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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/NannyMcPhee http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_nannymcpheeonesheet_4433.jpg]]]]

A Magical Nanny is [[AlwaysFemale a woman]] who is hired [[ParentalSubstitute to look after children]], but ends up having a profound effect on the whole family. She may have genuine magical powers or she may just have a magical effect on the household. Even [[RoyalBrat children who have scared off a number of previous nannies]] can be tamed by a Magical Nanny.

Magical Nannies come in two flavors:

#A [[BlitheSpirit free spirited]] nanny will often be seen in households with strict parents, who are [[ParentalAbandonment often cold and neglectful]] toward [[LonelyRichKid the children]]. She will encourage them to [[BeYourself be themselves]] and talk about ThePowerOfLove. Eventually this message will spread to the parents, drawing the family together. This type of Magical Nanny is often musically talented.
#A sensible nanny will usually work for [[ParentalAbandonment aloof]] or [[DotingParent ineffectual]] parents with [[SpoiledBrat rambunctious children]]. She will be strict, but fair and impose a sense of structure on a family that badly needs it. Before long, the parents will be in awe of her -- perhaps after a stage of resenting how their lavishness did not win the children's hearts but her firmness (and attention!) did -- and any naughty children will have learned that behaving themselves can be fun.

A sub-flavor includes magical nannies that are ''literally'' [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Magical Nannies]]. Often they will be a parody or even {{Deconstruction}} of the UrExample, ''MaryPoppins''.

While Magical Nannies are often threatened with the sack, they are not easy to get rid of. When their employment ends, it will be on their own terms. Typically they will decide that [[ButNowIMustGo their work here is done]] or they will stay and marry the head of the household. (Note that they ''never'' become the WickedStepmother.) The latter is particularly common in the RomanceNovel; indeed, the heroine may become the stepmother first and still fulfill the role of Magical Nanny.

Compare FairyGodmother.

Contrast the BabysitterFromHell and the BadlyBatteredBabysitter.
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!!Examples:

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[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* Emily in ''FanFic/TheSecretLifeOfTheBackyardKids'' is a literal version.
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[[folder:Film]]
* Subverted in ''[[Series/TheAddamsFamily Addams Family Values]]''; the family finally finds a nanny who will put up with the children because she wants to marry Fester, then kill him, for his money. Being the Addams Family, they consider her to lead a very respectable lifestyle and are mainly irritated with her choice of Pastels as a color palette.
* MBA graduate Jennifer "Jenny" Morgan in ''Au Pair'' becomes the second type after mistaking a job opportunity as an executive assistant. She tames and befriends the two rambunctious children of their single, CEO father whose job duties prevent him from taking a more active role. She gets him to spend more time with his children and falls in love with him. Yeah, it's a Disney Original Movie, of course.
* The two {{Ur Example}}s of this trope were both played by Creator/JulieAndrews.
** ''TheSoundOfMusic'': Maria Von Trapp is the guitar playing free spirit who ends up marrying the head of the household.
** ''Film/MaryPoppins'': Poppins is the no-nonsense nanny with magic powers who draws the family closer together, tames the unruly children, then vanishes into the sky.
* Weebo from ''Film/{{Flubber}}''. Unusually, Weebo is a robot.
* The nanny in ''HarrietTheSpy'' isn't magic, but is amazing.
* ''Film/MrsDoubtfire'': A RareMaleExample is Mrs. Doubtfire (and the book ''Madam Doubtfire'') where a divorced dad [[WholesomeCrossdresser crossdresses]] so he can be hired as a nanny and spend more time with his kids. As you do.
* ''Film/NannyMcPhee'': Similar to Mary Poppins, but minus the songs.
* Random from ''Out Of The Blue'' (1979).
* ''Bob The Butler'': Bob; sorta. Bob's actually totally incompetent as a butler (he's actually not even a real butler, he's never had training). The only thing he manages to do is to get the kids to like him and bring their mother closer to them. They end up getting married of course.
* ''AdventuresInBabysitting'' could perhaps be considered a one-night-only version of this, as some life lessons were learned and it's a miracle neither the babysitter nor her charges got themselves killed.
* Subverted in ''BedknobsAndBroomsticks'', as its Magical Nanny is coerced into becoming one when some BlitzEvacuees are dropped off on her doorstep. By the end, the kids and the witch will stay together, while the con man goes off to war.
* ''Film/BigMommasHouse'' series: Played straight in the first two films where Big Momma becomes a member of the family and draws everyone together.
* Parodied in ''Film/MrNanny'', where Hulk Hogan is hired as a bodyguard, but has to take over nanny duties for the two precocious lonely kids.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Nurse Matilda'': Nurse Matilda herself was a sensible nanny with magic powers, which tended to be more disturbing than in the movies.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'': Susan Sto Helit is naturally sensible and, upon leaving school, does a brief stint as a Magical Nanny in ''Discworld/{{Hogfather}}''. She is very GenreSavvy and promises herself "if she ever did find herself dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps, she'd beat herself to death with her own umbrella." She's also significantly more violent than the average Magical Nanny. When the children complain of bogey-men in the closet or in the basement, she teaches them to face their fears... with vivid demonstrations involving a fireplace poker. If she's feeling generous, Susan just terrorizes the bogeys to the point that they won't even ''think'' about bothering her charges again.
* Polgara the Sorceress in ''Polgara the Sorceress'', ''Literature/TheBelgariad'', and ''TheMalloreon'' is a powerful sorceress that is well recognized as such when she isn't tending to more than two thousand years of little boys as their "Aunt Pol" who cooks, cleans and manages their lives for the better. Like Mary Poppins, she isn't necessarily free spirited, but is an extremely competent and magical nanny.
* ''Literature/MrsPiggleWiggle'', whose cures for bad behaviors like selfishness or not wanting to go to bed are based on the philosophy of "give bratty kids what they want, [[RadishCure and make them regret it]]"). If used in real life, such cures would probably result in a lawsuit and/or emotional scarring rather than making anyone good little children. Interestingly, while some of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's ideas (like the Radish Cure) involve fairly reality-based (if improbable) foundations, she also has a number of magical powders, candies, pills, and liquids which can make children turn invisible, lose their voices, or literally become idiots. The only explanation as to how she got this is that her husband found them from his days of pirating. In the series ''Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm'', the kids are mostly cured by being dropped off at the titular farm and spending a few weeks learning to adapt to life there. This inevitably leads to a situation in which the child must overcome their issue.
* ''Literature/JaneEyre'': Jane is a sensible governess who's great for sweet but shallow Adele and tries moulding her into a worthy person. She ends up falling for the head of the household.
* Subverted in Creator/{{Saki}}'s "The Schwartz-Metterklume Method" where Lady Carlotta behaves like a Type 1 Magical Nanny, but turns out to [[spoiler: be an imposter who has been acting outrageous simply to amuse herself.]]
* In Creator/GeneStrattonPorter's ''Michael O'Halloran'', a magical tutor straightens out two violent RoyalBrats in about a day.
* Literature/MaryPoppins, although not so whimsically as her film counterpart.
* ''Literature/MsWiz'' acts as this for the children of Class Three despite her first appearance being a teacher. She shows up in all the books in some new job just when the children need help. She actually does babysit in the fourth book. [[spoiler: She ends up as a mother herself]].
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Phoebe Figallily in ''NannyAndTheProfessor''.
* Winnie Goodwin from ''Series/FreeSpirit'', an American SitCom which has faded into obscurity, practiced witchcraft, unbeknownst to all mortals other than the children she cared for.
* ''TheNanny'': Fran Descher's character, who ended up marrying the father. She's able to connect with the kids in a way they'd been missing, and she specifically helps neurotic youngest child Grace.
* An episode of ''Series/AmazingStories'' had one of these from Jamaica who managed to be a MagicalNegro as well.
* ''Series/{{Supernanny}}'': TruthInTelevision: the appearance of a sensible Magical Nanny is the main premise of this RealityShow.
* Reality show ''Nanny 911''.
* ''MyWifeAndKids'' spoofs this in one episode with a ParodySue nanny (played by the always awesome Creator/BettyWhite) who evokes a mystified "Wow..." from everyone around her.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** Mentioned briefly in the episode "A Christmas Carol". Having gone back in time to try to change the life of a scrooge-character for the better by destroying his FreudianExcuse, he briefly claims to be his new baby sitter.
--->'''Doctor:''' Have you ever seen ''Film/MaryPoppins''?
--->'''Kazran:''' No.
--->'''Doctor:''' [[{{Dissimile}} Good, 'cause that comparison would have been rubbish]].
** Doctor becomes one in "The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe."
* ''Series/CharlesInCharge'' features a relatively rare example of a ''[[DistaffCounterpart male]]'' magical nanny.*
* The [[CharacterTitle title character]] in ''{{Jessie}}''.
* ''Series/{{Dexter}}'':
** Widowed Dexter hires Sonya in Season 5. She's a nurse and the only one together lady in line of TerribleIntervieweesMontage. Dexter never, ever has a problem getting his nanny to look after Harrison, no matter how unpredictable his schedule is. Sonya eventually has enough of it, though.
** Jamie in Season 6. She's still a student and says Dexter pays her very well. Dexter says she's perfect for Harrison. In season 7, Jamie tries to find a new girlfriend for her employer.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'': Von Pinn is a Type 2, at least according to the children in her care. She's also an ultraviolent battle-cyborg in a dominatrix dress.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Parodied in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' segment "The Sound of Warners". As annoying as she is, as [[KarmicTrickster Karmic Tricksters]] the Warners can't attack someone who hasn't hurt them first. So they pay [[ScrewySquirrel Slappy]] to get rid of her. After meeting her, Slappy returns to the kids and tells them that this one will be on the house. Although for her trouble, the nanny gets blown into the household of a family that'll appreciate her more than the Warners did.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' with the various reality show nannies trying to tame ''Cartman''. It ends badly for all of them until the Dog Whisperer comes and gets Cartman to shape up. Only after he fails to marry Mrs. Cartman do things become undone.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' has Shary Bobbins, an obvious parody, who comes, temporarily transforms the family, only to have them transform to their former unruly selves. She then leaves, not because she thinks her work is done, but because she realizes they're hopeless cases. The episode closes with her getting sucked into a jet engine as she flies away.
-->''"Don't think it sour grapes,\\
But you're all a bunch of apes,\\
And so I must be leaving yoooou!"''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'': Dr. Henry Killinger could be considered a Magical Nanny. He flies with a parasol and has a magic bag. A Magic Murder Bag, but a magic bag nonetheless.
* Invoked by Blastus in ''{{Robotomy}}'', with Blastus dressed as Mary Poppins and driving a motorcycle through Thrasher's house before jumping off as the motorcycle heads for the window. Unfortunately, this does nothing to help the kids behave.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SabrinaTheAnimatedSeries'' Uncle Quigley leaves the girls and tells them he's hired a nanny to look after them. They assume it'll be a Magical Nanny but it turns out she's a DrillSergeantNasty called Frau Strudel and they resort to magic to make her nicer. They go overboard and she turns into a parody of a Magical Nanny called Rainbow where she sells all their electronics to buy gongs and a Japanese sand garden, makes them eat grass and tree bark for dinner and tye-dyes the cat before abandoning all her clothes to become a "nature child."
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': Twilight Sparkle had Princess Cadance, WingedUnicorn and niece to [[GodEmperor Princess Celestia]], as her foalsitter. In fact, Twilight's fond memories of Cadance allow her to suspect that something is wrong when [[spoiler:the true Cadance gets kidnapped and replaced by an evil shapeshifter.]] The nanny in this case is literally magical and wields ThePowerOfLove.
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