The relationship between Rocky Balboa and shy pet shop worker Adrian Pennino is one of the sweetest in cinematic history, with their confessed love for each other being the true victory of the film.
And their romance was of course sparked by Rocky visiting J&M Tropical Fish pet store to buy food and supplies for his two pet turtles, Cuff and Link. At one point Rocky forgets he bought the animals themselves from Adrian, leading to a humorously awkward moment.
Bonding over a shared love of pets is – in my opinion – a pretty solid way to begin a relationship. And so Rocky fans have been delighted to learn that Sylvester Stallone has actually kept the original Cuff and Link, who made their movie comeback in Creed II (2018).
Now 44 years old, this iconic duo are still taking things slow, and probably have no clue just how famous and beloved they – and their human papa – are.
Sharing an adorable pic of the lettuce munching megastars in their tank (trailer?) on Instagram, Stallone wrote the following caption:
In CREED 2 with my original buddies from the first Rocky … CUFF and LINK , now about 44 years old!
These two old pros look quite happy, with one – I’m not sure which! – staring straight into the camera lens like a true movie star. And, like the 72-year-old actor himself, they have aged very well.
NO FLIPPIN WAY!!! CUFF AND LINK??!?!?!?
— BradyH8R (@H8Brady) May 24, 2019
Cuff and Link are still alive and this is the happiest news I've heard this entire year.
— This Is No Laughing Matter (@NLMcbus) May 24, 2019
Somehow it makes me feel good knowing that Cuff and Link are still alive.
— Chris Ryall (@chris_ryall) May 23, 2019
Best scene from the movie involving Cuff and Link was when Adrian gave Rocky the dog, Butkus. Rocky asks Adrian, 'What does he eat?' Adrian responds, 'He eats little turtles!'
— The92ers (@The92ers) May 24, 2019
People have been thrilled to learn that these legendary scene stealers are still of this earth, and just as chilled out as ever.
One person tweeted:
Cuff and Link are still alive and this is the happiest news I’ve heard this entire year.
I was already a fan but in reading about Cuff and Link and your absolute love of animals – I’m an even bigger fan. THANKS for keeping them happy and healthy for all those years!
Check out Cuff and Link when they were still just starry-eyed youngsters in the following classic clip:
This wasn’t the only pet Stallone kept after filming. He was also the proud owner of Butkus, the beautiful bull mastiff who appeared in Rocky and Rocky II.
Instagramming a throwback pic of this very good dog two years ago, Stallone spoke emotionally about how much Butkus’ friendship had meant to him:
I absolutely love pictures like this. When I was 26, totally broke, going nowhere VERY fast, owned two pair of pants that barely fit, shoes that had holes in them and dreams of being successful were as far away as the sun…
But I had my dog, BUTKUS, my best friend, my confidant, Who always laughed at my jokes, and put up with my moods, and was the one living thing that loved me for who I was! #man’s best friend
Although Butkus has long since flown to the great park in the sky, it’s good to know that Cuff and Link are still with us. Living legends, both.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.