Take Care of the Kids

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

A Last Request where the "MacGuffin" in I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin happens to be human. Someone dying asks someone to please take care of their kids/family. Often implies a strong level of trust and respect between the two parties.

Precedes Children Raise You, Promotion to Parent, and Parental Substitute. Often an Ending Trope but not always. It also works well simply at the end of a Story Arc or in a Backstory.

As a Death Trope, Spoilers ahead may be unmarked. Beware. As an Ending Trope, Spoilers ahead may be unmarked. Beware.

Examples of Take Care of the Kids include:

Anime and Manga

  • Part of Crow's Backstory in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: His father-figure Robert Pearson, while trapped in a burning building, told Crow to escape, take his bike and deck, and watch over the rest of the kids he'd taken in.
    • After their Duel, a dying Bommer asked Crow to look after his younger siblings before crumbling to dust. However Crow didn't have to since Bommer was resurrected at the end of that story arc.
  • Aiolos Sagittarius in Saint Seiya gave the baby Saori to Mitsumasa Kido. It wasn't his kid though, he was trying to protect her from the evil Pope who wanted to kill her because she was Athena's reincarnation, and got killed in the effort.
  • Subverted in Full Metal Panic!! when Sousuke's mother hands him off to Kalinin to raise... who then sends him off (albeit inadvertently) to the KGB. To be trained as a child assassin.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, one of the dying Zest's last requests to Signum was for her to take care of his charges.
  • As revealed in a flashback, this was the dying request of Roy's alchemy teacher in Fullmetal Alchemist. Granted, "take care of my daughter" probably didn't mean "make her your personal assistant and bodyguard," but hey, the woman is damn good at what she does.
  • In Noir, in a Flash Back, Mireille Bouquet's mother's request to a 5-year old Kirika; who just killed Mireille's father and is about to kill her; is to take care of Mireille.
  • Rem's famous last words in Trigun are for Vash to take care of Knives. She probably didn't envision Knives to be the one who killed all her crew and tried to crash all the Seeds ships or that he would turn into a complete homicidal maniac but what can you do.


  • At the end of Tarzan, a dying Kerchak tells Tarzan to "take care of them," meaning the rest of their clan.
  • In Toy Story, when Woody is grabbed by Sid's dog Scud, he tells Buzz to "take care of Andy for me." Buzz rescues him instead.
  • A tweaked example in The Towering Inferno: An explosion knocked the scenic elevator off its track. Lisolette (Who had gone to lengths to save two children, a boy and a girl, in the tower) was holding the girl. She shoves her into someone else's arms before Lisolette falls from the glass elevator to her death.


  • In the Fairy Tale "Babes in the Woods", this is a dying man's last request made to his brother. Instead, he leaves them to die in the woods. And....that's it. They die. No gingerbread house, no fairy godmother, no sleeping giant, nothing.


  • Sense and Sensibility: The events of the novel are set in motion by the death of Henry Dashwood, who asks his wealthy son to take care of his stepmother and half-sisters. John promises he will... and doesn't.
  • In V. C. Andrews' Midnight Whispers, Dawn apparently shouted this to her brother Philip before she burned to death with her husband. He does take Christie and her brother in, but...it doesn't go over well.
  • When an airman dying in Jack Ryan's arms in Clear and Present Danger, he mentions that he has seven (soon to be eight) kids, Jack volunteers to pay the college tuition for all of them. This brings unexpected complications in the next book, The Sum of All Fears.
  • Kristina says this to her own husband in The Emigrants when they think she's going to die from scurvy.
  • Happens no less than twice between Melly and Scarlett in Gone with the Wind. The first time Melly believes she's going to die while giving birth to Beau and she asks Scarlett to raise him. The second time she really is dying and asks the same thing, saying "I gave him to you once before, remember?"
  • Averted in the novel of Les Misérables—M. Madeleine, once he takes the sick Fantine into his care, tries to bring her daughter Cosette to her, hoping that the joy of seeing Cosette again would restore her to full health. However, Javert intervenes, reveals that Madeleine is an ex-convict, and Fantine dies of shock. After her death, however, Valjean promises her he will raise Cosette like his own—and he does.
  • This happens in A Series of Unfortunate Events with the Beaudelaire kids promising to raise Kit Snicket's daughter before Kit dies giving birth.
    • A variation is mentioned in Book the 1st, when Violet remembers her parents charging her to always take care of Klaus and Sunny when each younger sibling was born, but this, of course, was years before the parents actually died. However, as they were both part of a secret organization combating vicious criminals and had already lost several comrades, they probably knew even then that there was a good chance that they might be killed and Violet would have to take over.
  • In Tolkien's Unfinished Talesof Numenor and Middleearth, Rian asks Annael to look after the newborn Tuor before she goes to die at her husbands grave.

Live Action TV

  • Merlin: Before Morgana's father died, he asked his good friend Uther to take care of Morgana. Subverted in that Morgana's "father" wasn't her real father, Uther is.
    • On the same show is a non-parental example: when faced with impending death, both Arthur and Guinevere ask Merlin to look after the other if something happens to them.
  • He wasn't planning on dying, but Dexter asked his sister Deb to take care of his son when he was getting ready to leave everything behind after Rita's death at the beginning of season five.
  • In Babylon 5, a former friend of Londo's, on the outs with the current Centauri regime, arranges for Londo to look after his children and make them part of Londo's family, shielding them from his political misfortune, after their father's death. At Londo's hands, as part of a duel, which the friend arranged specifically for this purpose.
  • A surprising version occurs in the Doctor Who episode "The Almost People". The "real" Jimmy dies trying to save everyone else and tells his ganger to take care of "their" son for him.


  • Used in The Adventures of Superman when the origin of Robin was given; in the radio version, Robin's father asked Bruce Wayne to take care of him.


  • In the theatrical version of Les Misérables, Fantine (as she is dying) hallucinates that she sees her daughter playing. Depending on the writer, she might not be aware of her impending death—however, Valjean is, and he assures her before she dies that he will raise Cosette and take care of her.

Fantine: Take my hand, the night grows ever colder; Take my child, I give her to your keeping... And tell Cosette I love her and I'll see her when I wake...

Western Animation

  • Batman the Brave And The Bold: The original Black Canary's final speech exhorts Wildcat and the Justice Society to take care of her "little angel" (who then grows up to be the next Black Canary). They train her, but also tend to act overprotective of her even when she's an adult.
  • Gargoyles: Right before allowing the Magus to put him under the same indefinite sleep spell as the rest of his clan, Goliath asks the Magus and the Princess to protect his clan's eggs. They do
  • Implied in Galaxy Rangers "Psychocrypt" when Zach decides to make his suicide run. He asks his home AI to "take care of everything." Gee-Vee doesn't quite get it, but the audience does.

Video Games

  • Early in Final Fantasy XIII Hope's mother joins Snow (along with some other rebels). She's killed (along with pretty much every other volunteer, but they're not plot relevent) and she says this just before falling to her death. Since she didn't tell him who her son was, Snow has no idea who to protect and decides to protect all the children that were to be taken on The Purge. Meanwhile Hope witnessed this and blames him for it, follows him and ends up as a party member.
  • In Final Fantasy X Jecht told Auron to take care of his son for him, just before he sacrificed himself to become the Final Aeon. In an odd variation, Auron couldn't find Jecht's son until he was dead himself.
  • And in Final Fantasy VII, Dyne asks Barret to take care of his daughter, Marlene after you defeat him.
  • Yet another Final Fantasy example: in Final Fantasy XII, Judge Gabranth, in his deathbed, asks Basch to take care of his protectee, Lord Larsa Solidor, so that war may not erupt again. Being Gabranth's brother, Basch impersonates him to protect Larsa.

Real Life

  • After being shot by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, considered the spark that started World War I, Archduke Franz Ferdinand's last words were (to his wife) "Sophie, Sophie! Don't die! Live for our children!"
    • Ironically, Sophie died about ten minutes before Franz did. The children were deported after their kingdom was destroyed and eventually spent some time at a concentration camp. Eventually, they would receive their family's castle back and one of them lived until the 1990's.
  • Recent example, 911. As many parents trapped in the doomed towers could contact their spouse/loved ones, they often made this their dying request.