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13 Times Tough-Guy Actors Had To Begrudgingly Take Care Of Kids In Movies

Updated June 11, 2021 131 votes 20 voters13 items

List RulesVote up the action-movie tough guys you'd hire to babysit your kids.

"Tough guys" are usually revealed to be big ol’ softies - something society has shamed them into hiding beneath their muscle-clad, action-hero personas - simply because they can't just be like everyone else, can they? Not only does Hollywood deal often in this archetype, but it also often tackles a subgenre in which action movie stars find themselves in charge of kids - in some cases just one kid, in other cases a whole boatload of them.

These family-friendly comedic outings see their stars drop their guns, swords, or shields and trade them in for baby bottles and binkies. This break from the norm often reaches a more mainstream audience, dialing the R rating down to a PG. From Arnold Schwarzenegger to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, their reluctance doesn't always make them the best babysitters at first (especially when they allow the kids to engage in violent or otherwise dangerous activities), but eventually, their inner softies take over.

Vote up the tough guys who've proven they can handle themselves, in case you ever need an emergency babysitter.

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  • The Action Star: Arnold Schwarzenegger is a pioneer of muscle-bound, aviator-era action, making his name in films like The Terminator, Commando, and Predator as a campy (but cool) and quotable killing machine. That said, he's also a pioneer of the tough-guy-turned-softy trope - the epitome of which may be Kindergarten Cop

    Why Is He Taking Care Of Kids? Schwarzenegger plays John Kimble, a police detective who poses as a kindergarten teacher in order to apprehend a major drug lord (who is also the father of one of his students). 

    Who Are The Kids? Unruly kindergartners. 

    Should You Hire This Man As Your Babysitter? Short answer: Yes. Despite being a "party pooper," he's more than capable of teaching basic human anatomy, confronting abusive fathers, protecting unruly children, falling in love with their mothers (if they're on the market), and becoming a surrogate father figure.

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  • The Action Star: The one, the only, Harrison Ford. From Star Wars and Blade Runner to Raiders of the Lost Ark and Patriot Games, he's one of the biggest and swaggiest action heroes of all time. Enough said. 

    Why Is He Taking Care Of Kids? In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, he reprises his role as archaeologist and adventurer Dr. Henry Walton Jones Jr. - AKA Indy. Before the events of the film, a Chinese orphan, "Short Round," attempted to pickpocket Indy (whom he would go on to call "Dr. Jones.”) The latter, instead of turning him over to the authorities, introduced him to his friend Wu Han, becoming a contact for Indy in Shanghai. Therefore, "Shorty" assists Indy when he travels from Old Shanghai to India in search of the magical Sankara stone.

    Who Are The Kids? Short Round, a street-savvy youngster. 

    Should You Hire This Man As Your Babysitter? Absolutely not. Instead of finding your orphan child proper parents and a healthy environment, he'll subject them to an upbringing in the streets of Shanghai's underbelly. On top of that, he'll put them in grave danger while encountering ancient evil for the sake of glory and cheap thrills. Stay in school.

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  • The Action Star: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, AKA the People's Champ, known for his eyebrow antics, asking if you can smell what he’s cooking, and letting you know "it doesn’t matter what you think." Outside of his prolific wrestling career, the Rock has become perhaps the biggest movie star in the world thanks to films like The Rundown and the Fast & Furious franchise (among many others), as well as his inimitable presence and work ethic. 

    Why Is He Taking Care Of Kids? In The Game Plan, Johnson plays self-obsessed football MVP (and bachelor) Joe Kingman, who learns he has a daughter. 

    Who Are The Kids? Eight-year-old Peyton Kelly (Madison Pettis), a sweet, well-intentioned young girl who dresses bulldogs up in tutus and defends undeserving, absent fathers.

    Should You Hire This Man As Your Babysitter? No. At least at first, Joe does a horrible job balancing his personal and professional life with the needs of his child; he leaves her at a bar, fails to prevent an allergic reaction, and is just all-around neglectful and irresponsible. New at this? Give us a break. However, after finding out that Peyton's mother has passed, and learning to care for others besides himself, he turns down a huge endorsement deal in order to be a better father.

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  • The Action Star: Keanu Reeves's surfer-turned-action-hero persona began with films like Point Break and Speed, culminating (or so everyone may have thought) at the end of the century with The Matrix. What was once confused for blankness has aged like a fine wine, with the John Wick franchise (especially) proving Reeves to be the most sincere, durable, and unconventional action star in Hollywood. 

    Why Is He Taking Care Of Kids? In Hardball, he plays Conor, a ticket scalper and gambler forced to become a Little League coach so that his buddy Jimmy will help him pay off his gambling debts. 

    Who Are The Kids? A rag-tag team of kids from one of the toughest parts of Chicago. 

    Should You Hire This Man As Your Babysitter? Conor may not be a role model, but Reeves sure is - so much so that it's hard to resist the opportunity to invite this paragon of sainthood into all of our lives.

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