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Grotesque Cute

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"...and he kept stabbing them, again and again... He's a halfling, he's supposed to be jolly... Why isn't he jolly? WHY ISN'T HE JOLLY???"
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Generic Cuteness is taken for granted. You have all manner of strange things depicted as cute. But way past the vampire girl, you have the deliberately over-the-top depictions, where Sickeningly Sweet saccharine cuteness is depicted with wild, graphic violence.

For obvious reasons, these situations are more common in shows dabbling in satire.

See also: Cute and Psycho, Enfant Terrible, Killer Rabbit, Girl with Psycho Weapon, Cute Monster Girl, Ultra Super Death Gorefest Chainsawer 3000, Art-Style Dissonance. Can be a pretty deep well of Nightmare Fuel. Based on the same principle as Fan Disservice.

Compare with Kawaisa.

Not to be confused with Ugly Cute or finding Joseph Merrick intensely lovable (see What Measure Is a Non-Cute?).


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Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Roman Dirge's comic book Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Max in Sam & Max: Freelance Police — threatening cruel and unusual punishments while extolling his own "marketability".
  • Marvel Zombies Returns #1 has Zombie Spidey in a world that is like a late 60's- early 70's Spider Man comic. Everything's so happy UNTIL SPIDEY RIPS OUT KRAVEN'S THOAT WITH HIS TEETH!!
    • Everyone (except Zombie Spidey and Sandman) ends up infected and killed or just eaten alive.
  • I Hate Fairyland is a series in which an Ax-Crazy woman trapped in the body of a child in a Sugar Bowl world brutally destroys everything in her path in her quest to find the key that will get her back home. The protagonist herself counts in a way, as she looks like a little girl, but has a maniacal and ragged air to her.
  • New 52 Harley Quinn on several occasions, especially in the covers of issues #2 and #3.

    Comic Strips 
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    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Batman Returns. Psycho clowns, rocket-mounted penguins, PVC bodysuits covered in weird stitches, Danny Devito's makeup, and... Christopher Walken.
  • There's a certain element of this to V in V for Vendetta. Round, pink cheeks; Eyes Always Shut; huge smile; little upturned nose (at least in the comics); silky, shoulder-length hair... and he kills people with his bare hands!

    Literature 
  • In Dean Koontz's book, Brother Odd, the title character encounters a manufactured animal who is the epitome of mindless cuteness. Mindless, in that it has no mind or soul and is therefore profoundly disturbing rather than cute.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The puppets in the Angel episode "Smile Time".
  • The suicidally depressed giant teddy bear in the Supernatural episode "Wishful Thinking".
  • The Criminal Minds episode "Uncanny Valley" was aiming for this as a general feel. It was an episode where the Unsub, who had her dolls taken away from her by her father kidnapped humans to serve as her dolls. It came complete with very kid-friendly music throughout.

    Music 
  • Invoked in the music video for "Bloodline" by Slayer, where a kitten can briefly be seen lapping up a pool of blood.
  • Music/Vocaloid: Too many Rin and/or Len songs to count. A few examples? Any [[Music/Mothy Evillous]] video where they play an incarnation of Hansel or Gretel, Trick and Treat, Karakuri Burst....et cetera.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The titular Mons in Pokéthulhu are cute. Eldritch Abominations, granted, but cute Eldritch Abominations. They'll also attack you and try to devour your soul if you're not careful.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade's vampires keep the looks (and age) they had at a moment of their death and vampiric transformation. So, it's possible to meet (or play as) a hundreds of years old undead monster, who looks like an angel-faced 10 years old.
    • Pushed Up to Eleven in the old (and VERY disturbing) Montreal sourcebook (made by White Wolf's "Black Dog" imprint, which in itself should be considered a warning), where not only is there an angel-faced 10-year-old vampire -who's her pack's warrior- but the local vamps' unofficial mascot is a limbless dwarf Samedi (vampires who look like rotting corpses) who they use in a variety of gory "games", like "bob the apple" but with humans stuck up to their necks in a flour silo. No points for guessing the place is a Sabbat stronghold.
  • Pathfinder goblins can fall into this, when their funny little songs and childish antics crash hard against their general violence and destructiveness.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Nana's Everyday Life, has the art style of a manga for little children; plays the mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse of an underaged girl for laughs. Very dark laughs. Until it stops being funny.
  • This Something*Positive strip.
    • If you think that's bad, try this one..
    • The Little Blue Thing, aka Fluffmodeus. He's like an '80s cartoon character who Care-Bear-Stared a little too long into the abyss...
      "It only takes seven pounds of pressure to break a human skull... FROM THE INSIDE. Kisses now!"
  • Kiki playing with No Content from Sluggy Freelance: it gets bloody quick.
  • Ursula Vernon's Little Creature.
  • Charby the Vampirate is described as an ultra-violent Saturday morning cartoon, with adorable characters who will occasionally eviscerate or suffocate their many victims, brutally, with no Gory Discretion Shot. The combo is especially obvious with Mye, the zombie girl who smells sweet despite 315 years of decay, plus the unhealed slit in her chest where she got a sweet heart transplant. Her Evil Eyes are bubblegum pink.
    • Mye isn't decaying,(she is a traditional zombie, not a Hollywood/Romero zombie)the sweet smell is candle wax and gummy bears, two things she spends a lot of time with. And her brother's eyes are pink, too!
  • The Perry Bible Fellowship. Where to even begin?
  • Erf World, with the incredibly cute and adorable-looking, child-like midgets engaged in brutal, unending wars for no real, discernible reason.
  • Double Happiness
  • Arcturus Winrock from Suicide for Hire is downright ADORABLE with those big Puppy-Dog Eyes of his but he DOES have a dark side to him.....
  • Drowtales presents the amaceing Mili'ani!
  • The Unspeakable Vault (of Doom) is a Lighter and Softer look at the Cthulhu Mythos—for instance, its cartoonishly-drawn "Cthulhoo" says "yum yum" every time he eats an unfortunate cultist. But it's still the Cthulhu Mythos, and the gore factor actually goes up compared to Lovecraft's work. It'd be Mood Whiplash if the death and dismemberment weren't so heavily integrated into the comic alongside the silliness.
  • Homestuck starts off simply being about a kid who is celebrating his thirteenth birthday by playing a new game. Then the game turns out to cause The End of the World as We Know It and summon monsters wearing jester hats to torment the protagonist, and it only gets worse from there on out.
    • It becomes more clear later on, with an army of anthropomorphic chess pieces being slaughtered by Jack Noir, a children's show's characters turning out to be representations of "Horrorterrors" and comic relief character Gamzee going Ax-Crazy and deciding he needs to kill all his friends.
    • Among the Trolls, Nepeta Leijon from is a Moe Cat Girl who kills wild animals for food with her Wolverine Claws. The other Trolls qualify as well, albeit to a lesser extent. This seems to be a fact of which they are both aware and proud, given that they decide to call themselves "Team Adorabloodthirsty."
      • The diaries of Vriska's ancestor suggest that this is not only normal, but expected and encouraged of trolls of Gamzee's rank; in troll society, such traits are considered the mark of strong leadership skills.
    • Also, Caliborn. One of the first things we see him do after his proper reveal is gnawing off his leg, causing him to get covered in his own blood. As for his personality, he's a sociopathic Jerk Ass who seems to find the sight of his sister's friends dying/being knocked out hilarious. And he likes firing rounds into people until they look like a bloody mess. All that being said and done, he still has large, rather adorable eyes with doll-like eyelashes, and as a cherub, he's the pinnacle of Ugly Cute.
  • In an attempt to tone down the violence and make the strip more viewer friendly (or so we are told), Kagerou brings us "cute chibi blood".
  • The Order of the Stick: The stick figure art makes everything look much cuter than it would in a more realistic style. And yet you still get characters like Xykon and Belkar and quite a bit of violence. In particular, Tsukiko sleeps with an adorable Xykon plushie, and Belkar is a fuzzy-footed halfling of chibi proportions who gleefully stabs everyone who crosses him or has something he wants.
    • And, then you get the Implosion spell shown in its full gory glory. Or Familicide: just... everything about it as the implications just snowball. If you don't shudder at those strips, something's wrong.
  • Sonichu unintentionally falls into this. It looks a lot like something your seven year old child would draw, with creatures that are a combination of Sonic the Hedgehog and Pokémon, with an Author Avatar that is the mayor of the town and cartoon-y villains. However, it features graphic sex scenes and true to this trope, scenes where a bunch of Internet trolls are tortured to death, including one getting drilled in the groin by a little girl.
  • Serenity Rose, in its currently ongoing second issue, makes the entire plot revolve around this.
  • Considering how cute most of the doctors at Sparklecare are, it's easy to forget that almost all of them are Mad Doctors who torment or kill their patients with no remorse.

    Web Original 
  • Ruby Quest is more or less about taking some cute animal people and then breaking them physically and mentally in horrible, horrible ways.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 

Alternative Title(s): Agorable

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