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Adorable Abomination

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Lovecraft has never been so adorable.

Dr. Ray Stantz: [watching in horror as a destructive Sumerian god stomps around New York City after having been inadvertently summoned by him in the form of a 100ft tall Stay Puft Marshmallow Man] I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood. Something that could never, ever possibly destroy us. Mr. Stay Puft.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Nice thinking, Ray.
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Eldritch Abominations are terrifying, incomprehensible, and just plain wrong (the clue's in the 'abomination' bit). There are very few people who'd cuddle up to Cthulhu, or sit down to a nice family viewing of My Neighbor Tsathoggua. There are some works, though, that prefer to make these soul-eating horrors from beyond space and time... kind of cute, actually. Maybe you want to add a little extra spice to your Magical Girlfriend show. Maybe you're really, really into Grotesque Cute, and want to extract humour or horror from the dissonance between your beastie's appearance and what it does. Maybe you want to tone down the horror in order to avoid traumatising and depressing the audience. Maybe you just feel that the various unknowable god-things that crawled from the Cthulhu Mythos got an unfair rep for their unfortunate little habit of visiting death and insanity on entire worlds, and you want to redress the balance. Whatever the case, you've now got one of these.

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A helpful answer 'why' for Did You Just Romance Cthulhu? See also Cute Is Evil and Creepy Cute. Can overlap with Killer Rabbit. Compare/Contrast Eldritch Abomination.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Hazuki from Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase. A cute little girl right? But when the moon comes out and she goes into Luna mode... bad things happen.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • Kyubey is something of an inversion. He seems cute at first, but is actually a Starfish Alien with reality-warping powers and Blue and Orange Morality, that at one point eats his own corpse.
    • Charlotte looks like a stuffed doll or children's cartoon character, but is just as nasty as any of the other witches, and her appearance marks a turning point in the series.
    • Most familiars are small cute chibi things, but they're an aspect of their respective witch with many of their powers (albeit not as strong), and can become an exact copy of that witch if left alone. This is most apparent with Homulily's familiars in the Rebellion, seen doing lots of cute things in the background, although they cross into Creepy Cute at times.
  • Haiyore! Nyarko-san: Yes, that is indeed Nyarlathotep, The Crawling Chaos of Lovecraftian fame! She also happens to be a cute teenage girl!
  • Wasurenagumo has a young girl who is actually the Cute Monster Girl daughter of a giant water-spider Yokai. The Downer Ending is that she's just as evil as her mother and she ends up sacrificing her human "friend" to mom as a snack so she can then take said girl's form as her own and, from there, assume her place.
  • Rei and Kaworu from Neon Genesis Evangelion are both eldritch abominations who take the form of cute teenagers.
  • Dragon Ball Super gives us Zen'O, the Omni King who is the most powerful being in the multiverse and ruler of the twelve universes. How powerful? There used to be sixteen universes but he got upset one day. How adorable? He's the size of Goten, has a big head an innocent eyes, and at his very worst is Obliviously Evil due to being childlike in innocence. And after the time travel shenanigans of the Future Trunks Arc, there's two of him.
  • Carnival Phantasm has Grail-kun, a Super-Deformed version of the Angra Mainyu-possessed Greater Grail. The pool of black mud under him is capable of defying gravity, and when asked for advice his solution to everything is a kitchen knife.

    Fan Works 
  • In Bird, Sveta is a sweet, likable, and- more importantly — sane young woman. She is also a mass of murderous tentacles she can only control some of the time. Alchemilla is full of people with problems they can't help, and many of them are insane, but Sveta might be the standout example due to her immense physical mutations. Bird as a whole runs on themes of inversion, and as such, people with horrible pasts and/or appearances are more likely to be nice and sweet.
  • The FUSB in Brainbent is an Ugly Cute plush abomination (it's supposed to resemble a bee - let's just say it doesn't) that may possess sinister powers.
  • In Lost Tales of Fantasia, Alice from Alice in Wonderland is just as little and sweet as she is in canon... except here, she's an extremely powerful devil from Wonderland, which is really Hell.
  • This drawing of Nahatomb from Klonoa was conceived specifically based on the concept of turning the one not-cute nightmare-inducing monster in the game into something small and huggable.
  • The Discworld tale "The Importance of Index Cards'' pits one determined Watchman against the ordeal of the encounter with Tshup Aklathep, Infernal Star Toad with A Million Young. Can A.E. Pessimal survive a trip to the Dungeon Dimensions with an unexploded head? He finesses the ordeal in a not-wholly-improbable way and comes back alive, discovering on the way that a dread chthonic entity might sometimes be a little misunderstood. Especially if she's a single parent...
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanbase have produced a few of these, such as Thingpone, which is The Thing as a pony and friendly), and Cuddlhu, which is a mass of tentacles (yes those ones) that have inhabited a pony costume in order to make friends. Satyrs, which are the hypothetical offspring of a human and a character from the show debatably count as well, though they tend to lean farther toward the adorable side of the scale.
  • The Pokémon fanfic Pickles and Depredation has Joas the Espurr. He is already powerful and cute as an Espurr, but his ability to plunge his opponents into a nightmare realm of Cthulhu ripoffs puts him firmly within the "abomination" category.
  • In Dial, Ruby Hale is a 14-year-old girl, raised and taught from birth to be the ideal, ruthless, heartless assassin of HYDRA's dreams. But to the veteran assassin Black Widow (and slightly to Hawkeye and Nomad), she comes off as a deadly but incredibly cute and naive puppy.

     Films — Animation 
  • Experiment 626, a.k.a. Stitch, from Lilo & Stitch was originally designed by Jumba Jookiba as a bulletproof, fireproof, indestructible, smarter-than-a-computer alien prototype, whose initial instinct is to destroy everything he touches. Everything changes when he disguises himself as a dog and Lilo adopts him and shows him how to utilize his abilities for better purposes. This trope also applies to his "cousins" in the franchise's sequel material.
  • Played with in Monsters, Inc., in which the "abomination" actually is nothing more than an adorable little two-year-old girl, but the monster society is terrified of human children so views her as an abomination because she's a little two-year-old girl.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Ghostbusters, Gozer the Gozerian takes whatever form those who are near the summoning imagine it as. In the movie, it takes the form of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, because Ray tried to think of the most harmless thing possible rather than nothing at all.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Gachnar the Fear Demon from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    Giles: [puts open tome on the table] I should have translated the text under his picture.
    Buffy: What does it say?
    Giles: "Actual size."

    Tabletop Games 
  • Pokéthulhu displays a very different way to apply this to the Mons genre, with cute, adorable creatures that love to eat souls.

    Video Games 
  • In the mobile Virtual Pet app, Cthulhu Virtual Pet, you take care of an adorable, baby version of the High Priest of the Great Old Ones.
  • In the 2016 horror game Tattletail, the protagonist has to care for a creepy Furby-Expy called a Tattletail. The same goes for the Tattletail's Mama, Mama Tattletail. However, unlike other horror games with an Antagonist Title, the Tattletail our protagonist has in genuinely well-intentioned. The only Tattletail with ill-intention here is Mama Tattletail, who tries to kill your protagonist various times throughout the game.
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • The adorable fluffy creature Fou that accompanies Mashu is Primate Murder, Rank 1 of the Twenty-Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors and Beast IV, who rivals Angra Mainyu as the greatest human killing machine on the planet.
    • The Foreigner class is one reserved for beings "outside of the human mind". The first addition to this class is a little girl known as Abigail Williams of Salem, who in this continuity is the host to an outer being, can summon other Eldritch Abominations to her side with her keys to attack with Combat Tentacles, and by the time of her final transformation looks like a pale, white-haired witch with tentacles around her, purple-red eyes and a keyhole in her head that holds another eye. Despite this, she still looks and acts like a little girl and still has good intentions towards the protagonist.
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon
    • At first glance Mimikyu seems to be an adorable Bedsheet Ghost that looks like a Pikachu. . . but then you read its PokéDex entries, which state that the mere sight of the creature under the costume has caused people to die from shock.
    • Cosmog and Poipole. The former is hypothesized to be an Ultra Beast, and the latter is one. Both of them look adorable.
  • Tales of Berseria has therions; terrifying daemons that eat other daemons and are rightfully feared in regards to battle. The main character, Velvet, is one herself and gains the title Lord of Calamity for a reason. And then there is Kamoana; a therion yes, but she honestly looks pretty cute and is an ordinary sweet girl despite being a therion. It's Played for Drama too; her being an innocent girl causes the Heel–Face Turn of two characters and tends to bring out the best in others too. There are other therions too, and when not in full therion mode they can be cute; Velvet herself has her Adorkable sides. Justified too: the therions are either humans or animals that are receptive of Innominat's power and they don't drastically change through the transformation in who they are.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 
  • Becquerel and GCAT from Homestuck are a Big, Friendly Dog and a cute mischievous cat, respectively, and are also reality bending physical gods with no eyes.
    • The Squiddles may also count as this in-universe, as they represent humanity's subconscious awareness of the horrorterrors, in the form of a disgustingly cute children's show.
  • In Cthulhu Slippers Cthulhu himself is a happy, suspender wearing, friendly Eldritch Abomination. Meanwhile recalled Cthulhu Corp product 'My First Necronomicon' is a happy, bunny eared, pigtailed version of of the Necronomicon. It ate all your chips.
  • The quite affable Shadow Child from Roommates is an adorable, albeit a bit creepy, little boy, if you don't count his shadow tendrils defying the conventions of the medium and his Mind Rape powers... and the fact he is the Anthropomorphic Personification of a negative emotion.
  • Digger has another Shadowchild, a small Living Shadow that is, technically, a soul-eating demon. But it's so cute! It wants to be your friend!
  • Cthulhu himself appears like this in Mac Hall, where he is both tiny and adorable, and at one point had a teddy bear.
  • Ow, my sanity was created with the author's premise that this is the natural state of an Eldritch Abomination in the modern world, now that we've explored most of the formerly-remote regions of the world and science where Lovecraft believed madness lurks and our view of the cosmos has long sense adapted to the findings. While they still have disturbing and unknowable aspects, they appear more anthropomorphic because we can better understand and relate to them than was the case in his day.
  • Bogleech's creations, especially Awful Hospital, are an antithesis to OMS's Theory of Eldritch Adaptation. There's a lot of alien stuff in here that is simultaneously ludicrously adorable and horrifyingly ''disgusting'', including talking baby maggots, walking kidney stones and tumors, an RPG party of various sentient illnesses with skewed values and inhuman motivations (main character Fern herself describes them as things who know how to act as people), and sentient (/insane) psychic dolphins. What's more, it's heavily implied that most of what we see in the comic is a toned-down, cuteness-infused, humanity-saturated version of the true Eldritch horror of the setting - the full blast of cosmic horror would blow our minds to atoms. We can barely stomach the threat of a funny-looking all-consuming wyrm that wants to consume everything in the multiverse so that all will become one in the vision of some rotted crumbs of Cake God whose ideal reality is himself as literally the only thing in all of multiversal existence. It's both hilarious and induces real-life nightmares.
  • The title character of Erma is a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl with an assortment of macabre powers and Nightmare Fetishist tendencies, who is otherwise a good and sweet-natured little girl.
  • Exterminatus Now: Virus' pet Chao comes into contact with a powerful daemon , absorbing daemonic DNA and turning into a Chao-shaped clone of the daemon. Virus names it "Blasphemy"

    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Josie Gilman's cute little black kittycat. It loves to be hugged, it loves to be fed, it... oh my god it's an Eldritch Abomination with a huge gaping maw!!!
    • The cuddly stuffed cabbit Generator made for Tennyo. Especially when the claws and fangs pop out.
  • Welcome to Night Vale:
    • Khoshekh the "cat". At first glance, just the adorable half. But at one point, Cecil plays a recording of Khoshekh's meow, which is a terrible screech. Later, he reminds the people who adopted Khoshekh's offspring to look out for their pets' poisonous spine ridges and venomous fangs, and ends the segment by cooing, "Who’s my adorable little kitten with your adorable tendril hub? It’s you! It’s you!"
    • A much more extreme example would be The Good Boy, the Big Bad of season 4. Seemingly an ordinary beagle puppy, he is in reality probably the most dangerous entity in a world filled with Eldritch Abominations. His only desire is "nothing" — literally nothing. He refuses to let anything exist. There's never any reason for his actions, because reasons are things and must be destroyed. Those who enter his realm are transformed into "strangers", who live forever, but lose the ability to move, except to breathe. Even The Faceless Old Woman Who Lives In Your Home, an extremely dangerous and Lovecraftian being in her own right, is absolutely terrified of him. When he comes to Night Vale, the horoscopes for that week say nothing, either because the stars are protecting the populace from the knowledge of what comes next, or because he's so unpredictable that even the stars don't know what will happen. It's heavily implied that he is the Devil incarnate.
  • Zigzagged with SCP-2006-j of the SCP Foundation. A Magical G-... uh... Something...
    SCP-2006-1: [DATA EXPUNGED] PRINCESS POWER, TRANSFORM!
    It is unclear what happened next, however all surviving personnel at Site 138-Delta within approximately 200 m of SCP-2006 reported seeing a brilliant flash of bright red or pink light despite not having direct line-of-sight to SCP-2006-1. Six (6) personnel were killed by massive brain hemorrhages, thirty-eight (38) were permanently blinded, and Drs. Kinomoto and Tsukino were heard exclaiming "SO CUTE" in Japanese before vaporizing into clouds of pastel-colored dust. Dr. █████████ recovered fully after three (3) months of hospitalization for neurological trauma.
  • Helen in Twig appears to be a twelve-year-old girl, until she gets within grasping range and her bones start straining against her skin as she twists people apart. She's an engineered organism designed to look human, and a Master Actor because she's had to learn how to act human due to lacking human social instincts. Her internal life is largely a mystery, but she describes her perfect world as "everyone being interwoven with each other" and loving someone as wanting to crawl inside their skin and twist them apart.
  • The Nostalgia Critic seems to think Ponyo is this due to her uncanny origins and abilities.
  • Dr. Crafty: Sasha may look like a terrifying Humanoid Abomination, but she's more of a Cute Monster Girl due to her friendly personality. She also had a good relationship with Crafty that resulted in them falling in love with each other.
  • Homestar Runner's 2018 Halloween cartoon, "Mr. Poofers Must Die", gives us the titular Mr. Poofers, a character in Homestar's "ghost story". It's a cloud-shaped dog that eats pinecones and says "miffa miffa meeka moo" instead of barking. The "abomination" part comes from the fact that, no matter how hard they try, nobody can tell a story that involves any harm coming to Mr. Poofers. Everyone who tries ends up telling a cutesy nonsensical story instead, and breaking into a cold sweat as soon as they finish. After even Strong Bad fails to kill Mr. Poofers, the characters all decide to just worship him as "our new dark overlord" instead.
  • Seymour of the Sandsverse is an ancient, powerful, and bizarrely alien Physical God that takes the form of an adorable baby tapir.

    Western Animation 

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