Created By: Pichu-kun on March 7, 2016 Last Edited By: johnnye on December 11, 2017

Death of a Child

Stories dealing with child death.

Name Space:
Page Type:

While many stories adhere to the Infant Immortality rule, others seem to go out of their way to subvert the Sorting Algorithm of Mortality when it comes to children. Here children can die just as easily as adults, or perhaps even easier given their relative lack of experience and inability to defend themselves. There are few ways to make a Character Death more impactful than if it's a child or baby.

This trope is most often done for Rule of Drama. After all, Children Are Innocent, and thus their deaths are often something people can hardly accept - "they're too young to die", "they still have a lot of things they could do/achieve", etc. Hence why the trope is more common in serious dramas and stories farther on the cynical side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism. For instance, this trope is distressingly common in most Crapsack World settings to illustrate just how horrible the world in question is. It's also frequent in war stories, especially if the children are themselves combatants. Other times it's used for shock factor, especially in horror; the monster is shown to be especially dangerous since it underlines that no one is safe. Or more rarely it's used for Black Comedynote , since this is serious Crosses the Line Twice material—it's rarely if ever part of a Hilariously Abusive Childhood.

May be the Littlest Cancer Patient, who tend to be not just critically but terminally ill to enhance the level of grief, although the only thing allowed to kill them is their disease. Also the reason why Undead Child is a deeply unsettling trope.

Do note that this is for when the plot actually deals with child death. This is not about a supervillain blowing up a city and Fridge Logic dictating that children must certainly have died in the process unless it specifically addresses the issue.

Related is Outliving One's Offspring, where the offspring is often (but not always) a child. Can overlap with Offing the Offspring if the child's parents are the cause of death. See also Would Hurt a Child, which is used to show how completely evil a villain is by targeting children (though it doesn't have to end in death). Also the biggest possible Adult Fear, which is more about children being imperiled in general.

Death trope, expect unmarked spoilers!


    open/close all folders 

     Anime & Manga 
  • A lot of children die, and are depicted dying, in Black Butler. Especially in the Circus Arc. And it's pretty gruesome.
  • 7 Seeds:
    • Of course, given that the premise of the story is that the chosen teams are the supposedly only people living on earth right now, after meteorites have struck earth, it is expected that a lot of children died during the disaster, too, albeit off-screen.
    • The chapters revolving around the raising of the Team Summer A candidates reveals that the students who "dropped out" ended up killed, but they once again die off-screen.
    • The reader is shown children dying, even mid-sentence, during the epidemic claiming more and more lives of the people in the Ryugu Shelter.
  • Ao no Fuuin:
    • As the Oni begin to grow in number and breed, they do create offspring and little Oni children. These children are not exempt from being hunted and killed by the humans and are often shown tortured, injured or dead.
    • The human children are not safe, either. When an Oni awakens, they are hungry and will eat whatever human is nearby. A young couple gets turned into Oni, Soko hears them awaken and the couple's baby crying... and then the crying suddenly stops.
  • Battle Angel Alita: In addition to the Crapsack World of The Scrapyard where villains have no qualms about killing children, there's also the infant-meat-fancying Venusians and the "Methuzalized" space colonists who regard "the next generation as a threat, not a promise" and regularly send death squads after children. There's also the Child Soldiers of Jeru/Ketheres, who Alita and her new friends from Mars try to save a day too late, and the orphans on the Space Karate guy's planet.
  • Kentaro Miura shows repeatedly in the Berserk manga that children do not get special immunity from the horrors of the story's universe:
    • The dead body of a little boy can be seen among the victims of the bandit leader from the first major story arc.
    • Later in the second arc Guts is given a ride by a kind priest and a young girl who he takes care of. The three are attacked by demonically possessed skeletons and the young girl Collette is brutally killed. She then returns possessed and kills the priest before going after Guts along with the rest of the undead. Guts then has to kill her again, along with the rest of the skeletons.
    • After becoming separated from the rest of the Hawks during an earlier battle, Casca reveals to Guts that long before he joined them a young boy who acted as a page to the mercenary band was killed in battle. She says it is the first time that she truly saw Griffith be disturbed and depressed by something and later is shown to have deeply affected Griffith mentally.
    • During the Band of the Hawks arc, Guts carries out an assassination order by Griffith on the King's brother and then is forced to kill the brother's young son because the boy saw too much, an act that shakes him up terribly — not the very least because the boy reminded Guts of...well, himself when he was the kid's age.
    • After rescuing Griffith after a year of torture the Band of the Hawk gets aid from a young family which includes several children who long supported the group. Shortly afterward, the Black Dog Knights, a group of soldiers composed of the worst rapists, murderers and criminals that Midland has to offer appear, having been sent by the King to kill Griffith. The group, led by Wyald, a truly nasty piece of work of an Apostle, question the mother before she and her family including the young children are raped and killed. And if that wasn't bad enough, they then proceed to dismember their bodies (yes, including the kids) and carry them naked on poles into battle with the Hawks, who are all disgusted at the sight.
    • The Misty Valley arc main villain Rosine started out as a cute, smart tomboy with a horrible home life who loved a certain fairy tale. She later sacrifices her parents to the Godhand and becomes a elf/fairy creature similar to that found in her favorite fairy tale and begins to attack the nearby village killing people and animals and kidnapping children to turn into twisted little elf/fairy creatures that play kickball with eyeballs, play war to the death, and rape each other for fun (remember they are still technically children and are acting in a twisted way like the kids they are.) By the time Guts reaches her, she is insane, and has to be killed in order to prevent her from hurting any more people (and given that Guts is still in hardcore post-Eclipse vengeance mode at this point, all he really cares about is killing another Apostle). During the arc you see that she Used to Be a Sweet Kid who only wanted to have some happiness that she never got at home turning into a case of Alas, Poor Villain especially considering that once she dies, she, like anyone who makes a sacrifice to the Godhand and becomes a demon, is sent straight to hell.
    • Also, those eyeball kick balling, to-the-death war playing elf/fairy creatures that Rosine made from kidnapped children? When they are killed they turn back into kids, leading to Guts being seen as a child killer.
    • In the Millennium Falcon arc, women and children in a village are constantly kidnapped by trolls. The woman are raped till they become pregnant with more trolls, but the rotting bodies of children skewered on poles are seen in the den.
    • And collectively, the most disturbing case in the series so far is what happened to Guts and Casca's own child. When Guts returned to the Hawks and before the crew set out to rescue Griffith, he and Casca had an emotional reunion that ended up with them making love, with said union resulting in Guts impregnating Casca. Though pregnancy was unknown to them at the time, it's assumed that the baby was developing normally in the womb... until the Eclipse happened. When it goes down, everything goes down, with Griffith, now the demon lord Femto, raping the pregnant Casca in front of Guts, tainting her womb with his demonic seed and thus poisoning her unborn child. After the Eclipse, the now traumatized and insane Casca undergoes a miscarriage from the event, resulting in a misshapen fetus being born that has been corrupted by evil. Guts, seeing the child as nothing more than a byproduct of an event he failed to prevent, tries to kill it immediately, but because of Casca's intervention, the child disappears at daybreak.
  • Murasakiiro no Qualia. Not only is Yukari's death the biggest event in the manga that starts off the story proper, there are implications that several of Hatou's parallel universe selves ended up dying at varying young ages. The youngest seems to currently be her parallel universe self that lives in a universe where magic is real and she died trying, and failing, to teleport through a brick wall...
  • Naruto:
    • The Big Bad very nearly kills baby Naruto. Not surprising, as the Big Bad himself was a child soldier and witnessed his 12 year old best friend/crush's brutal assisted suicide.
    • Not to mention that the Iwa jounin in Kakashi Gaiden have zero qualms with mutilating Kakashi, mentally torturing Rin, and almost murdering all three of them- Mind you, these three are only twelve whereas the Iwa jounins were in their twenties/thirties!
    • Nawaki, Tsunade's little brother, is killed around age 11-12 in an explosion. It's not pretty.
  • Bleach:
    • There's this whole deal with a little boy having his soul separated from his body and placed in a parakeet's body by a Hollow...
    • We see ghosts of children several times, their deaths are not shown on screen though.
  • Blue Gender. Things don't go well for poor Yung, and during the massacre of Yung's group by the Blue, we see one of the Big Creepy-Crawlies slash at a mother holding an infant (Mom dies; kid goes flying). Needless to say, if the blow didn't kill the baby, hitting the ground will.
  • D.Gray-Man: The Earl of Millennium doesn't care how old you are; as long as you lost someone close to you, he will be there to turn you into an Akuma.
  • Detective Conan occasionally touches on the deaths of children, though always in the backstory providing a motive for the current killer. The closest it has come to killing a child on-screen was the start of the sixth Non-Serial Movie Phantom of Baker Street, which starts with a ten-year old Child Prodigy jumping of a skyscraper.
  • In Bitter Virgin Daisuke's sister's baby is a stillborn.
  • Go Nagai:
    • Devilman: Two of the worst deaths are destined for Sachiko, Akira's little neighbor, and Miki's younger brother.
    • In fact, in regards to Devilman and Devilman Lady, Go Nagai has absolutely NO compunction about killing children and babies in the most horrific way possible and showing it very clearly, preferably in front of their parents.
    • The UFO Robo Grendizer manga (also a Go Nagai production) has a villain who in a flashback kidnaps all the kids from planet Fleed and says he'll give them back in exchange for the planet's weapons. When they give up the weapons, he gives back the kids- by dropping them from 30,000 feet in the air. And in the present, he steals Great Mazinger and ties up a bunch of kids as well as people Duke cares about all over the robot so Grendizer can't fight back.
    • There's also an episode of Mazinger Z where Shirou's crush, Lorelei, was a Robot Girl with the body of a 10-year-old cutie... and in control of a huge mecha beast. She doesn't make it. In another, Sayaka's cousin Yuri (who is actually crippled) is kidnapped and placed inside a capsule in a mecha beast's head; she's luckier than the others, though, and survives.
    • Violence Jack. The first arc alone is filled with graphic deaths of young kids.
  • Elfen Lied:
    • Lucy has no problem killing children in the most horrible ways, including the male protagonist's little sister Kanae. Also young Diclonius children get killed off regularly, often in gruesome experiments (leading to a notably heartbreaking scene in the anime).
    • There's also what Lucy did to the cruel kids in her backstory, though after what they did to the poor little dog that she had started caring for, a good number of fans felt that those kids deserved worse. She did, however, spare Mayu's dog.
  • In Ergo Proxy, viewers are treated to a baby carriage falling down a flight of stairs in slow motion during the mall chase early on in the series; very much a shout-out to Eisenstein's Bronenosets Potemkin 'Odessa stairs' scene. Later, the carriage is shown lying on its side in a puddle of (presumably the baby's) blood. However, that is certainly not the only baby to die in Ergo Proxy. (Not a spoiler. Really.)
  • Eureka Seven:
    • On one occasion, a little boy's death at the hands of the Scab Corals received an ironically graphic Gory Discretion Shot.
    • Then there the shot of a mother actually smothering her crying infant just before some Corals find them and kill them both. Once again that was a Gory Discretion Shot. Plus the scene when Dominic tries to go looking for a replacement for Anemone.
  • Fist of the North Star
    • Several children die in the manga, but are spared in the TV series (notably Bat's younger brother Taki, who is murdered by one of Jackal's men; and Ryo, the kid at Shuu's hideout who died eating bread that Souther and his men poisoned). Strangely, the TV series "made up" for it by having several adult characters who survived the manga die instead (like both Harn Brothers instead of just Haz). In the first Raoh Den movie, the child-poisoning scene is restored.
    • In contrast to the TV series, the original 1986 movie shows a group of nomads being massacred by camouflaged thugs while wandering the desert. The casualties include a young mother and her infant child.
  • This is Genocyber's claim to fame, to the point that the most brutal and obvious example has ended up on at least one shock site.
  • In Grave of the Fireflies both the protagonist and his younger sister die. They warned you.
  • In the Hellsing manga, one of the first images readers are shown during Millennium's invasion of London is a limp, bloody and unmistakably dead infant in the jaws of a Vampire-Nazi.
  • InuYasha:
    • Suikotsu's evil side emerges for the first time when a soldier kills an injured little girl he was trying to save. Worse, the soldier gloats about that since, in his view, he spared the little girl from more pain. When the soldier tries to kill HIM, a panicked Suikotsu kills the other first with the same scalpel he was using to operate on his unfortunate little patient.
    • Rin's first appearance has her being brutally and graphically slaughtered by Kouga's wolves. Thankfully, she gets better. Oh, and much later on? She gets dragged into Hell. Again, she gets better.
    • Kohaku not only was he brainwashed into killing his dad and fellow Demon Slayers as well as injuring his older sister, but then he takes a fatal attack for her and dies. Then he's revived. But is Brainwashed and Crazy. And it takes him a LOT to get better.
  • In the seventeenth volume of The Kindaichi Case Files, "The Undying Butterflies" in which a twelve-year-old girl is the first victim of the story's murders.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam The 08th MS Team, Shiro and his team are completely sickened when they see Zeon soldiers gun down a mother and her child for leaving their house at night.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam The 08th MS Team, Shiro and his team are completely sickened when they see Zeon soldiers gun down a mother and her child for leaving their house at night.
  • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam specifically showed an infant body in the gassed colony 30 Bunch, and a mother and infant child are briefly shown dying when the Titans use the Colony Laser to destroy several colonies as a "demonstration".
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED doesn't shy itself from this trope either both with the girl that gave the origami flower to Kira being killed in the explosion that Yzak caused when he shot the refugee shuttle in which she was. There's also the shot of a dead mother and her child in the ruins of Junius 7, which either shocked or caused a complete breakdown to the characters who entered the room where these bodies were.
  • The idea of Infant Immortality is destroyed in Neon Genesis Evangelion. By the end of the series EVERYONE is dead (sorta) and some 14 year olds have suffered multiple, rather hideous deaths (impaled, eaten alive, impaled some more, then killed).
  • Occurs ofscreen in Noir. In the Intoccabile episodes, when a Mafia traitor gets questioned by the titular Intoccabile, with his wife and child in the next room to ensure his cooperation... and both get shot due to his hesitation. Also, Mirielle's older brother died when he was a young child in the assassination that killed her parents.
  • Now and Then, Here and There: The fact that the plot revolves around Child Soldiers in a Crapsack World should give you an indication of what happens.
  • In the Space Runaway Ideon movie, even the kids perish. Special mention goes to the scene when a little girl is beheaded by a gunshot onscreen. Poor, poor Ashura.
  • In a Venus Versus Virus arc one of a set of twins gets turned into a Virus. She asks Lucia to Mercy Kill her so she doesn't harm her brother.
  • In Mai-Otome, Mimi, a young girl who is part of the refugees of Windbloom, dies from her wounds after being attacked by a desert monster.
  • Muhyo and Roji's ghosts are often children, who die of causes such as falling onto a subway train tracks, fires, car accident, or even suicide, or parents who lost their children. The moment of their deaths is often shown in flashbacks.
  • In Future Diary, Anyone Can Die, even children:
    • The 4 year old Reisuke is killed by Yuno.
    • Later on Yukki's 14 year old friends are all gunned down as well.
    • Although a lot of their ages are ambiguous, and many are too old to count, The 8th's orphanage is slaughtered.
  • The Tsukihime manga featured a chapter when one of the antagonists invades a hotel, using his powers to kill anybody. He passes by a pair of children and it looks like he'll let them live...till his monsters chomp on them too.
  • Hunter Hunter: This is how the Chimera arc starts, with a pair of sibling coming across the queen who eats both of them.
  • Plastic Memories in its first episode sukasa and Isla have to retrieve and terminate a child Giftia who has reached her expiration date.
  • iIn Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation, Ryu's kid brother dies.
  • Seven ways to Sunday in Franken Fran, where kids die in nasty ways : a little girl gets her head bitten off, a boy from the same chapter is mutated into a monster by a virus and killed by the remaining survivors, another girl from a later chapter is stabbed in the head... Some chapters play it straight, though.
  • Sonic X:
    • In episode 77 there is a Heroic Sacrifice by Cosmo.
    • Posthumous Character Maria Robotnik was killed as a young girl, just like in the games. The English dub censored it so that she survived (though the wording could also be interpreted as euphemisms).
    • A teenage character called Molly commits a Heroic Sacrifice. The 4kids dub censored that as well. In the English dub Molly ran off instead, though the dramatic tension and her crying doesn't make it look that way.
  • Amanuma from YuYu Hakusho thought his ability just made games realistic, but Sensui didn't tell him everything that happened in the game would actually happen. He died when Kurama defeated him, since that is what happens to the boss in the game they were playing.
  • Shakugan no Shana got away with killing two children (one human and one Torch) in the first two episodes, perhaps because their deaths didn't leave behind any bodies.
  • In Blood+ Saya impales a baby within the first minute of the series.
  • Deadman Wonderland:
    • The fourteen year old protagonist is constantly in danger but never really gets hurt. His classmates on the other hand are all brutally murdered within the first ten pages of the series.
    • Hibana Daida, a seven year old, once tortured and killed a boy in kindergarten because he flipped her skirt. Hibana herself is killed by Toto.
  • Toboe was actually the first of the Wolf's Rain wolves to die. He's the youngest, being roughly thirteen to fourteen in human form.
  • Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 takes place during and after a large earthquake and thus many people, children and adults, are implied or shown to die. Yuuki, the protagonists little brother, ends up dying near the middle due to cranial bleeding.
  • Satou Kashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai uses this in a horrid way. Middle schooler Mokuzu's abusive father Masachika ends up beating her so badly one day that she dies of the injuries. He tries hiding the body in the mountains, but Nagisa and her older brother Tomohiko end up finding poor Mokuzu's dismembered corpse.
  • Gunslinger Girl has a premise which revolves around Child Soldiers so this is expected. By the end every one of the protagonists have died, some on-screen and some rather peacefully during the twenty year timeskip. . The first gen Cyborgs were all essentially terminally ill from the first chapter, not expected to live longer than four years if they weren't killed in combat.
  • Michiko & Hatchin has several cases of young children dying, almost dying, and killing people themselves. An episode with a memorable Downer Ending has a woman and her little sister being gunned down by a bunch of kids. One episode even has a woman put her baby in the middle of the road so it would get hurt, or worse, and she could receive money.
  • Fourteen year old Kaori dies in the final episode of Your Lie in April. She had been suffering from a disease her entire life but it was getting worse by the start of the series. Knowing she had little time left she set out to befriend the boy who inspired her to begin playing the violin almost ten years ago.
  • Daimos: This trope occurs as soon as the SECOND episode. A kid spends a short while egging Kazuya and Erika on to kiss. Later, when the enemy attacks, an explosion destroys the greenhouse had gone into. Kazuya and Erika bolt to the place and find him lying between the rubble. The kid opens his eyes and asks Kazuya if he "got lucky" before dying as Kazuya is holding him in arms.
  • Zambot 3: This series is notorious -among other reasons- because it playing straight the trope. Anyone Can Die. It does not matter if you are a kid; it does not matter if you are a kid and a secondary character; it does not matter if you are a kid and a MAIN character. Given this is a show produced by Yoshiyuki Tomino (as well known as Kill 'em All), it should not be shocking.
  • Karakuri Circus: Children (particularly Masaru) are shown to be terribly injured on occasion...and then the French village gets attacked by the evil circus.
  • Reiko the Zombie Shop: Played straight by 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.
  • The deaths of the kids in the Kill 'em All Space Runaway Ideon movie are among the most gruesome in the Ideon media... like, um, the little girl who gets beheaded BY A FREAKING GUNSHOT?
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica infamously used this in the third episode when Mami gets her head eaten by a witch. It only gets worse from there.
  • Children are most definitely victims of Titan attacks in Attack on Titan:
    • A youth approximately 10 - 12 years old being bitten in half by a Titan with blood splattering everywhere and his legs kicking as he's Eaten Alive.
    • Episode 25 clearly shows rocks falling and crushing both children as a consequence of the Stohess incident.
    • We also get to see Bertolt and Reiner's friend Berik die in the manga.
  • Yuri Kuma Arashi: Princess Lulu's brother didn't die from being thrown off a cliff, being thrown off a cliff into quicksand occupied by a Dune worm, or being thrown into a volcano. Instead, he died from a bee sting allergy.
  • The Death Note from, well, Death Note has as one of its lesser-known rules that it cannot kill anyone less than 780 days old, or about two years and change. This means that anyone over three years old can die, though that's never actually shown.
  • One Piece:
    • In the case that was orchestrated by the World Government where they ordered that every infant including ones not yet born that could be related to Roger to be killed on sight - including the mother and anyone related to her.
    • Another bloody aversion of Infant Immortality ordered by the World Government was the extermination of the city of Flavence. Only a then-10-year-old Law survived. Everyone else, including a nun who was supporting Law, the kids she was taking care of, and Law's parents and younger sister, were all wiped out by the World Government. Needless to say, this fucked Law up pretty badly.
  • In Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, the nameless, faceless children either unseen or briefly seen on the streets when a mecha comes stomping through are screwed.
  • Black Lagoon has the deaths of Hansel and Gretel, and the orphans they used as decoys.
  • There's several instances in the general massacres scenes of Code Geass where you can see smaller bodies, clearly of young children and teenagers, albeit undetailed and from a distance.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
  • None of the fifteen-and-under cast of Yuki Yuna Is a Hero die despite all the battles. They cannot die. They only lose their senses until they can't take care of themselves anymore. Played straight in the prequel light novel, where an elementary school aged Magical Girl died.
  • Yuureitou contains one boy dying in-series and another dying as a major factor in a characters backstory.
  • School-Live! takes place in a Zombie Apocalypse and thus contains a lot of death Seniors, young adults, teenagers, little kids, puppies... No one is spared.
  • Happens right at the start of Astro Boy. Dr. Tenma losing his son is what causes him to create Astro as a Replacement Goldfish.
  • This occurs in Pokmon: The First Movie' as a Shout-Out to Astro Boy. Dr. Fuji's daughter Amber died in a car accident according to The Birth Of Mewtwo radio drama (in the animated adaptation her death scene doesn't occur). He decides to create a clone as a Replacement Goldfish but Ambertwo dies prior to waking up.

  • Child Ballad
    • #20 The Cruel Mother depicts the title character murdering her newborn babies or baby, depending on the variant.
    • In #21 The Maid and the Palmer, the palmer taunts the woman with his knowledge of where she buried the babies she has borne and murdered.
    • In the horribly anti-Semitic #55 "Little Sir Hugh", the protagonist is killed by a "Jew's daughter" and thrown into a well — this was a fairly recurrent medieval legend (it also appears in The Canterbury Tales).
    • The title character of the #93 "Long Lankin" kills a lord's infant son (really very messily) either because the lord didn't pay him for building his castle, or just because he is a serial killer.
    • In many variants of #106 The Famous Flower of Serving Men, the heroine's evil mother has her baby killed.
    • In #173 Mary Hamilton, Mary drowns her newborn baby. She's caught and executed.
      ''She's tyed it in her apron
      And she's thrown it in the sea;
      Says, Sink ye, swim ye, bonny wee babe!
      You'll ne'er get mair o' me.''
    • "Captain Carr" (#178) features the titular captain burning down his enemy's house, killing his wife and children (after a lengthy siege, because the wife is a Bad Ass).
  • In Tom Lehrer's "Irish Ballad", the heroine kills her entire family, including cutting her baby brother in half and serving him to guests for dinner because she was bored.
  • The Erl-King is about a farmer riding furiously through the night to get his sick son home. The feverish young boy becomes increasingly distraught, claiming that the Elf King is trying to take him. Whether the Elf King is really there and trying to kidnap the boy or if it's just a fever hallucination is left ambiguous, but by the time the father reaches their home the boy has died.

     Comic Books 
  • The death of Arthur Jr., Aquaman's infant son during The '70s, who was killed in issue 60 after he was suffocated by Aquaman's nemesis, Black Manta. Notable in that the death occurred at a time when The Comics Code of Authority's censorship standards were still rather strict.
  • In one issue of The Authority, the villains blow up a maternity ward full of babies, failing to get a specific baby that they were too lazy to check was there.
  • In the current Booster Gold series, the bad guys will deal with their foes by smothering them in the cradle. This actually befalls Rex Hunter, and requires Rip Hunter to completely conceal his origin, and Booster Gold to keep and reinforce his reputation as Fun Personified, because they know they do not have Infant Immortality.
  • In Marvel Comics Captain Mar-Vell series, Genis time-travels to the future and meets his own evil, power-mad son, Ely. To defeat him, Genis time-travels again and murders his son in the cradle. 'Cause raising him not to be evil and power-mad would be too much work?
  • Quite horrifically portrayed in the series Crawlspace: XXXombies, when the zombie outbreak hits a maternity ward.
  • The Planetary issue introducing the Big Bads has them disposing of the local-reality analogues of Green Lantern, Superman, and Wonder Woman before they assume their Super Hero identities. Naturally, the Superman analogue is a baby at the time, and is killed entirely offhandedly. And let's NOT go into how Drummer was rescued... Worst. Rescue. Ever. Indeed.
  • In the "One Man's War" one-shot of Preacher, a young girl gets half of her head blown off in the crossfire between special forces operatives and terrorists.
  • In Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge, Libra attempts to coerce the Rogues into joining the Secret Society by holding the Weather Wizard's baby son hostage. The psychotic speedster Inertia, who had been released on Libra's own orders, decides to derail the plan and casually blows the baby up. Shortly thereafter, the Rogues kill him.
  • Ultimate X-Men had a Sentinel incinerating a young mutant mother and her infant.
  • In The Walking Dead's Wham Issue, Rick's baby is among the many casualties. Aside from that, several of the zombies in the background are children.
  • Watchmen:
    • The Comedian, in a flashback scene, blows away a Vietnamese woman pregnant with his own child.
    • There's Rorschach investigating the case of Blaire, a very young girl who has been abducted... He finds her too late; she has already been murdered and her remains fed to the killer's dogs.
  • Marvel Comics: One of the things that made Magneto from X-Men turn into a psycho would-be world conqueror was the death by fire of his daughter Anya, who was somewhere between the ages of 2 and 5. A group of humans were attempting to beat Magneto, possibly to death, for having extorted his full pay out of a cheating boss with powers he had just manifested that day, while at the same time his daughter was screaming out the window of the second story of an inn on fire. Having just learned he had powers, he couldn't control them well enough to free himself of his attackers and save his daughter until she had burned to death, at which point he went temporarily insane and killed everyone except his wife (everyone on the street, at least, and some sources indicate possibly everyone in the city). This led his wife to run from him in terror. It is possible that the fire at the inn was arson, given the remarkable coincidence of the inn burning down at the same time as the gang attacking him.
  • In Fray, Urkonn the demon Watcher kills a young girl Fray regards as her little sister, then blames it on the vampires in order to spur her into defeating the vampires.
  • Runaways: Gert dies, becoming one of the first teen superheroes to do so.
  • The Sandman has a sequence with Death doing her rounds. One of the people she collects is a young baby, a victim of cot death when its mother leaves the room to warm a bottle for it.
    Infant's Spirit: That's it? That's all I get?
    Death: I'm afraid so.
  • Often occurs in Teen Titans, not with the members themselves but by their children. And this usually only happens to the five founding members:
    • Donna Troy's son and stepdaughter were both killed in a car crash, along with their father.
    • Wally West's twin children were aborted in the womb by the second Zoom, although this was undone some issues later and the two are currently alive.
    • Baby Wildebeest also applies, as while he could shift from child to full grown monster, he was still technically a child when Superboy-Prime blew a hole through his torso.
    • Tempest's wife and infant son were both missing since Infinite Crisis, and it was only recently stated the two had been dead since.
    • Finally, Roy Harper's daughter Lian, the very first Titan child, was crushed to death in Justice League: Cry for Justice during the destruction of Star City.
  • The Punisher MAX:
    • It's revealed in a flashback that General Zakharov, in order to draw an enemy force out of hiding, THREW A BABY OFF A CLIFF.
    • In another story arc Mafia boss Nicky Cavella killed a rival boss' young son and fed him to him.
  • Les Lgendaires plays with this trope interestingly: the story takes place in a world where, thanks to a curse, everyone is trapped in a children's body and unable to grow up beyond the age of twelve. And the series is not afraid to kill off characters, so we do see children being killed everytime someone die onscreen, but they aren't necessarily technically children.
  • Amazons Attack opens with members of the tribe butchering a father vacationing in Washington, D.C. with his son.... and then as the child starts crying they slaughter him too. It all goes downhill from there, folks...
  • In the Maximum Carnage storyline Carnage killed several children in his rampage.
  • Batman's arch enemy The Joker has killed many children. Some examples include the brutal killing of 15 year old Jason Todd in "A Death in the Family" and on at least one occasion he blew up a school full of children.
  • In Flashpoint, Joe Chill accidentally kills 8 year old Bruce Wayne instead of his parents.
  • Innocence Lost
    • X-23's first mission is the assassination of a presidential candidate. It ends as a bloody rampage in which she killed the candidate, his wife, his children, and everyone else in the room.
    • It's strongly implied that Laura killed other children on her missions for the Facility, as well.
  • "The Gauntlet" arc from the Brand New Day story sees longtime recurring Spider-Man character Billy Conners getting eaten alive by his own father after the Lizard side completely takes him over.
  • A particularly infamous example is Harley Quinn giving out various handheld video games to both children and adults, then setting off the bombs while crying. Due to the near instantaneous Internet Backdraft DC has claimed Canon Discontinuity on the issue.
  • Two Robin's have died. Damien was even younger than Jason (Damien was around ten while Jason was a teenager). Both ended up revived in the end though.

    Fan Works 
  • The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum-
    • The TCB Ponies have zero qualms about potioning small children, even shoving it down their throats if needed. This does not end well for them.
    • And on the other side, it's perfectly acceptable to shoot said newfoal children, especially since they're now the enemy and would happily force potion down people's throats, all in the name of spreading harmony. It's even seen as a Mercy Kill of sorts.
  • The Traitor Legions of The God Empress of Ponykind aren't too picky when it comes to massacres; when Celestia's forces arrive in Manehattan shortly after a battle, they find plenty of dead civilians, including foals and unborn children.
    • Scorpan in the sequel The Warmistress of Equestria kills an entire family of griffons in order to use Blood Magic, even taking time to note that the family had three children.
  • Cruelly subverted in Ace Combat: Wings of Unity; the town of New Saddle is attacked and almost completely destroyed in the first chapter and a baby pony is one of many victims.
  • Ferris. The first chapter ends with Eamon and the readers learning that HYDRA killed a kid, and in the Moscow Terror Mission, an entire school is attacked and implanted by Chryssalids.
  • A Brief History of Equestria: In one chapter, Smart Cookie mentions in a letter to her husband that of the seven fillies she gave birth to, only four managed to survived to adulthood. Naturally, this is going to happen in a pre-industrial society with limited medical knowledge. Then remember Smart Cookie is one of the better off ponies of her day, and what that means for the average pony. Also invoked later on, when Talonhoof The Reviled makes an "example" of a pony one of his soldiers spared previously.
  • In "Dear Scootaloo", it is mentioned that three of the youngest foals in the Cloudsdale Home for Wayward Pegasi perished from smoke inhalation after an "arson" (turning clouds into smoke) attack.
  • In Mass Effect Fanfic Crucible, this trope is used to hell and back with all the numbers of dead children and babies. Unless you're baby!Gaius, chances are you're gonna die a horrible death. One can even say that you're lucky to simply be killed and not having something terrible done to you before and after your death.
  • What Lies Beyond the Walls has used this trope on multiple occasions. Chances are, if there's a giant battle going on and young ones are nearby, or if there's a child, teenager, or pregnant character that appears to be in danger, more than likely, he or she will die. Unless his name is Tegast.
  • In Broken Legends, Ubume discovers the true cost of Ho-Oh's blessing when her own lover attempts to kill her while she's pregnant. She revives; her unborn child doesn't. Not only does Ho-Oh refuse to bring her child back, he also tells her that they'll never be reunited, since she can't die.

    Films — Animated 
  • Mulan. When walking through the ruins of a raided village, a single doll is found, as a G-rated signal that there were children killed here.
  • The animated movie version of Roald Dahl's The BFG, wherein we see into a boys dream and are allowed to at least on some level "bond" with this kid only for him to be very heavily implied to have been eaten. Oh, and when Sophie and The BFG discuss the other Giants' plans to eat some school children it is acknowledged to have happened.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Little Maria in Frankenstein (1931) is thrown into the water by the Monster and drowns. Followed by an emotional scene of her father carrying the lifeless body of his daughter across town.
  • Road to Perdition has Connor Rooney, the primary villain, killing both Michael O'Sullivan's wife and his younger son. Connor thought that the boy in question was actually the older son, Michael, who had witnessed him and his father gunning down a rival, and did not believe Michael's assurance that his son was a man of honor.
  • Low-grade monster movies tend to apply this trope with glee, killing young children to show how dangerous their monsters are.
    • The Blob (1988). The heroine rescues her child brother and his friend. Right before they climb out of the sewer, the friend is pulled underwater screaming. Moments later, he pops out of the water again. Half melted. Still screaming.
    • Lampshaded in Feast, where a timid boy is introduced with the captioned advantage "Fits into small spaces", a common rationale for this trope in film ... but the "small space" he fits into turns out to be a monster's gullet.
    • Broken rather spectacularly twice in Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds. In the opening scene of the film Biker Queen, one of the protagonists of the film, kills a dog with a shotgun, and the camera lingers on the dog's mostly blown apart corpse. Later in the film, another character, Greg Swank, heroically attempts to save an infant from imminent doom. Regretfully, he is unable to save the baby, and, in fact, throws the infant into the air as a distraction, at which point the infant strikes the asphalt and is summarily devoured by monsters.
    • Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem: A father and his son have gone into the woods, where facehuggers give them both a Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong. Later, the predalien finds its way into a maternity ward, where it impregnates a pregnant mother and several babies with soon-to-be chestbursters. The resulting bodies are partially seen later on in the movie.
    • Dinocroc when the monster eats the protagonist's 12-year-old brother, leaving nothing behind but his head.]]
    • Piranha 3DD ends with a mutated piranha that can crawl on land decapitating a young boy taking photographs of it. Director John Gulager says he received multiple petitions to not include this scene in the film.
    • The Swarm showed a grammar school under attack by killer bees. Not all of the children made it inside in time.
    • In Mimic, the two kids are horribly slaughtered.
  • M, the plot of which revolves around a child murderer. This was a departure for Fritz Lang's films in general, which would often put children into dangerous situations but always save them.
  • Titanic (1997):
    • The scene immediately after the sinking of the titular ship shows, among the frozen bodies floating in the ocean, a dead woman still cradling her frozen infant.
    • About three times you see a curly-headed Irish girl named Cora, who doesn't look much older than seven or eight-years-old. A deleted scene shows her and her parents, screaming and crying, trapped behind a third-class gate and being submerged by water. Cameron stated that he cut the scene because it was just too upsetting.
    • This happens a couple more times: first, a woman comforts her two young children before their cabin is submerged; and second, a boy whom Jack and Rose tried to save earlier is swept away by a current along with his father.
    • Another woman caresses her son just before the ship breaks up, telling him that it'll be over soon. A few other children can be glimpsed in the background as well.
  • Looper when the main protagonist shoots a child in the face (albeit offscreen).
  • The Hunger Games:
    • The entire premise hinges on twelve to eighteen year old kids brutally killing one another.
    • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 with the bombing of District 12, which claimed thousands of lives, including children.
    • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. Dozens of capitol children are blown up onscreen. The ones that might have survived fall victim to the fire bombs.
  • The Way Back. Out of a group of eight gulag escapees, only half of them survive, and the sole young girl isn't one of them. She doesn't just die, either; she dies horribly of heatstroke and dehydration in the desert.
  • Sinister. The main villain kills entire families in a variety of ways, each murder preserved on a Super 8 reel. They still cut away from the most graphic child-deaths, though, or only show them out-of-focus.
  • 28 Days Later has children among the many discarded bodies around the manor house- presumably Infected- and we see quite clearly a dead infant in the arms of its mother with a pacifier in its mouth, part of a multi-generational dead family. There's also an attack by a preteen boy Infected.
  • 28 Weeks Later: The child in the very beginning of the movie escaped his Infected parents, but it's implied he's dead as the Infected burst into the farm and killed everyone but Don and Alice.
  • The 2011 adaptation of The Whisperer in Darkness uses this trope with Hannah, the little girl whose father shoots himself (in front of her, no less). Wilmarth really, really tries to save her (since she even reminded him of his own dead daughter), but after she bravely throws a gas cylinder from a plane into a Mi-Go's face (?), another one simply picks her out of the cockpit and drops her to her death. This marks the point where Wilmarth decides to kill himself by crashing the plane into the Mi-Go portal... What? It's Lovecraft. You weren't expecting a happy ending.
  • The original John Carpenter directed Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) was considered quite violent for its time, mainly because of the scene that triggers the plot. A young girl walks up to an ice cream truck just as a gang leader kills the driver for not paying protection money. In any other movie, she would have gotten away and become the MacGuffin of the story. Instead, the gang leader shoots her through the heart right on camera. Her father witnesses the act, kills the gang leader, and he becomes the MacGuffin.
  • The adorable almost-five Jess is killed off in a car crash just a few minutes into The Descent, traumatizing her mother for the rest of the film.
  • Die Hard 2: The main villain actually crashes an airplane full of people by giving wrong landing instructions. Before the plane crashes, we see a little girl playing with a little doll, and after it crashes, we see McClane (the hero) walking through the wrecked airplane and soon finding the half-burnt doll. It is later stated nobody in that plane made it out of there alive, adding insult to the injury.
  • One part in Bram Stoker's Dracula has Dracula give his brides an infant and they carry it off, presumably to feed on it.
  • Face/Off begins with Castor Troy attempting to assassinate FBI Agent Sean Archer, only to accidentally kill Archer's young son in the process.
  • The B-horror movie Flesh Eating Mothers. The titular mothers are turned into cannibals, and one mother eats a character's baby brother.
  • For a Few Dollars More: Indio invades an enemy's house, and asks his companions to kill the guy's wife and baby outside (off-screen). He shoots the guy later.
  • The beginning of Freddy vs. Jason has Freddy (himself a former child rapist and killer, whose victims now consist primarily of teens) murdering a little girl offscreen. What is presumably her spirit shows up later in the Dream World, missing eyes.
  • In Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Freddy also wiped out every single non-adult in Springwood.
  • The 1954 film Gojira:
    • There's a scene which shows a mother comforting her two children during Godzilla's rampage in Tokyo. It's heavily implied that they were killed by the titular monster.
    • Likewise, the extremely unnerving scene where two soldiers use a Geiger counter on the body of a little girl...and it goes berserk.
  • Sergio Leone obviously liked this trope.
    • At the beginning of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Angel Eyes shoots a man he was paid to kill, then shoots his young son, who was rushing down the stairs with a rifle to investigate. However, the younger son does survive.
    • Henry Fonda's character Frank from Once Upon a Time in the West kills Jill's family in his introduction scene, including a little boy. Not only that, but he saves the little boy for last (though it might be just because the kid happened to be inside at the time, and only came out after the others were killed). Also while the others were sniped from a distance, Frank goes right up to the boy, and smiles as he pulls out his gun.
  • Halloween III: Season of the Witch, where the aim of the Big Bad is killing America's children with Halloween masks.
  • The Happening: The two slightly older kids the protagonists pick up halfway through the film, get themselves killed when they harass some people who have barricaded themselves inside their home. They get a rather brutal treatment, too. The first kid takes a buckshot blast point blank in the chest, and you get to see it come out his back. The second thankfully gets a Gory Discretion Shot when he gets the same treatment to the head, but we're treated to the wound afterward.
  • The Host: The entire plot is driven around a 13-year old girl being kidnapped by a giant sea monster, and she gets eaten by the monster near the end.
  • In Bruges: The Don's Would Not Hurt A Child moral code defines the entire plot;
    • Colin Farrell's character accidentally shooting a five-year old before the events of the film is the Inciting Incident. He's depressed because of his guilt, and his friend is trying to give him a nice holiday before carrying out their boss's order to kill him.
    • When the boss himself mistakenly believes he's done so himself, he immediately shoots himself.
  • Jaws: The shark's first victim is a dog, which disappears after chasing a thrown stick into the ocean. Mere moments later, a young boy on a raft is gruesomely devoured on-screen.
  • Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome: A bunch of abandoned children in a desert outpost. What could possibly happen? Swallowed up by sand, for one.
  • In Omen III: The Final Conflict, new ambassador Damien Thorn orders all newborns in the area killed in the hopes that the newly born Christ will be among those murdered; we're shown baby after baby being killed, with one actually being hit by a car after its carriage is knocked into traffic.
  • Can anyone say Pan's Labyrinth? Not only does the heroine get shot at the end, the Pale Man's lair is decorated with paintings of him killing and eating babies.
  • No se Aceptan Devoluciones , in which little Maggie dies at the end.
  • Pay It Forward: Everything's more fine and dandy with the world thanks to young Trevor, the main character, until he's stabbed to death by bullies.
  • In Planet Terror a mother hands her son a gun, instructing him to use it in case his father shows up. Being the curious little bugger that he is, the kid blasts his own face off in five seconds flat.
  • Uwe Boll's film adaptation of Postal:
    • There is a particular shootout scene where the camera focuses on only the ridiculous number of children being shot. Later the replacement TV reporter, whilst gloating over her predecessor's death, is standing in essentially a massive pile of dead, at least a good 30 of them were under 15.
    • Plus one scene involving a baby stroller hit by a vehicle, sending the kid flying.
  • Uwe Boll's Darfur No one is safe from the Janjaweed, children get killed just as often as adults, and at one point a baby is impaled on a wooden spike, and it's shown in full detail What makes this even more heartbreaking is that it's Truth in Television.
  • In one of the most disturbing scenes ever, in Rambo 4 there's a sequence where Government soldiers attack a rebel village, and kill EVERYONE. Young kids are bayoneted, infants are beaten with blunt objects, and a baby is taken from its mother and thrown into a fire, and the remains are gunned down with heavy machine gun rounds. Which makes it all the better when Rambo manages to get a hold of the ones responsible.
  • Alfred Hitchcock's Sabotage features a scene where a young boy is given a package to deliver, which is really a bomb. He dwadles en route, and it goes off, killing him and several other people on a bus. Hitchcock later said he regretted doing the scene this way, although it might have still been an example of this trope.
  • Schindler's List:
    • The girl in the red coat at first is escorted out of the Krakow ghetto, but her dead body is later seen among a pile of other corpses. Though justified because of the subject matter.
    • There is also a scene where a truckload of children are taken away from their parents; it's implied that they are killed.
  • The Sixth Sense:
    • Among the dead people seen is a preteen girl poisoned to death by her stepmother.
    • Also at one point Cole encounters the ghost of a pre-teen boy who had showed his friend his father's gun and accidentally shot himself, and we see the wound in the back of his head.
  • In Sleepy Hollow, Lady Van Tassel has the Headless Horseman massacre the Killian family, including the young son because she overheard the young wife speaking of a certain "inheritance." Before the boy's time comes, he gets to see the severed head of his mother stare at him. Tim Burton has gone on record to state he disagrees with the Infant Immortality trope.
  • In the exploitation film SS Hell Camp, Nazi soldiers have no problem snatching babies out of their mothers' arms and tossing them in the air for target practice.
  • Edgy variant: In Revenge of the Sith, the newly-appointed Darth Vader steps into a room full of kindergarten-aged Jedi with his lightsaber. After the cutscene, there are no more Jedi. You do the math. The movie manages to Never Say "Die" around the issue to soften the potential impact, with such Unusual Euphemisms as "Younglings," (although the novel adaptation explains this is a catch-all term for young members of any species, so it incorporates children, pups, kittens, etc; also, the word is used in the same context in Episode II). The word kill certainly comes up anyway.
  • A Night to Remember:
    • There was a moment towards the end where a little boy is seen looking for his mother. An elderly waiter tries to comfort him, but it is only a few minutes later that the ship finally sinks into the ocean, and its implied that both either drown or freeze to death.
    • There was also a later scene where two of the Irish steerage passengers show up at an overturned longboat with a child. One of the officers looks under the child's hood, realizes its dead and sets it adrift.
  • In The Element of Crime, since the movie is about a child killer, yet we still manage to get unexpected infant deaths.
  • Trainspotting has a drawn out, closeup shot of baby Dawn lying dead in her crib, having been neglected by her junkie mother and starving to death.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. The first scene features a large group of accused pirates/accomplices being hanged—including a ten-year old boy, who has to stand on a barrel in order to be at noose height (which means a short drop, causing at least a few seconds of agony, at worst a lot more). If you didn't think Beckett had hit Moral Event Horizon before...
  • In Enemy at the Gates, Sacha, the Russian tween who's been reporting German positions to Soviet snipers during the siege of Stalingrad, is hanged by Major Koenig to bring rival sniper Zaitsev out of hiding.
  • In The Professional, her little brother's murder (onscreen, but not clearly shown) is the reason Mathilda hires Leon on to kill the men responsible.
  • In Warlock, the titular villain strikes up a conversation with a young boy when he learns his family aren't church-goers. In the next scene, the heroes come across two constables and a grieving mother, staring at the boy's off-screen body and assuming coyotes must have skinned him.
    Redferne: There's only one reason he'd need the fat of an unbaptized male child.
    Kassandra: Why?
    Redferne: Flying potion.
  • Funny Games. The family dog is the first to go, and next to die is the son. Both die in pretty brutal ways too.
  • The turning point in King Vidor's silent classic The Crowd comes when the protagonist's little daughter is run over and killed by a truck.
  • In For Colored Girls, Crystal's two young children are killed by their father because his PTSD-fueled delusions have led him to believe that the children aren't his and that this was the reason why Crystal refuses to marry him. he drops them from the sixth-floor of their apartment building
  • Alien:
    • In Aliens, Newt's brother is said to have died before the Colonial Marines reach the planet.
    • In Alien, not only does Newt die in the very beginning, we get to see the autopsy.
  • In Downfall Frau Goebbels personally poisons her six children to "save" them from a world without Naziism. Also a real life example. The (admittedly somewhat older) Hitler Youth carrying the battle on the streets don't fare too well either, though it's implied that one (who left his post) survived.
  • The otherwise forgettable Beware! Children at Play ends with a five-minute sequence of an angry mob murdering the feral children.
  • Machine Gun Preacher: A child whose village was destroyed chases his dog through the brush only to step on a land mine.
  • Lord of War: The film opens with a child soldier being shot in the face by a 7.62mm round, which the camera has followed from its manufacture up to that moment.
  • The Anvilicious 1970s western Soldier Blue. The finale features several young Native American children (along with everyone else in the village) brutally murdered by crazed U.S. Calvary soldiers. Children are graphically shot, stabbed and trampled by horses all while the soldiers cheer on their own actions.
  • In The Raid, one of the first people killed by the SWAT Team in the apartment complex is a child, who tries to alert the mobsters to the police's presence.
  • Them! began with a very young girl wandering the desert in a catatonic state. It was later discovered that she had been in a camper with her family, including a brother of about the same age. None of the others survived.
  • Tower Block has two young children murdered by a Cold Sniper at the beginning of the film; their mother is Driven to Suicide as a result. Later, a young teenager is murdered by the same sniper. And the events of the film are set off by a 15 year old being kicked to death.
  • Played for Laughs in the British TV movie Bernard and the Genie. When the title characters take over for the shopping centre Santa they start granting wishes for the children who visit them. At one point a boy and his baby sister make their wishes and just after their mother asks the toddler what she wished for and she answers "Snow" and the brother gives a mischevious look she explodes, implying that's what the brother wished for.
  • In The Good Son we find out that Henry's toddler brother Richard died before the events of the film Henry killed him, later Henry dies after his mother chooses Mark over him after they end up dangling from a cliff.
  • In Demon Knight Danny is a young boy who joins the heroes after his parents were murdered by the Collector, near the end he is transformed into a demon and explodes after being thrown into a barrier.
  • In The Children, all of the kids possessed by the fog are eventually killed.
  • Played with in Ghost Ship. Katie survives the razor wire murder scene, but only because she is too small. She is later murdered anyway by two insane crew members, and she becomes a ghost.
  • Fearless: Carla's infant son and several other children are killed in a horrific plane crash.
  • Hellraiser: Inferno. Joseph's case is to look for a missing child who is slowly being killed by the serial killer the Engineer by cutting off the boy's fingers one by one and Joseph's daughter is frozen to death right in front of him. Neither of them were real however, but part of Joseph's torture in Hell.
  • The Sacrament as we see among the Jonestown-esque mass suicide a mother poisoning her own infant.
  • Threads, a BBC docudrama about the effects of nuclear war, applies this trope several times:
    • Michael, the youngest of the Kemp siblings, is killed when the blast wave demolishes older brother Jimmy's aviary, burying him in the rubble.
    • Zigzagged with Jimmy and Michael's sister, Alison. She is sent to pick up supplies shortly before the attack begins and, unlike her brothers and Ruth Beckett (who would have become her sister-in-law) is not seen during the attack sequences. A girl who closely resembles her is later glimpsed among the inmates of a makeshift prison set up to contain looters, but it is not known if this is meant to be Alison or not.
    • In one scene, a shell-shocked woman is seen cradling her baby's charred body, apparently unable to grasp the fact that the child is dead.
    • It is also stated that many of the children who survived the war die off during the first winter because "their protective layers of flesh are thinner", making them more vulnerable to the effects of cold and radiation. The same thing happens to the elderly population.
    • Towards the end, Ruth's daughter, Jane, hooks up with two boys, one of whom is shot and killed shortly after.
    • Finally, the film ends with Jane, still a child herself, giving birth. The baby is stillborn and, judging by Jane's reaction when it is placed in her arms, grossly deformed.
  • The Last Witch Hunter: Kaulder's not-yet-teen daughter Elizabeth dying from Black Death is important part of his backstory.
  • The first death in The Day After is that of a young girl in a red dress who is afraid to take shelter in the basement of a Kansas City office building. She's reassured by a guard, but shortly after the first bomb drops on the outskirts of the city she's trampled by a panicked crowd. Seconds later, dozens of children are vaporized when bombs fall on Kansas City and Whiteman AFB, including Airman McCoy's infant child and a class of preteens.

  • Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? — an elementary school's worth of children can die, and you run into many child zombies.
  • Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons has a rare (and rather shocking to western eyes) comedic example at the beginning, when a giant fish demon attacks a village. It makes several attempts to eat an infant in a basket, which is repeatedly saved by dramatic and improbable kung-fu stunts involving springy bamboo, but in the end, the rescuers' efforts are in vain, and the baby is swallowed whole.
  • The plot of Antichrist is kicked off by the lead couple's young child falling out a window. Their parents were in the middle of sex while it happened, and consequently the child's mother blames herself for the death, fueling her own self loathing.

  • In Frankenstein, the Monster starts a vengeful killing spree against his creator, Victor Frankenstein, by brutally murdering the man's little kid brother William.
  • Part of the reason The Little Match Girl is considered such a tragic story- the titular character freezes to death on New Years Eve.
  • In Warrior Cats, kits are just as susceptible to death as any other character. Notable examples include Snowkit, the deaf kit taken by a hawk, and the kits killed under Brokenstar's tyrannical rule of Shadow Clan.
  • Stephen King's books:
    • Young Tad Trenton dies in novel Cujo... but survives in the Film. King also kills off toddler Gage Creed in Pet Sematary (this death, crucial to plot, also happens in the movie version).
    • The first victims of Barlow in 'Salem's Lot are the Glick brothers. One is sacrificed outright while the other becomes the town's first vampire.
    • All of the above is topped by his novel It, where there is a monster that specifically targets children.
    • In Under the Dome, supporting characters are killed off left and right; adults, children, dogs equally.
    • There's the little girl in The Langoliers, who is stabbed to death by the insane Toomy near the end.
  • Michael Grant's Gone series.
    • Sam and some others find a dead baby inside an abandoned house.
    • The final battle scene in the end of Gone kills a lot of children.
  • In Raymond E. Feist's Serpentwar series:
    • A squad of reformed criminals located a creche containing the eggs of a race of evil humanoid snakemen, and destroyed every last one, dooming the race to extinction. Justified by the fact that all snakemen are inherently evil from the moment they hatched, demonstrated when one hatched while the squad was busy.
    • During the Serpentwar, a magic-wielding protagonist on a scouting mission, discovers a village attacked by deserters from the Big Bad's army, including a hut containing only small, charred corpses. She took down several trained soldiers, WITHOUT using magic.
  • Considering that it's about the horrors of the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel's Night firmly crushes Infant Immortality underfoot. The first chapter doesn't fly by without the mention of babies being used as target practice by the Nazis. Then we see children casually being shot and thrown into crematoriums, and later get a somewhat graphic scene of a child slowly being hanged.
  • Guy Gavriel Kay's The Lions of Al-Rassan has a particularly nasty example during an unsanctioned Jaddite raid near the beginning of the book.
  • In The Witches: he main character's grandmother regale him with stories of kids who turned to stone, were transmogrified into slugs and killed by their parents, trapped in pictures, etc.
  • In Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles series, it's generally frowned upon to turn a human into a vampire who hasn't lived to adulthood, but Lestat, that Loveable Rogue, turns Claudia who was, maybe, seven at the time. This results in an eventual Break the Cutie, turning her into a bitter creature who has a mature woman's mind but is trapped in a child's body.
  • Lord of the Flies. The children kill each other.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Notable in that baby-killing isn't seen as exceptionally dramatic or vile, because the world is already saturated with evil. Though it is cited as one of the more notorious of Gregor Clegane's many, many, many horrible acts.
    • There's also the Unsullied, who have to kill babies as part of their training.
  • The title character in the novel version of Dracula had no compunction feeding a baby to his three vampire wives. Then the baby's mother to a pack of wolves. And one of his victims, Lucy Westenra, gains a reputation for preying on children.
  • In Nancy A. Collins' Sunglasses After Dark series, Sonja comes across an ogre who is in the process of lowering a baby into his maw. He would've been successful in eating the baby if she'd been two minutes slower.
    Sonja: Uh-uh. No veal for you.
  • Averted in the Left Behind Kids' Series. Of the original four kids, ranging from ages 18 to 12, the youngest is the first to go. Rather violently.
  • In Samantha Stone and the Mermaid's Quest, a large group of girls, aged 8 to 12, are all kidnapped in an attempt to find the heroine, 10-year-old Samantha Stone. When each one is shown to the main villain, one by one, he orders their execution when he discovers the girl is not Samantha. Which actually gets carried out in one case. Yup, a children's book where a child is executed.
  • In the Russian book Secret of a Black Stone by Kir Bulychev, child protagonist Alice investigates kidnapping of 84 children. Turns out they were kidnapped to be used as child soldiers. While no children are shown dying and Alice, being drafted as a child soldier as well, is rescued seconds before the planned execution, the number count in the end clearly shows that some of the kidnapped children died. Also Alice befriends a child kidnapped from another planet, and he tells that out of 30+ children kidnapped with him, only 8 or so are alive now.
  • In Coraline the heroine discovers ghosts of children previously taken by Other Mother. And the only thing she can do is liberate their spirits so they rest in peace...
  • In the Keeper of the Swords series by Nick Perumov, Dark Magical Girl Sylvia, being in a city overrun with monsters, hears a plea for help, coming from a 6-year old girl. She rushes in, but cannot save the girl anymore. This sets Sylvia in a deep rage. Cue one big Crowning Moment of Awesome where Sylvia invites all monsters in a city to feast on her, and when they really come proceeds to hack them all in pieces with her sword. She single-handedly defeats a monster army capable of overrunning dozens of local wizards.
  • Though Jason never kills any kids in the movies, he does it quite a bit in the Friday the 13th books.
    • Jason kicks and stomps a baby and two toddlers to death in Friday the 13th: Jason's Curse.
    • Friday the 13th: The Carnival has kids being mangled and fried when the carnival rides go haywire and fires break out.
    • Friday The 13th: Hate Kill Repeat]] had Jason attacking a family of campers, killing them all, including the little boy and baby girl.
    • A zombie baby shows up in Friday The 13th: The Jason Strain.
    • Finally, Friday The 13th: Carnival Of Maniacs, after Jason's rampage in the titular carnival, a dead father is found holding his son's body in his arms.
  • In Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece The Road, the two main characters come upon a campfire abandoned by cannibals. A baby has been left roasting on a spit. The man had seen a pregnant woman and a few other men passing by a few days before, too.
  • In Erich Maria Remarque's novel A Time to Live and a Time to Die (set during World War II) the protagonist is on the streets of a German city during an air raid, and sees a five-year-old girl with an infant. Then a bomb hits the place; when the explosion is over, the girl is dead, and the baby has disappeared.
  • Anyone Can Die in Warrior Cats. Throughout the course of the series, we have seen kits carried off by hawks, starved to death, and fallen into crevasses. And that's just onscreen! Offscreen we have kits and apprentices mauled by dogs, frozen to death in winter, killed by diseases, hit by cars, and at one point the Big Bad brutally murders an apprentice from another Clan whom the protagonist had saved earlier, just to spite him.
  • Hannibal Rising: The plot revolves around Hannibal seeking revenge on the Nazis who killed and ate his sister.
  • The Silmarillion: Dior's young sons are abandoned in a forest and it's strongly implied that they die there.
  • The Book of the Dun Cow, in which Chauntecleer's three sons are killed by basilisks, along with their nurse.
  • The ogre-like titular monster from Clive Barker's Rawhead Rex devours a young boy alive, as well as dismembering and eating a little girl's riding pony. Much of the story is told from Rex's point of view, so although no infants are killed, the creature reminisces at length about eating them.
  • The Dragons of Requiem series kills off children as casually as the adult characters. It gets to a point where it's a surprise when a child or infant doesn't die.
  • In American Psycho, serial killer Patrick Bateman stabs a little boy to death in a zoo, just to see if he'd enjoy it. He doesn't (not because of guilt). He also kills a dog once (along with its owner).
  • The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton.
    • It starts strong in the second novel The Laughing Corpse where part of the plot deals with a flesh eating zombie that consumed a family, but having failed to find the body of one of the children ,an infant, it is assumed he is still alive. The assumption proves to be false in a very gruesome way..
    • The ninth novel Obsidian Butterfly takes the cake it has whole families, including children of all ages, gruesomely murdered, having their skins completely removed and reanimated as zombies, a pair of children, a 6 year old girl and 10 year old boy, kidnapped, tortured and raped by the bad guys, and the Crowning Moment of Gruesome — one of the previously mentioned skinless zombies getting loose in the maternity ward and eating several (like 20) newborns before the main character puts him or her down..
    • The twelfth novel Incubus Dreams gives the readers several back stories, including a high school couple raped and murdered in such a gruesome way that the parents still haven't found closure after 3 years, and one of the lovers of the main character that witnessed at ten the death of his prepubescent brother at the hands of their father.
  • Redwall has gone into this territory several times, all of them being killed by vermin. There are at least four instances: 1) In The Long Patrol, where one of the characters is shown a vermin blade that's been notched for every kill. The shallower notches are for creatures who couldn't fight back, such as women and children. 2) Taggerung, where a vermin character causes a landslide that kills a family of dormice so that he could get their food. 3) Doomwyte, though this one was done by a snake, the infant in question was a tree rat, and it was a Karmic Death. After the tree rat ran away from a fight it ran into a snake and got eaten. 4) The Sable Quean, where a young otter is stabbed in the neck with a poisoned knife and dies shortly afterwards.
  • The first book of His Dark Materials presents a full segment from the POV of a child character who is introduced and given a name and backstory exactly for the audience to be shocked when he suffers a Fate Worse Than Death, which leads to actual death soon enough. The end of the book proper features the death of the protagonist's best friend (a boy about 10-12) as being plot relevant. No other deaths are featured later, but the Magisterium are nonetheless unhesitant in sending an assassin to kill children later on.
  • Little House on the Prairie: Although the death of Laura's baby brother occurs off-screen and is never mentioned, we do see the death by SIDS of her first son. And her subsequent depression was so crippling that she failed to react in time to an over-burning pot and their house burned down. Wasn't the Old West romantic?
  • In Gone with the Wind, not only does Scarlett miscarry, her daughter Bonnie is killed in a riding accident. These two incidents put the nail in the coffin of Scarlett and Rhett's marriage.
  • In City of Glass, all the teenage protagonists survive the final battle.... but Max; the cute, manga-reading youngest Lightwood who wasn't allowed to fight is brutally murdered.
  • In The Inverted World, during an attack on the City, the creche where the children are raised gets set on fire. Many children die, including the protagonist's infant son.
  • In Eon, the infant future emperor is publicly executed by sword to ensure all other lines of power are wiped out.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Bianca di Angelo dies at the age of twelve. The rest of the deaths were teenagers and adults, not counting the off screen deaths.
  • In Anne's House of Dreams, Anne's firstborn child dies the day it is born.
  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas: You expect at least one of the children to die because he's in a Concentration Camp but the ending has both the protagonist and his friend killed.
  • The Once and Future King has multiple infanticide committed by King Arthur, albeit off-stage (and revealed to us decades afterward.
  • In the book Lost by Jacqueline Davies, two of the protagonist's siblings were stillborn. Her younger sister also dies from being trampled by a carriage horse.
  • Stealaway: Crackspear avenges the theft of his horse by Walt of Wideopen by killing the latter's young son.
  • Raptor Red: The Trinity Turtle's earliest memories include her siblings being devoured by pterosaurs, Raptor Red and her sister seriously consider abandoning the chicks during a famine, and one of the chicks dies of an infection.
  • The Fox and the Hound has a lot of cute fox pups fathered by Tod romping around in a few chapters. All but possibly one die. There's also a human child who's accidentally poisoned by bait meant to cull rabid foxes.
  • In The Adventures of Pinocchio Pinocchio's friend Candlewick dies as a donkey as a result of exhaustion and the injuries inflicted by his master, and who knows how many children suffered similar fates in The Land Of Toys.
  • Tamora Pierce really likes to hold nothing back in her portrayals of medieval life in the Tortall Universe:
    • Particularly noteworthy are the last two books of Protector of the Small, where the hideous "killing devices" are apparently powered by the souls of dead children and infants who cry out for their mothers when released. It turns out that the necromancer who makes the devices doesn't need to use children. He does it because he likes to.
    • In Daughter of the Lioness, the children of rebels are thrown into a piranha moat. (Mercifully, this does not ever happen onscreen.) Also, Kyprioth persuades Rubinyan and Imajane to kill the four-year-old King Dunevon and his closest cousin, Elsren Balitang, who is the same age.
    • The first Provost's Dog book has the Shadow Snake, a kidnapper who kills the children they abduct if the parents don't give up the valuables that the Snake wants. One of Beka's best friends lost her boy this way. There's also a woman who commits infanticide on her own. In the third, one of the child princes is murdered.
  • Running Out of Time is about a girl from a 19th century-themed historical preserve who leaves and stumbles about the "modern day" in order to find a cure for the diphtheria that has afflicted the children of her village. Two of them later die from it.
  • In the Ed McBain short story "Kid Kill" a pair of policemen answer a call where a boy has found a gun in his mother's house and while playing with it accidentally shot and killed his little brother. But the cop narrator realises there was too much dust on the gun for the boy to have just picked it up without smudging it... in other words, he murdered his brother. And there's nothing they can do about it.
  • The Earth's Children series:
    • All Ovra's pregnancies end in miscarriages, eventually prompting Ayla to start giving her the secret contraceptive herbs to spare her from the physical and emotional strain of repeatedly losing her babies.
    • At the Clan Gathering, Ayla and Uba meet Oda, a woman from another clan, whose baby daughter was killed when a man of the Others ripped off her wrap and carrying cloak (with the child inside) and raped her. Oda's daughter died after hitting her head on a rock and Oda, finding herself pregnant again, wished for another daughter, against the wishes of her mate, who, when Oda's second child, Ura, was born "deformed", made her keep the baby as punishment.
    • After Jetamio dies trying to give birth to her and Thonolan's son, the Shamud, hoping to at least save the baby, performs an emergency caesarian. But it is already too late.
    • While on the way to the Summer Meeting, the Mamutoi of the Lion Camp, along with Jondalar and Ayla, stop off at a Sungaea camp, where two young siblings have recently died.
    • And, during the Summer Meeting, Rydag, the "child of mixed spirits" raised by Nezzie (the mate of the Lion Camp's headman, Talut) dies from the congenital heart defect which has weakened him.
    • In the final book in the series, a young boy dies from the severe head injuries he sustained in an earthquake.
  • The Obituary Writer begins with a child in Claire's neighborhood being abducted and killed. And by the end of the novel, both Vivien and Claire experience this trope firsthand, with the death of the former's best friend's daughter and the latter's unborn baby.
  • In both the book and film adaptation of Where the Red Fern Grows Billy's bully Rubin dies when he tries to kill Billy's dog Old Dan with an axe for fighting with his dog Old Blue which he trained to be vicious, Billy tries to take the axe from him but he pushes him aside and as he's running Rubin trips over a rock and accidentally stabs himself in the chest with it.
  • In Les Misrables, Artful Dodger Gavroche dies in battle at the barricades, a tragic event that marks the turning point of the fight and foreshadows the rebels' loss.
  • Newsflesh has a straight example and a played with one:
    • Novella The Day The Dead Came To Show and Tell has an elementary school full of children die.
    • Novella All The Pretty Little Horses has children declared dead by traumatized adults who survived the Rising, even when presented with evidence the child survived. The adults had written their children off as dead already, grieved, and refused any information to the contrary.
  • The Brother Cadfael story "The Rose Rent" has Judith Perle, who lost her child not long after her husband died of disease (the TV version replaces the stillbirth with guilt over giving him a Mercy Kill), and feels it would be insulting their memory to remarry. She ends up finding love (and an adoptive daughter) by the end.

     Live-Action TV 
  • 24: In Season 5, Evelyn Martin and her young daughter are both confronted by Christopher Henderson after he kills two paramedics. It's highly implied that he killed them both, albeit it happened during commercial break.
  • Battlestar Galactica:
    • A baby was killed by a disguised Cylon in the pilot. The scene is ambiguous, with specific directions to the actress playing the Cylon to make it so. Was it just a murder, was it a mercy killing so the baby wouldn't have to go through the nuclear holocaust that would be released in a few hours, or was it an accident with the Cylon not realizing how fragile a human baby would be?
    • The second season opener, in which Commander Adama drowns a baby in Baltar's dream sequence on Kobol.
    • The onscreen death of Cami, the girl from botanical cruiser in the Miniseries.
    • In "The Plan", Cavil coldbloodedly stabs a small child who repeatedly tried to sneak in to his chapel and befriend him. What makes it so chilling is that the kid has been seeking refuge there for the length of the movie. In the end, Cavil seems to give in, sharing his food and learning that they both have the same first name. The whole scene is leading up to a Pet the Dog moment until he kills him and casually dumps his body to the side.
  • On The Strain, this trope tends to lead into another: Undead Child:
    • One of the Master's victims on the plane was a young French girl named Emma. According to Nora, she couldn't be more than eight. She's killed again after rising as a vampire and being decapitated by Setrakian.
    • After Kelly becomes a vampire, she visits a friend while looking for Zack and ends up draining both her and her son. They both rise as vampires as well and Eph is forced to kill them again.
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look:
    • One sketch has a little boy being talked into going on a "river rafting" ride, which starts by jumping off a bridge...
    • The world of the Quiz Broadcast (Remain Indoors), where an unknown apocalypse identified only as The Event has claimed most of humanity. One contestant mention she now wishes she'd took survival tips for children. The unnervingly cheerful host agrees that it would've been a different world if they'd kept even some of their children alive.
  • Often on daytime soaps.
    • All My Children killed off infant Leora (heart defect) in 2003 and Donna's baby (fire) in the early 80's, as well as Gloria's premature infant Anna Claire (one of the saddest daytime scenes EVER), and most notably, Brooke's 6-year daughter Laura was killed by a drunk driver.
    • One of General Hospital's most famous storylines involved BJ Jones being killed in a car accident and her heart being given to her dying cousin Maxie.
    • Many soaps (As the World Turns, One Life to Live, The Bold and the Beautiful) have featured characters being within weeks of delivery a healthy baby, only for tragedy to strike — car accident, premature labor — resulting in the baby's stillbirth.
    • Even more disturbing is that the likelihood of this often seems to be inversely proportional to the mother's or couple's feelings about the pregnancy — if she's Happily Married (or happily involved with the baby's father),happy about the pregnancy, and looking forward to motherhood, odds are, the child is doomed. If she's miserable and/or the child was conceived under dicey circumstances, such as an affair, the kid will make it. Case in point— on The Bold and the Beautiful Rick and Amber decided to have a child to solidify their reconciliation and were blissfully happy about her pregnancy, only for the baby to be stillborn. Meanwhile, Brooke conceived during her affair with her daughter's husband Deacon and after consciously deciding not to have an abortion, spent months wailing and angsting about the turmoil and havoc that was going to result from the child's birth and promptly gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
  • The 100:
    • Twelve-year-old Charlotte dies in the fourth episode. Unlike the usual Children Are Innocent version of the trope, Charlotte a) commits suicide, and b) does so because she had already killed someone else and couldn't live with the guilt of what she'd done.
    • In the Season 2 finale, Clarke decides to irradiate Mount Weather, killing everyone inside. Both Clarke and the audience had been reminded repeatedly, in this episode and in previous ones, that many of the people in Mount Weather are children who had nothing to do with their parents' crimes; Clarke goes through with it anyway. We don't see any of the children's corpses (at least not up close) but we do get an Empathy Doll Shot of the soccer ball we'd earlier seen the Mount Weather kids playing with.
  • Aishiteru's plot starts with the death of a seven year old boy. To make things worse, the murderer is a ten-year-old.
  • Babylon 5: In the epsisode "Believers" when an alien boy is killed by his parents at the end because they believe a surgical operation has caused his soul to leave his body and in Confessions and Lamentations when 99% of an alien race dies of a plague, including a prominently featured girl.
  • In Breaking Bad we see two kids getting shot dead, Thomas Cantillo in Season 3, and later Drew Sharpe in Season 5. Both of these incidents drive Jesse Pinkman really mad.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Vampires never hesitated to kill or turn children and babies, though naturally this never occurred on-screen. Darla discovers the effect of Angel's soul when he refuses to drink from a baby. Spike, after becoming unable to hurt humans but before becoming ensouled, tells Dawn a story of slaughtering a family, leading up to his discovering the baby in the coal bin, but he quickly revises this story when Buffy arrives, to her evident skepticism.
    • And in the episode "Band Candy," the Mayor orders his minions to steal babies as a tribute (Read: Lunch) to one of the demons he owes a debt to. Guess who the Big Bad of the season turned out to be?
    • In "Triangle", Olaf the troll requests babies to eat. Nobody actually grants this request though, nor does he ever get any babies to eat.
    • In an early Season 3 episode of Angel, one type of demon is said to prefer babies.
    • In the Season 8 (comic), Faith discovers that a mother was turned with all of her children — and Faith has to stake those children, as well! (though we only see "paff" and not the moment of impalement.
    • We do see Buffy's cousin Celia being killed by Der Kindestod in detail in "Killed By Death" in a flashback.
    • Also, Wes once dreamed about baby Connor being fatally bitten by Angel.
    • In "The I in Team", Adam skewers and dissects a small boy. We only hear about it on the news, however.
    • The flashback of Holtz who finds that Angel (going by Angelus at the time) killed his wife and turned his daughter. Holtz grimly forces her out into the sunlight where she burns to death. The scene of the mother being killed also cuts away after the sound of a baby crying is heard and Darla is seen looking hungrily at the cradle.
    • In "Lie to Me" it looks like Drusilla is about to chow down on a young boy, but Angel shows up in time to rescue him.
    • The plot of "Gingerbread" was kicked off by the discovery of two children's corpses. It later turns out they were illusions created by the monster of the week to stir dissent among the people of Sunnydale.
  • Charmed: Unlike Piper's unborn son, Phoebe's actually-not-her-child has no such luck: he is burned alive when the Charmed Ones reflect his power back at the Seer, in whose womb he is currently residing. Apparently, this Trope doesn't apply if you're the Spawn of Satan.
  • In Coronation Street, Zoe Tattersall's newborn baby, Shannon, died from meningitis in 1998.
  • Being a child makes absolutely no difference in Criminal Minds. Recurring villain Karl Arnold slaughters at least 8 children in the first season alone, and the second season episode "Ashes and Dust" had a child graphically burned to death entirely onscreen.
  • In an episode of CSI, one of the victims is a baby. This then proceeds to move Grissom so much that he gets quite angry at Greg Sanders for working on a gang-related case which happened earlier in the week.
  • Played to the hilt in CSI: Miami, when the sole survivors of a murdered family are the murderer playing his wife's postpartum stress as the cause, and a toddler who wandered away from the crime scene in a blood stained shirt.
  • In Deadwood, Stubs and "The Nigga general" lose control of a wild horse they were trying to castrate. It runs through the camp and caves in the chest of the sheriff's nephew, who he was raising as his son with his sister-in-law who was living as his wife.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The episode "School Reunion" opens with a child being eaten.
    • In "The Stolen Earth" we see a family of three, with a child about ten years old, retreat back to their house after being ordered out by the Daleks. And then the Daleks blow up the whole house.
    • In "Survival," the Doctor pursues the predatory Cheetah People to Earth. The first person he meets is a little girl in tears because someone has killed her cat.
    • In "Full Circle", a juvenile Marshman known simply as the Marshchild dies (and is, in fact, the only Marshman to perish in the story). Tylos and Varsh also arguably count, as both are teenagers who die during the Marshmen's rampage aboard the Starliner in the final episode.
    • Varsh's younger brother, Adric, who goes on to become a member of the TARDIS crew, is killed off at the end of "Earthshock" when a space freighter crashes into the prehistoric Earth and explodes - with him on board. According to the story, the explosion is also responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs.
  • An episode of the '60s Dragnet featured two parents who were so high on drugs that they forgot they put their baby in the bathtub. Whoops. Another followed the officers as they investigated a case of child abuse; that one ended with them arresting the father after he shook his baby to death.
  • Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. A baby dies while in Mike's care. She can't understand why she's so rattled, as it isn't the first time this has happened, until Sully reminds her that she hadn't had a baby of her own as yet.
  • In Frank Herbert's Dune miniseries, Paul Maud'dib's baby son is killed in a Sardaukar raid. The scene shows a soldier advancing towards the baby with a knife, then jumps to another scene with a yelp from the baby in the background.
  • ER. Dr. Carter's son was stillborn at seven months. The horrifying reality of this ruined his relationship with the mother. Also averted with a handful of pediatric patients over the years.
  • Farscape:
    • In the episode "Different Destinations" ends with the mass murder of an entire nunnery, including the eight-year-old novices.
    • And in "Prayer," a Scarran officer aboard a research vessel disposed of a test subject's unborn child by using his heat-projection to fry it alive inside the womb. And the holographic display also shows the fetus writhing and shrivelling in the heat. However as the mother was a mole hopefully they faked it to scare aeryn. Hopefully. She got what's coming either way.
  • The world of Game of Thrones is very dark and gritty, and Anyone Can Die.
    • To drive this home, a child of perhaps 7 or 8 years is shown impaled on a tree, along with the dismembered remains of her family group, within the first two minutes of the pilot. She is unlikely to be the first child to be dead (or die) onscreen.
    • One of Arya's friends is murdered as a scapegoat for the well-deserved mauling of Joffrey. While we don't see the act itself, we do see his corpse being hauled away by the Hound.
    • More children (including an infant) die in the Season 2 premiere, "The North Remembers," as part of a massive purge of King Robert's bastard children.
    • During an attack on the Night's Watch, one of the young orphan recruits ends up getting a sword through his throat when his captors realize that he can't walk unassisted.
    • Two Lannister children are attacked and murdered in their beds by Stark bannermen.
  • Hawaii Five-O:
    • In the two-parter "Once Upon A Time," McGarrett's sister is under the spell of a quack doctor who claims she can cure her cancer-stricken baby. She doesn't — the baby succumbs well before the end of Part 1.
    • In "The Listener" a psychiatrist tormented by a man who's bugging his office and tells the doctor's patients stuff which is supposed to be purely between them informs a young boy that contrary to what the criminal told him, he isn't dying. The good doctor then tells McGarrett that the boy is dying, and that he wasn't about to tell the kid the truth.
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: In the very first episode, Hera kills Herc's wife and all three of his children.
  • House: T He Patient of the Week doesn't always make it, and this has included babies.
    • A newborn baby dies in the episode "Maternity."
    • "Forever" has mentally unstable Patient murder her child on-screen.
  • In I, Claudius, during the purge in Tiberius's reign, both Sejanus' son and daughter were killed, both under age. The boy was given his "manly gown" and the girl was raped before being killed as killing a virgin would bring bad luck to the city. Furthmore, Gemellus, aged perhaps twelve or thirteen, is murdered and decapitated offscreen, his head brought to Caligula as evidence and Caligula's infant daughter Drusilla is murdered in her cradle along with her mother. There are still more child deaths in the book. All in all, thoroughly averted.
  • In the Law & Order franchise, there are the occasional episodes where juvenile deaths are investigated.
  • Legend of the Seeker: An episode opens with kids playing hide and seek, with one finding a mysterious object, and the scene cuts away when it opens. A little later, the heroes show up in the village, and find everyone dead, including the kids.
  • Little House on the Prairie, in an effort to be true to the infant mortality rates of the harsh frontier, is another show that did not adhere to this trope. Babies died on several occasions on this show.
    • Wilder's first son Charles Jr. dies of leukemia before he even turns a year old.
    • When the school for the blind Mary and her husband run is on fire, they two are able to get all the students out only to realize their baby and another woman are trapped inside. They are then forced to watch helplessly as the woman and baby appear at a high window unable to escape and plead for help until they are both overtaken by the flames. (All of this happens onscreen and is quite unsettling)
    • Laura and Almanzo's unnamed son dies during the night after becoming ill a few days before. It is now believed that he was conceived too soon after Laura recovered from diphtheria, later causing his illness and death.
  • This was is what sent Hawkeye over the edge in the Mash Grand Finale, the fact that a mother had to smother her child because he told her that she had to keep it quietnote  We only see the head fall back but it's obvious the baby is dead. Hawkeye had been so traumatized by the incident that at first he steadfastly remembered the infant being a chicken, until Sydney Freedman was able to draw the truth out of him as the big heartbreaking reveal.
  • The third series opener of Merlin (2008) revealed that Uther used to drown the children of magic users in case they inherited their parents' abilities. Though the drowning itself is entirely offscreen, their ghosts appear en masse.
  • In HBO's The Pacific, with the mother on Okinawa, an involuntary suicide bomber, who tries and fails to hand off her baby before she blows up.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Power Rangers in Space: Granted, it happens offscreen, but a one-shot character is mentioned to have had a 12-year-old brother who died recently. Not only is it a plot point of the episode, but she's even seen at his grave at one point. These types of occurrences are part of why the show is considered Darker and Edgier compared to most other Power Ranger seasons.
    • Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: The Magna Defender's revenge obsession is due to the (witnessed onscreen) death of his son. However, his son was a Magna Defender in training (despite being ten-ish, if we go by the size and the voice) who was never seen demorphed, making this less daring than some examples. Still, he doesn't ultimately survive, time isn't rewritten, he doesn't Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, or anything like that, and he's small and has the voice of a kid.
  • Claire and Russell's baby died on Promised Land, which was unusual because it was a "family" show, with the characters actually looking forward to the birth.
  • In The Refugees, lex killed a man that had killed his son. Ani dies at the end of the series.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures:
    • A child Slitheen disguises himself as a schoolboy, and later a child genius. Although it is not explicitly stated or shown onscreen, in both cases the real boy must have been killed and skinned so the Slitheen could assume his identity.
    • "The Day of the Clown", which states that all the kidnapped children that weren't taken recently by Odd Bob "fade[d] away".
  • Nearly the entire arc of the fourth season of The Shield surrounds the Strike Team trying to help Shane after a vicious gangster executes a young girl and frames him for it.
  • Six Feet Under had an episode where the Body OF The Week is a three-week-old baby. This weighed very heavily on Federico, whose wife was pregnant at the time.
  • Sons of Anarchy: The first episode of Season 6, Straw, portrays a school shooting occuring at the end. In fact, Kurt Sutter was later compelled to apologise for it:
  • Trip and T'Pol's daughter, cloned from their tissue, does not survive in Star Trek: Enterprise.
  • The villain in the Torchwood episode "Sleeper" had no problem killing babies. Two infants in prams were strongly hinted to have died in unfortunate manners, though they stop short of showing it.
  • Torchwood: Children of Earth. Three children get killed, and many more are placed in great danger. Several suffer a Fate Worse Than Death.
  • The Walking Dead:
    • The very first zombie kill by Rick Grimes is of a small child, who as part of the zombie transformation had to die first.
    • In one second season scene, T-Dog is searching through cars for supplies, and then he searches through one car with a baby seat in the back. The seat is coated with blood and bits of flesh. He's freaked out by this sight.
    • Later in Season 2 with Sophia, who gets lost and is found later as a walker.
    • Rather brutally averted in the Season 4 mid-finale when Meghan is bit after accidentally finding one buried in the mud she was playing in. The episode also very creepily suggests that Judith was bit by walkers, although it is played straight when it is revealed that she was saved by Tyreese.
    • An extremely nasty aversion happens in "The Grove" with Lizzy and Mika, an especially horrifying case in that for once it's not the walkers that do it. Lizzy actually murders her own sister and then Carol has to shoot her because of how irrevocably messed up she has become.
    • Implied to be averted by the Terminus crew in "No Sanctuary". When Carol is looking through the items taken off of new arrivals, several children's stuffed animals are seen.
    • In Season 6's "No Way Out", Sam is Devoured by the Horde onscreen while Ron is impaled by Michonne. Several Undead Children are also shown amongst the walker herd, and one of them can be credited with causing Sam's panic attack. The whole episode just reinforces how vulnerable children are, especially those who aren't taught to adapt and survive in this new Crapsack World.
  • Walking with Dinosaurs and its spinoffs. The first episode of Walking With Dinosaurs has a litter of prehistoric mammals eaten by their own parents. For pure terror, however, the first episode of Walking With Beasts shows a baby terror bird that is still hatching when it is devoured by ants.
  • In The Wire Stray bullets kill a child midway through a gang war, and a preschooler is killed to send a message
  • The X-Files occasionally killed kids, including Scully's alien hybrid daughter.
    • They killed a toddler in "The Calusari." Perhaps the threshold is learning to walk?
    • They buried a baby alive in "Home", and the uncensored version has it screaming the whole time.
    • Played with strangely in "Invocation". It turns out the child was still it was his ghost?
    • Dogs were not immune to death either: Scully's dog Queequeg was eaten by an alligator in "Quagmire", and one dog didn't make it in "Teso Dos Bichos".
  • One episode of Code Black has twin babies brought in after a building fire. One of them takes a turn for the worse and dies. It later turns out that the entire thing takes place in Dr. Guthrie's mind while he undergoes a medical procedure for his Parkinson's Disease. The incident did actually happen, though. The babies were his own and he was remembering the incident.

  • The Decemberists song "The Rake's Song", where the entire point of the song is a rake who never wanted children, murders his kids after his fourth child was stillborn and the mother died in childbirth.
  • Played for Drama in quite a number of Cormorant songs, including children being shot or drowning themselves. Even when one of the few times where they play this trope straight, said child ends up crossing the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Reboot, sung by Hatsune Miku, Megurine Luka, and the fanmade Samune Zimi. The song is sweet and happy at first, until Zimi's character is hit by a truck and killed. It gets worse when her spirit is accidentally recalled from the afterlife by her friends, who blame each other for the death, but she gets a happy ending when her friends make up and she is reborn.
  • In 1993, Meat Loaf had a song titled "Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are". The first verse is about his childhood friendship with a boy named Kenny (no, not that one) and his early death. The music video shows he died when he took a plane for a joyride and crashed.
  • "Runaway Love" by Ludacris has one of the abused girls befriending a girl presumed to be her age (ten). Her friend gets shot by a stray bullet and without her only friend around anymore she runs away.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • The Bible features, among other acts of evil, the killings of firstborn children ordered by Pharaoh and King Herod in order to try to prevent both Moses and Jesus from growing up to cause trouble, and God himself killing all of the Egyptians' firstborn children, and the firstborn calves as well.
    • When the words Molech/Baal-Hammon, Astarte/Astarthe/Astaroth/Ashtoreth, the Valley of Ben-Hinnom/Gehenna, the Ammonites/Amorites, the Canaanites, etc. are mentioned, these are specifically referencing the sacrifices of children, born and unborn, to the gods of some of the cultures of the time. Sometimes the Jewish people (such as Kings Solomon, Achaz, and Manasses) messed up and took on this practice as well, despite God calling such a practice an abomination, and demanding the death of those who did such things. Those people ended up in a lot of trouble. It's the whole reason that Gehenna came to be the Jewish word for Tartarus/Hell (which is different from Sheol/Hades/Purgatory).
    • In 2 Maccabees, when the Jewish people rebelled against the corrupt high priest Jason, who had been appointed by King Antiochus IV, and ran him out of town, the king left Egypt for Jerusalem. Once in Jerusalem, he massacred many, young and old, women and children, virgins and infants. In 1 and 2 Maccabees (2 Maccabees is not a "sequel', it's another viewpoint of what happened in the the first book), King Antiochus IV then decreed that everyone take up the customs of everyone else, except the Jewish customs. He outlawed all Jewish customs, including circumcision. The children who were circumcized were killed, as were their mothers and whoever performed the circumcision.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000, the corpses of children under the age of four (and above ten months) are sometimes used to make Cherubs, which are biomechanical robots. They are used as incense bearers in temples, mobile data storage and fashion statements. Add the fact that they sometimes go 'feral'...
  • In the Ravenloft setting Gazetteers from Arthaus, the narrator S adopts an orphaned infant, only to offer it to the banshee Tristessa in exchange for free passage through her domain, Keening. The insane banshee is obsessed with her long-dead infant son, and attempts to "care for" babies in the deluded belief they're hers; as Tristessa can't feed them or keep them warm enough, they inevitably perish from neglect.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Second edition actually gave stats and experience point recommendations for depicting infants in several species, up to and including humanoids like orcs.
    • Young Dragons (as young as the newly hatched "wyrmling" stage) have continued to be statted out as killable targets in the third and 4th editions, as well as Pathfinder.
  • In Pathfinder, on a number of occasions in the lore. The very first adventure contains an encounter where a goblin tries to eat a small child (though this one is played straight, the kid still has notable bitemarks and would have died if not for his father's last-second rescue) and contained details on the corrupt fertility goddess Lamashtu, whose lore involves gaining power over births by ripping out and eating her uterus, then devouring babies to magically regenerate it, and who frequently has children sacrificed to her. The third adventure involves the party exploring the hut of a group of ogrekin called the Grauls, where one room contains the bones of all of the incestuous clan matriarch's female offspring, murdered at birth to avoid being "competition" for her. Things just keep going from there.
  • In Anathema, your job is to reduce the human population as much as possible. Either directly or indirectly, your actions will result in children dying.

  • Shakespeare's Macbeth: Macduff's wife and children are murdered — including a son, who is murdered on-stage.


     Video Games 
  • Yo-kai Watch:
    • It's not gone into detail but several youkai appear to have died as children.
    • Series Mascot Jibanyan is essentially the ghost of a kitten.
  • Hitman: Blood Money opens with a Ferris wheel collapsing. Over two dozen people were killed, and it's stated that a majority of the victims were children.
  • Aiden from Watch_Dogs is targeted by a hit squad and has a car accident as a result. His six-year-old niece is killed in the accident, leading Aiden to become a vigilante.
  • Maria Robotnik's death is the driving force of Shadow from Sonic the Hedgehog. Her death was even going to be shown onscreen in Shadow the Hedgehog but was changed at the last minute to get an E10+ rating instead of a T rating. Even ignoring her being shot, she was dying of a fictional terminal illness called "Neuro-Immune Deficiency Syndrome", which is similar to AIDS.
  • Bloodborne: In a setting where Anyone Can Die, children are no exception, be it the little girl who gifts you a music box, her older sister who dies on screen shortly after finding a ribbon for her, or a baby of an Eldritch Abomination, whom you brutally slaughtered.
  • In the classic Commodore 64 game Mad Nurse, the entire premise is trying to prevent wandering babies from blundering into poison, electrical sockets, high-flush-power toilets and even elevator shafts. If you do nothing, almost every baby in the ward is guaranteed a gruesome death.
  • Fallout:
    • It is possible for the player to kill very young children, though doing so earns you the "Childkiller" title and greatly decreases your reputation. The European release of the game was Bowdlerised specifically to prevent this (to the extent that certain quests cannot be completed, and the player can have their items stolen without realizing it). This is commented on in Fallout 2.
    • The first two games use this trope with such fierce glee that probably some of the most vivid and horrifying descriptions of critical hit damage in the games come from shooting a child in the eye, or blowing off a leg, or firing a minigun at a groin, and so on.
  • Dwarf Fortress: Children can die in any number of ways, and military mothers will carry their infants into combat, where they are very likely to get impaled and upset said parent. On the other hand, if you can offset the mood loss, children make excellent body armor. Moreover, sometimes the mother uses the child as a blunt weapon
  • In the Star Wars: The Phantom Menace game. You can kill children who conveniently run in front of you, even after already killing a few of them.
  • Dead Rising:
    • The hero offers to help a hysterical mother find her missing baby only to be told that she saw it eaten by zombies.
    • The opening cinematic has a woman and her child trying to escape the zombie horde in a car, but they crash. It fades out with the zombies surrounding the car, with the child trapped inside.
  • In Episode 3 of Season 1 of The Walking Dead, Kenny and Katjaa's ten-year-old son, Doug, is bitten by a walker and later put down.
  • Corpse Party utilizes this trope a lot, from the four main antagonists being the ghosts of elementary school children to the many bodies of tiny individuals lining the cursed halls of Heavenly Host.
  • Tales of the Abyss:
    • After the city of Akzeriuth's complete decimation, the first thing of the aftermath that the heroes see is a small child crying out in pain and screaming to his parents, dying as he sinks into the hot mud of the Qliphoth. Kinda chilling and really hits home at how horrible the devastation is.
    • Zig-zagged with the death of Fon Master Ion. He's almost old enough not to count... except that he's a replica, so while being physically fourteen might disqualify him, he's mentally 2 years old.
  • In the beginning of Tales of Phantasia, Cless and Chester set out to go hunting, only to discover upon returning that their village has been completely destroyed, seemingly with no survivors. Among several dead bodies scattered throughout the town are that of a young boy who looked up to Cless and wanted to become a warrior like him, a young girl who had a Precocious Crush on Cless, and Chester's younger sister, Amy. When examining the body of the girl, Cless will even wonder out loud who could be so cruel as to slaughter innocent children.
  • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn:
    • There's a scene where Begnion soldiers shoot a bunch of arrows into a crowd of Daein civilians. Everyone stops when an arrow hits a small boy. Cue female using Healing Hands on the boy, both exit stage right. What really makes the scene guilty of this trope is Jarod's arrival moments later. After finding out his men failed to apprehend Micaiah, he promptly kills three (adult) civilians.
    • Fiona and her troops laterattempt to rescue several civilians, two of whom are children. If the knight carrying the child dies, the kid will be exposed to enemy units who are almost guaranteed to make a beeline for it.
  • Fire Emblem Genealogy Of Holy War also features child civilians, and yes, enemies will kill them given the chance. Given that saving one grants an automatic Level Up, it's in your best interests to save them.
  • One chapter in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones features a child civilian who, along with her parents, is in danger of being eaten by giant spiders. Yes, you can fail at rescuing them and see the entire family die at the hands of the spiders.
  • Fire Emblem Fates has Elise, the Player Character's younger sister from the Nohr Kingdom, while her age is rather ambiguous, she is no older than 13, and yet she has a death scene in Birthright where it is impossible to avoid.
  • Max Payne: Max's newborn daughter is murdered at the start of the game, though the body is mostly concealed in the PC version, and completely concealed in the PS2 port. Still, there's no mistaking the rag-covered lump in the bloody cradle for anything else.
  • Alter Ego:
    • At several points during childhood and infancy, it's possible to inadvertently kill yourself or severely injure yourself by food poisoning, a falling iron, or numerous other means.
    • At one point, a bad choice can result in your character (while a child) being kidnapped, molested, and murdered by a pedophile.
  • In Clive Barker's Jericho, some of the enemies that the Jericho squad have to face are simply known as the Children: hideously mutilated, demonic child spectres, who are the souls of a child army that was massacred during the time of the Crusades.
  • Final Fantasy II. In the beginning of the game, in the various towns you can travel to, here are many child NPCs you can talk to! After the Imperial Dreadnaught goes on its first run...there are significantly fewer child sprites left, and some shell-shocked adults NPCs grieving their sons and daughters. And then the Cyclone starts its world tour...
  • In Final Fantasy VI, Kefka wipes out the kingdom of Doma via poison. One of the main character's family is in Doma, and as he rushes in to warn about the poison, he discovers his wife dead, and as he opens the door, the corpse of his son falls out of the bed. And that was the moment where Kefka lost his charm.
  • In Final Fantasy X, there is a cutscene in Kilika where children are playing with a blitzball near a mother with her baby. Then Sin comes and attacks the villiage. The last thing that you see is the blitzball in the wreckage. Later, when Yuna does the Sending, you can see a very small casket among the dozens in the water, and you see the mother breaking down back on shore.
  • Deus Ex has a number of (male only) kids around, all of whom are viable targets. One of them is, in fact, a Jerkass most players relish killing. The sequel, Invisible War, is no different: you can go on a rampage in a girls' elementary school.
    Scott: You can gib a child with one stroke of the nanosword!
Chris: That's because children have fewer hit points. They are inferior and weak.
Deus Ex developer quote

  • American McGee's Grimm has children die all over the place, which is played for Black Comedy.
  • Advance Wars: Days of Ruin features a virus (Endoflorus Terriblis) which kills only children though it mutates into killing anyone later. To drive the point home, photos are shown of a child with flowers sprouting out of his body.
    Lin: He had roots and leaves growing under his skin... In his ears... In his eyes... Little roots creeping behind the eyes... ...What if you could hear them...?
    Dr. Morris: Lin, please! Stop talking about it! Curiously, the virus seems to only infect young people. You're in the right age range, Will, which means you're at risk. If you meet anyone suffering from this, you must stay away! Is that clear?
    Lin: Starvation, raiders, and flowers that kill you. Gotta love this place.
  • In Drakengard:
    • One level has you fight your way out of a Child Soldier camp. Leonard's guilt is due to the fact that he was supposed to be guarding such a camp but wasn't on guard when it was destroyed... because he was off having sex with one of the boys during the attack.
    • Arioch is an elf who went mad after seeing her village slaughtered. And as the price for her pact was her womb, she now eats children, though she'll eat adults too.
  • In Mega Man Zero 3, Zero finally kills Cria and Pria, the Mother Elf's two children. While they were trying to stop the hero from stopping Dr. Weil, they are really bad at discerning good guy from bad guy.
  • In all Ultimas after the first three games, you can initiate combat with and kill the children you meet. In Ultima VIII, there's no Karma Meter, so there's not even any consequences for killing them.
  • In Ultima VII: The Black Gate:
    • You can find a small bundled-up baby held captive by harpies outside the first town. As the baby is considered an object, it's impossible to harm, and you don't have to feed it or change diapers, can keep it in the bottom of your pack or drop it wherever you stash your spare loot, and it doesn't make a sound. Your party member Iolo will helpfully mention that his mother is lady Tory and you should bring him to her, but doesn't mention WHERE she lives - you have to actually get a transport to get there, it's out of the way of the plot and you'll probably stumble across her by mistake. In other words, you'll be hanging onto that baby for a long time.
    • When you find the mother she is extremely relieved, but rather than actually taking her child herself she asks you to put the kid in his crib, in the next room. She doesn't get any further dialogue on the topic, and the game actually doesn't have a function for putting the kid IN the crib (a mod corrects this), although you can balance the tyke on the edge with no problem. Or you can put the kid on the bed, never go back, and just pretend that the mother eventually stopped walking around whining about her lost kid and dealt with it.
    • Spark, the son of the murdered blacksmith from the beginning of the game, is a recruitable party member (and will in fact force his way into the party lineup even if you refuse to take him along, although you can kick him out afterwards). He'll carry your stuff, he'll fight for you, and he can die gruesomely in a pool of his own blood. Of course, this is Ultima.
  • In Ultima VII Part II: Serpent Isle, you're attacked by a woman who carries a DEAD child. If you click on it, the avatar or a companion will lament the tragedy. (Curiously, the dead baby is just as effective as a live one at soiling diapers, which are super-effective fear inducers, so you can get some use out of it if you don't mind being a psycho.)
  • In Ultima IX, this trope and the karma penalty are lampshaded and delivered as a Player Punch, twice. One is a hostile spellcaster and the other is doomed whether you show the mercy to kill her or not.
  • The beginning of Zone of the Enders has several of the kids Leo knows tied to a light pole. As BAHRAM begins their invasion of the Jupiter space station, one of the station's mechs is hit and topples right on the kids. They even have a close up of a pool of blood seeping out from under the wreckage.
  • At one point in Army of Two: The 40th Day, Salem and Rios encounter a little boy and have to escort him to safety. During a firefight, the boy sees a sniper rifle and asks if he should try to get it or stay in hiding. If you let him go for the gun, he will die. It's also the only way to unlock that particular sniper rifle for you to use yourself, and it's the strongest one in the game.
  • Dante's Inferno. The player is presented with already dead unbaptized babies that can be absolved, punished, or simply slaughtered. Though a lot of players seem to just absolve them instead.
  • Within the first minutes of Police Quest: Open Season. In the exposition crime scene at the start of the game, open the dumpster at the back to find the corpse of an 8-year-old riddled with bullets.
  • In the beginning of Assassin's Creed II, as part of a Player Punch, Ezio's thirteen-year-old brother is killed alongside his father and teenaged brother. Namely by being hung. In front of the player; even swaying slightly in the breeze
  • Obscure arcade Super Smash Bros. inspiration The Outfoxies with creepy siblings Danny and Demi, playable characters who die just as violently as the rest of the cast. Some argue this is part of the reason the game wasn't found in more locales.
  • The trailer for Dead Island shows us a little girl getting bitten by a zombie, dying, and then turning into a zombie herself before biting her dad, who throws her out a window to kill her again.
  • In the Flash game: Gretel and Hansel, most of the achievements are based on finding all the different ways to die in the game. And they are heartrendingly painfull to watch.
  • Jagged Alliance 2 allows you to kill children just like anyone else. It comes with a massive penalty to Loyalty, like killing any other innocent civilian (or being wrongly blamed for killing one, which also can happen). The worst is when children run between you and your enemies during a firefight - they're veritable bullet magnets.
  • In intro for Mass Effect 3 during the Reaper invasion of Earth, Shepard sees a child in a vent and tries to get the child to come with them. The child refuses and disappears. Eventually the child is seen getting on board an evacuation vessel. Said vessel is blown to smithereens by a Reaper.
  • Silent Hill:
    • The plot of Silent Hill: Homecoming involves the founders of Shepard's Glen sacrificing one of their own offspring (though age range isn't specified), and the one child your character sees several times throughout the game itself turns out to have been Dead All Along.
    • Silent Hill: Downpour makes it its mission to inform you that horrible, horrible things both can and will happen to children, and how devastating it is for those left behind. In fact, with one possible exeption, every kid either shown or referred to in-game ends up dead before the end, with the molestation and murder of protagonist Murphy Pendleton's son Charlie and the actions this lead him to commit serving as the games central theme.
    • All of the Silent Hill games seem to have a little bit of this; a lot of them refer to Alessa Gillespie being burned alive by the Order, and in Silent Hill 3 you can occasionally hear babies cry in the background, though it's unclear whether this is real. It was originally planned for the player to hear crying babies when standing in certain locations during Silent Hill 2, but the sounds were removed because it was "too much".
  • Diablo:
    • Although you can't kill any children in-game, the story for Diablo states that the titular Big Bad possessed a young prince's body. When Diablo is finally defeated in the end of the first game, his body turns back into that of the dead prince. Made even more tragic by Diablo III, which reveals that the Warrior who canonically defeated Diablo was the prince's older brother Aidan. The guilt Aidan felt from killing his little brother made it easier for Diablo to possess him.
    • In Diablo III the child Emperor Hakan II is possessed by Belial, dying as a result. When the possession occurred is unknown making it possible he was already dead by the time you met him.
    • In Reaper of Souls an oddly cheery mother can be found looking for her children in the zombie-infested city. While never outright stated it's heavily implied they're dead and the mother is in denial.
  • In the Zombie game They Hunger, sadly. In the hospital, a baby is heard crying, until it abruptly stops. The player cannot get to the nursery immediately, and when he does... There is a rib left in the bed for newborn. And later in the mountains, the player has to kill resurrected tiny, tiny skeletons that have the hunger...
  • In God of War, a major plot point consists of Kratos' guilt at having murdered his wife and young daughter in a blind frenzy.
  • Mortal Kombat 9:
    • Story Mode: A flashback reveals that Scorpion's wife and infant son were killed by Sub-Zero (AKA Quan Chi disguised as Sub-Zero)
    • Smoke's ending in the same game also reveals that he is half-enenra (a demon of smoke and vapor) as a result of being a Human Sacrifice when he was a baby! Said demon then relentlessly killed his murderers before bringing Smoke back to life with no memory of it.
  • Nazi Zombies mode of Call of Duty. Richtofen Kills Samantha by locking her and her father in a room with a hellhound.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3: Davis Family Vacation, Day 3. A young American girl on vacation in London with her family ends up being killed by a truck bomb explosion. Which may have been a small bit of mercy, as this meant she did not suffer the effects of the nerve toxin released by the bomb that ended up killing many others.
  • Early in Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, the player accidentally releases a monster that kills Tom Waits' daughter. It looks at first like the death will only be off-screen and you'll never get to see the body beyond the screaming and tearing sounds, but then you wake up and hear her father crying as you go downstairs....
  • Clock Tower, where the first game features the 14-15 year old Jennifer and her friends of the same age locked in Barrows Mansion. Depending on how you play the game, all four of them can all die. But no matter what, at least one (be it a friend or Jennifer, the player character) has to die.
  • Liberal Crime Squad, where the Conservatives will happily force children to work and execute them for any crimes - and the player has the option to free said children to participate in armed terrorism. It is possible to build an army out of liberated child workers. The only thing children are exempt from is sex - children under a certain age can't prostitute or seduce NPCs.
  • Sonic Adventure:
    • Tikal, who is 14, is trapped in the Master Emerald and dies from unknown causes.
    • Maria Robotnik was shot down by G.U.N. when she was only twelve years old.
  • In the first episode of The Walking Dead, Duck survives whether you try to save him or not, but...
    • In episode 3 in the most depressing way possible, with Duck getting bitten and slowly dying. Kenny and Katjaa eventually makes the painful decision of making sure that he won't return as a walker and end his suffering. The result? Katjaa ends up shooting herself, not being able to live with the thought of her son dead or as a walker. Depending on the player's choice, either Kenny or Lee ends up shooting him (and yes, you have to manually aim and fire the gun if Lee does it) or they both leave him in the woods if Lee remains silent when Kenny tries to shoot Duck]].
    • In Episode 4, the group comes across a boy who starved to death and became undead, and yes, it will be someone's job to put him down. In the same Episode they learn of Crawford, a walled-off fortress of survivors that weeded out the elderly, disabled, sick, wounded...and children under the age of fourteen.
    • On two occasions with Clementine, one when escaping from the drugstore at the end of episode 1 and the other when she is locked up with a walker in the train station at the end of episode 3. Both of these times Lee just stops fighting and becomes paralysed with despair. Both are treated as Game Overs.
    • Absolutely by Clementine (now the protagonist) in Season 2. The world she lives in doesn't care that she's only eleven years old, and failing a crucial QTE means a gruesome demise, just like Lee in Season 1. Regardless, it is played straight as Celmentine and Alvin Jr. will survive to the end of the game.
  • In Minecraft, villager children can be killed, and can even be turned into zombies.
  • League of Legends: One of the playable champions is Annie, the Dark Child, and you can score a kill on her like on any other enemy.
  • Indie horror game Calm Time is all about people who get murdered during a Nasty Party in a countryside house. There is a little boy among the characters, and he can be killed just like everyone else. In fact, he is easier to kill than the other guests.
  • Child of Light: The duke's young daughter Aurora dies from poisoning in the very intro of the game. Thankfully, her soul is transported to Lemuria.
  • The plot of Watch_Dogs is driven by the death of the protagonist's 6-year-old niece.
  • At the climax of MOTHER 3, twelve-year-old Claus doesn't just die, he commits suicide.
  • Episode one of Telltale's Game of Thrones ends with Ramsay Snow brutally stabbing the young Lord Ethan Forrester in the throat and cheerfully leaving the room as Ethan's family watch him slowly bleed out.
  • The exact moment that Walker snaps in Spec Ops: The Line is when he finds the horribly mutilated corpse of a mother and her child in a camp that he inadvertently bombed with white phosphorus mortars.
  • Right from the start of The Last of Us:
    • . At the end of the opening, Joel's daughter gets shot and tumbles down a muddy slope. Made even worse by how desperately she still tries to cling to life, painfully whimpering in his arms for several seconds before she's gone.
    • In the sewer level you will find an abandoned hideout of a large comunity which includes children. Joel says that they probably got away, but a few rooms later you will find their bodies covered in blankets with a note stating that one of the residents mercy killed them to save them from turning into zombies.
    • Sam gets bitten by an infected near the end of the summer chapter. When he turns and attacks Ellie, his brother Henry shoots him.
    • In the dam chapter Joel can find a small grave with a teddy on top of it.
    • In the Valentines Day DLC Ellie and Riley both get bitten by infected. Ellie is immune, but Riley isn't.
  • Grim Fandango is a game that takes place in the afterlife. And yes, they're extremely rare, but you do meet a few children. How they died is never revealed.
  • In Dm C Devil May Cry, Vergil guns down Lilith and her child on-camera during the hostage exchange sequence, the latter fearing for her life all the way to the fated moment. While the child had been shown taking on a hideous form during the prior boss fight, it had reverted to its form inside Lilith after the beating, and while Mundus killed Dante and Vergil's mother, manhandled and imprisoned their father, and tried to kill them when they were kids, it's kind of hard not to feel for him after seeing that.
  • In every single game in the Fatal Frame franchise.
    • In the first game, the 2nd Night partially centers around several young children that were murdered by a ghost. Each child ghost is a mini-boss, and defeating them gains the player a photograph of their final moments.
    • The second game features several child ghosts, all of which can be fought. Besides a group of children that died while playing tag, there's two child Bosses in the game. The first, Chitose, is a woobie Ill Girl who died while trying to hide in a closet. Then there's the Kiryuu Twins, one of which was the youngest Virgin Sacrifice known in the series. Her surviving sister ended up getting her soul eaten by a demon that possessed a doll modeled after her dead twin. The final battle with the Woman in the Box includes a baby crying, revealing that mother and child died together in that very room.
    • In the third game, there are a total of five dead little girls to contend with. One died of the Curse, while the other four were Handmaidens during the disaster. The eldest sacrificed the other three as part of a ritual, then killed herself. The player can find the scenes of their gruesome deaths playing out, and even find a bloodstained floor where the first Handmaiden was crucified by the others. Then there's the hidden well, where the cries of a baby can be heard. It's implied this is where the matriarchal Kuze Family disposed of male infants.
    • The fourth game features several dead children, all once patients at a hospital.
    • The fifth game brings back another set of Children Playing Tag, as well as a mysterious 7-year old Shrine Maiden that was a Virgin Sacrifice. One of the areas that can be explored is a shrine dedicated to dead children.
  • Stasis: in-game log entries make clear that children were amongst the unwilling "test subjects" for the medical experiments occurring on the ship, and John comes across the corpses of children relatively early on in-game. Later, John is locked in a room with a two-way mirror looking into where his unsuspecting young daughter is holed up when a savage creature is unleashed upon her. She does not survive.
  • Originally an easter egg, the backstory of the Five Nights at Freddy's series involves five children being murdered by an ex-employee of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, and the third game confirms that their spirits (and later their murderer) are possessing the animatronics.
  • At the end of Five Nights at Freddy's 4, it's implied that the child protagonist died as a result of his injuries. Which would be having a sharp-toothed animatronic crushing his head between its jaws during a prank gone wrong.
  • Who's Your Daddy? invokes this trope, as it is about a baby trying to kill itself, while the dad tries to prevent that from happening. The baby wins if it dies.
  • Tales of Zestiria has a few:
    • Several children are shown to be killed throughout the events of the game. A lategame flashback also reveals Mikleo was killed as a sacrifice when he was a human infant, before being reborn as a seraph.
    • One child, Margaret, is a tragically cruel example from doing the Lastonbell Lord of the Land sidequest, as you're the one who kills her.
  • In Hometown Story, Dexter's backstory includes the Failure-to-Save Murder of a little girl. Harvey, one the kids that the Player Character befriends, later dies in an accident. Incidentally, this is a Shopkeeper Simulation Game.
  • The Wedding has Metus always die, before you can get to the portal. And in the Bad ending, protagonist Anima dies, too.
  • Outlast II shows how much darker it's trying to be than its predecessor, where in the demo you can find many decaying bodies of children lined up in a cross pattern.
  • Undertale:
  • Played 100% straight in Crusader Kings II. Children can die just like any other character. They are even more vulnerable than adults, as they are more likely to die from diseases than adults, require a regent if they rule (who might be an Evil Chancellor) and have much lower diplomacy and intrigue, which makes them easy targets for murder plots. They can also be executed if taken as prisoner, just like any other character.
  • Susan, the protagonist of The Cat Lady, accidentally caused the death of her infant daughter in the game's backstory, by leaving a bunch of flower's in the daughter's bedroom without realizing she was severely allergic to pollen. Susan's depression over this leads to a failed suicide attempt in the first chapter, which sets up the events for the rest of the story.

     Visual Novels 
  • The first Liar Liar takes place in middle school and the second one when the characters are first years in high school. Every ending involves at least one character dying. Yukari is an outright Serial Killer who has been killing since elementary.
  • Anyone Can Die in When They Cry. Neither series wimp out about very graphically showing people dying, whether they're ten, fifteen, thirty, or sixty. Rika from Higurashi: When They Cry in particular is stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop where she's been forced to live the same month, dying each time, for possibly hundreds of years.
  • Touhou: Junko's motivation is revenge for her dead son, killed when one of the Earth's extra suns was shot down by the moon princess Chang'e's husband and fell on him (the husband is now dead, but Junko continues her vendetta against Chang'e and all Lunarians). While there's little detail on the events, fanwork has a disturbing tendency to depict Junko as completely unable to get over her grief or denying her son's death entirely.

  • Weapon Brown: Cal V1-n has absolutely no qualms about killing children right in front of their parents. His casual apathy for infants can be witnessed here.
  • In Off-White, Gebo returns home to find that his entire pack has been slaughtered by humans, even the puppies. Later lampshaded when Albert and Seven come across the pack's remains.
    Albert: They've even killed the puppies. How could they kill something so cute?
    Seven: Are you kidding me? Cute? So what? Is cuteness of something a good enough reason not to kill it?
  • Ansem Retort: An orphanage was burned in the very first comic and Axel and Zexion's 'Spock diet' consists of force feeding blended babies to Sora.
  • Salt The Holly: Cade has a flashback to when an assassin squad massacred his family. Not even a baby girl is spared.
  • Drowtales: Given its setting. Several children, including infants, die on screen, and the drow equivalent of a 7 year old child not only dies (mostly) on screen, but is killed by another child the same age as part of a Sadistic Choice.
  • Homestuck: Equius, Vriska, Eridan, Tavros, Nepeta, and Feferi are all Killed Off for Real (though they can potentially reappear due to how ghosts and the afterlife work in the Homestuck-verse). A lot of kids definitely died when Sburb ravages a planet with meteors, not to mention how pretty much all trolls died when the Great Glub occurred. It's also shown in Vriska's backstory that her lusus killed a bunch of troll children (specifically it forced Vriska to lure other kids in for it to eat; if she refused it would try to kill her).
  • In Guilded Age, when the reality-destroying monster attacks the World's Rebellion, Penk sends a boy who idolizes him to go get his drum while he and Magda fight the monster. When the boy and his sister find it, the monster catches up to them. It's not shown on screen, but when we return to them, we learn that the monster got him. His sister takes it very hard.

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation, Characters/SCPFoundation, SCP-400 ("Beautiful Babies"). SCP-400 infests and kills babies, then uses Mind Manipulation pheromones to make their mothers think they're still alive.
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, children are just just as likely to die as adults...or become ravenous zombies if they end up infected with the Plague of Undeath. The senseless deaths of children play a plot point as watching an innocent child die in the hands of merciless thugs and being unable to stop it is what eventually prompts Bishop Arbriel Conrad to stray from the Path of Light and join the Totenkopfs with the intention of "purging" the world from those who in his view don't deserve to live in it.
  • In the M,WDYD?Series seems to be pretty consistant with killing people off in a "Kenny Death", children, especially the titular Madgie, included. The reason as to why she has it that is to usually make the story poignant and just to show anyone can die in those stories. Don't worry, they get better when time is reversed.
  • In Worm, the protagonist Mercy Kills a toddler. The Slaughterhouse Nine also attacked a nursery at one point, albeit offscreen.
  • Brave New World Universe:
    • The story generally avoids killing actual children at least onscreen, but Tech Adventures uses this a few times. To torment Sasha some more the Joker (NOT the DC Joker) kidnaps a bus full of third graders, blowing up all the boys. He then proceeds to take to the airwaves where he tortures one girl leaving her paralyzed and dying from her injuries. Later he almost succeeds in blowing up the rest of them.
    • In the same story when the big bad Joanna is taking over several countries, and collecting people for mind controlled supersoldiers, her soldiers are seen killing children who are useless to her.

    Western Animation 
  • Happy Tree Friends: Pop and Cub's gimmick is mainly that Pop is not a competent parent and his negligence constantly costs the life of Cub, and sometimes of himself, in very gruesome ways as is the norm for Happy Tree Friends episodes. Examples include when he tries to wash him in the sink and accidentally scalds his lower half, then slices him up below the waist in the garbage disposal and when he is cutting the hedge and accidentally slices the top part of his head off.
  • The Prince of Egypt. Because of its particular source material, the child-killing would have been practically impossible to avoid, but still, they do quite a good and discreet job of showing it.
  • In Farthing Wood Friends:
    • After the rodents have babies, the little ones are killed and impaled by a bird of prey in the very next episode, thus simultaneously averting Infant Immortality and What Measure Is a Non-Cute?.
    • This has happened a few more times; one of Mr. and Mrs. Rabbit's offspring is shot by a hunter then fed to his dog, and Dreamer, one of Fox and Vixen's cubs, is killed by Scarface.
  • Family Guy:
    Brian: Stewie I killed one of my own kind! I mean how would you feel if you killed a baby!
    Stewie: Well actually I've killed seven...
    • Peter has killed many children both intentionally and unintentionally.
  • The Simpsons: In a Treehouse of Horror special King Homer eats a little girl intended as a parody of Shirley Temple.
    • Bart, Lisa, and Maggie, along with other kid characters, frequently die in Treehouse of Horror episodes.
  • In the American Dad! episode "100 A.D." junior reporter Matty Moyer is among the characters killed in a bus crash.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • "ARC Troopers" shows towers of cloning tanks being destroyed during an attack on Kamino. That is hundreds of babies dying on-screen.
    • In "Padawan Lost", Kalifa, a tweenaged girl was murdered by Garnac, a Trandoshan Egomaniac Hunter.
    • In "A Friend in Need" Pre Vizsla leader of Death Watch, killed a teenage girl because her grandfather dared to speak up against the way his gang treated their village.
    • In the season 4 finale Darth Maul slaughters a village, including children, to get the Jedi's attention. For once, Clone Wars plays it safe and keeps the slaughter largely offscreen.

  • A PSA for AIDS prevention had a woman talking about how her husband died from AIDS. She didn't realize he'd passed the virus onto her until their baby was born with it. As she reveals this last part, she walks over to an empty crib.

No Real Life Examples, Please!

Indices: Death Tropes, Youngsters

Community Feedback Replies: 92
  • March 7, 2016
    The Trope Repair Shop suggested splitting up Infant Immortality into two tropes. I think the thread is closed currently though.
  • March 7, 2016
    This gets me the idea to list those "absolutist tropes."
  • March 7, 2016
    ^^ It's open now.
  • March 7, 2016
    If this becomes a thing, you might want to specify what counts as "child characters." I notice Jason Todd is listed as being fifteen when he was killed. I remember that Would Hurt A Child apparently doesn't apply to teenagers because they lack the complete helplessness of children (and because Teens Are Monsters).
  • March 8, 2016
    ^ Infant Immortality doesn't list what the max. age is though. The only thing really specified iis "Under 18".
  • March 8, 2016
    ^ that doesn't sound even close to "infant".

    If I have a say on this, I say that this should be limited to 11 years old.
  • March 8, 2016
    • Created a Description stub.
    • Examples section
      • Put all of the Child Ballad examples under the same main bullet point and put them in numerical order to make them easier to find.
      • Blue Linked (Badass).
      • Corrected a work name that was messed up because it included unusual letters.
      • Capitalized (mafia).
      • Deleted a duplicate The Punisher MAX example.
      • Corrected spelling (trapt into -> trapped in, serie, necessarly, Washinton).
      • Namespaced Creator names.
      • Italicized work names as per How To Write An Example - Emphasis For Work Names.
      • Corrected illegal Example Indentation in the Innocence Lost examples.
      • Deleted all references to "aversions" because that's what the trope is all about.
      • Deleted unnecessary [[/folder]] .
  • March 8, 2016
    ^^ Apparently the thread is not closed like I thought. I saw someone mention a cutoff age of 16 but someone else said 6 and under would work well.
  • March 8, 2016
    Silly question: I can name an instance of a child character exposed to toxic gas, lying abed dying, and almost succumbs ... but not quite. Is that this prototrope, or Infant Immortality?
  • April 7, 2016
    I seems like the Trope Repair thread never came to a conclusion about whether it should be split or not, and what the cutoff age is. Should I discard this then?
  • April 8, 2016
    No, we don't want to waste work. I'll see about setting up a crowner for that thread. After that is done we'll know if we should keep this or not.
  • April 9, 2016
    ^^^ that sounds like (double subverted) Infant Immortality
  • June 5, 2016
    The TRS thread has come to a decision and one of the approved options is the creation of a new trope for the list of aversions, so looks like this is live again.
  • June 6, 2016
    The trope description should note that the infant death must be played up in some way. Just having a dead child amongst 20 other victims is chairsy.
  • October 14, 2016
    • Little Maria in Frankenstein 1931 is thrown into the water by the Monster and drowns. Followed by a memorable scene of her father carrying the lifeless body of his daughter across town.

  • June 6, 2016
    • In Warrior Cats, kits are just as susceptible to death as any other character. Notable examples include Snowkit, the deaf kit taken by a hawk, and the kits killed under Brokenstar's tyrannical rule of Shadow Clan.
  • June 6, 2016
    Maybe add to the description that this trope is most often done for Rule Of Drama. After all, Children Are Innocent, and thus their deaths are often something people can hardly accept - "they're too young to die", "they still have a lot of things they could do/achieve", etc.

    Related is Outliving Ones Offspring, where the offspring is often (but not always) a child.
  • June 7, 2016
    I updated the description so it's no longer a blank. Then we can start migrating the rest of the examples.
  • June 22, 2016
    You're going to need a snappier name than Child Characters Dying. Like, I dunno, Kids Can Die? or Infant Mortality?
  • June 22, 2016
    ^ Death Of A Child, perhaps
  • July 17, 2016
    As this is supposed to be an opposite trope to Infant Immortality, it would make sense if this new trope was titled Infant Mortality.
  • July 17, 2016
    So, what's the maximum age?
  • July 17, 2016
    I would say anything below age 16 goes, that's around the time when their perceived innocence wears off considerably.
  • July 17, 2016
    [double post]
  • July 18, 2016
    • The first victims of Barlow in Salems Lot are the Glick brothers. One is sacrificed outright while the other becomes the town's first vampire.

    Live Action Television
    • On The Strain, this trope tends to lead into another: Undead Child.
      • One of the Master's victims on the plane was a young French girl named Emma. According to Nora, she couldn't be more than eight. She's killed again after rising as a vampire and being decapitated by Setrakian.
      • After Kelly becomes a vampire, she visits a friend while looking for Zack and ends up draining both her and her son. They both rise as vampires as well and Eph is forced to kill them again.

    Video Games
    • Aiden from Watch Dogs is targeted by a hit squad and has a car accident as a result. His six-year-old niece is killed in the accident, leading Aiden to become a vigilante.
  • July 18, 2016
    Adding cut examples from Infant Immortality
  • July 18, 2016
    What about my title proposal, Infant Mortality?
  • July 31, 2016
    Or Kill The Children (along the lines of Kill The Cutie)?
  • July 31, 2016
    Current title's good enough.
  • July 31, 2016
    Live Action Television
    • There have been a number of underage casualties on Buffy The Vampire Slayer:
      • A young boy is among the victims on the airport shuttle in "Never Kill A Boy On the First Date". While he's initially implied to have been killed outright, he's seen at the end of the episode as a vampire known as the Anointed One. In "School Hard", he's killed by Spike as a power grab.
      • The Monster Of The Week from "Killed By Death" kills a number of children and later discovered to have killed Buffy's cousin when they were children.
      • Two dead children are found in "Gingerbread" and a literal witch hunt ensues. Subverted when it's realized that the "children" are actually an apparition created to generate such behavior.
  • August 9, 2016
    ... Isn't this trope an inversion of Infant Immortality rather than an aversion? Or would the inversion of Infant Immortality be "infants die all the time, but none of the adults ever die"?

    BTW, this trope is also related to Offing The Offspring, otherwise known as Filicide.

    Also, an important question: Is this trope generally about children dying, rather than a character specifically aiming to kill them? If so, then would Infanticide be tropeworthy as a subtrope of it and Would Hurt A Child, since the latter doesn't require that the hurting in question be with lethal intent?
  • August 9, 2016
    ^ Infanticide is just Would Hurt A Child But More Specific.
  • August 10, 2016
    • Warlock. The warlock's evil is made blatantly clear when he murders a child offscreen and uses his fat to create a flying potion.
  • August 13, 2016
    ^^ Then would it correct to say that infanticide would be Would Hurt A Child taken to its Logical Extreme (not to be confused with Exaggerated Trope)?
  • August 13, 2016
    ^ Most likely. Compare Eats Babies.

    ^^ That's Would Hurt A Child.
  • October 4, 2016
    Have we yet added everything from Infant Immortality?
  • October 4, 2016
    In The Road, the characters stumble onto a campsite with an infant roasting over a fire.
  • October 4, 2016
    ^^ No, there's a whole ocean of examples at this at Infant Immortality still waiting to be put here. Apparently they still need to be rewritten, but either way, they should be implemented before launching this Trope.
  • October 6, 2016
    • Rabbit Run from 1970 has "Rabbit" Angstrom run out on his wife and child, overwhelmed by his duties as a husband/father and longing for his sports hero glory days. His abandoned wife Janice consoles herself with liquor, and tries to bathe their infant in the bathtub. She loses her grip on the baby momentarily, but pulls him out of the water ... but not in time. The child's funeral is seen as a chance for Rabbit to return to domestic life.
  • October 6, 2016
    Video Games:
    • In Dead Rising 2: Off The Record, which is a What If of Frank West in Chuck Greene's shoes, one of the first psychopaths Frank has to fight is precisely Chuck, who has a girl doll tied in his back assuring "she" is his daughter, which makes him mad when Frank says "she" is just a doll. This is because his daughter probably died in front of him because of the zombie outbreak and he couldn't save her as in original timeline in DR2.
  • October 6, 2016
    Wow, Anime should get their own page with how big it already is here.
  • October 6, 2016
  • October 12, 2016
    I think that if this trope gets launched, it should probably be tagged NRLEP right out of the gate (under "Too Common...") , since its stated supertrope is also there. Thoughts?
  • October 12, 2016
    Oh and can only the creator of a ykttw launch it? Just curious.
  • October 12, 2016
    Anime & Manga Example: Bokurano, and how. A group of children are unwittingly contracted into defending their universe by piloting a giant robot that runs on the life force of the current pilot versus similarly powered robots from alternate universes. If you win the fight, you die; if you lose, your entire universe vanishes. Every time there's a battle, the kids get to watch a game of musical chairs/ Russian roulette take place in the cockpit to determine who the next pilot will be. Not to mention the truly astounding amounts of collateral damage caused when giant robot battles are held in densely populated cities.
  • October 12, 2016
    ^^ Anyone can launch a new trope proposal if there are sufficient hats, but it's in rather bad form unless the original sponsor has either forgotten the draft or several people have been calling for a launch already.
  • October 12, 2016
    BTW, what's the source for that image?
  • October 12, 2016
    Moved Film.Road To Perdition out of the Media.Comic Book folder and into the Media.Film folder, because it's a Prohibition-era film, starring Tom Hank and Paul Newman, from 2002. We might want to survey that Comic Book folder for more misplaced Works; the example disparity is suspect.
  • October 13, 2016
    ^^ It's from the 1931 Frankenstein movie (scroll up and you'll see a repost of it with the relevant example attached.
  • October 13, 2016
    Would Gert Yorkes really count as an infant?
  • October 14, 2016
    Video Games
    • The Walking Dead:
      • Season 1:
        • Kenny Junior, AKA Duck, will get bitten by a zombie, which leads to his slow death. You can then decide if you want to Mercy Kill him, make his father do it, or just leave him in the woods to turn.
        • When you enter the big villa Kenny will find a starved boy in the attic, who turned into a zombie. Either you or Kenny are required to kill him. With the boy unable to move due to his starvation, this scene is a real Tear Jerker.
        • When you leave Crawford Ben will be grabbed by a zombie, leading to him dangling over an abbys with a zombie horde comming. You can choose to pull him up or to let him go. Obviously, he will die if you let him go, getting eaten alive by the zombies.
        • If you saved Ben in Crawford, he will instead drop when a balkony gives in, leading to him getting impaled by a metal bar. He will then be Mercy Killed by Kenny, befor he gets eaten by the zombies.
        • The Stranger is implied to keep the severed head of his daughter in his bag, after she died in an unknown accident.
      • Season 2:
        • It is implied that Christa either had a misscarriage, or that her baby died after the prologue.
        • Sarah will get eaten alive by zombies if you leave her behind in the trailer. If you save her she will die soon after, when she gets trapped under the collapsed observation deck, with a zombie horde closing in.
  • October 14, 2016
    • Corpse Party could be this - the game. With only one adult among the main characters and Anyone Can Die, this is the logical conclusion. The game, however, provides a hand full of canon deaths, as well as some non-canon ones, AKA wrong ends. The canon ones are:
      • Seiko gets hanged by Naomi when she blacks out.
      • Mayu gets smashed into a wall, which turns her into chunky salsa.
      • Sakutaro gets stabbed by Yuuya.
      • Yuuya gets slayen by Yoshikazu.
  • October 14, 2016
    • The prologue of The Last Of Us ends with Joels daughter Sarah getting shot. Also, the first chapter ends with Sam getting infected and subsequently getting shot by his brother.
  • November 9, 2016
    The last post was almost a month ago, and the last post from the creator was in July; what should we do? It certainly has enough hats.
  • November 10, 2016
    A proposal is considered Up For Grabs after two months of inactivity by the original sponsor. That said, I don't think this is ready for launch yet. Just look at the size of the anime folder compared to the others—it seems like someone just copied every example from Infant Immortality but didn't complete the process at all for other media. I'll take a look at that a bit later so we can finish this and start the TRS wick cleanup.
  • November 11, 2016
    • Played 100% straight in Crusader Kings 2. Children can die just like any other character. They are even more vulnerable than adults, as they are more likely to die from diseases than adults, require a regent if they rule (who might be an Evil Chancellor) and have much lower diplomacy and intrigue, which makes them easy targets for murder plots. They can also be executed if taken as prisoner, just like any other character.
  • November 23, 2016
    I'm moving over examples from the Infant Immortality sandbox right now.

    I think we need a better title than Infant Mortality, however. This trope isn't just about babies but children in general. Death Of A Child or Kids Can Die perhaps?
  • November 23, 2016
    • Berserk: Guts is charged by Griffith with murdering Count Julius, a mission he pulls off with no trouble. Unfortunately, as he's returning he runs into the Count's son and reflexively kills him.
    • Drakengard:
      • One level has you fight your way out of a Child Soldier camp. Leonard's guilt is due to the fact that he was supposed to be guarding such a camp but wasn't on guard when it was destroyed... because he was off having sex with one of the boys during the attack.
      • Arioch is an elf who went mad after seeing her village slaughtered. And as the price for her pact was her womb, she now eats children, though she'll eat adults too.
    • Touhou: Junko's motivation is revenge for her dead son, killed when one of the Earth's extra suns was shot down by the moon princess Chang'e's husband and fell on him (the husband is now dead, but Junko continues her vendetta against Chang'e and all Lunarians). While there's little detail on the events, fanwork has a disturbing tendency to depict Junko as completely unable to get over her grief or denying her son's death entirely.
  • November 23, 2016
    I went ahead and added a couple more examples.

    • The Dragons Of Requiem series kills off children as casually as the adult characters. It gets to a point where it's a surprise when a child or infant doesn't die.
    • Twenty Four: In Season 5, Evelyn Martin and her young daughter are both confronted by Christopher Henderson after he kills two paramedics. It's highly implied that he killed them both, albeit it happened during commercial break.
    • In Episode 3 of Season 1 of The Walking Dead, Kenny and Katjaa's ten-year-old son, Doug, is bitten by a walker and later put down.
    • Hitman Blood Money opens with a Ferris wheel collapsing. Over two dozen people were killed, and it's stated that a majority of the victims were children.
  • November 23, 2016
    Please add a Death trope, expect unmarked spoilers! warning to this.

    • Susan, the protagonist of The Cat Lady, accidentally caused the death of her infant daughter in the game's backstory, by leaving a bunch of flower's in the daughter's bedroom without realizing she was severely allergic to pollen. Susan's depression over this leads to a failed suicide attempt in the first chapter, which sets up the events for the rest of the story.

    Edit: Just noticed Frankenstein (1931) is mentioned twice in the film folder
  • November 24, 2016
    Alright, I've finished moving over examples and updated submissions to here.

    Any input on the title? Infant Mortality is clearly too narrow and too strongly tied to the broken trope that is Infant Immortality. Others that have been offered are Child Characters Dying, Kids Can Die, and Death Of A Child. I'm personally in favor of the third name.
  • November 24, 2016
    Kids Can Die seems best.

    • Salammbo: As Carthage's situation worsens, the priests take to sacrificing children by hurling them inside a furnace shaped like a statue of Baal-Moloch, chanting "They are not men but oxen!" all the while. The infant Hannibal is saved thanks to his father forcing a slave to give up his own child instead.
  • November 24, 2016
    Note that this was once often Truth In Television. For most of human history, and still in some parts of the world, infant mortality rates were very high, and making it to your teenage years was something of an accomplishment. Low life expectancy figures are usually due not to people dropping dead at the age of 45 but because many did not survive childhood. Because of this, this trope is particularly prevalent in works with pre-modern settings.

    I vote for Deathof A Child, which to me signals "important plot point" more than the others.
  • November 29, 2016
    • The darkest creature encountered in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is the Obscurus, a dark magical force which feeds off troubled wizards below the age of ten. Newt keeps one in his suitcase after failing to save a Somalian girl from it, in hopes that he can study it and learn how to save other children from it.
    • Harry Potter
      • To show the escalation of the Wizarding War, the main characters of Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince regularly read about horrible victims of the Dark Lord, most horrifically one boy who was attacked and killed by a werewolf known as Fenrir Greyback, who specializes in targeting children.
      • The death of Dumbledore's fourteen year old sister is described at length in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, as it was a catalyst that kept Dumbledore from turning to evil and forced him to grow into the Big Good of the Wizarding World.
    • Harry Potter And The Cursed Child establishes just how evil the villain is after The Reveal by having them almost immediately kill the timid, fourteen year old Craig Bowker.
    • "Epilogue" from Justice League Unlimited sees Batman assigned to kill a superpowered girl called Ace who could potentially destroy reality with her Psychic Powers if her brain tumor progresses any further. He takes the gun to do the job... and throws it away as he goes to sit quietly with Ace to comfort her in her last moments.
  • November 30, 2016
    ^ Pretty much all those examples seem to be describing other tropes more than this one. Respectively, Child Eater, Cynicism Catalyst, Would Hurt A Child and Wouldnt Hurt A Child.
  • November 30, 2016
    Any other thoughts on the title?
  • November 30, 2016
    Murder Of Innocence, perhaps? Death By Newberry Award should fit into the description, given that killing a child is one way to qualify for the award.
  • November 30, 2016
    Might be a bad snowclone. Also, what is "child" for the purpose of this trope?
  • December 2, 2016
    ^^ Murder Of Innocence is too vague IMO, and could be confused for Corrupt The Cutie. Adding DBNW to the description sounds good.

    ^ Which of these titles do you think is a snowclone?

    As for you second point, we never reached a decision on a hard age limit in the Trope Repair Shop thread, partly because many characters do not have a canonical age thus inviting walls of arguments about whether an example qualifies or not. I think we've only inherited the limit that teenagers are in a different category.
  • December 11, 2016
    A boy called Jimmy dies in the Milly Molly book called "Jimmy's Seeds"
  • December 11, 2016
    Currently the title says No Real Life Examples, but I'd like to add in somewhere my earlier comment about high infant mortality being Truth In Television in the past. If not in a Truth In Television folder, can I add it to the trope description somewhere?
  • December 14, 2016
    Adding it to the description is what's usually done for NRLEP tropes, usually along the lines of "This is Truth In Television, but this is not the place to discuss it.
  • December 14, 2016
    What the devil happened with this Live-Action TV example?

    "In The Refugees, Álex killed a man that had killed his son. Ani dies at the end of the series."
  • December 14, 2016
    ^ That's a weird bug that occurs in TLP drafts with some special characters. The current remedy is basically just fix it before launch.
  • December 14, 2016
    • Part of the reason The Little Match Girl is considered such a tragic story- the titular character freezes to death on New Years Eve.
  • December 15, 2016
    This can happen when the villain Eats Babies.
  • December 15, 2016
    • The plot of Antichrist is kicked off by the lead couple's young child falling out a window. Their parents were in the middle of sex while it happened, and consequently the child's mother blames herself for the death, fueling her own self loathing.
  • January 2, 2017
    Bump. Progress report?
  • January 6, 2017
    We're still unresolved on the title. I think we should just crowner it at this point.
  • January 6, 2017
    Does this apply to teenagers or only little kids?
  • January 8, 2017
    Yeah, we should define the cut off age.
  • January 9, 2017
    The Brother Cadfael story "The Rose Rent" has Judith Perle, who lost her child not long after her husband died of disease (the TV version replaces the stillbirth with guilt over giving him a Mercy Kill), and feels it would be insulting their memory to remarry. She ends up finding love (and an adoptive daughter) by the end.
  • January 12, 2017
    In the TRS thread for Infant Immortality we specifically decided against a hardline cut-off age because it creates more problems than it solves. Namely, many children in fiction do not have their exact age pointed out in the text, which would just lead to endless arguments over what examples count or not.
  • January 12, 2017
    • @The Last Of Us
      • In the sewer level you will find an abandoned hideout of a large comunity which includes children. Joel says that they probably got away, but a few rooms later you will find their bodies covered in blankets with a note stating that one of the residents mercy killed them to save them from turning into zombies.
      • Sam gets bitten by an infected near the end of the summer chapter. When he turns and attacks Ellie, his brother Henry shoots him.
      • In the dam chapter Joel can find a small grave with a teddy on top of it.
      • In the Valentines Day DLC Ellie and Riley both get bitten by infected. Ellie is immune, but Riley isn't.
  • January 12, 2017
    I wonder if this works better if we define a cutoff like medicine does - not by some arbitrary number, but by a "softer" term such as excluding adolescent children.
  • January 12, 2017
    Live Action Television
    • One episode of Code Black has twin babies brought in after a building fire. One of them takes a turn for the worse and dies. It later turns out that the entire thing takes place in Dr. Guthrie's mind while he undergoes a medical procedure for his Parkinson's Disease. The incident did actually happen, though. The babies were his own and he was remembering the incident.
  • January 18, 2017
    Do we need to make a title crowner? This is getting faintly ridiculous IMO.
  • January 23, 2017
    ^ Better to take our time and launch a well-crafted trope than to rush a trope onto the wiki with one or more unresolved problems.

    The crowner we talked about has been compiled, and is being linked to both from here and the TRS thread.
  • January 23, 2017
    (This example is already listed on the work page as an aversion of Infant Immortality, along with a non-aversion, but doesn't go into details.)

    • Journey To The West Conquering The Demons has a rare (and rather shocking to western eyes) comedic example at the beginning, when a giant fish demon attacks a village. It makes several attempts to eat an infant in a basket, which is repeatedly saved by dramatic and improbable kung-fu stunts involving springy bamboo, but in the end, the rescuers' efforts are in vain, and the baby is swallowed whole.
  • January 25, 2017
    Speaking of Frankenstein:

  • February 19, 2017
    • Newsflesh has a straight example and a played with one:
      • Novella The Day The Dead Came To Show and Tell has an elementary school full of children die.
      • Novella All The Pretty Little Horses has children declared dead by traumatized adults who survived the Rising, even when presented with evidence the child survived. The adults had written their children off as dead already, grieved, and refused any information to the contrary.
  • February 20, 2017
    The crowner has been resolved in favor of Death Of A Child.

    Updated examples to here, so this is ready for launch.