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Lovecraft Lite

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Just your average "slacker meets eldritch aliens" story.

"A devil from the Outer Dark," he grunted. "Oh, they're nothing uncommon. They lurk as thick as fleas outside the belt of light which surrounds this world. I've heard the wise men of Zamora talk of them. Some find their way to Earth, but when they do they have to take on some earthly form and flesh of some sort. A man like myself, with a sword, is a match for any amount of fangs and talons, infernal or terrestrial..."

Oh no! The Cult of K'rzy has read from the Book of Darned Awful Things and unleashed the dreaded might of Yog-Sofserve, the Black Goat of the Cream with a Thousand Flavors! Yep, it's end of the world time. But wait! Those big darned heroes showed up and shoved old Yog back into his book. Crisis averted! And nobody went gibbering insane!

Where the traditionally Lovecraftian Cosmic Horror Story tries to unleash an emotional whammy of despair and hopelessness on the characters and the audience, Lovecraft Lite — also referred to as "Post-Lovecraftian" in analyses like "What is Post-Lovecraftian fiction?" — has a more modest aim. It uses the toys and themes of Trope Codifier H. P. Lovecraft to tell a different, more optimistic kind of story in the genre of Speculative Fiction. In a traditional Cosmic Horror Story, hope is gone. Lovecraft Lite, though, doesn't have the same hopelessness and ends up being more of an adventure story that just so happens to take place in a similar setting. It's basically a Cosmic Horror Story on anti-depressants. May sometimes cause cases of Vile Villain, Saccharine Show if said abomination clashes too much with the tone of the work.


Since part of the definition of the Cosmic Horror Story is that mankind has no chance at even comprehending the hideous Truth of the universe, let alone fighting it; any series where someone can defeat Eldritch Abominations is usually closer to Lovecraft Lite than Cosmic Horror Story; it can still be a CHS if it can be defeated, but at great cost, especially if it only delays the inevitable, opens the door for even nastier things, or allows its essence to infect and contaminate the world in its absence. note 


Sometime this is done by having bigger fish on the hero's side, possibly as a Big Good.

Two tropes that commonly overlap in Lovecraft Lite stories are Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu? and Adorable Abomination, which respectively refer to benevolent and cute Lovecraftian monsters.

It may perhaps be objected that "Lovecraft Lite" is a bit of a misnomer, since the man himself actually wrote more than a few stories where the monsters can in fact be thwarted, sometimes even with mundane methods. But then again, Lovecraft is such a formative influence on Cosmic Horror that his name has become metonymous for the whole genre. See the Cthulhu Mythos for more.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Attack on Titan starts off like this. The last remnants of humanity are being gruesomely hunted to extinction by huge, mindless, incomprehensible Humanoid Abominations, for seemingly no reason. Our heroes are vastly out-gunned by the Titans, and they don't even have the consolation of dying a meaningful death, as the Titans don't even need to eat humans to survive –- they just think we taste good. The show gradually becomes less Lovecraftian as we learn more about the origin and motivation of the Titans, and as the heroes discover methods of fighting back.
  • Berserk stands somewhere between this and a full Cosmic Horror Story. Very, very bad things happen, people die horribly, get raped, tortured, Go Mad from the Revelation... but the protagonist and his True Companions refuse to just give up and the author has implied it's going to go the bittersweet or Earn Your Happy Ending route in the end.
  • The climax of Digimon Tamers involves the D-Reaper; an extremely powerful, seemingly invincible monstrosity trying to destroy the universe. Albeit with a great deal of difficulty, the heroes manage to defeat it anyways.
  • Dororon Enma-kun Meramera at the very end went into this — Heaven and Hell agree to destroy the Earth to harvest energy produced by human souls, which their supplies has run low, and because Youkai Patrol members are demons and cannot die, therefore they doesn't understand what dying means for humans, they don't see a reason to stop it. They later change their minds and solve the problem.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Dragon Ball Z delves into this a bit during the Buu Saga, featuring a destructive, evil creature Made of Magic that is thousands of times more powerful than the universe's God-equivalents and has successfully murdered or absorbed all of them except one. Buu also successfully wipes out humanity and destroys the Earth along with several other planets. Thankfully, most of this is reversed thanks to the Dragon Balls.
    • The mere existence of Beerus and Whis, beings so powerful that they can kill creatures as strong as Super Saiyan God Goku with a word, given how Beerus executed Zamasu. There are also other Gods of Destruction and their attendants who are equal or stronger, and Zen'o being the ruler of all of them who can destroy the entire multiverse. Thankfully, most of these ultra powerful entities are benign or at least neutral. However, that still doesn't stop the random God of Destruction from destroying your planet because they hate the food or because they were looking for something.
    • The Future Trunks Saga in Dragon Ball Super shows what happened when just one of the gods goes out of control. Zamasu, an Apprentice Supreme Kai from another universe, decides that all mortals are failure of the gods and must be wiped out. To that end, he steals the body of Goku, an extremely powerful mortal, murders him and his entire family while he's trapped in his original body, teams up with another version of himself from another timeline, kills off the other gods in the other 12 universes, and begins to slowly kill off the populations on different planets before arriving on Future Trunks' Earth, which was already decimated by the androids for almost twenty years. One of the Zamasus is also an immortal, so he can't be killed, while the one who took Goku's body grows stronger every time he fights and gets hurt. Their actions also effected at least two different timelines. The saga ends with Merged Zamasu becoming one with the multiverse and killing everyone in it before Future Zen'o kills him by destroying the entire multiverse of that particular timeline, making this the darkest chapter in the entire series.
    • The Universal Survival Saga ups the Lovecraft aspects by having Zen'o decide to eliminate the losing universe during the tournament. Meaning, trillions upon trillions of people will be wiped from existence because they lost a tournament. Although, it's subverted at the end, where they all get wished back and it was all a Secret Test of Character set up by Zen'O. But if mortals had failed that test (which very nearly happened), Zen'o was going to erase everything.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya, wherein sentient data entities are too busy trying to understand each other's motivations and the powers of the eponymous Shorttank to concern themselves with the after-effects their actions have with humans on Earth, and/or the Human Aliens they create. Just as unsettling, those same Human Aliens come equipped with their own hostile form of Blue-and-Orange Morality, to the point the villainous ones veer straight into Humanoid Abomination territory. That said, as a comedy, the series is far more on the idealistic side than the cynical, and the heroes have more than enough powers (and a secret Trust Password) to come out on top.
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, since it's both a light, satirical Slice of Life and a story of The Only One fighting Eldritch Abominations produced by a Mega-Corp
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's. So there's this Tome of Eldritch Lore which, every once in a while, unleashes an Eldritch Abomination that crunches planets like walnuts. This thing has never been stopped. It's bound to an Ill Girl and slowly killing her, while her guardians descend further and further into villainy due to their inability to save her. The only method the largest mage army in the universe can come up with to save Earth is freezing the girl in magic ice until the end of time. Feeling hopeless yet? Fear not, for the White Devil and her loyal cohorts have already been dispatched to the scene! Just lean back and watch them befriend some eldritch ass! It still isn't quite enough: the befriending manages to destroy the abomination for now, but the book will still kill the girl and respawn elsewhere. The threat is only permanently dealt with when the Book's intelligence decides to commit a Heroic Sacrifice, out of love for the girl it was bound to. There is also the implication that civilizations inevitably annihilate themselves after reaching a certain level of advancement (which is why there are so many Lost Logia around). It is perhaps telling that the ur-Precursor civilization in in this series shares a name with the author of the Necronomicon (Al-Hazred).
  • Naruto is world where there are nine Eldritch Abominations called the Tailed Beasts whose power is compared to forces of nature. And as the series goes on, it turns out that while harnessing their strength is highly dangerous, it's still entirely possible and has been in the past. Recent arcs have revealed that's why the Tailed Beasts don't like humans, they spent decades being used as nothing more than tools of war, much like the ninjas, only they are even more dehumanized then their hosts as humans almost never even bother to learn their names. In this series, the greatest monsters are humans.
  • The Nasuverse's background setting has elements of this: if you piece together the background materials it turns out that the Earth itself is trying desperately to kill off humanity, and has enlisted the help other cosmic entities (such as the spirit and personification of the Moon) to do so. Humanity is constantly at the mercy of its own collective consciousness and that of the planet's, Alaya and Gaia respectively. The only way for Humanity to be free of them is to 'kill' the planet and to evolve to a higher level of existence, but this will only cause the other planets in the Sol System to turn on Humanity. And assuming Humanity can overcome them, the entire universe would probably turn on Humanity for getting above itself... so basically, the only way Humanity can truly be free is to destroy the universe itself. Still, another thing about the background setting is that Alaya is completely on humanity's side here (though it is a Well-Intentioned Extremist) and due to its nature, humanity also has a fair shot of doing exactly that. Humanity is holding its own, as evidenced by the fact that we're still here, and it is implied that the Earth is eventually going to lose... at which point humanity will be advanced enough to survive without it. Thus, it can said that while it is a Cosmic Horror Story, it may not be humans facing eternal doom and irrelevance. Of course, if Angel Notes is to be trusted, the Earth's parting shot is getting the rest of the planets to try to kill humanity in its stead.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: The setting is a Lovecraftian Mind Screw Cosmic Horror Story, but ends with the protagonist finding resolution and becoming The Anti-Nihilist. It also shows that "inscrutable and unspeakable horrors from beyond space" have nothing on Humans Are the Real Monsters... doubly so because it turns out Humans Are Cthulhu (or at least have the potential to become it, which leads back to the previous trope — the true Big Bad group wants it to happen for the sake of becoming "gods" and everyone else is expendable).
  • Noein keeps a hopeful tone, but it also has a number of Eldritch Abominations running around, and the bad guy is threatening on a cosmic scale (since he wants to destroy the universe and start it from scratch), albeit without the level of unconcern that a true Cosmic Horror villain would have.
  • Nyaruko: Crawling With Love! is pretty well-built on this concept. Nyarlathotep is a silver-haired Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Cthuguha is her Stoic Stalker with a Crush, Hastur is a Cute Shotaro Boy in a yellow hoodie, and the Shantak-Bird is Nyarlathotep's Pokemon-style pet. While monsters get splattered with reckless abandon, for the most part the show is a Romantic Comedy parody. On top of this, the show's male lead Mahiro is a fan of Lovecraft, and alternates between Genre Savvy (looking up information about new aliens in Call of Cthulhu gamebooks) and Genre Blind (he's terrified by Nyarko's advances because he's afraid she'll turn out to be just as evil as her fictional counterpart).
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica is like this:
    • The entropy problem is not yet fully resolved, The Incubators get away with everything, despair and misery are still necessary components of the universe and human civilization, Kyouko couldn't save Sayaka, but at the very least the titular character remade the world so that magical girls no longer mutate into witches, though at the cost of her very existence and new entities called "wraiths" exist instead. And there is still plenty of conflict going on...
    • As for the Rebellion movie, the Incubators' plans finally blew on their faces, and their experiments with Homura's soul gem culminated in her being able to usurp Madoka's place by transforming herself into what she calls "a devil". It's implied that Homura is using the Incubators as substitutes for human suffering as to regulate entropy herself. She also wipes everyone else's memories to get them to live relatively normal lives without worrying about Magical Girls rebelling against her, specially Sayaka, who, prior to her mind wiping, seemed pretty upset about what Homura did. That said, Madoka still seems to retain at least a fraction of her power, and she's able to resist Homura's brainwashing to some degree. Homura ultimately laments that, should Madoka regain her memories, she'll have to antagonize her best friend.
  • The Big Bad of Shamanic Princess, the Throne of Yord, operates on a level beyond human understanding and is completely impossible for the protagonists to overcome. It throws the heroine into a gauntlet of Mind Screws just because it thinks she's interesting — and what measure is the suffering of a mortal to a sentient fount of eternal magical energy, anyway? Fortunately for the heroine, the story has significant gnostic influences which level the playing field between human and Eldritch Abomination, making outcomes besides madness or death possible.
  • In Soul Eater:
    • One of the major villains is a Humanoid Abomination whose existence brings the world into chaos, but so are two of the protagonists who want to protect it. Said abomination also has emotions, most prominently extreme paranoia.
    • Insanity is also a major theme of the series, with most major characters (heroes included) losing their shit in a nightmarish way at least once, and the Big Bad's very existence spreading madness throughout the world.
    • The series gets slightly more Lovecraft cred in the end much the same way Persona 3 did. Big Bad Asura turns out to be far too powerful for anyone to truely defeat (he's the personification of madness and fear, after all; two things that can't truly be eliminated so long as there are living things that can experience them,) so a bunch of the main characters have to sacrifice themselves to seal him on the moon. Sure, most of them survive anyway, but Crona now has to (or may, depending on one's interpretation) stay on the moon for eternity to hold Asura back.
  • The second season of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is like this, with the Anti-Spiral. It is a hive mind of another spiral race that gained Instrumentality to stop its evolution, and is trying to control or slaughter all other spirals in the universe, to prevent them from accidentally breaking it with too much spiral power. They come from beyond the stars, form a pocket universe they created themselves, and when more than a million humans walk the earth, they come forth to destroy them. Their weapons are immensely powerful and unlike anything else our heroes have ever seen, their numbers seem to be endless, and their victory is all but certain. Of course, since this is TTGL all it needs is some hot blood and a few drills to deal with the problem.
  • Wicked City features a setting in which monstrous, extra-dimensional beings exist in a world parallel to our own, except they can be fought with the proper training and equipment, are interested in negotiating with humanity, and only a handful of them are evil.
  • WorldEnd: What Do You Do at the End of the World? Are You Busy? Will You Save Us? features a number of obvious Lovecraftian themes and references. The lore concerning the 17 Beasts and Visitors wouldn’t be too out of place outside of a Cosmic Horror Story. Plus a number of characters have names clearly inspired by Lovecraft’s works. Still, despite the constant threat of the world ending and many tearjerkers, the story has an uplifting tone. It’s more about living your life to the fullest in the face of inevitable doom rather than giving into despair. The story also does something rare in that it actually makes you empathize with the 17 Beasts. Similiar to works by Taro Yoko it adds a layer of depth to its otherwise alien antagonists and gives them understandable motivations.

    Comic Books 
  • Alabaster Shadows was originally pitched as "Kid-Friendly Lovecraft" and features children discovering that their local HOA is an evil cult which summoned an Eldritch Abomination in their school.
  • The 2016 Carnage series is an extended Lovecraft homage, with the titular villain seeking to bring about the rebirth of Chthon, an ancient Cthulhu Expy. However, the series end on an upbeat note where the heroes are ultimately able to defeat Carnage and seal Chthon away before he can destroy humanity.
  • Death Vigil is about a group of undead knights battling eldritch horrors from beyond reality, but that doesn't mean that the characters can't have some fun while doing it.
  • Final Crisis: Darkseid and Mandrakk the Dark Monitor cause almost all of existence to be sucked down a black hole. Superman kills Darkseid with a song and restarts everything with the Miracle Machine, wishing only for a "happy ending." A mountain of hope in a sea of hopelessness. Even the words engraved on his tombstone inspire hope: To Be Continued.
  • Hellboy:
    • In addition to the usual assortment of devils, vampires, and zombies, the universe has over three hundred Eldritch Abominations waiting in the wings to ring down the curtain on the world and a surprising number of insane mystics, witches, fairies, and deities who want to help. (It wouldn't be the first time this has happened either.) If the Big Bad Ensemble Ogdru Jahad are set free, even goddesses like Hecate might not survive. The only reason the world hasn't been destroyed yet is the titular Hellboy, a half-devil, half-human with a stone hand that's infused with the power of the angel who created the Ogdru Jahad who's taken a liking to humanity. He's also prophesied to destroy the world himself, and to lead the armies of Hell in war against Heaven.
    • The presence of the heroic Hellboy and his team as well as the Fantasy Kitchen Sink aspect of the world makes this Lovecraft Lite. Still, it's all depends on whether You Can't Fight Fate or Screw Destiny wins out in the end. If the latter, then it's Lovecraft Lite. If the former, it's Cosmic Horror Story with a long string of Hope Spots. And then there's the fact that both the B.P.R.D.'s battles are getting more and more desperate and Hellboy's grip on hope (and by extension his humanity) is getting frayed by his increasingly strong doubts about his ability to keep screwing destiny, which hang an ominous, lengthening shadow of malaise on the setting. We'll just have to wait and see where Mignola takes the story.
  • Both the Marvel Universe and The DCU have plenty of Gods, Ultimate Evils, and universe-destroying Eldritch Abominations (one of them even became a playable character in a video game!) including some that are nigh-omnipotent, eats planets on an almost-daily basis, and greatly outclass the local superheroes. However, said abominations have the misfortune of ending up in idealistic superhero comics. This is sometimes justified in-universe by having rival gods, cosmic entities, artifacts of great power, etc. so that said abominations never have an absolute chance to destroy the universe. One good example of this was a Silver Age Justice League of America story that gave Shout-Outs to H. P. Lovecraft, where in Felix Faust not only cites Lovecraft as his inspiration, but also mentions that he got the ritual for his plan from the actual Necronomicon. According to Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual #2, the ancient Oans fought and defeated a race of demons that had previously terrorized the universe, and imprisoned them on the planet Ysmault. Green Lantern Abin Sur, on a mission of mercy to rescue an innocent whose ship had crashed on Ysmault, made the ultimately fatal mistake of listening to one of them, Qull of the Five Inversions.
  • Vampirella is a darker shade of this as the world is full of cosmic horrors, eldritch abominations, and gods of evil. The Gods of Order are also decidedly not gods of good with Vampirella their nicest servant and decidedly not representing their views. However, Vampirella usually ends up ruining their plans despite many casualties in the process.

    Fan Works 
  • Things From The Dungeon Dimensions pop up in the Discworld fics of A.A. Pessimal. There's one where the Infernal Star-Toad And Mother Of A Million Young turns out to be a grumpy and misunderstood single mother, "left at home to mind the kids while HE is out there having a good time, the bastard." And in another, psychic Mrs Cake and her spirit guide One-Man-bucket are faced with things of loathsome imaginings — wendigos - trying to break through into Ankh-Morpork. These, however, turn out to be susceptible to Dwarven flamethrowers, and all ends well, more or less. In a third, Yob-Soddoth is called into the Discworld, as foot-the-ball becomes more popular in its new form. Pedestriana vanquishes him this time.
  • Despite The Bridge having a hopeful outlook with genuinely good heroes all around, it recasts Bagan as the Big Bad and gives it many traits often found in the Cthulhu Mythos. Ancient entity older than anyone else? Check. Operates on a morality system way off the mark? Check. Incredibly powerful and having abilities that come off as downright eldritch compared to things from both Equestria and Terra? Check. However, despite its immense power and claims of being a deity; we know it was sealed away for over 70,000 years so it can be defeated. And he has an Equestrian counterpart just as powerful, but opposite in morality.
  • Child of the Storm has shades of this, thanks to drawing from — among others — Marvel Comics/MCU, DC Comics, and The Dresden Files, all of which favour this approach. Eldritch Elder Gods, including Chthon (the Big Bad of the first book), Shuma-Gorath, Dormammu, Surtur (set up as the Big Bad of the second book) and other usual suspects, the Outsiders (eldritch beings from outside space and time), and things like Thanos and Galactus, all are present. But the good guys don't lack for firepower, either.
  • The Pony POV Series has some traits of this, particularly when it comes to the Outer Concepts, most of which are right out of Lovecraft's work, and beings like resident Mad God Discord and the Space Time Eater and Reality Warper Makarov. However, the benevolent deities in the setting genuinely care for life and strive to help it thrive, and the Anthropomorphic Personification of Life itself is literally the most motherly being in all creation. And since it is My Little Pony, the Power of Friendship is just as effective on Eldritch Abomination level threats as it is everything else. Even the Outer Concepts are eventually revealed to primarily exist to give mortals a healthy fear of the unknown to make sure they're careful poking around cosmic stuff. Also, Ponythulhu is a genuinely nice and friendly fellow who likes to give ponies cookies.
  • The rewrite of Sonic X: Dark Chaos becomes this in the canon ending. Dark Tails is ultimately defeated though not without sacrifice and Sonic manages to make a tentative truce with Maledict and Jesus.
  • LXG Tempest Rewrite: After Prospero unleashes eldritch horrors on humanity, the world’s superheroes, wizards, witches and spies unite to fight back. According to Mina/Mysta, it will end with Harry Potter, Shazam, and Santa Claus slaying Cthulhu, thus ushering in a new era for humanity
  • Old Man Henderson is exceptional in that it takes a Trail of Cthulhu game, which is supposed to be straight Cosmic Horror, and FORCES it to become one of these by taking on the horrors beyond the abyss and winning. It turns Trail of Cthulhu from grimdark horror into a manic cross between Paranoia and The Big Lebowski. Worthy of note is that the GM tried for a full Cosmic Horror Story
    • An in-universe example when Henderson and Jimmy smoke a blunt Henderson had made with a page of the Necronomicon. They get visions of horrors, but the marijuana high makes the experience funny instead of menacing.
  • Citadel of the Heart has its planned Downer Beginning installment as what ultimately becomes this; Zenith's role goes mostly unchallenged for much of the story, leading to three different worlds becoming Crapsack World as the entire multiverse is destroyed and recreated anew during an infighting of the lesser pantheon of Deities from the world Zenith originates from. Said infighting even occurring actually causes a glaring flaw in Zenith's being to exist; his mortal heart, originally severed from his past body, is now restored, and thus if his mortal heart is destroyed, he can actually be killed. Subverted in the fact that while Zenith has survived far worse, Zenith's body is completely paralyzed in the aftermath even if the potential exists for him to return; Ultima, his youngest sibling who was responsible for the original seal that prevented Zenith from causing trouble before, now possessed a much stronger power than the first time which allows him to permanently seal Zenith away in his Hellfire Eldritch Location. The prospect of actually exploring said place, however, definitely comes into play when Zenith's son, Darigus, is a native of said Death World.

    Films — Animation 
  • Horton Hears a Who!, from the perspective of the Whos: microscopic beings living on a speck in a world populated by colossal and indifferent forces unaware of their existence. That one of the most powerful and determined of those forces has taken it upon himself to save them — and that the film is inspired by a children's book by Dr. Seuss — puts it comfortably here.
  • Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom and its sequels are all this, being about a young Howard Lovecraft meeting a friendly version of Cthulhu and taking on evil forces in the form of other creatures from H.P. Lovecraft's books.
  • The LEGO Movie. Yes, really. A human boy named Finn controls the world of the film, which is a giant LEGO set his father owns. Said father, known to the LEGO characters as The Man Upstairs, and whom the Big Bad is just a loose Expy of, wasn't letting his son to play with the Legos the way they were intended and wanted to glue his creations together so they couldn't be disturbed.
  • Sausage Party has all the markers of a Cosmic Horror Story with Anthropomorphic Food living in a grocery store as protagonists who see humans as their gods who will take them to "The Great Beyond" which in reality holds their fate of being cooked and eaten by the humans: The Dark World is the kitchenware aisle, the Tome of Eldritch Lore is a cookbook, and the Eldritch Location is the outside world, however it has the food fighting back against their human masters and they win!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • There is a movie genre called "action horror," which takes the regular Horror Films and turns them into action movies. Make them epic action movies and you've got yourself some Lovecraft Lite.
  • Aquaman (2018) has many trappings of Lovecraft's work from fish people, sea monsters, and a hidden civilization that could wipe out humanity on a whim. However, unlike the typical Lovecraftian story, this movie is more idealistic with Arthur Curry triumphing by reconciling and understanding both the surface and underwater world. Most notably, he manages befriend the monstrous Karathen just by communicating with it and empathizing with its loneliness.
  • Ghostbusters (1984): What is Gozer but an Eldritch Abomination that's trying to reenter the world now that the stars are right? Only instead of taking the form of a giant octopus-headed monster, appears as a giant marshmallow man. And its form at least gets roasted. By definition the very idea of scientists who can fight and defeat supernatural evil and make a job out of it, even against incomprehensible evil leads to this.
  • The first Hellboy film has Red briefly fighting and ultimately putting an Eldritch Abomination back in its can. While the abomination isn't defeated for good, it's put back into its inescapable prison and no one loses their mind because of it.
  • It (2017), much like the source material. For most of the movie, IT / Pennywise is an immortal, unstoppable force of terror... right up until the kids confront and overcome the various fears he used against them. At that point, they kick the creepy bastard's ass.
  • Surprisingly, given the title, The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu. Which is a comedy about one of Lovecraft's descendants fighting off Cthulhu's minions in order to retain him in his watery prison.
  • Little Shop of Horrors became this via a Focus Group Ending in which the humans win. The original ending, on the other hand, is much closer to a straight-up Cosmic Horror Story.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Doctor Strange (2016) has Dormammu, a Big Bad from the Dark Dimension who will feed on our own world when unleashed by his human servants. Doctor Strange, upon entering the Dark Dimension, knows that he can't beat Dormammu by any conventional means. Trolling him into surrender by trapping him in a "Groundhog Day" Loop, on the other hand, works perfectly.
    • Thanos, the Greater-Scope Villain of the first three phases of the MCU, is an alien seeking a weapon that can wipe out half of all life in the universe... and in Avengers: Infinity War, he actually does it, the heroes unable to stop his plan. On Earth alone, billions are people are snapped out of existence in an instant by a cosmic force that they could not comprehend. Avengers: Endgame is all about going back in time to undo the damage and get revenge.
  • Warner Bros. and Legendary's MonsterVerse has the classic conceit of The Call of Cthulhu of beings of unfathomable age and power waking up and showing humanity's smallness — Godzilla himself was at the Castle Bravo nuclear test, the largest nuclear explosion by the United States, and despite being point blank, he survived. This is softened because the monsters are much more interested in fighting each other than harming people, with some, such as Kong being legitimately fond and protective of humanity. The villains of Godzilla (2014) are merely big creatures trying to procreate, and Godzilla almost goes out of his way to avoid destruction.
  • Pacific Rim. Hordes of Kaiju from beneath the waves? That's what Giant Robots are for.
    Pentecost: I've never believed in the End Times. We are mankind. Our footprints are on the moon. When the last trumpet sounds and the Beast rises from the pit — we will kill it.
  • Suicide Squad (2016). A pair of ancient Eldritch Abominations once worshipped as gods, capable of wiping out all life on Earth and effortlessly mutating humans into Humanoid Abominations, are taken out by a group of (mostly Badass Normal) criminals and soldiers.
  • Underwater: The underwater monsters are led by Cthulhu itself (as confirmed by Word of God), but are entirely killable, as Norah demonstrates with a bunch of high explosives.

  • Lovecraft himself wrote some Lovecraft Lite, so don't think it's a departure from the tone of the original stories, including some of his most famous. It's been said that the occasional human victory actually serves to drive home the tone and message of Lovecraft's philosophy. The universe is big and terrible and full of things that can wipe us out in an instant, but sometimes humans can win against Eldritch Abominations anyway... because they aren't really any more important than we are.
    • The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, in which the Terror From Beyond that the protagonist accidentally summons turns out to be helpful, and the evil sorcerer is easy to defeat by saying the right words.
    • "The Shunned House", which features flamethrowers. Of course the flamethrowers don't do much good, but some sulfuric acid deals with the situation perfectly.
    • "The Dunwich Horror", where humanity actually wins, as the Badass Bookworm protagonists successfully banish the spawn of Yog-Sothoth that was going to bring about the end of the world. They do end up severely traumatised by the events, and a lot of innocent bystanders get killed by the monster, but nobody goes insane and Yog-Sothoth loses a foothold in our world. "The Dunwich Horror" is considered by many Lovecraftian scholars to be so uncharacteristic of Lovecraft that it must have been a parody, though Lovecraft's letters don't support the theory. Perhaps he just decided to cut humanity some slack for once. It may be edifying to note that the many books, games, and TV series which have drawn upon the works of Lovecraft for almost a century have far more in common with "The Dunwich Horror" than any of his other works. It's worth noting that the event that saves all of humanity from being potentially slaughtered by the Old Ones happens early in the story: It's when a common guard dog mauls Wilbur Whateley to death! After that, the "victory" the human character struggle for is really just cleaning up the mess that Whateley left (in the form of his partially-human twin brother that's rampaging through the countryside).
    • At the Mountains of Madness also has some shades of this. While still a pretty dark story compared to some of the more extreme examples on this page, it does contain one of the only monsters Lovecraft wanted us to somewhat sympathize with (the Elder-Things). Also while Danforth is psychologically messed up by... whatever it was he sees at the end, he has it pretty easy compared to some of Lovecraft's other characters. (Some versions add mention of him being committed to an asylum, but in the original novella it's mentioned that he still acts his normal self most of the time outside of the occasional strange muttering.)
    • The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath is basically an adventure story with Cthuloid trappings — Nyarlathotep Himself shows up toward the end — and a happy ending.
    • Even in "The Call of Cthulhu" Cthulhu's cult is defeated (although still active enough to finish off the survivors and narrator) and the premature awakening stopped. Cthulhu himself even gets physically knocked out at one point, and although he regenerates all the damage almost immediately he still decides he's had enough and goes back to bed.
    • "The Shadow Out of Time" includes humans characters from the years 2518, 5000 and even 16,000 CE. So even though Lovecraft's stories make it seem like humanity's in constant peril from Cthulhu rising or the Wilbur Whateleys of the world unleashing the Old Ones to murder us all, humanity clearly survives for quite a while in an (at least partially) un-murdered state.
  • Clark Ashton Smith's stories often fall into this, not because of actual content, but because of attitude. Yes, there are horrors beyond imagination lurking just beyond humanity's sight, and the universe does not give a crap about whether a primitive race of two-legged apes lives or dies, but this is usually no reason to Go Mad from the Revelation. And "strange and inhuman" means "malevolent" considerably less often. Also, humanity as a whole manages to outlive all the Eldritch Abominations plaguing its past and present, and survive until the Sun starts dimming (by the way, note, that Clark Ashton Smith's and Lovecraft's work were supposed to happen in a shared verse).
  • And another contributor to the original Cthulhu mythos, Robert E. Howard often wrote in the same way as well. The universe is ultimately hostile in his works, and mind-melting horrors that contaminate everything they touch are plentiful in his works. The difference is, characters often are badass enough to look them straight into the eyes and, rather than Go Mad from the Revelation, stab them in the face.
  • And the Conan stories generally follow the example Robert E. Howard set as Conan's creator — they are on the line between Lovecraft Lite and Cosmic Horror Story. Conan regularly battles eldritch things and always comes out of it okay, although they are still treated as freakishly terrifying. "The Tower of the Elephant" even has an Eldritch Abomination (of sorts) who is basically the tragic victim of the story's human villain. With Conan's help, he can finally get even with his tormentor.
  • The short collaborative story "The Challenge from Beyond" ends up like this because Robert E. Howard's part comes after Lovecraft's. (There are other writers too, but these two dominate the story.) Lovecraft leaves the protagonist in terror trapped in the body of a Starfish Alien who exchanged minds with him; Howard has him go kick ass in the alien world in it. Frank Belknap Long finishes things off by showing how the alien that took over the human's body meets an embarrassing end, thus saving the world.
  • Discworld has plenty of examples of abominations — the things from the Dungeon Dimensions, the Hiver, etc. But ultimately, none of them succeeds in causing permanent damage, and the heroes always win in the end. It helps that they're defined, somewhat; they're explicitly less "real" than everything else, which makes them simultaneously more magically and psychically potent, and much more vulnerable physically. Rincewind once took one out with camera flash, and held several off with a sock containing half a brick.
    • Yob-Soddoth deserves special mention for the name alone.
    • Note, too, that occasionally the Discworld version of an Eldritch Abomination will turn out to be deserving of some pity.
    • The Auditors of Reality give a bit of a Lovecraft vibe whenever they show up. Not least because their stories tend to center around Death.Though it should be noted that Death is about as far from this as an Anthropomorphic Personification can possibly be and in fact teams up with the other Horsemen of the Apocalypse in order to fight them.
    ...while it is true we have to ride out, Death added, drawing his sword, it doesn't say anywhere against whom.
  • Several of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novels use Lovecraftian elements, and they're all inevitably Lovecraft Lite. One of the more self-aware is the Doctor Who New Adventures novel All-Consuming Fire by Andy Lane, which alternates the narration between a Public Domain Character 19th-century guest, who finds the experience full of incomprehensible strangeness and mind-scarring horror in classic Lovecraft fashion, and the Doctor's companion, who's much more blasé about the whole thing. ("Rugose alien monstrosities? What, again?") All-Consuming Fire is so self-aware about being Lovecraft Lite that the monster turns out to be a moderately powerful Starfish Alien pretending to be an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Some of the work of Charles Stross, particularly The Laundry Files, straddle the line between a true Cosmic Horror Story and this. There are ample superdimensional horrors that can destroy the universe at a whim, the depths of the ocean are the territory of an immensely advanced species which considers humanity a blight upon the planet, and what's worse, it's more than possible to unadvertedly summon an Eldritch Abomination with a laptop and a logarithm table, as magic in this universe is apparently really just very advanced math.
    • In some aspects, the Laundryverse is even more horrible as the standard Lovecraft universe, because the repercussions are discussed, and presented, in great detail: for example, instead of saying how a group of sufficiently determined madmen can very well unleash something capable of destroying the entire universe, The Atrocity Archive features a visit to the dying remnants of a parallel universe where the Nazis succeeded at doing exactly this.
    • And yet, while some people do go gibbering mad from witnessing the sheer frailty of humanity compared to these forces, the only reason the world has held together so far is humanity's own actions. Many countries have secret agencies to counter supernatural threats, one of them being the titular Laundry. No matter the threat, it usually drives the protagonists to greater determination and ingenuity in holding the line, instead of madness and despair (and, of course, the little detail that said determination tends to win them at least temporary victories).
    • Emphasis on "temporary". The problem is that CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN (AKA, the stars being right) is just getting warmed up and still has another seventy years left to run. A reduction of Earth's population by 90% through nuclear war has been considered as a viable solution to reduce humanity's psychic imprint that may usher forth the local Cthulhu.
    • Of course, Charles Stross also wrote "A Colder War", which readers might better describe as Lovecraft Dark.
  • Every single Brian Lumley attempt at a Cosmic Horror Story ends up like this. Great Old One Ithaqua rules supreme on an alien planet, but his Half-Human Hybrid daughter leads La Résistance. Cthulhu has a good brother named Kthanid. His most famous contribution to the mythos, the Cthonians, who cause massive earthquakes, drive people insane through prolonged psychic contact, and burrow through bedrock and magma like a hot knife through butter... can be killed by contact with water. The same story that introduces them features a secret society whose modus operandi is locating sleeping eldritch abominations and blowing them up with bombs and an enormous drill.
  • Scream for Jeeves, by P. H. Cannon, is a Bertie Wooster/Lovecraft crossover, retelling a number of canon stories as Bertie/Jeeves adventures. Jeeves, of course, is Up To Snuff, having been dealing in Eldritch Phenomena since a lad...
  • The Mall of Cthulhu by Seamus Cooper is a light comedy novel set in the Lovecraft mythos, wherein a nerdy barista and his FBI agent best friend battle a cult of skinheads attempting to raise Cthulhu. While the main characters are fairly messed up as a result of their brushes with the unspeakable, in this universe the supernatural seems more likely to make you a codependent, socially awkward, unlucky-in-love loser than a gibbering lunatic.
  • A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny presents opening the gate to the Great Old Ones as a game played by Jack the Ripper, Dracula, the Wolfman, witches, mad scientists, and assorted other stock characters of horror. And it's narrated by Jack the Ripper's dog. What's interesting here is that looked at carefully, the actual setting isn't really much brighter or more idealistic than straight Lovecraft. All the coziness comes from the "insider's perspective" on the happenings, as well as the main characters' resistance to the more debilitating forms of insanity.
  • Dragaera has the sinister Sufficiently Advanced Alien race known as the Jenoine who come across as eldritch in their Blue-and-Orange Morality and who periodically show up and create trouble. Luckily, the powers that be make sure that someone's around who can "punch them out".
  • Most of The Trail of Cthulhu by August Derleth falls under this until the very end of the book subverts it, going out on a very bleak and appropriately Lovecraftian note, much closer to a Cosmic Horror Story.
    • Derleth did this quite a bit. He came up with a number of higher and benevolent powers to side against the monstrousities of Lovecraft's canon. He also associated each of the beings with an element, meaning they could also be beaten by properly summoning the opposite elemental (as in "The Dweller in Darkness"). He was pretty much the father of Lovecraft Lite.
    • Whether intentional or not, at least some of Derleth's stories actually feature "horrors" that come across as designated villains more than anything else. Take the human-masked aliens in "The Dark Brotherhood", who for all their weirdness converse with the human narrator easily and openly enough — really monstrous infiltrators plotting to take over human society in the long run, or more victims of human misunderstanding and xenophobia?
  • Dean Koontz just falls way too far on the Idealistic Side to avoid this trope. The alien invasion in The Taking has all the trappings of Cosmic Horror Story complete with a couple of Lovecraftian references. Except it turns out to have been an Apocalypse (sort of)in which humanity's wickedness is punished (cue Koontz's Anvilicious rants about the downfall of Western Civilization) and all children and sufficiently virtuous adults are spared. The subsequent new world actually seems rather utopian. The Eldritch Abomination in Winter Moon is defeated by an everyday American nuclear family.
  • John Dies at the End, while dipping into how meaningless, cruel, and violent the human world is, notes that the dark forces that eponymous John and protagonist David fight are just as human as they are - and incredibly immature. The Big Bad turns out to be a gigantic, reality-warping organic supercomputer with the voice of a prepubescent boy and tossing out racist, homophobic slurs by the dozen in an attempt to look tough, and the forces it works with aren't any better - one of the Big Bad's servants talks like a bratty tween trying to act black. In the end, a bomb destroys the Big Bad.
  • Jackie and Craig is essentially The Dunwich Horror for preteens. Instead of being totally hopeless, the tone is far more bittersweet. Doesn't stop it from being gorier than all hell, though.
  • Monster Hunter International
    • The heroes killed an elder god with reality. Literally. A mundane nuke only infuriated the creature, but a magitech reality amplifier destroyed it. They can't handle linear time any better than we handle them.
    • In general, the whole point of the series is that all those ghosts and monsters stories have been told about are real...and like any real thing, they can die if you know how to do it. As quoted in the foreword...
    You know what the difference between me and you really is? You look out there and see a horde of evil, brain eating zombies. I look out there and see a target-rich environment.
  • Stephen King dips into this quite a bit, most notably in It. His characters often run into supernatural enemies that verge on Eldritch Abomination status, but an undercurrent of faith in basic human goodness and occasional glimpses of a possible Big Good keep the majority of his work from full-on Cosmic Horror Story territory. Endings tend to be bittersweet and usually hard-fought, but true Downer Endings are few and far between.
  • "Shoggoths in Bloom" by Elizabeth Bear. In 1938 an African-American college professor investigates the shoggoth populating reefs off the coasts of Maine. Rather than suffering a horrible death, the shoggoth contact the professor telepathically asking him to be their new master; having turned against the Old Ones, they find their new freedom unbearable. This puts the professor in a quandary — the shoggoth would make the perfect weapon against the rising tide of fascism in Europe, but is he morally right to enslave them again? In the end he tells the shoggoth they must learn to be free, and leaves to France to enlist in the army.
  • Neil Gaiman's short story "A Study in Emerald" is a weird case. Bad news? The Great Old Ones conquered the Earth and divided it among themselves centuries ago. Good news? They seem to have mostly gone native, and as the murder case being solved demonstrates, they — or at least their Half-Human Hybrid spawn — aren't exactly unkillable.
  • Awoken, a Stealth Parody of the YA Paranormal Romance genre, falls neatly into this trope. The protagonist, a vicious parody of Bella Swan, meets Cthulhu (going by "Riley Bay") when he shows up at her high school in Portsmouth, Rhode Island...and falls for him. The Power of Love prevents his evil cultist followers from causing the end of the world.
  • Chasing the Moon makes a invokes this to prove not only that Tropes Are Not Bad, but that Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped. The story starts out as a classic Cosmic Horror Story with a quirky side before deconstructing the very concept and the underlying Unfortunate Implications. Bottom Line: apparently horrible alien beings are more likely to seem (and act) "horrible" if you treat them just as horribly yourself; conversely, even if they seem horrible (or horribly alien), you might be surprised how similar, intelligent and not actually horrible it actually is.
  • The Innsmouth Legacy by Ruthanna Emyrs is a story about H.P. Lovecraft's traditional othering of the Deep Ones, only the protagonist is one. They are a noble culture that, if not pacifistic, then at least no danger to surfacers.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's works, and particularly The Lord of the Rings, feature demons of immense power whose only goal is to enslave and destroy all in their path. Be it Sauron, Morgoth, the Balrog, Saruman of Many Colors, the Witch King or even the Ring itself, each is powerful enough to smite entire armies. Their insidious ability to sap their opponents' will to fight is a recurring theme—a creeping hopelessness that takes over and weakens any defense. Additionally, The Ring inspires some to try to use it for good until learning too late that it's Power at a Price. On the other hand, the forces of good have equally spectacular heroes on their side, whose willpower can easily withstand even the worst psychological onslaught. And in the end, even Sauron is defeated by nothing more than a couple of hobbits. This is even more evident in the books, compared to the films, given that the motif of reluctant heroes who are more susceptible to the Enemy's influence was added for extra drama on the big screen. Tolkien's original heroes were extremely resolute. Sauron et al. are more like fallen angels than eldritch abominations. But Tolkien also includes Ungoliant, a light-devouring spider who seems to not fit into his own creation myth, and nameless things beneath the Misty Mountains, of which Gandalf says "even Sauron knows not". Plus the tentacled Watcher outside Moria.
  • The Boojumverse by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette. Despite humanity populating a solar system preyed on by brain-stealing Mi-Go, zombie-raising Arkhamers and extra-dimensional monsters like the doppelkinder and bandersnatch, human ingenuity has produced technology capable of fighting them, and the stories tend to end with the protagonist prevailing, usually thanks to The Power of Friendship.
  • Interestingly, considering the general bleakness of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast, the semi-related novella Boy in Darkness is this. While he's intended to be sacrificed to the obviously Lucifer-esque Eldritch Abomination, the White Lamb, the unnamed protagonist, a young boy (almost certainly Titus) not only manages to slay the Lamb physically with fairly little effort, but in doing so saves Hyena and Goat from the Fate Worse than Death planned for them, and turns them back into humans in the process. They promptly make a Heel–Face Turn and let him go on his own.
  • Fritz Leiber's short story "To Arkham and the Stars" is an interesting twist on the original Cthulhu Mythos. Set several decades after Lovecraft's own stories, many of their surviving protagonists have learned that there are positive sides to the cosmic forces they once dreaded, and have established friendly relations with several Mythos species. The overall atmosphere is positive and hopeful for the future, a total inversion of all the original stories referenced. And in a strange way it kind of works.
  • Cthulhu Armageddon zig-zags between this and Cosmic Horror Story. The humans race managed to survive the rising of the Great Old Ones and eck out a New Old West Weird West society but it got worse. Also, they discover their greatest champion is a Humanoid Abomination.
  • Edgar Cantero's Meddling Kids falls pretty firmly here. Grownup expies of the Scooby Gang (with dashes of Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and Encyclopedia Brown's Sally Kimbal) return to the lakeside town where they solved their cases as teens and face off against prehistoric fish monsters and a lake sized tentacle flailing elder god from the far reaches of space and prove up to the task.
  • Blood in the Mist is set centuries after humanity is wiped out in a nuclear war and Earth was covered in blood-colored crystal, but the Solar system has been populated by human-animal hybrid "Vectors". The story follows a corporate police officer on Venus as she investigates a bloodthirsty cult dedicated to an extradimensional entity, guided by her own less xenocidal entity.
  • World of Warcraft: Chronicle put a new spin on this, revealing the Old Gods to be servants of the Void, an unknowable and horrifying force from the dawn of time. However, while the hopelessness of fighting them became directly plot relevant, it was for the villains. The Burning Legion was formed by a once-good titan because he felt that the only possible hope in foiling the Void's plans was by wiping out all life in the universe and leaving it dead. On the other hand, hope is being increasingly portrayed as a unique and indomitable force of the heroes, who have stood against the Legion against all odds, and will one day confront the Void with the same conviction.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A lot of Toku monsters are like this. They'd plunge the world into hell if not for the fact that (a) they've got a weakness to Humongous Mecha or Giant Heroes beating the crap out of them, and (b) their spells rarely outlive the caster. Imagine if you will, a creature made of flowers and vines that spreads beautiful cherry blossoms... that leaves anyone they touch completely frozen but perfectly conscious. However, he needs a heat source to make more of himself and properly cover the world in the same. As a distraction, he summons a bird-dinosaur-thing the heroes had fought once before. Said bird-dinosaur thing? If you kill it, it reassembles itself, only stronger, even if utterly blown apart. How do you kill it? Well, its giant, sentient, talking heart is a separate unit that can exist outside its body. Maybe you can kill that, if it doesn't break you in half with its Combat Tentacles. Just another day in the life of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. We've also met a giant squid-thing from the Underworld that can possess people, devour magic, and warp time. He is one of multiple contenders for the role of "The Power Rangers version of Satan". (The Rangers made him go boom, of course.)
  • Babylon 5 had shades of this from time to time, especially when dealing with the First Ones, whose dealings with the likes of the Younger Races gets compared to how the Younger Races interact with insects. The TV movie Thirdspace is a full-on example, when the Babylon 5 crew finds a massive Vorlon artifact drifting in Hyperspace that turns out to be a portal to another plane of existence (with Hyperspace strictly speaking being one such other plane, this third plane is called "Thirdspace"), containing a race of telepathic aliens capable of influencing the minds of anyone nearby.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel both had elements of a Cosmic Horror Story, with ancient evils under the earth just waiting to be woken. Buffy ultimately took a more hopeful spin and showed how Buffy could actually make a difference. Angel had a more existential theme of finding meaning in the struggle to do right even knowing that evil cannot be truly defeated. Angel also has Illyria, an ancient god-thing from the beyond, returning to find her armies long turned to dust, her powers gone, and herself stuck in a human body. That the pitilessness of the universe can brutalize Lovecraftian monstrosities themselves is somehow made to feel a little sad.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The show has occasionally had the Doctor and his friends come up against evil Godlike beings and Lovecraftian-style threats (although not quite as explicitly Lovecraftian as the Expanded Universe would make them). Given that this is Doctor Who we're talking about, you get two guesses regarding who usually comes out on top of these encounters. Note that, on occasion, the Doctor comes across legitimately Lovecraftian powers, like the Animus, the Great Intelligence, Midnight creature, or the Beast, which can't be defeated with a bit of Techno Babble and a smile, but these are a rare variety.
    • The Fendahl. A creature so horrible that to look upon it is to die, or to commit suicide. A creature that heavily influenced occultism due to heavily manipulating human culture for its own ends since before they even evolved. A weakened creature, which if it regained its full power could kill everyone on earth with no more effort than swatting a fly. A creature the Doctor kills by blasting it in the face with a shotgun.
    • The Time Lords (including the Doctor) are implied to be somewhat Lovecraftian themselves. The new series will occasionally touch on this, such as the Tenth Doctor episode "The Family of Blood", which ends with him cursing the villains to eternal life in various creative ways, or the Eleventh Doctor episode "The Pandorica Opens", which has the Doctor learn of an artifact designed to imprison the universe's most terrifying being, and tracking it down only to learn that it was created to imprison him.
    • Essentially, the Whoniverse is what you get when an otherwise Lovecraftian universe is (mostly) tamed by an ancient and powerful race of Monster Slayers. Or at least, where one of the Lovecraftian entities (the Time Lords) are keeping the others in check. Most of the time. The new series indicates that the Time War escalated to full-on Cosmic Horror Story for much of the universe until the Doctor brought an end to it.
  • Haven (actually inspired by a Stephen King story) in Seasons 4 and 5 delves into this. Audrey is revealed to be one of the many lives of Mara, a Humanoid Abomination who, along with her lover William, created the Troubles for fun. They take sick joy in the pain that the Troubles cause people and view humans as insignificant.
  • Supernatural: The Winchesters have faced numerous Humanoid Abominations and similar threats inspired by Lovecraft's work, but they have always been presented as beatable foes. While the series often drifts towards the cynical side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism, even in the darkest moments there's always a glimmer of hope.
  • Some of the Monsters of the Week from the Ultra Series are outright Eldritch Abominations. Especially Ultraman Tiga, where Ghatanothoa (Gatanazoa) appears as the Big Bad. Unfortunately for them, these are Super Hero shows where punching out Cthulhu is a weekly occurrence.
  • In Warehouse 13, H.P. Lovecraft's Silver Key makes any person touching it temporarily look like a C'thulhu-esque creature to people around him or her. This usually results in said person being beaten to death by the freaked-out mob. This is deliberately done by a man whose wife was trampled to death at a stadium. Anybody whom he deem responsible for her fate (either by accidentally pushing her or by walking away when he asked for help) is seen as a monster, and he justifies using the Key by claiming that he's merely showing the others what these people are really like.

    Myths and Religion 
  • Most religions have horrible, unknowable creatures who could kill us without really meaning to by standing close to us. Many of them want to destroy the world, but most beliefs are confident the eldritch creatures who like us are going to win. If they're right, then all of reality is Lovecraft Lite.

  • KAZe's Necronomicon uses the Cthulhu Mythos for atmosphere, but omits the more horrific elements.
  • Bone Busters has Chicago invaded by animated skeletons, who are out riding bicycles, going jogging, and ordering hamburgers at the drive-thru.

     Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Anima: Beyond Fantasy has its share of Eldritch Abominations, the most notable one being the insane goddess of joy Edamiel, turned goddess of nihilism. Nothing that a high level group of adventurers couldn't handle, though... And contrary to appearances, Edamiel is anything but insane. There is no pain nor evil in oblivion, while existence is full of it. The best option is crystal clear, if unacceptable. Beside, even the highest gods are no match for a Beryl — especially one like her.
  • Call of Cthulhu, and its different-system emulator Trail of Cthulhu, depending on the campaign, can often stray into this. The lighter the story, the more proactive and successful the characters can be. The harder the campaign sticks to the source material, the more brief, futile and uneventful the campaign will be. See above for the fanfic tale of Old Man Henderson, which arose out of a Trail... campaign. More specifically, the rulebook if Trail of Cthulhu offera two different playstyles: "purist", which is more hardcore a Cosmic Horror, and "pulp", which is more action-packed and closer to this trope.
    • In the CoC sourcebook (later standalone game) Delta Green might initally seem this: The PCs are law enforcement, special forces or intelligence agents, and Delta Green is a secret organization dedicated to fighting the forces of the Cthulhu Mythos, you might be mistaken to think this is the case. But it's brutally subverted; your big guns might win some battles against some small fry, but everyone is powerless to stop all the influence from the Great Old Ones, and in the end, they can't and won't be beaten.
  • CthulhuTech: Sure, Mankind is losing the war against the Great Old Ones, but they have biomechanical Humongous Mecha able to kick around Eldritch Abominations and the Old Ones have had several defeats. But according to the setting material and the game storyline, things keep getting worse and worse, and humanity isn't just gradually losing, it is losing HORRIBLY, and the government is just blatantly lying to everyone about it.
  • Most Lovecraft-inspired board games tend to be either this or a classic Cosmic Horror Story, depending on the difficulty of the game and the specific Old God. Both Arkham Horror and its sister game Eldritch Horror allow the players to confront the Great Old Ones in either the city of Arkham or across the world and, with a little luck, some planning and a loaded shotgun, the investigators can win... Though you're often left with debt, disfigurations and mental illness after the game. Eldritch Horror in particular tends towards a swashbuckling, world-trotting Lovecraft Lite adventure with plenty of Indiana Jones inspiration. This is a case where the setting is mostly used for a vessel for fantastic adventure rather than a take on nihilism and loneliness through unknowable horrors.
  • Demon: The Descent can either be this or Cosmic Horror Story, depending on scope. You as the player can actually win against the God-Machina, foiling its plans, defeating its angels, taking over its base of operations and so on, and it will actually concede and actively avoid or hide from you. But take a step back to see the big picture, and you'll see the God-Machine is the de facto Greater-Scope Villain of the setting, with influence stretching across gamelines. It's among the most powerful entities in the setting; in fact, it's not a stretch to say that the God-Machine is the setting. Your victory over it is solely because it sees you too insignificant to allocate more resources to eliminate, and it will still get what it originally wants, just using a different method. It's a good idea to know your place and accept your victory, as getting too much of its attention is not going to end well.
  • Dungeons & Dragons in its various editions, and Pathfinder even more so, contain plenty of Lovecraftian elements scattered throughout the lore and splatbooks. But, since the game's general theme is heroic fantasy in a world full of benevolent and malevolent gods and controllable magic, these elements lack some of their original bleak hope-destroying teeth. It's sort of indicated that the cosmic monster's time has come and gone (Aboleths), or are safely far away from conventional reality (the Far Realm), needing only the occasional band of intrepid heroes to perform intermittent "maintenance" on the fabric of reality (usually by nuking the encroaching tentacle-monsters with fireballs).
  • Eclipse Phase takes the time out from talking about the Cosmic Horror Story future where Earth is a charred wreck and there's a virus seeded by Eldritch Abominations and godlike AI's that turns people into ravening monsters or worse, to emphasise that there is hope, no matter how truly fucked we may appear to be.
    Extinction is approaching. Fight it.
  • Eldritch Skies is interesting: While it is based mainly on the man himself, it draws more inspiration from him as a science fiction author than a horror author. Thus, part of the Space Opera setting means that humanity is rapidly ascending to the point where a true Cosmic Horror Story is impossible and we have begun to understand what an Eldritch Abomination actually is. "Alien" in this setting does not mean "malevolent" (hell, the semi-benevolent Q figure is Nyarlathotep), and what man calls the Elder Gods are actually the universal unconsciouses of Precursors who have since managed to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, and humans are explicitly capable of following in their footsteps. Also worth noting is that it's actually impossible to Go Mad from the Revelation here-that's hyperspace exposure, and it's treatable.
  • Considering the setting is stated to be surrounded on all sides by mindless, aimless chaos and has a multitude of ways to bring about the End of the World as We Know It, the setting of Exalted would be pretty bleak if not for the fact that this is the Exalted we're talking about. Punching out Cthulhu is practically their job description, and is half the reason they were created in the first place.
  • Fate of Cthulhu is about going back in time to halt the rise of a given Old One, or at least seriously weaken it. With lucky, skilled players and a buttload of self-sacrifice, it's possible to weaken the Rise of the Great One event in your timeline from -4 (the worst anything can possibly be) to +4 (the Eldritch Abomination in question is either severely delayed or is defeated by humanity).
  • Two Fiasco playsets revolve around eldritch stuff: "Objective Zebra", which is heavily inspired by H. P. Lovecraft's "The Temple", and "Unaussprechlichen Klutzen", about the summoning of eldritch horrors to achieve shortsighted goals. However, because they are Fiasco playsets, it's entirely possible for it to end up in broad comedy, clumsy, short-sighted backstabbing, and general disaster, and Cthulhu may well not be anywhere near as major a threat to life and sanity as whatever just came up on the Tilt table.
  • JAGS Wonderland. Sure, an infectious mental illness is sucking its victims out of our reality and into dangerous, twisted worlds full of ravenous abominations. Sure, governments and corporations have been suborned into demonic parodies of themselves that aim to eradicate the hope and free will of all mankind. Sure, the setting's Eldritch Abominations are well on their way to spreading the infection through the whole human race. But we've got one thing they don't: a way to rewrite all the rules.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • A good number of the Eldrazi tend towards this trope, though there are a few of them that are well into the full Eldritch Abomination stage. Fortunately it takes a while for them to wake up. Even the strongest Eldrazi can be killed by the right spell, although some of them will require a fair bit of setup first and you may not survive the experience. Lorewise they're a lot closer to true cosmic horrors than they are in the game, needing three of the nigh omnipotent old planeswalkers to be sealed, and not even having form before being bound. As of "Oath of the Gatewatch", it turns out that two of the three titans can be blown up fairly easily by contemporary, nowhere-near-omnipotent neowalkers, although from Ugin's predictions of horrible doom if they were destroyed, Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu is a possible side effect.
    • Then there's a different breed of eldritch horror, Marit Lage... whose one card appearance so far, due to being a special token produced by a land in which she was frozen, can be obliterated instantly with an effect that appears at least once in every single block cheaply at instant speed and common — a simple bounce spell, available easily to every deck with blue in it.
    • Subverted in Shadows Over Innistrad. Emrakul is defeated because she let herself be. The process in which she aided her own defeat left the planeswalker Tamiyo traumatised.
  • Monsterpocalypse has the Lords of Cthul, dead ringers for the Great Old Ones. However, they're just another playable faction... Which means they can be beaten by giant robots, King Kong sized gorillas and Ultraman expies, among other things.
  • Munchkin Cthulhu: Though it is possible for a player to lose to Cthulhu, it's also possible to win. Your real enemies, as with any game of Munchkin, are not the monsters. They're the other players.
  • Pokethulhu, a Cthulhu-Pokémon crossover. Although as parody this may go even beyond "Lite".
  • For entities alleged to be an inexorable threat to all humanity, the Horrors and bug spirits from Shadowrun and Earthdawn seem to get their nasty asses kicked a lot.
  • The Obligatory Cthulhu expansion to Smash Up adds Minions of Cthulhu and Elder Things to the deckbuilding options. Said options are balanced against Ninjas, Superheroes, Ghosts, Werewolves, Princesses and Teddy Bears. Also, due to how Smash-Up works, both of the above need to be combined with something else, meaning that you can end up with Minion of Cthulhu Bear Cavalry vs. Fairy Grandmas in a reasonably fair fight.
  • Toon doesn't even try to be scary in its "Crawl of Catchooloo" setting. For starters, the monsters drive your characters sane.note 

  • Tren Krom of BIONICLE is brain-breakingly ugly and has Mind Rape-y mental powers, but he's a creation of the Precursors like everything else on that world. Far from having alien motivations, his masters proclaimed You Have Outlived Your Usefulness and locked him up; you can't blame him for wanting his freedom. And just to underline the "lite", Tren Krom suckered another character into a Grand Theft Me — but when he filled his end of the bargain, Artakha (another old and powerful being, but much less of an Eldritch Abomination) forced him to give the body back.
  • The existence of plush Cthulhu dolls is probably a case of this.

    Video Games 
  • In AI Dungeon 2, trying to have the AI generate a Survival Horror scenario usually results in this. While the game can generate some surprisingly creepy scenarios and dialogue, the fact that combat is usually weighted in the players favor means that most monsters end up not being Immune to Bullets.
  • Surprisingly, Amnesia: The Dark Descent can be considered like this, in spite of its obvious direct influences. Yes, Daniel may be running and hiding from hideous monsters, all the while pursued by a horrible, all-consuming force that he has no hope of fighting. The bad endings play the whole Lovecraftian horror angle straight, but the neutral ending makes it possible for Daniel to obtain his revenge and in doing so, free himself from his cursed pursuer. The good ending meanwhile, implies that it is possible for humanity to at least partially understand the forces behind the running of the universe, and perhaps even master them.
  • The Destroyer in Borderlands is a horrifying, Lovecraftian monster sealed within the Vault everyone is trying to secure, and is said to be dangerous enough to lay waste to this universe and is invincible in the universe it comes from. naturally, the Vault Hunters blast its betentacled ass to bits. And ultimately, this was the Big Bad's whole plan. Handsome Jack was a Dirty Coward unwilling to tackle the Destroyer himself, so he manipulated the Vault Hunters into killing it and then reaping the rewards from the Eridium that erupted across Pandora as a result.
  • Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth mostly retains dark, scary, elements of the Mythos but it does show shades of this, if only by a small margin. You do actually defeat Dagon, Hydra, and Shoggoth as well as prevent The End of the World as We Know It but you still die in the end after all the depressing adventures.
  • The Call of Cthulhu -- Rim of Madness Expansion Pack mods compilation for Rimworld adds Cthulhu Mythos related content to the game. While the difficulty is increased thanks to new events, a sanity meter, and strong new monsters, you can defend against said new monsters if you have enough firepower. You can also butcher their corpses, process their flesh into meals for your colonists or cattle, or craft clothes with their hides. Or you can tame them. There's also Elder Things as playable characters, who also appear as a friendly faction with settlements in the frozen areas.
  • In Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land, you lead a squad of Investigators in the middle of a World War One battlefield, in order to stop a German cult to create an army of undeads and Mythos creatures. The game features a Sanity system (attacking or being attacked by anything other than a German soldier or German cultist drops it) which grants interesting results when it reachs 0, but losing all your Sanity doesn't kill the unit; it can be regained fairly easily. Also, you attack and kill lovecraftian Eldritch Abominations with World War One era weaponry, including mêlée weapons. The final boss is a Star Spawn of Cthulhu, which is eventually blown with rifles designed for elephant hunting. Or, if you're lucky enough, you can have your Lightning Bruiser hit it to death with a sharpened shovel.
  • Chrono Trigger would be a Cosmic Horror Story thanks to its Big Bad Lavos. Lavos is a massive Eldritch Abomination from space, can destroy the entire world with ease, has a cult that worships it, and treats humans like food. But, it can still be killed by a handful of teenagers that level grind enough.
  • Control explores many Lovecraftian themes and often plays them for straight horror, with aspects including, but not limited to: humanity being attacked by extradimensional entities beyond their comprehension, a mysterious (and probably sentient) building that moves around and is Invisible to Normals, a Government Conspiracy kidnapping children for their Psychic Powers, and at least three different mind-controlling alien presences infecting people in the same building. However, this is balanced out by chaotic third-person shooter gameplay, a subdued, but quirky sense of humor, the fact the protagonist jumped into the adventure willingly, some of the Eldritch Abominations being portrayed as benevolent (or at least allies), and the fact the setting seems to be decently stable and almost mundane half of the time. Rather than being an outright Lovecraft story, Control settles on being a New Weird action game with plenty of creepiness and surreal mystery.
  • A few Crash Bandicoot games (namely Warped, Wrath of Cortex, and Crash Bash) are set into motion by Uka Uka's plan to harness massive power and elevate himself to a cosmic-level threat. Wrath also throws in four more likewise destructive masks embodying the classical elements, who fully intend to devastate the Earth through eruptions, earthquakes, and another Ice Age. Despite this, Crash, Coco, and their allies put a stop to their schemes as usual. Although Bash has a path that sees Uka Uka succeeding.
  • The Crysis series has more than a few shades of this. The Ceph as a race are billions of years old and have technology so advanced that were they to invade in full it would be less a war and more a planet-sized fumigation tent. Even the meager Ceph detachment already on Earth is a force to be reckoned with, with their area denial subzero-temperature-domes and all-consuming biomass "janitorial" plague, all sprouting from the ground causing seismic disasters as their foot-soldiers swarm from the cracks. And yet, if the multiple human factions would all just shut up and stop bickering we could finally actually with this war.
  • Cthulhu Mythos RPG: The Sleeping Girl of the Miasma Sea has a cast of Japanese schoolkids surviving Lovecraftian horrors in a mansion and can end with them taking on an Outer God. They can even punch the thing out if they're skilled in it. With the game's multiple endings though, mainly the True Ending would qualify. The Normal ending could also count, although it's more of a Pyrrhic Victory. The bad endings meanwhile, are full-on Cosmic Horror Story.
  • Cultist Simulator places you as the Villain Protagonist of a cult, seeking to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence by making certain necessary sacrifices. The Hours, however, represent aspects of the human psyche taken to toxic extremes rather than being utterly alien, and most of those Hours are ascended humans themselves. It's even possible in one of the three paths (the path of power) to ascend without killing anyone.
  • Darkest Dungeon, but only barely. The hideous monsters that the Ancestor unleashed are powerful, genuinely horrific, and will almost certainly kill or drive to gibbering insanity many, probably most of the adventurers you send to destroy them. But with skill, patience, and a bit of luck, they can slowly be beaten back. While the thing the ancestor awakened in the Darkest Dungeon is supposedly an unstoppable abomination which created humanity that will one day awaken for real and destroy the world, it's still ultimately just another monster that can be beaten into submission (albeit at a cost). Even the claim that it is humanity's creator is in doubt, given the source and the existence of the Religious characters' holy powers. Furthermore, the game's ending and the Color of Madness expansion hints that the player managed to trap the Heart of Darkness in a permanent "Groundhog Day" Loop in which they, the Heart, the Hamlet, and the heroes that serve them are locked in a cycle where they indefinitely keep killing the Heart to keep it suppressed so the world beyond can survive.
  • Dark Scavenger You're able to shoot an ancient world-harvesting alien to death and beat an extra-dimensional blob wanting to devour the universe into submission. Doubles as Genre Shift.
  • Dark Souls has a lot of very depressing Fridge Horror when it comes to the metaphysical aspects of the universe. The game is also filled with minor Eldritch Abominations. The Gaping Dragon might as well be called "The Mouth with a Thousand Teeth", and then there is Ceaseless Discharge, a 500 foot tall Magma Man with some really freaky things coming out of his head. With enough patience and skill, you can kill all of these. The "Artorias of the Abyss" DLC takes it further by revealing that, for better or for worse, the most powerful force in existence is humanity itself.
  • In Deep Town: Mining Factory, the Eldritch Abominations known as Elders are mountain-sized, tentacled beings that predate humanity and were the ones to end 23rd century civilization. Unfortunately for them, you are an A.I. mining platform from outer space and it's now much further into the future. So, apart from their potent Healing Factor, most of the Elders are helpless as you blast them back with lasers, bombs and more exotic attacks. Even the indestructible Iron Elder is beaten when the player, with the help of the Galactic Federation, reverse its chaotic frequencies to remove its sentience and turn it back into the Earth's core.
  • Demonbane is like this. The mafia might include powerful sorcerers summoning Eldritch Abominations, but the protagonist can beat elder gods with a big magical mecha. Necronomicon isn't as much a book that drives you mad, as a Token Mini-Moe that is easy to fall in love with. On the other hand, it has enough moments where it goes into the full-on Lovecraftian despair-horror to be a less than straight example. Witness particularly the Bad End. The sequel continue to play with this. Turn out that it's impossible to permanently seal Nyarlathotep, as it will simply emerge in another mask from alternate universe and continue its plan to release Azathoth. Fortunately, there are omnipotent Elder Gods who will make sure its plan won't succeed.
  • Among the enemies you face in Destiny are the Vex, a terrifyingly powerful and incomprehensibly vast machine intelligence that consumes world to build vast machines. Time itself is their toy, their weapons draw random energy from across time and space, and the only thing that stopped them the first time they attacked the Solar System was the Traveler and its Reality Warper powers. They even have a facility known as the Vault of Glass, specifically built to house and research "ontological weaponry" that can be used to decide whether or not something ever existed. Their ultimate end goal is to edit reality itself so that their existence is a law of physics. And in the face of all of this horrifyingly advanced, incomprehensible, Lovecraftian super machine intelligence, how does humanity respond? They charge straight in and kick the Vex's ass, looting the Vault of Glass and destroying the very Vex Axis Mind responsible for the whole operation. The main villain, The Darkness, also a joke. No-one is even sure what it is, and all the players have seen so far are it's lowest level foot soldiers. When the Vex described above encountered just a piece of it they started worshiping the damn thing. And yet, when the player encounters a piece of it in the Black Garden, it's response is to actively move to defend itself, indicating that the Guardians could hurt it.
  • Devil May Cry, where humans are powerless to stop the hordes of demons from wreaking havoc in their world (Well, for the most part) and there is no sign of help from the man upstairs or his angels. Good thing, then, that humanity has a few demons on their side to clean up the mess.
  • Discworld Noir What begins as a straightforward Discworld parody of the Noir genre slides towards this as the story progresses. By the end the protagonist is preventing the dark old god Nylonathotep from returning to the Disc.
  • Doom and its sequels; The Legions of Hell are invading in an unending horde of monsters and abominations? Grab a shotgun and send them back to where they belong. Not enough? Chase after them and continue blasting them into giblets until you run out of demons to kill.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun has, as its final enemy a tentacled abomination called a Burrower that dwelt in a cavern deep underground and which was driving the people on the surface all mad, but in the end, you used a scroll to summon Ka the Preserver, and he killed the Burrower.
  • Earthbound: All the games in the Mother/Earthbound series feature some elements of this, particularly Earthbound, which features a Mind Screw of a final boss in a room that seems to be made of internal organs. However, a defining feature of the games in this series involves defeating things through The Power of Friendship and The Power of Love.
    • Cognitive Dissonance: This fangame is the most serious example of the trope, as the protagonists often travel through eldritch locations in the center of Giegue's mind, one of the protagonists is slowly descending into insanity as his dream world corrupts, and the Final Boss is Giegue transforming into Gigyas, the Cosmic Destroyer.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • On the surface, the series seems like a fairly generic High Fantasy setting, but if you start digging into the lore, you quickly find New Weird and distinctly Lovecraftian elements permenating throughout. The series' many deities tend to be quite Eldritch in nature, with the Daedric Princes and Sithis (the primordial "Is Not") as especialy notable cases. Heck, the series had so many examples of Eldritch Abominations that they had to be split off onto their own page. Lovecraft having tremendous Author Appeal to the developers and writers at Bethesda means that plenty of direct Lovecraft influences make their way into the series as well.
    • In Morrowind, Big Bad Dagoth Ur and his Sixth House minions are particularly Lovecraftian. Dagoth Ur is using the divine powers he channels from the heart of a dead god to twist his followers into Body Horror abominations and spread a magical disease. Further, very much steeped in dream-imagery as he "sleeps awake" at Red Mountain. "The Dreamer Is Awake" is often found scrawled by the mad cultists in their strongholds. To further get into esoteric "lore speak": The implication is that Dagoth Ur has discovered an unspeakably dangerous middle-ground between CHIM, Amaranth and Zero-Sum where he exists in a godlike state because of his awareness of Anu's Dream but, unlike CHIM where he exists as one with it and maintains his own individuality, Amaranth where he exits the Dream to make his own, or Zero-Sum where he simply fades into the Dream, Dagoth Ur's twisted, traumatized and broken mind is being imprinted on the Dream of Anu. Through Corprus, the manifestation of Dagoth's will, he is turning Anu's Dream into his own. Dagoth Ur is ultimately defeated, though it requires the three Physical Gods of the Dunmer sacrificing their divinity as well.
    • In Oblivion, the village of Hackdirt and the side quest that plays out there is a direct homage to The Shadow Over Innsmouth. The villagers have formed a Cult to an enigmatic, subterranean race known as the "Deep Ones". They practice Human Sacrifice to the Deep Ones and the player character must rescure one of their soon-to-be victims.
    • Dragons are eldritch beings in Skyrim. Most of them haven't been seen in at least a thousand years, a few words in their language said with conviction can change the surrounding landscape, and the Big Bad Alduin is known as "The World Eater" and his reappearance heralds the End Times. A few of them can also grow old enough that they are completely immune to mortal killing; they can't die, they won't die. A few of them led by Paarthurnax are actively watchful and helping humanity, select humans can learn to use the dragon language as "Shouts" and harness those abilities for themselves, and the protagonist eventually gets the ability to travel back in time to when Alduin was young and call on the heroes of old Nordic myth to beat the crap out of him for good. Even then, it's implied that Alduin can come back and you basically just held off The End of the World for a while. But that's good enough for now, because he's not coming back for the forseeable future, which can be a long time as far as Elder Scrolls is concerned. And for extra points, because of Elder Scrolls's character creation, you can be an anthropomorphic kitty to do it.
  • Eldritch is a First-Person Shooter/Roguelike in which the player character has to explore Eldritch Locations inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos... while stabbing, shooting, or stoning all the cultists, Deep Ones, and various monsters which are standing in the way. Also, praying in front of Old Ones statues grant magical powers.
  • Toyed with in Elona as the game invokes both tropes at once, both in story AND gameplay. Lulwy of the Wind might look like a naked chick with wings, but Lolth help you if you piss her off. She has so much speed she gets 8 attacks on a quickling character, damn near 30 on anybody else, hits like a falling starship, and is implied through dialogue and worship-interaction to be the cause of the Etherwind, a particularly nasty purple hailstorm at the beginning of every season which inflicts grievous Lovecraftian Body Horror mutations upon any caught within, for better or worse. Pray your world continues to entertain her, or Lolth help you she will reshape your face until it entertains her once more. Meanwhile, Shub-Niggurath is a random monster encounter, uses its source material as flavour text, especially for sanity attacks, but is really quite harmless unless cornered and unable to teleport, and once properly beaten to a smudge can be captured with a Pokéball and made your own. The real challenge of a Shub-Niggurath comes from the fact it is a very high level, and when it doesn't teleport, it casts summon monster. Summon Monster is a level-based spell, so it could conceivably summon something that will punch BOTH your lights out. And if you've been rendered insane, you're helpless against whatever it called up by accident. Also, the Big Bad is a CHAOS worshipping warmage halfway to becoming one. He can be dispatched easily with a little Batman prep time and skill grinding. In summary: Lulwy = Cosmic Horror Story and Shubsie/Zeome = Lovecraft Lite
  • Final Fantasy operates on this general. Eldritch Abomination about to destroy the world? Kill it. Jenova, the Diabolus ex Nihilo of Final Fantasy VII. Arriving on Earth in the distant past, it assumed the shape of a white-haired woman and set about injecting its cells into every living thing she could find. No backstory, no motive, no mercy. Man managed to overpower Jenova and stick her in the deep freeze for a few centuries, where "she" remains stuck in a half-woman, half-tentacled mockery of life. Her "son" Sephiroth plays the role of the game's main antagonist as he uses her power to summon a huge meteor in an attempt to wipe out and absorb the life energy of all living things on the planet; ironically, his human spirit allows him to make more use of Jenova's powers, because he can plan ahead, focus on things other than instinct, and act from within the Lifestream, reanimating Jenova cells that would normally remain dormant.
  • While Frostpunk isn't about evil gods or cosmic power, it is about humanity struggling to confront an unknowable, destructive force that has no end. The cold that has gripped Frostpunk may be human-made or a natural disaster, but in the end, most of the planet froze to death, with only the few cities around generators having any chance of survival... But if you play Endless Mode, it's very possible to create a sustainable, gigantic city that actually thrives.
  • Grandia:
    • The original Grandia tells a familiar yarn about a delusional warlord who seek to unseal a great evil. We learn that "Gaia", a lifeform which grew around the magical Spirit Stone, went berserk when mortals began abusing the stone for decadent ends. Gaia resembles a giant, weird hybrid bug/plant thing, and its human puppet General Baal is gradually turning into its duplicate. He begins the story with a tentacled scythe-arm hidden beneath his cloak, but has fully degenerated by game's end.
    • Grandia II went one further. The heroes are led to believe that pieces of the Devil are breaking out of their orb-shaped prisons and possessing people. Actually, both 'God' and the 'Devil' are artificial lifeforms which have been squabbling for control over man for eons. A lot of collateral damage in this story, including a little blind girl who becomes a host for the Devil's Eye. Everyone gets better in the epilogue, though.
  • Half-Life starts getting into this in the greater story. The G-Man has otherworldly powers that defy logic and explanation, and it's shown that while the Combine mostly appear as a mundane interdimensional slaver empire, it's possible that their leaders are in the same tier of power and unknowability as the G-Man, as evidenced by the fact that they somehow managed to imprison him in Half-Life: Alyx. The "official leak" of what would have been Episode 3's story contains a description of the Combine home base as being incomprehensibly vast in power and scope, beyond any chance of humanity ever defeating them, and what Gordon intended to be a grand act of sabotage and defiance would barely amount to a blip on their radar. Nonetheless, humanity does have allies that can fight the G-Man and his ilk, and the story suggests that, even if Earth can't defeat the Combine, it can at the very least save itself from them.
  • Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is a Dyson Sphere-sized mass of writhing tentacles and machinery. It's no match for a single alien piloting a dingy UFO.
  • Kingdom Hearts is what happens when Eldritch Abominations invade a universe that runs on the power of friendship and Disney magic. While the Heartless and their ilk are numerous and have succeeded in destroying worlds multiple times, the worlds, and the people they may have killed along the way, are able to be restored, like nothing happened, when the heroes save the day.
  • The Kirby series falls into this to an extent. The main character regularly has to fight off creepy Eldritch Abominations that clash with the series' light, sugary, diabetes-inducing setting, and even the main character is sort of an Eldritch Abomination himself with some rather dubious morals (especially since the main game mechanic of the series involves eating the inhabitants of Dream Land alive.)
  • Magicka's DLC campaign "The Stars Are Left" (and, to a lesser extent, its main campaign as well) is an Affectionate Parody of the Cthulhu Mythos with plenty of Body Horror to go around. This being Magicka, by the time you're finished with the campaign the wizards have exterminated half of the elder god pantheon.
  • Gregory Weir's The Majesty of Colors puts the player in the role of an Eldritch Abomination that's located in the sea just next to a coastal town It has Multiple Endings, which range from becoming loved by the town and saving a little girl from a shark attack, only to wake up in bed human to getting destroyed by the military after drowning several townspeople. The titular "Majesty of Color" is what your character experiences when they pull a balloon under the water.
  • Metroid: The setting is this for precisely one person. It's impossible to sneeze without stumbling across some Ancient Chozodian (or other elder race) ruin that is holding back some eldritch horror that cannot wait to break out, and between the eternal battle between the Federation and the Space Pirates means both sides have a tendency of opening those cans in search of an edge. Special mention goes to the sapient cancer planet Phaaze, the Thing-like Parasite X, and the titular Metroids themselves, nigh immortal jellyfish with the power to suck out the souls of their prey (eg Everything) and reduce them to ash in seconds.
  • The "shadowy" mansion in Mystery Of Mortlake Mansion is an eerie Eldritch Location, with the Evil Sorcerer who dwells there having something of the Eldritch Abomination about him. This being a casual game, though, the location is harmless, with the sorcerer simply serving up puzzles to impede the player's progress, and being defeated at the end anyway.
  • The Nasuverse's background setting has elements of this: if you piece together the background materials it turns out that the Earth itself is trying desperately to kill off humanity, and has enlisted the help other cosmic entities (such as the spirit and personification of the Moon) to do so. Humanity is constantly at the mercy of its own collective consciousness and that of the planet's, Alaya and Gaia respectively. The only way for Humanity to be free of them is to 'kill' the planet and to evolve to a higher level of existence, but this will only cause the other planets in the Sol System to turn on Humanity. And assuming Humanity can overcome them, the entire universe would probably turn on Humanity for getting above itself... so basically, the only way Humanity can truly be free is to destroy the universe itself. Still, another thing about the background setting is that Alaya is completely on humanity's side here (though it is a Well-Intentioned Extremist) and due to its nature, humanity also has a fair shot of doing exactly that. Humanity is holding its own, as evidenced by the fact that we're still here, and it is implied that the Earth is eventually going to lose... at which point humanity will be advanced enough to survive without it. Thus, it can said that while it is a Cosmic Horror Story, it may not be humans facing eternal doom and irrelevance. Of course, if Angel Notes is to be trusted, the Earth's parting shot is getting the rest of the planets to try to kill humanity in its stead. This trope is more directly in play in Fate/Grand Order. A handful of humans who survive their race's destruction by holing up in an observatory in Antarctica, or later, an armoured car dislodged from space-time, are all that stand in the way of either an impossibly powerful demon, or an incomprehensible extra-terrestrial being, who are planning to either incinerate all humanity across history, or just throw it out and replace it with a "leftover timeline" where humans never came to be. And that's not even speaking of the literally unkillable Beasts who all simply want to destroy humanity. Against these odds, what do these survivors do? Why, they summon humanity's greatest heroes and villains to join them on a time-travelling roadtrip to kick each and every one of these monster's asses up and down the timestream until the correct, human-centric chain of events is running smoothly again. Hilariously enough, in one event, one of the more infamous Lovecraftian horrors, Nyarlathotep the Crawling Chaos, make an appearance to seal these heroes because somehow he felt that being sealed is a much better fate than what awaits them on the road of restoring humanity history. And these humans still kicked his ass (and the Servant chosen to be his host).
  • The browser-based Necronomicon card battle games dive into this. While they use Lovecraft's monsters and Great Old Ones, in the original Necronomicon you can get Shub-Niggurath eaten by a shoggoth or banished by the break of dawn. Not played quite so straight in the sequel, Book of Dead Names, however; the Great Old Ones manifest due to casting certain cards (marked with black stars) in relatively quick succession, can't really be interacted with, and just kind of hang about ruining things...but you can still win the game, and they won't appear in the next one. Additionally, while the various insanity conditions are inconvenient in the first game, you can still win, and Megalomania — which gives you a constantly increasing arcane damage bonus as well as persistent HP drain — can actually make it easier if you have enough burn spells; this is also altered in the sequel, with Sanity being easier to gain — but also making going below 0 Sanity for any length of time a serious risk to your survival.
  • Oracle of Tao. You can beat up Cthulhu, Cyaegha, or Yog Sothoth. Though it is somewhat hard, since they are puzzle enemies that respawn if you don't do it properly, and if you fail, you get mind-raped, and go insane before tentacles swallow you and the world whole. Still, even the "terrifying" parts of the loss are a bit silly.
  • In Oxenfree, the ghosts of Edwards Island have suffered eons of nothingness, and they seek to have revenge on the world for what they've done to them. However, despite terrorizing the teenagers who has released, Alex in one ending guided them on a path away from destruction and gained back Clarissa's body after being possesed for most of the game, and they all lived happily ever after.
  • The true villains of Parasite Eve, a sequel to the novel of the same name, are our own cells; specifically, the mitochondria that have been silently guiding the evolution of Earth's creatures, just waiting for their chance to strike. Their mouthpiece is Melissa Pearce, a woman whose body has reshaped itself into Eve, a siren who can cause people to spontaneously combust with a mere thought. Her goal is to assemble the genetic material of New York's citizenry (who have collectively melted into a giant ball of goo) to use as her womb, producing the Ultimate Lifeform. You can kill them with enough bullets.
  • In Path of Exile:
    • The hubris of the ancient Vaal thaumaturgists brought a horrible thing from beyond the world known only as the Beast to Wraeclast and destroyed their civilization. And then it falls victim to Hijacking Cthulhu when Malachai, another human thaumaturge, merges himself with the Beast and takes over as its guiding intelligence. And then you kill Malachai and destroy the Beast's hearts along with him. Similarly, the Beyond and Breach temporary leagues had demons invading the world as a game mechanic, mostly so you could farm them for loot.
    • An expansion introduced the Elder, who for the most part acts like a more standard Eldritch Abomination. It's a freakish four-armed creature who carries a vile tentacle-sprouting fungus that drains color from the world and drives those afflicted by it slowly insane. It is the creator of the Dreamlands, a set of interconnected pocket dimensions that you explore as "maps", and taught the Shaper (himself one of the endgame bosses) all of his current reality-manipulating powers. A group named the Watchers of Decay attempted to contain the Elder to its Dreamlands, and even succeeded in sealing it away with the space sword Starforge, but still they dwindled away until all that was left of them are the Watcher's Eye trinkets that the Elder drops in the present. The Shaper is similarly descending into madness, until the final battle where he is fully corrupted and you must confront both of them at the same time. The Elder is never truly killed for certain, the most you can do is banish it back to the formless void from which it sprang. And you need to do it soon, because the color-draining fungus has started to seep out of the Dreamlands into the real world. But, by the nature of the genre, you *can* defeat it, and skilled players can fight the battle repeatedly to obtain its item drops, which saps the power of the Cosmic Horror Story.
  • The Trope Codifier may well be the Persona series, itself an offshoot of Shin Megami Tensei. This is especially true of Persona 2, which not only borrows the character Nyarlathotep (portrayed more or less faithfully) as a whimsical villain, but also from Jungian philosophy. However, as dark as the saga gets, it ends with a typical JRPG Aesop about friendship and love triumphing over darkness etc. More specifically, each installment has an eldritch abomination that spawns from the collective wants and desires of humanity that threatens the entire world fitting the Lovecraft aspect. However, the power of the will of humanity is always able to defeat these abominations in the end, fulfilling the Lite aspect. But it still also leans back towards Lovecraft as the main characters don't so much destroy the dark impulses of mankind so much as abate them for a while, and victory does not always come without a price. See Persona 3 for an example.
  • Many Pokémon are creatures with strange, alien, and incomprehensible powers and appearances, such as many Olympus Mons, the Ultra Beasts, and even glitch Pokémon if you're willing to count them. All of them, without exception, can be defeated, captured, trained, and befriended just like any other Pokémon.
  • Quake has a few monsters that take inspiration from Lovecraft's monsters, though rather than going mad, you blow them away with rocket launchers. And at the end, you get to Telefrag Shub-Niggurath. Subverted in that, according to Quake Champions, the player character of Quake 1 ends up stranded in Shub-Niggurath's dimension after winning the fight and slowly goes insane.
  • Rogue Stormers reveals itself to be this in its ending, with the revelation that the black "goop" which powers the Dieselpunk technology of the setting is in fact the blood of Vori'thel, an elder goddess enslaved by the Big Bad. She is in fact benevolent and finds humans to be very cuddly, and deeply regrets any associated mental degradation.
  • The Telltale Sam & Max episodes have been dropping the occasional Lovecraft reference as far back as Episode 201. In the third season, it becomes increasingly obvious that Lovecraftian Eldritch Abominations are going to be part of the main plot. In Episode 304, an Elder God lays out an extremely Lovecraftian prehistory, the summoning of an infant abomination is attempted, and Max himself becomes Maxthulhu. This is almost played straight, but since it's in the Sam & Max universe, it comes off more as Dark Comedy rather than true cosmic horror. Also Yog-Sothoth is actually rather nice and helpful for an Eldritch Abomination, saying that age has mellowed him out some. Being only a tiny fraction of his former self symbiotically attached to a human sorcerer and stuck in our universe after his summoning technically failed probably has something to do with this. The real villain turns out to be not an interdimensional monstrosity but Max's own superego, annoyed at being ignored for so long, thanks to Max being all id.
  • Shadow Hearts. Not only does your party step up and beat up Eldritch Abominations on a regular basis (one of whom is God), but under the right circumstances the protagonist can actually force an apology from four of them. Sanity loss isn't even permanent or damaging for the protagonists.
  • The Shin Megami Tensei series in general, on that note. While the specifics vary game-to-game, the basic premise is the same: a war between the tyrannical YHWH, who wants to extinguish free will and enact in its place a World of Silence that eternally worships him, and Lucifer. As in The Devil. While Lucifer DOES have the best interests of humanity at heart, his methods are morally ambiguous at best, and ultimately his idea of paradise is bloody, chaotic, unrestrained anarchy. Humanity inevitably finds itself embroiled in this war between cosmic, incomprehensibly powerful beings that either actively hate them, see them as convenient tools or have very different ideas on how things should be run. Fortunately, there is an option in every game to date that involves humanity forming a faction of its own, taking control of the demons and angels running around, and making both God and Lucifer sorry they ever got us involved. Judging by the (shaky) continuity of the Megaten games, these are often considered the Canon endings, and in spite of this, the world often has this happen again, with YHVH's and Lucifer's plans derailed for a brief period of time. This is even acknowledged in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey's Neutral+ ending, where you fight a Forever War with the force that threatened the world, as you can't do anything but banish it temporarily.
  • Skullgirls takes place in a bright and colorful Dieselpunk world, that just so happens to be frequently threatened and terrorized by the Skullgirl, and her servant Double.
  • Since 1999, we've been delivered a mutated cutesy animal who committed genocide and flooded a whole city, an Ultimate Life Form prototype that nearly committed a Colony Drop at the request of its creator, an old rival that copied data from several heroes and became draconic kaiju robot thing, an alien who's been trying to harvest all life on Earth for food for over 2,000 years and helped sire one of the major heroes, a god who's been kidnapped and experimented on and split into two entities that were sealed away for ten years, a primordial organism that sleeps at the center of the planet and helps maintain the planet's cycle of destruction and creation by ripping the planet to pieces every millions of years, and so many more. And where will you find all these monsters? Sonic the Hedgehog!
  • Star Control features at least one Eldritch Abomination, the Orz. Given what little we learn about Orz and what it is capable of, it's quite possible that Orz could destroy all life in the galaxy without even putting in much of an effort — given the right conditions. And although the parts of the story that do focus on Orz are quite dark, it is hard to ignore the fact that Orz manifests itself in our universe as a race of green parrotfish, who speak in funny words like "Happy Camper", "Parties" and "Dancing" (though the actual meaning of these words is significantly more serious). A more tangible unspeakable power comes in the form of the Kohr-Ah and Kzer-Za (who are ultimately defeated through the collective power of the New Alliance races). The Dnyarri, another incredibly severe threat that had already caused serious harm, is a race of funny-looking Hypnotoads, and the only specimen you meet is actually quite amusing once you neutralize its power.
  • Among the inspirations for the Stellaris are Warhammer 40,000 and Star Trek. From the former is drawn inspiration for many nasty entities — the Tyranid-esque Prethyon Swarm, the all-devouring Unbidden, and the deadly, Warp-like Shroud, among others. But the latter's idealism and optimism are also present. The species of the galaxy have a hope of unifying, banding together, and turning back the horrors of the cosmos. There are only two notable exceptions that go into Cosmic Horror Story territory, but the Worm-in-Waiting can leave the civilization in question Cursed With Awesome (or be sent back to the place from whence it came), and the End of the Cycle is clearly labeled Press X to Die and won't necessarily succeed in its Omnicidal Maniac quest (although the empire that made a pact with it is totally screwed).
  • Strange Aeons is a Doom mod with a Cthulhu Mythos reskin but the same action packed gameplay. The plot is about an archeologist looking for his son in the Cthulhu Mythos' Dreamland, while blasting various cultists and monsters with a large arsenal including an assault rifle, a shotgun, or an alien lightning gun. Over the course of the five episodes, the bosses you slaughter include Atlach-Natla, Nyarlathotep, and two star-spawns of Cthulhu.
  • The Suffering: Eldritch embodiments of man's inhumanity to man wrecking havoc on the darkest, most horror-ridden structures and settlements of man? Check. The opportunity to lay waste to them with machine guns and grenades? Check.
  • Super Robot Wars is Massive Multiplayer Crossover based on various Humongous Mecha series. Most of games feature Sufficiently Advanced Alien either want to destroy or enslave humanity, Eldritch Abomination or Multiversal Conqueror that could destroy the world, or even the universe. Yet you beat them all with your Badass Army of Humongous Mecha.
  • Tattletail: The titular characters are Eldritch Abominations, and the Big Bad is one you can only run from. That said, most of said abominations are on your side in the end, the Big Bad can be ultimately destroyed, and the Golden Ending is unambiguously happy.
  • Terraria is a nice, happy, 2d Minecraft-like game. Also like Minecraft, it has some pretty warped and grotesque enemies, especially the bosses. A lot of the enemies from The Corruption look like animated clumps of rotten flesh, and they presumably conjoin together to make the Eater of Worlds boss. However, it gets ramped up further when you attempt to activate Hardmode. By making a Human Sacrifice by throwing a Guide Voodoo Doll into lava, you summon the Wall of Flesh — an enormous Advancing Wall Of Boss that is comprised of unidentifiable fleshy matter, with lots of miniature creatures attatched to it that try to eat you. The sheer sight of this thing inflicts a temporary case of magically induced terror that literally reads "You have seen something nasty, there is no escape". But all of the above are killable, and they could be a lot more horrifying looking than they are. Not to mention the cutsey look of everything else. The Hardmode end boss is literally Cthulhu. While incredibly hard initially, it doesn't stop you from farming him for materials to make the endgame items.
  • The Old Gods are Lovecraftian analogues in Warcraft. When first mentioned during Warcraft 3, they were treated ominously, but didn't have any focus. They started to be confronted directly in World of Warcraft, but they were only in raids not tied to the main story. Slowly, they were revealed or implied to be behind major events in the series. For the most part, however, while their cultists assumed victory like any villain, there was nothing particularly more hopeless about fighting these villains than any others (and the Cataclysm expansion ended up with foiling their planned apocalypse that was arranged 10,000 years prior).
  • The Witcher features a quest where Geralt can fight and kill Dagon. Also, the Vodyanoi, who serve as stand-ins for the Deep Ones, are not evil. The ones that worship Dagon are, but the rest just want to coexist with the local human villagers.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has this in the Hearts of Stone questline, where Geralt ends up confronting the jaunty, friendly Gaunter O'Dimm, who is otherwise known as Evil Incarnate, and is explicitly a reality-warping entity from beyond the normal universe who would drive Geralt insane at just learning his true name. During the course of the storyline, if Geralt follows through on a certain sidequest, he can challenge Gaunter to a battle of wits to save Olgierd's soul and, if successful, Geralt banishes O'Dimm from his world.
  • World of Horror zig-zags back and forth on this. On one hand, the majority of the monstrosities you encounter can be beaten back. However, the majority of the mysteries end by noting that your actions have only temporarily thwarted the threat, and that they will likely return. If not necessarily to your village, then elsewhere...

    Web Animation 
  • While the video is specifically about video games, "Why Games Do Cthulhu Wrong" from Extra Credits thoroughly explains why a lot of horror media tends to fall into this genre by accident, usually by missing the futility factor of Cosmic Horror. The narrator notes that video games in particular just can't do the cosmic horror genre any justice, at least not without subverting almost everything mainstream video games are about. Video games are usually about presenting the player with a challenge to overcome, and while presenting an Eldritch Abomination as such a challenge hits the notes of Lovecraft, it completely misses the music; true Lovecraftian horror is about forces so completely beyond humanity that just seeing one leads to madness, and that are impossible to even fight, let alone defeat.
  • Hanazuki: Full of Treasures features an Eldritch Abomination literally called "the Big Bad", an inky black cloud of darkness that seeps through the galaxy, slowly sucking the life out of anything it touches at hardly a moment's notice, and has left the barren husks of countless moons in its wake. Our heroine is a Plucky Girl in a colorful, saccharine world and has the power to hold this unspeakable evil at bay by growing magical trees with her Emotional Powers.
  • RWBY. Bizarre, gibbering, soulless shadow monsters with unknown origins and motivations are waging a constant war against mankind, which is sequestered into four little islands of safety constantly besieged in a world overrun. Are we going to get the same all-consuming darkness, brutality and Hopeless War vibes present in, say, Attack on Titan? Nope! This is the story of four teenage girls attending a prestigious monster-slayer academy so they can learn how to kick their butts even harder than they already do! Besides, as bad as the Grimm can be, there's plenty of less monstrous-looking but just as merciless and cunning baddies for them to worry about.

  • 8-Bit Theater has elements of Black Comedy version of a Cosmic Horror Story with the all-powerful Jerkass wizard Sarda doing things like dropping CONTINENTS, and yet even he ends up falling victim to a Grand Theft Me by Chaos who appears to be about to destroy the world with there being nothing to stop him. And, he's anti-climatically defeated OFFSCREEN by four white mages.
  • Imagine that the real reason the U.S. Space Program no longer sends men beyond Earth orbit is because they discovered planet-sized space monsters, and our only hope of survival is to avoid attracting their attention. In another story, this could be a very scary premise; in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, this is a punchline.
  • Cthulhu Slippers is an office comedy set after the end of the world at the hands of eldritch abominations who just aren't that bad. Powerful yes, inhuman yes, but far more often stupid and careless as opposed to evil.
  • Interactive Webcomic Deep Rise Zig-Zags between Lite and Heavy from start to finish:
    • Act I: College Drama of Deep Ones mixed with unfortunate humans cut up and either served as food or mutated into bioengineered tools. Not to mention the giant monsters that torture all of the above for nebulous and poorly justifiable reasons.
    • Act II: The main character fucks her roommate, has kids, starts a colony on the surface, and spends most of the act killing and mutating hapless villagers (mostly) in self defense. One family in particular is transformed into a cute wolf-girl and forced to raise two adorable infant Deep Ones.
    • Act III: The protagonists take over the surface of Earth and do their best to integrate with human society, with all the hope and unnecessary mutation-rape as they can. And then the giant monsters fuck everything up.
    • Act IV: Goes into full-blown Lovecraftian Cosmic Horror Story as it is finally revealed that the giant monsters are planet-sized space dwellers, and already chase the protagonists in their spaceship. Horror ensues.
    • Act V: The protagonist watches sitcom and documentaries from another planet, which is actually quite fun... until she causes 812 counts of negligent homicide and the broadcasting alien civilization is slowly eradicated by their own giant monster problems. And finally goes back to Lite when the final boss is revealed to be Hive Mind Unicorn Princesses of Equestria (no really) and Earth is recovering thanks to the remaining Deep Ones. The giant monsters also thank the readers for their time and attempt to end their partnership on amicable terms.
  • Dork Tower uses this occasionally for gags, such as pop-culture mashups "Spongebob Cthulupants" and "Pokethulu". One slightly NSFW strip spoofing Evony even had Happy Thulhu saying "I threw up on your sanity a little."
    • "Lovecraft is..."
    • This strip has Cthulhu discover that the result of all the Lovecraft Lite is that instead of being driven mad by his presence, people want to take selfies of themselves standing next to him with their Cthulhu plushies.
  • In Ghastly's Ghastly Comic, a character tries to summon Cthulhu, but finds that the horrific Elder God is just an infant, about the size of a toy poodle and less dangerous. On top of that, he gets drafted as its baby sitter for an eon or two.
  • Grim Tales from Down Below, despite being an ostensibly Darker and Edgier sequel to The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, gets a rather happy ending. Of course, the fact that many of the monsters, demons, god-things and assorted freaks and creeps are on the side of the heroes protagonists probably helps...
  • The Misadventures of Hello Cthulhu: Cthulhu gets stuck in the perpetually happy world of Hello Kitty. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The Horrorterrors of Homestuck are Lovecraftian monsters that are quite capable of wiping out an entire species with a single glub or driving people insane by appearing in dreams, but they aren't all that bad and even help out the heroes sometimes when their general eldritchness doesn't get in the way. Some of the characters have referred to them with joking terminology as well. Then there's the Squiddles, cute collectible squid toys that may or may not be based upon humanity's subconscious awareness of the outer-space seafood diner.
  • Irregular Webcomic! has Cthulhu repeatedly defeated by being wrestled by a human. Admittedly, that human is Steve Irwin, but still... The Great Old One has also been defeated by yetis, and eaten by a croc, so it's definitely a toned-down version of Lovecraft's most famous entity.
  • Lovecraft Girls - or How To Prevent The Apocalypse focuses on various lovecraft monsters as anime girls with Hastur being worshiped as a goddess while being impressed by human-built structures, and Nyarlathop running for mayor of New England.
  • Lovely Lovecraft by Sara Bardi is a webcomic (now available in print) re-imagining the tales, the Elder Gods, and HPL and family, in a slightly manga-ish cartoon form. As the story goes, The Elder Gods have all been trapped into forms that can exist in the everyday waking world, mostly human (yicchk). The Phillips family fortune having been scuppered, Susie has brought young Howard to live in Arkham, in the home of Randolph Carter, who has disappeared. Investigating Carter's attic library, Howard accidentally summons a talky night-gaunt who fills him in on what's been happening and enlists his help to locate Carter. Wry humor and colorful, intricate art.
  • The first issue of The Order of the Black Dog ends with a black ooze with eyes and teeth invading the orifices of two people to control them, and the second ends with the thing sealed before it killed any named characters, and one of its hosts doesn't even remember it later. Issue three though results in the protagonist institutionalized after peering into the space between dimensions. And the past sections of issue four resolve in two of the investigators dead, but it seems like the Black Dog is gone for good, then it appears again in the present day.
  • Ow, my sanity mixes the Lovecraftian elements with an Unwanted Harem plot. Also takes a stab at the Magical Girlfriend genre "with a rusty chainsaw".
  • In Princess Chroma , A Chthulu-esque monstrosity shows give the heroes a ride. Eldritch monstrosities appear quite a bit, but this is a magical girl story, so they often end up getting beat down.
  • Schlock Mercenary dips its toes into this when dealing with paan'uri. One possible translation of their name is 'That which exists where nothing should' and they remain mysterious and shadowy figures in their first few appearances but after the Core War, courtesy of the Fleetmind, they've been analyzed enough that with enough resources they can be fought and defeated. They still remain a threat but that's because they are not without resources of their own.
  • Shadowgirls loves this trope. Power of Friendship reigns, humans are on the receiving end of Not So Different speeches from the monsters, and of course most problems are highly punchable. Deep Ones are honorable and sometimes cute, Interspecies Romance ends up played quite straight.]]
  • Generally speaking, anything in Sluggy Freelance involving K'Z'K fits into this. Grotesque monster destined to destroy the world? Check. Tome of Eldritch Lore that summons the monster? Check. Beating the monster through Heroic Willpower, clever schemes, dumb luck, and Incredibly Lame Puns? Check.
  • The Unspeakable Vault (of Doom) is a humoristic take on the more famous Lovecraftian entities. It's subversion, humans are still abomination fodder, but the comic focuses more on the wacky hijinks Cthulhu and friends get up to between summonings and stellar alignments. And while we can't stop them, we can give them serious headache.
  • In User Friendly, the first time Cthulhu appears he is cause for the characters to worry. It takes two strips to turn him into a joke.

    Web Original 
  • Atop the Fourth Wall:
    • The Entity plotline is a long Cosmic Horror Story. Ultimately, the Entity consumes all people on Earth, and Linkara has no way to defeat it... until he successfully pulls off a Talking the Monster to Death, restoring the world back to normal.
    • The general intent in fact was actually a deconstruction of the Cosmic Horror Story. The Entity is a being that can consume entire worlds, even universes seem insignificant compared to its power, but in the end, it's just an arrogant, self-absorbed Generic Doomsday Villain that has no idea what it's going to do after accomplishing its goal, and the realization shows it's just an insignificant as the rest of us.
    • The King of Worms plot did a similar twist. It seemed like the team killed him with massed fire, but it turns out later they didn't even injure it. Whatever it saw in Linkara's mind, which includes seeing Lewis (the series creator and Linkara's actor), scared it so much it had a fatal heart attack.
  • Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, with its love for all things dark and nerdy, plays with the Cthulhu Mythos at times. Of course, it's a perfume company, so its interpretations of Lovecraftian abominations are rather less soul-searing than standard. Shub-Niggurath even smells like gingerbread. Exaggerated (in a very tongue-in-cheek fashion) with the holiday limited editions The Miskatonic Valley Yuletide Faire and Valentine's Day In the Miskatonic Valley. Both of them take Villains Out Shopping to an extreme. Who knew that Lavinia Whateley was such a good cook?
  • Car Boys was originally meant to be a couple of guys fooling around in Beam with a demolition derby style theme... but then they met Busto 2.0, a crash test dummy that births and destroys universes at random; and that most anything in the game can be turned into an explosion of polygons if messed with enough. The two decide to take the eldritch nature of the game and just run with it for all the comedy that they can.
  • Dice Funk: Seemingly ideal town with a dark secret? Check. Evil cult? Check. The Pickman Academy is even named after the Lovecraft short story "Pickman's Model."
  • Played for Laughs to ludicrous extremes in Ehal, a popular web series by the creators of Chad Vader sees the title character answer questions often related to the supernatural. Shuggoths are often brought up frequently, starting with one of the earliest episodes, where he tries (and fails miserably) to summon one. To put it simply, this series reveals the Chad Vader universe is one where Shoggoths can be defeated by being eaten (provided you have a spoon — they're like pudding) and are considered good for "a drink holder, trash bin, or devouring someone's head and leaving their body in a pool of their own blood, and Cthulu is a Camp Gay you can have on speed dial (though apparently you're lucky if you miss a call, since even a text from Cthulu can have horrific results, and his happy birthdays can still drive people mad).
  • Plenty of short stories on Everything2.U sually played for humor.

  • LoadingReadyRun had a Crapshot where the old ones have risen and basically bumble around being unkillable and inconvenient but not very threatening. Apparently the problem started when Azathoth spent four days staring at CERN then dematerialized.
    Graham: It would have been so much better if their mere presence had actually driven everyone insane due to the universal implication of their existence, instead of it turning out that just "a really big squid" is a concept most people can wrap their mind around.
  • In the Metro City Chronicles, Squid Kid's superpowers apparently come straight from the Lovecraftian mythos.
  • Cthulhu is a recurring character in New York Magician. Michel is a casual acquaintance with his minion.
    "Your boss is a squid."
  • The forces of heaven and hell invade Earth in The Salvation War while it's implied that heaven and hell aren't the only supernaturals. Taken Up to Eleven because from early on it's shown that human technology negates any advantage that heaven and hell have and allows human armies to curbstomp both.
  • The SCP Foundation is largely this (though sometimes it veers into full-fledged Cosmic Horror Story ground, and even when it doesn't it still can get surprisingly dark, scary and disturbing). The idea is that the universe (not that ours is the only one out there) is full of strange, inexplicable and outright inconceivable phenomena, some of which if left to their own devices could wipe out entire worlds in an instant, but the titular Foundation can still keep at least some of them contained and do their best to ensure that the majority of the human race can continue to live a life blissfully ignorant to the existence of such entities and objects (though whether that makes it lighter or darker depends on your point of view, especially given some of the measures they use to keep it as such).
    ''Seriously! Stop! You're all fucking disgusting! I'm not even ready to settle down with a cult yet! I'm only, like, two hundred years old! I'm barely legal!''
  • Welcome to Night Vale is set in a town where terrible eldritch horrors are attacking pretty much constantly. The citizens hold the belief that everything will probably work out in the end, and if it doesn't, you might as well go about life as usual until then.
  • The Whateley Universe (as the name would indicate) mixes Lovecraftian elements into its Superhero School setting.
    • The story "Ayla and the Grinch" has The Unpronounceable, a Lovecraftian demon from another dimension that isn't defeated, merely locked out of this dimension because it didn't have a big enough foothold. This time. Ayla nearly died, and suffered psychological damage that required psychological help from psychics. Everyone else who saw the tiny part of it that got into our world (except the people who locked it out of our dimension) either died horribly or suffered horrific psychological effects. That's not too 'lite'.
    • On the other hand, Sara manages to successfully avert her fate, and is pretty much a Lovecraftian horror who is...Chaotic Good?
    • Whether or not Sara ultimately has averted her fate just yet or is simply still in her Hope Spot remains to be seen. There's still that ominously foreshadowed pending visit of her 'relatives' coming to 'test' her, and there's that small issue with Shub-Niggurath wanting her for high priestess that's been brought up during her father's visit and left hanging since. And her somewhat infamous encounter with Jobe might in fact call her 'alignment' into question a bit...
  • Worm: Sufficiently Advanced Aliens travel the multiverse turning whole planets and species into giant petri dishes by granting their inhabitants superpowers, then blow them up once You Have Outlived Your Usefulness. Scion is one of them. Yet with much sacrifice and moral ambiguity, it is possible to defeat them.

    Western Animation 


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