Dead Baby Drama
Children death is dramatic.
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(permanent link) added: 2011-04-20 08:11:42 sponsor: Aminatep edited by: Arivne (last reply: 2014-06-24 10:22:07)

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Infant Immortality is a pretty strong convention, and when it you see it averted, it is always strongly affecting the overall mood. One of the oldest martial laws is to never hurt children, since children are innocent. Thus, when a villain is willing to kill a child, he crossed the line and will never come back. When a disease or a catastrophe takes lives of children, you just know that shit got real.

If it's totally not dramatic, then it's a Dead Baby Comedy. See also Would Hurt a Child.

Since this is a Death Trope, expect unmarked spoilers ahead.

Examples

  • Raiders of Gor: a band of slavers has destroyed a small village which Tarl had been a slave in. He's glad that they were all killed or taken prisoner, until he sees the body of a small boy who had been nice to him once. Cue Berserk Button.
    • Again in Blood Brothers of Gor except it was Tarl's friend, not Tarl himself, who has the reaction. Cuwignaka (who is part of a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Plains Indians) refuses to take the warpath against an enemy until he sees the body of a boy he was fond of.
  • Sweet Home: Even after all the blood and zombies, you know it's not for kids after hearing a baby being burned alive.
    • Also applies to the movie, too, but thanks to Narm it isn't nearly as strong as in the game.
  • Pet Sematary. Even though they resurrect a cat with it and the big secret's out, it's only the part where the guy's son is hit by a truck and he tries to bring him back that's considered the turning point of the movie.
  • The film Antichrist. The main character is a woman in deep depression after the death of her baby.
  • NYPD Blue: in one episode the Victim of the Week was a baby which had died from Shaken Baby Syndrome. The babysitter (played by Lucy Liu) did it: the baby's parents were busy people who didn't want to be wakened at night by a crying baby, so the babysitter was tasked with keeping the baby up all day so it would sleep all night. (That particular plot was Left Hanging; it was never shown whether the babysitter, the parents, or both would be charged.)
  • In Gone with the Wind, little Bonnie dies accidentally and the brief peace Scarlett and Rhett had managed goes the same way. Especially Rhett is completely depressed.
  • Heavy Rain has a serial killer who targets children.
  • The episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit where ADA Noveck returns has the criminal try to murder a child. Twice (once to silence him after killing his parents, once again to prevent him from testifying).
  • One Letter: M
  • Trainspotting
  • A stock plot on soap operas - notable recent examples include Days of Our Lives with Hope and Bo's son Zack, and General Hospital with Liz and Jason's baby, Jake.
  • In Dragon Scroll, the bodycount is pretty high, and there's some rape and child molesting to boot, but it took a child being killed in front of his eyes for Akitada to have a Heroic BSOD.
  • Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway composed the following short story, a Dead Baby Drama that clocks in at six words:
    For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.
  • The biopic Isadora, with Vanessa Redgrave playing the tragic mother of modern dance, Isadora Duncan, has an understated yet harrowing scene where you see the protagonist's young son and daughter and their nanny drown in a car that has run into the River Seine. She starts to go a little mad after this.
  • Don't Look Now, a late 60s thriller with Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie, opens with an architect and wife's daughter drowning in a lake. This prompts the narrative of the rest of the film.
  • Leverage: The insurance company refusing to pay for his son's treatment (killing the boy) was what sent Nate into a downward spiral; getting fired from the insurance firm, crawling into a bottle, and ending his marriage. Becoming a "bad guy" is redemption.
  • Justice League: Cry for Justice attempts this with the death of Lian Harper.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has lots of examples: There's the Nina Tucker incident in which her crazed father merged her with the family dog, Envy started the Ishvallan War by transforming himself into a soldier and shooting a child, Envy and Father have been shown to be literally Powered by a Forsaken Child, the Doll Soldiers can be interpreted as children's souls put in freakish bodies... Also, genocides!
  • In Karakuri Circus. Children (particularly Masaru) are shown to be terribly injured on occasion...and then the French village gets attacked by the evil circus.
  • In Reiko the Zombie Shop there's the child murdering psychopath Saki Yurikawa. Introduced in the first volume, Saki's a teenage serial killer who has murdered over twenty little girls. She initially takes an interest in them being her "little sister", and when they refuse she snaps and utterly butchers them. Even after her death and zombification by titular heroine Reiko children still die in this series.
  • At least one child dies in Final Destination.
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