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Final Girl And Child

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The Final Girl has to protect not just herself, but a younger child.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
KingZeal on Aug 6th 2015 at 8:14:34 AM
Last Edited By:
Arivne on Apr 23rd 2018 at 5:03:22 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

The Final Girl escaping isn't enough. She (or he) not only needs to save herself but a child (often her own). Usually, the villain is targeting the child directly for whatever reason, and the potential consequences for letting them win is even worse than merely dying.

Since the Final Girl trope is used to place a Slasher villain opposite a vulnerable, seemingly defenseless victim who has to find some way to outwit or escape their stalker, this is that trope taken Up to Eleven by also adding a vulnerable (and presumably innocent) child. This is typically an attempt by the series or genre to avoid being stale. Another variation is that the Final Girl is now Imperiled in Pregnancy and needs to protect her unborn child.

This is often used in sequels, especially those in long-running series, and if the Final Girl is a returning character, her survival is much less assured.

Sub-Trope of Tagalong Kid. Often overlaps with Badass and Child Duo. Can be considered a form of Escort Mission.


Examples:

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    Live-Action Film 
  • Aliens: Ellen Ripley, the Final Girl and Sole Survivor from the first film in the franchise, returns in the sequel and becomes attached to a young girl named Newt whom she sees as a surrogate daughter. The pic on Mama Bear demonstrates what happens when the eponymous aliens kidnap Newt.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: Also directed by James Cameron, Terminator 2 sees the return of Sarah Connor, who has become an Action Girl in the years since the first film. This time, the new Terminator is targeting her son, John Connor. This example is more justified than most examples, since the first film ended with Sarah Connor due to give birth very soon, and John was technically the target in the first film, too.
  • Happens twice in A Nightmare on Elm Street series:
  • In the Halloween franchise, the "of Michael Myers" trilogy of films has the villain Michael opposite this trope in each of them. In Return and Revenge, Michael is primarily stalking his niece, Jaime, who is only a child/teen. In the third, Curse of Michael Myers, Jaime herself gives birth to a baby and (following her death), it becomes his new target.
  • Body Snatchers (1993). After Marti discovers the aliens using Kill and Replace on humans, she tries to escape them with her half-brother Andy. Subverted when she fails: Andy is replaced with a pod person while they're separated.
  • A non-horror example is used in Ghostbusters II, where Peter and his Love Interest Dana had a Downtime Downgrade and she wound up having a child with someone else. That child is now the target of the new villain, Viggo the Carpathian.

    Video Games 
  • Played With in Resident Evil 2, between Claire Redfield and Sherry Birkin. Claire was not one of the survivors in the original game, but she's the younger sister of one of the two original protagonists. Regardless, in the second game, Claire spends as much time trying to survive and escape as she does chasing around Sherry.


Feedback: 8 replies

Aug 6th 2015 at 10:53:25 AM

I don't remember clearly, but, wasn't this trope present in the last remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers? That one with Nicole Kidman

Aug 6th 2015 at 10:54:16 AM

You're right. It was.

I've never seen the movie, though, so I'll either have to do some research or someone else will have to write it up in the meantime.

Aug 7th 2015 at 1:35:54 AM

Film

  • Body Snatchers (1993). After Marti discovers the aliens using Kill And Replace on humans, she tries to escape them with her half-brother Andy. Subverted when she fails: Andy is replaced with a pod person while they're separated.

Aug 7th 2015 at 1:46:16 AM

  • Blue Linked (Subtrope).
  • Examples section
    • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
    • De-capitalized (Aliens).

Aug 7th 2015 at 4:18:41 PM

Mar 13th 2018 at 12:40:10 PM

Snowpiercer has an adolescent Final Girl and a little boy as the only survivors.

Mar 13th 2018 at 1:15:35 PM

Childs Play:

  • Played straight in the first film, where Karen Barclay is the protagonist and trying to protect her son Andy from having his body stolen by Chucky. She survives, but the sequels reveal that she was committed and had Andy taken from her.
  • Inverted in the second film, Andy is the protagonist and POV character and his foster sister Kyle tries to save him from the killer doll. Again, both survive.
  • Subverted in the third film. An adult Andy is now trying to protect a child named Tyler from Chucky. Not only are both of them boys, but they have help from Andy's Love Interest, Kristen.

Apr 22nd 2018 at 4:14:13 AM

Maybe just "Final Child" would suffice? If there are both a girl and a child, then the 2 tropes simply apply at the same time...

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