->''"I'm just a shade shy of true wickedness\\
I'm just a shade shy of truly loving this\\
Yeah, there are other things I'd rather be doing\\
Even nothing."''
-->-- '''Music/TheTragicallyHip''', "Family Band"

The Reluctant Monster (usually) has no idea that they're a monster. They're a member of a species that traditionally does nasty things to people, but for them it just never crossed their mind. Folks tend to scream and run away, which is rather disheartening and lonely.

In darker stories, people [[VanHelsingHateCrimes will try to kill them]], and it's easy to fall into depression. Occasionally there are other, more traditional members of their kind who ''do'' terrorize humanity, but the Reluctant Monster's mild temperament sets them apart from their own kind just as much. In more traditional groups, they're the MinionWithAnFInEvil.

True heroes look past appearances and befriend them, even [[ZombieAdvocate advocating better treatment]]. Usually, TheChick notices [[WhyIsntItAttacking they aren't attacking]] and discovers their true nature.

The very extreme of MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch. If the character is of great size, they may be a GentleGiant. If they're "ugly", they might be a GorgeousGorgon. Compare NonMaliciousMonster and MonsterAdventurers. Likely to result in VanHelsingHateCrimes.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The "Fat Buu" incarnation of Majin Buu from ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' is an enormously powerful, childlike, playful, generally friendly creature that only causes mass destruction because he was ordered to by his creator; the character of Mr. Satan is able to reform Buu simply by informing him that it is wrong to kill and asking him not to do so anymore. Much later, after the BigBad has been defeated, the people of Earth shun Buu, citing the worldwide devastation he caused prior to his HeelFaceTurn; this forces the Z Fighters to ''erase Buu from the memories of everyone on the planet'' so that he will be able to live among them.
* Seras Victoria of ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'', is fully aware of her condition, but she does her best.
* Another ghost who is barely aware of it, [[CuteGhostGirl Aisaka Sayo]] from ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima''. The manga version is a {{Dojikko}} who manages to trip over her own feet despite not actually ''having'' feet. The anime version gets an entire [[TearJerker episode.]]
* An earlier example, the ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' anime has Kogane, the least frightening of all the various monsters, spirits and demons that have shown up (a list that includes, but is not limited to, a pair of giant, but harmless, jellyfish, a badly drawn female panda come to life, an evil spirit that possesses people to feed on their evil impulses and their life-force, a hideous horse kami and his equally ugly boar kami friend, the {{Orochi}} and a [[WhenTreesAttack demonic cherry tree]]). She does have GhostlyGoals... finding a tanuki doll she forgot to pick up when she bought the notebook that her spirit is anchored to you, and is so shy and retiring she bursts into tears when Nabiki demands to know what she wants (quoth Kasumi; "Nabiki, please stop scaring the ghost").
* Maya the Phantom Cat from ''Manga/{{Geobreeders}}''.
* Ichiko from ''VisualNovel/OtomeWaBokuNiKoishiteru''. The main character has a hard time convincing her that she's a ghost, despite her constant floating, not to mention the fact that she hasn't aged in about twenty years, during which she's been living in a closet ([[SchoolgirlLesbians although certainly not in ''the'' closet]]).
* Young Gaara from ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' fits this trope to an extent as he holds within him a monster but is quite a kind and helpful person... who everyone runs away from screaming. This further upsets him and makes the sand react in a dangerous manner, reinforcing the fear. An attempt made on his life [[spoiler:by the only person to have ever shown him kindness]] causes him to [[DespairEventHorizon snap]] and [[ThenLetMeBeEvil embrace his monstrous side]].
* Shia from ''Manga/PitaTen''. Worst...demon...ever. She's nicer than the ''angel''. Than ''most'' angels. Her RightHandCat is embarrassed. This has disastrous consequences, [[TearJerker much more so in the manga]].
* Misaki from ''Manga/BloodAlone'' is a completely innocent little vampire girl. At her worst, she's a pouty ClingyJealousGirl.
* Shades of this, mixed with BadPowersGoodPeople, color the God of Poverty in ''{{Kamichu}}!''.
* Ryner Lute from ''LightNovel/TheLegendOfTheLegendaryHeroes'' is constantly labeled as a monster because of his Alpha Stigma, a power which eventually goes out of control, destroying everything around it and killing the user. However, he rarely uses the Alpha Stigma outside of battle.
* In ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', the Rogue Titan is something of a dark example of this. Unlike other Titans, it does not attack or devour humans, but seems more interested in furiously fighting and killing any other Titan that it finds. [[spoiler:The Rogue Titan is actually Eren Yeager, one of the few humans who possess the ability to shift into Titan form]]. True to the cynical tone of the series, many of the military want nothing more than to kill him [[spoiler:even when he reverts back to human form]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:ComicBooks]]
* The stupid rat creatures in ''ComicBook/{{Bone}}'' argue about whether they should act like monsters or not, and on occasion try to get out of trouble by telling the good guys "It's not our fault we're monsters, we were ''born'' this way!"
* SelfDemonstrating/{{Bizarro}} is often written as possessing all of ComicBook/{{Superman}}'s heroic tendencies, but with such a... well, ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin bizarre]]'' view of the world that his attempts to express them only cause disaster.
* ''[[ComicBook/{{Swordquest}} Swordquest: Earthworld]]'' has Cancer, a gigantic green crab who cheerfully helps rescue explorers who've fallen into its tidepool.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* [[FanFic/PastSins Nightmare Nyx]]. She knows she's been turned into a monster, but she doesn't want to be, desperately tries not to be, and [[spoiler:actually doesn't do too bad a job as queen of Equestria, after a few false starts]].
* Grown-up Spike in ''Fanfic/ItTakesAVillage''. His friends and all of Ponyville see the same little dragon who grew up around them. [[spoiler:[[TorchesAndPitchforks The neighboring communities don't]]. No matter what [[NoTrueScotsman his fellow dragons say about him]].]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Tiger, the cat Fievel befriends in ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail''.
* The title character of ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'', more cynical and self-aware than most, is fully aware of his species reputation; he just wants to be left alone.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MonstersVsAliens'' Susan Murphy grows to a height of almost fifty feet after being stuck by a meterorite. She is quickly labeled a "monster" by the government and is put in a detention facility, despite not doing anything malicious or intentionally destructive at all. She is joined by her fellow inmates Doctor Cockroach, The Missing Link, B.O.B., and Insectosaurus.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* That one alien in ''Film/AliensInTheAttic''.
* Possibly the eponymous monster in ''Film/{{Cloverfield}}''. [[spoiler:[[WordOfGod According to the producers]], Clovie was given a rude awakening by a falling satellite and was more disoriented and grumpy than actually malicious. He's also supposed to be a baby, and so the whole movie could just be considered the result of a kaiju temper tantrum.]]
* The titular ''Film/VanHelsing'' refuses to kill Frankenstein's monster for this exact reason.
-->'''Van Helsing:''' Evil may have created him, evil may have left it's mark on him, but evil does not rule him so I can not kill him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''The Reluctant Dragon'' is an 1898 children's book by Kenneth Grahame (originally published as a chapter in his book ''Dream Days''), which served as the key element to the [[Disney/TheReluctantDragon 1941 feature film]] of the same name from WaltDisney Productions.
* In the Cineverse Cycle, Book Two, the Slime Monster doesn't really like scaring people. His name is Edward and he is simply very misunderstood.
* The various ''[[FrankensteinsMonster Frankenstein]]'' {{film}}s have often portrayed the monster who acts as a main character as a confused beast who doesn't want to hurt anyone and is unfairly hunted down by the villagers. In the original novel, the monster was like this at first, but after being hunted wherever he is found, he vows revenge on his creator and kills Frankenstein's brother, friend and wife. At which point Frankenstein becomes the hunter.
* The title character of ''Literature/TheBF'' is the only giant who eats vegetables instead of humans. He's also a midget runt (for a giant) so the others enjoy beating him up.
* Literature/{{Discworld}} novel ''Discworld/ReaperMan'' features a boogeyman who is actually very agoraphobic and vastly prefers hiding behind things over jumping out from behind them at people. He gets better [[spoiler:just in time for a BigDamnHeroes moment, where he saves everyone from a sentient shopping mall]].
** ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'' has [[spoiler:Nutt, an orc pretending to be a goblin-thing because of the stigma surrounding orcs. (Orcs were created by an EvilOverlord to be used as super-soldiers in some war)]].
** The Watch books have Angua, a werewolf who is really quite civilised and hates the monstrous members of her race.
* While no [[OurDragonsAreDifferent creature in]] [[SapientSteed the British]] [[LivingShip Aerial Corps]] is more vicious than most men (certainly no more vicious than any ''soldier''), {{Temeraire}} in particular seems frequently befuddled and occasionally offended over how readily most humans are frightened by a barn-sized predator with sharp claws the size of a woman's forearm and a maw that can devour a cow in three bites.
* The main character in Creator/HPLovecraft's "The Outsider" is one, if only for a minute. He spends most of his life completely alone, thinking he's human. When he finally does meet other people, they run away in terror, and he even terrifies himself when [[TomatoInTheMirror he sees his reflection.]] He quickly decides to just go with it.
* In ''Literature/VoyageOfTheBasset'', Medusa. She's a bit [[DefrostingIceQueen cold and arrogant initially]], but she doesn't even want to petrify animals, and she is as horrified as anyone when she accidentally does it to a member of the crew.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/BarneyAndFriends'': Barney the Dinosaur is a Tyrannosaurus, and has not once in the show's fifteen-year run tried to eat the children or Baby Bop. Instead, he'd rather play make-believe and sing.
* Creator/CirqueDuSoleil's WidgetSeries ''Solstrom'' played with this via a {{Metamorphosis}} -- in the horror pastiche "Howling Wind", a hotel is transformed into a HauntedCastle / HellHotel hybrid via magic. While surprised, the elderly Hotel Owner decides to go on with business as usual as best he can, and thinks nothing of (if he even notices) the help being transformed into ogres, vampires, and sundry eccentrics, or even that ''Death'' is now a guest. As it turns out the magic is slowly turning ''him'' into a WolfMan. But he's hardly aware of his increasingly monstrous form -- when he notices that his fingernails are turning into claws, his response is simply to try filing them down. So preoccupied is he with being a good host that it's a shocked guest whose reaction alerts him to the fact that he's grown a ''tail''. [[spoiler: In TheStinger, the transformation is complete but he is still affable and harmless.]]
* ''Series/TheOuterLimits1963'' episode "Behold, Eck!" was [[WorkingTitle originally titled]] "The Reluctant Monster". The titular creature is a meek, polite two-dimensional being from AnotherDimension who accidentally winds up in our world and wreaks unintentional havoc while the heroes figure out how to send him home.
* Possibly Amy from ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''. She didn't ''want'' to be a kitsune and even [[spoiler: killed her mother to save a younger Sam from her. Sam in turn saved her from John and Dean, who were on the hunt.]] She was only killing [[spoiler: to save her son, who was sick.]] Then again, it's left ambiguous whether or not this is really the case. [[spoiler: Dean kills her rather than wait to find out.]]
* ''Series/TheMunsters'': They're monsters ripped from the old UniversalHorror movies, but they act as a fairly typical, if eccentric, working-class family that can't understand why most strangers seem to turn pale and run whenever they see them.
** Actually, they do understand--Marilyn is just so darn scary.
* ''Series/SesameStreet'': This was Herry in the earliest seasons. Everybody would be singing and playing, then Herry would show up roaring (which is what monsters do, after all), and when everybody else ran away, he would turn to the camera and say something like "I just wanted somebody to play with".
* Cadence from ''Series/TheTroop''. She tries her hardest to stay in her human form and doesn't eat humans. Her brother on the other hand is a FullyEmbracedFiend
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology]]
* In Ovid's telling of [[GreekMythology Medusa]], she was a beautiful maiden who laid with Poseidon in Athena's temple. In some tellings, she's raped. For this "offense," she's cursed by Athena with living serpent hair and a terrible visage that would turn men who looked upon it into stone. Thus, Medusa's powers are unintentional and unwanted. Perseus, who eventually kills her, believes that the punishment is well-deserved. The trope is averted in earlier myths, however, which describe Medusa as one of three monstrous sisters, the Gorgons. Perseus kills Medusa simply because she is the only mortal Gorgon.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/PrometheanTheCreated'', this effect is called "Disquiet", and affects all of the Frankensteinian heroes -- people will eventually turn on them no matter where they go.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:VideoGames]]
* Vivian the Shadow Siren from ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' is a rather friendly creature of darkness (possibly even a demon of the same race as the Shadow Queen) who joins Mario's party.
* Most video games in the ''VideoGame/{{Atelier}}'' series by Gust (of which the ''Atelier Iris'' games are but a small part) feature a ghost named Pamela who either does not know she is a ghost or is oblivious to the fact that people find her scary.
* A quest chain in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance 2'' begins with a mission where the player must bring a potion to the client. It turns out that the client is a zombie and doesn't know it; it's not aggressive though, and upon being informed of its post-life status, it sadly shambles off into the mist. [[spoiler: The rest of the quest chain reveals that the zombie is Frimelda, a legendary swordswoman, and completing the quest chain cures her zombification and lets her join the player's clan.]]
* Fawkes in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}''. After much time splattering the brains of Supermutants across the wasteland, the player encounters a genetic experiment gone wrong in [[ComicBook/VForVendetta cell 5]] of an abandoned Vault. (S)he knows (s)he is a monster, but while the FEV that created all supermutants made most of the rest of Supermutants hulking bloodthirsty monsters with the IQ of a vegetable, Fawkes is intelligent and has a good heart, and offers to help the player in their quest.
** There's also Uncle Leo, the friendly Super Mutant who wanders the wasteland.
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' gives us Marcus, another intelligent super-mutant who was initially part of the Master's army. Later he became friends with a Brotherhood of Steel paladin, and they decided to settle down and create a town where humans, ghouls, and super-mutants could live together peacefully (most of the time, anyway). He makes another appearance in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas''.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'', the imp merchants only want to sell you something - even when you attack their bases.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' is filled with creatures with quite nasty traits and histories, but the days of animosity between humans and {{youkai}} are long gone and the denizens of Gensoukyou are more interested in [[DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu parties]] than following past trends. Even Remilia, local vampire princess who boasts about being a terror of the night, never drinks enough blood in one sitting to kill anyone and the worst thing she ever did was block the sun for a while so she could go flower viewing during the day.
* In ''VideoGame/ShadowsOfTheDamned,'' the traveling trader Christopher is a monstrous looking creature with a SlasherSmile, who tells you he is [[HalfHumanHybrid half man, half "beast"]]. When Garcia, the main character, [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman calls him out on it]], Christopher shoots back with, "you gotta look past the leath'ry exterior! Deep down I am a sensitive and understanding listener!"
** He even surrounds himself with flower gardens and [[LightIsGood lamps]], the latter of which keeps hell's [[WeakenedByTheLight demons]] away. How sweet!
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' has a lot of these.
** The Forsaken started out as this, but eventually decided ThenLetMeBeEvil and have become the most evil faction in the game. Only a few unplayable factions are worse.
** Blood Elves until the Sunwell was restored. They were basically energy vampires and most of them hated it. There were a few who were and still are addicted to magic so badly that they look like hardcore drug abusers.
** Thrall. Everyone sees his race as monsters, but Thrall is TheMessiah, super kind and gentle, a WarriorPoet, a GeniusBruiser, and loves everyone, even giving the guy who tortured and enslaved him the ability to fight back. Some fans don't like him because of this and prefer Garrosh Hellscream.
* The Architect from VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening is a RogueDrone sapient Darkspawn that actually wants to end the Blights and free all his kind from the Old Gods giving them sapience and free will as well. Unfortunately he suffers from BlueAndOrangeMorality and thus has done some horrible things that jeopardized his plans simply because he didn't realize that what he did was horrible. Also the Messenger, one of the Darkspawn the Architect has awakened to sapience is an even better example apparently being a genuinely nice person who, depending on the player's choices, can end up as a MysteriousProtector of travelers in trouble, albeit accidentally spreading [[TheCorruption the Blight]] in some cases.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' :
** The Monster in the Darkness knows he's a monster (although even he's not sure what kind), is and incredibly dangerous (he knocked one character and her horse several miles when trying to hit as lightly he could), but is so innately sweet-natured that he is horrible at being monstrous and could even be considered to be somewhat helpful to the Order of the Stick.
** Starting in [[spoiler:Strip #878, Durkon Thundershield is now this. He was briefly under MindControl from Malack, but with the latter's death in Strip #906, is now free to resume adventuring with the Order,]] and by his own words is no more evil than [[ComedicSociopath Belkar Bitterleaf]]. [[DamnedByFaintPraise Which doesn't mean that much]], but at least implies he's willing to work with the Order. [[spoiler:Ultimately subverted. Durkon is actually demonically posessed by a servant of an Evil-Aligned God, who is sick of dealing with squabbles with her pantheon, and who is implied to have her own agenda regarding the gates and is just trying to have Vampire!Durkon avoid suspicion about his following this trope until she can carry out her plans.]]
* The title character of ''Webcomic/GeorgeTheDragon'' has a steady diet of junk food and can't even eat a hamster, never mind a human. (And set a bunch of food-type hamsters free.)
* Buwaro of ''Webcomic/SlightlyDamned'' just wants to give the world a big hug. However, being a member of the vicious and powerful Demon race makes most people more likely to [[http://www.sdamned.com/2008/01/01132008/ scream in terror]]. Justified in that all Demons have a limit-break berserk mode, and he has a health condition that forces his NORMAL state to be berserker. Not justified in that, with medication, Buwaro is a noble demon and incapable of harming anyone who doesn't harm his friends.
* Done in reverse during the "That Which Redeems" arc from ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''. When people from the Dimension of Lame are transformed into demons, they readily identify themselves as evil, but because of how ridiculously pure and good-natured they were to begin with, their idea of "evil" is making scary faces at young children.
* In ''[[http://www.succubus-justice.com/ Succubus Justice]]'', the VillainProtagonist, Karina, is attending a school for the purpose of correcting her MinionWithAnFInEvil personality.
* [[spoiler:Daniel Ti'Fiona]] from ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'' doesn't want to be an incubus. This is both PlayedForLaughs and PlayedForDrama.
* ''[[http://schwarzkreuz.xepher.net/sk/sk.php Schwarz Kreuz]]''[='=]s main character, Nikolas Von Helsing. He's a descendant of ''that'' [[{{Dracula}} Von Helsing]]. He used a ritual to turn himself into a vampire when his group of [[TheHunter Paladins/Clergymen]] was under attack by Nazis, and thus manages to survive to continue his order. Doesn't drink blood, but does drink alcohol. Lots of it.
* Jareth in ''Webcomic/{{Roommates}}'' (MegaCrossover FanWebcomic) is a highly powerful [[TheFairFolk fae]] who tries hard to defy his very nature. Also his [[TheFourLoves motivations]] are more humanlike than natural for his species ([[EvilParentsWantGoodKids thanks to his dad]] mostly), but he [[HeroWithAnFInGood kinda sucks]] in this whole acting good thing. (And if he overexerts himself he CAN [[SuperpoweredEvilSide snap]].)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The title character of ''WesternAnimation/CasperTheFriendlyGhost'', and his pal [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendy_the_Good_Little_Witch Wendy]], both of whom just want to be friends with people instead of doing the bad things that other ghosts and witches like to do.
* ''Loopy de Loop'', a wolf character from HannaBarbera.
* This trope is played [[BlackComedy hilariously straight]] in ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken''.
* Roger the Alligator, from ''WesternAnimation/ThePenguinsOfMadagascar''. A notable aversion of ReptilesAreAbhorrent, he is extremely pacifistic and would rather bake muffins for his enemies than hurt them.
* ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce'' has an onion-bodied spider named "Willie Nelson" who lives in the Aqua Teens' attic. He's very mellow, except for when he's actually ''in'' [[AxCrazy the attic]].
* Muzzy from ''WesternAnimation/MuzzyInGondoland''. A big, hairy green alien who is actually very kind and only eats clocks and other metal objects.
* Mr. Bumpy from ''WesternAnimation/BumpInTheNight'' once had an episode where, upon hearing that some monster under the bed was upsetting his boy, resolved to track down the interloper and deal with him. A brief investigation led to Squishington quickly realizing that the monster was Mr. Bumpy, and his late-night, hard-partying ways were scaring his boy awake. Mr Bumpy is horrified at this, since he loves his boy, as he's the main source of all his stuff and the dirty socks he eats.
[[/folder]]

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