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Sickeningly Sweet

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"Butterfly kisses! I can't take it! It's too cute! It's... It's disgusting!"
Plankton, SpongeBob SquarePants, "Walking Small"

Sometimes, something or someone cute and cuddly appears in a work. Some characters react to such things with anything ranging from cutesy cuddling to violent revulsion to the point of vomiting, because they can't stand the sight of anything so saccharine. If those characters have enough of an aversion to such things, it may be a Berserk Button of theirs.

These characters may avoid things that are fun, colorful, or hammy, and they may have an aversion to other characters' belief in The Power of Friendship, or an abundance of smiling and happiness on others' part, perhaps to the point that they never smile themselves.

Not to be confused with Sweet Tooth or Sugar Bowl settings in general or with Sickeningly Sweethearts, though characters may react to these in the same way. See also Super-Cute Superpowers, and see also Sweetness Aversion, for when it's the audience who has an aversion to saccharine things, rather than a character within the work. Compare Crapsaccharine World. If this is used as a villainous trait, see Evil Cannot Stand Cuteness or Friendship-Hating Antagonist.


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    Comic Books 
  • Deadpool hangs a lampshade on this when reminiscing about his ex-wife: "...all this 'I love you snookie pie' and 'you too honey lips face head mush mush'... go into diabetic shock just walking by the place."
  • Lampshaded in Mark Waid's Empire with the line "I need insulin listening to you!"
  • Spoofed in the Batman/Judge Dredd crossover Judgment on Gotham, where Scarecrow sprays Judge Death with his nightmare toxin, causing Judge Death to panic wildly over the sight of adorable ponies and cutesy little animals.
  • Astro City: Every time G-Dog (half-man, half-Corgi) rescues someone, they invariably gush over how adorably cute he is... which irritates his human half to no end.

    Comic Strips 
  • Carl Barks found Christmas stories with An Aesop like this. Unfortunately, he was so good at it, that he got assignment after assignment.
  • FoxTrot has featured the iMac-parody the iFruit, which resembles a pear and features the sugar-sweet message "Welcome to iFruit. Hug me." When you turn it on.
    Jason: iThink iwill b sick.
  • Monty played with the trope, adding the alarmingly cute Giggles the Bear to the cast. The strip claims readership reached an all-time high, citing letters like "After reading today's 'Giggles' strip, I cut it out and cuddled it - signed, My Inner Child," and "When I saw your new character/product line 'Giggles,' I felt a peculiar stirring in my loins - signed, Comic Syndicate Executive."
  • An example in Peanuts. Before Linus was old enough to read and write, he would have Charlie Brown take down his letters to Santa Claus, and they were so overly saccharine (Linus admitted he was trying to butter him up), Charlie Brown had to quit writing, claiming he was getting nauseated.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Smurfed Behind: Smurfing In Heaven", Dissonance the demon is one of the mysterious watchers of a phony version of the Smurf afterlife Elysium that Ares the god of war has created to sway Empath into becoming his god of conquest — basically a golden Shining City version of the Smurf Village. The demon says that this version of Elysium is so "disgustingly pure and sweet".
  • Guys Being Dudes: Sierra says that after Day 1, if she hears one more word about how cute Shaymin is, she's going to hurl.

    Film - Live Action 

  • Harry Potter: Beatrix Bloxam, author of the "Toadstool Tales" book series that was banned by the Ministry of Magic because the stories caused nausea and vomiting. One would normally assume this meant the stories were scary or disgusting. But in Dumbledore's notes within The Tales of Beedle the Bard, it's revealed that the child readers' negative reactions were instead due to Bloxam having re-written Beedle's and others' wizarding fairy tales so that they're sickeningly sweet. "Then the little golden pot danced with delight - hoppitty hoppitty hop! - on its tiny rosy toes! Wee Willykins had cured all the dollies of their poorly tum-tums, and the little pot was so happy that it - " *BARF*
  • Wayside School is Falling Down: "Love and a Dead Rat" ends with Dameon and Mrs. Jewls having a sweet conversation about love. It's so sappy that the dead rat inside Mrs. Jewls' desk comes back to life and walks out in disgust.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Subverted in Munchkin Fu with the monster card "Big Eyes, Small Mouse." Its description? "Too cute to live. Your duty is clear."

  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Susan began physically choking after Elliot and Sarah started flirting in the same room as her.
  • In The Order of the Stick, a flashback to young Durkon with his mother. At least in the opinion of a negative energy being.
  • Slightly Damned's romance is cemented firmly in the diabetic range, which can grate against some of the less romantically inclined characters.

    Web Original 
  • The titular giant Killer Rabbit in Big Bunny gives his thoughts on the matter:
    Too many sweet things can make your brains sticky and unpalatable.
  • On Danbooru, there's a "so moe i'm gonna die!" tag, used for images of characters taking physical damage (often in the form of nosebleeds) from cuteness overexposure.
  • The titular team from RWBY comes off as this to Emerald for their Wide-Eyed Idealism and Power of Friendship. However, it's subverted since none of the girls are quite as innocent and idealistic as they appear, and only get more jaded from there on out.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball, Gumball and Darwin end up watching a video online of someone breaking his leg, and quickly go to a video of puppies as a palate cleanser. Darwin then asks Gumball to go to another video because the puppies were so sweet, they were making him fat.
  • Animaniacs:
    • The song "I'm Cute" draws this reaction from Yakko and Wakko as Dot sings about how cute she is.
    • A later episode has The Warners forced to see The Snugglers by the censors after the kids gave Attila The Hun a perm.
    • In an episode of the 2020 reboot, Dot cutifies everything in the world, turning the entire Earth into a colorful land free of pollution and full of cutesy creatures with huge eyes. 28 days later, everyone has this reaction, as sugar is coming out of Yakko's eyes, and the Warners quickly try to reverse what they've done by doing something incredibly gross. It works, but they end up with half-pigeon bodies as a result.
  • Darkwing Duck:
    • The Cute Little Lost Bunnies from the episode, "Malice’s Restaurant". Gosalyn even says that they are so sugary sweet, they make her teeth hurt. When NegaDuck tries to make them Darker and Edgier, he screams in horror when one of them hugs his leg.
    • In "Paint Misbehaving", Launchpad's favorite comic book hero, Frankie Ferret, is a Mr. Rogers expy with "Friend Power." Even after finding out that "Friend Power" is effective, Gosalyn still dislikes it.
      Darkwing: Wow! Friend Power really worked!
      Gosalyn: Yeah, but it was so gross.
  • Duckman. Duckman's two teddy bear assistants' (Fluffy and Uranus) sweeter-than-sweet behavior often results in Duckman literally pulling the stuffing out of them in the most violent way possible.
  • Earthworm Jim: Jim and Peter weaponize this in the Cold Open of one episode after they're hit by a ray that can alter one's ages and are reduced to adorable babies as a result. Knowing full well that their opponent, Jim's evil clone, can't stand anything good, they take advantage of their new ages to send him fleeing in terror.
    Peter: Yes! We now have a weapon Evil Jim cannot withstand: cuteness!
  • The Fairly OddParents! episode "So Totally Spaced Out," where little cutesy creatures that speak in Painful Rhyme known as "Giggle Pies" become a huge threat to the cuteness-hating, violence-loving inhabitants of the planet Yugopotamia. Somewhat ironically, Giggle Pies actually taste of manure when eaten themselves.
  • Family Guy: Invoked by Tom Tucker when Diane Simmons pretends to act excited and interested by their interns, Meg and Niel.
    Tom: Don't act any cheerier, Diane, you'll give us all diabetes.
    Diane: Bite me, Tom!
  • Gravity Falls:
    • In "The Inconveniencing", Mabel eats a very volatile sugar snack that causes her to hallucinate that she's in a Lisa Frank parody world, complete with rainbow backgrounds and giant puppies modeled after Lisa Frank's work. There's also a dolphin with quadrupled arms with faces at each end which shoot colorful beams.
    • In "Little Gift Shop of Horrors", the Pines family watch Believe in Yourself, a parody of terrible cutesy cartoons from the 80’s. Mabel loves it while Dipper, Stan and Soos hate every second.
    • In the series finale, Bill Cipher tricks Mabel into making a deal with him in exchange for "making summer last forever". The result is a Lotus-Eater Machine where all of Mabel's fantasies come true, complete with an entire population of Ridiculously Cute Critters, constantly sunny weather, and singing trees. The characters even comment on how annoyingly bright everything is inside the bubble.
  • The Great North: In Season 3 "Blood Actually Adventure", Jerry isn't into his family's way of celebrating Halloween, which involves decorations that are massively gory and over-the-top, and so he shows Honeybee his own Halloween decorations, which are all cute and comforting, but Honeybee hates how sweet and non-scary they are.
  • Roll has this reaction in the Mega Man (Ruby-Spears) cartoon to a park attendant's overly sugary demeanor and voice.
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Piglet, or rather what he's into, occasionally causes this reaction from Tigger. When Piglet attempts to read a poem in "Piglet's Poohetry" or tell a story in "The Monster Frankenpooh", Tigger is utterly sickened by how overly saccharine it is and decides to change it to suit his own preferences.
  • In Teen Titans Go!, this is weaponized against Rose Wilson. Sincere, unironic expressions of The Power of Friendship physically debilitate Rose to the point where she is literally sick to her stomach.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: In "The Looney Beginning", an animator needs an idea for a new hit animated series, and Bugs Bunny suggests that a rabbit be its main protagonist (as he was such for Looney Tunes). The animator's first attempt is drawing a sweet-talking baby rabbit, whom he rejects for being too cute.
    Baby Rabbit: (laughs) Golly geewiz!! Aren't I the kyu-test thing you ever saw? Uh-huh? I'm sure am! I'll go to your house and I'll live there forever and ever and ever!! And you'll never-ever-ever get tired of me. And I'll go hippity-hop, hippity-hop right into your heart!
    Animator: Eeww, that thing will give people cavities!
    Baby Rabbit: I love everybody in all the world and I even love being crumpled up being thrown away. (Becomes muffled as the animator crumples him and throws away.)
  • Total Drama: Chris McLean has a volatile hatred for gushy nice things and an obsession with drama. Heather and Alejandro acting like Sickening Sweethearts freaked him out so much that he changed the rules to get them to turn on each other just so they would stop. He also hated Ella for all her singing, and this resulted in him warning her that he would disqualify her if she sang after a certain point. Thanks to Sugar tipping him off, he made good on this threat.
  • Winx Club: The prison of Lightrock exposes the inmates to great amounts of cuteness to bring them to reform. It got mixed results with the Trix: while in prison they swore to be even more evil once they were out, but when they were about to be brought back in two seasons after breaking out they were absolutely terrified of being imprisoned there again.
  • Xiaolin Showdown: Whenever Jack Spicer enters the Ying Yang World and comes out good. The monks like him even less than they do when he's normal.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Sweetness Overload


Get Jerrified

During the credits, Jerry shows Honeybee his Halloween decorations, which is cute and comforting, but Honeybee hates how sweet and non-scary is it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / SickeninglySweet

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