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Hates Being Called Cute

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Don't. Ever. Call me. Cute. AGAIN!

A common Berserk Button for characters with overall adorable appearances is being called "cute". If someone calls them adorable their most common reply is (or is a variation of): "Don't Call Me Cute!" and perhaps something more aggressive.

The reasons vary for why the character dislikes being called cute, but most of the time it is because in the mind of people in general (or even in the mind of the character, if they're insecure), being called cute/adorable means they are weak, not fitted for the job, or being judged based on (and only on) their appearance. The character wants to prove themselves worthy.

Tomboys are another common user of this trope because being cute is generally thought of as a Girly Girl trait, and so this trope can serve to contrast them. If a tomboy doesn't mind being called cute, then that is likely her girly streak. Androgynous and/or young boys may likewise find the gendered connotations emasculating.

It can overlap with Break the Cutie, Affection-Hating Kid, Cute Bruiser, I Just Want to Be Badass, or I Want to Be a Real Man. Contrast Kawaiiko, who are trying way too hard to be called cute.

Truth in Television to some people. Just call anyone "cute" and see if they have Berserk Button or embarrassment.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Even after being turned female, Matsuri remains secure in his masculinity, but he still hates being called "cute" or "pretty". Matsuri is especially mortified when it's said by guys hitting on him, but still annoyed even by Suzu nervously joking about his looks before their first day of high school. He seems to lighten up after a few months, simply getting silently nervous when Haya says Matsuri looks cute in her school uniform, and outright pleased that Suzu said he looked "nice" in girls' clothes (keeping her more fawning praise to herself).
    Suzu: Hm, you turned out cuter than expected. I'm stunned.
    Matsuri: I'm a guy!
  • In Digimon Tamers, Guilmon himself doesn't mind being called cute, but his tamer, Takato, feels otherwise, preferring Guilmon to be called "cool" instead.
  • In Glitter Force, the fairy Pop considers himself to be a cool and noble warrior. He regards being called cute as "most rude" and calls out anyone who dares to do so.
  • The Kaguya-sama: Love Is War characters Kaguya and Shirogane fear that the other will call them “cute”, interpreting it as the other looking down on them.
  • Kiratto Pri☆Chan: Suzu doesn't like being called cute, and prefers being called cool instead. This is one of the reasons why she doesn't get along with Maria at first.
  • Love Hina: When wearing a dress given to her by Haruka in episode 12, Keitaro compliments Motoko by calling her cute. Motoko promptly loses her cool and tries to attack him with her sword.
    Motoko: Why you—! HOW DARE YOU CALL ME CUTE?!
  • Pokémon: The Series: Goh did not appreciate Hodge calling him cute in Episode 7 of Pokémon Journeys: The Series.
    • Pokémon Horizons: The Series: Captain Pikachu detests being called "cute". Unfortunately, his response to it is an adorable sneezing fit that does nothing to convince anyone.
    Comic Books 
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket Racoon despises being called or treated cute. It's fine if he's pointing out his own cuteness, but if other people do it it's liable to bring on a storm of swearing.
    Fan Works 
  • Olive in All Mixed Up!, like in canon, doesn't like to be called "dear" and other similarly endearing terms. When Mariana Mag calls her "dear" just before offering them warmth and shelter from roughhousing with one of her sharks, Diesel, the agent wants to object, but is too tired, cold, and wet to do so.
  • Telling Damian he's cute when they first meet is what changes his opinion of Selina from distrust to outright hatred in Batman: Angel of Death.
    "The way you talked about him I was expecting horns or blank black eyes, but look at him! He's so cute!"
    Dick had seen Damian angry many, many times. They met when he was in the middle of a homicidal frenzy, but this was not that time. This made him take a sharp step back. The boy's little body quaked with boiling rage, and he was grinding his teeth so hard Dick swore he saw sparks. This was not a starving carnivore preparing to tear out its prey's throat, it was the before shot of Vesuvius take two.
    "I'm...not...cute!" snarled Damian.
  • In Boo! Haunted House! (based on The Loud House), Lucy yells at her sister Lori to never call her cute again.
  • The Hatbox Ghost in The Mansionverse is very proud of his alleged scariness and has a breakdown when someone calls him cute. In an unusual twist, he's not angry; instead, he's terrified that he's actually lost his touch.
  • Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is often depicted this way. Any images on the fanart site Derpibooru where she says she's not cute is tagged "Blatant Lies" - rightly so.
  • Peeking Through the Fourth Wall: Lincoln tends to find it embarrassing whenever his sisters (most often Leni or Lola) call him cute.
    Films - Animation 
  • An indirect variant occurs in Kung Fu Panda 2 when two of Lord Shen's wolf guards see a tiny barrel (secretly containing Mantis) roll towards them, and they call it "cute". Mantis then bursts from it, screaming "Cute?!", and proceeds to knock them unconscious.
  • Monsters University: In a university where all monsters aspire to be fearsome scarers, being cute is not a good thing. It was used as an insult to humiliate the fraternity Oozma Kappa, calling them "the most adorable monsters on campus". Played for Drama later in the movie, when Mike tries to scare a group of kids but fails because of his small Ugly Cute appearance ("I wanna touch it. He's so cute!"), leading to Mike's Heroic BSoD because he realizes he will never become a scarer.
  • The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature: Mr. Feng might be tiny with big blue eyes, but he gets violent when Surly calls him cute.
    Surly: How can someone so cute be so violent?
    Mr. Feng: I said, don't call me cute!
  • It is revealed in The Powerpuff Girls Movie that Buttercup (of course, being a tomboy) doesn't like being called "cute" contrasting Bubbles.
    Buttercup: [To Mojo Jojo] Who you callin' a cute?
  • Zootopia: Judy tells Clawhauser that she doesn't like being called "cute", saying that only other bunnies can call each other cute.
    Films - Live Action 
  • Averted in Pokémon Detective Pikachu: Tim asks people if they can understand Pikachu, who gives the usual "Pika Pika!" One woman compliments that he's adorable, to which Pikachu enthusiastically returns the compliment.
  • Played for laughs and subverted in Spider-Man: Far From Home:
    Peter You look real pretty.
    M.J.: And therefore I have value?
    Peter: Uh, no, that's not...
    M.J.: I'm messin' with look pretty too.
  • Dr. Marmalade from The Bad Guys. He's a billionaire mad scientist who also happens to be an adorable guinea pig. Him being tired of called "cute" is what drove him to become an evil scientist in the first place. It turns out, by alien standards, this holds true of his actual form, a tentacled mess of stalks with butts for hands, which looks terrifying to the others.
  • In the I'm Not series, the book "I'm Not Cute" has people calling Baby Owl cute, only for him to get angry and say that he's not cute, he's a "hunting machine".
  • Journey to Chaos: Nolien quickly learns that if he wants to compliment Tiza, he must focus on her combat abilities, because calling her "lovely" or "pretty" etc. makes her angry instead. During a mission in Najica, this trope caused an incident that neither of them wants to talk about.
    Live Action TV 
  • Cheers: Woody gets pretty annoyed (a rarity for Woody as is) when his girlfriend Kelly describes him having a job as "cute".
    Woody: I don't do it to be cute, I do it to earn money to live! The cute part just happens.
  • Degrassi: The Next Generation: Manny was The Cutie in the first two seasons, but in season 3 she decides to change her image because she doesn't want to be perceived as "cute" anymore. In her own words, she wants to be hot, not cute or adorable, but hot.
  • Herman's Head: Yeardley Smith's character Louise Fitzer hates being called cute.
    John: You're very cute.
    Herman: Oh no.
    Louise: (sarcastically) Yes, I'm the goddess of cute, the queen of cute. In fact, I'm thinking of changing my name from Louise to something more appropriate like Snuggles.
  • Just Shoot Me!: Elliot tells Maya his plans for a photoshoot that will outdo his rival Annie Leibowitz, and is insulted when Maya calls it cute.
    Elliot: Cute. That's good. Like a bunny.
    Maya: No, I mean...
    Elliot: Like a BUNNY!
  • NewsRadio: Lisa is insulted that a magazine has named her "New York's cutest reporter". Beth is insulted too... because she believes Lisa shouldn't be considered cute, just pretty: "Pretty is pretty. Cute is pretty and short or hyperactive, like me."
  • Jax in Power Rangers Beast Morphers doesn't like being called cute because of his tough-guy personality. The fact that he looks like a cross between R2-D2 and Pikachu certainly doesn't suggest he's as strong or capable as he actually is.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In "Rascals", Ro is already sulking when she's turned into a preteen, but when Guinan calls her cute, she snaps at her.
    Professional Wrestling 
  • MsChif used to backhandedly praise Daizee Haze's "cuteness" in Gateway Championship Wrestling. MsChif didn't react too well when a completely sincere Chad Paint described her as a "Gothic hottie".
  • Sara Del Rey politely rebuked Larry Sweeney in Ring of Honor when he tried to get her a better job based on her looks. She was a little less polite in LLF and SHIMMER where she wore a mask and painted her face, respectively, and was still getting compliments based on her looks.
    Video Games 
  • Natsuki from Doki Doki Literature Club! is tiny and pink-haired and has a fondness for cutesy things, as reflected in her poetic style. She is also abrasive and feisty, and does not like it when she is called cute. She'd rather be seen as competent and impressive, but she's insecure about that too, and maybe being seen as cute feels like being seen as childish.
    Sayori: Ehehe, your cupcakes, your poems... Everything you do is just as cute as you are.
    [Sayori sidles up behind Natsuki and puts her hands on her shoulders.]
    Natsuki: I'm not cute!!
  • Nazuna of Ensemble Stars! is much Younger Than He Looks and does not appreciate being treated like a cute little kid, as he's actually one of the oldest members of the cast and a very capable Big Brother Mentor. Unfortunately for him, he ended up leader of a unit whose image is based around being cute, but he diligently plays his part regardless and appreciates it when other students understand the difference between on and offstage personas.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Rocket Raccoon, a rather fierce and crass guy, has this to say in one of his intros:
    "Let's see how 'cute' I am after I strangle you with your own intestines."
  • Spooky from Spooky's Jump Scare Mansion. She's a Cute Ghost Girl who hates being thought of as cute and wants nothing more than everyone to fear her. Which is why she is trying to Take Over the World. It's revealed this extends back to even when she was alive, as she was a normal girl who wanted to scare people but couldn't because everyone thought she was too cute. Then one day she succeeds in scaring a PTSD-addled veteran, who ends up killing her.
  • The Sith Inquisitor from Star Wars: The Old Republic feels rather insulted when Sylas Wilkes mockingly calls them cute.
    Sith Inquisitor: I'm not cute, I'm deadly.
    Web Animation 
    Western Animation 
  • In Blinky Bill, Danny Dingo tends to call Blinky's gang "kids" or "kindies", which Marcia absolutely despises.
  • In Bounty Hamster, the titular character is a hamster bounty hunter and his biggest Berserk Button is being called cute, which will lead to his catchphrase: "Don't... call... me... CUTE!"
  • In Dave the Barbarian, Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Piggy absolutely loathes being treated as anything other than "the Master of Evil". Unfortunately for him, his small, plump appearance can lead to Cuteness Proximity.
  • Gravity Falls: In "Headhunters", Dipper takes offense at Blubs and Durland calling him "adorable".
    Dipper: That's it! Mabel, you and me are gonna found the jerk who did this and take back that head! Then we'll see who's adorable. [makes a little sneeze]
    Mabel: Aww, you sneeze like a kitten.
  • Lana Loud from The Loud House in contrast to her twin sister Lola. This is Played With as she definitely did not like it when Lincoln called her cute, yet other episodes show that she does not really mind when other people do it.
  • In The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries episode "No Thanks, Masked Manx", Scrappy-Doo objects to Daphne's mother calling him cute. Heck, Scrappy hates being called cute in general.
  • In My Little Pony: Pony Life, Fluttershy's cuteness is directly acknowledged by the other ponies (unlike in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic). Fluttershy doesn't appreciate it, thinking herself to be tough with a dark side. Downplayed when she fights Bubbles with her cuteness, to the point that the resulting Cuteness Overload not only makes Rainbow Dash faint but destroys Bubbles.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998): Bubbles has a nasty case of this in episode Bubblevicious. She hates being called cute because she gets treated like a baby by everyone and nobody wants to give her a change to prove she is tough like her sisters.
  • In the Sonic Boom episode "Tails' Crush", Tails said "I'm not adorable! I'm serious and formidable!" when Amy called him adorable after she and her friends found out he was in love with Zooey.
  • Steven Universe: In "Catch and Release", Steven calls Peridot "cute" upon seeing how short she is without her "limb enhancers". Peridot responds by slapping him (after realizing doing so hurts him).
    Peridot: [slapping Steven] You smashed me into a limbless cloud, you trapped me in your bubble-dungeon, and you called me CUTE!
  • We Bare Bears: In "Panda Sneeze", Panda doesn't want to be called "cute" because he feels it won't allow him to be taken seriously, and he is humiliated when his adorable sneezing becomes a sensation.



Panda, despite wanting to deny it, sneezes in a cute manner.

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