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A character, creature, etc which is heavily associated with a fictional universe, to the point of being the (official or unofficial) Mascot. This can be despite the presence of other creatures, characters, etc. In Video Games, this tends to be a popular enemy (or unit) and can overlap with Mascot Mook. In other works the role can often fall to the Team Pet or another Ridiculously Cute Critter or Small Annoying Creature.
See Mascot for when this is used to advertise a product.
"Cute" Series Mascots:
Anime and Manga
- Tenchi Muyo! has the adorable cabbit (cat/rabbit) Ryo-Ohki, which has the ability to transform into a spaceship.
- Black Hayate and to a lesser extent Shao May in Fullmetal Alchemist.
- Kon in Bleach. He even points this out.
- Yu Yu Hakusho: Puu!!!
- Magic Knight Rayearth: Pu pu-puuu! Mokona! (Also a mascot of sorts for XxxHolic and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle)
- Kodomo no Omocha has a ubiquitous bat/rabbit hybrid, appropriately named Babbit. It probably exists only for this trope.
- For Full Metal Panic, there's Bonta-kun, with the entire second season being named after the sounds he makes, "Fumoffu".
- For Heroic Age it's B-Navi. Be careful though, because it actually transforms into a gun used to fire the Cool Ship's main weapon.
- In Welcome to The NHK! Sato Lampshades this trope by saying "Every RPG needs a wimpy mascot character!" while beating up a lookalike for Dragon Quest's slimes.
- The series itself actually contains a de-facto mascot in the form of that creepy-adorable dancing purple alien that is used as a personification for 'conspiracy'.
- Moyashimon has an unusual example: a cutesy, anthropomorphic Aspergillus oryzae spore.
- Sadaharu and Elizabeth from Gintama. The series also parodies the whole mascot concept with Makoto-chan, the ill-advised, short-lived mascot of the Shinsengumi.
- Chibi-san from Chibisan Date.
- Haro from the Gundam franchise, despite not appearing in four of the seven Alternate Universes.
- Kyubey from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Its face and Catch Phrase appears everywhere in the fandom because of how cute and innocent the fandom thinks it is. /人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\
- Pokémon features Pikachu as the de facto mascot for the animated series and (slightly less so) for the games.
- Agumon is something of an unofficial mascot for the Digimon franchise, being featured as the partner of The Hero in two different anime series and a manga, and a prominent presence in most -- if not all -- video games and virtual pets.
- Suzuri from Rideback. Unusual in that she's one of those rare cute sidekick-type characters who not only dies during the series, but dies rather brutally (we don't see her head getting crushed; that happens off-screen. But we do see the blood on the asphalt).
- Clara in Princess Jellyfish.
- Squirrel Girl for the Great Lakes Avengers series. If anyone's going to appear in an "off-stage" comic to recap the plot, it'll be her.
- Hitch Hikers Guide to The Galaxy: Oddly enough, the promotional mascot for the Hitchhiker's universe is a little green guy that never appears in the books (or TV show, or movie, or radio show, or computer game...) themselves -- though most fans consider Marvin to be the series' real mascot.
- Doctor Who's sentient Cool Ship, the TARDIS. Also he's had K9, who's lately moved to The Sarah Jane Adventures.
- Cameron from The Sarah Connor Chronicles (also mentioned below.)
- The "Grr Argh" monster from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who you may remember as the badly-drawn monster that appears after every credits sequence. Not only does Tara quote Mutant Enemy's mascot, it sums up "Becoming" perfectly.
"Ooohhh, I need a hug."
- Kermit the Frog for The Muppets. He was also the mascot of the Jim Henson Company before Disney bought him out.
- Sesame Street has Elmo, also the mascot for the show's parent company Sesame Workshop. Big Bird used to fill this role before Elmo proved to be a massive merchandising success.
- Mametchi from the Tamagotchi toy line.
- Prinnies from Disgaea and other Nippon Ichi games.
- A lesser example: the fairies from Legend of Zelda, Navi in particular.
- Pokémon's Pikachu, particularly in the anime. Each new generation of Mons also has a lesser, ambiguously official mascot: Pichu for Pokémon Gold and Silver (and their remake), Absol (unofficially) for Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Lucario for Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and Zoroark for Pokémon Black and White.
- According to Bulbapedia, Pichu is Johto's Pikachu, Minun and Plusle are Hoenn's, Pachirisu is Sinnoh variant and Emolga is Unova's, though this one is more like Pachirisu than Pikachu.
- There's Mario for Nintendo's mascot, and obviously for the Super Mario Bros. series. Nintendo Power had Nester, and the Famicom Disk System had a critter called Disk-kun, who appeared on the title screen of Smash Ping Pong and starred in the last-ever FDS game, Janken Disk Shiro.
- Custom Robo has the Ray series of Shining Fighter class robos, one of which represented the franchise in Super Smash Bros Brawl.
- Final Fantasy: Chocobos and Moogles, and to a lesser extent, Cactaurs, Cait Sith, and Tonberries.
- Sora, Donald, and Goofy from Kingdom Hearts.
- Portal has the very friendly Companion Cube, which will not threaten to stab you. It's so popular that Valve's made plushies and fuzzy dice in its image. The iPod-esque turrets might even have a stronger claim to the title, appearing in Valve promotional materials even outside the Portal franchise, and getting a much greater and more varied role in the sequel.
- Pikmin has, obviously, the Pikmin.
- The Dragon Quest series has Slimes.
- Animal Crossing: Tom Nook.
- Rabites from the World of Mana series.
- Rappies from the Phantasy Star series.
- Tran from Beatmania IIDX.
- Twilly for Adventure Quest in particular and all the other Artix Entertainment games to a degree.
- Kero the frog and Grey the alien in Tokimeki Memorial 2.
- Carbuncle in the Puyo Puyo series.
- The priring from La Tale, which was so cute it was made into a pet.
- Vault-Boy from Fallout.
- Jack Frosts from the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series got so popular Atlus chose them as their official mascot.
- Ragnarok Online had Porings, in a very forcing way.
- Chickens in Fable. Hell, Fable III starts with a chicken running around the city as an allegory for the rest of the game.
- Mr. Saturn for the MOTHER series.
- The Grox from Spore.
- Missile the shiba-inu police dog has become this for the Ace Attorney series, despite initially only appearing once as an optional character. Similarly, Missile the pomeranian from Ghost Trick, which shares the same universe (and who is a major character).
- Dust Puppy from User Friendly.
- Shelley Winters in Scary Go Round. After her introduction, she slowly became the main character and the emblem of the comic. Even after Scary Go Round ended, she still appears in its successor Bad Machinery's banners and the artist's blog.
- Order of the Stick: parodies this trope as it occurs in JRPGs Here.
- P. Monkey in Lonelygirl15.
- HTMLvis was something of an unofficial mascot for the original Maddison Atkins; fittingly, he returned after the Continuity Reboot.
- Open Blue's Super-Deformed Cthulhu Captain Ersatz, "Kukulu".
- Bugs Bunny from Looney Tunes.
- Kim Possible: Rufus the naked mole rat.
- Silkie, the Mutant Silkworm of the Teen Titans animated series.
- Happy Tree Friends has Cuddles(to the extent Giggles, Toothy, and Petunia).
- Ka Blam!'s own Henry and June (they were even the mascots for their own channel at one point.)
- Snap from Chalk Zone
- Goddard from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
- Derpy Hooves from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic and, to a larger extent, the "brony" community.
"Non Cute" Series Mascots:
- Darth Vader for Star Wars, though mascot duty's also been passed around to Yoda, the Stormtroopers and (especially in the franchise's early days) R2-D2 and C3-PO. Even the Death Star is something of an icon for the franchise.
- Possibly Gollum for the Lord of the Rings movies.
- The Ugly Cute Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters. In universe, it's explained that Stay Puft is the mascot for a brand of marshmallows and the star of his own cartoon TV series. The "NO-GHOST" company logo also serves as a mascot.
- For the Terminator series, Arnold's iconic face has been etched into our collective memories. The metallic skull of the T-800 Terminator would also count as iconic. Also, Cameron is the iconic character for The Sarah Connor Chronicles spin-off. (The last one isn't in the "non-cute" category, but never mind.)
- Mechwarrior: The Timber Wolf BattleMech for the video game series and arguably the whole BattleTech universe. Completely deserved, as mecha don't get any cooler than the Timber Wolf. (And calling it the Mad Cat among the wrong group of fans will get you labeled a stravag freebirth.)
- Warforged fill this role for the Dungeons and Dragons setting Eberron.
- Warhammer 40000: The Space Marines are the main mascots, especially the Ultramarines, who appear in most of the promotional artwork and the starter set.
- The Big Daddy from Bioshock.
- Headcrabs from Half Life.
- Pyramid Head for the entire Silent Hill series.
- Metroid: The eponymous energy-sucking, flying fanged jellyfish aliens of the series. Very young infants can run into Ugly Cute, though.
- Super Robot Wars: The SRX is the mascot of the series and Banpresto in general. It has a head shaped like the company logo, and its Game Breaker upgraded form is even named Banpreios!
- The Fiend from Quake was the mascot for Id Software in the latter half of The Nineties.
- Nightmare for the Soul series; ironically, while Nightmare represents the series' evil sword Soul Edge, most installments in the series (and all installments featuring Nightmare himself) are named after Soul Edge's heroic counterpart Soulcalibur.
- Soul Edge is probably the real mascot. Though the name of the games is now Soulcalibur, the Soul Edge is still by far the central character.
- Needles Kane and his flaming clown head ice cream truck in Twisted Metal.
- The Koala in Tokimeki Memorial : Forever with you
- The Heavy Weapons Guy for Team Fortress 2.
- Captain Falcon of the F-Zero series.
- Ryu, who doubles as the Series Mascot for Street Fighter and the face of Capcom's fighting game division.
- The spectral Ninja Scorpion has gradually become the mascot of the Mortal Kombat series. Sub-Zero is a close second.
- As the hero of the series, Liu Kang can be considered a mascot of the series. His ability to turn into a dragon evokes the iconic logo after all.
- Command and Conquer series: The Mammoth Tank. Also The Commando and Agent Tanya.
- Marco Rossi from Metal Slug
- The Creeper from Minecraft
- The Gas Mask Helghan troopers in Killzone.
- SCP Foundation: SCP-682, a unkillable giant reptile that wants to kill all humans and adapts any new form of attack. A typical mascot for the SCP Foundation, then.
- Any other SCP with lethal effects will, sooner or later, be suggested or tried as a way to kill SCP-682 (Either it won't work, or it would be impractical or far too dangerous to try), and any SCP with a variable output will produce something related to it. (A scale model, or its home phone number, say.)
- Newgrounds has Pico.
- Optimus Prime in almost every Transformers incarnation. Though since the live-action movie Bumblebee has started giving him a run for his money.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars tends to use the Clone Troopers.
Anime and Manga
- Gundam: Haro (or multiple Haros) is/are the mascot of both the Gundam franchise and for the company Sunrise.
- My Neighbor Totoro: Totoro plays this role for Studio Ghibli.
- Goku for Shonen Jump.
- Jack Frost (from the Shin Megami Tensei franchise) is the mascot of Atlus Corpora
- While the monsters you meet in Shin Megami Tensei are based on mythologies, possibly because of Jack Frost status as a mascot, you will meet original Jack Frosts like King Frost, Black Frost, Ichigo Frost, B Hawaii Frost, Lemon Frost, Melon Frost, Mirukin Frost, Frost Five and Lucifrost.
- Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army has the dapperest Frost of them all.
- Until he was displaced by Mega Man and Ryu, Captain Commando was the face of Capcom.
- As Captain Commando, Ryu and Mega Man are to Capcom, Alex Kidd and Sonic the Hedgehog (respectively) are to Sega.
- Pac-Man, one of Namco's oldest characters, is essentially the face of his franchise.
- Mario is essentially the face of Nintendo.
- Mr. Pants for Rare.
- Hudson Soft's mascot is a tiny bee. The bee has shown up in several of Hudson's video games, including Adventure Island and Milon's Secret Castle.
- Neko-Arc (a comedic miniature Catgirl form of Tsukihime's main heroine) is the official mascot of Type Moon and the Nasuverse.
- Asagi serves as one for Nippon Ichi (along with the Prinnies mentioned above), as she makes a cameo in all of their games.
- Recently, it seems like they're trying to make Nisa their new one.
- Unofficially, Max for Lucas Arts' adventure games.
- Compile's cute mascot, Randar (or Lander), appeared in several of their games.
- Toaplan had a similar but more purple and less round mascot named Pipiru, who appeared at the end of Zero Wing and was hidden in Out Zone and Truxton II. Even after Toaplan went defunct, Pipiru briefly appeared in a cutscene in Don Pachi.
- Terry Bogard for SNK, originally, it was Athena.
- Konami tried in the late 1980s to establish Konami Man as their mascot. He never really caught on, though Konami Wai Wai World gave him the leading part, along with his Distaff Counterpart Konami Lady. Konami Man still makes occasional cameos in Castlevania games.
- Solid Snake and Simon Belmont also qualify, due to being the heroes of some of Konami's biggest franchises.
- Warner Bros
- Bugs Bunny.
- Pixar: Luxo Jr. the lamp. Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear also qualifies, being the most popular Pixar character.