Tastes Like Diabetes
aka: Saccharine

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lisa_frank_9123.JPG
Lisa Frank, converting your monitor to rainbows, glitter, and balloons.

"It's too cute! It's... It's disgusting!"
Plankton, SpongeBob SquarePants

This is an audience reaction to works that are strongly attempting to be kid-friendly— using almost all the tropes of cuteness and idealism, like there's some kind of checklist. 'Saccharine' is the watchword. Viewers react to this with anything ranging from cutesy cuddling to violent revulsion. Always, there will be fun, colorful settings, Narm or generally hammy voice acting, an aversion to anything resembling death except for that one final and dramatic battle, and no matter the situation, if you have friends, you will win because you can only win with friends. The sun shines a lot, and when it's night, the moon is full and bright. Also, there is smiling. Tons of smiling. Even when it's not appropriate, there is smiling. The Big Bad is Obviously Evil with no attempt to look otherwise, and flips between being born evil (maybe even worse) or redeemable, depending on the story.

Keep in mind that levity and sweetness are not necessarily bad. With proper usage, it may result in an enjoyable series where the cuteness is somehow justified or just part of the environment. When it monopolizes the series, or puts being adorable ahead of things like actual plots or likeable characters, then it becomes a problem. Cute in and of itself isn't wrong, but given an audience's general conditioning to the notion that Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids! and that Real Men Hate Sugar (a side effect of targeting masculine elements towards women as much as men), even this wiki has something of an aversion to cuteness as an entity as the incredibly long list of examples below attest. This cultural reaction is also one of the core reasons why American Kirby Is Hardcore.

Not to be confused with Sweet Tooth or Sugar Bowl settings in general, as this is an Audience Reaction. Use caution when mixing with Gorn and Crapsack World as Grotesque Cuteness or Wide Eyed Idealism may result, respectively. Repeated consumption of this product may result in becoming a Glurge Addict. Be aware that excessive cheerfulness can be used to disguise a Crapsaccharine World. Also not to be confused with the real-life Types 1 and 2 diabetes, which are definitely not at all cute, sweet, or adorable!

See also Super-Cute Superpowers. A Crapsaccharine World is often deliberately designed to cause this. Contrast with Testosterone Poisoning and Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Art 

    Comic Books 
  • Deadpool hangs a lampshade on this when reminiscing about his ex-wife: "...all this 'I love you snookie pie' and 'you too honey lips face head mush mush'... go into diabetic shock just walking by the place."
  • Miss Martian of The DCU, which is especially interesting considering she's a White Martian. Which leads to fans thinking she's cuter in her true form.
  • Lampshaded in Mark Waid's Empire with the line "I need insulin listening to you!"
  • Spoofed in the Batman/Judge Dredd crossover Judgment on Gotham, where Scarecrow sprays Judge Death with his nightmare toxin, causing Judge Death to panic wildly over the sight of adorable ponies and cutesy little animals.
  • Carl Barks found Christmas stories with An Aesop like this. Unfortunately, he was so good at it, that he got assignment after assignment.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Love Is.... Concentrated and undiluted example.
  • The Family Circus. almost no one but 6-year-olds and grandmothers actually finds it anything but sickeningly sweet.
  • Rose Is Rose.
  • FoxTrot has featured the iMac-parody the iFruit, which resembles a pear and features the sugar-sweet message "Welcome to iFruit. Hug me." When you turn it on.
    Jason: iThink iwill b sick.
  • Monty played with the trope, adding the alarmingly cute Giggles the Bear to the cast. The strip claims readership reached an all-time high, citing letters like "After reading today's 'Giggles' strip, I cut it out and cuddled it - signed, My Inner Child," and "When I saw your new character/product line 'Giggles,' I felt a peculiar stirring in my loins - signed, Comic Syndicate Executive."
  • An in-universe example in Peanuts. Before Linus was old enough to read and write, he would have Charlie Brown take down his letters to Santa Claus, and they were so overly saccharine (Linus admitted he was trying to butter him up), Charlie Brown had to quit writing, claiming he was getting nauseated.
    • Peanuts itself was accused of this trope near the end of its run.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Subverted again in Munchkin Fu with the monster card "Big Eyes, Small Mouse." Its description? "Too cute to live. Your duty is clear."
  • Candyland.

    Theater 
  • "She's in Love" from The Musical version of The Little Mermaid (it's sung by Ariel's sisters and Flounder). Just...uughh.
  • Subverted in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Veruca Salt is an adorable-looking, blonde, pink-clad, ballet-loving-down-to-the-tutu tot...and a Spoiled Brat extraordinaire who's All Take and No Give to her forever-accommodating dad. Their mutual "I Am" Song "When Veruca Says" is the cutesiest-sounding number in the show, too, playing up Lyrical Dissonance. When she decides she wants one of Willy Wonka's nut-sorting squirrels though, she learns the hard way that cute is not nice...
  • The Sound of Music, despite its success on Broadway, became regarded as treacly and old-fashioned. The movie made some attempts to tone this down (e.g., changing the placements of some songs, casting actors who could try and add dimension to their roles) without completely eliminating it. Christopher Plummer still famously described the film version as "The Sound Of Mucus" because of this Trope.

    Other 
  • "A Google's Wish" by StickFreeks.
  • What do you get when you mix a cat with a duck? You get Maneki Neko-Ducku, who makes everybody happy.
  • Daria McGrain's artwork mostly shows this trope, but that doesn't excuse the fact that nearly all of her artwork is definitely NSFW.
  • Shimejis are those cute little desktop mascots that run around your screen being practically useless, but utterly adorable. Some of the cutest ones include Pokemon, Homestuck, Hetalia, and etc.
  • The "White Girls" meme apparently going around is probably related to works that evoke this reaction.

    Real Life 
  • Anne Geddes' baby pictures.
  • The streetcar/tram system in Würzburg, Germany has a chorus of little kids announcing the next stop. Downright creepy, not to mention rather difficult for non-native speakers to understand.
  • The Japanese street fashion Lolita has a crazy lovechild between Sweet Lolita and Decora; OTT Sweet Lolita.
    • Almost everything made by the brand Angelic Pretty. With names like "Toy Fantasy", "Melody Doll", and "Sugary Carnival"... yeah. And every print has accompanying big, glittery acrylic jewelry in shapes that relate to the print - ponies, teddy bears, candy, etc.
  • Disney Theme Parks are full of this. "It's a Small World" is the most famous example, but the general "heartwarming and magical" aesthetic of parades, live shows, and so on can be wearying after a while, even for fans of the characters being featured. Even the most adult-oriented of the parks, Epcot in Florida, is occasionally prone to a little too much sugar making the Edutainment go down, though it likely was a lot worse when the park opened (think songs like "It's Fun to Be Free", "Making Memories", "Tomorrow's Child", etc.).
  • Greeting cards. All of them.
  • There's a reason Lisa Frank is the trope illustrator.


Alternative Title(s): Sickeningly Sweet, Saccharine

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TastesLikeDiabetes?from=Main.Saccharine