Badass Adorable

"He shouldn't be allowed to be that cute and that strong. It's not fair."
Mei Sakura on Negi Springfield, Mahou Sensei Negima!

A catch-all term for characters who, while being absolutely adorable, are also extremely badass. As said on a certain website, they make you break down and go "Aww, who's a widdle asskicker? Who's a widdle asskicker?"

Significant overlap with Cute Bruiser and Little Miss Badass can occur. What distinguishes the Badass Adorable from their peers is the adorability. Particular emphasis is placed on their inherent vulnerability (emotional or otherwise), which is at odds with the abilities they can access.

Underneath the irrepressibly cheerful demeanor, behind the innocent wide-eyed gaze, lies an astonishing capacity for kicking your ass, leveling a city, or why not, leveling an entire country. Perhaps you've threatened their loved ones. Perhaps you've offended their inviolate sense of justice. Maybe you took the last piece of cake. No matter what shape the grievance against you takes, they will give you an entirely new set of benchmarks to define hurt. Their destructiveness is directly proportional to their cuteness. Thus, Beware the Nice Ones.

Compare and Contrast with Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, who may not even be cognizant of their own badassery. Could be The Ditz, or just the Series Mascot, but equally likely to be a Bunny-Ears Lawyer. In some cases they are also a Mama Bear and Papa Wolf, though the latter is rare. See also Tykebomb, for when the Badass Adorable is reared for the sole purpose of serving as living weaponry. A Badass little critter can also be a Killer Rabbit. There is also a subtype which could be called "Badass Adorkable", where the character in question has Nerd/Geek/Dork characteristics as well (such characters are often male, but Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer would also definitely qualify). A particularly idealistic or heroic Badass Adorkable may be a Dork Knight.


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  • Peanuts: Linus van Pelt is an adorable, shy little boy who carries a baby blue security blanket with him wherever he goes. He is also highly intelligent, well-read, and philosophical (religious texts being his forte), preferring passive-aggression and wit to deal with people who are being jerks to him. However, he is proficient in using his blanket as a whip, a skill that carries over into the animated adaptations and which he won't hesitate to use if you insult his blanket habit or bully a girl in his presence. His most extreme example is the Very Special Episode Why, Charlie Brown, Why?, where, devoid of his blanket for the whole episode (to stress the seriousness of the subject), nearly clobbers a kid who was bullying his cancer-stricken friend/crush for her chemo-induced baldness.

Alternative Title(s): Shock And Aww, Adorabadass, Dawwwsome