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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 them partly or wholly incapacitated. The sudden charge of feelings could create so effective an incapacitation that they may have to be woken up by another character calling their name or by other means. Depending on the situation, it shares some traits with Heroic BSoD, but the main difference is an exposure to cuteness rather than a traumatic event.

There is also moebetes, a slang term formed from the words Moe and diabetes, which has similar traits. This is more for anime and/or manga where someone is 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 
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You:
    • Chapter 38 features Rentarou's Family going on a karaoke date. During the date, Kusuri spikes the air with a "Makes-You-Super-Sensitive-To-Cuteness-Drug" intending to enhance her own performance, but has the unfortunate timing of using it right before Shizuka takes her turn at the mic. What follows is a Cute Mute singing a cute song which becomes a harrowing ordeal as everyone tries in vain to not be literally blown away by Shizuka's singing all while Shizuka herself is oblivious, her back turned to the carnage she's wreaking.
    • Both Rentarou and Hahari are prone to cuteness overload. Hahari because she adores cute things in general and Rentarou because he adores his girlfriends in general and regards them all as the cutest. In chapter 128, the six smallest girls compete in a Fall Guys parody, complete with costumes. By the end of it, both Rentarou and Hahari are so overloaded that they're reduced to literal piles of goo that Ahko has to drag around.
  • 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 it obviously being 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.
  • In Asteroid in Love, Moe does this several times. The first time is in the second chapter, when she gets overloaded with Ao's rather bashful apology about "not sending cute replies" to Mira the previous night. At that point, Moe pretty much sits away like she was having a Corner of Woe moment, but she is completely ecstatic. The anime downplays it somewhat, but Moe is squeeing rather loudly.
  • 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!
  • The heroines in Doki Doki! PreCure/'"Glitter Force Doki Doki'' get this reaction very often when they see Ai-chan/Dina. Not even antagonist Regina is immune.
  • In Excel♡Saga, the Puuchuus are darling little teddy bear critters whose main strength is the 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 in Fresh Pretty Cure! get this reaction a few times with Chiffon.
  • Hanaukyō Maid Team: 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 to 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 get 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 lack of caffeine.
  • In The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior, Usa has several moments like this with his personal crush Ritsu.
  • This occurs several times in K-On! (what a shocker), including 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 lovestruck wreck. Whenever it happens, she puts her hands to her cheeks and squeals loudly. Sometimes she even passes out from the sheer adorableness, like when Kanna is 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 period of time (long enough for the uniform's owner to take a bath and come back).
  • Mission: Yozakura Family: When Taiyo is turned into a baby in Chapter 60, the entire family is smitten by his cuteness. Even The Stoic self-proclaimed Child Hater Shion and the antagonistic Kyoichiro couldn't bring themselves to remain indifferent to him.
  • My Roommate is a Cat: Subaru's editor, Kawase, loses it whenever he sees Subaru's pet cat Haru. He starts holding meetings in Subaru's home just so he can see her.
  • In the Alabasta arc of One Piece, Nami and Vivi nearly experience this when they see the way the Kung Fu Dugongs cuddle Luffy.
  • Invoked by a wild Teddiursa in Pokémon: The Original Series;, 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, rationalizing that such a powerful Pokémon would be a useful asset.
  • Slime Life: Darul does this in reaction to pretty much anything Slime does. There are probably more panels of her blushing than there are of her not.
  • Bokkun from Sonic X especially with the addition of him being in love with Cream.
  • Akane of Castle Town Dandelion has one in chapter 13/episode 7A, when Shiori gives her a get-well kiss.
  • Sora in 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.

    Asian Animation 
  • Bread Barbershop: In "Cat Cupcakes", the rats' reaction to the pastry inhabitants of Bakery Town having cat-shaped frosting is not being scared as you would expect, but finding them adorable. So adorable that it kills them.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Dimensional Links has Red, who usually elicits Cuteness Proximity entirely on purpose through his 'cute puppy' impersonation, outright paralyse Veran in the middle of a boss fight. The other Links are incredulous.
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, the first time Kyon calls Mikuru by her first name, he completely blows past her "threshold for withstanding cuteness". She can'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.
  • Legendarily Popular: Whitney runs a Normal-type gym, but only because "cute" isn't a type. Seeing Ash send out Silver (a tiny Lugia) sends her into Squeeing, and then his Latios uses Minimize, becoming pocket-sized and reducing her to incoherent mumbling.
  • 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 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 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 he 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.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: In the sixth chapter of the fourth story, The Diplomat's Life, during the first meal after Prince Regulus is born, Fluttershy spends it effectively frozen (until Pinkie snaps her out of it with a cold nose to the ear) because she's overwhelmed by how adorable he is.

    Film — Animation 
  • In Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Perrito experiences this when Puss and Kitty try to outdo their Puppy-Dog Eyes moment. He actually says the trope name word-for-word, before he collapses.
  • In Turning Red, this is how most of Meilin Lee's schoolmates react to her newly-acquired red panda form. It's also how Mei herself first reacts to the "kitten box" that her parents use to test her control over the panda transformation.
  • 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 planning on naming her daughter after her. Benjamin Clawhauser, the dorkily cute ZPD front desk officer, also has one of these when he first sees Judy, for quite obvious reasons.

    Live-Action Television 
  • Played for Laughs in The Book of Boba Fett when the badass bounty hunter turned crime boss is given a rancor (remember that great slavering monster that tried to eat Luke Skywalker?) cub as a pet. Boba starts treating it like a big scaly puppy, gives it a scratch and wants to learn how to ride it. Having Danny Trejo as its trainer, talking about how nice they can be if you just treat them well, only seals the hilarity.
  • Good Omens (2019):
    Crowley: I'm not taking you to Hell, angel.
    Aziraphale: Why not?
    Crowley: Well, I don't think you'd like it.
    Aziraphale: But you have to... (distressed) I'm like you now. A demon.
    Crowley: (laughing) Sorry. You think you're a demon? With your curly little... And your neat white...
  • 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 a notch, 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 two 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.
  • Werner Herzog was reportedly moved to tears by his first sight of the Grogu animatronic in The Mandalorian, calling it "heartbreakingly beautiful". When the crew wanted to do a second take of his scene in case the puppet needed to be replaced with CGI, Herzog responded "You are cowards. Leave it."

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Andy in FoxTrot is prone to this. She goes into fits about Beanie Buddies, 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.
    • This also happened to Jason's teacher, Mrs. O'Malley, when he decided to bring his pet iguana Quincy to school with him. Upon showing Quincy to Mrs. O'Malley, the teacher began to freak out, not because she was scared of the iguana like Jason thought she was going to be, but instead because she thought Quincy was so cute, much to Jason's horror and embarrassment.

    Video Games 
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Agatha squees whenever Link presents her a Golden Bug, despite her not (visibly) doing so in the presence of bugs he already gave her.
  • BlazBlue:
    • In Noel's Calamity Trigger 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 Continuum Shift 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 Project is often portrayed as being overloaded and nosebleeding whenever Remilia and Flandre do something cute. The greatest example of this is "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 are 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 Trails to Azure 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.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Having been grown in People Jars, the entire main cast have this reaction when they reach Swordmarch and visit a maternity ward to see a baby for the first time.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Original 
  • 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, an already adorable show.
    • A much earlier Tumblr has the young "Ruby Pinch" dress up as a maid. Any pony who witnesses her passes out immediately.
  • In this Friday Night Funkin' fan comic, Boyfriend and Pico come across two adorable puppies. When Boyfriend decides to summon Girlfriend so she can see them, she squeals with delight over how cute and soft the puppies are, much to Boyfriend's amusement.
  • The Colors of Evil: The demon Vivian summons to get revenge against Nancy is absolutely adorable to the point of appearing harmless. To her surprise though, the demon actually uses its cuteness to enforcing this trope as demonstrated when to gets Nancy to be so overwhelmed by its cuteness that she unleashes Rainbow Vomit strong enough to blow up the moon.
  • Cecil in 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 the animation 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.
  • Ellen Rose from Outside Xbox is prone to this, to the point where some episodes seem deliberately intended to reduce her to a pile of Cuteness Proximity and whimpering. (Considering what Ellen herself is like, some viewers have expressed concern about what happens when she sees herself in a mirror.)
    Luke: She wasn't ready.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Mighty Magiswords: Prohyas suffers from a variation of this in "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)
  • In an episode of The Penguins of Madagascar, Kowalski's machine makes Private's cuteness so powerful, it makes people and animals faint at the sight of him. Skipper gets the idea to weaponize it.
  • My Little Pony: Pony Life: In "Cute-pocalypse Meow", Fluttershy destroys Bubbles with cuteness overload, which also makes Rainbow Dash faint moments earlier.
  • Word for word used in the SpongeBob SquarePants in the 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


Cuteness Overload!

Perrito passes out when Puss and Kitty perform their Puppy-Dog Eyes.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

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