Deathbringer the Adorable
: Sir, your odd talking skull is speaking of the Perilous Path of Crushing Doom. Redcloak
: Please tell me it's actually filled with cute fuzzy bunnies, and they just named it that to be ironic.
Here it comes. The Harbinger of Death, the Ultimate Evil
, It Which Devours Your Soul
, Your Worst Nightmare
...Or so it's called.
Turns out, the creature in question is just a cute animal, with a scary name
but completely harmless. Upon further inquiry, you'll learn that it was named by a child, or a trickster
The polar opposite of Fluffy the Terrible
. Also compare to Sealed Evil in a Teddy Bear
. If it does
have the destructive power despite the innocent appearance, it is a Killer Rabbit
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- A British TV ad from the eighties about "Natural good taste" has a guy in horrible colours with yellow and purple wallpaper, who likes The Birdie Song and has a toy poodle called Rambo.
Anime and Manga
- In Transformers, the Decepticons from "Shattered Glass", a Mirror Universe where everyone is an Evil Counterpart or Good Counterpart to a Generation One character. They all still have their Names to Run Away From Really Fast, but are now the good guys. (E.g., the black, serious, and stealthy jaguar becomes a white, Lol Cat-esque, and loud jaguar... but his name is still Ravage.)
- "The Predator" from Green Lantern is The Love EntityŚthe living embodiment of the Violet Light that the Star Sapphire Corps uses for their powers. Despite it's name and menacing alien dragon appearance, it's actually a Big Good entity.
- Bodie Troll, sounds fearsome but he's just a cute fuzzy little guy who can't seem to scare anyone, something that he hates.
- How to Train Your Dragon:
- The Terrible Terror is an adorable little critter the size of a cat. But don't let its cute looks deceive you...
- Toothless is a Night Fury, a much feared dragon nicknamed 'the unholy offspring of lightning and death itself'. He's ridiculously adorable.
- The Bandersnatch from the 2010 Alice in Wonderland movie turns out to be this, only to people and things it likes. To everything else, it's Fluffy the Terrible.
- Rhino the hamster in Bolt, although he claims to be one-sixteenth wolf with a dash of wolverine.
- In How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, there was a tiny Chinese crested (a breed of dog that is evidently very easy to mistake for a chihuahua) named "Krull the Warrior King".
- Elle Woods' chihuahua Bruiser in Legally Blonde.
- Vlad in the Horton Hears a Who! movie. No, not Vlad the genuinely menacing vulture; Vlad the cute little bunny who delivers cookies.
- From Muppet Treasure Island, the infamous pirate Big Fat Ugly Bug-faced Baby-eating O'Brien, is a rather attractive looking young woman. With a really deep voice...
- Maleficent as a child. Sure, she has horns and wings, but is still an innocent girl.
- One scene in Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000) has Memphis and Kip Raines running away from a street gang out to kill them. Kip vaults a fence to land in a dog kennel and looks up in horror at the name posted on the adjacent doghouse: Beast. And then an adorable little puppy runs out from it and starts licking his face.
- Ace Attorney Investigations:
- While the man himself also looks imposing, Detective Tyrell Badd is a lollipop-sucking and rather good mannered cop.
- The complete fluffball Colias Palaeno, whose original Japanese name is Damien Hinge. The name in the English version averts this, as colias palaeno is a species of butterfly, making it more of a Meaningful Name.
- Apparently Nintendo thought Kirby's name was this, and that's one of the reasons his name was chosen as such. But he still has his Badass Adorable moments.
- The mission in Brutal Legend where you meet The Killmaster, who looks suspiciously like Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead for some reason... Anyway, the man is, in fact, a healer. And a damn good one. This whole mess with his name is justified, however, as Killmaster intentionally chose the name to scare people off, because otherwise they would Shoot the Medic First.
- The Fallout games have a faction known as the Followers of The Apocalypse. With a name like that, you'd expect them to be really evil or at least really metal. Instead, they're probably the setting's most altruistic and harmless factions, being essentially the post-apocalyptic Red Cross. The name stands for the fact that they seek knowledge of the Old World so that mistakes like the Great War can never be repeated again. Of course, one of their former members happens to be the founder of Caesar's Legion, though he's considered the Black Sheep of the faction.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, there's a Super Mutant by the name of Mean Sonofabitch. He protects the slums of Westside from raiders and is a Gentle Giant at nature (though somewhat unintelligible due to having his tongue cut out by some Sociopathic Soldiers).
- One of Rin's cats in Little Busters! is named Hitler. Most of the cats are named after historical individuals, including Isoroku and Tezuka.
- Used to hilarious effect in Mercenaries 2. There's a mission that tells you to get something called the Devastator. At first, the pointer seems to lead you to a gigantic tank...but then, after you get in, the pointer shows the Devastator is a cute little scooter.
- Captain Dread of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge. Remember that "dread" is a word with more than one meaning. Bonus points for being the only Jamaican in the series so far.
- PokÚmon's nickname function lets you have this, Fluffies, and Deathbringers that grow into their name when they evolve.
- There is also Gorebyss, which immediately bring to mind "an abyss of gore," unless you know what it looks like. In all fairness though, it is "gorgeous," and does live in an "abyss", as in "the bottom of the sea". However, that's just a facade. Its actually very aggressive and hunts by Mind Raping its prey, shoving its extremely sharp mouth into their unconscious bodies, and sucking their fluids out. Yes its beautiful, but the name fits.
- Paarthurnax in Skyrim. Admittedly, he is a dragon, but for someone whose name means "Ambition Overlord Cruelty", he's really nice. As in, Actual Pacifist levels of nice. In the old days he really did live up to his name, being The Dragon to the Big Bad. His current state is a self-imposed penance.
- In Jagged Alliance 2, there is a character named Spider. She is a kindly, maternal medic and absolute pants at everything killing-related. She got the nickname from her brothers, who teased her about her fear of bugs. Of course, thanks to her high wisdom stats, she gets better at everything killing-related scarily fast. Which the developers fully intended and added lots of Break the Cutie moments into her dialogue. Statements like: "How can anyone see that and not question what we do for a living?" are only the beginning.
- In Super Dangan Ronpa 2, Gundam Tanaka has a group of hamsters he named "The Four Dark Gods of Destruction". Of course, they're not completely harmless, as one of his hamsters makes him possible to kill Nekomaru Nidai by sneaking and pressing a button to shut Nidai off, until he ties Nidai up in a place where a struggle will get him killed.
- Wasteland 2 has the Night Terror, who you can free from a guarded cell in the ruins of Darwin Village. Doing this merely causes your squad to become his new best friends, and he starts following you around and asking you for candy (although his definition of "candy" definitely falls into Squick territory).
- In Sid Meiers Alpha Centauri, you can design custom units from a standard stock of equipment; the game automatically gives them names, some of which are terrifying (e.g. "Singularity Deathsphere"). However, technological advance can lead to Badass Decay, leaving some awesomely-named units pretty harmless a few turns after their first production (for example, if you put Silksteel Armor on an Impact Rover, it's automatically named an Impact Dragon; however, by the time you get Silksteel Armor, the Impact Cannon technology is usually starting to get old and you're usually just about to research anywhere from two to four new offensive modules, meaning that your Impact Dragon is about to become hopelessly overmatched.)
- Usagi-Kaiju is a very realistic stuffed animal rabbit but, as she a mostly called, another name for her would be Deathbringer.
- My Life as a Teenage Robot has Killgore. Name that sounds like something that would rain destruction, but actually just a cute little wind-up toy who insists he's unstoppably evil.
- Planet Sheen: Boh-Rok, a rainbow-colored pony, was thought to be a destructive monster. Sheen manages to remove a nose hair that was bothering Boh-Rok and it turns out that he isn't as evil as the aliens thought, but rather, a cheerful, happy pony.
- Ruby Gloom has the Doom Kitty, an otherwise normal, if intelligent and expressive, black cat.
- Chainsaw from Goof Troop. Despite her dangerous name, she's a mostly harmless cat-sized lapdog with a bow. The worst thing she ever does is chase the neighbors' cat.
- The title characters from The Chubb Chubbs.
- The Great Shrike-Tyrant. Sounds like some sort of Lovecraftian shark, right? Nope — it's a cute little bird. The whole genus is called 'tyrannus' because they aggressively chase other birds out of their territories.
- Actual shrikes are also cute little birds whose Latin name means "butcher", and they're often called "butcher birds." Why? Because they impale their prey on thorns. It sounds nastier than it is. They're really just saving prey for later. It should be noted, though, that some shrikes' diet includes other birds, so they do live up to their fearsome name.
- Bloodhounds are among the gentler dog breeds. They actually got their names because they are hunting dogs with the main purpose of following blood trails.
- The death's-head hawk moth, which has a badass name not only in English but in Latin as well. Acherontia atropos (which does geniunely sound omnious if you know your Greek Mythology) has also a skull motif on his back. But yet it's a butterfly, and it can't even hurt anything. Despite its Real Life reputation as a harbinger of death and evil. All that it does which is harmful that is raiding beehives for honey. And it sounds like a squeaky toy.
- The ominously named Purgatorius was a small mammal that was one of the first species to emerge after the death of the dinosaurs, and the ancestor of the primates.
- Due to the company's Goth aesthetic, many of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's perfumes have ominous names, although few of them smell particularly menacing. For instance, Shub-Niggurath smells like incense and gingerbread, and Al-Shairan has the demonic reek of spiced oranges with a hint of peach.
- The tiny and adorable pygmy marmosets at Edinburgh Zoo are named 'Terminator' and 'She-Ra'.
- The Slavic name "Dragomir," to English speakers. Despite sounding like it means something about dragons or vampires, it actually means "He who loves peace." Whether individual Dragomirs (Dragomiri?) are this, Fluffies, or anywhere in between is up to them, obviously.
- The caterpillar of moth species Citheronia regalis is so-named hickory horned devils because of their spikes, but unlike most spiky/fuzzy caterpillars, these 'devils' ' spikes are not that dangerous to humans (as in, not loaded with venom etc). Plus, they grow up into moths, which are usually not nasty insects (although regalis moths are relatively large insects).
- The Eastern Kingbird, known in Latin as Tyrannus tyrannus. What kind of mighty, badass predatory bird could bear that name? It is actually no bigger than a sparrow, which, to boot, looks adorable.
- Admit it. You either know a pet named with this trope, have a pet named with this trope, or would do so if you could get away with it.
- Pogona aka Bearded Dragons are adorable little lizards that are popular pets since they are very easy to handle. Their diet consists solely of insects and greens, with a preference for the latter in adulthood. They are harmless to humans, a rarity among species native to Australia.
- The Komodo dragon is about the only "dragon"-named lizard that is harmful to humans. Water Dragons, the aforementioned Bearded Dragons, Frilled Dragons, and even Flying Dragons (perhaps especially Flying Dragons, which are less than a foot long) are all much less intimidating than you'd expect from a dragon.
- Vampyroteuthis infernalis translates to the "vampire squid from hell". It's a harmless animal that eats plankton. It's also kinda ugly cute.
- There's a lizard called in Latin Moloch horridus and known in English as "thorny dragon" or "thorny devil". It does look sorta intimidating, as it is covered in nasty spikes, but otherwise it is completely harmless and feeds on ants.
- Orcas, more commonly known as "killer" whales (e.g., Shamu the Whale from Sea World; Willy from Free Willy), are actually very gentle.