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So My Kids Can Watch

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"A lot of the voice actors in this one have said things to me like, 'Finally, a show I can show my family!'"
Director's DVD Commentary for the Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer dub

An actor well known for playing characters in adult rated works decides to act in a all-ages work that they can show to their own children.

This often overlaps with Parental Bonus. Kind of contrasts with Old Shame, only most of their work becomes an Old Shame (which might apply to someone who consciously stops doing a particular type of production for good and downplays or tries to ignore what they did before). Frequently overlaps with Bleached Underpants.


Rated G for Gangsta may be a subtrope if the performer decides to focus their career on family-friendly fare rather than the work that made them famous. If a person does work on a kid-oriented film or show, but they do not have any children of their own or their kids are older than the target demographic of the show they appeared on, that sort of role would be considered a "Sesame Street" Cred. If the kid show or film in question kicked off their acting career or was done before the celebrity was famous, that's Retroactive Recognition.

For some reason, this often gets conflated with Money, Dear Boy, despite the fact that children are in no part of the definition. While an actor might do a children's show because it pays well, it's only this trope if the actor's motivation is explicitly based on producing a work that can be enjoyed by children (usually their own). As such, Awesome, Dear Boy often has more to do with it, especially when it's a long-running children's show that holds nostalgia factor for them or a remake of a movie they grew up with. Can be the justification of WTH, Casting Agency? and Celebrity Voice Actor. At times has also been invoked in an attempt to break Typecasting. Related to Written for My Kids, where an author writes a work for their children, but there is still an important distinction: this is when the author is known for works targeting older audiences.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • As mentioned in the page quote above, the anime adaptation of CLAMP's Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer allowed many of its actors to be able to show their work to their children, due to the show's lighthearted, childlike atmosphere being a significantly different direction from most of their roles in adult-oriented animation.
  • On the DVD Commentary for Princess Mononoke, Billy Bob Thornton said that he wanted to do something his kids could watch, although some wouldn't call Mononoke a kid's movie. In an interview Thornton later admitted that this move had backfired, calling Mononoke one of the "most violent things I'd ever seen."
  • Azusa Sato played the role of Fuwari Midorikaze in PriPara because her two-year-old niece was a huge fan of the series.
  • Dragon Ball
    • In-universe example in Dragon Ball Super when Gohan offers to replace a stunt double who's about to film a very dangerous shot. The primary reason he's doing it is that he's Made of Iron where the actor isn't, but the other reason (and the one he gives to the Muggle director and crew) is that he wants his infant daughter Pan to be able to watch her daddy in a professional movie one day.
    • In the Latin Spanish dub of Dragon Ball, Mario Castañeda accepted the role of (adult) Goku after being convinced by his son Arturo. Two decades later, Arturo became the voice of Whis and is still proud of his father's work.
  • Japanese singer Hitomi appeared As Herself on GO-GO Tamagotchi! for her then six-year-old daughter. She also sang the opening and ending themes of the show for the same reason.
  • Patricia Acevedo directed the Latin American Spanish dub of One Piece Film: Gold, since her son Rodrigo is a fan of the One Piece series. Rodrigo would go on to become the ADR scriptwriter as well as the voice of Sabo.

    Comic Books 
  • Phil and Kaja Foglio of Girl Genius fame have said that XXXenophile will probably be on hiatus until at least after their kids grow up.
  • In one of the most jaw-dropping examples of all time, Garth Ennis published erf, a kids' comic about cute prehistoric animals.
  • Jim Davis made U.S. Acres so his son could read something that he wrote that was aimed at kids.

Since Disney is a very popular company among children, there have been numerous instances of people being cast in their films and TV series because of their children:
  • Robert Patrick took a role in Bridge to Terabithia so his children could watch him in a film. Let it be noted that it's one of the few roles where he's playing a kind (though still stern) character.
  • Edward James Olmos played Chiccharon in Coco for his five grandkids. He also played King Pescoro in Elena of Avalor for the same reason.
  • Tom Cavanaugh took two roles in Disney Junior productions for his then 4-year-old son James in 2013: a jack-in-the-box on Doc McStuffins and a toy turtle in the special Lucky Duck.
  • Scott Foley played Prince Charming in Goldie & Bear for his sons Keller and Konrad, who were 4 and 2 at the time the episode aired.
  • Finding Nemo franchise:
    • Eric Bana played Anchor in the first movie for his kids Sophia and Claus, who were 2 and 4 in 2003.
    • Idris Elba starred in the sequel Finding Dory as Fluke so that his son Winston could watch something with him in it. The same thing could be said about his Zootopia role.
  • One of the reasons Indina Menzel starred in Frozen as Elsa was so that her son Walker could hear her voice in a movie.
  • While much of the adults in the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon series casts could be described as such, the one that sticks out is Wilmer Valderrama, who currently voices the lead character on Handy Manny on the Disney Junior block so his younger brother could watch something he was involved in (apparently, the younger brother would be too young to have known he played Fez on That '70s Show).
  • Larry David guest-starred in an episode of Hannah Montana along with his daughters, because they're fans of the show.
  • James Woods wanted to play Hades in Disney's Hercules... and all incarnations in any outlets thereafter... to make his children happy and so they can watch their daddy in something appropriate. Same with Danny De Vito as Phil, in the same film, quoted in the 'Art Of' book as saying, "If my kids could watch it and say, 'Daddy was in this movie', that would be pretty cool, ya know?"
  • According to this article from Cracked, this was the reason why Stuart Gordon and Brian Yuzna, makers of the Cult Classic schlock horror films Re-Animator, From Beyond, and Dolls, ended up writing Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Gordon was originally set to direct it as well, but had to drop out because he got sick.
  • Inside Out:
    • Like George Carlin above, Lewis Black, a comedian mostly known for stand up involving a lot of crude humor and lots of swearing, played the role of Anger so he'd have at least one kid-friendly role on his resume that wasn't a holiday special (he had previously done The Happy Elf, which was considered one). He would later land another child-friendly role with the airing of SpaceBob MerryPants.
    • Despite starring in several Pixar movies beforehand and playing Tom in Tom and Jerry: The Movie, Richard Kind played the role of Bing Bong so his kids could watch the film. This worked, as he reported that after a test screening, his twelve-year-old daughter hugged him after his final scene because she loved it so much.
  • Tiffani Thiessen played Misty the Wonderful Witch on Jake And The Neverland Pirates so her then two-year-old daughter Harper could watch something she was in.
    • Another celebrity, Brett Dalton, took a role as a parrot in the show for his three-year-old daughter Sylvia. This may also explain him playing Brick in Milo Murphy's Law.
    • This could also explain Leigh-Allyn Baker's role as Queen Coralie, as she had a four-year-old son named Griffin at the time who was a big Disney Junior fan. She also took the role of Queen Delightful in The 7D, as well as several minor roles in Mickey and the Roadster Racers, for the same reason.
  • Matthew Broderick said this was pretty much the reason, despite the fact that he thought he was playing Kimba, that he did The Lion King (1994). He even admitted it on Entertainment Weekly. This was also the reason he did Godzilla (1998) — a decision that will haunt him to his grave.
    • Though he's never actually said it, it's hard not to look at Jeremy Irons's pre-Lion King resume and not think he did it to be in something his then 9-year old son Max could watch.
    • James Earl Jones has actually said he did it for his son because his son loves animation.
  • Cheech Marin did voices for Oliver & Company and The Lion King (1994) for this reason. He also suggested that his friend Tommy Chong be Shenzi; unfortunately, he was unable to get a hold of him. Given "Be Prepared", said children must have been traumatised.
    • Speaking of Oliver and Company, Billy Joel voiced Dodger in that movie (his only animated role to date), specifically because his daughter was recently born and he wanted to be in a film she could relate to.
      • Bette Midler took a role in the same movie because she wanted to be in a movie her daughter Sophie could see. This may have also been why she did Hocus Pocus.
  • As soon as Luke Perry learned that he was having a daughter, he took on a guest role in an episode of Pepper Ann.
  • Geoffrey Rush says he did the Pirates of the Caribbean films for this very reason. This was before the movies became Darker and Edgier fare that wasn't quite the most kid-friendly material.
  • Patton Oswalt's role in Ratatouille. He actually has a routine about how much the movie has affected his day-to-day life, and how jarring it is to realize that he now has child fans.
    • He also did a guest voice appearance on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic because his daughter was a huge fan of the show, with it being the subject of one of his routines.
  • Katey Sagal starred as Flo Spinelli in Recess for her kids Jackson and Sarah.
  • After her son Oliver was born, Ginnifer Goodwin took the role of Gwen in the Sofia the First episode "Gizmo Gwen". She also happens to be a very big Disney fan, so it was a win-win situation.
    • Isla Fisher played a recurring role of a sprite for her daughters, who were big fans of the show.
    • Viola Davis starred as Helen Henshaw, leader of the Buttercups, for her then 3-year-old daughter Genesis, who would later star in The Angry Birds Movie 2.
  • Megan Hilty jumped at the chance to voice KC The Koala on T.O.T.S. because of her daughter.
  • Real headline: "Cindy Crawford: ‘Wizards of Waverly Place Made Me Famous With My Kids’".
  • One of the reasons why Jason Bateman was really excited about voicing Nick Wilde in Zootopia? "These are the only films I see now because of my kids."

  • Harry Potter:
    • Michael Gambon accepted the role of Prof. Dumbledore in the films specifically so that his grandchildren wouldn't go through the shame of being related to someone who had turned down being Dumbledore. As revealed on the interviews to Prisoner of Azkaban, the kids today aren't impressed by Samuel Beckett.
    • Similarly, Robbie Coltrane has said, "Can you imagine if I'd gone home and said 'Children, I was offered the part of Hagrid, but I turned it down'? Large actor found in the Clyde."
    • Ditto with Emma Thompson, who played Professor Trelawney.
    • Gambon's predecessor, Richard Harris, initially turned down the role of Dumbledore because he knew he wasn't going to be around for seven movies. His 11-year-old granddaughter heard about it and threatened never to speak to him again. He changed his mind on the grounds that he couldn't do without her.
    • Gary Oldman's own words were something along the lines of "Wanting to do something I could finally take my kids to see." Not the first time. See his Lost in Space entry below. He also said he hadn't worked in over a year and needed the money.
    • Reportedly, Alan Rickman did the movies at the request of his nieces. Can you say "best uncle ever"? Even then, he at first refused the role (Rickman actually didn't like playing villainous characters) but was persuaded when JK Rowling revealed to him, privately, something about Snape's character, most likely his true motivations and allegiance. (At the time, the seventh book had yet to be written.)
    • A general example with David Thewlis who wanted to make a children's film, having never done one before.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • Transformers Film Series:
  • Michael Caine:
    • Played the part of Ebeneezer Scrooge in The Muppet Christmas Carol so his young daughter could see him in a movie. He's also gone on record as saying he had an absolute blast making the film, and considers Scrooge one of his favorite roles he's ever played.
    • On why he accepted a role in the sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D:
      I took the film because I have grandchildren now, and I get to ride around on a giant bumblebee... My grandchildren are... going to say to kids at school, "Can your grandfather do that?"
  • Alec Baldwin said this was why he wanted to be in Beetlejuice. One would wonder how scarred said children are.
  • Johnny Depp, in numerous roles. He still manages to remain incredibly bizarre (even creepy) in these roles. In an interview, he confessed that it wasn't fully motivated by this trope, but he didn't want "the DVDs for his movies all at the back of the shelf".
  • Wild Wild West is reported to be this for both Will Smith and Kevin Kline, despite the fact that Smith was primarily known for his family-friendly sitcom, plus his previous film, Men in Black, was hardly adults-only, and even his rap music tended to reside on the inoffensive side of the scale.
  • Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson seems to be becoming notorious for this. Johnson once recounted a story on Late Show with David Letterman about how he asked the studio to make him a special copy of The Scorpion King — only his scenes, and cutting anything that wouldn't get a G rating, because his very young daughter wanted to see "Daddy's movie." This special cut ran about 5 minutes. He would later go on to play the demigod Maui in Moana for this reason. He also took a starring role in the PG-rated Jumanji Welcome Tothe Jungle which came out soon after an R-rated turn in another remake, Baywatch (and in the midst of his starring in the adult-oriented TV series, Ballers).
  • Robert Rodriguez. Do you know him as the director of Sin City or of Spy Kids? The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl was even "co-written" by his kids.
  • Antonio Banderas also said he did Spy Kids so his kids could watch.
  • Star Wars:
    • Sir Alec Guinness allegedly did A New Hope because of this trope, and would later resent the fact that it became one of his most famous roles. Peter Cushing had a similar reason, but it was more for kids in general.
    • The Phantom Menace has a lot of interesting ideas that were fumbled in execution. But there is one relatively last-minute change which makes it controversial: Anakin was supposed to be 12 and not 8, which makes his relationship with Padme less confusing. But George wanted to make movies for his kids and that's how old they were. Overall this change makes the movie more kid-friendly, which isn't terrible on its own but that's why we have Jar Jar.
  • Robin Williams. He didn't start doing it right after his first son, Zachary, was born (1982), though. But after his other two children, Zelda (1989) and Cody (1991) were born, he did stuff like Hook, Aladdin, FernGully: The Last Rainforest... Mrs. Doubtfire might also count as a family film, albeit one that got a lotta crap past the radar. Williams had gone back to the more adult roles sometime in the 2000s, but he still did a few kiddie flicks here and there before his suicide in 2014.
  • Eddie Murphy. Watch Daddy Day Care. Now watch Trading Places. In fact, just watch Trading Places.
    • Another reason for Murphy's stint in family movies was an attempt to change his image after being spotted picking up a prostitute in 1997.
  • Tim Burton doing Big Fish and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory can be justified by the birth of his son and the death of his father.
  • Gary Oldman took the role of Doctor Smith in The Film of the Series of Lost in Space so his kids could watch it. Of course, he's probably the best thing in the movie.
  • Paul Walker admitted while promoting the very R-rated Running Scared (2006) that he made Eight Below (which opened the week before) so he could take his daughter, nieces and nephews to a movie premiere.
  • Richard E. Grant has been in many fine and not so fine works, but the one that really excited his daughter was Spice World.
  • Tommy Lee Jones became Two-Face in Batman Forever because his son was a big fan of Harvey Dent.
    • Likewise, Tom Hardy's son was a fan of Venom, so he became Eddie Brock in Venom. And given it's an Anti-Hero with a pechant for violence, Hardy snarked at the SDCC that "I wanted to do something my son could watch. So I did something where I bite people's heads off."
  • Adam Sandler's Bedtime Stories and Jack and Jill (despite that both movies were blasted by critics for being bad).
  • Robert Patrick, aka the T-1000 described his part in Bridge to Terabithia with precisely these words.
  • Welsh heavyweight thesp Richard Burton wanted to do a film that he could show his kids, so he got his novelist mate Alistair McLean to knock off a rollicking World War II adventure screenplay for him. The result - Where Eagles Dare - remains one of his best-known parts...
  • Kevin Smith's Jersey Girl was made because he'd just had a daughter and wanted to make a movie that wasn't filled with crude humor. Unfortunately, a lot of his fans were angered by their hero "going soft," and he was forced to make a return to form. Watching the movie knowing that it was made for and about Smith's daughter does make the movie much sweeter, though.
    • Smith also inverts this trope by not making a particular movie for his kids, specifically a Dogma sequel he'd been kicking around, which would have centered around the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
  • James Marsden took the role for Prince Edward in Enchanted so that he and his kids could have something to watch together.
  • Raúl Juliá took the role of M. Bison from the Street Fighter film as a gift to his children. He already knew he was dying of cancer and wanted to earn a decent final salary as a legacy to his surviving family members. He let his sons choose his last role from the ones he was currently being offered, and they, fans of the series, chose that one. And did he give himself a send-off. Fans of Raul Julia weren't pleased that he was sent off with such a horrible movie... but those that could slog through the crap he had to deal with were treated to one of the most DELICIOUS supervillains ever.
  • Liam Neeson signed on for 2010's Clash of the Titans remake solely because his children were really into Classical Mythology and thought it would be cool for him to play Zeus.
  • Paul Bettany signed on for Inkheart largely because his kids liked the book. He also lamented the fact that the only role by which his kids were actually impressed was his short voice acting cameo in Iron Man as JARVIS.
  • There are a number of examples connected to Twilight:
    • Michael Sheen took a part as one of the Volturi vampires partially because his daughter is a fan.
    • Peter Facinelli took his part partially for his daughters and his wife.
    • Christopher Heyerdahl took the role of Marcus because his nieces were fans of the book series.
  • Zack Snyder's reason for doing Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole.
  • Ryan Reynolds is most well known for his R-rated roles, particularly Deadpool. He leapt at the opportunity to do something more kid-friendly, the titular star of Pokémon Detective Pikachu, so his children could enjoy a movie he was in.
    • Bill Nighy also gave this reason for being in the films.
  • Tyler Mane wasn't familiar with X-Men before he appeared in the first movie; he prepped for the role with his son, who was a big fan of the comics.
  • Mark Wahlberg did the film Invincible so that his kids could actually see him in a film (most of his films before then were either R-rated or so bad that no one should watch them, no matter the rating).
  • Word of God says this is initially why Viggo Mortensen signed on for The Lord of the Rings: He was offered the part of Aragorn when the actor originally cast backed out, so he'd have to immediately fly halfway around the world and put the rest of his life on hold for an entire year. Naturally, Mortensen was a little hesitant about making that kind of commitment since he had not yet read the books. It was his son who insisted he HAD to take the role or he would regret it forever. Mortensen read the books on the flight to New Zealand and says he was glad his son was so adamant about it.
  • Bruce Willis said in an interview this was pretty much the reason he starred in the 2000 movie The Kid (2000).
  • Wayne Knight said he did Space Jam so kids in general would know him as something other than "the bad guy from Jurassic Park". (That didn't keep him from voicing the bad guy in Toy Story 2, though.) He was aware, however, that adults would still view him as Newman.
  • Michael Madsen did Free Willy so his sons could see him in a movie (most of his previous roles had been in violent R-rated movies such as Thelma & Louise and Reservoir Dogs). It also turned out to be one of the few movies that he's proud of.
  • On a similar note, Madsen's sister Virginia admits that she did the infamous "talking horse" comedy Hot to Trot for similar reasons.
  • Meryl Streep took the role of Aunt Josephine in A Series of Unfortunate Events upon the request of her daughter, a big fan of the books. On the other hand, she starred in Mamma Mia! specifically to embarrass her children.
  • Dustin Hoffman, of all people, lobbied for the role of Mario in Super Mario Bros. so his kids could see him in that role.
  • Joel McHale said this was why he did Spy Kids: All the Time in the World. Jessica Alba appeared in it for her children.
  • Mary Steenburgen played Clara Clayton in Back to the Future Part III (and subsequently in the animated series) because her children begged her. This was quite fortunate for the filmmakers, who regarded her as their first and only choice for the part.
  • For a directorial example, Martin Scorsese made Hugo because he wanted something he could take his youngest daughter (who is a teenager, so this may not count) and his granddaughter to see.
  • Dana Carvey made The Master of Disguise as his first starring role after recovering from a botched heart operation specifically so he could make a film for his kids. Unfortunately, its lack of appeal for adults meant it didn't make for much of a comeback.
  • MGM higher-ups were a bit nervous about asking usually no-nonsense director Victor Fleming to direct The Wizard of Oz. When they did, he immediately said yes, saying that he wants to make a movie that his kids can see.
  • Frank Langella took the role of Skeletor in the Masters of the Universe film specifically because he wanted to do something for his kids. To this day he loves to talk about the role, and how much fun he had playing it.
  • It is believed that one of the reasons why Francis Ford Coppola made Jack was so that his young granddaughter could see one of his films.
  • Neil Gaiman notes that despite his much-lauded work, the thing that earned him the most cred with his son was having the planet Neelgaimon named after him in the Star Wars universe.
  • Despite the film's R rating, Denzel Washington made Virtuosity because his son asked him to do the film.
  • One of the reasons why Russell Crowe took the role of Jor-El in Man of Steel is that he wants his two sons to see him as a father figure in a movie catered to their age group.
  • Jamie Foxx took the role of Electro in The Amazing Spider Man 2 because his daughter is a massive Spider-Man fan.
  • M. Night Shyamalan said he did The Last Airbender for his kids because both he and his kids loved the TV Show.
  • Ice-T did Tank Girl for his son.
  • Lee Meriwether played Catwoman in Batman: The Movie for her kids. In an interview, she explained that she had to do either Batman or Star Trek: The Original Series to please them. (She later appeared in Star Trek as well so presumably, her kids were pleased.)
  • Stephen Fry admitted in an episode of QI that he took a role in Spice World because it allowed him to get autographed posters of the Spice Girls for his nephews, which he claimed "was like ten Christmases for them."
  • Megan Fox, Will Arnett, and Johnny Knoxville all mentioned this as a factor for their roles in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014). Whoopi Goldberg is a late attempt (as her daughter, who wanted mommy to be in a Ninja Turtles movie, was already grown) that still fits "So My Grandkids Can Watch".
  • George Lucas had wanted to make a movie for his daughters, so Strange Magic was the belated movie. He viewed Star Wars as being for 12-year-old boys, and this movie was for the 12-year-old girls that his daughters used to be.
  • Brooke Shields did Furry Vengeance for her kids.
  • One of the reasons Park Chan Wook made Im A Cyborg But Thats OK was the realisation that, with his twelve-year-old daughter becoming interested in seeing her father's work, he absolutely could not show her Oldboy (2003).
  • Chris Elliott said he did Snow Day because he hadn't done a kids film yet and he wanted to be in something his kids could watch. However, he also did it as a favor for a friend who worked at Nickelodeon.
  • Julianne Moore's two children were fans of The Hunger Games books, and convinced her to sign on to play Alma Coin in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.
  • Kate Winslet played Jeanine in Divergent partially for this reason, joking that it's the one film of hers in which her kids won't have to see her naked. She also joked that her kids became very cool at school when word got out that their mother was Jeanine.
  • Liev Schreiber has said this of his role in My Little Pony: The Movie (2017).
  • Donnie Yen said this was one of his reasons for starring in Rogue One, as most of his martial arts movies are too visceral for his children to watch. But when Gareth Edwards first reached out, he wasn't sure if he wanted to go from Hong Kong to London for five months to shoot it. So he asked his kids, and they went wild.
  • Trey Parker of South Park fame took the role he was offered in Despicable Me 3 so his then one-and-a-half-year-old daughter could watch something her daddy was in for once. (Which is kind of funny, because said daughter has also voiced Ike in South Park.)
  • Shakira said she got "cool mom points" from her kids for doing Zootopia.
  • A possible motivation for the decision by Clint Eastwood to follow up a decade of violent westerns and police dramas with two PG-rated comedy films in which his his co-star was an orangutan.
  • James Corden starred in The Emoji Movie and Peter Rabbit so that his three children could watch something he took part in. He also originally recorded lines for Balloon Man in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies for this reason, but it wound up being a Deleted Role.
  • Back to The Emoji Movie, Christina Aguilera played Akikko Glitter for her daughter Summer.
  • Rashida Jones did the voice of Donna Lou-Who in The Grinch for her then soon-to-be-born son Isaiah.
  • While John Oliver's previous roles in child oriented works would fall under "Sesame Street" Cred, his roles in Wonder Park and The Lion King were done so his son Hudson could finally like a project that he worked on.
  • Chance The Rapper is set to play Slice in Trolls World Tour for his daughter Kensli, since she is a big fan of the franchise.
  • Rob Riggle played Aloysius O'Hare in The Lorax for his children Abby and George. He would later go on to do Fancy Nancy and The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants for the same reason.
  • Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan chose to make Dolittle for their kids after wrapping Avengers: Endgame.
  • Kevin James has been in several animated films for his daughters, including Monster House, Barnyard and the Hotel Transylvania series.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • This goes as far back as the genesis of the show. William Hartnell, the First Doctor, took the part so his Grandkids could watch and because he wanted to get away from his typecasting as military types.
    • Whilst not actually having children himself, Christopher Eccleston accepted the role of the Ninth Doctor in the new series partly because he wanted a chance to spread his wings and do something light-hearted and fun that kids could watch after being known for his largely dark, brooding roles. Even then, his Doctor was pretty much the darkest and most brooding one yet. He went on record saying what touched him the most was the responses he got from children who watched him.
    • Likewise, Peter Capaldi might not have taken the role of the Twelfth Doctor because of his trope (his daughter being a bit too old for it to apply), but it did allow him to appear in something family-friendly after a career best known for edgy productions such as the F-bomb-filled The Thick of It. Since becoming the Doctor, Capaldi has generally stuck to appearing in family-friendly fare when not filming the show, such as Paddington and its sequel.
    • John Simm, whilst noted and having achieved critical acclaim for his serious dramatic work, accepted his role as the Master in order to impress his son. There's also a suspicion that he rather enjoyed the chance to ham it up in the process. This is a recurring theme for many British thespians who have appeared on the show, many (almost ruefully) noting that whilst they may be up there with the great Hamlets of the age, their appearance on Doctor Who is the only role their kids are interested in.
      • Simm's episodes were so filled with scares that he (reputedly) ended up forbidding his son from watching. His son likely got some idea of what happened in the episodes, given he got a lot of attention from his schoolmates because his dad was the Master.
    • Ben Browder signed on for "A Town Called Mercy" in part because his kids watched the show.
    • Example with a less famous actor in the classic series: Mary Peach appeared in "The Enemy of the World" because her kids wouldn't believe she was a real actress until she'd been on Doctor Who. Another actor in a Hartnell/Troughton-era story said pretty much the same thing.
    • Although it may not have been intended, British actress Charity Wakefield created this scenario over a one-month period between December 2016 and January 2017 when she acted in two adults-only miniseries engaging in nude sex scenes in Close To The Enemy and The Halcyon, but exactly midway between those broadcasts she took a guest-starring role in the decidedly family-friendly episode "The Return of Doctor Mysterio." Her co-star in the episode, Justin Chatwin, has a similar adults-only history, being best known for co-starring in the raunchy US cable series Shameless (US).
    • Emmy-winning writer Richard Curtis admitted that he wrote the episode "Vincent and the Doctor" for this exact reason.
    • Ben Wheatley directed Peter Capaldi's first two episodes because his son's a fan and he wanted to make something his son could see.
    • In a kind of related example, many of the actors appearing in the new series also come on the show because they used to religiously watch the show as kids and the chance to fulfill an old childhood ambition was just too good to pass up. Most notably, David Tennant — the Tenth Doctor — has publicly remarked that the entire reason he got into acting was so that he could one day play the Doctor. If Andy Bigstar wasn't a fan when he grew up, then his kid is now. It's kind of a win-win for the producers.
      • When Tennant appeared on Top Gear as Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, Clarkson asked if it really was true that David went into acting because as a child he wanted to be the Doctor, Tennant simply answered by asking, "Didn't everyone?" To which the audience erupted in loud cheering, naturally.
  • Fred Astaire proactively asked for a guest appearance on the original Battlestar Galactica TV series for this very reason, which is ironic given nearly every film he ever made (save perhaps a couple of dramatic roles like The Towering Inferno) was G-rated.
  • Jackie Earle Haley—whose recent roles have included a pedophile in Little Children, Rorschach in Watchmen, and Freddy Krueger in the rebooted A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)—has said that he enjoys his role on Human Target because it's something his daughter can watch. He later returned to more adult roles such as playing the villain Ruvik in the M-rated horror video game The Evil Within.
  • Frank Langella appeared in the opening three-parter of season 2 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine because his kids were fans. Indeed, he even asked to be uncredited so people wouldn't think he was doing it for money.
    • He also played Skeletor in the live-action He-Man film for this reason. Of course, that was for more than just his kids. Langella has often identified Skeletor as his favorite role he's ever played, relishing the unique opportunities it offered.
  • Jon Stewart laments on The Daily Show about trying to get on his kids' favorite TV show. Because the negotiations often take months, the kids aren't interested in the show anymore by the time he makes a guest appearance.
  • Jason David Frank claimed that one of the reasons he returned in Power Rangers Dino Thunder was so that his still not-yet-born daughter could watch him later.
  • Joshua Malina took a guest role on iCarly, including a bikini dog food fight, for this reason.
    • May have been the reason for Jane Lynch's appearance as Pam Puckett, Sam's mom.
      • Jane Lynch's reason was sweeter and more awesome at the same time. In her wedding vows, she promised her partner to try and get tickets for the show for their kids. The show doesn't have a studio audience, so tickets were an impossibility. However, when the producer heard that, he was so flattered he decided to find a role for her so she could bring them. Up until that point, he had never planned to show Sam's mom on-screen, because he could never find an actress good enough. But when he thought about it, he realized Jane Lynch would be perfect for the role, and wrote the episode for her.
  • Otto Preminger played Mr. Freeze in one episode of Batman (1966) for the sake of his six-year-old twins.
    • This is also the reason why Eli Wallach chose to play Mr. Freeze in the same series.
  • Inverted with Sota Fukushi, lead actor of Kamen Rider Fourze: He got the role to please family members who are fans of the Kamen Rider franchise... those family members being in fact his parents.
  • Though it isn't a kids' show, Danny DeVito asked if he could have a part on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia because his kids liked the show.
  • Joan Collins' story at the Star Trek 30th Anniversary of how she got the part in "The City on the Edge of Forever":
    In 1967, when my two children finally entered school, I decided I wanted to go back to acting, and soon afterwards, my agent Tom Corman called to say I'd been offered a great part in a Star Trek episode.
    "Star what?" I said?
    "It's a huge new cult show," said Tom. "Obviously you haven't been reading the trades."
    "No, I've been too busy reading Mother and Child Care by Doctor Spock."
    "Forget Doctor Spock," he said. "Start thinking Mister Spock."
    "Ah, yes!" I said. "Mister Spock, the one the ears? The children love that show!"
    "Right, then you'd better do it. You'll probably be queen of the universe, possess intergalactic powers, wear tight, revealing costumes. Trust me, I'm your agent."
    A week later I was cast as Edith Keeler, a saintly Earthling, who works as a social worker in a 1930s mission for down-and-out bums in New York's Bowery. Thanks, Tom.
  • Even before HBO took over production, Sesame Street often saw actors from decidedly adults-only productions appear in cameos while said shows were still on the air because they had kids who liked the show. Examples include Peter Dinklage of Game of Thrones and Emmy Rossum of Shameless (US). Doubles as Parental Bonus since only parents would likely recognize these people and register why they're popular enough to appear on Sesame Street. It also doubles as an Awesome, Dear Boy moment since just about everyone born after 1960 has watched Sesame Street at some point.
  • Todd Haberkorn played Mr. Knickerbocker in the Barney home video "Let's Make Music!" the year after his son was born.
  • Anthony Bourdain starred in episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba! and Sanjay and Craig so his daughter Ariane could watch something he was in.
  • After Bill Irwin's son Patrick was born, he starred in an episode of Sesame Street and stayed as a part of the cast even after his son had outgrown the show, most notably playing Mr. Noodle in Elmo's World. He also appeared on an episode of The Adventures of Pete & Pete and in the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas! for the same reason.
  • According to this article, Sean McCann took the role of Noah Tomten on The Noddy Shop not only because the character was a perfect match for him, but because he was about to become a grandfather himself at the time of production, which is justified considering that one of the show's core themes is intergenerational relationships. This could also explain his roles in Little Bear and George Shrinks.
  • Niecy Nash appeared in That's So Raven and The Mighty B! for her daughter Dia.

  • They Might Be Giants released four albums of children's music (three of which are educational) after becoming known for their adult-focused work. Not surprisingly, their adult fans enjoy them too, to the point where kid song "No!" ended up on their "Best Of"-style Dial-A-Song compliations.
  • Akon stated Michael Jackson's cancelled "This Is It" tour was partially made for his kids to finally see dad performing on stage.
  • Allegedly, Courtney Love walked into the recording studio and said that she wanted to write a song that she could sing to her daughter. This is Kurt Cobain's wife, with similar musical aesthetics. What came out of the recording session was the delightfully candy-coated "Heaven Tonight".
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote the musical Starlight Express with his two kids in mind.
  • MC Chris has released one album "Marshmallow Playground", specifically so he can share some of his music with his niece and nephews.
  • Will Smith stated this was why he always has clean lyrics in his music.
  • The exact reason why Bobby Womack came out of retirement to sing on Stylo by Gorillaz (his daughter specifically nudged him to work with Albarn). The song revitalized public interest in Womack, leading to his first album in 18 years.
  • Mads Mikkelsen initially didn't know who Rihanna was, but agreed to appear as the villain in the music video for "Bitch Better Have My Money" because his kids are huge fans.


    Professional Wrestling 
  • A variant: Shawn Michaels apparently did the SummerSlam 2002 Street Fight match with Triple H in order to show his son (who was 2 at the time) what his dad used to do before he was born (up to that point Shawn had been retired from ring action due to a serious back injury suffered at the 1998 Royal Rumble). You can see him wave into the camera as he enters the ring, presumably to his son who was watching from home. It was intended to be a one-off but afterwards, he found his back was able to handle the rigors of wrestling once more and continued his career all the way up to 2010's WrestleMania XXV
  • Goldberg's 2016 return was so his wife and son could watch him wrestle. (He hadn't married or had his son until after his first retirement in 2004.)
  • Kevin Steen signing with WWE was partially for the money, but moreso for his son Owen, a huge fan of the promotion, to see him wrestle. Steen took the name Kevin Owens in honour of his son and his namesake, Owen Hart
  • CHIKARA 2014: Invoked and crossed with Action Dad. In the final Ashes video, "Workin'", assailANT, who had debuted in 2012 as part of GEKIDO, a group of Psycho Rangers to five of CHIKARA's top tecnicosnote , showed Green Ant a picture of his son on his phone and explained that he was the reason for his change of heart and why he cut his ties with GEKIDO, that he didn't want his son to see a man "consumed with anger, jealousy or rage." This led to assailANT being reintroduced at the return show, You Only Live Twice on May 25, 2014, as Worker Ant, having taken up the mantle of the original who retired due to injuries in 2009.

  • A particularly tragic example occurred when comedian Lou Costello, of Abbott and Costello fame, lost his son, Lou Jr., to accidentally drowning in the family pool. The evening of the death was going to be the first time Lou Jr. would be allowed to stay up and listen to his father's radio show. Instead of cancelling the show, Lou insisted The Show Must Go On, saying "Wherever he is tonight, I want him to hear me."

  • Jack Ryan, who composed the songs for Death Note the Musical, admits he hadn't even heard of the original manga or anime when he was offered the job. He was convinced by his teenage son, who said it'd be "the coolest thing he'd ever done."

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • This is why Key/Visual Arts made CLANNAD an all-ages VN, contrasted with the eroge the company was previously known for.

    Web Original 
  • In Tobuscus' earlier YouTube videos, he was unkempt, frequently unshaven, and inclined to profanity; clearly going for a "bad boy" vibe. Since 2010, however, he has become almost entirely comedic, never swears, and is otherwise squeaky clean, save for his habitually tousled hair. Not coincidentally, this is about the time when his teenage niece, Ciara, started appearing in his videos.
  • Brentalfloss records G-rated versions of his "Video game songs With Lyrics" albums so that his nephews can listen to his work. These albums have become popular with fans as well because they use more wordplay/unexpected humor than his regular songs.

    Western Animation 
  • Several of the actors in Superman: Doomsday participated for this reason, even though it's not exactly kid friendly, being an adaptation of The Death of Superman (name says it all).
  • This could be considered to be the main career goal of Simon Pegg now. After his daughter, Matilda (born 2009) was born, he did stuff like Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Adventures of Tintin. The latter also starred his comedy partner (and best friend) Nick Frost, who might also be doing this now, as the release dates of Ice Age: Continental Drift and The Adventures of Tintin coincided with the birth of his son. He also made a few guest appearances on Phineas and Ferb since he and his kids were fans of the show. In the case of Ice Age, both Pegg and Frost also count as Promoted Fanboy, as they were fans of the previous movies before being in the third and fourth films respectively. The Promoted Fanboy thing also counts for Queen Latifah and Josh Peck, as well, since they were fans of the Original before getting cast in the sequel. (Pegg has also carried this over into live-action work as he's now most widely known now for playing Scotty in the recent Star Trek films.)
    • Ray Romano also claimed that he took the role in the first Ice Age movie because his children were too young to understand his other work at the time.
      • Ray has also said he liked having the first movie to use as a threat towards them as well, as in, "We won't go to the premiere if you don't behave."
      • Interestingly enough, his kids provided voices in the Meltdown sequel.
    • Denis Leary also has admitted in many interviews that he only does the Ice Age franchise in general to do something his nephews and nieces could watch with him in it. He even said, "My nieces and nephews think the only thing I do is Ice Age."
    • J.Lo also said she was happy to be in something her kids could watch while promoting Ice Age: Continental Drift.
  • Most of the actors in Dreamworks Animation movies:
    • Jack Black was in Kung Fu Panda so his kids could watch him in something child-friendly (although he has done numerous family-friendly films and TV series).
    • It may not be why she took the part, but Angelina Jolie claims that her playing Master Tigress is the only reason her kids think she's at all cool.
    • Gary Oldman in Kung Fu Panda 2 - where he gets to be both a villain and in a movie his three kids can watch!
    • Ben Stiller was in Madagascar so his daughters could watch him in something appropriate. Chris Rock's motive for doing the film was part this, part Awesome, Dear Boy, as he wanted to not only be in something his daughter could watch, he also wanted the unique opportunity of having the chance to buy her a stuffed toy of a character he was playing.
      • Ben also appeared in Megamind and Turbo for the same reason. Interestingly enough, both of his daughters played schoolkids in the former film.
    • Will Smith actually said he did Shark Tale to have something his kids could watch as well.
    • A large part of why Rihanna did Home was for her younger fans and for young black girls to have an animated character to call their own.
  • Chazz Palminteri stated this was why he did his VA role in Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure.
  • Malcolm McDowell said that he played the role of Dr. Calico in Bolt so his kids could watch him act (although he has worked in family-oriented films and TV shows on numerous occasions).
  • David Bowie played Lord Royal Highness in SpongeBob SquarePants because his daughter Alexandria is a fan of the show. This is also the reason why Alec Baldwin was cast as Dennis in the movie.
    • Believe it or not, like the Corrector Yui example above, one of the creators of the show decided to make the titular character a sponge because their son liked similar stories he was told with a sponge at bathtime.
    • Tom Kenny's role as the titular character could be considered this. Before he did voice-acting, he was a comedian, but when his son Mack was born, he decided to voice the lead character. He also did work on Rocko's Modern Life for the same reason, and it also could be why his career mostly shifted to voice work in cartoons (though he would still occasionally focus on his comedian roots).
    • Canadian singer Sebastian Bach appeared in the Clash Of Triton special as the titular character for his then 12-year-old son London and his then-newborn daughter Sebastiana.
  • Up until probably season 8 (or thereabout) of The Simpsons, pretty much the only way the writers could get their idols of 50+ years on the show was if they had kids or grandkids who watched the show.
    • Nancy Cartwright (who voices Bart) actually said in an interview that after Meryl Streep recorded her lines for her guest spot, she said: "My kids haven't seen many of my films but this is something I think they will watch". And then she asked for Cartwright's autograph. Yes, really.
    • Notoriously reclusive author Thomas Pynchon made three guest appearances on the show in part because his son was a big fan of the show.
    • Willem Defoe appeared in the episode "The Secret War Of Lisa Simpson" for his teenage son Jack.
  • Adam Pascal singing for the Dragon in The Backyardigans.
    • Alicia Keys took the Mommy Martian role because her niece was a fan, and even let her tag along to voice the baby.
  • George Carlin, the guy who did "The Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television", narrated Thomas the Tank Engine and played Mr. Conductor on Shining Time Station. He also lent his voice to the G-rated Disney/Pixar film Cars.
  • Robert Downey Jr. took the role of Lois's brother (The Fat Guy Strangler) on Family Guy (his only animated work to date) because his teenage son was a fan of the show.
  • Many, many guest actors on Phineas and Ferb, including Jane Lynch, Michael Douglas, Ben Stiller and, obviously, Simon Pegg.
  • Brendan Fraser and Jessica Alba said they only did Escape from Planet Earth because of this.
  • Jane Seymour did this for Quest for Camelot.
  • Colin Farrell said he did Epic because he wanted to be in something his boys could see.
    • Beyonce did the movie for the same reason, which is also why she also lent her voice to Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!.
    • As did Pitbull.
  • Some celebrities who appeared in the live-action segments of The Super Mario Bros Super Show! did so because their children were huge fans of the games.
  • Deedee Magno Hall voices Pearl in Steven Universe for this reason. Evidence appears to be her going to the 2014 SDCC in the title character's iconic pink and yellow colors. It was a gift from her goddaughter. The show's creator, Rebecca Sugar, has stated in interviews that she wanted to make the kind of show she'd like to have watched as a kid, and a desire to create something the kids watching could be inspired by.
  • Inverted with Tara Strong, as she says her kids watch most of her cartoons. But she took a role in Drawn Together because it was different from the family-friendly stuff she normally did.
  • Trey Parker, co-creator of South Park, accepted the role of Balthazar Bratt in Despicable Me 3 because he had never been asked to voice a project that he wasn't personally involved with or did through a mutual friend, and it was something he could show his three-year-old daughter.
  • Ozzy Osbourne decided to play a guest role as a "rock and roll fish" in Bubble Guppies because his granddaughter Pearl (daughter of Jack Osbourne) is always watching Nick Jr.. In his own words:
    "I can't wait to see her reaction when she hears my voice come from Sid Fishy's mouth."
    • Wanda Sykes played a witch in the episode "Bubble Puppy's Fin-Tastic Fairy Tale" because of her daughter Olivia, who was three at the time. She also starred in Ugly Dolls for the same reason.
      • Kelly Clarkson played Moxy in the latter so that she could be a character who is a strong role model for young girls.
  • A variation happened with Animaniacs. Mindy and Buttons were originally written out of the show by Steven Spielberg, but his daughter saw his drawing of the characters and loved it so much that he kept them in.
  • All of the celebrities on Teen Titans Go!, save for two of them, fall under this category, as they play roles on the show if their children fall in the target demographic or love comic books and superheroes:
    • Fall Out Boy appeared on one of the specials because Pete Wentz' three sons were big fans of the show. There's also the fact that Pete had become a fan by watching with his kids, to the point where he asked Tara Strong if she could let the band to guest star in an episode following a very perfectly timed encounter.
    • LeBron James also appeared on the show for his daughter Zhuri.
    • Will Arnett played Slade in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies because his kids were big fans of the show. He also starred in The LEGO Movie and The Nut Job for this reason. According to an interview he did for the Teen Titans Go! movie, he said that he likes to make films that his children can enjoy to enrich the movie-going experience.
      • Nicolas Cage played Superman in the film for the same reason, as his son Kal-El is a big fan of comic books, and Cage wanted to make a movie they could watch together.
      • Jimmy Kimmel also played Batman in Teen Titans Go! To The Movies for his two children, Jane and William. He also played Tim's dad in The Boss Baby and did a segment on his show with the cast of Sesame Street on his own show for the same reason.
  • Alex Trebek played a game show host on an episode of Rugrats so that his son Matthew, who was three at the time, could hear his dad's voice in a show aimed at children.
  • In an example crossing this over with Real-Life Relative, Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Brad Paisley played an armadillo family on an episode of Wonder Pets! so their one-year-old son William could hear their voice in a show appropriate for his age. The former's role as Samantha in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip could also be considered an example of this.
  • Alexa PenaVega starred in The Loud House as Carlotta Casagrande because her then 2-year-old son Ocean was a fan of the show.
  • Blue's Clues: Julia Louis-Dreyfus appeared as a slipper repair lady on the original broadcast of "Blue's Big Pajama Party" for her son Charlie.
  • Jim Belushi starred in numerous cartoons for his son Robert, among them Pinky and the Brain, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Cow and Chicken and The Tick.
  • Busta Rhymes voiced the Reptar Wagon in The Rugrats Movie for his then five-year-old son T'ziah.
    • Much like what happened to James Corden's Deleted Role in the Teen Titans Go! movie, Madonna wanted to play Dil in the Rugrats movie for her children, but got replaced with Tara Strong in the final movie because of how accurate her scratch voice for Dil was to an actual babynote . She would later get an actual kids' role in Arthur and the Invisibles.
  • A young adult variation: Kevin Kline's kids were huge fans of Loren Bouchard's show Home Movies, and practically begged him to approach Bouchard about appearing in Bob's Burgers.


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