[[quoteright:300:[[Literature/TheFamousFive http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/famous_five_bike.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:These kids get around.]]

->''"Eighty percent of the reason being a kid sucks is you can't drive. You can't just zoom across town whenever you feel like it, you've got to wait for Mom or Dad to get home, or save up your allowance for cab fare, or latch onto the back of a garbage truck. Your ability to participate in adult-level adventures is thus severely limited."''
-->-- '''Website/{{Cracked}}.com''', [[http://www.cracked.com/article_16694_6-horrible-lessons-hollywood-loves-to-teach-kids_p2.html 6 Horrible Lessons Hollywood Loves to Teach Kids]]

Pre-teens in fiction will wander about their town, the country, or even the world, with little adult supervision or even [[AdultFear concern]]. They'll ride down to their friend's house on the other side of town and go to places that aren't anywhere close to their own house.

It was in [[TheEighties the mid-eighties]] when [[YouCanPanicNow media-promoted fears]] [[StrangerDanger of kidnapping and strangers caused parents and society to clamp down on the freedom of children to wander unsupervised]].[[note]]The disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz in 1979, when he was walking two blocks to his school bus stop, was a huge story and helped whip up fears.[[/note]] Before then, kids were commonly allowed much more latitude, particularly in the summer months, concerning what they did and where they went. While the freedom kids had to run about town still wasn't nearly as great as it tends to be in fiction (parents still needed to know where they were going, when they were going to be back, etc.), they were often allowed to at least take their bikes to local shopping centers, swimming pools, libraries, or woods. This was the particular case in a CloseKnitCommunity where other adults would notice and intervene in cases of danger.

Unusual travel permissiveness in a story can be an [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality acceptable break from reality]]. A show involving Timmy and Sally being driven everywhere by their parents wouldn't be very exciting. Parents are, after all, [[AdultsAreUseless useless and boring]].

Compare MinorLivingAlone for one of the more notable examples of this trope at work and FreeRangePets for the animal equivalent. One extreme can be the MissingChild.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'': Just like the games, being ten is seen as an appropriate age to be given an incredibly powerful monster to keep as a companion and to travel around a world inhabited by many species of such monsters. School is never mentioned whatsoever outside of Pokémon-based ones, and even these seem to be optional. This is a {{justified trope}} in that traveling around the world is only allowed ''because'' the child is accompanied by a powerful creature that can protect them if things go wrong. The Hoenn seasons of the anime had May hate and fear Pokémon at first, but unable to fulfill her dream of traveling the world unless she received a Pokémon for her own protection. Meanwhile, her younger brother Max was only able to travel with her, Ash, and Brock because she agreed to have custody over him for the duration of the journey; being too young to have his own Pokémon, he was forced to go home when May decided that she wished to continue her travels alone at the end of ''Advanced Generation''. WordOfGod has people are considered of age for journeys once they turn ten, though not all children will choose to travel like Ash does in the anime. The (albeit non-canon) [[DarkerAndEdgier novelization]] by head writer of the original series, Takeshi Shudo, even explicitly mentioned that the legal age of adulthood is, indeed, 10, with all of the privileges and responsibilities that come with that. All that said,
* The manga, ''Manga/PokemonAdventures'', also uses this trope. There it's all the more egregious due to how the world of ''Adventures'' is portrayed to be significantly more dangerous than most other Pokémon universes are shown to be. On top of this, the preteen-to-teenage Dex Holders are often seen taking on adult responsibilities like it's completely expected and normal for them, some even having or seriously considering full-on jobs and careers, ranging from stand-up comedians to self-run Pokémon talent agencies to ''International Police agents''. One of them, Sun, is out to earn a million dollars, and he's only eleven. One can reasonably believe that legal age of adulthood in the manga actually ''is'' about 12 or 13, if not 11 or 10, as preteens wandering about with no supervision is treated pretty much like as if they were high schoolers or full adults.
* ''Manga/SuperGals'': Sayo, about 11, is allowed to trail her big sister around the streets of Shibuya.
* ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'':
** The Chosen are 8 to 12-year-old kids who run around Tokyo with no supervision (their Digimon aside), unquestioned, as would be the case with many high-schoolers.
** This was likely part of the reason the ten year olds in ''[[Anime/DigimonTamers Tamers]]'' got an age up in the dub. This seems to be the norm in Japan (see the real life section).
*** ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'' and ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' were {{deconstruction}}s of this trope -- the Digital Worlds of each ''were'' filled with dangerous monsters that wanted to kill them and the kids often had problems adjusting to the level of maturity needed to survive, and in ''Tamers'' their parents generally were at least initially opposed to letting them go there. In fact, Takato's father, who is not quite as stubborn on this topic as his understandably concerned wife is, [[DiscussedTrope briefly discusses this trope with her,]] convincing her that it's ultimately their son's decision [[spoiler:when the Tamers are preparing to head off to the Digital World to rescue Culumon and defeat the Devas]].
** ''Anime/DigimonDataSquad'' subverts this with the three main characters being either young adults or teenagers. Marcus is a ''street fighter''. The youngest person in the show that owns a Digimon is Keenan, and he grew up in the wilderness of the Digital World nearly on his own.
* In ''Anime/NeoRanga'', the girls range from about 10 to 18 and live alone without adults of any kind.
* In ''Anime/SonicX'', Cream the Rabbit is allowed by her mother to accompany her friends on quests to save the universe, despite being only 6. She has Cheese with her, but still... Sonic and the others aren't much better, being all under 17 and Tails being as young as 8, but it's unknown where their parents even are.
* ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'':
** Sakura runs errands all over town and even goes to Hong Kong with only her big brother Touya (who's 17 years old tops) to supervise. Her brother is aware of her ''MagicalGirl'' activities and worries about her but doesn't interfere.
** Tomoyo has a troupe of bodyguards much of the time, but when needed they are inexplicably absent.
** Sakura can also create a duplicate of herself to leave in her place, but her brother [[SecretKeeper already knows]] it's not her.
* ''Manga/{{Yotsuba}}''
** Yotsuba can run all over the neighborhood without anyone to watch her (though she ''does'' usually have either her dad or one of the neighbors in close proximity). She does get scolded when she runs off on her own. She just never really seems to learn her lesson. Thankfully her world seems to be super safe.
** It seems this concept was tried out in chapter 1 but was [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness dropped]] because it made Mr. Koiwai seem neglectful rather than laid back and a bit forgetful. In the first chapter she wanders around the neighborhood and Koiwai is confident she'll come back to the house when she gets hungry. However, after all the trouble she causes during that escapade he becomes more protective of her. The next time she wanders around unsupervised he does punish her.
** {{Deconstructed|Trope}} in one chapter. At the fireworks festival, because Yotsuba hasn't realized the potential dangers of getting lost in a crowd, after she runs off (the panel after being told not to let go of Koiwai's hand, naturally), Koiwai has Jumbo, Ena, and Miura hide to teach her a lesson.
* ''Manga/DetectiveConan'' five seven-year-old children with a knack for wandering into murder scenes are allowed free rein over Tokyo. Two of them happen to be OlderThanTheyLook but the parents don't know that. Somewhat more understandable when you remember that Japan has a much lower crime rate than the USA. Also kinda {{deconstructed|Trope}} in a {{backstory}} arc when the Mouris, before separation, found the Kudos' ''very'' laissez-faire parenting a bit annoying. Indeed, the entire reason Shinichi ends up as Conan is because he curiously follows a shady-looking guy (whose companion he earlier noted had the eyes of a cold-blooded killer and is curiously nowhere to be seen) he thinks is up to something illegal. He's right, but it turns out the shady guy doesn't want anyone to find out and is perfectly willing to use violence to make sure it stays secret.
* ''Manga/FlyingWitch'' has an interesting exchange in episode 5. 9-year-old Chinatsu spots the cat Chito sneaking out, runs in and shouts to her mother that she's going out for a bit. When asked where she simply says "I don't know but I'm sure it's someplace amazing", and all her mother has to say is "watch for cars", at which point Chinatsu proceeds to follow Chito all around the town. And when she comes home covered in dirt from head to toe, her mother still asks nothing and just tells her to wash the dirt off before coming in.
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha''. Nanoha's parents practically let her join the enforcement branch of an [[TheMultiverse interdimensional]] government at age 9. And the government branch seems to have no problems sending out a pair of children to deal with an ArtifactOfDoom that's already killed hundreds of trained soldiers, which is guarded by a LadyOfWar with a ''[[FlamingSword flaming]] [[CoolSword chain sword]]'', among other things. For backup, they get another 9-year-old.
* The Powerpuff Girls in ''Anime/DemashitaPowerpuffGirlsZ'' are only twelve but run around the city without much issue.
* ''Anime/{{Bakugan}}'' allows some kids to ask adults to take them somewhere by a plane or space shuttle.
* The protagonists of ''Manga/WanderingSon'' are allowed to go to ride trains to other cities at nine years old, accompanied by no adults. On Takatsuki's first trip to the city (while dressed as a boy), he gets [[AdultFear hit on]] by an adult woman, who later becomes a CoolBigSis. The protagonists are allowed to [[IntergenerationalFriendship hang around]] two adults whom their parents don't know, and even ''sleep over at their house''. Though, to give them a break, their parents are unaware of their friendship for some time and they use vague terms like "friends" - though when they do tell their parents they don't seem scared, just mad that they're keeping secrets from them.
* ''Anime/SailorMoon'': Chibiusa and (even more extreme) Chibi Chibi, whose strolling off becomes a plot point of one episode.
* In ''Manga/UchuuKyoudai'', Mutta and Hibito's parents were present, but seemed to be fine with them running off on adventures alone. This includes a three-day bike ride to Kyoto on their own.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'':
** This was generally averted due to all of the pre-teen ninja being assigned an adult supervisor. The Sasuke Retrieval Arc was the only canon departure from this. With all the adult ninja being assigned to other missions, none of the members of the retrieval team were older than fourteen. This trope also extends to the Sand siblings who came to their rescue, as there is no evidence their teacher was present.
** Played straight often during the {{filler}} arcs where Naruto, usually accompanied by one or more of his friends, would head out on a mission of some sort. These mini-arcs tended to be lighter fare, but still involved the genin travelling several days from their homes with no supervision in the middle of a UsefulNotes/ColdWar.
* ''Anime/RollingGirls'' both plays this straight and averts it. Nozomi's mother is very worried about her and initially protests her daughter's plan to ride across Japan on a motorcycle, but gives in once her husband convinces her to give Nozomi some space. On flip side, none of the other three protagonists' parents seem to have any issue with their daughters ditching school and going on a cross-country road trip.
* Appears often in ''Anime/MichikoToHatchin''. 9-year old Hatchin goes off by herself and is left alone by Michiko constantly. The same can be said for all the other children who are encountered, as they are mainly seen without adults. Played with in that they rarely do this for enjoyment, but rather out of necessity.
* The characters in ''Anime/SerialExperimentsLain'' live in a society where it's perfectly normal for fourteen year olds to visit an adult nightclub and hang out at night. This also applies to Taro and his friends, who are even younger. In this case, it's ''supposed'' to seem weird and creepy to the audience.
* In ''Manga/MitsuboshiColors'' three elementary girls are absolutely free to roam Ueno Park and its surroundings until 5pm. They even reach Akihabara (two stations away) playing hide-and-seek.
* This is usually avoided in ''Manga/BunnyDrop'' except for going to school. Six year old Rin and her similarly aged friend Kouki go to school by themselves, but they come home with their parents.
* Hareta from ''Manga/PokemonDiamondAndPearlAdventure'' is not only allowed to go on a Pokémon adventure on his own, but he was [[WildChild raised by]] RaisedByWolves Pokémon]] in a forest with very minimum supervision from Professor Rowan.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/PaperGirls'': It's All Saints Day in 1988 and Erin, Mackenzie, Tiffany and KJ band together for mutual protection against any lingering Halloween weirdness as they run their early morning newspaper delivery routes. Yes, there actually was a time when 12 year old kids really were allowed to deliver newspapers in the predawn darkness.
* [[Comicbook/RobinSeries Tim Drake]] being essentially unsupervised while he is not at school allows him to follow Franchise/{{Batman}} around on his bicycle when he is concerned that the Dark Knight has become reckless. His parents' [[ParentalNeglect constant absences]] are what gave him the time to occasionally follow Batman and Robin around on patrols when he was younger as well, in [[WretchedHive Gotham]].

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* ''FanFic/TheTwilightChild'':
** The main character, when she was a foal, as the first flashback shows. In one instance, she runs off just seconds after being lectured for wandering off.
** The Cutie Mark Crusaders, naturally, but Scootaloo most all, at one point she's found wandering around town on a school day.
* Subverted in ''[[Fanfic/Gensokyo20XX Gensokyo 20XXV]].'' If Reimu were younger than her assumed age-regression age (which is implied to be either five or six), she would be a StrayingBaby, she is clearly not allowed to be free-ranged and they do worry about her when she goes missing but that didn't stop her from getting out anyway. Same thing occurs with the other children, given their circumstances, and the adults do worry and often go out to find them.
* We have this also in ''Webcomic/KillLaKillAU'' with the kids, seeing as Satsuki, Nui, Ryuuko, and Mako (although mostly the latter three, especially Ryuuko) are seen going here and there, i.e, seeing how many times Ryuuko has been thrown in jail and in one comic the kids are seen going places at night, then again, their parents didn't know that is what they were doing. We also had this with Mako's mother, Sukuyo, as a child, according to Ragyou, due to her parents being loving yet painfully absent minded
* [[SickeninglySweethearts Phineas Flynn and Isabella Garcia-Shapiro]] in ''Fanfic/FindingDad'' travel 900 miles from their home in Danville to New Orleans, and are even allowed on domestic flights.
* FanFic/PokemonJohtoQuest: Protagonist Emily Hawthorne is one of these for a majority of the series as she travels freely through the Johto region.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Despite being grounded for most of ''WesternAnimation/SouthParkBiggerLongerAndUncut'', Stan, Kyle, and Cartman are still free to roam the town as they please, largely because their parents are too busy waging war on their behalf to keep track of where their children are.
* Deconstructed in Disney's ''Disney/TheRescuersDownUnder''. Cody is free to run around the local areas of the Australian outback... but runs into the film's villain (a poacher) and... then you have the plot of the movie.
* Deconstructed in ''Disney/LiloAndStitch''. Nani is PromotedToParent after the death of her parents. She has to take care of her five year old sister Lilo, but work often leaves her away from home. As a result Lilo stays home a lot, though Nani usually walks her home from dance rehearsal). Nani and Lilo have issues with CPS because they don't believe Nani is in the best situation to be a good guardian for her sister.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Creator/ShirleyTemple vehicle ''Film/BrightEyes'' features Shirley hitchhiking to the airport. Her character is ''five'' years old.
* ''Film/StandByMe'' has the Four Kid Band seemingly crossing county lines to see a dead body. They all agree to lie to their parents about where they're going, and Vern mentions that when their parents find out, they'll go out and hide themselves. Chris says his father will hide him whether they become famous or not, "but it's worth a hiding."
* ''Film/{{Stand By Me}}'''s DistaffCounterpart is ''Film/NowAndThen'', which features the girls biking for an entire day to read archived newspapers at a library.
* ''Film/CopCar'': The protagonists are two young boys who have run away from home to wander around the wilderness outside their town. They find a cop car and take it for a joy-ride, claiming it as theirs.
* ''Film/InvasionOfTheNeptuneMen'' has a group of children who can seemingly go ''anywhere''. And not simply around their neighborhood; they can waltz into government buildings during high stakes defense meetings and press conferences regarding an alien invasion. Lampshaded in the ''[[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 MST3K]]'' viewing: "Apparently the kids have level five security access". In the "[=MST3K=] Episode Guide" book, while reviewing ''Franchise/{{Gamera}}'', Kevin Murphy elaborates:
--> ''"In Japan there is a class of children who are, well, special...these are the monster children. The merest, most remote chance encounter with a monster sweeps the child into the inner circle of Japanese military and government security and strategic planning... The monster child is a treasure to the Japanese matched only by the emperor and his family..."''
* All three youngsters (and the rest of their Sunday School class) in ''Film/WhistleDownTheWind''.
* The kids in ''Film/{{Super 8}}''. Justified in that it's set in the 1970's.
* ''Film/HarrietTheSpy'': In the movie, the children are only 11, yet they wander aimlessly around town with little to no concern from their parents. The book may have been written in the 60's, but since the movie was clearly set in the 90's, it was a bit jarring to see.
* A big problem for the 2007 ''Literature/BridgeToTerabithia'' film, which is set after 2000. Nowadays, the well-off city-born Burke parents would '''never''' have allowed Leslie (their only child and only ten) to go even near the rope or in the woods by herself (or even with Jess), ''precisely'' out of fear that something might happen, despite the natural tendency of country-born parents often letting their kids do exactly that, after of course teaching them how to do so safely (or not, it's pretty much Russian Roulette). As with the Harriet The Spy example above, the book was written in the seventies, where one could arguably see this happening, but the movie is clearly set in the year it was released.
* The four junior high protagonists in ''Film/CampNowhere'' are pretty free-range to begin with. That said, the concept is brought into full play once they set up their own phony summer camp and bring along several of their friends. The trope is also explored in detail--issues like boredom, homesickness, injuries, and brushes with the law crop up throughout.
* The three siblings in the French movie Demi Tarif were abandoned by their single mother (though she occasionally calls). They are between the ages of 11 and 8 and live alone, steal food, roam the streets, beg for money, and do anything they want as they live alone in a Paris apartment. They also try to hide the fact that they live alone, which is difficult. The stress of living alone shows on all of them.
* Early silent ''Film/TheEvidenceOfTheFilm'' shows a kid who looks about seven working as a messenger boy, walking across town. The role was played by an 11-year-old girl.
* The kids in ''Film/TheFloridaProject'' freely wander the Kissimmee strip area without supervision, with it not being until one major incident that one of the mothers take action.
* In the 1997 informative video ''Film/TheKidsGuideToTheInternet'', the mother leaves her kids and their friends alone with an internet connection, free to wander where they please on the Internet of the 1990's, where it was far ''easier'' to wander haphazardly into porn.
* In ''Film/AGirlNamedSooner'', Sooner decides to return to her old home, and a yokel on the side of the road even gives her a ride without asking about where she is going.
* In ''Film/TheHumanComedy'', five-year-old Ulysses is allowed to wander all over Ithaca, CA with a group of older boys. Eventually he wanders away from them and winds up alone and crying. Since Ithaca is an absurdly idealized EverytownAmerica, he's immediately recognized and given back to his older brother.
* ''Film/TheCaveOfTheYellowDog'': Maybe it's different when you're a family of nomads living on the actual range--or the steppes of UsefulNotes/{{Mongolia}} as it were. Still, Nansal can't be more than nine, is tasked with getting on a horse and taking the sheep out to graze. Her mother gets very upset when Nansal doesn't come homeóNansal got distracted looking for her dog.
* The dangers of this trope are shown in the 1928 film ''Film/TheCrowd''. The [[spoiler:protagonist's toddler-aged daughter]] ends up run over and killed while crossing the street with her barely-older brother. In their case, they were in view of their parent's house but were still mostly unsupervised.

[[folder:Literature - Fiction]]
* ''Literature/{{Duumvirate}}'', in spades. [[{{Transhuman}} Bioengineered]] children are treated as adults by age eight, and the six-year-olds know how to fly jets. [[MuggingTheMonster Want to mess with one?]] [[SchmuckBait Go on, try it.]] [[WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong What's the worst that could happen?]]
* ''Literature/FeelingSorryForCelia'' has a great version of this trope. The titular girl, who is herself a {{Cloudcuckoolander}}, runs off to join the circus. The mother, who had been worried but expressing it strangely for a good part of the book, is instantly put at ease when she's told that her daughter is just with a traveling circus, saying "Oh, the circus! Why didn't we think of that earlier?" Another example from the same book is when a younger Celia and her best friend were planning on building a treehouse. Her mother is absolutely fine with the idea, no questions asked; however, the best friend's mother wants to know details. The two mothers get in an argument over the issue.
* In ''Literature/TheBabySittersClub'', the eighth-graders are treated like high schoolers, while the sixth-graders are treated like young teens. They're allowed to run around New York City and Europe and take little kids sailing on the ocean, all without adult supervision. Eleven-year-old Jessi gets the starring roles in all her ballet productions, and was left in charge of her 8-year-old sister and baby brother for a whole weekend.
* ''Literature/TheFamousFive'': Certainly there was less helicopter parenting in 1950s Britain, but letting a group of 10- to 12-year-olds go on weeklong camping trips in various desolated areas with no supervision? They have the dog to take care of them, it's probably fine. The books do have them age up a couple of years. Julian was meant to be 15 or 16 at one point. One website worked out, from the pattern of summer/Easter/x-mas/half term holidays they had, that by the end of the books they should all be in their early 20s.
* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' carefully averts the trope; the heroes constantly have to make up excuses and lie about supervision for their absences from home, or even get [[RobotBuddy substitutes for themselves]]. Except Tobias, who's "lucky" enough to have legal guardians so disinterested they barely even notice when he goes missing.
* {{Deconstruct|ion}}ed in the ''[[Literature/TheTomorrowSeries Tomorrow, When The War Began]]'' series. Here are a band of Australian teenagers who roam around the countryside, armed to the teeth, participating in guerilla-style warfare, all without parental supervision. However, this is only because their parents are being held in detention centers after Australia was invaded.
* Creator/StephenKing:
** The parents of the seven main kids in ''Literature/{{IT}}'' might as well be nonexistent, considering how they let their kids roam around unsupervised all day despite there being a killer preying on children loose in town. Of course, one of Pennywise/IT's powers seems to be making the townsfolk indifferent, maybe even accepting, of his evils, so it might be justified. Partially justified in story for Bill Denborough's parents, whose grief over the death of his younger brother has made them both withdraw emotionally (even by the standards of the era).
** The novella ''The Body'', which became ''Film/StandByMe''.
* Elizabeth Enright's Literature/MelendyQuartet has the Melendy children running unsupervised all over New York City and the countryside. When Oliver (who's six) does it in imitation of the older ones, it's not with permission, and he gets into trouble. After that, the older kids decide that they'll accompany him to do whatever he wants on his Saturday, because it's not fair that they have more freedom than he does.
* As does Betty Smith's ''Literature/ATreeGrowsInBrooklyn'', which is based on her own childhood in that borough.
* ''Literature/TheHardyBoys'' and ''Literature/NancyDrew.'' Now Frank and Joe are 16 and 18, but in the earlier editions they were 13 and 15.
* ''Literature/TheBoxcarChildren'' series is essentially built on this trope. The children's independence is not only allowed, but encouraged, by their grandfather (who [[RaisedByGrandparents raises them]]). Henry and Jessie, the two oldest, are only 14 and 12, but they usually seem more like high schoolers and act basically as parent figures to Violet and Benny, the two youngest--who are 10 and 6, but also act older. Throughout the series, they've done such varied things as camping out, exploring the Arizona desert, and even caving, all without a lick of supervision. This makes sense, since the premise of the series is that they lived just fine in an abandoned boxcar for several months before learning their grandpa wasn't a jerk.
* Creator/MarkTwain's ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfTomSawyer'' and ''Literature/AdventuresOfHuckleberryFinn''. Huck gets a pass because he's an orphan (more or less), but in general the kids are allowed to go wherever they please, and the parents only get worried if the kid doesn't come home for a few days. A little girl's birthday party includes an afternoon of exploring the local caves, though it's well known that you could get lost and never find your way out.
%%* Any of the Douglas stories by Creator/RayBradbury.
%%* Any book by Creator/ENesbit.
%%* Any book by Garrison Keillor.
* Lucinda Wyman and Tony Coppino in Ruth Sawyer's ''Roller Skates.'' Set in the 1890's, a policeman sees Lucinda doing pretty much as she pleases every day and thinks that New York isn't too big a city to turn a child loose in, "barring a few corners of it." [[spoiler: One "corner" turns out to be a fancy hotel, and Lucinda, aged ten, finds an adult friend of hers who has been stabbed to death. The policeman never finds out about that.]]
* In ''Literature/TheRomanMysteries'' the four main characters border on this trope, and cross the line into it during several books.
* In AlisaSelezneva books, the heroine is this. Apparently by the 22nd century children got some freedom back (or at least Alisa did).
* ''Literature/TheMagicTreehouse'' series averts the trope by having no time pass while the treehouse takes them anywhere or anytime in the world.
* Justified in ''Literature/TheThirteenthTale''. Before they have a governess, Emmeline and Adeline go wherever they want to in the village because the Missus and John-the-dig are too busy taking care of a huge house and too old to keep up with them.
* Most of the Stark kids in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', since they have a tendency to be separated from their parents for long periods of time. Rickon, the youngest Stark at 3 years old, practically becomes feral along with his direwolf Shaggydog. [[spoiler: Deconstructed in that the only reason Bran and Rickon Stark can go anywhere is because their home is destroyed and they are both presumed dead. After her father's death, Arya ends up in the company of criminals and assassins.]]
%% * George in ''The Teddy Bear Habit''.
* The ''Literature/SwallowsAndAmazons'' series has kids who are allowed to go sailing on their own, even though they can't all swim, from an Island on a lake where they're left alone for days on end. In one book, their 4-5 year-old sister comes along too. "Better drowned than Duffers. If not duffers, won't drown."
* Lyra in the ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'' series, due to her [[LukeIAmYourFather interesting]] [[DatingCatwoman personal]] [[BigScrewedUpFamily circumstances]] grows up with no parents in an Oxford college - that is to say, a place designed to educate adults. As a result her education includes advanced physics but not the fact that the earth orbits the sun, and she's effectively feral, but as a result very independent, StreetSmart, brave, and a chronic liar: traits that serve her well in her adventures. Justified with Angelica, Paolo, and many children in Citigazze. Adults can't go into Spectre-infested areas so the children, sometimes orphaned by the Spectres, go where they want. Sometimes, adults even send the children places to find food.
* Doris Burn's ''Andrew Henry's Meadow'' starts out with one kid, who likes to build complex contraptions, catching heat from the rest of his family for those contraptions getting in everyone's way. He retreats to a tranquil meadow and builds a little house for himself to build stuff all day in. Eventually other oppressed kids show up, and he builds houses for them. They spend hours at a time in their makeshift village until their parents start wondering where they keep running off to.
* The kids in most of Zilpha Keatley Snyder's books are this. In ''Literature/TheEgyptGame'' it becomes a plot point because of the child murders in the area.
* Pretty much every Creator/JamesPatterson juvenile character exhibits this to some extent, but ''I Funny'''s Jamie Grimm went to another town by himself for a comedy contest on his own - did we mention he's paraplegic? - and it's strongly implied he [[HandicappedBadass wheeled himself home]] in the middle of the night.
* Books by Creator/DianaWynneJones exhibit this to differing degrees, depending on the level of ParentalNeglect (a frequent trope in her books) and somewhat on the decade in which the book was written.
** The children in ''Literature/TheOgreDownstairs'' (early 1970s) have attentive parents, but the youngest child (aged seven or so) is allowed to go to the library on her own in the daytime, though it's clear that none of the children is allowed out after dark.
** The girls in ''Literature/TheTimeOfTheGhost,'' set in the late 70s, live in a separate building from their parents, who don't check up on their whereabouts and don't notice when one of them goes missing (on purpose, to test them).
** Polly in ''Literature/FireAndHemlock'' (1980s) ends up wandering alone around a city she doesn't know well, not knowing where she'll spend the night, because her divorced parents have both assumed that the other one is going to take care of her - but it's made clear that her parents are irresponsible, and her granny is appalled when she finds out.
** Later books tend to have a much elder sibling character (or similar) who can plausibly supervise, such as Vanessa in ''Literature/TheHomewardBounders'' or Fifi the au pair in ''Literature/ArchersGoon''.
* In Creator/SeananMcGuire's Literature/OctoberDaye novel ''Ashes of Honor'', a human child had to live quite close to the school, since she walks, which surprises a young fae. On the other hand, the police only treat her as missing after 48 hours, which causes Toby to think on how they would never wait that long.
* The main characters of ''Literature/LockwoodAndCo'' by Creator/JonathanStroud run the eponymous [[ParanormalInvestigation agency]] by themselves, with no adult supervision.
* ''Literature/EmilyTheStrangeTheLostDays'': Subverted with Emily/Earwig, though she doesn't know it until she gets her memory back. However ,[[spoiler: Molly's parents]] let her go anywhere she wants as long as her grades are good. Anywhere includes anywhere in the country.
* Katniss Everdeen of ''Literature/TheHungerGames'' at eleven years old roams around town trying to sell her sister's baby clothes and ends up looking through garbage bins in the pouring rain and her mother doesn't seem to notice she's gone. At the age of twelve Katniss (and Gale, who is fourteen) is running around in the woods trying to gather food and hunt which is not only potentially dangerous for kids that age in its own right, in Panem it's illegal and would have terrible consequences if the wrong person found out. Neither Katniss' nor Gale's mother seems to mind at all. This is [[JustifiedTrope justified]] for Katniss because it starts when her father dies and her mother becomes so stricken with grief that she barely notices her children anymore.
* A bicycling shoal of them in rural Oxfordshire play a major part in MichaelInnes' Appleby detective story, ''Operation Pax / The Paper Thunderbolt.''
* Literature/PippiLongstocking. Granted, well, [[MissingMom her mother]] is [[NeverSayDie in Heaven]], her father is a Captain who roams the Seven Seas on his ship and later on the King of some exotic island kingdom, and since Pippi is living in a house all alone with no adults, a certain orphanage lady is always after her. But Tommi and Annika? Whenever that [[FieryRedhead red-haired anarcho]] goes on another adventure, be it all around Sweden or even to somewhere overseas, their thoroughly square parents let them tag along! (Tommi and Annika were just as square before they met Pippi.) Then again, what bad could happen to you when you accompany a girl who is stronger than most grown-ups, and who neither knows nor cares for and therefore doesn't really obey any laws of physics and therefore has the liberty to do anything she wants to?
* Sara-Kate's family situation in ''Literature/AfternoonOfTheElves'' is at the darker end of this trope. She runs wild and does whatever she wants, apparently free of adult supervision [[spoiler:because her mother is too sick and/or depressed to look after her, and Sara-Kate is trying to keep it a secret so she won't be taken away by CPS]].
%% * ''Literature/TheSecretGarden'': Martha's family runs on this.
* ''Literature/BatPat'': in both the books and the animated adaption, the parents of the 3 main protagonists donít seem too concerned about their kids going out in the night or traveling all over town on their own.
* In ''Literature/{{Bambi}}'', Bambi's mother and his Aunt Ena encourage this with their kids. After they're weaned, they force their kids to wander around all day alone. The twins usually stick together, and sometimes Bambi plays with his cousins too, but usually he sticks to himself.
* Tailchaser from ''Literature/TailchasersSong'' used to go off to play by himself in his first summer. This came to a halt when he returned home and [[SoleSurvivor found his family gone]].
* ''Literature/WarriorCats'':
** Averted with kits. They're not outside of their Clan's nesting place.
** Played straight with apprentinces, who begin at roughly between the equivalent of 10-13. They're allowed to go within their borders on their own, however they're usually accompanied by warriors.
* The cub-aged main characters in ''Literature/SeekerBears'' all walk around together for various reasons. One was abandoned by his mother, the other ran off taking the CallToAdventure, the third character's mother died, and the fourth [[spoiler:has no mother]]. It's frequently mentioned that it's odd for them to be on their own at their ages.

[[folder:Literature Non-Fiction]]
* ''Literature/ChristianeF'' strongly implies that a lot of teens of her age (keep in mind that Christiane was a girl living in Berlin who became a prostitute) just wandered around in the streets without their parents knowing what they did all night.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/AreYouAfraidOfTheDark'' might as well be the epitome of this trope. Think about it. The children are outside late at night in the middle of the woods telling horror stories that would make you wonder if their parents knew they were outside this time of night. Just look at the name of the crew: The ''Midnight'' Society.
* The high school years of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' used this trope. The teenage scoobies will be seen wandering around numerous points of town from their school building to a restricted research facility, during and after school hours. Buffy herself is used to climbing in and out of her bedroom window to hunt vampires at the local cemetery. It's explained in season 2 that each of the scoobies allow themselves the free time to fight evil and save the world by calling their respective parents and telling them they're staying at everyone else's house.
* Many of the underage cast of ''Series/TheWire'', in a case of either ParentalNeglect or ParentalAbandonment (depending on the character), played straight. In one scene from season one, police go to Wallace's mother, fearing for his life. She doesn't know where he is, doesn't care, and doesn't care to be bothered by cops: he owes her $10, and she's "trying to get my drink on." As the audience has previously discovered, the 16 year old Wallace has spent the last several months living in a vacant building with [[PromotionToParent several younger kids]].
* On ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' Barney's childhood was apparently like this, as he comments that he would go grocery shopping and buy nothing but candy when his mom was gone for the weekend.
* ''Series/TheTomorrowPeople'' had a solution to the issue of children running off on adventures with aliens on distant planets or around London that was so simple and straightforward that [[RealityIsUnrealistic it is hard to believe]]: They just ''told their parents'' that they were an [[EvolutionaryLevels advanced form of human]] and were tasked with protecting the Earth. Once they'd seen their children ''teleport'', the parents didn't see themselves as having much choice but to accept it.
* Dean on ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' was allowed to do pretty much everything he wanted to do, as long as he watched after Sam, which John didn't even have to ask him to do. He reveals this with slightly melancholic undertones to a girlfriend in highschool who seems to be quite surprised and a bit worried.
* In the ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' universe the parents aren't seen or even acknowledged unless they're relevant to the plot. A perfect example is the final episode of ''Series/PowerRangersTurbo'' where the team boards a rocket to go into [[Series/PowerRangersInSpace space]]. Justin stays behind to stay with his father. Nothing is mentioned about the other parents, so apparently they wouldn't miss their kids. Granted the Rangers are all high schoolers who spend most of their time in a popular high school hangout and they all have cars. Though the kids going off in space definitely counts (though they return to Earth in a matter of hours due to Artistic license on space travel)
* In ''Series/PowerRangersMysticForce,'' there's a two-parter where Vida becomes a vampire. It takes place over several days, naturally mostly at night. We never found out what the parents thought of their teens being out all night, and Vida being ''nowhere'' to be found all that time as far as the parents were concerned.
* In ''Series/PowerRangersDinoThunder,'' at least, the teens are known to be with [[TheMentor their science teacher]], who used to be a Power Ranger himself and is used to that anyway.
* In ''Series/ICarly'', Carly, Sam, and Freddy are allowed to do pretty much anything they want since they usually lack actual parent supervision, though this is sometimes averted with Freddy's overbearing and overprotective mother.
* In ''Series/RoundTheTwist'', the Twist kids regularly wander all about [[QuirkyTown Port Niranda]] without adult supervision - from a new toxic waste-dump to the depths of the local unexplored forest, nowhere seems off limits. To be fair, the two older Twist twins are 14.
* On ''Series/TheWalkingDead'', no one seems to be tasked with watching Carl, despite the worldwide zombie apocalypse. Carl wanders freely as the plot needs him to.
* ''Series/KyleXY'' tends to zigzag this a lot, varying between impromptu investigative adventures into the woods, hidden bunkers, or just the other side of Seattle, to take down evil megacorps, ferret out conspiracies, or even get a friend's car out of a towing lot to the kids getting grounded and forced to sneak around (and out of) the house. Lying to parents, covering for siblings, and generally skulking about is all over, especially if the quest involves going to a party or a bar. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that they are high-schoolers, some of them are even touring colleges they plan to attend, several of the kids have their own cars, and that Nicole trusts Kyle more than the other kids because he's a super-genius and not a regular, impulsive teenager. Also increasingly justified as the super-genius starts to change into [[spoiler: actual superpowers]] and the parents, though they legitimately try to keep an eye on their charges, are increasingly outgunned.
* This is in full effect in ''Series/StrangerThings'' with Mike and his friends in the first half of the season, and even moreso near the end. Stranger Danger hadn't yet kicked in in 1983, so this wouldn't have been unusual, especially in a small-town setting.
* In ''Series/TiereBisUntersDach'', the kids go pretty much anywhere they want in Waldau and the surrounding forests and farms. In one case, they even go over to a neighboring town to investigate a suspected pet-napping ring. The parents never seem to worry except when someone actually ends up in danger.
* ''Series/Zoey101'' practically revolves around this. Despite being in high school (as well as Dustin being a middle schooler), the students are able to go pretty much wherever without any adult supervision. The fact that it's a campus a lot of them hang out in makes it seem as if they were in college instead.
* This trope is usually deconstructed and portrayed as negative in ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit''. It is usually because of ParentalNeglect and is often the cause of children being kidnapped, injured, or raped. One episode has Munch mentioning to a ten year old boy that, when he was his age, his parents wouldn't even let him ride around the block on his bike but the boy goes on the subway by himself.
* All over the place in ''Series/{{Yeralash}}'', where the kids from the elementary up are seen to freely wander around the city, using public transport, etc., because the children [[ValuesDissonance are generally allowed much more independence]] from the early age in Russia, compared to the US.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Calvin of ''Comicstrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' is more deeply philosophical than most 6-year-olds, and is allowed to ride his wagon all over creation, because behind his house apparently there's some kind of national park. This may be a case of an UnreliableNarrator, like the time Calvin runs away from home and figures he must be in the next state by the time he's a few hundred feet away. Everything looks bigger to six-year-old Calvin. This aspect of the comic gets even more confusing when you factor in the various times Calvin went time-traveling, or the trip he and Hobbes took to Mars.
* ''Comicstrip/{{Peanuts}}''. The strip began in 1950 but hit this trope due to being a [[PrintLongRunners long runner]] and with the introduction of Peppermint Patty's CastHerd, who take the bus across town by themselves whenever they visit Charlie Brown's neighborhood. Then again, adults barely exist except for the "wah-wah" speech in the cartoons, or a few brief appearances in a few of them. Linus's Halloween tradition of spending all night in the Pumpkin Patch was cut short by being forced inside at 9PM the year his Gramma was babysitting. The opinion his parents have of the matter is never brought up.
** This is averted in ''This is America, Charlie Brown,'' where episodes of the miniseries feature adults in assorted roles.
* ''Comicstrip/ThePerishers'', being a kind of quirky British take on the same concept as ''Peanuts'', also does this. Every year the kids go off on summer holiday without any kind of adult supervision.
* ''ComicStrip/RupertBear'' and his chums have lots of adventures, often in exotic far-off places, but their parents never worry about their safety.
* Heart and Dean get into some wild adventures away from home in ''ComicStrip/HeartOfTheCity''.
* [[http://babyblues.com/comics/july-6-2015/ This strip]] of ''Comicstrip/BabyBlues''.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/MonstersAndOtherChildishThings'' can easily go this way as the game focuses on young children and adolescents who have befriended {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, and must deal with the trials and tribulations of childhood complicated by their new friends. Kids from broken homes and latchkey children are not uncommon {{Player Character}}s.
* Empress Elisabetta Barbados in ''TabletopGame/AnimaBeyondFantasy''. Despite being just 12-year old and ruling alone the most powerful nation of the game's setting, she likes to leave palace to live adventures causing ''lots'' of headaches to those adults close to her.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'': Lan and Mega Man save the world left and right, and wander about it, but Lan is only 11 years old and in fifth grade (a year or two older in later games). Lan's parents sometimes show worry, but he's still able to battle dangerous criminals without being held up in his room. To say nothing about Mayl, Dex, and Yai. While they occasionally can't accompany Lan to something or other due to something during the main plot, they always at least try to follow Lan into the evil base at the end of each game. The epitome of this has to be the 5th game where Yai manages to take the entire gang to a ''deserted island'' two hours away from home. And then they go to explore an ''abandoned mine'' with predictable results. You'd think after that their parents would never let them go anywhere on their own again. The second anime eventually solves this by making Lan a "Net Savior", basically an agent of the Net Police. After this he stops randomly wandering into criminals on random adventures and is actively dispatched into crime scenes and anyone attempting to stop him on the grounds that a dangerous site is no place for a child will immediately yield when he shows them his badge.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce'': In the second game, Geo goes running off to other countries. His mom doesn't seem to notice her son's absence. Although at one point she scolds Geo when he returns home in the early morning. Geo can travel the world at high speeds using his radio wave abilities though so it's understandable she doesn't notice as he can leave his room to adventure then return before she even notices he's gone.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** The characters wander about their local region at a young age, with little concern from any adults. Although to be fair, the regions appear to so small that if one chucked a rock hard enough, it could cross several cities. It also makes sense that only children with tamed Franchise/{{Pokemon}} are allowed to roam freely. It seems to almost be a rite of passage. Even then, most child trainers don't appear to really go far from home until they're in their teens, with this even being the case for the protagonist in ''[[VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite Black and White]]'', [[VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite2 its direct sequel]], and ''[[VideoGame/PokemonXAndY X and Y]]''. Regardless, it's still a bit odd seeing very young trainers, such as the kids you see at beaches and Preschoolers being farther from home than Campers and Youngsters. The beach kids, at least, usually make some reference to their [[InvisibleParents parents]] being around (in RBY, one of them notes that her mom won't let her swim without a float ring).
** Partially deconstructed in ''VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl''. It is treated as ''very'' dangerous for the protagonist and their rival to head out into tall grass without any Pokemon. It's only until after the first encounter with the villain team of the game about 10-15 minutes into the game and they get their starter Pokemon that they consider going to ''the town down the road'' by themselves.
** Deconstructed in ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'', as the teenage Bianca's father goes nuts at the thought of his daughter traveling out there alone in the dangerous world. [[spoiler:Reconstructed as he's reminded that his daughter isn't alone, as she has regular contact with her friends, has monster bodyguards, and that roaming the world is a good way to expand one's horizons.]]
** This is deconstructed again in ''VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon'', Team Skull is just a street gang made up of a bunch of teenagers and young adults, some of them from abusive homes, who turned to a life of petty crime because failing their Island Challenges has left them homeless, jobless, and with almost zero self-esteem. Unlike every other villain team in the series, their biggest concern is just getting enough money to buy food from day-to-day. The locals regard them as annoyances at worst and pitiable at best, with few characters treating any of their grievances seriously.
-->''Team Skull, represent! We can't pay the rent!\\
Had a lot of fun, but our youth was misspent.''
** ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeon'' is no better then the main games. {{Kid Hero}}es and young civilians alike walk around on their own with no adults. Azurill ends up kidnapped as a result of him walking alone in ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonExplorers''.
* Nine-year-old Pearl is incredibly sheltered in ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' and barely knows anything about the outside world, probably because of her mother. However, after [[spoiler:Morgan's arrest]] it can be assumed that the other women in the village are taking care of her. So why do these women let Pearl ''walk'' to Los Angeles by herself (a two hour train ride from the village) and constantly hang out with Maya and Nick? Is anyone paying attention to this kid? But it's because that's a Japanese game, and portrays mainly Japanese society with ''some'' EaglelandOsmosis. It's pretty normal in Japan for nine year old kids to commute around all by themselves. Even sheltered ones.
* ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER}}'':
** The [[VideoGame/EarthboundBeginnings first]] [[VideoGame/EarthBound two]] ''MOTHER'' games are somewhat egregious examples, but ''VideoGame/MOTHER3'' justifies it by having the island be a [[spoiler:former]] utopia.
** In ''[=EarthBound=]'', Ness realizes his tremendous role as leader of [[TheChosenMany The Chosen Four]], gaining support from his family and his close friends in his hometown, Paula's parents know their daughter has a destiny to fulfill (and how strong she and Ness are), Dr. Andonuts believes that Jeff can take care of himself, despite the fact that they haven't seen each other for 10 years, and Prince Poo is on a mission from his ancestors, something his people take very seriously.
** Even protagonists aside, kids Ness's age or even younger can be seen here and there without direct accompaniment, such as a little girl near the path leading from Onett to Twoson or a young boy on the path from Twoson to Peaceful Rest Valley.
* ''VideoGame/TheSims'':
** In ''VideoGame/TheSims3'', any Sim older than toddler can go anywhere in town the player or their own free will sends them, subject to curfew restrictions on children and teens.
** Same for ''VideoGame/TheSimsMedieval'', which actually makes some sense, as children would have been working in their family's trade, given errands, and/or sent to a scholar for lessons. Add in the fact that [[PoliticallyCorrectHistory unlike real medieval kids]], [[InfantImmortality Sims Medieval kids can't actually be hurt by anything]], and you have a pretty justified example.
** Averted with a vengeance in ''VideoGame/TheSims2'', where even ''latchkey kids'' who are home alone after school while the parents work are likely to draw the attention of the Social Worker. Going Downtown to a nightclub on their own is right out.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2''. Well, of course. The world of Spira is filled with children who have been made orphans due to Sin killing off the parents. Some, such as Shinra, have found new guardians, at least, of a sort. Others, such as a Calli, Lian & Ayde and the Kinderguardians are definitely very free range. Many of them are more than capable of fighting basic fiends and journey the globe much like the player characters.
** [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX The original]] also deserves a mention: Rikku is only 15 for the duration of the story, and Cid seems fine with letting her hop across Spira, by foot or airship - even [[spoiler:''inside'' the BigBad Sin]]. Possibly justified by the fact that she ''is'' a capable fighter, and she's travelling with several older people (ranging in age from 17 to 35), one of whom is a legendary guardian.
* Most ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' characters are minors (Tails is 8, Sonic is 15, Amy is 12, etc.) but only three have characters that could be their legal guardians - Cream the Rabbit, who has her mother Vanilla, as well as Charmy [[SpeciesSurname Bee]] and Espio the Chameleon, who have Vector the Crocodile. The latter is a guess, but it makes sense. Charmy and Cream are the youngest characters, both being 6, but everyone from age 7 and up (minus Espio) seems not to even ''have'' parents, or any legal guardian for that matter. There's only a few cases where the lack makes ANY sense: Knuckles, [[LastOfHisKind is the only echidna left]] [[spoiler:outside of the Twilight Cage]]. Tails was the only inhabitant of a very small island before meeting Sonic. It's not clear what happened to his parents. Blaze is a princess, and her royal family is stated to be alive, though they are unseen. Sonic, [[EpilepticTrees as his parents could be there and just not have caught up]]...
* ''VideoGame/{{Limbo}}'', where the child protagonist wanders through a forest and a seemingly-abandoned factory. Other children try to kill you. There are no adults.
* The ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' series often has adolescent protagonists who operate with no adult supervision, even traveling to other universes, and fighting constantly. Justified since the characters are mostly demons, meaning A) they are actually ReallySevenHundredYearsOld, they just have the bodies and maturity of teenagers, B) demonic parents (if they are still around at all) don't really care what they get up to (best seen in Disgaea 3 where Raspberyl and her friends give ''themselves'' a curfew specifically to annoy their parents) and C) they are so powerful that they wield abilities like punching people into the sun or landing meteors on their enemies heads.
* ''VideoGame/TomodachiLife'' doesn't have many differences between adult and kid Miis, other than kids not being able to get married. This means that Kid Miis move into and live in their own apartments, wander the island and get part-time jobs without any parents or guardians in sight.
* {{Deconstructed|Trope}} in ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' when Rosa frequently leaves Maria alone so she can run off on vacation with her boyfriend, and other adults like the owner of a local convenience store are troubled to see her wandering around with nothing but a stuffed animal (which turns out to be intelligent, but that's neither here nor there). Any attempts to intervene with social services usually ends badly, and it's acknowledged to be traumatizing for Maria.
* ''VideoGame/YokaiWatch'' allows the elementary aged protagonist to run around wherever they please with no issue. They spend all day running around town, running to other towns, and even traveling by train alone. This is played with when it comes to night though. On one hand, they use a {{youkai}} to sneak out. On the other hand, [=NPCs=] only mildly scold you if they see you walking around in the middle of night.

* Fi's mother in ''Webcomic/{{Storywisher}}'' is apparently fine with her daughter and nephew wandering through the woods alone.
* ''Webcomic/{{Project 0}}'' [[http://www.centralcitytower.com/#!13-home/cbqg this scene]] only starts to feel out of place when you realize that they're 13
* ''Webcomic/CyanideAndHappiness'' demonstrates that [[http://www.explosm.net/comics/1315/ leashes aren't so bad]] in comparison.
* ''Webcomic/BadMachinery''. Most of the time; though in one storyline, with a predator terrorizing the town, the parents do clamp down on the kids' movements, interfering with their sleuthing; and in another, they need to pretend to be at one another's houses in order to free themselves to go out at night.
* ''Webcomic/ManlyGuysDoingManlyThings'' parodies the ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' tradition with Jared Kowalski, a teenager who balked at the idea of leaving home on a Pokemon journey (because it would [[ThisLoserIsYou separate him from his Xbox games]]), until his parents got fed up and kicked him out of the house. They were shocked and upset that he wouldn't take off to WalkingTheEarth with his pet Pokémon.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Erstwhile}}'', following the "Literature/SnowWhiteAndRoseRed" FairyTale, the girls' mother is untroubled by how they slept in the forest overnight.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Frivolesque}}'', you have fourth grader Mimi and her friends often hanging around town with no adults around.
* ''Webcomic/{{Precocious}}'' has the Sapphire Lake kids (and on occasion others) wandering around the neighbourhood, and in one arc they go downtown. Tiffany's thoughts? 'I was told lowlifes and villains hang out here [the corner of Cruelty Ave and Evil Rd]. But it's only us! Where are they?'
* ''Webcomic/DawnOfTime'' initially appears to be a feral child. Mantell is shocked to find that she has a home and [[HappilyAdopted parents]]... but her parents explain that they could never hold on to her for long.
* Deconstructed in ''Webcomic/CampWeedonwantcha'': the campers' parents don't mind them running around in the wild without supervision because [[ParentalAbandonment they don't care about them at all]]. In addition, the kids get seriously injured and sick quite often, and it's heavily implied there have been a few casualties.
* Flora in ''Webcomic/ForestHill'' was raised in a hippy community and could do whatever she felt like doing [[spoiler: including never having to wear any clothes ]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Kana from ''Literature/GreekNinja''. She wanders so far from home that until she leads Sasha and the team there, all of them are ouffing and panting, and were not talking ordinary people here, but trained ninjas and warriors.
* ''Roleplay/{{MSF High Forum}}s'': Neko. So, very much. Played perfectly straight, too, without any playing with the trope whatsoever.
* Played with in the ''WebAnimation/PokemonRusty'' series, which parodies the use of this trope in the Pokemon franchise. Most Pokemon trainers appear to be this trope, but in fact the age of majority is ten in the world of the show.
* Done in the now-deleted ''[[Website/{{GoAnimate}} Caillou Gets Grounded: The Movie]]'', which involves WesternAnimation/{{Caillou}} (a ''four year old''), [[WesternAnimation/DoraTheExplorer Dora]] ('''ANOTHER''' four year old), and [[Series/BarneyAndFriends Barney the Dinosaur]] going to '''LAS VEGAS''' without their parents, and to top it all off, Caillou uses ''his own [[HairTriggerTemper da]][[AbusiveParents d's]] credit card''. You can guess [[YouAreGrounded what the outcome was]]. The movie [[KeepCirculatingTheTapes no longer exists on [=YouTube=], however, so the only way to watch it is to manually make a duplicate]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Deconstructed in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', where a bunch of kids can travel around the world because, with the exception of a few characters, all of their parents are either dead or busy fighting the war. It doesn't help that every one of the kids is essentially a {{Child Soldier|s}}. There's also some DeliberateValuesDissonance involved; sixteen year olds are considered full adults, and many of the villains have high military rank despite being in the same age range as the heroes.
* ''WesternAnimation/LiloAndStitchTheSeries'': Lilo is about 6 years old and yet she and Stitch run about Hawaii finding Stitch's cousins with little older supervision. Mertle, who says she's the best hula dancer in the seven-year-old division in ''Disney/LiloAndStitch2StitchHasAGlitch'', also seems to have a bit more freedom than most children as she travels with her friends. It is kind of justified that Lilo's allowed some freedom after Stitch joins the 'ohana, though. Do you want to imagine what would happen to a normal person who tried to harm or kidnap the girl while her super-strong and rather protective alien "dog" was there? She was also being left alone like this in the [[Disney/LiloAndStitch original movie]] even before Stitch came into the picture. It explains a lot about why Social Services had their eye on Nani.
* ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'': The kids in the story are about 9 years old and in fourth grade, but they run about the city with little concern from their parents. Their maturity level also seems to suggest middle/high schoolers opposed to elementary schoolers.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}'': The sixth-graders seem to be much more like high schoolers, even though it is stated that Doug is only about 11. The gang run about their town with little concern from Mom and Dad, although Doug sometimes needs his older sister to drive him places. A particularly egregious example is in "Doug's Hot Ticket", where he and Skeeter travel to a town more than 60 miles away... in a bus full of complete strangers. Granted, it ''is'' Doug's former hometown that they're traveling to (Bloatsburg), but still....
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'': Many scenes in many episodes involve the main 8-year-old third-grader cast biking around the town (which was relatively large) by themselves, eating out at the local ice cream parlor, with no parents in tow. Looking at these kids, they seemed more like middle schoolers/early high schoolers than elementary schoolers.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'':
** The kids are the same age as those from ''Arthur'' and have even more "adult" adventures, with little interference from their parents. There was one episode where Stan goes to New York to return a margarita maker, and you never see Randy or Sharon questioning where their son has gone, despite the fact ''he's on the other side of the country by himself.'' In "Night of the Living Homeless," they go so far as to ''applaud'' the fact that the boys are driving a bus cross-country by themselves, as it spares them the trouble of stopping the homeless problem. On the ''very'' rare occasions when their parents are aware that they're missing, the approach they take to getting them back is...less than effective, to say the least. Then again, all of the [[TooDumbToLive adults]] on ''South Park'' have the IdiotBall every episode. The kids have also been to Ethiopia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Peru, Costa Rica, Imaginationland, at least two other solar systems, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and Canada]].
** In the episode "[[Recap/SouthParkS6E11ChildAbductionIsNotFunny Child Abduction is Not Funny]]", this was done deliberately by the parents as their final solution to the child abduction crisis, as they have become too paranoid to even trust themselves to actually protect their children. The kids end up living with [[ItMakesSenseInContext the Mongolians that have been attacking the wall surrounding the town]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutronBoyGenius'': Jimmy and friends, whom are in probably fifth grade, are given incredibly free rein, often making trips to space, Egypt, and the depths of the ocean with minimum interference from parents. There are a few instances where Jimmy is prevented from flying in his homemade rocket into space (Without a space helmet even!) before finishing his chores, but still, that is incredibly free rein. On a typical day, the kids will go down to the local fast food joint to hang out, and their parents are nowhere in sight. Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/JimmyNeutronBoyGenius'' where the plot revolved around the kids feeling annoyed about the restrictions their parents keep placing on them. But really, the only thing they kept him from doing was going to a theme park on a school night, which really isn't that bad.
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' is only a teenager, but her parents have no problem with her traveling the world and defeating evil masterminds, just as long as she doesn't go out with any boys. Still, she's somehow managed to build a global network of contacts that she's done favors for and can get a ride to anywhere on Earth.
* ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'':
** ''WesternAnimation/APupNamedScoobyDoo'': Their parents are mentioned and even shown a few times, yet they hardly ever give the kids any restrictions, allowing them to run freely around Coolsville, running from creeps and unmasking them.
** Their traditional selves are canonically high school age (the oldest two being seventeen and Velma being ''fourteen'') but can travel cross country and get into serious situations without adults. The [[WhatCouldHaveBeen original premise]] handwaved this since they were musicians on tour but the actual series says nothing about it. Averted in many later incarnations where they're {{age lift}}ed into adults.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** The show does this frequently and {{lampshade|Hanging}}s it with jokes about Homer's neglectfulness as a parent.
** It is also (coincidentally?) the {{trope namer|s}}, as this phrase is seen in the Halloween episode, Treehouse of Horror V, although it was used [[MadeFromRealGirlScouts rather more literally]] in that context, the opposite / an inversion of this trope.
---> As they tiptoe down the hall, Bart can't resist looking into the detention room. It's now set up with small cages in which children are given some sort of IV. Martin looks haggard in his cage and he shakes convulsively, bringing an admonishment from Skinner: "Easy there, young man, you'll only make yourself tired and stringy. Now, to check on the '''free-range children'''," he continues, looking out the window at a pasture of children running around.)
** Averted in the season 27 episode "Orange Is The New Yellow" Marge gets arrested because she let Bart go to the park by himself. Marge mentions in court that when she was a kid she was allowed to be alone outside all day, which gets her mother retroactively arrested.
* Stewie Griffin from ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'': A 1-year-old who is able to get his hands on the parts to construct superscientific devices and weapons and is frequently far from home, with little concern from Lois. (Lack of concern from Peter is expected.) However, he's still working on how to use the toilet. (Stewie, that is.)
** But Brian the dog does serve as a guardian for Stewie.
* Touched upon in ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}''. The parents keep the babies in a play pen, but they just walk away from them after they are put away, allowing them to escape and roam about with no interference. This gets ridiculous in one episode, in which the parents are visiting a store. They put the kids down, and literally walk away like it is nobody's business.
* ''WesternAnimation/AllGrownUp'': One particular episode involved the 11-year-olds Tommy and Chuckie going down to a warehouse in ''another part of town at night'' where ''two possible criminals could have been working'', in order to protect Kimi.
* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'': A few of the main characters are not adults yet run all about saving the Earth, but we never hear any complaints from any of the moms and dads about what their kids are doing (the one or two that are still alive, that is). They have powers but that isn't much better.
* ''WesternAnimation/RocketPower'': The late elementary school cast runs all about Ocean Shores with little concern from their parents. To be fair, Ray tends to be laid back about everything, except when the gang really screws up. He also works in a restaurant near the beach and skate park, where the kids usually are. Twister's parents, just say to him when he gets in trouble, "We'll talk about this later," and little is usually shown after that. Sam's mom is pretty fussy, but he still tags along wherever the gang goes. And presumably, she wants him to be within a certain area where he can contact an adult. Also it looks like the kids are more around a certain area of Ocean shores. Most of the action takes place around their cul-de-sac and the pier which is ''right'' where Ray works. (He's also pretty laid back anyways) There are a couple occasions where they appear to go outside the zone and have to use a GPS, or get in trouble when they're caught doing something unsafe like surfing in a channel.
* ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' is usually an aversion, as the action is typically restricted to the cul-de-sac and adjacent areas, [[FridgeBrilliance like in plenty other suburban areas]]. For the BigDamnMovie, however, the characters travel across country without supervision (justified with the Eds, who are essentially on the lam, not so much for the others), crossing sweltering deserts, festering swamps, and abandoned factories. The Eds are even "driving" a car at one point (meaning that Ed is running through the bottom of the car, Flintstones style).
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', Timmy and the other kids will be seen wandering the town on their own when the plot calls for it. One episode had Timmy biking through the desert and at a fast food restaurant ''at night'' without his parents. He also tends to spend extended amounts of time in Fairy World without his parents noticing. As in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', 99% of the adults in the show aren't exactly the brightest bulbs on the tree.
* ''WesternAnimation/DoraTheExplorer'' and her cousins in ''WesternAnimation/GoDiegoGo''. Dora is a little girl let run around the rain forest with her equally young monkey friend, while Diego and his sister aren't even high schoolers yet go on ''animal rescue missions'' on their own. In ''WesternAnimation/DorasExplorerGirls'' Dora is a preteen with a group of similarly aged friends yet they are allowed full range of the city.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheWildThornberrys'': i.e. the one about the little girl who wanders around the jungle with no parental supervision, avoiding crises and conversing with the local wildlife with the aid of her foreign language-speaking monkey and her RaisedByWolves little brother. To be fair, Mr. and Mrs. Thornberry's biggest failing as parents is that they seem to put too much trust in their teenage daughter Debbie to keep an eye on things while they're away studying said local wildlife. In the BigDamnMovie, when they discover that Eliza's managed to chase after a poacher despite having been sent to a London boarding school, they're horrified that Eliza would put herself in that much danger.
* ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'': None of the parents seem to pay any attention to their kids, but Dib and Gaz have extra free range on account of their dad being a {{Cloudcuckoolander}} MadScientist. One episode seems to lampshade the trope when Zim himself gets lost by trying to go to a different part of town on his own.
* On ''ComicStrip/{{Rupert|Bear}}'', Rupert and his friends travel around the world and back, consort with all sorts of mythological creatures... and then are told by their parents that they're too young to go camping out without parental supervision.
* ''Franchise/{{Ben 10}}'':
** In both [[WesternAnimation/Ben10 the original]] and [[WesternAnimation/Ben102016 2016 series]], part of ten-year-old cousins Ben and Gwen's free rein comes from their elderly grandfather Max, who is driving them around the United States for their summer camping trip and is not as physically fit as he was in his younger days. The original series has less justification, as that continuity had Max as part of an interstellar police/counter-terrorist organization for most of his adult life, which you'd think would give him the common sense to keep better watch around Ben, who happens to have one of the most powerful pieces of technology in the galaxy but repeatedly disregards caution and attacks alien evildoers with no concern for the consequences. In both versions, [[TheSmartGuy but especially the original]], Gwen's maturity in accessing dangerous situations somewhat of justifies the lack of supervision.
** Averted in the second series, ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce'', where Ben has matured noticeably from his hyperactive young self, but still happens to be a 15 year old boy dealing in potentially fatal missions on an intergalactic scale. The only reason his parents don't put the leash on him is because they are not even aware of his escapades until the episode "Grounded", at which point they forbid him from using his Omnitrix and restrict his day-to-day activities for fear of his safety. Which he promptly ignores, because there's absolutely nothing they can do to enforce it when he can transform at will into dozens of super-powered aliens. His parents lift the punishment before the episode is even close to over.
* This trope may be an understatement in ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor''. The child-based organization's operatives get their training in an Arctic Base built in the coldest part of Antarctica, they are brought to the Moon (toward the KND Moonbase, natch) to be submitted into the KND when training's finished, and while they're KND Operative, usually depending on their job within the KND, may sent anywhere in the world, All with their parents taking little to no notice. In ''some'' cases their parents notice, and often even ''approve''. In fact, Numbuh 5 points out to Numbuh 4 that the KND only fight ''evil'' adults--while their parents may be kind of strict and perhaps embarrassing at times, they aren't necessarily "evil" and only want what's best for their children.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}'', the high-school aged kids walk around Lawndale without a drivers license until later on.
* This essentially applies to Megan, Molly, and Danny in [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTVSpecials the original]] [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTheMovie incarnation]] [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends of]] ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'', as well as the baby ponies whenever the plot calls for it. This also applies to the main characters in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTales'' as well. They're all quite young yet go on adventures around anywhere they please with little issue.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': There are the Cutie Mark Crusaders, who are able to wander all over town and the overlying regions with no supervision, even into the local EldritchLocation on occasion.
** Only Sweetie Belle is confirmed as having parents; we don't even know if the other two ''have'' parents, although Apple Bloom has older siblings. [[spoiler: It's eventually revealed in Season 7 that the Apple Bloom ''had'' parents, but it's [[NeverSayDie all but outright stated]] that they died]]. It's debatable exactly how old the CMC are, however. If one views Cutie Marks as an analogy to puberty the trio could very well be the equivalent of 9 or 10 in human years (possibly even older) which is plenty old enough to be wandering around a sleepy rural village on their own.
** Subverted in the episode "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E21DragonQuest Dragon Quest]]", where the girls let Spike go alone on a quest to join migrating dragons, but it turns out they were planning to follow him all along anyway.
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E8JustForSidekicks Just for Sidekicks]]," nobody apparently bats an eye at them being missing while they head off with Spike on a train ride to the Crystal Empire.
* WesternAnimation/FanboyAndChumChum apparently take care of themselves; in fact, their parents are unmentioned. The same with Kyle. They still do attend school, though.
* Gary and Joel are ''WesternAnimation/{{Unsupervised}}'', they have no parents with them, and are left to figure everything out by themselves.
* The heroes in ''WesternAnimation/SheZow'' are able to go to far-off places thanks to the Shehicle.
* ''WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget'' doesn't seem to keep that close an eye on Penny, although she does seem to fly around often with the family dog, Brain. Then again, maybe that's for the best because the inspector is seen as a bumbling idiot and sometimes ends up in a situation where he could lose his life and make Penny a possible foster child.
** Episodes sometimes start in places where the bulk of the action takes place. Examples include the circus, New York, and the arctic.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Maisy}}'' is a highly odd example. Not only is ThereAreNoAdults in effect, but the characters, a cute female mouse and her friends go where they want, do what they want, [[UniversalDriversLicense drive cars, fly planes]], take their own baths, etc. Really, there's nothing explicitly indicating that they ''aren't'' adults, other than their very childlike appearance, childlike babble speech and tendency to play with toys and stuffed animals (not that adults don't ever do that last one, of course.)
* In ''WesternAnimation/EmilyAndTheBabaYaga'', the adults send Emily off alone into the forest, and her father doesnít seem to worry.
* ''WesternAnimation/MaxAndRuby'' features an older sister who seems to care for her younger brother 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with only sporadic intervention by their grandmother. The two regularly go shopping across town via bus, among other things. Supposedly the parents are [[InvisibleParents offscreen]] but nothing suggests this in-series. At least until the 2016 ReTool, which added on-screen parents.
* Out of all the main characters of ''WesternAnimation/MyLifeAsATeenageRobot'', Jenny is the only one who has an onscreen parent. Parents of others such as Brad and Tuck, Sheldon, and the Crust Cousins are never seen nor mentioned.
* In both ''Disney/TheLionKing'' and ''Disney/TheLionKingIISimbasPride'' this is averted as cubs get scolded for wandering too far away from Priderock. In ''WesternAnimation/TheLionGuard'', Kion and his friends seem barely older than Simba was in the first half of the original film yet are allowed to run around everywhere, even into the Outlands. They are at least ''partially'' justified due to being {{Kid Hero}}es however Kion's only slightly older sister Kiara and her friends can do the same despite not having any powers.
* On ''WesternAnimation/GoldieAndBear'', Goldie, Bear and the others pretty much have the run of Fairytale Forest on their own. Their parents are apparently entirely unconcerned about there being any real danger within it that could trouble unsupervised children.
* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/ThreeTwoOnePenguins'' Jason and Michelle do have adult supervision when going on their space adventures, namely the eponymous penguins.
* Maggie in ''WesternAnimation/MaggieAndTheFerociousBeast'' wanders around Nowhere Land with her Beast, completely unsupervised--except for maybe Hamilton--despite being only six. However, she's also pretty responsible for a six-year-old.
* ''WesternAnimation/WordParty'': Well, they do ask you if they can go outside, but then you have no control over where they go once you say yes.
* On ''WesternAnimation/CreativeGalaxy'', show star Arty often travels into ''outer space'' and other planets accompanied by nobody but his small shapeshifting blob friend Epiphany.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'': None of the characters are more than 13 years old, yet they do random things like going to outer space, fighting aliens, buying weapons, drinking alcohol, etc. and nobody has any problem with it. Though it's somewhat justified since ThereAreNoAdults in [[CrapsaccharineWorld Smileyland]], and especially in Mr. Cat and Quack Quack's cases since the former is a runaway and the latter is an orphan.
** Averted in [[CircusEpisode Episode 33]], where [[TheDitz Stumpy]]'s mother sees him [[JugglingDangerously juggling chainsaws]] on TV and calls him so she can tell him to stop because it's too dangerous.
* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales2017'': The triplets and Webby are hit with cases of DisappearedDad and MissingMom, leaving them free to go off on their own adventures. Helping this case is the fact that Great-Uncle Scrooge and Grandma Beakley are totally fine with letting the kids go off on their own, as long as they let the adults know. And as for Uncle Donald, well, he's tied up trying find a job to support his nephews, and by the end of the pilot episode, has accepted the fact that the nephews have inherited the [[BadassFamily family's adventuring genes]] too.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ReadyJetGo'', the children are always doing stuff on their own, such as building a treehouse. Craig Bartlett even stated that the kids' adventures are supposed to be similar to his childhood adventures where the kids would just run around without adult supervision. Although, the kids do have adult supervision in space.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Gerald Durrell's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Durrell#Corfu childhood in Corfu]] was this, as related in ''My Family And Other Animals''.
* The Free Range Parenting movement, kickstarted by journalist Lenore Skenazy when she let her then nine year old son ride the New York subway home alone in 2008 causing her to be dubbed the "World's Worst Mom" by some detractors, openly advocates for reduced parental supervision and letting children take on age appropriate independent activities. Skenazy herself has written a book and hosted a television series extolling the virtues of more relaxed parenting.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRCNNZGlZeA This video]] found on Website/YouTube {{discusse|dTrope}}s both sides of this trope.