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[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_1meddlingkids_1686.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:350:The bane of mediocre gimmick villains everywhere.]]-]
->''"The only thing I hate worse than bad guys is meddling kids."''
-->-- '''The Chief''', ''TeamoSupremo''

When the evil character is finally brought to justice, he claims that he would've gotten away with it if it weren't for those "meddling kids" (or whoever it was who foiled his plot). He may be evil, but he gives credit where credit is due. The classic form is, "And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!" The use of the phrase "meddling kids" is a classic ShoutOut to ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo.''

Not to be confused with [[ExecutiveMeddling those meddling executives]] or the SnoopingLittleKid. May not apply if TheMeddlingKidsAreUseless.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* Ken borrows this line at the end of an episode of Anime/DigimonAdventure02, despite being a hypocrite.
* In ''OnePiece'', the Straw Hat Pirates would often be those kids in East Blue, when the crew only consisted of teenagers who were not famous pirates yet. Especially Kuro was annoyed by this trope several times. When Luffy got his first bounty, their surroundings started thinking of them as actual pirates and not just bunch of a teenagers, however.
* The Rubberrobo Gang tends to use the phrase verbatim in ''Medabots''.
* Professor Cobra actually says this line in its entirety in an episode of the Season 3 dub of ''Anime/YuGiOhGX''. Ditto for Bakura in the original's Season 5.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* There is an ''[[ArchieComics Archie]]'' issue where Archie and Jughead solve a crime and the crooks are being led away in restraints by the police. One crook complains about being stopped by a bunch of dumb kids and Jughead fires back "This 'dumb kid' is not the one wearing handcuffs!"
* In TheDCU, Dick Grayson and Tim Drake investigate the sabotage of Grayson's circus. Eventually, they crack the case and catch the crooks. When one of the crooks says this quote, Grayson dismisses it saying that they were sloppy and the police would have figured it out on their own. However, since that would have created some really embarrassing press for the circus, it was better that the once and future Robins took care of this.
* The ''PinkyAndTheBrain'' story in the second-to-last issue of the ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' comic book gave a ShoutOut to this in the form of Pinky's response to that issue's AreYouPonderingWhatImPondering:
-->'''Pinky:''' I think so, Brain. But would the villains really ''have'' gotten away with it, if it weren't for those pesky kids and their dog?
* Klarion (bum bum BUM!) the Witch Boy inverted this in an issue of ''Comicbook/YoungJustice''. "I would've got away with it if it wasn't for you meddling grown-ups." Which is even cooler if you realize the grown-ups in question were [[FreakyFriday kids in grown-up bodies]].
* A TheSimpsons comic book once parodied this trope when Lisa, Bart and Milhouse exposed one of [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Burns]]' plans:
--->'''Burns''': Without you and your dog, I might have succeeded!
--->'''Lisa''': But we don't have any dog!
--->'''Burns''': O, it must be one of mine then (cut to one of his guard hounds growling behind the kids). I would advise you to run...
* ComicBook/TheBoys gives us the Scotland version: "But I woulda got away wi' it, if it hadnae been for ye pesky interferin' wee cunts!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In several episodes of TheLittleRascals, the children successfully battled evil grown-ups, making this trope OlderThanTelevision. It is arguably the UrExample.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'', Mr. Potato delivers this line on the background while he's distracting the security team in Sunnyside. Except, of course, they are "meddling toys".
* The first ''WaynesWorld'' movie had MultipleEndings including a nonsensical ScoobyDoo one which used the phrase, "you snooping kids!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* A main theme of the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' series, where the kids were constantly foiling plots by the Yeerks. Ironically though, the Yeerks were unaware of the fact they were foiled by kids, believing instead they were fighting Andalite warriors.
* One of the {{Troperrific}} chapter headings in ''SoonIWillBeInvincible'' is "And Now For Those Meddling Children".
* A line similar to this is delivered at several points, in dialogue or narration, in ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'', since the Arranda siblings and their uncle have an uncanny ability to stumble into trouble and foil plans.
* Most of the book series of the StratemeyerSyndicate involved meddling kids in numbers from one (NancyDrew) to six.
* The basic plot of the ''Mysteries'' specials in ''Literature/TheBabySittersClub'' series.
* Creator/ThomasPynchon's ''Bleeding Edge'' mentions a (fictional) WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo movie in which the gang join up with some Columbian street urchins to fight a South American drug lord. Predictably, it ends with the villain proclaiming that he would have gotten away with it "if not for you [[{{Pun}} Medellín kids]]."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Occasionally happens in ''Series/{{Monk}}''.
* In ''Series/StargateSG1'', Daniel says "And you would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for us meddling kids" after a bounty hunter fails to capture SG-1.
** That line is made even funnier when you realize that Michael Shanks [[http://www.tvguide.com/celebrity-blogs/Paris-Hilton-Shameless-19811.aspx ad libbed it because he hates when the characters explain to the villain what the audience already knows]].
* TheSarahJaneAdventures' teenaged protagonists, with help from IntrepidReporter Sarah Jane, meddle often in the plans of would-be alien invaders.
* Seen at the end of an episode of ''Series/{{Numb3rs}}'' in which Don, his team and his brother Charlie investigate spooky activity at a supposedly abandoned airbase. That was more of an inversion, though, as it was very ambiguous whether the person that said it was a villain at all, and he had helped them solve the case. He was also [[CuckooCloudLander very wacky]], talked in an invisible cell phone and [[StealthHiBye appeared out of thin air]]. He also called three professors and an FBI agent meddling kids.
* Given a ShoutOut by Adam in an episode of ''Series/MythBusters'' where the Build Team gets him to walk across hot coals unprepared in order to see if it really is a case of mind over matter. After he supposedly hurts himself[[note]]He really ''had'' hurt himself, but he was playing up his injuries and had mostly healed by that point[[/note]] by running:
-->''"And I would have made it across too, if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!"''
* Happens often on ''TheMonkees''.
* Said almost verbatim by the obnoxious aristocrat Ashton in the ''SuiteLifeOnDeck'' episode "Kidney of the Sea" when London's dog Ivana literally sniffs out the evidence that he had attempt to frame Zack for grand theft.
* Said verbatim by Series/{{Castle}} (putting words in the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Killer of the Week's]] mouth) in "Wrapped Up In Death". It helps that the episode included multiple {{shout out}}s to ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' and ''ScoobyDoo''.
* Happened on the ShakeItUp episode entitled ''Whodunit Up'' [[spoiler: when they catch the custodian who kinda gives himself away]], but the kids are from the show are the first ones who realize who is the culprit.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''MagicTheGathering'', the Unhinged joke set has a card called [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=74347 Meddling Kids]], which is also a reference to the real card Meddling Mage.
* MeddlingKids is the title of a RPG loosely based on ScoobyDoo and its kin.
* The now defunct CollectibleCardGame ''Hecatomb'' had a card named after this trope that would drain the mana of opponents.
-->'''Dr. Gilman''': Little bastards.\\
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* OlderThanSteam: In Creator/WilliamShakespeare's ''MuchAdoAboutNothing'', after the inept police manage to catch Borachio, the henchman who framed Hero, the heroine, he says (to the noblemen he completely fooled): "What your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the Second ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' game, one of the Pirates delivers the line if you visit them in jail after turning them over to the local government.
* An optional line of dialogue in ''SonicChronicles''. If you know how this goes, you'll know what to say.
* Baron K. Roolenstein (actually, just K. Rool under a MadScientist guise), the main antagonist of ''[[VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble]]'', uses this line verbatim after his robot KAOS is defeated a second time.
* In ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'', the Team Aqua/Magma goons accuse you of being a meddling kid after you stop them from stealing the Devon Goods ''again'' in Slateport.
* Used by the Prophet in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'' if he is fingered as the culprit in the Mi'ihen Highroad mystery sequence.
* In the web game ''VideoGame/{{Sonny}} 2'', one villain says this after being defeated and unmasked. This is clearly a lampshade, as the characters in question are not actually kids.
* The human-disguised Harmoire says this when the hero and Curry capture him to foil his plans for the Sleuthhound Inn involving making the furniture come alive in ''VideoGame/AdventureQuestWorlds''.
-->'''Curry''': I can't believe you dunit! How dare you do this to the Sleuthhound Inn!\\
'''Harmoire''': And I would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for you meddling kids!
* From ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'':
-->'''Ganondorf:''' The great Evil King Ganondorf, beaten by this kid?!
** Link has pretty much made a career of being this trope. Granted, destiny usually plays a hand in it, but even when it doesn't, he's still prone to meddling in whatever plan some villain is brewing up.
* ''ChampionsOnline'': Parodied in the ending of the ''GRAB the Money and Run'' alert.
-->'''Cheshire Cat:''' We would've gotten away with it too, if not for those meddlesome...
-->'''Black Diamond:''' Oh, put a sock in it!
* One of the things Hazama is known to chide Makoto over during ''[[VideoGame/BlazBlueContinuumShift Continuum Shift]]'' is how she "puts her nose where it doesn't belong". The big problem with this statement is that they're both NOL Intelligence officers (he's her CO, at that), meaning that he's lecturing her over doing ''the very thing she is being paid for''. Given how little Intelligence work he does (onscreen, anyway), he's in no position to tell her what she should or shouldn't be doing, so it's safe to say that if he ever brings this up, things are going to turn violent right now.
** The end of ''Slight Hope'' has Hazama spouting this trope at the proper time, with intent to torture and/or kill her over it as well.
---> [[spoiler:"Honestly, though... I never expected YOU to turn out to be the proverbial squirrel in the ointment. Am I supposed to accept that this is another result of the continuum shift? I can't believe it's affecting the timeline like this... [...] Might as well ask for a pony, too, so long as you're wishing for unlikely things. Thanks to your flittering around doing as you please, [[SpannerInTheWorks my plans have gone fair-to-middling FUBAR!]] You're really starting to grate upon my nerves -- [[SincerityMode sorry, but it's true.]] Relius was going to take care of you, but ''shit''... I just don't think I can '''WAIT''' that long..."]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigations'' has this at the end.
-->'''[[spoiler:Quercus Alba]]:''' And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling prosecutors!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[http://www.adventurers-comic.com/d/0181.html Defeated Eternion says a variant of this line]] in ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}'' (He then follows it up with a double MyFriendsAndZoidberg)
-->'''Eternion:''' "And I would have got away with it too if it wasn't for you pesky adventurers!"
* Used word for word in [[http://eecomics.net/?strip_id=1061 this]] strip of Webcomic/EmergencyExit by the villain's second in command
* Also used in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0196.html this]] ''[[Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick Order of the Stick]]''.
* In {{Weregeek}}, [[spoiler: Doug would have gotten away with using a projector to scare people if it [[http://www.weregeek.com/2011/11/02/ weren't for those meddling NPCs]]]]
* In Webcomic/BloodyUrban, Shaun thinks those meddling kids are actually alright. [[http://bloodyurban.smackjeeves.com/comics/1501723/meddling-teens/ YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE]]
* In ''Webcomic/ClockworkGame'', [[http://www.clockwork-comics.com/2012/10/25/two-hundred-victories-in-a-row/ Two boys see a man climb out of The Turk, a famous chess-playing machine]], and run to the newspapers to reveal that it's a hoax. [[http://www.clockwork-comics.com/2012/11/01/theyd-rather-believe-the-lie/ But they want money for their tale]], [[SubvertedTrope which discredits them]].
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', this is referenced in the last panel of [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2012-11-21 this]] strip. Later, after Ellen and Nanase foil more {{Scooby Doo Hoax}}es they gain the nickname of the "Meddlers".
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
* Parodied in the April Fools' episode of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue''. ItMakesSenseInContext:
--> '''Grif:''' What the hell?! You just killed Simmons' ghost!
--> '''Donut:''' Wrong! That wasn't Simmons! It was Old Man Caboose!
--> '''Caboose:''' That's right! It's me. Caboose!
--> '''Omega (through Caboose):''' And I would have gotten away with it too! If it wasn't for you meddling kids!
* A variation occurs in one AprilFoolsDayEpisode of ''WebVideo/TheAnnoyingOrange'':
-->'''Midget Apple''': And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for that pesky Knife!
* ''Main/NekoSugarGirls'' uses a variant:
-->'''Kidnapper''': I would have had my way with him if not for those meddling [[GratuitousJapanese kodomos]]!
* In ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries'':
-->'''Pegasus''': I can't believe I failed. All I wanted to do was steal an ancient Egyptian artifact, seize control of a billion dollar company, and resurrect my dead wife. And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling—
-->'''Bakura''': Don't you even ''think'' of making a Scooby-Doo reference!
* Referenced directly in the GagDub of ''GhostStories'', where Hajime exclaims, "And you would've gotten away with it too, if not for us meddling kids. I've been waiting [[MediumAwareness five volumes]] to make that joke!"
* A ''WebAnimation/HowItShouldHaveEnded'' spoof of ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' has Captain America and his allies plan to foil HYDRA's scheme by tying up Alexander Pierce, then having Cap disguise as him and address the HYDRA moles. After they complete the first part offscreen, Pierce bellows the following:
-->'''Pierce:''' And I would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you sneaky kids and your disguise-o-mesh!
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* The TropeNamer: While the exact wording sometimes varied, every episode of ''ScoobyDoo'' ended in this vein, making you wonder what the local police were doing all that time.
** There was a ContinuityNod to this in one of the newer episodes:
--> "Hey, are you meddling... kids?"
** ''APupNamedScoobyDoo'' consistently added "...and that mangy mutt!" and this seems to have become the most quoted version.
** Also played with in recent installments, such as when a villain attributes his capture to an unrelated character who'd tripped him as he was fleeing, or when two 10-year-old perpetrators claim they'd have gotten away with it, "if it wasn't for you meddling grown-ups!"
** Scooby Doo is even referred to as "those meddling kids" on Boomerang.
** Similar sentiments were often expressed in other HannaBarbera [[FollowTheLeader shows about crime-fighting teen with comic pet sidekicks]]: ''JosieAndThePussycats'', ''ButchCassidyAndTheSundanceKids'', ''WesternAnimation/TheFunkyPhantom'', ''WesternAnimation/SpeedBuggy'', ''Clue Club'', and ''{{Jabberjaw}}''.
*** ''[[Creator/CartoonNetwork Boomerang]]'' has a block devoted to such shows. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPDwQwM1cLU Guess the name...]]
** ''ScoobyDooMysteryInc'' holds a lampshade on it... ''in the first episode''.
--> '''"Monster"''': That is until you...
--> '''Sheriff''': ''Meddling''.
--> '''"Monster"''': Meddling, yes, meddling kids, and your blasted dog ruined everything!
** The series then proceeds to goof around with it by making it a MadLibsCatchPhrase. Often just "you meddling [X]", but sometimes a more involved joke including thanking the meddling kids, blaming the meddling kids only to have them point out that others were responsible for the capture, avoiding the phrase altogether and lampshading that something's missing, or even cutting off the line claiming that it's been overdone.
*** Outright parodied when the criminal is one of the other kids at the gang's school, who points out that if he would have got away with it, "if it weren't for you meddling...peers."
*** On another occasion, the villain says the classic "meddling kids" line, only for Mystery Inc. to point out that his scheme was so [[ComplexityAddiction needlessly complicated]] that he probably would have messed up anyway.
*** On yet another, after the villain gives the line, Mystery Inc. points out that she ''did'' get away with it; she didn't do anything illegal, just rude, and thus can't be arrested. [[spoiler:She ''did'' however ruin her relationship with her sister, so she didn't ''quite'' get away with it.]]
** In ''Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire'', the group investigates the bizarre circumstances surrounding a music festival by posing as a band. Naturally, they're known as "Those Meddling Kids". Similarly, it's the name of one of the songs by recurring characters the Hex Girls.
** The criminal in ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooAndTheCyberChase'', the last of four videos depicting mysteries Scooby and his friends solve as adults, exclaims, "I would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for..." Scooby's friends finish off the phrase with, "...us meddling kids!"
** Then there was the one where the villain said "interloping adolescents" instead. The gang promptly corrects him: "That's 'meddling kids'."
** In ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooAndTheWitchsGhost'', two crooks mutter "We'd have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for that meddling . . . writer." This is then [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by Shaggy remarking "Zoinks. Like, that's a twist." and Fred agreeing but saying that he hates when the bad guys call the gang kids. And then "The Meddling Kids" becomes the name of their band.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' had a CorruptCorporateExecutive remark "And we would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling adults!"
* When DonaldDuck foils one of his plans to shut down the HouseOfMouse, Pete remarks that he "would've gotten away with it if it weren't that meddling duck!"
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', Kim cuts off a villain's post-foiling rant, citing the "meddling kids" line as cliche. The villain denies he was going to say it, but no one believes him.
* SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker does a ShoutOut to this in an episode of ''JusticeLeague''. Referring to some superpowered children the government was trying to mold into {{tyke bomb}}s, which he turns to his side, he states:
-->'''SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker:''' "And they would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for me meddling with the kids!"
* Subverted in the relatively new (as of 2009) PBS Kids series "Martha Speaks," in which the villain, being taken to jail, says "[The plan] would have worked, too, if it wasn't for... it not working."
* In Sideshow Bob's first speaking appearance on ''TheSimpsons'', he takes this to its logical conclusion, adding "Treat kids as equals! They're smarter than you think!" Considering that he had spent most of his time that episode running quality children's programming, it's an especially good point.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' uses this trope in the episode ''Child Abduction Is Not Funny'': "I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling policemen."
** In an earlier episode, Stan and Wendy (somehow) foil Mr. Garrison (really Mr. Hat's) plan to kill Kathie Lee Gifford, to which Mr. Hat replies "Yeah, and I would've gotten away with it too if it weren't for those meddling kids."
** Oddly enough, no variant of the line was used whatsoever in "Korn's Groovy Pirate Mystery," despite the entire episode being an AffectionateParody of ScoobyDoo.
* ''LloydInSpace'', "The Ride Along", has this somewhat opposite version: "I almost got away with it too thanks to those meddling kids"... referring to Lloyd and his friend Eddie who turned out to have chased down an undercover cop (the real baddie was cornered by Eddie's dad).
* The ''TeamoSupremo'' Halloween episode (which itself completely parodied ''ScoobyDoo'') used this trope.
* Lampshaded in HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw:
-->'''Old Man Backoff''': I would've gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for-
-->'''Harvey''': "These meddling kids..."
-->'''Old Man Backoff''': No, the damn cotton market!
* A ShoutOut appears in the ''{{Daria}}'' episode 'I Loathe a Parade' when an obnoxiously overenthusiastic mascot collapses at Daria's feet because he can't breathe through his lion costume and Daria charitably pulls the head off.
-->'''Mr O'Neill:''' Oh.. hello... where am I?
-->'''Daria:''' I can't believe it, it's Mr O'Neill!
-->'''Tom:''' And he would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for us meddling kids!
* Averted in the 100th episode of ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce'', (in a Scooby Doo parody, no less) when the number 100's dubious plan is foiled.
-->"And I would have succeeded, too, if it weren't for the fact that I failed."
* ''HeyArnold'' TheMovie ends like this when the villain Scheck gets arrested for illegal demolition said, "And I would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for that meddling football head, that kid with all the hair, and that brat with the one eyebrow.
* Episode 4 of ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingChanAndTheChanClan'' has the crook calling the children "lousy kid detectives" after Anne and Flip foil his escape.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/VeggieTales'' video "Esther, The Girl Who Became Queen," the French Peas exclaim they would have successfully crushed King Xerxes with a piano "...if it wasn't for that meddling queen!"
* 1973/74 ''SuperFriends'' episode "The Balloon People". After Noah Tall is captured by Superman he says "I could have gotten away with it if it weren't for you, Superman."
* {{Lampshaded}} in ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' - 'I always wanted to be called a meddling kid!'
* Parodied (amongst other villain Stock Catchphrases) with [[MadScientist Dr Animo]] in Ben10Omniverse:
-->'''Animo''': CURSE YOU, Tennyson! Curse you and your meddling way!
-->'''Ben''' (to Rook): I told you he talked like that!
* The Season 4 premier episode of ''WesternAnimation/CelebrityDeathmatch'' uses this, when Johnny Gomez discovers that John Tesh killed [[spoiler: Bob Costas]] in order to take his place as special guest spectator.
-->'''Tesh''': And I would've gotten away with it too, if it hadn't been for your meddling sportscasters.
[[/folder]]

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