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Parenting is a hard job. Worrying about schools, clothes, when it's time to have "The Talk", and worst of all, worrying if your child will get sick or hurt.

Sometimes, TV parents will go a little too far in preventing this. The kid sprained his knee? He is wearing a full BDU and has a leash. The kid gets ill? From now on, he is in a plastic bubble.

Over-reactive parents are a quick source of comedy in any series surrounding children. Depending on the perspective, it could be a Knight Templar Parent situation, or just a one-shot gag which is never referenced again.

Some shows will just skip the parent aspect and focus on the child's overreaction which will lead to an Aesop about confronting your fears.

See Also: Post-Robbery Trauma, Knight Templar Parent


Comic Books

  • Many 1950's Superman stories had imaginary weddings to Lois. Often Lois would be stuck in a bubble,or in his Fortress of Solitude, or even on another planet entirely. All to keep her safe from the mob of people who would surely use her as a hostage. (Never mind the mobs of people who were using her as a hostage anyway.)


  • The film Bubble Boy... Yeah you can probably see where this is going. Lived in a plastic bubble with tubes around the house so he could get around. Eventually went on a cross country journey wearing a mobile bubble suit.
    • To be fair, the kid didn't have an immune system and would, in fact, die if taken out of the bubble.
  • Roland's mom in Gym Teacher: The Movie.
  • A Christmas Story: Ralphie's mom overdresses his little brother to the point that he can't move his arms, just to protect him from catching a cold.

Live Action TV

  • Scrubs had an episode in which Jordan frets over Dr. Cox allowing their son on a dangerous climbing frame, and the last scene showed him in so much safety gear he couldn't move, even if he wanted down. Meanwhile, Cox himself was horrified that Jordan allowed the kid to be held by other people, all of whom were, of course, covered in germs.
    • Both, however, were justified in their concerns. The boy is far too young for Cox to let him play high up by himself, and Jordan was passing him around at the hospital--where the risk of someone having a disease is increased by a eleventy-twelve percent.
  • Yes, Dear, to the point where one episode had An Aesop about it.
  • A storyline from Sesame Street involved Telly breaking his arm after playing tag. Following his recovery he wraps himself up in pillows in order to protect himself, only to realize that this means he can't move and must remove it have fun. Cue the Aesop.
  • Freddie's mom in ICarly. Won't let him hold hammers or other tools, or allow him to go fencing with Spencer, and has a giant first aid "kit". He's also forced to take constant tick baths despite not having ticks.

Western Animation

  • SpongeBob SquarePants, "Safety Freak": After getting a "broken butt" after a sandboarding wipeout, Spongebob takes a doctor's orders to be more careful too far and becomes a shut-in.
  • Rugrats
  • The Simpsons has an episode where Homer became so obsessed with child-proofing that everything on the playground it covered in bubble-wrap, and he then regrets it when he learns that children not being injured means Doctors make less money and child injury greeting card factories close down.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door parodies this by taking it to ridiculous extremes (even for this trope) in its aptly-named episode S.A.F.E.T.Y.
  • Class of 3000: "Safety Last" shows Eddie's parents locking him in a tower in order to protect him.
  • An episode of Aladdin shows the Genie sheltering Al in a bubble for protection in this manner.
  • Ron discovers how dangerous how dangerous pseudo-spy work is in Kim Possible, and locks himself away in a panic room. He comes out when he discovers that Kim is in danger because she went up against Drakken, Shego, and a group of henchmen who had been built up to be far more effective than previously using corporate team building exercises, with Wade, their usual Mission Control, and next to useless in a real fight.
  • Tuck is almost hit by a car in My Life as a Teenage Robot. As a result he shuts himself away from the outside world Jenny tries to reassure him of his safety by showing him at a ripe old age through the "Future Scope", which leads him to believe he will live to old age no matter what, and spends the rest of the episode performing a number of life threatening stunts. He forgets that even if he lives he still could get badly damaged.
  • Darkwing Duck: In one episode, Gosalyn visits an Bad Future in which she seemed to disappear from the time travel and Darkwing became Darkwarrior Duck. When he finds her, he intends to turn her into a sidekick, complete with thick, thick armor. The problem? "Dad, I can't move."
  • In Hey Arnold, Sid becomes so freaked out by a Germ video he goes as far as to plastic wrap his entire room and only leave in a full body diving suit.
  • In an episode of Almost Naked Animals, Octo becomes overly concerned for his co-workers' safety, but his solutions end up causing more harm than good.
  • Oscar's parents in Squirrel Boy. Weirdly, they don't seem to have the same concerns regarding their daughter.
  • In the South Park episode "Broadway Bro Down," Larry is a little boy with very overprotective parents; his parents always have him wearing a life vest to prevent drowning. During the episode, Shelly convinces him that he doesn't need to wear the vest all the time. Ironically, (Death by Irony) Larry drowns at the end of the episode, and the news reporter comments that he might have survived if he was wearing a life vest.
  • Bummer's fear of a law suit causes him to go overboard in ensuring the guests' safety in the Stoked! episode "Safety Last".

Real Life

  • The real-life case of David Vetter, who had a disease known as Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, or just Bubble Boy Syndrome. He had no immune system whatsoever, as did some of his siblings - his older brother, who had the disease, had died in infancy, and so he was born in a sterile room by cesarean section and put in a bubble while they waited for a cure to be found for him. When he was twelve, doctors tried a bone-marrow transplant to cure his illness, only to have him die after a few weeks from infection brought on by it.
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