Created By: JackButler on December 13, 2009
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Child Eater

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In folklore, many different kinds of monsters kill, and eat children and infants. Others merely make children seriously ill or cause them to vanish (replacing them with fairy changelings). These stories were explanations for the high infant mortality rates seen in primitive cultures. Naturally, various media use these tales as source material for their own monsters.
Community Feedback Replies: 43
  • May 27, 2008
    VampireBuddha
    Grand Fisher in the Bleach manga (though in the anime, he preyed on women).
  • May 27, 2008
    Duncan
    • Cats were rumored to suck the breath from sleeping babies.
    • The goblins in Labyrinth (though admittedly, Sarah asks them to).
  • May 27, 2008
    EponymousKid
    In Teen Titans, Cardiac only targeted children, because, according to Word Of God, he was supposed to be more of an anime-style villain.
  • May 27, 2008
    Fanra
    Star Trek TOS episode "And the Children Shall Lead" has the evil alien cause the deaths of their parents so he can lead the children to take over.
  • May 27, 2008
    RobertBingham
    When Dracula made Lucy Westenra into a vampire, her preferred victims were children.
  • May 27, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    Lale: I've actually seen a lot of villains that target children get compared to pedophiles -- for one, Professor Coldherat from The Care Bears on Youtube.
  • May 27, 2008
    Sir Psycho Sexy
    To not get this trope confused with pedophilia, may I suggest Child Eater as a trope name?
  • May 27, 2008
    Duncan
    The Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • May 27, 2008
    Lurkerson
    I recently did a quick search just for vampire-like creatures who did this on The Other Wiki, and just in that category there are quite a few creatures from mythology in many parts of the world that preyed on children, such as the Lamia, the Adze, the Penanggal, and the Langsuir, so this probably counts as one of The Oldest Ones In The Book.
  • May 28, 2008
    JRandomUser
    Der Kinderstod (literally 'The Death of Children') from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. His appearance is clearly an homage to Freddy Krueger.
  • May 28, 2008
    TheWanderer
    The Walkers from the graphic novel Midnight Nation will kill, torture, and eat adults and children alike... but they prefer children.
  • May 28, 2008
    fleb
    Lilith in Hebrew tradition is supposed to feed on babies, as well as being a succubus. It's only relatively recently (Older Than Print) that she's been known as the first wife of Adam who wouldn't stay in the metaphorical kitchen.
  • June 28, 2008
    UnknownTroper
  • June 30, 2008
    Gizensha
    Several British kids tv puppets, including (but probably not limited) to the wolves Bro and Bro, and the hyenas Scratch and Sniff.
  • June 30, 2008
    Sackett
    Doesn't Danny Phantom have a villain who maintains her youthful looks by draining young people?

    Maybe Children Are The Best Candy? As a play on Taking Candy From A Baby?
  • June 30, 2008
    Gizensha
  • July 1, 2008
    Kilyle
    Definitely need a good name for this. I'm not sure I like Child Eater, as it would be seen as too literal, and these guys often do something like suck the life from children without physically harming them, right?

    Hrm... The Witches in Raoul Dahl's book want to kill children because they smell horrible. They eventually decide to turn them all into mice. I guess that would get rid of the smell for some reason....

    Baby Soul Drainer? Sorry, I haven't any better ideas right now.
  • July 1, 2008
    lyonie17
    The Supernatural episode Something Wicked features a Shtriga, which sucks life force from children, leaving them in comas.

    Also, Angel the Series fifth season episode Smile Time. Demonic puppets are sucking brain power from the children that watch their tv show.
  • July 1, 2008
    Indigo
    • The opening Little Bad of the second book from The Dresden Files was a deranged ghost who killed babies with psychotic ghostly lullabyes.
    • And I'm pretty sure Anya tells the story of a Santa Claus in another dimension who kills and/or eats children.
  • July 1, 2008
    Stinkoman87
    The Orb of Bask from Yu Yu Hakusho took the souils of children, which the weilder could use as food. The Abridged Series lampshaded this with the line, "the pedophilia metaphor is not beyond my grasp."
  • July 1, 2008
    Meiriona
    Oh just call it Preys On Children and note the criminal paedophilia metaphor.
  • July 1, 2008
    Kaybor
    There's a type of caterpillar whose armor is so thick that it can walk right into an ant colony, eat its fill of larvae, and walk out- and there's nothing the ants can do about it. It's like some horrific baby-eating tank.
  • July 1, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    The Salem Witch trial parody in a Simpsons Halloween episode had Marge and her sisters, being witches for the act, take up the Flanders idea that they would eat children.

    Hmmm... didn't the witch in Hansel and Gretle planned to eat them?

    And there was that live action Disney movie where three witches consume children's life force in order to retain their youth.
  • July 1, 2008
    Sketch
    Perhaps these villains should Have A Seat?
  • March 6, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Robert Bingham: Trantor, the evil troll from the movie Ernest Scared Stupid, went after children and turned them into little wooden dolls which gave him his power.

    For the name, I'm perfectly fine with Preys On Children with the mention of the pedophilia metaphor, though I want to give you guys a heads-up that somebody recently launched Eats Babies for, well, baby-eating bad guys.
  • March 6, 2009
    LickyLindsay
    Anybody mention Gollum yet?
  • March 6, 2009
    NeeNee
    Truth In Television, of course, as many carnivore species go after cubs first. It's just easier.
  • March 6, 2009
    Amazingly Enough
    The Disney movie with the three witches was Hocus Pocus.
  • March 6, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    • Lilith and her daughters the lilim, making this Older Than Print.
    • Lamia in Greek mythology stole other women's children as vengeance for the theft of her own.

  • July 12, 2009
    Ettina
    Gollum didn't eat children. He ate fish and such.

    In the book Demon Keeper, a demon known as the Beast ate lost children. However, they didn't have to still be children by the time he ate them - a teenage runaway grown-up was still a prime meal.
  • July 12, 2009
    Wheezy
    We already have Eats Babies. Do ou think these should be combined?
  • July 12, 2009
    Tomtitan
    The very recent five-part episode of Torchwood (and by very recent I mean it was this week) involved an alien being who called itself the 456 coming to Earth and demanding 10% of the child population of the planet. But it's a subversion- it doesn't want the children to eat them, it wants them because (spoiler) the children release chemicals which to it are like a drug. It's essentially getting high off of kids. Very, very squicky.
  • July 12, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Harry Potter has Fenrir Greyback, a werewolf who tries to bite as many people as possible, particularly young children, thus turning them into werewolves. He is clearly a metaphorical pedophile.
  • July 12, 2009
    Jack Butler
    Eats Babies covers this prety well already, doesn't it?
  • July 12, 2009
    Ryusui
  • July 12, 2009
    calronmoonflower
    Eats Babies is about a villain so evil they literally eat babies.

    However, not all examples here fall into such a narrow range, or even have the devouring of children. So Eats Babies would be a subtrope of this.

    Examples

    Film

    Live Action TV

    Western Animation
  • July 12, 2009
    Katrika
    Not sure is it counts, but Monsters Inc not only has a Big Bad who literally plans to suck the screams out of kidnapped children. I don't think the other characters count, as while their world is powered by screams of children they only scare, without intending permanent harm.
  • July 12, 2009
    dotchan
    In Semi-Gods and Devils, one of the Goldfish Poop Gang is a woman who kidnaps babies and kills them because her own child was taken away from her.
  • July 13, 2009
    random surfer
    Sort-of Averted by The Hungry Tiger from Oz, who is eternally hungry because he always wants to eat babies but doesn't because that would be wrong.
  • July 14, 2009
    triassicranger
    Season 3 of Torchwood features the 456 who take human children in order to get high on them. Yes, they're druggies.
  • July 15, 2009
    RawPower
    Gollum is heavily implied to do this in the books. Aren't humans the Lilim? Oh, wait, wrong gospel...
  • July 15, 2009
    Tomtitan
    I already mentioned the Torchwood Example.
  • July 15, 2009
    DalekKanNoladti
    Jenny Green-Teeth in The Wee Free Men. And the headless horseman. And dromes. And ''elves''.
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