[[quoteright:350:[[Film/LuckyNumberSlevin http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hitman_with_a_heart.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:His employers thought he was the only one who could kill a kid. [[HitManWithAHeart They were wrong.]]]]

Many adult viewers and writers are upset about kids being harmed. Kid viewers aren't, but then, kids aren't the ones doing the writing, are they? As a result, many characters on TV Wouldn't Hurt a Child.

This is often done simply by [[HideYourChildren not showing kids at all in action and suspense shows]], but sometimes it's rather conspicuous when characters seemingly go out of their way to not hurt kids, or circumstances happen to conveniently align themselves so that kids don't get hurt. For example, a slasher movie where the slasher just happens to not encounter children in hiding, or the kids manage to be rescued just in time, while the adults and teens get killed. It's also pretty common that when EvenEvilHasStandards, not harming children is one of them.

This does not mean that the act cannot be referred to in the story. You'll hear characters in plenty of films and TV shows talking about the antagonist harming or killing children. ''That is much different from actually showing it on-screen.''

In fact, when this trope [[WouldHurtAChild does get averted and children do get harmed]], it can often be shocking for the audience.

See Also WouldntHitAGirl for the female-specific version of this trope. See FriendToAllChildren for those adults who not only don't hurt kids, but will actively protect them (even [[EvenEvilHasStandards if the adults in question are clearly evil]]). For video games, see HideYourChildren, where children aren't even portrayed so as to avoid the implications that they could be hurt. For a more specific form of Wouldn't Hurt a Child, in which very young children are shielded from danger by the plot due to society's squeamishness about hurting babies, see InfantImmortality.

A common subversion is when a character who goes by this motto has to face a CreepyChild, a {{Child Soldier|s}}, or worse an EnfantTerrible.

May be a form of HeroicVow.

Oddly enough, it's also TruthInTelevision as many gangs, such as the Mexican Mafia, brutally murder their members that hurt children. This even extends to prison, where inmates, or even prison-based gangs, that welcome robbers and murderers into their fold will not tolerate someone who hurts a kid. In fact, killing one of these people often results in being well liked by the other inmates (people imprisoned for child molestation are often put into solitary confinement, not as punishment, but ''for their own protection'', due to a combination of this trope and RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil). Of course, this can also be seen as a MoralMyopia, as there have been criminal gangs (especially Mexican drug cartels) and terrorist organizations (such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda) that use children for prostitution, [[http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mexico-drug-gangs-using-more-children-as-mules/ drug trafficking]], [[ChildrenForcedToKill assassinations]], and other criminal activities, mainly because children are the ''least'' likely people who would commit criminal acts, thus catching other criminal gangs, military, and police forces [[http://www.insightcrime.org/news-analysis/why-children-are-low-risk-labor-for-latin-americas-drug-gangs off-guard]].

Contrast ChildHater and WouldHurtAChild.

!!Examples and subversions: ('''All inversions/aversions go under WouldHurtAChild''')


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/{{Daimos}}'': Do not ''even'' think of hurting a child in front of [[TheHero Kazuya]] [[HotBlooded Ryuuzaki]] lest you have your face rearranged.
** In episode 2, a child got killed during the enemy air raid. Kazuya snapped, instantly got in his HumongousMecha and utterly tore apart the {{Robeast}} enemy.
* There's been at least some censorship to not show kids getting hurt. An episode of ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' was censored in the US release to cut out a brief bit of animation where Gohan was punched by a villain, instead merely implying the punch. Take notice that this was when Gohan was a helpless 4 year old who'd never had a fighting lesson in his life. He gets punched plenty on camera after he learns to punch back.
** Hercule deliberately threw his "fight" against Trunks. He didn't know he was going to get punched clear out of the ring by a tiny superhuman, but that doesn't change his intent.
* This is the trait that distinguished Wamuu as a NobleDemon with honor and decency amongst his fellow vampires in ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure''.
* Humorously invoked by ReallySevenHundredYearsOld LittleMissBadass Vita in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'', complaining about having to arrest Lutecia:
--> '''Vita:''' I don't like this. It's like I'm picking on a little kid.
** In ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaVivid'', Subaru complains about Nove fighting harshly against a small girl (Ingvalt/Einhart) the previous night, but Nove counters that she also got beaten up fairly badly.
* The ''Anime/SonicX'' dub (like many of Creator/FourKidsEntertainment dub jobs) is famous for the editing out of at least three instances of violence inflicted upon children. The first instance being that of Maria (who not only had an immune disorder in the original, but was shot and killed by a GUN soldier who showed considerable angst about it for ''decades'' afterwards- while in the dub she was merely "taken away"). This was closely followed by Christopher Thorndyke in a rather infamous scene which was cut apart repeatedly to edit out the fact that Shadow was throwing-and-smashing-him-into-walls (this resulting in the kid apparently passing out for no reason much to the confusion of a seven year old audience), and finally with the death of a teenage revolutionary making a suicide run into the Metarex fleet (this time 4kids actually edited out a gravestone in one image).
** 4Kids starts to get the hint after a while, but Chris still gets ''another'' instance of this in the final series whereas Metarex slashes him during an escape attempt. The single drop of blood was cut in order to further the illusion that he'd been knocked out - not stabbed.
** Eggman also never wanted to hurt Chris, and in fact, when one of his robots went haywire and actually was about to ''kill'' him, Eggman aided Sonic in shutting it down because the thought of having a child's blood on his hand was too horrific even for him.
* Gamma Akutabi, of ''Manga/ZombiePowder'', is led to believe he is fighting a child, and so only uses his left hand. He's likely about to lose until he finds out it's actually an old man who just looks like a child. He holds back like this specifically because he has a soft spot for women and children.
* This might be the reason why, in the anime adaptation of ''Manga/ChronoCrusade'', Azmaria is [[spoiler:the only member of the main cast to [[KillEmAll survive to the end of the series]]. [[KarmaHoudini Besides the villain]], at least, and Joshua--but he suffers extreme mental damage in the process]]. That being said, it ''does'' show the deaths of another group of children because of their powers (who are minor enough to not have individual names).
* King Hamdo, the mad tyrant in ''Anime/NowAndThenHereAndThere'', uses this trope to his advantage; he employs an army of children so his enemies will be hesitant to fight back. Unfortunately, he also utilizes the child soldiers as [[WeHaveReserves war fodder]]. This was based on RealLife examples like the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda.
* In ''{{Manga/Bleach}}'', Ukitake. When battling Lilinette he kept doing things like playing keep-away with her sword when it was fairly obvious that he could have just killed her without the slightest effort.
** On the other hand, although Kyoraku also saw Lilinette - who claimed Arrancar don't age - as a child, he [[spoiler:attacks Wonderweiss without hesitation when he sees him stab Ukitake.]]
** Rangiku is fairly hesitant to fight the child-like Wonderweiss, although it could be more due to his playing with a dragonfly in the middle of a battle instead of fighting (at first)
*** Speaking of Wonderweiss, [[spoiler:Yamamoto probably wouldn't have hesitated to fight him, but he did state he was glad Wonderweiss used [[OneWingedAngel his release form]] so he was fighting a bizarre monster instead of a kid]].
** Ichigo is hesitant to hurt Ururu during their training match, and even after seeing her SuperStrength in action, decides to only give her a tap on the head to clear the requirements. He somehow ends up grazing her face with his fist and Ururu kicks him away, but manages to pass the test by restoring his spiritual energy.
* [[AntiVillain Mifune]] in ''Manga/SoulEater'' has a soft spot for children, and has an iron-clad rule never to kill one, or allow one to be killed if he can prevent it. His MoralityPet, Angela, is a CuteWitch he is fostering.
** He also attempts to avoid killing Black Star (a teenager), deliberately holding back until Mifune found the 'assassin' to be a WorthyOpponent. [[spoiler:In the anime, Mifune tries to kills Black*Star because he is in risk of trying to become a [[HumanoidAbomination Kishin]] while in the manga they both have a silent agreement to not hold back in a DuelToTheDeath.]]
** Black*Star himself also obeys this trope: His walks away from his first battle with Mifune when he realizes Mifune's 'witch' was a little girl.
* ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'': Hei, extreme AntiHero or no, gets ''very'' protective of kids under his care for any reason, particularly girls the same age as his sister. Call it [[BigBrotherInstinct unresolved issues]]. While other contractors harm children, Hei does not.
* Double Subverted in the ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara'' anime. [[AxCrazy Mitsuhide]] uses the semi-conscious [[ChildSoldiers Ranmaru]] as a human shield, taunting [[BattleButler Kojuro]] that he wouldn't kill a child. Kojuro tells him that regardless of age, Ranmaru is one of [[EvilOverlord Nobunaga's]] generals and therefore his enemy and charges in. The declaration causes Mitsuhide to abandon Ranmaru as a shield, allowing Kojuro to defeat Mitsuhide. He then lets Ranmaru off with a stern warning.
* [[ManipulativeBastard Sensui]] might have been counting on this trope in the ''Chapter Black'' arc of ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' with Amanuma. [[spoiler: [[ShootTheDog It didn't work.]] And Kurama, the one who killed Amanuma, was ''pissed'' afterwards.]]
* Vash in ''Manga/TriGun'', being a AllLovingHero TechnicalPacifist, is particularly unwilling to hurt children. It's just not going to happen. [[AntiHero Wolfwood]] the priest ''does'' [[HitmanWithAHeart kill people]], though not in front of Vash, but taking care of children is the most important thing to him ever, so as much as he believes in necessary sacrifices he is definitely this. The first time we see his full armory unleashed in the anime, he's firing GunsAkimbo and shouting over the noise, "I'M NOT GOING TO LET ANY MORE CHILDREN SUFFER!!! NEVER AGAIN!"
** Even Wolfwood doesn't know what he will and won't do. Anime Wolfwood shoots what looks like a child to save Vash. Manga Wolfwood comes across as willing to sacrifice pretty much anything if he had reason to believe it was worthwhile. But children last of anything.
** When he chooses Vash's side they then go straight to the orphanage where he grew up to intercept the assassin team sent there to punish him; if they'd been late or he'd messed up, the kids would have been crisped.
* Lina Inverse from ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'' has many {{Berserk Button}}s, but the ''biggest'' one is this trope. I.e., when Rezo petrified a kid in the first season, she got pissed and went to face him despite knowing it was a trap. [[spoiler: And in NEXT, she has a major FreakOut when she ''thinks'' she's killed a little girl who turned out to be an UndeadChild from Sairaag, and Sylphiel has to give her a CooldownHug.]]
* ''Manga/BlackCat'': Train Heartnet has been an assassin for many years.....but the biggest BerserkButton he possesses is about children. In the manga, he describes how he was about to shoot a man, but he realized the man was holding a young girl. He stopped, and couldn't pull the trigger, so he was shot, instead. He lived, but this is part of the major HeelFaceTurn he undergoes throughout the series. The presence of [[GenkiGirl Saya Minatsuki]] only instills that even more.
* Madara Uchiha in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' informs a an old and enraged Onoki that the only reason he went easy on him when he was younger, was because adults shouldn't fight kids seriously. [[spoiler: it doesn't save Onoki or the other Kage now from the beat down they get now.]]
* Suitengu from ''Anime/SpeedGrapher'', despite being absolutely ruthless towards adults, doesn't hurt kids. An example: a little daughter offers her money to pay the father's debts; Suitengu leaves. A father offers her daughter to pay his debts: [[BerserkButton bad idea]].
* In ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'', Aiho Yomikawa absolutely refuses to fight anybody who is a child or teenager, even if they have superpowers. One of the only times she broke this rule is when she punched her adopted son Accelerator after he came home from WorldWarIII for [[AngerBornOfWorry worrying her]].
* In ''LightNovel/FateApocrypha'', Atalanta is utterly horrified when just seconds after shooting Jack the Ripper, she finds out she is a little girl. Then, even though Jack is a psychotic murderer, Atalanta tries to protect her from the other heroes. Finding out Jack is a wraith who is cursed to kill does nothing to dissuade her. When Jeanne finally [[MercyKill exorcises Jack and puts her to rest]], Atalanta goes mad, [[BlackAndWhiteInsanity declaring Jeanne the ultimate evil for killing a child and vowing to destroy her]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* One of the very, ''very'' few standards ComicBook/JohnnyTheHomicidalManiac has is to not hurt children. His victims are all teenagers/adults, although he ends up traumatizing a few children (especially Squee) in the process.
* Hunter Rose, the first ''ComicBook/{{Grendel}}'' had this as one of his personal standards, even eliminating child prostitution in New York upon becoming mob boss. In fact, when facing off against Franchise/{{Batman}} during his trip to Gotham, the accidental endangerment of a child he was holding hostage was what encouraged him to withdraw and go home. He himself has a MoralityPet in his adoptive daughter Stacy Palumbo, [[spoiler:who later arranges to have him killed]].
* In the ''Comicbook/StreetFighter'' comics, a {{Flashback}} reveals that while training a young Chun-Li, Gen killed Geki in self-defense. Unfortunately, due to the assassin's code he followed, he was also honor-bound to permanently silence Chun-Li so that there [[LeaveNoWitnesses would be no witnesses]]. Gen could not bring himself to murder an innocent child, which is what ultimately led to him abandoning his life as an assassin and pursuing a more peaceful existence.
* ''Franchise/FantasticFour'' villain [[ClockKing the Mad Thinker]] is perfectly willing to try and kill the Four. During a VillainTeamUp with the Wizard, the latter kidnaps Franklin Richards (Reed and Sue's son) and is getting ready to vivisect him to discover the secret of his amazing powers. The Mad Thinker, enraged, immediately terminates the partnership and leads Franklin's [[PapaWolf Uncle Ben]] to the Wizard's secret base, just in time to save him. Oddly enough, and most likely a case of DependingOnTheWriter, this goes against the grain for the Wizard's character, as during a story in the 1970's when the Wizard and several other supervillains attacked the Fantastic Four's headquarters and took Franklin and Alicia Masters hostage. Reed Richards demanded to know where they were, to which the Wizard responded: "Both are safe, Richards. I do not wage war on blind women and children." Richards took him at his word on this.
* The main reason why [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Jason Todd]] can be considered an AntiVillain and not a straight-out villain is that he will [[PayEvilUntoEvil kill anyone hurting a child.]]
* ComicBook/ThePunisher: Played straight with Frank, ''but it depends on the situation.'' He'd never hurt a child and always plans his attacks very carefully so that no innocents are harmed. Once, when he thought he was responsible for the death of a small child, he had a gun to his head and was ready to pull the trigger when he saw evidence that convinced him that he could not possibly have done it. Another time, he had a clear shot at a teenage hood who had just won parole from juvenile hall, but upon seeing him do something charitable (confirming what the parole officer had told the judge) he changed his mind and let him live. ''However'', if you're a gang banger or a child soldier and you start shooting at him, his reflexes are going to take over and he's not going to ask for your ID before returning fire. He won't lose any sleep over it afterwards, either.
* From [[ComicBook/Marvel2099 Doom 2099]], when Doom was approaching two terrified teenagers. "Calm yourselves. Doom does not harm children."
* ''ComicBook/{{Deadpool}}'':
** The CrazyAwesome (and just plain [[AxCrazy crazy]]) Merc' with a Mouth still has a few lines he won't cross. One of them is hurting kids. In ''ComicBook/XForce'', he is the ''only'' member of the team to openly declare that [[spoiler:killing the child incarnation of Apocalypse]] was a borderline MoralEventHorizon for the team as a whole and that he for one is unhappy about it.
** This trope also plays an important part in the Evil Deadpool storyline, where Deadpool is battling a composite version of himself who has absolutely no scruples. Evil Deadpool is out to prove he's infinitely worse than Deadpool, and Deadpool is trying to figure out what Evil Deadpool's next move is going to be so he can head him off. The problem is that he's approaching it from the wrong direction by looking at it from only his perspective. Then one of his head voices quietly tells him to stop trying to think of something he would do, and to instead try to think of something he ''wouldn't'' do. There's a pause, then the horrified expression that comes over Deadpool reveals that he's figured it out: Evil Deadpool is going to ''kill a child.''
** Deadpool once accepted a pro bono job where he went after a psychiatrist who'd taken advantage of a young girl who was a patient of his, psychologically manipulating her to be vulnerable to his advances and having sex with her multiple times. The girl ended up killing herself, and Deadpool was completely serious throughout the entire story arc, with none of his joking or breaking-the-fourth-wall antics. He psychologically toyed with the psychiatrist, showing up pretending to be seeking help but subtly always turning the session towards topics that made the psychiatrist ''very'' uncomfortable. Begging for his life didn't help. If you're going to harm a child, you'd better ''pray'' Deadpool doesn't find out about it.
--->'''Psychiatrist:''' No, you have to understand! She wanted to be with me, she begged me to do it!\\
'''Deadpool:''' Really? Kind of like the way you're begging me right now?
* In ''ComicBook/AvengersAcademy'', the Rhino (Franchise/SpiderMan villain) refuses to kill the teen heroes under Electro's orders.
* ComicBook/XMen villains The Juggernaut and Black Tom Cassidy had been [[VillainousFriendship partners and close friends for almost their entire careers]], but that all changed during M-Day when Black Tom killed a kid, something that was too much for the Juggernaut. He confronted his former friend and convinced him to turn himself in, saying, "He was a kid, Tom. An' you an' me, for all our faults, we used ta be better than that." Tom did indeed seem to be sorry (after all, he had gone insane after his powers went haywire and turned him into a living tree, which the effects of M-Day undid). As he told his friend, "That wasn't me, Cain, you know that. I wasn't in my right mind... You've got to understand... that mad life, before... it was like some dream."
* ''Franchise/TheFlash'' has the Rogues. One of their rules is that they won't kill women and children, with the exception of Mirror Master, who will ''try'' to refrain from killing women, but still definitely won't hurt a child. This is part of their PragmaticVillainy. They know that doing certain things will just bring all sorts of trouble upon them. Their business model is based on there being AlwaysABiggerFish for the heroes to concentrate on.
* Young Comicbook/{{Loki}} found (for their great surprise) that they're this trope now. They had the perfect plan and would get away with it too but it involved driving [[Comicbook/YoungAvengers Wiccan]] to suicide and they just didn't have the heart to go through with it. [[Comicbook/LokiAgentOfAsgard Later]] the Angelic army learnt this the hard way, when Loki promptly disposed of them after they refused to take the LastChanceToQuit offer at the end of a speech that pressed at almost tedious lengths that what they intended to do involved ''baby killing''.
* {{Exploited|Trope}} in ''ComicBook/{{Insufferable}}'' by Malvolia, who straps a bunch of infants to himself, noting that Galahad can't do anything to him "without something very fragile and very precious going squish". [[spoiler: Nocturnus incapacitates him by strangling and suspending him from a skylight.]]
* PlayedWith by ComiBbook/{{X 23}}. When she was still under the control of the Facility, she very much ''did'' kill children. It wasn't by her choice, and even if she resisted those orders, the Facility had the means of literally forcing her to do so using the trigger scent. However the entire reason she was finally able to escape was because she ''did'' refuse to kill Henry Sutter during Rice's hostile takeover of the project, and she makes it explicit to [[ComicBook/FantasticFour Valeria Richards]] that whatever her past, she doesn't kill children anymore.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' MadeForTVMovie "Invasion", Calvin comes across two snipers - one of whom believes in this, and another who puts his orders first. This ties in to the [[ManipulativeBastard mind game]] he plays with them.
* Silver Spoon of ''Fanfic/BadFutureCrusaders'', despite being a burglar ''and'' an assassin for hire who started out as a BoxedCrook for committing some undisclosed crime, is show to have a ''serious'' soft spot for children. Not only does she express disgust for a fellow BoxedCrook who was in prison for killing his child and point out that she planned to kill him afterward for it, she also seems to be genuinely fond of the young colt Clear Rivers.
* Italian mob boss Fanciullo Cattivo of the ''Fanfic/ShadowchasersSeries'' has this as one of the most important rules for anyone working for him, and has put out large bounties on the heads of known human traffickers who target children. ''FanFic/ShadowchasersConspiracy'' suggests he may have sworn an oath in the past to protect children.
* In ''Fanfic/FateParallelFantasia'', while False Caster is battling True Berserker, she gets a shot at killing Ilyasviel and thus winning the battle; but ultimately, she can't bring herself to harm a child.
* ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'': One of the soldiers Rei encounters during the invasion of the [[HomeBase Geofront]] specifically chose perimeter patrols because he thought he wouldn't encounter and have to kill one of the teenage pilots. [[spoiler:Aki, being included in the kill order due to simply being near Rei, ups the ante.]] He repeatedly refuses to shoot her, even after being threatened to be court-martialed by his superior, and when the latter decides to do it himself, he finally opens fire... on him. He unfortunately isn't fast enough to eliminate his remaining squad mate before suffering the same fate.
* [[Film/{{Beetlejuice}} Betelgeuse]] is this in ''Fanfic/SayItThrice'', which is set after the events of the movie. He is genuinely horrified to learn that he nearly entered a marriage contract with a ''twelve-year-old'', having not realized just how young Lydia really was at the time. In his own words, children should be protected.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/SupermanBatmanPublicEnemies'', ComicBook/LexLuthor conspicuously avoids killing or injuring Toyman/Hiro Okamura, instead simply settling for destroying his equipment, even though he's the only [[strike:other]] person smart enough to stop the Kryptonite meteor about to hit Earth and that [[spoiler:by now Lex had gotten so crazy from Kryptonite injections he ''wanted'' the thing to hit the Earth so he could rebuild civilization afterward.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'', Mirage is totally on-board with Syndrome's [[spoiler:"kill all supers"]] plan... up until he sends missiles after a plane with two kids on it. That, and the disregard he shows for ''her'' life minutes later, prompts her to betray him and help the Incredibles. She's apparently the only one in Syndrome's whole operation with this principle.
* Sunset Shimmer in ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls2013 My Little Pony: Equestria Girls]]''. She orders Snips and Snails to kidnap Twilight Sparkle's dragon-turned-puppy assistant Spike to her as ransom for entry back to Equestria. When Twilight orders Sunset not to hurt Spike, she answers that she wouldn't dream of it.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* As cruel and contemptible as James "Mickey" Hughes was toward his wife, Francine, in the made-for-TV adaptation of ''The Burning Bed'', Mickey is ''never'' seen raising a fist toward any of his children; all of his brutality is directed at his hapless wife.
* The heroine of The Girl in the Cafe admits to having been imprisoned for attacking someone for hurting a child.
* In ''Film/{{Unbreakable}}'' a crazy serial killer comes to a house and kills some people, but leaves the kids intact hiding in a cupboard or closet or something. The orange man likely just had [[RapeAsDrama other plans]] [[ColdBloodedTorture for them]] before [[WouldHurtAChild he killed them]], but we learn little enough about him that it's open to interpretation.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Predator}}'' movies, the eponymous Predator is a nearly unstoppable alien killing machine with a code of honor; Predators view children as innocents, off-limits to being hunted, and sometimes even protect them from harm. According to the ExpandedUniverse, [[EgomaniacHunter predators hunt things depending on how worthy they are at giving them a good hunt]]. A predator would kill a child soldier in self-defense in a blink, but if it tried to hunt one and collect the skull as a trophy the other predators would punish him.
** This is exemplified in ''Film/Predator2'' when he refrains from killing a pregnant cop and a child who was pointing a toy gun at him.
** In one comic the chief of the clan ''killed'' a young hunter who had a child's skull as a trophy. So they are ''really'' strict in enforcing the rule.
** In another comic, a predator kills Nazis who were about to kill a child (after having massacred his whole town), then cuts the ropes tying the boy's hands.
** And in yet another comic, a predator kills a man who physically abused his son and forced him to go hunting to the woods with him, and after blood from his father's body splatters on the boy, the predator gently wipes off the blood from the boy's face before returning to deal with the father's corpse.
* ''Film/{{Scarface|1983}}'': Tony Montana may be a sociopath, but he would never harm a child. This is made evident during a hit he was carrying out -- he noticed that the target had two small children with him and refused to do it, just as his bomber was to carry out the hit he shot the man dead so he couldn't.
* Mob boss Harry Waters from ''Film/InBruges'' finds [[EvenEvilHasStandards child killing abhorrent]] [[spoiler: and orders one of his men killed for accidentally shooting a boy, then when he thinks he's done the same (actually a dwarf) turns his gun on himself]].
* Certainly not a villain, but ''Franchise/RoboCop'' deserves mentioning. One of his directives is "Protect the innocent", and this ''always'' includes children, in his eyes. (Evident in the TV series too.)
* An infamous hitman in ''Film/LuckyNumberSlevin'' refused to kill a child and he was given the assignment because the mob thought he was the only hitman who ''would''.
%%* The same happens in ''The Replacement Killers''.
* Refusing to run over a girl is what caused the downfall of the terrorists in ''Film/VantagePoint'' as they tried to escape in an ambulance. Had they run her over, they just might have gotten away. And these are the same terrorists that detonated two bombs in a crowd that contained plenty of children.
* In ''Film/{{Apocalypto}}'', the bad guys [[HumanSacrifice sacrifice the male prisoners]], sell their women as slaves and leave their children unharmed back in their destroyed home village. In RealLife the Mayas did not have any problem sacrificing women and children. But again, they did this to urban, ''noble'' women and children, [[HollywoodHistory not random hunter-gatherers from the jungle]]...
* ''Film/KillBill'': The Bride plays the trope straight as she really doesn't like it when other children and teens get involved in violent stuff. In Part 1 she's very unhappy when [[spoiler: Nikki witnesses how the Bride kills her mom in their fight]], later attempts to dissuade Gogo from fighting her, she spares a teenage Crazy 88 member but gives him a spanking with her sword and tells him to go home, and in the end of Part 2 [[spoiler: she decides that she'd rather put her revenge aside for a little than having BB witness her and Bill fight to the death.]].
* ''Film/DieHardWithAVengeance'' has {{Anvilicious}} moments about this: the line "children may find it [the bomb]" is uttered by both the good guy and a bad guy. This [[spoiler:brings a question of doubt in the perpetrators' actions, and it's revealed the BigBad never planted a ''real'' bomb, just a fake one, because [[EvenEvilHasStandards "he's a soldier, not a monster"]]]].
* Cheese in ''Film/GoneBabyGone'' may be a ruthless drug dealer who has no problem with brutally murdering people but is insulted if someone accuses him of messing with kids. And if you tell him twice, he'll "get discourteous on you".
* A hilarious example happens in ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk''. Franchise/IndianaJones is in a local hash bar, he was inches away from killing Belloq at the cost of his own life when armed Arab Mercenaries have their rifles pointed at him. What stopped them from firing was when Sallah's kids entered the bar to shield him while taking him out. They found it amusing and spared his life.
* In ''Film/TheQuickAndTheDead'', several kids gang up on the priest Cort, who plays this trope straight. It is subverted when the Lady comes in and kicks their asses.
* Of all people, Jason Voorhees. In ''Film/FridayThe13thPartVIJasonLives'', he's shown standing in the midst of a cabin full of sleeping children and ''ignoring them completely'', even the one who wakes up and sees him. He then goes about his usual business of killing their horny teenage guardians. (Of course, seeing as the reason Jason even exists is because he ''himself'' was once a child who had died as a result of neglect by people who did ''not'' have this philosophy, he could probably relate.)
* Leon, ''Film/TheProfessional'', has two major rules. No women, no kids.
* In ''Film/OnceUponATimeInTheWest'', after being framed for the murder of a family, including a young boy, the bandit Cheyenne fumes, "What the hell? I'll kill anything. Never a kid. Be like killin' a priest."
* ''Film/PitchBlack'': Riddick likes children quite a lot, and they in turn seem fascinated by him - not just Jack, but Imam's younger acolyte as well. In fact he likes them enough that he refuses to kill Jack [[spoiler: even though she's actually a girl on her period and attracting the monsters. He doesn't have any qualms about leaving them to save himself, though]].
* ''Film/DriveAngry'': Near the end, the female cultist who has been caring for Milton's baby granddaughter finds herself unable to harm the child when Jonah King orders her to sacrifice the baby. However, when asked if she'd have handed the child over to be killed, she's too ashamed to answer and [[{{Psychopomp}} the Accountant]] implies that she'll be damned to hell as a result.
* ''Come Out and Play'': The protagonists find that an island is inhabited by evil children. A surviving adult explains that even though he had a gun, he couldn't bring himself to hurt the children--no one could.
* ''Film/{{The Secret Garden|1993}}'': While Mrs. Medlock certainly threatens to box Mary's ears, she never actually strikes her. She does slap Martha, but she's old enough to not be considered a child.
* Played with in ''Film/MajorPayne'', where the first thing the titular character tries to do to one of the [=ROTC=] boys is ''break his finger'': however, it's his twisted way of helping someone take their mind off of excruciating pain elsewhere, such as getting a shot (the kid) or having ''been'' shot (one of his Marine buddies). When the time comes later when he actually ''means'' to hurt one of them, he physically cannot bring himself to punch out Alex Stone.
* ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol2'': The Ravager code prohibits child trafficking. Yondu is a pariah among them for breaking this code by taking children to Ego.

* Creator/DamonRunyon's characters are criminals, but this is a line they do not ever cross. [[spoiler: In the story "Gentlemen, the King!" three hoods hired to knock off a European king abort the mission instantly upon finding that the King in question is a child, and end up assassinating the man who hired them, instead.]]
* Literature/{{Dexter}} might be a bloodthirsty SerialKiller, but even ''he'' [[EvenEvilHasStandards is horrified that anyone could hurt a child]]. Of course, being Dexter, he expresses that horror by [[TheKillerBecomesTheKilled offing the child killers in turn]], but hey, nobody's perfect.
* In ''[[ComicBook/XWingSeries The Krytos Trap]]'', Kirtan Loor is the terrorist striking during a [[ThePlague terrible pandemic]] in order to make the New Republic's job that much harder. Flirry Vorru is sent to stop him, but instead decides to use him, telling Loor what targets to hit as part of some plan. Once he directs Loor to a school. Not a training academy, a school. For children.
--> [...] It struck Loor as almost comical that he could see Vorru's desire to strike at a school as ''[[EvenEvilHasStandards evil]]'', yet his desire to hit Rogue Squadron was nothing more than duty. The difference, ultimately, was that the strike at Rogue Squadron would advance the cause of the Empire, while the strike at the school would only strengthen Vorru's position. ''[[NotSoDifferent We are not as far apart as I would like to think]], but neither are we as close as Vorru thinks''.
** Although Loor still bombs the school. He objected to this and to a plan of [[BigBad Isard's]], but he went along and helped anyway.
** In ''Literature/DeathStar'', nearly everyone is horrified by what happened to Alderaan, including the gunner who pulled the trigger. In an aversion of AMillionIsAStatistic, it's the idea of being on a battle station that destroys inhabited worlds with civilian populations that gets several of them to go through {{Heel Realization}}s. A stormtrooper tells himself that he could fight a room full of people and if surviving meant killing half of them, so be it. But he hadn't signed up to murder children in their beds.
** Largely averted in ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'', when just about anyone is willing to directly or indirectly hurt Tash and Zak Arranda, who start the series as thirteen and twelve years old, respectively. But played straight(ish) with Captain Thrawn. When Tash is insultingly rude to him, his bodyguards bristle but he tells them to stand down, and says that since she's a child he won't take offense. He also takes the time to explain himself to them, a little, though he doesn't go out of his way any to help them.
* Ari in ''[[Literature/DragonJousters Joust]]'':
--> ''I do not make war on children!''
* Count Rugen, the six-fingered man, in ''Literature/ThePrincessBride''. He avoids engaging young Inigo in battle after [[YouKilledMyFather he kills his father]], and doesn't kill him, even after he defeats him. However, given the Count's obsessive interest in pain, this is likely "not" so much "wouldn't kill a child" as it is cruelty.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** Granny Weatherwax. She [[ChildHater dislikes most children on principle]] but is utterly incapable of harming a child, despite being willing to brainwash people into thinking that they are frogs as a punishment for casual insults. Most young children tend to recognize this on a subconscious level and thus have no fear of her. Whilst this doesn't seem like much of an advantage, if you were to threaten a child (or other innocent) in her presence, there are not enough words to express how utterly screwed you are.
** In ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'', it is stated that the customers of the Mended Drum, a notorious pub in Ankh-Morpork might murder each other, but "a child could go in for a glass of lemonade and be certain of getting nothing worse than a clip round the ear when his mother heard his expanded vocabulary."
* Corvis Rebaine in ''The Conqueror's Shadow'' tells his demonic partner this when the demon suggests that he kill a young girl [[spoiler:who ends up being his future wife]] who is being too chatty. The demon retorts that Rebaine doesn't seem to have a problem with letting his armies slaughter women and children for him. Rebaine is furious, but realizes that he can't deny it.
* Witch hunter Shadwell in ''Literature/GoodOmens'' refuses to shoot TheAntichrist Adam Young when he sees that Adam is a little boy, saying that he is "just a bairn".
* Doubly subverted in ''Literature/NightWatch'' with a "wild" Light One Maxim. He can see Dark Ones but not his knismen and as such considers himself to be a lone crusader in a world besieged by forces of Darkness. He [[KnightTemplar relentlessly]] [[HangingJudge slaughters]] every Dark One he comes across, [[JudgeJuryAndExecutioner not bothering to find out]] if the actually harmed anyone ([[DarkIsNotEvil Not all of them do]]. Until he encounters a Dark kid. He silently bemoans and curses the "Powers" that [[CursedWithAwesome bestowed him upon his gift]] but is still prepared to carry out his mission, and even intervention from another Light One doesn't hold him back ("[[HolierThanThou Your Light has faded!]]"). He does hesitate, however, when the kid rushes to protect his unfortunate defender from him, something he wouldn't think possible for a Dark One.
* Played with in ''[[Literature/AlexRider Eagle Strike]]''. Yassen refuses to shoot Alex and cites this trope, [[spoiler:although the real reason for him sparing Alex might have been feelings of loyalty towards Alex's father, who saved Yassen's life. Earlier in the series he had no problem working alongside Herod Sayle, a man who wanted to commit genocide against all British schoolchildren]].
* Crops up in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'', when Hermione tells Harry not to curse a Death Eater who's been left with the head of a baby after an unfortunate accident involving time magic. Also cropped up earlier in the book, when the centaurs don't (initially, anyway) hurt Harry and Hermione because they're "foals".
* Despite being a generally ruthless, amoral crime boss, Gentleman Johnny Marcone of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' fits this trope to a tee. Not only would he never harm a child, but whenever a child is in danger, he puts their safety ahead of his own every time. He also personally executes any criminals in the city who violate this rule. It's the main reason that Harry can't bring himself to hate Marcone.
* [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] in ''Literature/SomeoneElsesWar'', where the [[ChurchMilitant Lord's Resistance Army]] uses [[ChildSoldiers child soldiers]] to do their fighting because they know most people will hesitate to kill kids.
* In Creator/DevonMonk's ''Literature/MagicOnTheStorm'', Allie would fight to prevent PoweredByAForsakenChild magic drawing on the hospital nursery.
* In Creator/JohnHemry's Literature/TheLostStars novel ''Tarnished Knight'', Drakon protects the families of security forces for fear of the children being hurt.
* In ''Literature/VoidCity'', though Eric considers all vampires including himself to be monsters, one of the few moral lines that he absolutely won't cross is to harm children.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'':
** After subverting this in its first half-hour, the series later justifies it in that the Cylons want Baby Hera alive, and did their best to take care of her, despite having no prior experience in childcare and in general being lousy at it. Also, Leoben's psychological torture of Kara Thrace on New Caprica included leaving her alone with a child she believed was a half-Cylon hybrid. When Kara locked herself in a room to avoid the kid, the kid hurt herself and Kara's instincts as a human being overcame her hatred for the Cylons and she came to the kid's aid. No, Kara's not the villain, but then again BSG doesn't really have villains. Also, Cylons don't have kids: the toddler was a human girl they'd kidnapped.
** The episode Black Market shows that in the human fleet's criminal underworld children are being sold in a slave market. Apollo, despite having seen proof that the gangsters are very connected, dangerous, and might be able to get away with killing him, nonetheless confronts the head of the black market and says that he understands the need for a black market on certain goods, but that children are off limits. The guy refuses, thinking that [[YouWouldntShootMe Apollo doesn't dare actually kill him]]. Apollo quickly proves him wrong, and gets the new head of the underworld to agree to not mistreat kids.
* Played with in ''Series/TheDailyShow'' when the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference featured a 13-year-old speaker. Stewart showed a clip of his speech, then got out a huge, dusty "Comedy Bible" to determine whether or not he was an [[AcceptableTargets Acceptable Target]]. The answer was "Only for a classmate or sibling".
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** After killing a handful of Mole's Town men and women without hesitation, Ygritte declines to harm Gilly and her child.
** After seeing what happened to the Targaryen children during Robert's Rebellion, Ned does not want to see history repeat itself. While warning Cersei to take the children and run might have been the noble thing to do, it wasn't the ''smartest'' thing to do. Ironically, this action alone did not result in his death: Cersei never intended to kill him, merely send him to the Night's Watch. He was finally killed on the whim of a boy-king, the very person he had intended to spare. The reason for him holding to this belief is [[spoiler:his fear for the safety of his nephew Jon Snow, whom he raised as his own child. Robert Baratheon wanted to kill all of Rhaegar's offspring, which - if the truth were revealed - would include Jon as well, as he is the hidden son of Lyanna Stark (Ned's sister) and Rhaegar Targaryen. Ned internalized this to protect all children in danger from the crown: Daenerys and also Cersei's kids]].
* Ben on ''Series/{{Lost}}'', despite being a MagnificentBastard, doesn't want to kill Rousseau's baby, and instead takes her in as his own. Later when he tracks down Penny in order to kill her, he [[spoiler: hesitates because she has a child]]. This trope is subverted, however, when Sayid [[spoiler: shoots a twelve-year old Ben while in the past]].
* Darien Fawkes, on ''Series/TheInvisibleMan'' is really great with kids, even when he's in a chemically induced murderous psychosis.
** For a bit of framing, in one particular episode, the guy sets fire to a picnic, pummels an entire football team while invisible, steals the Rolex of a dead guy at his funeral, But in the scene where he's with kids? He's beyond cool and highly supporting of them. Soon as the kids are out of the room he comes this close to killing his childhood pastor.
** One early episode has him pose as a little girl's ImaginaryFriend. He practically cures her Post-Traumatic Stress disorder himself, goes out of his way to make sure she's okay after ''he'' was just shot, and protects her from a Sniper while homicidally insane.
* Viciously subverted in ''Series/{{Torchwood}}: Children of Earth'' when [[spoiler:Jack was forced to kill his grandson]]. Some of the Fandom has depicted him as extremely child averse for quite a while afterwards.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has several examples of this trope:
** Kazran Sardic, due to his father, who he detested, being willing to hit children.
** The Doctor goes very much out of his way to help a crying child.
* In ''{{Series/Heroes}}'', Sylar, for all his evil ways, generally leaves kids who haven't reached puberty alone. He might threaten them or use them as extortion chips against his enemies, but never actually gets around to hurting them. Teenagers are fair game for him, though.
* In an episode of ''Series/TalesFromTheCrypt'' a young girl allows a deranged psychopath, who is dressed as Santa on Christmas Eve mind you, into her house. After the episode ends, the Crypt Keeper says that the killer "prefers older women," meaning that the child was safe.
* While serial killer Frank from ''Series/CriminalMinds'' has no qualms about hurting a child per se, he gets no satisfaction from doing so. This becomes a minor plot point in the episode where he's introduced. ''Criminal Minds'' in general falls under this trope, at least what is being shown on screen. Even though many of the [[MonsterOfTheWeek serial killers]] have hurt kids in their past, when an episode raises the possibility that a kid could get killed, the kid always lives. [[spoiler:The only time this was subverted was in "The Boogeyman," when the killer was himself a kid.]]
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest'': When forced to choose between giving Elias information or watching a child freeze to death, Reese chose to save the child. Elias knew Reese would make that choice, which is the only reason he engineered the situation.
** In an early episode, they zig-zag the effects of this trope: A hit man was hired to kill a family, but it turns out he only killed the parents and adult child but let the younger kid live (threatening to kill them anyway if anyone found out). A couple years later, the hit man "defended his honor" in prison when people started claiming that he killed the kid -- no way, he doesn't kill kids. It's this very action that causes the original people who hired him to hire a ''second'' hit man, one who ''would'' kill a kid, to hunt down the kid and do it right this time (and thus prompting the Machine to give our heroes the kid's number).
* Jesse Pinkman from ''Series/BreakingBad'' may be a little rough around the edges, but if there's one thing that [[BerserkButton sets him off]], it's seeing harm come to children.
* Two of Volker's hitmen in ''Series/TheMentalist'' are ordered to kill a child who witnessed one of Volker's murders. The first hitman [[MercifulMinion asks one of his relatives to take the kid in]]. The second hitman looks at a picture of the kid and flat-out refuses.
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'':
** Rumpelstiltskin, for all his evil doings, he has never been seen harming, manipulating, or even raising a hand at a child. This can be explained through his backstory; [[spoiler: he became The Dark One to prevent his son from becoming a child soldier, and later used this power to rescue all the other children from the war]].
** In "Lacey", upon discovering that the reason Robin Hood stole a wand from him was to heal Marian, who was deathly ill and pregnant, Rumplestiltskin intentionally misses with the arrow he was aiming at them. Made more telling that the bow used was enchanted to always find its target. Belle even calls him out on it and he basically just ignores her by changing the subject.
** He also seemed to have a genuine fondness for Henry [[spoiler: even after it was revealed that Henry would be his downfall]].
* In a flashback in ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'', Xena reluctantly spares a young royal heir in the East, even though she was evil at the time and she knew he would grow up to be a homicidal despot with a grudge against her because she slaughtered his family. She turns out to be right about him when she revisits him fifteen or so years later, yet she faces the same choice when Gabrielle implores her to spare him again despite all he has done since they last met. [[spoiler:The last scene of the episode shows the Emperor sitting on his throne and Xena walking out of the throne room with Gabrielle and telling her she couldn't go through with it... but then the last shot reveals he is in fact dead.]]
* The trope is played with in an episode of ''Series/TheXFiles'' when Scully goes against her instincts and her belief system and shoots the villain of the week, who is using mental trickery to make her ''think'' he's a child.
* In ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'', this trope is what led to Joe Gibken [[spoiler:defecting from Zangyack, as he refused to follow his commander's order to slay three captive children]].
* ''Series/UchuSentaiKyuranger'': [[spoiler: [[PoisonousPerson Stinger]] states he doesn't kill children after being ordered to do so by his supposed boss, Eridoron.]]
** This is briefly overturned in Space 20, when [[spoiler: Stinger goes after Kotaro while under the influence of his brother's poison. Interestingly enough, Kotaro and his younger brother, Jiro, are the children he was ordered to kill in Space 5.]]
* Despite being fairly ruthless in regard to criminals (and suspected by many of being a dirty cop), ''{{Series/Chicago PD}}'''s Sgt. Voight actually has a secret soft spot when it comes to kids, particularly ones in trouble. He took in the teenage daughter of a junkie and raised her as his own, and often helps other kids he encounters in his police work in a variety of ways.
* Omar Little, the KarmicThief from ''Series/TheWire'' who steals exclusively from the drug syndicates running the streets of Baltimore, has both this trope and WouldNotShootACivilian as his guiding lights. Despite how young some of the drug dealers are when they start the game, Omar still refuses to harm minors, shows kindness towards local children during a TenMinuteRetirement, and several times discounts a potential threat because "[[JustAKid He's just a boy]]." [[spoiler:He's killed in the final season by a young sociopath with a gun whom Omar had discounted as a threat]].
* ''Series/{{Hunter}}'': In the episode "Sniper", an army Sergeant goes on a shooting spree with a sniper rifle to kill random women in public parks who remind him of his ex-wife. When a young boy runs into him during one of these while chasing after a football, he tells the kid to get the hell out of dodge. This backfires when the boy alerts a police officer and the sniper has to flee the scene.
* The first episode of ''Series/{{Vidocq}}'' shows the trial of [[BoxedCrook soon-to-be]] TheBigGuy. As the prosecutor reads the accusations, he hears "assaulting a minor" and flies into murderous rage at the insinuation that he would hurt a child. The prosecutor quickly corrects that he's accused of assaulting a min'''e'''r.
* ''Series/TheOrville'': Mercer finds out the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Krill]] are heading to a human colony and plan to nuke it from orbit. They find a way to kill the crew, but then they find out that they brought their kids along...[[spoiler: They do manage to spare the kids, but do kill the adults. [[DeconstructedTrope It's pointed out that those kids will now grow up with every reason to want war on the Union, and Mercer's crew in particular.]]]]

* ''Theatre/CyranoDeBergerac'': At Act I Scene IV, a [[SmittenTeenageGirl Buffet – girl]] offers Cyrano free food. Cyrano lampshades that his {{pride}} [[DontYouDarePityMe is enormous]], but his fear to wound the [[SmittenTeenageGirl Buffet – girl]] is even more great, so he accepts her offer of free food… [[EvenEvilHasStandards after he lampshades that as a great deed]]. This could be a standard PetTheDog moment until FridgeLogic show us that Cyrano [[FreudianExcuse was wound in his childhood by his mother: because she didn’t like him when he was a vulnerable child]], [[LoveMartyr adult Cyrano cannot even consider any woman could love him]]. Hence his fear to wound a little girl by making her feel she’s unlovable if Cyrano would refuse [[PetTheDog this offer of food]]… an offer he would have surely refused if it were made by any other person.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* One of the late-game [[ShowdownAtHighNoon boss battles]] in ''VideoGame/TinStar'' is against Kid Johnson, the Baby Bandit. Tin Star has a good guy code that says "never shoot women and children," so he naturally won't shoot Kid. This turns the showdown into a HopelessBossFight, as even if Tin Star draws his gun, [[InterfaceScrew the cursor goes wonky when aiming at Kid]]. [[spoiler:However, Kid Johnson showing up was part of a BatmanGambit on the part of BigBad Black Bart, as Bart immediately hides Kid after the showdown, claiming Tin Star shot him, which causes Tin Star to be run out of town.]]
* Many WideOpenSandbox Games prevent this from happening by not having any children present in the game.
* [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Korgan Bloodaxe]] from ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII: Shadows of Amn'' is a psychotic dwarf who has no problem with murder, rape, theft or genocide. He's racist against just about anyone, sexually harasses the female party members and always, always suggests solving problems with his axe. But he won't harm children, and describes a man who beats his daughter as "not worth the spittle on his boots".
* [[BewareTheNiceOnes Rashid]] in ''VideoGame/StreetFighterV,'' according to his bio, strongly dislikes fighting both [[WouldntHitAGirl women]] and children. It's subtly shown in the story mode ''A Shadow Falls'' when he gatecrashes 18-year old Karin's mansion so he can get the chess piece MacGuffin from her. Karin overpowers and restrains him, but Rashid just breaks free, only wanting to get close enough to snatch the chess piece from her. Rashid also starts the story mode by attacking two Shadowloo grunts whom he assumed were kidnapping little Li-Fen, but were actually escorting her.
* Played with in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars R'', the BigBad Duminuss has trio of homunculi as henchmen. The homunculi, despite posing superhuman strength, are all children. This is because Duminuss known most people will hesitate to fight children. It's eventually averted as the homunculi sacrifice their "mind" to heal badly injured Duminuss and player must kill them all afterwards.
* Travis Touchdown of ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'' fame (infamy?) got over his [[WouldntHitAGirl inability to kill women]] in the first game, but even in ''Desperate Struggle'' he can't bring himself to finish off schoolgirl assassin Kimmy Howell.
--> '''Travis''': Screw this! I can't kill a co-ed!
* In the ''Webcomic/TeamFortress2'' comics, this goes for the mercenaries. So far seen are the RED and BLU Soldiers, Spies, and Scouts, and the RED Heavy and Demoman.
** In "Ring of Fired", this also applies to Saxton Hale, although he's okay with ordering his employees to hurt children in his stead. Unfortunately, they won't, [[spoiler:even if the fate of Mann Co. hangs in the balance. Grey Mann uses this against him to wrest control of Mann Co. from him]]. In his case, it's more out of the fact that children cannot put up a proper fight rather than any moral compunctions.
* In many Bethesda Softworks games, one cannot kill or even hurt children. Attempting to attack a child in ''Skyrim'', for example, will result in the child running away in fear with no damage, angry parents, a 1000 gold bounty, and a swarm of guards trying to kill you.
** Ironically, killing children was originally a option in ''Skyrim,'' since there are recorded death sounds of children, but Bethesda Softworks just couldn't let it slide. Many players find the children annoying and will even install mods on PC that allow children to be killed by player.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', child non-player characters (including those of the opposing faction) cannot be attacked or killed.
* For all their homicidal tendencies towards the night guards, the animatronics of ''VideoGames/FiveNightsAtFreddys'' won't harm kids, and instead are fiercely protective of them. [[spoiler: This is due to the main five--Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie the Bunny, Chica the Chicken, Foxy the Pirate, and Golden Freddy--being haunted by the souls of murdered children. It's very heavily implied that the Marionette is also inhabited by the soul of a dead child. Their aggressiveness towards adults, especially the guards, is a noble but misguided effort to protect the kids from The Purple Man, the psychopathic serial killer who murdered them in the first place.]]
** ''VideoGames/FiveNightsAtFreddys4'' features the '''only''' subversion to this. And, even then, it's purely by accident. It happens when The Child's [[JerkAss douchebag]] [[BigBrotherBully of a brother]] and his equally dickish friends [[spoiler:pick up the poor kid against his will and shove him into Fredbear's mouth]]. [[ForegoneConclusion As can be expected, it ends badly.]] [[spoiler:[[HellIsThatNoise CRUNCH!]]]] Possibly double subverted as again, it was an accident, and ''[[OhCrap not]]'' [[EvenEvilHasStandards what the brother or his friends were hoping for.]]
* In ''Videogame/DarkestDungeon'', an abusive Highwayman will claim as such as a backhanded insult, increasing stress of his target. That said, it is very much implied by [[http://www.darkestdungeon.com/wp-content/uploads/Hwy_final_logo.jpg his comic]] that his guilt over killing an innocent woman and her child is what drove him to becoming TheAtoner.
* In ''Videogame/SlimeRancher'', chickadoos are baby chickens that will never be eaten by slimes. Even ''[[GreyGoo The Tarr]]'' will simply ignore them. However, [[http://cloud-3.steamusercontent.com/ugc/447358114675475917/1E2F6F821443891D630648CD42339E0751F476BE/ all bets are off once the chickaddos reach adulthood...]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheOrder1886'', the Lord Chancellor once slew a family of Lycans but spared their infant son since he couldn't bring himself to kill an innocent baby. [[spoiler:He instead adopted the boy as his son Alastair.]]
* In the backstory of ''Videogame/{{Nox}}'', the warrior Jandor grew weary of the war and refused to kill the last of the cursed bloodline of the Northern Mages since she was just a child. He left her to be raised by a tribe of ogres. That child was Hecubah, the BigBad of the game.
* In ''Videogame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'', when the Diamond Dogs realize that the workers they have been hired to eliminate are child soldiers, Snake fires his gun away from them so they have an audio recording where he appeared to kill them, but he rescues them anyways. Snake considered using them for themselves, but Miller absolutely refused. Throughout the game, more armed child soldiers are encountered in Africa, who will attempt to kill Snake. Killing one results in a mission failure, so the player is required to use stealth, CQC, and stun weapons to get past them.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Adrestia in ''Webcomic/MorphE'' is so against the idea of hurting children that when she is thrust into a InvoluntaryBattleToTheDeath with a teenager she [[http://morphe.thewebcomic.com/comics/1714482/page-45-shard/ offers him a shard of tile and orders him to kill her so that he can live.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sparklecare}}'', the doctors at the titular hospital give their patients all sorts of horrifying, and often deadly, "treatments". However, the "Staff Rules" poster in Lunesta's office states that "harming children is FORBIDDEN". This seems to be supported by the fact that Kid Dies, the only child patient we've seen thus far, is treated nicely by Nurse Shortnick, although that's probably just because Shortnick is one of the {{Token Good Teammate}}s.
* In ''Webcomic/TheYoungProtectors'', the world's [[KidHero underage superhero teams]] are off-limits to supervillains -- and, as {{the Dreaded}} villain Annihilator [[http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/typ/ete-ch2-page-15/ explains]], those of them [[EvenEvilHasStandards with standards]] enforce that rule lethally on those without. [[spoiler:Wooing a 17-year-old hero and springing a HoneyTrap the moment they turn 18, however, is fair game.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The giant [[SnakePeople naga]] Katrika of ''{{Felarya}}'' loves children, and often goes out of her way to protect any kids she finds lost in the jungle. This behavior is especially noteworthy because Felaryan nagas (including Katrika) are typically man-eaters.
* The initial protagonist of ''Roleplay/WhatTimeIsItMrWolf'' falls under this, until [[CreepyChild the children in question]] [[BlackAndGrayMorality start to force his hand]].
* In the opening of ''[[WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog]]'', Dr. Horrible rejects Johnny Snow's challenge to a fight, because "there are kids in that park" (and also because [[UnknownRival he dismisses Snow's claim]] to be his [[ArchEnemy "arch-nemesis"]]).

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'':
** Applies to Jackie's niece Jade all the time. For example, when a statue of Lo Pei (the warrior who originally defeated Shendu) is animated by the Rat Talisman, the Dark Hand mooks pose as mystical priests in an attempt to sway him to their side. However, as soon as they try to hurt Jade, Lo Pei sees through the ruse.
** Most telling in an episode where the heroes are fighting evil clones of themselves, and the adults are handily thrashed by the clone of Paco, a child. When they pull off Paco-clone's "mask" to reveal [[UncannyValley two eyes on an otherwise blank face]], the tables suddenly turn and [[WhatMeasureIsANonCute they're allowed to punch him with impunity]].
** In an episode involving TimeTravel, Jackie tries to get the Dark Hand to back down by threatening the younger version of Valmont. Chow calls him out on this almost word-for-word. Jade grabs Valmont and snarls, "Jackie wouldn't, but I would!"
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'', when the boys get stuck in a prison riot during a field trip, one of the kids ask if the prisoners holding them captive are going to rape them, to which one of them replies, "Hell no! Do we look like [[PedophilePriest priests]]?" Considering that convicted child molesters tend to be disproportionately targeted, this is hardly surprising.
* ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' villains rarely follow this, but [[ChallengeSeeker Despero]] is an exception. While giving a particularly harsh CurbStompBattle to [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel/Billy Batson]], the latter counterattacks with his magic lightning, which [[OlderAlterEgo turns him back into the gangly teenager]]. Despero's [[TheDragon Dragon]] notes that a child is a pointless opponent, and Despero [[PsychicPowers puts Billy in a trance]] but otherwise leaves him unharmed. Though ironically, he next decides to fight ComicBook/{{Superboy}}, who's chronologically younger than Billy and only a year older physically.
* ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'':
** Pa and Ma, the late convenience store owners in "The Inconveniencing", wouldn't dare harm anyone under the age of thirteen. Teenagers, however, are fair game.
** In "Fight Fighters", despite all the threats Robbie made towards Dipper, at the end of the episode Robbie can't bring himself to hurt Dipper, even after the latter had accidentally sicced a [[RefugeeFromTVLand living fighting game character]] on him.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheNewAdventuresOfHeMan'' episode "Quest For The Crystals", when Meliac and his mooks corner He-Man and Caz, Meliac tells Caz he is free to leave. One of his mooks asks why they would bother sparing him. Another mook says that ever since Meliac's son died in a cave-in, Meliac cannot bear to see any child be harmed.
* Captain Hook is usually very willing to hurt the Lost Boys. However, in ''WesternAnimation/PeterPanAndThePirates'', he compromises in one episode where he is able to manipulate a magical text that gives him an overwhelming advantage over Peter. As he's about to kill Peter, Wendy asks that Toodles be allowed to leave, so he can be spared seeing it. (Toodles is only a toddler.) Hook actually honors this request, and tells his men to bring Toodles below deck. (In this DarkerAndEdgier continuity, Hook has often stated that he is "a gentleman" who is not unreasonable.) [[spoiler:Unfortunately for him, this was actually part of a plan thought up by Peter to escape by appealing to Hook's pride, and it worked.]]
* An unusual example in ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars''. In one story arc the {{Space Pirate|s}}, Hondo Ohnaka, attacked a Jedi ship which was carrying six younglings in an attempt to steal their lightsaber crystals, [[WouldHurtAChild and told his men to do whatever was necessary to get them]]. But two episodes later he tells the Padawan chaperoning the younglings, Ahsoka, that he doesn't like taking children into battle. When she mentions the earlier incident, he waves it off as a change of heart. The character's voice actor said in an interview that Hondo really doesn't like hurting kids; he was hoping to retrieve the crystals with minimum fuss and would have let them go home unharmed.
* Hunter Gathers of ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' has two rules: never kill women or children.
--> '''Hunter:''' It's what separates us from the bad guys.
* While Stormer's bandmates in ''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}}'' have no issue stuffing little girls into trucks, she disagrees. She helps Ashley behind their backs, instead of leaving her to die.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In [=LeVeyan=] Satanism, you are not permitted to harm children. However, it should be pointed out that [=LeVayan=] Satanism is hedonistic, and not outright evil.
* In the National Geographic Documentary, ''Russia’s Toughest Prisons'', an inmate at Black Dolphin explained about his life as a mobster, [[EvenEvilHasStandards which has its own rules]] regarding children. Since they’re viewed as defenseless, he wasn't allowed to harm them. [[WouldntHitAGirl The same rules applied to women]].
* Many prison documentary series, such as MSNBC’s ''Lockup'' and National Geographic’s ''Lockdown'', it has been explained that even prisoners have their limits when it comes to children and those convicted of harming them, especially sex offenders, which are viewed as low, even by prisoners’ standards.
* Many countries, like Russia and China, have laws that ban school officials from using corporal punishment on students, which can lead to job dismissal. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporal_punishment_in_the_home Sweden was the first to go one step further and ban all form, including domestic]].
** United States was among the countries that signed the [[http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CRC.aspx Convention on the Rights of the Child]], a human rights treaty that handles rights for those under 18, but failed to have it ratified due to each state have different laws regarding children and a partial blame on political and religious conservatives to blocking the measure. Barack Obama is aware of this and admits he’ll have this reviewed since he considered the failure to ratify as an embarrassment.
** However, many countries, including United States, have made illegal for anyone under 18 to be executed for a crime, including murder. Instead, the harshest allowed is life for those who committed homicidal acts in the first-degree, while amendments for non-homicidal crimes have been considered since they can be viewed as cruel and punishments.
* During the trial for the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh's infant son, it was argued that the kidnapper must have been foreign, because "no American gangster ever sank to the level of killing babies." Interestingly, the true kidnapper might have had similar standards, since the baby's death was likely accidental.
* Even in the animal kingdom, certain species meet this standard. Not among predators, who usually attack the weakest first (sick, injured, elderly, children) or pack animals with an alpha (who will usually kill off the children of the previous alpha), but among social animals. A common way to end a fight among primates is for one fighter to pick up an infant and hold it.