Cute and Psycho

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She's adorable until she gets out that cleaver. Still cute though....


"You're... going to LOVE ME!!!!!"

They are cute, sweet, innocent and extremely huggable. Incidentally they are also varying shades of violent, unstable, and downright insane.

Cute and Psycho is a trope that describes characters who are genuinely cute in both appearance and mannerisms but have a completely batshit crazy side. Sometimes there are distinctly different sides which may be shown equally, but other times they are mostly one or the other, the Killer Rabbit displaying moments of sweetness and relative-sanity or The Cutie showing hints of a dark psychotic nature. Often there is some kind of Dark and Troubled Past, or Split Personality to justify how the two aspects of the person can both be genuine, but other times no explanation is revealed.

The primary difference between this trope and the Yandere is that the Cute and Psycho character is not driven by an obsessive need to possess a friend or lover. Their motivation, if they have one, can vary immensely. They also don't necessarily have to be provoked to enter their Psycho-state, but can switch for reasons observers would be hard-pressed to determine.

Cute and Psycho is a Sister Trope to Killer Rabbit, Yandere and Enfant Terrible and closely related to Psychopathic Manchild and Beware the Nice Ones. If the "cute" part isn't real, then the character is The Fake Cutie instead. Characters of this type tend to be female, though male examples do exist.

In some anime fandoms this character is referred to as a yangire, an informal fanspeak term. It's also used to refer to Axe Crazy versions of The Fake Cutie.

Examples of Cute and Psycho include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Ran of Urusei Yatsura is the poster child for (and likely the inspiration for all other) Cute and Psycho characters. On the outside, she's a cute redheaded girl who likes frilly clothing, baking, and flirting with Ataru. In reality, she's an embittered childhood rival of Lum who is out for some very violent revenge on the girl for … well, a lot of things that aren't Lum's fault. Unfortunately, she is often mistaken for a Yandere.
  • Cilan from Pokémon, probably. At first it appeared as though his burst came from his battle with Burgundy, but in later episodes he starts slipping into this more and more. His flip-outs are mostly played for laughs, though. Except for episode 69 where he flips his shit at Skyla because he didn't like her attitude problem as well as her not taking her job as a Gym Leader seriously. Just because he snapped though doesn't mean it's a good thing given he loses a Pokemon battle to her.
    • Burgundy herself is a good qualifier too.
  • The original trope name, "yangire", originated as a reference to Nanoha Takamachi's uncharacteristically cold-hearted attack on Teana Lanster, blasting her out of the sky to teach her a lesson in Episode 8 of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S. She ultimately subverts the trope, in that she felt remorseful having to do so, and the next episode reveals that she only wanted to discourage Teana from overexerting herself in training as Nanoha herself once did, almost killing herself and nearly becoming permanently crippled as a result of pushing herself beyond her physical limits.
  • In Katanagatari, (Warning, this spoils one of the best reveals of the show) Nanami "My little brother kept chewing his nails, no matter how often I told him to stop. One day I ripped out his nails. He never bit his nails again." The ninja she is torturing starts to sweat and shiver. "It's only a story about child discipline."
  • Big Bad Byakuran from Katekyo Hitman Reborn.
    • Daisy and Bluebell of the real Six Funeral Wreaths.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni features some of the more well-known ones, such as Rena Ryugu up there in the page image. It's implied that that Rena is actually bipolar, though it may be a misdiagnosis. A lot of the times the characters are delusional, so that either makes them Cute and Psycho or makes them appear Cute and Psycho. The page image is from when Keiichi is hallucinating all of Rena's behavior, but she does genuinely fall under this trope in her own arc, Tsumihoroboshi-hen, where Rena rather than Keiichi succumbs to Hinamizawa syndrome. It's all implied that all the central characters except Rika, Rena included, contracted it during many other iterations of the Groundhog Day Loop each; Rena would be a straight example in every one where she did. We're just only shown one.
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni's Maria Ushiromiya. In some scenes, the cutest little girl imaginable. At others, well...
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Shou Tucker. He seems like a sweet, caring dad, but in reality is insane enough to fuse his own daughter and pet dog into a chimera.
    • Wrath from the first anime. He starts off as naively adorable, but upon being awakened... Yikes.
  • Mari Illustrious Makinami from Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0 probably fits. She only appears for roughly fifteen minutes in the movie, but these fifteen minutes show a rather nice character. As long as she isn't in an Evangelion, that is. When fighting, Mari is absolutely crazy - it is strongly implied that she actually fights simply because she enjoys fighting.
    • "POINT BLANK, SHITHEAD!"
  • Gundam has a long history of psychotic cute girls:
    • Four Murasame and Rosamia Badam from Zeta Gundam, both of whom were some of the earliest Cyber-Newtypes and completely insane because of it. Not evil, just frightened and confused girls with a warped sense of reality (it is not coincidence that they pilot something called the Psyco Gundam). Then Gundam ZZ introduces Elpeo Puru and her clones. Puru herself is mostly harmless but is still a Child Soldier with a deep-seated obsession with Judau, while her clones were all mentally conditioned to serve "Master Glemy" and were coldly classified by Zeon as equipment rather than people.
    • Mobile Suit Victory Gundam has Katejina Loos, who doesn't look especially bad at first - she's initially rough around the edges and a touch apathetic at times, but fundamentally good-natured, until Chronicle gets his mitts on her (and main character Uso even states she's changed since joining Zanscare and used to be nice and kind deep down). To further complicate things, in the novels it's strongly implied she underwent Cyber-Newtype treatments, which are known across the series for making those who undergo them violently unstable.
    • Ghinias Saharin from Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team starts as a Workaholic Hot Scientist, but as his health gets worse and his Apsalus project is cancelled, he becomes more and more unhinged. Granted depending on how much you factor his clingyness towards his sister and the aforementioned project into the cause of his breakdown, he might count as a somewhat unusual manifestation of the other thing instead.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny has Stella, one of the Extended members of Phantom Pain. Adorable, childlike, happy... and a supersoldier with mental conditioning and enhanced physical skills from a complex, long-term treatment of drugs (which she can't survive without). She ends up torching half of Europe with a superweapon not out of malice... but because she was scared and had been told that the people there were "bad things" that were going to get her.
    • Gundam 00 features Gundam Throne pilot Nena Trinity, a Genki Girl redhead who likes to wink, mock-fight with her violently overprotective brother and fellow Throne Michael and throw up the V-sign. She also gives Setsuna his Sacred First Kiss (also the first kiss for the series), much to his disgust. Exactly one episode later, Nena blows up a civilian wedding while on her way to the next mission to vent her frustration with having a hard day of work while others have fun. When asked by her brothers why she fired on civilians, Nena simply giggled and replied, "Heehee, sorry, I pressed the wrong button." Makes one wonder if she actually wanted to press the missile button instead of the laser button. Well, the girl and her brothers are Artificial Humans bred and born only to pilot their Gundams, but still... Sheesh.
    • In the second season, while working under Wang Liu Mei and occasionally acting cheerful again, she dropped the facade as Liu Mei belittled her, eventually leading her to snap again after learning that Liu Mei had taken sides with the Innovators, the group who had employed Ali al-Saachez, her brothers' murderer. Liu Mei learns the hard way about double-crossing people when Nena traps her inside her ship as it's exploding, cackling maniacally all the while.
    • Liu Mei learned nothing as she, having had her brother save her from Nena twice, still only thinks of herself and how she can use people. Nena shows up again and gleefully finishes her off for good, earning her redemption...only to get royally fucked over and killed by Louise Halevy (the only survivor of the wedding she blew up) in turn. Payback is a literal bitch.
  • Parodied in Galaxy Angel with the Character Exaggeration of Chitose, who already had some belonging issues; when the Angels left her behind or otherwise slighted her without knowing it, she went absolutely crazy with revenge, once even trying to turn them into rice and eat them. (Don't ask.)
  • Played for Laughs with Kafuka Fuura of Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei. This eternally happy, cheerful girl has an obvious and horrible past, involving suicidal parents, relatives in jail, ostracization at school, and at least one exorcism, and yet there she is, enjoying life... for a value of it. She shows no signs yet of snapping, though people are scared of her and fear the day she does. (On one memorable, her classmate, resident Little Miss Snarker Meru Otonashi, tries to "read" what Kafuka is communicating through her eyes at her prompting; she sees nothing but a red screen with the words "die die die die die killy kill die die die" and so forth, despite Kafuka never once dropping her happy appearance.)
    • For that matter, virtually the entire cast has some sort of vicious or crippling psychosis—it's just that the fifty percent of them who aren't capable of hiding it make the rest look well-adjusted by comparison.
  • Minatsuki "Hummingbird" Takami in Deadman Wonderland appears to be a shy, sweet young girl with a Freudian Excuse (actually Parental Abandonment Issues) who was imprisoned in the eponymous prison-slash-themepark, mainly due to her having blood-based killing powers called the "Branch of Sin"; the real reason she should've been sent to prison (see next spoiler) is apparently ignored. This persona turns out to be an act to seduce her naive opponent into not fighting her. In reality she is a sadist who not only gets extremely turned on by the suffering of her opponent but she also killed her mother after she panicked and abandoned her in an earthquake and got her brother to kill her father after making it appear that their father tried to rape her.
    • There's also Shiro, the hyperactive, scatter-brained apparent Manic Pixie Dream Girl who can and will rip off people's heads with her bare hands whilst smiling like a kid who's just left the sweet shop. She's also the 'Red Man', the unstoppable killing machine who slaughtered Ganta's entire class at the start of the story.
  • It's debatable whether Russia from Axis Powers Hetalia is this or Yandere.
    • He's a mix of both. He cracked for non-romantic reasons (the Bloody Sunday), but his unstable side comes out especially strongly in regards to Lithuania, whom he seems to have feelings for.
    • Lithuania's younger brother Latvia is potentially Cute and Psycho, having been abused so much by Russia that he comes close to snapping in the "Lily of the Valley" incident. It's not mentioned later.
    • Some of the most popular fanon renditions of Spain revolve make him into this during the darkest periods of Spanish history (the Conquest of the Americas and the Spanish Civil War. Specially during the Civil War.) It's known that Himaruya stated early on that Spain was supposed to have these qualities, but they've only been mentioned once... and were completely Played for Laughs. (Go tell that to the fan dumb, though.)
    • And Japan! While he's almost always depicted as a polite and emotionally reserved guy in canon, you can't really blame some people for wondering if what motivated him to brutally stab his brother China in the back is still lurking somewhere underneath that calm exterior, and many serious fics set during the Sino-Japanese War or World War II depict him as a master of Dissonant Serenity... even though we know from canon that he's perfectly capable of losing his calm and express rage, enthusiasm, etc.
    • Also a quite popular rendition of Canada in J-Fen, which has its own pixiv tags too.
    • Most fans speculate Romania might this, hence he is either drawn like this most of the time or he just looks really calm and sweet. Alternatively, if the fans ship him with Hungary, he's likely to be shown as being Yandere for her instead.
    • All the characters have their moments of this in various fanworks; "Snapped![character]" is a popular genre.
  • Akira Sakura from Narutaru may count on some levels. She's ordinarily a cripplingly shy, suicidally depressed girl who hates hurting other people, even to the extent where she's reluctant to hit her sparring partner in a martial arts class. This is, however, also the same disturbed girl who eventually stabs her own father to death, calling him out for the sexual abuse she's implied to have suffered at his hands. Furthermore, in an early chapter it's subtly implied she may have tried to kill her own shadow dragon, just because she wants to be (relatively) normal.
  • Tsukuyomi of Mahou Sensei Negima is like this in her earlier appearances. As of her latest appearance, she's dropped the facade and become a full blown Yandere.
  • Despite the popular interpretation of her as a Yandere, this trope actually describes Ryouko Asakura in Suzumiya Haruhi much better. However, The human version of her from Disappearance is pretty much your standard Yandere.
  • Nearly every Diclonius in Elfen Lied, with Lucy also qualifying as a Yandere.
  • Chloe from Noir smacks of this, possibly going full-blown Yandere for Kirika by the finale
  • The world of Kurohime has one in the form of Yashahime. She's a delicately beautiful young woman whose sworn to avenge the death of her lover, the Grim Reaper, caused by the eponymous heroine. Fair enough, but the reason she "loved" the Grim Reaper so much is he was actively thinking about killing everything in sight, a sentiment she could get down with. In fact, the only reason she hasn't is BECAUSE she want to kill Kurohime FIRST. Compounding all of this is the fact that she is the series' earth goddess, meaning she could kill literally everybody on the planet.
  • Dai Mahou Touge is what happens when this trope is applied to an entire universe.
  • Played for laughs with Otae from Gintama: while she seems to be settled firmly on the Tsundere side of the fence, piss her off enough (or simply exist, if you're unlucky enough to be Kondou) and she'll wallop you straight into the ground.
  • Anemone from Eureka Seven. "Melt away! Melt away! Your brains'll melt away!"
  • Rip Van Winkle from Hellsingis a little out there, in addition to being a Nazi vampire.
    • Yumiko Takagi is a sweet, gentle soul who calls herself Yumie and go off her fucking gourd if her glasses are taken off.
  • Although she's canonically a Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant, Fanon leans toward treating Osaka from Azumanga Daioh as one of these. Essentially, she is interpreted as being a cute Cloudcuckoolander on the surface, but has the potential if angered to wake you up with her "frying pan".
    • Also there was the fact that if she and the other girls were murdered one by one at Chiyo-chan's beach house she would be the murderer.
  • Patti Thompson from Soul Eater. Cute Cloudcuckoolander who exhibits odd moments of manic violence when she feels like it. Really, we should expect this, considering she grew up on the streets with her sister, surviving by mugging random people. Her 'training' suggests she's a mad, violent thing whose skill in combat has been overshadowed (as is often the case for Weapons) by her extremely powerful Reaper meister. See also her turn using Liz in the desert, their flashbacks, and her genderbent version makes her wide-eyed cute staring suddenly look a lot less cute.
  • Haruko Haruhara. To the maximum degree.
  • Several in To Aru Majutsu no Index and its spinoff. From the Railgun anime, we have Telestina, who appears to have some kind of magic power related to choosing jelly bean colors. From the novels, we have Anyeze, who goes from ditzy, innocent fanservice girl to psychotic religious freak proclaiming Catholics believe that marriage with 'outsiders' is bestiality in the course of a single scene. Which is offscreen.
    • The 4th level 5 esper "meltdowner" isn't much better while usually cold and calculating once you kind of annoy her she kind of...melts down: her speech turns horribly vulgar and starts tearing apart her opponents with sadistic delight capitalizing on her massively powerful ability to basically blast holes through anything and surprising physical strength
  • A good example would be Czeslaw Meyer from Baccano!—you know, his whole reason to come to NYC...
    • Although you also get through his desperate psychopathology and find an actual wounded little boy, despite his age. It's all the Cold-Blooded Torture.
  • Code Geass's Rolo Lamperouge can qualify for this. Even though he acts as an adorable and shy schoolboy, he's really a cold-hearted assassin underneath. He could potentially fall into Yandere as well, concerning his obsessive relationship with his "brother" Lelouch. It didn't take much to make him snap and kill Shirley when she was honing in on Lulu.
    • Technically speaking, Rolo started out as Cute and Psycho due to his raising in the Geass Cult. Once Lelouch started manipulating him, he switched to Yandere, and predictably It Got Worse.
    • Euphemia, after she gets accidentally Geassed into becoming a mass murderer. "Those of you who call yourself Japanese, I have a favor to ask. Could you all die, please?" "I was hoping you'd all just commit suicide, but you can't, can you? O.K. So, soldiers, please kill the Japanese. Kill them all." Then she procceds to grabs a submachine gun and shoot everyone.
  • Diva, the Big Bad of Blood Plus often acts like an amusingly spacey example of The Ophelia, but she's pretty horribly evil.
  • A lot of child Contractors in Darker than Black come across this way, especially the female ones, who channel a similar idea to Girl with Psycho Weapon. Mai in the first season of the anime, and both Azuza and Bai (in a flashback) in the interequel are shown killing or maiming people horrifically while having a Moe Stare expression on their faces. Maki might also count along with being a Yandere. He sometimes comes off as an Adorably Precocious Child, but is completely psychotic and has an obsession with his leader, Amber.
  • Black Butler's Alois Trancy. Throughout the first episode of the second season, he flips from sweet and innocent to Ax Crazy so many times, it could make someone dizzy.
  • Light Yagami of Death Note... utterly adorable mass murderer.
    • Manipulative faker since years before he became actually evil. Though as L observes after Souichirou's heart attack, a lot of Light's acts are cheesy beyond belief.
    • Also Misa Amane is this and a Yandere as well.
    • Beyond Birthday from the Another Note spinoff novel. Take L's more Moe qualities and then add crazy-evilness into the mix. [1] [2] As you might imagine he has quite a few fangirls.
  • In Love Hina, Motoko's sister Tsuruko is usually a calm and graceful Yamato Nadeshiko, but when Motoko makes the mistake of being... creative with the truth in front of her, she drops that facade and out comes her Ax Crazy side. Because of this and her Implausible Fencing Powers, Motoko goes back and forth between admiring her and being scared shitless of her.
  • Mairu and Kururi from Durarara!!. Of course since they're Izaya's little sisters, it was obvious. Other examples include Erika, Walker and Aoba. (Who just happened to share a kiss with both Mairu and Kururi, hilariously.)
    • Mikado can definitely fall under this as well.
      • Since he's psychotically devoted to Kida and Anri, he could be seen as a Yandere as well.
  • Kumagawa of Medaka Box combines this with Stepford Smiler. His cheerful expression doesn't change no matter what he does; whether it's eating taiyaki (in the creepiest way possible), impaling people with giant screws, or blinding them.
  • The gun-runner manga Jormungand has no shortage of these:
    • First is Mildo, a twisted rival female mercenary introduced in Volume 1, who is seemingly obsessed with defeating H&C Logistics Incorporated's resident Knife Nut in hand-to-hand combat.

Mildo: Valmet, you're all I ever think about. How you live. How you fight. How bout we beat the living shit out of each other, then I kill you. Sounds fun, eh? Kinda poetic.
Valmet: No... not at all... you psycho!

  • Tsubaki Kasugano, the Sixth Diary Holder from Mirai Nikki. She seems at first to be more of mix of Strange Girl, Yamato Nadeshiko and Bitch in Sheep's Clothing when dealing with Yukki and Yuno, but then we see that her backstory of orphanhood and sexual slavery drove her completely insane.
    • Fifth Diary Reisuke Houjou would also qualify, though he would be consider more as a Tyke Bomb. Yuno... umm right. Yandere.
      • Well, nothing says that Tyke Bomb and Cute Psycho can't overlap. (see: Rolo Lamperoughe) Considering that Reisuke is perpetually smiley and cute as he performs his Enfante Terrible deals... uhm, yeah, this is one of these cases.
  • Mikael from Tenshi ni Narumon is usually a cute, easily agitated boy, but when under great stress and when things don't go they way he wants them, can turn into a really scary and obsessive psycho though it can be argued that it's a side effect of his halo falling off.
    • The same can be said about Silky - very moe and doll-like but tends to smash everything apart and set on fire when enraged. Only she was a scary psycho for most of the time during the series and again it can be argued that it was mostly a side effect of her halo falling off.
      • And Mama who can turn into a very crazy witch when under too much stress.
        • Sara had some shades of this in episode 15 when she was dieting like *literally* crazy.
  • Yukino-sensei in Hohzuki Island, who at one point sneaks around the school in the dark, naked, with a wooden sword, ready to beat one of the children to death. Later turns out to be a subversion--yes, she's snapped and is fucking creepy, but it was because she thought one of the children was Cute and Psycho themself, due to her best friend and fellow teacher turning up murdered. The fact the kids were acting very suspiciously (though only because they were afraid that all the teachers were planning to kill them) didn't help matters. By the end of the manga, she realizes everything she thought was wrong, clears up some misconceptions about her, and then pulls a Big Damn Heroes on the real murderous teacher.
  • The Claw in Gun X Sword appears to be just a sweet old man.
  • Hansel and Gretel, the Creepy Twins from Black Lagoon.
  • Ayame from Hanayashiki no Juunintachi. On the outside, she looks like a normal (if tomboyish) girl, but when a pervert tries to have her way with him, she proceeds to mace him with bug spray, rearrange his face with a hammer, stab him with a box cutter, mess him up with scissors... Did I mention it's a shounen romance comedy manga about cooking?
  • Yukio from Bleach is revealed as such in chapter 466, when he gleefully uses his Fullbring against Hitsugaya while explaining how he drove his parents to commit suicide as revenge for their Parental Neglect. And once his rival presses his Berserk Button? The guy went BATSHIT INSANE.
  • Henri Claytor from Future GPX Cyber Formula, who appears to be a cute and cheerful rookie racer in ZERO, actually has a homicidal obsession with making Hayato pay for ruining his life. This is due to his father ignoring and abandoning him after Hayato wins the championship instead of him, and he's also partially responsible for the crash between Hayato and Randoll.
  • If there are types of criminals that Shinichi Kudo aka "Conan Edogawa" absolutely loathes, it's either this and/or Yanderes. And there's no shortage of those in such a Long Runner of a series.
  • Apparently, Dead Master in |Black Rock Shooter: Innocent Soul, as right before devouring a soul she calls the (naked) Rock tasty, ending it with hearts.
  • Fear from Cube X Cursed X Curious can become quite creepy when she decides to go fully psycho. Also it does'nt help that she IS a weapon able to become all kinds of torture devices.
  • Michio Yuki from MW.

Comic Books[edit | hide]


Film[edit | hide]

  • Libbie/Boltie from Super. And how.
  • Norman Bates in Psycho. He's a pleasant, polite fellow until you mention his mother.
  • Peyton Mott (played by a frighteningly believable Rebecca De Mornay) from The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. After her obstetrician husband kills himself to avoid facing several accusations of rape and she loses the baby she was carrying, Peyton "Flanders" sets out in a Xanatos Gambit to ruin the life of the first victim who denounced him, Claire (Annabella Sciorra).
  • Please think long and hard before taking the polite and beautiful , seemingly nine year old Russian Orphan Esther home with you... It's not worth it.
  • Becky from Drop Dead Gorgeous is a pretty, smiling beauty queen... until someone gets in her way. Then out comes her shotgun.
  • The Maids is about a couple of sisters serving as maids. Their mistress loves how sweet they are and how well they serve her. Poor madame just doesn't know what they do with her clothes when she's absent. Mistress is a kind of yandere herself, just not as wicked as her maids.
  • The girl from Neighbor is a gleefully sadistic torture porn example of this.
  • Annie Wilkes, as played by Kathy Bates in the film version of Misery. Look below...
  • Angela Baker from the Sleepaway Camp series.
  • Brenda Bates from Urban Legend.
  • Tracy Flick in Election.
  • Eve from Alpha and Omega. She is normally a loving, smiling mother...but she has a preference to death threats that are funny only because of how she says them...unless you threaten her babies...


Literature[edit | hide]

  • As mentioned, Annie Wilkes from the Stephen King novel Misery is an archetypical example. A qualified nurse, she rescues the main character and her zealously favorite author, Paul Sheldon from a car crash in the middle of a blizzard and cares for him. Unfortunately, Paul later finds out that she is a psychopathic, schizophrenic Serial Killer who has no qualms against chopping off his foot with an axe and cauterizing the wound with a blowtorch if he acts up.
    • YMMV: She's not cute at all.
  • Kaitlyn Wernher from the as-of-yet unfinished story Dark Red Mind is a perfect example of this. She borderlines on Complete Monster.
  • Soulcatcher from The Black Company is series introduced as something of a Benevolent Boss for the Company, despite serving the Big Bad, Lady. Later, we find out that she's completely insane . Which isn't surprising, considering she's the red oni to The Lady's blue oni.
  • In The Pale King, Toni really loves her dogs.
    • Now I'll know. If anything happens to these dogs. If they run off, or limp, or anything - I'll kill you, your family, burn your house down, and sow salt. I have nothing to live for but these dogs...But if anything gets done to these dogs I'll decide it was you and I'll sacrifice my life and freedom to destroy you and everyone you love.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Cassidy from Veronica Mars. Think he's the sweet, nerdy, helpless guy? Ha. More like rapist and mass-murderer. Have fun!
  • Elle Bishop in Heroes, a cute, childish, and sociopathic woman who delights in killing, hurting, and controlling people.
  • The Trinity Killer from Dexter. It's also an inversion; we see the dark side first. It's the "nice guy and family man" side that comes as a complete shock.
  • All That's "Ask Ashley" featured a sickeningly sweet little girl with an insanely unstable temper answer moronic viewer's mail. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Gem and Gemma of Power Rangers RPM are a mild case. Mentally, they're about kindergarten age, and their favorite things in the whole wide world are explosions. Especially when it's the evil Killer Robots going boom. The reason they're only a "mild" case is that they don't really want anyone hurt (though there was one time they had to be reminded that there were civilians enslaved in a factory they planned to "vaporize from sub-orbit").
  • The third series of The Thick of It introduces us to Steve Fleming, MP, who is a spectacularly unstable version of this trope; that cheerful grin, the slightly creepy compliments and the "call me Uncle Steve" attitude you see when you first meet him? Get him even slightly agitated and his Ax Crazy side will come to the fore. The scary part comes when he desperately tries to suppress his insanity, swinging from Stepford Smiler to Unstoppable Rage and back again so violently you wonder why he doesn't give himself whiplash.
  • Hooch from Scrubs. He's normally friendly and even charismatic, but pissing him off triggers his Ax Crazy tendencies. This leads to J.D. and Turk frequently playing pranks on him to trigger his psychotic side, at one point even eating popcorn while Hooch is throwing death threats around. It becomes clearer with every appearance that the catchphrase "Hooch is crazy" thrown around by other characters is not exaggeration. After another of J.D. and Turk's pranks, he takes four people hostage and is subsequently fired from the hospital. In the very last episode of season 8, we see him in a strait jacket, proclaiming "Hooch is crazy."
  • Rachel Berry definitely is a high-intensity-low-stability kind of girl on Glee, with her Serious Business approach to... well... pretty much everything. It's absolutely adorable when it's not just infuriatingly annoying, especially to her fellow Glee Clubbers who just seem visibly tired of her antics at times.
  • In Sherlock, awkward, Adorkable, Camp Gay, Jim from IT, whose last name is Moriarty.
  • Bernadette from The Big Bang Theory is a mild version of this trope, usually sweet, demure, innocent, even a bit of a woman child at times, but she has a very short fuse and is extremely impatient and will go off on someone over seemingly small things and is quick to give Howard ultimatums if he has a dilema that involves her.
  • Firefly's River is generally a cute, sweet teenage girl who is friendly and playful. She's also a government-manufactured killing machine with Psychic Powers and spent three years being experimented on, trained, and surgically enhanced until her mind could no longer filter or control incoming stimuli. As a result she is an unstable schizophrenic with ingrained martial arts and assassination training who often flips out without warning.

Music[edit | hide]


Mythology[edit | hide]

  • The Maenads. Dionysus's followers who were once innocent, kind-hearted women until he drove them insane, causing them to do horrific acts by tearing apart animals, children and sometimes men with their bare hands. They also killed poor Orpheus, for fuck's sake!
  • Norse Mythology:
    • Loki. Handsome, clever, funny, well-liked—but sadly, not at all mentally stable...
    • Similar to the Maenads mentioned above, there were presumably some berserkers who were somewhat endearing, or at least relatively non-threatening, when they weren't going berserk.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Forgotten Realms Sourcebook Shining South got a sample NPC like this. A smiling half-drow (and both halves do work in her favour) cutie with Girlish Pigtails. In a tasteful armor, with short sword and composite bow. According to stats, Talos-worshipping Neutral Evil ranger / shadow marauder. As in, a Dambrath noble pillaging neighbour countries more for fun of it than economical benefits and trained to not be stopped by boring things like fortifications for longer than an eyeblink.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Venus from Metal Gear Acid 2 is an extremely beautiful Femme Fatale, and seems flirtatious, sexually confident, and yet somewhat vulnerable at first. She also kills a frightening amount of people in cold blood and seems completely incapable of actually feeling normal emotion despite her seductive, romantic play-acting. It's easily her sexuality which is her most screwed-up trait - during the game, she gets aroused at least once by dowsing (in a Does This Remind You of Anything? comedy scene), shurikens, murder, a corrupt genocide incident, a Mad Scientist experimenting on little children, her partner killing people, and her partner nearly getting blown up. Her partner, naturally, is creeped out horribly by her. It's all, depressingly, played for laughs.
  • Dahlia Hawthorne, Phoenix Wright's girlfriend in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations seems nice, pleasant, frail and feminine... but when Mia finally brings her to justice for her various crimes, she glares at her with Glowing Eyes of Doom while swearing revenge. Said revenge involves coming Back from the Dead to murder Mia's sister Maya, who had done nothing to Dahlia, simply because Mia was already dead and beyond direct punishment.
    • You kill her twice, and the final time you literally badass her to death, pointing out that she has completely failed at everything, and will be cursed eternally by having to spend the rest of existence as Dahlia Hawthorne. Even her final Xanatos Gambit/Roulette failed. She pops.
    • Though it has been already implied, it bears explicit emphasis: this girl is so psychotic, she comes back from the dead just to screw with our heroes. Eat your heart out, Asakura Ryoko.
    • Ironically enough, the person Phoenix was actually dating turned out to be Dahlia's twin sister, the shrine maiden Iris, a straight up Yamato Nadeshiko who was covering for Dahlia in an attempt to stop her.
    • Later in the game, you meet the insanely creepy Viola Cadaverini, who greets customers of Tender Lender with a cheerful smile and a plate of possibly poisoned baked goods. She sends them to the guilty party of her case in the end, as vengeance... that guy won't be in the sequel!
    • There are a few male examples as well: Matt Engarde in Justice for All, Kristoph Gavin in Apollo Justice and Souta Sarushiro in Ace Attorney Investigations 2.
  • Selphie Tilmitt in Final Fantasy VIII is a cute, bubbly Genki Girl who likes trains and having fun with her friends. She's also invariably the first person to suggest breaking out horrifying levels of violence, like when she suggests blowing the President of Galbadia's train off the tracks with a rocket launcher, or when she suggests skinning a moomba and wearing it as a disguise.
  • Touhou Project's Flandre Scarlet, at least, according to fandom, who jack up her nebulously defined "instability" into full-blown genocidal madness, whereas, in canon, the worst that's happened is her not knowing her own strength and accidentally blowing away people.
    • Yuuka Kazami also tends to get portrayed this way by fandom, thanks to a "genocide is a game" joke in one game that gets taken way too far.
  • Bulleta/B.B. Hood. Adorable, Moe-laden Token Mini-Moe on the outside. Ax Crazy Psycho for Hire Bounty Hunter on the inside.
  • Teemo in League of Legends, a Moogle rip-off who could care less about all the people he kills, but is slowly cracking from prolonged isolation from others of his kind.
  • Mimi from Super Paper Mario. Hoo boy, Mimi.

Mimi: I'll shred you all like bits of confetti!

  • Lovrina of Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness fits the bill perfectly. A cute, ditzy Valley Girl with a penchant for 'beautiful' Pokémon... who is also the Evil Genius of a criminal syndicate responsible for the routine Mind Rape of Pokémon in order to transform them into soulless killing machines. She turns very nasty when pushed, and one of her subordinates describes her as "nothing short of terrifying".
  • Clem Foote and Crystal Flowers Snagrash in Psychonauts. A couple of kids who like to write cheers and think everyone is awesome...who appear to be trying the old Obi-Wan Kenobi bit without waiting for someone else to strike them down.
    • That was a Shout-Out, but for the most part, it's not some sort of weird theory---they're just depressed and suicidal. Supplemental materials (like the characters' canonical Myspace pages) imply it comes from other kids picking on them and possibly family troubles.
  • Alice from Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World applies to this: While she appears to be a cute, innocent girl, she's actually the leader of a terroristic army, being called a sadist by one of the main characters.
  • Akane in Suika. And also quite the Shocking Swerve.
  • Twins Mireille and Mischka in Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume, the former being female and the latter male. They kill purely for fun and hold a total lack of compassion for those they fight againsts, and ultimately kill - even when it is not nescessary, such as butchering a soldier who surrenders. Neither of them care to even hear the plight of rebel leader Natalie, who they kill. She is implied to be their mother, unbeknownst to them. This disgusts even Wylfred, a character who sacrifices his own friends and childhood companions for the sake of revenge.
  • Blackbird from Strife. She actually gets excited when you find new weapons and starts talking about their killing potential. Not to mention that this seems to be her preferred method of dealing with most problems that come up.
  • In Blaze Union, we get Eimi, also known as Garlot/Gulcasa's sister Emilia. Nothing could be more adorable than her in the whole game... But if you go for the B route and field her too many times in battle, her love for her Brother Captain and her other friends, together with her desire to be useful to them, ends up turning into what drives her over the edge. As a result, Brongaa's blood manifests at full power in her, and she becomes a monstrosity that will remind many Deptheavenites of Brongaa Possessed Gulcasa. At this point, she is bent on nothing but destroying anything that stands in her way, and Garlot is forced to put her to the blade, both to put her out of Brongaa's torment and to assure his survival and that of everyone else.
  • Professor Layton and the Unwound Future's Klaus/Clive is sweet and polite in his mannerisms, and especially helpful to those in need. At least, until he reveals his plan to completely level London in order to rid it of the corruption that covered up the explosion that killed his parents. Double points for being voiced by Oguri Shun, who has also portrayed Kudou Shin'ichi, an Amateur Sleuth who absolutely despises this kind of character, in a live-action drama. For English is Playing Against Type Yuri Lowenthal.
    • The same game also features Puzzlette, who acts all cutesy and bubbly and sweet even while she's trying to murder sapient insects. Then she just casually tosses her flyswatter away and starts chattering to you about puzzles like nothing's out of the ordinary.
  • Sander Cohen from BioShock (series).
  • Egbert from Suikoden V. He really is a very polite, peaceful, and friendly fellow. Until something gets his blood boiling, and then he flips out and begins ranting like Christian Bale. Usually triggered by the mere thought or mention of the Godwin family.
  • Ripper Roo from the Crash Bandicoot series, while at first completely insane, becomes like this after the epilogue of the first game, where he is stated to have undergone intense therapy and higher education in that game's epilogue.
  • Scribblenauts: Write in a Cheerleader. Then write in a Psycho or a Stalker. Note the similarities (read: they're identical except that the Psycho has a big knife).
  • Iris Sepperin from Rosenkreuzstilette is generally a prim and proper little girl over the course of the first game's story. Then, just before the final battle, she starts laughing madly and quickly shifts from her affable attitude to motormouthed insanity and arrogance during her Villainous Breakdown. This shows just how Cute and Psycho a little girl like Iris herself can get.


Visual Novels[edit | hide]

  • Kozue in Chaos;Head. For a Cute Mute , she sure seems awfully indifferent to the idea of killing people. Well, killing jerks. Hell, she got her sword in the first place so she could kill.
  • Played for laughs with Riko in A Profile. As Masayuki's stepmother, she's very easily influenced, strong willed and tends to have thought processes at right angles to any normal person. Thus, she is prone to brainwashing her children and any number of other odd things.
  • Shiraki Aeka from Yume Miru Kusuri is a horribly, horribly justified example. Let's put it this way-her psychotic frenzy in her route? It's listed under Crowning Moment of Awesome, because of who it was directed at and what provoked it.
  • Ilya in Fate/stay night fits this trope rather well, which is rather baffling to Shirou. Eventually he decides it's because she has no sense of right and wrong, and instead acts on any desire she has, no matter what it is.
  • Kazuaki Nanaki (aka Hitori Uzune) in Hatoful Boyfriend. He's a sleepy, gentle teacher who just happens to be so traumatized by the death of his brother Nageki that he's constantly haunted by a shadowy manifestation of his guilt that he believes to be Nageki's ghost hating and blaming him for his own death that drives him to do some truly creepy things near the end of the Bad Boys Love route when he begins talking about how "Nageki's calling for me" and how he's going to "take Nageki home with me" as he attempts to slice Ryouta open with a knife so that he can remove Nageki's organs that were implanted in him, descending into a Madness Mantra as he does so:

Kazuaki/Hitori: Nageki. Nageki. Nageki. Nageki. Nageki. Nageki. Nageki. Nageki. Nageki.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Buwaro from Slightly Damned is a demon, but he loves everything and everyone. He'll invite you to play catch, or explore, or just give you a great big hug. But if you value your life, do not remove his star pendant! While he goes berserk without it, it is not a Berserk Button, but a medical condition which the pendant is magically treating.
  • Errant Story: Concussion is a cute little fairy nurse eager to help you. Her name is not an oxymoron, it is an euphemism.
  • Fuchsia from Sinfest, though she had a short period of Yandere.
  • Hinted at with The Little Girl and "Mr. Duck" from Johnny Optimism.
  • Bangladesh Du Pree of Girl Genius. Smokin' hot? Check. Buttfuck-insane murderous pirate queen farming out her sadistic tendencies to an employer inclined to use them constructively? Checkaroonie. Perky and nonchalant about the whole business? Check, check, a thousand times check.


Web Original[edit | hide]


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Ren from The Ren and Stimpy Show definitely IS this trope. Your mileage may vary on the cuteness, due to the often grotesque art style of the show, but he IS a rather cute little chihuaua with big eyes... who's also prone to psychotic breakdowns and acts of uncontrollable violence.
  • Terra from Teen Titans is somewhat like this. She seems friendly, funny, and kind, although her Dark and Troubled Past has saddled her with destructive tendencies that can, and if helped along by Slade, will, manifest as homicidal psycopathy. Her switch from a cool gal-pal to Slade's Apocalypse Maiden was astoundingly dark, given the show's track record at the time.
  • Jodi from Titan Maximum is showing signs of being this.
  • Flippy of Happy Tree Friends could be seen as this, as he's calm and sweet one moment, but the minute something triggers him (in his case memories of fighting in the W.A.R.), whether it be something like balloons popping, the sight of a knife, fire, a woodpecker, or an airplane, he goes all Axe Crazy and starts killing people rather brutally with a huge Slasher Smile on his face. These swings are a result of PTSD.
  • Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time is not only a Lady of War; she's a Science Hero who's capable of resurrecting the dead—and she's completely adorable to boot. However, she does not have a Berserk Button—she has a berserk keyboard, and she will go Laughing Mad Ax Crazy on you if you happen to hit a button. Usually though? She's genuinely very nice.
    • Flame Princess is far worse, since she has a Hair-Trigger Temper and she's destructivly powerful (capable of setting entire kingdoms ablaze) and she's evil; she could get mad at any time. But when she's not mad, she's really cute.
  • Fluttershy, the shyest, sweetest, one of the most precious of the ponies in Equestria... until you refuse her offer of friendship.
    • Compare sweet Fluttershy to FlutterRage
      • Fluttershy seems to be getting a little better about her anger issues, but she still has some seriously deep-seated anxiety issues due to childhood bullies...
    • Pinkie Pie's fragile Genki Girl facade will rapidly crumble into something resembling the depressive half of bipolar disorder and borderline schizophrenia if you so much as suggest that you're tired of hanging out with her. It kind of makes one wonder why she's like that in the first place.
      • A popular fan-theory is that parties are her way of validating herself. If you don't like her parties, you must not like her.
    • And then there's Cute Bookworm Twilight Sparkle, who often seems like the Only Sane Pony...most of the time, at least.

"HIII, GIRRRRRLS!"

  • Codename: Kids Next Door: Numbuh Three, when you get her angry enough.. Her little sister is even worse.
  • "Nobody ever suspects the BUTTERFLY!" - Bart Simpson on why he wants to be reincarnated as a Butterfly.
  • Toki Wartooth, Dethklok's adorably immature rhythm guitarist, has what could be called an unconventional mental state. Sometimes, this manifests as pastel-colored acid-trip musical numbers. Unfortunately, he also has substantial anger management issues, particularly when the show's been putting him through a round of Break the Cutie.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog had an episode with an Ax Crazy duckling that gave off the appearance of being adorable. It was rather attached to Eustace, though, in a sort of Yandere but not romantic way.
  • Kaeloo. While her Jekyll-and-Hyde-esque split personalities physically differ (cute, innocent frog and violent tower of toad muscle respectively), they overlap so heavily in the later episodes that some scenes give off the impression that at times Hyde Plays Jekyll.
  • Family Guy:
    • Played for laughs with Stewie Griffin, a one-year-old homicidal mad genius.
    • Joan is shown to be very sweet and she falls in love with Quagmire. The two were set to be married, but when Quagmire went to express his doubts, Joan does a complete 180 in her mannerisms and threatens to kill herself and Quagmire.
  • Izzy from Total Drama is this in spades. In Revenge of the Island, Zoey is this and Beware the Nice Ones personified after she's pushed too far.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Aang. A sweet, cheerful twelve-year-old boy—unless he's in the Avatar State...
    • Azula, a sociopathic, unstable, and terrifyingly powerful fourteen-year-old girl.


Real Life[edit | hide]



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