Hulk want hug kitties
But they so easy to squish!
Hulk live in cruel world
Aww, isn't this little guy cute? I'm gonna take him home and hug him and kiss him and squeeze him with all my heart
and be such a great friend and...
...and for some reason he fell asleep
. You OK, little guy?
Some monsters don't want to kill people; they just want to love them into iddy biddy pieces. No malice is intended, the monster just Does Not Know His Own Strength
- but the "pet" is fully aware of the danger. Usually played for laughs, although there are exceptions. Possibly a deconstruction/satire of the Gentle Giant
This trope, like Fluffy the Terrible
, Grotesque Cute
, Enfante Terrible
, Killer Rabbit
, and Psychopathic Manchild
, plays off the conflict between "cute" and "terrifying."
If the monster is a human
, this may be the way they tame Fluffy
. If not, it is a type of Non-Malicious Monster
Sadly this is a bit of Truth in Television
as children often kill small animals by accident in Real Life
. This Trope is not to be be confused with naming conventions of Sleeping Car Porters.
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Anime and Manga
- The Clawed Man in GUN×SWORD. Played very straight, almost for tragedy, and he regrets it every time.
- Ranma ˝:
- Transformers Energon has a variation with, of all mechs, Megatron, who didn't realize until his soldier Demolishor pointed it out, that humans actually die and don't have "sparks" that can be collected after their bodies are destroyed. (Unlike Cybertronians, who have fought the same war with the same people for millions of years, and most death just results in a new toy... uh, body.) Megatron even pauses to think about this, saying "Really?". This doesn't stop him from wanting to blow up the planet later on.
- In Wolf's Rain, where Toboe greets the old woman who keeps him as a pet a little too vigorously and breaks her neck. A variant, since the affectionate monster doesn't do this to a child, but an old person.
- There was a strip in Axis Powers Hetalia where Russia asked Latvia why he couldn't stop shaking, and gave him a hug in an attempt to calm him down. Latvia petty much died of fright. He got better.
- In the first episode of Nyan Koi!!, the main character's Love Interest (or at least he wants her to be) absolutely adores cats. Unfortunately, she doesn't understand that the cats don't appreciate being hugged so hard by a complete stranger after being lured with food. The local cats are terrified of her and consider her to be an evil and devious monster. Even more unfortunately, the main character is tasked with stopping her due to his curse (he has to do favors for 100 cats or be turned into a cat himself because he accidentally broke the statue of a cat deity)
- In an episode of Black Butler Finnie reminisces about a pet bird he once had. One day when he tried to pet it...Let's just say that Finnie Does Not Know His Own Strength and leave it at that.
- Pokémon: This seems to be a bit of a problem for newcomer Iris.
- She got shocked by Pikachu when she first met it and Cuteness Proximity took over.
- Iris smooches Ash's Tepig. Poor thing, as if it didn't suffer enough already.
- Iris has taken fire to the face twice and electrocutes, and all before the ninth episode! She's not stopping, and we should all fear for the safety of every Pokémon.
- In Durarara!!, Shizuo's romantic history can effectively be summed up as "boy meets girl. Boy finds girl in danger. Boy tries to save or protect girl, but accidentally hospitalizes her in the process. Boy and girl never speak again. Repeat until boy is convinced that he's incapable of loving or being loved."
- In one of the later portions of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, Yokoshima and Hyakume are captured by Ashtaroth's agents. One of these agents, Papillio, has a ridiculous fondness for collecting pets, so into the menagerie Yokoshima and Hyakume go. The problem isn't that they'll get squished or otherwise negligently killed by Papillio...not directly. The problem is her other pets aren't so nice. Not when they include the likes of KERBEROS.
- Gintama has Kagura, a super strong alien that kills any cute animal she keeps (like say, a rabbit) by hugging them when she sleeps. (Both Gintoki and Shinpachi were unsure whether to laugh or cry at such a story). Averted later when she gets Sadaharu, who is normally aggressive and deadly, and has the tendency to bite on anyone's head to draw blood, but for someone like Kagura, is the perfect pet.
- Bleach: Adult Nel, after saving Ichigo's life, rushes to give him a hug. Ichigo had just been completely curbstomped by one of the Espadas, repeatedly taking hits that would have killed a regular human. He was in a great deal of pain during the hugging as a result.
- Mad Science teacher Nakamura of Nichijou adores her cat Taisho, but has no idea how to care for a cat, among other things feeding him ramen like it was proper food. Taisho eventually ran away and became the Shinonomes' cat Sakamoto, though as he himself notes this isn't that great an improvement other than more reliable feeding.
- A Running Gag in Daily Life with Monster Girl is the protagonist constantly being injured by the affections of Miia the lamia, who coils her tail around him every time she hugs. During the chapter where Lunacy drives the Unwanted Harem into a mating frenzy, our hero realizes that if he does go for it, their unrestrained physical strength will kill him.
- In the Tokyo Babylon OAV's, a young boy around 10 years old accidentally strangled his younger sister to death while they were playing in the living of their home. He didn't seem to even notice that she was dead, even happily greeting their shell-shocked mother when she walked on the scene. Ten years later... the grown-up boy has become a Serial Killer and the Big Bad of the second OAV.
- Toriko gives us the Monkey King Bambina, so friggin' strong that he can hurl mountains around the Earth. He's a very playful fella, but woe betide anyone he thinks are his playmates, as his strength can make even a game of Look The Other Way rip someone's head off.
- In a rare art-related example, Frank Kelly Freas' painting The Gulf Between, which also served as inspiration for Queen's News of the World album, features a giant robot that has inadvertently killed a man by holding him too tightly. In the issue of Astounding Science Fiction that featured this on the cover, this was accompanied by the caption, "Please... fix it, Daddy?"
- In Hulk: Gray, the Hulk befriends a rabbit in the desert at one point. "Friend. Gray, like Hulk..." and it's all very sweet; you don't get to see the soft side of the Hulk often. But what was meant by the Hulk as a playful poke proves fatal to the poor thing, and the Hulk is driven into one of his trademark rages because he doesn't understand why his friend is "wet" (from the blood).
- The Russian does this to one of Ma Gnucci's henchmen in The Punisher story arc "Welcome Back, Frank".
- Happens on a cosmic scale in Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis' Hero Squared. After their petty super-squabbles destroy their own universes, Captain Valor and his archenemy Caliginous find themselves stranded in our universe. Quickly he realizes that his "protection" doesn't come without a price here like it did where he came from, and that superheroics and physics don't go so well together here.
- In Vol. 4 of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, Shadow, adopted daughter of Casey Jones, discovers her boyfriend is leading some kind of terrorist anti-alien group. Upon finding her, he sends a little toy robot after her that "just wants to play". The robot chases after her relentlessly and the message is clear that playtime will mean her death, and when both of them fall into a river, he tries to drown her, thinking it's all a fun game.
- This is guaranteed to happen whenever Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl gets a pet.
- Subverted in the old newspaper comic version of Batman, in which a Dumb Muscle gangster is shown having a Pet the Dog moment by giving a kitten a saucer of milk. His affluent boss doesn't like the distraction his henchman's having, so picks up the kitty to pet him... and breaks the poor thing's neck right in front of its owner.
- In issue 2 of IDW's My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic comic, the Mane Six run afoul of a hulking cave troll who wants to add the "pwetty po-nays" to his collection of toys. Rarity manages to distract him by whipping up some decoys out of stone, wood, and moss that the troll finds just as cute as the originals.
- In a Superman comic, an excited Superman hugs Jimmy Olsen. Jimmy yelps and tells Perry that if he's going to have a picture taken to hurry because "I think he's crushing my ribs."
- In Touhou fanworks, Flandre Scarlet and Koishi Komeiji are sometimes depicted as being a little too energetic in their pursuit of cuddles. Poor Okuu gets all bent out of shape and ruffled when Koishi glomps her. As for Flandre, well, those that she "plays with" down in the Scarlet Devil Mansion's basement frequently end up "broken."
- There is also this pic with Suika and Alice. Poor Alice.
Film - Animated
- Darla from Finding Nemo is notorious amongst the Tank Gang because of this. She innocently killed Nemo's predecessor by shaking his bag too much.
- Monsters vs. Aliens:
- B.O.B. enthusiastically hugs Susan's mom, and since he's a Blob Monster, accidentally absorbs her. Susan orders him to spit her out before she suffocates, then apologizes for him. "He's just a hugger."
- Susan goes to her fiancé Derek, and as she is ten times taller than he is, she very nearly crushes him and almost snaps his head off with a kiss.
- In Penguins of Madagascar, Corporal hugs the penguins quite tightly. The girl who shakes the snowglobe Dave's trapped in might count.
Film - Live Action
- Edward Scissorhands. His name should give you an idea as to why it was hard for him to properly express physical affection. Though in this case, Edward seems to understand the dangers his hands pose.
- Another Trope Maker was Universal's original Frankenstein (1931) film, in which the childlike monster, while innocently playing with a little girl, gets too enthusiastic and throws her in the river, where she drowns. This was considered so disturbing in the 1930s that the scene was cut right as the Creature is reaching for the girl, skipping to her father carrying her dead body. This made the implications of the scene worse.
- The example from Frankenstein (1931) was parodied in Young Frankenstein, when the monster accidentally throws a little girl through the air by sitting down too hard on a see-saw. This time she's safely thrown through a window of her house into her own bed. In an earlier scene, the girl, after throwing all their petals in the well and making their wishes, asks, "What will we throw in now?" Cue the Monster's Aside Glance.
- In Tommy Boy, Chris Farley's character at a restaurant demonstrates to a waitress how he ruins a sales pitch, likening it to a pet (represented by a dinner roll) that he crushes with manic love.
- In the Chuck Norris film Silent Rage his partner Charlie tells him about when he was little he had a puppy that when it got dirty he gave it a bath in the toilet and put it in the freezer to dry but he accidentally forgot about it and it froze to death.
- One of the Trope Makers is undoubtedly Lennie Small, in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Lennie was a childlike man who didn't know his own strength, and so ended up crushing the mice and puppies he tried to pet, and eventually killed someone by accident in much the same way. George was the name of his sidekick (or rather, Lennie is his sidekick), hence the Looney Tunes and MGM examples are Shout Outs. There is also the fact that poor Lennie's reaction to being startled is to hold on tightly to whatever he's holding.
- The Howlers from Animorphs are a terrifying race of warriors responsible for the genocide of several other alien races - until our heroes find out that they're all children who believe they're playing a game under the control of the evil Crayak. It gets better. Jake morphs into a Howler and finds out they have a Hive Mind and are personally killed off by Crayak to ensure they don't remember death. He retaliates by downloading his own memories into another Howler - including his Cassie's First Kiss. This throws off the whole killer race thing, as the Howlers now try to kiss everything into total submission. Whoops.
- Averted in Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October, where Snuff's barking at the Experiment Man attracts the Good Doctor's attention. He convinces his creation to put Graymalk down and stop holding her too tight.
- In Mikhail Uspensky's Zhikhar's Adventures humorous fantasy novels, that's what a varkalap does to you.
- In the Malazan Book of the Fallen Toc the Younger is subjected to a horrifying variant of this. After being captured by the enemy, he's given as a plaything to an insane K'Chain Chemalle Matriarch. Desperate for a child to cling to, the enormous beast promptly began hugging Toc the Younger, crushing and distorting his body... but the magic applied to Toc kept him alive and healing, leaving his body a twisted, pitiful wreck.
- In Tad Williams' Otherland, the Other, quasi-sentient operating system of the titular network, loves children and seeks them out, but the combination of its ignorance of real life, Psychic Powers, and the horror of its existence means that its attempts to "play with them" ends up inadvertently Mind Raping them into comas. Oops.
- Discworld has an expy of Shub-Niggurath — Tshup Aklathep, Infernal Star Toad with A Million Young. She shows pictures of them all to anyone she can catch. Until her new friends' brains implode or they kill themselves.
- Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger volume IV, The Moment of the Magician, contains an example where a sentient swamp refuses to let our protagonists go because "They are new and interesting". It likes new and interesting. In order to coax it to let them leave, Jon-Tom conjurs up a variety of objects from his own world such as a grandfather clock or a flea circus to entertain it, and eventually it is overcome by...tv commercials.
Live Action TV
- In the original The Outer Limits episode "Behold, Eck!", the titular creature is a meek, polite entity who comes from a two-dimensional universe. After he accidentally enters our world through a dimensional rift, Eck unintentionally causes all sorts of havoc until the heroes figure out how to send him home. The script's original title was "The Reluctant Monster," which gives you an idea of the tone the writers were going for.
- In The Nineties revival of The Outer Limits, an episode involves a man copying his comatose dying son's consciousness into a clunky robot body. When he comes home, he finds the cat has finally stopped being afraid of the robot, because he's petting its "soft" bloody body with his cheap robot claws.
- In the first episode of QI, Alan Davies jokes about giant anteaters doing this.
- Cameron (The Sarah Connor Chronicles) accidentally kills birds in her hand due to a glitch in her mechanical fingers.
- Jonathan Coulton's song "I Crush Everything" casts a giant squid as a reformed George-caller.
- The cover of Queen's News of the World shows a confused, childlike giant robot holding the dead band members, with the implication that it has accidentally killed them. It was adapted from a Frank Kelly Freas illustration mentioned in the "Art" section.
- Beasts of Nurgle in Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 only want to play with all the friends they meet on the battlefield. However, since they're living embodiments of disease strong enough to crush a man's bones to powder, you can guess how well that goes.
- In the play Rabbit, set in a Teenage Wasteland, Tib does this to the bunny from the title.
- While being hugged tightly by a girl with Down Syndrome, Stewie comments "I bet this one had a bunny, but not anymore."
- Looney Tunes shorts:
- The title phrase comes from a short with Hugo the Abominable Snowman, a furry giant who would "adopt" fuzzy animals (like Bugs) and nearly smother them with adoration. He would always call his new pet "George" ("I'm gonna love him, and hug him, and pet him, and call him George!") (This is something of a Shout-Out to the origin of the character, which was Lon Chaney Jr.'s portrayal of Lennie in Of Mice and Men.)
- One Looney Tunes version of this trope occurs in "Hoppy Go Lucky" (1952), in which Sylvester the cat tries to catch Hippety Hopper as a pet for his large, dumb friend Bennie. In a neat twist, Bennie calls Sylvester "George", even going so far as to utter the immortal line, "But I can't say 'Sylvester', George."
- A similar type of character also appeared in MGM's cartoons by Tex Avery.
- Lonesome Lenny (1946) is probably the ultimate example of this. "You know, I had a little friend once— but he don't move no more!". At which point Screwy Squirrel (the "little friend" in question) pulls a sign saying "Sad ending - Ain't it?" Noticeably, this is the LAST Screwy Squirrel Cartoon chronologically.
- Avery did a series of cartoons with George and Junior, a vaguely bear-like pair closely modeled after George and Lenny. Junior's regular screw-ups required him to bend over for George to kick his ass. This was actually the censored version. A more controversial version had Junior turning around so that George could shoot him in the head— exactly like the ending of the book it was referencing. It was presumably changed due to a case of Dude, Not Funny!.
- Cyberchase does the occasional Shout-Out to this, though they're usually not examples of this trope. The henchrobot Delete is always begging his boss, Hacker, for a bunny "so I can love it, and keep it, and call it George."
- An uncompleted episode of Invader Zim would have featured a giant alien named Squishy, Hugger of Worlds and the efforts to stop him from hugging Earth to death.
- Justice League:
- In Cheetah's first appearance, it was implied that Solomon Grundy killed her this way - but then she was shown alive, in hand-cuffs. Earlier in the episode, when Batman exposed her to the members of her criminal team as the "traitor,", she was "given" to Grundy and was shown being dragged out of the room, screaming. However, despite the implied death, the end of the episode featured an ensemble picture of the villains being loaded into a police vehicle, including Cheetah. Word of God states this was an accident, the intention was for everybody to assume she had been "petted" to death, but it allowed her to make a few future appearances in various episodes.
- In the episode "Only a Dream", Superman is subjected to a nightmare where his strength is out of control. His attempt to hug Jimmy in joy snaps the kid like a twig.
- Elmyra of Tiny Toon Adventures (pictured above):
- Elmyra loved animals but didn't know how to treat them. She was honestly confused when the adorable animals she meant no harm towards objected to being put in too-small cages, bathed via near-drowning, and other overly-affectionate acts. One of her pets falls apart in the sink, having been dead already unbeknownst to her. Hands with carcass go in, empty hands come out as she looks on in confusion. Her bow has the skull of some poor small animal, supposed to be her very first pet, according to forgotten sources.
- In a Tales from the Crypt parody, she is seen looking through a photo album of deceased pets, including a fish that she didn't realize couldn't live out of water, and a horse that deliberately jumped off a cliff. Said pets end up coming back as zombies to try and get revenge, only to endure more torture from Elmyra.
- Robot Chicken:
- One segment featured a giant robot coming to life and innocently harming everyone he meets; he picks up a group of people to hug and crushes them to death, splattering their guts all over himself, then picks up a dog and crushes it when he pets it. When police open fire to try to stop his apparent rampage, he decides to "play" too... and "wins".
- Another Robot Chicken sketch features an Elmyra Captain Ersatz who is so cuteness-crazed that she traps a pegasus in a bear trap, hacks off his wings, paints him pink, and whips him until he accepts that his new name is Sunnymuffins. Definitely Crosses the Line Twice. It was made even better when you realize the voice actor for Pegasus is Wayne Brady, and the little girl is voiced by Cree Summers, who also voiced the aforementioned Elmyra and Susie Carmichael from Rugrats.
- The unnamed girl who captures Snoopy and Woodstock (naming Snoopy "Rex") in Snoopy, Come Home.
- A seemingly kind old woman turns out to be this type in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode, "Gary Come Home." When Gary, the pet snail, runs away from a neglectful Spongebob, he is rescued by the old character. Before he is smothered by attention, he finds the bodies of other pet snails that she's loved to death, or alternatively fattened up with food and affection so that she could eat them. He beats a quick path home.
- While he doesn't actually kill them, Spongebob himself has this behaviour towards Squidward, Ms. Puff, Gary, and Barnacle Boy.
- Junyer Bear of Looney Tunes was a classic embodiment of this. In "A Bear For Punishment", Junyer is determined to give dear ol' Dad a memorable Father's Day. At one point, he tried to give his father a shave with a jagged straight razor. A moment later, he tells his mother, "Ma? Pa won't talk to me. I nudged him and I nudged him... he's awfully still." Subverted a moment later when a tattered arm reaches through the door and yanks Junyer back through it, followed by the sound of Pa beating the crap out of his son. "Pa is all right now, Ma!"
- The animated short, The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9
- American Dad!:
- Barry mistakes a girl in a cat costume as the ghost of his pet cat Mr. Whiskers and says "I'm sorry Mr. Whiskers I didn't know you couldn't breathe under water" while sobbing.
- Barry once said "Puppies can't fly, or at least mine couldn't" while holding back tears.
- In The Powerpuff Girls movie, when fighting the superpowered monkeys, Bubbles picks up Cruncha Muncha, the littlest capuchin monkey. She hugs him really tight and starts swinging him around in her arms when, suddenly, he goes limp in her arms, and she begins to cry.
- In "Can You Hear a Drip?" on Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs, Trike falls under the grip of an octopus named Soggy who tells him that he's going to cuddle and love and pet him forever. It later turns out that Soggy was one of Harry's bath toys that came alive in Dino World.
- In an episode of Animaniacs, a Killer Gorilla named Kiki can only be calmed down if she can play with a cat. Rita learns the hard way what that means.
- The Spikels from Mixels picture themselves as cute and cuddly and love to show affection to the other Mixels. Unfortunately, they have the tendency to forget they're covered in sharp spikes and blades. It doesn't help the case with the fact that their leader, Scorpi, is the cutest Mixel you could find.
- Brian in an episode of Family Guy ended up on the receiving end of this when a special needs kid began petting him too hard, despite Brian telling him to stop. Brian, eventually can't take it anymore and bites him, which sadly, is Truth in Television in many cases like this.
- Without going into unpleasant details, it is unwise for young children, who may still be prone to tripping and falling, or stomping and smacking things, or picking up small furry things and throwing them, to be in the presence of young, fragile animals. If an animal is small enough to be seriously injured or killed from normal "playful" behavior, keep it away from toddlers.