5 Hall-of-Fame Fictional Pets (And 5 That Need to Be Put Down)
By their nature, pets are a little day-to-day positive influence on your life. A fuzzy little salve for the suffering that many of us endure, while asking for nothing in return except for the occasional devastating vet bill. Unsurprisingly, we can develop deep emotional bonds even with a pet that does not exist in the real world. However, not all pets are created equal, and some are nothing more than tiny, uncaring villains who are a pox on this world.
And so, here are 5 of the best fictional pets, and 5 that need to be put down…
BEST: Jones the Cat from Alien
I’m not sure there is any single feline in fiction that so perfectly encapsulates the experience of cat ownership as Jones the Cat from the Alien series. Jones is a beloved member of the crew, as the tiny head of rodent control on the Nostromo. Members of the crew would — and do — risk their lives for a cat that is more than content to watch from an air vent as a Xenomorph goes bananas on his owner’s insides. And in true cat fashion, despite all this, all it takes is for Jones to nestle up next to Ripley in a hypersleep capsule for all to be forgiven.
PUT DOWN: Garfield from Garfield
They may share a species and even a similar coloration, but Garfield possesses none of Jones’ redeeming qualities. His control of the mouse situation is piss-poor, his preferred diet consists of a time-intensive Italian baked dish that no doubt results in horrific diarrhea and he actively physically attacks other pets in the household. The lowly, despicable Jon displays possibly the most severe case of toxoplasmosis poisoning ever contracted, and though he would never endorse it, Garfield needs to be taken out back and shot in order for him to have any hope of a rewarding life.
BEST: Abu from Aladdin
People love a monkey. They’re like hairier, funnier humans that can do acrobatics, so it’s an extremely beneficial starting point for an animal that would like to become a beloved pet. Abu from Aladdin dials that up to 11 by wearing two of the most adorable possible pieces of clothing for any pet — a tiny hat, and a vest. Sure, he is a career criminal, but mostly just shoplifting, which a monkey is admittedly built for. It’s not like he’s a furry little Dahmer; he just wants a couple free apples. If it was easier to get monkeys, Aladdin would have resulted in a nationwide adoption spree.
PUT DOWN: Dunston from Dunston Checks In
Dunston, on the other hand, is a deeply cautionary tale. Similarly a monkey raised in the world of thievery, he developed none of the charisma or subtlety that makes us forgive Abu. Instead, Dunston is a violent curse bestowed on a hotel in the form of a shrieking monkey. Swinging on chandeliers and causing physical harm to guests, it would be charitable to call him a pet when he seems to have fully reverted to a feral nightmare that only didn’t rip someone’s arm off because the credits rolled in time. If the movie had an epilogue, Dunston would be sniped by the police and everyone would understand.
BEST: Jabba the Hutt’s Rancor from Star Wars
Now, yes, the Rancor living in his famous Pit in Star Wars HAS eaten people, which is usually a strong vote in the “put down” column. But this is simply all this poor creature knows, kept in darkness with its nature weaponized. The Rancor, like a rescued pitbull, deserves a second chance. Many animals are aggressive, but they don’t deserve to have their skull crushed by a futuristic portcullis.
PUT DOWN: Salacious B. Crumb from Star Wars
Conversely, this little freak has had it too good for too long. So Jabba the Hutt thinks he’s funny. Because of that, we all have to suffer? I’ll come right out and say it: The guy is not funny. He’s annoying, and he has no respect for the flow of conversation. On top of all that, he’s deeply unpleasant to look at. He looks like if a Troll Doll had been born prematurely. The halls of the palace will be better without his horrific laugh once he’s been held down and sent to hell on a stainless steel space vet’s table.
BEST: Iggy from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
I’m sure Iggy would push back on me labeling him as a pet, when he’s a full-fledged, effective member of the team in the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’s Stardust Crusader arc. But it’s a designation that I apply out of deep love and respect, which I’d hope he’d understand. A Boston Terrier who once held the title of King of Stray Dogs in New York, loves coffee-flavored gum, and, oh yeah, possesses an ancient power that basically makes him a way less lame version of Sandman from Spider-Man. Sure, he has some gastrointestinal issues, but so do Frenchies, and everyone loves them.
PUT DOWN: Beethoven from Beethoven
Look, I understand that, despite his hijinks, and sheer drool volume, that Beethoven a beloved pet. But unfortunately, the risks here are simply too great. Maybe when the family was just the husband and wife, a massive St. Bernard causing havoc throughout the house was okay, but they have small children now. It only takes one knocked-over bookcase before you’re knee-deep in unimaginable tragedy. Maybe it’s time for Beethoven to knock over God’s vases now.
BEST: Ein from Cowboy Bebop
A hyper-intelligent Corgi named after Einstein? The creator of Cowboy Bebop probably only had to draw half of Ein’s face for the first time before realizing he had maybe created one of the best dogs in the whole world. If, for some reason, you have the kind of withered heart that won’t let you love Ein, even that atrophied ticker will jump into action when you see him HACKING. Dog hacker! C’mon man!
PUT DOWN: Old Yeller from Old Yeller
I wish it didn’t have to be this way, but this is a list based on the facts as presented, not a revisionist account. The facts remain, there is no cure for rabies. It’s not what anyone wants, but putting down Old Yeller is, undeniably, the correct decision.