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Cuteness Overload

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After five minutes, she'll dial 911.

Cuteness Overload is the state in which a character experiences the immense rush of emotion after seeing (or hearing) something very, very cute, often rendering him/her partly or wholly incapacitated. The sudden charge of feelings could create so effective an incapacitation that the character may have to be woken up by another character calling his/her name or by other means. Depending on the situation, it shares some traits with a Heroic BSoD, but the main difference is an exposure to cuteness rather than a traumatic event.

There is a slang term with similar traits, moebetes, formed from the words Moe and diabetes. This is more for anime and/or manga where the audiences are exposed to such great amounts of moe cuteness that they end up with constantly high moe levels, similar to how a diabetic has high blood sugar.


Not to be confused with Cuteness Proximity (in fact, that one functions more as a subtrope), since this describes the state the character is in, whereas Cuteness Proximity requires the character suffering from the effects of Cuteness Overload to be within a particular distance from the cute thing — and often the cute thing in question must be a physical being or object. However, the former can obviously result in the latter, and the two tropes often do overlap. It may also result in I'm Taking Her Home with Me!.

Most certainly Truth in Television.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Angel Beats! features a rather dangerous example in Episode 2, when Shiina sees a toy puppy in a cardboard box about to be swept over a waterfall. She finds it so adorable that, despite the fact it's obviously a trap, she immediately rushes in to save it...and doesn't quite manage it. Luckily this is the afterlife so a 200-foot fall is only a temporary hitch.
  • Krista from Attack on Titan gets this reaction from any guy she is nice to (and even Ymir to an extent).
  • Sakaki of Azumanga Daioh frequently experiences this with imagined cuteness, often involving cats, ("Kitty paddle..." as in the cat version of dog paddling), Chiyo ("Ribbons..."), or a combination of the two. The sight of her holding her head and jittering occasionally elicits concern from Osaka... or alarm from Kaorin.
    Imagined Chiyo [in a cat costume]: I'm a kitty cat!
  • In Bokura Wa Minna Kawaisou, hero Usa has several moments like this with his personal crush Ritsu.
  • The heroines from Doki Doki Pretty Cure get this reaction very often when they see Ai-chan.
  • In Excel Saga, the Puuchuus are darling little teddy-bear critters; their main strength is their ability to enchant nearly everyone with their cuteness. Too bad they go severely Gonk when injured...
  • Not as big as in Doki Doki!, but the heroines from Fresh Pretty Cure! get this reaction a few times with Chiffon.
  • Hanaukyō Maid Tai: La Verite: Chief security maid Konoe Tsurugi has a soft spot for dogs, and loves to pick them up and cuddle them when no one else is looking.
  • Itsuki from Heartcatch Pretty Cure is prone of doing this when she sees something cute and forgets (or if she's not trying) to hide her girlish persona.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War:
    • Kaguya and Shirogane both suffer from this when they see each other wearing cat ears.
    • Kaguya spends an entire chapter frozen in place after Shirogane leans on her shoulder when he passes out due to a lack of caffeine.
  • Happens frequently in K-On! (what a shocker), such as the "Azunyan Incident".
  • Log Horizon: Henrietta suffers a Cuteness Overload due to the pajama party, thus Giving Up the Ghost.
  • In Love So Life the twins, Aoi and Akane, manage to shut down Shiharu, an experienced childcare worker, with their antics on a fairly regular basis.
  • In Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Riko Saikawa tends to experience this whenever Kanna Kamui does or says literally anything slightly adorable. It's just as potent when Kanna touches Riko, and she grows into a love-struck wreck. Whenever it happens, she puts her hands to her cheeks and squeals loudly, a little red heart displayed on her tongue. Sometimes she even passes out from the sheer adorableness, like that one time that Kanna was selected to play the Little Match Girl for a Christmas play...
    Kanna: Matches... matches... please buy some matches...
    Riko: Uh...! Ahh...! UWAAA-WAAA-WAAAAAAAAAAAH...!
    Tohru and Elma: Mm-hmm! Perfect!
  • When Sharo from Is the Order a Rabbit? sees her crush Rize trying on a junior high uniform, something inside breaks, leaving her sitting on the floor moaning for an unknown length of time (long enough for the uniform's owner to take a bath and come back).
  • In the Alabasta arc of One Piece, Nami and Vivi nearly experienced this when they saw the way the Kung Fu Dugongs were cuddling Luffy.
  • Invoked by a wild Teddiursa in the Pokémon animé, in order to be able to steal food from trainers and pin the blame on the other Pokémon. Once it evolves into Ursaring, the protagonists let it go, under the assumption that its tricks will no longer work. Once it runs into Team Rocket, however, it still attempts to look cute to ally itself with them. The effort met with confusion by the trio, but they let it join them, anyway, rationalising that such a powerful Pokémon would be a useful asset.
  • Slime Life: Darul, at pretty much anything Slime does. There are probably more panels of her blushing than there are panels where she is not.
  • Bokkun from Sonic X especially with the addition of his being in love with Cream.
  • Akane of Castle Town Dandelion had one in Chapter 13/Episode 7A when Shiori gives her a get-well kiss.
  • Sora of How to Keep a Mummy suffers this frequently due to Mii-kun's childlike displays of affection. He turns into a blushy, gibbering mess when Mii-kun gives him a note saying "always together", and he and Motegi both suffer from overload when they see Mii-kun and Isao waving goodbye to each other.

    Fan Fiction 
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, the first time Kyon called Mikuru by her first name he "completely blew past her threshold for withstanding cuteness." She couldn't help herself from kissing Kyon while saying it's forbidden at the same time.
    • Also happens to Haruhi when Kanae first calls her Suzumiya-sempai.
      Mikuru: Eh? Suzumiya-san? Are you alright? You look dazed!
      Haruhi (in a faint voice): S...something amazing happened.
  • The Hill of Swords: When Sylphid hits people with her Moe even Emiya Shirou, the hardened veteran of countless conflicts who went through seven different kinds of hell, ends up being blown away by her cuteness. She once incapacitated an entire room with it.
  • Fluttershy (who can sometimes induce this effect herself on fans and to-be-fans) gets sent an image of a Joltick on her blog and reacts this way. Twice.
  • In A Teacher's Glory Sakura modifies Naruto's Sexy jutsu into Cute jutsu and weaponizes this. She uses it in combat against an older, more experienced genin to make him give her a hug, and knocks him out with pressure points. Even his teammate, who saw her do this, thinks she's like the cute little sister she always wanted.
  • In Quotes Bad Hair Day Rated R For Retelling Of Cave Story, nearly every single thing Toroko does evokes this reaction from other nearby characters...naturally, since, after all, she is the absolute cutest of the absolute cutest characters in the whole damned game.
  • in Universe Falls this is Mabel's initial reaction upon meeting Lion.
    Mabel: Too...much...softness...
  • In the Zootopia fanfic Money To Burn, Judy, who usually objects to being called cute, uses this as an interrogation technique to get information out of a timberwolf mercenary, who is a sucker for rabbits.
  • The Second Try: Rei, of all people, is hit by this. Meeting and being befriended by her lovely and cute niece Aki is what finally convinces her to ditch Gendo's genocidal plan. Although, in the sequel, Aki causes this in pretty much everyone.
  • Despite the woman herself not being remotely cute (more a combination of beautiful and terrifying), when Xanna lets out her tails in Sekirei? Is that some new species of little sister?, Chiho is entranced by how fluffy they look.
  • Sucker for a Cute Face: Whenever Fluttershy showers Adagio in freely given praise, she has to take a moment to collect herself.
  • In My Huntsman Academia, Team MNVW's puppy, Lulu, tends to elicit this reaction. Izuku even namedrops it.
    Izuku: [sees Lulu popping out of the box she was in] C-cute...! Damn! Critical hit! Cuteness overload detected!
  • born of hell('s kitchen): Every adult in seven-year-old Peter Parker's entourage just can't believe how adorable this kid can be. Right after reproaching Karen her (seemingly) excessive use of heart emojis, Luke is exposed to a video of Peter's dad rocking and singing him to sleep. He immediately uses heart emojis.

  • In Zootopia, Judy suffers from this when she falls for Finnick's act as Nick's elephant-loving son and later when she discovers that Fru Fru is pregnant and planing on naming her daughter after her. Benjamin Clawhauser, the Adorkable ZPD front desk officer, also has one of these when he first sees Judy, for quite obvious reasons.

     Live Action Television 
  • In one episode of The State, a skit portraying a grandmother taking her grandson clothes-shopping has this happen. As her overly-adorable descendant models his new suit for her, she flips out (borderline orgasmic-like) and asks the merch-worker who she had been chatting with, "Is there anything cuter than that?!?!" The worker proceeds to push her cute-button up to 11, with a step-by-step escalation, adding items to the boy's ensemble such as a bow-tie, puppy-dog earmuffs, and a little piggy-tail. When the grandmother inevitably reaches her threshold and goes violently berserk on her grandson (hey, it was the 90s), the worker and the store manager are forced to lure her into a bear-trap (a room containing an "emergency bear" that rips the lady to shreds off-camera), in order to "save the child". The worker blames himself for her death, while the manager blames the kid and abruptly pimp-slaps him for being "as cute as 2 little hamsters riding around in a little toy car."
  • Kristen Bell thinks tree sloths are so adorable that just the possibility of meeting one makes her cry hysterically.

    Newspaper Comics 

  • Andy in FoxTrot is prone to this. She goes into fits about Beanie Buddies, and issues squeals of delight on seeing Peter Jackson and - thinking he is a fantasy creature from The Lord of the Rings - wants to know if they make plushies of him.

    Video Games 
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Agatha squees whenever Link presents her a Golden Bug, despite her not (visibly) doing so when in the presence of bugs he already gave her.
  • BlazBlue
    • In Noel's CT gag reel, the Cuteness Proximity of Litchi's panda makes her agree to act as Litchi's personal mannequin. To be fair, Litchi was also drunk.
    • Even though they never meet in CS Story mode (outside of gag reels), Ragna succumbs to this trope after downing Makoto, having trouble putting his attraction to her tail into words. To show this isn't one-way, she chides him for it if he's defeated. This trend seems to continue into CP, though...
      "Tsubaki and Noel are the only ones allowed to touch my tail. Now shoo! Shoo I tell you!"
  • Sakuya from Touhou is often portrayed as being overloaded and nosebleeding whenever Remilia and Flandre do something cute. The greatest example of this is the song Such Adorable Scarlets Can't Possibly Be My Mistresses (translated Walfas version), where the Scarlet sisters are so cute that Sakuya dies, as may the viewer.
  • In the Metal Gear Online portion of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Playboy Magazines were taken out in favor of super-adorable wolf pup plushies. Walk too close to one, and your character will walk to it, kneel down, and stare at its cuteness for some time, leaving you completely open to an enemy attack.
  • In any Super Robot Wars game that features Bonta-kun, everyone thinks it's the cutest thing they've ever seen in their lives. This also applies to villains who are pissed off at the fact that they find it cute. Rau Le Creuset in Super Robot Wars Judgment and Gadlight Meonsam are just two examples.
  • Anelace from The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky experiences this upon meeting Tita for the first time (it's particularly acute if Agate is your bracer partner), to the point where you can practically see the sparks coming out of her ears.
    • Elie, Tio and Noel all come down with this in Ao no Kiseki upon seeing KeA in her penguin costume.
  • Happens to Raz of all people in Valkyria Chronicles 4. When Kai insist that only having a winter cloak instead of a whole uniform isn't so bad, she demonstrates by bundling herself up in it so only her eyes can be seen peeking out under her cap. Raz forgets how to speak for a few seconds.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Original 
  • In this video. Don't look at the cat if you want to live.
  • The entire point of the website Cute Overload.
  • And a video actually titled cute overload, set to a Parry Gripp tune.
  • Cute Explosion by Mr Weebl. NEVER let dogs do science.
  • asdfmovie: "I'm allergic to adorableness!" (hit by a kitten) "Aww." Cut to a gravestone.
  • Ask Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie: Fluttershy apparently drew a picture of Pinkie (which we never get to see) and shows the party pony. Pinkie collapses with a "HNNNGGG" noise. Bear in mind, this is based on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and already Tastes Like Diabetes.
    • A much earlier tumblr had the young Ruby Pinch dress up as a maid. Anypony who witnessed her passed out immediately.
  • Cecil from Welcome to Night Vale suffers from this in the episode "Visitor" after discovering a small, unidentifiable furry creature has wandered into the studio. He spends about half the episode gushing over how adorable it is. He really overloads whenever it makes noise (which he described as "a mouse squeak, mixed with a bike horn, mixed with a sincere question about love"), or when it hugs his leg, and is completely willing to adopt it as a pet like he did with Khoshekh, the cat hovering at a fixed point in the men's bathroom. That didn't work out so well for Cecil or Khoshekh...
  • Silver Quill's MLP: After The Fact:
    • The episode for "Maud Pie" is done as a collab with Ink Rose, who winds up on the receiving end of this trope near the end after learning that Maud loves Pinkie so much, she never threw away the rock candy necklaces Pinkie made her despite not liking candy.
      Ink Rose: (after something apparently explodes inside her head) Damn! I think my Daww-Meter exploded. Well, guess I can never react to cuteness again. Can you do anything Doctor Silver?
      Silver Quill: (now in a doctor's outfit and holding a clipboard) Let's run a test: What is your reaction to this image?
      (said image is a picture of Derpy hugging Dinky inside Sugarcube Corner)
      Ink Rose: Ah! It's too much! (dies)
      Silver Quill: Dang it! This is why I can never get a medical license.
    • Silver isn't immune either. After showing a heartwarming clip from the next episode
      Silver Quill: (clutching his chest) Hng! I'm going down. (dies, then reappears as a ghost immediately after) Geez, we're dropping like flies today!
  • In an animation titlesd The Colors of Evil this is how a demon summoned by the protagonist deals with her bully.
  • Analyst Bronies React: Thespio gets these a lot. Keyframe even references the trope by name.
  • During Chorocojo's Let's Play of Pokemon Crystal, trainer Roxy is no stranger to cute things, having built her team around Pokemon like Wooper, but even she goes catatonic when an egg hatches to reveal a Smoochum.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Mighty Magiswords: Prohyas suffers from a variation on this in the episode "Land Before Slime," when dealing with their client Goomer, a little round slime ball who wears glasses and communicates in adorable gibberish. When Goomer is reunited with his lost ankylosaurus and they promptly frolic together, he just checks out.
    Prohyas: Nope! Too cute! Can't do it! walks away
  • Word for word used in the SpongeBob SquarePants in the Season 11 episode "Spot Returns". Karen is so overwhelmed by the combined cuteness of Spot's babies that she spends the rest of the episode "reboot'n" until the end where Plankton is crushed by the giant puppy and says the same thing.

Alternative Title(s): Perverse Asexual Cuddlelust, Moebetes


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