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Improbable Infant Survival
aka: Infant Immortality

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Skinner: If either of us falls in, we're doomed!
Bart: Kids don't die!

In most fiction, innocent characters (babies, children, dogs) sit very high on the Sorting Algorithm of Mortality. They tend to make it out of dangerous situations unharmed while many adult characters in these same situations do not.

No matter how bad the villain is, he will stop short of killing a child. Even natural disasters seem to avoid killing infants and dogs and since they obviously have no such choice it is always because of Contrived Coincidence. Something about a baby or puppy makes you stop, think twice, and show a last flicker of compassion. Those who don't have that last drop of humanity in them will generally be stopped from completing that act of evil some other way.

Of course, this only protects against killing them off on screen; destroying a city in a fiery conflagration and killing the no doubt tens or hundreds of thousands of babies therein is A-OK because A Million Is a Statistic and the audience won't see them.

This trope extends to just about anyone conventionally considered inherently "innocent", and can therefore sometimes reach out to cover the mentally handicapped. Whether or not this extends to pregnant women is a toss-up. Unborn children have relatively more protection than dogs, but less than already-born infants. Except in series where Status Quo Is God, because then the Convenient Miscarriage will rear its ugly head.

Note that this doesn't seem to apply to the Enfant Terrible, who dies horribly in all manner of works.

Compare Only Fatal to Adults, when something by definition does not hurt children, in-universe. In video games, this is a reason to Hide Your Children. Contrast Death of a Child. Compare and contrast Censored Child Death, when the death still occurs but is downplayed compared to other deaths in the story.


DO NOT list "aversions". See Death of a Child for exceptions to the trope.

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Birdy the Mighty: The first villain, Shyamalan, was the sole survivor of a horrific plague as a baby. When he finds a baby survived one of his attacks, he feels an immediate kinship with it; he thinks that they were both chosen by destiny for a higher calling. He's wrong, and gets unceremoniously killed by the monster he unleashed for his evil plot.
  • Babies don't show up in Dragon Ball and its sequels all that often, but the Cell saga featured Bulma and Vegeta's infant son, Trunks, alongside his Future Badass self that came back to Set Right What Once Went Wrong. The one time baby Trunks is in mortal danger, Future Trunks jumps in to save him and his mom.
    • There is a filler scene in the original Dragon Ball where Snow, the girl from Jingle Village, grabs a rifle from a fallen King Castle soldier and takes aim at Piccolo Daimao as his back is turned, but gives up. Piccolo then turns right around and fires eye-lasers in her direction. When the smoke clears, we're relieved to see that he wasn't aiming for Snow at all, but another soldier directly behind her.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: A variant occurs with the homunculus Pride, who is the only one the Seven Deadly Sins that resembles a child, the rest more-or-less looking like human adults by default, although he is actually the oldest of the seven, by far. While the other homunculi tend to get graphically ripped apart and blown up during their battles, Pride rarely suffers more than a few dirty scuffs, even when close to death, and is the only homunculus to survive the events of the story.
  • Gunsmith Cats 1-ups Mad Max in one particularly memorable chase scene. A girl runs out into the middle of the road, Bean Bandit (who has a soft spot for kids) and Rally Vincent (hotshot bounty hunter pursuing him) avoid hitting the girl by running their cars into each other and driving simultaneously on two wheels, forming a triangle over her.
  • Zig-zagged in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable: serial killer Yoshkaga Kira has no problems with killing Hayato, an 11-year-old boy, except for the fact that doing so will blow his cover — and when pressed, Kira actually does kill Hayato. Played straight when it turns out that Kira has gained a new ability — a bomb that is able to turn back time, thus undoing Hayato's death. And then later on, during the final confrontation with Kira, Hayato gets blown up again, sacrificing himself in order to get rid of the bomb planted on Okuyasu; Hayato did this knowing that Josuke can heal him right back up, and Josuke is able to fix him while he's still blowing up, ultimately playing the trope straight.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple: As a baby, Miu survived being buried in the snow during a blizzard for who knows how long, shielded only by her fatally wounded mother until her grandfather found them.
  • Kill la Kill actually manages to double subvert this against all odds with the scenario in question. A flashback shows the apparent on-screen death of the Big Bad's second-born child from a failed experiment, to which her response is to have it dropped down a garbage chute, also on-screen. The end of the same episode, however, has the Big Bad figure out that the experiment worked, and her thought-to-be-dead child is actually The Hero herself.
  • In the backstory of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Detonation, Granz and Elanoa were the only known survivors of the Eltrian Planet Reclamation Committee slaughter when they were children. Maxwell was specifically trying to trick Iris (who had traveled off base with them for the day to play) into thinking that Yuri was responsible and waited until a time that she wasn't present. The fact that Granz and Elanoa happened to be with her at the time was just good luck on their part.
  • Plenty of children are shown as zombies in School-Live! however no one actually dies on-screen. It looks like Ruu had her head stomped on and died on-screen, however she survives her injuries. Played with as Ruu isn't real. Rii sees a teddy bear as her younger sister, who is implied to be actually dead.
  • Nearly subverted in Toward the Terra. During his escape from Nazca, Keith is attacked by toddler Tony and nearly killed, but Keith stabs Tony with a large shard of glass. All the Mu telepathically feel his pain and the grief of that pain is enough to kill his mother. He does end up surviving and ultimately becomes 1 of only 2 named characters who survive the Anyone Can Die series. The rest of the Children of the Mu who artificially age themselves from toddlers to teens aren't as lucky.
  • YuYu Hakusho:
    • Hiei was thrown off of a cliff to his death as a newborn and miraculously survives. Most likely due to him being wrapped tightly and thickly in bandages to keep his fire within. Also, it's implied he lands directly in moving water, yet he didn't drown.
    • The very first episode shows Yusuke sacrificing himself to save a child from a car accident. It's later revealed that said child was supposed to survive the accident unharmed because the ball he was holding would absorb the impact.
  • There are no child zombies seen among the hordes in Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead, and the one and only child in the story is a girl sheltered in Akira's secluded hometown of Gunma.

    Card Games 
  • In Munchkin Apocalypse, the Kid is a playable class, who only loses a level in situations where any other class or classless person would die. But Death Is Cheap anyway.

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU:
    • Batman: Gotham Adventures #26 features an almost identical cover to that of the Guardian Devil example below, Batman rooftop-jumping with a baby in his arms. In a mild subversion of the trope, instead of the baby surviving Batman's patrol against all odds, Batman actually avoids a fight by threatening violence far in excess of his usual if the thugs he's captured make him do anything that might hurt the baby. They surrender, and one even tells him he's holding the baby's head wrong.
    • Power Girl's baby developed defensive powers in the womb.
  • Tenebris and Korbo the Red Shadow from Les Légendaires mercilessly killed a couple of brilliant inventors who provided the rebellion with weapons, but they couldn't summon up the resolve to eliminate their baby and ended up giving her up for adoption. This actually is of some use to the plot, as the baby grows up and comes back for revenge.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Adam Warlock (or rather his Superpowered Evil Side, the Magus) weaponizes this by possessing the bodies of children so that The Avengers wouldn't dare to attack him.
    • Nomad from Captain America thought it was okay to bring a baby with him on his 'walking the earth' quest. He did have access to many reliable babysitters (think underground good-guy mafia), but he still got himself involved with many a super-fight. Nearly once an issue, someone would be shocked he had a baby with him in a dust-up.
    • Used in Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways when the evil mad scientist who has no problem secretly experimenting on prisoners and aliens takes a moment to order his Brainwashed and Crazy slave to open a locked door and rescue a baby for the mother.
    • Double subverted in Eternals (2006). Zuras kills Sprite for erasing all the Eternals' memories and almost destroying the world as part of his quest to Become a Real Boy. Though it worked & he is physically an eleven-year-old human child, when Sprite weakly tries to wheedle out of his execution by bringing this up, Zuras dryly reminds him that that still doesn't change the fact that he's a million years old & hasn't been a child for a very long time.
    • Guardian Devil was advertised with the image of Daredevil carrying a baby as he engaged in his usual rooftop-jumping. The baby, whom he believed was either the second coming of Christ or The Antichrist, did come along on some patrols for a while, and the adventure ended with him unharmed.
    • The Incredible Hulk: In World War Hulk, it is revealed that the Hulk is, in fact, an idiot savant, capable of calculating his rampages so that he does the maximum amount of damage but never leaves any casualties. A long-term story in his regular series has the Hulk hunted by government forces (even more than before) because he's seen on film squashing a kid. The veracity of the film is in doubt.
    • Sub-Mariner: In Marvel Comics #8 (from 1940), Namor, in an all-out attack on the city of New York, detonates a bomb in the Hudson Tunnel, flooding it and killing everyone inside, kills a random pilot by ripping the propeller off his plane, breaks a lot of animals out of the zoo, including many poisonous reptiles, and then saves a baby from a stampeding elephant before flying off to destroy the George Washington Bridge.
    • X-23:
      • In X-23: Innocence Lost, X-23 is sent by Xander Rice to murder his boss/father figure, the man's wife (and Rice's lover), and his boss's toddler son (actually Rice's son from the affair) because his lover was going to confess, and Rice wanted total control of the X-23 project. X kills the parents but spares the boy. When X then reveals to her creator/mother the truth of what happened, it convinces Sarah to rescue X from the Facility.
      • Her "cousin" was kidnapped by a serial killer who preys on children and is implied to have already killed a number of other girls before he took Megan. Fortunately, X's creator brought her in, and X killed the man before he could hurt her.
      • During her solo series, it's retconned that Laura failed or refused to kill children on other missions, as well.
    • While Rogue has a Touch of Death in X-Men: Messiah Complex, Mystique places a baby on her adopted daughter, as this is supposed to awaken her from her coma. Gambit notes that Rogue wouldn't have wanted the baby to die at her expense, but the baby survives anyway.
  • Played seriously in Negation. The baby in question is seen surviving a nuclear explosion among many, many other horrors tossed at it by the bad guys.
  • Sandcastle: The baby girl Zoe gives birth to is perfectly healthy, even despite the beach's conditions.

    Comic Strips 
  • Max Allan Collins, the second Dick Tracy writer (a longtime fan, he inherited the job from Chester Gould) recounts that after reading the story where Gould allowed Junior's innocent little girlfriend Model to get shot and die, he realized Anyone Can Die in Tracy. So when Tracy's infant daughter is kidnapped not long after, and then abandoned in the woods, on the verge of dying of exposure, with wild animals closing in, the tension for the reader was much more real than it otherwise would have been. The baby does get rescued in time but only after a white-knuckle fake-out where it looks like wolves have gotten her!

    Fan Works 
  • The Choices That Make Us: Elphias Doge's six-year-old granddaughter Bryony is captured by Death Eaters, several of whom show some Would Hurt a Child indications, only to escape when seeing Kreacher causes her to call out for her own family house elf, who appears, grabs her, and disappparates them both to safety.
  • A Thing of Vikings: Fearless' last remaining egg is revealed to be intact and alive, and being taken care of by Hiccup.
  • Total Drama Comeback Series has an interesting example of this. In Battlegrounds, half of the challenges are done in a hyper-realistic VR game, meaning that characters can "die" (though they're obviously fine once the game is over). That said, the Child Prodigy OC keeps surviving, often in contrived ways. Eventually enough people commented on this that he does start dying, with this trope Lampshaded by the other characters' shock.

    Films — Animation 
  • An American Tail: How many cat attacks has Fievel survived in the movies? He even climbs back up a cat's throat in the first movie and the sequel. His baby sister Yasha, when she does actually appear, is never put in any real danger.
  • This becomes a major plot point in Barbie: Princess Charm School. Years ago, the royal family of Gardania was murdered in a car crash; however, the baby Sophia survived the crash, was left on the doorstep to the Willows' apartment, adopted and raised by them, and renamed Blair.
  • Despicable Me:
    • Parodied in the scene where Edith walks into the iron maiden. It closes on her and a red liquid seeps out... But when Gru opens it...
      Edith: It poked a hole in my juice box.
    • Double-subverted twice, first with Justin, then with Margo. Justin runs up some planks towards the pyramid at the beginning and falls off the edge, but because the pyramid was stolen and replaced with an inflatable replica, he bounces off it and lands on his father.
    • At the end, Margo is caught on Vector's ship but falls out and nearly falls to her death (along with Gru), before Gru catches her, and he himself is then caught by the minions forming a Chain of People.
  • The trope's discussed in The Incredibles, when Helen has to point out to her children that the enemies they're facing won't care about sparing children, like the enemies in cartoons tend to, to emphasise the danger of the situation and get them to stop mucking about. It still avoids/defies averting this, though, but that's because said children are superheroes and pretty good at defending themselves.
  • As mentioned in the series below the idea is taken to one of the most extreme examples in The Rugrats Movie in which after a series of mishaps that the titular characters- five toddlers and a newborn baby- end up lost in the woods for several days, they all survive the predicament but come close to getting killed a few times, like nearly drowning, nearly getting crushed by a falling tree, or almost getting eaten by a wolf, in real life most of them probably wouldn’t have survived.
  • We know from when it's first found that the abandoned baby in Tokyo Godfathers will survive anything. It's implied in the movie that the baby is getting protected by God Himself, with a nice analogy to the infant Jesus. This is probably most apparent during the climax when the baby and Hanna fall off of a building and are saved by a huge gust of wind.
  • Played for laughs in The Triplets of Belleville. During the car chase one of the Mafia's cars narrowly avoids hitting a screaming woman with a baby carriage by steering to the side and crashing. A second car does, however, impact with the baby carriage — and crumples like an accordion, while the baby carriage and its laughing occupant remains completely unscathed.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 2012 — Nothing bad will happen to you, so long as you keep hold of one or more children or the dog. The Russian trophy wife learned this lesson the hard way.
  • Played straight with Jonesy the Cat in Alien, in the Animal Immunity version of this trope. Ripley leaves Jonesy behind when the Alien surprises her, and it curiously looks at the cat as if it's about to eat it. When Ripley gets back, the Cat is unharmed.
  • Armageddon (1998): Many people die in the opening cataclysm. A small pug is spared.
  • In Baby's Day Out, Baby Bink is shown to have an incredible amount of Plot Armor as he crawls his way into situations that would normallly be dangerous for infants, such as going across a busy street, climbing into a gorilla cage, and even ending up at a bloody construction site. His trio of kidnappers, on the other hand, go through a series of Amusing Injuries the whole way as they try to get him back.
  • The Bay: Though hundreds of people die in Claridge, including one of his parents, baby Andrew survives, despite the fact that he was sitting right next to a crawling parasite.
  • Big Ass Spider! features a scene where the titular creature stalks a young girl at a city park, but just misses spearing her with one of its legs. (Elsewhere, lots of adults get speared/webbed/devoured..)
  • Bird Box: Both of the children survive the film, despite all the adults surrounding them save Malorie dying.
  • Taken to semi-extremes in Blade: Trinity. Dracula kidnaps an infant and threatens to throw it off a skyscraper. He doesn't though, but instead tosses it in the air, letting it fly for roughly twenty feet, and then is caught hard by Blade. The infant survives all of this.
  • The Burning: Luckily for the younger campers, Cropsy only wants the older ones and the counselors.
  • The Cabin in the Woods. Played for Black Comedy when a group of nine-year-old Japanese schoolgirls defeats a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl by turning it into a frog. It's reported they have zero fatalities whereupon one of the Punch Clock Villains responds with a Cluster F-Bomb, as they require a Human Sacrifice.
  • In Candyman, the baby survives being kidnapped by Candyman, held prisoner in his lair, and, especially being on a burning sacrificial pyre. The protagonist actually dies due to injuries incurred on the pyre, but the baby lives.
  • In the '80s uber low-budget yet oddly entertaining Mexican supernatural slasher titled Cemetery of Terror, various characters are introduced, and ultimately twelve of them are put in the path of the psychotic killer and his army of zombies. They are three male college students and their three girlfriends out partying, five children out on a dare (the oldest being of about 14 years old and the youngest about 8), and a Dr. Loomis-esque doctor in search of the sadistic killer. Now, take three guesses as to which five characters survive the killer's rampage.
  • Played straight in Con Air. It seems like Garland Greene, who is touted as a horrific serial killer, is about to kill the little girl he runs into near the abandoned airfield, but he doesn't.
  • Cube is an example of a mentally handicapped adult being the only survivor of the nastiness. If one takes Cube Zero into account, it's very likely he too was murdered.
  • In the disaster movie Dante's Peak, the dog (an adorable Picardy Shepherd) disappears about halfway through the movie, while the family is escaping from the erupting volcano. In the end, it turns up alive and unharmed about of absolutely nowhere. This is the film that gave Grandma third-degree burns with sulphuric acid.
  • In Death Ship, Marshall's son Ben and daughter Robin are among the initial group of survivors and in the end are among the few who survive the events of the film. That being said, it is very likely that those killed in the cruise ship's sinking included plenty of children.
  • Double Team has this in the climax, apparently combined with a Product Placement, where a row of Coca-Cola vending machines successfully saves the hero and his infant son from a large explosion in the climax.
  • Despite brutally using Death of a Child in Final Destination, its sequels would go on to mostly play this straight.
    • Final Destination 2 has Isabella as canonically the Sole Survivor. Not just because she was pregnant, but because she would have survived the accident anyway.
    • In Final Destination 3, a group of young boys try to bluff their way onto the roller coaster but are kicked off by the carnival staff for not being tall enough to ride it. Thus, the boys avoid dying in the crash, without any need for psychic visions to warn them away.
    • The Final Destination shows a mother of two and her kids escaping the accident at the start, but she gets separated and killed off.
  • The titular monster of the B-Movie The Giant Gila Monster gets a lot less scary when it completely fails to catch and eat a crippled nine-year-old.
  • Zoe, the little girl standing in front of the tsunami and Akio, the little boy with Ford during the MUTO attack both live through the moments of peril that they experience in Godzilla (2014).
  • The Guest: Though they aren't children, the teenagers Luke and Anna, and Luke's teenage bullies, all survive when their parents, adult protector, and Anna's older boyfriend all die.
  • In Halloween II (1981), Michael Myers ignores a maternity ward filled with sleeping babies, instead choosing to kill the doctors, nurses, and security guards. On the other hand, one has to imagine that the explosion at the end of the film couldn't have been good for those sleeping babies.
    • Halloween (2018) features a similar scene where after murdering its mother in cold blood, Michael contemplates a crying infant and chooses to leave it be. It's notably one of the only times we see a hint of mercy from Michael, as we see him murder a pre-teen boy earlier.
  • Hard Boiled: An extreme case - A baby rescued by the hero not only avoids blowing up or getting shot at, but he also saves the hero's life by putting out his pants, which caught on fire. Especially considering that adult innocents get shot and killed with disturbing regularity.
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army had Hellboy fighting a monster while jumping around on a building, all the while juggling a baby. Most people would set it down or hand it over to the numerous bystanders for safekeeping but thanks to this trope, heroes are free to engage in these theatrics without ever actually harming a child.
    • Done in the first Hellboy film as well, only this time with a box full of kittens. Baby + Cat= Immortality
  • In Horror Express, the alien enters a compartment containing three sleeping children, and approaches threateningly towards them, but leaves without killing them: presumably because they possessed no knowledge it wanted to absorb.
  • In Independence Day, both the child and the dog of the protagonist survive all of the events, including a ridiculous scene where the dog manages to leap out of the way of a city-levelling fireball just in the nick of time.
    • In a tunnel no less, meaning the fire would have consumed all the oxygen in the little room they went into and they would have suffocated.
  • Lampshaded in the film of Inkheart. When they are captured, Mortimer tells his daughter, Meggie, to pretend she is in a book, since "children always survive in books." She then reminds him that the rule doesn't always apply, such as in "The Little Match Girl".
  • Independence Day: Resurgence:
    • Lampshaded. The current protagonist's mother who became a nurse manages to save a mother and her newborn child from the collapsing hospital but dies in the process.
    • When after the alien queen escapes her crashed ship and goes after a group of kids in a school bus a dog appears out of nowhere and David Levinson, who's trying to escape, asks the girl who's rescuing it "Are we really gonna wait for the dog?"
  • Iron Man 2 : Did anyone really think that hammer drone would kill that kid? Though if we're to believe that he's actually a young Peter Parker before he became Spider-Man, there is the possibility that it would have to wait for a few more years until Avengers: Infinity War has Thanos end up disintegrating him alongside half the universe. And even then, he wouldn't have stayed that way.
  • In Jojo Rabbit, Jojo's best friend, Yorki, an eleven-year-old who was sent to fight against the Allied soldiers miraculously survived it. He even tells Jojo, "No, it seems I can never die." The likely explanation is that the American and Soviet soldiers didn't want to kill an obviously confused child.
  • Jurassic Park: A standard for the franchise, which always has at least one child character who always survives until the end, no matter how dire the odds get. Note that this is a film-only trope, the books avert this.
    • Jurassic Park (1993): Lex and Tim go through the most danger of anybody in the movie (that even includes Alan) but survive (although they certainly are in a mess by the end). Other characters face a lot less danger but die. Tim, especially, who falls down a cliff in a half-crushed car and gets shocked by a very powerful electric fence.
    • The Lost World: Jurassic Park: A little girl is attacked by a swarm of Compsognathus in the opening but we're assured that she survived. Much later, a grown man is attacked by the Compsognathus and he's not so lucky. Malcolm's teenage daughter also stows away on the expedition to Isla Sorna and ends up being hunted by both the T. rexes and Velociraptors, but survives both, and in fact actually manages to be one of the few humans in the films to kill a dinosaur. There's a baby Tyrannosaurus that also gets injured and taken from its parents (twice), but it gets bandaged up and is safely returned to its family by the end. Averted with a dog near the end, which gets eaten (albeit offscreen).
    • Jurassic Park III: Eric might be the ultimate example, because he managed to survive eight weeks alone on a dinosaur-infested island (while his mom's boyfriend, who also landed on the island, died pretty quickly). In the film alone he manages to fend off a raptor pack by himself and survives being kidnapped and fed to a Pteranodon nest, and waterboarded by the Spinosaurus.
    • Jurassic World: Zach and Grey get attacked by the Indominus rex more than anybody but manage to come away unscathed in the end (physically, at least... they'll probably need lots therapy after this vacation). At different points they're also pursued by a flock of pterosaurs and a pack of Velociraptors and survive by the skin of their teeth (which is more than can be said for most of the adult characters in the same situations).
    • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: Maisie seems to be a preferred target of the Indoraptor, who maliciously and persistently stalks her like a cat toying with a mouse throughout the film. Which is actually a good thing because it wastes no time brutally slaughtering all the adult characters it encounters.
    • Jurassic World Dominion: This condition continues in the follow-up (the only follow-up that features the same kid(s)). Maisie is kidnapped, flown half-way across the world, is attacked by a pack of Dimetrodon, nearly eaten by the Giganotosaurus, pelted by a shower of giant flaming locusts, and in a car as it rolls down a cliff, but makes it back safe and sound to her adoptive family in the end. Blue's baby, Beta, which was also poached along with Maisie, is brought home unharmed to her mother as well.
  • In Killing Ground, Ollie the toddler manages to evade the killers at the beginning and is seen doggedly following Sam and Ian as they're taking a walk. He proceeds to survive through the entirety of the film, although his ultimate fate is not shown.
  • King Cobra (1999): A young boy comes face to face with the 30-foot snake, but it doesn't eat him, only gives him the biggest scare of his life.
  • Adult deaths flow freely in Kingsman: The Secret Service, but in all the scenes of mass violence, children are conspicuously absent. The only child to come under any threat is Eggsy’s little sister and she survives.
  • Knowing: While all the other children on the planet presumably die, the only two kids who receive significant screen time, Abby and Caleb, survive the literal end of the world, as do around thirty others - all kids.
  • In Lady Frankenstein, the Monster murders a farmer and his wife, and then looks menacingly at their young son. However, the Monster just stares at him and them shambles off, leaving him unharmed.
  • Zig-Zagged in Little Monsters (2019). On the one hand, everyone in Ms. Caroline's kindergarten class survives to the end of the movie. On the other, we actually do see zombie kids, notably during the scene when the Child Hater Teddy McGiggles is fighting his way through them.
  • Mad Max: there is a high-speed car chase and a baby wanders onto the road. After playing the suspense for all its worth, both cars miss the child by centimeters. Later in the movie, a mother and her 3-5-year old are brutally run down off-screen.
  • Kids in Marvel movies can count on Stan Lee to pull them out of harm's way. (Lee, in turn, can count on Matt Murdock.)
  • Played with in Men in Black, in which James Edwards, in a live-fire exercise with other potential MIB trainees, shoots a cardboard cutout of a little girl instead of the scary aliens. In a subversion, he justifies this by claiming one alien was simply exercising on a streetlight, the other was sneezing, and the little girl was out late at night, eight-years-old, with a college-level textbook in her arms, so she was up to something bad. And, judging that he was chosen to join the organization, this reasoning was absolutely correct.
  • Metropolis features a horde of children trapped in a flooding underground city, all of whom are saved at the very last minute. (In the book, however, it's implied that at least a few of them drown.)
  • In Midnight Movie the only survivor is the Bridget's little brother named...Timmy.
  • The Naked Gun 33⅓: Played for Laughs. In the opening shoot-out scene parodying The Untouchables, multiple baby carriages coast down the stairs and fling several babies into the air. A guy behind Frank manages to catch all of them, then performs a touchdown victory dance and tries to spike one, but is interrupted by a woman screaming "Give me my baby!"
  • New Year's Evil: Downplayed, but out of the five women Evil attacks before Diane, the only survivor is the youngest one, a teenaged girl.
  • Played straight for the protagonists of Oculus, but they had eventually grown up, which puts them on the danger zone of being killed. Kaylie dies, and Tim is blamed for her murder.
  • Almost averted in Orphan although originally Daniel was supposed to die after Esther smothered him with a pillow.
  • In Predator 2, the eponymous alien bounty hunter spares a pregnant cop, and later lowers his sights on a child with a plastic gun after realising the harmless nature of the kid's "weapon." This is justified by the creature's personality as an honour-bound warrior; there's no challenge or sport in killing unarmed children.
  • Scarface (1983): Tony Montana fails to kill one of his enemies after seeing his little kids in the back seat of his car. Tony "never fucked over anyone who didn't have it coming to him".
    "I don't need this shit in my life!"
  • In Shoot 'Em Up, Paul Giamatti's Faux Affably Evil villain Hertz has no qualms about killing babies if that's what he's been told to do, and seems to gleefully enjoy running over his target in his car. He's then Squicked out when he discovers that the "baby" he ran down was only a decoy. (The real baby, meanwhile, survives being in the thick of gun battles over and over without so much as a scratch.)
  • Silent Night (2021): Subverted and played straight. Although all the other children die, including Nell and Simon's younger twins and Kitty, the child with the most focus, Art, appears to die from the poisonous gas before the final shot reveals that he actually survived, making him also the Final Boy of the entire movie.
  • In the famous "Garbage Day" Rampage in Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2, Ricky shoots a bunch of people but spares a little girl with a speech impediment on a tricycle.
  • Snakes on a Plane: the baby is saved from the vicious snakes despite being a handy size and ending up on the opposite side of the plane from the last time we saw it. The person that saved the baby is shortly rewarded with death (and it was her last day on the job, too).
  • Star Trek: Generations — Spot the cat survived the crash of the USS Enterprise (much to the distaste of the actor Brent Spiner, who played Data (the cat's owner) and who in real life hates cats). Plus, all of the children aboard the ship also all survive the saucer's crash. There was a scene wherein some of the children were put on a bed and was covered in blankets, and then a few scenes later the entire bed collapses during the crash and the children inside can be heard screaming, but they all survive.
  • The Untouchables: Pushed to the very limits of Suspension of Disbelief. Ness helps a woman trying to get a Baby Carriage up the stairs of Union Station. At the very top, he and Stone are ambushed by a group of Al Capone's goons, and the carriage starts bouncing down the steps. Not only is the baby completely unharmed by the dozens of flying bullets, but Stone and Ness manage to catch the carriage safely at the bottom of the steps. This scene spawned several parodies.
  • In Volcano, all the small children survive. And so does a small Jack Russell named Bill. Just in case that wasn't enough to assure you no innocents were harmed there is even a brief news report on vets setting up an emergency pet shelter.
  • This trope (especially as it applies to dogs) was identified by Roger Ebert in his review of (the 2005 Tom Cruise version of) The War of the Worlds.
  • Subverted and played straight in The Witches (1990), the Grand Head Witch (as is the case with any witch) hates children and wishes to rid the world of them. While they seem to never kill children outright though, they still have no problem turning kids into food to be eaten, turning them into stone, turning them into animals that will be killed soon after, or trapping them in paintings. The book also implies that several transformed children (including two frogs and Bruce) would be killed shortly after in various ways and the Witches' main plan in the book and movie involves turning children into mice so that they will be killed by their parents and teachers. On the other hand, the main character survives and the movie has a scene in which the Grand Head Witch seems quite taken with an infant in a carriage — before pushing it down the hill. The hero saves it (justified in that it was mainly to serve as a distraction, rather than trying to kill it).
  • Woman in the Moon includes a young stowaway on the moon rocket who doesn't get injured during liftoff in spite of his lack of restraints, and is narrowly missed during a gunfight.
  • Brazilian horror icon Zé do Caixão aka Coffin Joe tends to be a vicious sadistic against adults, but won't tolerate any harm inflicted to children, whom he sees as the hopes for a better (or, in his case, superior) world.
  • In all the zombie attacks in World War Z not a single child is bitten, nor is a child zombie shown. Tomas survives improbably even after his parents are turned and a young boy in Israel who is seemingly doomed is spared as the zombie horde ignores him due to their inability to see the sick.

  • In the World of Lone Wolf spinoff series of the Lone Wolf gamebooks, the protagonist Grey Star was an infant who washed ashore on the island home of the mystical Shianti after a particularly violent storm. This was made even more improbable since the island was specifically enchanted to keep outsiders away. The Shianti who discovered the baby boy in the wreckage took his survival despite the odds as a sign that destiny brought him to them. So they adopted him and raised him as their own, teaching him their magic. This was especially fortuitous since Southern Magnamund is being overrun by Wytch King Shasarak (a rogue Shianti) and his empire. The Shianti themselves cannot intervene due to an oath of noninterference they made long ago, but Grey Star, their adopted human son, can intervene.

  • Lampshaded up the wazoo by the The Adventures of Samurai Cat books, in which Shiro the homicidal kitten revels in his Baby+ Cat Immortality, gleefully rushing into meat-grinder battles in the smug confidence that the author wouldn't dare kill him.
  • The Asterisk War: There's violence aplenty directed at, and carried out by, school-age kids and teenagers in this series, but so far the only named character who has actually been killed onscreen was a college student: Werner, the Le Wolf Ninja who holds Flora hostage in volume 5, is finished off afterwards in a drainage culvert by Eishirou.
  • In Devolution, every single member of the Dwindling Party at Greenpool dies except for the Final Girl, Kate, and the nine-year-old girl, Palomino. This may count as a Censored Child Death, because the most likely scenario is that she and Palomino died shortly after through getting lost in the woods, but there are at least two possibilities suggested in which they would have survived.
  • Downplayed Trope in The Divine Comedy; there's an offhand mention of unbaptized infants in the First Circle of Hell, but no other children are implied, mentioned, or especially seen to exist throughout the three afterlives of the Comedy as if it's impossible to die in-between baptism and adulthood.
  • While the Pern colonists' first encounter with Thread gruesomely killed several adults and at least one young girl, Dragonsdawn does honor this trope with babies. Two infants were the only survivors of the colony's Tuareg nomad camp, having been sealed inside a Thread-proof metal cabinet by their doomed parents, and a house in which a woman is giving birth was instinctively protected by hundreds of the settlement's fire-lizards.
  • In The Girls, a Roman à Clef about the Manson Family and the Sharon Tate murders, one of the victims is a five-year-old boy. In Real Life, Sharon Tate was 8 1/2 months pregnant.
  • The very premise of Harry Potter, who is The Boy Who Lived because the evil overlord wanted to kill a baby but wasn't able to. "Trying to kill a baby but not being able to" is probably the most pathetic thing a villain can do. It's hard to think of things that couldn't kill a baby, but apparently Voldy just had to get cute with the Killing Curse, instead of using the much more reliable kick to the head.
  • Invoked and lampshaded in The Taking: the characters notice that children are the only people universally spared by the invaders and environmental hazards. This is because the "invasion" is actually a Biblical apocalypse, meant to destroy all sinful humans to create a Utopia. The monsters are demons and are physically incapable of harming children, since Children Are Innocent. Two guys actually try to exploit this by surrounding themselves with kids and hunkering down in the town church. Unfortunately for them, a buglike demon catches on to their trick and sneaks in through the basement to kill them without going near the kids.
  • Played straight in Breaking Dawn. While all of the Volturi converge to kill Bella and Edward's daughter Renesmee, they all instantly become captivated by her charm when they see her, quickly realize that they were wrong, and go home without a fight. Yes, that was the climax.
  • Elizabeth Vaughan tells of turning in a manuscript in which an infant died midway through. Her publisher sternly counseled her that "In romance, you can't kill a baby." She had to rework the entire plot to accommodate the infant's survival.
  • The child supervillain August Prince from Worm has this explicitly as his superpower; his presence renders people incapable of deliberately attacking or harming him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Double subverted in the Angel episode "Darla". Darla, his sire, wants to make sure that he is still soulless, so she leads him to a crib with a baby that she had kidnapped, and tells him to drink its blood (though not in so many words). Courtesy of Dramatic Irony, the audience knows Angel is ensouled. Angel then rescues the child.
  • Another Period: This is combined with Black Comedy. Peepers threatens a woman by threatening to harm her baby. She agrees to what he says but he didn't think she would and accidentally threw the baby anyway. The baby stops crying and both are horrified but Peepers picks him up and says he's okay and the baby starts crying again.
  • The Barrier: A baby is the sole survivor of the occupants of an illegal transport leaving Madrid being gunned down by the police.
  • Being Human:
    • This trope is played with when a young boy who Mitchell befriended is hit by a car and critically injured. It is left for the mother to decide if he dies... or takes another way out. They play it straight and have Mitchell turn the boy into a vampire.
    • The plot of Season 4 revolves around a prophecy in which George and Nina's baby must die to save humanity from global vampire rule.
  • Boy Meets World: the sight of an empty hospital bassinet fails to evoke our fears that premature Joshua did not survive, thanks to this trope and the fact that it's a friggin TGIF sitcom. Sure enough, when we pan over, the baby is in mom's arms.
  • Capadocia: An autistic faith healer known as "La Santita de la Roma"translation is framed for fraud and imprisoned. A factor for her reputation as a miracle worker is that she was among the "miracle babies" from the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, who, Truth in Television, survived for days before their rescue from the rubble of collapsed hospitals.
  • On the original CSI, the roller coaster "Pharaoh's Fever" was considerate enough of this trope to wait to fail until after a Mom with her kids had disembarked and an all-adult group of riders had gotten on board.
  • On an episode of CSI: Miami the team has been searching for a kidnapped baby. When Horatio finds the guy he tries to escape by driving away with the baby in the car. After a car chase through an airport, the bad guy's car flips repeatedly and both he and the baby survive without serious injury until Horatio shoots the guy.
  • Charmed (1998): Piper's unborn baby is impossible to kill due to the magical lineage of the baby; any fireballs or missiles that flew in Piper's direction were nullified by a glowing barrier orb around pregnant Piper. It is even hinted that the unborn fetus is consciously providing the magical protection. This protection lasts long after his birth. Many episodes featured the villain trying to grab the kid and getting blasted across the room. Although this takes a darker turn when they realize why the child would have gone evil in the future - trauma over someone capturing him and trying for weeks to figure out a way to kill him.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Runaway Bride": Most of the Racnoss' laser beams whip around quickly — except for one heading towards a little girl, which moves sloooooowly enough for someone to grab her and run to safety.
    • "The Beast Below": The fact that the beast refuses to eat the children of "limited value" fed to it is a major clue as to what's really going on with it.
    • "The Curse of the Black Spot" does it dead straight, in which a child is vaporized by the villain... and the Doctor suddenly knows all's not what it seems. With no in-story reason to think this at all, the Doctor soon decides that the alien may only be moving people, not killing them, and he is soon proven right.
    • "Orphan 55": Prepubescent child Sylas, the only child in the episode, is one of only two guest characters to definitively survive the events.
  • ER:
    • When Abby and Luka's baby was born prematurely, a scene ended with the baby flatlining in surgery. The next scene indicated that several months had passed and featured staff members quietly discussing the couple's need for privacy. Cut to an empty crib...and pan to Abby holding her son. Another example, one of ER's most famous episodes, "Love's Labor Lost" comes very close to averting this when Dr. Green mishandles a routine birth, and up until the final moments of the episode, it seemed very likely that the baby would die, only for him to survive while his mother did not.
    • Played straight when Sam's son Alex ran away. The final scene of the episode showed him hitchhiking and being picked up by a truck driver. But sure enough, by the next episode, he was found unharmed. With the exception of Carter's son, this has consistently applied to the children of the staff members—Greene's infant daughter survives her drug overdose, etc.
  • In Glue, Ruth's daughter Cassie almost dies twice thanks to her mom's negligence — but survives both times.
  • Egregiously played in the National Geographic documentary Guns, Germs, and Steel where a Boer family was attacked by the Zulus and we see the husband, wife, and the older son dead in the morning. However, the infant survived the attack and his cries can be heard.
  • In Harper's Island, it was very unnerving that they had Madison, who got people killed because of her withholding information, and her annoying Mom Shea live, while the father, Richard bought it. 99% of the show's fans wish that they both died.
  • The Huntress once had Dottie kidnapped by a white supremacist couple who ask her to carry out a drug deal at the town hall. In reality, the case she's to carry is a bomb. However, she sees right through the deception ("They wanted me to bring a package to a government building in the middle of the day. What else could it be but a bomb?") and switches the case with the bomb with the case with the drugs and lets them blow themselves up. Conveniently, it's mentioned their young son is playing at a friend's house at the time.
  • Elsewhere in the Tokusatsu genre, the earlier Kamen Rider series had far less problem offing random civilians in good-sized numbers to show how bad the Monster of the Week and his plan are than more recent series. Adult civilians, anyway. There are so many instances of death — in so many scary-despite-Special-Effects-Failure forms — instantly taking adults but only hovering menacingly in the direction of children (who are snatched out of the way by Riders) it's hard to pick the best. However, one time in Kamen Rider: Skyrider, a child infected by something that had disintegrated everyone else affected by it is not seen after the woman who'd been carrying her a second ago was kidnapped. By all rights that means she's dead, but we didn't see it.
  • Used in-universe in one episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, in regards to a Cuban immigrant who, as a child fleeing Cuba, was the Sole Survivor when his boat sank. Subverted when it turns out the entire story was made up.
  • Lost:
    • It's been confirmed by Damon Lindelof that Vincent the dog survives the entirety of the run of the show.
    • When young Ben is shot by Sayid, he a way that makes him "lose his innocence".
    • It was kind of obvious that they were never going to kill Walt.
    • Baby Aaron survives a helicopter crash, despite it flipping over and being submerged in the ocean. Kate comments on how miraculous this is.
  • In the Animal Planet show Lost Tapes, anytime there's a child involved, they will be ensured to survive. A most egregious example is in the Thunderbird episode, where a boy with a broken leg is picked up by a massive raptor. The end narration says they found him the next morning with minor scrapes and bruises, meaning the giant bird of prey didn't so much as nibble the boy and carried him in its talons with the utmost care.
  • Midnight Mass (2021): Erin loses her foetus (though, if that counts as a character, it's never seen), but there are only two characters who survive: young teenagers Leeza and Warren.
  • While everyone else in the McNamara family in Nip/Tuck goes through hell and a half, the family's young daughter Annie never seems to have anything bad directly happen to her, at least in the early seasons. In fact, she is completely absent from roughly two-thirds of all episodes.
  • In the series epilogue of Prison Break, Sara Trancredi is sent to prison and later physically assaulted by female correctional officers for her role in the Fox River break out. However, they gave her the courtesy of avoiding hitting anywhere that would cause harm to her unborn child.
  • In Japanese Spider-Man, in which adult characters are rarely spared from tragic deaths for the hero to angst over, one can always be sure that cute kids whose lives are in danger will always be spared. Moreover, one episode featured a heroic dog who was shot and fell hundreds of feet off a dam. Cut to tearjerker scene of the dog lying in the river... his owner calls and the dog struggles to his feet and limps over... and five minutes later, the dog is completely well again.
  • In an episode of Stargate SG-1, a young girl is the only survivor of a plague on her planet. It is later revealed that she was turned into a bomb in order to destroy the SGC. She doesn't actually blow up, though.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Operation: Annihilate!", hundreds of people, including Kirk's brother and sister-in-law are killed by the Monster of the Week, but Kirk's nephew survives.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • Naomi Wildman. Sort of. See, on the day of her birth she is killed... and survives a horrible menace. At the same time. Yes, it is confusing. As usual, in horrible deaths, Harry Kim is part and parcel of it.
    • To elaborate, the ship is split into two identical Voyagers. The Harry and Naomi from one die, but the Harry and Naomi of the Voyager that eventually gets kaboom'd manage to survive, and they join the Voyager crew that lost theirs.
  • Torchwood:
    • Children of Earth uses Body Horror, but also subverts it. The body horror comes in the form of the children taken by the 456 in the 1950s, which are integrated into the 456 bodies and are still the same size, then in the finale the surviving Torchwood team come up with a way to turn the 456's signal back on them, but the signal needs to be Powered by a Forsaken Child and the amplification will burn up the child's brain. Jack sacrifices his own grandson while the boy's mother screams and pounds at the door to try and stop it.
    • Miracle Day features a rare example of the trope being played for Body Horror. The Miracle of the title renders the entire human race immortal... and that includes MISCARRIED FOETUSES.
  • The dog variation is lampshaded by Dr. Johnny Fever in an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati in which he says "It's like in the movies, ya know? You can waste the entire Confederate army, nobody cares — hundreds of thousands of guys deader than doornails! But kill one collie, everybody collapses in grief!"
  • The X-Files: Played straight with Baby William at every turn. Either Scully is attacked by a giant slug that threatens to abort him ("Roadrunners"), Scully has a placental abruption ("Empedocles"), somebody wants to make sure he isn't born ("Deadalive"), someone evil wants to kidnap him at birth for evil purposes ("Essence/Existence"), a crazy cult actually does kidnap him ("Provenance/Providence"), or he's injected with an unknown substance to cure him of his alien-ness ("William"). And through all of this, there's not even a scratch on him. He's one tough little guy.

  • As seen in the final chapter of My Beloved Mother, a flashback to what happened over a decade ago; the protagonist Sinbell, as a 4-year-old child, survives a gas explosion that levelled a small village, though it's because he was shielded by his mother, Aya, who was incinerated alive to save her son and didn't survive the incident note .



    Tabletop Games 
  • Enforced by the rules in Tales from the Loop. A Kid Hero may be Hurt, Scared, Confused and hit the Despair Event Horizon and refuse to go on, but can never be actually killed. This is downplayed in the expansion/sequel Things From The Flood, which ages up the protagonists to their teens, and only gives characters younger than 15 the Plot Armor from the first game.

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate II: The PC frees the inmates of an asylum for those driven mad by magical power to help take on Big Bad Jon Irenicus. One of these inmates is a young girl with the ability to shapeshift; she does not actually take part in the battle, in which all the other inmates die.
  • Overlapping with an inversion of What Measure Is a Non-Human?, though the player fights many dinosaurs in the Capcom adaptation of Cadillacs and Dinosaurs , defeating them merely causes them to run away, and only the human poachers can be killed (and quite violently at that.)
  • Castlevania 64 has the hero fighting horrible menaces to save a human kid named Malus. Then he sends him off into the monster-filled worlds. The rerelease had a different hero give a different kid a plot coupon that would protect him from said monsters.
  • No children or infants appear in the Crusader series of games, because with the care most players usually take to avoid killing civilians there would be frozen, burning, or gooey babies everywhere. And you can't get baby out of carpet.
  • Zigzagged in Detroit: Become Human. The two child characters who appear are no safer from dying than anyone else, but their deaths are always offscreen.
  • Dishonored: While you hear horrible stories of people dying from the Rat Plague (including children) regarding the game world's backstory, the only child you actually meet during the whole game is Emily, and unlike every other NPC in the game, nothing you do can harm her. Subverted at the end of a High-Chaos game, however, as Havelock will attempt to jump from the lighthouse taking Emily with him, and should you screw up, he succeeds.
  • In Dragon Quest V, during the segment where your characters are children, they don't die when they hit 0 HP but are just knocked out until the end of the battle. Actual — if not-permanent — death isn't an issue until your lead character is an adult.
  • Fable: The only children to appear are in a town which the player cannot enter without leaving his weapons at the gate.
    • You are never unarmed in Fable II, but no matter what you use, you can't kill the kids. Oddly subverted in the intro sequence, in which Lord Lucien shoots dead your sister Rose, who is barely older than you are, and then shoots you with enough force to send you through a window and down a fall you only survive because of your magical heritage. Near the game's ending, Lucien will kill your spouse and children, offscreen.
  • Bethesda invokes this trope whenever their video games have child NPCs. In both Fallout 3 and Skyrim children are completely invincible. Attacking them won't lower their health at all. This is done to prevent these games from potentially being used as child-killing simulators, which would most certainly invoke the ire from Moral Guardians. Bethesda is very strict with this policy, as they forbid any discussion about this subject on their forums, while also allegedly removing YouTube videos showcasing mods that allow players to kill children.
    • In Fallout 3, this restricts an Evil player's options in Little Lamplight, a town populated entirely by kids. While children are invulnerable to harm, a "creative" player will discover that you can enslave some, sell drugs and guns to them, bully them, taunt one to run away from his neglectful mother and the evil solution to the "The Power of Atom" quest (detonating the atomic bomb) will kill the two children living in Megaton.
    • It's actually still played straight during "The Power of Atom." If you activate the bomb but do not detonate it, leave town, and come back before you finish the quest, you'll find that the two children in Megaton have mysteriously vanished.
    • Fallout: New Vegas picks up this policy from its predecessor. The game makes a point of this feature by including a quest where one can find a range finder in order to use a prewar superweapon, the ARCHIMEDES II. However, the player character needs to obtain said rangefinder from a child named Max who believes that it a toy. Max cannot be killed in order to get the rangefinder off of his body, you must pay him a thousand caps (20 with a high barter skill), or pickpocket him. However, Max constantly runs so it is impossible to pickpocket him unless he is asleep.
    • Skyrim is actually inconsistent with this trope. While living children are invincible, there are two undead children in the game, them being Helgi and Babette. Helgi is a ghost of a girl who died in a fire, while Babette is a Really 700 Years Old vampire and an assassin of the Dark Brotherhood, who was turned into a vampire at a very young age, meaning both cases avert Infant Immortality. But if the player raids the Dark Brotherhood sanctuary, Babette is nowhere to be found, as to prevent the player from killing a child, despite said child being a self-proclaimed three hundred years old killer. In a similar, albeit inverted, vein to the above, Haming, a small child, is one of the only confirmed survivors of the destruction of Helgen in the opening, alongside General Tullius, Ulfric Stormcloak, Elenwen, Hadvar/Ralof and the player character. Interestingly, children in Skyrim have Dummied Out death screams and zombie moans which can be heard if the game is modded to allow killing children.
  • This is applied strangely in F.E.A.R. Alma is already an Implacable Man, but the moment you have to actually face off against her, she goes from her Creepy Child Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl form to a teenage one. This makes absolutely no sense plot-wise and seems to be solely so you won't have to face down and eventually shoot a little girl — even one that's already dead. Canonically, she was an adult when she died — but only fifteen when she gave birth — but she was unconscious nearly the entire time, and would have no frame of reference for herself looking like this. It doesn't make a lot of sense that she'd psychically project herself as what is, to her, virtually a complete stranger, rather than the image she probably has of herself.
    • There's also the small matter of Alma raping the main character at the end of the second game. Doing that while she still looks like a little girl would probably cause even worse publicity than being able to shoot her.
  • Exploited in Fate/Grand Order, when the cast finds themselves in a singularity that runs on horror movie tropes. Against the unstoppable monster that stalks them the first night, their options amount to dragging the fight out as long as possible, or using Illya as a Human Shield.
  • In Final Fantasy XII, you will occasionally be joined by a fourth party member. The only guest party member who doesn't eventually die is Larsa, who is twelve.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker expansion, a woman and her infant child are thrown into a pool of water. When the Warrior of Light swims in to help them, the mother is found floating on the surface of the water, dead for no readily discernable reason. The infant child, however, sunk like a stone to the bottom of the pool for no readily discernable reason. Despite the pool being at least 30 feet deep, and the infant child presumably having the lung capacity of an infant child, the infant child survives.
  • In Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon, the journey into people's memories starts by chasing a mysterious flying infant, worried that he'll be hurt. He somehow manages to escape the monsters unscathed, though Chocobo has a hard time finding his way through.
  • Grand Theft Auto: In a game where you can beat people to death, blow up cars, and just be an all-around psychopath, there are no kids and it also regularly Lampshades the absence of pets.
  • Gwen in Guild Wars Prophecies is invulnerable. When she appears again as an adult in Eye of the North, she isn't.
  • The arcade game Gundhara have you battling a syndicate who specializes in abducting kids to be integrated into their private army. Many stages have you releasing the children who runs around in droves, and they cannot be harmed by bullets or rockets no matter what.
  • Half-Life 2's designers turned this trope to their advantage: the childless city is explained in-game by a "suppression field", which, according to Dr. Kleiner, prevents certain protein chains necessary for embryonic development from forming. This has been going on for 20-odd years by the time the game takes place, so the children have all grown up into the adults you find in-game. There's a great atmospheric moment at the start of the game when you pass by a playground and, if you look at the deserted swing and the broken doll on the ground, you can hear a distant, fading kid's laughter. The situation is amusingly lampshaded once the Citadel falls and the suppression field goes down with it — Kleiner suggests via broadcast that, while the Citadel's reactor is going critical, "now would be an excellent time for procreation" for those who are out of the city.
  • The first Knights of Valour game begins with a mission to rescue Adou, your commander's six-year old son kidnapped by the enemy forces. You managed to retrieve Adou at the end of the game only to confront the first boss, flanked by several of her mooks, and during the subsequent boss fight, despite Adou cluelessly running all over the place, attacks (yours, the boss, her mooks) will simply ignore the boy.
  • Depending on which games in The Legend of Zelda series and how good the player is, this can either be played straight or subverted with a child Link.
  • Metal Slug have missions where children can be seen in the background, but none of them can be killed with bullets ignoring them. It gets ridiculous in the second game there's a baby crawling around who can be flung aside by grenade explosions, but remain unharmed all the way. Oddly enough, the game's (and entire franchise's) plot is kicked off by the Death of a Child with General Morden's backstory after his only child was killed by a terrorist attack leading to his defection.
  • Mortal Kombat X: While Ferra/Torr function as The Dividual in gameplay, and the childlike Ferra is capable of perpetrating acts of incredible violence, she's spared actually reciving any injuries. Torr takes all the blows, Ferra's "injured" mesh is just covered in Torr's blood, and no Finishing Move involves Terra — Brutalities leave her in the background, unconscious but writhing around, and Fatalities have her vanish entirely.
  • NARC is a famously violent game where you ruthlessly massacre hundreds of people. But killing dogs, even vicious attack dogs, is evidently considered too violent: in most, if not all ports of the game, shooting or blowing up a dog merely turns it into a puppy that runs away.
  • In Nira Oni, a group of teenagers gets trapped in an Abandoned Hospital. Although they're all in danger, most of the cast show particular concern about Cassey's younger sister Ryan, and this directly factors into the ending. Hiroshi can decide to ensure she escapes at any cost, meaning she survives even the worst ending... but at the cost of everyone else.
  • Octopath Traveler: Child NPCs are plentiful in the world, but while many casualties do occur throughout the various stories, no children are shown to die. Additionally, Olberic and H'aanit's Challenge/Provoke cannot target small children, for obvious reasons.
  • An Outcry: In the Ignore path, Yildrim's children are attacked and cornered by the shrikes, with the Unnamed unable to help them and are forced to abandon them. Much later, it's revealed that Anne saved them off-screen and helped them escape. This is noteworthy as almost every other character dies in that route.
  • Played with in the original Postal, where the final stop on Postal Dude's rampage is an elementary school. The entire stage is a prolonged cutscene where Postal Dude opens fire on a playground full of kids, only to suffer a mental breakdown when they're completely unaffected. It's implied that he's hallucinating the entire thing.
  • In the notes and letters scattered about the campaign in Resident Evil 4 and its remake, it explicitly states children could not survive the Plagas infection and died off en masse when the parasite began being distributed. We get no explicit details, and there is no evidence of children seen anywhere in the game. Likely done as a way to ensure the rating didn't jump to AO and explain why Leon isn't shooting hordes of both insane adults and children.
  • In the Japanese version of Scribblenauts, child NPCs have infinite hit points.
  • It's a good thing this trope is in effect in Shining the Holy Ark. When you're exploring a Haunted House you come across a child called Justin who is searching for his father. You've had to fight tooth and nail to get to the point where Justin is. Justin later turns up in the sequel Shining Force III as one of the main protagonists. There are some allusions to one of the Big Bads bathing in children's blood in order to retain her beautiful image, but we never see it happen.
  • In one rather infamous example of foreign censorship, the Grey Child monsters in Silent Hill were removed in all European releases of the game. They were replaced with the Mumblers, long clawed monsters around the height of a child (these monsters do appear in other versions, but only in one point in a sewer). The Grey Children were likely removed since they had the laugh of a child that was slowed down when attacking or being damaged. The Mumblers, on the other hand, make vague belching noises. Additionally, while the Grey Children actively wield knives, the Mumblers just use their claws.
  • The Sims
    • In The Sims 2, The Sims 3 and The Sims 4, babies and toddlers cannot be killed in any way. If they are caught in a fire they will miraculously escape, and if their needs drop too low, a social worker will take them away. The same is true for children, except they actually can burn to death, drown, or get crushed by a satellite or meteor. They just can't get electrocuted, scared to death, or starved to death (the social worker will come first). Pregnant women also cannot die in The Sims 3 and 4. However, ghosts in 3 can reproduce (with other ghosts or with living Sims), and the babies are sometimes ghosts who will then age like normal Sims.
    • In The Sims Medieval, children just aren't playable to begin with (a player character Sim's child can take on their profession if they die, but they're instantly aged into an adult to do so) so the player choices and bungles that lead to adult Sims dying will never affect children, and playable Sims who can inflict death can't do so on children.
  • Siren Games
    • This is in full swing in the series... which actually works against the player, as they enforce it by having children panic and curl into a ball before they're actually even hit, yielding a game over. If you're playing one, you're currently playing a stage where not using stealth, rather than just being dangerous and wasteful, is completely impossible. If you have one with you, you have to take great care to protect it — and a stray hit during combat that connects with them causes them to panic as well.
    • During the story of the first game, this trope is played straight: Harumi not only survives the events of the game, but it's implied she's the only playable character who managed to escape the otherworld and return back to reality.
    • Both an example and exception in Siren: Blood Curse. On escort missions, you can hurt and kill the person you have to protect. Except for 10-year-old Bella. Your weapon has no effect on her. Likewise, enemies can hurt and kill escorts... but when Bella "dies" it's by covering her head and cowering in fear. And when you play as Bella, instead of taking damage from enemy attacks and eventually dying, you cower in fear and scream "NO!" if an enemy gets too close to you, causing you to lose. Technically a way of avoiding showing Bella's obvious death. Yet, the game also creates an exception later when Bella is shown later on having turned into a shibito, the zombie-like creatures in the village. The condition for becoming a shibito is to die, so obviously something happened to Bella. An earlier cutscene shows a large log rolling towards her and a quick cut to black, indicating that's what might have killed her.
  • The Sonic Blast Man arcade game (as well as the SNES version) featured a stage where the player must punch out a truck that is about to cross path with a runaway carriage with a baby boy inside it. If the player fails the stage, it will show that the carriage managed to get safely out of the truck's way, only for Sonic Blast Man to get run over in its place.
  • Tails from Sonic the Hedgehog cannot die if you play as both Sonic and Tails in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and 3. If something happens to him that puts him into his Death Throws (such as drowning, falling into Bottomless Pits or getting crushed,) he'll merely fly back on-screen after a few seconds. This attribute carries on in Sonic Mania.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day has a Child Soldier in the Future War stages, who can be seen shooting at enemy robots with a dinky pistol but can't be killed, either by mooks or friendly fire. There's also John Connor in the present-day stages who's immune to gunfire.
  • In Terraria, the Angler and the Princess are the only children in the game. They can be hurt by monsters or traps like the other townsfolk, but instead of dying bloodily like the others, they vanish in a puff of smoke with the message "[name] has left!" when their health runs out. Since this is how some phantasmal enemies like the Wraith "die", the most popular explanation is that they're ghosts, so whether this is an aversion or not is unclear.
  • In Tin Star, the titular character refuses to shoot Kid Johnson, a little kid who also happens to be a gunslinging bandit. It turns the Quick Draw Showdown at High Noon with the kid into a Hopeless Boss Fight.
  • In Trauma Team, Alyssa takes a bomb blast at point-blank range. The same type of bomb has already been used to kill 4 adults. Not only does Alyssa survive, she even retains all her limbs (the bomb did mangle her quite badly, but she eventually makes a full recovery.)
  • In Undertale, it's impossible for the Monster Kid to die regardless of the player's actions. On a Neutral/Pacifist Run, they nearly fall off a bridge during a confrontation between the player and Undyne, in which you have the option of helping them or running away. If you abandon Monster Kid, Undyne will cease her pursuit to save them. On a Genocide Run, Monster Kid stands up to the player, and if the player attacks them, Undyne shows up and takes the blow, turning into Undyne the Undying, and Monster Kid presumably escapes to the True Lab with the other monsters Alphys helped evacuate. If the player spares Monster Kid, they say they knew the protagonist was not that bad and leave, aborting the Genocide Route, and Undyne is fought normally. However, this is a moot point if you complete a Genocide Route and wipe out the entire timeline.
  • In Virtue's Last Reward, despite being the first person to show symptoms of Radical-6, a disease that drives the sufferer to suicidal insanity, Quark is the only person you will never explicitly see dead. Everyone else is fair game. Not that he doesn't try his damnedest to act on his suicidal impulses in several routes, mind you. He just gets held down and sedated before he can succeed. The only thing that even so much as hints at him dying in any route is the entire facility blowing up in some bad endings, which presumably kills everybody.
  • The Walking Dead plays with this trope, as while a certain number of child characters die in horrible ways or are shown undead, a number of them also survive such as Clementine, Alvin Jr. and Sam's brothers in the Michonne spin off regardless of the player's choices.
  • World of Warcraft follows this to a T. You can slaughter whole towns, but not the children in them. Apparently, it's better to let the children get along without their parents that you slaughtered than to also kill them. Then again, given respawn, that's not an it raises the question of why one can't kill a level 5 child since they'd just come back anyway.
    • The reason is, Blizzard doesn't want either side to seem Always Chaotic Evil to the other, and child murder is a good way of crossing the Moral Event Horizon. This is also lampshaded with an in-game holiday dedicated to helping the orphans in every city.
  • It's only to be expected that Zoo Tycoon would honor this trope, being a family game. It's worth mentioning because of how blatantly the Infant Immortality rule is applied: if predators escape or a guest ends up in their enclosures, they'll leap on and attack adult guests, while completely ignoring children. Hence, a runaway lion or tyrannosaur will charge right past a dozen kids to pounce on a grown-up.

    Web Animation 

  • In 8-Bit Theater, Black Mage has orphaned a little boy multiple times, although this has been subverted (sort of) when he spared the boy a couple of times out of sick perverse joy in seeing the mental scars he causes pile up. Comes back to bite him when it turns out that the kid grows up to become a powerful sage, travels back in time to the start of the universe to make it in his image and prevent Black Mage from scarring him, waits for billions of years because of his future mistake of accidentally sending someone to the start of the universe before himself, and grows up to be Sarda, who finds endless and creative ways of torturing Black Mage.
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, a baby is launched in the air by automated zombie quarantine wall. The good doctor, naturally, catches him, much to his own surprise.
  • Mentioned in Gold Coin Comics, when Lance survived a childhood fire where everyone else appears to have died.
  • Rob and Elliot: Rob attempts to take this to its logical extreme by making a bulletproof vest out of live babies.

    Web Original 
  • Zig-Zagged with the Darwin Awards. Obviously, its real life and kids can in fact die. However, minors are exempt from earning the titular Darwin Award on the basis that they are simply too naive to know not to do potentially fatal things. When children are caught up in an award-winning situation, they are usually treated far more sympathetically, even if they only witnessed death.

    Web Videos 
  • In episode 4.3 of the Ask That Guy with the Glasses segment of Channel Awesome, he is asked what the plot of a movie with no cliches would be. He responds: "I would say, 2 1/2 hours of blowing up a baby. Think about it: have you ever seen a baby blow up in a movie before?"

    Western Animation 
  • In Defenders of the Earth, though children and teenagers (including Rick, LJ, Jedda, and Kshin, who are also subject to Plot Armor) are placed in life-threatening situations, all onscreen deaths — unless they involve the destruction of robots — are of adult characters. Kshin's death scene in "100 Proof Highway" doesn't count as it happens in a vision which Mandrake conjures up to teach Kshin a lesson about underaged drinking.
  • A flashback in the third season of Final Space shows us how Avocato murdered the royal family of Ventrexia on behalf of the Lord Commander : he fired a rocket at their ship, blowing it up in mid-air... Yet still found Little Cato among the wreckage, alive and completely unscathed despite having been aboard that ship when it exploded.
  • On Histeria!, Big Fat Baby survives a ton of abuse in "The History of Poland" sketch.
  • The titular protagonists from Mega Babies. Given that they have superpowers, this is to be expected.
  • Since Tommy and friends on Rugrats (1991) can safely pass through areas such as garages, attics, restaurants, post offices, miniature golf courses, bowling alleys, shopping malls, museums, fairs, Las Vegas, or the forest on their own, they don't really need the "supervision" that they get.
  • The Simpsons:
  • In the South Park episode, "Canada on Strike", all the internet memes including the gopher suffer gruesome deaths... except for the laughing baby who simply disappears offscreen. This in a show that is no stranger to Black Comedy and used to brutally murder Kenny every week.
  • On Squidbillies, this trope is invoked and has a lampshade hung on it, as the Sherrif disguises himself as a baby so that a pair of monsters won't kill him. It doesn't work.
    Granny: "They hate babies! Quick, nobody dress like a baby!"

Alternative Title(s): Infant Immortality