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Mr. Toad, of Toad Hall, is one of the main characters in the novel The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and also the title character of the A. A. Milne play Toad of Toad Hall based on the book.

Mr. Toad
The Wind in the Willows character
E.H. Shepard illustration of Mr Toad.jpg
Illustration by E.H. Shepard
First appearance The Wind in the Willows
Created by Kenneth Grahame
Species Toad
Gender Male
Occupation Motor car driver
Nationality British English



Mr. Toad is an anthropomorphic common toad who is the village squire, being the wealthy owner and occupant of Toad Hall. Toad is very rich and a bit of a fop, with a penchant for Harris tweed suits. He owns his own horse, and is able to indulge his impulsive desires, such as punting, house boating and hot air ballooning. Toad is intelligent, creative and resourceful; however, he is also narcissistic, self-centred almost to the point of sociopathy, and completely lacking in even the most basic common sense. His reckless interest in motor cars leads to an episode in which he steals a car and drives it recklessly The result of that is a twenty-year prison sentence, but he escapes, dressed as a washer woman, to regain his family seat of Toad Hall from the clutches of the weasels.

Although he has escaped from jail, and the police initially pursue him, he is never re-arrested. No reason is ever given for this, but in the 1949 Disney movie, he is shown being framed for theft when he should be in jail for twenty years. In The Willows in Winter, the sequel to the 1995 animated film, Toad is arrested again after being recognised by the Chief Judge as the criminal he convicted before and is hauled before a court, but he is released because of several good deeds he has done since his escape.

Ultimately, Toad has his heart in the right place. His characteristics have made him arguably the epitome of the stock character of the lovable rogue.

During the course of his adventures Toad alternates between deep remorse for his arrogance and having relapses into it. An example of his arrogance is seen in his self-centred ditty, Toad's Last Little Song, a song he performs to an enthusiastic audience which exists, of course, only in his mind;

The Toad- came- home!
When-the-Toad-came-home There was panic in the parlours and howling in the halls,
There was crying in the cow-sheds and shrieking in the stalls,
When the Toad- came- home!
When the Toad- came- home!
There was smashing in of window and crashing in of door,
There was chivvying of weasels that fainted on the floor,
When the Toad-came home!
Bang! go the drums!
The trumpeters are tooting and the soldiers are saluting,
And the cannon they are shooting and the motor-cars are hooting,
As the- Hero- comes!
Shout- Hoo-ray!
And let each one of the crowd try and shout it very loud,
In honour of an animal of whom you’re justly proud,
For it’s Toad’s- great- day!

This is Toad's final bow as he has finally resolved to change his conceited ways.

Film and televisionEdit

Theme parksEdit

For many years there was a ride at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom called Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. The ride was closed on September 7, 1998. The Disneyland California version of the ride is still open.


The inspiration for Mr. Toad's wayward mischievousness and boastfulness was Kenneth Grahame's only child Alastair: a family friend, Constance Smedley, overheard Grahame telling Alastair the exploits of Toad as a bedtime story, and noted that "Alastair's own tendency to exult in his exploits was gently satirized in Mr. Toad".[2] Colonel Francis Cecil Ricardo CVO CBE (1852–1924), the first owner of a car in Cookham in Berkshire, where Grahame wrote the books is also thought to have been an influence.

Actors who have played Mr. ToadEdit

References in other mediaEdit

The first story arc of the Batman and Robin comic book by Grant Morrison features a villainous character with the name and appearance of Mr. Toad. After Batman and Robin interrogate Toad, he's revealed to be in cahoots with Pyg.[9] This same character also appears in the animated series Beware the Batman.

In Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, Miss Havisham and Mr. Toad engage in an ongoing series of car races.

Mr. Toad appears briefly in Bill Willingham's Fables series. He is a member of anti-Fabletown Farm revolution and can be seen later on various occasions, mostly as a non-speaking character. In most recent comics, his gravestone is shown among the other fables buried at The Farm. The character appears in The Wolf Among Us— a downloadable episodic video game set during the 1980s, before the events of Fables — where he is still alive and appears as a non-player character.


  1. ^ de Board, R. (2008). Counselling for Toads: A Psychological Adventure
  2. ^ Mattanah, Jonathan. "A Contemporary Psychological Understanding of Mr. Toad" in Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows: A Children's Classic at 100 edited by Jackie C. Horne, Donna R. White. Scarecrow Press, 2009: pp. 93-94.
  3. ^ "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  4. ^ "The Wind in the Willows (1983/I) (TV)". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  5. ^ "The Wind in the Willows (1987) (TV)". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  6. ^ "The Wind in the Willows (1995) (TV)". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  7. ^ "The Wind in the Willows (1996)". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  8. ^ "The Wind in the Willows (2006) (TV)". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  9. ^ Batman & Robin Vol. 1 #1