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Cheerful Child

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You've seen 'em before. That great big smile… that innocent look in their eyes that just screams "hug me!"...

The Cheerful Child is a joyous and optimistic child, forever with a sunny disposition on life. They might, if they're the irrepressibly curious type, know a bit more about the world than respectable people think kids of that age ought to know.

Very common in Slice of Life shows, or cartoons centered around and/or made for young children, where little conflict happens. May serve as a foil to an older sibling in the latter's Coming of Age Story. Under optimal conditions, or with some luck, the Cheerful Child usually grows up to be a Pollyanna, a Genki Girl, or a Love Freak. Or, if male, into a Keet. Very unfortunate Cheerful Children can be a variant of The Woobie, or worse.

The Constantly Curious are usually Cheerful Children, as is anyone Curious as a Monkey. Their overly happy demeanor may make them come off as an Annoying Younger Sibling to their older sibling(s).

Compare the Kawaiiko and The Cutie, which is about this appeal regardless of age, and the Adorably Precocious Child, who may or may not be cheerful but is usually cute.

Contrast the Troubled Child, Creepy Child, Deliberately Cute Child, The Fake Cutie, and Psychopathic Manchild. May overlap with Token Mini-Moe.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • When Mira of Asteroid in Love was a child, she has a cheerful disposition in life while being extremely curious. She doesn't change much as she grows up.
  • Azumanga Daioh: Chiyo Mihama is so utterly sweet and adorable that she seemingly exists for the sole purpose of having the rest of the cast fawn over her. And that's without the penguin suit...
  • Naru in Barakamon, the title of the first episode of the anime even refers to her as such.
  • The Big O has Tammy in the episode "Day of the Advent". A sweet little girl whose frail body prevents her from playing outside, lest she get sick, and stays cooped up in an old hotel playing all by herself every day. Regardless of her condition, she's perpetually cheerful and happy, even when playing alone. When the second "angel" falls and is destroyed by Big-O, it bursts into bright glowing snow-like fragments that light up the sky, and Tammy runs outside to play "in the sun" for the first time in her life.
    "Even if it's only for tonight, for that little girl, that light is an angel."
  • Kenpachi's little lieutenant Yachiru Kusajishi from Bleach is a very disturbing example, as watching her apparent father figure get hurt makes her happy, as he must be "having fun."
  • Ringo from Casshern Sins. Considering the world she lives in, it's a miracle that every time you see her, she's as happy and giddy as a kid can be.
  • Cells at Work: Platelets!: All of the Platelets default to this personality to some extent, though some less than others. Backwards Hat, Gazer, and Vice Leader are particularly downplayed examples.
  • In Change 123, Motoko's Split Personality Mikiri is a Cheerful Child in a well-endowed body of a teenage girl, which makes her a perfect Innocent Fanservice Girl.
  • In Charlotte, Ayumi seems to be perpetually happy, especially when talking to her brother Yu.
  • Daimos has Nana Izumi, who's a Perpetual Smiler with a gun, and can be a bit of a brat. She's adored by everyone in Daimovic, with the exception of Kyoshiro, who loves to wind her up and see her reaction.
  • Daltanious features a group of Ragtag Bunch of Misfits that help in their own way towards aiding the titular Super Robot. Amongst them are Ochame and Jiro, who, despite having Dark And Troubled Pasts (Ochame never knew her parents and Jiro's previous caretakers were abusive) are this trope. They aid The Hero, Kento Tate, in battle.
  • Takeru is like this in Digimon Adventure, but he subverted it in 02: he mostly acts happy because that is what people expect of him; his greatest trait is Hope, after all, and he's very likely aware of the ramifications of losing that aspect of himself. However, his parents' divorce and his last adventure (especially Angemon's death) have left their mark on him. The latter of which may cause him to go violent if there is the threat of his friends getting hurt.
  • In the Dragon Ball franchise, there are a number of cheerful kid characters:
    • First being Goku as a child in Dragon Ball, who is an unrelentlessly happy person despite most of the stuff that happens to him like the death of his grandfather at an early age and living alone in the mountains for a number of years.
    • In Dragon Ball Z, his son, Gohan, is also happy and cheerful child, despite the number of tragedies and hardships he's been through, including his father dying twice, watching is other father figure give his life to protect him, and witnessing his Honorary Uncle be blown up from the inside out.
    • Goku's second son, Goten, fares only mildly better since he watched as Buu turned his mother into an egg and step on her. He is still one of the most cheerful characters in the series.
    • Pan, Gohan's daughter, inherited her family's positive attitude.
    • Krillin's daughter, Marron, is a little bundle of sunshine who is almost always smiling.
  • Asuka Connell in Fairy Tail, a cute and adorable little girl who loves playing at the guild with the rest of the wizards, especially her parents.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Alphonse Elric is a subversion. He and his brother were in a horrific accident and to make a long story short, Al's soul is now in a 7 foot tall suit of armor. Nevertheless, he and his brother remain mostly cheerful, although Ed borders on an Emo Teen at times.
    • Not that Fullmetal Alchemist doesn't have it's share of Cheerful Children. There's at least one in each of the first few episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), and when they stop showing up it's a sign that the series has gotten Darker and Edgier. Especially poor, poor Nina.
    • There's also Selim Bradley in the manga, although Darker and Edgier certainly applies to him, seeing how he is actually the monstrously evil homunculus Pride. In the 2003 anime he is a genuinely cheerful boy who his father Pride kills.
    • May Chang, with a Ridiculously Cute Panda mirroring her.
    • Elicia Hughes is a happy little kid, except when she's crying for her dead daddy and breaking all of our hearts.
  • Lucy-May of the Southern Rainbow has Lucy-May and Kate Popple. They're always happy and upbeat, even as their family is slowly dragged down to poverty because life in Australia isn't what their father thought it would be. In the first episode, they laugh endlessly at the Popple's Arch-Enemy, the wealthy Mr. Pettywell, being unable to properly construct a house and watching the foundations fall all over the Fat Bastard, much to their elder sister Clara's annoyance.
  • Hello Sandybelle:
    • Despite being an orphan who's shelved with a foster family that hates her, Sandybelle Christie is a cheerful girl that loves animals and has a sunny outlook on life, her kindness earning the hearts of many around her. Even her foster mother admits she can't be cruel to her any longer because of how nice she is.
    • Ricky Kentle is an innocent, cheerful boy from London who assists Sandybelle as she becomes an Intrepid Reporter and writes newspaper stories about life in London. He views Sandybelle as a Cool Big Sis.
  • La Seine No Hoshi has Danton, who was formerly a circus boy before he met Simone & co. He knows that the bourgeoisie of France have it out for his friends, but he does whatever it takes to keep them safe. He's also a Badass Adorable as he prevented an Assassination Attempt on Marie Antoinette while disguising himself as a girl named Cocklico.
  • Pekka of Katri, Girl of the Meadows. He's an upbeat boy who loves playing with Katri, but whenever he's furious, he swears endlessly. Bringing harm to Katri is one such way to get him to swear.
  • The robot Tachikomas of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex have the personalities and voices of cheerful children... and the bodies of Spider Tanks. They're the cutest war machines ever.
  • Setsuko from Grave of the Fireflies. Unfortunately, she stars in one of the most depressing pieces of media ever made, so unlike most examples, we see her slowly deteriorate over the course of the story.
  • Rico from Gunslinger Girl, who is cheerful because she used to be confined to a hospital bed until given a cyborg body by the Social Welfare Agency, who in return have made her a brainwashed killing machine. The contrast between her always perky personality and her occupation leads to several Creepy Child moments, like when she comes across a boy she'd met before (and fancied) in the aftermath of an assassination.
    Rico: [thinking] [What do I say to someone in a situation like this? I remember!]
    [takes out her gun and smiles] I am sorry. [shoots boy]
  • The title character of Hana the Fox Girl is an inari fox who can take on human form. Her human form is a little girl with fox ears and tail who acts as the mascot for the Shimashima Coffee shop.
    Hana: [proudly] I get cuddled by customers and stuff!
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • Sealand is the happiest (and most deluded) damned micronation ever: He's irrepressibly optimistic that he's going to get recognized as a country, and he isn't going to give up any time soon.
    • Italy (as Chibitalia) used to be like that too, remaining optimistic and positive even when working for the strict and somewhat cold Austria. He grew up into a full-blown Keet.
    • Young America was this too, though a little more sedate than the other cheerful child nations. Funny enough, in the present as a adult, America is even more cheerful and idealistic.
  • Hitsugi in Hyakko. She has yet to interact with the main cast, but her happy elementary school antics usually make their way into the episodes.
  • I Want Your Mother To Be With Me!: Haruka is an adorable preschooler who's almost always happy, and is often able to cheer everyone else up. It takes her some time to learn that she doesn't have to do everything herself, though.
  • There are several examples in Kamisama Kiss, we can start with the Tengu children and Mamoru when he is in his human form.
  • Doubly subverted in the case of Haruka in Kotoura-san. She was one until people began to realize her ability and became a Broken Bird for ten years. She eventually develops back into this over the course of the story, thanks to Manabe.
  • Ogami Daigoro, the titular Cub in Lone Wolf and Cub, does a really good job of keeping his spirits up in spite of the hardships (and goriness) of his dad's Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Yutaka from Lucky Star is also overaged, but she can easily pass off as one, especially considering her height.
  • Momo Kawamoto from March Comes in Like a Lion, the youngest, pre-school aged sister of the Kawamoto siblings. Just about anything she says and does that childlike is adorable, and Chica Umino's art style often emphasizes this.
  • In Monster, Tenma's optimism manages to turn Dieter into one of these. In fact Dieter's cheerfulness and optimism are so great, that Dieter later manages to save one of the children that Johan had been corrupting. He also provides a grounding influence for Tenma and, later, Nina.
  • Mei and to a certain degree, Satsuki in My Neighbor Totoro, as long as their sick mother is on the road to recovery and her condition doesn't worsen.
  • Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Before the activation test of Unit 01 and the "death" of his mother you see him as a constantly smiling, laughing, curious boy. The same might be true for Asuka, but we only ever see her after Unit 02 has sucked the brains out of her mother.
  • The Professor from Nichijou is one of these, especially when she reads picture books or talks about sharks. She also likes to joyously modify Nano, the robot girl she invented, for no other purpose than that it's fun.
  • In Plastic Memories, both Zack and Nina display this look. In the former's case, it's part of his job to retrieve Giftia, or androids, nearing the end of their service life. In the latter's case, that's how she was programmed.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Ash has evolved into this over time. In early episodes he was a happy kid but had a stubborn streak and heavy Idiot Hero elements. He has since learned more about Pokemon and training, removing certain elements from his personality. He's a heroic and sweet (if energetic) 10-year-old boy who is near perpetually happy.
    • Clemont's little sister Bonnie is one of these. She is happy pretty much all the time.
    • Trip/Shooti used to be this, as shown in flashbacks of his meeting with Alder in the Black and White series. All laughter, smiles, and perma-blush, very striking, compared to his deeply cynical and detached personality at present.
  • Yellow from Pokémon Adventures. A cheerful, happy-go-lucky Friend to All Living Things who likes to fish and draw (badly) in her spare time. She counts even though she's gotten older over the years due to the fact she never seems to mature as well as the other female Dex Holders.
  • The titular character of Ponyo is cheerful about lots of things, mainly ham.
  • Raiha Uesugi, Fuutarou's cute and lovable younger sister in The Quintessential Quintuplets. Yotsuba and Itsuki can attest to her ability to generate Cuteness Proximity just by giving Puppy-Dog Eyes.
  • Remy: Nobody's Girl: Remy is this, combined with Genki Girl. She is always smiling, even after her adoptive father dies and she's forced to live at an orphanage with an abusive caretaker. This also counts for the rest of the children at Gasaprd's orphanage, even the Tsundere Mattia.

    Audio Plays 
  • Hinata Mitsutsuka from Exit Tunes Presents ACTORS is explicitly said to be one on his character profile. He's the Singing Club's main moodmaker and is almost always seen smiling — however, in a rare mix of character traits, he is also the one playing the role of straight man to his fellow club members' hijinks.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Madam & Eve: Eight-year-old Thandi Sisulu is the most outwardly happy character in the cast.

    Eastern European Animation 

    Fan Works 
  • Jonathan Joestar, The First JoJo: Jonathan, after being attacked by Alessi.
  • Game Theory has an Early-Bird Cameo of Teana when she's 6-years-old, and she is adorable.
  • The Transformers fanfiction, Black Crayons has Annabelle Lennox, going from age four to age six over the series. She's absolutely adorable and sees Ironhide and her dad as her personal heroes and unbeatable. She also has the weapon specialist essentially wrapped around her finger.
  • The Pony POV Series has Apple Pie, whose ability to be this even in the horrors of Dark World enables her to become the new Element of Laughter.
  • AB in Pokéumans, who is keen and excitable to be Brandon's apprentice.
  • Tangled Adventures in Arendelle has Charlotte and Jacob Calmont. Both are cheery and happy, though Charlotte gets more focus with her Big Sister Worship of princess Rapunzel providing a window into how the youngest of the kingdom take the changes that happen in the fic.
  • The Bridge gives us a flashback during the Mother's Day special showing resident badass, Big Good of the benign kaiju faction, Godzilla Junior was one. After he hatched inside a research institute and was being raised by a kindly biologist, the future King of the Monsters liked nothing more than to play around his paddock, chirping and wagging his tail as he followed his adoptive mother around like a chick trailing its mother hen.
  • The Differentverse: Scootaloo (who earns the Element of Laughter in part because of this trait) and her little cousin Dinky, just as in canon.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, a 4-year-old Izuku was literally bouncing off the walls with excitement after he discovered his "Quirk". The events that happened since then have made him much more sober and grounded in his teenage years, but his former childish exuberance leaks through whenever he meets a cool Pro Hero he admires.
  • Shadows of the Future has Anakin Skywalker circa-TPM. While he already had shades of this in the movie, he's even more curious, cheery, and eager to help Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon. As Obi-Wan is warmer and more welcoming of him, he's less sad about leaving his mother.
  • Kedabory's Elmore Chronicles has 12 year old Sophie Small, who smiles almost all the time, is always happy to talk about what's on her mind, and is generally just excited about life.

    Films — Animation 
  • Bolt: Rhino. Bolt may qualify, as Mittens teaches him how to become a dog, but he reverts to serious mode. He may have remained very cheerful all along, as the end credits show that he is happy!
  • The Boss Baby: Tim. Even when he's angry or sad, such as when he accuses the title character of trying to steal his parents from him, he bounces back to being cheerful before long.
  • Brave: Merida was giggly and optimistic as a child, and (when she gets her way), still is, but she's not a child anymore. Also her triplet brothers Hubert, Hamish and Harris, despite being very naughty, also are generally happy.
  • Finding Nemo: Nemo. Despite having one grumpy moment where he says "I hate you", he generally is happy, and likes to swim in circles as if dancing.
  • Frozen: Anna and Elsa were perfectly normal and excitable girls, before the incident where Elsa almost accidentally killed her sister that is. Anna keeps her cheerful attitude into adulthood however the accident causes Elsa to quickly become reserved and stoic. Since then she has turned into her former jolly self, but is now a grown-up.
  • The Incredibles: Jack-Jack is generally a very happy baby, smiling, cooing, and giggling at everything. The only times he isn't happy are when he is denied more cookies or when Syndrome tried to kidnap him.
  • Inside Out: Riley. She goes through a two-day mood swing when she moves house, but is generally an optimist. When she is happy she sometimes does silly dances, slides down banisters and makes monkey noises. Also, thanks to Joy, most of her memories are happy or part-happy.
  • The Lion King: Simba is a carefree Rebel Prince who likes goofing off and singing. That is until he sees his dad die in front of him and is led to believe he caused it.
  • Monsters, Inc.: Boo. She is 2-years-old, and generally only is in a bad mood when she is scared. She enjoys doing scribbly drawings, doing silly dances, singing nonsense-y songs, saying "boo!" hence the nickname, and giggling, and seeing as laughter creates electricity in their world, one of her giggles can power a whole building.
  • Toy Story:
    • Toy Story and Toy Story 2: Andy. He runs around letting his imagination run wild whenever playing with his toys.
    • Toy Story 3 and Toy Story 4: Bonnie. She likes to play with the toys and sing her song about bluebells and cockle shells.
  • In Turning Red, initially, Mei is just a Cute Clumsy Girl overachiever on the cusp of adolescence. However, she starts becoming more energetic and excitable after being encouraged to embrace her red panda form.
  • Up: Russell, even though he sometimes complains, he is generally upbeat, and moreso than Mr. C. Fredrickson.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Hook: Maggie Banning is an unusual example, as she is in peril for much of the film as a prisoner of Captain Hook. It's her innocent, positive outlook on life that allows her to see through his claim that her parents don't love her, and she lashes out at him for trying to manipulate both her and Jack. She has an idea about what's wrong with the villain, too: "You need a mommy very badly!" She's not too far off — when the Croc comes back to life and makes a meal out of Hook, his last words are "I Want My Mommy!!"
  • Even as a baby, Aurora from Maleficent does not scare easily when confronted by Maleficent. When she first officially meets her in the Good Fairy's cottage, Maleficent hisses at her, only for the baby to smile at her. As a toddler, Aurora walks up to her and has the fairy pick her up to get a better look at her horns.
  • Man on Fire: Lupita's cheerfulness eventually chips away at Creasy's hard exterior, making him positive about life again and becoming something of a substitute father for her. This leads him to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge when Pita is abducted and seemingly killed by a kidnapping ring.
  • Mystery Team: Brianna, the girl who hires the team, is rather cheerful for a girl whose parents just died.
  • Oz the Great and Powerful: China Girl, she is sunny and wants to be represented by a heart when Oz draws the plan.
  • Shirley Temple often played these characters in her movies. It helps that some of them were Heartwarming Orphans.

  • Enju Aihara from Black Bullet is very happy, energetic, and cheerful most of the time thanks to Rentaro, as long as she isn't sad or crying that is.
  • Last Order of A Certain Magical Index. Especially notable because she's a clone, and all the other clones (of the same girl) are Tin Men.
  • Rowley Jefferson from Diary of a Wimpy Kid: He always looks on the bright side and likes playing with toys and playing classic children's games.
  • In Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo, Felicity seems unusually active for a flu-ridden kid as she goes around petting the animals, even saying, "Guess who!?" to the zebra at one point.
  • Kairn in Galaxy of Fear: City of the Dead. He's also a good-natured daredevil and a foil to his new friend Zak, who daredevils after his parents were killed. Gets killed and made into a zombie, but Zak's appeals made him turn against the man who did it.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya has Kyon's little sister, whose real name is never given, and whom all the other characters find irresistibly cute. When Kyon is preparing to for his island trip and finds her hiding in his duffel bag, he's understandably upset, given how dangerous it was. But Asahina and the others take one look at her and are more than happy to let her come with them.
  • Lalaith in The Childrenof Hurin Her given name was Urwen but her cheerful nature leads her to be called Lalaith meaning laughter.
  • Roo from Winnie the Pooh is this. He's cheerful, he likes playing football and hanging out with Tigger bouncing.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Boxey from Battlestar Galactica (1978), especially in the episode 'Fire in Space' except for almost losing Muffit. He is initially downtrodden by the loss of his daggit during the Destruction but soon lights up when he gains a robotic replacement and has never been without smiles and giggles since.
  • Firefly: Sometimes, underneath the psychosis and psychological trauma, there are glimpses of River being one of these. Made poignant in a flashback when we see here as a child, and she definitely was before the Academy got hold of her.
  • LazyTown:
    • Stephanie is a young girl with a constant smile on her face.
    • Ziggy is adorable and energetic, loves sweets, and admires Sportacus.
  • Punky Brewster. A little girl who at age 8 was deserted by her mother (after her father left their family) and was found living alone in an empty apartment by Henry Warnimont, who would adopt her. Yet she manages to maintain a positive spin on things even though once in awhile she would wax sadness about it.
  • In Scrubs, the son of Perry Cox and Jordan Sullivan, Jack Cox, is one of these. No matter what happens to him (including being painted green and then cleaned up), he is smiling broadly and seems delighted with what is going on.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: The girl Clara Sutter from Imaginary Friend was generally happy, playing imaginary games and eager to learn new things.
  • Star Trek: Voyager: Naomi Wildman was generally happy and enjoyed playing games with Neelix and Seven of Nine. She also enjoyed her schoolwork.
  • Star Trek: Picard: Played with in Elnor's case. As an orphaned boy who was brought up by nuns, Elnor was extremely happy and thrilled whenever Picard visited him, as the Admiral was the closest thing he had to a father figure. Elnor's affection for Picard and his enthusiasm to learn from his hero are very evident when they spend time together. However, this joy would not last because a tear falls down Elnor's cheek when Picard has to leave earlier than expected, and the former then ceased to be a cheerful child after this moment because they will not see each other again for fourteen years.
  • In Veronica Mars, Logan was once stuck babysitting a hyper-cheerful 11-year-old girl. Her disposition turned out to be a front.

  • Lindsey Stirling's "We Found Love" was made in Kenya and includes a number of local people. Some are children who she holds briefly or plays with. She also performs in their classroom, and they clap along happily. Later, she describes what an honor it was to be with them.

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has two examples, one straight and one subverted.
    • Charlie Bucket is the straight example. He's not the soul of Incorruptible Pure Pureness he is in the novel, as he's prone to daydreaming and even a little mischief now and then. (To hear his grandparents recount the legends of Willy Wonka night after night, he convinces them each time that they haven't told him before...) But for a child who lives in poverty, he makes the best of the hand he's been dealt thanks to being a more grounded Mr. Imagination, and is the light of his family's lives. When his hopes of finding a Golden Ticket fade and he falls into a blue funk, the change deeply troubles his loved ones.
    • Augustus Gloop, the first Golden Ticket finder, is the subversion. He is just as happy and constantly upbeat as Charlie and his family regards him as Big Fun. The Buckets and the audience quickly realize he's actually a Fat Bastard whose happiness comes solely from his gigantic appetite being constantly appeased, as eating is all he does. He has lousy manners and is proud of saying he eats pigs limb from limb! Finally, he decides he just has to drink straight from the chocolate waterfall in the Wonka Factory — the only part of the Chocolate Room Mr. Wonka declares off-limits, for sanitary purposes — and falls in; his being sent to an Uncertain Doom via the plumbing system as the Oompa-Loompas and Mr. Wonka mock him is played as a vicious variant on Break the Cutie.
  • The Rose Tattoo has Bruno, Salvatore, and Vivi, three children who never speak, though their playful actions are played for Narrative Filigree. One of the boys is bouncing a rubber ball at the wake, much to Rosa's outrage.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Pearl spends most of her debut game blushing and silent, but once she opens up to Phoenix she becomes quite chipper, and reveals a rather innocent idealistic preoccupation with romance.
    • A more straight example would be 8-years-old Trucy Enigmar. Her adorable, radiant smile is so effective, it manages to cure one major character's deep depression. Although she may not be so cheerful herself beneath that radiant smile...
  • Apparently, Brick from Borderlands was absolutely adorable as a little child, grinning happily as he cuddled a puppy in his massively oversized hands in the treehouse with him and his future mercenary friends. Then we get into the game, where he blows things apart with rockets, shotguns, and a pipe, and goes into furious rages where he makes people explode by punching them and screaming blood. Not for blood. Just screaming the word 'blood.' Repeatedly.
  • Clam Man: Natalya, the adorable young daughter of Clam Man's landlord. She goes about her chores of telling the tenants about their increased rent with nothing but innocent enthusiasm.
  • Deltarune has Lancer. He's energetic, happy, and loves fooling around.
  • Ensemble Stars!:
    • Ra*bits has Mitsuru, an energetic, simple-minded kiddo who loves to "dash, dash!" and eat bread.
    • Switch has Sora, a sunny kid who has synaesthesia allowing him to see emotions and auras as colours and who is therefore very empathetic, and is overall a sweet and upbeat kid who always sees the best in people.
    • 2wink also try to give this off, and it's totally authentic for the outgoing and playful Hinata, but Yuuta is going through some adolescent moodiness and identity issues that keep him from being a full example.
    • Tori also pretends to be one of these in order to manipulate others, but in reality he's a Tiny Tyrannical Boy.
  • In Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, young Shannan starts out surprisingly friendly and energetic despite being a hostage travelling around with an army. After he grows attached to Deirdre, Sigurd laughs that the boy's cheeriness will keep her in high spirits. Unfortunately, it doesn't last. And when he grows up, he doesn't just Take a Level in Badass, he becomes much, much colder.
  • Fallout 4:
    • Austin marks perhaps the first instance of the trope in the history of the series. Naturally, he becomes infected with a deadly disease that forces you to complete That One Side Quest in order to save his life.
  • In Farnham Fables, Winona is a very sweet and cheerful girl who loves hugs. Her grandfather Wilford describes her as "the sweetest little 8-year-old you'll ever meet" when talking to Luke. However, she does occasionally get bouts of self-loathing when things go wrong: for example, she irrationally blames herself for the escaped cow in Episode 2, but even in that case, she is quickly cheered up again by her Cool Big Sis Wendy and regains her sunny disposition for the rest of the episode.
  • Genshin Impact:
    • Klee is a tiny elf-like child who is a massive bundle of energy and joy that loves to show off her stuffed toy "friends" like Dodoco or Jumpty-Dumpty... which also happen to double as live grenades and bombs.
    • Whenever Yaoyao, a child working with Liuye's Qixing, makes an appearance, she's wearing a bright smile on her face. Her official character description even describes her as "smiley". Much like Klee, Yaoyao also has a stuffed animal named Yuegui which she loves showing off, though unlike Klee's Dodoco or Jumpty-Dumpty Yuegui is a gift from the Adepti of Liyue and not stuffed with gunpowder.
  • Kogama has Blockboy. There isn’t much lore surrounding him, but he almost always appears to be super happy.
  • League of Legends has Nunu, a young, imaginative kid whose desire to become a hero to the northern Frostguard tribe led him to venture out to slay a mysterious yeti beast... and instead befriending it. His optimism and their friendship are considered some of the most wholesome things in the entire game, which is saying a lot.
    Nunu: They only hurt people cause there's something sad in their hearts? (Willump noises) Then I'm gonna knock it out!
  • Kulche in LocoRoco. If you can keep your smile and sing almost all the time when a threat isn't 5 meters away from you, it should count.
  • In Love & Pies, Amelia's kid daughter Kate is always smiling and is excited to see her refurbish the café. Kate's often seen scribbling or playing with her toy T-rex while Amelia's working.
  • Yonah from NIER. Despite having a terminal illness, she's always positive and upbeat, if her diary entries are any indication.
  • Pac-Man becomes one in Pac-Man Party.note 
  • Pinstripe: Bo is a happy-go-lucky, energetic little girl who likes nothing more than playing with her daddy. Then she gets kidnapped.
  • In Potion Permit, Laura is a happy little girl who likes doing anything she can to cheer up her family and playing with her friend Russo.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Cream the Rabbit. She's a very cheerful, kind-hearted, and optimistic 6-year-old rabbit girl who enjoys playing outside, gathering flowers, and playing with her cute sidekick, Cheese the Chao.
    • Miles "Tails" Prower also counts, being a cheerful Innocent Prodigy who's generally nice to pretty much everyone, even the villains.
    • Same goes for Charmy the Bee, being the youngest of the Chaotix and a very lively Keet as well.
  • Despite the combat-oriented nature of the series, a couple of Touhou Project characters fit this trope. Mostly these are fairly weak characters like Chen or the Aki sisters, but then there's Optional Boss Suwako Moriya... Though it's kind of a subversion since she's Really 2000 Years Old at least. It might even be an aversion as it's unknown if her child-like appearance is her true form, and it's been all but outright stated that her demeanor is an act (though it's unknown if her cheerfulness is included in that act).
  • The Walking Dead (Telltale):
    • Clementine was initially this in Season 1, but becomes subverted as the season goes on. She helped keep up spirits for the group, though as the apocalypse started to take its toll and Clem became worried for her parents' fate, she gradually lost that sunny disposition. Averted in Season 2 onwards, but who could blame her?
    • When he's not being attacked by zombies (or left hanging by Lee), Duck is always smiling. Until he is bitten by a walker in Episode 3.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the sequel to Fate/stay night, Fate/hollow ataraxia, Kogil serves this role. Of course... he's the younger version of Gilgamesh, who as we know is more than a little messed up.
    • Ilya is also very capable of being this trope... As long as she's not commanding her nine-foot tall monster servant to rip you limb from limb because she's bored... Or trying to control your mind with magic... Or just in other ways being the perfect example of the Creepy Child.
  • CLANNAD: Ushio, the daughter of Tomoya and Nagisa, is mostly upbeat, playful, and friendly. Her kindergarten teacher, Kyou, makes it clear she gets along with everyone. This makes it all the more heart-wrenching whenever she gets sad or upset.
  • Hisui, from Tsukihime, was quite cheerful as child, until Shiki left; at which point she become not so cheerful anymore. Finding out that her twin older sister Kohaku is trapped in the mansion being raped almost daily (and that the only reason it's not happening to her is by Kohaku's efforts) probably had something to do with it. That, and she stays "emotionless" to keep Kohaku from reverting. Too bad Kohaku has already become an Emotionless Girl under her Genki Girl facade....
  • Coco of Ever17 is technically a little old for this trope (she is 14-years-old), but looks, acts like, and is mistaken for an elementary student. Occasionally she has little streaks of not-quite-despair which makes sense when you realize she's seeing the future/talking to people in the future, where she doesn't seem to exist anymore. But she cheers up quickly enough anyway and plays strange games like staring contests with dogs or pretending to be a chicken.
  • Rika from Higurashi: When They Cry. Subverted when we find out that she actually understands what's going on better than anyone else and is rather dissatisfied with her current situation, but she pretends to be happy and optimistic for the sake of her friends. Until the later Answer Arcs.
  • Umineko: When They Cry:
  • Ami from Spirit Hunter: NG is an innocent young girl who loves her mother and cousin, even drawing out his softer side. She's enthusiastic about many things and especially enjoys the idol Momo Kuruse. Her disappearance and endangerment serve as Akira's motivation for the game.
  • Acerola from Pokémon Sun and Moon and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon, despite being an orphan who specializes in Ghost-type Pokemon, is the most prominent example of this in the franchise. Subverted in Ultra, however, when she becomes disturbing and scary during her trial, where she quickly and repeatedly tells the player to Get Out!.

    Web Animation 
  • One of the protagonists of Monsterbox is a little girl who is typically shown with a smile on her face. The only time she loses her cheeriness is when her monsters are chased out of the garden store by the owner for eating his bonsai tree.
  • Satina Wants a Glass Of Water: Satina becomes an utterly gigantic one of these in the show's "Bring Your Demon To Work Day" episode, in which she absolutely overflows with happiness and excitement to the point where it makes her almost-completely unable to control herself. In the show's actual "Satina Wants a Glass Of Water" episode, she actually acts rather-surprisingly normal (up until said episode's ending, in which she eats a glass of water right in front of her mother while said mother very-disgustedly glares at her in response).
  • Spooky Month: Almost nothing will get in the way of Skid and Pump's fun, with them cheerily going along with paranormal encounters and bumping into violent crooks, all part of their average Spooky Month.

    Web Comics 
  • Beyond the End: Tita is this. She's sweet and well-behaved and runs with the other centaurs despite being trapped as a child forever. She reassures others about her happiness with her position, letting all tragic circumstances of it slide off her.
  • Crimson Knights: Judoch's sister Wilburg is quite happy even when things are going quite bad around her, such as when she is forced to travel miles on foot alongside the titular heroes.
  • Quinn Akaelae, the raccoon psychic from The Cyantian Chronicles is definitely a cheerful child, clear past adulthood. Contrast to her "brother", who seems to have a darker outlook on life.
  • Snuggleninja is always happy, even when he can't find what he is looking for.
  • Yeo Miseng from Tower of God. Considering that she has been several years in The Thunderdome by now, that's rather surprising. But then again, she also cries sometimes.
  • Sausage / Cody in WooHoo fits the trope, as an enthusiastic member of a Scout-type organization. Identifying as gender-neutral, Sausage is just interested in science and in making the city a better place.
  • In Yokoka's Quest, Raya is by far the most hyperactive and happy child in the comic, even while her little brother Tomo has gone missing.

    Web Original 
  • Erika's New Perfume's titular character is this, when she isn't insanely embarrassed. Also from what little we see of Sarah before she grows up she seemed to fit this as well.
  • DeviantArt:
    • Binky as per her description as she has a Meaningful Name for doing something rabbits do when happy, which is binkying, and she is always binkying, thus she is very happy all the time. Omitted from her description, though, she is only unhappy while sick and sad and wouldn't binky if frightened
    • When one first meets her, Eglantine seems to be this, as she is excited about just about everything, even meeting those she doesn't know. Oddly, Parental Abandonment has no effect on her cheerful personality.

    Web Videos 
  • There Will Be Brawl:
    • Red from Pokémon Red and Blue is portrayed, showing him to truly care about the Pokémon and is one of the few truly good characters in a Grey-and-Gray Morality setting, making his death all the more poignant, especially since it was indirectly the protagonist's fault.
    • Ness from EarthBound (1994) and Lucas from Mother 3 had made a cameo in one episode playing and looking to fill this trope too. They turn out to be the serial killers who killed and stuffed all the victims in the series.

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs:
    • Mindy. Since she's unaware of the dangers she keeps getting into, she's constantly cheery.
    • Skippy also falls into this trope, being an innocent young squirrel who looks up to his aunt Slappy.
  • Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender starts off as a straight example of this trope, with a temperament that is playful and generally pretty mellow. But over time the burden of being The Chosen One and the sheer amount of shit that gets thrown at him over and over sends him into periods of frustration, rage, self doubt, and even prolonged depression. Fortunately he always manages to snap out of it back to his happy self. By the sequel series we see that, despite everything, Aang managed to grow up into a Cheerful Adult.
  • Jazmine from The Boondocks is played up as the more innocent and sweet foil to the cynical Huey and the troublemaking Riley.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Ma-Ti begins the series this way, being the only Planeteer who's enlisted before he turns thirteen. He's a happy-go-lucky and idealistic All-Loving Hero, as well as being the only member besides Wheeler with a fondness for practical jokes. While occasionally prone to depression, either over outside events or self-doubt, he always manages to return to baseline.
  • On Kate & Mim-Mim, Kate has a generally positive outlook and is sure that she can solve anything in Mimiloo.
  • The Loud House:
    • Lincoln Loud is an 11-year-old boy who's very quick-witted in his free time and very playful when it comes to his geeky interests (particularly cosplaying as Ace Savvy).
    • Although she's 14, the Genki Girl Luan has both a childlike mentality and physicality that makes her qualify, as she constantly keeps everyone on their toes by telling bad puns, talking to her ventriloquist dummy, and pulling pranks.
    • Lana is a playful and happy 6-year-old, particularly around gross surroundings.
  • Charlotte from Making Fiends takes this to rather extreme levels. She lives in a horrible town ruled by an Enfant Terrible and her monstrous creations. Everyone is depressed and somber except for the New Transfer Student, Charlotte. She's cutesy, almost always happy, and quite carefree. Vendetta loathes Charlotte and tries to kill her several times however Charlotte either ignores it or doesn't even notice it, and tries to be her best friend.
  • Bessie Higgenbottom from The Mighty B! is very adventurous due to her determined will to win honeybee scout badges.
  • Molly of Denali: Molly is a very energetic and enthusiastic kid, particularly when she speaks in a sing-songy voice (which she does at least once an episode).
  • Nina Needs to Go!: Nina. When she is not distracted by "needing to go" she often has happy daydreams about what she wants to be, and she generally enjoys her outings a lot.
  • In Phineas and Ferb, the number of times Phineas is sad or angry can probably be counted on one, maybe two hands.
  • The Powerpuff Girls has Bubbles. She is even described as "the joy and the laughter" in the end credits theme song, and the extended intro to the reboot has the lyrics "Bubbles: She's bright as the sunny day".
  • Ready Jet Go!: Jet is a joyous ray of sunshine. He sees the good in everything, is friendly to everyone, and can be quite hyperactive. Rarely does he ever get angry (the only time he did was when his cousin Zerk kept annoying him in "Whole Lotta Shakin'").
  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch:
    • Omega is a ball of sunshine to anyone who comes into contact with her. She remains upbeat and optimistic after escaping from the only home she knew, is open to new people and experiences, and expresses nothing but support to her fellow brothers.
  • Steven Universe is quite an energetic Kid Hero. He is prone to Tender Tears, and in later episodes starts hiding his worries, but is overall happy-go-lucky and optimistic.
  • ThunderCats (2011):
    • Wilykat and Wilykit are a pair of plucky, eternally optimistic Artful Dodgers, despite having grown up in the slums of The Empire.
    • In "Song of the Petalars", Emrick the Petalar, a foil and surrogate sibling for Lion-O, is also a young Pollyanna, quite convinced that, despite being trapped in the Briar Woods for generations, Lion-O and his Thundercats will help them find a way back home.


Video Example(s):


Somali and the Forest Spirit

A golem adopts a child named Somali, who is very bubbly, cheerful, and curious.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / CheerfulChild

Media sources: