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A person (almost always a Middle Aged White Male, or MAWM) is happily living their life. They have a good job, a good family, and good friends. Then someone comes along and disrupts that balance, causing chaos, minor destruction, and generally causing mayhem of a nature intended to be hilarious. The MAWM is, of course, horrified by this disruption -- but every single person around him finds the actions of the intruder endearing and the MAWM to be a stuffy old jerk for not agreeing. At the end of the movie the MAWM either has learned to cope, now agrees with everyone else, or is driven insane. A comedy trope that is especially prone to Fridge Horror.

Title is inspired by the Beethoven movie series and inspired by, but not related to, Tropey the Wonder Dog.

Compare No Sympathy. Related to The Complainer Is Always Wrong.

Examples of Why Do You Hate the Dog? include:


  • In Beethoven, a big (and shaggy!) dog comes into the life of a MAWM, destroying property, disrupting business meetings, and generally causing allegedly funny mayhem. He's horrified and wants the dog gone, but the wife and kids plead with him not to. When he finally does get rid of it, the vet turns out to be a bad guy, so stuff happens and the dog ends up back in their home with the MAWM now more accepting of his destructive nature.
    • Beethoven actually gave the Dad believable Freudian Excuse as to why he was hostile toward the title dog. When he was a child his father had to take his own dog to be put down and was so heartbroken he never forgave him.
  • How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog is a film about a failed actor having to cope with a next-door neighbor, a yappy dog, and Doppelganger. He accepts the neighbor (and their child, which encourages him to have children of his own when they move away), and the dog would technically drive him insane, but instead the double takes kills it to please him.
  • What About Bob A psychologist, Dr. Leo Marvin, has a happy and comfortable life and is ready for a relaxing vacation from which he plans to launch his new book. Just before he leaves, another psychologist calls and asks him to take on a patient, Bob, just before the vacation. Said psychologist is giggling manically as he packs up his office, and it is indicated that this is not the first one Bob has been to. Stuff happens, Leo is driven insane, his vacation house is blown up, and Bob marries his sister.
    • And Bob decides he wants to be a psychologist.
  • Bringing Down the House: Peter is a tax attorney who is doing very well. Although he is a workaholic, and somewhat disconnected from his kids, he nonetheless is chatting online with what he thinks is a hot blond attorney who wants to meet him. He ends up getting a black BBW of a con who broke out of prison to try and get him to prove her innocence. Hijinks ensue, she embarrasses him as he tries to get a billionaire client and move his way up the firm and causes him to lose his job, and his kids and best friend love her more every step of the way. But it's okay, because the people at his job were jerks, he proves her innocence, and lands the billionaire as his first client.
  • Deconstructed in The Cable Guy: Chip Douglas, the title character of that movie, turns out to be a villainous Stalker with a Crush who ends up bringing a lot of hurt into Steven Kovacs's life. Chip even gets Steve arrested at one point when it's discovered that all the new cable equipment that Chip installed for him early on in the movie was actually stolen. When Chip tries to get his hooks into Steve's Love Interest, Steve has to take him down in a final showdown.
  • Throw Momma from the Train, a Danny De Vito/Billy Crystal movie from the '80s, has a literature professor with writer's block as the MAWM (Crystal) and a learning-disabled Man Child (De Vito) under the thumb of his abusive mother as the dog. Crystal gives some advice in a writing class, mentioning Hitchcock's Strangers On A Train, and De Vito decides Crystal wanted to "trade murders," just like in the movie. He goes after Crystal's plagiarist ex-wife, then tells Crystal he has to kill Momma in return....
  • As Good as It Gets: this trope description pretty much sums up the movie's plot, and has a cute dog in it, to boot.
      1. The MAWM is a jerk who gets an almost literal Kick the Dog moment at the start of the movie.
      2. His improvement from a Jerkass to a Jerk with a Heart of Gold is the point of the movie, rather than him learning to tolerate the disruptive element, or his suffering for our "amusement".
      3. Most importantly: Other than being forced to take care of the dog (which is presented as a minor problem), he's never forced into any situation; he walks into trouble of his own free will.
  • Due Date. Might as well be called Why Do You Hate The Dog: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Zach Galifianakis (except, by the end of the movie, you won't. You will still love Robert Downey Jr. though)
  • Mr. George Banks was living a satsifactory, well-ordered life, scheduled down to the minute, when Mary Poppins literally descended on his household. Near the end he lampshades it as he laments the turn in fortune he's suffered since she arrived.

 My life was calm, well ordered, exemplary,

Then came this...person with chaos in her wake.

And now my life's ambitions go, with one fell blow,

It's quite a bitter pill to take.


  • In the Forgotten Realms novel A Virtue by Reflection, a plague of quite charming "cat lords" was wreaking havoc in Arabel, kicking local sonovabitches just because they're here and nearly driving the "lady-lord" insane by the time she discovered what the hell they wanted at all.

Live Action TV

  • A useful device for The Bernie Mac Show.
  • Inverted in the case of Wilfred, where the disruptive individual is the new boyfriend, and the disrupted individual is the dog; the show being about the boyfriend trying to deal with the dog, who's clearly number one in the affection department. Of course, the fact that the dog is partial to bongs and beer makes for an interesting dynamic.
  • An early episode of Family Matters has the kids bring home a stray dog, whom everyone loves but Carl. He worries that if the dog dies the kids will suffer the same way he did when his own dog passed away. Then the dog chases Steve Urkel out of the house, wins Carl over...and two weeks later everyone else is fed up with the dog. In the end, Carl realizes their house isn't fit for an active dog and he finds a better home for the pooch.
  • An inversion happens in an episode of Full House's third season, after the Tanners get their dog Comet. Comet is still a puppy and chewing on everything, including eating DJ's homework, and they're not pleased. Stephanie asks "why is everyone mad at sweet little Comet?"...then she turns on him when she discovers he's used her beloved Mr. Bear as his latest chew toy. Thankfully, she forgives him after DJ manages to mend the bear, declaring her intentions to "teach him the difference between food and friends".

Newspaper Comics

Western Animation

  • In The Simpsons episode "Homer's Enemy", new nuclear plant employee Frank Grimes tries to get everyone to see that Homer is a jerk but they all laugh off Homer's antics. The producers in the show said, "We wanted to do an episode where the thinking was 'What if a real life, normal person had to enter Homer's universe and deal with him?'"
    • A later season episode has Homer behaving indifferently towards family dog Santa's Little Helper, not giving a damn when he goes missing and not apologizing when it turns out he accidentally locked the dog in the cupboard for over a day. The entire family calls him out on it. Then we learn Homer has trust issues with dogs because he had to give his own childhood dog Bongo away to protect him from Mr. Burns, and Bongo bonded instantly with the new owners, breaking Homer's heart. Then Abe shows him a pic of Bongo sleeping on the sweatshirt Homer had given him, showing that the dog hadn't forgotten him after all.
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