Usually, this trope is used for comedic effect, because it's hard to see coming.
An extremely cute and/or tiny animal turns out to have a surprisingly loud cry. A gorgeous person has a voice that is grating beyond all possible belief. It often causes fear in other characters until one sees the speaker and is amazed such a horrifying noise could come out of something so innocuous.
This trope is the flipside of Killer Rabbit, wherein the cute thing looks innocent, fluffy and harmless, but is actually vicious and deadly. Note that some Cute but Cacophonic animals are alsoKiller Rabbits. Beware the Cute Ones.
Truth in Television, as anyone who has ever encountered a chihuahua must know. Also, having a surprisingly loud cry to scare the crap out of predators is a terrific defense mechanism if you are a tiny, cute animal who can't do much else. Some animals combine this with the ability to seemingly suddenly transform into a vicious monster. Either way, it isn't good for a predator's nerves.
A common trait of Mister Muffykins, particularly the older, nastier versions. Not to be confused with Noisy Nature. Everyone is louder than they need to be in Noisy Nature.
In anime, this can combine with a Noblewoman's Laugh for a truly fearsome effect.
See also Loud of War and Hell Is That Noise. Subtrope of Vocal Dissonance. If the sound rises to the level of a weapon in itself, see Make Me Wanna Shout.
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Anime & Manga
Nia Teppelin from Gurren Lagann, despite being an ADORABLE young lady, has one of the most grating voices ever. It's like listening to someone trying to be moe without knowing how.
In Pokémon, Misty's Togepi had an annoying cry when upset, notably in the mini-movie Pikachu's Vacation.
Marill lets out an ear-shattering cry when scared, in For Cryin' Out Loud!. To make matters worse, this particular Marrill (a specially shy and easy-to-scare crybaby) is paired with Misty; she's driven crazy by the loud and incessant crying, and flips out on the poor thing, freaking it out again.
Larvitar also has an ear-piercing cry.
In The Ancient Puzzle of Pokémopolis, the day is saved by a gigantic Jigglypuff (with an EXTREMELY deep voice) singing the two battling giant Pokémon to sleep.
Koyomi (Yomi) from Azumanga Daioh the Animation is reasonably attractive, and has an okay speaking voice, but is quite dreadfully bad at singing, as her friends discovered when she took her turn on a karaoke video game... save for Tomo, who knew, and registered alarm when she announced her intention to sing. Which is made even more hilarious by the fact that her actress is actually quite good, as you hear in Yomi's image songs. As if Rie Tanaka couldn't sing.
Tsubasa from Kare Kano - or, at least Mayumi Shintani's version.
Pretty much any character dubbed by Sandy Fox will fall into the category of "loli".
Sailor Moon's Usagi and Chibi-Usa manage to stun a monster with their screams — and Usagi has it as a weapon in the SNES fighting games. The game usage is probably a Mythology Gag, referencing her first fight as Sailor Moon, in which Usagi actually manages to stun a youma and its mind-controlled horde of drained humans with her crying.
It is said that, when they (Moon and Chibimoon) are transformed, their screams are amplified by the red hairclips they have on their odango and turned into supersonic waves, which is how they manage to cause so much damage. However, it does require a cry loud enough to activate this "weapon", apparently.
Ranma ½: Kodachi Kuno technically has a Noblewoman's Laugh, but the shrill edge she has to it in the anime (particularly the first season) is so bad that it gives her an honorary placement here, even though many fans think she's not particularly cute. She gets better (well, less cacophonic) as the seasons pass, though.
Slayers: And as bad as Kodachi is, Naga the Serpent is worse. Shrill tones, loud enough that it sounds like she's screaming more then she's laughing, and obnoxious as all hell. What's more, Naga is such a stuck-up, egotistical Cloudcuckoolander that she's convinced that her laugh is a thing of wonder and beauty, growing quite offended at those who voice their disgust with it and mocking those who can't laugh like her.
In one episode she gets cloned off about ten times. When faced with her giggling doppelgangers she calmly takes in what she's seeing for a moment before declaring them self-evident shams. Although the laugh sounds identical to the originals to our untrained ears, Naga critiques everything wrong with their laugh — whereupon they immediately attach themselves to her. Now, imagine Naga amplified by about eleven times. Even the guy who created the clones for his nefarious purposes is horrified.
Just for fun, it's hard to catch since Naga Prime and her knockoffs are laughing the whole time, the scene where they come charging to the castle to rescue Lina is underscored by a One-Woman Wail which makes it ridiculous, yet somehow still manages to communicate the utter horror of eleven of that woman coming to laugh at you.
In one episode she pimp-slaps a stuck-up noble girl, who instantly becomes her submissive servant (bringing with her the equally masochistic bandit chief and sorcerer whom she "enthralled" in the exact same manner) and proceeds to teach both of them how to laugh exactly like her, leading to a scene where the three of them are laughing into the sunset. The horrified Lina promptly envisions a scene of dozens of people, young, old, women and men, all wearing Naga's outfit (including a geriatric old guy, a fat woman and a burly man) and all voicing their own equivalent of Naga's laugh.
On the subject of Slayers, Lina Inverse is pretty in a petite sort of way, but her temper is so hair-trigger that sometimes people are surprised she even has a normal tone of voice.
If you're listening to the song Otome no Inori, compare Amelia's voice (Masami Suzuki) to Lina's (Megumi Hayashibara). Hayashibara's singing parts are notoriously more high-pitched than Suzuki's.
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS has cute, adorable Cheerful ChildVivio, who moments after being faced with the prospect of Nanoha leaving for a few hours to go to work, cried like a, well... cried like a real six-year old actually, which as anyone who had lived with one will tell you, isn't exactly the most pleasant sounding of things.
The title giant beast from My Neighbor Totoro is cute, but has a loud bellow some children find frightening.
Meru Otonashi from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei appears to be an extremely shy girl who is practically mute and can only communicate with others via e-mails and cellphone texting. When she does send messages to others online, she turns out to be insulting and abusive. Eventually Meru is forced into a part of the classroom with no cellphone reception and when Kaere forces her to talk, the result is... not pretty.
Aoi from Hanamaru Kindergarten's Sakura class has watched her fishmonger parents at work for long enough that she can do quite the sales shout herself.
The mayor's son in Tiger & Bunny. Cute little baby, who cries loudly when left to be looked after by a group of rather clueless heroes (Kotetsu is a dad, but Sam wants his mummy and Kotetsu's child is a preteen so he hasn't taken care of babies in a while). Said baby is also telekinetic, so his screaming causes things to go flying.
Although a filler character, Kobato from One Piece is a cute young woman, but with an ear-piercingly loud scream.
Lizzy Midford from Black Butler, as well as Finny and Bardroy
In Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes, being thrown into the "Kitten Cacophony" pit is Iron Man's Cool and Unusual Punishment for failing Kree Karaoke in an extreme sports contest. (Yes, really. We've got the picture up there to prove it.) For several panels after that he is deaf.
Schecherazade, a small pet bird in Ralf König's Conrad and Paul, is taken for pet-sitting to the title character's home. She's very precious, but whenever she opens her beak, the "chirp" fills most of the page section. Trust it to her to completely kill any and all sex life going on in that apartment. Probably in the neighbouring flats too.
The little "Psycho Teletubby" creatures on the alien planet. They also fit the Killer Rabbit trope, as they turn out to be noisy and vicious.
When the female Thermian Laliari is first introduced, her translator is broken but her humanoid disguise is otherwise still active. Suffice it to say, since they are based on undersea animals, the Thermians' native language is... screechy.
Lina Lamont from Singin' in the Rain. "... An' I CEAAAAAAN'T STEEEEEEAND 'im!" This is a major plot point, since she's a movie star at the time when sound films come into the mainstream.
Her actress, Jean Hagan, was actually a talented vocalist, and in fact sang the title song herself in the final scene of the movie.
Eve Draper from Hot Fuzz arguably counts, as she's your run o' the mill cute blond but has a 'very distinctive laugh'. Only natural as she is played by Lucy Punch, who tends to go for those types of characters anyway.
Big-Fat-Ugly-Bug-Face-Baby-Eating-O'Brien in Muppet Treasure Island has not only a rather ugly name but beautiful look — but also has a man's voice.
Officer Hooks from the Police Academy films has a light, soft, and very pleasant voice. When she isn't angry. When she is angry, she is this trope, taken to the border of Hell Is That Noise.
James Bond girls had a tendency to be like this towards the late 80's, the most notable example being Stacey Sutton played by Tanya Roberts (A View to a Kill), followed by Kara Milovy played by Maryam d'Abo (The Living Daylights).
During the filming of The War of the Worlds, Dakota Fanning's scream when she sees the alien probe reportedly forced several sound technicians to rip off their headphones.
Clara Bow, the It Girl, was considered the sexiest woman in film. According to urban legend her career died when sound film came into popularity. In reality, her voice work was considered decent, and her sound films were popular. It was a nervous breakdown from mental illness and a bad reputation with Hollywood insiders that killed her career.
Subverted slightly in Born Yesterday. Judy Holliday is a crooked tycoon's trophy mistress with a voice that can peel paint. She ends up educated by a tutor hired to "smarten her up." She uses her newfound smarts to take the tycoon to the cleaners and amazingly, even though it's still in the same register, by the end of the movie her voice isn't as near as annoying as it was in the beginning (Holliday got the Best Actress Oscar that year).
Madison from Splash. While she normally sounds fine, when she tries to speak her name in her native language (she's a mermaid) she ends up shattering the screens of all nearby televisions.
The Jib-Jib of Fighting Fantasy can be heard for miles. It has ridiculously weak stats, but whatever's coming to investigate the racket might not...
In the Nero Wolfe novel Might As Well Be Dead, Archie describes a suspect like this: "It was hard to believe, the contrast between what my eyes saw and my ears heard. Any man would have been glad to walk down a theater aisle with her, but there would have to be an understanding that she would keep her mouth shut." She also drank gin and ginger ale, which Archie insists he "wouldn't drink to get the low-down on Lizzie Borden."
The merpeople of Harry Potter sound like these above the water.
They can hardly be described as "cute", though.
Harry Potter has a lot of creatures like this in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. For example, there's the Fwooper, a colorful bird whose call makes listeners go insane, and the Aughrey, another bird whose call is rumored to be the last thing you hear before you die (in truth, they just react to impending foul weather). One wizard, Uric the Oddball, decided to experiment by living in an aviary full of both birds, and thought he had died the morning the Aughrey were all crying. He then preceded to knock himself out cold by walking into wall because he thought he was a ghost, and suffered "a concussion of ten days' duration."
Subverted in The Patchwork Girl of Oz. The Woozy claims to be one of these, but when put to the test, has only a very small roar indeed.
This is applied to an entire sentient species in Alan Dean Foster's Taken trilogy—they're basically Cat Girls (even the guys), but have voices comparable to garbage disposals. In this case, symbolism rules, as they're initially quite charming and cute, but they're a Proud Warrior Race and their sanity is somewhat dubious.
In the Redwall series, Dorothea Duckfontein Dillworthy is a very sweet and pretty hare-girl who just happens to have the worst singing voice ever. Nobody has the heart to tell her.
In The Hobbit, Bilbo gives out a warning cry "which is surprisingly loud for a creature of their size."
In the Dr. Seuss story The Cat In The Hat Comes Back, the cat gets rid of a ring of pink cake icing in the tub by doffing his hat to reveal a smaller Cat A, who does the same for Cat B, on and on, who only spread the ring around and turn all the snow in the neighborhood pink - until Cat Z is revealed...he's microscopic in size, but under his hat is something called VOOM, which loudly cleans the mess up.
In Watership Down, Fiver, one of the smallest of the rabbits, falls into a psychic-coma during the climax. As he loses consciousness, he lets out such a terrible, alien sound it penetrates the burrow and scares the hraka out of the invading rabbits outside. Given what rabbit-cries typically sound like (See Real Life, below) that says a lot.
It was a small dog—the sort of animal from which you would have expected a noise like a squeaking slate-pencil; but it was simply baying. It had retired into a corner, and was leaning against the wall with bulging eyes; and every two seconds it chucked its head back in a kind of pained way and let out another terrific bellow.
Janice from Friends was very attractive, but had an annoyingly nasal voice.
Not to mention her laugh...
Fran Drescher's voice in The Nanny. Or anywhere else, for that matter. She engages in a little Self-Deprecation in her guest appearance on a The Simpsons Halloween special where she played a golem who, upon hearing her own voice, describes it as "like a cat got caught in a blender". "Hello," indeed.
Saturday Night Live alumna Victoria Jackson is also known for being cute with a girlish, high-pitched voice that sounds whiny and irritating. Other female SNL cast members like this include: Rachel Dratch, Abby Elliott (especially when she plays Anna Faris, Joan Cusack, and Khloe Kardashian), Nasim Pedrad (especially when she plays Kim Kardashian), and the late Gilda Radner (often when she played little girl characters, like Judy Miller).
Scrubs has a Josephina, an "incredibly fun-sized intern", (roughly 4'10" and rotund) who is infamous around the hospital for having an impossibly high-pitched voice.
Kate from Robin Hood delivers her lines in a shrill, whiny, screechy voice. This may have been done to make her as annoying as humanly possible, since the actress speaks normally in other roles.
One episode of Unfabulous had the main character attempt to babysit a little girl. The girl's favorite pastime was to apparently run around the house screaming at the top of her lungs.
One Doctor Who companion, Victoria, had a notoriously powerful scream. In one episode, they're on an oil rig being attacked by killer seaweed, so the Doctor hooks a microphone up to a sonic gun, and has Victoria scream into it. This kills it.
Donna was also known for screeching when annoyed (she was played by Catherine Tate, after all), though she did it less as her Character Development continued. Even the Doctor would lean away from her, wincing, when she got going.
In Will and Grace Karen (Megan Mulally) is physically painful. Her voice was relatively normal in the first few episodes, before Flanderization turned Karen from a Deadpan Snarker into the most outlandish character on the show.
Jool from Farscape has a scream that can literally melt metal.
On Growing Pains Mike sees an extremely hot girl at a school dance. When he talks to her he's alarmed at her annoying high and squeaky voice, on top of not being very bright. Mike tries to put up with it because she's so gorgeous but finally can't take it after a while.
Milked for laughs on numerous occasions on Are You Being Served?, with the grating Cockney-accented voice of the otherwise pretty Miss Brahms.
Old concept dating back to at least Red-book D&D basic edition. Shriekers are harmless-looking giant mushrooms, but if light (as, say, carried by adventurers exploring a dungeon) comes within so many feet of them, they start shrieking. Like with the aforementioned Jib-Jib, this isn't a good thing if there are more powerful monsters investigating the source of the racket...
In Escape from Monkey Island, the beautiful wooden figurehead of the Dainty Lady can be brought to life — turns out, she's got a voice like she's been smoking cigarettes since childhood, and she proceeds to grouse bitterly at Guybrush about her lot in life.
"PSYCHO BAAAAAAALLLLL!!!". Though it depends on which seiyuu Athena has. The worse ones were Moe Nagasaki (95) and early!Haruna Ikezawa (98, 99); now Ikezawa still voices her with a high tone, but not nearly as high as the start.
Momoko probably earned her way into here after XI.
Mai Shiranui actually started having a high-pitched but bearable tone in the Fatal Fury and early The King of Fighters games, but as time passed Akoya Sogi's voice got more and more high-pitched. When Ami Koshimizu took over, however, she lowered the pitch and now Mai sounds way better.
Guilty Gear has its own as well, in the form of Jam Kuradoberi. Listening to her voice for more than a hour will make your head explode.
Even though we don't get to see it, Edy Nelson from Valkyria Chronicles found herself to be tone deaf, which causes her to cease her one-sided rivalry with Rosie and decide to become an actress instead. Her voice on both the Japanese and English tracks aren't bad to listen to, though.
We do get to see it in a sidequest in the sequel, Valkyria Chronicles II. It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect. Unless you're Anisette.
In Psychonauts, Bonita Soleil fits this to a "T", even having a small gag where she is crying to a recorded woman's voice. Something of note is that she is voiced by Stephen Stanton, who also voices Sasha Nein from the same game.
The Boncas from Warcraft offshoot War Wind are big rhino-like six legged cattle. Their children however, are clearly some mutant form of yappy dogs judging by the screeching they do when you attack them. Why would you ever want to attack such terrible things? Because they like to zip in and out of your buildings stealing resources, eating food, and smashing things randomly. Of course, you better be prepared because all that screeching will bring the whole herd close behind.
Ragnarok Online has Baby Desert Wolves. Absolutely adorable, and they don't ordinarily attack the player - rather, they convince the player to attack them. * yip* * yip* * yip* * yip* * yip* * yip* ...
Anyone who remembers the first Eccothe Dolphin game for Genesis will remember the -very- shrill cry that the cute little dolphin character screamed when he got hit by an enemy. The sound was so annoying to many players that it was numbed down in Tides of Time.
In story, Misha from Katawa Shoujo. The teacher even outright states she's got volume control problems and it's mentioned several times that she's, well, loud. Since the game is set in a school for the disabled and Misha's exact disability was unknown until the full version was released, many fans leaned towards partial deafness, though this was Jossed in the final version which explains she's there to learn sign language.
The Pokémon Whismur has quite a loud crying volume for such a otherwise quiet and cute Mon (in the Pokédex, it's said that when Whismur starts crying, it's so loud that it startles itself and that makes it cryeven louder!). It emphasizes much less on the cute and more of the cacophony when it evolves into the appropriately named Loudred, then Exploud.
Furthermore, the moves Hyper Voice and Uproar, and Round, play on this trope, as they can be learned by such cute Mons as Jigglypuff and Rotom.
During one of the last levels in Hitman: Blood Money, there is a beautiful and Stripperific singer in an angel costume, who has an absolutely horrible voice and sings every single note off key. As it turns out, she is an assassin who murdered the original singer in an attempt to get to you.
In Fire Emblem Awakening, Sumia's daughter Cynthia, in addition to being clumsy and taking dramatic entrances far too seriously, is this, and it's one of the major reasons why both the other children and some of the adults dislike her. Her introduction, should Chrom recruit her, involves her yelling in his ear. Indeed, one of her regular voice clips is a very childish-sounding and loud "UWAAAAH!"
Dragon Quest VIII has the boss Don Mole, who stole a harp you need. His music is so bad that it one of his lackeys passed out standing up from the pain. In battle, his music can confuse the whole party and his sidekicks too. Continuing the gag, later you find a journal in Castle Argonia that describes birds falling out of the air and deer and rabbits writhing on the ground foaming at the mouth at the horrible sound of his music.
Kirby has the Mike ability, where he sings so badly and loudly that it kills all enemies that are onscreen.
Ghost Trick has Missile, an adorably fluffy Pomeranian who loves to bark. As expected of a small yappy dog, when he speaks in spirit form, he has No Indoor Voice.
Dr. Girlfriend from The Venture Bros. looks like Jackie Onassis but sounds rather like Harvey Fierstein. She says it's from smoking a lot, but has inspired rumors that she's a Transsexual.
"Do you smoke cigarettes, or do you eat them?"
The Simpsons episode "The Frying Game" had the endangered screaming caterpillar (or "screamapillar"). It is cute when not screaming... or laughing at Homer being executed....
Another episode had Mayor Quimby redirect airplane traffic away from the motel where he conducts his affairs so he can hear his partner's (Miss Springfield) voice. When he discovers that she falls under this trope, Quimby laments "Now I regret buying you that concert hall!"
The above is a reference to Citizen Kane, where Kane uses his fortune to finance his mistress's opera career — until everyone else finds out that her singing voice is horrendously mediocre.
A relatively early example in animation is the Bugs Bunny short Little Red Riding Rabbit. Little Red was extremely loud and boisterous, with a grating voice. She annoyed Bugs and the Big Bad Wolf so much, it got to the point where they decided to punish her (and since she annoys the audience too, it's a pretty satisfactory ending).
There was also a despondent duckling with a briefcase who, whenever Daffy Duck tried to comfort him or ask what was inside, would shout in a loud man's voice, NYAAAAAAAH, SHUT UP!!! By the end of the short, Daffy and the hunter chasing him have had enough of the little Jerk Ass, so they just take the briefcase and open it revealing something they both dread: a THE END title card!
Bob Clampett seems to have enjoyed this gag. Tweety Bird and other cute little creatures in his shorts could have a suddenly very loud voice. This is also one of his Distaff CounterpartSweety Bird's signature gags.
Aw, da poor puddy tat. He fall down an' go... BOOM!
Another Looney Tunes short featured a bird whose cry for some reason, sounds like an old-timey car horn.
2 Stupid Dogs had a recurring character based on the aforementioned Little Red Riding Hood. Her voice tended to fluctuate between a voice you'd expect from a young girl and something akin to a foghorn that learned English.
Felix the Cat character Vavoom was a cute little Eskimo fellow who could be called upon to make a Sonic Attack by saying his name. Walls would shatter. Mountains could be tunneled through if he said his name repeatedly.
Weasel from The Animals of Farthing Wood. Her voice is annoying to other animals except for another weasel, Measly, who is attracted to her.
In an episode of Rocko's Modern Life, "Day of the Flecko", while Rocko is trying to sleep, a cute little bird flies into a tree branch, chirping. But soon its chirps become louder and more obnoxious to the point of yelling "CHOIP! CHOIP! CHOIP!" Rocko retaliates with a Big "Shut Up!", causing the bird to fall from the tree.
Sweetie's older sister Rarity usually affects a very nice mid-Atlantic-accented speech. Get her to whining, however, and you'll give up carts full of jewels to be rid of her. Turns out she knows it and uses that voice on purpose to invoke Pity the Kidnapper.
Along with Sweetie Belle are her two friends Apple Bloom and Scootaloo. The three of them make up the "Cutie Mark Crusaders", and whenever all three yell at once the other ponies around wince and/or have their manes blown by the force of their yelling.
And then there's the Pinkie Clones from "Too Many Pinkie Pies", oh dear lord. While Pinkie Pie's enthusiasm and general playfulness can be considered adorable, an overload of them shouting out nothing but "FUN!" while tearing Ponyville apart would drive anyone insane.
The Powerpuff Girls. In "Nuthin' Special," Buttercup tries to find her special power and does a sonic scream. She is matched by Blossom and Bubbles. The Townsville folk seem to be more interested in this sibling contest than in the collateral damage it's causing.
Bubbles as well, when she's upset. "HE'S MAKING NEW POWERPUFF GIRLS!!!"
Rigby of Regular Show is lovable, but is nevertheless prone to anger whenever he's reminded of how short and weak he is. He will frequently yell out STOP TALKING! when he can't take it anymore.
Caitlin Cooke from 6teen. Her speaking voice is fine when she's calm; however, she has a seriously loud, ear-raping scream, and her bawling can be grating as well.
Brittany Taylor from Daria. Her high-pitched voice can make it hard to understand her sometimes, especially when she is hysterical. However, in "The Old and the Beautiful", residents at a retirement home take a liking to her voice.
The Berbils from both versions of Thunder Cats. Adorable, fuzzy little robot bears... who speak in an eardrum-torturing synthesizer voice.
Gus from Recess is adorable, and his speaking voice sounds fine when he's calm. When he starts screaming, especially in "Germ Warfare", it gets annoying.
Courtney from Total Drama. In her Vocal Evolution, her voice became more shrill and childish-sounding, particularly whenever she is crying.
In Revenge of the Island, Dakota has a fairly shrill voice. Also, Zoey's cries for help can be rather grating, although her normal speaking voice is more bearable.
The Otamatone, a Japanese musical instrument, is shaped like a cross between a tadpole and musical note, and sounds like this.
Children and babies. Full stop. This is the reason why the phrase "children should be seen and not heard" is traditional, and it's actually an evolutionary advantage because (young babies especially) cry at a tone that humans are particularly sensitive to, making it more likely that nearby adults will rush to help the child, if only to make them be quiet again!
There are several cat breeds with rather loud or grating meows.
In particular, Siamese cats deserve a category all their own for their voices. They sound like they have an embedded caps lock key. While other cats may get louder, the Siamese still takes the prize because their cry is almost exactly at the same pitch as crying human babies, a sound most humans are sensitive to and find hard to block out (see above). This video showcases what happens when two of them get going at the same time, and even when they're kittens they can produce some pretty impressive meows.
Bengals are roughly equivalent to three to five Siamese in raucousness. The fact that they're literally part wildcat probably helps on this front.
Averted with Maine Coons. Huge, fluffy, very sociable cats, who will talk your ears off. Using a variety of soft thrills, chirps, and half-purr, half-meows. Even more ridiculous when it is a breeding tom in his full winter coat, with a lion-like mane of hair over his shoulders and breast, reaching halfway to your knees when simply swaggering around displaying his dominance, and then going: 'mrow?'
When a cat goes into heat and starts yowling. God help you if you're trying to get some sleep.
Many breeds of dogs, and in many cases this has been bred into them deliberately.
The smaller breeds of dog tend to have high pitched barks or disconcertingly loud howls. They are often nicknamed "yap dogs".
That piercing howl-bark you can hear three blocks away? Probably a beagle. There's a reason they were bred for hunting.
Of special mention is the Dachshund, a breed bred to have a loud and fierce bark like it was at least five times its actual size. Which it proceeds to do whenever passersby — even people it has met before on friendly terms — walk past its owner's house. There's a saying among dog owners: "Rottweilers will bark when someone comes up to your fence, but Dachshunds will bark when someone comes within fifty feet of the fence." It doesn't help that Dachshunds were originally bred to take on badgers.
Golden Retriever mixes can be this way. They tend to embody Keet, but if someone's at the door (or Hell, within 50 feet of the door), expect lots of barking.
The Lhasa Apso gains extra credit for being explicitly bred as a temple guard dog and living alarm, rather than hunter or retriever like most small dogs: it combines a very loud bark with a distrust of strangers. One of the Lhasa Apso's old alternate names translated to "Roaring Lion Guardian" or something similar.
The Basenji breed may not be able to bark, but as many videos on youtube will attest, their howling "yodel" is no less agonizing, especially if there's more than one of them. And it's so hard to make them stop once they get going.
Huskies have similar yodeling skills to Basenjis, though they can also combine them with what can only be described as: Chewbacca sounds. They are also similarly difficult to calm down once they're committed to making noise, especially if there's more than one.
The Bouvier des Flandres is another one of those protective dogs that will bark at anything within eyesight (for this troper, it will even bark at boats that sail within sight of the house). It's a beautiful dog, but IT SOUNDS LIKE BARITONE THUNDER.
Keeshonden/ Wolfspitzen: fluffy, puffy, usually wolfy-coloured bundles of medium-sized... LOUDNESS (particularly in, but not restricted to, pack situations). Specifically bred to have this big bark in a medium package as a kind of... user-friendly (read "not eating you out of house and home") alarm-system you could find other work for (like dragging stuff) at a pinch. No, really. This noise was deliberate: has a great vocal range of other sounds not displayed here — which, is no help if you get one love-sick pining/ howling at night.
Flamingos. The noise they make is not unlike the trombone section of a really bad jazz band tuning up before the show...except that is the show.
Peacocks are beautiful and stately but "grating beyond all possible belief" doesn't begin to describe the noise they make.
Howler monkeys. Their name is not inaccurate.
Worse, the whole troop tends to call at once, over and over and over.
There is a very good reason for this: Howlers eat mostly leaves, which are very low in nutrients, so in order to get the energy they need, they need large territories to get all the leaves they need. As a result, they are more sedentary then other monkeys. The problem is how to defend a large territory against other troops when you can't move fast. The Howler's solution is to make as much noise as possible to proclaim their territories without actually engaging in actual fights with other troops.
While on the subject of noisy primates, the Siamang is a gibbon that whoops and hollers its fool head off, amplified by an inflatable sac in its throat.
The House Wren is no longer than your index finger, but his song can be heard from at least five backyards away. Fortunately, the song is cute too. Many wrens share these traits.
Mockingbirds also have a very pleasing song... most of the time. But desperate Mockingbird bachelors resort to singing at midnight to get attention from the ladieeez. Singing LOUDLY at midnight. And thanks to modern technology, some mockingbirds have taken to imitate cell phone ring tones, car alarms, and power tools.
God help you when one you get one that's previously lived outside a house with a constantly crying child in residence.
The rare Australian species known as lyrebirds are basically mockingbirds Up to Eleven. The Albert's Lyrebird in particular is known to imitate not just all of the local birdcalls AND all the things listed above, but human voices, traffic, and chainsaws. Even when they're not mimicking, they have another call that consists of drum-like booming that can be heard for kilometers around.
Any and all parrots. Even budgerigars ("parakeets") can get grating with their constant chattering, but did you know that the large species of cockatoo can achieve decibel levels that exceed that of a jet engine? And then there's the sun conure; its near-rainbow of orange, yellow, green, and blue feathers is definitely gorgeous, and it's got a completely engaging playful personality. But this 12" long bird has a scream that feels rather like someone is hammering a white-hot railroad spike into your ear. And yes, they can cause temporary deafness at close range. No wonder screaming problems are one of the biggest reasons why a parrot gets dumped in rescue.
Oh god, budgies. Never mind the constant chattering. It's the screeching that you have to watch out for. It's like the sound of nails on a chalkboard, machinegunned into your ears.
Rabbits are fairly notorious for this sort of behavior. They are normally pretty silent, but will punish their potential enemies by producing a sound that will scar you for life. This is actually an effective group defense. The sound carries amazingly and acts as a massive dinner bell for pretty much all predators, meaning whatever caught it is likely to have its meal interrupted by something else. This might cause the predator to drop the rabbit, and may put it off hunting them again.
Peaceful serenity is at least one thing that's definitely not better with penguins. At least not South African Penguins, also known as Jackass Penguins thanks to a call that sounds like a bad-tempered donkey. The noises other penguins make are endearing, but not exactly conductive to peace.
In the bird world, the King of Disproportionate Cacophony is the European Starling. His... song (to human ears, it sounds more like a series of ultrasonic squeals and shrieks) is grating to anyone who is not a Starling at any hour of the day. But especially at five in the morning. Right outside your bedroom window.
The endangered Noisy Scrub Bird of south-west Australia is very hard to see but a cinch to hear, if one is skulking in the bushes near you and calls, it's almost deafening.
Cicadas. Especially, as with the Starling, for people who are sensitive to ultrasonic sounds. Tell us you'd expect something that looks like this to make such a racket.
Australians will likely be familiar with the deep croaking sounds made by Bladder Cicadas at dusk in the summer. If your garden happens to be one they like, they can get loud enough that you'll want to close the windows at dusk to muffle the noise they make.
The regular sound of South-East Asian rainforest is not birds chirping or animals calling, it's the constant high pitched whine of cicadas. It's quite awful to experience.
And the weird thing? Some breeds of cicadas have cries that can't be transmitted via cell phone. Now try explaining to the person on the other end why you just screamed, "SHUT UP!"
Australia has a number of distinctive examples (aside from the cicadas mentioned above):
When agitated, sugar gliders make a noise called "crabbing", which can be an extremely disconcerting sound coming from a creature smaller than your hand.
Australian ravens. The familiar Corvus corax Ravens of the northern hemisphere are actually rather quiet, and their distinctive soft "Grok-grok" flight calls might even be considered soothing. Australian corvids, on the other hand...
Aussie ravens sound like little kids. Seriously.
Kookaburras might have one of the most distinctive and well known calls in the bird kingdom. It's not even annoying to listen to.
Magpies singing are also quite pleasant to wake up to, though Youtube videos don't quite capture this.
On the much more obnoxious front, they also have numerous species of parrots, mentioned above. Rainbow Lorikeets bear special mention for being a) absolutely gorgeous and b) prone to gathering in large numbers in wooded areas and shrieking their little heads off.
Tasmanian Devils are much cuter than their Looney Tunes counterpart, but they are just as guttural, if not more so.
Brushtail possums resemble a cross between a monkey and a squirrel, and they have been known to make creepy nightmarish sounds.
Even kangaroos, which again, are a normally quiet species of animal, can be guttural if provoked into making some noise.
There is a little red squirrel who lives near this editor's house. Why do I know this? Because I recently switched to a squirrel-proof bird feeder. The entire neighborhood knows how angry the squirrel is at this.
Shetland Sheepdogs are such beautiful animals that it ALMOST makes up for the noise.
One of the first filmed instances of a panda giving birth showed a possible reason why female pandas often lose their first infants. The newborn panda was blind, naked, helpless, the size of a stick of butter, and so amazingly loud, its mom practically fled the birthing chamber in terror when it started squealing its lungs out!
Guinea fowl are used as an intruder alarm system in some small villages or farms in Africa, because the obnoxiously loud noise they will make if bothered during the night will awaken the sleeping family/villagers to the danger as well. There's no such thing as stealth when sneaking past guineas...
Quail. They're not all that much larger than a chickens (well, OK, goose) egg, but that trilling noise they make carries further than you'd think.
You know those horrific, blood-curdling screams that the Nazgul made? The basis for that sound effect is the screaming of script-writer Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson's partner.
Guinea pigs are utterly adorable, and very, very loud. And that particular sound is the one they make when they're happy about something or want to be held.
An editor on Cracked.com mentioned that while red foxes are cute, their calls sound like a demon raping a baby.
That screech sounds hellish. This vocalization, however, is grating.
Be very, very glad that bats' echolocation cries are too high-pitched for human ears to register, else getting within a yard of most species would put you on the ground.
The Birds of Paradise, named so because of their stunning plumage, have calls that... fall a bit short of their name. Especially during mating season.
Hamsters are usually very quiet, but can be pretty noisy when angry or frightened. You'd expect a hamster to squeak like a rat or mouse, right? Wrong.
Tree hyraxes look like the lovable lovechild of a love triangle between a small dog, a guinea pig, and a bear. Their nocturnal call is comparable to the screams of a human woman undergoing prolonged physical torture.
Possibly the most adorable amongst all penguins is the little penguin, also known as the little blue penguin. However, the sounds they make are most definitely not. While penguins are not a lot known for beautiful vocalizations, little penguins make a call that sounds similar to the braying of a donkey. A loud donkey.
This trope is what killed the world's first talking dolls, among other things. In addition to being expensive to an ungodly degree (it cost a typical middle-class working man a whole weeks salary to afford one), the Edison Talking Doll's speaking mechanism was a wax cylinder recording. They typically sounded like this. Surprisingly, it got worse. The wax recordings degraded rapidly, so when little Clementine and Emma finally got over the horror of the doll working perfectly fine and played it a few times, they would wind it up one day only to find it making a horrifying metal-on-metal scraping noise. Edison ended up gutting them of their sound-making equipment and sold them as regular dolls at a loss.
Ocelots are beautiful felines. When excited, they make a sound that resembles an angry zombie.
Shirley Temple is an adorable kid, but her singing voice is one of the most annoying imaginable.