|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
Aww, isn't this little guy cute? I'm gonna take him home and hug him and kiss him and squeeze him with all my heart and be such a great friend and...
...and for some reason he fell asleep. You OK, little guy?
Some monsters don't want to kill people; they just want to love them into iddy biddy pieces. No malice is intended, the monster just Does Not Know His Own Strength—but the "pet" is fully aware of the danger. Usually played for laughs, although there are exceptions. Possibly a deconstruction/satire of the Gentle Giant.
- The Clawed Man in Gun X Sword. Played very straight, almost for tragedy, and he regrets it every time.
- Parodied in Ranma ½. When Ryouga "hears" Akane tell him she loves him (though it was really Shampoo impersonating her) he goes mad with joy and pursues her, intending to give her a big hug. Akane, for her part, thinks he's being mind-controlled (long story) and is absolutely horrified when she sees him destroy half the landscape pursuing her. Realizing that a hug from him would crush her, she escapes and trades places with Ranma, who is resilient enough to be only slightly squished when he embraces her.
- Also played (semi-)straight in Ranma This time Ryoga's on the receiving end when he's kidnapped in his piglet form by Azuza Shiratori of the Golden Pair, who steals anything she considers cute (animals and inanimate objects alike) and give them cute French names like Francoise or Charlotte.
- Similarly, Akane takes P-Chan (Ryoga's pig form) to bed with her. When Happosai decides sneak into bed with her, he learns- a bit too late- that she tosses and turns in her sleep, and gets pummeled. The following dialogue ensues;
Ranma: Does she usually sleep like this?
- Transformers Energon has a variation with, of all mechs, Megatron, who didn't realize until his soldier Demolishor pointed it out, that humans actually die and don't have "sparks" that can be collected after their bodies are destroyed. (Unlike Cybertronians, who have fought the same war with the same people for millions of years, and most death just results in a new toy... uh, body.) Megatron even pauses to think about this, saying "Really?". Of course, this doesn't stop him from wanting to blow up the planet later on.
- Inverted in Wolf's Rain, where Toboe greets the old woman who keeps him as a pet a little too vigorously and breaks her neck.
- There was a strip in Axis Powers Hetalia where Russia asked Latvia why he couldn't stop shaking, and gave him a hug. Latvia died of fright. He got better.
- In the first episode of Nyan Koi!, the main character's Love Interest (or at least he wants her to be) absolutely adores cats. Unfortunately, she doesn't understand that the cats don't appreciate being hugged so hard by a complete stranger after being lured with food. The local cats are terrified of her and consider her to be an evil and devious monster. Even more unfortunately, the main character is tasked with stopping her due to his curse (he has to do favors for 100 cats or be turned into a cat himself because he accidentally broke the statue of a cat deity)
- In an episode of Black Butler Finnie reminisces about a pet bird he once had. One day when he tried to pet it...Let's just say that Finnie Does Not Know His Own Strength and leave it at that.
- Seems to be a bit of a problem for Pokémon's Iris, who got shocked by Pikachu when she first met it and Cuteness Proximity took over.
- In Durarara, Shizuo's romantic history can effectively be summed up as "boy meets girl. Boy finds girl in danger. Boy tries to save or protect girl, but accidentally hospitalizes her in the process. Boy and girl never speak again. Repeat until boy is convinced that he's incapable of loving or being loved."
- In one of the later portions of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, Yokoshima and Hyakume are captured by Ashtaroth's agents. One of these agents, Papillio, has a ridiculous fondness for collecting pets, so into the menagerie Yokoshima and Hyakume go. The problem isn't that they'll get squished or otherwise negligently killed by Papillio...not directly. The problem is her other pets aren't so nice. Not when they include the likes of KERBEROS.
- Gintama has Kagura, a super strong alien that kills any cute animal she keeps (like say, a rabbit) by hugging them when she sleeps. (Both Gintoki and Shinpachi were unsure whether to laugh or cry at such a story). Averted later when she gets Sadaharu, who is normally aggressive and deadly, and has the tendency to bite on anyone's head to draw blood, but for someone like Kagura, is the perfect pet.
- Bleach has Adult Nel, after saving Ichigo's life, rush to give him a hug. Orihime looked shocked at that since he had just been completely curbstomped by one of the Espadas, repeatedly taking hits that would have killed a regular human, and then he got a rib-crushing hug from Adult Nel. A lot of rib-crushing hugs, in fact.
- Mad Science teacher Nakamura of Nichijou adores her cat Taisho, but has no idea how to care for a cat, among other things feeding him ramen like it was proper food. Taisho eventually ran away and became the Shinonomes' cat Sakamoto, though as he himself notes this isn't that great an improvement other than more reliable feeding.
- Used in an absolutely horrifying and heartbreaking way in the second Tokyo Babylon OAV. As a little boy, the Serial Killer who'd grow into the Big Bad of the episode did this to his younger sister when they were home alone and playing. And he accidentally strangled her to death. Not only that, but when their mother came home and found herself with the terrible scene, he just went to her happily - without realizing that he had killed his sister.
- In a rare art-related example, Frank Kelly Freas' painting The Gulf Between, which also served as inspiration for Queen's News of the World album, features a giant robot that has inadvertently killed a man by holding him too tightly. In the issue of Astounding Science Fiction that featured this on the cover, this was accompanied by the caption, "Please... fix it, Daddy?"
- In Hulk: Gray, the Hulk befriends a rabbit in the desert at one point. "Friend. Gray, like Hulk..." and it's all very sweet; you don't get to see the soft side of the Hulk often. But what was meant by the Hulk as a playful poke proves fatal to the poor thing, and the Hulk is driven into one of his trademark rages because he doesn't understand why his friend is "wet" (from the blood).
- The Russian does this to one of Ma Gnucci's henchmen in Punisher: Welcome Back Frank.
- Happens on a cosmic scale in Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis' Hero Squared. After their petty super-squabbles destroy their own universes, Captain Valor and his archenemy Caliginous find themselves stranded in our universe. Quickly he realizes that his "protection" doesn't come without a price here like it did where he came from, and that superheroics and physics don't go so well together here.
- In Vol. 4 of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mirage comics, Shadow, adopted daughter of Casey Jones discovers her boyfriend is leading some kind of terrorist anti-alien group. Upon finding her, he send a little toy robot after her that 'just wants to play'. The robot chases after her relentlessly and the message is clear that playtime will mean her death, and when both of them fall into a river, he tries to drown her, thinking it's all a fun game.
- This is pretty much guaranteed to happen whenever Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl gets a pet.
- Subverted in the old newspaper comic version of Batman, in which a Dumb Muscle gangster is shown having a Pet the Dog moment by giving a kitten a saucer of milk. His affluent boss doesn't like the distraction his henchman's having, so picks up the kitty to pet him... and breaks the poor thing's neck right in front of its owner.
- In Touhou fanworks, Flandre Scarlet and Koishi Komeji are sometimes depicted as being a little too energetic in their pursuit of cuddles. Poor Okuu gets all bent out of shape and ruffled when Koishi glomps her. As for Flandre, well, those that she "plays with" down in the Scarlet Devil Mansion's basement frequently end up "broken."
- Edward Scissorhands. The name should give you an idea as to why it was hard for him to properly express physical affection.
- Though in this case, Edward seems to understand the dangers his hands pose.
- Another Trope Maker was Universal's original Frankenstein film, in which the childlike monster, while innocently playing with a little girl, gets too enthusiastic and throws her in the river, where she drowns. This was considered so disturbing in the 1930s that the scene was cut right as the Creature is reaching for the girl, skipping to her father carrying her dead body. This of course made the implications of the scene much worse.
- Parodied in Young Frankenstein, when the monster accidentally throws a little girl through the air by sitting down too hard on a seesaw. This time she's safely thrown through a window of her house into her own bed.
- In Tommy Boy, Chris Farley's character at a restaurant demonstrates to a waitress how he ruins a sales pitch, likening it to a pet (represented by a dinner roll) that he crushes with manic love.
- Darla from Finding Nemo is notorious amongst the Tank Gang because of this. "FISHY, WHY ARE YOU SLEEPING?"
- In the Chuck Norris film Silent Rage his partner Charlie tells him about when he was little he had a puppy that when it got dirty he gave it a bath in the toilet and put it in the freezer to dry but he accidentally forgot about it and it froze to death.
- One of the Trope Makers here is undoubtedly Lennie Small, in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Lennie was a childlike man who didn't know his own strength, and so ended up crushing the mice and puppies he tried to pet, and eventually killed someone by accident in much the same way. George was the name of his sidekick (or rather, Lennie is his sidekick), hence the Looney Tunes and MGM examples are Shout Outs.
- There is also the fact that poor Lennie's reaction to being startled is to hold on tightly to whatever he's holding (doing this with a woman's red velvet dress got him and George chased out of town in the beginning) - and ended up causing the aforementioned incident.
- The Howlers from Animorphs are a terrifying race of warriors responsible for the genocide of several other alien races - until our heroes find out that they're all children who believe they're playing a game under the control of the evil Crayak.
- It gets better. Jake morphs into a Howler and finds out they have a Hive Mind and are personally killed off by Crayak to ensure they don't remember death. When Jake gets back from his espionage, he kisses Cassie. This inadvertently throws off the whole killer race thing, as the Howlers now try to kiss everything into total submission. Whoops.
- Averted in A Night in the Lonesome October, where Snuff's barking at the Experiment Man attracts the Good Doctor's attention. He convinces his creation to put Graymalk down and stop holding her too tight.
- In Mikhail Uspensky's Zhikhar's Adventures humorous fantasy novels, that's what a varkalap does to you.
- In the Malazan Book of the Fallen Toc the Younger is subjected to a horrifying variant of this. After being captured by the enemy, he's given as a plaything to an insane K'Chain Chemalle Matriarch. Desperate for a child to cling to, the enormous beast promptly began hugging Toc the Younger, crushing and distorting his body... but the magic applied to Toc kept him alive and healing, leaving his body a twisted, pitiful wreck.
- In Tad Williams' Otherland, the Other, quasi-sentient operating system of the titular network, loves children and seeks them out, but the combination of its ignorance of real life, Psychic Powers, and the horror of its existence means that its attempts to "play with them" ends up inadvertently Mind Raping them into comas. Oops.
- Discworld has an Expy of Shub-Niggurath — Tshup Aklathep, Infernal Star Toad with A Million Young. She shows pictures of them all to anyone she can catch. Until her new friends' brains implode or they kill themselves.
- In Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger volume IV, The Moment of the Magician contain an example where a sentient swamp refuses to let our protagonistsgo because "They are new and interesting". It likes new and interesting. In order to coax it to let them leave, Jon-Tom conjurs up a variety of objects from his own world such as a grandfather clock or a flea circus to entertain it, and eventually it is overcome by...tv commercials.
- In the original The Outer Limits episode "Behold, Eck!", the titular creature is a meek, polite entity who comes from a two-dimensional universe. After he accidentally enters our world through a dimensional rift, Eck unintentionally causes all sorts of havoc until the heroes figure out how to send him home. The script's original title was "The Reluctant Monster," which gives you an idea of the tone the writers were going for.
- In the first episode of QI, Alan Davies jokes about giant anteaters doing this.
- Jonathan Coulton's song "I Crush Everything" casts a giant squid as a reformed George-caller.
- The cover of Queen's News of the World shows a confused, childlike giant robot holding the dead band members, with the implication that it has accidentally killed them. It was adapted from a Frank Kelly Freas illustration mentioned in the "Art" section.
- Beasts of Nurgle in Warhammer and Warhammer 40000 only want to play with all the friends they meet on the battlefield. However, since they're living embodiments of disease strong enough to crush a man's bones to powder, you can guess how well that goes.
- In the play Rabbit, set in a Teenage Wasteland, Tib does this to the titular bunny.
- Debilitas from the Survival Horror game Haunting Ground, the Psychopathic Manchild gardener who chases Fiona around the castle because he's mistaken her for one of his dolls and just wants to play with her. Unfortunately, his over-excitement means he'll violently beat her to death in glee if you let him get close, or pick the poor girl up and squeeze her to death in a Bear Hug while giggling manically. His misunderstood intentions, however, mean he's the only assailant in the game who makes it out alive (in the Good Ending).
- On the less pleasant side of things, though, it's implied that he's a cannibal, who, upon accidentally killing Fiona while trying to play with her, does the other thing that comes naturally, and eats her. It's not a nice game.
- In Discworld II: Mortality Bytes, Rincewind (played by Eric Idle) collects a mouse as part of his insane adventure game. As a Shout-Out to Looney Tunes' Abominable Snowman, when you "examine" it in your inventory, Rincewind says, "Mousie! I shall love him and cuddle him and call him George. Or something like that."
- The 2008 Halloween event on Gaia Online features a four-way battle between Humans, Dark Elves, Vampires, and Zombies. The Zombie attacks are attempts to hug their victims.
- The Video Game Remake of Resident Evil for Gamecube introduced a deformed mutant who, in your first encounter, doesn't hurt you—just knocks you out. One of her "diary" entries reads:
dunno dadd found mum again
- It is worth noting that said mutant is a forty-five year old woman with the (damaged) mind of a fourteen year old girl and is wearing her mother's face.
- World of Warcraft gives us XT-002 Deconstructor, a Giant Robot raid boss in Ulduar (who does yoga-like exercises while it waits for you to show up) who has the voice of a cartoon child and seems to regard the players it smashes into flinders as "toys".
XT-002: New toys? For me? I promise I won't break them this time!
- There's also Patchwerk from Naxxramas, who "want to play".
- Both are brilliant examples as the attacks they both do are rather simplistic as well, Patchwerk will just smack 2-3 people over and over, and XT-002 will smack one target and periodically throw a tantrum, punching the ground and causing a massive earthquake. There's other parts to the XT encounter but it can easily be viewed as it's not him doing those, but his "Father" Mimiron.
- Mimiron later calls the player out on this, vowing to get revenge for "what you did to the XT-002".
- Both Festergut and Rotface, raid bosses from Icecrown Citadel, are portrayed this way; particularly Rotface, who exclaims loudly on killing a player: "I broked-ed it!"
- There's also Patchwerk from Naxxramas, who "want to play".
- The Orz from Star Control. They just want to "come together for *parties*" but apparently they wiped out the Androsynth.
- The Rawshocks in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories relentlessly chase the protagonist, Harry Mason to give him a hug. As they are freezing cold, this damages Harry, eventually cause him to freeze to death or fall unconscious if he doesn't shake them off quickly enough. The Rawshocks will then caress Harry's cheek.
- Dink in King's Quest V, and the clinging vines in King's Quest VI.
- In Mage, the spaces between galaxies are filled with infinitely large trees that used to be people- purified magical beings that determine the local laws of reality to their whim. Visiting these trees is dangerous- because they like to play with the people who visit them. Play with them until they break. And then fix them and send them back to earth.
- Luigi's Mansion has ghosts that hug you... which rapidly drains your health and slows you down until you shake them off.
- Gogron, an orc in Oblivion, crushed the skull of his pet rabbit by petting it too hard.
- In F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, Alma repeatedly tries to...embrace Beckett. If Beckett doesn't fight off her amorous intentions, she will kill him by doing so. It is implied that the only reason he survives getting raped at the endgame is because of the Telesthetic Amplifier boosting his Psychic Powers.
- Referenced in the Killing Floor "Twisted Christmas" update with some of the Scrakefrost's lines.
And I will pet him.
- In Jade Empire, there's an ogre named Zhong who worked on a farm, who used to enjoy throwing his master's ox into the air then catching it. When you meet him, he's sad because he missed the catch and the ox landed on its head.
- Strong Bads Cool Game for Attractive People - in Strong Badia The Free Strong Mad hugs the Cheat tightly while The Cheat gasps for air.
- In Sluggy Freelance, Homnigrits, the parody of Hagrid, treats the magical creatures he's supposed to take care of something like this.
Homnigrits: I gives 'em food and water and great big hugs. Then after the hugs me mind goes blank like it ain't wantin' to accept somethin' and I move on to me next magical animal.
- This strip of Hark! A Vagrant portrays the giant squid from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea this way.
- The creature in the dark from Order of the Stick has a hard time realizing how much earth-shattering damage it can inflict even when it tries to play gently with others.
- El Goonish Shive: Sarah hugging Grace's full squirrel form is Played for Laughs here.
- Equius in Homestuck is quite fond of the centaur-cow-butler-thing that raised him, but his attempts to demonstrate his affection tend to cause black eyes, due to his Super Strength.
- Used in Tales of MU, with Sooni and her servant/slave, "Baby Kai-Kai." Usually funny in a Crosses the Line Twice way, until she crossed the line a third time and refused to get Kai treatment for a cracked skull until it was almost too late.
- /tg/ loves this trope—what with "The Tarrasque is actually a pretty swell guy" and Carnifex who only wants to hug.
- Saladfingers, in a series available on Nitrome.
"You got all flat, and gooey... I shant play with you 'till you have a bath."
- Shmorky's parody of Homestar Runner (viewable here): "I petted 'The Sheep' too much. Now he don't move no more!"
- And then it happens again with "Marmalade".
- One of the dumbest customers in Not Always Right killed her goldfish by taking it out of the water to pet it. Then went back to the shop, bought a new one and did the same thing. Then learned fish don't breath air. Maybe.
- Vlog Brothers provides an example where the Green brothers' mother claims that Hank tried to kill John with a hammer, and John tried to hug Hank to death.
- MSF High Forum: Mentioned by the Sphinx who finds Adrian cute, who quotes dialogue from the Looney Tunes version.
- The title phrase comes from the Looney Tunes shorts with Hugo the Abominable Snowman, a furry giant who would "adopt" fuzzy animals (like Bugs) and nearly smother them with adoration. He would always call his new pet "George" ("I'm gonna love him, and hug him, and pet him, and call him George!") (This is something of a Shout-Out to the origin of the character, which was Lon Chaney Jr.'s portrayal of Lennie in Of Mice and Men.)
- Another Looney Tunes version of this occurs in "Hoppy Go Lucky" (1952), in which Sylvester the cat tries to catch Hippety Hopper as a pet for his large, dumb friend Bennie. In a neat twist, Bennie calls Sylvester "George", even going so far as to utter the immortal line, "But I can't say 'Sylvester', George."
- A similar type of character also appeared in MGM's cartoons by Tex Avery.
- Lonesome Lenny (1946) is probably the ultimate example of this. "You know, I had a little friend once-- but he don't move no more!"
- At which point Screwy Squirrel (the "little friend" in question) pulls a sign saying "Sad ending - Ain't it?"
- Avery also did a series of cartoons with George and Junior, a vaguely bear-like pair closely modeled after George and Lenny. Junior's regular screw-ups required him to bend over for George to kick his ass.
- This was actually the censored version. A more controversial version had Junior turning around so that George could shoot him in the head-- exactly like the ending of the book it was referencing. It was presumably changed due to a case of Dude, Not Funny.
- Cyberchase does the occasional Shout-Out to this, though they're usually not examples of this trope. The henchrobot Delete is always begging his boss, Hacker, for a bunny "so I can love it, and keep it, and call it George."
- The "villain" of the Pixar film Finding Nemo is the dentist's young niece, who innocently killed Nemo's predecessor by shaking his bag too much.
Darla: Fishie? FISHIE! Wake! Up! Wake! Up! WOAI! ARE! YOU! SLAYPING?!
- An uncompleted episode of Invader Zim would have featured a giant alien named Squishy, Hugger of Worlds and the efforts to stop him from hugging Earth to death.
- Justice League: In Cheetah's first appearance, it was implied that Solomon Grundy killed her this way - but then she was shown alive, in hand-cuffs. Earlier in the episode, when Batman exposed her to the members of her criminal team as the "traitor,", she was "given" to Grundy and was shown being dragged out of the room, screaming. However, despite the implied death, the end of the episode featured an ensemble picture of the villains being loaded into a police vehicle, including Cheetah. Word of God states this was an accident, the intention was for everybody to assume she had been "petted" to death, but it allowed her to make a few future appearances in various episodes.
- In another episode, Only a Dream, Superman is subjected to a nightmare where his strength is out of control. His attempt to hug Jimmy in joy snaps the kid like a twig.
- In Monsters vs. Aliens, B.O.B. enthusiastically hugs Susan's mom, and since he's The Blob, accidentally absorbs her. Susan orders him to spit her out before she suffocates, then apologizes for him. "He's just a hugger."
- Later, Susan herself goes to her fiancee Derek, and as she is ten times taller than he is, she very nearly crushes him and almost snaps his head off with a kiss.
- Elmyra of Tiny Toon Adventures loved animals but didn't know how to treat them. She was honestly confused when the adorable animals she meant no harm towards objected to being put in too-small cages, bathed via near-drowning, and other overly-affectionate acts. One of her pets falls apart in the sink, having been dead already unbeknownst to her. Hands with carcass go in, empty hands come out as she looks on in confusion.
- Her bow has the skull of some poor small animal, supposed to be her very first pet, according to forgotten sources.
- In a Tales from the Crypt parody, she is seen looking through a photo album of deceased pets, including a fish that she didn't realize couldn't live out of water, and a horse that deliberately jumped off a cliff. Said pets end up coming back as zombies to try and get revenge, only to endure more torture from Elmyra.
- A segment of Robot Chicken featured a giant robot coming to life and innocently harming everyone he meets; he picks up a group of people to hug and crushes them to death, splattering their guts all over himself, then picks up a dog and crushes it when he pets it. When police open fire to try to stop his apparent rampage, he decides to "play" too... and "wins".
- Another Robot Chicken sketch features an Elmyra Captain Ersatz who is so cuteness-crazed that she traps a pegasus in a bear trap, hacks off his wings, paints him pink, and whips him until he accepts that his new name is Sunnymuffins. Definitely Crosses the Line Twice.
- Also note that the voice actress for the Captain Ersatz was Cree Summer who also voiced Elmyra
- Said clip was made even better when you realize the voice actor for Pegasus is Wayne Brady, and the little girl is voiced by Cree Summers aka. Susie Carmichael from Rugrats.
- The unnamed girl who captures Snoopy and Woodstock (naming Snoopy "Rex") in Snoopy, Come Home.
- A seemingly kind old woman turns out to be this type in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode, "Gary Come Home." When Gary, the pet snail, runs away from a neglectful Spongebob, he is rescued by the old character. Before he is smothered by attention, he finds the bodies of other pet snails that she's loved to death, or alternatively fattened up with food and affection so that she could eat them. He beats a quick path home.
- While he doesn't actually kill them, Spongebob himself has this behaviour towards Squidward, Ms. Puff, Gary, and Barnacle Boy.
- Junyer Bear of Looney Tunes was a classic embodiment of this. In "A Bear For Punishment", Junyer is determined to give dear ol' Dad a memorable Father's Day. At one point, he tried to give his father a shave with a jagged straight razor. A moment later, he tells his mother, "Ma? Pa won't talk to me. I nudged him and I nudged him... he's awfully still." Subverted a moment later when a tattered arm reaches through the door and yanks Junyer back through it, followed by the sound of Pa beating the crap out of his son. "Pa is all right now, Ma!"
- The animated short, The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9
- In one episode of American Dad, Barry mistakes a girl in a cat costume as the ghost of his pet cat Mr. Whiskers and says "I'm sorry Mr. Whiskers I didn't know you couldn't breathe under water" while sobbing.
- He has also said "Puppies can't fly, or at least mine couldn't" while holding back tears.
- In the Powerpuff Girls movie, when fighting the superpowered monkeys, Bubbles picks up Cruncha Muncha, the littlest capuchin monkey. She hugs him really tight and starts swinging him around in her arms when, suddenly, he goes limp in her arms, and she begins to cry.
- In fact, what snapped her out of her small form was hearing Ichigo's cries of pain as the Espada crushed his wrist.