History Main / InfantImmortality

20th Feb '17 2:16:01 AM Morgenthaler
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It seems to be the cardinal rule in shows that thrive on violence: you ''[[SortingAlgorithmOfMortality are not allowed]]'' to kill '''babies or young children.''' Or '''dogs,''' unless it is [[ShootTheDog a heart-breaking moment]] that [[DeathByNewberyMedal symbolizes the end of innocence]]. (viz. "Boomer... will live!")

No matter how bad the BigBad is, he will always stop short of killing a baby. Even natural disasters will avoid killing infants and dogs. Something about a baby or puppy makes you stop, think twice, and show a [[EvenEvilHasStandards last flicker of compassion]].

Those who [[WouldHurtAChild don't have that last drop of humanity in them]] will generally be [[PlotArmor stopped some other way]].

Outside of CrimeAndPunishmentSeries (where all the death occurs off-screen) and shows where the [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism cynicism]] is meant to be a selling point, this trope is almost always in place for babies. Dogs are less lucky: a villain can kill a dog only if it's meant to [[KickTheDog prove that he's a really horrible person]]. Doesn't matter if he's [[AMillionIsAStatistic gunned down 20 people in cold blood]], only a ''monster'' would kill your dog (but dogs seem to do better against natural disasters, since those can't actually be evil).

Of course, this only protects against killing babies ''in person''; destroying a city in a fiery conflagration and killing the no doubt tens or hundreds of thousands of babies therein is A-OK, because AMillionIsAStatistic and the [[RuleOfPerception audience won't see them]].
Whether or not this extends to pregnant women is a toss-up; fetuses have more relative protection than dogs, but less than already-born infants. Except in series where StatusQuoIsGod, because then the ConvenientMiscarriage will rear its ugly head.

The upper age limit for Infant Immortality varies. Only infants are truly immune from death, but small children enjoy substantially more protection than teenagers or adults. However, when teenagers are included below the upper age limit, it is frequently a case of OnlyFatalToAdults, and is frequently an AfterTheEnd setting.

The trope extends to just about anyone conventionally considered inherently "[[ChildrenAreInnocent innocent]]," and can therefore sometimes reach out to cover the mentally handicapped. Note that, if the baby undergoes a PlotRelevantAgeUp, they're not protected by this trope anymore - even if it's done in a way which leaves them still "really" an infant.

In animation, can lead to the BadlyBatteredBabysitter plot. In video games, HideYourChildren. In fantasy, it frequently results in NiceJobBreakingItHerod.

In AfterTheEnd, post-apocalyptic shows expect there to never be any bodies of children onscreen despite many adult corpses. [[TropesAreTools The sight of a dead child affects people deeply and is used very carefully by any director worth their chops.]]

Note that this does ''not'' apply in the aptly-named BlackComedy. Inverted grotesquely by UndeadChild and, in a more literal way, by WouldHurtAChild. Also, seems not to apply to the EnfantTerrible, who dies horribly in all manner of works.

Cats are fairly indestructible too. Compare OnlyFatalToAdults, when something by definition does not hurt children, in-universe.

'''Expect spoilers.'''

to:

It seems to be In most fiction, innocent characters (babies, children, dogs) sit very high on the cardinal rule SortingAlgorithmOfMortality. They tend to make it out of dangerous situations unharmed while many adult characters in shows that thrive on violence: you ''[[SortingAlgorithmOfMortality are not allowed]]'' to kill '''babies or young children.''' Or '''dogs,''' unless it is [[ShootTheDog a heart-breaking moment]] that [[DeathByNewberyMedal symbolizes the end of innocence]]. (viz. "Boomer... will live!")

these same situations do not.

No matter how bad the BigBad villain is, he will always [[WouldntHurtAChild stop short of killing a baby. child]]. Even natural disasters will seem to avoid killing infants and dogs. Something about a baby or puppy makes you stop, think twice, and show a [[EvenEvilHasStandards last flicker of compassion]].

compassion]]. Those who [[WouldHurtAChild don't have that last drop of humanity in them]] will generally be [[PlotArmor stopped from completing that act of evil some other way]].

Outside of CrimeAndPunishmentSeries (where all the death occurs off-screen) and shows where the [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism cynicism]] is meant to be a selling point, this trope is almost always in place for babies. Dogs are less lucky: a villain can kill a dog only if it's meant to [[KickTheDog prove that he's a really horrible person]]. Doesn't matter if he's [[AMillionIsAStatistic gunned down 20 people in cold blood]], only a ''monster'' would kill your dog (but dogs seem to do better against natural disasters, since those can't actually be evil).

Of course, this only protects against killing babies ''in person''; them off ''on screen''; destroying a city in a fiery conflagration and killing the no doubt tens or hundreds of thousands of babies therein is A-OK, because AMillionIsAStatistic and the [[RuleOfPerception audience won't see them]].
them]].

This trope extends to just about anyone conventionally considered inherently "[[ChildrenAreInnocent innocent]]," and can therefore sometimes reach out to cover the mentally handicapped.
Whether or not this extends to pregnant women is a toss-up; fetuses have more relative protection than dogs, but less than already-born infants. Except in series where StatusQuoIsGod, because then the ConvenientMiscarriage will rear its ugly head.

The upper age limit for Infant Immortality varies. Only infants are truly immune from death, but small children enjoy substantially more protection than teenagers or adults. However, when teenagers are included below the upper age limit, it is frequently a case of OnlyFatalToAdults, and is frequently an AfterTheEnd setting.

The trope extends to just about anyone conventionally considered inherently "[[ChildrenAreInnocent innocent]]," and can therefore sometimes reach out to cover the mentally handicapped. Note that, if the baby undergoes a PlotRelevantAgeUp, they're not protected by this trope anymore - even if it's done in a way which leaves them still "really" an infant.

In animation, can lead to the BadlyBatteredBabysitter plot. In video games, HideYourChildren. In fantasy, it frequently results in NiceJobBreakingItHerod.

In AfterTheEnd, post-apocalyptic shows expect there to never be any bodies of children onscreen despite many adult corpses. [[TropesAreTools The sight of a dead child affects people deeply and is used very carefully by any director worth their chops.]]

Note that this does ''not'' apply in the aptly-named BlackComedy. Inverted grotesquely by UndeadChild and, in a more literal way, by WouldHurtAChild. Also, seems not doesn't seem to apply to the EnfantTerrible, who dies horribly in all manner of works.

Cats are fairly indestructible too. Compare OnlyFatalToAdults, when something by definition does not hurt children, in-universe.

'''Expect spoilers.'''
in-universe. In video games, this is a reason to HideYourChildren.

!DO NOT list "aversions". Those go under DeathOfAChild.
16th Feb '17 4:53:35 PM FF32
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* Defied in ''ComicBook/TheWickedAndTheDefied''. The entire point of the recurrence is that the gods are incarnated into teenagers, who will die within two years. Everybody will be dead before they're twenty. Minerva, the youngest, will be dead before she's ''fourteen''.

to:

* Defied in ''ComicBook/TheWickedAndTheDefied''.''ComicBook/TheWickedAndTheDivine''. The entire point of the recurrence is that the gods are incarnated into teenagers, who will die within two years. Everybody will be dead before they're twenty. Minerva, the youngest, will be dead before she's ''fourteen''.
28th Jan '17 1:34:27 AM bwburke94
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* The child supervillain August Prince from ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' has this explicitly as his superpower; his presence renders people incapable of deliberately attacking or harming him.
3rd Jan '17 2:09:25 PM Sovietlollipop
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Added DiffLines:

*The titular protagonists from ''WesternAnimation/MegaBabies''. Given that they have super powers this is to be expected.
23rd Nov '16 7:49:48 AM Morgenthaler
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--->''(Milhouse falls backwards into a meat grinder)''

to:

--->''(Milhouse --->''([[SubvertedTrope Milhouse falls backwards into a meat grinder)''grinder]])''
23rd Nov '16 7:49:26 AM Morgenthaler
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* Any cartoon with a BadlyBatteredBabysitter.
23rd Nov '16 7:49:09 AM Morgenthaler
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* How many cat attacks has [[WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail Fievel]] survived in the movies? He even climbs back up a cat's throat in the first movie and the sequel. His baby sister Yasha, [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse when she does actually appear]], is never put in any real danger.

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail'': How many cat attacks has [[WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail Fievel]] Fievel survived in the movies? He even climbs back up a cat's throat in the first movie and the sequel. His baby sister Yasha, [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse when she does actually appear]], is never put in any real danger.
23rd Nov '16 7:46:44 AM Morgenthaler
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* [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Maggie Simpson]] has shown to survive and evade situations that any character of an older age within the series would otherwise not be as lucky in. An excellent instance is in episode "The Call of the Simpsons", though there are few other similar instances.

to:

* [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
**
Maggie Simpson]] Simpson has shown to survive and evade situations that any character of an older age within the series would otherwise not be as lucky in. An excellent instance is in episode "The Call of the Simpsons", though there are few other similar instances.instances.
** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in "Treehouse of Horror V", where the teachers at Springfield Elementary are trying to kill Bart, Lisa, and Milhouse:
--->'''Bart''': Don't worry guys, something [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall always comes along to save us.]]
--->''(Milhouse falls backwards into a meat grinder)''
--->'''Bart''': Nevertheless, [[WideEyedIdealist I remain confident that someone will come along and save the Simpson children.]]
23rd Oct '16 1:23:56 PM BountyBeast
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* ''In TabletopGame/Munchkin Apocalypse'', there is the "Child"-class, which cannot die as all other classes can. But DeathIsCheap anyway.

to:

* ''In TabletopGame/Munchkin In ''{{TabletopGame/Munchkin}} Apocalypse'', there is the "Child"-class, which cannot die as all Kid is a playable class, who only loses a level in situations where any other classes can.class or classless person would die. But DeathIsCheap anyway.
22nd Sep '16 7:48:52 PM Berrenta
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* A notable example of real-life infant immortality was in the news. A baby stroller got nicked by a ''train''. The stroller was pushed at least ''20 feet away''. The mother and others went running up to the baby expecting the worst only to see the baby only slightly injured.
** It happened twice on the same train line in Melbourne Australia within a year.
* Also in Canada, a couple of months ago, an elderly woman was driving recklessly and almost killed a mother with a child in a stroller, kid was pushed away just in the right moment.
* When [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afriqiyah_Airways_Flight_771 Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771]] crashed in 2010, out of the 104 people on board the only survivor was a 9-year-old Dutch boy. A newsperson pointed out that in most plane crashes with survivors, the survivor's been a young child. Mainly because the luggage might be flying around, decapitating people, and the kids are too small to be decapitated by the flying luggage.
* There was one news story a couple years back in India, also involving a train, but in a different way. A heavily pregnant woman went to the bathroom on the train was moving (it's not stated how fast). She somehow ended up pushing so hard, she gave birth right into the toilet. [[OhCrap This was one of those trains that empties right onto the tracks.]] the mother passed out from the pain. When her brother-in-law [[SomethingWeForgot finally checked up on her two hours later]], she was found unconscious and bloody in the bathroom. They stopped the train and finally recovered the infant who had been [[IncrediblyLamePun dumped]] and [[WhyWontYouDie left behind on the tracks for over two hours]]. The baby wasn't healthy, but with hospital care she survived. Read about it [[http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-522657/Baby-survives-falling-rail-tracks-mother-gave-birth-moving-trains-toilet.html here]].
* For ''literal'' Infant Immortality, see [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooke_Greenberg Brooke Greenberg]]. Until her 2013 death, anyway.
* Countries with capital punishment generally won't execute a pregnant woman so as to not make the innocent baby pay for her crime. In the 17th to 19th century in England, male jailers in women's prisons had a nice secondary income providing the pregnancies.
** Seemingly nearly every female receiving a death sentence in this period would 'plead her belly'- i.e., claim to be pregnant, just in case. Even if it was unlikely, it would delay the case for a few weeks until she got her period.
** ''Or'' she could be examined by a team of up to twelve (!) midwives, to see whether she was ''actually'' pregnant. This, sadly for the child, was not always accurate.
* The only survivors of the car accident that killed Creator/JayneMansfield were her children sleeping in the backseat: Miklos Jr (8), Zoltan (6), and Mariska (3). [[note]] The Mariska in question grew up to be Creator/MariskaHargitay [[/note]]
* During [[UsefulNotes/{{Baseball}} the 2002 National League baseball season]], San Francisco Giants manager Dusty Baker often had his three-year old son Darren serve as batboy. In the bottom of the seventh inning of Game 5 of the World Series between the Giants and the Anaheim Angels, Kenny Lofton hit a triple with two men on. Young Darren obligingly ran out to the batter's box to collect Lofton's bat...just as J.T. Snow (who was on base at the time) was charging home. Snow had the presence of mind to scoop up the tyke and carry him away from the field, which was good because David Bell was behind ''him'' and could have seriously injured the little guy. During the off-season, Major League Baseball [[ObviousRulePatch quickly passed a rule requiring all batboys to be at least 14]]. You can see the near-collision and rescue [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzV7x8WcR4g here]].
[[/folder]]
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