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Playing With / Friend to All Children

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Basic Trope: A character is humanized by having a soft spot for kids.

  • Straight: Bob is an Anti-Hero, but he is established as a good guy overall because he frequently plays with children.
  • Exaggerated: Bob is a sociopath who is only redeemed by the fact that he adores and would never harm children of any species and they like him back.
  • Downplayed:
    • Bob is truly good if not particularly nice, but his nice side is shown when he's around children.
    • Bob is an Anti-Hero who doesn't like being around children, but nevertheless has a soft spot for them in the sense that he goes berserk whenever he encounters someone who's willing to hurt them.
    • Bob is pretty young himself, so the age difference isn't very big.
    • Bob doesn't like children, but he despises anyone who would hurt them and he will kick their ass.
  • Justified:
    • Children Are Innocent and Bob knows their innocence will keep him from becoming a full-blown Byronic Hero.
    • Bob's kids are dead, and they remind him of them, in a good way.
    • Bob is a member of a profession that ideally would necessitate him being a Friend to All Children, such as a teacher, a pediatrician, or a pediatric counselor.
    • Bob has kids himself, so this makes him more sympathetic to other people's kids.
    • Bob had Abusive Parents, and so he now goes out of his way to be nice to kids, whether they're his or not, defying The Chain of Harm and to be Troubled Abuser.
    • Bob is a Manchild, and thus, being fairly immature himself, he can relate to them.
    • Children remind Bob when he was a child himself.
    • Bob believes that children have a kind of perspective on the world that adults lack, because kids haven't yet been indoctrinated with all of society's norms and traditions, and he values this perspective.
    • Bob hates being an adult and likes children a lot more than his fellow adults.
  • Inverted:
    • Bob is a Child Hater and is portrayed as being evil for it.
    • Bob is a Nice Guy, but children don't seem to take a liking to him.
    • Bob, a kid, is established as a good person because of his fondness of adults.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob is constantly seen playing with children, but that's only to earn their trust so he can sacrifice them to a child-eating demon in exchange for power and wealth.
    • Bob is a child groomer and a pedophile who plays with children in order to earn their trust before he sexually abuses them.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied: Bob is a babysitter by day and a Vigilante Man at night.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob loves children, but pretends to be a Child Hater so he doesn't look weak. Children remind him of his own dead son, but sometimes the memories make him angry, causing him to actually hate children for brief periods, and even lash out at them verbally or even physically. But he always instantly regrets this.
  • Averted: Bob doesn't treat kids any differently than how he treats anyone else.
  • Enforced: "Bob seems like too much of a sociopath. Give him a soft spot for kids."
  • Lampshaded: "Bob's a Jerkass, but he can't be all that bad because the children love him."
  • Invoked: "If I play with kids alot, people will start seeing me as a true hero."
  • Exploited:
  • Defied: "I don't even like kids!"
  • Discussed: "I knew Bob was a good guy. Look how gently he plays with those kids."
  • Conversed: "It seems like every Anti-Hero, no matter how badass and rude he is, always has a soft spot for kids."
  • Implied: The adults in the show don't like Bob very much, but the children seem to be fond of him.
  • Deconstructed:
  • Played For Laughs: Overprotective parents assume that Bob is a paedophile.
  • Played For Drama: Bob's soft spot for kids is a major factor in his Start of Darkness when they are killed.

Go back to Friend to All Children, they want to play some more.