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Mistaken for Pedophile

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We've all been touched by Jon. These kids should be happy they were exposed to him early.

Ross: How would [your son] like to come with me to the Museum of Natural History after everyone else has left, just the two of us, and he can touch anything he wants?
Mr. Zelner: [looks horrified]
Ross: I just heard it as you must have heard it and that's not good. Let me start again. I'm a paleontologist, you'll be there with us and the touching refers only to bones... fossils!
Friends, "The One Where Estelle Dies"

It seems that, when comedy is concerned, sexual attraction to children is as good a source of laughs as anything else, especially when the person being persecuted is innocent (of that particular crime).

It usually goes like this: A small child grabs the MacGuffin the main characters are trying to fetch, or is otherwise important to the plot in some way — they might be children of the boss to whom they have to suck up, or even a MacGuffin themselves. As the main characters approach the child, unaware of how to behave and how to act, it seems to onlookers (and to the viewer, if they weren't in on the plot) that the interest in the kid is of a sexual nature.

The kid might scream, or parents/nannies might overlook the conversation and come to the wrong conclusion, but it usually ends with several parents chasing the would-be-creep with peppersprays, purses filled with bricks and TASER guns. If he's a villain, we laugh. If he's an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist, we also laugh. If he's an actual paedophile, the trope doesn't really apply.

Surprisingly, what never happens is any serious involvement of the police (it seems that overzealous parents are more than sure of their own creep-chasing abilities) or some sort of clarification that the character in question is not attracted to children. Guess they'll have to live with being mistaken for paedophiles all their lives.

The perpetrator is almost Always Male because of the Double Standard that men are always after sex while women never are. Conversely, a woman Friend to All Children can do things that would easily get a man lynched, and would just be dismissed as playing around or being nice, due to a woman's supposed lack of perverse desires.

See also: Comedic Lolicon, Mistaken for Index, Mama Bear, Digging Yourself Deeper, Pædo Hunt, That Came Out Wrong, Too Smart for Strangers, Grossout Fakeout, Accidental Pervert, and Abuse Mistake. Regardless of the truth, expect any of these characters to be Memetic Molesters.


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  • In this Ameriquest commercial, a father driving his teenage daughter and some of her friends to a concert. The daughter wants to buy some gum, so they pull over to go to a convenience store. The father tries to give the daughter money from inside the car so that she could buy the gum she wants, but the way the daughter bends over to take the money leads some cops to believe that the father was soliciting an underage prostitute. It doesn't help that he tries to explain himself with "I'm her... daddy."

    Anime & Manga 
  • In act-age, due to Sumiji's fascination with Kei and his rather questionable methods for approaching her at first, Kei and her siblings casually come to the conclusion that this might be his motivation. It's all Played for Laughs, but she does give him a good punch when he casually abducts her in his van.
  • Deconstructed in Blend-S. This is the reason why tiny Mafuyu refuses to date—her first date was arrested half a day into it because of this trope.
  • Masumi Sera from Case Closed. After she says that she wants to go to Ran's house to see Conan (because she has been investigating him), Sonoko calls her a paedophile.
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun: The first time Touma Kamijou meets Mikoto Misaka, she's being harassed by a bunch of delinquents trying to hit on her. He mistakes Mikoto for a small child and steps in, calling the delinquents a bunch of sickos for hitting on a kid. Being mistaken for a child is a Berserk Button for Mikoto, causing her to attack everyone with lightning.
  • Played for drama in ERASED, where this misunderstanding is used as evidence to convict Yuuki, a young man known for hanging around kids, of serially kidnapping and murdering three children. The real killer deliberately used Yuuki's reputation to pin the crimes on him, even going so far as to plant homosexual-related books in his room to explain the one male victim.
  • While the anime is ambiguous about this (except for the unaired last episode that was actively trying to be kept from airing) Doctor Shiouji in the Excel♡Saga manga is most definitely not into girls, despite hanging around playgrounds and watching young girls. Having been given a sour opinion of adult women by his overly sexual mother, he came to appreciate the innocence of his young cousin, and when his cousin grew up he tried to recapture the feeling he had.
  • Doranbalt of Fairy Tail. Erza is convinced that he's a paedophile, as seen when he pops out during her Imagine Spot of Jellal leaving her for being turned into a little kid. Probably the rest of Fairy Tail thinks the same after he chose Wendy out of all the mages as a partner for the S-Class trials despite there being no relation between them both.
  • In Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA, Shirou Emiya is often accused by his mother Irisviel and maids of planning to do something inappropriate with Illya, Chloe, and Miyu. It doesn't help that all three girls have a crush on him, and Chloe often tries to do something inappropriate with him. Irisviel scares the crap out of him by threatening to castrate him if she catches him trying to do something with them. She also seemingly tries to set him up with older girls, offering shirtless photos of him to Rin and Luvia, and in one Blu-Ray special ordering Sella to give him a "dinner, bath or Sella" routine.
  • The usual Every Episode Ending of gag manga The Female Hero and the Shota Orc has the titular characters involved in a situation that can be misinterpreted as romantic/sexual and onlookers all thinking "It's onee x shota!"
    And though the situation was completely different, the perceptive (people/creatures/inanimate objects) had the feeling that it was Onee x Shota.
  • In the one-shot manga Forever Honey one of the neighbors is implied to think that Ozuka, a single dad who's a freelance photographer, takes illicit pictures of his daughter.
  • In Gakuen Babysitters, Takuma and Kazuma's father Kousuke is a popular actor, so when he visits the daycare in his debut, he is wearing a mask and sunglasses to not get mobbed by fans. However because of this disguise, Ryuuichi and Kamitani mistake him for a pedophile about to kidnap Takuma.
  • Not played for laughs in Gunslinger Girl. Jose is regarded as a bit strange by others at the Social Welfare Agency because of the affection he showers on his cyborg Henrietta, and it's not helping his case that Henrietta develops a huge Precocious Crush—strongly implied to be romantic—on her handler as a result. Ironically, it's noted at one point that Jose seldom touches Henrietta (because she's a Replacement Goldfish for Jose's murdered sister). While most of the girls have crushes on their handlers it's almost always unrequited, with the exception being Petra who is a few years older than the other girls. Even then, it's left ambiguous as to whether her handler Sandro actually consummates the relationship.
  • In the first episode of Hanamaru Kindergarten, Tsuchida is on his way to his first day as a kindergarten teacher when he sees a young child all by herself. He goes over to her and says "Are you lost, miss?", and she instantly assumes he's hitting on her. When Tsuchida arrives at school, it turns out the girl (named Anzu) is one of his students, and she remarks on his "hitting on" her... with several of the childrens' mothers within earshot. Thankfully the confusion is quickly cleared up, but the Anzu's Precocious Crush on Tsuchida is still part of the series' central premise.
  • The Helpful Fox Senko-san:
    • When Nakano sees Senko for the first time, cooking food and welcoming him home after a long day at work, Nakano comes to the logical conclusion that if someone sees a young child without her parents in his apartment in the dead of night and wearing what appears to be an ancient kimono, fox ears and tail, he would be arrested for suspicion of kidnapping and child molestation, and hoo boy would the news have a field day with that. He kicks her out until Senko phases through his door and proves she's not exactly a young child nor human.
    • Nakano's neighbour Kouenji walks in on him trying to get to touch Senko's ears and almost calls the police on him before Senko manages to buy her silence with food.
  • In Hinamatsuri Episode 5, several of Hitomi's classmates start to believe that she's in a sexual relationship with their middle school teacher, Matsutani, after seeing the two of them entering a bar together. In reality, Hitomi is actually a bartender at the establishment in question, while Matsutani is a frequent customer. It doesn't help that Hitomi, afraid of anyone finding out that she's working at a bar despite being underage, acts extremely suspicious whenever the other kids ask her what she was doing there.
  • In Ice Revolution, tomboy Masaki wants to become more ladylike in order to become a better figure skater and to gain the attention of her Love Interest. She completely uses the wrong word choice when asking her much older coach for help in this regard ("Please... make me a woman!") with predictable results.
  • In The Irregular at Magic High School, Masaki complains about his little sister's personality and George comments that she's "fine". He meant "fine"-in-the-sense-that-she's-not-that-annoying, but Masaki interprets it as referring to her body. Even when George says that he's not a paedophile, Masaki thinks he's implying that he's not attracted to her yetthat he'll pursue her once she's slightly older.
  • In Kodomo no Jikan, Rin nearly gets Aoki-sensei arrested at one point, complete with "It's not what it looks like! I'm her teacher!" "That's WORSE!" exchange.
  • Much to his dismay, Hiiro Okamura from Konjiki No Wordmaster is mistaken for a paedophile by the level-up system due to his uncanny ability to unintentionally charm young girls. It even grants him the Title "Little Girl Slayer".
  • Kotaro Lives Alone: Due to the way he dresses and acts around Kotaro, Isamu Tamaru is regarded with suspicion whenever he and Kotaro are together, like people gossiping behind his back. During a shopping trip, both a security guard and a police officer question him about what he is doing with Kotaro. These suspicions are ungrounded however as Tamaru is a good man who truly has Kotaro's best interests in mind; he's just rather eccentric.
  • In the second half of Episode 7 of Laughing Salesman NEW, Moguro is in the park and he performs some magic tricks for the kids when one of the kids' ball rolls over toward him. Despite there being an adult watching Moguro performing his magic tricks with the kids, one of the mothers was actually going to call the police on Moguro for being near their kids. And Moguro's constant creepy smiling doesn't exactly make him look innocent.
  • In Maison Ikkoku Kyoko's father dons an overcoat, dark glasses, and mask to spy on Godai at his place of work. Unfortunately, said place of work is a day care center, and a cop happens to be passing by...
  • When Seo first appears in Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, she mistakes Gentle Giant Nozaki as a paedophile due to the latter's recent closeness with the tiny Sakura.
  • This is Nozomu's main problem regarding his relationship with Rino in My Girlfriend Without Wasabi, as she resembles (and acts like) a young child despite being two years older than him. The chapter after they start dating has him reminding that reader that she's 21 no less than three times on the first page.
  • My Love Story!!: Mild example. In the first episode, Takeo learns there's a pervert stalking the kids at a nearby elementary school. He decides to provide protection, and stands outside the school in his judo attire, and a stern expression, only for the cops to mistake him for the stalker.
  • In episode 4 of Noragami, when we first meet Kofuku and Daikoku:
    Yato: [to Hiyori and Yukine] Be careful. Don't look that guy in the eyes.
    Hiyori and Yukine: Huh?
    Yato: Doing that can be dangerous. You might never get away. Despite his tough exterior... he has a thing for kids like you!
    [cut to Hiyori and Yukine's horrified expressions, and Daikoku's pissed off expression]
    [Daikoku is so pissed, he literally kicks Yato into the sky.]
    • Just to clarify, Daikoku loves kids, he does not love them.
  • In Recorder and Randsell, eleven-year-old Atsushi acts like any kid his age would (if a bit clueless), but he also looks like a grown man. The poor kid gets arrested several times a week for doing things like playing tag with other children his age. Thankfully, the local cops are a reasonable bunch, and it later gets to the point that in order to avoid any mishaps, senior police officers who have dealt with those misunderstandings ensure to introduce Atsushi to any rookie officers and explain the situation. They still have to "arrest" Atsushi when calls come, but they are just as quick to release him.
  • In The Royal Tutor, it's Played for Laughs when Beatrix hears from the three-year-old princess Adele that Heine (an adult who is allegedly old enough to be Adele's father) is going to marry her, not realizing that Heine only "propose" to Adele in a make-believe game and "broke off" the engagement when it was finished. It also does not help that Adele has a Precocious Crush on Heine and actually wants to marry Heine. To his credit, Heine recognizes this and if Adele has the same feelings when she is older, he will properly discuss it with her.
  • In the first manga of RWBY, there's a joke about Glynda being suspicious about Ozpin's interest in 15-year old Ruby. Ozpin is interested in Ruby's abilities in purely a platonic manner.
  • Spy X Family: Anya finds a group of terrorists who are trying to plunge the nation into war. Unfortunately, they grab her so that she can't warn anyone. Then Yor comes running in, and due to getting panicked over recent reports of child bride kidnappings, thinks they're trying to marry this six year-old girl.
    Terrorist: Wha?
  • In one episode of Strawberry Marshmallow, a door-to-door cosmetics salesmen is our mistaken-for-LKL victim for the day, due to a combination of Miu's false accusations, an innocent attempt to comfort Matsuri, Matsuri's failure to explain said attempt as such, and his eerie tendency to hit every house in a group of girls who hang out together. He gets a shiner (and incentive to quit) for his troubles.
  • Played with in Tokusatsu Gagaga. Nakamura helps out a little girl whose mother doesn't want her playing with toys from a Tokusatsu show, and the child hugs her out of gratitude. When the girl leaves, Nakamura looks up to see people giving her funny looks, which she assumes is because she seemed a little too happy about being hugged by a small child. In reality, everyone is staring at Nakamura because the girl put a Magical Girl Transformation Trinket in her hair while she wasn't looking.
  • Ukai Midori from UzaMaid: Our Maid Is Way Too Annoying! puts herself in these situations often and is prone to digging herself deeper when it happens. Ironically, this is usually due to her efforts in trying to gain the affections of the actual pedophile, Tsubame Kamoi, since she tends to be very closely inspecting little girls to see what Tsubame likes about them. In Midori's introduction, she nearly gets arrested twice when two children mistake her efforts to ask them about Tsubame for predatory behavior. When she and Misha (the current object of Tsubame's affections) form an alliance to get the older woman to become her new maid, Midori starts to change into a maid outfit in front of Misha in an alleyway. Misha frantically stops her and tells her to wait to change, but not before the same two cops catch them. Midori tries to tell them that it's not what it looks like... before her loosened top falls and exposes her breasts, leading to her arrest.
  • In Wagnaria!!, Souta, who professes to love small, cute things is often mistaken by people not familiar with him for being a potential pedophile. Even people who ARE familiar with him have their suspicions, such as Jun Satou, who in one episode states that seeing Souta taking care of a lost child made him uneasy.
  • Yuki from Wandering Son gets mistaken for this by her boyfriend when he walks in on her being a bit too touchy with Takatsuki, who at the time was a fifth grader.
  • In Chapter 41 of The World is Still Beautiful, Bardouin jokingly flirts with his colleague Violetta's younger sister and is poking her cheeks when Nike, Neil and Violetta walk in on him — it looks suggestive enough for Violetta to go berserk and make him repeat endlessly "lolicons are criminals".

  • Bill Burr complained about this trope because of the massive amount of To Catch a Predator type shows that made everyone paranoid of sex offenders, since that meant he could no longer try to entertain kids in public, and instead lives in fear of one getting too close and accidentally triggering this trope.
    "Alright, look; I get it: There's dudes out there touching kids. But it's only a tiny fraction of the population, so, y'know, take it down a few, 'cuz you're making it fuckin' awkward out there!"
  • Micheal MacIntyre tells a story as part of his act how when asked by the Alpha Mum at a playgroup he'd brought his son to 'which one is yours?' he jokingly answered 'None of them' and the resultant uproar that caused.
  • Chris McCausland, who is blind, has a routine about going to a busy playpark with his wife and daughter, and realising that his daughter had run off to play, his wife had followed, and that left him standing on his own, in the playpark.
    What I realized is, just because you can't see anything, doesn't mean you don't have to look somewhere. I just had to pick a direction and stare, and hope I wasn't looking directly at a family, or even worse, a single child on a slide.

    Comic Books 
  • In Blacksad, chief of police Karup is leading the church choir for the kids, is married to someone young enough to be his daughter (and is, not that he is aware or even sleeps with her) and is showed to be really friendly with kids but not anything that is inappropriate. Naturally words spread that he is a pedophile and related to the kidnapping of his maid's daughter. While he is an asshole nothing proves that he is a pedophile.
  • A back-up story in The Chronicles of Wormwood one-shot The Last Enemy has two characters facing the wrath of angry mobs because of their rather unfortunate punny names, one being Al Kyda and the other being Pete O'Fyle.
  • The Dead Boy Detectives: In the 2005 graphic novel, the boys find photographs of missing schoolgirl Elizabeth in their teacher Mr. Bourne's bag. They suspect him of having perverted intentions towards her. He's actually a paparazzo, photographing Elizabeth at school because she comes from a famous family, and is in love with another teacher.
  • The 13th issue of John Byrne's Doom Patrol run had Robotman use Mental Time Travel to try and prevent the accident that resulted in his brain being put into a robot body. He initially appears to still be in his Robotman body, but finds that he still appears as his human body Cliff Steele to other people and reflective surfaces. Rita Farr also sends her mind back in time to try and talk Cliff out of altering history and ends up confessing her feelings for Cliff, which gets Cliff in trouble when his girlfriend and the police catch him embracing what looks like a 13-year-old girl.
  • Used in Fables in a manner similar to the Family Guy examples below. The Fables invade the apartment building of a reporter who was close to uncovering the secret of Fabletown and, after making the entire building unconscious thanks to Sleeping Beauty, take pictures of him with Pinocchio (who is actually much older than he looks) in compromising positions as insurance in order to prevent him from going forward with what he knows about them.
  • In Gotham Knights #42, a social worker who suspects Bruce Wayne of abusing his wards pays a visit to Wayne Manor, seeking to talk to Bruce about the mysterious death of Jason Todd. When he arrives, he finds Cassandra Cain clad only in a bathrobe, and calls Bruce a "sicko" in addition to threatening to subpoena him after Bruce demands he not bug him about the circumstances of Jason's death and slams the door in his face.
  • Green Arrow gets accused of this sometimes:
    • When discussing Green Arrow's relationship with the teenaged Mia, Black Canary says she thinks they're in a sexual relationship. Roy says Ollie is fine with young women but not that young, however Dinah doesn't buy it.
    • Hal Jordan once had to remind himself he "isn't Ollie" to get himself to stop thinking weird thoughts about the seventeen-year-old Supergirl.
  • JSA: Captain Marvel dated Stargirl for a while. Stargirl knew that he was the same age as her, but most of the Justice Society did not. The two broke up when other members learned about their relationship and got angry over a (seemingly) adult man dating someone in their early teens. Captain Marvel couldn't reveal his true age, so he left Stargirl.
  • In a tie-in to The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Donald is going through Scrooge's dreams, and encounters one in which Scrooge is back in Scotland on his 10th birthday. While looking for Scrooge, Donald runs into a young girl and her mother, and realizes the young girl is Hortense McDuck, his own mother. His reaction is to embrace her fondly, while Hortense's mother, who'll never meet her grandson, calls on her husband, since a stranger is acting "mighty peculiar" around their daughter. It's not explicit, but the implication is obvious.
  • In one issue of Nightwing the vigilante Nite-wing finds a black man with two white children, he immediately assumes he's a pedophile and beats him within an inch of his life, refusing to listen to the children's pleas that he is their uncle, it turns the man was adopted into a white family and those were his foster sister's children he was looking after.
  • When The Punisher is found hiding in the playhouse of Sheriff Bendix's daughter during The Punisher: Suicide Run event, he is mistaken for a creep and gets roughed up.
  • In Scarlet Spider, Annabelle briefly thinks this of Kaine when she finds him keeping the teenage Aracely in his hotel room.
    Kaine: She's... she's my niece.
    Annabelle: ...You @#$%*& pervert.
  • Shazam! (2012): The New 52 version of Billy Batson's origin as detailed in issue zero of Geoff Johns' run on Justice League has him mistake Mamaragan for a creep wanting to molest him.
    Billy: Listen, Chester, that stuff might work like candy on six-year-olds, but you come any closer and I'll knock out the last of your teeth.
  • In an issue of Stray Bullets, Beth, Orson, Nina and Kretchmeyer end up hiding out at a small town motel after stealing money and drugs from a powerful gangster named Harry. Unbeknownst to Beth or Orson, Kretchmeyer also kidnapped Harry's son Joey for use as a bargaining chip in case he ever needed to make a deal for his own survival. When the motel manager accidentally discovers Joey in the trunk of Kretchmeyer's car, he assumes that the boy is being trafficked for sexual abuse and angrily attacks the heroes with a baseball bat.
  • One instance where the police does become involved is in the French juvenile science-fiction series Une épatante aventure de Jules by Émile Bravo. Here the young teenage protagonist is taken on a trip at light speed to Alpha Centauri and on his return to Earth, due to the effects of relativity, his family and classmates have all aged eight years while he only aged eight weeks. In the third album, Bastien, his best friend from school, who in those eight year became an adult, is waiting for Jules at the school gate, when suddenly several plainclothes policemen pounce on him an arrest him on the suspicion of being a pedophile. Jules trying to explain things only makes the police more suspicious, and in the end one of the scientists who conducted the expedition to Alpha Centauri has to be brought in to get Bastien released.

    Fan Works 
  • Invoked in Cain. Outraged that his idol All Might would rather train Deku over him, Katsuki Bakugou plots to end their training sessions by framing All Might as a pedophile. To do so, he rallies the boys at Aldera to viciously pinch a shirtless Izuku leaving "hickie" shaped bruises on his body. Bakugou takes several pictures and sends them to his mother Inko to trick her into thinking that her son is involved with a pervert. The plan fails as Izuku has Inko meet with All Might in person who explains himself and his intentions as the boy's trainer which convinces her to allow them to continue their training. Additionally, the three figure out that Katsuki was responsible for the false photos which lands him in hot water later on.
  • Dead Man Walking: The undercover Regulus Black actually worries about the Order of the Phoenix seeing more than Intergenerational Friendship in his regular meetings with Harry. He's unfortunately right, with the first thing Hermione say when she learns of his existence is accusing him of grooming Harry. The aforementioned teenage boy is NOT okay with the slander.
  • In Empath: The Luckiest Smurf, Papa Smurf is believed to be this by Empath, or at least that's what is implied by what happens during his early visits to the Smurf Village.
  • In Fate of the Clans it's learned that Mikoto had been accused of being a lolicon by some parents after Anna said they were on a date.
  • Fates Collide: Emerald Sustrai gives Mercury Black a Death Glare when Jack the Ripper, a little girl in a Stripperific outfit, walks up and gives him a hug.
  • Deconstructed in For His Own Sake as part of its larger deconstruction of Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male in Love Hina. When Seta confronts Naru about her abusive treatment of Keitaro, she defends herself by claiming she was trying to protect Sarah from Keitaro's "perversions" so Seta would be happy with her. Seta doesn't buy it, as he's learned that Naru beats Keitaro up whenever he so much as looks at another girl and always claims he's trying to be perverted with them (even when the other girl, like Shinobu, openly admits nothing happened). Not only that, but he calls her out on overstepping her boundaries by interfering whenever Keitaro would try to stop Sarah from misbehaving and generally misusing the martial arts he taught Naru to hurt an innocent person.
  • In the MLP fanfic Hecate's Orphanage, Thesis is helping a little filly out with a carnival game, when the filly's mother sees them and thinks that Thesis is trying to hurt her daughter.
  • As not all the fratellos in Gunslinger Girl can successfully pass off as an older brother/younger sister relationship in criminal circles, some of the Original Character handlers use this trope as Infraction Distraction. When he has to do a stakeout in a No-Tell Motel in this fanfic, Elio bluntly states that he expects the hotel clerk will assume he's molesting his cyborg Marisa. Monty in turn has no problem pretending to be Jethro's underage girlfriend until they run into Jethro's father. And in Hunters in the Dolomites, The Handler for a second generation cyborg is griping that he hasn't gotten laid since joining the Agency, as having what looks like a clingy underage girlfriend following him around rather cramps his style with other women.
  • In Hogyoku ex Machina, Hollow Ichigo constantly expresses his attraction to Neliel. Everybody in Soul Society is horrified, until they find out about Neliel's adult form.
  • In Lost Boy, when Stoick tells Gobber that he "met someone" the previous night, Gobber assumes that he means a woman, happy that Stoick had finally moved on from Valka's death. Then Stoick clarifies that it was a young boy, this gets a shocked reaction from Gobber, forcing Stoick to be more specific with the situation. This trope has become a sort of morose Running Gag with everyone falling under the assumption that Stoick is keeping Hiccup as a bed-slave when he returns to Berk.
  • The Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS fanfic A Short Date has this as the logical conclusion of the Erio/Caro pairing given their massive size difference in the the later installments of the canon series. A kiss during a date at the amusement park results in the following scene:
    Security Guard: Hey, you! I saw that! I'm taking you in.
    Erio: Huh? For what?
    Security Guard: Don't give me that! You, an adult, were doing inappropriate things with this minor!
    Caro: So... Do you want to explain or should I?
  • A non-comedy version happens to Captain Stanley in the Emergency! fic “Mistaken Identity”. He comes upon an attack and yells at the guy to stop. The guy runs off and other people see the captain with the boy and jump to the wrong conclusion. They mob the captain and beat him. After surgery to fix his broken jaw, Hank has to go to the police station to be questioned and sort things out. Fortunately the boy helps clear him and he gets released.
  • Momentary Weakness: Ghondor spends a few days staying as far away from Sena and her parents as she can. When they finally corner her, she admits that she slept with Sena in Aionios. Like, a lot. Considering that Sena is currently nine years old, Morag nearly murders Ghondor before she can explain that Sena was eighteen in Aionios (technically).
  • Moratorium Harry takes one look at all of Professor Quirrel's quirks (fake stutter, potential garlic fetish, acting weird around her) and comes to the conclusion that he's a sex offender with designs on her.
  • Oblivion (Gabriel Seraph): In a thoroughly non-comedic example, Braig is publicly accused of molesting his girlfriend's young son, and there is rumored to be some evidence against him even though he is completely innocent.
  • In Pony POV Series, Diamond Tiara runs away from home and is briefly given shelter by Fancy Pants. When he asks why she ran away, she lies and claims that she was scared that her father was going to rape her because she resembles her mother, causing him to get pissed and say he'll call the cops on him. Fortunately, when Fancy Pants later meets her father Filthy Rich, Fancy says he later figured out she was lying before he did anything hasty.
  • Happens to Dave in the Kick-Ass fanfiction Precocious Crush. Katie violently breaks up with him when her jealousy and suspicions about Mindy lead her to wrongly conclude that David and Mindy are in a physical relationship. The rumors begin spreading around school, and David's locker has "PEDO" spray-painted over it. To make things more complicated, Mindy really does have feelings for Dave.
  • Rachel The Vampire Slayer: Rachel and her friends interpret Mr. Fangor's request to meet him in the library alone as him being creepy, when he's actually trying to inform her of her status as the Slayer.
  • A Running Gag in Scarlet Lady: between his interest in the clearly-underage Scarlet Lady and the fact that he's Younger Than He Looks, Theo is often asked what his age is by others.
  • Also in an MLP fanfic, Shimmering Sunsets, when Shimmerverse!Fortune tries to kidnap Sunsetverse!Rainbow Dash
    "Now, Rainbow Dash, perhaps you'd be willing to at least hear me out, maybe take a little 'walk' with me."
    " you know how creepy that sounded with you talking to a minor right?" Rainbow pointed out.
    "Yeah that was creepy," another feminine voice called out. "Like, super creepy."
    "Shut up, Pepper!" Fortune growled. "I didn't mean it in that way. Who the buck would think I meant it that way. Do I look like a molester... If any of you bastards say 'yes' I'll cut you up into pieces so small, you could fit several on the head of a needle!"
    "...Would you cut us up on a 'maybe'?"
  • A Signal of Hope shows a sleazy reporter insinuating Bruce Wayne only took Jason in because Dick Grayson's depart meant the billionaire didn't have a boytoy anymore. Jason and Bruce don't take it well, especially since Jason actually believed that when fresh adopted off the streets — he outright came to Bruce's bedroom and started to strip naked before being stopped by his horrified guardian.
  • Six Brides For Two Sisters combines this with Relative Error when Princess Cadence and Shining Armor recall how they first met: she saw him walking away with the filly she was foalsitting with promises of fun and candy, but since Twilight and Shining don't have any family resemblance (despite being siblings), she jumped to conclusions. Violently.
    • Earlier on, Rainbow Dash wakes up to find Twilight, Applejack and Pinkie Pie all laying on top of her, and assumes they all got drunk and slept together. When she looks around and sees Sweetie Belle (their friend Rarity's little sister) looking at her, she assumes the younger filly was also involved and freaks out, only calming down once it's made clear that nobody slept with anybody; Twilight had been teleporting around to all their homes to pick them up, and the last teleport had taken all six of them (including Spike and an unconscious Fluttershy) from Rainbow Dash's home to Rarity's shop.
  • In the Miraculous Ladybug story, A Small but Stubborn Fire, at first, with the limited information Sabine is getting, all the signs that she is getting, from her daughter’s nightmare to the sketch of a man in a white suit, tells her that Gabriel is assaulting her daughter during Marinette’s internship. However, after seeing Marinette have a panic attack over a guy in a Dark Cupid costume she starts to move away from that suspicion. Nathalie shoots this down completely by stating that Gabriel is many things, but he isn’t a monster.
  • In The Somewhat Cracked Mind Of Uchiha Itachi, the Hidden Leaf comes to the conclusion that Orochimaru is a pedophile for his interest in Sasuke's body. Orochimaru himself had absolutely no idea he was coming off this way and was horrified when he was informed of it.
  • In Supernatural: The Animation Abridged, Dean takes a bullied kid to an abandoned warehouse and then dresses him up to teach him martial arts. Shockingly enough, the kid's vampire father concludes that Dean is a predator (Dean corrects it to hunter before he realizes what he's talking about) and attempts to kill him.
  • In Takamachi Nanoha of 2814, Superman works side-by-side with and becomes a mentor to Nanoha, who become Earth's Green Lantern as well as a Magical Girl. Rumors soon spread that their relationship is less than appropriate. Lex Luthor naturally has a field day with this.
  • In Thinking In Little Green Boxes, Hagrid shows up at the doorstep of the X-Mansion to bring Harry to Hogwarts. As he's a strange man asking to see a little boy who has no idea who he is, he ends up going straight to jail.
  • White Sheep (RWBY): After Qrow gropes Sapphire (he thought she was a mindless Grimm and was curious how her programming would react), Sapphire's mother Salem calls him a child molester. Tyrian points out that Sapphire is twenty-five, not all that much younger than Qrow, and certainly not a child. Salem insists that Sapphire is her child, Qrow molested her, and that makes him a child molester.
  • With Pearl and Ruby Glowing:
    • One chapter discusses the fandom controversy over Entrapta/Hordak with this. Entrapta is old enough to be a university professor, but is small and acts somewhat childlike due to her autism, so she keeps getting either mistaken for a child or assumed to be too stupid/immature to consent, with social consequences for both her and Hordak.
    • Mr. Mint, in-fic, has learning difficulties which both give him problems relating to adults and make him unable to immediately realise why people would look askance at a random adult trying to befriend elementary schoolers, leading to him being questioned by police.
    • Penny Proud calls the police about what seems to be her friend Maya being kidnapped by an unfamiliar Caucasian man, who turns out to be one of Maya's two adoptive fathers — Penny had only met the other one.
    • A couple of False Rape Accusation scenarios have also happened in the same fic. Lola Loud doesn't realise the severity of the crime and accuses Lori in an attempt to get her grounded, being shocked when Lori's actually arrested, Darla Dimple accuses Danny out of malice to stop him from stealing her spotlight, and the owlet accuses Albie to take the heat off Mouth who actually did molest him but is bribing him.

    Films — Animation 
  • Downplayed as Devon is only 17, but after Ming finds Mei's somewhat lewd drawings of her and Devon (the clerk at the Daisy Mart) in Turning Red, Ming suspects that the art in Mei's drawings are based off something that happened in real life and calls Devon a "degenerate," banning Mei from going to the Daisy Mart. Given Ming apparently does things like this on a regular basis, Devon just rolls his eyes and keeps his job.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Adam (2009), the titular character, a man with Asperger Syndrome, is confronted by police when he's waiting outside the school for Beth, the teacher and his Love Interest, to get out. Played for Drama, as he froze up and would have been arrested if Beth hadn't showed up to defend him.
  • Ana: Rafa, while trying to find Ana at one point, asks some gangster pimps (he doesn't realize they're this, it seems). They misunderstand what he's asking and take violent exception when Rafa says a 10 year old girl, chasing him away.
  • Bad Santa 2: Willie ends up giving another street corner Santa a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown after accusing him of using his Santa gig to creep on young children. The other Santa had told Willie to stop scaring the kids away with his foul language, so he may not have been wrong.
  • Big: After Josh discovers that he's become big (an adult) like he'd wished, he tries going back to the carnival, but discovers everything's gone, including the wishing machine that made it possible. So when he heads home, his mother is initially terrified when a strange man is in her house and gives him her purse and tells him to take what he wants and go, until he mentions her son, whereupon she attacks him and sends him out of the house.
  • Blades of Glory: The evil skaters tie up one of the heroes in a restroom stall. His attempt to get the next person to enter, a young child, to free him, only ends in the kid running away screaming, "Stranger Danger! STRANGER DANGER!"
  • In The Brothers Solomon the brothers John and Dean decide that the only way to get their dad out of his coma is to provide him with a grandchild, they decide to prepare for this by playing with kids, a mother comes by and takes her girl away from them thinking them to be child molesters, they try to explain that they just wanted to play with her and get her some ice cream, the next day they attend a hearing for the misunderstanding and because they are so innocent from living in isolation they have no idea why they are there.
  • Crazy, Stupid, Love: Jessica's dad is shown the photos of herself nude she took for Cal, and assumes the worst. He storms off to beat up Cal, ignoring Jessica's desperate attempt to explain (Cal didn't ask for her to do this, and wasn't even aware of it). It's only explained when he's tried to attack Cal.
  • In Daddy Day Care the protagonists are initially assumed to be child molesters just because they're men running a day care.
  • Deep in the Valley: Lester is on the phone to a sex line at work and pauses to yell at kid leaving the store at an unfortunate moment:
    "What do I like?"
    (takes phone away from mouth to yell at kid)
    (puts phone back to ear)
    "...What?...No! I didn't mean..."
  • Desperados (2020): A Running Gag has Wesley getting into accidentally inappropriate situations with the same small boy while on the hotel, such as dropping her dildo next to him, accidentally wandering into his room while dressed only in a Modesty Towel and then losing said towel or him giving her CPR when she passes out. It ends up with his mother and the hotel staff thinking she's a pedophile and getting her expelled from the hotel.
  • Dirty Grandpa has a scene where Jason, after a drug-crazed stupor, waking up naked on a beach with only a stuffed bee doll covering his penis. A little boy runs up to him asking for the bee, and his father sees the two from afar (with a garbage can obscuring Jason's groin area), leading to this reaction.
    Boy: He let me stroke it!
  • Doctor Sleep: Discussed. When Abra tracks down Dan, he points out that people might get the wrong idea about a teenage girl meeting a stranger in a park. She tells him that if anyone asks, she'll say he's her uncle. Later, after Abra tries to tell her father about everything that's happened, he just thinks that "Uncle Dan" groomed and molested her. She has to psychically force the information into his mind to convince him.
  • In the 2012 film Fun Size, Fuzzy becomes so worried about being mistaken for a pedophile when he invites Albert to join him on his revenge mission against his girlfriend and her new lover, he shouts out to anybody who might be paying attention;
    Fuzzy: I am not trying to lure a kid into my car!
  • In a movie called Faintheart, comic book shop owner named Julian, a man in his early thirties, has been chatting about Star Trek with someone online named Kim. When Julian asks Kim tom meet in person, he promises Kim a "night to remember." When they meet, Kim is a ten-year-old boy who asks for "a night to remember," and Julian responds the he won't forget it. When the boy's mom rushes to her son, Julian just awkwardly waves while a cop tackles him to the ground. Later, his friend, who just got out a failed attempt of winning back his ex-wife is advised to tell Julian to "play with grown-ups next time." It works out for the best since she is a huge Trekkie like he is, and they go out.
  • In God Bless America, Roxy mistakes Frank for a pedophile when she first sees him spying on Chloe.
    Roxy: Hey creepy. Isn't the whole schoolgirl thing a little played out?
  • This is apparently the reason that Alan from The Hangover is not allowed within 200 feet of elementary schools, parks, and Chuck E. Cheese's, though it's implied that this punishment was because he likes to pick fights with children, not molest them. It's also implied that he was mistakenly labeled a molester after some worried parents saw him play with their kids in the park.
  • In Horrible Bosses the reason Dale is forced to work for Julia is that no one else will hire him: he is a registered sex offender and thus assumed to be a pedophile. The reality is that one evening, while drunk, he staggered out of a bar into an alleyway and urinated against the wall. It just happened that the bar was across the alley from a playground, and he was seen by a cop. It was night, no children were at the playground, his back was to the playground, and absolutely no one was hurt, but he was still arrested for indecent exposure and forced to register as a sex offender.
  • Played for Drama in The Hunt (2012), where kindergarten teacher Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) is accused of raping one of his students after he rebuffs her Precocious Crush on him.
  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople: Part of the conflict in the film starts when Ricky's poor choice of words when describing his situation with Hec (Hec had gone looking to find him after Ricky got lost in the forest after running away from Hec's foster home) lead the authorities to believe that Hec had kidnapped him and was trying to sexually extort Ricky. It takes until the end of the film for Hec's name to be cleared.
  • Jingle All the Way: Arnold's trying to get This Year's Toy for his son, and tries to win one in a raffle which used little balls with numbers as tickets. But after some struggle to get one with the other customers, the raffle-ball gets out of their hands and gets lost in a ball-pool. When he jumps in to get it back, parents attack him, thinking he's after the kids...
  • In Kick-Ass 2, everybody in school mistakenly believes Dave and Mindy have been seeing each other and are disgusted by him because she is only in 9th grade.
  • In Kickin' It Old School, Justin is adjusting to life in 2006 after waking up from a coma after 20 years. When he goes to the mall to buy some toys, he meets a young boy and asks what kind of toys and games he likes. He is trying to befriend the boy because he still has the mindset of a child. A security guard is watching and mistakes him for a pedophile; it doesn't help when he says lines like "You'll go in my foxhole and I'll go in your foxhole." (he was talking about playing army), and "I'll pull out my nightstick." (he was talking about playing cops and robbers). After he invites the boy over for a sleepover the guard then promptly tackles him.
  • Kid Detective (2020): The protagonist's teenage sleuthing would lead him to investigate people's houses and force him to hide in the closet when they returned home. When he tried to pull the same shtick as an adult he accidentally wound up in the closet of a 10-year-old girl, which led to him getting arrested and the papers reporting that he was caught masturbating in a little girl's closet.
  • Happens to Trent in Lawn Dogs. Unlike most examples, this is very much not Played for Laughs.
  • Played for Drama in Leave No Trace. Will is often faced with suspicion because he prefers living a wild lifestyle away from civilisation with his daugther Tom, due to his war-traumas leaving largely him unable to function in normal society. To outsiders, he appears like a scruffy, homeless-looking man, who doesn't speak much and always seems to be on-edge, who travels around with and lives in the woods with a teenaged girl. Tom often has to defuse misunderstandings by explaining that they are merely father and daugther and that nothing weird or unseemly is going on between them.
  • In Little Giants when the kids spot the bad guys spying on them they call the cops, telling them the two men are watching them for a different reason.
  • Little Man: Thief with dwarfism is mistaken for a baby, and his partner in crime, for a kid-loving creep.
  • M: Played for drama in this case; a man is lynched by a mob because there's a molester/serial killer who targets kids on the loose and he was known to play with the kids in the neighborhood.
  • Overzealous mass-hysteria regarding child abuse was criticized in the film The Man Without a Face, complete with a Tear Jerker example of Entendre Failure. This is exclusive to the film version. The book the film was based on made it clear that Justin didn't do anything but try to comfort a hysterical Christopher, who had an involuntary physical response to their closeness because of his emotional state. No one actually accuses Justin of anything; he leaves of his own accord and isolates himself again, in part to avoid invoking this trope.
  • In Miracle In Cell No 7, a mentally handicapped man sees a little girl slip and die when she hits her head. He tries to resuscitate her, but he gets arrested after the people who stumble upon the scene think he abducted, raped, and killed her. He is unable to defend himself thanks to his handicap. He gets brutalized by his fellow prisoners after they learn of the charges, thinking he is the lowest scum. After getting to know him, the inmates and guards realize it was just a misunderstanding and try to help him. Unfortunately, his name is only cleared several years after his execution.
  • In Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, Eric and Henry The Mutant (don't ask) end up making friends. Henry learns to quit being so much of a boring adult, and let his inner child out through playing with Eric. Eric's mother comes home and assumes the worst, even though she told Eric to make friends — she clearly only meant ones his own age.
  • My Father the Hero: The entire movie is based on this premise. A father on vacation with his 14 year old daughter is convinced by her to pretend to be her lover in order to impress a boy she has a crush on.
  • Mystery Team makes two such jokes; first when a character implies that his father molests him; and second when another character states that his neighbor was arrested, "something about pictures of kids on his computer..."
  • From Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear:
    Frank: I'm single! I-I love being single! I haven't had this much sex since I was a Boy Scout leader!
    [the resturant piano player abruptly stops playing and everyone in the dining hall stares at him in horror]
    Frank: ...I mean at the time I was dating a lot.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) updates Freddy Krueger from a child killer to a child molester,note  and a subplot involves the possibility that he didn't actually do it, and that his killing spree is his vengeance against the parents of Springwood for subjecting an innocent man to a Vigilante Execution. It's subverted when Nancy and Quentin find the photographs that prove that Freddy was, in fact, guilty of the crimes he was accused of.
  • Nothing: Andrew, who suffers from extreme agoraphobia, is visited by a girl scout, but gets so panicked that he grabs her arm and tells her to leave. He later gets a knock on the door from the girl's mother, who mistakenly believes that he forcibly kissed her. However, this is because she was trying extremely aggressively to sell him cookies, and after he made her leave, she made a deliberate false allegation against him that he molested her, as revenge for not buying her cookies.
  • In The Out-of-Towners, George Kellerman takes a lost little boy behind some bushes to search his pockets for money since he and his wife are stranded in New York with four cents between them and have had to sleep in Central Park. A woman nearby immediately calls for police, shouting "Pervert in the park!" George and his wife manage to outrun the mounted officer who responds.
  • The Professional: Professional hitman Leon is kicked out of his hotel after a twelve-year-old Mathilda tells the clerk that the two of them are lovers. They're not, Mathilda just has a Precocious Crush that Leon is aware of but rejects.
  • Rat Race: Rowan Atkinson's character is showing a baby the key to a 2 million dollar prize when he accidentally drops it into the baby's diapers. He sticks his hand in and starts feeling around to find the key, makes the situation look even worse through his poor choice of words, and thus gets himself thrown off of a moving train.
  • Combined with homophobia in Say Uncle. It starts with one mother assuming he's a child molester just because he's gay and later the trope is played the usual way with other parents.
  • School of Rock: After it is revealed to the class' families that Dewey is not actually a licensed substitute teacher, he attempts to redeem himself by talking about how much the class means to him, culminating in him saying "I have been touched by your kids, and I'm pretty sure I've touched them!" Needless to say, it goes downhill from there.
  • In Summer Camp Nightmare, Mr. Warren, the Dean Bitterman camp director of Camp North Pines, is accused of being this when a young camper reports to the counselor-in-traning Franklin Reilly that he was molested by Mr. Warren while on a butterfly hunt. Although this likely is a case of a fabrication set up by Franklin himself with the children he is in charge with to find an excuse to set up the takeover of the camp by himself and the other teenagers that happened on Camper-Counselor Turnabout Day, when the camp counselors and campers switched roles.
  • Things Are Tough All Over: Cheech is in a laundromat sans pants because his only pair is in the drier, and freezing, so he grasps at his crotch and pants. A little girl notices him and long story short, he ends up needing to hide in a currently running laundromat.
  • Happens to the protagonist in Truely Human. It doesn't end well.
  • In The Wizard, Haley gets herself and her friends away from Putnam by accusing him of being a pedophile. Loudly. In a crowded public area.

  • Apparently, Disillusioned Adventurers Will Save the World: The party's Cleric, Zem unfortunately has this as his backstory and the reason for his own brand of misanthropy, which turned him into a Child Hater especially towards little girls. In his former position in a town church, a precocious girl expressed her crush on him but he softly rejected her. That girl then turned to hatred and rallied the adults against him, even publicly crying at what he "did" to her. He was excommunicated and ostracized from his community, resulting in him becoming a Handsome Lech who copes with his past by visiting hostess bars frequently, at least until he meets Nick and the rest of his new party.
  • Once Lori has found evidence someone was in the woods in Aunt Dimity: Vampire Hunter, she and her neighbours operate from the belief that a voyeur was watching the boys, possibly with pedophilic intent. Emma and Kit warn their staff at the riding school to increase their vigilance when their students use trails in the area. As it turns out, the person who wasn't even male wasn't watching the twins at all, but merely happened to be seen by them.
  • In Black Bullet, this happens to Rentaro a lot, because he works and lives with several of the Cursed Children and treats them like little sisters, but they often fall in love with him.
  • Played with in A Brother's Price: When Jerin Whistler is a guest at the palace, Princess Odelia takes him to play with her younger sisters, the youngest of whom are toddlers, while the eldest are primary school age. She leaves him alone with them, and no one even thinks that this could be, in any way, inappropriate. However, when one of the toddlers later tells Princess Ren that "Jerin can do magic", she is a bit worried for a moment. As she seduced Jerin earlier, and can think of only one magic-like thing he can do... she hopes he didn't do "that" in front of the children. Turns out Jerin can do completely innocent magic tricks of the "make a coin appear out of thin air" one, and such.
  • The Curse of Chalion: Cazaril's whip scars from his time as a galley slave cause this to happen to him, as whipping is the standard punishment for pedophiles in Chalion.
  • In Doctor Sleep, Dan Torrance goes through great lenghts to avert this trope when he meets up with Abra. Still, Abra's father is quite suspicious of him when they first meet.
  • In The Fugitive, the Narrator invites a little girl to his house to confide in her and gives her five hundred francs for her trouble; her parents call the police.
  • Full Dive: When Hiro attempts to rescue a little girl from murderous goblins, Reona busts his chops by accusing him of being a lolicon, ignoring him saying it is the right thing to do. When he succeeds in saving the girl, to his fury, "Lolita Complex" is added to his in-game title.
  • In Gate, Kouji Sugawara starts teaching the young girl Sherry Thierry Japanese, but she gets a Precocious Crush on him and asks him to marry her. Plus, she innocently makes comments about him that sound inappropriate like, "we have a lot of fun during our private lessons". Everybody glares at Sugawara while he desperately explains it's not what they think.
  • In the Goosebumps book The Haunted Mask II, when Steve (who rapidly aged into an old man after putting on an old man mask) tries to call Carly Beth, her father mistakes the deep, elderly voice on the other end for a Dirty Old Man trying to get into his daughter's pants. Played for Laughs as he awkwardly hangs up on Steve.
  • Sherwood Anderson's short story Hands plays this trope for drama.
  • In Log Horizon Shiroe took his friends and guild members, Akatsuki and Minori, to a cake-eating contest. Despite this not being a date, he was suspected of two-timing and, due to both apparently being middle schoolers, being a paedophile. One of his cakes even had "Die lolicon" iced on top.
  • The novel A Map of the World centers around a school nurse and the dramatic downward spiral her life takes after she's accused of child molestation by a parent with a personal vendetta.
  • In Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Rudeus spots a young homeless girl being lured to the house of a middle-aged man with the promise of food. Assuming the man is a pedophile Rudeus knocks him unconscious. A later interlude reveals the man was quite honest in offering food; he'd eaten at a restaurant and knew his wife would be mad if he didn't eat her homecooking, so he thought he would offer it to the clearly destitute girl.
  • Project Hail Mary: Due to his amnesia, Ryland pulls this on himself, as he remembers that he's a single man living alone who really likes kids before he remembers his job.
    Ryland: Ohthankgod, I'm a teacher.
  • In Reincarnated as a Sword, it's revealed that this is part of why Guild Master Klimt is so insistent on Fran taking a test to prove she's worthy of being a D-rank adventurer, despite her having already performed several deeds that prove her strength. Turns out, some people get bitter if someone goes from the absolute lowest rank (G) to mid-rank within only a few weeks, especially if that person is a 12-year-old. The only real explanation most can think of is her having connections, but she's a 12-year-old orphaned ex-slave from a race that is often looked down on and enslaved by others, so it's plain to see she doesn't have any. As such, some of those who weren't there to see what she did assume she must have some sort of... arrangement with Klimt.
  • In Rule 34, Anwar, under instructions from the criminal organisation his legit job turned out to be connected to, is 3D-printing something in his attic that he's trying not to think about. He discovers that it's a child sexbot shortly after his wife informs him that she's been up to the attic and is now leaving him, and obviously taking the kids.
  • In Star Wars: Aftermath, Sinjir reveals that he's gay while trying to talk to Jas about Temmin (the young boy travelling with their group). When he mentions Temmin's name (while trying to explain that the boy seems to be hiding something), Jas cuts him off mid-sentence and says "He's clearly too young for you."
  • In Woken Furies, Takeshi Kovacs gets mistaken for a pedophile due to hanging around Isa, a fifteen-year-old Playful Hacker who is working for him and who happens to dress in a very Stripperiffic style for her age.
  • Dayton Nickles, a friend of both Lee George and Christine Taylor in Michael Dorris' A Yellow Raft in Blue Water, was accused of being one in Christine's story when he took a teaching job outside the reservation. This situation was played for drama, as it was one of the things he didn't want anybody else to know.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One episode of Another Period has an orphan boy being hired. He appears diligent and polite at first however lets his bratty side appear around Garfield. After being caught by Garfield trying to steal jewelry, he accuses him of trying to molest him. Peepers say that he always worried about Garfield and boys.
  • The Basil Brush Show features an episode called "Holding the baby", in which young Miss Molly comes into the room carrying the aforementioned baby, followed shortly after by a middle-aged man claiming to be its father. Mr Steven comes to an understandable conclusion and almost smashes the man's face in. Fortunately, the child's mother arrives in the nick of time and explains that Steven's niece has taken up babysitting.
  • In the British version of Being Human Mitchell, a vampire, is accused of being a pedophile after befriending a young neighborhood boy and lending him a tape which he believes to be an innocent movie but is in actuality a sex tape. He and his roommate are persecuted as a result.
    • A similar thing happens in the US remake, although the kid steals the tape.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon sharpens his social skills by making friends with a little girl at a bookstore. Leonard ends up dragging him out of the store because there are security cameras.
    • While looking for a partner for Dennis in "The Jerusalem Duality", Leonard, Howard and Raj turn to Penny, requesting (quite desperately) a "hot 15-year-old girl with a thing for smart guys". Needless to say, Penny slams the door on them in disgust.
    • Sheldon, dealing with the problem of how to attract more girls to science-based university courses, having correctly devised that you need to begin in middle schools to get girls studying sciences, goes to do an Internet search on available resources. Raj, Leonard and Howard have to scream "No, Sheldon!", as he enters the search term "How can I get twelve year old girls excited?"
  • Blackish:
    • In the second episode, Andre wants to find some black friends for his son due to fears that he's not "black enough." He drives up to a bus stop where some teenagers are and asks them if they like chips and soda. When they get suspicious, he says "Nothing weird. Just looking for some young black boys to bring back to my house". When a woman nearby starts calling the police, he realized That Came Out Wrong and drives off.
    • In another episode, Dre's wife calls him out for just leaving a lost little girl alone in an elevator and asks him what's the worst that could've happened if he tried to help her. He then has an Imagine Spot of To Catch a Predator host Chris Hansen ambushing him.
  • Bones: Booth and Bones are investigating a children's beauty pageant, looking for a killer with uneven hips. Bones, being Bones, gets right to it and grabs the nearest person to check before Booth can stop her. Of course it's a little girl, who screams, "Molester!" Booth smooths things over with the security guard who sympathizes against the over-reaction in light of the murder investigation, but rightly points out that they can't put their hands on children like that. (he advises that they just WATCH the pageant in order to observe all the kids).
  • In Burn Notice, Michael pays a bunch of Street Urchins to pretend that a Mook tailing them was a molester to the policeman standing nearby in order to get said mooks off his back. For extra hilarity, the mooks were FBI agents, and when one of them reaches for his wallet & identification, both cops pin them to car and immediately cuff them, thinking they were reaching for a gun.
  • A Running Joke on Cobra Kai is that Once a Season, Johnny Lawrence will try to recruit teenagers to join his karate dojo with lines that would have flown in the eighties when he was a young man, but that sound far worse coming from a fifty-year-old man talking to a kid.
  • Cold Case: Upon reopening the case of a murdered young boy, the team learns that his babysitter witnessed her boyfriend washing bloody underwear while urging the boy to "keep their secret" and offering to "make it up to him." Naturally, they assume the worst. Turns out the boyfriend simply hadn't been attentive and the boy hurt himself. The boyfriend grabbed something out of a laundry basket to staunch the blood, which just so happened to be underwear.
  • Criminal Minds:
    • One episode has a young girl abducted, whipping up a Pedo Hunt in her neighborhood. At one point, a concerned mother presents the missing girl's parents with a map of the registered sex offenders in the area. The girl's father immediately takes off to attack the nearest one, assuming he's the kidnapper. Not only is the man not guilty, his sex offense wasn't even child-related; he had solicited an adult prostitute.
    • The case that haunted Rossi and brought him out of retirement involved a man and woman who were murdered in their home while their three young children were sleeping. When the BAU reinterviews the children 20 years later, the oldest daughter suddenly remembers that they'd gone to a carnival the night before and one of the clowns had been following her around and creeping her parents out, prompting them to leave early. It turns out that the clown had followed them home and killed the parents after the father had threatened him with an axe in self-defense. Despite their assumptions, however, the clown wasn't interested in molesting the girl. He was developmentally disabled and mentally around her age. He wanted to be friends with her (and if he did have a crush, it wasn't sexual in nature).
    • A Season 14 episode features an UnSub who was fired from his teaching job after being falsely accused of being inappropriate with students. His teenage son committed suicide because of these rumors, which in turn serves as the man's motivation for kidnapping the children of the people responsible for spreading said rumors.
    • Recurring villain Mr. Scratch's father ran a foster home during the midst of the Satanic Panic, and his foster children were coached into saying he'd abused them. One child included a sexual element to the supposed abuse, leading him to be marked as a pedophile as well as a satanist.
    • Inverted in the episode "Pariahville". One man was arrested for flashing thirty-something mothers. It takes the BAU team running an investigation to realize that each woman he flashed was walking with her eight-year-old son. While he still had to register as a sex offender, he was spared the extra stigma associated with pedophiles and allowed to live near children.
  • In an episode of CSI, a little girl turns up dead near a mechanic shop, the CSIs question the employees, where it is revealed that one of them is a registered sex offender, and becomes the prime suspect. When questioned, he reveals that one night he got drunk and high, and the effects lasted until the next day where he was caught streaking in front of a daycare, and forced to register as a sex offender. in the end, he didn't kill the girl she accidentally swallowed some cleaning chemicals when she was playing hide and seek with her step-siblings, and her parents tried to cover up her death, which after a series of misunderstandings led to the death of the mother, and her husband in prison. Once the original suspect's identity was uncovered, he was immediately fired from the auto shop, his girlfriend, whom he was planning to move in with, threw his stuff out of her apartment, and he was evicted from his old apartment before the lease was due.
  • CSI: NY:
    • One episode revolved around the Victim of the Week, a high school wrestling coach who supposedly e-mailed child pornography to the members of his team. It turns out that one team member became disgruntled after the coach moved him up a weight class, and thus ended any possibility of going to college on a wrestling scholarship. As payback, he hijacked the coach's wifi signal and used his coach's e-mail address to send the child pornography. When the father of one of the boys, a court bailiff, found the e-mail, he threatened to call the authorities, but when the coach went to explain the situation, things got physical, and the father ended up killing the coach.
    • Another episode had a former teacher shooting up a political rally to get revenge on a different teacher who disliked his caring manner towards the kids he worked with. In one particular flashback, we see the teacher/shooter hugging a student of his after she scraped her knee and getting fired for his behavior being "inappropriate".
  • In the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode "The Table Read" Larry meets a nine-year-old girl and her mother tells him that she has to take her to the doctor, because she has a vaginal rash. The girl takes a liking to Larry, and constantly sends him text messages; Larry once loses his patience and sends her an angry response, and has to make up for it with inviting her for lunch. Later, he develops a rash too, and when his doctor asks how he might got it, Larry says: "I've been seeing this nine-year-old girl and she kinda has a rash on her pussy...Um, you know, I took her to lunch the other day, and we had a fight, and we made up, and we hugged. It's gotta be her." The doctor calls the police on him.
    • In the episode "The Doll", he hugs a little girl, forgetting that he tucked his water bottle in his pants.
      Mommy! Mommy! That bald man is in the bathroom and there's something hard in his pants!
  • The Daily Show, as seen on the picture above. They later tried other variations like "Jon Stewart Looks at Children's Things" and "Uncle Jon Wants to Show You Something".
    "Jon Stewart's Windowless News Van for Kids."
    "Jon Stewart's Story Hole for Kids. Remember, it's our little se-" Oh, come on! Who writes this?
    "Jon Stewart Jizz-ams In Front of Children."
    "Jon Stewart Looks At Kid's Junk."
  • Detectorists has Mackenzie Crook's character Andy waiting for his girlfriend Becky, a primary school teacher, outside of her place of work. A police officer approaches him and asks him why he's a middle aged man hanging around outside a school at the end of the day. Andy cheerfully explains that he's waiting for his girlfriend, and when sarcastically questioned what class she's in, answers honestly. It's not until the officer tells him that all the pupils have gone that the realisation belatedly kicks in.
    Andy: She's a teacher. She's not... she's a teacher.
    • As the final indignity, Andy (who's just learned that the officer was questioning him "because he was making some of the mums nervous") asks Becky if he looks like a pedophile. After mulling it over, she decides he does have "a bit of a look about him", but concludes he looks more like a drug dealer.
  • Desperate Housewives:
    • Lynette hires a guy from her office to "kidnap" her kids in order to show her husband that they don't understand stranger danger. The poor guy ends up getting tased by Mrs. McCluskey.
    • Played for drama: Lynette goes to a new neighbor's house to thank him for saving her life, but he is not at home so she snoops around. In the basement she finds several pictures of young boys in bathing suits and comes to the conclusion that he is a child molester. She first tries to tell the police but because there is nothing illegal they cannot do anything about it. She then tells all the neighbors and they have the typical mob reaction attacking him. His terminally ill sister who he lives with and is taking care of then informs her that he teaches swimming and they are boys that have done the best and he has the pictures because he was proud of them. Then she dies from the stress. When a remorseful Lynette tries to apologize to the man, he tells her that he actually is a pedophile but he kept his urges in check for his sister's sake. Before moving away he mentions that now he has no reason to hold back anymore, and it's all because of Lynette. Whether or not he really is a pedophile or just said that to punish her is never confirmed.
  • The opening sequence of the 2006 Emmys had host Conan O'Brien wandering onto the sets of several different shows. Towards the end, he walked into an empty house... only to be confronted by Dateline's Chris Hansen, at which point every truthful explanation that he gave only served to make him look more guilty:
    Chris Hansen: I'm Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC.
    Conan O'Brien: Oh, God. Okay, it's not what you think.
    Voiceover: "Welcome to another edition of "To Catch A Predator".
    Conan O'Brien: I'm looking for the Emmys. I'm hosting.
    Chris Hansen: Hosting? That's what you call this?
    Conan O'Brien: Yes, it's my second time.note 
    Chris Hansen: So you've done this before?
    Conan O'Brien: Yeah, I did it one time and I liked it and I thought maybe I should do it again.
    Chris Hansen: [voiceover] Of all the predators I've met, this guy, screen name conebone69, was by far the creepiest.
    Conan O'Brien: Look... [chuckles nervously] think... this is very easy to explain.
    Chris Hansen: Explain it then.
    [Conan dashes out of the house]
  • On ER, Morris attends his son's soccer match (via a sperm donation he made in college). The boy's parents, having not been told that their son had tracked his biological father down, grow increasingly worried and suspicious about this stranger who is constantly calling out to the boy and cheering him on. When they exchange hugs after he scores a goal, the enraged mother physically attacks him. Only when poor Morris is being led away in handcuffs does the boy speak up and reveal who he is.
  • In one episode of First Wave, a teenage boy who reads Crazy Eddie's website thinks his neighbor is an alien and gets Cade to come to his house. The kid's parents are quite worried when they find an adult man in their son's bedroom, become more worried when they find out they met on the internet, but luckily when Cade claims to be a reporter they buy it.
  • Friends loved this one:
    • Joey's acting during a toy commercial looks like that of a sexual predator, as he's holding his crotch to control the pain from his hernia. The line "Hey Timmy, I've got a surprise for you..." really didn't help.
    • Ross' attempt to take Rachel's boss' son in a tour of the museum, alone, to get her back her job, is mistaken as a disturbing proposal due to the misuse of the word "bones". See above quote.
    • Ross, after hearing the pizza delivery girl complaining that her new haircut makes her look like an 8-year-old boy, tries to flirt with her with the line "I happen to like 8-year-old boys."
    • Ross tries to buy a sofa which says, "Kids welcome," but at the same (seductively), "Come here to me," prompting Rachel to ask in horror, "You say that to kids!?"
    • Ross begins dating one of his former students (she is twenty and still attends the university while they are dating). Later, Ross has to meet the girl's father (who disapproves of the relationship because of the age disparity), and arranges for the group to be present so they can casually talk him up, leading to the following exchange:
      Monica: You know, it is so strange seeing Ross here this time of day, 'cause usually, well, he's at the children's hospital.
      Phoebe: Yeah... not looking for dates.
  • One of the episodes of The Fuccons involves Mikey's parents getting him a tutor. The tutor is very attractive and Mikey's father very unsubtly takes a liking to her in front of his wife. In an Imagine Spot Mikey's parents mistake that the tutor is trying to seduce Mikey. His parents walk in on Mikey's tutor talking about how talented he is and how she wanted to teach him something fun, however she's referring to him being good at origami.
  • On The George Lopez Show, George and his coworker attempt to test his son Max by trying to lure him into the coworker's white van. He doesn't fall for it, but another boy does. To keep the boy quiet, George tells him to get in the van and bribes him with pocket change, which is when a police officer catches him.
  • House:
    • In an episode of House, House is investigating the case of a young brother and sister who are developing early puberty (along with other, deadlier symptoms). After much guessing, House decides to go to the girl's kindergarten to find the source of the illness, since she was the first to be "infected". Cut to a girl in said kindergarten class picking up a ball and looking up to see House asking in the creepiest way possible, "Do you have hair in your special place?" (of course, knowing House, he was probably trying to terrify the girl on purpose).
    • In the same episode, House accuses the patients' father of molesting them because his working theory at that time was something sexually transmitted. It turns out the father caught it through sex with their kindergarten teacher, but transmitted it to the kids simply by touch.
    • A very light version in the episode where Chase kisses a 8-year-old cancer patient. (For context, the girl asks Chase to do so since she knows she's likely to die before she'll ever get a proper first kiss, and he complies with a very chaste peck on the lips.) Presumably, his teammates don't really think he's a pedophile, but their reactions are priceless. Their actual thought process appears to be less "oh my God, Chase is a pedophile," and more "Oh my God, we can make fun of Chase by pretending to think he's a pedophile."
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • One episode had "I don't want a girl, I just want a little boy!" and "Of all the women in New York you had to go out with an eight-year-old girl!"
    • In another episode, Ted has become a bit obsessed with caring for Marvin, filling the hole of a recently finished architecture project. Lily and Marshall eventually figure it out and lure him to an interview for a new position by inviting him to Marvin's swim class, giving him a lollipop to soften the blow. As he prepares for the interview, he says "I'll just give this (the lollipop) to one of the kids." Marshall anticipates this response and says "Ted, you're not the father of any of the kids here. Don't give them candy."
  • In The Inbetweeners, Jay and Neil force Simon to ask out some girls on the street to Will's party; turns out they're eleven. Cue them calling them Paedos and getting their older brother to beat them up. Actually inverted in the American series in which Jay goes out with a 12 year old; a line even the perverted British Jay would never cross.
    • In "The Camping Trip", a drunken Simon attempts to express his love for Carli by climbing through her bedroom window at 3 in the morning. Unfortunately, he ends up in her kid brother's bedroom. This later leads to a very awkward conversation between Simon and his father about why it is never okay to touch children.
  • In The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret , this happens to Todd several times due to his incredible propensity for sabotaging his own life and his employee Dave's willingness to help that along (he suggests Todd acquire the services of the firm "Young and Not Legal").
    Todd Margaret: I need to jump on one of those Young and Not Legal boys. I don't want some old guy jerking me around, I want the youngest, hottest kid they've got. I wanna make it hard for these assholes!
  • In Inside Man, Harry Watling is a vicar who wants to be mistaken for a paedophile after unwittingly coming into possession of child pornography, or at least is willing to be in order to stop the trope happening to his son after he fails to hold the real paedophile to account.
  • Played for drama in the Inspector George Gently episode "Gently Between The Lines". A local decides that a squatter living in an empty house is a pedophile because of his interest in a young boy (he is actually teaching the working class boy about poetry). This has tragic consequences.
  • In the Heat of the Night: The 1990 episode "Perversions of Justice", where a teacher is accused of sexually molesting a student, and when several incidents in the man's past are brought to public attention before they can be explained let alone investigated, things quickly spiral out of control — parents and the local newspaper editor on a witch hunt, the town drunk shooting at the man's house in the middle of the night — and the man is branded as a pedophile. Falsely, as it turns out: 1. A claim the man was guilty of indecent exposure was indeed substantiated, except it was while he was in college and committed the act during a night of stupid, drunken behavior (not unlike the other officers and main protagonist Chief Gillespie during their younger, wilder days); 2. His leaving his previous job under unexplained circumstances came after he suffered a nervous breakdown in class, shortly after the deaths of his parents, and he took a leave of absence that he never returned from; 3. The boy who made the accusations, upon being confronted by Gillespie that they were able to prove nothing happened, admits he made the charges up. Even with the facts squarely exonerating the teacher, the principal refuses to reinstate the teacher and in fact is willing to throw him to the wolves of a school board under pressure to fire him, and that, along with the newspaper editor still publishing stories branding him a pedophile... the teacher takes his own life. The Aesop, then, is that anyone making an accusation this serious better have their facts straight and it better be true, because police will take these accusations seriously. And if an accusation is proven false or otherwise never proven, there can be negative consequences that could destroy beyond repair a man's reputation, his career and his personal life.
  • The IT Crowd: One of Jen's boyfriends is actually named Peter File, prompting a large amount of heckling by Moss and an incident with the parent of a small child at an airport after his name is called over the PA. Moss says this would not be a problem in America where it's pronounced differently, though this is not strictly true (the short E pronunciation is more common, but depending on the dialect not exclusively so).
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia:
    • In "Dennis Looks Like a Registered Sex Offender", Dennis tries making neighborhood relations to distinguish himself from the ex-con (who was put in jail for molesting children) who moved in nearby. Dee suggests he show the children fitness exercises, and take off his shirt to demonstrate how they worked on himself. Ego stroked, Dennis is convinced to do just that, and Dee goes directly to the fathers to point out the half-naked sex offender hanging around their children.
    • In "Frank Reynolds' Little Beauties". Frank gets offered to host a beauty pageant and agrees. So he can see some hot chicks. But it turns out to be a children's beauty pageant and the original host was a pedophile. So he starts to get worried people might think he's a pedophile. As the gang points out, his obsessive attempts, to try and prove he's not a pedophile, will just make him seem more suspicious.
    • In "The Nightman Cometh". Dee stars in Charlie's play. She plays a Love Interest for Dayman. But Dayman is referred to as "little boy" and such and wears footy pajamas, even though he's a young adult. This causes Dee to worry about being perceived as a pedophile.
  • In Episode 8 of Killing Eve co-protagonist Villanelle kidnaps her mentor's pre-teen daughter, Irina. Villanelle spends the rest of the episode dragging Irina around Moscow, Irina finally just asks her if she's a pedophile while they're eating lunch. Villanelle, a sociopathic assassin, is mortified at the suggestion.
  • The Law & Order episode "Precious" features a suspect in a child's kidnapping with a history of creepy behavior, including taking photographs of children at the park, who turns out to be pretending to be a talent scout for child actors — so he can hit on their "lonely" adult nannies.
  • Law & Order: SVU has had several episodes in which someone accused of abuse was actually innocent. Usually after Elliot Stabler, who despises pedophiles, persecutes them. There was also an unusual case where the 'child' in question was actually Older Than They Look due to a disorder that permanently kept her body at an adolescent's age. Legally, she was of age to consent. There Should Be a Law was brought up.
    • One episode had a girl with two mothers who is accused of stabbing a fellow classmate. Once that case is cleared up, one of the girl's mothers dies (she was sick) and the dead mother's parents move to take custody of the girl because they assume her remaining mother is a pedophile. Their evidence is a set of naked photographs they found and statistics their lawyer gave them stating homosexual parents are more likely to abuse their children. The mother refutes the idea that naked pictures of children are inherently sexual, and the team quickly discovers that the grandparents' lawyer has his own homophobic agenda, so the case is quickly dismissed. Still, the mother swears to her in-laws that she'll never let them see their granddaughter again because the damage has already been done.
    • "Hothouse" has the detectives looking into the death of a fifteen-year-old girl, and they find out her best friend was a guy in his early twenties, and she would often go to his apartment or meet up with him to hang out. This obviously makes them very suspicious, and they go over to question the guy. Turns out it was a purely platonic friendship, and he took it upon himself to be a Big Brother Mentor and try to steer her in the right direction. Given that she went to an abusive Cram School and had a horrifically domineering Education Papa, it's likely he was the one positive relationship in her life.
  • In Listenup, sitcom starred by Jason Alexander, had the protagonist following his daughter to find out why she was mad at him... during her soccer game...
  • Malcolm in the Middle: In the episode Malcolm Defends Reese, Hal discovers that Dewey has a crush on Gina, and attempts to do everything he can to have Gina and Dewey meet, even trying to offer her candy to get her into the car. Unfortunately, one of their neighbors saw this and thought Hal was a child molester trying to lure his latest victim.
  • The Man in the High Castle: A member of the resistance is sent to spy on John Smith's family as they go about their day. Their female bodyguard assumes him to be a paedophile since he's been following her and John Smith's daughter around a department store all morning, and threatens him over this. He's obviously not, they're just trying to figure out their routine to find an opportunity to make contact with Helen Smith.
  • Modern Family:
    • In one episode, Cam gives Manny advice over the phone on what to say to his date. Out of context, everyone around Cam assumes he is talking to a child he met on the internet. He doesn't help matters when he tells everyone "it's not what you think; I'm talking to an 11 year old boy".
    • In another episode, Mitch and Cam are celebrating Cam's birthday, which is on February 29, leading to jokes about his age (because of course, he technically only has a birthday once every four years). At the end, Mitch makes a comment about "the eight-year-old I fell in love with", causing a nearby mom to glare suspiciously at them and take her young son away.
    • In the episode where gay marriage is legalized in California, Jay and Manny head to the courthouse because Manny's planning on taking a trip to Colombia and needs some travel documents. They get in at the end of a long line of same-sex couples. Manny expresses his nervous about "doing this" (going to Colombia) and Jay responds in a manner that makes the other people in line think that he's trying to pressure the preteen boy to get married.
  • My Name Is Earl:
    • The Right Choice Ranch, a summer camp for troubled boys, tried a number of slogans which sounded really wrong, like "Touching Bad Boys Since 1963", "Bringing Boys To Their Knees Since 1963", and "Forcing Boys To Turn Around Since 1963". By the time an adult Earl came back for a list item, they'd apparently given up: "We Don't Do Anything Inappropriate To The Boys".
    • Another episode has Earl give Dodge's girlfriend a fake break up note to cross something else off his list. When the girl starts crying, Earl hugs her and says "Don't tell anyone about this. It'll be our little secret." A woman, who happens to walk by and overhears, yells "Pedophile!", kicks Earl in the crotch and blows a rape whistle.
  • The Office (US): Michael Scott's online dating username in the U.S. version is "Little Kid Lover" — the previous name of this trope. (Explanation: He wanted to convey that he is good with children. Oops.)
  • On Parks and Recreation, April sends Andy to pick up her little sister at school. Andy shows up two hours late, so when he arrives in his van, April's sister calls the school security guard and says she doesn't know him. The guard asks him if he is trying to lure this girl into his unmarked white van, and Andy replies, "Yeah, but she's being really difficult about it." Andy then clarifies that it's not actually his van; he stole it from a friend, and he really shouldn't be driving because his license is waaaay expired. Cut to Andy on his knees being read his rights.
  • Psych: Shawn and Gus scour a playground looking for a babysitter for the captain's newborn child and are mistaken for creeps.
  • Rake: Due to some cases of not what it looks like Cleaver gets taken as a pedophile. He's blackmailed over it by Cal.
  • (An inversion): Saturday Night Live had a sketch on the season 37 episode hosted by Steve Buscemi in which a college phys. ed supervisor holds a press conference to announce that one of the coaches (Steve Buscemi) is not a pedophile (at the time of the episode, news of sex scandals involving college coaches molesting their players was all over the news, with Penn State and Syracuse being the popular ones), despite that he has a disturbing mustache, lives with his mom, has never had a girlfriend (even implying that he could be asexual, since investigators found no evidence that he was sexually attracted to men or women), and has poor social skills with people his own age. Even the head of NAMBLA's local chapter (played by Bill Hader) stated that the allegedly disturbing coach wouldn't be a good fit for NAMBLA if it turned out that he was, in fact, a pedophile.
  • In an early episode of Seinfeld, Jerry is making idle chit chat with his masseuse and mentions a recent child abduction in Pennsylvania, then begins rambling about how you just never know who could be some nutjob looking to hurt you or your kid, even pointing out how he could very well be such a person. The woman gets so freaked out that she refuses to continue having him as a client. When he shows up at the office to apologize and explain, the woman flips out even more and screams at her visiting son to run into her office and lock the door.
  • The first season finale of Silicon Valley has Jared strung out on Adderall because it's time for Tech Crunch Disrupt and he hasn't slept in a week due to incidents in previous episodes. When he's desperately trying to come up with a way to retool Pied Piper after Hooli showed off their Nucleus program, he ends up getting picked up by the cops who have seen him accosting children (to bounce software ideas off of them) and because he explained his erratic behavior as being on Adderall that he got from a 12-year-old boy (which is innocuously true, but not the way the police interpreted it).
    • Richard is so socially inept that every time he talks to his neighbour's preteen daughter, he sounds like a pedophile.
      Richard: Ashley, look at you, you're a big girl now... You look more and more like your mother every day. Just your face.
  • Supernatural:
    • In a Christmas special Sam and Dean, two grown men, go near a Children's Santa's workshop (trying to sniff out a Bad Santa they think is responsible for several abductions), and get some funny looks. Sam doesn't help by saying "We came here to watch."
    • Mentioned in the season seven episode "Plucky Pennywhistle's Magic Menagerie" (S7, E14), wherein Dean and Sam investigate a restaurant chain that's an expy of Chuck E. Cheese's. Sam goes in as an FBI agent to question the employees and asks Dean to just sort of hang around and see which ones look extra nervous after their interviews with him. Dean isn't thrilled with his role.
      Dean: Guy in his thirties hanging out at Plucky's alone – that's normal. That's not pervy at all.
  • The third season of True Detective has some civilian vigilantes accosting an ex-Vietnam War veteran turned homeless man, accusing of kidnapping children in a local town in Arkansas.
  • In an episode of The Unit, Bob Brown sees a woman with her young daughter in a park and intentionally leads the woman to believe he's a paedophile because he needs them to leave.
  • In Victorious Robbie is beaten up by a group of mothers because he offered their kids ice cream that the gang didn't want. (It's a Long Story) The women chased him into an alley and beat him with sticks; he has a black eye for the rest of the episode.
  • An episode of Weeds gives a PTA meeting in which some of the members express concern over the fact that the wrestling coach is gay. Celia of all people is the voice of reason, pointing out that gay doesn't mean paedophile.
  • Any episode of Without a Trace where the Victim of the Week was a child featured an instance where a suspect was this (though in several incidents, a pedophile was indeed responsible for the child's disappearance). Particularly in "Manhunt", when they learn that the kidnapper was fired from his teaching job for inappropriate behavior with his students (bringing them to his house to watch movies). It turns out that his son died and he's been searching for a Replacement Goldfish ever since.
  • WKRP: Mr. Carlson is surprised when the Mrs. tells him she's pregnant. He's later sitting in the DJ booth, quietly ecstatic, and starts telling Venus about how much he'd like a little girl. Venus, unaware of events, gets a bit anxious, more so when Carlson decides a little boy would be just as good. At show's end, Carlson requests something so he and his wife can dance, and Venus puts on "Thank Heaven for Little Girls", still looking quite shaken.
  • In The X-Files episode "Eve", Mulder manages to capture a pair of murderous Enfante Terrible Creepy Twins, but they scream for help and a nearby couple get the wrong end of the stick, forcing Mulder at gunpoint to release them and ignoring his protests that he's an FBI agent.
  • Young Sheldon: In "Money Laundering and a Cascade of Hormones", Dr. Sturgis (trying to see if it's just him and Sheldon who are uncomfortable talking about sex) asks a teenager if he would feel more comfortable talking about sex with an older man. Cut to Sturgis being fired.

  • Out of context, the song 'Vehicle' by Ides of March is easily misinterpreted as a song about a paedophile seducing and then abducting a child. The song was written as a tongue-in-cheek joke and actually has two different origins. Jim Peterik says he initially got the idea from some anti-drug pamphlets and the title of the song came from his experiences with a woman he was pining for and was overly infatuated with. He got the title when he realised his current flirting tactic wasn't working, and he was just being her taxi to modelling school. After the song came out, they had an on-off relationship until they were eventually married.
    Hey, well, I'm the friendly stranger in the black sedan. Woncha hop inside my car. I got pictures, I got candy, I'm a lovable man and I can take you to the nearest star.
  • The Wrong Ian Watkins by Kunt and the Gang is a song about a man who sends insulting messages to Ian "H" Watkins under the mistaken belief that he's the other Ian Watkins. This is also inverted later in the song when he attempts to apologize to H and sends his apology to the Lostprophets singer by mistake.
  • The Talking Candy Bar Blues by Paul Stookey is a story told from the point of view of a poor Butt-Monkey who is assumed to be a potential child molester just because he offered a child a candy bar set to some light musical accompaniment.
  • In 1973, Tanya Tucker sang about one in "What's Your Mama's Name." In what turns out to be a story of a man trying to search for and reconnect with an ex-girlfriend, the man (named Buford Wilson) travels to Memphis, Tennessee, to search for the woman, but things take an unexpected turn when Wilson meets a green-eyed girl, with whom he suspects he has a connection. After believing the girl may be his daughter, Wilson asks her the title question, about New Orleans (where he and his ex-girlfriend had their previous encounter) and if she knows a man named Buford Wilson. When others witness Wilson offering the girl candy — a nickel's worth, yet! — he is arrested for enticing a child and sentenced to a month in the county jail on hard labor. Wilson's true intentions aren't revealed until the final verse, when years later he — by now a homeless, drunken vagrant — is found dead ... a ragged coat and a faded letter contained within his only possessions. The letter, by the way, is the final clue as to the man's true intentions: "You have a daughter, and her eyes are Wilson green..." meaning that this wasn't some random, drunken, seedy stranger trying to lure away a little girl to molest. The song became 14-year-old Tucker's first No. 1 hit in May 1973 and set the tone of much of her early material: Gritty, meaty material about adult topics and where the outcome wasn't always positive, her husky voice belying the fact she was just barely into her teenage years.
  • In the Vocaloid song The Tailor of Enbizaka, the titular tailor spots her unfaithful lover buying a hairpin for a girl who is far too young for him, to her disgust. Not only does the girl turn out to be his daughter, but Kayo is delusional and her lover has no idea who the tailor is.
  • Accidentally invoked by X Japan as a result of Values Dissonance, and for the band's reputation of the time. In casting the female lead for the Celebration Performance Video, they chose a girl between 9 and 13 as a fan of the band, to go with the Cinderella theme and yet avoid the Unfortunate Implications of an adult female slave. In the video, her overprotective Moral Guardian mom is paralyzed by Loud of War, and the girl goes out for a night on the town with the band. However, nothing troubling is done to her, and she's treated as a friend, even more so than the other band members, there are adult women that the band is partying with, and she isn't even drinking or smoking with them. Nevertheless, the context of a young girl going out for a night on the town with five young unrelated adult men unsupervised, no matter what, is, now, outside of The '80s and outside of the context of the video itself, inherently Sick and Wrong.

  • Love Never Dies has this in a meta sense: If someone wanders in for "The Beauty Underneath", then good luck explaining that it's not actually the seduction of a ten-year-old. The earnest reply of "Yes!" from Gustave (the kid) throughout doesn't help matters any.

    Video Games 
  • In Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey, at one point the mercenary Angriff expresses an interest in Firis' alchemy exam, admitting he never went to school and he doesn't know what an exam's like. As his questions continue, Liane wonders if he's suddenly interested in exams perhaps because he's interested in children in "that way." He is rightly offended by this and she admits that she probably went too far. As it turns out, his motives are indeed pure. He's looking to build a school for children so that they don't have to live a hard life like him.
  • Ragna the Bloodedge from BlazBlue — a gag that crops up in the main story once and repeatedly in the joke endings.
  • Overlord Ivar from Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny gets really attached to Zed's little sister, Bieko, getting very emotional whenever she gets brought up during Zed's retellings and is extremely eager to protect her and give her a better life after meeting her. He gets called out and accused of being a pervert, but he says it's strictly platonic. He had a younger sister who died of illness and has a soft spot for little sisters.
  • Farnham Fables: In the first episode, the princes rescue Gloria, a young lizard girl who is naked due to National Geographic Nudity. Although Fredrick is OK with playing with her while escorting her back to her mother, he will refuse to do so while at the bus stop out of fear of this trope happening: it's a much more public area, and passersby could easily get the wrong idea if they saw them.
  • Fate/Samurai Remnant: When Tamamo Aria, who looks like a young teenager, confesses she has a crush on Miyamoto Iori, Saber and the Crimson Codes waste no time in teasingly implying that he's a lolicon, to his annoyance.
  • The middle-aged Mercenary Gregor from Fire Emblem: Awakening is first seen chasing after Nowi, who he wanted to make sure was okay. Problem is that Nowi, despite being about a thousand years old (and therefore one of the few characters in the game who is actually OLDER than Gregor), is a Manakete, which means she looks like and is by her races standards, an adolescent girl. Who's dressed in a very Age-Inappropriate Dress. Chrom, Robin, and Lissa see him chasing after her and assume the obvious.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven, Anasui's interactions with Jotaro are basically him begging Jotaro to let him marry Jotaro's daughter Jolyne. Anasui is from Part 6 (where Jolyne is a legal adult), but the two versions of Jotaro in-game (Part 6 Jotaro was Dummied Out) are not. The Jotaro from pt. 4 is particularly repulsed because Jolyne is a six-year-old in his time (Part 3 Jotaro is just confused because he's 17 and doesn't yet have a family).
  • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, Erika Russel does not take well to Agate's closeness to Tita while she was away, even though it's more like Big Brother Instinct on his part. He quickly learns that being near Erika is extremely hazardous to his health.
  • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III the Pantagruel flies by and both Altina starts narrating that Rean walked in on her sleeping, which is true since this does happen in the previous game, but that was all he did and was beaten up for it. But from the way Altina narrates it, both Juna and Kurt believe that Rean is hitting on little girls now and makes sure that Altina stays with them from now on. Poor Rean still can't catch a break.
  • Peret em Heru: For the Prisoners: The nine-year-old Rin attempts to invoke this in one of her pranks. She asks Ayuto for help, then starts screaming the moment he touches her, claiming he was trying to molest her. She does this purely because she likes being the center of attention.
  • In the remakes of Phantom Brave, you can play an alternative storyline called "Another Marona". In it, Ash is mistaken for a pedophile by Carona because of how protective he is of Marona, a position that the other phantoms believe, to his dismay.
  • Happens once in a while in the Super Robot Wars Z series, where Rand Travis is engaged to Mel Peter, who is 16 but looks younger due to her age being stunted by the Wounded Lion Sphere. In particular, in Z3 Tengoku-hen, mention of the engagement draws disgusted reactions from Clouseau and Kurz, with Rand muttering that he'll have to explain things later.
  • This Starry Midnight We Make: The protagonists, who are a woman and a man, are chatting to a schoolgirl in the middle of the street and offering her food, where the woman is worried about how it all looks.
  • A running gag in the Tokyo Afterschool Summoners event, Valentine Fantasy. Boogeyman is a physical manifestation of childhood fear, and he takes it upon himself to scare children to guide them into making better decisions. The event has him kidnap children and trap them in fairy tale-themed dimension. He doesn't realize a grown man luring kids away and kidnapping them evokes a different kind of image. When the protagonist explains it to him, he's horrified.
    • Boogeyman also tries to offer a crying child candy in order to calm him down. The child screams "Stranger Danger!" and cries even harder.

    Visual Novels 
  • The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures: An implied example involving, of all people, an Expy of Sherlock Holmes. Ryuunoske and Susato meet ten-year-old Dr. Iris Wilsonnote  who lives with Herlock Sholmes in his flat. She also writes the manuscripts based on his adventures for publication. There are some minor examples of artistic license, but the biggest one is involving Dr. Wilson. Namely that it's not John Wilson; it's Iris. Iris says that she chose to hide her Intergenerational Friendship by changing her character to a grown man since people would reasonably think it's weird that a Great Detective is dragging a ten-year-old girl with him everywhere he goes. The implication is that one reason she did this was to avoid this trope.
    Well, it sounds a little strange, doesn't it? A great detective with a ten-year-old girl in tow.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry:
    • This is invoked by Irie. He's constantly cooing over Satoko and saying he wants to marry her, but behind his ditzy facade it's shown that he only sees her like a daughter.
    • Rena accuses Keiichi of this when she learns that he only shot little girls with his BB gun prior to moving to Hinamizawa.
  • Spirit Hunter series:
    • In Spirit Hunter: Death Mark, Christie didn't react well when she saw Eita Nakamatsu with Suzu Morimiya at the dead of night in chapter 3. Her fears aren't entirely unfounded; though Eita only sees Suzu as a little sister, he was originally intended to be a pedophile.
    • In Spirit Hunter: NG, Yakumo's mansion contains evidence that he was stalking young girls, which naturally led Akira to question whether he was a pervert who got off on abusing kids. While that isn't the case, the truth isn't much better; he was kidnapping and mutilating young girls to offer them to the Big Bad, satiating her for ten years.

    Web Animation 
  • ATTACK on MIKA: Ms. Midorihara ends up in the receiving end of this when her then-elementary-aged student Hiroki Takenaka put his face under her skirt and refused to let go of her. As a result, she got fired and since then Hiroki became wracked with guilt for ruining his favorite teacher's life.
  • Etra chan saw it!:
    • Karin witnesses her friend Tsutsuji usually coming out crying from the guidance room with a teacher, Kuroki. When she notices both of them entering the guidance room, she assumes that Kuroki was molesting Tsutsuji and takes a photo of them together with her camera without thinking twice. Kuroki reveals the reason Tsutsuji often went with him to the guidance room because her parents physically abused her at home, causing her to cry many times and he was there to console her and report the abuses to the child services.
    • After Kuroki tells his parents all about his encounter with Hiiragi and how he had offered to take him to the back of the store because he had a surprise, they immediately forbid him from going back there, saying that it's dangerous. Even after Kuroki convinces him to come with him to the store, Akamatsu still finds Hiiragi suspicious and tries to make sure the old man doesn't try any funny business with his son. Thankfully, the surprise Hiiragi was talking about was a bunch of Omein Gazer Etra merchandise and he had wanted to show it to Kuroki as they were both fans of the show.
  • Homestar Runner: In the Strong Bad Email "portrait", Strong Mad makes an macaroni art picture of his brother Strong Bad. An unimpressed Strong Bad says that he could have hired an actual kindergartener to make one of those, then adds "Except that sounds pretty creepy and I'd probably go to jail."
  • Natural Habitat Shorts: After having a couple of frightening encounters with a chipmunk obsessed with keeping things in his mouth, the rabbit, Albie, mistakenly pepper sprays a young owl on Halloween, thinking he's the chipmunk. When confronted by an angry mob, Albie badly explains the situation and ends up having his house burned down. All according to the chipmunk's plan.
    Albie: No, no! You don't understand! Last year, my hands were in his mouth, and he liked it, so I tried to offer him candy, and then he fell on top of me, and now he's back for more!
    Crowd: (stunned silence)
  • Zero Punctuation

  • Chief O'Brien at Work: After accidentally turning his wife into a 12-year old due to an accident with the teleporter, O'Brien is mistaken as a pedophile who married a child and ends up locked up for several comics.
  • Concession:
  • Played for Drama in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures, when we finally see Regina's backstory: She was, from her perspective, lured to a strange house (Dan invited her to Wildy's house to play video games), asked a series of highly personal questions about her family and race by a man who had "creepy" views on "taming the dangerous creature", and prevented from leaving. And then someone walked behind her.
  • Forest Hill:
    • An unusual inversion happens when Flora has a chance encounter at the grocery store with a young raccoon named Talitha and her pedophile father, Ray, who mistakes Flora for being a pedophile as well since Benni, her new foster child, who is also one of Ray's victims, happened to be with her.
    • Benni has been raised to believe that all adults are pedophiles and Flora and Colin have difficulty convincing him that this isn't true. Flora finds out just how badly Benni has been abused when he mistakenly thinks that Flora and Colin were having sex with Tanya. And later when Colin gives the boys permission to be naked at his house, Benni mistakenly thinks Colin is going to have sex with them and tries to protect Kaleb and Hunter by offering himself to Colin in their place.
  • Played for Drama in The Friendly Winter. Min-Seong is a tall seventeen year old boy with the mental capacity of a seven year old. At least twice he's gotten into trouble for seeming to kidnap a little girl when he was really trying to help her.
  • In Goblins, Minmax humiliated his adventuring partner Forgath by yelling at a passing young (adult) woman "Hey! Thirteen and hot!" on a crowded street. The passersby didn't realize he was talking about her Charisma score, not her age.
  • Grrl Power: When Maxima gets a human disguise, she's described as "a fourteen year old boy's weird science experiment". Cora scoffs that a fourteen year-old boy wouldn't be able to "handle that much woman". Anvil says "you'd be surprised", and everyone stares at her in horror. She quickly clarifies that this was when she was also fourteen.
    Elsbeth: Oh, right.
    Krona: That makes more sense.
    Anvil: Why would you even go there?
  • In Homestuck, Doc Scratch (who, being a cueball-headed demigod and a puppet, is asexual in every way) tells Rose (a 13-year-old girl) he likes young ladies; naturally she construes it this way. Then he just keeps Digging Himself Deeper.
    Rose: How young are the ladies you usually take a shining to? And does this mean you're attracted to me? Suddenly this conversation is kind of terrible.
    Doc Scratch: Of course I am not. Not in the way you mean. And anyway, you are applying standards of conduct frowned upon for your kind which make no sense to apply to me. I am an immortal entity with a large cue ball for a head, and no biological means of reproduction. [...] Try to think of me as one of your kindly human uncle figures. In fact, if I were in your presence now, I would offer you candy to prove it.
    • In the tie-in Visual Novel Pesterquest, the player character (an adult) can hang out with John (just turned 13) in the latter's bedroom, mere minutes after meeting him. When this happens, John almost immediately receives an instant message from his friend Dave, and during their resulting conversation an extremely dismayed Dave points out the problem with this situation. As per the trope, the protagonist's intentions are completely innocent, but the other characters don't have any real way of knowing that.
      Dave: Do I even need to explain why a 13 year old kid shouldn't become buddies with a fuckin' mailman and hang out with him in his room? Does your dad know about this?
      John: Well, no...
  • Looking for Group: long story short, Richard is stuck in a tree and Cale is trying to get him out of the trouble. Then a lonely villager kid turns up to see what they are doing. Cale offers his hand for a hand shake in such a disturbing way that the kid just runs away.
    Richard: Nothing bad could ever come out of two adults chasing a child through the forest. I'm in. Make sure you constantly yell "I just want to talk" in a deep voice.
  • Mob Psycho 100 during the Urban Legends Arc, Banshomaru Shinra questions two little girls at a playground site about a perverted flasher in the area. He gets too carried away with his questioning, even admitting that he was getting "excited", that he ends up scaring the girls. One of whom even activates a stranger-danger whistle that alerts the local adults.
  • Penny Arcade did their take on this in this strip.
  • The Perry Bible Fellowship wrings a fairly cruel joke from this trope here and subverts it here.
  • In an early Roommates arc, when attempting to set Javert up with a blind date, one of Jareth's choices is Kira, who suffers from a case of Older Than They Look. This earns him dirty looks from the rest of the cast.
    Jareth: What? We know each other professionally! PROFESSIONALLY!
  • In Scarlet Lady: Pretty much everyone, from the Mayor to Hawk Moth, is unnerved by Theo's crush on the underage Scarlet Lady. Theo even becomes a Phrase Catcher for "How old are you, anyway?". He's around the same age as Scarlet Lady, but looks older.
  • Schlock Mercenary: Variant. Chisulo is an uplifted elephant at a circus, and wants to talk to another uplifted elephant who is hiding among the non-uplifted elephants. The wrangler assumes he's there because he's "too lazy or boorish to score with a female who can talk back to you." Non-uplifted animals are described as "a little bit like children and a little bit like beasts."
    Footnote: "Pedobeastophilia" is a seven-syllable word which, had it been spoken by the wrangler in the strip above, would probably have resulted in his death.
  • A one-shot character in A Simple Thinking About Blood Type gets himself arrested after a Gossip Evolution somehow distorts his statement that he's dating a kindergarten teacher into a rumour that he molests kindergarten kids.
  • At one point in Tower of God, Urek Mazino wears a special anklet that works as a Power Limiter. Everyone mistakes it for the type of anklet used to restrain criminals and, combined with his reputation for hitting on people, assume the worst, asking Bam if Urek tried to take him away somewhere.
  • In Unsounded, Sette calls Duane a pedophile in hilarious terms when he tells her she deserves spanking. Made even more hilarious when readers understand he is, by far, the least likely character to intentionally harm or distress a child.
  • In Whomp!, Ronnie sees a little girl playing Harvest Moon on the 3DS and Ronnie creepily asks her "Have you decided who you'll marry, yet?". Her father wasn't pleased.
  • This strip of Wondermark.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball has a subtle one in the episode “The Misunderstanding.” In it, Gumball meets a few construction workers with incredibly poor social skills. Since they don’t know how to compliment people, they end up flirting with him. Gumball suggests they get out more, and they ask if they should go to a school, where Gumball tells them to go to the mall instead.
  • American Dad! did it too. Steve decided to take some self-shot pictures in his underwear to give to a classmate he had a crush on. Then the police found them and assumed Stan took them.
  • Beavis and Butt-Head:
    • In both episodes that Mr. Manners/Candy appears in, Beavis exclaims that he's trying to molest him, thus costing him his job and earning him a Wimp Fight from Van Driessen at best and a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Buzzcut at worst.
      • In the episode "School Test", when Principal McVicker explains the "No Child Left Behind" law to the boys, they naturally misinterpret it to be "a child's left behind" and chuckle over it, angering McVicker.
      Butt-Head: Did you just say something about a child's behind?
      Beavis: Yeah, he definitely said something about a child's left behind. I heard him.
      Butt-Head: (to McVicker) No wonder you're gonna lose your job. Uh huh huh huh.
      McVicker: What?! Uh, SHUT UP! How DARE you! UHHHH!
  • The Boondocks: Chris Hansen incorrectly assumes the Booty Warrior wants to have sex with an underaged boy, only for the Warrior to reveal that Hansen is his real target. Unlike most examples of this trope, the Booty Warrior is still a sexual predator, it's just that his preferred victims are men and not little boys, as Hansen learns the hard way.
  • The Cleveland Show had this as well. Cleveland is often mistaken as this because of his close relationship with his son Junior. Not helped that his kid loves to kiss him in public and says suggestive things about him. One particular example occurs when Cleveland is trying to find a friend for Junior. He sees a teenager at a bus stop and instead of bringing Junior to him, he goes himself and tries to get the kid to come back to his car so he can play with "Cleveland Jr." The kid turns out to be an undercover officer and they get him in a sting operation. Later he admits that after reading the transcript, it was an understandable mistake.
  • In The Fairly OddParents! episode "Dinkle Scouts", Timmy's Dad states that he can't take his scout troop to the movies because he could get arrested.
  • Family Guy:
    • The Season 6 episode "McStroke" contains an incident that is bizarre but still plays the mistaken impression of pedophilic acts for laughs: Stewie – a 1-year-old who is capable of adult thought and speech – is able to disguise himself as a high school student for a whole episode. He embarks on a relationship with Connie d'Amico – the show's Alpha Bitch, who is fooled into thinking Stewie is a teenager named Zach – which goes bad when, trying to initiate sex, she makes fun of his non-sexually developed anatomy. Stewie gets his revenge on Connie by removing his disguise so that everyone in school, and the police, will see Connie kissing a naked baby, thus getting her arrested. This example is somewhat downplayed in that Connie is only a minor herself, but still creates a power dynamic due to the majorly different sexual maturity levels between her, a post-pubescent adolescent, and Stewie, a 1-year-old infant.
    • Played with again in one episode when Lois, complaining about Peter's antics, bemoans the fact that she marred a child. Peter's response? "You better watch who you're calling a child, Lois. Because if I'm a child, then you know what that makes you? A pedophile. And I'll be damned if I'm gonna stand here being lectured by a pervert!"
    • At one point, Stewie also attempts to blackmail Brian by putting nude pictures of himself on Brian's laptop and threatening to pass it to the FBI.
    • An earlier episode has Peter in a job interview when this happens:
      Boss: So where do you see yourself in five years?
      Peter: [thinks] Don't say "doing your wife," don't say "doing your wife"... [aloud] Doing your... [looks at family photo on desk] son?
    • In another episode, Peter is forced to register as a sex offender because he publicly urinated in a children's park and now needs a social worker to supervise him when he's alone with his kids. However, it's been indicated on many occasions that Peter is an Ephebophile and is pretty openly attracted to teenage girls who are either below the age of consent, or just turned 18.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "The Legend of the Gobblewonker", Stan attempts to make friends with a young boy during his fishing trip, but both the kid and his parents find it creepy and threaten to call the police. Later on, Stan is seen with an ankle bracelet.
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy episode "Duck!" (which involves an invisible duck that can only be seen by its victims, and makes fart sounds to make others think the victim is farting), Grim is seen trying to prove to children that he didn't fart... and decides to prove it by showing them his skeletal body, since being a skeleton means that can't have done that. He does so while shouting "Look at my body!" and is arrested shortly afterward.
  • In one episode of Jeff & Some Aliens, Jeff has an argument with his 12-year-old niece which leads his landlord to believe he's trying to groom her for sex. After seeing the preteen girl robot leaving Jeff's apartment in a disheveled state, he believes he has no choice but to castrate Jeff. Luckily for Jeff, he got the wrong guy.
  • Played with in Justice League. The episode "Wild Cards" actually has Batman suggest to Harley that the Joker is this. Harley assumes that Joker is dumping her for Ace when seeing him hugging and massaging her. The worst part is that Joker didn't deny it.
  • This kind of joke was used as a plot point in the Mary Shelley's Frankenhole episode "Franz Kafka's Jealousy". The Invisible Man ends up meeting a little girl, who is informed by the Invisible Man that his clothes aren't invisible and that he, in fact, walks around naked. The girl is horrified by the implications of a man walking around naked in front of children, so she comes crying to her father about her encounter with the Invisible Man, which results in her dad leading an angry mob to try and kill the Invisible Man.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, of all series, has jokes implying this.
    • In "The Cutie Re-Mark, Part 1", Twilight is sent back in time and has to encourage a filly Rainbow Dash to do a Sonic Rainboom. Dash gets scared off by Twilight's overly eager nature and closeness.
    • In ''The Gift of the Maud Pie", a mare calls the police when Pinkie Pie, known for her No Sense of Personal Space, gets too close to the mare's daughter.
  • In the Rick and Morty episode "Morty's Mind Blowers", Morty sees a "threatening man" on the moon through his telescope, who appears to be the school's new guidance counselor, Mr. Lunas, the next day. Morty claims to Principal Vagina that he "lives on the moon", which the Principal believes to be a euphemism for pedophilia. After being assaulted and fired, Mr. Lunas takes his own life, and Morty then realizes the "man on the moon" was just a smudge.
  • The Simpsons episode "Haw-Haw Land" features a sub-plot of Bart gaining an interest in chemistry, which starts when a man approaches him and asks if he'd like him to show him something. Before the man clarifies that he is a chemist, Bart asks the man if he is a pervert.
  • Implied in the Smiling Friends pilot episode, where Pim expresses how he enjoys making children happy and shouts "I love kids", prompting Charlie to look around nervously and inform Pim that he probably shouldn't be yelling that phrase so loudly.
    Pim: This is gonna be great, Charlie! I love helping kids. I love kids, Charlie. I LOVE KIDS!!!
    Charlie: Uh, Pim, I—I would really not be, uh, screaming that at the top of your lungs.
  • It happens to poor Sol in Sons of Butcher when he shows up to the wrong location to perform his meat-themed magic tricks. Said location happens to be a classroom of children watching Stranger Danger. After he bursts in ranting about doing things with his wiener to the children in it cuts to commercial, and when it returns he's getting his mug shots taken by the police.
    Child: M-me...?!
  • South Park sort of subverts this in "Cartman Joins NAMBLA". First, Mr. Garrison upon being arrested for meeting with Cartman blurts out that he doesn't want love from young boys (he slips and states he likes men his own age, before making an unconvincing assertion of heterosexuality). Also, Mephisto admits to being a member of NAMBLA, and tells Cartman he would fit right in. Mephisto, however, meant the North American Marlon Brando Look Alikes (featuring men who all look like the fat, bald version of Marlon Brando as seen in the first Godfather movie and Apocalypse Now), who had an ongoing rivalry with the real NAMBLA (The North American Man-Boy Love Association) over copyright issues over their name.
    • The episode "Red Hot Catholic Love" sees the town's parents become concerned that Priest Maxi is molesting their boys, which he isn't. Maxi investigates claims of molestation within the Church and discovers he's the only Catholic priest in the world who doesn't molest children.
    • Big Gay Al falls victim to the popular assumption that All Gays Are Paedophiles in "Cripple Fight" when he's fired as Scout Master. The parents who wanted him gone learn their lesson the hard way when his heterosexual replacement, Mr. Grazier, turns out to be an actual pedophile and child molester.
    • Exploited by the children in "The Wacky Molestation Adventure", who call the cops and claim their parents molested them, just to have them taken away and live in freedom. The town turns into a post-apocalyptic hellscape within a matter of days.
    • In "W.T.F'', the boys sign up to take wrestling classes but are disillusioned to find that they have to wear revealing uniforms mixed with the wrestling instructor having them take poses that come off as rather compromising. They all quit while calling him a pervert and Butters threatens to report him to the police.
    • In "A Boy and a Priest", Father Maxi (who at this point is already the butt of many pedophile jokes) gets hit with this once again after he and Butters develop a genuine kinship based on the two of them being ostracized from others. This leads to the Vatican Church sending their Cleanup Crew to cover up the crime and kill the kids for being potential evidence. Maxi eventually comes to acknowledge that he should have done more to combat the sexual abuse issues of the church and accepts the constant humiliation he faces each day as his penance.
  • SuperMansion has had American Ranger on both ends of this trope.
    • The episode "A Shop in the Dark" has a scene where American Ranger tries to put out an ad for a new sidekick after having a falling out with his sidekick Kid Victory upon learning that he is gay. Titanium Rex panics as he realizes that American Ranger's phrasing makes it sound like he's trying to solicit young boys to molest, leading to Rex destroying the computer in shock and the FBI breaking into the mansion to apprehend American Ranger.
      American Ranger: Seeking clean-cut young boy. Must be fit, clean-shaven, flexible enough to mount up at a moment's notice, follow orders without question and keep a secret. If you measure up, you can count on me to cover your backside.
    • In "Teacher and the Goof", American Ranger learns from a letter that he has a son and is asked by the son to meet him at a park. Expecting to see a child (forgetting the fact that he's been in stasis for several decades and any children he had prior would logically be well past adulthood by now), he instead sees an old man at the park and attacks him under the assumption that he's a creep who's there to prey on children.
  • Captain Sunshine from The Venture Bros. was subjected to this trope both in-universe on a meta level. His rainbow-themed superhero costume, his Manchild tendencies and his obsession with his deceased sidekick, Wonderboy, not only led some characters to assume some things about him (with The Monarch in particular exploiting it as a form of psychological torture), but also served as the basis for a number of running gags on the episodes featuring him. However, since he had few actual on-screen moments that made it explicitly clear he wasn't a pedophile, much of the fanbase actually thought the gags were full-on Black Comedy about him actually being a sexual predator instead of just this trope. Word of God had to step in and clarify Captain Sunshine isn't a pedophile — just extremely emotionally scarred from losing his sidekick and unable to cope with his loss.

Alternative Title(s): Little Kid Lover, Mistaken For Paedophile



Banshomaru lets out some poor words when questioning two girls about supernatural sightings.

How well does it match the trope?

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Main / MistakenForPedophile

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