It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
is what happens when a creature that isn't exactly "attractive" somehow manages to be adorable. Normally, these little guys still have some kind of stereotypical "cute" traits, like oversized eyes or a fat little body.
And then, there's these guys.
They're scary, and meant to be... and they still
, somehow, manage to be adorable.
These little guys may sport Cute Little Fangs
, be Mooks
for the resident Big Bad
, or hail from a Halloween Town
Compare and contrast Ugly Cute
and Killer Rabbit
. May overlap with Adorable Evil Minions
. See also Gonk
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Anime & Manga
- Ciel from Black Butler is your typical Creepy Child yet many find him to be cute.
- Undertaker is one of the creepiest characters in the series. He's also one of the most endearing, and he has many fangirls who find him adorable.
- Nefelpitou from Hunter × Hunter Adorably catlike, yet we see him play with the dead heads of his victims and turn dead people into puppets. Also the fact that he's well... evil. His design itself could even count as cute in a scary way.
- Kukuru from Joshiraku is this during her more sane moments.
- What fangirls think of Dr. Stein from Soul Eater. It's also the main reason his younger self is a One-Scene Wonder.
- To say nothing of Chrona.
- And Medusa when in possession of Rachel.
- Either Russia or Belarus from Hetalia, depending on the fans you're talking to.
- Shino Aburame from Naruto; like all the Aburame, his body is a hive for mutualistic beetles, but he's one of the good guys and sulks when people forget him. Taken Up to Eleven in fan-works.
- Nightcrawler from X-Men, and his animated incarnations. He physically resembles a demon, but he has this fun-loving personality that he's hard not to love.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan fictions that are meant to be horrifying or gory can fall squarely into this territory instead. It's just the effect that, say, a serial killer who happens to be an adorable pastel-colored little pony named Cookie Crumble can have.
- In Critters, the title critters are little balls of fur with big eyes... and teeth that would make a shark feel insecure.
- Tim Burton's (and Henry Selick's, for that matter) stop-motion films would certainly count. Case in point: Sparky from Frankenweenie, a bull-terrier who's been stitched together and brought back to life via electricity after getting killed by a car.
Live Action TV
- Doctor Who:
- The Fourth Doctor from Doctor Who was intended as this. Gothic Horror tropes? Nightmare Fetishist? Cheshire Cat Grin? Creepy Blue Eyes? All yes. Genius Sweet Tooth Man Child with Immortal Immaturity, cheeky little Character Tics, an unreserved love of gothic horror stuff and Innocent Blue Eyes? Also all yes. Tom Baker, when asked to describe his Doctor in one word, said "adorable". Steven Moffat pointed out that the Fourth Doctor is one of the most scary, difficult-to-handle Doctors of the lot. Terrance Dicks felt that he was the Doctor (out of the first five) most likely to turn towards evil. It isn't mutually exclusive.
- The Fourth Doctor's love of Jelly Babies is used to encapsulate this. They're tasty sweets enjoyed by children in Britain, but at the end of the day, he Eats Babies (pointed out by Leela in "The Face of Evil"). The Telos Novella Ghost Ship even contains a scene where he talks with a Nightmare Fetishist character about what Jelly Babies are actually made of - solidified with boiled bones, dyed blood red with crushed beetles...
- Daleks. Horrifying space racists and the most evil creatures in the universe, but due to being rather short with stubby 'arms', just anthropomorphic enough in movements and mannerisms to feel endearing, occasionally written as The Grotesque or even The Woobie and sometimes even a bit wobbly thanks to Special Effect Failure, they can be adorable.
- Mascot Mook monsters as they are, The Merch often plays this up - cuddly toy Daleks, talking Dalek birthday cards ("CE-LE-BRAAATE!"), Dalek Sexy Whatever Outfits...
- "The Space Museum" has a Dalek in it that Vicki finds cute (much to the disgust of her companions).
- The Human Factor Daleks in "Evil of the Daleks" act like small children, chase each other around, play 'trains' (with the Doctor supplying a train whistle sound on his recorder) and 'Dizzy Doctor' (where they spin the Doctor around until he gets dizzy), and have much gentler voices with a lot more expression.
- The tea-making "Ironside" in "Victory of the Daleks" is positively adorable.
- Tonberries from the Final Fantasy franchise. See an example of their behavior. They're tiny little critters, who don't attack first. Instead, they wait. And wait. And wait for you to attack and give it your best shot, creeping closer until they stab you with their knives. And yet, their small size (usually, though even the big ones are cute), big eyes, and reptilian features rather than being a scary point, is downright adorable.
- The Save-Moogle on the world map of Final Fantasy IX: while he acts like a normal Moogle usually, if you call and dismiss him over and over again, he starts to get annoyed, then angry, and then (eventually) threateningly states "I'm sharpening my knife, kupo..."
- Boos of the Mario series. They're roundish little Bedsheet Ghosts with a mouthful of fangs and beady eyes. They also stick their tongues out like Bratty Half Pints, and let out a hilariously high-pitched cackle when they spot you.
- The Witch from Left 4 Dead, who was intended as the scariest zombie of them all, but receives a lot of love and fanart from the base.
- Creepers from Minecraft. They look like screaming zombie cacti, but they're pretty much the game's mascot. You can even buy Creeper plushies that go "SSSSSSSSSSSS" when you squeeze them.
- Flandre Scarlet from Touhou.
- MapleStory: Zombie Mushrooms, Death Teddies, heck, half the undead creatures qualify as do the aliens. Particularly unsettling in the case of the Death Teddies; they're built in a factory that specializes in animated plush toys, and robots seem to be assigned to work on this project. At the lower levels, one can assume that such toys have been discarded due to their beat up appearance, and whatever animated them has warped the toys horribly turning them into undead monsters. Let this sink in for awhile, then look at how cute these things still are despite having giant ghosts on their back.
- BlazBlue has Taokaka (and the other Kaka, especially the kittens); Personality-wise she's your typical Genki Girl Cat Girl, who just happens to wear a hood with only glowing eyes and More Teeth than the Osmond Family visible.
- Some of the notable creatures you can encounter in Yume Nikki fit. Uboa, for example, is an event that can only be triggered by flicking the lights on and off in a specific room with an NPC. While jarring, it's still somewhat cute in its own way, with its big grin and Eyes Always Shut. There's also Monoko, a girl you can encounter in a tunnel. She looks like your average pigtailed schoolgirl. Then you use the stoplight effect...
- The Judge from OFF counts, in many fans' eyes. He's a white cat who can talk (quite articulately, in fact), his verbal tic is a soft purring noise, and he's easily distracted by cat food. But then you see his giant fangs, arched in a smile...
- Ghost-types from Pokémon are supposed to be scary or at least unsettling in-universe, but a lot of the unevolved forms appear to be Ridiculously Cute Critters. Such examples include Misdreavus, Shuppet, Duskull, Drifloon, Litwick, Phantump and Pumpkaboo.
- The Poes from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. They're ghosts who are pretty malevolent, but they have an adorable, high-pitched cackle, much like the Boos.
- The monsters from Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic are more Ugly Cute than they are this. With the possible exception of Jone.
- In Drowtales, drowolath may see demons this way. Especially Discordia and the second glutton (megaspoiler).
- Gunnerkrigg Court frequently employs this as an art style. Even on its donation page.
- Trying Human has Hue, a Grey alien that manages to be SO ADORABLE and yet is meant to be creepy. Also, most notably, the Reptoids. Meant to be human-eating lizard monsters, but come on, they are so freaking cute, especially Quazky. Reptoids come complete with Cute Little Fangs, which are meant to look evil, but somehow manage not to. At all. Your average Trying Human reptoids, in all their adorableness.
- Many, many creatures of Zoophobia come off as this. Take Perci◊, for example.
- This trope is a stable of Bloody Urban's art style- most of the monster characters are fairly silly-looking while still retaining their spookiness.
- The Doomy Adventures Of Irken Doominess: has two psychopathic female irkens named Gar and Melissa who'm are insanely creepy, yet quite adorable.
- Many of Doctor Steel's toys (the Buzzsaw Baby, Psycho Sally, Polly Pukes-A-Lot, the Rabies Babies line, etc.) fall into this category.
- "Horror Movie Daycare", by College Humor, is a daycare centre for every child, no matter how eldritch, demon-inhabited or undead. For story-time their minder reads from the Necronomicon.
- Reagan, stop, you're going to make yourself dizzy."
- Awful Hospital has several of these. The main antagonist, Dr. Phage, is an enormous bacteriophage posing as a surgeon, with a clueless attitude that makes people adore him, and a love of ducks. A dried, human-sized blood stain found on hospital sheets is also quite endearing, due in large part to a scene with a cupcake.
- Many people consider the Creepy Doll from LoadingReadyRun to be very cute, and also psychologically creepy. While he'd appeared in previous videos, it was when he showed up in "The Arms Race" that people really started to like him. Then, when Harry, the giant Creepy Doll, later appeared to torment Graham, both factors leaped up significantly.
- Harry's cuteness is also a factor of him being significant in Desert Bus For Hope, since he was an adorable friend for crew to hang out with during the marathon.
- Harry's Distaff Counterpart Harriet ends up slightly on the cuter end of the spectrum than the creepy end. Though, both are extremely creepy in this Crapshot.
- Changelings are shape-shifting Emotion Eaters that look like pony-shaped Big Creepy-Crawlies...and they're absolutely adorable, complete with Cute Little Fangs.
- There's also Flutterbat from the episode "Bats!"
- Pinkie Pie's straight-haired, unstable, alter ego (dubbed "Pinkamena" by fans) is as huggable as she is disturbing. It helps that she's The Woobie by nature, since Pinkie only turns into her when she's very depressed.
- The Scraplets from Transformers Prime. Sure, they look all cute if you're an organic, with their big eyes and little limbs, and they're calm and relaxed. But put a Cybertronian in their path, and the teeth come out...
- GIR and the titular Invader from Invader Zim.
- Codename: Kids Next Door once featured a swarm of giant, hair-eating lice attacking the heroes' treehouse. Said lice were brightly colored and had rather expressive bug-eyes. Near the end of the episode, Numbah Two is covered in baby lice.