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File:HancockCute 6188.jpg

A character is forgiven for an otherwise serious offense just because (s)he is cute. This occurs because cuteness implies innocence and vulnerability. You're more likely to forgive someone if they were ignorant of the harm they caused, after all.

Puppy Dog Eyes may be used. Obviously abused by the Deliberately Cute Child.

A Sub-Trope of Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful. See also What Measure Is a Non-Cute? and Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.

Examples of Cuteness Equals Forgiveness include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Azumanga Daioh, when the teacher is bopping everyone on the head for forgetting their homework, he only gives Chiyo-chan a half-hearted tap.
  • Murumo from Mirumo de Pon uses his cuteness in this way, easily winning the hearts of anyone with his adorable antics and Puppy Dog Eyes. Only his older brother is immune, though it's not like anyone listens to him (when he warns Kaede about this, her response is "You're just jealous that you're not as cute as he is!")
  • One segment on Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei comments on how the Cute Clumsy Girl can get away with mistakes because of this. Chiri tries to become one and violent Hilarity Ensues.
  • In One Piece, Boa Hancock (pictured right) is considered to be so beautiful that she is never blamed or held accountable for anything she does. She even gets away with retaining her Pirate Warlord status by the world government despite pretty much fighting for Luffy's cause and slowing the other warlords down in a major battle.
  • Several times during her presidency, Maria of Hayate the Combat Butler does some things similar to Boa Hancock above, including smashing a tape/video recorder and burning a 'love letter'.
    • Given that Hinagiku might have cases of this as well, it almost seems that this trope follows the school presidents in the story.
  • Subverted in Ranma ½. Ranma Saotome has tried this technique in his girl form before without much success.

Comic Books

  • A recurring theme in Frank strips is that the slightly rude actions of the ugly pig man read as reprehensible, while adorable animal Frank's psychotic destructiveness read as totally forgivable.

Film - Animation

  • In Shrek 2, after attacking Shrek, Puss-In-Boots asks for forgiveness and a chance to help on the adventure and puts on his famous Puppy Dog Eyes. Shrek thinks he looks adorable and takes him along.

Live Action TV

  • In Full House, the older girls put together circumstances to show that Danny is treating the youngest better due to this trope, down to copying her "Please?" tone and face. What brings it home is that even she agrees that he's treating her as a favorite.
  • Megan from Drake and Josh is a prime example of this.
  • Believe it or not, implied to be the reason why Wesley Crusher gets away with being so irritating. One early Star Trek: The Next Generation episode has a fellow Starfleet cadet tell him "It's a good thing you're cute, Wesley, or you would really come across as obnoxious."

Real Life

  • Debara LaFave and other women got probation (or less) for statutory rape; most people attributed it to her looks.
  • This is why most people forgive their pets for the gradual destruction of their household.
  • On an intellectual level, the reason people don't throw food back when a baby throws food at them is that the baby isn't developed enough to be expected to have a high level of maturity. However, the real reason they get away with it is cuteness.

Video Games

  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trails and Tribulations: When Dahlia Hawthorne reveals that she faked her death and let a man be sentenced to death for murdering her, the judge is completely unfazed and continues to treat her as an innocent girl he feels sorry for.

Web Comics

  • El Goonish Shive: right after pushing through uniforms at Moperville High, and cracking down on Susan for her use of a MALE school uniform (a protest against the sexism inherent in forcing girls to wear skirts), the principal nonetheless forgives Sarah for wearing a beret with her uniform - despite hats being against dress-code even BEFORE the uniforms being instituted. Puppy Dog Eyes were involved, though Sarah claimed that 'the absolute cuteness of the ensemble' would be enough to prevent any protests.

Western Animation

  • Heloise tries this on Jimmy in Jimmy Two-Shoes. He doesn't buy it, though.
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