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Adorable Evil Minions

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The Big Bad has arrived, and he has with him, a teeming army of... tiny cuddly wuddly Mooks who nonetheless do his bidding.

Instead of using your typical Faceless Goons, the Big Bad instead employs an army of adorable, mostly-harmless creatures who are only a threat via full on Zerg Rush, which is OK, since he does have a rather large army of them.

A Hand Wave is usually given, that these adorable minions are simply practical due to being easy to produce (if they are artificial beings or reproduce rapidly), work for practically nothing, or are enslaved.

Expect them to be fairly incompetent, and hilarity ensues whenever they are left on their own. Despite knowing they're hardly dependable, expect their employer to moan at least once about how he's "Surrounded by Idiots". When they do prove to be quite dangerous after a fashion, this trope shifts to Killer Rabbit.

Cool hats and various costumes are a frequently seen method of making these guys even more cute.

Has a good chance of being a Waddling Head. Frequently overlaps with Mascot Mook and Cute Slime Mook. Compare Cute Is Evil.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The little spider drones from the climax of City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes. One shot has a girl call them cute when they walk by a street.
  • Standard operating procedure of ALL villains in Negima! Magister Negi Magi, usually of cute girls:
    • Evangeline has cute (murderous) puppets, cute robots, and, in her arc, cute girls.
    • The villain in the Kyoto arc uses cute monkeys and such, as well as cute kids: Tsukuyomi and Kotaro. Fate is cute, but he's not exactly a kid.
    • Count Willem has three cute slime girls.
    • Fate, as Negi's Shadow Archetype, has his own Battle Harem of, you guessed it, cute girls. Which he took in and raised after the war destroyed their homelands.
  • In Sgt. Frog, The Keron galactic invasion (despite involving battleships, giant robots, and weapons out the wazoo) is more of an Affably Evil affair, but for the purposes of this trope, all Keronian soldiers count.
  • This is the hat of SD Gundam Force. Every faction has its own half-pint soldiers, even smaller than the already SD characters. The Dark Axis has Zako Soldiers, the evil knights of Lacroa have Pawn Leos, and Kibaomaru's army has Zako Busshi.
  • Pokémon: The Series: The Team Rocket organization often use scary and intimidating Pokémon for their crimes, but Team Rocket members Jessie and James often have adorable Pokémon on their teams, especially James who would often have a tiny cute Pokémon companion on hand like Chimecho, Mime Jr., Yamask, Inkay, Mareanie, and Morpeko to name a few.
  • Baikinman from Anpanman has Kabirunrun, little insect-esque blobs that spread mold wherever they go. Since most of the superheroes have heads made out of bread, they can pose a threat to them. However, they have a tendency to all jump out in one single grouped attack, meaning that they can be dodged as one projectile.
  • Etemon's Gazimon henchmen in Digimon Adventure are basically Ugly Cute monster bunnies.
  • In Monster Rancher episode "The Secret of Holly's Magic Stone", a group of monsters called Knight Mocchis attack the Searchers. Appearence-wise, they look like Mocchi in armor, and Genki admits that he'd have trouble fighting them because of their similarity to his own Mocchi.
  • Princess Connect! Re:Dive: Ilya Ornstein's forces consist of four big-eyed anime girls, only one of whom is older than 14, and an undisclosed number of pudgy little bat monsters that look like low-ranking Digimon.

    Comic Books 
  • In Astro City, the servants of He Who Lies Buried serve an Eldritch Abomination, yet many of them are surprisingly cute as their home dimension is fashioned off of the designs for a kid-friendly video game.

    Fan Works 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Features both the goblins and the Imps. Both provide comic relief and are, usually, very mischievous. Occasionally, then can, in fact, act with cruelty, but it seems to stem mostly from the way the are themselves treated. Later on, Ami gets new, youma-empowered imps (basically baby youma); they come with overalls and tiny hard-hats...
  • Evil Belle: The Clonenening, Sweetie Belle creates an army of clones of herself, who being clones of a squeaky voiced unicorn filly, are this.

    Films — Animation 
  • Gru's adorable minion thingies from Despicable Me. Word of God originally claimed that they're genetically engineered corn kernels, until their origins were retconned in the Minions spin-off/prequel to "yellow henchmen who have existed since the beginning of time, evolving from yellow single-celled organisms into beings who have only one purpose: to serve history's most ambitious villains". Their previous masters include a T. rex, Genghis Khan, and Dracula. The downfall of all three can be directly attributed to the Minions' incompetence.
  • Little Doris in Meet the Robinsons. As quote Bowler Hat Guy: "It's so cute!" For a spider-like robotic hat that can take control of animals' minds, that is.
  • The BrainBots from Megamind. It helps that they're floating robot puppies. With lasers.
  • Max from Yellow Submarine is more than the Chief Blue Meanie's minion. He's his butt monkey. You can't help but like him.
  • In the animated Korean film Aachi and Ssipak, the Diaper Gang are a group of little blue mutants that speak in high-pitched voices, ride in cute vehicles, and look funny when they die in violent ways. Despite this, they can be pretty dangerous at times.
  • The one-eyed hand viruses serving the villain in GG Bond: Ultimate Battle don't look particularly harmful, and indeed, they actually help GG Bond and his crew by taking them through an elevator that's normally only for viruses.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • A Fire Upon the Deep has a race of humanoid 'butterflies' with soft fur, colorful wings, huge anime eyes... who lead the charge in a pogrom against a human world, wiping out 25 billion people. One character describes them as "Butterflies in jackboots".
  • Redwall's villains are all small fuzzy animals. They're not meant to be cute, but a lot of the fans find the scruffiness, pseudo-cockney accents, and bumbling incompetence of the Mooks more appealing than otherwise.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Warehouse 13's first Crossover episode with Eureka involves Fargo bringing six multipurpose maintenance robots with him to help him upgrade the Warehouse's IT infrastructure. They look like head-sized metal eggs when idle and turn into Ugly Cute robo-spiders with IPod aesthetics once activated. Everything goes south when a dormant AI seizes control of the Warehouse and Fargo's bots, but the critters remain strangely adorable even when they break out flamethrowers, chainsaws, net launchers and other killer implements in their effort to stop the heroes from fixing the whole mess.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • After she turned heel in the summer of 2005, WWE Diva Torrie Wilson got herself a little white dog - a Maltese, to be precise - named Chloe to carry around. And after Torrie defeated an opponent, her very own Mister Muffykins would get to sit on the opponent's face.
  • During his very brief heel turn in 2009, Matt Hardy began to show up ringside on Friday Night SmackDown! with a Jack Russell Terrier in his arms. The little dog never actually did anything evil, but its presence was meant to cause Matt's brother Jeff great anguish because it was a reminder that Matt had killed Jeff's own little dog when he burned down Jeff's house purely out of jealousy. (The burning of Jeff's house and the death of his dog actually happened, but Matt's involvement in it was Kayfabe; the real cause of the fire was faulty wiring.)
  • After SmackDown! Superstar Alberto Del Rio injured Rey Mysterio and forced him to take time off from wrestling, he mocked Mysterio by bringing a Chihuahua dog wearing a luchador mask into the ring.

    Video Games 
  • Bowser's army of cute turtles and grumpy mushrooms in Super Mario Bros., especially the Cat Goombas
  • Similarly, King Dedede's army of Waddle Dees in Kirby, who are easily bribed with food.
  • The Minions in the Overlord series of games easily fall into the role of comedic relief and Ugly Cute, which makes good game-design sense, given that they're your minions.
  • The Pipo monkeys from Ape Escape are cute and playful minions who work for the evil Specter.
  • Halo:
    • The Grunts are easily both this and Ugly Cute. It almost makes you feel bad for mowing them down while they're squeaking, "The Demon!!!" in a terrified voice.
    • Additional, some find the Flood Infection Forms to be weirdly cute in a non-anthropomorphic way.
  • Prinnies from the Disgaea series, dood.
    • Also, the Catsabers from Disgaea 3, who take advantage of their cuteness for all its worth.
    • The Eryngi from Disgaea 3 are especially adorable.
  • The choco-cats in the Marl Kingdom series, who also make an appearance in La Pucelle: Tactics and Disgaea 2. Because of the artstyle, any minion in the series is adorable. Yes, even the Hellspawn.
  • The Metalls from the original Mega Man (Classic) series, and the Servbots from the Mega Man Legends series (and The Misadventures of Tron Bonne) look like LEGO men, only with big cute eyes.
  • The Wario Land series has the Pirate/Wandering Gooms and Spear Men in the first games that are like this, as well as the various minor enemies in the third and fourth games, the standard mooks from Wario World, and the Bandineros from Wario Land: Shake It!.
  • The Imps in Dungeon Keeper aren't your main fighters, but due to their gold mining and digging skills, they're the most essential unit in the game. There are plenty of other minions that are far more monstrous.
  • The turrets in Portal. Especially the frankenturrets in Portal 2: watching them tremble as you carry them is so adorable that you wish there was a "Pet and Comfort" button.
  • Most of The Heartless in Kingdom Hearts are pretty cute, with bright colours, beady eyes and simplified, cartoony forms. The Shadows are cute, do the least damage, are the most common type of Heartless in the game, are the first type you encounter, and judging from the reports, probably the original species of Heartless... most of the scarier ones are manufactured. The exceptions (e.g. Darkball and Invisible) are mostly Purebloods.
  • Looking a little like Heartless, the Blotlings from Epic Mickey tend to be a type of Ugly Cute that makes them cooler to tame with paint than melt with thinner.
  • The "colorful penguins" from Mission in Snowdriftland. They're so cuddly, part of the game's encouragement to donate to its indie producer is so that the penguins can find better jobs.
  • The Epic Battle Fantasy series has many cute minions:
  • Slimes from Dragon Quest are so adorable that they've been the series Mascot Mook since the late 1980s.
  • Splatter Master have those imp enemies with high-pitched screeching voices, especially when they're being killed. They are quite cute despite being (or perhaps because they're) the most recurring enemy variety.
  • StarCraft Zerglings are close to this and Ugly Cute.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Online does this with the kobolds at lower levels, especially now that you encounter them right after the significantly more monstrous sahuagin. Yark yark!!!
  • Egoboo has COBOLs, which are fairly evil and nasty, but look like cute teddy bears, and lumpkins look evil, but in an incredibly goofy manner, and are hilariously clumsy.
  • League of Legends:
    • Minions are cute little things that wander around fighting each other.
    • The Hauntling, one of the Little Legends from Teamfight Tactics, is an adorably goofy little ghost creature that does hilariously exaggerated Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive poses.
  • The Final Fantasy series has a few, most notably the Cactrot / Cactuar and Tonberry families of monster.
  • Anything evil in a LEGO Adaptation Game will be significantly cuter than the original version. The Orcs and Uruk-hai in LEGO The Lord of the Rings are a good example; besides the inherent cuteness of them being tiny LEGO figures, they need help from the player just like the good citizens do, and some have really silly requests. That's not in the actual story mode, though; you won't notice how cute the orcs are in Helm's Deep!
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Most of the Zoogs in Iggle Pop! qualify.
  • The Brainwash Patrol from Anarcute are a combination of this and Gas Mask Mooks. They even have a Twitter account
  • In Grandia II, if Tio and the remains of her android sisters are any indication, Valmar apparently designed his minions to look like Cute Monster Girls wearing vaguely bee-themed clothes.
  • The Inkies from de Blob are probably some of the most adorable oppressors you'll see in gaming, with their small size, high-pitched voices, and hyperactive behavior. You'll almost feel bad for squishing thousands of them throughout the game.
  • While it's not true of every enemy the monsters in the Tales Series are often very cute. Special mention goes to the Penguinist from Tales of Symphonia, an ice themed enemy which gives the disquieting impression that one is fighting a small child in a penguin outfit.

    Web Animation 

  • Girl Genius has a (so far) non-evil example: Agatha Heterodyne's clanks. They're also surprisingly (maybe dangerously) competent.
  • The Imps in Homestuck tend to be more cute than threatening, and they just seem to get more and more adorable as newer Imps are introduced. Look, kitties!
  • Every evil minion in The Order of the Stick could be classed as Adorable. Or at least cute. And the Big bads too. And... well, everything could be classed as Cute, in one way or another.

    Western Animation 
  • In Adventure Time, the Ice King has cute little penguins as mooks. Marceline's dad refers to Gunter, the Ice King's personal penguin butler, as the most evil creature he's ever encountered.note  Marceline's dad is a soul-sucking abomination and gets slapped when he tries to suck Gunter's.
  • In The Batman, Cosmo Krank has the Zoo-Pets, adorable robotic stuffed animals modified for assassination.
  • The Grubs of the Evil Emperor Zurg (Evil's analogues to the LGM's of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command) may fall into this category for some.
  • The Urpneys of The Dreamstone are somewhat schlubby humanoid creatures with reptilian features, and not nearly as cutesy as the heroic Noops, but they are rather cartoony and harmless and hard not to sympathise with.
  • In the show The Fairly OddParents!, Yugopotamia is overrun by the Giggle-pies - cute bunny-like toys that come out of a cereal box. Since Yugopotamia has Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad as their hat, Giggle-pies are actually seriously disgusting, if not frightening, to them. They're still adorable to the audience. In the end, though, it turns out they taste like manure, a Yugopotamian delicacy, so they go from delicious.
  • In Kim Possible, Dr. Draken once attempted to take over the world with an army of 6-inch tall robots. Though, once activated, they were anything but adorable.
    • Monkey Fist has adorable trained monkey ninjas!
  • The Shadowbolts from episode 2 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic are often viewed this way, especially in fanart. Okay, they were Nightmare Moon, but they're just so cute!
    • The Changelings from the end of season 2 are also adorable, even when untransformed, and it's clear they only pose a threat in massive numbers. So much so that in season 6 when we find out what Changelings purified by shared love look like, the common consensus among fans was that it was a cuteness downgrade.
  • In a medival episode of Phineas and Ferb, Malifishmirtz attempts to create evil minions by using a reanimation spell on the "most hideous substance known to man"...canned meat. And they were...cute little jumping bunnies. Well, until they got wet
  • In South Park, when Butters becomes "Professor Chaos", he refers to his pet hamsters as his minions, but they don't really do anything minion-y.
  • Karnage's crew of pirates in Talespin all have a certain Ugly Cute charm to them, particularly Mad Dog and Ratchet.
  • Tim-Tom and Kevin, the Murderous Moppets/Pupa Twins from The Venture Bros.. They may not be harmless, but they're adorable in those little Lord Fauntleroy outfits, less so when they switch the Monarch's butterfly themed Pupa costumes.
  • The goblins working for Nox in Wakfu look like Jawas with horns and scarves. They sound just as cute.
  • Hak Foo's tribe of Shadowkhan in Jackie Chan Adventures. Especially when they're eating cookies. This changes though when they're eating people's shadows, which causes them to grow bigger and much more dangerous.
  • Wacky Races: Muttley can be this at times, especially when he gets the last laugh on Dick Dastardly.
  • Wander over Yonder:
    • Hater's army of Watchdogs. Not only are they cute little eyeball guys often involved in silly antics, but their Mook Lieutenant is named Commander Peepers.
    • These seem to be the norm for villains in-universe, cf. Emperor Awesome's "Fist Fighters." Lord Dominator's army of Lava-Bots are a subversion — intentionally designed by the show's artists as Darker and Edgier versions of the Watchdogs, they're both terrifying and competent.
  • Steven Universe: The militarily-run space empire that serves as the antagonistic force of the story utilizes Ruby foot-soldiers. They stand at about three feet tall, are various shades of red, and have large square afros for hair. Seven of the eight we've met have been hilariously incompetent at their jobs — to a point.

Alternative Title(s): Adorable Evil Minion


Ruby Squad

Yellow Diamond's Ruby Squad are portrayed as loyal, but too dumb not to notice.

How well does it match the trope?

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