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The Rat is the main antagonist of Disney's 1955 animated feature film Lady and the Tramp. A silent, predatory rodent, the rat is in constant pursuit of Jim Dear and Darling’s newborn baby.


Lady and the Tramp

Lady first encounters the Rat while she is running happily in the backyard. She sees it, growls, and chases after it, causing the rodent to scamper through a hole in the fence, and into a hiding place under a building across the street.

The Rat has a catalytic role in the climax of the film when it comes back to Jim Dear and Darling's house while Lady is tied to her doghouse on a rainy night. Sensing opportunity after seeing Tramp walk sadly away after Lady snapped at him, the rat leaves his hiding place and makes his way into the yard through the fence hole. Lady senses its presence as rain begins to fall, and barks at it, but Aunt Sarah tells her to shush. Tramp hears her barking and comes back to her, where she tells him that there's a rat in the house. He then follows him to Jim, Jr.'s room, before it can harm the baby. They engage in a fight, until at one point, it climbs to the top of Jim, Jr.'s crib, with the intent to harm and/or kill him. Just when it jumps into the crib, Tramp bites it on the neck and throws it away and continues to attack, but his rage made him accidentally knock over the crib, awakening Jim Jr. and causing him to cry as Lady (having broke free) arrives to look after him. Finally, Tramp manages to corner the Rat behind the couch and kill it, but not before receiving a minor injury from it when it bit his ankle.

Having been alerted by the commotion and Jim Jr.'s crying, Aunt Sarah arrives and, not seeing the Rat, mistakenly believes that Lady and Tramp had attempted to harm Jim, Jr., promptly locking Lady in the cellar and sending Tramp off to the pound. However, as soon as Jim Dear and Darling return, Lady shows them the dead rat, clearing Tramp's name.

Lady and the Tramp (2019)

Lady encounters the rat after looking for the culprit who cracked some eggs and tipped over a milk bottle which Lady attempts to go after it, just before she is unable to pass through. She then encounters Trusty telling him that the rat came back to cause a mess across her owners' house and just as Lady impatiently tells her about the rat she found outside, Trusty tells Lady to be patient.

Furthermore, Lady encounters the rat again on her way to her owners' house where she sees it entering the baby's room just as Lady plans to stop the rat, as Tramp hears Lady barking, alerting him that the rat has entered Lulu's room just as Lady tells him to be careful, because Elliot, the dogcatcher who is talking to Lady's owner, is inside. As Elliot moves further to continue his conversation with Jim Dear, Tramp enters Lulu's room and finds the rat inside. As the rat sneaks across Lulu's room, he hears the rat squeaking and Tramp confronts it while chasing the rat across the room, albeit causing a mess. Tramp notices the rat on Lulu's crib and attempts to catch the rat, but misses, accidentally tipping over the baby's crib. As Lulu's parents hear the commotion, followed by Elliot, Tramp suddenly kills the rat under the fallen curtain, saving Lulu from the rat.

Later when Lady returns home, Jim Dear and Darling became aware of the rat that came into their house causing trouble all along, unaware that Tramp killed the rat. Afterwards, Tramp's name is cleared when Jim Dear and Darling try to explain to Elliot that Tramp has a home and he protected Lulu from the rat.


The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to The Rat.


  • In an early script, the Rat's name was Herman.
    • Additionally, in the same early script, Lady was the one who fought the Rat.
  • Most book versions of the film don't show the Rat's appearance at the beginning.
  • In its first appearance, the rat appeared to have a red nose, but when it makes its return, its nose is black.
  • The resentment against Lady for being chased away by her and probably more than once would explain his intention to kill/harm the baby.
  • There have been several near-identical or similar rats making a cameo in later Disney shows and movies:

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