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Death of a Child

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"Child victims have quite an impact on people."

While many stories feature children that survive miraculously through any incident, others seem to go out of their way to subvert the Sorting Algorithm of Mortality when it comes to children. Here children can die just as easily as adults, or perhaps even easier given their relative lack of experience and inability to defend themselves. There are few ways to make a Character Death more impactful than if it's a child or baby.

This trope is most often done for Rule of Drama. After all, Children Are Innocent, and thus their deaths are often something people can hardly accept - "they're too young to die", "they still have a lot of things they could do/achieve", etc. Hence why the trope is more common in serious dramas and stories farther on the cynical side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism. For instance, this trope is distressingly common in most Crapsack World settings to illustrate just how horrible the world in question is. It's also frequent in war stories, especially if the children are themselves combatants. Other times it's used for shock factor, especially in horror; the monster is shown to be especially dangerous since it underlines that no one is safe. More rarely, it's used for Black Comedynote , since this is serious Crosses the Line Twice material—it's rarely if ever part of a Hilariously Abusive Childhood.


May be the Littlest Cancer Patient, who tend to be not just critically but terminally ill to enhance the level of grief, although the only thing allowed to kill them is their disease. Also the reason why Undead Child is a deeply unsettling trope.

Do note that this is for when the plot actually deals with child death. This is not about a supervillain blowing up a city and Fridge Logic dictating that children must certainly have died in the process unless it specifically addresses the issue.

Related is Outliving One's Offspring, where the offspring is often (but not always) a child, and Tragic Stillbirth for when a fetus's death causes the family trauma. Can overlap with Offing the Offspring if the child's parents are the cause of death. See also Would Hurt a Child, which is used to show how completely evil a villain is by targeting children (though it doesn't have to end in death).


See also Censored Child Death, when the death still occurs, but is downplayed compared to other deaths in the story.

As a Death Trope, expect unmarked spoilers!


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  • Child Ballad
    • #20 The Cruel Mother depicts the title character murdering her newborn babies or baby, depending on the variant.
    • In #21 The Maid and the Palmer, the palmer taunts the woman with his knowledge of where she buried the babies she has borne and murdered.
    • In the horribly anti-Semitic #55 "Little Sir Hugh", the protagonist is killed by a "Jew's daughter" and thrown into a well — this was a fairly recurrent medieval legend (it also appears in The Canterbury Tales).
    • The title character of the #93 "Long Lankin" kills a lord's infant son (really very messily) either because the lord didn't pay him for building his castle, or just because he is a serial killer.
    • In many variants of #106 The Famous Flower of Serving Men, the heroine's evil mother has her baby killed.
    • In #173 Mary Hamilton, Mary drowns her newborn baby. She's caught and executed.
      She's tyed it in her apron
      And she's thrown it in the sea;
      Says, Sink ye, swim ye, bonny wee babe!
      You'll ne'er get mair o' me.
    • "Captain Carr" (#178) features the titular captain burning down his enemy's house, killing his wife and children (after a lengthy siege, because the wife is a badass).
  • In Tom Lehrer's "The Irish Ballad", from Songs by Tom Lehrer, the heroine kills her entire family, including cutting her baby brother in half and serving him to guests for dinner because she was bored.
  • The Erl-King is about a farmer riding furiously through the night to get his sick son home. The feverish young boy becomes increasingly distraught, claiming that the Elf King is trying to take him. Whether the Elf King is really there and trying to kidnap the boy or if it's just a fever hallucination is left ambiguous, but by the time the father reaches their home the boy has died.

    Comic Books 
  • The infamous Amazons Attack opens with members of the tribe butchering a father vacationing in Washington, D.C. with his son.... and then as the child starts crying they slaughter him too. It all goes downhill from there, folks...
  • In America vs. the Justice Society, Green Lantern Alan Scott recalls the death of a child that took place during his battle of Wotan, an event that affected him so greatly that he resigned for several years as the Justice Society's chairman. The death, as it turns out, was that of a child that Ian Karkull realized would someday become a United States President.
  • The death of Arthur Jr., Aquaman's infant son during The '70s, who was killed in issue 60 after he was suffocated by Aquaman's nemesis, Black Manta. Notable in that the death occurred at a time when The Comics Code of Authority's censorship standards were still rather strict.
  • In one issue of The Authority, the villains blow up a maternity ward full of babies, failing to get a specific baby that they were too lazy to check was there.
  • Batman's arch enemy The Joker has killed many children. Some examples include the brutal killing of 15 year old Jason Todd in "A Death in the Family" and on at least one occasion he blew up a school full of children.
    • In Flashpoint, Joe Chill accidentally kills 8 year old Bruce Wayne instead of his parents.
    • Two Robins have died. Damian was around ten while the above mentioned Jason was fifteen. Both ended up revived in the end, though Jason Came Back Wrong.
  • In the current Booster Gold series, the bad guys will deal with their foes by smothering them in the cradle. This actually befalls Rex Hunter, and requires Rip Hunter to completely conceal his origin, and Booster Gold to keep and reinforce his reputation as Fun Personified, because they know they do not have Infant Immortality.
  • "The Gauntlet" arc from the Brand New Day story sees longtime recurring Spider-Man character Billy Conners getting eaten alive by his own father after the Lizard side completely takes him over.
  • In Marvel Comics Captain Mar-Vell series, Genis time-travels to the future and meets his own evil, power-mad son, Ely. To defeat him, Genis time-travels again and murders his son in the cradle. 'Cause raising him not to be evil and power-mad would be too much work?
  • Quite horrifically portrayed in the series Crawlspace: XXXombies, when the zombie outbreak hits a maternity ward.
  • In Fray, Urkonn the demon Watcher kills a young girl Fray regards as her little sister, then blames it on the vampires in order to spur her into defeating the vampires.
  • A particularly infamous example is New 52 Harley Quinn giving out various handheld video games to both children and adults, then setting off the bombs while crying.
  • The Planetary issue introducing the Big Bads has them disposing of the local-reality analogues of Green Lantern, Superman, and Wonder Woman before they assume their Super Hero identities. Naturally, the Superman analogue is a baby at the time, and is killed entirely offhandedly. And let's NOT go into how Drummer was rescued... Worst. Rescue. Ever. Indeed.
  • In the "One Man's War" one-shot of Preacher, a young girl gets half of her head blown off in the crossfire between special forces operatives and terrorists.
  • The Punisher MAX:
    • It's revealed in a flashback that General Zakharov, in order to draw an enemy force out of hiding, THREW A BABY OFF A CLIFF.
    • In another story arc Mafia boss Nicky Cavella killed a rival boss' young son and fed him to him.
  • In Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge, Libra attempts to coerce the Rogues into joining the Secret Society by holding the Weather Wizard's baby son hostage. The psychotic speedster Inertia, who had been released on Libra's own orders, decides to derail the plan and casually blows the baby up. Shortly thereafter, the Rogues kill him.
  • Marvel Comics: One of the things that made Magneto from X-Men turn into a psycho would-be world conqueror was the death by fire of his daughter Anya, who was somewhere between the ages of 2 and 5. A group of humans were attempting to beat Magneto, possibly to death, for having extorted his full pay out of a cheating boss with powers he had just manifested that day, while at the same time his daughter was screaming out the window of the second story of an inn on fire. Having just learned he had powers, he couldn't control them well enough to free himself of his attackers and save his daughter until she had burned to death, at which point he went temporarily insane and killed everyone except his wife (everyone on the street, at least, and some sources indicate possibly everyone in the city). This led his wife to run from him in terror. It is possible that the fire at the inn was arson, given the remarkable coincidence of the inn burning down at the same time as the gang attacking him.
  • Ultimate X-Men had a Sentinel incinerating a young mutant mother and her infant.
  • In Robin Ulysses Armstrong accidentally kills his brother and sister when he sets off a bomb right next to the parked car they're sitting in. While his brother was a young teen his sister was quite young and as he actually cared about them he blames Robin for their deaths even though he's the one who built the bomb and pressed the button to set it off.
  • Runaways: Gert dies, becoming one of the first teen superheroes to do so.
  • The Sandman has a sequence with Death doing her rounds. One of the people she collects is a young baby, a victim of cot death when its mother leaves the room to warm a bottle for it.
    Infant's Spirit: That's it? That's all I get?
    Death: I'm afraid so.
  • Often occurs in Teen Titans, not with the members themselves but by their children. And this usually only happens to the five founding members:
    • Donna Troy's son and stepdaughter were both killed in a car crash, along with their father.
    • Wally West's twin children were aborted in the womb by the second Zoom, although this was undone some issues later and the two are currently alive.
    • Baby Wildebeest also applies, as while he could shift from child to full grown monster, he was still technically a child when Superboy-Prime blew a hole through his torso.
    • Tempest's wife and infant son were both missing since Infinite Crisis, and it was only later stated the two had been dead since.
    • Finally, Roy Harper's daughter Lian, the very first Titan child, was crushed to death in Justice League: Cry for Justice during the destruction of Star City.
  • Les Légendaires plays with this trope interestingly: the story takes place in a world where, thanks to a curse, everyone is trapped in a children's body and unable to grow up beyond the age of twelve. And the series is not afraid to kill off characters, so we do see children being killed every time someone die onscreen, but they aren't necessarily technically children.
  • In the Maximum Carnage storyline Carnage killed several children in his rampage.
  • Innocence Lost:
    • X-23's first mission is the assassination of a presidential candidate. It ends as a bloody rampage in which she killed the candidate, his wife, his children, and everyone else in the room.
    • It's strongly implied that Laura killed other children on her missions for the Facility, as well.
  • In The Unfunnies, Troy Hicks murders a lot of people in the universe of his comic strip The Funnies, and that includes children.
  • In The Walking Dead's Wham Issue, Rick's baby is among the many casualties. Aside from that, several of the zombies in the background are children.
  • Watchmen:
    • The Comedian, in a flashback scene, blows away a Vietnamese woman pregnant with his own child.
    • There's Rorschach investigating the case of Blaire, a very young girl who has been abducted... He finds her too late; she has already been murdered and her remains fed to the killer's dogs.
  • In The Wicked + The Divine. The entire point of the recurrence is that the gods are incarnated as young adults, who will die within two years. Minerva, the youngest, will be dead before she's fourteen.
  • In a What If? story following the idea of the Fantastic Four members having the same powers as the Human Torch, the death of a child during a fight with a monster became such a heartbreaking moment that it caused the team to disband and three of its members to pursue non-superhero goals.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW), Hamato Yoshi's sons were killed. The titular turtles are their reincarnations.

    Fan Works 
  • The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum
    • The ponies fighting for the Solar Empire have zero qualms about ponifying small children, even shoving potion down their throats if needed. This does not end well for the kids, who are turned into simple-minded mockeries of ponies as a result.
    • And on the other side, it's perfectly acceptable to shoot said ponified children, especially since they're now the enemy and would happily force potion down people's throats themselves, all in the name of spreading harmony. It's even seen as a Mercy Kill, since ponification is a Fate Worse than Death.
    • Due to the continued loss of manpower and increasing desperation of Earth's fighting forces, Child Soldiers make up a decent chunk of the PHL's forces, and they're just as vulnerable to getting killed in battle as their adult counterparts.
  • The Traitor Legions of The God Empress of Ponykind aren't too picky when it comes to massacres; when Celestia's forces arrive in Manehattan shortly after a battle, they find plenty of dead civilians, including foals and unborn children.
    • Scorpan in the sequel The Warmistress of Equestria kills an entire family of griffons in order to use Blood Magic, even taking time to note that the family had three children.
  • Averted in Ace Combat: Wings of Unity; the town of New Saddle is attacked and almost completely destroyed in the first chapter and a baby pony is one of many victims.
  • The first chapter of Ferris ends with Eamon and the readers learning that HYDRA killed a kid, and in the Moscow Terror Mission, an entire school is attacked and implanted by Chryssalids.
  • A Brief History of Equestria: In one chapter, Smart Cookie mentions in a letter to her husband that of the seven fillies to whom she gave birth, only four survived to adulthood. Naturally, this is going to happen in a pre-industrial society with limited medical knowledge. Then remember Smart Cookie is one of the better off ponies of her day, and what that means for the average pony. Also invoked later, when Talonhoof The Reviled makes an "example" of a pony one of his soldiers spared previously.
  • In "Dear Scootaloo", it is mentioned that three of the youngest foals in the Cloudsdale Home for Wayward Pegasi perished from smoke inhalation after an "arson" (turning clouds into smoke) attack.
  • In Mass Effect Fanfic Crucible, this trope is used to hell and back with all the numbers of dead children and babies. Unless you're baby!Gaius, chances are you're gonna die a horrible death. One can even say that you're lucky to simply be killed and not having something terrible done to you before and after your death.
  • What Lies Beyond the Walls has used this trope on multiple occasions. Chances are, if there's a giant battle going on and young ones are nearby, or if there's a child, teenager, or pregnant character that appears to be in danger, more than likely, he or she will die. Unless his name is Tegast.
  • In Broken Legends, Ubume discovers the true cost of Ho-Oh's blessing when her own lover attempts to kill her while she's pregnant. She revives; her unborn child doesn't. Not only does Ho-Oh refuse to bring her child back, he also tells her that they'll never be reunited, since she can't die.
  • In Saving the Saviour, after a six-year-old named Sheila dies in St. Mungo's, Harry swears to make the Death Eaters pay.
  • Legacy Of The Red Sun: Luke Skywalker dies at the age of the four - and that's just the beginning of the fic (though no other children die).
  • Ladder:
    • Ashley was biologically five years old and physically under a day old when she killed herself.
    • Princess was murdered by a Serial Killer who targeted villains.
    • All three of the Powerpuff Girls died individually. They also die repeatedly off-screen and on-screen. Their father keeps on bringing them back to life and killing them off when they aren't perfect enough.
  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog fic Frenzy, 12-year old Amy Rose is murdered by a Serial Killer that turns out to be Metal Sonic. 8-year old Tails narrowly avoids the same fate.
  • In Friendship is Failure, Count Logan rips off Flurry Heart's head, in a rather gratuitous display of cruelty, which the author put in for two reasons: 1) shock value and 2) to spite her mother, Cadance, for being Happily Married to Shining Armor (who's killed almost immediately afterward).

    Film — Animation 
  • Mulan. When walking through the ruins of a raided village, a single doll is found, as a G-rated signal that there were children killed here.
  • The animated movie version of Roald Dahl's The BFG, wherein we see into a boy's dream and are allowed to at least on some level "bond" with this kid only for him to be very heavily implied to have been eaten. Oh, and when Sophie and The BFG discuss the other Giants' plans to eat some school children, it is acknowledged to have happened.
  • The Prince of Egypt. Because of its particular source material, the child-killing would have been practically impossible to avoid; but still, they do quite a good and discreet job of showing it.
  • Tarzan opens with Kerchak and Kala's infant son wandering away from his sleeping parents and running into the leopard Sabor. Sabor pounces on him and it cuts to his devastated parents' reaction when they hear their son's shrieks as Sabor devours him alive.
  • Film version of Planet Hulk:
    • Caiera, when younger, had to kill her parents to protect her sister. However, she sees that (despite none of the spikes hitting her) she has somehow become infected before Caiera's home breaks down and kills her.
    • After a nuclear bomb explosion, Caiera survives, but the girl she tried to save has turned to ash and dissolves in her arms.

  • The Decemberists song "The Rake's Song," where the entire point of the song is a rake who never wanted children, murders his kids after his fourth child was stillborn and the mother died in childbirth.
    • Another stillborn child is the ghostly eponymous narrator of "Leslie Anne Levine."
  • Played for Drama in quite a number of Cormorant songs, including children being shot or drowning themselves. Even when one of the few times where they play this trope straight, said child ends up crossing the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Reboot, sung by Hatsune Miku, Megurine Luka, and the fanmade Samune Zimi. The song is sweet and happy at first, until Zimi's character is hit by a truck and killed. It gets worse when her spirit is accidentally recalled from the afterlife by her friends, who blame each other for the death, but she gets a happy ending when her friends make up and she is reborn.
  • Ryan Dan's song "Tears of an Angel" is a poignant tribute to their four-year-old niece, who died of leukemia while they were recording their 2007 album.
  • In 1993, Meat Loaf had a song titled "Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are". The first verse is about his childhood friendship with a boy named Kenny (no, not that one) and his early death. The music video shows he died when he took a plane for a joyride and crashed.
  • "Runaway Love" by Ludacris has one of the abused girls befriending a girl presumed to be her age (ten). Her friend gets shot by a stray bullet and without her only friend around anymore she runs away.
  • It's heavily implied that the titular Melissa from the Evelyn Evelyn song "Sandy Fishnets" was murdered on her 13th birthday after she grew too old to be in a part of the child prostitution ring.
  • Gustav Mahler's song cycle "Kindertotenlieder" (meaning "Songs on the Death of Children"), based on a series of poems by Friedrich Rückert, is a series of reflections on the grief that follows losing a child. (As you might guess, Mahler was bit of a Germanic Depressive.)
  • The titular person in the Grief Song "Lucy" by Skillet is an aborted baby. The singer regrets the decision.
  • "Jeannie's Afraid Of the Dark," a Tearjerker duet by Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton that was a country hit in 1969 (as the flip side to their top 5 hit "We'll Get Ahead Someday"). The titular character is a little girl who is terminally ill and, as might be implied by the title, afraid of the dark. After her death, her parents are comforted by placing an eternal flame nearby, perhaps seeing her as the candle-bearer and light-holder at the Gates of Heaven.
  • "Teddy Bear's Last Ride," a 1976 country single by Diana Williams, was one of several follow-up songs to the massively popular "Teddy Bear" by Red Sovine. This one, however, does not have a happy ending for the little boy, a paraplegic who was part of a spur-of-the-moment wish fulfillment series of truck rides. note  Told from the point-of-view from Teddy Bear's mother's friend, a caretaker for the little boy, "Teddy Bear's Last Ride" suggests that the boy's paraplegia is part of a terminal health condition, one that eventually kills him. The song's ending has a group of truck drivers attending the boy's funeral, with one of the semitrailer trucks serving as the hearse. A complete inversion of the trope, from "Teddy Bear's Last Ride," occurs in Sovine's own follow-up, "Little Joe," where Teddy Bear is recovered from his illnesses and is a key character in this tale of reuniting a dog with his master.
  • On the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's album Beethoven's Last Night, the Devil is trying to get Beethoven to surrender his last and greatest composition. Beethoven successfully rejects all of his other lures and tricks, so the Devil resorts to selecting a homeless child on the street outside of Beethoven's home and explains that he will torture her until she dies. Unable to accept this, Beethoven reluctantly agrees to the Devil's terms.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • The Bible features, among other acts of evil, the killings of firstborn children ordered by Pharaoh and King Herod in order to try to prevent both Moses and Jesus from growing up to cause trouble, and God himself killing all of the Egyptians' firstborn children, and the firstborn calves as well.
    • When the words Molech/Baal-Hammon, Astarte/Astarthe/Astaroth/Ashtoreth, the Valley of Ben-Hinnom/Gehenna, the Ammonites/Amorites, the Canaanites, etc. are mentioned, these are specifically referencing the sacrifices of children, born and unborn, to the gods of some of the cultures of the time. Sometimes the Jewish people (such as Kings Solomon, Achaz, and Manasses) messed up and took on this practice as well, despite God calling such a practice an abomination, and demanding the death of those who did such things. Those people ended up in a lot of trouble. It's the whole reason that Gehenna came to be the Jewish word for Tartarus/Hell (which is different from Sheol/Hades/Purgatory).
    • In 2 Maccabees, when the Jewish people rebelled against the corrupt high priest Jason, who had been appointed by King Antiochus IV, and ran him out of town, the king left Egypt for Jerusalem. Once in Jerusalem, he massacred many, young and old, women and children, virgins and infants. In 1 and 2 Maccabees (2 Maccabees is not a "sequel', it's another viewpoint of what happened in the the first book), King Antiochus IV then decreed that everyone take up the customs of everyone else, except the Jewish customs. He outlawed all Jewish customs, including circumcision. The children who were circumcised were killed, as were their mothers and whoever performed the circumcision.
  • Classical Mythology:
    • Followers of Orphism in Ancient Greece believed that Zeus and Persephone had a son named Zagreus, who was killed and eaten by a group of Titans at Hera's instigation. However, in some tellings, Zagreus's heart was saved by Athena, and he was later reborn as Dionysus.
    • Overlapping with Offing the Offspring: When Jason left his wife Medea for another woman, she murdered their children as part of her revenge scheme.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000, the corpses of children under the age of four (and above ten months) are sometimes used to make Cherubs, which are biomechanical robots. They are used as incense bearers in temples, mobile data storage and fashion statements. Add the fact that they sometimes go 'feral'...
  • In the Ravenloft setting Gazetteers from Arthaus, the narrator S adopts an orphaned infant, only to offer it to the banshee Tristessa in exchange for free passage through her domain, Keening. The insane banshee is obsessed with her long-dead infant son, and attempts to "care for" babies in the deluded belief they're hers; as Tristessa can't feed them or keep them warm enough, they inevitably perish from neglect.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Second edition actually gave stats and experience point recommendations for depicting infants in several species, up to and including humanoids like orcs.
    • Young Dragons (as young as the newly hatched "wyrmling" stage) have continued to be statted out as killable targets in the third and 4th editions, as well as Pathfinder.
  • In Pathfinder, on a number of occasions in the lore. The very first adventure contains an encounter where a goblin tries to eat a small child (though this one is played straight, the kid still has notable bitemarks and would have died if not for his father's last-second rescue) and contained details on the corrupt fertility goddess Lamashtu, whose lore involves gaining power over births by ripping out and eating her uterus, then devouring babies to magically regenerate it, and who frequently has children sacrificed to her. The third adventure involves the party exploring the hut of a group of ogrekin called the Grauls, where one room contains the bones of all of the incestuous clan matriarch's female offspring, murdered at birth to avoid being "competition" for her. Things just keep going from there.
  • In Anathema, your job is to reduce the human population as much as possible. Either directly or indirectly, your actions will result in children dying.

  • Shakespeare includes this trope fairly often, which isn't that surprising as he lived during a time when child mortality was fairly common:
    • Macbeth: Macduff's wife and children are murdered — including a son, who is murdered on-stage.
    • The title character in Richard III arranges the (offstage) murders of his nephews, which are then described to us by the killer. This is depicted as Richard's Moral Event Horizon.
    • Mamillius in The Winter's Tale dies of an unspecified illness, implied to be caused by the gods punishing his father for insisting that his wife was guilty of adultery even when an oracle says otherwise. Leontes (the father in question) also believes for most of the play that he's had his infant daughter killed (although the audience knows otherwise).
    • Arthur in King John dies from a fall while trying to escape from prison.
    • The Boy in Henry V is killed when a group of the French attack the luggage train he's guarding.
    • Romeo and Juliet centers around the deaths of young people, of course: Juliet is only thirteen when she commits suicide, and Romeo's age is never stated but presumably he's not much older.


    Visual Novels 
  • The first Liar Liar takes place in middle school and the second one takes place when the characters are first years in high school. Every ending involves at least one character dying. Yukari is an outright Serial Killer who has been killing since elementary school.
  • Sunrider Mask of Arcadius has a graphic example. When Solar Alliance soldiers launch a heavy-handed operation to rescue Kayto Shields and Kryska Stares from the Space Pirate Cosette Cosmos and bullets are flying left and right, a little girl that the two of them met earlier picks up a knife to defend herself with and is promptly gunned down. The shock of seeing a child killed right before his eyes leaves Kayto with nightmares for the rest of the game.
  • Anyone Can Die in When They Cry. Neither series wimp out about very graphically showing people dying, whether they're ten, fifteen, thirty, or sixty.
    • Rika from Higurashi When They Cry in particular is stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop where she's been forced to live the same month, dying each time, for possibly hundreds of years.
    • In Umineko no Naku Koro ni, nine-year-old Maria is not exempt from dying during the Rokkenjima Massacre; but in the fourth arc in particular, when her body is found, Battler notes that the murderer apparently went out of their way to make her look Peaceful in Death, and it actually looks worse since she's lying in the lap of her mother, whose face was half-blown off, surrounded by adults whose faces were also half-blown off.

  • Weapon Brown: Cal V1-n has absolutely no qualms about killing children right in front of their parents. His casual apathy for infants can be witnessed here.
  • In Off-White, Gebo returns home to find that his entire pack has been slaughtered by humans, even the puppies. Later lampshaded when Albert and Seven come across the pack's remains.
    Albert: They've even killed the puppies. How could they kill something so cute?
    Seven: Are you kidding me? Cute? So what? Is cuteness of something a good enough reason not to kill it?
  • Ansem Retort: An orphanage was burned in the very first comic and Axel and Zexion's 'Spock diet' consists of force feeding blended babies to Sora.
  • Salt The Holly: Cade has a flashback to when an assassin squad massacred his family. Not even a baby girl is spared.
  • Drowtales: Given its setting. Several children, including infants, die on screen, and the drow equivalent of a seven-year-old child not only dies (mostly) on screen, but is killed by another child the same age as part of a Sadistic Choice. Later on Vene, Ariel's younger brother is killed as part of an attempt to wipe out Quain'tana's bloodline and his two siblings, one a toddler and the other an infant, nearly suffer the same.
  • Homestuck: Equius, Vriska, Eridan, Tavros, Nepeta, and Feferi are all Killed Off for Real (though they can potentially reappear due to how ghosts and the afterlife work in the Homestuck-verse). A lot of kids definitely died when Sburb ravages a planet with meteors, not to mention how pretty much all trolls died when the Vast Glub occurred. It's also shown in Vriska's backstory that her lusus killed a bunch of troll children (specifically it forced Vriska to lure other kids in for it to eat; if she refused it would try to kill her).
  • In Guilded Age, when the reality-destroying monster attacks the World's Rebellion, Penk sends a boy who idolizes him to go get his drum while he and Magda fight the monster. When the boy and his sister find it, the monster catches up to them. It's not shown on screen, but when we return to them, we learn that the monster got him. His sister takes it very hard.

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation, Characters/SCPFoundation, SCP-400 ("Beautiful Babies"). SCP-400 infests and kills babies, then uses Mind Manipulation pheromones to make their mothers think they're still alive.
  • The City of Never has the death of Crystal Hopper, Alessa's younger sister who's tortured and raped for several days before finally dying after she's possessed by Draynak.
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, children are just just as likely to die as adults...or become ravenous zombies if they end up infected with the Plague of Undeath. The senseless deaths of children play a plot point as watching an innocent child die in the hands of merciless thugs and being unable to stop it is what eventually prompts Bishop Arbriel Conrad to stray from the Path of Light and join the Totenkopfs with the intention of "purging" the world from those who in his view don't deserve to live in it.
  • In the M,WDYD?Series seems to be pretty consistent with killing people off in a "Kenny Death", children, especially the titular Madgie, included. The reason as to why she has it that is to usually make the story poignant and just to show anyone can die in those stories. Don't worry, they get better when time is reversed.
  • In Worm, the protagonist Mercy Kills a toddler. The Slaughterhouse Nine also attacked a nursery at one point, albeit offscreen.
  • None of the stories in the Legatum series are shy about killing off children. Most notable is a case from Help Not Wanted where an ogre beats a young girl to death and then gouges out one of her eyeballs.
  • Brave New World Universe:
    • The story generally avoids killing actual children at least onscreen, but Tech Adventures uses this a few times. To torment Sasha some more the Joker (NOT the DC Joker) kidnaps a bus full of third graders, blowing up all the boys. He then proceeds to take to the airwaves where he tortures one girl leaving her paralyzed and dying from her injuries. Later he almost succeeds in blowing up the rest of them.
    • In the same story when the big bad Joanna is taking over several countries, and collecting people for mind controlled supersoldiers, her soldiers are seen killing children who are useless to her.
  • The Kindness of Devils usually avoids this trope—even None Too Holy, which puts a whole orphanage in jeopardy, doesn't kill off one child. The same can't be said for Under The Cold Moon, which goes well out of its way to show that Siegfried and Nomura have killed dozens of children.
  • On Cinema: Tim's son, Tom Cruise Jr., is announced to have died near the end of season 7 and the final episode of the season is a special in his honour. Its implied that Tom's death was due to getting treatment by Dr. San rather than going to a professional doctor
  • Cyanide And Happiness: Too Many Police features a dad cop who uses his absurdly large family of bastard babies as meatshields, and covers the mayor in babies everywhere but the face. They both die.
  • Petscop: The game has a child character named Michael Hammond, who died in 1995. His name can be seen on an in-game gravestone in video 2 along with the text "Mike was a gift".

    Western Animation 
  • Happy Tree Friends: Pop and Cub's gimmick is mainly that Pop is not a competent parent and his negligence constantly costs the life of Cub, and sometimes of himself, in very gruesome ways (as is the norm for Happy Tree Friends episodes). Examples include when he tries to wash him in the sink and accidentally scalds his lower half, then slices him up below the waist in the garbage disposal and when he is cutting the hedge and accidentally slices the top part of his head off.
  • In Farthing Wood Friends:
    • After the rodents have babies, the little ones are killed and impaled by a bird of prey in the very next episode.
    • This has happened a few more times; one of Mr. and Mrs. Rabbit's offspring is shot by a hunter, then fed to his dog, and Dreamer, one of Fox and Vixen's cubs, is killed by Scarface.
  • Family Guy:
    Brian: Stewie, I killed one of my own kind! I mean how would you feel if you killed a baby!
    Stewie: Well, actually I've killed seven...
    • Peter has killed many children both intentionally and unintentionally.
  • In many of The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror Halloween episodes, where Negative Continuity and Anyone Can Die are both in full effect, child characters (including Bart, Lisa, Maggie, etc.) are not immune to the comedic carnage that frequently happens.
  • In the American Dad! episode "100 A.D." junior reporter Matty Moyer is among the characters killed in a bus crash.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • 'ARC Troopers' shows towers of cloning tanks being destroyed during an attack on Kamino. That is hundreds of babies dying on-screen.
    • In "Padawan Lost", Kalifa, a tweenaged girl was murdered by Garnac, a Trandoshan Egomaniac Hunter.
    • In "A Friend in Need", Pre Vizsla leader of Death Watch, killed a teenage girl because her grandfather dared to speak up against the way his gang treated their village.
    • In "Revenge", Darth Maul slaughters a village, including children, to get the Jedi's attention. For once, Clone Wars plays it safe and keeps the slaughter largely offscreen.

  • A PSA for AIDS prevention had a woman talking about how her husband died from AIDS. She didn't realize he'd passed the virus onto her until their baby was born with it. As she reveals this last part, she walks over to an empty crib.