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Cute Is Evil

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"Oh, monster of so little size... is that a parasprite before my eyes?"

Cute is... disturbing and unnatural.

Cute Is Evil happens because people (both In-Universe and in Real Life) have a habit of sliding to the cynical end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism. It is also related to the phenomenon of people losing the ability to think critically around cute things. In places where critical thought is vital, cuteness can be the cover for a Person of Mass Destruction.

Parents, older children, and teenagers tend to never trust the cute. "Real men" especially hate cute, as it is contrary to more manly forms of expression. Television companies who try to keep girls liking cute as long as possible are often portrayed as Corrupt Corporate Executives.

Cute is often evil in Darker and Edgier works. In extreme cases, cuteness is a sign of someone being secretly an Eldritch Abomination.


A frequent component of Subverted Innocence tropes such as Cute and Psycho, Corruption by a Minor, Killer Rabbit, Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon, and Crapsaccharine World.

Very often the core of morally questionable, if not outright malevolent, children types such as the Creepy Child, Kids Are Cruel, Deliberately Cute Child, Spoiled Brat, Evil Orphan, Little Miss Con Artist and especially the Enfant Terrible, who exists mostly to enforce this trope.

If they succeed at causing death and destruction, this trope will likely overlap with Grotesque Cute or end up showing that Evil Makes You Monstrous.

Contrast Beauty Equals Goodness. Compare Beauty Is Bad, a milder form. Also see Killer Teddy Bear.

Compare and contrast Adorable Abomination, which may or may not be evil. In some cases it can be played as a near-inversion of this trope, by creating a cute, friendly version of an Always Chaotic Evil creature.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Butler: Ciel is absolutely adorable & looks like a weak androgynous dandy, but he's straight-up from a long line of folks who refer to themselves as Evil Aristocrats. The boy sold his soul to a devil in exchange for a shot at a years-long spree of murder. His crimes include fraud, first degree murder, second degree murder, arson, kidnapping, threatening a child with a gun, child endangerment, & child murder. If you want to be Ciel's friend, you have to be subservient to him & be willing to die for him, or he will either abandon or kill you.
  • Majin Buu, the final major villain of Dragonball Z. The form that our heroes encounter first is an Ugly Cute, fat pink humanoid of mass destruction with the mentality of a toddler. He also has a massive craving for sweets. Sweets made by zapping his victims with his head antenna and transforming them into foodstuffs that are still completely conscious as they are being eaten. On the other hand, this is the version of Majin Buu that does a Heel–Face Turn later on.
  • Iron Maiden in Shaman King, but her alignment is more Lawful Stupid than evil.
  • Pokémon has featured both an evil Teddiursa and an evil Togepi.
  • Digimon Frontier: Lucemon anyone?
  • For all their creepy qualities no one can deny that Hansel and Gretel from Black Lagoon are cute.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
  • The Puchuus from Excel Saga.
  • Deadman Wonderland is set in a prison that is also a theme park. The inmates stage shows for the visitors. This is mostly promoted by the... er... Promoter, who seems to run the place and is a Psychopathic Manchild who loves to put cute, evil props everywhere. Even the sadistic way they restrain the prisoners is this, every prisoner has a collar constantly pumping poison into their body, the prisoners can't run away or else they won't get the "bitter candy" a foul tasting cure in a candy wrapper. Also they have to do menial or sometimes life threatening things to get the in prison currency to buy the candies. They can die in the bright and colorful carnival, from doing nothing! It makes you wonder what the guards think since they don't bat an eyelash, the whole thing is a sugary sweet and disgusting spectacle like death race, convicts dying and suffering for entertainment, mostly the promoter's.
  • In D.Gray-Man, the Millennium Earl and Road Kamelot seem to have a theme like this going on.
  • Punie Tanaka from Dai Mahou Touge takes this trope and Crosses the Line Twice with it.
  • Umineko: When They Cry has the witches, who are either cutesy or cute in a sexy way, but they’re undoubtedly attractive, and undoubtedly Trolls. In particular the 4 major antagonists, or 3 if you consider an independent avatar (Erika) and her master (Bernkastel) as a single being.
  • Popotan being what it is, it still provides an example in the form of the little girl from episode 4. She appears to be a normal child at first, but is actually a ghost who wishes to trap people where she can be with them forever.
  • Pride from Fullmetal Alchemist. He's an Eldritch Abomination that can effortlessly rip people apart with his Living Shadow, and he has the body of a small child.
  • Kohina Hiruko from Black Bullet, she's the most adorable evil cursed child you can think of to the point that you just begging that you want to be killed by her cuteness.
  • Nui Harime from Kill la Kill. She's a complete psychopath, but will never stop smiling and being bubbly about everything even as she tells the protagonist how she killed her father.
  • In Elfen Lied, as a general rule, if you see a cute thing (especially if it's a young girl with pink hair), it's generally a good idea to run screaming in the opposite direction. Most of the cute characters you see are superpowered psychopaths who would just as soon tear you in half as look at you. Mariko, for instance, is a little Diclonius in a wheelchair, and can tear apart opponents without lifting a finger. Special mention to Nousou, who is drawn in an effeminate, Bishōnen style and is fawned over by some of the other cute characters, suggesting that he may just be a nice guy after all. He is then promptly shown overseeing a messy process of stripping the spinal columns out of skeletal torsos of diclonii that were killed for that express purpose. But the shining example is the Diclonius DNA Voice, the Enemy Within to all Diclonii and the source of their evil, an entity which seeks to destroy all humanity... and takes a form resembling Kaede, Lucy’s childhood self.
  • Nobunaga the Fool has Nell and Bianchi. They act like adorable children, but their idea of playtime involves murdering people and causing chaos.
  • Taken Up to Eleven in Paranoia Agent where everything cute or sweet puts you in great peril and the series is social commentary on how cuteness is over-saturating Japanese society (particularly Otaku culture) to unhealthy levels.
  • The titular character of the Anime, Manga and light novel series 'Youjo Senki', better known to English speaking audience as The Saga of Tanya the Evil. Tanya Von Degurechaff. She joined the military at age 9 and spent the next 3-4 years becoming one of, if not the most frightening soldiers in the entire Imperial Army (terrifying both allies and foes alike). She is a blond-haired, blue eyes little girl, who looks almost like a doll. Despite her cherubic appearance, she is an absolute nightmare on the battlefield (able to slaughter entire battalions/squadrons single-handed). She is cold, calculating and ruthless above and beyond the call of duty. She has a personal grudge against God (not figuratively, but literally). And she has demonstrated on more than one occasion to have no problems using her childlike appearance and qualities to gain tactical advantages that typically result in bloody victory. As one of her commanding officers says, "She is a devil/monster in the form of a little girl".
  • Cute Is Evil: Most Disas/Netherbeasts in Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka look like cute mascot creatures. Doesn't stop them from sadistically ripping apart humans in all its gory details.

  • While not "evil" per se, New York's Japan Society had an exhibit called "Bye Bye Kitty!!!", which is a reaction against the kawaii aesthetic.

    Audio Plays 
  • Big Finish Doctor Who: In Cuddlesome, the Cuddlesomes were the hottest must-have toys of the 80s: cuddly pink talking hamsters, sold as are the perfect toy for children of all ages. They are also the product of a Wicked Toymaker and designed to kill any adult who had not loved them enough.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering has an Unglued card called Infernal Spawn of Evil. With a name like that, you're expecting some sort of demon, perhaps an Eldritch Abomination. It's...a mouse enjoying hot cocoa.
    • In the sequel set, Unhinged, they introduce Infernal Spawn of Infernal Spawn of Evil, which is the same mouse, holding its cocoa in one forepaw, and its baby mouse in the other forepaw.
    • On a more serious note, the non-joke set Ice Age included the Hyalopterous Lemure, which is pretty cute for a black card. Reportedly, the artist had never heard of a lemure (a minor evil spirit) and drew a lemur instead.
  • The horror-themed Munchkin Bites, where a fearsome high-level monster simply titled "The Evil" looks a whole lot like... a fuzzy little kitty cat. It's a reference to Sluggy Freelance.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In the first Scooby-Doo live-action movie, the villain is Scrappy.
  • In the Star Trek spoof, Galaxy Quest, the crew stumbles upon a cuddly group of child-like aliens, which they watch from afar. They almost fall for it... until the creatures show their true colors and eat a wounded member of their own species. Of course, tag-a-long crew-member Guy Fleegman doesn't fall for it for a second, but that's because he watched the TV show and knows the drill.
  • In Stargate SG-1, Reese is a childlike android who gives rise to the greatest threat the galaxy has ever faced: the Replicators.
  • The title creatures in Gremlins start out as cute furry little things, but if fed after midnight, they become green monsters.

  • In Artemis Fowl, Opal Koboi belongs to the subspecies of Fairies known as Pixies, well-known for looking child-like and absolutely adorable. She also happens to be an Ax-Crazy, greedy, deceptive, egomaniac Psychotic Womanchild and one of the major villains in the series.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Shortly before the release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Rowling released a teaser statement saying that the book included a character with "a personality like poisoned honey." This character turned out to be Dolores Umbridge, a government bureaucrat who ended up as possibly the most hated character in the entire series, up to and including Voldemort. Her many terrible traits are underscored by her self-expression: she wears pink at all times, has an office decorated in china kitten plates, even has an Alice band in her hair (and she's well into middle-aged at least), and talks in a simpering, sweet manner.
    • Hepzibah Smith, seen in Half-Blood Prince is a lesser example, an elderly, extremely vain woman who hangs desperately onto coquettishness and sweetness in an attempt to seduce Tom Riddle.
  • Baby Veil in Outcast of Redwall sends Bryony into paroxysms of Cuteness Overload, even when he's actively in the process of biting her. Unfortunately for him, it doesn't work when he's in his teens and starts playing with poisons.
  • Zones of Thought: A Fire Upon the Deep has the Aprahanti species. They are humanoid with soft features, big round eyes, butterfly wings, soft downy fur, and cute sing-song voices. They are also militaristic fascists who make their first appearance pushing around a shopkeeper and later take a flimsy pretext to attempt genocide on humanity.

    Live-Action TV 

"I'm sick of you little girl and boy groups
All you do is annoy me
So I have been sent here to destroy you..."

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Nermal in Garfield, sickeningly cute, and Garfield's mortal antagonist (Garfield keeps trying to mail him to Abu Dhabi). Nermal does tend to be downright mean to Garfield at times, and he admits in one strip that his is purposely stunting his growth with coffee and cigarettes in order to stay a baby, and admits to being a midget in another one.
  • One old Bloom County arc features an Alien Invasion by creatures called Zygorthians, who blast cities with death rays, enslave women, serve the entire Mormon Tabernacle Choir as hors d'oeuvres, and lock Pat Robertson in a room full of AIDS activists. When one of them is finally seen, he looks like a cute little puppy. (With antennae.)

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In 2017 Candy Cartwright and her "Cutie Pie Club" caused this trope to apply to SHINE Wrestling. Their earliest efforts to stink up and sabotage The Nova Tournament resulted in SHINE being the only WWN member where Priscilla Kelly was a face, and Kelly's opposition was not cute. While she doesn't care for Kelly's biting or weaponized pubic sweat, Cartwright's definition of "cute" is otherwise broad. She associates with the Ax-Crazy brute Dementia D Rose.

    Tabletop Games 
  • A few Dungeons & Dragons sources mention a monster called a julajimus created by Tharizdun. Its true form is clearly not cute (a huge demon that looks like a monstrous ape) but it has the ability to take the form of a cute kitten or other harmless animal. Humanoid races have legends of this creature that parents use to scare their children; the story starts with a child finding an adorable kitten, who his parents refuse to let him keep. The story ends with the child disobeying his parents and sneaking it into his room, only for it to transform into its true form of a julajimus and devour him. The moral is very clear, but the julajimus is a very real monster, as far as the game world is concerned.

    Video Games 


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius special "Attack of the Twonkies" is all about this — cutesy little fuzz balls morph into pointy balls of terror when they hear music. And they're ''still kinda cute even then.
  • On Total Drama Island, Duncan is afraid of Celine Dion music store standees.
  • On Robot Chicken, in a Dragon Ball Z parody, the characters go to the North Pole. Their enemies? Little Drummer Boy, the Nutcracker, and Composite Frosty/Santa Claus. But the Big Bad is Mrs. Claus.
  • Baby Doll of Batman: The Animated Series looks like a cute little girl but is a really a psychopathic adult.
  • In Hoodwinked, a Little Red Riding Hood adaptation, the villain is Boingo, that little rabbit that follows Red around all the time. In the sequel, those dang "innocent" children they were trying to find.
  • Jimmy, the effeminate squeaky kid on Ed, Edd n Eddy, generally isn't the most affable sort. But he has on occasion demonstrated Chessmaster prowess — and ruthlessness — to rival Machiavelli.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • Kitty, a cute white cat who happens to be a minor villain.
    • The Fluffy Bunch from "Sweet 'N Sour".
    • Beebo from "Pet Feud", although he's really more Obliviously Evil since he had no idea what he was doing was bad.
  • The Woodland Critters from South Park, especially during the Imaginationland arc.
    Jason: Man, I do not want to meet the kid that dreamt those things up.
  • Adam Lyon from My Gym Partner's a Monkey has a run-in with the "Petting Zoo Kids" in one episode. These are a clique of doe-eyed miniature animals that use cuteness as a cover to pilfer unsuspecting victims who succumb to a "huggie". Adam loses all of his clothes following a few encounters and losing his good judgment around them. Eventually he turns the tables by cornering and shaving off their fur, removing their cute charm.
  • Adventure Time:
    • One of the tasks Marceline gives to Finn in "Henchman" is to slay a cute, harmless-looking Dimple Plant. Finn is reluctant... until the Dimple Plant turns into a vicious Man-Eating Plant.
    • "Conquest of Cuteness" sees Finn and Jake being harassed by the belligerent Cute King and his army of "cuties". Subverted in that the cuties turn out to be more of a danger to themselves than to our heroes.
    • Me-mow, the cat assassin from "Jake vs. Me-mow", who tries to blackmail Jake into helping him murder Berry Princess.
    • The piglets from "The Pods", who go on a rampage with magic wands after tricking Finn into thinking they're harmless.
  • Lotso Huggin' Bear from Toy Story 3, whose jovial facade hides the fact that he runs Sunnyside Day Care with an iron fist, letting his cronies boss around other toys who have to suffer being roughed-up by the rambunctious toddlers in the Caterpillar Room. He also has deep-seated anger and resentment issues from when his old owner replaced him.
  • On Drawn Together, we have a Strawberry Shortcake expy, whose people almost completely exterminated Wooldoor's. Since nobody but the two characters had ever heard of this, we can assume they have been as successful at denying it as the Turks have been in denying the Armenian genocide. Oh, and she tries to kill Wooldoor.
  • The Flores from the My Little Pony 'n Friends episode "Fugitive Flowers" look like cute and harmless talking flowers, but are really monstrous invasive weeds who trick Posey into protecting them from the creepy-looking Crabnasties who are trying to capture them, then proceed to suck all the life out of Posey's garden, transform, and go on a rampage.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • This show has the parasprites from "Swarm of the Century". While they don't seem to be actively malicious, they're still adorable, multicolored bug/fairy critters who breed rapidly and devour all the food they can find. Basically, they are the unholy hybrid of tribbles and Horde of Alien Locusts.
    • A downplayed example in the same show can be found in Angel Bunny, who is, well, a bunny. While not evil he can often be an egocentric, spoiled Jerk Ass. He has gotten a fair amount of Pet the Dog moments with Fluttershy and has had Butt-Monkey moments as well.
    • Cozy Glow is an adorable little filly with disturbingly sinister plans.
  • Clare of Titan Maximum, whose bio states "she loves cute things and desires to be the cutest thing in the entire solar system! Oh, and by the way, she’s completely evil."
  • The Gigglepies from The Fairly OddParents!, who hypnotize people with their cuteness in order to sell their merchandise and destroy planets.
  • The Simpsons: Maggie Simpson, maybe. Depends how one interprets that look she had at the end of "Who Shot Mr. Burns (Part 2)" and Master and Cadaver segment of "Treehouse of Horror XXI."
  • Darla Dimple from Cats Don't Dance.
  • Arguably the worst villain on Krypto the Superdog is Snooky Wookums, an adorable kitten with an evil mind (and one of the few villains on the show that is not a pet of some human DC Comics villain).
  • The Real Ghostbusters once adopted a potential Scrappy named Vincent, a blue imp that looked like it might have been drawn by Dr. Seuss. And then it turned into Mr. Hyde...
  • Transformers Prime has these cute little bug-sized robotic critters... who turn into an all-devouring swarm of death when Cybertronians are around. Nothing tastier to scraplets than the metallic flesh of robots! Their cute exterior opens up to reveal a zillion razor-sharp piranha-like teeth. And they're still cute, in a way.
  • Wander over Yonder:
    • Commanders Peepers looks fairly small and harmless, with a hilarious voice to boot (courtesy of Tom Kenny). He's the leader of Lord Hater's Watchdogs for a reason, however, and he can prove to be quite violent (as seen when trying to protect his job in "The Bounty") and ruthlessly cunning (as seen in "The Greater Hater" and "The Axe").
    • In "The Stray", Wander encounters a sad little kitten named Li'l Bits, who proceeds to cheerfully exploit Wander's hospitality and helpfulness at every turn, like forcing Wander to repeatedly rescue her headless teddy bear from a ferocious monster. Sylvia grows suspicious, and rightly so when it turns out Li'l Bits is not an orphan, but a bounty hunter who has literally hypnotized Wander with her cuteness in order to collect a big reward from Lord Hater.
  • The Hugstables from Regular Show are adorable creatures with a death hug.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • In the episode "Soos and the Real Girl", Soos buys a dating game where the love interest, Giffany, is an adorable Japanese school-girl... who becomes dangerously obsessed with anyone who plays the game.
    • Gideon Gleeful is a Deliberately Cute Child who projects an air of sugary adorability while psychologically abusing his parents, summoning demons, and attacking his crush's brother for "getting in the way."
  • One episode of Archie's Weird Mysteries, in an obvious parody of E.T., had this as An Aesop: the cute cuddly alien is not only an evil intergalactic criminal, but he intentionally plays off his cuteness to take advantage of others. The "evil" aliens chasing him are actually cops.
  • Berry from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, who's a pink, adorable imaginary friend who appears to be sweet and generous, but is actually an easily jealous and homicidal Stalker with a Crush.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot: Killgore, a pint-sized, big-eyed sentient wind-up toy with a high-pitched voice whose main problem is annoying Jenny... as well as calling the Cluster on her, and later resurrecting Armageddroid, a dangerous robot that can confiscate and dismantle any kind of weaponry. In-universe, he is considered one of the most adorable creatures ever.
  • Nom Nom from We Bare Bears is an adorable little koala who stars in viral videos. Behind the scenes, he's an egomaniacal diva who loves to antagonize and manipulate the bears for his own schemes to stay in the spotlight.
  • Yzma from The Emperor's New Groove is the main antagonist of the film and is later seen turning into a cat. In "Kronk's New Groove" she turns into a pink bunny to distract the angry senior citizens after learning that her potion was a lie.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy has Mandy, who is evil on the inside and cute on the outside.
  • While not "evil", just very possessive, Courage the Cowardly Dog had "The Precious, Wonderful, Adorable, Lovable Duckling", who decided to Murder the Hypotenuse (Muriel) in order to make sure Eustace only paid attention to it.
  • In Freaktown, the Freaks are the good guys while Princess Boo-Boo and her lackeys, who want to scrub the freakiness out of Freaktown and make it as cutesy as the rest of Sweetlandia, are the antagonists.


Example of: