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[[quoteright:384:[[ComicBook/XMen http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/f1b5e5a144ecb08d16ee747f0e2be27a.png]]]]
->'''The Doctor:''' She can start again. Live her life from scratch. If we take her home, give her to a different family, tell them to bring her up properly, she might be all right.\\
'''Captain Jack Harkness:''' Or she might be worse.\\
'''The Doctor:''' That's ''her'' choice.
-->-- ''Series/DoctorWho'', [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E11BoomTown "Boom Town"]]

Sometimes, a person's spirit is just too corrupted to redeem. Maybe he committed despicable acts, maybe he became one of TheHeartless, maybe he just had extraordinarily bad luck. Regardless, there's simply no hope of redemption.

So, what do you do? Turn him into a baby!

Turning someone into an infant - mind, body and all - will essentially [[ChildrenAreInnocent purify his/her spirit]], and allow him to start over. Typically, the transformation is soon followed by one of the heroes (or at least a good person) adopting the newly made infant, and presumably raising him ''right'' this time.

This can be undermined if the person who adopts him raises him to be evil, anyway, or it turns out to be InTheBlood after all, or if the age-reversal fails to erase the villain's memories, or if he chooses it, perhaps after being told of his past. Good parenting or bad, questions of how this outcome is morally any different from imposing a MindWipe on someone are seldom addressed.

If an evil ImmortalitySeeker is looking for the FountainOfYouth, expect this trope to kick in even if nobody else tries to do it to him, but because of his own greed: chugging way too much of the youth-juice or whatever.

See also FountainOfYouth, which is usually the cause of this. Compare TurnOutLikeHisFather. When this trope is used as a reward instead of a punishment (of sorts) it's AndYourRewardIsInfancy.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* As Kid Buu finally disintegrates into nothingness at the end of ''Manga/DragonBall Z'', Goku wishes for his soul to be reincarnated so he's a better person. Indeed, Buu is reincarnated as [[SdrawkcabName Uub]], a kindly and friendly boy from a poor village whom Goku meets again during the Tenkaichi Budokai. After a quick match to gauge Uub's powers, Goku takes him away and blows off the whole tournament, leaving on a years-long training mission to bring Uub up to speed.
** Played with in [[Anime/DragonBallZBattleOfGods Battle of Gods]]: The Pilaf Gang got their hands on the dragonballs and wished for youth, turning them into children. They're still evil and try to steal the dragonballs again, until they realize just how far the SortingAlgorithmOfEvil has left them behind. Meanwhile, Trunks introduces Mai as his girlfriend, and they seem to be hitting it off by the end of the movie.
* Saffron in the final chapter of ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf''. As a phoenix, Saffron should be expected to reset to an egg after his defeat, though.
* ''Franchise/SailorMoon'':
** Hotaru Tomoe, alias Sailor Saturn. This one falls under the "was just unlucky" Hotaru/Sailor Saturn wasn't evil, but had the power to destroy the world, and the entity that possessed her body - Mistress 9 - WAS evil. Without her evil father ([[Manga/SailorMoon manga]])[=/=]demon-possessed father ([[Anime/SailorMoon anime]]) being the one to bring her up she wouldn't have gotten possessed herself.
** In the anime, after Queen Nehellenia returns and got a sympathetic send-off, she was sent back to her home planet as an infant.
* Mayuka in ''TenchiMuyo: Daughter of Darkness''. She starts out as a {{Tykebomb}} created by the movie's villain, but is reverted to a fetus at the end. [[MadScientist Washu]] puts her in an artificial womb, with the whole cast intending to help raise her once she's born (again).
* [[spoiler:The oldest homunculus, Pride]] in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''. And unlike before, [[spoiler:he's actually aging properly this time.]]
* When Valgaav, the half-demon, half-dragon and 100% OmnicidalManiac from ''TheSlayers'' TRY is defeated, he is transformed to a dragon egg, which is entrusted to Filia to re-raise Valgaav as a good dragon.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' - This trope is almost what the Corinthian gets. However, he gets to start over an adult, physically.
** At the end of the spinoff {{Comicbook/Lucifer}}, Elaine turns Noema (the daughter of Jill Presto and the Basanos) into an ordinary child and returns her to Jill to be raised on Earth.
* {{Magneto}}, the famous ''ComicBook/XMen'' villain, [[http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_upF4Etvqv9Y/TTeH6zxyUeI/AAAAAAAAGkg/F6Yut5TvV2E/s1600/babies.jpg was changed]] from a mad world-conqueror into a more morally gray character this way, by his own creation, the "Ultimate Mutant". While he was later aged back to adulthood by a villain, complete with all his memories, his megalomania was now gone. We also have Cassandra Nova, in ''ComicBook/NewXMen''.
* Subverted in ''Uncanny ComicBook/XForce''. The team was on a mission to stop the revival of the villain Apocalypse or kill him if he returns. When they see he had returned as an infant, they didn't feel comfortable killing a child and decided to take him in a raise him to be good....All except team member Fantomex who decides to not take any chances and shoots and kills the kid Apocalypse anyway, to the horror of the others.
** Then it was DoubleSubverted... in a way. [[spoiler: Fantomex cloned Apocalypse and raised the clone in a virtual reality [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Smallville-like]] environment]].
* At the end of the OurWorldsAtWar crossover event in 2001, Lena Luthor--who'd been taken to the future and raised/warped into an evil cyborg by Brainiac 13--is reverted back into infancy, and one of the last scenes of the crossover is {{Superman}} giving her back to her father, LexLuthor, and begging Lex to [[RaiseHimRightThisTime Raise Her Right This Time]]. A few years later, after Lex goes goes insane, is kicked out of the Presidency, and goes on the run, Lena is put up for adoption to more fit parents. [[BrotherChuck She hasn't been seen or mentioned since.]]
* Following an arc in which he died in a case of RedemptionEqualsDeath, SelfDemonstrating/{{Loki}}, a longstanding villain in ''TheMightyThor'', is resurrected as a young boy and serves as a RedeemingReplacement of himself. The explanation is that Loki pulled his FaceHeelTurn as a teen, and his younger form [[AmnesiacDissonance only has memories from before that]], at which point [[UsedToBeASweetKid Loki was a nice kid who looked up to his big brother]].
** Partly subverted: Living in Asgardia, loathed by other gods for every mischief his past self used to deal with, being pressured by the All-Mother to act as some sort of secret agent and losing his only friend (and [[PuppyLove maybe more]]) just left him bitter and scarred earlier than it happened in its past life. Not enough to be a villain, but enough to [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds claim he'd be happy to see every single Asgardian, including his brother, burn for the hardship they put him into if that could give him back some childish happiness]].
** As of ''Comicbook/LokiAgentOfAsgard'' totally subverted. The All-Mother (one of them his own ''adoptive mother'') said it in his face that they would rather see him back to his evil ways, than to allow him to change and risk Asgardia's comfortable and predictable future. [[spoiler:For their fortune/misfortune, Loki already screwed over and killed his kid self by that point, which he [[MyGreatestFailure regretted a whole lot]]. What does it tell us, when the ''[[GodOfEvil God of Mischief and Evil]]'' has more empathy with poor kid, than his own parents?]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' MetaCrossover Fandom Wars, this happens essentially to the [[spoiler:human race]] as a whole after the war. This was 1. to prevent the Fandom Wars from ever happening again and 2. to prevent the [[spoiler:humans]] from living in total regret and resentment over their loss and to be assimilated more easily. [[spoiler:Director Yozu]] is reborn as [[spoiler:Pio and Zoey's son a few years after the main storyline]], to serve as an example for the audience.
* In the story ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3119367/1/When-Jutsu-Go-Wrong When Jutsu Go Wrong]]'', this happens to Orochimaru when, during a battle, he does hand symbols wrong and is turned into a baby. He is raised by his less-than-thrilled former student Anko who has Iruka help her out, and naturally HilarityEnsues as the village thinks he's their baby. It only gets worse for her as his first word just so happens to be Mommy. Sadly the story hasn't been updated in four years so who knows how the plot was going to fold out.
* Another ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfic, a ''Series/DoctorWho'' crossover called ''Fanfic/TimeLordsAndTerror'', mixes this a bit with AndYourRewardIsInfancy as this is the fate of the only one of the villains to show any qualms about what they were doing, acting primarily out of loyalty to her mother.
* The ending of Fanfic/ADifferentLesson implies that [[spoiler: [[BigBad Heian Chao]] will one day be reincarnated and given a second chance]].
* Played with in the ''FanFic/PonyPOVSeries'' in regards to [[BadFuture Dark World]] [[DaddysLittleVillain Fluttercruel]]. After having a VillainousBreakdown and partial HeelRealization, the Elements of Harmony manage to banish her spirit (reduced to a mentally broken foal) to the spirit world, where Fluttershy [[spoiler: (now the Alicorn [[TarotMotifs Queen of Cups]])]] decides to raise her properly and teach her to use her powers for the benefit of others. [[spoiler: Then the other Alicorns decide she hasn't been punished enough for her crimes, and she's sentenced to be sent back in time and [[IronicHell live as one of her own victims]] with [[AmnesiacDissonance no memory of her past existence]]; after eventually dying again, the horror she experienced finalizes her HeelFaceTurn.]]
* PlayedWith in ''Fanfic/IfThemsTheRules'' as [[PeggySue Harry goes back in time]] to invoke this trope with Tom Riddle, who's already showing sociopathic tendencies. The results are mixed as Tom cares for [[MoralityChain Harry enough to resist his darker urges]], but on the other hand he simply plans to make [[DontTellMama sure that Harry never finds out.]]
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' fanfic ''FanFic/InsontisII'', a very downplayed example occurs. Kirk doesn't avoid the Vulcan training Spock went through the first time, but he hopes that, by being more accepting of Spock's humanity, he'll feel more relaxed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''SkyHigh'' - [[spoiler: Royal Pain was regressed to a baby by her own Pacifier device, then raised by her henchman to be evil again. Royal Pain intended to do this with ''all'' the heroes, raising them to be villains under her command.]]
* At the end of the first segment of ''MerlinsShopOfMysticalWonders'', which was mocked in ''MysteryScienceTheater3000'', Jonathan, the {{Jerkass}} StrawCritic, drinks a potion created using Merlin's tome that turns him into a baby. He is then implicitly raised by...his wife, who had previously been having a [[LawOfInverseFertility hard time getting pregnant]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* This happened to the villain of ''The Princess Pawn'', at the end of the book.
* In the [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Q novel]] ''Q-Squared'', Trelane is destroyed at the end of the novel, but his essence survives and Q can begin raising him again.
** It should be noted that the evil Trelane in the novel is not the same one from the show. The one from the show was just an immature child who gets better under Q's tutelage in the novel. The evil one is from an alternate universe who absorbs the normal universe's Trelane and takes his place.
* In ''AHeroBorn'' the hero offers to let the villain do this to him [[spoiler: again]] should the latter win a game of chess.
* In ''Literature/HalfWorld'', the BigBad is transformed into a harmless baby, and the heroine decides to raise him properly this time.
* In the ''Doctor Who'' novel ''The Resurrection Casket'', the titular object turns out to have this effect and is used on one of the book's {{Big Bad}}s. It's also revealed that it was used previously to turn the dreaded SpacePirate Hamlek Glint into [[spoiler:young Jimm]] raised by [[spoiler:Glint's cabin boy to be a better man]].
* At the end of ''Literature/{{Genome}}'' by Creator/SergeyLukyanenko Kim buys the body of the villain whose personality has been erased and promises to do this. Subverted, though, she just needs a body and an identity for her boyfriend [[BrainUploading hiding in a "gel crystal" computer]].
* A ChooseYourOwnAdventure book starring Superman has this as a possible ending. Lex Luthor sends Superman to retrieve an alien SuperSerum and Superman gets the option to either tell the right dosage or wrong dosage to Luthor. If you chose the wrong dosage, Luthor ends up turning into a baby.
* In ''Literature/TheCandyShopWar,'' the main villain is hunting for a FountainOfYouth which will allow them to become young again, because magic works better on the young, but most magicians, being old, [[NoSelfBuffs cannot use it on themselves.]] [[spoiler: She also gives the main characters a tablet that causes LaserGuidedAmnesia, intending for them to use it on her main enemy. Instead, the main characters keep it, and drop it into the FountainOfYouth so that when she becomes young, she also loses her memory. She then gets adopted by said enemy and raised properly.]] The "fixed" villain becomes one of the main characters in the sequel.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** This happens to [[spoiler:Blon Fel-Fotch Pasameer-Day Slitheen ("Margaret")]] in the episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E11BoomTown "Boom Town"]].
** In the draft of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E12TheStolenEarth "The Stolen Earth"]], the Doctor and Donna encounter her as a toddler at the Shadow Proclamation.
** The bit about "raising him right this time" explicitly stated in the classic series' story [[Recap/DoctorWhoS18E1TheLeisureHive "The Leisure Hive"]].
* Dr. Forrester of ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' is turned into a baby (a la ''TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'') in his last appearance on the show. Subverted in that his mother Pearl initially promises to raise him right, but it's revealed later that he turned out just as bad as before. So she killed him.
* In one episode of ''TheFantasticJourney,'' a murderer steals an object that has the power to warp matter, create food and other such things from a peaceful community. The orb reacts to him and regresses him into an infant. The community scoop him up and promise to raise him well; his life will replace the one he took.
* In an episode of ''Series/WeirdScience'', Chett is turned into a kid again, and then regrows into an adult at accelerated speed. Replacing his military school upbringing with a few days of kindness and love from his "older" brother turns him into a big softie.
* Isabelle in ''Series/TheFortyFourHundred'' went from being a baby to a young adult almost instantaneously, and as a result of this and her incredible power became quite mentally unstable. Her father Richard finds a way to make her a baby again, hoping she'll turn out right if she's given a more normal childhood. Shortly thereafter, [[spoiler: Isabelle's dead mother Lily appears in a vision to Richard and convinces him to change Isabelle back.]]
* Functionally done in ''Series/{{Angel}}'' when Angel makes a deal with Wolfram and Hart to rewrite Connor's past to be brought up by {{Muggle}}s rather than by an obsessed vampire hunter, in a hell dimension.
* In season 10 of ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', Tess Mercer tries to raise a clone of Lex Luthor to be a better man than the original.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Oral Tradition]]
* The Korean folktale ''The Magic Spring'' is about a FountainOfYouth and two old men: one kind and one greedy. The kind old man takes a single sip from the spring and ends up as a young man; his greedy neighbor drinks as much as he can swallow and ends up as a baby. Just to wrap things up neatly, the kind old man and his wife always wanted a child...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' - Serge is purified in this way about two-thirds of the way through, though he rapidly ages back to normal afterward.
* ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVIIThePrincelessBride'' ends with Malicia being turned into a baby, to be raised again properly.
* [[spoiler: Prince Cort]], at the end of ''VideoGame/LegendOfLegaia''. He is promptly adopted [[spoiler: by his long-lost younger sister Noa.]]
* One of the minor villains was redeemed in this way by Luna in ''VideoGame/SeikenDensetsu3''.
* [[spoiler:Wander]] from ''ShadowOfTheColossus'', during [[spoiler:the final cutscene]]. This is more ambiguous that most examples, given [[spoiler:Wander's uncertain status as protagonist]]. Given that he had just been [[spoiler:possessed by the morally dubious divine entity who served as his master and guide throughout the story, and his reincarnation as a baby largely purifies him of its essence, Wander at least undergoes redemption through dissociation]].
* Borf, at the end of ''VideoGame/SpaceAce''.
* Inverted in ''{{Terranigma}}'' in which [[spoiler:the villains do this to Ark once [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness he's outlived his usefulness]]. However, upon gaining maturity again, he is 'reborn' as the hero destined to defeat Dark Gaia and complete another revolution of the cycle.]]
* This happens ''twice'' to Alessa in ''SilentHill'', who is reborn as Cheryl and [[spoiler:[[SilentHill3 Heather]]]]
* Done in a fashion in ''NiNoKuni.'' [[spoiler: Shadar had a nasty habit of severing his connection to his soulmates, so Alicia decided to give him a soulmate in a place he couldn't touch--the future. She captured the soul of his most recently-departed soulmate, impregnated herself with it, and then [[FlingALightIntoTheFuture flung herself into the future.]] By raising Shadar's soulmate right, she could influence him when he neared her time.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* In ''TheDragonDoctors'', a team of thieves tries to steal a drum full of rejuvenating fluid. Goro, the soldier surgeon, cracks open the drum with a booby trap and one of the thieves is exposed to a massive, incurable overdose of the fluid, turning her into a confused infant. The last we see of her she's being handed to someone in Pediatric Care and being reassured that she'll be well-taken-care-of.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Discussed in a couple of WebVideo/{{Vlogbrothers}} videos. The idea is that, when time travel is discovered, time travelers should abduct evil dictators and the like when they're infants and put them in an "Evil Baby Orphanage" where they could be raised to be good people.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the 2003 ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|2003}}'' cartoon, the Daimyo's son is deaged for this purpose, although he's only turned back to a young child and not an infant.
* In ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'', an [[CorruptCorporateExecutive evil TV exec]] is hit by his own de-aging ray, at which point two of his cronies reveal themselves to be his parents and remark that "maybe this time we can raise him not to be evil". Bizarrely, he ''already'' looked like a baby, so his appearance did not change.
* Daolon Wong, the BigBad of Season 3 of ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' actually did this once to Valmont, the BigBad of Season 1, though it was meant as a cruel joke after the only way Valmont could think of threatening an EvilSorcerer was "Because I'm bigger than you!" Kid-Valmont spends the episode demanding the heroes change him back. They do...and promptly hand him over to Captain Black, at which point Valmont realises the missed opportunity. Then again, as Valmont retained his memories and it was previously revealed in a time travel episode he was already that evil back when he was as young as Wong made him, he wouldn't have changed a lot.
* ''WesternAnimation/ConanTheAdventurer'' In episode 23, The episode's villain is a sorcerer who steals youth from others for a magic perfume. He manages to steal Conan's and Greywolf's youth, but they get it back. While fleeing the heroes, he runs into a room, knocks over some bottles and gets doused in potions which regresses him into a baby. Greywolf takes the baby with them at the end of the episode, stating he has been given a second chance and may not become evil this time. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpKLoMWxErI&feature=player_detailpage#t=293s As seen here.]]
* Happened in the comic book adaptations of ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' after the TV episode "How Long Is Forever", where they defeated a time-traveling villain named Warp by damaging his vortex generator which regressed him to the age of an infant. In an alternate timeline, (in the [[ComicBook/TeenTitansGo tie-in comics series]]) they attempted to raise Warp so he would become a good member of society. Unfortunately, his obsession with time made this a case of InTheBlood as he quickly became corrupt and evil again, even brainwashing Robin to join his side and attack Starfire from her timeline.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'': A criminal had his thugs abduct Fred and Barney because they mistook Barney for [[IdenticalStranger a scientist]] whose formula the criminal was after. The Great Gazoo turns the bad guys into babies for the trope's sake.
* A ''WesternAnimation/{{Thundercats}}'' villain named Malcor was brought back from the dead. He was old and was transported to a mystical place where he would grow younger. However, due to intervention from the Thundercats he stayed too long and was turned into a baby. He was then given to a loving couple specifically invoking this trope.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', this seems to be what will happen to [[spoiler:The Lich]]. [[spoiler:Finn takes advantage of ReviveKillsZombie to turn him into a giant baby, then [[DoorstopBaby leaves him with Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig]] for them to raise.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The RealLife religious doctrine of reincarnation is based on the idea that the universe gives you a second chance to live a good life. A few even have a way to get it to ''stop'' doing this as their goal.
* The literal implication behind calling a young person an "old soul" is that they have undergone this. In practice, the term is more of a euphemism for "young person too dumb to recognize when they're being patronized," though.
[[/folder]]

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