Follow TV Tropes

Following

Hates Being Called Cute

Go To

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 is because in the mind of people (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.

Advertisement:

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, than that is likely their girly streak.

It can overlap with Break the Cutie or Cute Bruiser. Contrast Kawaiiko, who are trying way too hard to be called cute.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

     Anime 
  • 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?!
  • In Glitter Force, the fairy Pop considers himself to be a cool and noble warrior. He regards being called cute as being "most rude" while calling out anyone who dares to call him that.

    Fan Works 
  • 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.
Advertisement:

    Films - Animation 
  • Zootopia: Judy tells Clawhauser that she doesn't like being called "cute", saying that only other bunnies can call each other cute.
  • 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 an 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 B.S.O.D. because he realizes he will never become a scarer.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Degrassi: 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.
  • Just Shoot Me!: Elliot tells Maya his plans for a photo shoot 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."

    Literature 
  • 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.
  • 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 never of them wants to talk about.

     Video Games 
  • 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. 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 person with PTSD, who ends up killing her.
  • 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."
  • The Sith Inquisitor from Star Wars: The Old Republic feels rather insulted when Sylas Wilkes mockingly call them cute.
    Sith Inquisitor: I am not cute, I'm deadly.

    Western Animation 
  • 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 Catch-Phrase: "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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • In The New Scooby Doo Mysteries episode "No Thanks, Masked Manx", Scrappy objects to Daphne's mother calling him cute.
    • Heck, Scrappy hates being called cute in general.
  • Animaniacs: Completely inverted with Dot who is openly proud of her cuteness and has her own "I Am" Song called "I'm Cute".
Advertisement:

Top