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Self Supporting Child
A child under 18 that lives alone and without the need of the support of others.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-09-25 13:15:35 sponsor: Aries edited by: maxwellsilver (last reply: 2014-10-13 09:11:32)

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Most Writers Are Adults, so it is fairly common that children behave far older than the way that they should for their age. It is so common in fact, that it is an Acceptable Break from Reality that a child may be able to save the world. However, we also see that these children may have mentors or caretakers that are a reasonable age older than them, and this even includes young adults.

Some works, on the other hand, go so far as the child VERY independent for their age. These children own there own homes... while still in high school. Where they get their money, where their parents are, and how they cope living without them are usually Hand Waved if an excuse is given at all.

The child would also be mature enough to go to school on their own and cook full course meals, but at the same time we never see them pay bills.

This is mostly an anime trope, but it is still very unusual even in Japan. In the United States, one may be able to get an apartment as young as 18. This is rare because most 18 year olds have no credit history, nor do they have full time jobs.

This doesn't apply to college students nor boarding school students, where housing costs are deducted from tuition. However, even college students have trouble cooking and paying bills, and when they do live alone, it is usually in a very small one bedroom apartment.

(Description needs more work, as well as better explanation for examples. Feel free to edit this YKTTW)

Examples:

  • Orihime in Bleach is an aversion. She lived with her brother after her abusive parents caused them to leave, but after her brother died, she started living alone. This trope is averted because she has other family that helps provide for her.
  • Tobias in Animorphs, kinda. Being a human mind in a hawk's body with the ability to morph, he lives like a hawk would, eating small animals and defending his territory. However, in one case he needs to pass for human and is questioned about how he lives, and offhandedly repplies that he takes care of himself (his deadbeat aunt and uncle each thought he was staying with the other and didn't bother to find out more).
  • In Kore wa Zombie desu ka?? Ayumu Aikawa is a high school student who lived alone. After he was killed and resurrected, he eventually gained an Unwanted Harem, with each girl living in his house.
  • Nagi, Shizuku, and Soyogi in Umi no Misaki.
  • Children leave home and go on journeys as early as the age of 10 in the Pokémon anime. While they can be considered temporarily homeless, they are never shown struggling to survive, and seem to do very well for themselves. Justified because the world they live in supports this as part of their culture.
  • Played with in A Series of Unfortunate Events. The Baudelaire children are self-sufficient, but get placed with guardians who are killed or plotting to kill them for their fortune.
  • Sam Gribley of My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, who takes up a lifestyle in the Catskills that Thoreau and Emerson themselves would be proud of. He survives the winter on the land, records his observations and details useful procedures in a journal for future living, and even hollows out a tree to serve as a home. And it's quite spacious.
  • Pippi Longstocking moves into an old house to wait for her father, who was knocked off their boat into the sea.
  • In the British newspaper strip The Perishers the boy Wellington and his dog Boot live on their own (originally in a big concrete pipe in a mysteriously abandoned builders' yard, later in a small railway station on a closed branch line) and appear to live entirely on handouts from their friends. Wellington attends school, but none of the staff ever questions his domestic circumstances.
  • In Sailor Moon, Sailor Jupiter's parents are dead, but she has no trouble living in an apartment and generally not having the financial and legal problems that a child living alone has.
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