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"Kids are cruel. All people are, by nature — they just lose touch with it as they get older. Start thinking they know right and wrong. 'That's immoral!' War crime-this, Code of Conduct-that... Kids you can mold, manipulate into performing all kinds of atrocities — and there's nothing like a good atrocity to keep a war going."

Many Big Bads feel the best minions are homegrown ones. Tyke Bombs are typically raised from birth (or creation, for Science Fiction) or early infancy with the idea of serving out of loyalty. This means putting an immense amount of potential power into the hands of a wildly inappropriate user, usually a young child.

These villains would probably be more effective if said creations were not typically abused or treated badly by villains who insist they exist to serve their master, rather than being coddled and praised; thus they tend to be sympathetic. This usually culminates in The Dog Bites Back, followed by escaping and eventually becoming a thorn in some hero's side. If the character is an actual child, this can complicate the hero's sense of morality of how he deals with people. Expect all but the worst of Anti Heroes to try Defusing the Tyke-Bomb. Expect an occasional Kid Samurai amongst a lot of Child Soldiers.

On the other hand, this can serve as a humanising factor for a villain, with the Tyke Bomb serving as a Morality Pet. These kind of Tyke Bombs are often as unrepentantly evil as their masters, or worse and ferociously loyal, killing one of the pair will normally lead to making it personal with the other.

Notably this trope is derived from real life, as many cultures took to training elite warriors from an early age. Medieval knights were commonly trained from early boyhood by a Knight mentor (the word boy is even derived from a word for "servant"). Middle Eastern mamluks and Turkish Janissaries were relatively similar, as are certain Asian warrior monks. The real life Spartan Way began at age 7, making the trope at least Older Than Feudalism.

See also Little Miss Badass, Child Soldiers, Enfant Terrible, Laser-Guided Tyke-Bomb, and Human Weapon. Can overlap with some types of Super-Soldier, especially those brought up in The Spartan Way. For someone who's a literal bomb see Why Am I Ticking? or Action Bomb. May result in Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training, usually empathy. Contrast Upbringing Makes the Hero. Weaponized Offspring may be a subtrope of this.

For kids who are raised to be scientists, musicians, etc. anything other than weapons see Child Prodigy — they're usually far happier with their situation (at least in fiction, as real people forced into being wunderkinds often suffer emotional trauma and burn out before they hit thirty).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Although most characters in Assassination Classroom become this to some extent, special mention goes to Itona Horibe, who has Combat Tentacles and a serious case of Unstoppable Rage. He does end up defused, though.
  • Attack on Titan:
    • Almost all known Titan Shifters are this to one degree or another. Eren Yeager willingly and eagerly becomes a high-grade Laser Guided Tyke Bomb, while Annie Leonhart, Reiner Braun, and Bertolt Hoover are all hinted to have been trained from a very young age in preparation for their mission against humanity. The series touches on the ugly reality of children being raised as weapons, with all the enemy Shifters showing signs of severe trauma and crushing guilt over what their mission has forced them to do. There's even an attempt to defuse them using The Power of Friendship, though it fails with the implication that all are utterly terrified of the consequences of failing their mission.
    • It turns out that the only Shifters who aren't this are Eren, Ymir, and maybe the Warhammer Titan. The other Shifters are all Child Soldiers trained by the Marley military with the sole purpose of inheriting one of the powers of the Nine Titans. Shifters have a time limit of 13 years, after which they die. If the powers aren't transferred to another person before this, a random Eldian baby gets them. Children between the ages of 5 and 7 can apply, and the strongest inherit whichever powers are up for grabs. This is how the above-mentioned Annie, Reiner, and Bertolt came to get their powers, along with the Beast Titan Zeke and the Cart Titan Pieck. The Jaw Titan was originally possessed by Marcel, who obtained it through the military programme, but he was eaten by Ymir, who eventually ended up "returning" the Jaw Titan to Marcel's brother Porco. The next batch of children are currently in the process of training, as time is running out for the current Marley-controlled Shifters. note 
  • Ennis from Baccano!, as well as many unnamed Homunculi before her, were homegrown by the Big Bad Szilard to do most of his dirty work. Additionally, while Chane Laforet might not have been born and bred as a tykebomb (rather, Huey was just wondering about the reproductive mechanics of immortals), that didn't stop him from getting ideas after discovering she had a serious drive to make him happy, regardless of consequences. Fast forward some years later and now she's a knife-wielding killing machine at his back and call.
  • In Black Butler, Finny was one of these, until he escaped and went to work for Ciel Phantomhive.
  • Black Cat:
    • Eve was raised from childhood to become a bioweapon.
    • In the manga, it's revealed that Train was raised to become a killer as well... by the person who killed his parents. And Train specifically sought out training from said assassin so that Train could avenge them one day.
    • Baldor and Kranz are also tykebombs.
  • Black Lagoon:
    • Hansel and Gretel probably count. They do, in fact, turn on their current handlers, but they are so fucked up that Defusing the Tyke-Bomb is completely and utterly not an option.
    • Balalaika, the woman responsible for putting the aforementioned Creepy Twins down, was ironically a borderline example herself — she was raised by her grandfather to be the perfect soldier, and shipped off to fight in the Soviet-Afghan war when she was barely out of her teens. Flash forward a decade, and she's the leader of a vast criminal empire — and completely insane to boot.
  • In Bleach the Big Bad revealed that Wonderweiss Margera, a very childlike arrancar, was modified to be exactly this, exchanging his ability to speak or reason for pure power. In something of a play on words, he explodes on his defeat.
  • Implied to be the case with many younger members of the Port Mafia in Bungou Stray Dogs. Most members in their 20s now are shown to have been part of the Mafia as teenagers, with some possibly being recruited even younger. The most extreme would be Q, barely a teenager during the series proper; the cover of chapter 31 shows him already being a member at age 4 or 5.
  • A non-fighting version appears in Captain Tsubasa. A former Doorstop Baby, Carlos Santana became this after his adoptive parents died and their boss forcefully recruited him, subjecting the kid to Training from Hell for several years until he became the "God of Soccer". He gets defused by Tsubasa and his friend Luciano Leo, though. And in the original manga, he's reunited with his Missing Mom.
  • In Chainsaw Man, the Big Bad of Part 1, Makima, was the first of the Horseman Of The Apocalypse and was taken in by the Japanese government to be raised as their servant in an effort to win the Lensman Arms Race. Unfortunately, they were foolish enough to think they could control the Anthropomorphic Personification of Control Freaks everywhere, and she goes rogue becoming The Antichrist who plots to create a World of Silence.
  • The titular Claymores are usually child survivors of Youma attacks, the theory being that they have nothing to lose and have the motivation to become the Organization's pet Youma killing machines. Later it's revealed that the Organization occasionally unleashed Youma on human settlements so they could conscript any surviving female children.
  • Code Geass:
    • In Season 2, Rolo Lamperouge turns out to be a tykebomb. His lack of experience beyond doing his duty (and being rather psychotic) makes him easy pickings for being manipulated and suborned by the very person he was sent after.
    • The Geass lab, where countless kids were raised as human weapons with their Geasses. And that's actually where Rolo comes from. In the infamous raid of R2 14, at some point Rolo is seen greeting the children with a sweet smile... and shooting them dead immediately afterwards.
    • In the Nightmare of Nunnally Alternate Continuity manga, where Rolo is recast as Lelouch's Evil Twin, the role of this falls to Anya.
    • Emperor Charles. His entire kingdom is run by his children, who he raises to be loyal... or dead. Kinda doesn't work when his three most competent children try to kill him, including one whom succeeds in doing so. Even Euphemia doesn't like him.
  • Hei, Pai, and most of the Contractors we see in Darker than Black were both these and Child Soldiers in Heaven's War.
  • Apparently Shiro from Deadman Wonderland had been raised and made into a weapon.
  • Dogs: Bullets & Carnage:
    • Luki and Noki.
    • Many of the other characters including Heine and Giovanni could also be considered this, as they were raised from a very young age to be Super Soldiers. However, Heine has long since gone rogue.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Piccolo can be considered one. When King Piccolo died in Dragon Ball, he spat out Piccolo (jr)'s egg and ensured that all his memories and drive to kill Goku was implanted in it. So one could say Piccolo was brainwashed to carry out his sire's wishes from the day he was born, and Gohan (Goku's son) unwittingly defused him.
    • In the Saiyan Saga of Dragon Ball Z, Piccolo kidnapped and trained Son Gohan for a year to be a tykebomb against the oncoming Saiyans. However, he grew fond of Gohan over the year, and although Gohan was vital (and would especially be in later sagas), the Saiyans were too strong and it ended up with Piccolo sacrificing himself to save the boy. Krillin even Lampshades the idea when Piccolo kidnaps Gohan.
      Krillin: If Gohan survives he'll turn out like Piccolo!
    • Played a little more straight with Frieza taking on Vegeta as a child. Admittedly, Vegeta decided to switch sides a bit prematurely and thus wasn't exactly a threat to Frieza when he did, but when you consider the fact that Frieza's eventual demise was at the hands of Vegeta's son, the whole thing still seems rather ill-advised on Frieza's part.
    • Played even straighter with Son Goku — sent to Earth as an toddler with the intention that he would wipe out the inhabitants as he grew up. Derailed when he fell of a cliff and hit his head in an accident, "defusing" him. That is what is widely believed. In Dragon Ball Minus it is revealed that Goku was sent to Earth for his protection. Although, he was still horribly violent and often attacked the senior Gohan.
    • In general, all Saiyans children are raised as tykebombs. Raditz was considered a full-fledged warrior at five or seven and Goku was old enough to be a Frontier Baby at three. Part of the reason why Goku was sent to Earth was because no one would care if he wiped out the remote planet.
  • Elfen Lied:
    • Every diclonius, despite being little girls, have enormous psychic power. This coupled with constant abuse and being ostracized from normal humans as well as a predisposition towards killing said humans (this may be a side effect of the abuse) creates a tragic and deadly experience for all.
    • The manga makes it very plain that diclonius have a built in urge to kill normal humans. Nana, the only one that consistently resists this, is actually called a "traitor" by another diclonius precisely for this reason.
    • Special mention goes to Mariko, who was put into a completely sealed armored container with tubes for life support inserted into her, just days after her birth, and freed for the first time when she was six-years-old. She even came with a safety shut-off in the form of remotely controlled explosive charges implanted in her body.
  • In Endride, child assassins like Mischa are kidnapped or taken from the streets, emotionally broken and brainwashed, and then trained to use their powers to kill and sold to the highest bidder. Fortunately Demetrio manages to successfully defuse Mischa by besting her in battle, breaking her Slave Collar and offering her the chance to change her future.
  • Cossette, from the Excel♡Saga anime, was raised to become an assassin after her mother's death, with the verbal abuse included. She gets better with help from the Great Will of the Universe that revives her mother. Later on, she becomes an assassin again because she likes the smell of blood.
  • Flame of Recca is almost a perfect illustration of why you should treat your creations properly. The Big Bad, Mori Kouran, secretly created dozens of genetically-engineered clones of his Dragon Kurei, spliced together with genes from his own daughter, Kurenai, in an attempt to create a servant that would have Kurei's terrifying flame powers, but that Kouran could go to sleep around without worrying that he would wake up with his face burnt off. Only two of his creations survived: A girl, Renge, and a boy, Aoi. Renge had flame powers and childlike simplicity, exactly what Kouran had been looking for, and so he adopted her as his daughter and spoiled her with praises. She remained loyal right through the end of the series, up until when Kouran killed her and absorbed her flame powers in order to give himself resistance to the protagonist's similar ones. Aoi, on the other hand, did not have flame powers, and so was considered a failure. He was treated like garbage, and although he did serve Kouran faithfully through most of the series (trying desperately to prove his worth), in the end The Power of Friendship causes him to perform a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Veronica from Franken Fran is an Artificial Human who looks maybe 14-years-old and is probably much younger, built to be as specialised for assassination as biologically possible, in a setting that runs on Artistic License – Biology.
  • The Amestris government in Fullmetal Alchemist did this for a group of babies. They were raised to become the puppet ruler of the nation, and when they became old enough, they were injected with a Philosopher's Stone. The survivor was named King Bradley, and made the leader of Amestris, only subservient to the real ruler, Father.
  • Full Metal Panic!:
    • Sousuke, being taken in by the KGB at 5-years-old, was raised to be an assassin. And then he got taken in by Majihd to become a guerrilla at the age of 8. And after that, up until his current life (16-years-old), Kalinin had trained him even more. This is one rare instance, however, where he generally wasn't treated badly by the people who raised him to be a human weapon. Lampshaded in the novels, where he actually thinks to himself that he had been aware that he was always treated gentler and nicer by the other soldiers and fighters because he was pretty.
    • In Second Raid we also see Yu Lan and Yu Fan. They're also emotionless Creepy Twins and serve as a major source of Fanservice for that season.
    • Specially when we remember who raised and trained them: Gauron.
  • Gaia of Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin has an army of young wolves under his command who have been raised to be so loyal to their ruler that they are not afraid to die for him. Usually, this is exactly what they must do since their favored method of attacking is plunging their enemies along with themselves into lava.
  • Golden Kamuy: Wilk trained Asirpa for hunting and survival since her early childhood as a pretext to turn her into a freedom fighter for the Ainu against the Japanese government. Sugimoto, being a Shell-Shocked Veteran, calls him out on going to such extreme lengths for the cause of independence.
  • Many examples come from the Gundam metaseries:
  • Gunslinger Girl.
    • The title characters are all young girls who have psychological issues, and were trained to be ruthless assassins. They are all paired with a male "handler", who is responsible for the girls' training and well-being, and is free to use whatever method he likes.
    • Also Pinocchio, though the trope is inverted in that he is raised by terrorist leader Christiano as an assassin, but Christiano becomes attached to Pinocchio as a surrogate son and tries to save him from the internal disputes that cause his own downfall.
  • Anti Heroic example in Hades Project Zeorymer. The OVA begins with the protagonist finding out that his parents were paid by the government to raise him. There's a bit of Fridge Horror later on as he notes that he's their eldest child, heavily implying that he had younger siblings that would never see him again.
  • Heroic example in Hayate the Combat Butler with Hayate during his early childhood going through Training from Hell to be Athena's butler.
  • In Hunter × Hunter Killua Zoldyck was raised to be an assassin and eventually become head of his family of assassins. Repeatedly acknowledged by Killua himself throughout the series.
  • Hiura in Kekkaishi.
  • In Kite (1998), the main villains have a pattern of adopting orphans, raising them, ritually molesting them, and deploying them as tyke-bombs for hire. The protagonist is one of their creations, and it's shown that her master made her an orphan, while she watched.
  • A rare example from the (nominal) heroes, Omi Tsukiyono from Knight Hunters was rescued from abduction as a child by his handler, Persia, only to be raised as an assassin by him with the intention Omi would then be sent to kill Reiji Takatori, the father who abandoned him, who was also Persia's older brother. Unfortunately for Persia, Omi's paternity turned out to be rather less clear-cut than he'd imagined and he turned out to have trained his own child to be a conditioned killer. And these are the good guys.
  • Lyrical Nanoha.
    • Fate Testarossa is a prime example. A lot of her issues stem from this.
    • From Season 3, we get a rare example of Tykebombs done right. Jail Scaglietti's Numbers were all grown, turned into cyborgs, and used as assassins by him. But they all appear to have genuine loyalty and affection for him, so apparently he wasn't raising them with the 'horrible abuse' school of tykebomb training. He was also pretty good with mind control, so he might have just programmed them to like him...
    • Jail later tries to claim that Fate isn't so different from himself and her own abusive mother since her adopted children have become soldiers utterly devoted to her. While Fate is unable to properly respond, her children rightly call out Jail on his bullcrap.
  • Monster (1994): Several characters were orphans chosen for a psychological experiment attempting to create "perfect soldiers," which went catastrophically wrong. The titular character was even involved in two of them, having been born from parents who were paired off as the first stage of a eugenics experiment. In a way, the experiment can be seen as going catastrophically right. They wanted the perfect killing machine, and they got Johan.
  • There are no fewer than three instances of this trope in My-HiME, from two different factions. One escaped at an early age (Natsuki), but the others (Mikoto and Alyssa) are still active when the series unfolds....
  • Erstin from My-Otome is a rare example whose loyalty was not abused, and who never changed sides, though she was sorely tempted and it broke her heart.
  • Kind of hard to avoid this one for Naruto, since Child Soldiers are a staple of the setting.
    • Apparently Naruto himself was set up in his rather sucky position because the Fourth Hokage (his dad, Minato) knew the Big Bad unleashed the fox on Konoha, and knew whoever was going to deal with it would need some extra power, so he sealed a gigantic rampaging monster into a baby Naruto, who is not happy about this. Bonus points for being sort of justified, though, as Minato truly had no option about that, and felt he could only give this duty to his own family.
    • Many (if not most) of Orochimaru's subordinates could be considered tykebombs, as it appears that he find many them as children, often orphans, and raises them as fanatically loyal soldiers. Some he chose because they already possessed useful special abilities, and others he modifies, either genetically, through the curse seal or by providing them with weapons, sometimes implanted like those of the Sound ninja that participated in the Chuunin exam.
    • Root also recruits a lot of their members young, especially orphans.
    • Yamato was the only survivor of a program (headed by Orochimaru, before he left Konoha) to infuse an infant with the First Hokage's bloodline ability.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Rei Ayanami had being raised by Gendou Ikari her entire life, and by the time she debuts she has been indoctrinated into becoming an obedient Evangelion pilot as well as unquestionably serving as the indispensable key to Gendou's version of the Human Instrumentality Plan. In End of Evangelion, she ultimately betrays Gendou due to having become more attached to Shinji due to prior interactions, handing over control over Instrumentality to the 14-year-old boy.
  • Kirika Yuumura and Chloe from Noir were assassins trained from birth. As young teens, they have no problems with killing people. (In fact, Kirika was killing people at age five, some of them being Mireille's family.)
  • In Now and Then, Here and There, it's implied that Hellywood is trying to do this with its breeding program, although interestingly enough, none of said tyke bombs are ever depicted on screen.
  • One Piece:
    • Eight members of the secret government organization Cipher Pol #9, were trained from young ages the martial arts known as Rokushiki (Japanese for "six powers"), pushing their bodies to superhuman levels for the purpose of carrying out covert assassinations in the name of the World Government. Most notable of the group is Rob Lucci: so fearful that legends have been made of him from his efficiency, coldness and brutality to the point that it not only was believed he was the least likely of the group to ever be defeated, but can survive a Buster Call, which to put into perspective razed an island.
    • Even the protagonist, Monkey D. Luffy, and his brother, Portgas D. Ace, were technically examples of this trope. At least with Luffy, it was revealed that his inhuman strength, stamina and outright Determinator status was the result of his grandfather, Marine Vice-Admiral Garp throwing into deep ravines, cliffs and exposing him to high altitudes by tying him up to helium balloons, all for the purpose of making him a strong Marine (likewise with Ace). Ironically, when Garp's back was turned (for several years, apparently) they ran off to become powerful pirates which even caught the World Government's attention. Had Lucci known that Luffy was trained by Vice-Admiral Garp, maybe he wouldn't have taken him so lightly, and then it wouldn't seem such a surprise when he rises from your best attack ready to retaliate.
    • Trafalgar Law was born in the city of Flevance, which was poisoned by the Amber Lead mined there. The rest of the world mistook the poisoning for a plague and walled the city off, after which war erupted and everyone was killed except Law, who snuck out by hiding in piles of dead bodies when he was only ten. He then joined the Donquixote Pirates to kill as many people as possible before his disease killed him. He was somewhat defused by Doflamingo's brother Rocinante, but Doflamingo killing Rocinante put Law on the path for a Roaring Rampage of Revenge at age thirteen, and thirteen years later he comes to collect.
    • Donquixote pirates are very fond of this trope. In addition to Law (mentioned above), Vergo, Buffalo, and Baby 5 joined the gang when they were kids, and Dellinger was raised by the gang from infancy.
    • Doflamingo himself is an interesting example. Trebol saw potential in him and purposefully raised him for his goals, but instead of a soldier, he was trying to create a future boss who would lead his gang to power. He did everything that he could to turn an already unhinged child into a bloodthirsty power-hungry tyrant.
    • Sanji and his older/younger siblings were genetically enhanced by their father Vinsmoke Judge to turn them into Super Soldiers, able to lead the armies of the Germa 66 to their greatest victories. Sanji and his quadruplet brothers in particular were modified in utero to be born without empathy. Sanji's mother, Sora, tried to reverse this with a genetic drug that only saved Sanji at the cost of herself, which resulted in Sanji failing to make any progress, as he remained a regular human being thanks to the drug. Because of that, he was disowned and abused. His siblings, on the other hand, were stark successes, but only Sanji's sister, Reiju, has enough empathy to comprehend her family's depraved actions, and hates herself for it.
    • Part of the reason why the pirate emperor Big Mom came about is this trope Gone Horribly Wrong. Even at five-years-old, Charlotte Linlin was already impossibly large and strong for her age, but a five-year-old mentality in that powerful body made her a menace to everyone around her. But whenever Linlin went And Call Him "George", the head of her orphanage insisted that people just forgive her for her unwitting destruction. Mother Caramel was actually a child slaver who was planning to sell Linlin to the World Government, and was merely enabling the child's behavior to get her used to being a Child Soldier. However, Caramel's plans when cut off, along with her life, when Linlin apparently ate her while on a mad hunger rampage. After that, a nearby pirate directed Linlin towards piracy for his own amusement, and the two would form the future Big Mom Pirates.
  • Pokémon:
    • Mewtwo in Pokémon: The Series, a genetically engineered mon who blew up an island research facility, was recruited to work for Giovanni, then got fed up and blew up Giovanni's secret Gym base.
    • In Pokémon Adventures, the Masked Man kidnapped children who showed promise as Pokemon Trainers in order to train and mold them into the perfect weapons. Two children, Green and Silver, escaped and swore revenge on him for the cruelty they endured.
    • Mitsumi from Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure!, until Professor Rowan defuses her. She was an orphan taken in by Cyrus as a young child and raised to be a very powerful Pokémon trainer. Mitsumi was cold and friendless until Rowan taught her about love.
  • Rebuild World:
  • Anti Heroic example in Shakugan no Shana with Shana being raised with sole motive of becoming a Flame Haze.
  • The Prince of Tennis:
    • Akaya Kirihara. His sempai aren't evil people per se (though dangerously close to the Knight Templar archetype, as much as sports manga allows), but they encourage him to use his Unstoppable Rage-induced Devil Mode when he plays, since that makes him very hard to beat.
    • In the sequel Yanagi charges Shiraishi with Defusing The Tykebomb as the Devil Mode pushed Kirihara ever closer to a mental breaking point. It works.
    • In the anime, Kevin Smith is also a Tykebomb, thanks to his abusive dad being a Sore Loser about losing to Ryoma Echizen.
  • The Big Bad from Princess Tutu kidnapped a little human girl and raised her as a Raven, telling her constantly that she was a monster and unworthy of love. Kraehe, as he had named her, rebelled by creating her human identity, The Ojou Rue, and eventually found out about her own origins and switched sides completely.
  • In the Read or Die TV series, Junior, the son of Nancy Makuhari and I-jun leader Ikkyu Soujun, was raised up to be a tykebomb by Joker of the British Library.
  • Seta Soujiro in Rurouni Kenshin, but it's complicated: a two-step process. First, the kid ends up in the custody of a completely monstrous foster family who abuses him to no end, conditioning him into a Type A Stepford Smiler. Then he happens upon Shishio Makoto, having just survived a Kill It with Fire attempt. The creepy burn victim is the first person to actually acknowledge the kid as something significant, so they hit it off, allowing for the second phase to kick in and Soujiro to kill his foster folks and follow Shishio. He's eventually defused when he's defeated by Kenshin because his Pacifist philosophy clashes with Shishio's, prompting him to take a page from Kenshin's book and become The Drifter so as to resolve the mental conflict.
  • In Scrapped Princess, there's Pacifica Casull, the poison that will destroy the world, spends much of her life running and hiding because the whole world believes she is one of these. She is, but not the one they're thinking of.
  • Sgt. Frog: Kiruru. — read as Kiruru-Dot.
  • Crona in Soul Eater, as a laser-guided version created to kill and replace Asura. Kid is essentially Crona's opposite, having been created for the same purpose for different reasons. Fortunately, his father wasn't the complete monster Medusa was.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, Albert Maverick had a spare NEXT kid on his hands after murdering the kid's parents. Not wanting to let things go to waste, he used his own NEXT powers to doctor the kid's memory a bit, set himself up as their Parental Substitute, and raised the child in a manner that would guarantee their fierce loyalty to his cause. This child was Barnaby Brooks, Jr.
  • 'Tis Time for "Torture," Princess: Several chapters display flashbacks and/or exposition to the Princess's youth which show her being strictly trained from a very young age to become a soldier for the Empire. These flashbacks show how she was frequently deprived of things normal children received, such as various treats and foods, playing with friends, or even parental affection, with only occasional indulgences from a knight who served as her butler. This is why, for all this is touted as why the Princess would be able to resist conventional torture, she so frequently succumbs to the Poke the Poodle "tortures" of the Hellhorde; they generally consist of offering those things she was denied: foods she was never allowed to try, video games or trips to the playground with friends, even maternal love in one case.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, it is mentioned that many children orphaned in Ghoul attacks are taken in by CCG and trained to become future Investigators. Deuteragonist Amon is one such child, as are Juuzou and the twins, Kuro and Shiro. They spend their teens in training, but are not allowed to actually begin working until adulthood. Then there's the mysterious facility known as the "Sunlit Garden", described primarily through euphemisms as a place that takes in "special children" and provides them with a "special education". Said children grow up without any sort of formal education or normal relationships, and are essentially killing machines that start hunting Ghouls in their mid-teens. Alumni include Hairu Ihei, Ching-Li Hsiao, and possibly even the legendary Kishou Arima.
  • A good chunk of the characters in Violence Action. Dahlia's parents were killed at a young age and she was abused and trained for years after by one of their killers, Rin and Rei were conditioned to be utterly dependent on each other with Rin unknowingly wearing an explosive talisman for her handler to detonate and kill her when he needs Rei to fly into a berserk rage, and while protagonist Kay's backstory hasn't been explored yet, she displays almost superhuman agility and skill despite only being in her early 20's at most.
  • Thorfinn Karlsefni from Vinland Saga joined a band of vikings when he was 6-years-old, in hopes to kill the band's leader, Askellad, as a revenge for his dead father. Askellad kept him around because he was impressed by the boy's guts, and it allowed Thorfinn to grow up into a formidable fighter over the years. With his specialty in stealth and agility thanks to his small stature, he was often tasked on scouting and assassination missions by Askellad with the reward being giving the boy a chance to kill him in a one-on-one duel.
  • Witchblade presents the whole mildly disguised Tykebomb Factory and glimpses of their lives, in several variants up to trying to self-defuse. This life doesn't prevent possible unrelated awesomeness even for ones far enough from any human norms, but apparently more often than not it sucks to be a Neogene. This may have something to do with the head of this project (and consequently the true purpose) being batshit insane.
  • Leprechauns in WorldEnd: What Do You Do at the End of the World? Are You Busy? Will You Save Us? are a literal example of this trope. Their entire purpose in life is to serve as magical suicide bombers for the military. Sadly, this is just about the only tactic still effective against the 17 Beasts, as the only other weapons capable of killing the monsters are over 500-years-old and badly in need of repair. The high attrition rates mean that few Leprechauns live past their early teens. This somewhat changes with the arrival of the main character who, due to being frozen for 500 years, actually has the knowledge to repair the ancient beast killing weapons. As a result the military is able to change its tactics and no longer resort to suicide based magic attacks.
  • In the manga version of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Ryuji Otogi (probably known better by his dub name, Duke Devlin) was raised from birth by his father to exact revenge against Yugi's grandfather for a Dark Game that he had lost, causing him to age several decades in one night as a result. Otogi never realized this plan until he was actually coerced into challenging Yugi to Dungeon Dice Monsters, and his father's plan ultimately failed. (The story was changed considerably in the anime; in fact, the story in the manga probably offers a more logical explanation for Otogi's Heel–Face Turn than the anime did, something that fans of the anime often had a problem with.)

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • The third Batgirl, Cassandra Cain was trained from a young age to instinctively understand human body language to be the perfect assassin. This worked a little too well, as she was horrified by her first kill and ran away, subsisting on the streets until encountering Batman and his allies.
    • Similarly with Damian Wayne, Bruce and Talia's son. He was trained from an early age to be a warrior. The difference between him and Cassandra is that she was treated as a weapon. Damian was treated as a prince, spoiled rotten and able to do whatever he wants. Even as Robin, he's the most violent, surpassing even Jason Todd. Of course, spending time with Dick Grayson (who he initially served as Robin under, not Bruce) has softened him up quite a bit.
    • Before he met Batman and became the titular Batwing, David Zavimbe was a frighteningly effective child soldier.
  • Present in The Boys in the form of the G-Men: "gifted" children selected from orphanagesnote  and trainednote  by John Godolkin and the senior members of the G-Men to become superheroes. Also implied in a less creepy fashion with those supes whose powers were the result of pre-natal/parental exposure to the setting's Super Serum, with foster parents raising and training them in a manner reminiscent of the culture around (child) beauty pageants.
    • In fact, the trope is the major reason for its plot. We learn that Homelander (whose ficitional backstory is that of Superman's) was raised in a lab with a nuke set to blow if he got out of hand. Vought thought ahead for once and looked for a way to neutralize him in adulthood. So they created a clone and raised it from birth to kill him, called him Black Noir. Problem is, since BN's literally only purpose in life is to kill the Homelander, he started gaslighting him so he'd go insane, finally allowing BN's life to have a purpose.
  • The Strafenkinder in The Books of Magic, sort of. The Margrave entices young, unhappy boys with lies and gifts, give them a fancy uniform and neat badges. And then send them back to their parents to explode. A few of them can put themselves back together afterwards, but the Margrave doesn't seem too concerned about those who don't.
  • Hound (2014): Morrigan imbues Setanta as a baby with her dark power as she intends to incite war through him. Even after his uncle manages to retrieve him, she watches over him and does her best to get him to embrace his fate.
  • All the Judges in the Judge Dredd universe start their training around age 6 or so (possibly earlier). In at least one story, the age is stated as 5-years-old. Additionally, Justice Department has a cloning program to revive what were believed to be outstanding judges. Dredd himself was cloned from the first Chief Judge, so the whole reason for his existence was to fight crime.
  • In Kick-Ass, the backstory of Hit-Girl was that she was over-trained at an early age by her vigilante-minded father to grow up akin to Batman. Though it must be considered that the "defected cop whose wife was murdered" story was made up by Big Daddy. The motivation for turning his daughter into a killing machine was not revenge, but simple fun.
  • Knights of the Old Republic:
    • Lucien Draay was raised by Haazen in this way as part of his revenge on Lucien's father Barrison.
    • This was Demagol's big pet project. He wanted tried to take DNA from Master Arca, an Arkanian Jedi and grow his own test tube Jedi for the Mandalorian war effort. He spliced master Arca's genes into children and sent them off to the Crucible to be trained. Jareal was one of the children from this program.
  • Thanos and Gamora from the Marvel Universe, as established in Warlock (1967). Thanos raised a daughter from childhood to have a perfect assassin. As a subversion, he did try to otherwise be a decent father to her, though she rebelled anyway.
  • One issue of the limited series Muties featured a boy named Riek who suddenly developed the ability to manipulate time while serving with a Lord's Resistance Army expy.
  • Michana Loomis in Nexus. Paradoxically, despite her older sister Stacy's best efforts to laser-guide her, she ended up saving Horatio from Stan in their final confrontation.
    • Also Horatio's own daughters, since they were conceived by Ursula expressly for the purpose of inheriting Horatio's powers, and raised by her to be warriors. They ended being good anyway though, and saved Horatio from the Loomis sisters.
  • The original members of the Runaways were bred to take over for their parents, to inherit the Earth and their parents' power. It did not go well. For irony, the children rebelled because their parents had treated them well, since the children grew up with healthy consciences. Thus, they wanted no truck with parents who ritually murdered other teenagers and were willingly serving monsters who intended to wipe out all life on Earth.
  • More literal tyke-bombs existed in Sinestro Corps War in the Green Lantern comic books. The so-called "Children of the White Lobe" are psychokinetic children raised from birth to be fanatical terrorist suicide bombers, and who make use of a mineral that becomes extremely explosive when stimulated by psionic powers such as their own — usually by swallowing a small chunk and then setting it off when the time is right.
  • Most Sith from Star Wars: Legacy, especially Darth Talon.
  • Superman: Subverted by some incarnations of Bizarro, who is often created by Lex Luthor to serve as a weapon against Superman, but the backwards creature is usually too uncontrollable to be an effective minion.
  • The Ultimates: The Red Skull was a result of this Gone Horribly Wrong — the illegitimate son of Captain America, he was taken from his mother and raised by the United States military, and proved to be leaps and bounds a better soldier than even his father... And then he killed everyone on the compound and cut off his own face. At seventeen.
  • The Jack O'Lantern featured in Venom was kidnapped by Crime-Master when he was a child and trained to become an assassin.
  • X-23 is practically the tykebomb poster child. She deconstructs the Child Assassin archetype by showing just how much such an upbringing would actually mess up a young child literally raised to be a Human Weapon: She suffers severe, bordering on suicidal depression, and struggles to interact with others in normal social situations. She's so conditioned to following orders that when Logan kicks her off of X-Force (which she only joined because she interpreted Cyclops' invitation as an order) to prevent her from being damaged further, she breaks down in tears because she's mentally and emotionally incapable of making her own decisions.

    Fan Works 
  • Advice and Trust:
    • When Shinji and Asuka start spending time with Rei, they realize many alarming facts about her which explain her weirdness: she doesn't remember her mother, she was taken in and raised by Gendo, she's no friends or life outside of NERV, she's being forced to take drugs which keep her unemotional and submissive, she's been instructed to be completely and unwaveringly loyal to Commander Ikari, obeying his orders to the letter and without hesitation, she would kill herself if she was ordered to do so... They are so horrified that they help her to cut her puppet strings.
      Rei: "I thought you disliked me, because I was a 'doll'."
      Asuka: "Well... yeah. I did. But it's a lot harder to blame you for acting that way now that I know you're drugged like this. That's why I reacted so strongly... my step-mother tried something like that with pills when I was younger. I know what it's like. It's not like I think you would kill yourself or something just because Commander Ikari ordered you to or such."
      Rei: "If I was ordered to do so, I would."
      Asuka: "What?! Are you crazy? Why?"
      Rei: "He has raised me for years. He cares for me. If he gave that order, I would trust he had a necessary reason for it... He is all I have."
    • Asuka gets even angrier when she realizes that NERV tried to do the exact same thing to her, raising her since she was three to be a good, obedient little soldier.
  • Angel of the Bat acknowledges that The Seraphim and Cassandra have a few things in common, including that they were raised without religion and came to embrace it as they grew older and that both were groomed to be assassins. Naturally the difference is Cassandra's healthy association with her faith and The Seraphim's murderous obsession.
  • Mitsumi from Beautiful Light was raised Mitsumi from age seven by Team Galactic to be "Ultimate Weapon" for Cyrus' cause.
  • A Champion in Earth-Bet: Throne, the king of Uzbekistan, was designed to be a weapon against the Endbringers, grown in a vat by a bio-tinker who gave him enhanced physical abilities, and then given a Cauldron vial to gain parahuman powers. The procedure worked, up until he promptly turned against his creators, took over the country, and now rules as an absolute dictator.
  • Gaara of Chasing the Shadow is this to a massive degree, as the evil spirit living in his head and pretending to be his mother repeatedly berates him if he fails to kill often enough. It screws him up pretty badly.
  • Child of the Storm has, in Ghosts of the Past, Maddie Pryor a.k.a. Rachel Grey, Jean's twin sister, who was swapped at birth with a dead infant and raised and conditioned by Sinister to believe that she was nothing more than a Living Weapon and an extension of his will. Since she's Conditioned to Accept Horror, she's at first indifferent to this, with occasional bursts of free will emerging and being carefully encouraged by Gambit, though this changes over time.
  • Rei and Asuka in Children of an Elder God were raised by NERV since they were little kids to be the organization's tools because they were the only ones capable of piloting Evangelions without mutating, going insane or dying. Asuka grew into a relatively normal teenager, but Rei was extremely creepy and unable to lead a normal life.
  • Chrysanthemums is written using the theory that the Striation Trio are the Shadow Triad. Ghetsis saved them as children and has since raised them as terrorists.
  • The Discworld of A.A. Pessimal expands on the Assassins' Guild School of Ankh-Morpork — which could be viewed as an institution designed to create a reliable supply of Tykebombs... Rivka Ben-Divorah is a typical example. In Strandpiel, there is a suspicion that at the age of fourteen, she pulls an act of blatant arson as a favour to a teacher she really likes and respects.
    • The younger daughter of career Assassin Johanna Smith-Rhodes actually gets the nickname "Tykebomb" from people around her, when she starts attending the Assassins' School. Miss Alice Band actually considers making Famke Smith-Rhodes-Stibbons the youngest person ever to be sent on the Vimes Run — just to rein her in a bit.
  • Ghosts of Evangelion: NERV raised Asuka since she was four to be cannon fodder in the Angel War. She spends several decades trying to get over it. She still has nightmares about the War in her late forties, and when her daughter asks why, Asuka says "piloting" is the reason.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny Fix Fic Gundam Seed Destiny Altered has the Extendeds, or "Biological CPU": they are put through Training from Hell practically from birth in order to create human weapons, and are generally regarded as little more than expendable parts used to control mobile suits. Dr. Kinney and Captain McCaffrey are exceedingly rare exceptions to the norm, as they actually see them as the children they are rather than as living weapons.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Darkseid steals the newborn baby of evil sorcerer Mordru and Supergirl's evil counterpart and raises him into a merciless, hyper-destructive killing machine, loyal only to him.
  • Hive Fled: GH and the Handmaid were only about six sweeps old when they teamed up with Condesce to battle her ancestor.
  • The Immortal Game: It turns Twilight had been trained by Celestia since she was a filly to lead her army in case she was ever disposed. Twilight is furious when she realizes that Celestia used her.
  • In Last Child of Krypton, Asuka and Rei were indoctrinated by NERV into being Child Soldiers. Rei had become a creepy, emotionless, obedient puppet, and Asuka lived for piloting an Evangelion after training rigorously for ten years.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide, Asuka and Rei were raised by NERV to be easily manipulable and disposable pawns. When the story starts out, they're trying to recover and find a new reason for living.
  • A New Chance Series: Slave Pokemon in A New Chance For Adventure. Pokemon who are raised by birth and conditioned to be blindly obedient to whomever holds the ball. Ash is horrified by the concept. Skailyn is enraged by this process, believing that Pokemon deserve free will, and thus, she must save these Pokemon in order to protect that right.
  • Once More with Feeling: When Shinji met both girls again, Rei was Gendo's emotionless, mindless pawn and Asuka thought piloting Eva was everything she had. NERV had raised them to be an Apocalypse trigger and cannon fodder respectively.
    "Given that her pride in her piloting abilities was, when you got down to it, all that Asuka Langley Sohryu thought she had, Shinji kept his peace. He had seen the nightmare that had happened when her pride was shattered and he had utterly no wish to see that door open ever again..."
  • The Second Try: Asuka was one when she was a child, being groomed by NERV to be cannon fodder in the incoming war. After going back in the time, she tries to help Rei, who is still a puppet loyal to Gendo.
  • Hikari in Shadow Of The Valley. Light makes her start killing criminals when she's twelve.
  • In Thousand Shinji, Gendo and NERV needed obedient and clueless puppets to fight the Angel War and serve as cannon fodder, so they raised Rei and Asuka for several years. When Shinji met both girls, Rei behaved like an emotionless robot and Asuka was an angry, sad, broken child on the verge of collapsing.
  • Kree gladiator Iva Kann from A Prize for Three Empires was raised by Ronan to be a soldier since she was a child.
  • Shego finds out that she's an attempt at creating this in Kim Possible: Mirror, Mirror. Drakken met her teenage mother, the original Shego, over a decade ago. Drakken put the original Shego into stasis, and, using a device, age accelerated her baby into a teenager and implanted her mother's memories into Shego's brain, with some tweaking to make Shego believe she willingly joined Drakken.
  • In The Audi, it is mentioned that Peter learned to drive under Bucky's tutelage in Russia when they were both in HYDRA, meaning Peter himself was a HYDRA-agent younger than 15 years of age before they became members of the extended Avengers family.

    Films — Animation 
  • Kovu from The Lion King II: Simba's Pride was raised by his mother to kill Simba and take over the Pridelands. As he was a sweet kid to begin with, it only takes a few days for him to break his indoctrination and refuse to kill.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the beginning of The Departed, crime boss Frank Costello carefully grooms the young Colin Sullivan into becoming both staunchly loyal and respectable enough to become a highly-respected officer in the Massachusetts State Police. This was reflective of the actual events involving crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger and old neighborhood acquaintance John "Zip" Connolly, but in Real Life, the age gap between them was considerably smaller, and they didn't really concoct their scheme until both were into adulthood.
  • The eponymous lead of Hanna is raised in the frozen wastes of Finland by her father who trains her from childhood to be the perfect assassin.
  • The protagonist of Kate is trained by Varrick to be a professional killer starting at a very young age.
  • Hit-Girl in the Kick-Ass superhero movie. Unlike in the comic, her father's story about her mother's death is true.
  • Lady Snowblood was conceived by rape and raised as an assassin from birth by an abusive monk solely to avenge her dead mother's murdered husband and son. From Bad to Worse.
  • Inspired by a true story, Megan Leavey has a scene that takes place on her first day deployed at a checkpoint in Iraq. She tells a young boy her dog's name and is quickly reprimanded for it. She is warned that insurgents use children, and if the child knows the dog name it could call the dog to it and attach an explosive.
  • Jacob from A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child nearly became a Tykebomb before birth, as Freddy attempts to brainwash Alice's unborn son so he'll be a cooperative catalyst for Freddy's dream-invasion powers.
  • Leatherface and his brothers from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre were raised to be cruel, cannibalistic killers by their parents and elders, one of whom appears as an ancient, barely-living husk of a man. Leatherface is the most upfront and deadly of the group, as he's not only the strongest, but his mental deficiencies make him single-minded and unswervingly obedient to his family. Meanwhile, Drayton bosses around his brothers and does the cooking, while Nubbins likes to terrify and unsettle their prey before he captures them.
  • The protagonist of Soldier was raised in a mass-production boot camp, where infants are bar-coded at birth and brought up in The Spartan Way.
  • Star Wars:
    • Common in the galaxy, like with the Jedi Order, who are raised to be the good guys. Also included are Darth Maul, selected and trained from the time he could walk, the clones of the Grand Army of the Republic, technically about 10 when they're sent out to fight due to their 2x speed growth rate, and Galen Marek, anyone?
    • Jedi are supposed to be taken for training at an early age, specifically to ensure all they know is the Jedi way and they do not form attachments to anything or anyone outside it. This has raised eyebrows, even in-universe.
    • The Force Awakens notes that the stormtroopers of the First Order are conscripted solely from both orphans and children who were forcibly taken from their families.
    • Also important with regard to Kylo Ren, whose mother, Leia Organa, clearly stated that Snoke had been messing with his mind since "the beginning", which could be an allusion to his birth, because he was born with a very strong connection to the Force and Snoke was able to manipulate him through that ability. It's also stated that Snoke still messes up with Kylo's head, so he has most probably been doing exactly that for at the very least 20 years.
  • This trope is the entire premise of the 2005 Jet Li movie Unleashed:
    Bart: Like my saint of a mum used to say, "get 'em young, and the possibilities are endless."
  • Parodied and lampshaded in The Suicide Squad as Bloodsport (who was raised from birth to be a killer and has been a deadly homicidal mercenary from a young age) gets teamed up with Peacemaker... who was raised from birth to be a killer and has been a deadly homicidal mercenary from a young age. Apparently, this isn't an uncommon childhood in the DC universe.

  • In Animal Farm, Napoleon has the foresight to take a newborn litter of puppies under his wing. They eventually grow up to be fearsome and totally loyal enforcers.
  • The Howlers of the Animorphs series were eventually revealed to be a race of carefully engineered tykebombs. Having no concept of pain, defeat, or empathy, they fought against their enemies with a childlike joy. They were eventually ruined when the concept of "love" was spread into their race's Hive Mind.
  • Bazil Broketail: Given the fact that dragons of Argonath are pretty much Incorruptible Pure Pureness, Smilgax had to be indoctrinated and influenced by magic literally since his birth in order to brainwash him into assassinating King Sanker. Therefore, it's understandable that Thrembode gets livid when Smilgax's treachery is revealed, turning many years of preparations and hard work into naught.
  • From Andrew Vachss' Burke series:
    • A Bomb Built in Hell, Vachss' first novel, exemplifies this trope. Wesley, the "bomb" from ABBIH, makes acouple of appearances in the Burke series.
    • In Dead and Gone, Burke learns near the end that the child he had been tasked with retrieving had been kidnapped, indoctrinated and trained as a killer by Neo-Nazis. Said child would have gotten the drop on him if he had not been wearing a Bulletproof Vest.
  • In Alastair Reynolds' Century Rain, the Slashers produced huge numbers of specially-engineered child soldiers during their war with the Threshers a decade or two prior to the novel. This becomes important when it turns out that the alternate Earth was being heavily manipulated by a faction of the Slashers, with many of their agents being said soldiers. The presence of creepy, not-quite-right children is one of the first clues to this being the case.
  • In Jack Vance's Demon Princes series the protagonist, Kirth Gersen, is a somewhat belated Tyke Bomb after Mount Pleasant colony — his home — is destroyed and its people, including his family, massacred or led into slavery. His grandfather, the only other survivor, sank the rest of his life and his remaining resources into forging his grandson into a weapon of revenge.
  • The Mouse Army in The Diamond Age. And there's lots of them. Although it isn't entirely clear whether they were intended for good or nefarious purposes originally.
    • Bonus points — it was originally intended, by the people saving them from orphaned death in the turmoil-ridden interior, that they simply be raised as normal girls, albeit normal girls who grew up entirely aboard giant offshore ships devoted to the purpose. The agent of tykebombification was the pseudo-AI Great Big Book of Everything that was duplicated en masse to raise them — and the engineer who made both the original (intended for the granddaughter of a hyper-rich neo-Victorian aristocrat) and the many copies altered the copies, under the pretense of making them more 'culturally appropriate' for the Chinese foundlings, to semi-condition them into complete loyalty to the holder of the original. Apparently for the lolz.
  • In the Discworld novel Sourcery, the wizard Ipslore the Red raised his son the "sourcerer" (a source of magical power, and much more powerful than wizards, who just manipulate it) to conquer the Unseen University, and then the world. Coin is expected to do this at the age of ten, and manages quite well before Rincewind Defuses him with his utter, comical harmlessness.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Arguably, Ivy. She is a living repository of all human knowledge, has no choice in the matter, should avoid any close emotional attachments and because of the death of her mother, acquired this awesome responsibility while a very young child. In fact, until she met Harry, she didn't even have a proper name, just the title of the Archive. Her only regular companionship is her bodyguard, Kincaid.
    • Harry himself, or at least it's implied Justin's plan was to make him and Elaine this. It's debatable, actually, if a little of the conditioning seeped in. At the very least it impacted Harry's life significantly and gave him major trust issues (doesn't help that those issues are reinforced every other book).
  • In Frank Herbert's Dune series:
    • In Dune Messiah, the conspiracy against Emperor Paul Muad'Dib created Hayt to assassinate him. Later in God-Emperor of Dune, the conspiracy against the God Emperor Leto II created Hwi Noree for the same purpose. Leto himself created gholas of Duncan Idaho for companionship; most of them rebelled against him but he didn't mind since that was half the point of having them around.
    • In Paul of Dune, Lady Margot and Count Fenring train and educate their daughter for the sole purpose of assassinating Paul Maud'Dib and taking his place.
  • Sicarius in Emperors Edge has been groomed from birth to work as an assassin for the (now former) emperor, and managed to survive to his early 30s and extreme competence at killing people, but an utter lack of social skills.
  • Ender's Game:
    • The setting is essentially a factory for these. Ender in particular is abused and pushed to his breaking point, just like the standard tykebomb, in an attempt to create the perfect commander. Since he believes in the cause, it works, but he gets increasingly messed up as he’s forced to shoulder more and more responsibility.
    • Furthermore, Ender was BORN solely with this in mind. He's a "Third", the third born child in a civilization which utilizes a strictly enforced cap of two children per family. Authorized by the military in the hopes that a third child from his brilliant parents would balance out somewhere between his sociopathic brother and his compassionate and kind sister, while retaining the incredible genius each had already inherited. It worked, Ender is exactly who they hoped for, and hates himself for it because he's compassionate enough to understand (and love) his enemies even as he destroys them ruthlessly.
  • In Firestarter, Charlene McGee is a powerful pyrokinetic due to her parents being test subjects for a substance known only as Lot 6. The Shop, who developed Lot 6, hoped to train up her psychic powers to turn her into a weapon, but they severely underestimated just how much a 7-year-old girl loves her daddy.
  • Eppon in Galaxy of Fear, in a sense. The heroes find him as an infant and he grows very rapidly to adulthood — as per the plans of the Big Bad, to whom he's loyal.
  • Miss Havisham from Great Expectations was left at the altar and swore revenge against all men, so she adopted a baby girl named Estella and raised her to be a sociopathic heart-breaker.
  • Jacob Ricel in Diane Duane's Harbinger Trilogy. Just to make things more fun, he's actually one of several clone siblings raised together by the evil corporate star nation.
  • In Heimskringla, king Harald Fairhair's son Eirik is set up with small fleet of five longships and some of Harald's best warriors to go raid as a viking. When he comes back he becomes Harald's dragon and earns the nickname Bloodaxe.
  • The Career Tributes from the Districts 1, 2, and 4 in The Hunger Games are raised from childhood to become warriors in the annual Hunger Games.
  • InCryptid:
    • Children born into the Covenant or raised in it are trained from a young age to hunt "monsters". Of course, they don't think there's anything wrong with this. They generally don't go into the field until adulthood, though.
    • An odd example with Sarah Zellaby. Her species normally leave their young as Doorstop Babies with Muggle Foster Parents (who are almost invariably murdered by their unknowingly adopted child upon their Human Alien Discovery). After her original human parents were killed, she ended up being adopted by Angela, the Token Heroic Orc of her species, who raised her to have human values and respect for others. Once she's an adult, her biological mother comes back and reveals she had Sarah, killed her human parents, and arranged for her to be found by Angela, all so Sarah could undergo an Evolution Power-Up into a "Johrlac Queen" and tear a hole in reality. Never mind that this would fry Sarah's brain. Fortunately, Sarah refuses and manages to prevent her mind being destroyed (at the destruction of almost all the rest of her kind).
  • A form of this occurs in Inkheart. Capricorn knows that the best age to recruit his fireraisers is in their early teens. After all, "there's a lonely boy who likes to play with fire in every village". He despises all his men, thinks of them only as tools, and generally treats everyone like crap, even sentencing his most loyal man to be killed by the Shadow for the crime of "stupidity".
  • The execrable 70s sci-fi novel I, Weapon is about a breeding program to create the ultimate human weapon, crossbreeding human subspecies. And then he goes on a mission that is best described as "trippy".
  • In Pale Grey Dot, ESS agents are recruited as young as five years of age. Initially, the children don't think it's anything unusual, and that weapons training and spycraft are perfectly normal in school. It's left unsaid what happens to children who don't pass.
  • In the 14th Redwall installment Taggerung, the Juska tribe steal a baby otter from Redwall and raise him as a prophesied warrior. It doesn't work.
  • The Saga of Arrow-Odd: Odd's arch-enemy, Ogmund Eythjofslayer, is begotten by the King of Bjarmaland on a troll-woman and raised, trained and "turned into a troll" by the Bjarmians specifically to kill Odd, in revenge for Odd's depredation of Bjarmaland.
  • Sinfjotli in The Saga of the Volsungs is conceived and raised for no other reason than to exact vengeance on King Siggeir.
  • Jeremiah in Someone Else's War is the product of rape, born to a female slave held captive by the LRA. He has been a soldier since the moment he could walk and understands little else but warfare. Sad case of Truth in Television.
  • Moke in Star Trek: New Frontier was not raised to be a Tykebomb, but he turned out to be one nonetheless. Moke is not the name his father would have given him. He'd have picked something more traditional like... Thor
  • From the Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • Mara Jade, minus the abuse, plus some favoritism and possibly a bit of mind control on Palpatine's part. She ends up Defecting for Love and marrying Luke Skywalker.
    • In Jedi Search, Qwi Xux was revealed to be the only survivor of an Imperial plan to create, not tykebombs per se, but super-engineers capable of designing super-weapons, out of children from Omwat.
  • In The Traitor Son Cycle, the Red Knight was supposed to be one — his mother was raising him from birth to become a champion of the Wild and destroy the King of Alba. Fortunately for everyone, the Knight ran away from home before the plan came to fruition.
  • The protagonists of Twig are a group of twelve- and eleven-year-olds who were experimented on by the Academy of Evil. The Mad Scientist behind the experiments wanted to produce weapons that were different from what his rivals were making; instead of yet another Synthetic Plague or big dumb obvious monster, the Lambs would be agents who could use their harmless-looking appearance to infiltrate areas, gather information, and use that information to eliminate targets. The Academy uses them to hunt down individuals who threaten their information monopoly on the creation of Frankenstein-esque monstrosities.
  • A twisted version in the Ultramarines series by Graham McNeill is "The Newborn" a Chaos Space Marine who serves as the Big Bad's personal bodyguard. Take an adolescent cadet abducted from an Imperial academy, stick him into a daemonic "incubator" and combine him with the protagonist Uriel Ventris's genetic code, and you get a fully-grown Space Marine with the mind of a child.
  • The Vorkosigan Saga: Mark, secretly cloned from principal protagonist Miles and raised by his enemies. Over the course of several books, there's a lot of character development with him learning to be his own person away from the purpose his obsessive father created him for.
    • Actually, a frequently-recurring theme in that series is genetically-engineered people who turn out not to be as obedient or predictable as their creator expects: the quaddies in Falling Free, Taura, the ba in Diplopmatic Immunity, etc.
  • Falcone in Warchild made it his personal mission to make an army of tykebombs, his "protégés". He figured a soldier raised from a young age would be absolutely loyal to him. And if they went out and made their own protégés, these in turn would also be loyal to him. After a couple decades, he'd have an army of trained soldiers with no qualms about following his orders. Unfortunately (well, for him, not so much for the kids he manipulated), no one told him it might be a bad idea to sexually abuse those kids he obtained. Of the four he tried to create, one was rescued by a Space Marine and became his greatest enemy, another killed himself, the third escaped and later murdered Falcone rather than see him escape. Only the fourth was loyal for any length of time.
  • The Qualgrist Protocol in Woken Furies. When it became clear that Quellcrist Falconer's revolution was going to fail, several of her followers altered their genes and went into hiding. Upon infection with a specially designed virus, their descendants would become homicidal towards members of the ruling family. 300 years later, some mercenaries raid an old Quellist bunker and accidentally release the trigger virus.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agent Carter: The Black Widow program. Full stop. Black Widow (2021) sheds some more light, showing how the current director for the Red Room that operates it specifically preys on vulnerable children or families to get recruits ("If there is one thing the world never runs out of, is little girls").
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has Ruby Hale, who was raised from birth (after her mother was artifically inseminated) to be the perfect assassin for H.Y.D.R.A., as well as a candidate for the title of "Destroyer of Worlds". She's naturally incensed that her mother considers Daisy a better candidate.
  • The series Angel had Connor kidnapped only a few months after his birth and raised to his late teens in a hostile dimension, taught to become the ultimate opponent against his birth father. Angel spends the end of Season 3 and all of Season 4 trying in vain to defuse him.
  • Done accidentally in Barry. The titular character's father died when he was a boy, and he was subsequently raised by his dad's Best Friend Fuches. Fuches meant well, but didn't know how to raise kids and simply pressured Barry to join the military as they did rather than attempt to nurture any interests he may have had. After Barry discovers his Improbable Aiming Skills and is honorably discharged after an incident stemming from his emotional instability, Fuches sought to profit off his talent by turning him into a Hitman with a Heart and complicating his attempts to go straight through Barry's pathological need for his approval.
  • The Salamanca twins, Marco and Leonel, from Breaking Bad are a textbook example — a flashback shows them fighting over a toy, chaperoned by their uncle Hector — to resolve this conflict and teach them to cooperate, Hector begins to drown Leonel, forcing Marco to hit him as hard as he can in order to save his brother. As adults, they are silent, brutally efficient killing machines and textbook Determinators.
  • Kennedy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer knew how to use a crossbow since she was eight-years-old.
  • Max and her siblings from Dark Angel were created with cat DNA mixed in and trained from birth to be soldiers before escaping and turning against their former "sponsors."
  • In Doctor Who, Madame Kovarian kidnapped Melody Pond, Amy and Rory's daughter to raise her as a tykebomb against the Doctor. It very nearly succeeded, as Melody grows up to be the ever mysterious River Song, an Action Girl with a mysterious and dark past who makes Daleks beg for mercy, and is a convicted criminal (in a Cardboard Prison), but she ultimately became a staunch ally of the Doctor.
  • Alpha and any other doll in Dollhouse, in a sense, given that they are implanted with a full set of memories going back to infancy when they are imprinted for engagements, despite having signed their bodies over to the Dollhouse as adults. An Active can thus have a lifetime's worth of training as a thief, assassin, or soldier.
  • Scorpius on Farscape was part of a Scarran breeding program designed to improve the species by blending it with other races; he was not considered a success, partly because of the health problems he suffered from, but mostly because he stabbed his nanny's eyes out and joined the Peacekeepers. Sikozu is another example, having been genetically engineered to kill Scarrans as part of the Kalish resistance movement.
  • River Tam of Firefly was taken at an early age to be made into a Brainwashed and Crazy psychic Super-Soldier. As with most of Alliance's dirty tricks, it didn't quite work as planned.
  • The Cortexiphan children in Fringe were given drugs at extremely, disturbingly early ages in the hopes that they would develop superpowers to become weapons in a potential war against another universe. In most cases, this left them as ticking tyke bombs.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The Unsullied are eunuch slaves trained from childhood to be soulless weapons. That was the intention but, to the man, they turn against their masters as soon as Daenerys gives them an opportunity to.
    • House Clegane, of the attack/guard dog variant. Both Clegane brothers were trained from a young age to serve as the Lannisters' most loyal, skilled, and brutal fighters.
      Sandor: When Tywin Lannister became Lord of Casterly Rock, he wanted more from his former kennel-master than fealty, he bet that training hounds to kill isn't far from training boys to kill. In just two generations my brother Gregor and I proved him right. I gutted my first man at twelve.
  • Hanna: The Utrax girls are teenagers who a CIA program had "adopted" as infants to train as assassins.
  • From the second season of Heroes, Elle Bishop, after her electrical powers manifested, was subjected to extreme electrical torture to see how much she could take. By her own father, no less. The end result is a sadistic and insane girl whose father sends her out in the field, referring to her as an "executioner".
  • Kamen Rider Build: Midway through the series, it's revealed that the weapon-dealing Namba Industries also raises orphans, named Namba Children, to become people in important positions with Undying Loyalty to the company head Jusaburo Namba. Recurring antagonists the Washio brothers are examples of Namba Children, and Utsumi and Sawa are revealed to be ones as well.
  • A recent episode of NCIS had one as the criminal of the day.
    • Late Mossad Director Eli David raised a family of them. His illegitimate son Ari Haswari was the Big Bad of the first two seasons, and his daughter Ziva was a part of Gibbs' team for the next seven seasons. They were raised from birth to infiltrate Hamas and to be a Mossad assassin, respectively.
  • Sky from The Sarah Jane Adventures was one of these (a more literal one than most, since she was designed to literally blow up, hopefully eliminating her race's enemies in the process), but decided she liked her Earth friends better than her alien "mother" and then was adopted by Sarah Jane.
  • Parodied in the Scrubs episode "My Own Personal Jesus"; in a flashback to The Cold War, a doctor delivers a baby boy and hails him as "another ready soldier in the war against communism."
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Adria is a genetically engineered child that the Ori made in order to have a messenger in the Milky Way without dealing directly with the Ancients. She was also engineered to not stay a child for long.
    • In the first season, SG-1 found a literal version of this, who would blow up the second she was returned to her home planet. Keywords home planet; she was adopted by Dr. Frasier, on Earth.
    • Ryak, Teal'c's son, was brainwashed into a tykebomb at one point by Apophis to take out the SGC. Two missing teeth were replaced with fragile fakes which contained inert ingredients that when mixed by biting hard enough to break the teeth, would create a lethal gas.
  • Star Trek's Borg are bred into the collective artificially, in addition to assimilating others.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Vorta and Jem'Hadar are the Founders' Tykebombs.
    • The Jem'Hadar are not quite a straight-up example, as they're not necessarily mistreated by their creators, nor are they ruled over irresponsibly, and thus have pretty rock-solid loyalty. This loyalty, however, is achieved through an engineered, in-bred drug addiction; when they run out of that drug, they run the danger of playing this trope straight-up.
    • The Remans of the Romulan Empire in The Movie Nemesis are a much more straight-up example, especially since they are essentially ruled by a kid.
  • Icheb from Star Trek: Voyager was genetically engineered to produce a virus that would destroy any Borg cube he was picked up by.
  • Eleven in Stranger Things was raised by scientists hoping to harness the telekinetic powers she was born with after her mother took part in LSD experiments while pregnant.
  • Dean and Sam Winchester from Supernatural were both trained as hunters from a young age. While this Parental Neglect and training was part of demonic plans to groom the generally nice Sam into becoming a powerful Antichrist, Daddy Winchester seems to have worked Dean harder, having him shooting at the age of 6.

  • Agnes Montague from The Magnus Archives was raised to be one of these by the Lightless Flame. This backfired spectacularly, due to none of the cultist knowing how to raise a child to do anything, let alone make one into a god of destruction. She killed several cultists in out of rage as a child, and as an adult, expressed sadness and regret at being forced into a destiny she never asked for.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In BattleTech, the Clans utilize Designer Babies for their "Trueborn" Warrior caste, which have been bred for loyalty, quick reflexes and great eyesight. Their most triumphant examples are the Elementals, 7 foot tall users of the eponymous Powered Armor that can rip a man in half with their bare hands. Clans raise their warriors in The Spartan Way with live-fire training by the time they are teenagers; out of a sibko of 100 cadets, only around 20 are expected to make it to adulthood as warriors, though some survive and merely flush out as Scientists or other castes.
  • In Exalted, the Deathlord known as the Dowager of the Irreverent Vulgate in Unrent Veils only has one Abyssal Exalt: a young girl called the Shoat of the Mire, who is always a member of the Dusk Caste, the Abyssals' ultimate warriors. Since Abyssals are usually stuck at the age they Exalted at, the Shoat will remain a young girl for the rest of her existence. Should one Shoat die, another will take her place.
  • Forgotten Realms haven't much of this, except local anomalies like...
    • House Xorlarrin of Menzoberranzan used to start early arcane training for all male offspring with high magical talents, who were in turn given a status that was nearly equal to all ruling females (by the way, the other male children who didn't develop such talents were either sacrificed or sold).
    • Halruaa got Jordain, anti-talents their order raise and train from very young age. With amount of The Masquerade surprising for such a presumably nice place. When in Counselors and Kings one of them discovered how they are really created and saw what happens to their mothers in process, he mentioned it's good that his wizard dad is anonymous — he'll probably live longer this way. That's not counting some... "little details" (or rather lack thereof) concerning Jordain themselves.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Space Marines are chosen for initiation prior to adolescence. While that is plenty of time for them to be used to other opinions, they train and fight for decades before becoming a versatile Tactical Marine, leaving a likely similar effect. They'll have been experienced killers long before being chosen for initiation anyway.
    • Various Imperial Guard regiments get in on the trope as well, such as Cadians teaching their children to field-strip a lasgun before walking, or the planet of Krieg conditioning its people toward a culture of self-sacrifice and conformity (making perfect soldiers for embracing warfare at its most hellish) from birth in atonement for the planet having a rebellion take place on it centuries ago.
    • Subverted Trope by Catachans — they are not trained to be soldiers at a young age (indeed, Catachans are known for being atypically independent compared to other Guardsmen), they instead just have to actually survive their ludicrously lethal planet (as in, only one in four makes it to adulthood) before they get recruited into the Imperial Guard at adult age.
    • The Primarchs, grown from the Emperor's own genetic material, were meant to be his greatest generals who would aid him in galactic conquest. The Chaos Gods threw a monkey wrench into that plan by scattering them across the galaxy, denying the Emperor the chance to raise them all himself and exposing them to radically different upbringings. The Primarchs' gene-seeds in turn are used to transform ordinary humans into Space Marines.
    • Most of the Imperium's special forces and operatives: Commissars, Assassins, Arbites and Sisters of Battle, etc., are the orphaned children of Imperial officials raised in boarding schools called the Schola Progenium. There they are indoctrinated to be fanatically loyal and trained to be the most deadly and merciless enforcers of Imperial will from an early age. Of course, as Ciaphas Cain proves, it doesn't always work.

  • In The Mario Opera, Ludwig summons and brainwashes Luigi into being a Koopa-killing machine.

    Video Games 
  • Advanced Variable Geo: K-1 and K-2 could pass for a pair of pre-teensnote , but they were clones created by Section-9, under Miranda Jahana's instruction. Each possessed pyrokinesis and lightning kinesis respectively, in addition to genetically enhanced combat capability. They were later disposed of for failing to defeat Yuka Takeuchi, and were subsequently replaced by the Martial Twins.
  • Baldur's Gate III:
  • BioShock series:
    • In BioShock, the Player Character turns out to be one. Jasmine Jolene, the mistress of Rapture's founder Andrew Ryan, became pregnant and sold the fetus to Ryan's main competitor Frank Fontaine. He was artificially aged to the size of a fully grown man in just three years and sent to the surface with Fake Memories. He's Fontaine's "ace in the hole" against Ryan, a Manchurian Agent programmed to obey any request prefixed with the Trigger Phrase "Would you kindly". Once Tenenbaum scientifically removes the impetus to obey the phrase from Jack's brain, he sets his sights on Fontaine.
    • In BioShock 2, Eleanor Lamb would count, but averted it: She was supposed to be her mother's tool to fulfill her crazy utopia for Rapture and, probably, the world, and was raised to become this, albeit whether Sofia planned to take it to a combative extent prior to Eleanor's turn into a Little Sister and her turning into Rapture's New Boss is left for assumption. But thanks to some living with other kids, her mother's constant nagging and eventual experimentation, Delta's care for her while she was a Little Sister and some use of common sense, she rebelled. Still, she's one fighter. In the Bad Ending, she will evolve from Tyke-Bomb to Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds and gets even with her mom, drowning her before she swears to destroy the world. They grow up so fast...
    • Elizabeth in BioShock Infinite, of a sort. Though not raised as a warrior, she was being raised by her father, Comstock, with the intent that she would take over for him after his death and bring his plans to use Columbia to purge what he saw as the corrupt surface world. After she is recaptured by Comstock, we learn that in one reality she does just that, before a My God, What Have I Done? realization has her reach out to Booker and help him rescue her alternate self before she can be broken and turned into this.
  • The Vanguard bloodline of Bloodline Champions are stated in the background to be trained after being chosen in childhood.
  • The vampire Kagan in the BloodRayne series makes this standard policy for all of his offspring: He rapes human women, and once they give birth, he slaughters their entire families so the child has no one to turn to but him. He then raises them to be his loyal minions and the leaders of his plans to blot out the sun and conquer the world. Not that it stops them from trying to back-stab each other, however. Rayne herself was rescued and raised by fully-blooded humans before Kagan could get to her, and ironically was turned into this as a weapon against her father.
  • In Crying Suns, you can encounter a Church of Singularity battleship full of children. They claim to have escaped from the Church and will ask you to take them someplace where freethinkers are tolerated, but if you have a specialist speak with them, you’ll learn that the kids are murderous fanatics who are plotting to kill all the unbelievers in your crew. You are then forced to fight and kill them in self-defense.
  • In Dead Rising, Carlito is revealed to have set up adoptions for infected orphans all over America at the end of the 72-hour story. Dead Rising 3 reveals that one of them (player character Nick) was instead granted immunity to the infection as a failsafe because Carlito didn't want his Zombie Apocalypse to be unstoppable.
  • The Big Bad of Destiny 2, Dominus Ghaul, was abandoned as an infant for being an albino, only to be found and raised by The Consul with the goal of overthrowing Emperor Calus for his humiliations at the Emperor's hands. Said Consul clearly only sees him as a weapon rather than a person, and in the end Ghaul kills him when he finally admits it. In The Cabal Booklet, even the Emperor he overthrew seems to feel bad for him more than anything else, even though he still wants Ghaul dead.
    Calus: Imagine his venomous whispers — look at how happy they are! Look at how they revel and thrive! While we crack our hides in the filth, and pine for days of fear and gunfire...Had the child only escaped him, had little Ghaul only crawled off the heap where he was found, so much might have been saved. How terrible the man who sees an orphan as a hollow weapon, and who loads that orphan with the munitions of his revenge. How pathetic the man who wishes only to be a fat parasite again.
  • JC Denton in Deus Ex is a clone raised from birth by "foster parents" employed by Page Industries, who are murdered by a MIB when they become attached to him and Paul. He was raised to be a nano-aug for UNATCO, who are pawns of Page Industries, until his brother, Paul (having already defected), confronts him at an airbase and persuades him to examine the details more closely. JC does so, and in the process is labeled a traitor due to his actions. He then rescues Paul from eventual demise at the hands of a killswitch, turns on his former masters with the help of what remains of the Illuminati, unifies the Hong Kong Triads (who aid him), and canonically merges with Helios (in place of Bob Page, whom Helios decided wasn't worthy) to restore order and usher in a new, enlightened age.
    • What makes JC's background confusing though, is that if you read some of the datacubes lying around Area 51, they imply that JC's history wasn't the one mentioned above, but instead he was born a couple years before the game, had growth acceleration, and implanted memories. If you look at the "decanting tanks" in one room, one of them has your name on it, stating that you were born a few years earlier, and had a birth date assigned to you. Which theory is the truth is anyone's guess.
  • Dragon Age:
    • In Dragon Age: Origins, as part of the ending Morrigan proposes an alternative way to destroy the Archdemon without using a Grey Warden to trap its spirit after its dragon body has been killed. She will get herself pregnant by a Grey Warden so that she can destroy the dragon and the demon will be trapped in the growing child. Her only condition is, that she will disappear right after the Archdemon is destroyed and nobody will try to look for her, while she keeps the child and raises it. Since an archdemon is really a corrupted Old God, the child would be incredible powerful, whatever it might turn out to become. It's also worth considering that the whole thing was the idea of Flemeth. She is unique in having her spirit merge with that of a demon who possessed her, while still remaining her own self, and also one of the most powerful mages who ever lived. To prolong her life, she transfers her spirit into that of her daughters, and had the archdemon appeared a generation later, she would have done the ritual to create a child in with the Old God is bound. That child would have been a nuclear tyke arsenal.
    • This tykebomb is defused in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Flemeth's goal is revealed to be revenge: the demon gods who ruled the world were "betrayed" (and not by the dread wolf, who was a loyal ally); the more demon gods (like the archdemon's soul) she can rally, the better her odds. If Morrigan sires a child, Flemeth offers them a choice: let the boy be raised by Flemeth, or be eternally hounded by Flemeth (bonus points if Morrigan drinks from the Well of Mythal, since Mythal is the demon goddess who can control anyone who drinks from her well and is the demon who is possessing Flemeth). Morrigan immediately chooses the later... and Flemeth takes out the part of the kid that makes him The Chosen One, no physical harm done, and leaves.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, it is mentioned that Argonians born under the sign of the Shadow (which grants them Invisibility) are taken at birth to be trained in the arts of stealth and assassination by the Dark Brotherhood. Some Argonian tribes take their duty of producing Shadowscales to such a degree that they have created potions which allow females to synchronize their egg-laying cycle with the Shadow constellation. This is Justified in-universe as the Hist, sentient and possibly omniscient trees which the Argonians worship in their Black Marsh homeland, are said to "acknowledge" Sithis as the original creator of the universe. This would also help explain the Shadowscales, as the Dark Brotherhood operates in service to Sithis. However, by the 4th Era (the time of Skyrim), only one Shadowscale remains. (Cicero, caretaker of the Night Mother in Skyrim, states in his journal that the Shadowscale training facility in the Argonian city of Archon had been closed down.)
  • Both the first and second of the Fable games revolved around this trope.
  • From the Final Fantasy series:
    • Final Fantasy VI has both Celes and Terra. Justified in Celes' case, as the Magitek infusion process is said to be incredibly dangerous and painful when used on an adult. The last one they tried it on was Kefka, and that didn't turn out well. Terra herself was captured as an infant and raised as a tykebomb due to her natural gifts.
    • Compilation of Final Fantasy VII:
      • Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII. He was engineered by Shinra scientists to be the perfect soldier, implanted in the womb with alien DNA to endow him with superhuman strength and intelligence. The procedure killed his mother in childbirth, though she remained Not Quite Dead. He was then raised by his "surrogate" father (who never told him they were actually related) and grew up to be one of the world's most famed war heroes... until he discovered (most of) his secret origins, went Ax-Crazy, and decided to destroy the planet and become a god in the process. He damn near succeeded.
      • Sephiroth's remnant, Kadaj, also qualifies from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. After Sephiroth's defeat, he wills this guy (and two others) into existence with the mentality and appearance of a teenager, for the purpose of insinuating Reunion and bringing Ol' Seph back from the Lifestream, and sacrificing his own body in the process. It's unknown how much Kadaj actually knew of what would happen. He was programmed to press for it to happen. He also wanted his mommy, which is kind of hard to explain. Loz and Yazoo also count, but they don't get as much screentime.
      • In Dirge of Cerberus, the three Tsviets who were born and raised in Deep Ground Weiss, Nero, and Rosso) apply.
      • Crisis Core introduces Genesis and Angeal, Sephiroth's fellow First-Class Soldiers. They were created in project "G" by Hojo's rival Hollander. Angeal's mother Gillian was infused with Jenova cells while pregnant with Angeal, and she was later harvested to expose Genesis' mother to Jenova cells while she was pregnant. Sephiroth, Angeal, and Genesis would become the star Soldiers of Shinra.
    • Though not raised from birth, the SeeDs in Final Fantasy VIII are generally trained from a relatively young age, with the youngest accepted students being only five-years-old and the oldest being fifteen. Ostensibly they're being trained as supercharged mercenaries, but in reality they're being prepared to wage war against the Sorceresses.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics had Rafa and Malak, who had their village destroyed, so they could become these after their elders refused to let the villain use them for his own purposes. Rafa turns and Malak follows shortly.
    • Final Fantasy Type-0 is built around this trope. The playable cast are all members of Class Zero, an elite squad of fourteen teenagers with special powers, each of whom was taken from their parents at an early age and trained to master a particular weapon. As a result, they're devastating in battle but have little understanding of civilian life, to the point that learning about anything besides combat seems foreign to them. In part due to this, they're isolated from their peers but form a close-knit group among each other.
  • Fire Emblem has a couple of these:
    • Jaffar from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade was allegedly found as an infant sleeping on top of a pile of corpses, and groomed to be a powerful assassin by the Big Bad Nergal. Nino was probably a failed attempt at making one of these as well, although she turned out to be too soft-hearted, and in fact is who triggers Jaffar's humanity and his Heel–Face Turn.
    • The DS remake of Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem reveals that Katarina, real name Reese, is one. In her youth, she was commonly treated like an animal, and was beaten for the sake of it, until she was found by Eremiya, who then proceeds to groom her into an assassin. However, much like Nino, she is too kindhearted to be a fully efficient killer, and she defects with persuation of the Avatar.
  • In First Encounter Assault Recon, both the Point Man and Paxton Fettel were raised as these. In additional, Project Harbinger involved all of Team Dark Signal, including Michael Bekett, the player character in Project Origin were raised as psychic Tykebombs, and Wade Elementary is a school devoted to creating Tyke-Bombs through use of drugs to generate psychic abilities.
  • Starkiller in The Force Unleashed was discovered by Darth Vader as a small child while he was in the midst of killing his father, and after witnessing his aptitude with the Force at such a young age he took him on as his Sith apprentice.
  • Lily in F-Zero GX was enlisted by the Galactic Space Forces as a soldier shortly after her birth, and has been serving them for 14 years by the time the game begins.
  • The Assassins' Guild does this in the Guilty Gear series, taking in children orphaned by Gear rampages and the like. Among these children, Millia Rage became the dog that bit back, only it's kind of subverted in that she somehow saw a life beyond killing the whole time. The exact specifics of that waver due to the games' plots not being as import as their rock and metal references.
  • For an example made by the good guys, the main character and the rest of the Spartan-IIs of the Halo series were trained as warriors from the age of six and have been continually fighting since they were fourteen, but at least they were intended to survive into adulthood. The Spartan-IIIs, however, were purposely trained to be prepubescent suicide troops: only a handful of Alpha and Beta Company survived past childhood, mostly the ones who were considered gifted enough to be transferred to more elite units. Of those who remained in Beta, only two survived, while no one who stayed in Alpha made it.
  • Cole McGrath, the hero from inFAMOUS could count as one, as Kessler set him up since his birth to make it so he could fight the Beast.
  • The big plot twist of Jade Empire is that your character is a Tyke Bomb raised, trained, and manipulated by Master Li as part of a Xanatos Gambit to destroy all of his enemies and take control of The Empire. He went so far as to deliberately train you slightly wrong so you would have a flaw in your combat style that he can use to kill you once you outlive your usefulness.
  • Kingdom Hearts features several such characters:
    • Xion is a replica of the series protagonist, Sora, whose purpose is to serve the Organization and prevent Sora from waking up to defeat them.
    • Riku Replica is, that's right, a replica of Riku created to turn Sora against the real Riku and become a tool for the Organization.
    • After finding Sora's Nobody, Roxas, newly spawned and with no memory, the Organization indoctrinates him to serve their goals with the hope of him eventually replacing the original Sora entirely.
    • Ienzo is an example of this to a lesser degree. He was an orphan that Ansem took in, who regarded Ansem as a father figure and turned out to be a child prodigy. When Ansem's other students betrayed him, they lie to Ienzo (still a child and the youngest founding member by far) that Ansem had abandoned them, so that they could use his research in a quest for power and to further slander their former teacher.
    • All of the above characters eventually play a role in the downfall of their respective villains and, later on, the Big Bad.
  • The Legend of Spyro: Cynder almost fits this. Her egg was stolen by the Dark Master's forces before her birth and she was raised within his evil influence, given seriously souped up powers and an adult form and sent out to help the Drk Master take over the world. And she is a total badass. Interestingly, the "Fury" attacks of Spyro (and Cynder in the third game) make them elemental tykebombs.
  • In Mass Effect 2, there's several protagonist tykebombs: Jack, a homicidal ball of rage who was abducted by Cerberus as an infant and transformed into the most powerful human biotic; Thane, who was trained as an assassin from age six; and Grunt, a tank-grown Krogan mega-soldier, who is as violent as he sounds.
  • Metal Gear does this a lot, although it usually deals with the psychological repercussions, too.
    • Raiden was six-years-old when he held his first AK; the three Snake triplets were all raised from their cloned conception to be extremely good soldiers, and in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Gray Fox is revealed to have been raised in a twisted isolation tank as part of the 'Perfect Soldier Project'.
    • Meanwhile, Revolver Ocelot (ADAM), called "Adamska" by his fellow Russians, as well as Big Mama (EVA). Both were trained from young ages to be Super Soldiers, as well as to blend perfectly into various nationalities. Ocelot, being half-Russian and -American, could act as a spy for either country with relative ease. Meanwhile, EVA was raised by the Chinese and trained to act and speak flawlessly like an American. In The Last Days of FOXHOUND, this is spoofed with Ocelot's lines: "I've been working for [The Philosophers] since I was born," and "I've been trained to be an X-Tuple agent from the age of four."
    • Big Mama's resistance group consists entirely of war orphans whose only goal in life is to fight without anyone's interests.
  • The main character in Overlord II started out as a Creepy Child in the little town of Nordberg. The Minions eventually found him and brought him back to the Netherworld. Then Gnarl raised him for 13 years to become the Overlord that they needed. The Minions being in charge of his early development goes a long way to explaining why the new Overlord is more explicitly evil than his canonically Noble Demon father, the previous Overlord.
  • In a way, Pokémon the player creates through the in-game breeding system. You can breed them to have optimal move-sets via egg moves and then EV train to get their stats right.
    • Mewtwo deserves another mention. Its story in the games involves it being the embryo of a pregnant Mew. Mewtwo was tampered and gene-spliced until it turned vicious and was made into a battling machine. It later went berserk and destroyed Dr. Fuji's Pokémon Mansion on Cinnabar Island. It then took shelter in Cerulean Cave (a place both it and Mew seem naturally attracted to).
    • Pokémon Black and White reveals that the leader of Team Plasma, N, is this. It turns out that his (adoptive, in spite of the Strong Family Resemblance) father is Ghetsis, his Dragon. He had isolated N and left him with abused Pokemon, causing N to believe that Pokemon and humans should be separated so humans could no longer harm Pokemon. Ghetsis did this so N would summon Reshiram/Zekrom and Ghetsis could use him to take over Unova and be the only one allowed to actually use Pokemon. When all this is suddenly revealed to N, who had just moments before failed at the task he had been raised all his life to achieve... is it any wonder he took off for a couple of years, distancing himself from human civilization to find himself?
  • Re:Kuroi: The Western Kingdom experimented on Asha and several other kids by forcing them to take ether drugs. This either turns them into monsters or into artificial mages who depend on the drug. Some of those who remain human got recruited as spies to infiltrate the Magic School.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Project "W" was Oswell Spencer's first and grandest attempt to replace humanity with a superior breed. He infected many children with the Progenitor Virus, the original mutagenic virus that spawned all of Umbrella's other horrors, and indoctrinated them with his values. Albert Wesker was one of the only survivors. He didn't take it well when he found out he was essentially manufactured and thus never really had any control over his own life. Interestingly, Spencer manages to avoid most of the mistakes mentioned in the second paragraph of the page description. Instead of relying on abuse and torture like many examples, his manipulation was much more subtle, to the point where Wesker had no idea that he even was this and believed all his actions to be of his own free will when they were actually all according to Spencer's plan. The only mistake Spencer made was not realising that someone brought up to be ruthless and ambitious might decide to take over the world himself instead of helping Spencer do so.
    • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard introduces Eveline, a bio-engineered weapon in the form of a 10-year-old girl who's actually three. Despite her origins, she expresses a desire for a family — no one In-Universe is sure if the "family" connection is intended as a means of exerting her Hive Mind abilities, or if she's genuinely craving that type of affection.
  • The Zener Children in Second Sight were meant to not only prove the reality of psychic warfare, but also to act as the first generation of psychic super-soldiers loyal to the Soviet Union. However, the project was a failure: more than half of the children who learned to use their powers successfully were hideously disfigured by their medication, and the others were judged far too disconnected from the outside world to be of any immediate military use. Plus, in a subversion of standard Tyke-Bomb fare, the research staff treated the Zener Children very well, and continued to do so even after the project's funding was cut.
  • In order to get accepted to a government-backed Shinobi school in Senran Kagura, you have to already be training and display a level of natural talent (family connections also help). This implies that "Good" Shinobi routinely train the next generation from toddlerhood.
  • Ramirez from Skies of Arcadia was made by the Silver Civilization to hunt down the Moon Crystals by infiltrating the Valuan Armada. Unfortunately, having No Social Skills due to his upbringing, exposure to the world beyond proved too much to him and he ended up as the Battle Butler of charismatic Big Bad Galcian - the very man he was sent to thwart.
    • Taken a bit further with Galcian's training and indoctrination of Ramirez (he was just young enough for this trope to still qualify). Somewhat subverted, as it appears that Galcian genuinely cares for and respects Ramirez, acting as a father figure.
  • Both Sonic Adventure and its sequel gave us the Chao, which, after enough breeding, can create offspring that have gigantic stat growth, to the point where a Chao of the highest grades in stats is equal to a mediocre Chao with twice as many levels.
  • Dr. Luis, antagonist of South of Real, devotes his life to creating children who can save the world from the oncoming horde of cosmic horrors. The player character, Alex, was one of those kids and appears to be the only survivor. Subverted in that the experiments utterly fail to stop The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Super Robot Wars: Original Generation gave us The School, a facility that "reconditioned" children, both physically and mentally, to become Humongous Mecha pilots. Eventually, the high mortality rate(there are only four known survivors, out of an unknown number of subjects) and the development of mecha training programs that could be safely used on normal people, The School was eventually closed down.
  • In Syndicate (2012), unlike the original where Agents were civilians taken off the street for conversion, Agents are now recruited and trained from youth. However, they don't get sent on operations until older, averting Child Soldiers. Still, having your parents shot in front of you just to get the right kid to raise into a killer gets points. It's unknown if that memory really is Kilo's, but the footage probably came from someone's traumatic childhood.
  • A relatively early Wham Episode of Tales of the Abyss is that Luke fon Fabre is one. Specifically both the original and the replica; the original due to the Score the proclaims he will give his country great the small cost of him being a literal bomb to destroy a town and kill himself in the process. The replica comes from hijacking the plan with all the facts known about the Score, and the original is taken in by the Big Bad in an attempt to make him a personal tykebomb. Both tykebombs are responsible for screwing over all plans, but especially the replica.
  • In Team Fortress 2, Demomen are abandoned by their biological parents at birth until their bomb-making skills manifest themselves, with horribly unpleasant results. It is described as "a long-standing, cruel, and wholly unnecessary tradition among the Highland Demolition Men".
  • In Three Dirty Dwarves, Laura, Gregory, Billy and Kyle were raised from test tubes by an experimental weapons contractor with the aim of making them Super Soldiers. When that project failed miserably, the kids were put to work designing super-weapons, and were provided with crayons and graph paper for the task. Instead of weapon designs, they created a Tabletop RPG which they named Dwarves of Destiny.
  • Valdis Story: Abyssal City has a rare heroic(ish) example. The dying goddess Valdis charged a mortal to protect her newborn daughter Reina. The aforementioned mortal realised he might not be able to keep that oath forever, so took it upon himself to seduce a high-ranked demoness, and raised the resulting child to be a living weapon in Reina's service. The two are unaware of this arrangement for most of the game, but by happy coincidence are close enough to get Ship Tease with each other. Reina herself is a more downplayed example, as Valdis created her specifically to overthrow the tyranny of her previous two daughters.
  • Warcraft Expanded Universe:
    • Thrall, of all people. He was raised by a corrupt human noble to lead an army of orcs to seize control the rest of the kingdom. It did not go quite as planned.
    • The Twilight Dragonflight was created by Deathwing and the Twilight's Hammer for the sole purpose of acting as weapons against the other Dragonflights. Having been magically aged, most are only a few years old compared to their centuries-old opponents.

    Visual Novels 
  • Miles Edgeworth in Ace Attorney had a happy, normal childhood until he was eight-years-old and his father was murdered. He was adopted by Manfred von Karma and raised to be a perfect, ruthless prosecutor who would do nearly anything for a guilty verdict specifically because von Karma hated Edgeworth's father so much that he not only murdered him, but spent fifteen years twisting his son into everything Gregory Edgeworth stood against. Why? Because Gregory Edgeworth made him take his first and only a penalty in court, breaking his perfect record.
  • Peko Pekoyama in Dangan Ronpa 2 Goodbye Despair was left on the Kuzuryu family's doorstep as a baby and was taken in and raised alongside Fuyuhiko, the heir to their extremely powerful Yakuza clan, to be his personal bodyguard, which led to her seeing herself as more of a tool than a person and caused her to have trouble expressing her emotions, like anxiety or her hidden love for soft and cute animals.
  • Ilya in Fate/stay night, raised from around the age of eight to take part mercilessly in the Holy Grail War and to hate her father for abandoning her, though in truth he always tried to go back to her and the Einzberns would not allow it. So now she has mixed feeling of wanting love from Shirou and wanting to dismember him for being her father Kiritsugu's adopted son and seemingly taking her place. Shirou can never truly bring himself to see her as an enemy even oblivious to the circumstances.
    • Sakura is revealed to be this in Heaven's Feel. Like Ilya, she was developed to be Matou's own Grail vessel, with Training from Hell just as physically and psychologically abusive, but much more demoralizing.
  • Arcueid Brunestud of Tsukihime was bred to be the strongest (and purest, without the innate desire for blood that plagued the rest of her race) of the True Ancestors, with the intent of having her hunt down their fallen brethren who had become insane blood drinkers, and the Dead Apostle vampires that they had spawned. In a slight twist on the trope, they had fully intended to give her a proper education and a normal (by True Ancestor standards, anyway) life after she'd finished her job, and had in fact started on doing so when things got out of control.

  • Code Name: Hunter has Prince Matthew Mousira. In Queen Moraine's own words:
    Queen Moraine: My grandson is a magical time bomb. No, everything is not fine.
  • El Goonish Shive: Several chimerae were created with this in mind. Grace and her brothers were animal shapeshifters created as a gimmick to stand out in an over-saturated assassination market. Due to a number of factors (not least being that the whole project was a stupid idea from the start), the project was terminated. Grace (AKA Shadetail) and her brothers were enslaved by Damien, another chimera who was supposedly the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, though Dr. Sciuridae points out it's more likely someone tried to intentionally invoke the prophecy with genetic engineering. Grace somehow managed to retain her innocence throughout all this, helped by the fact that Dr. Sciuridae saw her as a granddaughter instead of a test subject. It eventually turned out that the Shadetail portion of the project was an attempt to create a Laser Guided Tyke Bomb to kill Damien. Shadetail was supposed to be genetically engineered from several alien sources and one physically perfect human. Dr. Sciuridae, who had recently lost his daughter in a car accident, swapped out the human sample for one from his own daughter. While everyone thought the project was ruined, Grace eventually does succeed in killing Damien without an undue amount of difficulty.
  • In Homestuck, the Handmaid (aka Aradia Megido's ancestor) was raised from a grub by Doc Scratch in order to be a servant of Lord English. Under English's orders, she sowed chaos throughout Alternian history and became regarded as a demon.
  • Kaiten Mutenmaru: King Ocean ordered Umimi Sheela's lifelong confinement because Sick almost abducted her in infancy to utilize her great powers as a mermaid princess.
  • The Monster in the Dark in The Order of the Stick was raised by the Big Bad since he was very young. However, while monstrously powerful, he’s very childlike and for the most part harmless.
  • Bell from the Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi is strongly hinted to be one of these. Project Rowdy also seems to be a government project that resurrected the Rowdy Ruffs to serve this very purpose (the Ruff resurrection happened before the canon resurrection by Him, which explains the difference).
  • Ninja Blankfaces in Sam & Fuzzy are raised from birth as assassins loyal to the upper echelons of the Ninja Mafia.
  • Oasis from Sluggy Freelance was raised by Dr. Steve to serve as an assassin and a tool for his plans. He avoided many of the problems by just brainwashing her somehow, which has also prevented the good guys and herself from successfully defusing her.

    Web Original 
  • Ilivais X has its example, Iriana, rebel from the very start. Even though she's 17, she was designed to remain in a child-like form forever, adding to the very large lists of complexes she deals with over the course of the story.
  • The Grand Duchy of Remillia from the RP Open Blue is a pseudo-Dutch nation that fields elite soldiers known as Angels.They are abducted from their families to begin training at the age of three.
  • In Orion's Arm, Homo jihadi were a quite literal example.
  • Phaeton has Nakira Mite, she was however mind wiped and remembers nothing before her last reprogramming, but the muscle memory is still there. Many of the orphans we haven't seen are iplied to be this too.
  • Surely no more extreme case of this exists than Bonesaw from Worm, a young girl with an innate talent for surgically manipulating the human body. Her father figure within the group, Jack Slash, recruited her into the Slaughterhouse 9 by repeatedly murdering her family members and forcing her to use her talents to revive them until her mind breaks. From then on, she applies her talents to performing Body Horror experiments on her victims, such as turning a botanist into an organic Frankenstein puppet and upon capturing the Undersiders, turning Grue's body inside out while still keeping him alive. The creepiest part is how damn cheerful she is through all this.
  • Critical Role: Caleb is a failed one. During his time studying at the Solstrice Academy, he was approached by Trent Ikithon, a faculty member who took an interest in him, and began training him as a Vollstrucker/Scourger. Caleb and two others were taken to Trent's home multiple times a week, during which time they'd be subjected to brutal, abusive training, had residuum crystals experimentally implanted into their skin, and were forced to torture and execute traitors to the Empire. As their final test, all three were given Fake Memories of overhearing their parents plotting treason, and all three subsequently set out to kill their own parents. This proved to be too much for Caleb to handle, as he had a complete mental breakdown and spent the next 11 years of his life in an asylum. His classmates, Astrid and Eodwulf, did succeed, and became full-fledged Vollstruckers.

    Western Animation 
  • Princess Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender is the tykebomb of her father Evil Overlord Ozai. This is one of the most successful examples, as Ozai made sure to "coddle and praise" her rather than "abuse her and insist she is made to serve him" (that's what Zuko is for).
  • Batman Beyond: Zander from "Curse of the Kobra" was genetically engineered and raised to be the perfect leader of the terrorist organization Kobra.
  • Danny Phantom had Vlad Plasmius attempting to clone Danny, in the process creating Danielle, an "imperfect" (younger, female) clone who had his powers but risked clone degeneration by using them. She stayed loyal to the villain... until he told her to her face that he didn't care about her except as a stepping stone to create a perfect clone of Danny. To be fair, he didn't realize she was there.
  • Gorillaz has Noodle, who was created along with 22 other children as part of a weapons program for the Japanese government. After all the children were deemed too unstable and dangerous, the project was shut down and the children were killed... except for Noodle, who was put in a state of amnesia and shipped off to Britain in a FedEx crate which the rest of Gorillaz would receive, because one scientist who worked on the project couldn't bring himself to kill her.
  • Justice League:
    • "Wild Cards" features a Tyke-Bomb of sorts in the form of Ace, who was raised to be, essentially, as terrifying as possible. The entire Royal Flush Gang in this episode was later revealed to be a whole group of Tyke-Bombs curtesy of Cadmus, whose specialty is creating and raising up super-powered opponents just in case the League starts abusing its power (or, as the case may be, Lex successfully schemes to make it appear as if the League has). From their (chronological) introduction in this episode, they go on to become a staple of the Batman Beyond Rogues Gallery.
    • "Epilogue" has a case of Defusing the Tyke-Bomb, Stay with Me Until I Die and Peaceful in Death between Batman and Ace shown here.
    • Speaking of "Epilogue", Terry McGinnis from Batman Beyond is revealed to be a rare Tyke-Bomb for good. However, the people who came up with this scheme ultimately got cold feet and didn't go through with it. Terry grew up with a normal childhood; that he wound up fulfilling their ambitions anyway was pure serendipity.
    • Another Cadmus Tyke-Bomb is, of all people, Doomsday, revealed in "The Doomsday Sanction" to have been grown in a lab out of mutated samples of Superman's DNA to be a counter to the Kryptonian. He gleefully embraces his hatred of Superman despite knowing that it was implanted, to the point that Cadmus tried to dispose of him because he was too powerful and uncontrollable.
  • Hana, Ron's adoptive baby sister in the fourth season of Kim Possible. In the prophecies about her, she's even called "the weapon".
  • The Legend of Korra has a few examples:
    • Yakone raising his sons, Tarrlok and Noatak, as his instruments of revenge on Aang and Republic City by teaching them Bloodbending and drilling this idea into their heads. Even though Noatak betrays him, ironically, it works. Tarrlok becomes a corrupt councilman and Noatak becomes Amon.
    • Season 2 introduces us to Eska and Desna, Korra's twin cousins; while they were not explicitly raised this way by their father, Unaloq, they're incredibly powerful Waterbenders who are emotionally detached from everything, and almost blindly loyal to their father's plans. Eventually they tire of it and help the heroes stop their father.
    • If the twins count, then Korra herself certainly counts as well. While Tenzin and Tonraq intended to have her trained as The Chosen One from early childhood for her own protection rather than as a means by which to turn her into a tool to use for personal gain, but the end result was effectively identical. Korra's own temperamental affinity for violence probably had something to do with it, but either way the result wasn't pretty — she grew into a perfect weapon who believed she had no value outside of her powers and responsibilities, and she essentially failed to mature emotionally and spiritually past the age of four as a result (with sometimes terrifying consequences). Korra's character arc in Books One and Two essentially involves her figuring out how to defuse herself and exist as her own person outside of her predetermined role (and even then, she can be pretty ruthless for a good guy!).
      • Book 3 reveals that this was a result of the Red Lotus attacking Korra when she was little in an attempt to kidnap her and train her, molding her to their way of thinking. They wanted her to grow up with the aim of overthrowing world leaders and "restoring the world to its natural state of disorder."
  • Hunter from The Owl House was taken in by his uncle, Emperor Belos, at a very young age, and underwent brutal training to become Belos's right-hand man, the Golden Guard. He doesn't have a better time when he does have the rank either, as Belos is one hell of an Abusive Parent, and he's rarely taken seriously by the rest of the Coven Heads. It's later revealed that Hunter is the latest in a long line of clones called Grimwalkers, created in the image of Belos's brother and raised from birth to become Golden Guards, and killed without hesitation as soon as they try to defy Belos. When Hunter tries to confront Belos about this, Belos sees this as insubordination and tries to kill him, prompting Hunter to defect from the Emperor's Coven.
  • The Daughters of Aku from Samurai Jack were trained from birth to hunt down and kill Jack, undergoing brutal Training from Hell at the hands of their mother.
    • Jack himself is a benevolent version and even a Reconstruction, as his father arranged for him to train with different fighters around the world if/when Aku broke free. At the same time though, he befriended the various tutors and people, gaining appreciation for the cultures and many of his experiences with his friends there have given him valuable knowledge for his future endeavors (such as his memories of Egypt helping him figure out how to defeat the Minions of Set), ending up much more well-adjusted (and unfortunately for the Daughters, effective) than a lot of other Tyke Bombs. They all even show up at Jack's wedding to celebrate and then mourn the loss of his bride alongside him when she ceases to exist as a result fo Aku's defeat in the past.
  • When the cartoon series She-Ra: Princess of Power was created to be the Distaff Counterpart to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), it needed to explain why Prince Adam/He-Man suddenly had a twin sister (Princess Adora aka She-Ra) no one had seen or heard of before. So... it seems Adora was kidnapped during infancy by the villain Hordak, who whisked her away to another planet and raised her himself. She remains loyal to Hordak well into her adulthood, until an encounter with her brother leads to her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Solar Opposites: The Pupa. His purpose is to evolve into a form that will terraform the planet into the image of planet Shlorp using data stored in his DNA by consuming everything.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles character Karai is turned into one of these in the 2003 cartoon. An orphan found and adopted by the Shredder at an early age, he turned her into one of his most loyal and capable lieutenants. The Shredder, surprisingly enough, turns out to be a rather good parent (at least from her account) and the ensuing loyalty she feels to him is at the core of her character arc.
  • Slade from Teen Titans (2003) had designs on grooming Robin into this. When that failed, he moved on and succeeded with Terra. Then he pushed her too far and suffered an explosive retaliation.
  • Transformers: Animated: Ultra Magnus reveals the goal of Project Omega is to create 12 super-weapons with reduced intelligence so they would never question that their purpose in life is to destroy or kill. Ratchet is horrified at it, while Ultra Magnus justifies it with the Decepticon threat getting worse (several Con victories had planets destroyed). At the end of the war, only one is still active (one is in stasis, and the another is missing) with all the others dead. In the present Cybertron is thriving and at peace, while Ratchet questions if what they did to achieve that peace was right.
  • Transformers: Prime: Project Predacon was meant to create an army of these via Fossil Revival to serve the Decepticons, but after discovering what the first on they produced was capable of, Megatron decided it was too risky to make any more. He even goes so far as to lure the Autobots to the lab where the batch in progress is being cloned for the purposes of letting them destroy it. Unfortunately for Megatron, he can't keep this secret from getting out forever, and thus Predaking turns against him at the worst possible moment.
  • X-23, a modified clone of Wolverine, in X-Men: Evolution (who later became a Canon Immigrant to the print comics)
  • Superboy in Young Justice (2010). He has Superman's strength and speed but lacks the discipline to use them properly. He has some anger issues that need to be worked out and the part where his "father" Superman doesn't even acknowledge him makes him more upset and frustrated. He initially disrespected Black Canary, believing that he could win any fight based on his power and often is fairly harsh on his teammates. But Superboy eventually starts learning, coming to respect Black Canary (after she made him swallow his words) and is more friendly with the rest of the Young Justice. Superman himself even comes around, with the two forming a sibling relationship.


Video Example(s):


The Fox and the Rabbit Lesson

The core belief of Nazism is visualized in class as a strong fox eating a weak rabbit. When Hans shows sympathy for the poor rabbit, he is ridiculed and humiliated by his teacher and classmates. Afraid of Hitler and his goons' reactions, and witnessing the "correct" answers given by his peers, Hans soon repents his answer and declares his hatred towards the rabbit for being weak and cowardly. Satisfied, Hans' teacher then applies this lesson towards German politics, namely that Germans are the superior race and should conquer or destroy all who oppose them. Though antisemitism isn't explicitly mentioned, it's quite clear who the rabbit is supposed to be.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / TaughtToHate

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