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Little Miss Con Artist
Penny: I'm a thief!
Finn: But you're just a cute little girl!
Penny: And.... I'M A THIEF!

Aww, look at sweet little Sally. So adorable, so innocent...

...wait, where's my wallet?

This is when a little girl takes advantage of the perception that Children Are Innocent to play a bunch of adults for suckers. Sometimes this character will work in partnership with an adult, usually her father, but as often as not she's the real brains of the outfit.

When she grows up, she'll probably become the Decoy Damsel, who uses her beauty to fool people in the same way Little Miss Con Artist uses her cuteness. Compare Deliberately Cute Child and Daddy's Little Villain.


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    Anime & Manga 

  • In one Nodwick comic, the adventurers find a young girl on her own in the woods. Being Genre Savvy, they assume that she's a shapeshifted monster or deity, and she agrees to let them live if they leave their valuables as an offering. Once they've fled, her parents arrive to collect the loot.
    Girl: I think I'm worth more than two new dollies per mark.
  • Kiyoko the apprentice thief in Usagi Yojimbo.

  • The title character of the movie Curly Sue.
  • It looks like Hitgirl does this in the trailers for the Kick-Ass movie when she dresses up as a Catholic schoolgirl and stands outside the door of the baddies' place.
  • The whole premise of Matchstick Men.
  • Addie Loggins from Paper Moon
  • Little Rock, working with Decoy Damsel Wichita in Zombieland.
  • Hoodwinked: Red Puckett tricks the Wolf into falling into a river by handing her hooded cloak off to some hummingbirds. As predicted, the Wolf takes the bait.
  • In Oz: The Great and Powerful, China Girl can manipulate the Con Man Oz by turning on the waterworks.

  • Addie Pray, from Addie Pray, the novel the movie Paper Moon was based on.
  • Provost's Dog has Beka stopping a couple of pickpockets who play a trick where the cute little girl distracts the mark while her partner lifts their purse.
  • Minerva Paradizo from the fifth Artemis Fowl book.
  • The titular Markie, from Robert Aspirin's novel Little Myth Marker, is a combination of this and The Mole. She looks like an 8-year-old girl, but is the most dangerous "character assassin" in the trade. Also a subversion, since she's actually an adult woman from the dimension of Cupy, where it's about average to grow to the size of a human child.
  • A poem titled 20th Street After Dark features a couple of preteen girls who pose as underage prostitutes and then, once the one girl has the guy in a vulnerable position, they mug him.
  • Claudia from the Vampire Chronicles series plays up her eternal childhood to lure in her victims.
  • Lyra of His Dark Materials plays up the innocent eyes on many occasions so adults will believe her. Her act also has shades of Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Roxanne Thorburn from Pact is this: she's twelve, still cute as a button, for all her teenage years are swiftly approaching... and not above using Gaslighting, lying, occasional theft and general, all-purpose manipulation to get what she wants or to get others into trouble, the little sociopath. Her older half-sister, Ellie, might well have had a shot at this when she was younger, but Roxanne is outright better at covering her creepy up with the cute and getting away with it: not for her the lengthy juvie rap sheet of her hair-trigger sister. Well, she gets away with it unless you're family of the same generation as her, of course. Most with a brain cell working know. Even if not all the adults or those outside family have twigged.

    Live Action TV 
  • Katie Knight, Kendall's little sister from Big Time Rush.
  • Sarah from Chuck was one of these as a child.
  • Megan Parker on Drake & Josh. All the time.
  • The little Japanese girl and her big brother in Hustle who manage to pull a fast one on the protagonists.
  • One episode of Psych had Shawn and Gus tricked into getting a mall Santa out of prison because a little girl asked them to. She turned out to be "Santa's" daughter and partner in crime.
  • The Suite Life of Zack and Cody had a little girl who helped her father fake an injury and sue the hotel. Turns out she was the brains of the operation, as her father just comes up with the names of their schemes. Meanwhile, she took orders for Girl Scout cookies from the entire staff... none of whom ever got their orders.
  • This is, essentially, Aleli's role in the Argentinean tv series Casi Angeles: she's eight and an orphan who robs men and women while they're distracted with street performances put on by her fellow members of an orphanage. Of course, this is all forced onto her by the abusive head of the orphanage, but still...
  • The two little British girls that Sam and Cat babysit in Sam & Cat
  • An episode of The Waltons has a young girl and her father try this on the Waltons; until John-Boy confronts and then forces her to confess.

    Video Games 
  • Touhou:
    • Tewi Inaba
    • Also Mystia Lorelei, who runs a con on two levels using her power (singing that causes night blindness) to sell grilled lamprey (purported to cure night blindness, which she removes as they eat), which reduces the patrons' consumption of poultry, which as an avian youkai she naturally finds hideous.
  • This is probably why the Thief class is open to Moogle units in Final Fantasy Tactics.
  • Pokémon:
    • Purrloin qualifies as this, despite not being human nor Always Female. Just look at its Pokedex entry from the Black version (the White version one is similarly worded): "They steal from people for fun, but their victims can't help but forgive them. Their deceptively cute act is perfect."
    • When a Purrloin evolves, it becomes not a Decoy Damsel like the trope would predict, but more like a Classy Cat-Burglar. Since it literally is a cat.


    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Toph and Katara (12 and 14, respectively) attempt this, as part of Katara's plan to show that she's not as much a stick-in-the-mud as others view her. The plan backfires, however, and they get captured to serve as bait to lure in Aang.
    • Which is merely the last of a long series of scams Toph performed throughout the episode. With her earthbending powers, Aang and Sokka's help, and using the fact that she is a cute little blind girl to her advantage, she cheated at gambling games and tricked rich people into giving her money.
  • Jessica Lovejoy was this on an episode of The Simpsons. Bart got blamed for all her hijinks because no one would believe that the sweet, innocent preacher's daughter could be so mischievous. Fortunately, she was found out and sentenced to clean the church stoop.
  • Penny from the Adventure Time episode 'City of Thieves' is definitely this, because her 'losing' her basket was an elaborate plot to get the pure Finn to steal a treasure chest guarded by a barrier that keeps thieves like herself out. Even after being purified by Finn at the end, she STILL steals his clothes.
  • Gender reversed with Flim Flam from The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo.
  • Deidre from Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century is a fence and scam artist who basically sells useless things for a price, or stolen things for cheap. She's also twelve.

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