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Extremely Protective Child

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ADA Abbie Carmichael: Lost her father twice. Lousy deal all around.
EADA Jack McCoy: The law went as far as it could. Lisa Hallenbeck wanted all or nothing.
DA Adam Schiff: One day we might all wish we had a kid like that.

There's Mama Bear and there's Papa Wolf, and then there's this: the inverse of those tropes, when it is the child who is very protective of their parents' emotional or physical state, and will take a level in badass to protect them. They are likely to say If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her.... It may be because the child is a Living Emotional Crutch to their mother or father, or because the parent themselves is in some way emotionally or physically impaired that has required the child to take a Promotion to Parent. In these cases, it will usually be an Adults Are Useless situation. However, it can also be simply because they are Good Parents and the child is motivated by The Power of Family.

They also don't need to be actual minors; the trope is still in effect with adult children. It may overlap with Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas, though it does not require the child to be villainous; it's seen across the morality spectrum. This trope is also not Always Female, but it is usually directed at the mother, probably due to Women Are Delicate and Womanliness as Pathos. The mother variation also tends to be a Struggling Single Mother. Never say Your Mom to these guys.

Often they will accept insults to themselves with relative calm, but explode when their parents are insulted.

Closely related to Parents in Distress, except it doesn't require the parents to be in distress, and it has broader cross-genre application. Contrast Abusive Offspring, and compare Antagonistic Offspring, with which it may coexist in some very unusual cases. Subtrope of Honor Thy Parent.

May develop into a You Killed My Father situation.

Please note that this is only a parent-child (or adoptive parents, or Parental Substitute), as the sibling variation is Big Brother Instinct or Big Sister Instinct.


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  • A commercial for Cocoa Pebbles, Fred and Barney are competing in a wrestling match against a Hulk Hogan expy. Naturally, he beats them both with little effort, however, he did it in front of Barney’s adoptive son, Bamm-Bamm, resulting in a very angry Bamm-Bamm rushing in and beating the crap out of him.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Future Trunks in Dragon Ball was like this in the Android Saga where his father Vegeta was injured in his fight with Android 18, a female cyborg designed to specifically fight The Hero Son Goku, who was ill in this arc. The reason for this is because Trunks' father was killed in battle in the future, so his reaction upon seeing his father's arm being broken in the fight is understandable.
    • Gohan may be less than eleven for most of Z but he will not stand for anyone hurting Goku or his Parental Substitute Piccolo. During the first fight with Vegeta, Vegeta knees Goku while he is down, leading to an enraged Gohan to kick him in the face. After seeing Piccolo losing to Frieza, Gohan jumps in and starts attacking Frieza.
  • In the anime/manga version of The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Selma adores her father and he returns the same affection to her. So when her husband Gadhevi murdered her father, Selma was the one to capture and turn the former in to be executed.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • When he discovers that Dio has been secretly poisoning his father George, Jonathan Joestar heads to Ogre Streets to find evidence and expose his adopted brother.
    • Joseph Joestar is very protective of his grandmother Erina and his Honorary Uncle Speedwagon, given they were the only family he had with both of his parents supposedly dead. He beats up a mafia leader for callously making Erina cry with news of Speedwagon's alleged death, then travels all the way to Mexico and breaks into a Nazi compound to rescue him.
    • Jotaro Kujo initially didn't want anything to do with the conflict with DIO. That was until he learned that Dio was causing his mother Holly's Stand to flare up and making her deadly ill, at which he joins Joseph's crusade to take down DIO once and for all.
    • Do not mess with Josuke Higashikata's mother or grandfather if you want to avoid a Fate Worse than Death. When Angelo killed his grandfather Ryohei, Josuke defeated him and turned him into a rock structure to continue watching Morioh as Ryohei had. And after Terunosuke Miyamoto captured Tomoko and trapped her in a piece of paper using his Stand Enigma, Josuke returned the favor after getting the her free by transforming Miyamoto into a living book.
    • After finding out how much Jotaro actually cared for her and seeing his Stand and Memory disks get stolen, Jolyne Cujoh chose to stay behind in Green Dolphin Prison, retrieve the disk, and take down the Stand User that nearly killed her father.
  • Anos Voldigoad from The Misfit of Demon King Academy loves his parents, especially his mother, and speaks very fondly of them. When Emilia Ludowell threatens to kill her, he was absolutely livid, restraining her with magic and teleporting her to an empty colosseum where he not only kills her, but also forcibly reincarnates her as a Human-Demon Hybrid before cursing her soul to always become a hybrid no matter how many times she is reborn, which for a proud royal like her is considered a Fate Worse than Death. His protectiveness is fully understandable since in his past life, his mother was killed by humans while she was still at term, which caused him to declare war on humanity from the moment he was born.
  • In Naruto, while they're not strictly speaking father and child, Haku certainly fits the trope where Zabuza is concerned. When their employer, Gatou, approaches a bed-ridden Zabuza to punish him for his failure to kill their target, Haku grabs his arm, crushes it, gives Gatou one hell of a Death Glare and calmly threatens to kill him if he ever touches Zabuza with his "filthy hands". Even though he has two of his best bodyguards flanking him, Gatou wisely decides to leave Zabuza alone for the time being, but threatens to terminate their contract if they fail him again. Mind you, Zabuza was perfectly capable of defending himself, even if he was still recovering from getting his ass kicked by Kakashi; Haku is just that protective.
  • Don't mess with a Parental Substitute in One Piece if you know what's good for you.
    • Franky's reaction to Tom being taken away for execution was to pistol whip Spandam, the arresting officer and the one who framed Tom in the first place, so bad that his face became permanently disfigured and to later try to stop the train taking Tom to Enies Lobby, first by shooting it with a BFG and then by catching it with his bare hands.
    • Chopper, who was nine at the time, attempted to kill Wapol after the Fat Bastard mocked Hiriluk's death and only stopped after Dalton managed to talk some sense into him, pointing out that, if Chopper couldn't beat him, then that he wouldn't be able to beat Wapol. Before that, Chopper also fought the leader of his old herd in order to get a special mushroom that he hoped would cure Hiriluk's terminal illness.
    • After Rosinante was murdered, Law proceeded to dedicate the next 13 years of his life to a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against his killer - Donquixote Doflamingo, Rosinante's own brother.
  • Kurama in YuYu Hakusho is this to his mother, Shiori. He was Yoko Kurama, a demon fox who nearly died, so he fled in his spirit form to the Human World and merged with the body of Shiori's unborn child, Shuichi. Despite Kurama's initial dislike of his "inferior" human mother, Shiori showers her son with love and kindness. After she gets injured protecting him, Kurama changes his ways and eventually learns to love his mother and becomes very, very protective of her. He willingly kills anyone that threatens her and tries to sacrifice his life using the Forlorn Hope in order to save her when she nearly dies due to sickness.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman. The Big Blue Boy Scout. Possibly the nicest guy to cross the DCU. And may every God on Earth and Krypton protect you if you try to start anything with Ma and Pa Kent. Kal is going to strongly object. With his fists. And his eyebeams.
  • This is a Grey-Summers family trait in XMen:
    • Alex Summers a.k.a. Havok responds to Vulcan murdering their father with an enraged attempt to murder him - one of several, one of which nearly succeeds. While Vulcan is an Omega Class mutant, he isn't very bright, as shown by how he decided to kill Alex Summers - who's powered by cosmic radiation - into a star. A No-Holds-Barred Beatdown ensued.
    • While Jean Grey or Cyclops rarely needs rescuing, her younger children, Rachel Summers and Nate Grey are both more than happy to get violent in her name if need be.
      • Rachel flew off from a Excalibur mission when she felt an alternate Jean in danger (and avenged her death, with prejudice).
      • Nate responded to the threat that Madelyne Pryor (who he was close to and had accidentally resurrected) presented to Jean by doing his level best to kill her. As usual with Maddie, it didn't take, but it wasn't for lack of trying.

    Fan Works 
  • In Child of the Storm, Harry spends most of the first book being the one protected, even after he starts developing some formidable Psychic Powers to go with his increasingly powerful magic. This is because he's still pretty squishy, even by the standards of small teenagers, inexperienced, and up against enemies who are neither. However, when HYDRA manage to actually hurt his father via an enchanted bullet, Thor (who'd been incarnated as James Potter), he responds by protecting his comatose body and nearly forces the entire HYDRA squad to eat their guns.
  • In R2 of Code Prime, when Optimus gets pinned down by the Dark Mordred, Lelouch arrives to fend it off before it can deliver the final blow. Lelouch is completely unaware that the Dark Mordred is being piloted by his mother, Marianne.
  • Ebott's Wake:
    • Within the scope of the story, Frisk only ever directly risks their life for Undyne, but they make it blatantly clear that they'd do the same for Toriel and Asgore (as well as their other friends).
    • The one time Sans gets angry at Toriel (and one of the few times he gets angry at all) is when Toriel threatens his dad, Dr. Aster, while losing her temper.
  • In Flag Flying High, Harry vehemently insists on defending Mo Xuanyu, since the man is mentally ill and abused to the point he's barely able to care for himself. Since the setting is strongly inspired by the Imperial China, people around him approve of his behaviour and label it as filial piety.
  • In Mike's New Ghostly Family, the ghost children (all seven of them) are extremely protective of their adoptive father Mike Schmidt, even though he is Badass Normal who is more than capable of protecting himself. The ghosts will go through any lengths to keep him safe and react very poorly to any threat towards him and his safety, whether real or imagined, and always form the first line of defense between that danger and Mike when they are in dangerous situation. The primary examples are when a thief broke into their house (with them worrying that he may try to kill Mike) or when William Afton escapes from Hell and rushes into their house to torture Mike and make the rest of his days on Earth a Fate Worse than Death.
  • In The Silver Raven, Nero is shown to deeply love his mother, with the sight of her almost getting killed by a slitherbeast causing him to awaken his Devil Bringer and crush said monster in a violent fury.
  • In Sword Art Online Abridged, this is Yui's mentality over the Fairy Dance arc. When she learns Asuna is being held prisoner within Alfheim Online by the game's administrator, Yui becomes hyperfocused on rescuing her, giving herself the additional objective "KILL GAME ADMIN BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY." This protectiveness also extends to her parent's relationship, so Yui takes an instant disliking to Leafa as an "obstinate hussy" getting too close to her daddy. And later, Yui terrorizes Leafa into assisting by hacking her avatar and deleting her face.
  • In "Alan gets sent to the Grid" TRON fanfic, threatening Alan is a very bad idea if Tron is in disc range. Alan is The Smart Guy and not much of a fighter, but his virtual "son" is the most terrifying warrior to cross cyberspace.

    Films — Animation 
  • Belle in Beauty and the Beast is this to her father Maurice. Maurice isn't a bad father by any means, but his absent-mindedness and slight Mad Scientist tendencies open him up to ridicule and persecution from the rest of the town anyway. She defends him from Gaston and Lefou's mockery, willingly takes his place as the Beast's prisoner, rides through a snowstorm to save him from freezing to death (which he was only in because he was trying to rescue her), and stands up to the mob led by Gaston who've come to take him to the insane asylum.
  • Brave: Merida protects her bear-transformed mother from her father who thinks the bear killed Elinor.
  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: All the kids in Retroville when they find out that their parents had been abducted by aliens. They built rockets to travel across the galaxy to confront a society of advanced aliens to save their parents from being sacrificed to a giant chicken.
  • In The Little Mermaid Ariel may not always get along with her father, King Triton, but when Ursula curses him with a transformation, Ariel calls her a monster and straight up attacks Ursula despite Ursula being a powerful sea witch and has her father's ultimate weapon in her hands.
  • The entire plot of Mulan happens because Mulan is determined to protect her father and stop him from going to war, where he will surely be killed thanks to his advanced age and previous injuries.
  • Mebh from Wolfwalkers is just as protective of her mother Moll as Moll is of her, and she refuses to leave the forest for somewhere safer until Moll is found. When Mebh learns that her mother has been imprisoned in her wolf form and is about to be put on display, she immediately rushes to rescue her. When she fails to break Moll free, she furiously declares war on the town, saying she and her wolves will come back and eat all the townsfolk for what they've done to her mother. Thankfully, Robyn is able to break Moll out and escape with her before things escalate.

    Films — Live Action 
  • In About a Boy, Marcus needs to be very protective of his mentally ill mother, as she is barely capable of looking after him and as a result he is often teased at school.
  • Played for Drama in The Babadook. Sam is terrified of anything coming to get him and his mother Amelia and repeatedly insists he'll protect her from (imagined) threats. This seems to be a method of coping with the trauma of his father's death until the Babadook shows up, possesses Amelia, and he has to tie her down and get her out of the possession. Unless Amelia "simply" had a psychotic break from the stress of her loss, and Sam is protecting her from herself.
  • Marty in Back to the Future is shown to be protective over his parents through the film, even if it could endanger his existence, such as stepping in when Biff was harassing Lorraine in the cafeteria and tripping Biff when he was about to bully George in the diner.
  • I Care a Lot: Neither Roman or the guy from the beginning will accept Marla keeping them from their moms. When the latter's mother dies alone due to Marla's scheming, he stalks and kills her.
  • Knives Out: Marta is dragged into messy and illegal business because her mother is an illegal immigrant and threatened with deportation.
  • Norman in Psycho is arguably one of the most disturbing villainous examples ever to his mother, My Beloved Smother Norma, to whom he's The Caretaker. One interpretation of his murder of Marian is that he does it because she criticizes and mildly insults his dead, abusive mother. Although he didn't know that.
  • Star Wars: Anakin Skywalker is very protective of his mother, Shmi. As a nine year old boy, he promises Shmi he will come back and free her from slavery someday. Ten years later, he defies the Jedi Council and drops everything to go back to Tatooine when he has recurring dreams of her being in danger. Upon learning she was kidnapped by Tusken Raiders, he refuses to give up on her and doesn't rest until he finds her. Unfortunately, this trope is taken to the extreme when Shmi ends up dying, with Anakin massacring the entire camp of Tusken Raiders out of grief and rage.
  • Shadow of a Doubt: Young Charlie is the eldest daughter of the family and she is determined to save her family, especially her ditzy mother, from her Uncle Charlie's crimes and protect them from the truth about his activities, she even risks death twice to turn him in to the law. She even tells Uncle Charlie that she would kill him just to protect her family from him.
  • Ree in Winter's Bone needs to be this to her mom as a result of her mental illness that leads to her being exploited by Ree's violent father.
  • Much like his comic book counterpart mentioned above, Superman in Man of Steel becomes enraged when General Zod tries to threaten Martha Kent, and proceeds to knock him several blocks while shouting "YOU THINK YOU CAN THREATEN MY MOTHER?!"
  • Yuuto Tamaki from Ultraman X The Movie: Here Comes! Our Ultraman!, the only child of Tsukasa Tamaki, who will do anything to protect his mother, refusing to leave her side while she's pinned under a collapsed girder in the middle of a kaiju attack. When she orders him to leave, the boy responds with "Mom, you told me to never give up... so I will NEVER give up for you!"... it's implied the boy's dedication towards his mother made him the chosen wielder of the Spark Lens, granting him the powers of Ultraman Tiga in the final battle.

  • In Artemis Fowl, Artemis goes to great lengths to avoid either of his parents finding out about his crimes and, due to his mother's poor mental health, he's very protective of her.
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm:
    • Myne has Past-Life Memories of reaching her early twenties on Earth before dying and regaining self-consciousness as a five year old in the story's main setting. She grows quite protective of her new family and her closest friends. This includes her parents and adults who are technically extra guardians to her. Case in point, when the High Bishop tries to take Myne away from her parents by force and then tries to have her parents executed for daring to oppose him, Myne responds by using her magic to strangle the life out of him, only being stopped by Ferdinand pointing out how Myne's parents will become accessories to the High Bishop's murder if she continues.
    • When she realizes that her Triple Shifter mentor Ferdinand, who is one of the aforementioned extra guardians, is not going to do much to reduce his own workload, she takes it upon herself to do it for him. Her efforts to put a lid on the portion of work coming from Ferdinand's own Childhood Friends results in the latter teasing her about acting like she's Ferdinand's mother.
  • In Big Little Lies, Ziggy is extremely protective of his Struggling Single Mother, Jane.
  • In the poem Disobedience by A. A. Milne a boy named James Dupreenote  is said to have "taken great care of his mother (or 'great C of his M***' in the Censored for Comedy version) although he was only three", and he insists that she never go to the end of town without consulting (yes, he used that word) him. Later, she does go to the end of town without his say-so and she does disappear.
  • Jax from The Grim Reaper's Apprentice decides to fight the gods because of the punishment they gave his parents.
  • A Jacqueline Wilson mainstay:
    • In The Story of Tracy Beaker, Tracy is extremely defensive about her mother, pretending she is a film star.
    • In The Illustrated Mum, Dolphin refuses to even hear that Marigold is neglectful.
    • In Lola Rose, Lola Rose takes care of her mother and worries about her due to her mother's history and present of extremely poor choices of boyfriend, and is as a result, very defensive about anyone new coming into their lives.
    • In The Diamond Girls, the protagonist becomes this after becoming her mother's Secret-Keeper that the new son is actually a girl.
    • In Cookie, Beauty fears her mother even talking to men after Beauty's father is abusive to her.
  • The Magician's Nephew: Digory undertakes to return Jadis to the Wood Between the Worlds, rather than leaving her to be dealt with by the authorities, because he is terrified that his deathly-ill mother will see her.
  • In the Agatha Christie novel, The Man in the Brown Suit, Anne's father is an absent-minded scientist, so it's her job not only to take care of the practical side of their lives, but also to make sure her father is properly dressed for bad weather.
  • In The Millennium Trilogy reveals that one of the reasons why Lisbeth Salander despises her father with the intensity of thousand suns is because she protects her mother from her father's abuse. That lead her to throw a gasoline and a lighter to burn him alive as a desperate attempt to stop him for harming her mother further. That attack also lead her to be labeled as mentally incompetent thanks to her father's connections to the Swedish government while getting away from his domestic abuse and other criminal activities. That doesn't stop Lisbeth to get even against him and one of the ways to piss her off is to badmouth her (currently deceased) mother, which her father did during their confrontation at the second book.
  • Murder for the Modern Girl: Ruby is quite protective of her parents, especially her father, and thus takes threats against them very seriously. Her protectiveness of her father strengthens after he almost gets killed by a pipe bomb and spends a good majority of the book in a coma. Ruby beats herself up for failing to protect her father from harm and sets out to deal with the corrupt criminal organization that was intending to kill him.
  • A realistic example occurs in Room. Jack hates being separated from Ma for any time and is quick to comfort her when she needs him. When she's Gone, he often tries taking care of her, such as making her food.
  • In Touch, James isn't quite sure how to feel when his new friend, Caleb, confesses that he was planning to kill him—he feels like he should be angry, but given Caleb's motive he's pretty sympathetic. Then Caleb mentions that his plan also involved manipulating James' family into a fight with his masters, and that's when James starts blasting him with wind.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrow. When a criminal shoots her father in "Birds of Prey", Sara Lance responds by throwing the criminal out the window. Her father is a cop so he isn't happy about this, especially as he wasn't harmed thanks to his bulletproof vest. When he asks her to show restraint, Sara points out that this is her showing restraint (she was trained by the League of Assassins, so she's not lying).
  • American Horror Story: Murder House: Played with. While Violet does abandon her mom at a crucial moment, letting her be committed to an asylum, the first thing she does while being held hostage by home invaders is to ask about Vivien, and the minute she finds out that Tate raped Vivien, she banishes him.
  • Better Call Saul: Nacho is constantly committed to his father's safety and don't want him to know anything about his crimes, and in the final season, chooses to turn himself in to Gus - condemning himself - to ensure that Gus doesn't come after his father. After making Mike promise to protect his father, Nacho accepts his death.
  • Big Little Lies: Josh and Max promise to protect their widowed mother, Celeste, when their grandmother, Mary-Louise, wants custody of them, and in the Season 2 finale, they demonstrate how, by showing a video of Perry abusing her.
  • Reconstructed in Breaking Bad. Walt Jr. (Flynn) is very protective of his father Walt and appears to despise his mother, Skyler, who he considers to be to blame, and becomes The Scapegoat for just about everything wrong in their family. This gets switched around when Jnr/Flynn finally learns the Awful Truth that his father is a drug lord, and he then becomes very protective of Skyler.
  • Series 3 of The Bridge (2011):
    • Christoffer's mother, Sofie, is a victim of domestic abuse at the hands of his abusive father. Despite their difficult relationship, he threatens his father with a knife when he physically attacks Sofie, and later, shoots and kills his father, albeit accidentally.
    • Saga has this with her Parental Substitute, Hans, after Hans is attacked and abducted by the killer. She doesn't manage to save his life, but she is completely unfettered in trying to find him in time.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine:
    • Jake Peralta is very protective of his mother, Karen, knowing the struggles she went through to provide for them. Ever since childhood, he has tried (unsuccessfully) to shield her from the full extent of his father Roger's infidelity and sleaziness, to the point that Karen suggests it was protecting her that made Jake want to be a police officer (Jake disagrees, claiming it was his love of Die Hard). After finding out his mother and father have gotten back together, and accepting he can't interfere with Karen's decisions, Jake flat out tells Roger that if Roger ever hurts her again, Jake will ensure he spends the rest of his life in a cell.
    • Jake's Evil Counterpart, Doug Judy, is the epitome of Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas, and a habitual car thief who goes to great lengths to ensure his Too Good for This Sinful Earth mom doesn't find out that he's back in crime, and the only way anyone can manipulate him is by threatening her life.
  • In Castle Rock, Henry Deaver is generally very concerned about his mother, Ruth's health when he finally returns home. But the straightest example occurs with The Reveal that he killed his father Matthew because Matthew found out about Ruth's affair with Alan and was going to kill her.
  • Charmed (1998): Toddler Wyatt Matthew Halliwell shows what happens when one has magical powers. In "Scry Hard", on seeing his parents frequently tangle and get injured by demons, he shrinks them down and locks them in a dollhouse for their own safety. In "Imaginary Fiends", when adult Wyatt comes from the future and his mother is threatened by demons, he gives a very stern "Leave my family alone!" and obliterates them.
  • Gotham:
    • Oswald Cobblepot (yes, that Oswald Cobblepot) is extremely protective of his mother and keeps her sheltered from his criminal life. And if any harm should come to her, just ask the guy who got beaten to death and then had an umbrella shoved down his throat. When he reconnects with his father, Cobblepot becomes protective of him enough that the woman who poisoned him got fed her own children and then stabbed in the neck.
    • Bruce Wayne isn't afraid to dish out violence towards criminals, but he's usually in control of himself and follows his Thou Shalt Not Kill rule. The few times he's become angry and unhinged enough to think about murdering someone is because they hurt or threatened Alfred.
  • Line of Duty: Lindsey Denton's mother is a care home due to her Alzheimer's and she is very concerned about her mother discovering anything about the investigation into her, and she even took the blood money so she could pay for her mother's care.
  • The Mandalorian: The Child has become incredibly protective of his adoptive father, the titular Mandalorian. In one episode the Mando is having a friendly arm-wrestle with his friend Cara Dune and the Child, apparently not understanding what's happening, tries to Force choke Cara in an attempt to protect the Mando.
  • Major Crimes: Rusty Beck is very protective of his biological mother, Sharon Beck, constantly making excuses for her terrible behavior and even getting her an electric toothbrush when she's struggling with the consequences of her drug use. Later, when he is adopted by Sharon Raydor, he becomes quite protective of her as well, and she of him.
  • Monk: In "Mr. Monk Gets Married", Randy kickstarts the plot by telling Monk and Sharona about his mother’s relationship with a younger man, Dalton Pardon, accelerating faster than normal and their honeymoon taking place at a marriage counseling center, thus putting Monk and Sharona in position to stop another crime. Once he arrives to arrest Dalton, he demands to know what happened to his mother.
  • Psych: Despite their sometimes strained relationship, the usually-lazy Shawn goes absolutely crazy when he finds out that his father, Henry, has been shot, and doesn't stop until he finds out who did it. Less specifically, he's also very defensive of his mother, blaming his father for all their marital problems and, ultimately, for her abandonment.
  • Riverdale: Having always been close to his father, Fred, and understanding he's given up a lot for him, Archie Andrews always tries to help and protect Fred when he can.
    • Upon learning the scale of Fred's financial difficulties in season one he recruits all his friends to work on Fred's construction site, when someone scares off his workers and even wanting to carry on after Moose gets assaulted. Afterwards he flat out sneaks into the base of the local gang, the Southside Serpents, to try and identify the man who attacked Moose, simply so they can carry on helping.
    • After Fred nearly dies at the hands of the Black Hood in season two, Archie takes this to extremes. Developing a massive guilt complex at his perceived failing, he vows to protect Fred even sitting up all night on guard with his baseball bat in case the killer comes back. In his attempts to protect his father (and home town), Archie illegally purchases a gun and forms his own vigilante militia. Even after realising he's made a horrible mistake, Archie carries on trying to protect Fred, leading to him doing deals and jobs for Hiram Lodge to get Fred out of his debts to Hiram. Until his growing PTSD and being caught up in Hiram's promises of restoring safety and prosperity to Riverdale caused him to lose sight of his goals, and indirectly end up hurting Fred. Still even after committing numerous illegal acts for him when Hiram's attempt to rub his victory in Fred's face it causes Archie to undergo a massive Heel Realization.
  • In Schitt's Creek, David is an adult version to his Small Name, Big Ego mother, Moira, even sleeping with an ex to get photographs back that would have humiliated her.
  • Squid Game:
    • Zigzagged by Gi-hun, who stole from his mother to finance his own gambling, but then joins the games after finding out that his mother has diabetes that will kill her.
    • Zigzagged again by Sang-woo, who put his mother's shop up as collateral for his debts and fraud, but he also joins the games in an attempt to make his money back, prevent her from losing everything, and spare her the shame of his arrest.
    • Played straight by Sae-byeok. She's escaped from North Korea but is still determined to bring her mother over after she gets caught during their attempted crossing. She's already lost a huge amount of money to brokers, and joins the games because of it.
  • Stranger Things:
    • Eleven is this to her mother, Terry Ives. It begins when she tracks Terry down, who shares her memories with Eleven; this reveals to Eleven that Terry never stopped looking and fighting for her until she was forcibly silenced by Brenner. After this, Eleven shows a strong desire to get vengeance on the people who hurt her mother, and the memory of her own birth and then Terry's separation from her gives her the power to destroy One/Henry Creel and cause him to be recreated as Vecna.
    • She's also this to her adoptive father Hopper; in Season 4, despite taking multiple insults from Angela, it's only after Angela insults Hopper's name that Eleven grabs a rollerskate and clocks her in the face with it, giving the girl a broken nose and a concussion.
  • S.W.A.T. (2017): Due to the fact his father was horrifically abusive to the both of them, and believing his mother saved him, Jim Street is highly protective of his mother. He'll always drop everything to help her and follow through on her requests. Unfortunately, his feelings towards her blind Street to the fact that his mother is really a greedy, selfish manipulative woman who used her (at the time) nine year old son to murder her husband and has been exploiting his good nature for decades.
  • A Teacher (2020): Eric is willing to run away with Claire after her husband finds out about their relationship, until his mom finds out and asks him to come home, at which point he goes back to avoid hurting her.
  • True Detective: Henry Hays takes care of his father, Wayne, who seems to be struggling with severe dementia. Although he's sleeping with female documentarian Elisa, he still won't let her push one step further than he intends.

  • Stefflon Don's 16 Shots is about the singer taking violent measures to protect her mother. In the opening to the music video, she proclaims:
    You're never gonna get my mum!


    Video Games 
  • In The Walking Dead: Season Four, Clementine may not be AJ's biological mother, but she's raised him since birth — she tells Javier in season three that she's always felt like his mom and her voice actress has said that that's how AJ sees her as well. AJ is just as willing to do anything for Clementine as she's willing to do anything for him. The game explicitly tells you that AJ values her approval above all else, and he repeatedly goes up against walkers as well as people people bigger, stronger, and older than him to either protect Clementine or impress her.
  • Genshin Impact:
    • Diona wishes to destroy the wine industry of Mondstadt in order to protect her father from his drunkard ways.
    • Yaoyao pretty much treats any older person this way, including her mentors Madame Ping and Xiangling.
  • Kratos might not always need it but in God of War (PS4), his son Atreus is more than willing to protect his father. In Alfheim, when Kratos enters the light, Atreus single-handedly defends the platform from would-be attackers. A later instance has Atreus standing in front of a bound Kratos to stop the Stranger from hurting his father, refusing to budge when the Stranger threatens to kill him.
  • Krile in Final Fantasy V will jump into any danger to protect her grandfather Galuf. She first meets the party when she hops a meteorite and goes to their world just in time to save him from someone possessed by Exdeath and later flies halfway across their own world to fetch him after the party is stranded. She even takes on Exdeath to try and rescue him. However, Galuf himself is a Papa Wolf, so when she is hurt, he'll push himself far past the breaking point to save her.
  • Pamela, a side character encountered in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, is the daughter of a paranormal researcher who wound up getting cursed after an encounter with Gibdos in Ikana Canyon, and was gradually turning into one himself as a result. Distraught, Pamela locked him in their home's closet to protect him from the Gibdos that wanted to take him away as one of their own, and vowed to find a way to cure him. She will kick Link out of their house if she catches him entering, and defend her father if Link attempts to attack him.
  • Ranni of Elden Ring is very protective of her mother Rennala, as any player hunting for Rennala's Great Rune will quickly discover. While she doesn't personally show up, she'll step in for the second half of the boss fight, conjuring an illusion of her mother in her prime to pummel the player with high-level spells and summons.

    Web Animation 
  • MoniRobo: Yusuke from the episode "Mother-in-law says that a disability is a disgrace to the family!" is very protective of his mother Charako and stands up to her mother-in-law's bullying. When the abusive MIL tried to stop him, he showed the video to the entire village, causing the abusive hag to resign from the village assembly and become a pariah. He also showed the evidence to the police to have her arrested.

    Web Videos 
  • Cream Heroes: At the end of one of Claire's livestreams, TT hits Nana when she invades her personal space. Unfortunately for her, Nana's younger son Dodo saw the entire thing and punches her twice in the face, complete with one hell of a Death Glare. TT quickly decides her space and spot are not worth the fight and goes off to sulk. In other words, Dodo took on the toughest cat and won for his mother's sake.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: Marceline is quite protective of her Parental Substitute Simon Petrikov/Ice King, and he's one of the few characters that can bring out her softer side. In the "Stakes" miniseries, a rival vampire angers Marcy's by insulting Simon, and she angrily exclaims "That's the last time you toy with his heart!" before staking the vamp through the heart.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Gaia and Captain Planet aren't the team's parents in any usual sense, but they act like parents and the Planeteers see them as such. One of the fastest ways to get every member of the group gunning for you is to threaten or harm one of them.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door has the KND Operatives (specifically in Sector V) be this for the most part. Yes, they are dedicated to fighting adult tyranny. Yes, they are often exasperated, embarrassed, and or annoyed by their parents. However, they are still kids who love their parents and putting them in harm's way is a surefire way for them to use every ounce of their well-trained skills and ingenuity to get them back with pure rage.
  • Godzilla: The Series: For a non-human example, Godzilla Junior imprinted on Nick Tatopolous as his father not long after hatching, defending Nick whenever he's in danger by the Monster of the Week, and following wherever Nick travels.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • It's worth noting that every time Korra has outright threatened to kill someone, it's because they harmed her parents in some manner.
    • In Book Four, the normally sweet Opal becomes downright murderous towards Kuvira when she marches on Zaofu and threatens the lives of her family. This disgusts Jinora, who has been raised as an Air Normad since birth, and points out that as a member of the New Air Nation, she's supposed to be a pacifist. Opal bluntly says she doesn't care and that her family's lives are more important to her than the Air Nation's teachings (which to be fair, she only began learning as a young adult well after she formed her own morality).
  • The Owl House: "Young Blood, Old Souls" shows that Luz becomes violent towards anyone keeping her from rescuing Eda. This includes the Warden, Lilith, and even the Emperor. She also destroys the portal door to keep her mother safe from Belos' "Day of Unity".
  • The Powerpuff Girls, despite some questionable instances, love their father, The Professor, and god help you if you mess with him or you'll have three very angry Flying Bricks ready to kick your ass to save him. Mojo Jojo learned this one the hard way more than once.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Maggie Simpson. She might be just a baby, but she's quite protective of her father. When the mafia was out to get Homer for his security company, Maggie non-lethally incapacitated them with a rifle. When a tow truck driver imprisoned Homer in his basement, Maggie found him with the assistance of Santa's Little Helper, and broke him out using the tow truck driver's own tow hook. She even saved Homer from drowning in the ocean, and dealt the final blow to the Big Bad of the movie when he had Homer and Bart at gunpoint.
    • "The Devil Wears Nada": Bart gets angry enough to beat up Nelson of all people for making perverted comments about Marge after she drunkenly participates in a calendar shoot. He also does not take kindly to Ned Flanders yelling at Marge about the townspeople's pitiful attempt at building a new house for his family, outright stepping in front of her and yelling at him to back off.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: In "Crisis Point", at the climax of the holo-movie, when Holo-Freeman has been badly wounded and is about to be finished off by Vindicta, Holo-Mariner leaps to her mother's aid, beaming her out and facing off against Vindicta.
    Holo-Mariner: Get off my mom, you bitch!
  • Star Wars Rebels: The fastest way to get on Ezra Bridger's bad side is to threaten or speak ill of his parents, either his biological ones or his parental substitutes. His deceased biological parents are his Relative Button, and it's also not a good idea to mess with Kanan or Hera when Ezra’s around. The Grand Inquisitor threatening Kanan is what enrages Ezra enough to tap into the dark side and summon a giant cave monster to attack his enemy, and the season 1 finale has him spearheading a gung-ho plan to rescue Kanan from Imperial captivity.
  • Steven Universe:
    • During the "Out of this World" event, Greg is kidnapped by Blue Diamond and Steven is determined to save him at whatever cost. Whether it's traveling at the speed of light, entering into a (presumably dangerous) human zoo, or ready to fight those he perceives as trying to keep his father against his will.
    • Steven Universe: Future: When Eyeball Ruby and Aquamarine threaten Greg's life, Steven demands they leave him alone. Greg manages to think quickly and cuts his hair free from the two and escape, however Steven doesn't let them go as he becomes enraged over the fact they hurt his dad.


Video Example(s):


Yui and Suguha

After Kirito goes AFK to get some food, Leafa tries to investigate Kirito thinking that he was here to mess with her as part of some revenge plot. Only to come across Yui who sets the record straight that not only does Kirito not know that Leafa is actually his sister Suguha, but that Yui isn't going to condone anymore of Aunt Suguha bullying her Daddy.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (19 votes)

Example of:

Main / ExtremelyProtectiveChild

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