Parenting is a hard job. Worrying about schools, clothes, when it's time to have "The Talk
", and worst of all, worrying if your child will get sick or hurt.
Sometimes, TV parents will go a little
too far in preventing this. The kid sprained his knee? He is wearing a full BDU and has a leash. The kid gets ill? From now on, he is in a plastic bubble.
are a quick source of comedy in any series surrounding children. Depending on the perspective, it could be a Knight Templar Parent
situation, or just a one-shot gag which is never referenced again
. Sometimes the parent may get over it after the child, another parent, or a close friend gives them an Anti-Smother Love Talk
. Other times...perhaps not.
Some shows will just skip the parent aspect and focus on the child's overreaction which will lead to an Aesop
about confronting your fears.
See Also: Post Robbery Trauma
, Knight Templar Parent
. Can cross over with A Lesson Learned Too Well
- Many 1950's Superman stories had imaginary weddings to Lois. Often Lois would be stuck in a bubble, or in his Fortress of Solitude, or even on another planet entirely. All to keep her safe from the mob of people who would surely use her as a hostage. (Never mind the mobs of people who were using her as a hostage anyway.)
- In PS238, Tyler attempts to invoke this trope on himself during his first training session with Badass Normal The Revenant - he picks out so much safety gear that he couldn't practically move at all, because he didn't want to go out on a superhero patrol. The Revenant catches on and makes him take off the more superfluous bits.
- The film Bubble Boy... Yeah you can probably see where this is going. Lived in a plastic bubble with tubes around the house so he could get around. Eventually went on a cross country journey wearing a mobile bubble suit. The kid didn't have an immune system and would, in fact, die if taken out of the bubble. Although, his mom was lying to him; he wouldn't die, he had a perfect immune system by the time he's an adult, his mother just can't stand to be separated from him.
- Roland's mom in Gym Teacher: The Movie.
- A Christmas Story: Ralphie's mom overdresses his little brother to the point that he can't move his arms, just to protect him from catching a cold.
- In A Mighty Wind, Jonathan Steinbloom says (and shows in a photo) that his mother made him wear a football helmet for chess. In adulthood, he is the most safety-conscious character around.
- In Jack Williamson's novelette "With Folded Hands" a new kind of robots made in order "to serve and obey and guard men from harm" took the definition of "harm" to such extremes that they wouldn't let the main character's children have an archery set because they might put an eye out with an arrow or something, and they took away his wife's tragic novels and chocolates so she wouldn't become depressed or obese. Eventually there were so many things which qualified as "harm" to some extent that pretty much all they could do was sit with folded hands. (Especially when expressing discontent was a quick trip to a futuristic lobotomy and the inability to feel any emotion other than a dopey sort of artificial "happiness.")
- Scrubs had an episode in which Jordan frets over Dr. Cox allowing their son on a dangerous climbing frame, and the last scene showed him in so much safety gear he couldn't move, even if he wanted down. Meanwhile, Cox himself was horrified that Jordan allowed the kid to be held by other people, all of whom were, of course, covered in germs. Both, however, were justified in their concerns. The boy is far too young for Cox to let him play high up by himself, and Jordan was passing him around at the hospital—where the risk of someone having a disease is increased by eleven-twelve percent.
- Yes, Dear, to the point where one episode had An Aesop about it.
- A storyline from Sesame Street involved Telly breaking his arm after playing tag. Following his recovery he wraps himself up in pillows in order to protect himself, only to realize that this means he can't move and must remove it have fun. Cue the Aesop.
- In a 2002 episode Baby Bear hurts his nose when playing with Telly, and Telly become worried that they cannot play anymore without it happening again, even by doing something as simnple and harmless as singing the Alphabet.
- Freddie's mom in iCarly. Won't let him hold hammers or other tools, or allow him to go fencing with Spencer, and has a giant first aid "kit". He's also forced to take constant tick baths despite not having ticks. He even has special underwear as well.
- In Upper Middle Bogan, Margaret was this kind of parent to her adopted daughter Bess. Her biological mother Julie tries to call her out on it, but Margaret argues that the woman who gave her away has no right to judge her.
- Spongebob Squarepants, "Safety Freak": After getting a "broken butt" after a sandboarding wipeout, Spongebob takes a doctor's orders to be more careful too far and becomes a shut-in.
- The Simpsons has an episode where Homer became so obsessed with child-proofing that everything on the playground it covered in bubble-wrap, and he then regrets it when he learns that children not being injured means Doctors make less money and child injury greeting card factories close down.
- Codename: Kids Next Door parodies this by taking it to ridiculous extremes (even for this trope) in its aptly-named episode S.A.F.E.T.Y. with a safety patrol made of Kaiju-sized robots. And if you're thinking that said robots aren't exactly the safest things to be keeping around kids either... well, the episode takes a look into that too.
- Class of 3000: "Safety Last" shows Eddie's parents locking him in a tower in order to protect him.
- An episode of Aladdin: The Series shows the Genie sheltering Al in a bubble for protection in this manner.
- Ron discovers how dangerous pseudo-spy work is in Kim Possible, and locks himself away in a panic room. He comes out when he discovers that Kim is in danger because she went up against Drakken, Shego, and a group of henchmen who had been built up to be far more effective than previously using corporate team building exercises, with Wade, their usual Mission Control, and next to useless in a real fight.
- Tuck is almost hit by a car in My Life As a Teenage Robot, and shuts himself away from the outside world. Jenny tries to reassure him of his safety by showing him at a ripe old age through the "Future Scope", which leads him to believe he will live to old age no matter what, and spends the rest of the episode performing a number of life threatening stunts. He forgets that even if he lives he still could get badly damaged.
- Darkwing Duck: In one episode, Gosalyn visits an Bad Future in which she seemed to disappear from the time travel and Darkwing became Darkwarrior Duck. When he finds her, he intends to turn her into a sidekick, complete with thick, thick armor. The problem? "Dad, I can't move."
- In Hey Arnold!, Sid becomes so freaked out by a Germ video he goes as far as to plastic wrap his entire room and only leave in a full body diving suit.
- In an episode of Almost Naked Animals, Octo becomes overly concerned for his co-workers' safety, but his solutions end up causing more harm than good.
- Oscar's parents in Squirrel Boy. Weirdly, they don't seem to have the same concerns regarding their daughter.
- In the South Park episode "Broadway Bro Down," Larry is a little boy with very overprotective parents; his parents always have him wearing a life vest to prevent drowning. During the episode, Shelly convinces him that he doesn't need to wear the vest all the time. Larry drowns at the end of the episode, and the news reporter comments that he might have survived if he was wearing a life vest.
- Bummer's fear of a law suit causes him to go overboard in ensuring the guests' safety in the Stoked! episode "Safety Last".
- King of the Hill - when Hank finds out his check to the insurance company hadn't got delivered he became a hyper-cautious shut-in...just when Bill and Boomhauer started playing with a turkey fryer and Dale started buying bees in bulk.
- CatDog: Cat wants Dog to be more careful (he has nine lives but Dog only has one), so he shows Dog a video about safety. Dog becomes so scared he goes too far in keeping safe (up to wearing a bubble when he goes outside) and Cat has to get him back to his old self.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Somepony to Watch Over Me", Applejack becomes overprotective of Apple Bloom, and drives her little sister crazy child-proofing Sweet Apple Acres and constantly hovering over her.
- In an episode of The Amazing World of Gumball, "The Safety", Darwin becomes overprotective of the Wattersons and he goes as far as to seize control of Elmore, just because Mr. Small showed a PSA to his class about how everything's dangerous and you're one step from dying.
- Franklin plays this straight twice and subverts it once. In "Franklin and the Fire," Franklin becomes worried about fire after a fire at the general store run by Mr. Mole and tries to remove anything from the house that he thinks could be a fire hazard, including candles and a toaster. His parents help him by having a fire drill. In another story, "Mother Hen Franklin," Franklin becomes over-protective of his little sister, Harriet, after she gets hurt in an accident, covering her toys in soft foam and refusing to let her ride at more than a snail's pace on her bicycle. In this case, his mother helps him by reminding him of times such as when he got a little scrape playing hockey, but she comforted him and let him keep trying. "Franklin Plays it Safe" is the subversion. In this one, Franklin and his friend Bear start becoming militant about safety after Mr. Marmot, the village safety inspector, tell them that it's "better to be safe than sorry." When one of the branches supporting their tree-fort develops a crack, they worry that it might be unsafe and try to keep their friends from playing in it. Franklin even has a nightmare of it blowing down, with everyone inside. Everyone eventually gets tired of Franklin and Bear telling them what to do and they head off to play in the tree-fort, only for it blow down just as Franklin imagined, but thankfully without anyone in it. Everyone is immediately apologetic to Franklin and Bear and the tree-fort is rebuilt with adult help.
- On Goldie & Bear, when the King's Men arrive in Fairytale Forest, they deem everything they spot dangerous and make a huge list of rules that prevent everyone from doing pretty much everything, including no reading, no swimming in the water, no sitting on walls, etc. Finally, Goldie gets so fed up with it that she decides to do a bit of Loophole Abuse by figuring out a way to have everyone swim in the sky because there was no rule specifically saying that they couldn't do that. After ending up having to be rescued while trying to keep the Three Little Pigs from doing something supposedly unsafe, they come to realize they went overboard and amend the rules to say that the residents of Fairytale Forest can do all of the things that were banned before, so long as they make sure to be careful.
- The real-life case of David Vetter, who had a disease known as Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, or just Bubble Boy Syndrome. He had no immune system whatsoever, as did some of his siblings - his older brother, who had the disease, had died in infancy, and so he was born in a sterile room by cesarean section and put in a bubble while they waited for a cure to be found for him. When he was twelve, doctors tried a bone-marrow transplant to cure his illness, only to have him die after a few weeks from infection brought on by it.