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Deathbringer the Adorable

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Hobgoblin Cleric: Sir, your odd talking skull is speaking of the Perilous Path of Crushing Doom.
Redcloak: Please tell me it's actually filled with cute fuzzy bunnies, and they just named it that to be ironic.
The Order of the Stick #190 note 

Here it comes. The Harbinger of Death, It Which Devours Your Soul.

...Or so it's called.

Turns out, the creature in question is just a cute animal, with a scary name but completely harmless. Upon further inquiry, you'll learn that it was named by a child, an idiot, a Trickster or some mix of all three, with smugness or bunny ears as optional extras.

The polar opposite of Fluffy the Terrible. Subtrope to Non-Indicative Name. Also compare to Sealed Evil in a Teddy Bear. If it does have the destructive power despite the innocent appearance, it is a Killer Rabbit. Still, it's a good idea to Beware the Nice Ones.


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  • A British TV ad from the eighties about "Natural good taste" has a guy in horrible colours with yellow and purple wallpaper, who likes The Birdie Song and has a toy poodle called Rambo.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: In the omake "Dog of the Military?" Master Sgt. Kain Fuery of East Branch finds a Precious Puppy who is subsequently adopted by Lt. Riza Hawkeye. An extra page stuck into the volume the omake was reprinted in reveals that Hawkeye named the puppy Black Hayate, the latter part of the name translating to "Hurricane."
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean: The Speedwagon Foundation sent an envoy codenamed "Savage Garden" to help Jolyne deliver an item from the prison she's incarcerated in. This Savage Garden turns out to be a small, white messenger pigeon. Made even sillier in the English anime adaptation, where its name is changed to the more menacing sounding Savage Guardian.
  • One Piece:
  • In the Sands of Destruction anime, the World Destruction Committee sounds like a group of terrorists who cause death and mayhem wherever they go, right? Yeah, except that they actually tend to end up helping people instead of hurting them - probably due to the fact that only one of their three members even wants to end the world at all (and even she is just really depressed), another is a Nice Guy who couldn't hurt a fly if he tried, and the third has a code of heroic honor and follows the Nice Guy's lead even if he's not technically the one in charge. Averted in the manga, where the World Destruction Committee is every bit as dangerous as they sound (mostly due to Morte being outright Ax-Crazy instead of just sad).
  • Hellwolf from Tentai Senshi Sunred, as long as the light of the full moon isn't touching him.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics: Archie visits Veronica one evening looking for a little romance, only to run afoul of her new pet kitten, Satan. While Satan is a lovable little kitty, his playfulness keeps hurting Archie in various ways. Eventually Archie ends up the cat sitting on his shoulder with one paw on his scalp and one digging into the side of his neck. Veronica insists on taking a picture, and the camera's flash makes the cat freak out, with obviously painful results for Archie. Archie gets kicked out by Veronica, having apparently said some nasty things about the kitten between panels. Archie grumbles, "whoever laid that name on that cat had the right idea!"
  • Bodie Troll, sounds fearsome but he's just a cute fuzzy little guy who can't seem to scare anyone, something that he hates.
  • "The Predator" from Green Lantern is The Love Entity — the living embodiment of the Violet Light that the Star Sapphire Corps uses for their powers. Despite its name and menacing alien dragon appearance, it's actually a Big Good entity. Sort of. As a being representing the far end of the emotional spectrum, it's as dangerous and overpowering and can cause those who use Violet Lantern rings to be obsessive, paranoid, and manipulative.
  • In Transformers, the Decepticons from "Shattered Glass", a Mirror Universe where everyone is an Evil Counterpart or Good Counterpart to a Generation One character. They all still have their Names to Run Away from Really Fast, but are now the good guys. (E.g., the black, serious, and stealthy jaguar becomes a white, LOLCats-esque, and loud jaguar who's totally addicted to social media... but his name is still Ravage.)

    Fan Works 
  • Anchor Foal II has Killer the cat, who is the friendliest, most non-aggressive blob of cuddles you could possibly imagine. His name comes from the fact that he was named 1) as a kitten, and 2) by Flitter, whose mark-defined purpose in life is to troll everypony else.
  • Bracy, Gedge, and the Tigers of Dour has the titular Dwarf Tigers of Dour, famed in their native lands for their ferocity. Prince Pathak, who hates Bracy and Gedge for being Englishmen, wants to kill them by having the men devoured alive by the Dwarf Tigers to show Dour's superiority over England. When the time finally comes, Bracy and Gedge discover, to their surprise, that the feared Dwarf Tiger is a very lonely and badly injured kitten. Them comforting the Dwarf Tiger kitten wins over the people of Dour, who worship the Dwarf Tigers as deities, and Bracy and Gedge use this to have Prince Pathak arrested.
  • In My Huntsman Academia, Team MNVW adopts a puppy that Nora names "Lulu-Bell, Lord of Thunder". Aside from the fact that the title is gender-inappropriate, Lulu also has nothing to do with thunder. Because of this, everyone else just calls her Lulu.
  • In Oh God, Not Again!, this trope is averted, much to Harry's dislike. In the original timeline, he and Ginny got a rabbit, and she refused to accept his name suggestion of "Mega Ultra Flame Deathsman", instead going with a more standard "Flopsy".

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Bandersnatch from the 2010 Alice in Wonderland movie turns out to be this, only to people and things it likes. To everything else, it's Fluffy the Terrible.
  • One scene in Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) has Memphis and Kip Raines running away from a street gang out to kill them. Kip vaults a fence to land in a dog kennel and looks up in horror at the name posted on the adjacent doghouse: "Beast". And then an adorable little puppy runs out from it and starts licking his face. Unfortunately Memphis runs into the puppy's much larger and more pissed-off Doberman counterpart.
  • In How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, there was a tiny Chinese crested (a breed of dog that is evidently very easy to mistake for a chihuahua) named "Krull the Warrior King".
  • Elle Woods' chihuahua Bruiser in Legally Blonde.
  • Maleficent as a child. Sure, she has horns and wings, but is still an innocent girl.
  • The Wasteland (2021): One of the many rabbits that the family in the movie owns has been named Lion.

  • In Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Alice Series, Mrs. Sheavers reads an article that says robbers are less likely to approach a house that has a dog dish with the name Killer on it. This is why she chose to rename the family's old, frail, almost-deaf and harmless dog Muffin into Killer.
  • In Louis Sachar's The Boy Who Lost His Face, Mo builds a doghouse in shop class with a sign that says Killer, hoping to get a dog to go with the house. She does, but Killer ends up being a small puppy.
  • Fearless considers Ruthless to be one of these when he first sees him in Bravelands. Lion cubs don't get their "true names" until they're several months old and have already shown off a characteristic worthy of being named after. Ruthless' parents Titan and Artful decided to skip the waiting period and just give him a name, hoping he'd grow into it. Ruthless is a Cheerful Child and is anything but ruthless.
  • According to Children of the Jedi, Leia named one of her aunt's pet pittins (kitten analogues) AT-AV (short for All-Terrain Attack Vehicle). Not hard to imagine a kitten acting like that...
  • In Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara, the emperor of Chandara has the imposing name of Hugo Khan. Turns out that he's a Microraptor, which is one of the smallest dinosaurs known. Even the name of the dinosaur sounds puny.
  • Dragon Bones: The horse named "Stygian" after the river in the underworld. He's actually quite a nice horse, he's just aggressive because his owner mistreated him.(His throwing Ward's sadistic father, thus causing him to die, is more heroic than anything else.) When he inherits him, Ward renames him "Pansy", to avoid this trope. Not long afterward, Pansy is mistaken for a farmer's horse, because he's so calm.
  • There's Killer the Rabbit from Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles novel Calling on Dragons, who is anything but a Killer Rabbit. On learning his name, Morwen reflects that with so many young to name, rabbits tend to get creative in strange ways.
  • In The Hallowed Hunt, the Viking-esque prince Jokol "Skullsplitter", who it turns out was given that appellation due to his talent at poetry: he makes "heads burst with his tales". (Not literally.)
  • Hagrid's dog Fang in Harry Potter, ironically one of the only animals he tends to that isn't vicious or dangerous. Lampshaded when Hagrid is splitting people up into groups to venture through the Forbidden Forest.
    Malfoy: I want Fang.
    Hagrid: Alright, but I'll warn yeh, he's a bloody coward.
  • In the children's book series for How to Train Your Dragon, Fishlegs has a dragon named Horrorcow. It's vaguely cow-like, but not at all horrifying.
  • The Last Detective: "Dangerous" Davies is actually the nicest, most law-abiding detective in the Police Service (and even if he Always Gets His Man he is labeled the "last" detective as in, the Service will only send him if they think your case is too hopeless for them to waste their time). His fellow detectives treat him like their personal Butt-Monkey and gave him the nickname as a silly prat.
  • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH: Subverted by the cat, "Dragon",, who got his name as a joke when he was a kitten, pretending to be fierce. The name became fitting when he grew up.
  • The Savannah Reid Mysteries: Subverted with Lady Eleanor's dogs, Hitler, Satan, and Killer. They're tiny little fluffy dogs, not what you'd first expect the breed to be if you'd only heard the names. They are quite aggressive at first, but once Savannah starts treating them kindly, they're rather friendly to everyone.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: The "Incredibly Deadly Viper" is totally harmless — the name was given to it as a practical joke, as it is instead playful and as cute as a sewer-pipe sized snake can be.
  • Skulduggery Pleasant: In the short story "Myosotis Terra", the protagonists have to rescue a spy from a village of cannibalistic sorcerers. Of course, they get captured. The cannibals plan to feed them to "the Beast". Later, it turns out that "the Beast" actually is a tiny adorable monkey-rabbit like ball of fluff, and calling it intimidating names and pretending it is a horrible monster is an inside joke between them. Of course, the Beast must be fed... who would want such an adorable little thing to get hungry? The cannibals usually cut their victims into tiny pieces, feed the best parts to the Beast, and eat what is left.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Princess Rhaenys Targaryen had a black kitten that she named Balerion after Balerion "the Black Dread", the largest and most terrifying of the three great dragons ridden by Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters Visenya and Rhaenys, the younger princess' namesake. As it turns out, the kitten, still alive at the time of the main story, has become a tough, mean, cunning old tom, the hardest cat in the Red Keep to catch, and so was not entirely named in vain.
  • Wings of Fire: There's a dragon literally named Deathbringer. While he is an assassin, he's not without a sense of morality, and he has a rather flippant and comical personality.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Same joke, way different execution occurred in Angel when Cordelia, as a princess, and to her vocal disgust, is coerced to mate with a hideous, destructive monster called the Groosalugg... until she finds out 'Groo' is only hideous by demon standards; he's actually an incredibly handsome and skilled human warrior and really quite sweet in temperament. (She still doesn't mate with him, but for different reasons.)
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In the Season 2 episode Passions, Drusilla adopts a puppy (which she originally intended as a snack for Spike) and names it "Miss Sunshine". Not a particularly terrifying name to humans, but for vampires...
    • In Season 4, the gang is plagued by Gachnar, a fear demon. Buffy is overzealous and breaks his giant symbol, freeing them to the revelation that he was only a couple of inches tall. After some cooing, Gachnar then gets squashed by the slayer's boot.
    Giles: Don't taunt the Fear Demon.
    Xander: Why? Can it hurt me?
    Giles: No, it's just tacky.
  • On Corner Gas, Brent gives his baseball pitches intimidating names like "Hammer of Thor", but since he's in a slow pitch league, they are all identical, slow-moving arcs. Lacey advises him to change their names to things like "Rainbow" and "Pregnant Lady's Belly".
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Closing Time", Craig's son introduces himself to the Doctor (fluent in Baby) as Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All.
  • Doña Clotilde from El Chavo del ocho likes to adopt puppies and baptize them as "Satan" and "Lucifer". Her poor pets also have a tendency to run off, so she tries to bring them back by calling their names loudly. Add this to the fact that her neighbors don't always know she has a pet, and that the kids believe that she's a witch (often calling her "The Witch of apartment 71") and Hilarity Ensues.
  • In Hollyoaks, gangster Grace Blake owns a cute and tiny chihuahua named Brutus.
  • In the season 2 episode Clowning Around of Kenan & Kel, Chris buys a guard dog named Bloodbath to protect the Rigby's, but when Kel approaches the dog, he shows to be very meek. Then Chris says that Bloodbath is not supposed to be friendly, calls him a bad dog and the dog attacks Chris.
  • For some reason, the Spanish dub for Latin America of Married... with Children changed the name of the family's dog from Buck to Devorador (Devourer). As Buck's behavior is hardly a menace to anyone, probably they were trying to invoke this trope.
  • Person of Interest features an Artificial Intelligence known simply as "The Machine". It's benevolent, dorky yet cute and even apparently self-identifies as female.
  • The GIANT DEATH RAY from That Mitchell and Webb Look. It's actually an oversized barcode scanner named after its creator, Professor Death, who is himself is something of an example: an ardent pacifist whose inventions are intended for peaceful endeavours, who happens to have the surname Death.
  • Subverted in an episode of That's So Raven which featured a Yorkshire terrier named Monster.
    Raven: Aww, they named it Monster because it's so cute?
    Chelsea: No, they named it Monster because it'll rip your arms and legs off.
  • In a live-action skit spoofing God of War, X-Play had Kratos's final opponent be the God of Chaos, which happened to be a cute little puppy.
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has has a few of the "And now, this..." short segments be 'Better Names for the Dogs of the Westminster Dog Show' which has some names along these lines. In particular renaming a corgi called Gwendolline to "Ragnaroth, Devourer of Souls".

    Newspaper Comics 
  • There was a Close To Home strip in which one homeowner confessed to a neighbor that his dog "Psycho" was a chihuahua; the name on the doghouse and intimidating-looking accessories filling the backyard were there to scare away thieves.
  • Zits: Sarah has two turtles: Mordoc, Lord of Unholy Fury, and Peaches. Named at different times of the month.

    Puppet Shows 

  • Old Harry's Game: The demon Scumspawn is a sweet, decent fellow, completely unsuited to the job. In fact, given that even the nominal hero, the Professor, has his Berserk Button moments, Scumspawn is arguably the nicest character in the series.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: The Gray Death Legion? Must be bad guys, right? Well, they are mercenaries, but are known for being one of the most honorable and high-integrity outfits in existence, as well as scrupulous about who they work for. Their rather dramatic name comes from their commander, Grayson Death Carlyle.
  • One Paranoia mission includes a bot with "Research and Design" stamped on the side. It wasn't built by R&D, it was just assigned to work there until recently, and is no more dangerous than the average Alpha Complex bot.
  • One of the sample sci-fi characters in Toon: The Cartoon RPG is The Crusher, the head of security on a space station with thundering footsteps... caused by his comically-oversized boots. He's actually a shrimpy little green man with a meek voice. You don't want to mess with his hulking lackey Percy, though...

    Video Games 
  • The mission in Brütal Legend where you meet The Killmaster, who looks suspiciously like Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead for some reason... Anyway, the man is, in fact, a healer. And a damn good one. This whole mess with his name is justified, however, as Killmaster intentionally chose the name to scare people off, because otherwise they would Shoot the Medic First.
  • You'd expect the covenant of Chaos Servants in Dark Souls to be at least Bomb-Throwing Anarchists from that name alone, but no, they are just collecting humanities for their sick leader, who happens to come from a family with deep ties to elemental Chaos (hence the name), but is likely the kindest and most selfless person in the entire game. "Collecting humanities", by the way, is best done by exterminating vermin in the Lordran sewers, so they might have just as well called themselves "Community Servants" in the first place.
  • Fallout:
    • The games have a faction known as the Followers of The Apocalypse. With a name like that, you'd expect them to be really evil or at least really metal. Instead, they're probably the setting's most altruistic and harmless factions, being essentially the post-apocalyptic Red Cross. The name stands for the fact that they seek knowledge of the Old World so that mistakes like the Great War can never be repeated again. Of course, one of their former members happens to be the founder of Caesar's Legion, though he's considered the Black Sheep of the faction.
    • In Fallout: New Vegas, there's a Super Mutant by the name of Mean Sonofabitch. He protects the slums of Westside from raiders and is a Gentle Giant by nature (though somewhat unintelligible due to having his tongue cut out by some Sociopathic Soldiers).
    • Fallout 4's Far Harbor DLC invokes this: Red Death is actually a harmless, tiny Mirelurk.
  • Cerberus in Fantasy Life is claimed to be a mythical beast summoned from a magical realm to protect his ruler. He's actually just a normal-sized dog that is seen playing with one of the knights and, according to his bio, "loves walkies". He can't even join you to participate in battle, unlike a few other animals.
  • In Jagged Alliance 2, there is a character named Spider. She is a kindly, maternal medic and absolute pants at everything killing-related. She got the nickname from her brothers, who teased her about her fear of bugs. Of course, thanks to her high wisdom stats, she gets better at everything killing-related scarily fast. Which the developers fully intended and added lots of Break the Cutie moments into her dialogue. Statements like: "How can anyone see that and not question what we do for a living?" are only the beginning.
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits: Action Girl Kena is assisted by The Rot, who are small and fluffy with big round eyes.
  • Apparently Nintendo thought Kirby's name was this, and that's one of the reasons his name was chosen as such. But he still has his Badass Adorable moments.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III and IV have Jingo and her dog Cerberus... an adorable puppy with a cheery disposition.
  • Used to hilarious effect in Mercenaries 2. There's a mission that tells you to get something called the Devastator. At first, the pointer seems to lead you to a gigantic tank...but then, after you get in, the pointer shows the Devastator is a cute little scooter.
  • Captain Dread of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge. Remember that "dread" is a word with more than one meaning. Bonus points for being the only Jamaican in the series so far.
  • Pokémon:
  • The World Annihilation Front members in Sands of Destruction are actually pretty affable folks for the most part, and apart from a few alarmists, most of the folks they encounter along the way don't have any problem with helping them even knowing who they are. Kyrie especially gets nicknamed Destruct, and while he is capable of turning everything around himself to sand on occasion, that's definitely not what he wanted to do.
  • In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, you can design custom units from a standard stock of equipment; the game automatically gives them names, some of which are terrifying (e.g. "Singularity Deathsphere"). However, technological advance can lead to Badass Decay, leaving some awesomely-named units pretty harmless a few turns after their first production (for example, if you put Silksteel Armor on an Impact Rover, it's automatically named an Impact Dragon; however, by the time you get Silksteel Armor, the Impact Cannon technology is usually starting to get old and you're usually just about to research anywhere from two to four new offensive modules, meaning that your Impact Dragon is about to become hopelessly overmatched.)
  • Paarthurnax in Skyrim. Admittedly, he is a dragon, but for someone whose name means "Ambition Overlord Cruelty", he's really nice. As in, Actual Pacifist levels of nice. In the old days he really did live up to his name, being The Dragon to the Big Bad. His current state is a self-imposed penance.
  • Troubleshooter: Abandoned Children: Sion Bloodwalker sounds like a great villain name, especially when matched to the character's lightning powers, right? Wrong. Sion is a perpetually cheerful Keet with tendencies towards fanboyism and an obsession with dumplings, as well as The Lancer.
  • Valkyria Chronicles 4: Squad E has a dog called "Ragnarok." He carries medical supplies, and wears a jaunty cap.
  • Wasteland 2 has the Night Terror, who you can free from a guarded cell in the ruins of Darwin Village. Doing this merely causes your squad to become his new best friends, and he starts following you around and asking you for candy (although his definition of "candy" definitely falls into Squick territory).

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney Investigations:
    • While the man himself also looks imposing, Detective Tyrell Badd is a lollipop-sucking and rather good-mannered cop.
    • The complete fluffball Colias Palaeno, whose original Japanese name is Damien Hinge. The name in the English version averts this, as colias palaeno is a species of butterfly, making it more of a Meaningful Name.
  • In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, Ultimate Breeder Gundham Tanaka has a group of hamsters he named "The Four Dark Devas of Destruction". He claims that they are actually terrifying demons and that hamsters are only their temporary form, but no one really takes this seriously. Of course, they're not completely harmless, as he has sustained numerous bites and scratches on his left arm from breaking up their fights over territory, hence why that arm is always bandaged. Oh, and he uses them to kill Nekomaru in a Duel to the Death by way of their Dangerous Forbidden Technique of... pressing buttons. A lot more powerful than it sounds when your opponent is a robot with a button on his body that instantly puts him into sleep mode.
  • The titular Grim Reaper of A Date with Death, in contrast with his predilection for goth fashion and decor, has an adorable pink axolotl plushie sitting on his bed. However, he still manages to maintain his usual theming by naming said plushie Azrael.
  • One of Rin's cats in Little Busters! is named Hitler. Most of the cats are named after historical individuals, including Isoroku and Tezuka.

    Web Comics 
  • When 8-Bit Theater's Light Warriors had Drizzl surrounded and down for the count, Drizzl attempted to summon the "True Guardian" of the cave, which he had bought from Con Man Akbar based on its description as a fierce chimera with claws, fire breath, and potent venom. Drizzl discovers at the worst possible moment that the creature was just a platypus (which do have venomous spurs on their legs) with a makeshift flamethrower strapped to its underbelly.
  • Batman: Wayne Family Adventures: Damian is gifted a puppy and names it Murder King. Barbara comments that the name is inappropriate. The dog's name is later changed to Titus.
  • Casey and Andy has the PLANET DEVOURER! However, it does eat Mars. A model of Mars, not the actual planet. Later on, it proves able to chew through Satan's most powerful magical artifact. The Planet Devourer actually can devour anything... it just has to do so one dainty nibble at a time.
  • This trope is named after Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures's "Deathbringer," an incredibly cute bubble-gum creature. While she picked out her own name, she has so far demonstrated absolutely no aggression nor offensive capabilities whatsoever. The four characters that know she exists also call her Deebs for short.
  • Flintlocke vs. The Horde has Bun'kar, the warrior bunny. Being a hunter's pet, it might become Killer Rabbit later, though. While Bun'kar, the warrior bunny, never fights, he and his hunter manage to overpower at least three characters, one of which was significantly stronger. The healer (Doc) remarks "That rabbit was dynamite."
    "Please do not nuzzle the instrument of my vengeance."
  • An ongoing story arc in Freefall is about intelligent robots becoming recognized as people. One such robot, an ordinary waitress-bot, changes her name to "Sergeant Ripguts von Slaughtermachine" because she felt that her human-given name, Bob, was too masculine to fit her personality.
    Other bot: You're right, that is more feminine!
    Slaughtermachine: That's because it's spelled with a final "e".
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers has Chimamire Hana-Tamago (Bloodstained Flower-Egg), a cute, little, white doggie who gains the ability to talk during Christmas specials, in which she vehemently denies the "Chimamire" part and wishes that she had been named something nice like Charlotte.
  • There's 's a song on one of the Homestuck soundtrack albums titled "Walls Covered in Blood." Where the title might imply a murderous rampage, it's actually the leitmotif of moe catgirl Nepeta Leijon, whose bedroom walls are indeed covered in blood because she uses it to draw charts shipping all her friends, and the song itself is a cutesy, upbeat Mario Paint track.
  • In the Housepets! universe, wolves traditionally name themselves. Babylon Garden's resident wolf has half-a-dozen kids who can't wait to name themselves. Among current suggestions are "Deathaxe" and "Space Laser".
    Miles: ...We try to put this off as long as possible.
  • In Mokepon, Elle uses a Diglett named "Gutripper".
  • In Motherly Scootaloo, a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Tumblr comic, apparently Lightning Blitz fits this, as the Ask Discord Hooves crossover shows (see Baby Language).
  • In The Order of the Stick, "Bloodfeast the Extreme-inator" started out as an apt name for a badass Allosaurus, but in the very same strip where he's given a name, he's already been turned into a harmless little lizard. That being said, due to the nature of the RPG Mechanics 'Verse, Bloodfeast still has the HP total of a full-grown Allosaurus, so the trope can be considered subverted.
  • Invoked by June with Leopold's nickname, Spiders, in Princess Chroma. It's not the deadliest name, granted, but this is the name given to a fluffy winged lop-eared magical bunny Mentor Mascot.
  • PvP features an adorable kitty cat named Scratch Fury, Destroyer of Worlds. It could be called subverted—Scratch actually wants to conquer the Earth—but he's so easily distracted by cat things that he's ultimately (mostly) harmless.
  • Questionable Content:
    • The manager of the robot fight club is an ordinary purple robot named Corpse Witch. Meanwhile her intimidating combat droid employee is named Bubbles. Of course, once you get past their physical appearances, the names aren't quite that unfitting after all. Corpse Witch is a manipulative Smug Snake who's involved in... less than legal ventures; meanwhile, although being a combat droid and former soldier prevents Bubbles from being all that bubbly, she's still pretty nice if you get to know her.
    • Yay "Spookybot" Newfriend keeps two dogs, named Azathoth and Mr. Smooches. According to Yay, "Azathoth is the real cuddle bug while Mr. Smooches is more reserved."
  • In Trixie Slaughteraxe for President, all the human characters have very violent-sounding last names like Slaughteraxe or Gravescreams, no matter how nice people they are. The titular Trixie Slaughteraxe, for example, is an idealistic and mild-mannered wannabe-politician, and isn't even much of a fighter. Even the villains (Barbara Everdark, Marlon Corpseparade and Hank Genocide) are Corrupt Politicians, and not quite as evil as their names seem to imply.

    Web Original 
  • Usagi-Kaiju is a very realistic stuffed animal rabbit but, as she a mostly called, another name for her would be Deathbringer.
  • According to an internet meme, the more fearsome a pitbull's name sounds, the nicer the animal probably is. Pitbull named "Earth Destroyer"? The kindest, most well-meaning pet on planet Earth. Pitbull named "Cupcake"? God have mercy on your soul.

    Western Animation 
  • Chainsaw from Goof Troop. Despite her dangerous name, she's a mostly harmless cat-sized lapdog with a bow. The worst thing she ever does is chase the neighbors' cat.
  • The titular Ferocious Beast in Maggie and the Ferocious Beast is anything but ferocious.
  • On Milo Murphy's Law, the title character goes to a dude ranch with his friends, and his horse, "Psycho", immediately starts to go crazy, leading to this exchange:
    Zack: Any chance of him getting a calmer horse?
    Rancher: Well, Psycho there is usually our calmest horse. That's why we named him Psycho — for the irony. We crack ourselves up.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot has Killgore. Name that sounds like something that would rain destruction, but actually just a cute little wind-up toy who insists he's unstoppably evil.
  • On The Owl House, King claims to have once been the most feared creature in the Underworld. In reality, he’s small, harmless, and considered absolutely adorable by pretty much everyone. Somewhat subverted later on when it's revealed that King is actually a baby Titan. He may be cute and cuddly now, but when he grows up he's going to be a creature the size of a continent, whose blood alone is powerful enough to tear holes in the barrier between the Human and Demon realms.
  • Planet Sheen: Boh-Rok, a rainbow-colored pony, was thought to be a destructive monster. Sheen manages to remove a nose hair that was bothering Boh-Rok and it turns out that he isn't as evil as the aliens thought, but rather, a cheerful, happy pony.
  • The titular character of Pluto the Pup, since Pluto is the Roman equivalent of Hades.
  • Ruby Gloom has Doom Kitty, an otherwise normal, if intelligent and expressive, black cat. Who meows like a violin.
  • In Arthur, we have Pal’s friend, Killer. She’s actually pretty tame and doesn’t look scary at all.
  • The Mockumentary March of the Dinosaurs has its main protagonist be named Scar. Is he a giant, grizzled badass tyrannosaur or ceratopsid, or at least a badass adult who can hold his own? Nope, he's a cute little baby Edmontosaurus who got his scar from a predator attack, and spends a good chunk of the movie being chased by or antagonized by the afromentioned dinosaurs.
  • Stormer from Jem has an ominous name, but is actually the only one of the Misfits with anything resembling a functional moral compass. The only reason she gets involved in any of their illegal activities is because she's an Extreme Doormat.

    Real Life 
  • Bloodhounds are among the gentler dog breeds. They actually got their names because they are hunting dogs with the main purpose of following blood trails. Or as one theory has it, because they’re an ancient breed, one of the first in Europe to have had dedicated breeders and pedigrees, hence “blooded” hounds...which is even less ominous.
  • The death's-head hawk moth, which has a badass name not only in English but in Latin as well. Acherontia atropos (which does genuinely sound ominous if you know your Greek Mythology) has also a skull motif on his back. But yet it's a butterfly, and it can't even hurt anything. Despite its Real Life reputation as a harbinger of death and evil. All that it does which is harmful that is raiding beehives for honey. And it sounds like a squeaky toy.
  • The ominously named Purgatorius was a small mammal that was one of the first species to emerge after the death of the dinosaurs, and the ancestor of the primates.
  • Due to the company's Goth aesthetic, many of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's perfumes have ominous names, although few of them smell particularly menacing. For instance, Shub-Niggurath smells like incense and gingerbread, and Al-Shairan has the demonic reek of spiced oranges with a hint of peach.
  • The tiny and adorable pygmy marmosets at Edinburgh Zoo are named 'Terminator' and 'She-Ra'.
  • The Slavic name "Dragomir," to English speakers. Despite sounding like it means something about dragons or vampires, it actually means "He who loves peace." Whether individual Dragomirs (Dragomiri?) are this, Fluffies, or anywhere in between is up to them, obviously.
  • The caterpillar of moth species Citheronia regalis is so-named "hickory horned devils" because of their spikes, but unlike most spiky/fuzzy caterpillars, these devils' spikes are not that dangerous to humans (as in, not loaded with venom etc). Plus, they grow up into moths, which are usually not nasty insects (although regalis moths are relatively large insects).
  • The Eastern Kingbird, known in Latin as Tyrannus tyrannus. What kind of mighty, badass predatory bird could bear that name? It is actually no bigger than a sparrow, which, to boot, looks adorable.
  • Vampyroteuthis infernalis translates to the "vampire squid from hell". Said vampire squid is a harmless animal that eats plankton. It's also kinda ugly cute.
  • There's a lizard called in Latin Moloch horridus and known in English as "thorny dragon" or "thorny devil". It does look sorta intimidating, as it is covered in nasty spikes, but otherwise it is completely harmless and feeds on ants.
  • Drake sounds like a name of a draconic species, but it also means a male duck.
  • John Adams had a dog named Satan. He seems to have been a somewhat large but basically friendly dog.
  • According to this tumblr post, following the release of Black Panther (2018), a craze started for adopting black cats and naming them after characters from the movie...leading to at least one very sweet cat named "Killmonger".
  • Stephen King has a corgi named Molly which — according to his social media posts — he nicknames "the Thing of Evil".
  • The "trumpet of the dead" (Craterellus cornucopioides) is actually a harmless, delicious mushroom, especially when sautéed with some butter and garlic.
  • The entire schtick of this YouTube channel, which features an Ugly Cute, snuggly, affectionate, adorable Sphynx cat named, of all things, The Dark Lord.
  • Vikingarna, a musical band from Sweden. Hard to imagine that a group naming themselves after the infamous fighting raiders of the old seas would make inoffensive uplifting music that sounds like this.
  • An adorable bird that had to have a wing amputated after a traffic accident was christened "Sephiroth", for obvious One-Winged Angel-related reasons.
  • You expect an artist whose name is Sanskrit for "the hell where the worst sins are punished" to play death metal or black metal... Except Avicii played mostly cheerful Pop-EDM music.
  • The same goes for Vengaboys. While the name sounds a bit "goth", something like "vengeance boys", they are an Eurodance band and do not have goth aesthetics.
  • Gigantiops destructor jumping ants are named "gigantiops" for their unusually large eyes, but the "destructor" part doesn't match at all. They imitate the appearance of the aggressive Neoponera apicalis but are actually very docile to humans and can neither bite nor sting them.
  • Living pro wrestling legend Ricky Steamboat was born Richard Blood. Most wrestlers would kill to be able to use their birth name if it was a name like that, but Ricky was just too kind and likeable to work the name. He is also notable as one of few wrestlers to never pull a Face–Heel Turn, but spent his entire career as a Face, again, because he was such an all-round decent and nice person it was impossible to get an audience to boo him.
  • This Tumblr post about a black rabbit named Lucifer, owned by a man dressed in black, spiky clothing and with several piercings. He turned out to be quite knowledgeable about rabbit care and even started a vegetable garden to grow treats for his new pet — "tributes for Lucifer."


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Alternative Title(s): Small Puppy Fearsome Name


The Evillustrator

Despite the name, he's among the nicest, if not the nicest villains in the show.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

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Main / DeathbringerTheAdorable

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