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Runaway Hideaway

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A Runaway Hideaway is a place The Runaway can call home (either temporarily or permanently).

The form it takes will vary wildly depending on the story's genre, setting, and plot. It can range from an abandoned city to a campsite in the woods, though it doesn't necessarily need to be a desolate or abandoned landscape. Some runaways go to orphanages or the homes of trusted relatives (if they have any). It may even be a brothel or the home of a kind stranger. The shelter could go one of several ways:


  • It's a relative or friend's house. In Real Life this isn't the best course of action, as your guardians would presumably look for you here. However, if the friends and/or relatives are upstanding, they might be able to help if the runaway is escaping abuse.

  • It's an orphanage or a local shelter. In this place, they get three hot meals every day and a bed to sleep on. Even if it's an Orphanage of Fear, this is usually better than nothing.

  • There is no place to go. An especially naïve character may run away from home and into the Big Scary World without having a plan. This type is the most likely to end up in a stranger's house, which can lead to a bad end if said stranger turns out to be a crazy pervert or Serial Killer.

  • It's a place where runaways of all shapes and sizes can take shelter. If people are disappearing in the story, they almost always end up here. Characters may run here just for yuks, to see if the Urban Legend is true. In more lighthearted stories, this ends up being a circus, which they run off to in the hopes of becoming a Circus Brat.

Make a Runaway Hideaway can help you create your character's new home.


    Anime & Manga 

     Comic Books 
  • The teenage characters in Runaways first hide out in a partially collapsed hotel (nicknamed "The Hostel") and then in one of their parent's old supervillain lairs under the La Brea Tar Pits
  • In The Tale of One Bad Rat there is first the squat in London where Helen stays with several other vagrants, teenagers on the run, and other people are staying, and then the pub Herdwick Arms, where the owners take her in and give her a job.
  • Nightwing discovers a large maze like fort made of tires and other trash that housed runaways where the younger kids are being required to steal to "pay rent". The whole place ends up on fire and Dick helps rescue the kids that don't make it out on their own. The boy Dick was looking for that led him to discover the hideaway ends up adopted by a bartender who lives in the same building as him.
  • In Relative Heroes the four Weinberg kids and the youngest's babysister (who is fleeing from a marriage contract with an Olympian that her mom set up for her as an infant) travel across the country in their deceased parents' RV as they try to prevent their remaining family from being split up by social services and eventually are able to take refuge with their grandfather after Superman intervenes.

     Fan Works 

  • The Smoke in Uglies.
  • The Sanctuary in The Heir Chronicles —includes the barrier too!
  • The abandoned movie theater in The Thief Lord which a small group of street kids have made into their home.
  • Greentree in The Outlaws of Sherwood much to the pragmatic Robin Hood's dismay.
  • The Shadow Children since their very existence is punishable by death. Most of them end up hiding where they can, or joining together in a revolution to overthrow the government that is trying to kill them.
  • The Boxcar Children run away with no place in mind and eventually discover their boxcar by chance.
  • In From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler Claudia drags her brother along to run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where they have to hide in the bathrooms from security and dig through the fountains for change.
  • In My Side of the Mountain Sam runs away with detailed plans to live off the land in the Catskill Mountains and constructs his own hideaway in the fire burned out hollow of a large old tree.
  • Huckleberry Finn runs away to the river alongside Jim.
  • Interestingly done for purposes of Character Development in Redeeming Love. Angel runs away from her husband three times: firstly, to a brothel; secondly, to a gold mining town where she finds works as a cook; and thirdly, to the same town where she sets up a ministry to help girls who were sold into prostitution and reintegrate them into society. This is important because it shows how her character has changed over the novel's course: at first, she's so broken she can't function in society, or learn how to be anything but self-destructive. The second time, she manages to be something better than an object for others' gratification, but she still isn't happy or making something of herself. The third and final time, she is able to harness the love shown her by her husband and reach out to others, and in such a way that it remains effective even after she returns home and is finally Happily Married.
  • In More Than Human, the mentally disabled man Lone sets up a shelter in the woods for himself. He is joined by Gerry, who ran away from the state orphanage, Janie, who ran away from parents who didn't want her, Bonnie and Beanie, twins Janie took with her, and Baby, the Prodds' infant son, who was rejected for having Down syndrome.

  • In Charby the Vampirate Leonard's "pack" of welves (cursed elves) are all runaways who had to or chose to leave their family's packs that all live in a cabin he found. He is welcoming of new members if he comes across people in need even though they are stuck stealing to survive.

     Western Animation 
  • Angelica running away from home to her cousin Tommy's house in Rugrats.
  • Ty Lee of Avatar: The Last Airbender
    • Ty Lee runs away from her oppressive home life and finds solace in the circus.
    • Jet, who became a Rebel Leader in charge of a La Résistance movement.
  • The Fairly Oddparents:
    • In the special, Channel Chasers, Timmy temporarily runs away from his parents inside of his television where he hops from channel to channel.
    • One episode proper deals with Timmy feeling neglected and deciding to run away with the help of his fairies, who poof him to a carnival to stay at. Timmy even mistakes it for a circus at first, which Cosmo says is wrong because "Circuses have child labor laws" while carnivals "barely have to follow the laws of physics." Turns out kids using magic to run away is common enough that multiple other fairies made the carnival so the kids would have somewhere to go until they decided to return.

  • In The Owl House episode "Labyrinth Runners", it's revealed that Hunter has been squatting in Hexside's auditorium since defecting from the Emperor's Coven in "Hollow Mind". It's implied he chose Hexside because that one time pretended to be a student was the only time he was ever truly happy.