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Originally released in 1955, Lady and the Tramp is the 15th entry in the Disney Animated Canon. It tells the story of a loving couple and their family pet from the dog's point of view. Big changes are coming to Jim Dear and Darling's family, something that Lady has trouble understanding. Meanwhile, Lady herself has caught the eye of the Tramp, a stray dog (and ladies' man) who prefers the uncertain freedom of the streets to a collar, which he views as slavery. He tries to convince Lady to live more recklessly, but she believes just as strongly in The Power of Love.

The movie spawned a series of comics, starting with the newspaper strip Scamp: Son of Lady and the Tramp, Scamp also stars in a direct-to-video sequel to the movie, Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure, which was released in 2001.


Tropes this Disney classic provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: In early drafts, it was Lady that was supposed to fight and kill Herman (The Rat), not Tramp.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Invoked by Peg, who sings a whole song about how she loves the Tramp specifically because "he's a scoundrel" and "breaks a new heart every day". Defied by Lady, who gets turned off when she learns this aspect of his history.
  • Alternate Animal Affection: The famous Spaghetti Kiss results in the pair accidentally smooching, despite this not being terribly anatomically practical for dogs. Also, even more improbably, Si and Am use their tails to "shake hands" with each other.
  • Am I Just a Toy to You?:  Lady is distraught when she learns of the Tramp's history with dames, as she thinks she's just the latest in a long line of ladies he loves and leaves.
  • Anachronism Stew: Courtesy of Boris, mostly. This is set in 1909 yet he mentions the "Red Flag", which wouldn't make sense before the 1920s.
  • Animal Talk: Except for the rat, and apparently monkeys (too closely related to humans).
  • Art Shift: Tramp changes colour from brown to grey several times during the movie, presumably unintentionally.
  • Artistic License Animal Care:
    • Serving coffee and doughnuts to your dog is not the wisest thing to do. While the doughnuts are simply lacking in nutrition, coffee is outright toxic to dogs.
    • Additionally, leaving a muzzle that prevents a dog from biting on a dog for longer than 30 minutes can be extremely dangerous for the animal.
    • Swatting your dog because it's misbehaving is really not something you're supposed to do.note  This one is a case of Values Dissonance, because corporal punishment (for both dogs and human children) was perfectly acceptable at the time of the film's release (and especially in the time period of the film).
  • Asian Buck Teeth: The Siamese cats have slanted eyes and, yes, two prominent front center fangs. They also speekee Engrish.
  • Author Appeal: The movie is set during The Gay '90s because Walt Disney was a big fan of that particular time period, and the town in the movie was inspired by his own hometown of Marceline, Missouri.
  • Award Bait Song: "Bella Notte"
  • Babies Ever After: And their puppies make for an adorable closing scene.
  • Based on a True Story: The first scene, anyway. Walt Disney once gave his wife Lillian a puppy as a Christmas present, and he put it in a hatbox to heighten the surprise.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Aunt Sarah, the dogcatcher, and the rat.
  • Book Ends: The film both begins and ends with a shot of Jim Dear and Darling's snow-covered neighborhood on Christmas Eve.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: One of the first Disney films to pull one, after Tramp accidentally gets Lady sent to the pound and she learns about his womanizing while there.
  • Cats Are Mean: Si and Am.
  • Chekhov's Gunman
  • Disney Death: Trusty after the dog catcher's wagon accidentally hits him.
    • Justified to a certain extent, as the original screenplay called for Trusty, to indeed, be Killed Off for Real. But due to the negative reaction of Bambi's mom truly dying several years earlier, Trusty was ultimately spared.
      • This is not at all unlike Chief in The Fox and the Hound who also got hit by a train and ultimately survived, and yet, he too was slated to die, but, again, the idea was still nixed.
    • In fact, it would not be until The Lion King that Disney actually would kill off a main character[1] (mostly) onscreen, no less. Even that went a step beyond Bambi's mom, who disappeared offscreen and we only heard the gunshot.[2]
    • Beaver also gets (a rather brief) one, after it appears the "log-puller" Tramp gave him works a little too well…
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Some of the street dogs who pursue Lady after she is muzzled, and the puppies she has with Tramp at the end of the film, would be given larger roles in the sequel.
  • Expy: Mr. Busy looks an awful lot like Gopher from Winnie the Pooh, except for color and a few other minor differences. Both even have the exact same speech impediment (a whistling sound in their "s"'s).
    • Many of the dog characters in this film seem loosely reminiscent of some of those featured in Oliver and Company. Just note the similarities between Tramp and Dodger, for starters.
  • "Falling in Love" Montage: "Bella Notte"
  • Furry Confusion: Dogs, cats, crocodiles, and beavers can talk, but birds, fish, and rats apparently can't.
  • Jerkass: Aunt Sarah.
  • Karma Houdini: The Siamese Cats get Lady in trouble with a Wounded Gazelle Gambit and go unpunished for the trouble they cause. They originally showed a bit more concern (as did Aunt Sarah) upon finding the rat in the house but this was cut.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Tramp has a long background with other... dogs.
  • Match Cut: One particularly amusing one: After puppy Lady begs for Jim Dear to let her into bed, he gives in, but says, "Just for tonight…" We then cut to a near-identical shot of Lady sleeping on the bed in the morning several months later…as a big cocker spaniel.
  • Old Dog: Trusty.
  • One-Scene Wonder: All the dogs at the pound (save it for Peg and Bull, who appear in one other scene early on).
    • Si and Am, the two Siamese cats Aunt Sarah brings, pretty much only appear in that one scene (You know which one we're talking about) and yet that one scene is one the film's most iconic. They even appear on the covers of a lot of merchandising.
    • Surely, the beaver counts as well, since, despite only appearing once, he still has a fairly significant role, and is very helpful and friendly.
  • Pounds Are Animal Prisons: Probably the Trope Codifier for this, up to and including Death Row.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Al the Alligator, briefly seen at the zoo.
  • The Roaring Twenties: The assumed setting of this film, given the fact that there are trollies and horse-drawn wagons about.
    • Actually, the fashions and technology exhibited in the film seem to place it in the late 1890s to early/mid 1900s.
  • Spaghetti Kiss: The Ur Example, if not Trope Makers.
  • Those Two Guys: Jock and Trusty.
  • Villain Song: "We Are Siamese (If You Please)"
  • Violent Glaswegian: Jock, the Scottish terrier, shows some shades of this.
  • Wacky Cravings: Darling, whilst pregnant, requests Jim Dear to go out in the middle of a January snowstorm at night to get watermelon and chop suey.[3]
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never see Si and Am again, after their One-Scene Wonder, despite the fact that Aunt Sarah is still there.
    • Did the language professor Tramp tricked to get in the zoo ever talk his way out of getting thrown in jail by the police officer guarding the gate?
    • Aunt Sarah, nor her cats, are ever seen after Tramp chases the rat from the baby room.
  • You Dirty Rat: A particularly nasty one lives in a wall outside the fence of Lady's backyard. It appears once early on, but Lady chases it away. However, it returns in the climax, and tries to attack the baby, but fortunately, Tramp kills it before it can do so.

Notes

  1. Mufasa
  2. In total, it took Disney 52 years before killing another main protagonist (antagonists were killed, but they don't count). In the many years between, all protagonists got Disney Deaths, at most.
  3. Watermelon and chop suey are generally considered warm weather food, either way.
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