Herptiles in TV Series and Other Media-Part 2
By Eric Roscoe
In this article, we will be documenting examples of reptile, amphibian, and invertebrate appearances in individual episodes of, and/or TV series, as well as for all councils and platforms of computer, television, and handheld video gaming, and any other miscellaneous visual media in which herps appear or play a role. For the purposes of this list and article, only animals that play non-talking and/or non-anthropomorphic roles are listed below. Most other criteria, as well as appearances of herps in live action movies and films without regular seasons are covered in further detail at the link below. Documentaries are also not covered here.
Supernatural: In season 4, episode 6 titled “Yellow Fever”, Sam and Dean Winchester visit the home of Mark Hutchins, where he has numerous reptiles. He holds a Granite Burmese Python (Python bivittatus) named “Donnie”. As Dean looks uncomfortably around the room, other reptiles are also shown including a Green Iguana (Iguana iguana), an Inland Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps), a Tarantula, Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus), and a larger Albino Burmese Python named Marie that slithers up from behind the couch and onto Dean’s lap. In season 3, episode 5, “Bedtime Stories”, an African Bullfrog, or Pixie Frog (Pyxicephalus adspersus) is used as a prop, although the call dub over is actually that of an American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus).
Hey Arnold: Although this is an animated series, reptiles and other animals are depicted realistically in it.
-In season 1, episode 2 “Field Trip”, Arnold and his Grandma sneak into the aquarium after a class field trip to liberate an old, neglected sea turtle named “Lockjaw”.
-In season 2, episode 11 “Best Friends”, Nadine has a pet tarantula that she gives to Arnold to give to Rhonda, who she knows is afraid of spiders.
-In season 4, episode 5 “Dinner For Four”, Helga calls Nadine to bring in her array of pet cockroaches in order to get out of paying the bill when she takes the group to the wrong restaurant.
-In season 4, episode 6, Helga buys a Monitor Lizard (Varanus sp.) from the pet store, which she gives to Phoebe and that later eats Arnold’s parrot at show & tell after escaping from Helga and before it can reveal her love poem for Arnold to the class. The monitor lizard also briefly is seen during the hallway chaos later in season 5 in “Principal Simmons”.
-Mr. Simmons, the 4th grade teacher has a classroom pet snake, which is briefly seen or mentioned in a few episodes, and was said to be a Garter Snake (Thamnophis sp.).
-In season 5, “Sid and Germs”, Sid has a pet frog named Sidney he most likely caught during an annual frog catching contest.
-In season 5, “April Fools Day”, Stinky has a pet Snapping Turtle (Chelydra sp.) named Snappy that gets flushed down a toilet during an April Fool’s Day prank.
The Simpsons: Although another animated series, some reptiles make appearances in non-anthropomorphic roles.
-In “Round Springfield”, “Lumpy” is a green boa that is Springfield Elementary’s classroom pet snake, and that eats students.
-In “Bart the Mother”, Bolivian Tree Lizards appear as fictional parasitic lizard species that hatch from eggs.
-In “The Crepes of Wrath”, Bart has a pet frog named Froggie that he kept in a jar.
-In “Stop or My Dog Will Shoot”, one of Bart’s substitute pets is Strangles, a green Python or Boa Constrictor that he gives to Groundskeeper Willie.
-Aunts Patty and Selma have a pet Iguana named Jub-Jub.
King of the Hill: Although an animated series, in season 11, episode 2, titled “SerPUNT”, Bobby Hill is given a pet snake named “Josh” from Lucky on Ladybird the hound’s birthday. The snake escapes into the sewage system through the toilet, and Hank turns to the city’s Animal Services, which does nothing except milk the problem. At the end, “Josh” and her offspring are dispatched by Dale Gribble and the others while in the sewers. At one point, it was mentioned that Josh was a Burmese Python (Python bivittatus).
Jessie: The recurring family pet from this Disney Channel series is a 7 foot Water Monitor (Varanus salvator) named Mr./Mrs. Kipling, which was later found out to be female.
Vikings: In season 4, episode 15 of the historical drama series Vikings, in the character Ragner’s death, he is dropped from a cage overhanging a pit of snakes. This pit consisted of Ball Pythons (Python regius), Corn Snakes (Pantherophis guttata), Bullsnakes (Pituophis catenifer ssp.), Burmese Pythons (Python bivittatus), Carpet Pythons (Morelia spilota), Dumeril’s Boas (Boa dumerili), Common Boa Constrictors (Boa imperator), California Kingsnakes (Lampropeltis getula californiae), and Reticulated Pythons (Python reticulatus). A CG Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamenteus) bites Ragnar several times, leading to his death.
Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide: In season 2, episode 7, “Gross Biology Dissection”, Ned protests against dissection in order to impress Suzie Crabgrass. He does this by stealing a live frog from Mr. Sweeny’s classroom, only to find out later that the frog is a classroom pet and not for dissection. The frog appears to be an American Bullfrog (Lithbates catesbeianus).
Are You Afraid of the Dark?: In episode 57, “The Tale of the Chameleons”, a girl, Janice, is bitten by a chameleon at a local pet store where events following involve switching places after the episode’s saying “Bite you once bite you twice, little water pay the price.” The “chameleons” used in the episode were actually juvenile green iguanas (Iguana iguana), however. In the episode “The Tale of Jake and the Lepechaun”, a live frog was used as a prop, likely an American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus). In the episode “The Tale of Jake the Snake”, the character Wiley discovers a cursed hockey stick once owned by a famous hockey player named “Jake the Snake” where the more it is used, the more snake-like characteristics Wiley develops. At one point in the episode, the snake-like “Jake” hangs Zack over a pit of snakes, including Common boas (Boa imperator), possibly cornsnakes (Pantherophis guttatus) and/or kingsnake species (Lampropeltis sp.), possibily a Cuban boa (Chilabothrus/Epicrates angulifer), and Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus).
The Walking Dead: In season 6, episode 2, in a flashback scene of the character Enid, a tortoise is encountered on a gravel road, where she then eats it (obviously a prop). It appears to be a red-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis carbonaria).
Stranger Things: In Stranger Things, the character Dustin maintained a pet tortoise named “Yertle the Turtle”, which was said to be a box turtle, but instead appears to be a young/juvenile African Spurred Tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata).