Ugly Cute

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"The uglier you make it, the more they'll cry at the end."
Character designer working on King Kong
"Wow! He's funny lookin' cute!"
Chris Kratt on a baby aardvark

There's Generic Cuteness, the Ridiculously Cute Critter, and the Moe. And then there's these guys. Creatures who are, to put it kindly, less cute than other creatures.

OK, they look strange. Maybe they're deformed. They can even look monstrous.

However, they are also endearing, kind, and sweet. Maybe they retain a few Ridiculously Cute Critter traits, like big eyes or little awkward legs. Maybe they're The Woobie. Maybe it is simply that their lovely personality overrides any disgust at their physical appearance. Maybe they are stylized and don't look too realistic.

In short, even though they should not be cute by any sense of the word they are anyway. Indeed, many times these characters are so ugly, they're just adorable.

There are some who argue that this trope has much to do with parental instinct. Consider: very young human babies aren't conventionally cute at all; that takes a few months. They come into the world as discolored wrinkly blobs that scream like the world is ending whenever anything upsets them. And yet, all these traits seem to say, "Gotta love me!"

"Busukawaii" is a name in Japanese for fans of these characters.

Not to be confused with Grotesque Cute, which is generally when evil things are done by (or to) conventionally cute things.

Compare The Grotesque, Gonk, Cute Monster Girl, Freaky Is Cool, and the nicer versions of Fluffy the Terrible. But see also What Measure Is a Non-Cute? and Beauty Equals Goodness as those tropes will probably and unfortunately, directly affect these characters. See Grotesque Gallery for when character designers try for this kind of appeal and fail. Badly.

NOTE: Since there are so many Truth in Television examples of Ugly-Cute, we're going to focus on fictional characters only on this page (we already know Pugs are a Real Life example). Also, when adding examples, avoid things and people who are Hollywood Homely. They must be visibly ugly for the trope to be in effect.

Examples of Ugly Cute include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Rock Lee and Guy-sensei from Naruto (aka Thickbrows and Superbrows) and Naruto himself.
    • Kisame's sword Samehada, especially when it's cuddling up to Killerbee.
  • In the Fullmetal Alchemist manga/Brotherhood canon, Envy's true form, when stripped of all the many grotesque human souls that make up his body, is a creepy little slug-like creature with multiple legs and large eyes... and yet you just want to pick him up and snuggle him. (Note: It is highly advised that you do not snuggle him, or else he'll commandeer your body.)
    • Gluttony counts as well. He's a Big Eater Gonk, but the fact that he's completely devoted to his 'sister' Lust, is rather docile unless acting on orders to attack (or when the ones he cares about are harmed), and pretty much has the personality of a puppy, makes him a top case of Ugly Cute. He looks like a giant Ziggy, although his choice of snacks is problematic.
    • Gluttony's even cute when his ribs open like a zipper to reveal a giant mouth.
    • Also the canon Sloth. He's huge. He's lumpy, fanged, and freakishly dangerous. He hosts blank eyes and a vapid expression. But something about his unmotivated, drag-your-feet mannerisms and simple speech ("Mendokusai...") make him look like a perfect candidate for a plushie. His big muscles just make him look huggable. His asymmetrical design brings to mind tears like a cheetah's face. He says, "Buh?" and the readers squeal, "So cuuute!" He gets spartan-kicked off a tall building into the snow after trying to kill our heroes...the fans let out an, "Awww!"
      • Not really important, but he didn't try and kill anyone- he was wandering around aimlessly because he got lost while digging the country-wide transmutation circle.
      • Not true. Sloth tried to kill Olivier Armstrong. Remember when she and Alex teamed up to fight him?
    • There is even Fathers true form, which strangely looks a lot like....Morphing Jar?
  • Quite a few characters from One Piece would qualify, especially Usopp, Brook, and Bearsy.
    • Oars Jr., despite his meteoric apparition, would qualify just in the same way as King Kong - A giant, red, gargantuan (he is at least three times bigger than your average giant!), demon-looking pirate with a soft heart (A typical run-of-the-mill Gentle Giant). He is shot, hit with a giant shockwave, had his leg severed and his heart was impaled by shadows while trying to save his friend who made him a hat that protected him from the rain.
    • And Marine officer T-Bone, who looks like a zombie despite being alive and well. But he's so compassionate and earnest in his desire to help people that he has the undying loyalty of his subordinates (even if they're a little creeped out by his appearance) and it's hard not to feel bad when the Straw Hats have to plow through him on their way to Enies Lobby.
    • For a female example, we have Kokoro's granddaughter Chimney.
  • Jinenji, a gigantic, bug-eyed, Quasimodo-esque hanyou from Inuyasha who, nonetheless, manages to be incredibly endearing.
  • The Dark Liege of Nora (when she's not in human form).
  • Rico/Loli and all versions of Exedore/Exsedol from the Macross and Robotech universes, but especially the latter's first form.
  • Pen-Pen from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Seriously, it's not the prettiest penguin you've ever seen (he's got clawed wings, dear God!) but what counts is how endearing he can be, especially when you know why Misato bothers to keep him despite his flaws (like being a glutton, good-for-nothing bird).
  • Some Digimon like Gazimon qualify.
    • Guilmon would fit here too. In reality he would look far more terrifying then cute, but his childlike demeanor, antics, and voice just make him so adorable.
      • Renamon applies as well. The species is described in canon several times that they are tough and intimidating in appearance (especially their glaring eyes) that other digimon become nervous or threatened by their presence despite the renamon not intentionally trying to scare others off. This doesn't stop people, be it in the canon or in the fanbase, to still consider the race (especially female ones like Rika's Renamon) to be beautiful, elegant, cute, or (depending on who you ask) sexy.
  • Ryuk in Death Note. His disposition towards personal amusement, his apple addiction and his associated withdrawal reactions, and his permagrin are all endearing.
    • Even better, L. The manga's artist, Takeshi Obata, said he was supposed to look ugly. And L has legions of fangirls.
    • Rem is also actually quite lovely in an odd way.
    • Gelus looks like an abandoned rag doll. Awwww!
      • What's even more awesome is that in the originl designs, Gelus was supposed to be an extremely beautiful Shinigami. Ohba, however, decided that making him The Grotesque would be better because Gelus is such a pathetic figure and the audience would relate to him better. He was right!
  • The snail youkai from Karas that accompanies Nue is a bit ugly, but also utterly adorable.
  • President Aria from Aria. That is supposed to be a cat?
  • Several instances in Dennou Coil. Just look at Densuke, Oyaji, or even Satchi.
  • The giant Totoro and the Catbus.
  • He'arring from Chaotic definitely qualifies.
  • Bio-Meat: Nectar: walking mouths that somehow look cute and definitely grow on you. So cute, an American couldn't shut up about it and got EATED!!!
  • Emi Izuzu's "normal" form. Cutest Gonk ever.
  • The title character from Patalliro!
  • Boyacky and Tonzura from Yatterman. The closing of the 2008 series seems to specifically aim for this.
    • Odata Buta, the robot pig mascot also has fans.
  • The Tachikomas from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex are cyclopean Spider Tanks, but their voices and gestures make them incredibly adorable even as they slaughter terrorists with gatling guns.
  • Children portrayed in Tekkon Kinkreet, especially White. The art style makes it hard for anything to be stereotypically cute, but White still manages to be downright adorable at times.
  • The Kodama from Princess Mononoke.
  • Eyeshield 21 loves this trope. 50% of the Devilbats are made up of Ugly-Cutes.
  • Pokutes from Jungle wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu are kind of cute in a weird way.
  • Senritsu from Hunter X Hunter is nearly bald and has buck teeth, but she has a very kind heart
  • Inko-chan from Toradora!.
  • Kitano from Angel Densetsu manages to be both utterly terrifying (to the other characters), and completely adorable (to the audience).
  • In Wild Fangs, Gido is a sentient furball who looks like a rather unfashionable scarf. It's cute.
  • Weirdly enough, Charlotte's cake dragon from Puella Magi Madoka Magica looks cute when it's not showing off its sharp teeth.
  • Aruguably, Kyo Sohma's true form from Fruits Basket. He looks like some sad mix between a bunny rabbit and a dinosaur.
  • The way all insects are drawn in The Borrower Arrietty manages to be ridiculously cute and pretty realistic at the same time. They all have the right number of legs and beady eyes, but their portrayal is more like that of the soot spirits than something dirty or abhorrent.


Art[edit | hide]

  • Patricia Piccinini.
  • Sheela-na-Gigs. Don't Google them at work. They're generally skinny, ET the Extraterrestrial-like, female figures who often have a look on their face like they're a bit worried about getting caught doing, er, what they're doing, but they think it's so funny they're gonna do it anyway.
  • This drawing of an Eevee.
  • Chanchitos, little terra-cotta good luck pigs from Chile. They only have three legs, and their faces tend to be rather asymmetrical in the most bizarrely adorable ways.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Nightcrawler's demonic appearance doesn't exactly falls under the classic definition of "beautiful", yet he's one of the most appreciated Mr. Fanservice among the X-Men.
  • Shuma-Gorath, a Captain Ersatz of Cthulhu and one of Doctor Strange's minor foes (Minor as in he doesn't appear very often. He is, however, literally an evil god), is a huge, one-eyed squid thing that somehow manages to look huggably cute. His Marvel vs. Capcom design shrinks him down to human size and makes him look positively shy.
  • Many fangirls consider the "fascinatingly ugly" Walter Kovacs, AKA Rorschach, the cutest character in Watchmen. This may be more in North America's fandom versus Europe, as the ginger haired appearance carries a more negative connotation across the pond compared to in Canada and America where the awkward appearance is often considered to be rather sweet and endearing.
  • The Thing of the Fantastic Four. Just look at his adorable lumpy face!
  • Dorothy Spinner from the Doom Patrol is a sweet girl who just happens to have the face of an ape. This is balanced by her personality.
  • Man-Thing, despite being a mindless swamp monster that immolates anyone who feels fear, always struck me as cute for some reason. Awwwww...
  • Some of Batman's stranger foes often veer into this.Just look at Killer Croc in his elementary school years.
  • The Loathsome, a story from EC Comics, is about a girl who was born mutated by atomic radiation, so much so that the doctor tells her mother she was stillborn and ships her off to an orphanage where she's abused because of her appearance. But when she's finally shown near the end of the comic, she's not nearly as hideous as she was made out to be. Alex Ross used her as the basis for Maggie in Marvels.
  • The Spies in Spy vs. Spy.
  • Baby Wildebeest from Teen Titans.
  • Woola the calot in James Killian Spratt's (NSFW) comic adaptation of A Princess Of Mars. You're a cute little ten-legged killer space dog, yes you are!
    • Sola with her enormous Non-Mammal Mammaries (though since the Red Martians, indistinguishable from humans except for skin color, are also oviparous, both species may be monotremes as opposed to true non-mammals) in that same work could qualify as well, though she may be more in the Cute Monster Girl category.
  • The gay demons in Jack Chick's comic, The Birds and the Bees.
  • Lockjaw, the giant pug-like pet dog of Marvel's Inhumans. Although the size of a hippo, he's as cute as the dog seen atop this page. It's also sort of weird, since at one point it was suggested he actually is an Inhuman who simply got hit with the ugly stick very hard by Terrigenesis. This was retconned later... re-creating the plothole as to just where the Inhumans got him anyway (Terrigenesis does not affect animals).
  • Pre Crisis Tomar-Re qualifies. The Post-Crisis version has a larger beak which improves his looks much like the Gargoyles Brooklyn is like.
  • Pooch the Lowbeast from Hack Slash. He's superficially hideous with his protruding jaws and cloven hooves, but his loyalty to his masters and his desire to be petted and loved like any ordinary dog make him adorable.
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac
  • In the Animal Man reboot, Animal Man's daughter Maxine manifests the power to animate dead animals. The sight of her playing with a half rotted skeletal kitty is oddly adorable.
  • Mac Manc Mcmanx from Get Fuzzy. Just look at him!. He also counts as an Adorkable and Funny Foreigner.


Fan Fiction[edit | hide]

  • Totodile in New World. Sure, it's a tiny blue crocodile with a massive mouth full of sharp teeth, but it's just so adorable! It's very first scene has it curl up with its new trainer and fall asleep with him. It also became best friends with a two year old girl.

"It was cute, albeit in a reptilian sort of way."

  • Awww, baby Cthulhu!
  • Stumpy/ Despite being dry to the bones, down three limbs and HE IS A ZOMBIE, he manages to be somewhat adorable. In the fic, you could still remember your own life before becoming a zombie. Stumpy here manages to make out a cute "bonk" after holding Scout's bat.

“I am so sorry, Stumpy,” [Medic] said.
Stumpy was still confused. He wasn’t sure what those words meant, exactly, but “sorry” sounded familiar. It meant…something feeling bad. And the Meaty Thing in the White Coat looked…what was that word? Sad? Like how Stumpy felt when he didn’t get meat. He didn’t have much time to ponder this, however, before there was a loud noise and then...


Film[edit | hide]

  • Michael Berryman, who has hydrochotic-extodermaldysplasia (a rare condition which prevents him from having any nails, sweat glands or hair), is definitely never going to qualify for being Hollywood Homely, but he seems to have this trope going for him. Even in movies where he plays a bad guy, that baby face of his really might make you want to give him a hug. Of course, it probably doesn't hurt that more often than not, he's also The Woobie in whatever part he's playing.
  • E.T.
  • Slimer from Ghostbusters, even in his initial appearance in the film. The producers ran with it in everything spun-off from the film.
  • For some, Chestbursters. Then again, everything is cute as a baby.
    • They're even cuter when they sing The Michigan Rag.
    • The newborn in Alien:Resurrection. It's a slimy, hideous, bipolar abomination hybrid of human and alien... but who wouldn't fall for those eyes?
  • King Kong was specifically designed around this (see page quote).
    • Pushed even further in Peter Jackson's version, where he's positively cuddly.
  • As was Edward Scissorhands. A breakout role for Johnny Depp, since it doesn't showcase his good looks.
  • Say "Hi" to Baby Godzilla.
    • Minya/Minilla/Minira/Milla. It helps that in his first appearance he's a complete Woobie.
    • Sure, he's a horrible ancient monster with razor sharp fangs and horns, but those floppy ears make Baragon simply adorable.
      • Well, he has been described as being like a giant puppy quite a few times on the internet.
    • King Seesar who is an ugly/cute Shisa (A lion-dog creature from Okinawa folklore).
    • Oddly enough, Godzilla himself during the later Showa films..mostly due to being more kid-friendly around the time.
  • After the reaction of its keeper, the Rancor in Star Wars.
    • Check out the Wookieepedia pages for the Rancor and Wampa. Both have artwork depicting a mother of the species cuddling her cubs. You cannot possibly look at the baby Wampas and Rancors without going AWWWWWW!!!!
    • YODA. When 900 years old you reach, look as ugly cute you will not. Hmmm?
    • Also R2D2. Cutest sentient fire hydrant ever.
    • Darth Vader without his mask at the end of Return of the Jedi. Even though he's old and scarred, you still want to give the old guy a hug.
    • Rotta the Huttlet. A Huttlet! For Sith's sake, he can fit in your backpack! Daaaaawwww.
  • Fizzgig and the Podlings from The Dark Crystal. Heck, we could probably include a lot of Muppets on this list, especially the "darker" Muppets.
    • All of the goblins from Labyrinth, for example—also, Ludo.
  • The eponymous Gremlins—and no, we don't just mean their more conventionally cute Mogwai forms either.
  • Shrek and, in ogre form, Fiona.
  • Abe Sapien seems to be the resident Mr. Fanservice in Hellboy, not that the Red himself lacks charm.
    • Not to mention the Tooth Fairies. Cutest Zerg Rush ever!
  • District 9: the aliens, especially Christopher, his son, and Wikus, even with the freaky becoming an alien thing...

Wikus: (trying to get him to hide from danger) Do you want to play hide and seek?
Christopher's son: (looking as delighted as a bug face can) Yes! Yes!

J: He's actually kind of... [baby throws up on him] ...cute.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • "The Ugly Duckling": Likely also the Trope Maker.
  • Where the Wild Things Are - the titular Wild Things are so exaggerated and silly, you just want to hug them all. Generally speaking, Maurice Sendak practically runs off this.
    • Interestingly, adults seem to be put off by the Wild Things' appearance more than children. This was a major talking point when the film was released; just what side of the "It is for kids"/"It's not for kids" divide does it fall?
  • Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, especially in the Disney adaptation. In the book, he's a misanthropic asshole.
  • Gollum from Lord of the Rings may not have a good personality, but he's just so pitiful. He's so ugly cute; he's absolutely precious.
  • Subjective Trope, but many Redwall fans think the villainous "vermin", who are supposed to be ugly and creepy, are cuter than the good "woodlanders".
    • It's hard not to agree with them at times: compare a hare (good) and a ferret (vermin). There have been some alternative arguments as to how Jacques draws the distinction between good animals and bad animals, the most popular being that it's based on the literal definition of vermin. But that doesn't explain anything since nearly all the good animals are also vermin. So no one really knows except Jacques himself.
      • It generally seems to be based on contemporary urban British perspectives of the animals, which explains the relative ambiguity of wildcats and foxes (although the popularity of ferrets and rats as pets in recent years dates the series slightly). To people in a rural environment, of course, they would all be vermin, except the hare, who would be lunch.
      • People say he makes the cute animals good. This is a blatant lie. EVERYTHING in Mossflower is cute.
  • Dobby and, in general, the House Elves from Harry Potter. Even Kreacher gets better.
    • Can't forget Norbert the baby dragon!
    • Snape, who has greasy hair, sallow skin, a hooked nose and the most tragic back story of the entire series.
      • Alan Rickman's portrayal of the character likely contributed to Snape's woobification. In the books, the character only becomes sympathetic after he dies.
    • The Thestrals - well, for those who can see them, anyway.
  • The Other, the sentient operating system of Otherland, steals system resources to create a private world for itself, populating it with grotesque mockeries of fairy tale creatures that are nevertheless treated like its children. This is not out of malice, but because it genuinely doesn't understand the context.
  • The Phantom (Erik) of Phantom of the Opera is slowly becoming this.
    • He always was to some, due to his extreme woobieness.
  • The eponymous Eldritch Abominations of Where the Deep Ones Are and The Littlest Shoggoth.
    • This isn't uncommon in Lovecraft Lite in general. It helps that much of the horror fandom doesn't share Lovecraft's apparent aversion to sea life.
  • Lovecraft's own Zoogs, by virtue of being small, furry, and tentacle-faced.
  • Aunt Beast in A Wrinkle in Time. She's part of the "really, really strange looking - but still sweet and lovable" side of this trope. In Wayne D. Barlowe's portrait of Aunt Beast, she's downright lovely - in a very alien way.
    • Practically any artist's representation of an Ixchel is likely to fit this trope.
  • All the characters in Tim Burton's The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy: And Other Stories.
  • The more A Song of Ice and Fire harps on just how ugly Brienne of Tarth is, the more you just want to...hug her. That she's one of the most good-hearted characters in the series just makes her that much more adorable.
    • The books also have Tyrion Lannister, who is also one of the more likable characters in the series (although more morally ambiguous than Brienne), and even less conventionally attractive.
    • Also Shireen Baratheon: a child which combine the worst traits a girl can inherits from her parents with a childhood disease which disfigured her. She's a quiet, sad little girl that never smiles.
    • There's also Pia, a serving maid from Harrenhal, who was pretty until she made the mistake of being within arm's reach of Gregor Clegane, who broke her nose and most of her teeth.
  • Discworld has the Death of Rats. It's got BIG BLUE EYES, for Pete's sake!
    • Death himself, for that matter. He's your stereotypical cowled-skeleton-with-a-blade Grim Reaper, and plenty badass when he needs to be, but he's a gently compassionate being who loves cats, makes endearingly misguided efforts to understand humanity, and rides a Pale Horse named Binky.
    • Small Gods has the Great God Om, a cranky, sarcastic, almost-fallen deity trapped in the body of a small, one-eyed desert tortoise.
    • Swamp dragons (and especially Errol) are described as Ugly Cute.
    • And then there's Mr Nutt of Unseen Academicals.
    • Discworld goblins, mostly due to their status as a Woobie Species.
  • Vettul, in the Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Vanishing Point, is a twenty-year-old ingenue who's at least 6'6" and has one leg twice as thick as the other, obviously crooked eyes, and an otherwise plain face. She also acts like she has No Social Skills, in a completely endearing manner, and manages to have Incorruptible Pure Pureness without being cloying. She quite fancies Fitz (and calls him "very beautiful", at which he "[stands] there speechless, blushing crimson", being only average-ish in the looks department), and he her:

She looked like a painting of someone beautiful that had gone subtly wrong somehow; as if the artist had been wearing the wrong prescription glasses or something. That said, there was definitely something to her...

    • She lives with a group of other people who have various (worse) deformities, and would therefore be persecuted in the Dystopia where they live, and their caretaker, Ettianne:

A little man with a bent, frightened face peeped out from behind a table, and Ettianne went over to soothe him.

  • Pretty much the entire crew of the Ferkel in Rod Allbright Alien Adventures. None of them (save perhaps Plink, and Edgar if you want to count him) are conventionally cute. All are teribly, terribly endearing, particularly Snout.
  • Smasher from the novel by the same name by Dick King-Smith.
  • Many Dr. Seuss characters.
  • In Zero History by William Gibson, Olduvai George is described as looking "agreeably simian"


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The nonhuman magical creatures such as Phineas the troblin from Power Rangers Mystic Force.
  • The baby Adiposians from Doctor Who. Basically a pound of roughly humanoid animated fat. Possibly the cutest thing the show has ever featured.
    • They become less cute when you remember that that pound of humanoid animated fat killed people when they came into existence.
      • Only a few of them, 99% just detach from a human and walk away one by one. The main characters even comment that it's not that bad a weight loss program, all things considered.
    • Also from Doctor Who there's the Ood. Due to their benevolence and the fact they are all Woobies, once you get past the fact they've got mince meat where their mouths should be, they are very sweet.
    • Also Dalek Caan. Don't tell me you've never thought it!
      • Daleks in general, at least their metal casings. What's not to love about a metal pepper shaker with a plunger and half an eggbeater for arms?
    • The tiny old Doctor that the Master kept in a birdcage from the S3 finale. He was so tiny and sad! And kind of looked like Tweety Bird, between the birdcage and the huge head. Also, there's something very endearing about the Doctor's personality in that minuscule body.
    • The Gangers are incomplete, unstable copies of human beings, all with a smooth, featureless Nightmare Face with visible veins that looks like they are melting. They also managed to look vulnerable and sweet, especially the positively dainty Ganger of Jennifer.
    • The youngest Slitheen in the _Sarah Jane Adventures: Revenge of the Slitheen_ - "Daddy, I want to hunt!"
  • The baby Future Predators, in Primeval.
    • Rex and the Diictodon.
  • Nimrod, the baby mammal-like-reptile-sea-creature-thing from NBC's short-lived series Surface. Come on, who wouldn't want to love a creature that, when full grown, can swallow a small boat whole, burrow through miles of rock, sunbathe in a magma chamber, secrete a substance that lets it regenerate injuries, and generate bolts of lightning?
  • The Martians, aka Yip-Yips, from Sesame Street.
    • Alot of the Muppets not deliberately designed to be "traditionally cute" could count, actually; especially some of the Grouches (just don't tell them that).
  • The Pak'Ma'Ra of Babylon 5. It's those sleepy, bovine eyes.
  • From Sigmund and The Sea Monsters we get Sigmund himself.
  • The Vork from the Farscape episode "Beware of Dog".
  • Start Trek: The Next Generation had cute alien critters from time to time. A bug-like species in the episode "The Most Toys" and a thing that Worf's son Alexander becomes fond of in "New Ground".
  • ALF was most likely designed with these intentions.


Music[edit | hide]

  • Radiohead's "Modified Bear" logo. Their Weeping Minotaur, too.
  • The Gorillaz artstyle has distinct tones of this. 2D is far too Uncanny Valley to be classically cute, but he has an undeniable charm.
  • That thing from Animal Collective's Peacebone video. Sure it was horrifying-looking, but there was also something disturbingly charming about seeing it go out for a romantic picnic and frolic through a field.
  • Voltaire uses this in his song 'Zombie Prostitute' with the line "She was a rotten kind of cute for a zombie prostitute".


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Eyeball beholderkin from Dungeons & Dragons. They have huge central eyes, magic-beam-shooting eyestalks, and fanged mouths like their larger, more dangerous relatives—and are about the size of large grapefruit.
    • Also imps and quasits from the same game.
    • While we're at it, most baby dragons don't look very much better than their adult forms, but are still able to pull this off. Especially blue dragons, for some reason.
      • Blue dragon wyrmlings have huge eyes, faces that look like they've run face-first into a brick wall, big ears (which no other chromatic dragon has) and nubby horns. They're like spiky blue pugs the size of golden retrievers.
      • Pseudodragons. Also described as having 'the personality of a common housecat'. D'awww, I want one!
    • Though often hated by most, Flumphs embody this trait. Think of a pancake crossed with an octopus floating around and you've got the idea.
    • Goblins and Kobolds. Two races of three-foot-tall people whose apparent racial destiny is to be killed by first-level PCs - you have to feel for them a little. Pathfinder goblins are particularly adorably ugly, since their huge heads give them an almost Chibified look.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has a race of Orks who are so exaggerated and silly, some find them oddly adorable. Everyone else finds them Crazy Awesome.
    • The Orks' pet Squigs solidly fall into this category, as do Gretchin on occasion.
    • Chaos has Nurglings; rotund little goblinoid daemons who can often be seen clinging to their larger kin. Possibly the most adorable pustulent hellspawn you will ever meet.
    • Popular fan character Cultist-chan definitely qualifies as well. She'll cahptoor your heart.
  • Magic: The Gathering has several. Who'd have thought that a psycho killer named Murderous Redcap could be so huggable? Or that a slimy eyeless...thing...like a mossdog looks like it would make a good pet? To say nothing of a few of the Tyranid/Zerglike Slivers.


Toys[edit | hide]

  • The Uglydolls, with their strange colors and asymmetry, it's enough to make you wanna squish 'em!
  • And Living Dead Dolls.
  • And Pussycat Dolls! Wait...
  • Domo-kun!?!
  • Several Bionicle characters and creatures can be considered this; particularly the smaller ones.
  • Many of the offerings at giantmicrobes.com
    • It will probably be the only time in your life where you will say with all honesty (unless you're a dirty bugcatcher) "I want AIDS!"
  • From Transformers, Ravage is sure to give you cuddly nightmares. And that's just his regular figure, not the Superdeformed Robot Heroes version.
  • The immortal Sock Monkey.
  • Mutant Dolls. Basically ragdolls with huge eyes, horns, fangs, floppy, lopsided bodies, and and odd, vacant stares - and you just wanna hug 'em?
  • The legendary "Robert The Doll" would fit in this trope. Sure, he's a haunted doll rumored to curse you if you don't ask him permission before taking his picture, but he is kinda cute http://www.robertthedoll.org/
  • This aesthetic is pretty much why that frog doll... thing... (here, just look at it) is a popular icon. Commonly associated with the phrase "GET OUT", probably because it looks kind of mean.
  • The Worrible. Weird, bulgy-eyed, drooling, round, yet somehow adorable little...thing.
  • This is pretty much the explanation for the success of Troll dolls.
  • The My Pet Monster toy line (and associated media) from the 1980s was a deliberate attempt to invoke this trope, especially with the "My Monster Pet" toys, which were more dog-like. The 2001 Toymax version retooled the Monster making him more conventionally cute, but still falling into this trope.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The minions of Overlord were created specifically to evoke this trope. They look like goblins or the Gremlins, but act like Ax Crazy little children, loyal to a fault to their overlord and eager to earn his praise. Watching them run back to give you some of the loot they found is adorable. Or watching them grab an item (such as a pumpkin or a dead rat) and use it as equipment (in this case, a hat).
    • Even more so in Overlord II when they sing and say adorable stuff to their mounts.
  • Oddworld pretty much runs on this trope. Poor Abe.
    • Paramites are vicious spider-like creatures with a hand for a face. Strangely, they look oddly adorable.
  • The Arachnotrons (and possibly the Spiderdemons) from Doom. Also, related to the beholder example: the Pain Elementals and Cacodemons. (The latter actually has had two fanmade plush dolls made, one of them being the official mascot of the DoomWiki.)
  • Some of the baddies in Donkey Kong Country, particularly the Klaptraps with their cute little snaggle-teeth.
  • Quite a few of the animals in Star Wars: The Old Republic both hostile and otherwise. A good example would be the Empire Balmoraa World Boss, which is an Ancient Bormu. Bormu are like Hippo-Caterpillars. I rest my case.
  • Baby Metroids, both the plot-significant one in Super Metroid and the bitty little things in Prime 2 and 3.
  • Many of the mushroom people in Mushroom Men, especially the hero, Pax. Sure, he's got beady little eyes, a raggedy-looking "lost boy" style tunic, and his mushroom cap breaks away to reveal his brain... But just watch the intro, where poor little Pax is wandering all by himself in the big scary human world, glowing eyes looking out innocently.
  • The creatures of Jade Cocoon 2 quickly grow on you.
  • Kouri in Brass Restoration finds the Ill-pin stuffed... characters adorable. They are based on viruses. Ryo, the main character, just doesn't see it.
  • A lot of Pokémon are this. One that comes to mind is Gible. Seriously, just look at it!
    • Especially Snubull and Granbull, two bulldog-based Pokémon that are said to be popular with women. In the anime, one even started acting like a Clingy Jealous Girl with Meowth (or was just obsessed with biting his tail).
    • Some of the Pokémon in the Ruby Rom Hack, Pokémon Quartz, fall under this as well, surprisingly.
    • Hey, don't forget Feebas. The shabby little fish Pokémon has a secret: if you feed Fit many, many Dry-flavoured (blue) Pokéblocks and level it up, it turns into something that is Beautiful All Along, the much-coveted Milotic.
    • Scraggy also counts, since it's a lizard who wears its shed skin as pants. And it's ridiculously lovable.
    • Considering that it's basically a chubby dinosaur who wears the skull of its dead mother, Cubone just radiates a "hug me" aura.
    • Can't forget Muk. He's a giant pile of toxic waste, but comes across as a fairly lovable blob.
    • How dare all of you forget all the baby Bug-type Pokémon. I mean most of them are based on squirming larvae that in real life you'd hit with a broom thinking that Beelzebub the 5th prince of Hell was here to feed on your soul. But Game Freak managed to make them cute.
    • Joltik - it doesn't help that it's based on the jumping spider.
    • Stunfisk, in all of its derpiness, could also qualify, as well as Magikarp.
  • Most characters from Yume Nikki are really creepy when you first see them, but when you get used to them, some of 'em are kind of... adorable. Like Uboa. Happiest-looking Eldritch Abomination-like thing ever.
    • And Masada seems to be a strange sort of Mr. Fanservice, judging by parts of the fandom, and is also often seen as a Woobie.
    • If you search on Deviant ART, it's easy enough to find quite a few pictures of fan-made Uboa plushies. Yes, that's right, people like to cuddle with Uboa.
    • Little Monoko, aka the cutest freak of nature you've ever seen.
  • The good ending of Eversion. Two Eldritch Abominations, together at last!
  • The Mr. Saturns in EarthBound and Mother 3 are comical big-nosed creatures with massive eyebrows and a single hair on their head, tied up with a red bow, and yet, their Wingdinglish and the "Boing"s, "Zoom"s and "Ding"s littered in their speech are both endearing.
  • "Come on, Mr. Bubbles!"
    • It helps that despite being one of the most dangerous common enemies, Big Daddies are also the only ones that don't actively attack you on sight.
    • The Little Sisters count too. Their eyes might be a solid, sickly, glowing yellow, but they're still Eyes Of Cute.
  • The baby forms of most aliens you can make in Spore tend to be like this. Sometimes the adult forms can be, too.
  • One of the non-combat pets available in World of Warcraft is a baby version of a Beholder-like demon. It's a floating head with one huge eye and small stubby tentacles. It also drools a lot and randomly falls asleep. It's at the same time very ugly and absolutely adorable.
    • Said Beholder-like demon is also named Willy
    • The Disgusting Oozeling, a pet that's essentially a small blob of slime.
    • The recently-introduced Core Hound Pup. It's a sort of two-headed baby bargain-basement Cerberus with lava for skin...that plays with a chew toy.
    • The Oracles are a race of sort of ugly frog-like creatures that have very cute speech.
      • Now in hideously adorable pet form.
    • Murky in any of his various guises. Or any of the other vanity pets.
      • Or trolls... oh, wait, not that kind of cute...
    • Broken draenei.
    • Baby Murlocs! together now, Awwwwwww!
    • Behold, Gory, the Abomination. A giant golem made of rotted flesh and organs with bone and metal sticking out of him and an stomach that hangs open and exposes his innards...who only wants to be a farmer and tells you so with an innocent, childlike enthusiasm.
  • Rayman's Raving Rabbids. Brutish, vulgar, maniacal... but still bunnies!
    • As well as Moskito from the first Rayman game.
  • Many of the Zerg creatures from the original StarCraft fit this trope. The little Zerglings are quite cute on the screen, and way they pounce on the Terrans like kittens at a ball of yarn only makes them cuter. All of the wild creatures also apply, being horribly proportioned beasts that look cute in spite of it.
    • Remember the Ragnasaur found on Char? Big forlorn orange eyes, irritated groan whenever you poke it...
  • The creators of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus will soon be giving us The Last Guardian. The hyena-gryphon creature in this game is meant to be unbalanced and strange-looking. Who, after watching that trailer, didn't think the creature was the most adorable giant beastie ever?
    • Same with the Colossi from Shadow of the Colossus. Some of them are hard to kill just because they look so cute and pathetic.
  • The grunts from Halo. After awhile you just feel sorry for them, while admiring their pluck, and smiling at their little dog-like huffs and growls.
    • Another Halo example are the Engineers. They are essentially floating gas bladders with a small head and tenticles, but they coo like small whales and shiver and recoil in fear from danger. They aren't the most attractive creatures but they are the only passive enemies in the series and eventually you will start to feel bad for killing them.
  • The alien spawn from The Sims 2 tend to turn out this way. Some players might disagree (and there are hacks out there to have the aliens be more conventionally cute) but the bug-eyed, no nosed green babies are adorable.
  • In Monster Hunter, there's a small Wyvern called the Yian Kut-Ku. It has an oversized head, disproportionate ears, and is generally very much non cute. However, perhaps due to its clumsy running and falling down, his cheerful screechings and his beak feeling similar to a smiling face when open, there are few players who haven't ended up feeling some kind of odd fondness for the guy, and he's a prime target of fanart.
    • Similarly, the monster Khezu may look like a cross between an oversized maggot and male genitalia, but that doesn't stop fanartists to draw adorable little chibi versions of it. It doesn't help that some of the cutest female armor sets in the game are made of Khezu material.
  • Sonic Adventure has Chaos, who is fought in multiple forms over the course of the game. A few of the forms can count as examples of this trope, but the best example is probably Chaos 6.
    • Froggy!
    • Some breeds of the Chao are also like this.
    • Another example from Sonic may be the alien slugs in Shadow the Hedgehog. Antennae, a single eye, a goopy slug body. Some fans insist they're adorable; others find them disgusting.
    • Eggman himself.
    • No love for Motobug?
  • In Fallout 3, the bartender of Moriarty's Saloon, Gob.
    • Don't forget the Mole Rats. You know, the ones you can whack with a stick until their heads asplode? Awwwwwww.
    • Charon, also a ghoul, has quite the share of fangirls.
    • Doesn't matter if they're trying burn me alive, Fire Geckos are cute.
    • Baby Deathclaws. Look at those tiny horns! Who's a good murder lizard? You are! Yes, you—aaaaargh!
  • Zombie Carl from My Sims.
  • Many Final Fantasy monsters may qualify, but the Tonberry most of all; he may be one of the most dangerous random encounters around, but a diminutive fish-lizard-thing with a lantern somehow winds up being cute enough to sell plush toys.
  • Arakune. He's basically a human-sized Eldritch Abomination/Blob Monster. Still, his little "face" (which has a more than passing resemblance to the Tachikomas') makes him eerily adorable.
  • A lot of the enemies in Pikmin, like the toady bloyster, ranging bloyster, dweevils, and even the emperor bulbax with it's little eyes and flopping tongue. Your Mileage May Vary, however, as they all try to kill or eat you or your Pikmin, and might leap out of the ground/sky suddenly...
  • The Ground Urchins and Raptor Elks from Brutal Legend. Also the Metal Beasts - giant Aztec panther Nibblers.
  • The headcrabs in Half Life. Illustrated with Lamarr, the pet headcrab of Doctor Kleiner, who while de-beaked and harmless, will non-the-less try and swallow your skull. Valve even made a limited run of plushie headcrabs for fans.
  • The title character of The Maw. It's an Extreme Omnivore Miracle-Gro Monster with rows of sharp teeth and one eye. As it grows bigger it's happy chuckling become sinister-sounding laughter. Despite it all it's a cowardly creature who follows the alien player character Frank around like a little puppy and is always happy to eat, and the hug between Frank and Maw's massive eyeball at the end is utterly d'awww-inducing. Think of A Boy and His Blob if The Blob was an Eldritch Abomination.
  • The Zelda series has its share of these:
  • Gizmo, the Final Boss from Lil' Monster. It's a fanged, leathery, winged abomination... in an adorable chibi-package! (Doesn't hurt that it's an Infinity+1 Sword-Mon.)
  • Megalo from Fossil Fighters. It was deliberately designed to look like people thought dinosaurs used to look, so it's big, lumpy, gray, and dopey-faced. But it's that derpy expression that makes it so incredibly endearing.
  • In Beyond Good and Evil, heroine Jade's sidekicks are an obese, middle-aged Pig Man with dark, truly animal eyes, tusks, a hairy chest, and a propensity toward flatulence, and an out-of-it Top-Heavy Guy with a lumpy nose, strange, sideways mouth, and Big Ol' Eyebrows. They're also incredibly kind, sincere, and loving, and thus get a lot of love.
  • The Ettins and Grendels from the Creatures series. The main Creatures, the Norns, are supposed to be cute. But the Ettins have lumpy, monkey-like bodies and strange red eyes, while the Grendels are nasty little reptilian critters with diseases and angry expressions. But when they display the same sort of helplessness as the Norns, well, it's hard not to love them.
    • Grorns too, with some of the adorable features of norns and the not so adorable features of grendels, are generally adorable anyway.
  • Hellgate:London had pets, originally available to multiplayer subscribers only, that were intended this trope, and some players find them this way. Your Mileage May Vary, as to many they're just Small Annoying Creatures.
  • Urz, a tame varren (a.k.a. "fishdog") in Mass Effect 2. Unlike most of his species, Urz will allow you to pet him, and if you feed him some pyjack meat, he will happily follow you around Tuchanka, bounding like a puppy.
    • Thane manages to look like a rotting fish with the voice of a rusty lawn mower and still being a highly attractive man.
      • Except Thane was deliberately designed to be exotically alien but attractive to female players. Garrus is a much better example of this trope, especially after his scarring, considering female Shepard can engage in some good-natured teasing of him for being ugly (which doesn't stop her from being able to romance him). He's also considered The Woobie both in-game and in the fandom.
    • Elcor.
  • Silent Hill has the Larval Stalkers in the first game, which have no face and are almost entirely invisible. Harry will still aim his gun at them or hold his Pipe at them, and Silent Hill is one of the few games to still follow the "if it moves, kill it" rule. Naturally you just aim and empty a clip into whatever you're aiming at, but the radio still gives off static. I stopped in my tracks simply to watch the little child-like manifestation bumble around and fall over a few times, before finally disappearing.
  • The little robot in Machinarium is made of rusty scrap metal and grunts to communicate, but is still absolutely adorable. The fact that he is a Woobie definitely aids the cute factor.
  • Nugs in Dragon Age: Origins look like the subterranean hybrid of rabbits and pigs. Although they're a tasty delicacy to the dwarves, some people apparently domesticate them; in fact, you can acquire a nug for Leliana, which she will name Schmooples. They are actually kind of cute, though their constant squeaking is a bit annoying to the point that Oghren will threaten to eat Schmooples.
  • Little Birdie from Metroid: Other M is adorable, even when it kills the scientists. Turns out that it's baby Ridley!
  • The entire Dragon Quest series of games is loaded with monsters like this thanks to Akira Toriyama doing the designs. If a monster isn't a Ridiculously Cute Critter, it's invariably one of these instead.
  • Banelings. Bloated little monstrosities, with the entire back two-thirds of their body devoted to a bunch of pulsating sacs of acidic pus. Before the speed upgrade is evolved, they get around via an ungainly waddle; after the speed upgrade, they tuck themselves into balls and roll around. Their fate is to run or roll into a mass of infantry and explode. They're adorable.
  • Many of the characters in Psychonauts, mostly due to the art style.
  • City of Heroes: The demons that can be summoned in the Demon Summoning power set have no skin, various skulls for faces, and are wreathed in fire (or ice). And yet, there is something undeniably cute about them. The demonlings especially, whose Idle Animation is to sit there wagging their tails.
  • So many of the infected in Left 4 Dead fall under this category. The hunter falls under this especially when drawn in chibi style. The boomer looks like a chubby kid with bloated puss sacks and looks like he wants a cookie, the smoker even with his facial deformities, the tank with his humungous body and tiny head, and especially the witch whos basically a zombified Cute Monster Girl. Valve knows the creatures they made are cute. They even made plushies!
    • In some lights, Left 4 Dead 2's charger and jockey, especially because one looks like deformed hillbilly farmer and the other looks like a retarded midget on crack.
  • Minecraft's Creepers. Deformed pig model that's green and aptly-named, but is absolutely adorable.
    • Y'know, when it's not trying to kill your or destroy the creations you've invested hours on.
  • Within the Monster Rancher universe, the patron saint of this trope is probably the Color Pandora. It is a strange, vaguely caterpillar-esque monster with freaky human faces on its separated body segments... that makes high, squeaky noises and does cute acrobatic tricks. In-universe, it's hailed as a shining example of how to cooperate. Out-of-universe, its Ugly Cuteness gives it a surprising number of fans.
  • The cutscene at the beginning of the first level of Clive Barker's Jericho features a prophetic dream in which the leader of an occult group speaks with a strange, blackened child like creature that speaks in a voice that wavers between a guttural growl and a pleasant child's voice. Creepy Cute as much as Ugly Cute. It also turns out to be the game's Big Bad.
  • League of Legends features Kog'maw, a little critter from the Void that spews acidic goo at things. Koggy is adorable in his little mutated way, and if official plushies ever hit the merch store Kog'maw is probably close to the top of the list.
    • Twitch as well. There's something oddly adorable about the derpy-eyed, crossbow-wielding, plague rat. Might be due to the resemblance to Scratt.
  • The guars from Morrowind.
  • Pretty much everyone in Meat Boy.
  • The art style Sam and Max produces a lot of these characters. The Soda Poppers are an example Gone Horribly Wrong, but fortunately the game lends opportunities to abuse them every time they appear.
  • Post-transformation Emil from Nie R is a character whose design straddles a surprisingly fine line between being considered vaguely cute and being considered downright horrifying (and for some people succeeds at being both simultaneously). Add in his sunny disposition and penchant for being a bit of a childish romantic and you now have a surprisingly adorable pseudo-mascot... with a grin that will still make people deeply uncomfortable.
  • Most of the enemies from the Super Mario Bros. series games like Goombas and Boos. Yes, even Bowser.
  • Crash Bandicoot
  • Mr. Fit from the Banjo-Kazooie series.
  • Some of the Blotlings from Epic Mickey, particularly the Spatters who get a neat little costume depending on what area you're in, and the chubby Spladooshes, who (as long as stay a safe distance or have befriended them) are perfectly content to sit there and sleep.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn gave the collectable Djinn more individual features, ranging from varied crests to bloated bellies to gaping black holes in various parts of their body that they suck enemies into. Because of their helpful nature when in speaking roles and many benefits once allied with you, they're widely considered endearing and adorable, and this at the worst.
  • The Mars People in Metal Slug. Especially in 6, where they salute the player. Awww...
  • The Dream Eaters of Kingdom Hearts 3D, especially Wondernyan. You can even play with them!
  • Surprisingly, Painwheel from Skullgirls. Take a look at her without her mask on. She also appears maskless in the Story Mode endings of Filia and Valentine. When she smiles, she's creepy and adorable!


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Several examples in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob. Molly's pet Snookums is a space monster Bob calls a "tentacle bunny". Molly herself is a pretty weird-looking creature. Roofus the Robot would not be especially cute if not for his innocent personality; well, okay, the construction-worker cap built into his head is kind of cute. And Voluptua, even in her alien butterfly form, still manages to be very attractive.
  • This is a common theme in Digger, as well as Ursula Vernon's other work. Currently she's on a kick of making adorable phalloi—which are Greek fertility symbols that are basically penises with wings and feet.
  • Zimmy of Gunnerkrigg Court. She has very nearly More Teeth Than the Osmond Family, greyish skin, hair like a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl, inexplicable black stuff that usually covers her eyes (which are bright red under all that), and is strange, mean, and prickly and enjoys chasing rats—but there's a certain charm to her appearance and she has her nice moments, and is therefore rather adorable.
    • Plus, her relationship with Gamma is very, very sweet. I couldn't help but go "awww" when Zimmy and Annie arrived where Gamma was in Zimmy's dark, terrifying hallucination (which seems to come right off a Silent Hill game), and Gamma was sleeping peacefully on top of a giant pile of cute, brightly colored stuffed toys, representing just how much she means to Zimmy.
  • Tchick the Beholder in Planescape Survival Guide. He's a giant floating eyeball who has extra eyes on stalks around his bulbous body. And all the other beholders won't even let him play their beholder games!
  • Squidge the bogeyman in Tales of the Questor is somewhat reminiscent of Gollum and Stitch, both mentioned elsewhere on this page.
  • "Mutie", the four-eyed kitten from Homestuck. Everything's Cuter With Mutant Kittens?
    • All of the Trolls other than Nepeta Leijon and arguably Tavros Nitram count too. Up to Eleven when we see them as wrigglers. Who knew little rainbow-colored maggot things could be so cute?
    • Some of the lusii may count too. Tinkerbull is arguably under this category, though he's more just plain adorable. Aurthour, the weird-looking centaur-cow-man lusus of Equius, fits better. He's definitely not cute by normal standards, but his mannerisms help him to achieve a similar effect.
      • Kanaya's lusus definitely falls under this. It's basically a truly gigantic winged bug with a skull for a face. But she's such a caring guardian to Kanaya! Look at her as a kernelsprite comforting Kanaya. And Kanaya mentions reading stories to her on 12th Perigee's Eve. Aww.
    • And the imps. Easy to kill, but how can you hate them?
  • The cartoony Eldritch Abominations in The Unspeakable Vault of Doom.
  • Bort from Dominic Deegan, who seems to be one of the few characters that the Hatedom itself accepts.
  • Choo Choo Bear from Something*Positive has to fall under this trope. A hairless cat, over thirty years old, whose cancer treatments in his younger days reduced his bones to a gelatinous substance that let him contort into various shapes and travel through sewage pipes. He's a bit of a freak, but he's so damn cute that he gets forgiven for just about anything he does, up to and including suspected murder.
  • It's yet another horrible death trap of fun in the Axe Crazy building Castle Heterodyne, but the Nyar spider is just so cute (it even eats its victim with a little knife and fork.)
  • Due to the art style, many normally horrific monsters can turn out this way in Order of the Stick. For example, Tsukiko apparently sleeps with a plushie version of Xykon, and the instant that comic appeared all the fans wanted one. For context, Xykon is an undead Magnificent Bastard / Complete Monster whom even the Joker might find creepy. He's also an adorably drawn stick figure skeleton with expressive glowing eye-sockets, a cheerful-looking skeletal grin, and a little golden crown floating just above his head. In plushie form, too cute for words.
  • Chelsea Grinn of Chimneyspeak is a ravishing young woman... who's covered with scars and is utterly psychotic... and still is adorable in her own way.
  • Pretty much all of the hellhounds in Wurr. Underfed, deformed doggies never looked so cute.
  • The characters of Daddy Long Legs are all giant insects/arachnids, but come across as incredibly cute. (With the possible exception of Scapegrace, though YMMV.)
  • The title character of Selkie is an orthodontic nightmare with Hellish Pupils and a bluish skin tone more commonly associated with walking corpses. She describes herself as "a pretty one", and the fans are inclined to agree. (The tipping points seem to be that a): she has normal human hair, and b): apart from the fangs, her smile is the same as that of any other Heartwarming Orphan.)
  • Mr. Cuddles the tarantula in Catena.


Web Original[edit | hide]


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The Tazmanian Devil is a mean, slobbering brute with a mouth full of razor sharp teeth and a monstrous appetite, yet he's one of the most memorable and oddly adorable characters in all of Looney Tunes.
  • Nibbler from Futurama has 3 eyes (one of which is on a stalk), fangs, walks like a monkey, only has one nostril, adorably devours whole creatures several times his size, and poops starship fuel. Leela still goes "Awwwww" when she first meets him. The animators were deliberately working with this trope. It becomes all the funnier when he starts speaking with the voice of Frank Welker (although he had provided the noises Nibbler made up until that point anyway).
    • Also, Amy's pet buggalo, Betsy. Buggalo are giant beetles with cowskin-colored shells that can be milked like cows.
    • A more recent example: Mr. Peppy. Anybody who says they didn't want to hug him after watching him hatch is a filthy, filthy liar.
    • And Zoidberg!
  • Quasimodo from Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Once you get past his deformed face, you'd want to do like the little girl at the end, and cuddle him. Of course he's considerably less ugly than he was supposed to be in the book.
  • Seeing as WALL-E is a rusty, dirty, trash compactor, he certainly qualifies.
  • Blunk the gobliny thing in WITCH.
  • Toad, in Wolverine and the X-Men. From the second episode onward, they just gave up on making his giant eyes seem creepy at all by changing his serpentine pupils into round ones.
  • Lexington, Broadway, and Bronx, just to name three characters in Gargoyles.
  • Glen Keane absolutely had this in mind when designing Beast.
  • Stitch. Sometimes very cute. Sometimes very not cute, especially when he's in one of his Killer Rabbit moods.
    • All of the experiments apply. You could also count Jumba and Pleakley, too. And Lilo's doll, Scrump. Let's just face it: Chris Sanders loves Ugly Cute.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: The entire population of Halloweentown.
  • Some fans of Corpse Bride consider the title character, Emily, to be rather cute for a rotting corpse in a tattered wedding dress whose eye occasionally falls out.
    • Her Peter Lorre maggot has his own charm.
  • Rufus in Kim Possible. Look at this picture of Rufus and then look at what his species actually looks like.
    • In the first movie, A Sitch in Time, we see the duo's first mission, right before which Ron purchased Rufus from the pet store. As he introduces the little guy to Kim, Rufus is a baby; a tiny, wrinkly, shrivelled little thing that still manages to be utterly adorable.
    • Don't forget Ron's one time mutated cockroach friend, Roachie. We've all seen cockroaches, so I don't even need to explain where the ugly comes in. However, Roachie still manages to be cute, like a "hard shelled puppy".
  • Tootie, Vicky's sister and Timmy's admirer on The Fairly OddParents, can be considered an animated version of the aforementioned Ugly Betty.
    • Mr. Crocker. Despite being abnormally thin (to the point where his ribs are clearly visible), having a hunchback, crooked teeth, being bald (his hair is actually a wig which pops off at times when he spazzes), and having his ears on his neck, Crocker has a surprising number of fangirls who find him cute/attractive.
      • Humorously lampshaded in one episode where Timmy's Dad thinks that Mr. Crocker is gorgeous...even though Crocker is clearly supposed to be ugly.
    • The Anti-Fairies....especially Anti-Wanda with all her crooked teeth and Anti-Cosmo and his Cute Little Fangs.
  • Silkie, Starfire's pet in Teen Titans fame. A burping mutant worm the size of a cat should not be that cute.
    • And Monster!Starfire from the episode Transformation.
  • Gorgonzola from Chowder. And that's just to name one character.
  • Squibby, from the series The Future Is Wild may well be the model for unconventional cuteness. "He" is the series' resident Non-Human Sidekick and is essentially a land-dwelling Mimic Octopus (who in turn, is a great model for Real Life unconventional cuteness; there's something adorable about a chunk of coral staring anxiously at you) with the personality of Curious George.
  • Some of the character designs in Dreamworks' Monsters vs. Aliens, like the giant bug monster, Insectosaurus.
  • Slyder, the dragon minion of Barbie and the Diamond Castle's villain has obviously been designed so that he looks evil, but not so scary that little girls would turn off the movie. This includes mismatched buck teeth and a rounded horn on his head, not to mention that he seems to be made of Cartoon Sound Effects.
  • The peglegged, sharp-toothed, gravel-voiced Fidget the bat from The Great Mouse Detective (though he's terrifying in his first appearance).
  • Meatwad from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
    • "Meatwad makes the money, see...Meatwad gets the honeys, G..."
  • The eponymous character in the Bill Plympton short, Guard Dog. It helps that he's both Cute but Cacophonic and clearly The Woobie in subsequent shorts.
  • The goblins/orcs and Gollum from the animated film versions of The Hobbit and The Return of the King. Though Your Mileage May Vary between whether this is Ugly Cute or Grotesque Gallery.
    • Shmeagol ish freeeeeeeeeeee!
  • Clayface, from Batman: The Animated Series. Yes, he's a psychotic shapeshifting clay monster with a horrible temper, but admit it, when he starts mourning for his humanity and showing off those huge yellow eyes, he's just adorable.
  • Both the eponymous character and Mega Brain from Widget the World Watcher.
  • Iris, from the Ruby Gloom series is a Cyclops but still darn cute.
    • A good chunk of the characters apply—the bag-eyed banshee, the Emo Teen skeleton, the two-headed Frankenstien's monster. It's a part of the show's whole Dark Is Not Evil aesthetic.
  • Charlotte in the animated adaption of Charlotte's Web.
    • Also her babies.
  • Toothless the dragon
    • And the Gronkles.
    • And the Zipplebacks!
  • Beavis. Heh heh m heh. Thankyoudrivethru!
  • Murderface of Dethklok is essentially a grown up, more curmudgeonly version of Beavis.
  • The Snow Monster in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
  • Horror, from The Pagemaster. It helps that he's The Woobie. See, horror stories always have sad endings...
    • Played with in one scene, where the lopsided and deformed Horror walks past a bottle of liquid in Dr Jekyll's laboratory, and is seen through the liquid as a beautiful young man.
  • Nearly half the non-human cast of The Princess and the Frog, especially Ray.
  • Many of the creatures from Miniscule, but perhaps especially the large spider.
  • Beezy J. Heinous on Jimmy Two-Shoes.
    • Also, Cerbee.
  • The six-limbed otter-penguins from Avatar: The Last Airbender are known for this, but the koala-sheep really take the cake.
    • For some people, season-one Zuko.
    • Meelo from "The Legend of Korra" seems to be shaping into an example.
  • Eduardo from Foster's Home. He may be an imaginary monster, but he's also a Lovable Coward. Aaaaaaw!
    • Eduardo's not Ugly Cute, he's just cute. He's a big, furry, snugle-thing who is more sensitive and downright shy than most children, he's almost a Ridiculously Cute Critter if not for his size. He's like a giant teedy bear. Actually Eduardo probably is what a Carebear would look like if you fed it steroids till it was John Cena sized. And if you think about it, he makes sense: imagine you're a small, weak, introverted girl probably hitting puberty for the first time (like his creator)...what is your ideal best friend-defender-boyfriend? A giant, cuddly, protective man-monster with pro wrestler-like biceps and a sweethearted streak who likes hugs and tea parties.
  • Rango.
  • The Businessmen from Adventure Time. They're blue and have unsightly freeze burns, but come on, they're essentially zombie businesspeople! Their leader is voiced by Brian Posehn. And friendly, too. ("Looking for help, your business? We love work for you.") Just don't fire them.
  • Moe Szyslak from The Simpsons. Just watch the episode where he is Maggie's babysitter. Awww!
  • Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb. He admits on the show that he's ugly, what with his extremely crooked teeth, hunched back and large nose. That doesn't stop fans from thinking he's adorable, or even hot.
    • Another one from the same show, the Super Computer from "Ask A Stupid Question". It's huge for one thing (to the point where most screenshots show it looming over the gang), speaks in a Creepy Monotone, and is overall really strange-looking. And yet, Isabella seems to think "He's cute!"
  • Lessee, alot of characters from Earthworm Jim qualify. Well, there's Jim, bug-eyed and goofy, Peter Puppy (cute in normal form, ugly in monster), Princess Whats-Her-Name (ugly on her home planet, cute on Earth) Professor Monkey-For-A-Head who has a monkey grafted upside-down to his forehead with whom he constantly argues, Psy-Crow with his lack of pupils and his eye-blindeningly yellow space suit, Bob the Killer Goldfish and Number Four, and can't forget Evil the Cat and Henchrat.
    • Doug Tennappel must like this trope... a lot.
  • Runt from Animaniacs is pretty much the canine mascot of this trope. Don't believe me? Watch ths.
  • Breach from Generator Rex. She might be a four-armed hunchback but she is still cute. Being a Jerkass Woobie doesn't hurt, either.
    • Eventually she stops hiding her face behind her hair, and it turns out it's a rather pretty one. This doesn't change the fact that she has a pair of extra arms that would be too big for a person five times her size, and the weight of those extra arms have given her a permanently hunched-over stance.
  • Twipsy. He may look like Picasso's rejected sketch but he's so darn cute.
  • Ugly Americans has Doug the Koala man.
    • Martin (well, at least his left head).
      • YMMV with man-birds, but just look at one of their babies!
  • Stimpy. Ren is debatable, but he too has his moments.
  • The Big-Nosed Thug at the Snuggly Duckling in Tangled, who reveals himself to be a hopeless romantic in the number "I've Got A Dream".
  • The squids in Squidbillies.
  • In an episode of King of the Hill Kahn describes Bill this way when getting used to the idea of him dating his mother, "You know he's not so bad, he's like one of those little dogs that are so ugly they're almost cute".
  • Batty Koda from Fern Gully is just plain adorable.
  • Fly Baxter in the 80s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon is surprisingly cute for a mutant manfly. He's pretty short, has big eyes, a pretty normal mouth, and wears a silly looking vest. Stockman's action figure, however gave him greater height, more prominent segmented eyes, mandibles, and a torn labcoat.
    • It also helps how completely and disturbingly Moe this guy is. He's an Adorkable Jerkass Woobie. Strange, considering he is (or was) an insane middle-aged man.
  • Neighbors From Hell has the Hellmans, Satan and his little monkey-demon pet thingy.
  • Zilla Jr. from Godzilla: The Series, especially when he was a baby.
  • Then there's the bizarre, smelly, and utterly endearing Garlic Boy.
  • Pick a character from Almost Naked Animals. Any character.
  • Ed Otter from Brandy and Mr. Whiskers.
  • Joy Peters from Tom Goes to the Mayor.
  • Bunny from The Powerpuff Girls
  • Oggy and the Cockroaches.
  • Lord Stingray from Superjail.
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic:
    • Discord. There's also Snips and Snails, who are either this or Gonks. Actually, let's just say that everybody in this show that isn't conventionally cute is this.
    • Then there's Chrysalis, who's basically a locust/zombie/vampire/pony mashup. And manages to look kind of adorable while still being terrifying.
    • Your Mileage May Vary on either of these - they may be considered Monstrous on the Sliding Scale of Beauty.
  • Molly Coddle of Bump in the Night is a mismatched Frankenstein's doll, yet utterly adorable.
  • The titular Invader Zim.
  • Peri and Entrée in Spliced.
  • Toyed with in the Beetle Juice episode "Beauty And The Beetle," after Lydia starts to feel self-conscious upon seeing beauty commercials on TV.

Lydia: (wistfully) Am I...ugly?
Beetlejuice: You're not even pretty ugly!

    • In the same episode, B.J. proceeds to show Lydia what ugly really is through the Neitherworld, but Lydia thinks everything's beautiful in its own way.