Created By: Earnest on September 26, 2012 Last Edited By: Earnest on September 29, 2012
Nuked

Monster Keeper

Rather than keep a conventional pet, they shelter a literal monster.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Formerly Zombie Caretaker.

The Monster Keeper keeps a literal monster safe from being hunted and destroyed, often at their own or others' risk. The usual reason is that the monster was once a family member, friend or loved one who has been afflicted with The Virus, an Emergency Transformation or a Viral Transformation, and they now need help to "live" and escape being targeted by The Hunter, a mob, scientists or authorities.

The monster needn't be evil or dangerous, but is at the least a Reluctant Monster who would normally incite fear, and at the worst a soulless beast with a Horror Hunger and not a shred of their former identity. The Monster Keeper may do double duty as The Caretaker and a Secret Keeper, hiding them and providing for their needs, maybe even managing to make them a Vegetarian Vampire. Though in some cases they'll be more akin to The Renfield and help the Monster get victims. These last Keepers were usually highly emotionally dependent or extremely attached on the Monster in life, and they're likely the type of person who would think Came Back Wrong is a fair trade for having their friend back.

If the Monster is basically their old friend plus a few quirks, the situation will be more like having a Monster Roommate. Contrast Zombie Advocate and Vampire Refugee. Compare The Renfield.


Examples:

Comic Books
  • The Walking Dead has a few examples across its comic and TV adaptations. Notably the mayor who kept his de-toothed zombie daughter around in the comic, and Herschel who kept a barn full of zombies in the TV series.

Film
  • In Resident Evil: Apocalypse the vicar (caretaker) and his wife (zombie).
  • In Shaun of the Dead the parody nature of the film comes back in the end with some of the "surviving" zombies restrained from causing harm and used to work in menial labor jobs and degrading game shows. Shaun's best friend Ed is turned into a zombie near the end, and Instead of killing him Shaun chains him up in a shed in the back, gives him a videogame console and drops in to play every so often, even chastising him when he tries to bite Shaun.
  • Ed And His Dead Mother has Ed and his uncle take increasingly drastic steps to protect the town from the reanimated life eating mom.
  • In The Goonies the Frateli Brothers (and Mother) are taking care of their deformed brother "Sloth".
  • Fido has an entire 50's parody society live in a Cosy Catastrophe after a Zombie Apocalypse by living off of Restraining Bolted zombies. The trope is played more literally when the titular Fido goes un-collared and kills a few kids, only for his owner to try and protect him from being put down.

Literature
  • The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan has one character who, in a rare bit of heroism for a vampire infectee, chained himself in a shed before he went mindlessly feral and had his family take their children away after he ate the dogs. Subverting the heroism, his wife, a chronic dependent personality type, decided that to keep him around by feeding him annoying neighbors was a good idea.

Live-Action TV
  • In the third episode of Torch Wood, Ianto Jones is discovered to be taking care of a partially converted Cyberman. It does not end well.

Video Games
  • In Neverwinter Nights you can take a quest to hunt down several boys who have been turned by a werewolf. One is found staying at the farmhouse where his parents live, being sheltered by his family, who will try to dissuade you from going upstairs.
  • The Bright Brotherhood, a religious cult for ghouls in Fallout: New Vegas, try to keep feral ghouls and ordinary humans as far apart as possible, since the feral ghouls instinctively try to attack humans on sight and humans usually respond by killing them.

Western Animation
  • One episode of South Park had Butter's parents, believing he had died and come back as a zombie, decide that to care for their now zombified child they needed to chain him up in the cellar and feed him people.
Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • September 26, 2012
    Aries
    I have a few examples, but... I think this narrows it down too much. If it expands to merely keeping zombies (or monsters) alive, then we have something to work with.

    • In Shaun Of The Dead, Ed is turned into a zombie near the end of the movie but Shawn doesn't kill him. In fact he still treats him the same and even plays videogames with him.

    • In Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka?, the main character is a zombie, but in this series, zombies behave closer to fully resurrected people. So he does everything that normal humans do, including cook and school work, and nobody ever figures out that he is dead unless he tells them.

    • The Walking Dead (a few examples, but I can't be detailed at this time.)
  • September 26, 2012
    WolfgangAmadeusPenis
    Yeah, I'd say this needs to open up a bit. I think this has a sliding scale appeal to it -- there are a lot of zombie works out nowadays that have examples of keeping zombies around.
  • September 26, 2012
    saintdane05
    Another example:

    • In the third episode of Torch Wood, Ianto Jones is discovered to be taking care of a partially converted Cyberman. It does not end well.
  • September 26, 2012
    dvorak
    the vicar (caretaker) and his wife (zombie) from Resident Evil Apocalypse.
  • September 26, 2012
    captainsandwich
    Are you going to mention how Butters was locked in the basement?
  • September 27, 2012
    saintdane05
    The Frateli Brothers (and Mother) are taking care of their deformed brother "Sloth" in The Goonies.
  • September 27, 2012
    captainpat
    How is Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka an example when no one is taking care of him?
  • September 27, 2012
    Astaroth
    • In Neverwinter Nights you can take a quest to hunt down several boys who have been turned by a werewolf. One is found staying at the farmhouse where his parents live, being sheltered by his family, who will try to dissuade you from going upstairs.

    • The Bright Brotherhood, a religious cult for ghouls in Fallout New Vegas, try to keep feral ghouls and ordinary humans as far apart as possible, since the feral ghouls instinctively try to attack humans on sight and humans usually respond by killing them.
  • September 27, 2012
    TheNinth
    The name's a little vague. Just looking at the title it sounds like the caretaker is a zombie, not that someone's the caretaker for a zombie.
  • September 27, 2012
    KarjamP
    I don't see how Zombie Ed from Shaun Of The Dead fit this trope definition, as the trope's supposed to be about caretakers, not "people who are treated the same when they are alive".
  • September 28, 2012
    Earnest
    ^ The zombies are still dangerous, but they're so dumb they can be fairly easily corraled singly and used for menial labor, so I ammended the example.

    Is Monster Keeper a better name y'all?
  • September 28, 2012
    elwoz
    Related to Fluffy Tamer and their pet Fluffy The Terrible.
  • September 29, 2012
    Koveras
    Do the Stark kids from A Song Of Ice And Fire, who each keep a pet direwolf, count? Regular wolves are feared enough in Westeros, but giant direwolves are considered monsters by the general populace.
  • September 29, 2012
    Earnest
    ^ I think that'd be Fluffy Tamer rather than this, but you do bring up the point that the title isn't making the "formerñy a loved one" angle more notable. Maybe Zombified Friend Keeper?
  • September 29, 2012
    JoeG
    Harry Potter: Some of Hagrid's pets include a baby dragon and a spider the size of a small car.
  • September 29, 2012
    Noaqiyeum
    I think Monster Keeper is actually too broad now - it'd be a better name for Fluffy Tamer. It makes me think of a (possibly oblivious) Nightmare Fetishist who raises dangerous exotic pets for fun.
  • September 29, 2012
    Damr1990
    • Gregor Samsa from The Metamorphosis inexplicably gets turned into a giant bug, so his family keeps him on his room, however it is Deconstructed as it shows the gradual deterioration of the both gregor and his family as the time passes by, as gregor eventually starts losing his mind and his family's affection gradualy gets replaced by hatred of that strange creature they have to take care of
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=w8gwwwqd7pmn1lqfomtkq2ju&trope=DiscardedYKTTW