Follow TV Tropes

Following

Tastes Like Diabetes / Western Animation

Go To

  • A lot of children's shows that air on PBS fall into this. Eventually the network had the sense to separate them from the ones that work into a block called "PBS Kids Go".
  • Many of the Harman and Ising cartoons had a tendency for this when the duo moved to MGM.
  • Lady Rainicorn from Adventure Time looks like a toy but is really a Badass Adorable.
  • 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 pallet cleanser. Darwin then asks Gumball to go to another video because the puppies were so sweet, they were making him fat.
  • Animaniacs:
      Advertisement:
    • Mindy. Between "Wakko's Wish" and the Buttons and Mindy episode "Mindy in Wonderland," one could vomit from the sugar overdose. Especially with the line "Fuzzy Bunny," and, "'kay I love you bye bye."
    • Dot. 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.
    • "Baloney And Kids" parodies this with the namesake Barney clone.
  • Arthur becomes this during Kate and Pal's episodes. The series could be seen as becoming something of it as a whole thanks to the new animation.
  • Batman: The Animated Series' Baby Doll seems this, but is really a 30-year-old insane woman who merely acts like a little girl thanks to her massive issues stemming from being a Former Child Star whose body never matured past childhood.
  • Advertisement:
  • Neither-Neither Land in the Beetlejuice cartoon deliberately invokes this, being a pastel sugar bomb where everything is forcibly sweetness and light. It's run by Little Miss Warden, a sort of undead doll with Shirley Temple curls who insists that everything must be cute at all times. It's actually quite disturbing and it's not hard to see why ghosts are terrified of the place.
  • Ed Otter from Brandy & Mr. Whiskers when he tells that Dougie the turtle story:
    Ed: It was a misty morning in the amazon, much like today, and Dougie the turtle was wondering why his shell was so hard while his heart was so soft. Oh, Whiskers, you had never seen colors so bright and pretty. Dougie knew right away that this was a very special cesspool. And so the happy magic piggies laughed and danced and played until the wee-wee hours of the morning. The end!
  • The Care Bears have a reputation for this (it's what "The Dummi Bears," a Show Within a Show on Rugrats, was inspired by) - and they are a group of pastel-colored teddy bears, but the extent of its Tastes Like Diabetes status is more a case of the "Weird Al" Effect.
      Advertisement:
    • Though the overbearing cuteness in the first two movies are thankfully eclipsed by the films' darker undertones which, like any series or movie with a Vile Villain, Saccharine Show position, pretty much kill off any chance of it being completely saccharine. Plus, in retrospect, the so-called saccharine scenes in the first two movies and the original TV series are nothing compared to the Care Bears movies and TV series of today, as well as some other kids' franchises, to say the least.
  • ChalkZone is considered by many to be the sweetest and cutest of all the Nicktoons. This initially hurt its reception amongst viewers though as many it was too saccharine, but the show has earned itself a decent-sized fanbase over the years.
  • Many of Chuck Jones's pre-The Dover Boys shorts such as the Sniffles series.
    • And of course there's his little penguin, who brings out rare protective reactions from Bugs Bunny, quite against his will.
    • His 1950s cartoons with Pussyfoot (Feed the Kitty, Kiss Me Cat, etc.), however, beautifully avert this. They're adorable, to be sure. But their witty writing and excellent plots keep them from falling into this trope.
  • Classic Disney Shorts tend to get this from some audiences. It's both for the fact that they come from the company that makes movies that fall victim to the trope, and being the exact opposite of their Warner Bros. and MGM counterparts—-cartoon shorts involving very cartoony-looking animals who rarely engage in slapstick (with the exception of Donald Duck), and with a tone that overall seems extremely kiddish.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door has Rainbow Monkeys, a line of stuffed animals (and also cartoons, cereal, and even an actual species) which in the show represents everything that Tastes Like Diabetes. It's hard not to see why Numbuh 4 isn't so fond of them.
  • Parodied in the extreme in 'The Vampire Strikes Back' episode of Count Duckula where they visit the Planet Cute.
  • Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. All the characters are either cute Funny Animals or equally cute humans, especially in Daniel's case. Actually, the whole show is pretty saccharine.
  • Darkwing Duck: The Cute Little Lost Bunnies from the episode, Malice’s Restaurant. Gosalyn even said that they are so sugary sweet, they make her teeth hurt. When NegaDuck tried to make them Darker and Edgier, he screams in horror when one of them hugged his leg.
  • Dinosaur Train. Cute neon-colored child dinosaurs explore the friendliest possible universe where all species across all eras have non-stop fun. It tends to dance around the meat eating, showing Buddy eating carrion, but never mentioning the actual or potential death of a dinosaur. Armor plates, etc., are shown as protecting against "mean dinosaurs".
  • The Land Of Dreams in The Dreamstone is a high octane example, especially with the Noops, Rufus, and Amberley. The place is perpetually cheery and cutesy, and the show's trademark slapstick violence tends to downgrade heavily whenever the town is the main focus, especially during early seasons.
  • 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.
  • Webbigail Vanderquack from DuckTales. Half her appearances were even accompanied by an equally cutesy Leitmotif. And unlike Molly in TaleSpin (see below), she never seemed to be deliberately utilizing the trope.
  • 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:
    • The 'Disney Universe'. That is, until Mort Goldman the Jew shows up, prompting a reaction to the annoyingly persistent rumor of Walt Disney's anti-semitism.
    Stewie: Oh yeah I forgot. This is a Disney universe...
    • In the episode "The Former Life of Brian," Brian gushes about his son to extremes. When he finally leaves, Joe remarks to his owner, "Peter, your dog is giving me diabetes."
    • Brian as a puppy in "The Man with Two Brians."
    • 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!
  • Lampshaded in Fillmore!; Fillmore and Ingrid need to speak to a store manager regarding a case but they are delayed by a masked assailant. By the time the get to the store, it's closed for the day. Ingrid, the team Goth, acts like a cherubic waif to convince the store owner to talk to them.
    Ingrid: Stand back, I'm going to have to use my cute face. It won't be pretty.
    (later)
    Fillmore: You really took one for the team, Ingrid.
  • Just about any scene from The Flintstones featuring Pebbles. Not only does sappy "nursery" music play whenever she comes crawling in but Fred, normally an amusing Ralph Kramden type, starts going all "Oh my little Pebbly-poo" whenever she's around.
    • In The Man Called Flintstone, she and Bamm-Bamm get one of the most saccharine musical numbers in history.
      Pebbles: I know a way to make wishes come true/Easy as climbin' a tree/Just close your eyes and open your heart/Slowly repeat after me.../Tickle, toddle, nickel-y noddle/Toodle-a bell and a shoe/These are the magical words I say/ when I want a wish to come true.
    • The song Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm sing in the episode "No Biz Like Show Biz" combines this at the start with Everybody Hates Hades.
    • The Spinoff Babies series, Cave Kids, is this trope played straight. Technically, it's like the Kate and Pal episodes of Arthur combined with the sweeter parts of Rugrats, with some mild magical Adventures stuff thrown in. And the villains are Not Evil, Just Misunderstood. And each episodes end with a saccharine song reinforcing The Power of Friendship at the end of every episode, and it stars baby Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm. note 
  • Foofy Wuggums, the little lost and frightened imaginary friend from the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends TV movie Good Wilt Hunting, is a pink teddy bear who speaks in Baby Talk. Hell, just look at her name. And it certainly helps (?) that she's voiced by Tara Strong, the Ultimate Mistress of Cuteness.
  • Despite its target audience, Franklin and Franklin and Friends averts this for the most part. Occasionally however, some episodes just end up being a bit too sweet.
  • Futurama
    • In the episode "Lethal Inspection," we get baby Bender.
    • Lampooned mercilessly in the episode "Love and Rocket," and summed up nicely by Lrrr (Ruler of Omicron Persei 8):
      "This concept of 'wuv' confuses and infuriates us!"
      • And from the same episode, the Lovey Bears.
    • An Affectionate Parody comes from "Saturday Morning Fun Pit" in the form of "Purpleberry Pond".
  • Garfield and Friends: Parodied in an episode when Garfield wakes up and finds himself in a Transformers-like action/adventure cartoon. He eventually manages to escape from this cartoon, only to wind up in a cartoon that is totally this trope. Naturally, he finds himself running back to the prior cartoon.
    • Also the sickeningly cute Nermal. Yeah, the one Garfield is constantly trying to ship off to Abu Dhabi.
  • The Get Along Gang.
  • In 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 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 everthing is inside the bubble.
  • Gumby could be this on occasion.
  • That scene from the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special. "Loooove and caaaariing…"
  • Lila, the "ever so" sickeningly sweet farm-girl from Hey Arnold!, and Olga at times. Therefore, the episode where Lila becomes Olga's "little sister" as part of a program is absolutely rife with this stuff.
  • Jelly Jamm. This show is filled with adorable characters, adorable settings, adorable situations, the adorable soundtrack... just everything about it is adorable! The universe-exclusive creatures named Dodos are the hugest offenders.
  • In KaBlam!, when Henry or June turns the page to Life with Loopy, this is what we expect.....and then we go five seconds into it.
  • Krypto the Superdog has kittens and puppies galore and every one of them is melt-your-face cute.
  • Little Clowns of Happytown.
  • Little Einsteins is a particularly big offender, especially considering the show's Public Domain Soundtrack.
  • The "Buddy" series of Looney Tunes shorts in the 1930's were definitely this in many instances.
  • Maggie and the Ferocious Beast is full of this trope; everyone is a cute and colorful character, especially The Ferocious Beast, who is anything but.
  • Roll had this reaction in the Mega Man cartoon to a park attendant's overly sugary demeanor and voice.
  • The entirety of Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends. Being that it IS a show for little kids, it's kind of understandable.
  • Hasbro's My Little Pony cartoons are famous and notorious for this, but reality is a bit murkier...
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: In-Universe, 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.
  • PB&J Otter in spades. Nonetheless, this one has grown a notable fanbase, to the point that repeats were put back on air due to fan outrage.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • "Ducky Momo" appears to be this universe's equivalent to Barney the Dinosaur and other such sugary-sweet toddler shows, which is probably why Candace catches so much grief for liking it (or believes she would).
    • Played for Laughs and exploited in the episode, "Meapless In Seattle". In it, we learn that Meap's planet is dominated by cuteness to the point that it’s almost a sugar rush for your brain. The entire plot is to obtain the substance Cutonium. Mitch tries to take it to become irresistibly cute and, by effect obtain total power. Mitch and Dr. Doofenshmirtz both end up taking it and transform into some of the most utterly cute and diabetic things on the show. This was likely meant to be a parody of the various other examples on this page.
    • If the war song on Meap's planet is anything to go by, then yes, yes it is.
    • Also the song "Sunshine and Bubble Gum" from the episode "A Real Boy." Not played seriously, and with a slight twist at the end of the lyrics:
    Singer: If you're worried 'bout the sound, you can always scream into a pillow...
  • PJ Masks: In "Terrible Twosome," Catboy and Owlette get zapped by Romeo's baby beam and turn into cute but frisky babies named Kitten Boy and Chicklette, and Gekko had to be a babysitter, a big brother, and a father at the same time while trying to come up with a plan to stop Romeo from taking over the world with babies. Also, Gekko says "they grow up so fast." when he was teaching his baby friends how to use their powers.
    • Also, in "Big Sister Motsuki," Motsuki steals Romeo's portable baby beam to turn her big sister, Luna Girl, into a baby that copies her moth squeaks, then the baby beam accidentally turns Romeo into a baby, and soon the PJ Masks get turned into babies as well.
    • Motsuki's moth squeaks are annoying to some fans, but some find them very cute.
    • The PJ Masks and the villains sometimes grow cute, big, and shiny eyes.
    • Luna Girl's moths, Night Ninja's Ninjalinos, Gekko's pet lizard Lionel, and Teeny Weeny Ninjalino.
  • Subverted (usually) by Bubbles Utonium on The Powerpuff Girls. She can induce diabetes in one moment then kick as much ass as her sisters the next.
  • The remake, on the other hand, gives us Allegro, the panda whose face, tone of voice, and mannerisms can induce diabetic shock if not abject rage.
  • Puppy in My Pocket: Adventures in Pocketville: "Let the spirit of the friendship heart light the way to the magic fountain." The animal designs are this even more - even the bad guys are ridiculously cute!
  • The direct-to-video and DVD Recess special "All Growed Down", with the main six as kindergarteners.
  • Robot Chicken is very fond of using this trope the same way Happy Tree Friends does. Apocalypse Pony anyone?
  • Rose Petal Place had this effect on some whenever the surprisingly ruthless villain Nastina wasn't causing trouble, as Rose Petal and her friends sang, put on talent shows, or both all day long.
  • The later seasons of Rugrats, particularly the ones with Dil and Kimi. This promo for the show both plays straight and subverts this trope.
  • Several shows from the Nicktoons Dork Age can border on this like Fanboy and Chum Chum, Sanjay and Craig, and Breadwinners. This might be the reason why they don't fare well with teenagers and adults.
  • One of Tex Avery's earliest cartoons for MGM, "Screwball Squirrel", deliberately started out this way with a cute Harman-Ising–type squirrel named Sammy. However, it is all a set-up for a very rollicking cartoon that deliberately takes jabs at this trope. At the end of the cartoon:
    Sammy: My cartoon would have been cuter.
    Screwy Squirrel, Meathead, and their Offscreen Teleportation doubles: Oh, brother! NOT THAT!
    (they all descend on Sammy and beat the crap out of him)
  • In The Secret Saturdays, Drew Monday is very much like this to Zak, when pretending to be his mother. She does later say:
    "You do not know how nice it is to not have to pretend to care about you anymore."
  • South Park
    • The opening scene in the episode "A Very Crappy Christmas", where Kyle and Ike wait for Mr. Hankey in the bathroom. They even left out cookies and milk for him which got eaten by a cockroach.
    • Parodied and subverted with the episode "Woodland Critter Christmas", where the seemingly-cute forest creatures turn out to be devil-worshipping zealots.
  • The "Best Day Ever" song from SpongeBob SquarePants (sort of).
    • The inside of Spongebob's brain, first seen in the second movie, Sponge Out of Water, returns for the season 11 episode "The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom", where the Flying Dutchman takes a peak inside after Plankton believes it can scare him. Here, it is even more saccharine, made funnier by the crude hand-drawn animation (The episode is mostly stop-motion), and it actually scares the Flying Dutchman.
  • Steven Universe:
    • When Steven finds out Peridot has never been introduced to music, he gets her to sing a song with him. Not only does she instantly master the notes, she even writes her own verse to the already sickeningly sweet song.
      Steven: Life and death and love and birth and peace and war on the planet Earth / Is there anything that's worth more than peace and love on the planet Earth
    • Ruby and Sapphire don't get much screen time, as they are usually fused as Garnet. But when they DO appear on screen, their relationship is every dentist's nightmare. Perfectly illustrated in the episode Hit the Diamond, where the main problem for the Chrystal Gems is that they can't stop flirting long enough to focus on the game.
      Steven: Ruby! Stop being cute! And Sapphire, keep your eye on the ball!
      Steven: What did I just say...
  • The "Animal Friends" children's show in Sym-Bionic Titan. The characters also speak in Elmuh Fudd Syndwome.
  • Molly Cunningham from TaleSpin. Especially because they got a real little girl to voice her. Basically, every time she shows up on screen, expect the show to shove her cuteness down your throat. She even calls HERSELF cute at one point, making her well aware of this trope. Word of God says that Molly was written that way essentially to offset her mother Rebecca's nagging tendencies towards Baloo, and bring out her softer and often more protective sides.
  • In Teen Titans Go!, when Raven is accidentally split into 5 different versions of herself via personality. Beast Boy and Cyborg volunteer to go after the happy one. When they do, the three titans engage in what can only be described as this trope in spades.
    • 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.
  • You would not expect to find this trope in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, especially not in the 2003 incarnation... But the way the Turtle Toddlers are drawn in episodes like "Father and Sons" was just too sickeningly cute for some viewers to stand, right down to the chipmunk-like buck teeth.
  • Parodied in Time Squad, where they portrayed Edgar Allan Poe of all people as this. It's only until the characters start criticizing his pink cake that he's maddened into misanthropy and becomes the poet that history knows him for.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures
    • The pilot episode involves a cartoonist trying to come up with a cartoon about rabbits. Before creating Buster and Babs Bunny, one of his ideas is a cutesy-talking baby rabbit. He then scraps it, saying it will give the audience cavities.
    • Played straight with the recurring character Li'l Sneezer. Ironically, he's basically the above scrapped character (complete with the same voice), but he's a mouse this time.
  • The Tom and Jerry Nutcracker Tale. It is made more noticeable when you hear that the voice actors (except for one) come from Vancouver, unlike other Tom and Jerry films, and when you notice the sweetness of the narration.
  • 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.
    • Total DramaRama, as a Babies Spin-off, naturally falls into this. It's much, much, much Lighter and Softer than its parent show and stars adorable kiddie versions of the teens having adventures around their daycare. For some, it's as unbearably cute as it sounds.
  • Unikitty! both plays it straight and is kind of a spoof on the idea too. The Unikingdom is full of whimsical and brightly colored things while Unikitty herself is extremely cheerful and upbeat, which causes it to descend into parody thanks to the work of Master Frown, who lives over in the persistently gloomy Frowntown. Essentially the show is a push and pull between Unikitty’s efforts to make the Unikingdom a Sugar Bowl and instances where she either goes too far or Reality Ensues, forcing her to try and rerail her saccharine world.
  • Winx Club has the prison of Lightrock expose 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.
  • In Xiaolin Showdown, whenever Jack Spicer enters the Ying Yang World and comes out good, he is this trope Up to Eleven. The monks like him even less than they do when he's normal.
  • The Yum Yums toys and special had candy-coated characters, a sugary-sweet setting where the characters had fun all day, and villains that aren't very threatening, making for an overly-sweet brand. The theme song only added to this.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report