"As the years passed, he fell into despair and lost all hope. For who could ever learn to love a beast?"The male is usually a monster physically, capable of great rage and destruction. The female is kind, smart, and emotional. She brings out the best in him. She sees the good in him and the world; he smashes anything that threatens her into itty-bitty pieces. This often leads to Love Redeems. The 'beast' is usually a man, but there may be exceptions. The ideal is often so high that sexual relations are not mentioned (Not by the creators, at least). If they happen or are mentioned, the results could be doom, risky, kinky or mysterious in how it works. By means of Functional Magic, Applied Phlebotinum or a good old fashioned True Love's Kiss, the issue could be avoided entirely by one of them permanently turning into the other's species. A common variant is making the Beast intelligent and cynical in contrast to a Gentle Giant image. For a man who just looks monstrous, see Ugly Guy, Hot Wife (but only so long as the wife is still "beauty"). See also Freakiness Shame. If the "beast" part is downplayed, it may be a case of Interspecies Romance. For the metaphorical variety, see Death and the Maiden.
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- Beauty and the Beast, naturally. In all of its incarnations.
- A TV series entitled Beauty and the Beast ran on CBS from 1987-1990, starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman as Catherine (the Beauty) and Vincent (the Beast). Despite its brief run and disappointing third season, it spawned a vast and enthusiastic fan following.
- The pair are still happily together after a thousand years of marriage in Fables, although not without their problems to overcome. Beast usually looks human in the series, but shifts between his human and bestial forms depending on his wife's moods towards him. Also slightly subverted as Beast is a all-round nice guy who doesn't really get that angry, while Beauty is occasionally seen as ambitious and overly-critical.
- Completely subverted in GrimGrimoire where yes, a man is cursed into a beast unless he gets together with a woman. Except that he's somewhat of a nerd, refuses to fall in love with anyone, and doesn't care what he looks like. Meanwhile, the beauty won't stop badgering him to fall in love with her so he can turn into a handsome man again.
- There is quite a hilarious Italian porno based on Beauty and the Beast... the stipulation of course being that she has to love him in ALL ways. When the beast finally gets ready to get biz-zay... well, let's just say Robot Monster would have been more titillating. And then the camera just has to focus more on the guy in the cut-up shag carpet than the woman while an epic romantic aria plays softly in the background. That was either the worst porn movie ever, or the greatest Dadatic deconstruction of one.
- Subverted on an episode of The Muppet Show. Monstrous Doglion retells the story with guest-star-of-the-week in a speechless dance. At the end, when true love blossoms despite their differences, she turns into a monster and they go away happily.
- Subverted again in another episode of The Muppet Show. Guest star Ruth Buzzi, dressed as a princess-ish wife to slovenly Big Eater Sweetums, tries to get amorous, singing "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" while serving Sweetums, who, in turn, cruelly rebuffs her. This escalates into Ruth proclaiming her love to Sweetums by whomping the (metaphorical) stuffing out of him in a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
Sweetums: ''Now that's my kind of woman!
Anime and Manga
- Briareos and Deunan in Appleseed. Briareos is a rather large and unmistakable cyborg (what with the eight eyes and literal rabbit-ear antennae), although they began their relationship before he got shot up and turned into a big metal man. Notably, despite his mechanical form, they apparently still are able to continue their relationship as normal. Yes, even that.
- Chrono Crusade:
- Chrono's a demon with a terrifying amount of power, and Rosette is a blond, petite nun that keeps him in check. Surely they're an example of this trope, right? Except that Chrono has a gentle, emotional, loving personality, while Rosette is loud, Hot-Blooded, violent and overall a loose cannon. There are some signs of the archetypes there—Rosette getting hurt is Chrono's Berserk Button, and Rosette IS a very kind person despite her temper—there's definitely a stark contrast between these two and the typical portrayal.
- Played much, much straighter with Chrono and Mary Magdalene. When Chrono met Mary, he was either a loner coping with survivor's guilt and Unstoppable Rage (manga version) or a rebellious demon who is mentioned using a woman for pleasure and discarding her when she became "boring" (anime version). Mary, however, is a pure, holy saint with ingenue qualities whose gentle nature convinces Chrono to give humans a chance.
- Inuyasha and Kagome, although it seems most of the good demons in that series are beautiful and the bad ones are Body Horrors at best. Inuyasha is typically violent as the 'beast' (claws included) while Kagome is the kind, more open-hearted 'beauty.'
- Gender flipped by the parents of the Thunder brothers.
- Baccano!: Played with for Ladd and Lua. Sure, psychotically violent Ladd's gonna make sure nobody touches his girl, but only because he wants to be the one to kill her. Lua is disturbingly okay with this.
- Hayate × Blade has Ensuu, described as a "beast" even in canon, and her partner Meiko (She's definitely far from ugly). Subverted in that Ensuu appears to be more Blood Knight than mindless animal, and that Meiko is actually a Manipulative Bitch.
- Monster: Roberto is a Beast in every sense possible, not exactly the most handsome of men, psychopathically violent, and capable of great rage and destruction without a doubt. Naturally, he deserves a Beauty and he gets the Beauty he deserves: the angelically beautiful and terrifyingly amoral Johan. From a certain perspective, Johan definitely brings out the best in him. Unfortunately for Roberto, this is a subversion, as his love for Johan is one-sided due to Johan being completely inhuman.
- Played with in Kyo and Tohru from Fruits Basket. While he's technically a human that turns into a cat when embraced by members of the opposite sex, Kyo's "true" form is actually a monster. Furthermore, Kyo tends to consider himself a monster even when he's fully human.
- In an episode of Slayers TRY, the heroes help out a fish woman (read: giant talking fish with arms and legs) who's in a relationship with a human man against her father's wishes get components for a potion that can supposedly help them out. It doesn't work, because although she gets turned into a human, he becomes a fish man!
- Violinist of Hameln: Hamel might be very handsome and look nearly angelical at times (though it takes a while for the manga artwork to reflect this fact), but, being the son of the Demon King means he has a god-awful-looking alternate monster form he slips into whenever he loses his mind (though it can look compelling in the hands of the right artist). He's also a jerkish brat who puts on an arrogant façade to push people away. Also, kind, cute Flute is the one who not only turns him back into his human form, but also the one who coaxes him into slooooowly dropping the Jerkass 'tude.
- Hyper Police: Tommy is a werewolf pretty much permanently stuck in wolf form, and deeply in love with Peau, a human woman. Though she rejects him at first, eventually they date, become a couple and even have children. A lot of children.
- Krory and Eliade in D.Gray-Man. Though Krory isn't ugly, he's vampire-like, has a feral and bloodthirsty Split Personality, and everyone in the village he lives in sees him as a monster. Eliade, on the other hand, is a beautiful woman who loves him despite what he is. Subverted, as it turns out Krory is a human with Innocence in his teeth that makes him thirst for Akuma blood, and Eliade is an Akuma who hopes Krory's love will redeem her.
- Nanami and Tomoe in Kamisama Kiss. Nanami is a sweet teenage girl who inadvertently becomes the new Land God of Mikage Shrine and gains Tomoe, a ruthless fox-demon, as a familiar who isn't too fond of taking orders from her. Naturally, they start becoming attracted to each other.
- Fullmetal Alchemist has a non-romantic subversion in Gluttony and Lust. Gluttony is the Homunculi's Dumb Muscle and has a lot of trouble getting through the day without someone telling him what to do; Lust is the brains and provides the orders that the big lug needs. The subversion comes from the fact that Lust is by far the more evil of the two, being a Card-Carrying Villain & Dark Action Girl who gets her kicks by hurting people, while Gluttony is an Obliviously Evil dopey Anti-Villain. She does keep him focused though, and hurting her is without a doubt his Berserk Button, complete with going One-Winged Angel.
- In one chapter of Mermaid Saga, Mana is kidnapped by a man who consumed mermaid flesh and turned into a monster. Unlike most people who this happens to, he keeps his human mind...usually. While Mana pities him, he still has a breakdown and attacks her and Yuuta has to kill him. He gets his human mind back as he dies, and Mana comforts him.
- Dorohedoro: Kaiman and Nikaido. One is a lizard headed guy, the other is a beautiful blonde.
- Death Note
- Rem and Misa have a same-sex version of this dynamic. Misa is the first and only human Rem regards highly and she's willing to disregard shinigami law for her sake. Tragically subverted in that Misa doesn't appear to care that much about her and lets Light manipulate her as he pleases.
- There's also Misa with Gelus, a Shinigami who fell in love with her and began to observe her from the Shinigami Realm. Gelus was small, ugly and knew that Misa didn't know he existed or that she would ever love him. When he sees her approaching death through a crazed, stalking fan, Gelus writes the fan's name in the Death Note and saves Misa's life, but dies himself because he broke a Shinigami's rule. While Rem tells Misa of this story, Misa finds the idea romantic.
- Played with in Spider Riders with Buguese and Aqune. Even if Buguese is the most humanoid Insector, he's still not exactly... human. First, we have the setup of Aqune willingly staying in the Insector castle, giving up any better life she could have had. Aqune is the gentle, nurturing, empathetic one. She tries to see the good in everyone. Buguese is the brooding, cynical, angry one. Despite his hate for humans, it's very clear he has a soft spot for Aqune. Freeing her is the last thing he does before confronting Mantid, which he expects will kill him.
- In Renaissance artwork, the motif Death and the Maiden can be considered a variant of the trope. A dance of death between a woman of age with the personification of death (usually portrayed as a withered corpse or skeleton). Some consider this to be a romantic image, while others simply see it as a metaphor for the contrast between life and death.
- Luis Royo's paintings frequently contain images of this.
- Jesus Frankenstein and Pumpkinhead from Grindhouse and Watercolors fall under this category.
- Benjamin J Grimm, a.k.a. the Thing, and the blind girl, Alicia Masters, from the Fantastic Four. Lampshaded in the second movie, where Johnny asks Ben about the details. Ben is not amused.
- Cloak & Dagger, a Marvel Universe Super Hero team, feature a beautiful, buxom blonde and a shadowed, hidden black man. Cloak tends to be the darker of the two (no surprise) and is more prone to violence and angst. Dagger is the front woman, and in a minor subversion, they actually feed off of each other — Cloak depends on her to keep him alive, by feeding him light-energy to resist the drain of his powers, and Dagger needs a safe outlet to release the energy that builds up inside her or it'll kill her.
- Marvel has an interesting example, Beast was in a relationship with Abigail Brand, an attractive woman with green hair. Personality wise, Beast is kind and gentle and Brand... isn't.
- DC's Angel and the Ape, a fairly obscure detective series from the late 1960s, avoided Exactly What It Says on the Tin only by virtue of the fact that Angel is her name, not a literal description. The ape, on the other hand...note
- Marvel's Avengers: The Initiative has an inversion: Komodo and Hardball. Komodo is female and reptilian, while Hardball is an attractive blond guy with energy powers.
- Young Avengers has a same-sex version with Wiccan, a Squishy Wizard, and Hulkling, well, a Hulk-esque shapeshifter.
- Tragic example: Marv and Goldie in Sin City. He has a single beautiful night with a Hooker with a Heart of Gold. Then she is murdered horribly, and Marv framed for the murder. Cue the Roaring Rampage of Revenge...
- Snake Eyes and Scarlett from G.I. Joe. She's a beautiful, cheerful (her file-card mentions it's difficult to believe someone as deadly as her could have such good sense of humour) redhead. He's a mute, orphaned killing machine suffering constant pain from a face so horribly scarred it's been known to shock people who see it into a sort of traumatic paralysis. Scarlett isn't just the love of his life, she's the main reason he bothers to go on living in the first place.
- Astro City has Rex and Natalie of the First Family. He's a giant orange dinosaur monster with rocky scales and the prince of Monstro City; she's an energy being who internalizes her powers to become a Size Shifter giantess. They Fight Crime!!
- Snow White and "Bigby" Wolf in Fables: she's a fairy-tale princess, he's, well, the Bid Bad Wolf. Of course, it helps that she's actually an iron-willed political leader ("You dumb bastards! I'm Snow White! I run Fabletown, and I'm never outgunned!") and that he can take on human form.
- Amora The Enchantress takes great pride in her own beauty and appreciates handsome men just fine. But being an immortal ages-old goddess, she is able to see beyond mere physical attractiveness. She kept Skurge, an imposing brutish warrior, at her side for centuries and cherished him. She also once took Keep, a huge and only vaguely humanlike thing of green wood and tendrils with a truly monstrous face, to her bed. She remarked that it was a suitably epic experience.
- In "The Frog Prince", the beauty breaks the frog curse on the prince by killing him (resurrected as a human, he then reveals that his curse could be broken only by a female killing him). This tale predates the "Beauty and the Beast" tales by centuries. Much later versions of the Frog Prince make the cure a kiss instead of a killing, but in most of the original tales, death or beatings at the hands of a woman were the only ways to turn the beast into a man.
- Many other classic fairy tales are variations on this trope, like "The Singing Springing Lark", "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" and others.
- Name any X-Men romance fanfiction involving Nightcrawler or the Beast. Now see how many of those feature a female protagonist who is not a mutant herself.
- Lampshaded in the title of the Metalocalypse Murderface/Skwisgaar Slash Fic Beauty and the Bassist. Murderface is by no means a monster, but he is an Ugly Cute Type A male Tsundere who can be awfully abrasive, and Skwisgaar is about as close to a bishonen as the show's art style gets.
- Played for humor in story's illustration.
- The internet artist and writer Furioso, most if not all of whose oeuvre is erotic fan works of comic book characters (particularly Wonder Woman), is quite fond of this — to the point where the Beast need not even be sentient.
- The Death Note fanfic Story of the Century showcases shades of this dynamic with L and Original Character and First-Person Peripheral Narrator Erin. L is of course human, not a literal monster and he is very intelligent (and knows it), but he's ruthless, strange in personality and looks, emotionally constipated and his moral code has quite a few holes in it. His relationships with pretty much everyone in the story are quite troubled and Erin is often very critical of him, but she sticks with him, anyway. At least until the end...
- In Greenfire, an Interspecies Romance starts developing between the glamorous Rarity and the intimating dragon Greenfire (a.k.a. Spike). That's not to say Spike is ugly, just terrifying by pony standards, and Rarity grows to admire his impressive musculature.
- This trope applies to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fics that ship Discord with either Fluttershy or Celestia.
- In Hope for the Heartless, we have Avalina (a human) and the Horned King (a lich). They're also the case of an Intergenerational Friendship, though the Horned King shows shades of being a Parental Substitute towards Avalina.
- The Adventures Of Jaina has the pretty human mage Jaina and the ancient, eight-foot-tall, intimidatingly powerful Mahjarrat Azzanadra.
Film — Animated
- Inverted in both ways in WALL•E: WALL•E is an ugly and outmoded robot, but also the kind and sensitive one, whereas EVE is an extremely attractive and state-of-the-art robot, but is the insensitive and hot-tempered one, and WALL•E is the one that calms her down and teaches her to be more caring.
- Shrek and Princess Fiona, with a few interesting twists:
- Fiona is the one with the curse that turns her into an ogre after dark. When Shrek gives her True Love's Kiss, instead of Shrek turning into a prince, Fiona turns into an ogre. She takes this rather well considering her already ogre-like behavior. It comes back again in the first sequel when Shrek takes a potion that makes him a handsome human and restores Fiona's form... and when given the chance to make this permanent, she passes it up because they were both happier as ogres.
- The "original" Beauty and the Beast from the fairy tale exist in this same universe too, according to a tie-in guide to the world of the films published by Dorling-Kindersley. It seems that these two had a twist to their relationship too, given that the book comments that they usually share a "glittering palace" in Far Far Away, but the Beast still has a spacious kennel to indulge his animal instincts in as well, implying that he never changed into a prince and Beauty's just fine with that.
- They also have the Frog Prince variant with Fiona's parents, though her dad turns back into a frog and his wife is just fine with it.
- Subverted in Brother Bear 2 with Nita and Kenai. Kenai is a bear (a literal beast), and Nita is his childhood friend. In the end, she transforms into a bear (courtesy of the spirits) so they can be together.
- Quasimodo and Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. She ends up with Phoebus in the end, but it is indicated that she and Quasimodo remain good friends. An absolute subversion of the original story, in which Esmeralda is just as revolted by Quasimodo's looks as everybody else. The sequel plays it straight all the way with a girl named Madellaine hooking up with Quasimodo.
- The Princess and the Frog has a grand time playing with this. Charlotte adores the fairy tale and wishes that she could find a frog prince, while Tiana finds the entire thing disgusting. Later, when Tiana meets the transformed Prince Naveen, she is visibly creeped out and none too impressed with him. She doesn't fall in love with him (or he with her) until both have transformed into frogs.
- In Strange Magic, Marianne, a Fairy Princess, falls in love with the Bog King. Slightly subverted as the movie shows that his standard of beauty leans towards his race - according to his culture, Marianne is the one who would be seen as beastly. They fall in love regardless.
Film — Live-Action
- In Mask (no, not The Mask), the main character Rocky has a disorder which causes his skull to be very enlarged and twisted, looking like a mask. He falls in love with blind girl Diana Adams, who he met at a summer camp for disabled teenagers. He teaches her how to "see" colours by using various objects to represent them. She still stays with him even after she feels his face and sees how deformed he is.
- Kong and Fay Wray from King Kong (1933). In this case, it's deconstructed: The Beauty most emphatically doesn't love or redeem the Beast. He dies because of her rejection.
Police Lieutenant: Well, Denham, the airplanes got him.
Carl Denham: Oh no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast.
- In Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005), the two actually communicate through actions several times. Word of God is that the affectionate interactions between Anne and Kong were based on the story of Koko the gorilla and her pet kitten.
- A villainous example: Meela Nais and Imhotep in The Mummy Returns (she is the reincarnation of Anck-su-namun, who was Imhotep's lover when he was mortal). Note that Imhotep becomes fully human much sooner than most examples of this trope.
- Subverted in the horror spoof Slither. Grant and Starla are married, Grant is forced to share a body with the head alien and ends up with Body Horror in the extreme. She ultimately rejects him.
- In the B-Movie spoof The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (2004) the Damsel in Distress faints at the sight of the alien Mutant who carries her off in a Mars Needs Women fashion, only for her to be returned unharmed.
"It looked at me, with those eyes, those ugly eyes, and they looked deep into me, deeper than any human ever has, with a kind of understanding that frightened me to my very soul."
- Penelope (2008) with Christina Ricci as a blue-blood woman with an inoperably deformed nose Gender Flips the story.
- The Dark Knight Rises has a villainous example: Bane and Talia Al Ghul. He's a hulking brute with a permanent gas mask, while she's a high-society seductress. They plot a new world order!
- Though both are female and the relationship is akin to mother and daughter, Maleficent and Aurora fit this. The first is a winged, horned fairy who loses faith in love and curses the latter, who, through her sunny personality, inadvertently teaches Maleficent how to love again.
- Post-disfiguration Wade as the Beast and Vanessa as the Beauty, in Deadpool. He's a scarred-up unkillable mutant Heroic Comedic Sociopath who is disturbingly good at stabbing people, she's a beautiful Hooker with a Heart of Gold. Fitting the cheerfully cynical tone of the movie, however, the Beauty is not idealized - Vanessa is beautiful and reasonably good-hearted but she's also a very snarky Good Bad Girl.
- X Men 2 has a Ship Tease between the beautiful Storm and the Demon-esque mutant Nightcrawler who is blue, scaly with More Teeth Than The Osmonds. In a slight subversion, he is the kind and gentle pacifist when he's not Brainwashed and Crazy that is, whilst she is more likely to kick some serious ass if she feels her fellow mutants are in the slightest danger.
- The movie "The Polar Bear King" is another example, though it doesn't completely fit the trope. King Valemon, a king who has been placed under a curse by a sorceress he refused to marry, was turned into a polar bear and told he must marry within seven years to be human again. He becomes human temporarily at night, but only if his face is not seen. If it IS seen, he'll be trapped in the curse forever.
- Older Than Dirt: Enkidu and Shamhat in the first two tablets of The Epic of Gilgamesh. She's a beautiful temple prostitute. He's an unkempt, hairy wild man who lives in the wilderness.
- A Song of Ice and Fire: Not surprising, as George R.R. Martin wrote for Beauty and the Beast.
- Sandor Clegane and Sansa Stark's relationship. Sansa loves songs and stories of knights and fair maidens. Sandor was playing with a knight toy when he was burned by his brother, and assumed the Hound persona as a defense mechanism. He tells her the Beast's lines, I am no lord, and I don't love compliments. Slowly he changes, and becomes Sandor again. Slowly she changes, and comes to desire him, dreaming of his kiss. The story is full of Beauty and Beast motifs, including the rose (from Loras), the prince (Joffrey), the father (Ned), and much more.
- Jaime Lannister and Brienne's relationship. Jaime is a handsome and irreverent knight with a bad reputation as "the Kingslayer" and Brienne an ugly and stubbornly honourable woman mockingly nicknamed "the Beauty". However the two couples exist only as subtext and tantalizing hints so far. The series in general is full of Beast and Beauty motifs (including a ribald song entitled 'The Bear and the Maiden Fair').
- I Am Not a Serial Killer has another non-literal example in John and Marci. He has a tendency to scare people and a love for violence; she's the hot, smart Life of the Party. He's drawn to the lightness and ease she brings out in him, and she likes that he's quiet and respectful and unusually interested in what's behind the pretty face.
- Not ugly so much as horrifying-looking, Gwynplaine, star of Victor Hugo's novel The Man Who Laughs somehow managed to be a veritable babe magnet. It should be noted that Dea is blind and that Josiane is quite the (virgin) pervert. Also, Gwynplaine was pretty handsome, aside from his Glasgow Grin. The 1928 film adaptation inspired The Joker.
- Cleft-palate serial killer Frances Dolarhyde, who believes he is hideously deformed but played by the handsome Ralph Fiennes in the movie, the eponymous Red Dragon, had a surprisingly sweet romantic relationship with a pretty blind coworker, before his split personality decided she had to die. Hannibal Lecter thought it was hilarious.
- From Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series: Trool the Troll (literal troll with a heart of gold) and the vampiress Suchevane (described by more than one character as Sex On Two Legs, who was also inexplicably Unlucky In Love). It might have helped that Trool was both the Red Adept (maker of magic amulets and totems) and caretaker of the local Deus ex Machina, the Book of Magic.
- Also from Piers Anthony, Ogre, Ogre, with Smash the (half-)Ogre and Tandy the half-nymph. Technically it could also apply to Smash's parents, since his mother is a human actress, though she was costumed as an ogress for a play when her husband fell in love with her, and stayed in ogress dress for the duration of the marriage.
- Played with and gender switched in Lois McMaster Bujold's short story "Labyrinth". An eight foot tall experimental Super Soldier complete with fangs and claws can count as 'Beast', but considering that he is a four-foot-nine fast-talking hunchback Admiral Naismith does not quite fit most objective standards of 'Beauty'. Touchingly he comes to consider Supersoldier Taura the 'Beauty', an enchanted princess to be rescued from the real 'Beasts'.
- The Phantom and Christine from The Phantom of the Opera in novels, movies, plays, and fan fiction. In nearly all examples of these but the last, however, the Phantom realizes he's been a murderous Stalker With a Crush and lets Christine go so she can be happy with her handsome Victorious Childhood Friend Raoul, even after Christine has said she'll stay with the Phantom so Raoul's life will be spared.
- Kerovan and Joisan, from Andre Norton's Witch World novel The Crystal Gryphon (and its sequels). Although he never gets transformed to be less "different" — they just go to live among people who won't be weirded out by his cloven hooves. For quite a while there, though, he had the attitude that "no fit mate for any human woman am I."
- The main plot of Quo Vadis revolves around Vinicius' transformation from a selfish, violent, lustful man to a devout Christian through his love for Lygia.
- Gender-switched in the Nightside series, where John Taylor and Shotgun Suzie eventually end up sort of together. This is after half her face is destroyed by a blow from a spiked mace, a disfigurement the bounty huntress chooses to keep because it makes her even more terrifying.
- In the Darkest Powers series, Chloe and Derek. Chloe is a cute little blond with big blue eyes. Derek, on the other hand... Let's just say that puberty has not been kind to him at all. And even if it all clears up perfectly, he'll never been male model material. 'Hulking' has been used to describe him. He is built like a linebacker, though.
- Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier has Caitrin and Anluan in a surprisingly magic-free version of the myth, considering the amount of magic present elsewhere in the book.
- Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters features a subplot in which beautiful nineteen-year-old Marianne Dashwood gradually comes to love the much older Col. Brandon, who was cursed by a sea witch to have a writhing mass of tentacles hanging from his face, Davy Jones-style. (In the original story, Brandon was simply much older, so this trope doesn't apply there.)
- In the story of "The Nutcracker", Marie falls in love with the eponymous Nutcracker and declares to him that if he would have her, she would never reject him for how he looks. This is enough to break the curse and turn the Nutcracker back into a human man, as his curse could only be broken when someone loves him regardless of how he looks. Earlier, this trope is subverted when the Nutcracker (who is still human at the time) breaks the curse on a princess and is cursed in return, only for her to scorn him for being ugly.
- Alex Flinn's Beastly is a modern retelling of "Beauty and the Beast".
- Essentially a re-imagining of the fairy tale for which this trope is named, Mercedes Lackey's book The Fire Rose features a pretty female scholar hired by a magician who has been shifted into a half-wolf form. Notably subverted near the end, when the beast chooses the life and love of the protagonist over the information that will allow him to return to human form.
- Robin McKinley rewrote the story twice:
- She first wrote it fairly straightforward in her debut novel, Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast, which contains a number of similarities with Disney's animated version that came several years later.
- Some while after that, she reimagined the tale in Rose Daughter, which — among other things — had the Beast not turn back into a prince.
- Ice has Cassie and Bear (not surprising, given that it's a retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon). While Bear can turn into a human man, he can only do so when Cassie can't see him, and usually only for the purpose of them sleeping together.
- Animorphs essentially genderflipped this with Tobias and Rachel. Rachel was the one who smashed anything that got in the way by turning into a grizzly bear, and Tobias brought out the best in her, despite being trapped as a bird himself.
- From Honor Harrington, Alfred Harrington, who is perfectly normal physically but The Berserker and a Blood Knight when in combat, and his eventual wife, Allison Chou. As in, the short story that details their meeting is actually called "Beauty and the Beast".
Allison: [The story is] us, Alfred. It's us! Me, running away from home because I need to be myself, and you, terrified of your ‘monster,' afraid you're becoming the beast. But you're not. Maybe the beast is inside there, but it isn't you. You control it, and it was the beast that let you save my life. And you didn't come for me because you wanted an excuse to kill other people. You came for me because what you are is a good, caring, decent, gentle man. I know that—-I see that—-and you know I do. You know it, Alfred, and you've been alone with the beast too long. Trust me. Oh, trust me, my love.
- In Heart of Steel, you have Alistair Mechanus, disfigured cyborg Mad Scientist with metal plates covering and replacing one entire side of his face. He wants to conquer the world and Julia's heart. On the other hand, you have Julia Parker, troubled ER doctor who starts to see the more vulnerable side of him. He is intelligent but broken by his past, but he will utterly destroy anyone to hurts Julia.
- Journey to Chaos: After Eric mana mutates into a grendel, Kallen fills in the role of the gentle and understanding Beauty. She does this in her combat suit, due to the circumstances, but she had previously been dolled up in a kimono and make up, and Tasio laments the missed opportunity to snap "Beauty and the Beast" photos.
- Harry Potter:
- Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks. He's a man most of the time but turns beastly once a month; she's a cute, quirky woman who's barely past her teens. Lupin is definitely the "intelligent and tortured" version of this trope - even during the full moon, he takes a potion that allows him to keep his human mind and not become bloodthirsty. And Tonks fits this trope by seeing the good in him and helping him function in the human world.
- Rubeus Hagrid's parents were a gender-inverted version of this trope: his mother was a giantess and his father was a small, meek man. This didn't work out very well once Rubeus was born; his mom left in disappointment after her son didn't turn out as big as other giants.
- Scarlet Benoit and Wolf in The Lunar Chronicles are an example of this, as Scarlet is a human girl and Wolf is a Lunar wolf-human soldier. This is especially the case in Winter, when Wolf is further genetically and surgically modified to be more wolf-like than before.
- An entirely platonic example can be found in Roald Dahl's The BFG, with the eponymous character and the plucky orphan Sophie. Sophie is at first (understandably) terrified of him, but the two grow to trust one another very quickly. The giant for his part, doesn't have a mean bone in his body, and compared to the other giants... suffice to say, he's a lot less ghastly.
Live Action TV
- Game of Thrones:
- Brutish burn victim Sandor Clegane seems to equally hate and love Sansa for being a pretty little idealist.
- Jaime and Brienne, the handsome knight with a bad reputation and the ugly woman with a stubborn code of honour.
- The miniseries V (1983), wherein all the aliens look human, but are really reptiles.
- The alien Willie (played by a pre-Freddy Robert Englund) is a kindly, nerdy bumbler who strikes up a relationship with a human woman named Harmony. When she learns the truth, the horrified look on her face as his fake hand is ripped open was one of the most poignant scenes in the mini. Later, they hook up again as she admits that she didn't fall for his looks in the first place. Unfortunately, she is tragically killed in the end.
- This mini also subverts the trope on a routine basis, but the nastiest example is with the character of Robin Maxwell. Long story short, she falls for one of the aliens, but it turns out she was only being manipulated into sleeping with him to conceive a hybrid child and their night together technically counts as rape. After she gives birth to two children, one mostly human and the other mostly reptilian, she murders the father with a bio-weapon engineered from the blood of the less human child.
- In the third season episode of Buffy, "Beauty and the Beasts", a fledgling Mad Scientist takes a potion which results in him transforming into a monster. His girlfriend is the only one who can calm him down. In a subversion, he's a murderer and the relationship is abusive.
- On the other hand, Buffy's relationships with Angel and Spike both played this fairly straight. Although Buffy also abused Spike, which might make it better or worse depending on just how jaded you are.
- Willow and Oz count in a way, as he was a werewolf. The above-mentioned episode also focused heavily on Buffy/Angel and Willow/Oz to focus on different possibilities and aspects of this trope.
- After Buffy and Angel break up, this also applies to Angel and Cordelia.
- Mostly deconstructed and subverted in Once Upon a Time.
- In the first season, Rumplestiltskin is the beast, and while he softens a bit, love does not redeem him; the Evil Queen Regina is more then happy to point out all the A Match Made in Stockholm implications of the setup as an Evil Plan to ruin him; and Belle almost de-powers him trying to cure him. He sends her away and the Queen gloatingly tells him that her superstitious village locked her up and tortured her until the poor girl threw herself off a tower, leaving our "beast" bereft with only a single chipped teacup as a Tragic Keepsake. Of course, her Majesty was lying about the suicide part, but Belle's real-world counterpart is locked in a Bedlam House.
- In season two Belle, her Identity Amnesia removed, reveals that she was actually abducted by Regina before the curse, kept alive as a trump card in case Regina ever decided that she needed to do something against Rumple since he still has his powers. So the whole situation ends up being awful for both parties involved, even if they do love each other.
- Played straight in season three when Rumple tells Belle that her love gives him the strength he needs to kill Peter Pan.
- Damon and Elena from The Vampire Diaries.
- Forever Knight Nick and Natalie, vampire and human.
- Played with in the case of Nina and George, in Being Human. While George is a werewolf, he's a normal person for most of the time. Nina still loves him after learning what he is though, and later episodes reveal that even as a werewolf, George is capable of recognizing Nina as his "mate" and refraining from attacking her.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation uses the "appearances" of this trope, but without the "redemption by love" aspect, in the Canon Pairing, Troi/Worf.
- In a 2009 Playboy interview, Hugh Laurie compared Gregory House to both the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera. Any of his Love Interests might contend for the role of the Beauty/Christine analogue, but Cameron is the most straightforward choice - female, idealistic, bringing out the best in him (relatively speaking), and able to see the good in House even when no one else can.
- An "intelligent and cynical beast" example: When lovely young Clara Oswald first meets the humanoid alien Doctor in Series 7 of Doctor Who, he's in his youthful, boyish, amiable eleventh life and they quickly bond. Then he regenerates into a much older-looking man whose gaunt, grim appearance (particularly his Big Ol' Eyebrows and death glares), pricklier, more pragmatic personality, and lack of social skills are off-putting to everyone he meets, including Clara for a significant chunk of Series 8. Even as she travels with him, she is also romancing a handsome fellow schoolteacher close to her own age. Gradually she comes to understand and accept Twelve and remains his Morality Chain. His biggest Berserk Button is the prospect of her being harmed or killed, whereupon he's willing to go to desperate lengths (verging on Unstoppable Rage) to save her or have vengeance. After her boyfriend dies (and the Doctor tries, unsuccessfully, to save him), their relationship becomes more affectionate and his personality and appearance soften. Sadly, the final stretch of Series 9 has her Killed Off For Real, in part because their personalities have become too similar and she has developed his Chronic Hero Syndrome. When this is followed by horrific torture being inflicted on him, his full potential for beastly behavior is revealed as he temporarily becomes a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds in hopes of bringing her back. When all is said and done they are separated forever.
- A popular practice in Gothic Metal and Symphonic Metal bands is to perform a duet of a male growler and a female soprano singer. They're often given the roles of "The Beauty" and "The Beast" in song's lyrics. Examples include "Devil and the Deep Dark Ocean" by Nightwish, "Nyphetamine" by Cradle of Filth, "As the Shadows Dance" by Theatre of Tragedy, among many others.
- Invoked in Lordi's song "Would You Love a Monsterman?", and also with Mr. Lordi himself. His backstory has him perpetually searching for his One True Love, and his music videos often having him/the band pursuing or aiding a young (human) woman.
- Stevie Nicks's "Beauty and the Beast".
- The theme song for Disney's Beauty and the Beast of the same title, sung by Mrs. Potts in-universe and out of 'verse by Céline Dion and Peabo Bryson.
- "The French Passion of Animality Opera" by Foxy Shazam seems to tell a beauty/beast story, though it's hard to tell.
- Meat Loaf's "I'd do Anything for Love (But I won't Do that)" video uses a Beauty and Beast motif.
- The Greek god Hephaestus, son of Zeus and Hera, was so ugly he got thrown off Mt. Olympus as a baby and was crippled upon landing (or was defenestrated because he was born crippled). When the goddess of love, Aphrodite, needed a husband, all the unwed gods (including Hephaestus) were lined up for her to make her choice. Zeus chose Hephaestus for her — and she was completely and utterly unfaithful to him.
- In one version of that story, she chose him.
- In another version, Hephaestus built a chair that trapped Hera in it, and he refused to free her unless he could marry Aphrodite.
- In yet ANOTHER version, Hera set Hephaestus up with Aphrodite to make up for throwing him from Olympus. And, being the goddess of marriage, she told him what to tell her so that she'd agree to marry him when she wouldn't marry any of the other gods: 'I work late.' So really, he had to know what he was getting into...
- Hades and Persephone could also fit this trope — though Hades is not always depicted as physically monstrous, he is the God of the Dead, which tends to give everyone else an aversion to him. And true, Persephone was kidnapped against her will, but still ends up Queen of the underworld. They're also one of the very few Happily Married pairs in the entire pantheon. And by the usual standards of the Greek Gods Hades was actually quite fair.
- Another fits most of the same elements of the tale, but acts as a whopping subversion: Psyche was considered to be as pretty as/prettier than Aphrodite. But she found it difficult to find a husband for plot reasons. An oracle deemed that she was to be left on the side of a mountain as a bride to a "monster that neither gods nor men can resist." Psyche was taken to a beautiful palace, attended to by invisible servants, and her husband would come by night, but not stay until morning. In the darkness, she could not see his face. Her sisters convinced her that her husband was a terrible beast that meant to devour her and their unborn child, and to hide an oil lamp and a knife for the next time he comes to visit. Turned out, her unseen husband was anything but a beast — Aphrodite's own son Eros had decided to marry her.
- Gender inverted in the King Arthur legends, where the handsome Sir Gawain must marry Dame Ragnell, who is cursed into the form of the Loathly Lady, in order to gain the answer to the question "What do women want the most?". Interestingly, a kiss is able to break half the spell: she can be beautiful only by day or by night and Ragnell tells Gawain he can choose which it will be. The spell is only fully broken when Gawain givers her the choice instead, thus standing by the answer to the riddle which is that what women want the most is their own will.
- Cyrano de Bergerac has the ugly Warrior Poet Cyrano fall in love with his beautiful childhood friend (and cousin) Roxane but never tell her until his deathbed, instead setting her up with the handsome-but-tonguetied Christian. When Roxane tells the dying Cyrano that she loves him, he jokes that he won't be magically made handsome and brought back to life like the Beast in "Beauty and the Beast".
Roxane: Live, for I love you!
Cyrano: No, In fairy tales
When to the ill-starred Prince the lady says'I love you!' all his ugliness fades fast—
But I remain the same, up to the last!
- Wicked has a gender-flipped version of this with Elphaba and Fiyero. At one point in the show, Elphaba says to Fiyero: "I wish I could be beautiful for you".
- Chibi-Robo! has Mort and Princess Pitts. Mort is a shy, melancholy mummy action figure who literally kills every plant he touches, and who dearly wishes he could properly express his feelings for the princess doll Pitts. Unfortunately, Pitts is terrified of anything even remotely monstrous. However, she's so touched by the kindness Mort shows her that she begs Chibi to help her overcome her fears. In the end, they get Happily Married, and live happily in Mort's shoebox under the bed with their children.
- The furry, horned, and cloven-hooved satyr/Giant Maduin and the human woman Madeline in Final Fantasy VI. They even had a half-Esper half-human daughter, Terra. There is a minor subversion though, as it turns out Humans Are the Real Monsters who drive them apart, leading to the deaths of the lovers and the capture of the infant Terra.
- A variation in Jak and Daxter: Daxter meets a girl who falls in love with him, despite him being a two-foot-tall ottsel (he was originally a humanoid just like her). Inverted in that she does most of the protecting, indirectly by giving the powerful weapons she makes to his Heterosexual Life Partners Jak and threatening hell on anyone who harms him. In the third game, Daxter finally gets the chance to become normal again, but he decides against it. But it works out, when the girl in question gets turned into an Ottsel herself shortly afterward.
- In the ending of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Raiden makes this comparison between him and Rose. Rose fiercely denies this, saying that he is not a beast — he is their son's father as well as the man she loves.
- Odin Sphere: Cornelius (Sheltered Aristocrat cursed into Pooka, a rabbit-like creature) and Velvet (Stripperiffic princess). Just like the Shrek example, Velvet also turns into a Pooka. However, if the bonus ending is achieved, both turn human again.
- Though it's unofficial, Thrall and Jaina from the recent Warcraft installments and storylines are heavily implied by the fans as such example of the trope. Though that's more on the fact that Thrall is considered a Noble Demon among his kind...
- There's also the more canonical example of Thrall and Tabetha Foxton.
- Also played with Tyrande Whisperwind and Malfurion Stormrage. He's starting to grow antlers, but she's the more zealous one.
- Ziggurat 8 (Ziggy) and MOMO in Xenosaga, a killer cyborg and an adorable Robot Girl. Their relationship is parental in nature, however.
- The tag-team combo the Kanji and Naoto use in Persona 4 Golden is named after Beauty and the Best. Appropriate in that Kanji is over six feet tall, bulging with muscle, has a delinquent look going on, is feared by his peers as a bit of a brute and is a grappler/brawler character with some of the most brutal physical skills in the game. Naoto on the other hand is absolutely tiny and exudes an androgynous charm that makes her very popular with the ladies and quite a number of guys (including, naturally, Kanji). Turns out that Kanji's actually a really nice guy, whereas Naoto starts as something of an apathetic jerk before the Character Development kicks in.
- A non-romantic example: in League of Legends, the champion Kindred, the Eternal Hunters is actually two characters; an incarnation of death itself that was so lonely that he supposedly split himself in two with an axe so he would always have a friend. The result was Lamb, a female embodiment of accepting death with dignity who is gentle, beautiful and calm (but still deadly), and Wolf, a male embodiment of the futility of trying to escape your fate who is ferocious, savage, cruel and impatient (and also deadly). To make it even more apparent, Lamb is a white, furry humanoid, like a cross between a person and, well, a lamb, while Wolf is a black, floating, disembodied wolf's head.
- Planescape: Torment plays with this trope: The Nameless One looks the beast part, being horribly scarred due to every kind of possible damage inflicted on his body, while his two romantic options Fall-From-Grace and Annah are also incredibly attractive. The catch is that they have fiendish heritage themselves, but other than Annah having a long tail and Grace having demonic wings, they are otherwise indistinguishable from humans.
- Kevin & Kell reversed this in every way imaginable — not only are the genders reversed, the "beast" is the Human, since the comic takes place in a world of Funny Animals. It all, of course, culminates in a perfect replay of the ballroom scene from Disney's Beauty and the Beast... with the only difference being who is the Beauty and who is the Beast.
- Count Mickey Dragula and Mina Murray in Count Mickey Dragul are this, though uncharacteristically, it's Mina who ends up turned into a vampire•
- The original Drowtales had this set up with Ariel and Rik, with Rick eventually growing selfish and possessive and betraying everyone so he can have Ariel for himself. The remakes retconned this, turning Rik into a Stalker With a Crush, who tried to rape Ariel twice, and had a bridge dropped on him the second time, taking all potential future plot he was meant to be implied in, with him.
- The "beast" in Slightly Damned (a demon) is told an in-universe variant of the trope-naming story. He doesn't like it, since even if he is loved by his "beauty" (an angel), he'll never stop being a demon. This becomes less and less of an impediment as the story progresses.
- Homestuck has a platonic version between Equius and Nepeta. Equius is a Fantastic Racist With a Heart of Gold who builds robots so he can beat them to bits with his bare hands. Nepeta spends most of her time roleplaying and being a Shipper on Deck for all their friends. Equius specifically mentions that he's scared of what he might be without Nepeta tacklepouncing him and making him talk about his feelings.
- The Non-Adventures of Wonderella: Wonderella gets kidnapped to be the "beauty" part of a parody on the Disney classic. She opts instead to reassure the Beast that there's a fetish for everything, and hunts down the enchantress who cast the spell, as the enchantress also cursed the completely innocent castle servants.
- Spina Cage is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast in modern times with an attractive young man named Adrian in Beauty's place.
- In The Gamer's Alliance, Omaroch is a demon warrior and Delora ia a human cleric. Despite their opposite alignments, they bond and learn valuable lessons from one another, and eventually get married.
- The characters Adam Taurus and Blake Belladonna, of RWBY, are based on those on the original fairytale, and the series references the Disney movie at least once. A variation on the trope in both are physically attractive, but Blake dislikes Adam's Blood Knight tendencies and casual murder of innocents...and Adam doesn't really care what she thinks. This prompts her to abandon him. When they meet again, he is not happy with her.
- As it turns out Blake plays as both beast and beauty. Her partner Yang Xiao Long is thematically Goldilocks and the 'yellow beauty' to Blake's 'black beast' in appearance, but this is reversed in their fighting style (Yang is a punch people across the room type while Blake uses a more precision based pistol-chain-scythe-thing).
- Blake's meeting and subsequent Ship Tease with Sun again makes her the beauty to a beast.
- Lydia Deetz, the beauty to Beetlejuice's beast. The title of one episode, "Beauty And The Beetle," even references it.
- Gender-Flipped version from Futurama: Strong, often violent one eyed sewer mutant Leela and amiable human nice guy Fry. She definitely typifies the "beat up anyone who might hurt him" side of Beast, he the emotional, kind, sees the good in the world side of Beauty.
- Goliath and Elisa Maza from Gargoyles — he's a gargoyle, she's a human, but they fall in love anyway. During a Halloween episode, Elisa even dresses as Belle from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. However, while they were good friends, they didn't really notice that other options might present themselves until Elisa was magically changed, briefly, into a gargoyle (and then, later, Goliath and the others became humans, also for a short time). Interestingly, it was Goliath (the "beast") who didn't find Elisa physically attractive at first, not the other way around. Elisa had always been attracted to him.
Goliath: I never realized, when you were human, how beautiful you are.
Elisa: *wryly* You mean you thought I was ugly?
Goliath: Well, uhh... Careful! Updraft!
- Their relationship is also one of the few exceptions to the Beast and Beauty rule in that neither changed their species permanently for the other, yet they still end up being together despite their physical differences.
- Amusingly, a number of other characters notice the chemistry long before their first kiss. When Elisa was pretending to be a corrupt cop to get close to a slippery criminal and Goliath played along, the criminal instantly assumed that they were together and congratulated Goliath on his good taste.
- Word of God holds that Goliath finds Elisa's hair to be an attractive feature, and the lack of wings or tail or horns were not, but he had his eyes opened when she temporarily turned into a gargoyle in "The Mirror." The main thing he's attracted to about her is her soul.
- The Huge Guy, Tiny Girl duo in WildC.A.T.s — they're just friends but the Tiny Girl ensures that the Huge Guy remains a sane Gentle Giant.
- In X-Men: Evolution, the demon-esque Nightcrawler becomes the boyfriend of pretty-girl Amanda Sefton. And in Wolverine and the X-Men, he has some mutual UST with the smokin' hot Scarlet Witch.
- Zig-Zagging Trope in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Keep Calm and Flutter On", where the sweet-hearted Fluttershy befriends the beastly (in more ways than one) Discord. First it's subverted because Fluttershy is charged by Princess Celestia to reform Discord, while Discord only plays along because he'll get turned to stone if he doesn't, and craftily plots to exploit her kindness and secure his freedom. It's then double-subverted when Fluttershy shows him so much kindness that he actually starts to Become the Mask. Then comes a triple-subversion where Fluttershy ends their friendship after Discord goes through with his plan anyway. This directly leads ito a quadruple-subversion where Discord, realizing he cares about Fluttershy after all, pulls a genuine Heel–Face Turn to win her back.
- The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Shell" has a gender flipped version where Gumball is the beauty to Penny's beast. The episode even alludes to Beauty and the Beast multiple times.
- Two episodes of Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century are based on the trope: "The Crooked Man" and "The Creeping Man," both concerning men made beastly through genetic manipulation by a rival suitor.