Wild Beasts of the Idiot Box: the Top 5 TV Pets

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Hey you racist, people aren’t the only important stars on the small screen! How dare you even think that. What about all of the cuddly critters that have made your favorite shows even more enjoyable? It’s no secret that a good TV pet can be even more essential to making a hit show than any spoiled actors or nerd-filled writers’ room. So we here at Top 5 think it’s about time these furry fellows got their due. Sure, maybe some of them are drawings or guys in suits or dead… but it’s our list, and these are the top 5 TV pets.

5 Nibbler – Futurama

He’s a tiny, adorable alien in a diaper and cape who can eat a spiral ham in one bite and craps giant leaden balls of dark matter. Not sold yet? He’s also a super-intelligent and well-spoken leader of the Nibblonians, a cuddly race sworn to secretly protect the universe. He has existed since just before the dawn of time, and his full title is “Lord Nibbler.” He’s also responsible for pushing Fry into the cryogenic freezer that started the entire Futurama story.

4 Rowdy – Scrubs

Finally, we have an answer to the burning question “Can a dead pet be hilarious?” And the answer is a resounding “yes.” Rowdy is the long-ago deceased, stuffed Labrador that Turk and J.D. purchased at a garage sale. Throughout the series Rowdy is used in countless pranks, like rolling him out in front of cars wearing rollerblades or hiding him in Carla’s closet to “guard her shoes.” He was particularly attached to J.D., as he can be seen humping J.D.’s leg, bathing with J.D. and was even stolen from the set at the show’s culmination by the actor who played J.D., Zach Braff, proving that there are few bonds stronger than that of a boy and his dead dog.

3 Wilfred – Wilfred

If you haven’t been watching Wilfred on FX, then you have been missing out on a pet so funny that in just two short seasons he’s already jumped onto this list. Wilfred is the seven-year-old dog that lives next door to Ryan Newman (Elijah Wood), only something in Ryan’s deeply troubled mind makes him see Wilfred as an Australian man in a dog suit that he can talk to and even smoke weed with. Incidentally, Wilfred has a filthy mouth, a twisted sense of humor and a sexually explicit relationship with a stuffed bear. Basically, he’s is like Tyler Durden in Fight Club, except he can lick his own nether region.

2 Marcel – Friends

Look, everyone knows it; monkeys are funny. Call it hacky, call it overdone, call it what you will, but it works. And Marcel, Ross Gellar’s capuchin monkey on season one of Friends, was solid proof. He permanently changed Monica’s TV to Spanish, violated a Paddington Bear doll and was temporarily on the lam from the law. Ross eventually had to give him away to the San Diego Zoo, but Marcel went on to become the mascot for Monkeyshine Beer (Simpsons-inspired maybe?) and even appeared in the blockbuster sequel Outbreak 2: The Virus Takes Manhattan. Oh, and if you play that “in the Jungle” song he dances, so yeah, he’s awesome.

1 Santa’s Little Helper – The Simpsons

The Simpson family adopted Santa’s Little Helper after his owners at the racetrack ditched him on Christmas, and the rest is TV history. He is quite accomplished for an animated greyhound, having once replaced Duffman as the official mascot of Duff beer, fought crime as a police dog, fathered a littler of puppies that Mr. Burns tried to turn into a tuxedo and even helped Bart commit credit card fraud by inspiring the falsified identity of Santos L. Halper. He’s eaten homework, goldfish, homing pigeons and talking Krusty dolls. He’s ridden giant rubber balls, walked upright and attracted the advances of Springfield’s Gay Dog Alliance. He’s truly a Renaissance Canine.

That wraps it up, the five funniest fur-balls to play in prime time. And before you even start to complain, we’re just going to say it, “Screw Eddie from Frasier.” Yes, he had a vast array of tricks and an alarmingly precise sense of comedic timing, but we’re not about to let some cutesy Jack Russell trick us into thinking Frasier wasn’t straight up boring. Sorry Eddie, tough break.

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