Playing With / Protected by a Child

Basic Trope: The Hero's Roaring Rampage of Revenge is stopped when a child related to the villain tries to protect them.
  • Straight: Dirk has tracked down Lord Geoff, the man who kidnapped his sister Daisy. Before he can finish him off, however, Geoff's sweet little niece Charlotte runs into the room and begs him "Don't hurt Unca Geo!" Dirk hesitates, then backs down.
  • Exaggerated: Lord Geoff burned down Dirk's Doomed Hometown, slaughtering all of his family save for Daisy, who he made his personal servant. Dirk tracks him down and is in the middle of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown when Geoff's niece Charlotte runs in, along with his young son Nathanial.
  • Downplayed: Dirk has tracked down Lord Geoff, the man who has kidnapped his sister Daisy. Before he can finish him off, however, Geoff's niece Charlotte runs into the room with Daisy in tow, promising to let her go home with Dirk so long as Dirk doesn't finish Geoff off.
  • Justified: Lord Geoff has raised Charlotte as his own child and spoils her silly, she loves her uncle and only knows him as a good man and does not understand why Dirk is going to kill him So she tries to protect her favorite uncle.
  • Inverted: Charlotte learns how Geoff wronged Dirk, and is so horrified that her Unca Geo is one of the bad guys that she attacks him herself, leaving Dirk to try and intervene.
  • Subverted: When Charlotte arrives and tries to get in the way, Dirk slaps her aside — or worse.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied: Charlotte bursts into the room whenever Geoff is having even the slightest disagreement with somebody, even over something as paltry as not liking the evening's desert.
  • Zig Zagged: When Charlotte arrives, Dirk hesitates — until Geoff tries attacking while his guard is down. Ignoring Charlotte's screams, Dirk proceeds to beat the crap out of Geoff until the guards arrive... at which point he grabs Charlotte as a hostage. Geoff cries out "Don't hurt her! I'll do anything!" — but then orders another cowardly attack while Charlotte is still in the line of fire. Dirk shoves her to safety, getting injured in the process, but manages to take out the guards and corner Geoff again. Geoff pleads with him, calling out to Charlotte for support... but Charlotte isn't too pleased with her Unca Geo throwing her to the wolves like that, and flees to safety, leaving Geoff to face Dirk's wrath.
  • Averted: Geoff has no child or young family who is currently staying with him, or Dirk is able to break in and finish his business with him before any children can stumble across the scene.
  • Enforced: The writers need Geoff alive, and are setting him up for an eventual Heel–Face Turn; giving him a niece to have as protection and a Morality Pet takes care of both problems.
  • Lampshaded: Dirk: "do you have any idea what your uncle does for a living?"
  • Invoked: Lord Geoff has his niece staying over all the time/had Nathaniel just so they can potentially protect him from soft-hearted people in this fashion.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Dirk knows that Geoff has young relatives staying over, and ensures that they can't get in by locking the doors and such before confronting Geoff.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Dirk was a Punch-Clock Hero with very specific orders: kill Lord Geoff, no matter what. His failure to do so results in him losing his title and being replaced by someone fond of the phrase "I Did What I Had to Do".
  • Reconstructed: Dirk is The Fettered; it's his refusal to stoop to acts like murdering someone while their child watches that makes him The Hero in the first place.
  • Played For Laughs:
    • Charlotte wanders in while Dirk and Geoff are wrestling about and asks if they're playing.
    • When Charlotte enters, Geoff begs her for help... and she hints that she'd really like a new dolly. Oh, and a pony. And...
  • Played For Drama: Dirk has done many morally questionable things on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, and this stands as his final test. Will he kill Geoff in front of his niece — or worse, engage in a little "eye for an eye" behavior...

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