Badass Adorable / Live-Action TV
This is not gonna be pretty. (Even though she is.)
  • Angel:
    • Connor as Connor Reily. A polite, good-natured and boyishly handsome young man, but shy, innocent and somewhat awkward. And also he could pull your spine out through your mouth.
    • Fred also qualifies. She's sweet and shy and quiet and she will tase the hell out of you if she finds out you betrayed someone she cares about.
  • The A-Team: Murdock has ginormous, expressive puppy-dog eyes, a child-like demeanor and sense of wonder and imagination... and served two tours in Vietnam, got three unit citation awards and a silver star (the third highest military decoration in the United States armed forces), worked in the C.I.A., was considered the best and most badass pilot during Vietnam, all of which skills (on top of a very sharp mind) makes him as dangerous as he is adorable.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Dawn becomes one much later on, though she does have her moments earlier in the show as well.
  • River Tam of Firefly owes her popularity to this trope. She's played by the gorgeous Summer Glau who can pull off cute teenage looks very well, and River can kill people with her brain or use mathematics to shoot several very tough soldiers, especially if Simon's life is threatened. If it is, River is going to hand those idiots their asses.
  • Cameron from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles also portrayed by Summer Glau is just the perfect combination of Badass and Moe.
    Cameron: (lifting a young boy off of the ground) If you call your mother, the man will use her to get to you. He will kill her, then he will kill you.
    Sarah: (sternly) Cameron.
    Cameron: ... Would you like a bedtime story?
  • Carter, Genius Ditz of Hogan's Heroes, is usually innocent, oblivious and acts far below his years. He's also a complete fanatic about his bombs and has probably directly killed more people than anyone else in the group.
  • Tamara Adama from Caprica appears to be shaping up into one of these when she takes over New Cap City after executing her would-be captors - rather quickly as well. Might also be a Little Miss Badass.
  • Heroes:
    • Hiro. The man tends to evoke feelings normally reserved for small puppies and kittens (being played by Masi Oka really helps) and is a Wide-Eyed Idealist in a world full of cynics, but do not underestimate him. That sword is very much a weapon, and he can and will use it if he needs to - as Sylar found out. As long as you're not trying to nuke New York or otherwise destroy the world, though, he's more than happy to just eat his waffles.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Samantha Carter. A huggable, kissable, lovable Majorly Awesome and Colonel Badass.
    • Daniel once he takes his level in badass. Sweet and attractive, suffers adorably, and has been known to kick more than a little ass.
    • The Nox, who's appearance inspired the legends of the faeries on Earth, have outlived all the great races in the galaxy, every single villain, and never lost a battle in any episode. Twice as impressive considering their extreme commitment to pacifism.
    • Vala Mal Doran wears her hair in pigtails, she's been seen by anyone passing by the SGC halls in a bathrobe with curlers in, she eats... enthusiastically, she's jumped on Teal'c and hugged him (she only doesn't do that to Carter, it seems, because Carter's not 6'3 and built like Teal'c. Sure, a tall and strong woman - there's a essay on that somewhere, about fanfic writers and their notions of male-female relationships - but maybe not that prepared for a full Vala hug). Anyway, yeah, she can kick your butt shooting cans while Mitchell complains about Kansas cell reception, she was convincing (if merciful) when she pretended to be a Kull warrior, and she doesn't let torture or being burned alive distract her from pulling her weight. Amnesiac and hunted by people who want to mind-frell her, she survives very well and full-memory Cam comes out worse than she does.
  • Star Trek: Voyager: Kes is a short, soft-spoken, young woman, who is typically the most gentle passive of the crew. Until 'Warlord', when an alien tries to steal her body and she takes her time tearing his mind to pieces.
  • Djaq from Robin Hood: tiny, adorable, Puppy-Dog Eyes...and will rip your arms off if you get her angry.
  • Jamie from The Thick of It. With his short stature, curly hair, boyish smile and gigantic blue eyes he doesn't look like the sort of man who threatens to push iPods up his enemies' penises:
    Ollie Reeder: "When I met you this morning I thought you were the nice Scot"
  • Supernatural:
    • Castiel who combines an unearthly and no-nonsense badassery with huge blue eyes, a slender frame and a nerdy trenchcoat, not to mention an escalating Woobieness and humanization as season 5 went on.
    • Sammy also qualifies, with his Puppy-Dog Eyes and genuine compassion. Just don't piss him off.
  • NCIS:
  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • The show has Anna. Cute, bookish and a badass vampire.
    • Caroline. After what she did in "Killed or be Killed", beating up Mason Lockwood and rescuing Damon, Stefan and Elena, and preventing Tyler Lockwood from killing innocent people when he first changed into a werewolf in 'By the Light of the Moon', Caroline is definitely a Badass.
  • In the 2009 remake of The Day of the Triffids the main character is fired upon when entering a town. After putting his hands up he realises he's been captured by Susan and Imogen — two cute little girls in Cool Shades, helmets and packing automatic weapons.
  • Kamen Rider Den-O: Hana after getting aged down from a time travel occurence is a cute little kid who, if you're not doing anything to tick her off, is pretty sweet. However, this little girl has been known to wield a bazooka, have enough strength to manhandle the series kaijin with her bare fists, and thoroughly trashed a bunch of Yakuza thugs singlehandedly, and some of them may have been Fangire.
  • Glee: Becky Jackson wants chocolate, or she will cut you. Don't mess with her. She's the only person in the school Sue Sylvester considers worthy of Dragon status.
  • Sherlock has Dr. John Watson. He's played by Martin Freeman, wears cuddly jumpers, types with one finger from each hand, 5'7, and spends most of the series being the most caring friend in the world. He's also an ex-soldier, shot a bad guy in the head in one building....from the other building, one handed. And while tied to a chair at the time, killed the Chinese gangster that tried to kill both Sarah and Sherlock, has stared down the most dangerous man in England, Mycroft Holmes, and was prepared to do a Taking You with Me to the most psychotic one Jim Moriarty and threatened ACTUAL DEATH on a professional killer that had Sherlock in a headlock in attempt to strangle him or snap his neck, while remaining calm, cool and collected while doing it-but it's DEFINITELY effective and down right scary. Here's the threat:
  • The Horatio Hornblower mini-series has Archie Kennedy, sweet, enthusiastic Plucky Middie who really likes fighting the French! The first hint of this comes in "The Duel" (AKA "The Even Chance") after boarding a French ship and running up to Horatio afterwards to babble about how he "killed two! Well, one, certainly!" It's not always obvious in the earlier installments due to the suffering he endures throughout, but by the second series, he's no less adorable but exponentially more badass. This includes helping Horatio blow up forts and shooting an enemy soldier off a tower from about a hundred yards away by a flintlock pistol.
  • Pulled off by actor Jamie Bamber on Law & Order: UK, where his character's (Matt Devlin) stunning good looks and charming demeanor tended to make witnesses easily trust him and suspects underestimate him, leaving them thrown for a loop when his badass side comes out.
  • Community: Annie. When she is playing paintball or when she needs to chloroform a man twice her size. Twice her size. Or cross-examining a yam-killer.
  • Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds. FBI profilers can rarely be described as "adorable," but Reid can rarely be described as anything else... except when he's shooting UnSubs in the head or slipping messages to his teammates while being tortured. And then he reverts right back to napping all curled up like a kitten, going on rants about Doctor Who or having some form of sugar.
    • And than there's JJ.
  • Merlin:
  • Lexie "Lexipedia" Grey on Grey's Anatomy. She is one of the smartest, most promising surgical residents at Seattle Grace due in part to her photographic memory. As Derek puts it: "She has a photographic memory, we're all out of our league."
  • Doctor Who:
    • Rory Williams has basically two settings: Adorkable (eg. fighting vampires with a broom) and Badass (eg. facing down an entire Cyberlegion), and frequently overlaps the two (eg. smashing a killer robot over the head with the Mona Lisa).
    • Zoe is a perky little human calculator, whose hobbies include wrestling comic book heroes come to life and making giant computers destroy themselves with the power of confusion.
    • Jo Grant. Cute, clumsy and pretty much The Ditz. And yet she's the only companion to have ever resisted the Master's hypnotising, as well as helping Three escape from whatever prison cell or bondage trap he'd got himself in that week.
    • Several incarnations of the Doctor himself are very cute at times, with it being most obvious as a stock character quirk of the Fourth Doctor (who possessed great big eyes, huge amounts of childlike wonderment and behaviour, oversized clothes even though he was enormous and a dog he would treat like a puppy). For instance, on one occasion he wanted to go around modern-day Earth Cosplaying a historically-questionable Viking and is gutted when told it is inappropriate, acting just like a little kid told to take off his costume before he can go outside. The other very cute Doctor is the Eleventh Doctor, a mixture of adorably strange and exuberant body language who likes animals and babies and chats away to them merrily, although we can only understand his side of the conversation.
    • When Tom Baker was asked to sum up his Doctor in one word, he said, "Adorable".
    • It runs in the family. Once she learns to relax on the whole "soldier" thing, the Doctor's daughter, Jenny, is all giggles and smiles as she crosses a dangerous laser field and carries her big ole gun. She also follows in her father's footsteps and, when the opportunity comes, runs for her life from a very boring planet to go and have adventures.
    • Clara Oswald can easily fool you into thinking she's just a short, perky, daydreaming, goofy but cute 20-something with a sharp wit and sweet, caring heart. But piss her off by threatening people in need, little kids or her friends (including the Doctor) and she'll put that wit and heart to good use and show her Badass Bookworm or Girly Bruiser side. As Weak, but Skilled, she makes up for her lack of muscle with her smarts, resourcefulness and an extremely unbreakable spirit fueled by her love for others. By late Season 8, this has become so extreme that she's willing to do extremely unsympathetic and disproportionate things to protect people she loves, like trapping both herself and the Doctor forever on an erupting volcano with no way of escape just to spite him.
    • Sarah Jane. This woman is adorable, kickass with a gun and will not hesitate to kill you if you put her son in danger... oh, and never threaten the Doctor if you wish to live — she has aliens who give her usually incredibly dangerous stuff to use... and a robot dog.
    • Jenny Flint. Imagine Black Widow crossed with an anime girl, with a cockney accent.
    • Especially as Madame Kovarian found out the painful way, this applies to River Song.
  • Spin-off Torchwood has Ianto Jones: sweet, unassuming archivist who looks younger than he is, dresses impeccably, and has a charming Welsh accent. And who will take down anyone who threatens his team, or, more specifically, his lover.
  • Chuck:
    • It gives us Anna Wu. While she only shows her stuff in one episode, she's such an impressive martial artist that Casey calls in a background check on her as a potential field agent. And she's certainly cute.
    • Chuck qualifies as Badass Adorkable. Especially with Intersect 2.0, in which he gains a plethora of new skills that causes him to say, "Uh, guys? I Know Kung-Fu!"
  • Detective Juliet "Jules" Ohara on Psych is blond, bubbly and is sweet to the point she gets Christmas cards from people she helped put in jail. She's also a crack shot that is not to be messed with (there's a reason that aside from Shawn she has the highest ever score on the detective exam).
  • Jesse from Breaking Bad looked so cute when he was about to shoot Gale to save himself and Walt, even as incredibly sad and horrified as it made him afterwards.
  • Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger has Gabutyra, who has already established himself as a Bad Ass, getting a new Super-Deformed form that turns him into a Badass Adorable Transformation Trinket for KyoryuRed's Super Mode. He might look cute with the way he sometimes dances along to his partner's transformation dance, but he's still extremely powerful.
  • In Terrahawks, Zelda's most feared and dangerous ally is a teddy bear named Yuri.
  • Sweet, innocent Balki Bartokamous has stood up to an armed burglar and proven himself to be quite an adept fencer.
  • Walter Bishop from Fringe is one of the most intelligent people of the world, has accidently doomed not only one, but two universes, and still manages to be extremely adorable and pitiful when he fails with the most simple tasks in life or shows how much he cares about his son.
  • Sense8.
    • Zig-zagged with Capheus. The adorable part is played straight: Capheus is a kind, cheerful, optimistic young man with the cutest smile you ever saw. He has a formidable reputation after beating up some local gangsters, but he was only able to do it by calling on Sun's skills, and on his own he's not much of a hand-to-hand fighter. He is, however, very brave and a skilled Badass Driver capable of serious Car Fu.
    • Kala, the kind and girly Hot Scientist with a knack for improvised explosives.
    • Amanita, Violently Protective Girlfriend and lover of "costume opportunities."