Classic villain type in children's stories and films, a person who cannot stand children. At all. It may range from them being very irritated by them but not saying anything to seething hatred of insane comedic levels, but whatever the case, they simply do not like them. Typically but not always female, and often a glamorous woman with a shallow personality. The fact that they themselves were once a child never seems to cross their mind. Ironically, for some reason they have a tendency to have a career that involves working with children, such as a camp counselor or a Sadist Teacher. They may be in a job that focuses on children (teacher, host of a children's TV show, toymaker), or as a particular type of Depraved Kids' Show Host.
If one of these is trying to marry a single parent, expect the Child Hater to make plans to ship the poor kid or kids Off to Boarding School so they can have the parent all to themselves.
Needless to say, it's highly probable that such a character Would Hurt a Child, but it isn't obligatory. In extreme cases, they may even aim for a full-on Childless Dystopia.
Contrast Friend to All Children, who is often the natural enemy of this kind of villain.
Yukimi of Nabari No Ou, who constantly mutters about he hates "brats" (even including Raikou, who is 20). Ironically, Yukimi himself is childish to the point that he blows out other people's birthday candles and is reduced to elementary school level name-calling when he's annoyed. And despite his self-proclaimed hatred of kids, he's still fiercely protective of Yoite and Miharu.
Yu-Gi-Oh!: Chono-sensei, a Monster of the Week villain, fits the "vain and shallow" personality to a tee. Until the Pharaoh hits her with karmic retribution.
Subverted and then played straight with Akito's mother Ren from Fruits Basket. On one hand, she said that she hated how the then-tiny Ayame, Hatori, Kureno and Shigure swarmed to her and cried, but it was more about annoyance than outright hate. (She didn't know it, but their tears were because they sensed she was pregnant with Akito, the future God of the Zodiac.). However, she plays it straight via noting that she has always hated her niece Rin, and she always abused her child Akito ever since early childhood.
Shugo Chara! has Yuu Nikaidou-sensei who is a teacher because his real job actively involves crushing childrens' dreams in order to draw out their "Hearts Eggs" in order to check if it is the mystical wish granting "Embryo", and there is reason to believe the possessor of said Embryo is at Seiyo Academy. It's kind of a win-win situation for him.
A non-villainous example, Senjougahara Hitagi of Bakemonogatari has made it abundantly clear that she has an intense distaste for children, mainly because of an incident whereupon bumping into a small child she lost her composure and began apologizing to the unfettered child. Not particularly fond of feeling submissive to what she considers a lesser being, she has since held firm that all children should be exterminated.
Hougen from Ginga Densetsu Weed appears to have something against puppies. One time, he tells his minions to kill a litter of puppies because he thinks someone was hiding a female from him.
Fables : Frau Totenkinder not only dislikes children as her last name (German for "dead children") suggests; she even turns out to be the witch from Hansel and Gretel.
More of an occupational hazard as her powers are fueled by eating children. She later meets Gretel again, now a teenager, they bury the hatchet and Gretel even starts learning magic from her.
Frau Totenkinder's hatred of children seems to stem from her origin story. She was denounced as a witch and kicked out of her tribe after she got pregnant by the tribe leader's son (said son had promised to marry her, and then pretended he wasn't the baby's father after he had to marry someone else). This sent her on a downward spiral that caused her to think nothing of killing one child a year for great power and two children a year for eternal youth. By the time she joined Fabletown and was made a welcome member of the community, Frau Totenkinder mellowed out. Although she still gets her powers from the abortion clinics she finances...
Hellblazer's John Constantine bluntly states "I fucking hate kids" in the opening of one story arc while standing in the same line as a woman with a screaming baby. This throwaway comment actually foreshadows the rest of the arc: the Big Bad turns out to be a Creepy Child possessed by a hideous rape demon that impregnated a (male) gangster, the Creepy Child's father, with a child that was meant to be an Antichrist.
Grouchy Smurf is made out to be this in The Smurfs story "The Smurflings"...not that Snappy Smurfling was any help by preemptively commenting "I hate grownup Smurfs" before Grouchy could even say anything.
In the cartoon version, however, he has a serious soft spot for Baby Smurf, oftentimes acting as a Papa Wolf when Baby is threatened.
Somewhat unsettlingly, in the original versions of many fairy tales, the character was in fact the children's mother. The Brothers Grimm (ironically) were responsible for much of the bowdlerization when they realized this might be disturbing to younger readers.
Which itself is a cultural thing. At the time that the Brother's Grimm was written, women who were widowed were expected to remarry immediately. They were also forced to leave any children they had from the previous marriage at their parent's house. If their parents had died they had to just abandon their children. So the reason so many stepmothers were wicked was that they weren't given time to grieve, forced to marry an unknown man, and lose their children.
Robyn Starling's "Aunt" Pristine Figg. She mentally abuses Robyn by sending her to bed without supper and LOCKING her in the attic at night. She had the titular characters, Tom and Jerry, dropped off at the pound to keep them from telling Robyn that her father survived the avalanche. For crying out loud, she was even willing to LEAVE Robyn to burn alive when the Starling cabin was set on fire!! Apparently, Figg looks after Robyn just so she can get the money that really belongs to Robyn and her father and isn't hers to begin with.
Figg's lawyer, Lickboot, was probably no better. He was also only in it for the Starling fortune as well.
To Lickboot's credit, he did show some genuine concern about Robin when the cabin caught on fire while Aunt Figg just was interested in saving her own ass, but all that proves is he's a slightly better human being than Figg. Not much, but slightly.
In Monster House, Mr. Nebbercracker is an angry man who is often yelling at kids to get off of his property but is actually trying to protect kids from this spirit of his wife Constance, who actually was this due to being mocked by kids as a circus freak.
Not actually hatred, but the monsters from Monsters, Inc. are all terrified of children, believing them to be extremely toxic to monsterkind.
Films — Live-Action
Anything starring W.C. Fields, however in these movies he's usually The Hero. Considering how ill behaved the kids in those movies were, who couldn't but be on his side?
Problem Child 2: LaWanda Dumore; in her reveal in the climax. Although its hinted at earlier, since she threatens to send Junior Off to Boarding School in Baghdad — and there was a goddamn war on over there at the time the movie was made.
Teri Hatcher's character in Spy Kids. At least she has an excuse, as the last two kids she met burned most of her hair off. (She was trying to kill them at the time, but still.)
This was only in the movie, though. In the book, he didn't mind kids so much, knowing they were always enthusiastic about dinosaurs.
A Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy Krueger is an extreme version of this trope — though if you take his original concept into consideration, he liked kids in entirely the wrong way.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Baron and Baroness Bomburst of the country of Vulgaria were added to the film version and fit this trope to a T. The Baroness is even afraid of children. Both employ the Child Catcher, who could very well be this Trope personified, to capture and abduct any children in the country. Her fear is most likely born of jealousy. A person so vain as to faint from shock when they are told they are ugly would undoubtedly be jealous of anyone more beautiful, or in this case more youthful looking than themselves. It's even explicitly laid out by the Toymaker: children growing up remind her that she's growing older herself, so she decides that if there aren't any children around growing up, she won't age.
In the stage musical version, she's so terrified of children, just hearing the 'C' word causes her to scream in terror or have a panic attack.
The Penguin only kidnaps the rich boy firstborn and ignores the girls because he's pissed at how his own parents abandoned him when he was a kid (he himself having been born to a rich family). His plan was to make all of Gotham suffer because of what his parents did to him.
Max Keeble's Big Move: Principal Jindrake plays this part real good, who he sees as acne-scarred riffraff.
" Here they come, With their pimples and their braces..., and their rickets and their lice, Their snot-nosed, baggy-pantsed..., high-pitched,squealing voices."
The Cat Shepherd and Moka, in Nocturna. The Cat Shepherd is a non-villainous example, who finds kids to be really annoying, but slowly warms up to Tim. Moka meanwhile, is also a non-villainous example, as it was part of act to goad Tim into journeying across Nocturna and confront the Shadow.
The Hallmark movie Love Takes Wing has Ray Russell, a man with a serious chip on his shoulder and an unexplained grudge against children. He constantly says orphans are worthless no-counts and should just die or get out of town.
Phineas T. Prune from The Christmas That Almost Wasn't. He hates everything about them, hates to see them happy, and especially hates Christmas. He's forgotten that he ever was a child, a fact he's reminded of at the end when his Freudian Excuse is rectified.
Folklore & Mythology
Most tales of the Jersey Devil claim it originated because a woman who already had twelve kids, upon discovering that she was yet again pregnant, cursed aloud that if she had to bear it, let it be the Devil instead of yet another child. Granted, with so many children, she probably had liked them until the burden of caring for so many became too arduous to stand.
Argus Filch. Filch's hatred of students comes from the fact that he is a squib who hates most magical folk while having a job with children who enjoy using magic than genuine hatred for children in specific. It does not help that Filch's job is to clean up after children and fix the things they break, which is a full-time job.
Many teachers in the third book apply. Mrs. Drazil, for the most part, appears to be trying to atone for her previous Evil Teacher tendencies, and is nothing but pleasant to the Wayside kids. But she finds herself sucked back into her role when she shows a grudge against former, troublemaking students. Miss Nogard mostly hopes to bring misery to everyone around her, and so she applies for a teaching position. She learnedto get over this. The Gorf family, however, is a pure example of this trope.
A number of the guardians of the protagonists don't seem to think very much of children, given how most of them force the children to take adult jobs and then mock and ridicule them for being unable to manage properly. Possibly the worst is in The Austere Academy, when the infant Sunny is forced to be a secretary and is blamed for being unable to answer the phone, because she's not old enough to talk.
IT: Pennywise the Clown. Though the one thing he loves about children is their taste.
Peter Pan: Captain Hook in many versions. In the original, he only hates Peter Pan specifically.
In Viveca Lärn's Tekla books, this trait is often exhibited by shallow Valley Girls who try to make their moves on Tekla's father. Tekla and her friend Ulle make a resolution not to hate kids when they get older.
Discworld's would-be Wicked Witch (who couldn't become one because of family obligations) Granny Weatherwax strongly dislikes children. Ironically, since she's the good witch, she's also one of the series' strongest examples of Wouldn't Hurt a Child, and is completely harmless to children (in fact, if you try to hurt children on her watch there are not enough words for how utterly screwed you are). Granny is thus stuck in the unenviable position of being unable to do more than complain about how much she dislikes children to others and threaten annoying children with over-the-top punishments she would never act on. Children, on some instinctual level, recognize this as they think her threats are funny and cling to her at every opportunity. This causes her no end of annoyance.
Susan is another ironic variant: she's very good with children and content to work with them, but she detests childishness and treats kids like inconveniently-small adults. As a result, they adore her and learn much, much faster from her lessons than from "See Spot Run" books or curricula aimed at children.
This shows up a lot in The Pale King. Anyone who went to elementary school with LeonardStecyk has what is described as a 'complex hatred' for him. People hate themselves for hating such a well-meaning kid, then hate him even more for creating such self-hatred. The principal has nightmares about the boy and occasionally fantasizes about sinking a meat hook into his face and dragging him behind his car through the streets of Grand Rapids, MI. A homeroom teacher even attempts to kill him with a pair of blunt scissors. It eventually culminates with someone blowing up his locker.
The In Death series: Eve's mother turns out to be this. She hates kids, do-gooders, and... everyone and everything. She has no Freudian Excuse for this.
Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: Arden Gillespie in the book Lethal Justice reveals in her thoughts that she doesn't like children. Rosemary Hershey had promised her husband Bobby Harcourt that they would have kids in the book Sweet Revenge. Bobby, when he announces his intentions to divorce her, throws her words back in her face, saying that he doesn't see any kids around, indicating she doesn't like kids and was lying through her teeth.
One Polish crime novel (Drugi Watek by Joanna Chmielewska) subverts this. The protagonist's father abandons her and her mother since he hates children and acknowledges he wouldn't make a good father, and pays his child support. He's a decent man, and not the murderer in this case.
Men who don't like children are looked upon unfavorably in A Brother's Price; because they are so rare, Childfree Is Not Allowed and they are expected to take on many of the nurturing aspects of childcare. Some of the Whistlers dislike Balin Brindle for wincing and doing nothing every time his little sisters/possible incestuous children start to cry in public. The fact that Keifer never could stand being around the little princesses or even fake any degree of liking for them is yet another mark in a very long list against him. It doesn't seem to matter to most how women feel about children, as demonstrated by Captain Raven Tern, whose discomfort around children is Played for Laughs and generally accepted, since her sisters will presumably handle carrying on their family line.
Lizardstripe from Warrior Cats appears to not like having any kits, showing dismay at Hollyflower for missing her kits at one point. She even said she didn't want any with Mudclaw (in ShadowClan, not WindClan in front of Yellowfang snd Raggedstar.
The Christmas That Almost Wasn't: Phineas T. Prune. He hates everything about them, hates to see them happy, and especially hates Christmas. He's forgotten that he ever was a child, a fact he's reminded of at the end when his Freudian Excuse is rectified.
Principal Snyder. We eventually get something of an explanation to the effect that he was the kid who was always picked on; presumably he became a school principal by way of revenge.
Lothos. With the exception of Merrick, Lothos and his minions are never shown attacking anyone over the age of 18.
The Criminal Minds episode "The Boogeyman" had a killer who specifically targeted children. Since the victims, who were male and female, showed no signs of sexual abuse, and were killed with excessive violence, its concluded the killer is driven exclusively by rage, and just really, really hates kids. In a twist, it turns out he's about the same age as his victims.
How I Met Your Mother: While not cruel or anything to them, Robin isn't particularly fond of babies or small children. In addition to being aware of how messy and stressful they are, she has a phobia about babies due to their large eyes and that soft spot on the top of their heads. However, in the third season episode "Little Boys", Present Ted voiceovers to his kids that, as they knew, Robin got over this enough to be an honorary aunt to them. Adorably, this voiceover plays over a montage of Ted's kids' drawings of them with their Aunt Robin.
Jojo from InSecurity is not fond of children, though they adore her (every single one of them.)
Bandora in Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger hates children and often explicitly targets them in her attacks — the first thing she did upon release from her can was to capture the kids who were riding in the space shuttle whose astronauts originally freed her and try to crush them with a giant rock.
Bernadette on The Big Bang Theory was forced to babysit her little siblings as a child which negatively colored her opinion on children. She has little patience for kids and doesn't want to have her own that will interrupt her career and ruin her body. This came as a blow to her fiancée whom couldn't picture himself not being a dad someday (they reach a compromise that when the time comes he'll stay home with the kids).
Rodney McKay in Stargate Atlantis is very uncomfortable dealing with children. Naturally, every child he interacts with responds to his attempts to brush them off by forming an immediate attachment to him.
Frank Underwood of House of Cards (US) will happily use a child's death as a political prop, but he admits to the viewer that he personally despises them. Examined here, which suggests this is due to Frank seeing almost everyone in terms of leverage; kids have nothing he can use to get ahead.
Therese from For Better or for Worse. However her husband pressured her to have a kid anyway, but she didn't like being a mother and eventually divorced him.
A 2014 Heart of the City story had Heart and Dean taking shelter from a snow storm at a doll hospital where the owner despises children because of an experience he had when he was a kid, his rambunctious older cousins played too rough with his action figures and broke them all and they also blinded him in one eye when they fired a missile from a G.I. Joe toy into his eye, he tried to fix his favorite knight figurine but he grew frustrated and threw it in the river. He eventually has a change of heart after Dean shows him that he takes care of his action figures and gives him one as a good luck charm because it gave him luck in the past.
"Hate" may be too strong a word for how Garfield feels about them, but he really doesn't like them, and he has good reason not to; he's had plenty of bad experiences with children. One very early strip had him stalked by four dark figures in an alley, who turned out to be little girls who covered him from head to toe in ribbons. Then there was a two-week series of strips where Jon's cousin came to visit, bringing her Spoiled Brat daughter and her infant son (leading to Garfield finding out the hard way what a diaper bag was). A far darker example of this was a little girl who bribed Garfield into taking him home with her, only to throw him to her huge dog "Muffin". Maybe the reason Garfield doesn't like kids is, quite simply, they don't like him.
George Wilson harbors venomous feelings toward neighbor Dennis in Dennis The Menace, an antipathy that, as The Comics Curmudgeon has pointed out, hasn't at all decreased with Dennis' Menace Decay. Since Dennis is his main contact with childkind, it's not hard to generalize.
Greg Proops jokes about being this in his standup. In real life, however, while Proops legitimately does not want kids of his own, he's reportedly completely chill with the children of his friends and family.
"You children are like the lilies of the field: you toil not, neither do you spin! Come back when you're sixteen and can score drugs and we can ALL have a good time!"
Donald Glover jokes about how children are "tiny Hitlers" in his stand up. He says that the only reason he wears condoms is so that he doesn't have children, and not because of the risk of AIDS. He even compares having children to AIDS:
"Think about it, they're not that different. They're both expensive, you have them for the rest of your life, they're constant reminders of the mistakes you've made, and once you have them you can pretty much only date other people who have them. What's the difference?"
Miss Hannigan from the musical Annie. Note the song "Little Girls". In the 1982 film, however, she was played much more for humor, and eventually had something of a reversal of attitude. Although it's probably more that she thought murdering Annie was taking things a bit far.
Little happens in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City to shock multiple-murderer, crime lord, and overall Badass Tommy Vercetti. Until he buys an ice-cream company and meets the Child Hater who owns it, a creepy old lady who viciously loathes the children she serves (despite no children existing, threatens Tommy for having ever been a child, and reveals that her business is just a front for selling drugs.
I. M. Meen, although he apparently only traps 'goody-goodies' and 'bookworms' in his labyrinth... which you one can only escape if you're clever.
"Did I mention this game isn't family friendly? Well, it's not family friendly. Indeed, I cannot think of a video game that hates children more than Drakengard."
He later expands this to "Cavia+ The developers of Drakengard Hates Children" in Gaiden GameNieR; the mooks that Nier's been carving through? They're actually the souls of humans. On his path to save Yonah, Nier cuts down A Boy And His Robot, children wandering around the countryside and babies in the final dungeon.
Amarant from Final Fantasy IX, though he'd never hurt one and attacked Lani who was using Eiko as a hostage. He's nice enough to Vivi, though.
The Sims 3: One of the traits you can give Sims is "Dislikes Children". This is a slightly more realistic example in that Sims who Dislike Children usually won't torment or antagonize them unless they're also Evil or Mean-Spirited; they just don't like being around kids or talking to them.
Guillo of Baten Kaitos Orgins, with the possible exception of Sagi's "siblings", due to children thinking Guillo is a toy and abusively "playing" with Guillo and partly because Guillo seems to dislike everyone except Sagi (Guillo also claims Kids Are Cruel is part of it).
Guillo: Blasted parasites! I will eat you all!
Kid: Yay! Eat me first!
Dr. Suchong from BioShock is definitely one of these. Unfortunately, he also had to work with them constantly, being in charge of the creation of the Little Sisters and bonding them to BigDaddies.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim gives us Grelod the Kind, the incredibly cruel headmistress of Riften's Honorhall Orphanage. Her idea of "kindness" is regularly beating the children unfortunate enough to come into her care, handing out extra beatings for those who "shirk their duties", and denying any of them a chance at being adopted, stating that "nobody needs you, nobody wants you." She also has a closet with shackles — the kind normally found in prisons — where it's implied she locks kids into as punishment or in conjunction with their beatings. It's little wonder that she is your first unofficial target for the Dark Brotherhood.
The Baron and the other industrialists from Stacking have a bizarre fixation on working children to the bone in a series of bizarre jobs. After the law has been past to make child labour illegal he tricks and kidnaps children and plans to elope to another country.
Taken to truly despicable levels in Higurashi: When They Cry with Teppei Houjou and his methods of treating Satako in Tatagoroshi and Minagoroshi-hen. Even the Big Bad thinks he's scum and has him murdered in Minagoroshi-hen.
If her "Babysitters Club" review was any indication, The Nostalgia Chick both loathes and fears kids. In her Matilda review, she has a hard time understanding why Trunchbull is supposed to be the bad guy.
It's become a stereotype that all internet personalities hate children.
A recurring element in the Kelly comics of The Onion is how much Stan Kelly hates kids and thinks of them as a burden to society, specifically middle-aged deadbeats such as himself.
A lot of posters on various childfree forums can come across this way, but since these are mostly places to vent, they probably don't hate children in general, but are just complaining about bad experiences with kids.
The writers had Ms. Keane be one for a single episode, no matter how little sense it makes for a kindly kindergarten teacher, just so there would be an excuse for why the girls couldn't just leave a lost baby in her care while they looked for the parents. She could just be a baby hater, and be fine with five-year-olds.
Angelica is a twisted variation of this trope, with a level of Boomerang Bigot considering that she herself is a child.
Coco Labouche from the second movie is a grownup version of the current Angelica.
Another episode deals with Angelica visiting the set of her favorite show Ms. Carol's Happy House and discovering that the host actually despises children. In her own words: "I'll let you know what I think of my kids, I think they're all little... (Sound Effect Bleep)". Later, when Angelica tells her she heard her say it, she proudly admits it and is shortly thereafter fired and replaced by her much nicer assistant.
Invader Zim: Ms. Bitters, true to her name, she is devoid of any compassionate emotion and having a very demonic hatred for children.
To be fair, Ms. Bitters seems to hate everyone.
When you were my students, I said you'd amount to nothing. And I was right, you're nothing!
Very implied in Moe Szyslak. Interestingly, he emphasizes the cruelty to children even more than any other adult on the show. Go figure. "See, this is why we should hate kids!". He doesn't seem to hate all kids, however, and has sometimes been seen interacting positively with children (especially Maggie).
In response to a baby riot at a concert an organization composed entirely of Child Haters led by Lindsey Naegle band together and managed to eliminate every child-friendly thing in Springfield (for instance, restaurant attendees who bring children are forced to eat in their own room in the back) and try to pass a law that would do even worse. It almost worked, but it was thwarted at the last moment when Bart, Lisa, and the other kids in Springfield hugged all the adults, infecting them with "kid germs." The adults collapsed with sickness and became unable able to vote, causing the campaign to fail. (This wasn't the first time Lindsey had tried something like this, but it was the most blatant example; she's at most an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain.)
Crocker too. Maybe Dinkleberg. (Dinkleberg...) Crocker does have one sole exception. Ironically, it's Poof. Who happens to be a fairy, but Crocker briefly raised him as if he was his own son and genuinely cares for him.
Codename: Kids Next Door: A few villains; namely Father, Chad, Cree, Mr. Boss, etc. Also, the Delightful Children hate children too as a result of being brainwashed at Father's hands.
Superjail!: The main character, upon seeing a child for the first time since he has been one, wants her burned alive the second she makes herself known. The context is that it's the Warden's birthday and, being a drama queen, he's in despair over aging. Seeing a little child reminds him he's "old" — who knows what he'd normal think of children.
In one episode of The Noddy Shop, a haughty Englishwoman whom Agatha is attempting to impress into going to her hat shop is one of these. She objects to the presence of children even in the toy shop owned by Agatha's brother Noah, who points out that they have more place there than she does.
Archer: Cheryl/Carol, as her gift at a baby shower was a bunch of plastic bags and a book on SIDS. Mitigated because she's regularly offensive.
Johnny Test: Wacko. Ironically, he's a toymaker. But his toys are designed to get rid of children.
In Ed, Edd n Eddy, this trope is heavily implied in Eddy's brother. Specially when you consider the Fridge Horror that he lives in an amusement park, implying that he seems to get a genuine kick out of torturing children.