Would Hurt a Child
"You’ll want your child, I expect. I’ll send him to you when he’s born. With a trebuchet."—Jaime Lannister, from A Song of Ice and Fire
In fiction and in the media in general, both heroes and villains agree on one thing: they Wouldn't Hurt a Child.
This creed exists for various reasons: it may be because Children Are Innocent and thus should be protected and kept out of harm's way at all costs; it may be because, to Media Watchdogs, seeing a child being brutalized is Harmful to Minors thus should be avoided; may also be because even writers mostly disagree with the idea of harming a child.
But sometimes, some people just don't agree with that. Or just don't care. And, they do hurt children, sometimes even kill them, in defiance of the rule of Infant Immortality. Indeed, the fact of harming a completely harmless and defenseless human being that is a child usually comes off as the ultimate act of villainy and it takes a very specially evil character to do this.
Needless to say, this trope is almost always a Kick the Dog moment and can easily get a character into Complete Monster territory. Hence, the presence of Would Hurt a Child is often telltale of a Crapsack World or at least a Darker and Edgier series. However, it is surprisingly easy to subvert this trope simply by using Kids Are Cruel (the flip side of Children Are Innocent) and combining it with Pay Evil Unto Evil. Want to go all the way? Make the children creepy or, even better, make them Enfants Terribles and, this time, hurting said children will look much less as a Moral Event Horizon crossing, even though there will always be some Moral Guardians or Papa Wolf/Mama Bear to complain.
In Western works, this trope is rare and almost always done off-panel when played straight (read: when the violence towards the child isn't being stopped in the nick of time and causes actual damage). In Japanese fiction, child brutality is more common.
Important Note: This trope is about adults physically hurting children, fatally or not, be they related or not. The following are not examples: slapping, butt-warming and general discipline from parents to their children (that's Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off), psychological/verbal abuse (very common but not that trope), abduction (only applies if the child dies or gets effectively hurt), child on child violence (that's Kids Are Cruel), exploitation for profit (that is Financial Abuse). Violence to teenagers isn't an example either since teenagers are physically stronger than children and lack the "completely defenseless" element, especially if Teens Are Monsters. However, teenagers harming children applies.
There is also an interesting Double Standard when it comes to characters applying for this trope, since they are almost Always Male. Rarely will women being described as being physically violent to children. Even rarer are the instances when they actually kill them. Indeed, killing children is among the few things that permanently prevent a woman from a convenient High Heel Face Turn. Extra points if the killing is done directly and at the woman's hands (i.e. stabbing, strangling etc...). Compare Paedo Hunt, another child abuse trope where female perpetrators are similarly unheard of.
A subtrope of Kick the Dog. See also Child-Hater, who hates kids but isn't necessarily physically abusive. Contrast Infant Immortality and Wouldn't Hurt a Child. Compare Kids Are Cruel, Children Are Innocent. Related to Eats Babies and Child Eater.
No real life examples, please; if you have evidence that this has happened or is happening in real life, tell the police, not us.
- In Elfen Lied, Bandou has no qualms about hitting and maiming little girls. Lucy herself murders a bunch. Some were horrible bastards. Others weren't.
- In Saint Seiya, the Twelve Zodiac Temples Arc. Pegasus Seiya and Dragon Shiryu arrive to Cancer's Temple, and confront Cancer Gold Saint Deathkmask. The walls of said temple are covered by grim human faces, which are promptly explained to be the faces of the people Deathmask has killed in his battles. Seiya and Shiryu are horrorized when they realize that among those faces there are children faces. When they demand an explanation from Deathmask as to why he'd kill children, he simply states that he doesn't know how that happened, that they must have been killed along with his enemies without him realizing. Then, he calls those murders "valious but unimportant sacrifices".
- In Devilman, Amon doesn't care who is in his path. Child, baby... It's all good as long as it bleeds!
- And so do his enemies, to be honest. Poor little Sachiko and Miki's younger brother.
- Berserk: To all Apostles, humans are food, toys or a combination of both. Children? They eat babies so...
- Guts himself, at one point before fighting Rosine, had to take on her whole army of elves which was constituted of... young children she had previously kidnapped. Not to mention his actual fight against Rosine herself, or that he used a still-human child as bait for those monster elves.
- In Trigun, Wolfwood kills Zazie, who looks like a very young child (and is a child in the anime - in the manga, it's both complicated and frigging weird).
- There's also the Gung-Ho Gun Monev the Gale, where after the shootout some of the corpses laid about were children.
- Female example: In the manhwa Jackals, Roxy bisects 7 year-old Giulio Montero in one blow. Notable in that she did it directly and with her own hands. Subverted in that the child is actually an Enfant Terrible.
- Ladd Russo in Baccano! shoots a kid in the face with a shotgun for the hell of it. Vino also tortures said child, though since he had just watched Ladd shoot him in the face, he knew it wouldn't stick. And Czes had tried to get Ladd to kill everyone, so in Vino's mind he deserved it.
- The villains of Dragon Ball in all its incarnations, though the kids in question can dish it back out as well.
- If Dragon Ball counts, so do the Anti Villains of the second season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, who ripped a (non-vital) organ out of a nine-year old girl's chest while she was still conscious, and later had no qualms about fighting her and her just as young friends at full power. They had a good reason to do that (at least, they couldn't see a better way to save an Ill Girl who is around the same age of the kind they attacked) and the children in question could dish it out just as well as DB heroes.
- And then we have Striker S aka the third season, where the villains strap the six-year-old Vivio to an Artifact of Doom and torture her to power it up. Some didn't seem pleased, but they didn't do a lot to stop it either.
Subaru: But this is bad, Nove! Even if both of you agreed on the fight, you shouldn't have been so harsh on a little girl.
Nove: Give me a break... I was beaten up quite badly too! It still hurts all over!
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni has 9-year-old Maria Ushiromiya regularly killed off alongside the rest of the cast. While the first four times were relatively nice (explosion, explosion, strangulation, poison), the fifth time was a gaping neck wound, and the sixth was brutal decapitation. She keeps coming back to life due to a Groundhog Day Loop.
- Maria's mother, Rosa, also physically beats her.
- Its predecessor, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, does this even more often. Although some instances are "simply" teen-on-teen, almost every world ends with little Rika being disemboweled by Takano, who is an adult woman, and in one of the most gruesome arcs of the series, Shion first does a full-blown crucifixion of Satoko, then stabs her repeatedly to death.
- Another straighter example, especially notable for featuring an adult woman, is when Rina attempts to strangle Rena after beating her up.
- Shion also brutally beats up Satoko for being too clingy to Satoshi, until Rika and Rena pull a Go Through Me, and then she gets Punched Across the Room by a very pissed off Satoshi. While Satoko was extremely dependent on Satoshi, it's still no excuse for Shion almost killing a little girl in the middle of a Yandere tantrum.
- Black Butler: The villains of the Circus of Fear arc. This is especially yurk because the actual folks are pretty nice, but they know what their 'father' is doing with the kids they kidnap for him.
- A rare occasion that isn't a Kick the Dog moment: Maki's death in Darker than Black. He may be a kid, but he doesn't act it and is also a jealous Yandere and a Contractor with no qualms about blowing up relative innocents (let alone the guy his boss/crush needs to keep alive to prevent a genocide), so it's actually rather satisfying to see the arrogant brat underestimate November 11, whose partner he'd hospitalized and wind up Impaled with Extreme Prejudice for his trouble.
- In Naruto, Nagato kills every person associated with Hanzo, including Hanzo's children and the children of Hanzo's loyalists, after Nagato wrestles control of Amegakure from Hanzo. Nagato, however, seemed indifferent to their deaths, as they were his precaution to quell any possible rebellion over his leadership in the future.
- Tobi took a baby Naruto hostage, nearly spearing him with a kunai and blowing him up in the process.
- Orochimaru once performed an experiment trying to infuse the DNA of the First Hokage into 60 children. One, Yamato, survived and gained his power. The rest (and to Orochimaru's knowledge until much later, all of them) died.
- In Black Lagoon, Balalaika will come down like the wrath of God on anyone who dares to torture and kill her men. Even if they happen to be children. Doesn't mean she has to like it, though.
- In the anime, a flashback to the Afghan war shows her shifting her sniper fire away from a child running towards its mother. So this trope is in effect, but not to a ridiculous degree — presumably she'd have no qualms about killing a Child Soldier, but it wouldn't be the same with a civilian child.
- Revy herself is not above hurting kids either, though she usually has to be provoked into it. As Dutch says when he orders Rock to take over watching Garcia from a pissed-off Revy, "not a lot of maternal instinct there."
- No one in the manga and second anime of Fullmetal Alchemist seems to have a problem hitting Pride aka Selim Bradley. Then again, given what the little bastard is...Pride of course is still able to use this to his advantage, as evidenced by townspeople running to his rescue when he's attacked by Heinkel.
- Shou Tucker fuses his own young daughter, Nina, and her pet dog into a chimaera in order to show off another talking chimaera (the first one was made from his wife) and keep his license as a State Alchemist. Then Scar mercy kills her.
- Envy disguised as an officer deliberately killed an Ishbalan child, starting the Ishbalan Massacre.
- In the first anime, Bradley/Pride kills his own son by breaking his neck. In this continuity, Selim is actually a normal kid and his real son.
- In the same anime no one seems to mind beating Wrath, who resembles a 5 - 10 year old child, around.
- In Zeta Gundam, the Titans fire their colony laser, destroying a colony in the process. Women and children are shown dying. Though not direct killing, it is a brutal sight.
- Not to mention the implications of their gas attacks! When we're shown the gassed colonies, we see corpses of children among the ruins.
- Turned upside down on ZZ Gundam however, when Glemy's battle with Judau winds up crashing a mobile suit into the house where Leina and Puru were held. He is shown to be remorseful but is too prideful to stop his quest for power.
- Also, at some point Haman shoots Leina. Which MASSIVELY pisses Judau off.
- Grings Kodai has absolutely no qualms about harming Zoroark's infant son, even coming right out and saying he'd kill Zorua and nearly does. Probably his Moral Event Horizon, if he hadn't crossed it far earlier.
- Pokemon Hunter J doesn't care if she kills Ash to get her target Pokemon.
- The episode "Current Events" actually has Team Rocket try to kill Ash with their Pokemon, but they pay the price when Chikorita evolves into Bayleef.
- They do it again in Cutting the Ties that Bind!, when they have their Pokemon attack a completely defenseless Ash when he's hanging off their hot-air balloon, several meters up in the air. Ash actually fell off, and he would've died if not for Grovyle going Papa Wolf and evolving into Sceptile, which also gets him out of a recent Heroic BSOD.
- Fuuma Kotarou from Nabari no Ou blows 4-year-old Miharu's face off for no apparent reason. While smiling.
- Agon of Eyeshield 21 threw a football at the knees of a kid in a wheelchair, thus cementing his status as the series' "villain" (or closest they have).
- Surprisingly, Kyoraku from Bleach immediately attacked Wonderweiss after the latter stabbed Ukitake through the chest. It was the only time Kyoraku visibly lost his cool.
- Kensei also attacked Wonderweiss, saying, "Sorry, but I'm not mature enough to hold back against a kid!" However, Wonderweiss arguably provoked him because he was beating the crap out of Mashiro at the time.
- Even if the movies are Filler, we shouldn't forget Kokuto practically killing Ichigo's sister Yuzu in the fourth movie.
- Actually, MANY Hollows of all kinds (mere Hollows, Arrancars, Espadas, etc.) show quite the delight in killing or harming children. We have Grand Fisher killing Ichigo's mother Masaki when in reality he was aiming to kill and eat a 9-year-old Ichigo, the first Hollow of the series targeting both Karin and Yuzu alongside a still depowered Isshin, Shrieker using the soul of little Yuichi Shibata (who is around Karin and Yuzu's age) in a horribly cruel game of cat and mouse, Numb Chandelier infecting teenagers to force them beat up each other while threatening Tatsuki and Orihime with horrible tortures, young!Nel getting kicked around and almost killed by Dordoni and also being Forced to Watch as Nnoitra and Tesla torture Ichigo.
- Inuyasha has a few of these:
- Naraku has no concerns about attacking anyone and anything in his quest (which has nothing to do with material power or world domination, he's simply miserable and wants everyone else share in that misery). He attacks and tries to kill Rin; he kills, resurrects, enslaves and manipulates Kohaku; some of his detachments have the look of children (such as Hakudoushi, Kanna and the baby) and he has no hesitation in using and discarding them. This is before we get to the collateral damage his activities have on random villages and low-level youkai populations.
- Kouga, although we only see one direct example of this. He's introduced to the story having destroyed several human villages and in the process of destroying another village - Rin's home, which is also Rin's introduction to the storyline. On his orders, the wolves wipe out the entire village, including Rin. After that, he's more interested in fighting Naraku and winning Kagome's heart to target humans again. When his people are revisited later on in the manga, the subject of them being human-killers is briefly mentioned although not specifically in relation to Kouga's past.
- Kagura tries to be this, but fails. She kidnaps Rin on Naraku's order but never lifts a finger against her otherwise, and even when Rin's in her presence again without Sesshoumaru around, she has no interest in hurting her. She's ordered to protect Naraku's baby and, despite loathing it, she does reluctantly look after it. Hakudoushi is far crueller towards her than she ever is to him, and the detachment she appears to be closest to is Kanna of all things. In the end, she meets her death when ordered to kill Kohaku - she sacrifices herself to save his life.
- Quite a common thing in Yu-Gi-Oh, the most frequent victims being Yugi himself, and to a lesser extent, Jonouchi.
- In Sailor Moon S, Chibiusa has her heart ripped out by Mistress 9. This is also played with later when Uranus and Neptune try to kill Mistress 9 as she inhabits the body of 12-year-old Hotaru, only for Usagi to defend her. This sort of works.
- Also, many of the victims of the villains are children. In a memorable episode of the R season, babies were either drained of their life energy (with Manami being the only one unharmed due to Mom's intervention) or used as hostages by the monster of the week. Too bad it didn't count on Mercury getting a Mid-Season Upgrade out of pure anger.
- And we shouldn't forget that, with the exception of the Outers (Pluto since the beginning, Stars!Haruka and Stars!Michiru), the scouts are all teenage girls who fall in the 14-16 year old range.
- At first, Johan Liebert appears to be an aversion of this. But then you find out that he just manipulates them into killing themselves. And then he threatens to shoot an 8-10 year old boy in the head if Dr. Tenma doesn't shoot him first. And he would definitely do it.
- And then of course there's the child he nearly manipulated into committing suicide by telling him his mother was in the Red Light District and sending him there with the thought that if no one claims him, he's unwanted and has no reason to live. The child is just about to jump off of a bridge when Tenma and Grimmer find him and convince him that he actually is wanted in the world. Easily one of Johan's most despicable acts in the entire series, which is really saying something.
- Kyouko's Missing Mom in Skip Beat! is shown in one flashback for have slapped her six-year-old daughter when the girl tried to comfort her. Normally she was 'just' emotionally abusive and then she abandoned her, but this incident stands out.
- Code Geass has both sides slaughtering kids either off-screen or onscreen. On one hand, the Britannian Army kills Japanese/Eleven of all ages during the first episode's raid and the Euphinator Incident. On the other, episode 14 of R2 has Lelouch and his group doing likewise in the Geass Cult Massacre, since many of the Cult members are very young Tyke Bombs.
- A nobleman shoots a Street Urchin to death in Rose of Versailles, just because he could, despite the pleas of a teenage girl. Oscar then shoots him in the hand so he'll never be able to use weapons.
- And in-story, the Raid of La Bastille started when a peasant boy got shot to death in front of his parents. For worse, it was almost by mistake since a dumbass soldier wanted to shoot the kid's father and got the shot wrong.
- Many cases in Detective Conan involve children getting hurt or killed by Asshole Victims. I.e., we have two schoolteachers strangling a girl no older than 10 to death because sHe Knows Too Much and then making it look like suicide; another case has Conan and his friends being chased around by a Serial Killer in a library during the night.
- In the Axis Powers Hetalia movie, Paint it white, one of the victims of the Pict aliens is Sealand, a micro-nation who for all effects has the looks and the mindset of a 12-year-old boy. Subverted in the Hetalia Bloodbath 2010, where it looks like he'll be kidnapped... but he shows his Badass Adorable ID and applies Defeat Means Friendship to his attacker.
- The Homunculi of Busou Renkin liked to eat children, as their meat was more tender than adults. Tokiko was the only survivor of a homunculus attack on her grade school when she was 10.
- 12-year-old Chris Thorndyke from Sonic X is a Creator's Pet, yeah... but it still does NOT mean that he deserves to be beaten up by Shadow and later kidnapped and brutally tortured, alongside Cosmo, by Black Narcissus.
- From Itsuwaribito, there is Iriya and his group of bandits, who slaughter a group of orphan children during a raid because they dislike leaving malice behind. Iriya even gloats about how they begged for their lives.
- One Piece has Captain Morgan ordering a little girl be executed for seeing Zoro. Arlong and his treatment towards Nami, which started when she was as much 10; In a flashback he also hits the slave girl Koala for smiling too much. Mr 1 and Miss Double Finger also attacks a young boy when he discovers that the king was framed by Baroque Works.
- There's also the Marines, who following the death of Gold Roger, searched islands he may have frequented and killed any babies born within nine months of his execution. His lover Portgas D. Rouge knew they would do this, and held Roger's child in her womb for 15 months through sheer willpower.
- The Gorgon Sisters were sold into slavery and then tortured into borderline insanity by the World Nobles when the eldest, Boa Hancock was twelve years old.
- Caesar Clown has no problem experimenting on little kids or getting them addicted to drugs so they won't run away.
- Maria from Witchblade has no problem with killing her teammates or the science institute trainees, due mostly to her own messed up childhood and not being much older herself. (They begin training at 12) She even attempts to kill Rihoko out of jealousy for receiving more of her (biological) mother's love even though they'd never met. (Her mother treated Maria completely as an experiment her whole life instead)
- In Cowboy Bebop where the evil little prick was rendered immortal during an accident involving a warp gate struck by a meteor and it was the only thing that could hurt him. He had been crippling or taking crippled older men who all looked similar and forcibly inserting himself as their son to keep his cover, passing his 'fathers' off as the terrorist Zebra. Spike knows full well by the time he guns him down what he really was.
- Accidentally occurs AND played straight in Outlaw Star due to both of the children being space pirates. The first is when Hilda, who is falling out of control towards the sun in episode 4, latches onto the Creepy Child magician girl as she is levitating towards the OLS and pulls the pin on a grenade, taking them both out. The second occurrence is when Gene and company destroy a pirate ship outside a space station that was hunting them, which was piloted by the little girl and her two cats Jim had recently befriended. He returns to the fountain to wait for them but doesn't realise why they never showed up, presuming her parents had taken her with them early.
- In Pokémon Special, this is sort of a given seeing how the heroes are usually kids and the villains are adults, but it is worth mentioning that it's a rather common tactic in this 'verse to aim for the trainer when possible.
- Other manga are keen to this too. For example in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure Mitsumi is blackmailed into doing this to a 9 - 11 year old Hareta - forcing her powerful Pokemon to give both the kid and his Pokemon a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Other members of Team Galactic also don't mind beating on him.
- In Ginga Densetsu Weed, Thunder and Lector, the Doberman Pinscher assassins for Hougen, threaten to kill Teru if his father didn't kill Kyoshiro. It was also kinda personal, since Kyoshiro was the one who tore off Teru's father's ear.
- In the second season of Yu-Gi-Oh ARC-V, Yuya starts to think Declan qualifies, as he's forcing his younger brother Riley to compete in the Friendship Cup, something that has Riley terrified. (The World Half Empty setting of this season is the Synchro Dimension; Yuya has learned that being eliminated from this laughably named Friendship Cup means being sentenced to life of slave labor). However, Yuya has misinterpreted the cause of Riley's fear; he's afraid he might win his match against Senji, his next opponent, who had befriended him and offered him donuts.
- Johann Schmidt A.K.A The Red Skull holding a gun to a baby's head. What's even worse is that he killed the baby anyway, even after his demands are met!
- That's the Ultimate Red Skull, who wasn't Johann Schmidt, but Ultimate Cap's son. Not that the Earth-616 Red Skull is any less evil.
- The Joker has been known to do this, just ask Jason Todd...
- In one occasion, he and Catwoman took a whole rich family hostage, including a very young Ill Girl. Joker was completely ready to kill the little girl in front of her father and older brother, but a very pissed-off Catwoman stops him and screams that this isn't what they came for.
- Perhaps Joker's most notorious moment of this came during the "No Man's Land" mega-arc, where he plotted to kill all the newborns in Gotham City on New Year's Day, just so the Joker could destroy the already fragile spirit of Gotham's citizens.
- So has Two-Face. Ask all the Robins.
- In one occasion, he and Catwoman took a whole rich family hostage, including a very young Ill Girl. Joker was completely ready to kill the little girl in front of her father and older brother, but a very pissed-off Catwoman stops him and screams that this isn't what they came for.
- Aquaman's arch-enemy Black Manta won notoriety by killing the hero's infant son.
- The Scarlet Witch from The Avengers stood in awe as Pandemonium deformed and grafted her children on his own arms.
- The child abductor in Watchmen.
- Winnowill in Elf Quest imprisons, humiliates and tortures the Wolfriders, but it's only when she threatens Cutter and Leetah's children that she really crosses the line.
- One of the first things the Plutonian does in Irredeemable is vaporize a child.
- Frau Totenkinder of Fables kills her own son and countless other infants for power - even in the mundy world, she funds abortion clinics.
- The plot of That Yellow Bastard revolves around a Cowboy Cop going after a Complete Monster that preys on children.
- Carnage from Spider-Man no qualms about who he kills, children included. During his rampages, child corpses are often among the dead, and in his youth he torched an orphanage.
- Sabretooth from X-Men is known to attack, murder, and sometimes even eat children. In one issue, Deadpool is in a cabin with him and he opens a closet to find a little girl tied up. When he asks about this, Sabretooth replies that he's saving her for later.
- Dodge from Locke and Key has no problem pushing a child under a school bus because he's figured out too much.
Film - Animated
- Reconstructed in The Incredibles. Helen has to explain to Dash and Violet that yes, real villains would hurt a child. And they do. Then again, the kids can fight back...
- The other PG Pixar Film, Up, has the villain send dogs to attack the kid there, and before he died, almost shot the kid as well. Pixar seems to tell people that villains WILL harm and kill children if they have the option.
- Speaking of Pixar, a plan involving Randall and Waternoose in Monsters, Inc. may not have specifically aimed at killing children, but the results of the Scream Extractor seem anything but harmless.
- The Great Mouse Detective: Ratigan is strongly claimed to have done this with drowning widows and orphans and trying to come up with something worse than that! Confirmed close to the end when he kicked Olivia off a large gear in Big Ben and she almost got crushed between two huge gears! Good thing Basil saved her before that happened!
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Judge Claude Frollo, in the first few minutes of the film, kills a woman on-screen and on the front steps of the Notre Dame cathedral, because she was a Gypsy carrying what he thought was a bundle of stolen goods. When he found out that it wasn't that, but a baby that had some deformities, he declared "A monster!" and decided to throw the baby down a well! If the Arch-deacon hadn't intervened, Frollo would have done it!
Film - Live Action
- Freddy Got Fingered: Played for "laughs" in a scene where Gordon (Tom Green in the key "protagonist"(?) role) takes the umbilical cord of a newborn baby and - while still attached to the infant - twirls him around like a toy, as though it would do no harm.
- Rare Female Example in The Crow: City Of Angels: Kali, The Dragon to Judah Earl, kills Ashe's very young son without batting a lash.
- Evilenko: The whole film revolves around this.
- Off-screen in Léon: The Professional, Mathilda's young brother is killed.
- Frank D'Amico in the final showdown of Kick-Ass.
- Also done to Hit Girl by her own father (of course, it was just training).
- One of the earliest evil deeds Frank does in Once Upon a Time in the West is kill a child. He also subjected Harmonica to a horrible torment at a young age, too, forcing him to support his older brother, such that if the younger collapses, the older will die by hanging. Henry Fonda, the actor who played Frank, was initially reluctant to take another role in a western, having been in so many already and always playing one of the good guys. That is, until director Sergio Leone told him, "Picture this: the camera shows a gunman from the waist down pulling his gun and shooting a running child. The camera pans up to the gunman's face and... it's Henry Fonda." Fonda signed on in a heartbeat.
- Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street sentences a little boy to death by hanging.
- As does Cutler Beckett in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. And it's a short drop. With a sudden stop.
- In Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, a group of Jedi younglings turns to Anakin for advice during the raid on the Jedi Temple, unaware that Anakin is the one leading the raid. Cue the ignition of Anakin's lightsaber.
- That wasn't Anakin's first time, either; in Attack of the Clones he slaughtered an entire tribe of Sand People ("Not just the men, but the women and children too!") in revenge for his mother's death.
- Captain Vidal in Pan's Labyrinth who fatally shoots his 12 year old stepdaughter in the stomach, which makes his comeuppance right afterwards even more satisfying.
- The Penguin crosses the Moral Event Horizon in Batman Returns when he tries to have every firstborn son of Gotham City, including very young children and babies, kidnapped and drowned in the sewer as revenge for his parents having tried to do the same to him long ago for being different.
- From the Watchmen movie, there's the child abductor the Rorschach kills, as in the comic version listed above, and also the Comedian, who gives us this line:
Comedian:"I've done some bad things.. I've done bad things to women..(sob) I even shot kids! But that was fucking war..."
- In I, Claudius, children get executed without so much as a blink. When reminded that it's against the law to execute a virgin, "Well, make sure they're not virgins when you kill them!"
- In Heroic Trio, the Big Bad is kidnapping babies in order to raise an evil army. At one point, he pretty randomly kills a baby.
- In Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, the Headless Horseman is sent to murder the midwife of the town and her family. He gets the dad right away and the midwife hides her young son under the floor to protect him. She's killed next. The Horseman seems about ready to walk away...before stabbing his sword into the floor. The next scene shows him dropping something into his sack as he leaves the house.
- Another scene involves an autopsy of one of the female victims. When examining her abdomen, they notice a strange stab wound. It turns out the Horseman also beheaded her fetus.
- Averted in a flashback scene where the Headless Horseman merely shushes the Archer girls rather than kill them.
- In Michael Jackson's Moonwalker movie, the bad guy, Mr. Big, is pushing around and slapping a girl right in front of Michael simply to piss him off.
- In The Untold Tale, the Complete Monster main character kills an entire family due to a money dispute. It would be one thing if the family only had one child but the filmmakers saw fit to give the husband and wife as many kids as possible.
- Mr. Goodkat in Lucky Number Slevin was brought in for one last job in New York City because nobody else, not even the rest of the muscle, would accept the assignment of killing a kid. He could not do it, either, and he wound up raising the child and helping him take revenge.
- Pretty much everyone evil in The Mummy Returns is willing to harm or kill Alex. Ankh-Su-Namon threatens to put poisonous snakes in his bed and Lock-Nah actually does stab his hand and only misses because Alex is wearing the bracelet of Anubis. He always manages to escape serious damage, but there's still plenty of evidence that evil does not have standards here.
- Actually the only people that didn't harm Alex were the Big Bads Imhotep and The Scorpion King. All they ever did was scare him. Imhotep with his face, and well the scorpion king. Imhotep even comforted the kid though it was rejected rudely by Alex. The only thing close to harming him was when he informed Loch Nah that the bracelet was all they needed. Though before then he went through great lengths to protect Alex. From mind throwing two of his henchmen who were shooting at him, to berating Loch Nah when he found out that Alex was leading the O'Connells.
- In the third Omen movie, The Final Conflict, a now-grown Damien (Sam Neill) gets his followers to kill all babies born on a certain date, in order to stave off the Messiah. These followers include Scouts ("We're here to do our good deed for the day") and a priest who drowns a baby (offscreen) during a baptism.
- Two-Face in The Dark Knight flips a coin to decide whether or not to shoot Gordon's son.
- Children of the Corn: Of course said children have been brainwashed into thinking anyone over 19 should be killed. Burt and Vicky mostly attack the older children but the ending has a hilarious moment where they knock out a girl no older than eight (she was coming at them with a scythe).
Burt: Should we do something for her?
Vicky: Let's send her a get-well card from Seattle.
- In the first Home Alone movie, Harry and Marv repeatedly threaten to kill Kevin, and would have managed it at the end if Marley hadn't stopped them. In the second Home Alone movie, Harry has a gun at Kevin's head and is about to do him in once and for all (right before the pigeon lady distracts the crooks by dousing them with birdseed and letting the pigeons do the rest).
Harry: I never made it to the sixth grade, kid. And it doesn't look like you're gonna, either.
- The Scorpio Killer from Dirty Harry shoots a young African boy in the face (offscreen).
- Not to mention holds a bus full of children hostage later in the movie.
- In the opening scene of The Untouchables, gangster Frank Nitti leaves a bagful of bombs in a soda bar, right next to a little girl who's talking to the barkeep. Although the bombing was a for-profit crime, there's no obvious reason why he couldn't have waited until the girl left the premises before blowing the place up.
- In Killer Klowns From Outer Space, an Affectionate Parody of movies like The Blob and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, a moment of true suspense occurs when one of the klowns tries to lure a young girl out of a burger joint so it can kill her. Luckily, her mother steps in at the last minute and saves her.
- Recess: School's Out shows us that the villians will attack children, though they fail for the most part.
- The aliens in Alien S.
- In The Night of the Hunter, Reverend Powell threatens his stepchildren with torture in order to find out where they hid the money their dad had stolen in a bank robbery. He would have done it, too, if they hadn't escaped. The worst part? He wasn't just going to torture them. He was going to torture them in front of each other so that one of them would spill the beans in order to get him to stop torturing the other.
- Max Cady spends the entire movie plotting to rape a little girl, and he almost succeeds at the end.
- Jacinto in The Devil's Backbone threatens and harms the children of the orphanage. He threatens Carlos by cutting his cheek with a knife, and that's the least of his offenses. He drowned an injured boy because he feared he will be blamed, and ultimately blows up the orphanage, killing some and injuring many children just to get to open a safe.
- In the movie Richie Rich, the villains are more than willing to shoot children, turn them into bedpans and blast them with lasers.
- The movie Eyewitness (or Sudden Terror in the US) is about a young boy (Mark "Oliver Twist" Lester) who witnesses an assassination, and the assassins will kill anyone in their path to get him - including our hero's friend Ann-Marie, a little girl around his age.
- In The Raid, one of the SWAT troopers shoots a young lookout in an attempt to stop him blowing their cover. Unfortunately, it fails.
- Both Darken Rahl and Emperor Jangang in The Sword of Truth.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, you can pretty much assume that any villian will do this:
- Queen Cersei has as many of her husband's bastard children murdered as possible, including an infant still at her mother's breast. Also, when Tyrion Lannister asks the sellsword Bronn if he would go as far as murder an infant without asking questions, Bronn replies, "Not without asking questions. I'd ask, how much?". Ouch.
- Don't forget that Cersei's daughter Myrcella gets horribly disfigured by Darkstar, her ear cut off and her cheek slashed to the bone.
- There are the slave children crucified to show Daenerys the way to Mereen.
- Robert's attempted assassination of the 14-year-old, pregnant Daenerys almost certainly falls under this.
- Arya loses two friends to this trope: Mycah is killed by the Hound, while Lommy made the mistake of believing that Gregor Clegane's men Wouldn't Hurt a Child.
- Even the good guys aren't immune to this: implicit in the fact that Ned Stark took Theon Greyjoy hostage was the assumption that if Lord Greyjoy tried to rebel again, Ned would kill Theon.
- Hell, this trope is basically the establishing moment for both Jaime Lannister and the series as a whole. "The things I do for love" indeed.
- Jaime also threatens this to Edmure Tully, and provides the page quote. Whether he would have followed through in that instance remains an open question.
- Author Andrew Boland, just loves this trope. In his novel Hell's Children, a little boy’s head explodes. Did I mention that a little girl is tortured, then raped, and then has her arms, legs, and eyes, amputated. Oh and, at some point in the story, a man cuts out the brain of his own son.
- Allegedly it’s because he hates the cliché of Infant Immortality with a passion.
- Voldemort's first known act in Harry Potter is to attempt to kill a baby, and his Death Eaters attack muggle children just as much as they would muggle adults (including one scene in the 7th book where Voldemort kills an entire family). If teenagers count, his Death Eater followers aren't above torturing Hogwarts students in the 7th book (and ordering students to torture each other), and Umbridge makes rule breakers write lines using their own blood with a magic scarring quill and seriously considers using the (most illegal) torture curse on the students.
- In the seventh book, one of the Carrows decides to pin a screw-up on some Ravenclaw students and hand them over when Voldemort shows up. Said Ravenclaws are first years. First years are eleven years old.
- In The Silmarillion, the sons of Fëanor commits all sorts of nasty things, but even they do not willingly hurt children; the murder of the sons of Dior is left to one of their "cruel servants" (although they were arguably responsible for the occasion arising).
- Stephen King. Usually in horror, kids are safe. Not in Stephen King's universe. He'll kill a kid. This is especially apparent in IT, where the very first person in the novel to bite it is six-year-old George Denbrough, the little brother of the main character.
- Just to make this painfully apparent, the way he dies: he's half-drowned in a drain and then has his arm ripped off at the joint by a Monster Clown.
- Rare Female Example occurs with Lady Macbeth. The violence is only implied, but at this point in the play, she seems perfectly capable of going through with it.
Lady Macbeth: I have given suck, and know
How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,
And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you
Have done to this.
- Not just implied with Macbeth, who has assassins murder Macduff's wife and young son. His wife is horrified by this, though not because of the children—it screws up her political machinations. That said, those particular murders do feature among the things she mentions in the infamous sleepwalking scene.
The Thane of Fife had a wife; where is she now? What, will these hands ne'er be clean?
- In the Disgaea novels we meet a Rare Female Example, Laharl's aunt Yasurl, who abused him as a child because he is half human.
- In Alex Rider Julia Rothman and other members of Scorpia have the majority of London school children injected with nano-capsules containing cyanide, and plan to dissolve the capsules if the UK government does not accede to an impossible request. Rothman herself also has Alex injected- after not being able to watch his father's death in person, she wants to see the son's.
- In the first book, the mastermind's plan is to have a deadly disease released into every school in Britain.
- Actually, given their treatment of Alex, this trope could apply to almost any villain in the series- and arguably even to MI 5. They wouldn't hurt Alex directly, sure, but...
- Pick a Graham Masterton novel, any Graham Masterton novel (but especially Night Wars). Then, ask whether or not the villain believes in Infant Immortality. The answer is "no."
- Killer, in Marti Steussy's Forest of the Night. Big Eyes gets underfoot; Killer swats him like a fly.
- Several in The Pale King. At least one adult directly attempts to kill Leonard Stecyk as a child. Another hits him with their car, though it's debatable if that was accidental. The rest of them have a little more restraint. There's also an unnamed man in Chapter 8 who is implied to be a sexual predator. And the man who murders Toni's mother in front of her.
- In Death: A number of criminals in the series would happily do this, and so much more. Eve and Roarke's parents engaged in this trope.
- In the Warrior Cats series, there are a couple examples. Brokenstar insists on brutally training kits at too young an age, and actually fights them himself in training, killing them. Tigerstar kills Gorsepaw in The Darkest Hour for no other reason than to bring fear to WindClan. Darkstripe also attempts to kill Sorrelkit because she caught him meeting Blackfoot on their territory.
- Fate/Zero's Caster, as shown in his Establishing Character Moment, finds giving children a moment of hope before siccing nightmarish monsters on them to be a fun pastime.
- Villains in Septimus Heap generally prove that they Would Hurt a Child. The Hunter, for example, goes out to shoot a 10-year old girl with no hesitation whatsoever.
- Darren Shan just loves this trope.
- Many of the villains of the Redwall series are like this, the most notable being Slagar the Cruel, who kidnaps children and sells them into slavery, not hesitating to abuse and torment them along the way, often just For the Evulz. And of course there's the guy that he's selling them to, Malkariss, who keeps hundreds of children as slaves in his underground kingdom, ruthlessly abusing and overworking them for the rest of their lives. Vilaya the Sable Quean also does a similar thing when she is Genre Savvy enough to kidnap the Redwallers' children as ransom for the Abbey. She takes it a step further when she mercilessly kills one of them with her poisoned knife and threatens to do the same to the rest of them if they don't behave. Then there's Razzid Wearet, who makes it a point that he enjoys eating children. Cluny the Scourge also makes a passing thought about eating some young rabbits that he sees. And minor villain Warpclaw threatens to and almost kills a baby shrew. Mokkan also gives a viable threat about killing a baby mouse. One of Tsarmina's captains suggests torturing a pair of young hedgehogs for information. Ferahgo the Assassin sentences two infant badgers to death by freezing winter conditions. And Swartt Sixclaw- You know what, let's just say that any and every villain in this series would hurt and/or kill and/or eat a child.
- Stardoc. Well, let's see: The Hsktskt (or at least, many of them) are the obvious ones. Ktarka Zamlon Torin would have killed Fasala (who was about five at the time)—or at least left her to die—without a qualm; any member of her adoptive clan was fair game. And then, there's what Joseph Grey Veil did to the male clones.
- Little House On the Prairie: Several episodes about child abuse. Although the actual assault was rarely seen, they were seen in a flashback in at least one episode (where Charles is helping reform a budding juvenile delinquent, and the boy—upon being given a present—snaps when he sees a shirt, identical in style to one that he was viciously assaulted in by his own father). In another episode, where Charles and Caroline are debating whether to adopt orphans James and Cassandra Cooper (whose biological parents were killed in a wagon accident), the orphans' temporary foster father whips James (off-camera) after being unfairly accused of stealing; his screams were heard as Cassandra was forced to watch.
- The Brady Bunch: Humorously troped in "Bobby's Hero," where in a dream sequence, Jesse James shoots and kills Bobby's siblings (along with his parents and Alice) during a train robbery ... all to make the point that the famed outlaw was nothing more than a "mean, dirty killer."
- Starsky and Hutch: In the episode "The Crying Child", a teacher discovers that one of her young students has deep gashes on his back, and the titular duo starts to look for who had harmed the kid and manage to find out it was the boy's own mother.
- Good Times: Though little to none of the actual assaults were shown on-screen, the four-part 1977-1978 season opener, revolving around 10-year-old Penny Gordon (Janet Jackson's series acting debut) more than left no doubt she was struck. The vicious so-and-so who hit Penny was her own mother (Chip Fields), a single parent who took her frustrations out on the innocent girl. Several infamous scenes were shown, including Mrs. Gordon stalking her with a hot iron (the scene cuts before she places the iron on Penny) and Penny shrieking in pain because of a broken arm.
- Walker, Texas Ranger: More than once, the villians would hit children—sometimes beating them viciously or otherwise putting them in extreme danger—as they would hold them hostage, either as bargaining tools or just to show how ruthless and sadistic they were, always without conscience or fear of the consequences. Examples include burying a busload of children inside a school bus at a landfill, and burying another alive in a casket. There were other episodes involving child abuse, but said abuse is by a parent who happens to be the main villian and is used to frame his evil personality. Of course, Walker and the Rangers would arrive to give the baddies a taste of their own medicine, with extra force as Walker had zero tolerance for child abuse.
- Adam-12: Several episodes dealing with child abuse; the assault itself would never be seen on camera. The most memorable child abuse-themed episode is "He ... He Was Trying to Kill Me" (from the spring of 1969), where a 6-year-old girl lets on to Reed that her mother hits her.
- In the backstory of The Mentalist Serial Killer Red John killed Patrick Jane's wife and daughter, just to take Jane down a peg.
- In the Doctor Who Christmas special, 'A Christmas Carol', we watch Sardick hit his son Kazran. This freudian excuse shows the Doctor that Kazran is not beyond redemption, and when he nearly does the same to his younger-self, Kazran's horror brings about his Heel Face Turn.
- This seems to be the mark of a bad guy in Maddigan's Quest, in which it's asserted that the Nennog would kill Timon, Eden and baby Jewel without a second thought if they returned to their own time, and in Greentown, henchman Maska threatens to 'break' Jewel if Boomer doesn't return his bag. In Laketown, Timon tries to kill Jewel whilst under the Nennog's influence, but can't bring himself to do it (whether or not he would have done it if the Fantasia had failed is a moot point, though he certainly seems to think he would).
- Certain criminals like Carl Buford in "Profiler Profiled" and Karl Ahnold in "The Fox" in Criminal Minds have no trouble hurting and even killing children. Some even specifically target kids!
- Heroes has an Anti-Hero example in Noah "HRG" Bennet, who is willing to shoot Molly Walker, whom the Company is using as a human superhero-tracking system, in order to keep them from finding his own daughter Claire. He is only stopped by Mohinder holding him at gunpoint.
- Fringe's dear, loveable Mad Scientist Walter Bishop... experimented on children, occasionally frightening them to obtain results, and with often devastating consequences for them in adulthood; he also kidnapped his alternate-universe son and lied to him (for his own good, admittedly). Meanwhile, his ruthless alternate-universe counterpart, Walternate, absolutely refuses to experiment on children (though he apparently has few qualms about potentially lethal adult trials).
- Children are rarely the Monster of the Week in Supernatural, but that doesn't mean never. When it does happen, it's always a debate about what to do. One episode had Castiel try to stab a child to death before the boy realized he could warp reality as he what was basically The Antichrist.
- This is done in an extremely horrific fashion by Basco in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger. In an attempt to get one of the Great Powers, he uses his Ranger summons to stop a badly hurt young boy from being taken to get medical attention, knowing full well the boy could die. He then one ups himself by lowering his gun to shoot the kid! And is smiling the entire time!
- Long before Basco was even a draft sketch, Bandora the Witch from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger was all about making children suffer horrific deaths. This gimmick was ditched in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers wherever possible because Saban wanted to avoid using child actors wherever possible and because Rita was more conquest-oriented than twisted, disproportionate vengeance-oriented.
- Dexter: In the fourth season, it is shown that the Trinity Killer has no qualms about hurting his children for insolence or disobedience (though they are now teenagers). But the worst example is the fact that he periodically kidnaps ten-year-old boys, holds them prisoner, drugs them and then kills them by BURYING THEM IN WET CEMENT. WHICH THEN SETS.
- The spoilered space is also why he went uncaught for so long. The killer's name, MO, all of it, was an accidental misnomer, because nobody ever knew about the FOURTH victims in each set representing himself.
- Dexter also has the Season 6 episode when Harrison is kidnapped.
- On Justified 14-year old Lorretta is kidnapped and locked in the trunk of a car by a pedophile. In a later episode she is almost killed by Coover Bennett. A season later Dickie Bennett breaks into her house and it is clear he would hurt or even kill her to get the millions that Mags Bennett left Loretta
- In season 3 Robert Quarles carjacks a mother and her two sons. He uses the two boys as hostages to get Raylan to give up his guns and then drive them all to Noble's Holler. It is clear that once he gets what he is looking for, he will kill Raylan and the children.
- Formula 86 by Razakel. Allso Razakel's stage persona.
- In Monster Magnet's "See You In Hell", the protagonist reveals himself to be driven towards killing himself and his significant other, by the voice of the infant they killed and dumped in a landfill.
- WHIP YO KIDS featuring Nice Peter by Yourfavoritemartian. I'll punch a baby in the face just for cryin' on a plane.
Mythology and Religion
- In The Bible, Pharaoh and King Herod did this in order to try to kill Moses and Jesus respectively. Didn't work.
- Pharaoh's motivation was actually to keep the Hebrews from becoming strong enough that in case of a war they could join the enemy and fight against Egypt. He had no foreknowledge of Moses when he demanded the death of the baby boys.
- And God himself kills the firstborn sons of Egypt as one of the Seven Plagues, as well as David and Bathsheba's firstborn. Possibly others.
- Many Greek myths punish a parent by slaughtering their children.
- Krampus also meets this because he has only punish naughty children, while his boss, St. Nick does the opposite as he often rewards those who have did good deeds. To be fair, Krampus is just doing HIS JOB.
- Mike MacDonald, when he and his wife were trying to conceive a child, noted in his act he was going to do his best not to hit his kids, ever—unless, you know, they were coming at him with a knife or something.
I don't wanna be one of those liberal parents who gets stabbed to death by their kid while saying, "Son, I'm sensing hostility OH GOD!"
- One of Bernie Mac's punchlines in his act was threatening to beat his kids "till the white meat shows".
- Denis Leary, in a larger bit about celebrity entitlement, said that he was looking forward to beating the shit out of his kids.
That's therapy for you: mowin' the lawn while cryin'.
- Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights implied this with their 2010 haunted maze, The Orfanage: it's heavily implied that the entire house takes place after the orphanage has burned down and you're being assaulted by the ghosts of the children, with various imagery and audio hinting at various tortures that the children were put through by their caretakers until Cindy demonstrated her abilities and burned down the orphanage with all the kids trapped inside.
- Morgan Fey of Ace Attorney loves her young daughter Pearl Fey. That's why she tries to let her be possessed by the spirit of a raging, vengeful serial killer.
- This one's confusing. Said raging, vengeful serial killer ghost is Morgan's older daughter.
- On a related note: Shelly de Killer. Keeping Maya hostage for blackmail for Phoenix to defend Shelly's client Matt Engarde.
- Subverted in that Maya was 18 at the time, and hardly a child, but she often exudes a childlike naivete and innocence.
- Kristoph Gavin's attempted murder of a 12-year-old agoraphobic girl probably counts too.
- Solid Snake (or rather, the player) in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake is actually given the option of murdering orphaned war children in Zanzibar Land, and despite being raised in a soldier nation, apparently they don't have orders to attack Snake or sound an alert (they just seem to just give advice and talk to him), although it does result in his health going down. Also, in the (albeit non-canon) radio drama for Metal Gear Solid, Solid Snake and Mei Ling argue about whether there is a significant difference to killing child soldiers and regular soldiers. Solid Snake mentions that he doesn't see a difference, which indicates that he is not above killing child soldiers.
- Return to Krondor. Oh, dear God. Brutally played straight. In the first chapter, a ten year old girl who is a thief and an orphan living in the streets truly does not want to go to The Order of the Yellow Shield, a group that owns an orphanage. That is because men who pretend to be members of The Order of the Yellow Shield lure kids like her to a sweatshop. At this sweatshop, they work the kids hard, hurt them, lock them up in cages, as well as giving them food that have live rats and squirmy things in it. She also says about how the bad children (i.e. kids who refuse to work or try to run away) just disappear and never come back. Investigating the sweatshop reveals that everything she said is true. You will find a cage with kids locked in it, and depending on your decisions, you will find the bloody corpse of a child in one of the boxes next to the entrance door. James will be very unhappy with that discovery and refer to the owner of the sweatshop as a "child-killer". A camp of goblins sacrificed a boy, cutting him in two, and they were going to do the same to baby twin girls. Vampires killed and converted kids as well as adults to vampires. Ghouls are explicitly said to feast on human flesh - and that would include children. There is also a priest who is devoted to Sung the Pure named Father Roweland who is trying to help children recover from a fatal disease, but he causes the fatal "disease". He actually killed a little boy with evil spells, and was going to do the same to a little girl with an evil amulet magically disguised as a good amulet, as well as evil spells. A woodcutter, his wife and child disappear, but the woodcutter and his wife (not really his wife) sacrificed their child (not really his child) to try to power up a Nightstone. The Nightstone is found on a small skeleton, which could very well be the child's remains. Bear also used explosives to set an orphanage on fire while escaping Krondor - with the kids still in it.
- The Grand Theft Auto series draws the line at Video Game Cruelty Potential here - there are no children ever walking the streets of Liberty City, Vice City or San Andreas.
- Ditto Postal, at least until you pop in some unofficial mods for either series.
- An entire side mission of Drakengard features Anti-Hero Caim slaughtering child-soldiers with about as much gusto as he slaughters everything else, i.e. a lot. The children run away and scream for their mothers as you cut them down, while Leonard and Red calls you a monster for it. And then there's that child-eating Elf cannibal he travels around with, not to mention that Leonard was originally a pedophile in the Japanese version... Yeah, Drakengard doesn't like children a whole lot.
- The plot behind Heavy Rain centers around a serial killer that targets boys from the ages of 8-13. It makes replaying the Suicide Baby chapter much worse once you know who the killer is...
- Sora, a teenager, has no problems with fighting Lock, Shock, and Barrel.
- Much like Sora, Mario qualifies. In Super Mario Bros 3 and Super Mario World, the Koopalings are the Quirky Miniboss Squad, while Bowser Jr is The Dragon in Super Mario Sunshine; Mario treats them as gently as he does any other Boss (as in, not at all).
- To be blunt, any character in the Super Smash Bros franchise, as they have no trouble trading blows with the Ice Climbers, Toon Link, the Inklings, Ness, and again, Bowser Jr. Of course, these kids fight back.
- The Human Noble origin in Dragon Age has your character find their sister in-law and young nephew dead during the attack on the castle. By this point it's clear the attackers don't care about hostages.
- Mars and his soldiers in Tales of Phantasia They kill everyone in Toltus, including Chester's little sister and a random girl whose corpse you can examine.
- FunFrock in Little Big Adventure 2 initially uses kidnapped children in order to force the wizards to co-operate with his scheme. When Twinsen invades his lair, he decides to drop the children into a volcano in order to make Twinsen cross the Despair Event Horizon.
- BioShock (series): With all the little sisters running around pumped full of sweet, sweet ADAM, most Splicers will try to kill them if given the chance. Good thing The big daddies are there to protect them.
- Also, the heartless bastard who put the girls in this situation is later killed by a big daddy after he slaps one of the little who was irritating him.
- The first two Fallouts gave you the title Childkiller if you killed a child. At least the children were scripted to flee when accidentally hit, so they rarely got killed by NPCs. The Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas had invincible children. So you can blast them with nukes as much as you like.
- Final Fantasy XIII has Hope Estheim - the youngest, most physically weak character in the game. That doesn't matter to anyone; he's a Pulse l'Cie, and therefore must die.
- And even before this, he and an entire town were put on a train, and promptly shot at by the military when they tried to escape.
- All the protagonists in the Mother series are children (so obviously, plenty of the enemies that battle them will be adults), but perhaps the most notable specific example of this trope is in EarthBound when a bunch of policemen beat up Ness just because he wants to leave his hometown.
- Dragon Age is a rare game which lets a player character do this, as you can chose to murder Arl Eamon's son rather than try and help him. You might argue that it's a mercy-killing, but you're still killing a child.
- The horribly misnamed Grelod the Kind from Elder Scrolls V: Skyrm. A cruel woman who runs the Honorhall Orphanage, she's so abusive that her charges are actually trying to contact the Dark Brotherhood in order to get rid of her, and mistake the Dragonborne for one of them. You aren't (yet) but it's pretty easy to help them, as Grelod doesn't fare very well against someone who can fight back. Of course, while she isn't much, getting rid of her starts a far-darker questline involving the real Dark Brotherhood...
- The ancient black dragon in Order of the Stick intended to kill Varsuuvius' children, and managed to hurt them before V showed up to stop her. She notes that people don't think anything of killing dragon young, such as when V killed her (young adult) son.
- Then V kills the dragon's whole family (roughly a quarter of the black dragon race), which includes eggs, to ensure there won't be anyone to claim blood revenge for killing the dragon.
- Rich brings up a good point about dragon wyrmlings having stats and therefore indicting many PCs for slaughtering dragon children despite them being clearly sentient. The mother dragon's whole beef was with V killing her son.
- Then V kills the dragon's whole family (roughly a quarter of the black dragon race), which includes eggs, to ensure there won't be anyone to claim blood revenge for killing the dragon.
- Mavra Chan in Terinu was shown onscreen beating the life out of the title character (when he couldn't even fight back) and in a flashback having him set upon by bloodsucking animal as part of this Training from Hell. Then there's Admiral Blake, who sends assassins after the fifteen-year old boy...
- In Strays, after the Stalker with a Crush killed the mother, he blames the child and goes to hurt.
- In Impure Blood, Roan was only a child when captured for the Gladiator Games.
- In Axe Cop Babysits Uni-Baby, Dinosaur Soldier summons two cyborgs to "punch (Uni-Baby) any time she would cry or make a ruckus." This trope is subverted in that Axe Cop and his partner are not evil, and are in fact the heroes of the story. The story was originally written by a 7-year-old who makes no distinction between children and adults, and considers the act of punching someone in the face to be fairly equal-opportunity. Instead of a cyborg punching a defenseless infant, it's supposed to be a cartoon cyborg punching a cartoon baby.
- Kore in Goblins murders a child in the first scene he appears in. The child in question is an orphan who's been Raised by Orcs, and to Kore's twisted perception of good and evil, anyone who potentially has sympathy for the 'monstrous races' is guilty of evil through their passiveness.
- In Our Little Adventure, one Angelo's Kid lights a school on fire and thinks of the fleeing children, "Mmm, unarmored targets. That's pretty tempting."
- The Simpsons: Adult-on-child violence is rare ... except for instances where Homer chokes out Bart (usually when Bart says something he shouldn't and it gets Homer in trouble).
- Then again, the villains aren't exactly above hurting children either. Sideshow Bob has repeatedly attempted to kill Bart. Fat Tony has on several occasions had his crooks threaten Bart with violence up to and including murder. And of course, Burns provides the page image when he threatens Bart with a gun prior to attempting to drown him, and that's apart from repeatedly letting The Hounds loose on him.
- From "The Great Wife Hope" there's Chet Englebrit, commissioner of the "Ultimate Fighting League." During a fight with Marge, Bart comes up to him to challenge him. His response is, "Heck, I'll fight anyone. Except a man my own size". Seeing Bart about to get hurt is of course what puts Marge on the edge.
- The Flanderized Peter Griffin from the later seasons of Family Guy frequently attacks and occasionally murders people, and children are no exception. He punched out a child because he felt he had to hit someone, blew up a children's hospital (killing many of them), killed his own infant son Peter Jr. when he couldn't get him to stop crying, and threw his toddler son Stewie (who was in a coma with heavily infected wounds) under his wife's car so it would look like an accident.
- Soundwave and Blackarachnia in Transformers Animated have threatened Sari. The former even tried to make her own father murder her.
- There's also Meltdown, who once kidnapped Sari with the intent to do unethical experiments on her.
- South Park episode "Stanley's Cup" plays this trope brutally straight; if you are sensitive about children getting bloodily beaten, don´t watch this episode.
- From "Terrance & Phillip: Behind the Blow", the Earth Day Brainwashing Committee (who might be the episode's antagonists) aren't above chopping off Kenny's limbs.
- The infamous ending to "Jared Has Aides" has Butters getting brutally beaten by his parents after Cartman tricks them.
- The Tolerance Camp Warden, one of the most cruel and sadistic characters Trey and Matt have ever come up with (besides Cartman), routinely threatens the kids to kill them if they don't meet up to his expectations, especially poor Kyle (because the episode in question is based off of "Schindler's List" and Kyle is Jewish.)
- The robbers from "Super Fun Time".
- Many of the characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender are in children territory (ranging from 12 to 16), but nobody has any trouble attacking them, since they are Child Soldiers, and powerful ones at that. But perhaps the most notable exception is Fire Lord Ozai who torched his young son's face off for speaking out of turn.
- He's also made a few attempts to murder him. He was talked out of it the first time by his wife and the second time Zuko barely blocked his attempt in time and ran for it.
- The Boulder once felt conflicted about attacking a young, blind girl. The Boulder soon overcame his conflicted feelings and tried to bury her in a Rockalanche! The Boulder got completely trashed in the ensuing fight.
- Katara's mom Kya knew that Fire Nation soldiers would harm and capture whoever the last waterbender in their tribe was, regardless of age, which is why she gave herself in, and not her daughter. 'Harm' in this case actually meant 'kill'.
- This definitely be applied to Sozin. He ordered the deaths of Airbending children. Who were raised to be pacifists. All of them.
- Futurama: "Parents, have you ever just tried turning the TV off, sitting down with your kids, and hitting them?"
- Gargamel of The Smurfs would even hurt Baby Smurf, which basically sets off Smurfette's Mama Bear instinct when she was turned back into her Evil Self by the wizard who created her.
- Shows like Ben 10 and The Powerpuff Girls that star child superheroes would be pretty boring if this trope wasn't in effect.
- Roger of American Dad would kill a child (an infant, actually). For accidentally breaking a leg off of one of his collection of crystal spiders.
- In My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, the adult green dragon in "Owl's Well That Ends Well" tries to kill Spike after the latter enters his cave uninvited (not realizing it belonged to another dragon) and eats some of his gems.
- In Miraculous Ladybug, Hawk Moth is willing to Akumatize anyone, including children and even infants. Even worse, given what the two protagonists say about Gigantitan in the episode "Weredad", he's a recurring victim. Of course, doing so often backfires spectacularly, as children - being precocious, ignorant, and having overactive imaginations - are even harder to control than akumatized adults, causing the plan to go haywire.
- The Villians in Codename: Kids Next Door can be considered obvious examples, considering most of them are Child Haters
- Both villain groups in Mon Suno are constantly stalking Chase Suno and his friends to the point of this.
- The Joker in Young Justice purposely singles out Robin in battle, which makes sense considering his archenemy.
The Joker: I've always wanted to carve this bird.
- Queen Bee has no hesitation in placing the young boy Garfield under her thrall. If she wants, she can easily make him hurt himself. Even creepier, she acts affectionately (in a somewhat twisted manner) toward him while stating her threat.
- Tirac's thread to Scorpan in My Little Pony is "A head will roll. His!" Meaning Spike.
- In Thundercats2011, Mumm-Ra and his army considers all surviving cats a threat, including kittens Wily Kat and Wily Kit. The task force consisting of Slithe, Kaynar, Sauro, and Kask is especially nasty in this regard.
- In the fourth episode of Harley Quinn, this is zigzagged a little. Harley refuses to fight 12-year-old Robin (Damien Wayne in this version), but when Robin exaggerates (or rather, blatantly lies about) the details of the confrontation in an interview, everyone starts to assume she's this type of villain. Lois Lane even writes a Daily Planet editorial with the headline "Harley Quinn Fights Children; Sets Evil Women's Movement Back Decades". Harley eventually contemplates killing Robin, only aborting that plan when Ivy tells her it would only confirm his claims. Harley eventually settles for publicly humiliating him on television; which, ironically, leads to a confrontation with Batman that upstages the Joker's crime on the news, Harley's goal all along.
- Well, at least two