Essentially, this is an episode where a character is forced to babysit a small child or a baby, usually a One-Shot Character
. The character that is doing the babysitting may either wind up being a Babysitter from Hell
or a Badly Battered Babysitter
. Sometimes, the child being babysat may be a Bratty Half-Pint
or an Enfant Terrible
(Eggs are their own trope
Also, characters having to babysit something else is also pretty common such as a pet or older person (who is always senile). Even objects may apply in some cases (say a sensitive experiment). Anything that requires a lot of attention could fill this role.
Compare Parents for a Day
, which appears to be about people being forced into taking care of a baby because of circumstances.
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Anime And Manga
- Episode 2 of the Little Lulu anime focused on Lulu playing babysitter for Tubby while his parents are out for the day, much to Tubby's chagrin. To add insult to injury in Tubby's case, the situation is subsequently discovered by Iggy who finds it funny that Tubby is being babysat by Lulu, which angers Tubby so very much.
- Detective Conan episode 566 basically has Conan taking care of a 2 year old. Silly since Conan is believed to be a six year old.
- Meia's Birthday Episode doubles as this in Vandread: Meia is stuck babysitting Ezra's baby daughter as part of a ploy to prevent Meia from escaping her own birthday party again.
- One chapter in the Japan-exclusive Neptunia manga has Neptune taking care of Nepgear, Uni, Rom and Ram after they were deaged into babies.
- The idea for Episode 2 of the Little Lulu anime came from the original Little Lulu comics, where Lulu would occasionally come over to babysit Tubby.
- Numerous comics also had Lulu being forced to look after Alvin.
- "Superman's Babysitter," a short comic story from Elseworlds 80 Page Giant which caused the whole run to be pulped because it shows baby Clark Kent in a microwave. (He's fine.) Later reprinted with no outrage.
- One arc of the X-23 solo series focused on Laura taking care of Franklin and Valeria Richards for an evening. Given that the younger of the two inherited her father's brains and retained a three-year old's capacity for mischief....
- The Golden Girls had one, the baby belonged to a friend of Dorothy's and they sang 'Mr Sandman' to get him to sleep. Then he got a fever and the doctor from Empty Nest did a Cross Over visit to look at him. Blanche used it as a flirting chance,naturally.
- One episode of Clarissa Explains It All had Clarissa baby sitting "Little Elsie", an absolute monster of a child, who makes it a point to make Clarissa's life a living hell. Clarissa manages to beat Elsie by goading her into bragging about everything Elsie has gotten away with and recording it.
- Glee: In the episode ''Hairography'', Quinn takes up Kendra's offer of babysitting in order to test Puck's potential as a father. In true Glee fashion, they put the kids to sleep using a song.
- In one episode of The Lone Gunmen, the title characters and Yves Adele Harlow look after a baby fathered by a thinly veiled Bill Clinton.
- Not quite babysitting, per se, but two different arcs of Garfield strips had Garfield and Odie being pet-sat while Jon was out on a date with Liz. The first time, they were pet-sat by the horribly nearsighted Lillian, and the second time had them under the care of the muscle-bound Greta.
- Periodically, Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes would be babysat by Rosalyn, whom Calvin fears very greatly.
- One of the levels in Heavy Rain has Shelby taking care of a baby whose mom has just attempted suicide.
- The Mr. Bogus episode "Babysitting Bogus" dealt with Bogus finding himself playing babysitter for an incredibly unruly baby while the real babysitter is waylaid by her talking on the phone.
- This was the plot point of the episode "Arthur Babysits", where he has to babysit the dreaded Tibble Twins. This episode is also notorious for marking the first appearance of Mrs. Tibble and the Tibble Twins.
- A later episode "Crushed" focused on Arthur bonding with his babysitter Sally, due to the fact that they both love playing a video game called "Dark Bunny 6: Curse Of The Moomy".
- In the Tom and Jerry MGM shorts "Busy Buddies" and "Tot Watchers", Tom and Jerry have to continually chase down and rescue the baby from trouble because the actual babysitter spends her time gossiping on the telephone.
- In The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode "Baby-Sitter Jitters", Sonic and Tails wind up babysitting a trio of baby beavers — Tails made the offer to the parents because Sonic "loves babes".
- "Jack-Jack Attack" is a short on The Incredibles DVD showing what was happening with Jack-Jack and his babysitter while the rest of the family was having the adventure shown in the film.
- A very Lower Deck Episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold shows 'Mazing Man catsitting, which he also did in his eponymous comic book.
- Used several times in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- The episode "Baby Cakes" features Pinkie Pie eagerly wanting to babysit her boss' twin babies without understanding the differences between playing with babies and taking care of them. It goes about as well as you'd expect.
- In "Stare Master", Fluttershy offers to watch the Cutie Mark Crusaders, greatly underestimating how energetic they can be. She eventually does earn their respect and obedience by saving them from a monster in the Everfree Forest.
- In "Just for Sidekicks", Spike pet-sits for all the mane six. He's mainly interested in the gems he received as payment, and he spends the bare minimum of time actually watching the pets. This comes back to bite him when one of the pets, Angel Bunny, resents being ignored and runs away; Spike is run through the wringer trying to get Angel back.
- An episode of the My Little Pony cartoon from the '80s, The Ice Cream Wars, has the First Tooth ponies begrudgingly babysitting the two sets of Newborn Twins. They even sing about it!
- The plot point of the Adventures from the Book of Virtues episode "Selflessness", in which Annie was forced to babysit her toddler cousins, skipping a trip of hers.
- The Simpsons:
- In what was originally the very first episode, but was delayed to the first season finale, Homer & Marge go out for the evening while the kids are sat by what turns out to be "the Babysitting Bandit," who gets a babysitting job and then ties up the kids and steals everything from the house.
- In another episode, 8-year-old Lisa offers her services as a babysitter, but the only ones who will take her up on it are Homer & Marge, who have her watch Bart and Maggie. Bart does a lot of stupid things mostly for the sake of being contrarian, which eventually lends him in the hospital (she even has to drive him there in a wheelbarrow because he prank-called them earlier), but she still gets work afterward.
- While healing from a work injury, Homer starts a Daddy Day Care–type in-home babysitting service.
- Donald Duck has to take care of a bratty baby turtle named Shelby in a series of House of Mouse shorts.
- In Regular Show, "Dead At Eight", Mordecai and Rigby has to babysit Death's son, Thomas, in order to save Muscle Man's soul.
- The The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh episode "Babysitter Blues" had Christopher Robin, Pooh, Piglet, and Tigger being babysat by an unnamed babysitter who also appeared as The Faceless like Christopher Robin's mother. Later in the episode, Christopher Robin has to babysit Roo while Kanga goes out into the Hundred Acre Wood.
- The Doug episode "Doug Loses Dale" is about Doug babysitting Skeeter's younger brother, Dale.
- 101 Dalmatians: The Series had two instances, which were paired up together. "Rolly's Egg-Celent Adventure" had Rolly taking care of Cornelia's eggs, which hatched at the beginning of the episode when he sat on them. "Wild Chick Chase" was about Spot having to babysit Peeps, a chick who kept getting into danger.
- In the Pac-Man short "Hocus-Pocus Pac-Man", Ms. Pac-Man asks her husband to watch Pac-Baby while she goes shopping. Pac-Man tries to amuse Pac-Baby with some magic tricks, but one of them goes wrong and Pac-Baby seemingly vanishes.
- The Little Rascals animated short "Tiny Terror" has Butch leave his baby brother with the Rascals so he can run an errand for his mother. Among other things, the baby climbs a tree and bombards Alfalfa and Spanky with apples.
- An American Tail: "Babysitting Blues" from Fievel's American Tails.
- The Flintstones: In the Gruesomes' debut episode, Fred and Barney agree to babysit Goblin, whose antics and pets make it near life-threatening.
- CatDog: In one episode, they have to babysit Cliff's niece. She eventually gets lost and when Lube comes to pick up the baby, they pass off Winslow as the baby and go look for her. They manage to get her back before Cliff finds out.
- Tiny Toon Adventures:
- In the short "Li'l Sneezer" from the episode "Test Stress", Furrball disguises himself as a babysitter as part of his plan to catch Li'l Sneezer and get his picture in the Hall of Cartoon Pussycats. Sneezer's powerful sneezes end up foiling his every attempt to catch him.
- The short "Drooley Davey" from the episode "The Wide World of Elmyra" involves Elmyra Duff (who is clearly too young and stupid to be a proper babysitter) looking after the titular salivating infant. At one point in the episode, she tries feeding him extremely hot milk.
- The short "I Was a Teenage Bunnysitter" from the episode "The Acme Home Shopping Show" involves Babs Bunny looking after Duncan Potter, a toddler rabbit who demands a mashed-potato man at dinner and a scary story at bedtime.
- There are two of these in Ewoks. In first season's The Travelling Jindas, Latara joins the nomadic tribe/species giving performances all around Endor because she's frustrated with babysitting her toddler siblings, solely to be kidnapped by Duloks in order to babysit their children. In second season's Bringing Up Norky, the gang is taking care of an obnoxiously manipulative young critter while his parents are away.