Cuteness Equals Forgiveness
A character is forgiven for an otherwise serious offense just because they're cute. This occurs because cuteness implies innocence and vulnerability. You're more likely to forgive someone if they were ignorant of the harm they caused, after all.
may be used. Obviously abused by the Deliberately Cute Child
of Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!
. See also What Measure Is a Non-Cute?
and Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
Anime and Manga
- In Azumanga Daioh, when the teacher is bopping everyone on the head for forgetting their homework, he only gives Chiyo-chan a half-hearted tap.
- Several times during her presidency, Maria of Hayate the Combat Butler does some things similar to Boa Hancock above, including smashing a tape/video recorder and burning a 'love letter'.
- Given that Hinagiku might have cases of this as well, it almost seems that this trope follows the school presidents in the story.
- In Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi "Aunt Aki" says it as a Non Sequitur joke.
- Murumo from Mirumo De Pon uses his cuteness in this way, easily winning the hearts of anyone with his adorable antics and Puppy-Dog Eyes. Only his older brother is immune, though it's not like anyone listens to him (when he warns Kaede about this, her response is "You're just jealous that you're not as cute as he is!")
- In One Piece, Boa Hancock (pictured right) is considered to be so beautiful that she is never blamed or held accountable for anything she does. She even gets away with retaining her Pirate Warlord status by the world government despite pretty much fighting for Luffy's cause and slowing the other warlords down in a major battle.
- Nami attempted to use this trope with Usopp to make him forgive her for causing them to land right into a pit in Thriller Bark, but it failed. She instead resorted to using a huge sign with the words "I'm sorry" on it.
- Subverted in Ranma ½. Ranma Saotome has tried this technique in his girl form before without much success.
- One segment on Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei comments on how the Cute Clumsy Girl can get away with mistakes because of this. Chiri tries to become one and violent Hilarity Ensues.
- A recurring theme in Frank strips is that the slightly rude actions of the ugly pig man read as reprehensible, while adorable animal Frank's psychotic destructiveness read as totally forgivable.
Film - Animation
- Kirk invokes this in Insontis II when excusing Spock's use of a certain planet's Fountain of Youth is not going well.
"Besides, admirals," he added, scooping up the startled child, "how can you be annoyed with something this cute?"
- In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, Assassin Rivka ben-Devorah often gets this treatment - people don't believe anyone who looks that cute and can't see past her doll-like prettiness tend to get very badly surprised when Little Miss Badass emerges. Rivka (a character very explicitly based on Mathilde in The Professional) is not above exploiting the mental confusion this arouses in people who aren't always clients for Assassin attention.
- In Shrek 2, after attacking Shrek, Puss-In-Boots asks for forgiveness and a chance to help on the adventure and puts on his famous Puppy-Dog Eyes. Shrek thinks he looks adorable and takes him along. (Puss manages to pull this trick on guys who are much nastier than Shrek later, too.)
- In A Brother's Price, Keifer Porter gets away with beating one of his wives, who is only thirteen years old at the time, so badly that she's confined to her bed for weeks. And then, when caught red-handed by her eldest sister, he smiled sweetly and claimed poor Trini had "provoked" him. Fortunately, he died before Trini had recovered from the injuries.
- In Full House, the older girls put together circumstances to show that Danny is treating the youngest better due to this trope, down to copying her "Please?" tone and face. What brings it home is that even she agrees that he's treating her as a favorite.
- Believe it or not, implied to be the reason why Wesley Crusher gets away with being so irritating. One early Star Trek: The Next Generation episode has a fellow Starfleet cadet tell him "It's a good thing you're cute, Wesley, or you would really come across as obnoxious."
- El Goonish Shive: right after pushing through uniforms at Moperville High, and cracking down on Susan for her use of a MALE school uniform (a protest against the sexism inherent in forcing girls to wear skirts), the principal nonetheless forgives Sarah for wearing a beret with her uniform - despite hats being against dress-code even BEFORE the uniforms being instituted. Puppy-Dog Eyes were involved, though Sarah claimed that 'the absolute cuteness of the ensemble' would be enough to prevent any protests.
- In the Eddsworld short, Fun Dead, there's a flashback scene in which Child!Tom is fishing with his father (who happens to be a pineapple), but a bear with a gun attacks his father, killing him. It's revealed Child!Matt gave the bear the gun and, when interrogated by his mother, makes a face and all is forgiven.
- Debara LaFave and other women got probation (or less) for statutory rape; most people attributed it to her looks.
- This is why most people forgive their pets for the gradual destruction of their household.
- On an intellectual level, the reason people don't throw food back when a baby throws food at them is that the baby isn't developed enough to be expected to have a high level of maturity. However, the real reason they get away with it is cuteness.
- Babies are the reason why people react this way to cuteness. If people needed to rationally convince themselves that babies can't be expected to behave like adults, the human race would have died out long ago.
- In the US, conviction rates for women charged with violent crime tend to be lower (sometimes significantly so) than men accused of the same; lawyers and psychologists hypothesize this trope is at least partially to blame.