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Moe

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Those helpless eyes are killers.

"Somehow, when I look at her, I feel like I can't leave her alone. I feel like I have to protect her!"
Chiri Kitsu, Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei
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Coined in Japan in the late '90s, "Moe" (萌え, pronounced as "Mo-Eh" [mo̞e̞], derived from a Japanese word that means "budding, to sprout/bloom")note  is an ill-defined otaku term that means, amongst other things, "cute", "huggable", or "endearing". While it's sometimes used to describe a series or the phenomenon called Perverse Sexual Lust, it's more about a specific ideal or kind of character, similar to Kawaisa. When used as an interjection, figuratively, it's used to convey that "something blooms inside your heart". It has a basis in the Bishoujo genre.

A common definition is that Moe is the ability of a character to instill in the audience an irrational desire to adore them, hug them, protect them, comfort them, etc. To evoke a sort of Big Brother Instinct or Heartwarming Moments, in men and women. Therefore, Moe characters are, generally speaking, cute.

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Moe characters are implicitly youthful. In Anime, they are mostly of high school age, but adult characters are not exempt if they fit the model of adorability; an example of the Moe Archetype applied for adults is the Yamato Nadeshiko. Their personality will reflect an "innocent" outlook on something vital, such as about romance. A related implication is that moe characters are virgins, though mostly in Japan, where virginity and purity still remains important to a girl's appeal.

The classical Moe character, based on that of Conservative Japanese customs, is highly associated with innocence, shyness, humility, submission, helplessness and woobie characteristics (e.g., Prone to Tears, Shrinking Violet, Extreme Doormat, Cute Clumsy Girl, The Ingenue, the Healing-type genre, etc., usually drawn with Tareme Eyes). However, modern variations of the Moe Archetype trend towards upbeat, lively, energetic and extroverted personalities that are far more unique, noticeable and recognizable, such as the Genki Girl, Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Broken Bird and benign variants of the Tsundere archetype. Other contributions to uniqueness can also come in the form of quirks, reliance on Costume Exaggeration, odd language, strange hobbies and the like. Occasionally, these quirks are completely unrelated and seem a bit disjointed.

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If a character is plain, they are "loudly plain" in the way Hollywood Homely characters are "ugly"; sometimes they're just more moderate than the rest of the cast, and the writers implicitly suggest the audience is kind for liking the character for being plain.

More on these traits can be found here, although exactly "what is Moe" remains debatable.

Such characters are prone to be used to pander to the base. A character with no visible personality traits aside from vaguely cute uselessness is termed the dreaded "Moe Blob". As a result of this, some moe characters are quasi-Animated Actors; the series they star in need not be related at all, being only devices to enable the viewer to enjoy the character. Many of them feature in Gag Series, and only the merchandise for the series shows off its possibly-intended roots, though quite a few merchandise producers use heavy amounts of artistic liberty when designing products.

Also, do note that the Moe aesthetic in itself is generally not considered to be a sexual thing. Saying otherwise will be a Fandom-Enraging Misconception. That is not to say, of course, that Moe characters can never be sexually attractive, and indeed some aesthetics may deliberately blur the line.

Male characters can also have moe traits, and they figure prominently in Shoujo and Josei. Like their female counterparts, moe boys are usually ridiculously cute. The Adorably Precocious Child is a good example. Bishōnen characters (particularly Troubled, but Cute characters) also tend to evoke feelings of Moe in a female audience and are frequently called Moe by both fans and authors.

For the non-anthropomorphic equivalent, see Ridiculously Cute Critter. See also Moe Anthropomorphism, Moe Couplet, Moe Stare; compare The Cutie, a more specific form of Moe defined by innocence, and The Woobie where the focus is about sympathy. Yamato Nadeshiko has a similar appeal but for older characters. Also see When She Smiles for situations where applicable characters get massive Moe points for finally breaking out a smile. In darker series, very likely to suffer Break the Cutie. Weakness Turns Her On is a sort of Distaff Counterpart that concerns women's attraction to moe males. Contrast Rated M for Manly. What Do You Mean, It's Not for Little Girls? when someone mistakes a moe show that's meant for older males for a show that's meant for little girls.


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Moe characters

    Advertising 

    Arts 

    Comic Books 
  • One male example who gets away with it because of his age is Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. Remember when the baby raccoon died? It was also a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
    • It's when he wants to be, and it never works on his parents. Not even "Bambi eyes" work. Of course, "Bambi Eyes" tend to lose the intended effect when one is using them to ask for a flamethrower. It also doesn't work on Rosalyn (the baby-sitter), or Miss Wormwood (the teacher), or... you know what? It just doesn't work In-Universe.
  • The Flash: Jesse Quick, due to her Amazingly Embarrassing Parents and light-hearted Wanted a Son Instead interactions with her parents, and nature as a cheerful Bookworm, Depending on the Writer.
  • The entire cast of Peanuts can all count as this, being children who are all Wise Beyond Their Years. Characters like Charlie Brown, Schroeder, Linus or Sally would definitely count. And then there's Snoopy and Woodstock.
  • The title character of Empowered is a rare example in an American Super Hero comic.
    ThugBoy: She's got this whole adorable, aching vulnerability thing going on... [...] I wanted to comfort her and tap that ass like it's never been tapped before.
  • Delirium in Death: At Death's Door
  • Molly Hayes and Klara Prast from Runaways
  • Ignacia from Wildguard
  • Squee from Johnny the Homicidal Maniac could be an example of this.
  • The original version of Marrina from Alpha Flight was absolutely made of this, at least as long as she was in control of herself. Unfortunately, outside forces kept pulling out her Superpowered Evil Side, making her good half seem just that much more tragic and, well, moe.
  • Justice Society of America: Motor Mouth Legacy Character and theatre geek Cyclone.
  • Most of the kid characters from Le Petit Spirou easily qualify for this.
  • Gastoon from the comic book of the same name is this. Just look at this album cover.
  • Kamala Khan, aka the current Ms. Marvel. She's so perky and happy all the time!
    • Wait a minute, don't forget one of the Pictures of a very Moe Russian Girl who cosplays as Ms. Marvel in her Black Leotard, Red Sash and Boots outfit.
  • Alex and Freddy, the titular main duo from Mega Robo Bros are downright adorable in their own special ways, especially with Alex's precocious and sensible Adorkable-ness and Freddy's hyperactive tendencies that provides loveable humour that is usually expected from a 6-7 year old. And tell us if one of those Badass Adorable robot brothers emotionally grew on you.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

  • Big Hero 6: Hiro is an adorably tiny 14-year-old robotics prodigy with Messy Hair and big brown eyes, and he looks especially small when standing next to the rest of the adult characters, including Baymax. And he's an orphan who loses his big brother, which makes him prime-grade Woobie material. The fandom loves to make him the subject of Hurt/Comfort Fics, many of which involve him getting kidnapped or hurt in some way.
  • The Boxtrolls: Eggs, the Heartwarming Orphan who was taken in by the titular boxtrolls, also invokes a "taking him home with me" reaction from the audience.
  • Despicable Me: Agnes is the most innocent child to hit the screen in a long time, and she's adorable.
  • Encanto:
    • Mirabel, between her kind heart, cute Meganekko appearance, sheer earnestness in trying to be a good family member, and clumsy moments being very endearing.
    • Dolores, with her cute appearance, soft voice, sweet personality, ability to hear faraway things making her come across as concerned for others most of the time, and the little honking sound she makes whenever she's nervous.
    • Antonio. With his wide smile; shy, gentle nature; and love for animals, the boy has won the hearts of many.
  • Frozen: Anna, as part of her Adorkable and Cute Clumsy Girl appeal.
  • The Incredibles: The Parr children, at least when they're not crime-fighting. Violet is Adorkable, Dash has an innocent, child-like demeanour and Jack-Jack is one of the cutest babies around. It helps that they all look adorable.
  • Inside Out: All five of the emotions are this is some way, but Sadness tends to be the biggest example out of all of them thanks to her quiet Eeyore-like personality, large glasses, and her short stocky appearance in general.
  • The Little Mermaid (1989): Ariel is a very cute mermaid for viewers of all ages to enjoy.
  • Lilo of Lilo & Stitch. Stitch also qualifies in his own Ugly Cute way.
  • Moana: Moana herself for being very cute, klutzy, having an endearing adventurous spirit, being a total dork and goofball at times, and having a kind heart.
  • Toy Story 3: Bonnie. Whether she's being shy (around adults) or a cheerful Genki Girl (with her toys) she's always adorable.
  • The titular Trolls are considered this, given the fact that they hug all the time.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Vanellope von Schweetz is the most adorable character in the movie and also the most abused, whose living conditions were even worse than Ralph's. She is essentially a Dummied Out character in her home game, which is horrifyingly tragic if such a character were sentient. Some of the story team members even grew protective of her.
  • Zootopia:
    • Judy Hopps is an endearing little bunny with an appealing design who tries so hard to prove herself and is so determined to solve genuine problems in her city (not just being a traffic cop as others want her to) that it’s near-impossible to not root for her.
    • Benjamin Clawhauser is considered an adorable Gentle Giant and the friendly face of the police station, and when he loses his job later on in the film just because he’s of a predator species, he comes across as very Woobie because of how nice he is.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 9 to 5: Doralee. Dolly Parton fills her with some great Country Mouse sweetness and sad confusion about why people dislike her.
  • Both used straight and subverted when Wednesday Addams turns on the charm at summer camp in Addams Family Values. In just a few moments she blossoms from her usual drawn and dour self into a charming doe-eyed lovable little girl.
    • The other children are visibly shocked. One remarks, "She's scaring me!"
  • Anna and the Apocalypse:
    • Between her Digging Yourself Deeper moment while discussing Anna and Nick's breakup, her Sickeningly Sweethearts moments with Chris, and her vulnerable scenes while holed up in the school (particularly during the Human Voice musical number), Lisa is a pretty huggable character.
    • John, given his love for Christmas, goofy enthusiasm, girlish scream, and sad but mature reaction to Anna not returning his feelings for her.
  • Janie in Another Time, Another Place, especially when she gets the chance to smile.
  • Just about anyone played by Mr. Buster Keaton. Poor guy.
  • Can't Hardly Wait: The yearbook girl might come across as annoying to her classmates, but her perky attitude and school spirit, and how she wants the yearbook signature of everyone regardless of social status can make her rather endearing.
  • Raven in Cecil B. Demented falls into this category in a weird way, but then, considering the actress...
  • Child's Play: Chucky. Yes, he is a psychotic mass murderer, but he just looks so adorable in his doll body.
  • Dance of the Dead: Gwen, the Pom-Pom Girl who is upset about dissecting a frog, doesn't know how to use a machete, and has some Give Geeks a Chance interactions with Stephen.
  • Deadpool 2: Yukio is notably the only character that Deadpool just doesn’t have the heart to ever insult or snark at. This is because she is an adorable Nice Girl who is always friendly to him and everyone else, greeting him with a kind “Hi Wade!” or “Bye Wade!” every time they interact and never being anything less than completely sweet to him. Deadpool of all people liking her too much to be mean to her shows just how much she is this.
  • Diary of the Dead: Tracy inspires endearing or protective feelings due to being a sweet Southern Belle early on (with some humorous Of Corset Hurts complaining about her movie costume) and the way she gets gradually broken down by the traumas of the zombie apocalypse while still retaining some spunk.
  • Drop Dead Gorgeous:
    • Amber. Her wholesome demeanor, Only Sane Girl moments, and the nice way her Small Town Boredom is handled all help, but mainly it's down to the bright and hopeful performance of Kirsten Dunst.
    • Lisa, with her odd laugh, desire to move to New York, the affectionate way she talks about her gay brother, and how she sacrifices her own chance to win the pageant to help Amber.
    • Tess for some, due to being a Wide-Eyed Idealist and The Chew Toy, plus really, really liking German Shepherds.
  • Final Destination 3:
    • Wendy. She's endearing enough while happily acting in her capacity as school photographer during the first fifteen minutes of the film. Then, after the accident that kills her boyfriend and best friend, she's in a broken state with barely anyone to turn to as she tries to prevent more deaths and finds out that her sister is also being targeted by Death. There's barely a moment in the film where the average viewer won't want to hug her.
    • Valley Girls Ashley and Ashlyn surprisingly inspire a lot of sympathy and warm feelings due to their attempt to provide Wendy some emotional support while she’s depressed and the horrific way that Death chooses to target them.
    • Julie’s friend Perry (on a minor scale) due to her constantly changing hairstyle and how she sometimes has a sunny smile but often looks appropriately sad and frightened.
  • Flashdance:
    • Alex's winning smile, her passion for dance that is tempered by insecurity about her skills, her protectiveness of her friends, and her sense of pride in her blue collar work all make her charming and endearing.
    • Tina's awkward insecurities about her boyfriend, the funny way she struggles with some barbells during a Training Montage, and the sheer energy and dedication she puts into her Minor Character, Major Song dance number all make her surprisingly adorable for a small character.
  • Four Weddings and a Funeral:
    • Tom's bumbling nature and speech about seeking a happy, low-drama true love casts him in this role.
    • Bernard and Lydia, due to their cuteness as a couple and how they patiently help the minister who is marrying them when he gets tongue-tied.
    • Fiona, due to her sad but graceful All Love Is Unrequited moments.
    • Serena, due to her clumsy attempts at flirting with sign language.
    • Gareth, due to his non-stop Life of the Party joviality.
  • Freaky: Millie. She's a Shrinking Violet with some cute Character Tics, gets harshly bullied for being the school's mascot, a job that she seems to care about, and is too shy to tell a Lovable Jock about her crush on him. And that's before her "Freaky Friday" Flip with a middle-aged man adds a new level of awkwardness to everything she does.
  • Friday the 13th (2009): Jenna is humble, caring, innocent, quick to help someone in need, and has a dazzling smile.
  • Gallipoli: Archy, due to being a occasionally self-sacrificing Wide-Eyed Idealist with amazing skill and passion for sprinting.
  • The Grudge:
    • Allison, due to her being a kind wallflower with an innocent face who just wants to have friends and ends up suffering some of the worst Break the Cutie and The Woobie misfortune in the franchise as a result.
    • Aubrey, due to how she spends so much of the movie distraught and vulnerable but still determined to stop the curse, and is unhappy in her position as The Un-Favorite to her sister Karen but still shows a lot of concern and affection for Karen.
  • Halloweentown: Sophie, given her Cheerful Child moments, sense of eagerness about exploring Halloweentown, innocent use of magic, and how she gets along with all of her family members pretty well while the others have more frequent disagreements.
  • Like in the book series, Prim from The Hunger Games. Katniss as her older sister would do anything to protect her and the citizens of Panem fall head over heels for her when Katniss volunteers to take her place as the Hunger Games tribute. The second film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire lampshades this after one of gimmicks in the Games arena tricks Katniss into believing Prim had been tortured; fellow tribute Johanna points out that Panem loves Prim so much that if it were real, the Capitol citizens (the prime audience that regularly enjoys seeing children of the Games slaughtered) would riot against the gamemakers and President Snow. Prim becomes less of a Moe from Catching Fire onward, as she takes up to helping their nurse mother treat starving and injured patients, and thus has to grow up too quickly.
    • Katniss also sees her Hunger Games competitor Rue as this, as, aside from being black instead of white, she reminds Katniss of Prim in every way, including being around the same age. Rue gets killed in front of Katniss (and all of Panem) and dies in her arms, and Katniss decorates her body with flowers to show she actually cared about Rue. She remains a driving force throughout the series behind some of Katniss' motivations to fight against the Capitol. The film also adds an extra scene showing people in Rue's district District 11 rioting against the Captiol soliders after she gets killed.
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer: Helen, with the exception of the hit-and-run scene. Sarah Michelle Gellar makes sure that all of her scenes before that have her displaying a fun, bubbly charm while her scenes afterward give her a strong sense of defeat and vulnerability as she's being bullied by her sister, stalked by a psycho, and unsuccessfully tries to reconnect with her best friend.
  • Ice Princess:
    • Casey's sheer passion for skating and habit of rambling on about mathematical equations in the middle of normal conversations make her surprisingly adorable.
    • Gen. Her first couple of scenes don't seem to be heading in this direction, but once she shows a warmer side of her personality, it's easy to feel warm and attached toward her as she starts acting like a Cool Big Sis to Casey and shows some range in chafing under the demands of her Stage Mom.
  • Glory Adams, the severely autistic girl from the movie Jack of the Red Hearts has her own way of being adorable throughout the film.
  • Kick-Ass: As badass as Mindy is as Hit-Girl, she is absolutely adorable out of costume.
  • Knives Out: Marta is such a sweet person that she’s basically a precious cinnamon roll human incarnate. She can’t even think about lying to anyone or she’ll throw up! Aww...
  • Lights Out (2016): Between his Extremely Protective Child moments toward mom, bonding moments with his older sister, and the scene where Becca finds him asleep in a bathtub with a flashlight in his first night away from the Haunted House, Martin inspires a lot of warmth and protectiveness.
  • Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings. More so than the book, in which he seems slightly more composed and more mature than his younger Hobbit friends, film Frodo is every bit the doe-eyed, plucky little train-that-could. Whenever action goes down, even the other Hobbits manage to get some licks in. But not our Frodo, who whimpers and faints and plays ill throughout. He's so in over his head it's absurd... which is what makes his pluck all the more moving. It's just a good job Sam went with him...
  • Mad Max: Fury Road:
    • Nux, due to how he's Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life, his emotionally stunted behavior, and his Butt-Monkey moments.
    • Splendid Angahard, due to her Team Mom and Actual Pacifist moments.
    • Capable, at least when she's being compassionate toward Nux. Her Brainy Specs goggles help as well.
    • The Dag for some, due to her hamminess and her emotional conversation with the Keeper of the Seeds about the hope the seeds represent and The Dag's mixed feelings about motherhood.
  • Aurora in Maleficent. Innocent, Friend to All Living Things, and spends many of her scenes full of nothing but joy. The spell did say she'd be beloved by all that meet her. Being played by Elle Fanning definitely helps. She eventually forms a Moe Couplet with the title character.
  • David Bowie's character from The Man Who Fell to Earth is a fragile, if stoic, alien who proves highly, tragically vulnerable to the pitfalls of the human world. In his human disguise, he's one of the older examples of this trope (his true form is that of a Rubber-Forehead Alien). It's telling that Bowie fangirls usually refer to Thomas Jerome Newton via his in-story nickname of "Tommy".
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Thor, Loki gets one or two scenes (notably The Reveal scene) that make him this... until he turns all Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
    • Pre-serum Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger, especially in fanworks. He's feisty and determined (very) rather than innocent and vulnerable, but he is a short, kind of delicate-looking (with big blue Disney princess eyes), romantically inexperienced, Adorkable yet ailing boy who gets beat up a lot. Post-serum, he's still cute, but in more of a Dork Knight-Iron Woobie way.
    • Cute Alien Girl Mantis in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. She's a reasonably kind person with a non-violent power set (being The Empath) in a film full of stab-happy Jerks With Hearts Of Gold and worse. She's socially awkward in a terribly endearing way due to her isolated upbringing, which also gives her Woobie points because she's terribly lonely and in need of friends. And her Cuteness Proximity reaction to Rocket and baby Groot is adorable.
    • Spider-Man. Much emphasis is placed on this Spider-Man's youth and inexperience compared to previous versions. He acts like a geeky fanboy and is constantly stuttering and running his mouth in battle. He defaults to being the youngster when placed against much older heroes. The writers and actor deliberately invoke trope as it makes both his death in Avengers: Infinity War and his mentor Tony Stark's death in Avengers: Endgame all the more heartbreaking as he reacts like a scared, frightened child instead of a more stoic, hardened hero.
    • Shuri, T’Challa’s little sister first introduced in Black Panther (2018), whose cuteness, Adorkableness, and fun antics in general make her very huggable.
    • Black Widow (2021) introduces us to Yelena Belova, who despite being a tough and capable Action Girl like her sister Natasha, tends to be seen by viewers as extremely adorable. This starts from her being shown as an innocent child in the flashbacks, with her being the more happy and carefree sister to Natasha, and then still being shown as goofy and quirky as an adult despite the seriousness of her line of work. For example, she enjoys teasing Natasha about her battle poses and asking her why she feels the need to show off with them. She also has an easier time warming up to her lost family members, being quick to forgive everyone compared to Natasha who is a Defrosting Ice Queen about it. This characterization then takes off even further in Hawkeye (2021), when Yelena’s quirkiness and sweetness gets even more emphasized in her banter with Kate Bishop, who has a similar personality to her and is considered quite Moe herself. In a nutshell, Yelena may be a tough spy but her goofiness and sweetness makes Marvel fans completely adore her anyway.
  • The Mighty Ducks: Connie's smile, enthusiasm, and loyalty to the team make her an easy character to feel affection for.
  • Necessary Roughness: Gentle Giant Manu, mainly due to the determined but bashful way that he stands in front of Lucy while she's showering so no one else can look at her and doesn't look back himself.
  • Barbra from Night of the Living Dead (1968). After all of the horrible things that happen to her, she becomes a nervous wreck. And it's adorable!
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street:
  • No Time to Die: Very surprisingly for the James Bond franchise, Paloma is like this. Although she’s still an amazing fighter, outside of her fight scenes she has an awkward, sort of nerdy disposition with shy, cutesy mannerisms to boot. She even seems so innocent that she chokes on her alcohol in a way that implies she hardly does any drinking, and the one time it seems like she’s coming on to Bond, it turns out she didn’t mean it and was just being awkward.
  • Piranha 3D: Despite being a porn star, Danni inspires a lot of this feeling in the scenes where she isn't on the job, due to her Intergenerational Friendship with Jake's little sister and efforts to save Derrick from being killed, plus how her failure to do so leaves her deeply upset.
  • Syrena from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Come on look at those big adorable eyes. Doesn't hurt that she's a sweet vulnerable non-murdering mermaid.
  • The Replacements (2000): Deaf player Brian Murphy, due to his All American Boy looks, kind nature, and sign-language flirting with one of the strippers and stunned, embarrassed reaction to her making an explicit suggestion.
  • Child!Hanuman/Maruti from The Return of Hanuman. Big girly eyes, cheeks, innocence, he's just so adorable.
  • The ultimate western example would be Audrey Hepburn's adorably innocent Princess Ann from Roman Holiday.
  • Scream Franchise:
    • Scream (1996):
      • Tatum's witty nature, protectiveness of Sidney, fashion style, and the cuddly accessories in her room make her immensely endearing.
      • Casey's sweet-looking appearance, Nice Girl dialogue and Trauma Conga Line make her feel quite huggable.
      • Clueless Deputy Dewey, due to his flirtation with Gale and Dude, Where's My Respect? interactions with his sister.
      • Randy, due to being an enthusiastic Meta Guy, but also showing more sadness about the actual murders than most of his classmates.
    • Scream 3: Jennifer is a rare Jerk with a Heart of Gold example. This is due to her hilariously neurotic nature, exaggerated physical movements while running for her life, her Becoming the Mask actions in mimicking Gale's investigatory nature, and the way she jumps into someone's arms when she's scared.
    • Scream (2022): Tara is extremely adorable between her small stature, baby face, and kind personality. Adding to this, she’s also a major Woobie for the extreme amount of suffering she endures, between being hospitalized from multiple stab wounds right at the start of the film and then continuing to get targeted by the killers while she’s still wheelchair-bound and with a nasal cannula in the hospital, making many viewers just want to give the poor girl a hug for everything she goes through.
  • Short Circuit
    • Johnny Five. The robot's deep respect for life, loyalty to his friends, and fondness for movie quotes all make him pretty lovable.
    • Toy company purchasing agent Sandy, from the sequel. Her enthusiasm for novelty toys that her boss dislikes and the way she's eventually charmed by Ben's awkward flirting are pretty cute.
  • Little Nancy in Sin City the movie. She is a lot cuter when seen in full color light in the bonus DVD features than in the black and white of the movie.
  • Spider-Man Trilogy: Ursula Ditkovich, the daughter of Peter’s landlord, is an adorably sweet character who never, ever fails to be kind to Peter even at his lowest points, even when it seems like the entire world is disrespecting him. In Spider-Man 2, when Peter’s at his lowest point, Ursula notices how depressed he is and makes him chocolate cake to cheer him up, the start of his luck finally turning around. In Spider-Man 3, she continues to be supportive to Peter even when the symbiote is clearly turning him into a Jerkass, and responds to the situation by being concerned for his well-being and trying to figure out what’s wrong rather than condemning him. She also, despite seeming to have a crush on Peter, has an I Want My Beloved to Be Happy attitude to his romantic life by rooting for him and M.J. rather than show any jealousy over their relationship. As a result, fans tend to love her for being such a wholesome character and unfailingly good friend to Peter, with a common fan sentiment being that Peter should have dated her rather than M.J.
  • Stake Land:
    • Belle, the Imperiled in Pregnancy country singer has a lot of down-to-earth charm.
    • Peggy, due to her sunny, go-getter nature even after spending so long surviving alone.
  • Star Trek (2009): Chekov. He's developed quite the female following.
    • He's practically a live-action anime character with his enormous greenish-blue eyes; no wonder he's a Moe! That and his positively adorable accent (especially when the computer acts like a bitch to him).
      • "I can do zat! I can do zat!"
  • Sucker Punch: The main cast as a whole are this for being adorable, innocent girls who are being abused in an asylum, and coming across as rather cutesy and huggable despite the Crapsack World that they’re in, but two of them in particular stand out as more Moe than the rest:
    • Amber is the sweetest out of everyone, has a very endearing and encouraging personality, and has a very short and cute appearance to boot, thanks to being played by Jamie Chung.
    • Rocket is extremely perky, sweet, and the most idealistic out of the group, being a contrast to her more serious and reserved older sister.
  • Tomorrow: When the War Began: Fi, due to her characterization as a sweet but jumpy City Mouse.
  • Tower of Terror:
  • Transformers Film Series
    • Bumblebee fills this, despite being a mechanical life form. Due to being the most humanoid of the robot cast, his movements modelled after Marty McFly, the fact his horns are replaced with little bug antennae, he's given Prowl's door wings which act like dog ears, and his childlike enthusiasm at times. There's a reason many cried when he was injured in the first film and when it looks like he's about to be executed by Soundwave in the third. Possibly lampshading this, Laserbeak uses his apparent ability to change into anything to become a human child sized pink version of him to trick a small girl into letting him inside so he can kill her family.
    • Carly in the third film also acts as this, due to being more emotional than Megan Fox's character Mikaela in the first film and more playful.
    • The 2018 Reboot Bumblebee portrays the aforementioned Bumbleebee as this once again, and plays it up even more by making him scared and vulnerable due to his memory loss, yet still upbeat and curious.
    • Charlie from Bumblebee is considered this too for being quirky, Adorkable, klutzy, and often ending up in embarrassing situations, which makes her very huggable. It also helps that she’s played by Hailee Steinfeld, who is both good at playing endearingly awkward characters and cute in general. She is also dealing with the loss of her father who she was close with, along with having major conflict with her mother who doesn’t understand her, which makes her The Woobie.
  • Tremors 6: A Cold Day in Hell: The average viewer can really feel and appreciate the positive energy of chipper Tomboy with a Girly Streak Valerie.
  • X-Men: First Class managed to make Mystique seem Moe through her shy and excitable moments.
  • Zoom: Academy for Superheroes: Super strength or not, Cindy is absolutely adorable due to being a six-year-old Girly Girl with normal childish insecurities and interests who doesn't know her own strength.

    Music 

    Podcasts 
  • The caricatures of the two hosts of Fat, French and Fabulous have a distinct, cutesy animesque art style that belies the dark, disturbing comedy of the podcast itself.
  • About the best way to describe why Hailey Solomanari of Kakos Industries is so well liked among fans. Even with only her voice to convey her character, she's so damn naive and bubbly it's borderline infectious. She's especially this compared to the other characters who tend to carry a more obvious sense of intimidation while she keeps her own Evil capabilities under a pretty pink gauze of innocence which makes her both incredibly "moe" with plenty of Cute and Psycho to boot.

    Pro Wrestling 

    Roleplay 
  • Survival of the Fittest:
    • Sierra Manning in , a cute emotional girl whose cuteness is only amplified by her lisp.
    • This trope could also easily explain why Orn "Dutchy" Ayers is so popular on the board. Dutchy is an Icelandic, free-loving comic book nerd who watches soccer and cries Tender Tears over the plight of third-world countries among other things. Add in his in-game posts, which makes many handlers see him as The Woobie, and his habit of wearing a Pointless Band-Aid over his nose, and you have a character who most of the board adores.
  • The Doomy Adventures of Irken Doominess:
    • Melissa as a smeet was a total Moe being shy and withdraw, often having others feel the need to protect her.
    • while we're on this subject, San too who was in pretty much the same situation as Melissa but wasn't shy or withdrawn but so socially awkward that most people avoided her.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Warhammer 40,000 fan-character Cultist-chan turned into this once she got de-aged. Yes, a cultist of Chaos.
  • Eberron's female religious leaders are adorable.
  • Fighting Fantasy books including Deathtrap Dungeon, House of Hell and Sword of the Samurai were redone in a moe art style in Japan.
  • The GURPS advantage Pitiable basically facilitates moe.
    Something about you makes people pity you and want to take care of you. You get + 3 on all reaction rolls from those who consider you to be in a position of helplessness, weakness, or need (which never includes those with the Callous disadvantage). Taken in conjunction with above-average looks, Pitiable means you are "cute" instead of "sexy"; in combination with below-average looks, it means you are "appealingly homely," like a basset hound.
  • A similar Competence is available for some races in the Tabletop RPG based off Naheulbeuk : "Touching naivety" grants the character a +4 bonus to all Charisma rolls in order to get forgiven by the rest of the party for any laughably catastrophic mistake. Considering how stupid, clumsy (read "very keen to accidentally shoot allies in the back while trying to cover them") elves can be in the Naheulbeuk Universe, they automatically start the adventure with this competence.
  • The Collectible Card Game Weiss Schwarz uses moe as its primary selling point, allowing moe stalwarts such as the Lucky Star and Clannad casts to wage bloody moe battle against each other.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! is a Japanese card game, therefore there are a lot moe characters in it. The first and best-known example is "Dark Magician Girl"; she later gets a moe sisterhood whose names contain the words "Magician Girl" and the first letters of those names form the word "Black" (she's known as "Black Magician Girl" in Japan and Korea). Many later archetypes used by cutesy female characters from the anime and manga consist solely of moe girl monsters. IRL, some of the most popular moe monsters are (visually) designed by the Japanese artist Akina Fujiwara (藤原明奈), including the girl group known as Charmers (one of them is male, but still cute enough) and their cuddly familiars; the Charmers have won a poll and gotten featured on game mat and card sleeve designs.

    Theatre 

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa:
  • Doki Doki Literature Club! definitely has this aesthetic and kept it even as horror elements creep into the game.
  • Shiki from Tsukihime tends to have a love of moe traits among the girls in the games. The doujins take this to whole new levels, creating his infamous line "So moe...I'm gonna die~!"
    • The female cast of the game are all quite moe; some just more than others.
    • Akiha, Arcueid, Hisui, Satsuki, and Len; arguably the most moe characters out of the lot.
  • The girls of Katawa Shoujo, who are all Disabled Love Interests who each have some moe traits, but Shrinking Violet Hanako probably takes the cake. However, it's worth noting that despite fandom's treatment of Hanako as moe, her route in the game actually deconstructs the concept. Hanako becomes well aware that Hisao feels sorry for her and sees her as The Woobie, and she greatly resents it. In her Bad End, she calls Hisao out on this, yelling that she hates him for this behaviour. With the way she's facing the screen, however, it doesn't seem that she's yelling at Hisao so much as she's yelling at the player. In her H-scene, the reason she has sex with Hisao in the first place is so that he'll stop seeing her as someone to be pitied and protected.
  • Ema Skye in the extra case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and her cameo in Ace Attorney Investigations. Check out one of her animation cycles if you want proof.
    • Really, any of your female companions fall into this in some way. Maya with her childish naivete, Pearl's innocent ignorance of the world outside Kurain Village (and just being the one little girl in general), and Trucy Wright just all around. Even Kay Faraday, Genki Girl as she is, gets in on it sometimes with her charming ambition. It helps that all these characters have Woobie backgrounds.
    • Ron DeLite: Mask☆DeMoe.
  • Rika and Satoko from Higurashi: When They Cry. The show then goes on to royally mess them up, time and time again. By the time the second season rolls around Rika stops being moe, but Hanyuu more than makes up for it.
  • The elves of ElfQuest are deliberately Moe, particularly Suntop (later renamed Sunstream in-universe) who is practically the Ur Example. Around age 5 or 6, he had to endure being kidnapped by Winnowill, the only truly evil elf known and magically hurt in order to keep him from struggling. Then as a 7yo (guesstimated), he had to endure 2-3 days of sleeplessness because of constantly "hearing" telepathic screaming of other elves from some unknown place. If it weren't for sympathetic parents and an understanding mentor, he could have literally turned out an insanely evil being instead of godlike good.
  • The Fruit of Grisaia: In-Universe. Yuuji suspects that Makina acts cutesy, dumb and weak in order to inspire protective feelings in people. He also speculates that it probably gets her bullied by other girls while guys would find it charming. In her route, he more or less falls for it and makes protecting her his duty in life.

    Web Animation 
  • Squimpus McGrimpus focuses on nightmare-inducing, found-footage Fnaf content. Yet somehow, despite all of the horrors, the little animated Freddy in the Night Security Training Video is derpily adorable.
  • Eddsworld:
    • Edd himself is a very cute cartoon boy with his Adorkable personality, wide-eyed expressions, cheerful attitude and love of cats.
    • Matt in the later episodes is still very vain, but also very much of a ditzy Keet.
    • Jon, he's a bit jerkish like Eduardo and Mark, but it's suggested that he's only misguided and manipulated by them into being a jerk and is really just an innocent guy and possibly the Only Sane Man of the trio.
    • Heck, to an extent, almost everyone on the show is this.
  • Quite a few examples in RWBY, as it's a World of Action Girls:
    • Ruby Rose is a bubbly and geeky 15-year-old monster slayer in-training who wants to be a hero because her Cool Big Sis Yang read a lot of old fantasy stories to her as a little kid.
    • Yang as a little kid would qualify, with her pigtails and brave Determinator attitude.
    • Penny Polendina is a... strange but very cheerful young girl who is also capable of carving through an entire army of terrorists with a cute little smile on her face.
    • Standing at 4'9'', Neopolitan is the shortest girl in the cast, and rarely seen without her Parasol of Pain. That is, when she's not stabby Nightmare Fuel who nearly murdered both Ruby and Yang on separate occasions.
    • Velvet Scarlatina has bunny ears and big brown eyes, and practically squees when given a chance to use her weapon.
    • Blake Belladonna too, being The Woobie and a Cat Girl.
  • Lucas the Spider is a relatively recent entry, but he will cure you of arachnophobia through cuteness alone. The little guy has the sweetest voice and cutest eyes you just want to hug him!
  • Kizuna AI is a "virtual YouTuber" who plays video games or does video logs. She's an adorable Genki Girl and amusing to watch, while often rousing people's protective instincts when she fails or is scared. And she's also capable of being cute when saying cuss words like "Fuck you"—I mean, "FAKKYU!"
  • Many of the objects in Battle for Dream Island, including Bell, Bubble, Cake, Ice Cube, Price Tag and Ruby.
  • Arizal of Recorded By Arizal has an adorable design and Adorkable traits such as her enthusiasm for academic pursuits.
  • Jaiden of Jaiden Animations is Adorkable to the point of being very endearing, has a wholesome vibe to her videos, and is cute as both a drawing and as an actual person. Her bird Ari is also this for being a Ridiculously Cute Critter.

    Web Comics 
  • El Goonish Shive shows us how not to do it: two moeblobs exceeding the critical mass together can make a moesplosion (cue speechless Diane).
  • Hanners of Questionable Content.
    • And the author knows it. (Check the title.)
    • Marigold is as well, though to a lesser extent.
    • Marigold's anthroPC Momo is so Moe that she has a shocker built in to combat kawaii-related overload.
  • Eve from Applegeeks is a robot. She is also very innocent and very cute. "What kind of cat would you want?" "I want a lolcat!"
  • Eerie Cuties brings us Chloe, the Meganekko Moe succubus who thinks that she's a failure as a succubus. She got over THAT in her own spin-off comic, Dangerously Chloe
  • Anime News Nina parodies the phenomenon with "Melodic Summer Kuu-Tan," whose eponymous main character is a literal moe-blob, as seen here.
  • Secret, from Keychain of Creation, with enough adorability that Keychain fanart about her is overwhelmingly more popular than Marena's.
  • Kimiko from Megatokyo. "Rehhhh???"
  • Speaking of Kimiko...Masha Kinoko. Using the power of moe, she single-handedly melted any objection towards the introductions of original characters in the series and was considered too adorable to become the final boss of the series, which was her intended role in the story at the time of her introduction.
    (Touhou Nekoyayou #50: A Maid's Work)
    Tewi Inonymous: The unforgivable sin of fan works is original characters. DUH!
    (Shenanigans in a Magical Forest 244: Masha: Wait, which her? PANIC!)
    Tewi Inonymous: >Masha: Calm down, panicking will get us nowhere. Let's assess.
    • Moeshroom. Yes, she received a fan nickname because of this!
  • Precocious:
  • Nepeta Leijon from Homestuck. She even warms /b/'s heart with her utter adorable.
  • Cuanta Vida has Anton, the panicky Mega Nekko medic. The CV fandom is usually ridiculously protective of the two main characters, so it really says something that Anton was immediately forgiven for working with Rojo to kidnap Bleu.
  • Drowtales has Faen'arae Val'Sullisin'rune. While she may be older than the typical Moe character, she has the advantage of actually being a Drow whose age-equivalent in Human Terms would only be in the late Teens, Early Tweenties. This character has the drawback of being able to feel the emotions of others and frequently will go into what is termed "Empathic Shock" due to highly stressful emotions. She also suffers from severe PTSD. All that said, she is also one of the most endearing characters in the series.
    • Oh and Kyo'nne Val'Illhar'dro may also count... depending on whom you ask. Not to mention Naal'suul Val'Beldrobbaen would have counted Prior to being turned into a Demon.
  • Moé the ninja in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, who spends most of her time looking adorable and sad. Notable that she and her brothers Lari, Kurlijoh, and Shempu are the only anime-styled characters in the otherwise toony world of the comic.
  • Eric "Bitty" Bittle (even his nickname is cute) from Check, Please! may be the most adorable tiny big-eyed pie-baking college hockey player ever.
  • According to the author of Rain, the title character is associated with this trope.

    Web Original 
  • Jade Sinclair, codename Generator, of the Whateley Universe. Cute, Genki Girl, looks about ten years old even if she's a high school freshman, still fixated on Hello Kitty.
  • According to Uncyclopedia, musicians such as David Ellefson, Varg Vikernes (Troubled, but Cute), and Rick Allen (Bandage Babe) are considered moe by Heavy Metal fangirls.
  • During the rise of image macro/"advice animal" memes in the early 2010s, Good Girl Gina became one of the mascots alongside the likes Bad Luck Brian, Overly Attached Girlfriend, Scumbag Steve, etc. Her meme was a picture of a cute girl (a model in Real Life) who would do extraordinarily kind things only out of the goodness of her heart. The good looks combined with the sweet personality made her "character" the most moe that this genre of meme could possibly get.

    Web Videos 
  • Donnie DuPre from Demo Reel goes straight to the bedroom eyes to convince his co-workers to do anything, manages to be a complete Dude Magnet, is weak, femmy and very rarely raises his voice, has a horrible past (and present!) and nobody can resist looking after him.
  • Rebecca Stone. Her actress was delighted that Doug was the only guy to give her a Badass Adorable role, and while she's plenty ass-kicking feminist, she's also got an adorable giggle, has a stoner past and says whatever comes into her brain first.
  • The character named Moe in No Boys Dorm. With her bubbly personality, love of the color pink, enthusiasm for just about everything, and tendency to actually sparkle, she definitely fits the description.
  • Idols of Anime episode 14 discusses the rise of Moe in anime during the mid-2000s.
  • Vampire Reviews’ host Maven of the Eventide comes across as this for being a pretentious but lovable Perky Goth fangirl, and being very cute with how she plays the “vampire” aspects of her character (i.e. the costumes, the accent when she uses it, etc.)

Entire series called moe

    Notable Producers of Moe Series 

    Asian Animation 
  • The Korean series Noonbory and the Super 7 stars a cast of creatures called the Borys, who use their Super Senses to fight the evil Gurys. The Borys have very chibi-esque designs that are nothing short of adorable.

    Toys 
  • The Tamagotchi toys are about taking care of a virtual alien pet. A lot of the breeds the pet can evolve into, especially the modern-era ones, look absolutely adorable and very cuddly and huggable (it's primarily aimed at girls most of the time, so this makes sense - girls love cute stuff, after all, right?).

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • A set of eroge with actual plots and sympathetic characters is Key's works. Kanon and AIR have both been animated twice with all H-scenes removed and practically no fanservice, and didn't lose much; CLANNAD, which was also animated twice under the same contract, was completely clean in the first place.
  • There's actually a whole VN genre for so-called "moege". Da Capo and its spinoffs, SHUFFLE!, Snow Sakura and Canvas 2 are just some that this particular niche has to offer. Confusingly enough, there is also a different genre called "moege", the one relating to burn/passion; these titles are usually related to sports or hobbies one can be, well, passionate about and bond to each other over it. This difference was mentioned (and admitedly better explained) in Koe de Oshigoto!.
    • Speaking of Da Capo, remember the character Moe above in the anime section? In the VN there's more to her than meets the eye, and it has to do with her unusual sleeping habits, if that alone is not Moe enough. She takes sleeping pills. Not because of insomnia, but due to a tragic incident in her childhood — there was a boy she liked, then one day he died. Overcome with grief, she made a wish to the magical Sakura Tree to see that boy in her dreams. Hence her need to sleep. Thus when the tree withers, she loses that wish, and just breaks down. Awwww.

    Web Comics 

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • Starting in 2014, .moe joined the likes of .com and .net as a TLD. Yes, it is directly named after this concept.

    Western Animation 
  • Cartoon Network: Throughout its history, this channel's been able to churn out a slew of cute cartoons (which may contribute to its popularity, both in the States and in Japan).
  • ChalkZone has been described by many as Nickelodeon's cutest non-preschooler cartoon.
  • Danger Mouse (2015): Penfold, Professor Squawkencluck, Danger Moth, Dawn Crumhorn, sometimes Danger Mouse himself ... the list is endless.
  • Doc McStuffins: Basically the entire show is about a titular "Healer of Moe-toys".


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Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Moe Moe, Moe Blob

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Elora (Reignited Trilogy)

Elora's redesign for the Reignited Trilogy gives her a noticeably cuter look.

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