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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 damned heroes showed up and shoved old Yog back into his book. Crisis averted! And nobody went gibbering nutso!

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. Other times the monsters might be powerful and dangerous, but still vulnerable to humanity's weapons and abilities. Everything from Powered Armor to Eye Beams to Functional Magic to even just a plain sword or a gun can help even the odds.

Three tropes that commonly overlap in Lovecraft Lite stories are Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?, Benevolent Abomination, and Adorable Abomination, which respectively refer to friendly, 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.

Remember, tropes are tools. Don't get decived by the term "Lite" if you see this trope listed in a horror work. After all, this trope is mostly related to the "cosmic" aspects of the work. With the horror tropes played right, a Lovecraft Lite work can be truly terrifying.

Often overlaps with Two-Fisted Tales.

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Other examples:

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    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.
  • 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. Ultimately, it's definitively proven as Lovecraft Lite, as the world is saved and the forces of evil defeated thanks to the heroes sticking to their guns, a lot of luck, the internal struggles of the villains, and more then a smidge of Divine Intervention.
  • Both the DC Universe and Marvel Universe have plenty of Gods 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.

Specific Examples

  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Moreso than MonsterVerse canon in terms of both the Lovecraft and the Lite. The Titans, especially Ghidorah, can have a very Lovecraftian Brown Note effect on humans which can cause temporary bizarre behavior or permanent madness, plus there's the (fortunately long-dead) Abusive Precursors who caused Ghidorah's descent into evil before it killed them. Though the Titans were already heavily implied in the MonsterVerse to have human levels of intelligence and emotional sentience, this fic outright confirms it, although it's still not as wacky as the infamous Animal Talk translations in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The world of Codex Equus can be best described as A World Half Full — it's crawling with Ancient Evils and other antediluvian horrors of incomprehensible morality, and several gods and pantheons are shown to be either Jerkass Gods or flat-out evil. Certain beliefs and thoughts can bring to life various entities like Tulpas and demons if given enough power. Even some 'civilized' sapient races, like Giants, Dragons, and the Summer/Winter Changelings, can be vicious, arrogant, and cruel. And the overarching conflict of the story involves the Void Sovereign, a nihilistic Mad God who is currently sealed within the Cosmic Void, but will destroy everything once he breaks out. Despite this, various entries make clear that for all their power and the sheer horror they project, all of the aforementioned entities mentioned above can be defeated. It is possible for mortals to Ascend to godhood by taking the necessary steps to get there. Also, both Equus and its universe essentially run on The Power of Friendship, with mortals and deities alike being capable of defeating enemies greater than themselves just by cooperating with each other. And as it turns out, the entire setting was created by the Architects, benevolent Eldritch Abominations who genuinely love everything, to the point where they created beings lesser than themselves to help them care for the universe they created on their behalf.
  • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 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.
  • 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.
  • Purple Days is almost a Cosmic Horror Story. Humanity is about to be exterminated by an unfeeling Eldritch Abomination that regularly kills all sentient life on the planet, and has wiped out 31 sentient species. And the only hope for humanity is another unfeeling Eldritch Abomination that manifests as a "Groundhog Day" Loop, the central piece of which just so happens to be Joffrey Baratheon. Oh, and if Joffrey can't stop the Long Night, sentient life may never develop again. Ultimately, though, Joffrey grows as a person, resolves to face the Long Night, and humanity makes a stand against the coming end of all things with hope in their hearts.
  • 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.
  • Touhou Shinkai ~ Awakening Deep Mythos features a Touhou Project depiction of the Cthulhu Mythos pantheon (in addition to other strange monsters) as its antagonists, inflicting insanity and chaos in the residents of Gensokyo as part of their invasion plan, which is swiftly met with Reimu and company responding with full force to counter-attack and stop said invasion. Furthermore, not only are the Eldritch Gods featured Adorable Abominations (owing to Touhou's art-style), their motives are sympathetic in nature, as their homeworld suffered an Apocalypse How that made them take refuge in the unsustainable Void Between the Worlds that necessitated them to find other worlds to conquer.

    Films — Animation 
  • Horton Hears a Who! (2008), 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 Played for Laughs. The protagonists are Anthropomorphic Food living in a grocery store who see humans as their gods who will take them to "The Great Beyond". In reality, their fate is to be 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. In the end, however, the food fight back against their human masters and massacre them all! Followed soon after by a gigantic celebratory orgy.

    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.
  • Alien vs. Predator: In the first movie, we've got a mysterious pyramid in Mysterious Antarctica which was built by Ancient Astronauts (the Predators/Yautja), and both of the two titular species at most regard humans as prey or livestock to be used or otherwise with indifference. that being said, both species can be killed, even by the humans if they get their hands on Yautja technology, and the last act of the movie involves the human Sole Survivor helping the last remaining Yautja exterminate the Xenomorphs before the creatures can get out and end the world as we know it.
  • 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. Aquaman's dad is even seen reading Lovecraft's own The Dunwich Horror at the beginning. 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 - albeit a darkly funny one.
  • 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 hit 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. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) doubles down on the Gaia's Vengeance theming, emphasizing that the "Titans" are quite willing to coexist with humanity... as long as we're willing to coexist with everything else on this planet.
  • Pacific Rim. Hordes of Kaiju from beneath the waves? That's what Giant Robots are for. Here's a quote from a tie-in comic
    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.
  • The Shape of Water has been read as a loose adaptation of Lovecraft's The Shadow Over Innsmouth, emphasizing the themes of wonder and awe at the end of the book over the dread and fear of the first four chapters, as well as putting the fish person-on-human action in a decidedly more romantic light.

    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.
  • Stranger Things. A laboratory outside the small Midwestern town of Hawkins, Indiana engages in research into parallel dimensions and Psychic Powers that goes horribly wrong and starts leaking into town... where a group of adolescents and teenagers straight out of a kids' adventure movie from The '80s, together with a small-town sheriff and a handful of average Joes and Janes, successfully fight it off. The Mind Flayer in particular is an interesting deconstruction of what happens when you drop an Eldritch Abomination into a Lovecraft Lite world where it's not guaranteed to win; confronted with the possibility of failure after spending its entire existence getting what it wants without any care for the lesser beings beneath it, it throws a tantrum and sets out to take petty revenge against the people who stopped it, acting less like an unknowable alien god and more like a manchild.
  • 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 Versus 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 & 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.

  • 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".
  • 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.

    Pro 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 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 monsters’ time has come and gone (Aboleths/Alghollthus), or are safely far away from conventional reality (the Far Realm/Dark Tapestry), 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).
    • Pathfinder zigzags between this and Cosmic Horror proper—on one hand, the Mythos’ Great Old Ones and Outer Gods are all part of the core setting’s cosmology, yet not that many actually pose a threat to Golarion. Yog-Sothoth even forms one of two pillars of the current cycle of reality, alongside the death goddess Pharasma. On the other hand, Golarion literally means “god-cage”, and eventually the devourer god Rovagug trapped inside it will escape to destroy the current cycle of reality. Only a single Survivor will be left to build reality’s next cycle, alongside an Outer God who functions as its Watcher.
      • Pathfinder First Edition in particular had the Strange Aeons adventure path, which acts as an homage to Lovecraft but does have a canon “good ending.”
  • 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.
  • GURPS: Dungeon Fantasy has the Elder Thing creature type, which is used for any so-called Horror From Beyond Time and Space. While they're dangerous, they're killable with a competent enough party.
    • Dungeon Fantasy 3: The Next Level expands this, adding the Dark One, a far removed Elder Thing more in line with an elf, and the Elder-Spawn, a Half-Human Hybrid with an Eldritch Abomination.
  • 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".
  • Despite being intended as a pastiche/homage to superhero comics, the overall setting of Sentinels of the Multiverse also manages to be this. There are cosmic beings known as Singular Entities which are the closest thing the franchise has to gods, who operate according to their own Blue-and-Orange Morality motives, with usually little care for how it affects mortals caught in the middle; there are many strange cosmic forces which can grant amazing powers to mortals who wield them, but can enact terrible prices if not wielded correctly; there are eldritch locations and beings aplenty working according to their strange ways, and there's even one character whose backstory directly references Arkham Horror and by extension the Cthulhu Mythos itself. But in the end it is still a superhero story and so while you might sometimes break your arm doing it, the heroes still can in the end defeat anything that directly threatens mortal life and make the world a better place to be.
  • 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; the players are silly cartoon characters, so being driven sane and boring is seen as a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Subverted in Warhammer 40,000 (and to a lesser degree Warhammer Fantasy). The Imperium regularly goes against Chaos, they have specialized organization to root out cults and Super Soldiers to take on Daemons and Greater Daemons of the Warp. They regularly win against these eldritch horrors, and do have ways to actually kill them for good (though that's easier said than done). But given the state of the universe, the sheer relentlessness of Chaos, and that it's near-impossible to undo a Chaos victory, The Imperium feels like a man desperately lashing out against his enemy and actually kills it, only to find himself wounded and the next enemy will be harder to fight off.
  • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar is much lighter than the original Warhammer Fantasy. The herores not only can win against Chaos, but they won before by the forces of Sigmar. Unlike Fantasy and 40,000, the cosmic forces of darkness are on the defensive in Age of Sigmar. Although Nagash is moving to usurp the role of Big Bad from them...

  • 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.

    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.

    Web Comics 
  • 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.
  • Blood Is Mine: There are eldritch abominations that can "drink deep of worlds," and other such entities, but our main protagonist is also partly one of them, while retaining her compassion and humanity. Her mother, while significantly more alien, also loved her family deeply.
  • 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.
  • 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" Remark 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 
  • Plenty of short stories on Everything2. Usually played for humor.
  • 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. 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).
    • An example of an SCP on the "lite" side of things is SCP-2662, a Cthulhumanoid who acts more like an ordinary teenage boy than an Eldritch Abomination, and thinks his worshipers are a nuisance.
      SCP-2662: 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!
  • 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.

    Web Videos 
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10:
    • The original show had shades of this in its earlier seasons. It's very apparent in the "The Big Tick" in which the Monster of the Week is an Eldritch Abomination who attempts to destroy the Earth for reasons that nobody knows of.
    • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Diagon is an ancient Eldritch Abomination Dimension Lord that has already conquered countless dimensions. According to the cult that worships Diagon, it is responsible for the rise of humanity. For all its power, Diagon is ultimately defeated because it arrogantly underestimates the ingenuity of "lesser" beings. In the backstory, Sir George sealed Diagon with Azmuth's sword-like reality warping superweapon Ascalon. In the Grand Finale, Vilgax apparently slays Diagon for good by tricking him into attacking an energy draining device. Said device completely absorbs Diagon since it's an Energy Being, and it's uncertain whether or not Diagon survived the process.
  • Chaotic: The M'arrillians fit this to a T. Mind-controlling, bioluminescent, tentacled monstrosities invading from deep beneath the earth is about as Lovecraft-esque as you can get in an animated kids' show; however, the M'arrillians are still just creatures with incredibly powerful psionic abilities rather than full-on Eldritch Abominations, and can be beaten back by the other Tribes of Perim once they stop fighting amongst themselves.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: The Darkness turns out to be a harmless Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold.
  • Futurama regularly makes jokes that casually presents cosmic horror as it's general Black Comedy tone of a loosely dystopian future. It doesn't really take focus until one of their revival movies, "The Beast With A Billion Backs", where the aftermath of a Reality-Breaking Paradox involving successive time travel rips a Negative Space Wedgie big enough to be seen across the universe. Fry sneakily goes through the rift, and returns enthralled to a cyclopean, tentacled being that effortlessly assimilates every other living thing in the universe because the difference in physics makes it invulnerable against any attempts fo stop it. The spell is broken by Leela revealing it's trying to mate with them, and after confronting it over this, it convinces everyone in the universe to try dating it instead, because it's fallen in love with them.
  • Generator Rex has rogue nanobots that infected every living thing in the world (except White Knight) and can at any moment turn any of them into a Humanoid Abomination, Animalistic Abomination, or Botanical Abomination capable of massive destruction, many of which are either not in control of their own minds or fully in control and using their powers for evil. To make things worse, only one human on the entire planet can cure them and the government organization fighting them is shown to be massively outgunned without the use of WMDs or mind control. The only things keeping it firmly in this territory are the fact that the Nanites are science-based and as a result, understandable (though there are only four people who actually do fully understand how they work), they are shown to be beatable, and Rex manages to deactivate them in the end, save for his own and Bobo's.
  • Gravity Falls sounds like The X-Files for kids, meeting and dealing with the various supernaturals and cryptoids living in the locale. But then Bill Cipher enters the picture, we learn the sheer magnitude of his plan, and how his friends on the other side can't wait to show this dimension how to party. Not only do the twins and their friends manage to prevent Bill's schemes, they even end up killing him... maybe.
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Cthulhu is trapped in the phone lines forever (possibly as a Shout-Out to the above Ghostbusters episode, or just a coincidental pun on "Call of Cthulhu").
  • One episode in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) features a many-tentacled beast called "Yog," which might destroy the whole planet if he ever awakes. It's hard to see why, because He-man beats him forever in about five seconds.
  • Inhumanoids involved a pantheon of three giant-sized Eldritch Abominations who were imprisoned by elder races ages ago. However, the show was essentially G.I. Joe, and the monsters get defeated every episode.
  • Justice League's episode "The Terror Beyond" is this. Icthultu, de-facto Lawyer-Friendly Cameo of Chtulhu, is defeated by Hawkgirl's mace. Beating Elder Gods to death is really just a matter of having the right Unobtanium.
  • The Legend of Korra shows that the world used to be a Cosmic Horror Story, with humans isolated on Lion Turtle cities to avoid the attention of uncaring if not downright alien spirit creatures. This all changes when the personification of Order merged with a human, creating a mediator that would bring balance to both worlds.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Eldritch Abominations turn up to make the show much darker with such regularity that ponies barely notice anymore — so far, we've had Nightmare Moon, Discord, the Windigos, the Changelings, and King Sombra — among others. They're powerful enough to defeat Princess Celestia herself, most of the time. Despite that, they're always handily defeated by the end of their episode(s) through the powers of friendship, love and the Elements of Harmony, and in three cases are even redeemed. There is also the Ursas, or Cerberus who's the guardian of Tartarus, and who knows what else is trapped in there. Like Tirek.
  • Ōban Star-Racers becomes this in its final episodes, when the true nature of the Avatar, the Ultimate Prize and the Great Race of Oban are revealed. The Ultimate Prize is the position of Avatar, given by the Creators (a race of beings godlier than the Avatar himself) to the winner of the Great Race. The Avatar has the duty to take care of the whole galaxy, but it is shown that its power can be used for evil, which would put everything into Cosmic Horror Story territory.
  • The Real Ghostbusters:
    • In episode "The Collect Call of Cathulhu", the Great Old One himself is defeated by an ionized roller coaster that attracts lightning that struck Cathulhu [sic].
    • A latter episode, "Russian About", had the Ghostbusters again thwarting the summoning of another Old One (implied to be Yibb-Tstll due to having minions the script calls Nightgaunts). It was originally meant as a straight-up followup to "Collect Call", with an attempt by Cathulhu to return, but J. Michael Straczynski fell afoul of BS&P, who'd gotten it in their heads that Cthulhu and the Necronomicon were real actual bits of occult/satanic lore.
  • Samurai Jack involves an extremely powerful demonic alien god named Aku, who has conquered Earth and turned the planet into a living hell, and seeks to inflict miserable fates upon everyone and everything in the rest of the known universe. As horrible as this is, hope isn't lost; Samurai Jack, though human and mortal, carries the only weapon that can kill Aku. While Jack's long quest is far from easy, he eventually manages to destroy the demon lord and end his reign of terror for good.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated has an episode spoofing Lovecraft and his stories, featuring a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of the author (cleverly named Hatecraft, and, of course, voiced by Jeffrey Combs) and a Cthulhu-like character from one of his books haunting a college campus (which, of course, turns out to be just someone in a costume). Of course, the really frightening character in that episode is Harlan Ellison as himself. That'll net you some SAN loss.
  • The "Coon and Friends" trilogy in South Park has Cthulhu developing a Little Guy, Big Buddy relationship with Cartman (complete with Feed the Kitty and My Neighbor Totoro shout outs) and being defeated by "the power of mint and berries combined."
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) example: While the Lovecraft-inspired episode "The Darkness Within"—featuring a Cthulhu expy who draws the greedy towards its sanctum so it can feed off their life-energy while making them experience their worst nightmares—is one of the series' more serious episodes, its relatively satisfactory ending (the creature is defeated with no loss of sanity) makes it more this trope than a true Cosmic Horror Story.


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Alternative Title(s): Post Lovecraftian, Post Lovecraftian Fiction


The Great One

The adults of Dapto are mentally enslaved by a massive alien being from another dimension to build a structure for its arrival, which turns out to be a dildo for the Great One to pleasure itself with, which would destroy the planet. Ultimately, the Great One is nothing more than a "cosmic fuckboi" that leaves Earth after seeing there are kids, trolling the universe for other planets to have sex with.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

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Main / LovecraftLite

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