Cuteness Proximity

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My bro-in-law is a tough rancher and he turned into a total cream puff when his daughter brought a kitten home.
MavenOTF of YouTube (in the comments section of this video)

The closer a character is to something cute, the more likely Cuteness Overload will happen. Get close enough and, if the character has any susceptibility to Cuteness Overload at all, it is certain to happen.

You have a character who's a normal, perfectly sensible, maybe even slightly uptight person. Then they are presented with a puppy/kitten/baby/whatever, and they suddenly turn into a tower of jelly, going "Whosa cutie? Whosa cutie? You are, you are, yes you are. Da cute widdle thing you are, you... (devolves into gibberish)".

Dignity goes flying out the window. Often strikes The Comically Serious, helping to make them seem Not So Above It All. Also a good way to show that a Badass character is a big softie at heart.

Sometimes, Cuteness Proximity leads to a desire to take the subject of cuteness home and call him "George"... Well, maybe not George... If someone tries to take advantage of this to get a date, the trope's called Animal Chick Magnet.

Definitely Truth in Television. See also Cute Kitten and Precious Puppy. When the animal is far more dangerous than cute, but gets someone squeeing anyway, that person may be a Fluffy Tamer. Compare Delicious Distraction. See Distracted by the Sexy for the sexy, human variant.

Examples of Cuteness Proximity include:

Advertising[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Several years back, there was an ad campaign for Beggin' Strips dog treats that had several people giving the treats to their pets. As their dogs cutely ate them, they basically dissolved into baby-talk and cute overload.
  • A woman and man do this in a McCain commercial... to a bag of baby peas. Cue raspberries and the inevitable cooing. Ick.


Anime & Manga[edit | hide]

  • Bleach
    • Occurs during the Bount arc in the anime version. When a decision needs to be made about which person each of the three mod souls would be paired with, Rukia (the possessor of a long standing rabbit obsession) positively melts over the plushie (a rabbit-like purse) inhabited by Kurodo.
    • The scene where Ishida Uryuu is giggling over a butterfly that randomly flew by. Surprisingly not as out of character as one might think. Granted, he's being held in a prison cell at the time, so it would have been nice to see something like a butterfly.
    • Rukia shows her love of bunnies again in chapter 464, when she has to fight Riruka in a place full of plushies. Several of these are bunny-shaped. This happens. And in a subversion... in 469 this proves to be a flaw. Rukia cannot really concentrate in her fight due to the adorableness of the plushies, which gives Riruka a chance to attack.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
    • Roy Mustang apparently had this occur over dogs. Although, he states that he likes dogs because you can "Be a jerk to them and they won't complain and they never once beg for a paycheck!"

"Well, you're awfully manic today, sir"

    • Also, Al's reaction to kittens, while in character, probably counts, especially as he looks scary.
    • When Scar (that's right, SCAR) first gets a look at Xiao May the panda, he's so overcome with cute he wants to pet it! It was only shown once in an easy-to-miss scene in show, and once in a non-canon "4-Koma Theater" episode, but it's still freaking funny.
    • Maes Hughes was regularly seen bragging about his cute daughter Elicia (After being exposed to her cuteness, Winry has similar symptoms)

"Yep, you're the same as ever, Major, nice and insane."

    • And about his wife Gracia, too, although less frequently.
    • Winry has exactly the same reactions at the sight of well-done automails and mechanical supplies. The start of episode 11 of Brotherhood shows this very well.
  • Inubaka: When Suguri started passing out fliers for Woofles, Noa helps out. She goes over to two tough looking guys, who ask Suguri menacingly if it's her dog. Suguri nervously replies it's the shop's...cue 'here boy's and 'aww, he's so cute's.
  • Azumanga Daioh
  • Shinra, dignified Sugar and Ice mistress of They Are My Noble Masters melts into a Squeeing ditz at the mere sight of baby pandas.
  • Badass Demon Butler Sebastian in Black Butler adores cats.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia
  • Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple
    • Miu Fuurinji and Kisara Nanjo absolutely adore cats. Kisara especially to the extent that she adapts cat-based movements into her Tae Kwon Do fighting style, which another character promptly calls Nya Kwon Do.
    • Shigure also had this reaction... to a tank.
  • Oboro Kashiwagi in Zettai Karen Children really likes baby seals.
  • Kaido Kaoru of The Prince of Tennis. While he doesn't quite "disintegrate into a pile of gloop", the most antisocial member of the team attempting to play with a cat while still coming off as intense and a little scary was hilarious in its own right.
  • RahXephon's Haruka Shitow takes all but two seconds to shift from, "One more step and I'll shoot!" to "Daaaaaw, it's so CUTE! can we keep it? Pwetty pwease?" upon encountering a stray cat in the third episode. An especially good scene, because in those two seconds she mentally jumps 12 years back in time... and into a completely different dynamic. Ayato has NO idea what's going on.
  • Pokémon
    • Misty slips into this when a stray Teddiursa wanders into their camp and looks her in the eyes. Of course, once they find out it's been scarfing down all their food behind their backs and making Ash's Totodile take the heat for it, the little thing seems much less cute. Even better: it continues to try to invoke this trope after it evolves into the much more feral-looking Ursaring.
    • The other girls have their moments too—May over a Skitty and Dawn for Pachirisu. Jessie was charmed by the cuteness of both as well, though failed to get either Pokémon.
    • Marilyn, a one-off character in the episode "Battling a Cute Drama", to a truly ridiculous extent. Brock is annoyed to no end by it.
    • The first thing Ash ever said about Pikachu was "It's so cute!" (He was then promptly electrocuted.)
    • Pokémon Black and White
      • Iris has a Cuteness Proximity over Pikachu when they first met. She is so busy genki-ing out over the thing that she doesn't notice she was holding him too hard. That is, until he got his point across in his own inimitable fashion.
      • She didn't have much luck with cute mons besides her partner... until Lenora's Lillipup showed up, all too happy to be played with before battle. Even Ash fell victim to the little puppy!
      • Bianca has her moments as well.
  • Hanaukyo Maid Tai: Konoe Tsurugi, normally a stoic Badass that speaks in a deep and quiet scary tone, starts gushing whenever she sees a puppy. She eventually gets her own.
  • Lucky Star
    • Kagami admits that she gets this way around goldfish. Konata immediately mocks her for it.
    • Also, Konata and virtual pets.
    • Also, Yutaka and Minami's dog, Cherry... know what? A LOT of examples are found in this show.
  • One Piece
  • The Puchuus in Excel Saga are an alien race that are able to conquer planets because no one can resist their cuteness. Oddly, it seems only men are affected, though the only women we ever see them encounter are a really crazy girl and the only serious person in the whole show.
  • Yuno of Hidamari Sketch stops in the scavenger hunt to pet the dog, and even petted drawing brushes when she thought of the animals the bristles came from.
  • Given that Princess Tutu's Fakir is far nicer and affectionate to small, fuzzy animals than he is to any human being (including the very same small, fuzzy animal in human form), we can probably say he's afflicted with some level of Cuteness Proximity
  • Examined in Super Cruel and Terrible Tales of Mangaka. A young mangaka is very passionate about gory, gruesome manga, and is very, very happy in terms of success. However, when his wife gives birth to a daughter, this trope settles in, and the quality of his manga fades and eventually gets canceled. ("I don't need status or glory, or money or life, as long as I have Nunuko!")
  • While not one to just out and scream "KITTY!", the normally serious and stoic Ai Haibara from Detective Conan is vulnerable to this around animals, her partner and snark-buddy Conan wastes no time cracking a joke at how she looked 100% like a little girl.
  • Amusingly, Minatsuki of Deadman Wonderland has a moment of this towards an armadillo. She looks like she's actively trying to fight it.
  • Ando, from Choco Mimi may look tough, but he has a soft spot for cute animals, especially Picho, his pet bird. Worth noting is that he once randomly hugged Jin simply because Jin was wearing a raincoat that made him resemble Picho.
  • Yuiko from the manga Beast Master takes this Up to Eleven whenever she sees a cute animal, such as a dog or a cat, and even birds.
  • Little Sister Misaka in To Aru Majutsu no Index, though it's slightly more subtle due to her normal inexpressive personality. The clearest example, though, can be seen when she is helping take some cans back to Touma's apartment and runs into Himegami and Index taking care of Sphinx, and the entire time her eyes are twitching back and forth, following the cat's tail. She even has little blush stickers on her face!
  • Heartcatch Pretty Cure has Myoudoin Itsuki, whose mature and reserved facade instantly crumbles at the sight of cute dolls or frilly clothing. She initially tries to hide this habit, out of concern for her image, but she's slowly getting better.
  • At one point during Digimon Tamers, Tally and Riley pick up a strong Digimon signal... only to look down and see that Calumon's wandering around the control room. Riley basically ignores him, but Tally immediately notes how cute he is. Many viewers agreed with her.

Calumon: Calumon, zoom zoom, here a zoom, there a zoom! Calumon, zoom zoom, NO UNDERWEAR, ZOOM!

  • In one episode of Chi's Sweet Home, Chi sneaks into Dad's bag when he goes to meet his bosses at work, and she comes out when he's presented with sample food (he's a designer). Instantly, The Comically Serious starts petting and speaking Baby Talk to Chi.
  • Takanashi of Working!! takes this to Distracted By the Shiny levels, even being distracted from his date because a couple of puppies are walking by.
  • When Mizuno is introduced in Star Driver, she follows the drama club's fox kit mascot Vice to the clubroom, entranced by his cuteness.
  • Ryuugu Rena from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. She's known to go "Hauuuuuu~ omochikaerii!!" on anything.
  • An early episode of Sailor Moon featured a plot to drain people through adorable little pets. When close enough to them, their pheromones trigger this result in anyone. Luna realizes the whole thing is off when Usagi and Shingo are so enamored with the creatures that they actually yell and kick at her if she tries to come close to them.
  • All the girls from Hayate the Combat Butler fall into this for Shiranui, who then uses it to play Cats Are Mean to the hilt and pass the blame. Even Hinagiku falls into this, though it's more blatant in extra material.
  • Syaoran's older sisters who appear in the 1st Cardcaptor Sakura movie. They gush over Sakura and Tomoyo... until Touya and Yukito arrive, at which point they switch to gushing over the guys. (Syaoran is exasperated by this.)
  • Ilyasviel von Einzbern from Fate Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya has this to maids of all things! Or rather, anything that resembles a maid...
  • Asobi Ni Iku Yo has a Ninja Maid named Sarah who reportedly made it into the SAS but washed out soon after due to her love of small, cute things. Her current employer is a girl who runs a cult dedicated to worshipping cat-people.
  • Junji Ito puts his own distinctive spin on the idea in in Ito Junji no Neko Nikki.
  • This is largely driving the plot in Mao-chan, with 8-year-old Mao-chan and her friends the only ones not affected by the super-cute aliens trying to destroy the Earth.
  • In episode 3 of Kuroshitsuji II, Ciel turns to talk to Sebastian, who's normally cold and composed...only to find him fawning over a group of cats with an awestruck expression on his face.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • In an issue of She Hulk, the title character visits a prison where supervillains are shrunk down before they are incarcerated. She starts cooing when she sees the tiny Wrecking Crew.

She-Hulk: Who's the cutest little Wrecking Crew? You are! Yes you are!


Comic Strips[edit | hide]

  • Baby Blues
    • In one of the early Sunday strips, Daryl and Zoe are passing by a fat construction worker, who's yelling over the noise of a jackhammer and swearing like a sailor... Until he spots Zoe in her little stroller, undergoes a complete Personality Shift, and coos to her like a mother. In Daryl's words to her, "How do you do that??"
    • An early story arc revolves around Daryl suddenly finding himself unable to stop using baby talk. Wanda digs up a baby book which explains that this condition is commonly brought on by babies' cuteness and recommends "exposure to the baby during peak non-cute periods" as the cure.

Daryl: Wot's dat 'posed to mean?
Wanda: It means you get the night shift, Tweety Bird.

  • An entire Bloom County story arc consisted of Oliver making contact with a race of aliens planning to enslave much of Earth's human populace. Now they may have had flying saucers with lasers and the like on them, but their biggest advantage by far over the humans was that all of them took on the shape of puppies with big innocent eyes. Said arc was making a serious political statement about how Oliver North was handled with kid gloves at a Congressional hearing.
  • Bo from Bo Nanas once asked his roommate to put him on a leash as they went outside, trying to make a message on how wrong it was for him to be constrained as a mere "cute" animal. Naturally, once they begin their stroll, every stranger they encounter can't help but gush and babytalk him. "... Well, you are cute." "It's my curse."


Fan Works[edit | hide]

Marik: I shall defeat you and then conquer the world! Ahahahaha, Ahaha! Oh, hey, look, a bird! Isn't it just the cutest little guy? I mean, No! I-In my new world, all birds shall be enslaved! Especially this one, and he shall be named, Mr. Tweetums! For it is very evil! Ahahahahaha! Now be gone, Mr. Tweetums! I am trying to stalk my nemesis!

    • And later in Episode 43 even his evil alter ego, Melvin, is shown to have a soft spot for the bird.

Melvin: I hate to burst your bubble but there's no-one in my head worth remembering... NO! Mr. Tweetums! I can't forget about him!

  • When Kyon sees Hanyuu in Kyon: Big Damn Hero, he has to resist commenting on how cute she looks.
  • Played with in Turnabout Storm. At first instance Fluttershy is intimidated by Phoenix Wright, but later she hears his first name and thinks he's an actual phoenix, making her warm up to him.
    • Played straight with Apple Bloom; the Judge thinks she's the cutest thing he's ever seen and he becomes very protective of her while she's on the witness stand, much to Phoenix's disadvantage.
  • In the The First Guardian, Ichigo's (and later Rukia's) reaction to Ururu.

"How do I resist hugging her to death?"


Films -- Animation[edit | hide]

Shrek: ... I mean how many cats can wear boots? Honestly?

Random Human: BEAT IT, STUPID CAT! (throws frying pan)


Literature[edit | hide]

  • In The Dresden Files, the current Archive is a human girl named Ivy with magical access to everything ever recorded by humanity, as well as the combined memories of all previous Archives. She is articulate, mature and scarily powerful, and when she states that if Dresden backs out of his duel she'll take it personally and kill him, Dresden realizes she is fully capable of doing so without breaking a sweat. But when Dresden's cat Mister suddenly appears, she shouts "KITTY!" and starts playing with him, making you realize she's still a 7-year-old girl. Her bodyguard (a Half-Human Hybrid Heroic Sociopath Combat Pragmatist with a thing for explosions)'s reaction to this: "Now that is scary." Mister is the size of a small tiger and isn't above pushing Harry around, but he seems to quite like Ivy. Maybe a little of this goes both ways.
  • Discworld
    • Lord Vetinari's usually very reserved aunt Lady Roberta Meserole does this whenever her lapcat is around—as does Vetinari with his own dog to a lesser extent. When we see teenage Vetinari (i.e., before he gets the dog), he finds his aunt's devotion to her cat extremely irritating. He also thinks that if she's going to have a pet, it should be a long-haired white cat which she could stroke in a sinister way.
    • Nanny Ogg as well. She does this with babies (many of which, in Lancre at least, are her descendants) and with her evil one-eyed demon cat Greebo.
    • Due to male and female dwarfs looking alike, Sam Vimes is still not sure how many of each he employs. Until his infant son is brought to the Watch House, and half of them can't help but fawn over him.
    • Even Granny Weatherwax's hard outer shell softens around the kitten she named You. She places her on her head, under her hat; she claims it's to keep her head warm, but really, is anyone buying that?
  • In the short story "Hell in a Handbasket", any demon who comes across the baby in the story is forced to do this, whether it being intentional (Vassago), to being physically unable to harm the child and forced to talk in baby talk (Harpy).
  • An entry in Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul features the author (a new cat owner) fearing she's become "one of those people" who use baby talk on their pets. Naturally she succumbs to it in the end.
  • French writer and journalist Robert Beauvais provided a humorous study of the language used by dog-owners, which he dubbed "le kiskose chien-chien" ("the doggy-doggy whatchaspeak"), in Le Français kiskose (1975).


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Mystery Science Theater 3000
    • In the episode Colossus Against the Headhunters, this is the reason for Nummy Muffin CoocolButter's existence. Dr. F's idea is that everyone who comes in contact with Nummy will be so overcome by his cuteness that Dr. F will be able to take over the world. This works on Mike, although the 'bots are only annoyed by Nummy and his constant shedding. But when Mike notices that Frank and Nummy miss each other, he sends Nummy back to Deep 13, and Dr. F falls into his own trap.
    • A minor Running Gag has the guys react to any dog appearing in the movie they're watching by cooing "Puppy!" and trying to get its attention. Even if it's supposed to be the monster of the film.
  • Arrogant, Narcissistic painter Olivier in Six Feet Under turns to pudding when he meet Brenda's baby.
  • Scrubs
    • Kelso laughs at Elliot's attempts to be unfeminine by saying that as soon as the "stork comes calling" she'll be gushing "look at the baby!" like all of the other female doctors in OB/GYN and Pediatrics. She denies it, but when she actually sees the baby...
    • The same thing happens in a later episode when she and her friend Melody are shrieking with joy (to such a degree that in J.D.'s fantasy they are actually blowing people away). Showing them a picture of Turk's daughter Izzy immediately turns their screams into "Aww"s.
  • The Colbert Report: Stephen Colbert normally hates and fears bears The Godless Killing Machines, but pictures of cute little bear cubs invariably send him into hopeless Baby Talk. An attempt to de-cuteinize one cub failed when putting the cub's face on bin Laden's body just made terrorism adorable.
  • Soap
    • We're not exactly sure how to spell the string of gibberish that Burt Campbell spouted off whenever he was faced with his granddaughter Wendy. The letter "L" would definitely be used heavily, though.
    • Burt's son Chuck&Bob (Chuck was a ventriloquist), who was Wendy's step-uncle, would stick Bob's head up close to hers and go "WenyWenyWenyWenyWeny! WenyWenyWenyWenyWeny!" while shaking his head back and forth. Chuck is usually slightly embarrassed by Bob's behavior.
  • The straight-laced businessmen on The Fast Show, who get soppy over calenders with cute puppies on them and excited when they're allowed into the cockpit of a plane.
  • Star Trek
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation

Data: He will need to be fed once a day. He prefers feline supplement number 25.
Worf: I understand.
Data: And he will require water, and you must provide him with a sandbox, and you must talk to him. Tell him he is a pretty cat, and a good cat...
Worf: I will feed him.

    • It seems to be sort of an unspoken rule in Star Trek... If you're supposedly emotionless, you have to love small furry creatures, especially if they're cats.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: In one episode, O'Brian is bringing his baby son to work because if he sets the child down, he'll start wailing. At the end the baby grows out of this, falling asleep in his carrier. Sisko tells O'Brian to take a few days off, then reminds every female officer in Ops (including Dax and Kira) that they have jobs to do.
  • Leo distracts Margaret with this in The West Wing.

Margaret: Did you tell the Counsel's office that they would be in on the 10 o'clock?
Leo: I may have.
Margaret: (miffed) That's really something that you want to tell me.
Leo: (showing photograph) Here, it's a baby and a new mother. Look at that for a minute.
Margaret: (reacts in traditional manner)

  • Lampshaded quite neatly on Friends when Joey gets a dog. When Rachel sees the dog, she dissolves into Baby Talk, par for the course as far as this trope goes. She then realizes it, and says to the dog, still in Baby Talk mode, "I really have to stop talking like this before my board meeting, yes I do! Yes I do!"
  • Daisy does this a lot with her dog Colin in Spaced. Downstairs neighbour Brian attempts to talk to the dog in a normal and reasonable tone (after inadvertently sitting on him) but this proves unsatisfying to Daisy, who forces him to adopt a cutesy and high-pitched voice when talking to the dog for no readily explainable reason.
  • Subverted and Lampshaded by Roz in Frasier when Frasier attempts to get her to adopt a puppy.

Roz: (cooing) Oh, he's adorable! Oh, come here, little fella! Oh. Aren't you the cutest little thing? Oh, yeah. Give me a kiss. Give me a kiss. Oh! I love you too. (shoves the puppy back to Frasier, harshly) There. Happy now?
Frasier: (aghast) Roz, how can you just toss him aside after such a tender display of affection?
Roz: I do it with men, too.

  • Mash: Charles Winchester reacts this way to the half-Korean, half-American Door Step Baby that gets temporarily taken into the camp while they searched for a proper home for her. And this was Charles.
  • Dr. Talbot on Mercy reacts this way to a kitten she finds under a car. Her accent makes it all the more hilarious.

Gillian: Ooooh look, it's a poor little stray urchin!

  • Doctor Who
    • The Doctor does this sometimes with K-9.
    • And on at least one occasion, with kittens.
    • And Ace's mum when she was still a baby.
    • And at least once, himself.
    • And flying alien fish, to the point of talking Baby Talk to them.
    • In "Closing Time", he gets Craig to bring his baby son with them when they investigate the alien-menace-of-the-week. His reasoning is that people are friendlier to someone with a baby, which is the same reason he travels with non-Time Lords.

"So I'm your baby?"
"You're my baby!"

  • In Monty Python's Flying Circus, a woman affected by this trope, and babbling appropriately, makes the mistake of removing the baby's pacifier. Everyone in the room is sucked into the vortex.
  • How I Met Your Mother
    • One episode had Marshall, Lily, and (eventually) Robin, and Barney gushing over a baby's sock.
    • Worse yet, the tea cup pig wrapped in a blanket. Just watch Great music at the end there.
  • On Bones, Dr Temperance Brennan suffers from a modified version of this. Although initially a bit uncomfortable interacting with an abandoned baby she and Booth found during a case, she is soon cooing and playing with it—in a very Bones fashion. In one memorable bit that she repeats in later interactions with babies in the series, she wiggles her fingers in the baby's face (to its delight) while chanting "Dancing phalanges! Dancing phalanges!"
  • Russel Howards' opinion on the subject.
  • In the Season Six Halloween Episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Willow's rant about witch stereotypes is cut short when she notices the utterly adorable four-year-old in a witch costume. She pretty much melts.
  • Conan O'Brien had a wildlife expert on as a guest, and completely lost it when he brought out the coyote puppy. As the animal guy was trying to explain they're "less friendly than dogs and wolves" Conan was rubbing his cheek on it. Then it licked him. Then he licked it back. The bear cub did not quite elicit the same reaction, as it was trying to claw him to death...
  • On Parks and Recreation everyone in Pawnee, including (make that especially) the ultra-manly Ron Swanson, is enamoured of Lil Sebastian, a miniature horse considered a local celebrity. The only one in the cast who isn't is Ben, who just sees a small horse who doesn't do anything (To be fair, he is from out of town). When Sebastian dies, his funeral becomes a major event, and even Ron is moved to tears for, he claims, only the second time in his entire life.
  • On the Animal Planet Heroes programs, the officers rescuing animals will often baby talk them.
  • Even characters on Veronica Mars periodically degenerate into a mushpile after they get to know the "ferocious pitbull" called Backup.
  • The gruff and withdrawn Nathan Wournos from Haven pretty much turns into another person around babies.
  • Supernatural: Dean's theory why his brother is so much better in convincing people of the crazy, spooky ghost hunting stuff is based on comparison of Sam to a big puppy. (well, at least in the first few seasons.) Thus reducing the unwitting civilians not necessarily to a melting mass of Baby Talk but getting them to listen to them. Which is definitely more helpful.
  • When Avril Lavigne appeared on Australian talk show Rove Live to promote her then-new album Let Go, she was quite subdued for most of the interview... until Rove brought out a koala.
  • The performers on Whose Line Is It Anyway may kid around a lot, but they are, to this day, 100% consummate professionals. And then Lassie shows up as the subject of a Duet, and Brad and Wayne (and especially Ryan in the back) just devolve into puddles of joy.


Music[edit | hide]

  • French singer Richard Gotainer wrote a whole song -- "Le Youki"—in baby talk, precisely to mock this habit of dog owners. You can find the clip there (and you probably don't need to understand French to get the gist of it). Warning: Ear Worm (and slightly NSFW too).


New Media[edit | hide]


Pro Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • Lucy the Bulldog. She was the pet of Triple H, and he walks on screen, picks her up above his head, and says something along the lines of "Schnuzzywuzzywoofle". Funnier than it sounds. Woulda been even funnier if Lucy hadn't been upstaging the guy HHH was theoretically feuding with, Chris Jericho.
  • Pepper. Al Snow, he who carried around a mannequin head named Head, had lost Head. He found a little chihuahua to replace him. Al brings the dog out for one of his matches and leaves him in the care of announcer Jim Ross. Ross quickly became more interested in the dog than the match, and was very displeased with how much the loud crowd scared the dog. Pepper was almost immediately thereafter retired from television -- by being kidnapped, cooked and fed to poor Al by the Big Bossman.
  • Happened again with Rene Dupree's poodle, Fifi. Ross would talk about how terrified the dog was (Dupree being a heel) but whenever the camera was on her, she'd be stood on her hind legs, happily being fed popcorn by fans.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Super Robot Wars Judgment has Bonta-kun, a mecha that was already cute in its source canon. And, while it's a surprisingly decent if not outstanding combat unit, it's defining trait is causing many villain characters from other series to find it adorable. In fact, it's ability to induce Cuteness Proximity is so pronounced it can even affect Rau Le Creuset.
  • Chibiterasu, the protagonist of Okamiden. Full stop. I mean come on, even SAKUYA melts when she sees him. To be fair, anyone would melt.
  • Tales (series)
    • Tear Grants of Tales of the Abyss did this, although to a slightly lesser extent: She didn't completely lose her dignity, but cute things at first were the only indicators of her softer side. She shows it more in the anime adaption.
    • Radiant Mythology have her do this on... Eugene Gallardo, claiming him to be big, fluffy and cute.
    • Presea (and, to a lesser extent, Regal) from Tales of Symphonia seems to have a great fondness for poking paw pads.
  • Princess Sapphire from Disgaea 3 has a thing for anything "cutesy". Like, for example, Raspberyl. One instance in the main story had a teddy bear out in the middle of Team Mao's path. Almaz rushes out ahead of Sapphire to pick up the bear, only to get jabbed by the trap inside and subsequently cursed to die. The trap had her name on it, he knew it, and he went to intercept it anyway.
  • BlazBlue
    • Noel Vermillion is a somewhat incompetent but serious minded officer for the NOL, the government which rules BlazBlue's world. But when put in close proximity to a panda, well, this happens.
    • Litchi tends to get a little too friendly when she's drunk. Put a girl near her and this and this and even this happens.
    • Makoto also suffers from chronic Cuteness Proximity. Put cute kid Carl next to her and this happens.
    • Makoto's also on the receiving end of this trope in Arcade mode. Post-combat commentary from Ragna, Noel, Platinum, and Taokaka all show how irresistable her tail is to them.
    • Also, in one episode of Teach Me, Miss Litchi!:

Makoto: Hey, look who's here, it's Tao! Aren't you just adorable? Yes you are, yes you are!
Taokaka: Furry tail girl! Your tail is so fluffy today too! Furry furry furry furry furry ooooh...
Litchi: You two are like animals.
Noel: (Heart Symbol) ... Aaaaah...

    • The funniest example is a young Ragna descending into this upon meeting Jubei. This was before he became the pissed-off Good Is Not Nice Anti-Hero we know today, but still...

Ragna: You're a kitty! A big fluffy kitty!

Edy: What about the time Marina went running off after that puppy?
Marina: ... So cute...

  • NPC banter in Dragon Age: Origins has Leliana teasing big stoic Sten.

Leliana: I saw you playing with that kitten and dangling string for it.
Sten: I was helping it to train.
Leliana: I knew it, you're just a big softie.
Sten: Stop saying that.
Leliana: Softie!!
Sten: I hate humans.

    • And from the Awakening expansion, you can get a kitten as an inventory item. Click it, and Anders the mage coos "Whooo's a pretty kitty?" and similar bits of cuteness overload.
  • Touka from Utawarerumono, melts when the weasel... rabbit... Nidoran thing that lives with Aruru gets near and does a poor job disguising it.
  • In the Jak and Daxter series, Daxter seems to have this effect on Tess, and it later gets upgraded to Sickeningly Sweethearts.
  • In Planescape: Torment the protagonist can find an action figure. One dialogue branch regarding the "toy" has the protagonist devolve into an excited little child detailing the adventures of the heroic figure. At least one of your sidekicks severely disagrees, after which the action figure "agrees" that he's a jerk.

Morte: I'm gonna smash that Modron cube to bits.
Nameless One: Did you hear anything, cube hero? Neither did I!


Visual Novels[edit | hide]


Web Animation[edit | hide]

Weiss: Are you telling me that this mangy... (the camera switches between Zwei and Weiss) drooling... mutt is gonna wiv wif us foweva? Oh yes he is, oh yes he is! Oh, isn't he adorable!


Web Comics[edit | hide]

Sniper Wolf: Aren't you ze cutest? Yes you are! Yes you are.
Berthold: Fantastic, she's a grandma.

  • In Freefall, upon first meeting Florence, an uplifted wolf, robots have a tendency to immediately shout "doggy!" Every robot. This is because they're not programmed witha proper greeting for Bowman's Wolves, so they have to use the first greeting she received after arriving on Jean... which came from Helix.
  • In Girl Genius, Agatha's little clanks can inspire this.
  • Pear-Shaped Comics had "talk to cat in a normal voice" challenge.

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Quite a few of the Let's Players own pets who like to vocalize or otherwise annoy their owners at an in-opportune time.
    • Lord Vega, for example, has had at least one Nightmare Fuel-laden blind run of Silent Hill interrupted by his cat.
    • Deceased Crab has had mixed reactions to his kitty peeking in on him during his recordings. From irritation ("Begone, kitty! I'm trying to Shadowrun!") to your basic "Aww, you're a good kitty". (And, of course, the one time he tried to get his cat to meow on cue, the cat refused to cooperate.)
    • Subverted in Let's Play Super Castlevania IV, where the apparent stimulus for Belmont killing Dracula was the death of his kitten, Fluffer Butter Waffle Nut. Naturally, the more the cat is discussed, the further into madness the speaker tends to descend...
    • HC Bailly tends to play a lot of games with cats in them. Perhaps the best example of this trope was in Let's Play Chrono Trigger when he started collecting cats and starting off several episodes with an excited "and we got another kitty! Yes! Yes!"
    • Frankomatic has his cat interrupt him during several inopportune moments during his LP's, most notably in Donkey Kong GB:

There's a cat jabbing its claws into my leg; let's see if that helps my playing ability any! Please stop, Tommy. [drops off a platform in the game] Oh God! Clearly it does not help my playing ability in the least! Do you see what you're doing to me, cat? Seriously, cut it out!

    • Chuggaaconroy has gotten distraced by his cats doing goofy or cute things in his Super Mario Sunshine LP.
    • Gronkh frequently parodies this in the interaction with his Minecraft dogs.
    • Roxy went into a coma due to Cuteness Proximity Overload at one point. This trope is her hat, the same way that being a gamer girl is Sammy's, being a rage-spewing badass is Misty's, being the Only Sane Man is Lady's, and being a sexy chick in a land full of rapey-rapeys is Roxy's cousin Foxy's.
  • That Guy With The Glasses
  • SCP Foundation: "SCP-2558-J has displayed the ability to distract people far more than merited by being kittens, even considering their anomalous abilities. Suggested reclassification as Euclid." An even greater sign of the power of cuteness in these things: after an experiment resulted in grenade versions of the kittens, there was a resolution signed to prevent further weaponization of the creatures. That's right, the SCP, a group that goes through expendable manpower like popcorn, refusing to let harm come to kittens.
  • Zomg Smells gives us Marmalade Tabby, which threatens to fall into this throughout, and finally does at the end.
  • Board James (and his co-host, "Motherfucker Mike") had this response when he first saw the Doggie Doo dog.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In an episode of The Simpsons where all the guys are in the Navy for some reason and their sub is filling up with water, their thoughts go to their loved ones and in Moe's thought balloon he's stroking his kitty and talking baby talk to it before angrily turning to the audience shouting, "What are YOU lookin' at!?"
  • Whenever Fred Flintstone, normally a rough-around-the-edges Ralph Kramden-type, sees his daughter Pebbles, he goes all sweet and cute Bumbling Dad and starts to gush about his "little Pebbly-poo".
  • King of the Hill: Hank Hill has a mild case of this for his dog Ladybird. While an old dog, she is one of the few living things that the emotionally repressed Hank will show open and adoring affection and emotion for. Also his father Cotton, a gruff misogynist even more emotionally closed off than Hank, is similarly adoring of his baby boy Good Hank.
  • The series of Chuck Jones cartoons with Marc Anthony and Pussyfoot, starting with Feed the Kitty, are fueled by this trope. Big, gruff bulldog Marc Anthony completely melts before adorable kitty Pussyfoot and becomes a staunch protector of the naïve kitten. Honestly, who wouldn't?
  • On The Penguins of Madagascar, the penguins were tasked with hatching an egg. Most of them don't last very long before succumbing to their brooding instinct despite their leader's insistence that they think manly thoughts. Then again, they may have been doing just that—as Kowalski points out, "incubation is a guy thing for penguins". Cuteness Proximity comes up again in the episode "Cute-astrophe", when Private discovers how to turn his own cuteness up to 132%, which makes people faint on sight.
  • On The Venture Brothers, a lot of cats pounce on Dr. Orpheus in one episode, leading him to giggle and say "They smell my cat!"
  • In The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, the dog in the episode "Rye Ruv Roo" does a back flip and K'Nuckles says "OOOH" in slow-motion.
  • Ugly Americans. A werewolf was on trial for tearing a man's arm off, and there was very clear evidence of what he did. The werewolf had a giant baby as a lawyer though, who's only defense was taking a giant bowl of spaghetti and dumping it on his head like a baby does. The judge thought it was adorable and dismissed the charges.
  • It is a weakness of Word Girl in one episode, in which a villain called "The Butcher" (who is just a guy obsessed with meat) owns a kitten and discover that whenever WordGirl gets close to the cute kitty, she gets distracted. Justified since that WordGirl is a little girl.
  • Futurama
    • Weaponized by the natives of Thuban 9, or as we call them, housecats. They intentionally utilize cuteness proximity to control the minds of the cast.
    • When someone devolves into baby talk around Nibblonians they tend to get rather irritated, though if Nibbler is any clue some actually develop a taste for that kind of treatment.
    • The mission to get honey from Space Bees in the episode "The Sting" would have gone without a hitch, had Leela not seen that baby queen bee and decided to take it with her (she had a good reason to, however).

Leela: Aw, she's so cute! You adorable wittle, itty-bitty, fuzzy-wuzzy--
Fry: Leela! Stop bonding and let's go! I got jelly in my underpants!

  • Happens to Prowl, of all people, in Transformers Animated. In one episode they get turned into humans -- you couldn't see that coming, could you? At one point they end up eating in Burger Bot, and Prowl plays Peek-A-Boo with a baby. It's adorable, but it never really happened... bummer.
  • On Jimmy Two Shoes, this happens to Twinkles, a Unicorn, to the point where even Heloise is effected. Tha catch is that Twinkles is an Omnicidal Maniac that makes repeated threats that no one takes seriously, until he finally gives up and leaves.
  • In her introductory scene in My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, Fluttershy is a complete Shrinking Violet, her attempts to introduce herself growing more squeaky and whispered when Twilight Sparkle tries to press her for her name. That is until she catches sight of Twilight's baby dragon Spike. She opens up immediately and carries on a conversation with Spike all the way back into town, which Twilight had to interrupt once they reached her home.
    • As seen in the episode "Baby Cakes", Pinkie Pie's usual response to Cuteness Proximity is an urge to burst into song—even in the neonatal wing of the Ponyville hospital.
  • Happens in a Freakazoid! episode, only the animal is rabid. Freakazoid names him "Foamy".
  • Invader Zim tries to weaponize this trope by turning a hamster into a giant monster. It does work, as the military is too busy gushing to fight back... but "Ultra Peepy" won't follow Zim's commands.
  • The Phineas and Ferb episode "Meapless in Seattle" features "cutonium", a substance which renders the drinker hypnotically, irresistibly cute, inducing effects of this kind in anyone who sees them. When Mitch drinks it, Meap warns everyone to cover their eyes. Phineas...doesn't, and he's basically incapacitated until Isabella snaps him out of it.

Phineas: Aww! They're blasting away at each other with really cute death rays!


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • On The X Factor and American Idol, Simon Cowell is seen to be affected by Cuteness Proximity. The Mean Brit is actually a vegetarian and animal lover, and his meanness fades away whenever any auditionee brings their pet dog into the audition room.
    • Happened again to Simon during auditions for Britain's Got Talent, when an little girl sang the most adorable rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", and he damn near cried. (It helped that the girl sang better than a lot of adults on the show.)
    • Whenever someone brings a dog, he usually ends up holding it in his lap. It's likely that there have been more than a few Genre Savvy contestants who have taken advantage of this.
  • Truth in Television: many people are quite fond of cute things.
  • Cute animals have been used to rehabilitate prisoners.
  • These cute tykes. Takes Children Are Innocent to a whole new level.
  • This video of two sea otters napping. While holding hands. Judging by the cooing in the background, everyone around is in dangerously close proximity.
  • This is a known phenomenon in the study of linguistics. It has been termed "motherese" (among others) but is known to happen to pretty much anyone holding a baby. There is a raft of theories as to why this happens.
  • This video.
  • This little fellow, who in the opinion of the guy playing with him, "looks like a little monkey".