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Cuteness Equals Forgiveness

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This being right after she chucked an old woman out of a window.

"You can't be mad at me... I'm cute!"
Gawr Gura, hololive

A character is forgiven for an otherwise serious offense just because they're cute. This occurs because cuteness implies innocence and vulnerability. You're more likely to forgive someone if they were ignorant of the harm they caused, after all.

Puppy-Dog Eyes may be used. Obviously abused by the Deliberately Cute Child and Cute Clumsy Girl.

A Sub-Trope of Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!. If the fans are doing this, it’s Draco in Leather Pants. See also What Measure Is a Non-Cute? and Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.


Anime and Manga

  • In Azumanga Daioh, when the teacher is bopping everyone on the head for forgetting their homework, he only gives Chiyo-chan a half-hearted tap.
  • Several times during her presidency, Maria of Hayate the Combat Butler does some things similar to Boa Hancock above, including smashing a tape/video recorder and burning a 'love letter'.
    • Given that Hinagiku might have cases of this as well, it almost seems that this trope follows the school presidents in the story.
  • In Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi "Aunt Aki" says it as a Non Sequitur joke.
  • Murumo from Mirumo de Pon! uses his cuteness in this way, easily winning the hearts of anyone with his adorable antics and Puppy-Dog Eyes. Only his older brother is immune, though it's not like anyone listens to him (when he warns Kaede about this, her response is "You're just jealous that you're not as cute as he is!")
  • One Piece:
    • Boa Hancock (pictured above) is considered to be so beautiful that she is never blamed or held accountable for anything she does. She even gets away with retaining her Pirate Warlord status by the world government despite pretty much fighting for Luffy's cause and slowing the other warlords down in a major battle.
    • Nami attempted to use this trope with Usopp to make him forgive her for causing them to land right into a pit in Thriller Bark, but it failed. She instead resorted to using a huge sign with the words "I'm sorry" on it.
  • Subverted in Ranma ½. Ranma Saotome has tried this technique in his girl form before without much success.
  • One segment on Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei comments on how the Cute Clumsy Girl can get away with mistakes because of this. Chiri tries to become one and violent Hilarity Ensues.

Comic Books

  • A recurring theme in Frank strips is that the slightly rude actions of the ugly pig man read as reprehensible, while adorable animal Frank's psychotic destructiveness read as totally forgivable.

Fan Fiction

  • Kirk invokes this in Insontis II when excusing Spock's use of a certain planet's Fountain of Youth is not going well.
    "Besides, admirals," he added, scooping up the startled child, "how can you be annoyed with something this cute?"
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, Assassin Rivka ben-Devorah often gets this treatment - people don't believe anyone who looks that cute and can't see past her doll-like prettiness tend to get very badly surprised when Little Miss Badass emerges. Rivka (a character very explicitly based on Mathilde in The Professional) is not above exploiting the mental confusion this arouses in people who aren't always clients for Assassin attention.

Film - Animation

  • In Shrek 2, after attacking Shrek, Puss-In-Boots asks for forgiveness and a chance to help on the adventure and puts on his famous Puppy-Dog Eyes. Shrek thinks he looks adorable and takes him along. (Puss manages to pull this trick on guys who are much nastier than Shrek later, too.)

Film - Live Action

  • It's discussed in Spice World that Emma, The Cutie of the group, would be able to get away with anything thanks to her cute smile; it flashes to an Agatha Christie style Imagine Spot, where all the evidence points to Emma being the murderer (she's even wearing a bandoleer when the victim was shot), but a quick smile has Poirot pin it on someone else. Sure enough, the girls drive a bus all over London and cause all sorts of traffic problems to get to their show at Albert Hall - and when a policeman tries to hold them accountable, Emma smiles sweetly and they're left off the hook.


  • In A Brother's Price, Keifer Porter got away with beating one of his wives, who is only thirteen years old at the time, so badly that she's confined to her bed for weeks. And then, when caught red-handed by her eldest sister, he smiled sweetly and claimed poor Trini had "provoked" him. Fortunately, he died before Trini had recovered from her injuries.
  • In All I Know About Animal Behavior, I Learned in Loehmann's Dressing Room, Erma Bombeck muses on how a cute animal can enjoy a longer life expectancy than it merits. An uglier creature like a scorpion dies immediately once sighted, but a cuter animal can get away with all manner of mischief. One of her pets, a very badly behaved Yorkshire Terrier, managed to get adopted by a new owner (despite Erma's truthful answers about his flaws and despite pooping on her couch in front of her) because of his adorableness.

Live-Action TV

  • Our Miss Brooks: A rare male example in "The Miserable Caballeros". A young Mexican boy, Benny Romero, tricks Miss Brooks, Mr. Conklin and Mr. Boynton into believing he's a neglected orphan. In fact, his parents are two of the richest people in Mexico. Still, Miss Brooks and co. forgive his deception, which was to win a bet with his cousin that he could spend a day in an American high school.
  • In Community, Evil Jeff manages to convince the jury and the judge to release his girlfriend (Evil Annie) from the asylum, because she is too beautiful to be locked up.
  • In Full House, the older girls put together circumstances to show that Danny is treating the youngest better due to this trope, down to copying her "Please?" tone and face. What brings it home is that even she agrees that he's treating her as a favorite.
  • Young Sheldon: Bobbi Sparks, Sheldon's 6-year-old bully. Lampshaded by Connie in "Jiu-Jitsu, Bubble Wrap and Yoo-hoo":
    She's cute. So she probably gets away with stuff.


  • In "The Real Slim Shady" by Eminem, Slim explains why his Straw Feminist critics can't get that mad about him:
    Feminist women love Eminem!
    "Chkka-chkka-chkka-Slim-Shady, I'm sick of him! Look at him! Walking around, grabbing his you-know-what, flippin' the you-know-who..."
    "Yeah, but he's so cute, though!"

Video Games

Web Animation

  • Invoked by Vtuber Gawr Gura of hololive during a Minecraft stream when she didn't want to update the counter she had on screen for one of her deaths, claiming that it didn't count. When chat eventually convinced her to update the counter and started joking that she was cheating, this was her response:
    Gura: What? I wasn't- I didn't cheat, I only did a little bit of cheating, if I- Even if I did cheat, what would you say? You can't be mad at me... I'm cute. [giggles] Right?


  • Batman: Wayne Family Adventures: In "Haley", Tim is grouchy after listening to Dick's dramatic narration about his puppy pouncing on the vacuum while he's trying to clean. When Tim gets frustrated with being the only one cleaning, Dick tells Haley to go to him. Tim declares sending Haley in won't distract him...but after a few moments of her gazing at him with her big blue eyes, he says that she's too cute for her own good.
  • El Goonish Shive: right after pushing through uniforms at Moperville High, and cracking down on Susan for her use of a MALE school uniform (a protest against the sexism inherent in forcing girls to wear skirts), the principal nonetheless forgives Sarah for wearing a beret with her uniform - despite hats being against dress-code even BEFORE the uniforms being instituted. Puppy-Dog Eyes were involved, though Sarah claimed that 'the absolute cuteness of the ensemble' would be enough to prevent any protests.

Web Original

  • In the Eddsworld short, Fun Dead, there's a flashback scene in which Child!Tom is fishing with his father (who happens to be a pineapple), but a bear with a gun attacks his father, killing him. It's revealed Child!Matt gave the bear the gun and, when interrogated by his mother, makes a face and all is forgiven.

Western Animation

  • Gravity Falls: Gideon tries this in the Season 1 finale after Stan exposes him as a liar who spied on the townspeople. It doesn’t work.
  • Heloise tries this on Jimmy in Jimmy Two-Shoes. He doesn't buy it, though.
  • On The Legend of Korra, Kai can pull this with Bolin, but not Mako.
  • Fluttershy in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is this on a meta level. Her fans consider her too cute to be mad at, even when other characters in the show proper have every right to be impatient with her timidity.

Real Life

  • This is why most people forgive their pets for the gradual destruction of their household. Bonus points if the pet is a small animal.
  • On an intellectual level, the reason people don't throw food back when a baby throws food at them is that the baby isn't developed enough to be expected to have a high level of maturity. However, the real reason they get away with it is cuteness. Babies are the reason why people react this way to cuteness. If people needed to rationally convince themselves that babies can't be expected to behave like adults, the human race would have died out long ago. As Seanbaby once bluntly put it:
    "Everything your kid does seems cute to you, which is the natural biological defense against discarding things that wail or squirt poop."
  • Millie Bobby Brown managed to delay a filming day on Stranger Things by showing up to set covered head to toe in glitter - and it took forty-five minutes to remove it. The creators found it Actually Pretty Funny, considering this was a fourteen-year-old girl they were dealing with.