Usually, this trope is used for comedic effect, because it's hard to see it 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 also Killer 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
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
. Subtrope of Vocal Dissonance
, and often the result of No Indoor Voice
. 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.
- In Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, Manaphy, no doubt has a really Shrill voice and cry, including the scene where it cried or threw a tantrum over May's absence before it uses Heart Swap on Ash and Jackie.
- 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 voiced by Sandy Fox will fall into the category of "loli".
- Pretty much any character (especially those past childhood age) voiced by Greg Ayres will fall into this.
- 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 ˝: 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.
- Naga the Serpent has 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.
- 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.
- Excel Excel from Excel Saga fits this to a T, so much so that it caused English VA Jessica Calvello to blow out her vocal chords halfway through the series. The Japanese Excel isn't quite so bad, but Calvello apparently thought "sandpaper on chalkboard" was the right direction to take things, which had the aforementioned effect on her larynx.
- Tokino from the Kujibiki Unbalance OVA is a blonde Kawaiiko who has a singing voice like an angel of the apocalypse.
- Lucky Star's Konata speaks in a manner (both endearing and irritating in equal measure) befitting her character, but her... unorthodox interpretation of the Dragon Ball Z theme can sour milk at five paces and will have you reaching for the ear bleach. Much like the Azumanga Daioh example cited above, her voice actor is quite the accomplished vocalist and sang both insert songs featured in Suzumiya Haruhi. Incidentally, some fans just adore this version because of the exact same reason. Konata incarnates the soul of a true amateur karaoke singer.
- C-Ko of Project A-Ko.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS has cute, adorable Cheerful Child Vivio, 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.
- Never upset Maria Ushiromiya from Umineko no Naku Koro ni. If you do, you will quickly understand why Rosa has a short fuse.
- 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.
- A mild example exists in Code Geass, when it comes to Nunnally's "meows".
- 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.
- Ryuuko from Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko is a teenage Genki Girl complete with Cute Little Fang. Just don't let her cheer you on unless she's a good ten or twenty feet away.
- One Piece:
- Although a filler character, Kobato is a cute young woman with an ear-piercingly loud scream.
- Also Perona's personal pet peeve. She adores all her macabre living stuffed animals (which she calls "cute"), but hates their monstrous voices and forbids them from talking. The cuter they are the less they're allowed to talk, such as her favorite companion, a man sized stuffed bear named Kumashi. For that matter, Perona herself is a pretty cute young girl, but her voice can get pretty loud and high-pitched.
- Shirahoshi always has a very shrill cry, despite her arguably cute voice.
- Lizzy Midford from Black Butler, as well as Finny and Bardroy.
- Mana Aida from DokiDoki! Precure can and does do a lot of amazing things, but singing is not one of them, no matter how much or loudly she tries.
- Nonon Jakuzure from Kill la Kill is a cute pink-haired girl whose voice is an interesting mix of rasp, growl, and squeak, tending towards the latter two when she's angry.
- 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.
- X-Men character Syren is a gorgeous redhead with screaming powers.
- Likewise, her DC counterpart Black Canary, a blonde with her own hypersonic scream.
Films — Animation
- The baby raccoon in Brother Bear 2 lets out a piercing scream of "MAMA!" after Nita gets her amulet back from it.
- Subverted to comic effect in The Emperor's New Groove, where the main villain becomes an adorable white kitten with a shrill but harmless squeak of a voice.
- Darla Dimple from Cats Dont Dance is cute (and is a visual Affectionate Parody of Shirley Temple), but has a harsh, grating voice. This may be a reference to the villainess in Singin' in the Rain, as there are several other homages to classic musicals in the movie.
- "Vanessa"/Ursula from Disney's The Little Mermaid once she loses possession of Ariel's voice.
- Baby Lickity-Split from My Little Pony The Movie, supposedly.
Films — Live Action
- 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 title creature from the Dick King-Smith story The Guard Dog.
- Christine in Maskerade. She's pretty. She's rich. And when she sings, the universe cringes in horror.
- 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.
- From the Jeeves and Wooster story "Clustering Round Young Bingo", wherein Bertie breaks into Bingo Little's house and encounters a pekingese dog:
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.
Live Action TV
- The Tribbles from Star Trek: ridiculously cute, but if you introduce them to Klingons, they make an unholy racket. And so do the Tribbles.
- 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.
- A milder version of the above — Kelly Kapowski of Saved by the Bell was pretty and had a pleasant speaking voice, but when she sang...
- Same with Scully on The X-Files
- And Cordelia on Angel
- 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.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, no one played by Mercedes McNabb could be ugly, but Harmony's name is thoroughly inaccurate. At one point Lorne nicknames her "Cacophony".
- 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.
- Equally high-pitched, but never weaponized, was Mel's scream.
- 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.
- Tallulah from "Daleks in Manhattan" and "Evolution of the Daleks" is an attractive woman, but her voice could peel paint.
- 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.
- Bernadette on The Big Bang Theory, who has a pipsqueaky voice befitting of her tiny stature talking normally, but is a dead-ringer for Howard's screechy mom when she yells.
Someone off-screen: WHO IS IT?!
Sheldon: It's me, Sheldon, Mrs. Wolowitz!
Howard: That's not my mom, it's Bernadette.
Sheldon: Really? That's very unsettling.
- On Seinfeld, Elaine hires Newman to kidnap a dog that has been barking loudly all night every night and keeping her awake. When she finally sees it in person, she is surprised to discover how small it is.
- R&B singer Michel'le is known for the vast difference between her sultry singing voice and her cartoonishly high-pitched speaking voice.
- At an early Led Zeppelin show, the sound system broke down, but they kept playing anyway, and legend has it even the back row could hear Robert Plant's voice perfectly.
- Hello Project:
- Former member Yaguchi Mari; she's only 4'8'' or so tall with big brown eyes and a generally sweet disposition. She's also Hot-Blooded and tends to have No Indoor Voice when she does get riled up, which is not difficult at times.
- Her former bandmate Takahashi Ai fits the other side of the trope, her scream is much lower than what you'd expect from a woman of her size.
- Aerosmith lead singer and American Idol judge Steven Tyler- frequently adorable [or at least Ugly Cute]. Frequently loud. Also demonstrates an inability to sit still for more than 5 seconds when he's excited.
- Rebecca Black, as seen in the "Friday" music video.
- Japanese musician, Kana (or MOON Kana she is now called) is actually very cute but seems to be aiming at this trope too hard. If not in her punk or rock image using her screechy vocals, she'll be an uncanny genki girl who sings songs about moons, cats, bunnies, fruits, dragons, or anything, all with a nasally small, sometimes tone-deaf, voice. Tries to talk like one, too.
- Björk. Holy hell, the woman can yowl.
- Geddy Lee. Pretty freakin' adorable◊ or at least Ugly Cute. And then he makes noises like this. Yowza.
- 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...
- 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!
- This is taken Up to Eleven when on an Airplane, there's always a baby screaming its lungs out. This is because the rapid air pressure changes that occur (even with a pressurized aircraft cabin) between take-off, reaching altitude, and then landing are painful for adults, while babies don't reflexively realize that they should use their lungs to pop their eardrums to equalize the pressure.
- 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?'
- Also somewhat averted with Russian Blues. Like Maine Coons they are large, fluffy, and friendly. Unlike Maine Coons they are usually silent. Their purr, however, sounds like a muffled jackhammer. A Russian Blue's favorite place to start purring is while lying on top of you when you're trying to sleep.
- When a cat goes into heat and starts yowling. God help you if you're trying to get some sleep.
- Even a normally quiet cat can and will crank up the volume to get its owners to pay attention. "MURROWWWWWW..."
- 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." Since Dachshunds were originally bred to take on badgers in their own holes, it's the rare case where the dog's bark is actually not writing checks its bite can't cash.
- 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.
- Let's not forget the infamous Shiba scream.
- 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. It's a beautiful dog, but IT SOUNDS LIKE BARITONE THUNDER.
- Staffordshire Bull Terriers tend to make odd noises on par with a Tasmanian devil.
- And then, there is this particular dog...
- Jack Russel Terriers, really... love... to bark!
- 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. As a result, they are more sedentary then other monkeys due to having less energy to expend on moving around. They also need larger territories to get all the leaves they need. 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 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.
- The screeching is soft and fluffy compared to the sound of a budgerigar that is trying to make friends with the most boring bird in the garden. The most boring bird in the garden goes "squeak", quietly, and inside the house is inaudible to human ears. The budgie then replies, at a volume calculated to get through the closed windows and be clearly audible outside. SQUEAK. It is so loud that you can hear your ears' AGC mechanism thumping in and out. And it happens every 10 seconds and goes on and on and on and on and on...
- 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.
- And if you've watched a lot of Neon Genesis Evangelion or When They Cry, they also cause fear and anxiety.
- 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!"
- These are worse in urban areas of Japan, because the taller buildings have a tendency to not only echo the cicada sounds, but amplify them as well. As someone who used to live near a 10 story apartment complex, they got so loud one morning they were effective in making sure I was awake and stayed that way.
- Australia has a number of distinctive examples (aside from the cicadas mentioned above):
- Koalas. Yet another animal that is pretty quiet, but when it has something to say...
- 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.
- Stand-up comic (turned professional photographer) Felicia Michaels was known for her helium-like squeaky voice.
- Rosie Perez made an entire career out of contrasting her cuteness with an annoying, squeaky voice.
- Maria Bamford has a weird heliumish voice, but she's so good at imitating other voices that most don't believe the one she usually speaks with is her own voice.
- Kathy Ireland.
- Joe Pasquale, King of Helium.
- Mila Kunis. A beautiful girl with a horrendously shrill, shrewish voice, a shining example of Vocal Dissonance. It's not nearly as bad when she's not playing Jackie Burkhart or Meg Griffin.
- Matthew Gray Gubler, singing the theme song to The Golden Girls. Luckily for him, this trope doesn't extend to his speaking voice.
- Jay Baruchel. If you've never heard his voice before, think Christian Slater, only ten times more strident and with a near-permanent sinus infection, and you're somewhere in the neighborhood. Interestingly enough, it just serves to make him endearing.
- Krysten Ritter. Downright adorable, but her voice is very high and nasal.
- Crickets might not be very cute, but the amount of noise they produce is entirely disproportionate to their size.
- Woodpeckers get honorable mention here. They don't usually sing much, but the amount of noise they can produce with their pecking can be stunning.
- The spring peeper. A frog no longer than the end of your finger, which manages to be one of the loudest animals in the world.
- "I didn't know squirrels could do that!" They sure can, buddy. They also make an obnoxious noise somewhere between barking and wheezing.
- 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...
- Quails. They're not all that much larger than a 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. Their calls are hideous. Behold.
- Fisher cats make similar sounds (to the point that they're often mistaken for foxes and vice-versa) which is startling considering that fisher cats look like big weasels.
- Fennec foxes are the cutest things on Earth, but when they get excited...
- Fennecs make sounds that can sound like something between a solid squeal and a screeching monkey. The scary part is they make this noise when they're happy.
- Hummingbirds can scream quite loudly when scared.
- Banannaquits, a tiny yellow-and-black Caribbean bird with a cute little bandit mask on its face, a pink mouth, and an ear-splitting call, which it shrieks out every waking moment.
- Monk Parakeets, also known as "Quaker Parrots" (although they're not true parrots) have a shrill cry that will pierce your eardrums and with enough exposure to said cry, give you a nasty headache.
- Hedgehogs. No kidding.
- The Barn Owl has a... very memorable display to scare off predators, puffing up and waving back and forth while making a sound that will haunt your nightmares.
- 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.
- The mighty elk/wapiti. Cute when young, majestic symbol of the North American wilds when an adult. Sounds like a demonic string instrument when it wants to get attention.
- 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. Makes more sense when you consider purring on housecats, and then ramp it up accordingly.
- Cheetahs and Mountain Lions are the two largest of the small cats and can't roar. Both, on average, outweigh a Leopard (which can roar) and are several times more massive than an Ocelot. Both Cheetahs an Mountain Lions can purr and, when a tame one is petted by a human they are comfortable with, their purrs sound like a very loud and never-ending low pitch growl.
- Shirley Temple was an adorable kid, but her singing voice was one of the most annoying imaginable.
- Mexican chef Paulina Abascal. Rather cute and young-looking, a Supreme Chef who loves baking and making sweets... and a really high-pitched, almost screeching voice.
- Any Person (usually a toddler or a child or teenager) who throws a tantrum/meltdown would usually be Really ear-piercing usually.
- When they roost wherever they are not wanted, barn swallows. Their chirping while dive bombing any threats is not only annoying but can be downright scary at times.
- The Potoo is a quirky, sometimes goggle-eyed bird that can nonetheless can pull off some pretty darn effective◊ Puppy-Dog Eyes. Its loud, hoarse, almost alien call sounds like a terrified baboon being strangled.