Created By: norsicnumber2nd on September 2, 2012 Last Edited By: norsicnumber2nd on October 3, 2012
Nuked

Kid With An Ice-Cream

There's always one that our hero knows.

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Trope
In television and film, there always seems to be that one kid with an ice-cream, lolly, or other similar cold treat that the protagonist either knows and something bad happens to them, or that is stood in the middle of all the danger (and is miraculously saved). Also counts when a kid drops an ice-cream and starts to cry (or by any other means encourages the good guys), or if they are used to mirror someone else. This kid becomes a device to provoke feelings from the protagonist and becomes the catalyst for a change in plot direction.

This will often happen in situations where there are plenty of kids around, all identical in every means except that that one kid that's focused on is eating an ice cream when no-one else is. This may be to emphasise their innocence and from that to remind our hero that they have something to keep going for, and so encouraging their behaviour in order to move along.

Examples include a recurring character in Megas XLR who is a spiky-haired kid that's always drinking a slushy just in the same place as Coop is when he's doing something crazy with Megas. The kid almost always then says "Cool!"; on an episode of Doogie Howser, M.D., a gangster tells Doogie about how his little brother was killed in a drive by shooting, and he wasn't doing anything but eating an ice cream cone, leading into the story and revelations for Doogie. In one episode of How I Met Your Mother, Ted is on a date in Central Park with a girl who acts like a child so that guys want to look after her. He notices that her shoe is untied while she's eating an ice-cream so he stoops to fasten it for her. On looking back up he notices a man about his own age doing the same for his young daughter, who is dressed similarly to Ted's date and also eating an ice cream. Noticing this, he is prompted to break up with the girl. This also leads into a separate sub-plot involving his good friend, Barney.

This is subverted in Lilo & Stitch, a series with a child as the main protagonist, which has a recurring character of an adult tourist with an ice-cream cone. This is most likely reminding Lilo (and Stitch) that they need to save Hawai'i, if for nothing more than the tourists.

Parodied in an old MAD comic where they did their spoof on The Lone Ranger. Tonto disguised himself as a little kid with a lolly.
Community Feedback Replies: 40
  • September 2, 2012
    MrRuano
    • A recurring character in Megas XLR is a spiky-haired kid who's always drinking a slushy just in the same place as Coop is when he's doing something crazy with Megas. The kid almost always then says, "Cool!"
  • September 2, 2012
    Routerie
    This is far from self-explanatory. There always seems to be? Where? And why?
  • September 2, 2012
    LOAD
    This makes no sense.
  • September 2, 2012
    cygnavamp
    Needs a better explanation, so no hat, but here's an example, if you think it fits.

    • On an episode of Doogie Howser MD, a gangster tells Doogie about how his little brother was killed in a drive by shooting, and he wasn't doing anything but eating an ice cream cone.
  • September 2, 2012
    billybobfred
    As Routerie said, this is far from self-explanatory.

    In what context is there always that one kid? What media is that one kid most likely to appear in? What is the point of that one kid appearing all the time?
  • September 3, 2012
    AP
    While the kid with an ice cream cone image does pop up a lot, usually as an extra, this provides no real storytelling tool as is almost People Sit On Chairs.
  • September 3, 2012
    Rognik
    I have to agree with AP here. I read the trope and went, "So what?" It might be a trope if it's about dropped ice cream and the kid starts crying, which does something to affect Our Heroes or the villains. If it's just a kid eating ice cream, though, as a throw away character, who cares? Tropes need to have some purpose or driving force to the story.
  • September 3, 2012
    LOAD
    What is the trope? If it's the "If a kid has an ice cream cone it will always drop it" then maybe a trope. If it's "Kids eat ice cream" then no trope.
  • September 3, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    There's a kid with an ice-cream that the protagonist always either knows and something bad happens to them, or that is stood in the middle of all the danger and is miraculously saved. Huh. Okay, not self-explanatory.
  • September 3, 2012
    LOAD
    I'm still not seeing a trope. This seems to be really all over the place.
  • September 4, 2012
    Rognik
    I also see lots of women in dresses in the background of various shows; that doesn't make it a trope. Yes, it's an admittedly common sight in western media, but it doesn't really mean anything. Without some deeper meaning behind it, it's just People Sit On Chairs.
  • September 4, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    ^It's that the kid means something to the protagonist(s) and so prompts them to do something to advance in the story and develop their character.
  • September 4, 2012
    nitrokitty
    This is Staring Kid. There's already a bit in there about ice cream.
  • September 4, 2012
    KarjamP
    ^Then this entry can be a subtrope.
  • September 4, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Sub-trope of Staring Kid, then? They're still a bit different, though. This would a sub-trope where the kid specifically influences the protagonist(s) and/or plot in some way, leading to development instead of just highlighting the absurdity or disaster of a moment.
  • September 4, 2012
    Routerie
    Okay, make a trope about that then. And drop the ice cream bit.
  • September 6, 2012
    LOAD
    What's happening with this?
  • September 6, 2012
    Rognik
    Not sure, but unless the OP gets a drastic re-write, well... my finger is just itching to press the "Discard" button.
  • September 16, 2012
    LOAD
    OP?
  • September 16, 2012
    cygnavamp
    It's a little better, so you get a hat.

    This trope was parodied in an old MAD comic where they did their spoof on The Lone Ranger. Tonto disguised himself as a little kid with a lolly.
  • September 16, 2012
    LOAD
    ^Hats aren't ways of rewarding things, a hat means you are saying "This trope, as is, is ready to be launched."

    And I still don't know what this trope is. If it's a kid that in some way affects the protagonist, then ice-cream, lollipops etc are irrelevant.
  • September 16, 2012
    nitrokitty
    I still think this is Staring Kid But More Specific. The ice cream cone is irrelevant, what is relevant is the kid's effect on the tone, mood, or plot, which is what Staring Kid covers. If you feel you can expand the definition of Staring Kid, then by all means do so, but I don't think we need a whole new trope.
  • September 16, 2012
    LOAD
    I think this should be discarded. But where's the OP?
  • September 18, 2012
    LOAD
    OP?
  • September 28, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Oh, hello. I was in an essay crisis. Sorry. If the consensus is this should be discarded then OK. ^^^I think the ice cream is relevant, as the audience can pretty much rely on a kid with an ice cream or whatever effecting the tone, mood, or plot.

    Though expanding Staring Kid might be a start.
  • September 29, 2012
    LOAD
    ^Maybe you could try explaining this better than. Because right now it seems to just be "kid has ice-cream"
  • September 30, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    ^The audience will be used to seeing/reading of a moment in which a kid ends up encouraging behaviour from the protagonist in order to move along in the plot. This kid will, more often than not, have some cool snack/beverage with them and be eating/drinking. Yes, that's just saying that, but often there will be other kids around - identical in every way (including saying the same stuff where appropriate) with one exception. No ice cream. Like in that How I Met Your Mother example, that park was obviously filled with kids and their parents that reflected Ted and his date but the one he looks at? Eating an ice cream.

    The kid in Doogie Howser MD could have just explained that Doogie's brother was shot while standing around, but he mentions that he was just "eating an ice cream".

    The ice cream has meaning.
  • September 30, 2012
    LOAD
    ^Alright. Now it seems to make a bit more sense. Though I'm not sure how common it is as I've never really seen it.
  • October 1, 2012
    nitrokitty
    ^^ The problem is that now it's pretty much the same as Staring Kid.
  • October 1, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Nowhere in Staring Kid does it mention that the one kid that is picked out by our hero to influence them will hold an ice-cream. I'd say the ice cream (or cool snack) emphasises their innocence. Staring Kid just mentions it's better so if there's a dropped ice cream, to show surprise from a - oh! - staring kid.

    Would we say this is Sub Trope of Staring Kid?
  • October 1, 2012
    JohnnyCache
    A subversion:
    • Lilo And Stitch, a series with a child as the main protagonist, has a recurring character of an adult tourist with an ice-cream cone.
  • October 1, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    ^what does this tourist do exactly?

    Is it so Lilo saves the place for the tourists?
  • October 1, 2012
    nitrokitty
    ^^ Except on Staring Kid it specifically mentions an ice cream cone as one of the common traits. If you want to expand the definition, fine, please do so by all means, but this is still not a distinct enough trope to merit a whole new page.
  • October 1, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    No, it says 'Bonus Points if accompanied by a "What are you looking at, kid?" or a dropped ice cream cone.'

    So, Staring Kid is made funnier if a kid drops ice cream.

    This is where there must be ice cream and out of a fair few kids the one focused on is the one with a cool snack. They do not stare (or not necessarily) but purely because there's a kid with an ice cream, The Hero must go on.
  • October 1, 2012
    LOAD
    This may be Too Rare To Trope.
  • October 1, 2012
    LOAD
    This is subverted in Lilo And Stitch, a series with a child as the main protagonist, which has a recurring character of an adult tourist with an ice-cream cone. This is most likely reminding Lilo (and Stitch) that they need to save Hawai'i, if for nothing more than the tourists.

    ^The tourist is there just for humor. He's never (in my memory) a driving force for the plot.

    a recurring character in Megas XLR who is a spiky-haired kid that's always drinking a slushy just in the same place as Coop is when he's doing something crazy with Megas. The kid almost always then says "Cool!"

    ^This sounds like Staring Kid.
  • October 2, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    ^Just adding what people reply there, and yeh, maybe too rare. Leave it see if examples appear.
  • October 2, 2012
    LOAD
    I don't think people understand this, so they're just putting down every random ice cream eater in media.
  • October 3, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Yeh, if there aren't other kids standing round Coop in Megas XLR, it's Staring Kid - but maybe just seeing a tourist reminds Lilo and Stitch to save the island, especially seeing as Hawai'i is packed with tourists.
  • October 3, 2012
    LOAD
    ^ I've watched the show and I never got that implication. I'm pretty sure he's just supposed to be a Running Gag.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=veygfovq8irtc5b0crcjf167&trope=DiscardedYKTTW