Kids should be kids, at least that's how the saying goes. That means worrying about little kid things and doing little kid things, such as playing on the trampoline, watching TV, going fishing, or whatever it is that kids do locally. What we don't expect kids to do is to drink alcohol, smoke, have sex, use drugs, hitchhike, commit violent crimes, or do other things we associate only with teenagers or adults. Yes, many adults get upset when a teenager drinks beer, but when a 10-year-old does it, outrage turns to concern and worry.
In fiction, there are two ways this tends to occur. Sometimes the kid is shown engaging in such behavior as though it's normal for them, and this can be used to show that the child has had a harsh upbringing. Other times, the kid is trying an "adult" behavior for the first time, which may sometimes have disastrous consequences.
The Creepy Child, the Enfant Terrible and the Evil Orphan draw much of their force from this. The Fake Cutie may also be prone to this, but not all the time. From the Mouths of Babes is the Sub-Trope where the child only says troubling unchildlike things.
The Fille Fatale is considered this less than is plausible, since sexual precociousness is often a sign of sexual abuse.
Child Soldiers are a particularly tragic and horrific example of this.
Contrast with Wise Beyond Their Years, which is about positive strangely-adult behavior, Psychopathic Manchild, which is when an adult acts like a child and has disturbing behavior, and Acting Your Intellectual Age, which is neutral.
Note that if the kid is Really 700 Years Old and just has the physical appearance of a child, it doesn't count. This is for when actual children are the ones engaging in unchildlike behavior.
Examples of kids engaging in such behavior as though it's normal for them:
- This hilarious condom commercial. It shows a five-year-old getting a tattoo, cutting his teacher's chair with a chainsaw, and being stopped by the police after stealing a car. He continuously explains that his mom said he could. It turns out he'd overheard her cry out "Yes! Yes! Yes!" during sex in another room and assumed that she was replying to him.
- A print advertisement campaign for Caribú bitter chocolate, called "The Dark Side of Sweetness", consisted of two ads. One showed a young girl grinding up a baby chick to use the meat in her play kitchen; the other showed another girl poisoning her sister during their pretend tea party.
- In Full Metal Panic!, Sousuke when he was a kid, as seen in his and Kalinin's backstory. He kills without batting an eye, has an extremely nihilistic view of things, and is creepily unemotional. Especially noticeable here.
- After adopting Pinoko, Black Jack is more than a little disconcerted to discover that the 10-day-old (who insists she's a "virgin maiden" of 18 but looks about 6) has developed feelings for him — but what really scares him is that she already knows what a virgin is.
Black Jack: Good God, where did you learn that kind of language?
- Subverted. Dieter tosses back a shot like a pro, then jauntily salutes the rest of the patrons as he leaves with a toothpick in his mouth. Once outside, though, he immediately begins retching and questioning the sanity of adults who drink that stuff for fun.
- Played straight with Johan, who by age 10 had killed several sets of foster parents and calmly and smilingly talked all of Kinderheim 511 into killing each other.
- In Soul Eater, Medusa takes over the body of a little girl after she is nearly killed by Stein. The trope is in full swing when the girl's mother notices that her behaviour has been really unsettling for the past few days...
- Michio Yuki, the Villain Protagonist of MW, has become this the moment he becomes Ax-Crazy by the titular chemical warfare.
- Lucy (and to an extent most of the Diclonii) in Elfen Lied are extremely homicidal little girls. Not helped by an evil DNA voice telling them to kill, the power to kill people really easily, a child's undeveloped sense of right and wrong, and on top of that most of them have been locked up by the government, who have been running horrific experiments on them for the hell of it. Or being bullied by the other kids at the orphanage.
- Black Butler:
- Ciel is an aristocrat living in Victorian London. At the mere age of 13 (he starts off 12, but turns 13 early in the series) he is the head of the household, runs a successful toy and confectioneries company, and is the "Queen's Watchdog" which sends him out on often very dangerous and frightening missions such as helping to catch Jack the Ripper. Personality-wise, he's bitter and jaded... but his darker view on things is because of a traumatic past experience. Still, he's an Improbable Age character. Oh, did we mention he will command his awesome butler to kill people without a second thought? In the manga, he's also seen drinking champagne with his guests, but that could be because of his status, the time period, and the overall culture back then which wouldn't have batted an eye at this.
- Alois as well. For the whole first episode, he goes from acting completely innocent to downright crazy within a few seconds and switches back and forth between the two personas. Not to mention how he acts as if he is trying to seduce any male character within five feet of him.
- Black Lagoon:
- Hansel and Gretel. The sheer number of people they kill (and how they do it) is just the start of how messed up these two are. And tragically, they can't even imagine the world any other way.
- Probably Revy. From what can be gathered from the tiny flashbacks, she was raised on the streets of a less-good place in New York City and probably learned her gun skills from gangsters, and killed someone her own father, to be exact using a pillow as a silencer when she was still pretty young.
- Seta Soujirou of Rurouni Kenshin, given his horrible childhood and subsequent "adoption" by a Social Darwinist to act as his Dragon, slaughters people with a cheerful smile.
- Kenshin (then known as Shinta) too, when he buried all the bodies of his guardians and the men who killed them, instead of, say, trying to find help. At this point, he'd already seen one set of parents die of illness and then watched his Parental Substitutes die trying to protect him. Hiko is visibly disturbed by this and decides to take in the boy since it's clear he'll never live a normal life after this.
- In Saiyuki, there is a scene of a pre-teen Gojyo smoking in his room while his older brother calms his stepmother down.
- Essentially every child Contractor and Doll from Darker Than Black qualifies for this. Lack of Empathy or becoming an Extreme Doormat will do that to you.
- Japan Tengu Party Illustrated has a disturbing relationship between a Tengu man and the human child he kidnapped ostensibly to be the vessel for their leader (when he uses her to speak, he swallows her and uses her as his tongue). The child manages to escape the tengu, but the kidnapper is still concerned and obsessed with her. He eventually finds her phone number during a battle, but she never wants to see him again, and besides she's already safe in bed - with her teacher (she "likes magicians (the teacher) better than monsters (the tengu)"). note
- Pandora Hearts:
- Vincent exhibited this as a child. Taking scissors to stuffed toys? Indicative of problems, but not completely unheard of. Taking scissors to the eyes of Alice's cat? That's not a good sign. It also borders on Psychopathic Manchild behavior since he still does it as a young adult.
- In confusing flashbacks and illustrations, Alice or more accurately, the Will of the Abyss... sometimes... also does this, displaying somewhat unsettlingly flirty behavior◊ with Jack and being cheerfully vicious with Vincent. Eventually leading to yet more of this trope from Gilbert, who tries to strangle her. Later chapters reveal that Alice is actually an aversion. In her human form, Alice (white dress) is actually the Will of the Abyss with a huge crush on Jack. Alyss' vicious interaction with Vincent is actually a result of Jack's manipulation (even though she does sound awfully cheerful about it). Alice (black dress) is actually a pretty normal girl herself. She just prefers Glen to Jack because of the destruction of her plushie in the real world and Jack's eventual causing the tragedy of Sablier. Her creepiness in Jack's memoirs is a more likely a case of Unreliable Narrator considering what we learn about him later. The Will of the Abyss may qualify for this trope in her scene with Break but that aspect of her personality never comes up again.
- The first time we see Akane Awakusu in Durarara!!, she's gleefully chasing down Shizuo with a heavily modified stun gun and shouting "Die!" It turns out that this isn't exactly normal for her, as she was a Cheerful Child before she ran away from home and only did it because Izaya told her that Shizuo was an assassin who would kill her family.
- Aoba Kuronuma has been running a gang as early as middle school, and when he was in elementary school, he sets his brother's room on fire to get him in trouble for smoking and sub-sequentially beaten by their abusive father just to get back at him for hitting him.
- Seeing how it's a story about Child Soldiers, it's no surprise that this trope shows up a lot in Gunslinger Girl.
- Narutaru is absolutely full of this, most infamously when a bunch of bullies rape another girl with a test tube, and said bully gang's leader is in an incestuous relationship with her brother.
- In Project ARMS, there are quite a few children who end up this way, mostly because the Egrigori are very into using them for evil and dangerous experiments. The first ones we see are Al and Jeff Bowen, who attempt to blow up a high school partly for their mission, but more so because they themselves were teased in school. Al spends the rest of the series methodically working his way through various battles and trying to kill a Keith with a gun at one point. Also, a flashback shows us that the twins murdered their own parents and killed a bunch of kids at their school with a poisonous gas that they invented to leave no traces. Then we get Carol, an adorable little girl who is introduced cheerfully telling Ryo that she has the power to twist and crush things like metal and human bones with her mind and that she very much enjoys the power that comes with doing this. It's implied that she only went through life by having people fear her, and Ryo calls her bluff on her enjoying it. Finally, we get Dark Alice, who is furious at the world for causing her death and is willing to nuke the entire planet to get her revenge.
- Dragon Ball Z:
- Broly in the eighth movie was shown in a flashback to destroy a planet, and then laugh hysterically as his father attempts to restrain him, all while he's a child. It's implied that this behavior stemmed from the trauma he endured on the day of his birth (Kakarot [Goku] crying next to him, his narrowly surviving execution by King Vegeta simply because the latter feared Broly's abnormal power level [he was born with a power level of 10,000], and later narrowly escaping Freeza's destruction of Planet Vegeta with his father.
- Broly is an extreme case, but Saiyan children, in general, are pretty disturbing by human standards. Originally, Kakarrot was sent to Earth to wipe out all life forms, until brain trauma made him less aggressive. They may look cute and innocent, but looking is as far as it gets.
- Played for laughs with Crayon Shin-chan, a preschool age boy with the libido of a middle-aged man, who constantly hits on hot women. His baby sister Hima is also occasionally shown to find grown men attractive.
- It's downright creepy what children do in the series, even more so that nobody seems to care that the main basis of the story is using children as Child Soldiers at the ripe old age of 12 until one of them goes half-mad like Zabuza who murders the entire graduating class of his school before he was even old enough to enroll. However in the beginning, at least in Konoha, children genin are basically public service workers for the village. D-Rank, which is what they get the most? It basically consists of dog walking, babysitting, weed pulling, etc. C-Rank, which they rarely get is basically escort duty to protect caravans or VIPs against bandits (which they can easily deal with without killing). B-Rank and above, which are normally reserved for Chunin and Jonin (the more experienced and older ninja), Konoha Genin aren't supposed to get. Which is why the Wave Arc mission was peculiar since it was billed as a C-Rank, but in terms of difficulty and the danger was an A-Rank. note There is no technical minimum age for becoming Chunin or even a Jonin so theoretically a middle school-aged kid could go on high-level missions and invoke this trope. Shikamaru became a chunin at thirteen and Kakashi was several years younger when he did.
- In the beginning, Naruto himself is especially fond of doing inappropriate things like sneaking into girl's bathing rooms and turning himself into a naked blond girl for laughs.
- Due to his troubled past, Gaara was originally this. He would murder people often despite being only twelve when introduced. When he was younger he tried to cut his wrist to see what pain is like (he was physically unable to get hurt).
- Bungou Stray Dogs: Given the story was set in a Crapsack World after a big war, quite a few.
- Q is a somehow bloodthirsty Creepy Child who killed dozens of mafia members before being sealed up eventually. Subverted when he said he just wanted to be normal.
- Dazai was already a suicide enthusiast at 14. And he helped Mori to have a Klingon Promotion willingly without much intention to gain personal benefits.
- Oda used to be a teenage assassin before he met Soseki Natsume.
- Rendered homeless in the ghetto since young, Akutagawa never hesitated to kill just to live. He was called the emotionless child and the kid without a heart, one left only with survival instincts and the ability to hate.
- Elise's introduction was her drawing a picture with Akutagawa's head chopped off. Subverted as she is no human at all.
- Attack on Titan practically runs on this trope, with its exploration of Child Soldiers and other violent children.
- Eren and Mikasa's backstory, which involved them killing a trio of human traffickers. While ruled self-defense, 9-year old Eren calmly justifying the brutal killings by explaining that they weren't "people" anymore leaves the Military Police shaken.
- The Warriors all exhibit such troubling behaviors, as a result of being raised as Child Soldiers. Reiner, Bertolt, and Annie were respectively 12 and 11 years old when they destroyed Wall Maria, slaughtering thousands in the process. This turns out to have been at least the second time they'd participated in mass murder, having previously been used to conquer a rival nation as a test run for the Paradis Operation. By the time of the battle of Trost, all were seasoned killers only just beginning to comprehend the magnitude of the things they'd been doing since childhood.
- Zeke Yeager came up with a masterplan involving turning his parents and their friends in La Résistance over to the government at the age of seven.
- Gabi, a 12-year-old girl who is Reiner's cousin and also a Child Soldier has no problems with killing anyone she sees as an enemy (in a similar vein to Eren), and is arguably brainwashed by the military to the point where she's the in-universe equivalent of a Holocaust denier (in her words, she didn't see the attack on the walls happen, so, therefore, those living in the walls didn't actually suffer). She's also willing to sacrifice herself on the battlefield and at one point cheerfully makes a hand grenade before pretending to surrender to the enemy (which involves taking off her military uniform).
- Assassination Classroom
- The students of class 3-E. They are tasked with the mission to kill their own teacher and instead of displaying fear or hesitance, they show great enthusiasm in planning how to kill him. Even more disturbing in that even after they've bonded with said teacher and developed affection for him, it didn't slow them down for a bit. Granted, the fact that their target is not human (he is a constantly-smiling bullet-proof tentacle monster that destroyed most of the moon who has threatened to do the same to Earth in a year's time should they fail to kill him) may be a factor in this behavior, but still, as another teacher had said, this is not normal:
"A group of junior high students are joyfully discussing an assassination. If you look at it normally, this is the pinnacle of madness."
- And among them, there is Nagisa, who displays this trope on an even higher level, as it showed that he will not hesitate to kill even if the opponent is human.
- The students of class 3-E. They are tasked with the mission to kill their own teacher and instead of displaying fear or hesitance, they show great enthusiasm in planning how to kill him. Even more disturbing in that even after they've bonded with said teacher and developed affection for him, it didn't slow them down for a bit. Granted, the fact that their target is not human (he is a constantly-smiling bullet-proof tentacle monster that destroyed most of the moon who has threatened to do the same to Earth in a year's time should they fail to kill him) may be a factor in this behavior, but still, as another teacher had said, this is not normal:
- Teenage Sawa Nakamura in Aku no Hana frequently does stuff like this, including her manipulating of Kasuga, as well as her scribbling in her journal. As well as some of her "larger" plans as well as her attempts to "get to the 'other side.'"
- In Revolutionary Girl Utena, 13-year-old Kozue Kaoru has sex with numerous adult men, once pushed someone down a flight of stairs, and is generally extremely troubled. Meanwhile, Nanami Kiryuu, also 13, has a Yandere obsession with her older brother, and it's revealed that when Nanami was 6 years old, she drowned her brother's cat because she felt he was paying more attention to it than to her. All of this is basically played for tragedy and horror.
- One Piece:
- Donquixote Doflamingo (no more than 10 years old at the time) and his family were tied up and suspended from a burning building while an angry mob showered their ears with their grievances with the World Nobles (which the Donquixote family were a part of). His brother acted as one might expect: crying and pleading for the pain to stop. What does Doflamingo do? He screams death-threats and vows of revenge on the mob and their world. An earlier flashback has him asking to borrow his father's gun to shoot a commoner who backtalked him.
- Trafalgar Law displays this in spades after his home is destroyed and before he gets to know Corazon.
- An early flashback scene has ten-year-old Nami promising to pay for a stolen book "with her body". She was obviously quoting Bellemere and probably had no idea what she was talking about. Hopefully.
- When in one of (many) flashbacks of The Five Star Stories Bosjathfort came to the Float Temple to challenge Amaterasu-no-mikami to her post of the Divers Guild head, her son Amaterasu-no-mikado, who was just a kid at the time, banished him into the very fires of Hell. Which was but one of the signs that something is odd with the lad, and the first sign of his future Blue and Orange Morality.
- The countrynote where Michiko & Hatchin takes place is full of small children who carry around guns. One Downer Ending has a woman gunned down by a gang of kids.
- In Detective Conan, Shinichi appears to have been obsessed with mysteries since he was a small child, which is fine except this involves him reading books like Sherlock Holmes when he's in preschool and visiting murder scenes with his father. A flashback to him starting preschool has him walking into a roomful of children napping and mistaking it for a morgue, at first (this does freak him out, but the fact that he made the mistake at all is pretty troubling). This leads to him as a teenager being remarkably unfazed by the gory murders he comes across pretty frequently.
- In addition to the former's casual familiarity with crime scenes, dead bodies, and associated gore, both Conan and Haibara Ai show remarkable and worrying proficiency with guns for apparent 7-year-olds.
- Mikazuki Augus of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans is a Child Soldier who has no qualm on gunning down his enemies and prisoners without letting them finish their last words. Although when Kudel, one of his enemies called Mikazuki out and accused him of enjoying killing, he was outright disturbed. In a brief flashback, it was implied he was forced to kill since his childhood. shortly after Biscuit's death, he decided he'll crush whoever blocks his way.
- Subverted in Tokyo Ghoul. Ghoul children are just as innocent as human ones, with flashbacks showing most of the cast were unhappy about having to eat humans to survive. That doesn't stop Ghoul Investigator Kureo Mado from spreading a rumor that ghoul children can and will gleefully tear a grown human to shreds for fun, hoping to use the resulting paranoia to smoke out Arata's children. Tragically, this lie ends up forcing Touka to kill a man in self-defense, traumatizing the Kirishima siblings and leaving them homeless. They end up having no choice but to become as brutal as rumored, just to survive.
- In Brave10, setting up Death Courses and bombing things are not the healthiest hobbies that children should have, and eleven-year-old Benmaru's strikingly unconcerned about collateral damage to boot.
- In Ooku: The Inner Chambers, Hisamichi poisoned Yoshimune's older sisters and the closest rival to the throne to ensure that Yoshimune inherited the domain of Kii and had the best shot at attaining the shogunate. She was twelve when Yoshimune became lord of Kii.
- Kanna and Saikawa's relationship in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid feels more like that of teenagers than children in elementary school at times. The best example being when they almost had sex during a playdate. Mind you, Kanna was the one who instigated it and she's Really 700 Years Old (though still a child by dragon standards), but Saikawa wasn't exactly averse to the idea.
- In My Hero Academia, one of the villains of the Training Camp Arc was Mustardnote , who is confirmed to only be thirteen. He's immature but surprisingly intelligent and skilled; aware of his Quirk's limitations, he casually takes out a gun and manages to eliminate Tetsutetsu's gas mask in one shot.
- Hunter × Hunter:
- Killua Zoldyck as a side-effect of entering his family business of assassination at a young age displays this. His entire story arc revolves around him trying to move out of this, though. His siblings Kalluto and Alluka also fall headlong into this, Kalluto who is perfectly fine with becoming an assassin and Alluka who grants wishes to those who fulfill her demands. Demands include vital organs.
- Gon's behavior falls into this more and more as the series progresses. His casual attitude towards death is perhaps the start of it, but by the Chimera Ant arc he can cheerfully talk about murdering someone if they betray him and is fine taking and killing hostages as a way to force compliance in an opponent.
- Pokémon Adventures: Gold is already a gambling addict before he's thirteen.
- The Monster Duchess and Contract Princess: As sweet a child as Leslie is, several characters notice behaviors that are the result of her abusive upbringing before turning to the Salvatores for help. For example, a distrustful Ruenti's attempts to intimidate her go completely unnoticed because, Ruenti realizes, she's used to being treated roughly. Her manners are more like a maid's then a noble's despite Leslie's high birth. Leslie's maid at the Salvatores', Madel, lays it out to the Duchess in detail, describing how Leslie is frightfully intelligent yet ignorant of things like Pinky Swears and hot chocolate, that she handled disappointment far more maturely than a twelve year-old would be expected to, yet still lights up like a little kid when she eats. Leslie's driving ambition, though only Duchess Salvatore knows it and tries to sway her from it, is to wipe her abusive family off the face of the planet in vengeance for herself and the many, many children they used as Human Sacrifices over the centuries.
- In Heavy Object the concept of "clean wars" and the push to recruit Elites while they're still young and easily indoctrinated has led to the age of soldiers rapidly decreasing. As a result there are pre-teens such as Catherine Blueangel who can remain chipper and bubbly even as they gun down enemy soldiers.
- Ten-year-old Ryoko in The Demon Girl Next Door is a bit too into the idea of Yuko taking over the world. She frequent reads books on weaponry and military manuals, and when Yuko swaps one of her books of treachery and tactics for a children's book Ryoko still manages to find dark themes and inspiration from it.
- Damian Wayne in Grant Morrison's Batman. He's a ten-year-old who is firmly convinced that he's the natural successor to his father's legacy and Dick Grayson is an idiot. In addition to being a particularly grim (and potentially deadly) Robin, he is frighteningly efficient at running Wayne Enterprises.
- With Damian, several characters acknowledged it was a bad thing. Bruce originally didn't let him out in the field, and he only became Robin under Dick. Dick got him to act a little more normal though Dick's extreme own personal combo of experience, patience, and just being a good person. Stephanie, after learning Damian had never really played in his life, pretty much forced him onto a moon-bounce with her (though she admitted she was pretty sure he wasn't joking about stabbing her several times during her run) and usually ignored him when he got bratty. Damian acted a little more like a kid around Colin Wilkes (probably to put Colin, who was the same age, more at ease), but it was a major change from his original characterization.
- Tim and many other people still found him very unnerving even by the time of the reboot, though.
- One of the major themes in Batman and Robin from the New 52 reboot is the difficulty Bruce is having in keeping Damian under control.
- Minor Batman villain who showed up more often opposing Tim Drake in the pages of the Robin Series "The General" was a boy-prodigy that was obsessed with military tactics, and used them to gain a foothold in Gotham's criminal world. That place has the worst luck, doesn't it?
- Well-Intentioned Extremist Anti-Hero Anarky is an intelligent, politically-aware would-be terrorist whose tactics against the corporate elite and the gears of the state range from "hacktivism" to straight-up bombing. He started doing all this when he was twelve.
- In Kick-Ass, if you are in any way associated with organized crime, Hit-Girl will brutally chop you up and shoot you in the head while cursing like a sailor. She's a cute 10-year-old. A short scene in the film inverts this for a while. Her father is very disturbed that she is acting like a normal girl until she reveals she's screwing with him.
- Crossed children appear to be no less foul-mouthed, kill-happy, or rape-happy than their adult counterparts.
- The latest version of the Hellfire Club in X-Men. Members include a boy who sold his seven brothers into intergalactic slavery to claim the family fortune and another who dissected his first Atlantean when he was eight. The leader is a Self-Made Orphan.
- Recurring but lesser-known villain The Gorgon from Marvel qualifies; though it's not shown, he was described as being born with near-full-adult intellect, saying his first words at two weeks, walking at three weeks (and only took that long because his body had to build up) and being fully literate before his first birthday. He also first tried to commit suicide at age six, shortly after writing his first opera, and mathematically proved the existence of the One-Above-All by 13, three more suicide attempts later due to realizing how utterly insignificant and worthless not just himself but the entirety of humanity was to the universe at large. "Prodigy" barely covers his mental ability, and if he hadn't developed the mutant power to turn people to stone by looking at them (hence the name Gorgon) and hooked up with HYDRA around the time most of us are just starting to plan for college, he probably would have ended up successfully killing himself.
- X-23's first assassination was at age 9. She was immediately put to work by the Facility afterwards, and by 16 she's an accomplished enough killer to worry Captain America. Justified since she was bred and raised from birth specifically to be a Living Weapon, but her utter ruthlessness and cold detachment make her an even better killer than Wolverine. It's mildly subverted in that she doesn't want to be a weapon, but it nonetheless comes completely naturally to her. This doesn't even touch on her stint as a 15-year-old prostitute on the streets of New York City.
- Transmetropolitan, in the issue "Business", addressed the subject of child prostitutes from broken families and foster homes. By itself, that's horrifying enough, but the real kicker is that the kids are doing it for themselves, not to afford food or shelter or to pay off a pimp. Some of them even own luxury apartments from the money they make that they haven't already spent on drugs, and the homes are tripping over themselves trying to get the kids to stop.
- Afterlife With Archie: Jason Blossom has always been too into his twin Cheryl. As a child, he murdered her puppy and made it look like an accidental, all because he thought Cheryl liked Sugar more than him.
- In Marijuana Simpson Maggie can't be older than ten, yet she smokes pot constantly with the rest of the Simpson Family.
- Rose Potter (from The Girl Who Lived septology fame/infamy) murders Professor Quirrel at the age of eleven and encourages her friends to use lethal force by the age of fifteen. She's also in an active sexual relationship by about that time.
- Commander Adriatic Huxton of the Battlestar Galactica fanfic "The Long War" seems to have this in his backstory. He so far has been attributed to killing a couple partially responsible for the death of his family, when he was five years old. Given that after this he would have been living alone in a ruined city and that he's a paranoid schizophrenic, there's a good chance that he's done more.
- Later on, in the Gensokyo 20XX series, we have Reimu. Being mentally reconditioned to and being so detached from pain stimuli as a result, she has been noted to be harming herself, something that a normal person wouldn't find from a three-year-old, not one without severe mental or behavioral problems, unless otherwise. To top it off, Reimu has a habit of hitting, scratching, and biting others, apparently, unaware that the others can and do respond to pain and injuries or she is merely trying to relearn how to feel and respond to pain, though the former is likely than the latter.
- In 20XXV, it was noted she had tried to stab someone with scissors but it is never known why, then again, she is suffering from kind of mental illness. In chapter 82, she does succeed in stabbing Yume Ni with a pair of scissors and that was after the latter kicked her in the face.
- In that vein, we have Yume Ni and she is noted to be fairly violent for a child, this even escalating to a degree that she tried to toss Reimu over railing without a second thought as to whether or not that could kill her and this isn't the first time she has actually been that cruel to them, though the trying to kill Reimu thing isn't arguably new, seeing as she did come close to seriously injuring the other kids.
- In Kill la Kill AU, we have an eight-year-old juvenile delinquent Ryuuko smoking, as well as the fact that she has led a life of crime, earning the nickname "Repeat Offender". In that vein, we Nui, Mako, and Nonon who are also delinquents and they smoke, as well as the fact that, as a first time offender, Nui has gotten multiple charges, to which she shrugs off like it's nothing.
- There is also the fact that Ryuuko counts how long she has to live, which is not typical for a nine-year-old. The fact that she does is this and depressing.
- Ojamajo Doremi: Rise of the Shadows: The Shadow Ojamajos. They act like complete jerks, mock the heroes when their friend is killed, and show no qualms over outright killing people in cold blood.
- Played for Laughs in the Christmas side-story of the Broken Bow series when Apollo asks an eight-year-old Armani why he's wearing the Santa hat he hates so much.
- A kid Nui from Maim de Maim was already disturbing, however, the kicker comes from her skinning a girl alive to make a kamui and the fact that what she did gave Ragyou pause and horrified even herself, giving her an My God, What Have I Done? moment doesn't help this.
- Tsali from Sonic X: Dark Chaos is the incarnation of this trope. He committed genocide on an entire race when he was only ten years old. Even thirty years later, he's still physically and mentally ten due to being turned into a robot - turning him into an Ax-Crazy Psychopathic Manchild.
- Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act VI: Arial Kuyumaya, a yuki-onna the same age as Yukari, displays this, aside from her Yandere obsession with Dark. Not only did she literally claw Mizore to pieces in a rage upon discovering that she was Dark's girlfriend (Mizore was healed by Ceal), but in chapter 13, she broke into Mizore's bedroom in the middle of the night to threaten her with death should she not stay away from Dark.
Arial: Dark is my demon. He's going to be my husband, and only I'm going to have his mark over my heart. Do you hear me? If you kiss him, I'll claw off your lips. If you touch him, I'll cut off your hand. If you take his seed into you, I'll carve it out of you. He belongs to me. Everything about him is mine.
- Sabrina's Start of Darkness in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines began with her writing a school essay about a figure in a story she admired. Her subject of choice was Twenty Gyarados Bill, an infamous criminal who brought death and destruction to coastal Johto and the in-universe reason why there's a six Pokémon limit for trainers. While she acknowledged him as a mass murderer, the fact that she praised his better qualities (such as his determination and drive to rise from being a nobody to the most powerful trainer in the world in just one year) quickly alarmed her father and teachers.
- In the Creepypasta-inspired tale Hey Arnold: The Furnace, Harold pushes Sid into assisting him with murdering Stinky and later Arnold when they believed that they had unknowingly killed police officers at an old building scheduled for demolition.
- The frequently unchildlike behavior of the Powerpuff Girls is used in court against them in The Utonium Trials. They're on trial trying to prove they're just normal kids that just happen to have superpowers, and that they aren't a danger to society, but it's hard to keep this image up. They're much more precocious than normal eight-year-olds (especially Blossom, who is outright more mature and intelligent than most adults) and to make it worse they still look five. One such example used against them is that Buttercup publishes stories online as escapism, but her stories include sexual content.
- The character of Rivka ben-Divorah in the Discworld fics of A.A. Pessimal. Introduced as a girl of perfect doll-like beauty and innocent mien, she grows into one of the most lethal Assassins to graduate from the school. note As her teachers discovered early, a look of cherubic innocence can be incredibly misleading. Her ability to stand there and look innocent whilst various School Bullies are stretched off to the School Infirmary was considered to be a most effective Assassin strategy, and she was marked down as having great promise.
- In Now That You're Bleeding, Elsa's suicidal thoughts and Self-Harm began at age eight or nine.
- In the Pokémon fic Denounce The Evils, it's implied that Jessiebelle raped James when they were younger, likely even when they were kids.
- Frank Berkman in ''The Squid and the Whale'. Twelve-year-old Frank drinks beer and — most disturbingly — appears to fantasize about raping his mother. It's unclear whether this behaviour is normal for him or is a response to the tension in his life at that point (his parents are separating, and all of this takes place on a day when they've accidentally abandoned him at home alone).
- Thelma and Elizabeth in Little Sweetheart. Both of them are guilty of stalking, theft, and blackmail. Elizabeth also mentioned watching porn on TV at one point (it was 1989). Thelma is solely guilty of attempted murder and using a cop to murder someone and filing a false police report.
- Rhoda Penmark in The Bad Seed is a multiple murderess before hitting puberty...and completely calm about the whole thing. They changed the ending for the film, though...
- Hailee Steinfeld's portrayal of the 14-year-old Mattie Ross in the Coen brothers' version of True Grit is very disconcerting in its seriousness and vengefulness.
- The controversial Hounddog has Lewellen, its 11-year-old main character, drinking alcohol. This is considered normal in her family.
- Lilya 4-ever has its title character drinking, smoking and sniffing glue at the age of 14. Then family troubles (more specifically, the lack of any family) force her to enter prostitution. It all goes downhill from there.
- The movie Young Thugs: Nostalgia has protagonist 6th grader Riichi Nakaba get drunk twice in the movie. In one scene, his family and the guests at the party encouraged him to get drunk.
- Sugar Cane Alley has eleven-year-old José Hassan and his friends (one a girl who is probably no older than eight bought the vodka and said it was for her parents to the clerk) get so drunk that they laugh as they set a shack on fire.
- The sex worker Iris in Taxi Driver gives off an aura of grace, poise, and sexually-charged sophistication. She's also twelve. Jodie Foster's performance was by far the most unsettling thing about the film, even overshadowing de Niro's own performance as the increasingly sociopathic Travis Bickle.
- And Jodi Foster again as the murderous and seductive Rynn in The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane.
- Hard Candy runs on this alarmingly. The protagonist tracks down, incapacitates, tortures, and drives a pedophile to suicide. She's (allegedly) fourteen years old. Originally it was planned for her to reveal at the end of the movie that she was really 18, averting this, but the line was cut and her exact age is left ambiguous.
- In the 2005 adaptation of Tom Brown's Schooldays, Dr. Arnold is shocked that the students, some as young as ten or eleven, gamble, distill liquor, and keep guns.
- This is what makes The Innocents still terrifying even to a modern audience.
- It would be easier to count the moments when the titular characters in Larry Clark's Kids aren't behaving like this. Vandalism, assault, drug use, theft, drinking, pedophilia, and rape are a partial list. The film is almost entirely made of this + Refuge in Audacity.
- In City of God Lil Dice goes on a shooting spree in a hotel. Also, many children are involved in gang warfare. (Horrifyingly enough, this is more or less Truth in Television.)
- In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the title character finds Toby easy to bribe with gin. As Toby tells Mrs. Lovett, they used to give the stuff to kids like him in the workhouse (child labor laws didn't exist way back when) so they could sleep — though as he mentions, you wouldn't ever want to sleep there, "not with the things that happen in the dark." There's also the ending when he coldly and quietly slits Sweeney's throat.
- Lawn Dogs has a lot of this. Not to mention some in the form of Corruption by a Minor, as Devon manages to convince her adult friend to steal chickens from a barn, and later, moon her father. And no, Devon is not portrayed as wise beyond her years either. She otherwise acts like a normal preteen girl, who happens to do some messed up stuff, in a realistically childish way. The following is a quote from the movie's screenwriter.
Naomi Wallace: Also, children are expected to be a certain way, and I like the unexpectedness of how children really are if you watch them. (...) Sometimes children just don't go by the rules, they often have a natural inclination not to, which we as adults have often lost.
- Problem Child has seven-year-old Junior who causes chaos for the sake of it. He delights in hurting people, torturing cats, getting behind the wheel and driving recklessly and causing accidents, all without remorse. In one scene, Junior sets fire to someone's house, and blows up a girl's birthday party making her cry, and takes pictures of nuns while they're undressing and takes a good shot at a priest using the toilet. Junior also looks up to a criminal the majority of the film and pretty much aspires to be just like him. Ben, Junior's well-meaning, good-hearted adoptive father, puts up with Junior's behavior the majority of the film and is patient about it, despite the rest of his family telling him to get rid of him with his wife even suggesting to replace the boy and get another cat. Averted in the ending, when Junior does a HeelFace Turn after he is kidnapped by his "idol" and apologies to Ben for his behavior. While Played for Laughs, Junior's behavior can be seen as accurately depicting a severe personality disorder and some of his actions, especially his knack of harming and almost killing cats, can be seen as horrific to many.
- Somewhat Down Played in the sequels. Though they have the same concept, this time with TWO children taking part of destruction and mischievousness since it has a lot more slapstick and more comedy than the first makes it hard to take seriously, being more like a live-action cartoon. There is also no abuse inflicted on animals as in the first.
- In The Good Son, 12-year-old Henry (played by Macaulay Culkin) smokes, drinks alcohol, vandalizes property, builds homemade weapons, conducts horrible schemes, tortures and kills animals, and kills people all like it's an everyday thing.
- The Professional starts with 12-year-old Mathilda (Natalie Portman) smoking and hitting on the middle-aged neighbor. This is all before she becomes an assassin's apprentice.
- Blood Diamond had Child Soldiers swaggering around and swearing profusely in Engrish, which was funny until they started to shoot at Leonardo DiCaprio.
- Speaking of Leonardo DiCaprio, he himself had portrayed a 14-year-old Catholic school boy's descent into heroin addiction and prostitution in order to support his drug habit in 1995's The Basketball Diaries.
- Total Eclipse, another Leonardo DiCaprio movie (boy, he surely went through a phase of acting in edgy, indie roles in 1995...). He plays Arthur Rimbaud, a wild and bratty teenager who gets into a sexual relationship with an older, married man. The entire movie highlights how sick and twisted their relationship is.
- Let's not forget scamming, scheming, stealing, swearing, smoking little Addie in Paper Moon.
- RoboCop 2:
- There's Hob, the villain's main henchman, who is a boy of about 12 and very competent too.
- One scene features a Little League baseball team (including their coach) robbing a sporting goods store.
- Tideland consists entirely of this, although Jeliza-Rosa does not fully realize everything that's going on around her and keeps acting and (probably) thinking like a child while she does stuff like preparing the syringe for her drug-addict father and seducing a grown man. (Thankfully, he's mentally about the same age, but it's still very, very disturbing.)
- The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things has the protagonist drinking alcohol at the age of seven and seducing Marilyn Manson at the age of eleven. Among other things.
- Mindy/Hit-Girl of Kick-Ass cusses like a sailor (from random F-Bombs to her introductory quote: "Ok you cunts, let's see what you can do now"). Oh, and she's a trained killer who can drop a room full of other trained killers with just a couple of handguns. Her actress, Chloë Moretz, did all of her own stunts, including the Butterfly Knife display. Even funnier when Big Daddy himself considers Hit-Girl acting like a normal girl troubling, highlighted when he looks genuinely disturbed when she asks for a puppy for her birthday
Mindy: [laughs] I'm just fucking with you Daddy! Look, I'd love a Benchmade model 42 butterfly knife.
- Another Chloe Moretz film, Hick, runs on this. It starts with its 13-year-old protagonist running away from home to live in Las Vegas, bringing a gun with her... and it gets worse from there.
- Trish from Angels Revenge, though it might be justified since she's a young teenager. She gets just a little too excited at a drug dealer's unwanted bris, she latches onto another drug dealer's car in order to track him, and she fatally shoots a kingpin at the end of the movie.
- Pretty much the entire cast of kids in Twelve And Holding.
- River Tam in Serenity. Better than 50% of the on-screen kills are hers. She's a teenager.
- Battle Royale is disturbing enough... until you consider that (apart from Kawada and Kiriyama) they're ninth graders, no older than fifteen! Many of the characters take great delight in killing others, even if not all of them want to.
- James (later Agent J) in Men in Black uses this to justify "why little Tiffany had to die" in the recruitment shooting gallery; she had quantum physics books which were "way above her reading level" and that she was "about to start some shit". Word of God and the novelization actually confirm that he was right.
- In Kill Bill, The Bride, before going off to exact her final vengeance on Bill, babysits a young girl who is her daughter B.B. She asks the girl if she would like to watch a video before she goes to bed. The girl's answer? Shogun Assassin. Being a former member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, The Bride sees nothing wrong with this, so they watch Shogun Assassin together.
- Eve's Bayou plays with this, starting the film with "The summer I killed my father, I was 10 years old." The truth is more complicated and she isn't nearly as hardened as that implies. It is her childish confusion mixing with her fledgling adult understanding of events that leads to tragedy, as she curses her father and reveals his affair to his lover's husband. The fact that she's named "Eve" and has repeated associations with apples and snakes is just icing on the cake.
- There's also the matter of her sister, who may or may not have very troubling feelings about her father.
- Thor: Ragnarok plays this for laughs: Thor tells Valkyrie and a horrified Bruce Banner about the time Loki stabbed Thor when they were both eight while Loki smiles fondly at the memory. Banner is disturbed, but Thor cannot help himself from also smiling softly at the memory, showing Thor regards this as a harmless prank.
- In Big Hero 6, Hiro orders Baymax to destroy Callaghan after finding out that he was Yokai and that he set the fire, thus being indirectly responsible for Tadashi's death. He doesn't even hesitate, even when he has to rip out Baymax's healthcare chip.
- In 13/13/13, Kendra calls her father's friend a pedophile, swears like a sailor, and then propositions him before bashing his brains out on the pavement.
- In Fresh (1994) a 12-year old boy is acting as a drug mule crime boss #1, while his sister is a strawberry of crime boss #2 (who beats her). After a shootout between the rival gangs kills a girl Fresh likes, he steals some drugs and a gun from his boss and frames the shooter. He plants the drugs and gun under the boss #2's bed while visiting his sister (the boss has been careful never to touch drugs or guns personally, so the police can't get anything on him). Fresh tells boss #1 that the shooter stole the drugs and was working with boss #2, and boss #1 kills the shooter and then leaves to attack boss #2. Fresh then calls the cops to report shooting at boss #2's house, just before boss #1 attacks. End result: all bad guys dead or in jail, sister returns home.
- Almost the entirety of the movie 13 is this trope including sexual precociousness, drug use, and stealing. It's also Very Loosely Based on a True Story, that of co-writer Nikki Reed.
- Considering the characters are in high school, Cruel Intentions has characters who are promiscuous and horrifyingly sociopathic.
- Played for Laughs in Mean Girls, where Regina's pre-pubescent sister Kylie is seen dancing provocatively to the song "Milkshake" by Kelis, a sleazy pop-R&B jam. At one point, she even lifts her top and flashes the TV. Absolutely nobody comments on this.
- Everybody Smokes in Stand by Me, especially the twelve-year-olds. Even by The '50s standards that's quite young.
- Early films by Shirley Temple are meant to be baby parodies of the film stars of the day. Watching a toddler crawl around and suckle "sour milk" from a phallic hose is disturbing; wee Shirley as a hot-pantsed jungle Madam defies words. This video deconstructs some of these early films.
- Henry Fool Crosses the Line Twice when Fay comes upon Henry and her three-year-old son in a bar.
Fay: You gave him beer?
Henry: The cigarettes made his throat dry.
- In Logan, Laura aka X-23 racks up a kill count comparable to Logan himself and thinks nothing of stealing snacks and sunglasses from a gas station; all while looking no older than 11. This is likely a result of her and other experiments from Transigen not being considered human, and the scientists finding children to be easier to experiment with.
- In The Annunciation, an obscure Hungarian film from 1984, a company of prepubescent children performs the profoundly child-unfriendly play The Tragedy Of Man, complete with scenes of simulated violence and unsimulated nudity.
- In Matilda, the titular girl is hyperintelligent and has rather neglectful parents. She also goes to a school with an insane principal called the Trunchbull who almost kills kids for silly reasons. This trope comes into play near the end of the film when Matilda causes chalk to float and write about how Magnus will get the Trunchbull as she did him if she does not stop her evil ways. The Trunchbull leaves and gives Ms. Honey, her niece, the house and inheritance. However, it could be that Magnus' ghost was working through Matilda. That would also explain why all the kids were speaking at the same time...
- Detainment is a Based on a True Story film of the terrifying 1993 murder of James Bulger, a 2-year-old boy, by two ten-year-old boys. See Real Life below.
- Played for laughs in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Early on there is a rather heartwarming, nostalgic moment where Eddie rides on the back of the red car with a group of local boys. His parting words to the boys are "Thanks for the cigarettes."
- In Airplane!, The little girl who takes her coffee like she takes her men — black. The boy reads a serious magazine and checks out the girl passenger.
- Prospect: Ezra is creeped out by how calmly and efficiently Cee amputates his arm. She reveals that she spent some time working in a slaughterhouse. She also doesn't like Ezra very much, so there's not much sympathy there to begin with.
- The entire point of the following joke: note
- It's 4 AM, and a little kid stands on a street corner in Soho with a flattened frog on a rope. A copper comes around the corner and says "'Ello, sonny, what are you doing out here at this time o'night?" The kid replies "I'm lookin' for a whore." The copper, flabbergasted, asks "How old are you?!" The kid replies "I'm nine, right." The copper then asks "What do you want a whore for?" The kid replies "I wanna get a disease." "What kind of bloody disease?" the copper inquires. "A sexually-transmitted one, officer." "What on earth do you want a bloody disease for?" "Well, if I get it, I go 'ome and I fuck the babysitter and she gets it, and she fucks my dad and 'e gets it, and 'e fucks my mum and she gets it, and she fucks the gardener, and 'e's the cunt I'm after 'cuz 'e squashed me frog!"
- Three kids find a couple mid-tryst in the bushes. The ten-year-old asks "What are they doing?". The eight-year-old says "They're fucking". And the six-year-old says "Yeah, but he's really bad at it".
- Craig Ferguson ended one of his comedy specials with one of these: A Police officer goes to a house because of a noise complaint. When he knocks on the door, it is answered by a nine-year-old boy wearing a corset, a g-string, garters, and smoking a cigarette and holding a bottle of gin. The police offer asks, somewhat taken aback, "Son, is your mom or dad home?" and the kid shoots back with "What the fuck do you think?"
- The Animorphs books: The animorphs are kids. They kill people.
- The novel The Bad Seed was very controversial, portraying, as it did, a pre-teen girl who's a multiple murderess.
- Addie Pray, the novel on which the movie and TV series Paper Moon was based, is narrated by a pre-teen girl who's a full-fledged swindler learning from an established con man.
- Duumvirate lives and breathes this trope. Even the littlest kids are perfectly willing to kill at the drop of a hat. It's all just a game to them.
- Rather freakily lampshaded in Brave New World, where the childhood conditioning all the citizens are exposed to encourages children to act sexually towards each other at about pre-school age. The people administering said conditioning laugh about how those poor unenlightened souls way back when would have treated such behavior as disturbing. This is derived from a misinterpretation of Freudian psychology (see also Oedipus complex) that was more common in earlier decades and spawned several pro-pedophilia groups. The notion peaked in the late 1960s, when "free love" was all the rage but modern notions of consent hadn't been thoroughly formulated. All the more disturbing, no?
- I Am Not a Serial Killer has a downplayed example in John, whose cold and occasionally violent behavior comes off as even creepier given that he starts the series as fifteen. One of his talks with his therapist reveals a straighter example: he dissected a live gopher. At the age of seven.
- Although not really a disturbing or creepy example, in one of the Discworld novels Nanny Ogg ruminates on the concept of people having "natural ages", levels of maturity they were designed for; her examples are herself, who is somewhere in her eighties but has always felt mentally nineteen or so, while some children appear to have been born thirty-five; she's referring to them being austere and boring rather than engaging in actual adult behavior.
- Wensleydale in Good Omens is an example of such a child: "His parents called him 'Youngster', possibly in the hope that he'd take the hint".
- Aaron Fidget, a stuffy little boy from Hogfather who adamantly refuses to believe in the Hogfather (or at least Death standing in for the Hogfather), even after the Hogfather appears out of nowhere on a sleigh drawn by wild boars and gives away presents to the other kids. Death gets fed up with his Arbitrary Skepticism and secretly turns the presents Mrs. Fidget bought for her son into ...something unpleasant.
- Gone, by Michael Grant, has this in spades. The entire cast is aged fifteen and under, and Sam and Lana both dwell on how disturbing it is to see young children drinking, smoking, and doing drugs. Not to mention the plentiful violence.
- The Redwall series. Oh, Dark Forest Gates, the Redwall series. The titular first installment features a season-and-a-half year old squirrel — described in the text as a baby and not talking yet — who is personally responsible for the horrible deaths of at least ten vermin, and assists in the killing of many others by rolling a hedgehog over them in the middle of a battlefield. He's also given a sharp dagger by a hare who thinks nothing unusual of a kid stabbing people with one hand and sucking the other. By comparison, the young, gangly teenager that goes on to see new friends and an adoptive father/Abbot poisoned to death, kills massive numbers of vermin, faces and decapitates a snake that could eat him alive, and comes plummeting from the top of an Abbey with a bird stuck in his shoulder, all by the age of thirteen seasons, seems almost reasonable. Oh, and gets married and has a son before he's sixteen seasons. Combines with Angst? What Angst?. This may have been Deliberate Values Dissonance, as the series is set in pseudo-10th century England WITH FURRIES, but has been somewhat dialed down in the sequels... which still include the slavery of preteen children and the murder of their slavers.
- In the Green-Sky Trilogy, Pomma's addiction to wissenberries.
- The Alienist: multiple characters all over the novel.
- The Tomorrow Series: Aside from the fact that the viewpoint characters are only 16 - 17 years old, and essentially learning to become guerrilla fighters as the series progresses, the group of kids living in Stratton are a more depressing version of the trope: by The Night Is For Hunting, when the main characters meet them, they are well-accustomed to gunfights and mugging people in alleyways.
- The Dresden Files: When the Archive warns you that she will kill you if you challenge her authority or otherwise threaten her, you'd better believe it. Her bodyguard thinks it's creepier when she actually acts her age.
- Artemis Fowl: the titular criminal mastermind is twelve years old in the first book, fifteen or sixteen in the last.
- Ender's Game: Ender Wiggin, at six, beats a bully to death. Because he knows that being merciless will let him win. Although his intention wasn't to kill the bully, just to beat him so badly that he and the other bullies would be terrified of Ender from then on, and thus, leave him alone.
- Somewhat justified in that the school he later attends deliberately recruits children who act and think "older" than their age in order to train them to be part of the war machine.
- The same thing goes for almost every other child character in the book (especially Ender's siblings, Valentine and Peter), who are either unnervingly intelligent, sociopathic, or both.
- Tom Riddle from Harry Potter was an ultimately creepy kid. As a child, he tormented his fellow orphans - even murdering one's pet rabbit. When he went to Hogwarts he learned to be sly and manipulative, continuing his evil acts and a couple of murders without being suspected by the older, more powerful wizards who could pose a threat. Then, of course, he became Lord Voldemort.
- Arya Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire. Committed her first premeditated murder at age ten. It wasn't her first kill, just the first one she planned out deliberately. Oh, and she's one of the heroic characters.
- Even her sister, the beautiful and sensitive twelve-year-old Sansa Stark, is building a snow castle and, in an uncharacteristic burst of anger, rips the head off a doll and impales it on the castle walls, reflecting how she'd seen her own father executed and displayed that way.
- There's also the six-year-old Robert Arryn, who takes a rather disturbing delight in watching people get thrown thousands of feet to their deaths.
- Joffrey Baratheon really takes the cake. At the age of six, he cut open a cat to see the unborn kitten fetuses. Later on in the story, he killed peasants from his palace's boarders with his crossbow and told them to go eat their dead, had people fight to the death, tormented his younger brother, and abused Sansa Stark, all before turning fourteen.
- In The Iron King, Meghan is shocked to hear her four-year-old half-brother tell her best friend "Go fuck yourself!" Justified in that the kid is actually a changeling. Her real half-brother is a perfectly normal, sweet kid.
- Happens a couple of time in Tamora Pierce's Tortall Universe, but within the context of a society where adulthood is age sixteen:
- Daine in The Immortals series hunts down and slaughters the bandits who killed her family, aged twelve. Justified by her grief and the fact that her gift was making her think she was a wolf, but made more unsettling by the fact that, when she does eventually tell her friends about it, most of them simply shrug it off. Granted, her friends have gone through some fairly dark stuff themselves...
- Kel in Protector of the Small is surprised to realize that cheerful, friendly first-year Owen has no problem whatsoever killing bandits. Kel's killed bandits too, but she had been expecting him to at least be uncomfortable with it.
- The main plot point of The Hunger Games—teens and preteens as young as twelve are forced into an arena to fight each other to the death. And some of them are disturbingly good at it.
- The Phantom of the Opera mentions "the Little Sultana" who enjoyed torturing people with the Phantom's wonderful devices.
- In The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah, Winter, the 16-year-old daughter of a drug dealer, engages in lots of adult behaviors. For example, she offhandedly mentions that she lost her virginity at age 12, which was kind of late. The novel ends with her getting 15 years in prison for possession of illegal drugs.
- Mormon in The Book of Mormon begins leading the entire Nephite army at the age of 15.
- Robert Westall's The Machine Gunners presents some examples of this. The plot of the book involves a group of wartime children between 11 and 16 who steal a working machine gun from a crashed plane, hide it from the authorities, construct a bunker and emplacement for it; hiding two of their number from the adults and later a captured German airman in said bunker and open fire on a group of Polish soldiers during what everyone thinks is a Nazi invasion.
- Although Asher and Otto are the worst offenders, Someone Else's War is full of this. Which is only natural, because it's a story about Child Soldiers in the Lord's Resistance Army.
- In Crooked House by Agatha Christie, twelve-year-old Josephine investigates the murder of her grandfather, using her naturally snoopy nature to provide clues that the outsiders to the family never manage to find. Then it turns out she's the murderer, having decided to kill her grandfather over his not getting her ballet lessons. She decides to investigate the murder to get further attention from her family and the police.
- Darth Plagueis has Palpatine running over two pedestrians. His reaction afterwards indicated that he enjoyed it even though it was his first time.
- Five-year-old Kassandra in "The Painter Knight" provokes Oh, Crap! moments in captured traitors and various other condescending adults when they realize A: she knows what treason is; B: she knows the penalty; and C: she has followers willing to carry it out at her (lawful, if untraditional) order.
- Encouraged by Lemony Snicket when asked to choose "Five Books You Should Read Before You're Twelve" for The Big Issue magazine. Four of them are reasonable recommendations; the last is Lolita:
Snicket: Don't read this, just carry it around. When adults ask "Are you really reading that?" in panic, say nothing and just blink at them.
- Lord of the Flies has a lot of this, since the protagonists are British schoolboys who descend into savagery and murder after being shipwrecked on an island.
- In one of the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson books, Georgia catches her three-year-old sister Libby doing a hip-wiggling dance and singing to Sex Bomb by Tom Jones. Georgia's reaction is that this is inappropriately sexualized behaviour for a toddler and complains that their parents are turning Libby into a child prostitute.
- In Goodnight Lady by Martina Cole, at age eleven protagonist Briony is already a seasoned prostitute (who asked to be sold to a brothel in her sister's place) and has more sense of the "business" than women three times her age; later causing her to become rich and successful as the owner of many brothels of her own.
- Several characters in the works of V. C. Andrews:
- In the Dollanganger Series, Cathy's son Bart develops a sexual fixation with his own mother and tries to kill his adoptive sister when he's still a child of around eight or nine.
- In The Casteel Series, Fanny has already begun fooling around with boys by the time she is ten. It's implied that she may already be sexually active by this age, as she later seduces her adoptive father and has a baby with him when she is no older than fourteen.
- Fern from the Cutler Series, who displays age-inappropriate knowledge of sex, manipulates her brother into letting her live with him by lying that her foster father sexually abused her, and as an adult is proud of having become sexually active while still middle school aged.
- Sylvia Adare in My Sweet Audrina may have killed her father's girlfriend Billie as a young child. It's suggested that Vera set it up to look like Sylvia did it but Audrina can never really be sure.
- Vera's even worse, what with the revelation that at only 10/11 years old, she set up the 9-year old Audrina's gang-rape, jealous and incensed at their father's favoring Audrina over her. She's also disturbingly promiscuous from a very young age.
- Ian March in the Early Spring series is a thirteen-year-old boy obsessed with performing "experiments" involving his sister Jordan, who is going through precocious puberty at age seven. He then murders their governess after she tries to intervene. The governess herself is horrified at what she sees as unchildlike behavior from both the kids since Jordan already knows the word orgasm (although she learned it from an older teenager) and uses tampons, rather than sanitary towels, for her premature periods.
- One of the Goodreads reviews of Icelandic author Jo Imog's bizarre novel The Demon Flower actually uses the words "troubling unchildlike behavior" when speaking of the book's unnamed narrator. She goes from letting older men molest her in exchange for the tinfoil from their cigarette packs, to learning how to masturbate and enjoy the "lovely feelings", to enacting bizarre scenes with an adult woman friend, to increasingly weird sexual and occult adventures, incidentally driving her mother insane and being responsible for several suicides. She also has a brief fling with a huge hog. Her mother goes insane and she is adopted by her female friend. She is ten.
- Pretty much all the kids from Chronicles Of Magic, but special mention goes out to Queen Cinder, who not only enjoys torturing and executing her subjects but has been trained to kill without remorse since she was five. She is now fourteen.
- Lying, stealing, wandering the town alone after dark, attempting to run a household by herself for nearly a year and nearly starving/freezing herself and her invalid mother in the process...Sara-Kate from Afternoon of the Elves is as dark as this trope gets without crossing over into actual malevolence.
- Invoked as part of the Deliberate Values Dissonance in the Ciaphas Cain novels, highlighting that as relatable as the protagonists might be, the Imperium of Man is still a nasty place to live:
- Children in military schools regularly hold gun practice with live rounds. That not enough for you? Their targets as they do this are living human beings, criminals shipped out from the local prisons for exactly this purpose.
- A popular children's song takes the British kid's classic "Wheels on the Bus" and turns it into a grotesquely cheerful little ditty about "heretics" being gorily crushed to death under the treads of a giant tank.
- Likewise, a children's book on the many uses of promethiumnote talks about using it to create the fuel for flamethrowers, which are used to incinerate criminals and heretics of all kinds. Complete with cheerful pictures of sinners writhing in agony as their flesh sears off.
- Alia Atreides of Dune. Because her mother consumed spice and inherited Genetic Memory of the past Reverend Mothers and all of their ancestors while she's pregnant with her, Alia behaved more like an adult than a child which made the Bene Gesserit afraid of her and consider her as an "Abomination". She also killed Baron Vladimir Harkonnen and several soldiers, earning the nickname "St. Alia of the Knife".
- A few of the Sidney Sheldon novels establish that the villainous characters were evil from day one—Eve Blackwell of Master Of The Game tries to kill her twin sister Alexandra when she's five years old and repeatedly tries to do so throughout their childhood, always being sure to Make It Look Like an Accident. She's so promiscuous that it gets her kicked out of her exclusive boarding school and when she makes a False Rape Accusation against a teacher, the man claims it was the other way around, emphatically stating, "She's not a child, she's a devil."
- The Losers Club. They regularly smoke, swear like sailors, and after their first battle with It, they all make love with Beverly, the only female of the group, all at the age of 11.
- Henry Bowers, the local town bully. He's only one year older than the Losers, and he's so violent and crazy that fellow bullies are shocked by some of his actions. Throughout the novel, Henry does such things as attempting to drown Bill in a dunk tank, white-wash Stan's face in snow until it bleeds, poison Mike's pet dog just to hurt him, break Eddie's arm, attempt to carve his name into Ben's belly (only managing the "H" before Ben gets away), and later kill his father with a knife. Needless to say, it's easy for It to use him as a scapegoat for It's 1957-1958 killing spree.
- Patrick Hockstetter, another member of Henry's gang, is even worse. He kills small animals for fun by smothering them in an old refrigerator, fondles the girls in his class, gives Henry a handjob and offers him oral sex, and is revealed to have smothered his own baby brother to death with a pillow when he was only five.
- The Crocodile God has a downplayed example in Mirasol's children with the sea-god Haik; when she and Haik lose their first baby after her Spaniard master shot her while she was pregnant, their later children grow up deeply affected by their parents' grief (and their sister's constant pain in The Otherworld). As Mirasol is the only full mortal in the family, her teenage children have already been watching her nonstop to keep her safe when Haik isn't there; both are noted to act too serious, they constantly shape-shift into crocodiles, and their daughter is especially angry at the Spaniard for causing their family so much grief.
- Barely 14-year old Ponyboy from The Outsiders is addicted to smoking and regularly gets into gang fights. He and his friends have been smoking for years; one started at 9.
- Storm from Survivor Dogs unnerves her pack because, even as a pup, she was quite aggressive and bloodthirsty.
- "The Veldt": Peter and Wendy's fixation on playing in a simulated Afterican velt while lions kill and eat something in the distance disturbs their parents enough to call a child psychologist, and is a sign that there is something seriously wrong with them.
- J from I Am J began smoking in fifth grade when he began emulating older boys. He also started getting into fights at that age, but as self-defense against bullies.
- When in Menphis, shortly after his father left him, his mother and his brother, Richard Wright describes, in the semi-biographical Black Boy, how he begged passerby to buy alcohol in a saloon and, later, how, after his first day at school, he wrote curse words on windows. He was six.
- Amma Crellin from Sharp Objects is casually promiscuous, drinks, does drugs and rules the school with an iron fist. She's thirteen.
- In Secrets Not Meant To Be Kept, Adri and her friends are squicked when her three-year-old sister, Becky, French-kisses Adri's boyfriend, Ryan, who is a high school senior. Later, Ryan tells Adri that, when he suggested that he and Becky play hide-and-seek, Becky got undressed in front of him, saying that this is how the game is played. These are some of the clues that lead Adri to realize that Becky is being molested at her preschool.
- In "Clubland Heroes", the Kid Detective "Clever Dick" Cleaver is worryingly blasé about violent death, whether of the victims whose death he's investigating ("Blood, brains, bits of bone... nothing interesting.") or of the culprits he catches ("Served them right when they got shot.").
- Angel: The Conduit blithely instructing Angel to snap Lilah's neck... which he moves to oblige, completely nonchalant, until she giggles and calls him off at the last second.
- In an episode of Sex and the City, Samantha is jealous of a very rich 13-year-old girl for whom she organizes a Bat Mitzvah party. When she overhears the 13-year-old telling her friends about giving blowjobs to keep a man, Sam interrupts to say that this is wrong. When the 13-year-old replies that she has been giving blowjobs since she was 12 and that she knows how the world works, Sam is released from her jealousy as she realizes that at least she had a childhood.
- There's an episode of House where a mother brings her young daughter into the clinic for possible epileptic behavior. House examines the girl, and determines that she's merely been "ya-yaing the sisterhood". The mother is shocked, to say the least, but House says that it's reasonable behavior if a bit atypical, and says to just teach her to do it in private.
- In another episode, an eight-year-old boy whose sister is a patient displays sexually aggressive behavior towards Cameron. They end up finding that both children were inadvertently exposed to high levels of testosterone, causing the boy's behavior as well as his sister's illness.
- Jayne Cobb from Firefly. It's revealed that at ten years old Jayne was shooting spaceport varmints for the bounties, which is marginally acceptable even if ten is rather young to have unsupervised access to a .22 rifle... and using the money he earned to bet on gladiator blood sports and buy beer.
- River Goddamn Tam, most especially in Serenity, but she's hijacked spaceships and shot people (without looking, yet still perfectly accurate) by the end of the show. She's in her teens.
- A flashback opening showing her and Simon as children plays this for laughs when she describes a game she's playing and tells Simon that with supplies cut off, her pretend allied soldiers must resort to cannibalism. Simon's casual response implies that this sort of thing isn't unusual for her to come up with.
- In one episode of Bones, the murderer turns out to be an 11-year-old girl, who shoots her tutor with a shotgun when he refuses to help her cheat on a school project.
- CSI had one in the form of a 12-year-old girl who was taking senior level high school courses. At her older brother's trial for the murder of a classmate, she testifies that she's the real murderer and produces evidence to support her case. She pulls off the plan so well that she convinces the court that there is too much doubt to her brother's involvement (mainly, that he was a D student in chemistry and the murderer needed to know how to handle pure Sodium) and that there was too much doubt to convict her (she was too small to move the victim's body). As if that wasn't the worst of it, she says to Sarah that had she been convicted, she could get her degree by 18 and/or write a book about the crime, since Nevada has no "Son of Sam" law. Finally, it was revealed that she had no involvement in the murder and Sarah just got played.
- It's even worse in the continued episode later on, when it's revealed her Yandere fixation on her brother prompts her to murder his girlfriend and blame him for it. Her motivation is that it will get rid of any "obstacles between them" and that, by continuously visiting him while he's in prison, he'll fall in love with her. Instead, he kills himself.
- Jessica Jones (2015): In "AKA 99 Friends," Kilgrave commandeers an eight-year-old girl to approach Jessica with a message. It is a bit unsettling when the girl (parroting Kilgrave) tells Jessica "You're a bitch! You could've stopped that bus. You left him there to die in the street like a goddamn dog. You turn everything to shit."
- Jessie: Creepy Connie and her numerous attempts to stalk Luke! Mostly played for laughs, though, but if the situation were reversed, it would likely be taken far more seriously.
- Leverage: Poor Parker. Mostly, it's played for laughs, but the ages at which she started committing various crimes is alarming. Car stealing at twelve, and getaway driving before that. Cut to a flashback of what looks like a nine-year-old Parker skidding around an old lady with a terrified robber in the passenger seat.
- In one episode of Grey's Anatomy, a man is brought into the hospital after supposedly being accidentally shot by his six-year-old daughter, using a gun that had been carelessly left outside. However, scans show that this man has been shot 17 times. When the daughter is questioned about the event, she asks why her father wouldn't just die, since she had shot him so many times. As it turns out, the girl and her mother had been putting up with severe abuse at the hand of the alcoholic father. The girl, seeing her father begin another attack on his wife, grabbed the gun (which had been left in an easily accessible place) and shot her father.
- Parodied in a Jam sketch where a man believes he has accidentally killed his friend during an argument. He calls a professional killer/"cleaner" named Maria to dispose of the body, but she turns out to be only six years old. She uses language that would make a sailor blush, carries a gun, and when the victim wakes up (revealing that he was only unconscious) she shoots him in the head then hacks him to bits with a saw blade. In the end, the police are called and Maria instantly reverts to a cutesy child act. Jam was based on the radio series Blue Jam, which featured several sketches about Maria. More disturbingly, in this version, she is only four years old!
- An episode of Criminal Minds focused on a series of murders of young children. They turned out to have been committed by a young boy (the son of their original suspect), who, in his own words, did it "because I wanted to."
- Game of Thrones:
- Inverted; Robin Arryn is ten years old and still breastfeeding. On the other hand, he also takes particular glee in tormenting people
- Play horribly straight throughout the series; most preferably by King Joffrey Baratheon, who was a 'very sweet child'...until the age of about 12, when his father told him that pregnant cats had kittens in their stomachs. He mutilated the cat and awarded the fetuses to his father. It got worse.
- By Season 4, Arya Stark has fully progressed into this. She doesn't shed a single tear when she finds out that her aunt Lysa, possibly the last living relative that could protect her, is dead. She laughs. And that's before The Hound's (apparent) death scene. She traveled with the guy for months, yet she silently refused to put him out of his misery, instead robbing him and leaving him to die slowly and alone.
- In Season 6, Qyburn has turned a cohort of Varys' spies into a gang of creepy silent children who don't hesitate in slicing Lancel's spinal cord or swarming Pycelle and stabbing him dozens of times.
- Francis Wilkerson, or heck, any of the kids from Malcolm in the Middle, easily qualify. Francis, aside from attempting to douse his teddy bear (as noted in the subtrope "Kids trying this behavior out for the first time" below), also frequently tortured his younger brothers (barring Dewey), stole their toys, locked them in a closet, and scarred Reese with a bayonette, all as a child, and he also implies when telling Dewey this that this is exactly what being a good brother is all about. As a teen, he frequently goes on destructive rampages/rebellions, such as stealing his mother's car, sleeping around, smoking, drinking, getting four nose piercings, and other similar behaviors all just to spite his mother or just for the heck of it. Reese is very much prone to violence, and enjoys hurting people.
- The Gallagher children in both the British and American versions of Shameless are all examples of this (or were, at some point in the show's backstory), but they run the spectrum from Promotion to Parent "responsible" types like Fiona and Debbie to absurdly worldly but irresponsible or immature Street Urchin-types like Lip and Carl (the American version even gleefully goes to prison for a time so he could learn the crime trade). Ian's somewhere in the middle, being self-disciplined and responsible but not taking as active a role in raising his younger siblings.
- Megan Parker in Drake & Josh, a young girl who takes great pleasure in pranking her titular brothers for no reason other than enjoying seeing them suffer for the heck of it, which, of course, isn't helped by the fact that she became more sadistic and a demon child as Flanderization kicked in, and the worst part? She is even let off the hook real easy for them!
- A major theme in The Wire is that the children at the low-rises of Baltimore are already involved in the drug game by the age of ten, even earlier. On the violence aspect, Snoop and Kenard come to mind.
- Law & Order had episodes featuring child killers several times, but in most cases, the kids went bad because of abuse, drugs, or, in one case, intentional brainwashing by a parent. The most notable — and most chilling — example of a child killer was Jenny Brandt from the episode "Killerz", a ten-year-old girl who not only intentionally murdered a six-year-old boy, but mutilated his body on top of it all. She would later taunt Jack McCoy about getting away with it, openly bragged that she planned on doing it again to another boy because, in her own words, "That's what boys are for," and actually had the brass balls to pick her next victim in front of McCoy, who was horrified when he realized what she was doing. The child actress who played Jenny Brandt, Hallee Hirsch, was only 12 at the time and honestly should have won an Emmy for that performance.
Dr. Emil Skoda: The snuffed cat, the blacked-out photographs. Her lack of response when I went after her.
Jack McCoy: Her fantasies about hurting little boys?
Skoda: Yeah. Previews of coming attractions. She's graduated to murder. She's not gonna stop.
Abbie Carmichael: You sound pretty sure.
Skoda: Kid's a done deal. She's a textbook serial killer. We just got her early.
- More than one case on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has involved this trope. Usually the behavior is an indicator of an underlying problem (i.e. a kid acting out sexually because they were sexually abused), but there are a few examples where a child commits horrific acts for no reason, just because they feel like it. A couple of episodes ("Quarry", "Web") contain elements of both, where the perpetrator was abused, but then turned around and knowingly, intentionally inflicted similar abuse on a younger/more vulnerable child.
- Child prostitute Annie in Copper - and that's before he kills the man who killed and raped, in that order, her twin sister.
- Although he's an adult when you meet him, on Elementary the antagonist turns out to have been a child when he was kidnapped, but turned the relationship with his captor around to become the dominant partner and had him kidnap and kill other children just so the boy could enjoy seeing the looks on the parents' faces on the news.
- The Big Bad of Series 4 of Sherlock has genius-level intellect like the rest of the Holmes family but has always been... off, ever since childhood. Her parents once found her cutting her wrists, just because she wanted to see how her muscles work. When asked if she felt pain, she responded: "Which one's pain?" Shortly afterwards, she trapped Sherlock's childhood friend in a well and left them to drown, and burned her house down. She was quickly institutionalised after that.
- Alluded to in one episode:
Dean: This is my first sawed off! Sixth grade...
- Seen in another, where a maybe 12-year-old Dean witnesses a monster creeping up on his brother and instead of freaking out like a normal kid would, calmly and quietly reaches for his shotgun.
- Alluded to in one episode:
- Breaking Bad gives us Tomas Cantillo, who shot and killed Jesse's friend Combo as part of a rite of initiation into a gang.
- Octavian in Rome, though Deliberate Values Dissonance is also involved. He goes with veteran legionnaire Titus Pullo to kidnap and interrogate a man they suspect of adultery. Octavian calmly gives him a choice: hours of Cold-Blooded Torture, or confession and quick death. When Pullo admits that he's not a Torture Technician, Octavian advises him to start by cutting off the man's thumbs.
Pullo: Juno's cunt, but you're salty. And I was worried about bringing you.
- DCI Banks: In "Wednesday's Child", Banks and his team investigate the abduction of an 11-year-old boy. As the investigation proceeds, they discover the boy has been delivering heroin for a local dealer and helped to bury one of his friends who had died of an overdose.
- In Euphoria, Rue's drug dealer Ashtray looks like he might be 13 at most.
- In "Brenda's Got a Baby" by 2Pac, Brenda (then 12 years old) gets into a relationship with her 20-something cousin after becoming frustrated with life at home. She becomes pregnant but manages to hide the pregnancy from her family. She ends up giving birth on the floor of the girls' bathroom at school, and tries to dispose of the baby in a dumpster (only to feel bad and take it out). She and her mother are constantly at each others' throats, and finally, Brenda is kicked out of the house. She is too young to be hired for honest work and has no place to go, so she sells drugs...until she is robbed at gunpoint and is driven to prostitution. It does not end well.
- Similarly, the third verse of Ludacris' "Runaway Love" is about an eleven year old named Erica who does drugs to deal with her trauma. She gets pregnant by her sixteen year old boyfriend, who promptly abandons her. Erica doesn't know what to do as she's too scared to tell her mother and doesn't think her family can pay for an abortion. She ends up running away from home.
- Metric's song Youth Without Youth is about children engaging in violent behavior and fighting with the cops, eventually getting arrested. The entire song is framed in a way that compares their behavior with different children's game.
- From "Weird Al" Yankovic's "My Own Eyes":
"My neighbour's kids sold weapons-grade plutonium
And frosty, ice-cold lemonade
They took MasterCard and sometimes human organs in trade
That's how we paid
I have to say that it was really darn good lemonade."
- "Come Out and Play" by The Offspring is about youth gang violence:
- The protagonist of "7 Years" by Lukas Graham mentions doing drugs and drinking alcohol at age 11.
- "Life, in a Nutshell" by Barenaked Ladies opens with this line: "When she was three, her Barbies always did it on the first date."
- Wicked witches in Witch Girls Adventures and the comics that spawned it are big on Evil Smoking. Children aren't an exception.
- Blood Claws in Warhammer 40,000. Granted, they're not actually children (more along the lines of 18+ due to how long it takes to become a Space Marine), but they just came into adulthood and will blindly charge towards a 40' towering monstrosity while laughing their heads off, not exactly behaviour suited to the average teenager (especially since many older warriors would run away in fear from said monsters). Of course, they are space Vikings... (in fact, this is done deliberately: it allows Space Wolves to get it out of their system before they're allowed to move onto different combat role like long-range fire-support).
- Billy Sovereign, an NPC bully from Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, at one point impaled PC Leonardo de Montreal on a railroad spike, aimed right at the heart, with intent to kill (Leonardo survived mostly because his heart is not actually located within his body). To be fair, to some degree, Billy Sovereign isn't so much a real human as he is an aggressively hegemonising, infectious, embodied meme.
- The entirety of How I Learned to Drive.
- Mildly done. The protagonist and his peers are all ten-year-olds, yet some of the kids have an odd fascination with hooking up and making out. At least one character likely gets the behavior from watching R rated films.
- Then there's Crystal and Clem. They're seen messing around with poison, and there's one scene where they talk about how everyone is "going to be sorry" in very somber monotones far divorced from their usual chirpy facade as they watch the sunset on the top of the roof. After you rescue their brains Crystal does explain their previous behavior: They were trying to kill themselves and if you read the message boards around the camp you find of its because they were being bullied for acting positive all the time and trying to make others happy.
- Ienzo from Kingdom Hearts... By looking at him, you could never possibly guess he would be the one to convince Ansem the Wise into building an underground laboratory to experiment with the Darkness in people's Hearts, which eventually lead to the apprentices losing their own Hearts...
- Pokémon is a franchise which often sees preteen children saving the world, so it's a given this pops up here and there:
- While this trope isn't to the extent of his Pokémon Adventures counterpart, the second generation rival Silver's obsession with strength, as well as his violent, cruel behavior, general cynicism, and proficiency at thievery can be kind of disturbing when you remember he probably is no older than the protagonist; i.e. an 11 to 12-year-old boy. And it's implied it's all he knows. This is especially apparent when contrasted with the bratty rival Blue in the previous generation. He's Giovanni's son, he hates Team Rocket, and will use their own methods against them if it means stopping them. All because he just wants Giovanni to stay home and be a father instead of running off somewhere to be potentially killed, what with dealing in organized crime.
- Cyrus apparently displayed this at a young age... Probably was a warning sign of what he was going to become. Then again, his absurdly perfectionist parents didn't help at all.
- In Pokémon Sun and Moon, Gladion has shades of this; being a runaway that's implied to be not much older than the player character (which is stated to be 11 at the start of the games); portrayed as a sullen individual with piercings and black clothes as a symbol as being Guzma's enforcer for Team Skull. He is incredibly abrasive in conversation (when a Skull Grunt questions Guzma why he outranks them, Gladion more or less tells said grunt to shut up) and a perfectionist in battle. This likely stems from being disowned by Lusamine as a result of not wanting to follow her example.
- Knights of the Old Republic: Mission Vao, a fourteen-year-old twi'lek living in Taris' Lower City spends most of her time adventuring, thieving and fighting off thugs, slavers and trigger-happy gangsters. Plus, the Outcasts in the even worse Undercity know her as someone who explores places even their scouts fear to read, which means going toe to toe with rakghouls. There was also a significant gap of time between when her piece of ossik brother abandoned her and she started traveling with Zaalbar.
- Rule of Rose: Byzantine plotting, power struggles, and even torture are everyday occurrences in the Aristocrat Club of the Rose Garden Orphanage, and depending on the player's interpretation, some of them don't even shy away from murder if they can get away with it. And manipulating a serial killer to commit murders is definite canon for one of the characters, although that wasn't considered typical behaviour even for her.
- The imagery of mock suicide by teenagers (and, in one case, an elementary-school kid) in Persona 3 is more than a little disturbing, and likely the primary reason for the game's "M" rating in North America. Said elementary-school kid also goes above and beyond with this trope all on his own. Plotting to murder his mother's killer and then kill himself more than qualifies. (Mostly) fortunately for him, his plans are ruined.
- This occurs after you find out "Black Mask"'s backstory in Persona 5. According to the timeline, Goro Akechi couldn't have committed his first murder any older than fifteen, and just got worse from there.
- Tiny Tina, from Borderlands 2, is the world's deadliest 13-year-old and an explosives expert. In her introduction cutscene, she proceeds to blasting a Psycho into oblivion while singing to the tune of Pop Goes the Weasel. And thats just the start.
- Anise Tatlin in Tales of the Abyss is a 14-year-old Gold Digger, and quite mercenary about it - she speculates on the merits of having to wait on a sickly husband who's likely to die early and leave her his fortune, and throws herself unashamedly at a man more than twice her own age. The fact that this is all Played for Laughs may or may not make it better.
- Mad Father: About 1/4 of the way through the game, Aya finds the Mini Chainsaw. She proceeds to have a nostalgic flashback of the first time she played with it. Also, when one investigates her dressers after the first scene with Ogre, she will find dead animals inside. The fact that Aya doesn't react to this in the slightest implies she already knew they were there (and most likely killed them herself). One of the additional notes from the second playthrough outright confirms this. Also, during the course of the game, Aya will be burning monsters, interacting with corpses and reading other people's diaries.
- The gun-toting, cigar-chomping cyborg mad-bomber that is Peacock from Skullgirls definitely qualifies. Especially since she's thirteen years old. The titular Skullgirl, Bloody Marie, also qualifies; she's just as old as Peacock is and possesses world-destroying powers. Her goal is to kill the Mafia for their crimes, of which includes mutilating her best friend Patricia, who would eventually become Peacock.
- The Last of Us has Ellie, a fourteen-year-old girl who can shoot, swear like a sailor, and her biggest reaction to someone being shot to pieces is 'Oh [insert swearword here]'.
- B.B. Hood, the current poster child of The Fake Cutie from Darkstalkers carries a hamper full of goodies that are actually missiles and flamethrowers, and almost all her gun-based attacks are accompanied by a Slasher Smile even in her sprite! In one of her victory poses she also takes out a cigar while flicking through her killing contracts.
- Super Mario Bros.: Bowser Jr. made his debut by vandalising an entire island with toxic graffiti in an attempt to frame Mario. When that plan started to go south, he kidnapped Peach and tried to kill Mario with a giant robot. Since then, he's been shown still using his Magic Paintbrush, summoning giant killer robots, and kidnapping Peach, along with assisting in unprovoked military attacks. There are also some implications that he's a gambler. All this, from a 3- to 5-year-old child.
- In A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky, Ivy and Mint are very unperturbed about murdering human opponents. For instance, Ivy's only reaction to the Diego battle is to joke about how he wasn't strong enough to beat them. Weirdly, this doesn't seem to be intended as a red flag, as the girls act like normal, well-adjusted people otherwise. It is possible that this is simply meant to reflect their isolated upbringing.
- In Twisted Metal: Black, the driver of the vehicle Yellow Jacket is a corpse... not a zombie, a corpse. See, the man was a taxi driver who was shot and, in order to enter the Twisted Metal competition, his son turned the corpse into a remote-controlled puppet. So, this kid who is using his father's corpse to kill other people with his now-weaponized taxi? He's eight years old.
- In Resident Evil 7, files found in-game heavily imply that Lucas murdered another boy when he was a child by locking him in the attic.
- Higurashi: When They Cry:
- The main cast members are well-known for their (usually) Hate Plague induced paranoia and murder sprees, among many other troubling behaviors. The four oldest characters are only about fifteen or sixteen, with the youngest being somewhere between nine and twelve.
- Rika drinks wine to drown her sorrows and she's not any older than twelve (at least, not physically). She does this behind everyone else's backs, though.
- Umineko: When They Cry: Meet Maria Ushiromiya, a 9-year-old walking encyclopedia of all things relating to Western occult lore and "black magic." Also has a rather irritating Evil Laugh and a habit of using it at incredibly inappropriate times, like after seeing her mother and 5 of her relatives' horribly mutilated corpses.
- Illyasviel von Einzbern from Fate/stay night is a... strange case. At first, she's trying to kill Shirou and Rin... then depending on the route she goes to play with Shirou, her "onii-chan", frequently. Then it turns out she's a homunculus created as a vessel for the Holy Grail. Finally it's revealed that she's 18 but has the body of a young child, and is, in fact, the biological daughter of Shirou's adopted father Kiritsugu. She's also not as childish in mentality as she appears. Plus she also tries to have sex with Shirou at two points in Fate and one in Heaven's Feel. Which is... a little disturbing.
- The troll kids in Hiveswap Friendsim are, like the trolls in the source material Homestuck, prone to extreme violence and uncomfortably sexual behaviour as a consequence of having no parents and growing up on a Death World. A few salient examples include:
- Amisia, a preteen who beheads trolls to make paint from their blood and is flirted with for a moirallegiance (a nonsexual relationship that is still considered romantic by her society) by a troll, weeks away from legal adulthood.
- Diemen, a homeless boy who casually removes his shirt in public and attempts to make out with the PC mere minutes after meeting them for the first time.
- Cirava, who casually offers drugs to the PC, smokes up themselves and talks about how they cut out their own eye.
- Who Is This/Karako, who is of possibly preschool age, enters a Berserker Rage and almost manages to hold his own against three older teenagers.
- Chelsie Warner, the Creepy Child of Concession. She suffers from gender dysphoria, and was born "Charles" until her parents allowed her to start dressing and living as a girl. This itself isn't what's troubling, but she displays violent tendencies in her very first appearance by stabbing Artie in the eye with a crayon. She then rapes him when he's too delirious to know what's going on. It was later revealed that her hypersexual behavior was related to a form of bipolar disorder, and she joined a harem of preteen boys run by the practicing pedophile Kate, who specifically seeks out children with this disorder because she believes that allowing them to give in to urges which are already there doesn't count as abuse. The author points out that he knows that it does count, but Kate does not know that or refuses to believe it. Luckily, the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue shows that by the time Chelsie's an adult she's transitioned fully to female and is much more mentally stable under the care of her adopted father, the local priest Father Tim.
- Namah in Dreamkeepers Prelude is a milder version than people on this page, but she still did a Slasher Smile when she went into the ventilation system, stole knives, poured hot sauce in the eyes of one of her guards. Considering that she is being kept in her room to prevent knowledge of a secret affair being leaked, it's kinda justified.
- Samantha Wight of Suppression has a habit of lecturing people about the futility of everything and, at best, is only mildly annoyed at being stabbed through the heart.
- Nadia (and possibly Dark) in Kagerou, although whether they're actually children or even real, is highly debatable. Their actions are made more disturbing by the presence of Kid, who is very childlike.
- The trolls do not, as a rule, have much in the way of childhoods—but some of them develop a strong interest in collectible card games or rainbow drinker romance novels, and others begin earnestly studying for a career in law enforcement (complete with the mass hangings of scalemate plushies) or become mass murderers by the age of thirteen.
- There's also Roxy. Like her Beta counterpart, Rose's mother, she's a Hard-Drinking Party Girl. Unlike her Beta counterpart, she's only fifteen. Of course, she's one of the last two humans on the planet, and was raised by childlike Chess people, so it's unlikely anyone has ever told her to stop except her peers.
- Larisa of Sandra and Woo. She likes fire. A lot. She also does things like accusing her math teacher of molesting her to get out of a test, attempt to make out with her boyfriend while he's in the middle of a class presentation, and joke about being a "junkie" when injecting her insulin. All the other girls at school have been warned about her, and her mom point blank asks if she's still a virgin after a class trip. The other medicines she takes and, contrary to the insulin, keeps a secret from her best friends, gives this already uncomfortable behavior some further uncomfortable undertones. We eventually find out that her behavior is partially caused by Wolfram Syndrome, a condition that that will likely kill her before she reaches 30 and cripple her long before. Larisa knows she's living on borrowed time, thus feels no need to mitigate her behavior past not physically harming anyone.
- In Apothecia, an eleven-year-old girl kills a child abductor and feeds his corpse to an alien in the woods behind her house.
- Benni from Forest Hill, due to being abused and forced to work as a Sex Slave for money by his father, thinks that it is normal for adults to have sex with children, and is confused when Flora is nice to him without expecting anything in return. Talitha, who is even younger than him, is worse. She molests Hunter at school by forcing him to Play Doctor with her, and is implied to be watching her father's porn. It turns out her father was forcing Benni to have sex with her.
- The author of the comic has said that they did not originally plan for Benni to be an abuse victim, but decide to make him one after they realized that just being a big kid was not a sufficient explanation for his Hair-Trigger Temper and violent, possibly sexual, behavior. See the comment section on this page.
- It is later revealed that Flora had a romantic and sexual relationship with a pedophile when she was a child, and she didn't realize that anything was wrong with this until she discovered that her lover was secretly keeping naked pictures of her and other children, including her brothers.
- Colin is disturbed when he finds out that Tanya has tried fingering herself and is also worried about how Hunter enjoys being naked a little bit too much. Flora assures him that none of this is out of the ordinary.
- Axe Cop. Not any character within the comic, but rather the author. This story, written by five-year-old Malachai Nicolle, has a hero whose Catchphrase is "I'll chop your head off!" and he makes good on that threat very often. There's also the occasional baby-eating and frequent blasphemy. Generally one can play this off as Malachai being extremely imaginative and simply too young to know where to draw the line; as the story continues and Malachai gets older, the disturbing elements start to fade away.
- Sock from Welcome to Hell has had a desire to kill things his entire life. When he was younger he killed animals. At the start of the series he has just killed his parents in his sleep.
- The Brandon Rogers "No Parents!" sketch is literally nothing but this:
Kid 2: WHAT ARE WE GOING TO WITH THE BODIES?!
Kid 1: Dude! I know where my dad keeps the spare keys, come on!
- Ness and Lucas in There Will Be Brawl are bad enough to make all of the other supposed Big Bads nervous.
- In Mall Fight, Sakura acts like she is at least sixteen, despite only being nine, and often has sex with her actually teenage boyfriend. The only time she really acted her age was when she was aged down to five a little before the latest reboot.
- This trope defines every (human - maybe) character your principal one meets in the play-by-post game What Time Is It, Mr. Wolf?
- Before her Let's Read 50 Shades Of Grey videos were deleted, YouTube user emmablackery gave us this gem:
emmablackery: We get it! You want to fuck him! God! You sound like a 12-year-old. [beat] We start young, here in Essex.
- From Welcome to Night Vale, Tamika Flynn and her army are known for training in combat for days on end, taking down helicopters with slingshots, revolting against StrexCorp tooth and nail, and reading at a very advanced level.
- Bonesaw joined up with the Slaughterhouse Nine when she was five. During the story, she's between twelve and fourteen and produces Body Horror on a level unmatched by pretty much any other character. Being a Tinker specializing in biology means that she can do anything with living creatures up to and including bringing back the recently-dead...and those she reanimates would probably rather have stayed dead.
- Vista is an extremely nihilistic thirteen-year-old superheroine who's been fighting since she was ten, experiencing all the wonders that Brockton Bay had to offer. While she is upset by her friends dying, she copes with it far better than is normal.
- Glaistig Uaine actively looks forward to the end of the world because it'll mean more dead Parahumans for her to collect and add to her own power, and has personally killed at least one hundred. She appears to be twelve or so years old, despite being somewhere around thirty, so this trope is somewhat justified, but she's been like that ever since getting her powers as a pre-teen.
- Played for Laughs in The Most Popular Girls in School. Even ignoring how inappropriate the teenage characters act, elementary-aged Mikayla is just as much of a foul-mouthed, violent Alpha Bitch as her older sisters.
- The Nostalgia Critic may have had this kind of behavior as bits of his Dark and Troubled Past crop up. Examples include a mention of shooting his Ninja Turtles doll as a child in the "Top 11 Scariest Moments," an implication of being a sexual "early bloomer" in his review of Little Monsters, and a childhood drawing of being torn in half by his parents in the "Old VS. New" comparing Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Nostalgia Critic: I had issues.
- Downplayed in Takotsubo: The story of a superhero. Chinese-American Cord Cai is nineteen in the prologue, went in and out of street gangs during high school, and after his similarly-aged fiance Roland is murdered in a botched carjacking, Cord shoots the man who did it in revenge. In companion pieces, his uncle (and presumably his aunt) is noted to be a VERY good Parental Substitute who cares deeply about him—but Cord's actual parents have been in prison since he was eight. In the main story as a twenty-five-year-old, he refers to teenagers as kids and refuses to take them into his gang, while calling himself "old."
- Entirely Presenting You: Alexis starts the story as an innocent 15-year-old who's quickly forced to grow up in order to deal with her new powers and vampiric thirst. And then there's D, a little girl who's willing to crash a bus in order to escape a gang that was after her.
- DSBT InsaniT: Due to using the internet, Bear knows about things that a kid like him should not know, which freaks Cody out to no end.
- Unraveled: During the "Perfect Pokerap" episode, Brian David Gilbert talks about how, when he was a kid playing the first Pokémon games, a Tangela named Terry was his favourite, and in order to complete his Pokedex, he needed to trade for an Arcanine...but the only one he could get was from Kevin Punt, his childhood nemesis, who insisted that he would only trade for Terry, because he wanted BDG to "give up something [he] loved".
BDG: Which is legitimately a wild thing for an eight-year-old to request!
- The Delightful Children from Down the Lane from Codename: Kids Next Door are creepy, monotone-speaking kids who side with the adult villains.
- Maggie from The Simpsons is a lot smarter and often ruthless than one would expect from a baby. She was the one who shot Mr. Burns, after all.
- Played for Laughs when the teachers go on strike, with Marge opining that he needs more structure in his life.
- Bart in general sometimes veers into this in later seasons due to Flanderization, doing things like threatening Homer and Marge's marriage to get out of homework in "Postcards From the Wedge" and even shows indifference to the idea of Homer dying in "Love is a Many Strangled Thing".
- The Loud House:
- Overlapping with Fridge Horror, Lucy Loud depressed gothic personality might just seem like typical preteen or teenage angst, until you realize she's actually just eight years old.
- Even more so with Lola who, at six years old, has become known for her violent temper tantrums to the point where even her older siblings make it a point not to ever mess with her. Worse still, her idea of a perfect day involves world domination. That said, it's better for everyone that she never be given cause to become angry with them.
- Sonic Sat AM: Most of the Knothole Freedom Fighters are between 14 and 16 years old. Looking at their day-to-day behavior, you'd be forgiven for thinking they're a bunch of Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: they routinely make bombs, hijack transport convoys and military vehicles, plant spies in critical places to subvert authority, free prisoners of war, blow up factories, sabotage power plants, destroy airfields, steal resources to live, and openly discuss their intentions to kill Robotnik, all in the name of saving their home planet.
- Mandy from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy whose face is kept at a permanent, perpetual glare and is not above physically and emotionally tormenting her own friends if it serves her purpose. So rarely does she smile that the one time she did, it ripped apart reality as we know it, and when one time forced to save humanity from impending darkness, she only did it because she vowed she would be the one to do it first.
- The Fairly OddParents!:
- Vicky the Evil Babysitter; an out and out sadist who enjoys tormenting children for money; easily a poster child for the Would Hurt a Child trope.
- Remy Buxaplenty also shows traits of this trope. While at first, he was just a stereotypical mean rich kid who wanted Timmy to lose Cosmo and Wanda out of jealousy, in Operation F.U.N, he tried to outright kill Cosmo and Wanda and even laughed about it. And unlike Vicky, who is at least 16, Remy is 11 years old.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- When we see Azula in a flashback to when she was about 8 years old she engages in typical activities such as teasing her brother and her friend who has a crush on him, doing cartwheels, throwing rocks at animals, throwing fireballs at people, hopefully suggesting that her uncle and cousin might die in battle so her father can inherit the throne, setting dolls on fire, mocking her uncle for leaving a battle after her cousin died, cheerfully telling her brother and mother that her father has been ordered to murder her brother...
- We first see Azula, aged eleven or twelve, in a flashback in the first appearance, smirking with glee as her brother and father have a fight. That ends with her father calling his apologetic son a disrespectful traitor before burning off half of his face for refusing to fight back. At age fourteen, Azula isn't much better. She constantly lies and is as cruel as ever. Her introduction scene has her threatening to throw a man off a boat. In the end, Azula ends up having a Villainous Breakdown during a life-or-death duel against her brother. Unlike other examples; it is darkly fascinating as a study. As Azula felt neglected or like a monster to her mother, she ended up emulating her father; like children tend to do sometimes. It gets a bit gray as to how much of Azula's cruelty is a byproduct of neglect and Ozai's (and by extension, her environment) upbringing and how much was legitimately her own doing.
- The Gaang itself, while going through the stock hero's journey, has no members older than sixteen. They command shock troops, lead prison riots and breakouts, rediscover ancient history, and frequently discuss their leader executing the Fire Lord. Then again, the Fire Nation is no better at all, and considering the world has gone through a war that has lasted a hundred years, and their leader is a recent reincarnation of the only person able to bring balance to the world, this is to be expected.
- Played for laughs in South Park where pretty much all the kids (even Butters occasionally) cuss like sailors and emanate adult behavior all the time. Taken to extremes with Cartman, however, who has gone so far as attempting to start new Holocausts.
- On Daria, Brittany's little brother Brian not only acts out of control, but he is also apparently the reason why the family doesn't even bother naming their pets anymore.
- Xiaolin Showdown: As a kid, Big Bad Wannabe Evil Genius Jack Spicer asked for knife-throwing lessons. His mom sent him figure skating. So he made a robot out of her juicer. As a Teen Genius, he's trying to Take Over the World with a robot army... with winter sports as a surprise skill.
- In Young Justice Invasion Jade's baby laughs at the fighting she and Red Arrow are engaging at an army of Mooks. Partly because the baby came from a family of supervillains.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Ponyville Confidential", Diamond Tiara, the Alpha Bitch of the local schoolhouse, openly engages in blackmail and shows signs of outright sociopathy. ("Feelings? I don't care about feelings!")
- Code Lyoko's main protagonists have become so accustomed to close encounters with death that they show little to no worry whenever it seems like it's going to be the end for them. And the oldest one is fifteen.
- Gideon Gleeful from Gravity Falls is nine years old and has been shown summoning demons and plotting murder. He even tried to cut out Dipper's tongue with a lamb shear. No wonder his parents are afraid of him.
- Rick and Morty: Rick's adult daughter Beth is revealed to have been this in the third season. Some of the toys she begged Rick to make her include a "whip that makes people like you", a taser shaped like a ladybug, and a pink, sentient switchblade. Rick also created a child-safe pocket dimension play-park because of her obvious budding sociopathy. Young!Beth trapped a childhood friend, Tommy, there for over 30 years because she was jealous of his relationship with his father (and then forgot about it).
- In Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright, talent show contestant Crissy, who appears to be at the most twelve years old, sings a wildly inappropriate song for a girl her age called "Homewrecker", the lyrics of which begin "Stay away from my man, homewrecker Nobody comes, between me and my man."
- Do we even need to explain everything about Stewie Griffin from Family Guy? A toddler who goes on rampages to beat up and even kill many adults. Let that sink in for a moment.
- The Boondocks:
- Huey is a ten-year-old Conspiracy Theorist who thinks Everything Is Racist. He's quite into politics for his age, which isn't a bad thing, however, he goes to Well-Intentioned Extremist territories with his views. Huey also owns a katana, has hijacked a bus, and tried to kill someone with a bomb once.
- Huey's Bratty Half-Pint eight-year-old brother Riley is obsessed with looking "gangsta". He can act like a delinquent, his speech is peppered with a lot of Trash Talk, and occasionally he is an accomplice in crimes. He (usually) stops at actually hurting people though and it's implied most of his reputation is a lie.
- Cindy is a girl scout who plays up a certain common joke. She sells cookies as if she's selling drugs. Cindy is also Pretty Fly for a White Guy, though unlike most examples she is authentically into hip-hop, and is a counterpart to Riley (though she is less prone to profanity). Unlike Riley, she actually seems more hands-on violent, such as when she beat up another girl scout or when she chased a man with a bat.
- Ben 10: Kevin 11 in the Original Series tried to cause a subway accident that would result of tons of dead just so he could pick money from their corpses, attempted revenge on bullies using pyrokinetic powers and later went on a crime spree across America where he tried to stab people with diamond blades while grinning maniacally. Any of these actions would be disturbing on its own already for an adult character, and Kevin was 11 years old when he did them.
- In the Darkwing Duck episode "You Sweat Your Life", it is implied by Herb Muddlefoot that his eldest son Tank, who already gets away with bullying his little brother Honker on a regular basis, once cut off his grandfather's leg with a chainsaw when he was an infant. What's especially chilling is that Herb describes the incident as if it's perfectly normal for children to do such a thing.
- Hey Arnold!:
- Curly is obviously criminally insane. In "False Alarm", he pulls the fire alarm and frames Eugene for it. Why? Because Eugene borrowed a pencil from him and when he returned it, it was covered in bite marks and sharpened down to the metal. Keep in mind, that Eugene would have been expelled had his plan succeeded. In "Curly Snaps", he, well, snaps, locks himself in the principal's office and throws basketballs at all his classmates who he thinks mistreated him for years and the situation is very similar to a hostage crisis. The other pupils react very shocked that the quiet Curly is capable of this. Why? Because he wasn't assigned the duty of "ball monitor" that wanted. And in "Ghost Bride" he dressed up as the titular killer to scare his friends because he wanted to be the one to tell the fable instead of Gerald.
- Helga Pataki is probably the horniest nine-year-old girl in the history of Western Animation with all the crap she threw past the radar in regards to her crush on Arnold. She has also written multiple volumes of poetry about him, carries around a heart-shaped locket with his photo in it, and has a shrine dedicated to him. While it's Played for Laughs and she doesn't seem to want to harm Arnold, it is still disturbing nonetheless.
- One episode has a seductive girl who looks like Lila. She can't be older than 9. It all turns out to be All Just a Dream, though (but, as it was Arnold's dream, that might mean something about him).
- The 34th episode of the series revealed that Mr. Cat is less than 13 years old, yet over the course of the show he has tried to have sex, got drunk several times, and is an Ax-Crazy psychopath who owns an arsenal of weapons.
- Stumpy has also shown signs of this. It's more noticeable in later seasons.
- DuckTales (2017) has a version of Webby who was raised by her grandma to be ready for everything...while keeping her cooped up in Scrooge's manor and therefore very isolated. As a consequence, Webby has no idea what appropriate reactions to social situations are and assumes violence is a solution scarily often. For example, Louie draws a hand across his throat to tell her to stop arguing with a store manager...and she thinks he's telling her to attack the man with her eating utensils. Thankfully she doesn't get to follow through on it.
- Anais from The Amazing World of Gumball is a four-year-old smart enough to be in middle school. As a result, she's more than capable of being The Chessmaster, easily coming up with plans to pit her other family members against each other for her own benefit. And that's not even getting into the Hair-Trigger Temper she inherited from her mother, her habit of making some scary facial expressions, and what happened when she tried to befriend her classmate Jodie...Oh, and did we mention that she repeatedly tried to murder her brothers when she was just a baby?
- Ultimately, what is considered appropriate for children and what not can be very different between cultures, and varies over time. In some countries such as Spain and France, it's not uncommon for minors to be introduced to alcohol for educational reasons, as well as a normal thing rather than a stigma. Other, more depressing examples of this trope in real life includes child brides, child soldiers, child laborers, etc.
- Comedian Brendon Burns tells a story about catching his 5-year-old son masturbating with a soaped up shark toy, his advice was:
Burns: DON'T DO THAT!
Son: Why not?
Burns: Because adults don't like it when little kids do that, and I wasn't allowed to do it when I was your age and..... y'know what, go ahead, just don't do it at school.
Son: Why not?
Burns: See rule #1. (Rule 1 is "it'll suck, and you'll hate me for letting you do it")
- Played for laughs: Catholic speaker Chris Padgett tells a story of when his young son first learned a bad word- "boobie"- and would not stop saying it. Eventually, Chris' older daughter sits down to talk to him:
Daughter: You can't say that word anymore, it's bad.
Son: Yes I can, boobie.
Daughter: Jesus wouldn't want you to say that word, right?
Son: Yes I would.
Padgett: Great, my kid thinks he's Jesus.
- Chain smoking guerrilla leaders the Htoo Twins. They also claimed to be bulletproof and have armies of invisible soldiers.
- 2 year old smokes 40 cigarettes a day.
- Xenophobia and ethnic discrimination aren't anything new in Japan, but the footage of a young teenage girl, (dressed in cutesy cat ears and Zettai Ryouiki), shouting anti-Korean slurs and instigating a crowd into committing genocide against them stands out like a sore thumb.
- Kevin Smith, on one of the "An Evening With Kevin Smith"s, describes his daughter learning her first naughty word (bullshit) while she was a toddler. Unlike most examples of this trope, this was intensely hilarious to Smith and his wife, who egged her on; she even got creative with it (dogshit, mommyshit, daddyshit). Then they said, "Do you know what 'shit' means?" "No." They told her, and the girl got very quiet...
- Many children who grow up in abusive or neglectful homes display behaviors that are very adult-like or disturbing given their young ages. And the children themselves are often very surprised when another child or adult points out that such behavior is odd and abnormal. It's often a major indicator to psychologists, teachers, and healthcare professionals that a child may be living in such an environment.
- One of the regular, rather young trolls of True Capitalist named "Asho" has had a habit of doing this repeatedly, though thankfully not to serial killer levels; this has actually turned him into The Scrappy for a lot of people, even those who hate Ghost. He once called Ghost while high (and slagged off his mother while doing so), and another time called Ghost while drinking illegally and watching porn; the latter incident, he called back the very same show, while masturbating. He claims to be younger than ten.
- There's also TheAbortedFetus, who sounds even younger than Asho. He hasn't called in as often as Asho (mostly due to Ghost forwarding his number to the CPS)... and yet, he's managed to make Ghost throw a rage-fit of atomic proportions at least twice, as well as cause Ghost to initiate the "Woodchipper", by spouting sexual innuendo.
- Play any online game that is Rated M for Money, especially on Xbox Live, and have Internet Tough Guys who are 12 years old or even younger call you racist and homophobic slurs and a bunch of other swear words that you've never even heard of before. Oh, and don't forget that they've all had sex with your mom, too.
- Minipops, a 1980s TV show in the UK, consisted of young children dressed up as famous pop stars and singing popular hits. It drew a lot of controversy over showing kids wearing adult clothing, often performing songs that referenced sex. Particular criticism was aimed at an episode where a five-year-old girl in nightclothes and heavy makeup sang lyrics about "making love." The backlash led to the show being cancelled, although the children continued to record songs as a pop group.
- Mc Melody is a Brazilian singer who at the present date (October 2019) is 12 years old, however it has caused a huge controversy because she dresses and behaves in an excessively sexualized way, looking older than she really is have. Many blame their father for this.
- Adultdvdtalk is a porn website (obviously very NSFW) that has a section where they conduct interviews with porn actresses, one of their favorite questions is "At what age did you lose your virginity?" Some of these actresses have confessed that they began their sexual life at a very, very early age.
Examples of kids trying out such troubling behavior for the first time:
- One Piece showed Sanji started his smoking habit at age nine trying to be more adult.
- There was also Ace and Sabo's aborted attempt on Luffy's life, complete with them arguing over who should do it because neither of them has ever killed anyone before.
- A little later, but in Strawberry Marshmallow, Nobue started trying to smoke in middle school. It nauseated her when she first tried it, but she "powered through" until it didn't make her sick anymore, and now she's addicted. What started it all, however, is when a smoker left a pack behind on a park bench when Nobue was 11. Curious, she picked it up and looked at it. The warning label scared her off of starting for a while, although she did start holding a cigarette in her hand in an attempt to look cool.
- In Belgian comic Violine, the title 10-year-old drinks whiskey and gets clearly drunk off it, when it's given to her as part of a celebration held by friendly natives in an African country.
- She also points a gun at Muller while trying to get answers on her father's whereabouts and later threatens a military officer into firing on forces attacking her native friends.
- Afterlife with Archie: When they were younger, Cheryl's twin brother killed her puppy and made it look accidental because he was jealous that Cheryl loved her more than him.
- In Chapter 14 of the Superjail! fanfic Extended Stay, the Warden and the Mistress, after getting worked up over their 4-year-old twins Matilda and Ethan running off, finally find them beating and whipping the inmates alongside Jailbot, NOVA, Alice and Bruce. Oddly enough, Warden convinces his wife that this means they are good parents and they actually decide to help their children beat the crap out of their victims.
- Played for Laughs in The Cowboys, where the eponymous boys sneak off with a bottle of whisky from the chuck wagon and get drunk. The youngest cowboy, by the way, is nine years old. John Wayne's character and his cook find them when they start drunkenly singing "Home On the Range". Wayne and the cook keep quiet about it. Next day, the cook gives them a remedy for their "cold". John Wayne rides by, ordering the cook to make a heavy meal for dinner. The nearest boy runs off to throw up!
- Again in Hounddog, Lewellen is tricked into doing a naked dance for a much older man for Elvis tickets and gets raped because of it. This carried over into Real Life, where many people were shocked that 12-year-old Dakota Fanning had played such a scene herself.
- O-Ren Ishii of Kill Bill commits her first murder at the age of eleven, an act of incredibly bloody revenge upon Boss Matsumoto, who just two years earlier murdered both of her parents with the help of his men. And the reason that O-Ren was able to get close enough to Matsumoto to kill him? Matsumoto was a pedophile.
- A mailman is making his rounds, but one of his deliveries is a package that requires a signature. So he goes up to the house, knocks on the door, and a 12-year-old kid with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of scotch in the other answers it:
Mailman: Uh... hi. Are your parents home?
[the kid takes a puff from the cigarette]
- In Freak the Mighty's sequel story, a girl nicknamed "Worm" ends up hitchhiking with the titular character of the sequel. And he promised his grandmother that he wouldn't do that.
- In the classic children's book Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade, one of the main character's friends decides to hitchhike a ride to a local fair, as she's tired of walking. The rest of the kids are shocked but go along so as not to get left behind. The hitchhiking adventure ends up having disastrous consequences for the kids. The man drives off away from their intended destination, and the kids jump out of his truck at a red light. But one of them, a 7-year-old, goes back for her purse which she forgot, and the truck drives off with her in it. Looking for a phone so they can call the police, the kids head towards the nearest building they can find: a tavern. Suffice to say everyone in the tavern finds the procession of fifth-graders and the one girl's 3-year-old brother to be a rather strange sight.
- In the novel Others See Us the protagonists are quite startled when their grandmother insists they have a beer. Though it's actually a trick to increase their psychic powers.
- In the Judy Blume children's novel Then Again, Maybe I Won't, main character Tony, his rich next door friend Joel and his old friend from the inner city, Frankie, are hanging out in Joel's basement when Joel jimmies into his father's liquor cabinet. The three boys get drunk. It was the first time Tony and Frankie had done this, but Joel had been drinking enough that he knew well the differences between the various kinds of alcohol.
- In His Dark Materials, mention is made of Lyra and Roger sneaking into Jordan College's wine cellar and trying "the oldest, twistiest bottle they could find". They both end up vomiting all over the place. Roger questions the sanity of adults who enjoy drinking the stuff, while Lyra stubbornly declares that she likes it.
- Palpatine's youth was chronicled in Darth Plagueis, and he was mentioned to have done enough delinquent stuff to have had his butt thrown in a reform facility had his father not paid off the authorities to if not let him get away with his crimes, then certainly lessen the punishment to be significantly less than it should be (eg, expulsion).
- Jessie: Played Up to Eleven in episode "What A Steal" with Ravi's new friend, Madeline, who tricks him and his family into holding themselves hostage with handcuffs (as a means of "therapy" in conflict resolution by being physically close to each other) so that she can take advantage of the opportunity to rob them of their valuables, even involving her older brother as an accomplice while she's the main ringleader.
- The Malcolm in the Middle episode "Lois Battles Jamie", there are two instances of this subtrope occurring. The first was Jamie trying to murder his mother by dropping a shelf on her (although it's subverted in that he's acting like this because his brother Reese fed him soda, which evidentially made himself uncontrollable). The second was with Francis in a flashback. When he was a toddler, Francis attempted to douse his teddy bear with lighter fluid and set it on fire (similar to certain people who kidnap other people) before Lois intervened.
- Rome has Octavian, no older than his early teens, who calmly tortures a man to death at the instigation of an adult. Another adult takes him to a prostitute, and his older sister seduces him. He combines this trope with Wise Beyond Their Years, which makes him even more unnerving.
- The torture scene is particularly telling, since Octavian actually seems more comfortable with it than the battle-hardened veteran he's working with, openly explaining to the victim that they're going to kill him either way and telling them what they want to know will make it easier. When the victim still refuses, Octavian suggests cutting off his thumbs as a good way to get started.
- When we first see Mordred in Merlin, he's a normal child, albeit telepathic. Then the next time we see him, his camp gets attacked and several knights are about to take him back to Uther, who has drowned children in the past. He kills them. It's justified, but afterwards, he just gives a small satisfied smile. Keep in mind this kid is 9 or younger, and has been raised by Gandhi-level pacifists.
- Early on in The 100, several characters have grudges against Wells because his father ordered their parents' executions. However, it's Charlotte, a twelve-year-old girl, who stabs him in the throat for revenge.
- The Walking Dead: Rick's fear of what the post-apocalyptic world is doing to his son Carl's psyche is an ongoing subplot in seasons 2-4. In season 2 he wants to learn how to shoot guns, not unjustified given the setting, but his attempt at stealing one from Daryl causes his parents to question whether he's ready for the responsibility or not. Later, he takes a creepy interest in the idea of Rick having to execute Randall, even showing up at the barn to watch him do it (which is also what causes Rick to not be able to go through with it). In season 3 he insists that he be the one to put down his mother Lori to stop her from reanimating after her death, barely showing any emotion while doing so. In the finale he shoots and kills the surrendering Jody, initially claiming that Jody was planning to pull an I Surrender, Suckers but later admitting he felt that every time they've spared someone in the past it's come back to haunt them and that he "couldn't take the chance". This causes Rick to feel that Carl is becoming too okay with killing, and he attempts to reevaluate their roles in the group to get Carl out of the fighting.
- After his parents are murdered in front of him, twelve-year-old Bruce Wayne from Gotham starts acting very inappropriately. He engages in very reckless, self-destructive behavior and nearly beat a bully to death.
- CSI: In "Cat's in the Cradle", an eight-year-old girl murders her Crazy Cat Lady neighbour to gain possession of a kitten, and then attempts to frame her mother for the crime.
- Played for Laughs in Raven's Home. Chelsea's son Levi starts selling snacks at school at an inflated price in order to save up money for VR goggles. He learned it from his dad, who's in jail for tax fraud.
- From "Little Kids" by Deerhunter:
"kids drinking gin on the front lawn
the kids see that man walking down the dirt road
these kids see the sky and they think of him dressed in flames
kids walk behind, slowly stalk, that old man
these kids followed him to his shed
where he turns on the radio and smokes a cig
these kids come with gasoline and they strike a match"
- In the comedy band Dead Cat Bounce's song That Summer When We Killed That Guy the singer regales, in a sunny Beach Boys-esque tone, how they once decided to torture and kill a random passerby in their youth when they were bored. It's never explained if they ever did anything like that again, though they seem to look back on the event with nostalgia.
"We were young and full of fun;
Was just a matter of time before we killed someone.
There was nothing special about that guy;
He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I remember it was Tommy's idea
To make him swallow half his cut-off ear,
But what we did with the baseball bat,
I take full credit for that!"
- Long Live the Queen: consistently taking cruel options will turn Princess Elodie, a fourteen year old Rose-Haired Sweetie, into a truly vicious little sociopath. She can abuse the servants, go hunting and take her anger out on woodland creatures, taunt and torment prisoners, force a woman into marriage, send people to the headsman's block for so much as a connection with treason, and much, much more. And after that, she can go to her room and play with her toys.
- Day of the Barney has Barney convince his fans, who are all young children, to kill any adult they can manage to. Specifically featured are two children offing their mother.
- This is Gohan in spades after he goes Super Saiyan 2 in Dragon Ball Z Abridged. While normally polite and reserved, after he transforms he becomes bitter, spiteful, and a bit unhinged. He has no problems insulting others or putting them down and takes joy in beating the hell out of Cell. While in the original manga, Gohan just didn't want Cell's suffering to end too soon, here he's actively trying to torture him.
Goku: Alright Gohan! I think it's time you brought 'er home.
Gohan: Hold on, I'm not done ripping the wings off this butterfly.
Piccolo: Red flag!
Goku: Uh, kiddo? I understand you're angry, but
Gohan: But what? Gonna give me advice now? Let me guess: I should "let him go, so he can be a better fight later". Or maybe I should let him power up to 100% so I can teach him humility! Wait! I know! I should throw him a goddamn Senzu Bean and let you fight him.
Goku: Ahaha I see what you're getting at, Gohan
Gohan: Then, shut up and put on your poncho. You're in the splash zone.
Goku: (worried) Was that also a red flag?
- In the Futurama episode "Bender Should Not Be Allowed on TV", Dwight and Cubert take up smoking, robbery, and other activities to emulate Bender. It's played for laughs, and there are no dire consequences, but the kids do projectile vomit after smoking. Even better, their accomplice in this is Tinny Tim. The robbery is his idea: "Gentle jerkwads! I know of a way we can emulate Bender without throwing up!" Best part: Tim's a robot, so alcohol shouldn't, logically, make him throw up anyway because he runs on it, so this falls purely under Rule of Funny.
- In Ben 10, Ben meets Kevin 11, an eleven-year-old boy who gambles and steals things. This is troubling enough, but Ben still thinks Kevin's a cool guy to hang out with...until Kevin is willing to use his energy absorbing powers to crash two subway trains together and take the cash from the wreckage. When Ben points out that "hundreds of people could DIE!", Kevin shrugs and says "Hey; no pain, no gain."
- Eggy the duckling in The Penguins of Madagascar absorbed the knowledge of all four of the penguin squad while still in his egg and became a Tyke Bomb obsessed with the commando life. His mother wasn't pleased.
- Shapey (and eventually Block) are shown playing with things like lighters and drills in Moral Orel which Bloberta and Clay don't keep these things out of reach.
- Kevin from Kevin Spencer, whose age throughout the series ranged from 14-17. Kevin has engaged in arson, theft, drinking, smoking, attempted murder, and several other crimes. His life pre-series was bad enough to get him into a correctional facility for the first season.
- According to The Encyclopedia Of Serial Killers, 10% of serial killers make their first kill before the age of 10. And even if they haven't killed anyone just yet, there are often signs that something is not right about the child. Torturing animals and sadism are two common signs.
- An odd example is the case of Ted Bundy, one of America's most notorious serial killers. Although he didn't kill anyone (that we know of) in his childhood, there was that time when his aunt woke up to find her bedspread covered in knivesand little Teddy sitting beside the bed, smiling up at her...
- That "childhood" thing isn't so certain either. When Bundy was 14, an 8-year old neighborhood girl disappeared and has never been found. Until the day he was executed, Bundy denied any involvement in her presumed murder, but many investigators believe she was his first victim, especially since he was already displaying delinquent behavior at this age—theft, voyeurism, etc.
- Mary Bell made her second at the age of 11, making her the youngest serial killer in history.
- The disturbing tale of 2-year-old James Bulger's murder by two ten-year-old boys.
- About a dozen twelve-year-old religious Israeli girls in Hebron (a town in the West Bank) decided to go into the Palestinian section of town one day and start harassing vendors in the market. The three Israeli soldiers on the scene (who lacked the power to arrest Israeli citizens) could not even touch the covered arms of the girls since the soldiers were all men (there's a religious taboo), and if the Palestinians had fought back, the soldiers might have had to arrest them, even knowing how ridiculous the situation was! Since police never came, all the outnumbered soldiers could do was try to stand between the girls and the vendors. Clearly, the girls had planned ahead and realized what they would be able to get away with considering the division between army and civilian control. This incident was not repeated.