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File:Cool Pet.jpg

What do you give the guy with a Cool Ship, Cool Shades, and a Cool Sword? A Cool Pet! Said pet will be completely loyal to them, to the point of death (maybe even beyond...), and may be a MacGuffin. Said pet will also have a unique appearance, and may or may not be a rare mystic animal. A bit of What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic? tends to occur since the pet will usually reflect its master in some way. Expect a cool pet to be an Empathy Pet or Bond Creature if there's supernatural happenings afoot.

A Subtrope of Loyal Animal Companion, and a frequent All Animals Are Dogs offender.

Often used for purposes of What Measure Is a Non-Cute?,as some people today will see dogs,cats,rodents like rabbits,hamsters,guinea pigs and ferrets,birds like parrots,canaries and finches,fish and wallabies as too ordinary,boring,dull and uninteresting,and will see exotic pets as cool and interesting,and adopt whatever critter the exotic pet it is,and some people today will see dogs,cats,rodents like rabbits,hamsters,guinea pigs and ferrets,birds like parrots,canaries and finches,fish and wallabies just as cool as exotic pets.

Common Subtropes of this include:

  • Uncommonly Common Exotic Pet: Seen It a Million Times: it is very common for fictional characters (especially if they are a bit Sue-ish) to own pets that in Real Life, are not common at all. Likely because, due to the Rule of Cool, most of us have daydreamed of owning such a pet at one point in our lives.
  • Alien Pet: Why own a critically engangered animal when you can own a creature that's not of this world?
  • Mythical Pet: a creature or character that is actually a powerful mythological creature but treated as a regular pet. Muggles might actually see an odd-looking peacock instead of a phoenix, a horse instead of a unicorn, etc.
  • Impossible Pet: due to Did Not Do the Research, A character owns a pet whose care would lead to Fridge Logic.

This can be a Truth in Television since some brave souls do keep rather... exotic... pets. Some foolish souls do that too, but without actually knowing what they're doing.

Can overlap with Action Pet.

Compare and Contrast Mons.

Examples of Cool Pet include:

Anime & Manga


  • Runaways has Old Lace, a genetically engineered dinosaur from the future.
  • Lockjaw, the giant, teleporting bulldog belonging to Black Bolt of The Inhumans.
  • In Watchmen, Ozymandias has a genetically-engineered lynx named Bubastis.
  • Kitty Pryde in X-Men has a small extraterrestrial dragon named Lockheed.
  • Doc Savage's sidekicks Monk and Ham each had one of these: Monk had a pig named Habeas Corpus, and Ham had an ape named Chemistry.
  • Superman has Krypto the Superdog, a little white dog who happens to be one of the most powerful living creatures on Earth, perhaps in the whole universe. And he wears a cute little red cape.
    • Other DC heroes also had cool pets back in the day. Batman had Ace the Bat-Hound, Supergirl had Streaky the Supercat as well as a superhorse named Comet, and Superman also had a supermonkey named Beppo. The Kryptonian pets and several others also formed the Legion of Super-Pets in the Legion of Super-Heroes 30th century.
  • Most of the mutants in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were kept as cool pets at one point or another. Leatherhead was an exotic pet who was flushed down the toilet when his owners couldn't/wouldn't keep him anymore, there are the titular turtles (of course), and Master Splinter who qualifies not by being a rat, but by being a rat who knows martial arts.


  • Dog in The Road Warrior.
  • Yoshi was much more ugly in the Super Mario Bros. film. He looked like a velociraptor.
  • In Gamera The Brave, a small boy gets a pet turtle and names it "Toto". Guess who the turtle grows up to become...
  • Gizmo is a pretty cool long as you don't break the rules.
  • The Mummy Returns: What could possibly make Ardeth Bey more awesome? Oh, look, HE HAS A FALCON.
  • Blood, from A Boy and His Dog, is a genetically-modified mutt with human-level intelligence and the ability to communicate psychically with his human.
  • The Robinsons get a lot of these in Disney's Swiss Family Robinson, including a monkey, a baby elephant, an ostrich, and a Zebra.


  • Duumvirate and its prequel have Fido, a bioengineered white-furred canine quite a bit smarter and much deadlier than the average Right-Hand Attack Dog, and like its owners has a taste for manflesh.
  • Vlad in Steven Brust's Dragaera books has a jhereg as his familiar. However, Loiosh isn't really a pet per se, since he's as smart as a human and a vibrant character in his own right.
    • Also, jhereg are quite common in that region, sort of filling the position of carrion-eating pigeons.
  • Robert A. Heinlein played with this more than once.
    • Red Planet has Willis, who is the low intelligence (compared to most people but more intelligent than a dog) pet of the protagonist Jim Marlowe. Later we find out that Willis is a female Martian who will grow up to be male; and will become equal to or greater in intelligence than humans.
    • The Star Beast's titular character is Lummox, who has been a pet to generations of the Thomas family. She's actually an alien princess whose species is noted for having difficulty picking up languages other than their own, and who views the boys of the Thomas family as her pets.
  • In Stirling Lanier's Hiero's Journey, Hiero had Klootz, a giant mutated, combat-trained riding-moose. Not a pet, exactly, but not quite a partner. And seriously cool.
  • In Anne McCaffrey's works:
  • In Andre Norton's The Zero Stone and sequel Uncharted Stars protagonist Murdoc has Eet, improbable telepathic offspring of feline parthenogenesis. She's basically a funny-looking kitten...but at the end of the second book, she metamorphoses.
  • Pretty much required in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, where the daemon generally equals your badassness capacity.
  • In The Dresden Files, Harry's dog Mouse is a massive (waist high on a guy who's near 7 foot tall), crazy tough (getting hit by van at full speed just gave him a limp), evil magic detecting, unusually intelligent Tibetan Temple Dog. He's part Chinese guardian spirit, and later books reveal that not only is he at least as smart as a human, he thinks of Harry as his familiar.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter of Mars books, John Carter's Woola.
  • Harry Potter had Hedwig, a snowy owl, which while not as unusual as some of the examples here, still qualifies because Hedwig was far more social and generally better-behaved than any real-life pet owl could be. Or other owls in the Potterverse, such as Ron's Pigwidgeon.
    • Also Dumbledore's Phoenix, Fawkes, and Voldemort's snake Nagini. Oh, and Hagrid's hippogriff Buckbeak, his threstrals, and his spider Aragog.
      • Hagrid also has Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback for a short time.
  • Skeeve from the Myth Adventures series acquires a pet dragon, Gleep, at the beginning of the series. Much later it's revealed that it was, in fact, the other way around.
  • In the Discworld series, swamp dragons are sometimes kept as pets by the Aristocratic and wealthy. They are notoriously difficult to care for, having extremely stringent dietary and environmental restrictions, and are prone to exploding. Later books introduce Lady Sybil Ramkin, who runs a rescue shelter for unwanted swamp dragons. They're effectively a parody of pure-bred horse and dog keeping by the upper-classes; as well as exotic pet keeping in general.
  • In A Wizard of Earthsea, Ged has an otak, a small, very shy wild creature that rides around in his hood and will tolerate almost no one else. When he's attacked at one point, it tries to protect him, screaming (this is notable because otaks have no voices). Ged is heartbroken when it dies.
  • Treecats in Honor Harrington.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • At the end of A Game of Thrones, Dany gets three baby dragons. A part of her plotline involves trying to find two more riders for them when they're grown. Also, dragons are the sigil of House Targaryen.
    • The Stark children and Jon all have enormous direwolves, which are more than pets or friends - they are a part of them. Direwolves, the sigil of House Stark, haven't been seen in living memory. Sansa loses hers early on, unfortunately, and Arya is separated from hers.
    • Skinchangers, like the Stark children, always have a cool pet of some kind to warg into. Varamyr has three wolves, a bear, and a shadowcat (the impracticality of owning the latter two is Lampshaded and Deconstructed). Orell has an eagle. Borroq has a large boar.

Live-Action TV

  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor has K-9, a charming little low-budget robot dog who calls him "Master" in a sweet little electronic voice and shoots lasers out of his nose. The Doctor had two versions of K-9. K-9 Mark III appeared in the short lived spinoff K-9 and Company with Doctor Who companion Sarah Jane Smith, as well as in the Doctor Who stories "The Five Doctors" and "School Reunion". Following a Heroic Sacrifice, Mark III was replaced by Mark IV, who subsequently made several appearances on The Sarah Jane Adventures as Sarah Jane's, and later her son Luke's, pet.
  • Calum from All Creatures Great and Small owns a badger.
  • Honey West had a pet ocelot, Bruce.
  • SPG (Special Patrol Group), the talking hamster on The Young Ones. He even has an orange mohawk and a metal star on his forehead, just like his owner.
  • Key West: Gumbo has a pet female alligator named Tickle [sic] Pink, which he adorns with a pink ribbon around the neck. He treats her like a "swamp dog."

Role-Playing Games

  • Drizzt has Guenhwyvar, who is animal companion and nigh-immortal figurine-summoned monster at the same time.
  • Miliana da Sumbria got some beautiful "silly bird". Let's just say there was a good reason why it was called "sacred, untouchable, and extremely dangerous; avoid at all cost" in a treatise on all sorts of flying creatures including literally hellish ones.


  • The Fallout series has Dogmeat, an homage to Dog in Mad Max.
  • Pokémon is the king of this trope. Seriously, in recent games (IE: Diamond/Pearl/Platinum) you are given the chance to capture Arceus (the Pokémon counterpart of God). Not only that, but in HeartGold and SoulSilver, the remakes of Gold and Silver, you can get that God to follow you around. Or to create for you a being who controls time, space or antimatter. "You" being a mere human.
    • Even better in the fifth gen where you can catch among other things; an Archeopteryx, a Hydra, what is basically the Iron Giant and one that is basically Mothra
  • The King of Fighters' Rugal has a pet panther. His children, Adel and Rose, have a panther kitten (apparently the offspring of their father's pet).
  • Medabots is also relevant, and is pretty much the Mecha version of Pokémon.
  • Digimon is also relevant, and the PS 1 game is made of awesome, although it has a shit ton of bugs and glitches.
    • Also, who could forget the little handheld consoles that kicked Tamigochis out the fucking window?
  • Rush, Treble, Tango, and Beat are robot animals from Mega Man. The first two can even fuse with Mega Man and Bass respectively to make them more powerful.
  • Rider in Fate Stay Night is something of a nature/divine spirit rather than a Heroic one, and associates herself with beasts. Therefore, the 'Rider' part of her name comes in with her summoned pet, a Pegasus. Not the Pegasus, but it's still rather Badass even if she only uses it once. It also ties into her true identity, but is obscure enough to not reveal it.
  • Final Fantasy VI has Shadow, with his dog Interceptor. He's a completely normal guard dog...who can block any physical attack and take no damage and whose own attacks ignore any defense.
  • Final Fantasy VIII has Rinoa's dog Angelo, who is used in her Limit Breaks and does things no normal dog is capable of.
  • Final Fantasy IX
    • Eiko carries around a moogle which, as it turns out, is actually a God, and goes completely batshit when two jesters try to engage in sexual activity with the young girl.
    • Kuja uses a silver dragon to fly from point A to B before stealing Cid's prototype airship. The dragon turns out to be Garland's pet, but he's never seen riding it, sadly—probably because he already has a Cool Airship of his own.
    • The manager of the Treno weapons shop in tries to be like Jabba the Hutt, in that he keeps a massive creature all cooped up under the shop, just to see people try to fight it.
  • In The Darkness, Jackie can summon little gremlins to do his bidding, who play about once their job is done.
  • In Manhunt, The Director keeps a psychotic, naked fat man with a pig's mask as a captive in a mansion attic, this is relevant to the trope, I don't care what you say.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater, The End has a parrot which is actually catchable, killable, and edible. Upsetting the old bastard with the sight of a skeletal parrot makes him even harder to kill.
  • Speaking of useful pet dogs, in Tales of Vesperia Yuri Lowell's pet dog Repede is more of a Big Badass Wolf who fights with a dagger in its mouth and carries a pipe with him. And yes, Repede is a fully playable character.
    • Reading the above made me think of Koromaru, a dog/party member who has a similar fighting style.
  • The hunter class in World of Warcraft is built upon this trope - many people roll hunters just for the pets! Everything from owls to tigers to bats to dinosaurs to dragonhawks can accompany a hunter from level 10 (1 from Cataclysm) to the end.
    • Other classes with pets are Warlocks, who employ demonic minions. Unholy Death Knights have pet zombies. Enhancement Shamans get Feral Spirits, two ghost wolves that can be summoned temporarily to help and heal the player character.
    • World of Warcraft also has companion pets that any class can own. However unlike hunter pets they don't fight (a few fights critters or certain other companions) and are really just for show. They can be anything from common pets like cats, parrots, rats and turtles, to wolves, baby dragons or even miniature versions of raid bosses.
    • Even among hunters, some pets are considered cooler than others, and the Beast Mastery talent specialization tree ends with the ability to tame 'exotic' beasts as well as the usual selection. Of particular note are the extremely rare Spirit Beasts, which are a highly prized exotic pet because of the difficulty in merely finding them.
  • A Boy and His Blob. Literally a big white blob which shape-shifts when you feed it differently flavored jelly beans.
  • The Team Ico Series played an interesting progression of this trope:
  • Hellgate London offered a few of these for subscribers only; hovering chattering critters that offered trivial perks. Many players found them a disincentive for subscribing.
  • Dragon Quest VIII's hero had a pet mouse named Munchie that loves cheese. After he eats certain types of cheese, he can breathe fire or ice, heal the party, sap the enemy's defense, and other amazing powers. It turns out to be his Dragovian grandfather.
  • Borderlands has one of these in the form of Mordecai's pet, Bloodwing.
  • Mabinogi has a wide variety of pets which can be bought for real money, ranging from the tame (ordinary birds, mini elephants, etc.) to the fearsome (venomous snakes and giant spiders) to the useful (herb-giving gnus and flying broomsticks) to the Crazy Awesome (riding-size dragons and hellish horses).


Web Originals

Western Animation

  • Cheryl, from Archer, owns a pet ocelot who is named Babou, in reference to Salvador Dali's pet of the same name.
  • Ron's naked mole rat, Rufus, in Kim Possible. Comes in very handy. Once or twice acts as a Mac Guffin, too.
  • Nick Tatapolous is technically Zilla Jr's owner (Zilla Jr thinks Nick is his father due to "imprinting") in Godzilla: The Series.
  • In The Secret Saturdays, Zak has a komodo dragon, a bigfoot and an ornithocheirus.
    • He is not Bigfoot. Bigfoot never even apears on the show. He is a "Gorilla Cat".
  • In The Rescuers, the baddies tend to have these. One had two alligators, another had a water monitor. Also, the good "swamp folk" have a dragonfly named "Evinrude".
  • Nibbler in Futurama. A pet that poops fuel for the Cool Ship? Awesome indeed.
  • The crew of The Calico has a certain giant radioactive dinosaur. Subverted in that he's technically not their pet, but is a very loyal ally.
  • The Herculoids had five, count 'em, five of them.
    • The Herculoids' non-human members weren't pets so much as soldiers. Call Gloop or Gleep a "pet" and you might find yourself in a world o' sentient-silly-putty hurt.
  • The girl ghouls from Scooby Doo and the Ghoul School have a cranky baby dragon as a pet.
  • Stitch. Pets don't get cooler than a genetically-engineered, super-strong, super-intelligent alien.
  • Phineas and Ferb own Perry the Platypus, who, for bonus cool points, is also a secret agent.
  • Aang has Appa, a ten-ton, six-legged, friendly bison. That can fly. It's implied that all, or many, people in his culture have one.
    • Momo the flying lemur.
    • Combustion man's hawk.
  • Johnny Test has Dukey, a talking dog, and Reptoslicer, a genetically altered monster that could slice and dice anything and is vicious. It also makes great salsa.
  • Most of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic's characters have their own cool pets:
    • Twilight Sparkle has an ultra-competent owl named Owlowiscious
    • Pinkie Pie has a toothless alligator named Gummy
    • Applejack has a farm dog called Winona
    • Rarity has a cat named Opalescence
    • Fluttershy, being a Friend to All Living Things, has many pets, but Angel Bunny stands out as an outright sidekick to her
    • Rainbow Dash has a tortoise named Tank
    • Both Spike and Princess Celestia have a phoenix for a pet (Peewee and Philomena respectively)
  • A Running Gag on Animaniacs was "Wanna meet my pet?" When faced with some otherwise terrifying monster, Dot would ask the aforementioned question, holding a small box in her hands. From the box would emerge a disproportionately huge "pet" that would terrify the first one. On at least one occasion Dot's pet was a giant Jerry Lewis with an Alien-esque tongue (i.e. his tongue was a smaller Jerry Lewis) that said "Raar! Monster!"
  • Young Justice: Superboy not only gets a giant mechanical alien sphere that latches onto him like a puppy in "Bereft", but he also befriends a mutated white wolf in "Alpha Male" after removing the Explosive Leash electric collar that was forcing it and the other mutant animals to attack him and his teammates. Miss Martian attributes this to Superboy's nature as a "stray" like them.

Real Life

  • As noted above, quite a number of people keep exotic pets in real life. Many of these aquire exotic pets primarily for the coolness factor; and are unprepared to deal with the difficult and often complex dietary and care requirements. Unlike fictional examples, this commonly results in poor health and drastically shortened lifespan; as well as animals being abandoned into the wild when their owners are unable or unwilling to continue to care for them. Many are also implicated in attacks on people, or spreading of non-native diseases and parasites to native animal populations. And finding veternarians able to treat exotic pets is extremely difficult, if not outright impossible. Other pets—such as rats, hamsters, ferrets, and mice—athough still technically classed as "exotic", are common enough and simple enough to care for that they present few if any challenges beyond those faced by dog and cat owners.
    • Exotic pets frequently undergo fads; where a pet which is featured on a television program or movie, or kept by a celebrity, triggers a flood of people obtaining similar pets. Recent fads have included pot-bellied pigs, sugar gliders, and pygmy hedgehogs. These usually die out quickly, and result in many abandoned or poorly treated animals. Occasionally, fad pets with less challenging requirements have caught on more widely. This usually results in better resources being developed, greatly decreasing the difficulty of care, and leading to even greater popularity. A classic example is the ferret, a rare exotic pet less than 2 decades ago; now increasingly commonplace as pre-made diet, housing, and other care supplies are more widely available.
    • Major advances have also been made in tropical fresh- and saltwater fish keeping; greatly increasing their popularity. As the technology continues to improve, even more exotic and "cool" creatures become available; including some that were effectively impossible to keep less than a decade previously.
    • Some of the most commonly abandoned exotic pets are Green Iguanas, Red-Eared Slider turtles, and Burmese Pythons; with the "cool" factor being the most common motivations for Burmese Pythons in particular. They are often advertised in pet shops as "simple to care for"; and both are commonly described as "even tempered" or having a "friendly personality". While the latter part may be true, the former definitely is not. While starting small, Green Iguanas get up to 6 feet long, and have highly specialized care requirements, including a very limited diet and the need for large amounts of UV light; and require far more attention than dogs and cats to become adequately socialized. Burmese pythons will reach between 15 and 20 feet as adults, weighing between 100 and 200 pounds; and go from eating mice and rats, to eating rabbits, chickens, and pigs.
    • Unlike dogs and cats, abandoned exotics rarely survive long in the wild, due to the dramatic differences in climate and food sources between their native environment, and where they're released. However, there are exceptions to this, and a few have been released in such numbers that they have managed to establish breeding populations and gone on to become major pests. Notable examples include goldfish and carp in many parts of the US and Australia; Indian Mynahs in parts of Australia; Burmese Pythons in Florida; and Red-Eared Slider turtles in the southern and western regions of the US. Many countries and US states ban particular exotic pets, in an attempt to prevent this problem.
    • Parrots are generally pretty cool pets. They're smart and social, you can train them to sit on your shoulder and do tricks, and they're pretty much the only animals that can talk. However, like other pets listed on the Real Life examples, many buyers just see the "cool" part of it without realizing what they're getting into. Parrots, especially the larger ones, are loud, demanding, and need constant attention. Caring for them is appropriately described as caring for a human toddler. And many live for several decades. Many parrots often get neglected and abandoned, often sent to zoos or animal shelters. Even smaller, easier species like parakeets need socialization to be good pets, though since they're so cheap (and thus "throwaway pets" to many) people are more willing to get rid of them.
    • However, on the bright side, there are people like Rexano who promote responsible ownership. Even they say how cool it is to have an exotic pet but state that not only do animals have their own temperaments and that owners have to go extra lengths to keep animals like a Caracal over just a standard cat like a Maine Coon. And that one has to socialize an animal (especially a skunk) a lot when it's young so that it will remain that way when it's older. Even Mountain Lions can be very friendly towards a responsible person they form a bond with. (It helps that Mountain Lions are more related to domestic housecats than actual lions.)
    • Stick bugs aka walking sticks.They are cool because they can camouflage themselves as dried twig or leaf.And keeping them as pets is Older Than Dirt.They've been kept as pets for thousands of years all over Far East.They became popular all over the world in 1940's,and are still popular on Far East.They are kept as pets on Far East because people there believe they bring good luck.
  • Lord Byron was not allowed to keep a dog when he went to university, so instead, he kept a bear.
  • It was once commonplace for wealthy aristocrats to keep a wide variety of exotic pets. It was almost part of the "job description" of being a wealthy aristocrat.
  • Salvador Dali often traveled with his pet ocelot, Babou.
  • Gilberto Shedden of Costa Rica was best friends with a large crocodile named Pocho, swimming and playing with him, and even giving him belly rubs. Sadly, Pocho recently died of old age, but in a wonderful twist, he never once attacked Gilberto, or otherwise harmed him in the 20 or so years they were together.
  • Paris Hilton owns a kinkajou, an exotic relative of the raccoon. It received media attention when it bit her, and criticisms over it also ensued over the fact that pet kinkajous are illegal in California, which did raise questions about how qualified she was to care for an animal with specialized care. Nonetheless, she was able to keep the kinkajou.