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Tykebombs are generally raised with people who tell them they're nothing but a weapon and usually treat them like crap. Then along comes someone who's different. When they look at the Tykebomb, they don't see a weapon, they see a messed-up little kid. Naturally, they try and rescue the poor Tykebomb, talking or fighting their way towards them. The Hug Tropes is likely to be their arsenal and expect The Power of Friendship to be used. The one doing the defusing is also likely to be a Warrior Therapist and/or The Messiah.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't; what matters for trope purposes is the intent.

Examples of Defusing the Tykebomb include:

Anime & Manga

  • This pretty much is Monster summarized in three words.
  • The whole comedic point of Beelzebub. Poor Oga has his work (and life) cut out for him to prevent his adopted demon spawn from erasing humans off the face of the earth.
  • Naruto doesn't understand how Haku can stand to work for a man like Zabuza, who frequently makes it clear that Haku's usefulness "as a weapon" in battle is why he's kept around (though this turns out to be a front...). Naruto sees Haku as a person, and tries to make Haku see that he's a person, too.
    • Iruka does this for Naruto himself, as he was pretty much the first adult to treat Naruto like a person - other adults were either distant or hostile, and the kids more or less followed suit. So many of Naruto's enemies are versions of him who didn't even get that level of support (or only got it from a twisted source).
    • And Pain gives us a lesson in how not to do this. You do not leave the Tykebomb on his own until you are sure it is defused. You do not wait for somebody else to teach him the intricacies of his powers.
      • Pain implies that he did not fully trust Jiraiya when he was watching over him and his friends, making this something of a case of the bomb only seemingly being defused.
      • Well, on the one hand, he wasn't a Tyke Bomb, he was a scared little kid with some powerful buried powers. Jiraiya trained him into a Tyke Bomb in hopes that being a ninja would keep him alive—wasn't particularly worried about who Nagato might hurt, 'cause he was a good kid who loved his friends. And it was all fine, and Akatsuki was spreading peace and order and possibly even sunshine, though it was Rain country so probably not...and then Danzou and Hanzou got together and offed his leader slash Morality Pet slash best friend slash Restraining Bolt in the most traumatic way possible. Nice job there.
  • Sven toward Eve in Black Cat.
  • In the second season of Code Geass, Lelouch tries to do this for his companion Rolo, but hardly with the best intentions, by using their memories from the past year to appeal to his "brotherhood". It works, and he gets a loyal pawn, but eventually this goes horrifically wrong when said pawn becomes a murderously jealous Yandere...
  • Mireille from Noir assumes this role toward Kirika, particularly toward the end of the series.
  • Kenshin Himura does this to Soujiro.
  • Nanoha does this to Fate in the first season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Of course, this being Nanoha, she defused the bomb with a bigger explosion.
    • And then Erio and Caro do this to Lutecia in season 3.
    • Fate previously reached out to Erio, who believed he was worth nothing after finding out that he, like Fate, was a clone of a dead child, and lashed out at her and the people looking after him. Interestingly enough, she used essentially the same argument that Caro eventually used against Lutecia- that people who are sad should not hurt others while seeking happiness.
  • Domon Kasshu does this to Allenby Beardsly in G Gundam. When she's kidnapped and then Brainwashed and Crazy by Prime Minister Wong, his partner Rain Mikamura finishes Domon's work.
    • Also, Shinn Asuka tries this on Stellar Louissier in Gundam Seed Destiny. It nearly works... until the Freedom reappears, Stellar flashbacks to Neo's 'death', goes nuts again and the Freedom is forced to put her out of her misery.
    • Kamille Bidan attempts this with both Four Murasame and Rosamia Badam, even playing along with the latter's delusion that he's her elder brother in an attempt to help her. Tragically, both of them get killed in battle before he's successful, one by Kamille himself, no less.
    • Judau Ashta is more successful: Elpe Puru settles into a fairly stable brother-sister relationship with him, and even Puru Two seems headed in this direction by the end. Both of them still die... both times, in protecting him from danger.
    • Banagher Links tries to talk Loni out of levelling Torrington with her mobile armour. He nearly succeeds, coaxing Loni out of her cockpit, only for her to witness her last family member dying at the hands of the Federation, and driving her back into her rampage in despair. There's also an example in the backstory - Banagher is a defused Tyke Bomb himself.
  • Some characters of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple (Kenichi himself, Miu, Niijima) are gradually doing this with Creepy Child Chikage Kushinada as an alternative to letting her fight Kenichi. Some want to help her, others are concerned because Kenichi Wouldn't Hit a Girl, let alone a little girl. As a result of all these attempts (especially Kenichi's), she becomes Tsundereish towards Kenichi.
  • In Kekkaishi, Yoshimori is trying to do this to Hiura.
    • And yet he fails.
      • I don´t think so, in last chapters Hiura has betrayed his companions and is helping Yoshimori
      • He hasn't betrayed his orders yet. It's just that his orders happen to go against theirs. At the same time, he also does listen to, and remember, Yoshimori's words. His mind is waaaay too screwed up to be certain what's going on inside without a convenient extrapolation.
  • A strange case of this appears in Pokémon the First Movie. Mewtwo rejects the objectification of his creators on his own twice (even stating in the novelization that they treat him like an object), and is already waging war on humanity when our heroes come along. Ash and his friends, fairly quickly, realize that Mewtwo's clone soldiers are tykebombs and Ash sacrifices himself to save them and the regular Pokemon from Mewtwo and Mew's feud. This selfless act makes Mewtwo realize that not all Humans Are Bastards and defuses him partly. This process is essentially completed in the direct-to-video sequel, Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns.
  • Rowan does this to Mitsumi prior to the beginning of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure.
  • In R.O.D the TV, tykebomb Junior finds Michelle utterly disarming. Anita puts a few chinks in his armour as well.
  • Maka towards Crona in Soul Eater. It sticks in the anime. In the manga... Not so much.
    • Black Star had another attempt using about as close to Maka's force plus understanding tactic as he's going to get. It didn't work. If anything, Crona's even worse this time, claiming Medusa is the only one they can 'rely' on.
  • In Black Lagoon, Rock tries to do this with Gretel(who might really be Hansel), but is unsuccessful. And then (s)he gets shot .
    • More like Downer Ending. Their hell of a backstory and woobieness still can't change anything in the end.

Benny: "Stories like these don't have happy endings."

  • Dominic helps bring this about for Anemone in Eureka Seven.
  • An absolute textbook example of this trope occurs toward the end of Rune Soldier Louie when priestess Melissa walks directly toward an enraged, lightning-bolt-flinging Child Mage named Lilly, who has been raised by the evil Lord Dardanel to be a vicious enemy of the reigning royal family. Melissa proceeds to talk her into a teary-eyed Heel Face Turn.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion had several characters make the attempt, hindered by their own state of massive emotional trauma. It's not terribly successful. In Rebuild of Evangelion, however, it looks as if the three lead Tykebombs are gradually beginning to defuse each other, though the latter half of 2.0 sure didn't help.
    • In fact, Shinji and Rei appear to have defused each other while Asuka defused herself with help from others, Shinji and Rei in particular.
  • Goku of all people experienced this, but instead it was him falling on his head resulting in Laser-Guided Amnesia.
  • Done in DNA², towards Lulala Kawasaki.
  • Mai does this unintentionally to Mikoto in My-HiME, without even knowing what Mikoto's role in the unfolding events really is. Likewise, Miyu wins Alyssa from the Searrs Foundation by being the only person... well, robot... who ever actually cared about her. It doesn't quite stick, though, with Alyssa being killed shortly afterwards... until the end. anyway.

Comic Books


  • In Blood Diamond, one of the protagonists' son is captured early in the film. When they find him, he's been converted into a child soldier for the rebels in Sierra Leone. The tyke holds his father at gunpoint, but gets talked down. Unfortunately, at the end of the film it's mentioned that there are still 200,000 tyke bombs Child Soldiers in Africa.
  • Danny the Dog presents a particularly tough case: a man who was raised in a kennel and treated like an attack dog, intended to kill anyone who threatened his "Uncle Bart." Bart's (apparent) death leads Danny to a blind piano tuner, who tries to teach him the rules humans live by.



“Except that—I keep hearing my mother’s voice, in my head. That’s where I picked up that perfect Betan accent, y’know, that I use for Admiral Naismith, I can hear her now.”
“And what does she say?” Galeni’s brows twitched in amusement.
“Miles—she says—what have you done with your baby brother?!”

    • And Kareen Koudelka seems to have happily picked up where Cordelia leaves off, although Kareen and Mark do meet in Mirror Dance. By A Civil Campaign, the two have gone into business together.
  • Cairo Azarcon was captured as a child by Big Bad Falcone, and raised as a Tyke Bomb. He's found and rescued in his late teens by a Space Marine. It takes a few years, but Azarcon eventually assimilates into EarthHub society...well, more or less.
  • Prof. Marius, the Tall, Dark and Snarky teacher of Edgewood Academy, from The Princess 99 manages to defuse the tykebomb in question here Axel before they destroy the entire school.

Live Action TV

  • In Angel the titular character tries to do this for Connor, with some success. However, Connor quickly develops other reasons for them not to get along, and in any case never fully gets over his prejudice against Angel.
    • At least, not until the season 4 finale when Angel retcons everyone's memories to give Connor a life with a normal, loving family. Even in season 5, when his original memories are restored, the experience has given him a much greater sense of stability and grounding, so by the end of the series he's patched things up with his real father.
  • 24 surprisingly let this work, rather than forcing Jack to kill a child soldier.
  • Odo attempts this with a newborn Jem'Hadar on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. His attempts to raise the fast-growing child to be more empathetic and less violent fail because the Founders are just that good at manipulating them on the genetic level.

Real Life

  • As child soldiers exsist, so does job of trying to defuse them.

Video Games

  • Snake sort of plays this role in Metal Gear Solid 2.
  • A child soldier has to be talked out of culling the nurse with a pair of scissors in Trauma Center
  • Knights of the Old Republic: The light-side path with Visas, along with many Crowning Moments of Heartwarming
  • In Blaze Union, we learn that Yggdra Union's Hero Antagonist Gulcasa was technically born one of these--his mother attempted to defuse him by forcibly sealing his abilities and then leaving him to go Find the Cure. His father, resenting him for the loss of his wife, started abusing him, and any good the seal did was undone posthaste. According to Word of God, the young Gulcasa was a bitter and violent Empty Shell until Siskier and Jenon befriended him and helped him learn to be a normal little kid again.
  • Attempted in two routes of Fate/stay night with Ilya. It doesn't work in the first until after she's been defeated, at which point she realizes Shirou really does care. In the second, they get along much better and the defusing is therefore much more successful.
  • Done to Eine aka Katerina in FE: Shin Monshou no Nazo.
  • A Paragon Commander Shepard has this effect on Jack in Mass Effect 2. She has way too many issues for you to deal with all of them in the game's time-frame, but you can at least convince her there are ways of solving problems besides shooting people.
  • In a particularly odd case, Morrigan from Dragon Age ends up defusing herself.

Web Comics

  • Order of the Stick has a variant with the Monster in the Darkness and the paladin O-Chul. While MitD may be a monster of unknown origin, it has the personality of a child and O-Chul forms an Odd Friendship with it while he's imprisoned by the Big Bad.

Western Animation

  • Danny Phantom has Danny telling his Opposite Gender Clone that Vlad is merely using her as a tool instead of the daughter she thinks he is to her. She obviously doesn't believe this and spends most of the episode in deep denial, attacking him and the like to prove otherwise. Of course, since Vlad is the series' Big Bad, Danny is right. Danielle manages to have a change of heart as a result and worked alongside him.
  • Ratchet combines awesome and heartwarming to do this to Omega Supreme the moment he wakes up, rejecting the Elite Guard's role for him as master of a mindless Person of Mass Destruction.

Omega Supreme: I am Omega Supreme. I am yours to command. I am your pupil. Your dependent. Your obedient servant.
Ratchet: I am Ratchet. I am... your friend.