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Cute Mute

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Maggie Simpson, The Simpsons

The Cute Mute has an appearance that's innocent to a fault. Whatever situation that causes their inability to speak also gives them that clueless, childlike demeanor. Unlikely to know or grasp social conventions, they will often be found innocently doing awkward things that spell trouble for the other characters.

Lack of speaking alone does not qualify a character for this trope. Someone who can't speak but otherwise doesn't fit the trope is The Speechless. Someone who is physically able to speak but chooses not to is Elective Mute; someone who can and does speak but is never shown to do so onscreen is The Voiceless. Also compare with Speech-Impeded Love Interest.

In a musical, she's often The Singing Mute. See also Sexy Flaw, for when the character's muteness is seen as a romantic "turn-on".


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Shizuka of The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You is so shy that she doesn't speak at all, instead pointing to passages in books in order to communicate. Rentarou helps her out by making a special app that does the speaking for her.
  • Rita Rossi from Ashita no Nadja. She lost her voice after seeing her parents' death in an horrendous fire that consumed their circus, which also left her with a phobia of anything fiery, even stoves. Halfway in the series, Rita recovers her will to speak when Nadja was trapped in a fire and Rita is the only one able to tell her how to get out of the burning place. From then on, she becomes a Genki Girl Motor Mouth.
  • Chane Laforet from Baccano!. Her fiancé, Claire Stanfield, lists her muteness as one of her Charm Points — though he carries on impressively long conversations with her regardless, thanks to the frequent use of yes/no questions and an apparent ability to read her mind.
  • Berserk: Poor Casca went insane after Griffith raped her during the Eclipse and was reduced to the mental capacities of a 2-year-old. Interestingly, "mental capacities of a two-year-old" extends to more than just her speech; she had a tendency to put things in her mouth, like pearls and Puck. She also has a bad tendency to wander after anything that catches her eye, making her former lover's task of protecting her much more difficult, though as Guts learns in the Millennium Falcon arc, she's still capable of defending herself to some degree if she needs to, as a group of bandits that tried to rape her learned the hard way. It might depend on what translation but she seemed to be able to say only one coherent word: "no" whenever someone tries to have his way with her like during the trauma of the Eclipse.
  • It's implied that Ran Mao from Black Butler doesn't know much English (she's only spoken about four words thus far). She usually just stays silent and lets Lau do all the talking.
  • Sawyer from Black Lagoon is a Perky Goth, true, but ultimately she's a downplayed example. First of all, her profession is cutting up bodies for disposal with a chainsaw, something she enjoys doing whether or not the said body is dead yet. Also, she can be pretty mouthy when she's got her electrolarynx.
  • Played for Drama in Bleach, when Yukio was rejected by his parents because he couldn't speak. As years pass he begins to talk normally, but the psychological consequences have completely screwed him up... enough to both drive his parents to suicide and accept Ginjou's offer to become a Fullbringer.
  • Tomoyo Daidouji temporarily becomes one in the Cardcaptor Sakura anime, when she has her adorable voice stolen by a Clow Card that liked her singing a little too much. While everyone else thinks she's just sick to the throat, Syaoran and Sakura have to team-work to seal the card and dispel its effects..
  • Chii the Ridiculously Human Robot from Chobits Never Learned to Talk. She learns to speak soon enough, but is still an exemplar of the trope (her first word aside from "Chii?" is "Panties").
  • In The ComiQ, supposed murderer Baba cannot speak, his appearance is highly childlike and innocent, and the protagonist eventually deduces he couldn't have committed the murders.
  • Double Subverted in Cyborg 009. 0013 is a chubby but still kinda cute-looking boy with Hidden Eyes who speaks through telepathy and acts cheerful and innocent... until he has to fight 009 and reveals himself as a Kid with the Leash of a HUGE robot. He still remains kind (saves an Innocent Bystander, punishes a bunch of assassins, releases the Distressed Dude professor) and ultimately commits suicide.
  • Ren from DearS is on the same approximate wavelength as Chi from Chobits, above.
  • Anna Mouri from A Devil and Her Love Song is a subversion because, as commented by the main character, she's bold enough to use her inability to speak as a weapon.
  • Celty from Durarara!! is an interesting take on this one. Because she doesn't have a head, she can't speak or communicate using facial expressions, but she can communicate well enough by typing things out on a cellphone or computer. (Her roommate and later fiancé Shinra can tell what she's thinking or trying to say from her body language, though — as Celty puts it, he "can read the expressions on the face I don't have.") Celty also averts the "clueless or childlike" stereotype; she's very intelligent and fully understands what's going on around her, and her twenty-odd years spent in Japan have given her a thorough understanding of Japanese social norms. She is very cute just not in the innocent, childish way you would normally expect.
  • Nill from Dogs: Bullets & Carnage. Her being mute is the result of being genetically engineered to have features that appeal to certain fetishes and make it easier for her to be sold into prostitution (in this case, a pair of tiny wings), but the method is inexact and often leaves the subjects missing something (in her case, her voice).
  • Lirio from El Cazador de la Bruja. She only talked in one scene, and in that she was possessed by a witch so that the witch could communicate with the heroes.
  • Lucy's "Nyu" self from Elfen Lied can be considered as such. While she can talk normally when Lucy is the dominant one, as Nyu she can only say her "name". This changes after the manga's Time Skip (the anime didn't get that far), where Nyu is shown speaking normally, having learned how in the interim.
  • Elaine from Genocyber was the mind of a feral animal and therefore can't speak. She is very friendly and protective towards those who show her kindness, at least in her human form.
  • Ohri from Gestalt. A manic slave girl, she's cute, ditsy and unable to speak: instead, she lampshades her fantasy origins by making a text box appear straight under her bust and making some accompanying noises to catch the main character's attention. She also plays on her condition to get enrolled in the main cast, convincing Oliver (the protagonist) that she's too cute and helpless to survive on her own, and likely to be sold to a less caring individual. However Ohri's muteness is a byproduct of having her sorceress powers sealed away, and she gains access to a cockier Superpowered Alter Ego fully capable of speech and sorcery.
  • Genki Saotome from Getter Robo: Armaggedon didn't start as such, but became one after being horribly traumatised via witnessing Michiru's death. Also mixed with being a very, very unsettling Creepy Child.
  • Cynthia from Hanaukyō Maid Team is an adorable, innocent little girl who is completely incapable of any sort of vocalization, due to psychological stress. Her split personality Grace is quite talkative however.
  • Koyori from Hand Shakers. In Episode 9, she finally speaks.
  • The titular character of Helen ESP. A young girl who's mute (and blind and deaf), but cute as a button, and whose kindness and innocence sometimes causes her to trust people too easily for her own good. Fortunately, she always pulls through.
  • Egypt from Hetalia: Axis Powers is often mistaken as one by other nations, since he's very quiet. This is strange considering the country's real life history but Hetalia has never been about historical accuracy.
  • Akira Oono of High Score Girl is a variation; she is never shown talking on-panel and is incredibly shy to the point that she would rather prefer to communicate with her best friend and fellow gamer Haruo via body language, her actions in video games or through wanton violence. Thankfully for her, Haruo is not only Made of Iron but is also perceptive enough to easily read her physical expressions most of the time. It's implied to be a form of social anxiety disorder stemming from her incredibly Spartan homeschooling..
  • Rin from Inuyasha had been mute since the trauma of losing her parents, but she grew out of this quickly when she became Sesshoumaru's Morality Pet.
  • Oshino Shinobu, the tiny ruined vampire from Bakemonogatari is supposed to be voiced by Aya Hirano. Whether or not this is true we have no idea, as she hasn't uttered a sound. She spends most of her time sitting in a corner, apparently sulking. She's adorable, especially when drinking blood. In Episode 4 of Nisemonogatari, she broke her silence and revealed herself to be talkative. She was voiced by Maaya Sakamoto.
  • Komi Can't Communicate, as you might guess from the title, has this as the premise, with the main character Komi — a kind, beautiful girl Loved by All... but with a crippling communication disorder, severe shyness and social anxiety, she's nigh-incapable of speaking or interacting. She gradually gets better after she's befriended by Tadano, who can read her intentions in spite of her communication disorder.
  • Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force: Lily Strosek, a Mysterious Waif that appears to be something similar to the first Reinforce. She's only capable of communicating through telepathic thoughts. Flashbacks later reveal that she used to be able to speak, but the trauma during her time confined as a lab experiment rendered her mute. In other words, a woobie who can't talk, i.e cute.
    • From the same manga brings a subversion with Stella Irvine of the Huckebein. She seems like this and seems to be incapable of speech, as well as checking off the marks of this trope. But once she is connected to the ship and is able to speak, her words show that she is anything but cute.
  • Suzuho Hasegawa from Magician's Academy is mute when her Midnight Blue Vampire personality is dormant. This makes her appear even shyer than she normally would be and forces her to use signs to communicate.
  • Master of Martial Hearts: Kumi Honma, Natsume's mother. Your average MILF, caring and lovely. Mute due to an unspecified accident in the past, she communicates by Sign Language, using her kids as a proxy. Subverted as her unspecified accident gets revealed. She's a former Action Girl, who after losing a Street Fighter expy tournament got her voice box torn out, her personality mindraped into total obedience, AND was sold into sexual slavery. Since then, her whole life had been an attempt to regain a semblance of normality and hatch a complicated Revenge by Proxy involving her offspring and protagonist Aya Iseshima, who is the daughter of her captors.
  • Mizuna Kuraki from Moonlight Lady apparently cannot speak, although she tries mouthing her name.
  • Mayu Morita from Morita-san Wa Mukuchi rarely speaks. She's also cute and has some ditzy moments.
  • Kuchinashi in NEEDLESS is a blonde Yamato Nadeshiko who refuses to speak and communicates with a notepad. When Cruz heard her sneeze she jokes that she's been Defiled Forever.
  • Pokémon Heroes: Latias in human form fits this trope much better than any other Pokemon. She's very pretty, acts strange and childlike, and doesn't speak at all (not even Pokemon Speech), Though she does make crooning and trilling noises and occasionally says "la" in Pokemon form.
  • Potemayo's vocabulary mainly consists of "Honi, honi", but she picks up a few words as the series progresses. This is better than Guchuko, who can't form words.
  • Flandre of Princess Resurrection only says "Huga", but Hime understands what she is saying. Likewise with the rest of Flandre's "siblings". Played straight wither a "Mermaid" character (No name given, she simply called that) who lost her voice and got stuck on a ship until she turned into a Blood Warrior after saving one of the characters (she could only use her voice once and would've dies afterward).
  • In Rent-A-Girlfriend, Sumi is able to talk, but rarely does so. It doesn't make her any less adorable.
  • Chibi Chibi from Sailor Moon, named for the only sound she could produce. She literally was otherwordly in the sense of Not of This Earth. In the anime she was a child but in the manga she was older than she seemed.
  • Subverted by Meru Otonashi from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. Innocent-looking and too shy to talk, she communicates by using her cellphone to send people horribly abusive text messages. On one occasion when her phone lost its signal, she began jabbering in a way that another character interpreted (from personal experience with just such jabbering) as a sign of Demonic Possession.
  • Shion, the lead character of Shion no Ou, lost her voice after her parents were killed in front of her, communicating via a notepad and pen she carries around with her. She regains her voice after she defeats the murderer in the finals of the shogi tournament Hani-meijin.
  • A Sign of Affection: The protagonist, Yuki Itose, is a sweet-hearted college student who is deaf, and, as such, never talks, only communicating through sign language, writing or texting. However, the audience can still hear her inner thoughts.
  • Shouko Nishimiya in A Silent Voice is deaf and as such communicates, or at least tries to, with a notebook. This failed early on, because her fellow students saw her muteness and the notebook as reasons to mock and torment her. She is able to speak, but her deafness leads to her words being extremely strained and hard to understand.
  • The eponymous and Token Mini-Moe Shirayuki from Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, who is incapable of speaking due to the strain of her powers on her body and so resorts to enthusiastic charades instead.
  • Moeka from Steins;Gate. She is uncomfortable speaking to people directly, and prefers to use her cell phone to communicate. Turns out she's The Mole, and is killed for it.
  • Deaf-mute Sasaki Kojiro from Vagabond has that child-like innocence... which turns from cute to a bit unsettling once he gets into combat. While he's not Ax-Crazy or evil, he is a Blood Knight who will sport his best Slasher Smile in the midst of dismemberment and death.
  • Hatsumi from Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito is a subversion; she can talk at times, and is nowhere near as innocent or cute as she first appears.

    Comic Books 
  • Batgirl (2000): Cassandra Cain/Batgirl II, at least until her brain is rewired by a telepath so she can talk. Even after, she is still shown to be reclusive and taciturn, but is also a very friendly, quite upbeat, and somewhat cheeky Nice Girl who happens to also be a Cute Bruiser that can outfight Batman.
  • Emilka Sza (Emily Hush) Polish character created by Maciej Kur and Magdalena "Meago" Kania. Emilka is a cute (if not a bit tomboyish) girl who was born literally a mime — she has pale white skin, can see invisible objects and is mute.
  • Artie Maddicks, mostly seen in Generation X and other X books in the 90s is telepathic, but functionally mute. Even with telepathy, he's unable to use words or language, but instead speaks in mental pictograms.
  • The female Scarecrow from Legends of Oz: The Scarecrow from Big Dog Ink comic books publisher. While it's mentioned that, in universe, animated scarecrows are deaf, mute and dumb until they gain a brain, and thus devoid of any will and ability to interact meaningfully with people, the female character in the comic book is still mute, but she's fully able of coherent thought and she can understand spoken language. She's just cheerfully cute, overtly friendly, cutely expressive and sickengly sweet.
  • Teen Titans: Joseph "Jericho" Wilson is "cute" in the Pretty Boy sense, the White Sheep of his mercenary family, and communicates in ASL unless he's possessing someone. The reason for this is that his father, Deathstroke, let Joey's throat be cut (severing his vocal cords) rather than betray a client.

    Fan Works 
  • The Bridge (MLP) has Gentle Leaf, an adorable, mute filly.
  • Don't Keep Your Distance, a Sonic X fanfic, has Star, a robot created by Dr. Eggman who turns good after being rescued by the heroes. Star cannot speak, although it understands spoken language, so it communicates entirely through gestures and expressive noises.
  • In The Night Unfurls, Hugh is a young boy who is mute and The Pollyanna. He can still kick ass, though, and he is definitely not stupid.
  • An obvious reference to his namesake, Harpo, a harp-playing pony in Room 213, though it's stated he can talk. Also, Chirp from Silent Knight. Possibly a first as HIE fics go.
  • Rolling in Beaches: Wavedancer is this when Spike and the Mane Six first meet her, due to the Rainbow Pearl — which transformed her from hippcampus to Earth pony — being stuck in her throat.
  • In A Snowflake In Spring, Elsa hasn't said a word - or even acknowledged anybody's existence - for ten years, the result of an unknown trauma. Around Anna, however, the so-called Ice Queen becomes an adorable, shy girl.
  • Dave Strider is depicted as this early on in Brainbent. He can speak, but he chooses not to because his situation has left him somewhat despondent. He starts getting better a little bit later.
  • Anabel in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines is unable to talk due to losing her voice after her parents died in a car accident. Fortunately, she developed telepathy to communicate with people, although she cannot use it except with some specific people.
  • The Reaping of Hatsune Miku: The titular Vocaloid has found herself in the Reaper's Game, and this is her entry fee. She gets around it by typing memos on her smartphone when she can afford it and making charades when she can't.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Brave, identical triplet princes Harris, Hubert, and Hamish for some bizarre reason never speak.
  • Zoe in A Cat in Paris is one for most of the film. It's implied this started after her father's death.
  • In Children Who Chase Lost Voices, Mana is a little girl who Shin and Asuna rescue and is incapable of speech.
  • Dumbo is a mute protagonist. It works since he's particularly expressive and he has talkative friends. It also helps that the little guy is essentially an infant/toddler, so it makes sense for him to be The Voiceless.
  • Kristoff's reindeer Sven in Frozen is silly, snarky, lovable, and yet he does not say a single word the entire movie. Any time he "speaks" is Kristoff speaking in a goofy voice.
  • The Little Mermaid: Ariel is mute for much of the film because she traded her voice to Ursula to become human. Ursula meant this to impede her romance with Eric, because the prince fell in love with Ariel's singing voice, but it doesn't really stop it. In Andersen's original story, the loss of her voice was permanent. In the Golden Films version of the story, Lena ultimately gets to marry Stefan, like their Disney counterparts, but unlike that version, Lena seemingly doesn't regain her voice, implying that she is a mute for life.
  • A Monster in Paris has Francœur, who is a giant flea and therefore only speaks in chirps and bleeps. It's adorable.
  • Monsters, Inc.: Boo is a toddler and so has learned few words. Otherwise, she's small, adorable and adoring of Sully.
  • Cri-Kee is Mulan's cute, lovable lucky cricket, who is completely mute . He still manages to provide some comic relief, although not as much as Mushu.
  • In Peter Pan, Tinker Bell doesn't speak, but only jingles like, well, bells. It is later revealed in her own movies, Tinker Bell does speak, but to humans it sounds like the jingling of bells. It's quite clever if you think about it — we don't know her language, that and there is a lot of comedic potential for her miming as well. It's a Running Gag in Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson's adaptations.
  • The Prophet: Deconstruction. Almitra's muteness was caused by her father's passing, but it only serves to strain her relationship with Kamila. And while Almitra may be a cute child, her thievery isn't.
  • Dopey, the cutest of the (Disney) Seven Dwarfs. It's noted that they aren't sure whether he's mute.
    Snow White: You mean he can't talk?
    Happy: He don't know — he never tried!
    Snow White: That's too bad!
  • Saoirse from Song of the Sea is an adorable 6-year-old girl who can't speak. This is because she is half-selkie and cannot talk without her white coat, which her father keeps hidden since he doesn't want to lose her like he lost her selkie mother. She becomes able to speak after she's reunited with her coat, and after her mother severs the tie between her and the fairy world, she's able to speak permanently.
  • Tack and the Thief from The Thief and the Cobbler were this in the original story. When the film was purchased by another company before Richard Williams could finish it, it was turned into a musical, and Tack and the Thief were given voices.
  • Up: Carl Fredricksen when he was younger, compared to his lover Ellie. He becomes fully talkative once we get to the main story.
  • WALL•E can manage only a few sounds and words, and is indisputably cute! He used to be the page image for The Woobie.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Downplayed in Aliens where Newt refuses to speak at first, until Ripley get her to open up. In the novelisation (where she's a lot quieter, even struggling in total silence) it's explained that she's learnt not to make noises that attract the xenomorphs.
  • The little monkey in Babe: Pig in the City. Comes off as particularly cute because he's the only animal who doesn't talk.
  • Carl in Black Zoo. Audrey certainly thinks he is cute and spends some time Eating the Eye Candy before attempting to chat him up.
  • Bumblebee: The titular Transformer gets his speech synthesizer ripped out early on. Combined with his loss of memory, he comes across as a child. Throughout the entire rest of the movie, he tries to establish ways to non-verbally communicate with Charlie in the most adorable fashion.
  • The Darkest Minds: Zu, a pretty little girl who never speaks in the film. It's unclear if she can't, or simply won't.
  • Date with an Angel: The Angel (played by Emmanuelle Béart) is adorable and doesn't speak until the end of the movie.
  • Dobermann: Nat the Gypsy is a deaf-mute played by Monica Bellucci. You do the math.
  • Sawako in Takeshi Kitano's Dolls 2002 ends in a regressive, childish state after attempting suicide. She does not speak, focus her attention in toys and little pink objects and tends to aimlessly wander around until her former boyfriend ties her to his own waist. Not that this system saves her to be raped for extra drama.
  • Harpo Marx, most notably in Duck Soup. He can't talk at all, and instead talks in horns, which leads to the most clever scene he's ever done where he is able to carry on a phone conversation by honking horns in such a way that it sounds like replies. In real life, Harpo spoke with a Brooklyn accent, and occasionally swapped places with Chico in their stage act.
  • The Eiger Sanction: George is a gorgeous woman, and she never speaks in the film.
  • Misaki Nadeshiko, a.k.a. Kamen Rider Nadeshiko, from Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider Fourze & OOO: Movie War Mega Max. She's not completely mute, but she can only repeat what other people say, and is very cute and childlike. It's later revealed that she's not actually human, but the human form of a substance known as SOLU, a non-sentient life form from space which is full of Cosmic Energy, and which instinctively replicates anything it finds useful (hence her repeating others' words).
  • Tiffany of Hellbound: Hellraiser II is an orphaned teenager obsessed with solving puzzles. Her muteness mainly stems from the "treatment" of psychiatrist Dr. Channard who murdered her mother in front of her and then experimented on her to increase her obsession with puzzles. Towards the end of the film she starts speaking again.
  • Le Mozart des pickpockets: Two rather grungy pickpockets, petty criminals, wind up by random chance informally adopting a deaf/mute child. They wind up training the adorably cute little Heartwarming Orphan boy to join them in picking pockets.
  • Played with by Laura in Logan. She's an 11-year-old girl who is an odd blend of Wise Beyond Their Years and showing signs of significantly stunted emotional development, and for much of the first half of the film is apparently unable to speak. The twist, revealed late in the film, is that she actually can talk, for whatever reason (trauma, wariness, etc.) she chose not to. However even once she does begin to speak, aside from a heated argument with Logan she doesn't do so at length.
  • Used in Love Potion Number 9. Diane gets a sample of the Love Potion no. 8 and receives the power of a Compelling Voice of a sexual nature that works only with the opposite sex. Upon entrancing a rich mook, to avoid the potential hassles of being chased, harassed or desired by every single man within speaking distance, she puts the mook under the assumption she enjoys "play the mute game" and that she's using a simplified form of sign language while in public, and letting him graciously act as her mouthpiece
  • Thana, the Villain Protagonist of Ms. 45, is very cute in a Girl Next Door kind of way, although shy and socially awkward. When she glams herself to go trolling for men, she is absolutely stunning.
  • Adorable little Max from Orphan, justified by the fact that she is born stone deaf.
  • Alma, the deaf-mute tightrope walker in Santa Sangre, fits this perfectly both as a child and as an adult. It's particularly cute that despite being deaf-mute, she and Fenix understand each other perfectly from the moment they meet.
  • Calvin from the movie Scrooged fits. He hasn't spoken since he saw his father killed. But at the end of the movie he reminds the reformed Frank Cross to say "God bless us, every one."
  • The Shape of Water gets two: the cute and romantic cleaning lady Elisa Esposito and the Asset, a mysterious fish-like creature from Amazonia. Both overlooked, mistreated outcasts, they end up bonding together in a society oppressing them.
  • Rebecca from the British Black Comedy movie, Skeletons, is certainly this, being a young woman who never speaks after coming back from University and learning the mysterious circumstances under which her father disappeared. She gets better. She ends up becoming the Tritagonist.
  • The Spiral Staircase: Protagonist Helen is mute and this is a plot point. There's a Serial Killer on the loose who targets disabled women. Thus the inability to speak is combined with Damsel in Distress appeal.
  • From Sweet and Lowdown Hattie is mute and somewhat passive, seemingly happy to be led around by the more dominant and talkative Emmet Ray. When she does try to communicate a specific thought, it's often only Emmet who gets to understand it fully.
  • Tommy from the rock opera Tommy, who after witnessing the death of his father, goes deaf, dumb (mute) and blind. His "cuteness" is due to the fact he is played by Roger Daltrey.
  • War for the Planet of the Apes at a certain point has Caesar's apes picking up an adorable blonde child that is infected with the latest version of the Simian Flu that makes humans mute. The apes later give her a name... Nova, making her a reinvention of the Nubile Savage from the original movie.

  • Errand, the little boy in the Belgariad, Never Learned to Talk and is initially capable of only saying the word "Errand", which is why the party takes to calling him that. It's explained that when Zedar found him, all he said was "I have an errand for you, boy"; Errand repeated the one word and followed him. Over the next two books, he learns more words, but he can only say one-word sentences. After the Time Skip between the Belgariad and the Malloreon, he learns how to speak properly. In the Malloreon his real name is revealed to be Eriond; he explains that he picked up the word 'Errand' from Zedar because it sounded familiar to him.
  • In Dragon Bones Ciarra is mute, and also acts and looks like twelve, even though she's actually sixteen. It is never quite clear whether her childlike behaviour is a side effect of her muteness, or rather a reaction to the fact that everyone treats her like she's mentally challenged. Probably the latter, as she can act very mature and ladylike if she wants to impress someone. Both her big brother Ward and the house ghost Oreg feel very protective about her.
  • Subverted by Flute in The Elenium trilogy by David Eddings; she appears to be one of these at first but is really the goddess Aphrael, and perfectly capable of talking (at great length) when it suits her.
  • Exploited in the sci-fi Greatwinter Trilogy. One character sees Darien as this kind of character and she uses it to her great advantage. In reality, she is strong-willed, intelligent, powerful, and competent woman, who simply happens to be unable to speak.
  • Subverted with Marta from The Hardest Ride by Gordon Rottman. She's a beautiful 16-year-old Mexican girl who's mute from a brain trauma, but she's very intelligent, strong-willed and prickly.
  • Miette from Malevil. A birth defect made her mute and she is young, beautiful, and exceptionally kind. She doesn't know any sign language so all of her communication comes from pantomime.
  • In Ben Hennessy's Queen Of The World series, the protagonist Sarene is a lovely 16-year-old who is mute from birth.
  • Lise Acquin in the French novel Sans Famille by Hector Malot (and the media coming from it, like the movies and the two anime series). Remi, the vagabond child protagonist, who becomes close to her, learns that it's not permanent and she'll eventually recover if she's, for example, faced by a violent emotion. They get separated a few months later as the Acquins is scattered after her father is put in a debt prison, and Remi going back to wandering as none of Lise's uncles and aunt can take him with them. And near the end, Lise recovers her voice when hearing Remi, whom she thought she'll never see him again, singing his trademark Napolitan song. Years later, she and Remi get married.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Raj isn't mute in the early years of The Big Bang Theory, but he can't talk to women unless he's drunk. Women seem to think this is endearing. Later, Howard and Penny decide to hook him up with Emily, a non-verbal deaf-mute friend of Penny, with Howard acting as a Translator Buddy. They both reason that Emily is cute enough to be endearing and likeable, and being a pre-verbal deaf girl wouldn't be bothered by Raj's own condition. This doesn't work because Emily ended up being a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, a really talented Gold Digger knowing that Raj is the richest guy in Penny's social circle and hoping to siphon a whole lot of his fortune, turning against him as soon as his family threatens to strip them both of his conspicuous allowance.
  • Molly from The Big Comfy Couch. Definitely fitting because she is a doll, so it makes sense for her to be The Speechless. She can, however, communicate through cartoon speech bubbles, as well as nod or shake her head to yes-no questions.
  • The Boys (2019): Kimiko's deadly, yet cute as a button, and hasn't said a word since the start of her dark and troubled existence.
  • Gotham: Martin, the adorable mop-headed kid that Penguin takes under his wing, never utters a word and communicates by Talking with Signs. Played with in that he's also sort of a Creepy Child, but his darker tendencies are played for laughs and he's still cute as a button.
  • Kingdom Adventure: Gigag is a childlike character who is on the heroes' side and always seems to be smiling, but he's both mute and deaf.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): Tali in "Promised Land", who is pretty, sweet and mute.
  • Cassie Chan, the Pink Ranger from Power Rangers in Space. Usually your average Action Girl and Asian Airhead, she turns into that in the aptly named "Silence Is Golden" episode, because she's forewarned that her enemies and trope namers Psycho Rangers are pursuing her by tracking the sound of her voice. A weird and long series of unfortunate events force her to keep communicating by pantomimes and cutish expressions, until a falling Baby Carriage forces her to break her self-imposed vow of silence.
  • The slave girl Eirene from Rome is this in her first few episodes. Justified because she doesn't speak Latin (yet) and is understandably terrified of her masters. The trope plays a big part in Titus Pullo's attraction to her, and is the reason why he doesn't treat her like he usually treats women.
  • The Indian telefilm Shorr has Kankoo. The youngest member of a traditional Indian family, Kankoo is a young adult woman, cute as a button and mute. Not voiceless, but she uses only a lot of Voice Grunting and made up Hand Signals to get along.
  • The eponymous humanoid alien woman in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Empath". She has a pixie haircut, gives a lot of startled expressions, and makes no sound even when she's weeping.
  • A brief example in Cassandra from Stargate SG-1, who first appears as the only survivor of a plague unleashed by the Goa'uld Niirti. Her inability to talk combined with her age and situation made Samantha Carter dote on and want to adopt her. Once she gets over the trauma enough to start talking again she's been able to talk just fine.
  • The Walking Dead (2010): Connie's deaf and one of the nicest and friendliest characters, who communicates with sign language or by writing.
  • In Disney's 1957 Zorro TV Show, Don Diego's manservant Bernado, played by Gene Sheldon, counts as this, mostly keeping a cheerful and innocent demeanor and using his own style of signing when interacting with people.

  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum has Gymnasia, a beautiful and quick-witted slave from the Island of Silent Women. (She's pretty handy with weapons, too.) Pseudolus knows her sign language because his childhood nanny was a Silent Woman.
  • In The Medium by Gian-Carlo Menotti, Toby is a childlike innocent who enjoys using the puppet theater to play dress-up and make-believe games with Monica, who, to cheer him up, tells him he has "the most beautiful voice in the world." His speechlessness makes him the target of abuse by his adoptive mother, Baba, which grows worse and worse.

    Video Games 
  • Brawl Stars: Spike is an adorable Cactus Person who, unlike every other character in the game, doesn't make a sound.
  • Nina from Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter. When the hero asks for her name, it takes all of Nina's strength and energy to squeak out "" Makes sense when you realize her lungs were replaced with a fancy air filter, and her tongue cut out.
  • Claudia from Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Cute and innocent as the trope allows. She can't speak, but she can use telepathy to express herself. And she does. A lot.
  • The main protagonist of Chibi-Robo!, a four-inch-tall robot who doesn't have a mouth. It can only communicate "yes" or "no", which it does by extending a sign from its head.
  • Linear Cannon of Evolution: The World of Sacred Device is completely mute, often showing her approval or disapproval of situations with nods, head shakes, backing away in disgust, and tilting her head to indicate she's thinking or confused. She doesn't actually say a word, and apparently only makes very quiet noises that don't have any sentence structure or sound like any words. This actually does lead to a relatively serious moment when she notices that Euegene Luitipold is creeping up behind Mag Launcher and co. in a large robo suit, but cannot speak and thus they cannot somehow hear the massive metal monster come towards them. By the second game she has begun talking, apparently knowing how and just choosing not to, but her timid nature still has her speaking only one or two words at a time, and often not involving herself in conversation at all, still preferring to let everyone else speak and just nod in agreement or shake her head in disagreement.
  • Christine Royce from Fallout: New Vegas: Dead Money not only had her vocal cords cut by an Auto Doc, but prior to that was lobotomized leaving her unable to read or write, and is reduced to communicating with hand signals. While she is not conventionally cute, she is still easily the most moral character of the DLC's cast (barring a Very Good Karma Courier), and if the Courier treats her right they can exchange very sweet and touching friendship/ambiguously romantic moments. She gets her voice back at the end, though it's not her voice per se; the Auto Doc gave her a copy of the vocal cords belonging to the long-dead Vera Keyes.
  • Chelinka in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates loses her voice after an uncontrolled use of her power and communicates by telepathy instead. She eventually gets it back when her vocal chords heal.
  • Yggdrasil, one of the many Primal Beasts from Granblue Fantasy, never speaks, only using a sound similar to wind chimes to communicate. Only Lyria and Rosetta can actually understand what she says and the rest of the cast has become adept at figuring out what she's communicating.
  • Keria from Harvest Moon DS (and DS Cute) is mute due to a curse. She communicates by writing messages on a sign (in the English version, she writes in Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe). However, one event between her and the Witch Princess lets her speak briefly; in his Internal Monologue, the hero remarks, "It's nice to know Keira talks like that."
  • Sona Buvelle, the Maven of Strings of League of Legends. A cute Hatsune Miku-lookalike with a gorgeous appearance that can only "speak" via telepathy (though her 2020 lore and dialogue update made them more akin to "internal monologues", in written material she uses sign language) and plays melodies that can support her allies or disrupt her enemies with her etwalh.
  • In Mitsumete Knight, Sophia gets hit hard by this trope near the end of the game, as she suffers a psychological trauma caused by being in the middle of the terrorist bombing of the Theater. She can get partially better if the Asian stays by her side and visits her each week-end at the Hospital : she'll then get her voice back, but won't be able to sing as her voice is too rough and low. But if you manage to get her Happy Ending after that, she shows signs that she'll fully recover, as she manages to sing beautifully for him.
  • Klaymen from The Neverhood is a goofy, childlike and endearing creature made out of clay. Aside from grunts and screams, he never speaks until the final cutscene, when he introduces himself to Hoborg.
  • Onmyoji: If we set aside Kurodōji's Creepy Child personality, he is an adorable little Dumb Struck boy whose friend and Living Emotional Crutch Shirodōji is helping him recover his speech. At the end of their episode, Kurodōji finally shows signs of regaining his speech again, barely breathing out "Shiro… dō… ji…"
  • In Planescape: Torment there's Ecco, a Platonic Prostitute with some very important information that you must learn to get through the game, who unfortunately has her voice permanently stolen. You must cure her muteness by giving her a Fiend's Tongue, but its original owner keeps using it to make crude insults and not letting her get a word edgewise. Fortunately, there is also an antidote.
  • Shadow Hearts: From The New World: 'Lady'. She never speaks, is an Emotionless Girl, can inspire love in the heart of a sociopathic psycho named 'Killer', and was not so much Raised by Wolves, as not raised at all. She can also kill you with a flick of her wrist just because you happen to be there. She's like this because she was originally the sister of Johnny Garland and during a ritual to bring them back from the dead, she gave up her "will" (life force) to save her brother, which turned her into a "pure mass of malice" — a being with no memories or humanity.
  • Twisted Wonderland: Gidel is an adorable Cat Boy who has no spoken dialogue; all his lines are written as ellipses, and somehow his companion Fellow Honest can understand him.

    Visual Novels 
  • Shizune from Katawa Shoujo plays with this trope: she is cute and mute, but has has a very forceful personality and is even the Ms. Fanservice of her game. Evidence seems contradictory on whether or not Shizune is physically mute (as the developers claim) or would rather avoid speaking since it'd make her sound bad (being deaf), as some scenes seem to hint at her being able to vocalize after all. During a sexual encounter in the student council room, it's revealed that Shizune can audibly groan. So her vocal cords are fine, it's just that, being deaf since birth, she has no concept of spoken language, and thus "mute".
  • Marc, Ed Brown's adopted white son in Policenauts, was traumatized after his real father, a drugged-up ex-cop, murdered his mother in front of him.
  • Misa in Sickness fits this trope to a T in certain more light-hearted scenes...until you remember the body count associated with her name.
  • Len from Tsukihime speaks a grand total of twice (one of those a single word) in the two games she's been in.

    Web Animation 
  • Helluva Boss: In "Mammon's Magnificent Musical", during the meet and greet before the final round of the clown pageant, Fizzarolli is approached by a mute imp child (named Oliver, according to Word of God) who communicates with Signed Language. Fizzarolli communicates right back, signs an autograph for Oliver and encourages him to follow his dreams. After he's performed his number in the final round, Fizz thanks the audience for their support, and upon spotting Oliver he thanks him as well with sign language, leaving Oliver to smile in response.
  • Several episodes from Neurotically Yours feature a character who never says a word, but is one of the few characters that Foamy does not have a problem with. Her first appearance is titled Cute Mute.
  • RWBY has Neopolitan, an accomplice to Roman Torchwick who is incapable of speaking. Cinder once thoughtlessly says "let's talk" and Neo just frowns and points to her mouth. Doesn't mean she won't kill you without a second thought, though.
  • After gaining her humanoid form, Melony from Supermarioglitchy4's Super Mario 64 Bloopers becomes a downplayed example of this trope, since she IS capable of speech in that form, unlike when she was originally a completly silent and inanimate watermelon, but she usually only communicates in various random voice grunts with no text based dialogue.

    Web Comics 
  • Faye Eolande from Amya is so much this that she must carry paper and pen with her, and apparently loves visiting the odd stationary shop to get more.
  • Bittersweet Candy Bowl, Amaya never talks for us but Apparently, she can talk to others. Still cute.
  • Dawn of Time: The titular Dawn is a slight variant, in that we rarely understand what she's saying when she does speak. Her Speech Bubbles are simply filled with Peanuts-like tick marks.
  • The Mongrelfolk of Dominic Deegan are apparently a race of them; the only two that we come across are Bort - a peaceful, Non-Action Guy farmer who communicates by crudely carving words onto stone slabs and wooden signs - and a mongrelfolk girl with No Name Given who has a crush on him. Bort does have a scene where he speaks, but it's implied that it's the nature of the Eldritch Location he's in that's allowing him to do so.
  • Zombie children Bridget and Alphonse in Far Out There are incapable of speech, but otherwise intelligent. And definitely cute. So very cute.
  • Fefetasprite from Homestuck, aka "dear, sweet, precious Fefeta", is cute and is never depicted talking, although Roxy and Jane have spoken to her at some point. They seem to see her as a combination gal pal and super-cute pet.
  • B.B from Klunscomic never speaks, but being a blank slate means he usually follows orders no questions asked. Even after reverting back to his old self after temporarily being able to speak, he still managed to find a way to communicate in broken ASL courtesy of Toona.
  • Little Dee from the eponymous comic. She's young, but not that young.
  • Mocha from Milk And Mocha is confirmed to be mute (selectively or by circumstance is not clear). but they're adorable, especially from Milk's perspective. One of the reasons the two are so in love is that Milk is OK with Mocha being nonverbal and expressing themselves in other ways.
  • Yvette from Precocious is the go to girl for jokes that are essentially mime routines.
  • Canta from Sire is the lineage child of Christine Daae and was born without the ability to speak. She communicates via sign language and is often depicted smiling sweetly, optimistically ignoring tales of caution or stalking on the Erik-Child, Leif.
  • Touhou Journal's version of Reimu is mute, but is exceptionally cute and kind, a very different depiction from her usual portrayal as a Jerkass. Despite her silence, other characters seem to be able to understand her just fine. Other Cute Mutes include Sanae, who also boasts Tareme Eyes; Kisume, who always has the same indifferent look on her face; and Miko, who communicates via written text on her scroll and makes friends with Reimu mere moments after they meet.
  • Emm from The Wisdom of Moo. The title "character" is the cow hand puppet she uses to do all her talking.

    Web Original 
  • Fluffle Puff only "speaks" in raspberries, gasps, and other assorted noises- she occasionally converses with characters via raspberries somehow. One post had her and Chryssi undergoing a "Freaky Friday" Flip- Chryssi could speak in Fluffle's body, but FP didn't in Chryssi's, so we're not sure if Voices Are Mental or if she can, but just doesn't. She can write though, albeit in a very child-esque way.
  • Dawn Beckworth from Survival of the Fittest, mute and most certainly cute but not particularly supernatural.
  • Haile from the german Play-by-Post game ZOOOOOmmxBIES is a cute, mute young woman, who only speaks 83 words in the whole game — which is almost as long as the entire Harry Potter series.

    Western Animation 
  • Boo Boom! The Long Way Home: the main character, Boo-Boom, is rendered mute due to the shock of losing his parents in an air attack.
  • Subverted in Futurama: Nibbler appears to be this, but it eventually turns out he can talk and is intelligent. The Planet Express crew remains oblivious to this because he erases their memories every time he reveals the truth.
    • In the Bender's Game movie, it was revealed that Nibbler had actually forgotten to mind wipe them the last time that they heard him speak, and thus as of the sixth season has realized it no longer serves a purpose to pretend to be silent and actively talks.
  • In Jelly Jamm, Ongo only communicates through random sounds and incoherent babbling. He does occasionally spout a real word, i.e "Oh no!" in one episode.
  • In Kitty Is Not a Cat, the titular Kitty speaks only in meows and various cat-like sounds, while the actual cats converse in perfect English.
  • In the British series Kipper, Pig's toddler cousin Arnold is usually mute, but he is simply adorable. However, he has once said "duck" before.
  • In The Little Mermaid (1992) Ariel meets Gabriella, a deaf-mute mermaid who uses sign language, with her octopus friend Ollie serving as her interpreter.
  • Jorel's Brother: Jorel is an extremely pretty boy, who also happens to basically never speak a word.
  • Phineas and Ferb had Meap, an adorable alien whose language consisted only of the word "Meap". He eventually gets his hands on a Universal Translator Mustache.
  • Gus, the adorable new kid in the gang from Recess becomes this in the episode "Jinxed" after the Ashleys jinx him into not being able to talk for most of the episode.
  • A very obscure cartoon that Jerry Beck has featured in his Worst Cartoons Ever festivals at San Diego's Comic-Con International was Sam Basset, Hound For Hire. Sam's assistant was a mute, guitar-playing chihuahua named Chapultapec.
  • Samurai Jack featured a family of blue aliens who don't speak, but communicate through words and emojis displayed between their atennae.
  • The Smurfs (1981) has Laconia the woodelf, who appears in various episodes to communicate with the Smurfs in sign language.
  • Jericho from Teen Titans (2003) is physically unable to speak, but he sure is cute.
  • Furrball from Tiny Toon Adventures is a Cute Kitten who doesn't speak most of the time.
  • In Transformers: Prime, Bumblebee takes after his movieverse counterpart. However, while movie Bumblebee speaks in canned sound clips from TV, radio, etc., Prime Bumblebee speaks in electronic sounds in a manner similar to R2-D2 (or perhaps a Mini-con.) The genius 12-year-old can understand him.
  • Gadgeteer Genius (and Genius Cripple) Bernardo from Zorro: Generation Z, named for a character by the same name in old-school Zorro, like many characters. He communicates via actual sign language, though he rarely uses it with Diego — they know each other so well it's not needed, and it takes a couple of episodes to realize that Bernardo can't talk, as opposed to there simply being a Running Gag of Diego answering his own questions and not letting Bernardo get a word in.
  • Fitz's daughter from 12 oz. Mouse makes only baby sounds.


Maggie Simpson

Maggie sucking her pacifier.

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Main / TheSpeechless

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