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Badass and Baby

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If you spoke baby, you'd know Anwen is saying "This is so awesome!"

"You all know who I am. You know what I can do. But I'm holding a small child here. And if you make me do anything that could possibly endanger this baby... you will be very, very sorry. Forever."

The Hero is fighting in the middle of a bustling metropolis. Suddenly, a Baby Carriage rolls into the middle of the battleground. For whatever reason, he (and it's usually a man) can't return the baby to its mother or hand it to one of The Team to get it out of the way while he fights. Instead, he picks the baby up and continues the fight, casually picking off Mooks while cradling the infant in the crook of one arm.

If the baby is a little older, expect the hero to tell the youngster to cover his or her eyes while he finishes the battle.

The baby or child doesn't have to be picked up before or during the fight. It can just as easily be the hero's kid, in which case there is optimal crossover between this and Action Mom / Action Dad. The important thing here is that the baby is held by the hero during the battle. If a baby is present, but not carried, then it's Baby Carriage. If one of the Innocent Bystanders just so happens to be a baby, that is also not this trope. If the hero is fighting specifically to defend a child, then it's Mama Bear or Papa Wolf. If the hero and baby are together for the majority of the plot/plotline, it's Badass and Child Duo.

This trope is useful for demonstrating the hero's sensitive side, as well as showing just how macho he is. Not only is he caring for an innocent, but he's fighting one-handed, to boot. This can also be used to show that Even Evil Has Standards, as some Mooks will refuse to fight until the baby is safely out of the way. It also adds a sense of additional danger and urgency to the scene, though Improbable Infant Survival is in full effect here.

Compare Badly Battered Babysitter, Escort Mission, and Badass and Child Duo. A Pregnant Badass is, by definition, always doing this.

For the love of God, Do Not Try This at Home.


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    Anime & Manga  
  • This is the main premise of Lone Wolf and Cub.
  • In Gintama, Gintoki and 'Appo, the Doorstop Baby, implied to be his child (he's not) from a one-night stand. At one point, Gin-chan needs both arms to fight so he throws the baby straight up into the air and catches him once the mooks are taken out.
  • In Bleach, Kenpachi (a Blood Knight who attained the rank of Captain via a Klingon Promotion) took in his eventual lieutenant as a baby. A clearer example occurred in a filler arc where a sociopath zanpakuto acquired one as a Morality Pet for an episode.
  • This is Beelzebub in a nutshell.
  • Carried by the Wind: Tsukikage Ran has a scene where Meow fights with a baby on her back. Then she punches out guards on her way to returning it.
  • Michiko & Hatchin: Young as she is, Hatchin is definitely the smarter of the two.

    Comic Books 
  • In Batman: Gotham Adventures #26, the parents of a baby who is being sought by all the world's criminal syndicates and intelligence agencies for his MacGuffin DNA ask Batman to protect him, and Batman ends up carrying the baby around all night while he foils robberies, rescues runaway buses, etc. At one point he gets a group of muggers to surrender simply by pointing out how unhappy he'll be if they insist on fighting and the baby gets hurt.
  • Similar to the Batman Beyond example, there's an arc in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics where Spider-Man and Kitty Pryde are tasked with taking care of a robot baby for a human health class. The robot ends up worse for the wear.
  • The whole point of the 2008 Cable series is to protect the mutant messiah baby from Bishop, who thinks her existence will lead to a Bad Future.
  • Nomad, who picks up the baby Bucky in the first story arc of his solo series and carries her around through most of the series run.
    • Averted in an issue where a shady Japanese executive coerces Nomad into going on some task for him — and orders him to leave Bucky with him. Nomad is furious that the man would hold her hostage.
      Executive Don't be ridiculous. I have five daughters myself; the child will be much safer here.
  • The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye Has this with Grimlock protecting an organic baby with the spark of a Decepticon. He carries her around in his chest cavity.
  • In Wonder Woman (2011) the New 52's much more violent and warlike version of Wonder Woman ends up fighting Physical Gods with baby Zeke strapped to her.
  • Ever since Miles Morales got a baby sister, the first thing that he does with her sister is rescue a guy trapped in the sewer and fight off a sewer alligator with her webbed to his chest in an impromptu baby sling.

    Fan Works 
  • In "Unpaid Internship", part of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Hearts series, Batman has to help the Justice League save the world while simultaneously looking after a toddler, whose provenance he resolutely refuses to discuss.
  • In Claire the Kind, the first time Claire, Mary and Darci encounter Bular, Claire had picked up Enrique from her dad. Because of this, Enrique was caught up in the whole troll hunter problem and winds up going with them on their first trip to trollmarket after nearly getting killed by the gumm-gumm prince.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Ogami Ito of Shogun Assassin is the original badass with a baby.
  • Tequila does this in perhaps one of the most iconic moments from the hospital shootout from John Woo's Hard Boiled.
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army: A baby is locked in a minivan during Hellboy's battle with the elemental, and, after pulling out the baby, Hellboy runs into battle with it instead of getting it to Liz or Abe.
  • Happens in John Woo's Chinese-language film Red Cliff, which is an adaptation of part of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
    • For context, Liu Bei's most trusted lieutenant, Zhao Zi-long, is tasked with retrieving Liu's family from the invading army. Liu's wife had committed suicide, however, leaving behind her and Liu's infant son. With a legion of enemies dedicated to massacre Liu's entire family behind him, Zhao did what every loyal soldier would do, by strapping the baby to his back, and slicing an escape path across every opponent that got in his way. Its even more awesome when Zhao finally made it to Liu, barely alive, and Liu shows more concern for his most trusted lieutenant instead of his infant son.
  • There is another movie based on the Three Kingdoms that came out the same year as Red Cliff, titled Three Kingdoms: Resurrection Of The Dragon, where Zhao Zi-long (played by Andy Lau this time), does the same thing defending Liu Bei's baby from enemy soldiers.
  • The whole plot of Shoot 'Em Up is about The Gunslinger Smith trying to keep the baby whose mother's murder he witnessed out of the villains' hands.
  • Similarly, the entire plot of the film Robin B Hood centers on Jackie Chan's catburglar character protecting a baby he found.
  • Secret Service of the Imperial Court has the protagonist, a Defector from Decadence, fleeing from enemy soldiers sent by his former employers while carrying his toddler son on his back. And when facing more than thirty mooks in a narrow path, he then proceeds to slice and dice through everyone that got in his way.
  • In Undercover Blues, Jeff beats up small-time street thug Morty (aka "Muerte"), using only kicks while holding his baby.
  • Spoofed in Tropic Thunder. Tugg Speedman's big franchise seems to rely on it heavily.
  • In The Fate of the Furious, Deckard has to rescue Dom's baby son from an enemy plane. He gives the kid headphones playing relaxing music, and proceeds to kill about a dozen mooks while keeping an eye on him.

  • Famous example from the classic Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, where Zhao Yun, a hero in service of warlord Liu Bei, defeats some 50 warriors in service of rival warlord Cao Cao in single-combat while carrying his lord's infant heir.
  • In the Young Wizards series, Irina Mladin makes a habit of keeping both her infant son and a parakeet with her on business. The thing is, Irina happens to be the strongest wizard on Earth; "business" for her could mean anything from stopping natural disasters to confronting The Lone Power itself.
  • In Carpe Jugulum, Queen Magrat, during one of her frequent Beware the Nice Ones moments, rigs up a baby-sling so she can fight vampires without leaving Princess Esmeralda alone. Nanny Ogg claims the Nac Mac Feegle also take their babies into battle, possibly for use as a weapon.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Mandalorian:
    • The title character is a bounty hunter who spends most of the series protecting his former target, an infant who is the same species as Yoda. Due to the way the species ages The Child is actually 50 years old and already able to use The Force, making him just as badass as his protector.
    • IG-11 is no slouch either and ends up the baby's temporary handler while the Mandalorian and his allies are pinned down by Imperial remnants in the last two episodes of Season 1. Which doesn't prevent him at all from bursting into town with a speeder bike and wreak havoc on the Imperials to save Mando and friends, all while carrying and protecting the little green wonder with his Abnormal Limb Rotation Range. "Nurse and protect", indeed.
  • In the Robin Hood episode Parent Hood Robin and his men find an abandoned baby just before the bad guys show up. While they're fighting them off, Robin deftly dispatches a mook, saying "Do you mind, I'm trying to get a baby to sleep!"
  • One episode of Power Rangers RPM has one of the Rangers holding a baby carriage in the middle of the fight. He ends up using it as a weapon while the baby is still inside (he doesn't know the baby is there before this.)
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys:
    • Happens during a fight; at one point, Herc throws the baby up into the air so he can use both hands at once, then catches the baby after he's done.
    • Xena: Warrior Princess also does this. During one episode, she has to protect a baby prophesied to take the throne of a kingdom from the king's corrupt agents who want to kill him. And yes, she does the same thing as Herc during one point of the episode.
  • In the first episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day, Gwen coolly fires on a helicopter full of men with machine guns while holding her baby daughter in one arm. The badassery of the scene pales in comparison to the way the baby has the most adorable smile during the battle.
  • The Doctor Who episode "Closing Time" features the baby Alfie (or Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All) quite prominently, even as the characters fight off Cybermen and Cybermats. And even though the Doctor's most certainly a badass, that doesn't stop him from being delightfully awkward and sweet with the kid.
  • In the pilot episode of Once Upon a Time, Prince Charming is forced to fight his way through an army of mooks all while he's holding and protecting his newborn daughter, Emma. It is as badass as it sounds.
  • Spike does this briefly in the Grand Finale of Angel.

    Myths & Religion 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Tepet Ejava of Exalted started off as the Baby half of this trope - born on a battlefield where her mother was leading the legions of House Tepet. Ejava's mother didn't want to leave her in someone else's care, so had the newborn girl strapped to her chest, her armour modified to protect both mother and child, before going out onto the battlefield and putting her sword to use. It's no wonder, then, that Tepet Ejava has risen to be one of the most talented generals the Realm's ever seen.
  • The Khaastas from Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition are a race of reptilian humanoids from the outer planes. Females battle alongside males while carrying their babies on their backs. And they don't seem too worried about the children though they vicously protect them from danger.

    Video Games 

  • In The Order of the Stick, Hilgya Firehelm carries her baby in a papoose with her at all times, including when battling vampires, and refuses to make other arrangements for the baby.
    Hilgya: Okay, Kudzu, Mommy's going to cover your sweet little eyes while she burns it all down.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Simpsons episode "Crook and Ladder", Marge's Smothering Mother magazine has one of these on the cover.
  • A sort-of example in the Batman Beyond episode "The Eggbaby". Terry is Egg Sitting and ends up fighting crime while still caring for his egg. And to top it off? He ended up getting the top grade in his class for the project, as, on top of being cared for physically, the "baby" got the mental stimulation from being brought along that none of Terry's other classmates had thought to provide.
  • The last normal episode of Samurai Jack is about this.
  • In Young Justice (2010) Invasion Cheshire and Red Arrow went to Tibet to rescue the real Roy Harper, Cheshire brought their baby with them who witnesses the asskicking the two do the local Mooks.
  • In one episode of the Fairly OddParents, an in-universe issue of the Crimson Chin has the Chin babysitting an infant, and having to bring it along on his crimefighting. "Justice makes it giggle!" Then that issue's villain gets the baby and remarks, "Evil makes it giggle!"
  • A first season episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars had two clone troopers discovering a small child hiding in a village after the rest of the residents were forced out. They realize that she knows secret passages that will help them ambush the Separatists. Obi-Wan Kenobi ends up spending part of the battle with her on his hip, and when he tries to cover her eyes she pulls his hands away.

    Real Life 
  • A Real Life example: Sacajawea led Lewis and Clark (the Corps of Discovery) across North America while carrying her infant son, Jean-Baptiste, on her back. While her role as a guide was limited only to the regions where her Shoshone tribe lived, her presence as a mother with child along the more hostile parts of the expedition helped alleviate fears that the Corps was a war party.
  • In 1206, a Norwegian party of rebels known as the Birkebeiner skied cross country while taking a two year old prince to safety. The prince would grow up to be Haakon IV. Norwegian painter Knud Larsen Bergslien captured the historic event on canvas.