like insects or spiders, have both sentient and non-sentient representatives.
    • In Chorus Skating, the villain Manzai gets himself killed by this trope. He's unwittingly transported to a world (presumably ours) where bears like himself are non-sentient, and tries to order some grizzlies to catch fish for him. Turns out Everything's Worse with Bears can apply even if you are one...
  • The Katurran Odyssey takes place in a world populated entirely by Intellectual Animals. There is some pretty spectacular Carnivore Confusion to be found here, but for the most part everyone else is treated equally... except for in the city of Od Ashud. If you aren't a Golden Monkey, expect to be added to the Empress' zoo.
  • In TimeWaitsForNoMouse & its sequels this was averted by making insects the equivalent of animals for the talking rodent main characters. Grasshoppers are apparently their equivalent of cattle.
  • The sci-fi novel I, Weapon, manages a form of Furry Confusion without actually involving Furries (although some have fur). The series is written in a far future where humans were nearly wiped out by invading aliens with the surviving members having largely speciated into various specialized forms to survive on far planets. One of the groups of humans was bred by the overlords for muscle, lack of brains, and large earlobes (the aliens thought earlobes were fascinating and bred for it as a decorative traits). At the time when the human races begin re-establishing contact, they decide that the kindest thing to do for the meat race is to continue breeding and using them as food. One of the scary aspects of the book is that it's implied that, outside of the huge earlobes, the meat race are the ones who look most like what we thing of as humans.
  • The minotaurs in the Dragonlance universe ride horses (specially bred to carry them, since they're bigger than people). They also keep livestock, though I don't believe they keep cattle. They are explicitly aware of this trope. Calling a Minotaur a "cow" is roughly the equivalent of the n-word, as they are very conscious of their resemblance to said animal and don't take kindly to being reminded of it.
  • In a Russian series of books called Prostokvashino (and the animations based on them), Uncle Fyodor lives with a cat and a dog, who talk and possess intelligence. The cat and the dog recall living with the same professor in the past, who apparently taught them how to talk. There is also an intelligent beaver. They also own a cow, and later a calf, both of whom are normal, non-sentient animals.
  • Some Richard Scarry books actually have the inhabitants of Busytown (all anthropomorphic animals) coexist with non-anthropomorphic animals. For example, one book actually showed a pig farmer raising non-anthro pigs!

Live Action TV

  • Lampshaded on Even Stevens

Louis "Is it fair that Pluto has to wear a leash and sleep in a doghouse while Goofy, who is also a dog, gets to drive around in a car and play golf with Mickey?"

  • The various Muppet productions have had some fun lampshading and subverting this issue. To wit:
    • On The Muppet Show, Gonzo, an anthropomorphic... birdlike... something eventually revealed to be chicken hawk, and was thus dubbed the set's resident expert on chickens, seemed to be in a relationship with Camilla, a non-anthropomorphic chicken who only speaks through clucks.
    • And there have been both talking puppet chickens ("I'm a chicken; this sketch is a turkey!") and ordinary chickens on the show. If he wanted to dance with a chicken... well... but then, getting a puppet chicken that could actually dance would've ruined the comedy of watching Gonzo urge a real chicken to "please do something!" would have been compromised.
    • Gonzo once tried to romance a cow. And not a Muppet cow, either. A real cow.
    • In The Muppets Take Manhattan, Kermit (with temporary amnesia) goes into hysterics at the thought of a Frog wanting to marry a Pig, complete with ridiculous puns. Did amnesia turn him off the idea of Interspecies Romance? And in one episode of the show, an android Kermit replica—long story—flirts with Piggy thusly: "A frog and a pig! We could be married and have bouncing baby figs!"
    • A Muppet Family Christmas ended with Kermit giving Miss Piggy a gift of a mink—a live, anthropomorphic mink who proclaims herself Piggy's biggest fan. Creepy...
    • But not nearly as thought-provoking as what happens when the two are cast as the Cratchits in the A Muppet Christmas Carol. As a shot around the holiday table makes clear, all the female Cratchit kids are pigs, and all the males -- including an adorable Robin as Tiny Tim -- are frogs.
    • Don't forget that the "happy ending" includes all of them preparing to feast on a turkey dinner, including the Muppet turkeys that act like turkeys!
    • Maybe the Muppetised, singing fruit was a parody of this? ?Momma always told me, never eat singing food.?
    • By far the worst was the Denny's commercial, with Piggy happily ordering meals the included ham, bacon, and sausage.
    • Not to mention the original plot of The Muppet Movie, in which Kermit refuses to advertise frog legs because he is a frog, and would not want to contribute to the slaughter and consumption of his own species. Except ... he is a singing, dancing frog who talks and acts like a human, and has way longer legs than the frog legs advertised.
    • Played with in this Sesame Street sketch.
    • Two web shorts involve the skateboarding dog. The Muppets, including Rolf, seem completely unable to distinguish between a real dog and a muppet dog, talking about him as if he were capable of anything a muppet dog could do.
    • The Muppets even go one step further; Both The Muppet Show and Muppets Tonight had episodes that involved ventriloquist dummies. As Boppity (a muppet from The Great Santa Claus Switch) once said, "I can hardly believe it- a stick of wood that talks!"
  • In Dinosaurs, all the animals act like humans. Therefore, in a perfectly logistic twist and the natural solution for this trope, all the Neanderthal humans take over the roles of animals, acting or being treated something like dogs.
  • Shows where the characters are portrayed as people in costumes may get a bit more slack with this trope. Nonetheless, there are a few episodes of Zoobilee Zoo that are thought provoking:
    • In one episode, Lookout Bear adopts a non-anthropomorphic dog played by a real dog. The image of a guy in a bear costume playing with a real dog was pretty jarring. (And we'd give anything within reason to know what the dog was thinking.)
    • In another episode, a witch arrives to bully the residents of Zoobilee Zoo by making them—and these were her exact words -- "act like animals!"
    • Finally, there was an episode where the characters travel back to Zoobilee Zoo's distant past and meet a human caveman. (Really, the only way all of this could make sense is if the show takes place at an Anthro-Con that never ends.)
  • In a Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch, two pantomime horses get into a pastiche of chase scenes—which at one moment has the pantomime horses riding on horseback.


Newspaper Comics

  • One of the running themes in the Pluggers commentary at The Comics Curmudgeon is the question of what, exactly, the interaction between anthropomorphic and non-anthropomorphic characters is like; since the characters in Pluggers are drawn as anthropomorphic animals, but the ideas used in the strip are submitted by readers (i.e. humans,) the overlap can range from confusing (an anthropomorphic bear taking a normal dog for a walk) to disturbing (a chicken-woman storing her jewelry in an egg carton.)
  • Tom the Dancing Bug did a brief, 3 panel comic that made fun of trope. An anthro dog walks a normal dog. An anthro pig asks "I don't understand, aren't you both dogs?" The anthro dog replies "Well, isn't that a pork chop in your bag?"
  • In the newspaper comic Pearls Before Swine, a strip populated mainly with talking animals, the little guard duck (usually an over-the-top violent military type) attempts a rather tender relationship with a non-anthropomorphic female duck. This is quite explicitly mentioned in the strip, with the author making an appearance to explain things to the characters. (In the end, the non-anthropomorphic female duck flies away to migrate, but the little guard duck is incapable of flight. He is quite sad, for a duck who blasts sedans with [=RPGs=] on a semi-regular basis.)
    • Also, in a rather gruesome early strip, Pig is thrown out of a club for pigs due to his love for BLTs. And before that, there was the strip where a diner owner refused to bring Pig the ham sandwich he ordered because it might be one of his relatives. Pig proceeds to call a relative and ask about every member of his family. Upon finding out his aunt is missing, Pig orders a fruit salad.
    • Another example is the non-anthropomorphic sheep that joined the Pearls Before Swine crew early on, providing the proverbial lampshade.
  • Subverted in the newspaper comic strip My Cage. While all the "people" in the strip are anthropomorphic animals of some variety, all the "animals" are, in fact, enormous microbes. The main character, Norm, even has a pet amoeba named Squishy. There's also one strip where one character is said to suffer from a condition that makes him think he is non-anthropomorphic.
  • Lampshaded in a Far Side strip: A chicken is serving her sick husband a bowl of soup, saying, "Just eat it. First of all, chicken soup is good for a cold, and second, it's nobody we know."
    • There's another strip where a cow is grilling beef, with other cows pointing and screaming: "You're sick, Jessie! Sick! Sick! Sick!"
    • An even creepier strip shows a cow eating a steak while the other cows watch, apparently as an experiment. Why they decided to do it is probably best left unknown.

"Interesting, interesting... I'd say we taste a little like chicken."

    • Then there's the one where a young bull walks into his house in a leather outfit. Two of the on-looking cows are horrified, but a third explains, "Don't mind him. That's our calf Randy -- he wears leather for the shock value."
    • Don't forget the one where the chicken was baking a cake, noticed that eggs were on the ingredients list, and then looks over at her unhatched children. Perhaps it would be best just to leave it at "Gary Larson is in love with lampshading this."
  • Since the cast of Rocky is portrayed as humanistic with animal heads, Furry Confusion occasionally happens.
  • Happens in-universe to Otto of Beetle Bailey, who feels sorry for a dog that walks on four legs and wears no clothes. Otherwise usually averted, because Otto is still "animal" enough to interact with other dogs on the same level, even though he's closer to anthropomorphism than they.

Tabletop Games

  • Ironclaw and sister game Jadeclaw try to sidestep the issue by invoking Reptiles Are Abhorrent. The setting is full of anthropomorphic animal races. So what do the noble horse knights ride? Giant lizards. What are those animals people eat like chickens? Uh... winged lizards.
  • Averted in World Tree, due to the conspicuous absence of any "real" animals matching the Prime races.
  • The leonin Ajani Goldmane of Magic: The Gathering is vexed in Alara Unbroken when he visits Bant and sees the leotau the knights use as their steeds. They look a lot like his own race, but they're non-sentient.


  • Hello Kitty has a cat called Charmy Kitty [1]

Video Games

  • Sonic the Hedgehog has quite a bit of this. Some of it is What Measure Is a Non-Cute?; some of it is just weird.
    • In the original games, the main characters are anthropomorphic animals (albeit oddly colored) who save not-as-anthropomorphic animals from the clutches of Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik. This is especially weird in the Sonic Adventure games, where the playable characters can actually collect the non-anthropomorphs and give them to the Virtual Pet-like Chao.
    • Some of the animals that can be rescued in Sonic Adventure include ordinary, non-anthropomorphic bats, rabbits, and swallows. Rouge, Cream, and Wave are respectively, an anthropomorphic bat, rabbit, and swallow.
    • Sonic Adventure 2 takes the cake, as it has three different kinds of bats: the anthropomorphic Rouge, the cartoonish bats that are freed by killing Robotnik's robots, and actual real-life bats flying around in the level Death Chamber.
    • Let's not forget that in the games, the western animated cartoon series, and the comics based on them, Sonic's favorite food was chili dogs. Now where in the hell does the meat come from?
    • The food aspect is averted in Sonic the Comic. Sonic's Trademark Favorite Food is not regular burgers, but bean burgers. Humans exist on another planet away from Mobius, unlike Archie. "Regular" animals are not shown, the closest being the animal friends from the games and even then they quickly go through an Anthropomorphic Shift. Sonic the Comic Online sort of adds back a bit of the confusion, since two of the animal friends didn't go through a shift, but it's a fan continuation plus they're still anthropomorphic.
    • In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, there are non anthropomorphic animals that are common enemies. They include wasps, armadillos, boars, hawks, and millipedes. Note that three of these species are also the species of members of the cast.
    • In the Lost Jungle level of Sonic Heroes, you can encounter a giant non-anthropomorphic crocodile. If you play as Team Chaotix, one of your characters is Vector, an anthropomorphic crocodile. If you play Lost Jungle as Team Chaotix, you take an alternate route where you do not run into the giant crocodile. This may be a weak effort to avoid Furry Confusion.
  • Tauren (Minotaurs) in World of Warcraft are able to raise horses, pigs... and cattle.

Male Blood Elf: We're allied with the Tauren? Fantastic, we'll be having steak twice a week!

    • While there are certainly non-anthropomorphic cattle livestock in the game, the Tauren don't keep any. Tauren do, however, raise Kodo, which are kind of like rhinoceri. Cows raising animals as mounts, meat and milk producers has to be even more bizarre than if they were just raising cows.
    • A Tauren Pirate (yes, he's as awesome as it sounds) has a price put on his head, and invokes the trope by sending a cow's head in place of his own. Seahorn suggests most Tauren are offended by people pointing out the similarity, while he finds it amusing.
  • The Sly Cooper series of games takes place in a universe populated almost entirely by anthropomorphic animals. However, the second game features "real" bears and elephants, and the third game contains a "real" wolf. In both cases, the protagonists have to take advantage of their normal animal behavior.
    • A boss in the first game was an anthropomorphic alligator named Mz. Ruby. In the third game, there's a task that involves a non-anthropomorphic alligator and the team never questions this.
  • Perfect World features the Untamed, whose men are Anthros and whose women are Petting Zoo People and capable of physically turning into a tiger and fox, respectively. The God of the Perfect World is also a Anthro Panda. Despite this, the Untamed raise pet cats, hens, and dogs. Even more strangely, there are (things that look like) pack animals that are apparently sentient and have their own complex language—and these pack animals can pick up English if they travel enough, and most do. It gets even more bizarre with the various quests that treat entirely non-anthro and non-speaking monsters as highly sentient, and when anthro and communicative monsters drop valuable types of Meat.
  • In Animal Crossing there are a few frogs and octopi among the various anthropomorphic animals who can move into your village, yet you can also catch non-anthro frogs and octopi while fishing. It gets more than a little unsettling when one of your neighbors asks you go catch a member of his or her own species... then keeps it in a tank in their home, or worse, 'eats' it once you present it to them. Not to mention the caged-bird furniture item, that your bird friends will graciously accept and display in their house.
  • In the Breath of Fire games, your entire party by and large consists of full anthros and petting zoo people, yet no one complains or even seems to think about it when you happily mow down, hunt, or fish their mundane, quadrupedal or legless counterparts, or use and abuse pack animals and pets. (Well, there is one scene in Breath of Fire II where your dogman friend objects to a pig being cooked, but that's because he was being paid to retrieve it...)
    • Partially lampshaded in IV, at least per the artbook.[1] It's still squicky in a totemic sense, though.
  • In Pokémon, pretty much all of the animals are replaced with Pokémon. Fish and insects have appeared (despite there being an entire type devoted to bug Pokémon), and there are allusions to animals like dogs.
    • Really, the confusion isn't so much non-Pokemon dogs appearing with Pokemon ones, but more of "if all animals (and many non-animals) are Pokemon then where are the myriad insects integral to decomposition?" and similar questions since what with the smallest Pokemon still being about 6 inches, many important rolls in an ecosystem must be carried out by something that isn't a Pokemon, despite there not being much reference if any to non-Pokemon animals.
    • Animals do get referenced several times but they never appear within the games. This could be do to graphical limits - that they don't need to be seen so they don't appear in sprite form but are supposed to exist - or they may just not exist within the areas the games take place.
    • Thanks to Grass-type Pokémon, you can even run into Plant Confusion. Granted, some just resemble animals that have plant-like pieces—there are real-world animals like that (for mimicry purposes). But think about it when you harvest a berry tree and give one of those berries to an ambulatory coconut tree... Yeah, that's weird.
  • How about Leafy Confusion? The Wii Ware game Bonsai Barber has a cast made up of giant sentient fruits and vegetables (and a cactus), but while a number of the characters are fruit, they can also grow fruit (apples) on their branches as well. To make matters weirder, you also have in your shop, in a position of prominent display, an ordinary potted plant "named" Prunella.
  • Neatly averted in Beyond Good and Evil. Yes, there are goat-people, shark-people, rhinoceros-people, et cetera, but your camera explicitly states their species as "[genus] Sapiens"; the goat-people, for instance, are Capra Sapiens.
  • Despite not actually featuring any real animals, Spore has occasionally fallen into this. Owing to the randomly generated wildlife, it's entirely possible that a nearby nest of creatures may actually be members of your own species. And you can kill and eat them.
  • Something of an Elephant in the Living Room in the Quest for Glory series; most of the non-human races are "evolved" animals like Katta (anthropomorphic cats) and Liontaurs (like centaurs, but with lions). However, regular cats and lions still show up in the series. Of course, Word of God says that the fantastic races exist because of an explosion of magic in the backstory, so the situation with them may be akin to the one between humans and apes.
  • Averted on Furcadia. The only anthropomorphic animals are mammals and lizard-like wyrmmes. Mammals CAN interbreed and create either hybrids, offspring that resemble a parent, or offspring that resemble one parent, and non-anthropomorphic animals are all birds. Oh, and there's anthropomorphic insects, but they behave and reproduce like real-world bees. On the other hand, this is only in Furcadia canon—and anyone who's been there knows that hardly anyone plays by canon rules...
  • In furry communities in Second Life, it is not that uncommon to find players who have other FULLY ANTHROPOMORPHIC players, as pets.
  • The Super Mario Bros. series games actually feature both anthopomorphic mushroom people and nonanthropormorphic mushrooms as power-ups.
  • Okami: Sasa Sanctuary is staffed by anthropomorphic pseudo-Yakuza sparrows. You can find (and feed) non-anthropomorphic sparrows throughout the game, including just outside the Sanctuary.

Web Comics

  • In World of Fizz, the character Dawn, who is an anthropomorphic cat herself, adopts a non-anthropomorphic cat. Other non-anthropomorphic animals are portrayed for comedic purposes.
  • Justified in those two trip from Schlock Mercenary where a genetically engineered ("uplifted") elephant from the protagonist's mercenary company try to interrogate a uplifted one hiding in a circus full of non-uplifted elephant, of course since he must keep this secret his intention are misinterpreted.
  • In Fur Will Fly, an anthropomorphic rooster is pictured (warning: ugly art, predates the comic's Art Evolution) eating regular chicken legs. It is later attested that there are "evolved" and "non-evolved" versions of animals, but still...
    • In the same comic, a cat character has numerous pet cats, and says that it's instructive to have a pet with all of your instincts and none of your higher thoughts.
  • Explained in Freefall: Florence is a genetically engineered creature based on wolves. She occasionally deals with more mundane canines. There's another sequence that explains how she originally resembled a normal wolf cub, but had to adapt to bipedalism as she matured. Talk about growing pains.
  • Every creature in Kevin and Kell is anthropomorphic, down to the bacteria. The confusion here mainly has to do with their size. Some of the insects we see are the size of the main characters, about human sized. Others are tiny, as you would expect from insects. The real confusion sets in when we see examples of both sizes from the same species, like the moths.
    • Lifespans are also massively screwed up—just check out this strip. For those not knowing, a fifteen year old wolf in the real world would be either dead or in their dotage. One day, however, is about right for (adult) mayflies.
    • And then there's the morality of carnivorous people; apparently it's alright for them to kill herbivores, even though they're quite sapient. In fact, the one of the main foci of the strip is carnivores and herbivores getting involved in relationships, to the point that the eponymous characters are a married carn/herb couple—and yet there's no problem that Kell's job is to kill massive amounts of herbivores.
    • Apparently murder is acceptable as long as it's part of the natural preying process (the incident that granted everything sapience is pointedly established as having done nothing for morality). This means that predator species can, literally, get away with murder, while the same act is criminal for prey species. Kevin's father is in prison for killing a carnivore (which admittedly gave him a badass cred). No one seems to think this is unfair, either.
  • Exterminatus Now made it clear very soon that regular, non-"furry" chickens exist. However, it also confirmed that "furry" ones exist too, very anthro, very sapient, and very murdered.
    • The creators have said that there were plans to create new nonintelligent animals for the universe, but they never got around to it.
    • Another comic has one character use the Stock Phrase "Do bears shit in the woods?" which leads to a discussion which culminates in, "Also, isn't our boss a bear?"
  • Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures gleefully plays with this, yes, very much plays with this, seriously. The artist has explained that there are actually "livestock" animals in the DMFA universe along with the normal character, but there's no reason not to have fun with it though.
    • Not to mention, Lorenda is at least Part demon. It has also been established that she has a tendency to eat the people who piss her off, which is why Jyrras brought her back to Lost Lake.
  • Achewood, for all its oddity, partially averts this—Roast Beef's pet, Winston, is an AIBO (a robot dog).
    • On the other hand, Ray (a cat) tends to address Roast Beef (also a cat) as "dogg", the irony of which has never been remarked on.
    • Dogs are regarded as animals by the characters; see the strip where barking dogs keep Molly and Roast Beef awake, or the one with Ray's "Magreaux Dog." Despite this, dogs have been shown talking on a few occasions. It could be that cats in the Achewood universe simply look down on dogs and refuse to consider them equals, much like in real life.
  • You Say It First averts this; the pets shown have been Brants (a creature vaguely similar to a rabbit or cat, with blue or purple fur; not the Real Life goose) or fish.
  • Sequential Art depicts a world mixed with humans and anthropomorphic animals, sans Leonard, the Team Pet who is just a regular platypus. A perfectly regular platypus with an as-yet unexplained three-foot poisonous barb that occasionally bursts forth from his upper spine, in place of the barbs on the back of his... Flippers? Claws? Duck feet.
  • SSDD usually averts any mention of species, but mentions it at least twice in relation to an affair between two characters of different "species" (which is apparently considered an unusual fetish even though it's common amongst featured characters).
  • Nobody Scores knows what to do with those damn furries. War, and lots of it!
  • Murry Purry Fresh and Furry takes place in a world where furries live alongside normal animals, a fact that the characters regularly acknowledge does not make sense.
  • In an early Cat and Girl, the anthropomorphic eponymous Cat flirts with a non-anthropomorphic cat.
  • The Kenny Chronicles regularly shows regular cats, dogs, mice, and chickens alongside Tarnekis but there seems to be a pretty clear distinction between the two (this comic notwithstanding)
  • Las Lindas eventually explains that their anthros are aliens that happen to resemble earth animals, but before that revelation, it's shown that one of the two cow-anthro characters runs a milk factory, and the other runs a dairy farm. To add to the confusion, no non-anthro cows and almost no non-anthro animals have been shown.
  • Mewsli from Tiny Kitten Teeth is an anthropomorphic cat who has a pet regular cat. Lampshaded in an early comic when he brings the pet cat on a bus and someone thinks that it's his child.[2]
  • Appears in Pandect, where there is a clear difference between animals with souls and the ability to wear a human form (Aces) and animals without souls. Aces sometimes have a sense when a human or animal is another Ace, but they do not know for certain until the other Ace reveals it.
  • Actually very well avoided in Jack—Their anthros were originally created experimentally by humans, first just rabbit-people, then, presumably, all species. The reason we don't see humans in their world is because they killed them all. Non-anthro animals remain exactly as they are for us. There is the strange matter that the furries can interbreed, and become strange mixed-species creatures, yet almost all of them appear to be one pure, unmixed species.
    • The most popular explanation for the interbreeding is having a common base in the form of human DNA with some extra bits from other species spliced in. Enough to give the distinct appearances, but not enough to create true separate species.
  • I believe this gem from Awkward Zombie used to be the page picture.
  • The webcomic Moo & Keo gives us this example.
  • Variation in Bard: It's established that all animals exist in both anthropomorphic and non-anthropomorphic varieties . . . which leads to Vas being bewildered when he sees a human, because he can't even begin to imagine what a non-anthropomorphic human looks like. Shelia's attempt to explain how anthropomorphism works just leads him to believe that humans are "empty shells, devoid of all existence".
  • Brawl in the Family visits the Sonic the Hedgehog universe.
  • A sentient alligator in Vinigortonio in order to avoid getting headshot by Platypus's pendant attack uses the Croc-o-style Sniper set... which is made from a skinned and decapitated crocodile...
  • In Fruit Incest, Molo and Zeke are both surprised to find cheetahs at the zoo, but never question why none of the other cheetahs are anthropomorphic.
  • In Concession, Artie and Melusine go fishing and then cook their catches for dinner.

Artie: (about to eat fish and crab with Melusine) This feels weird. It's like I'm about to watch cannibalism.
Melusine: Dolphins are mammals, Artie.
Artie: I know! I know. But it's still weird, you know?
Melusine: You know what's weird? Furries that have dogs for pets. I think that's weirder than anything we do.

GaMERCaT: You realize this makes you Crazy Cat Lady cat.
Pixel: I know, it's so meta!

Web Original

  • Happy Tree Friends: The main cast consists of anthropomorphic animals who live in a world where they interact with real animals. For example, in an episode involving a trip in the woods, Lumpy the moose gets mauled by a grizzly bear (about four bears make up the cast! So what does that make the grizzly bear?). Again, in a short Christmas short http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rU9Lp0TV_WU&feature=related, Petunia gets stomped to death by a deer, which looks more like a real world deer compared to Mime the deer.
    • Many of the cast members are also shown keeping pets, such as cats, gerbils, dogs, and an elephant on one occasion.
    • In one episode, "Junk in the Trunk", one of the animals kidnapped by Lifty and Shifty is a monkey. A spin off series has a monkey named "Buddhist Monkey" as the main protagonist.
  • Averted in Tasakeru, where intelligent animals are "sentients" and unintelligent ones (all non-mammals, boars, rats, goats) are "animals".
  • Darwin's Soldiers had this occur twice in the 3rd RP.
    • Cpl. Stern has this to say:

Cpl. Stern: So, Vipers. I understand that you can sense motion and heat differently than humans can. Does it works like a real snake's senses?

    • Birds chirping outside the window wake up Shakila. Pretty damn sure that said birds are non-anthro.
  • One Protectors of the Plot Continuum interlude has this when human agents Laburnum and Foxglove go to the Real World for a holiday and bump into agents Naomi (human), Drake (anthro fox in human disguise), Stormsong (anthro weasel in human disguise), Skyfire (anthro stoat in human disguise), and Stormy and Sky's adopted kids Molly (anthro ferret in human disguise) and Moses (anthro otter in human disguise). In a conversation, Drake wants to go to a zoo, but Sky argues against it on the basis that Molly would have a fit (she broke down after encountering a pet shop).
  • The Annoying Orange once talked to a sentient iPhone, but has been shown to have a smaller, non-sentient iPhone of his own in later episodes.

Western Animation

  • Regular ducks and rabbits were occasionally shown alongside Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny in the Looney Tunes shorts. It should be noted that the Looney Tunes characters act a great deal more like normal animals than Disney characters do (Daffy lives in a lake, Bugs lives in a burrow, neither ordinarily wears clothing). Still, Daffy has acknowledged that he still "Kinda stands out in the crowd" of other ducks.
    • It should be noted that Daffy started out looking like this and slowly became more and more anthromorphic.
    • In one episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, Babs Bunny was magically turned into a non-anthropomorphic rabbit by a witch who wanted to eat her. In the episode "Thirteensomething", she quits Tiny Toons and Buster winds up interviewing a mundane rabbit as a potential new co-host. In yet another episode of this series, Plucky wants to fly south for the winter with a flock of non-anthropomorphic ducks.
    • The "Thirteensomething" episode is particularly odd, as Babs is able to pass for human simply by covering her ears. The fact that her face is covered in fur doesn't quite go unnoticed: "You really should get a wax, dear. You have a lot of facial hair!"
    • In the beginning of Hyde and Hare, Bugs poses as a normal, timid rabbit to encourage a kindly gentleman to feed him carrots in the park, eventually dropping the ruse when the man (who unfortunately turns out to be Dr. Jekyll) invites him home.
    • An episode of Duck Dodgers Lampshaded this by having Daffy gain access to a Green Lantern Ring. As he hovers in the air and proclaims his pride at being the first of his species gifted with flight, several ducks fly by behind him.
    • Porky Pig, in contrast, is fully a Funny Animal. He's frequently depicted living in a regular house, wearing (some) clothing, keeping pets or farm animals, and even stocking his fridge with ham and sausages—despite being a pig himself.
    • In the Tiny Toons movie, Hamton and his (all pig) family unknowingly pick up an escaped maniac hitchhiker. While they are all in the car, the radio announces that the madman is driven berserk by exposure to any sort of "pork product". The pigs sniff the air and actually seem to find their smell quite appetizing.
    • In the short Hare Splitter, Bugs and his rival Casbah are both shown to live in burrows, yet their love interest Daisy lives in a normal house.
  • At least two Huckleberry Hound shorts, "Postman Panic" and "Tricky Trapper", featured him with "real" dogs.
  • In Rocko's Modern Life all the characters are anthropomorphic animals. But both Rocko and his neighbors, the Bigheads, have pet dogs.
    • In one episode, Rocko (an anthro wallaby) ends up getting mistaken for a dog by a dog catcher while searching for his lost pet Spunky.
  • Duckman was the patriarch of a family of anthropomorphic ducks whose best friend and partner was a pig and whose nemesis was a chicken. The series also featured anthropomorphic dogs as supporting characters... yet Duckman owned a pet dog, Gecko, that acted like a pet dog, and various other animals appeared in the background.

"What ? It's not like it's someone you knew..."

  • On Wild West Cowboys of Moo Mesa, the series is set in the Old West and focuses on animals who became very human-like due to radiation from a meteor crash. Some animals, such as horses, were not affected. Of course, the horses can thus serve as the C.O.W.-boys mode of transportation, and once you see a Minotaur riding a horse, you don't forget it. The series also featured the eponymous characters herding non-anthropomorphic cattle, and some episodes featured humanoid versions of horses and sheep, animals usually portrayed as non-anthro "herd animals" within the show. (Also see the World of Warcraft example below.)
  • The Raccoons featured two English sheepdogs, Schaeffer and Broo. While Schaeffer walked on two legs and talked, Broo acted like a regular dog. It could be because Broo is a puppy, but...
    • Made even more awkward as Bentley is entrusted to take care of Broo as a way to show he's capable of handling a dog. He's even stated to have to walk Broo.
  • The Get Along Gang was populated entirely with anthros of the most humanoid sort. One episode concerned a search for a missing baby elephant. Fair enough... except for the fact that it turned out that said elephant was missing from the zoo. Whisky Tango Foxtrot?
  • Road Rovers concerned a superhero team made up of very anthro dogs—who were "mutated" normal dogs. In one episode, they help an injured wolf. You gotta wonder what the wolf was thinking when he met them...
    • Then there was the time one of the main characters became a werewolf. Um...
  • Family Guy features both regular, mundane dogs and anthropomorphic, talking ones who stand upright, are sexually attracted to humans, and may or may not wear clothing. Sometimes within the same family! For instance, Brian's mother, Biscuit was non-anthropomorphic, while his cousin Jasper is anthropomorphic like he is.
    • Brian from Family Guy plays up the trope mostly by being far more erudite than the human members of the Griffin family, driving a recognizable Toyota Prius while Peter and Lois have generic cartoon cars, and often holding a martini (complete with olive) while walking around the house on his hind legs, all of which makes it MUCH funnier when he does engage in realistic canine behavior.
    • Lampshaded on one occasion when Peter suddenly says "Holy crap! You can talk!"
    • "The Former Life of Brian" reveals that Brian had a completely human son with a human woman. He's thirteen... even though Brian is only six. Brian says it's "dog years".
  • Lampshaded on Chowder—an anthropomorphic bear plays a ring toss game run by a humanoid elephant, and wins a prize: a human. Cut to a humanoid dog ordering food from a human, who hands him a perfectly ordinary frog on an ice cream cone. The dog starts licking the frog, much to the horror of its mother, a humanoid frog in hair curlers. In Chowder, everything is anthropomorphic, including vegetables, ice cream, souffles, mold, roasts, and soda cans.
  • Cow and Chicken takes this to extreme. The title characters are a brother and sister who have human parents and live as humans, but neither wear clothes and otherwise totally belong to their own species. In one episode they are visited by the ghosts of their Great-Grandparents who are a normal human and a non-anthropomorphic chicken. As with the Stuart Little example cited above, we suggest, dear reader, that you not think about that one too hard.
    • In fact, the series pilot reveals at the end that their parents are only the lower half of a human, and nothing from the waist up.
    • In various episodes we see the rest of their family, which includes Boneless (a chicken), Sow (a pig!), Black Sheep (oh you know). One of the weirder episodes revolves around their cousin Snail Boy, whose mother was human and father was a non-anthropomorphic snail.
    • Hell, it's even in the opening song:

Chicken: Momma had a chicken.
Cow: Momma had a cow.
Both: Dad was proud! He didn't care how!

  • When SpongeBob SquarePants needs a non-anthropomorphic animal, the usual choice is to use jellyfish as bees, and there's never been an anthropomorphic jellyfish. Equally consistent, and equally arbitrary, clams take the place of birds, snails like Gary behave like cats, and deep-sea worms act like dogs.
    • There may also be elements of Carnivore Confusion as to what the "krabby patties" are made of. Crab? This seems unlikely, as the store is owned by a talking crab. A (supposedly) false recipe once claimed it was plankton—which many sea creatures actually eat—as an orchestrated scare for the villainous Plankton. And then they imply in one episode that the patties are in fact made of crab. Mr. Krabs takes a bite of one and says, "So that's what I taste like." Ew.
      • Well, crabs in real life aren't above cannibalism.
    • But it gets even more confusing because there are worms that act like dogs, worms that talk, and worms that act like worms.
    • The episode Nature Pants has starfish in the background that act like real starfish rather than surface animals or having human-like minds like Patrick.
    • There's also the fact that SpongeBob, a sea sponge, is very anthropomorphic, while other stationary animals like coral and anemones are treated like plants. Could have sworn there were some non-anthropomorphic sponges, too...
  • If you don't mind us extending this to talking plants, there are a few odd instances in Veggie Tales:
    • In "The Lord Of The Beans" story, an anthropomorphic asparagus is given a powerful non-anthropomorphic bean.
    • Apple pie is eaten in "Madame Blueberry."
    • "Duke and the Great Pie War" also includes regular apples along side the anthropomorphic blueberry. And pies. Lots of pies. This was addressed in the DVD commentary for this episode. When asked by fans whether or not the consumption of apples and other plants was cannibalism, the replied that it "didn't count" if the vegetable could not talk. Oh, okay.
    • The silly song "Pizza Angel" from the "Minnesota Cuke" video includes a reference to how much Larry the Cucumber likes tomato sauce—while ignoring the fact that his best friend is a tomato. One wonders if Mr. Lunt likes pickle on "His Cheeseburger"... And then one wonders where the crust came from. There's probably flour in it. Flour comes from wheat. Wheat is a grain. Grains are seeds. Seeds are embryonic plants. So the pizza is cheese on top of the mashed innards of Bob's uncle, on top of hundreds of abortions.)
    • And there are animals in the Veggie Tales world as well. Just don't ask how.
    • Larry Boy and the Rumor Weed has Mr. Nezzer grilling what is clearly a steak.
    • Veggie Tales likes to play with this all the same. Peas refer to being smashed into soup, but a non-anthro pumpkin is acceptable for pounding into slurry. In a book adapting the Egyptian plagues, grape juice is substituted for blood in the Nile. And the Pharaoh laughs and sips it from a glass.
    • In the episode (made later, I believe) that deals with the plagues of Egypt, the Nile turns to tomato juice. There's a short scene of Bob the Tomato seeing this and fainting.
    • There are now Veggie Tales branded tomato, cucumber, and so on seeds. Yes kids, now you can grow and eat half the cast!
  • This trope is parodied and taken to its only logical extreme in an episode of Futurama. At a veterinarian's office, there is a man stroking a purring cat. The camera pans, showing a Catgirl (presumed to be alien) petting a cat-sized human, also purring. In a later episode, we see that same Cat Girl and her pet human as contestants in a pet show.
  • Most kid's series that feature anthropomorphic animals confront the 'time to get a pet' Life Lesson at some point. Usually with interesting results, as in an episode of Franklin that had our young turtle hero (who is already bestest buddies with a bear and a fox) contemplating getting a kitten.
  • Kipper the Dog is made of this trope: There seems to be no dividing line between animals that are and aren't sapient. The main characters are basically anthropomorphic. The main character has a mouse in his house that can talk and play with him, but otherwise lives as a normal mouse. Another character's Aunt has a parrot that can talk fluently, but obviously isn't sapient. And at various points characters have interactions with pet birds, hamsters, and wild hedgehogs that are essentially normal animals. Naming is also weird in this show, with a Kipper (a dog), Arnold (a pig), Pig (a pig), and Tiger (a dog).
  • Camp Lazlo has several instances of this too
    • In one episode, Clam attempts to insult the Squirrel Scouts by calling them "animals." This results in awkward silence, because after all, they are animals.
    • At the end of an episode with all the Bean Scouts partaking in meat hot dogs, Edward actually brings up the question of what the hot dogs are made of, to the revulsion of all.
    • Interestingly, no one bats an eye at Lumpus (a moose) and his love of meat, except when he attempted to eat a bird that was still alive. Hmmmm.
    • Everyone freaks when Lazlo brings a bear into camp, despite the fact that one of the campers is a bear. This is never addressed.
    • In the parade episode, the announcer (a water buffalo) comments on Miss Prickly Pine's beautiful yak skin dress, made from real yak skin.
  • Word World is just weird overall (technically, all the characters are talking words) but it's worth a mention here because all of the major animal characters, down to the Ant, can speak—except for one. If you guessed that the one animal who never talks and who acts like a normal animal is the dog, you've paid excellent attention to this page. There are also a few minor characters including non-talking sea creatures and a cow who is basically a Living Prop.
  • In Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks, the entire cast is made up of anthropomorphic farm animals. However, the sheep act like normal sheep. Except when they are alone, in which case they can talk to one another. Huh?
    • Also, Fernando had a pet fish at one point.
  • We here at TV Tropes challenge our dear readers to find a current series that has more Furry Confusion than Arthur. To wit:
    • Everyone in Arthur's world is an anthropomorphic animal. Whenever a guest voice appears on the show, they are drawn as an (often rather eerie looking) anthropomorphic animal character. This would seem to imply that everyone in Arthur's world is a Furry animal-person... until the spin-off "Postcards From Buster" came along. The premise is that Buster is traveling the world interviewing the different people he meets along the way. The thing is, the people he meets are all live-action human children. Either everyone outside Arthur's town is human or they aren't; make up your mind!
    • And in the original Arthur book series, the Tibble twins were humans! They had to be the only humans in Elwood city, with the possible exception of their grandmother. Nobody aside from Marc Brown knows why; literally everyone else is a Funny Animal.
    • Furthermore, normal animals still exist in Arthur's town (for example Arthur has a dog named Pal, but his friends Binky and Fern are anthropomorphic dogs, while Francine has a non-anthropormophic cat named Nemo living in the same world the anthropormorphic cats Sue Ellen & Jenna). To be fair, we've seen this before; but then it turns out that Pal can speak to other non-anthropomorphic animals. And if that doesn't break your brain, there is at least one episode where Pal and Arthur's baby sister can communicate with each other. Imagine a first-grader trying to rationalize all of this.
    • And one episode shows that toys are alive and can talk to one another, a la Toy Story. To make things even more bizarre, said dog and baby can talk to the toys. No, really, what?
    • In the episode "Jenna's Bedtime Blues", while trying to figure out why Jenna won't come to Muffy's slumber party, Prunella (who's a rat, BTW), says her sister told her that she used to strangle cats. Jenna herself is a cat (albeit a rather weird looking one) which blows ones mind.
    • This is even parodied in the series itself. In one episode Arthur and D.W. are sent to their grandma's house because it's raining too hard to play outside. When Grandma opens the door she hurries the two inside, noting that this is "only good weather for ducks." Cue a family of anthropomorphic ducks riding bikes across the street and commenting, "Beautiful weather, huh?" prompting a "Huh?" from D.W.
    • On an unpleasant note, one episode featured a campaign of genocide against head lice. Only the lice were aware of their own sentience.
    • Also, one episode involves a wedding, in this case between two bunnies. One episode shows a future where Arthur, an Aardvark, is married to Francine, a Monkey, and as seen in "the Good, the Bad, & the Binky", D.W's friend Emily is a rabbit, who's parents are a female rabbit and a male monkey. You heard me.
    • Another episode had Arthur and several of his friends watching a parody of their own show, featuring an anthro called "Andy." They snark at it, asking questions like, "If all the characters are animals, does their school cafeteria serve bugs and garbage?" and "If Andy is a mouse and has a pet dog, why doesn't it eat him?" Arthur: "He's not a mouse. He's a... I forget." (Arthur himself is supposedly an aardvark, but looks as much like a mouse as anything else.) Obviously, the producers love Lampshading.
    • In "Draw!", Francine insults Arthur by telling him to "go eat an ant sandwich."
    • What's even more confusing is that in the opening, Brain obviously sees Mr.Ratburn's face as being the shape of a shark fin. A human with that face shape?
      • Not to mention the same joke in The Shore Thing and Buster's threat to Mr. Ratburn that his mother feeds rats to lizards in Bitzi's Beau.
    • There was also an episode where they go on a field trip to a zoo.
    • Even more confusing, is that in the "New York" special episode, a human artist drew Buster in rabbit form. In a newer episode, the gang made a cake for George, and he looked like his normal moose self, antlers and all.
    • In a newer episode, we see a drawing of a silhouette of a human. Not an ape like Francine or Muffy.
    • A newer episode showed a human. It was in a Show Within a Show though. Also the current season seems to keep on leaning on the "They're human but only look like animals to us" theory much more then before. For example a bear (or possibly aardvark) character had a rabbit mother, and a rabbit character drew a regular rabbit; also, the gang has been shown to cover their "ears" by touching the sides of the heads every once in a while, even when their ears are on top of their head.
      • On the flip side, to confirm that they are animals, you have Buster's ears, George's antlers, and the biggest one of all - Bionic Bunny.
  • Little Bear features a world in which everything from bears and cats to chickens, ducks, and a snake are capable of speaking and behaving like human beings. Yet Tutu, the pet dog of Emily (one of only two human characters on the show) is a regular, non-anthropomorphic dog.
    • In one episode, it's mentioned as an aside that the reason we can't understand Tutu isn't that she can't talk, it's just that she speaks French! Of course, that doesn't actually explain why "French" sounds more like the noises a dog would make, or why she behaves largely like a pet dog...
  • In Jim Henson's animated/Muppet show Dog City, only two species, cats and dogs, are shown to be anthropomorphic, possibly justifying the rare appearances of other non-intelligent animals (mostly small birds and such).
  • A probably unintentional example: in Cats Don't Dance, it appears that all animals are in fact sentient, and just treated demeaningly by humans. So.. .does that mink stole behind Darla imply murder? Probably intentional, as she is pretty darn evil.
  • If you don't mind us extending this to robots, in Transformers, the living vehicle-robots and real vehicles sometimes fall into this trope. Side Burn's love for little red (non-living) sports cars is best not thought about too long or too hard.
    • Transformers Animated has even more Furry Confusion. To Wit, there seems to be no dividing line between robots that are and aren't sentient. The Cybertronians are sentient. The Dinobots were originally non-sentient theme park attractions. Soundwave was originally non sentient as well, as were the Constructicons and Wreck-Gar. Then there's Tutor bot and Sparkplug.
    • Let's not forget Transformers Super God Masterforce wich featured the Headmaster Jrs., humans piloting lifeless transformers bodies.
    • Let us totally forget the whole lesbian tiger thing in Beast Wars.
  • Long-forgotten prime-time animated series Calvin and the Colonel (1961-1962) did this. In one episode, where the duo gets a job running a cloakroom (where they store coats from guests at a nightclub), one man requests a silver fox coat, which the Colonel (a fox himself) retrieves, not caring that he's holding a lifeless skin of someone his own species.
  • Wonder Pets avoided this up until the newest episodes. In one, the three pets decided to take a vacation and get summer jobs at the circus. Now the Pets are regular animals that talk and wear little superhero suits when humans aren't around. Any other animals in the show are fairly normal aside from talking. However, at the circus, the ringmaster was a penguin, the animals were riding a normal sized train in front of a school (like humans wouldn't notice that). Even more confusing is that the audience members were all wild animals, but dressed in clothing. You may think that this indicates that all the "humans" in the show (who are never actually seen) are actually animals that treat smaller animals as pets—but it was explicitly said in early episodes that the humans were humans.
    • This actually brings to mind another show about an Unusually Uninteresting circus run by animals, the early Disney Channel puppet show Dumbos Circus All the members of the Circus were Humanoid Animals, except for Dumbo himself (who went on all fours but at least got to talk and wear clothing). All the towns the Circus visited were populated by humans. All the animals outside the Circus acted more or less normal aside from talking.
  • In My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, Applejack has Winona, a sheepdog who behaves just like a regular (albeit well-trained) animal. In a later episode, we are introduce to the Diamond Dogs, anthropomorphic creatures that speak, walk on two legs, and wear clothing. To be fair, the Diamond Dogs are essentially canine-looking trolls with a Punny Name.
    • If horse-drawn carriages get brought up, expect a good dose of Lampshade Hanging, such as in "Over a Barrel" ("Okay, your turn to pull.""Aw, but we just switched!") and "The Best Night Ever" (Twilight enchants a few mice to turn into full-grown horses to pull their carriage, said mice run off...and Rarity solves the problem by simply asking her neighbors to pull)
    • The animals Applejack and family herd hit this fairly often. Early on, we see her herding stampeding cows... who turn out to actually be a panicked mob she was running crowd control on (with a lasso and sheepdog). Later, we see her herding sheep into a pen... who then comment that she could have just asked.
    • As a standard rule, practically every animal appears to be sentient and sapient, although only a subset is shown to be capable of speech (ponies, donkeys, zebras, cows and sheep). Angel Bunny is intelligent, bad-mannered and capable of bossing around Fluttershy (admittedly not a difficult feat), Owloysious is a capable assistant librarian, and every animal in "May The Best Pet Win" are sufficiently self-aware to ignore their natural behavior and try for the pet job. Given that the ponies are apparently exclusively vegetarian, many traditional farm animal jobs would not be applicable (Sweet Apple Acres have pigs, but not for their meat) but others would - the sheep are likely putting up with routine shearing in exchange for a carefree living. Winona may be as smart as any pony, but she just likes her job.
  • G1 My Little Pony had this to varying degrees depending on your canon. The cartoons had the Dream Valley ponies live far from humans however where the humans lived everything was 'normal'; Megan's family even had a non-talking, Miniature Horse named TJ. The My Little Pony comics and various books throughout G1 had the ponies living in stables and otherwise behaving like horses, while the cartoon had them behaving more anthro (outside of the first specials) and sleeping in beds. Mr. Moochick had an anthropomorphic rabbit friend who couldn't seem to talk. Peaches, a talking pony, seems to have a pet cat.
  • Averted in Help! I'm a Fish. The only fish that have anthropomorphic traits are either fish that have been exposed to the "Anti-Fish" potion, or humans who have been exposed to the "Fish" potion. Of course, there are only three humans that are exposed to the "Fish" potion—and it seems that the "sentient" fish have no problem with enslaving their own kind, and in the case of Shark, eating any fish, "anthropomorphized" or not. So...uhhhhh?
  • In Strawberry Shortcake, Strawberry's cat, Custard, is able to talk, but her dog, Pupcake, is not.
  • Played with in D Myna Leagues, where after losing a high stakes arcade game to an anthropormoprhic Raccoon, they have a rematch playing a Davy Crocket-themed game. The Raccoon scoffs at the childish game, and agrees to play, but suffers a nervous breakdown when he see the Raccoon-skin hats the player characters wear.
  • The classic BRB International animated adaptation of Around the World In 80 Days, Around the World with Willy Fog, avoids this in some interesting ways. For starting, all animals are either sapient and anthropomorphic or neither. All the animals that are sapient are mammals and most (with very few exceptions) are rodents, carnivores, pigs and primates, which are never non sapient (and so there are no pet dogs or cats or any known equivalent). Horses, camels and elephants are never sapient and are used for transport.
  • In Thomas the Tank Engine, the depiction of any non-rail vehicles vary widely. Some of them are sentient, while others are not.
  • In the show Zula Patrol, every single celestial body (stars, planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, comets, nebulae, galaxies, black holes, etc.) can talk to the main characters, but for some reason their homeworld doesn't. Gee, I wonder if it did...
  • The Amazing World of Gumball apparantly takes place in a world where Everything Talks, even down to the rocks and trees in their world. However there are non-anthropomorphic objects coexisting with some of the characters (who are occasionally otherwise inanimate objects), such as the policeman (an anthropomorphic donut) and non-anthro donuts.
  • As a primarily educational cartoon, The Mysteries of Alfred Hedgehog often features a real animal in each episode along with its anthropomorphic cast. For example, one episode's mystery involved a non-anthro mockingbird imitating the anthropomorphic Cynthia. Alfred then explains that mockingbirds can imitate other types of birds.
    • Furthermore, one regular cast member is a non-anthro moose that speaks.
  • The cats from Slacker Cats walk on their back legs and talk but the tiger who escaped from the zoo doesn't. They say it's because he's more in touch with nature than they are.
  • Quick Draw McGraw, who is a talking bipedal clothes wearing horse/cowboy encounters normal 4 legged horses pulling stage coaches and being ridden by other characters.
  • One episode of The Angry Beavers "Kreature Komforts" had the brothers received a visit from their wild cousin, who happens to be a photo-realistic beaver that acts like a non-sentient animal. Impressed by his simplistic life, the beavers give up their possessions, stop bathing, and remake their home to look like an actual beaver dam. However, they end up using their modern possessions without one knowing the other until they decide to live as they did before. Subverted in the end where it's revealed that their cousin may not be as he seems, as his photo-realistic dam grows robotic legs and marches off to the distance.
  • Adventure Time goes all over the place with this trope, what with EVERY SINGLE THING being capable of speech and thought (including trees, rocks, elements, animals, and candy). The episode "Thank You" had a snow golem befriend a fire wolf cub that acted like an ordinary canine. This also included Finn and Jake (the latter being a magical talking dog
  • CatDog is a humongous offender of this, with both anthropomorthic and realistic animals (as well as one strange looking animal human hybrid ironically named Sunshine) living together without complaint. One episode had Cat try to make Dog behave with a dog leash, lying that there was a new leash law and that he would be taken to the dog pound if he didn't act like a good dog. He then takes him to a Dog Park where he tries to blend in with the other dog walking residents, including an ordinary human, a bat, and ANOTHER TWO LEGGED, FULLY CLOTHED DOG!. In another episode, Cat fails to resist temptation and eats Dog's pet goldfish, Veronica, that he won at a fair. When he goes inside Dog's mouth to retrieve Veronica without Dog's notice, he finds it has grown enough to tower over him (their stomach is shown to be Bigger on the Inside), has learned to speak, and is a male (although cat always knew it was a boy).
  • Rupert Bear: Similar to Little Bear, Rubert is a humanistic white bear who wears clothes and lives in a house with his parents. He lives in a world populated by animal people, ordinary (yet still sentient and talking) animals, and humans, making this Lions,Tigers,And Humans///Oh My!. This is in addition to sentient objects such as a scarecrow (whom only Rubert knows is alive) and a cuckoo bird from a clock in one episode. And let's not talk about the mythical beings like unicorns, deities, and monsters.
  • An early episode of the 1983 Alvin and The Chipmunks series featured Alvin switching places with a wild chipmunk, even dressing it in his clothes; since 1961 and The Alvin Show, the Chipmunks had been stylized into their anthropomorphic state, however, this wild chipmunk resembled Alvin in both appearance and size (roughly four feet, according to franchise co-owner Ross Bagdasarian, Jr.). Alvin is captured by a woodsman who doesn't seem to find it odd that a chipmunk can talk, while Dave, Simon, and Theodore are curious over Alvin's sudden animalistic behavior.
    • Even though The Chipettes are chipmunks as well, they are a lot more anatomically correct compared Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, possessing human-like hair on their heads, and smooth human-like skin; they are even depicted with these features (as well as breasts) during imagine spots where they are matured as adults. It should also be noted that these characters do not have tails... Alvin, Simon, and Theodore's biological mother on the other hand, Vinny, not only has human-like hair on her had, but also body fur, breasts AND a tail.
    • In a few episodes of The Alvin Show, Theodore had a pet parakeet named George. Also in another episode, Dave and the boys go on a camping trip, where Alvin encounters a non-anthropomorphic bear.
    • In some cases, some animal characters appearing within the 80s Alvin and The Chipmunks cartoon are depicted as both anthropomorphic such as "Uncle" Harry, and non-anthropomorphic; in the latter case, The Chipmunks later adopted a puppy named Lily (this after a stray kitten they found and named Cookie Chomper III was hit by a car).
      • In one episode, Simon and Theodore get back at Alvin for playing pranks on them by having him believe Theodore is transforming into a weredog (after Alvin tricked Theodore into a dog biscuit); Theodore even goes so far as to crawl on his hands and knees. Later in the same episode, Simon has Alvin dress as a dog and recite an incantation to break the spell, only to be caught by the dog catcher, who is surprised, but somehow convinced that a dog can talk.
      • On that same token, in Alvin and The Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman, Theodore is bitten by their new neighbor, Mr. Talbot, who becomes a werewolf by night, causing Theodore to turn into a weremunk, but at any given moment; when consulting with a television psychic, she explains that being a chipmunk, Theodore is already naturally closer to animalistic behavior, to which Alvin asks Simon, "Do we resent that?"
    • It has also never been confirmed or denied that The Chipmunks are vegetarians. On The Alvin Show, Theodore orders hamburgers from hotel room service, but is later reminded by Dave that he doesn't eat meat in Alvin and The Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman. Throughout the 80s cartoon, Theodore has been seen at least once making a huge sandwich that appears to have lunch meat on it. However, Alvin has been seen eating a salad for lunch once.

Real Life

  • Monkeys. Think about it.
    • On the Topic of primates there is Koko. She is an ape that has a pet cat. This is essentially a real life Mickey Pluto relationship.
    • Better yet, there are baboons who steal the puppies of feral dogs and raise them as pets, with no humans involved! Really.
  • Many advertising mascots take this right into Nightmare Fuel territory by shilling the charred flesh of their compatriots. See Let's Meet the Meat for more information.
    • The M&M mascots take this to another level since the mascots themselves talk about getting eaten.
    • This goes especially for Charlie of Star Kist Tuna. For years, he had been trying to essentially, get killed, chopped up, packed in a can, and eaten.
    • Korean chicken restaurants often have cartoon chickens on their signage and it's not unheard of for those cartoon chickens to be happily holding plates of cooked chicken limbs.
    • Chick-fil-A's "Eat Mor Chikin" ad campaign averts this with sentient cows shilling the restaurant... because they want people to eat more chicken and less beef.
  • Some humans treat other humans as pets and even eat other humans. Maybe Goofy is just the sociopath of the Disney world?
  • This is one of the core debates that splits the Furry Fandom; as the definition for "anthropomorphic" in the community is fairly strictly textbook, arguments over how far to one end or the other of the human/animal spectrum one has to slide before the character stops being considered anthropomorphic. Currently, the extremes are loosely set at Talking Animals at the extreme animal side (that is, no longer anthropomorphic), and just short of Little Bit Beastly for the extreme human side (the human face ruins the "furry" status of catgirls).
    • There was one furry story involving the C-snakes, (see the "Other" section on the Face Full of Alien Wingwong page) being hunted down by The Man. The protagonist is the only host capable of thinking straight, and after comes up with the bright idea to infect one of his family's non-anthropomorphic dogs and send it off to divert the hunt. If the ridiculous idea of a furry buggering a dog wasn't ridiculous enough, the dog is later caught by dogcatchers and put in a pound, where it infects the other dogs, the anthro wolf dogcatcher, and they all go one to infest the city at large. It's exactly as ridiculous as it sounds.
  • There is a bag of Disney-branded chicken nuggets that show farmer versions of Mickey and friends on a farm. Though the image is cheery, look closer; Donald is standing next to a non-anthro chicken. Remember: this is a bag of chicken nuggets.
  • The Waggin' Train dog food packages show an anthropomorphic dog standing next to a non-anthropomorphic dog.
  • The Silly Symphony Swings ride in Paradise Pier in Disney's California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort features a naked, quadrupedal, "normal" cow and a bipedal, fully-dressed, Funny Animal cow being blown in the wind. (Though this is pretty much in line with the Disney shorts the ride takes it's art direction from.)
  1. All humanoids in the game, with the exception of the PabPab, were adopted by a specific god and changed as a result of their adoption/connection.
  2. Which just raises further questions, if they can't tell furries and regular animals apart.