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Human Jungle Gym

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Well, Human-oid Jungle Gym.
Children are playful, so they often manage to use anything they find as as a playground. When they have No Sense of Personal Space, they may attempt to use any person they meet as a playground. They climb and cling to the arms, legs, or body of someone (usually an adult) larger than they are, turning that character into the Human Jungle Gym.

Sometimes the big character enjoys being played on, a sign that they are a Friend to All Children. You can expect Good Parents, the All-Loving Hero, and the Gentle Giant to have fun with playful kids. On the other hand, maybe the character doesn't like it, or even Hates Being Touched, but they tolerate it anyway without scolding or shaking the kids off. Despite feeling annoyed, they Wouldn't Hurt a Child. Indeed their discomfort may come from fear that they could accidentally hurt a child; compare to a character who is Afraid to Hold the Baby.

It also shows the Jungle Gym character is brimming with patience and stamina. If they are The Big Guy or Big Fun it demonstrates they have the strength to carry several children easily. Can also illustrate that Children Are Innocent, as they trust this character to support them and think little of any social taboo against climbing on others. Adults may be afraid of the Horrifying Hero, but their kids feel no fear and think he looks fun, so he earns their approval. If the character is an antagonist, they may be a Hero Antagonist of the Noble Demon or Affably Evil variety.

Compare Clingy Child, who is always near or holding the arms or legs of someone they trust. Compare The Glomp, Trampoline Tummy. Contrast Would Hurt a Child.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Fist of the North Star has the enormous Fudoh of the Mountains, an enormous slab of a man who despite his impressive strength and former life as a bandit chief, is a Gentle Giant and Friend to All Children, including adopting half a dozen orphans who all climb onto their new father and fall asleep in his arms and lap and hanging on his back, knowing that they are perfectly safe because he won't let them come to harm. Those few foolish and cruel enough to try and hurt his kids have been crushed into paste. Literally.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: The spin-off work The Slime Diaries has Rimuru visiting Geld II, the orc in charge of Tempest's construction efforts, and finding eight tiny goblin children climbing all over him, since they like to play with him when he takes breaks from his work. It is ridiculously adorable.
    Rimuru: Do you... like kids?
    Geld: I'm not sure if I "like" them. This just... happens, for some reason.

    Comic Strips 
  • Baby Blues: In one comic, Zoe (still a baby at that point) starts climbing all over Darryl. While she's doing this, the phone rings, and Darryl answers it thusly:
    Darryl: McPherson playground, monkey bars speaking.
  • Jump Start (Robb Armstrong): One strip is a brief biography of Uncle Otis. He is 8 feet tall and weighs 430 pounds, but turned down a career in the NFL because he was afraid of hurting someone. Instead, he became a kindergarten teacher. The last panel shows Otis looking cheerful, completely covered in kids.

    Fan Works 
  • Heroic Myth: In Chapter 46, Berserker gets swamped by children from Primo's village, as she showed them that he's "a big softie", to the surprise of the people watching it happen.

    Films — Animated 
  • Despicable Me: When Gru first goes to adopt Margo, Edith and Agnes, Agnes is so excited she grabs ahold of Gru's leg and won't let go. He shakes his leg, tries to pull her off, and even asks the adoption lady if she has some pliers or spray to remove her. All the while, Agnes is giggling away and Gru ends up limping out the door with her still hanging on and dangling upside down, much to her sisters' embarrassment.
  • Encanto: During Antonio's Gift ceremony, a group of about four small children are seeing hanging off of Luisa while she carries around a tray of flowers.
  • Hotel Transylvania: Wayne, the father of the large werewolf family, often has several of his ferocious cubs attached to him by their teeth.
  • Pocahontas: When Pocahontas' father Powhatan is talking about how Kocoum would be a good husband for her, she comments, "But he's so... serious." As she says this, she looks at Kocoum having absolutely no reaction to a bunch of children climbing all over him.
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse: During Miles's meeting with Miguel O'Hara, Peter B. Parker from the first film shows up with his new daughter Mayday Parker. She then proceeds to crawl all over Miguel while he's trying his best to hold a serious conversation, who immediately catches her without missing a beat when she falls off despite clearly being beyond annoyed with everyone's antics.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Gamera vs. Viras: Downplayed and Exaggerated simultaneously. While playing with Gamera underwater, Jim and Masao use their submarine to explore all around his body when he stops for a breather.
  • The Man with the Iron Fists: This is how Brass Body (Dave Bautista's character) is introduced. The local children all start climbing onto him as he makes his entrance, eventually resulting in him being covered in kids as the villagers notice him. All he does is twitch his muscles and the giggling children go (safely) flying off. This friendly scene and his easygoing charisma belie the fact that Brass Body is a brutal Psycho for Hire who murdered his entire clan in cold blood.
  • Noah: Samyaza is a Fallen Angel whose large body is covered in stone. He becomes friends with Noah and his family. In one scene, the younger children climb and play on Samyaza's stone limbs. He seems amused.

  • A Christmas Carol: Tiny Tim first appears being carried home by his father, Bob Cratchit, when the Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge a vision. This highlights the innocence and vulnerability of both father and son (who is disabled), whom Scrooge's lack of charity would most drastically effect. Some adaptations have Scrooge carry Tiny Tim as well at the end, to show how he has changed.
  • Cradle Series: When Ziel goes to speak to the Kazan clan, the young son of the patriarch starts climbing all over him before perching on his head and playing with his horns. His parents are absolutely horrified, because they know literally nothing about Ziel except that he could easily kill them all, but Ziel really doesn't care.
  • The Daddy Mountain by Jules Feiffer is a picture book about a little girl who undertakes the daunting challenge of climbing up her father's body, from his shoes through his knees and belt and all the way up to his head. At various stages of the ascent she also offers pro tips to other would-be climbers, for instance, "The Daddy mountain must wear a shirt. Because if you grab hold of his skin, he'll get mad."
  • Discworld: One of the illustrations in the spin-off work Mrs Bradshaw's Guidebook to the Ankh-Morpork and Sto Plains Hygenic Railway shows a beach scene in which two human children are climbing over their troll nanny.
  • Into The Broken Lands: Lord Ryan expects "the Weapon", a hulking mage-crafted construct of terrifying power, to be a simple monster he'll need to command. Instead, he finds her living peacefully in a town where people trust her enough to let their children climb on her.
  • Little Fuzzy: The baby of the fuzzy (teddy bear-like diminutive aliens about the size of a human toddler) family always climbs up any human character it meets and perches on top their head. Some find this endearing but note that he'll grow too big for it before too long, and one "gently but firmly" discourages the behaviour.

  • Questionable Content:
    • Tai is incapable of meeting a person taller than her without immediately trying to climb said person.
    • Later, the webcomic shows Elliot's Gentle Giant nature when he lets a friend and a new acquaintance swing off his outstretched arms. The comic even has the author's note at the bottom state "AUTHOR TRADEMARK: characters using larger character as jungle gym".

    Western Animation 
  • "Fantastic Four: The Animated Series: In "Prey of the Black Panther", while in Wakanda, Ben played with a bunch of kids who were climbing all over him. His teammates joked that maybe he could have his own fan club over in Wakanda.
  • Legend of Korra: The super-serious Airbending master Tenzin is depicted as this in his first appearance in "Welcome to Republic City", with his young son Meelo sitting on his shoulders and playing with his head. While he is happy to hand Meelo off to his mother, he is otherwise gentle with his son, foreshadowing that he's kinder than he may first appear.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In the episode "The Masterpiece", business is slow at the Krusty Krab because the customers are more interested in a new restaurant called the Sea Chicken Shack, which has a statue of its mascot, Mr. Sea Chicken, for the children to play on while their parents order their food. When Mr. Krabs finds out about this from SpongeBob, he asks Squidward to build a statue of himself for the children to play on. Squidward does so, but Mr. Krabs is not happy because Squidward's artistic vision is far too unsafe for the children to play on. Mr. Krabs goes with Plan B, which is painting himself gold and holding absolutely still while the children play on him. Mr. Krabs does not enjoy this and asks Squidward how long he has to stay still. Squidward tells Mr. Krabs "As long as you want to keep making money", much to Mr. Krabs' dismay.