Tagalong Kid

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Typically the youngest member of a Five-Man Band, the Tagalong Kid is usually the Hero's or the Chick's younger brother. He gets to save the day about once per season, but in the worst case scenarios he'll end up being The Load or Designated Victim in every other episode.

If the kid is an actual teammate instead of just a tag-along, the kid might sub in for just about any role but The Hero, with the proper tropes behind him or her.

Compare Improbable Age, Really Seven Hundred Years Old, Kid Appeal Character, Kid Sidekick, The Team Normal, The Team Wannabe. Token Mini-Moe is sort of the inverse trope; a cute kid added to appeal to older viewers through Moe in its purest form.

Not to be confused with a child who's just part of an ethnolinguistic group of people of the Philippines.

Examples of Tagalong Kid include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

    • In fact, by the time FINAL rolls around, Mamoru has arguably Taken a Level in Kid Hero; when he reappears late in the series, his purification abilities have gained some real destructive power, he gets his own Final Battle with one of the Sol Masters, and his ultimate Determinator moment in said battle empowered the rest of the team's G-Stones when the good guys were on the knife's edge of defeat. The series would almost certainly have had a Downer Ending if Mamoru hadn't been there and hadn't been as Badass as he was.
  • Max from the Advance seasons of Pokémon.
    • Team Rocket got a Tagalong Kid in the Sinnoh Arc, in the form of James' Mime Jr.
  • Conan Edogawa of Detective Conan was first considered by the Detective Boys as such, but, well... his intelligence could hardly be covered.
  • Chiru from Xabungle... by that show's standards.
  • Antonio from Romeo X Juliet, though he's quite Genre Savvy and competent as well.
  • July in Darker than Black, first to November 11 and April and, in the second season, to Hei. However, despite the Extreme Doormat attitude, he's actually an important member of the group; as a Doll, he can do reconnaissance without anyone having to actually get in the line of fire.
  • Nieble from Rave Master is introduced as a child Sieg knows who instantly starts following him around. Once Sieg passes away he ends up with Belnika at all times.
  • Rua from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's is this to the main team. He's the same age as his twin sister, Ruka, but not having any Signer powers he tends to default to this role. Much later on he Took a Level in Badass and becomes a Signer himself.
  • Kosuke Kita from Combattler V and Hiyoshi Go from Voltes V. Both are The Smart Guy and underaged.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima, Takamichi is a Badass Teacher and Reasonable Authority Figure who acts as a mentor to Negi and outside help to his group the Ala Alba. But in flashbacks, it's revealed Takamichi used to be the Tagalong Kid for Negi's father's group, the Ala Rubra.
  • Son Gohan of Dragon Ball starts off as this in the early arcs, only to subvert it in the Cell arc when he becomes the most powerful character in the story. After Gohan grows up, Goten and Trunks share the role.
  • Capella of 07-Ghost becomes this after Teito and Frau rescue him from slavery. He later leaves the group when he is reunited with his mother.
  • In Digimon Adventure, Takeru is pretty much this. Prior to Hikari joining the team, his Digimon Patamon only evolved to Adult and fought, twice. Once Hikari joins the team he becomes a lot more active, but he and Hikari still have shades of Tagalong Kids. Ironically, Patamon's evolutions were the most powerful of the team, and is probably why they didn't appear much (he was always the last to evolve—HolyAngemon didn't debut until 3 episodes before the end!).
    • In Digimon Tamers we also had Jianliang's little sister Xiaochung. Her partner Lopmon didn't get too much action in the final arc partly because of this.
  • Jojo's Bizarre Adventure loves this trope. Part 1 has Poco, a kid who is rescued from vampires by the heroes. Part 2's is Smokey Brown, a kid who is rescued from a Dirty Cop. Part 3 features an unnamed girl who is rescued from an assassin sent by the Big Bad (seeing a pattern here?) Parts 4 and 5 finally break the trend with Koichi Hirose and Narancia Ghirga, respectively, who actually have some combat skill. Part 6 then returns to form WHILE subverting it with Emporio Alnino, a kid hiding out in the prison where the story is set. His ability is arguably the weakest in the entire series, but due to circumstance he ends up being the one who finally defeats the arc's Big Bad. Part 7 finally breaks the trend; the entire cast is composed of adults and no-one is anyone's tag-along.
  • Edward is this in Cowboy Bebop, as nobody actually intended for her to join the crew after she helped them out once. She also fills the role of The Smart Guy.
  • David in Blood Plus sees Kai and Riku as this. Riku is raped and killed by Diva. Post-timeskip, Kai takes a level in badass and proceeds to make himself useful.
  • Shippo from Inuyasha; after his father is killed, Kagome decides to let him come along with her and Inuyasha on their adventures.
  • Yuli/Jun in Ronin Warriors/Yoroiden Samurai Troopers.
  • In Gall Force, Mitty. However, her knowledge of air ducts and sewer systems as a Delinquent proves useful to the military.
  • Wendy of Fairy Tail started to become this to series' resident Five-Man Band Team Natsu shortly after joining Fairy Tail, and while she is a de facto member now, considered equal with the others in-universe, she is still largely a Tagalong Kid to the readers.
  • Cattleya's son Rana in Queen's Blade, who turns himself into a Morality Pet for Airi after his mother is petrified.


Films -- Animation[edit | hide]


Films -- Live-Action[edit | hide]

  • Trish from Angels Revenge.
  • Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
  • Scott Larson in Midnight Madness He was picked up by one of the teams when he was trying to run away. He ends up saving the day twice, once by enabling the team to beat a video game, and also by using his retainer to restart a stuck elevator.
  • Frankie Muniz's character in Stay Alive.
  • It seems to be a "rule" of the Jurassic Park series that the main characters must always be accompanied by at least one kid. Jurassic Park kids tend to be The Load most of the time, but will nevertheless probably have a Chekhov's Skill which will prove useful about once in their film.
  • Kid from Six-String Samurai. Yes, Kid is actually his name.
  • Brandon from the Noah's Arc movie.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Ponyboy of The Outsiders. He's only considered a "member" of the gang because of his older brothers.
  • Lupine Wonse is a literal Tagalong Kid in Guards! Guards! The skipping run he developed to keep up with the big boys in his gang is how Vimes recognizes him as an adult leaving the scene of a crime.
  • Allie in Bones of Faerie.
  • Doc Wilde, a Doc Savage parody, brings his kids with him on his adventures. He's been raising them to be just like him.
  • The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz is an inversion. Sure, Dorothy's not a native, and at 11, she's likely the youngest of the bunch. Still, it's obvious that she's the one in charge.
  • Gavroche in Les Misérables is this to the students at the barricade.
  • Adam's younger brother James in Shatter Me who he and Juliette have no choice but to take on the run with them to stop Warner from harming him.


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • River Tam on Firefly, although she has a much bigger role in the movie.
  • Dawn on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though she is essential to the plot in Season 5, where she first appears.
  • Justin in Power Rangers Turbo is literally a kid who tagged along and was given Ranger Powers. For reasons that are never adequately explained in the series, he morphs into a fully grown adult blue Ranger, unless he takes off his helmet, which shrinks him down to his normal size until he puts it back on.
  • Robin's younger brother Much from Robin of Sherwood.
  • Debatably Kate from Robin Hood. Her age was unclear, yet the thirty-year old actress seemed to be channelling a bratty teenage girl.
  • Des from Republic of Doyle.
  • Alexis Castle on Castle. She also doubles as Teen Genius and provides lots and lots of helpful insight to her Man Child father. And when she shows up at the police station, everyone minds their language.
  • Dustin in Zoey 101
  • Battlestar Galactica: Boxey ends up being this in "Gun At Ice Planet Zero" and "The Magnificent Warriors" but contributes a little in "Fire In Space", thought Muffit proves more useful.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Vaan in Final Fantasy XII—a bit unusual in that he's the viewpoint character. Also, his eventual role in the group is dependent on how the player develops his skills (though it's easiest to send him along the Fragile Speedster route).
  • In The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, winning all Arena matches saddles you with the "Adoring Fan", a small boy who follows you around gushing about your deeds. Due to his catchphrase of "By Azura, By Azura, By Azura!", amoung other things, he's almost universally considered The Scrappy. In fact, it's become popular to take him to high ledges and make him fall to his death, though he (un)fortunately respawns.
  • Petey in Bully.
  • Fire Emblem : Seisen no Keifu : You've got two of them in the First Generation : Oifaye, who's the army's Teen Genius Strategist, and Shannan who starts as a James Bondage. Both of them become badasses in the Second Generation.
  • Adell's younger siblings, Taro and Hanako, from Disgaea 2 fill this role, while also acting as Those Two Guys for the party. Taro and Hanako double as The Big Guy (gameplay-wise) and The Smart Guy (story-wise), respectively.
  • Mission Vao and Zaalbar from Knights of the Old Republic. Mission is more obvious, being Hot-Blooded and a Fragile Speedster (her dexterity is very high), with a bit of the "genius" as her true strengths come from being more well-rounded in the skills department than the droids. She's also higher on the Karma Meter than the party's Jedi (tied with Carth, surprisingly). Zaalbar is definitely The Big Guy, who's actually marginally higher on the Karma Meter than Jolee, but still light-sided. He doesn't really appear to be a kid (Wookiees age differently than humans), but his interactions with Mission, and the fact that he's constantly referred to as "young" mean you likely have two adolescents along for the ride.
  • Pearl from Phoenix Wright, who, in the second game, is pretty much Maya when Maya isn't being framed for murder or kidnapped.
  • By exploiting a glitch, you can get six-year-old Bumble to tag along after you throughout Fallout 3.
  • Hope of Final Fantasy XIII. Unlike some kids, though, he's incredibly useful, having the highest magic stat in the game.
  • Aila to Geddoe's mercenary group in Suikoden III, at least in the mercenaries' opinion. She was a warrior in her home village, but still young and naive compared to the rest, and at the end of the game Geddoe doesn't let her join the group officially, but he does let her stay around, making her an official Tagalong Kid.
  • Ken Amada from Persona 3 who fits the Cute Shotaro Boy trope to a T. He most idealistic of the group, and in battle serves as a Combat Medic, with empathsis on the One Hit KO Hama skills. However, this is post-Character Development after he gives up his vedetta against a party member who killed (accidentaly) his mother.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

Dr McNinja: Do you think I run around with a twelve-year-old boy just because I like his inferior grasp of girls and higher level math? Do you think I left him with my psychotic parents because I wanted him to die? No, you undead pale ponce! Gordito is the effing badass kid.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Jade, from the Whateley Universe, looks 11. She's actually 14 and most people who meet her think she's the Tagalong Kid and The Load of Team Kimba. She's not actually.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Tommy (alias Number T) of Codename: Kids Next Door -- almost promoted to Sixth Ranger.
  • Dil of Rugrats. One episode revolves around the older babies giving him an initiation into "the big babies".
  • Hiroki and Johnny in the later seasons of Code Lyoko.
  • Enzo in Re Boot, at least the first few seasons.
  • Ray Thompson, in the episode "Legends" from Justice League. For the most part, he's simply a useless sidekick who cheers on the heroes featured in that episode, the Justice Guild. The twist here is that the Guild and in fact the entire city are an illusion created by Ray, who in reality is a mutated psychic child living out his fantasies by warping the world to his whims.
  • Tails on Sat AM Sonic the Hedgehog, which provides for some Character Development as he trains under his Big Brother Mentor to become a more effectual Freedom Fighter.
  • Sheila's younger brother Bobby, from the animated Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Sari, for the first two seasons of Transformers Animated.
  • The Histeria! episode "The Legion of Super Writers" has Loud Kiddington play this role to the team of the episode's title.
  • Hanna Barbera had a lot of these in their heyday.
    • Jan and Jace in the original Space Ghost cartoons essentially were two kids who went along on Space Ghost's adventures.
    • Jonny Quest himself, in the original Jonny Quest cartoon. When he aged up to teenhood in the later series The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, he was much more actively involved in the adventures. Though he got into many scrapes as a kid, too.
    • Pete, Dr. Quinn Darien's nephew on The Godzilla Power Hour, although he has the benefit of being the main means of talking with Godzooky and, by proxy, Godzilla.
  • Spinner in the Clutch Cargo cartoon series. Why did Clutch need to look after a little boy anyway?
  • The Thunderkittens in Thundercats and ThunderCats (2011).
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Spike the baby dragon serves as assistant and de facto little brother to Twilight Sparkle, and frequently comes along on the ponies' adventures.
  • Max LeBlanc in Night Hood. Might also qualify as a child's version of a Dude in Distress, due to getting into trouble every other episode and having Lupin come and save him. One episode revolved around him getting kidnapped and Lupin had to rob Fort Knox in order to get him back.
  • Captain Marvel on Young Justice, with the added twist that nobody realizes that he's a kid. The team seems to assume he's spying on them for the Justice League, when in reality he's just an Ascended Fanboy.