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Fluffy the Terrible

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Gyarados is unamused.
"I have created wounded art. An uncompromising weapon that, in a fit of graceful agony, will rend and tear until there is nothing left. This creature is death."
[beat]
"I call him Fluffles."

A big, scary, dangerous monster with a bizarre, cutesy name befitting a housepet. Custom dictates for the creature to be introduced by their owner calling for them, the enemies laughing at the creature's ridiculous name, only to be interrupted by earth-shaking footsteps as the pet enters the scene. The customary response is to run away really quickly. Screaming is also highly recommended.

Sometimes writers will play with the trope by making the monster look big, scary, and vicious, and yet be as sweet and lovable as its name suggests. Other times, justified because the monster was named when it was not yet big, scary, or vicious.

A.K.A. Big Monster Cute Name. A specified variant of Ironic Nickname. If the monster feels a sense of shame regarding their name, it's also an Embarrassing First Name. Compare Killer Rabbit. Polar opposite of Deathbringer the Adorable. See also Fluffy Tamer, the person most likely to name the critter "Fluffy" in the first place. See Sealed Evil In A Teddybear for this combined with Sealed Evil in a Can. See also Special Person, Normal Name, Tom the Dark Lord, Super-Fun Happy Thing of Doom, People's Republic of Tyranny, and Cute as a Bouncing Betty, a weapon-specific subtrope of this.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The Big Bad of Monster Rancher. He's an all-powerful tyrant, who's influence is slowly taking over the world. Cool costume, deep voice, and he commands an awesome presence. His name is...Moo.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • "Lullaby" is the name of a powerful Black Magic artifact. The idea is that it lulls you into "eternal sleep".
    • Gajeel's Exceed partner is named... Pantherlily, Lily for short. Who just so happens to be 6 foot tall and wields a sword as big as he is.
    • If you first read this series through scanslations, you got to know one of the world's strongest mages as "Mist Gun". This may be an intentional double meaning (it ties in with his magic), but the official spelling is the much more dignified "Mystogan".
  • YuYu Hakusho featured a genetically-engineered monster named Helen, killed by hired villain Toguro as a display of his power.
  • Ranma ˝:
    • Kodachi has a pet named Mr. Green Turtle (Mr. Scaly Green in some episodes of the anime). It turns out to be a ferocious alligator.
    • Also there's Pantyhose Taro. Bathed in a Jusenkyo spring at birth where a yeti holding an eel and crane while riding an ox drowned. Later he bathes in a spring where an octopus drowned.
  • In Ah! My Goddess, the demon leader Hild has a creature that eats angels, which are effectively the goddess' souls. It is a gigantic, powerful leviathan. And she named it "Kittens".
  • In an episode of Ninin Ga Shinobuden, Shinobu names her giant, mobile, carnivorous plant monster Pochinosuke ("Pochi" being the Japanese equivalent of "Rover" or "Fido" and "nosuke" being an archaic boys' name ending). She's the only one who can keep it from wreaking havoc.
  • The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer: Its name is Biscuit Hammer; it is the destroyer of worlds.
  • A recurring villain in Kinnikuman is one of the biggest chojin in the series, a living mass of sand who sadistically brutalizes his opponents. He was responsible for Prince Kamehame's death during the Dream Tag Tournament arc. His name? Sunshine. (He's named after the Sunshine Towers of Peru). There are some other dangerous villains with silly names, but at least they have the decency to look silly, too.
  • In Baccano!, America's craziest and most terrifying assassin has the misfortune of being named Claire which, while not incapable of being attached to total badasses, doesn't exactly work that way when the badass in particular is male. Fans like to joke that this is the reason he keeps on making up new names. Also a bit of Have a Gay Old Time since prior to the 50s, Claire was a man's name. In 1930, his name would have been normal - the twist only comes for modern viewers who are used to it being a female name, although even in 1930, it was more common for women than for men in this particular spelling.
    • Out of omniscience-boredom, a reality-warping Eldritch Abomination decided to take human form and join the ranks of the Martillo family camorra. It's name is Ronnie.
  • Durarara!! has Celty's headless demon horse. His name is Shooter.
  • In Hunterx Hunter the guard dog of the Zaoldyeck estate is a mindless killing machine to anyone who doesn't come in through the front door, and Gon, who is incredibly good with animals and befriended a bear, is scared of her. Oh, and her name is Miké.
  • Pokémon: Ritchie's "Zippo" will probably evolve into a Charizard eventually. In The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga, Zippo was introduced as one (but the official translation changed the name to Charley).
  • The latest volume of the Baki the Grappler manga has Pickle, who is a giant defrosted caveman. Not only is he undefeated, but after beating Retsu, he tore his leg off and ate it.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Every major villain in Dragon Ball since Demon King Piccolo (with his henchmen, Piano, Tambourine, Cymbal and Drum), culminating in the unstoppable creation of the maniacal wizard Bibidi and servant of his son Babidi... Buu in Dragon Ball Z. The machine mutant Baby from Dragon Ball GT is one of the most glaring examples.
    • Buu deserves special mention as not only does he sound harmless but when after several chapters he finally appears he is a fat pink man wearing sweat pants and a cape... who makes the god of all gods quake in terror. He then proceeds to single-handedly kill each of earth's strongest fighters with no actual effort.
    • After a series of increasingly powerful and masucline forms Goku and Vegeta turn him into his most basic one: Kid Buu, who looks like a surly teenager... who (while the weakest) is the least restrained form and by far the most destructive.
    • Battle of the Gods introduces the God of Destruction, who's capable of fighting a Super Saiyan 3 without even trying, made the KING OF SAIYANS use himself as a seat, and his name is Beerus.
    • Beerus' assistance, who happens to be many times stronger than him, is named Whis.
    • This applies to the heroes as well. Gohan, one of the strongest characters in the series, is named after rice and Vegeta's son is named Trunks. Also the Saiyans, the most feared warrior race in the universe, are named after vegetables with Goku's true name being a pun of carrots.
  • In Yaiba, when the eponymous hero heard about a Kappa named Kerosuke, he expected a small, thin kappa, not a colossal, super-strong, fire-breathing carnivorous titan with a penchant for human flesh
  • In one chapter of the Tenchi Muyo! manga, the gang is attacked by a seven foot bear-like creature called a Duodo, which is tough enough to block the Tenchi-ken. Mihoshi takes one look at it, cries out "FLUFFY!" and the creature runs over to her and starts purring like a kitten.
  • Naruto:
    • The Seven Swordsmen of the Mist are terrifying warriors whose last names mean some type of fruit.
    • Naruto and many other characters count as well; Naruto himself is arguably the strongest person in the world by the time the manga ends, but his first name is short for a type of ramen topping.
  • Battle Wolf Terry Cloth may be a cub when Toriko adopts him, but he can still rip apart foes that Toriko had trouble with. Terry later grows up massively, fitting the trope even more. There's also Coco's Emperor Crow Kiss, Sunny's Mother Snake Queen, and the small pink Wall Penguin Yun (named after the sounds he uses) will eventually be as big as its parents (and hopefully not as vicious).
  • Early in Blood+, we are introduced to the Chiropterans: virtually unkillable monsters created in military experiments that rip apart humans and drink their blood. The military's codeword for them: Mouse.
  • In MÄR, Dorothy's most powerful Guardian is an enormous black dog that emerges from a crack in reality, looks like death on four legs, and attacks by devouring whatever it fights (including, in one case, Dorothy's opponent). What is Dorothy's nickname for the guardian? "Toto".
  • The main character in You Are Umasou is a Tyrannosaurus Rex named "Heart".
  • Tora from Ushio and Tora. Despite claiming to eat humans he never does on screen. He gets distracted by the modern human world so much it fascinates him...and he accidentally gets ran over by cats and smashed into the wall comedic-ally. Also, he has a Weaksauce Weakness in that perfume and cologne repels him, even common jewelry bothers him due to its anti-Yokai properties. Hell an entire chapter is titled 'Tora's Civilization Allergy'.
  • One Piece
    • Caesar Clown had, as a pet, a living mass of gelatinous slime that emitted acid and poisonous gas and could wipe out an entire island on its own, which he named Smiley.
    • Some of the nicknames given to both pirates and marines in this series can reach this level, especially considering the titles other pirates get. Among nicks like King of Snipers, Demon Child and Blood Splatterer, you find some of the most terrifying individuals are instead given such nicknames as Straw Hat or Blue Pheasant or Red-Haired.
    • A ruthless captain, famous for his brutality and has a bounty of ONE BILLION? His name is Jack.
  • Jojos Bizarre Adventure:
    • There are many characters and Stands who are named after famous musicians and songs. Sometimes, really dangerous figures get stuck with harmless names, like Vanilla Ice, user of Cream, who sounds like a hilarious Joke Character, but is actually a highly dangerous vampire who can turn into an all-consuming void. He kills more of the heroes than Dio.
    • Cioccolata from Part 5 has a name that means "chocolate" in Italian. He's a deranged sadist who drove 9 elderly medical patients to suicide and has the power to infect people with flesh-eating mold. He's so disgusting that Diavolo, his own boss, regards him as human garbage, and Diavolo is willing to murder his own family if he deems them a threat to his plans.
    • The Big Bad of Part 7 is not only the president of the United States, he also has an incredibly powerful stand that allows him to move between realities as will, meaning he can kill people by simply sending him to another reality and watch them get Ret Gone from the paradox, that means he also applies We Have Reserves to himself, meaning he can get himself from another dimension if he's killed... and his name is Funny Valentine.

    Comedy 

    Comic Books 
  • To quote Superdickery.com: Who, in their right mind, would name their giant mechanized killing machine "Honeybun?"
  • Atlantis in Gold Digger has a guardian monster, the giant 2-kilometer across crab/kraken.... 'Flaky'. Flaky likes to play with a stuffed plushie of a normal sized crab. Do not mess with the plushie.
  • In The Annotated Mantooth, the giant robot powered by a uranium core was called "World's Greatest Grandpa." It was also built by Hitler, who died in his own Death Trap with man-eating ducks and peanut butter. The entire Mantooth series was made of this.
  • DC Comics Crisis Crossover series Countdown to Final Crisis featured a Monitor, one of the most powerful beings in the multiverse, called Bob. "Well, we can't just call you the-Monitor-who-is-trying-to-track-down-the-Atom, it'll take too long."
  • The Anti-Monitor of Crisis on Infinite Earths is not just the biggest bad of DC Comics, but also the biggest bad of all fiction, having eaten thousands of universes. Yet his name manages to be both innocuous and mildly odd.
  • A recurring character in early 90s Superman comics was a seven-foot-tall female Intergang bruiser called Tiny Bubbles.
  • From Batman, the name Penguin brings to mind a cute and strange-looking bird that lives in Antarctica. Not a short, ruthless, well-dressed and murderous mob boss. The mere name gives him a more twisted quality.
  • Deadpool once killed a tank-grown monster that had gone berserk (greatly pissing off the agency who owned the monster) named Doris.
  • The Darkwing Duck comics in Disney Adventures featured a newly-made villain in the form of a super-intelligent kitten named Fluffy.
  • DuckTales: In the "Rightful Owners" arc, the ducks are followed around by a gigantic jellyfish. Webby reveals she named it "Jelly Belly" due to its sweet tooth. The jellyfish is actually friendly (at least towards them), but it looks intimidating.
  • The X-Men villain Sugarman is a grotesque looking head on legs with multiple arms who specializes in horrific genetic experiments and hails from the Age of Apocalypse.
  • New Gods:
    • From Apokolips, there's Granny Goodness, the ultimate evil old person.
    • And then there's her personally trained attack dog, Mercy, whom she was forced to kill when Darkseid ordered the canine to kill her.
    • Moreover, you have Glorious Godfrey's sister, the expert assassin Amazing Grace.
  • Miracleman: An unintentional example given that he started out as a good guy, but the name of the character responsible for the most gruesome massacre in the history of comics? Kid Miracleman.
  • Empowered: You'd think that in a series featuring characters with names like Demonwolf or Deathmonger, someone who goes by the seeming innocuous name of Willy Pete would be relatively harmless. You'd be wrong. Dead wrong. His name means White Phosphorus.
  • In the Robin Series Lagoon Boy introduces Robin to his new pet Spot, a giant sharp toothed fish-like creature with tentacles from the deepest parts of the ocean that evidently followed him home one day.
  • In Stanley and His Monster, the Monster was later revealed to be a demon called "The Beast with No Name" that was a pariah in Hell for being too nice. When it accidentally bonded to Stanley Dover and became his friend, Stanley gave it the name "Spot". While Spot is a pretty decent fellow, a friendly demon is still a demon.
  • In the Marvel Adventures Hulk series, Hulk and Rick Jones encounter The Nameless One, a two-headed Eldritch Abomination. One of his heads is certain that they need a name, and finds human ones like "Bob" and "Tom" exotic and appealing. The other head is not amused.
  • In Orson Scott Card's Ultimate Iron Man, there is a male antagonist named Dolores, which seems to be more of a great-aunt than a villain. Subverted because "dolores" is Spanish for "pains," which is why he chose the name.
  • There's a 'Fluffy' in Judge Dredd's Metro incarnation. [1]
  • In Marvel's Journey into Mystery, Kid Loki names his violent and foul mouthed hellhound Thori that would rather have been called Deathripper or one of several other more fitting appellations. The cutesy name stuck. Nobody in Hel, or later Leah, Angela, Sera, and Thor Odinson bothered to call him anything else but Thori, despite him still insisting that he is "known as Deathripper in all the Ten Realms".
  • In All-New Wolverine, Squirrel Girl shows up at Laura's apartment bearing a live wolverine to help recruit Laura for a mission,note  while Gabby takes one look at it and squees before adopting him as a pet. And because wolverines are bad-tempered, vicious balls of fur and fangs, Doreen appropriately names him Jonathan.
  • One of the most reoccurring characters in Shazam is Shazam's pet tiger, Tawny. While his earlier appearances involve him being a Funny Talking Animal, his more modern incarnations are usually normal, non-sentient tigers. Regardless of his form, he is always depicted as loyal to Billy.

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield:
    • One strip features Fluffy the Fierce. Sure, he is not much taller than any cat that'd fit the name Fluffy, but he is described as a legendary ratter. Until he meets Matt-the-Rat, that is.
    • And there is also Muffin the dog, whom a little girl brings Garfield home to.
  • Starting in 2013 in The Wizard of Id, the Wizard keeps a dragon named Henry as a pet. (Henry is usually friendly, but being a dragon often causes accidents to happen).

    Fan Works 
  • In Enemy of My Enemy, there are Lekgolo/Hunters, 12-foot-tall armored warriors that scare the shit out of their foes and their allies. What does young Sarah Jennings call the pair she made friends with? Jib and Jub.
  • In the fan video MLP FIM FanFic, Celestia uses a Kill Sat called H.A.R.M.O.N.Y. to blow up the planet.
  • In Fallout: Equestria, Angel Bunny gained this reputation among the Zebras. He even invented Stampede, the equivalent to Slasher from the Fallout series.
  • In It's not the Raptor DNA, the Mosasaurus, the largest, most powerful creature on the island, is given the name...Lilly.
  • The Emiya Clan managed to get Primate Murder, the White Beast of Gaia, First Dead Apostle Ancestor, the creature whose task is to destroy humanity, as a pet. It kind of came as a packaged deal when Altrouge Brunestud forced herself on Shirou as his newest wife. They call him "Primmy."
  • Naruto fics just love having Naruto refer to Kyuubi, the giant nine tailed fox capable of leveling mountains with a swoop of his tails, as Fluffy. The fox is rarely amused
  • In a similar vein, Harry Potter fanfics love to make such names for Voldemort, such as Voldisquirrel and Vulturemort.
  • Mocked viciously in the Harry Potter / Dragonriders of Pern story On The Wings of Dragons, where a Spanish wizard terrorist goes by the name Carlos The Gerbil. At a briefing, a wizard gets rather upset when half of the room bursts into laughter.
    Dan: I meant no insult, Mr. Croaker, but your fearsome hit wizard is either totally inept at normal history or he's a certified whacko. It's possible he decided to steal the name from a world famous terrorist who was wreaking havoc in the early seventies, but if so, he got the name totally wrong. Just whispering the name of Carlos the Jackal was enough to send governments quivering in terror, but Carlos the Gerbil? The man has taken the name of a small Australian rodent that many people have as a pet. A gerbil is about as dangerous as being attacked by a marshmallow.
  • Tangled Up In Blues has the manly muscled bouncer, named Pink Bunny.
  • In Hivefled, the Obliviously Evil cultist Ganmed Lomust used to feed his sacrifices to his lusus, a seagoat which he named "Snowball".
  • In A Brief History of Equestria, the name of the leader and founder of the largest empire in history, the Mongrellian Horde, was, indeed, "Fluffy."
  • The Harmony Cannon from Mass Effect The Equestrian Equation. It looks like it fires a rainbow. It can One-Hit Kill Reapers
  • The Mr. Black series has a one chapter dark lord named Fred Fredburger the Really Really Bad. Lampshaded when one of the wizards that summons Mr. Black mentions it just doesn't feel right to fear someone with that name.
  • In the expanded Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, a freak accident with a gorgon and a nose-bleed returns an extinct species - the wingèd Pegasus horses - to the world. The magnificent wingèd creatures are in the keeping of Lancre-trained witches as only they can ride them - a welcome upgrade from broomsticks. And the first two Pegasii get names reflective of their proud nature and noble lineage. Rainbow Dash and Cupcakes. Well, Everything Sounds Better In Russian.
  • In Hard Being Pure, Phobia has a huge six-legged black monster with large mantis scytes on its back. He's called Snowball.
    Because where's the fun in calling things with names that match their appearance?
  • Except It Abide In The Vine is full of alternate versions of Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes, so Only Known by Their Nickname is necessary to avoid confusion. The biggest, scariest former Winter Soldier in the whole crew answers to Sweetpea.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines comments on this, and how people have died for giving a Pokemon with pride a name like Fred.
  • In the Blooming Moon Chronicles, a Tyrant Wyrm is a fabled monster that leaves death and destruction in its path. In Glory Be, Scrivener Blooms artificially creates one, and then names it Poe.
  • Commissar Dan, Warhammer 40,000 character from /tg/, has a pet Basilisk (a self-propelled gun, which he uses as a frontline tank) called "Fluffy".
  • In Team Four Star's playthrough of Dragon Ball Xenoverse they chose to name their Majin character Dumplin. By the end of the game he's one of the most powerful beings in the universe and acquired the nickname 'Demon God Dumplin'. He'll eventually become Mr. Popo.

    Films — Animation 
  • When your name sounds like "Saccharine", people probably expect you to be as sweet as your name, right? Not true for the Big Bad in The Adventures of Tintin, where Mr. Ivan Ivanovich Sahkrine is willing to kidnap, murder, and steal all to find the location of Red Rackham's Treasure. Well, he is Rackham's descendant and possible reincarnation, after all.... note 
  • Coco: Mamá Imelda has an alebrije, a powerful spirit guide that takes the form of a multicolored winged jaguar. Its name is... Pepita ("pumpkin seed"). In life, Pepita was a housecat.
  • In Frozen, the Snowlem bodyguard Elsa conjures in one last desperate bid to convince her sister to leave her alone is nicknamed "Marshmallow" by the happy-go-lucky snowman Olaf.
  • In The Great Mouse Detective (remember, this is a Mouse World), the villain Ratigan has a gigantic cat he often feeds a minion that upsets him - called Felicia; she also has a pretty bow.
  • The main villain of Heavy Metal 2000 is given the terror-inducing name of... Tyler. This is because he wasn't evil to begin with, only becoming an Ax-Crazy warlord after being exposed to the Loc-Nar.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: Toothless is a member of the most feared species of dragon that is known to the Vikings, though he doesn't get the name until after he's been at least partially domesticated. His teeth are retractable.
  • The black horse owned by Judge Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame is actually named Snowball.
  • In Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, there is a giant, fearsome Baryonyx that even scares a T. rex. Crazy Survivalist Buck names it... Rudy.
    Manny: Oh, I was thinking it'd be something terrifying, like... "Sheldon" or "Tim".
  • In the 1974 animated version of Jack and the Beanstalk the name of the giant was... Tulip.
  • Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure featured a large, mean, extremely vicious and brutish-looking dog who menaced Lady and Tramp's son Scamp at one point named Reggie.
  • Lilo's social worker in Lilo & Stitch is a huge black man (voiced by Ving Rhames in the movie, no less) who habitually dresses in formalwear and a gold earring... named Mr. Bubbles. Subverted in that his first name is Cobra.
  • Meet the Robinsons:
    • The Bowler Hat Guy's Hypercompetent Sidekick and partner in crime is a robotic bowler hat named Doris. She turns out to be the real mastermind, taking over in the Bad Future Bowler Hat Guy unwittingly helped her create.
    • At one point, Bowler Hat Guy sics a brainwashed Tyrannosaurus rex named "Tiny" on Lewis.
      I've got a big head, and little arms: I'm just not sure how well this plan was thought through... Master?
  • Over the Hedge gives an in-universe example. The animals are utterly terrified of the titular hedge when it's first encountered. How do they defuse the tension?
    Hammy: Lets call it Steve.
    [Vern looks at Hammy questioningly]
    Hammy: It's a pretty name.
    Other animals: Yeah, I'm a lot less scared of "Steve".

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Fluffy is a 1965 Tony Randall film about the title character, a full grown household dwelling lion.
  • In Kung Pow! Enter the Fist, the main (male) villain was named "Betty". It's actually quite a bit worse than that, his name used to be "Master Pain;" he then changed it to Betty.
  • In Winter's Bone the criminal, prone-to-Ax-Crazy-violence, meth-addicted uncle of the main character is named... "Teardrop".
  • The mechanical shark from Jaws was nicknamed "Bruce" by the crew. Innocuous enough, until you realize "Bruce" was also the name of Spielberg's lawyer.
  • Double example: The name used by the Devil in The Exorcist AND by a psychotic killer in Strangeland? Captain Howdy.
  • The diabolical crime lord from RoboCop (1987) has the unassuming name of Clarence. In keeping with the joke, he also looks like a balding, bespectacled accountant (the director went with this look because he wanted a villain evocative of Heinrich Himmler).
  • In Tales from Muppetland: The Frog Prince, the evil witch has a very large ogre henchman named "Sweetums."
  • Prince Nuada in Hellboy II: The Golden Army has a large cave troll with a robotic fist on a chain. He calls him Mr. Wink. He's named after Selma Blair's one-eyed dog.
  • Audrey II, the giant man-eating venus flytrap of Little Shop of Horrors
  • Cats & Dogs has Mr. Tinkles, the Magnificent Bastard Butt-Monkey Blofeld cat. "Evil DOES NOT wear a bonnet!"
  • Diamonds Are Forever: Two of Blofeld's minions who are keeping Willard Whyte prisoner in his house are named Bambi and Thumper. They prove to be a little difficult for Bond to deal with.
  • 'Pumpkin'/'Ringo' from Pulp Fiction isn't psycho enough, but his girlfriend 'Honeybunny' most definitely is.
  • Metropolis: Dr. Rotwang. It sounds like some kind of horrible disease in English, but "Rotwang" is actually German for "red cheek".
  • Not a creature but it still fits the trope: the gun that Kay gives Jay in Men in Black is a tiny little thing that looks rather like a water pistol. It's called a Noisy Cricket. And when Jay fires it the first time, it takes out a wall, and the kickback is enough to throw him back several metres.
  • In Trick 'r Treat, the monstrous king of Halloween is named Sam. Short for Samhain.
  • The title demon of vengeance in the Pumpkinhead films.
  • In Reservoir Dogs, Nice Guy Eddie, Mr. Pink, Mr. White, and Mr. Blonde are all crooks.
  • The monster in Cloverfield became known as... Clover. And before that, his Fan Nickname was Mr Grumpy Pants.
  • In the Katharine Hepburn/Cary Grant screwball comedy Bringing Up Baby, "Baby" is a fully-grown leopard. He's friendly enough, but he's still a leopard.
  • In Seven Samurai, Toshiro Mifune's character is named Kikuchiyo after the fake papers he has to "prove" he's of noble birth. Unbeknown to him and to the amusement of the others, Kikuchiyo is the name of a little girl. He still kicks lots of ass.
  • In The Unborn, the spirit of the unborn child terrorizing Odette Yustman's character is named Jumby.
  • Bunny in Platoon, a soldier who rapes and kills civilians during a pacification mission in a Vietnamese village.
  • In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, there is the powerful and forbidding wizard who grandiosely introduces himself, "There are some who call me... Tim."
  • In The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the "bad" is an utterly ruthless assassin named Angel Eyes.
  • From Django Unchained we have Calvin Candie, a plantation owner who amuses himself by throwing slaves into duels to the death.
  • Pixxi de la Chasse in Repo Chick. A small blonde woman dressed all in pink who can make grown men run in fear by whispering in their ears, point a pistol like she means it and throw a solid punch.
  • The raptors in Jurassic World are named Blue, Charlie, Delta, and Echo.
  • The Jungle Book (2016): The King of the Bandar-Log monkeys is a 12-foot tall hulking Gigantopithecus who talks like a mob boss. His name is Louie. This is a result of the film making him an Adaptational Badass. In the source material, Louie (originally an Orangutan) was not an intimidating or villainous character, so the name was more fitting.
  • The titular monster from The Bye Bye Man drives people into hallucinatory insanity that causes them to commit hideous acts of murder just by thinking of his name.

    Jokes 
  • Parrot Joke: A burglar has broken into a house and starts looking for valuables. Suddenly, he hears a voice: "I can see you and so does Jesus!" He waves his flashlight around, but can't see anyone. Again, the voice says: "I can see you and so does Jesus!" Then he sees a birdcage with a parrot in it.
    Burglar: Damn, you scared me! Who the hell are you?
    Parrot: Gilbert.
    Burglar: What idiot names a parrot Gilbert?
    Parrot: The same idiot who named the rottweiler "Jesus".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kittycat the lion from The Addams Family. It seemed harmless (at least it never hurt anyone).
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy Summers, the Vampire Slayer. She's a tiny blonde who routinely breaks necks, chops off heads, slices priest's goods off, and does other things most men named Jed or Dirk would shudder at. This is lampshaded when Wishverse Vampire Xander says "Someone has to talk to her people. That name is striking fear in nobody's hearts." Even her allies can't quite believe it:
      Ancient Guardian: What's Your name?
      Buffy: Buffy.
      Ancient Guardian: No, really?
    • Darla. It's such a sweet-sounding name.
    • Glory.
    • "Angel" too, for that matter (it's a shortened version of Angelus, specifically chosen to be an ironic name). However poet-turned-vampire William Pratt specifically takes the name "Spike" to avert this trope, after Angelus tells him that "Willie" doesn't strike the right note of terror.
  • "Jayne" is the title character from The Comic Strip Presents: Mr Jolly Lives Next Door - he's a hitman.
  • In the Community episode "Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps", Shirley's story includes the Dean as the devil telling the study group that they will meet Pilates, a demon that eats genitals.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The First Doctor's companion Vicki names a couple of her "pets" — "Sandy" (a "sand beast" that looks like a horrible googly-eyed crocodile) and "Zombo" (a Zarbi, an eight-foot-long ant monster). The former is a subversion, since despite his appearance he's actually a harmless herbivore.
    • "The Happiness Patrol" gave us Helen A's vicious and downright ugly pet Stigorax called Fifi.
    • "The Long Game" has the Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe. The Editor of Satellite 5 prefers to call him Max, as it's less of a mouthful.
    • Neither "River Song" nor "Melody Pond" are names that would strike terror into the hearts of sentient beings... unless they had heard of the woman who they belong to.
    • "The Zygon Invasion" introduces us to the cold-blooded leader of group of insurgent aliens willing to start a war on earth. She orders people killed. She organizes murders. And her name is ... Bonnie? (Even the Doctor rejects that, choosing to call her "Zygella" instead.)
  • In one Dollhouse episode, Bennett names a sleeper assassin program "Puppies".
  • In Drake & Josh:
    • When Drake is sent to remedial English, one of the other students there has a big, intimidating Rottweiler named Cuddles.
    • In the episode with the bratty child actor; she has a big and brutish bodyguard named Citrus.
  • Inverted in an episode of Empty Nest where a small lost dog charms the Weston family while destroying the household and the larger family dog Dreyfuss getting the blame. When the real owner appears, he explains to Harry Weston what the little bastard really is and calls him the appropriately named "Satan".
  • An episode of Eureka had a scientist genetically engineer a microscopic organism that ate radiation. It ended up growing into a creature that was a direct nod to The Blob (1958). It was referred to as his "pet", as in "pet project". Its name? Spot, as in "spot remover".
  • Firefly:
    • Jayne, The Big Guy of the Firefly crew, is a human example, and he's named his BFG Vera.
    • Also, the single most dangerous, violent, and destructive member of the crew has the gentle, pastoral name of River.
    • And naming the ship Serenity? Not remotely as comforting as it sounds.
      • This has even more layers. The ship was named after Serenity Valley, which was the site of the last and bloodiest battle of the Browncoat Uprising, where Serenity's captain lost his cause, his friends, his idealism and his faith in God.
  • Game of Thrones: Each Stark child receives a pup that quickly becomes a full-grown direwolf capable of tearing out throats and more than willing to savage anyone who threatens their masters. Robb, Arya, and Jon Snow go for fittingly impressive names but Sansa, Bran, and Rickon name theirs Lady, Summer, and Shaggydog respectively.
  • Twinkles the monstrous kitten in The Goodies.
  • One episode of Hustle had a scary-ass Implacable Man named Pinky Byrne.
  • Tibbles from iCarly, the pooch of Fred/Lucas, described by Freddie as being either a large dog or a small bear.
  • In Lexx Cluster Lizards are 10 foot long vicious carnivorous worms. The pilot movies had a baby one affectionately named "Squish".
  • An episode of Life had a suspect talking about his cat "Fluffy". When Crews returns later, he encounters Fluffy, who happens to be a tiger.
  • Spot the dragon from The Munsters (never seen in full).
  • On The Muppet Show there are quite a few more grotesque looking monsters. The biggest one, 9 feet tall, shaggy, with fangs and beastly strong is named.... Sweetums. Sweetums usually plays characters that really are pretty friendly, once you get past their appearance. In the original Muppet Movie, Sweetums was referred to as "Jack", though he explains "Jack not name, jack job!": He lifts cars for a living.
  • In the episode of MythBusters that dealt with the Hindenburg, the B Story involved the build team annoying some crocodiles, and at one point they were introduced to the three most ornery crocs at the farm where they filmed: Fluffy, Skipper and Bob.
  • Halfway through season 3 of Person of Interest, an artificial intelligence called Samaritan is introduced into the storyline. It comes fully online at the end of the season, completely immoral, with no compunctions about killing others for its own gain or survival, and no restrictions on who can utilize its near-omnipresent surveillance, in complete contrast to the black boxed Machine.
  • In Power Rangers in Space, misfit henchman Elgar is threatened with being made to play with Scrudley, a never-explicitly-seen monster.
  • On Robot Wars several of the fighting machines had rather innocuous names, like Wheely Big Cheese (a large yellow wedge capable of hurling a robot over ten feet through the air) or Pussycat (a robot with a whirling blade capable of slicing through armour with ease). Most notably was the robot actually called Fluffy, which had a double-bladed whirling axe on the front capable of tearing giant chunks out of opponents.
  • Loki Hayes from Santa Clarita Diet is a scary gangbanger wanted for larceny, homicide, and impersonating a forest ranger. His pet is a six-foot banana python named "Baby". Subverted somewhat in that Baby is a rescue, and looks much scarier than he really is by virtue of being a snake.
  • Stargate Atlantis:
    • You knew the child princess was going to be trouble the second you found out her name was "Harmony". She didn't disappoint.
    • Also in Atlantis, Colonel Sheppard routinely names the big scary Space Vampires things like "Bob", "Steve", etc. The most prominent of said Wraith was dubbed "Todd".
  • Torchwood keeps a Weevil, one of the man-eating local aliens, in their Elaborate Underground Base. Her name is Janet (Jack was going to call her Barbara, but it just didn't suit her).
  • The unspeakably frightening main villain of Twin Peaks is a demon who likes to possess people and turn them into serial killers who murder and rape the people they love. His name is Bob. Or actually BOB. It's spelled in all caps.
  • In the final episode of the original Ultraman, we are introduced to Ultraman's superior officer, a warrior so powerful he is later revealed to have annihilated multiple alien invasions singlehandedly. His name...is Zoffy.
  • The Wire:
    • The street names for many hardened Baltimore criminals are pretty unassuming, such as "Cheese" and "Peanut".
    • Major Colvin is a tough veteran of the police force whose nickname is "Bunny".

    Music 
  • In Devin Townsend's concept album "Ziltoid The Omniscient", the Sixth Dimensional Planet Smasher is named... Herman. He hates musicals.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Fair Folk was one of the older names for fairies. The name is deliberately ironic; they were anything but fair, but calling them by more accurate names might draw their ire.
  • Cerberus is the three-headed hellhound who guards The Underworld in Classical Mythology. One theory for his name's origin is the root Indo-European word ḱerberos, "spotted." This would mean that Hades, Lord of the Underworld, named his dog "Spot."
  • In Basque mythology, the almighty snake-god of lightning is called... Sugar. It's more a case of In My Language, That Sounds Like... though, since this will only sounds funny to English speakers.
  • One of the most menacing figures in Aztec mythology is the War God Huitzilopochtli. He's known for having killed most of his 400 siblings shortly after being born and a lot of Aztec human sacrifices were dedicated to him. His name means "Left-Handed Hummingbird".

    Roleplay 
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, Plushiebunny's second form turns into a horrific monster whose appearance makes many heroes wet themselves in fear.
  • Survival of the Fittest v4 has Kenny the bear, whose one and only appearance on the island so far is attacking and killing an inactive student. It's heavily implied he used to have human owners who kept him in the cage.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Eberron the fringe religion of The Blood of Vol has many sub-organizations like the "Crimson Covenant," the "Order of the Emerald Claw," the "Hornblade Clan," or the "Keepers of Blood". And then there's the much more happy-sounding "Cult of Life." Yes, you should start running now.
  • Forgotten Realms contains a lot of fun. The Old Xoblob Shop (Waterdeep) has a bouncer named Guraim the Gentle Persuader, also useful as a rack for candles. It's an iron golem.
  • Not to be outdone, Spelljammer has, in increasing order of fearsomeness, the Giant Space Hamster, the Armor-Plated Giant Space Hamster, the Carnivorous Flying Giant Space Hamster, Fire-Breathing Phase Doppleganger Space Hamster, Tyrannohamsterus Rex, and, of course, Wooly Rupert.
  • Magic: The Gathering: "To the camp, it was a fierce and loyal protector. To the sentry's youngest daughter, it would always be her Wuv Muffin." - Flavor text for Patrol Hound
  • In Munchkin, any piece of equipment can be an "x ...OF DOOM" with the right bonus card attached. This occasionally results in a player toting around a Cute Shoulder Dragon...OF DOOM.
  • The sample characters in Toon include The Crusher, a two-foot tall little green man with a meek voice who nevertheless makes the ground shake when he walks. He's not an example of this trope, but his enforcer is, a hulking alien brute with the unassuming name of Percy.
  • Mutant Chronicles:
    • The Prophet of the Great Darkness, the Harbinger of Doom, the only human to carry an unholy Skalak sword and the only individual the followers of all five Dark Apostles respect is named... Billy.
    • The early editions have Bauhaus' Quality Control agents. They do exactly what it sounds like; track down people who are selling substandard goods under the Bauhaus brand. What is rarely mentioned is that people who abuse Bauhaus' good name and reputation in that way tend to die, in very public, painful and messy ways. "B is for 'Bauhaus', B is for 'Best'", indeed.
  • The box art of Quarriors! Light vs Dark includes a parody "lost pet" poster depicting one of the game's monsters:
    LOST - Black Cat Of Doom - Answers to "Sprinklepuffs" - Last seen around the deepest depths of Hades
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! game has Guard Dog, a vicious-looking Beast whose name - shown by its doghouse if you look closely - is "Beth".
  • Malifaux: He is a towering monstrosity of teeth and claws, a literal incarnate nightmare, the most physically imposing creature amongst the Neverborn. His name is Lord Chompy Bits.
  • Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 has the bloodthirsty War God Khorne, while his name seems intimidating when written down it's actually pronounced corn. This has led to a meme about about a cereal called "Khorne Flakes".

    Theme Parks 

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • The Blue team finds a very dangerous alien who teams up with them.
      Caboose: OK, gargantuan alien... Now that we've decided to keep you, you need a real name. I vote for "Fluffy".
      Tucker: Fluffy?!
      Caboose: Fluffy! The alien that only loves!
    • He later settles for "Crunchbite", which still isn't all that dangerous sounding.
    • In Season 11, Caboose finds an active war robot which he promptly names Freckles.
    • And in Season 13, Caboose meets an AI made by the same species "Fluffy" belonged to. He dubs it Santa, and the name both sticks and grinds the BGM to a halt.

    Web Comics 
  • Sluggy Freelance, while having its share of killer rabbits, has a borderline example of this in the form of the large centipede called Fluffy — it's big compared to a human, but it's large for a bug and considered scary and unpleasant by the humans in the strip. (It's the alien Aylee who considers it cute and gives it the name). Later, all its species get labelled "fluffies".
  • Dragoon in 8-Bit Theater has a pet dragon named Muffin - who, like all dragons, he thinks is a parrot. She is also the world's most evil dragon that founded the order of Dragoons to kill all of the other dragons, without them knowing, and then killed all but one of them.
  • Something*Positive has the cutely named Choo-Choo Bear and Twitchy-Hug. The former, while terribly cute, is a shapeshifter, occasionally prone to fits of psychotic and homicidal violence. The latter was quite clearly homicidal. That's OK, though. Choo-Choo Bear had him shot. Then Davan made the remains into an ashtray.
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Dr. McNinja's gorilla receptionist, who is known to take out hunters of giant lumberjacks and go toe-to-toe with velociraptors (named Yoshi), is named Judy.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Mr. Scruffy Took a Level in Badass by slaughtering a 1st level commoner - with one scratch.
    • Subverted with Little Whiskers the tiger. He's actually less threatening than Mr. Scruffy.
  • Exterminatus Now:
    • A running joke regarding Virus is his tendency toward pets like this, including a massive combat cyborg he named 'Skippy', though the only one of these pets to get significant screentime is a Chao that absorbed the DNA of a demonic dog, who he named 'Blasphemy', which is actually quite fitting.
    Eastwood: The traits you find endearing, most right-thinking people have nightmares about.
    • A Patterner cult are summoning a demon named...Kevin.
  • Variation: Lackadaisy features the "Sunshine Special", a perfectly cheery name for a train, but that's hardly reassuring to Rocky when he's nailed to its tracks. The comic also includes a mob boss named Asa Sweet and little orange tabby over there who massacres a group of people while laughing maniacally? He's known as Freckle to his cousin.
  • Goblins supplies the page quote, in the form of an Owlbear, tortured over months by the guard quoted in order to make it a killing machine. It works, but not quite in the way the guard might have hoped. A little later in the comic we're introduced to "Mr. Fingers". This is a very appropriate name since "Mr. Fingers" is an Eldritch Abomination that is composed of pure Nightmare Fueled Body Horror, one head, and unnumberable limbs that end in many-fingered hands. After that, there's Biscuit the Orc. He was named after his favorite food as a child.
  • Sequential Art has in-universe MMORPG "Realm of Lorcraft" where the fearsome beast named Pickles scared everyone. An incredibly frightening and powerful creature is a little, bug-eyed chihuahua-looking puppy who can turn himself inside out. (See the start of that storyline right here).
  • Looking for Group has the Chief Warlock of the Brothers of Darkness, Lord of the Thirteen Hells, Master of the Bones, Emperor of the Black, Lord of the Undead. His name is Richard. His friends call him "Dick" (at their own risk).
    • On later days he's picked up the titles "Lord of the Dance" and "Mistress of Magma" as well. He's also the mayor of a small town up the coast, quite scenic in spring... A small town of the undead that's called "Pretty, Pretty Unicorn." It's a work in progress.
  • College Roomies from Hell!!! fans know the tentacle goo monster that spawned in the guy's kitchen as 'Mr. Friendly'.
  • The Scout Report, a World of Warcraft comic, features a hunter detailing the advanced features of her pet in a two-paragraph lecture ending as follows:
    Scout: ...he can sneak up behind an orc, rip his throat out, eviscerate the corpse, and pee on the bloody entrails in four point two seconds. I've timed it.
    Dorna: That's... nice. What's his name?
    Scout: Precious.
  • In a now-outdated Penn State in-joke, the first giant monster to appear in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! was the mighty People-Eating Poly-Sorbate Insectoid: a "P.E.P.S.I." Snookums, in his original giant monster form would fit this trope as well, except that Snookums is harmless.
  • A Modest Destiny has the Vampire Lord Fluffy, whose name was enough to strike fear into the heart of even the most brave. He has Villain Decay as a backstory. The decay is later subverted with a vengeance.
  • Yuki from MegaTokyo gets a pet FunSized zombie 'zilla. She names him Zom-Zom-chan and ties all the pieces that fall off him back on with ribbons.
  • The title character of The Good Witch is named Angel, and her titular role as "the Good Witch" is explicitly to use her powers to help people and do good things. She's a self-centered sociopath who instead devotes her powers exclusively to making her own life better and amusing herself. Namely by transforming people at random into whatever she thinks would be fun, such as repeatedly Gender Bending a specific guy to mess with his head, or converting local kids into clothing for her mother's store. The comic has been described as a Darker and Edgier take on The Wotch.
  • L's Empire gives one of the main characters the Ultimate Chimera from MOTHER 3 as a pet and names it Fluffy.
  • Schlock Mercenary:
    • The comic has the former Ob'enn Superfortress starship, the "Post-Dated Check Loan", capable of outgunning whole fleets at full capacity. Its controlling AI has taken the name Petey (as in P.D.). This is in deliberate contrast to the absurdly overdramatic names of most of its race's ships. Incidentally, the next ship the Toughs own is the "Serial Peacemaker", which is a glorified troopship entirely unworthy of its awesome name.
    • The Ob'Enn themselves apply, and cross over with Deathbringer the Adorable. A cute-sounding name for a bunch of sapient koalazoids...who have decided to take up "xenocidal tendencies" as their hat.
    • Later on, the Toughs encounter a Fleetmind ship named the "Plaited Daisies".
    Tagon: Oh, there's a nice, peaceful name. I assume it's one of Petey's "Devastator" class warships.
    Ennesby: Actually, he's dubbed this class "Extortioners".
  • In Life With Lamarr, Magnusson has a T-Rex that can fire laser from its eyes, called Mr. Nibbles, and a ninja Fast Headcrab called Noodles.
  • Housepets! has a gator named Fluffy, with an apparent history of eating other pets.
  • The current page image as of June 2012 is Jared and Mr. Fish the Gyarados from Manly Guys Doing Manly Things. To be fair, Mr. Fish was a Magikarp when Jared named him that, so it is an example of the second case of the "sometimes played with by writers" paragraph.
  • Arthur in Wondermark was seen riding a piranhamoose and calling him "Fluffy".
  • Bud and Brandi from Wapsi Square have a pet sea monster named Stinky.
  • The villain in Warrior U is a pink unicorn by the name of Hevvin Angelbright. Sure, he's trying to extinguish all life on earth just for the sake of killing (and is living in a den littered with the skulls of his victims), but how can you hate him? A group of unicorns is called a BLESSING!
  • The Gamer Cat has the main character angering a big, intimidating cat who later reveals his name as "Sweet". He turns out to be calmer once Glitch invites him to play Super Mario 3 D World. Sweet choses to play as Peach.
  • Questionable Content has the tall and quietly intimidating combat droid named Bubbles. Meanwhile, her employer, a rather ordinary-looking purple robot, is named Corpse Witch.
  • Taking into account the powers Beings have in But I'm a Cat Person, they have the capability to be this.
  • Kor'la from EATATAU has a pet Great Knarloc he named Lily. For context, Great Knarlocs are T-Rex sized monsters used by the Kroot as beasts of war, and Kor'la says that Lily, who is already that big, is still just a baby.
  • Of all the doctors in Sparklecare, Dr. Cuddles is by far the most aggressive and violent. It's also worth mentioning he's a small pink squirrel.

    Web Original 
  • The infamous SMILE.DOG picture. Its name may conjure up images of a cute retriever or something similar. If anyone is seriously curious about the picture, there are links as well as more reliable descriptions of SMILE.DOG on the Nightmare Fuel - TvTropes page.
  • AH.com: The Series has Bobo the giant flying tentacled brain and Dave Howery's Gatling-cannon-wielding Canada-Destroying Mechs, which are all named after Sesame Street characters.
  • The Salvation War has Yahweh's pet, the first beast of revelations, which is essentially a 200-foot giant leopard with seven heads and ten horns. Its name? Wuffles. The name is practically a throwaway line in Yahweh's court, the humans it was sicced on have yet to identify it other than "ruthless giant killing machine which it takes aerial bombing and tank fire to kill, after it smacks Fort Bragg, and at death it was trying to form a portal to crawl away through". Then it turns out the Scarlet Beast is named Fluffy. It, as well as its rider, taste first a truck full of explosives driven by a Hamas operative, and later discover the arguments of sixteen 2000-lb bombs. Both turn out to dislike them a lot.
  • In chapter 9 of The Intercontinental Proliferation of Disgusting Characters, Peter Perfect's new paladin mount is revealed to be an undead great wyrm gold dragon. He calls her "Fluffball."
  • In the Whateley Universe, several Ultraviolents (students with a penchant for violence and blood) keep a twenty-foot-long flesh-eating demonic worm as a beloved pet. They call it "Fluffy".
  • From the pages of DeviantArt, we get the LemonLoaf. Most of this guys weapons qualify as BFS, but he has done some BFG work as well.
  • Dragon Cave: one dragon species in particular was designed for this. Its release went like this; people picked up eggs with the sweet, unassuming description "This egg is bright. And pink." The hatchlings were sweet, adorable, stood on one leg (and yes, were pink). Alphabetical sort revealed that they began with the letter "f", and everyone was squeeing over the adorable little Flamingo Wyverns. Then they grew up into ferocious, deadly looking (but still pink) monsters that were incredibly violent and territorial.
  • You'd think that a creature called The Polka-Dotted Pansyface would be rather harmless, right? In Mortasheen, you'd be very, very wrong.

    Web Videos 
  • In the third episode of Don't Hug Me I'm Scared, the murderous god that the Love Cult worships is named... Malcolm.


Alternative Title(s): Big Monster Cute Name

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