Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Lassie and Joe, from the 2005 movie.

Lassie is a media franchise revolving around Lassie, a heroic pet.

The franchise began with the 1943 film Lassie Come Home (based on a novel by Eric Knight), but really took off with the long-running TV series ("What's that, Lassie? Timmy's fallen down a well?").

The original screen "Lassie" was a collie owned and trained by professional trainer Rudd Weatherwax, whose off-screen name was Pal. Pal starred in the 1943 film and six sequels; when the film series ended, Weatherwax acquired the Lassie trademark (in lieu of unpaid wages, according to one account), and the television series resulted. Pal retired partway through the two-decade run of the series, and was succeeded by a string of his descendants. (Yes, his. All the dogs who played Lassie were actually male; male collies were thought to be more visually impressive, and less subject to seasonal shedding issues.)

There have been various incarnations of Lassie in the media:

  • Novel
    • Lassie Come-Home (1940) by Eric Knight. That is the book the original films were adapting.
  • Films:
    • Lassie Come Home (1943)
    • Son of Lassie (1945)
    • Courage of Lassie (1946)
    • Hills of Home (1948)
    • The Sun Comes Up (1949)
    • Challenge to Lassie (1950)
    • The Painted Hills (1951)
    • Lassie's Great Adventure (1963). A combination of five television episodes, theatrically released.
    • The Magic of Lassie (1978)
    • Lassie (1994)
    • Lassie (2005)
  • Radio
    • The Lassie Radio Show (1947-1950)
  • Live action TV
    • Lassie (1954-1973). Lasted 19 seasons, 588 episodes. Some episodes were also combined as television films.
    • The New Lassie (1989 - 1991). Lasted 2 seasons, 48 episodes.
    • Lassie (1997 - 1999). Lasted 2 seasons, 49 episodes.
    • Lassie's Pet Vet (2007). A reality television show. Lasted 1 season, 13 episodes.
  • Animation
    • Lassie's Rescue Rangers(1972-1973). Lasted 1 season, 15 episodes.
    • Famous Dog Lassie" (1996). Was that years entry into the Japanese World Masterpiece Theater series and and a 26 episode long adaption of the original novel.
  • Manga.
    • Lassie (2001) by Yoshihiro Takahashi. A short-lived series, only 2 volumes.
Parts of the franchise with their own trope pages include:
Lassie is the Trope Namer for:
The following tropes are common to many or all entries in the Lassie franchise.
For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.
References in other works:


Live-Action TV

  • On The Jimmy Dean Show in the 1960s, Dean's co-star Rowlf the Dog several times mentioned how much he admired Lassie, and Lassie made two guest appearances on the show. In the episode with Lassie's second guest appearance, Rowlf did a skit in which he acted out a Lassie-like scenario narrated by Dean, heroically fighting through hostile terrain, swimming across a raging river, and racing up the other bank to stop the criminals about to dynamite the bridge! ... at which point, Rowlf stopped the skit and complained that it would have been nice if somebody had mentioned the bridge before he swam across the raging river.
  • It's Garry Shandling's Show did a parody, involving a dog named Laffie.
  • In Living Color did a parody, involving a pit bull.
  • Two in Whose Line Is It Anyway?: one suggestion for the ever-popular Scenes From A Hat game was "what Lassie is really trying to say", and later on an actual Lassie became the only animal guest on the show.


  • "Sassy the Wonder Dog" is a series of radio ads from The Shelter Pet Project, where Timmy and Sassy often pause from helping one of Timmy's luckless friends out of the well in order to tell the listeners about adopting a dog from local animal shelters.

Western Animation

  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy also has Billy addicted to a heroic Labrador named Laddie; Billy often wonders aloud, "How many times can that kid fall down that well?" PS, he keeps watching the same video over and over.
  • Spoofed in the "Mindy and Buttons" segments of Animaniacs. Its Title Sequence was a direct parody of the Lassie opening.
  • Martha Speaks features the in-show TV program "Courageous Collie Carlos", of whom Martha is a major fan.