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Cute Owl

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Hoo is the cutest little bird?
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Owls are, to put it bluntly, adorable. They just are. There is something about those perfectly round shapes, those big eyes, and their beautiful fluffy plumage that immediately appeal to us. Not to mention the rather silly features like their Abnormal Limb Rotation Range, or their cute little hoots which have served so many "Who's on First?" jokes that it became its own sub-trope.

Even if you are oclophobicnote , you can at least admit that they are rather Creepy Cute, or at the very least pretty rad.

There are two kinds of Cute Owls that mostly coincide with the two real-life families of owls:

  • The Tytonidae a.k.a. barn-owl variety is mostly represented cute in an elegant way because of its softer features and lighter colors and is as such depicted almost always female in fiction. It doesn't necessarily forbids her to be Badass Adorable and she could still have Silk Hiding Steel.
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  • The Strigidae (the "eared" varietynote ) is often depicted as an adorkable nerd, coupling this trope with The Owl-Knowing One, the most common Animal Stereotype associated with owls. Expect this Cute Bookworm to have scruffy feathers, wear Nerd Glasses (the big circles around its eyes being a natural inspiration of this), bowties and other geeky accessories. For a long time, this variety was almost Always Male — leading to a common misconception that the two varieties are from the same family with Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism — but the growing representation of female geeks in media is slowly discrediting this cliché.

The Ur-Example of the trope could be considered the Owl of Athena, who is also and mainly the Ur-Example of The Owl-Knowing One trope. If the ancient Greeks didn't particularly praise the animal for his cuteness (although it was attached to a beautiful and clever warrior goddess), the actual city of Athens (and by extension the rest of Greece) embraced the animal as their Animal Motif ; the symbol was printed on some of their money (even the current euros) and is very popular with tourists.

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Contrast Ominous Owl and Feathered Fiend, who are very much not like this. Compare The Owl-Knowing One. Note that cute owls could still be evil, even the nerdy ones.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Basara: The heroine Sarasa has a pet in the form of Shinbashi, an utterly adorable, tiny pet owl (she adopted him precisely because he was the runt of the litter) that's always with her. His presence often serves as a reprieve from Basara's heavy story of destiny, rebellion and political intrigue.

     Comic Books 
  • The children's comic series Owly by Andy Runton is all about the adventures of an incredibly cute (and non-carnivorous!) owl.

     Film — Animated 

     Film — Live Action 

     Literature 
  • Harry Potter: There are comments from female students on Ron's owl Pigwidgeon being cute in The Goblet of Fire (and he is a total keet). Ron thinks he's a stupid little feathery git.

     Toys 

     Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • In Realm of Owls, especially the owl people's babies are an epitome of a cute owl, but the adults also tend to look cute when they goof around and stare at stuff happening in front of them.

    Web Original 
  • The Art Student Owl meme averts this, being a cynical, lazy, and jaded character who is always seen smoking. However, his counterpart, Art Newbie Owl, completely fits the bill, being a young Wide-Eyed Idealist owl who is very excited about art.
  • True Facts About the Owl is chock-full of examples. They include:

     Western Animation 
  • The classic Merrie Melodies short I Love to Singa features a little owl singing jazz in a radio contest.
    "I love to sing-a, about the moon-a and the June-a and the spring-a."
  • In the second season of Bojack Horseman, BoJack starts dating a cute female owl named Wanda Pierce, although it is less her cuteness and more the fact that she has no idea of all the gossip surrounding him, having just awakened from a 30-year coma, that made him fall in love with her.
  • Owlicious from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Everybody immediately falls in love with the cute bird, Rarity even giving him a gems-encrusted bowtie at one point, except for Spike who is jealous of the owl getting so much attention. Through his eyes, everything he does is ominous.
    (Owlicious turns his head 180 degrees and stares at Spike with a Scare Chord)
    Spike: Whoa! Dude, that's creepy.
  • Adventure Time:
    • The Cosmic Owl was presented as a mysterious and all powerful deity that everyone fears and respects as he appears in Prophetic Dreams. When he is formally introduced in the show, it turns out that he is a nerdy and awkward guy who just wants to play Tabletop Games with friends.
    • Subverted with the bird woman (who is some kind of squirrel-owl mixup) from the episode "Hoots". When the Cosmic Owl sees her in while visiting dreams, he immediately falls for her and starts dating her, but it is eventually revealed that she is an avatar of Gunter a.k.a. Orgalorg manipulating him to appear in Princess Bubblegum's dream and turn it into a prophetic nightmare.
  • Puffin Rock has Otto and his younger siblings Pip and Pop.


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