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The Fagin

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You've got to pick a pocket or two, boys...

Ego: I hired Yondu to pick you up after your mother passed away. But, instead of returning you, Yondu kept you. I have no clue as to why.
Peter Quill: I'll tell ya why; I was a skinny little kid who could slip into places adults couldn't. Made it easier for thieving.

An experienced crook who takes in street children, usually orphans, and coaches them to steal for him, usually through pickpocketing, The Con or both. Like the original Charles Dickens character (from Oliver Twist), this trope is subject to two distinct interpretations. Sometimes, the character will be a Lovable Rogue and will be presented as essentially giving these homeless kids the best life possible. On the other hand, other versions of this are cruel exploiters (who usually claim to be the former) and function similarly to the Orphanage of Fear. Less sympathetic examples may qualify as a Babysitter from Hell or even worse.

Sometimes, just sometimes, The Fagin may actually love the children who work for him like a father, and there are few things scarier than a Papa Wolf Fagin, who is not above using his extensive underworld connections to torture to death those who harm his children.

Expect to find The Artful Dodger, a wily young thief, among his crew. If the Fagin's charges grow up successfully, they will likely become Satisfied Street Rats. Related to the Thieves' Guild. The children involved automatically qualify as a Tyke-Bomb. Compare King of the Homeless. See also Evil Orphanage Lady.

The trope is named after Fagin, a character from Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist who is so associated with this trope that his name is actually next to it in the dictionary. He even fulfills both interpretations, depending on the adaptation.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ie Naki Ko Remi: Gaspard runs an Orphanage of Fear where he forces the children steal money to supply his lifestyle. Anyone who fails to fulfill his quota (20 sous a day) is severely beaten, and poor Remi is in the receiving end of one such beating.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has Ali Al-Saachez, a much darker example. Ali dressed as a Sinister Minister to get kids to fight in a so-called-Holy War, but in reality wanted an excuse to start a war.
    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • Fay Gunn is the most notable of several from the comics because Jason Todd (the second Robin) briefly worked for her after Batman placed him in her care.
    • Subverted in one short story: Batman thinks the Penguin is kidnapping kids from troubled backgrounds to lead them into a life of crime. He's actually giving them a decent education and a pleasant childhood so they can grow up to be outstanding members of society... who owe him a huge favor.
    • Byron Wylie, the founder of Midway Orphanage in the 1990 Batman/Superman: World's Finest miniseries ran it as an Orphanage of Fear which trained orphans as criminals. Long after Wylie was arrested, and apparently died, one of these orphans grew up to become part of the orphanage staff, still under Wylie's control.
  • Black Moon Chronicles: As a young elf boy Pilou was bought from a slave merchant by a criminal mastermind who trained children to be pick-pockets for him and ultimately full-time thieves if they were successful. This was just one part of his organization, as most of the criminals working for him were adults. One such thief took a liking to Pilou, mentoring him and protecting him from other boys, and when the mastermind did nothing to break that thief out of jail or prevent his execution, Pilou went after him.
  • Ed Brubaker's Catwoman run introduces two: Mama Fortuna, who Selina worked for in her early teens, and Sylvia Sinclair, Selina's old friend and fellow thief who took over the business after Mama Fortuna died.
  • Diabolik: This is the relationship between Diabolik and King, as the latter was already a well-affirmed criminal mastermind before the infant that would grow up to become Diabolik was saved from a shipwreck and trained into thieving. A later story revealed he had a very good reason for this, but both King and the only other man who knew have been killed by Diabolik himself in separate occasion, and nobody knows where King hid the papers that prompted him to take Diabolik in or that they even exist.
  • Fagin The Jew is a sympathetic retelling of Fagin's story from Fagin's point of view by Will Eisner.
  • Gambit (Marvel Comics): Gambit was once part of a group of street urchins actually known as Fagin's Mob, which was run by the offspring of an illicit relationship between a member of the Thieves' Guild and a member of the Assassin's Guild.
  • In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen features a brief appearance of the original Artful Dodger, who by the time the story takes place has grown up and taken over Fagin's role.
  • In Ms. Marvel (2014): The Inventor hires and kidnaps teenagers to do his bidding, either as foot soldiers or as living batteries for his creations.
  • Red Sonja: As a teenage thief, Sonja worked for one named Jubal.
  • Runaways had Provost, the sewer-dwelling self-proclaimed headteacher of the School of the Seven Bells; he forces runaway children to steal for him and uses a wand to turn the children who refuse into stone. When he takes in Molly, she rallies the other kids against him, eventually leading to him turning into stone himself when two of the kids break his wand.
  • Sensation Comics: The criminal only known as "Shark" from issue 75 is a particularly cruel example since he blackmailed and threatened his underage charges into stealing for him and when he realized Wonder Woman was about to reveal his involvement in the thefts tried to burn down his hideout with the boys bound inside to destroy all evidence and witnesses tying him to the crimes.
  • In Superior Spider-Man (2013), Spider-Man is horrified to discover that The Vulture has become this kind of criminal. He nearly kills him over it.
  • X-Men: The Shadow King from was this before he made the mistake of challenging Professor Xavier.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Phantom once encountered such a man leading crew of pickpockets in Africa in the "Black Fagin" storyline.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live Action 
  • Robin Williams' character in August Rush. He gets the runaway kids work as street performers and keeps the money.
  • In Cartouche, the King of Thieves Malichot has all the theft job done by his thieves, from children to young men like Louis-Dominique Garthausen (later known as Cartouche), while doing nothing in the field by himself. He punishes them with his whip if they don't bring enough stolen goods or money to him (or if they hide some for themselves). Cartouche puts an end to his reign and methods later on, introducing more team work in which he contributes and a much fairer allocation of stolen resources ala Robin Hood.
  • The City of Lost Children has a villainous example in the form of The Octopus, a pair of creepy conjoined twins who make a gang of orphans steal things that they can then pawn.
  • Bart (played by Bob Hoskins) from Danny the Dog (a.k.a. Unleashed) is a revolting horror of a "man" who raised a Chinese boy to manhood (where he's played by Jet Li) as an attack dog to help him kill and extort money in Glasgow and London.
  • Dick Tracy (1990): "Steve The Tramp" has "Kid" steal for him. Dick Tracy tracks Kid back to Steve's shack and beats Steve up, freeing Kid.
  • L'Enfant: Bruno, who himself doesn't look to be much older than his early twenties, employs schoolboys as thieves who fetch him goods to fence or hock. He also sometimes goes on purse-snatching expeditions in which a boy will snatch a purse from a woman and then jump on the getaway scooter that Bruno is driving.
  • Mary Lou Barebone, from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, is "Mother" to a load of orphans, whom she uses, under threat of withholding food, to spread her "witches are real and will kill you" rhetoric across her NYC neighborhood. The fact that most No-Majs (the American term for Muggle, or non-wizarding folk) write her off as a Conspiracy Theorist doesn't help a lot of the kids.
  • In Gangs of New York, Hellcat Maggie is briefly shown being handed a stolen silver candlestick by an urchin.
  • Yondu, from Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), leads a band of Space Pirates known as the Ravagers, and abducts the young Peter Quill from Earth - first to eat him, but then to raise him as one of his own. In a lighter take on this trope than most, it's revealed he was hired to bring Peter to his alien father, and decided to spare the kid the experience of being raised by "a jackass". The "eat him" thing was actually a joke, but Quill didn't understand that as a child.
  • Played With in The Handmaiden with Sook-Hee's aunt, as she genuinely cares for the girl and shows her real affection... but in the same time comes from a family of thieves and makes sure the girl is trained all the possible skills useful in the trade.
  • Charlie Chaplin in The Kid is of the Papa Wolf variety. He uses his adopted son to drum up his business as a glass salesman by having him run around town breaking windows.
  • The French short film Le Mozart des pickpockets (2006) has two unlucky crooks, Richard and Philippe, who get more or less stuck with a little deaf immigrant boy. Richard soon grows attached to the kid and begins to teach him to read, while Philippe begrudges Richard's insistence that they take care of him... until it turns out by chance that the boy is an exceptionally gifted pickpocket.
  • Looper. Abe, the Affably Evil crime boss whom Joe works for, recruited his Loopers and Gat Men as street kids.
    Abe: You know, you were the youngest Looper I ever hired. You looked goddamn ridiculous, they said. [holds hand at neck level; both laugh] Blunderbuss up to here on you. I remember they brought you in, I forget what it was for.
    Joe: Watch shop.
    Abe: That's... yeah, you rolled one of our fronts, a watch shop. And they had you, you know. You know, this kid, just like an animal. But you looked at me, your hair stuck to half your face, just one eye looking at me. I could see, like seeing it happen on the TV, the bad version of your life. Like a vision, I could see how you'd turn bad. So I changed it. I cleaned you up and put a gun in your hand. I gave you something that was yours.
    Joe: And I'm grateful for that, Abe.
  • The John Woo film Once a Thief revolves around the lives of three orphans adopted by a ruthless crime boss, only to raise them as thieves (as the title said) and assassins.
  • Putty Nose, who steers young Tom and Matt into a life of crime in The Public Enemy (1931), is actually referred to as a Fagin in the movie. He's the exploiter type, and after he betrays Tom and Matt, Tom takes revenge.
  • The Quest, Van Damme's character starts the film as the leader of street urchins and pickpockets until he's forced to leave town in a hurry and set the main plot in motion.
  • Maman of Slumdog Millionaire initially seems to be the nice version who takes in children to sing for money on the streets. That is, until we learn that he blinds them to make them look more sympathetic and thus make him more money.
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story: Giant stern snake alien Lady Proxima rules over a gang of child-thieves on the streets of Corellia, one of which is orphaned son of a spaceship-builder Han Solo. Han and his girlfriend Qi'ra are young adults when the movie starts, but the rest of the gang is either children (thieves) or grown, armed, adults (enforcers).
  • The Falcon from Stuart Little 2. He serves as Margalo's adoptive father figure, boss and slave-driver, when she lost her mother, Margalo was adopted by Falcon, she became his Artful Dodger. He assigns her to steal household valuables from the Little family. However, it seems that Margalo cannot concentrate on her assignment as she begins to enjoy her friendship with Stuart. As Falcon loses patience, he threatens Margalo to steal Mrs. Little's ring or else he will kill Stuart.
  • The Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) essentially ran the Foot Clan this way. The Foot Clan was made up of teenage orphans and runaways who were trained in the art of ninjitsu and instigated a massive New York crime wave.

  • The Afterward: The Thief Bosses recruit street urchins like Olsa, training them to be thieves in return for protection and receiving most of their earnings for this while they Work Off the Debt.
  • Alex Rider novel Russian Roulette has Yassn run into one of these, who even named himself after the Trope Namer.
  • Terrance Dicks wrote a children's series called The Baker Street Irregulars about a group of school children who solve crimes. In "The Case of the Crooked Kids", they encounter a literal "school for criminals" (who naturally serve as foils for our crime-fighting heroes).
  • Sergeant Rumpkin in Beyond the Western Sea falls somewhere between the two versions. It's ambiguous how much he cares for the boys independent of the money they bring him; however, the worst thing we see him do is chide Toggs and made vague threats about Fred, who betrays the gang.
  • The Doctrine of Labyrinths has Keepers, people who train children under their care to steal and worse. Margot is the more sympathetic type; most thief-keepers, including Kolkhis and the unnamed one who raised Felix, are considerably nastier.
  • Aristedes from Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files novel Ghost Story. Harry even points it out and is surprised to find that one of the boys, Fitz, has actually read Oliver Twist.
  • Fluke: Subverted with stray dog Rumbo, who, for their mutual survival, trains puppy Fluke to steal food.
  • Gentleman Bastard: Locke is raised by both versions as a child:
    • The Thiefmaker is the evil version, buying orphans to indoctrinate them into lives of crime from a lair dug into a disused cemetary. Although he's superficially friendly to his children, he brutally enforces his rules and murders any who step too far out of line.
    • Father Chains is the good version, taking in the most promising prospective thieves and raising them in comfort to be the best in the business. They get a comprehensive education from him, become True Companions, and genuinely mourn him when he passes away.
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar novel Take a Thief, Skif falls in with a group of young thieves led by an adult man (Bazie), who is unfortunately crippled; he gives them food, shelter and lessons (both educational and in how to be a good thief) in exchange for helping him out with his daily life and stealing for him.
    • In Closer to Home, a man named Gripper has a group of boys that steal for him. However, he's mean and abusive to them, so when Mags rescues them and recruits them to be messenger boys (and keep an ear out for any useful information), they're quite willing to do so.
    • In Closer to the Chest, it's established that there are other men like Gripper. Mags rescues the groups of boys that are forced to steal and adds them to his gang of messenger boys/informants. Early on in the book, Mags has to deal with three of men trying to get the boys that used to work for them back.
  • Carroty Kate, in Julie Hearn's novel Ivy, takes in the titular character and trains her to work as a 'skinner', luring other children into secluded areas and stripping them of their clothing, which is later sold.
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: Black Joan is mentioned to have run a gang of child pickpockets in Yorkshire. One of them was her son, who grew up to be John Childermass.
  • October Daye: Devin owns Home, a halfway house for young changelings with nowhere else to go (like Toby when she was younger). Aside from teaching them criminal skills, he also grooms them into having sex with him.
  • The Trope Namer is Fagin from Oliver Twist.
  • In The Paradise Snare, Garris Shrike runs this kind of organization. One of his kids is Han Solo. Parodied in that these child begging and pickpocketing operations are run by a droid called F8GN on his behalf.
  • Boss Marshall fills this role in Skate the Thief, making use of children, including the title character, as burglars. Other bosses in the Ink are mentioned as making use of children as pickpockets as well.
  • Referenced in the Temps short story "Sortilege and Serendipity" by Brian Stableford when the hapless hero, whose job is testing Talented kids, is mistaken for the super criminal known as the Taxman, and finds himself spinning a yarn about being a Fagin-figure using his work to recruit powered youngsters into his gang. He briefly wonders why he's never actually done this, before remembering that all the kids he works with are mouthy pains-in-the-neck with useless powers.
  • The Thief Lord centers around, well, the Thief Lord and his gang of orphans and runaways. Subverted in that the Thief Lord turns out to be a kid himself, and not actually an orphan/runaway, but a rich kid stealing petty items from his dad's house.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Colony: Solomon, one of the Santa Monica warlords, recruits street children to be thieves for him (and doesn't take "no" for an answer).
  • The Equalizer. One case involved a mother who was worried her son was being draw into crime. Turns out this trope was involved, with a criminal using the children for the high risk part of the theft. McCall handles the problem by discrediting The Fagin in the eyes of the children.
  • Pete Joris in the Flashpoint episode "Run to Me" has teenagers doing short cons and bank robberies for him.
  • Hunter. The Villain of the Week in "Fagin 1986" and lampshaded by Hunter, though he has to explain what he means as said villain has never read Oliver Twist.
  • Konstantin in Killing Eve is a more highly-respected, meticulous version. He's a member of the Twelve, and he recruited Villanelle, who was a teenager at the time, from prison in Russia for assassin work. He also "handles" Nadia and Diego at least, but it's not made clear if he recruited them too.
  • In Leverage, Parker's mentor is one. He took Parker in and made her steal for him as well as trained her as his 'legacy'-the best thief in the world. He also displays some of the Papa Wolf tendencies, calling Parker 'kiddo' and referring to himself as Parker's father. However, the last one is deconstructed: he never took the young Parker home to his white picket fence family, fearing she won't fit in, because even the younger Parker was a sort of Emotionless Girl.
  • As revealed in The Librarians 2014 "...And the Christmas Thief". Ezekiel was raised by a female version along with three adoptive sisters. They're almost portrayed as following a Religion of Evil, celebrating "Thankstaking" by stealing gifts in honour of Santa's evil brother, the Saint of Thieves.note  However, she's also shown as a petty shoplifter, completely unconnected to the society of master thieves and supercriminals Ezekiel became part of, and therefore totally unaware he has a reputation as the greatest thief in the world. She knows he's reformed, but assumed that was because he was just no good at it. Despite this, she does seem to be the "good" kind; at the end of the episode, Ezekiel says he always knew she loved them, and greed and larceny weren't the only things he learned from her.
  • Midnight Caller: Sly, an abandoned teenager, is taken in by a man named Harry who lives in a mansion with his gang of teenage thieves. He has his "family" do all his work for him, including selling the merchandise, so nothing can be traced back to him. Sly ends up turning him in to the police after he is beaten for messing up a car theft.
  • In the miniseries Neverland, Syfy reimagines an Origin Story for Peter Pan. Hook started out as one of these in London's East End, with Peter and the future Lost Boys being the children in question.
  • A Rare Female Example is the inmate Vee from Orange Is the New Black who used to pick up unwanted children from streets and use them in her drug dealing business. As another inmate put it perfectly:
    Poussey: You're like a pedophile without the sex.
  • Carmichael in the Ripper Street episode "In My Protection". He is not a caring man – he just brainwashes vulnerable boys into doing his dirty work - including rape and murder - essentially turning them into child soldiers which he uses to carve out his criminal empire.
  • One episode of Robin Hood features Bertha, a seemingly kind and motherly woman who takes in homeless children - until it's revealed she is using them in her scheme to win money from rigged boxing matches. She also sells the kids into slavery at the end of her tours.
  • Supernatural:
    • Clare Novak, daughter of Castiel's vessel falls in with one of these named Randy. He and some guys threatening him all wind up getting beaten up by Dean.
    • The young hunter Krissy Chambers and two other kids, Josephine and Aiden, were adopted by a man named Victor when their families were killed by vampires. Victor actually ordered their families' murders, so he could gain their trust by satisfying their desire for revenge and continue to train them to be the ultimate next generation of hunters.
  • Survivors: Craig, who runs a gang of street children who loot the city for supplies and rewards them time using an arcade if they do well (or denies that assuming they don't).

  • Bleak Expectations: Parodied mercilessly with Abraham Bagel, who has a gang of cockney thief boys, and blackmails a despondent Pip Bin into working for him by supplying him with opium. He has a ludicrously exaggerated Yiddish accent... but he's Catholic. Also, the thieves are Pip Bin's nephews, abducted several episodes prior, while Bagel is Mr. Benevolent in disguise (which he soon drops on account of Pip getting too out of it to notice).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Pathfinder
    • The adventure path "Curse of the Crimson Throne", this is the occupation of Starter Villain Gaedren Lamm, and the PCs can be former wards of his. Even crueler than most examples, Gaedren regularly feeds members of his "Little Lambs" to his pet alligator when they disappoint him. The book notes that it is very likely that this same alligator will end up being Gaedren's doom as he attempts to flee the player characters.
    • In the city of Absalom this role is filled by Doctor Bensi Skule, a famous alchemist who never leaves his lab, and employs a vast gang of street urchins, collectively known as Skule's Army, to gather information for him, which he then barters for cash. He's implied to be a fairly benevolent example, which is fairly surprising given that he is also an eight-foot tall male troll (hence why he never leaves the lab).
  • An article in Pyramid magazine giving worked examples for GURPS Social Engineering: Back to School includes Mistress Blake's Establishment as one of the sample schools. Sarah Brake was a Regency burglar who now trains three to six apprentices and expects them to earn their keep by demonstrating their skills. The article notes that Oliver Twist hasn't been written yet, so calling her a "Fagin" would be anachronistic, and instead uses the word "kidsman". She cares enough about her charges to count as a Patron, but has Minimal Involvement because she can't be seen to be connected.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade features an entire clan-specific subculture known by this very name. Born from the sewer-dwelling Nosferatu Clan, the Fagins are distinguished by their practice of forming gangs of impoverished mortals and transforming them into ghouls, essentially enslaving them through addiction to vampire blood. Having emerged in the Victorian Era, the Fagins earned their title for the practice of ghouling street kids; however, in the Modern Nights, Fagins will use just about anyone desperate enough - drug addicts, the homeless, prostitutes, and of course, the classic option.
    • However, Mexico By Night features a different sort of Fagin altogether in the form of Szechenyi Jolan, the Mother of Horrors. A Tzimisce elder, she's in the habit of "collecting" children suffering from serious birth defects and adopting them into her coven. Thanks to her judicious use of the Blood Bond, these kids were in love with Jolan even before she used Vicissitude to correct their deformities; by now, they'll do literally anything for her. The strongest and healthiest of these kids serve their Mother's interests throughout the city, gradually maturing into ghoul bodyguards for their immortal mistress; the luckiest of all are Embraced. The unlucky kids end up as test subjects in Jolan's attempts to create a master race of Vicissitude-capable humans - or building material for a Vozhd. Oh, and for added creepiness, Jolan likes to accessorize the youngest of her children at parties, toting around limbless conjoined infants and breastfeeding them vampire blood.

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed: Valhalla has The Quill, a Preost of the Wardens of Faith for the Order of the Ancients in Wincestre. Her name is Hilda and she uses the children in town as her spies. Even in her White Room conversation after Eivor kills her, she's surrounded by children.
  • Fallout 2 has a merchant in the Den who sells the stuff children steal for him. You could kill the kids to recover anything they pickpocket from you, but that gets bounty hunters gunning for your head. Everyone else in the game will hate you on sight. If you've got the skill, just steal back what they took; Turnabout is fair play.
  • Final Fantasy IX features the Tantalus gang, led by a boisterous, bearded Beast Man named Baku. It's stated outright that he adopted the hero after finding him abandoned near the docks as a child, raised him and taught him to steal and perform on the stage; and it's implied that the rest of the gang may have been similarly recruited. Baku will knock you cross-eyed if you betray him... but eidolons help anyone who tries to hurt his gang.
  • Genshin Impact: Arlecchino, the "Knave", oversees the House of the Hearth, an orphanage that takes in orphans from all over Teyvat and, after they become adults, they are trained to become Fatui soldiers and sleeper agents in other nations. However, it's said that those "with potential" are the ones who are trained to become Fatui agents. Her wards are encouraged to form strong emotional bonds, viewing each other as siblings and her as a figure of both love and fear. The teachings of the House encourage them to enjoy their brief innocence as children, before embracing their duty to become the worst of the worst in the service of their "family" and motherland. Considering that she is raising these orphans to commit war crimes, which at least two are shown to be uncomfortable doing, it's safe to say she leans toward the "cruel exploiter" version of the trope.
  • Marco & the Galaxy Dragon has Dosgoro, who bought Marco from a slave market while she was still a child and taught her to steal for him.
  • Dutch Van Der Linde of Red Dead Redemption and its Prequel Red Dead Redemption 2 took protagonists John Marston and Arthur Morgan into his gang alongside his partner-in-crime Hosea Matthews when they were street urchins and proceeded to raise them as his own son, teaching them to read and write as well as train them as outlaws who would be completely loyal to him. Due to the character's Ambiguously Evil status, how sympathetic Dutch's motivations were for this is left open to interpretation. Did he genuinely take them in out of the goodness of his heart or did he just need some kids to do his dirty work for him?
  • The Trader of Stories Chapter II has a gang of Dream Stealers who are scrawny homeless kids (you need to be small and light to catch a dream). Their Fagin is actually the villain of the episode.
  • Played with with Sully from Uncharted, who quasi-adopted the protagonist Nate when he was fifteen and taught him treasure hunting. However Nate's biological mom was one as well, and he learned a lot from her before her death. Sully also does genuinely love Nate as his own and is upset with him when he comes out of retirement in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End . All he wanted for Nate was to marry a nice girl and live a normal life and he thinks Nate is throwing it away.

    Web Animation 
  • Hairy Lee in his introductory episode of Weebl & Bob hypnotiyes two minor eggs to steal pies for him. It's followed by Weebs's comment that "children will do anything for Hairy Lee".

    Western Animation 
  • The Sewer King from Batman: The Animated Series episode "The Underdwellers" is the evil version. Evil enough that Batman briefly considers killing him.
  • Boo Boom! The Long Way Home: Episode 11 features a husband and wife couple of smugglers, who force orphans to help them with their business. Boo-Boom is also drafted into their group, despite attempts from Viola (who, at the time, was also working for them after abandoning the others) to prevent this, but in the end both villains are arrested and all orphans freed from their clutches.
  • In the Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers episode "Adventures in Squirrelsitting", Fat Cat considers raising the two squirrel girls as his own heirs before deciding it'd be too much trouble and ordering them tossed into the canning machine.
  • There was an episode of Futurama in which Bender played this role when he bought an orphanage. In typical fashion, he ends up loving the orphans much to his chagrin.
  • Grace, the leader of The Apex from Book 3 of Infinity Train is an example of the evil variant, as she takes child passengers under her wing and encourages them to brutalize denizens of the train for fun to get their numbers higher. She eventually comes to realize the wrongness of her actions, and in the final episode she disbands the Apex so that its members can start getting their numbers down and go home.
  • Sanzu the pangolin in the Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness episode "Po Picks a Pocket" is the mean version, who convinces the kids who works for him that living in a cave and eating gruel is still better treatment than they'd get elsewhere.
  • Despite being an adaptation of this trope's namesake, Fagin from Saban's Adventures of Oliver Twist averts this trope. Instead, he offers homeless people, including children, shelter without forcing them into crime. The only thing Fagin does that is against the law, is give potential members a series of tests, which involve stealing the hat of a royal guard, riding a train without a ticket and turning the Big Ben one hour forward.
  • Ferrell in Sonic Underground, the guardian of Manic when the Sonic triplets were split up. He was Roboticized in the pilot.
  • Tookit from Thunder Cats 2011, a raccoon-like thief with kleptovoyance, the ability to always know the right thing to steal. He hires kids to steal for him, and at one point gets the Thunderkittens involved in his schemes.

    Real Life 
  • Fagin was partly based on Isaac "Ikey" Solomon, who was at least rumored to be a "kidsman" (apparently, that's the "technical" term for this type of criminal), although he was mostly a very successful fence. He had also made a pretty impressive escape from Newgate Prison and British authorities. His father Henry was also this; he taught his son the trade of fencing stolen goods.

Alternative Title(s): Kidsman, Trainer Of Child Thieves, Child Thief Gangmaster