"You call it 'brainwashing'. I call it 'making it a game'."
In many countries, there is a crime with a name similar to Corruption of a Minor, which is basically an adult teaching a kid things they "shouldn't" know; generally things that could increase the kid's risk of becoming a criminal. Things like bringing the kid along while committing a crime such as shoplifting, for instance, or outright having the kid help in the commission of a crime.
Contrast Corruption by a Minor
. See also Harmful to Minors
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Anime & Manga
- Mahou Sensei Negima!
- In Pokémon Special, Gold invokes a softer version of this trope; he gets the Togepi egg, and gambles and cheats around it, so when it hatches, it naturally follows such behaviors and becomes mischievous.
- Yayoi from Koe de Oshigoto! does this to her own sister, giving her The Talk and a lecture on eroge so she could become a good eroge seiyuu. To be fair, Yayoi didn't really push her into the profession and Kanna volunteered.
- Ali Al-Saachez from Gundam 00 influenced Krugis children (including The Hero) to kill their parents to prove their devotion to god. The truth is he just wanted to turn them into his Child Soldiers.
- Monster: Johan Liebert does this, to little surprise.
- One of Hayate's skills is spotting forged art — because when he was four, his father used him in an art-selling scam, and taught him to not accidentally give the real stuff to the people they were swindling.
- In Kite, Akai and Kanie are in the business of turning orphaned young children into ruthless assassins-for-hire.
- Genma in Ranma ˝ taught Ranma things like theft and took him along while stealing stuff. Happosai used the young sickly Miss Hinako to help in his panty thefts.
- Hody Jones and his New Fishman Pirates in One Piece grew up idolizing Fishman villain Arlong and living in a slum full of Fishmen and merfolk that despised humans. This ultimately led to the New Fishman Pirates having an almost religious fanaticism when it came to exterminating humans and those who sought peaceful co-existence.
- In the 1973 The Wicker Man, the deeply Catholic Sgt Howie accuses the pagan schoolteacher of "corrpution of the young" when she teaches her class about the dominants of phallic symbolism in the Celtic religion.
- In Little Sweetheart, this is given a unique twist. The corruption of a minor is done by a psychopath who is actually slightly younger than her, but has the mind of an adult and the manipulation skills of a chessmaster.
- In The Professional (aka Leon), an assassin befriends a 12-year-old girl, who demands that he teach her how to kill. In the American theatrical release, he gives her some lessons, but she never participates in an actual murder. In the overseas version, she helps kill at least a dozen people, making her instant rehabilitation at the end a little dubious.
- In Little Miss Sunshine, the parents sneak the dead body of the grandfather out of a hospital because they didn't have time to be burdened with paperwork just then. Both their children, a teenager and a 7-year-old, are involved in the operation. Furthermore, in one of the alternate endings in the DVD version, the family is seen stealing a trophy from the pageant that Olive had lost.
- Olive probably didn't think of that burlesque dance on her own...
- Her grandfather taught her that one.
- In Changeling, Sanford Clark is forced by his Serial Killer uncle to help kidnap other young boys, and later on to dispose of the bodies.
- In An American Crime, Gertrude encourages her children as well as other children in the neighborhood to abuse Sylvia. Because an adult gave them "permission" to burn her with cigarettes and so on, they get into it pretty quick.
- Hanna, from the movie of the same name, has been trained by her father to avenge her mother since her birth. It helps that she's a bioweapon.
- In the Han Solo Trilogy, Han and Lando run into Bria Tharen (an old girlfriend of Han's, whom he doesn't really recognize) and Winter Celchu (an aide to Princess Leia), who at the time is around sixteen. Lando points them out, and Han notes that the one doesn't seem friendly, and the other would probably get you in trouble for Corruption of a Minor (which might seem to mean something more like pedophilia), but given this is the repressive Empire...). Oddly, Winter is about the same age as Leia, whom Han would marry later in life.
- A more solid Star Wars example is Darth Bane, who takes on Darth Zannah as his apprentice when the latter is about ten.
- And he didn't need any cookies to do it.
- Bane didn't need to do too much. Zannah had just killed a pair of Jedi with the Force after they killed her bouncer friend mistaking it for a threat. When he warns her that he has killed people, including children, she simply answers that she's a killer too.
- In an early mystery novel by Ellery Queen The Tragedy of Y, as by "Barnaby Ross", the entire mystery is the result of a dead man's attempt at writing a murder mystery being found by a demented teenager and carried out literally; for instance, where the mystery outline calls for a "blunt instrument", the teenager uses a mandolin.
- Subverted in To Kill a Mockingbird. When Dill is crying during Tom's trial, he and Scout go outside and talk to Dolphus Raymond, the town's alcoholic. To help Dill stop crying, he offers him a drink out of his paper sack. Scout tries to warn Dill against it, but it turns out that it's just soda, and Raymond only pretends to be an alcoholic so the townsfolk can think that's the reason he lives with a black woman.
- Oliver Twist.
- In Maximum Ride, Jeb teaches the flock how to do illegal things like hot wire a car. Justified / Subverted in that they needed to know that stuff to survive.
- Fancy Zing from I Have A Bed Made Of Buttermilk Pancakes commits the unintentional variety with her daughter Cassie. Cassie knows that her mother writes erotic fiction (without reading the examples we get to see), and can spell words like "fuck" and "cunt". She's also extraordinarily perceptive. So when she submits her entry for the school play, she writes a story where two teachers get their students to teach the class while they have sex. She also includes the two aforementioned swear words, without realising that they're unacceptable in school. And she's also seven.
- The whole Tom Riddle and Ginny Weasley situation in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets might sort of count as this. Except Riddle is 16 and the wizarding age of majority is 17, so he's a minor corrupting a younger minor. Still, Ginny is only 11 and Riddle may be 16, but he's also 66 From a Certain Point of View. It Makes Sense in Context.
- Draco Malfoy becomes a Death Eater at 16. Voldemort encourages the kid to murder and torture people. He achieves this with some subtle encouragement, like threatening to kill Draco's whole family.
- Voldemort recruited Death Eaters straight out of school the first time round as a matter of course. He also pursued the Hogwarts post of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher for this same purpose.
Live Action TV
- In an episode of Veronica Mars, Veronica's client is a young man who was forced to join a militia in Africa at the age of six.
- Then there's stuff like both Brock and Molotov teaching Hank and Dean how to kill people in The Venture Brothers. And that isn't even getting into the time Jonas, Sr. made Rusty kill a man with a house key when he was 9.
- Ignignot and Err teach Meatwad to smoke, drink and peruse pornography in Aqua Teen Hunger Force (in part by hitting him with the Foreigner belt's "Dirty White Boy" setting). Meatwad may or may not actually be underage, but he's certainly childish.
- "Corruption of the youth" was the famous charge brought against Socrates that led to his execution. In this case, it may have, in part, meant something more like "making adults look stupid in front of the youth".
- The (late) senior member of the "Beltway Sniper" serial killer duo was convicted of multiple murders, and Corruption of a Minor because his fellow killer was 17 at the time of the murders.
- Joseph Kony, head of the Lord's Resistance Army, ordered children to be kidnapped to serve as soldiers for him. The documentary Invisible Children shows exactly what they went through.