Created By: nitrokitty on September 28, 2011 Last Edited By: nitrokitty on October 18, 2011
Troped

Staring Kid

Whenever something unusual happens, there will be a little wide-eyed kid staring intensely at it.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope

Needs More Examples, Needs A Better Page Image

Anytime something unusual happens in media, the camera will inevitably pan out revealing a small child staring intently at the subject in blank amazement. The context of this can vary widely. In romantic comedies, the staring children will be present any time the main couple argue or have an awkward romantic moment. In action movies, they can show up anytime something explodes or the hero does something cool. This can be Played for Laughs by highlighting the absurdity of the moment, or Played for Drama to emphasize the horror of the event. Bonus Points if accompanied by a "What are you looking at, kid?" or a dropped ice cream cone.

Using one of these is a good way to toy with breaking The Masquerade, since a child who reports seeing an unusual event may not be believed by adults.

If the child's staring is just a little too eerie for comfort, then it's a Creepy Child. May overlap with Deer in the Headlights and Things That Go Bump in the Night. Related to Innocent Bystander.

Examples:

Anime and Manga:

Film:
  • The kid on the tricycle from The Incredibles, complete with a "what are you looking at?"
  • In Innerspace, a child stares at Mr Igoe after he shoots a scientist with his gun hand.
  • There's a little kid in Bad Teacher that sits there with his jaw hanging open in two scenes.
  • In the first Transformers movie a little girl see's one of the Transformers land in her pool.
  • In Up a kid sees the house fly away.
  • In Finding Nemo, a kid in the dentist's waiting room reacts in horror at the commotion heard inside the office when Nemo escapes.
  • In the original Iron Man, when Tony takes the Mark II armor for a test flight, the first person to spot him is a gawking little boy on a ferris wheel who drops the ice cream off his cone.
    • The little kid in Iron Man 2 who stands up to a runaway "Hammeroid" while wearing an Iron Man costume. The kid points his (fake) Repulsors at the behemoth, and it targets him as it would the real deal. Then the real Iron Man flies in, stands next to the kid and blasts it and flies away after offering a congratulatory "Nice work, kid!"
  • The first Spider-Man flick showed a kid gawking at falling debris while Spider-Man fought the Green Goblin. Spidey saved him right after shouting, "C'mon, move, kid!".
  • The boy on the beach stabbing the jellyfish in the first X-Men film stares at the mutated Senator Kelly when he emerges from the water and his gill slits disappear into his back. Of course, nearly everyone else on the beach stares too (including Stan Lee in his usual cameo appearance).

Live-Action TV
  • Doctor Who: The TARDIS disappearing is sometimes accompanied by a child bystander looking on in awe, the most recent example being a group of children in Closing Time.
  • Firefly: Jayne gets his own personal one in Jaynestown.
  • Fringe. Fringe. Fringe. Fringe. Fringe. You could actually make a drinking game out of this if you watched only the teasers.
  • Used in the teaser of the X Files episode "Fearful Symmetry."

Literature:
  • The little girl in Reaper Man who won't stop talking about the "skelington with clothes on."
  • The kid from Captain Underpants who always tries to point out the titular superhero's antics to his mum, but she never believes him. He doubles as Cassandra Truth.

Web Original

Western Animation:
  • This kid was a recurring character in Megas XLR, standing around, drinking a Mega Slush or something, and proclaiming "cooooooool" at all the destruction going on in the episode.
  • Sym-Bionic Titan: When Octis changes his holographic face to avoid recognition by the police, a little kid standing next to him notices and tries to get his mom's attention, who brushes him off.
  • In a Dexter's Laboratory episode, Dexter gets a little girl stalker, who just stares at him all the time with huge eyes.

Rolling Updates
Community Feedback Replies: 37
  • September 28, 2011
    nitrokitty
    Yes, I know the title sucks, I just can't think of a better one at the moment.
  • September 28, 2011
    wanderlustwarrior
    Western Animation
    • This kid was a recurring character in Megas XLR, standing around, drinking a Mega Slush or something, and proclaiming "cooooooool" at all the destruction going on in the episode.
  • September 29, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    Using one of these is a good way to toy with breaking The Masquerade, since a child who reports seeing an unusual event may not be believed by adults.
  • September 29, 2011
    nitrokitty
    ^ Ooo, I know I've seen that somewhere before, but alas, my memory has failed me. Stupid brain, why you no work?
  • September 30, 2011
    BOFH
    Film
    • In Innerspace, a child stares at Mr Igoe after he shoots a scientist with his gun hand.
  • September 30, 2011
    BraveHoratio
    Literature:

    • The little girl in Reaper Man who won't stop talking about the "skelington with clothes on."

    I actually quite like Little Staring Kid as a title.
  • September 30, 2011
    Andygal
    the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny animation has a random kid with an ice cream cone.
  • September 30, 2011
    UglyShirts
    There's that little kid in Bad Teacher that sits there with his jaw hanging open in two scenes. He cracked me up something fierce.
  • September 30, 2011
    Generality
    If it's something dangerous, like an explosion moving toward the kid, he will be yanked out of danger at the last moment, by either a parent or a passing good guy.
  • September 30, 2011
    randomsurfer
    ^Wouldn't that be Deer In The Headlights?
  • October 2, 2011
    nitrokitty
    ^ I think you're right, but they could overlap. I'll leave it out for the moment though, get some more opinions.
  • October 3, 2011
    donald
    • In the first Transformers movie a little girl see's one of the Transformers land in her pool.
    • In Up a kids see's the house fly away.
    if it's something dangerous may overlap with Things That Go Bump In The Night
  • October 3, 2011
    TonyG
    In Finding Nemo, a kid in the dentist's waiting room reacts in horror at the commotion heard inside the office when Nemo escapes.
  • October 3, 2011
    nitrokitty
    If someone could get me a good screenshot of that kid from The Incredibles for a page image, I'd be very grateful. I don't own the movie and couldn't find any good examples on the internet. Or, if someone wants to suggest another image, feel free.
  • October 4, 2011
    KingZeal
    • The little kid in Iron Man 2 who stands up to a runaway "Hammeroid" while wearing an Iron Man costume. The kid points his (fake) Repulsors at the behemoth, and it targets him as it would the real deal. Then the real Iron Man flies in, stands next to the kid and blasts it and flies away after offering a congratulatory "Nice work, kid!"
  • October 5, 2011
    KingZeal
    • As a matter of fact, in the original Iron Man, when Tony takes the Mark II armor for a test flight, the first person to spot him is a gawking little boy on a ferris wheel who drops the ice cream off his cone.
  • October 5, 2011
    nitrokitty
    Launching Soon

    Since nobody else seems to be as bothered by the title as me, I'll let it stand for now. I also really want a good page image for this, if someone can suggest one, that would be great. Again, I'm going to repeat my request for someone with a copy of The Incredibles to get a screen shot of Mr. Incredible lifting the car and the little kid on the tricycle staring at him.
  • October 5, 2011
    AP
    The first Spider Man flick showed a kid gawking at falling debris while Spider-Man fought the Green Goblin. Spidey saved him right after shouting, "C'mon, move, kid!".
  • October 6, 2011
    KingZeal
    ^^ I think you can lose "Little" and the title will work better. Since we typically perceive "kids" to be, well, "little", it's just redundant.

    Other than that, title works fine.
  • October 6, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    Staring Kid will do. Some of these kids aren't all that little; the business of adults failing to take them seriously can last a long time, even into adolescence.
  • October 6, 2011
    nitrokitty
    Aright, Staring Kid it is. Still could use a good page image though, and my Google Fu is apparently weak, since I'm not finding one I like.
  • October 7, 2011
    JonnyB
    In a Dexters Laboratory episode, Dexter gets a little girl stalker, who just stares at him all the time with huge eyes.
  • October 10, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    The boy on the beach stabbing the jellyfish in the first X Men film stares at the mutated Senator Kelly when he emerges from the water and his gill slits disappear into his back. Of course, nearly everyone else on the beach stares too (including Stan Lee in his usual cameo appearance).
  • October 11, 2011
    nitrokitty
    Soon as I get a better page image for this thing, I'm going to launch it. I just took the one from the Ultimate Destiny flash, which is kinda terrible. If someone has a copy of one of the movies in the list and can get a good screen shot, please do so.
  • October 11, 2011
    TonyG
    ^^^In that case the girl wasn't staring at Dexter because he was doing anything unusual, but because she fell in love with him.
  • October 12, 2011
    nitrokitty
    ^ We don't know that at the time, so I'd say it still fits.
  • October 12, 2011
    TonyG
    ^ But this trope isn't simply about kids staring. This is about kids staring at some unusual activity. If she were staring at one of Dexter's inventions run amok, it would be this trope, but she's staring at him because he picked up her doll.
  • October 12, 2011
    fulltimeD
    Two crucial Live Action Television examples:

    Fringe. Fringe. Fringe. Fringe. Fringe. You could actually make a drinking game out of this if you watched only the teasers.

    Also, used in the teaser of the X Files episode "Fearful Symmetry."
  • October 12, 2011
    TechUnadept
    The kid from Captain Underpants who always tries to point out the titular superhero's antics to hjis mum, but she never believes him. He doubles as Cassandra Truth.
  • October 13, 2011
    nitrokitty
    Still needs a good page image. I refuse to believe that nobody out there has a copy of The Incredibles or something.
  • October 14, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Image suggestions, found via google:

    [1]

    [2]

  • October 14, 2011
    nitrokitty
    Please link them directly, YKTTW hates pictures and breaks when you put them in. I'm putting in the second one for now, it's not ideal, but its better than the ultimate showdown one, and if I wait for the perfect image I'll never get this thing launched. I'm just going to quit waffling and launch this darn thing tomorrow, so if anyone has anything to add, do it now.
  • October 14, 2011
    Stratadrake
    The second image qualifies as Just A Face And A Caption because it doesn't depict the "awesome event" (a trope requirement) the kid is a bystander to.
  • October 14, 2011
    nitrokitty
    I know, what I really want is a shot of the kid from the front though, with Mr. Incredible lifting up the car. Nobody has stepped forward to deliver though. I can't find a pic of it via google, and I don't own the movie, or I'd get it myself.
  • October 17, 2011
    nitrokitty
    Bumping one last time for a better page image.
  • October 17, 2011
    UglyShirts
    @nitrokitty: This is the best I could do. It's a screengrab from the DVD, but given the aspect ratio of the film and the 350px. upload image width limit, it seems a little small. I'll still submit it for consideration, though:

    Mr. Incredible lifting the car

    Edited by Arivne to convert a picture that was breaking YKTTW to a link. The original poster was Ugly Shirts. Ugly Shirts, to put your name back on this post just edit it in any way, such as by deleting this paragraph.

    Arivne: Apologies for breaking the format...It was unintentional, so I appreciate the fix. I've noted the correct link-placement formatting to avoid this in the future, and thanks.
  • October 18, 2011
    nitrokitty
    Think that's about as good as can be hoped for. I'm just going to launch this tomorrow and if people want a better page image, it'll be their problem now.
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