Grotesque Cute

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(Tomo returns from a full throttle run around school in a cute cat costume)
Chiyo: Where did you go, Tomo?
Tomo: Advertising. I was sprinkling cuteness all over school.

Yomi: Topped off with a nice heavy dash of scary.
...and he kept stabbing them, again and again... He's a halfling, he's supposed to be jolly... Why isn't he jolly? WHY ISN'T HE JOLLY???

Generic Cuteness is taken for granted. You have all manner of strange things depicted as cute. But way past the vampire loli, you have the deliberately over-the-top depictions, where Sickeningly Sweet saccharine cuteness is depicted with wild, graphic violence.

For obvious reasons, these situations are more common in shows dabbling in satire.

See also: Enfant Terrible, Killer Rabbit, Girl with Psycho Weapon, Cute Monster Girl, Art Style Dissonance. Can be a pretty deep well of Nightmare Fuel. Based on the same principle as Fan Disservice.

Compare with Kawaisa.

Not to be confused with Ugly Cute or finding Joseph Merrick intensely lovable (see What Measure Is a Non-Cute?).

Examples of Grotesque Cute include:

Anime/Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Roman Dirge's comic book Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Max in Sam and Max Freelance Police—threatening cruel and unusual punishments while extolling his own "marketability".
  • Marvel Zombies Returns 1 has Zombie Spidey in a world that is like a late 60's- early 70's Spider Man comic. Everything's so happy UNTIL SPIDEY RIPS OUT KRAVENS THOAT WITH HIS TEETH!!
    • Everyone (except Zombie Spidey and Sandman) ends up infected and killed or just eaten alive.
      • It was awesome (give it a crown ;) ).

Fanfiction[edit | hide]

The Littlest Cancer Patient with mutated hands and teeth fit for tearing through raw meat was making low, growly sounds. She was also poking at her dairy products in dainty, neat motions. It was kind of adorable... in a freakish, disgusting way. Was there a word for that? Grotesque cute? Ugdorable?

Film[edit | hide]

Literature[edit | hide]

  • In Dean Koontz' book, Brother Odd, the title character encounters a manufactured animal who is the epitome of mindless cuteness. Mindless, in that it literally has no mind or soul and is therefore profoundly disturbing rather than cute.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The suicidally depressed giant teddy bear in the Supernatural episode "Wishing Well".
  • The puppets in the Angel episode "Smile Time".

Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

Video Games[edit | hide]

She wrenches open the lid of a nearby sarcophagus, and countless articles of stationery, toiletries, and household goods with her face on them pour out. My god, she's everywhere! Aargh!

    • In the Kingdom of Loathing universe, seals aren't adorable fuzzy flopping creatures as in real life; they're hideous, shambling, bloodsucking monstrosities that happen to look like adorable fuzzy flopping creatures, one of which looks more like a mutated leech than any land mammal. That said, one familiar you can acquire as a Seal Clubber is an Adorable Seal Larva, which intersperses descriptions of it sucking the blood from your opponent and bursting into an enemy's corpse so it can regurgitate a healing fluid into your body with gushing about how adorable the thing is.
  • Considering how cartoony the characters in the Metal Slug series are, some of them die in fairly bloody ways.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

"It only takes seven pounds of pressure to break a human skull... FROM THE INSIDE. Kisses now!"

  • Kiki playing with No Content from Sluggy Freelance: it gets bloody quick.
  • Ursula Vernon's Little Creature.
  • Charby the Vampirate is described as an ultra-violent Saturday morning cartoon, with adorable characters who will occasionally eviscerate or suffocate their many victims, brutally, with no Gory Discretion Shot. The combo is especially obvious with Mye, the zombie girl who smells sweet despite 315 years of decay, not to mention the unhealed slit in her chest where she got a sweet heart transplant. Her Evil Eye are bubblegum pink.
    • Mye isn't decaying,(she is a traditional zombie, not a Hollywood/Romero zombie)the sweet smell is candle wax and gummy bears, two things she spends a lot of time with. And her brother's eyes are pink, too!
  • Perry Bible Fellowship. Where to even begin?
  • Erfworld pretty much runs off this, with the incredibly cute and adorable-looking, child-like midgets engaged in brutal, unending wars for no real, discernible reason.
  • Double Happiness
  • Arcturus Winrock from Suicide for Hire is downright ADORABLE with those big Puppy Dog Eyes of his but he DOES have a dark side to him.....
  • Drowtales presents the amaceing Mili'ani!
  • The Unspeakable Vault of Doom is a Lighter and Softer look at the Cthulhu Mythos—for instance, its cartoonishly-drawn "Cthulhoo" says "yum yum" every time he eats an unfortunate cultist. But it's still the Cthulhu Mythos, and the gore factor actually goes up compared to Lovecraft's work. It'd be Mood Whiplash if the death and dismemberment weren't so heavily integrated into the comic alongside the silliness.
  • Nepeta Leijon from Homestuck qualifies for this. She's a Moe Catgirl who kills wild animals for food with her Wolverine Claws.
    • The other Trolls do as well, albeit to a lesser extent. This seems to be a fact of which they are both aware and proud, given that they decide to call themselves "Team Adorabloodthirsty."
    • Heck, Homestuck in general qualifies. It starts off simply being about a kid who is celebrating his thirteenth birthday by playing a new game. Then the game turns out to cause The End of the World as We Know It and summon monsters wearing jester hats to torment the protagonist, and it only gets worse from there on out. It becomes more clear later on, with Jack Noir slaughtering an entire army, a children's show's characters turning out to be representations of "horror terrors" and comic relief character Gamzee going Ax Crazy and deciding he needs to kill all his friends.
      • The diaries of Vriska's ancestor[1] suggest that this is not only normal, but expected and encouraged of trolls of Gamzee's rank; in troll society, such traits are considered the mark of strong leadership skills.
  • In an attempt to tone down the violence and make the strip more viewer friendly (or so we are told), Kagerou brings us "cute chibi blood".
  • Order of the Stick: The stick figure art makes everything look much cuter than it would in a more realistic style. And yet you still get characters like Xykon and Belkar and quite a bit of violence. In particular, Tsukiko sleeps with an adorable Xykon plushie, and Belkar is a fuzzy-footed halfling of chibi proportions who gleefully stabs everyone who crosses him or has something he wants.
  • Sonichu unintentionally falls into this. It looks a lot like something your seven year old child would draw, with creatures that are a combination of Sonic the Hedgehog and Pokémon, with an Author Avatar that is the mayor of the town and cartoon-y villains. However, it features graphic sex scenes and true to this trope, scenes where a bunch of Internet trolls are tortured to death, including one getting drilled in the groin by a little girl.

Web Original[edit | hide]

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Bambi Meets Godzilla.
  • The Happy Tree Friends, Retarded Animal Babies, anything by David Firth.
  • Elmyra Duff from Tiny Toon Adventures
  • South Park's "Woodland Critter Christmas".
  • The baby goldfinches that eat Hopper in A Bugs Life. It's not gory, but pretty gross.
  • Drawn Together, with the characters Strawberry Sweetcake and Ling Ling.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy once had an episode entitled "Wishbones" in which a skull granted people's wishes, with results of varying degrees of misfortune. Pud'n's wish was that he had a little talking bunny that always loved him. Although the bunny wasn't THAT cute, it proceeded to chase Pud'n around, beating him and trying to murder him multiple times, ending with HALF OF HIS FACE BLOWN OFF OF HIS HEAD IN DETAIL WITH THE WORDS "Sometimes love hurts, Pud'n, and I love deeeaaaattthhh...." as he hopped towards Pud'n slowly. Oh, and this is a children's show.
  1. A distinction granted near-legendary status since troll reproduction precludes the notion of actually knowing who your direct ancestors even are