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Endearingly Dorky

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"Phffft! No, come on, Dad, he's so weird and awkward, it's like, 'Are you an idiot or do you know you're adorable?'"
Mavis about Johnny, Hotel Transylvania

This character is a dork — they are overall physically or socially awkward, uncool, and likely aren't considered conventionally attractive (Hollywood Homely aside). Maybe they are clumsy, exceedingly naive, overly excited about geeky pursuits, have an Annoying Laugh, Cannot Talk to Women, or flounder in social situations. Rather than finding this unlikable, however, other characters often find this sheer dorkiness cute, likable, endearing, or even attractive.

There could be a number of reasons for this. Awkwardness and sweetness or sensitivity often go hand-in-hand, their vulnerability might be seen as attractive, they appeal to Cuteness Proximity or maternal instincts, or their appearance is enhanced by their awkward enthusiasm.

Compare Nerds Are Sexy for when intelligence and geekiness are attractive and see also I'm Taking Her Home with Me!, a verbal reaction to something extremely cute. The Dork Knight is a character who is brave and righteous despite their awkwardness, and therefore usually an example of this trope as well.

This trope is In-Universe Examples Only. See also Adorkable for when the viewing audience finds a character cute for being dorky.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Dangers in My Heart: Both of the leads are dorks.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler:
    • Hayate. Hinagiku even calls him a dork at times in the official translation. Hina sees this side of him the most and has noted it on multiple occasions, and has once or twice asked herself why she fell in love with such an idiot. Despite and/or because of his flustered, awkward moments the girls still love the guy.
    • Kazuki Nishizawa, Ayumu's rarely seen little brother, is also like this around Nagi, with whom he fell in love at first sight. His introduction pretty closely mirrors something Hayate would do, where he felt the need to introduce himself and try to be cool only to fall flat on his face. Nagi immediately thought he was a weird guy but also interesting which scored him an enjoyable date with her later on.
  • I Think Our Son Is Gay: Hiroki is a young, easily excited, and sweet boy that gets easily flustered and is very obviously in love with one of his male classmates. It's shown that a number of people think he is cute too, including his mom, his brother, his brother's friends, and even his crush.
  • Luck & Logic: Yukari. The newbie when it comes to Logicalist duties, and a former coach, she enjoys helping out her friends, refers to everyone, whether they are older or younger, as "Senpai", was able to get Quetzalcoatl to Covenant with her just by acting "like a miko", and got Quetzie to stay in Septpia just by tearing up.
  • In Kill la Kill, a large part of the reason Ryuko loves Mako is that she's so terribly uncool that she doesn't care about being popular or trendy or well-liked, valuing friendship and loyalty over everything else.
  • In Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, Tenouji, a minor character of Nozaki's manga Let's Fall in Love, unexpectedly wins the series' character popularity poll. Nozaki thinks he's popular because he's the arrogant bad boy rival, but it turns out readers like him because he comes across as dumb yet endearing.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Izuku Midoriya, the protagonist, is one of the most hard-working and dedicated students and also one of the most socially awkward. Fortunately, his classmate Uraraka finds him very endearing because of this, as do several of the other students as the series goes on.
    • Likewise, Momo Yaoyorozu's proper lady personality often breaks when she becomes excited or giddy about something. Her classmates never fail to find it adorable.
  • Yandere Kanojo: Wannabe-ace student Shiratori. He thinks he's popular with girls because he's so cool. He's a Bishōnen who's great at athletics and academics, so he should be a natural Chick Magnet. In reality, it's because he gets really shy and flustered when girls flirt with him, which they find irresistible.
  • Akira from Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead is a little socially awkward around the opposite sex, largely due to his desperation to not die a virgin. While his fanboying and outlandish excitement over seemingly minor things like building a treehouse or trying dreadlocks also get him weird looks from others, his ability to wear his heart on his sleeve endears him to his friends. Shizuka in particular finds him refreshing to be around and goes along with his antics despite her objections because of how much she enjoys his honest, dorky self.

    Comic Books 
  • Captain America: Yes, Steve Rogers himself. When in the cowl as Captain America, he's a square-jawed manly man type who can effortlessly punch out supervillains and command gods. Out of cowl, having to interact with a member of the opposite sex in a romantic situation... "deer in headlights" sums it up pretty well. And yet as Diamondback thinks, this actually makes him more attractive to her.
  • Runaways: Turbo of the New Warriors called Victor Mancha a "charmingly fanboyish civilian".
  • Spider-Man:
    • Peter Benjamin Parker, Spider-Man himself, who might be one of the biggest dorks in modern fiction. Initially this wasn't the case, but after John Romita Jr took over drawing/co-plotting, Peter became more openly charming and this aspect of his character took root. It's been commented multiple times that him being a total dork makes him very charming to women, which is largely how he managed to marry Mary Jane Watson.
    • Mary Jane Watson herself, though something often lost in adaptations, is an easily excited Genki Girl who used to spout out weird slang, loved to dance, and was a self-described class clown. As she and Peter became more attached, MJ's dorky nature came out more, and much of what made Peter crazy about her was shown to be, besides her looks, her sheer enthusiasm and bubbly energy.
    • This was invoked by Carlie Cooper, when she was introduced as a replacement for Mary Jane after One More Day. She was a science nerd like Peter and much of their apparent chemistry was derived from her being as smart and dorky as he is, which the many Shipper on Deck voices in-canon would insist made her perfect for Peter. The "endearing" part didn't really come out, though.
    • Like his predecessor, Miles Morales is beginning to show shades of this. He's as much of a geek as Peter is, but completely lacks Peter's years of experience-induced confidence when it comes to crime-fighting, causing him to often come off as a Cowardly Lion. He's still a Nice Guy in his civilian identity, and his youth compared to most other heroes causes older and more experienced heroes to find him endearing in a kid brother-sort of way.
    • While classic Gwen Stacy wasn't really this in the comics (she was smart but didn't really come off as a dork, and was more an Academic Alpha Bitch sort), her superpowered AU self, Spider-Gwen is this. She's a Pungeon Master with an Expressive Mask, who is also consistently drawn as a total shrimp next to everyone she interacts with, and is regularly called a dork by her bandmates, and by the more experienced Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew.

    Fan Works 
  • Frayed Edges: Michael is a shy, awkward, and disfigured recluse who Apologizes a Lot, yet Ness is attracted to him because of both his awkward demeanor and his genuinely sweet and kind personality.
  • Guys Being Dudes: Both halves of the main couple feel this way about the other one. Spark appreciates Arlo trying so hard to be menacing, evil, and edgy and failing at such and Arlo can't help but smile at seeing the Team Instinct leader unabashedly dancing to Nightcore.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton:
    • Kim Possible admits she thinks Danny's excitement at meeting an alien like Stitch rather cute.
    • Ami Mizuno's fascination with Ben Tennyson's alien forms while asking questions about them causes him to find her rather adorable.

    Films — Animation 
  • Beauty and the Beast: The Beast has his moments. Belle spells out what Endearingly Dorky is in her song "Something There", where he shows a softer and more awkward side to her and she warms up to him.
    Belle: There's something sweet, and almost kind... but now he's dear, and so unsure.
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Flint, who is extremely nerdy himself, started falling for Sam when she revealed her nerdy side, i.e. by wearing her glasses and admitting her love of science. She had been hiding that side of herself to help her career as a TV weather person.
  • Corpse Bride: Victor Van Dort is extremely clumsy and socially awkward during the wedding rehearsal as he can't speak up or put a ring on Victoria's finger without embarrassing himself. Victor Van Dort? More like Victor Van Dork. However, both Victoria and Emily find him irresistible and fall for him immediately.
  • Encanto: Being charmingly silly seems to run in the men of la familia Madrigal.
    • Mirabel's father, Agustín, is pretty dorky and clumsy, but his wife Julieta is deeply in love with him. Mirabel also finds her father amusing.
    • Bruno amuses his sister Pepa and brother-in-law Felix by doing a very goofy dance during his part in the song "All of You".
    • As shown in a flashback, a young Alma is smitten and amused when her husband Pedro pretends to faint upon learning that he'll be a father to triplets.
  • Hotel Transylvania: Johnny is an American surfer-dude backpacker klutz who tends to ramble about random anecdotes from his travels, geeks out over the monsters (once he's through being terrified of them), is quite considerate of the feelings of others, and is a hopeless romantic. However, Mavis is charmed by all this and finds him sweet.
  • The Lion King: Simba shows a bit of his dorky side to Nala during their romantic tour of the jungle. While at the oasis together, he suddenly smirks at her before running off and swinging into the oasis, and then pranks Nala by lunging up from right underneath her and pulling her into the water with him. Though Nala is initially terrified by this, getting out immediately and shivering due to the coldness, when Simba comes out next to her with a big goofy smile and his wet mane covering his face, she can't help but smirk at him in amusement over his prank and ridiculous appearance. Though she still takes revenge on him by playfully shoving him back in and running off for him to chase after her.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Barbarella: Rebel leader Dildano geeks out for Earth culture while being scatterbrained and misplacing everything. That awkwardness doesn't stop Barbarella from having sex with him.
  • In The Edge of Seventeen, Nadine loves her best friend Krista because she still sees her as the dorky little girl who dressed like a little old lady and collected bugs. One of the reasons their friendship is strained in the movie is because Krista has grown up and her tastes have changed, whereas Nadine's emotional development has been halted ever since her dad died.
  • The Evil Dead (1981): Ash is nerdy and constantly trips over his words, puts his foot in his mouth, and isn't much of an action hero, but Linda seems to like him for all these reasons.
  • Hitch: Although following the spirit of Hitch's advice, Albert mainly manages to charm Allegra by being who he really is...which involves bad dancing, teaching her to whistle, and dropping mustard on his shirt.
    Hitch: So, wait...that stuff worked for you?
    Allegra: It was adorable.
  • If You Could Say It in Words: When Nelson shares yet another piece of etymological trivia, Sadie says, "Oh my God, you are a geek! That's cute!" Nelson isn't flattered, since the word has been used as an insult against him.
  • Into the Woods: As part of the Adaptational Heroism of Rapunzel's prince, he's made a bit more bumbling and charming. Especially during "Agony" where he's trying to out-ham his older brother. He does a failed attempt at a Tarzan-esque swing out of Rapunzel's tower, but she finds it cute and is charmed by him.
  • The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent: Javi wins over Nicolas Cage by expressing a similarly niche taste in cinema.

  • Catch-22: Orr, whose curious, giggle-prone and careless nature makes even the snarky, apathetic protagonist Yossarian want to hug him. It helps that his constant and comical habit of crashing his planes into the ocean wound up being all part of his plan to escape the military.
  • In The Creation Alchemist Enjoys Freedom, the main character Thor is very pleasing to the ladies in his circle of influence not only because he sincerely flatters them, but because he tends to go into his own little world with some frequency when he gets to working on his alchemical craft, especially when he's doing it for their sake.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses: Lucien notes that Tamlin is terrible at flirting with women, and it certainly shows with his early attempts at wooing Feyre. It is downplayed at first considering that Feyre doesn't find it sweet at all, but Played Straight later after Feyre opens up to him about her passion for painting.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rowley is a naive and gullible Kiddie Kid who doesn't have a mean bone in his body. While his friend Greg finds him childish and annoying, Rowley is actually better liked by his classmates than Greg is and even becomes a Clueless Chick-Magnet on more than one occasion. In the third movie, Holly even signed his yearbook saying "you are so cute" with "cute" being underlined three times.
  • Queens of Geek: Alyssa thinks Charlie's hyperactivity and enthusiasm in her video game reviews is adorable.
  • In Rebuild World, the select few people Akira trusts to let his guard down around get to see him be surprisingly polite and eager to please. He also gets tongue-tied over small talk, like what the girls are wearing at the time. This only endears him to Sara and Elena, who treat him like a little brother and mentor him. Shizuka is also surprised by how attached she gets to him.
  • Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda: Simon is a huge fan of Harry Potter, incredibly awkward, and manages to catch the eye of a few guys over the course of the story because of it.
  • The protagonist of The Supervillainy Saga by C.T. Phipps, Gary Karkofsky AKA Merciless: The Supervillain without MercyTM is a motor mouthed geek that is, nevertheless, sincere in his love of both his friends as well as wife. Later, love interests (ex or otherwise) express that it was this trait that attracted them over more badass and competent people.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ally McBeal:
    • Ally is a quirky and dorky Ms. Imagination who sometimes sees unicorns, dancing babies, or hears music in her mind. Many men on the show find her quirks charming and fall in love with her. It helps that she's also very pretty.
    • John Cage is a nebbishy Bunny-Ears Lawyer who has many quirks and Character Tics. Women who feel attracted to him find him adorably weird. His Inuniverse Nickname is Biscuit.
    • Larry Paul often comes off as a Cloudcuckoolander who snarks adorably and charms practically every woman he meets. He wears scarves and geeky glasses. He's a fun dad who can ride a monocycle. Ally considers him her soul mate.
    • Jenny Shaw is a dorky young lawyer and essentially Ally lite. Ally considers her adorable and sees her as her own younger version. Jenny's clumsy and weird, has freckles and a slightly sloppy bob haircut.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Rajesh Koothrappali is so shy around girls that he can't talk in their presence. Some girls find him interesting and cute; for instance, the chick from university who found his Green Lantern battery really cool. He once hit on Summer Glau, and she found him adorable and charming!
    • Raj's girlfriend Lucy (Kate Micucci). She's extremely shy and awkward, but Raj genuinely likes her looks and personality. They spend one date night just texting while sitting in a library, and both love it.
  • Alessandro, the unlucky slave intern from Boris, has two very attractive ex-girlfriends (one of them is a Ms. Fanservice actress) and is in an on-off relationship with his attractive boss lady.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Amy Santiago is an intelligent and attractive detective who is straight-laced to the point of embarrassing herself in front of authority figures she wants to impress, gets excited about organization and research, and is a proud Teacher's Pet. Her typical reaction to receiving a compliment is to giggle like a 5-year-old. This contrasts her with her eventual love interest, the playful and rule-shirking Jake, who adores and supports her drive and brains and finds her enthusiastic nerdy awkwardness attractive. In fact, he decides he wants to marry her after seeing her getting worked up over a Crossword Puzzle.
    Amy: How do we keep it light and breezy... I know. A comprehensive set of rules.
    Jake: How am I attracted to you? Doesn't matter. I am. Go.
  • Community: Eccentric, Sarcasm-Blind, pop-culture-obsessed Abed, with little to no social skills, has no problem attracting girls because he's weird in a cute way and his aloofness reminds them of their daddy issues.
  • In Cruel Summer, Kate Wallis' initial impression of bespectacled, awkward classmate Jeannette Turner is that she's a dork, but also sweet. She tries to get her mother to invite Jeannette and her mother to a spa day.
  • Dash & Lily: Lily is awkward and out of place at the Christmas Eve party, wearing an ugly Christmas sweater that lights up when everyone else is wearing fancy clothes. She only knows one person there and laughs loudly and awkwardly at a joke Dash makes. Even though he doesn't recognize her as the girl from the notebook, he is still obviously charmed by her dorkiness when they make small talk.
  • Played with in Everything's Gonna Be Okay, where autistic Matilda's awkward-cheerful personality means that there are quite a few people who find her cute, like her crush Luke... which frustrates her, because she wants to be seen as "cool" and sexually attractive, which she's too awkward to pull off. A large part of her character arc in Season 1 is learning to appreciate her siblings Nicholas and Genevieve, and her eventual girlfriend Drea, who all love her for who she is rather than the person she wishes she was.
  • Extraordinary Attorney Woo: Young-woo, for all her intellectual genius as a person (and not just as an attorney), can be rather socially awkward, has a hyper-fixation with whales and dolphins, and has other quirks that are befitting of her nature (whether it is due to her Autism or just from being quirky in general), but all of these qualities serve to compliment her incredibly sweet and adorable nature all the same, especially when those around her, such as Joon-ho, take the time to know her better.
  • Fabian from House of Anubis is known primarily as the shy, geeky, and socially awkward guy who's nice to everyone in the House. While this makes him an easy target for teasing, it also means he endears himself quickly to everyone, such as Nina, who is gushing about him in her diary within a few days of knowing him and mentions him as being "geek chic" and "really sweet".
  • How I Met Your Mother: Tracy, the mother from the title, is as cute as a button and very dorky, but Max and Ted, two big loves of her life, find it charming and irresistible. Among her favorite activities (that many find dorky) are painting robots playing sports, singing show tunes with the breakfast food, playing the ukulele, collecting coins, calligraphy sets, Renaissance Fair goodies, and enjoying random road trip trivia. Once her first love Max gives her a one-man-band suit. When her friends question why she would like something like that, she responded "It's not something I want. It's something I need". She has an innate understanding of the quirks behind the rest of the cast, letting her fit right in, like when she repeats the gang's in-joke: "Why would they call a bar 'Puzzles?' (dawns on her) Unless that's the puzzle."
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: The pediatrician Emu Hojo is a clumsy, baby-faced Wide-Eyed Idealist, who wants everyone to be happy and healthy. His persistence at achieving those ideals and devotion to duty eventually sways the other three Doctor riders, all hardcore cynics, to his side. It helps that he is the most socially capable of them and possesses a frighteningly cunning mind that's held in check by Incorruptible Pure Pureness.
  • Lauren from Lost Girl. She murmurs "isotopes" in her sleep and is recognized as a dork in-universe. Bo even states that she loves it when Lauren "totally geeks out".
  • Monday Mornings: Dr. John Lieberman is a bit insecure and awkward doctor, though fairly good-looking. Best friends Drs. Tina Ridgeway and Sydney Napur discuss whether he's attractive or dorky. They settle on "dorky enough" and Sydney, a very attractive, outspoken, and tough woman, decides to date him.
  • My Dead Ex: Ben is very nerdy and charming because of it, for instance being genuinely surprised about scrapbooking not being a common pastime among fellow teenage boys.
  • The Outpost: Despite being awkward, Janzo is found attractive by Naya and later Wren.
  • Sex Education:
    • Otis starts the series as an unpopular teenage boy, so awkwardness is a given. Maeve persuades him to do sex therapy sessions for his peers which he does despite being inexperienced himself which earns him some popularity among his schoolmates. And it turns out his awkwardness also carries a definite charm that attracts both Ola and later Maeve. (Maeve especially is considered a cool and aloof girl who previously dated the school golden headboy.)
    • Mr Hendricks is an awkward science teacher and conductor of the swing band with cheerful demeanor which is pretty endearing. He dates Miss Emily Sands who is a very Hot Teacher.
  • The Umbrella Academy (2019): In Season 2, Klaus lets his dead ghost brother Ben possess his body so Ben can talk to a girl. Because Ben's been dead for sixteen years, this is his first time feeling physical sensations in a long time, and so Ben reacts to everything with almost childish exuberance and awkwardness. When face-to-face with Jill, she notices that something's different about Klaus — he's dorkier, and she likes it.
  • Veronica Mars: Cassidy Casablancas and Mac Mackenzie both attract this in each other and, in Mac's case, Butters in Season 2 and Max in Season 3. Both are teen geniuses and Mac is an easily-flustered, shy hacker, and she develops a crush on Cassidy when helping him to set up his own illegal property company. After breaking up, they even hook up again due to arguing over the best way to tutor Weevil. It gets lampshaded multiple times as a major appeal of both characters. In Cassidy's case, it's at least partially an act, to detract from the fact that he's a sociopathic mass murderer.
    Butters: [to Mac] You're a weirdo, I'm a weirdo, I thought we could be weirdos together.
    Dick: They're hooking up. Or playing Dungeons & Dragons. Or both, since they're both total dorks.

    Music Videos 

  • Be More Chill: Jeremy is a stammering, nerdy, clumsy dork who believes his behavior is getting in the way of his chances with his crush Christine, hence why he gets a SQUIP to teach him to be cool. However, Christine is also pretty dorky herself, being pretty shy in public but having an extremely excited song about play rehearsal while Jeremy watches her with awe, and she connects best with Jeremy when he just acts like himself. Their connection is best seen at the Halloween party while Jeremy's squip is off: when he awkwardly lets out a weird noise while talking to her, she ends up making a weird noise right back, and they just make weird noises together while laughing.
  • Little Shop of Horrors: Seymour is a nervous, clumsy slob who thinks the only way the beautiful Audrey would love him is if he were wealthy. However, Audrey loves Seymour early in the show, mostly because he's one of the few men who treats her with any sort of kindness; she just doesn't believe she deserves that kindness.
  • The chorus of Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 calls Pierre "dear, bewildered, and awkward" in "Prologue".

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate III: Karlach is a huge, brawny tiefling barbarian, who looks like a Big Red Devil and has enough scars and body modifications for it to qualify as Body Horror. She also acts like a tongue-tied teenager around her crush, sleeps with a teddy bear named Clive, and wears her emotions on her sleeve in the most adorable way possible.
  • 10 of Spades in Fallout: New Vegas is a New California Republic Friendly Sniper; one of the friendliest characters in the game, in fact. He stutters even when talking about how good a shot he is, wears thick glasses, and has comic books under his bed. He has a Charisma stat of 10, the maximum possible.
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • Jeanne Alter is Endearingly Dorky in a very weird way. She's wrathful, doesn't really care about morality, and not entirely sane, but she tries so hard to hide her softer sides and play to the "evil" image that she undermines her own villainy and comes across as much goofier than the other Alter Servants. It's lampshaded constantly in "Da Vinci and 7 Counterfeit Heroic Spirits" by ally and enemy alike, with the fake Hector in particular referring to her as "adorable".
    • Altera has her moments, such as in her second Interlude where she remembers one of her old names Etzel. If the protagonist states it sounds cute, she starts blushing while denying that, and it's so adorable even Siegfried agrees with the others about it.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Felicia in Fire Emblem Fates is clumsy, naive and widely regarded both in-universe and out and utterly adorable. Despite being a total klutz, she tries her best to act as Corrin's maid alongside her twin sister Flora, and this determination alongside her genuine social insecurities is something almost everyone who talks to her finds her adorable over. Laslow even lampshades in her support with her that "nobody could resist a face as cute as yours", with some of the more snarky members (such as Niles) trying their best (and ironically failing, due to Felicia's innocence) trying to get a riling out of her because her reactions are so endearing to even them.
    • Sumia and Olivia in Fire Emblem: Awakening, both of which for much of the same reasons as Felicia above. Sumia is a Cute Clumsy Girl who is very, very starry-eyed when it comes to storytelling and romance novels, while also unilaterally being Chrom's first choice as a romance option if he is not married by a certain point in the story. Olivia, meanwhile, is a massive Shrinking Violet (in stark contrast to most units of the Dancer class before her, whom were generally Genki Girls), and has both a massive tendency to stumble over herself apologizing for even the most negligible of slights. All of this in both girls' cases is something the other Shepherds find very endearing, and are often quite quick to affectionately tease both girls in such cases.
    • Alois in Fire Emblem: Three Houses is optimistic and loves making puns. They don't impress the other knights, and The Comically Serious Dimitri only laughs at the jokes because he finds they're so unfunny that they go full circle to hilarity. Nevertheless, many characters like Alois for his positivity and good humor and don't try to dissuade him from telling jokes.
  • Mass Effect 2: Charr, a krogan found on Illium shouting love poetry to an asari he likes. If Shepard gets involved, their dialogue in favor of the relationship makes it clear they find this surprisingly cute.
    Shepard: (over Charr's poetry) Aww, look at him. It's obvious he's crazy about you.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: According to Sara Ryder, the first meeting of Alec and Ellen Ryder went thus: Alec, already an N7 at the time and therefore a One-Man Army, tried approaching her and turning on the bad boy charm... and failed. Miserably. But she found his attempts to be a bad boy endearing enough to give him a chance. This detail is noticeably missing from the version that Scott was told; whether Ellen never actually told Alec the truth or if Alec intentionally ommitted it from his version is left for the player to decide. It's possible some of this might be genetic, since Sara's attempts at flirting with Dr. Suvi Anwar are also painfully bad, but also reciprocated.
  • Persona loves this trope, having had at least one example since the fourth game. To wit:
    • Persona 4:
      • Chie Satonaka is a tough, energetic Tomboy who loves meat and kung-fu, so one wouldn't expect to fit in here at first... at least, until more and more of her personality is revealed. She can be incredibly awkward socially or when presented with any flustering situation, has a fear of bugs and thunder, gets scared by scary movies/stories, and responds with almost a childlike glee whenever taken out to see any of the Trial of the Dragon movies. This in itself is pretty explicitly noted by both Yu (in a romantic route) and any of the IT who happen to catch onto that behavior, given they themselves would often comment that Chie's a lot cuter than she feels she'd be otherwise, such as Yu complementing Chie's freak-out when a praying mantis lands on her back. This is only exacerbated when romanced, as she has a complete disbelief anyone would notice her.
      • Ayane Matsunaga can get highly flustered and anxious when presented with any sort of relationships, especially romantic, tends to flounder about her words a lot and has next to no social skills, being every bit as effeminate and cute like Chie is and very much a Butt-Monkey relative to some of her luck in-story. This is something that's frequently examined through both character interactions with observers and even partaken by Yu himself, given how many options calling Ayane cute or generally messing with her for a reaction. She is also extremely enthusiastic about music and has a genuine desire to have her music reach other people; in her date on New Years', she even tries to say she wants to "become one" with the Protagonist, before realizing retroactively how awkward that sounds.
    • Persona 5:
      • Makoto Niijima is a girl that definitely gives an imposing and tough air, but get to know her better and she suddenly becomes very much a Naïve Everygirl whom even she admits she's quite sheltered relative to the workings of the world, even moreso than her more savvy best friend Haru. Her idea of "stealth" is following Joker with a magazine acting as cover, and when recruited proper she has a tendency of going into hammy theatrics from her poses to screaming "FIST OF JUSTICE!" whenever defeating an enemy. This is something that is very often used to mess with Makoto by virtue of a romantically-inclined Joker, with even other Phantom Thief members admitting it's quite endearing the way she acts. When properly socialized with, she's revealed to have a crippling fear of the dark and scary things, still has a love for Buchimaru-kun plushies (a girl's show that's outside her age range by now), and generally devolving into a flustered and embarrassed mess of social awkwardness whenever romanced.
      • Futaba Sakura is very much a character you want to hug given her mother was killed and for years she led herself to thinking she hated her before her Palace ended up helping her depression immensely, but to absolutely nobody's surprises, she's this. She is extremely perky and socially awkward, having a near-obsessive love for otaku culture, a tendency to sort out her friends and gear by Eastern RPG terms (like referring to a romantically-bonded Joker or anyone important to her as a 'key item'), and just the most hilariously adorable social awkwardness and flustered reactions whenever flirted with, from her blanking out temporarily when she realizes Joker would be fine with dating her in their Confidant Rank 9, to trying and failing miserably on a Valentine's Day date to seduce Joker with a sexy gaze only to accidentally give a Kubrick Stare. And, naturally, this is something that often causes people to find Futaba in-universe incalculably adorable, with many people being extremely protective of her as a result of this.
      • Kasumi Yoshizawa qualifies as well. When she's out of her usual gymnast training, she is very clumsy and awkward, and is generally a wholesome and pleasant character to see and interact with. For example, during the Hawaii trip, she tries to sneak up in front of Joker and get herself with a "Konichi...WA!"/"Hello..Senpai!", or when she keeps apologizing for the slightest of mess-ups, perceived or not. This is something that the rest of the Phantom Thieves (Joker included) find irresistibly adorable, and very frequently and affectionately tease her over it. However, this trope takes a darker turn after she's revealed to be Sumire Yoshizawa, with the real Kasumi dying in a mental shutdown car accident before the game starts, and suddenly, a lot of her true self begins to make a ton of sense. When she gets to finally become herself, however, she displays this effortlessly, with the same tendencies to mess up. However, if Joker does confess his love to her for this reason, this gets taken to extremes because she just stutters heavily, complete with her whole face flushing bright red in a Crush Blush never seen on any other girl, alongside an extremely out of character expression that expresses nothing other than pure shock and anxiety.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright as a college student. "Feenie" spends most of the time with his eyes closed, open adorably wide, or crying. He wears an oversized hot pink sweater to court and blunders through much of his testimony. Iris, who was posing as his college girlfriend, was head over heels in love with him for it, though.
  • Vanessa from Havenfall Is for Lovers. In her first season, she tries to offer some words of comfort to the heroine after a brush with a powerful vampire but ends up accidentally emphasizing the danger she's in. The heroine's internal reaction is: "she's so bad at this, it's actually kinda cute." After Vanessa realizes the implication of her words, she flushes in embarrassment, which the heroine finds even cuter.
  • Doki Doki Literature Club!: Despite Yuri's shyness and embarrassment at how passionate she gets about literature, the player character reassures her that her enthusiasm is actually quite endearing, and internally marvels at how "accidentally cute" she is when she's shy.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • Although Oscar is a child prodigy with huge, barely-tapped potential due to his unique relationship with Professor Ozpin, he is very shy, sweet, unassuming, and polite. When he first meets Team RNJR, he's very nervous and apologetic for being caught staring at the first Huntsmen he's ever met. Nora is very quick to label the pair "Little Cute Boy Ozpin" and, even though Ozpin asks her to never call him that again, "Cute Boy Oz" does become her nickname for Oscar, who panics when she uses it because she glomps him. Although Ozpin behaves with confidence when in control of Oscar's body, Oscar lacks it and his constant habit of trying to be polite at all times makes him react with extreme embarrassment if he's touching someone when he regains control of his body, such as when Ozpin patted Yang reassuringly on the shoulder before leaving Oscar to jerk away from her as if he'd done something wrong. His colleagues and other characters tend to find this shy, excessively polite behaviour cute and amusing, and often laugh affectionately at his embarrassed reactions; after combat training with Team JNPR and FNKI, Neon comments "that cute little farmboy" was surprisingly skilled, and laughs in amusement at his blushing, flustered reaction.
      Oscar: [while Ozpin is in control] Just don't make us do anything embarrassing...
    • Sun is an extremely enthusiastic, larger-than-life personality who likes to encourage people to enjoy life as much as he does. When his team wins their match during the Vytal Festival tournament, he and Neptune start engaging in a really bad, funny victory dance which leads to Team RWBY affectionately calling them dorks. When he first meets Blake's parents, he can't stop digging himself in a hole with her father when his attempts to compliment Blake accidentally make it sound like he's sexualising her; when he eventually attempts to change the subject by desperately complimenting the tea, Blake's mother whispers to Blake that she really likes him. When he learns that Blake tends to think of people as symbolising certain words, Sun asks her what characteristic she'd describe him as: she calls him 'earnest'; his response is to pull a trick with his tail and a coconut drink that makes Blake laugh and smile.

  • El Goonish Shive: both Elliot and Ashley have been described in-universe as Adorkable.
  • Lackadaisy: When he isn't being an Axe-Crazy Gun Nut, Freckle is a quiet, soft-spoken young man with problems talking to girls and a nervous disposition. Ivy immediately falls for him and finds a lot of his dorkiness attractive.
  • Ménage à 3: Several of the women in the cast — notably Kiley and Senna — seem to have this reaction to Gary. However, the fact is that despite the script emphasising his nerdiness and previous lack of sexual success, he’s drawn as by no means hideous — at the very least, He Cleans Up Nicely. The idea that he’s so geeky he needs to trigger this trope is a bit of an Informed Attribute.
  • Sleepless Domain: Most magical girls who don't know Heartful Punch get kind of intimidated by her reputation as a famous and powerful magical girl but, in person, HP is a goofy sweetheart who is embarrassed by her first name and occasionally eats protein powder straight from the container. Undine at one point gets confused when Zoe says she's scared of directly speaking to HP because the girl is so incredibly un-intimidating when you get to know her that the panel shows Unding having an Imagine Spot of Heartful Punch sporting a silly grin.
  • To Love Your Enemy:
    • Others theorize that being adorably awkward is how Yikyung got Yeonhee to fall for him.
    • Yeonhee's friend Seonah likes cute, clumsy guys, and fell for her crush Youngwon after he stumbled trying to help her get home from orientation.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • Anon: Chelsea is considered by herself to be and is portrayed as an awkward, unattractive, loner. In reality, Chelsea's actually very pretty, if not at least average but nowhere near ugly and ends up having at least THREE different guys chasing after her in the first two seasons alone.
  • The Call of Warr has Soldier Durkin. He's a kind, sweet, and awkwardly dorky fellow, who doesn't really fit in with the other soldiers. In-universe, this attitude certainly works on the girls, who take a quick liking to him, despite Mabel not even trusting soldiers as a general rule. It even works on Prince, who calls him "sweet", "funny", "handsome", etc despite bullying him in other instances.
  • The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: Maria Lu, Charlotte's younger sister. Lizzie tells Charlotte that with Maria being a cute geeky girl, she has won a prize in "younger sister lottery". Maria has decidedly geeky interests like Doctor Who, The Legend of Korra, Sherlock and anime.
  • The Nostalgia Critic's resident Loony Fan Hyper Fangirl falls in love with the Critic because of his nerdiness, love for retro media, and his "half-professional, half-grungy clothes" (quite similar to her love for the Once-ler). Critic is not happy about this. Hyper herself zig-zags this trope: her hyperactive Stalker with a Crush behavior bordering on Ax-Crazy puts off most people at Channel Awesome in her vlogs, but she considers herself "delightfully quirky" and knows her excited fangirling behavior appeals to her fanbase. Later, she finds requited love with Devil Boner, who loves her because she writes fanfiction about him.

    Western Animation 
  • Arcane: Sky is attracted to Viktor because of his dedication to scientific advancement to make the world a better place despite his lack of interest in socializing.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Edd. He's cute, geeky, neurotic, endearingly shy, kind, polite, and quite a Shrinking Violet, especially around girls. And that's why all the girls in the neighborhood find him adorable.
  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: Jimmy is the franchise's adorable boy genius. This was especially evident in the shorts, movie, and Season 1 where he was a lot more shy, clumsy, awkward, and naive. This is why he gets a lot of attention from girls in-universe.
  • Justice League:
    • The Flash, despite his attempts to appear as a cool Deadpan Snarker ladies' man repeatedly shows himself to be a huge dork. He's actually a guy with a child-like enthusiasm for the world around him and his role as a superhero, with much of his attempts to appear cool and flirty being clearly an act that most others see through (Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl, for instance, see through his flirty banter and find him endearing), and quite often his inner dork cracks through (such as when he becomes infatuated with Fire and can barely talk to her).
    • In the episode "Comfort and Joy", Superman is revealed to be this in spades. He's excited for Christmas, views it as his job to light the tree, tries to use his X-ray vision to sneak peeks at his presents, and still believes in Santa Claus. And the Kents, as well as Martian Manhunter, find it adorable.
  • Kim Possible: Ron Stoppable is a huge dork, and often an awkward and clumsy sidekick, but his loyalty to Kim and his unabashed optimism make him adorable. He's the trope namer for Give Geeks a Chance, as his popular and beautiful friend Kim eventually develops feelings for him: Kim admits Ron is weird, but she likes that about him.
  • The Mask:
    • Stanley Ipkiss is shy and a doormat but he is sweet, kind, and polite which does get some girls to come over to him because of it.
    • The Mask is wacky, genuinely insane, and can be too strong towards any girls he comes across but he is sweet, kind, nice, polite, and has a charisma that does get the girls who were put off by him to come over to him eventually and he ends up being well-liked and loved by most people in Edge City because of it.
  • In The Owl House, protagonist Luz Noceda is a free-spirited, energetic, and has a deep nerdy love for all things fantasy. It was these qualities that made Amity Blight, who had a bit of geeky side herself, go from Luz's rival to her eventual girlfriend.
  • Phantom Investigators: Casey is nerdy, sweet, shy, neurotic, and socially awkward. Daemona outright considers him to be "cute, smart, and adorable" in the episode "Were-Dog".
  • Ready Jet Go!: Sean is an awkward little kid who is hesitant to travel into space, but he's very kind and lovable, especially when he geeks out about the Apollo 11 mission or demonstrates his drumming, singing, or magical prowess. Sydney is best friends with him, Mindy is usually rude to him but eventually admits that she thinks he's cool, and Jet is very close friends with Sean, and most likely has a crush on him.
  • The Simpsons, "I'm Spelling as Fast as I Can": Alex is a kid who competes against Lisa in the Spellympics. George Plimpton wants Alex to win the contest to boost the popularity of spelling bees by having a charismatic champion. Alex is a smart boy who wears big black round glasses, a red bowtie, and a baseball cap backwards. He has a speech impediment, replacing "l" and "r" sounds with "w" sounds. Lisa refers to him as the "boy that everybody loves" and Plimpton calls him crowd-pleasing and cute.
    George Plimpton: Women in the audience toss their thick glasses at him.
    • In "Dumbbell Indemnity", Renee is completely won over by Moe's awkwardness — and his bow tie doesn't hurt either. Later, she tells Marge that she fell for him due to his "insecure, sweaty charm".
  • Teen Titans Go!: Starfire is an alien with a lack of awareness of human norms that makes her even more endearing. The narrator in "The Date" specifically describes her as this.
  • Total Drama: Leshawna becomes attracted to the skinny, socially awkward nerd Harold after he writes her romantic haikus. While she ultimately decides she doesn't want a relationship with him, later seasons have her admit that she still finds him and his "little man biceps" attractive. In her Total Drama World Tour interview, she says her dream date would be watching Harold "reenact a medieval battle in [her] honor."


Video Example(s):


Blu Has Beautiful Eyes

Blu is trying to court Jewel but since he's never interacted that much with other birds and was raised in another country, he's incredibly awkward. Rafael, his friend, is The Charmer and decides to help Blu during a romantic ride he and Jewel end up having. Rafael tells Blu to compliment Jewel's eyes. However, Blu's nervousness as well as misunderstanding what Rafael said makes him say "I have beautiful eyes" instead much to the confusion of Jewel and Rafael correcting him by specifying he meant Jewel's eyes leading to Blu awkwardly correcting himself on what he said though Jewel finds his awkward attempt to correct himself endearing.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / PlayingCyrano

Media sources: