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* In the Creator/DonRosa story ''The Prisoner Of White Agony Creek'', Scrooge is reminiscing about his gold digging days and Huey, Dewey and Louie decide to ask what happened the month he and Goldie spent alone in White Agony Creek. Donald has a massive OhCrap moment before shoving the boys away. While they may be innocent, Donald can probably imagine what happens when two people with BeligerentSexualTension spend a month alone together.

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* A revolting example in ''Film/{{Cuties}}'' with one of the Cuties finding a ''used'' rubber and blowing on it like a balloon. When she was chastised by the other girls that it's a condom, she remains oblivious until they explain to her that people with AIDS use it, which itself is a precocious example by the girls who have misguided perceptions about sex, including that you could catch AIDS orally.[[labelnote:*]]By the way, you can't, but it's worth noting that you could catch ''another'' STD from it entirely, so their worries aren't entirely unfounded.[[/labelnote]]


* Infuriatingly subverted by a young girl in ''ComicBook/DCTheNewFrontier''. [[CaptainEthnic John Henry]] lays dying after taking a beating from the UsefulNotes/KuKluxKlan. A little girl appears in front of him and he begs her to help him. Her response is "[[KidsAreCruel He's here! He's here! The nigger's over here!]]

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* Infuriatingly subverted by a young girl in ''ComicBook/DCTheNewFrontier''. [[CaptainEthnic John Henry]] lays dying after taking a beating from the UsefulNotes/KuKluxKlan. A little girl appears in front of him and he begs her to help him. Her response is "[[KidsAreCruel He's here! He's here! The nigger's over here!]]here!]]"

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* Infuriatingly subverted by a young girl in ''ComicBook/DCTheNewFrontier''. [[CaptainEthnic John Henry]] lays dying after taking a beating from the UsefulNotes/KuKluxKlan. A little girl appears in front of him and he begs her to help him. Her response is "[[KidsAreCruel He's here! He's here! The nigger's over here!]]

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* ''Manga/ASilentVoice'' subverts this in one of the most cruel ways depicted in a manga. In Volume 1, the only innocent kid is Nishimiya Shouko, the deaf transfer student. Everyone else in the class bullies her, and when this becomes known to the teachers (who, by the way, were in on the bullying in the first place and are only trying to save face), the class turns on Ishida Shouya, the only classmate who actually made any real effort to try and get along with Shouko, even though he was also the one who started bullying her in the first place. Six years later, in Volume 2, we learn that Shouya being ostracized by his classmates in elementary school [[DrivenToSuicide drove him to want to kill himself]]. It was only because he met Shouko again, that he decided to do everything in his power to make amends, even though he didn't believe he deserved to be forgiven by Shouko.

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* ''Literature/MercyThompson'' plays this straight with Jesse, who tries her best to be plucky and upbeat even while living with a divorced father and in a world where there is tension between humans and supernatural beings.



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[[caption-width-right:320: CreepyBlueEyes notwithstanding.]]

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* In ''Fanfic/BuckyBarnesGetsHisGrooveBackAndOtherInternationalIncidents'', most people seem to be under the [[SubvertedTrope breathtakingly mistaken]] impression that ComicBook/CaptainAmerica's childhood was pure character-building Dickensian poverty that helped turn him into the moral paragon that he is now. Not only is Steve Rogers, as a man, not even close to a paragon of anything save for maybe stubbornness, he and Bucky spent their childhoods aiding against Prohibition. Steve kept books for multiple speakeasies, and Bucky's family auto shop used to serve bootleggers on the down-low, where he'd help install secret compartments for contraband and learned how to soup up engines a bit. Given that Prohibition wasn't lifted until both were in their late teens, they were both minors when they were breaking the law, and Bucky could have been helping out with bootleggers' cars as young as elementary school-age.


* Most mainstream Christian Denominations believe that children are incapable of committing major sins by virtue of their youth. It is also generally believed that all baptized children who die immediately go to Heaven (what happens to unbaptized children is debated). In the Catholic Church, those who have not yet reached maturity are considered to be unable to commit mortal sin on the basis that they lack reason (and by extension lack full knowledge, one of the requirements necessary for a sin to be mortal). Additionally the Catholic Church holds that any baptized person who dies before attaining reason goes to Heaven. The Catechism of the Catholic Church concludes that while it can't be said for sure what happens to baptized children, there is good reason to believe that God has mercy on them (perhaps even letting them into Heaven) on the basis that Jesus was a FriendToAllChildren.

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* Most mainstream Christian Denominations believe that children are incapable of committing major sins by virtue of their youth. It is also generally believed that all baptized children who die immediately go to Heaven (what happens to unbaptized children is debated). In the Catholic Church, those who have not yet reached maturity are considered to be unable to commit mortal sin on the basis that they lack reason (and by extension lack full knowledge, one of the requirements necessary for a sin to be mortal). Additionally the Catholic Church holds that any baptized person who dies before attaining reason goes to Heaven. The Catechism of the Catholic Church concludes that while it can't be said for sure what happens to baptized children, there is good reason to believe that God has mercy on them (perhaps even letting them into Heaven) on the basis that Jesus was a FriendToAllChildren. Other denominations that don't practice infant baptism believe instead that all people are born sinful, and accepting salvation is a private, personal decision, of which baptism is merely a symbol. However, those who die without having the faculties to make such an important decision (namely, children and the mentally handicapped) are still believed to get a pass.

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* Deliberately exploited by a villain in ''Literature/HiveMind2016''. [[spoiler:Rose is only 10, and uses that to both conceal her murders and attempt to evade responsibility for them.]]

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* In ''Fanfic/FinalToll'', the CheerfulChild Romani has no idea what's going to happen in a few hours and is just happy that she's old enough to drink Chateau Romani. She doesn't realize that everyone is going to die before sunrise.


* In Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'', Vetinari speaks coldly of killing children; those he is addressing counter that they had exterminated pups -- which only makes them look bad. Then we learn they are speaking of [[spoiler:orc]] children which is just as bad.

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* In Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'', ''Literature/UnseenAcademicals'', Vetinari speaks coldly of killing children; those he is addressing counter that they had exterminated pups -- which only makes them look bad. Then we learn they are speaking of [[spoiler:orc]] children which is just as bad.


Victorian-era Anglosphere invented modern "childhood". Inspired by the ideals of The Enlightenment and an interpretation of the Bible's New Testament based on them, they came to the conclusion that the time people spent between being a baby and being useful in mines and fields (or [[BabyFactory for making more babies]]) was special and precious--that people this age were innocent and full of wonder and beloved by God, and that they should be loved and protected and cared for by society in general. They came to believe that there was a stark contrast between the [[RousseauWasRight innocent and instinctual goodness]] of children and the cynical evil of adults. After several decades the grassroots belief in and support for "childhood" became so strong that children[[note]] Or more usually, failing that, just the girls[[/note]] under certain ages were actually forbidden from doing certain types of work despite the dedicated lobbying of business interests who didn't want to lose their smallest and cheapest workers (e.g. smaller coal-miners mean smaller mineshafts). By 1900 only a fifth or so of British and US children (under 16) were in full-time employment and even the world's most pro-corporation and [[RedScare rabidly]] [[DirtyCommunists anti-socialist]] democratic state, the USA, actually finally ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Labor_Standards_Act banned child labour entirely]]'' in 1938.

The age European culture has assigned to the end of "childhood" has grown over the years and an "inbetween" period was added in TheFifties or so--"teenage-hood"--but the meme remains: a child is a BlankSlate not yet sullied by the [[GrowingUpSucks evils of the world]]. Only upon [[ComingOfAgeStory coming of age]] do they lose this innocence and the protection it confers. A [[DeathOfAChild child's death]], even that of a boy, is a tragedy; but a young man just a year older than him [[WeHaveReserves is in the most expendable demographic in the world.]]

The Children Are Innocent trope captures the idea that [[RousseauWasRight children are never naturally evil]]. A consequence is that [[WouldHurtAChild harming one]] is [[MoralEventHorizon the ultimate evil act]], [[RevengeByProxy no matter how provoked]]--unless that is [[ChildSoldiers forcing others to harm them]]. This is an extremely pervasive trope that is at the heart of many other tropes, such as FriendToAllChildren and HarmfulToMinors as well as frequently the root of both PapaWolf and MamaBear. When the BigBad kills nameless hundreds, the heroes will say the villain killed [[MenAreTheExpendableGender women]] and children. The Children Are Innocent trope is old enough that it is difficult to assign it an age; but certainly it goes back to the New Testament.

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Victorian-era Anglosphere invented modern "childhood". Inspired by the ideals of The Enlightenment and an interpretation of the Bible's New Testament based on them, they came to the conclusion that the time people spent between being a baby and being useful in mines and fields (or [[BabyFactory for making more babies]]) was special and precious--that precious that people this age were innocent and full of wonder and beloved by God, and that they should be loved and protected and cared for by society in general. They came to believe that there was a stark contrast between the [[RousseauWasRight innocent and instinctual goodness]] of children and the cynical evil of adults. After several decades the grassroots belief in and support for "childhood" became so strong that children[[note]] Or more usually, failing that, just the girls[[/note]] under certain ages were actually forbidden from doing certain types of work despite the dedicated lobbying of business interests who didn't want to lose their smallest and cheapest workers (e.g. smaller coal-miners mean smaller mineshafts). By 1900 only a fifth or so of British and US children (under 16) were in full-time employment and even the world's most pro-corporation and [[RedScare rabidly]] [[DirtyCommunists anti-socialist]] democratic state, the USA, actually finally ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Labor_Standards_Act banned child labour entirely]]'' in 1938.

1938.

The age European culture has assigned to the end of "childhood" has grown over the years and an "inbetween" period was added in TheFifties or so--"teenage-hood"--but so "teenage-hood" but the meme remains: a child is a BlankSlate not yet sullied by the [[GrowingUpSucks evils of the world]]. Only upon [[ComingOfAgeStory coming of age]] do they lose this innocence and the protection it confers. A [[DeathOfAChild child's death]], even that of a boy, is a tragedy; but a young man just a year older than him [[WeHaveReserves is in the most expendable demographic in the world.]]

world]].

The Children Are Innocent trope captures the idea that [[RousseauWasRight children are never naturally evil]]. A consequence is that [[WouldHurtAChild harming one]] is [[MoralEventHorizon the ultimate evil act]], [[RevengeByProxy no matter how provoked]]--unless provoked]] unless that is [[ChildSoldiers forcing others to harm them]]. This is an extremely pervasive trope that is at the heart of many other tropes, such as FriendToAllChildren and HarmfulToMinors as well as frequently the root of both PapaWolf and MamaBear. When the BigBad kills nameless hundreds, the heroes will say the villain killed [[MenAreTheExpendableGender women]] and children. The Children Are Innocent trope is old enough that it is difficult to assign it an age; but certainly it goes back to the New Testament.






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* The development of the human brain and the rest of the body are very loosely connected, but chances are unless something terrible has happened, you aren't likely to find a kid under ten with much understanding of abstract concepts, such as death, emotions, and morality. For an example, if you ask a typical child: "Who's worse, a girl who stole a dollar from hers mom purse to buy a candy bar, or a girl who stole ten dollars from her mom's purse to help a poor friend pay for lunch?" the younger the child is, the more likely they are to choose the girl who stole ten dollars, because they stole more than the girl who took one dollar, with no regards to ''why'' the girls were stealing their money.

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* The development of the human brain and the rest of the body are very loosely connected, but chances are unless something terrible has happened, you aren't likely to find a kid under ten with much understanding of abstract concepts, such as death, emotions, and morality. For an example, if you ask a typical child: "Who's worse, a girl who stole a dollar from hers mom her mom's purse to buy a candy bar, or a girl who stole ten dollars from her mom's purse to help a poor friend pay for lunch?" the younger the child is, the more likely they are to choose the girl who stole ten dollars, because they stole more than the girl who took one dollar, with no regards to ''why'' the girls were stealing their money.


-->-- '''[[Literature/TheFourGospels Matthew 18]]''', Literature/TheBible

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-->-- '''[[Literature/TheFourGospels Matthew 18]]''', Literature/TheBible
18:3-4]]''', ''Literature/TheBible''


* Creator/SergeyLukyanenko's ''Literature/KnightsOfTheFortyIslands'' is a case of PlayingWithATrope. Aliens abduct teenagers ([[spoiler:duplicates, actually]]) and distribute them among the forty islands connected by bridges. They are told that the group that manages to conquer all forty islands gets to go home. The kids are supplied with wooden swords that turn into metal whenever they get aggressive (i.e. fight). TheProtagonist quickly learns that this is not a game, and people really die here. Very quickly, the teens realize that it is simply impossible to conquer all forty islands, as each island only has no more than a dozen people. Eventually, the protagonist suggests allying with the nearby islands in order to be able to achieve their goal. While this works at first, it later turns into a disaster, as their former allies turn on them, kill the boys, and [[RapeAsDrama rape]] the girls. In fact, they find remains of children from UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo era who have tried the same thing with the identical results. This novels seems to be about breaking every child stereotype to claim that, under the right circumstances, even a child is capable of anything. The worst thing is, [[spoiler:[[TheCakeIsALie the aliens never planned to release anyone]]]].
* Deconstructed in Creator/JoeHill's ''Literature/{{NOS4A2}}'' where the children of Christmasland are innocent forever, which means they never learn or gain experience or develop empathy. As one character states, "Innocent little kids rip the wrings off flies, because they don't know any better." In other words, perpetual innocence means no CharacterDevelopment, for good or ill.

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* Creator/SergeyLukyanenko's ''Literature/KnightsOfTheFortyIslands'' is a case of PlayingWithATrope. Aliens abduct teenagers ([[spoiler:duplicates, actually]]) and distribute them among the forty islands connected by bridges. They are told that the group that manages to conquer all forty islands gets to go home. The kids are supplied with wooden swords that turn into metal whenever they get aggressive (i.e. fight). TheProtagonist Dima quickly learns that this is not a game, and people really die here. Very quickly, the teens realize that it is simply impossible to conquer all forty islands, as each island only has no more than a dozen people. Eventually, the protagonist suggests allying with the nearby islands in order to be able to achieve their goal. While this works at first, it later turns into a disaster, as their former allies turn on them, kill the boys, and [[RapeAsDrama rape]] {{rape|AsDrama}} the girls. In fact, they find remains of children from UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo era who have tried the same thing with the identical results. This novels seems to be about breaking every child stereotype to claim that, under the right circumstances, even a child is capable of anything. The worst thing is, [[spoiler:[[TheCakeIsALie the aliens never planned to release anyone]]]].
* Deconstructed in Creator/JoeHill's ''Literature/{{NOS4A2}}'' ''Literature/NOS4A2'' where the children of Christmasland are innocent forever, which means they never learn or gain experience or develop empathy. As one character states, "Innocent little kids rip the wrings off flies, because they don't know any better." In other words, perpetual innocence means no CharacterDevelopment, for good or ill.

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