This entry is trivia, which is cool and all, but not a trope. On a work, it goes on the Trivia tab.

So My Kids Can Watch

"A lot of the voice actors in this one have said things to me like, 'Finally, a show I can show my family!'"
Director's DVD Commentary for the Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer dub

An actor well known for playing characters in adult rated works decides to act in a all-ages work that they can show to their own children.

This often overlaps with Parental Bonus. Kind of contrasts with Old Shame, only most of their work becomes an Old Shame (which might apply to someone who consciously stops doing a particular type of production for good and downplays or tries to ignore what they did before). Frequently overlaps with Bleached Underpants.

Rated G For Gangsta may be a subtrope if the performer decides to focus their career on family-friendly fare rather than the work that made them famous.

For some reason, this often gets conflated with Money, Dear Boy, despite the fact that children are in no part of the definition. While an actor might do a children show because it pays well, it's only this trope if the actor's motivation is explicitly based on producing a work that can be enjoyed by children (usually their own). As such, Awesome, Dear Boy often has more to do with it. Can be the justification of WTH, Casting Agency?.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Manga author Kia Asamiya made the shonen manga Steam Detectives for his son, and the Magical Girl Corrector Yui for his daughter.
  • As mentioned in the page quote above, the anime adaptation of CLAMP's Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer allowed many of its actors to be able to show their work to their children, due to the show's lighthearted, childlike atmosphere being a significantly different direction from most of their roles in adult-oriented animation.
  • On the DVD Commentary for Princess Mononoke, Billy Bob Thornton said that he wanted to do something his kids could watch, although some wouldn't call Mononoke a kid's movie. In an interview Thornton later admitted that this move had backfired, calling Mononoke one of the "most violent things I'd ever seen."
  • Azusa Sato played the role of Fuwari Midorikaze in PriPara because her two-year-old niece was a huge fan of the series.
  • In-universe example in Dragon Ball Super when Gohan offers to replace a stunt double who's about to film a very dangerous shot. The primary reason he's doing it is becuase he's Made of Iron where the actor isn't, but the other reason (and the one he gives to the Muggle director and crew) is that he wants his infant daughter Pan to be able to watch her daddy in a professional movie one day.

    Comic Books 
  • Phil and Kaja Foglio, of Girl Genius fame, have said that XXXenophile will probably be on hiatus until at least after their kids grow up.
  • In one of the most jaw-dropping examples of all time, Garth Ennis published erf, a kids' comic about cute prehistoric animals.


  • Stephen King set aside his usual horror stories to write The Eyes of the Dragon, explicitly so that his young daughter could enjoy a book he wrote.
  • Ian Fleming, sensing the end of his life approaching after suffering a heart attack, took a break from writing his hardboiled and adults-only James Bond novels to write the children's book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for his 11-year-old son. He died on his son's 12th birthday, and before the book was published; it was later adapted into a musical film.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • John Simm, whilst noted and having achieved critical acclaim for his serious dramatic work, accepted his role as Doctor Who baddie the Master in order to impress his son. There's also a suspicion that he rather enjoyed the chance to ham it up in the process. This is a recurring theme for many British thespians who have appeared on the show, many (almost ruefully) noting that whilst they may be up there with the great Hamlets of the age, their appearance on Doctor Who is the only role their kids are interested in.
      • Simm's episodes were so filled with scares that he (reputedly) ended up forbidding his son from watching. His son likely got some idea of what happened in the episodes, given he got a lot of attention from his schoolmates because his dad was the Master.
    • Similarly, whilst not actually having children himself, Christopher Eccleston accepted the role of the Ninth Doctor in the new series partly because he wanted a chance to spread his wings and do something light-hearted and fun that kids could watch after being known for his largely dark, brooding roles. Even then, his Doctor was pretty much the darkest and broodingest one yet. He went on record saying what touched him the most was the responses he got from children who watched him.
    • In a kind of related example, many of the actors appearing in the new series also come on the show because they used to religiously watch the show as kids and the chance to fulfill an old childhood ambition was just too good to pass up. Most notably, David Tennant — the Tenth Doctor — has publicly remarked that the entire reason he got into acting was so that he could one day play the Doctor.
      • When Tennant appeared on Top Gear as Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, Clarkson asked if it really was true that David went into acting because as a child he wanted to be the Doctor, Tennant simply answered by asking, "Didn't everyone?" To which the audience erupted in loud cheering, naturally.
      • If Andy Bigstar wasn't a fan when he grew up, then his kid is now. It's kind of a win-win for the producers.
    • Emmy-winning writer Richard Curtis admitted that he wrote the episode "Vincent and the Doctor" for this exact reason.
    • Ben Browder signed on for "A Town Called Mercy" in part because his kids watched the show.
    • Example with a less famous actor in the classic series: Mary Peach appeared in "The Enemy of the World" because her kids wouldn't believe she was a real actress until she'd been on Doctor Who. Another actor in a Hartnell/Troughton-era story said pretty much the same thing.
    • This goes as far back as the original series. William Hartnell, the First Doctor, took the part so his Grandkids could watch and because he wanted to get away from his typecasting as military types.
    • Ben Wheatley directed two episodes for the 2014 season because his son's a fan and he wanted to make something his son could see.
    • Peter Capaldi might not have taken the role of the Doctor because of his trope (his daughter being a bit too old for it to apply), but it did allow him to appear in something family-friendly after a career best known for edgy productions such as the F-bomb-filled The Thick of It. Since becoming the Doctor, Capaldi has generally stuck to appearing in family-friendly fare when not filming the show, such as Paddington and its sequel.
    • Although it may not have been intended, British actress Charity Wakefield created this scenario over a one-month period between December 2016 and January 2017 when she acted in two adults-only miniseries engaging in nude sex scenes in Close To The Enemy and The Halcyon, but exactly midway between those broadcasts she took a guest-starring role in the decidedly family-friendly 2016 Doctor Who Christmas special. Her co-star in the special, Justin Chatwin, has a similar adults-only history, being best known for co-starring in the raunchy US cable series Shameless (US).
  • Fred Astaire proactively asked for a guest appearance on the original Battlestar Galactica TV series for this very reason.
  • Larry David guest-starred in an episode of Hannah Montana along with his daughters, because they're fans of the show.
  • Jackie Earle Haley—whose recent roles have included a pedophile in Little Children, Rorschach in Watchmen, and Freddy Krueger in the rebooted A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)—has said that he enjoys his role on Human Target because it's something his daughter can watch. He later returned to more adult roles such as playing the villain Ruvik in the M-rated horror video game The Evil Within.
  • Real headline: "Cindy Crawford: ‘Wizards of Waverly Place Made Me Famous With My Kids’".
  • Frank Langella appeared in the opening three parter of season 2 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine because his kids were fans. Indeed, he even asked to be uncredited so people wouldn't think he was doing it for money.
    • He also played Skeletor in the live-action He-Man film for this reason. Of course, that was for more than just his kids. Langella has often identified Skeletor as his favorite role he's ever played, relishing the unique opportunities it offered.
  • Jon Stewart laments on The Daily Show about trying to get on his kids' favorite TV show. Because the negotiations often take months, the kids aren't interested in the show anymore by the time he makes a guest appearance.
  • Jason David Frank claimed that one of the reasons he returned in Power Rangers Dino Thunder was so that his still not-yet-born daughter could watch him later.
  • Joshua Malina took a guest role on iCarly, including a bikini dog food fight, for this reason.
    • May have been the reason for Jane Lynch's appearance as Pam Puckett, Sam's mom.
      • Jane Lynch's reason was sweeter and more awesome at the same time. In her wedding vows, she promised her partner to try and get tickets for the show for their kids. The show doesn't have a studio audience, so tickets were an impossibility. However, when the producer heard that, he was so flattered he decided to find a role for her so she could bring them. Up until that point, he had never planned to show Sam's mom on-screen, because he could never find an actress good enough. But when he thought about it, he realized Jane Lynch would be perfect for the role, and wrote the episode for her.
  • Otto Preminger played Mr. Freeze in one episode of Batman for the sake of his six-year-old twins.
    • This is also the reason why Eli Wallach chose to play Mr. Freeze in the same series.
  • Inverted with Sota Fukushi, lead actor of Kamen Rider Fourze: He got the role to please family members who are fans of the Kamen Rider franchise... those family members being in fact his parents.
    • Anna Tsuchiya, who performs the series' theme song, plays it straight — her sons are big Kamen Rider fans, and so she decided 'why not?' and signed on.
  • Though it isn't a kids show, Danny DeVito asked if he could have a part on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia because his kids liked the show.
  • Joan Collins' story at the Star Trek 30th Anniversary of how she got the part in "The City on the Edge of Forever":
    In 1967, when my two children finally entered school, I decided I wanted to go back to acting, and soon afterwards, my agent Tom Corman called to say I'd been offered a great part in a Star Trek episode.
    "Star what?" I said?
    "It's a huge new cult show." said Tom. "Obviously you haven't been reading the trades."
    "No, I've been too busy reading Mother and Child Care by Doctor Spock."
    "Forget Doctor Spock", he said, "Start thinking Mister Spock."
    "Ah, yes!" I said. "Mister Spock, the one the ears? The children love that show!"
    "Right, then you'd better do it. You'll probably be queen of the universe, possess intergalactic powers, wear tight, revealing costumes. Trust me, I'm your agent."
    A week later I was cast as Edith Keeler, a saintly Earthling, who works as a social worker in a 1930s mission for down-and-out bums in New York's Bowery. Thanks, Tom.
  • Even before HBO took over production, Sesame Street often saw actors from decidedly adults-only productions appear in cameos while said shows were still on the air. Examples include Peter Dinklage of Game of Thrones and Emmy Rossum of Shameless (US). Doubles as Parental Bonus since only parents would likely recognize these people and register why they're popular enough to appear on Sesame Street.
  • Todd Haberkorn took a cameo role in a Barney home video the year after his son was born.

  • They Might Be Giants released four albums of children's music (three of which are educational) after becoming known for their adult-focused work. Not surprisingly, their adult fans enjoy them too, to the point where kid song "No!" ended up on their "Best Of"-style Dial-A-Song compliations.
  • Akon stated Michael Jackson's cancelled "This Is It" tour was partially made for his kids to finally see dad performing on stage.
  • Allegedly, Courtney Love walked into the recording studio and said that she wanted to write a song that she could sing to her daughter. This is Kurt Cobain's wife, with similar musical aesthetics. What came out of the recording session was the delightfully candy-coated "Heaven Tonight".
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote the musical Starlight Express with his two kids in mind.
  • MC Chris has released one album "Marshmallow Playground", specifically so he can share some of his music with his niece and nephews.
  • Ozzy Osbourne decided to play a guest role as a "rock and roll fish" in Bubble Guppies because his granddaughter Pearl (daughter of Jack Osbourne) is always watching Nick Jr.. In his own words:
    "I can't wait to see her reaction when she hears my voice come from Sid Fishy's mouth."
  • Will Smith stated this was why he always has clean lyrics in his music.
  • The exact reason why Bobby Womack came out of retirement to sing on Stylo by Gorillaz (his daughter specifically nudged him to work with Albarn). The song revitalized public interest in Womack, leading to his first album in 18 years.
  • Mads Mikkelsen initially didn't know who Rihanna was, but agreed to appear as the villain in the music video for "Bitch Better Have My Money" because his kids are huge fans.


    Professional Wrestling 
  • A variant: Shawn Michaels apparently did the SummerSlam 2002 Street Fight match with Triple H in order to show his son (who was 2 at the time) what his dad used to do before he was born (up to that point Shawn had been retired from ring action due to a serious back injury suffered at the 1998 Royal Rumble). You can see him wave into the camera as he enters the ring, presumably to his son who was watching from home. It was intended to be a one-off but afterwards he found his back was able to handle the rigors of wrestling once more and continued his career all the way up to 2010's WrestleMania XXVI.
  • The reason for Goldberg's 2016 return is so his wife and son could watch him.

  • A particularly tragic example occurred when comedian Lou Costello, of Abbott and Costello fame, lost his son, Lou Jr., to an accidental drowning in the family pool. The evening of the death was going to be the first time Lou Jr. would be allowed to stay up and listen to his father's radio show. Instead of cancelling the show, Lou insisted The Show Must Go On, saying "Wherever he is tonight, I want him to hear me."

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • This is why Key/Visual Arts made CLANNAD an all-ages VN, contrasted with the eroge the company was previously known for.

    Web Original 
  • In Tobuscus' earlier YouTube videos, he was unkempt, frequently unshaven, and inclined to profanity; clearly going for a "bad boy" vibe. Since 2010, however, he has become almost entirely comedic, never swears, and is otherwise squeaky clean, save for his habitually tousled hair. Not coincidentally, this is about the time when his teenage niece, Ciara, started appearing in his videos.
  • Brentalfloss records G-rated versions of his "Video game songs With Lyrics" albums so that his nephews can listen to his work. These albums have become popular with fans as well because they use more wordplay/unexpected humor than his regular songs.

    Western Animation 
  • Several of the actors in Superman: Doomsday participated for this reason, even though it's not exactly kid friendly, being an adaptation of The Death of Superman (name says it all).
  • This could be considered to be the main career goal of Simon Pegg now. After his daughter, Matilda (born 2009) was born, he did stuff like Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Adventures of Tintin. The latter also starred his comedy partner (and best friend) Nick Frost, who might also be doing this now, as the release dates of Ice Age: Continental Drift and The Adventures of Tintin coincided with the birth of his son. In the case of Ice Age both Pegg and Frost also count as Promoted Fanboy, as they were fans of the previous movies before being in the third and fourth films respectively. The Promoted Fanboy thing also counts for Queen Latifah and Josh Peck, as well, since they were fans of the Original before getting cast in the sequel. (Pegg has also carried this over into live-action work as he's now most widely known now for playing Scotty in the recent Star Trek films.)
    • Ray Romano also claimed that he took the role in the first Ice Age movie because his children were too young to understand his other work at the time.
      • Ray has also said he liked having the first movie to use as a threat towards them as well, as in, "We won't go to the premiere if you don't behave."
      • Interestingly enough, his kids provided voices in the the Meltdown sequel.
    • Denis Leary also has admitted in many interviews that he only does the Ice Age franchise in general to do something his nephews and nieces could watch with him in it. He even said "my nieces and nephews think the only thing I do is Ice Age."
    • J.Lo also said she was happy to be in something her kids could watch while promoting Ice Age: Continental Drift.
  • Matthew Broderick said this was pretty much the reason, despite the fact that he thought he was playing Kimba, that he did The Lion King. He even admitted it on Entertainment Weekly. This was also the reason he did Godzilla (1998) — a decision that will haunt him to his grave.
    • Though he's never actually said it, it's hard not to look at Jeremy Irons's pre-Lion King resume and not think he did it to be in something his then 9-year old son Max could watch.
    • James Earl Jones has actually said he did it for his son because his son loves animation.
  • While much of the adults in the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon series casts could be described as such, the one that sticks out is Wilmer Valderrama, who currently voices the lead character on Handy Manny on the Disney Junior block so his younger brother could watch something he was involved in (apparently, the younger brother would be too young to have known he played Fez on That '70s Show).
  • Most of the actors in Dreamworks Animation movies:
    • Jack Black was in Kung Fu Panda so his kids could watch him in something child-friendly (although he has done numerous family-friendly films and TV series).
    • It may not be why she took the part, but Angelina Jolie claims that her playing Master Tigress is the only reason her kids think she's at all cool.
    • Gary Oldman in Kung Fu Panda 2 - where he gets to be both a villain, and in a movie his three kids can watch!
    • Ben Stiller was in Madagascar so his children could watch him in something appropriate. Chris Rock's motive for doing the film was part this, part Awesome, Dear Boy, as he wanted to not only be in something his daughter could watch, he also wanted the unique opportunity of having the chance to buy her a stuffed toy of a character he was playing.
    • Will Smith actually said he did Shark Tale to have something his kids could watch as well.
    • A large part of why Rihanna did Home was for her younger fans and for young black girls to have an animated character to call their own.
  • Cheech Marin did voices for Oliver & Company and The Lion King for this reason. He also suggested that his friend Tommy Chong be Shenzi; unfortunately he was unable to get a hold of him.
  • Chazz Palminteri stated this was why he did his VA role in Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure.
  • Malcolm McDowell said that he played the role of Dr. Calico in Bolt so his kids could watch him act (although he has worked in family-oriented films and TV shows on numerous occasions).
  • David Bowie played Lord Royal Highness in SpongeBob SquarePants because his daughter Alexandria is a fan of the show. This is also the reason why Alec Baldwin was cast as Dennis in the movie.
    • Believe it or not, like the Corrector Yui example above, the creator did the show for his son because he liked similar stories he was told with a sponge at bathtime.
  • James Woods wanted to play Hades in Disney's Hercules... and all incarnations in any outlets thereafter... to make his children happy and so they can watch their daddy in something appropriate. Same with Danny De Vito as Phil, in the same film, quoted in the 'Art Of' book as saying, "If my kids could watch it and say, 'Daddy was in this movie', that would be pretty cool, ya know?"
  • Up until probably season 8 (or thereabout) of The Simpsons, pretty much the only way the writers could get their idols of 50+ years on the show, was if they had kids or grandkids who watched the show.
    • Nancy Cartwright (who voices Bart) actually said in an interview that after Meryl Streep recorded her lines for her guest spot, she said "My kids haven't seen many of my films but this is something I think they will watch". And then she asked for Cartwright's autograph. Yes, really.
    • Notoriously reclusive author Thomas Pynchon made three guest appearances on the show in part because his son was a big fan of the show.
  • Adam Pascal singing for the Dragon in The Backyardigans
    • Alicia Keys took the Mommy Martian role because her niece was a fan, and she even let her tag along to voice the baby.
  • George Carlin, the guy who did "The Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television", narrated Thomas the Tank Engine and played Mr. Conductor on Shining Time Station. He also lent his voice to the G-rated Disney/Pixar film Cars.
  • Robert Downey, Jr. took the role of Lois's brother (The Fat Guy Strangler) on Family Guy (his only animated work to date) because his teenage son was a fan of the show.
  • Many, many guest actors on Phineas and Ferb, including Jane Lynch, Michael Douglas, Ben Stiller and, obviously, Simon Pegg.
  • Brendan Fraser and Jessica Alba said he only did Escape from Planet Earth because of this.
  • Jane Seymour did this for Quest for Camelot.
  • Colin Farrell said he did Epic because he wanted to be in something his boys could see.
    • Beyonce did the movie for the same reason, which is also why she also lent her voice to Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!.
    • As did Pitbull.
  • Patton Oswalt's role in Ratatouille. He actually has a routine about how much the movie has affected his day-to-day life, and how jarring it is to realize that he now has child fans.
  • Some celebrities who appeared in the live-action segments of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show did so because their children were huge fans of the games.
  • Deedee Magno Hall voices Pearl in Steven Universe for this reason. Evidence appears to be her going to the 2014 SDCC in the title character's iconic pink and yellow colors. It was a gift from her goddaughter. The show's creator, Rebecca Sugar, has stated in interviews that she wanted to make the kind of show she'd like to have watched as a kid, and a desire to create something the kids watching could be inspired by.
  • Like Georgle Carlin above, Lewis Black, a comedian mostly known for stand up involving a lot of crude humor and lots of swearing, played the role of Anger in the Pixar film Inside Out so he'd have at least one kid friendly role on his resume.
    • Despite starring in several Pixar movies beforehand, playing Tom in Tom and Jerry: The Movie and a character in a test pilot for Anpanman, Richard Kind played the role of Bing Bong so his kids could watch the film. This worked, as he reported that after a test screening, his twelve-year-old daughter hugged him after his final scene because she loved it so much.
  • Inverted with Tara Strong, as she says her kids watch most of her cartoons. But she took a role in Drawn Together because it was different from the family friendly stuff she normally did.
  • One of the reasons why Jason Bateman was really excited about voicing Nick Wilde in Zootopia? "These are the only films I see now because of my kids".
  • Trey Parker co-creator of South Park accepted the role of Balthazar Bratt in Despicable Me 3 because he had never personally been asked to voice a project that he wasn't personally involved with or did through a mutual friend, and it was something he could show his three year old daughter.