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Characters / Undertale - Toriel

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Top Index | Major (The Human Child, Flowey, Toriel, Sans, Papyrus, Undyne, Alphys, Mettaton, Asgore Dreemurr) | Minor | Monsters | Spoilers

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The guardian of the Ruins area. Toriel is a motherly figure who literally takes your hand through the first part of the story. Her favourite food is snail pie.


  • Action Girl: It's important to remember that beneath her gentle demeanor is a powerful fire mage.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Near the end of hard mode, Annoying Dog tells her that the hard mode's continuation would be "hard". Given her love for puns, she's very close to bursting out laughing.
  • Adorkable: Her love of terrible puns and "embarrassing and overprotective but lovable mom" vibe places her safely into this territory.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Everything she does stems from her desire to protect the protagonist, since every child that has fallen into the Underground and come under her wing has died. This makes more sense when you remember that both of her children — her son Asriel and his adopted human sibling — both died on the same day.
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    • She becomes absolutely horrified if she accidentally kills the Child during her boss fight despite deliberately making her spells miss their SOUL once they lose enough health.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Sans and Asgore both call her "Tori".
  • The Ageless: Toriel is a Boss Monster, which is a species of monster that does not age unless she has a child. So, like her husband, she hasn't aged since her son died, which may have been decades to centuries ago (the year 201X).
  • Alone with the Psycho: She is this in a No Mercy run, and until you kill her, she doesn't suspect a thing. You Bastard!.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: When you're saving her soul from Asriel, you're saving her alongside her ex-husband Asgore. Despite her animosity towards him, being unceasingly kind to him is enough to snap her out of her hopelessness too.
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  • Badass Adorable: Absolutely huggable and a powerful magician who will completely wreck you if she doesn't hold back.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Wears a robe, but neither shoes nor socks, unlike most of the other monsters we meet. Yet she has a sock drawer in her room. Scandalous indeed!
  • Behind Every Great Man: It's outright said that she was the brains of the royal family as Queen.
  • Berserk Button:
    • If you reach her house with a sliver of HP left, Toriel will be angry and demand to know who dared to harm you.
    • Toriel is pretty much the game's sweetest character except when Asgore is around. Even after a Pacifist Run where everyone gets together and makes peace, Toriel still hates his guts. Then again, if you placed peace between all races as your highest priority, then found out your husband waged war against humanity on an impulse in addition to harvesting innocent human souls to free his kingdom, then chose to cowardly take a passive Plan B after some second thoughts by just waiting for humans to stumble into his world for harvesting, vastly prolonging said kingdom's wait for freedom and thereby skewing such a plan into a big problem for both races, you'd probably find it hard to forgive him, too.
      • Her hatred is even more understandable when you remember the box of shoes in Home, implying that at least one of the children stayed with her long enough to outgrow several pairs of shoes. Asgore didn't just murder children, he murdered her children, some of whom she may have raised for years. No wonder she wants nothing to do with him.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Toriel effortlessly dealing with Flowey's attack at the introduction should be an indication that she is as powerful as she is kind. She also does the same thing to Asgore in the True Pacifist route.
    • She is also willing to beat the player character to near-death to stop them from leaving the Ruins. She's doing it to spare the child from what she believes to be a certain death, but still.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • In her debut appearance, she erases Flowey's unavoidable attack and then blows him away with a fireball.
    • She does it a second time when you face Asgore after exploring the True Laboratory. She even uses the same line.
  • Book-Ends: "Do not be afraid my child" is said by her when she first saves you from Flowey. She says it twice more near the end of the True Pacifist route, first when she stops the fight between you and Asgore, then when all the ensnared monsters protect Frisk against Flowey.
  • Boss Battle: The first one in the game, if you don't count Mini-Boss Napstablook. You must defeat her in order to leave the Ruins.
  • The Bus Came Back: You don't see her again after you leave the Ruins for the majority of the game during a pacifist run, until you reach Asgore, when she intervenes just in time, revealing she couldn't stop worrying about you all this time. D'awwww.
  • Can't Hold Her Liquor: Played for laughs in the Undertale Anniversary Q&A. There, Sans recounts a time when Toriel once got drunk on three glasses of wine and started throwing mini-pizzas at him like Frisbees.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Defied by Toriel. After Asgore decided to restart the "kill all humans" policy, she left him and went to the Ruins to save any children that would fall through the hole on Mount Ebbott. In any ending where she is the queen, she will undo Asgore's policy — or attempt to — even at the risk of angering the other monsters and denying them hope. For her, not killing is more important, even if she's forced out of her position.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Her attempts at puns are adorably bad. They're also the primary reason why Sans didn't kill you as soon as you left the ruins.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In the Pacifist Neutral and True Pacifist endings. In the former, she arrives too late to stop you from fighting Asgore, but resumes as Queen of the Underground and stops the policy about killing humans. In the latter, she pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment to save you from Asgore and chews him out for his cowardice, which stops the fight before it begins. In all runs, because she was telling jokes to Sans through the walls of the Ruins, she extracted a promise from Sans to not kill any humans; if not for that, you'd have died when he first saw you.
  • Comically Missing the Point: According to Gerson, Toriel once wore a light blue dress with a floral pattern on it and people kept telling her that she had a nice muu-muu. Toriel mistook the compliments as her being called a cow and never wore it again, although she can be seen wearing it once more in the Golden Ending.
  • Commonality Connection: Bad puns is how she became friends with Sans to begin with.
  • Cool Old Lady:
    • Certainly has the attitude of one. While her age is never even hinted at, she prefers to spend her time cooking and reading.
    • Subverted in that physically, she and Asgore are both physically rather young. Boss Monsters are explicitly stated to only age beyond adulthood as their child grows, so now that Asriel's gone, she'll be where she is for keeps.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Has a very prominent and very adorable pair whenever shown in the dialog box.
  • Death Glare: Toriel can be surprisingly intimidating with her eyes, as the first Froggit can attest.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": She kindly reminds a character to not call her by her ex-husband's surname, which is also likely her wish of not wanting to be associated with him. She also gets upset at her ex-husband calling her "Tori".
  • Do Wrong, Right: One of the reasons she wants nothing to do with Asgore anymore. She didn't condone his plan to begin with, but she absolutely despises his cowardice and unwillingness to go all the way with it, which is making all monsters suffer for who knows how long.
  • Dying Smirk: Whenever she's killed in the No Mercy/Genocide run or if you go through the effort of sparing her, then attack her at the last moment, she laughs while cursing both you (the player) and the child with her last breath.
  • Establishing Character Music: Toriel saves you from Flowey and is accompanied by a calm, soothing melody, helping establish her motherly, caring nature.
  • Evil Laugh: Toriel has one if you fake sparing her, then kill her — she'll let out a twistedly approving and heartbroken "eh heh heh", remarking that you'll survive just fine in the brutal world of monsters, despite her misgivings.
  • Fatal Flaw: A rather unusual one for a motherly, kind character, but it's pride. Back when Asgore declared war on humanity and started killing humans, she didn't even try to stop or reason with him, she just left. She even had a better solution at hand, but refused to contact or reach out to Asgore, as she perpetually feels "better" than him. Whether or not this is true is highly arguable, as while Asgore undeniably has blood on his hands, Toriel also shares it on some level, as she was well aware that he was killing humans, yet did absolutely nothing to stop him. Not to mention that while she had no issue in flaunting a better solution to Asgore, she didn't even make the tinest effort, in any way, to free monsterkind. This is made more obvious in one of the neutral endings in which Asgore dies. It results in Toriel returning as queen, but Undyne rebels and kicks her out almost immediately, as she is plain useless in giving monsterkind hope for freedom.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Toriel rescues you from Flowey, guides you through the ruins, and give you a place to stay. If you don't spare her, then this trope is in effect.
  • The Fettered: Very much so. She knocks out Flowey within a few minutes of the beginning gameplay, but doesn't kill him; she treats Asgore the same way during a Pacifist Run while showing that she had a better plan for breaking the barrier, but wouldn't go through with it because she doesn't kill. Likewise, she tries not to kill you when blocking you from leaving the Ruins, and her fireballs stop hitting you when your HP is low enough.
  • God Was My Co Pilot: Toriel was the queen of the Underground, but abdicated the throne out of disgust at Asgore's plan. She ascends back to the throne in some of the neutral endings, and is the default character to do so if she survives.
  • Good Is Not Soft: If Toriel weren't The Fettered, she could easily become the most formidable ruler in the Underground. When given the opportunity, she will fight anyone that tries to hurt you, including her ex-husband, will fight you to keep you from leaving the Underground, and destroy the one-way exit to the Ruins. Not to mention that she came up with a better plan to reap the seven souls needed to break the barrier than Asgore did, but wouldn't do it herself because of her Thou Shalt Not Kill policy.
  • Go Through Me: This is part of her boss battle of the Ruins, hoping to encourage you to go back to bed and take a nap. No matter what happens, whether she lives or dies, she doesn't end up happy.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Is willing to die if you prove yourself strong enough to leave the Ruins, and is befuddled if you insist on sparing her until she eventually lets you go. Subverted if you're on a No Mercy Run and she realizes you are a (figurative) monster.
  • Hidden Depths: Toriel is incredibly powerful, eclipsing most other characters with her CHECK stats and tying with Asgore in terms of ATK and DEF, if not in health. She can send Flowey and even Asgore Blown Across the Room with a single fireball, annihilate enemy bullets, and perform powerful healing magic casually, but you will never see her go all-out in battle against you, because she loves you too much.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: In a No Mercy run, she doesn't notice anything off about the player's behavior until you One-Hit Kill her, even after you've killed every random encounter in the Ruins. For perspective, immediately after, you've been so corrupted that people on the outside think you are literally as well as metaphorically a monster, and when Sans and Papyrus think this, your LV is only 6. Immediately before killing Toriel, you are only LV 4 (and completely skip LV 5). note 
  • Hypocrite: She accuses Asgore of inaction when he could have bypassed the seal with only one human soul, killed six more, and broken the Barrier. However, even after Asgore started killing people (children), she never lifts a finger to try and stop him. Her "plan" amounts to try to convince the people who fall underground to stay with her in the ruins, which never works... all while monsterkind continues to rot in the underground. She is well aware that the people who leave her die, but she only confronts Asgore when he is on the verge of getting the seventh. For calling him out so severely about killing people, Toriel herself literally just let it happen, all while knowing they were dying, and only did something about it when the situation was critical.
  • Hypocrite Has a Point: Even though Toriel did basically nothing to stop Asgore from killing people, her accusation of his inaction was rather accurate as the man did nothing but wait until more humans fell into the underground and left monsterkind with no other option then to wait along with him.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: She allows the child to leave the Ruins, because she knows they would be unhappy growing up in their confines, without peers or friends.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Sans, as they both enjoy bad jokes.
  • Just Friends: Subverted. She won't even allow this for Asgore.
  • King in the Mountain: The title of Asgore's theme, "Bergentrückung", can also refer to someone that leaves the world behind to 'disappear' into the mountains, either willingly or by accident. It often is a king, but doesn't have to be. Ironically, the title fits Toriel better than him, since she fled society to isolate herself in the Ruins.
  • Laughing Mad: If you kill her when she has begun her speech and stopped attacking you or if you are on the Kill 'Em All route, her last moments will be a painful smile about how much she misunderstood you before laughing and dissolving.
  • Leitmotif: "Fallen Down," which plays when she first introduces herself in a Big Damn Heroes moment. A variation of it plays again when Toriel suddenly comes back in at the end of a True Pacifist run, again, in a Big Damn Heroes moment. A part of it also plays during Asgore's fight.
  • Mama Bear: For you, and for every child that falls Underground. Flowey and Asgore reveal this to the player the hard way. Oh, yes. She saves the protagonist from a seemingly-hopeless situation twice, once from Flowey and then again from Asgore. And, as noted above, if you come to her with very low health, she is not happy about it.
  • Maybe Ever After: In the Golden Ending, Asgore winds up the groundskeeper at the same school Toriel runs. So... maybe they're back on speaking terms?
  • Morality Chain:
    • To Sans. If it wasn't for her, he would have killed you as soon as you left the ruins. Or so he says.
    • Also, in a way, to the player. Every interaction with her in the beginning of the game is designed to make the player want to play the game as a pacifist without forcing them.
    • During the Pacifist Run ending, to Asgore. The minute she appears, saves you from fighting, and calls out Asgore for being a "cowardly whelp," he abandons the fight as well.
  • My Beloved Smother: She solves the first "puzzle" in the game for you, tells you the solution to the second, and literally holds your hand through the third. She also scares away early random encounters for you. And at two different points, you can't advance in the game unless you ignore her instructions to stay put while she does something important. It is all played in a very endearing light, though.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • It is very difficult to die to her, as her bullets will actively avoid you when your health reaches a certain point. If you do manage to die to her, her split-second expression before the screen goes black is a shocked gasp.
    • In a much more sinister tone, if the player is on a No Mercy route, she comes to realize she wasn't protecting you, but the monsters outside the Ruins from you.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: If you're on a No Mercy route, then her helping you is what allows you to reach the rest of the Underground. On a Neutral Route ending where she's alive but Papyrus isn't, Sans doesn't have the heart to tell her that her promise led to Frisk killing his brother.
  • Not So Stoic: In the Boss Battle against Toriel, she consistently acts cold and aloof, but will display a sudden expression of shock and horror if she accidentally kills you. Also, as you keep pressing the Spare button during a Pacifist Run, she will start to look doubtful, tear up, and give a sad smile while trying to convince you to either fight or go back upstairs. Then she'll hug you at the end while ordering you firmly not to come back.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Toriel is kind and motherly, but the few times something breaks her cheerful demeanor, she is dead serious.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Including the ones that she's rescued in the Ruins, the Fallen, and Asriel. It's also why she hasn't gotten any older.
  • Parental Substitute: She wants to become one for the player character. She manages to do so if you choose to stay with her in the Golden Ending.
  • Personality Powers: Played with. She isn't hotheaded, impulsive, or violent, the typical personality traits associated with Playing with Fire. She instead embodies the concept of an enduring, nurturing flame — light, life, and warmth rather than chaos and destruction. The fire in the fireplace at Toriel's exemplifies this; the fire is warming, but not dangerous — the narration notes the child can even stick their hand in without getting hurt.
  • Playing with Fire: She knows fire magic. Examining the stove in her house shows it to be surprisingly clean, suggesting she even cooks with it.
  • Pungeon Master: She keeps a motherly presence when first meeting you, but it's later revealed she absolutely adores bad jokes. She and Sans ended up becoming friends after discovering their mutual taste in comedy.
  • Punny Name: Toriel leads you through the early phase of the game. She's a living tutorial. Gets a whole different meaning when you put it as "Et tu, Toriel?".
  • Really 700 Years Old: She and Asgore have been around since monsters were first sealed and lived in the Ruins, but due to being a Boss Monster, she hasn't aged physically beyond moderate-adulthood.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivers a pretty frank one to Asgore at the finale of a pacifist run about how his plan caused the monsters to stay underground. It's extremely hypocritical coming from her, however, when you analyze what she actually did. That is, run off to the ruins, do literally nothing for monsterkind, and even her so-called protectiveness for humans falls flat when you consider she just let Asgore kill them, without trying to confront or stop him in any way or form for centuries.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Averted, for the most part. While she does have red eyes, she's not evil in any term. Though, she's a very competent pyromancer and able to kick ass when needed.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Toriel has been saving multiple children, including you, when they fall into the Ruins. Part of it is a sense of duty, given that (as she puts it) Asgore has a "Kill All Humans" policy, but the main part of it is you and the other children are replacing her adopted human the Fallen. Flowey even lampshades this in an Echo Room.
  • Retired Badass: Just a sweet old lady who likes to bake pies, tend her garden, or sit in her comfy chair and read... who also happens the be the former queen of the underground and a powerful pyromancer who casually (and unknowingly) smacks down the Big Bad during your first encounter with her.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: A very, very adorable anthropomorphic goat. Arguably, she's an Irish Púca.
  • Sad Battle Music: The appropriately titled "Heartache" for her boss battle.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Toriel leaves Asgore when the latter goes through with his half-hearted plan of harvesting the souls of the humans who fall into the underground.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: She's the can, her love is the seal, and you are (potentially) the evil. Much to her horror if you pursue genocide, Toriel realises she was protecting everyone else from you, and she failed to hold you.
  • Secret Test of Character: Her boss fight is both a straight and meta example. She says "Prove to me you are strong enough to survive" as she blocks your way, expecting you to either back down or kill her, and her reaction to being slain normally implies she's alright with that outcome. It is also possible to Take a Third Option and spare her, but the game does not make this immediately obvious (especially since using Talk doesn't work) and seems to subtly test whether players are committed to choosing Spare over and over again until she backs down. The game implies, both subtly and not-so-subtly, that the first choice you make reveals the real nature of the player, and Flowey outright mocks you if you kill her then immediately reset. This includes trying to beat Toriel into submission (which traps the player into accidentally killing her), since you're still trying to use violence to get your way.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Toriel trying to save every child that falls into the Ruins, to keep them from going to the rest of the Underground and getting killed. As she puts it, "I cannot save even one child." These words become harsher when you learn that her first two children died as well. Also hints towards her pride and hypocrisy, as while she talks herself down, she never addressees the actual issue, Asgore. She only confronts him at the climax of the Pacifist route, when almost all is lost.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: According to Gerson, she and Asgore were this when they were married.
  • The Social Darwinist: Toriel believes it's "kill or be killed" in the Underground, which is part of why she's so protective. If you repeatedly "SPARE" her in battle, she eventually screams, "What are you doing? Attack or run away!" Persist, and you can prove it wrong. For now.
  • So Proud of You: She's overjoyed in the full pacifist run to see how many friends you've made along the way. Declaring that even though you may be trapped in the Underground forever, she knows you'll be happy here.
  • Stating the Simple Solution:
    • When she doesn't outright solve puzzles for you in the ruins, she makes it blatant how to solve them anyways.
    • In her backstory, she furiously lambastes Asgore for waiting around for humans to take their souls. To her, the simple (and brutal) way would be to travel to the surface, kill 6 humans (or wait for them to die since monsters live longer than humans), and just break the barrier immediately. However, unlike most circumstances of this trope, she uses it to turn him away from his current path by pointing out how he doesn't want to do it at all because he didn't do it the easy way. She herself makes her stance on her own version of the plan clear in any Neutral ending where she lives, where she declares that Humans who fall are to be treated as friends (with varying results, depending on what the player did).
  • Statuesque Stunner: Heavily implied. Toriel is quite tall and possibly has a bit of thickness to her stature, which makes her attractive to everybody on the internet. Toriel either can't believe people would take/make pictures of her or she refuses to believe people could be attracted to an old lady like herself. What also helps is being ageless and being locked at a decent age to keep your looks.
  • Stealth Pun: She's an anthropomorphic she-goat and acts as a substitute mother figure for the player. In other words, she's a literal nanny goat. Also, if you become close, you become like her 'kid'.
  • Suicide by Cop: Forces you into a fight to the death... and then holds back. It's more of a Secret Test of Character to prove to her that you're willing to do what it takes to survive.
  • Supreme Chef: You know that slice of butterscotch-cinnamon pie you can get from her? it's one of the few items that can recover all hit points upon consumption. You learn in Asgore's New Home that he has been trying to replicate that signature pie for years, but always failed. It hammers in just how much he needs her and misses her.
  • Technical Pacifist: She is the first serious boss and she will fight you, but if your HP drops to 2, her attacks will start avoiding you...
  • Technologically Blind Elders: If you don't kill her, she can learn how to text on her phone. She texts exactly like you'd expect, writing long, drawn-out messages, texting you back to correct previous spelling mistakes, and even getting into an impersonation-war with Sans.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Even when she is using great power against Flowey, you, and Asgore at the end of a Pacifist Run, she aims to stun, not to kill.
  • Threshold Guardians: Played extremely straight. Toriel literally stands in your way before the door that would lead you outside the Ruins and asks that you show her that you have the will to survive and move forward — whether by violence or pacifism.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Toriel enjoys eating snails, and in the Hard Mode route, she makes the player a Snail Pie instead of the usual Butterscotch-Cinnamon one on account of having not bought any groceries beforehand.
  • Utility Magic: Her fire magic mostly isn't used for combat, just cooking.
  • Voice Grunting: Sounds similar to the soft bleating of a goat.
  • Wakeup Call Boss: Her blocking the exit from the Ruins seeks to teach you about the game's boss battles. First of all, her attacks are much harder to dodge and and the battle is much longer than any previous battle. But equally important, she's the first opponent where sparing requires more thought than just "try everything in the Act menu once", and the first battle where sparing takes significantly more turns (and effort) than fighting.
  • Walking Spoiler: Toriel is a lot more than the simple motherly old lady you first meet...
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Toriel at the end of the Ruins wants to protect the player by destroying their only escape.
  • Willfully Weak: Comparing the Attack and Defense stated by the Check options (80 for both) to the damage Toriel deals and takes makes it obvious she's holding back in your boss battle with her, since she has no desire to kill you. You later learn that Toriel is actually the former queen of the Underground, but while Toriel is a Wakeup Call Boss as described above, she's not nearly as hard as Papyrus, Undyne, or Mettaton are later on.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Entirely willing to beat the protagonist within an inch of their life to stop them from venturing outside to find a way home. That said, she will adamantly refuse to kill you even if you're about to kill her — others will not be so caring.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Invokes this if she's spared. No matter how much she wants for the Ruins to be "home" for the protagonist, she lets them leave, but not before asking them to not come back.
  • You Look Like You've Seen a Ghost: She said this line when you fight Toriel for the second time and onwards after you killed her.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: Downplayed. Toriel will actively avoid harming you if your health gets too low. It is still possible for her to kill you by accident, though. Played straight in the Genocide Run, where you are able to kill her with a single strike.

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