Jayne: Captain, can you stop her from bein' cheerful, please? Mal: I don't believe there is a power in the 'verse that can stop Kaylee from being cheerful. Sometimes you just wanna duct tape her mouth and dump her in the hold for a month. Kaylee: (Kissing him) I love my captain.
The Cutie is a character who is known for being sweet and lovable, more comic relief than anything, who likes nothing more than to pet little puppies. They make you adore them, root for them and love them.
They are known for being very idealistic, cute and innocent. Some of them even may act in a childlike manner to emphasize their innocence with an upbeat and positive attitude. They also tend to be genuinely nice, loving, caring, and kind to whoever is with them. They tend to take the most peaceful solution to a conflict and hardly ever (if ever) harm others in any way. They're most often female, though younger boys can also be this.
Their innocence and purity draws the sympathy of the audience for them. For this reason they tend to become The Woobie when bad things happen to them.
Related to Break the Cutie, Kill the Cutie, The Fake Cutie, Corrupt the Cutie, Moe, The Pollyanna, and The Messiah.
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Anime and Manga
Twentyfifth Baam the main character from Tower of God. He is merely a Wide-Eyed Idealist trying make friends while he is looking for his lost best friend. Despite that, he gets a lot of flak. Somewhere along the line he meets Miseng, who is another straight example.
From Code Geass, Nunnally Lamperouge, Shirley Fennette and Princess Euphemia. They all suffered Break the Cutie, but the latter two had it MUCH worse.
Azumanga Daioh's Chiyo Mihama. So much so, that she seems to exist for the sole purpose of having everyone fawn over her. Not that we can blame them, since calling Chiyo "cute" amounts to calling the ocean big.
Momo Hinamori from Bleach, sweet, innocent, trusting (to a fault). You can't help but feel for her when things go horribly wrong for her; particularly when she was betrayed by Aizen, who tried to kill her and later, during the FKT arc, he adds insult to injury by duping Hitsugaya into doing it for him.
Madoka Kaname from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. And you better believe she gets put through the wringer, though her altruism is what ultimately allows her to break the system that turns magical girls into witches. Also, Homura was originally an Adorkable version of this, but after going through several timelines worth of Break the Cutie, she takes several levels in badass in her bid to protect Madoka.
Chi from Chobits is one the cutest animé character ever made. Not only is she absolutely gorgeous, she is unbelievably innocent and sweet. Add the fact that she has the mind of an innocent baby (she's a persocom whose memories were erased and so she has to relearn everything)'', and her saying "Chi?" at least eight times per episode and you have a serious overdose of cuteness in one lovable character.
Tomoyo of Cardcaptor Sakura, despite her rather notable fondness for Sakura, is near infallibly charming and innocent. Sakura herself leans more and more into this as the series goes on (especially if Syaoran is involved).
In Sangatsu No Lion, Hina's probably one of the cutest characters, second only to her younger sister, in the cast of an otherwise realistic, and sometimes even depressing, series. She constantly approaches life with cheer, kindness, and optimism.
C-ko Kotobuki from Project A-ko. She is very cute and innocent, and she seems to be devoted and loyal to A-ko. She is also vulnerable and passive.
Popura from WORKING!! can bring the main character to tears by her cuteness.
Betty Cooper from Archie Comics, a competitor for Archie's affections. Betty often takes time for caring about others especially nurturing Archie. In an episode, she had to excuse herself as she was tutoring elementary students at the local library. Veronica discovers this as spies on her thinking Archie was cheating on her.
Molly Hayes and Klara Prast take turns being the Cutie among the Runaways.
Michael manages to be this in the Knight and Rogue Series while also being the muscle, because his personality consists of such high levels of naivete and he's so chivalrous and innocent that he can't even tell a white lie. It helps that the other main character is a snarky con man.
Leafpool from Warrior Cats is one of the cutest kitties in the forest in terms of overall sweetness next to Spottedleaf. She goes through some serious Break the Cutie in the later portions of The New Prophecy and especially The Power of Three. The Three themselves qualify to a lesser extent, especially as young apprentices.
Pollyanna is all but the Trope Namer of this archetype. She lives in a town of bitter and angry people and slowly makes them cheery. Too bad about the ending where she falls, is paralyzed and starts to become bitter herself.
Despicable Me has Margo, Edith, and Agnes, the most innocent of Gru's adopted daughters.
Kaylee is by far the most cheerful and idealistic character on Serenity's crew. Had the show continued and not been Screwed by the Network, it's practically a given that Joss Whedon would have given Kaylee the works.
Murdoch Mysteries: Anna Fulford is a very sweet and very kind young English woman and Detective Murdoch's Temporary Love Interest. She receives the Break the Cutie treatment and lots of crap is going on in her life but she manages to stay relatively upbeat and is cute as ever. Even Julia, who should be jealous of her, says that Anna's lovely and seems to really mean it.
'Allo 'Allo! has quite an unlikely Cutie, because Lieutenant Gruber is a Nazi officer in the occupied France. Yet he's sweet, well-mannered, polite, civil, enthusiastic, a great pianist and has a crush on René, which is unfortunately a case of Incompatible Orientation. He keeps apologizing whenever he's forced to search people or carry out orders he's uncomfortable with. He likes his "little tank" and only he can make "Heil Hitler!" sound adorable.
Cat Valentine from Victorious and now Sam & Cat is cuteness in human form. Just try not to go "Awwww" one or twenty times an episode on seeing her. You can't, can you?
Nanashi in Duel Savior Destiny is probably the cutest/cutesiest and most innocent character in the story. She frequently uses the third person and has her own verbal tic. She's very hands on and affectionate. She's also undead, so the main character wants nothing to do with her or her affections.
Moira Brown, Megaton's shopkeeper and tinkerer in science in Fallout 3. She particularly sticks out for being perpetually cheery and upbeat in a blasted post-apocalyptic wasteland.
Rinoa from Final Fantasy VIII. Reportedly, Tetsuya Nomura, the head character designer for Square at the time, specifically wanted her to give off a "cute" vibe, and pretty much built her entire character around this idea.
Vivi, the adorable little black mage from Final Fantasy IX was so loved by fans, he made a cameo in Kingdom Hearts 2. He also dies at the very end, due to the black mages' short lifespan.
Ringo represent the more cheerful, optimistic side of Luke in Film Conscience.
Jane Bennet in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries corresponds to the description of this trope. She's universally loved and admired. She's adorable and nice to everybody, and genuine in her sweetness. Interesting how a woman in her mid twenties can pull this off.
Clover of the Whateley Universe. One of the youngest kids at Superhero School Whateley Academy, she's a naive wizardess-wannabe with the cutest puppy ever. And a witch hat she's sure will give her magic powers. She also happens to be a powerful Reality Warper and her puppy Buttons can turn into a monstrous dog the size of a pony.
The SCP Foundation surprisingly has this in Cassy, an animate drawing of a sweet and friendly young woman who everyone at the Foundation adores. Unfortunately she found out about her two-dimensional condition and has been in depression ever since.
There's also SCP-054 a friendly entity made of water that likes to play with personnel. Unfortunately frequent experimentation on her (mostly by men) has caused her to resent men and be fearful of them.
Basically if the foundation has a cutie expect them to be broken.
Miss Martian in Young Justice invokes this trope. Though genuinely kind, her mannerism and appearence was constructed from a short-lived cheesy sitcom called "Hello Megan", and her true form is a horrific monster. She almost betrayed her friends to keep the truth hidden, and in the second season develops a very dark tendency for Mind Rape.