A catch-all term for characters who, while being absolutely adorable, are also extremely capable at kicking ass. As said on a certain website, they make you break down and go "Aww, who's a widdle asskicker? Who's a widdle asskicker?"
Significant overlap with Cute Bruiser and Little Miss Badass can occur. What distinguishes Badass Adorable characters from their peers is the adorability. Particular emphasis is placed on their inherent vulnerability (emotional or otherwise), which is at odds with the abilities they can access.
Underneath the irrepressibly cheerful demeanor, behind the innocent wide-eyed gaze, lies an astonishing capacity for kicking your ass, leveling a city, or why not, leveling an entire country. Perhaps you've threatened their loved ones. Maybe you've offended their inviolate sense of justice. No matter what shape the grievance against you takes, they will give you an entirely new set of benchmarks to define hurt. Their destructiveness is directly proportional to their cuteness. Thus, Beware the Nice Ones.
Compare and Contrast with Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, who may not even be cognizant of their own badassery. Often exists as a subversion of the typical Tag Along Kid and Team Pet. See also Tyke-Bomb, for when the Badass Adorable is reared for the sole purpose of serving as living weaponry. A badass little critter can also be a Killer Rabbit. When the cute character is not only badass but also malevolent, then Cute Is Evil.
- Anime & Manga
- Comic Books
- Fan Works
- Films Animation
- Films Live-Action
- Live-Action TV
- Pro Wrestling
- Tabletop Games
- Video Games
- Visual Novels
- Web Animation
- Web Comics
- Western Animation
- Real Life
- Peanuts: Linus van Pelt is an adorable, shy little boy who carries a baby blue security blanket with him wherever he goes. He is also highly intelligent, well-read, and philosophical (religious texts being his forte), preferring passive-aggression and wit to deal with people who are being jerks to him. However, he is proficient in using his blanket as a whip, a skill that carries over into the animated adaptations and which he won't hesitate to use if you insult his blanket habit or bully a girl in his presence. His most extreme example is the Very Special Episode Why, Charlie Brown, Why?, where, devoid of his blanket for the whole episode (to stress the seriousness of the subject), nearly clobbers a kid who was bullying his cancer-stricken friend/crush for her chemo-induced baldness.
- Baby Blues: Wren MacPherson is a very cute, little toddler and is always like this. And when her brother teases her, she always hits him with a ball they were playing off-panel.
- The Jethro Tull song "Hunt by Numbers" is a driving prog-metal piece that sounds like it should herald the arrival of a badass. Paying attention to the lyrics quickly reveals that it's about kitties and how lethal, uncanny, and downright cute they are.
Hey little buddies
Soft and silky night walkers
Tiptoe menace, long grass stalkers...
- Ne-on in the Cool Kids Table game Star War is an Ewok Jedi whose chest is covered in battle scars (but his head and limbs are still fluffy) and wields lightsaber nun-chucks.
- The first star the Sequinox girls face, Antares, is cute, small, pink, and also almost destroys them.
- Flotsam the adorable bomb filly from Fallout Is Dragons. She serves as the team's moral core... and has no qualms about throwing grenades at her enemies, bowling for undead with explosives, or mining an entire dune to wipe out a raider encampment. Her best friend is a necromancer and together they pioneered the concept of Bombies, zombies loaded with explosives and sent after their foes.
- Tannikin the Pinglet in Hello, from the Magic Tavern is a tiny flying piglet who nobody can meet without discussing at considerable length how adorable she is. When she gets trapped in the mirror universe, she corrals a rebellion which turns the tide on the Dark Lord after just a couple of years, and was about to force the podcast crew to surrender when Usidore the Black returned her to her own universe.
- Let's take My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, give it a grimdark spin, and make it into a Play-by-Post forum. Equestria Chronicles is what you get.
- Just like their respectful games, Paula, Viridi and Tails are this in Super Smash Brothers Life Itself. The Pokémon characters are also this... Along with Pac-Man and Amaterasu.
- In Les Misérables, Gavorche, who joins the revolutionaries, even when they don't want him to get hurt.
- Whateley Universe: Several, which shouldn't be too surprising given that it is set in Elaborate University Superhero High School, with some students as young as nine.
- Of these, the most notable is probably Jade Sinclair (Generator), one of the original main character. Cute as a button, looks like she's only eleven... and has scared the holy <censored> out of violent villains like Bloodwolf and Killstench. Bloodwolf controls a werewolf spirit and likes hurting people. He got stapled to a tree with railroad spikes. Do not make Generator mad at you. And then there's the Syndicate hardsite she destroyed... after being tortured nearly to death, stabbed through the heart, then gives herself CPR and plays dead until her regen kicks in, then she goes about killing half the base herself with jagged metal objects and raising her victims as "zombies". It starts to cross the line into Grotesque Cute, really.
- Team Wondercute, an entire team of Adorable Badasses dedicated to 'defending cuteness' and are the terror of the combat simulation exercises. Not surprisingly, Jade is pretty much their de facto leader.
- Ribbon, a Cute Bruiser with high end regeneration, Nigh-Invulnerability, a 5 ton deadlift, and the ability to create cloth out of nothing.
- Diz Aster, a junior high student with dramatic Super Strength and a Force Field, but suffers from Power Incontinence which she is only just starting to overcome in Fall 2007.
- The Lambsbridge Gang in Twig, a team of TykeBombs who act as the enforcers for an Academy of Evil, yet who remain childlike and playful with one another.
- Mirror World: Wiggy is a young bat-like beast creature known as a day-vamp and is a very optimistic, all-loving girl. She also helps Vita on her journey to try and stop an all-out war, and violently mauls a giant monster known as a Brood by herself, with no weapons aside from her claws.
- Rosanna Pansino in Season 3, Episode 4 of Escape the Night. Deemed the sweet cinnamon roll by the fandom even before Season 3 began, she evolved to Badass Adorable in episode 4 after finding out the name of the Man With No Name in the elimination challenge she was sent into and being able to retrieve the blood stone, beating out arguably another The Cutie Teala Dunn. Her persistence and capacity for badassery surpassed the fandom's expectations, as cinnamon rolls in ETN usually don't become Badass Adorable.
- Rebecca Stone from Demo Reel. Sweet and pretty, but will slam your head into something hard if you're sexist to her or just outright beat you to death if you hurt her friends.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd's pet cat, Death Kitty (real name: Boo) chased away the Atari Jaguar logo when it invaded the Nerd's room and proved impervious to his light guns. As the Nerd himself puts it, Death Kitty is "the real Jaguar".
- Nips from "The Casebook of Nips & Porkington". While not as badass as the other examples, he's pretty intelligent and smart for a detective.
- Campaign 2 of Critical Role introduces the adorable Tiefling Cleric Jester. She's a sweet Cloud Cuckoo Lander with a massive Sweet Tooth. She also has a Lollipop as her Spiritual Weapon...and it's actually quite effective. As a Cleric she has access to some pretty potent spells and has even managed to land the final blow on a few tough enemies.
- Nurse Worse from Dr. Crafty. She's quite a Cute Monster Girl with a cheerful disposition and a sweet voice (courtesy of Megami33 from Team Four Star). However, she's quite strong when she needs to put up a fight, often clobbering her opponents with Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure-style.
- Cobra Kai: Sam Larusso in Season 2. Having fended off Kyler's advances in Season 1, she went right back to training and became the epitome of Weak, but Skilled in the school brawl against Tory.