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Corruption by a Minor

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Under US law (and other countries as well), there is a crime known as Corruption of a Minor, in which adults coerce or help children to commit crimes. This is the inverse.

Sometimes children can convince adults to break the law. But they're such innocent little darlings! How on earth is that possible? They could turn on the charm, particularly on a gullible adult or one with low self-esteem, or one who just likes kids and wants to be nice, or maybe one who sees the kid as an equal or a friend. Other times, the kid simply bribes the adult. This is pretty much the favourite technique of the Enfant Terrible.

See also Troubling Unchildlike Behavior, Kids Are Cruel, Deliberately Cute Child, From the Mouths of Babes, Corruption of a Minor, and Enfant Terrible.


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    Anime & Manga 

  • In Lawn Dogs, 10-year-old Devon and 21-year-old Trent become friends... at Devon's insistence. Devon later convinces Trent to accompany her while they steal chickens from a barn, and convinces him to moon her father and a police officer.
  • The film Little Sweetheart plays with this, having a normal nine year old girl, Elizabeth, being corrupted by the slightly younger Thelma, who is an amoral psychopathic chessmaster.
  • The not-too-notable Disney film No Deposit, No Return features a pair of kids who talk a couple of honest, inept crooks into kidnapping them to pay off some not-so-honest crooks.

  • In the original Lolita book, the pedophile protagonist Humbert Humbert claimed he was seduced by the titular girl, who had known about sex well before she met him. A not uncommon reading of the story takes this claim at face value, even though he's an Unreliable Narrator who was just trying to justify his molestation of the girl in question.
  • In Maryrose Wood’s Why I Let My Hair Grow Out, the fifteen-year-old protagonist tries to seduce a man in his twenties, who suddenly becomes very opposed to deflowering her as soon as he discovers she’s a minor (i.e., when she accidentally lets her age slip while she’s undressing in front of him). His insistence that they wait a few years doesn’t stop her repeated attempts throughout that book and the next to tempt him into sleeping with her.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In one episode of CSI, a twelve-year-old boy convinced his... siblings all four were conceived from the same egg via in vitro fertilization, but to different families and at different times, who were in their thirties, to murder his father the doctor who'd re-used the embryos without the biological mother's consent. Though the adults each had criminal records of their own and didn't take much convincing.
  • There was a bit in The Man Show where the Man Show Boy stood outside a liquor store asking the patrons to buy him beer, telling one guy he had a hottie back at his treehouse. In the end, one guy did get him a six-pack. There was also another segment where the boy was actually selling the beer like a lemonade stand.
  • On Shameless (US), Carl convinces a female camp counselor to expose her breasts to the other boys in the camp. It is a camp for kids dealing with cancer, so it is not hard for him to play on her sympathy and convince her to give the boys their 'wish'.

    Video Games 
  • In the second Clock Tower game, Edward uses Kay's repressed pedophiliac urges to make her do his dirty work.
  • Somewhere in the Kingdom Hearts continuity, the youngest apprentice of the scientist Ansem the Wise, the 8-year-old Ienzo, was the one who convinced him to build a laboratory designed specifically to study darkness and the heart, with varying levels of cruelty involved in the experiments. The result was the Apprentices condemning Ansem to a world of nothingness after their experiments got too inhumane and he started to take a stand against it. In fairness, Kingdom Hearts III reveals that at the very least, Ienzo wasn't complicit in banishing Ansem to the Realm of Darkness; the other apprentices did the deed then lied about it to Ienzo, telling him that Ansem had gone mad and exiled himself. As a child, he never questioned it.

    Visual Novels 
  • Dahlia Hawthorne got her start at an early age in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations by convincing/seducing Terry Fawles into conspiring with her to fake a kidnapping.
  • The ultimate Big Bad of Danganronpa, Junko Enoshima, is a high school student in the present of the games, and has been planning to throw the world into despair for a lot longer, and manipulated both adults and children to turn them into despair-loving fanatics.

  • It could be argued that this is what happened to Artie of Concession, as Chelsie was revealed to be hypersexual, and Artie wasn't capable of understanding what he was doing when he slept with her. However, Artie was at the time under the psychic influence of Joel, which probably had a bigger impact on his behaviour.

    Western Animation 
  • Happens in a cartoon by Swedish morbid cartoonist "Gurr"; a little girl comes up to a man and politely says that if he will "follow her into the woods", she'll give him a beer!

    Real Life 
  • Underaged children sometimes ask adults to illegally buy liquor and/or cigarettes for them at stores ("Shoulder Tapping"). The police are aware of this, and usually respond with organized sting operations, in which they recruit an underaged kid and tell him to ask adults to do this: those who say "yes" get busted on the spot.
    • Likewise, underaged kids sometimes try to persuade store clerks to sell them the liquor/cigarettes illegally.
    • The same principle applies to Murder Simulators as well. Children get either get clueless parents to buy games for them or try to buy them directly. Games industry trade associations even organize stings to catch shopkeepers that sell adults-only games with no questions asked.
    • It is not technically illegal for a child to see a US R-rated movie without a parent or guardian, but it is a universal policy that is treated almost as if it were. So similar to the above, we have children trying to convince employees or adults to sneak them into movies.
  • In 1950s England, there was the notorious Bentley case (portrayed in the movie Let Him Have It), where 19-year-old Derek Bentley (who however had a mental age of about 11) and his 16-year-old accomplice Chris Craig were interrupted by police in attempting to burgle a warehouse. Craig shot and killed a policeman (it has also been claimed that PC Miles was actually killed by a stray bullet from a police gun), and both Bentley and Craig were found guilty of this; Bentley was hanged because Craig was too young. This case is said to have helped lead to the abolition of capital punishment in Britain.