Berserk, of all series plays with this concerning Guts of all people. Even though he's regularly a dick to anyone and everyone (including kids), it's usually for their own protection because he does not want to see them hurt. Despite (or because of) the emotional scars of his own horrific childhood and his gruff nature, children seem to love him. Unfortunately, considering the nature of the series, Wouldn't Hurt a Child is subverted horribly in the most graphic and heartbreaking way possible.
In Black Lagoon, one of Rock's few real Berserk Buttons is someone abusing or harming a child. Even when Garcia Lovelace throws food at him or "Gretel" openly propositions him he'll do all he can to help them.
A defining trait of any of the heroes in Fist of the North Star. Kenshiro himself is one of the most famous Papa Wolves in anime and manga, but the biggest examples are Fudoh and Shu.
Frowski the Crimson Bullet, from Beet The Vandel Buster, loves kids and animals...but only at a certain level of cuteness. After that, they're dead meat.
Ash from MÄR, despite being a member of the evil chess group, only sides with them because he believes their actions will lead to a peaceful world for kids. He even plays with children when he isn't fighting.
He even tries to convince Ginta to give up during their battle because he doesn't want to hurt him. And this is one of the top grade fighters.
Oddly enough, Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh!. Especially orphans, which makes sense, seeing as he was one. It's a package deal with his Hidden Heart of Gold.
Crow, from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, who watches over and protects the chidlren of an orphanage. He becomes very angry at the Dark Signers when the children vanish because of the dark curse they cast over Satellite.
Brave, a member of Team Ragnarok, does the same thing (and ironically, he becomes one of Crow's rivals during the WRGP.)
Believe it or not, Death Note's L is presented in the spin-off L: change the WorLd as being very good with kids. Despite the fact he has No Social Skills, he's shown as being protective of the Whammy Orphans, acts a little nicer around them, and is seen talking to a group of kids and answering whatever questions they might have. In the canon continuity, Mello and Near both look up to him as a Big Brother Mentor so it's implied he might have been this to them in the anime and manga.
Vash spends a lot of time caring for / playing with children. He's really good with them. There's also the manga-only character Auntie Melanie, the orphanage lady who brought Wolfwood up.
Millie is really good with children, too, being very sweet and having so many nieces and nephews, although she doesn't seek them out the way the guys do, because she's not so needy.
Alexander Anderson, from Hellsing, operates an orphanage where he raised some of Iscariot's members including Enrico Maxwell, Heinkel Wolfe, and Yumie Takagi. In fact when we first see him in the OVA, he is breaking up a fight between two children, telling them that "Violence is never the right answer, except when used against heathens and monsters."
In Fullmetal Alchemist, the normally stoic Riza Hawkeye develops an immediate affinity for Winry Rockbell and the Elric brothers, and continues to offer them kindness and support throughout the series.
She's also shown making a grave for an abandoned Ishbalan child at the end of the war flashback.
The man himself, the mighty Kamina, is this as well- while he doesn't get a whole lot of screentime with kids he explains at one point he keeps fighting so that the children of the future can live under the open sky, as opposed to underground.
All Princess Marina Ismail has done since the beginning of the second season of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 was comforting and taking care of the (orphaned) children at the La Résistance base. Makes more or less sense, considering that these kids are from her kingdom. Which was swiftly destroyed by Ali Al Saachez.
Fate Testarossa-Harlaown who has a habit of saving, adopting, and befriending (not in that way) orphaned children.
Zafira turned out to be one too. Sound Stage M4 revealed that he plays and teaches kids on his spare time, and used to give Hayate and Nanoha giant doggy rides when they were kids. Hayate was the envy of all the neighborhood kids due to that.
Deathsaurus, the Big Bad of Transformers Victory, has a soft spot for human children and "adopts" an injured infant who parents were killed in one of his attacks on Earth and turns him into a cyborg.
Tsuna from Katekyo Hitman Reborn!. Every child he meets gets really attached to him. Particularly of the deadly, assassin kind. It's even lampshaded that he constantly finds himself babysitting them (which he laments about). However, even though he complains and finds it an inconvenience, he sincerely does like them. In fact, one chapter was dedicated to showing that, out of all the characters, Tsuna was the one that was most fit to raise Lambo. So far, he's been raising Lambo and I-Pin, and Futa was shown to get very attached to him.
Subverted with Gokudera. In one chapter, Futa ranked Gokudera as the most fit to become a kindergarten school teacher (out of 82,203 people), claiming that Gokudera is ranked number 2 out of 82,203 people that like kids. Everyone is shocked, and Gokudera himself starts wondering if maybe he unconsciously liked them after all. It turns out that it was because Futa's ranking system went wonky because of the rainy weather...
And then there's Lanchia, who despite having the Face of a Thug, is very nice to children and has Fuuta, I-Pin and Lambo crawling over him when he visits Tsuna's house.
In Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, there was that gang leader's younger brother (who was in elementary school), who seemed to really like Sousuke, calling him an "interesting guy." Sousuke did bribe him for his cooperation, but... the kid really liked him even without all that.
Subverted (like all opportunities to Pet the Dog) by Johan Liebert. It looks like Johan has a soft spot for children — he's been shown watching over some on occasion and, when posing as a college grad student, majors in law focusing on children's rights — until we meet one of these kids he's been "caring" for and learn about this fun little game he's been encouraging them to play...Then there was that part with the Red Light District. Needless to say, it's one of the more heinous acts that Johan commits in the series. Considering how they escalate, this is saying a lot!
Played straight with Tenma and Grimmer; the former even forgives Johan himself.
Apachai Hopachai, one of the teachers of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, is often playing with children and is able to be gentle with them despite having been trained to go all out whenever he fights. Because Apachai also goes all out when training Kenichi (nearly killing him more than once), he learns to relate training Kenichi with playing with those children in order to temper that tendency.
For a 20-year-old young man that was raised by wolves and is horrible at socializing with other adults (in a way that doesn't involve punching something), Mobile Fighter G Gundam's Domon Kasshu is surprisingly good with kids ("Domon, since when have you started babysitting?"). Then again, given that he more or less has the social skills of a ten-year-old, maybe it does make some sense. He gets a Papa Wolf moment in the first episode, though he denies caring later. When one of the local thugs tries to mistreat a kid in front of him, the next scene is of that guy flying backwards out of the door at high speed.
Mifune from Soul Eater loves children, and serves people he actively hates simply because it's what he believes is the best way to protect his ward. He also has difficulty fighting BlackStar until the latter proves to him that, as a ninja, he's considered an adult warrior. He blushes when offered the chance to work as a teacher of children.
Zoro is this whether he likes it or not. When we first meet him, he killed a dog for attacking a little girl, which got him arrested. Later on, whenever Chopper's in danger, Zoro is usually the one to get him out of it and can get very protective of him. He also 'gently' KOed a 'nun' and a little kid in the Baroque Works village, rather than slashing them (as he does the adult males who attack him). He also takes on Miss Monday barehanded, although this may be out of a need for speed (or to prove a point) rather than gentlemanliness.
Another example is Captain, later Commodore, Smoker. When this muscular, cigar-chomping Marine is suddenly bumped into by a little girl who spills ice cream on his pants, the kid's father is worried to panicking- but Smoker gets down on eye level with the kid, apologizes for his "mean pants" eating up her ice cream, and gives her 50 bucks so she can go buy a new cone. This is his introductory scene to the series, and serves to show that he's not corrupt, unlike many of the other Marine officers before and after.
"You have a serious character flaw. What matters to you is not whether it's friend or foe, but whether or not it's a kid."
Gintoki from Gintama definitely qualifies. He busted up the illegal gladiator ring in order to avenge the fallen gladiator, who took in many orphans and was trying to run away from the gladiator ring with those children, and fought against the entire underground city and its boss (who is from one of the strongest races in the universe) so one child could reunite with his mother.
Curiously, Haruhi Suzumiya seems to get along very well with children. She adores Kyon's little sister and is also seen playing joyfully with children in the pool during the Endless Eight arc.
Maybe because they're just as... energetic as she is?
Hayate the Combat Butler's Hayate finds comfort in the fact that kids like him, even to the point of suggesting off-handedly of becoming a kindergarten teacher after Isumi states she likes him, despite the fact that the 'kids' are only three years younger than him. This is on top of his Unwanted Harem, since it also includes Wataru. Hayate isn't a Gentle Giant though Papa Wolf tendencies may play a part.
Okita Souji from Peacemaker Kurogane is often seen playing with children outside the Shinsengumi compound, and gets along very well with Tetsu
Dr. Hiroshi Agasa of Detective Conan, the adult that the Detective Junior League get along the best with.
Irako Seigen from Shigurui is an unusual example. A ruthless killer and manipulator, but whenever he has to deal with children he goes out his way to be nice to them. Notable with the starving street urchin. No one else would touch the kid, but he washed her, gave her food and a place to stay.
Bleach has Ukitake, who certainly seems to think he's good with kids but finds himself with stubborn and bad-tempered ones who are Really Seven Hundred Years Old - see Lilynette in canon (the Token Mini Moe Arrancar, who's is trying to kill him), and the long-suffering Hitsugaya in omakes.
Fairy Tail has Erza as a fine example. When the titular Fairy Tail forms an alliance with some other guilds to take down a powerful enemy, one of the guilds only send a young girl, Wendy, to help. Most of the alliance members are protesting to have a child help them, however Erza is the only one to say to Wendy that she is glad to have her on their team and excuse for the other's reactions. Later, when Wendy breaks down crying when realizing that her guild companions are nothing but an illusion, it's Erza who comforts Wendy and invites her to Fairy Tail. And yeah, Erza is the resident harsh, stoicBadass of Fairy Tail.
Mentioned in Please, Jeeves. Bertie comments in the narration, "It's one of my personal virtues that children attach themselves to me. It's inevitable." (The scene in question involved a little girl grabbing his hand in the middle of a crowded fair and sticking by his side, telling him about her new doll. Other than this, it's an Informed Attribute, since other kids in both the manga and the original stories almost universally hate him, and the original story even mentioned that the girl only attached herself to Bertie because she figured he'd be as good as anyone.)
Galatea from Claymore is another orphanage operator. After abandoning the organization and blinding herself as to make sure that they wouldn't pick up her yoki and find her, she hid in the holy city of Rabona and became a nun in the church. There, she started to take care of the orphans that were under the church's care. After a massive confrontation that revealed her identity as a claymore, who are forbidden from entering the holy city, the priests implored Galatea to stay, since the children loved her so much.
Ash from Pokémon has shown this in an episode about Trubbish. To get them to listen to their teacher, he was willing to get along well with the little kids and help Pikachu protect them from Sandile.
If she was not busy brooding, Yuri Tsukikage/Cure Moonlight gets along very well to children that's below junior high age and is protective on them, a sign that she's not just your typical Aloof Ally. When she warms up and eventually join the team, there's also an episode where the team got into a daycare, and Yuri absolutely stole the 'caring' spotlight from the owner, tending and getting along with the children better than her. This unfortunately causes the owner to get turned into a Desertrian.
Hellboy loves babies and kittens.This is exaggerated in the movies, but he's just a squishy Nice Guy. Who doesn't see many children and is adorably awkward when he does interact with them; usually in the order of 'hey, kid, don't do that. You'll die.'
Rorschach, from Watchmen, is a clear-cut Anti-Hero and also one of the main prototypes of the Nineties Anti-Hero. Nevertheless, he's got a soft spot for kids. For example, he'll call his former landlady a whore to her face... but not in front of her children. (Though that's tied up with his own childhood trauma and the assholes who called him 'whoreson'—and the fact that he hadn't realized until that moment that, unlike his mother, she cared about them.) Indeed his Start of Darkness was a Freudian Excuse combined with what he did when he realized just what one perp had done to the kidnapped little girl he was trying to rescue.
Batman. He's not the touchy-feely sort that usually dominates this trope, but he definitely seems to have shades of it - possibly because his own childhood was cut off in such a nightmarish manner.
Robin, who Bats adopted solely because he needed it.
He shows similar tendencies in the graphic novel Batman The Dark Knight Returns and several other sources; most likely due to his orphaning at such a young age. He does NOT like people to mess with kids.
Batman practically runs an orphanage with the way he keeps taking on kids under his wing. The list includes: Dick/Robin/Nightwing, Barbara/Batgirl/Oracle, Jason/Robin II, Tim/Robin III/Red Robin, Damian/Robin IV, Cassandra/Batgirl II, and Stephanie/Spoiler/Robin IV/Batgirl III. Even in the world of The Dark Knight Returns, where it got worse with Dick, Batman still has Carrie Kelly as Robin "DKR." Cynics might point out that all of the aforementioned kids Batman takes in become Robin or/and Batgirl at some point, but Batman has fostered kids temporarily and returned them to normal life. Possibly the best known example of this is in the "You Should've Seen Him" story (Batman #423). Batman finds a brother and sister orphan pair dumpster diving to survive, and works as Bruce to reunite them with a surviving relative. In most cases, the kids insist on joining Batman's crimefighting crusade over his protests. He provides them training, support, and equipment to maximize their chances of survival.
One of the most recurring things about Batman is the fact that he's never scary to children, despite being downright blood-chilling to criminals. "The Batman Nobody Knows" (Batman #250) takes this to its logical conclusion. Bruce takes some inner-city kids camping. Naturally they swap scary stories around a campfire, and this being Gotham, all the kids talk about Batman. Their exaggeration makes Bats seem like part demon, part giant, and also "Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Shaft, and Superfly all rolled into one!" Finally, having slipped away during the last story, THE Batman leaps into the firelight. Not only are the kids not scared, they recognize him as Bruce!
Alex Ross's Justice shows what the superheroes would do if the world was ending. Batman would round up as many children as he can and take them to the Batcave for shelter.
The Sin City short story, Silent Night, definitely showcases Marv's soft spot for kids. This soft spot also seems to override his chivalry toward women as shown when he executes a female slave trader in order to save a little girl from sexual slavery.
Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolitan seems to hate children slightly less than he does the rest of humanity. At one of his more annoyed moments, he ends up accosted by a noisy (and overly cheerful) street musician and his son — Spider performs a Groin Attack on the musician and does some rather unpleasant things to his instrument, and then tips the kid with hundred dollars before storming off. Another time, a little girl has to pawn her teddy bear to pay for her medicine. Spider goes in the shop, buys the bear back, and gives it to her. D'aaaaaawww.
Subverted by a one off villain from Ghost Rider. She had a good reputation with children and many of them came over to her house to play. How she kept this reputation when kids kept disappearing isn't explained. After being crippled she sells her soul to a demon that she uses to hunt down more children.
Kid heroes, like all three Robins, think Superman is extremely cool because he never talks down to them the way many heroes do to their grown-up pals' "sidekicks". Pre Crisis (and in a few of the myriad of Post Crisis retcons), it might stem from Superman having once been a Kid Hero himself (as Superboy).
Wolverine in the X-Men comics has a tendency to take on a mentor/big-brother role to the younger members of the team. Starting with Kitty Pryde, then Jubilee, and then X-23 and Armour, as well as a Team up with the Power Pack and 5 year old Katie Power. All his mentoring storylines were combined into Rogue for X-Men.
Case in point, when his rivalry with Cyclops boiled over in Schism and they came to blows, it was over the issue of getting the younger X-Men involved in combat; with Cyclops willing to allow it but Wolverine dead-set against it. In the wake of the event, Wolverine took his half of the X-Men and re-established the school for young mutants that the group originally had been.
The Asgardian Volstagg (a member of the cast of The Mighty Thor) loves kids; he and his wife have seven of their own, including two boys from Earth that they adopted. (When those two first met him, they mistook him for Santa Claus.)
Emma Frost from the X-Men comics was a villain for years. The main thing that led to her Heel Face Turn, and her chief saving grace, is that she cares deeply about any children placed in her care—partly because her own childhood was lousy, but mainly because she feels overwhelming guilt for the death of the Hellions, the Hellfire Club's answer to the New Mutants, who were under her command when they died.
Spider-Man has to deal with a lot of crap from adults, but not kids. Kids love their Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man
Harry Potter and the Mind, speaking of Alastor Moody, said that "little children saw through the crust and thought him wonderful - mostly because he talked to them as equals and took them seriously when other adults dismissed them."
Timon and Pumbaa from The Lion King, but especially the latter who was very excited to 'keep' child!Simba.
In Hoodwinked, Kirk is this sort of guy. He drives a truck around, selling schnitzel on a stick, and leads several children in a big singing number, cut off by his truck being discovered vandalized.
Deconstructed with the Guardians in Rise Of The Guardians. It is their duty to protect and bring happiness and joy for the children (which they do) but they all have such busy lifestyles (especially Toothiana and Sandman who are working every day constantly) such that they struggle to relate to children.
North: We are always working on bringing joy to children. We have no time for... children!
In one scene of Hard Boiled, the main character holds a baby in one arm and sings a lullaby to him while gunning down incoming Mooks with his other arm.
Smith from Shoot 'Em Up seems to have a soft spot for infants. Why else would he go through all that trouble for one baby?
In Tropic Thunder, one of the film's fake trailers is a sci-fi action film titled Scorcher VI with Ben Stiller. In one scene of the "trailer," he is seen holding a baby in one arm and a BFG in the other. In another scene, he is holding a pair of BFGs and has a pair of babies strapped to his chest.
In at least one of the lucha films starring El Santo, he's given this title. It's also shown in movies that don't drag out the phrase, for instance in La Venganza De La Momia ("The Vengeance of the Mummy"), where Santo adopts a boy who has just lost his last relative to the mummy.
Despite The Dark Knight Saga being a grittier reboot, it preserves this trait. Unlike most of the adults, children aren't afraid of Batman, instead admiring him as a hero figure. Batman doesn't seem to mind them, either. In the first movie, he gave away one of his gadgets when a boy said that "No one would believe me". In the second, he rescued and then chastised his younger copycats for trying to fight crime without adequate armor, then bowed his head in grief towards Gordon's son when Gordon was supposedly killed.
This trope may also apply to Bane. After all, he sacrificed his own well-being to save a young Talia Al G'hul from an angry prison mob so she can escape and right before he blows up a football field, he remarks on a child's "lovely, lovely" singing voice.
Action Fighter: I once knew a man who was good with children. They called him... Children Man! Do you know him?
Gun Man: Yes, I kneecapped him and killed him.
Action Fighter: Nice.
In L: change the WorLd, L, normally an antisocial loner, spends the last week of his life taking care of two children and trying to create an antidote for the virus one of them carries. Pet the Dog moments abound.
Hagrid of Harry Potter. Sure, the fact that he's a Nightmare FetishistFluffy Tamer tends to freak people out, but he is rather fond of children. Put another way: you know Hagrid would never try to hurt your kid but you can't blame people for wondering if he's really the best person to be teaching a class on magical zoology.
In The Painted Veil, it is revealed that Walter is fond of babies, which makes him more sympathetic in Kitty's eyes and causes her to realize that maybe she has misunderstood him.
The Stormwings, from Tamora Pierce's Tortall series, are monstrous immortals that look like harpies with steel wings. Their entire raison d'etre is to defile the bodies of those killed in battle so that no one can pretend that war is glorious. They stink to high heaven, they have an aura of fear and they feed off of the fear they cause in others. Many individuals have a real soft spot towards children of any species. They even take 10-year old Maura for a joy-ride by hanging onto the ropes of a swing that she's sitting on. Rikash reluctantly explains "It is hard for us to bear young. That being the case, we value others' young, particularly when they are neglected. Affection has led me to indulge Lady Maura more than is wise."
In a later book, they perch around a square where a mob is rioting in order to feed off the fear...and then swoop down to save children who were about to be trampled.
The hero of Richard Adams' novel Shardik is nicknamed "Plays With the Children" by the other members of his tribe.
Nanny Ogg loves children and they (for the most part) love her, without much effort or forethought on her part. Much to the consternation of Magrat, who puts in effort (and research) to be a friend to all children, but sucked at it. (At least until she had one of her own.)
The last King of Ankh-Morpork. After a description of how Samuel Vimes' ancestor killed him, it is mentioned that "he was very fond of children."
Alan Grant, the hero of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park, is fond of children, pointing out that you couldn't find another group more enthusiastic about dinosaurs.
In the movie, this is inverted, and Grant is specifically not fond of children, so as to give him a character arc as he bonds with Lex and Tim.
When Mat from The Wheel of Time is infected by a Hate PlagueRand notices that the only people that Mat was not suspicious of were children. Later on after he gets cured, Mat saves Olver from getting beaten and tries to hire a local innkeeper to take care of him. Mat ends up all but adopting Olver after he follows him.
Takes a dark turn in the character of Mesaana. While the other Forsaken were out leading armies against the forces of the Light during the Age of Legends, Mesaana spent her time setting up schools for children in conquered territories. However, it was there that she taught them the values of the Shadow and encouraged them to turn on their own families. Three thousand years later, people still cringe in horror at tales of "Mesaana's Children".
Tarma, from the Vows and Honor series by Mercedes Lackey. According to Kethry, children have run up to Tarma for protection while their merc unit is storming a town ... and gotten it. She is probably one of the top three non-magical badasses in the series and has a voice like a chain smoker, a face like an angry hawk, and a bond with her goddess that renders her effectively asexual. She rides a really scary looking horse, and is always accompanied by a sentient being who looks like a giant wolf. And she still has an instant rapport with children, whether for playing, protection, or nurturing. Fortunately, Kethry produces plenty of kids for her to help raise during their teaching careers.
"Gentleman" Johnny Marcone is a ruthless and highly ambitious mafia boss, who is usually all about business and profit. Harm a child on his turf, however, and he will spare no expense in tracking you down and murdering you until you die. You should count yourself lucky if he stops there.
Harry Dresden himself. He considers becoming a vampire of the Red Court to stop the war between them and the White Council of Wizards, but the vampire who offered fed on children (since said vampire was planning to betray him anyway, this is something of a moot point and soon the vampire was squashed by a falling satellite). Also, he named Ivy. His response to his daughter being kidnapped:
Wizards are subtle and quick to anger. Fuck subtle *blows open door*
Michael also. The closest he has ever come to killing someone in cold blood was someone who kidnapped his daughter. Harry has to step in.
Otherland. The Other, the apparently rogue AI operating system of the titular network, has a remarkable affinity for children and seeks them out wherever its sphere of influence touches on the wider 'Net. Unfortunately, its idea of "playing with" these children has the nasty, inadvertent consequence of Mind Raping them into comas.
Esther Summerson from Bleak House has this trait. She is characteristically "fond of being confided in by children". (Her own childhood was emotionally abusive.)
Blaggut from The Bellmaker adores the Abbey's children and is loved by them in return, though the adults start out not trusting him.
Jerin Whistler in A Brother's Price is noted for his patience and sweetness but also discipline in dealing with his numerous younger siblings; he was sort of promoted to parent after his father's death and handled it well. They start crying and are inconsolable when they hear he's going to leave and get married, and he distracts them by recruiting them to help make pound cake and maple ice cream. He's also good with the young princesses, not letting them walk all over him but still befriending and teaching them.
Adventure Hunters: When Artorius isn't working, he hangs out at an elementary school and tells the children about his adventures.
Live Action TV
Mister Rogers is the Most Triumphant Example. The world will always remember him as the kindest person who ever lived.
In Mexico it's the tag line of the Sunday morning show En Familia con Chabelo "...Soy Chabelo amigo de todos los nińos..." in Spanish.
Dexter likes children, which means that he is particularly wrathful against criminals that harm children. When he's not being particularly wrathful he only stabs people in the heart. He's a compulsive serial killer with a strict "only-hunt-monsters" policy and a soft spot for children due to his own Start of Darkness. This makes for a reaction to children in danger that goes far beyond Papa Wolf territory into something frighteningly awesome.
Dean Winchester from Supernatural seems to like children. When they have to work with a kid, Dean seems to do a lot of the talking, but Sam seems to like them, too. Ironically, in the third episode, Dean uses the "I think kids are great" as a cheesy chat-up line to a MILF, and Sam calls him out on it, pointing out "name three kids you even know." However, for the rest of the series, including that episode, Dean does indeed get on well with children.
B.A. Baracus from The A-Team. In the army he earned his nickname of "Bad Attitude" by striking officers, he's punched his own teammates in the mouth, he's an all around grumpy badass...and he's great with kids.
The titular character of Angel has a soft spot for the little ones. Now that he's stopped eating them.
In The Twilight Zone episode One For The Angels, pitchman Lew Bookman is well loved by children and a truly compassionate man. He tries to escape Death, but when he learns that a child will die in his place, he sacrifices his life to save the kid by distracting Death with the "ultimate pitch, one for the angels" (hence the episode's title) until his deadline is up. Afterward, Death comforts Bookman with the knowledge that his kindness got him into Heaven.
Old Ben from The Fugitive.
The eponymous Mr Bevis also counts who loves to play with the children in the street, has children Christmas Carolers come into the office and who is also building a replica of a old iron ship for a kid. His guardian angel says that this part of his personalty must go if he is to be successful]]; in the end he decides to be the same, happier in the knowledge that he likes who he is and wouldn't want to change.
Michael, having been abused by his father, has a particular soft spot for children in the same situation. In the first season, an assassin uses such a story to convince Michael to track down her mark for her by posing as a mother who's son has been kidnapped by her abusive husband.
Quite a few clients have only managed to get Michael to work for them by mentioning their kids.
Similarly, in one instance, when a woman and her children are being abused, Michael's mother Madeline opens up her house to them (knowing that the father is a well-connected and dangerous man), no questions asked, and mentions that if it involves kids, "Michael will take on the Chinese army."
Ben Linus of LOST seems to have a soft spot for children. Not only did he spare Rousseau because she had a baby girl in her camp (and went on to be a loving - if scarily over-protective - parent) but he also spared Penny's life because she had an infant son on board her boat.
Shiraishi Mako from Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, being an ex-kindergarten teacher, is shown to be caring and nurturing to them. In fact, this goes to extend that if there's someone having Heroic BSOD, she sees that friend like 'a kid that needs care and nurture' and will do her best to comfort that person and sometimes with Cooldown Hug.
It also provided her a CMOA, one episode Akumaro abducted children so he could use their fear and sorrow. And what did Mako do in the end? She went Super Shinken Pink and whupped his Ass!
Dr. House, the champion of Loners Are Freaks, doesn't mind babies. "People don't bug me until they get teeth." He gets on with older children much better than adults, even when they have a full set of teeth. In the seventh season, when he goes to dinner in Cuddy's house and he and her daughter are alone, he did say she was adorable.
Dr. Chase gets along very well with children, and often forms good connections with child patients.
Doctor Kovac from ER cares deeply for children and gets particularly upset if they are mistreated in any way. He even watches kids' shows, like the Wiggles, to keep up with what kids like and be able to talk to them.
Richard Hammond on Top Gear — if any of the presenters is shown interacting with the local kids, it is probably the Hamster. Known to host children's science shows like Brainiac Science Abuse and his own Richard Hammond's Blast Lab.
The Doctor of Doctor Who has a lot of this. When explaining to Amy that they must be observers only, and that in all his travels, it is the one rule he always sticks to, he is watching a crying child on the monitor. He abruptly exits the TARDIS to go and help. This prompts the remark from Amy:
Amy: Is that how it is, Doctor? You never interfere in the affairs of people or planets. Unless there's a child crying.
Eleven (grinning): Yes.
From that same episode, the Star Whale.
In the episode "Full Circle" the Doctor frightens off the marsh-man child and observes it's odd, he's usually good with children. Later, he would have managed to calm it if he hadn't been knocked out.
The Ninth Doctor seems perfectly at home among a group of orphans in "The Empty Child", chatting and joking over dinner while he tries to gather information.
Patrick Jane from The Mentalist loves kids, particularly little girls due to the loss of his daughter, and will abandon everything else when they're around. His partner Lisbon has a soft spot, too.
Abby and McGee both show signs of being this as well, as does Ducky.
Omar Little from The Wire. The first sign we get of him being more than the average criminal is him showing affection to the child of a dope fiend who has come to him seeking a free fix. On the streets of Baltimore, Omar walking down the street triggers cries of, "Omar's coming!" from the hoppers, but this is inverted in season five when we see him in retirement in Puerto Rico, giving neighborhood kids (who joyfully run up to him, shouting, "Omar!") some candy. Indeed, the fact that he believes Children Are Innocentleads to his death, when he dismisses eight-year-old Kenard as Just a Kid.
Eliot also abandons a job in one episode to champion an abused child in a hospital, almost throwing the kid's fatherdown several flights of stairs. He arranges for the team to donate skads of money to mistreated children, mentors an underage miner, and drops character in a con to help an Iranian girlfind her family in an airport. He even turns out to have a knack for teaching kids, as shown in an episode where members of the team pose as private school instructors. When he receives a 911 call for a domestic disturbance while disguised as a Boston police officer, he insists on going to the scene on the chance that there are children present.
Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation is a pragmatic aversion. He's not that fond of kids, but that's only because he's a professional and children are too unpredictable and uncontrollable for him. He grows into the trope over time - most notably "Disaster." Not that he doesn't dislike the idea of "Captain Picard Day" in Season 7, however.
The grumpy, snarky, conspiracy-theorizing John Munch of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is routinely shown to have a very soft side for children. One episode had him reading Goodnight Moon to a little girl who was left hospitalized in a near-vegetative state by her mother's abuse.
Subverted in "Sick" with toy company owner Billy Tripoli, who hosts lavish parties for sick and poor kids — and picks "special" ones out to molest. He winds up a Karma Houdini thanks to the actions of greedy adults looking for payoffs. He's a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Michael Jackson, whose second child molestation scandal was playing out at the time (2004).
Teal'c of Stargate SG-1. Whenever a child is around, he turns into the Gentle Giant. It helps that he has the patience of a mountain. Right behind him is his teammate Samantha Carter, who has yet to meet a kid she doesn't like - or who doesn't like her.
Megan Calvet Draper in Mad Men. When Sally Draper ran away to visit her dad's office and tried to run away when forced to return home, the only sympathetic adult was Megan. She later takes care of Sally and her brothers during their trip to Disneyland. Contrast this with Faye Miller, Don's girlfriend, who was incredibly awkward around children and talked to Sally as if she were an infant. In a show full of bad mothers, Megan at times seems like the only one who likes kids which is one of the reasons why she's Don's second wife instead of Faye.
Eric Matthews on Boy Meets World relates well with children due to being One of the Kids. His most serious girlfriend on the show was a young single mom whose kid he bonds with, and in another season he forms a relationship with a kid from an orphanage; he would have adopted the kid (who was estatic) but a married couple also wanted to adopt him andhe decided they could do a better job.
Barney the Dinosaur, being the imaginary friend of young children, is naturally this. Not only does he play with his young friends, but he often gives them life lessons and helps them solve problems they may have. His (in)famous song "I Love You" is about the bond he shares with his young playmates, with them basically being his family and all.
Harmon Rabb in JAG comes across as this. He befriends the 10 year old son of his girlfriend in season 3, and saves him from both murderous thugs and terrorists. In season 4, he goes after the murderer of a small girl on a Navy base and saves her twin sister from the same fate. And initially in that case he employed Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique on a convicted child molester, who were innocent but provided useful info. And he finally becomes the guardian of an adolescent girl in season 9 with an alcoholic father.
On Friday Night Lights, Epyck, a Broken Bird with a chip on her shoulder towards almost everyone else, is described by her foster mother as someone who's very good with her younger half-siblings. In a later episode, we see this when she's around Tami's baby girl Gracie Belle.
Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad. He makes sure to keep children out of harm's way whenever possible, and is particularly close and fond of his girlfriend Andrea's six year old son, Brock.
Santa Claus St. Nicholas of Myra, the Patron Saint of Children.
The Greek goddess Artemis is the protector of young animals and children, especially virgin girls. Her brother Apollo is patron of boys...although when one reads about Hyacinth and Cyparissus, he comes across as more of a pedophile.
Jerusalem gives us Johnny Byron, a former daredevil and local legend who lives in a trailer in the local woods, is seen as a sort of modern-day Pied Piper. Local teenagers spend most of their free time hanging out at his place, getting drunk, doing drugs, and generally having fun; he regales them with mad stories of his former exploits and supposed encounters with real-life giants. This is portrayed as being a sort of tradition, with several characters in their late twenties and early thirties discussing how they used to be the kids who hung out at Johnny's place. Subverted in two ways, though: firstly in that Johnny's sheltering of the kids is not always seen as wholesome (naturally); and secondly in that it is revealed the kids don't really care about him as a person, and mock him behind his back for being a crazy loner unable to pay taxes.
Juno from Soul Nomad distrusts humans but loves children... even human children, as she is raising Thorndyke's son.
Jade of Beyond Good And Evil takes in war orphans and cares for them, despite being occasionally frightfully low on cash. She's even extra-kind and nice to the kids in the city who aren't staying with her. Threatening her kids is a good way to get Mama Bear'd.
By extension, this applies to Pey'j as well. He probably wouldn't let them stay in his house if he didn't care for them, after all. And the end credits Photo Montage shows that Double H really is a Gentle Giant by having several pictures focus on him playing with the lighthouse kids.
In the Metroid manga, Samus is very friendly with children, and manages to strike up a small friendship with a little girl she rescues from a raid.
This seems to be a confirmation of elements from the time Super Metroid was released, where Samus was typically portrayed as being quite passionate about the infant Metroid, treating it like her own offspring, unleashing the bowels of Mama Bear after it was destroyed, and entering a state of deep sorrow after she'd cooled down. This hovered around various fiction, including Nintendo Power comics and Manga. In other words, the Manga serves to confirm that when Samus says she kills to protect others, she really really means it
Milla Vodello in Psychonauts loves working with children, and when you use Clairvoyance on her, she explicitly sees Kid Hero Raz as a sweet little baby to look after. Her history even shows that she used to work at an Orphanage of Love. But, uh... don't ask why she doesn't anymore.
Though, in case you are wondering: There was a fire one day while Milla was out getting the groceries, and it's implied nobody else in the building survived. She's mostly over it now, but there are still a few "Nightmares" locked away in her Mental World.
Rozalin's first Pet the Dog moment in Disgaea 2 comes when she treats the kids really well. Barring her other persona, being nice to kids seems to be a consistent part of her character.
Zangief has developed into this during the Street Fighter IV series. He even cites their cheers and adoration as the reason why he continues wrestling.
The poor children are most of why Allegretto steals bread at the beginning of Eternal Sonata, and why he embarks on his quest. One part of the game involves him navigating a puzzle graveyard and beating up a large beast... so a little girl can have water for her flower.
Aerith Gainsborough could count for this in Final Fantasy VII; the original game has her trade herself for the safety of a little girl she barely knows and puts her on friendly terms with the slum children, who looked after her flowers in her absence; Crisis Core and Advent Children also show her having a soft spot for children.
Final Fantasy VI has Terra Branford who takes care of a village full of orphans and turns into a Mama Bear whenever any of them are in danger.
Kratos from God Of War. They may have been his daughter, his kid brother, and a little girl that reminded him of his daughter, but they remain the only children depicted in the games. More Friend To All Children Who Appear In The Series. His Papa Wolf nature is one of his very few redeeming traits.
In BlazBlue Litchi Faye-Ling is very good when it comes to dealing with children, she usually comes around to the Kaka clan to kindheartedly teach and play with the Kaka kittens and her child-assistant Linhua looked up to her greatly and she returned the favor. She's also quick to befriend and hug Ronin-Gai children despite that their boss just harassed her. She's also incredibly fond to Carl Clover, who was virtually unknown to her and would even give her life to help him. She doesn't even hold a grudge when a bratty little girl like Platinum went bonkers on her just due to breast size difference and still finds herself comforting her. In the CT Arcade Mode, she mistook Rachel Alucard as a lost child and sweetly asked to escort her to her mother... This gets slightly subverted in Continuum Shift after her Face Heel Turn. Once she learned what kind of creature Rachel is and that she's an enemy, she drops her kindness and opts a more antagonistic manner (though not as over the top). However, she went back into Friend To All Children mode when she met a distraught Carl (still post-Face Heel Turn) and offered him a Cooldown Hug in her Marshmallow Hell.
Daisy the Thief and Asaello the Bow Fighter from Fire Emblem Jugdral. Patty and Faval are implied to be this too. (Makes sense since Daisy and Asaello are the expies in the first place.)
Nanaly Fletch from the sequel, Tales Of Destiny 2 is an even bigger example in that she runs an orphanage in her home town and functions as the team babysitter. One of the reasons she's like this is because she couldn't save her little brother without giving him a Fate Worse Than Death (in the form of a life of eternal servitude to the Corrupt Church) and doesn't want other orphans suffering her brother's fate.
Cheria Barnes from Tales Of Graces is implied to be this. In a skit in Tales of Graces f, Asbel mentions that Cheria likes taking care of children.
In Skyrim it's impossible for the player to harm children. Also, you can play games like tag and hide & seek with the children that you meet. Even the dead ones.. With the Hearthfire DLC, the player can even adopt children. However, just because the player character likes kids doesn't necessarily mean that they like you back.
Oddly enough, some of the mercenaries in Team Fortress 2 appear to be this, as shown by the comics on the official website. Soldier takes kids trick-or-treating, Scout treats kids like little brothers (understandable, considering he's the youngest of eight brothers), and they both get very defensive when they're on mall Santa duty and a kid gets kidnapped. Spy sees the kid's fear and teaches the kid how to stab the kidnapper in the jugular and free himself, and consoles the kid afterwards, asking him if he was scared, and giving him a piggyback ride. Even Heavy shows this when he gets angry and calls a kid presumptuous and fat for wanting him to spend his hard-earned money on Halloween candy, and then apologizes profusely when the kid starts to cry, taking back the "fat" comment when he realizes that he hates being called that himself. He then proceeds to give the kid $7,000 to make up for it.
In Tokimeki Memorial's Tabidachi no Uta continuity, Mira Kagami turns out to be this.
Both Kings (jaguar masked religious pro-wrestler) in Tekken. Parts of the reason why they enter the Tekken tournament is to raise money for the orphanage they're in, although as for King II, that has become a background thing while he focuses on some darker issues (but still retains his kind heart).
Bruce Irvin is chiefly known as a friend of Kazuya and usually serves as The Dragon for him. His endings in his debut and 5 involve helping kids to stand up for themselves, or inspiring them (to be good kids, not to be like Kazuya).
Hawke in Dragon Age II. Discovering that deranged serial-killer has been targeting the elven children of Kirkwall, simply because they are "too beautiful", is enough to make even a Paragon Hawke so utterly furious they vow to slit the man's throat.
After Hawke becomes a Noble in Act II, it's implied by Aveline that Hawke has donated a large amount of their reclaimed family fortune, in order to help their fellow Ferelden refugees and the children orphaned by the Blight.
Merrill and Varric are consistently shown to have this trait. It's also mentioned that most of the Pirates in the Waking Sea want Isabela dead for performing a one-woman army stunt, seizing the vessel she was meant to be escorting, after she discovered it contained slaves who were mostly women and children.
Depending on the player, the Warden in Dragon Age: Origins can also be this. There are a few opportunities to do things like give money to orphaned children and protect a child from a demon who wants to possess her.
Professor Layton is implied to be this. He's as respectful and courteous to any children he meets as he is to anyone else, but the two children he interacts with the most often - his apprentice Luke and adopted daughter Flora - absolutely adore him, and he them.
Von Pinn from Girl Genius isn't necessarily fond of kids, but as a completely frightening construct designed to protect her charges, she cannot bring herself to harm children, even if they stand in the way of her duty. When Bangladesh Dupree tries to get around this and kills the girl standing in the way of their pursuit of Agatha, Von Pinn nearly takes her head off.
Oh, she's fond of kids. Monster Nanny terrifies the living daylights out of them, but all of them know she loves them. Tarvek and Gil are particularly voluble on the subject.
The reason she is so unhinged in the first place is because she failed to save Agatha's brother when Castle Heterodyne was attacked.
Quentyn of Tales of the Questor is particularly sweet and tolerant of a very young child who pulls on his whiskers and twists his tail, thinking him a cat. (he quickly makes her a harmless toy that occupies her hands)
Marilith when she started out in her less than lawful career, used to pay to feed an African child every time she killed someone. Eventually she could no longer afford to; now the kids are banded together into something of a war group to find out what happened to her. She also arranged the capture, and suggested rape, of a date rapist. The girl he hurt is not all that old. It's also one of the few times she negotiates on prices. She is also partnered with her possibly Stockholm Syndromed ex-mark, who is either young or has fantastic genes.
Christi is also intent on saving Marilith's partner; being an orphan, she is sensitive to the plights of children.
Cale in Looking for Group used to be this, up to a particular Sadistic Choice. And although no more a friend to children than any other living being, Richard's rare, curse-breaking Pet the Dog was a self-sacrifice in defense of a child.
Adrestia in morphE would rather have her throat slit than attack a child. Her character profile makes specific mention of her soft-spot for kids.
Doctor Steel loves children (he's a toymaker, after all). He even created a theme song for a fictional kid's show called "Smokey, The Kid-Loving Trout" (Smokey's Theme), and his episodes of The Dr. Steel Show are modeled after childrens' television shows.
The naga Fiona loves children, and is often seen venturing to jungle villages to play with the local kids. In fact, she's earned the in-universe nickname of "The Kind Naga". Felaryan nagas are typically man-eaters.
In Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, one of Dr. Horrible's reasons for refusing to fight a self-proclaimed nemesis in the City Park is that "there's kids in that park." Also, when told he has to kill someone to enter the Evil League of Evil, he's offered the suggestion of a child who is destined to become President of the United States. Dr. Horrible replies that he's not going to kill a kid.
Fowlmouth, a side character in Tiny Toon Adventures, swears a [bleeped out] blue streak in every known context except in the presence of babies. He believes that swearing in front of babies is crude.
Sergeant Rita Torres in Exosquad shows her tender side when interacting with the Martian Exoscouts (who were abandoned on Mars since the war outbreak) in the second season.
Batman The Animated Series: Particularly in an early episode, "The Underdwellers," near the very end. Bats is threatening the episode's villain, the Sewer King, who "took in" a large number of abandoned and orphaned children, only to abuse them and teach them to steal:
This continues to the Justice League, where Batman comforts Ace, who was dying of a terminal disease and only had hours to live. She had asked him to stay by her side because she was scared. And he did. In "Injustice for All", he gently coaxed a little girl to go with him out from a burning building.
Little girl: "I'm scared."
Batman: " Don't be. It's going to be all right."
Zeta in The Zeta Project. When he saw a child learn to ride a bike and the joy it brought her mother, he knew he could never kill anyone because life was precious. Hence his peaceful and nonviolent nature.
As mentioned above, Young Justice has Batman being more of a fatherly figure to Robin and the rest of the team than Superman. He's also been implied to be close to Captain Marvel, being the only Leaguer to know that he was ten years old. The tie-in comics show Batman giving him an opening to confess his secret, and while he isn't always patient with Billy, he'll explain things to him and didn't glare when Cap hugged him.
Pinkie Pie also counts; she's acted as a Cool Big Sis for Spike and Apple-Bloom, chaperoned the local kids on "Nightmare Night", adores Mr. & Mrs. Cake's infant twins Pound & Pumpkin Cake and frequently plays with & watches over them, and during her Image Song "Smile, Smile, Smile" she goes out of her way to make kids happy.
Luna; after seeing how much the kids enjoyed Nightmare Night she un-canceled it. She also helps watch over the fillies and colts of Equestria's dreams, coming into them and helping them deal with nightmares.
Transformers: a recurring theme to all Autobots, in most continuities they tend to have kids hanging out with them.
In the Kung Fu Panda franchise, especially the non-film productions, Po prides himself as being loved by children. As such, he proves to be an excellent teacher. In an episode of Kung Fu Panda Legends Of Awesomeness, he makes a despicable Royal Brat change her ways, before discovering the horrific reason why she feels she must drive everyone away.
Hank Hill is shown to be really good with kids in several episodes, including one where he becomes the substitute shop teacher at his son's school and is very popular with the kids because his teaching style is informal, educational, and fun. In another he stops some kids from getting into a makeout party by using old-school party games, and they end up legitimately having fun, causing the neighbors' wives to remark that his reliability and skill with kids are very attractive traits.
It's fairly well-known that a lot of the same convicts who have committed the most heinous of crimes are pretty fond of kids, to the point that if a convicted child abuser (or worse, child molester) isn't put in solitary, he's likely to get shanked... or worse.
Two murderers had been placed in the same cell, and were together for a year. The only difference was that one had murdered adults, while the other had raped and killed a little girl. When the adult-murderer found out exactly what his cellmate had done, he proceeded to beat him to death.
Similarly, communities that otherwise might come across as hostile or indifferent to the police will often step up if a child was victimized.
According to a lawsuit filed against a Midwest prison, a man who spent years raping his young stepdaughter was himself raped multiple times by a cellmate specifically to make him feel like his victim.
Two Words: Katie's Revenge. A man in Indiana was convicted of molesting and killing a girl named Katie. After his fellow inmates found out about it, they held him down and gave him a nice tattoo: the words "Katie's Revenge." Across his forehead. In huge letters.
WWII Russian soldier example: the German army pushed the Russian defenders back to the river in Stalingrad; in a furious battle, the Russians surrounded the city, cut off the Germans from their supply lines and started to annihilate them room-by-room and building-by-building. Some children who were kept as servants by the German army were trapped in such a building, and called out in fear. The Russian soldiers who found them immediately formed a defense perimeter and escorted them to safety. Some of the children were adopted into the unit because they were orphans. Years later, one child related, "The one who found us shouted, 'Lads, there are kids in here!' I had never seen men cry."
Another WWII example: A German soldier was sweeping a village looking for contraband. He poked his head up into the attic of a cottage to find several hiding Jewish children. When another soldier called to him from below to ask if he had found anything, he replied, "No," and left.
The Billy Joel song "Lenningrad" tells the story of Viktor (an actual person whom Joel met while touring the Soviet Union in 1987), a former member of the Red Army who, after seeing the horrors of war, became a clown, and found happiness bringing joy to children.
Michael Jackson tried to give himself this image, claiming that his charity work and eccentric Man Child nature was partly because he hadn't much of a childhood himself. Unfortunately, multiple accusations of child molestation brought against him ruined that, and though he was never found guilty of such crimes in court (and friends like Macaulay Culkin vouched for his innocence), they left a black mark on his reputation until he died. Bringing up this Elephant in the Living Room issue now, instead of just celebrating him for his music and charitable work, inevitably leads to condemnation from the Vocal Minority of his fanbase.
Angelina Jolie. Over the past decade, she's criss-crossed the globe on behalf of UNICEF and UNHCR, often in the company of her significant other Brad Pitt, and regularly takes time out from her movie shoots to work on some project involving children or refugees (or refugee children). She often keeps her work low-key so as not to have her celebrity status distract from the matter at hand; for instance, at the time of this writing, she and Pitt have visited Bosnia to look into the issue of civilians who haven't been able to return home even 15 years after the war's end, but are making no public appearances.
Audrey Hepburn. During the last decade of her life, she did tremendous work for UNICEF, virtually becoming the face of the organization. Several months before her death she visited Somalia at the height of that country's famine; the stark photos taken during that event (a particularly heartbreaking one showed her, with an incredibly grim expression on her face, cradling a child dying of starvation) helped raise world awareness of the disaster. She was strongly influenced in her work by memories of the hardships (including starvation) that she herself had to endure as a teenager in Nazi-occupied Holland.
For all of her flaws (such as praising Hitler for his initial work at the beginning, referring to Deion Sanders, Dave Parker, and Eric Davis as her "million dollar niggers," didn't quite understand how the epithet "Jap" could be offensive, and stated that men who wore ear rings were fruits) Marge Schott loved kids, and would let them run around the outfield before games at Riverfront Stadium.
1930s gangster/bank robber John Dillinger once apparently carjacked a family with kids in the back, but made a point of not hurting anyone and patted one of the kids on the head before getting out while reassuring the parents "Don't worry, we like kids."
Ed Gein, of all people. He was proven to be behind some truly disgusting acts (and suspected of worse), but when it came to kids? Before he was found out and arrested, his neighbors would hire him as a babysitter. He was consistently described as caring and benevolent to the children placed in his care.
Dr. H.H. Holmes, vicious serial killer and con man, murdered at least one child. After he got arrested, though, one of his ex-wives described him as so gentle and sweet that he would take crying babies from frazzled mothers in public, make them laugh, and then hand them back to their mothers.
John Cena, without a doubt. There's a reason that most of his fanbase consists of children. In fact, he's granted over 300 wishes for the Make a Wish foundation. That speaks volumes in itself. Anyone in the locker room will vouch for this as well.
J. R. R. Tolkien was, by all accounts, a doting parent and a grandfatherly figure. His academic colleague George Sayer once discovered the professor surrounded by a group of neighborhood children; Tolkien explained quite seriously, "We're playing trains. I'm Thomas the Tank Engine. Puff, puff."