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"They're all mistakes, children! Filthy, nasty things. Glad I never was one."
Agatha Trunchbull, Matilda

Classic villain type in children's stories and films, a person who cannot stand children. At all. It may range from them being very irritated by them but not saying anything to seething hatred of insane comedic levels, but whatever the case, they simply do not like them. Typically but not always female, and often a glamorous woman with a shallow personality. The fact that they themselves were once a child never seems to cross their mind. Ironically, for some reason, they have a tendency to have a career that involves working with children, such as a camp counselor or a Sadist Teacher. For irony, they may be in a job that focuses on children (teacher, host of a children's TV show, toymaker.) as a particular type of Depraved Kids' Show Host. Sometimes a Complete Monster.

If one of these is trying to marry a single parent, expect the Child Hater to make plans to ship the poor kid or kids Off to Boarding School so they can have the parent all to themselves.

Needless to say, it's highly probable that such a character Would Hurt a Child, but it isn't obligatory.

Contrast Friend to All Children, who is often the natural enemy of this kind of villain.

Examples of Child-Hater include:


Anime and Manga

  • Death Note: Roger, who is in charge of the Wammy's House orphanage, dislikes children, although apart from being mentioned in the databook, this is never shown anywhere else.
  • Asuna Kagurazaka of Mahou Sensei Negima is a self-proclaimed Child Hater and in earlier chapters took every chance she could to state this. Ironically she's the female lead/Lancer in a series that revolves around a ten-year old Mage/Teacher, whom she develops at times ambiguous feelings for. To be fair, she states her reasons for not liking children; they cry when they don't get their way, they expect others to do everything for them, etc, etc.... these being traits the child lead does not possess. Eventually, he evolves into a full blown badass in later chapters, even by Shounen Lead standards.
  • Michiko to Hatchin: The woman who runs the orphanage.
  • Yukimi of Nabari no Ou, who constantly mutters about he hates "brats" (even including Raikou, who is 20). Ironically, Yukimi himself is childish to the point that he blows out other people's birthday candles and is reduced to elementary school level name-calling when he's annoyed. And despite his self-proclaimed hatred of kids, he's still fiercely protective of Yoite and Miharu.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Chono-sensei, a Monster of the Week villain, fits the "vain and shallow" personality to a tee. Until the Pharaoh hits her with karmic retribution.
  • Subverted with Kogoro Mouri. While he does have traits of a Child Hater, (i.e. Calling them brats, physically assualting Conan for opening his mouth, etc), he adores his daughter Ran and even has the rare Pet the Dog moments with Conan.
  • Subverted and then played straight with Akito's mother Ren from Fruits Basket. On one hand, she said that she hated how the then-tiny Ayame, Hatori, Kureno and Shigure swarmed to her and cried, but it was more about annoyance than outright hate. (She didn't know it, but their tears were because they sensed she was pregnant with Akito, the future God of the Zodiac.). However, she plays it straight via noting that she has always hated her niece Rin, and not to mention she always abused her child Akito ever since early childhood.
  • Shugo Chara has Yuu Nikaidou-sensei who is a teacher because his real job actively involves crushing childrens' dreams in order to draw out their "Hearts Eggs" in order to check if it is the mystical wish granting "Embryo", and there is reason to believe the possessor of said Embryo is at Seiyo Academy. It's kind of a win-win situation for him.
  • A non-villainous example, Senjougahara Hitagi of Bakemonogatari has made it abundantly clear that she has an intense distaste for children, mainly because of an incident whereupon bumping into a small child she lost her composure and began apologizing to the unfettered child. Not particularly fond of feeling submissive to what she considers a lesser being, she has since held firm that all children should be exterminated.


Comic Books

  • Fables : Frau Totenkinder not only dislikes children as her last name (German for "dead children") suggests; she even turns out to be the witch from Hansel and Gretel.
    • More of an occupational hazard as her powers are fueled by eating children. She later meets Gretel again, now a teenager, they bury the hatchet and Gretel even starts learning magic from her.
    • Frau Totenkinder's hatred of children seems to stem from her origin story. She was denounced as a witch and kicked out of her tribe after she got pregnant by the tribe leader's son (said son had promised to marry her, and then pretended he wasn't the baby's father after he had to marry someone else). This sent her on a downward spiral that caused her to think nothing of killing one child a year for great power and two children a year for eternal youth. By the time she joined Fabletown and was made a welcome member of the community, Frau Totenkinder mellowed out. Although she still gets her powers from the abortion clinics she finances...
  • Hellblazer's John Constantine bluntly states "I fucking hate kids" in the opening of one story arc while standing in the same line as a woman with a screaming baby. This throwaway comment actually foreshadows the rest of the arc: the Big Bad turns out to be a Creepy Child possessed by a hideous rape demon that impregnated a (male) gangster, the Creepy Child's father, with a child that was meant to be an Antichrist.


Fairy Tales

  • The Wicked Stepmother in any given Fairy Tale, although usually not for her own children, just her husband's. Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, etc.
    • Somewhat unsettlingly, in the original versions of many fairy tales, the character was in fact the children's mother. The Brothers Grimm (ironically) were responsible for much of the Bowdlerization when they realized this might be disturbing to younger readers.


Film

  • Anything starring W. C. Fields, however in these movies he's usually The Hero. Considering how ill behaved the kids in those movies were, who couldn't but be on his side?
  • Robert Mitchum's character in The Night of the Hunter, although he's very good at hiding it.
  • The Parent Trap series: The evil woman trying to steal the dad usually falls into this trope.
  • Problem Child 2: LaWanda Dumore; in her reveal in the climax. Although its hinted at earlier, since she threatens to send Junior to boarding school in Baghdad.
  • Teri Hatcher's character in Spy Kids.
  • Cheaper By the Dozen: Ashton Kutcher's character is supposedly this.
  • Three Men And A Little Lady: The evil would-be groom. He even outright says that he loathes children in an effort to make the audience hate him!
  • Dr. Allan Grant in Jurassic Park is highly averse to children at the beginning of the film. After encountering some friggin' dinosaurs, he understands that they aren't so bad in the long run. At least, kids wouldn't swallow you whole or crush you underfoot.
    • This was only in the movie, though. In the book, he didn't mind kids so much, knowing they were always enthusiastic about dinosaurs.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy Krueger is an extreme version of this trope.
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Baron and Baroness Bomburst of the country of Vulgaria were added to the film version and fit this trope to a T. The Baroness is even afraid of children. Both employ the Child Catcher, who could very well be this Trope personified, to capture and abduct any children in the country. Her fear is most likely born of jealousy. A person so vain as to faint from shock when they are told they are ugly would undoubtedly be jealous of anyone more beautiful, or in this case more youthful looking than themselves. It's even explicitly laid out by the Toymaker: children growing up remind her that she's growing older herself, so she decides that if there aren't any children around growing up, she won't age.
    • In the stage musical version, she's so terrified of children, just hearing the 'C' word causes her to scream in terror or have a panic attack.
  • Batman Returns: The Penguin, one of the villains, plans to murder all first-born children of Gotham City as a twisted revenge for his own Parental Abandonment. Actually, he hates the entire human race, and is just scapegoating children in this scene. It also should be pointed out that all his would-be victims are rich boys, with girls apparently being too beneath contempt to warrant hatred. When this plan is foiled by Batman, he decides to "punish all God's children," no matter what their sex or socioeconomic status.
    • The Penguin only kidnaps the rich boy first-borns and ignores the girls because he's pissed at how his own parents abandoned him when he was a kid (he himself having been born to a rich family). His plan was to make all of Gotham suffer because of what his parents did to him.
  • Max Keeble's Big Move: Principal Jindrake plays this part real good, who he sees as acne-scarred riff raff.

 " Here they come, With their pimples and their braces..., and their rickets and their lice, Their snot-nosed, baggy-pantsed..., high-pitched,squealing voices."

  • The Baroness in The Sound of Music: "Darling, haven't you ever heard of a delightful little thing called boarding school?"
  • The Cat Shepherd and Moka, in Nocturna. The Cat Shepherd is a non-villainous example, who finds kids to be really annoying, but slowly warms up to Tim. Moka meanwhile, is also a non-villainous example, as it was part of act to goad Tim into journeying across Nocturna and confront the Shadow.


Folklore & Mythology

  • Most tales of the Jersey Devil claim it originated because a woman who already had twelve kids, upon discovering that she was yet again pregnant, cursed aloud that if she had to bear it, let it be the Devil instead of yet another child. Granted, with so many children, she probably had liked them until the burden of caring for so many became too arduous to stand.


Literature

  • Roald Dahl loved this one. There's The Witches, Miss Trunchbull from Matilda, and in his script for the film version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Lampshaded in a sketch from That Mitchell and Webb Look, where one character says "It's like I'm a villain from a Roald Dahl book -- the man who doesn't like children." On other occasions he mentions his dislike of children makes him feel like Disney villain.
  • From the Harry Potter series:
    • Dolores Umbridge. She even said so in the film of the fifth book.
    • Argus Filch. Filch's hatred of students comes from the fact that he is a squib who hates most magical folk while having a job with children who enjoy using magic than genuine hatred for children in specific. It does not help that Filch's job is to clean up after children and fix the things they break, which is a full-time job.
  • Wayside School: The meaningfully-named Mr. Kidswatter, principal of Wayside School.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: Count Olaf hates children. He uses them as slave labour in one of the later books.
    • A number of the guardians of the protagonists don't seem to think very much of children, given how most of them force the children to take adult jobs and then mock and ridicule them for being unable to manage properly. Possibly the worst is in The Austere Academy, when the infant Sunny is forced to be a secretary and is blamed for being unable to answer the phone, because she's not old enough to talk.
  • IT: Pennywise the Clown. Though the one thing he loves about children is their taste.
  • Dr. Coppelius from "The Sandman" (not this one) by ETA Hoffmann.
  • Peter Pan: Captain Hook in many versions. In the original, he only hates Peter Pan specifically.
  • In Viveca Lärn's Tekla books, this trait is often exhibited by shallow Valley Girls who try to make their moves on Tekla's Hot Dad. Tekla and her friend Ulle make a resolution not to hate kids when they get older.
  • Discworld's would-be-Wicked Witch (who couldn't become one because of family obligations) Granny Weatherwax strongly dislikes children. Ironically, since she's the good witch, she's also one of the series' strongest examples of Wouldn't Hurt a Child, and is completely harmless to children (in fact, if you try to hurt children on her watch there are not enough words for how utterly screwed you are). Granny is thus stuck in the unenviable position of being unable to do more than complain about how much she dislikes children to others and threaten annoying children with over-the-top punishments she would never act on. Children, on some instinctual level, recognize this as they think her threats are funny and cling to her at every opportunity. This causes her no end of annoyance.
  • This shows up a lot in The Pale King. Anyone who went to elementary school with Leonard Stecyk has what is described as a 'complex hatred' for him. People hate themselves for hating such a well-meaning kid, then hate him even more for creating such self-hatred. The principal has nightmares about the boy and occasionally fantasizes about sinking a meat hook into his face and dragging him behind his car through the streets of Grand Rapids, MI. A homeroom teacher even attempts to kill him with a pair of blunt scissors. It eventually culminates with someone blowing up his locker.
  • In Death: Eve's mother turns out to be this. She hates kids, do-gooders, and...just about everyone and everything. She has no Freudian Excuse for this, and was most likely just born as a Complete Monster.
  • Sisterhood series by Fern Michaels: Arden Gillespie in the book Lethal Justice reveals in her thoughts that she doesn't like children. Rosemary Hershey had promised her husband Bobby Harcourt that they would have kids in the book Sweet Revenge. Bobby, when he announces his intentions to divorce her, throws her words back in her face, saying that he doesn't see any kids around, indicating she doesn't like kids and was lying through her teeth.
  • Plenty of PG Wodehouse characters, although it's somewhat justified in that the kids in his stories tend to be Bratty Half Pints.
  • One Polish crime novel (Drugi Watek by Joanna Chmielewska) subverts this. The protagonist's father abandons her and her mother since he hates children and acknowledges he wouldn't make a good father, and pays his child support. He's a decent man, and not the murderer in this case.


Live-Action TV

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Principal Snyder. We eventually get something of an explanation to the effect that he was the kid who was always picked on; presumably he became a school principal by way of revenge.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Jean-Luc Picard is a subversion. Children make him wickedly uncomfortable, due to difficulty relating to them and reminders of his strained relationship with his family; he doesn't hate them. He gets better as the series goes along, though. A transporter accident that meant he spent most of an episode as a twelve-year-old might have helped.
  • How I Met Your Mother: While not cruel or anything to them, Robin isn't particularly fond of babies. In addition to being aware of how messy and stressful they are, she has a phobia about them due to their large eyes and that soft spot on the top of their heads.
  • Bandora in Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger hates children and often explicitly targets them in her attacks- the first thing she did upon release from her can was to capture the kids who were riding in the space shuttle whose astronauts originally freed her and try to crush them with a giant rock.
  • The Criminal Minds episode "The Boogeyman" had a killer who specifically targeted children. Since the victims, who were male and female, showed no signs of sexual abuse, and were killed with excessive violence, its concluded the killer is driven exclusively by rage, and just really, really hates kids. In a twist, it turns out he's about the same age as his victims.
  • Jojo from Insecurity is not fond of children, though they adore her (every single one of them.)
  • C.C. Babcock on The Nanny.


Music


Newspaper Comics


Theater

  • Miss Hannigan from the musical Annie. Note the song "Little Girls". In the film, however, she was played much more for humor, and eventually had something of a reversal of attitude. Although its probably more that she thought murdering Annie was taking things a bit far.


Video Games

  • Little happens in Grand Theft Auto Vice City to shock multiple-murderer, crimelord, and overall Badass Tommy Vercetti. Until he buys an ice-cream company and meets the Child Hater who owns it, a creepy old lady who viciously loathes the children she serves (despite no children existing, threatens Tommy for having ever been a child, and reveals that her business is just a front for selling drugs.
  • I.M. Meen, although he apparently only traps 'goody-goodies' and 'bookworms' in his labyrinth...which you one can only escape if you're clever. ?!
  • Drakengard, as shown in The Dark Id's Let's Play. Especially in the multiple endings.

  "Did I mention this game isn't family friendly? Well, it's not family friendly. Indeed, I cannot think of a video game that hates children more than Drakengard."

  • Amarant from Final Fantasy IX.
  • The Sims 3: One of the traits you can give Sims is "Dislikes Children". This is a slightly more realistic example in that Sims who Dislike Children usually won't torment or antagonize them unless they're also Evil or Mean-Spirited; they just don't like being around kids or talking to them.
  • Guillo of Baten Kaitos Orgins, with the possible exception of Sagi's "siblings", due to children thinking Guillo is a toy and abusively "playing" with Guillo and partly because Guillo seems to dislike everyone except Sagi (Guillo also claims Kids Are Cruel is part of it).

 Guillo: Blasted parasites! I will eat you all!

Kid: Yay! Eat me first!

Guillo: *sigh*


Webcomics


Web Original

 "I do despise kids, seriously I don't think you quite grasp how much I loathe children, given three wishes I'd ask for a puppy, a decent chip sandwhich and for every child-bearing womb on the planet to pop out and fly away like a cheery parade of greasy red balloons."

  • If her "Babysitters Club" review was any indication, The Nostalgia Chick both loathes and fears kids.
  • It's basically become a stereotype that all internet personalities hate children.


Western Animation

  • The Powerpuff Girls,
    • Sedusa disguised herself as one of these.
    • The writers had Ms. Keane be one for a single episode, no matter how little sense it makes for a kindly kindergarten teacher, just so there would be an excuse for why the girls couldn't just leave a lost baby in her care while they looked for the parents. She could just be a baby hater, and be fine with five-year-olds.
  • Rugrats
    • Angelica is a twisted variation of this trope, with a level of Boomerang Bigot considering that she herself is a child.
    • Coco Labouche from the second movie is basically a grownup version of the current Angelica.
    • Another episode deals with Angelica visiting the set of her favorite show Ms. Carol's Happy House and discovering that the host actually despises children. In her own words: "I'll let you know what I think of my kids, I think they're all little... (Sound Effect Bleep)". Later, when Angelica tells her she heard her say it, she proudly admits it and is shortly thereafter fired and replaced by her much nicer assistant.
  • Invader Zim: Ms. Bitters, true to her name, she is devoid of any compassionate emotion and having a very demonic hatred for childern.
  • The Simpsons
    • In response to a baby riot at a concert an organization composed entirely of Child Haters band together and managed to eliminate every child...-friendly thing in Springfield (for instance, restaurant attendees who bring children are forced to eat in their own room in the back) and try to pass a law that would do even worse.
    • Gabbo, a puppet, is a great hit with children. He regards the kids with utter disdain and -- thinking the TV cameras have been turned off -- Gabbo mutters: "That oughta hold the little S.O.B.'s." Somehow this blunder doesn't hurt Gabbo's popularity at all. Inexplicably, his ventriloquist Arthur Crandall has independent thoughts and feelings.
  • The Fairly Odd Parents
    • Vicky.
    • Crocker too. Maybe Dinkleberg. (Dinkleberg...) Crocker does have one sole exception. Ironically, it's Poof. Who happens to be a fairy, but Crocker briefly raised him as if he was his own son and genuinely cares for him.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: A few villains; namely Father, Chad, Cree, Mr. Boss, etc. Also, the Delightful Children hate children too as a result of being brainwashed at Father's hands.
  • Bump in the Night: Bumpy can't stand babies, yet in one episode, he grows attached to a lost baby snail. In another, he accidentally swallows some baby formula and becomes a baby.
  • Superjail: The main character, upon seeing a child for the first time since he has been one, wants her burned alive the second she makes herself known. Of course, the context is that it's the Warden's birthday and, being a drama queen, he's in despair over aging. Seeing a little child reminds him he's "old" -- who knows what he'd normal think of children.
  • In one episode of The Noddy Shop, a haughty Englishwoman whom Agatha is attempting to impress into going to her hat shop is one of these. She objects to the presence of children even in the toy shop owned by Agatha's brother Noah, who points out that they have more place there than she does.
  • Archer: Cheryl/Carol, although she's regularly offensive.
  • Johnny Test: Wacko. Ironically, he's a toymaker. But his toys are designed to get rid of children.
  • Tom and Jerry: The Movie
    • Robyn Starling's "Aunt" Pristine Figg. She mentally abuses Robyn by sending her to bed without supper and even LOCKING her in the attic at night. Not to mention she had the titular characters, Tom and Jerry, dropped off at the pound to keep them from telling Robyn that her father survived the avalanche. For crying out loud, she was even willing to LEAVE Robyn to burn alive when the Starling cabin was set on fire!! Apparently, Figg looks after Robyn just so she can get the money that really belongs to Robyn and her father and isn't hers to begin with.
    • Figg's lawyer, Lickboot, was probably no better. He was also only in it for the Starling fortune as well.
  • Miss McBeth from Invisible Network of Kids.
  • In Monster House, Mr. Nebbercracker is an angry man who is often yelling at kids to get off of his property but is actually trying to protect kids from this spirit of his wife Constance, who actually was this due to being mocked by kids as a circus freak.

Notes

  1. The developers of Drakengard
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