Defusing the Tyke Bomb
Tykebombs are generally raised with people who tell them they're nothing but a weapon and usually treat them like crap. Then along comes someone who's different. When they look at the Tykebomb, they don't see a weapon, they see a messed-up little kid. Naturally, they try to rescue the poor Tykebomb, talking or fighting their way towards them. The Hug Tropes is likely to be their arsenal and expect The Power of Friendship to be used. The one doing the defusing is also likely to be a Warrior Therapist and/or an All-Loving Hero. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't; what matters for trope purposes is the intent.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- This pretty much is Monster summarized in four words.
- The whole comedic point of Beelzebub. Poor Oga has his work (and life) cut out for him to prevent his adopted demon spawn from erasing humans off the face of the earth.
- Naruto doesn't understand how Haku can stand to work for a man like Zabuza, who frequently makes it clear that Haku's usefulness "as a weapon" in battle is why he's kept around (though this turns out to be a front...). Naruto sees Haku as a person, and tries to make Haku see that he's a person, too.
- Iruka does this for Naruto himself, as he was pretty much the first adult to treat Naruto like a person - other adults were either distant or hostile, and the kids more or less followed suit. Many of Naruto's enemies are versions of him who didn't even get that level of support (or only got it from a twisted source).
- Gaara is a blatant example of this trope. Turned into an unstable, murdering psychopath by his father, and empowered by Shukaku, after a beatdown and lecture from Naruto he became the highly admired and respected Fifth Kazekage.
- And Pain gives us a lesson in how not to do this. You do not leave the Tykebomb on his own until you are sure it is defused. You do not wait for somebody else to teach him the intricacies of his powers.
- Pain implies that he did not fully trust Jiraiya when he was watching over him and his friends, making this something of a case of the bomb only seemingly being defused.
- Well, on the one hand, he wasn't a Tykebomb, he was a scared little kid with some powerful buried powers. Jiraiya trained him into a tykebomb in hopes that being a ninja would keep him alive—wasn't particularly worried about who Nagato might hurt, 'cause he was a good kid who loved his friends. And it was all fine, and Akatsuki was spreading peace and order and possibly even sunshine, though it was Rain country so probably not...and then Danzou and Hanzou got together and offed his leader slash Morality Pet slash best friend slash Restraining Bolt in the most traumatic way possible. Nice job there.
- Sven toward Eve in Black Cat.
- In the second season of Code Geass, Lelouch tries to do this for his companion Rolo, but hardly with the best intentions, by using their memories from the past year to appeal to his "brotherhood". It works, and he gets a loyal pawn, but eventually this goes horrifically wrong when said pawn becomes a murderously jealous Yandere...
- He didn't try to get rid of the murderous tendencies at all. He just tried to turn him into a personal Tykebomb for him instead of V.V, with full intent of offing him when he no longer needed him. Unfortunately all this did was show that an unstable Tyke Bomb is not someone you want on your side if you actually have people other than yourself that you care about.
- Mireille from Noir assumes this role toward Kirika, particularly toward the end of the series.
- Rurouni Kenshin: Kenshin Himura does this to Soujiro.
- Nanoha does this to Fate in the first season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Of course, this being Nanoha, she defused the bomb with a bigger explosion.
- And then Erio and Caro do this to Lutecia in season 3.
- Fate previously reached out to Erio, who believed he was worth nothing after finding out that he, like Fate, was a clone of a dead child, and lashed out at her and the people looking after him. Interestingly enough, she used essentially the same argument that Caro eventually used against Lutecia- that people who are sad should not hurt others while seeking happiness.
- Domon Kasshu does this to Allenby Beardsly in Mobile Fighter G Gundam. When she's kidnapped and then Brainwashed and Crazy by Prime Minister Wong, his partner Rain Mikamura finishes Domon's work.
- Also, Shinn Asuka tries this on Stellar Louissier in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. It nearly works... until the Freedom reappears, Stellar flashbacks to Neo's 'death', goes nuts again and the Freedom is forced to put her out of her misery.
- Kamille Bidan attempts this with both Four Murasame and Rosamia Badam, even playing along with the latter's delusion that he's her elder brother in an attempt to help her. Tragically, both of them get killed in battle before he's successful, one by Kamille himself, no less.
- Judau Ashta is more successful: Elpeo Ple settles into a fairly stable brother-sister relationship with him, and even Ple-Two seems headed in this direction by the end. Both of them still die... both times, in protecting him from danger.
- Banagher Links tries to talk Loni out of levelling Torrington with her mobile armour. He nearly succeeds, coaxing Loni out of her cockpit, only for her to witness her last family member dying at the hands of the Federation, and driving her back into her rampage in despair. There's also an example in the backstory - Banagher is a defused Tyke Bomb himself.
- Some characters of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple (Kenichi himself, Miu, Niijima) are gradually doing this with Creepy Child Chikage Kushinada as an alternative to letting her fight Kenichi. Some want to help her, others are concerned because Kenichi Wouldn't Hit a Girl, let alone a little girl. As a result of all these attempts (especially Kenichi's), she becomes Tsundereish towards Kenichi.
- In Kekkaishi, Yoshimori is trying to do this to Hiura.
- And yet he fails.
- I don't think so, in last chapters Hiura has betrayed his companions and is helping Yoshimori
- He hasn't betrayed his orders yet. It's just that his orders happen to go against theirs. At the same time, he also does listen to, and remember, Yoshimori's words. His mind is waaaay too screwed up to be certain what's going on inside without a convenient extrapolation.
- And yet he fails.
- A strange case of this appears in Pokémon: The First Movie. Mewtwo rejects the objectification of his creators on his own twice (even stating in the novelization that they treat him like an object), and is already waging war on humanity when our heroes come along. Ash and his friends, fairly quickly, realize that Mewtwo's clone soldiers are tykebombs and Ash sacrifices himself to save them and the regular Pokemon from Mewtwo and Mew's feud. This selfless act makes Mewtwo realize that not all Humans Are Bastards and defuses him partly. This process is essentially completed in the direct-to-video sequel, Pokemon Mewtwo Returns.
- Rowan does this to Mitsumi prior to the beginning of Pokemon Diamond And Pearl Adventure.
- In R.O.D the TV, tykebomb Junior finds Michelle utterly disarming. Anita puts a few chinks in his armour as well.
- Maka towards Crona in Soul Eater. Though, the results and forms of this are... a little different between the anime and manga.
- In Black Lagoon, Rock tries to do this with Gretel (who might really be Hansel), but is unsuccessful. And then (s)he gets shot.
Benny: "Stories like these don't have happy endings."
- To be fair, Rock did have some success with befriending Gretel, and even caused her to behave in a nonviolent fashion towards him. Maybe if he'd just had more time...
- Dominic helps bring this about for Anemone in Eureka Seven.
- An absolute textbook example of this trope occurs toward the end of Rune Soldier Louie when priestess Melissa walks directly toward an enraged, lightning-bolt-flinging Child Mage named Lilly, who has been raised by the evil Lord Dardanel to be a vicious enemy of the reigning royal family. Melissa proceeds to talk her into a teary-eyed Heel-Face Turn.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion had several characters make the attempt, hindered by their own state of massive emotional trauma. Ironically, the most dangerous of the Tykebombs turns out not to be the Half-Human Hybrid, Rei, but one of the humans. Shinji, the main character, whom Rei herself tries to defuse. The effects are...mixed. In Rebuild of Evangelion, however, it looks as if the three lead Tykebombs are gradually beginning to defuse each other, though the latter half of 2.0 sure didn't help.
- In fact, Shinji and Rei appear to have defused each other while Asuka defused herself with help from others, Shinji and Rei in particular.
- Dragon Ball: Goku, of all people, is a defused tykebomb. The loving care of Son Gohan and a blow to his head rendered him harmless years before the first chapter.
- Done in DNA 2, towards Rurara Kawasaki.
- Mai does this unintentionally to Mikoto in Mai-HiME, without even knowing what Mikoto's role in the unfolding events really is. Likewise, Miyu wins Alyssa from the Searrs Foundation by being the only person... well, robot... who ever actually cared about her. It doesn't quite stick, though, with Alyssa being killed shortly afterwards... until the end. anyway.
- Attack on Titan sees Jean and Connie attempt this on Reiner and Bertolt, in the midst of a desperate chase through Titan-infested lands. Both appeal to their years of friendship and comradery, asking Was It All a Lie? and attempting to coax them into talking to them. While their attempts are successful in not only defusing Mikasa's Unstoppable Rage, but triggering Bertolt's Villainous BSOD.....it seems these Tyke Bombs are Trapped in Villainy and can't be talked down. Any further efforts are prevented by Erwin leading in a Zerg Rush and throwing gasoline on the proverbial fire. Quite a few people are killed in the ensuing chaos.
- Trafalgar Law, at the age of 10, in One Piece saw everyone he loved murdered by the World Government and stopped believing in anything only wanting to cause destruction before he died of a lead disease. Doflamingo sought to turn him into his right hand man, but his younger brother, Corazon saw a really messed up child who needed help and took him away to find a cure to his disease. After several months together, Law came to admire the real hero who saved him from his disease and set his life towards accomplishing the fallen Corazon's wish to stop his evil brother's madness.
- Barbara Gordon (the first Batgirl) acts this way toward Cassandra Cain (the second Batgirl). Batman, Depending on the Writer, is either a total Jerk Ass or so badly damaged that he really cannot help much.
- The same could be said of Dick Grayson, then Batman, towards the current Robin, Damian Wayne, who was raised and trained by the League of Assassins.
- Wolverine acts like this towards his latest young female sidekick, X-23.
- While the Female of The Boys is not a standard tykebomb, it is how Butcher wants to treat her when they first capture her. However, the Frenchman takes it upon him to train her, and this trope is his approach to her. The defusing is... not quite completely successful.
- The titular character of Squee manages to do this unintentionally to Pepito, who, despite being literally raised by Satan to teethe on the toasty souls of the damned, seems to be genuinely moved by his friendship with Squee. Of course, Squee being who he is, it happens mostly because Squee thinks Pepito is terrifying.
- In Blood Diamond, one of the protagonists' son is captured early in the film. When they find him, he's been converted into a child soldier by the RUF rebels in Sierra Leone. The tyke holds his father at gunpoint, but gets talked down. Unfortunately, at the end of the film it's mentioned that there are still 200,000 Child Soldiers in Africa.
- Danny the Dog presents a particularly tough case: a man who was raised in a kennel and treated like an attack dog, intended to kill anyone who threatened his "Uncle Bart." Bart's (apparent) death leads Danny to a blind piano tuner, who tries to teach him the rules humans live by.
- Discworld's Sourcery: Rincewind does this to Coin, and the Librarian keeps it good.
- Lois McMaster Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan starts this job with his clone-brother Mark in Brothers in Arms. His parents, especially his mother Cordelia, pick up the job in Mirror Dance.
- Technically more of a Thicker Than Water, as in Betan society cloning is a perfectly valid form of reproduction, and as such Mark is a Long-Lost Relative.
“Except that—I keep hearing my mother’s voice, in my head. That’s where I picked up that perfect Betan accent, y’know, that I use for Admiral Naismith, I can hear her now.”“And what does she say?” Galeni’s brows twitched in amusement.“Miles—she says—what have you done with your baby brother?!”
- The last line gets a Call Back from Elena in Mirror Dance, explaining why she's helping someone she initially mistrusts.
- And Kareen Koudelka seems to have happily picked up where Cordelia leaves off, although Kareen and Mark do meet in Mirror Dance. By A Civil Campaign, the two have gone into business together.
- Technically more of a Thicker Than Water, as in Betan society cloning is a perfectly valid form of reproduction, and as such Mark is a Long-Lost Relative.
- In an interesting variation, Harry Dresden managed to defuse himself when he was sixteen, killing his Evil Mentor in the process. Ebenezar, however, is equally important - even though he came in afterward, he's the one who made it stick.
- Cairo Azarcon was captured as a child by Big Bad Falcone, and raised as a Tykebomb. He's found and rescued in his late teens by a Space Marine. It takes a few years, but Azarcon eventually assimilates into EarthHub society...well, more or less.
- Prof. Marius, the Tall, Dark and Snarky teacher of Edgewood Academy, from The Princess 99 manages to defuse the tykebomb in question ( here Axel) before the entire school gets destroyed.
- Used interestingly in Galaxy of Fear: Army of Terror. The heroes find the Eppon, apparently a year old, and carry him off with Tash and Zak happily planning to adopt him. They recruit some Rebel soldiers to help carry him, and he eats them one by one when no one can see, growing larger and older-looking all the time but still being sweet and loving to Tash and Zak. When the Big Bad arrives Eppon obeys his commands, but later Tash appeals to him through the Force. It works, but the Big Bad had implanted a bomb in his head and uses it.
Live Action TV
- In Angel the titular character tries to do this for Connor, with some success. However, Connor quickly develops other reasons for them not to get along, and in any case never fully gets over his prejudice against Angel.
- At least, not until the season 4 finale when Angel retcons everyone's memories to give Connor a life with a normal, loving family. Even in season 5, when his original memories are restored, the experience has given him a much greater sense of stability and grounding, so by the end of the series he's patched things up with his real father.
- 24 surprisingly let this work, rather than forcing Jack to kill a child soldier.
- Odo attempts this with a newborn Jem'Hadar on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. His attempts to raise the fast-growing child to be more empathetic and less violent fail because the Founders are just that good at manipulating them on the genetic level. The fact that everyone else treated him as a threat and/or potential lab specimen may have undermined Odo's efforts though.
- Technically, almost any attempt to talk down a Jem'Hadar throughout the series would count as this since most of them don't live past 12. They grow to their full adult size practically overnight once they are "born" and are ready to go into battle within days. The only times anyone even comes close to succeeding is if the Jem'Hadar consider them a Worthy Opponent. The only reason Odo was able to have any success at all is that he's a Founder himself, and thus the Jem'Hadar are genetically predisposed to see him as a god.
- The Doctor in Doctor Who defuses Melody Pond in Let's Go Kill Hitler. Given that Doctor Who is a show with Time Travel as its core premise, the Doctor already knows where Melody's life ends up, while Melody hasn't yet met the Doctor face-to-face.
- Snake sort of plays this role in Metal Gear Solid 2.
- A child soldier has to be talked out of culling the nurse with a pair of scissors in Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2.
- Knights of the Old Republic II: The light-side path with Visas, along with many Crowning Moments Of Heartwarming
- In Blaze Union, we learn that Yggdra Union's Hero Antagonist Gulcasa was technically born one of these—his mother attempted to defuse him by forcibly sealing his abilities and then leaving him to go Find the Cure. His father, resenting him for the loss of his wife, started abusing him, and any good the seal did was undone posthaste. According to Word of God, the young Gulcasa was a bitter and violent Empty Shell until Siskier and Jenon befriended him and helped him learn to be a normal little kid again.
- In Fire Emblem: Shin Monsho no Nazo, the avatar does this for Eine aka Katarina.
- Same series, different game, in Fire Emblem, Rakka no Ken for the Japanese, an alteration exists. Jaffar was raised this way but is a grown man before interactions with Nino turn him good, and even then only because the people he works for are about to kill her.
- A Paragon Commander Shepard has this effect on Jack in Mass Effect 2. She has way too many issues for you to deal with all of them in the game's time-frame, but you can at least convince her there are ways of solving problems besides shooting people.
- In a particularly odd case, Morrigan from Dragon Age: Origins ends up defusing herself. Once she realizes her mother's plan for her - becoming a future host body - she starts plotting her death. In the first game's last DLC story, she heads for parts unknown with her own secret agenda, which may involve co-opting her mother's other big plan ( the Old God Baby).
- The player character of Pokémon Black and White does this to N Harmonia, before he is even known to be a Tyke Bomb.
- Attempted in two routes of Fate/stay night with Ilya and, to an extent, Saber. It doesn't work in the first until after she's been defeated, at which point she realizes Shirou really does care. In the second, they get along much better and the defusing is therefore much more successful.
- Shirou trying to convince Saber she can think of herself as a woman as well as a king can come under this, if she weren't 30.
- Danny Phantom has Danny telling his Opposite-Sex Clone that Vlad is merely using her as a tool instead of the daughter she thinks she is to him. She obviously doesn't believe this and spends most of the episode in deep denial, attacking him and the like to prove otherwise. Since Vlad is the series' Big Bad, Danny is right. Danielle manages to have a change of heart as a result and worked alongside him.
- Ratchet combines awesome and heartwarming to do this to Omega Supreme the moment he wakes up, rejecting the Elite Guard's role for him as master of a mindless Person of Mass Destruction.
Omega Supreme: I am Omega Supreme. I am yours to command. I am your pupil. Your dependent. Your obedient servant.Ratchet: I am Ratchet. I am... your friend.
- From Young Justice: Robin, Aqualad, and Kid Flash all take turns at trying to defuse Superboy. It works, but it takes him most of the season to fully recover.
- As child soldiers exist, so does the job of trying to defuse them.