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Tobias Ragg is one of very few genuinely good guys in the Sweeney Todd musical.
In the penny dreadful The String of Pearls, Tobias Ragg is the apprentice of Sweeney Todd – a barber who murders his customers. Sweeney Todd has him committed to a lunatic asylum after Tobias finds proof of Todd's guilt and decides to contact the police. He eventually escapes, is involved in Todd's arrest, and as the story ends goes into the service of Johanna's husband-to-be Mark Ingestrie. Tobias Ragg was also the young apprentice of Todd in the 1936 film version of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
In the Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Toby is the apprentice of Signor Adolfo Pirelli, a barber who was once an apprentice of Todd. Pirelli pretends to be Italian, and sells some fake potions for hair, made of "piss and ink". Toby is taken in by Mrs. Lovett after Todd kills Pirelli, who threatened to blackmail him. Toby becomes deeply attached to Mrs. Lovett, thinking of her as a surrogate mother. When he discovers that Todd has been killing customers for Mrs. Lovett to bake into meat pies, however, he goes insane with horror and shock. After seeing Todd kill Mrs. Lovett, a vengeful Toby emerges from the sewers, where he was hiding, and slashes Todd's throat with his own razor.
In the stage musical, Toby is portrayed as a mentally handicapped adult; Ken Jennings, who originated the Broadway role, was 31 on opening night, and Neil Patrick Harris was 27. In the 2007 movie, he is a child, portrayed by 14-year-old Ed Sanders.
In the 2013 novel Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Tobias is a minor character, a young orphan wrongly imprisoned for murder and rape, later freed by Inspector Baxter.