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Ugly Cute / Western Animation

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  • Beetlejuice definitely qualifies as this. He may have bad teeth, but has a strange cute quality to him. Poopsie qualifies as this also.
    • Toyed with in the episode "Beauty and the Beetle", after Lydia starts to feel self-conscious upon seeing beauty commercials on TV.
      Lydia: (wistfully) Am I...ugly?
      Beetlejuice: You're not even pretty ugly!
      • In the same episode, B.J. proceeds to show Lydia what ugly really is through the Neitherworld, but Lydia thinks everything's beautiful in its own way.
  • The Tazmanian Devil is a mean, slobbering brute with a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth and a monstrous appetite, yet he's one of the most memorable and oddly adorable characters in all of Looney Tunes.
  • Nibbler from Futurama has three eyes (one of which is on a stalk), fangs, walks like a monkey, only has one nostril, adorably devours whole creatures several times his size, and poops starship fuel. Leela still goes "Awwwww" when she first meets him. The animators were deliberately working with this trope. It becomes all the funnier when he starts speaking with the voice of Frank Welker (although he had provided the noises Nibbler made up until that point anyway).
    • Also, Amy's pet buggalo, Betsy. Buggalo are giant beetles with cowskin-colored shells that can be milked like cows.
    • A more recent example: Mr. Peppy. Anybody who says they didn't want to hug him after watching him hatch is a filthy, filthy liar.
    • And Zoidberg!
    • Fry's dog, Seymour, from back in 2000 is basically the hobo-dog version of Scruffy ("the Janitor"). Never the less, he has the awkward adorableness of this trope. It helps that the episode that introduces him is heartbreaking.
  • Blunk the goblin-like thing in W.I.T.C.H..
  • Toad, in Wolverine and the X-Men. From the second episode onward, they just gave up on making his giant eyes seem creepy at all by changing his serpentine pupils into round ones.
  • Lexington, Broadway, and Bronx, just to name three characters in Gargoyles.
    Lexington: (moderately insulted) Who's ugly...
  • The teeny tiny ghosts that The Real Ghostbusters encounter in the episode "The Hole in the Wall Gang". Ray even says that "they're almost cute".
  • Rufus in Kim Possible, back when he was a baby. Look at this picture of Rufus and then look at what his species actually looks like.
    • In the first movie, A Sitch in Time, we see the duo's first mission, right after Ron purchased Rufus from the pet store. As he introduces the little guy to Kim, Rufus is a baby; a tiny, wrinkly, shrivelled little thing that still manages to be utterly adorable.
    • Don't forget Ron's onetime mutated cockroach friend, Roachie. We've all seen cockroaches, so the ugly is obvious. However, Roachie still manages to be cute, like a "hard-shelled puppy".
  • Tootie, Vicky's sister and Timmy's admirer on The Fairly Oddparents, can be considered an animated version of the aforementioned Ugly Betty.
    • Mr. Crocker. Despite being abnormally thin (to the point where his ribs are clearly visible), having a hunchback, crooked teeth, being bald (his hair is actually a wig which pops off at times when he spazzes), and having his ears on his neck, Crocker has a surprising number of fangirls who find him cute/attractive.
      • Humorously lampshaded in one episode where Timmy's Dad thinks that Mr. Crocker is gorgeous...even though Crocker is clearly supposed to be ugly.
    • The Anti-Fairies....especially Anti-Wanda with all her crooked teeth and Anti-Cosmo and his Cute Little Fangs.
  • Silkie, Starfire's pet in Teen Titans fame. A burping mutant worm the size of a cat should not be that cute.
    • And Monster!Starfire from the episode "Transformation".
  • Gorgonzola from Chowder. And that's just to name one character.
  • The art style of Ed, Edd n Eddy is crude in a way that results in the entire cast being this, to various extents depending on the character.
    • The Kanker Sisters are the most prominent examples, particularly May (though Marie is more popular with fans and often considered the most attractive of the Kankers Sisters).
  • Squibby from The Future Is Wild cartoon adaptation may well be the model for unconventional cuteness. "He" is the series' resident Non-Human Sidekick and is essentially a land-dwelling Mimic Octopus (who in turn, is a great model for Real Life unconventional cuteness; there's something adorable about a chunk of coral staring anxiously at you) with the personality of Curious George.
  • Meatwad from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
    • "Meatwad makes the money, see...Meatwad gets the honeys, G..."
  • The eponymous character in the Bill Plympton short Guard Dog. It helps that he's both Cute, but Cacophonic and clearly The Woobie in subsequent shorts.
  • The goblins/orcs and Gollum from the animated film versions of The Hobbit and The Return of the King.
    • Shmeagol ish freeeeeeeeeeee!
  • More than a few characters on Sanjay and Craig are cartoonishly grungy while also being rather charming and sweet, such as the titular boys.
  • Clayface, from Batman: The Animated Series. Yes, he's a psychotic shapeshifting clay monster with a horrible temper, but admit it, when he starts mourning for his humanity and showing off those huge yellow eyes, he's just adorable.
    • There's also Bud and Lou, the pet hyenas of the Joker. Something about those beady little blank eyes and gaping fangy smiles make them cute, especially when Harley, who they really like, is around.
  • Both the eponymous character and Mega Brain from Widget the World Watcher.
  • Iris, from the Ruby Gloom series, is a cyclops but still darn cute. A good chunk of the other characters apply— the bag-eyed banshee Misery, the Emo Teen skeleton Skull Boy, the two-headed Frankenstein's monster Frank and Len. It's a part of the show's whole Dark Is Not Evil aesthetic.
  • Charlotte of Charlotte's Web. She's not even ugly in the animated film.
    • Also her babies.
  • Beavis. Heh heh m heh. Thankyoudrivethru!
  • Murderface of Dethklok is essentially a grown up, more curmudgeonly version of Beavis.
  • The Snow Monster in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer can be seen this way to some, especially after his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Rotta The Hutt in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, despite being the son of Jabba the Hutt (which of course makes him a Hutt himself) is rather adorable though he of course resembles his father.
  • Many of the creatures from Miniscule, but perhaps especially the large spider.
  • Monroe from The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, being a pug, naturally. (Unfortunately, he tends to be rather arrogant and bossy; June herself says that the reason most people find him cute is because they can't hear him talk.)
  • Beezy J. Heinous on Jimmy Two-Shoes. And Cerbee. And Samy. And pretty much everyone in Miseryville but Jimmy and Heloise. The simplistic artstyle combined with a cast that's 90% demons lends to this trope naturally.
  • The six-limbed otter-penguins from Avatar: The Last Airbender are known for this, but the koala-sheep really take the cake.
    • For some people, season 1 Zuko.
    • Meelo from The Legend of Korra was initially designed as a conventionally cute toddler, but the team fell in love with Ryu Ki-Hyun's uglier designs. A direct quote from SDCC: "Strangely though, the more ugly he was the cuter he became."
  • Eduardo from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. He may be an imaginary monster, but he's also a Lovable Coward. Aaaaaaw!
    • Considering how varied most of the residents of Foster's are, there's plenty of friends that qualify for this. Quite possibly the only true exception is Duchess, who is downright hideous in both appearance and personality.
  • The Businessmen from Adventure Time. They're blue and have unsightly freeze burns, but come on, they're essentially zombie businesspeople! Their leader is voiced by Brian Posehn. And friendly, too. ("Looking for help, your business? We love work for you.") Just don't fire them.
    • The Ice King. He's an old, skinny man, has a long nose and a gravelly voice, and a shaggy beard... but many fans think he's adorable and want to hug him. Perhaps it's the little beady eyes, the tiny pointed fingers and teeth, derpy personality, and cuddly beard that make him cute? It doesn't hurt that he has a sad backstory and is a huge woobie whose greatest desires are friends and companionship.
    • The tree witch is hideous, but has some very endearing mannerisms. "I'm gonna look so beautiful...Invited to all the parties...Quiet I'm daydreaming!"
    • Cinnamon Bun. He's a cinnamon bun. But he has a really gonky-looking face and an adorably affable and dim-witted personality.
  • Nelson Muntz from The Simpsons can be considered to be cute even though he is a bully, due to the fact that his life at times hasn't shown to be a very good one. He also has a tendency to act uncomfortable when admitting he has emotions other than anger if he's in the presence of others, which makes the moments when he does reveal he has the capacity for at least basic sentiment (the episode when he moves in with the Simpsons as well as the last segment of "Lisa's Date with Density" come to mind) that much more endearing.
    • In one episode, Homer comments that David Schwimmer is "handsome in an ugly sort of way".
  • Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb. He admits on the show that he's ugly, what with his extremely crooked teeth, hunched back and large nose. That doesn't stop fans from thinking he's adorable, or even hot.
    • Another one from the same show, the Super Computer from "Ask a Foolish Question". It's huge for one thing (to the point where most screenshots show it looming over the gang), speaks in a Creepy Monotone, and is overall really strange-looking. And yet, Isabella seems to think "He's cute!"
  • Lessee, a lot of characters from Earthworm Jim qualify. Well, there's Jim, bug-eyed and goofy, Peter Puppy (cute in normal form, ugly in monster), Princess Whats-Her-Name (ugly on her home planet, cute on Earth) Professor Monkey-For-A-Head who has a monkey grafted upside-down to his forehead with whom he constantly argues, Psy-Crow with his lack of pupils and his eye-blindeningly yellow space suit, Bob the Killer Goldfish and Number Four, and can't forget Evil the Cat and Henchrat.
    • Doug Tennappel must like this trope... a lot.
  • Runt from Animaniacs is pretty much the canine mascot of this trope.
  • Breach from Generator Rex. She might be a four-armed hunchback but she is still cute. Being a Jerkass Woobie doesn't hurt, either.
    • Eventually she stops hiding her face behind her hair, and it turns out it's a rather pretty one. This doesn't change the fact that she has a pair of extra arms that would be too big for a person five times her size, and the weight of those extra arms have given her a permanently hunched-over stance.
  • Twipsy. He may look like Picasso's rejected sketch but he's so darn cute.
  • Ugly Americans has Doug the Koala man.
    • Martin (well, at least his left head).
      • YMMV with man-birds, but just look at one of their babies!
  • The squids in Squidbillies.
  • In an episode of King of the Hill Kahn describes Bill this way when getting used to the idea of him dating his mother, "You know he's not so bad, he's like one of those little dogs that are so ugly they're almost cute".
  • Batty Koda from FernGully is just plain adorable.
  • Fly Baxter in the 1980s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon is surprisingly cute for a mutant manfly. He's pretty short, has big eyes, a pretty normal mouth, and wears a silly looking vest. Stockman's action figure, however gave him greater height, more prominent segmented eyes, mandibles, and a torn labcoat.
    • It also helps how completely and disturbingly adorable this guy is. He's an Adorkable Jerkass Woobie. Strange, considering he is (or was) an insane middle-aged man.
    • Bebop and Rocksteady.
    • Then there's Krang, a brain-like creature with two little tentacle arms, small sharp teeth, and an adorably sinister voice.
  • Neighbors from Hell has the Hellmans, Satan and his little monkey-demon pet thingy.
  • Zilla Jr. from Godzilla: The Series, especially when he was a baby.
  • Then there's the bizarre, smelly, and utterly endearing Garlic Boy.
  • Pick a character from Almost Naked Animals. Any character.
  • Ed Otter from Brandy & Mr. Whiskers.
  • Bunny from The Powerpuff Girls, which was probably intentional.
  • Oggy and the Cockroaches.
  • Many characters from Superjail! get this reception, when not perceived as being flat-out Gonk. With the nature of the show and varying depictions of them by the artists, they can be both:
    • Jared is a short, middle-aged and overweight man cursed with Four-Fingered Hands and a long, wide oversized skull. Even so, it doesn't stop him from having fans that adore his cartoony appearance.
    • Lord Stingray is never shown without his Expressive Mask, and is often depicted with shark-like fangs and bulging eyes by certain artists. While intended to make him look more unhinged, his fans' reaction is more of this trope.
    • Ash is depicted as horribly burnt and deformed, lacking ears and a nose. Later appearances put emphasis on his wide eyes, giving him a somewhat cuter look as his excitable Manchild personality was developed a little more.
    • The Twins range from simply looking kind of strange with the Big Ol' Unibrow, to being much more on the visibly Gonk side or to this, depending on the artist drawing them in a given episode. Much like Ash above, the increase in "ugly cuteness" has to do with the later seasons, which at times depict them as seemingly younger and more vulnerable than their initial appearances.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has managed a few notable examples. With its art style anyone who isn't conventionally cute manages to be this to some extent:
    • Discord, a mess of random animal parts with a weathered, misshapen pony face, manages to be this. It's probably his voice. Especially now that he's reformed and doing things like a Happy Dance because his friendship with Twilight Sparkle is legitimate and actually squeeing when he admits he reformed specifically for Fluttershy.
    • The Smooze is a Blob Monster that consumes jewelry to grow and cover everything in its ooze, but it's friendly otherwise, wears a bowtie, a top hat, and a huge goofy grin on its... front side.
    • Snips and Snails tend to careen between this and Gonks depending on their actions in the episodes they're both in.
  • Molly Coddle of Bump in the Night is a mismatched Frankenstein's doll, yet utterly adorable.
  • The titular Invader Zim and pretty much the entire Irken race.
  • Peri and Entree from Spliced. Despite the two of them being dimwitted and rather freaky-looking Mix-and-Match Critters, they are weirdly adorable in their own difficult-to-describe way (although Peri moreso than Entree).
  • Pretty much all of the monsters in Aaahh!!! Real Monsters.
    • In-Universe, Ickis has a particularly bad case of this, as he basically looks a lot like a rather anthropomorphic red rabbit. He's pretty good at spooking humans from out of sight, but when they see him, a lot of people tend to start cooing over how cute he looks. This has caused more than a few "scares" to fail and he has quite a complex about it. Even The Gromble has had a few laughs at how Ickis's looks undermine his efforts to be scary.
  • The Serpentine in Ninjago, especially Pythor.
  • The Hub's version of Pound Puppies has Freddy from "A Nightmare on Pound Street", who is even described as "cute ugly".
  • Wooldoor Sockbat from Drawn Together. He's also the most cheerful and friendly guy on the show, which helps.
  • Stuart ("Stella") the scrawny cat with missing fur patches from Recess.
  • The Tick gives us the superhero Sewer Urchin. He has an oversized lightbulb-shaped head (though that might just be a helmet), is clad in two shades of clashing purple and blue, wears a yellow oxygen tank, sounds like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, is covered in spikes (naturally enough), and is explicitly stated to smell awful to all of the surface-dwelling heroes due to his home territory being, well, the sewers. In spite of all these things going against him, he is also a kind of Crazy-Prepared Gadgeteer Genius who doesn't get enough credit and is oddly charming, as well as considerably more likeable than the Jerkass Miles Gloriosus Dirty Coward Batman pastiche Die Fledermaus. Inexplicably, Sewer Urchin and Die Fledermaus are best friends, possibly of the Vitriolic Best Buds variety.
    • The Mole Men.
  • R.O.T.H. the cute machine from Motorcity. The timid screeching it makes adds to its adorableness.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar has Rico. Especially because of how expressive his face is!
  • Arthur, Lance's roommate in the Whole Episode Flashback of Sym-Bionic Titan. Octus/Newton might also count. Possibly Tashy 497 as well.
  • Anyone on Spongebob Squarepants who isn't marketably cutesy at least has a pleasant and appealing design. Squidward and Plankton are chief here; both are witty Unpopular Popular Characters with unusual, unique designs, huge expressive eyes, and their share of Woobie moments.
  • The eponymous character of Mr. Bogus.
  • Mr. Mumbles, the female cat from Dan Vs.. It helps that she inverts Cats Are Mean, thus making her the exact opposite of her owner.
  • Imp from She-Ra: Princess of Power combines the traits of a bat and piglet in one package. Also Mantenna could melt quite a few hearts. For an evil organization, the Horde does seem to like cute things.
  • Steven Universe gives us the Centipeetle. It's a giant, acid spitting, bug monster with nasty fanged jaws and a gem eye inside its mouth. But once Steven manages to tame it in "Monster Buddies" it basically acts like an affectionate, if a bit wild, pet. Making its Heroic Sacrifice later in the episode even more heartwrenching
    • Later on Steven manages to partially heal her temporarily, and she looks like she's got arms and legs on a praying mantis torso. Her mannerisms and actions, though, are adorable, which makes her painfully reverting even more horrific.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: Ludo can fall into this, mainly due to being a Harmless Villain (At least until the second season), and also being the smallest of his family.
    • Wrathmelior is a Big Red Devil, but still manages to be cute most of the time, especially in her first appearance, where she cries Tears of Joy when her son Tom dances with Star.
    • Meteora as a baby is also cute even if she can be a bit monstrous at times.
  • Fred Fredburger from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. A lot of the other monsters and supernatural beings encountered in the series can be this as well.
  • Total Drama: Even though Beth isn't much to look at when compared to most of the other female contestants, she has a very kind and endearing personality that makes her cute in her own special way.
  • Both the unnamed alien tribe and the titular creatures of Skywhales are this.
  • In "Minding the Manor" from Sofia the First, Sofia's reaction to the gargoyles at Aunt Tilly's manor is that "They're so ugly, they're cute."
  • ThunderCats (1985): Snarf and the Snarfs of the Valley of the Snarfs, and later, the Planet of Snarfs.
  • Helga in Hey Arnold!. She has a thick unibrow, a big nose, and ears resembling those of a billy goat. But her Hidden Heart of Gold makes her very endearing to many fans. In fact, many characters in the series could qualify as this trope due to the whacky art style, but it's Helga who frequently gets singled out as ugly within the show itself.
  • The animated Punky Brewster episode "Pretty Ugly" plays with this. Punky persuades Margaux to attend a fancy party at the Bigelow estate. While getting her spruced up, Glomer concocts a Chaundoon facial for Margaux, and it has a bizarre side effect—it turns Margaux's face into a glomley face. She's quite unaware until she sees her reflection in a nearby lawn fountain.
  • Kaeloo: Quack Quack and Eugly. The former is a duck with purple eyelids and stitches all over his body and the latter is a fat muscular rabbit.
  • Rugrats: Even putting aside the grossout humor to be expected of something about babies, the show itself combines saccharine cutesy music and antics with some decidedly ugly artwork and character designs. A weird contrast, much?
  • Popeye the Ugly Duckling (from the Brodax era) is a yarn Popeye spins to Swee'Pea about when he was a little boy and everyone teased him (even Olive) about being ugly. When avian and sea creatures even reject him, Popeye finds himself on an island populated by the Goons who think he's handsome. They nurture him until adulthood where he returns home to settle scores.
  • Rogu from American Dad! is a baby/tumor.


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